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  1. #261
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    Red Bull chief admits Yuki Tsunoda is "being noticed" by rival F1 teams for 2025 seat.
    Helmut Marko has issued a glowing review of Yuki Tsunoda 's progress at Red Bull 's sister team.
    11:20 Thu, 28 Mar 2024.
    By Daniel Moxon Senior F1 Writer
    The Mirror

    Japanese star Tsunoda is in his fourth season as an F1 driver, racing again for the outfit now branded as Visa Cash App RB. The feeling was, though, that he was lucky to earn another year on the grid after failing to live up to the potential he showed in junior categories. There were flashes of his true ability last year, particularly at the start and the end of the season.

    And at last weekend's Australian Grand Prix the 23-year-old performed excellently to secure seventh place. And his performances so far have left Marko, the Red Bull adviser who has a significant say in their driver line-up decisions, very impressed. "Yuki is currently riding at a very high level - and remains error-free," the Austrian wrote in his Speedweek column.

    "[Former team principal] Franz Tost and I always believed in him. His speed was always beyond doubt for us. His problems were lack of control, outbursts and proneness to errors. All of that is gone this season.”

    ‘Glowing review of Yuki Tsunoda 's progress’;

    ‘All that is gone’: Helmut Marko now shares the three ‘problems’ Yuki Tsunoda has fixed this season
    Thu 28 March 2024 06:30
    Ben Evans
    F1 Oversteer

    Earning praise from Red Bull Racing supremo Helmut Marko is never easy, but Visa Cash App RB driver Yuki Tsunoda appears to have overcome some of the problems he had been dealing with earlier on in his Formula 1 career. The Japanese driver is entering his fourth season with the team and has started the 2024 campaign very strongly.

    Helmut Marko explains Tsunoda’s improvements after Australian Grand Prix. Talking about Tsunoda, Marko said: Daniel’s speed has improved, but Yuki is riding at a very high level at the moment – and remains faultless.

    “Franz Tost and I have always believed in him, his speed has always been beyond doubt for us. His problems were his lack of control, outbursts and susceptibility to mistakes. All that is gone this season. Yuki came to Europe very young and that is very, very hard for a Japanese [driver]. It’s a completely different life with us. But now things are going well and Yuki is being recognised on the driver market.”

    ‘All that is gone’;

    Tsunoda 'proving to the people' with his performances as he reflects on strong start to 2024
    15:26 Fri, 29 Mar 2024.
    Formula One - Official Site

    Yuki Tsunoda scored his first points of the season in Australia with a mature drive to eighth at the flag – which became seventh thanks to Fernando Alonso’s post-race penalty. He managed to keep out of trouble, pick his fights and nail his strategy to come home in the ‘best of the rest’ slot, scoring six very valuable points in what is widely expected to be one of the closest fought constructors’ battles in years for those midfield teams.

    “The team did a fantastic job throughout the week, consistent from FP1, top 10 consistently and finally able to score the points. We just needed these points to have a good start to the season,” he said afterwards. “I would say very, very happy with my performance. I think particularly this week we were very consistent. Also, the qualifying last three races, pretty good as well.”

    "I needed a bit of a good race, clean race to prove I could also have a good, strong race not just the qualifying and I think this was a good race – this as the race I was able to prove [that] and I just keep to what I’m doing and hopefully also I can score points in Suzuka as well.”

    ‘Tsunoda proving to the people';

    Red Bull want “another driver comparison” before Tsunoda verdict
    March 29, 2024
    Jaden Diaz-Ndisang
    Last Word On Sports

    Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has spoken about whether Yuki Tsunoda is being considered for a promotion to the main team. The 23-year-old is outperforming teammate Daniel Ricciardo, but the Austrian team is still far from making a final decision for the future.

    Tsunoda and Ricciardo under scrutiny. Whilst Helmut Marko has been very complimentary towards the youngster, he is tentative about making any conclusions: “We’re all puzzling about that. He’s [Ricciardo] generally slower than Yuki,” he told “Something never goes right with him. Which is surprising, because the winter test went very well for him.”

    “But at the moment, Yuki is clearly the faster one.” When asked about Tsunoda’s chances at Red Bull, he continued: “You would have to have another driver as a comparison. The question is: Has Yuki become a high-flyer, or is Daniel so weak? There is still no objective answer after three races on three completely different circuits.”

    ‘Tsunoda and Ricciardo under scrutiny’;

    F1 rivals start to circle around Yuki Tsunoda with Red Bull 2025 challenge set
    26 Mar 2024 4:00 PM
    Henry Valantine

    Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has said Yuki Tsunoda is “being recognised on the driver market” after a strong start to the 2024 season. Tsunoda himself has been hoping that his early-season performances are not going unnoticed at the Red Bull camp, with a potential 2025 seat alongside Max Verstappen on the cards if Sergio Perez is unable to earn a contract extension.

    The stance from the team remains that the seat is for the Mexican to lose heading into next year, and Marko explained that Tsunoda must keep up his rate of improvement if he is to be considered for a promotion next year.

    “Every lap he was competitive and didn’t do anything wrong, he was calm,” Marko told “As we say, one swallow does not make a summer. So, he has to improve more before he can be considered in this direction.”

    ‘Red Bull 2025 challenge set’;

  2. #262
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    A badly-backfiring F1 move is a warning to others.
    When Pierre Gasly seized on the unexpected chance to move to Alpine in 2023 amid the driver-market maelstrom initiated by Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin deal, it seemed the ideal opportunity.
    Mar 28, 2024
    by Edd Straw
    The Race

    To find himself driving the slowest car in the field at the start of his second Alpine campaign must be intensely frustrating. I put that to him in Melbourne last weekend, and that “it’s not good for your career to be messing around at the back when you need to be kicking on”. After a few moments to consider the appropriate answer, wise given he needed to make his point without being seen to slam the team, Gasly grinned and gave his response.

    “That’s a fair point,” said Gasly. “You said it yourself, I signed with Alpine after a season where they finished fourth. Last year was a bit disappointing in terms of performance, we didn’t manage to close the gap to the top three and dropped back in the order. This year is not really continuity of the work we’ve done last year, unfortunately the car isn’t well-born.”

    “In the background, there’s been a lot of positive change in the way that we’ve been approaching the work, the focus on details and the mentality inside the team. I see a lot of positives, but it doesn’t translate straight away into performance. No-one wants to be in a position of driving a car that is not competitive, and ultimately that [a competitive car] is what I want. But I also believe that’s possible with the current team and that’s why we need to find the solutions and the way to make it happen.”

    ‘A warning to others’;

    ‘We need upgrades to be able to fight’ says Gasly after P13 for Alpine in Australia
    24 Mar 2024
    Formula One - Official Site (Video)

    Pierre Gasly was fighting with Carlos Sainz for P4 at the Australian Grand Prix last year – but this time around he was scrapping outside the points at Albert Park, and says the team’s upgrades can’t come quickly enough.

