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Latest Honda F1 upgrade inspired by jet engine tech

Latest Honda F1 upgrade inspired by jet engine tech

Honda’s latest Formula 1 upgrade was inspired by technical expertise from the company’s jet-engine programme, which has facilitated significant technology steps for Red Bull’s engine partner.

The ‘Spec 3’ engine introduced at last weekend’s French Grand Prix featured upgrades mainly around the turbo and the internal combustion engine. Honda’s F1 research and development personnel at Sakura have been working with their jet-engine counterparts for two years, and this collaboration paved the way for a major breakthrough with the reliability of Honda’s MGU-H in the manufacturer's Spec 3 engine introduced late last year.

Yasuaki Asaki, who heads up the Sakura side of the F1 operations, then suggested during a meeting of Honda bosses that a collaboration on the turbine side would also be beneficial.

“The jet engine itself is completely different,” Honda F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe told Motorsport.com. “But the turbocharger and MGU-H is kind of like the turbine in the jet. 

“It uses high-speed rotation, and needs some aero design for the turbine. I think there is very common technology there.”

HF120 Turbofan Jet Engine

Motorsport.com understands that part of the inspiration from Honda’s HF120 jet engine is a change in the design of the blades inside the components.

“If you’re only working for F1 naturally your focus will be just inside this world,” Honda F1 managing director Masashi Yamamoto told Motorsport.com. 

“We can have a different point of view from other areas, other people, have their advice. This time it was the aerodynamics area of the turbine. That new point of view give us the essence of some improvement.”

Relevance to F1

HF120 Turbofan Jet Engine

The HF120 powers the award-winning HA-420 HondaJet, a six-seat light business jet, and operates in intense conditions at high altitude. 

It comprises two turbines, a smaller high-pressure component with single crystal blades producing lower fuel burn and a larger, low-pressure, counter-rotating turbine that boasts lower weight. 

F1's contemporary V6 turbo-hybrid features a turbocharger and MGU-H that can spin at up to 125,000 revolutions per minute. 

Honda has previously struggled to get both components to operate at that intensity reliably. 

As well as being a reliability risk, that deficiency has cost it overall engine performance and limited the quality of its energy recovery.
 A turbo’s basic requirement is to make the engine’s combustion process more efficient by compressing the air before it enters the combustion chamber, which boosts the amount of oxygen being pushed through and means more of the fuel experiences complete combustion. 

While that is a vital interaction with the performance of the traditional V6, the turbo also has a crucial two-way relationship with the MGU-H.

The MGU-H converts heat from exhaust gases into electrical energy, which powers the MGU-K but can also be stored – and unlike the MGU-K it is not limited to how much energy is recovered per lap during a race.

This makes it fundamental to the performance of the engine's energy recovery system, which contributes 20% of total power.  

The MGU-H also functions in the other direction, by controlling the speed of the turbo. 

That means it can spin up the turbo immediately on throttle, which means quicker air compression and the elimination of the usual lag of a turbo engine. 
This is an important element of the engine's driveability.

Significance for Red Bull

Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB15

Red Bull and Honda have both admitted further improvements are required to challenge Mercedes for wins and titles in F1. 

By introducing its Spec 3 engine for the eighth race of the season, the prospect exists for further development this year at the cost of grid penalties.

Tanabe said that the earlier-than-conventional introduction was “kind of according to plan” but also influenced by the “long-term” nature of the collaboration with the jet engine research and development team.

“It takes a long time,” he said. “It’s a bit difficult to say ‘next month [it will be ready]’.

“We decided on the Honda side that we were ready, discussed with the teams which would be the best timing and decided to apply it [in France].”

Honda had already outlined that the new engine would not trigger a dramatic performance step, even though its dyno testing has registered a small power increase.

However, it was satisfied with the reliability and calibration of its upgraded engine in France, and that should give it the platform to push for more power with subsequent upgrades.

“If you have a high-efficiency turbocharger, you can share that benefit to the ICE side and also the MGU-H side,” said Tanabe. “Especially in this Spec 3 development we have a high efficiency turbocharger.

“Then we can optimise the engine’s total balance of performance.

“You can get more efficient energy from the turbocharger, and we can share it across the engine in terms of energy management.”

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I have said it many times over the years, the FIA need to appoint stewards that are the same people for EVERY race. I have always felt that some stewards are biased toward "some" drivers (Of cour

F1 needs a Friday program including testing or the race tracks are going to lose a lot of ticket sales.  As a TV viewer, I find the Friday practice sessions quite enjoyable.   On par with the rest of

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Ferrari ready to pursue downforce at top speed's expense

Ferrari ready to pursue downforce at top speed's expense

Ferrari’s will sacrifice some of its straightline speed advantage in the pursuit of more downforce as it evolves its Formula 1 car’s aerodynamic philosophy.

As expected, Ferrari struggled during last weekend’s French Grand Prix and was no match for chief rival Mercedes, which maintained its 100% winning start to the season.

Ferrari brought several upgrades to Paul Ricard and persevered with an updated front wing, rear wing and brake ducts through qualifying and the race, but removed its new floor after Friday practice. The team had not expected the new parts to transform its performance, and instead hoped it would be key to setting the direction for its car’s development over the coming weeks and months.

Asked by Motorsport.com which direction Ferrari was heading development-wise, team principal Mattia Binotto said: “I think we are looking for, eventually, more downforce to the detriment of the speed.

“Even if the car will not be too efficient, [it will] give more downforce to get the tyres working.

“That will be the direction to go. [In qualifying at Paul Ricard] we’ve seen how difficult to get the tyres working. That is something we are focused on.”

Ferrari has enjoyed a notable top-speed advantage over Mercedes this season, which its rival has put down to a superior engine as well as car philosophy.

However, Ferrari’s lack of peak aerodynamic performance has translated into too big a deficit to Mercedes through the corners.

Its drivers Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel finished third and fifth in France, which Binotto said was not a positive race but “not too bad as well considering initial expectations”.

“We cannot be happy,” he admitted. “We can only be happy with the times we will be faster than all the competitors. But we know we were expecting a difficult race weekend here in Paul Ricard.

“We were not expecting to close the gap at all here. We brought some upgrades, some worked well, others not.

“It’s always a shame when something’s not working. We’ve got some homework to do in that respect, but that shows we have some margin to improve the car. So at least the direction we are starting to set is the right one.”

