F1 Today – 19/08/2020

F1 Today

Teams sign Concorde Agreement

All ten teams have signed the new Concorde Agreement committing themselves to the sport until 2025. The deal according to Liberty Media and the FIA, will “secure the long-term sustainable future for Formula One” with the new terms focused on a more equitable share of revenue and a revised governance structure.

The eighth Concorde Agreement will replace the 2013 agreement and will come into force in January, the deal was originally designed to come into effect at the same time as the technical overhaul. However, those

In a joint statement on Wednesday, F1 and the FIA said the deal will “secure the long-term sustainable future for Formula 1”.

The agreement between the teams, Liberty and the FIA is designed to secure the long-term future of the sport combined with the 2022 technical and financial regulations. The whole package is designed to level the competitive playing field, through financial regulations and simpler technical regulations.

The statement added, “With closer racing we will attract more fans to our sport, benefitting every team, and continue to increase the global growth of Formula 1.”

The firm deadline for signing the Concorde Agreement was the end of August. F1 had hoped for an earlier conclusion, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed talks.

F1 CEO Chase Carey said “All our fans want to see closer racing, wheel to wheel action and every team having a chance to get on the podium. The new Concorde Agreement, in conjunction with the regulations for 2022, will put in place the foundations to make this a reality.”

FIA president Jean Todt added: “The conclusion of the new Concorde Agreement between the FIA, Formula 1 and all ten of the current teams assures a stable future for the FIA Formula One World Championship.”


Impossible to design brakes from photos

Colin Kolles the former team principal of Jordan and Midland, currently Racing Point, claims it is impossible to design the controversial brake ducts just by looking at photographs, as is currently claimed.

The team has been accused of copying the brake ducts of the 2019 Mercedes, which they have been fined half a million pounds and docked fifteen points. Although there are various appeals and the row is set to go to the FIA Courts, with rivals pushing for harsher punishment, and Racing Point pushing to clear its name.

Kolles has now insisted to replicate it that closely from a picture is not possible and that Racing Point were in fact in possession of intellectual property from Mercedes while designing the car.

Kolles told German television network Sport 1, “From photos, you cannot copy a car. It’s not just about the brake ducts. It’s about the whole concept of the car. It was not just copied from photos. (It’s more than) just parts, they also had certain data.”

“They had, so I was told, a 60 per cent wind tunnel model and a (full size) show car as a template, from which parts were scanned and then converted into CAD (computer-aided design) data. Otherwise, the concept could not work.”

Kolles was critical of Mercedes F1 CEO and team principal Toto Wolff, a shareholder in Aston Martin which the team will be called next year. Saying “As the Mercedes group I would basically ask myself why the Mercedes team boss is always on vacation, on (Racing Point owner Lawrence Stroll’s) boat or in Gstaad.”

“Many other things have happened that, in my opinion, were not entirely compliant. I think they have a very, very close connection.”


Istanbul set to join 2020 calendar

Formula One is set to confirm that Istanbul will be the only Asian race on this year’s calendar, should a contract be agreed for it to replace the cancelled Brazilian Grand Prix, according to Autosport.

Jerez had also been under consideration to plug the gap in November that F1 has been trying to fill, but the Spanish track will not feature after all. Its been certain, although not finalise that the season will end in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in late November to mid-December.

The expected final total of 17 races falls within the “15-18” range that F1 boss Chase Carey has long promised. The reason fifteen is the seen as the target because that guarantees that TV broadcasters pay their full fees, so 17 allows for one or two events to be lost to Coronavirus.

Having announced dates up to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola on 1st November, F1 has been trying for some time to finalise the schedule after the loss of all the Americas events.

Vietnam and even China were in contention at one stage, and while neither race has yet been officially cancelled for 2020, they both fell by the wayside some time ago. Although the dates have yet to be confirmed Turkey has been scheduled for 13 – 15 November, a fortnight after Imola.

The Bahrain race would then move into the slot where Abu Dhabi was scheduled 27 – 29 November and 04 – 06 December, with Abu Dhabi moving to 11 – 12 December. It has been reported that the second Sakhir race to be held on a shorter and faster version of the regular track.

Istanbul came as a surprise because the race dropped off the schedule for commercial reasons.

Carey visited the country early in his tenure in April 2017, even meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, although at that stage a return to the schedule seemed highly unlikely.

The circuit has been operated since 2013 by Intercity, a company run by car collector and GT racer Vural Ak, and which was tasked by Erdogan with trying to bring the Grand Prix back.

The only current F1 drivers who have taken part in a Turkish GP are Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez, while Romain Grosjean and Valtteri Bottas competed in support events.


Hamilton hopes for something positive for Vettel

Lewis Hamilton says he believes that the way Sebastian Vettel has handled his departure from Ferrari proves his strength of character, and hopes “something really positive” comes up for him in 2021.

During the extended shut down in May, it was announced the four-time champion would leave Ferrari at the end of the year after the team opted against renewing his contract beyond the end of the season. Its believed that Vettel is in talks with Racing Point, which will be rebranded as Aston Martin.

