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  1. #291
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    Bottas pleased with Kick Sauber’s pace progress as Zhou rues ‘disappointing start of the year’ after Japan DNF.
    There were mixed emotions for the Kick Sauber team at the Japanese Grand Prix, with Valtteri Bottas taking the positives from the squad’s improvement in pace while Zhou Guanyu was left disappointed after having to retire with a mechanical problem.
    10 April 2024
    Formula One - Official Site

    Bottas ended up near the back of this pack and, after trying to find a way past the Haas of Kevin Magnussen, eventually crossed the line in P14. While this means that Kick Sauber are still yet to score a point in 2024, the 10-time race winner was left feeling optimistic about the car’s speed.

    “Honestly it was a positive day in terms of the pace overall,” Bottas commented after the race “We did stop quite early on the second stop, and actually [at the] same time with all the others.”

    “Unfortunately we ended up behind all the cars that we were racing, so then basically for the rest of the race I was stuck behind Kevin [Magnussen], who had really high top speed, so I couldn’t really find a way around him. But pace-wise I think it’s better than what the result is.”

    ‘Disappointing start of the year’;

    ‘Pace was better than the result’ says Bottas after P14 finish in Japan
    07 Apr 2024
    Formula One - Official Site (Video)

    Valtteri Bottas insisted there were positives for Kick Sauber at Suzuka, despite their points drought continuing.

    ‘Pace was better than the result’;

    Bottas eyes escape from ruinous Stake F1 problem
    Stake F1's recurring problems could be about to end.
    13 April 11:23AM
    Jake Nichol & Aaron Deckers

    The team was not able to react to the issue until it was first detected in testing, but after four races, Bottas feels a turn could be on offer in F1's return to Shanghai. "It is an issue that was kind of there, we didn't know before the season that it would be an issue, and it is not a quick fix," he said.

    "But there is 100% a fix planned, hopefully for China, but it is still not 100%. Even before the Bahrain test, it was not a big concern, but in the test, we started to see some issues.”

    Bottas was on course for a points finish in Australia, before a slow stop ruined his chances as he came home in 14th place on a strong weekend for the 10-time grand prix winner, but he defended the team. "We are in this together, and I was disappointed, the whole team was disappointed," he added. "These things shouldn't happen, but we are taking it seriously and it is a priority to get it sorted."

    ‘There is 100% a fix planned’;

    Bullish Bottas: ‘We can absolutely fight for points’
    06 Apr 2024
    Formula One - Official Site (Video)

    Valtteri Bottas will start the Japanese Grand Prix from P13 on the grid, but is confident of being in the battle for a top 10 finish – assuming Kick Sauber have no more pit stop problems.

    ‘We can absolutely fight for points’;

    Valtteri Bottas 2025 contract chances remain uncertain
    April 12, 2024
    Jaden Diaz-Ndisang
    Last Word On Sports

    Valtteri Bottas is fighting to stay on the Formula 1 grid, but his options are slowly shrinking. There are only three drivers on the 2024 F1 grid with more accolades than Valtteri Bottas. The Finn has taken 10 race victories and 67 podiums in his career, with the majority coming during his five-year Mercedes stint. After a euphoric debut with Alfa Romeo Sauber in 2022, Bottas faces a series of challengers to his seat.

    So far in 2024, misfortune has plagued Bottas in his campaign with Sauber. A generally uninspiring C44 machine has made points difficult to attain. Even worse, the Swiss-based team continues to struggle with pit-stop issues. Their equipment is still causing stops that put the 34-year-old out of points contention.

    Limited options for Bottas. Fundamentally, the former Mercedes driver is in a race against time to keep his F1 career alive. Perhaps most frustratingly, his machinery will make it difficult to secure the landmark results necessary to convince rivals. His performances to start the 2024 campaign have been impressive – but this may not be enough in such a hotly contested market.

    ‘2025 contract chances remain uncertain’;

  2. #292
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    Williams face F1 budget cap issue after £1.5m crash damage in fresh Alex Albon blow.
    With outdated infrastructure and the need to get its 2024 car ready on time for the start of the season, Williams took a gamble and didn't build a spare chassis. However, that backfired at last month's Australian Grand Prix when Alex Albon crashed in practice.
    12:59 Tue, 09 Apr 2024.
    By Daniel Moxon Senior F1 Writer
    The Mirror

    When Sargeant crashed in practice at last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix, they would have been fearing the worst. Fortunately, there was no damage done to the chassis - but Albon smashed up the other one on race day when he and Daniel Ricciardo hit the barrier on the first lap. That chassis has been sent back to Williams' UK base to again be repaired, further delaying production of the spare.

