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2 hours ago, BrightonCorgi said:

If there was no penalty the outrage would be as equal.   There's no winning.

I kind of doubt that. It would only be the hardcore Hamilton/Mercedes fanbois like Nico Rosberg that would be outraged. So far he is the only former driver/champion who has fully sided with the ruling. Everyone else has said that it's bogus. Jensen Button, Mario Andretti, Mark Webber, Even Damon Hill, who is kind of neutral, said that there should have been no penalty. Almost the entire crowd was booing. All of the tv announcers said it was bs, Martin Brundle was trying to be tactful about it and stated that this regulation is only for corners where there is plenty of runoff room and the driver has plenty of time and room to make a decision about how to re-enter the track and not an unintentional error, but he also said that the penalty was bs. There's also no precedent for this particular type of incident where the driver is not in control of his car as he re-enters the track. Hamilton did a similar move(almost identical) at Monaco in 2016 when he squeezed Ricciardo almost into the wall, of course there was no penalty. He also got no penalty when he did that kamikaze pass on Nico at Barcelona 2016. He hit the grass spun around and wiped out Nico. There's was no penalties for "unsafe re-entry" or "causing a collision" or anything else the stewards normally penalize other drivers for similar moves. F1 has really messed up this time and they are no doubt losing fans, including this one. I can't watch these races anymore knowing that every time a good battle gets going they will probably just ruin it😫

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I think the problem here is that the 5 second penalty was far too harsh for this situation.  That was an outcome-determining penalty.

What was really needed was a timely "give up the position" type penalty.  That would have been commensurate with the hindrance Vettel put on Hamilton there.  But that is difficult to implement.  It would require very timely action by the stewards and a way to have the drivers take the action of it within a lap or two of the incident. 

If somehow we could have that, then we could have had a legitimate outcome to the race.  Seb can either pass outright, or push Lewis into making a similar mistake.  Or Lewis drives a clean final segment of the race.  That's the only way for either driver to have earned the win.

But FIA has to explore the possibility of doing some sort of rapid give-up-the-position type penalty.  5 seconds as the minimum penalty for any violation is way too severe for today's thin-margin racing. 

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1 hour ago, Baccy said:

I kind of doubt that. It would only be the hardcore Hamilton/Mercedes fanbois like Nico Rosberg that would be outraged. So far he is the only former driver/champion who has fully sided with the ruling. Everyone else has said that it's bogus. Jensen Button, Mario Andretti, Mark Webber, Even Damon Hill, who is kind of neutral, said that there should have been no penalty. Almost the entire crowd was booing. All of the tv announcers said it was bs, Martin Brundle was trying to be tactful about it and stated that this regulation is only for corners where there is plenty of runoff room and the driver has plenty of time and room to make a decision about how to re-enter the track and not an unintentional error, but he also said that the penalty was bs. There's also no precedent for this particular type of incident where the driver is not in control of his car as he re-enters the track. Hamilton did a similar move(almost identical) at Monaco in 2016 when he squeezed Ricciardo almost into the wall, of course there was no penalty. He also got no penalty when he did that kamikaze pass on Nico at Barcelona 2016. He hit the grass spun around and wiped out Nico. There's was no penalties for "unsafe re-entry" or "causing a collision" or anything else the stewards normally penalize other drivers for similar moves. F1 has really messed up this time and they are no doubt losing fans, including this one. I can't watch these races anymore knowing that every time a good battle gets going they will probably just ruin it😫

 

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47 minutes ago, TheGipper said:

I think the problem here is that the 5 second penalty was far too harsh for this situation.  That was an outcome-determining penalty.

What was really needed was a timely "give up the position" type penalty.  That would have been commensurate with the hindrance Vettel put on Hamilton there.  But that is difficult to implement.  It would require very timely action by the stewards and a way to have the drivers take the action of it within a lap or two of the incident. 

If somehow we could have that, then we could have had a legitimate outcome to the race.  Seb can either pass outright, or push Lewis into making a similar mistake.  Or Lewis drives a clean final segment of the race.  That's the only way for either driver to have earned the win.

But FIA has to explore the possibility of doing some sort of rapid give-up-the-position type penalty.  5 seconds as the minimum penalty for any violation is way too severe for today's thin-margin racing. 

Agree completely.... But what were Ferrari doing after that? If I were Ferrari, I would have advised Vettel to hand back the position and potentially avoid all this.

The rule of thumb with any corner cutting is to hand back the position, so I'm a bit dumbfounded it wasn't actioned.

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3 hours ago, MIKA27 said:

 

Wow, and he cut the whole corner too! This is the first real video I've seen of this incident. I only heard about it but it's worse than I thought. Of course no penalty for the chosen one...

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5 hours ago, MIKA27 said:

 

That doesn't seem as bad as Vettel's move...  

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19 hours ago, TheGipper said:

I think the problem here is that the 5 second penalty was far too harsh for this situation.  That was an outcome-determining penalty.

What was really needed was a timely "give up the position" type penalty.  That would have been commensurate with the hindrance Vettel put on Hamilton there.  But that is difficult to implement.  It would require very timely action by the stewards and a way to have the drivers take the action of it within a lap or two of the incident. 

