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Former F1 racer Christijan Albers has said that Pierre Gasly feels “f***ed” by senior Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko.
The Frenchman was dropped by Red Bull halfway through the 2019 season, after he had a poor start to the campaign.
He was demoted to the sister team (Scuderia Toro Rosso, as it was then called) and he has since become one of the most highly rated drivers on the F1 grid.
Gasly was replaced by Alex Albon at Red Bull, and the Thai driver was axed by the team at the end of 2021, with Sergio Perez coming in to replace him.
Commenting on Gasly’s future and the difficulties of driving for Red Bull, Albers said the Frenchman feels “f***ed” by Dr Marko.October 12, 2021
“The problem is just, you have these stranglehold contracts from Red Bull. The only one who doesn’t have a contract like that is Max Verstappen, but the rest just have a serious problem,” he said this week.
“It’s not like you can decide to go somewhere else. Then you really need Uncle Marko.
“If I’m going to look at Gasly’s performance that he’s constantly producing, but also look at life outside Formula 1, you can see that frustration that he feels f****d by Red Bull, with all due respect,” he added.
Continuing, Albers hit out at Red Bull for how they treat their drivers and said it didn’t make sense for the team to fire Daniil Kvyat shortly after he scored a podium for them:
“I think it is really disrespectful how they have treated drivers.
“That a man [Kvyat] is on the podium and will be kicked out the next race. Let’s be honest, that doesn’t make any sense at all.
“That’s Helmut Marko, but they did learn from it. They stopped putting pressure on Alexander Albon, they didn’t try to put pressure on Perez, so they’re learning from their mistakes.
“It was really the old-fashioned, [the] Austrian way of Dr Marko though,” he concluded.
In early November, https://t.co/GyQ3HRqbW2 exclusively reported that #RedBull had decided to drop #Albon at the end of the season and he would only be on the F1 grid next year if Yuki #Tsunoda fails to get a Super Licence.https://t.co/hRcFdM7MgB— Formula1News.co.uk (@Formula1newsUK) December 18, 2020
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The Finn was running in P2 when he came in for what should have been a routine pitstop, but the attempted tyre change ultimately forced him to retire from the grand prix after a wheel nut lodged itself into the front right wheel of his car.
This made it impossible for his pit crew to remove the tyre, leaving Mercedes with no choice but to retire the car.
Speaking after the race, Wolff said that Bottas was partly to blame for the incident, as he didn’t stop exactly on his marks in the pit box and therefore forced one of the mechanics to apply the wrench at an angle.
“Valtteri stopped a little too early,” Wolff said in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport (AMuS).
“This meant that the mechanic had to apply the impact wrench at an angle. The awkward angle damaged the wheel nut and we couldn’t bring it down.”
Speaking this week about Bottas’ future at Mercedes, Wolff admitted that the Finn has had a lot of bad luck this campaign and said the team let him down in Monaco.
It was my bad today. Misjudged the braking for T1 in the damp conditions which ended my + many others race.
Learn from it. And recharge for the 2nd half!
Congrats @OconEsteban for the win! And good to see @LewisHamilton fight back to the podium for important points! pic.twitter.com/2ugXCsq4B2
“I think that’s too harsh,” Wolff told GP Fans when asked if Bottas has already been given enough time to prove himself at Mercedes.
“He has also had a lot of bad luck when I think about Monaco where he should have finished second on the road, and we let him down. It’s very harsh.
“And if your team-mate is a seven-time world champion, a 100-grand prix winner, obviously, that will be difficult.
“He is a great team player, he has won multiple grand prix, has been on call all the time, 53 podium appearances, and that is a solid, very important pillar for us as a team that needs to be considered,” the Austrian added.
And, with a recent engine upgrade having lifted its performance, the team is increasingly bullish about its prospects for the remainder of the campaign.
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That is the opinion of British F1 journalist Mark Hughes, who expressed his views in his latest column for The Race in which he assessed whether Ricciardo might continue to underperform once the new regulations are introduced next year.
Ricciardo joined McLaren from Renault this year, and he has struggled to get to grips with his new car.
“I knew straight away it was a different beast,” the Aussie said in an interview with The Race.
“I’d be lying if I said the Renault wasn’t a different beast to the Red Bull, so they are all different. But there’s certainly some things where this car is slightly more peculiar. That’s the puzzle that I’m still trying to solve.
“But every car will respond and react differently, and this one’s got a couple of other things, I guess,” he added.
Andrea Stella, McLaren’s executive director of racing, has admitted that their car requires “special adaptation” and said they are working with Ricciardo to help him extract more performance from their 2021 challenger.
In his column, Hughes suggested that Ricciardo could walk away from McLaren next year if he continues to be comprehensively outpaced by Lando Norris.
“Both sides desperately want this to work and their working relationship is terrific, the team full of admiration for how his demeanour with his crew never wavers in its positivity despite his difficulties,” he wrote.
“But if there is still no progress in the remainder of this year, he has to be looking at the radical regulation reset of next year as his salvation.
“With everyone’s car by definition unrelated to those of the previous seasons, will the ’22 McLaren prove less unusual in its traits and allow him to express himself in the cockpit more naturally?
“Because if not, and the hangover of this car remains, it’s difficult to conceive someone of Ricciardo’s competitive intensity tolerating sub-standard performance from himself.”