    ‘We need upgrades’;

    Alpine: What’s Going On In The French Team?
    March 25, 2024
    Erika Di Guido
    Last Word On Sports

    When you think it can’t get worse… The new Team Principal Bruno Famin faces an uphill climb. Things aren’t looking good for the whole French team. After the flop of the Grand Prix in Bahrain, with Ocon in P17 and Gasly in P18, the weekend in Jeddah was even worse. In Saudi Arabia, Pierre Gasly couldn’t even start the race. During the formation lap, he went on the team radio to notify his team of his broken gearbox. Alpine had to retire the car, and Gasly wasn’t even able to complete lap 1 of the race.

    What should be done? These are difficult moments for Alpine. With so many people leaving and the unsuccessful start of the season, a solution is necessary. Famin, after Bahrain, expressed his concerns and said that, although they expected some issues, it was a shock being last. But he added: “We are aware of the problems. We must remember that we were at the first race of a very long season, with a completely new car and with developments coming. We will work hard to improve the car”.

    ‘What’s Going On?’;

    Martin Brundle sticks the boot into Ryan Reynolds' F1 team after key members suddenly quit
    After another disappointing performance at the Australian Grand Prix, Alpine came under fire yet again, this time from former driver Martin Brundle.
    11:25, Tue, Mar 26, 2024
    By Ed Pracy
    Daily and Sunday Express

    Speaking about the Alpine team, Brundle said they had “another dismal weekend. They really are struggling for any kind of pace or direction, and having lost so many experienced people you really can’t help but wonder how long it will take to turn around,” he added. However, Brundle did admit there was one silver lining for the team, as Gasly was able to beat Valtteri Bottas. On Sauber, Brundle said they “risk getting a parking ticket at a pit stop because it takes so long, while they address a design issue on their wheel nut and axle.”

    This is already the second time this month that Alpine has publicly been in the firing line. Only two weeks ago, Eddie Jordan labelled them the “most floundering team” in F1 and described their situation as “absolutely embarrassing”. Jordan added: “Alpine have been disgraceful in not being able to perform for their drivers, for their team, to give them that car to compete in the championship. It’s unacceptable. I wouldn’t put up with it. Shocking."

    ‘Sticks the boot into…’;

    Pierre Gasly: Alpine recovery could take until “end of the year”
    March 28, 2024
    Jaden Diaz-Ndisang
    Last Word On Sports

    Gasly gives verdict on Alpine development. With the resignation of technical director Matt Harman earlier this year, there are fears about the A524’s potential for improvement. After last weekend’s Grand Prix, Gasly offered an honest assessment of the predicament at Alpine:

    “I think we know, compared to last year, exactly what is worse and what is the same,” quotes him as saying. It’s mostly about taking these steps and seeing where it places us… I think we’re not looking ahead to two or three weeks, but rather over four or six months. We’re trying to work out a package that is stronger for the end of the year.”

    These comments are generally congruent with the general consensus of Alpine’s short-term prospects. After all, the A524 is not a car with one specific weakness to address. Instead, the car produced in Enstone needs improvements in all areas. From the engine produced in the Viry factory to the car’s aerodynamic load, there are problems to tackle everywhere.

    “End of the year”;

  3. #263
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    “We were going to be in the mix for points” – Ocon rues missed opportunity in Australia after tear-off wrecks his race.
    “We tried with the strategy, tried to put ourselves in some stage of the race a decent position in case there is any red flag,” he said
    13:11 Thu, 28 Mar 2024.
    Formula One - Official Site

    Alpine’s struggles this season have been well documented and, while on paper their race in Australia looked like more of the same disappointment towards the back of the field, there was actually plenty of cause for optimism – at least on Esteban Ocon’s side of the garage, despite him coming home 16th.

    The Frenchman had made it out of Q1 for the first time this season on Saturday, before competing with his midfield rivals for the opening stint of the race – until a helmet tear-off got lodged in his brake duct, forcing an extra pit stop that wrecked his strategy.

    It’s an issue that could have affected any driver on the grid, and in Melbourne, it just happened to be Ocon who fell foul of the small strip of plastic. “It’s an unfortunate race as I’m the only one to do the three stops today because of that issue and we were running on for possible points today,” Ocon said after the race.

    ‘Ocon rues missed opportunity’;

    Ocon: Visor tear-off cost likely points finish to Alpine F1 team
    Esteban Ocon believes that he was in contention for a top 10 finish in the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix before a visor tear-off triggered an unplanned pitstop.
    13:41 Tue, 26 Mar 2024.
    Adam Cooper

    Ocon had made his first tyre change on lap 9 just before the tear-off became lodged in a brake duct of his Alpine A524, triggering overheating. At the time, he was in a fight with Kevin Magnussen, Alex Albon and Nico Hulkenberg, with both Haas drivers eventually finishing in the points. However, the brake temperature issue obliged Ocon to make a second stop just seven laps after his first.

    It was too early to allow him to get to the flag without a third stop later in the race to refit the little-used hard tyres that he had abandoned earlier. He was classified 16th behind the Saubers of Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu, both of whom suffered lengthy delays in the pits.

    "Before the tear-off we were fighting with Kevin, Alex and I was in front of Nico,” said Ocon when asked about his race by “So we were on for possible points, from ninth to 11th, I think that would have been where we finished today.”

    ‘Visor tear-off cost likely points finish’;

    Crying in the Melbourne car park at 2019 grand prix was my career low – Ocon
    19th March 2024, 13:07
    Written by Keith Collantine

    Esteban Ocon has described how the lowest moment of his Formula 1 career came when he wept in the car park during the Australian Grand Prix weekend five years ago. He was facing a season with a race seat having lost his place at Force India to Lance Stroll, whose father had purchased the team. Ocon had been poised to join Renault for 2019, but the deal fell through at the last minute.

    Although Ocon found a role at Mercedes as their reserve driver, when he turned up for the first race of the season in Australia he learned he faced a long wait to sample their W10 chassis. “Turning up at the first race, speaking to Mercedes about when was I going to be testing the car, they said, ‘oh yeah you are going to test in three or four months’,” he told the High Performance Podcast.

    “Then I came back in the car back then and I cried in the parking lot, I remember. Luckily we found the solution to come back again. I think that was the lowest [moment],” he continued, “Australia, 2019. I was super-happy for the team also on the success that they were having because I was part of that, I was contributing with the simulator work, all the development.”

    ‘Crying in the Melbourne car park’;

    ‘Keep bringing up’: ‘Nasty people’ in the F1 paddock keep bringing up one thing about Alpine this season
    Thu 28 March 2024 19:30
    David Comerford
    F1 Oversteer

    ‘Nasty people’ in the paddock keep making the same point about Alpine behind the scenes, journalist Joe Saward says. Alpine sit bottom of the constructors’ championship after three races as one of the three teams who have yet to score a point, alongside Williams and Sauber.

    And Saward, writing in a blog post after the Australian Grand Prix, says this has led to mocking comments elsewhere in the F1 pit lane. The French manufacturer finished a respectable sixth in last year’s championship with 120 points and two podium finishes.

    Alpine’s ‘100 race’ project mocked: Saward says that some are deriding Alpine for the ‘100-race’ vow they made during the 2021 season. Back then, the now-deposed CEO Laurent Rossi told the official F1 website the team was aiming for multiple podium finishes in 2024.

