What is going on with F1?
What a very peculiar British Gp that was?
The British F1 GP on Sunday was strange. It’s not just about Pirelli tyres exploding and going flat; there are many aspects that had me scratching my head.
I will write another blog and go through each team’s performances at Silverstone V1 but for now let’s first look at some peculiarities.
First is and a mate of mine Roy pointed this out. Sebastian Vettel’s helmet had no Ferrari branding on it. I find this peculiar. I could only find one which had small Ferrari branding on the visor. Anyone find anything?
Pirelli tyre failures. Now, nobody wants a tyre to deflate or explode when you are driving at 300km/h. The thought is frightening enough. Out of the four tyre the failures during Sunday’s race, the one that concerned me the most was the one that befell Daniil Kvyat. His tyre seemed to just deflate which caused his crash. Whether it was because he hit the kerb too hard is still to be identified but that crash was peculiar.
Let me try an analogy. When you buy fresh fruit and vegetables they come with an advisory as to when the items should be consumed by. If you don’t eat the goods by those dates it means you could be putting yourself in danger by eating them after they use by date. You with me?
So, if Pirelli advises the teams that the various compounds should be good for a certain amount of laps then if you try and surpass their advice you could well be putting your driver in danger as there is a chance that the tyre will not react the way he expects it to due to it being out of “use”
I’m sure as I write this that there is furious data crunching and analysis taking place at Pirelli as they try and understand why the tyres failed. I’ll say it again, Tyre failures are EXTREMELY dangerous, and I do not want to see failures in any form of racing.
But here is my point: Pirelli over the years have tried to make the racing more exciting by introducing these different compounds for us as the public and fans to see pit-stop changes and the excitement it brings. Most racing drivers would prefer to have a tyre that can last a whole race so they can just race. As fans we want more spice and Pirelli gives us that. I am interested to see what Pirelli identifies as the failures and I would not be too surprised that they were caused by debris on the circuit coupled with a very thin running tread left due to the length the tyres had been pushed. I do believe the teams would have learnt a lesson from what happened this past weekend and will take the advisory from Pirelli more seriously. It seems all the blame is on Pirelli. I find this peculiar.
What happened to Racing Point this weekend? I was so upset that Nico Hulkenberg didn’t race this weekend due to a mechanical problem with his car. Considering that he flew in late Thursday night to replace Sergio Perez, he must have been pretty upset not to race on Sunday, but I assume slightly amused by the whole build-up to his return.
Lance Stroll topped FP2 on Friday and EVERYONE expected a very strong performance from the Pink Mercedes this weekend at Silverstone. And…… Zero. This is a car that should be hounding the back of Max Verstappen in his Red Bull yet on Sunday they were languishing back with Mclaren, Renault and Ferrari. Even Alpha Tauri beat them. Come on! I smell a rat. Oh, this Wednesday the FIA will give a ruling about the copygate saga which Renault has initiated by protesting the Racing Point brake ducts. Just by the way, Renault protested the brake ducts again after the British GP. Where has the Racing Point pace gone? Perhaps after Wednesday it might return or not. I find this peculiar.
Sebastian Vettel’s Pace
It would be an understatement that Sebastian is having a torrid final season with Ferrari and this wasn’t helped with all the mechanical issues the four-time World Champion had during the weekend at Silverstone. Having said that his pace during the race was awful. Starting as far back as he did not help his cause, but he could not get his Ferrari going at all.
I am very aware of the problems that Ferrari are experiencing but I still expect a better performance from the car as well as from him. Admittedly the Silverstone track is not as overtaking friendly as it used to be. Mind you it is not the track; it is the sheer brilliance of what the engineers manage to create with F1 year by year. In the past there used to be sweeps and corners around Silverstone where the drivers were hard on the brakes and this allowed for mistakes to happen and overtaking to occur. Nowadays these magnificent cars take these corners flat out and it looks so natural. Believe me when I say that a normal supercar going around Silverstone looks vastly different to what we see F1 cars doing.
For Vettel to be fighting with Alpha Tauri and even Williams at one stage is something I find rather peculiar.
Sergio Perez and Mexico
Don’t you find it peculiar that Perez decided to go and visit his family in Mexico between the Hungarian F1 race and Silverstone? Let’s think about this. Rumours start that Aston Martin Racing Point are looking at Vettel to join the team come 2021. Perez nose is out of joint.
He flies to Mexico.
I believe there is more to this than just visiting his family. I think he went to see his major sponsor to try find some more funding to keep him either at Racing Point or to find anther team for 2021.
Red Bull Racing and Alexander Albon
There is too much pressure on Albon but as the saying goes “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” F1 is not for sissies and you must perform. We have seen it through the decades where drivers have been tossed aside because of average performances.
For Albon there is no exception. Alex had a difficult weekend but did manage to salvage a hard-fought 8th place which included a coming together with Magnussen which resulted in a 5 second penalty. You can say he did the best he could, but this is a car that should be up challenging for podiums as is happening with his teammate. You are always compared to your teammate. That’s the nature of racing.
It has emerged that when Pierre Gasly was at Red Bull, he asked the team for a different race engineer, but they were not forthcoming. With Albon not really doing better than what Gasly did, Red Bull have brought in a new race engineer for him to try and improve. Why was Gasly not afforded this opportunity? Are Red Bull scared of changing another driver? I find this peculiar.
F1 is a peculiar sport and long may it stay that way, it keeps me thinking all the time.