    Even more concerningly for the team, the repair costs have already spiralled to a seven-figure amount that looks likely to have significant repercussions on the rest of the season. Like all F1 teams, Williams left a cushion when it made its pre-season budget cap calculations to account for crash damage. What they would not have expected is to have already racked up such a huge bill after only the first four rounds of a 24-race season.

    Williams have made significant commercial strides in recent times and so have the financial power to deal with the unexpected expense. The team is working with former Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon on that front - he has been brought in as a commercial adviser to the board.

    ‘£1.5m crash damage’;

    Jolyon Palmer's Analysis: Williams' woes in Suzuka | Workday
    09 Apr 2024
    Formula One - Official Site (Video)

    F1 TV's Jolyon Palmer looks at Logan Sargeant and Alex Albon's crashes in Japan as the Williams team's troubles continued. For more analysis subscribe to F1 TV.


    Three crashes in two races taking an “enormous” toll on Williams – Vowles
    8th April 2024, 8:20
    Written by Keith Collantine

    The latest crash suffered by a Williams driver will delay their upgrade programme later in the season. Team principal James Vowles admitted that was an inevitable consequence of Alexander Albon’s first-lap crash with Daniel Ricciardo in yesterday’s Japanese Grand Prix. “The last two weeks have been tough,” Vowles told the official F1 channel. “I think, take any team, to have three major accidents where you pretty much take out all the equipment on the car is enormous.

    “Taking that across the season, you can deal with it. Taking it across just a few races, it’s difficult and the impact of it will be what you expect. We’re making spares as quickly as possible in the background but ultimately performance will have an impact on that. We can’t bring as many updates. The updates that were on the car, unfortunately, are broken. So we’ve got to build those stocks back up and get going again.”

    ‘Three crashes in two races’;

    The brutal cost of Williams's shocking F1 crash streak
    Apr 9, 2024
    by Scott Mitchell-Malm
    The Race

    Three big crashes, two damaged chassis and no spare car adds up to a brutal cost for the Williams Formula 1 team that goes beyond a bill of more than $2million. This is well beyond the worst outcome Williams would have expected for the start of 2024 even though it knowingly took a big gamble ahead of the new season.

    THE BRUTAL COST: The situation was so precarious even before Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix, that Albon claims during his crash he was consciously thinking about how bad it would be for Williams while he was still heading for the wall.

    Unsurprisingly the cost is enormous. The repairs, the replacement floors and wings and suspension components, at least two new gearboxes, the unexpected need to transport the chassis - it all adds up, and the three accidents are likely to cost Williams well over $2million once the full extent of Albon’s Suzuka crash is understood.


    Williams on the brink: Chassis & spare parts nightmare for China
    10:00 Mon, 08 Apr 2024.
    Andrew Maitland

    In the lead-up to the next Formula 1 event in China, a cloud of concern looms over the Williams team, as Alex Albon voices grave apprehensions about the team’s capability to recuperate from a series of setbacks. Williams’ early journey through the 2024 season so far has been marred by a relentless series of mishaps, including delays, a critical shortage of chassis and spare parts, along with significant crash damage.

    James Vowles, the team boss, acknowledged the precarious situation, admitting that the construction of a third chassis is still “A long way away.” This poses a significant challenge for the team as they also grapple with dwindling supplies of crucial spare components, including front and rear wings. Vowles elaborated on the team’s multifaceted efforts, emphasizing that the focus is not solely on the chassis but also on managing spare parts and updates to ensure continuity in their operations.

    ‘On the brink’;

    Formula 1: Why Williams find themselves in even deeper trouble
    Only four races into the 2024 Formula 1 season, Williams appear to be in serious trouble already, and it could greatly hurt them later on.
    Apr 9, 2024
    By Siddharth Bharani-Dharan
    Beyond the Flag (Weblog)

    What could happen later on? Williams not having the availability for the parts they need will prove to be a challenge going forward. As of right now, they are in a race against time to repair the chassis Albon used in Japan. The damage was reported to be serious after the 28-year-old’s crash with Daniel Ricciardo on the opening lap.

    There is no guarantee this chassis will be repaired in time for the Chinese Grand Prix in less than two weeks. In addition, Williams have had to shift their focus to repairs rather than upgrades. Vowles had also stated that the team’s current supply of parts is nearly wiped out.

    Additionally, Williams were expected to get an extra chassis for the season by the Miami Grand Prix in early May. That could be delayed due to the existing chassis repairs that must be done first. Another hardship Williams have been facing is the use of their budget for repairs and parts rather than upgrades.