    The reality, of course, is far more bleak, and as such, the future of Renault’s ownership is in doubt. “Nasty people keep bringing up the “100 race” project, first devised in 2021,” Saward wrote. “By the end of this season, the team’s total will hit 90 races, which means that the whole thing looks like a massive cock-up which Renault might wish to move on from.”

    ‘Alpine’s ‘100 race’ project mocked’;

    Alpine drivers pin hopes on Suzuka upgrade
    MARCH 26, 2024

    Alpine is pinning its hopes on the next race in Japan to trigger a wave of momentum that begins to pull Renault's once-great team off the back of the 2024 grid. Actually, following the disastrous pace seen in Bahrain and Jeddah, French duo Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly already looked happier in Melbourne - before niggly problems spoiled the final result.

    “It's frustrating”, Ocon told the French broadcaster Canal Plus, "because I was in front of Magnussen, I was fighting with Albon, we were in the fight for the last points.”

    “But there will be new features on the car in Japan”, he revealed, referring to the next grand prix at the fabled Suzuka circuit next weekend. “We will have to see how much this brings us in performance.”

    ‘Pin hopes on Suzuka upgrade’;

    Alpine’s breakthrough moment?: Glimpse of hope for Suzuka
    March 26, 2024
    Andrew Maitland

    Looking towards the upcoming Japanese Grand Prix, the Alpine team is eager to introduce critical upgrades that could potentially shift their fortunes in the 2024 Formula 1 season. Following shockingly underwhelming performances in Bahrain and Jeddah, the French pairing of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly found a glimmer of optimism in Melbourne, though minor issues ultimately marred their outcomes.

    Currently, Alpine shares the unfortunate distinction with Williams and Sauber of not having scored any points in the first three races of the season. Gasly remains hopeful, however, about the potential impact of the upcoming upgrades. “I hope the new parts will bring us closer to the cars in front,” he said optimistically. “We know what to focus on, and we’re trying to do the best we can with what we have, which is what we’ve done so far.”

    ‘Glimpse of hope for Suzuka’;

    Alpine F1 at a crossroads: Time to chart an exit strategy
    27/03/2024 at 15:12
    Phillip van Osten

    With poor results, shaky reliability, a bleak outlook and a concerning personnel churn, the Alpine F1 team finds itself navigating troubled waters. However, amidst these challenges, a timely opportunity awaits on its doorstep.

    Let’s cut to the chase. By “timely opportunity”, we mean Alpine taking advantage of eye watering team valuations in Formula 1 to sell its whole lock, stock and barrel, and terminate its ill-fated venture at the pinnacle of motorsport while ensuring a substantial return on investment for parent company Renault.

    It’s time for Alpine to open its books, save face and seek the highest bidder, as viable alternatives are as scarce as water in the desert. Stuck in the Mud Since 2016 - Ever since Renault grabbed the reins of a team in 2016 that was pretty much just the Lotus F1 name, they've been stuck in a colossal mess that seems trickier to wriggle out of than a greased pig at a county fair.

    ‘Stuck in the Mud Since 2016’;

  4. #264
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    Stake F1’s glaring admission with crippling pit stop troubles expected to continue.
    Stake F1 could be in for more pit stop woes with Xevi Pujolar admitting they need more “robust” modifications after another 30s stop for Valtteri Bottas in Australia.
    26 Mar 2024 11:15 AM
    Michelle Foster

    At the start of a season in which Stake F1 are desperately fighting to score a single point, the Hinwil team’s efforts have been blighted by lengthy pit stops. While Bottas was delayed in the pits at the season-opening race in Bahrain due to a wheel-nut issue, his team-mate Zhou Guanyu suffered the same fate in Saudi Arabia.

    But despite the team making changes ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, another 31.18s stop for Bottas means it’s evident Stake F1 issues have not been resolved. “From the first race, we found some issues with pit stops, with the cross-thread,” trackside engineer Pujolar said. “It’s something that we don’t find when we do free practice, or even during the winter, we didn’t find a problem.”

    ‘Crippling pit stop troubles expected to continue’;

    ‘A 30 second pit stop is not acceptable’ – Bottas fuming after another Sauber pit stop problem
    24 Mar 2024
    Formula One - Official Site (Video)

    For the third race in a row Kick Sauber suffered pit stop issues in Melbourne, possibly robbing Valtteri Bottas of a chance of points in the Australian Grand Prix.

    ‘A 30 second pit stop is not acceptable’;

    What's caused Sauber's terrible F1 pitstops in 2024?
    Mar 25, 2024
    by Edd Straw
    The Race

    Sauber is not expected to have a definitive fix for the disastrous pitstop problems that have blighted it so far this season for another three or four races. Sauber introduced countermeasures for the Australian Grand Prix weekend that it hoped would eliminate the problem, even though this came at a time cost.

    Slowest Australian GP pitstops (per DHL)
    30. Zhou (Sauber) - 3.40s
    31. Piastri (McLaren) - 3.51s
    32. Bottas (Sauber) - 3.63s
    33. Gasly (Alpine) - 5.04s
    34. Ocon (Alpine) - 14.71s (tear-off in brake duct)
    35. Zhou (Sauber) - 20.20s (car stalled)
    36. Bottas (Sauber) - 31.18s (wheelnut issue)

    Head of trackside engineering Xevi Pujolar confirmed that the parts requiring changes come from an external supplier. The modified designs of the wheelnuts and the front hubs will take time to produce given the metallurgical processes required to manufacture them, hence the wait. The team is unable to revert to parts used last year because they are not compatible with the completely revised 2024 front suspension.

    ‘…another three or four races…’;

    Bottas’ future hanging by a threat after harsh critique of Sauber failures
    March 25, 2024
    Andrew Maitland

    In a rare and alarming development, Valtteri Bottas has publicly aired his grievances with Sauber, a team increasingly integrated into the Audi brand. His criticisms come at a time when speculation is mounting that he may not be included in the team’s future roster as it transitions to a works Audi setup by 2026.

    Roger Benoit, a seasoned F1 journalist with intimate knowledge of Sauber, chose not to delve into the team’s morale. Instead, he remarked, “There is no need to report on the mood in the team,” noting, “The sad and stony faces say it all.” Among those displaying a “stony face” is the usually upbeat and fan-favorite Finn, Bottas.

    Despite having a victorious background with Mercedes, he now finds himself arguably overshadowed by his teammate, Guanyu Zhou. Post-race in Melbourne, Bottas did not mince words about the team’s shortcomings, emphasizing, “We could have scored points today,” but lamented, “But if we can’t fix the pitstops, it doesn’t matter how the car is or how well you drive. And apparently it still hasn’t been fixed.”

    ‘Bottas’ future hanging by a threat’;

    Loose wheel nut costs Sauber points and €5,000
    14:39 Sun, 24 Mar 2024.
    Malay Mail

    MELBOURNE, March 24 — A loose wheel nut from Valtteri Bottas’s car cost Sauber their first points of the season and a €5,000 (RM25,587) fine at the Australian Grand Prix today after it came out of the tyre gun and rolled into the active pitlane. The incident was the latest in a series of pitlane problems for the Swiss team who will become the Audi factory outfit from 2026.