If somehow we could have that, then we could have had a legitimate outcome to the race.  Seb can either pass outright, or push Lewis into making a similar mistake.  Or Lewis drives a clean final segment of the race.  That's the only way for either driver to have earned the win.

But FIA has to explore the possibility of doing some sort of rapid give-up-the-position type penalty.  5 seconds as the minimum penalty for any violation is way too severe for today's thin-margin racing. 

I get where your coming from in that a "give up the position" penalty would have kept the race alive instead of killing it off entirely, but I still don't think any penalty would be appropriate. Give up the position penalties are normally for when a driver cuts the corner and gains an unfair advantage. Seb actually lost time here. A give up the position penalty would have most certainly been better than the 5 second penalty. I'm flat tired of all the penalties. There is NO doubt in my mind that if he would have been 20 seconds behind Lewis, then they would have ignored it all together.

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MARKO: THIS IS HOW YOU BREAK FORMULA 1

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Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko has lashed out at FIA officials for handing Sebastian Vettel’s penalty during the controversial Canadian Grand Prix, the outspoken Austrian believes that incidents such as these have the capacity to “break Formula 1.”

“Sebastian did nothing wrong He had his hands full trying to keep the car on track, Hamilton could have passed on the inside or just brake – he also had a duty to prevent an accident but he was aware he could get an advantage, therefore, he also complained over the radio.”

“The penalty for Sebastian is unfair and leaves a bad aftertaste. The rules need to be changed urgently. Unlike in football, the race stewards have plenty of time to weigh up a situation in a race, also to take into account previous cases like this.”

“This is how you break the sport, the fans, especially the young ones, want to see tough fights between the best drivers in the world, like the duels between Gilles Villeneuve and Réné Arnoux in 1979 in Dijon. Those are what made the sport what it does.

“They drove into one another twenty times, pushed each other off the track, came back on… In the end, they hugged and celebrated – nobody thought of punishment.”

In the aftermath of Vettel’s win that turned into defeat, the German’s post-race tantrum was well documented, including the cheeky swapping of position boards in front of the ‘winning’ Mercedes in parc ferme.

Marko continued, “Sebastian did everything right, and when he switched the placards, he publicly showed what he was feeling from his heart.

Vettel was one of Marko’s big ‘finds’, giving the German an opportunity with Toro Rosso after BMW did not include the youngster in their plans despite handing him his debut at the 2007 United States Grand Prix.

After a spell with Toro Rosso, Vettel joined Red Bull and from 2010 to 2013 he won four titles with Marko always firmly in his corner and the rest is now history.

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RICCIARDO: WE’VE CERTAINLY GOT SOME MOMENTUM NOW

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Daniel Ricciardo hopes to put on a show at Renault’s home French Grand Prix this month after the team doubled their season’s points tally in Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix.

The Australian finished sixth in Montreal, the seventh race of the year, with German team mate Nico Hulkenberg a close seventh.

“The weekend as a whole pretty awesome. Qualified fourth, finished sixth,” Ricciardo told Sky Sports television.

“I’m sure if you’d said to Cyril [Abiteboul] before the weekend: how does this result sound? he would have probably kissed you. I think we’ve got to be really happy with that.”

Renault were eighth overall in the championship before the seventh round of the season but moved up to fifth, on 28 points and just two behind McLaren who use the same engines.

Sunday was the team’s first double points finish of the campaign.

The next race up is Le Castellet on June 23, with Renault hoping to show clear progress by then after a difficult start to the season.

Abiteboul told reporters in Monaco last month that Renault had fixed a fundamental engine problem that had slowed both Ricciardo and Hulkenberg and they were now back to full power.

“We’ve certainly got some momentum now and the last few weekends have been stronger,” said Ricciardo, who joined from Red Bull at the end of last season. “We’ve got a few new parts coming.”

The Australian said he had also been buoyed by keeping Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, second in the championship to teammate Lewis Hamilton, behind for a number of laps and making him fight to get past.

“I think the encouraging thing was for sure a few elbows out with Bottas,” he said. “Our straight-line speed is certainly much more competitive in race conditions. A lot of positives to take.

“We’ll see how we go in France. (Hopefully) for the Renault home fans we can pull off another good one,” added Ricciardo.

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George Russell: Little interest in fighting Robert Kubica given position

Williams' cars of Kubica and Russell

George Russell says he has little interest in his strong head-to-head record against team-mate Robert Kubica, given Williams’ lowly position through 2019.

Russell, who stepped up as Formula 2 champion, has not yet been beaten in qualifying by the returning Kubica, while in race trim a similar pattern has emerged. 

"I mean, regardless of who my team-mate was that was always my idea, to come in and try and make an impact as much off the track as on track," said Russell. 

"I always had in my mind that’s how I wanted to approach it. That was a big part of my selling point to Williams. I don’t see it as a fight against my team-mate. I see it as my target to improve this machine. 

"I think there’s many drivers on the grid and their number one target from Friday morning to Sunday night is to out-do their team-mate. 

"From my side that’s a bonus, to perform stronger, but neither of us have the interest in fighting for last place, so I’m enjoying working together with Robert to improve it globally."

