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RENAULT: WE HAVE ADAPTED TO ADDRESS THE SITUATION

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Renault F1 Team previews the sixth race weekend of the 2019 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the Monaco Grand Prix.

Drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo share their thoughts on the challenges of the legendary Circuit de Monaco, while Cyril Abiteboul and Chassis Technical Director Nick Chester give the latest on the team and on the 2019 package.

Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal: “The first five races of the year have been disappointing but as ever we have adapted to address the situation. We understand the overall level of our car and the progress we need to make to satisfy our objectives, but at the same time, we appreciate the role circumstances have played in those five races.

“We have the necessary ability, resources and resilience at Enstone and Viry, but also two determined and talented drivers to recover our real competitiveness level. Monaco is a circuit that offers a huge challenge, and it’s one that gives surprises too. Daniel enters this Grand Prix as last year’s pole sitter and race winner and we’ll be counting on his and Nico’s experience to give the result we need to lift our campaign.”

Nick Chester, Chassis Technical Director: “Monaco is a unique track, very slow, bumpy and tight. Each lap can be extremely busy and to allow the driver to focus solely on the driving, you need consistency from the chassis and engine every lap. Ultimately, Monaco is about confidence. When a driver is confident it can make a big difference, we will do everything we can to get Nico and Daniel happy with car balance so they can focus on the track.”

Nico Hülkenberg: “There’s nothing quite like Monaco; it’s a real highlight of the year and the race I most look forward to. Everything is special there, the prestige of the event itself, the history and the glamour. You get a real buzz all weekend from the atmosphere.”

“I live in Monaco so I stay at home throughout the race weekend and enjoy all the comforts that provides. There are a couple of street circuits on the Formula 1 calendar in Baku and Singapore, which are great in their own right, but Monaco is just fantastic and incomparable.”

“It gives you a huge adrenaline rush and you really feel the sensation of speed there with walls tight on both sides for the whole lap. Monaco is about having confidence and being able to be on the limit.”

Daniel Ricciardo: “Monaco is my favourite race of the year because of all the adrenaline and excitement you get out from it. Insane is probably the best way of describing the circuit. It almost feels like you shouldn’t be allowed to race on it!”

“I sit in traffic on these roads in my day to day life, so when May comes around I know it’s almost time to have that one opportunity a year to race on them – that’s pretty crazy when you think about it! Last year’s victory is up there with one of my best wins, that’s for sure.”

“To take pole position in Monaco on two occasions is an amazing feeling, especially as you’re giving it full beans for just over a minute and your adrenaline is pumping. But to have won in Monaco is a dream come true and it was made even sweeter after missing out in previous years from excellent positions.”

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WILLIAMS: WE BELIEVE WE’VE IMPROVED PERFORMANCE OF THE FW42

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This weekend we head to the coast of the Mediterranean and the crown jewel in the F1 calendar, the Monaco Grand Prix, a race that needs no introduction.

The streets of Monte Carlo leave little margin for error, the tight and twisty circuit being highly unforgiving and demanding the very best from both car and driver.

Robert and George are both familiar with the track, with the Pole climbing on to the unique podium twice as he finished second in 2008 and third in 2010. The young Brit meanwhile got his first taste of the principality in FIA F2 last year but will be looking for a smoother weekend this time around, having retired from both races in 2018. Finally, the team had a successful two-day test at the Circuit de Barcelona- Catalunya and is aiming to continue this progress at the weekend.

Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer: “Monaco is always one of the highlights of the Formula One calendar. Although a challenging event for the drivers and engineers alike, the surroundings and atmosphere make it a uniquely enjoyable race.”

“Following the race and test in Barcelona, we believe that we have improved the performance of the FW42 and increased our understanding of the car and the tyres. Whether this will show or not in Monaco is unclear due to the unique nature of the Monte Carlo circuit and unpredictable local climate.”

“However, we look forward to the challenge of Monaco knowing that we will need to make some changes to the car to suit this circuit and knowing how important it is to develop the drivers’ confidence over the course of the weekend.”

“We also know that Monaco can spring a few surprises and we will be ready to use our excellent reliability and pit stop performance to exploit any opportunities that arise.”

Robert Kubica: “Monaco is a challenging circuit. I remember the streets to be narrow, and now the cars are wider and much bigger, it will be tough. It is a special race, one very different to the others on the Formula One calendar.”

“Already this year, we have had a street circuit race in Baku with close walls and barriers, but Monaco has different characteristics and I look forward to driving there.”

George Russell: “Monaco is a very iconic circuit and place on the Formula One calendar. It will be a privilege to drive around the streets once again. Last year in Formula 2 was my worst weekend of the year, so I hope to make a better job of it this year.”

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RACING POINT: IN MONACO WE WANT TO FIGHT FOR POINTS

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Racing Point preview the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, Round 6 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, on the streets of Monte-Carlo.

Lance Stroll: “Monaco is always a huge weekend. When you think of Formula One, you also think of Monaco because it’s just such a special event. There’s so much history and the buzz around the town creates an amazing atmosphere. We try to treat it like any other race weekend, but everything is a bit different in Monaco – the garages, the schedule, the logistics.

“As a driving experience it’s one of the biggest challenges of the year. There’s no room for mistakes because the walls are so close. The track improves each session and you need to build up your speed all the way to qualifying. It is definitely the most important qualifying session of the year because overtaking is really difficult on Sunday.

“I’m feeling pretty upbeat ahead of Monaco. Even though we didn’t get the result we wanted in Spain, the work we did across the weekend and during the test was useful. We learned a lot about the car, about the new updates, and where we can find performance. It will be interesting to see how we perform in Monaco because it’s a unique track, but I feel positive about the next few races because I think they will give us an opportunity to show our true potential.”

Sergio Perez: “I love everything about Monaco. It’s so different from any other race weekend and I enjoy every moment. The location is beautiful with all the yachts in the harbour and I feel the same excitement every time I go back there. It’s the race everybody wants to go to and it’s one of those events where the fans can get close to the action. I think anybody who loves Formula One needs to go to Monaco and just experience the atmosphere during race week.

“The circuit is my favourite of the year because it’s difficult for the drivers. I’ve always enjoyed driving on street circuits and Monaco is the best of them all. When you go out of the pits on Thursday morning for the first time you can’t believe how narrow the track feels. There really is no room for errors and I think that’s what Formula One needs. If you make a mistake at some circuits, you get away with it, but in Monaco you really pay for it. It’s a different challenge and it tests you more than other circuits.

