In the F1 in brief section, F1Maximaal.nl keeps you informed of the latest news from the premier class of motorsport that just does not qualify for an extensive mention, but is of course still relevant to mention on the website.
Stroll had surgery on one arm after cycling accident in southern Spain
Lance Stroll was absent from the winter testing days due to a cycling accident in southern Spain. Things went wrong close to Malaga. Aston Martin has so far only revealed that Stroll had the accident and that Felipe Drugovich would take over during the testing days, but no further information was available. There were rumors that the Aston Martin driver had two broken wrists, but that was denied by the engineers. According to the Spanish medium Soy Motor, the Canadian has had surgery on his right arm.
Whether Stroll has recovered in time remains to be seen. The operation was for a fracture in his arm, so with his arm in a cast it is very unlikely that the Canadian will be back in the car at next week’s Bahrain Grand Prix. There is a very good chance that Drugovich will be back in the AMR23, but Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack has also said he has been in contact with Sebastian Vettel.
Verstappen about uncomfortable Mercedes: “You never know what they will find”
Max Verstappen is not surprised that Mercedes still uses the striking zero-pod concept. “If you have to develop a whole new concept during a winter, that is very difficult,” says the Red Bull driver in conversation with the Dutch branch of Motorsport.com. Furthermore, Verstappen indicates that he has not looked much at Mercedes ‘But it does not always look very comfortable so far. You just never know what they’ll find in a few days towards next week.’
The highlights of the second day of testing in Bahrain
On the second test day of the winter test in Bahrain, there was again plenty to watch and enough data for the teams to collect. Sergio Pérez was behind the wheel of the RB19 during the morning session, with Max Verstappen taking over for him in the afternoon. Red Bull Racing had a flawless test day, but unfortunately Mercedes cannot talk about that. The German racing stable had to end the afternoon session early, there was a hydraulic problem.
In total, the second day of winter testing had two red flags, although the second red flag was less spectacular. That was for Zhou Guanyu, his gearbox did not cooperate for a while, although the problem was short-lived. Nyck de Vries was also very productive, he was able to test a lot of aerodynamic things with his team. Since enough has happened, Formula 1 has made a video with all the highlights available on the official YouTube channel.
Oil leak keeps Verstappen in Red Bull pit box for a long time
Max Verstappen drove few laps during the afternoon session of the second test day in Bahrain and that has a specific reason. According to Telegraaf journalist Erik van Haren, the RB19 of the two-time world champion suffered an oil leak, which kept him in the Red Bull Racing pit box for a long time. At the time of writing, there is a red flag due to George Russell’s stalling, so that Verstappen still has to wait before he can get back on track.
Mercedes is still behind: ‘Red Bull still four to six tenths faster’
After the first day of testing, they are moderately satisfied at Mercedes. In any case, the biggest problem of last season has been solved, Mike Elliott told AMuS. “We don’t mind bouncing. And the drivers feel more grip at the rear. So the balance of the car is better,” said the team’s technical director. Nevertheless, fighting for victories still seems a bridge too far, the team admits. “Red Bull is still four to six tenths faster.”
Pérez not a fan of new Pirelli tyres: ‘Rear tires even worse’
After several negative noises about the tires last season, Pirelli was committed to improving the tires for this season. According to Sergio Pérez, they have not exactly succeeded, he tells Sky Sports. “I don’t think they’ve improved the front tyres. They even degraded the rear tires. The tires have undoubtedly changed, but I don’t think it’s such a big change.’
In any case, the Mexican believes that the conditions in Bahrain are not exactly optimal to test and feel the tires properly. In any case, the wear and tear can only be properly experienced during a race. “We have to see how the tires perform in the race, because that’s where they wear out the most. I think these are the worst conditions for driving. The track has a peculiar tarmac, and all the drivers had problems with their balance.’
Ferrari’s dimpled nose is no trick for aerodynamics
During the winter test, it was noticed that the nose of Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari car dented under high speeds. There was some doubt whether this was a flaw in the design or whether it could have been a clever, aerodynamic trick. Ferrari provided clarification that that section of the nose of a Formula 1 car is not structural and is poor at absorbing impact energy, so it can deform due to air pressure.
