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.
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.
The post Horner Fires Back At Wolff: He Should Mind His Own Business appeared first on Formula1News.co.uk.
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.
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?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.
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.
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.
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’.
“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.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.”
The post Schumacher Slams Valtteri Bottas For Lack Of Pace & Bad Attitude appeared first on Formula1News.co.uk.
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. pic.twitter.com/uQUEKz2XKc— 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.
“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.”
The post Red Bull Explain Why Verstappen Didn’t Set Fastest Lap appeared first on Formula1News.co.uk.
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.
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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.
“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.”
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.”
The post Mercedes Will Force Valtteri Bottas To Be Lewis Hamilton’s Wingman appeared first on Formula1News.co.uk.
Stella says the team learned lessons from Ricciardo during the process of helping the Australian to adapt to the car this year.
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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.
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.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.
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.
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Perez on top as Red Bull extend lead over Mercedes in final practice | 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix third practice
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.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.
“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.
The post Marko: Wolff Should Remember ‘Silver Lining’ Of Russell-Bottas Incident appeared first on Formula1News.co.uk.
Norris and Ocon will also start at back of grid after power unit change penalties | 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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Stewart sees Hamilton’s title hopes fading: ‘Surprising how often his team mate is ahead’ | 2021 F1 season
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