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Max Verstappen takes pole position at the Circuit of Americas

Written by Byron Hale, Edited by Morgan Holiday

Qualifying has concluded in Austin! Verstappen took yet another well fought pole position ahead of the Mercedes duo who appear to have a long debrief ahead as they look to regain the performance which has seemingly disappeared over the course of the weekend.

There were penalties galore in Austin as many drivers will lose positions going into race day with Russell, Alonso, and Vettel all taking entirely new engines which will see them fall to the back of the grid. Bottas will also take a sixth internal combustion engine leaving him with a five place grid penalty. One must wonder where Mercedes are storing all these engines!

They may have penalties but they all still set times, as whoever was ahead at the end of qualifying would start in 18th, as three drivers battled for the bottom few positions despite their engine woes.

Vettel would show the initial advantage as he slotted in P10 come the end of Q1 with Russell 12th and Alonso 14th; Q2 painted a similar picture as all three would be eliminated with Vettel 12th, Alonso 14th, and Russell 15th after he failed to set a lap time due to his lap times being deleted for track limits at turn 9, which has seen many drivers lose lap times.

Mclaren had shown strong pace over the course of the entire weekend as they comfortably got through Q1 and Q2 with little issue. Both cars got through on the medium compound tyre which puts them in an ideal position ahead of the 56 laps of the race tomorrow. In Q3 Mclaren would fall to 7th and 8th behind the Ferraris and Ahead of the Red Bull sister team AlphaTauri.

Alfa Romeo showed good pace at the start of the weekend, although this pace did seem to dissipate as the weekend progressed. This led to Kimi Raikonnen being eliminated in Q1 as he failed to make it through yet again. With his last Q2 appearance being Hungary, it remains to be seen as to what the Iceman can do in his final six F1 races as he retires at the end of the season.

Giovanazzi did make it through to the second part of qualifying as he got through in 15th place, and he out-qualified his more experienced teammate for the 11th time in 2021. He did not make it through to Q2 however, as he qualified 13th ahead of Alonso and Russell, who failed to set a valid time in the session.

Mercedes and Red Bull appeared to be the outright fastest cars as they duked it out for the top positions, with Red Bull appearing to have the initial pace as the sessions got underway. Mercedes looked weaker as they wound up P8 and P9 in Q1, which was a sub-par performance given Mercedes’ high standards.

As Q2 began, the mediums were strapped on for Both Red Bulls and Mercedes cars as they seemed the optimum strategy, and they sought a strategic advantage for the race. Verstappen set the initial pace and looked strong as he roped the chart by a third of a second ahead of championship rival Lewis Hamilton, who qualified easily into the next session. Bottas and Perez appeared to struggle on the Mediums, as the flying Finn would finish 5th in Q2 with the Mexican only 7th come the end of the session as the track continued to improve, allowing for other cars to go much faster.

With Q3 underway, it was a game of damage limitation for Bottas who looked to limit the penalty he picked up for his engine changes. Verstappen would look strong as he set the fastest time, but that would be short lived as Sergio Perez would shortly snatch provisional pole position from the Dutchman as he attempted to go to his home race as a first time pole sitter for Red Bull Racing. As the session  drew to a close, Verstappen would pull an astonishing lap out of the bag as he claimed pole position from Lewis Hamilton who was two tenths slower than the Red Bull of Max although still ahead of Segio Perez.

Bottas would perform some good damage limitation as he took 4th place, which will see him drop to 9th place for tomorrow’s grid. A strong showing from both Mercedes and Red Bull has seen the race set up for another dynamic duel amongst our championship protagonists as they seek to gain the edge as the season begins to draw to a close.

The Grand Prix starts at 8PM BST on Sunday and you will not want to miss this as Hamilton and Verstappen battle once again for the championship edge. We will see you on race day!

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History of the US Grand Prix

Written by Ekaterina Nizovtseva, edited by Tanishka Vashee

The United States of America could claim to host more Grand Prix than any other country. World Championship races could be held on at least eight tracks. 

The first US Grand Prix was held in 1959 at the Sebring track, located on the airfield in Florida. A track known for its hummocky surface and sports car racing. Bruce McLaren celebrated the victory there, however the championship title was won by his teammate Jack Brabham. The following year, the competition moved across the country – to Riverside on a dusty road track in California. That year Moss became the winner and no more competitions were held there.

Finally, in 1961, the US Grand Prix found its real home. Watkins Glen – an excellent road track in New York State – had hosted the US Grand Prix until 1980. The key place of the track was a difficult s-shaped turn near the start line. It had some major changes prepared for the 1971 race. The track followed the edge of the hillside to two uphill right-hand turns, over an exciting blind crest into a right-hand turn, down and up into a left-hand turn rejoining the old track. Innes Ireland became the first winner of the Watkins Glen stage, and then for the next six years, Clark and Hill shared the victories with each other.