    ‘No guarantee this chassis will be repaired in time’;

    Revealed: The cost to the budget cap of Williams’ crash damage
    James Vowles details how Williams can recover from expensive damage
    08 Apr 2024
    James Dielhenn

    The total cost to the team is in excess of $2m, according to The Race. That is expenditure which must come out of Williams’ budget cap. The budget for every team is $135m in 2024. From that money, Williams and their rivals must pay for all parts on their cars, everything required to run the car, team personnel, garages and spare items.

    The chassis from Albon’s car will be sent back to the HQ in the UK before being shipped to China, where the fifth round of the season will be staged in two weeks’ time. Williams only possess two chassis. The production of a spare has been delayed by the damage accrued this season. Team principal James Vowles admitted many crucial parts have been destroyed: “Hopefully, we can recycle some of those bits. But, no, they’re pretty much gone.”

    ‘Production of a spare has been delayed’;

    What’s going on at Williams? Crunch time for James Vowles as pressure mounts
    09 Apr 2024 7:30 AM
    Michelle Foster

    James Vowles has talked the talk but now it is time, if you will, to chassis the chassis and spare the spare as while the team was the butt of many a meme in Japan, this is his first big test as Williams’ team boss.

    Speaking even before pre-season testing, before even the first F1 car had put in a single lap in a shakedown, Vowles said Williams would be “late” to the on-track party. But it was, he implied, a well-thought-out and conscious decision. Blah, blah, “chassis technology is different”, blah, blah, “pushing everything to the limits”, and then perhaps more telling “challenged us to push ourselves beyond where we wanted to be”.

    ‘Pressure mounts’;

  3. #293
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    Esteban Ocon shouts at Alpine engineer after fuming at Gasly over Japanese GP collision.
    Alpine driver Esteban Ocon lost his cool with his race engineer at the Japanese GP after being told to "push now" after a collision with teammate Pierre Gasly. The coming together happened on the second restart at Suzuka after the race was red-flagged on Lap 1 as VCARB ace Daniel Ricciardo and Williams' Alex Albon ended up in the tyre barrier heading into Turn 2.
    08:15, Sun, Apr 7, 2024
    By Joshua Mbu
    Daily and Sunday Express

    Alpine's struggles continued in Japan as the team went without points again and nearly suffered a double DNF as their drivers collided. "Pierre gave me a hit at the side, let me know if it's okay," Ocon fumed. As the race progressed with the team still lacking behind its rivals, an Alpine race engineer later told Ocon: "OK Esteban we need to push now please, push now."

    However, the race engineer's insistence only irritated Ocon. Alpine has been one of the worst cars on the grid in 2024 and is yet to score a point this season, and tensions are boiling over. "I am pushing what are you talking about!" Ocon snapped back.

    ‘Alpine's struggles’;

    Esteban Ocon fumes at Pierre Gasly as Alpine F1 team-mates collide at Japanese GP
    Alpine have endured a wretched start to the 2024 F1 season and moods at the Enstone team will not have been boosted by a touch between drivers Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly at Suzuka
    07:08 Sun, 07 Apr 2024.
    By Daniel Moxon Senior F1 Writer
    The Mirror

    Esteban Ocon accused team-mate Pierre Gasly of hitting into his car in a terse radio message at the Japanese Grand Prix. The front-right tyre of Ocon's car hit into the sidepod of the other Alpine, while Gasly's rear-left returned the favour. And the contact left the former very unimpressed and clearly of the opinion that his fellow Frenchman was at fault.

    "Pierre gave me a hit at the side, let me know if it's okay," he yelled over the radio. He would have been relieved when race engineer Josh Peckett informed him that, from what the team could see, there had been no damage done.

    It was clear that they had both been far more fortunate than the two drivers who were already out of the race. Ricciardo and Albon's touch was very slight but enough to send them both off track and into the tyre wall at Turn 2.

    ‘Esteban Ocon fumes’;

    Near disaster for Alpine as Ocon and Gasly collide
    Sunday 7 April 2024 08:45, UK
    Sky Sports

    Alpine team-mates Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly collided with each other during the Japanese Grand Prix.

    ‘Near disaster’;

    Ocon reveals he picked up damage after contact with team mate Gasly on Lap 1
    07 Apr 2024
    Formula One - Official Site (Video)

    Esteban Ocon finished P15 in Japan and described the race as “very tricky” – not least because he damaged his car after making contact with his Alpine team mate Pierre Gasly on the opening lap.