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Giovinazzi's French GP tyre strategy 'a disaster' according to Alfa boss Vasseur

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It was all looking so good for Antonio Giovinazzi on Saturday afternoon in France as he made it into Q3 for the second time this season, outqualifying his Alfa Romeo team mate Kimi Raikkonen for the second successive race. But in making it into the Top 10 shootout he used the soft tyre, meaning he was forced to start Sunday's race on the same rubber - a scenario that was a “disaster” according to his team boss Frederic Vasseur.

Data gathered during Friday practice suggested the soft tyre should be avoided in the race because the long runs showed laptimes dropped quickly after just a few laps. However, some of the midfield teams weren’t quick enough to get through to Q3 on the medium – and thus start the race on that rubber – so they were forced into running the soft.

Giovinazzi was one of those drivers and found himself going backwards before an early stop dropped him to the back of the field. Though the car had pace to compete for points, as Raikkonen proved having utilised his place outside the top 10 to start on more durable tyres, Giovinazzi simply couldn’t make any progress to extend his wait for his first F1 points.

“He had very strong pace in qualifying and to start with softs was more or less a disaster,” Vasseur said on F1 Live on Twitter. “For sure it was tough this weekend but I think it would be better to start from P9 next week in Spielberg!

“He needs to stay focused on qualifying. He’s doing a good job, he’s improving, the pace is there. Each race he is doing a better job. He was a bit unlucky with the circumstances today.”

Raikkonen spent much all of the race battling the Renaults, ultimately taking seventh to end a three-race pointless streak. “I think the pace was there for us and it was a good reward for the team after the last few races we have had,” said Vasseur. “We are pushing and we will continue to push. To be back in the points is a good step forward.

“The midfield is exciting because you can move from one session to another from P7 to P18, On Friday morning we were nowhere and then we had a good recovery to finish inside the top 10. It’s exciting, even if we are far away from the top six cars. It doesn’t matter. We are racing with Renault and McLaren – it’s a good step forward.”

Alfa Romeo are currently seventh in the constructors’ championship, level on points with Racing Point and 21 adrift of fourth-placed McLaren, who head the midfield battle.

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Looks like Paddy Lowe is a free agent now.

I'm not sure he was entirely to blame for the fiasco that Williams is in.  I certainly don't have any knowledge of the inner workings of the team.  Claire doesn't seem to be a good manager/leader and I suspect she's most of the problem there.

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JAMES BOND MEETS FORMULA 1

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Formula 1 announced today that, following the huge success of 007’s Bond In Motion exhibition in London, an exclusive touring version will visit six selected Grand Prix this year.

Starting at this edition of the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg, Austria and ending at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, Italy.

Bond In Motion complements the automotive heritage of Formula 1, in the year the sport celebrates its journey from the 1st race to the 1000th and beyond. The exhibition, in association with EON Productions, Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) and sportsWorld, will showcase 12 cars which span six decades of Bond history, including both Bond and his adversaries’ iconic cars.

From Goldfinger’s 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III to Spectre’s Aston Martin DB10, fans will be able to immerse themselves in the visual spectacle of Bond.

Starting from the 28th June the exhibition will visit:

  • Spielberg, Austria (28 – 30 June) – (Front of main grandstand)
  • Silverstone, UK (12 – 14 July) – (F1 Fan Zone)
  • Hockenheim, Germany (26 – 28 July) – (F1 Fan Zone)
  • Budapest, Hungary (2 – 4 August) – (Turn 14)
  • Spa, Belgium (30 August – 1 September) – (F1 Fan Zone)
  • Monza, Italy (6 – 8 September) – (F1 Fan Zone)

F1 ticket holders will gain exclusive free entry to the exhibition, when they pre-book via eventWorld.com ticketing.

Sean Bratches, Managing Director, Commercial Operations at Formula 1® said: “We are thrilled to be working on such an exciting opportunity with both Bond In Motion and myWorld Group. We will bring motorsport fans a visual spectacle at six of our Grands Prix.”

“James Bond is synonymous with cars, as are we with motorsport. The exhibition ensures we continue to elevate the fan experience at our races, putting them at the heart of everything we do.”

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AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX: HAMILTON SEEKS AMENDS WHILE CHASED BY ALL

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Lewis Hamilton will feel the heat, literally at least, in Austria this weekend as Formula 1 champions Mercedes seek to equal McLaren’s modern-day record of 11 wins in a row, returning to the scene of his most recent DNF with his rivals trailing in his wake.

With temperatures set to soar in scenic Spielberg, the championship leader is expecting more of a challenge than in France last Sunday, “It’s super-hot there, really hard for the brakes.

“You saw a couple of years ago we had two failures in one race, so it’s a hard race for everyone. We don’t go there with all the confidence in the world, we know that we might have a difficult weekend,” the Briton told reporters after a dominant but dull victory at Le Castellet.

That double retirement actually occurred in Austria last year, a nightmare that Hamilton’s subsequent streak of success has made more distant.

The race, won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, remains the five-times world champion’s only retirement since 2016. It was also a first double mechanical retirement for Mercedes since their return as a constructor in 2010.

Since then Hamilton has won 14 of the last 20 races. This season he has won six of eight, including the last four, and has a 36 point lead in the standings from Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Mercedes have also won four of the last five races at Red Bull’s home track, with Hamilton and Bottas triumphant in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

The challenge from Ferrari, with a car better suited to Spielberg than Le Castellet, is still a concern for Mercedes — and source of hope for those craving excitement after the French procession.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said his team had been marginal on cooling and nothing was taken for granted, even if there would be no let up either.

“(2018) was a cruel reminder how quickly things can go wrong in our sport and that reliability and performance go hand in hand in Formula One,” said the Austrian.

“It would be complacent to ignore the fact that for two weekends in a row now, our mechanics had to perform the equivalent of “open-heart surgery” on our cars.

“We’ve faced a number of different issues on different components, each of which could have easily caused us to retire, so we need to get on top of those challenges as quickly as possible,” he added.

Ferrari’s young Monegasque Charles Leclerc was consistently quicker than teammate Sebastian Vettel in France, finishing third, and will be looking to put on a much-needed show.

“Austria is one of my favourite circuits,” he told reporters. “It’s quite a different track so I’m pretty sure we can have a positive weekend.”

Verstappen, with an army of travelling fans, could also be in the mix after two top three placings this season, and five fourths, but might need others to make mistakes or suffer reliability issues.

“We do need to gain a bit of performance from the car to be really competitive. We do need to make a bigger step also with the engine,” he said in France.

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VETTEL: LET’S STOP KIDDING, LEWIS IS PLAYING WITH US

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Sebastian Vettel has said what most have been saying for some months now, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are simply in another league at this stage of Formula 1 history, the five-time World Champion toying with his rivals as he marches unhindered to a sixth title.

