Aston Martin lodges appeal following Vettel’s disqualification
Aston Martin has confirmed they are formally going to launch an appeal against Sebastian Vettel’s disqualification from second in the Hungarian Grand Prix. In addition, the team have initiated a right of review request into the decision to exclude their car for a fuel rules breach as they state they “discovered significant new evidence” in the case.
The four-time champion was disqualified from the race after the technical delegate was unable to take the mandatory 1-litre fuel sample after the race, with only 0.3 litres able to be extracted. However, the team says their data says there was more fuel in his car.
In their statement on Thursday night, Aston Martin said their data showed there were 1.74 litres of fuel left in the car after the race. The provisional results, Vettel’s exclusion promoted Sir Lewis Hamilton from third to second in the finishing order with the extra points increasing his title advantage over Max Verstappen to eight points.
Despite benefitting from the ruling, Hamilton said on his Instagram story on Monday: “I’m so gutted for Seb. It is always an honour to be on the podium with you and you deserved this result. What you are doing at your new team is amazing, keep fighting and pushing. See you on track soon.”
Aston Martin also dropped back behind AlphaTauri to seventh in the Constructors’ Championship.
The statement from the team said, “Since the team’s data indicated that there was more than 1.0 litre of fuel in the car after the race – 1.74 litres according to the data – the team immediately reserved its right to appeal, and has requested a right of review alongside the appeal procedure.”
“As a result of having discovered significant new evidence relevant to the sanction which was unavailable to it at the time of the FIA stewards’ decision.”
A right of review request has been submitted to the FIA, the second time this month that a team has filed a protest over a penalty. Red Bull attempted to challenge the British GP stewards’ ruling on the collision between Hamilton and Verstappen at Silverstone but, despite presenting what they believed was fresh evidence, the case was thrown out.
Appeal over Vettel’s disqualification to be heard on Monday
The FIA has announced the appeal lodged by Aston Martin over Sebastian Vettel’s disqualification from the Hungarian Grand Prix will be heard via video call on Monday 9th August.
The British team believes that it has discovered “significant new evidence” that was not available at the time that Vettel was excluded from the results after the FIA failed to extract the one-litre fuel sample to conduct legality checks. Vettel had finished second but was disqualified after not having the mandatory minimum one-litre of fuel that is required for the FIA to conduct legality checks.
The team was adamant that its calculations from fuel-flow meters show there was plenty of fuel onboard the car to pass the checks, but it was just a matter of being able to extract it. Following the complaint, Vettel’s car was impounded and taken to its technical facility in France so it can be further inspected if necessary.
Team principal Otmar Szafnauer told Motorsport.com on Sunday evening that the team believes that the lift pump in the car had failed, compromising efforts to get fuel out of the car.
The team has also launched another appeal over the matter, they believe that the pump failed and want to replace it with an identical new one, and thus having another go at getting the fuel out of the car.
The FIA hearing on Monday will first establish if the fresh evidence that Aston Martin has uncovered will be accepted as grounds to look at the penalty once again. Only if the stewards are convinced the evidence is significant and relevant, plus has been discovered, will it then hold a fresh hearing to look at the specific case.
Ferrari not concerned about Sainz questioning strategy
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says he has no issue with Carlos Sainz questioned the team’s strategy during the Hungarian Grand Prix, saying the two-way debate was proof of good communication.
The Spaniard recovered from fourteenth following his crash in qualifying to sixth early on, following the first corner shunts which saw four cars retire from the race on the opening lap. Sainz then found himself struggling behind Yuki Tsunoda and cars behind started to pit for the undercut, the team gave him the call to box.
But Sainz stressed that he had enough pace still and needed to stay out, with the team allowing him to do so. The Alpha Tauri drivers pit stop released Sainz into clean air, allowing the Spaniard to carve into the gap ahead of him and get the overcut on the Japanese driver as well as Williams’ Nicholas Latifi.
Sainz finished the race fourth being promoted to third following Sebastian Vettel’s disqualification. Asked by Motorsport.com, if Ferrari were worried by the questioning of the strategy, Binotto said there were “no misjudgements” in the strategy, but that it was good they had the discussion and that Sainz made his thoughts known.
Adding “These are conclusions that we are reaching together, so it’s our way of approaching, [by] having an open discussion on the radio, making sure that in certain conditions we are reaching the right conclusion.”
“I think we had always good strategies, which have been applied not only thanks to the strategist but thanks to the contribution of the drivers, who are the ones driving the car, and knowing the conditions around the track. So I don’t think it’s a misjudgement, because the final call has been done by the strategist.”
Binotto says that he was happy because it showed the communication was working well to make sure the right conclusions are reached. Sainz felt that such debates over the radio were part of his “natural progression” of learning and building his understanding within Ferrari.
The Spaniard says that he was keen to transmit on team radio that he was keen to say that he was taking an extra lap.
Norris shows similar traits and speed as Verstappen – Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo says that his McLaren teammate Lando Norris shows similar traits of natural raw speed to Max Verstappen, even though he thinks it is too early to make direct comparisons.
The Australian has been teammates with both Verstappen and Norris, having raced alongside the Dutchman at Red Bull between May 2016 until he joined Renault, now Alpine, at the end of 2018. although he thinks it is too early in Norris’ career to judge how he stacks up against Verstappen, Ricciardo says that on track at least there are some obvious similarities.
