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F1 Today – 20/05/2019

Red Bull over achieving – Verstappen

Max Verstappen says he believes that his Red Bull team are over achieving this season because being ahead of both of the Ferrari’s isn’t “where we normally won’t belong.”

The Dutchman has scored two third places and three fourths in the opening five races, with third place in Barcelona moving him ahead of Sebastian Vettel. Vettel’s Ferrari team has under delivered and struggled to beat Mercedes, they have only managed one pole with Charles Leclerc and one podium for each driver.

Speaking at Jumbo Racedagen at Zandvoort, Verstappen told Motorsport.com, “We are satisfied with the results so far, absolutely. It’s the maximum we can achieve. We scored the maximum amount of points every race weekend.

“Third in the championship ahead of Ferrari, where we normally won’t belong. If you summarise all races, we were the third team. Hopefully we can improve to become the second eam.”

However, he urged that with Mercedes dominating this season it means that Red Bull needed to be restrained with its targets. While believing that beating Ferrari is a realistic goal, he accepts that at some tracks with long straights like Monza will be difficult because “they have such a strong engine at the moment.”

Verstappen admitted they wanted more but says if you can say you have maximised the results you have to be satisfied. He says that because he young he believes that he has a larger room for improvement than if he were ten years older.

The annual Jumbo-sponsored event at Zandvoort featured Verstappen and Pierre Gasly driving Red Bull RB7s three times per day over the weekend. However, the future of the event remains unclear because the circuit will host the revived Dutch Grand Prix next year.

Verstappen added “There is an increasingly amount of people attending over the past years, which is always nice. Now knowing that next year a grand prix is coming, that feels very special and I think nobody expected that one year ago.”

 

F1 should be physically demanding – Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton says that Formula One is not physically demanding enough, and hopes that the 2021 regulation changes will make it harder for drivers.

The five times champion believes that an eighteen-year-old should not be able to jump into a F1 car without problems. This year, nineteen-year-old Lando Norris became the third youngest driver behind Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll, who both joined the grid within the last few years.

Hamilton made his comments in response to a question about how often F1 drivers are drug tested, pointing out that unlike participants in other sports, they would have little to gain by breaking the rules. He told Motorsport.com, “Drug testing is random, it can be up to three times a year maybe, sometimes it’s less. There used to be a point where there was potentially quite a bit out of season, away from the track, back home, hotels.”

“This is not a sport where you need to do anything, it’s not like cyclists for example, that need more blood flowing through the heart, or more oxygen. We’re not fatiguing. Honestly, the cars are not hard enough to drive, they should be more physical.”

He says that the next set of regulations should get rid of driver aids, to make the sport more physical and driver depleted afterwards. Hamilton says F1 should be as tough as other sports top-level sports, which require substantial physical exertions from competitors.

“Tennis players are finished at the end of a game, especially if they’ve been on four hours. Cyclists, they must be dead after the Tour de France, for example. I feel that’s what’s this should be about.”

 

Chadwick joins Williams

W Series championship leader Jamie Chadwick has been announced as a development driver for Williams. The British driver will undertake simulator duties and attend three European races with the team including the British Grand Prix.

Victory at Hockenheim saw Chadwick take the championship lead, and following Saturday’s race at Zolder she leads the championship by six points over Beitske Visser.

Chadwick’s CV also includes the 2018/19 MRF Challenge title, a race-winning BRDC British Formula 3 campaign in 2018 and the 2015 British GT4 class title.

Williams says she will also “support the team in a number of media and marketing activities”. She joins Canadian reserve driver Nicholas Latifi.

Deputy team principal Claire Williams, who was at Hockenheim, said, “I have had the pleasure of watching Jamie race first hand in Hockenheim where she claimed victory at the season opening W Series race.”

“Promoting women in motorsport is extremely important and having a female role model as part of our Driver Academy will hopefully inspire young girls to take up racing at a young age.” Williams, an ambassador for the Dare To Be Different, is hoping to show the sport is inclusive both as a driver or as an engineer.

Chadwick described the role as a “great honour”.

Adding, “The time in the simulator is a fantastic opportunity to aid with my development. I look forward to spending time in the factory at Grove, immersing myself within the team and assisting wherever I can.”

 

Ricciardo’s curiosity for Monaco

Daniel Ricciardo is “curious” about Renaults potential for at this weekends Monaco Grand Prix, having been used to having a competitive car in the principality.

During his time at Red Bull he was a regular front runner, in 2016 he lost what appeared to be a certain win with a disastrous pitstop cost him the lead. He made amends by winning from pole last season, and also finished third in both 2014 and 2017.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, he said, “I’m actually really curious to go to Monaco, I’m curious to see how it all feels. I’m excited to go back there because I’ve always loved it.”

“I think of Kubica putting it on P2 a few years ago, Maldonado, he was always a bit of a Monaco beast at getting the car at the time a bit further up.”

“I’m definitely optimistic that if I can drive the track the way I want to drive it then I can get the car further up than maybe it might be on a normal track.”