After trouncing his rivals at the French Grand Prix, including teammate Valtteri Bottas 2.0, Hamilton is well ahead in the championship having won six times and finished second twice in the first eight races of this season. Vettel trails him by 76 points!

Ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix weekend, with disappointing memories of France still fresh, Vettel told reporters, “Let’s stop kidding ourselves, Lewis is playing with us. I risked everything to do the fastest lap, but Lewis did the same lap time on worn and blistering tyres.”

The Ferrari driver was referencing the fact that on lap 53 of the race at Paul Ricard when Hamilton had a crack at the fastest lap on aged tyres, his effort only a couple hundredths of a second shy of the pole-winning lap set by Vettel – on fresh rubber – at the same point in the race.

“In the end, we have to find more downforce, then we will be able to use the tyres better. Maybe we should drive on the old Osterreichring, where there aren’t many corners,” quipped the German.

In his tea’s preview of this weekend’s grand prix at Red Bull Ring, one he has never won, Vettel added, “It is difficult to get everything right on this track even though it’s a very short lap. It is crucial to get a good qualifying position in order to have a good race.”

“It is definitely one I want to win. We have been on the podium in the past, so now we will be back to try and win,” promised the four-time F1 World Champion.

After reeling off their successive eighth win and extending their unbeaten streak to ten races, Mercedes now have a lead of 140 points over Ferrari in this year’s F1 constructors’ championship.

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FERRARI: WE WILL TRY UNDERSTAND WHY OUR UPDATES DIDN’T WORK

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This Sunday sees the 32nd running of the Austrian Grand Prix which was first held in 1964 on an L-shaped track laid out on the Zeltweg aerodrome, when the winner was Lorenzo Bandini at the wheel of a Ferrari 156 F1-63.

The track was then abandoned and was never used again for Formula 1 as the surface, a mix of concrete and tarmac, was too bumpy for Formula 1 cars.

At the Osterreichring. The race returned to the calendar in 1970 at the new Osterreichring circuit, which measured just under six kilometres. It wound its way through the climbs and descents of the Styrian mountains between the towns of Zeltweg and Spielberg.

This layout was kept up until 1987, after which it disappeared from the calendar for ten years, returning to the same venue with a new 4.3 kilometre layout. The new Spielberg hosted the race from 1997 to 2003 before again dropping off the calendar. A new owner then ensured some stability with the race returning as from 2014. Last year the Ferraris were second and third.

Bandini and Ickx. Scuderia Ferrari has won five times in Austria. After that initial win with Bandini, the Scuderia was also victorious when the race was first run at the Osterreichring, courtesy of the Belgian Jacky Ickx, who led home his team-mate Clay Regazzoni, the two men split by just 61 thousandths of a second.

Irvine and Schumacher. Almost thirty years later, it was Eddie Irvine who drove his F399 to the victory, benefiting from a battle between the two McLaren drivers that resulted in the retirement of the championship leader, Mika Hakkinen.

The other two wins were down to Michael Schumacher, the first in 2002 and the second one a year later. On this occasion there was a nasty scare on the way to the podium: Rubens Barrichello’s refuelling rig failed to work when the Brazilian pitted in his F2003-GA, so the team switched to Schumacher’s equipment.

When the German pitted shortly afterwards, fuel left in the hose following Barrichello’s stop, caught fire with flames licking the car. An impassive Schumacher never flinched, watching in his mirrors as the Scuderia Ferrari mechanics calmly put out the fire. Michael rejoined third and went on to win the Grand Prix.

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Ferrari Statistics

  • GP participation 978
  • Seasons in F1 70
  • Debut Monaco 1950 (Alberto Ascari 2nd; Raymond Sommer 4th; Luigi Villoresi ret.)
  • Wins 235 (24,02%)
  • Pole positions 221 (22,59%)
  • Fastest laps 251 (25,66%)
  • Total podiums 758 (77,50%)

Austrian Grand Prix Ferrari Statistics

  • GP participation 30
  • Debut 1964 (Lorenzo Bandini 1st; John Surtees Ret.)
  • Wins 5 (16,66%)
  • Pole positions 7 (23,33%)
  • Fastest laps 5 (16,66%)
  • Total podiums 24 (80%)

Sebastian Vettel: “Austria is a popular place with everyone in the paddock and all the drivers. If you look at the scenery around the track, it is set in a unique landscape with mountains surrounding it. If you are lucky, you even see snow on some of the mountain peaks in the distance. Driving around there in a Formula 1 car and seeing cows next to the track is also something quite unusual.

“It is difficult to get everything right on this track even though it’s a very short lap. It is crucial to get a good qualifying position in order to have a good race. It is definitely one I want to win. We have been on the podium in the past, so now we will be back to try and win.”

Charles Leclerc: “I look forward to returning to Spielberg. The atmosphere is great and there are many activities taking place around the track, which gives fans as well as ourselves a great experience.

The circuit is an interesting one. It’s quite a short lap, so you really have to put it all together to secure a good position in qualifying. We made some progress during the last race weekend, especially in qualifying, improving my performance from Q1 to Q3. The target will be to build on that and find further ways to improve overall.”

Mattia Binotto, Team Principal: “We are happy to be getting back on track so quickly, because it’s the best way to put ourselves to the test again to try and understand the elements that did not go according to plan in France.

“We have various test items to evaluate, mainly in order to give us a clearer picture as to why some of the updates we brought to Le Castellet did not work as expected. The Austrian track is very different to Paul Ricard. The first sector has long straights and braking in a straight line, while the second part is tighter, with a mix of low and medium-high speed corners.

“The forecast is for very hot conditions, so it will be a demanding weekend on the cooling front, both for the engine and the brakes, which means tyre management will also be very difficult.”

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TODT: YOU SEE DOMINANCE IN ALL SPORTS

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Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes moved within reach of an overhaul of some of Formula 1’s most notable records with his flawless unchallenged triumph in Sunday’s French Grand Prix.

But his extraordinary success -– his victory was his sixth in eight races this year –- prompted a negative reaction in some quarters from critics who find Mercedes’ domination “boring” and the races lacking in suspense and thrills.

Hamilton, who admits his success feels “unreal”, said Sunday he understood if spectators, or the global broadcast audience, lost interest but urged them to blame the sport’s rules, not the drivers.

“We need to see a dramatic overhaul,” he declared in France, adding that the structure of the sport’s management was also in need of change.

As Hamilton and Mercedes continue their relentless destruction of the records, it is unreasonable to ask his team to slow down, as the president of the sport’s ruling body, the International Motoring Federation (FIA) Jean Todt, once the boss of the all-conquering team that powered Michael Schumacher to five of his seven titles, has pointed out.

