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About MIKA27

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  • Birthday 04/26/1976

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  1. Vettel purchases Mansell’s iconic championship-winning Williams Sebastian Vettel loves his Formula 1 history, so perhaps it should be of no surprise that the German has chosen to spend some of his salary on a Williams FW14B, the machine that Nigel Mansell used to win the 1992 F1 world title… Mansell enjoyed supreme success in that car, winning nine out of 16 Grands Prix during that campaign to win the drivers’ title, while Williams triumphed in the constructors’ championship, too. Regarded as one of the most sophisticated F1 cars in history, it was penned by design guru Adrian Newey, who also designed Vettel's four title-winning cars. It featured active suspension, a semi-automatic gearbox, traction control and a class-leading Renault engine, and proved to be the dominant machine during the 1992 campaign, giving Mansell his only world title triumph. Vettel now owns a FW14B, the price he paid unknown, with the famous red 5 on its nose. This is a number Vettel is known to have an affinity with, and was the one he chose to race with when drivers could choose their own digits. It is understood his private collection of cars includes at least one of his four title-winning Red Bulls. He is also believed to have bought a Ferrari F40 previously owned by opera singer Luciano Pavarotti, alongside a collection of motorbikes.
  2. Ricciardo ‘keen to keep the ball rolling’ at Italian GP after finding Renault's sweet spot Renault are now just nine points off third in the constructors' championship after their stellar Belgian Grand Prix weekend, and Daniel Ricciardo wants them to keep up the momentum at Monza this weekend and give him another chance to battle fomer team mate Max Verstappen once again, as he did at Spa. Although they’re still sixth in the championship going into the Italian Grand Prix, where they managed their best performance of 2019, Renault closed the gap in the midfield battle in Belgium as Ricciardo finished P4, just three seconds behind Red Bull's Verstappen, with the team's best performance of 2020. “It was fun, it was cool, [Max and I] spoke a bit after and we said ‘it was fun to be able to do that for a sequence of corners’. We would have loved to have done that for 40 laps. “Hopefully there’s a bit more of that going on. I think this track does lend itself to overtaking and side-by-side racing, for a little bit. We’ll try to make it happen again and I think we’re in a good place, so we’ll try and keep the ball rolling,” said Ricciardo on Thursday ahead of the Italian Grand Prix. It seems that part of Renault’s resurgence has stemmed from a set-up change instigated at Silverstone and carried over to Belgium, where the yellow cars took 23 points from the race – as many as Red Bull – to give their constructors’ championship tally a boost. Ricciardo explained: “When we did a change in practice in Silverstone and I went out that next session, I was like: ‘OK the car felt transformed a bit’. I felt so much more grip coming from it and confidence to push in the entries [of corners]. We played around with it a bit at Spa and it had the same effect. “It’s just finding the sweet spot of where the car likes to be run and that’s been positive. A lot of the time throughout the weekend we’re always changing the car, whether it’s a bit of downforce or some suspension stuff. You normally find bits and pieces; it’s kind of a compromise [from corner to corner] whereas here we felt we gained some rear grip, overall load in the car, and it’s nice to feel that as a driver. “A feeling like that gives you confidence to drive into the apex harder and not have the fear that the car maybe losing the rear, like I’ve already felt once this year.” So with things looking much brighter for Renault, could third-place really be on the cards this year? “If we keep having those weekends, yeah," Ricciardo said. "It can turn around quickly. One good weekend – I remember last year as well, one good weekend – and you’re back in the constructors’ fight. It’s really tight at the moment but absolutely, it’s there for grabs.”
