Hamilton looks to shake off ‘Armageddon’
Lewis Hamilton has cleared his diary and plans to ensure he is at a hundred per cent for this weekends Hungarian Grand Prix, following ‘Armageddon’ at Mercedes home race on Sunday.
The five times champion battled illness in what was a disappointing weekend for the German manufacturer at their home Grand Prix where he finished eleventh. However, he was promoted to ninth after the Alfa’s picked up penalties, but remains the worst result where they have finished a race since 2014.
Hamilton told Sky Sports, “I have cancelled everything I have for the next few days. So, I’m going home. I will probably sleep the next few days and try and get over this bug.”
“It’s not really improving massively, hopefully, the next couple of days it will. I don’t think being in the car helps. Health is just so important so I’m going to make try I can try and be as healthy as I can.”
Mercedes F1 CEO and team principal Toto Wolff has commended Hamilton for fighting on through the weekend but said it was clear the world champion was never 100 per cent.
He said, “I think he was not healthy and it was the case the whole weekend. He did the most to get himself in an okay place to race. Many of us would probably not have considered being in a race car.”
“But he did that, and he felt better today, but certainly you can’t be physically on your best game when you’ve been ill for a few days.” Valtteri Bottas also failed to finish the race after he crashed out in the conditions while challenging for a podium.
Hamilton said, “It’s massively disappointing and upsetting for all of us to be leading the grand prix [and not win]. I was eight seconds in the lead at one stage, had it all under the control, and things are going to be thrown at you all the time in conditions like this.”
Mercedes will be “bruised” by the weekend but will be looking to bounce back in Hungary this weekend.
Mercedes will benefit from “bruising” Germany
Mercedes F1 CEO Toto Wolff says that his whole team is feeling “bruised” following a nightmare German Grand Prix, but insists that the outfit will learn from the experience.
The German manufacturer and title sponsor had a disastrous home race, with Lewis Hamilton eleventh following an accident, a long pitstop, a penalty for missing the pitlane entry bollard and a high-speed spin from which he was fortunate to recover.
Only the penalties for the two Alfa Romeo drivers allowed him to salvage two points in ninth. His teammate Valtteri Bottas lost a chance to close the gap to the world championship leader by crashing heavily in the closing laps.
Wolff told Motorsport.com, “I think everybody’s pretty bruised, because it’s one thing if a race goes against you and you’re losing a car, or you’re crashing out, or you haven’t done your best.”
“These are the days that made us strong in the past, these are the days where you analyse and you scrutinise more than you have done in the past.”
Marko attempts to play down Gasly speculation
Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has silenced talk that Pierre Gasly’s future at team is again in doubt, by confirming that the Frenchman will see out the season.
The Frenchman has been under pressure one again following a crash during practice during the German Grand Prix, and a race-ending clash with Alex Albon questions have fuelled questions over his future with the Austrian team.
His situation has also not been helped by Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat recording a podium finish, meaning Red Bull has an obvious replacement if it needs one. However, Marko has made it clear that the team is committed to Gasly for the rest of 2019 at least.
Marko told Motorsport.com, “This year we won’t change. We will end the season as we currently are.” However, accepted that the Frenchman was under pressure.
Team principal, Christian Horner, described Gasly’s weekend as one with highs and lows as well as some frustration with the points lost by the late collision with Albon.
He said about Gasly’s weekend. “He had a good qualifying, but then he had a difficult first pitstop – there was a problem with the right rear wheel nut. And then they had to hold him because the whole queue of cars came in.
“He started recovering, and on the last restart, he passed [Sebastian] Vettel. But then he went wide on three consecutive laps at Turn 1, and that’s where the other cars got past him.
“Then obviously racing with Albon, they tripped over each other, which was frustrating because it was a good opportunity today to take a lot of points out of Ferrari.” He says that resulted in the team only taking eight rather than around twenty points out of Ferrari.
Horner says that Gasly needed to start delivering more points if it was to have any hopes of overhauling Ferrari in the constructors’ championship.
Asked if the second place was achievable this year, Horner said: “I think if we start double scoring. That’s our target in the second half of the year, to really close that gap down.”
Kvyat ‘losses chains’ of first spell
Daniil Kvyat says that he has “lost the chains” of his first spell in F1 following his first podium since his return to the sport. The Russian was sacked from Red Bull programme at the end of 2017 but re-signed by junior team Toro Rosso this year.
Kvyat was running out of the points in Sunday’s chaotic German Grand Prix, where the weather caused a number of incidents. His late move to slick tyres allowed him to jump from ninth to third, his first podium since the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix, when he was driving for Red Bull.
He told BBC News “It was sometimes tough, and I thought maybe F1 was over for me. But life just proves if you work hard and never give up, things are possible.”
He added, “These three difficult years just felt like they crashed from my shoulders, finally.”
