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Hamilton: Perez's Red Bull move will make life "much harder" for Mercedes - RaceFans
In the round-up: Perez's Red Bull move will make life "much harder" for Mercedes, says Hamilton • Daly returns to Carpenter • COTA names turn one "Big Red"
In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says that Sergio Perez’s move to Red Bull in place of Alexander Albon for the 2021 F1 season will make for an “exciting battle”.What they say Speaking ahead of the FIA gala, Hamilton said that he was impressed with Perez’s driving this season and said that he would be tactically important back-up for Max Verstappen:With all due respect to Alex [Albon], in the races that we’ve had, it’s been me and Valtteri [Bottas] against Max. I’ve been in the position that Max is in, particularly when I was at McLaren, where I was the the lead car and the second car wasn’t in the fight. So when we were fighting against Ferrari, they could really move around with the strategy and make it a lot harder for us. So I think, naturally, this makes Red Bull stronger, particularly with the way Sergio’s performing. I think Sergio has driven incredibly well this year and truly deserved a drive. So I was so, so, so happy to hear that he’s been taken on by one of the top teams and given this opportunity. I think it’s going to be an exciting battle to watch him up against Max, and that’s going to make it much harder for us as a team. So we’re going to have to really step up our game because that’s going to be a battle we’ve not seen for some time in terms of having the two drivers there fighting against us. But we relish that as a team. That’s what we work towards, we love the challenge and it’s going to make it that much more exciting. Social media Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more: #FIAPrizeGiving2020 – I have chosen to award Bahraini Marshals and @FIA Medical Intervention Team in Recognition of the Exceptional Reaction to @RGrosjeans accident at the @F1 Bahrain GP and of the dedication of all the people committed to making motor sport safer. pic.twitter.com/ssWnbi8Ay4 — Jean Todt (@JeanTodt) December 18, 2020 Youll be back mate pic.twitter.com/mucxjTEywT — George Russell (@GeorgeRussell63) December 18, 2020 |@Max33Verstappen, who made his #F1 debut at the age of 17, has still never had a team mate who is younger than him:@CarlosSainz55 – 3 years [email protected] – 8 years [email protected] – 1 year [email protected]_Albon – 1 year [email protected] – 7 years older pic.twitter.com/zP82k88h4x — RaceFans (@racefansdotnet) December 18, 2020 Very happy for Checo. @SChecoPerez me alegro por ti cabron! — Carlos Sainz (@Carlossainz55) December 18, 2020 This is what you call earning a fabulous #F1 ride through pure brilliant performance. Congrats Sergio @[email protected] — Mario Andretti (@MarioAndretti) December 18, 2020 Its official! DOUBLE WORLD CHAMPIONS!! An incredible honour to have these staying with us for another year #FIAPrizeGiving2020pic.twitter.com/00fU8TOPHr — Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) December 18, 2020
Russell wary rivals may "get a bit desperate" in final race · RaceFans - RaceFans
In the round-up: Russell wary rivals may "get a bit desperate" in final race • F1 dismisses Domenicali link to Ferrari CEO role • Formula E entry list confirmed
In the round-up: George Russell expects a lively fight in the midfield given the close points situation ahead of tomorrow’s season-closing race.
Sakhir performance risked making me look a fool, admits Bottas - RaceFans
Valtteri Bottas admitted his Sakhir GP performance risked making him look "a fool" as he spent much of the race behind team newcomer George Russell.