    “Very tricky”;

    Alpine crisis: Could this be the end of their current F1 lineup?
    April 8, 2024
    Andrew Maitland

    Acknowledging the looming possibility that either or both Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly might part ways with the embattled squad by year-end, Alpine has braced itself for such an outcome. The Renault-backed team, despite its official partnership, found itself lagging with the season’s slowest vehicle post-winter tests.

    Upgrades, including a new front wing and much-needed weight cuts, were introduced at Suzuka, though Sunday’s race revealed negligible improvement in Ocon and Gasly’s performance.

    “We were very aggressive on strategy,” Ocon disclosed to Canal Plus, “and we were in the game with the others at one point. But we weren’t fast enough to keep them behind. It was a good test to see exactly where we are,” he continued.

    ‘Alpine crisis’;

    Alpine prepared to lose both drivers for 2025
    Alpine is "prepared" for the eventuality that Esteban Ocon or Pierre Gasly - or both - will abandon the crisis-struck team at the end of the year.
    10:07 Mon, 08 Apr 2024.

    Team boss Bruno Famin says the next updates will only be added to the car in Miami, and insists that he is also trying to install “a better process and a better organisation” at the Viry and Enstone factories.

    Both Ocon and Gasly, however, might clearly accept any offers to jump ship for 2025 - potentially good news for the rookie reserve driver, Jack Doohan. “I think he has been trained and he will be trained this year with quite a long testing program”, Famin said. "We are going to start soon because we need a car, we need a chassis to run that program.”

    “After that, the driver market is going to be very dynamic”, he admitted. "Right now, I can say that we are happy with the drivers we have. But we are prepared for any scenario. Jack needs to test to keep growing - let's see what his future will be. But it's a bit early to answer that question.”

    ‘Alpine is prepared’;

    Gasly rode out ‘very difficult' Japanese GP with damaged Alpine
    08:45 Tue, 09 Apr 2024
    Phillip van Osten

    "I had an amazing first start, I managed to move up three positions,” Gasly recounted after the race.
    "The second start was very good, I managed to pass Esteban and get alongside Yuki and then unfortunately, I got sandwiched – Yuki turning left, Esteban right, and [he] ultimately touched me on the left side of my floor.”

    "After that, I was down something like 40 points of downforce, that it was pretty much game over – I was trying to stay out there, hoping for another red flag to make changes. It was just a racing incident, but it cost us a lot. It was a very long, very difficult afternoon."

    “I got sandwiched”;

    Alpine’s disappointing start to the Formula 1 season has already fuelled talk that its parent company Renault could consider offers to sell the squad.
    Apr 10, 2024, 12:10 PM

    However, according to information gathered in recent weeks, any possible sale of the outfit would likely be on the condition that any new owner would continue to use Renault engine power for the foreseeable future.

    The opening four races of the 2024 season have confirmed Alpine is in a difficult spot, with it standing last in the constructors’ championship on zero points with Sauber and Williams.

    However, it appears to be the least competitive out of the three and, to make matters worse, it is not a customer outfit but a full-on works squad with car giant Renault behind it.


    Enstone team's future has been the subject of speculation following disastrous start to 2024
    April 10, 2024
    James Phillips

    Alpine responded to the rumours as they quickly gained traction, confirming the team is not for sale. As reported by PlanetF1, an Alpine spokesperson said:

    “The rumours and stories about the team being for sale are false.
    The team is categorically not for sale.”

    What were the rumours? Speculation first began to emerge on Wednesday morning when stated a sale of Alpine was potentially on the cards. No interested parties were listed.

    ‘False rumours’;

  4. #294
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    ‘Not on owner’s bestseller list’ – Williams boss James Vowles subject of surprise scathing criticism.
    Williams team principal James Vowles has been told to look in the mirror after a difficult and expensive start to F1 2024 which will have left owner Dorilton Capital far from impressed.
    14 Apr 2024 9:13 AM
    Jamie Woodhouse

    This claim is coming from a former Williams driver in Ralf Schumacher, who knows all about achieving success with the Grove-based team, as all six of his career wins came with Williams during their BMW partnership.

    “I think Vowles has to look at himself a bit now,” Schumacher told Sky Germany. “I wouldn’t be surprised that he’s not necessarily on [the Williams] owner’s bestseller list.”

    In the opinion of Schumacher, Sargeant is “overwhelmed” and it is time for him to consider life after Formula 1. “You have to be fair, he’s definitely gotten closer to Albon. But he just makes too many mistakes,” said Schumacher. “That’s evident in that he runs over the car.”