“The key to Monaco is building your confidence. It’s important to have a smooth lead up to qualifying because you need to feel totally comfortable in the car by the time qualifying begins. There’s always big track evolution so you need to be on track at the right time too. Q1 is always a a lottery because there are so many cars on track and it’s not easy to find space to complete a clean lap. If we can get good track position for Sunday then I think we’ve got a good chance to score points.”

Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal: “I learned a long time ago not to make any predictions about Monaco. It’s unlike any other circuit on the calendar and in that sense you don’t know what to expect until you get on track and see how the car is performing. We want to be fighting for points come Sunday and I think we’ve got every chance of doing so. As a team we’ve picked up strong results in Monaco in previous years and we know how important it is to be reactive to whatever situations arise and flexible with the strategy.”

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F1 Paddock Pass: Pre-Race At The 2019 Monaco Grand Prix

 

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Charles Leclerc to honour father and Jules Bianchi with helmet design

Monaco helmet design of Ferrari F1 racer Charles Leclerc

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc is to honour his father and Jules Bianchi with a special helmet design at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Under current Formula 1 regulations drivers are permitted just a single one-off design per season, and Leclerc has opted to take advantage at his home event.

Leclerc will discard his usual design for a half-and-half approach in order to pay tribute to both his father and Bianchi.

The youngster’s father, Herve, was an occasional competitor in French Formula 3 in the 1990s but passed away in 2017, while Leclerc was racing in Formula 2.

Bianchi, meanwhile, was Leclerc’s godfather, with their respective families holding a close connection.

Bianchi, whose sole Formula 1 points came in Monaco with Marussia five years ago this weekend, died in 2015 as a result of the injuries he sustained in a crash at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix.

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Leclerc last year ran his father's helmet design at Monaco, when he competed for Sauber.

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How not to drive around Monaco

 

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Monaco GP: Latest F1 tech updates, straight from pitlane

Monaco GP: Latest F1 tech updates, straight from pitlane

Giorgio Piola and Sutton Images bring you the Formula 1 technical updates on show in the Monte Carlo pitlane at the Monaco Grand Prix, giving insight into the relentless development undertaken by the teams in pursuit of more performance.

Renault F1 Team rear detail

Renault F1 Team rear detail

Renault’s high downforce rear wing offering, which comes with a hefty load angle, while the T-Wing mounted on the engine cover ahead is also looking to grab more performance owing to its camber and multiple profiles. You’ll note that the team has also added a Y150 monkey seat winglet that straddles the exhaust outlet and is mounted between the rear wing pillars.

Renault R.S.19 bargeboard

Renault R.S.19 bargeboard

A close up of the multi-element bargeboards being run by the Renault F1 team.

Renault F1 Team front detail

Renault F1 Team front detail

Renault has added these nose winglets alongside its ‘S’-duct solution in Monaco. It’s a solution we’ve seen Mercedes run since the start of the season and helps to not only improve the performance of the ‘S’-duct but they also create vortices that drive aerodynamic performance downstream.

Red Bull nose detail

Red Bull nose detail

Ordinarily the nose tip offers a thoroughfare for the airflow but with slower speeds around the Principality the team has opted to run an enclosed version this weekend. This should also reduce weight a little too, given that the nose ordinarily run on the RB15 will require a pretty specific load characteristic to pass the crash tests.

Red Bull fins

Red Bull fins

Red Bull has also added these control fins on the outer edge of the floor, which are designed to work in tandem with the fully enclosed slot on the floor beside them. The fins capture and divert some of the errant flow that comes around the sidepods undercut and helps it on its way through the slot. These could help boost performance for Red Bull on the twisty streets of Monte Carlo as the team look to better seal the edge of the floor at lower speeds.

Red Bull floor detail

Red Bull floor detail

A rearward view of the aforementioned floor fins, which may help to build a better picture of how the airflow may move around the car in that region.

Red Bull Racing RB15 front suspension

Red Bull Racing RB15 front suspension

This image of the RB15 as it was being built up in the garage allows us to see how pipework within the brake drum carries airflow from the inlet and disposes of it out of the wheel face.

Red Bull technical detail

Red Bull technical detail

A look at the RB15’s front suspension and more importantly the ‘heave’ element which in this case utilises Belleville springs.

Red Bull technical detail

Red Bull technical detail

Looking down over the Red Bull RB15’s front suspension we can see how the upper wishbone legs are splayed at the outboard end, a novelty for this team as everyone else runs with a singular, triangular element.

Ferrari suspension detail

Ferrari suspension detail

We can use the Ferrari picture here as a comparison for the wishbone solution but it’s also worth noting how the wishbone has been angled away on the outer trailing edge. This allows the driver to add more steering angle without the wheel coming into contact with the suspension elements.

Ferrari SF90 bargeboard

Ferrari SF90 bargeboard

A fantastic close-up of the Ferrari SF90’s bargeboards and floor reveals the level of detail that goes into this area of the car. Note the legality cutouts in the horizontal element above the Mission Winnow logo which marry up with the slots in the footplates below.

Ferrari SF90 rear wing

Ferrari SF90 rear wing

A nice overview of the Ferrari SF90’s rear end packaging which will utilise the highest downforce configuration so far this season. Note how the upwash strikes on the endplate are pronounced in order that they affect the surrounding airflow.

Haas F1 technical detail

Haas F1 technical detail

The Haas VF19 rear wing is running maximum downforce for the Monaco GP, but also note how the team is using a multi-element T-Wing and a winglet mounted between the rear wing pillars in order to try and leverage more.

McLaren MCL34 front wing and engine cover

McLaren MCL34 front wing and engine cover

An overview of the two front wing solutions that McLaren has available in Monaco, with the upper of the two on the stand introduced in Spain. The main variation comes from the shape of the flaps, which in the new version arch over to meet the endplate at its base, rather than and 30mm or so up. The upper flaps are also much more unloaded in the outer portion, much like the designs favoured by Alfa Romeo, Toro Rosso and Ferrari in the early part of the season.

Williams FW42 wheel and tyre

Williams FW42 wheel and tyre

A close up of Williams front wheel also reveals the brake duct detail behind. You’ll note the silver outlet scoop in the frontal portion that delivers airflow captured by the inboard brake duct scoop and passes it out through the wheel face to reduce the aerodynamic turbulence being created by the wheel and tyre.