Valtteri Bottas admitted his Sakhir GP performance risked making him look “a fool” as he spent much of the race behind team newcomer George Russell. Having taken pole position for the race, Bottas was passed by his new team mate immediately after the start and ran behind him for the first three-quarters of the race. He began to close on Russell during the second stint, but a pit stop error by the team put both out of contention for victory.Reflecting on his performance after the race, Bottas said “the people who know” will have realised he drove better than it may have appeared to others. “[During] the race I just to try and make the most out of it,” he said. “I knew that it’s going to be a long race ahead, so I don’t think about those kind of things.” “But now thinking about it for sure if you don’t know things, I might have looked like a complete c***, a fool. So that’s not nice. So it was a pretty bad race for me from that side. “It will be very easy for people to say that the new guy comes in and beats the guy who’s been in the team for years so it is not ideal. But the people who know, they know how the performance is and they know how the end result could have been.” Max Verstappen’s retirement from the race means Bottas has a strong chance of securing second place in the drivers’ championship at this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. However he said he is more interested in winning races than taking the runner-up spot.“Second is, of course, better than third. And as a team, I think we deserve to be one and two with the car we have. Obviously it’s not done yet but at least I gained very small points to Max. “But it’s not really the priority in my mind, I just want to win races. This week it didn’t feel like the team prioritised that thing any way. We just came here and tried to do the best job. So it’s not like as a team they really prioritised me to be second in the championship.” He is keen to move on to a more conventional track after the unusually short Bahrain Outer circuit. “It’s a new weekend, obviously it’s going to be more of a normal track instead of a Mickey Mouse track. It will be easier to make some differences so I’m already looking ahead to Abu Dhabi.” Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix Browse all 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix articles
Hamilton 'makes the difference in crucial moments' - Verstappen - RaceFans
In the round-up: Hamilton 'makes the difference in crucial moments' - Verstappen • New details on Netflix Senna series • NASCAR to reduce attendance in 2021
In the round-up: Max Verstappen says Mercedes cannot do without Lewis Hamilton, despite George Russell’s impressive performance on his debut.
Traffic on Bahrain's Outer ring road will create qualifying headaches - RaceFans
Drivers hoping to qualify on medium tyres may have to switch to softs because lap times are so close on the short Bahrain Outer circuit. And traffic is a major concern.
The top 10 in second practice were covered by just over half a second. Lap times are tight around Bahrain’s 3.5-kilometre ‘Outer’ circuit. A moment’s loss behind another car could make a huge difference to a driver’s starting position. And with traffic expected to be a serious headache in qualifying, especially Q1, that is a very likely scenario for Saturday which is already raising concern among the drivers.“I think it’s going to be really important to get clear laps,” said Valtteri Bottas. Between F1’s two sessions he kept his eye on a hectic Formula 2 qualifying half-hour, which ended with Mick Schumacher and Roy Nissany crashing into each other. “I think F2 gave us a great example of how messy it can be at the end of the qualifying,” said the Mercedes driver. “So we need to prioritise the gaps.” Laps times were predicted to be around 55 seconds at the Bahrain Outer circuit and the first two practice sessions at the Sakhir Grand Prix have proven that right. Only the Red Bull and Mercedes cars were able to dip into the 54s in first practice but after the second session Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon had joined them. The outer circuit at Sakhir is only 3.543 kilometres long, meaning when all 20 cars come out there are almost immediate traffic problems. Max Verstappen was particularly vocal on the matter on his radio and after the session too. The quickest drivers may qualify on mediums But a glance of the track map during most stages of today’s session showed just how crowded it really was. The sequence of turns from four to nine, in particular, come very quickly. Jack Aitken sounded like he was simply listing the corners rather than driving through them on his radio check during first practice. McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl was one of many who pointed out how important traffic management will be in the upcoming qualifying session, and the race. “I think the most critical thing is