Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Racing Point and AlphaTauri “the most dangerous guys” in the midfield – Sainz

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Carlos Sainz Jnr names the two teams he thinks will be the biggest threat in the midfield in the 2020 F1 season.

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What they say

Sainz gave his read on his rivals’ performance in pre-season testing:

I think everyone is looking strong. I think every single team that you look at, at some point of the test, they’ve done a very strong lap time. So it’s very difficult to know who is in front of the midfield or behind.

I think that Racing Point and even the AlphaTauri I would put them as probably the most dangerous guys to beat. I think we’re all going to be in the mix.

What I really hope is that all of us are closer to the top than we were last year. That would be my biggest wish, independent of the position, I wish the midfield this year could be close enough to the leaders to don’t get lapped every race or to make sure if the leaders have an accident in lap one that they don’t go through the field and we don’t even try to fight them. That would be my biggest thing, to make sure that the whole midfield closes up the gap, which at the moment is difficult to know.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

What was behind yesterday’s opaque statement from the FIA about its investigation into Ferrari’s power unit?

My best guess of how this unfolded: FIA suspect Ferrari have found a loophole with the fuel flow sensor based on GPS data, engine notes, etc… But after months of investigating can’t quite figure out how they are doing it. They test and test and test but can’t figure it out.

Both the FIA and Ferrari have to put the story to rest because it is making both of them look bad. Ferrari because it looks like they are cheating and the FIA because they look incompetent to regulate the series. FIA offers a settlement to Ferrari that if Ferrari tells them how they are doing it they won’t be punished but they can’t do it anymore and they have to provide the details so that the regulations can be tightened and more effective testing can happen.

This is similar to what happened in the US recently with the stolen pitch signs in baseball. Major League Baseball needed the players to co-operate to get the details so gave them all immunity from punishment. Only the managers and organisations received punishment.
Leroy (@g-funk)

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On this day in F1

  • Born on this day – leap year day – in 1932: American racer Masten Gregory, who raced in F1 and won the 1965 Le Mans 24 Hours in a Ferrari shared with Jochen Rindt and Ed Hugus

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 19 comments on “Racing Point and AlphaTauri “the most dangerous guys” in the midfield – Sainz”

    1. @g-funk‘s CotD offers up another compelling interpretation for what could have transpired.

      Sadly, and not to take anything away from the comment itself, it is just that – an interpretation. Speculation stirred up by the FIA being all mysterious and cagey.

      When it suits the FIA, they don’t mind offering up Charlie or Masi to give us some contrived explanation as to why a particular decision was made (“the curve of the tyre put it on the white line”, ha). But here? A total non-statement statement. It makes me wonder why they even bothered to do so, unless the FIA were being pressured by another competitor to make a statement on their investigations into Ferrari’s PU.

      I’ve tended not to subscribe to the notion that the FIA is biased towards Ferrari (it helps that I started following F1 only after Schumacher’s dominant era). But cases like this only help fuel the notion that the FIA have one set of rule books for the influential and rich teams, another for the rest.

      1. As it should be, @phylyp. What’s the point of being a rich and influential team if they can’t peddle influence?

        Ferrari are the most important team for Liberty/FIA, ergo for F1. Still get a sizable ‘legacy’ payment post 2020 and keep their veto. Merc/RBR tied for 2nd most influential. Big gap back to the rest.

        Also… apologies for using a ‘flu’ ridden word in these viral-driven times.

        1. What’s the point of being a rich and influential team if they can’t peddle influence?

          On the lines of “bin it to win it” now comes “use it or lose it”, eh?

          LOL, @jimmi-cynic

          Now excuse me, I’m off to find a tissue, I’ve got the sniffles.

          1. Yes, @phylyp.

            With a special episode devoted to Seb: “Spin It to Win It”

            And a backstory installment about Bernie: “Skim It to Win It” ;-)

        2. @jimmi-cynic

          What’s the point of being a rich and influential team if they can’t peddle influence?

          I’m sorry but this is just disgusting…

          1. @jeffreyj – he’s joking, that’s not a serious statement :)

            1. Just being sarcastic and cynical, @phylyp. That’s almost within walking distance of joking.

          2. @jeffreyj: In pure sporting terms, it is.

            But in the business of global business some disgusting dirt of politics will fall. Or in the case of F1, tons of it. There’s far too much money, brand prestige and monster egos involved to leave politics out.

