Author Archives: divebomb

Driver Predictions: Why Giovinazzi’s 2021 performances are critical on Alfa Romeo’s future approach

Written by: Danny Jones Edited by: Haneen Abbas

Alfa Romeo’s recent re-signing with Sauber, now gives them the opportunity to control who they place in both of their seats, unlike previously, where Ferrari would place a Driver Academy member in that place. Since 2019, Ferrari placed Antonio Giovinazzi in that space, and to the surprise of many, retained his seat for 2021, alongside Kimi Raikkonen. However, Giovinazzi’s performances have started to come under scrutiny. The Italian has struggled to make his mark in the sport thus far, only racking up 4 points in the 2020 season, and a sole point in Monaco in 2021. Giovinazzi has yet to fully wow anyone in the F1 paddock, but neither is a driver who is consistently struggling. 2021 is a year that Giovinazzi is required to improve, to show Alfa Romeo bosses that he deserves to keep the seat, if he wants to continue his stay in F1. 

Kimi Raikkonen is in his 19th season of F1 in 2021, and with the regulation changes forthcoming, a retirement for the Iceman is on the cards, and Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur, has not ruled out the possibility of making 2 driver changes for 2021. A main contender to take an Alfa Romeo seat is Robert Shwartzman. The Russian, currently competing in F2, racked up the most wins of any driver in 2020, as he finished 4th in the championship, while winning the constructors championship with PREMA. He is one of the favourites for the 2021 drivers championship, and with his 2 wins in Silverstone and Baku so far this season, his 3rd place in the championship, certainly keeps him in the title mix, at the midpoint of the F2 season.. He was in the money for a Haas or Alfa Romeo seat in 2021, but never came to fruition, but 2022 could be the year that Shwartzman moves to F1. If Shwartzman does win the title, or is able to prove competitive again, Alfa Romeo would certainly have an eye on the Russian.

If Alfa Romeo were to look elsewhere, they have numerous options. Theo Pourchaire is the only Sauber academy member in single seaters, who is currently competing in F2. However, Pourchaire is only 17, and has little single-seater experience, albeit very talented. It is unlikely that he would be competitive in his 1st season of F2, so a 2nd season in 2022 may be logical for him, with a potential seat in 2023. Frederic Vasseur has also expressed that Pourchaire would not be ready to step up in 2022.

Possibly their most logical choice would be signing another FDA member, most probably, in Callum Ilott. The Brit was unfortunate not to receive an F1 seat in 2021, despite finishing 2nd in F2, and gained the role of Ferrari reserve. Ilott is set to compete in GT World Challenge Europe in 2021 but is likely to do testing with Ferrari on a regular basis. An ex-Sauber academy member, Ilott has proved his speed multiple times in F2, and would be a worthy candidate for that Alfa Romeo seat. Additionally, Ilott has done practice sessions with Alfa Romeo in Portugal and Austria, and has strong links with the team.

Alfa Romeo could also look towards Valtteri Bottas, who looks likely to leave Mercedes at the end of 2021. Reports have recently been floating around that Alfa are having a serious look at the Finn for a 2022 seat, and Bottas does have plenty of experience, whilst still being in his ‘prime years’. It would be a logical choice for Alfa Romeo, as Bottas would be able to support any rookis, such as Ilott or Shwartzman, if they were promoted alongside him. Additionally, Mercedes have said they would help Bottas find a seat if he were to leave the team, and with spaces running out quickly, Alfa Romeo would be a probable path for Bottas to go down. 

With Kimi Raikkonen’s time in F1 looking likely to come to an end in 2021, and Antonio Giovinazzi’s performances unlikely to improve to the point where he looks a genuine shot for future F1 success, a double change for Alfa Romeo is on the cards. The experience available in Valtteri Bottas would mean he would be an almost certain move for Alfa Romeo, if he were to become available, and would bring huge benefits as F1 enters its new regulations. Alongside him, Shwartzman’s excellent performances in F2 over the last 2 seasons would be difficult to ignore, and if he continues to impress in the championship, there is a strong chance that he will line up for the Swiss team in 2022.

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Tyre Strategies for the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

This weekend we are heading to Hungary for the 36th Hungarian Grand Prix and the 11th Grand Prix of the 2021 Formula 1 season. The Hungaroring has a length of 4.381 kilometers, with the race distance being a total of 306.63 kilometers. There will be 70 laps of the race, and of course every motorsport fan is curious about the tyre strategies that will be followed for this weekend’s grand prix.

Written by Dimitris Grigoratos, Edited by Morgan Holiday

The available tyre compounds will be the C4 (Soft), the C3 (Medium) and the C2 (Hard). With the Hungaroring being a circuit of high downforce and lateral, normal amounts of traction, tyre stress and asphalt grip, and low asphalt abrasion and braking, teams are expected to follow a strategy of only one pit stop as the circuit doesn’t place particularly heavy demands on tyres, especially in warm temperatures.

As many drivers have stated in the past, the Hungaroring feels more like a kart circuit due to the fact that there is a non-stop series of corners where tyres are constantly working. Different strategies have been followed in the past years with teams even choosing two-stop strategies as Mercedes-AMG Petronas did with Lewis Hamilton back in the 2019 Formula 1 season, where he managed to overtake Max Verstappen for the win. However, the two-stop strategy isn’t the most preferred one, as teams usually prefer stopping only once. The average time lost during pit stops is about 22 seconds.

