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  1. #211
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    Ferrari are in 'CRISIS' and Vasseur must 'work more, talk less', says ex-F1 race winner.
    "He has to recognise that he's in a moment of crisis," Arnoux explained. "So work a lot and talk little. When things get better, he can do the interviews.”
    Tuesday 21 March 2023 13:23
    Daniel Austin

    Former Ferrari driver René Arnoux believes that the team is in "crisis" and that new team principal Frédéric Vasseur should "work a lot and talk little" in order to rectify their problems.

    "Perhaps the car was built better last year, although it wasn't reliable," he said, as per Gazzetta dello Sport. "Now it's not competitive, it doesn't have a great chassis, it eats up the tyres. The results are worrying. There's a lot to work on.”

    "Something must be done, because an extraordinary brand like Ferrari cannot afford to go like this." The Frenchman also believes that Vasseur, known for his laidback, affable personality in the paddock, must recognise the severity of the situation swiftly.


    What’s Wrong with Scuderia Ferrari?
    16:21 Mon, 20 Mar 2023.

    Ferrari’s early-season struggles have driver Carlos Sainz wondering whether the Scuderia has fallen behind Mercedes and Aston Martin. Ferrari‘s performance thus far in the 2023 Formula 1 season over the first two Middle East races has Carlos Sainz concerned that the car is slipping behind its rivals.

    Sainz finished sixth and teammate Charles Leclerc finished seventh in Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the second consecutive race that the Scuderia hasn’t reached the podium. It was Red Bull finished in first and second again, with Sergio Perez taking home the checkered flag and Max Verstappen following. Fernando Alonso took home another third-place finish after a penalty was rescinded, and the Mercedes duo of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

    It’s clear that Red Bull’s dominance is putting other top teams on edge, to say the least. Mercedes remains in disarray; Lance Stroll was forced to retire Sunday in a blow to Aston Martin, and Ferrari has yet to get on track leading into the April 2 race in Melbourne. After failing to podium in just six races last year, it’s already up to two in 2023 for Ferrari, and there’s plenty of panic that it’s slipping behind its rivals.

    ‘Plenty of panic’;

    Leclerc delivers DAMNING Ferrari verdict
    Tuesday 21 March 2023 07:00
    Jack Walker

    Mercedes 'out of reach'. Bemoaning the lack of performance in the SF-23, Leclerc told Sky Sports F1: “They [Mercedes] were out of reach. Once I got one-and-a-half seconds to Carlos, it was very difficult to get any closer than that.”

    "The pace difference wasn’t big enough. I did a small mistake when I was within DRS and then I lost it, then that was it and I just stayed there. There was not much more in the car today, we just need to work on some things.”

    When asked what Ferrari need to improve, his answer was unerring. “A lot. Straight-line, they are quicker, corners they are quicker, so we need everything.”

    'Out of reach';

    Charles Leclerc "frustrated" with Ferrari as F1 champion says "he should be grateful"
    Leclerc's title push derailed last year as Ferrari suffered from reliability issues and strategy mistakes, but the 2022 season has not started much better for the Italian team
    18:54, 21 Mar 2023
    By Daniel Moxon F1 Writer
    The Mirror

    Charles Leclerc is "frustrated" and becoming more demanding of Ferrari, believes one former Formula 1 champion. Ferrari's car performance is behind that of Red Bull and Aston Martin in these early stages of the year, while Mercedes were comfortable ahead of them in Jeddah last weekend. To make matters worse, engine reliability is still a problem.

    Leclerc served a grid penalty in Jeddah after taking his third control electronics component of the season, following his power unit failure in Bahrain. Amid his team's difficulties, double world champion Emerson Fittipaldi thinks the 25-year-old might be losing his faith in the team.

    "I think that Charles is demanding a lot from his team because of what has happened last year," the Brazilian told Kelbet. "He probably felt that the time wasn't completely there [at the Saudi GP] because of the issues recently.


    Carlos Sainz concerned cars becoming harder to follow again with 2023 challengers
    21 Mar 2023 4:00 PM
    Henry Valantine

    Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz believes the 2023 cars are beginning to feel like their predecessors in that following other drivers is becoming a “limitation” on performance. The number of on-track overtakes increased in 2022 compared to the 2021 season, but the Ferrari driver is concerned the improvements in downforce on this year’s cars may be making the problem of ‘dirty air’ resurface again.

    “I probably paid the price during the first stint with the tyres because I did want to pass him [Stroll], but in the end I paid the price,” Sainz explained to Sky Sports F1 after the race in Jeddah. “These cars in dirty air have got a bit worse compared to last year, probably adding downforce and the new regs.”

    “They are starting to become a bit like the old cars where the dirty air is becoming a limitation, and today it wasn’t that easy to pass – but in general, I don’t think it would have changed much the end result.”

    ‘Like the old cars’;

  2. #212
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    Toto Wolff opens up on Lewis Hamilton’s decision to stop working with Angela Cullen.
    Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has revealed that it was Lewis Hamilton’s decision to part ways with long-term partner Angela Cullen, after the duo announced their split ahead of the opening session at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.
    20 March 2023
    by Nick Golding

    “I think in every team, whether that’s his close circle or also in the wider group, it’s not a static situation that you can freeze. We all develop as people and as an organisation. And if things don’t work out anymore, we need to be honest about it and then bring change.”

    “Angela will always be a mascot of the team. She’s the only one who has a louder voice than a starting car. But, you know, if this is what he decides, we will always absolutely support him, whatever direction he wants to take.”

    Cullen will be at Hamilton’s side this weekend at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, with it yet to be confirmed by the duo whether this weekend will be their last together. Hamilton has won four world titles whilst being supported by the New Zealander, who has often been seen by the British driver’s side both on and off the circuit.

    ‘Lewis Hamilton’s decision to stop working with Angela Cullen’;

    Martin Brundle spots worrying Lewis Hamilton sign after Brit splits with Angela Cullen
    Lewis Hamilton finished shy of the podium in Saudi Arabia for the second season in a row.
    08:06, Tue, Mar 21, 2023
    By Charlie Gordon
    Daily and Sunday Express

    Sky Sports pundit Martin Brundle has raised concerns over Lewis Hamilton's body language after the Mercedes star announced his split with long-time performance coach Angela Cullen. Hamilton crossed the line fifth in Saudi Arabia with Red Bull maintaining a commanding gap between themselves and the rest of the field.

    The 38-year-old could only find enough in qualifying to start seventh on the grid, while Russell put himself on the second row. Mercedes were ultimately unable to mount a challenge for the win in Jeddah as Hamilton took fifth, behind Russell in fourth.

    The gulf in class between Mercedes and Red Bull was evidenced by the lack of fight from Hamilton as bitter rival Max Verstappen tore past midway through the Grand Prix. The Dutchman fought through the pack to clinch second place as Sergio Perez took top spot.

