Mid-Week Motorsport Headlines - 7th April 2021
All the latest news from the Racing world!
Helmut Marko has come out and said, that the differential issue which we heard about at the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix, may have cost both drivers up to 0.3 seconds per lap at the start of the race. If true, it does suggest that Red Bull do have a very fast car this season, although we should take Marko’s comments with a pinch of salt, as he may be wanting to make us, and other teams fear their pace.
Helmut also remarked that he believes that Vettel should have taken a year out for 2021, to give him a chance to evaluate his options for the regulation change. To be fair, given Aston Martin’s potential struggles this year, it may not have been a bad idea, not that he would have known that half a year ago.
Alpha Tauri are looking to introduce further upgrades for the Spanish Grand Prix, which should be a cause for concern in the midfield, considering where they are already. Capito wants to make gains with the Williams’ 2021 car, however he is aware he must not sacrifice the 2022 car by doing so. Finally, Ferrari have said that the engine gain they have made for this year, will not truly be known for a few more races, presumably until they can get a read on it, on various track configurations.
O’Ward led the 17 car test at Texas last week, continuing his ominous form pre-season, following a very consistent 2020. He was well ahead of Rossi and Harvey, although we cannot read too much into it, as we do not know who got a tow! Later this week there will be a 32 car test at IMS, this will be the main test before the Indy 500, and the number of cars testing a few months away from the race, suggests we may see bumping again this year.
Ferrucci will race in the third RRL-Honda at the Indy 500, Santino has performed very well at that race in his previous two attempts, and means that RLL will have the drivers who finished 1st, 3rd, and 4th in last years race. They surely will be the favourites going into the ‘Month of May’!
Although nothing had been signed yet, the Chinese race team NIO 333 has indicated it will sign up to the Gen3 regulations, which would make it the fifth team to do so. Meanwhile, Mercedes have said that they are waiting on a clarification before they commit to the Gen3 rules, it sounds like it is to do with the cost cap and other championship rules, which will be a major factor in the German marques decision. Dragon Penske are also rumoured to be near signing on for the rules package, after agreeing to a long-term partnership with Bosch, who will build their Gen3 powertrain.
If these three teams do go through with it, that will add up to seven teams already agreed to Gen3, more than a year before it is set to start, which is pretty good going, after the surprise exit of two big names late last year.
Miller as well as Lecuona, has had arm pump surgery, following the Grand Prix at the weekend, this is not a good sign early on in the season, but hopefully he can get back on form soon. Binder has said he was scared of the tyre gamble made by the team, to use the medium during the race, but managed to work around it to get a good result. Bastianini was not able to repeat as good a race as he had the weekend before, as his hair was getting in the way of his racing, which undoubtedly would have cost him time.
The ACO has revealed the schedule for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which will once again take place in August this year. Most notable, is the return of a test day, a week before the race, to allow the teams to try out parts and get comfortable, before racing properly gets underway. Hyperpole will also return, after being used for the first time ever last year, which is effectively a top six shootout in each class.
Agag has said that the inaugural round of Extreme E ‘ felt identical’, to that of Formula E. He said in particular, that the crash between the ABT Cupra and Chip Ganassi, was reminiscent of that between Heidfeld and Prost back in 2014, where the condition of the drivers was unclear for what felt like ages.