Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2020

Mercedes have produced ‘their most complete car’ of V6 hybrid turbo era – Horner

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In the round-up: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner describes their rival’s W11 as the “most complete” car they have produced since the V6 hybrid turbo era began in 2014.

What they say

Horner was asked what area Red Bull most need to improve in to beat Mercedes:

Like everything there’s no silver bullet. I think we need to improve across all areas of the car. So the whole team together with Honda are focussed on doing that. So it’s not just one area.

Mercedes have done a very good job this year. It’s probably their most complete and rounded car probably in the last six or seven years for them. So they’ve set the bar very high. But that’s what we have to aim for.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Ben says the stewards were right not to penalise Charles Leclerc for his first lap collision with Lance Stroll:

Depending on how careless they think the driver has been, they have for the past few years been significantly more slack against penalties on the first lap. I keep seeing people bring up comparisons of other incidents that get penalties but they are much later on in the race. Incidents are far more likely to happen at the start where the tyres are cold and the cars are all congested together so to me despite it being Leclerc to blame, I think no penalty is appropriate here and is consistent to what has been done for years now.

Last race as another example, there was chaos at the start. Gasly and Raikkonen both had some input in forcing Verstappen to retire and punting Grosjean into the barriers, but it didn’t get investigated. Sainz spun himself and broke Vettel’s front wing. even though many things clearly have a driver to blame, the first lap doesn’t seem to get penalties unless it is an incredibly careless move that the stewards think could have been extremely easy to avoid.
Ben Rowe (@Thegianthogweed)

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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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  • 33 comments on “Mercedes have produced ‘their most complete car’ of V6 hybrid turbo era – Horner”

    1. I don’t mind no penalty for Leclerc. I would have like to see an investigation, as I think is appropriate for any incident between two cars that results in a crash.

      Not so impressed with the attitude from Leclerc and Ferrari after the incident though. During the race Leclerc says Stroll moved across on him. After the race he says he had understeer from Perez. And in the Ferrari review they say “Starting from tenth, Charles soon found himself eighth, after Carlos Sainz hit the barriers at turn 2 and Lance Stroll spun after a collision with the Monegasque” which is about as roundabout a way I can think of to avoid saying “Leclerc hit Stroll and gained a position as a result” while still mentioning that something happened.

    2. As long as the FIA keep turning a blind eye to lap 1 we’re going to keep seeing a poorer standard of driving, more wrecks and more safety cars. These are F1 drivers! They’re supposed to be able to race properly, whether it’s lap 50, lap 20 or lap 1. The drivers AND the stewards both need to be doing their jobs properly on lap 1.

      1. A good comparison is false starts. It used to be cheating galore for decades when it wasn’t policed properly, but after the 0 tolerance rule, false starts was completely wiped out and we hardly see it at all any more.

        I’m not saying L1 shenanigans will be gone, but it will reduced, and that’s what counts.

    3. I agree with Horner, that car is amazing in all conditions.

      Only slow maybe on the straights, and has trouble in turbulent air.

      But give it any corner, it just does it better than any other.

      This was Mercedes effort against cheating engine Ferrari. If they still had extra 100 bhp, Mercedes would still beat them.

      1. (Mrecedes is) Only slow maybe on the straights, and has trouble in turbulent air.

        That would be disastrous if they have to come from behind during a race, even if it were just a race for grid positions :P

      2. I agree. From afar the Mercedes cars have always seemed to be very good. It will be interesting to see how McLaren do next year when they fit the Mercedes hybrid system into the back of their car.

      3. well…this was supposed to be the final year of the current regs so merc threw everything they had on this car; every trick they discovered and every secret they had in the freezer. Now theyll have to come up with a W11.5 to bridge next year

        1. No real need to be honest. I’m willing to bet that this years Mercedes is quick enough to beat any team next year.

    4. Accidents and incidents on lap 1 should still atleast be investigated. Otherwise whats stopping a driver from ploughing, ramming and or shoving his way through the field,. All in the name of 1st lap incidents. Thats just ridiculous. Its at the starts of races that define good race drivers. To make a move and make it stick without an accident.

      1. Prescription F1. A rule for everything and if not we add one, then the moaning we don’t get wheel to wheel racing. See K Mag for how to drive a 1st lap, it was outstanding and worthy of a review rather than how rubbish everything was at Socchi. It seems we find a problem then we endlessly shout to teacher that someone did something wrong and must be punished, Leclerc just tagged Stroll, that’s all. It goes with the media as well, constant question mark headlines, should we change this or that. Then when anyone suggests we trial a reverse grid everyone shouts we mustn’t change the purity of f1. LOL funny, well it would be funny but all boards are hijacked by these same people, wagging their fingers and demanding investigation. Sucks the life out of it, it really does.

    5. Krzysztof Piotrowicz
      29th September 2020, 7:49

      Correa’s situation reminds me of Kubica and his many operations, which included prosthetics being put in the elbow area about a year after his accident.

      1. It’s almost exactly like Didier Pironi’s accident in 1982. He had to have 30 operations to save his legs.

    6. In my head this is the perfect time to issue penalty points to Leclerc. No real penalty in the race, but just keeps a track and ensures he’s not in too many incidents.