    It was the third race in succession that Sauber had suffered pitstop issues, with Chinese driver Guanyu Zhou losing time in Bahrain with a cross-threaded nut and Bottas in Saudi Arabia. “We had implemented mitigation measures for our pitstop issue, something that has improved the situation but, as we have seen, not completely solved the problem,” said team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi.

    ‘A loose wheel nut came out of the tyre gun and rolled into the active pitlane’;

  5. #265
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    Carlos Sainz urged by Sky F1 pundit to call Mercedes ‘every day’ before ‘wasting’ prime years.
    Karun Chandhok: “I’d be on the phone to Toto every single day to send him every possible metric and spreadsheet of why he is an equal to Charles Leclerc.”
    01 Apr 2024 10:30 AM
    Michelle Foster

    Dropped by Ferrari before the first race of the championship, the Scuderia having opted to retain Charles Leclerc with Lewis Hamilton as his team-mate in his stead, the Spaniard has put in two stellar auditions for 2025. Chandhok wondering if Sainz to Audi as the next step is even something the driver wants.

    “Everyone just assumes he’s going to Audi for 2026,” the former F1 driver told Sky Sports. “I just don’t see why he wants to go there, and I don’t think he wants to go there. “I think he will think about going further down the line towards the latter part of his career, but Audi are not going to win the World Championship in ’26. ’27 or probably ’28. They’re not.”

    “For Sainz, by the time he goes to Audi, let’s say gets a championship contender in ’29, he’s going to be 38 years old. This is the prime of his career! He cannot afford to waste it with a new start-up team. He needs to be trying to do everything he can to get in that Mercedes seat.”

    “I’d be on the phone to Toto every single day…”;

    Ferrari told they've made a mistake with Lewis Hamilton as problem 'messing everything up'
    Lewis Hamilton will replace Carlos Sainz at Ferrari next season, despite having 10 years on the Spaniard and having made a poor start to the current season with Mercedes
    12:23, 1 Apr 2024
    By Felix Keith Sports Reporter
    The Mirror

    Ferrari have made a huge mistake by ditching Carlos Sainz to sign Lewis Hamilton next season, according to former Formula 1 driver Christian Danner. "If you want Hamilton, you’ve kept the wrong one because he (Sainz) is faster, but that’s highly political," he told MotorsportMagazin.

    "He (Vasseur) should have waited a little longer. It wasn’t a necessity. I wouldn’t blame Lewis for stumbling at the moment, but one thing is clear. Sainz in this kind of form, when he has Leclerc under control like this, you can say that he (Vasseur) perhaps made his decision too early.”

    “Sainz is approaching it with a commitment, a joy and an aggressiveness. I really like that. It also requires a fervent attitude: 'Now it’s me and no one else'. You can see it not only in his eyes but in every corner and at the moment, Carlos Sainz is messing everything up at Ferrari. First of all, you’ve signed the wrong driver for next year. Hamilton is behind, he (Sainz) is much better."

    ‘Huge mistake by ditching Carlos Sainz’;

    Jeremy Clarkson discloses big F1 fear after Carlos Sainz’s comeback win
    01 Apr 2024 12:30 PM
    Oliver Harden

    Celebrity F1 fan Jeremy Clarkson fears modern grand prix cars are too easy to drive after Carlos Sainz recovered from appendix surgery to win in Australia. Writing in his column for The Sun, Clarkson said: “Just a few days after having his appendix out, Ferrari Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz flew to Australia, climbed into his car and won the race.”

    “Naturally, many people saw this as a heroic display of stiff-upper-lip determination and spunk. I wonder, though. We keep being told that these F1 cars are road-going fighter jets. That they are a volcanic orgy of noise and G-forces. And that you need to be superhuman to control one.”

    “Really? I only ask because Carlos, pictured in hospital, was plainly in some discomfort before the race but he seemed to manage for nearly two hours in the car. Which leads me to believe that walking up to a Formula 1 car is actually harder these days than driving it.”

    ‘Volcanic orgy of noise and G-forces’;

    Barretto: He’s hot property after his brilliant Melbourne win – but where will Sainz be racing in 2025?
    1st April 2024, 10:32
    Lawrence Barretto
    F1 Correspondent & Presenter
    Formula One - Official Site

    As Carlos Sainz said in Australia, “life sometimes is crazy”. This year has so far been a whirlwind for the Spaniard. It began by him losing his drive at Ferrari to Lewis Hamilton for 2025. But he put that behind him to score a superb podium in the season opener in Bahrain.

    He then missed the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after being diagnosed with appendicitis, only to come back 16 days later and win the Australian Grand Prix. He remains the only driver other than Max Verstappen to win a Grand Prix since November 13, 2022 – and he is in the form of his life. Yet as it stands, he doesn’t have a job next season.

    ‘Where will Sainz be racing in 2025?’;

    A seat for Carlos Sainz: his F1 2025 contract contenders
    Four teams are rumoured to be interested in Sainz for a 2025 Formula 1 seat: Red Bull, Mercedes, Sauber, and Aston Martin
    March 31, 2024
    Hannah May

    Following his victory in Australia last weekend, Carlos Sainz has propelled himself to the top of the driver market for 2025. The Spaniard found himself without a seat for the 2025 season after Ferrari announced that they signed Lewis Hamilton for next year to drive alongside Charles Leclerc.

    The Ferrari driver has already made a good impression across the wider F1 paddock. Mario Andretti, former F1 driver, spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport and was asked if he was surprised that Sainz took the victory in Australia rather than his teammate, Leclerc. He responded: “Not at all. I have always said that both Carlos and Charles are drivers capable of winning races and even a Championship. They are both World Championship material, we have seen it and we continue to see it.”

    As reported by Racing Infinity, another former F1 driver, Hans-Joachim Stuck, said: “Frederic Vasseur will be angry that he made the decision. I never understood the switch from Sainz to Hamilton.” He continued: “I always wondered why Ferrari would dismiss a driver like Carlos Sainz. After the race you could see that he was still very badly affected by his appendectomy. So you have to rate his win even higher because he did a great job. And that was once again confirmation of the doubts about his dismissal.”

    ‘Red Bull’s second seat, Mercedes throw their hat in the ring, Sainz family links to Audi, Eddie Jordan thinks Aston Martin is an option’;

  6. #266
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    Jacques Villenueve calls foul on Toto Wolff’s Max Verstappen interest with ulterior motive suggested.
    Toto Wolff does not really want Max Verstappen at Mercedes, but is just trying to “annoy” Red Bull, believes 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve.
    31 Mar 2024 10:00 AM
    Jamie Woodhouse

    Wolff is very much aware that Mercedes must up their game to become an enticing alternative for Verstappen, as Villeneuve returned to his point that Wolff is just trying to get under Red Bull’s skin.

    “I can’t see him at Mercedes because they lost the championship to Red Bull and Max,” Villeneuve continued. “It would definitely not be because he really wanted Max. It would be more to do with wanting to get at Red Bull.”