    ‘Martin Brundle spots worrying Lewis Hamilton sign’;

    Angela Cullen splitting with Lewis Hamilton raises concerns for Nico Rosberg
    Nico Rosberg feels things will be "even worse" for Lewis Hamilton after it was announced Angela Cullen was ending her seven-year partnership with the seven-time world champion.
    16:46, Sun, Mar 19, 2023
    By Stuart Ballard
    Daily and Sunday Express

    Nico Rosberg believes Angela Cullen's split with Lewis Hamilton "makes things even worse" for the Mercedes driver as the Brit contends with the ongoing issues on his car. Cullen became a regular sight alongside Hamilton over the years with the physiotherapist playing a key role behind the scenes.

    As well as taking care of Hamilton's training routine, Cullen was also responsible for his travel arrangements, diet, personal logistics and more. More than that, Cullen was a close friend of Hamilton on the grid and one of a few in the Brit's inner circle.

    "I think that probably makes things even worse," Rosberg said on Sky Sports. "Even though the split apparently was amicable, Angela was a real friend. It's with your trainer that most of your time during the race weekend you end up also going to dinner with in a very small, tight group - maybe a family member and a trainer and that's it.”

    "Even worse";

    Nico Rosberg: Lewis Hamilton losing trainer Angela Cullen will ‘make things even worse’
    22 Mar 2023 6:00 AM
    Henry Valantine

    Nico Rosberg predicts that former Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton splitting with long-time performance coach Angela Cullen could “make things even worse” for the seven-time World Champion, given how important the driver-trainer relationship is.

    1996 World Champion, Damon Hill added: “I think most of us were very surprised by that because he did make quite a lot of emphasis on how useful she had been and how good she’d been for him to get his mind in the right place, so a bit of a surprise to see them splitting up.”

    As Rosberg alluded to, the relationship a driver has with their performance coach, physio, trainer (often rolled into one person) is an extremely important one, so the next person he hires into the role is someone who will be spending plenty of time in his company moving forward.

    ‘Losing trainer Angela Cullen will “make things even worse” ’;

    Lewis Hamilton's Angela Cullen split: Everything we know as Brundle and Rosberg concerned
    Lewis Hamilton announced last week he had parted ways with Angela Cullen ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
    06:40, Wed, Mar 22, 2023
    By Matthew Cooper
    Daily and Sunday Express

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff then hinted Cullen's departure was down to Hamilton, stating: "If this is what he decides, we will always absolutely support him. Whatever direction he wants to take. Angela was part of the gang for a long time. "And I think in every team, whether that is his close circle, also in the wider group, this is not a static situation that you can freeze because we all developers. As people we develop as an organisation and if things don't work out anymore, then we need to be honest about it. And then bring change."

    However, Hamilton's former teammate Nico Rosberg and Sky Sports pundit Martin Brundle have both expressed concerns about Cullen leaving. Rosberg believes Cullen's departure "makes things even worse" for Hamilton, telling Sky Sports: "For Lewis not to have her I'm sure is gonna be not ideal and not so nice. I think that's probably another challenge he has to deal with and get used to."

    Brundle also raised concerns over the impact Cullen's departure could have on Hamilton, telling Sky Sports: "Lewis has parted company with his apparently (to me anyway) indispensable physio and confidante Angela Cullen, and also said he can't connect with this car. His chin was down for much of the weekend and he wasn't ultimately able to benefit from good timing with the Safety Car and switching to faster medium compound tyres when all around him were on hard tyres to the finish."

    ‘Brundle and Rosberg concerned’;

    Welcome Back To Formula 1.5
    12:52 PM EDT on March 20, 2023
    By Kathryn Xu

    I took an afternoon walk through my local cemetery-turned-community garden, arboretum, etc., with a friend this Saturday, during which we conducted a debrief on the week's qualifying in Jeddah. The primary topic of interest was not championship favorite Max Verstappen starting P15 thanks to a draft shaft issue—rendered non-dramatic because of the storied truism, "fast car is fast"—but the clearly more important matter of Lewis Hamilton splitting with his long-time physio, Angela Cullen, which is now one more bit of drama llama to add to the pastiche of angst that has become Mercedes and their zero-pod concept.

    My friend described Mercedes's overall public commentary as whinging at such a scale that it was becoming irritating, to which I was briefly very viscerally upset because I am a persistent doomer, and Mercedes seemed like they were having a reasonable emotional response, even if the team isn't a stunning embodiment of Positive Mental Attitude at the mo'. One year is an off year, but two years is when it becomes dysfunction, and if some nebulous sense of Everyone Else is making a lot of comments about how Mercedes is performing worse than a customer team, then surely Mercedes could be permitted a rotten mood. But also is not unreasonable for a broadly neutral viewer adhering to the the "this is an entertainment product, and I will treat it as such" line of thinking to want Mercedes and Toto Wolff and their rack of 20-ish-straight-championship-trophies to please just talk a little less.

    ‘Pastiche of angst’;

  3. #213
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    How Mercedes are escaping 'dead-end street' with W14.
    Wolff added that Mercedes had come to realise that their current concept had no prospect of being successful, and that the team had decided to cut their losses on it.
    22 March 11:15AM
    Author Michael Butterworth

    "We headed into one direction last year and we wanted to make it work, and it worked and it got better and better," said Wolff. "But now, we really realised it's a dead-end street. These are the facts and everybody knows that now. So we turned around and we're running fast out of that dead-end street."

    The Austrian also rejected the notion that Mercedes would look to take inspiration from Red Bull or Aston Martin, both of whose cars have proven quicker than Mercedes so far in 2023. "I don't know you can call it a Red Bull or Aston Martin concept," Wolff added.

    "If it looked like an English double decker bus, we would do it if it was fast. Put a little Red Bull sticker, if they want to put it on. It's just about pure performance; we have no dogma on who invented it."

    ‘Escaping 'dead-end street' ’;

    Toto Wolff details how budget cap affects Mercedes’ recovery chances
    22 Mar 2023 2:00 PM
    Thomas Maher

    Toto Wolff is still a proponent for the budget cap, but admitted it will hold Mercedes back from making a fast recovery. “But obviously, if you’re on the back foot, like we are at the moment, it doesn’t allow you to build a second chassis. But I think our fundamental problem is not building a second chassis or throwing stuff at the car.”

    “It’s more about a direction that we’ve taken that’s wrong. And I think if we… When we change it now, that’s going to be limited by the budget cap, but not in the way that you would expect, like we’re not able to develop. We’re still able to develop but it will mean we need to spend time on a new concept, on new ideas, and we need to discontinue the old one,” he said.

    “So, in the short term, it could mean you make a step back before making two forward, but these are the rules. They have been introduced exactly for the reason to put the field stronger together, which will eventually happen. I mean, Red Bull is showing us that if you do a good job you can outperform everybody else. But for us, these are the rules and we need to still do a better job.”

    ‘Fundamental problem is not building a second chassis’;

    Mercedes working ‘flat-out’ on new F1 concept after reaching ‘dead-end’
    22nd March 2023, 11:22
    Hamilton Lyndon-Griffiths
    Read Motorsport

    Mercedes is working “flat-out” to develop a change of concept for its 2023 Formula 1 car in a bid to turn around its form, according to team boss Toto Wolff. Asked if there was a timeframe for when the updates would be completed, Wolff added:

    “I think we’re making big elephant steps at the moment, going forward. It’s going to be a long time until they are adequate to challenge Red Bull, but it’s a super-fun journey to climb back.”