      1. Don’t you remember Monza 2019, and then driving with no seat belts?

        Come on, he’s no going to get any real penalties.

    7. While we all accept that a Lap 1 incident is treated differently than say a Lap 30 incident and penalties are rarely handed at the start of the race, FIA could at least investigate these Lap 1 incidents and could give some reprimands to those ‘ok if that incident happened later in the race we would punish you’ like the Leclerc-Stroll crash.
      A reprimand is a meaningleass penalty in the race, it’s not like the +5sec one that could ruin your race, but if you are consistently being involved in Lap 1 incidents and you are at fault, then there is an automatic 10-place grid penalty on your 3rd reprimand.

      Also on a side note, am i the only one that was confused by the way they punished Hamilton. I’m not saying he shouldn’t be punished, he clearly broke the rules, but it was before even the race began. I can’t think of another pre-race infraction that resulted in a time-penalty or drive-through penalty in the actual race. I think a 3-5 grid drop was more appropriate, at this race if possible if they handed the penalty in time before the race began or if they couldn’t, then at the next one.

      1. Baku last year, Kubica got a drive-through penalty because the team released him into the pit lane earlier than they were allowed to, prior to the start of the race.

    8. The COTD has a point, although so have @bookgrub and @pdduggan

    9. Still no mention of the Finnish steward leaking the penalty for Hamilton to the Finnish press before the race started which the Finnish driver eventually won?
      Might be innocent rumours, but surely its worthy of a few words and a little investigation?

      1. @sham I presume that this is the story that you are referring to (article is in Finnish) about the commentary team for the Finnish TV service CMore stating what Hamilton’s penalty would be long before the official announcement was made:

        Right now, it should be noted that Salo has denied (in rather unsafe for work terms) that he leaked information about Hamilton being given a penalty before the race to that Finnish commentary team. The commentator Niki Juusela has subsequently claimed that it was not Salo who leaked the information about a penalty, but has in turn stated that he will “protect his source” and not confirm whom it was who did leak that information.

        Even if Salo himself did not leak that information, Niki’s later comments appear to confirm that somebody was leaking information from investigations undertaken by the stewards panel. If that is the case, then it does raise questions about why either one of the stewards, or somebody working for them, was leaking information, as well as raising questions over whether they really should be talking to third parties given that it could, in turn, lead to possible interference in the decision making process.

        In that respect, it does suggest that perhaps there should be an investigation into how that information was leaked, as having individuals leaking information and chatting to people outside of the stewards panel does raise questions over the integrity of their investigations.

        1. it does suggest that perhaps there should be an investigation into how that information was leaked

          Fully agree, anon. I would have a good look at the video feed from the stewards room and see if any of them was using his mobile.
          I also saw a mention (probably guess) that the stewards use some sort of short message communication system which might be accessible from outside the stewards room.

          1. Yes, indeed. Can’t have the FIA and their officials bringing the sport into disrepute. Oh wait… that’s their standard method…

          2. @coldfly I would agree that it does raise issues with regards to the integrity of the decision making process and the uninterrupted transmission of information to all parties in an equitable manner.

            The angle that others have raised with regards to potential illegal actions with regards to gambling legislation is another interesting point. Whilst you yourself are rather critical of gambling, the points raised about whether the transmission of information outside of official channels could be seen as manipulating the sport in a way that could be exploited for profit does raise the question of whether whomever leaked this information might have, in doing so, committed a criminal offence – which could make it a rather more serious issue if that was the case.

        2. I belive we saw Salo playing with his tablet in the official broadcast

          1. There will be no investigation, I can assure you that.

      2. There are a few asking various F1 journos on twitter. And in every case the journos are ignoring the question, rather than dismissing the allegation.
        Interestingly the German press are running with it. Basically its not Ham who is talking you know what, but Salo himself. And they are suggesting he should have spent more time stewarding and less time texting Finnish television.
        Not sure what I think, the act itself wouldn’t surprise me. But given the implications in relation to betting, I would think it would be too serious to ignore if true.

        1. But given the implications in relation to betting, I would think it would be too serious to ignore if true.

          Weird that you are more concerned about betting implications than sporting ones. @riptide

          1. Weird that you interpret it that way. You think revealing a backhander off a TV company for a bit of early information would do more damage to the sport than a betting scandal?

            1. Betting sits so low on my respect scale (barely above smoking) that I could hardly care less what the consequences for them could be.
              Fairness in the sport, even the sharing of information, is way more important to me.
              But I guess I’m the odd one out.

          2. Weird that you are more concerned about betting implications than sporting ones.

            Not really, there are potential legal implications here depending on the jurisdiction (I imagine this incident would be covered by Russian law which I have no idea about). It’s akin to match fixing.

            Let’s take this to the worst case scenario. A steward has sufficient control to impact the outcome of the race, they tell others about penalties about to be given to the most likely race winner. Those other place illegal bets based on that information. People have been jailed for that.

    10. Isn’t the difference more that Ferrari dropped away? It doesn;t feel like Red Bull is any further behind Mercedes than they ever were, but Ferrari was faster or at least on par with Mercedes before and then things were more competitive. At least on car level. Drivers not so much.

    11. Binotto managed to crash his Alfa Stelvio on a public road in Regio Emilia, no one is hurt but the reaction of a passing driver is hilarious :)

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