Lorenzo vs Summer Blues
Don't cry for me, I'm already dead
This is going to be a different review from Down Under. The difference in this review is that I’m in a bad place. Since March, I powerlessly started falling in a hole with no chance to come out by myself. Sounds familiar? I think Ferrari CEO Camilleri said something similar about his team after the Tuscan Grand Prix.
There were not many F1 related news in the past two weeks. The Russian Grand Prix represent the beginning of the second half of the season, and the winner of the race is the driver who won the 2020 inaugural race: Valtteri “Behind Blue Eyes” Bottas.
No one knows what it's like To be the bad man To be the sad man
I’m feeling uneasy. Something like what Valtteri must feel sharing the garage with Lewis Hamilton. Well, he gets paid millions to do what I, and millions of people around the world, dream since childhood. While I was released by my Ferrari dealership position as technician due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Valtteri is far from being Lewis’ butler, but team interests have stopped him from trying to attack his teammate. With the victory in Russia, Valtteri is now 44 points away from Lewis’ top spot in the standings. There are 7 races to go and only the Finnish can challenge the British from gaining his 7th championship.
Quality of victory
Winning is winning
Lewis Hamilton was awarded a 10 second penalty, served via a 10-second Stop & Go. The penalty was awarded to the 6-time World Champion for taking one practice start in a non-designed area. The driver broke race director’s event notes and Article 36.1 of Sporting Regulations, which states that a driver should keep constant speed between the red light at the pit exit and the Safety Car line. Lewis was also awarded with 2 points on his Super Licence, that were later revoked after the stewards heard the team radio where Lewis was instructed by his pit wall to try the start in that place. Mercedes was then fined with $50k.
Yes, Valtteri was the best on Friday and Saturday morning, but messed up in quali. He then failed to pass Hamilton blaming a huge bee splattered on his visor that made him miss the braking point. Without Lewis’ penalty, it would have been hard seeing the two going toe to toe in the Russian parking lot.
But, as Dom Toretto once said, “Winning is winning” and Bottas has won. As much as Lewis has won 6 championships so far. As much as Vettel won 4 championships. Are those titles worth like Schumacher’s 7, Fangio’s 5 and Prost’s 4? There will be time for me to discuss it. The moment will come when Lewis will match Michael’s 91 victories. And that conversation will raise lots of eyebrows. Is Lorenzo bias towards his childhood hero or is he genuinely discussing how impossible is confronting drivers from different eras?
Value of the game
Alonso can’t wait to get back in the car, despite…
Fernando is someone who knows motorsport. He tried different categories and he had something to say about F1. The Spaniard, 2-time World Champion and Double Crown Champion said that F1 is the best category in motorsport. However, he also said that F1 is the most boring category in motorsport. To fight the boredom, F1 keeps pressing the issue of replacing qualifying with a Saturday sprint race, deciding the starting grid by inverting the Drivers’ Standings. The result of the sprint race would determine the starting grid of Sunday’s race.
Vettel had something to say about it, claiming that having an inverted grid race is against the sport tradition and the spirit of competition.
So, what is good F1? A poll appeared on the F1 webpage asked the fan to vote for their favourite Grand Prix so far. Monza won with a staggering 56% of preferences, followed by Mugello with 21% and the Austrian Grand Prix in third place. Three old school racetracks, with grass and gravel over the white line. Very different from the Sochi track. Michael Masi, F1 race director, spoke about gravel. He said that it is not a solution to F1 problems, and that it cannot be placed in some tracks. For example, there cannot be gravel outside Turn 2 in Sochi. That would have saved Sainz race: the Spaniard crashed on Lap 1 trying to get through Turn 2 designed escape route decided by the race director.
Perhaps smaller and simpler cars could help improving race quality and risky manoeuvres?
Plutonium powered PU?
My future is still in doubt: I still have around 2 years of university, I’m single and unemployed. But F1 future is in doubt, too. Let’s talk transfer market.
There are numerous rumours, that were denied by Toto Wolff and Daimler, about INEOS purchasing Mercedes’ F1 team. Will it happen? Is this unclarity the cause of the delay in Hamilton and Wolff contract renewals?
Speaking of Toto, the Mercedes team principal has thrown in the cauldron the idea of introducing a second team principal figure, one to oversee the race crew and one for the team in the factory. Is it viable? Considering that the budget cap is forcing teams to reduce their staff?
On that note, McLaren was forced to sack 1200 workers. The British team has also asked a $150m to the Bahrain Bank and are actively trying to sell the Woking HQ.
The budget cap has been delayed by 6 months. That will help large team like Ferrari relocating their staff in excess.
Back on transfer market, Blick confirms that Kimi Räikkönen will renew his Alfa Romeo’s contract for one more season and mentor Mick Schumacher. The German scored a victory and a 3rd place in Sochi, increasing his advantage in the F2 standings. The title is getting closer, and the young Schumacher is determinate to gain access in F1 and challenge Lewis’ records. Mick should take part in free practice sessions at the Nürburgring and in Bahrain
Kimi, the most experienced driver in F1 after matching Rubens Barrichello’s record of 322 race starts, has not yet confirmed the news. What will happen to Antonio Giovinazzi?
If Kimi will decide to leave at the end of this season, who will be the leading driver at Alfa? Could Robert Kubica make another comeback? Will Sergio Perez take Kimi’s seat? Or will he sign for Haas? Is he a good solution for medium-long term for the American team?
Silverstone based team Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer commented on the status of the Mexican driver, saying that the late decision of going for Vettel is a compliment to the quality of Sergio. But that Vettel’s knowledge and work ethic are too valuable for a team in search of their first victory.
Treble! Treble! Treble!
Stefano Domenicali is the new F1 CEO. Born in Imola, a lifelong spent at Scuderia Ferrari, he leaves his position as Lamborghini CEO to take over Chase Carey’s seat.
Rumours saw Domenicali going back to Ferrari as President, but he denied claiming that nobody from Maranello reached him in his house in Monza.
His name was suggested to Liberty Media by his friend and former colleague Luca De Meo, Renault CEO.
After Jean Todt at FIA and Ross Brawn at Liberty Media, another piece of that legendary red team takes an executive position in this sport.
It was tough writing this review. I’m not happy with myself and I don’t see the light outside the tunnel. I can’t wait for this F1 season to end, as well as my struggles. I’m looking at Ferrari to cheer me up. Football has just restarted and my Inter seems able to challenge Juventus for the Serie A title. As well as the Sydney Roosters, trying to complete a 3peat in rugby league. But at one point, a man needs something more than sport to make him happy. Like a paid position at DriveTribe. Just saying…