  3. Verstappen bats away ‘stupid’ questions about motivation as Red Bull try to catch Mercedes Max Verstappen has branded questions over his motivation “stupid”, insisting that even if his Red Bull RB16 is not currently as quick as the Mercedes, driving Formula 1 cars is “one of the best jobs in the world”. Red Bull sit 106 points behind Mercedes in the constructors’ championship and Verstappen is 47 behind Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ standings, with the Silver Arrows having taken victory in all but one race this season - the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix which Verstappen won. But the Dutchman says that Mercedes dominance has no effect on his hunger to race. “I don’t understand why people think you wouldn’t be motivated!” he said. “You have one of the best jobs in the world, you’re driving super-fast cars, and I’m driving third or second and I have one win [in 2020], so I find it incredible that people think you wouldn’t be motivated. “It’s really stupid. I love what I’m doing. Every weekend I come here, and I love driving the car. So I want to, of course, try to challenge [Mercedes]. But if it’s not possible I settle for the best result possible in the car I have – and then I’m still enjoying it. In the championship battle, Verstappen urged a “realistic” outlook on Red Bull’s chances after the Belgian Grand Prix and before this weekend's race on the low-downforce Monza circuit – at which Red Bull have not been classified as podium finishers since 2013. “We won’t give up but I’m very realistic that we need luck to win races and actually gain some points back,” said Verstappen. “At the moment, it looks like we’re in the championship fight but every race I’m more or less losing seven points. “At one point the gap will of course be very big but yeah, like I said, being realistic, I think it’s good. Every single weekend I try to get the best out of it. It’s not like I’m down or anything – but be realistic. In Spa again, we were half a second slower a lap compared to them so you can’t really fight them at the moment,” he concluded. Verstappen has had mixed results at Monza, with a best finish of fifth in 2018 after a five-second time penalty denied him a podium after he crossed the line in third, and a P8 finish here last year, as he started 19th with an engine penalty.
  4. Ferrari urges patience, warns revival may take ‘many years’ Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto says there are “no silver bullets” for the manufacturer and has warned it will take many years before it returns to challenging for titles. Ferrari finished runner-up to Mercedes in the championship across 2017, 2018 and 2019, taking multiple wins each season, but has faltered in 2020. Its recalcitrant SF1000 lacks aerodynamic prowess while its engine performance has also been subdued, in the wake of a private settlement with governing body the FIA. It heads to the first of three home events, this weekend behind held at Monza, only fifth in the standings, a mere two points in front of Renault. “The entire team is responsible [for the situation], myself as Team Principal first. “Am I the right man or not [for the job], [it is] not myself to answer. “How long it will take? I think if you look back in all the winning cycles that have been set, it’s always many years, there are no silver bullets in F1. Patience and stability is required.” Binotto nonetheless added that he will be “curious” to see how Formula 1’s new Technical Directive on engine modes will play out at Monza. “It’s a circuit where power performance is important, certainly where we are not the best,” said Binotto. “It may affect some of the teams. I will be curious to see how much, which team, I think it will be interesting in that respect. “It’s a circuit which has high power sensitivity, especially [if] it changes a bit the balance of competitiveness in the quali itself, and we know how important it is to start ahead, as when you are in traffic it is always more difficult as well to make the car work.”
  5. Could Ferrari be set for worst ever Monza display? Remember 2019? Before coronavirus and private settlements? Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc raised aloft the victor’s trophy in front of a Monza main straight packed with passionate spectators. Neither of those will happen this weekend. The coronavirus pandemic means Monza will be run behind closed doors while barring a spectacular pile-up that afflicts six or seven teams Ferrari will not win. The power-heavy Monza circuit places a reliance on engine supremacy and in that department Ferrari has lacked in comparison to Mercedes, Honda and Renault in 2020. At Spa-Francorchamps it qualified and raced to 13th and 14th position respectively, seventh of the 10 teams, in a grand prix that had 17 classified finishers. Working in Ferrari’s favour is that it struggled with tyres from the outset in Belgium, meaning it was playing catch-up in the midfield contingent, an element it should hopefully avoid this weekend. But even so, it was unlikely to finish much higher up the field in the circumstances. Could Ferrari really be set for its worst showing on home soil in 70 years? Formula 1’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza has been won by Ferrari on 19 occasions while it has a total of 69 overall podiums. The last time Ferrari failed to score a podium at Monza was back in the first hybrid year in 2014, when a failure