“Painful” Austria for Mercedes
Mercedes CEO and team principal Toto Wolff says it was “painful” to see both its drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton held back by cooling problems during the Austrian Grand Prix.
The team were running the W10 at the maximum cooling set up in Spielberg, despite that they were still needing to run with restricted power, while both drivers compromised their lap times with extensive lift and coast running as they attempted to cool their power units.
They eventually finished third and fifth, with Hamilton further compromised by wing damage that led to an extended pitstop. Wolff says that the usually high ambient temperature combined with the high altitude tipped the power unit over the edge, which he said has been an issue all season.
He said, “We knew that it was our Achilles heel, and we were carrying the problem since the beginning of the season. We tried to work on mitigating the performance loss, but at the end, it was really painful to watch, cruising and not being able to defend or attack.”
Asked by Motorsport.com if there was any margin, he said: “We were right on the limit, we couldn’t do anything any more. It was already very damaging for performance, what we did. There was no step left any more. The next step would have been to remove all the bodywork. So that was not really an option, because the sponsors wouldn’t have liked it!”
Wolff says that the next step would have been to remove the bodywork, which wasn’t an option. The positives for Mercedes were that the car had pace when they were running the engine turned down, as well as lifting and coasting for up to 400 metres, that’s almost having no throttle rolling downwards.
He expressed concerns that the warm weather, which is set to continue into next weekends British Grand Prix, could resolve the issues.
He added, “But then there is no question, there is no alternative than to fix our problems for a the coming hot European races, Hockenheim and Budapest.”
Red Bull looking to understand Austria
Red Bull says it does not fully understand why its car was so fast at the Austrian Grand Prix. Max Verstappen delivered the teams first win of the season and the first for Honda since Budapest 2006, following his charge following his poor start.
His recovery followed an anti-stall moment at the start before he took on much quicker cars. Red Bull showed some impressive pace at the power sensitive track, was a surprise given the relative performance against both Ferrari and Mercedes has left Red Bull team boss Christian Horner slightly unsure of how to explain it.
He explained to Motorsport.com, “In the second half of the race, we were really on fire. The car was incredibly quick. The reality is that we don’t fully understand why.”
“Obviously the updates we have been bringing to the car over the last couple of races have started to come together and work very well, but this race was won the hard way. We had to go and pass three of the four main opposition and Max did just that.”
Red Bull introduced upgrades in Austria, which Verstappen believes helped improve the feel and grip of the car.
Its win has justified Red Bull’s switch from Renault to Honda this year and moves the team closer the target of five victories. That target looks to be ambitious following Mercedes strong season, winning every race until Austria, but Dr Helmut Marko stands by that.
He said, “In the press conference in Tokyo where I promised five wins,” he told the media. “Some people declared me crazy or whatsoever, but I still believe we can achieve that.”
Horner is more cautious, however, and says that he just wants to see steady progress over the campaign rather than defining a specific target.
Silverstone worried about London race
The growing prospect of a possible Grand Prix in London has prompted fresh concern for Silverstone amid its negotiation of a new British Grand Prix deal.
A race in the UK and English capital has been worked on by both the sport’s owner Liberty Media and the London mayor Sadiq Khan, the former transport minister saying it “should be possible to organise”.
This has always been touted as an additional event to the British GP and originally slated by F1 sporting director Ross Brawn as a prospect “not slap-bang in the centre of London, but Greater London”.
London’s bid for the race is expected to be similar to the circuit which is going to be used next July for Formula E.
Meanwhile, Silverstone is preparing to host the final race of its current deal after activating a release clause in its contract with F1 to avoid paying unsustainable hosting fees.
The London bid, which F1 doesn’t want to be the replacement for Silverstone, has caused questions about the viability of having two races in close proximity as well as calendar dates.
Speaking to BBC News, Silverstone’s managing director Stuart Pringle admitted a London race was a desire for him. But Pringle said that Silverstone was “nearly obliterated” by the terms of committing to a new 17-year F1 deal back in 2009.
In recent years the British Racing Drivers’ Club-owned venue has expanded its portfolio to try to create a business model that is not dependent on the British GP.
Next week, another round of negotiations is planned to try and avoid Silverstone being dropped are due to take place.
Five times champion and winner at Silverstone, Lewis Hamilton says having a London race would be “awesome” and that it “wouldn’t be bad to have two races in the UK”. However, he stressed the significance of not losing Silverstone.
“The UK is really amongst the foundation of what this sport is, and if you start taking away the legendary races, and it’s all just new ones, you lose all the history and all the culture,” said Hamilton.
Sainz and Norris McLaren’s future
McLaren has described Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz as the “future of this team” as they continue to rise up the grid.
The British team head into their home race at Silverstone next week n the back of their best run of form for several years, achieving consecutive double points finishes for just the second time since 2014 in the France and Austria double-header.
The teams progress has allowed them to consistently finish in the points and to be fourth in the constructors, ten points ahead of where they finish last season. New team principal Andreas Seidl has been impressed with the new driving recruits.
He told Sky Sports, “I’m very happy with both drivers and they will be the future of this team.”