Russell added that trying to tinker with and develop Williams’ FW42 is a challenge to be relished in the wake of spending his career in single-spec junior formula series. 

"I mean I’m enjoying seeing the car as a bigger picture," he said.

"In junior formulas all you have to play with is the set-up. Now myself and Robert are a big factor in the upgrades and which direction we take. There’s a lot of weight on our shoulders. 

"I’m quite enjoying that leadership role and being the one along with Robert and the top designers to turn this around. It’s our duty now, let’s say, and it’s very different to junior formulas. I’m enjoying the challenge."

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Sainz "angry" with Canada result after marathon stint

Sainz "angry" with Canada result after marathon stint

Carlos Sainz admitted he was "angry" after his Canadian Grand Prix was compromised by an unscheduled early stop that left him with a marathon 67-lap stint to the flag.
Sainz had to pit at the end of the third lap after a visor tear-off became lodged in a brake duct, causing overheating.

He switch to the hard tyres and despite ongoing temperature issues he rose to ninth place by lap 45, only to drop behind Lance Stroll and Daniil Kvyat as his rear tyres finally gave up.

He eventually finished 11th.

"Obviously now we're very disappointed with not finishing in the points," Sainz said.

"Putting everything into perspective and pitting on lap three for an issue with the brakes, putting on the hards and trying to go until the end of the race, it nearly worked. The tyres were destroyed at the end - no rear tyres left.

"We were five laps short from making it, but that's racing. I'm angry with the final result, angry with the result of the weekend because without any problems we should have finished in the points, but these things happen."

Sainz admitted he knew it would be difficult he realised he had to go run so long on the hards.

"It's a tough situation because you have to push because you need to undercut people to have track position, and you need to overtake a lot of cars, because there was a long train of cars.

"But you need to make it to the end, and you're not knowing if to push or not to push. At the same time I had high brake temperatures. and had to lift off a lot.

"So I had to push, then not push, and then push. It was a bit of a mix, in the end we nearly made it, so I think we did the best we could, but I'm disappointed to come 11th."

McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl admitted it was a frustrating end to the weekend for the team, especially after Lando Norris had an early retirement with a suspension failure.

"We had some good Sundays recently," Seidl told Motorsport.com. "With the different incidents we had on both cars unfortunately we didn't manage to fight for points, because I think in terms of pace it was possible.

"Carlos had a tear-off inside the brake duct, so we had to box him to clear the brake duct, and put the hard tyres on, and it was just about surviving. Unfortunately the last five laps the tyres went off. I think he did a great job in trying to hang out as long as possible, but there was nothing he could do. There was nothing left on the tyre.

"Obviously it's disappointing to go away from here with zero points. We have to switch our focus to the next race in France and try to be back again in Q3 with both cars, because that was encouraging to see here, because we didn't manage it in the previous races. It seems our car still likes the tracks with the long straights."

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Vettel: F1 now "not the sport I fell in love with"

Vettel: F1 now "not the sport I fell in love with"

Sebastian Vettel says he does not like that Formula 1 has become a different sport to the one he fell in love with growing up, after expressing his frustration at the way that penalties have taken over the racing.

The German was deeply disappointed at losing victory in the Canadian Grand Prix when he was handed a five-second penalty for having rejoined the track in an unsafe way and impeding eventual victor Lewis Hamilton.

Having calmed down from a post-race radio rant, Vettel later told media that his biggest issue now was the way that ‘lawyer’ talk had taken over the sport – which is a world away from how he wished things were.

“I really love the old races, the old car and old drivers,” said Vettel. “I really love that, but I just wish I, as good as I am doing what I do, was in their time rather than today. You just hear the wording when people come on the radio, we sort of have an official language. We should be able to say what we think.

“I disagree with where the sport is now. You have all this wording, ‘I gained an advantage, I didn’t gain an advantage’. All this I think is wrong. It is not really what we should be doing in the car.”

Vettel reckoned that fans would view that moment he had with Hamilton as just a racing incident rather than anything that warranted a penalty.

“For me that is racing and a lot of the people that I just mentioned earlier, the old F1 drivers and people in the grandstands agree, this is part of racing.

“But nowadays... I don’t like it, we all sound a bit like lawyers using the official language. I think it is wrong. It is not the sport I fell in love with when I was watching [growing up].”

Vettel insisted that he had not deliberately cut across in front of Hamilton as he rejoined the track, having run wide after making a mistake.

“I was coming back on track and trying to make sure I had the car under control,” he said. “Once I regained control and made sure it was alright, I saw in the mirrors that Lewis was right behind me.

“I don’t think I could have done anything different. I don’t know what the problem was.”

Asked if he could have done any more to avoid cutting in front of Hamilton, he said: “No. How? I I've got two hands and I have them on the steering wheel trying to keep the car under control.

“We are pretty good at multitasking driving these cars. If it is required to catch the car once you come back from the grass or off the track, maybe one-handed, and then use the other hand to pull a tear-off off and hit the radio button and talk at the same time then I don’t qualify. I can’t do that.

