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Horner Fires Back At Wolff: He Should Mind His Own Business - Sat, 11/06/2021 - 16:22

Christian Horner has said Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff should mind his own business after the Austrian suggested that the VW Group may partner Red Bull in the coming years.

Wolff made the remarks after it was recently announced that Red Bull had poached a senior Mercedes engineer for their newly formed powertrains division, which was created in the wake of Honda announcing its exit from Formula 1.

READ: Ex-Mercedes Engine Chief Unlikely To Join Red Bull PU Division

Reacting to Wolff’s comments, which were made after Free Practice One (FP1) at Portimao for this weekend’ Portuguese Grand Prix, Horner said:

“Toto always thinks he knows what’s going on with others. Maybe he should mind his own business.

“We’re building a fantastic facility, and have attracted some great talent. 

“It’s all happening on campus, and the project is fully integrated with chassis development.”

He added that “outside of Ferrari, we are the only team that has that.”

Continuing, Horner admitted that their power unit could be branded in the name of a car-maker in the future, but he denied any such talks having already started.

“The name of the engine is another matter. At the moment there are no talks going on about that and the focus is on the Red Bull engine.

“But in the future it could be anything,” Horner added.

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Just How Bad Is Nikita Mazepin? - Sat, 11/06/2021 - 16:02

It’s fair to say Nikita Mazepin’s first two race weekends in Formula 1 were poor, with him crashing out of his debut in Bahrain after just a matter of seconds and being the only driver to finish last weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix two laps down on the leaders.

The F1 community has been quick to mock Mazepin for his poor start to life in the pinnacle of motorsport, with his numerous spins resulting in him being dubbed “Mazespin” on social media.

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This is unsurprising, as he became public enemy number one after he groped a model in December, and given the fact that, frankly speaking, he is only in Formula 1 because of his father’s financial backing.

But, how bad really is the controversial Russian and does he deserve his place in Formula 1?

Hundreds more laps in the bank We go away to study and take a few more steps forward in Portimão next week #HaasF1

— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) April 19, 2021

His first two races certainly add weight to the argument that he doesn’t belong on the F1 grid, but it’s important to remember that Haas have the worst car this season – and their 2021 challenger seems to be very difficult to stay on top of.

This has been evidenced by Mazepin’s team-mate, Mick Schumacher, also struggling with Haas’ 2021 car and having several spins and incidents of his own, both in Bahrain and Imola.

Nevertheless, it has to be noted that the Russian has made far more mistakes than Schumacher, and things also look bad for Mazepin when you compare their qualifying records in Formula 1.

Schumacher has outqualified his team-mate at both of the opening two grand prix of the season, with the German outqualifying Mazepin by eight-tenths of a second at Bahrain and around half-a-second at Imola.

READ: ‘That Was Just Unfortunate For Him’: Nikita Mazepin On Latifi’s Imola Crash

In equal machinery, such margins are a cause for concern, especially when you consider the fact that Schumacher wasn’t particularly impressive in qualifying in his junior career (he didn’t secure a single pole position in his Championship-winning Formula 2 campaign last year, for example.)

And, even when it comes to race pace, Schumacher isn’t a very strong benchmark for Mazepin, as throughout his junior single-seater career, he hasn’t performed at a very high level in his first season in any given category.

As for Mazepin’s own junior career, he finished fifth in the F2 standings last year, third in the 2019-2020 F3 Asian Championship, and second in the 2018 GP3 Series.

But, the rest of his single-seater campaigns were fairly poor – and he is currently the only driver on the F1 grid who has never won a Championship in his entire racing career, even in go-karts.

So, it’s difficult to argue that Mazepin does deserve his place in Formula 1, but with 21 races of this season to go and Haas unlikely to fire him at the end of 2021 regardless of how badly he performs, he certainly has plenty of time to prove me wrong.

READ: Ex-F1 Driver Claims Lewis Hamilton ‘Often Makes Mistakes’

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Schumacher Slams Valtteri Bottas For Lack Of Pace & Bad Attitude - Sat, 11/06/2021 - 15:55

Ex-F1 racer Ralf Schumacher has criticised Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas for his lack of pace at Imola and his attitude following his high-impact collision with George Russell.

The pair collided at Tamburello as Bottas was defending against the Williams driver for P9 in the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

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Following the multi-impact collision, Bottas and Russell exchanged words and were evidently less than pleased with each other.

