Haas loses Monza appeal
Haas has lost the appeal against Romain Grosjean’s disqualification from the Italian Grand Prix. The team argued that the decision of the stewards to exclude the team for running an illegal floor was wrong and that the sixth place should be reinstated.
But after a hearing in Paris on Thursday, the FIA has confirmed that the appeal court upheld the original stewards’ verdict. Grosjean was thrown out of the results at Monza in the wake of a protest from the Renault team with regards to the design of his car’s floor.
A technical clarification from the FIA before the summer break had made the design of the floor of the Haas in breach of regulations that demand there must be a radius of 50mm at each front corner of the reference plane.
Haas argued that the technical directive timing due to the summer break, made it impossible to make the changes until Singapore and that it had a dispensation for Monza. That forced a ruling from the stewards, who were clear that the floor did not comply with the relevant regulations nor the position of the FIA’s technical department.
A statement confirmed the court has agreed with the stewards and was upholding the disqualification. The Statement said “The Court, after having heard the parties and examined their submissions, decided”
“To uphold the Decision No. 42 of the Stewards of the 2018 Italian Grand Prix held in Monza counting towards the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship.”
“To confirm the exclusion of Haas F1 Team’s car No. 8 from the 2018 Italian Grand Prix held in Monza counting towards the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship.”
“To order the competent Sporting Authority to draw, as appropriate, the consequences of this ruling.
The lost points moved Haas back, and since then Renault has delivered some strong results to open up a 30-points advantage in the standings, with two rounds remaining.
Wrong to think Ferrari had a dominant car – Vettel
Sebastian Vettel is insisting that the perception that Ferrari has had the dominant car this year is wrong and is insisting that the team never enjoyed the advantage that the Mercedes has often had.
The German’s chances of sealing his fifth world title formally came to an end when Lewis Hamilton sealed his fifth title with fourth place in Mexico. Although Ferrari was believed to have the stronger car throughout the season, Vettel is adamant that suggestions Ferrari did not ram home a big competitive advantage are wide of the work.
In his first interview since the race, Vettel told Motorsport.com, “That is maybe where I maybe have a different opinion to the rest of the people. I think it is absolutely true to say that we have a very strong car, but I think people’s perception of the fact that we had a dominant car, I don’t think it was true. I think if you look at the results I don’t see where is the dominance.”
“Obviously the advantage of the hill, last year we had a lack of horsepower and that’s why the overtaking didn’t work. This year we didn’t have [that disadvantage], so I was able to keep the benefit from the tow and I was able to pass.”
Vettel believes that there were a lot of races where Ferrari and Mercedes were very close, but doesn’t believe that there were races where the team dominated.
Although there has been a great deal of focus on the errors that Vettel and Ferrari made this season, the German thinks that the reality that the title was gone started becoming clear when Mercedes showed a speed advantage in Singapore and Russia.
He believes that Ferrari’s failure to seal the title was similar to last year, with the team losing momentum because they weren’t fast enough.
Ricciardo clarifies Mexico comments
Daniel Ricciardo has clarified comments he made about missing the final two races of the season because of his “cursed” Red Bull, insisting he will be driving in the final two races.
In Mexico, the Australian took pole but was forced to retire from the race for the eighth time this season. He has also not been on the podium since Monaco in May. Following his retirement, he said, “You know, honestly, now where I am, I don’t see the point of coming on Sunday.”
“I don’t see the point of doing the next two races … I haven’t had a clean race or weekend in so long. I’m not superstitious or any of that bulls***, but the car’s cursed. I don’t have any more words.” Ricciardo also said he would happily hand the car over to Pierre Gasly, the man taking his place in 2019 when he makes the move to Renault.
This week, he used his Instagram account to insist he will not be skipping either grand prix. “I just wanted to say g’day and firstly address a few things from Mexico. First one’s first, I will be doing the last two races, that’s what I’m about. I ain’t about that other life.”
“It’s been obviously massive highs and lows this year, more lows, unfortunately. It’s been frustrating, I won’t lie. I look to myself and all the guys who work their butts off to give it two more cracks before we see each other off. So I will be there. I just needed a few days off, really. It feels good.”
Ricciardo’s difficult 2018 has seen him slip to sixth, last place out of the top three teams, where he will finish as he cannot improve with the number of points remaining.
“Neowww” man identified
The man who made the “Neowww” noises during the United States Grand Prix has been identified. During the race a man was heard making several “Neowww” noises, mimicking the sound of Formula One cars passing by at speed.