Speaking to the Italian version of Motorsport.com, Ricciardo said, “Yeah, I think very different personality. But, let’s say, the skill on track, you could see just the raw speed is there. I see it with Lando this year. It’s maybe a little bit early to compare him and Max. But, for sure, he’s very good. Very, very good.”
One of the surprises of this season has been Norris managing to raise his game and regularly beat Ricciardo, who has at times struggled to get to grip with the McLaren. Ricciardo says that beating Verstappen to pole in Mexico in 2018 has assured him that he does have what it takes to fight against and beat the best.
He says the moment was sweet because he knew that Red Bull was slightly annoyed at him denying Verstappen a historic feat. Adding, “I was aware of some of the things, but I tried not to pay too much attention, Because I think as well, I’ve never been the person to have like the negative mindset.”
“For me I just had to focus on driving, and that was it. But for sure, I knew if Max got pole that weekend, he was the youngest ever polesitter, you know, so there was a record for him, a record for Red Bull.” Ricciardo says that the reason he didn’t get mad was that it would have been bad for the business.
Alfa Romeo still believes it can beat Williams
Alfa Romeo believes that they still has the chance to beat Williams to eighth in the constructor’s championship, despite falling behind in Budapest the Italian manufacturer believes that Williams will find it more difficult to score points in the second half of the season.
Alfa Romeo was dealt a big set back in the fight for eighth during the mixed conditions in the race, with Nicolas Latifi seventh and George Russell eighth in the final classification scoring ten points. The strong result means Williams has a seven-point lead over Alfa Romeo at the summer break.
The Swiss-based team only gained one point after both its drivers received a ten second penalty, Kimi Raikkonen for an unsafe release and Antonio Giovinazzi a stop-and-go for speeding in the pitlane. Despite the Hungaroring setback, Alfa Romeo believes it can still outscore Williams in the second half of the season.
Xevi Pujolar, Alfa Romeo’s Head of Trackside Engineering, told Motorsport.com, “It will be not easy, but I think it’s possible. We’ll try. I think at the end of the day it would have been much worse from where they were at the beginning, so I’m still happy about it.”
“We wanted to have both cars in Q2, we wanted to have both cars in front of the Williams, so we achieved that. On lap one everything is just gone but still, we had a chance there. Then they are both ahead, and both of our cars have a penalty. That was even more challenging.”
Pujolar says the points difference is not huge and Alfa Romeo can close the gap because there is still a lot of races to go this season. He says getting both Raikkonen and Giovinazzi into Q2 on Saturdays as it managed in Hungary, will be the key to grabbing the odd point here and there.
He also believes that barring exceptional circumstances, like in Budapest where several cars were taken out at the start, he’s confident that it will be more difficult for Williams to score more points in the second half of the season than for Alfa Romeo.
Pujolar explained “I think under normal racing conditions, we could not achieve it in one go, but if we have still multiple races to go, then this is achievable. We have got many races to do yet, and I think if we can put both cars in Q2 after the shutdown, we can do that probably.”
Asked if certain circuits suit Alfa Romeo in its battle with Williams, he said most tracks if they can manage to get both drivers into Q2.
F1 reacts to Valentino Rossi’s retirement
Formula One has been reacting to the announcement of the nine-time Moto GP champion Valentino Rossi will retire from the sport at the end of the season. During his twenty-two year career in the top class, the forty-two-year-old has won eighty-nine Grands Prix, taken fifty-five pole positions.
He won’t hang up his helmet just yet, however, as reports have emerged that the Italian may pursue car racing next season having swapped rides with Lewis Hamilton and tested for Ferrari too. Read on to see how the F1 world, including F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari, and Mercedes, has reacted.
Ferrari tweeted, “Ciao @ValeYellow46, it’s been wonderful watching you perform on race tracks around the world for all these years and it was also fantastic to share days like this together. Thanks for all the great moments you have given us and best of luck for whatever you do next! #GrazieVale”
Mercedes added, “Racing says goodbye to one of the all-time 🐐s of the motorsport world. 👑 A man who absolutely defined a generation of motorcycle racing with nine world titles, seven of those in @MotoGP! 🏆🤩 Enjoy your retirement @ValeYellow46! 💛💙”
A statement from F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali added, “Valentino Rossi has given so much to motorsport and to fans globally he is a true hero. It will be very strange not to see him on the bike next season but what he has achieved is incredible and part of history forever. Best of luck for the future my friend.”
Daniel Ricciardo posted on Instagram, “Where does one begin.. The joy, happiness, excitement you brought to so many TV’s and race tracks around the world may never ever be matched or at least not in my lifetime.”
“I wish you the happiest of retirements but we all know that doesn’t mean a life without 2 wheels. Long may your passion continue. I’ll be waiting at your ranch when the seasons over. On behalf of pretty much the whole world, grazie! You’re a [*******] legend mate…”
McLaren added, “One of the greatest to grace motorsport. Congratulations on a stellar career, @ValeYellow46. 26 seasons of Grand Prix racing including 7 @MotoGP titles, 89 race wins, 55 pole positions and 199 podiums in the class. Flushed face”