He doesn’t believe that Baku will give the team any in indication of performance, as they are different types of circuits.

 

FIA announces latest tenders for 2021

The FIA has announced its latest tender for 2021 standard parts by announcing key elements of the fuel system. Last week, the government body announced invitations to supply for gearbox cassettes, wheel rims, brake friction material and brake system components.

The deadline for submissions for the latest tender is June 15, with a decision to be made by July 15. The contracts should run until 2024, but they say that should two bids be announce it could be extended until 2025.

The tender says that the governing body is taking not only cost reduction issues, but also the policing of fuel usage by teams, which will be much easier if everyone uses the same components.

The FIA details the components under consideration as follows:

  • The primer fuel pump
  • The damper, if deemed necessary.
  • The HP [high pressure] fuel pump
  • The pipes from the primer fuel pump to the coupler located at the exit of the fuel cell
  • The pipes from the coupler located at the exit of the fuel cell and the HP fuel pump

The tender says, “The aim of single source supply is to retain current levels of F1 fuel system performance for all cars at a reduced cost for the competitors whilst also removing the requirement for competitors to design or source their own fuel system components.”

“The components can be carried over between seasons, which removes the need for costly continuous performance development.” It says that it will only commit to a exclusive deal if the bidder demonstrates that it can do the job effectively, and that there will be clear cost savings for the teams.

Brazilian government seeks to end McLaren Petrobras deal

McLaren’s fuel and lubricant supplier Petrobras has is looking to end its partnership with the team on the request of the government, according to the Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro.

The partnership between the two was announced last season and started this year. As well as branding on the car, the Brazilian company is responsible for developing fuel and lubricants for McLaren to use.

McLaren was using Petrobras transmission lubricant at the start of the 2019 and indicated other products would be ready “soon”.  Bolsonaro says that the company, sixty four percent owned by the tax payer, would seek to end the deal.

The five year deal which is worth £150m.

In a tweet, he said “In 2018 Petrobras signed an advertising contract of R$782m with McLaren, valid for five years. At the moment, the company, by decision of my government, seeks a way to terminate the contract.”

A spoke man for McLaren said “Such matters are commercially confidential and therefore we are not able to comment further.”

Last week, the controversial right-wing politician who has targeted major reform economically and politically, announced the Brazilian Grand Prix would move to Rio next year. Something which appears unlikely to happen.

 

HED Alonso fails to qualify for Indy 500

Fernando Alonso has failed to qualify for next weekends Indianapolis 500. The two-time F1 world champion was fourth fastest of six drivers vying for the final three places on the grid on what is known as ‘Bump Day’.

The McLaren only managed a four lap average of 227.353mph and was pipped by Kyle Kaiser by just 0.019mph with the last run. It is a bitter blow for Alonso, who left F1 to focus on winning Indy.

Alonso said on social media, “A difficult week, no doubts. We tried our best, even today with a completely different set up and approach, four laps flat on the throttle but we were not fast enough.”

“It’s never easy to drive around here at 227mph+, and want more speed… We tried our best and we’ve been brave at times, but there were people doing better job than us.”

“Success or disappointments only come if you accept big challenges. We accepted. Thanks to the massive support always here at the speedway and everyone at home.”

There will be questions for McLaren about the decision to return to IndyCar as a constructor. The teamhas struggled from the very beginning and a series of problems through practice last week left Alonso badly under-prepared for the the weekend’s qualifying.=

Alonso was 31st fastest on Saturday, which meant he just missed out on a guaranteed place on the grid afforded to the fastest 30 drivers.

Overnight, McLaren sought help from the Andretti and Penske teams – two of the three biggest in Indycar – as they sought to improve the difficult handling of their car.

Also questions for its IndyCar head former Force India F1 deputy team principal Bob Fernley.

Former Manor driver and stand in BBC commentator Max Chilton and Red Bull junior Patricio O’Ward also failed to qualify.

Pole was taken by Frenchman Simon Pagenaud, his first at Indy, driving for the Penske team, ahead of Americans Ed Carpenter and Spencer Pigot.

 

Monger claims first single seater win

The British double amputee hoping to get to Formula One and Channel 4 analyst Billy Monger has claimed his first win since his accident in a single seater.

Monger is racing in an adapted Formula Three car in this years Euroformula Open Championship, and took victory at the Pau Grand Prix. The British driver won after a strategic gamble, switching to wet-weather tyres early on and dropping to last only to see conditions worsen, allowing him to climb to third position.

The pair duelling for the lead then collided, meaning Monger inherited a lead which he held on to until the finish. It has been a good return to the sport after the accident with a pole at Donnington, on his return last year and podiums on his return at Spa and Silverstone. He was sixth in the British F3 championship last season.

The nineteen year old has become a regular in the paddock as a journalist and guest after building a friendship with Lewis Hamilton, and his brother Nic, a fellow driver who has a physical disability.

The five times champion called  Monger “an incredible human being” and tipped him to replicate the achievements of former CART champion and Williams driver Alex Zanardi, who has won multiple gold medals in the Paralympics.

 

 

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Jack Fielding
Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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