Once again George Russel has shown great pace in qualifying as he manages to get his car into Q2 and just 1 second off the pace of Max Verstappen who came P3 in the session.
One keeps on visualising on what he would be able to do in a competitive car. Not just a front runner's car but even in the likes of a top mid field team. They know that Spa is not a track that usually suits their setup but they are proud of their performance.
George is hoping for rain tomorrow as it will definitely mix the grid up. He is starting P15, staring at the rear of Sebastian Vettel and his team mate Charles Leclerc. It seems that there are never ending issues with the Ferrari's and being near the back of the pack. This may well see them in amongst some carnage on the first corner as they are not usually that far back, and will need to fend off those at the behind them who will be eager to make a name for themselves by passing the Italian based team.
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: It was nice to be back in Q2 again this weekend and it is testament to all the hard work throughout the team that we were. The new parts that we brought here are working well, which bodes well for the future.
Nicholas was unfortunate with the brief yellow flag that cost him some time in his final lap of Q1, but otherwise it was a good session and both drivers enjoyed reasonably clear laps, which is never easy at this circuit.
It was a little surprising to be fighting with the two Ferraris, but it was nice to see us resume a proper battle with Haas and Alfa Romeo. Tomorrow is of course where it really counts but we have put ourselves in a good position with both cars to fight with Haas and Alfa Romeo. If we can also put some pressure on the Ferraris then we are set for a good race.
George Russell: I am thrilled, and it was probably the best qualifying of the year for us. On paper, our car does not suit this circuit because of the long straights, so we were not expecting to be close to Q2. We put a really good lap together and the car was feeling great. It was exhilarating driving around here with the car on the limit like that, so I am really pleased. We hope for rain tomorrow, as if it is wet it might mix things up a bit, so fingers crossed the heavens open.
Nicholas Latifi: I am quite frustrated as the potential was there to get into Q2. We got very unlucky getting caught out by the yellow flag with the Haas so I had to lift for that on my last attempt. My lap considering this issue would have been good enough. However, the car was feeling great and we made some good changes overnight and everything was there to get into Q2. For sure in the race we will be looking to fight and challenge the other cars.
Recently we saw the outcome of an investigation by the FIA in to the BWT Racing Point's Brake ducts and if there was "Foul Play". After receiving a huge fine and being deducted Championship points, some teams were still out to make sure nothing else was swept under the rug. Renault DP World F1 team has now confirmed that they have requested to withdraw the appeals lodged against the stewards decisions in relation to the BWT Racing Point Teams brake ducts. Statement below.
"Beyond the decisions, the matters at issue were vital to the integrity of Formula One, both during the current season and in the future. However, intensive and constructive work between the FIA, Renault DP World F1 Team and all Formula One stakeholders has led to concrete progress in safeguarding the originality in the sport by way of amendments to the Sporting and Technical Regulations planned for the 2021 racing season, confirming the requirements to qualify as a Constructor.
Reaching this strategic objective, in the context of the new Concorde Agreement, was our priority. The controversy of the start of this season should be put behind us, as we need to focus on the remainder of an intense and unique Championship."
Williams recently came into some financial trouble and have been looking to either sell the team or find further investment into it. The team has announced that US Investment Firm Dorilton are to become the new owners of the Grove based team but they will carrying on in the championship under the same name.
Claire Williams Said:
"This marks the beginning of an exciting new era in the history of Williams, which with its new owner, is well positioned to capitalise upon the sweeping rule changes coming into Formula One with the new Concorde Agreement.
As a family we have always put our team first. Making the team successful again and protecting our people has been at the heart of this process from start,
This may be the end of an era for Williams as a family owned team, but we know it is in good hands. The sale ensures the team's survival but most importantly will provide a path to success.
When we started this process, we wanted to find a partner who shared the same passion and values, who recognised the team's potential and who could unlock its power.
In Dorilton we know we have found exactly that. People who understand the sport and what it takes to be successful. People who respect the team's legacy and will do everything to ensure it succeeds in the future."
Matthew Savage, Dorilton's chairman, Said
"We believe we are the ideal partner for the company due to our flexible and patient investment style, which will allow the team to focus on its objective of returning to the front of the grid,"
"We look forward to working with the Williams team in carrying out a detailed review of the business to determine in which areas new investment should be directed."