Williams FW42 exhaust

Williams FW42 exhaust

This close up of the Williams FW42’s rear end gives us a great view of their exhaust and wastegate setup, the mini winglet mounted atop the crash structure and the fluted outer Gurney style extensions that wrap around the diffuser.

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Can Red Bull and Ferrari end Mercedes’ winning run in Monaco?

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If you had picked a race ahead of the season that would give Ferrari and Red Bull their best opportunity for victory, chances are you would have chosen this weekend’s race in Monaco. Mercedes have been off the pace in the Principality in the last couple of years, allowing Ferrari and Red Bull to take a win apiece. And with Mercedes having won all five races with one-twos so far in 2019, it’s no surprise that the subject of a potentially different winner was a hot topic in the Monte Carlo…

The F1 paddock was in mourning on Wednesday, following the news Niki Lauda, a three-time world champion, had passed away. The Austrian was an F1 favourite who was great company. His efforts at Mercedes, where he served as non-executive chairman, were a key part in the Silver Arrows achieving the level of dominance they have enjoyed over the last five seasons.

Lauda twice won in Monaco, the Austrian taming the tight and twisty streets in his Ferrari to triumph in 1975 and 1976. On paper, his Mercedes team face their sternest challenge of the campaign to repeat that feat, with the Silver Arrows having struggled to challenge at the sharp end in each of the last two years. Last year, the fight for victory was between Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, the former holding off the German while nursing an engine issue to come out on top.

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Max Verstappen will fancy his chances, of course. Had he not crashed in final practice last year, and missed qualifying as a result, the Dutchman would have very likely won the race – with Red Bull probably scoring a one-two. This year, though, he was playing down his chances. “We get into this weekend seeing Mercedes clearly as the favourite,” he said. “I don’t think we are as good as we were last year. But we will find out. I’m confident that we can fight for a podium, but we have to find out what step of the podium.”

His team mate Pierre Gasly echoed his team mate’s cautious take on the state of play. “Based on previous races, the team here has been pretty much stronger than at any other track,” he said. “It’s a track that suits the car well. I would not say we are the favourites but we should have a better performance than at other tracks.”

Red Bull will know this is their best chance of victory since last year’s Mexican Grand Prix, but they are also aware Mercedes will likely be more of a threat this year on the Monte Carlo streets. Why? Well in Barcelona, the Silver Arrows were brilliantly quick in the third sector – which is packed full of low-speed corners. Gasly described their pace there as “pretty scary”. Yes, Monaco and the third sector of Spain are very different challenges still, but according to our data simulations, Mercedes look like they will have the best package this year, with Red Bull and Ferrari closely matched and not too far behind.

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We shouldn’t be surprised, really. Mercedes have been brutally efficient this year and taken every single opportunity afforded to them. Reliability has been impressive and they are operating on a level not seen in the history of F1. Lewis Hamilton has also described the W10 as the best the team have ever produced…

Ferrari have struggled to get the tyres to work consistently in 2019, the type of track surface having a big impact on their level of competiveness. Whether or not they can contend for victory in Monaco will depend partially on whether they understand their car better. Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto suggested their pain could be caused by the overall design concept, and admitted earlier today that the team are “already working in Maranello on evaluating new concepts, as well as bringing some initial further updates” to Monaco. It will take time for them to define what changes are needed – and even longer for them to be introduced.

But Vettel, winner in 2017, does not believe that rules out hope of victory here, and is open-minded about the team’s chances. “Obviously this track is unique and anything can happen this weekend, so it’s probably irrelevant what the paper might say or the form of the last four or five races might suggest,” he said. “Coming here, anything can happen, but certainly going forward we know we are not quick enough to beat Mercedes. But we are working very hard to make a difference to do so as soon as we can.”

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His team mate Charles Leclerc, racing on home soil for Ferrari for the first time, also tried to remain positive. “The low-speed corners weren’t great in Barcelona, but normally Monaco is pretty different,” he said. “We will try to turn things round. It’s not going to be easy but we will give it everything.”

Crucially for Ferrari, they are not letting their heads drop despite the drubbing they have received at the hands of Mercedes. Get everything right in qualifying – when the hard work for the race win is done given the lack of overtaking opportunity – and they could finally get some light relief come Sunday.

Red Bull, too, will be thinking this is their time to shine, the impressive amount of downforce the RB15 can generate a real plus point in Monte Carlo. But much will depend on what Mercedes do. If they get everything right, as they have done all season, the driver on the top step may well be bedecked in silver. Given the circumstances, that would be a fitting way to end what will be a very sombre weekend.

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LAUDA HONOURED WITH TRIBUTES AT SOMBRE MONACO

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Poignant tributes to Niki Lauda, including a solitary red baseball cap left hanging on his earphones peg, were all around the Mercedes team motorhome and their cars on Thursday morning as practice began for the Monaco Grand Prix.

On a dry and hazy morning in the Mediterranean principality, the cramped harbourside paddock was in sombre mood as Formula 1 honoured the Austrian, who died overnight Monday aged 70.

Like Mercedes, where he was a larger-than-life figure on the pit-wall as the team’s plain-speaking non-executive chairman, and Ferrari, with whom he won his first two championships, McLaren were also honouring the memory of the man and where he won his third drivers world title.

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The Ferrari SF90 cars ran with a decal marking his time with them in the form of a replica graphic of his name as used on the side of the cars when he raced for the team from 1974 to 1977.

It was underlined in black as a sign of mourning.

Sebastian Vettel, the four-time champion who is a keen historian of the sport and was close to Lauda, wore a special helmet livery reflecting the famous red one the Austrian used in his racing career.

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Mercedes marked the passing of the man who was instrumental in persuading Lewis Hamilton to join from McLaren with a red star, Lauda’s signature and a message of thanks ‘Danke Niki’ on their cars.

“As you can imagine, this is a very difficult time for the team, for all of us, and it is very difficult, most importantly, as a friend,” said team boss and fellow-Austrian Toto Wolff.

“It’s not an easy situation to try to go back to racing especially not in Monaco with so much media attention.

“I am trying to keep it together emotionally in speaking about a friend. This is what matters most and what hurts the most. It is one thing that the world and the F1 community has lost the biggest icon, but it is totally different, and more difficult, to have lost a friend.”

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Speaking to reporters ahead of Thursday’s practice, Wolff asked the news media to respect the team’s emotions as they continued racing “as Niki would have wanted us to do nothing else”.