“It is beautiful to see 20 cars at a marvellous circuit, truly modern, a real motor racing circuit, with the best teams and the best drivers in the world,” said Todt.

“Then, if one team is better, and you see this in all sports, it is because it is the strongest. Instead of just complaining, we should encourage everyone else to make every effort to catch up with them and beat them,” Todt reasoned for the umpteenth time.

He suggested there are not the same complaints at seeing tennis star Rafael Nadal dominate at Roland Garros and said that Mercedes rivals should work harder to overhaul them.

Hamilton’s team boss Toto Wolff said he understood the perceived problem as demonstrated by the French procession on Sunday.

“I hear you and from a fans’ perspective I get it,” Wolff acknowledged, “But I think it’s an unfair question because what would you do in our shoes? You would continue to push relentlessly for performance. It is what we do, but the fans see a race that is less enjoyable to watch.”

The problem, he conceded, is in the complexity of F1 with so many different kinds of circuits making it inevitable that certain conditions will deliver dull races. The sport is currently working on proposals for a new formula for 2021.

At Le Castellet, it was suggested -– by Wolff, Valtteri Bottas and others -– that the chicane in the long Mistral Straight was removed to encourage closer racing.

He also rejected a proposal, from Red Bull’s Helmut Marko, that they should revert to the 2018 tyres because Mercedes struggled more with them than the current compounds.

Hamilton, meanwhile, will have to ignore the noise and carry on winning as he closes in on Schumacher’s record of 91 wins -– his victory on Sunday was his 79th -– and a potential sixth world title.

“I definitely didn’t expect to have six wins at this point and it doesn’t feel real,” he admitted after his pole-to-flag win, his second in succession at Le Castellet.

It also brought Mercedes their 10th consecutive victory and brought into prospect an 11th at this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, a total that would be a record in the sport’s modern era.

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McLaren weighing up best time for 'encouraging' Renault upgrade

McLaren MCL34 at the French Grand Prix

McLaren team boss Andeas Seidl says the team are weighing up the best moment to introduce Renault's latest engine upgrade, but are wary that doing so early could result in additional penalties later in the season.

Renault readied its "encouraging" upgrade for last weekend's French Grand Prix, but the only driver to take it was Daniel Ricciardo as doing so for Nico Hulkenberg would have resulted in a grid drop, whilst McLaren opted not to run it as Carlos Sainz would also have taken a penalty.

The Spaniard has used one additional engine over team-mate Lando Norris after a fire at the season opening event in Australia damaged his first.

"As soon as Carlos is going for the upgrade then we get the penalty, because it is the fourth one. So we need to figure out now when we do that," explained Seidl.

"That is unfortunately part of the game. But it is the same for the others around. We have seen others are taking penalties already now, so we have to see."

Seidl is cautious of taking the upgrade too early in search of quick gains whilst compromising their situation later in the year.

"The engine is a good step. It is encouraging to see that Renault is bringing updates.

"But again the plan for us was that it was better not to use it yet, simply to minimise the number of penalties that we would get until the end of the season."

McLaren are currently fourth in the standings, eight points ahead of chief rival Renault after extending their advantage in France where they scored 10 points to the French manufacturer's four.

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So the French grand prix can be most politely called a dumpster fire.  The Austrian Grand Prix was actually not only interesting but actually pretty fun to watch.  Mercs were hampered by overheating so they had to baby the car.  Lecrelc ran a great race.  Verstappen was passing everyone.

Unfortunately this has hints of Canada all over again and the stewards are now in charge of the result of the race.

F1 can't get out of its way to make racing interesting.

My opinion is it's a racing incident, but I think its 2:1 odds that Max gets a 5s time penalty/.

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I'm no Verstappen fan, but he had the inside line at turn 3.  Leclerc didn't defend the inside line to turn 3 which allowed Verstappen to gain inside advantage on a very tight corner.  While I was pulling for Leclerc to finish the race P1, I feel that the pass was legit.  The contact, while fairly substantial, was a racing incident that doesn't warrant a time penalty.  Leclerc drove a hell of a race, but Verstappen was a man on a mission the last 15 laps of the race.  He deserved the win every bit as much as Leclerc.

Leclerc will get his F1 race wins eventually.  If I was in his position, I wouldn't want my first F1 win to come after the fact because of a time penalty.  For me, it would be very bittersweet to see a driver miss the celebration and excitement of their first F1 victory, because it was awarded post race.

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34 minutes ago, skalls said:

Call me surprised.  Win stands.

Honestly, I'm not. These stewards knew the world was watching and they were already put on notice by the fans(and drivers) after the Canada fiasco. I still think it's ridiculous that they have to investigate these little racing incidents. As they say "rubbing is racing!" When the checkers fly the race should be over and the results should stand. If an incident is serious enough to warrant a penalty then it should be applied to the next race as a grid spot penalty. Don't ruin the current race for the fans and make them wait hours to get the final results!

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AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX: VERSTAPPEN DENIES LECLERC IN A THRILLER

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Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc – the future stars of Formula 1 – slugged it out in a thrilling Austrian Grand Prix with the Red Bull driver taking a second victory in two years at the venue owned by his team.

It was a nail-biting duel as the pair dodged a weaved, rubbed wheels as Leclerc did all he could to keep Verstappen at bay, but in the end the Dutchman sent the orange army into euphoria in the heat of Spielberg as he muscled his way past the Ferrari.

It was a great drive from Verstappen, after messing up the start and was swallowed by the pack he dropped down to seventh and dropped 14 seconds behind the leader at one stage. But the Dutchman was relentless and kept his head down to deliver the kind of performance that fills grandstands, arguably his best drive to date and sets him up there with the very best drivers of this sport.

Afterwards, Verstappen said, “After that start I thought the race was over, but we just kept pushing hard. I had quite a bad flat spot on my first tyre, and then after the pit stop we were flying. You could see we had good pace on the straight to make the pass. I’m delighted for the team and for Honda.”

As for the ‘fisticuffs’ with the #16 Ferrari, “It’s hard racing, otherwise we have to stay at home. If those things are not allowed in racing, then what’s the point of being in F1.”

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Leclerc was not happy with the move that cost him the race which looked like his to win as he seemed in control from the moment he took the lead from pole until Verstappen decided to change the script.

The FIA stewards had a long look at the incident and a chat to both drivers before, some three hours later, Verstappen’s win was confirmed with the matter ruled to be a racing incident.