    ‘Mercedes working ‘flat-out’ ’;

    Toto Wolff told to take criticism 'like a man' as Eddie Jordan lays into Hamilton's boss
    Tensions rise at Mercedes as the squad continues to lack pace compared to Red Bull.
    11:56, Wed, Mar 22, 2023
    By Luke Chillingsworth
    Daily and Sunday Express

    Toto Wolff should face criticism of Mercedes' failures “like a man”, according to former team boss Eddie Jordan. Wolff has been told to “face up to the fact” Mercedes got it wrong over their new concept as the Silver Arrows are unable to challenge the frontrunners for the second successive season.

    Jordan told OLBG: “We saw the Mercedes car was poor last year, porpoising up and down but they have eradicated some of that. Lewis Hamilton is a seven-time world champion who has a really impressive teammate in George Russell who was beaten his expectations so far.”

    “I'm critical of Toto Wolff of how he criticised his engineers and how they took their eye off the ball, it's all been done under his watch so it's his responsibility. The book starts with him, Wolff should face the criticism like a man, like a team boss, like a chief executive and face up to the fact that Mercedes have got it wrong.”

    “Face up to the fact”;

    Hamilton unease with W14 rear-end 'can't be cured quickly'
    21/03/2023 at 14:49
    Phillip van Osten

    Toto Wolff says Mercedes is aware of a fundamental issue on its W14 car that is impairing Lewis Hamilton, but it's unfortunately one that "can't be cured quickly".

    "We're a long way down on downforce," explained Hamilton last weekend. "So we've got to pick up the rear end downforce particularly. The more rear we gain, the more stable the rear becomes, and the more confident I'll be able to attack.”

    "But I think in general, just this car, even if we do change that, there's a specific thing with something on the car that I have never had before. It's a position I've not had in previous years' cars. For me, it's the thing that is making me uncomfortable. I've just got to work hard to make sure it is changed."

    ‘W14 rear-end 'can't be cured quickly' ’;

    Wolff details how Mercedes are approaching W14 concept shift after going down ‘dead-end street’

    20 March 2023
    Formula One - Official Site

    Mercedes hold third in the constructors’ standings heading to round three in Australia, level on 38 points with Aston Martin, while Red Bull sit 49 clear at the top of the table.

    Toto Wolff has provided another update on Mercedes’s development plans for their 2023 challenger, with the team embarking on a concept change after a tough start to the new F1 season.

    “If you look at the Red Bulls, they are just so quick. [But] I think we understand the car more [and] I’m looking optimistically [to] the future. We just need to put it in a different window,” the Mercedes team boss commented.

    ‘Different window’;

  4. #214
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    Mercedes 'special delivery' to Aston Martin and Fernando Alonso at Silverstone.
    In an funny 40 second video tweeted by the Silver Arrows, Russell is shown polishing Alonso's third placed trophy, telling a team member: "Just finished polishing this off. Can you drop it off for me?"
    12:22, 23 MAR 2023
    BY Fraser Watson & Tom Hitchenor
    Northants Live

    The trophy is then placed in the front passenger seat of a Mercedes car, with a seatbelt on it, as the driver types Aston Martin into the sat nav. The vehicle is then shown travelling through the gates of their rivals' base in Silverstone, before the driver walks through the main entrance and places it on a vacant trophy shelf.

    F1 fans were left amused, with @TodkillLyric writing: "This is amazing. Lighthearted and sporting. Extra points for good form." @SoccerDad_K added: "Very cool play!"

    'Special delivery';

    ‘They said Fernando Alonso was too old, that he was not a team man… nonsense’
    23 Mar 2023 10:45 AM
    Michelle Foster

    Kick starting his Aston Martin career with a pair of P3s, Flavio Briatore says it’s “nonsense” to claim his charge Fernando Alonso is “too old” and that he brings more “enthusiasm and ambition” to the team than his predecessor Sebastian Vettel.

    His long-time manager Briatore, who was also his team boss when he won the 2005 and 2006 World titles, believes Alonso is as a fast as he ever was. “They said that he was too old, that he was not a team man… Nonsense,” he said in an interview with Corriere della Sera.

    “Just give him a fast car and he will know how to squeeze it to get good results, he is exceptional. At 41 years old, he is faster than someone in his twenties.”

    ‘Kick starting his Aston Martin career with a pair of P3s’;

    "I knew he was going to be fast" – Pedro de la Rosa on the real Fernando Alonso
    Aston Martin F1 - Official Site

    Rivals. Team-mates. Friends. Pedro de la Rosa and Fernando Alonso's relationship spans decades. The pair have teamed up once again at AMF1 and after Fernando's landmark 100th podium at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Pedro reveals who the real Fernando Alonso is and what sets him apart.

    "People don't know who the real Fernando is. They see that he's extremely committed and focused but what they don't see, what they don't realise, is how easy-going he is. He has a huge sense of humour and doesn't take himself too seriously. It's one of his strengths – he doesn't feel pressure.”

    "When other drivers are nervous about what's to come, Fernando isn't. You'll be with him moments before he's about to race and he'll be smiling, laughing and joking. He's like a kid about to go to the park with his mates to play football – you wouldn't think he's about to drive an F1 car. He stays relaxed and that's partly why, after all these years, he's still able to compete at such a high level.”

    ‘Landmark 100th podium’;

    Fernando Alonso made Martin Brundle and Damon Hill eat their words at Saudi Arabian GP
    The Spaniard's switch from Alpine to Aston Martin has been a resounding success so far.
    18:11, Wed, Mar 22, 2023
    By Charlie Gordon
    Daily and Sunday Express

    Fernando Alonso has responded to those who questioned his move to Aston Martin in emphatic fashion, with his latest statement coming via a podium finish in Saudi Arabia on Sunday. Martin Brundle and Damon Hill were among those to challenge his switch from Alpine, although both former F1 stars have since been made to eat their words.

    Brundle urged Aston to go for an emerging talent as his replacement. As a 41-year-old with two world titles under his belt, Alonso certainly does not fit into that category. "I think, personally, I would take a young gun and build towards someone," explained Brundle. "Someone who understands how to make Pirellis [tyres] work and build for a couple of years’ time."

    Hill, who clinched the Drivers' Championship in 1996, was even more explicit about his concerns on Alonso at Aston Martin. "I was very surprised he’d gone," he said. "The kind of guy Fernando Alonso is and the kind of guy Lawrence Stroll is and the ambitions they have for the team, I just can’t see [it working]. Let’s be honest, Fernando is going to have to retire eventually so it’s possibly the last team he’ll be with. You don’t want to be with a team that’s struggling and having frustrations. It can’t be the money."

    ‘Eat their words’;

    How the 'animal' Alonso can brilliantly manipulate the opponent
    22 March 7:00PM
    Author Marnik Kok
    Co-author Dieter Rencken

    The first time Webber knew he was racing against a potential world champion was during the Formula 3000 race at Spa-Francorchamps. In an exclusive interview with RacingNews365, Webber remarked: "I saw him go through Eau Rouge and I thought 'Yeah, okay!' He was very fast and very good in Spa and also very fast in Budapest. He was immediately very competitive. I knew he would be unstoppable later."