Russell eventually posted an apology on social media on Monday evening, but Schumacher nevertheless believes Bottas needs to do better if he wants to have any chance of still being a Mercedes driver next season.

“Bottas has to ask himself why he has to defend himself against a Williams,” Schumacher wrote in his latest column for Sky Germany.

“George’s speculation that Valtteri acted like this because of the special scenario – Russell is a Mercedes junior and has ambitions for the Bottas cockpit – Toto Wolff dismissed as ‘bullsh*t’.

READ: Kravitz Criticises Russell & Bottas For Disrespectful Behaviour At Tamburello

“At over 300 km/h Bottas certainly doesn’t want to play games, but he certainly didn’t want to let Russell just pass by either. And I didn’t like his attitude in the interviews that followed.

“In general, he has to ask himself why he had to defend himself against a Williams while lying deep in midfield.

“He’s been on a similar level to Hamilton so many times, but he’s a long way off at the moment.

“At Mercedes, they try to explain it with a lack of grip on Botta’s rear axle – for me, the entire Valtteri Bottas package currently lacks grip.

“There has to be more to come, otherwise he will quickly be sidelined,” he warned.

READ: WADA Still Investigating Haas’ 2021 Russian Livery

Not my day today

Half decent shunt. No points so disappointed. Taking any positives I can from the weekend and move on!#VB77 #F1 #Imola @MercedesAMGF1

— Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) April 18, 2021

Discussing the crash between Bottas and Russell, Schumacher said he believes “neither is blameless.”

“The question of guilt has and will certainly be discussed a lot. Neither of them is blameless.

“That is how the FIA ​​race stewards, who did not issue a penalty, saw it. Of course it was very ambitious for George to overtake a Mercedes in his Williams at this point.

“Big risk, but Valtteri just had to expect someone to come. Russell was behind him – he knew that – even with the DRS open – he can’t twitch over like that, because then the track is simply too narrow for two cars.

“Bottas was startled, withdrew again, by then it was already too late. Russell had reacted to his twitching, had swerved to the right, came onto the wet grass, turned to the left and cleared Bottas with him.”

READ: Former F1 Team Boss Warns Stroll-Wolff Combo Is ‘Very Dangerous’ For Vettel

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Red Bull Explain Why Verstappen Didn’t Set Fastest Lap - Sat, 11/06/2021 - 15:49

Senior Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has explained why Max Verstappen didn’t push harder to score an extra point by setting the fastest lap of the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The Dutch ace’s Championship rival, Sir Lewis Hamilton, managed to claim the extra point, giving him a one-point lead over Verstappen in the Drivers’ Standings after round two of the season.

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Explaining why Verstappen didn’t try harder to set the fastest lap at Imola, Dr Marko said they were wary of pushing too hard, especially as Hamilton had DRS at his disposal towards the end of the race which helped him set the fastest lap of the grand prix.

“Hamilton had a DRS advantage of around four tenths on his [fastest] lap,” Dr Marko said.

“We didn’t want to risk anything and would rather celebrate a victory.”

Verstappen ultimately crossed the finish line in P1 with a comfortable margin over Hamilton, who was satisfied to recover to second after falling to P9 following a mistake while trying to lap the Williams of George Russell at the Tosa hairpin.

The seven-time World Champion benefitted from the race being red-flagged shortly after his adventure into the gravel trap, but he nevertheless had to pull off plenty of overtakes to finish just behind Verstappen and maintain the Championship lead by the narrowest of margins.

Today was incredibly tough. Glad that both George and Valterri were able to walk away ok. Huge congrats to Max, he did an awesome job and to Lando, great to see you and the team up on the podium.

— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) April 18, 2021

Speaking after the race, Hamilton owned up to his mistake and said he wasn’t sure if he would be able to make overtakes stick following the restart, as the track was still drying.

“I guess I was in a bit too much of a hurry to get by everyone,” Hamilton said.

READ: EXCLUSIVE: Ex-F1 CTO Casts Doubt On Mercedes & Aston Martin’s Low-Rake Performance Claim

“I was a bit unfortunate. There was only one dry line. I came into the inside and I could see it was wet.

“I was trying to stop but the thing wouldn’t stop and it sent me off.

“I’m really, really grateful that we got to get going again, and to get some points for the team is really important today.

