F1 Today – 18/09/2019

F1 Today

Hamilton believes he’s more a team player

Lewis Hamilton believes he has become “more of a team player” compared to when he was younger. Speaking to the media the five-times champion says that his understanding of how to approach grand prix racing and how much risk to take has changed over the years.

Asked about how he how different his position is to drivers like Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who have nothing to lose in title terms, he said “When you’re slightly further back, you’re willing to take a little bit more risk to gain one extra position, and when you’re in the lead, you’re thinking long-term.”

“When you’re slightly further back, you’re willing to take a little bit more risk to gain one extra position, and when you’re in the lead, you’re thinking long-term.”

“It’s a subtle difference, but also when you’re younger, you care less in general, you know? Your perceptions are different when you’re younger to when we’re all older.”

Compared to when he was twenty-one he believes he is more focused on the teams result rather than being selfish and going for the extra points. Admitting while he wants that extra point, it comes at a cost of potentially losing the team the constructors’ championship.

Hamilton says a better understanding of ‘you can’t win them all’, has made him a better team player, and when he won his first title in 2008 he didn’t understand ‘that it’s a long game, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

The Englishman is on course to cement his place as the second most successful driver as he has a commanding lead in his pursuit of a sixth drivers’ crown. Hamilton says the streak of success has not made it hard for him to keep up the required commitment in F1, “because it’s never perfect”.

Adding, “If it feels perfect every weekend, then maybe after you think ‘eh, what’s the point?’ But the fact is, it’s never perfect. It’s a constant chase for perfection.”

Hamilton made it clear that his motivation is striving to be better is enough to convince him that he wants to stay in F1 for quite a while. Again hinting he could race into his fourth major regulation change in 2021.

McLaren not prepared to compromise 2020

McLaren team principal Andrea Seidl insists that the team will not compromise its 2020 development programme to defend fourth place in the constructors.

With seven races to go the team holds a twenty-eight point lead over engine supplier Renault, who have gathered momentum in the two races since the summer break. Teams are at the crunch point in the year, when and how to switch their R&D focus from 2019 to 2020.

In McLaren’s case, the MCL35 will be the first designed under the leadership James Key means that it likely reflects a fresh approach. Seidl says that despite the pressure from Renault in the fight for fourth McLaren will not change its schedule once it has been finalised.

The German told Motorsport.com, “We plan to continuously bring in small things for the next two or three races at least. Then again, we just have to see when we fully switch to next year’s car on the development side. It’s still something which is open.”

“Of course we want to fight for this P4 as long as possible, but at the same time for me, it’s a lot more important to make the next step with next year’s car, so I don’t want to compromise next year by suddenly switching the focus on this year again.”

Seidl says that they have a plan for this year, and next year, meaning no change in approach.

McLaren was outpaced by the by Renault at the low-downforce venues in Belgium and Italy, but Seidl says it’s impossible to predict how the battle will play out in the remaining races.

He added, “It’s so depending on the track characteristics, the tarmac, the temperatures you’re seeing, the way how you can set up the car, in which window you have to run the car for the different tracks.”


Racing Point brings major upgrades

Racing Point is bringing a major upgrade to its car for the Singapore Grand Prix as it targets ending the season as the fourth fastest team. The British based team has undergone a transformation since a buyout last August, which allowed extra investment in its development programme.

For this weekend they are bringing a raft of aero upgrades. Reflecting on the points finishes in Belgium and Italy that moved Racing Point above Alfa Romeo into seventh in the constructors’ championship.

Team principal Otmar Szafnauer told Autosport, “We expected to be good at Spa, which happened. We expected to be good in Italy. And we also expect to be pretty good at Singapore because we’ve got some tricks up our sleeves.”

Asked to confirm this meant an upgrade, Szafnauer said: “Yes. It’s another new update. A big update. Then from there on out, we will just learn about the car, get the set-up right and we will be at the top of the midfield where we are used to being, and I would say we belong.”