In 1971, the track was expanded and then Francois Cevert celebrated his only triumph here. But this place became fatal for him – two years later he died in the qualifying race. And the next season, the life of the Austrian Helmut Kenning was cut short there.

Despite the tragedies, the races continued, but in 1980, with the heyday of the era of turbocharged engines and the appearance of cars showing higher speeds, it became clear that the track at Watkins Glen had no longer met new requirements. And after that year, the track was never used again.

In 1976, British promoter Chris Pook established the US Grand Prix, gaining a distribution advantage that allowed the states to have two competitions. One race was held in California at the track in Long Beach. The track ran between the houses and featured a long curved straight line following a tight hairpin. Clay Regazzoni was the winner on the day of its grand opening. Races in Long Beach became a classic, but after 1983 Pook switched to Indycar.

Other promoters decided that they would be able to successfully do similar work and in 1981 the races at Watkins Glen were replaced by competitions in Las Vegas held literally in the parking of the Caesar Palace hotel. But no one liked the venue of the competition, so the races were held only 2 years there. In 1982, street racing was held in Detroit, where Ayrton Senna took three wins.

Detroit Grand Prix explores return to downtown street course

In 1984, Dallas was chosen as the venue for the Grand Prix, but a real natural disaster happened: the track surface was almost destroyed by the terrible heat. Some may even say that Texas gave F1 the “wildest race ever” with its high temperatures.

The US GP was held in Phoenix from 1989-1991, but then disappeared from the calendar.

In 2000, the formula returned to the USA, it was held in Indianapolis. After 2007, due to a conflict between the management of Formula 1 and the owner of the track in Indianapolis, Tony George, the US Grand Prix in Indianapolis was no longer held. In 2011, the FIA announced the holding of the US Grand Prix in Austin.

Ten years later Austin is still in charge of holding the US Grand Prix, and we will see more of it on Sunday, October 24th.

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The craziest race ever: Indianapolis 2005

Written by Thomas Bergamo, Edited by Morgan Holiday

The 2005 year showed us many battles: Schumacher versus Alonso, Ferrari versus Renault, and of course, Michelin versus Bridgestone. Indeed, 2005 was called “the tyre war year”. Ferrari and Bridgestone, until 2005, dominated undisputed. But, with the 2005 regulation changes, Renault could get close to the Italian team. 

One of these changes was that the drivers couldn’t enter the pit lane to change their tyres. Bridgestone was a very fast tyre, but it didn’t last very long. In fact, Michael Schumacher won a race (Magny-Cours 2004) making four pit stops. Instead Michelin had a tyre that was a little bit slower than the Bridgestone one, but its duration was longer than its rival by far.

Now you may ask, why have you ever talked about tyre compounds? When Formula 1 arrived at Indianapolis all the paddock was thinking about a normal weekend, but during FP1 Riccardo Zonta, Toyota test driver, flattened his tyre on turn 7. Then, during FP2, Ralf Schumacher also flattened his tyre, but this time on turn 13, the last turn. Fortunately, the German driver could get out of the car without any consequence, but the doctors denied him from competing in the race. Another alarm bell was that Toyota engineers found a relevant tyre pressure drop. 

So Michelin gathered all the team principals from the teams who mounted their tyres for analyzing the datas. They found nothing “dangerous for drivers’ safety”. On Saturday, only two drivers who had mounted Michelin tyres, setted valid times. By the way, qualifyings gets on. Trulli set the pole position, the first one for Toyota. On Saturday evening arrived “the crack”: a Michelin statement which said “Following analysis of the Ralf Schumacher’s incident, we do not ensure our pneumatic energy.”

So the action moved from the track to inside the paddock. That evening, and the following morning, was only a mix of confusion. Nobody knew what to do. Then, at ten o’clock something changed. All the teams agreed on building a chicane instead of doing the last turn. But Ferrari strongly opposed it and they didn’t do anything. 

During the formation lap Coulthard said to the team “Guys, I want to race”. This little glimmer of hope was immediately turned off by another team radio, but this time from Flavio Briatore to his driver, Fernando Alonso. He said “Fernando we need to retire the car”. All the cars which mounted Michelin tyres re-entered into the pits to retire their cars. Only the Ferraris, the Minardis and the Jordans stayed on the track.

The public in the grandstands were furious, and they showed it by throwing everything on the track, including a plastic bottle which hit Rubens Barrichello. Another episode was when Michael Schumacher exited from the pits and almost crashed into his teammate. By the way, the race was won by the German driver, followed by Rubens Barrichello and Thiago Monteiro, who completed that podium. The drivers of the Italian constructor didn’t celebrate that win, but the Jordan driver celebrated his first podium. Michelin was forced by the FIA to reimburse the tickets of all the fans. In 2006 the Japanese tyre manufacturer left Formula 1.

