Reporters – 09/09/2018

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Esteban Ocon could be about to lose his seat in Formula One, as the talent is not enough to secure your seat. In Spa, he had his best qualifying to start third, that made both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have called for him to have a seat. Why do they believe he deserves a seat?

Hamilton praises Ocon

Lewis Hamilton has called on Force India’s Esteban Ocon to be given a “great car” after calling his qualifying “exceptional”. The Frenchman will start tomorrows (Belgian Grand Prix) race third.

The ‘new’ team were rescued from collapse before the summer break and despite the rescue have bounced back stronger to lock out the second row. Ocon’s third place marks the best qualifying of his career and adds to what has been a strong career so far.

World champion Hamilton said: “I’ve always been a supporter of Esteban. I think how he conducts himself and how he performs on track is exceptional. Unfortunately we’re in a weird place in Formula 1 where some teams, rather than taking a new up and coming kid, they’ll take whoever has got the money. I think the structure is probably wrong.”

Vettel added “Unfortunately nowadays a new guy comes in and he’s the superhero, and then another guy comes in and he’s the new superhero. And then the first guy is forgotten even though he’s doing a very good job.”

Responding to those comments, Ocon said “It’s awesome to hear that. I’m very happy to hear that. Of course, I want to be racing next year and I’m doing everything for it, I’m working very hard every day for it and to hear great things from those two champions is fantastic.”

 

Ferrari’s fanatical fans are nothing new, but following the Tifosi targeting Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton after winning at Monza, Kimi Raikkonen believes the booing was unacceptable. But why?

Raikkonen believes booing isn’t acceptable

Kimi Raikkonen says that fans shouldn’t boo their favourite drivers’ rivals, after the Tifosi targeted Mercedes Lewis Hamilton, following his win at Sundays Italian Grand Prix.

Both Hamilton and teammate  Valtteri Bottas were subjected to boos post-race, after a weekend in which the tifosi’s usual Ferrari support was mixed with antagonising its rivals.

Asked how he felt about drivers being booed, second-place finisher Raikkonen said: “I think everybody has the right to do what they feel like but I don’t think it’s very nice.  I don’t think it should happen. It’s not my decision but it happens and that’s how life is. But it’s not very nice.”

Despite Raikkonen and his teammate Sebastian Vettel locking out the front row, Ferrari failed to convert that into their first win at Monza since 2010. Mercedes, meanwhile, has dominated the race at Monza since the hybrid began in 2014, with Hamilton winning four of the five races.

Hamilton said he thinks the booing is “acceptable” but said, “I don’t really understand it”. He added: “I’ve been to football games, NFL games, basketball games and rugby games, I’ve never booed a player on the opponent’s team and none of my friends do either.”

Bottas backed his teammate’s opinion that fans have the right to “say whatever they like”, but said it was “not as nice as when someone is shouting your name”.

Both Mercedes drivers also said they used it as fuel to perform this weekend.

“For me, it is easy to allow it to get to you, to have an impact of your life,” said Hamilton. “It is also quite easy to harness it and use. That gave me so much motivation today.  I welcome it, if they want to continue to do it, it just empowers me.”

Bottas added: “Like Lewis mentioned, sports people have the right mindset, and we can turn some negative experiences into strengths. If you do it right you can really use that as a source of energy.”

 

Class B is a phase which is often used to describe the teams from fourth to seventh in the constructors. But is fighting for ‘fake’ class wins damaging for the sport? Sergio Perez believes so, but why does he think it is?

Class B damaging for F1

Sergio Perez believes the way that the sport forces drivers to fight for ‘fake’ class wins and titles is damaging the sport. Since the current engine regulations were introduced in 2014, only Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have taken victory and locked out the top three in the constructors.

While the gap between the top three has decreased in the last three years, the gap between sixth and seventh place had increased. Perez’s Force India team has finished a distant fourth in the constructors, while the Mexican has Perez is one of the only drivers outside those teams to score a podium in the last three seasons.