put Fernando Alonso out while Kimi Raikkonen was only ninth – however Alonso still qualified a semi-respectable seventh. The 2008 wet race hurt both Felipe Massa and Raikkonen – though they still scored top 10 results – while three years previously was a particular low for Ferrari. In a race with little drama and incident Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello mustered only 10th and 12th respectively – but did qualify sixth and seventh. Ferrari last failed to score a single top 10 finish at Monza back in 1995, when Gerhard Berger and Jean Alesi both retired. But they had run 1-2 in that race from 3-5 on the grid; Berger retired when a TV camera detached from Alesi’s car and terminally hit his suspension while Alesi then copped a wheel bearing failure. As cruel as cruel could be – but neither slow nor embarrassing. There was also a double retirement in 1992 – though Alesi still qualified a respectable third in the awful F92A. The last time Ferrari finished lower than fifth in the Constructors’ Championship came in 1980 but on that occasion Monza was not used for the Italian Grand Prix – the sole time that Imola has held the honour. The early 1970s were a lean time at home for Ferrari, with 1973 a particular nadir, as Jacky Ickx was a lapped eighth from 14th on the grid, and Arturo Merzario exited from seventh. But never before at Monza has Ferrari not featured either in the top 10 of the grid or in race trim, at least with one car. If its Belgian Grand Prix result is replicated at the high-speed Autodromo then that is exactly what will happen: no Ferraris in the top 10 on Saturday or Sunday. Could a new unwanted statistic rear its head this weekend?
  6. Pirelli: We do listen to drivers, we need compromise Pirelli has rejected suggestions that it does not listen to the requests of Formula 1 drivers when designing its tyres, explaining the process behind its compounds. Pirelli’s 2020-specification tyres were rejected unanimously and thus 2019’s tyres are still in use this year – and will be once more in 2021 as part of the compromises agreed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. World Champion Lewis Hamilton recently called on Pirelli to change its approach for its 18-inch tyres in 2022, commenting that “when they made the target letter the drivers were not a part of this discussion.” The target letter is the document agreed upon by Formula 1 stakeholders and to which Pirelli works. “We had a lot of discussions about the target letter initially for 2021, for the 18-inch tyres, and is now for 2022,” said Pirelli’s Formula 1 boss Mario Isola. “Drivers have been involved in the discussion, in the latest target letter we decided to review it again in order to list the targets, giving the priority to what the drivers feel are the priority, like reducing overheating and degradation. “We have a lot of discussion on that, because if you reduce degradation there is no reason to have more than one stop basically, why you should lose time to stop once more and maybe lose position on track?” Isola expanded on the difficulties Pirelli faces when designing its tyres. “There are a lot of subjects in the target letter,” he said. “Some of them are difficult to achieve all together: having a tyre with much higher grip but also a lot of consistency is really difficult, when you have a lot of grip you usually have high degradation, it’s the qualifying tyre idea. “I know drivers like the grip, I know they are asking for an ideal tyre, that is our thought and plan for 2022, for 2021 as we said already it’s difficult as we don’t have any option to upgrade the product, so we will focus that for 2022. “We listen to the drivers, I don’t want to give the message or hear the message that we don’t listen to the drivers, as every time the drivers are available we are always available, I‘m talking for Pirelli but also for FIA and FOM. “I’m very happy to follow what Lewis is asking for but then we need to put first on paper and the realities I think is there has to be a compromise. “We cannot have 100 per cent grip and 100 per cent consistency and no degradation and all of that.”
  7. 250 doctors and nurses to attend Italian GP at Monza It has been announced that there will be 250 guests present in the grandstands at this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix. It will mark the first time this season amid the coronavirus pandemic that grandstands will feature spectators, with the attending people present at Monza being doctors and nurses. Ferrari says they have been invited to the track as a “symbolic honour for their courage, sense of duty and altruism as front line workers in the fight against COVID-19”. Italy is one of the worst-affected countries in the world by the coronavirus and was the first country in Europe to be hit badly and placed into lockdown. Following the upcoming race weekend at Monza, F1 will travel to Mugello, which will be the first race this year to feature paying spectators, as 2880 fans per day will be permitted into the circuit. All races following Mugello, bar the season finale in Abu Dhabi, are expected to have a limited number of spectators present. Ferrari arrives at Monza one year on from Charles Leclerc’s victory at its home race – however, its struggles so far in 2020 suggest that it may endure a difficult home race. Italy will also host a third F1 race later this year, with Imola returning to the calendar for the first time since 2006.