probably the traffic management in qualifying,” he said. “Making sure we don’t repeat the topic of blue flags in the race will be a challenge as well.” For the teams that should make it into Q3 easily, such as Mercedes and Red Bull, it should be possible to do so on the medium tyre compound, based on the times set at the start of second practice today. With gaps so small between the times over the top 10, it could be risky, but the short lap should at least afford them several chances to set times. Advert | Become a Supporter & go ad-free It would be a hard guess to predict which teams other will make Q3 at this stage. Almost the entire midfield could, on the right tyres, with a bit of luck in traffic. Times were very tight on the soft compound, qualifying simulation runs and getting free space will be critical, as will team mates potentially helping each other with slipstreams on the pit straight. “I can imagine that we have a similar situation to last weekend with some teams trying to qualify on the medium tyre,” said Pirelli’s head of motorsport Mario Isola. However the narrow gaps between teams due to the shorter lap (see graph below) may force them to opt for the soft tyre.“Some of them are probably obliged to qualify on the soft,” Isola continued. “That is not too bad, I believe, because the soft is working better, with this layout. There are less traction and braking demands because of the long straights that are covering most of the lap and so the soft probably could be a good option for the race.” Drivers now have to stay within bounds at turn eight Between today’s two sessions race control advised drivers of new restrictions on track limits at turn eight. This was where Bottas had not just his fastest lap, but also five others, deleted for running too wide. He was the most prolific offender, followed by Alexander Albon (four) and George Russell (three). The disastrous effect of a good lap deleted was show by Bottas, in particular, who would have taken the fastest time of second practice but for his qualifying run being one of the laps nixed. Without an opportunity to get another clear run, he was forced to settle for being classified 11th – frustrating, no doubt, in practice but potentially disastrous in qualifying. The usual Mercedes pace advantage may be reduced by the short lap, though the high proportion of the lap spent at full throttle will undoubtedly favour the team with F1’s best power unit. Russell’s inexperience in the car and the damage Bottas incurred in first practice will be masking some of their performance. They have an eye on Verstappen’s race pace, however, and all may not be lost for Red Bull if they can beat the Mercedes customers to row two on the grid. Quotes: Dieter Rencken Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free Combined practice times Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free Gaps between teams on Friday Join the RaceFans Supporters Drive! If you've enjoyed RaceFans' motor sport coverage during 2020, please take a moment to find out more about our Supporter Drive. We're aiming to welcome 3,000 new Supporters to help fund RaceFans so we can continue to produce quality, original, independent motorsport coverage. Here's what we're asking for and why - and how you can sign up: 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix Browse all 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix articles
The urgent questions F1 must answer following Grosjean's fireball crash - RaceFans
All those involved in Romain Grosjean's rescue from his appalling crash on Sunday deserve praise. But F1 must now tackle the many difficult questions it raises.
While the outcome of Romain Grosjean’s fireball crash on Sunday was positive – the Haas driver incredibly walked away from his burning wreck after a 224kph / 53g crash into steel barriers – such is the relentless pace of safety research that plans for a full investigation into the consequences of the incident are already underway at the FIAs technical centre in Geneva. In the process a number of factors will be microscopically investigated, not with a view to establishing culpability but rather to learn lessons from all aspects of the incident with a view to further improving motorsports solid safety record. Motorsport can never, of course, be totally safe, but the FIAs overriding target is zero fatalities.As part of the process the team of investigators, likely to be led by the governing bodys hugely experienced head of safety Adam Baker, face a number of searching questions. Not least, why the barrier Grosjean hit sheared and whether the halos cleaver-like slicing between the steel girders was an unforeseen consequence, albeit in this instance a seemingly positive one. Would repeat barrier failures be desirable in all high-speed impacts, or could repeats have serious consequences in other accidents, whether they be similar to Grosjeans angled trajectory or