            We can thank Bernie and Mosley, who forged modern F1 from the crucible of Machiavellian politics and nurtured the ‘Piranha Club’ that fights on the track. And off.

            1. @jimmi-cynic Not just in sporting terms. It’s an immoral, unethical and all-around disgusting viewpoint to hold in every situation.

              Now, I know this type of thinking is prevalent in everyday life, but that doesn’t make it less disgusting nor should we shrug our shoulders and just accept it.

            2. @jeffreyj: I’m not shrugging my shoulders. Nor do I think it the norm in my everyday life.

              Some might argue that motorsport in general doesn’t rate very highly on the moral and ethical scale as a starting point. Environmental degradation just to drive fast in circles for thrills and vicarious entertainment is selfish, at best.

              But we humans are attracted to speed and power. F1 as the pinnacle of motorsport just pushes the sociopathic corporate moral boundaries to the peak of winning at all costs.

              A good (or terrible) read on the subject is: The Piranha Club: Power and Influence in Formula One

    2. Australian health minister Greg Hunt: “Go about your ordinary business. Go down to the Chinese restaurant, go out to the football or the grand prix or the netball.”

      It is good to see a minister making such a clear statement. Right now, in many countries, fear and panic can be more harmful than the coronavirus.

      Aussie fan(atic)s – now please don’t crush my hopes by telling me this minister is known for shooting his mouth of, or is otherwise a poor leader.

      1. @phylyp I hate to be a bearer of bad news but the current government are in a bit of trouble with some pretty serious accusations of pork barrelling involving the PM and several billion dollars (sports rort affair). This is a follow up from the PMs declaration of an emergency which was widely seen as an attempt to distract from that, as we have only a hand full of cases so far. Also most if not all of what Hunt said should have already been done.

        1. Ah, I’m disappointed but not surprised, @johnrkh.

          @scottie – that’s reassuring, let’s hope things the same the next few weeks as well.

          1. @phylyp compounding that, there is the rather unfortunate news that, last month, Greg Hunt was accused of interfering to try and have a self-diagnosis flu testing kit be approved by the Australian regulatory body – a self-diagnosis kit that happens to be produced by a major donor to his party.

    3. With the way our government is actively treating the virus, one step ahead of the WHO, I don’t see any reason why Round one here shouldn’t go ahead. Despite our multi-cultural society here, I’m not aware of too many that the virus has reached, and certainly the Asian-dominated centres near where I live are taking huge steps to limit the possibilities of it spreading. The Glen Waverley shops up the road are very quiet, so no liberties are being taken by the community.

      Racefans should just be aware that getting through the airport might take a but longer than usual to go through screening processes.

    4. The FIA and Scuderia Ferrari have agreed to a number of technical commitments that will improve the monitoring of all Formula 1 Power Units for forthcoming championship seasons as well as assist the FIA in other regulatory duties in Formula 1 and in its research activities on carbon emissions and sustainable fuels.

      The first thing i asked myself was if Ferrari had used something to modify their fuel mix tried to get a better yield out of it and Hats off of if they have found a loophole.
      As someone who isnt emotionally invested in what happens away from the track and as someone who trusts the stakeholders (teams, FIA, etc.), i find this issue being overblown. The governing body has concluded the analysis and has reached a settlement with the concerned party. I would peacefully move on if all the other parties (teams) move on because they are the ones being impacted the most if Ferrari were ‘cheating’.

      Nevertheless, concluding months of inspections and tests in a conservatively worded statement raises more unwanted and uncomfortable questions than close the issue permanently. The FIA and Liberty should do better to eliminate room for such needless speculation.

    5. “Chris Medland
      One thing we can definitely confirm from testing is that Kimi hasn’t changed. Two days in the car this week, two cancelled media sessions”
      Rumor was that he was off eating ice-cream wearing a “Don’t Bother Me” tee shirt.
      Kimi, what-ever you do, don’t change. We need you.
      More likely he was working on the car.

    6. ”I wish the midfield this year could be close enough to the leaders to don’t get lapped every race or to make sure if the leaders have an accident in lap one that they don’t go through the field and we don’t even try to fight them.”
      – Unfortunately for me, the most likely scenario is that it’s going to be the same as in the last three seasons, i.e., Mercedes, Ferrari, and RBR considerably ahead of the rest on pure pace.

      Chris Medland’s tweet, though.

    7. Who knew 2019’s merc and RBr were so good. McLaren looked good but feels like the top 2 are stil well away.

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