Silverstone practice run for Juncadella

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In the round-up: Force India test driver Daniel Juncadella will have his first run in an official F1 practice session at the British Grand Prix next week.


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Juncadella to drive Silverstone opening practice with Sahara Force India (Force India)

“The 23-year-old Spaniard will take the wheel of Nico Hülkenberg’s VJM07, returning to the cockpit after appearances for the team in pre-season testing and at the Barcelona in-season test.”

Former Ferrari F1 boss Stefano Domenicali breaks his silence (James Allen on F1)

Stefano Domenicali: “It was clear that the teams that were strong at the beginning would keep that advantage for the season because with such a step change in technology. Mercedes have done a great job and they will keep this advantage for a long time. To close the gap in a situation where the regulation is more or less frozen is very difficult.”

‘The alarm bell is ringing’ – Lauda (ESPN)

Niki Lauda: “The alarm bell is ringing that the competition is coming closer. If the alarm bell rings in time then you can do something, but if you sit back, which we won’t try to do, you miss out.”

Ferrari: Recovery plan is in place (Autosport)

Marco Mattiacci: “There is a leadership that is working to fill up those weaknesses. But in terms of master plan, or strategy plan, the key points we will keep to ourselves. I will not give an advantage to the opponents.”

Not enough corners (Red Bull)

“I’m always optimistic going to Silverstone because I love the circuit but yes, it should be a circuit that suits us a little bit more. We’ve got to learn a few things about our performance here but once we do that, I think we’ll be fighting in the top five and trying to get on the podium.”


Comment of the day

Are Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel or Lewis Hamilton realistic candidates for a seat at McLaren in the near future?

Alonso is too ingrained at Ferrari. He has destroyed Kimi Raikkonen so far this year, every bit as he did Felipe Massa. He is fluent in Italian, and is obviously the number one driver there. Why risk it for driving for McLaren, and for Ron Dennis, even though it’s seven years since he was there. Would it be any different this time around?

Everyone has seen Sebastien Vettel struggle this season. Riccardo has been sensational and has so far made Vettel look quite ordinary, despite Sebastian having the lion’s share of the mechanical gremlins. Despite this, Vettel still holds a lot of clout at Red Bull and I firmly believe that this year will only make Vettel even more hungry for success. In a team that he knows and a team that still possesses the best race car designer in the world, Adrian Newey.

Hamilton is the weakest link of the three. One has to wonder how Lewis will react if Rosberg wins the championship. A lot more has gone on at Mercedes than we know about, even before Monaco. Hamilton maybe nostalgic perhaps, but he will only consider McLaren if the Honda engine is good enough. Less than two years ago, many of us thought Hamilton was crazy leaving McLaren for Mercedes. Now we think he would be crazy to go back, nothing would surprise me.
The Limit

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On this day in F1

Happy birthday to Philippe Streiff who is 59 today.

Streiff made his F1 debut in a Renault in a one-off start at the end of 1984. The following year he got a break with Ligier, replacing Andrea de Cesaris, and in his fourth start for the team delivered a podium in the inaugural Australian Grand Prix.

However it was Tyrrell who he drove for in his first season the following year. He remained in 1987 alongside Jonathan Palmer, who won the one-off Jim Clark Cup for normally aspirated cars.

In 1988 he drove for AGS, who he enjoyed a fruitful relationship with in Formula Two, but ended the season without a point. That might have changed at the wheel of their 1989 car, but Streiff was left paralysed after a heavy crash during testing in Rio de Janeiro.

Four years after his accident Streiff organised the first of nine Masters Karting events in Paris which attracted many leading F1 drivers and past greats. He has also worked in motorsport broadcasting.

