In this new edition of GPFans Weekend We have summarized the most important news from the past week in one article. In a few minutes, you will be up to date with everything that is happening in the realm of the royal class.
Last weekend the US Grand Prix was on the programme. It was a quiet race, but an awful one to the finish. After the race, there was a lot to be said about the controversial overtaking decisions the FIA made off the track. The FIA has promised to meet with the drivers to discuss the events. There was also a lot to like about Max Verstappen’s comments about the Netflix series Drive to Survive and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff had to admit that Red Bull deserved to win. Meanwhile, Red Bull was able to expose the weaknesses of its main rival and Lewis could not agree on some fierce statements. You can see this and more in the video below. Scroll through the transcript.
The FIA enters talks with drivers after controversy over the US Grand Prix
The Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas went surprisingly smooth. There were no accidents, no major collisions and the only dropouts were able to get back into the garages under their own power. As a result, the safety car did not have to enter the track. However, significant controversy arose over the race management’s decisions. Alonso was passed off the track by Kimi Räikkönen, which is normally not allowed, but he didn’t have to return the place. Moments later, Alonso passed Antonio Giovinazzi off the track. However, the Spaniard was then ordered to return the spot, because otherwise he risked a five-second penalty.
This caused great frustration for Alonso, who did not understand what the race management was doing. “I understand his frustration,” Massey was quoted by Motorsport.com as saying. “The decision on him and Pkeme in Turn 1 was definitely marginal. We will discuss it with all the drivers at the next meeting because I think there are two sides to the story so to speak. Of course you have the overtaking itself, then force it off the track and then overtaking again. So that is something we will discuss at the next meeting.” .
Masi noted that Raikkonen eventually got away with it because Alonso arguably pushed him off the right track in the first place. “So it was a marginal decision. Obviously two items were considered, based on which the decision was made to leave it as is. But there is no doubt that it will be discussed at the next meeting.”
Wolff must admit: ‘Red Bull deserved to win’
The US Grand Prix was exciting to the end. The battle between Verstappen and Hamilton was decided only on the last lap. “This was really a race with exciting strategy games and great battles,” Wolff said after the grand prix. “We thought we could smell the win with Lewis. He put in a great attack in the last laps, but in the end it wasn’t enough.
“In the first period, the car wasn’t fast enough on the medium tyre. Then Red Bull made its first stop before doing it a second time. We thought our strategy of driving longer would be enough in the end to get it” but the moment it comes in handy Easily from the car in front of you, it becomes very difficult to do anything. In the end we were close, but we weren’t close enough, so Red Bull deserved to win today.”
Marko and Red Bull reveal Mercedes’ weaknesses: “So they are not very competitive”
After the Turkish Grand Prix, where Mercedes took control of the third win in a row, the fun seemed to be over for all the fans of Red Bull and Max Verstappen. According to many experts and people from the track, Mercedes has found something that allows the engine power to be opened wide. Lewis Hamilton’s team would suddenly be far ahead of Red Bull, but in Texas it was Verstappen who responded strongly.
The Red Bull strategic team is working overtime. The main competitor analysis revealed data that Marco’s team could benefit from in Austin. Marko explained: “We have noticed several times that Mercedes is not competitive with full tanks. In addition, we traveled with a modified and small rear wing.” However, Red Bull’s plan did not work out as planned, because it initially went wrong.
According to Marko, Red Bull had a lot more speed on the medium tire, so it was important to take advantage of the better speed on this tire and full tank at Mercedes in the first period. However, a starting error was made, as Hamilton immediately passed Verstappen and stuck the Dutchman behind his opponent. “There was a problem with the technique, and the clutch pressure point was not optimal,” Marko finally apologizes.
Hamilton plays down Wolff’s ‘bloodbath’ comments: ‘That’s very strong language’
The condition of the road surface at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas has been criticized for years. Both MotoGP and Formula 1 drivers have repeatedly indicated over the years that the track needs to come out as the situation is getting worse. This year, part of the ring has already re-appeared, but by no means all the bumps have been removed. This caused much-needed problems for Formula 1 teams last weekend.
During the third free practice session at the Circuit of the Americas, the observed Red Bull Racing mechanic discovered a hairline crack in Max Verstappen’s rear wing. So it was decided to replace the rear wing. In addition, after qualifying, the team was allowed to reinforce certain parts of the rear wing, in order to prevent a recurrence of the problem.
Mercedes also made modifications to the car as a result of the numerous bumps on the track. “The car hit the ground very heavy and that destroyed the car,” Wolff quoted Motorsport.com. “So we have taken some mitigating measures to avoid a bloodbath.” According to Wolff, this was necessary to be able to finish the race. However, this was not without consequences. The team boss stated that the team lost some speed due to this modification. “But perhaps this was necessary to actually finish.”
However, Hamilton does not agree with his team boss’s comments. “This is very powerful language,” Hamilton said. “It wasn’t a big deal. Look, I think it was a bumpy track in the first place. But we ended up going back to where we started the weekend, so it wasn’t really a problem.”
Verstappen no longer participates in Drive to Survive, Perez and Steiner responded
The Formula 1 Circus has been closely followed since the 2018 season by the Netflix crew of the Drive to Survive series. In this series, fans get a special look behind the scenes of the heyday of motorsport. And with great success, because the series has already gained a lot of fans. However, not everyone is happy with the program. “I understand that this has to be done to increase popularity in America,” Verstappen told The Associated Press. “But as a driver I don’t like being a part of it.” Verstappen has contributed to the series in recent seasons, but hasn’t been happy with the way Netflix is handling the pictures. According to the Dutchman, he gave some interviews, after which the quotes were used in very different situations than what was being discussed at the time. In addition, they “allegedly falsified a lot of things.”
“They did some competitions that didn’t really exist. That’s why I decided to not be a part of it anymore and I didn’t do any interviews after that, because then they can’t show anything. Dramatic guy, I just want facts and real things.” When asked if Hamilton and Verstappen are really rivals, he answered curtly. “It’s possible that we’ll be on a Netflix series. We bumped into each other, so he’s probably there.”
“I’ve said many times that I haven’t watched the series and that’s the truth,” Steiner said during Friday’s press conference, when asked what he thought of the decision. “I have no idea how it will be portrayed and therefore have no say in it. If I were to criticize the fact that Max didn’t want to be involved, I would definitely have my opinion on it. It’s a free choice. Whether or not I participate, he chose not to and who Then we should not have an opinion or criticize it.
“If he feels he is not being photographed well, he has the right not to participate,” the Haas boss continued. “The fans obviously miss Max. First of all, I think he’s a good driver with a character on his side. Anyway, if he doesn’t want to be involved, that’s his choice. But to ask your question an answer, I don’t really know what to think.”
Teammate Perez disagrees with Verstappen’s criticism. “First of all, I have a lot of respect for Drive to Survive – what you’ve done for Formula 1 is really huge. I really appreciate it. Honestly, at first I didn’t think it would be that big or important to our sport.” Second, yes, they might create some drama. Sometimes. The way they sell the sport is a bit interesting. It’s a show, but ultimately it’s good for the sport and good for the fans, so I’m happy with it.
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