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National Teams in F1 and how to develop it

Some weeks ago I discovered the country nation in motocross and I really enjoyed the mechanics and the drama of it. So I thought, will a competition similar to this be good in F1?  

Written by Thomas Bergamo, Edited by Janvi Unni

So, let’s start from the two most important things: the car and the lineup. The car used would be the same for everyone: same engine, same chassis. The only thing that can be personalized is the car setup. So the manufacturer would be the same for every team. Another important thing are the lineups. Drivers can have enough super-license points (50 at the moment) for racing in a Formula1 car. Drivers’ choice ought to be very important, because a single driver can decide the winning of this title. 

How many teams can enter in this competition? While I was reading the F1 rules book, my eye fell upon an interesting rule: the maximum drivers allowed in the grid is 26. So that means that we will have a maximum of thirteen teams. 

If there are more than thirteen teams, how can the FIA decide which team enters and which does not? In this case there would be semifinals and then, at the distance of months, the final. 

Which circuit will be chosen for hosting it and with which criteria? The circuit that will host the nations will be drawn before the starting of the season. Firstly, all the circuits that haven’t passed the A1 FIA graduation test are excluded. Secondly, the street circuits won’t host it, for not creating too much economic damage to the city. Third main criteria: before the draw, the representatives of the various circuits must show their desire to host it. If they are drawn, they can’t refuse. They can abort it only for major causes. 

The week-end structure will be almost the same as a normal week-end: Free Practices on Friday, Qualifyings and Race 1 on Saturday (45 minutes race) and Race 2 (normal race). Qualifying will determine the grid order of Race 2. Race 1 order, instead, will be composed of inverted TOP 10 qualifiers results.

The team who gets the pole will earn four points. Race 1 points system will be the same as a Formula 2 sprint race (top 8 will take points). Race 2, instead, will give the same points as a normal race. At the end, the team who will have more points will win. 

Country National points won’t count in the Formula 1 championship, because it’s a separate event.

Last but most importantly, I’ll tell you the 2021 line-ups:

Team England: Lewis Hamilton – George Russell.

Team Netherlands: Max Verstappen – Nyck De Vries.

Team Germany: Sebastian Vettel – Mick Schumacher.

Team México: Sergio Pérez – Patricio O’Ward.

Team Italy: Antonio Giovinazzi – Antonio Fuoco.

Team Spain: Carlos Sainz – Fernando Alonso.

Team Finland: Kimi Räikkönen – Valtteri Bottas.

Team Belgium: Stoffel Vandoorne – Lando Norris (he has Belgian citizenship).

Team FIA (because Russia has been Disqualified from WADA): Danil Kvyat – Robert Shwartzman.

Team France: Pierre Gasly – Jean-Eric Vergne.

Team Australia: Daniel Ricciardo – Oscar Piastri 

Team Canada: Lance Stroll – Nicholas Latifi.

Team Japan: Yuki Tsunoda – Kamui Kobayashi.

Team Brazil: Lucas Di Grassi – Felipe Drugovich (if he can reach top 5. If not the reserve driver would be Pietro Fittipaldi).

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Photo Credit: https://www.tim-holmes.com/

Valtteri Bottas takes triumphant victory ahead of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.


Written by Byron Hale, edited by Harshi Vashee

Round 16 of the Formula 1 championship has just drawn to a close and what a thrilling race it was! After it rained overnight we were presented with a wet start which opened the race up to various different strategies with no clear strategy to do. Bottas would start from P1 following Hamilton’s grid penalty. He would not be the only driver with a grid penalty as Ricciardo and Sainz would take penalties which led to them lining up 20th and 19th respectively.

As the formation lap got underway, it was clear that the intermediates were the way to go as plenty of spray came off of the cars as they got to grips with the condition on one of very few renaissance laps they were presented with. As Ricciardo lined up at the back of the grid, the flag Marshall waved the flag with the start sequence beginning shortly. A good start for Bottas would see him maintain 1st in the race as he had the best start of any driver opening the grid allowing him to maintain the lead and keeping him out of the chaos that was ensuing behind.

As Perez approached turn 1, he looked to attempt a move on Pierre Gasly which led to Gasly being sandwiched, further leading to Alonso being sent into a spin bringing a brilliant P5 start tumbling down as he waited to rejoin the track safely. As Alonso attempted to get his race back on track, he went for a clumsy move on Mick Schumacher as he attempted to get ahead of the Haas car. After a little bit of contact, Alonso would get ahead however in his desperation, he would get a 5 Second Penalty as he was deemed at fault for the collision. Gasly would also get a 5 Second Penalty for his collision with Alonso as he was also deemed in the wrong for their tangle on Lap 1.