Here he is on his way to his best career result in Adelaide:

Image © Force India

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27 comments on “Silverstone practice run for Juncadella”

  1. Domenicalli breaks the silence on all the topics except the ones people would care to hear him speak of.

  2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    26th June 2014, 0:21

    I am not sure if the alarm bell should be ringing just yet at Mercedes. Their pace is still pretty great and Williams were only closer at Austria as it was a stronger circuit for them but they were just as far back as the rest at Canada. Mercedes had a huge lead before troubles hit them in Canada and probably would’ve done the same last week had they not messed up qualifying. Their real problem is down to overheating and reliability. That has cropped up 2 races in a row, not good.
    I think that next year Ferrari will be very strong. They will no doubt have a better engine and James Allison will have had the time to put his skills to good work.

  3. Have you heard that the winner of the Gran Turismo FIA championship will receive their prize at the FIA Awards Gala? Amazing, I hope this turns heads in the paddock.

    Personally I can see Hamilton joining McLaren IF he wins the WDC this year. As he likes to say – “Whats the point in sitting in the comfy chair?”

    1. can mclaren afford him?

      1. “can mclaren afford him?”

        I think you mean honda…. And for that, I say yes.

    2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
      26th June 2014, 0:35

      I doubt he will just yet, he’ll see out the end of his Mercedes contract and then rejoin when Mclaren will (hopefully) be back in 2016.

      1. Why would he go back to McLaren in 2016? He’s in a team with big budgets, highly skillful people who have proven to be able to build a superb car, a great (the best) engine. And on top of it they don’t ruin his races when he is doing well (like McLaren did all too often).

        He didn’t leave McLaren just for the challenge of it, he left because he was sick of McLaren either not providing a competitive car to RBR, or screwing it up in all kinds of ways when they did provide a competitive car.

        Mercedes have a big advantage now and I don’t think for a second that they will not be at the front in 2015. Probably not with the kind of advantage they have now, but I can’t imagine them not being front-runners and race-winners. McLaren possibly face yet another trying season in 2015. Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari will have a season experience with the new engines in actual races, while Honda won’t, and is likely to have some issues to iron out next year.

        So no, I can’t see him being not at Mercedes in 2016. Unless Rosberg wins 2 WDC’s in a row, the Honda engine has potential and McLaren prove they can get back to designing a sound car and to operating solidly.

    3. “Whats the point in sitting in the comfy chair?”

      Well, the world championships, race wins, breaking all the records, the satisfaction of driving a good car… ;)

  4. Hamilton will get the WDC this year watch.

    1. *stares into storm* – I hope so, Woogle, I hope so.

    2. As Lee Corso would say: “not so fast my friend”

    3. It’ll be ironic if Lewis wins it by the double points rule in Abu Dhabi – that will actually leave us in a quandary. Deserving on pace but having retirements nullified by double points shootout vs. consistent podium taker and effective mind games.

  5. Another week, another “Ferrari knows how to fix this mess” article.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      26th June 2014, 7:03

      Don’t worry, next week there’ll be another: “Di Montezemolo claims Formula One needs to reinvigorate itself.”

      1. Every week pre-race: “Ferrari can get back on top, we’re making good progress. Ferrari is Formula 1, we exist to win in F1”

        Every week post-race: “F1 is rubbish, it needs to change or we’re bailing”

        1. Haha, that’s so true, my respect for the company has dwindled a lot recently.

  6. Nice write up on Streiff. The video clip kind of misses the key moment of the race for him though – when he collided with Laffite at the end!

  7. About COTD, I would not be so sure for Alonso. He is increasingly bored by Ferrari and surely very disappointed. He could be tempted to gamble like Hamilton did with Mercedes.
    But one thing is for sure, McLaren is hungry, Honda is hungry, and I doubt they will keep this lineup next year.