    Webber and Alonso met early on in F1. Alonso debuted at Minardi in 2001, after just one year of Formula 3000, and switched to the Renault family in 2002. In '03, he raced full-time for the French team where he would capture his two world championships. Webber recalls their crossed paths in F1: "Our careers overlapped to a considerable extent, and we always got along well.”

    "I was testing at Renault when he was an Minardi driver, and then he went as a test driver [for Renault], and I went to Minardi. He always tries to be unpredictable, in the good sense of the word. In a fair way. Also, he tries to manipulate your racing lines and send the dirty air to your car," the former F1 driver continued.

    ‘Manipulate the opponent’;

    Fernando Alonso ‘different’ to any other F1 driver
    Wednesday 22 March 2023 14:35
    Andrew McLean

    Fernando Alonso’s motivation makes him ‘different’ to any other Formula 1 driver according to former team-mate Pedro de la Rosa.

    "The last 10 years he's been driving cars that are not competitive. That's the reality," he told RacingNews365.

    "But his motivation is kept high with driving those cars, and this is what is different from any other driver."

    ‘Different to any other F1 driver’;

  5. #215
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    Ocon: Alpine "not satisfied" with current F1 pace.
    Ocon and team-mate Pierre Gasly were both left asking for more performance after they finished eighth and ninth in the Saudi Arabian GP.

    23rd March 2023.15:37
    By: Adam Cooper

    The A523's pace clearly indicated that it is the fifth quickest car at the moment. Ocon made it clear that the current performance is not good enough, adding that the team is working hard to make progress. "No, we can't be satisfied with where we are at the moment," he said. "There are a couple of teams that have improved massively over the others.”

    Ocon was relieved to at least score points after the nightmare of his multiple penalties in Bahrain. "Happy to finally start my season, let's call it that way," he said. "We maximised qualifying, we maximised the race as well. We couldn't hold the cars in front, really. We thought at some point it was going to be possible to hold the Ferraris, but they were too fast, and they pulled away in that middle phase of the second stint.”

    Asked by if he was expecting more from the Jeddah race, Gasly agreed that he had higher hopes. "I'd be lying if I said no," he said. "Personally I thought that we would have a bit more pace to join the fight ahead of us. And unfortunately, we just finished where we are at the moment, eighth and ninth, it's pretty much just where we are. I think we were 10 seconds behind the Ferraris. Mercedes was definitely faster than we thought. And that's just what we've got at the moment. And we need to analyse what we can do better."

    "Not satisfied";

    Formula 1: What must Alpine do to win the midfield battle?
    20:35 Mon, 20 Mar 2023.
    by Siddharth Bharani-Dharan
    Beyond the Flag (Weblog)

    Two races into the 2023 Formula 1 season, Alpine are out in front in the midfield battle. They sit at eight points and fifth in the constructor standings and are four points clear of sixth place Alfa Romeo. The battle could really heat up this season, and Alpine definitely have their hopes of coming out on top. So what must they do to win it?

    Well, it is very clear that Alpine have some good pace in the A523. Pierre Gasly showed the extent of the car as he made his way from the back of the grid to the points in Bahrain. In Jeddah, Esteban Ocon was able to join his French teammate in the points, rounding out a good performance from the team.

    ‘Midfield battle’;

    While Esteban Ocon scored his first points of the 2023 season in Jeddah, Pierre Gasly has finished in the points on both occasions he has raced for Alpine. Both drivers outscored their teammates in 2022, who will end up on top at the end of the year?
    March 22, 2023
    Rhiannon Temporal

    Both Alpine drivers feel “positive” about their Saudi Arabian Grand Prix results, but are left wanting “more”. With only one car finishing the Bahrain Grand Prix, the French team would have hoped to get their season back on track in Saudi Arabia. And that’s exactly what happened with both Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly finishing in the points in Jeddah. Ocon came home in P8 with his teammate just behind him in P9.

    After finishing best of the rest at the end of the 2022 season, Alpine would have hoped to move closer to the top three teams this year. However, the Enstone-based team has been left puzzled since the start of the season, unsure of where their pace has gone. But the team promised to bounce back after a difficult time in Bahrain, both during pre-season testing and the race.


    Gasly: Alpine in ‘no man’s land’ between Ferraris and Magnussen in ‘lonely’ Saudi GP
    19 Mar 2023
    Formula One - Official Site (Video)

    Pierre Gasly was taking the positives after his second points finish in his second race for new team Alpine, but says the team need to find more pace to get closer to the front runners.

    ‘No man’s land’;

    Otmar Szafnauer overruled by Alpine engineers in attempt to hunt down Ferrari
    20 Mar 2023 7:00 PM
    Sam Cooper

    Otmar Szafnauer revealed he wanted to push the Ferraris during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix but was shot down by his engineers. Team boss Szafnauer has said that would have been his choice of strategy but, with tyres in mind, he was dissuaded by Alpine’s engineers.

    “We were a bit in no man’s land for a while and then we turned the car down,” Szafnauer told Sky Sports F1. “We were conservative on the tyres just to make sure they lasted to the end and I was hoping we could push up a little bit more to the Ferraris, but was overruled by the engineers.”

    ‘Otmar Szafnauer overruled’;

    Alpine team boss 'overruled by engineers' on Ferrari challenge
    22 March 10:25AM
    Author Rory Mitchell

    Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer says he was overruled by the team engineers during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on whether they should challenge Ferrari.

    Alpine to investigate pace drop off. Alpine showed encouraging pace during Friday practice, with Ocon displaying good race pace during FP2. However this seemed to disappear on Saturday as they struggled to qualify higher than P7 and P10 on the grid.

    "We've got to look at it. We don't run light [fuel] on Friday, so it's not the amount of fuel we have in," said Szafnauer. "We just we have to analyse it and see where we can do a little bit better on Sunday versus Friday."

    ‘Alpine to investigate pace drop off’;

  6. #216
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    McLaren wields axe in technical team shake-up after nightmare season start.
    McLaren has sacked technical director James Key and restructured its design office after a disappointing start to 2023.
    March 24th, 2023 8:22 am
    Michael Lamonato from Fox Sports.
    Fox Sports (Australia)

    McLaren has sacked technical director James Key and restructured its design office after a disappointing start to 2023. The McLaren technical department under Key has struggled to adapt to life under the new regulations introduced last year. It slipped from fourth to fifth in the 2022 constructors championship, and the team admitted during the pre-season it had missed development crucial targets for this year’s car.

    McLaren is last in the title standings after failing to score points at the two opening rounds of the season. Both drivers retired with technical problems at the first race in Bahrain, and the car was slow in the race in Saudi Arabia, notwithstanding both drivers sustaining first-lap damage. The team is pinning its 2023 hopes on a major upgrade due in April, but in recent days team principal Andrea Stella has moved to temper expectations of it bringing a significant step in performance.

    “It has been clear to me for some time that our technical development has not moved at a quick enough pace to match our ambition of returning to the front of the grid,” CEO Zak Brown said in a statement. I’m pleased that, having completed a full review with Andrea, we are now able to implement the restructure required to set the wheels in motion to turn this around.” David Sanchez, who quit his job as Ferrari’s chief vehicle concept engineer earlier this year, has been confirmed as a new hire after a decade in Maranello. The Frenchman will start as technical director for car concept in January next year.

