Turning races into procession – Verstappen
Max Verstappen says he wants to turn races into a procession and says dominating at the front is more appealing than needing to fight hard for race victories.
The Dutchman took control of last weekends Mexican Grand Prix after the collision Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, with Red Bull boss Christian Horner claiming that Verstappen got “bored.” But Verstappen says he much prefers races where he has to pull off those overtaking moves rather than leading from the front.
Verstappen told Autosport “Yes, because this is winning – and I think this is the most beautiful way of doing it. Of course, overtaking is fun.
“But in recent years I’ve never been in a position that I could control races. But this is what I did in karting, actually, and in the end this is want you want to do.
“Overtaking is definitely nice, but to me it’s not something that’s necessary. Ultimately you want to win races like [Lewis] Hamilton and eventually win a championship.”
All three of Verstappen’s victories have come in different circumstances, his first thanks to a collision between Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in Spain last year, overtaking Hamilton in Sepang and going around the outside of Vettel at the first corner in Mexico.
He said “I totally did not think about it beforehand. I haven’t even watched back the races of the last few years to see what happened there. So I just did my own thing.”
“If I see that there is an opportunity to make a move on the outside, then I will just try and make a move on the outside.
Red Bull prepared to wait for Ricciardo
Red Bull is prepared to wait until the start year for Daniel Ricciardo to decide his future in the sport if it means they can retain him. Max Verstappen has recently agreed to a new contract with the team, who have also made it clear they want to retain Ricciardo as well.
Red Bull are wanting to resolve their long-term line up before the end of the year. However, the Australian says he wants to wait until the beginning of next season to give him a better idea of what teams have to offer.
Horner told Autosport “The next move that he makes at 28 years of age is a very important one for him, so I am sure he is going to take the time to make sure that the decision is right for him. But he knows the intention very clearly, I’ve discussed it with him.”
“We want him in the team, and if that takes another six months then so be it. He enjoys being within the team and he sees the quality and capability in the team. He knows how we go about our racing, and how we treat the two drivers – which he is extremely comfortable and happy with”
The understanding is that Ricciardo wants to see what the engine performance is next season, but Red Bull wants to do a deal and are aware they cannot stop him signing for other teams.
Horner says that in the event that happens, they would recall Carlos Sainz who has been loaned to engine supplier Renault next season.
Hamilton can challenge Schumacher – Brawn
Formula One managing director Ross Brawn says he believes that Lewis Hamilton can challenge Michael Schumacher’s ninety-one wins and seven world titles before he retires.
Hamilton’s fourth championship and his third in four years has brought the record set by the German into focus. The thirty-two-year-old is now only thirty Grand Prix wins behind Schumacher’s all-time record of ninety-one.
Brawn who has worked with both Hamilton and masterminded all seven of Schumacher’s championships, has joined in the debate. Asked by Sky Sports, if Schumacher’s records were now in sight for Hamilton, Brawn said “I think they are. When that happened I couldn’t imagine it being beaten, but looking at the way that Lewis is performing [they could be].” Hamilton and Schumacher are in a club of five drivers with four or more championships.
Hamilton also beat Schumacher this season in terms of number of pole positions in his career. He also tops the table in terms of most career points, most poles at different circuits and Most wins from pole position, as well as Most consecutive seasons with a pole from debut season.
Brawn added “He’s one of the greats. He was pretty good before. You’ve got to say he’s one of the greats comparable with any of the iconic characters in Formula 1. He made hard work of it [in Mexico], but apart from that he’s been exemplary all year.”
Speaking of the records after the race in Mexico Hamilton said “We all know how exceptional Michael was and his records have lasted for so long. There’s one particular record which is going to be very hard for anyone to catch.
Sauber to make driver decision soon
Sauber team principal Fred Vasseur says he is expecting to make an announcement “soon” about the team’s driver line up for 2018. It is widely believed that bot Charles Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi are in the running for at least one of the seats.
Leclerc who is the current Formula Two champion has already taken part in practice sessions. However, while it has been reported that a final decision hasn’t been made, but both drivers remain in the frame.
As part of the team’s new technical arrangement with Ferrari, the Swiss team has agreed to run one of Ferrari’s young drivers. Negotiations on that area are continuing and Ferrari wants them both in the sport to assess them against each other.
The team’s owners have given Vasseur the power to decide on his own about the team’s driver line up. Said “It’s not the first priority today to take a decision on our side. We have a lot things to do on the table, but drivers will arrive quite soon. But we are not in a rush. I’m not too worried about the market, and the other drivers.”
“We are discussing with Ferrari for the driver, and I think we will get one. We have to discuss about the first one, and then we will discuss about the second one.”
He also says that Ericsson being supported by the team’s owners doesn’t guarantee him a seat, saying the teams long term future needs to be considered.
We need to prove we can race – Perez
Sergio Perez says it is important that Force India allows him and teammate Esteban Ocon to race each other to prove they can be trusted not to mess things up.
Since there second collision of the season at the Belgian Grand Prix, both drivers have been under orders not to fight each other. However, it was made clear that once fourth place in the constructors’ championship was secured, then the situation would be reviewed.
For Perez, he thinks it is important that the pair get their racing freedom back for Brazil and Abu Dhabi so that trust can be regained.
Asked by Motorsport.com about the situation, Perez said: “They have told us that they have let us race once we secure the fourth place. And I think it is important for Esteban and myself to show good trust, and that we can do good races between us.”
However, chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer says that the decision hasn’t be made because finishing fourth was not reason enough yet to let the pair off the leash.
“That we have got to discuss internally. We’ve got a couple of weeks to decide. You know it’s better for the fans if they are allowed to race, but at the same time car parts aren’t cheap.” He said
That’s all from F1 Today this week, we are taking an extended weekend break. F1 Today returns on Monday with Reporters this Sunday