The moment went viral after the race, with some commentators on various TV channels taking the footage stopping to reference the strange sounds.
A video by a Twitter user Luis Baeza (lbaeza06) tweeting a selfie video taken during the race. The man in it gleefully stands next to an effects microphone placed at the top of the Circuit of the Americas landmark tower and makes the impressions, stopping only to laugh about his antics.
What is unclear, whether the Twitter user is the man in the video, which was posted online on Thursday. Formula One then got in on the act themselves, putting the two moments together to show how it unfolded in real time.
Vietnamese GP heads to Hanoi
The Vietnamese Government has announced that the capital Hanoi will host a Formula One race from 2020. The Hanoi People’s Committee said the grand prix circuit will be unveiled at a gala next week.
The Vietnamese government said it had given its support for the race but there has been no confirmation from Formula 1’s governing body, the FIA. Funding for the race will come from the private sector, and not the government.
Mai Tien Dung, chief of the government office, said in August: “Hanoi authorities have asked people living in the planned area for their opinions about holding the race and they have all shown their support, to attract tourists.”
If the race is confirmed by Liberty and the FIA, it would be the first new race since the US media group took over the running of the sport in 2017.
It will be the third race to be established in south-east Asia following Singapore and Malaysia – the latter being scrapped following the 2017 race due to poor ticket sales.
Red Bull targets Verstappen championship by 2020
Red Bull has given themselves the target of making Max Verstappen the youngest ever world champion by the end of 2020. The Dutchman is currently on a run of great performances, and won in Mexico but missed out on beating Sebastian Vettel’s record for youngest ever pole-sitter.
Verstappen has already beaten Vettel’s age-related records for point scorer, podium finisher, race leader, race winner, as well as Nico Rosberg’s record for fastest lap. Verstappen’s hopes of beating his championship record rest on Honda bringing power unit capable of challenging Mercedes and Ferrari.
The teams’ motorsports advisor Helmut Marko, who oversaw his rapid rise through the junior formulas and his mid-season switch from Toro Rosso to Red Bull in May 2016, has high hopes for the Dutchman.
Marko told Motorsport.com, “We’re really looking forward to next year. The aim is to have the youngest world champion. Two years we have, but we go for it next year.
“We know the first year with a new engine manufacturer is not easy. But the aim is, and the goal that I’ve told all the people, is that we have to go for the championship, from the beginning. No excuses.
Farah calls for Hamilton to be knighted
Sir Mo Farah says that Lewis Hamilton deserves to be knighted after winning his fifth world title. The Mercedes driver sealed his fifth world title on Sunday, equalling Juan Manuel Fangio on Sunday and moved two behind all-time record holder Michael Schumacher
Four-time Olympic champion Farah, who received his knighthood last November, believes Hamilton should be next in line for the recognition.
Speaking to Dubai Eye Radio, Farah said “ If I had to vote then I would definitely vote for him – for what he has done in sport,” Farah told Dubai Eye 103.8FM.
Farah believes Hamilton, who would follow Jackie Stewart and Stirling Moss as the only British F1 drivers to be knighted, has not received enough acclaim for his achievements.
“I don’t think he gets as much credit as he deserves. He is a great guy – maybe I am saying that because I am biased and he is my friend.”
The Week Ahead
Next weekend, F1 heads to the penultimate race of the season in Brazil, the main focus will I feel be still on Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes. The main question for Hamilton, will be things like how does it feel being a five-time champion and what do you need to do to win again this year?
In the last two seasons where Hamilton has wrapped the title he has failed to win, he will want to naturally win. But the question is team orders, do Mercedes allow Bottas to win now the driver’s championship is settled.
Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari will want to win the next two races to try and get momentum into the winter. Vettel and the team will be aware that is how Nico Rosberg managed to beat him in 2016. Vettel knows that Ferrari maybe slightly stronger than Mercedes this weekend, but I don’t think Ferrari will use team orders as Raikkonen was allowed to win in Austin.
For the first time in three decades, I believe, we head to Brazil without a Brazilian driver. One of the things I think we will be interested in is attendance, as that could impact on the long-term viability of the race. But I think that the fans will still turn out.
Security will be a talking point, we have seen in recent years a number of incidents involving the teams and media. Following last year’s race, which saw four incidents, the FIA/FOM began reviewing security and hope to avoid a repeat of 2017.