Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Paul Ricard, 2021

Hamilton relieved by slim points deficit despite “two terrible races”

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says he’s fortunate to still be in championship contention following his poor results in Baku and Monaco.

In brief

Hamilton and Verstappen say title can “swing very quickly”

Having struggled to seventh in Monaco, Hamilton left Baku City Circuit with nothing having been close to snatching victory at the restart on the penultimate lap.

“It does show you how quick it can swing and that’s why every point counts,” he said yesterday. “Fortunately, with two terrible races for us, we ended up being still very, very close in points. And so the race is still very much on.”

Max Verstappen experienced a similar extreme swing in fortune, having led comfortably until suffering a tyre failure which put him out.

“It can swing very quickly,” he said. “It’s still a super-long season, so many races to go.

“You always want to try and have the best possible result, which I thought I was going to get in Baku. But then again, it shows you that things can change very quickly.”

Furbatto joins Aston Martin

Alfa Romeo engineer Luca Furbatto has been hired by Aston Martin as its new engineering director. He will take up the role in time for the 2022 F1 season.

Furbatto began working in F1 in 1997, for Tyrrell. He later joined McLaren and was project leader on their 2011 MP4-26 car. He subsequently became chief designer for Toro Rosso, Manor and finally the Sauber team, where he has held a key role since their 2017 restructuring.

“The recruitment of Luca Furbatto adds an exceptionally talented engineer to our technical team,” said Aston Martin’s chief technical officer Andrew Green. “He brings a vast amount of experience with him built up from more than two decades in the sport spent at several leading Formula 1 teams.”

Furbatto is one of roughly 250 appointments that Aston Martin intend to make in the near future, at a time when larger teams are restructuring staff to adhere to the budget cap.

Roberts “did a great job in a difficult time” – Latifi

Roberts stepped down at Williams since the last race
Nicholas Latifi expressed sympathy for Williams’ outgoing team principal Simon Roberts, who oversaw its transfer from the founding Williams family to Dorilton, who bought it last year and installed Jost Capito as CEO.

“Jost has been put in charge of the team and entrusted to the team to lead it back to the back to the top,” said Latifi. “He’s been with the team now over 100 days and he’s made observations, just being immersed in the team environment at the factory, at the racetrack.

“This decision was was taken to help streamline a lot of processes, bring more efficient processes, more clear chain of command and things like that. So it’s a decision that was taken, obviously.

“I’m sorry for Simon. I’ve enjoyed working with him since he took over the team principal role in the middle of last year, I think he did a great job in what was a very, very difficult time for the team as well. Obviously, with the transition, it was not easy. But it’s a decision that was taken from the top and yeah, I guess that’s it.”

Ricciardo believes Paul Ricard track limits are “pretty clear”

Despite Paul Ricard’s generous run-off Daniel Ricciardo isn’t concerned about problems with track limit enforcement this weekend. The McLaren driver was penalised for exceeding them at the end of the last race at this track in 2019.

“My one in the [last] race, probably the last lap of the race. I knew once I’d committed I was over the track limit, the white line.

“So because it was the last lap, I thought, okay, I’m not going to back out now. But I did know once I’d gone over, I was too far. So I think it was obvious to me at the time.

“I think it’s pretty clear here where where we will be off-track,” Ricciardo added. “On one lap it’s not too bad. Most corners, I think we’ll stay in, but I think maybe turn six might be one [area], the long right-hander before then the left onto the straight. But otherwise I think it’s more just a racing situation if you get squeezed or whatever.

“Hopefully not too many of these occurrences this weekend. I know as drivers it’s a bit of a nuisance and obviously for everyone watching at home, so hopefully we keep it controlled.”

Chovet repalces Toth at Campos

After losing his Jenzer drive after just one round of this year’s Formula 3 season, Pierre-Louis Chovet has been given another opportunity with Campos this weekend, standing in for Laszlo Toth.

Formula 3 and Campos confirmed yesterday that Toth had tested positive for Covid-19 and would be isolating as per local protocols, with no other members of the team affected. Chovet will drive his car for all three races this weekend at Paul Ricard.

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Comment of the day

Start, Silverstone, 2020
Poll: Will F1’s new Sprint races enhance the championship?
With Sprint races announced at Silverstone and Monza, DB-C90 makes the point that these will showcase them to some of the biggest audiences F1 achieves across a season:

My concern is the fact that they’ve chosen two of the most popular race weekends to test this out.

It pretty much a forgone conclusion that everyone will watch just because the races are at those tracks, so it’s likely that the “fan engagement” metrics will be through the roof.

I’m hoping that the third race chosen will be at one of the unpopular venues like Abu Dhabi so they can assess whether a sprint race at an unpopular venue will make any difference to fan engagement.
@DB-C90

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On this day in F1

  • 60 years ago today Ferrari scored a one-two-three-four finish at Spa-Francorchamps, Phil Hill leading home Wolfgang von Trips, Richie Ginther and Olivier Gendebien

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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  • 9 comments on “Hamilton relieved by slim points deficit despite “two terrible races””

    1. That image of the AM steering wheel case is a big scoop.

    2. I wonder why was Seb carrying a steering wheel copy in a small suitcase, even though teams usually carry them along with other parts?

      I disagree with the COTD. Fan engagement isn’t really a valid reason for choosing a track for sprint race experiment, but how racing/overtaking-friendly a circuit is.

      The Drive: They mistakenly claim shift lights would alternatively be mounted to the dash, even though they’re above it for every single driver.

      1. Viewer engagement is everything @jerejj – that’s what the sprint races are for, and that’s the metric they are most concerned about as to whether the concept works or not.
        F1 is business first and foremost.
        It’s no coincidence that they’ve chosen the largest FTA audience to try it out on…

    3. Indeed Hamilton is “lucky” that Verstappen didn’t win the majority of the races, like he said he would be when he finally got the fastest car.

    4. I think luck plays out over a season and racecraft and experience are more telling in the campaign. In that respect Sir Lewis has an edge.
      His recovery from the gravel at Imola when lesser drivers would have been beached was an example – ironically luck then came into to play with the safety car!

    5. Re Hamilton: Can’t see the title race going down to the final round…unless it’s like 2016.
      Re F3: Finally another chance for Chovet.

    6. Slim points deficit shows again just how dominant that car is. Even when you miss out on two races, you’ll still get the title. Meanwhile, I am wishing it was already next year when this idiocracy finally comes to an end, or at least we hope so. In fact everyone hopes so besides Mercedes. I think quite some teams would have left if it wasnt for a regulations overhaul. Long overdue

      1. shows again just how dominant that car is.

        What kind of reasoning is this?

        1. Davethechicken
          18th June 2021, 19:32

          He is getting the excuses in early. If Max wins it is because he is sooo talented, if he loses it is because of Mercedes not Hamilton.
          Bizarre logic I agree.

    Comments are closed.