Red Bull still needs to improve – Verstappen
Max Verstappen says that Red Bull still “needs to improve” after noticing Ferrari was quicker in the Canadian Grand Prix. The Dutchman took his sixth win of the season to extend his lead over teammate Sergio Perez to forty-six points with his main rival Charles Leclerc a further three points behind.
His weekend was also boosted by a grid penalty for the Ferrari driver, while he still had to fend off the second Ferrari and his former teammate Carlos Sainz who fought hard to try and overtake Verstappen during the final twenty laps. the Spaniard looked to have the pace advantage over the Red Bull, however, struggled to find a way past the world champions.
Despite his string of wins and his comfortable championship position, Verstappen cautioned that his Red Bull team “needs to improve” after finding out it was “not the quickest” team on Sunday.
when asked about his sizeable lead in the championship, he told Motorsport.com, “It’s still a very long way and I know the gap of course is quite big, but I also know that it can switch around very quickly. I mean, race three I was 46 behind, so we just need to stay calm, we need to focus, we need to improve, because today [Sunday] we’re not the quickest.”
“It swings a bit, like last weekend [at Baku] it looked good in the race, now it didn’t look as good but we still managed to win and that I think is also a quality and we just have to work together with the whole team you know to try and just find little improvements in the car.”
Ferrari has often been the faster team on one lap pace, however they have struggled to match Red Bull on race pace and are struggling more with tyre management while there have also been questionable decisions on strategy. Verstappen describes the battle with Leclerc as going “back and forth.”
Explaining “I don’t think it’s always been that they have been quicker on Saturday and then slower on Sunday. I think in Barcelona they were also quick on Sunday and there were a few more races.”
“So it just goes back and forth a bit. We need to understand of course… it also rained yesterday [Saturday]. Maybe that didn’t help for us today [Sunday] with the greener track. But that’s all things we have to look into.
Marko says Mercedes lobbying has “backfired”
Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko believes Mercedes’ lobbying of the FIA to help cure porpoising in F1 has “backfired.” After being pushed by several drivers led by the two Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton the governing body introduced new measures in Montreal.
It issued a technical directive revealing plans to impose a vertical oscillating metric that would force teams to limit the bouncing of their cars, or risk having to raise ride height. Furthermore, teams were supposed to be allowed to take extra measures to strengthen their floors – which included the addition of a second-floor stay.
But while the FIA’s response caused angst because it did not strictly follow the right procedures, in terms of making actual rule changes, the planned bouncing limit for later in the year could be something that hurts Mercedes. What has become clear that Mercedes need to run very low to the ground to deliver its maximum potential.
That makes the FIA more likely to intervene, but Red Bull believes there isn’t the need for the governing body doesn’t need to get involved in the matter, saying Mercedes has achieved the opposite of what they were trying to achieve. He said, “Exactly,” he said. “In German we say: ‘der Schuss ging nach hinten los’. So it basically backfired for Mercedes.”
Marko believes that the FIA should stay out of the whole porpoising debate, as the phenomenon is not something that every team is suffering from. Adding “I fully agree with Max [Verstappen], it is not correct to change something like this during the season. It can’t be the FIA who is making our set-ups.”
“Changing the ride height means changing the set-up and the FIA can’t do that. My next point is that all of this is the result of one team having problems. That team should just sort out their own problems and not affect the other teams.”
While the directive hasn’t affected Red Bull, the concern of the team is about the predicant that could set in allowing the FIA to get directly involved in the set-up of the car.
Vips suspended by Red Bull over offensive language
Red Bull has suspended their test and reserve driver Juri Vips after he used offensive language in an online gaming stream. The Estonian driver used racist and homophobic language during a live stream game he was playing with a fellow junior driver
Vips also used homophobic language on a separate occasion in the same stream. Red Bull said in a statement posted on social media: “We condemn abuse of any kind and have a zero-tolerance policy to racist language or behaviour within our organisation.”
Vips, who races in F2 and drove for Red Bull in first practice at this year’s Spanish Grand Prix, later apologised on his Instagram account, saying: “This language is entirely unacceptable and does not portray the values and principles I hold. I deeply regret my actions and this is not the example I wish to set. I will co-operate with the investigation fully.”