According to last season’s race, the soft tyre is the fastest, with the medium tyre being 0.5 seconds slower per lap, and the hard tyre being 0.8 seconds slower per lap.

All in all, this weekend race is expected to be fascinating and as there are not many overtaking opportunities, the tyre management and the tyre strategies will be highly important for the drivers and for the teams.

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The Craziest Race in Formula E history

We have just 3 more races left of the 2020/21 Formula E season but after today’s London E-Prix we will have only 2. We’re in the British capital for the second of two races this weekend at ExCel Circuit for the first-ever indoor-outdoor Formula E circuit.

Written by Olly Radley, Edited by Bruna Brito

On pole, it’s Mercedes-EQ driver, Stoffel Vandoorne who put it on pole from Group 2. Oliver Rowland starts P2 and Alex Lynn who was on pole yesterday starts 3rd. De Vries had a brilliant qualifying session this morning getting into Superpole from Group 1 along with his teammate and Jaguar’s Mitch Evans starts 5th. The Teams’ Championship leaders, DS Techeetah start from 22nd and 23rd behind the championship leader, Sam Bird who starts 21st.

Stoffel Vandorne

As the 5 red lights dropped we didn’t see any movement in the pack other than Mitch Evans getting a bit tense through the first few corners. Around 5 minutes into the race, Nyck De Vries made a bodacious move into Turn 10 on Alex Lynn for the podium place in P3. Once De Vries made that overtake he gained another position due to Rowland ahead taking his first attack mode. A lap later, Vandoorne followed suit, keeping position, but Rowland regained his 2nd place as De Vries also took his first attack mode.

Nyck De Vries

With around 35 minutes to go, we saw a very bizarre incident between Sebastian Buemi and René Rast. It all began when Buemi ran straight into the back of Rast into T10 and then shunted the German into the wall on exit, Rast accumulated lots of damage from this and seemed to drive straight back into Buemi due to some sort of damage to his car. The incident left plenty of debris strewn across the track and Rast’s race over. The safety car was deployed to remove the stricken Audi and a 10-second stop-and-go penalty was given to Buemi.

The safety car returned to the pits just a lap later and once Oliver Rowland’s attack mode ran out he was pounced on by De Vries behind, making it a Mercedes 1-2. Vandoorne then took his final attack mode with 30-minutes remaining.

This was the last minute of the same moment of the London E-Prix. From this point on, chaos ensued. Down the start/finish straight, André Lotterer pincered championship contender Antonio Felix Da Costa into the wall, which ended the Portugueseman’s race and gave Lotterer a drive-through penalty. A safety car was required to retrieve the DS Techeetah from the wall at Turn 1. During the safety car, Lucas Di Grassi, who was in a comfortable position, drove through the pitlane, which was faster than staying out on track, and by doing so, took the lead of the E-Prix – a long investigation was launched for this. On the safety car restart, Stoffel Vandoorne, who had been jumped by Di Grassi, was whacked out of contention by Oliver Rowland behind as he locked up trying to defend. Rowland got damage and a 5-second time penalty.

Di Grassi and Lynn then took their attack mode behind De Vries who inherited the lead, and the pair overtook the Dutchman, putting De Vries in 3rd. Evans and Frijns engaged in a battle, in which the Kiwi missed Attack mode the first time round, but overtook the Dutchman once he did take attack mode.

Race control then dealt Di Grassi a drive-through penalty for his pit overtakes maneuver, but his team, Audi, didn’t tell him. Instead, we saw videos of Alan McNish, Audi Team Principal, sprinting to the stewards to argue the penalty. His point was that Di Grassi stopped in the lane and so it was a legal stop. 

Then Bird and Nato started a battle as Nato desperately defended into Turn 10 as Bird went for an overtake and pushed Bird straight into the wall at the apex. The crash locked their wheels but miraculously they carried on. 

As the clock hit zero and the final lap began, Lucas Di Grassi did not pull into the pits and so after he crossed the line he was shown the black flag by the stewards. Because of this, Alex Lynn, who failed to take his win after pole yesterday, inherited the win and takes his first-ever win in Formula E at his home race. De Vries came home 2nd and takes the championship lead with 2 rounds to go. Mitch Evans got 3rd place ahead of Robin Frijns.

Lynn seemed to lack race pace yesterday eventually finishing 3rd behind De Vries, today he was brilliant behind the wheel of his Mahindra and confidently took his first-ever win after Di Grassi was black-flagged on the final lap. Nyck De Vries of course came second after bending his steering early on in the race. Evans got caught up with Max Gunther on the second safety car restart and spent a large part of the race without a wheel cover. Robin Frijns came 4th with the fastest lap, taking 13 points and moving into 2nd in the championship. Jake Dennis was on for a good result but served a drive-through late on, ruining his chance of points from 17th on the grid. Sam Bird picked up a grid penalty for his crash with Nato late on. 