“It’s so hard to talk about Niki, the icon in F1 that he was,” he added.

“The biggest icon that we had. My emotions are so overwhelming as a friend. The 48 hours have been terrible. I feel like a zombie – I keep looking at the pictures and find myself with tears in my eyes every half hour because he’s not here anymore.

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“This isn’t easy. There’s a huge black cloud and there is someone who is so dearly missed in this team and in F1. I feel we’ve lost the heart and soul of Formula One.”

Vettel not only sported a near-replica Lauda helmet, but revealed also that, after learning of his friend’s lung transplant operation last year, he wrote a letter that he described as being “a great pleasure” and “full of fine words.”

Other teams including Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Haas carried tributes on their cars as championship leader and defending five-time champion Lewis Hamilton set the pace.

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The Briton was excused from appearing at a routine pre-event news conference on Wednesday due to his emotional condition following Lauda’s death, his place being taken by Silver Arrows team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

The pair swapped fastest laps to stay ahead of the chasing pack as Mercedes sought to extend their record breaking run of five one-two season opening triumphs to six at this weekend’s classic blue riband street race.

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MERCEDES: OUR MAIN CONCERN IS GETTING THE SOFT TYRE TO WORK

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Mercedes report from day one of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, Round 6 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, on the streets of Monte-Carlo.

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport set the pace in both Thursday practice

Lewis Hamilton: “It’s the dream for every driver to come to Monaco and have a car that you can exploit and utilise your abilities with. I’m really proud of the team and naturally our goal is to try and do something really positive this weekend. We’ve made some small tweaks over the two sessions and during the sessions as well, but I’ve been quite happy with the set-up.”

“Every year we come back here, it gets faster and you really notice it when you’re going past the barriers. Coming into Turn 12, you carry so much speed into that corner, and then there’s just the wall in front of you; going up the hill to Casino it’s the same thing. It’s incredibly intense out there and you have to be so focused.

Valtteri Bottas: “It’s been a good day for us on track. In previous years, the car felt sometimes difficult to drive, but today it was very driveable, responsive and enjoyable. You need to find the limits on this track and I felt comfortable to push towards the limit, which is a good sign.”

“Now we need to fine tune the set-up and make sure we keep going in the right direction. I think we’ve started the weekend on the right foot, but we’re in Monaco and anything can happen.

Andrew Shovlin: “As far as Monaco free practice sessions go, today’s was fairly smooth. The first session was good, we were trying to run in the quiet parts of the session and were able to give the drivers a lot of time in clear air. We even managed to fit some higher fuel work in towards the end.”

“The car was quite well-balanced once we got the tyres up to temperature. Over the break, we expected the track to gain a bit of grip, so the changes were fairly modest. We started the second session on the Medium tyre, expecting it to be a bit of a handful but actually it was working quite nicely.”

“We still seemed to have problems getting lap one out of the Soft, despite the hotter track temperatures in the afternoon. On the long runs we were suffering with an incredible amount of traffic and the drivers struggled to put two clear laps together. That has meant we’ve not got quite the level of information we’d like going into the race.”

“Monaco is unusual in that we have an extra day between the practice sessions so it gives us more time to look at data and understand the issues.”

“Our number one concern is getting the Soft tyre to work on the first lap; our headline times were good today but it took us a lot of laps to get there and qualifying is so important at this track. We’ve got Esteban in the simulator this evening and tomorrow so hopefully he can help with some of that learning.

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FERRARI: WE ARE STRUGGLING A BIT

sebastian vettel monaco practice

Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow racked up 145 laps of the Monaco track over the three hours of free practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel stuck to the softest compound tyre all day.

In memory of Lauda. The Maranello team paid tribute to Niki Lauda with a sticker on the car celebrating the life of the Austrian champion and former Ferrari driver, who passed away last Monday. Sebastian also paid tribute, wearing a helmet featuring a design similar to the red helmet Lauda used for almost his entire career.

FP1. In the morning, both drivers worked on car set-up, while completing plenty of laps to get to grips with the specific demands of this circuit, where brushing the barriers but not hitting them, is vital to get a quick laptime. Charles did 25 laps, the best in 1:12.467 and Sebastian did eleven more, stopping the clocks in 1:12.823.

FP2. In the afternoon, both men did 42 laps each, running various fuel levels to simulate different parts of the race. The German’s fastest time was a 1’11”881, the third best of the day, while his Monegasque team-mate unfortunately ran into traffic on his quick laps and ended up tenth with a lap in 1:12.350.

Qualifying on Saturday. As usual at this event, there is no Formula 1 track action tomorrow. The 20 drivers in the championship will be back on track at noon on Saturday for the third and final free practice, followed by qualifying at 3pm. The race is on Sunday at 3.10pm.

Sebastian Vettel: “I decided to use a helmet dedicated to Niki. Being a tribute to him, as a person and to his career, the design is based on his last Ferrari helmet. I thought that maybe it was nice to take him along for a final couple of laps around Monaco.”

“Talking about our performance we are struggling a bit, we are lacking some pace compared to our main rivals. We are still not happy with how the tyres work. I think we have a bit of work ahead of us.”

“In terms of balance we can still improve on everything. We will work in order to have a car that is more predictable. I am sure on Saturday the situation should improve and maybe it will be also warmer, which could help us.”

Charles Leclerc: “We have some work to do before returning to the track on Saturday. The first session was ok and I felt quite comfortable in the car. It was more difficult to put the car and the tyres in the right window in the afternoon, and we were also held up by traffic.”

“Nevertheless, our competitors are strong and we have to push to close the gap in qualifying. We will give it everything and I can’t wait to be back in the car.”

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RED BULL: THE PACE WAS PRETTY GOOD

max verstappen monaco photo

Monaco, the glittering jewel in the crown of Formula 1. It’s one of the most iconic races on the calendar and is instantly recognisable. But what makes it so special?

Watching a driver get it absolutely right in Monaco is what make it so special. Kissing the barriers on the exit of Sainte-Dévote, braking hard and turning on a dime into the Nouvelle Chicane and bouncing right and left through the Swimming Pool like a laser-guided rubber ball – is a thing of great beauty. It’s also a true litmus test of the great and merely good.

It’s an oft used maxim but there is a definite ring of truth about the notion. Think of it this way: of the 34 drivers who have won the Monaco Grand Prix, 18 of them (53%) have been world champion.