As the race settled down, Hamilton would make a crucial overtake, around the outside, on Lance Stroll. As he overtook the Canadian, he got up into P7 with him now having to hunt the McLaren of Lando Norris. Further back, Carlos Sainz was attempting to do an F1 2021 last to first challenge as he would climb from 19th to 11th within 9 laps; the Spaniard would show promising pace in his Scarlett red Ferrari following his Engine change as he continued to drive a solid race for his team. However when he pit, he would have a slow stop on lap 36 as he pit for a second set of intermediate tyres and was stationary for 9.8 seconds as Ferrari struggled to get to grips with the pit stop regulation changes that were introduced for Belgium.

On lap 36, Sebastian Vettel would go for a gamble as he went for the Medium compound tyres as he looked to take a gamble as the conditions improved; following multiple offs and losing plenty of time, the German reported that the track was not ready for the Mediums. He pit on lap 37 for a set of intermediates conforming to the strategy adopted by most drivers. After pitting early, Ricciardo was set to score points as he looked to have good pace on the new intermediates however as the race progressed, the intermediates deteriorated leading him to fall to P13 Come the flag.

One driver who had no tyre concerns was Esteban Ocon who unlike his teammate, did not pit in the race as he went 58 laps on the intermediates making this one of very few occasions where a driver is classified with 0 pit stops as the race was wet he was not required to pit for a different set of tyres. The efforts of Ocon would be rewarded as he would score Alpine a point in the race making it Alpine’s 15th consecutive points finish!

A difference of strategy for Mercedes led to Hamilton pitting and losing his impressive 3rd place in the race. Hamilton would not appreciate pitting as he lost multiple places and was left susceptible to Gasly and Norris. The Brit had reached the challenging window on the tyres where they were overheating as they had not yet grained in for optimal efficiency on the track. Hamilton would make his frustrations clear as he stated his dislike for the strategy leaving him 5th with 8 laps to go with 20 seconds to clear if this strategy was going to work. As you can imagine, the strategy did not work and he crossed the flag in a disappointing 5th place behind Leclerc who had a strong race.

Red Bull would appear to break the white livery curse which originated from Hockenheim 2019 where Mercedes had one of their worst races to date. Red Bull would have a near flawless race as Max would finish a resounding P2, which is a good result given his championship rival was 5th which allows him to gain 8 points on rival Hamilton and re-claim the championship lead for the second time in the 2021 season.

Sergio Perez would also show some solid pace as he would finish P3 in the race which is a good result from Red Bull as the net a total of 33 points across the weekend. Mercedes would score 35 points which means Red bull do lose marginal Ground on Mercedes as they just lose out across the weekend in the constructors.

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Sebastian Vettel’s Redemption: Singapore 2019

Written by Thomas Bergamo, Edited by Harshi Vashee

The last time Formula One visited Marina Bay, we likely witnessed one of the most beautiful races of the 2019 season: from a super Charles Leclerc in qualifying, to Sebastian Vettel’s race masterclass. But let’s start from the beginning.

Vettel came out of Monza with a poor 13th place while his teammate had won. Ferrari also had relegated him to the role of second driver due to his poor performance compared to Leclerc. After Italy, however, F1 arrived at one of the German’s favourite tracks: Singapore. Throughout his career, Sebastian Vettel has claimed four victories and four poles at the famous night race.

Vettel immediately showed his potential and his confidence with the track. In qualifying, Vettel brought his car to the third position, just behind Charles Leclerc (who took pole position) and Lewis Hamilton. At the start of the GP,  Vettel tried to take second position, but Lewis immediately closed the door.

Behind Seb, a strong Max Verstappen was closing in on him. So Ferrari decided to take an important decision: stop Seb before Max and try to take Lewis’ position through the undercut. This payed of beautifully for the German who, once Hamilton had stopped one lap later, emerged ahead of the Brit. However, he was now also ahead of his teammate – much to the dismay of the young Monegasque – due to the effectiveness of the undercut.

Seb showed his real potential and his experience on his vital outlap, gaining around three seconds. Both Leclerc and Hamilton exited behind Vettel with Leclerc being furious with the team. He also asked to give him the position back, but his teammate was far from him. A fantastic overtake from Vettel on Gasly showed how much he wanted to win that race.

While he was escaping from Charles, the safety car was deployed. For Seb that event meant restarting all. Despite this, after some laps, when the safety car entered into the pits, Seb gained from Charles around two seconds, and he was able to manage the gap until the end.

Every lap, every kilometer, he was closer to his redemption, to close his pain circle, beginning with the non-victory in Canada. Seb crossed the line for the last time, then he let himself go with joy.

“You’ve won the Singapore Grand Prix – says his engineer, Riccardo Adami – you’re the lion of Singapore, These are five for the car number five”. After a bit of time, Seb answered with his typical grazie ragazzi.

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How can the Formula 1 calendar become more interesting?

Written by Thomas Bergamo, Edited by Umut Yelbaşı

These days I’ve read many peoples complaints about the 2022 F1 calendar, so I decided to write about my ideal Formula 1 season schedule, while explaining to you the merits, and also the defects, of each track. Let’s start!