    ‘Toto Wolff’s ulterior motive suggested’;

    Wolff's Verstappen pursuit purely to 'annoy' Red Bull – Villeneuve
    Ex-F1 driver Jacques Villeneuve believes Mercedes boss Toto Wolff does not actually want Max Verstappen.
    30 March 7:00PM
    Nick Golding

    Ex-Formula 1 driver Jacques Villeneuve has shared his opinion on Mercedes' interest in Max Verstappen, with the Canadian believing Toto Wolff is just trying to "annoy" Red Bull.

    Wolff has told media that he wants to sign the three-time world champion, although Villeneuve believes the Mercedes boss is saying this purely to annoy Red Bull and actually has zero interest in the Dutchman.

    "I can't imagine Toto Wolff wanting Max. The only way he would entertain the idea would just be to annoy Red Bull," Villeneuve explained, as reported by The Express.

    ‘Toto Wolff does not actually want Max Verstappen’;

    Jacques Villeneuve raises Toto Wolff suspicions as Mercedes flirt with Max Verstappen

    Jacques Villeneuve has his own thoughts on Toto Wolff calling for Max Verstappen to join Mercedes.
    10:06, Sat, Mar 30, 2024
    By Alex Turk
    Daily and Sunday Express

    Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has made it clear that he would welcome Max Verstappen as Lewis Hamilton's blockbuster replacement next season. However, former driver Jacques Villeneuve is unconvinced the Austrian would be making a move for the good of Mercedes rather than sticking the knife into Red Bull.

    In the background, Mercedes have been flirting with the idea of poaching Verstappen from their rivals at the end of the season as they prepare for Hamilton's switch to Ferrari. But Villeneuve has questioned the truth of Wolff's claims that he wants the 26-year-old to join the Silver Arrows, suggesting his reasoning would stem deeper than solely desiring his driving ability.

    ‘Jacques Villeneuve has his own thoughts’;

    Villeneuve: Wolff just baiting Red Bull with Verstappen talk
    11:00 Sun, 31 Mar 2024.
    Andrew Lewin

    Former Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve believes that Toto Wolff's recent comments about being interested in signing Max Verstappen are simply a case of the Mercedes boss getting under the skin of their Red Bull rivals. "I can't imagine Toto Wolff wanting Max," Villeneuve said this week, in quotes carried by the Daily Express newspaper. "The only way he would entertain the idea would just be to annoy Red Bull.”

    "I can't see him at Mercedes," Villeneuve continued, explaining that the squad was still smarting at the say Verstappen won his first title in controversial circumstances in the 2021 season finale. "They lost the championship to Red Bull and Max. It would definitely not be because [Wolff] really wanted Max, it would be more to do with wanting to get at Red Bull," Villeneuve insisted.

    ‘Getting under the skin of their Red Bull rivals’;

    Revealed: Toto Wolff’s unflattering Mercedes W15 nickname amid ‘lost our way’ admission
    31 Mar 2024 7:45 AM
    Oliver Harden

    Toto Wolff has described the Mercedes W15 as the best of a bad bunch after the disappointments of 2022/23, admitting the team have “lost our way” in F1 over recent years.

    The W15’s lacklustre performance comes after technical director Allison claimed over the winter that Mercedes were aiming to be “in with a shout” of winning both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ World Championships after establishing a “pretty ambitious program” with the 2024 car.

    In a frank admission, Wolff – who memorably christened the team’s 2017 chassis a “diva” after an inconsistent start to that season – has described the W15 as “the best of the bad” cars Mercedes have produced since F1’s 2022 rule changes.

    ‘Unflattering Mercedes W15 nickname’;

    Wolff: Wind-tunnel data, not ‘dogma' to blame for W15 woes
    1st April 2024, 11:03
    Phillip van Osten

    Toto Wolff believes the current troubles impacting Mercedes’ W15 are rooted in correlation issues between the team’s wind tunnel and on-track data, dismissing suggestions of “dogmatism” within the Brackley squad.

    Wolff believes the persistent issues impacting its charger point to a fundamental problem with the team's wind tunnel data, how it is collected and interpreted, rather than to a flawed design philosophy. “When I look at the positives, I think we took many potential root causes out of the equation,” Wolff explained, quoted by Autosport.

    “We weren't sure about our suspension. We weren't sure about the stiffness of our gearbox carrier. We had a vibrating steering rack. All of those things have disappeared. But fundamentally, whatever we see in the tunnel doesn't correlate with what's happening on the track.”

    ‘Current Mercedes’ W15 troubles are rooted in correlation issues between the team’s wind tunnel and on-track data’;

    Toto Wolff reveals Mercedes W15 breakthrough despite continued correlation issues
    31 Mar 2024 5:00 PM
    Thomas Maher

    Toto Wolff is choosing to see the positives of Mercedes’ recent work to figure out why the performance of the W15 isn’t matching their expectations. While the Mercedes W15 is a more pleasant machine to drive than its most recent predecessors, the performance level of the car doesn’t appear to be a major step forward despite the change to a different concept of design philosophy.

    But Wolff is clinging to the positives of the situation, revealing that many of the ideas behind why the car isn’t behaving have been ruled out as a result of the work being undertaken in the wind tunnel. “When I look at the positives, I think we took many potential root causes out of the equation,” Wolff said of Mercedes addressing the weaknesses of its recent ground-effect creations.

    ‘Wolff is clinging to the positives of the situation’;

  7. #267
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    ‘I’m going to end you’ – Damon Hill recalls ‘bold’ Daniel Ricciardo comment as McLaren nightmare returns.
    “The news had come that he was going to be driving for McLaren alongside Lando and he walked past, went up to him and said in a kind of jokey way: ‘I’m going to end you.’
    01 Apr 2024 3:00 PM
    Oliver Harden

    Appearing on the F1 Nation podcast, Hill recalled Ricciardo interrupting Norris during a Sky F1 interview at the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to warn his future team-mate that he was going to finish his career at McLaren. Asked about Ricciardo’s current struggles, he said: “It’s reminiscent of what happened when he went to McLaren.”

    “I remember – I think it was at Imola, doing some stuff with Sky – we were interviewing Lando. The news had come that he was going to be driving for McLaren alongside Lando and he walked past, went up to him and said in a kind of jokey way: ‘I’m going to end you’.”

    “I remember thinking: ‘Ouch, that was a bit of a bold comment’ – and it [turned out to be] the other way around. He never felt comfortable in McLaren – he was hunting all the time for setup – and the same story is coming out now from the RB. There’s only so many times you can do that.”

    ‘It [turned out to be] the other way around’;

    Ex-champ says ‘fussy’ Ricciardo’s career could ‘evaporate’ without one key change: F1 Pit Talk
    April 2nd, 2024 1:46 pm
    Michael Lamonato from Fox Sports
    Fox Sports (Australia)

    The 2024 Formula 1 season is only three rounds deep, but the Daniel Ricciardo pile-on has been immense. In the opinion of one former world champion, it’s a matter of his mindset as he grapples with his thoroughly midfield car. This weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix will be an interesting test of whether Ricciardo can put mind over matter, particularly with one fewer hour of practice after he makes way for another Red Bull junior to take over his car on Friday.

    Damon Hill, the 1996 Formula 1 world champion, thinks Daniel Ricciardo is out of form because he’s become too “fussy” about his expectations of the car. Ricciardo has struggled for one-lap pace in the opening three rounds of a career-critical season. He is yet to qualify inside the top 10, and he bombed out of qualifying in 18th at his home Australian Grand Prix.