While 24-year-old Sainz is now relatively experienced despite his youthful age, British team-mate Norris is F1 2019’s youngest driver and only turns twenty in the final weeks of the season.
The Bristolian has qualified in the top six twice in the last fortnight and Seidl says the Englishman is an example of the “new generation” of drivers arriving in the sport.
Seidl added, “The most important thing is raw speed, that is the base for every successful driver. He has shown from the first race onwards that he had this speed.”
He says that Norris has shown great speed and handling of the races in this environment.
Adding “He is a guy who is a new generation of racing drivers, I’m impressed also how he interacts with me, the team, the engineers, and how he’s handling all the business of being a Formula One driver.”
Sainz apologises for ‘bad mood’ and ‘rudeness’
Carlos Sainz says his apologised to his McLaren team for being in a “bad mood” and “rude”, before he drove from nineteenth to eighth in the Austrian Grand Prix.
The Spaniard was not happy following qualifying, knowing that he would be starting from the back of the grid anyway thanks to an engine change penalty. Sainz told Autosport, “I was very depressed. I don’t know why I had a really bad day. I was in a bad mood the whole day.
“At some point, I think I was even a bit rude and I apologised to everyone because I think I had one of those painful days that you cannot wait to finish. I didn’t even use qualy mode, so I didn’t even get to feel the power of the new engine.”
Sainz is convinced that his charge to eighth could have been better if he hadn’t broken his front wing. In the closing stages of the race, he was closing in on his teammate Lando Norris and the Red Bull of Pierre Gasly when he suffered a broken front wing – which cost him a lot of downforce and meant he could do little to move further up the order.
Sainz explained, “Right from the start I managed the tyres instead of overtaking at the beginning as I wanted to create a bit of tyre delta for the last stint as my race was going to get better and better with our tyre degradation.”
“In the second stint, I was very, very fast. I did the fastest lap at some point, and from there on I passed one car every lap in the midfield and then suddenly I saw myself behind Gasly and Lando, catching them half a second a lap.”
He says when his wing broke he was three seconds behind Gasly when he caught the car on a ‘strange’ kerb. Sainz lost aero balance losing a whole flap and that forced him to nurse the car home.
Team principal Andreas Seidl believes the damage to Sainz’s car cost him around one second per lap, so it was quite fortunate that the pursuing Raikkonen had also lost pace.
He said “Carlos simply had a lot of understeer, and lap time-wise how much he will lose is about one second. I think then it was just about battling it through.”
“We were lucky that Raikkonen also lost pace in the last laps in the end. But Carlos’ race, he made sensational laps and sensational overtakes, keeping it together.”
Rich Energy ordered to release details of Haas deal
A UK court has ordered Haas’s title sponsor must reveal full details of its F1 deal. The firm has also been told it cannot use its stag logo in the United Kingdom after July 18.
The court order follows the recent judgement in favour of ATB Sales Limited in its action against Rich Energy Limited, it’s boss William Storey and logo designer Staxoweb Limited. ATB had successfully claimed that Rich’s logo infringed the copyright of its Whyte Bikes logo.
The order was released following the recent judgement in favour of ATB Sales Limited in its action against Rich Energy Limited, Storey and logo designer Staxoweb Limited.
ATB had successfully claimed that Rich’s logo infringed the copyright of its Whyte Bikes logo. They have the option to appeal but they have until the 18th of July after the request for a three-month stay was rejected.
By August 1 the defendants have to “deliver up or cause to be delivered up to the claimant’s premises […] or destroy or cause to be destroyed; or alter so as no longer to be infringing or cause such alteration; all infringing copies and any articles specifically designed or adapted for making infringing copies, in their possession or control in the UK.”
They have also been ordered to pay ATB’s costs of £35,416 by July 13, while damages for copyright infringement will be assessed at a later hearing that will consider “profits accruing to the defendants of their infringement of the claimant’s copyright”.
In relation to that Storey has to provide information will provide some clarity about Rich Energy’s financial situation, including its relationship with Haas.
This will revile details of the financial backing given by Rich Energy to Haas in terms of sponsorship.
Pirelli announces tyre allocations for Silverstone
Pirelli has announced the tyre allocations for next weekends British Grand Prix. For the race at Silverstone, they have nominated the harder end of the tyre compounds with the C3 as the soft, the C2 as the medium and C1 as the soft.
Most of the teams have chosen the same compounds for both their drivers. The Mercedes and McLaren drivers have eight sets of the softs, four mediums and a hard.
While Ferrari, Red Bull, Haas, Alfa Romeo and Toro Rosso all have chosen the same allocations for its drivers with nine softs, three mediums and a hard.
Both Renaults have ten softs, while Daniel Riccardo has one medium and two hards. Teammate Nico Hulkenberg has two mediums and a hard. Haas’s drivers have the same allocation with nine softs, three mediums and a hard.
Also giving its drivers the same allocation for its drivers Racing Point, with nine softs and two of the mediums and hards. While Williams has seven sets of softs, with George Russell having five mediums and a hard, teammate Robert Kubica has four mediums and two hards.