In the championship now, Nyck De Vries leads into the final 2 races in Berlin with 95 points, ahead of Frijns who’s up to 2nd with 89 points. Sam Bird remains 3rd with 81 points despite getting a DNF again this weekend and Jake Dennis picked up only 2 points moving him into 4th and joint on points with Bird. Da Costa remains on 79 points after he was wiped out by Lotterer and now Alex Lynn is up to 6th after his win today from 15th. 

We had a cracking race today and in my eyes, it was the craziest race in Formula E history. That’s it for 3 weeks, we’ll see you again in Berlin for the Season 7 finale, anyway from me it’s bye for now.

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Michele Alboreto – Underrated Drivers

Michele Alboreto is often referred to as a “kind hearted driver”, for the polite attitude he showed towards his teams. His career lasted 14 seasons, and he’s warmly remembered by Italian fans as the last Italian driver to win a race with the illustrious red team from Maranello.

Michele was born in Milan on December 23rd, 1956. He grew up watching F1’s roaring cars from behind the fences of the Monza circuit, dreaming of driving them one day.

In 1976, he crowned his dream of becoming a single-seater driver, taking part in Formula Monza with Scuderia Salvati, driving a car he helped build with his own hands. The car was very difficult to drive, even had a crooked chassis, but Alboreto’s great driving style definitely stood out, despite not achieving great results.

Alboreto stayed in Formula Monza for the 1977 season, this time putting in some great results that allowed him to take third place in the final standings. His team, noticing his great talent and the potential for a successful career, helped him get into Formula Italia in 1978.

His rookie season in the category was very successful. He managed to pick up one win, clinging fourth place in the final standings. These great performances helped him make his debut at the last race of the Italian Formula 3 season, getting an incredible fourth place. That same year, he also went on to win the Formula Fiat Abarth championship, further testament to the young driver’s talent.

In 1979 Michele raced in two different categories: he stayed in the Italian Formula 3, taking second place in the standings, and also competed in the European Formula 3, taking sixth place in the championship, with the title won by the great Alain Prost.

In 1980, Alboreto again raced in both the Italian and European Formula 3, ending up third in Italy, and incredibly winning the European championship. 

The next season, Michele got into Formula 2, driving for Minardi. Despite the car not being competitive enough to constantly battle for the lead, he managed to get a third place in Pergusa and an incredible win in Misano, ending his rookie season in eighth place in the standings. That same year, though, he got the call from Tyrrell to drive in F1 for the first time, taking part in the San Marino Grand Prix. He qualified in P17, ahead of his teammate Eddie Cheever. Despite not being able to finish the race due to an incident caused by Beppe Gabbiani, Alboreto had done enough to earn a full-time drive with Tyrrell for the rest of the season. A really uncompetitive car made him unable to score any points for the whole season, but his performances made Tyrrell want to keep him for the 1982 season.

In 1982, Tyrrell provided the Italian with a much improved car, allowing him to have a very satisfying season. He was able to constantly fight for points, even taking his first podium in Imola and winning his first race at the final round in Las Vegas.

In 1983, Michele stayed with Tyrrell, but had a slightly more disappointing season. He did manage to win a race in Dallas, but he scored points in only one other grand prix with a sixth place in Zandvoort, meaning he ended the season in P12. However, Alboreto had high hopes for 1984, as he signed for the reigning Constructors’ Champions, Maranello’s Scuderia Ferrari, becoming the first Italian driver to race for the Prancing Horse since Arturo Merzario in 1973.

His first podium in red came only at the third race of the season in Zolder. The rest of the season, though, was pretty disappointing. His Ferrari 126 C4 was very underperforming compared to the McLarens, and he only managed to take three more podiums, a P3 and two P2s, ending the season in fourth place, 41.5 points away from World Champion Niki Lauda.

1985 was Michele’s best season ever. Ferrari provided him with an incredibly fast car. Even before the start of the season, he said: “If I don’t win the 1985 championship, I shall be beaten on the ears with a stick”. The claim proved to be well-founded, as, before the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, he managed to get on the podium in every race he finished, taking two wins in Canada and Germany, except in Zandvoort, where he ended up fourth. The title now seemed to really be on the horizon, being only three points behind championship leader Alain Prost. However, he had to retire from all the five final races of the season, while Prost comfortably went on to win the title with a 20 points advantage.

1986 was a season to forget for Alboreto and Ferrari, ending the season in ninth place, with the only stand-out performance being a P2 in Austria. 1987 and 1988 were slightly better years, taking several podium places, but poor car reliability meant he had to retire from half the races he takes part in. He ended the two seasons respectively in seventh and fifth place, and at the end of 1988, he announced he would part ways with Ferrari after a relationship that lasted five years.

Alboreto would go on to spend the rest of his career driving for backmarkers in the form of Tyrrell Larrousse, Arrows, Footwork, Scuderia Italia and Minardi. At the end of the 1994 season, he finally announced his retirement from F1, 14 years after his first race with Tyrrell.

Michele died tragically in 2001 while testing an Audi prototype for the 24h of Le Mans. He was a very quick driver, showing his great talent on multiple occasions. However, uncompetitive and unreliable cars prevented him from winning that elusive World Title, thus often not being remembered among the greats of the sport.