“I didn’t know whether or not we’ll be able to overtake, because again offline was going to be wet.

“You don’t have time to dwell on it, so that’s what I did – got back into racing spirit. We still had some really good fun battles with all the guys.”

READ: Norris: Leclerc Should’ve Overtaken Verstappen When He Was ‘Out Of Control’

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Red Bull admits Perez team orders on table for F1 Mexican GP - Sat, 11/06/2021 - 15:45
Perez is gunning for what would be a hugely popular victory in front of his home crowd in Mexico City.
However, with his team-mate Verstappen locked in a close title fight with Lewis Hamilton, Red Bull knows that allowing Perez to lead home a 1-2 could prove decisive in the title outcome.
That is why Red Bull chief Christian Horner says the team would likely need to make the tough call in ...Keep reading
Categories: F1 News

Alfa Romeo expects 2022 F1 driver decision after Brazilian GP - Sat, 11/06/2021 - 15:34
While the Swiss-based squad has already signed Valtteri Bottas for 2022, a decision on who the Finn’s teammate would be has dragged on for several weeks.
While Formula 2 front runner Guanyu Zhou had been favourite for a while, the possibility of a buy-in by the Andretti organisation had put the driver matter on pause as IndyCar's Colton Herta emerged as a contender.
But with Andretti’s ...Keep reading
Categories: F1 News

Mercedes Will Force Valtteri Bottas To Be Lewis Hamilton’s Wingman - Sat, 11/06/2021 - 15:15

The Mercedes F1 Team is likely to throw its weight behind Sir Lewis Hamilton to improve their chances of beating Max Verstappen in this year’s Championship battle, 1996 World Champion Damon Hill has said.

As such, Hill believes Valtteri Bottas is likely to play second fiddle to Hamilton at Mercedes this campaign, as the Silver Arrows no longer have the luxury of being significantly ahead of their rivals and allowing their drivers to battle it out for the Championship.

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“Any kind of external threat unites a team. So for years now, we’ve had Mercedes fighting amongst themselves between drivers for the title and occasional incursions from people like Red Bull or Ferrari, but now they have an external threat,” Hill said.

“So I think that you’ll see that teamwork solidifying behind Lewis, their main campaigner. They know that Lewis is their strongest card in their pack.

“I think he demonstrated that magnificently in Bahrain. I know for a fact that Red Bull were scratching their heads after Bahrain, because they knew that Lewis had done something slightly magical by staying ahead of their car, which they felt was slightly better.”

READ: Charles Leclerc Refuses To Share Opinion On F1 Driver Salary Cap

Hill added that he believes Red Bull will also “put their best man forward”, with Sergio Perez playing a supporting role to Verstappen.

“But what it means is that these two teams are going to put their best man forward. And it’s going to be, you know, an arrowhead-type attack between those two teams.

“I think if you’ve got two guys within a team, and you’ve got an external threat, which is what happened with me in the Williams team, I had David Coulthard [as my team-mate] who could also win races.

“So I had David to fight as well as Goliath – Michael Schumacher. It can go wrong if you’re not careful.”

READ: F1 Sprint Race Trial To Go Ahead After Teams Agree Financial Package

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McLaren F1 car has “moved towards” Ricciardo’s style - Sat, 11/06/2021 - 15:11
Ricciardo struggled in the first part of the season to get the most out of the car, although he has been much stronger since the summer break, logging a victory in the Italian Grand Prix.
Stella says the team learned lessons from Ricciardo during the process of helping the Australian to adapt to the car this year.
“Indeed, it was a learning process for us,” said Stella. “We get a new ...Keep reading
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Live: 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix qualifying | RaceFans Live

F1Fanatic - Sat, 11/06/2021 - 15:00
Follow the 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix qualifying session on RaceFans Live.
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Ricciardo Insists He’s ‘Not Defeated’ By Norris Podium - Sat, 11/06/2021 - 14:27

McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo has said he is “certainly not defeated” by team-mate Lando Norris’ podium in the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Ricciardo was ahead of Norris towards the start of the race, but the team ordered him to let the young Brit through so they could see his pace in clean air.

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The Aussie followed the team orders and Norris quickly pulled away from him and went on to finish the race in P3 to score his second-ever podium in Formula 1.


— Lando Norris (@LandoNorris) April 21, 2021

Reflecting on his performance at Imola, Ricciardo said he needs a few more races to get settled at his new team.