Vips became a member of the Red Bull junior programme towards the end of 2018. He finished fourth in the following year’s FIA F3 championship before graduating to F2, where he is currently competing in his third season. He made his practice debut in Barcelona in May, after spending 2021 as Red Bull’s development driver and is due to race at Silverstone next weekend.
Lewis Hamilton has since 2020 been leading efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in recent years. The seven-time champion has set up his own commission to look into the root causes of the lack of minorities in motorsport and to promote inclusion in science, technology and mathematics subjects in education.
Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel vowed to continue to speak out on these and other important issues after the new president of F1’s governing body the FIA, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, questioned whether drivers should air their views on such topics. Ben Sulayem has since apologised for those comments.
Mercedes need to be careful with expectations
Mercedes F1 CEO and team principal Toto Wolff has urged the team to be “careful” in thinking it soon might be able to challenge Red Bull and Ferrari despite its gains at the Canadian Grand Prix.
While Lewis Hamilton and George Russell’s third and fourth-place finish matched previous season highs, the Montreal performance was the team’s most competitive race of the campaign in pure pace terms. The performance in Montreal has started questions about whether the team could challenge Ferrari and Red Bull at circuits like Silverstone and Paul Ricard.
But Wolff is remaining cautious and is mindful that similar levels of optimism after the Spanish Grand Prix evaporated very quickly. He warns that one race doesn’t mean they can be competitive at every race.
He told Motorsport.com, “I think we need to be careful. We were off the pace on Friday. In the wet we were good, and I think that was respectable. And I think that in the race, at times, we were with the quickest cars. In the second stint, Lewis and George were almost matching the frontrunners.”
“They were not quite, but on some laps, yes. That is very encouraging to see. But we just need to be careful. There’s so much work we need to do in order to be back at the front, and we are not yet there.”
Hamilton who took his second podium of the season after finishing third, said he had renewed optimism about what might be possible in the second half of the season. Adding, “I think that there’s more to come from this car. The potential is truly there if we can get the set-up right, and I think that’s been the most difficult thing this year: really trying to optimise the set-up.”
The seven-time champion also says the set-up window for the car is the smallest window of any car he has driven in his career.
Wolff says one of the positives from Montreal was seeing circumstances not comprising against Hamilton, welcoming a more straight forwards weekend. Adding, “Seeing him now on the positive side and being on the podium without anything in a way gifted, that’s good to see.
Alpine tried the team game in Montreal
Esteban Ocon says that Alpine “tried to play the team game” to help Fernando Alonso fend off Valtteri Bottas in the Canadian Grand Prix. After dropping to seventh the Spaniard started to struggle with an engine issue compromising his straight line speed making him vulnerable to Valtteri Bottas.
Ocon ahead allowed Alonso to catch him to give him DRS and help him stay clear of the Alfa Romeo driver. The plan worked and Alonso crossed the line in seventh, but the Spaniard was subsequently penalised five seconds for moving too much in front of Bottas on the last lap, dropping him to ninth.
Ocon was satisfied with his own sixth place, noting that the car felt better on Sunday than earlier in the weekend. He said “Well, I think on our side we can be pleased with today. I think the car felt a little bit more alive than it did in the last two days. There’s still plenty for us to understand on why that was.
“I think we maximised the potential overall, because the cars ahead, they were too quick. And the cars behind were a bit quicker than us to be fair. Valtteri at the end was putting quite a lot of pressure on Fernando. And we tried to play the team game for me to give the DRS to Fernando. And we did that well, we executed perfectly.”
He says he was backing off to try and help Alonso with his engine issue so he could defend from Bottas saying it was good teamwork as well as being a boost for the team in the constructors.
At one stage Alonso suggested that he was faster than Ocon and should be allowed past, but the team ensured that the order didn’t change. He added “Well, I was trusting obviously him and the team for that not to happen. We have done that in the past, in Brazil last year. And I was not going to pass him when this happened.”