Vettel angered by Spanish defeat
Lewis Hamilton says he could tell Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was angry about his defeat in the Spanish Grand Prix. The German lead much of the race, after he jumped Hamilton at the start and made contact later in the race, as Vettel exited the pits alongside the Mercedes driver.
Hamilton ran an alternative strategy, picking medium tyres for the middle stint while Vettel held them off until the end, and also benefited from pitting just as a virtual safety car period was ending. But, the race swung Hamilton’s way after he overtook Vettel on soft tyres, during his final stint.
Hamilton told Autosport that he “could sense he was angry and he said he was angry,” said Hamilton of Vettel.
“He drove a fantastic race but I can understand how he feels. We’re never going to be happy to finish second, and I’d be concerned if he was because that’s not what we exist for.”
When asked if the title battle with Vettel, whose lead was slashed to six points after Barcelona, would impact their still-cordial relationship if they kept going wheel-to-wheel on track, Hamilton said: “I don’t know, it’s difficult to say.
“We just had a close battle and if it had gone a different direction then obviously it could be different. We know how racing goes, if he had hit me at Turn 1 and I didn’t finish the race and he did, it wouldn’t be ‘great job Sebastian!'” Hamilton added that it was an aggressive fight and he was lucky to avoid a collision.
Hamilton has spent the last few seasons fighting his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg and says that fighting a driver in a rival team and a good relationship with team-mate Valtteri Bottas is making this championship fight one of his best.
Button turned down offers for 2017
Jenson Button says he had two offers from different teams about a race seat this season and he turned them down because he had “no interest” in another full season in Formula One.
Button will be replacing his McLaren team-mate, Fernando Alonso, for the Monaco Grand Prix while Alonso takes part in the Indy 500. Button does have an option to return to a race seat for 2018. Button was tipped for a seat with Williams and then Mercedes.
But Button says while two teams were interested in him this season, he doesn’t want to say who. He said “I had so many options to race this year it is hilarious. That even went into this year with two different teams asking me to race. I have no interest in doing that”
Button hopes his Monaco appearance is the only one he has to make for McLaren this year.
“I am thinking of Monaco as my only race this year. Obviously, if I am asked again at another point in the year I am here to fill that seat. But I am not going to go out of my way to ask to drive because the whole idea was not to.” He says that he has nothing to gain and nothing to lose either.
With Alonso looking unlikely to stay next year because of McLaren’s poor form, speaking about returning next season he said “I can’t rule it out. I have a contract with the team to race next year so I would definitely not rule anything out.”
Vandoorne grid penalty
Stoffel Vandoorne has been awarded a three-place grid penalty following the collision with Williams’s Felipe Massa on the opening lap of Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.
The Belgian collided with Massa on the opening lap with him becoming beached in the gravel, with Massa needing to make an extra pit stop and finishing the race thirteenth.
The FIA decided that Vandoorne was at fault and he has been given a three-place grid penalty for the next race in Monaco in addition to two penalty points on his racing licence.
All of the teams have selected the ultrasoft tyre for the Monaco Grand Prix. For the first time, this season teams have made their own tyre selections, apart from the mandatory one set of ultrasoft, supersoft and the soft tyre.
Both the Mercedes drivers have gone for nine sets of the ultrasoft, three supersofts and a soft. The Ferrari’s, Haas’s, Sauber’s and Force India’s have gone for ten ultrasofts, two supersofts and a soft.
Red Bull, Williams and Renault chose ten ultrasofts plus a single set of both the supersoft and soft tyres.
Both Jenson Button and McLaren team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne also have ten ultrasoft, but Button has an extra soft and Vandoorne an extra supersoft.
Drone strike by I.S – Tabloid Media
British tabloid media are reporting that Formula One bosses are considering bringing in drones because of fears of an attack by the so-called Islamic State group.
Both The Sun and Daily Mail are reporting that organisers are fearing that jihadist militants could use drones carrying explosives to attack drivers and spectators at Silverstone. The race organisers have confirmed they have a contract with security company Drone Defence to cover the race.
The British company’s founder, Richard Gill, said: “Outdoor events, festivals and sporting venues are all very attractive targets for rogue drone users.
Specialist security will be on hand to shoot down potentially deadly drones from the sky. Security has been stepped up at many international events because of the threat of terrorism.
Gill, told The Mail on Sunday: “Outdoor events, festivals and sporting venues are all very attractive targets for rogue drone users. And when you consider that a lot of events have low-flying aircraft too, then the impact of a drone could be significant.”
While there hasn’t been any specific threat, Silverstone would seem a likely target for terrorist attacks and the UK terror threat remains at severe.
Fan festival satisfied Carey
In Barcelona at the weekend, Liberty Media really enhanced the fan experience with the launch of the Fan Zone. The Fan Zone featured a zip wire, pit stop challenges, and the chance to win a ride in a Minardi two-seater F1 car.
Reflecting on the weekend CEO Chase Carey says that he was extremely satisfied with the weekend. Carey says the sport has found tremendous levels of enthusiasm that hadn’t existed and there was a frustration for people who felt there wasn’t anybody to engage with.
Carey says parts of F1’s fan set-up were too out of date – such as merchandise areas that “feel like a carnival 20 years ago” because they are just stacked with team shirts. He also said that while creating a greater experience for fans was a priority, Liberty would focus on how to monetise that.
He says “We could probably sell that sponsorship five times over for the zip line and go into profit. We didn’t, but I can imagine the right sponsor wanting to identify with it.”
“Properly executed we should make money, not spend money, creating a platform when you’ve got 100,000-plus people and television and people with phones pulling them out and taking pictures at events like this.”
Heart ace to joy
It was probably a dream which turned heartbreak for Thomas Daniel on Sunday afternoon when his favourite driver Kimi Raikkonen crashed out of the Spanish Grand Prix.
The youngster bursts into tears as he watched the pictures of the Finn retire from the race. The pictures of his reaction broadcast on TV around the world caused the Ferrari team to go and track down the youngster and his family and invite them into the paddock.
The move by Ferrari received much praised, but F1 CEO Chase Carey says that “special moment” wouldn’t have been possible under Bernie Ecclestone’s leadership.
Carey told Motorsport.com “We got all this press about the little boy who got pulled down, and they did it on their own, having a sense a freedom that they wouldn’t have had a year ago.”
“I didn’t tell them to find the little boy, there are people who did it on their own, thought it would be a special moment, and it was.”