F1 Today – 06/10/2021

F1 Today

Mission 44 announces investment in STEM education

The charity set up by Lewis Hamilton, Mission 44, has committed to supporting the requirement of a hundred and fifty BAME teachers across the UK in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. The seven-time champion launched the charity, putting £20m of his own money, in July.

The charity was set up to empower young people from underrepresented groups in the UK and to work alongside the Hamilton Commission, a body set up by Hamilton to better understand the barriers Black people face forging a career in motor racing.

The first report by the commission identified the importance of Black teachers and role models in looking to engage Black students with STEM subjects. Mission 44 will partner with UK charity Teach First to implement a two-year plan aimed at identifying best practices when recruiting Black STEM teachers.

The announcement marks the start of Black History Month in the UK, with Hamilton hoping that a framework to be copied across the education industry. Hamilton said, “I am incredibly proud to be announcing the first partnership from Mission 44 today. Our work with Teach First is another step towards addressing barriers preventing young Black students’ engagement with STEM, as identified in The Hamilton Commission report.”

“We know representation and role models are important across all aspects of society, but especially when it comes to supporting young people’s development,” Hamilton says that the partnership will focusing on getting BAME talent into STEM teaching roles, to create a framework the wider education industry can implement.

The report says that from the half a million teachers in England only 2% are from Black backgrounds and that 46% of schools in England have no racially diverse teachers at all.

In addition to this, data reveals that only 1.1% of classroom teachers are Black African, despite making up 2.1% of the working-age population, compared to 85.7% of White British teachers, who make up 78.5% of the working-age population.

The report added, “Lewis believes that if he had a teacher who understood his background better, he would have had more tailored support and achieved greater success in his studies.”

It added while Hamilton was able to follow his talent and pursue a career in motorsport, not all students from Black backgrounds are given this opportunity.


Hamilton backs a Mercedes return Silver Arrow

Lewis Hamilton would welcome a return of Mercedes’ traditional silver arrow livery in the future, saying it would not deter the internal push to improve diversity in the company.

In the wake of the fall out from the George Floyd murder in Minneapolis last May and the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as BAME people being dispassionately more affected by the pandemic, Mercedes switched its traditional silver arrows livery for all-black livery in a strong anti-racism message amid activism around the world.

The black livery was retained for a second season in 2021, but the team could return to its silver design next year. Its sister Formula E team has already returned to the silver arrow livery.

Hamilton said over the Russian Grand Prix weekend he didn’t “have a particular feeling towards it” when asked about a possible return to a silver livery, placing a greater focus on the practical changes taking place to improve diversity and inclusion.

Adding “When I asked if we could go to make the car black last year, in terms of the symbolism, and what we intend to do moving forward in terms of support, I wasn’t expecting it to last particularly long, and we carried it into a second season, which is awesome.

“If it goes back, it will be a nice change. It doesn’t deter us from the changes that we are making internally, as we continue to truly push for diversity, even working with all of our partners.


Red Bull & Alpha Tauri unveil Honda tribute

Red Bull and Alpha Tauri have announced they will race with a special one-off white livery to pay tribute to outgoing engine partner Honda at this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix. This weekend was due to be the Japanese manufacturers final home race at Suzuka, but it was cancelled due to the pandemic and replaced by Istanbul.

To pay tribute and give thanks to Honda ahead of its departure from F1, Red Bull announced on Thursday that both it and its sister team AlphaTauri will race with special liveries in Turkey. The design will be inspired by the car which gave the team their first win at the 1965 Mexican Grand Prix.

While Alpha Tauri will feature the word ‘arigato’, meaning ‘thank you,’ in Japanese writing on the rear wings of its cars in Turkey. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, “We had all been looking forward to giving Honda’s Japanese fans a chance to celebrate our extremely successful relationship in Formula One, on home soil at Suzuka.”

“With the race falling victim to the pandemic, we just couldn’t let the weekend pass without paying tribute to Honda and its amazing home fans by bringing a little bit of its heritage to Istanbul. The livery chosen for our cars pays homage to Honda’s remarkable F1 journey and hopefully, we can give fans another victory in those legendary colours this weekend”

Honda Chief Officer for Brand and Communication Operations, Koji Watanabe added “Everyone at Honda is extremely disappointed that the Japanese Grand Prix has had to be cancelled, while fully understanding and agreeing with the reasons behind this decision.”

“We were especially keen to race at Suzuka Circuit, as it is our last year in the sport, at a time when both our teams are performing very well. We also appreciate that the Japanese fans were particularly looking forward to seeing Honda’s last appearance here and Yuki Tsunoda driving in his home race.”

He admitted while the livery could not replace what would have been a very exciting weekend, but they hope that Honda fans around the world.


Red Bull is nothing like ‘villain’ misconception Albon

Alex Albon believes there is a misconception over Red Bull’s push for results that can lead to it being portrayed as a “villain” in Formula One. The British-Thai driver will return to F1 next season with Williams, after being dropped by Red Bull at the end of 2020.

He was demoted into a reserve driver role after struggling to match team-mate Max Verstappen’s form since joining as a mid-season replacement for Pierre Gasly in 2019. Gasly himself lasted just twelve races at Red Bull, with the team’s handling of its junior drivers has drawn criticism in the past for not giving them enough time to develop or get to grips with their cars.

However, Albon says he feels there was a “misconception” surrounding how Red Bull operated, explaining that its push for results and desire to fight at the front of the grid was part of the team’s culture.

Albon said in the latest episode of the F1 Nation podcast, “I think there is of course that villain role played, I think within the media, about it all. But it’s definitely nowhere near like that, basically.”