CAREER STATS: 215 GPs, 5 Wins, 23 Podiums, 2 Pole Positions, 5 Fastest Laps, Best Championship Result: 2nd (1985)

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Dennis becomes the home hero in London

Written by Olly Radley, Edited by Morgan Holiday

With 4 races to go in the FIA Formula E World Championship, we go to London, home of championship leader Sam Bird, who might be challenged this weekend. Another big talking point of the weekend is that parts of the track, including the start-finish straight, are indoors! That’s right, we’re at ExCel London for the 12th and 13th rounds of the 2021 Formula E World Championship. Another difference is that the two attack modes last for 8 minutes each, instead of the usual 4.

After a wet qualifying session it was a British 1-2 with Alex Lynn taking pole at his home race for Mahindra, ahead of countryman and BMW driver Jake Dennis – both of those two took to track in Group 3 of qualifying. Sebastian Buemi is a former champion of Formula E but is only 20th in the championship, he starts from 3rd today. Championship leader, Sam Bird, starts from 18th on the grid ahead of championship rival Robin Frijns who starts 22nd but behind other rival Da Costa who starts just ahead in 17th.

Off the start there wasn’t any movement, but in the first indoor to outdoor corner, we saw absolute mayhem with multiple cars pushing each other through the corner, causing home racer Alex Sims to retire. Sam Bird also picked up damage along the way and he had to pit to retire. It got worse for Jaguar, though, Mitch Evans also got caught up in the Sims collision and had to pit to fix his damage a lap after his teammate.

After 9 minutes of the race, the two race leaders took their first of two 8-minute attack modes. Further back an intense battle ensued for early positions in the Top 10: Di Grassi and Sette Camara fighting hard for 6th. Contact during their tussle caused an investigation to be launched to look into the contact. By now all the drivers had taken their first attack mode. Sette Camara got desperate in his defence, making contact with Nato and dropping to 11th. Once again, an investigation was launched to look into the collision.

Half way into the race, Lynn and Dennis both had 1 attack mode together and both miles ahead of the chasing pack. With 28 minutes to go, Lynn took his next attack mode but dropped behind his countryman and failed to gain any sort of advantage. In fact, the Mahindra driver dropped off the back of Dennis despite having the energy advantage.

With 18 minutes on the clock, Dennis finally took his 2nd attack mode and due to a lock up the lap before, he remained well ahead of Lynn. Lynn dropped off so much he fell into the clutches of Nyck de Vries who overtook him with 3 minutes to go.

Jake Dennis hasn’t been actively fighting for the championship, but he demonstrated in Valencia that he knows how to pull off a dominant victory and once again in London, his home race, he wins, but this time he jumps from 15th to 2nd in the championship. Nyck de Vries made it home to 4th in the championship. Alex Lynn will be disappointed that he couldn’t follow through with a victory and only moves up one spot in the championship. Sam Bird remains the championship leader despite his disappointing race today, Antonio Felix Da Costa drops to 3rd but is only 3 points off the championship lead now. While Dennis celebrated, Sebastian Buemi who finished 4th was investigated along with his teammate for an energy overuse. 

After that thrilling affair the team’s championship gets even tighter, the top 6 teams split by just 13 points as well as the top 5 drivers being split by 5 points. Another driver with a strong result was René Rast who came 6th with the fastest lap, giving him 10 points and bringing him within 10 points of the championship lead, and remaining in Group 2 of qualifying, giving him a huge advantage over his rivals.

Just 3 races to go now and yet anyone in the Top 15 of the championship could take the lead and win the championship, and I don’t know who will do it. That’s it then, so bye for now.

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Has the Verstappen-Hamilton rivalry officially commenced?

Written by: Danny Jones. Edited by: Haneen Abbas

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton’s crash at the British Grand Prix seems to have turned an intense championship battle into a rivalry for the ages. What was a tense, yet friendly championship battle has imploded after the two drivers dramatically collided at Copse, with the war of words between Red Bull and Mercedes heating up a further few degrees? 

A collision had seemed inevitable for a while, with the two previously going wheel-to-wheel at Bahrain, Imola, Portugal, Spain and France. Imola provided minor contact between the two after Verstappen aggressively muscled his way down the inside toward Tamburello, which minorly damaged the Mercedes’ front wing after Hamilton straddled over the kerbs. Just two rounds later, Verstappen bravely forced his way up the inside at the start, with Hamilton using all his experience to avoid contact with the Dutchman.

After a few dominant Verstappen performances, Hamilton’s return to his home race at Silverstone, he has welcomed a full capacity crowd all abiding on the Britons side. After an epic qualifying lap from Hamilton, the prospect of a thrilling weekend intensified, further so after Verstappen’s victory in sprint qualifying. Verstappen claimed the start, but Hamilton looked aggressive from the get-go at Silverstone, looking for a gap to overtake the weaving Verstappen down the Wellington Straight, before attempting a move around the outside into Brooklands, with the Dutchman clutching on to the lead. Contact had seemed probable during the previous eight corners, but when the two arrived at Copse, disaster struck for Red Bull. 