    Hill said 242-race veteran Ricciardo’s troubles were founded on being too particular about his demands of the car. “Maybe he’s one of these drivers who’s matured too quickly,” Hill told F1 Nation. “You get to the point where you become fussy about how you like your car. When they’re very young they don’t ask the question. Look at Ollie Bearman [in Saudi Arabia]. They get one go. They don’t know anything else. They just drive.”

    ‘Become too “fussy”!’;

    Daniel Ricciardo’s ex-team-mate reacts to struggles which ‘don’t make sense’ as pressure mounts
    31 Mar 2024 7:00 PM
    Thomas Maher

    Nico Hulkenberg is finding Daniel Ricciardo’s struggles for performance baffling, having seen no signs of it during their time as teammates. Having worked closely alongside Ricciardo in 2019, Hulkenberg said he doesn’t really understand what’s going on with his former teammate.

    “No, it doesn’t really make sense, and I don’t understand it,” Hulkenberg told the media in Australia when asked about Ricciardo’s struggles. He felt, in 2019 when he moved in, he was very competitive and on the pace. Since then, the McLaren times, which obviously were still the same generation cars [before] the new generation cars, yeah, it’s tricky.”

    Hulkenberg opted against trying to guess why Ricciardo might be struggling. “It’s tricky, especially from the outside, if you don’t have all the info and all the data, it’s tricky to judge,” he said. But yeah, I don’t know why”.

    ‘Struggles which don’t make sense’;

    Japanese showdown looms for F1 RB drivers
    18:46 Sun, 31 Mar 2024.
    byRay Leathern
    The South African

    Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda, two F1 RB drivers in the Red Bull stable, are on a crash course for a showdown in Japan next weekend. Tsunoda has out performed the likeable Aussie at every race in 2024 so far. Not usually liberal with his praise, Red Bull’s Dr. Helmut Marko has said several times in 2024 so far that Yuki Tsunoda is doing enough to keep his place in the Red Bull ranks.

    “Franz Tost and I have always believed in him,” he wrote in a Speed Week column. “His problems were always lack of control, outbursts and a tendency to make mistakes. But all of that has gone this season,” wrote the Austrian. The same sort of praise, however, is not being directed at experienced F1 race winner Ricciardo, who at 34 was given another chance to keep his career alive as one of the F1 RB drivers.

    The New Zealand Herald newspaper is also reporting that Marko has told Ricciardo that his seat is only guaranteed for the next two races. These are Japan, where Tsunoda will have home-town support, and the Chinese GP in Beijing. For Miami, Red Bull reserve driver Liam Lawson could bounce back into the race seat after impressing when Ricciardo was injured last year. Rumours suggest the attempt to revive Ricciardo’s career was actually the brainchild of the embattled Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.

    ‘Japanese showdown‘;

    Traffic lights, tacos and moustaches – Getting to know the real Yuki Tsunoda
    31 March 2024
    Mike Seymour
    Staff Writer
    Formula One - Official Site

    Formula 1 drivers are quizzed by scores of journalists at each and every Grand Prix weekend, but rarely do we glean any insight into their personalities and interests. That’s what our new series, Getting to Know, is seeking to change, with RB’s Yuki Tsunoda the first to face our unusual set of questions and reveal more about his life away from the track...

    Can you describe yourself in three words? Ohh, okay, describe myself… I love food, I love activities and… Ohh, this is difficult… Sing well!
    Which three F1 personalities past or present would you invite to a dinner party and why? The past… I don’t know much about drivers in the past, like history. Who was in the Rush movie? James Hunt? James Hunt!

    And what about a couple from the current paddock? It’s very difficult. Who’s there? Hmm. Yeah, of course, Daniel [Ricciardo] for sure. Alex [Albon] and Lando [Norris]. I would put Pierre as well. I know it’s four, but…
    If you could go on holiday with a current driver, who would it be and why? Hmm. I want to try Checo! He knows a lot of beautiful Mexican food and I want to explore… Recently I’m quite into Mexican food as well so I want him to take me to a lot of nice restaurants.

    ‘Traffic lights, tacos and moustaches’;

    Tsunoda 'proving to the people' with his performances as he reflects on strong start to 2024
    29 March 2024
    Formula One - Official Site

    “The team did a fantastic job throughout the week, consistent from FP1, top 10 consistently and finally able to score the points. We just needed these points to have a good start to the season,” he said afterwards. “I would say very, very happy with my performance. I think particularly this week we were very consistent. Also, the qualifying last three races, pretty good as well.”

    "I needed a bit of a good race, clean race to prove I could also have a good, strong race not just the qualifying and I think this was a good race – this as the race I was able to prove [that] and I just keep to what I’m doing and hopefully also I can score points in Suzuka as well.” Tsunoda’s home race is up next, and with Suzuka also boasting some of the high-speed corners that characterise Albert Park, RB will be confident they can replicate this kind of result.

    'Proving to the people';

    ‘Yuki a high-flyer or Daniel so weak?’ – Helmut Marko ‘puzzled’ by Daniel Ricciardo
    30 Mar 2024 5:00 PM
    Jamie Woodhouse

    Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko is perplexed by the struggles of Daniel Ricciardo, claiming “something never fits with him”, though it has also left question marks over how good Yuki Tsunoda actually is. Asked if Tsunoda is a genuine Red Bull seat contender, Marko replied: “You’d have to have another driver as a comparison.

    “The question is: Has Yuki become a high-flyer or is Daniel so weak? There is no objective answer after three races on three completely different circuits.” Ricciardo is in desperate need of a strong showing next time out at the Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka a track where he made the podium only once during his Red Bull stint back in 2017.


  8. #268
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    Wolff cancels plan to skip Japanese GP amid Mercedes struggles.
    Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff will attend this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix after altering his plans to miss the event.
    Tuesday 2 April 2024 15:42, UK
    Sky Sports

    Wolff's change of schedule comes after a hugely disappointing start to the season for the Silver Arrows. A double DNF in Australia last time out left Mercedes fourth in the constructors' standings and 72 points behind Red Bull, with Ferrari only four points back from the leaders.

    After seeing both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell retire from the race in Melbourne, Wolff said it was "fair" to question his position as team principal. "As a corner of this business, I need to be sure that my contribution is positive and creative," Wolff said in Melbourne.

    ‘Wolff's change of schedule’;

    Toto Wolff books last-minute flight to Japanese GP as Mercedes problems mount
    Toto Wolff has cancelled his original plan to skip this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.
    15:57, Tue, Apr 2, 2024
    By Archie Griggs
    Daily and Sunday Express

    Wolff was initially expected to be absent in Suzuka this weekend, with the decision being taken before the start of the new F1 season. However, it has since been confirmed by Mercedes that Wolff will be in the garage as usual after cancelling his plan to stay away.

    The news of Wolff's decision to attend the Japanese Grand Prix comes after a hugely disappointing start to the season for Mercedes. The eight-time Constructors' Championship winners have only earned 26 points from the first three races, leaving them adrift of Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren in the current standings.