head-on? According to sources, a new barrier of the same type as the original one was installed on Monday ahead of this weekends second race at the track, so the FIA seems comfortable with the situation. These are just some of factors the FIA team needs to establish. Grosjean’s Haas split the barrier in two Similarly, the team will investigate the effect of the car splitting in two behind the driver’s survival cell, as though a giant guillotine had spliced it. While shots of the cars rear end sitting alongside the barrier while the front-end blazed away made for dramatic pictures (a separate conversation), the question is: was such a fracture planned or simply a one-off consequence? An experienced race car engineer spoken to by RaceFans suggested the mere fact that the rear end containing the power unit and fuel cell (estimated at weighing over 350kg in total) did not follow the front half through the barriers had helped save Grosjean, for it reduced the overall impact by almost 50%. Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free Equally, the same source added, the fracture had left the fuel cell exposed. Horrific though the fire was, the consequences of nearly 110kg of fuel flowing about the crash area while the front end blazed away are too ghastly to contemplate. As Ross Brawn indicated in the immediate aftermath, it appears leaked fuel from collector tank, situated beneath the cockpit, caused the blaze, likely ignited by severed high voltage cabling and friction sparks. Could more have been done to prevent the fire? The tank and plumbing contain around 10 litres. Imagine the ferocity of a blaze potentially 10 times that intensity. Could the safety team have coped with such a blaze? All of this throws fresh perspective on the heroism of the marshals who attended to Grosjean and the actions of FIA Medical Car team Dr Ian Roberts and Alan van der Merwe, as any fear of further ignition did not deter their rescue of Grosjean for a moment. Still, could the collector tank be made safer? Another potential danger lurked in the crash. Hybrid systems in current F1 cars run at around 1,000 volts in order to reduce the draw of current, which generates undesirable heat – and a fractured (25kg) battery box could have spelt disaster. Yes, there are safe systems, but these could have been damaged by impact, potentially spelling disaster for both driver and rescue workers. In 2013, shortly before F1 introduced its full hybrids as opposed to the mild hybrids of 2009 I discussed electrical safety with an engineer, who was firm in his belief that F1 was absolutely tops when it came to energy management. Whether chemical [fuel], electrical or kinetic energy management, were the best in the world on an overall basis, he said. It seemed a bold claim at the time, but Sunday seemed to vindicate that confidence. But the possibility for further improvement in this area will surely form another part of the investigation. Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free While the safety systems all appeared to function as intended – so much so that Grosjean is even contemplating a return to action in just 10 days’ time – the endless replays prompted some concerns over whether every available fire extinguisher was trained on the Haas as quickly as it could have been. Perhaps further research needs to be undertaken into lighter fire appliances, faster extinguishants, and better training of marshals for such fires, mercifully rare though they are. How should F1 respond to recent incidents involving marshals? All of which raises another point: In addition to this, we had marshals on-track during the un-lapping phase at Imola, the crane incident during Q2 in Turkey plus a further incident in Bahrain where a marshal sprinted across the track in the face of oncoming cars, the area of marshal safety is an area which requires swift attention. Furthermore, where marshals could previously hop from country to country to fill gaps and lend experience usually covering their own costs due to their love for the sport – Covid-19 restrictions mean many borders are much tighter and permitted travel arrangements both complex and highly controlled. Have marshalling standards slipped – however slightly – as a result? Four near-misses in three consecutive events suggest this is another of the many areas Formula 1 must probe in the wake of Sunday’s crash. 2020 F1 season Browse all 2020 F1 season articles
How Hamilton's tyre tactics secured pole, and why a two-stop race is on the cards - RaceFans
Clever management of his soft tyres at the start of his final flying lap in Q3 helped Lewis Hamilton claim pole position for what is expected to be a two-stop race in Bahrain.