“In the end, sixth from a points point of view is alright – but certainly my race pace wasn’t anything to do cartwheels over,” Ricciardo said.

“[My race pace] was certainly not particularly fast. I’ve just got to keep working on it. It’s one of those ones where obviously I’m hard on myself and obviously I’m not skipping around… But I think by race six or race seven, I’ll look back at race two and think, ‘What was I worried about?’” he added.

READ: Russell Suggests A Footballer Would’ve Reacted Differently To Bottas ‘Slap’

Continuing, he said he took encouragement from Norris’ podium at Imola as it demonstrated the underlying pace of McLaren’s 2021 car.

“I think it’s just up to me to… it sounds kind of simple, but just to keep turning laps, and obviously the pace is there,” Ricciardo said.

“Lando had really strong pace all weekend and obviously put it on the podium today, so I take encouragement from that. I’m certainly not defeated by that, and I’m certainly going to accept where I’m at at the moment and just work on it.

“I’m not going to let pride or ego get in the way. It is race two of 23, the road is long and I’ll just keep my chin up and work on it.

“Hopefully I’ll be more competitive in races to come. It’s race two so I don’t want to be like, ‘I was expecting to be on the podium already.’ Maybe by the next race I’m on it.

“But let’s say at least today my pace wasn’t that spectacular, so I’ll just look at it, work on it. Obviously the reference to Lando is a strong one so I’ll just chip away and do better,” he added.

Ricciardo currently sits seventh in the 2021 Drivers’ Standings, level on 14 points with Carlos Sainz, who he replaced at McLaren following the Spaniard’s move to Ferrari. 

READ: Carlos Sainz Praises Lando Norris’ Strong Weekend At Imola

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Ocon to get Mexican GP grid penalty for F1 power unit change - Sat, 11/06/2021 - 14:09
Following penalties for McLaren's Lando Norris, AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda and Aston Martin's Lance Stroll, Ocon will also drop to the back of the grid after Alpine took a fresh power unit ahead of final practice at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Saturday.
"Esteban will have a new engine for this weekend's Mexico City Grand Prix - his fourth of the season," a short statement from Alpine ...Keep reading
Categories: F1 News

Mexican GP: Perez tops final practice as Red Bull dominates - Sat, 11/06/2021 - 14:09
There was little action in the first half of the final one-hour practice session after a car in the Freightliner GTM support series dropped oil at the Turn 4 90-degree left-hander at the end of the track's second straight.
The issue had been treated with cement dust, but it was still enough to keep all the cars in their garages – unwilling to come out an clean the surface – until AlphaTauri ...Keep reading
Categories: F1 News

Perez on top as Red Bull extend lead over Mercedes in final practice | 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix third practice

F1Fanatic - Sat, 11/06/2021 - 14:02
Sergio Perez led a Red Bull one-two in the final practice session for the Mexico City Grand Prix, the team enjoying a comfortable lead over closest rivals Mercedes.
Categories: F1 News

Marko: Wolff Should Remember ‘Silver Lining’ Of Russell-Bottas Incident - Sat, 11/06/2021 - 13:48

Senior Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has said Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff should consider the silver lining of the high-speed crash between Valtteri Bottas and George Russell during the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The pair collided near Tamburello, triggering a multi-impact crash which ended both of their races and led to an altercation amid the wreckage.

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The incident that brought out red flags in Imola #ImolaGP #F1

— Formula 1 (@F1) April 18, 2021

Sir Lewis Hamilton had gone a lap down just seconds earlier after he went off the track at the Tosa hairpin, and he benefitted from the red flag to unlap himself.

He eventually recovered to P2 and managed to retain his lead in the Drivers’ Standings by a single point over Max Verstappen, who won the race.

Dr Marko believes Wolff should remember that Russell’s and Bottas’ misfortune ultimately benefitted Hamilton.

“Toto has to look at the bigger picture,” Dr Marko said in an interview with Austrian broadcaster Servus TV.

“Because of Russell’s move Hamilton was able to return to the race. Without that crash from Russell he would have lost a lap.”

Speaking after the race, Wolff said the “whole situation should have never happened” and warned that the crash could affect the team’s ability to bring upgrades this season.

READ: Russell Suggests A Footballer Would’ve Reacted Differently To Bottas ‘Slap’

“The whole situation is absolutely not amusing for us, to be honest,” the Austrian said.