1- Sakhir (BAH)

Sakhir has always given us good races, the drivers really like this track, and there’s the economic advantage for the owners of the circuit. I’ve chosen Sakhir as the opening Grand Prix because the circuit can host the winter test as well, which would reduce the costs of travelling and the polluted air released into the atmosphere.

2- Imola (ITA)

Imola is full of history, and also one of the most liked circuits of the entire grid. It’s an old-style circuit, with gravel and grass instead of the asphalt. The Emilia Romagna president, Stefano Bonaccini, has said he will financially help the Imola racetrack to return to the F1 calendar in a recurring place.

3- Portimão (POR)

Portimão might have been the perfect track. Elevation changes, medium-high speed corners, a long straight, and two DRS zones. I say “might have been” because Portimão has one shortcoming: it misses a low speed corner. Luckily, the first turn has a distinct layout, which forces the drivers to take the turn more slowly. Portimão is also one of the most loved tracks by all the Formula 1 circus, and the Portuguese government would definitely like to maintain Portimão in the calendar.

4- Circuit Ricardo Tormo (ESP)

After the statement from the Barcelona circuit that they won’t be in the F1 calendar from 2022, the Spanish government started looking for a new circuit to host Formula 1. There are multiple reasons for keeping Spain a part of Formula 1, but the most relevant is that they currently have two competitive drivers in the mix. So, the Valencian circuit would be the first of the three newest entries. Ricardo Tormo is an old-style circuit, it doesn’t have financial problems (it has already hosted two Formula E races and two MotoGP races without fans) and the teams won’t have to travel too far from the previous race.

5- Monte Carlo (MON)

Monaco is the real essence of Formula 1: the cars almost touching the walls, the history, the passion, a challenging track… I could continue for another hour explaining why the Monegasque circuit has to stay in the F1 calendar. The only disadvantage is that there aren’t too many overtake opportunities, but this only helps to make qualifying more epic. 

6- Hockenheimring (GER)

Hockenheim and crazy races: name a better duo. Germany’s return to the Formula 1 calendar would benefit both F1 and its German fans. The German fans would be able to return to watch F1 live – even those who don’t watch the race live would enjoy it massively because every turn of this track is a possible overtaking spot. 

7- Brno (CZE)

Brno would be the second new entry. This circuit has a lot of advantages. First of all it alternates between low-speed corners and long straights. It’s a “stop and go” track which the drivers as well as the fans on the grandstands could enjoy a lot. Brno would have one of the highest elevation changes in the F1 calendar. The circuit presents gravel and grass near the kerbs as well… I will let you imagine the possibilities. Qualifying here would be absolutely epic, and the track presents a lot of overtake spots. It would have two DRS spots on the two final straights. Last but not least, the circuit won’t suffer financial problems because there’s a possibility of it hosting the MotoGP if Karel Abraham, the circuit owner’s son, returns to racing. 

8- Hungaroring (HUN)

Most of the Hungaroring races we’ve had so far were beautiful. This track is one of the most technical in the whole championship. It presents many types of turns, from the fastest ones to the slowest ones. It became a recurring stage in the calendar and the partnership between Formula 1 and the Hungarian circuit seems to be continuing. 

9- Spielberg (AUT)

The Red Bull Ring is the shortest circuit in the calendar. Almost every turn is an overtake spot! Another characteristic of the Austrian circuit is that you have to have a perfect qualifying session. Every single mistake can drop you from pole position to P10.

10- Silverstone (GBR)

SIlverstone is the home of Formula 1 because, as most of you know, the first F1 race was held on the British circuit. The last races here were all beautiful. Silverstone is a track characterized by its high speed corners, especially the Copse, Maggots, Becketts and Chapel sequence. There are “only” three overtaking spots, but this doesn’t keep the drivers from attempting overtakes in any of the high speed corners. 

11- Spa-Francorchamps (BEL)

Spa is one of the most attractive tracks in the Formula 1 calendar. The Eau Rouge – Raidillon combination gives you goosebumps. The track presents a lot of overtake spots (La Source, Les Combes and Bus Stop are the most well-known) alternate with a mix of medium-high speed corners.

12- Le Mans (FRA)

Le Mans would be the last new entry. Every motorsport fan has dreamt at least once to see F1 cars racing on the circuit of La Sarthe. Formula 1 would utilise the shorter circuit layout (4150 meters), which is the one used for the MotoGP races. This layout would present two DRS zones, one on the main straight and the other on the straight between Garage Vert (turn 8) and Chemin aux Boeufs (turn 9). 

13- Monza (ITA)

The “Temple of Speed has” always given us very good races. The circuit presents so many overtake opportunities, but there are four main overtake spots: the first chicane, the “Variante della Roggia”, the “Variante Ascari” and the Parabolica turn, now renamed the Michele Alboreto turn. One of the things that make the Monza weekend special is the qualifying. If you want to get the pole, you have to be perfect. In Monza, every second in your teammate’s slipstream can make the difference. So much so that it became a huge talking point in 2019 when the drivers in the main group decided to drive slowly to take the tow themselves, resulting in no one getting proper lap times in.