“I had my hands full trying to keep the car under control. I knew Lewis was behind somewhere as he was a second behind and when I looked in the mirror he was right there.”

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Pirelli reveals F1 teams' French GP tyre selections

Pirelli reveals F1 teams' French GP tyre selections

Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has revealed the teams' tyre selections for the upcoming 2019 edition of the French Grand Prix.

The teams' choices largely mirror their approach from last year, when the Paul Ricard-based race returned to the world championship calendar.

The series' leading teams Mercedes and Ferrari have opted to hand nine sets of the soft - which will represent the C4 compound and is thus a step harder than what it had been in the past two races in Monaco and Canada - for both their drivers.

Red Bull's local hero Pierre Gasly will also have nine sets of the soft available, while also getting three sets of the medium and one set of the hard for an overall selection identical to that of the two Ferraris and two Mercedes cars.

Gasly's teammate Max Verstappen will have one fewer set of softs, and will instead have an extra medium C3 set at his disposal.

Renault, Haas, Alfa Romeo and Toro Rosso lead the way on 10 sets of softs for each of their drivers, while no driver on the grid will have more than two sets of the C2 hard compound.

Selected sets per driver

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Jackie Stewart at 80: The legend, his greatest drive, and the man himself

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Hard to believe, but Tuesday saw Sir Jackie Stewart celebrate his 80th birthday. To mark the occasion we invite you to learn a little more about the great man and his career, revisit his – and arguably F1’s – finest drive, and listen to the three-time world champion reminisce about a truly remarkable life in Formula 1, on and off the track…

The Legend – and F1 Hall of Famer

His outstanding track record still ranks him among the most successful champions, yet in terms of personally influencing the way Formula 1 racing developed, Jackie Stewart stands alone. His one-man safety crusade made the sport much safer. His excellent communication skills helped make it more popular. He set new standards of professionalism for drivers and was also a pioneer in exploiting Formula 1 racing's commercial potential. His keen intelligence and tireless energy helped – but he would never have been able to exert such influence had he not been a truly great driver…

Read Jackie Stewart’s complete Hall of Fame profile here

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His greatest drive - conquering The Green Hell

In our recent series on F1’s finest drives, Jackie Stewart was the man filling the number-one spot. Veteran F1 journalist David Tremayne recalls Jackie Stewart’s courageous and dominant win at the Nurburgring in 1968, a victory that came in the wake of several high-profile deaths – not least Stewart’s compatriot and friend Jim Clark…

1968 was a very dark season for Formula 1. The death of the stellar Jim Clark in the Deutschland Trophy Formula 2 race at Hockenheim, on April 7, was what Jackie Stewart described as the sport’s equivalent of the atomic bomb. And it set in motion a malignant series of high-profile tragedies – cruelly spaced at almost monthly intervals.

On May 8, Clark’s popular former team mate Mike Spence died testing a Lotus turbine at Indianapolis. On June 8, Italy’s Ludovico Scarfiotti, winner of his home Grand Prix in 1966 for Ferrari, was killed in a Porsche 910 in the Rossfeld hillcimb.

On July 7, during the second lap of the French GP at Rouen, French veteran Jo Schlesser succumbed when the under-developed, air-cooled Honda RA302 cut out on the descent to the Nouveau Monde hairpin and crashed in flames.

The German GP was held at the old Nurburgring on August 4, which meant that the most challenging and dangerous circuit in the world would host an event on what was effectively the fifth month in the sequence.

Tensions were thus already high, and today the race would never have been started such were the conditions. But back then the ugly blend of heavy rain, fog and mist was just something else drivers were expected to deal with, regardless of the fact that, on this occasion, it was as if they were playing Russian Roulette.

Ken Tyrrell admitted with shame to the author many years later that for the only time in his life he’d instructed a driver, Jackie Stewart, to venture out on to a track against his inclination, and that he had suffered horribly psychologically as he watched every one of his laps wondering if he had signed his death warrant.

Jackie himself was far from happy, recalling slightly less horrible conditions at Spa two years earlier when he had crashed heavily and been trapped in a ditch as his BRM leaked fuel. But the Scot had a way of dealing with such situations when he stepped into the cockpit, and rose brilliantly to the occasion. Using hand-cut Dunlop tyres on his Matra-Ford, he outpaced rivals Graham Hill in a similarly-engined Lotus and Chris Amon in a Ferrari, somehow finding his way through the gloom and winning by an incredible four minutes after the drive of his life.

“When I got back to the pits,” he later admitted, “the first question I asked Ken was, ‘Who died?’”

When Tyrrell told him that nobody had, it was as if an evil spell had finally been exorcised, despite the appalling conditions. And somehow it was apposite that when the terrible run of tragedy finally had been broken, it should have been Clark’s countryman, closest friend in racing and natural successor who had given such a masterclass in driving ability and mind management.

Without question, it was one of the greatest performances in F1 history.

 

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Level of F1 drivers highest ever - Toro Rosso boss

Toro Rosso F1 team boss Franz Tost

Toro Rosso’s Franz Tost says the level of Formula 1 drivers is higher than ever, and will continue to rise, as more is understood about general health and fitness regimes.