    1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      26th June 2014, 9:55

      @spoutnik – Really? I think that McLaren have the perfect mix of experience and potential, with the former having beaten Perez comfortably last year, scored more points than Hamilton during their partnership, and looks set to add Magnussen to an impressive set of scalps. With Perez being prematurely scraped just one year previously, McLaren are obliged to retain Magnussen so not to retain their record for knee-jerk driver decisions, which poses the question: who would you replace Button with? Alonso and Vandoorne are the only candidates, and the former is not exactly going to stake his career on Honda’s technical proficiency, is tellingly being nice to Ferrari again of late and is therein unlikely to pop up at Woking before 2016. That leaves the incredible talent of Stoffel Vandoorne, and the prospect of an overtly inexperienced line-up struggling to bed in vastly complex technology. In that regard, Button will be too much of an asset to leave to fallow, and on the basis of recent paddock rumours, I’d be surprised if JB is elsewhere next year. However I do expect to see the headline “Alonso replaces Button at McLaren for 2016” if the influence of a James Allison produced chassis is not felt by Alonso and Ferrari in 2015.

  8. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    26th June 2014, 8:55

    I don’t particularly see the point of practice runs for Juncadella, he’s certainly no Di Resta or Bianchi. When there are drivers like Frijns, Da Costa, Rowland, Ellinas and Evans who all are desperately in need of support and F1 track time, why perform a tokenist act of allegiance to Mercedes by picking up another of its DTM squad (one that goes around at the back instead of winning the championship like Di Resta did)?

    With regards COTD, can we not play armchair psychologist again please? If a McLaren move is unlikely for Alonso and Vettel, which it is, it is no more likely for Hamilton. We a) don’t need to start sketching hypothesis’s about what would happen if Rosberg wins the title, Hamilton has not exactly been in slow in recent races and he has already overhauled a 25 pt deficit this year, and b) even if Hamilton does not win the title, and I think he will, Hamilton is not so emotively orientated that he will throw away the likely prospect of contending for the title again in 2015 sheerly out bitterness. His move to Mercedes was not an emotion one but a tactical one based on the budget rumours regarding Mercedes’ 2014 project, and it was an excellent decision. Nothing short of a better prospect for winning more world titles will see Hamilton move teams, and with Mercedes current advantage, no other team looks able to provide that in the near future.

    1. I think you somewhat underestimate Juncadella. While DTM isn’t going too well for him at the moment, he has been good in junior single seater series. Which are more relevant to F1 than DTM, imo.
      As for the other suggested drivers: Frijns is at Caterham, AFdC is still tied to Red Bull, Rowland and Ellinas have only been in a top-level feeder series for half a season and have/need more time, and Evans still needs to confirm at the top-level.

      I’m not saying there’s not any better than Juncadella, but I don’t think this is all too out-of-place either.

      1. …and he won Macau.

    2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      26th June 2014, 14:55

      At yet he took three years to win the F3 EuroSeries, and even then struggled to contain series rookies Marciello and Wehrlein. Yes, his single seater pedigree is not bad, but when true megastars like Frijns (whose Caterham role amounts to nothing in he stands no chance of a race seat with a team so reliant on driver budgets) and Da Costa (who is no longer a member of the Red Bull junior team, but is still a Red Bull athlete and F1 tester, but in with no chance of STR promotion) have very little chance of promotion, it appears to me a shame that a central element of Juncadella’s reserve role is his association with Mercedes; Force India’s engine supplier. Juncadella was also very average in last year’s Young Driver Test for Williams whilst elsewhere Da Costa matched Ricciardo’s pace in the RB9 and Frijns was equally fast in the Sauber.

      1. @william-brierty Corrcet me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Juncadella make a positive impact on the one day he got in the pre-season test at Jerez?

  9. If Hamilton, Alonso, or Vettel were to indeed make the change from their current teams to McLaren in the next few years, would that potentially spell the end of Jenson Button’s career? I don’t see him going to the midfield or lower teams with the talent coming up in all of the junior categories.

  10. At Mercedes-AMG we still don’t know what the post-Ross Brawn competitiveness will be. 2015 should be very indicative of the team’s ability to maintain their leadership. Hamilton has no doubt already formed his own opinion of where they will stand. Likely outcome: 2015 he still has car with which to fight for the championship, but he’ll have a lot more serious competition than just Nico. 2016 – could be anyone’s game.

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