14- Istanbul Park (TUR)

Istanbul Park is one of the most beloved tracks. It presents one of the most beautiful and challenging turns of the calendar: Turn 8. This flat-out turn is as spectacular as it is challenging for the tyres. There are many overtake spots and the elevation change helps to make the circuit more interesting.

15- Montreal (CAN)

Canada has given us pretty good races and the owners of the circuit don’t seem to suffer any financial problems. Another reason for maintaining Montreal is that Canada has now got two very good drivers in F1, so the fans would pay to see their home heroes race.   

16- Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez (MEX)

Mexico City Circuit is a very nice mix between long straights with low and medium speed turns. The track presents three DRS zones and three main overtake opportunities on turns 1, 4, and 12.  Qualifyings in Mexico are epic, and the section between turns 7 and 11, a sequence tackled in sixth gear on average, could make the difference between pole position and the rest. Another very important aspect is the height. The circuit was built 2200 meters above sea level, so the temperature is low, the air is more rarefied, and there is more air pressure – all affecting everything from tyres to aerodynamics. 

17- Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace (BRA)

Interlagos has been a big part of Formula 1 history. The circuit is one of the most harmonious tracks in the F1 calendar. The sequence from Descida do Lago (turn 4) to Junção (turn 12) is one of the most beautiful sectors in the whole calendar: it’s an alternation of low and medium speed corners, with two great overtake spots (turn 7 and turn 10). Another thing that makes the circuit more interesting is its changeable weather. The conditions may vary easily, and this can make the race more tricky (we’ve seen an example of how weather changes can affect races in Russia this year). 

18- Buddha International Circuit (IND)

Races in India were one of the most beautiful things in the early 2010s. The Formula 1 fanbase has always asked for an epic comeback to India, so we want to satisfy them all. The Indian circuit presents three main overtake spots: turn 1, turn 3 and turn 4. The first part of the circuit is composed of turns with angles at least 90 degrees, and very long straights, meanwhile the rest of the circuit is very technical. 

19- Baku Street Circuit (AZE)

Baku has the best street circuit in the whole Formula 1 calendar. The first sector is full of overtaking points, thanks also to the ninety-degrees turns. In the second sector we take a look at the history of Baku and Azerbaijan. This sector is characterized by the Castle turn and, after those, a sequence of high speed corners. The third sector is composed of a medium speed corner and a flat-out zone, which ends at the end of the main straight.

20- Yeongam (KOR)

Yeongam has to be the other fantastic return. This circuit is one of the most fun to drive for the drivers, because they have very few overtake spots and the other two sectors are very technical, especially the second sector with its flat-out turns. Apart from these, the “blind turns” make it more interesting. Last but not least, the tow would play an important role, because the straights are very long and the tow could give you the five/six kilometer-per-hour advantage, which might give you the pole.   

21- Kyalami (SA)

A season finale in Africa would be absolutely epic. Kyalami is definitely one of the most beautiful circuits in the world. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has said that he wants to bring back the South African circuit into the Formula 1 calendar. Currently this return is planned for 2023, but I think we could see it as early as 2022.  

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How Williams Went From Zero To Hero In Just 23 Races!

Written by Byron Hale, Edited by Hazel Alagappan

Williams Racing have been one of the outstanding teams of the season picking up twenty three points by the Russian GP, placing them 8th in the Constructors championship. 

The Grove based team have accumulated twenty three points over five rounds. From Hungary to Russia with the team scoring two double points finishes and one podium courtesy of British superstar George Russell .

George Russell and Nicholas Latifi have accumulated these points over the course of the 2021 Formula 1 season,  which is the Grove based team’s best result since 2017. When they collected eighty three championship points over the season. 

This season has already been full of success for the team as they scored an unlikely first podium courtesy of Russel who scored 2nd place race after the rain soaked Belgium GP. In the same race, Nicholas Latifi would take one of his two point scoring events with a point for Williams which has helped the team to further secure 8th Place in the constructors championship.

The question for Williams is, how did they get to this very respectable points tally, after scoring 0 points last season with them only scoring four 11th places in the hectic 2020 season.

 To put it simply, Williams’ 2021 car is a gradual but good step up based on its 2020 competitor. 

The 2020 Williams FW43

Overall it has been much more competitive and since the aerodynamic upgrades brought by the team for Hungary, the team has suffered less from wind direction, allowing for the car to be more predictable, which has massively contributed to the results that team have been able to boast so far this season! 

In Hungary the team brought an upgrade to the car which allowed them to be more stable in relation to car performance, as it reduced the effect the wind speed and direction has on the FW43B. Asit seeks to make gains over its rivals Alfa Romeo and Haas. 

