Hamilton urges Hyde Park protesters to keep pushing
Lewis Hamilton attended a Black Lives Matter peaceful protest in London’s Hyde Park on Sunday and urged everyone supporting the movement to “keep pushing”.
Addressing the rally, the six-times champion highlighted the diversity of the crowd saying he believes “positive change will come”. The Englishman is the only black driver on the grid and since the death of George Floyd, has been campaigning passionately against racial injustice with a series of powerful statements on social media over the past month.
Posting on Twitter, Hamilton wrote, “Went down to Hyde Park today for the peaceful protest and I was so proud to see in person so many people of all races and backgrounds supporting this movement.”
“I was proud to be out there acknowledging and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, and my black heritage. I was so happy to see people of all ages, sporting Black Lives Matter signs and saying it just as passionately as I was.”
Hamilton said he was happy that so many white people out supporting BLM, leaving him positive that change will come. Hamilton’s uploads followed another message on social media, in which he criticised others for remaining silent.
Writing on social media, “Your silence is still deafening. You may not be racist in your silence but we need you to be ANTI-racist. That means we need you to educate yourself and others.”
The Hamilton Commission has been set up to improve diversity in the motorsport industry, with the six-time champion saying that “the time for platitudes and token gestures is over.”
“Despite my success in the sport, the institutional barriers that have kept F1 highly exclusive persist,” wrote Hamilton in a Sunday Times column. He says that it is not enough to point to me a single black hire as a meaningful example of progress.
Mercedes and Liberty Media have backed Hamilton in recent weeks.
Zanardi in serious condition follow crash
The surgeon treating Alex Zanardi following his handbike crash on Friday has stressed how serious the situation is, and declared that it’s not yet clear what the prognosis is for the Italian.
After his accident, he was transferred to hospital and underwent three hours of neurosurgery and maxillofacial surgery (related to the face). In the next few days, his doctors say he remains supported by a ventilator with the neuro picture being assessed
An official bulletin issued on Saturday morning said that after the surgery Zanardi had been “transferred to intensive care, has stable hemodynamic and metabolic parameters. He is intubated and supported by artificial ventilation while the neurological picture remains serious.”
Dr Giuseppe Olivieri, the head of neurosurgery at Siena’s Santa Maria alle Scotte hospital, spoke to media later on Saturday to give an update on Zanardi’s condition.
Dr Olivieri is quoted as saying by the Associated Press, “The condition of Alex Zanardi is serious but stable. He arrived here with major facial cranial trauma, a smashed face, and a deeply fractured frontal bone [forehead]. The numbers are good, although it remains a very serious situation.”
“We won’t see what his neurological state is until he wakes up, if he wakes up. Serious condition means it’s a situation when someone could die. Improvement takes time in these cases.”
Monday’s update said his condition remains unchanged in the cardio-respiratory and metabolic parameters while the neurological picture remains serious.
F1 launches ‘race as one’ to tackle inequality
Formula One has launched ‘We race As One’ initiative, aimed at tackling the biggest issues facing the sport and global communities, the fight against Coronavirus and the condemnation of racism and inequality.
F1 says it believes it must return with added purpose and determination to tackle the major issues that we as a sport and also society, are facing. Those issues are important to the long term future of our sport, but equally have a major impact on the communities we race in and countries around the world.
It says that recent events that those issues are important to make the sport have the determination to tackle the major issues that we as a sport, but also society, are facing. Those issues are important to the longer-term future of our sport, but equally, have a major impact on the communities we race in and countries around the world.
It says that as a sport we must address the fight against racism and inequality, acknowledge its Fundamental Principles Statutes, including the fight against any form of discrimination.
F1 CEO Chase Carey said, “While it is an important moment for the Formula 1 community it is also a time to recognise the issues that are bigger than anyone sport or country.”
“It will also be a platform for Formula 1 to come together and achieve results against the most important issues facing us as a sport and the world. We will show our full support in fighting inequality throughout the weekend and accelerate our own efforts to make Formula 1 more diverse and inclusive.”
The two main issues it believes is Coronavirus which it says it wants to show thanks for people for living through this crisis, as well as tackling inequality.