He says that they should be pretty good with the updates in Singapore and confirmed it was about getting the set up right. Szafnauer says that if they get the setup right they can lead they can be at the front of the midfield, where they are used to being.

Sergio Perez, who has been with the team since 2014 and recently signed a three-year extension, hopes that the team can push on and overhaul McLaren and Renault in pace terms before the end of the campaign

The Mexican added, “We have definitely made some progress, so I’m encouraged to get the targets done for the rest of the year. I want to make sure we finish the season with the fourth-best car on the grid, regularly across different circuits. That would be a good finish.”

Asked if Perez’s ambitions were realistic, Szafnauer said: “Yes. I think that is realistic and that is what we are targeting.”


FIA adds third DRS zone to Marina Bay

The FIA has added a third DRS zone to the Marina Bay Street Circuit ahead of this weekends Singapore Grand Prix. In a bid to increase overtaking the new zone will be between Turn Thirteen and Connaught.

The detection zone will be placed 102 meters before Turn Thirteen. The existing zones were in place between Turn Twenty Three and the first corner Sheares and between Five and Memorial Corner, Turn Seven.

Drivers are allowed to use DRS freely during practice and qualifying in the designated zones and when they are running within one second of the car ahead in the race.


Zandvoort will be ready despite delays

The promotor of next years Dutch Grand Prix Jan Lammers says Zandvoort will be ready to host the race in May, despite the huge amount of work that still needs to be done.

The revisions to the track and surrounding infrastructure have to be completed in time for the circuit’s first world championship race since 1985, which has been scheduled for May. The work needs the approval of the FIA and the local government, as well as dunes,  mean that there are environmental issues to be considered.

Lammers told Motorsport.com, “There is still a lot of work to be done, but we are working hard on that, and just like Max [Verstappen] doesn’t wonder if he can handle a grand prix, we think we can handle all the work. So I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people with the actual event next year.”

He says at the plans are ready from an architectural point of view, with work beginning before Christmas. While he played down suggestions about delays to the work.

Adding “Without telling all Dutch people every single detail right now, Zandvoort is of course a trending topic. So the media want to bring news about that as well. And if there’s no news, they’ll look for it themselves.”

He says that it is more important to listen to people who know what’s going on than to people who just shout something. The FIA is yet to sign off on the changes.

Lammers says while it is going to be challenging to host a race after a thirty-year hiatus, he is targeting to make the race disability-friendly. Adding “everyone is confronted with challenges and has to get used to it again. But then you just have to treat everyone’s agenda and responsibilities with respect. All of this is still going according to plan.”


Moss slowly returning to health

The wife of Stirling Moss says that the former F1 driver is slowly progressing in his return to health, his wife has said, as he turns ninety. At the start of 2018 Moss retired from public life in order to focus on his health and spend more time with his family.

Moss had fallen ill while travelling in Singapore in December 2016 with a severe chest infection. On Tuesday, his wife Susie told the Daily Mail that Moss “is making progress but it is slower going than we would like.”

After the Italian Grand Prix, five times world champion Lewis Hamilton, paid tribute to Moss. Saying “He’s great ambassador for the sport and the UK. A living legend.”

The former Mercedes driver is considered the best driver to never win the world championship, winning sixteen championship races between 1951 and 1961. He finished runner-up in the drivers’ championship four times and third on the other three occasions.

An insistence on driving British machinery in the final years of his career arguably cost Moss the chance to win the title his talent deserved. He won over two hundred races of his five hundred and twenty-nine career.

Despite the lack of a title, he is considered to have delivered one of the best drives in motor racing history at the thousand-mile Mille Miglia road race in 1955.

He was one of the first drivers to recognise his commercial worth, and skilfully and successfully exploited it following a horrific accident at a non-championship race at Goodwood in 1962, that effectively ended his professional racing career.


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.

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