    ‘McLaren wields axe’;

    McLaren sack technical director in a bid to save their season
    Plus: Why Zak Brown was right to wield the axe - McLaren had to do something
    23 March 2023 • 5:40pm
    The Telegraph

    McLaren have announced a big restructure of their technical department in a bid to arrest their alarming decline in performance, with technical director James Key leaving the Woking team with immediate effect. Key's role has been split into three separate technical director positions under team principal Andrea Stella. Frenchman David Sanchez rejoins following a decade at Ferrari to lead car concept and performance. He will begin on January 1 next year after completing ‘gardening leave’ from Ferrari.

    “It has been clear to me for some time that our technical development has not moved at a quick enough pace to match our ambition of returning to the front of the grid,” Brown said. "I’m pleased that, having completed a full review with Andrea, we are now able to implement the restructure required to set the wheels in motion to turn this around.”

    “These strategic changes ensure the long-term success of the team and are necessary to see McLaren get back to winning ways. We have everything coming into place now with our people and infrastructure and alongside an exciting driver line-up, I’m determined to see McLaren get back to where we should be.”

    ‘Bid to save their season’;

    James Key has departed McLaren and his role is getting split into three new roles
    March 23, 2023
    Morgan Holiday

    McLaren F1 has announced that they’ll be switching their organisational structure to split up the Technical Director role. Following a rough start to the season for the team, McLaren has changed their approach to a key aspect of their team structure. Most Formula 1 teams utilise one single Executive Technical Director for their team. But McLaren, as of today, will be splitting that role between a Techincal Executive Team comprised of three key members.

    McLaren’s former Techincal Director, James Key, has left the team. Replacing him is Peter Prodromou, whose title will be Technical Director – Aerodynamics, David Sanchez as Technical Director – Car Concept and Performance, and Neil Houldey as Technical Director – Engineering and Design.

    Prodromou and Houldey are coming to these new roles from other roles within McLaren, whereas Sanchez is coming from Ferrari, and will join the team in January 2024.

    ‘Splitting up the Technical Director role into three new roles’;

    Gary Anderson: McLaren shake-up risks repeat of past failure
    14:51 Thu, 23 Mar 2023.
    By Gary Anderson
    The Race

    McLaren has had a very poor start to the 2023 Formula 1 season. As normal, there are lots of reasons for this but it’s the technical director whose head is on the chopping block and James Key has suffered the consequences. I am by no means saying that James has not had a hand in McLaren’s poor start, but from my point of view it is always better to strengthen an organisation than completely revamp it, which is what McLaren appears to have done.

    Look at how Red Bull operates. It has one clearly defined technical boss who everyone knows they work for and who, in the end, will carry the can for the end result good or bad. Yes, Adrian Newey has lots of highly-experienced individuals filling the ranks below him, but he calls the shots and sets the direction and then they find the best way of achieving it.

    McLaren has now set up a flatter technical management structure. It didn’t work the last time it did this, when Newey moved to Red Bull, and it will struggle to make it work this time as well. The biggest problem is that the people who make these decisions are as responsible for the problem as anyone else, but they are never going to replace themselves.

    ‘Risking repeat of past failure’;

    F1 podcast: Should you believe in McLaren’s big overhaul?
    18:58 Thu, 23 Mar 2023.
    The Race

    McLaren’s announcement of technical director James Key’s exit and the creation of a new tech leadership structure is a drastic change for a Formula 1 team whose momentum en route back towards the front has withered lately. In a special extra edition of The Race F1 Podcast, Edd Straw, Scott Mitchell-Malm and Matt Beer convene to discuss the implications of McLaren’s course correction.

    They talk about the disappointments that led to a change becoming inevitable, but also assess this revamp’s chances of success. Given that the type of structure McLaren is now turning to hasn’t worked for it in the past, and the process rivals such as Aston Martin are making, should we have much faith in its big 2025 project?

    ‘Should you believe?’;

    Formula 1: Could Lando Norris be on his way out at McLaren?
    10:40 Tue, 21 Mar 2023.
    by Siddharth Bharani-Dharan
    Beyond the Flag (Weblog)

    As talented as Lando Norris may be, the 23-year-old has been struggling with McLaren and may look to move elsewhere for the 2024 Formula 1 season. Two races into the 2023 Formula 1 season, McLaren’s Lando Norris has had a tough start. The young Brit has finished in 17th place in both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, making some start to question whether he is better off elsewhere.

    Just weeks ago, Norris made some remarks regarding what his future could hold. “I’m not the most patient man,” he said. It is understandable, as he has high aspirations and would not be pleased to see the team taking a step back from last season.

    Currently, the two genuine options for Norris are Mercedes and Alfa Romeo. Joining Mercedes is a big “if”, and it all depends on what Lewis Hamilton chooses to do with his future. If the seven-time world champion does choose to depart, then Norris could potentially be the frontrunner to replace him. It is a fully a possibility, but it is solely reliant on Hamilton.

    ‘Way out at McLaren’;

  7. #217
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    Alfa Romeo identify “massive debris” which ruined Bottas’ race.
    Alfa Romeo has confirmed Valtteri Bottas suffered a significant performance loss during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after striking debris soon after the start.
    2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
    Posted on 23rd March 2023, 12:0523rd March 2023, 12:27
    Written by Keith Collantine

    Bottas reported handling problems throughout Sunday’s race, made an extra pit stop for soft tyres near the end and was the last runner to finish, a lap behind. At the end of the race Bottas told his team he “ran over some massive debris” at the start. “I felt that in my ass,” he added.

    After the race he told reporters “there was something wrong,” with his car. “I suspect I ran over some debris on lap one. Since the beginning of the race, I just had no grip. So perhaps some damage in the diffuser or something.”

    “Massive debris”;

    2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Sunday
    March 19th, 2023
    Alfa Romeo Racing - Official Site

    Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake had a challenging evening in Jeddah as Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas finished 13th and 18th respectively in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The team wasn’t able to convert its starting positions into a top-ten finish, despite the best efforts of drivers and crew: as we return to our headquarters, we will analyse the data from the race and come up with the answers to this unrepresentative performance, while also finalising the next upgrade package for the C43.

    Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative: “Starting where we were on the grid, we were expecting to fight for the points, but, unfortunately, we weren’t able to finish in the top ten this time around. The team had a difficult weekend, and we weren’t able to be at the level for which we aimed: we’ll need to go back to base, analyse the data from this performance and understand where we’ve fallen short, and what steps we need to make to return to the level we were in Bahrain. We are confident we can make it there in Melbourne, where we will also bring some updates to further improve the performance of our C43. We need to keep working hard, of course: the season is long and the battle will be intense in each race.”

    ‘Difficult weekend’;

    Bottas suspects car damage scuppered his efforts in Saudi Arabia as Zhou eyes Alfa Romeo updates
    20 March 2023
    Formula One - Official Site

    Zhou had a cleaner run to P13 in the other C43, just over 10 seconds off the points-paying positions, with the Chinese racer setting his sights on upgrades that Alfa Romeo will bring to the next round in Australia.

