In this new edition of GPFans weekend we have summarized the most important news from the last week in one article. In a matter of minutes, you will be up to date with everything that is going on in the world of the royal class.
Last weekend, the United States Grand Prix was on the program. It was a quiet race, but one that was bloodcurdling until the very end. After the race, there was a lot to be said about the FIA’s controversial off-track overtaking decisions. The FIA has promised to meet with the drivers inside to discuss the events. There was also a lot to like about Max Verstappen’s comments on the Netflix Drive to Survive series and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff had to admit Red Bull deserved the win. Meanwhile, Red Bull managed to unravel the weaknesses of its main competitor and Lewis could not agree on some fierce statements. You can see that and more in the video below. Scroll down for the written version.
FIA starts talks with drivers after US Grand Prix controversy
The Circuit of the Americas Grand Prix went surprisingly well. There were no accidents, no major collisions and the only abandonments were able to enter the garages on their own. As a result, the Safety Car did not have to enter the track. However, a considerable controversy arose around the decisions of the race management. Alonso was passed off the track by Kimi Räikkönen, which is normally not allowed, but did not have to give way. Moments later Antonio Giovinazzi was also passed off the track by Alonso. However, the Spaniard was then ordered to surrender the place, otherwise he risked a five-second penalty.
This caused great frustration for Alonso, who did not understand what the race management was doing. “I can understand his frustration,” Masi said, quoted by Motorsport.com. “The decision about him and Kimi in Turn 1 was certainly marginal. We will discuss this with all the riders at the next meeting because I think there were basically two sides of the story. Of course you have. the passing itself, then forcing it off the track, then passing it again. So that’s something we’ll discuss at the next meeting. “
Masi noted that Raikkonen ultimately escaped punishment as it could be argued that Alonso pushed him off the track in the first place. “So it was a marginal decision. There were clearly two things that were considered, starting from the fact that the decision was made to leave it as it is. But it will undoubtedly be discussed at the next meeting.”
Wolff must admit: ‘Red Bull deserved the win’
The United States Grand Prix was thrilling until the end. The battle between Verstappen and Hamilton was decided only in the last lap. “It was really a race with some interesting strategy games and some great fighting,” Wolff said after the Grand Prix. “We thought we could feel the victory with Lewis. He threw a brilliant attack in the final laps, but it wasn’t enough in the end.
“In the first stint, the car was not fast enough with the medium tire. Then Red Bull made an aggressive first save before making it again. We thought our strategy of riding longer would be enough in the end to get them. But as soon as you are within range of the car in front, it becomes very difficult to do anything. In the end, we were close, but not close enough, so Red Bull deserved to win today.
Marko and Red Bull unravel Mercedes’ weaknesses: “So they’re not that competitive”
Na from Turkish Grand Prix, where Mercedes managed to dominate for the third consecutive victory, it seemed that the fun for all Red Bull and Max Verstappen fans was over. According to many experts and people in the paddock, Mercedes had found something that would open up the power of the engine. Lewis Hamilton’s side would suddenly be way ahead of Red Bull, but in Texas it was Verstappen to strike back hard.
Red Bull’s strategic team worked overtime. Analysis of the title’s main contender revealed data that Marko’s side could benefit from in Austin. “We have noticed a few times that Mercedes is not as competitive with full tanks. Also, we rode with a modified and smaller rear spoiler,” explained Marko. However, Red Bull’s plan did not worked as expected because it went wrong initially.
According to Marko, Red Bull had a lot more speed on the middle tire, so it was important to take advantage of the better speed from that tire and the full Mercedes in the first stint. where Hamilton immediately passed Verstappen and the Dutchman got stuck behind his competitor. “There was a problem with the technique, the clutch pressure point was not optimal”, apologizes finally Marko.
Hamilton weakens Wolff’s “bloodbath” statements: “That’s pretty strong language”
The condition of the road surface at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas has been criticized for years. MotoGP and Formula 1 riders have indicated several times over the years that the track needs to be remade as the situation is only getting worse. This year, part of the circuit has been redone, but by no means have all the bumps been removed. This caused the necessary problems for Formula 1 teams last weekend.
During the third free practice session at the Circuit of the Americas, an observant mechanic from Red Bull Racing discovered that there was a crack in Max Verstappen’s rear wing. It was therefore decided to replace the rear spoiler. In addition, after qualifying, the team was allowed to reinforce parts of the rear wing, in order to prevent the problem from recurring.
Mercedes had also made adjustments to the car, due to the many bumps on the track. “The car hit the ground quite heavily and that destroyed the car,” Wolff told Motorsport.com. “So we took mitigating measures to avoid a bloodbath.” According to Wolff, this was necessary in order to be able to finish the race. However, this was not without consequences. The team leader states that the team has lost speed due to this adjustment. “But maybe it was necessary to really finish.”
However, Hamilton disagrees with his team boss’s statements. “It’s pretty strong language,” Hamilton said. “There wasn’t a big deal. Look, I think it was a bumpy trail to begin with. But we ended up going back to where we started on the weekend so there really was no problem. . “
Verstappen no longer participates in Drive to Survive, Pérez and Steiner respond
The Formula 1 circus has been closely followed since the 2018 season by a Netflix team for the Drive to Survive series. In this series, fans get a special behind-the-scenes look at the pinnacle of motorsport. And with great success, because the series has already won over a lot of fans. However, not everyone is happy with the program. “I understand this has to be done to increase popularity in America,” Verstappen told The Associated Press. “But as a pilot, I don’t like to be a part of it.” Verstappen has contributed to the series in recent seasons, but was not happy with the way Netflix is handling the footage. According to the Dutchman, he did a few interviews, after which the quotes were used in very different situations than he was talking about at the time. In addition, “they would have faked a lot of things.”
“They staged rivalries that weren’t really there. That’s why I decided not to be a part of it anymore and I didn’t do any interviews after that, because then they can’t show anything. . I’m not much of a dramatic man, I just want real facts and things to be used. ” When asked if Hamilton and Verstappen were really rivals, he replied laconically. “We’ll probably be in the Netflix series. We’ve crossed paths, so that’s probably in there.”
“I’ve said several times that I haven’t seen the show and it’s the truth,” Steiner said at Friday’s press conference, when asked what he thought of the decision. . “I have no idea how I will be portrayed so I don’t have an opinion on it. If I had to criticize Max for not wanting to participate, I would definitely have an opinion on it. It is a free choice whether you participate or not, He chose not to and so we should not have an opinion on it or criticize Him.
“If he feels he is not well represented, he has the right not to participate,” continued the boss of the Haas team. “Obviously Max misses the fans. First of all I think he’s a good driver and besides he’s a personality. Anyway, if he doesn’t want to participate, it’s his choice. ask your question answer, I don’t really know what I think about it. “
His teammate Pérez disagrees with Verstappen’s criticism. “First of all, I have a lot of respect for Drive to Survive – what he did for Formula 1 is really huge. I really appreciate him. To be honest, I didn’t think it would be that big. or important to our sport in the beginning. ”Second, yes, sometimes they can create drama. The way they sell the sport is a bit dramatic. It’s a show, but in the end it’s good for the sport and good for the fans, so I’m ‘happy about it.’
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