    ‘Last-minute flight’;

    Hill sees Suzuka as ‘big test’ for Red Bull-Ferrari rivalry
    02/04/2024 at 12:32
    Phillip van Osten

    Sky F1 consultant Damon Hill believes next weekend’s Japanese GP will represent a decisively indicative test for Red Bull’s rivals and especially Ferrari. While Hill anticipates Verstappen remaining the favorite for pole position, Sunday’s scenario could be a different story.

    “I think this is going to be a big test for the competition against Red Bull at Suzuka,” Hill said on the F1 Nation podcast. “I think this is really going to test the aero efficiency, tyre wear efficiency in the car as well.”

    “But Ferrari are quick in a straight line, and it is a lot of straight line, a lot of high-speed stuff in Suzuka, and what I really hope is that Ferrari are able to take the race to Red Bull during the actual race itself.

    ‘Big test’;

    F1 Nation: Ferrari in the fight, McLaren in the mix and Ricciardo's struggles – it's our Japanese GP preview
    2nd April 2024, 12:15
    Formula One - Official Site

    After Ferrari's 1-2 in Australia, can Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc race for the win again as F1 arrives in Japan? The F1 Nation team are here to discuss all that and more ahead of this weekend's race in Suzuka.

    It was an unfamiliar sight for many watching Max Verstappen retire from the Australian Grand Prix early on as the reigning world champion suffered a brake problem. But he and Red Bull will want to bounce back with a bang just as they did in Japan last year following Sainz's trumph in Singapore.

    There's also McLaren to consider out in Suzuka. The squad secured a double podium here in 2023 and Lando Norris felt he had the pace to score second in Melbourne. Do they have the pace to be in the mix in Japan? On this episode of F1 Nation 1996 World Champion Damon Hill and Spanish journalist Jesus Balseiro join Tom Clarkson to answer all the big questions.

    ‘Japanese GP preview’;

    F1: McLaren make shock technical change ahead of Japanese Grand Prix as David Sanchez leaves team
    David Sanchez has left his role as McLaren's technical director for car concept and performance after just three months.
    Tuesday 2 April 2024 14:51, UK
    Nigel Chiu
    Sports Journalist
    Formula One - Official Site

    Sanchez's departure is a major surprise as he's only been in the job for three months and it's unusual for a prominent technical figure to leave after such little time.

    "I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this team. While the role we envisioned and had agreed to was not aligned with the reality of the position I found, I leave with respect for the leadership, admiration for the dedication of my colleagues, and appreciation for the openness and honesty in which we discussed and arrived at this decision," said Sanchez.

    "I wish this team continued success as it continues its journey to the front of the grid where it belongs. I look forward to my next challenge within F1."

    ‘McLaren make shock technical change’;

  9. #269
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    Mercedes provide update on Hamilton’s engine after Melbourne failure.
    Mercedes have shared some insight into the investigations going on at their dedicated F1 power unit facility in Brixworth after Lewis Hamilton’s engine-related retirement from the Australian Grand Prix.
    11:24 Tue, 02 Apr 2024.
    Formula One - Official Site

    Hamilton was forced to pull off the track after just 17 laps of racing at Albert Park, with team mate George Russell’s late accident adding insult to injury and marking Mercedes’ first double DNF since the 2018 Austrian Grand Prix.

    Asked during the team’s post-race debrief video if they knew what had caused Hamilton’s failure, Mercedes Technical Director James Allison said: “We do not. The power units will return to the safe hands of the guys at Brixworth, who will be able to figure out what let go. “All we know is the symptoms at the time, which was a rapid loss of oil pressure followed by a shutdown of the engine to protect it.”

    “No doubt as soon as we know then they will jump to with their characteristic energy to make sure that any risk that happens on any other engine is mitigated as best we can.” Allison stressed, however, that there are no major concerns over the team’s reliability moving forward, with “all our focus” instead on extracting more performance from the W15 and getting closer to the front of the field.

    ‘Extracting more performance’;

    Sainz warns major SF-24 upgrade needed to keep up with Red Bull
    01/04/2024 at 13:47
    Phillip van Osten

    While Ferrari secured a surprise 1-2 in the Australian GP, race winner Carlos Sainz warns that the Scuderia will need wait until its first major upgrade for a chance to consistently challenge Red Bull. "Our car worked really well this weekend," the Spaniard said in melbourne. "But it's going to be tough to keep it up there in every track until we bring an upgrade to close that gap that we saw in Bahrain and Jeddah.”

    "But around Australia, from lap one, it felt like a race-winning car. And even if Red Bull were also quick and were on pole, that [1min15.915sec pole lap time] in quali wasn't out of reach for us.”

    "There will be tracks where we are strong like we saw last year. And this year it seems like our race pace is better even on those tracks that we are stronger. And together with a good development programme, I hope that we can challenge Red Bull more often."

    ‘Major SF-24 upgrade needed’;

    Formula 1: Why Max Verstappen was the big winner in Melbourne
    Max Verstappen being knocked out of the Australian Grand Prix hit his Formula 1 critics with a reality that some continue to refuse to embrace.
    Apr 1, 2024
    By Asher Fair
    Beyond the Flag (Weblog)

    For the first time in the last 10 races -- and just the second time in the last 21 -- the Dutch national anthem was not played during the podium celebration of a Formula 1 race, as Red Bull's Max Verstappen was not the winner of the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park Circuit last weekend.

    According to all the social media race engineers and technical analysts logged into Facebook and X during race day, the race should have been a runaway victory for Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, seeing as how the strength of Red Bull is clearly the only reason Verstappen has won as many races as he has over the last three-plus seasons.

    While it could have been a better result for Perez had his car not taken some damage earlier in the race -- and had he not been demoted from third to sixth on the grid due to a qualifying penalty -- he was nowhere close to competing for the win after opening up the year with back-to-back runner-up finishes behind Verstappen, and he missed out on the opportunity to lead the world championship standings for the first time in his career.

    ‘A reality that some continue to refuse to embrace’;

    Red Bull ‘vulnerability’ highlighted: ‘If you haven’t got Max Verstappen, what have you got?’
    30 Mar 2024 12:00 PM
    Jamie Woodhouse

    Ex-McLaren mechanic Marc Priestley believes Max Verstappen’s DNF at the Australian Grand Prix destroyed Red Bull’s aura of invincibility as Carlos Sainz put an end to the winning streak. “To see him disappear out of this race so early with a technical failure was really unusual,” said Priestley on the Chequered Flag podcast.

    “It was an unusual weekend and what that gave was opportunity to everybody else up and down the grid. Everyone suddenly saw – even way down towards the back – people saw the opportunity of points happening, so it’s opened up. What made a great Sunday, a great race, not just because Max Verstappen was out of it, this was a great race anyway and it was close racing, but I think this shows that there is a vulnerability to Red Bull Racing that we all thought there kind of wasn’t.”

    “We thought they were invincible. Well, they’re not. What it does really highlight is the fact that if you’re Red Bull, and you haven’t got Max Verstappen, what have you got? Because Sergio wasn’t there in second place, which is where they really need him to be. So this has highlighted an even bigger problem perhaps for Red Bull Racing.”