Albon said he thought that Red Bull’s advisor and junior driver chief, Helmut Marko, “gets the worst role” in how he is portrayed, but that the villain tag was applied too much to Red Bull “in general”.

He added, “You have to realise they’re a winning team. They expect good results. It’s the culture within the team, if we’re not winning, we’re not happy, and that’s kind of how it should be really.”

“Especially [in] the top three teams generally being Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes, that’s kind of what they expect. Of course, it is tough, especially when you don’t have much experience to be in a top, top team. That is what it is. More than anything, it’s just trying to get confident with the car.”

Albon’s replacement at Red Bull Sergio Perez does appear to be struggling for form, but the Mexican did win in Baku. Albon said there was not an environment at Red Bull where more pressure was placed on drivers if they struggled.

Adding “It’s not like there’s this thing where you’ve got to do this, and if you don’t do this, ‘that’s it, pack your bags’. Of course, they want both cars to do well, that’s the whole intention. You’re not going to put pressure on someone if they’re not performing, because firstly the media do enough of that.”


Ferrari’s “good signal” grabbing podiums says Sainz

Carlos Sainz believes it’s a “good signal” that Ferrari had grabbed opportunities for him to score three podiums this year despite not feeling “100% at home” in the car. The Spaniard joined Ferrari at the start of the year from McLaren and is leading his teammate Charles Leclerc in the driver’s championship.

Sainz qualified second at the last race in Sochi and lead the early part of the race, before the frantic final few laps when he got the timing wrong to switch to the intermediates during the late rain shower. While he has managed to score more points and podiums than Leclerc, he has also had several crashes, including qualifying at the Hungaroring and practice at both Zandvoort and Monza.

Sainz said the crashes showed that he still did not feel fully comfortable with Ferrari’s SF21 car, prompting him to focus his approach on building up confidence through the weekend in Russia. He told Motorsport.com, “I guess you guys have seen from the outside that I’m not still 100% at home with the car. don’t want to bring back the crashes, but I’ve never crashed in my career.”

“I’m a driver that never puts it in the wall, but for some reason, there have been a few crashes that show that I still don’t fully 100% understand the car.

“[In Sochi] I made a conscious effort also to take it step by step, through free practice, into quali, and be fast really when I need to be fast instead of being fast straight away in FP1. It has worked well, it has given me a good confidence, and I’ve been quick all weekend and I’ve been feeling at home.”

Sainz says he was always treating 2021 as settling in year, before his second season at Ferrari. He took heart from the fact Ferrari had grabbed the opportunities to score podiums when they had presented themselves, having finished second in Monaco and third in Hungary.

Sainz said, “We’ve used our opportunities to score those three podiums. We just maximise the opportunities that we get. It’s a good signal, a signal that the team, under pressure and in the right moments, we are performing well.”


Alonso praises Ocon’s role in his readjustment

Fernando Alonso has praised his Alpine teammate Esteban Ocon’s role in helping him to readjust to Formula One, describing the Frenchman as a “very fast reference”. The. two-time champion returned to the sport this season, after spending two years exploring other motorsports like the Indianapolis 500, the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Dakar Rally.

Alonso has early on appeared to struggle to match his teammate, but in the nine of the last ten races scored points, moving himself ahead of Ocon in the drivers championship. However, his reputation for dominating teammates in qualifying has not materialised with him leading Ocon eight to seven.

The two times champion told Motorsport.com, “It has been very close this year. At the beginning of the year, it was not even close. I was not up to speed, for sure. So it was very helpful to have Esteban on top of his game.”

“To try to get up to speed with a very fast reference was a good thing for me. I could make my adaptation a little bit shorter thanks to Esteban as well, to have that reference.”

Ocon had previously spoken about the strong atmosphere and teamwork within the french manufacturer, which was best demonstrated in Budapest when Alonso held up  Lewis Hamilton’s charge and assist Ocon in taking a shock victory.

Alonso said that Ocon had played a role in making the atmosphere at the team so good, and hoped that it would serve as a boost in the fight for fifth place in the constructors’ championship. Alpine currently sits 19 points clear of sixth-placed AlphaTauri.

Alonso said of Ocon, “He has [helped make] a really good environment in the team now, a good atmosphere. I cannot ask for anything more at the moment. Let’s try to push together to help Alpine in the constructors’ championship, it’s going to be very tight with Aston, with Alpha Tauri as well.”


Schumacher doesn’t see why Haas needs experienced reserve

Mick Schumacher says he doesn’t see the need for Haas to hire an experienced reserve driver next year to help move the team’s car development forward. In Sochi, team principal Gunther Steiner suggested the team could benefit from having a veteran providing input to rookies Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.

Steiner suggested that Haas was lacking a good reference point to judge the speed and feedback from its current line-up. But Schumacher is sceptical about the suggestion and reckons that both he and his teammate are delivering all that Haas needs. Asked by Motorsport.com, if having an experienced reserve to add input would be valuable, Steiner said, “Honestly, I think that we’re pretty much getting the best out of the car.”

“I don’t think that there is a need for that. Especially if you know reserve drivers don’t really get to drive much. Obviously, we don’t know how that would be, but again I think we’re doing the best we can, and I think some qualifying’s show that we are able to extract the maximum out of the car.”

Schumacher’s teammate Mazepin is more open to the idea, saying that he has never been asked that question by the team. But says that decision needs to be made by the teams’ management, adding “I don’t think the drivers get to choose it, and I don’t think it’s correct.”

“If I was to be asked, I think more help in the position where we’re at now is good help. So I would be very open to any solution. But I think Gunter is a team boss and he ultimately needs to take these decisions. Not me. I’m too young for it.”


Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.