And the first taste of track action greeted us on Thursday morning as the Bulls took to the streets of Monte Carlo for the first practice session of the weekend.

Free Practice One saw Max finish the session in P2 after posting a time of 1:12.165 from his 35 laps. Pierre put down a best time of 1:13.170 from 41 laps, which was good enough for P6.

The second session of the day, Free Practice Two, saw the Bulls finish the session P4 and P6. Pierre posted a 1:11.938 after 39 laps. Max set a time of 1:12.052 from his 17 laps.

Max Verstappen

First Practice Session: 1:12.165, Position: 2, Laps: 35
Second Practice Session: 1:12.052, Position: 6, Laps: 17

“Today was ok and I’m pretty happy with the balance of the car. In FP2 when everyone went onto a second set of tyres we had a water leak after some debris flew into the air box and damaged one of the radiators. We had to fix it which lost us some time on track but in general, we look alright and the pace was pretty good.”

“I got enough laps in to feel confident with the car, we tried lots of set-up changes in both sessions and I’m happy with what we have. Mercedes is still very strong and I don’t think we can fight them for pole, but there is a big gap between second and third which we should be able to fill in qualifying tomorrow.”

Pierre Gasly

First Practice Session: 1:13.170, Position: 6, Laps: 41
Second Practice Session: 1:11.938, Position: 4, Laps: 39

“It was a good day and I’m really happy. FP1 was a little difficult, but we made some changes for FP2 and I felt a lot better in the car, even in the long runs. As we expected, Mercedes are really fast and quite a long way ahead of us, but we can see we’re in a fight with Ferrari.”

“If it’s raining on Saturday then anyone has a chance, but the Team is usually pretty strong here. There is still some work to do but hopefully we can find even more performance for Saturday, when it’s all about qualifying and getting a good starting position. We’ll do everything we can.”

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ALFA ROMEO: WE ARE NOT GETTING CARRIED AWAY

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Alfa Romeo report from day one of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, Round 6 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, on the streets of Monte-Carlo.

Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal: “It’s good to start in Monaco with two clean session, as track time is essential to build confidence around this track. We are satisfied with the work we did today but we are not getting carried away. Finding some extra performance is crucial if we want to target two places in Q3, which is our objective.”

Kimi Räikkönen

1st practice: 9th / 1:13.363 (39 laps)
2nd practice: 9th / 1:12.342 (51 laps)

“I am not unhappy with the first two practice sessions. It was better than expected, but we still have a lot of work to do to get the best out of the car.”

Antonio Giovinazzi

1st practice: 12th / 1:13.437 (39 laps)
2nd practice: 8th / 1:12.239 (51 laps)

“I am happy about today’s work. The first time in an F1 car around Monaco can be a bit daunting, but I got into a rhythm quickly and was able to enjoy the sessions. There isn’t a lot between all the teams so we will need to make some more improvement tonight to stay in the top 10.”

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RACING POINT: SERGIO WAS HAPPIER THAN LANCE

Sergio Perez Monaco

Racing Point report from day one of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, Round 6 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, on the streets of Monte-Carlo.

Sergio Perez

FP1 1:14.566 P16 39 laps
FP2 1:12.752 P15 43 laps

“We completed lots of laps today, but I haven’t found the Monaco rhythm just yet and I think that shows in our performance today. We need to find a good step if we want to be in the fight for Q3 so there’s a big night ahead of us and we need to make good use of the extra day tomorrow.”

“The car doesn’t feel too bad – the balance is okay, but we are still on the back foot. With some fine-tuning we can definitely make things better. Understanding the data and making good decisions is a real strength of this team so I’m confident we can be in a better position by Saturday afternoon”

Lance Stroll

FP1 1:16.135 P19 36 laps
FP2 1:14.558 P18 39 laps

“It’s not been the easiest day. We took things steady this morning and tried to build up our speed gradually, but the car isn’t where we need it to be just yet. We’re missing some speed so we need to work hard tonight and tomorrow to understand where we can make some improvements.”

Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal: “Thursdays in Monaco are always tricky because the track is dirty and constantly evolves. The priority was getting the drivers in the groove so that they built their confidence and felt comfortable in the car.”

“Sergio was happier than Lance, but we’re still chasing a better set-up on both cars and that’s where we will focus our energy over the next 24 hours. It’s a race where qualifying performance often dictates your race result so that’s where we need to concentrate. We have the luxury of an extra day to crunch all the numbers and find the best solution for Saturday.”

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MCLAREN: THERE’S STILL A LOT OF WORK TO DO

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McLaren report from day one of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, Round 6 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, on the streets of Monte-Carlo.

Carlos Sainz

FP1 2:00.670s (+48.564s) 4 laps 20th
FP2 1:12.419s (+1.301s) 47 laps 13th

“Well, obviously it hasn’t been an ideal Thursday in Monaco. Missing out the whole of FP1 isn’t the way you want to start a Monaco Grand Prix, but the mechanics made a great effort to change the ES pack and get me back out at the end of the session, just to do one lap and see how everything felt.

“FP2 went better but obviously I am 30-40 laps behind my competitors and there are things to improve on the car. It’s important to get up to speed little-by-little, so we need to be intelligent when recovering the time lost. Quali is what really matters and there is still margin to work and improve.”

Lando Norris

FP1 1:14.278s (+2.172s) 39 laps 15th
FP2 1:12.393s (+1.275s) 27 laps 12th

“Overall not a bad day, not perfect and a bit messy. I had a lock-up in FP1 which made me lose quite a few laps and I couldn’t do all the running we’d planned, but we still maximised the session and did some aero runs instead.

“We made a decent improvement between sessions and FP2 was much better, so I’m happy with what we achieved. But there’s still a lot of work to do, and we need to make sure we make some more positive changes so that we can be at the front of the midfield.”

James Key, Technical Director: “It’s been an eventful day, as expected, here at Monaco. We tried some new parts on both cars. Unfortunately for Carlos he had a powertrain related issue in FP1 which restricted his running. It was Lando’s first time here in an F1 car and he settled in very well.

“Good work between the sessions saw us achieve a better balance with both cars in FP2. Lando suffered some stoppage time due to a bit of damage from kerbing. Getting into Q3 is likely to be extremely tight, a matter of tenths or even hundredths. We’ll continue to work our way forwards.”