    ‘Surprise scathing criticism’;

    The true cost of F1 crashes: Williams’ new upgrade battle unveiled
    April 15, 2024
    Andrew Maitland

    Williams’ ongoing challenges this season are significantly disrupting their development strategy for the 2024 car. The accumulation of crashes involving Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant has depleted the team’s inventory of spare components and necessitated urgent repairs to the chassis, as well as the urgent fabrication of an additional monocoque.

    When questioned about the frequent accidents involving the drivers, team principal James Vowles stated, “It’s a strong question – one to ask the drivers.” “Probably the most important thing is the fact that in the last two races we lost a number of floors, rear wings, front wings,” revealed Vowles, as reported by France’s Auto Hebdo.

    He further mentioned that the chaos has extended to damaging suspension components and gearboxes. “It’s a very long list and so difficult to keep pace with the quantity of spare parts we need while working on developments in the background,” he explained.

    ‘Disrupting their development strategy’;

    'Williams way' required amid spare chassis struggles – Albon
    Alex Albon has accepted that Williams are in a difficult position especially given they remain without a spare chassis.
    15 April 2:50PM
    Nick Golding & Aaron Deckers

    Alex Albon has accepted that it has become the "Williams way" to perform repair "miracles", with the team still being without a spare chassis. "Obviously, we haven't had a great start to the season," Albon conceded to select media including RacingNews365.

    "With everything going as well, we've been on the backfoot. But it's always been kind of the Williams way that everyone digs deep and genuinely produces miracles to get cars built, prepared and ready on time. So unfortunately, we're going to have to rely on that for a little bit longer as well now.”

    “But there is definite character building along the whole factory, across the whole factory. It's a tough, tough time, and obviously frustrating for everyone. I feel like we're in a tough place. And now it's just staying motivated and hungry and driven to bounce back."

    ‘Everyone digs deep and genuinely produces miracles’;

    Williams reportedly exploring alternatives to Logan Sargeant
    April 14, 2024
    Jaden Diaz-Ndisang
    Last Word On Sports

    Logan Sargeant is understood to be at risk of losing his Williams seat. Logan Sargeant must produce results if he is to convince Williams that he deserves a contract extension. Despite James Vowles consistently defending the American driver’s performances last season, his future at the team is not guaranteed. A combination of factors indicates that Williams is looking at other options in the market.

    Williams exploring alternatives. Reports indicate that Williams is evaluating alternatives in the market ahead of 2025. This is hardly a surprise, considering the volume of high-calibre drivers available. Several options could bolster the team’s line-up in Formula 1 and Formula 2.

    Putting aside the relatively unlikely possibility of Mercedes sending Kimi Antonelli to Grove for a season or two, James Vowles could turn to more experienced drivers – including former Williams driver Valtteri Bottas. The 10-time race winner could be replaced as Audi begins to stamp its authority in Sauber’s lineup. If Sauber does not retain him, the seasoned veteran will become.

    ‘Exploring alternatives’;

    Jacques Villeneuve: Williams Racing Headed In ‘Right Direction’
    Apr 15, 2024,08:00am EDT
    Michael LoRé

    “They’re moving in the right direction and that’s super exciting to see because all of those years were really hard to watch,” said Villeneuve, a FIA Hall of Fame inductee. “Having won with Williams, and Williams has been such a big name in the racing industry, it was hard to see how they went down, but now to see it’s gradually going back up and in the right direction is fantastic.”

    “Consistency is very important. Maybe there’s a little bit less pressure on the drivers now since the team seems to be in a more sound place,” Villeneuve said. “A lot depends on how the two drivers work together, which is something that’s very difficult to see from the outside.”

    “If they have a similar driving style, then it will be much easier because they can help the engineers evolve the cars in the same direction. If you have two drivers who drive completely differently, then it will become more difficult to develop the car. They seem to get along very well. They seem to be working together very well.”

    ‘Gradually going back up’;

  5. #295
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    Honda say Aston Martin must sign drivers “we need to win”.
    Honda wants Aston Martin to select the best possible driver combination for the 2026 season.
    April 14, 2024
    Jaden Diaz-Ndisang
    Last Word On Sports

    Koji Watanabe, president of Honda Racing Corporation, emphasised that driver quality is the priority. Watanabe also explained there have been (and will be in the future) extensive conversations with Aston Martin about driver selection for 2026:

    “We had many conversations with Aston Martin regarding our partnership starting from 2026,” he told “During that time, we exchanged opinions about drivers too, and we shared an understanding between us and Aston Martin – that Alonso was definitely a top-class driver.”