Of course that is not what Ferrari actually wants, the team confirmed to F1TV that the bend was “unintentional”. Presumably a support was missing in the nose, it was either not mounted or broken off somewhere. The team stated that they are aiming to fix the issue for the rest of the sessions. So it was not part of a unique invention.
Formula 1 announces multi-year partnership with Qatar Airways
Formula 1 announced on February 22 via the official website to have signed a multi-year deal with the airline Qatar Airways. The partnership, announced today at a Motorsport Festival in Doha, sees the airline take on title sponsorship of three races this season: the Qatar Grand Prix – which returns to the F1 calendar on October 6 this year. 8 – as well as the Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna (Imola), and the Grand Prix of Hungary. As part of the partnership, Qatar Airways is offering fans the chance to purchase a limited number of travel packages to selected Grands Prix, allowing them to witness the entertainment and spectacle of Formula 1.
The collaboration focuses on sustainability and strives for a greener future. “As the pinnacle of motorsport, it makes sense for Formula 1 to partner with a world leader in aviation such as Qatar Airways. We’re two brands committed to delivering the best experience to our fans and customers, and our combined global reach makes this a perfect match. We share a passion for technology and innovation, especially as we work together towards a greener future. We are delighted to welcome Qatar Airways as our Global Airline Partner,” said F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.
FIA instructs Zandvoort to adjust tight pit lane
Circuit Zandvoort must adjust the pit lane, according to the opinion after a meeting of the FIA on Tuesday 21 February. The limited space between the pit stops is a problem and needs to be increased. This also applies to the length and possibly width of the pit lane. Several drivers complained about the short and tight pit lane last season, so adjustments now have to be made. These changes will probably be carried over to the next edition in August.
Verstappen unveils new helmet: ‘Chosen for more old-school design’
For the new season, in which Max Verstappen hopes to win his third world title, the Dutchman has had a new helmet designed. “It’s a new season, so of course I have a new helmet. As you can see, we used different colors than last year, with red and blue. I opted for a more old-school design, with some lines and without the glitter. I’m going back to my origins. We have a few new partners as you can see. That is always very nice’, he says in a reaction to Verstappen.com.
The back of the helmet has also been updated, with of course a reference to his second world championship. “The back of my helmet is quite tight and open. The helmet therefore looks good, I think the colors are beautiful. On the back is a small update, a second star. Looking forward to adding a few more stars, but for now I’m happy with these two! I am very happy with the end result of my new helmet.’
Interested in Schumacher before the start of the season: ‘Certainly, something is going on’
The 2023 season has yet to start and all drivers have yet to prove themselves worthy of their seat, but Mick Schumacher has no complaints about interest, he tells SPOX. “Some people have already shown interest in the winter,” says the German, who says that there is already movement. ‘Sure, something is going on. When the talks will start will become clear in the coming weeks and months. With the results I’ve shown, I’m sure there will be opportunities. My goal is to stay in Formula 1. There is no guarantee, but I am in a comfortable position and can get a lot out of the year.’
Drugovich and Vandoorne will also be joining McLaren as reserve drivers in 2023
McLaren has made agreements with Aston Martin about using their reserve drivers, Motorsport.com reports. In case Lando Norris or Oscar Piastri are not able to race, McLaren can use Stoffel Vandoorne or Felipe Drugovich. However, these two drivers are not the only ones who would possibly take to the track for McLaren. At the beginning of February, McLaren already announced that they have also made agreements with Mercedes, making it possible that Mick Schumacher could drive a Grand Prix as a substitute.
Gasly shrugs after Russell complaining about test days: ‘It is what it is’
George Russell was previously unhappy about the number of test days that Formula 1 gets, but Pierre Gasly is not very good with those words and remains sober towards Total-Motorsport. “Of course it would help if I was in the car for ten days, but it is what it is,” said the Alpine driver. “But I know that for my part I have done everything I can to work with the team, get to know them and communicate my requirements and needs. It is also about recognizing the habits of the team, so that a certain routine is created, which will certainly come. And I am confident that we can put in a good performance already in the first race.’