Hamilton " I always feel really humbled and really honoured to be mentioned in the same light as a driver like him"
Lewis Hamilton is in a race world completely of his own currently. As a youngster he grew up idolising the greats of their time, one of which was Michael Schumacher. He would never of had imagined he would be on the same race track as one of his idols let alone stat ebbing away at his incredible titles. As of the Spanish Grand Prix win this now put him ahead of Shumacher's 155 Podiums. But it doesn't look like he is ready to slow down at any point soon.
“I don’t really know what to say to those things. I think it’s just very strange,” he said. “All of us drivers grew up watching Michael and dreaming of one day being here"
“What is happening right now is far beyond what I dreamed as a kid, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity we’re given every day. I think Michael was an incredible athlete and driver, and I always feel really humbled and really honoured to be mentioned in the same light as a driver like him, and Ayrton [Senna], and [Juan Manuel] Fangio – it’s pretty cool.
“And I hope the Hamilton family are proud also,” he added.
“We all try for perfection and it’s not always easy to deliver like that but today, for me in the car, I was ecstatic when I came across the line,” he said after the race.
“For me… in terms of how I drove, really delivering, I think today is right up there with some of the best that I’ve personally felt I’ve done.”
Hamilton didn't have an easy time of it as there was a Redbull making his way past his team mate at a good rate. Unfortunately for the Bulls, their strategy wasn't as risky as the one they used at Silverstone, where Max took the Chequered flag before the Merc's.
We are now heading into a small break where this weekend we wont see any F1 action. But after we are heading to Spa Francorchamps, which in my opinion, is one of the Greatest Tracks. It has me feeling very excitable when this race comes around. If the Track temperatures are anything like they were last year then it will be a scorcher. I think i left a darker shade of Red than the Ferrari livery. With the heat we will see more close racing through the pack, however, Spa is one of the places where it tends to have its own climate. one day it could be hotter than you could imagine, the next it could be pouring with rain. Tyres are not the only thing which could be unpredictable there.
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l showed off the fact they are able to take the fight to Mercedes as they won the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix yesterday at Silverstone.
Just as the race was under way it was clear that Verstappen was going to be snapping at the heals of Hamilton and Bottas. His engineer even radio'd through to tell him to back off slightly as they didn't want to damage his tyres and strategy. To which he replied by saying "Mate - this is the only chance of being close to the Mercedes', I'm not just sitting behind like a grandma!".
The Merc's were struggling with their tyres through the race as even after just a few short laps after pitting for the medium's , they started blistering. The likes of Button have made a comment that this could be down to the down-force levels that they have on the car along with the temperatures and the higher PSI. It could have also been the fact that there was a very eager Verstappen behind them probably making them race harder and not look after thier tyres as much. Normally they are in a race of their own where they can spend time taking care of the tyres.
The top 3 Drivers thought:
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Finish Position: 1st, Start Position: 4th
“It’s a great day and I’m very happy with the result as we did everything really well as a Team. The race showed we had the right strategy after our decision to qualify on the hard tyre and I’m pleased it paid off. I think the length and pace of our first stint was the key to being competitive as the mediums don’t last that long, so starting on the hard was definitely the right call. We can see the car works well on softer compounds, especially in the race, and it looks after its tyres. When you are able to overtake and pull away from a Mercedes it is really satisfying. Of course, I hope this will happen a lot more throughout the season and we’ll keep pushing them hard even though they have been the dominant team up until now. We’ll keep pushing, we have a really good Team spirit and I love that we never give up and do take risks. We will enjoy today because everyone deserves it after all the hard work, before focusing our attention on next week’s race in Barcelona.”
Lewis Hamilton Finish Position: 2nd, Start Position 2nd
It was a really challenging race out there today. Fair play to Max on the win, Red Bull didn't seem to have the same tyre issues we encountered. I'm just grateful that we managed to bring it home in P2 and score some good points. We didn't expect to struggle with the blistering to the extent we experienced it. The first stint was difficult, in the second stint I was managing the tyres like you cannot believe. I was doing everything I could to nurse the tyres, but it made no difference to the blistering. I was pushing so hard in those final laps to pass Charles and Valtteri that it felt like I was racing with half a tyre at the end. I don't know if anyone else struggled with the blistering the same way we did, so we'll have to see what happened today, but I know this team will get on top of it.