Some in Formula 1 have suggested that the sport should increase the challenge by making cars more challenging to drive, with World Champion Lewis Hamilton reckoning drivers should be "physically exhaused" by the end of grands prix.

But Tost believes that the advancements in driver fitness means that there will never be a return to the days of racers being unable to reach the chequered flag.

“The current level of the drivers from the fitness side is the highest I’ve ever seen in Formula 1,” said Tost.

“You must not forget that we now have drivers who started motor sport when they were six or seven years old.

“That means that when they come to Formula 1, they’ve already done 10 to 15 years of karting first and then the junior categories and I’m not talking about the Red Bull and Toro Rosso drivers.

“Our drivers have special physical training plans. They have their own coach, they have a nutrition plan.

“That means they are so well prepared that the driving itself is no longer so exciting for them and of course, you cannot compare this time with – let me say – 20 or 30 years ago when Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell or whoever collapsed after a race.”

Tost joked that in the past drivers would cover up a lack of fitness by triggering a mechanical failure.

“They never saw a fitness centre from the inside and some of them were smoking as well and in former days,” said Tost of drivers from previous generations.

“I remember that some cars did not finish the race and then they talked about gearbox problems.

“Hey, they were smoking beforehand and they were not fit enough to finish the race and then they put it in any gear so that the car stopped. They were not fit enough.

“This is the reality and nowadays we have really, really good drivers in Formula 1 and we have a very high level and therefore you don’t see accidents – which on one side is very good – from the entertaining point of view is boring.

“Friends of mine say you don’t even see a crash after the start in the first corner because they all manage to do it.

“It’s because the driving level is very, very high, I think the highest we’ve ever seen in Formula 1 and this will continue.

“But this is nothing to do only with Formula 1; this is in all the other sports as well, in skiing and so on, therefore I think we should be happy to see these drivers.”

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Midfield drivers won't wait forever for change - Carlos Sainz Jr.

Carlos Sainz Jr. in action for McLaren in Canada

Carlos Sainz Jr. believes Formula 1’s midfield drivers won’t wait forever for the sport to change, amid hope of new regulations leading to an overhaul in 2021.

Only Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have won races since Lotus’ triumph in the 2013 season-opener, while Sergio Perez’s Baku 2018 podium is the sole top three finish by a midfielder in the last two years.

Sainz Jr., who has started 88 races, has not taken a podium finish and is Formula 1’s current lead midfield driver in the standings, despite failing to classify higher than sixth this season.

“You see fellow drivers like Marcus [Ericsson] going to different series and immediately being on the pace and potentially winning races or being on the podium,” said Sainz Jr.

“Then you see yourself in Formula 1 and you’re stuck in P7… it’s something I haven’t got bored of as it’s only my fifth season but you think about Perez, [Nico] Hulkenberg, they’ve been here for many races and it’s something I struggle to feel is sustainable.

“It needs immediate change and it needs immediate refining in Formula 1 to change that trend.

“It’s not something that as racing drivers in the midfield we are going to be waiting here forever just finishing P7 in every race.

“I think it’s definitely something that needs to be addressed and hopefully 2021 they will make it happen.”

Sainz Jr. also reckons that Formula 1 could learn from other series, pointing to the regulations – such as concessions – introduced in MotoGP, that have helped close the field in recent years.

“I know very well [Dorna Sports CEO] Carmelo Ezpeleta in MotoGP, I’ve spoken to him many times about what he’s done and how the manufacturers reacted to them tightening the rules with ECU, etc,” explained Sainz Jr.

“I think the main feedback is they were firstly sceptical obviously but now they are more happy than ever as they are fighting against more people and it makes the brand stronger, as they’re fighting against more brands, so Honda and [Marc] Marquez are even more happy.

“It’s a very good example and it’s something that I would like to see in the future in Formula 1.

“But I think Formula 1 is a different specie definitely, but I hope in the future we converse towards something a bit more driver dependent and not machine dependent.”

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Practice sessions to count towards Formula 1 super licence points

Nicholas Latifi driving the Williams FW42

Junior drivers can now earn points towards their Formula 1 super licence by taking part in free practice sessions, the FIA has confirmed.

Currently drivers are required to earn a minimum of 40 points before they're able to compete in F1. These points can be earned by competing in various series from Formula 2 and IndyCar down to national series such as DTM and Asian Le Mans.

However a driver can take part in free practice sessions as long as they have a 'Free Practice Only Super Licence' – which only requires 25 points.

Now, a driver can earn an additional point for each practice session so long as they manage to complete at least 100 km of running and don't incur any penalty points. These additional points are capped at 10 over a three-year period.

Therefore a driver with 30 Super Licence points could take part in 10 practice sessions and earn their F1 Super Licence.

A number of other modifications have been made to the Super Licence system including the addition of the all-female W Series, which along with Euroformula Open series, will qualify for points from 2020, meaning this year's champion will miss out.

It's yet to be communicated how many points will be awarded for the two series.

The FIA has also moved to clarify the eligibility criteria a series must satisfy to qualify for points: "The championships concerned must be composed of a minimum of 5 competitions, the definition of a competition requiring that a minimum of 72 hours has elapsed between the end of one competition and the start of the subsequent competition.