He told Motorsport.com, “That is quite difficult. The difference in budget these days, going into a new generation of cars, is tremendous. You cannot compete. The last four or five years it was simply two categories in Formula 1.”

“I’ve never heard before, that people were talking about “yeah, I won the race”, when you are best of the rest, or ‘I’m leading the championship’ if you are best of the rest.”

Recently Kevin Magnussen said he had created a ‘Class B’ title in his mind because the midfield cannot fight for outright honours.

Since the beginning of the 2016 season, the grand prix podium has included a non-Mercedes/Ferrari/Red Bull driver just five times. Force India have three of those wins and this season, the Class B championship is being led by Hulkenberg.

F1’s next major change is scheduled for 2021, when sweeping resource restrictions and fairer funding distribution are supposed to be brought in alongside car and engine changes.

 

Red Bull’s switched to Honda for next season, a move which surprised some. But advisor Helmut Marko believe that no one can keep up with their R&D, despite struggling over the past three years?

Rivals can’t keep up with Honda’s R&D

Red Bull’s advisor Helmut Marko believes that “nobody can keep up” with the quality of the research and development resources of Honda. Next year, Red Bull are joining there sister team by switching to the Japanese manufacturer.

Honda is preparing to supply both Red Bull and Toro Rosso after they decided to split with Renault. Despite the struggles Honda had when it first returned in 2015 with McLaren, Marco believes that the engine manufacturer can unleash its potential.

Speaking to Austrian broadcaster, Servus TV Marko said “With Toro Rosso, everything is working perfectly. Next year Honda will make a much bigger effort. They have a development centre in Sakura which nobody can keep up with.”

“The Japanese have a different culture and a different way of working. You learn that over time. Our approach with Honda is different than McLaren’s. They were telling them how they wanted the engine to be built, we just say, ‘build the fastest engine possible for us, then we will try to fit it into the chassis’.”

Red Bull has repeated that’s losing its status as the works Renault team has been one of the reasons it decided to spilt with the French manufacturer. Saying that Renault was “always making predictions that we were going to be competitive the next year, but it never happened” and thinks the scope of Honda’s commitment is mightier.

Marco says that Red Bull lost faith in Renault and Honda was “a partner who is committed, has the financial and technical resources and we are the number one team for them.”

Daniel Ricciardo will leave Red Bull to join the Renault works team next season, Marko has admitted may have been influenced by a lack of faith in Honda.

However, he says that Honda has “realised that they made mistakes and changed some of their personnel” and “also got help from experts” from outside the company.

 

F1 could be banned! Not the statement you would expect from the FIA president Jean Todt. Todt believes that if F1 was a new sport it would be banned because of recent accidents at Spa and Monza, but why?

F1 would be banned if incidents were fatal – Todt

FIA president Jean Todt claims that Formula One would risk being banned if recent accidents saw drivers be seriously injured or killed.

The last to Grand Prix weekends have saw two big accidents, at Spa Charles Leclerc’s halo deflect a flying wheel during the first corner crash. While in practice at Monza, Marcus Ericsson suffered a high speed barrel role in practice and in 2016, Fernando Alonso crashed in Melbourne forcing him to miss the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Todt knows that its vital drivers are able to walk away from such incidents unhurt. Although injuries and fatalities were an accepted part of F1 decades ago, Todt said the world has changed in such a way that any run of problems nowadays could have terrible consequences for motor racing.

He says in the future there should be no hesitation to introduce safety improvements. The Frenchman told Autosport “If you see Alonso’s crash in 2016, if you see Ericsson on Friday, you should spend some time and realise how amazing it has become and the progress that has been done. It is not taken for granted.”

“A few decades back, after [crashes like] that, drivers would not be there. It would be a big pain, because what was acceptable 40 years ago would not be acceptable now. And it could maybe mean that motor racing would be banned.”

Todt was a huge supporter of the halo which was criticised by drivers when it was introduced at the start of the year. Speaking about that, he said “maybe it changed a little bit the design of the car. But honestly I love racing, I love F1. I am not in shock when I see a car with the halo.”

 

And that’s all from Reporters for this week, goodbye

Jack

Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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