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
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Reports of Red Bull’s reign of dominance over the 2023 season coming to an end have been greatly exaggerated. Advert | Become a Supporter & go ad-free In a year when competition between their rivals behind has been as unpredictable as it has been gripping, Red Bull have routinely rocked up to paddocks across the globe only to crush all opposition with near-militaristic execution. Then, in Singapore, a rare stumble from the world champions offered hope that the Red Bull giant could indeed be toppled. Yet six days later, Red Bull and Max Verstappen reminded everyone just how powerful a combination they are when they stormed to pole position in Suzuka by one of the biggest margins of the season – and the largest for nearly 20 years at the famous Japanese circuit. Not that it was of any surprise to their opposition. “Our internal messaging was ‘expect them to be back out front when we get back to Suzuka’,” admitted Mercedes’ trackside engineering director Andrew … [Read more...] about Verstappen sitting pretty but unexpectedly hot track could cook up drama
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?
With Pirelli predicting the best strategy for the Japanese Grand Prix will be a two-stop of soft-hard-hard, it’s advantage McLaren as the Woking team is one of only three outfits where both drivers have those tyres in hand. Oscar Piastri will line up alongside Max Verstappen on the front row of the Japanese Grand Prix, the Aussie having grabbed a career-best grid slot, with Lando Norris sitting third. But while the McLarens didn’t have the pace to challenge Verstappen on Saturday as the reigning World Champion crossed the line an incredible 0.581s faster, they could try for a two-pronged attack on Sunday. McLaren: The only way we can attack Max is tactical And according to Pirelli they have the tyres do it. Formula 1’s tyre supplier believes the best strategy for the Suzuka race is a two-stopper with the driver starting on the soft tyres and then slitting the rest between two sets of hard tyres. On a weekend in which the drivers dealt with high temperatures and … [Read more...] about It’s advantage McLaren in the strategy game at the Japanese Grand Prix