The championship silverware is safely stashed away for a seventh consecutive season but Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes were never going to ease up. Sure enough, he led their 11th front row lock-out from the 15 races so far. If it hadn’t been for his grid penalty at the season-opener, they’d have a dozen.One interesting detail of Hamilton’s final qualifying lap was that none of his first five mini-sector times (out of 27) were a personal best. Did he make a mistake or was this a deliberate tactic to sacrifice some of his pace at the beginning of the lap to ensure his soft tyres did not fade before he finished it? “I can tell you that I didnt make any mistakes,” said Hamilton, though he was keen not to give any of his “trade secrets” away. “Look, we do these really slow out-laps and each time were trying to have the tyres in the optimal window for the start. Each time we go out, they can vary between one and five degrees so most of often the result of that discrepancy is tyre temp. “They generally get better to a point in the lap and then they start going over temp and then you start struggling with the tyre a little bit more and so thats some of the answer.” Comparing the spread of Hamilton’s outright best (purple), personal best (green) and unimproved (yellow) mini-sectors with his team mate’s tends to support the idea he took less out of his tyres early in the lap than Valtteri Bottas did, which paid dividends around the final corners: Completing the familiar formation, Max Verstappen is third on the grid, snapping at the heels of the black cars. Where we once might have noted that the Red Bull tends to be closer on pace to the Mercedes cars in race trim than qualifying, that has been less noticeably so since the ban on ‘quali modes’ was introduced at mid-season. Sainz’s brake glitch has consequences for his strategy However, as he noted after qualifying, he does have the advantage of starting on the clean side of the grid, which might offer an opportunity for him to get between the two W11s when the red lights go out. He’s also got his team mate up where he should be: As at Istanbul Park, Alexander Albon has done what he needed to in order to justify Red Bull’s continued faith in him, yesterday’s crash notwithstanding. As Hamilton and Bottas’s lap times demonstrate, the soft tyre couldn’t quite stand up to a full flat-out lap on the best car on the grid. Bahrain’s abrasive track surface is dealing out plenty of punishment to tyres which are one step softer than those Pirelli brought to the last F1 race here 18 months ago. Teams are therefore planning their race strategies exclusively around the medium and hard tyre compounds. All 10 drivers who reached Q3 elected to start on the medium tyre (further adding to the vast pile of evidence indicating the ‘Q3 tyre rule’ is a failure). But even on the harder rubber, two-stop strategies are expected. “It’s not a secret, we’re pretty sure it’s going to be a two-stop race,” said Renault’s sporting director Alan Permane. “So it’s medium-hard-hard or medium-medium-hard and there’s not much at all to choose between the two.” Teams who can use the hard tyre for the middle stint will have more options with their strategy, notes Permane. “Having that hard for the second tyre just gives you a bit of flexibility, allows you to stop potentially a little bit earlier on the first stint.“But you probably don’t want to do that anyway because you don’t want to go into traffic. We’re not going to see anyone doing 30 laps tomorrow in the first stint and clearing the midfield cars. So it’s very much more of a sprint-type race which is good fun. We’re looking forward to it – after we’ve had so many one-stops, it will be interesting.” Unfortunately for Carlos Sainz Jnr his spin during Q2, caused by a brake-by-wire malfunction, wrecked one of his sets of medium tyres. So as well as lining up 15th when sixth was potentially possible, he will start the race with one fewer set of medium tyres than his rivals, as the rules do not permit them to be replaced. Quotes: Dieter Rencken Advert | Become a Supporter & go ad-free Qualifying times in full Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free Over to you Can anyone stop Lewis Hamilton from winning again? What can Sainz salvage after his luckless Saturday? And will anyone dare to eke their tyres out for a one-stop strategy? Share your views on the Bahrain Grand Prix in the comments. Join the RaceFans Supporters Drive! If you've enjoyed RaceFans' motor sport coverage during 2020, please take a moment to find out more about our Supporter Drive. We're aiming to welcome 3,000 new Supporters to help fund RaceFans so we can continue to produce quality, original, independent motorsport coverage. Here's what we're asking for and why - and how you can sign up: 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix Browse all 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix articles
Is Hamilton's praise for Bottas's performance backed up by the data? - RaceFans
Lewis Hamilton says Valtteri Bottas has pushed him harder in the championship fight this year, but the data doesn't entirely back him up.