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HAAS: THE CAR SEEMS TO BE COMPETITIVE

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The sixth round of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship began with practice Thursday at Circuit de Monaco as teams prepared for Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Two 90-minute sessions – FP1 and FP2 – were run in partly cloudy conditions on the 3.337-kilometer (2.074-mile), 19-turn street circuit that has remained relatively unchanged since it first saw racecars in 1929.

Rich Energy Haas F1 Team experienced telemetry and radio issues in FP1 costing valuable track time, but Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean responded with solid, top-10 laps before the checkered flag. Both drivers ran exclusively on the Pirelli P Zero Red soft tire throughout the session.

Magnussen posted a time of 1:13.232 on his 20th lap that was eighth-best. He completed 24 laps. Grosjean’s quick time of 1:13.379 came on his 21st lap. He completed 23 laps and was the 10th-fastest driver.

Magnussen began FP2 in the afternoon on the Pirelli P Zero White hard tire before switching to the softs and concluding the session with another run on hards. His fast lap of 1:12.174 came on his 28th lap shod on softs and was 1.058 seconds better than his fast lap in FP1. He ran a session-high 54 laps.

Grosjean began FP2 on mediums before transitioning to softs and finishing on mediums. His best lap of 1:12.392 came on his 18th lap, also on softs, and was a .987-of-a-second improvement over his best lap in FP1. He completed 51 laps.

Rich Energy Haas F1 Team ran a total of 152 laps – 78 by Magnussen and 74 by Grosjean – during the two sessions.

FP1 Rundown

Magnussen: 8th overall (1:13.232), 24 laps completed
Grosjean: 10th overall (1:13.379), 23 laps completed
Fastest Driver: Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes (1:12.106)
Most Laps: Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes (47 laps)


FP2 Rundown

Magnussen: 7th overall (1:12.174), 54 laps completed
Grosjean: 11th overall (1:12.392), 51 laps completed
Fastest Driver: Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes (1:11.118)
Most Laps: Magnussen (54 laps)

Romain Grosjean: “It’s been a good day. We didn’t really know what to expect coming here – obviously, last year here, it wasn’t our strongest race. I was open-minded to what we could get. I’m quite happy with the way the car was.”

“We possibly didn’t quite choose the right set-up for FP2, but we tried something which was interesting. Now we can analyze all the data for Saturday. I think we should be in the mix for a good qualifying.”

Kevin Magnussen: “We lost a bit of running in FP1 due to a telemetry problem, but got running again, and got all our low-fuel work done. That allowed me to get a good feeling for the car. We missed out on a few high-fuel laps, but we got them in FP2, so it wasn’t too bad of a Thursday. Between us we also ran on all the tire compounds today, so that’s good.”

“The car feels good in low-fuel, so we’ll see what we can do for tire management. It’s a tough track to overtake on, so it’s not the main priority, but of course we want to be fast in race runs. So far everything’s going okay, and hopefully Q3’s a possibility.”

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal: “It’s been an interesting and eventful day for us. This morning we had some issues with our IT equipment and we couldn’t run for a while. It was all sorted, but a lot of people read a lot more into the black flags than there actually was. We still managed to get out with about 20 minutes left in FP1.”

“FP2 was pretty good. We ran a lot of laps, we didn’t have any issues. Everything was up and running again. The car seems to be competitive. So, let’s see what happens Saturday, and hopefully we can repeat our result from today and have a good qualifying – which means having a good race on Sunday.”

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RENAULT: WE HAVE A SOLID BASE TO WORK FROM

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Renault F1 Team began preparations for the 66th Monaco Grand Prix on Thursday at an overcast Monte Carlo circuit.

Today focused on building the drivers’ comfort level in the Renault R.S.19 and finding confidence in the set-up with the track-specific high-downforce package.

Nico Hülkenberg posted the seventh fastest time in the morning session with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo just short of two tenths off Nico’s time.

Traffic on the circuit played a major role in the afternoon, with Nico finishing sixteenth and Daniel seventeenth.

Alan Permane Technical programme notes:

Thursday ran largely problem-free with both cars running to their planned programmes.

In Free Practice 1 both Nico and Daniel ran with Pirelli’s Soft (red) tyre with the early running geared towards dialling back in to the demands of a tight street circuit and finding comfort in set-up.

In Free Practice 2, Daniel began on Hard (white) tyres and Nico on Mediums (yellow), before both ran on Softs.
What we learned today: We have a solid base to work from today and drivers’ initial feedback is encouraging, but there’s quite a bit more pace to find ahead of Qualifying.

Nico Hülkenberg

“Today seemed to go OK, especially in the morning session. In the afternoon, on my short run on the Soft tyre, we were interrupted with a lot of traffic so there was certainly more left in that. Monaco is always interesting and different to the usual race weekend and it’s good to have a day off tomorrow to go through all the data and find the best set-up for the next couple of days. I’m feeling comfortable, the base feels good, but there’s work to do here and there.”

Daniel Ricciardo

“I felt relatively comfortable in the morning and I was pleased that we got up to speed quite quickly. However, we didn’t make the step we needed in the afternoon. We did make some changes, but maybe they didn’t help as well as we’d have liked. Following the afternoon session, we have a bit more homework to do to really find that extra bit. As ever around Monaco, it’s awesome to be back driving a Formula 1 car on these streets. That’s always special.”

Nick Chester, Chassis Technical Director: “We were reasonably happy after the first session; we put a lot of laps in, the drivers felt comfortable and the balance didn’t seem too bad. In the afternoon, we weren’t as quick. We’ll see what we did with set-up changes and look how we get the pace back for FP3 on Saturday. We know we have work to do for a better day on Saturday, but we have tomorrow to go over everything and make the right changes.”

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TORO ROSSO: THE CAR IS LOOKING COMPETITIVE HERE

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Toro Rosso report from the first day of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, Round 6 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, on the streets of Monte-Carlo.

Alexander Albon

“It was a good day for us, it’s really fun out there and I like the track a lot. I think we got the car in the right window, now we just need to study what we’ve learnt from today, so we can fine-tune the car and get ready for Saturday. We made a couple of adjustments for the afternoon session and I like how the car feels. We’re cautious that other teams will improve for Saturday but finishing in the top five is a nice feeling.”

Daniil Kvyat

“I think from my side today was quite good. We completed everything we had planned for the day, but I think there’s still something missing and there’s quite a bit of time left to find. We will work hard to understand what we can do to improve so we’re in the fight for Saturday.”