    “Aston Martin asked us if there would be any problems from Honda if they extended Alonso’s contract. The situation was shared at various stages. But Honda did not make any requests regarding this matter. In any case, we should naturally discuss what kind of driver line-up we need to win.”

    “We need to win”;

    Aston Martin can dream of bold Max Verstappen move after Honda chief’s emotional plea
    Honda has underpinned Max Verstappen's success in F1, helping the Red Bull star to three Drivers' Championship titles.
    06:01, Sun, Apr 14, 2024
    By Harry Smith
    Daily and Sunday Express

    Aston Martin can dream of bringing Max Verstappen to their team after the 2026 technical regulation changes following emotional comments from Honda president Koji Watanabe. The Japanese engine manufacturers have contributed to the Dutchman’s F1 success to date but will soon be switching from Red Bull to the Silverstone-based outfit.

    Discussing their relationship with Verstappen, Watanabe told "I don’t think that day will come within a very short period of time, but if both continue their Formula One activities in the future then we hope that we can work together again one day.

    ‘Bold Max Verstappen move’;

    Honda opens new UK base ahead of its corporation with Aston Martin
    Mar 2024, 21:00
    Balazs Szabo
    F1 Technical

    Honda has announced that it has established a new Formula One base in the UK as it gears up its preparation for the switch from Red Bull to Aston Martin.

    Honda have now confirmed that they will establish a new UK base:"This new company has been founded to primarily perform post-race maintenance and preparation tasks on the Honda built F1 power units (PUs), whilst also operating as a logistics operation for the European region. The establishment of HRC UK will further enhance the effectiveness of Honda’s PU operations, in support of the partnership with Aston Martin Aramco Formula One Team."

    Following the establishment of the new company in the UK, HRC will start the recruitment of engineers, technicians and staff members for the new company from Spring 2024.

    ‘New UK base’;

    Aston Martin insider shuts down notion Lance Stroll could quit F1
    Suggestions that Lance Stroll could quit F1 have been rubbished by an insider from Aston Martin.
    15 Apr 2024
    Lewis Larkam

    Aston Martin ambassador Pedro de la Rosa insists there is no reason that Lance Stroll would quit F1. Speaking on the latest episode of the F1 Nation podcast, Damon Hill indicated that he felt Carlos Sainz could still end up at Aston Martin, despite Alonso’s recent contract renewal.

    “The idea that Carlos would displace Fernando, I’m not sure if he’s got the nerve to do that,” the 1996 F1 world champion joked. “But anyway, I think that Pedro is the person to correct me on this one, but maybe Lance, if he decides to go and play tennis or something, two Spanish drivers would be a very strong team at Aston Martin.”

    Hill was indeed corrected by de la Rosa, who argued: “Why should Lance not continue, Damon? I mean, there’s every reason to continue in the team with all the projects, and that’s the reason why Fernando decided to stay. So he’s had two incredible races in Jeddah and Australia where there was some parts of the race that he was faster than Fernando. He finished behind him. Well, in fact, in Australia, in front of him. So, I mean, come on.”

    ‘Rubbished by an insider from Aston Martin’;

    Ex-F1 driver leaps to defence of Lance Stroll as Aston Martin exit rumours swirl
    13 Apr 2024 12:00 PM
    Jamie Woodhouse

    Pedro de la Rosa stressed that Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll is the best Aston Martin driver line-up possible, as 1996 World Champion Damon Hill gave fresh momentum to the Carlos Sainz in, Stroll out speculation.

    If they are to make that progress, further doubts have arisen over Stroll’s suitability for the task, ex-F1 driver Christian Danner and BBC F1 commentator Harry Benjamin among those sounding the alarm bells, while Hill now has advocated that an Alonso and Sainz pairing would be “very strong” for Aston Martin.

    De la Rosa, who now serves as an Aston Martin ambassador, indeed chose to correct Hill, as he stressed that there is no reason why Stroll would want to quit F1, nor grounds to remove him from the team which is owned by his father Lawrence Stroll.

    ‘Leaps to defence of Lance Stroll’;

    Aston Martin expected to extend Lance Stroll contract
    April 15, 2024
    Jaden Diaz-Ndisang
    Last Word On Sports

    When considering the volume of talented drivers available, Aston Martin could make a statement ahead of 2026. Carlos Sainz and Yuki Tsunoda are among the drivers who the Silverstone-based team could sign. As a three-time race winner, Sainz has proven to be within touching distance of the exceptionally talented Charles Leclerc in recent seasons. Undoubtedly, he could improve Aston’s results and simultaneously raise the team’s profile. In a similar vein, Tsunoda’s arrival would make sense from a long-term standpoint. Not only is the 23-year-old performing at a very high level, but his presence in a Honda-powered team would certainly be a commercial boost.