This upgrade proved incredibly beneficial as the team scored its first double points finish since Italy 2018 with the team picking up ten points after Sebastian Vettel was disqualified from his P2 finish in the Grand Prix. These ten Points showed a clear statement of intent for the team as they entered the summer break with ten points and an objective to keep it.

Williams celebrating their result in Hungary

Once the action resumed in Spa after the break, Williams had yet another strong showing with George qualifying a phenomenal P2 in a qualifying session which allowed him to enjoy Williams’ first front row start since Italy 2017. 

Latifi also had a good qualifying with the Canadian slotting in P12 which would later become 9th place after Sergio Perez crashed along with other drivers, starting from the back of the grid following changes under Parc Ferme conditions came into effect.

Points would effectively be scored on Saturday after the race was not able to take place except for a few renaissance laps as the treacherous track conditions prevented the drivers from having any green flag running. This Result was Williams’ second consecutive double points finish as they doubled their season tally to twenty points following the awarding of half points for drivers who were inside the top 10 when the FIA decided that the race would be not restarted amid safety concerns and an ever looming sunset.

After a mediocre race in Zandvoort, the team returned to Monza which is where the team said farewell to Claire Williams last time they drove around the circuit. However, the team would take a further points finish with Russel taking a respectable 9th place following Lewis Hamilton’s and Max Verstappen’s crash which saw both drivers retire after the Red Bull mounted the Mercedes. 

And for the penultimate time, F1 returned to the Sochi Autódromo for what was anticipated to be a boring race with little in the way of overtakes. However, in typical F1 fashion, the race provided the most overtakes of the season with a crazy ninety two overtakes! Williams would yet again have another phenomenal race with George Russel qualifying 3rd on the grid for the race on Sunday as he out-qualified future teammate Lewis Hamilton for the 2nd time in just four events. As the race progressed, Nicholas Latifi would retire due to damage to his car whilst George Russell would fall outside of the points and would remain there for the Majority of the race. Then as the race was drawing to a close, Williams made the critical and difficult call to pit for intermediates for the final few laps as the rain continued to intensify. This strategy by the Williams crew was the correct one as many drivers such as Lando Norris, Hamilton and Vettel would all struggle on dry tyres in the condition. This decisive thinking allowed the Williams pilot to overtake Lance Stroll and allowed Williams to score a further point.

A question that I believe must be asked, is how will these results affect next season’s development. It is likely that the team will be more attractive to potential sponsors as a clear upward path is clearly visible which will allow the team to continue funding its operations as it develops its 2022 car which will be radically different from its 2021 challenger. The championship position will allow them to receive an increased amount of prize money come the end of the season likely resulting with them taking £5 Million more in prize money which allows it to further develop its future car and hopefully continue to be more creative In the 2022 season.

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What would be every team’s best Substitute Driver Option for 2021.

Covid-19 has impacted Formula 1 massively in the last 18 months. Races have been cancelled and some drivers have even missed races due to contracting the disease. When the drivers miss races, the teams have to find a replacement. This has been interesting for the fans, they get an opportunity to see how drivers will do in different cars. We have seen drivers like Robert Kubica and Nico Hulkenberg get to have another chance in an F1 car. We have also seen drivers like Pietro Fittipaldi and Jack Aitken get their lucky break for an F1 drive. In this article I will be stating who I feel would be each team’s best choice as a substitute driver.

Written by Dylan Free, edited by Tanishka Vashee

Mercedes

This was definitely the easiest one to choose, as he is confirmed as a Mercedes driver for 2022, and has already subbed in for Lewis Hamilton at last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix. I am of course talking about George Russell. The current Williams Driver has got the most out of every car has been in and would do as good a job as any of the best drivers in the world in the Mercedes car.

Red Bull

The obvious option for Red Bull would be to bring in reserve and former driver Alex Albon, and that would be that, right? No, definitely not. Alex Albon is a good driver and as much as i think he deserves a second chance in a Red Bull, Pierre Gasly deserves it a bit more. The Frenchman has given us reason to believe that he would take that chance and prove that he deserves a shot at the top level of Formula 1. So Gasly would come up from AlphaTauri and Alex Albon would replace Gasly at AlphaTauri.

McLaren

McLaren’s strong reserve drivers are much to the help of their Mercedes power unit. They have a great choice between former driver Stoffel Vandoorne, current Formula E world champion Nyck de Vries, and also Paul di Resta. If I was the man making the decision I would go for Nyck de Vries, who won the 2019 Formula 2 championship, and also the 2021 Formula E world championship, but has never had an opening in F1. So given his proven talent I would go for the Dutchman.

Aston Martin

Nico Hulkenburg filled in for both Aston Martins (Racing Point in 2020) drivers last year, and finished in the points on his two race starts. His performances show there is a slim chance of anyone being better equipped for the job than the experienced German.

