Start, Spa-Francorchamps, 2020

Don’t meddle with “drivers’ circuits” like Spa – Wolff

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In the round-up: Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff doesn’t want to see major changes at Spa in the wake of Antonio Giovinazzi’s crash last weekend.

What they say

Giovinazzi hit a barrier at Fagnes and debris from his car was struck by George Russell, who also retired.

I think Spa is one of the most iconic circuits and I don’t think we should be meddling with these kind of drivers circuits.

The corner Giovinazzi went off is a real driver’s corner. It’s really fast and you can easily lose the rear there and this is what happened. I think I’m happy that both drivers escaped unhurt.

Obviously, George had to avoid the tyre, which looked scary. I think the tyre shouldn’t come off the car and we need to examine that.

But on the other side, we are really missing those drivers’ circuits. We should have more of these rather than less.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

@Bascb reckons we’re in for a long wait before Ferrari get back to the front again:

Since it is pretty clear they will have their jobs cut out trying to find power from the engine with the few things that are allowed, they would have to build a car at the level of the Red Bull cars of the 2009-14 years to be able to overcome a deficit of maybe three to five tenths a lap from that engine.

And that would be for 2022 earliest, since they cannot really change anything much on their chassis from now until the end of 2021 anyway, so that car won’t be up to more than midfield if they do a good job.

Making a competitive Ferrari at least two years away, even if they do manage to also up that engine back to the rest of the field by then.
@Bascb

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  • 45 comments on “Don’t meddle with “drivers’ circuits” like Spa – Wolff”

    1. What a joke Tailem Bend one of the few circuits that can make V8 Supercar races look boring. Also a circuit that is 100km from Australia’s most boring city… I am sure F1 can’t wait.

    2. The Bend Motorsports Park has only a Grade 2 FIA certification. Not sure what is necessary to upgrade the track to get the required Grade 1 for F1.
      However, it is just barely September and would not expect the new season to begin in March anyways. So plenty of time to work on getting virus numbers down (at least anywhere but the US) in many places around the world and maybe even a vaccine by then to allow fans back to the tracks without a worry.

      1. As someone who used to live in Adelaide (approx 100km from where The Bend is) I remember reading articles about the owner deliberately building the track so it can be easily upgraded to Grade 1 if needed. Ferrying everyone up the freeway from their hotels in Adelaide would be a challenge however, it could only be done via buses and would take awhile.

        1. Distance could be an issue, but there’s a number of circuits which aren’t close to accommodation etc. Suzuka comes to mind first.

          Yeah the only reason it’s not grade 1 is because of the cost associated in doing so, not much point spending the money until there’s a race which requires it. Supposedly it’s able to be upgraded should it need to be.

      2. Upgrade from Grade 1 to Grade 2 usually consists of creating suitable (=longer or reshaped) runoffs for higher speeds and proper spec curbs. KymiRing has these built in the plans as well

      3. @us-brian I’m not worried about Melbourne next March, which is, after all, nearly seven months away should it take place towards the end of the month (something Chase Carey at one point indirectly implied).

      4. It’s a very boring circuit from what I’ve seen online.

        No point travelling to the other side of the planet for a very boring track when you can go to circuits like Mugello.

      5. V8 Supercars can’t even pass on this track. I would hate to think what an F1 race would look like.

    3. Don’t get me wrong I would much prefer The Aus GP to be held a ‘proper’ circuit but lets not jump out of the frypan into the fire.
      The Bend is a Long way from everything no public transport one hotel one caravan pk Mmm. While the current location has excellent public transport is only 30 minutes by tram from Melbourne and only minute away from dozens of restaurants in St Kilda, Sth Yarra and Prahran.
      The Family company is also being hit with a class action for wage theft of over $50 million. I wonder how that attitude reflects on how things are run on a daily basis and the question of maintenance all impacting on the quality of service and facilities.

      1. It’s only being mooted in the case Melbourne is in shutdown at the time.

    4. C’mon. Who here isn’t thinking if we’re gonna change up AUS, it’s Mt. Panorama time!!!
      (A guy can dream, no?)

      1. I love Mt Panorama but is it really suitable for F1, although I do admit it would be awesome to watch.

    5. Well Seb nabbed an absolute beaut !
      Wonder how much it cost?

      1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        2nd September 2020, 6:19

        I wonder if it’s more than Roy Nissany’s dad is paying for his FP1 outings.

      2. At the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2019, auction house Bonhams sold Nigel Mansell’s Williams-Renault FW14B Formula 1 car for £2,703,000, that was chassis FW14-08 which won South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Spain and San Marino GP. No idea which chassis Sebastian Vettel bought.

      3. Indeed, an absolute classic F1 Car!

      4. Wouldn’t it be amazing if Seb announced his plans for next year were to race his Williams in the Masters Historic series.

        1. I could really see him pulling a cheeky manoeuvre like that. And you just know he’d get far more satisfaction driving those 90s cars than the overweight lumbering limos they have now.

        2. @eurobrun I hope not… he’d just crash it. Shame to lose a historic F1 car.