    Aston Martin still committed to Stroll. Despite this potent new variable, the Silverstone-based team’s commitment to Lance Stroll seems unwavering. According to a report from RACER, Mike Krack’s team have cited the Canadian’s “technical feedback” as extremely valuable. This quality – which is obviously impossible to measure from the outside – emphasises that Aston has no shortage of reasons at the ready to justify Stroll’s presence in the team.

    ‘Lance Stroll contract’;

    ‘Can Lance Stroll do that?’ – Ex-F1 driver questions Stroll’s contribution to Aston Martin
    12 Apr 2024 1:30 PM
    Michelle Foster

    Showing “little” in the way of development, former F1 driver Christian Danner has questioned whether Lance Stroll is the right team-mate for Fernando Alonso going forward. The team made no mention of his team-mate but Stroll is expected, unless he makes the call to quit, to continue in 2025 given his father Lawrence owns the team.

    Danner doesn’t believe that is the right move for the team who last season finished fifth in the Constructors’ Championship but would’ve been fourth had Stroll scored even half Alonso’s points, P3 had he matched him. “Lance Stroll is definitely not very consistently fast, although he’s decently quick every now and then,” the 73-year-old told Motorsport Magazin.

    “Aston Martin has worked its way out of the midfield to be near the front. If you have a McLaren with you, if you want to attack a Norris and a Piastri, then you don’t just need one top driver, but two. The question is of course justified, can Lance Stroll do that?”

    ‘Can Lance Stroll do that?’;

  6. #296
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    Feb 2021
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    F1 winner questions if Ferrari are ‘regretting’ Lewis Hamilton-Carlos Sainz decision.
    Will Ferrari regret their decision to let Carlos Sainz go? That question has been posed by a former F1 race winner.
    16 Apr 2024
    Lewis Larkam

    Former F1 driver Mark Webber has questioned whether Ferrari may be “regretting” their decision to drop Carlos Sainz for Lewis Hamilton. “Look if you can’t get motivated because you don’t have a contract in your top pocket, you’re in strife,” eight-time grand prix winner Webber told C4.

    “I think he’s a man on a mission now, he’s got the bit between his teeth, and obviously he’s driving brilliantly. Ferrari, you know, are they regretting their move?”

    However, ex-F1 driver turned pundit and commentator Martin Brundle feels it is a pointless debate as he assessed Ferrari’s decision on the latest episode of the Sky Sports F1 podcast. “There’s no point Ferrari looking over their shoulder and wondering that. They made their decision, they wanted Lewis in the car, they’ve got him and they’ll make the most of it.”

    ‘Questions if Ferrari are regretting’;

    ‘I don’t see much good anymore’ – Dutch pundit’s Lewis Hamilton ‘past his prime’ verdict
    15 Apr 2024 7:30 AM
    Michelle Foster

    Hamilton has recorded his worst-ever start to a Formula 1 season with just ten points in four Grands Prix, while the team is only a point ahead of Aston Martin in the fight for fourth place.

    “It’s all just so bad,” Dutch racing driver Michael Bleekemolen told RacingNews365. “I think he’s past his prime. Things aren’t going well for him either. I don’t see much point in him anymore.” And it won’t get better when he joins Ferrari with Bleekemolen saying:

    “Maybe he will end up in the top two or three again, that could just be possible. That won’t be easy, but it would be nice. I just don’t think it’s going to happen.” As for whether Hamilton could still win a record-breaking eighth World, he simply said: “No.”

    ‘Past his prime’;

    Alain Prost assesses Lewis Hamilton motivation in Max Verstappen Red Bull roadblock theory
    16 Apr 2024 11:30 AM
    Jamie Woodhouse

    Four-time World Champion Alain Prost believes Lewis Hamilton could re-find his motivation at Ferrari, theorising that the presence of Max Verstappen is what made a Red Bull move impossible.

    Discussing Hamilton’s Ferrari move with Sports Illustrated, Prost said: “I can understand his decision because obviously when you are in a team like Mercedes, when they did not win a race for two years and they are really struggling to go back to the front, and at his age he has said, ‘Okay, why not try something different’.