Lewis Hamilton may have put a lock on the world championship with three races to spare, but yesterday he was at pains to praise how well his team mate had done to keep the championship fight alive. In Hamilton’s view, Valtteri Bottas has edged closer to him in pure performance this year. Unreliability and the quirks of the points system have exaggerated the difference between them in the championship standings, says Hamilton. Is he right? Let’s take a look at the data: How Hamilton and Bottas compare “Naturally, Valtteri is just getting stronger and stronger each year,” said Hamilton yesterday. Referring to the short-lived social media craze for ‘Bottas 2.0’ which followed his team mate’s victory in last year’s season-opener, he added: “The media have commented on the ‘2.0’, et cetera. “Every year you can see him just grafting away, chipping away, trying to raise the bar in so many different areas,” Hamilton continued. “In race trim you can see the consistency that I’ve had this year is really what’s made the difference. But if you look on the race weekends, it was so close.”Hamilton is, of course, far better placed to comment on Bottas’s work behind the scenes than we are. But looking at the raw results from this year so far compared to last year, it’s hard to discern an improvement. If anything, Bottas may have slipped back slightly. We are comparing an abridged and incomplete season of 14 races against last year’s full season which, with 21 rounds, is 50% longer. Nonetheless it’s clear that in proportional terms Bottas hasn’t qualified, lapped or finished ahead of Hamilton as often as he did last year. However the crucial difference to last year is their share of points. By this decisive metric Bottas is doing slightly better. Silverstone punctures cost Bottas more than Hamilton What’s more, Hamilton believes the gap between the pair is exaggerated partly by the “gap of seven points” between first and second place. “Valtteri was also unfortunate this year with a reliability issue,” Hamilton added, “so it makes that gap even bigger than it [really] is.” There’s two sides to this. Yes, the difference between first and second is more than twice the three-point gap between second and third. But this was also the case last year, so that doesn’t tell us so much about how well the points difference illustrates their relative performance. Hamilton has a point about Bottas’s unreliability, however. Not only did he have a power unit problem at the Nurburgring, but at Silverstone both drivers suffered late punctures, and while Hamilton was still able to win, Bottas dropped out of the points. Even if we ungenerously assume these setbacks cost him third and second place finishes respectively, Bottas would be 33 points better off, and still mathematically in championship contention. Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free Hamilton vs Bottas qualifying gap: 2020 (first 14 races) One other crucial respect in which Hamilton believes Bottas is performing better is qualifying. Here, too, he may be being a little generous. “If you look at a lot of the qualifying [sessions], it was the smallest of margins,” said Hamilton. “So closing the gap in qualifying he has done already, which has made it quite challenging. It already did last year but I would say even more so this year.”Looking at the qualifying gap between them over the course of this year (above), it’s clearly been close. Bottas missed out on beating Hamilton to pole position by less than a tenth of a second three times, and by a tenth twice more. It cuts both ways, however; Bottas beat Hamilton by less than a tenth on three occasions (Hamilton lost pole position the first time that happened due to a penalty). On average, it’s hard to see the improvement Hamilton discerns here. Bottas was 0.122s slower than him on average last year. This year, even if we factor out the ‘outlier’ of Styria, the gap is 0.165s. Advert | Become a Supporter & go ad-free Hamilton vs Bottas qualifying gap: 2019 (first 14 races) These are small gaps. But again it looks like Hamilton is giving Bottas a bit too much credit. In terms of performance if the pendulum has swung either way, it’s not by much, and it’s in Hamilton’s favour. With better luck, Bottas would still be in the title fight Hamilton is right – and very fair – to draw attention to Bottas’s improved scoring rate this year and the fact he has lost more due to bad luck with his machinery. That said, there is another significant factor here which hasn’t been discussed: Mercedes’ rivals are weaker this year, and less able to take points away from them. Nonetheless, it is clear Hamilton has nothing but respect for his team mate’s mental stamina and work ethic. “People need to give Valtteri his due respect,” he said. “You’ve got to remember who he’s driving up against. It’s not easy being my team mate but he comes in weekend in, weekend out with the same mentality, he’s never moaning, complaining that something’s wrong with the car, it’s always just ‘I’ve got to do a better job.’ “I don’t know any other driver that does that here and I think that’s something we share in common. I’d like to think we come into these weekends with a fresh head and I think mentally he’s one of the strongest drivers here.” Quotes: Dieter Rencken Join the RaceFans Supporters Drive! If you've enjoyed RaceFans' motor sport coverage during 2020, please take a moment to find out more about our Supporter Drive. We're aiming to welcome 3,000 new Supporters to help fund RaceFans so we can continue to produce quality, original, independent motorsport coverage. Here's what we're asking for and why - and how you can sign up: 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix Browse all 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix articles
Hamilton spoke to Ferrari about F1 drive but 'our positions have never aligned' - RaceFans
Lewis Hamilton has shed light on why his past discussions with Ferrari never resulted in him joining Formula 1's most famous team.