    “We looked strong in the first stint, our pace was good and it seemed the top 10 was within reach,” said Zhou, before pointing to a critical moment of his race. Of course, track position always makes the difference on street circuits like this one, and, unfortunately, I got stuck in a DRS train once the Safety Car came out.”

    “My race was compromised from that moment onwards, and there wasn’t much more we could do. [It] just hasn’t been our day, but I think we can achieve much more as a team going forward. We get a new chance in a few weeks in Melbourne, where we will be bringing some upgrades to our car: hopefully they’ll allow us to make the step forward we need to continue fighting for points.”

    ‘Race was compromised’;

    Bottas suspects damage only explanation for 'off the pace' Saudi GP
    22/03/2023 at 08:43
    Phillip van Osten

    Valtteri Bottas suspects damage floor damage likely picked up on the opening lap of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was responsible for his Ala Romeo's dismal pace in Jeddah. Bottas' display was so inconspicuous for the entire duration of the event that one would have been forgiven to believe that the Finn hadn't even been on the grid.

    "So much off the pace," Bottas lamented. "I’m suspecting I ran over quite a large bit of debris on Lap 1 before Turn 4, and I could really feel it under the floor. Perhaps some damage, that’s my only explanation at the moment; obviously, we’ll have a look."

    "So much off the pace";

    Alfa Romeo admit they “struggled more than expected” in Jeddah race
    RaceFans Round-up
    Posted on 22nd March 2023, 0:0121st March 2023, 23:22
    Written by Ida Wood

    Alfa Romeo’s head of trackside engineering Xevi Pujolar says the team do not why they lacked pace in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. “In terms of performance in qualifying, we were same or even a step better than Bahrain,” said Pujolar. “On Friday we were struggling a bit, we were doing some tests, just trying to explore different areas on the car configuration to see if we could extract a bit more.”

    “We saw some improvements in some areas, but we lost too much in some others, and then we revert back on Saturday. We were close to Q3, and everyone was very, very tight. In the race, I think we struggled a bit more with the grip more than what we expected,” Pujolar said. “Everyone is so close that as soon as you lose a bit of pace, you struggle to get back there fighting for the points.”

    “With Valtteri, at the moment we’re still investigating. Now that we have the car, we will check what happened for him. For sure something wasn’t working as expected. We could see with the level of sliding and how everything was going on with all the tyres, that’s why we said ‘okay, initially, maybe something with a specific compound’, but we tried different compounds and do the same with all of them. So in that car we need to find the problem.”

    “Struggled more than expected”;

    Bottas more relaxed at Alfa Romeo
    Tuesday 21st March, 2023 - 6:00pm
    By Mat Coch

    A more relaxed Valtteri Bottas is fast becoming a cult favourite in the Formula 1 paddock as he allows his personality to shine through. The Finn joined Alfa Romeo Sauber at the start of last season and quickly became a popular figure within the team.

    His popularity has also shot up, notably in Australia, as he’s embraced social media and used it for some light-hearted fun. Bottas signed a ‘multi-year’ deal with Alfa Romeo Sauber from 2022, with that understood to take him through to at least the end of next season.

    ‘More relaxed’;

    This F1 team-mate battle’s taking an unexpected twist
    11:04 Sun, 19 Mar 2023.
    By Valentin Khorounzhiy and Scott Mitchell-Malm
    The Race

    One Alfa Romeo Formula 1 driver is a 33-year-old veteran with 10 grand prix wins to his name. The other is a sophomore with just six career points, and somebody who – as good an impression as he’d made in his rookie F1 season – it can be hard not to view in the context of a more modest junior CV than that of many of his peers.

    Saturday’s qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah further drove home the point. Something interesting is happening here. “Actually he was, I think, two tenths faster than me. And I felt [at the] end of my lap that I couldn’t find it,” said Bottas in Jeddah on Saturday when asked by The Race about the single-lap trend relative to his team-mate.

    “So, he’s really on it, or there’s some difference, I don’t know,” he added, chuckling. “I really felt like I got the most out of it. He’s been super-consistent every session. Definitely made a step up from last year.” No, Zhou didn’t get to Q3 – both he and Bottas exited in the second segment – but he did beat his team-mate by 0.207s, in what team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi described as “an excellent job in the cockpit”. And it wasn’t out of the blue – it was coming.

    ‘Really on it’;

  8. #218
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    Feb 2021
    Liked 22 Times in 17 Posts
    LONG READ: Have Williams found a leader in James Vowles who can bring them back to their glory days?
    What do you think of Williams Racing? Motorsport titan and sleeping giant of Formula 1; or simply a team tooling around at the back of the field to make up the numbers? Where you stand on that most likely has a lot to do with how long you’ve been following the sport.
    15:10 Sat, 18 Mar 2023.
    Matt Youson
    Special Contributor
    Formula One - Official Site

    Anybody who watched F1 in the 1980s and 1990s struggles to view Williams Racing as anything other than a colossus; those of a more recent vintage see a perennial backmarker struggling with the realities of competing against better-funded, better-resourced, perhaps better-motivated rivals.

    It’s a shocking state of affairs for a team with 114 victories, 313 podiums and nine FIA Formula 1 World Constructors’ titles – second only to Ferrari in that particular all-time list – but that’s the situation inherited by freshly-minted Team Principal James Vowles, when he walked into his new job a little less than a month ago.

    Vowles, formerly motorsport strategy director and chief strategist for the Mercedes team, was recruited after Jost Capito announced his departure in December. At a superficial level, Vowles looks like an odd choice for Team Principal because his route to the big chair is unconventional. Racing drivers and senior engineers become team principals, sometimes former mechanics, marketeers, the odd billionaire – but not strategists, even those that started out as engineers.

    ‘Shocking state of affairs’;

    Vowles: Williams 'spark' reveals light at the end of tunnel
    Friday 24 March 2023 11:48
    Ewan Gale

    Whilst the ultimate aim is to ensure Williams returns to the top of F1's ladder having gone over a decade without a victory, Vowles in enthused by the morale within the workforce.

    "There's a spark and it's fascinating to see," said Vowles. "There are shoulders lifted, there are heads held high now, there is really direction that they can see where we're going and how we're moving forward.”

    "It’s a team clearly that has had a tremendously difficult winter, and difficult few years even prior to that. But they can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel and direction we're going in."

    ‘Light at the end of tunnel’;

    James Vowles explains the key difference between Williams and Mercedes
    23 Mar 2023 7:00 PM
    Oliver Harden

    James Vowles has revealed the key difference between teams at the front and the back of the Formula 1 grid, explaining that the quality of the facilities separates the likes of Williams from title-winning outfits like Mercedes.

    Appearing on the Vowles Verdict Q&A on Williams’ official website, he said: “First and foremost, Williams is a large site. “It actually mirrors that of Mercedes in many ways in terms of size, but very clearly some of the facilities are not necessarily at the same level as they were in Mercedes.”

    “It hasn’t had the same joyous journey financially and as a result is lacking in certain parts, which shouldn’t be a surprise. It’s normal when you consider it from the outside, but when you really come into the depths of it you can see why the team has had the struggles it’s had across the years.”