That was a frustrating race today. It's never great to start from pole and finish P3. I think we were pretty much on the backfoot from the moment I lost track position to Max. We potentially could have gone longer in the second stint, the way Lewis did, to be able to push more towards the end of the race on fresher tyres. I tried to keep up with Max, but as soon as I started to push in the final stint the tyres just fell apart. We really struggled with the blistering today; as soon as you have blisters, you lose the grip and the performance, and it becomes very tough. It seems like the other teams, particularly Red Bull, didn't have the same problem, so we'll have to look into that and try and get to the bottom of it. There's a lot to learn for us today, but as always we'll move on and try to come back stronger.
Congratulations to Max and Red Bull for their first race of the season. For us, it's been a difficult day in the office. We knew that in certain conditions we weren't as competitive as we would like to be and that caught us out today. It's a combination of hotter conditions, a high-downforce car, softer compounds and higher tyre pressures that meant that we didn't have the fastest car today and we were blistering our tyres far more than the others. We have a handful of days to find out what exactly caused our issues today, come up with solutions, test them on Friday in Barcelona and then hopefully have a better race on Sunday. It will be challenging, but we've had these days in the past and came out stronger and I am really looking forward to Barcelona. These days where we lose are the days where we learn the most.
“Today is an amazing day for the Team with Max putting in a dominant performance in the race. After taking a risk in qualifying yesterday and electing to start on the hard tyre, Max made it pay dividends with great race pace in the first stint. To our surprise and encouragement, when Mercedes pitted for new tyres we still had better pace on our used hard set. We then switched our strategy to go onto the medium once we got a pit stop clear of Mercedes and re-emerged just behind Bottas who Max re-passed within a couple of corners. Max then covered Bottas off by going onto his remaining hard tyre to the end of the race by which point he was fully in control to score his ninth victory. Alex also put in another very strong race today with some great passes, particularly around the outside of Copse as he progressed through the field decisively to finish a very competitive fifth place. First and fifth today is great constructors points and moves Max up to second in the Drivers’ Championship. This victory is thanks to a monumental Team effort from everyone trackside, in the factory and also Honda. We’re making great strides and days like today show we’re going in the right direction and now we need to harness this potential moving forwards. Now we look ahead to the next race in Barcelona and let’s hope it’s a hot one!”
We are all well aware now of recent events that have BWT Racing Point have incurred a 15 point loss and a €400,000 fine. At the start of the F1 Program which started 20 minutes ago Lawrence Stroll has spoken out publicly about this decision made against them. Statement Below.
"I do not often speak publicly, however I am extremely angry at any suggestion we have been underhand or have cheated – particularly those comments coming from our competitors.
I have never cheated at anything in my life. These accusations are completely unacceptable and not true. My integrity - and that of my team - are beyond question.
Everyone at Racing Point was shocked and disappointed by the FIA ruling and firmly maintain our innocence.
This team, under various names, has competed in Formula 1 for over 30 years and today employs 500 people. We’ve always been a constructor and will continue to be so in the future.
Throughout those 30 years, this team has been an underdog, punching well above its weight with a fantastic group of people. Between 2016 and 2018, this was the fourth best team on the grid, operating on the smallest budget, and scoring regular podiums.
Emerging from administration, with stability and fresh investment, this team’s competitive form should not be a surprise to anybody. The team can finally realise its potential and should be celebrated for its strong performance.
You only have to read the words of the stewards to understand why we are so disappointed by the sanctions. The report clearly states the following mitigating circumstances":
"1. The parts transfer between Mercedes and Racing Point on January 6th 2020 does not constitute a breach of the regulations worthy of censure as the parts in question were both not used and did not expand the information that had previously passed from Mercedes to Racing Point quite legitimately under the regulations in 2019. The recent change of status of the Brake Ducts as Listed Parts further argues that censure or penalisation is not appropriate on this point. These are the words of the stewards.
2. The change in classification of the Brake Ducts from Non‐Listed Parts in 2019 to Listed Parts in 2020, as a mitigating factor.
3. The lack of detailed focus on Brake Ducts by the FIA personnel who inspected the RP20 in March 2020, when they were admittedly focused on the entire car.