Hamilton aggressively moved towards the old pit wall, in a space barely wide enough for him to fit in. As Verstappen flicked left to carry the racing line into the corner, Hamilton, stranded on the inside, understeered wide, resulting in 1eight0 mph contact, midway through the corner. Hamilton clipped Verstappen’s rear wheel, with the two3 year old, careering into the wall, experiencing a 51G impact, thankfully able to walk away, before being taken to hospital for precautionary checks. This was potentially the moment that caused things to turn sour between the two.

Verstappen e Hamilton exaltam batalhas "duras, porém limpas" em 2021 |  fórmula 1 | ge

Fans and team principles were quick to pin the blame on one driver, causing an instant split between the F1 community. Hamilton had his view on the radio saying: 

‘I was ahead going in there, man. Fully alongside, it was my line. He turned in on me, man’, 

A few seconds later, Christian Horner, made his comment on team radio:

‘That corner, he was never anywhere near alongside.’ Every driver who has driven this circuit knows that you don’t stick a wheel up in the inside at Copse. That is an enormous accident. It was 100% Max’s corner. So, you know, as far as I’m concerned, full blame lays on Hamilton who should never have been in that position. You could have had a massive accident. Thank God he’s walked away unscathed. So, I hope you’re going to deal with it appropriately.’

Before saying to Channel 4: ‘It was dirty driving’, and then saying to Sky Sports: “I’m just very disappointed that a driver of his calibre should make a move like that. It’s dangerous, it looked desperate.” and “Wasn’t much of a penalty really was it?”

Helmut Marko then entered with his usual controversial view saying:

“You can’t do that with the normal sporting code. I don’t know what the maximum penalty would be, but such dangerous and reckless behaviour should be punished with a suspension or something.”

Hamilton would eventually receive a 10-second penalty but would recover to win the race, which ended in joyous celebrations in front of his own crowd, with the Brit sprinting across the circuit to greet the delighted British crowd. However, when questioned on the incident Hamilton claimed: ‘You know he’s [Verstappen] very aggressive. And then today, I mean I was fully alongside him, and he didn’t leave me space.’ Hamilton then claimed ‘he doesn’t need to apologise for the accident’

Several hours later, Verstappen responded angrily on social media. ‘Watching the celebrations while still in hospital is disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behaviour’, referring to Hamilton’s exuberant celebrations at the end of the race, and a small number of fans who cheered, whilst his Red Bull violently hit the wall. 

Verstappen also wrote: ‘The penalty given does not help us and doesn’t do justice to the dangerous move Lewis made on track’

The implosion of the Verstappen-Hamilton battle has invoked memories of previous title resentment between Prost and Senna, and Hamilton’s previous fallout with Nico Rosberg. Senna and Prost’s rivalry is the most portrayed in F1, with their iconic collisions at Suzuka in 1nineeightnine and 1ninenine0 deciding World Championships, with the two publicly igniting their hate for each other. Hamilton’s previous title war with Rosberg was similar, with the two (who were previously best friends) developing an intense rivalry, which climaxed at their infamous crash at the two016 Spanish Grand Prix.

It had seemed only a disrespect with the team principles before, but Horner’s comments calling Hamilton an ‘amateur’ and referred to his attempted move as ‘dirty driving’, have started creating a more intense battle between the two camps, and with drivers and team personnel starting to have jabbed at each other, it is starting to brew into something F1 may not have seen before. Additionally caused by Hamilton’s refusal to apologise to Verstappen, or accept any of the blame.

Hamilton and Verstappen’s collision can instantly start to be compared to two of the best-documented F1 rivalries. With the two pointing the finger at each other, and the public outrage from both sides, it suggests that what was once a respectful title battle between the two, is developing into an F1 battle for the generation. Christian Horner and Toto Wolff are no strangers to arguments with each other, most recently on the Flexi-wing debate, but the Copse collision has just added more fuel to the fire, heating the war of words between the two sides further. 

It is notable that the nature of the accident is what turned the tide. Firstly, the penalty itself, where Mercedes believe it was a racing incident, while Verstappen and Horner claim the penalty was pointless, as it changed nothing, particularly after Hamilton recovered for the win. Helmut Marko has suggested a race ban for Hamilton, and Red Bull are reportedly attempting to request further action on Hamilton. However, Mercedes believe Hamilton was entitled to the corner, while Red Bull believe that Verstappen was clearly in front. Red Bull is also unhappy with Hamilton’s prodigious celebrations after the race, particularly when it was unclear what health situation Verstappen was in, whilst Mercedes celebrate hugely on social media. 

F1: Contra fake news, Hamilton e Verstappen selam acordo de paz

There are still questions to be asked at the end of the British GP weekend, particularly further views on the incident from Verstappen and Hamilton. Although it seems unlikely that Red Bull will be successful in taking further action against Hamilton, the severity of the impact on the title charge means that senior management may be inclined to escalate the matter. 

Whatever unanswered questions remain from Silverstone, Red Bull’s title grasp has been severely flattened, and while a stellar driver from Hamilton won him the race, it will go down as one of the most controversial. The words said from Mercedes and Red Bull suggests that the rivalry has taken a turn, and can now be compared to the two rivalries previously mentioned. The aspect of two teams battling for the championship is mouth-watering, Verstappen’s comments on social media show that almost all respect has been thrown out the door. With 13 rounds still to go, the Hamilton win has certainly boosted Mercedes chances at the championship, but it is obvious that their crash at Silverstone today has developed into F1’s newest rivalry.