    ‘The key difference’;

    Williams 'reviewing' 2026 F1 engine deals but two options ruled out
    24 March 2023

    Inside Racing

    Williams 'reviewing' 2026 F1 engine deals but two options ruled out. Williams chief James Vowles is "reviewing" possible engine suppliers for 2026, though two options appear to be ruled out.

    Williams isn't short of choices when it comes to 2026 with Audi and Red Bull-Ford among the options available. Previous speculation of a tie-up with Porsche is now gone after it was reported the German manufacturer had dropped its interest in the 2026 regulations.

    Asked about a possible reunion though, Vowles seems unconvinced. “It’d be hard for me to comment because I’m not sure what [Honda] have facilities-wise,” he said via The Race. “But I think they’re a little bit further away from where they would need to be to be a serious contender.”

    ‘Two options ruled out’;

    Albon hails Vowles’ early impact at Williams F1
    24th March 2023, 10:09
    by Fergal Walsh
    Motorsport Week

    Alexander Albon has commended the job that James Vowles has done in his first month as Williams’ Team Principal. “James has definitely got the knowledge from Mercedes,”he said. “He’s obviously a smart guy we need right now.”

    “It’s something where of course I think we do a lot of things good and there’s obviously other areas we can do differently, long term, short term, medium term. There’s all aspects to look at so I would say he’s only been here for a short while but listening to what he has to say he’s bringing a lot to the table.”

    “Hopefully that will keep on happening and I would say a lot of it is more long term than short term but I’m excited to see the progress.”

    ‘Early impact’;

    Formula 1: Can Williams maintain their momentum?

    10:34 Mon, 20 Mar 2023.
    by Siddharth Bharani-Dharan
    Beyond the Flag (Weblog)

    It is quite clear that Williams are one of the most improved teams in Formula 1 this season, but the question is whether they can maintain that momentum. Judging from the early signs, it is a genuine possibility that Williams can make massive strides this season.

    Their car has a good pace and reliability does not seem to be too much of an issue for them. They just have to maintain good awareness throughout the whole weekend and know who their battles are with on the grid.

    Williams will definitely look to stay in that midfield battle this season, potentially being in the mix for finishing sixth in the constructor standings. Confidence will play a key role in their endeavors, as they have all the tools necessary in order to succeed.

    ‘Maintain their momentum?’;

    ‘Missed opportunity’ now something Williams can’t afford
    Mar 22 2023
    By Josh Suttill and Scott Mitchell-Malm
    The Race

    Williams knows it “missed a good opportunity” in the second 2023 Formula 1 weekend even though the results on paper appear to show a downturn in form after the team’s bright start. But Williams and its drivers felt far more was possible and there wasn’t some downturn in pace between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

    Williams appears to be at the back of that very tight midfield – bottom of the supertimes in both weekends so far – but it’s comfortably close enough to challenge the midfield pack when it executes a weekend well and the cards fall its way as it did in Bahrain.

    ‘Missed opportunity’;

  9. #219
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    Magnussen beaming after exciting battle with Tsunoda – and first points of the year – in Jeddah.
    Kevin Magnussen was full of praise for Yuki Tsunoda after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, after the Japanese racer managed to keep the Haas man behind for several laps, before eventually succumbing to an overtaking move that earned Magnussen P10.
    20:49 Sun, 19 Mar 2023.
    Formula One - Official Site (Video)

    ‘Magnussen P10’;

    Hulkenberg encouraged by ‘strong’ Haas pace as he enjoys ‘fresh start’ to his comeback season in Jeddah
    22 March 2023
    Formula One - Official Site

    Although he missed out on a points finish in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Nico Hulkenberg was still left feeling positive about his and Haas’s race – describing the team’s pace compared to their midfield rivals as “the best news of the day”.

    “I think a couple of things didn’t quite go to plan, but all in all we’re happy. The pace seemed strong and alright for us in the midfield, and that is the best news of the day.” Hulkenberg was also keen to note that, after a compromised race at the Bahrain opener due to a first-lap collision, Sunday’s outing in Saudi Arabia marked his first in representative conditions this season.

    “Bahrain was very difficult to understand with the damage that I had. I think we kind of had to forget about it and regroup – so here was kind of a fresh start, race one for us,” he said. “Like I said, [the] race circumstances didn’t all go our way, and made life a bit hard, but nevertheless I’m happy to come away with [P12], [and] very happy for the team that we got the first point, too, with Kevin.”

    ‘Fresh start’;

    How Haas' team policy has prevented early driver fireworks
    22 March 6:20PM
    Author Michael Butterworth
    Co-author Dieter Rencken

    Kevin Magnussen has explained a Haas policy which has, so far, enabled a cooperative relationship between himself and new Formula 1 teammate Nico Hulkenberg.

    "We have a policy at Haas that we don't block each other," Magnussen told media, including "After the first lap, we don't really want to get in each other's way. We don't fight each other.”

    "We push – I can push to try and keep him behind, but I can't close the door. It's just being nice to each other and making sure that we are working for the team and not for ourselves."

    “We don't fight each other”;

    Haas has recaptured old driver dynamic – without the sparks
    09:38 Tue, 21 Mar 2023.
    By Josh Suttill
    The Race

    Magnussen and Hulkenberg have passed the first test of their new partnership with flying colours by proving they can “be nice to each other” on track even when running at a similar pace – something Grosjean and Magnussen were sometimes unable to do, much to Haas’s frustration.

    Of course the question then becomes who will emerge on top when the drivers are so evenly matched – and will the pursuit of winning that battle change things? They perhaps have more reason than a young driver eager to prove themselves to bigger teams, to play the team game.

    Considering Hulkenberg is 35 and Magnussen is 30, neither driver can realistically believe a shot in a top team is anything other than a remote possibility so it’s in their interest to help Haas move forward so they can be regularly fighting for points rather than scrapping at the back of the grid.

    ‘Old driver dynamic’;

    Steiner promises ‘multiple’ Haas upgrades this season
    Wednesday 15th March, 2023 - 3:30am
    By Ian Parkes

    Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has promised this season’s F1 challenger will receive numerous upgrades throughout the season – in stark contrast to last year. The team’s financial concerns have since been considerably eased following the recruitment of a new title sponsor in MoneyGram alongside a number of other fresh commercial partners.

    That means the team now has the resources to steadily develop this year’s VF-23, albeit with the first upgrade not due until a third of the way through the season. “Something is planned for Barcelona,” confirmed Steiner, referring to the Spanish Grand Prix on June 2-4.

    “We are working on that but we need to see if we make the right progress, performance-wise, in the wind tunnel before we put it into production. But it’s on the way, and if it goes to plan and we hit the targets then the first upgrades will be coming.”

    ‘Multiple Haas upgrades’;

    Haas’ Günther Steiner hopes to “extract the full potential” of VF-23 in Saudi Arabia
    March 14, 2023
    By Ashley Cline
    The Checkered Flag

    Haas F1 Team Principal Günther Steiner reflected on the “challenging” back-to-back weekends of pre-season testing and the Bahrain Grand Prix, coming away pleased with their qualifying result and optimistic about improving upon their race day fortunes.