        3. Maybe he has a desire to race it this year in … a premier open wheel racing series … .

      5. Wonder how much it cost?

        Will be considered a sign on bonus.

    6. Seb owns championship car contender this year at least

    7. I got my FW14B for $129.

      A very nice TAMIYA model kit

      Now valued around $700-$800 dollars

      Good investment polystyrene has become

    8. As for leaving Spa as is…

      Smartest idea in the last 200 years. Only the best type of idiots would consider altering the basic Spa layout. Just leave it as is and go find another track to mess up like Sochi. A dismal place to race F1 cars. How ridiculous that track is. So go mess that place up better and get away from Spa. It’s sacred ground.

    9. Very curious about the tire tethers this season. I don’t remember the last time I saw two legit tether breaks in a single season (not a tire coming off the rim, or wheel not properly attached etc). Has there been any changes to spec parts that might have relevance? Or is this just coincidence?

      1. The tires keep getting heavier. they already require 2 tethers up front. Heavier tires, wheel, brakes, hubs… the tethers just can’t manage.

    10. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      2nd September 2020, 6:31

      Seeing the gorgeous FW14B rolling into his garage is bound to put a big smile on Seb’s face in the middle of a very gloomy season. I’m glad to see a contemporary driver willing to put his own money into maintaining such an iconic car with no relevance to his own career.

    11. HA, I got a CotD! That’s been a while :-)

      I really hope Vettel gets to drive that beast, I am sure he will like the feeling of a really planted rear again!

    12. The cars are the safest by far in history so theres no need to be crippling the circuits even further. On the contrary some chicances (Barcelona) and tighter corners should be re-added and relaxed to reflect the new safety level.

      1. I just bought the 1990’s season reviews and have watched 1990 and 1994 so far. Safety was appalling on track, in the pit, marshalling. I’m surprised so many people survived.

    13. Sebastian Vettel has bought a Williams-Renault FW14B of the type used by Nigel Mansell to win the 1992 world championship.

      That’s it! Vettel is going to Williams in 2021!

    14. In my mind’s eye I can see Seb frantically spray painting that FW14B in rosso corsa and planning to drop it into the Ferrari garage when nobody is looking. “Yeah, my number five has always been red…”

    15. When Gasly said about Mugello “The teams have no data from this track so everyone, drivers and teams, will be discovering what it’s like.”, did he realise it is a Ferrari owned test track?

      1. @mrfill Maybe not, but teams actually do have some data from the track as they’ve (other as well, not only Ferrari) tested there before (the same with Algarve in 2009), although most recently in 2012, so not up-to-date relevant anymore.

    16. Well for those of you wondering what price he paid: The article states (in German however) 3.02mio € incl fees ;-)

      “Vettel musste für das von Stardesigner Adrian Newey entworfene Auto tief in die Tasche greifen. 2019 wurde eines von nur sechs gebauten FW14B-Chassis beim britischen Auktionshaus “Bonhams” für 3,02 Mio Euro inklusive Zuschlägen versteigert. In der Galerie zeigen wir Ihnen noch einmal ein paar Bilder des Zehnzylinder-Monsters.”

    17. “Sebastian Vettel has bought a Williams-Renault FW14B of the type used by Nigel Mansell to win the 1992 world championship.”

      Finally he has a class leading car again.

      1. He’ll still crash it, even sitting still at a museum

    18. What’s the point in buying something only to put it in a garage as a decoration without using it for its intended purpose? F1 cars (old ones as well) require a handful of people to operate, and of course, aren’t allowed to be used on public roads, so very little if any opportunities for actual usage.

      1. The 2020 Ferarri is also more of a garage decoration than a useful race car so Seb is used to it already

      2. There’s a fair bit of historic F1 racing and I’d reckon that Vettel has enough to afford to maintain a car and team.
        There’s an interesting Drivetribe video on Youtube about Judd Engineering who still produce a V10 specifically for historic cars. Judd were well known to tweak the old Ford DFV rather well. They’re making a good living from helping to keep historic F1 cars racing.

    19. Lewisham Milton
      2nd September 2020, 15:14

      Look out for some radical updates to one of the Ferraris at Monza, although the shape and engine note will be oddly familiar to fans of a certain age…

    20. Looking at that first picture, the one with the kerbs and the track markings, shouldn’t the white line showing the track limits be on the outside of the outside the kerb with the run off area? As I understand it, drivers were allowed to exceed the track limits at corners like that, but weren’t allowed to go beyond the red and yellow painted kerbs. So you’ve got a rule with an exception. If the white line had been placed on the other side of that kerb then wouldn’t it mean the same thing, in that a driver is allowed to drive onto the kerb but if their car went beyond the kerb then they’d be breaking the rules, so you’d have a rule without an exception.

    21. What was the question that Wolff is answering? The answer feels very much out of context without … well .. the context.

    22. I don’t normally like older cars, but that Williams Vettel has bought is still very good-looking.

      Vettel, the anglofile, was always a Mansell fan, wasn’t he. His choice of race number 5 was partly due to that being Nigel’s.

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