He has had no rivals"– Max Verstappen on Lewis Hamilton | The SportsRush

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America’s Top Five F1 Drivers

Written by Morgan Holiday, Edited by Aiden Hover

For a country that boasts several world-renowned racing series’, America’s presence in Formula 1 has been severely lacking for, well, ever. Only 19 American Formula 1 drivers have started more than ten races and the reason for this phenomenon largely remains a mystery.

But while the United States’ presence in Formula 1 hasn’t been overwhelming, the country still boasts drivers with very impressive resumes. Since most of them are rarely recognized or remembered, let’s take a look at the best American drivers to ever race in Formula 1.

Mario Andretti

Italian born Mario Andretti is the most decorated American Formula 1 driver, with 12 wins accompanying his one driver’s championship. While his fascination with cars and racing began at a very young age, he didn’t officially start racing until 1964 when he started in the United States Auto Club stock car series – a series he won 3 times throughout his career. His first championship win was in 1965, just a year after he started racing. 

Andretti started competing in NASCAR in 1966. While he only raced in 14 races throughout four seasons, he managed to score a win in the Daytona 500 in 1967, driving with Holman Moody. He also had an extensive and successful Indycar career, racing in the series from 1979 to 1994. He only took the title once, in 1984 with Newman/Haas Racing.

Andretti made his Formula 1 debut at the United States Grand Prix in 1968 with Lotus. While it was the only race he competed in that season, he took pole position, retiring with a broken clutch 33 laps into the race. He continued to participate in occasional races throughout the 1969 and 1970 seasons, although he retired from all of them but the 1970 Spanish Grand Prix, where he finished on the podium.

After that season he moved to Ferrari, where he won on debut with the team in South Africa. Eventually going back to Lotus, Andretti finally took the driver’s title in 1978. That season, which saw Andretti take six wins, would also be his last Formula 1 race win, and the last win for an American driver in Formula 1 to date.

Phil Hill

Phil Hill was the first American to win the Formula 1 driver’s championship, taking the title in 1961. Hailing from Santa Monica, California, Hill left college to pursue his racing career. He made his F1 debut in 1958 in the French Grand Prix with Maserati, driving for the Ecurie Bonnier racing team. He drove several more races that season, this time with Scuderia Ferrari, who signed him full time for the 1959 season. 

Hill finished 4th and 5th respectively in the driver’s standings the next two seasons with Ferrari, before becoming the first (and only) American born driver to win the World Driver’s Championship. Hill clinched the championship with a first-place at Ferrari’s home race that season. But the win was bittersweet, as his teammate Wolfgang Von Trips was killed that very race. The unfortunate accident combined with the fact that Ferrari had already taken both the driver’s and constructor’s championship lead to their decision not to participate in the final race of the season, the American Grand Prix. 

That win would sadly be Hill’s last in F1, although he went on to race for four more seasons. It is not, however, the end of his career highlights. Hill was also a three-time Le Mans winner with Ferrari, in 1958, 1961, and 1962. While Hill started the 24 Hours of Le Mans 14 times, he failed to finish the race 11 of those times. But in every race he finished, he won. Hill retired from racing in 1967 but remains the only American to win both Le Mans and the Formula 1 driver’s championship.

Dan Gurney

A staple of racing, as well as sports in general, is the podium celebration, where the top three athletes from the given event celebrate their victories, and these celebrations inevitably include the spraying of champagne. This widely practised and respected tradition has been in place since 1967 and was started by none other than America’s finest, Dan Gurney. It doesn’t get much cooler than that, does it?

Actually, it does. Starting the champagne spraying tradition is merely a footnote on Gurney’s impressive resume. Along with Mario Andretti and Juan Pablo Montoya, he is one of the three drivers to win races in Formula 1, NASCAR, Indycar, and Sportscars. He was also one of three drivers to win in Formula 1 with a car of their own design, along with Jack Brabham and Bruce Mclaren. If you’ve ever heard of the Gurney Flap, a part used on some racing cars, he invented that too. But while Gurney’s accomplishments could fill a book, let’s focus on his Formula 1 career.

To give an idea of the kind of driver Dan Gurney was, Jim Clark once stated that Gurney was the only driver he ever feared. He made his Formula 1 debut in 1959 with Ferrari. He bounced between teams for the next couple of seasons, before taking his maiden win in the 1962 French Grand Prix with Porsche. The following season, Gurney was the first driver signed to Jack Brabham’s racing team, Brabham Racing Organisation. He would go on to score the team’s first two Formula 1 wins in the 1964 season.

 However, Gurney’s most impressive Formula 1 win wouldn’t come till 1967, when he won the Belgian Grand Prix in a car he designed himself. The Anglo American Racers (or All American Racers) was a team founded by Gurney a Carrol Shelby, former racing rivals turned business partners. That same year he took his only win at Le Mans, driving for Ford and Shelby American. 

While Gurney never won the world championship, his four Formula 1 wins put him at the second most wins of any American driver. That, coupled with his many other achievements makes him one of America’s most impressive racing drivers, not just in Formula 1 but of all time.