“That is why today, ahead of our season start, Formula 1 announces our new #We Race As One initiative, in support of the #PurposeDriven Movement launched by the FIA last week.”
It has also launched a task force to look at the actions required to improve the diversity and opportunity in Formula 1 at all levels. Further details of the Task Force will be set out in the coming weeks and the visual displays of support at the first race will be seen for the first time during the race weekend.
Ricciardo couldn’t wait longer to join McLaren
Daniel Ricciardo says if he had waited anymore, he would have risked losing the opportunity to join McLaren. The Australian signed for the team after it was announced that Carlos Sainz would replace Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari from next year.
There have been questions from some why he didn’t wait until the start of the season before committing to a move so far in advance. However Ricciardo says that even once the delayed season started he wouldn’t have had clear answers for a month or two, and thus there was no point in delaying his decision.
He told the F1 Podcast, “I think obviously Vettel’s announcement or news with Ferrari kind of sparked everything, and then things were moving pretty quickly around Carlos and all the other stuff. Although it seemed like there was maybe still time, I don’t actually think there was, to make movement, if that was what you were going for.”
Adding, “This is all just what I’m playing in my head, if you start racing in July, which even then wasn’t 100%, but which we are by the looks of it, you’re not going to find out in the first race or the second race.”
He believes that it would have been too late to wait until August, while also repeating it was not a clear cut decision to leave Renault for McLaren. Ricciardo based the decision on the changes coming in a few years, as well as the teams return to Mercedes engines.
Saying that Mercedes won the championship, with McLaren making the biggest step last year which was really encouraging for them, and that’s really all you can base it on.
Adding, “the pitch for the future. Obviously, they are switching power units and all that. Even talking about it now it’s certainly tough because by no means was it an easy decision, and not having very much to gauge from 2020, that was pretty difficult.”
“two-tier” systems will end in 2022 – Abiteboul
Renault’s F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul believes that the sport’s current “two-tier” system will end in 2022, impacting relationships between the big teams and the partners with whom they share technology.
Abiteboul believes that the lowering of the cost cap and other changes when the new regulations are introduced will lead to closer competition in 2022. He anticipates that the level playing field will, for example, make Mercedes less open to helping customer partner Racing Point.
Renault is likely to head into the new era without a customer team, unlike some of its main rivals in the midfield who share technology such as gearboxes and other systems. The team will be further isolated in 2021 when McLaren switches to Mercedes.
Abiteboul told Motorsport.com, “It was a worry when there was either no budget cap or the budget cap was sufficiently high that the grid would remain under a two-tier system.”
“Now that we a budget cap that is low enough that the grid will be much more competitive I’m curious to see what will happen to those collaborations between teams. I think right now Mercedes is happy to let Racing Point copy its car.”
He says this will be interesting to see what happens when the big teams become more competitive when the budget cap is brought in. Saying that when the smaller teams are more of the game.
Haas will not be disadvantaged by not testing
Haas team principal Gunther Steiner believes that the team will not face a big disadvantage by missing a shakedown before the delayed season opener in Austria. The opening ten races of the season were either postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic
Speaking to some media on Monday Steiner confirmed that the team will not be conducting any running before the season starting, saying it did not have the capacity to do so. Meaning that FP1 in Austria will be the first time since Barcelona testing that teams have run.
He said, “We are not having a shakedown. Obviously, you would need to use a filming day, and also we don’t have the capacity. The drivers are ready to go. I don’t think they need a lot of training. It’s nice to do, but for us at the moment it’s not a priority to do a shakedown.”
Mercedes, Ferrari, Alpha Tauri and Racing Point have been carrying out tests or plan to do so, so they can get used to the Coronavirus measures being introduced.
Asked by Autosport if not being able to practice these new protocols would leave Haas on the back foot, Steiner said he was confident the team would manage.
Saying, “I think it is an advantage I would not deny that but it isn’t big. Our guys are working in the factory in Banbury to put the car together so they have to do social distancing there as well, so I’m not too worried about that one.”
“We’ll practice the new protocol in the garages instead of out on the track. It’s used a little bit also as an excuse to do a shakedown, which if you’ve got the finances, you want to do it to be sure.’
Steiner says again that there was a little bit of risk involved but they want to do the best they can and believes they are in a good position for Austria.