4. Racing Point could probably have obtained much of the same amount of competitive advantage from photographing the Mercedes W10 Rear Brake Ducts and reverse engineering them, albeit with additional design resources expended in the process, say the stewards.
5. In every respect regarding this matter, Racing Point has been open and transparent with regard to their actions, which they fully believed to have been compliant with the regulations, and the Stewards attribute no deliberate intent to any breach of the regulations that occurred."
"This is all quoted from the stewards’ decision.
There was an absence of specific guidance or clarification from the FIA in respect to how that transition to Listed Parts might be managed within the spirit and intent of the regulations. The rules, as they are written, state that after 2019, no further information on Brake Duct design can be shared or acquired. At that point, what you know and have learned, is your own information. From that point onwards, you are on your own. Which is exactly what we have done.
So, to clarify, there was no guidance in place by the FIA surrounding the transition of non-listed to listed items and Racing Point received in March 2020 written confirmation from the FIA with regards to our compliance on the matter.
This week I was also shocked to see the FIA introduced a new grandfather clause, which had never previously existed.
Beyond the clear fact that Racing Point complied with the technical regulations, I am appalled by the way Renault, McLaren, Ferrari and Williams have taken this opportunity to appeal, and in doing so attempted to detract from our performances. They are dragging our name through the mud and I will not stand by nor accept this.
I intend to take all necessary actions to prove our innocence.
My team has worked tirelessly to deliver the competitive car we have on the grid. I am truly upset to see the poor sportsmanship of our competitors.
I understand that the situation in which the FIA finds itself is difficult and complicated for many reasons, but I also respect and appreciate their efforts to try and find a solution in the best interests of the sport."
FP1 P08 1.27.539 26 Laps
FP2 P05 1.26.501 24 Laps
FP1 P04 1.26.942 25 Laps
FP2 P06 1.26.746 26 Laps
“It was definitely a positive day of running and it’s looking very tight between the teams. We’ve done plenty of laps around Silverstone now, which helps close all the gaps up, so it’s about maximising everything this weekend. We’ll go away tonight and make sure we come back tomorrow with the car dialled in and ready to go for qualifying. Pirelli has brought a softer range this weekend, which is giving all the teams a challenge because degradation is expected to be more of a factor in the race. Tomorrow’s practice will be important to help us prepare for qualifying, and I’m expecting an exciting race on Sunday.”
“I’m feeling a lot more confident in the car: it helped that I was able to be in the simulator last week to prepare for the weekend. I’m much more familiar with how the team works and I’m more up to speed behind the wheel. It felt like a routine Friday and I was able to extract the pace of the car much more quickly today, which is a big positive. I’m pleased with today because we were able to try a few things with the set-up of the car, and it helped me adapt to the car. We were then able to work through today's programme effectively, which gives us a good starting point for the weekend. I felt that there was pace to be found on the medium tyre because I didn’t have a totally clean lap, and I left some time on the table at the final corner, but all in all, it was a positive Friday.”
Pirelli have been investigating last weekends incidents surrounding the last minute blow outs on 3 of the top 5 cars of the Silverstone Grand Prix.
After concluding the investigation the tyre manufacturer has concluded that this was due to "the biggest forces ever seen on tyres" whilst noting that the F1 cars are around 1 second a lap quicker this year than last. The main issue is that the teams used the tyres on "Extremely Long Stints" while on a very high speed track.
"The key reason is down to a set of individual race circumstances that led to an extremely long use of the second set of tyres," a Pirelli statement read.
"The second safety car period prompted nearly all the teams to anticipate their planned pit stop and so carry out a particularly long final stint: around 40 laps, which is more than three-quarters the total race length on one of the most demanding tracks of the calendar.
"Combined with the notably increased pace of the 2020 Formula 1 cars (pole position was 1.2 seconds faster compared to 2019) this made the final laps of the British Grand Prix especially tough, as a consequence of the biggest forces ever seen on tyres generated by the fastest Formula 1 cars in history.
"The overall result was the most challenging operating conditions for tyres. These led to the front-left tyre (which is well-known for working hardest at Silverstone) being placed under maximum stress after a very high number of laps, with the resulting high wear meaning that it was less protected from the extreme forces in play."