Richie Ginther

Richie Ginther made his Formula 1 debut with Ferrari in the 1960 Monaco Grand Prix. Despite only racing in three races throughout the whole season, he scored points in every one of those races, with a best-placed finish of second in the Italian Grand Prix, and ended up 9th in the championship standings. In 1962 Ginther signed with Owen Racing Organisation (BRM), with whom he raced for the next three seasons. In 1963 he would score his best championship finish, ending in equal second place with his teammate Graham Hill.

Ginther stood on the podium 13 times before he finally made it to the top step in 1965, driving for Honda in the Mexican Grand Prix. Qualifying third behind Jim Clark and Dan Gurney, Clark retired with an engine problem and Ginther made it past Gurney to take his first and only Formula 1 win.

The Mexican Grand Prix would not only be Ginther’s last win, but also his last podium finish in Formula 1. He only started five races throughout the next two seasons and retired in 1967 following an accident in qualifying for the Indy 500. 

Peter Revson

Peter Revson’s racing career is somewhat sparse compared to the other drivers on this list. He didn’t begin racing full time until age 23 when he competed in Formula Junior. He made his Formula 1 debut in 1963 in the Gold Cup with Reg Parnell Racing. However, the team was not very successful, and Revson soon went back to America to race there.

He competed in the USAC championship for 8 years, taking one win despite never competing for a full season. In 1971 he scored a pole position in the Indy 500 with McLaren, finishing second in the race. 

The following season Revson went back to Formula 1, this time with McLaren. Throughout his two seasons with them he achieved eight podium finishes and two wins,  giving him the third-most wins of all time for an American Formula 1 driver. 

Among these five drivers stand others like them, but not many. America’s last Formula 1 driver was Alexander Rossi, who started five races in 2015 with Marussia. No American driver has won a Formula 1 race since 1978 when Mario Andretti won the Dutch Grand Prix. Until someone new makes the step up, we remember the talented, albeit few, people who have already achieved great things in motorsport’s top tier.

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Driver Predictions: Why Ferrari’s move for Sainz could be critical for their future 

Written by Danny Jones, Edited by Morgan Holiday

Ferrari seems to be developing a similar philosophy to Red Bull, where the team is built around an individual driver – in this case, Charles Leclerc – in an attempt to mould them into a complete driver and to lead the team to championship glory. Leclerc has signed a contract till 2024 and is changing Ferrari’s fortunes in their attempt to recover from their disastrous 2020 campaign, with unlikely poles in Monaco and Azerbaijan, albeit with an engine failure on the reconnaissance lap causing him, agonisingly not to start his home race.

Charles Leclerc having achieved Pole Position in Monaco

Ferrari believes Leclerc is the man to lead them to championships, ever since his wonders in F2 in 2017, and as he continues to flourish as a driver it is impossible to see Leclerc anywhere other than Ferrari for the next few seasons. The Monegasque is clearly one of the most talented drivers in the sport and Ferrari’s clear future, particularly after Sebastian Vettel’s removal from the team at the beginning of 2020. 

Following Vettel’s messy departure, Ferrari snatched Carlos Sainz from McLaren, a driver who has quickly developed over the previous few seasons and starting to establish himself as one of the best drivers in F1. Sainz seems a logical appointment for both driver and team, bringing experience despite being only 26. He has performed on a similar level as Leclerc so far in 2021 and has been regarded as the most comfortable driver switch of 2021, alongside Sergio Perez. Sainz has the ability to be able to support a championship push if they have a car able to do so. 

Carlos Sainz enjoying his podium finish in Monaco

Mattia Binotto has expressed their interest in putting Mick Schumacher in the car for 2023. It was an interesting claim by Binotto – especially considering the fact Schumacher hadn’t driven in an F1 race when Binotto made this statement. However, Schumacher would need more experience in the Haas, and it would be impossible to see him in the Ferrari in 2022. Additionally, Schumacher would need more experience higher up the grid, if he were to join the prancing horse, especially if Ferrari want a serious shot at championships from 2022 onwards.

Mick Schumacher and Charles Leclerc at a charity football event

Binotto’s claims suggest that Sainz would be pushed out in 2023, so it is vital that Sainz can continue pushing, and possibly even beat Leclerc on a regular basis. If not he could be very much at risk of losing his seat to Schumacher, assuming he develops to the extent that Ferrari expects him to. But both Leclerc and Sainz are contracted for 2022, and if Ferrari wants to help aid the recovery, it would be unwise to boot either of them off before then. Both drivers are immensely quick, and so far in 202, both have been impressive, and are starting to recover from 2020. Should Ferrari challenge for the title in 2022, you wouldn’t bet against a Sainz-Leclerc pairing.

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Turkish Grand Prix added to the Calendar

Written by Danny Jones, edited by Tanishka Vashee

The Turkish Grand Prix is to return in 2021, as a replacement for the Singapore Grand Prix. Istanbul Park was set to return on the 13th of June, replacing the Canadian Grand Prix, but UK travel restrictions forced the cancellation of the race, before it was subsequently replaced with the Styrian Grand Prix.

