Reporters – 16/06/2019

Features Reporters

Lewis Hamilton is one of F1’s greatest drivers, but how long will he continue as the determination to win continues. So will he be still going in 2023?

Hamilton definitely targets many more years

Lewis Hamilton says he can “definitely” see himself racing in Formula One for many more years, setting his sights on matching the seven titles of Michael Schumacher.

Speaking in a interview recorded before the start of the season, the five times champion told David Letterman that he would be prepared to race until 2024. Since the interview was recorded Hamilton has gone onto win four of the first six races of this season and assumed control of the championship with a hard-fought victory last weekend in Monaco.

Ahead of contract renegotiations which will begin over the winter or early 2020, the Englishman expressed his desire to remain with the team for the foreseeable future.  Saying “Michael retired when he was 38. I’m 33. In my mind I can definitely do five years. I am ridiculously determined to win.”

“What really drives me, and I feel that somewhat the people I race against may lack, is that fire. I’ve got this opportunity. I could easily let go of it right now but I feel like I would be squandering it if I didn’t continue to improve, grow and push.”

Hamilton says he wants to keep going for as long as he can.

 

Honda has been one of the biggest surprises of the season, allowing Red Bull to maintain its position as the third fastest team. But, what does it need to make the step to deliver Honda’s first win since Budapest 2006? Are the answer power and balance?

Small gains big difference – Verstappen

Max Verstappen believes “a bit more power and balance” will make Red Bull and Honda’s situation look “a lot” in the next few races.

The Dutchman has scored two podiums in the first seven races and would have three top-three finishes had he not lost his second place in Monaco due to a time penalty. But in Montreal, Red Bull had a difficult weekend after Verstappen missed Q3, and finished fifth.

However, he doesn’t believe the power-sensitive Montreal circuit exposed anything problematic for his team or Honda. Addressing a claim by his father Jos had indicated he could leave Red Bull in 2020, Verstappen told Motorsport.com “I always said I’m enjoying myself.

“Of course we all know that we need to do better but I believe in the project we are in together with Honda. So, we are just working hard now to of course step up the performance and we’ll see in the upcoming races where we will be.”

“If you get a bit more power, a bit more balance in the car, then suddenly it looks a lot different.” Honda has already introduced its Spec-2 engine in Baku, meaning a final unit is likely to be introduced at some point over the next three Grand Prix’s.

on the chassis side, Red Bull has been trying to make progress after admitting its car is lacking compared to the championship-leading Mercedes. Verstappen admits that has created a power deficit which may have bigger consequences on certain tracks than last year and that the team has not had “a big shock” in such scenarios.

Adding “I knew [Montreal] was not going to be great. Last year we were quite competitive but I think back then our car was quite a lot better than the Mercedes and Ferrari and now I wouldn’t say we are superior to them.

 

As Williams continues to languish at the back of the grid, former engineering boss Rob Smedley has accused the team of failing to build on his legacy and its de facto boss Claire Williams of under-investing…

Smedley accuses Williams of under-investing

Williams former head of engineering has accused his former team of not investing enough in the team. Rob Smedley left the team at the end of last year, after joining from Ferrari alongside Felipe Massa in 2013.

In a wide-ranging interview with Motorsport Magazine, he spoke about his career and life as an engineer in F1. He also opens up about Williams’ current predicament, life at Ferrari and more. He said that Williams “clearly needed a lot of work.”

“We instilled lots of new engineering practices, but the next part of the journey was R&D investment and that never happened. If you want to be a true constructor, you have to have that level of investment or you’ll be left behind, regardless of how good your people might be.”

“I don’t want to talk about particular individuals, but it’s clear some bad decisions have been taken for the team to be in its current position. It’s a real shame.”

Last season the British team finished bottom of the constructors, and has had a difficult start to the season. Despite that deputy team principal Claire Williams told F1.com last week, “there’s a certain positivity in the team at the moment.”

Williams currently sits last without a point in the constructors’ standings; Alfa Romeo has scored 13.

 

Following last weekends controversy over the penalty awarded to Sebastian Vettel for unsafely re-joining in the lead of the Canadian Grand Prix was the talking point last week. But could it lead to a much bigger change?

F1 needs better ways of explaining penalties

F1 Managing director for motorsport and technical Ross Brawn says the sport needs to look for better ways of explaining penalties.

Many fans and commentators have been annoyed by the decision to hand Sebastian Vettel five-second penalty for rejoining the circuit in an unsafe manner and forcing Lewis Hamilton wide after he ran across the grass at the first chicane on lap 48.

There are reports that the steward was convinced of Vettel’s guilt by secondary steering wheel movements as he came back on track. There has been no formal detailed explanation nor release of data relating to the matter.

He has said that transparency is important when it comes to explaining the decisions of the stewards, especially in such a complex sport as F1. Brawn added, “It is in football, where despite the arrival of VAR, there is still discussion as to whether a handball should be punished with a penalty or not.”

“Therefore, it might be useful to work with the FIA on solutions that would allow the stewards to explain their decisions to the fans and to elaborate on how they reached them.”

 

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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