Jonathan Eddolls, Chief Race Engineer: “Overall, the team had a successful Thursday in Monte Carlo, given it was the first time here for Alex in F1 and with Daniil missing 2018. One of the main objectives was to give the drivers as many laps as possible with a consistent car to build up the pace and their confidence, which is key to a quick lap here.”

“Both drivers got up to speed very quickly in FP1 on the Option tyre and the STR14 was looking competitive, even though the general grip was low and the balance not perfect.”

“Our usage of tyres was quite different to most, as we elected to use our only Free Practice Prime tyre during FP1, which we used for the second run. The warm-up on this tyre was not as expected, with both drivers finding it very difficult to get it working over the short run, particularly for Daniil.”

“Both drivers managed to get the C4 working after several sustainable laps in the long run at the end of the session, although neither driver was completely happy with the car on this tyre.”

“Since we used our Prime in FP1, it left us two Option tyres to use in FP2, so a good opportunity for Quali practice and to get a read on the tyres over a longer run, particularly the graining sensitivity of this tyre, which we expected could be a challenge.”

“Daniil struggled with the car balance on the first run, so he aborted early to leave time to make the necessary setup changes for the second run – these changes helped but he still didn’t have as good a balance in the car as Alex had.”

“Alex’s second run was very clean and this is reflected in his lap time, finishing the session in P5. We closed the session with long runs, where we saw that the Option tyre was robust, even though it showed general degradation.”

“In summary, the car is looking competitive here, as demonstrated by Alex, but there is work to do by the engineers tonight and tomorrow to give Daniil a car that suits him on Saturday. We are confident we will be able to make improvements and challenge in Qualifying!”

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Giorgio Piola’s magic Monaco moments over 50 year

Legendary technical illustrator Giorgio Piola is celebrating 50 years of attending Formula 1 races, and this career retrospective is a collection of his favourite moments from the Monaco Grand Prix.
The 1969 race in the principality was the first Piola attended in a career that has spanned more than 800 grands prix. On Thursday, Ferrari hosted a celebration of his anniversary in its motorhome.

In this exclusive insight into his time in F1, Piola explains how he earned his first job that year, the precision required to excel in Monaco, and his favourite things he has witnessed on the streets of Monte Carlo during his five decades of attending the race.

 

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Ferrari considering bringing back Resta from Alfa

Ferrari considering bringing back Resta from Alfa

Ferrari is evaluating whether to bring back Alfa Romeo technical director Simone Resta to bolster its Formula 1 team.

Resta was Ferrari's head of vehicle project coordination until the middle of last year, and had fulfilled the role of chief designer since the end of 2014.

He joined Ferrari customer team Sauber, which has become Alfa Romeo, to be its technical director on July 1.

However, as Ferrari seeks to improve its structure under new team principal Mattia Binotto, amid a problematic start to the 2019 season, consideration has been given to Resta returning to Maranello.

"Yeah, I heard the rumours," Binotto said when asked by Motorsport.com to comment on speculation Resta could return to Ferrari.

"As a team, no doubt we are always trying to improve ourselves by looking where maybe we miss strengths. Simone has been in Ferrari in the past. He moved to be Alfa Romeo's technical director, he's having a great experience.

"We are evaluating him to be back at a certain stage. It's not something we've decided. We've covered his role currently in Maranello anyway, so it's not a plug-in situation.

"It's true that we are thinking, as we are thinking for other people that may join or may leave. As an organisation it's always very dynamic, and that's normal."

When Resta left his responsibilities were taken on by his deputy Fabio Montecchi, chief aerodynamicist David Sanchez and former Ferrari GT aero genius Enrico Cardile.

Ferrari's leadership structure is also very different to this time last year, with Binotto in the team principal role and his previous position as chief technical officer not directly replaced.

Sanchez and powertrain head Corrado Iotti support Binotto on the technical side, while Laurent Mekies joined as sporting director at the end of 2018.

"A lot of us moved into new roles recently," said Binotto. "In that respect we are quite a young team. It has got advantages no doubt, because it means fresh ideas, maybe some more creativity, it means some dynamic way of thinking and developing.

"But also we need to assess our organisation, get more experience in the role and make sure that as a team overall we are growing in that respect."

Binotto said his promotion to team principal did not leave a traditional void to fill because "I was certainly not the standard classical technical director that you may find in F1".

He explained this is because Ferrari houses its engine and chassis departments under one roof.

"I was technical director of both sides so it means that you cannot be a specialist of the engine, the ERS, the batteries, the aero, the chassis," he said.

"It means the technical director was really the managing role. Since I move to the team principal we reorganised a bit internally, because I need to be supported, especially on the technical side. It is not any more the same team but it is not really true that I have a double role."

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Ferrari to stick with current front wing concept

Ferrari to stick with current front wing concept

Ferrari says it plans to stick with its current front wing concept, despite rivals Mercedes dominating Formula 1 with an alternative design.

There was much intrigue at the start of the year about the different choices that Ferrari and Mercedes had made, with the two outfits opting for radically different front wings.

Mercedes had elected for a higher downforce solution, while Ferrari preferred a design that helped better manage outwash for improved aero efficiency.

Following its defeat at the Spanish Grand Prix, Ferrari had admitted that it had to consider the fact it may have got its concept wrong judging by how far behind Mercedes it had fallen.

But ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, team principal Mattia Binotto said recent investigations had left the team assured that its front wing choice was not a factor in its struggles.

"I think we do not need to change our front wing," he said when asked by Motorsport.com if the team felt it needed a different front wing solution.

"Simply it is a different concept to Mercedes, but it doesn't mean that we have achieved the maximum of its concept today. We are not foreseeing to change the wing concept.

"The Mercedes style was checked at the start of our project so it is a comparison that we did at the start which was for one way of development. Certainly through the season you always try to double check back what you did to see if it was the right choice, but we do not foresee a change right now."

Binotto said that Ferrari's main consideration at the moment was evaluating the pursuit of higher downforce developments for its car – with it believing its current low-drag focus is not helping it get the most out of Formula 1's 2019 tyres.

"The tyres of this season are quite different from the ones of last season," explained Binotto. "The main difference is that last year we had very good warm up with the tyres and we were all focused and concentrating on cooling the tyres as much as we could, to keep them working because the lower was the temperature the better was the grip.

"The tyres of this season are quite different in this respect. Warm up is a lot more difficult and let me say what we may call the window, the temperature target of when you have the best grip from the tyres itself, in order to achieve it you need to heat up the tyres.

