Hamilton didn’t like his overtakes in Brazil
Lewis Hamilton made ten overtakes on his way to fourth place in the Brazilian Grand Prix, but says he did not like any of them.
The Mercedes driver used DRS for the majority of his overtakes into the first corner, but despite him using it to overtake he sees it as an artificial solution for a much deeper problem. After the race, Hamilton told ESPN “Honestly, it didn’t really feel like any one of my overtakes [in Brazil] were particularly special to me. I’m not a big fan of DRS.”
“While I think DRS enables overtaking, it’s like a Band-Aid for the ultimate flaw in the whole concept of a Formula One car: that you can’t follow. They were just about getting up close and using the DRS, which is not like go-karting when you have to get close and then manoeuvre.”
Drag reduction system was introduced in 2011 after a series of rule changes in 2009 failed to have the desired impact of increasing overtaking. However, the DRS has not helped this season with overtaking thanks to the changes in this years regulations have made overtaking more difficult.
One solution could be introducing mixed or reverse grids which would force faster cars to work from either from the back or mid-grid. However, Hamilton fears the fight for the win would still be stale.
“Interlagos is a race track where it’s difficult to get past, but the delta is actually smaller than in other places. If you look at most of the circuits we go to, the delta to overtake the car in front is usually a second and a half or something like that.”
He believes that the lack of overtaking highlights a weakness and flaw in the cars. But says “reversing the grid you would just reverse that and it would be the same.”
Button parts with McLaren
Jenson Button has made a “brilliant” contribution to McLaren say Eric Boullier as they prepare to go their separate ways at the end of the season.
The Englishman’s contract is not being renewed at the end of the year, with Button expected to focus on racing in other series and has been replaced by Lando Norris.
Button retired from full-time racing at the end of last season, but signed a two-year deal as the team’s reserve driver and replaced Fernando Alonso at this years Monaco Grand Prix.
McLaren’s Racing Director Eric Boullier said “Jenson has been a brilliant driver and ambassador for us, for Formula 1 and for England as well. His contract is ending at the end of this year.
“He will always be part of the McLaren family and always have a special place for us. That’s life and this is another step and another chapter, with Lando stepping into the third driver role.” Button joined the team weeks after winning the 2009 championship.
Button is second in terms of number of races for McLaren and won eight Grand Prix’s with the team. At last months Japanese Grand Prix, he said he had got his hunger back to compete in a full season of racing elsewhere after an appearance in Super GT at Suzuka.
Russell says he is ready for F1
Mercedes junior driver George Russell believes that he is ready for a full season in Formula One, as he prepares to combine being Force India’s reserve driver and drive in Formula Two next season.
The GP3 champion drove in first practice for Force India at last weekends Brazilian Grand Prix and will again take part in the same session his weekends Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. However, he feels that he is ready for Formula One should the situation arise.
He told Autosport “I feel ready for an F1 seat next season. I’ve done a lot of F1 stuff with Mercedes, I’ve done a lot of simulator work with them. I feel I’ve been prepared well, and I won the GP3 championship this year.”
“If you look at the facts the only options are Williams or Sauber, but we’ll see. One reason I really wanted to do this testing at the end of the year with Force India is that as we’ve seen in F1, anything can happen, and I want to be prepared.”
He added that he wants to be prepared in case something happens and that Mercedes realistically won’t be putting him in the car. Russel has identified Force India, where fellow Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon has driven all season, as a “good place for me to learn”.
“Obviously my end goal is to be an F1 world champion. Hopefully one day we can progress into the main Mercedes team.” He added.
Speaking about his first drive in practice he said he was satisfied and he described it as a “huge step up” which he thinks went well and is expecting to be stronger in Abu Dhabi.
Pirelli plan mid-season tyre change
Pirelli is developing a new wet tyre for next season which they plan to introduce mid season because it would not be ready for the opening race of the season.
Normally the regulations prevent the tyre manufacturer from changing the makeup of the tyre during the season. Pirelli held two wet tyre tests with Red Bull and McLaren in June/July but had little opportunity to develop the wet tyre.
Pirelli’s head of F1, Mario Isola told Motorsport.com “We will keep two wet compounds for 2018. We have a softer version and a harder version, and we decided for each event which of the two compounds we want to bring. We will continue with this approach.”
“We are developing a new wet tyre. We did a few tests this year, but we need to make some further development before changing the current one. So we have some ideas we are testing – more than testing, we are making some simulations. It’s not for next season because we have to homologate the tyre by December 1st.”
Isola hopes that should the wet tyre show a big improvement he would ask race director Charlie Whiting to introduce the tyre mid-season. His hope is that the new tyre will prove a big improvement compared to the current ones, the FIA would introduce them on safety grounds.
He said “For me, it’s a nonsense that if you have a better product available for the wet, where it’s a matter of safety and so on, why we shouldn’t introduce it, considering that at the end of the day all the teams have the same problem? We’re not making a special tyre for anybody.”
Plans to run the tyres in practice have been unsuccessful because the track dried quickly. Plans to run them in Brazil had to be abandoned because the track was dry.
Speaking about the running in Brazil, he said “It was in drying conditions, so not really on a wet track. The result was, let’s say, in line with our expectations – warm-up was better, grip was better, but the result is that the compound is much softer than we were expecting.”
Schumacher’s title winner sold for five million
Michael Schumacher’s 2001 title winning car has been sold for £5.7 million which is believed to be a record for a modern Grand Prix car. The F12001 complete with the chassis in which Schumacher won his fourth title and his last win in Monaco.
The car was so superior Ferrari took it into 2002 where Schumacher took pole and victory in Melbourne and pole at Sepang, before being retired.
Sotheby’s had estimated that the F2001 would sell for between $4-5.5m (£3-4m) in Thursday’s auction