Following that race in 2016, he was demoted from Red Bull in favour of Max Verstappen who won the race, returning to Toro Rosso. He was then dropped after crashing out of the 2017 Singapore Grand Prix, reinstated for the US Grand Prix two races later when the team found themselves without a driver, and then dropped from the Red Bull programme altogether.
But following a year out as Ferrari’s development driver, he returned to Toro Rosso because they had run out of drivers in their junior programme to promote.
Kvyat said of the race in Germany: “It was a horror movie with a black comedy. At some point, I thought the race was done for me, but then it came alive again, it was an incredible rollercoaster. A bit like my whole career!”
He added: “It was an incredible few years in my life. Maybe I thought, especially a podium, I would never ever have it again. But life just proves that if you work hard and never give up, things are possible. I think that’s exactly what happened. Even the race was tough for everyone, I managed to keep cool.”
He says he has worked hard and hoped that it sends a message that he is ready to fight on a consistent basis.
It was only Toro Rosso’s second win after Vettel’s win in Monza in 2008, as well as being a good race for teammate Alex Albon.
Albon added “I’m really happy with myself, I’m happy with the team. I think the team did an unbelievable job. Every strategy call we did was the right one on both cars.”
“We were running in the top five and I thought: ‘This really is our pace. We weren’t losing out to the guys in front and the guys behind were dropping back so I was really, really happy with how it was going
Sainz misses “Very bitter” maiden podium
Carlos Sainz said it felt “very bitter” to miss out on a chance at his maiden podium in the chaotic German Grand Prix, but backed his McLaren team’s cautious strategy.
The Spaniard had been in the position to score big points have not switched to the dry tyres in the early part of the race as well as recovering from an early off. However, McLaren opted to play it safe – and while Sainz ended up a strong fifth, he lost out to midfield rivals Daniil Kvyat and Lance Stroll, who had gone through with the gamble.
Speaking to Motorsport.com, Sainz said, “During the safety car I said let’s go on the slicks but at the same time it was too risky so I perfectly understand that we didn’t pit because no one did actually out of the top five cars.”
“I did have the feeling it was the right thing but at the same time it was very risky so I back the team totally and when you see Kvyat celebrating a podium and Stroll in front of you and they were really far behind [earlier], it feels very bitter right now.”
“But at the same time, I don’t think we would’ve done anything differently.” Sainz believes that the team did everything perfectly. Team principal Andreas Seidl said the team had to prioritise simply getting points on the board, given the race of attrition had already claimed some of the usual frontrunners.
He added “we played it conservative, staying in line with what was happening at the front, and obviously the two cars behind took the risk and benefited from it, so well done to them,” Seidl said.
“In the end what made the great result for Stroll was taking the gamble from P14 to go on dry tyres two laps earlier than anyone else, so well done to them.”
McLaren then didn’t want to risk crashing out, but admitted Sainz was disappointed with the result.
Germany a response to boring races – Brawn
F1 managing director of motorsport and technical director Ross Brawn says that the last three races have been the best possible response to “surprisingly vitriolic” criticism that followed a dull race in France last month.
The Englishman and multiple championship-winning former team boss says that these races are a reminder that F1 is still “the greatest motorsport series in the world,” after a lack of action at Paul Ricard led to widespread negative comments about the sport.
He wrote, “What a show. The German Grand Prix was incredibly exciting, from first lap to last. It had everything, overtaking, mistakes, less than perfect strategies, immense bravery, crashes and a podium line-up – indeed a top 10 order – no one could have predicted after qualifying.
“The points placings featured drivers from eight different teams, and on a day when the big guns faltered wholly or in part, only Toro Rosso and Haas managed to get both drivers in the points.” Brawn concedes that the intermittent rain played its role and the last three races has been hugely entertaining.
He also acknowledges that the sport wasn’t perfect and that Kvyat’s third-place finish is only the third time that a driver from outside the top three teams has finished on the podium since 2017. Brawn knows that not every race will be like the last three, but are enough to remind that F1 remains the greatest motorsport in the world.
He also praised Max Verstappen for his second win in three races for Red Bull and suggested that the Dutchman could ultimately split the Mercedes drivers in the world championship battle.
Renault lorry crashes in Hungary
A Renault truck has crashed on its way the way to next weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix. The truck came off the M1 motorway near the city of Gyor Monday morning, less than twenty-four hours after the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim.
Renault said the driver of the truck had not suffered any serious injuries but had been taken to hospital for further assessment. In a statement, the team said “A Renault F1 Team truck was involved in an accident on the M1 in Hungary near Gyor. The driver, who was driving within the respected regulations, was extracted from the vehicle.”
“He is conscious and has not suffered serious injury. He has been transported to hospital in Hungary for further checks. No other vehicles were involved in the incident.”
Renault has endured a disappointing season in Formula One and sit sixth in the Constructor Standings with thirty-nine points.