  8. Wolff: Monza ‘a perfect track’ to test F1’s new technical directive Monza is the perfect circuit to put Formula 1’s new engine technical directive into action, according to Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff. From this weekend, teams will no longer be permitted to run the ‘party mode’ engine setting during qualifying, as the FIA looks to group the field closer together on a Saturday. Mercedes has dominated qualifying sessions this year, taking unchallenged pole positions at all seven World Championship events so far in 2020. After another dominant display at Spa-Francorchamps last weekend, the sport heads to Monza and Mugello for an Italian double-header, with Wolff noting that qualifying will be critical this weekend at Monza despite the high-speed sections that present overtaking opportunities in the race. “The second and third races of this triple-header take us to Italy, with stops in Monza and Mugello,” Wolff said. “The famous ‘Temple of Speed’ is a real low-drag, low-downforce circuit where straight-line speed is crucial for a good result. “The race was often won from pole in the past, which makes qualifying particularly important in Italy.” However, Mercedes will have to contest the session without their usual engine advantage, with Wolff stating the Brackley-based squad is looking forward to the challenge of the new situation. “Both the power sensitivity and the importance of qualifying make Monza a perfect track to test the impact of a new Technical Directive which comes into effect at the Italian Grand Prix,” Wolff said. “TD/037-20 limits the usage of engine modes, requiring teams to run the same ICE mode in qualifying and the race. “It will be intriguing to see how it affects the absolute and relative competitive order on Saturday and Sunday; we’re excited to take on the challenge and turn it to our advantage.”
  9. Giovinazzi: If I perform, no-one can take my seat Antonio Giovinazzi has asserted that his Formula 1 seat with Alfa Romeo for the 2021 season will be secure if he can continue on his current trajectory. Giovinazzi joined Alfa Romeo full-time last year in the seat over which Ferrari has an influence, scoring points at four events, peaking with fifth in Brazil. He classified ninth at Formula 1’s 2020 opener in Austria but has yet to capture another top 10 finish amid Alfa Romeo’s ongoing struggles. Ferrari has three junior drivers competing at the sharp end of the Formula 2 grid, with Robert Shwartzman leading Callum Ilott in the standings, while Mick Schumacher holds fourth. Alfa Romeo is one of only three Formula 1 teams – along with AlphaTauri and Haas – yet to confirm either of its drivers for the 2021 campaign. It is understood that current outcast Nico Hulkenberg is in contention to make a full-time return while Alfa Romeo is also waiting on the outcome of the Sergio Perez/Racing Point situation. “I think first of all I came to Formula 1 as a I don’t have any big names behind me or any big sponsor behind me,” Giovinazzi said ahead of this weekend’s round at Monza, the first of three home events for the 26-year-old. “I’m here just because of results and talent. I know that Formula 1 is critical, you need to be always on a good shape every race weekend. “I know also that many times one week you can be a bad driver and then the next week just after a few days you can be a hero. “From my side I know that if I continue like I’m doing, to be fast and to try to score the points for the team nobody can take my seat for next year. “We [will] see what happens but I’m quite sure from what I need to do: be fast and be consistent.”