Before the last weekends Grand Prix, the F1 bosses decided to shake things up by having the teams use softer compound tyres for the 70th Anniversary Race weekend. This is still the plan moving forward. What do you think will happen, will the teams try to extend their first stint on the tyres or make the move to a 2 stop race. Let us know your thoughts
What a dramatic end to what was Hamilton's 7th Win at the Silverstone Grand Prix. Bottas who was running in 2nd place ended up with his tyre deflating which had dramatic effects to the race and his position in the championship finishing outside of the points in P11. Seeing this happen to Bottas you would have thought the team should have brought Lewis in to protect his position.
With only a few corners to go, the tyre blew out. Hamilton was incredibly lucky for two reasons. Redbull decided to pit Max for fresh tyre's so he could attempt to get another championship point the fastest lap. Had he not pitted then he would have been able to take Hamilton once his tyre blew out. Secondly the where the tyre blew out on the last few corners meant that he could limp the car over the line to take his 7th Win at Silverstone and probably the most dramatic win he has ever faced. Max finished just 5 seconds behind the Champ.
Vettel has been struggling all weekend and only just managed to finish in 10th place scoring just the single point in the championship. His team mate though benefited from Botta's unfortune and came across the line to take 3rd position.
"That was a very difficult race, because I couldn’t challenge anyone. Many of those behind me were a bit faster and managed to get past, as I was struggling massively to find grip in this car, even though I tried lots of different things this weekend.
I didn’t have the required pace and so my confidence level is quite low at the moment, because I’m struggling to get a feel for the car and every time I try and push, I lose the car. I think we need to have a look at this problem together with the engineers."
"I have never experienced anything like that before. That last lap was one of the most challenging laps I have ever had. Up until that point, everything was going relatively smoothly, the tyres felt great and I was doing some management. When I heard Valtteri's tyre had gone, I looked at mine and everything seemed fine, but I started to back off. Then, it just suddenly deflated down the straight. It was a heart-in-your-mouth feeling and then I was just trying to keep the speed up without damaging the car. Bono was giving me the gaps; I think it was 30 seconds at one stage, but it was coming down quite quickly and I was thinking 'How far is it to the end of the lap?'. But we managed to get the car across the line. That last lap is definitely one to remember, I feel so grateful that I got it back and could secure the win. It was difficult standing up there on the podium without the crowd, but hopefully I did everyone proud who was supporting us from home."
"It's a really disappointing result for me. I got very unlucky with the puncture; everything was going OK until that point. I was trying to put the pressure on Lewis, but we knew it was going to be a long stint on the Hard tyre. Towards the end I was starting to get more and more vibrations on the front left. I didn't see any debris or anything, so I reported the vibrations and started to manage the tyres, but then the tyre failed suddenly on the start/finish straight and I had to complete a full lap back to the pits which cost me a lot of time. I am sure there will be lots of learnings to take from this weekend, so we'll take those and move onto the next weekend."
The promoters were concerned that we would see the same race twice when running the back to back race weekends but i think that we all know that we will definitely see something different this coming weekend. The tyre compounds selected are softer for this 70th anniversary race so we should see a two stop strategy come in to play
It has been nearly 3 years since Nico Hulkenberg left what used to be Force India for the Renault F1 team.
In a shock announcement that Sergio Perez tested positive for COVID 19, it meant that he could not take part in this weekends Grand Prix at Silverstone, the home of Formula 1. With not much notice, The Hulk jumped on a plane to be suited and booted for a brief return back in the BWT Racing point car after a phone call from Otmar Szafnauer. Nico commented:
“It’s been a really special last 24 hours. At 4.30pm yesterday, I took the call from Otmar and got on the plane. I arrived at the factory and had my seat fit until 2am. I got in the simulator at 8am this morning and had some useful prep work. I want to thank the team for their amazing work to get me into the car today, and the FIA for their help with the superlicence and turning it around so quickly. The main positive today is that we completed our programme and that I completed plenty of laps. It was a jump into the deep end, but I was able to see the potential of the car – even if I feel like I could have got more out of the soft tyre today. It’s been great to work with some old faces again and that’s been a help in getting up to speed too. I’m looking forward to working with everyone tonight to make sure we extract everything from the car tomorrow.”
While we are all wishing Sergio a speedy recovery i think we are all eager to see Nico in a competitive car and hopefully on the podium this weekend.