“It’s quite a big shunt. Our car is almost a write-off in a cost-cap environment, that is certainly not what we needed, and probably it’s going to limit upgrades that we’re able to do.

“Simply the fact that we ended there by losing it in the wet, because there was no contact, losing it on the wet, and making both cars crash out is not what I expect to see.

“The whole situation should have never happened, Valtteri had a bad first 30 laps, and shouldn’t have been there. But George should have never launched into this manoeuvre, considering that the track was drying up.

“It meant taking risks, and the other car is a Mercedes in front of him. In any driver’s development, for a young driver, you must never lose this global perspective.

“Now I don’t want him to try to prove anything to us, because one thing I can say since knowing Valtteri for five years, he’s not trying to prove anything. So yeah, lots to learn for him I guess,” Wolff added.

READ: Ricciardo: I’m ‘Certainly Not Defeated’ By Norris’ Imola Podium

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Norris and Ocon will also start at back of grid after power unit change penalties | 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix

F1Fanatic - Sat, 11/06/2021 - 13:30
Lando Norris will have a grid penalty for this weekend's Mexico City Grand Prix as he has become the third driver this weekend to exceed his allocation of power unit components.
Categories: F1 News

Rosberg Insists Sebastian Vettel Will Be ‘Fine’ - Sat, 11/06/2021 - 13:11

Sebastian Vettel can still have a strong debut season with Aston Martin if he can break free from his “negative spiral”, 2016 F1 World Champion Nico Rosberg has said.

Vettel’s debut with the newly rebranded Aston Martin F1 Team at Bahrain last month was a poor showing for the four-time World Champion, with him qualifying towards the back of the grid and getting a grid drop for a yellow flag infringement.

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He made up some ground in the race but wrecked his chances of scoring points by crashing into the back of Esteban Ocon’s Alpine, which resulted in him getting a time penalty and yet more penalty points.

Rosberg has said he believes Vettel can bounce back from his difficult final season with Ferrari and the events that unfolded at the 2021 season-opener in Bahrain.

“I really wish it to Sebastian, that he comes out of this low, what he brought with Ferrari and now a little bit to the first race,” Rosberg said.

READ: Sebastian Vettel Needs To Have ‘Evil Spirit Removed From Him’

“Funnily enough, it surprised me that he also says that he still doesn’t feel comfortable in the car. But okay, it’s a new team and he needs a little time.

“But Sebastian has huge talent, this is a four-time World Champion, so he’ll be fine and I’m sure we’ll see some great races from him this year.

“But he has to find a way out of this negative spiral, that’s very, very important. We’ve seen another mistake just now, which is atypical for a four-time World Champion.

“That’s where he has to find his way out, that’s very important,” Rosberg concluded.

READ: Ferrari Team Boss Fires Thinly Veiled Jibe At Vettel After Bahrain GP

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Live: 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix third practice | RaceFans Live

F1Fanatic - Sat, 11/06/2021 - 12:45
Follow the 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix third practice session on RaceFans Live.
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Norris set for back-of-the-grid start in Mexico after engine change - Sat, 11/06/2021 - 12:37
The Briton had been the only Mercedes-powered driver not to have gone beyond his allocation of three engines up to this point.
But, after a tricky opening day of running in Mexico City, Norris is expected to join Aston Martin's Lance Stroll and AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda at the back of the grid.
McLaren confirmed the decision ahead of the final practice session.
With three drivers having ...Keep reading
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Stewart sees Hamilton’s title hopes fading: ‘Surprising how often his team mate is ahead’ | 2021 F1 season

F1Fanatic - Sat, 11/06/2021 - 11:51
"The fat lady hasn't sung" for Lewis Hamilton's title hopes yet, says three-times world champion Jackie Stewart, but he has been surprised to see the Mercedes driver trailing his team mate.
Categories: F1 News

Leclerc insists Ferrari F1 engine issues are ‘nothing too big’ - Sat, 11/06/2021 - 09:45
Leclerc entered the race weekend at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez feeling optimistic given Ferrari’s strength at high downforce tracks this year and the set-up requirements of the circuit.
While Ferrari ended Friday in Mexico as the leading midfield team, it finished over a second off Max Verstappen’s P1 time for Red Bull, led by Carlos Sainz Jr in fifth with Leclerc three-tenths further ...Keep reading
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