"As part of the requirement for the championship to be held on three different tracks, any alternative circuit configuration recognised and licensed by the FIA may be considered to be a track for these purposes."

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Nico Hulkenberg says he came within an inch of Ferrari deal

Nico Hulkenberg and Sebastian Vettel

Nico Hulkenberg believes he was within an inch of driving for Ferrari for the 2014 Formula 1 season.

The German driver, who currently races for Renault, was being considered as a replacement for Felipe Massa and reckons he was close to signing a deal before the Italian marque changed direction and re-hired Kimi Raikkonen.

Speaking on the official F1 podcast 'Beyond the Grid', Hulkenberg revealed that talks with Ferrari were advanced, although he didn't know exactly how close they came to signing him over Raikkonen.

"You never know [the details] with these things and the people that make the decisions, they don’t tell you," said Hulkenberg.

"It was like an inch, I really don’t know how [close].

"There were definitely some talks and I think there was a realistic opportunity for quite a decent period of time but then unfortunately in the end it did fall through."

Hulkenberg refused to be drawn on the specifics of the deal, but when asked if Fernando Alonso – who was driving for Ferrari at the time – played a role in him missing out, he replied: "I'd like to know that too.

"With Fernando you can never be totally sure what he says and what he actually means.

"I think he likes the games sometimes so I’m not really sure if he was supporting it or not to be honest and now anyway it’s in the past."

Hulkenberg instead left Sauber after just a single season to re-join Force India for the 2014 season.

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Early issues hid that Renault car works "everywhere"

Early issues hid that Renault car works "everywhere"

Nico Hulkenberg believes Renault's 2019 Formula 1 car works "pretty much everywhere" but that progress has been hidden by the team's "troubled" start to the season.

Renault finished fourth in the constructors' championship last year and targeted moving clear of the midfield battle in 2019, but after a mix of poor reliability and reduced performance it was left eighth in the points prior to the Canadian Grand Prix.

However, sixth and seventh place finishes in Montreal last weekend for Daniel Ricciardo and Hulkenberg launched Renault to fifth in the standings as the works team matched its best points haul since returning to the grid in 2016.

Renault has promised a significant chassis update for next weekend's French Grand Prix, having run its engine harder in recent races as well.

Hulkenberg said that left him "pretty optimistic" Renault's Canadian GP performance could be repeated at Paul Ricard.

"I think it's realistic, because so far the car has performed really on every kind of circuit," he said. "So I think the package is consistent and works pretty much everywhere so far we've been.

"We've just not got the results because of different mistakes, reasons, technical issues, whatever it was. So, I'm quite optimistic."

Renault was the most consistent team behind the big three in 2018, failing to score points in only four grands prix.

It has already missed out on a top-10 finish on three occasions this year, but Hulkenberg believes that was a legacy of problems the team is now on top of.

"It was nice to finally have a good weekend throughout, without any issues or hiccups, and get both cars through in points scoring positions," Hulkenberg said of the Canadian GP.

"It is a nice reward for everyone at Viry and Enstone. Hard work pays off. It's just so far we've all been compromised.

"I feel the car always had this potential, but just human error, technical error, often we started really far at the back – and on circuits where you can't overtake, so it was difficult to recover.

"It is rewarding and satisfying to finally put the car where it belongs and take these points."

Hulkenberg said he is "very excited" for the upgrades Renault has planned for its home race, where he has an eye on repeating the feat of beating a Red Bull – Pierre Gasly – on merit.

"We have to keep this sort of thing going, hopefully take this momentum into the Renault home grand prix in two weeks," said Hulkenberg.

"The top three teams are pretty well ahead, though one Red Bull we definitely beat on pace and merit. That was good to see. We get some upgrades at Paul Ricard, I'm very excited for those.

"Hopefully they can bring more performance to the car and hopefully we can, maybe, close the gap."

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F1 needs stability to avoid "same old mistakes" - Wolff

F1 needs stability to avoid "same old mistakes" - Wolff

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff suggests that Formula 1 could be repeating the mistakes of the past in thinking that a big rules overhaul for 2021 will help close the field up.

F1 chiefs are currently pushing hard for a major change to the regulations for two years' time aimed at making grand prix racing more exciting and more competitive.

But while Wolff is in favour of a number of tweaks that are coming – including a budget cap – he suggests that expecting new chassis regulations to stop the top teams being at the front is wrong.

Asked by Motorsport.com for his feelings on the impact of a major rules change, Wolff said: "The default reaction in the past when a team or the big three teams were running away with the championship is that we change the regulations, because you believe that by changing the regulations the others may catch up.

"I think it's exactly the opposite, which is counter intuitive, that eventually performance converges. We have seen that with the power unit regulations that have been stable for a while, and I think if we left the chassis regulations alone more teams would be closer together.

"But as in the past, teams lobby for change because they believe rolling the dice can be an advantage for them. But we look at the 2019 regulation and the 2018 regulations and none of that has happened.

"The teams that were in front, they increased the gaps they had, so we are back to square one. We are making that mistake over and over again."

