Qualifying day at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka brought yet another fast-paced day of F1 news and views. Max Verstappen claimed his latest inevitable pole position and then had a message for the people who assumed Red Bull had been found out by the Singapore GP technical directive, while Mercedes were once again plunged into crisis with Lewis Hamilton airing his frustrations. Just another standard F1 2023 day, then. Here’s today’s roundup… Max Verstappen’s ‘to whom it may concern’ moment As bite backs go, Verstappen’s message to his doubters wasn’t quite on the level of Valtteri Bottas’s famous Australia 2019 radio call, but it was a juicy one nonetheless. There were more than a few who wanted to believe Red Bull had finally been found out in Singapore last weekend, but pole position by sixth tenths at Suzuka was an emphatic response. So what exactly was Max’s message to those people? “Go suck on an egg.” He went on to explain how the reaction to Red Bull’s poor … [Read more...] about Max Verstappen bites back as Mercedes crisis continues – F1 news roundup
After a "nightmare" Friday, Hamilton was much happier with his W14 thanks to overnight changes, but he still faced a tricky balance come qualifying. As high as fourth in Q2, Hamilton took seventh place in Q3, immediately ahead of team-mate George Russell . The outcome clearly benchmarked the Mercedes as the fourth-best car at Suzuka after the Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari . Hamilton admitted that he couldn't have got any more out of the car after some set-up changes overnight. "I was really much, much happy with qualifying," he noted. "Yesterday, it started off looking like it was not going to be so great! But I think the set-up was in the right direction. And then from P3 to qualifying, I made another setup change. "And I was really happy with that. But just really hard to pull any more out of it. I'm already on the knife-edge with the rear end the whole way through the lap, all the way through." He added: "We have a very peaky car. When we talk about … [Read more...] about Hamilton: Lack of rear downforce leaves W14 on “knife-edge” at Suzuka
The iconic figure-of-eight track has always been punishing on its rubber, but things could well be a bit more extreme this time around. Race day is expected to be another scorcher, and complaints that George Russell mentioned on Friday about a "strange" sliding have been caused by a track surface that has had a 15% drop in macro roughness (so effective grip) compared to 12 months ago. As Ferrari's Charles Leclerc said: "Especially with the very warm temperatures this year, the overheating is really, really bad. So, I expect that it [the race] will be all about the tyre management and the strategy." A two-stopper looks nailed on then, but it comes with not all teams having the luxury of what appears to be the ideal tyre allocation to get them through without much drama. F1 tyre supplier Pirelli thinks the best approach to the race is to start on the soft, run through until laps 12-18, and then split the rest of the grand prix up into two hard stints. But that is … [Read more...] about Are Red Bull and Ferrari on back foot for potential Japanese GP tyre wrecker?
Preparing their spare chassis “to more than an assembly comprising a survival cell”, Logan Sargeant has a 10-second penalty even before the first lap of the Japanese Grand Prix for Williams breaching third car rules. Sargeant suffered a big crash in Saturday’s Q1 at the Suzuka circuit when a snap of oversteer through the final corner put him onto the grass. Unable to control the car, he crashed into the barrier causing a significant amount of damage to the left side of his FW45. Williams forced into making extensive changes to get Logan Sargeant into the race He’ll now line up in the pit lane on Sunday as Williams have opted to make set-up changes while he also has a new chassis, gearbox, engine, wings, and suspensions. The changes are extensive, so extensive there was talk of this being a “third car”. The FIA confirmed this with Technical Delegate Jo Bauer saying: “Last night the Williams Racing team worked on car number 02, chassis 03, two hours after the chequered flag … [Read more...] about Logan Sargeant hit with 10-second penalty after Williams breach ‘third car’ regulations