Verstappen took pole at Suzuka by roughly six tenths ahead of McLaren duo Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris . Having both drivers in the top three was a huge result for McLaren, but at the same time, Stella felt it was humbling to see how much faster Verstappen was on the challenging layout, having hoped that his drivers would be closer to the Red Bulls. "We expected to be more competitive than Singapore," Stella said. "We were unsure as to whether this would have put us as second best team, or whether Mercedes and Ferrari would have been there with us. "We were pretty certain that Red Bull would have been the quickest car here, considering the track layout. "If you look at the overlays, Verstappen gains in every kind of speed range, so it's quite remarkable. It gives us again the measure about how much work we have ahead of us." He added: "In fairness, I would have expected to be a little closer. We are P2, P3, it's a good result for the team, but six tenths is a … [Read more...] about Stella: “Remarkable” Red Bull F1 gap highlights scale of McLaren’s work
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?
Former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone is convinced that Max Verstappen has already established himself as the greatest driver in the history of the series. Statistically Lewis Hamilton sits atop the Formula 1 mountain with most race wins, podiums and pole positions among his records, while he and Michael Schumacher are the only seven-time World Champions, though these days it is Verstappen schooling the field. After defeating Hamilton in the Abu Dhabi 2021 World Championship decider, Verstappen went on to comfortably retain his title, while his level of domination in F1 2023 has re-written the record books as the Red Bull driver homes in on World title number three. Bernie Ecclestone crowns Max Verstappen F1 GOAT Verstappen embarked on a record-breaking 10 race winning streak between the 2023 Miami and Italian GPs, while Red Bull overall were on a run of 15 in a row, both streaks snapped by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in Singapore. Verstappen though has returned to form in … [Read more...] about Bernie Ecclestone snubs Lewis Hamilton to hand F1 GOAT title to former title rival
The legendary father of Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz believes Fernando Alonso has earned the right to decide when he retires from F1. Despite turning 42 in July, Alonso has enjoyed his most competitive season in years in 2023 by claiming seven podium finishes with the Aston Martin team. However, Sainz was the one flying the flag for Spain at last weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix where the Ferrari star secured his second F1 victory with arguably the greatest drive of his career to date. Fernando Alonso praised by Carlos Sainz’s father Alonso, who became Spain’s first F1 World Champion in 2005, acted as something of a mentor to Sainz in his early career, though it has been claimed in 2023 that the relationship between them has suffered of late . Sainz’s father, Carlos Sainz Sr, is Spain’s original motorsport icon having won two World Rally Championships in the early 1990s. And having won the challenging Dakar Rally event as recently as 2020, the 61-year-old is in awe of … [Read more...] about Carlos Sainz’s father weighs in on Fernando Alonso F1 retirement debate
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
The American badly damaged his car during a high-speed crash in qualifying on Saturday, which has forced a change of chassis. The FIA discovered, however, that the team had assembled its spare car far more than was normally allowed according to the rules – so it was in effect judged to be a third car. Williams was summoned to the stewards on Sunday morning and explained that the problem was triggered by its mechanics beginning work on making up its spare chassis as soon as it became clear it had to be done. This was in theory done before teams are allowed to start such work. Following the stewards’ hearing, the FIA accepted the explanation from Williams about what happened, but said that it was mandated for it to hand down a penalty. With the change of chassis already automatically meaning Sargeant must start from the pitlane, it was decided that a further 10-second penalty would be given. A statement from the FIA said that it was aware of there being an issue in the … [Read more...] about Sargeant handed penalty for third car rules breach ahead of F1 Japanese GP
Max Verstappen will start from pole position as Red Bull stand on the brink of a sixth constructors' championship. Should the Dutchman and team-mate Sergio Perez combine to outscore Mercedes , the title will be secured at Suzuka. Oscar Piastri became the first rookie to qualify on the front row since Nico Hulkenberg in 2010, and he is followed by his McLaren counterpart Lando Norris in third. The Ferrari paring of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz sandwich Segio Perez to round out the top six, with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton just behind. The Japanese Grand Prix will get under way at 6am BST. … [Read more...] about F1 live: The Japanese GP as it happens