Wolff said that history has shown time and again that some of the best eras of F1 have been when the rules have been left along for a while.

"There is one single key that makes the racing better and that is a field that is bunched up, where there is not a big gap between the top teams and the smaller teams," he explained. "The only way of doing that is leave the rules alone.

"Every time you change the regs, the big teams with more resource will run away. Maybe there is an outlier from time to time that one team looks good and we have seen that with Alfa Romeo [this year] which looked very good in testing in Barcelona, but then because of the sheer might of our resource Ferrari, Red Bull and us, the rate of development is much steeper [and we have overtaken them].

"So the only way of really having proper racing is don't change the rules. We've seen the 2012 season and there were six different winners and the tyres, fair enough, were a bit of an unknown, but the longer the rules stay stable the more performance is going to converge."

Wolff added that he believed rivals would be sceptical about listening to his stance on changing rules.

"It is very difficult from our position to be credible and to be heard because people think we want to maintain rules as they are in order to maintain our advantage," he said. "The opposite is actually the case. Leave it alone and performance will converge."

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Pirelli didn't receive single request to change F1 tyres

Pirelli didn't receive single request to change F1 tyres

Pirelli has not received a single request to change its Formula 1 tyres despite suggestions it should revert to last year's specification to end Mercedes' dominance of the 2019 season.
The introduction of Pirelli's 2019 tyres, which are 0.4mm thinner in a bid to reduce blistering and overheating, has coincided with Mercedes winning all seven races so far.

During the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, criticism of that effect reached a new level from the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull, amid calls for Pirelli to reintroduce its 2018 tyres.

However, Pirelli can only change its compounds if it identifies a safety concern.

Any change to Pirelli's 2019 tyre compounds or constructions can only occur if the FIA requests it, or if 70% of teams are in favour of it.

Motorsport.com has learned that Pirelli has not received a single official request to change its tyres.

"It is very clear how you can modify the construction or the compounds during the season," Pirelli's F1 boss Mario Isola told Motorsport.com.

"I didn't receive any request so far. If I receive a request that is reasoned, we will consider that request. We will consider what we have to do to modify the tyres, and we will discuss that with the FIA.

"We, Pirelli, can modify the construction or the compound, the specification of the tyre, only for safety. At the moment there is no safety concern.

"Even if I sent a request to the FIA, to be honest I don't know what to write in that request because I cannot reason any change for safety. I cannot. There is no safety concern."

Isola says that Pirelli mostly achieved the 2019 targets that were agreed in conjunction with the FIA, F1 and teams.

These targets were to eliminate blistering, reduce overheating, space out the performance of the compounds more evenly and increase the working window.

Isola admits that the working window, which is one of the key limiting factors for teams struggling to get the most out of the 2019 tyres, must still be improved.

Getting the tyres into the working window is down to a combination of factors relating to the aerodynamic and mechanical performance of the car, how that makes the tyre interact with the track surface and the energy that puts through the tyre – with circuit layout also a primary factor.

All 10 teams had the option to trial the 2019-spec tyres for the first time in Abu Dhabi last year.

They had 20 sets to use to compare the last remaining choices between compounds and constructions.

This followed the use of thinner-tread tyres, based on last year's compounds, at the 2018 Spanish, French and British GPs.

However, despite Mercedes' performance at those races, the subsequent opportunity to test the 2019 tyres, and two weeks of pre-season testing this year, no concerns were raised about the impact the tyres could have.

Isola stressed that equity of treatment is vital for Pirelli, which has "a clear and strict process to supply the same efforts to the team" on an operational basis.

"How to design the car, how to generate the downforce, to design the suspension, is their job," he added. "We still have to work on the working range, but we did most of the job and now it's up to them to generate the energy."

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Haas’ form cannot get any worse – Steiner

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In certain phases of a weekend, Haas look like they have the fourth-fastest car on pure pace. But their inability to understand how to make this year’s generation of Pirelli tyres work – and they’re not the only ones struggling – and instances of misfortune and human error have meant they haven’t been able to convert their ultimate speed into many points.

Their latest struggle came in Canada, when after showing the kind of pace that could get both cars into the top 10, Kevin Magnussen crashed in Q2, which in turn ended Romain Grosjean’s hopes of progressing as he was running close behind and therefore forced to back out of his lap.

In the race, Grosjean’s afternoon was ruined within seconds when he was forced to take avoiding action at the start following a three-car contact between Sergio Perez, Alexander Albon and Antonio Giovinazzi.

Thereafter both Haas cars lacked the performance to compete for points, as has often been the case this season, and with an impressively competitive midfield, that has been punished and leaves them down in eighth in the constructors’ championship.

“There must be an end to it,” said Steiner of the team’s recent run of form. “What can you do? There’s a point where you cannot get more annoyed. I wouldn’t say I’m depressed, but there must be an end, there must be an upward trend somewhere because it cannot get worse. I hope this point comes soon.”

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Their key problem is the Pirelli tyres, which this season feature a thinner tread that has given several teams, most notably Haas, a lot of headaches.