Lewis Hamilton has shed light on why his past discussions with Ferrari never resulted in him joining Formula 1’s most famous team. A tie-up between the sport’s most popular driver and the historic Ferrari name would have obvious appeal. And, as Ferrari recently noted on social media, Hamilton’s Mercedes contract has not kept him from driving their road cars.But although Hamilton’s Mercedes deal expires at the end of this year he is expected to remain at the team. Ferrari has already confirmed its drivers for the 2021 F1 season. Hamilton told La Gazzetta dello Sport he was “never really close” to signing with the Scuderia on past occasions for various reasons. “We talked on occasion but we didn’t go beyond understanding what options were on the table and they weren’t the right ones,” said Hamilton. He pointed out part of the reason why a deal had never come together was that the ending of his contract hadn’t coincided with a vacancy at Maranello. “Our positions have never aligned,” he said. “I think timing matters and things happen in the end for a reason. “In recent seasons my contract always expired in years different from that of all the other riders. In the end it went like this.” 2021 F1 drivers and teams Earlier this year Hamilton called on Ferrari to “hold themselves accountable” over the diversity of the team’s workforce, which drew a response from the team’s chairman John Elkann. Hamilton said he had warned Mercedes when he joined them from McLaren in 2013 he wanted greater opportunity to express himself than he had at he previous team. “At McLaren I grew a lot but they had certain expectations about how a driver should behave and they contrasted with the fact that I have always been an outsider, a nonconformist,” he said. “Before signing with Mercedes I said: ‘Look, I’m different from others. Let me be myself, let me experience [things] because I have to find out who I am. In any case, I help you and make the brand grow in the world of young people in a better way’. And that’s what happened.” Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free 2020 F1 season Browse all 2020 F1 season articles
Vote for your 2020 Turkish Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend - RaceFans
Who was the best driver during the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix weekend? Compare how they did and vote for the best.
Perez did make a mistake in qualifying (although he mentioned Giovannazi got in his way and that triggered it) @montalvo. But yeah, he did a great job of showing how he was fast enough ot be up there, actually starting on the racing line in 3rd probably got him ahead of Verstappen there. And then he patiently waited for the time to go and speed up, making sure the tyres lasted the distance. Some good defensive driving all along too. Hamilton did a great job in the race too, but he really couldn’t find the pace in the car for qualifying. I gave it to Vettel. He beat his teammate in a car that was clearly not handing well at all in the wet. And he had a great start and first lap to get right to the front. He also defended well during the race, with only a few mistakes. And he pounced to claim that podium. I chose Vettel, because this was really the first time this year where he made things work and showed the top driver is still in there.
Don't blame the track if passing isn't possible at Imola - Grosjean - RaceFans
Formula 1 shouldn't dismiss Imola as a poor circuit for overtaking if few passes occur in today's grand prix, says Romain Grosjean.
Formula 1 shouldn’t dismiss Imola as a poor circuit for overtaking if few passes occur in today’s grand prix, says Romain Grosjean. Many drivers expect they will find it difficult to pass other cars around the dramatic but narrow circuit, which last held a round of the world championship in 2006.Grosjean, who won a GP2 Asia race at the track in 2011, admits it’s “possible” little passing will happen in today’s race. “But I don’t think we should blame the track for the lack of overtaking,” he said, pointing out other factors make overtaking difficult in F1. “We should more be looking at making sure that the tyres don’t overheat when you slide behind a car,” he said. “And that you lose less aero following another car.” “Some tracks will be better” for overtaking, Grosjean conceded. “Bahrain is outstanding for racing with long straight lines, a lot of DRS, big braking at the end. “Here the first corner is fourth or fifth gear so it’s very fast. And obviously, if you’re not alongside well before the braking, you have no chance. “But let’s see – with tyre deg[radation] and so on, you never know until you’ve really had a race what’s it’s going to be like.” Imola is a special track to drive for several reasons, said Grosjean, including the fact drivers are punished for mistakes if they run wide. “It’s a combination of a few things. It’s the surroundings, the elevation, kerbs that are a bit different from Silverstone or Barcelona. “[It’s] the camber, it’s the fact that when you go out of turn seven you can see the trees on the side of the road but then you only see the sky. And then out of turn nine, you go into Acque Minerali and it looks very tight and narrow and you don’t want to make a mistake. The first two chicanes as well are really cool. It’s just a different layout, the speed of the corners. “That’s the main comment rather than if I take the example of Sochi which is dead flat, kerbs, no real track physical track limits, it’s not [got] Astroturf, just not as good to drive. Then here where you don’t really want to make a mistake [because] you know you’re going to pay a heavy price.” Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free 2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix Browse all 2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix articles
Tough but possible? Drivers expect overtaking will be a challenge at Imola - RaceFans
Have changes to Imola's layout since F1 last raced here 14 years ago made overtaking easier? Drivers fear this will be one of the hardest tracks to pass on.