  10. Competitive Renault drivers eye end to podium drought Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon believe Renault’s recent form gives confidence that the squad can end its lengthy drought from the Formula 1 podium positions. Renault’s low-downforce package enabled it take home fourth and fifth in Belgium last weekend, with Ricciardo also bagging the fastest lap of the race for an extra point. Monza, which often leads to the highest speeds during a Formula 1 season due to its long-straights, is the venue for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix. The outfit has not taken a podium since its days as Lotus in 2015 while as a works team Renault last featured on the Formula 1 podium in 2010. As Renault looks to make gains towards third in the championship standings, both drivers believe they will be in the mix at the higher end of the grid during the coming days. “The characteristics [of Monza] are similar in a more extreme way, a more suitable way than even Spa,” Ocon said. “So we should be in a good position. But everyone works hard, so it is going to be tight as always. But I think we can have a good chance it again doing a strong race. “Of course we were very close in Spa to the podium,” Ocon said. ”[We’re] not in that position yet, but the car was so competitive and I think there is going to be one more opportunity here. “But let us not try to think about that too hard. Let’s do our job and in doing so if we have the speed we will try maximize and get it done.” Ricciardo mirrored his team-mate’s comments and is confident that he will have a strong car underneath him throughout the weekend. “I think we can be competitive again,” Ricciardo said. “That is what we should expect. “Whether it will happen or not, time will tell. We know racecars can be interesting vehicle sometimes and surprise you in good or bad ways. “After last weekend we should come here with confidence. If that results in a podium, time will tell. “That is our aim, our target. But to sit here confidently and say yes we are going to be a podium car; we will wait and see. But I think we should be competitive I won’t deny that.”
  11. F1 has a "mountain to climb" to exist in 10 years - Vettel Sebastian Vettel believes Formula 1 has a "huge mountain to climb" to still exist in 10 years' time, as he says it needs more than planned rule changes to thrive. Amid a fast-moving world, with coronavirus having shown how quick situations can change globally, Vettel believes that F1 must work harder to adapt to what is around it. Speaking to selected media ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, Vettel was clear in his view that F1 could not just sit back and expect a rules overhaul for 2022 to sort out all its problems. Asked where he felt F1 would be in a decade, Vettel said: "I think it's a very interesting question. I think first of all, I think nobody would have thought, certainly not half a year ago, of the situation that the world is in now. "It's a question of what the world is going to be in 10 years? So I think it's very difficult from that to look at Formula 1 only. "I think, from my point of view, Formula 1 has a huge mountain to climb in order to still exist and still, you know, attract the fans and share emotions and passion. "The world is changing, the world is changing very fast. And I think Formula 1 has to more than adapt. "I know that obviously there's the regulation change coming [in 2022]. But I doubt that it will be enough. "I think on a bigger picture Formula 1, has to do more than just change the regulations. We all hope that the regulation change for the sport will bring the teams closer together and will make the competition on track closer. "But apart from that, I think the world, as I said, is moving fast and the world will face more and more big topics to fight. F1 cannot remain silent and close its eyes. So it will be actually I think very interesting to see where we are in 10 years and where Formula 1 is." Vettel is heading to his final Italian GP as a Ferrari driver this weekend, with the event set to have a unique feel with it being closed to fans. Having been embraced for many years by the tifosi, Vettel thinks having none of them around this weekend will actually make it a more simple weekend to deal with as he prepares to say goodbye to Ferrari. "It will be a big shame that there is no tifosi in Monza," he said. "It will be the first time for me to race in Monza without fans. "I think it is the first time for many of us and, in this regard, maybe it's a bit easier for me. I think one of the most overwhelming things in the past racing for Ferrari has been the fanbase around the world, but mostly the fanbase in Italy and the tifosi. "Maybe it's a bit easier to race at Monza this year not having the fans around. But don't get me wrong: I think otherwise it would be a lot more difficult or harder to see all the support the people and so on, and to know that it's the last time." MIKA: Sebastian is 100% right - Even for myself, I find it difficult to get excited anymore.... F1 has LOST so much of its DNA. Lack of decent engines, decent heroic drivers (Now rich kids mostly with little skill), tweaks every month to the rules in an attempt to "Catch up" to the better team(s). So much whining from so many angles. This season, I find it super hard to get motivated for this sport. It shouldn't be classed as an official season IMHO.