“For us, the tyres are so inconsistent and I think it’s the same for others,” said Steiner. “One car is very quick at one race and at the next race he is nowhere. When you’re on a high, you think you’ve figured it out, and then the next race you’re back to reality. It’s such a rollercoaster.

“If you look at Monte Carlo, in qualifying we were not even two-tenths off a Ferrari. In Canada, how many seconds we were off it? It can’t only be the car, it’s the tyres. Ferrari didn’t have a bad car in Monte Carlo. Maybe they didn’t get the tyres to work there and we did.

“It’s very sporadic what is happening. The general level of confidence is in theory we should be ok but can I tell you with knowledge we are ok? No. Because we don’t know when they work and when they don’t work. A lot of people are asking to go back to last year’s tread of tyres because they seem to be more consistent. It cannot only be us.”

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40 YEARS SINCE RENAULT’S FIRST F1 VICTORY

 

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FERRARI REQUEST REVIEW OF VETTEL’S CANADIAN GRAND PRIX PENALTY

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Ferrari have formally requested for the penalty that cost Sebastian Vettel victory in the Canadian Grand Prix be reviewed, a team spokesperson confirmed on Monday.

Vettel was handed a five-second time penalty during the race on June 9 for going off track and returning in what was deemed to be an unsafe fashion.

The German had led the race from start to finish but lost out to Mercedes’ championship leader Lewis Hamilton after the addition of the penalty.

Significant and relevant new evidence that was not available at the time of the ruling is required for a team to submit a ‘right of review’.

Ferrari have not offered details on what this may be, but have confirmed the submission of their request to Formula 1’s governing FIA.

Stewards will now have sole discretion to determine whether such a significant and relevant new element existed, with their decision final.

MIKA: There is NO WAY the FIA will reverse a decision such as this. It would make matters look a lot worse.

I mean... it would be a great precedent to reverse the decision, but I really don't see that happening.

I am a Mercedes fan, but wrong is wrong and that ruling in favour of Hamilton for the win (Yes I hate Hamilton) is disgraceful.

I say it every year I know, but I am also getting over Formula 1 in its current state.

No testing, no tire wars, no refueling, no loud engines, no grid girls, lack of any real consistent judgments on rules, horrible boring Herman Tilke tracks. I can go on. 

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BROWN: MERCEDES WILL HAVE TO LAY-OFF PEOPLE

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McLaren CEO Zak Brown predicts Mercedes will have to lay-off staff should the pending 2021 Formula 1 budget cap become part of future regulations, however, he believes the forced cut in expenditure by teams will level the playing field.

Formula 1 and stakeholders have (reluctantly) agreed on an annual budget cap of $175-million over five seasons from 2021-25, although there is provision for an upward adjustment for inflation. Notably, the amount does not include expenditure such as driver salaries, marketing expenses and engine related costs.

In a wide-ranging interview with Auto Motor und Sport, Brown gave his views on the combined F1/FIA proposal sent to teams, “Nothing in the document was a surprise. We’ve been talking about these rules for quite some time. Of course, there are things that I would like to see done differently and I think others feel the same.”

“But I can’t imagine that much will change. There is still some fine-tuning to be done but it makes no sense to fight for changes where there will be no changes. That’s wasted energy.

With regards to the &175-million plus extras, the McLaren boss said, “It’s still a big sum. The most important thing is to give the fans a good show. I do not think it takes so much money to do that.”

“So why not let the ten teams compete on a similar budget? That would make the sport less predictable, bring more surprises. In the end, the best teams will win in the end.”

“Look at IndyCar. The Penskes, Ganassis and Andrettis still win the championship. But they do not win all races. There are now and then winners from other teams. And that’s good for the sport. A lower budget would allow for that.”

Brown is aware that extra money does not always translate to better performance on track and closing the gulf to the top three teams is not just about unlimited access to a healthy bank account.

“We’ll have to do a better job,” acknowledged the American. “Even with a budget cap, we first need to improve ourselves, in all disciplines. Then we have to see where we should invest money under the budget cap, just as the others have to do.”

The big teams are staff-heavy and will be forced to redeploy their workforces or lay-off people as they conform to the financial regulations. Some teams will not have to face such consequences.

Brown suggests Mclaren are one of these, “We’re fine. For us, it’s about setting priorities. We want to use our money better. For us, the budget cap is no problem, but a team like Mercedes has to get rid of a few hundred people and that is cause for concern.”

“This creates uncertainty. People will be asking: Will I be part of it? Will I have to go? Must I do something else? I hope Mercedes can distribute their extra people to other projects because it’s never nice to let people go. But even then, job cuts for a F1 team will be a change,” he added.

Dieter Rencken reports on RaceFans, “Over the last five years the average F1 team has grown from 450 staff to 620 – an increase of more than a third. Haas’s 250 staff is approximately as many Williams had when it won the 1996 championship. During a previous successful championship campaign in 1987, Williams had just 85 staff.”

“Today Williams closely matches the levels of spending and staffing targeted by the budget cap plans, yet it finished 2018 last in the championship.”

Budget cap sceptics ask the question: How will you police a budget cap? While pointing to the ‘extra expenses’ as a grey area ready for exploitation by well-heeled teams such as Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes.

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