"How can you achieve that? You can achieve that through braking temperatures, it is rims cooling, but also it is downforce no doubt. Not only the downforce has an absolute value, but it is how you may balance the downforce high speed to low speed. It may be as well how you may even target your aero development efficiency versus maximum downforce itself.

"I think we have a car that is somehow quite efficient, as you can see on the straights, but it doesn't mean we have the car that has the highest downforce in the pit lane.

"It is right to question ourselves if we should look for different overall targets of how to achieve the final performance."

As well as making changes to the aero development path, Binotto has suggested that alterations may need to be made to its front suspension to help its performance too.

"What we are lacking is grip from the tyres because we are not able to make them work properly," he said. "And that is interaction is between aero and mechanical, and overall it is a balance.

"You may set up your car to be strong in high speed and then you miss some balance and performance low speed. If a car is well balanced then you have performance in medium, high speed and low speed – and what we are lacking is the optimum in all conditions."

He added: "We need to develop the car. We need to improve, so there may be changes on the front suspension yes, as we may change aero, as you may change cooling. But I don't think that in the suspension itself there is something of principle that is wrong."

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"Silly" Ferrari rules veto "makes no sense" for F1 - Williams

"Silly" Ferrari rules veto "makes no sense" for F1 - Williams

Claire Williams says it is "silly" and "makes no sense" that Ferrari can veto Formula 1 rules and is expected to keep that right despite sweeping changes planned for 2021.

F1's governance is a democratic process but Ferrari has had the ability to block a regulation change for decades.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said during the previous grand prix weekend in Spain that he was optimistic of keeping the veto amid discussions over F1's 2021 rule overhaul and Ferrari's negotiations to continue in grand prix racing.

Binotto said that Ferrari's veto was "not only protecting us, but it's protecting all the teams hopefully we can keep the same rights", but that has been countered by several of Ferrari's rivals.

Asked if she agreed with Ferrari's right to have a veto, Williams's deputy team principal said: "No, I think it's just silly, if I can be honest. I have a problem in our sport anyway in the fact I feel it's far too democratic. I've been quite open about that.

"I feel that F1 and the FIA should take more ownership in the regulations. We want it too much in a collegiate way, which is detrimental when we all have our own agendas.

"We need to be looking at this sport and its sustainability for the future, protecting it and protecting the true DNA of that. Doing that by committee can be very difficult. I don't think one team should have the right to a veto. That makes no sense to me at all."

Williams's stance was backed up by fellow team chiefs who joined her in Thursday's official FIA press conference in Monaco.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner called Ferrari's veto "pretty outdated".

"You can view it two ways: it's a safety net because they're representing the teams but also they're representing Ferrari," he said. "Probably, if we're going for a clean sheet of paper, it would make sense for it not to be there, as Claire says, the same rules for everyone."

F1 and the FIA are finalising wide-ranging changes to the world championship, including sporting, technical, regulatory and financial matters.

Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul and McLaren F1 CEO Zak Brown believe that the rulemakers could look to honour Ferrari's history in another way.

"We need F1 to be progressive, rather than defensive," said Abiteboul. "An ability to block due process that can be perceived or deemed to be a positive for the sport is probably not good.

"We completely recognise the specific value of Ferrari to the sport, which can be reflected probably in the commercial agreement and not into the governance."

Brown joked that "it's very kind of him [Binotto] to offer to represent the teams' interests".

"I think we all have varying interests," said Brown. "So, we're best having our own individual negotiations, when and if that is appropriate. As Cyril said, Ferrari bring a tremendous amount to the sport, and that can be recognised in other ways."

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Webber-owned Red Bull F1 car is a Vettel race winner

Webber-owned Red Bull F1 car is a Vettel race winner

The Red Bull Racing RB6 that Mark Webber has in his personal car collection is a Sebastian Vettel race winner.

Webber was supposed to be given his Monaco GP winner at the end of the 2010 season, however that chassis was destroyed by his infamous backflip in Valencia.

Instead he had to settle for chassis 03, which started life as Vettel's 'Luscious Liz' car, and helped the German to victory at that year's Malaysian Grand Prix.

Vettel continued to race the car until Monaco before complaints of poor handling saw him debut a new car at the Turkish Grand Prix.

A hairline fracture in chassis 03 was later repaired and Webber took over the car after Valencia, winning the British Grand Prix – where he made the "not bad for a number two driver" comment post-race – and the Hungarian Grand Prix.

He then crashed the car in South Korea, which effectively ended his 2010 title hopes.

"As part of our contract negotiations we said, 'at the end of the year, can we have a car?'," Webber told the V8 Sleuth podcast.

"I won Monaco in 2010 but I destroyed that car in Valencia, so I went to the next-best car – [from] when I said: 'Not bad for a number two driver…'

"That one's got a bit of history, that's a good car to own. Sebastian won the Malaysian GP in it that year, and I won the Hungarian and British GP. There's a lot of fastest laps and podiums… it's a pretty special chassis, that one.

"Red Bull, the guys did an absolute incredible [restoration] job. That car is absolutely as it crossed the line. Beautiful, beautiful car. Everything, right [down] to the sticker of the British Grand Prix for 2010.

"That car is in a museum at the moment and will be in the new Silverstone museum when it opens.

While not permanently resigned to being a museum piece, Webber hinted that the car is unlikely to run again – despite constant requests from former Porsche teammate Timo Bernhard to have a go.

"It could run, but I think I'd need 15 [Renault engineers] over to have a test day somewhere with it. Timo Bernhard, my teammate at Porsche, has always been busting my nuts that 'we've got to do a track day!'

"But I'm not as enthusiastic as he is!"

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I hate to say it but F1 is now more boring than ever before. Overtaking is virtually non existent. Unless something drastic changes we are going to see Hamilton take another title in dominating fashion. I've never been a fan of Hamilton but I do recognize his talent. Honestly though I think Fernando Alonso has just as much talent and he couldn't even find employment, and that's so very sad. All of these teams put too much emphasis on hiring young drivers instead of ones with tons of experience. I just don't get that. It's bad enough that Mercedes continues to dominate year in and year out but I was at least hoping to see Bottas challenge Hamilton this year but we're now seeing him slipping down the points. It's disheartening to say the least. It's about to the point where I'm ready to just turn off the TV... 😴

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I was hoping for some rain to spice things up.  Bottas' race got compromised with that pit lane contact.  Good race on LH part nursing those tires till the end.

Indy 500 was such a better race today.

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