  12. FIA clamps down on track limits abuse at Monza The FIA will extend its clampdown on track limits offences at Monza for the Italian Grand Prix this weekend, with a focus on the exit of the second chicane and Parabolica. Track limits became an issue during last year’s Italian GP meeting, and during the weekend FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi introduced a reference to Parabolica in the notes he issued to teams. However, the subject has been further clarified for this year. Timing loops have been built into the track at Parabolica in order to allow race control to monitor offences. Regarding Parabolica (Turn 11), Masi wrote: “A lap time achieved during any practice session or the race by leaving the track (all four wheels over the white track edge line) on the outside of Turn 11, will result in that lap time and the immediately following lap time being invalidated by the stewards.” Then in a reference to both Parabolica and the second chicane (Turn 5), he added: “Each time any car passes behind the kerb or crosses the white line, teams will be informed via the official messaging system. “On the third occasion of a driver cutting behind the apex of Turn 5, and/or crossing the white line on the outside of Turn 11 during the race, he will be shown a black and white flag, any further cutting will then be reported to the stewards. "For the avoidance of doubt this means a total of three occasions combined, not three at each corner. “The above requirements will not automatically apply to any driver who is judged to have been forced off the track, each such case will be judged individually. “In all cases detailed above, the driver must only re-join the track when it is safe to do so and without gaining a lasting advantage.” Asked at Spa about Monza's “sausage” kerbs - which contributed to Alex Peroni's spectacular F3 accident - Masi noted that loops would be introduced at Parabolica. “With all track safety parameters, we can look and see what we can improve and learn from everything,” he said. “So with regards to Monza there's a number of sausage kerbs that are still in there. “There's other alternative measures that we've used for track limits that are in use next weekend, being two timing loops at Parabolica on the final corner, and we'll see how we go with those. “I don't think it's a one-size fits all, so to speak. There's an appropriate solution for each particular area.”
  13. Leclerc "ready to wait" for Ferrari F1 progress Charles Leclerc says he is ready to be patient through the "years" Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has warned it may take the squad to win again in Formula 1. Ferrari has struggled so far in 2020 after its controversial engine "settlement" with the FIA, with the SF1000 down on power and struggling with the extra drag its aerodynamic parts generate as a result. Leclerc has picked up two surprise podiums in the opening seven races, but Ferrari still currently sits fifth in the constructors' championship, which would be its worst position since 1981 (when it finished in that spot) if it remains there at the end of the season. Binotto recently said "that if you look back at all the winning cycles it is always many years" before teams are in position to be victorious after dropping away from the front of the pack. When asked if he could wait that long by Motorsport.com at the pre-event press conference for the 2020 Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Leclerc, who has a Ferrari contract until the end of 2024, said: "Well, on one hand, I don't really have a choice. "But yeah, surely it will take some patience and yes, I'm ready to wait. "But It's also my job to try and make this whole process as short as possible and for us to come back where we deserve to be. "So, it's not going to be easy. It will take time, but I'm ready for this. And my job is to give my best anyway in in every situation we are in." Ferrari's struggles with the SF100 are set to continue into 2021 as a result of the coronavirus cost-saving measures that meant the majority form of the current cars will be carried over into next year. Leclerc explained that he is splitting his focus between thinking about how best to lead Ferrari through its current problems while also being ready to make the most of the new designs arriving in 2022. "Surely there's a bit of both in my head, but I think the most important for now is try to work out why we are struggling so much this year," he said when asked how he was considering Ferrari's future by Motorsport.com. "This will help the future anyway. "So, I'm trying to work as hard as possible, like everyone does in the team to try and find the issues and have a solid basis for the for the years to come."