    ‘Marc Priestley believes DNF destroyed Red Bull’s aura of invincibility’;

    Concerning Red Bull prediction made for Japan after Australian GP setback
    01 Apr 2024 6:45 AM
    Thomas Maher

    Red Bull endured a difficult weekend in Australia, but the Japanese Grand Prix could prove very different, according to Timo Glock. “With Dr. Helmut Marko’s smile, he knows for sure that Max will regain his old strength with the car in Japan,” Glock said in his expert column for Sky Germany ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.

    “It’s the dominance of the car. You could also see here [in Melbourne] in the fast corners that Red Bull is one step ahead of everyone else. They will find their old strength again in Japan.” Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, speaking after the Australian Grand Prix, gave a wry smile when asked about whether Verstappen will be heading to Suzuka seeking to win in such a dominant fashion again as a swift response to the Melbourne disappointment.

    “I think Max will arrive in Japan sufficiently well-charged,” he said. “Suzuki is a great track, it’s a track that we’ve always performed well, and it is Honda’s home circuit. The drivers enjoy it and love racing there. So we’re looking forward to going back.”

    ‘Max will regain his old strength with the car in Japan’;

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    Ferrari must be 'perfect' to defeat Red Bull again – Vasseur.
    Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur believes his side must strive for perfection in Japan to claim back-to-back victories.
    3 April 24:10PM
    Nick Golding

    The Maranello-based outfit are confident the SF24 will work in Japan, although they will require more than that to topple Red Bull again. "We head for Japan buoyed by our one-two finish in Australia," said Vasseur. "That winning feeling only serves to make us work even harder to try and experience it again as soon as possible. “

    "The Suzuka track provides a particularly stern test for cars and drivers, which is why it is so popular with them. We believe we have a competitive package, but we know we need to do a perfect job to beat our rivals."

    Ferrari has planned for anything to be thrown at them, including rain, which must always be taken into consideration at Suzuka. "As always in Japan, and this year in particular as it’s the first time we race at Suzuka in early Spring, the weather could play its part, but we have prepared for this possibility back in the factory and we are determined to be front runners," added Vasseur.

    ‘Ferrari must be perfect';

    Mercedes confident in W15 reliability despite Hamilton engine issue
    14:52 Tue, 02 Apr 2024.
    Phillip van Osten

    Mercedes is still searching for the reason behind Lewis Hamilton’s engine failure in the Australian GP, but the Brackley squad heads to Japan this week with no concerns over its car’s reliability.

    Despite the setback, Mercedes is keeping its focus on improving the performance of its W15 contender, while its reliability worries are kept at a minimum.

    “DNFs are thankfully a rare thing for us,” commented Allison. “We have drivers who are particularly good at keeping it on the island and our reliability overall is a strong point.

    ‘On the island’;

    Why Wolff is ditching his break to attend Japan GP
    April 3, 2024
    Andrew Maitland

    In a surprising move, Toto Wolff has reversed his decision to miss the upcoming Japanese GP, deciding to be present amidst the challenges facing Mercedes. With the expansion of the Formula 1 schedule, Wolff had begun to opt out of several long-distance races, including those in Suzuka and Qatar, in recent years.

    However, the ongoing struggles to equip George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, who is set to join Ferrari, with a competitive car for the third year running, have prompted Wolff to reconsider his weekend plans. Wolff has now conceded that his direct method of addressing the team’s issues, often perceived as negative, is due for an overhaul.

    “An Austrian says ‘That’s pretty sh*t’,” Wolff is quoted as saying, with a follow-up that contrasts the sentiment from a British perspective, “A Brit would say ‘That’s challenging’.” He elaborated, “So I have to adapt my way of communicating so as not to put more pressure on the team. The fact that we are not competitive has nothing to do with a lack of effort.”

    ‘That’s pretty sh*t’ to be adapted to ‘That’s challenging’;

    Max previews GP Japan: 'Ready to fight for the win'
    03 April 2024
    Niels Hendrix

    “It has been nice to have had a break with family and friends before the racing starts and always fun to be able to spend some time in Tokyo too. The last race in Melbourne was unfortunate and these things happen, however we achieved nine race wins in a row, which is an impressive feat, so we are looking to come back even stronger for this weekend.”

    “The team is feeling confident for Suzuka: it is an iconic circuit and is always fun to drive. The track has a lot of high speed corners and high degradation and we need to ensure that we optimise our performance where we can, especially with rain forecasted for this weekend. I am looking forward to getting back in the car and ready to fight for the win this weekend.”

    'Ready to fight for the win';

    Red Bull upgrade rumours and tactical slowing: Nine Japanese GP talking points
    3rd April 2024, 7:153rd April 2024, 5:41
    Written by Keith Collantine

    Formula 1 will make an earlier than usual visit to Suzuka this weekend for the Japanese Grand Prix. Red Bull suffered a rare defeat in the last round and will be seeking to reassert themselves. Will they have things all their own way again? Here are the talking points for this weekend’s race.

    Red Bull rebound: For the second year in a row, Red Bull will turn up at the home race of their power unit manufacturer having suffered a rare defeat in the previous round (inflicted, again, by Carlos Sainz Jnr and Ferrari).
    Tsunoda rising, Iwasa arriving: The only Japanese driver in the field heads to his home race on a high after scoring RB’s first points in Melbourne.

    Mercedes the fifth team? The penalty which cost Fernando Alonso sixth place in the Australian Grand Prix… …spared the manufacturer team the humiliation of falling to fifth place in the constructors championship behind two of its customers.
    Williams back to full strength? The team fully expects to have two chassis ready for this weekend, but will again have no spare. That’s a risky situation to face at Suzuka, where the speeds are high and the barriers are close.

    ‘Nine Japanese GP talking points’;

    Podcast: What shock exit means for McLaren's F1 rebuild plans
    Apr 3, 2024
    The Race

    McLaren's shock technical departure and upgrade expectations for the Japanese Grand Prix top the bill in the latest edition of The Race F1 Podcast. Josh Suttill and Glenn Freeman join Edd Straw to explain why David Sanchez has left McLaren just three months into his job there and what it means for the team's recovery plans.

    We also discussion the significance of performance at Suzuka this weekend given the last Japanese Grand Prix was just six months ago, making this the best test yet of how much progress teams have really made. The case for Suzuka being F1's best track is also made, as well as why it needs to remain a mainstain on the calendar beyond its current contract, which runs to 2029.

    ‘McLaren's F1 rebuild plans’;

    Williams confirm both drivers will compete in Japanese GP
    Williams has successfully repaired Alex Albon's chassis which was severely damaged during the Australian Grand Prix.
    3 April 2:29PM
    Nick Golding

    Williams has confirmed that both Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant will compete in this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix, with Albon's destroyed chassis having been successfully repaired. Ahead of this weekend, Albon has thanked the team for their heroic efforts.

    “I am really looking forward to Suzuka, one of my favourite tracks, and of course the amazing Japanese fans," Albon said. “Australia was clearly not how we want to go racing as a team, and it did unfortunately highlight the journey that we’re on. “Despite this, the team trackside and back at Grove has really pulled together in an impressive way to repair the car and deliver it to the track on time, which we are all hugely thankful for."

    ‘Both drivers will compete’;

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