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"Any driver would have done that"

“Any driver would have done that”

1:53 pm

Ferrari drivers are free to drive against each other

Team boss Mattia Binotto revealed this. In the World Cup, Leclerc (148 points) and Sainz (139.5) are close together. So the Spaniard still has a chance to beat his teammate again. “Our drivers can fight in complete freedom,” says Binotto. But at the same time, it should also be clear that the team has a “priority”.

“We are doing everything we can to maximize the points for the team. But apart from that, they are allowed to fight each other at the moment,” the team boss explains. So far, both drivers have driven “very safely” in their duels. So, from the team’s point of view, there’s no reason to ban anything.

1:29 pm

Wolf and Horner together in PK

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) today announced the formation of the Qatar weekend press conferences. And because it fits the theme so well: Wolf and Horner will be sitting together on the battlefield on Friday! It must be amusing. Here is an overview of the driver pairs for PK on Thursday and team manager PK on Friday:

PK Driver (Thursday, 12:30pm CET):
Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) / Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
Fernando Alonso (Alpine) / Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
Esteban Ocon (Alpine) / Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
Yuki Tsunaka (AlphaTauri) / Mick Schumacher (Haas)
Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) / Lando Norris (McLaren)
Nikita Maspin (Haas) / Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) / Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) / Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) / Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) / George Russell (Williams)

Team Leader PK (Friday, 1:00 PM CET):
Toto Wolff (Mercedes) / Christian Horner (Red Bull)
Frederic Vasseur (Alfa Romeo) / Franz Tost (AlphaTauri)

As usual, here in the tape you will immediately receive the most important data!

1:10 pm

Wolf: You must be a bit paranoid…

In this context, Toto Wolff’s statement fits perfectly. He said on ‘Sky’ at the weekend that he would have no problem with Red Bull questioning Mercedes’ legitimacy. “It’s part of looking at and challenging parts of the other team,” he explains.

“One must [in der Formel 1] Be skeptical – and maybe a little paranoid. That’s good for us,” the Mercedes team boss explains and also explains: “I think whoever wins the championship in the end will be the appropriate winner. We will always accept that.”

On the way there it can get a little dirty if we look at the past days and weeks…

12:48 PM

Fittipaldi on penalties: “Rules are rules”

The two-time world champion commented on the penalty shootout against Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in Brazil on Saturday. He found both Hamilton’s disqualification and Verstappen fine, respectively. “If the rules say you can’t touch other cars, don’t touch any other cars,” he shrugs, referring to Verstappen.

“Rules are rules,” he remembers. This also applies to Mercedes. He doesn’t think Hamilton had an advantage with the 0.2mm. But: “When we talk about numbers: two plus two equals four. It’s not three and a half or four and a half.” In his opinion, the numbers do not lie. And 0.2mm is sufficient for disqualification.

12:25 pm

Qatar hopes for a lot of overtaking maneuvers

The first Formula 1 race in Qatar should, of course, be a success for the organizers from a sporting point of view. Amr Al-Hamad, Qatar’s motorsport director, said optimistically that he expects “many overtaking maneuvers”. “Nobody has any data from here, nobody has driven here before,” he recalls and explains, “Every minute of training is wasted.” [deshalb] make a difference. “

“[Die Strecke] Very technical. You need a lot of downforce,” he explains. However, there are “some” chances of overtaking, he asserts. Let’s see. Other experts suspect that overtaking can be somewhat difficult given the technical sections — although the straight house is more It’s just a kilometer long.

12:04 PM


Thomas has a question about the engine changes at Mercedes and would like to know: “Is it possible that the FIA ​​prevents further engine changes at Mercedes? Because these only improve performance. This has nothing to do with sustainability and goes against that actual idea of ​​the regulations With only three engines per season.”

That’s right, the constant changes in fact do not comply with the regulations. But: they are not forbidden. In theory, teams are allowed to use as many engines as they want. The penalties are clearly defined. In the case of the new combustion engine, these are five positions on the grille. So the FIA ​​will not and cannot intervene.

11:43 AM

Steiner on Mick: ‘The pressure will be higher’ in 2022

Haas has never hidden the fact that in 2021 Mick Schumacher and Nikita Maspin will be on the verge of gaining a foothold in Formula 1. Accordingly, mistakes are likely to be forgiven. According to team boss Gunther Steiner, the grace period expires next year.

“We have to fight for the points. That’s the task,” he states unequivocally and explains: “Next year the pressure will be even greater. […] The challenge this year was to get used to everything and get to know Formula 1. I’ve had this year of learning and now we have to give the points.”

If the new car allows it…

11:38 am

The first pictures from Qatar

As mentioned earlier at the beginning of our tape, a large part of the circuit has already arrived in Qatar. Here you can now also get a first glimpse of the ring. Both teams will surely make three crosses when a grueling three-header ends on Monday.

And one of them will probably say a prayer again that the shipment will arrive on time this time and that you will not have to work another night shift…

11:04 AM

Binotto satisfied: Ferrari’s progress has never been this great

After Brazil, the Scuderia is 31.5 points ahead of McLaren. “This is the biggest gap that has existed between the two teams this year,” said team boss Mattia Binotto, satisfied with the competition for third place at the World Cup. “It’s definitely an important advantage,” he recalls. “But there are still three races left.”

It is clear, however, that Ferrari now holds all the trump cards, which is why Binotto is “very happy” with this lead. The team has recently been “very consistent” and reliability has also been a “key factor” in the duel with McLaren. And indeed, these facts spoke in favor of the Scuderia in the end.

Ferrari has always scored both cars in the past four races, while McLaren on the other hand has only scored once with both drivers in the same period. Their lead of 17.5 points, which they still hold after Russia, turned into a deficit of 31.5 points.

10:42 AM

Hamilton penalty: The FIA ​​does not want to ban the chanting

After a fine against Lewis Hamilton for loosening his seat belts after crossing the finish line, race director Michael Massey made it clear that the FIA ​​did not want to stop the pilots from cheering after the win. However, it is a security issue. “In their reasoning, the hosts made it clear that the goal is not to prevent public chants,” Massey said.

However, with regard to young drivers, one had to set an example that “this behavior is unacceptable”, as the race director said. Since there has been no penalty in similar cases in the past, Hamilton’s €5,000 penalty (plus 20,000 on probation) was rather low. There was no sporting penalty like a warning.

10:21 am

Today, eight years ago…

… Sebastian Vettel sets a new F1 record! The German was victorious at the 2013 US Grand Prix, celebrating his eighth straight win. He surpassed the previous record held by Michael Schumacher (2004) and Alberto Ascari (1952/1953), each winning seven races in a row.

In the next race in Brazil, Vettel took a ninth victory. This is a record to this day! Even Lewis Hamilton couldn’t do that in the past few years. The closest to Vettel was Nico Rosberg, who was able to win at least seven consecutive races at the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016.

10:00 am

Masepin advantage?

Rookie Formula 1 players Masepin, Schumacher and Tsunoda often face a disadvantage this year because some tracks are completely new to them. Curious: In Qatar, the opposite now applies to Masepin! Because while most drivers have never driven the Losail International Circuit, the Russian already knows the track.

“In 2014, I drove there for my first Formula MRF race,” he says. In a total of four races in Qatar, he even finished second on the podium once. Sergio Perez also knows the circuit from the field of current drivers. In 2009, he was able to win there in the GP2 Asia Series.