    “[He has had] such a long period with an English-[based] team, Mercedes, with a way of working and then you go to an Italian team, especially with the different pressure, different way of thinking, he is under pressure from the media. I think it’s not that easy.” Hamilton will hope to achieve that elusive eighth World Championship with Ferrari which would see him set the new outright F1 record.

    ‘Alain Prost assesses Lewis Hamilton’;

    The 'huge' Ferrari improvement that has seen Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes sidelined
    Carlos Sainz has beaten Hamilton in every race so far this season.
    19:52 Mon, 15 Apr 2024.
    Daily Record

    Carlos Sainz has revealed that the secret to Ferrari's strategic improvement this year is simply because they now "have a car that is better on tyres".

    Sainz made these comments after securing third place at the Japanese Grand Prix, trailing behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, while his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc came in fourth.

    Lewis Hamilton, who is set to replace Sainz at Ferrari next season, finished ninth. This result means that Sainz has outperformed Hamilton in every race so far this season. Ferrari's strategy in Suzuka was widely commended, with both drivers making significant gains.

    ‘Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes sidelined’;

    Fred Vasseur explains how Lewis Hamilton’s arrival will help Charles Leclerc
    Tue 16 April 2024 08:30
    David Comerford
    F1 Oversteer

    The struggling Charles Leclerc will benefit from the arrival of Lewis Hamilton at Ferrari in 2025, according to team principal Fred Vasseur. The Scuderia announced in the winter that Hamilton would join next year.

    Leclerc has found himself somewhat in the shadow of outgoing teammate Carlos Sainz this season. Even though Sainz missed the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix through illness, he’s within four points of the Monegasque in the standings.

    Speaking to Radio France, Vasseur explained how racing alongside Hamilton could help him. Sainz has been responsible for Ferrari’s last three victories, with Leclerc’s victory drought stretching back to the 2022 Austrian GP.

    ‘Struggling Charles Leclerc’;

    Charles Leclerc ‘suffering’ with Carlos Sainz’s performances, ex-F1 driver claims
    14 Apr 2024 1:00 PM
    Henry Valantine

    Vitantonio Liuzzi has said Charles Leclerc is “suffering” because of how Carlos Sainz has flown out of the traps in the 2024 season. Of the two current Ferrari drivers, it is Sainz who has received more plaudits so far this year after his victory in Australia and excellent drives in Bahrain and Suzuka.

    With that, former Red Bull and Toro Rosso driver Liuzzi believes that is having a negative effect on Leclerc, who is facing an “important battle” in 2025 when Hamilton arrives at Maranello. “Ferrari has shown that it has made progress. It is not ready for the title, but it will have its say in many races,” Liuzzi said, as per Italian publication Corriere dello Sport.

    “Charles Leclerc suffering’;

    Lewis Hamilton discusses the challenge of transitioning to Ferrari
    Hamilton will spend the entire 2024 season knowing that it is his last at Mercedes before joining Ferrari
    14 April 2024
    By John Smith
    Total Motorsport

    Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he’s not sure how to navigate the transition from Mercedes to Ferrari as it is not a situation he has been in before. Hamilton was quizzed about the timing of initiating conversations with Ferrari about the transition period ahead of joining the team.

    “I mean at some stage I will have to, I think I’ll start the conversation with Toto [Wolff]. Because I don’t know how to navigate it, I’ve never been in this position before at this point in the year,” Hamilton told the press in Japan.

    He stressed that his energy is being put into improving the current car and situation at Mercedes, rather than the future with Ferrari. “I’m not quite sure yet how I’m going to navigate it but right now I want to finish on a high here so all of my energy is going into this,” Hamilton said.

    ‘Challenge of transitioning’;

    Sainz shocker: Newspapers eye 1 or 2 year Mercedes deal
    April 15, 2024
    Andrew Maitland

    Insider sources have informed several top Italian media outlets that Carlos Sainz is expected to join Mercedes in the 2025 racing season. This comes after persistent speculations have nearly solidified into confirmed reports, according to Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, Corriere della Sera, and La Repubblica.

    However, the efficacy of this strategic move for Sainz, who is currently performing well at Ferrari who are replacing him with Lewis Hamilton, remains under debate. “Mercedes is a long way off the pace,” former Red Bull racer Robert Doornbos commented on Ziggo Sport. “Even (Fernando) Alonso indicated that he didn’t want to sign there.”

    Despite these concerns, La Gazzetta dello Sport seems certain that the Sainz-to-Mercedes transfer is imminent, with Sauber, under Audi’s new ownership, being the only notable alternative that was considered but subsequently passed over.

    ‘Sainz shocker’;

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