“In such a situation McLaren probably wouldn’t even need to have the awkward conversation. He might well relieve them of it.
“For the sake of Ricciardo, McLaren and F1 let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. Everyone wants to see the real Ricciardo back.”
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Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has given his verdict on Carlos Sainz’s opening half of the season with the Scuderia, and outlined what he is expecting from the Spaniard for the rest of the campaign.
Sainz joined Ferrari from McLaren following their decision to axe Sebastian Vettel, with the German ultimately joining Aston Martin.
The 26-year-old got off to a fast start at Ferrari, and he is currently ahead of his team-mate, Charles Leclerc, in the Drivers’ Standings.
In a recent interview, Binotto said he believes Ferrari currently have the strongest driver line-up in Formula 1:
“I am convinced that with Leclerc and Sainz we have the best duo in F1.
“They are talented, fast and young, a guarantee for the future. We know Charles, he grew up in our academy, we have no doubts about his abilities.
“Without the accidents in qualifying in Monte Carlo and at the start of Hungary, in which he was also unlucky, he would have an extra victory and second place.
“He is growing in the vision of racing and in tyre management. He has great potential.
“Carlos didn’t surprise me. Before taking him, we analysed his characteristics: he is concrete, he brings points to the team and he is clear in communicating with the engineers.
“He is integrating and understanding the machine better and better.
“In the second half of the season I expect him to put together a perfect weekend, without errors in qualifying, at the start or in the race,” Binotto added.
Confirmed P3 !! My second podium for @ScuderiaFerrari and super happy for the entire team after all the effort we have put into this first part of the season. It comes (again) in a non-typical way….but cheers !! FORZA FERRARI
The Ferrari team principal also said that he believes Antonio Giovinazzi, the Scuderia’s reserve driver, deserves a contract extension from Alfa Romeo.
“Giovinazzi remains our reserve driver, the first alternative to the regular drivers,” he noted.
“He is showing growth every year and I hope he can stay at Alfa, he deserves it.”
Albon and Verstappen were team-mates for a season-and-a-half, and over this time the Dutch ace comprehensively outperformed the Thai driver.
Some people in the F1 paddock have criticised Red Bull for seemingly focussing on Verstappen at the expense of their second drivers.
Commenting on the prospect of Albon competing in IndyCar, Coyne revealed that Romain Grosjean – who currently races with Dale Coyne Racing – is a great salesperson for the series and has been encouraging the former Red Bull driver to give it a go.
“Alex was talking to lots of people,” Coyne told Motorsport.com.
“He’s been on our radar for a while and we’ve been speaking with him for over a year now and he’s interested, for sure.
“Romain is a great salesman for us, showing what we can do as a team, but he’s also the best salesman for IndyCar. Him and Alex talked together for quite a while.August 16, 2021
“They talked about how nice it is in the series, how competitive you can be in these cars, what they’re like to drive – natural, instinctive, so you can get on it straight away, like we saw from [Christian] Lundgaard.”
Continuing, he suggested that Albon played second fiddle to Verstappen at Red Bull.
“Romain was telling him it was fun to be in IndyCar, a lot of less pressure, better relationships between teams, team owners, and between drivers.
“I think Alex appreciates that the teams here aren’t set up to have one guy as number one and the other as the bridesmaid. That’s something Alex has been through, right?
“It’s different here. If your two guys have two different driving styles, you can generally change each car to suit its driver.
“Now, that might hurt a bit if they’re very different [as] their feedback isn’t going to help the other one so much. There’s more work and one driving style and engineering philosophy may suit a track better than the other.
“But if having them on different setups helps get the best out of each driver individually, then you can do that in IndyCar. We’ve had it that way before, we think we’re pretty good at it and it can work out well.
“So anyway, I think if they’re used to the pressure of Formula 3, 2 and especially Formula 1, drivers find IndyCar a breath of fresh air.
“The hard work is what’s done on track, in the pit lane and in the engineering trailer. There’s not the politicking and pressure,” he added.
The post Red Bull Forced Alex Albon To Be Max Verstappen’s ‘Bridesmaid’ appeared first on Formula1News.co.uk.
Max Verstappen has suggested that Daniel Ricciardo would struggle to match him in equal machinery if they were to race as team-mates now.
The pair raced together at Red Bull for three seasons, before Ricciardo ultimately decided to depart the team for Renault due to concerns about Verstappen being favoured.
Ricciardo outscored Verstappen in 2016 and 2017, but the Dutchman outscored the Aussie in 2018 (their final year as team-mates.)
Speaking this week, Verstappen said he believes he has significantly improved since he raced alongside Ricciardo at Red Bull three years ago.November 1, 2021
“I think I also got better eventually, because I have more and more experience,” said Verstappen.
“So, I find it also difficult to really compare fairly, you know.
“I find it a bit unfair to say that he was maybe more close, and I think there are a lot of things to it.
“For sure, at the time, Daniel is, you know… he’s still quite a bit older and more experienced, but I think I gained a lot of experience in the last few years, while in the beginning of course I was still quite new and I didn’t really have a lot of car racing experience, because I had one year in F3, basically one year in Toro Rosso and then moved to Red Bull.
“And I definitely think there the big jump started to happen, which I think is a natural process in the first five years of your F1 career,” he added.
The post Verstappen Suggests Ricciardo Wouldn’t Be Able To Match Him At Red Bull appeared first on Formula1News.co.uk.
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