“Car 33 sought to overtake car 16 at Turn 3 on lap 69 by out-braking car 16. When doing so, car 33 was alongside car 16 on the entry of the corner and was in full control of the car while attempting the overtaking move on the inside of car 16,” read the verdict.

“However, both car 33 and car 16 proceeded to negotiate the corner alongside each other but there was clearly insufficient space for both cars to do so. Shortly after the late apex, while exiting the corner, there was contact between the two cars. In the totality of the circumstances, we did not consider that either driver was wholly or predominantly to blame for the incident.

“We consider that this is a racing incident,” they declared.

Verstappen’s victory is packed with milestones including the big fact that Honda are back on the top step of the podium for the first time since their return to the top flight.

It was the first for a Honda-powered car since Jenson Button won in Hungary in 2006 for the Japanese manufacturer’s own team, and a welcome antidote to last weekend’s dull French Grand Prix.

And finally a non-Merc winner this year.

Leclerc summed up, “Overall the race was good, at the end, I had a bit more degradation than I thought so Max came back. I’ll let the stewards decide, but for me in the car, it was pretty clear. I don’t know how it looked on the outside, but we will see.”

“I was on the outside just like the lap before, it was fine because he left the space for the exit on the corner, but he didn’t on the next lap, so we touched and I had to go wide and then obviously I didn’t have another chance to pass back, so it’s a shame,” added the Ferrari driver.

Mercedes met their match this weekend at Red Bull Ring, the short circuit kinder to their rivals. Nevertheless, Valtteri Bottas did well to finish third while teammate Lewis Hamilton had one of his less flash afternoons as he damaged his front-wing on his way to fifth on a day he never found the sweet spot.

Bottas, who finished 19 seconds behind the leading duo, reflected, “It was a little bit more difficult than we expected, especially with the over-heating of the engines, so we couldn’t really race properly having to manage the temperatures.  That’s why defending and attacking was difficult but we got some good points. It’s not a bad weekend.”

Sebastian Vettel did well to recover from ninth on the grid to finish fourth, overtaking Hamilton with the flag in sight. The reigning F1 World Champion was fifth and thus ended a ten race streak of top three finishes.

Arguably the Drive of the Day went to the youngest driver on the day with Lando Norris slugging it out at the sharp end with the best of the best and rewarded with Best of the Rest and a fine sixth place for him

His teammate Carlos Sainz also delivered a strong performance to finish eighth from 19th on the grid on a great weekend for a revitalised McLaren team who were the class of the Renault powered brigade.

Alfa Romeo veteran Kimi Raikkonen led home his rookie teammate Antonio Giovinazzi, the Italian claiming his first F1 point.

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FIA Blow-By-Blow Report

Verstappen’s sixth career win and the first for power unit partner Honda since the Hungarian Grand Prix of 2006 seemed unlikely when the Dutchman’s RB15 bogged down and he was immediately passed by a swarm of rivals. Leclerc powered away into the lead ahead of the Mercedes cars of Bottas and Hamilton, the Alfa Romeo of fast-starting Räikkönen, the McLaren of Norris and the second Ferrari of Vettel.

Verstappen, though, dropped to P7 and looked to be out of contention. However, both Verstappen and Vettel passed Norris with relative ease and within a handful of laps, they had also cleared Räikkönen.

After a dozen laps, Leclerc was a healthy three seconds ahead of Bottas, with Hamilton a further 2.7 seconds back in third. Vettel was now fourth, 4.5s behind Hamilton, while Verstappen was a similar distance behind Vettel. Ahead of the first round of pit stops Leclerc had built an almost five-second advantage over Bottas, who triggered what would for most of the leading pack be a single pit stop.

Bottas made a clean stop on lap 21 but there was no such luck for Vettel who stopped at the same time. The Ferrari driver’s crew were not ready with a set of hard tyres and the German was forced to sit stationary for six seconds as a front left wheel was located and fitted. Leclerc made his stop at the end of the following lap and he emerged in P3 behind new leader Hamilton and Verstappen.

Hamilton was now suffering with degradation to his opening set of medium tyres and as Verstappen closed the gap, the Mercedes driver pushed too hard and damaged his front wing. He pitted at the end of lap 30, not only for hard tyres but also for a new front wing.

The stop saw Hamilton stand still in his pit box for 11 seconds and Red Bull responded by pitting Verstappen on lap 31. He emerged four seconds clear of Hamilton, in fourth place. And it was then, with hard tyres on board, that the race began to come to the Dutchman

He swiftly close on third-placed Vettel and on lap 50, breezed past the German on entry to Turn 4 to take third place.

Verstappen now had Bottas in his sights and on lap 56 her took second place, dismissing Bottas effortlessly with a move down the inside into Turn 3 under DRS.

With 10 laps to go Max was just 3.8 seconds behind the race leader and five laps later the Red Bull driver arrived on Ferrari’s gearbox. The two 21-year-old racers then engaged in the epic battle that ended with Verstappen spraying champagne from the top step of the podium but also facing a stewards’ investigation.

Vettel had also been on the move during the closing stages and he passed Hamilton to take a solid fourth place after starting from P9. Hamilton was left with fifth place ahead of Norris and Pierre crossed the line in P7 to score his seventh points finish of the season to date.

Eighth place was taken by Sainz who finished ahead of the Alfa Romeo cars of Räikkönen and Giovinazzi.

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BINOTTO: THEY ARE THE JUDGE, WE NEED TO RESPECT THAT

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Ferrari ruled out appealing Max Verstappen’s Austrian Grand Prix victory on Sunday, after it was upheld by a post-race enquiry, even if they again felt Formula One stewards had made the wrong decision.

The result of the race was confirmed some three hours after the finish as stewards reviewed the Red Bull driver’s wheel-banging move on Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc two laps from the finish.

“We still believe that this is a wrong decision, that’s our own opinion,” team principal Mattia Binotto told reporters after the outcome was announced.

“We believe that Charles leaves the entire space, he had no fault, a collision has happened and he has been pushed and forced off the track.”

Three weeks ago in Canada, Ferrari missed out on victory when Sebastian Vettel was handed a five-second penalty after going off and returning to the track in an unsafe fashion while leading.

In that case Vettel finished first but was demoted to second, and Ferrari made a failed bid to secure a review of the stewards’ decision.

“They (the stewards) are the judge, we need to respect that,” Binotto said on Sunday. “And more than that, as a Ferrari fan — and I am ultimate Ferrari fan — I think it’s time for F1 to turn page and look ahead.”

Sunday’s exciting race was seen as an antidote to last weekend’s dull French Grand Prix, but the stewards’ enquiry took some of the immediate gloss off the track action with the result still unsure late into the evening.

