Sainz “weird” development feeling
Carlos Sainz says that helping to develop next years McLaren is better than the “quite weird” feeling of racing for Renault last year when he knew was leaving.
The Spaniard is at the end of his first year with McLaren after signing a two-year deal to join the team for 2019. He was ousted at Renault after just one full season, which makes 2019/20 the first time Sainz has been a key part of a team’s transition process since he was with Toro Rosso in 2016/17.
Asked by Motorsport.com, about the significance of developing next years car knowing that it will benefit him, Sainz said, “Yeah, that probably also made the second half of the season with Renault quite weird.”
“I was kind of looking forward to joining McLaren in that way, with a two-year deal. I’m a strong believer that the more time a driver spends in one team, the faster that driver becomes with that car.” He says that it is a rule which applies everywhere.
He believes that the examples are shown by Max Verstappen at Red Bull and Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes proves that stability allows them to get stronger every year.
Sainz also believes that Sergio Perez knowing Racing Point very well allows the team to execute strong race weekends. He says he was looking forward to this when he joined McLaren, and that they are already working on next years car.
Sainz joined McLaren after an uncompetitive season but the British team has had an impressive turnaround and secured fourth place in the constructors’ championship in Brazil. He has admitted that he expected a tougher first season with the team but has been boosted by McLaren’s off-track efforts as well its strong on-track form.
Adding “My self-confidence and the confidence within the team, and their work approach that we have this year, I’ve been more [focused on] the mid-term project, not so much the short-term and having to perform like I was having to do in Toro Rosso and Renault.”
Sainz says that stability has allowed him to combat those couple of difficult moments in the year, and there was no rush to bounce back.
“Team always loser” in teammate clashes
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says that the biggest loser whenever two drivers collide is always the team. At Interlagos, both Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel collided in the race with Horner saying the biggest impact is never felt by the men in the cockpit.
Horner has the first-hand experience of teammates colliding when Vettel clashed with Mark Webber in Istanbul in 2010. He says internal squabbles are never easy to sort and their consequence spread far.
Asked by Motorsport.com, for his thoughts on the Vettel/Leclerc situation, he said, “It depends on the scenario and each team has a different approach, and different people have different approaches, so it’s difficult for me to judge Ferrari’s situation.”
“But the loser is always the team in that situation. Obviously it is a tricky one.” Horner says the main challenges of resolving the situation is that what is good for the team is not necessarily what is best for the individual drivers.
He says that racing drivers are competitive animals, which creates a conflict between what is right for the team and what is right for the individual.
Ferrari’s team principal Mattia Binotto has in sorting out how to deal with the situation between his drivers. He says that he would rather have the headache of trouble when fighting for wins and podiums than having a calm time and no success.
Adding, “It is obviously a challenge to handle two drivers who are at the same level, and when it’s about fighting for podiums and wins, it’s getting even harder.”
Haas could have been best of the rest
Haas team principal Gunther Steiner believes that flashes of speed from the Melbourne spec car shows that the team could have been a contender for ‘best of the rest’ this season.
The Anglo-American team started the season strongly, but following the Barcelona upgrade the team was left struggling for points which have seen it drop to ninth in the constructors. In recent races, the team has reverted back to the original aero specification that it began the season with.
following a double Q3 appearance at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Steiner is well aware of just different the campaign could have looked if it had made as much progress with its car as other teams. He told Motorsport.com, “We could have been in a good spot.”
“But we have nobody else to blame than ourselves that we didn’t react to [the problems] properly and adequately when we should have. So we just need to learn out of it and not go down that path again.”
Steiner believes that the ultimate pace of the car would not have So we just need to learn out of it and not go down that path again. He says that the team needed more stability so they would be best of the rest. Haas will finish ninth in the constructors.
But the American says he cannot be jealous of what other teams achieved this year by doing a better job. He says it good for the sport to have teams like McLaren and Toro Rosso on the podium, but was frustrating it was not Haas.
He added, “You cannot blame them for that because they did a better job. You know, it’s like, obviously we need to look at ourselves in the mirror and not at the other ones and what they did.”
Ocon will test for Renault in Abu Dhabi
Esteban Ocon will officially join Renault next Monday, allowing him to take part in the final test of the season following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Frenchman spent this season as Mercedes test and reserved driver after he was left without a drive.
Earlier this year signed a deal to cut his ties with the world champions and secure a place on the 2020 grid with Renault. Renault has now confirmed he will be released early from his Mercedes contract so that he can start work with his new team at the post-season tyre test next week.
Following the announcement, Mercedes has been curbed since it became clear he would leave the team for Renault and he no longer sits in on trackside engineering briefings. He worked between Brackley and the circuit over race weekends.
Next year he will race alongside Daniel Ricciardo at Renault, replacing Nico Hulkenberg who is expected to be left without a drive in Formula One in 2020. He has a two-year contract with Renault.
Pirelli no issues if tyres rejected but wants answers
Pirelli says that they will have no big issue if the teams decide they want to stick with the 2019 tyres next season, but it will demand to know why all the work it did on the 2020 rubber was rejected.
In FP1 in Austin, drivers tested the new tyres and that led to some complaints, since then the teams have been weighing up whether or not to go ahead with the switch for next year. Another test will take place in Abu Dhabi this weekend as well as a post-season test next week.
If an overwhelming majority of teams decide they do not want to continue with the 2020 rubber then Pirelli will revert to the 2019 design instead. Pirelli’s motorsport boss, Mario Isola, says the company will not fight against continuing with the 2019 tyres if that is what teams decide.
He told Motorsport.com, “We want to test the 2020 construction properly in Abu Dhabi, and after the test, we analyse the data, and the teams have the option to ask for a change if more than 70% of the teams are of the same opinion.”
“If there is this decision based on technical evidence that the 2019 tyre for any reason is working better than 2020, then we have no issues in keeping the 2019 tyre because it’s a good product.” He says that they need to understand why a year of work has led to different results.
Isola believes that the troubles with the 2020 tyres in Austin were caused by the low temperatures and the fact that the behaviour of the tyre is different, so new set-ups are required. Abu Dhabi should be representative of what improvement the 2020 tyres can bring.
Zandvoort’s steep banking double that of Indianapolis
Zandvoort which will host the Dutch Grand Prix next season will feature a section with a banked corner twice as steep as the turns at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Zandvoort, located to the west of Amsterdam, is undergoing a revamp ahead of its return to the calendar
The circuit is returning to the calendar after a thirty-five-year hiatus, its final corner will be angled at eighteen degrees, double that of the final corner at Indianapolis. There also will be banking at Turn 3, the Hugenholtz.
Zandvoort CEO Robert van Overdijk told Dutch station BNR Nieuwsradio, “That corner will for sure be the most spectacular part of our renewed circuit. The corner will be banked thirty-two per cent. So the difference in height from the bottom of the corner to the top will be around 4½ metres. That’s considerable.”
He says making an American corner on a European circuit is unique, as well has to have a banked corner. Overdijk hopes that through the final corner that two cars can get through the corner next to each other and more importantly at the same speed.
The race has been revived because of the huge popularity of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen. The Dutchman claimed his eighth career victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix earlier this month.