When F1 last raced at Imola in the mid-noughties it had a deserved reputation for being very tough to overtake on. The last two grands prix at this track ended with two drivers nose-to-tail at the head of the field, one unable to find a way past the other. On the championship’s return to the track many drivers praised Imola’s fast, flowing and undulating layout. Still the prevailing view is that overtaking won’t be easy.“It’s going to be hard to overtake,” reckons Kevin Magnussen. “It can be too hard to overtake of course – Monaco and Singapore, theyre often not very exciting races because of that. But I dont think its as bad as that here.” Much the same was said back in September when they visited another unfamiliar Italian track, Mugello. On that occasion the long straight and DRS zone meant passing wasn’t as tough as many feared. Could the same be the case this weekend? In its current guise the track has a much longer, faster run to the Tamburello chicane than it did in 2005, and drivers can trigger their DRS for part of it. Imola will be a hard track to pass on, says Magnussen The general consensus is this is the only point on the track where overtaking is likely to happen. “It is quite a long, long, straight,” said Lando Norris. “We don’t know 100% what the racing is going to be like, how easy it’s going to be to overtake. I don’t think it’s going to be maybe as unpredictable or as exciting as what it was in Portugal last weekend, just because it’s a bit more normal this weekend with how the tyres are working on the Tarmac and the wind and everything. “Turn one on lap one is our best opportunity. And turn one is the best opportunity on every other lap as well.” Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free Despite the unfamiliar course and limited practice running, teams will likely converge on the usual one-stop strategy, says Pirelli’s head of motorsport Mario Isola. However he believes all three compounds could come into play. Tamburello will be the key overtaking opportunity “I’m expecting a one-stop strategy with a combination of the three compounds,” he said. “For the cars starting on the soft it is possible both the soft and medium or the soft-hard strategy, they are both very close.” The Mercedes pair on the front row and Max Verstappen behind them will line up on the medium compound tyres. “For the cars starting on medium they have the opportunity to do medium with a soft at the end,” said Isola. “With a lighter car, that is probably an advantage. “Or medium-hard. Medium-hard is slightly slower compared to the other two strategies. But that strategy gives the opportunity to have a much wider window for the pit stop.” That long run to the first corner will be Lewis Hamilton’s best chance to wrest the lead from his team mate. While Valtteri Bottas should have the benefit of the inside line for the curved approach to the first corner, his starting position is slightly off the racing line. If he can preserve his lead into the first corner, it’s not going to be easy for Hamilton to find a way ahead. That said, he’s won from behind in both of the last two races. Quotes: Dieter Rencken Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free Qualifying times in full Over to you Will Hamilton stop Bottas converting pole position into victory? Can Verstappen keep up with the Mercedes at Imola? And can his team mate claim a result which will save his place at Red Bull? Share your views on the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in the comments. Join the RaceFans Supporters Drive! If you've enjoyed RaceFans' motor sport coverage during 2020, please take a moment to find out more about our Supporter Drive. We're aiming to welcome 3,000 new Supporters to help fund RaceFans so we can continue to produce quality, original, independent motorsport coverage. Here's what we're asking for and why - and how you can sign up: 2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix Browse all 2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix articles