However, F1 will return to Turkey, after its successful 2020 return, where Lewis Hamilton claimed his 7th World title, and was voted the ‘Race of the Season’ by F1 fans. This is set to take place on the weekend of the 1st – 3rd October, replacing the Singapore Grand Prix, which was cancelled for the 2nd year running, due to the tight COVID restrictions in the country. It will be the 2nd race in a triple header, following the Russian Grand Prix, when F1 teams will make the short trip to Turkey before heading over to Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix.

The circuit was re-surfaced in 2020, causing unique conditions, as heavy rain poured on the circuit, with many drivers drifting their way round the track. Lance Stroll took an iconic Pole Position, before Lewis Hamilton completed one of his greatest drives, to claim his 7th title, and Sebastian Vettel gained his last Ferrari podium, dramatically overtaking Ferrari teammate, Charles Leclerc, in the last sector. The 2021 edition will be the 9th visit to the country, following its races in 2005 and 2011. 

However, there are still many races between now and then, and let’s hope the enthralling 2021 title battle continues in Turkey.

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Alfa Romeo’s 2022 Driver Options

Written by Morgan Holiday, Edited by Tanishka Vashee

Alfa Romeo is one of four teams on the current Formula 1 grid that could potentially have a completely new driver line up next season, along with Williams, Mercedes, and Alpha Tauri. However, unlike any of those teams, Alfa Romeo only has full control over who gets one of their seats. Kimi Raikkonnen’s seat is theirs to fill, but who sits in Antonio Giovinazzi’s place is a decision that belongs to Ferrari, the team’s engine supplier.

Ferrari have supplied the Alfa Romeo Sauber team with engines since 2010, and have a strong relationship with the team. Charles Leclerc occupied the designated junior driver seat in 2018, before graduating to Ferrari itself and being replaced by Antonio Giovinazzi. Giovinazzi’s performance throughout his first three seasons has been underwhelming, showing flashes of brilliance and good performances on occasion but remaining largely anonymous. His seat was rumoured to go to one of two Ferrari junior drivers for 2021: Mick Schumacher or Callum Ilott. Surprisingly, Ferrari and Alfa Romeo retained Giovinazzi for another season, while Schumacher went to Haas and Ilott was signed as their reserve driver.

While Giovinazzi has managed a more standout start to the 2021 season thus far, finishing in the points in Monaco and managing to finish in the top 15 in the first 7 rounds. But with all the talent currently in the Ferrari Driver Academy, talk is still flying about who could replace him at the end of this season. 

Despite never winning a championship at any point in his career, Callum Ilott is a highly rated driver in the Ferrari Driver Academy. After a second place finish in the 2020 Formula 2 season Ilott moved to GT World Challenge Europe, racing with Iron Lynx. He has maintained his position as a Ferrari junior driver, and is their official test driver along with his position at Alfa Romeo. It’s clear that despite Ferrari not giving him an F1 seat for 2021, the team still has plans for him at some point. If Giovinazzi doesn’t manage to improve throughout the 2021 season, it may be time they give Ilott a chance.

The other Ferrari junior driver with a decent shot at the Alfa seat is Robert Schwartzman, who is currently in his second season of Formula 2 with Prema. The 2019 Formula 3 champion had a strong start to his rookie year in Formula 2, but ultimately his performance faded and he finished 4th in the standings. He went into the 2022 Formula 2 season a favorite for the championship, but barring a sprint race win in Baku his results have been lacking. Should he go on to have better races and finish at the top of the championship, he could be fighting with Ilott and Giovinazzi for a seat at Alfa Romeo.

The other Alfa Romeo seat currently belongs to Kimi Raikkonen. He’s open about his nonchalant view of racing these days, saying it’s “more of a hobby” for him. After being replaced in Ferrari by Charles Leclerc for the 2019 season, Raikkonen went back to the team he began his Formula 1 career with, and how long he will stay remains a mystery. While retirement is definitely an option, Raikkonen has made it clear he still loves the sport, so sticking around to test out the new regulations in 2022 isn’t out of the question. Should he choose to retire at the end of this season, the most likely candidate to replace him is Theo Pourchaire.

Pourchaire is a Sauber junior driver, racing in his rookie season of Formula 2 with ART. After an incredible season in Formula 3 in 2020 where he was crowned the vice champion, hopes were high for Pourchaire coming into Formula 2, even as ART’s second driver (a notoriously tricky seat to fill). And he has not disappointed, becoming the youngest ever pole sitter and race winner in either F2 or GP2 in Monaco. 

Although Alfa Romeo team principal Fred Vasseur has admitted he doesn’t want to rush Pourchaire into Formula 1 too soon, he has also praised the 17 year old driver very highly, and fairly so. Whether or not Raikkonen will retire for 2022, no one can say. But if he does, and Pourchaire continues to have an impressive rookie Formula 2 season, Vasseur may choose to promote him regardless of his very young age.

The question of Alfa Romeo’s 2022 drivers is one of the more ambiguous on the grid, with no one knowing for sure whether Raikkonen will decide to stay or whether Ferrari will decide to keep Giovinazzi. It’s the only team on the grid that could likely sign two rookie drivers, just in time for the new regulations. Nothing is set in stone, and a lot will depend, not on Alfa Romeo, but on Ferrari and the performance of quite a few junior drivers.

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