Six-time world champion Hamilton had previously not been drawn on Vettel’s future but praised the Ferrari driver for his resolve amid struggles with Ferrari’s SF1000 car.

Mercedes driver Hamilton said, “I’ve made comments in the past, but I saw the difficult race he had had previously [at Silverstone], and all I can try to do is empathise with the position he’s in and try to be understanding,”

“Because it can never be a great feeling, to have been told that you’re not wanted to continue within the team, especially when you join a team and get into a team, you give your all, you give your heart,” Hamilton says that Vettel is continuing to push, which shows his great character and commitment.

Vettel and Hamilton are seen as the biggest rivalries of the 2010s, with them winning all the title apart from 2016 in that period. Although Hamilton has beaten the German twice when they went head to head in 2017 and 2018.

Since Vettel’s Ferrari departure was confirmed, the driver market has moved quickly to only leave a handful of seats remaining. Hamilton is yet to commit to Mercedes citing the pandemic made him feel its right time but is expected to before the end of the season.


Little between Hamilton and Verstappen – Horner

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says he hopes that Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen going head-to-head on-track in the future, as he believes there is currently “very little to choose between them”.

Hamilton extended his lead at the top of the driver’s championship to thirty-seven points following a dominant win in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix. But Verstappen was able to pick up his fifth consecutive podium finish after splitting the Mercedes drivers, crossing the line second ahead of Valtteri Bottas.

Verstappen believes that there was little he could have done to achieve more, because of Red Bull’s deficit to Mercedes. The Dutchman has been a stand out performer so far this season, being the only driver to win a race apart from Hamilton and Bottas.

Asked by Sky Sports, how Verstappen and Hamilton compared in their current form, Red Bull team principal Horner believed there were only fine margins separating their performances. Horner said, “They are the two in-form drivers in Formula 1. There is very little to choose between them.”

“It’s interesting, Max is 22 years of age, Lewis is 35, they’re at different stages in their career. I’m hopeful that in the coming races, we see the two of them go head to head because I think that’s what the viewers would love to see. I think it would be good for Formula One.”

Verstappen had been tipped to challenge Mercedes for victory in Barcelona after impressing over the long runs in practice on Friday. However was unable to challenge Hamilton in all three stints during the race, and split the Mercedes after passing Bottas at the start.

Horner says that he was delighted with Verstappen’s result after the Dutchman soundly beat Bottas, believing it was the best they could have done. Adding, “To split the Mercedes who had a quicker car than us today, we couldn’t have got more than that. [I’m] satisfied with Max’s drive, and the guys have done an incredible job in the pit lane today.


Zanardi making progress following cycling accident

Alex Zanardi has been moved to semi-intensive care after showing “significant clinical improvements”. The former F1 driver and Paralympic champion suffered severe head injuries after colliding with a road vehicle during a handbike race near Siena in June.

Following the accident, the Italian has had several neurosurgical interventions, Zanardi was placed in the care of Milan’s San Raffaele Hospital in July, with the hospital reporting today that his condition was improving.

A statement from the San Raffaele Hospital announced: “After a period during which he was subjected to intensive care following hospitalisation on 24 July, the patient responded with significant clinical improvements. For this reason, he is currently assisted and treated with semi-intensive care at the Neuroreanimation Unit, directed by Professor Luigi Beretta.”

Since the start of the season, amongst the numerous messages on the cars has been #ForzaAlex, Zanardi started forty-one Grands Prix with for Jordan, Minardi, Lotus and Williams in F1 from 1991-1999, and won two CART championship titles in America.

An accident in Germany in 2001 resulted in his legs being amputated, but remarkably, he recovered and returned to racing with specially adapted cars, and also took up handbike racing, winning an astonishing four gold medals at the Paralympics and inspiring millions around the world in the process.


Senna fastest driver ever says study

A study by Formula One study that used “machine learning” and “cloud technology” has ranked Ayrton Senna as the fastest driver of all time ahead of Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton.

The study aims to compare drivers across four decades to name the fastest based on pure qualifying speed alone.

The research by sponsor Amazon Web Services, which also provides the in-race tyre updates that are often mocked by fans on social media, claims to have used machine learning to create “a cross-era, objective, complex, data-driven ranking of driver speed”.

The list is set to be controversial as it doesn’t include several world champions from the era, including Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Mika Häkkinen and Kimi Raikkonen, but does feature Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli, who spent large proportions of their careers at midfield teams.

The details of how the results were reached are not provided by F1, but the system claims to use a matrix of data to compare teammates against each other through the era and then link that to other teammates during a driver’s career.

The press release said, “By comparing teammates in qualifying sessions, the machine learning-based tool focuses on a driver’s performance output, building a network of teammates across the time-range, all interlinked, and therefore comparable.”

“By comparing lap times between teammates only, the Fastest Driver algorithm effectively normalises for car and the team performance. Overall, this builds up a picture of how drivers from different generations compare, by analysing the purest indication of raw speed — the qualifying lap.”


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