Verstappen battled fellow 21-year-old Leclerc for the lead, after the Monegasque had started on pole position and appeared to be heading for a first win.

The Dutchman had dropped down the field after anti-stall kicked in at the start but scythed back from eighth at the end of the opening lap.

The pair, both tipped as future champions, had a brief wheel-to-wheel duel before Verstappen launched a move up the inside of the Ferrari into the tight uphill turn three.

Verstappen managed to seize the lead but not before banging wheels with the Ferrari, which ran off the track and took to the run-off.

Stewards decided it was a racing incident and took no further action.

The race was the third time this season Ferrari missed out on victory after leading from pole. An engine issue cost Leclerc victory in Bahrain in March.

Sunday was a chance for Ferrari to end Mercedes’ 10-race winning streak but instead that honor fell to Red Bull, with engine partners Honda celebrating their first win of the V6 turbo-hybrid era.

Binotto said his team’s improvement was down mainly to the track suiting their car better rather than a more sustained resurgence.

“Will we be able to fight and battle on all the tracks? I don’t think (so) yet,” he stated. “But again…we may bring some more development and I think we can only see race by race.”

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RED BULL: TO GIVE HONDA FIRST V6 HYBRID VICTORY IS UNBELIEVABLE

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Red Bull report from the Austrian Grand Prix, Round 9 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.

Max Verstappen: “It was an incredible race and I’m so happy to take the Team’s second victory at our home Grand Prix. It was a shame at the start as I triggered anti-stall and dropped back to seventh. From there onwards the pace was really good, I stayed calm and kept pushing hard.

“The second stint was decisive for us as the car really came alive. Once I passed Valtteri I thought I could have a go for the win as our pace was so strong but you never know. I just kept pushing, drove flat out and didn’t give up. We passed Charles with a few laps to go so I’m extremely happy. The move was close racing and if you can’t make moves like that I think it is better to stay at home.

“I want to say a big thank you to everyone at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, all weekend we have been working really well and the upgrades seem to have worked. Thank you to all the crew here, everyone at the factory and of course Honda, it’s not been easy for them over the past years but to win for them today is just incredible.”

Pierre Gasly: “It was a tough race and a difficult day. I didn’t have great pace on the soft tyre in the first stint and then I was stuck behind the cars in front. On the second stint, I pushed too hard at the beginning and destroyed the hard tyre after only a couple of laps which left me with massive blisters, so from there I was just slow and I didn’t have the pace to catch Lando.

“Overall, it’s nice to see the new upgrades are working with Max. He did a fantastic job so this is positive and we now look forward to Silverstone. On my side, I’m not very happy with my performance and I could have managed the race a lot better. I’m a really competitive guy and there is work to do.

“I haven’t found exactly what I want from the car so we will keep pushing, but it’s good to see the car is working and I think we have a good direction for the upcoming races. I have a lot to learn and take from having Max next to me. I want to deliver more and I know I can, so now we need to work.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal: “What an unbelievable performance by Max today. To win the race here in Austria and to give Honda its first victory with a V6 hybrid is unbelievable. Winning our home race means an enormous amount to everyone in the Red Bull family.

Mr Mateschitz has put so much into the sport with both Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso, so it means an incredible amount to deliver this victory for a second year running. It was a tense wait after the race but the stewards made the right decision. What happened today between Charles and Max is hard racing and I think that’s what Formula One is all about – it’s two young guys going for it.

Formula One has come under a lot of criticism recently and I think today’s race was an exciting one with overtaking, tyre degradation and drama – exactly what the doctor ordered! We came to Austria as outsiders and so to win here is a dream come true and I think that was Max’s best win. It was a tough race for Pierre but he managed to make progress and pass Raikkonen.

When your teammate is performing at this level the benchmark is extremely high, but with time and as his confidence builds, Pierre will close the gap. Our target in the constructors’ championship is Ferrari and we need both cars to score the maximum points possible.”

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ALFA ROMEO: YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL WITH PROMISES

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You have to be careful with promises. Some can be made in a spur-of-the-moment kind of way, some can be more thought-out – but one always have to stick to their word once the promise is made.

So when Antonio Giovinazzi promised Fred Vasseur our team boss could take the scissors to the Italian’s luscious mane upon scoring a point, he should have foreseen the moment would eventually come.

And it did. A spirited performance by Kimi and one full of confidence from Antonio saw us claim our first double points finish of the season with P9 and P10. We’re particularly happy to celebrate the first point of “our Giovi”, finally getting this box ticked. It took guts. It took sweat. And, since a promise is a promise (especially to the boss), it definitely took a little bit of hair…

Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal: “I am very pleased with the work we did today. We put two cars in the points for the first time this season and we showed again we can compete towards the front of the midfield. Both Kimi and Antonio raced intelligently, knowing when to attack and when to look after their tyres, and to have both scoring is a reward for the whole team.

“We could have perhaps scored a few more points in the end, when we were catching Sainz with both cars, but in the end we can be satisfied of what we got. We have been showing improvement in the last few races, so we will aim to build on that and continue our good run of points.”

Kimi Räikkönen: “We can be satisfied with scoring points, it was a good result for the team. I had a good start and the first laps were pretty ok, but then it became a bit more difficult. I felt I lacked a bit of speed to challenge the cars around me and when I did have it, I had to be careful with the tyres.

“It was a balancing act, trying to keep the tyres alive long enough while still going fast enough. It was a bit of a shame but in the end we got a good result. We still have margin to improve. I feel we were a bit better yesterday, but our performance is improving.”

Antonio Giovinazzi: “I’m so happy to score my first point. It’s a great feeling and it’s a big weight off my shoulders. I think this is the maximum we could have done today so I’m really pleaseda to have two cars in the top ten. We had a really positive qualifying yesterday, but today’s race was very difficult.

“Perez was right behind me for most of the afternoon and the pressure was heavy, but I really wanted this point. I feel a lot of our work has been rewarded today, but we have to continue moving forward. Since France we have done a step in the right direction and we have to keep it up.”

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BRAWN: IT WILL BE EMOTIONAL SEEING MICK DRIVING THE F2004

2004 Japanese Grand Prix.Suzuka , Japan 8th - 10th October 2004Michael Schumacher, Ferrari F2004. Action. World Copyright:Peter Spinney/LAT Photographic ref: 35mm Image: A12

As part of the 2019 German Grand Prix weekend, spectators at the Hockenheim Ring will be treated to the sight of Mick Schumacher, currently racing in Formula 2 for Prema Racing and the Ferrari Driver Academy, at the wheel of a Ferrari F2004, as driven by his father Michael, when he took his seventh Formula 1 World Championship title in 2004.