    “It was quite challenging because we had pre-season testing and then there was very little time before the race. All in all, even if we had struggles in the race, qualifying was good. We got one car into Q3 and for Nico to come back after three years of not having a full-time drive, it was a very good result for the team. We could’ve done better than tenth, but we were happy with it.”

    Steiner feels that the new pairing of Magnussen and Hülkenberg is working out well as of yet, with Hülkenberg bringing his own share of experience and knowledge to the team. “They’re working well together and there is respect between them. It’s very good for Kevin to have a teammate with experience and what Nico brings with him is experience. The race engineers clearly feel like they get a lot of information from him after each session, which will bring the race weekend forward, but also overall the race team forward, performance-wise.”

    “Extract the full potential”;

    Haas not worried about Ferrari engine reliability, ‘nothing to do with us’
    17 Mar 2023 3:00 PM
    Michelle Foster

    Guenther Steiner says whatever led to Charles Leclerc’s Bahrain retirement is not a concern for Haas with Ferrari telling their customers they “should not worry”. This is a concern for Ferrari’s engine customers, Haas and Alfa Romeo, as the two teams had their share of Ferrari engine issues last season.

    Steiner, though, says he’s been told by Ferrari not to worry as it has “nothing to do” with Haas. “They have a problem, but it has nothing to do with us,” he told Ekstra Bladet.

    “I don’t know exactly what, because they don’t tell me, and I don’t ask them. But they have said that we should not worry so no, we won’t change anything.”

    ‘Nothing to do with us’;

  10. #220
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    Tsunoda gave it 100% but couldn't retain final point.
    Yuki Tsunoda cast a frustrated figure after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, giving it his all to score a top-ten finish that alluded the AlphaTauri driver just four laps from the checkered flag.
    21/03/2023 at 18:21
    Phillip van Osten

    Tsunoda started his race from P16 and made steady progress through the field to run as high as 6th before his switch from the medium to the hard tyre on lap 17. Thereafter, the Japanese charger could do little to fend off the two Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly which set him back to 10th in the running order.

    Tsunoda appeared solidly anchored to that position, but a late tussle with Haas' Kevin Magnussen concluded at the advantage of the Dane who thus snatched the final point from the AlphaTauri driver.

    "I gave my 100% effort every lap, and still couldn’t [retain P10]," commented a disappointed Tsunoda after his race. Lost positions like that in the end in the last four laps, so I’m just really frustrated."

    ‘Gave it 100%’;

    Tsunoda left ‘frustrated’ after being knocked out of the points late on in Saudi Arabia
    20 March 2023
    Formula One - Official Site

    Yuki Tsunoda endured a race of two halves in Saudi Arabia. But after finishing 11th for a second straight race, the Japanese driver could only sum up his Grand Prix with one word: “frustration.” He was able to take advantage by stopping under the Safety Car, in a move that catapulted him up the order into eighth. Although he lost out to the quicker Alpine cars, Tsunoda was able to hold onto P10 for much of the race, defending time and time again from Kevin Magnussen’s Haas.

    But it was to no avail, as the Dane managed to make his way past with the help of DRS with four laps to go, ending Tsunoda’s quest for a first point of the season, and leading to an anguished cry over team radio. “We’ll come back stronger with updates in Melbourne, so we are already fully focused on the next race, where we will do our best to maximise our performance,”

    Tsunoda added. “We'll continue to work hard to be able to fight at the top of the midfield and start scoring points consistently." AlphaTauri are now just one of two teams yet to score in 2023 along with McLaren, and sit ninth in the constructors’ championship.

    ‘Anguished cry over team radio’;

    De Vries frustrated with his performance in Jeddah
    Nyck De Vries has expressed his dissatisfaction at his and AlphaTauri's performance at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
    March 23, 2023
    By Ed Spencer
    Total Motorsport

    Following his second Q1 elimination of the season, De Vries struggled for pace in the race, finishing well behind teammate Yuki Tsunoda in 14th. “I’m personally not satisfied with my job at the start or the safety car restart,” said De Vries to the media. “I think I was not attacking enough and a bit too conservative.”

    “It was hard to judge the balance between managing the tyres and pushing at this track. It appeared to be almost not part of the equation. You could almost push flat out. Then you lose one position, you’re a little bit on the back, and then you’re stuck in a DRS train and find yourself stuck in a DRS train in traffic before the train breaks up.”

    ‘Expressed his dissatisfaction’;

    Helmut Marko tells AlphaTauri drivers to ‘prove themselves if they want to stay in Formula 1’
    19 Mar 2023 7:00 AM
    Michelle Foster

    Helmut Marko has warned the AlphaTauri drivers they must prove themselves if they “want to stay in F1”, but it’s not all doom and gloom as a Red Bull opportunity could await the “better” of the team-mates.

    With neither scoring a point at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, the pressure is already on. It, however, isn’t all doom and gloom for the team-mates, neither of whom has a firm contract for next season, with Marko saying the one that does “better” could be the next Red Bull driver.

    “To be a candidate for Red Bull Racing, you have to have an extraordinary performance,” the motorsport advisor told “They have to prove themselves if they want to stay in Formula 1. The better one will probably have a chance. That applies to Yuki and also to De Vries.”

    ‘Prove themselves if they want to stay in Formula 1’

    Tost declares he's 'lost trust' in AlphaTauri engineers!
    17/03/2023 at 19:02
    Andrew Lewin

    AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost made the extraordinary admission that he had lost confidence in the squad's engineers after seeing the disappointing performance of the AT04 in the season opener in Bahrain. Neither car finished in the top ten meaning that AlphaTauri is one of three teams yet to score any points in 2023, along with Haas and McLaren.

    "Yuki made a big step forward [over the winter]. Not only from the driving side. Also from the technical side. His technical feedback is really good, and I must say, also, his race was competitive. I think he got the most out of the car. Unfortunately, I think it's currently the performance level of the car [that is the problem], because we expected a much better car," he said at the official FIA Friday press conference in Jeddah.”

    "We struggled in Bahrain," he acknowledged. "We have to do a lot of things to make the car faster, and especially on the aerodynamic side. There are different programmes going on, but the engineers tell me that we make some good progress. But I don't trust them anymore.”

    'Lost trust';

    Helmut Marko confirms AlphaTauri future despite finance and performance concerns
    17 Mar 2023 7:30 AM
    Michelle Foster

    Helmut Marko has confirmed Red Bull won’t be selling AlphaTauri, but that doesn’t mean they’re all that happy with their junior team’s performances – both on the track and in its bank statements. Speaking ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, he said: “The shareholders will not sell Scuderia AlphaTauri, and that Red Bull will continue supporting the team in the future.

    “All these rumours have no foundation, and the team has to remain focused for the start of the season to perform better than last year.” Marko, having previously said the decision to sell or not would be up to the shareholders, has now also said the team is not for sale.

    “It’s true that AlphaTauri’s ninth place in the Constructors’ Championship is not what we expect. That means there has to be an improvement. It is also true that the financial commitment at AlphaTauri is too high, this means that we also have to do something on the sponsor side, on the revenue side. In the course of this process we also discussed the possibilities, but it was always very clear that AlphaTauri would remain in-house. That is an important part of our junior work.”

    ‘Scuderia AlphaTauri Not For Sale’;

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