Alpine

If Alpine ever needs a replacement driver for the remainder of the 2021 season, they have Russian driver Daniil Kvyiat waiting in the wings for his chance to shine in Formula 1 again. Unfortunately for him, Alpine has a lot of talented academy drivers chomping at the bit to get an opportunity in F1. The two most likely to get a chance are current F2 championship protagonists, Oscar Piastri and Guanyu Zhou. As much as they deserve a chance it is unlikely that they would risk bringing in a rookie driver in the midst of their midtable battle with AlphaTauri and Aston Martin, so I think Kvyiat would get the seat.

AlphaTauri

If either Pierre Gasly or Yuki Tsunoda needs to be replaced for a race weekend, they have Alex Albon as their reserve. The 2022 Williams driver drove for the team when they were Torro Rosso in 2019 and his strong performances saw him get promoted to the main Red Bull team.

Alfa Romeo

Robert Kubica has already subbed in for Kimi Raikkonen this season in the Dutch and Italian Grand Prix so he remains Alfa Romeo’s best option. If they really wanted to, they could bring in second choice reserve, Callum Ilott.

Haas

The current Haas reserve driver is Pietro Fittipaldi and he was used to replace Romain Grosjean last year when Grosjean had his big accident. If they ever need to replace someone this year, he would likely be the man to do so. However, they would potentially put F2 driver Robert Shwartzman in their car due to his Ferrari links and Haas’s Ferrari Power Unit.

Williams

If I had done this article at the start of the season I would have chosen Dan Ticktum as Williams’s best choice. Things have changed though, as he made his thoughts clear on current driver Nicholas Latifi, he is no longer an option after being dropped from the Williams academy. Now their best option would be to bring in Jack Aitken, the current reserve driver for Williams.

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PREVIEW: IndyCar’s West Coast Title Decider 

Written by Danny Jones, Edited by Morgan Holiday

IndyCar heads for a West Coast Triple Header, as it prepares to crown its 2021 Champion. With 5 drivers still within a shot of claiming the title, it is likely to be decided in Long Beach. Pato O’Ward, Alex Palou, Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon and Marcus Ericsson all have a realistic shot at becoming Champion if they can gain the required points in Portland, Laguna Seca and Long Beach, with all 3 events returning to the schedule after the 2020 cancellations. 

With teams starting to prepare for 2022, several teams have brought in drivers for the last few races, with Oliver Askew making his return to the series with Rahal-Letterman-Lanigan, Charlie Kimball with Foyt in Long Beach, and most notably, ex-F2 runner-up Callum Ilott makes his IndyCar debut with Juncos Hollinger in Portland. 

O’Ward comes into the triple header as the points leader after recently becoming the Oval Champion, and would become the youngest Champion ever if he can claim the title, at just 22 years old. O’Ward has already secured an F1 test in Abu Dhabi after his first win in Texas, a successful bet against McLaren CEO Zak Brown, and the Mexican is highly tipped for a F1 drive in the future, a tip that could be further boosted if he is able to secure a first title.

Alex Palou has been the championship leader for the majority of the season, but an engine failure in Indianapolis and a collision at St. Louis meant that he lost the championship lead to O’Ward. Palou is only in his second IndyCar season, but has already picked up two wins, and is only 10 points behind O’Ward in the standings. He has a huge chance of taking his first title.

Josef Newgarden is seen as the favourite for the championship, despite standing third in the leaderboard. The 2017 and 2019 champion is just 22 points off the lead and well within reach, considering 54 points can be picked up in one round. Despite horrible luck, most notably a mechanical failure with just 3 laps to go at Road America when Newgarden was leading, he has picked up wins in Mid-Ohio and St. Louis, and may become one of the elites to pick up 3 titles.

Mr. 6-time, Scott Dixon is looking an outside bet for a historic 7th championship, but is still very much in the running. The Kiwi is 43 points behind O’Ward and only has one sole win in Texas this season. But we have seen Dixon do it before, when he overturned a 42 point deficit to win the title in 2015, and with his almighty experience behind an IndyCar backed up by his raw pace, Dixon has a shot at making history.

Marcus Ericsson has been seen as one of the IndyCar breakout stars in 2021. The ex-F1 driver secured his first IndyCar win in Detroit, and remarkably won in Nashville, despite an airborne crash with Sebastian Bourdais earlier in the race. The Swede has the most points of anyone since the Indianapolis 500, and although he seems like a long-shot, he certainly cannot be ruled out of claiming the title.

The championship is very much in the balance in one of the most unpredictable IndyCar seasons ever. The “youth movement” has challenged the veterans throughout the entirety of 2021, and O’Ward has the chance to become the youngest champion, but with 4 drivers chasing for the championship behind him, he certainly will not have it easy. All will be decided in Portland, Laguna Seca and the twisty streets of Long Beach.

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