On Saturday 27th July, just prior to Formula 1 qualifying and on Sunday 28th before the Drivers’ Parade, Mick will drive the car on a track where the Schumacher family enjoyed so much success. Michael won four times at Hockenheim in Formula 1; in 1995 with Benetton and then in 2002, 2004 and 2006 with Scuderia Ferrari. It was at this track that Mick won the FIA Formula 3 European Championship last year, his first ever series title.

Mick Schumacher, Ferrari Driver Academy driver and F2 Prema driver, said: “I think it’s mega driving this car in Hockenheim. The last time I was on this track was when I celebrated my Formula 3 championship title.

“ow I’ll be able to drive one of the strongest cars in Formula 1 history there – a big grin creeps into my face. All motorsport crazy people can look forward to a very special and wonderfully loud moment.”

Ross Brawn, Managing Director, Motorsport, at Formula 1 said: “It will be an emotional moment seeing Mick at the wheel of a car linked to so many great memories.

“The F2004 was a fantastic car, which took 15 wins and both championship titles in a season that can be seen as the culmination of a golden period, which was the result of all the hard work from an amazing group of people and Michael Schumacher, a supremely talented driver.

“I’m sure that all the fans at Hockenheim will be pleased to see it roaring around the track again, especially with Mick in the cockpit. One of the requests we get most often from fans is to see the cars that wrote F1 history back on track, so this demonstration run at Hockenheim will be truly unmissable.”

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TORO ROSSO: WE DID NOT PERFORM WELL TODAY

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Toro Rosso report from the Austrian Grand Prix, Round 9 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.

Alexander Albon: “Unfortunately, we didn’t have the pace today, it was a tough first stint where we weren’t quick enough. We weren’t too bad in the second half of the race, but we lost too much time in the first stint. It’s a difficult one to swallow because our long runs were looking quite good on Friday, and that’s two races in a row where we’ve struggled with the balance of the car, so we need to figure out where we can improve.”

Daniil Kvyat: “It wasn’t exactly the most enjoyable race of my life, although we saw it coming yesterday after Qualifying. I was carrying more downforce today, so I was a sitting duck in the race. It just wasn’t our day today, it was one of those weekends where we were far away from everything.

“We know we’re better than this, so we need to reset and move forward. We will put these two races behind us and try to extract everything out of the car in the next few races.”

Jody Egginton, Technical Director: “Qualifying out of position made today’s race very difficult. The drivers pushed as hard as possible early on whilst also having to manage brakes and PU temperatures, which slowed down any progress.

“Once traffic was cleared, Alex was able to run some reasonable lap times and closed in on the pack ahead, but ultimately, there was some time lost either side of the pitstop which limited the progress we could have had. Once Dany got free of traffic, he still had to manage his tyres due to some rear brake duct damage and therefore, he wasn’t able to make any progress.

“Today definitely wasn’t one of our best days and we have a lot of analysis to do ahead of the next race to improve on the weaknesses shown here. We will be focused on this, aiming to come back stronger in the next event.”

Franz Tost, Team Principal: “First, I’d like to congratulate Honda, Red Bull Racing and a great Max Verstappen for this fantastic victory here at the Red Bull Ring. They have done a terrific job in Sakura to achieve this result and the team did an amazing job. As for Toro Rosso, there is not much to say. We did not perform well today.”

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WOLFF: I HAVEN’T SPOKEN TO MAX

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said he has not spoken to Max Verstappen about a possible switch to his team amid speculation linking the 21-year-old Red Bull driver to the Formula 1 champions.

The Dutchman, one of the hottest properties in the sport and on the front row for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix, has a contract with Red Bull until the end of 2020.

However German publication Auto, Motor und Sport recently quoted Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko expressing concern that Mercedes were lining up a bid for Verstappen if exit clauses were triggered.

“I haven’t spoken to Max,” said Wolff when asked about Marko’s comments who has previously accused Mercedes of trying to poach one of the biggest stars in the sport.

“I’d like to continue like we’ve always done it in the past, first to evaluate our current line up and discuss with the drivers and what their views are before really entering into a proper discussion with anybody else,” added Wolff.

Lewis Hamilton, on course for a sixth world championship this season, is under contract with Mercedes until the end of 2020.

Teammate Valtteri Bottas, winner of two races this year and 36 points behind Hamilton in the standings, has a one-year deal with an option for 2020.

Mercedes also have highly-rated 22-year-old French driver Esteban Ocon, currently without a seat, on their books.

Wolff told reporters at last week’s French Grand Prix that he was optimistic Ocon would be back in a Formula 1 car next year, “Putting all that puzzle into place is something I’d like to do over the next few months, over the summer.”

Verstappen refused to be drawn on any exit clauses in his contract while Hamilton, sitting alongside the Red Bull driver in the post-qualifying press conference, said it was all news to him.

“I think the team’s pretty happy with Valtteri and me,” said Hamilton, turning to Verstappen and added, “I don’t mind driving with you. I’ll drive against whoever.”

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MERCEDES: OUR ACHILLES HEEL WAS EXPOSED

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Mercedes report from the Austrian Grand Prix, Round 9 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.

Valtteri Bottas: “I think we made the most of it today. We expected this race to be tricky, but it turned out to be even more difficult than we predicted. We had to do lots of lifting and coasting and couldn’t use all engines modes to keep the engine from overheating.

“So, we couldn’t really race properly, and I had to manage temperatures for the majority of the race. It made both defending and attacking very difficult. But you have to look at the positives – I got some good points out of this weekend and I don’t think there was much difference in terms of race pace.

“So, it isn’t all bad. We’ll investigate and hopefully come back stronger at Silverstone.

Lewis Hamilton: “It wasn’t the easiest day, we knew already before the race started that we might be in trouble here. Overheating proved to be a fairly big issue for us today.

“I think we had good pace, the car felt good, but we just couldn’t race due to the overheating. It seemed to be a limitation of our car this weekend and the other cars didn’t seem to struggle quite as much as we did, so we’ll have to look into this and try to fix it.

“There’s going to be more hot races coming up like Budapest, so we’ll need to get on top of this, otherwise it could be a difficult few races for us. I also damaged my front wing on the kerb, so we had to change it, which cost us a bit of time as well. It’s just one of those bad days in the office, but at least I still got some good points with fifth place.

Toto Wolff: “From a fan’s perspective, this was a really exciting race to watch; however, from our team’s perspective it was a difficult day. We said before the race that the high temperatures will be a huge challenge for us and that turned out to be true.