  14. McLaren: “Perfect execution” vital in huge battle over third McLaren F1 team principal Andreas Seidl believes the battle for third in the constructors’ championship will be won by which team best executes its races in comparison to rivals. McLaren moved up to third place in the Formula 1 constructors’ standings after Lando Norris finished seventh in the Belgian Grand Prix, beating Racing Point drivers Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll. The result left McLaren on 68 points, two clear of Racing Point and seven ahead of Ferrari, while Renault sits just nine points off third place after a strong weekend at Spa. With Mercedes and Red Bull far clear in the top two positions, it has left the battle for third place in the constructors’ championship finely poised nearing the halfway point of the season. Seidl said it was “difficult to judge” if McLaren was consistently the third-quickest team so far this season, feeling that Racing Point was ahead on raw performance. But he felt the battle between McLaren, Racing Point, Ferrari and Renault would be settled by which team had the cleanest weekends and avoided dropping too many points. “We still do not have enough samples [to say if we’re third-quickest]” said Seidl. “I still think that the Racing Point is definitely the third-strongest car in the field. Then there's a very tight battle in the ranking between the Ferraris, us and the Renaults, I would say. “Then in the end, it comes down to maximising your weekends, making sure you get the perfect laps in Q3, making sure you have the perfect execution on the race Sunday, perfect reliability. I think that in the end will decide to championship we are in.” Seidl was left frustrated that McLaren missed an opportunity to take more points off Ferrari and Racing Point after a power unit failure meant Carlos Sainz could not start the race. The German is anticipating Renault to be “very strong” at Monza this weekend, given the pace of its car in a straight line at Spa, but was pleased to see McLaren fighting closely with the teams around it. “I think we were not far off to fight the Renaults,” added Seidl. “We expect them also to be very strong in Monza, because they were also strong there last year. But if we just look at ourselves, the pace of the car was quite encouraging, and we could take points away from the Racing Points and from the Ferraris. We are back in P3 in the constructors’ championship which is good. “Looking ahead, it is good to see we have a car that we can fight with all these teams around us. As we have seen it will also depend on track characteristics and layout, but it is good to be in this fight and to have a car and two drivers where we can take up this fight.”
  15. Hamilton finds engine modes saga "amusing" Lewis Hamilton says he finds the saga surrounding Formula 1's ban on qualifying engine modes 'amusing', as he questions the real reason for the change. From this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, the FIA has outlawed teams from using any special 'party mode' to boost engine power for single laps in qualifying. Instead, teams will have to run with consistent modes throughout qualifying and the race. While the FIA stated that it was imposing the ban because it wanted to be more confident about its policing of what teams were up to with engines, Hamilton said he is intrigued about politicking from other teams. "I find it kind of amusing because the FIA said that it was so they could manage everyone's useage of the engine or something like that," explained Hamilton ahead of the Italian Grand Prix. "And then Red Bull came and said: we were the ones just pushing for it. So it's just completely different reasons why they did it." Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas are both convinced that, while the ban will impact their team, they think the difference will be minimal. "I think naturally we lose a little bit," added Hamilton. "But it's not the end of the day. So I think everyone potentially would lose something but maybe some more than others. And no one particularly knows I think." Bottas backed up the view that the change will free up better engine modes for the race, as the power units would not be so compromised on reliability by having to run at full power in qualifying. "I think in qualifying honestly there is going to be a small difference," said the Finn. "It's not huge. But then in the race hopefully, it seems like we are overall going to have a better race time with a decent mode all through the race." Williams driver George Russell reckoned that anyone hoping for the engine mode ban to hurt Mercedes would be in for disappointment. "If anything it's only going to help them even more in the race, so the whole idea of trying to slow them down is actually going to go complete the opposite way," he said. "It's only going to enhance their performance. "I think on a Saturday it will probably compromise us a tenth of two, but we expect it to also compromise the other manufacturers a tenth or so. So we are probably a net one tenth down on a Saturday. "But on a Sunday we're definitely net up by a big margin. And I think what Mercedes has done to improve the engine to allow us to run a very high engine more for the whole race is really impressive and she's going to be flying on the Sundays." Racing Point's Sergio Perez reckoned, however, there was a risk of more engine failures this weekend as the result of teams perhaps pushing harder in the races. "We don't know how hard the others can run their engines in the race, we will see," said the Mexican. "I think certainly it's going to hurt us a bit in qualifying. "And it's to be seen how much we are able to gain back in the race compared to others. It's all relative. So I think it's just a matter of waiting for this weekend. "This track is very hard on engines, so there might be some engines blowing up out there this weekend. So it will be important to make it to the end. And it will be very interesting to see the differences across teams."

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