“Our Achilles heel was exposed, with both drivers struggling with overheating in these incredibly warm temperatures. We had to open up the bodywork all the way, turn down the engine and had to do lifting and coasting for long stretches.

“So, we couldn’t really race with our car today, neither attack nor defend, we were just trying to keep it alive and cooling it properly. On a more positive note, though, we still scored a good haul of points and managed to put in some decent lap times despite these limitations.

“However, it’s clear that we have to fix our cooling problems for the coming hot European races. As we say, the bad days are the ones when we learn the most to come back stronger. And we’ll be looking to do just that at the next race at Silverstone.

Andrew Shovlin: “It was good to see Honda get their first win since coming back into the sport; they have worked so hard for it, so hopefully they can enjoy the moment. For us it was an incredibly tough afternoon, we were on the limit with cooling all race.

“We knew this was our Achilles heel and the combination of ambient temperature and altitude were just too much for us to fight today. Valtteri did a good job to get on the podium, he was having to manage a lot whilst racing today and we had to give up a lot of performance to keep things cool, so we’re happy that he got some reward.

“Lewis was in the same situation as Valtteri with temperatures and he was having to having to manage from start to finish. He was keeping his tyres in good shape but unfortunately his front wing flap broke on the kerb at turn 10 on lap 27 and we were losing too much time so stopped for a new nose and the Hard tyre.

“It was a shame to lose the place to Vettel right on the end, but it was just a consequence of all the issues we were having to deal with. Whilst temperatures were the headline item for us today, we weren’t particularly quick even in Qualifying, so no doubt there are a few areas that we need to investigate and improve.

“We’re looking forward to Silverstone, the car should work better there so hopefully we can get back to fighting at the front.”

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MCLAREN: GREAT DRIVERS, GREAT PIT-STOPS AND GREAT STRATEGY

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McLaren report from the Austrian Grand Prix, Round 9 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.

Carlos Sainz: “What a race! I’m really, really happy with how we recovered from a tough weekend, and from P19 on the starting grid. Up until yesterday, I had this feeling of frustration due to the [PU] penalty, but this morning I turned all that frustration into motivation for the race.

“I think we executed a very strong race today, with a long stint on the Medium tyre and then pitting for the Hard compound in the right moment. From that point onwards it was overtake after overtake, and I made my way into the points. The only setback of the day was that my front wing got damaged 10 laps from the end when I was starting to attack Gasly.

“With the pace I had, I think I could’ve taken P7, but I really had to drive the car carefully to avoid any mistakes and finally managed to stay ahead of Raikkonen. Very happy for everyone in the team. Great race, great comeback and congrats for another double points finish.”

Lando Norris: “It was a fun race! A good start, managed to go forwards and battled the Mercedes and the Ferrari for a lap or so, but had to concede those positions and think of my own race. The Alfa got past me on the first lap, around the outside at Turn Four.

“Not much I could’ve done and dropped back to fourth and then fifth, then had Max behind me for a little bit, so I was in there. I saved my tyres for the first few laps, had it under control then pushed and did what I needed to do, pulled a gap, boxed, and managed the pace from then on.

“I was on the Medium, so was a little bit unsure about what we could do, or what the tyres would do towards the end of the stint. Gasly was pushing me for the last few laps, but I was just doing what I had to do in terms of saving the tyres and not taking any risks – there was a lot more in it if I really needed to push.

“A massive thanks to the McLaren team at the circuit and back at the factory. Looking forward to my home race now!”

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: “Congratulations to the entire team here at the track and back home. It’s a great result for McLaren, scoring important points to establish P4 in the constructors’ championship. Today P6 and P8 were well-earned, confirming us for the second time in a row as the fourth fastest team. Great work from both drivers, great pit-stops, and great strategic decisions.

“Lando had a great start and an exciting first lap before he was then able to control his pace in P6 on Soft tyres. After the pit-stop we switched to Medium tyres and just did enough to match the times of [Pierre] Gasly to stay in front of him.

“Carlos made a great start from last position and then had to do a long first stint on the Medium tyre to create the opportunity to attack on the Hard tyre in the second half of the race. He made brilliant overtaking moves and his charge only ended when he ran wide once and broke the front wing when he was in sight of overtaking Gasly. After this he did an excellent job to bring it home in eighth.

“We’re looking forward to Silverstone and our home grand prix now but this was a brilliant race for Formula 1 today, not just in the midfield but also at the front, which was important after the negative comments of the last week.”

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WILLIAMS REPORT FROM THE AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX

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Williams report from the Austrian Grand Prix, Round 9 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.

Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer: “Having found some damage to George’s front wing following qualifying, we opted to fit a spare, and, due to a small specification change, we were forced to start from the pitlane. Despite this, George drove very well and was able to race with the Haas and Toro Rosso cars at the beginning of the race, whilst everyone started to manage their brakes and power units.

“Robert meanwhile had a strong start and opening corners, gaining several places. Unfortunately, he couldn’t hold on to them beyond lap one.

“Once Magnussen had pitted and taken his drive-through penalty, we were able to pit Robert for new tyres and emerge ahead of him. We hoped that straight line speed and power unit temperatures might allow Robert to stay ahead of the Haas but this wasn’t the case and Robert had then to endure a difficult race as he absorbed a lot of blue flags.

“George was able to complete a good opening stint on the Option tyre and stay close to Kvyat. We pitted into a decent track position and began to close the gap to Kvyat. Thanks to another excellent effort from our crew, George’s pitstop was much better than Kvyat’s and we almost emerged ahead.

“Unfortunately, once Kvyat had the track position, he was able to pull away and George’s race became one of defending against Magnussen. He did this very well whilst managing his Prime tyre to the end, finishing 18th.”

“The whole team did a good job of managing the car in the demanding conditions of Austria and again get two cars home.”

George Russell: “I managed to fight the Toro Rosso’s and the Haas at the beginning, hold them up for a bit and I managed to hold off Magnussen in the closing stages. We’re still a long way off, but there’s a few positives in there. Those opening laps were good.

“I managed to take Robert and Daniil Kvyat at once, which was surprising and nice. I was pushing absolutely flat out every single lap, and I’m glad it was noticed. We need to be patient now and wait for some more downforce to come to the car.”

Robert Kubica: “It was a difficult race. The pace was not there. I gained a few positions on the opening lap, but then the handling was very bad. I tried to defend but it was so difficult to keep the cars behind.

“I am lacking overall grip and in these conditions when it is hot, when there is a lot of overheating and the tyres are suffering a lot, I am just sliding even more.”

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