Brief spell in lead gave McLaren “nice pictures and motivation”

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In the round-up: McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl says the team’s four-lap spell in the lead will give them added motivation as they seek to narrow the gap to the top teams.

What they say

Carlos Sainz Jnr took the lead on the second lap of the race, while Lando Norris officially ran as high as fourth:

Obviously we have some nice pictures which we will put up at home for additional motivation in order to keep us going towards a goal we all have to get back to the front in Formula 1 in the coming years. So that gave a nice taste, it was good to see, to have some leading laps.

But at the same time it’s also clear that we had to focus on our own race, the race we were in. And so we were quickly back and then we were in the fight where we belong to. And then with the additional graining that we suffered on both cars at the beginning of the race we dropped even further back and had to make our way back with Carlos.

But it was interesting to see from Carlos and Lando, they like these conditions also. Of course we had an advantage with the soft tyres compared to the guys on the medium tyres, to the Mercedes and Carlos. But compared to Verstappen who was also on soft tyres Carlos put up a good show and was actually pulling a nice gap, within some laps. But then we quickly back to reality.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

@Mashiat doesn’t see a move to Mercedes for George Russell in the near future:

I’m not sure why people seem to believe Mercedes will promote Russell for 2022. As they have proved, they are more than satisfied with the Hamilton-Bottas partnership, and Russell still hasn’t proved himself up against a top driver in F1.

People were calling for Ocon to replace Bottas after he beat Perez 17-4 in qualifying, and now he is 11-1 against Ricciardo and nobody particularly rates him as a top driver anymore.

And if it’s as a replacement for Hamilton, I’m not sure Mercedes would be brimming with confidence at a Russell-Bottas line-up to beat Verstappen and Red Bull, especially from 2022.

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On this day in F1

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36 comments on “Brief spell in lead gave McLaren “nice pictures and motivation””

  1. It would be nice to see Stroll not permitted a free gearbox change after “retiring” due to being terrible.

    I don’t have high hopes.

    1. @nanotech He’s allowed to get a penalty-free gearbox change for the next event as per the rules. How or why a driver retires is irrelevant in this context.

      1. But it shouldn’t be.
        Unless the retirement was triggered by a gearbox failure, they shouldn’t get to replace it.
        They don’t get a free engine, why a free gearbox?

        In addition to changing that silly regulation, it’s a good reason to overhaul the points system to pay points to all finishers.
        Everyone always has an incentive to finish the race then.

    2. @nanotech Tactical retirements (which I believe this was) have always been allowed free gearboxes before. If that rule is to be changed (and I’m not averse to proof of gearbox damage being needed to change the gearbox) it needs to go through proper regulatory process.

    3. Am I the only one that thinks stroll did nothing wrong? not to say Norris and Max are at fault. this incident reminds me of Button ramming Pastor down the back at Singapore. Button was clearly at fault but as he cursed at Pastor, he was clear of all fault, nobody likes Pastor either.

  2. This is the first time in F1 history a race leader got overlapped on merit, right?

    1. Nope, Alonso got lapped in Spain 2011 after taking the lead at the start if I recall correctly. I think he led a few laps.

      1. @tommy-c it was more than just a few laps – he was in the lead for 17 laps in that race, only to eventually finish a lap down in 5th place.

        1. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
          26th October 2020, 8:42

          The Ferrari was competitive on the softer tyre that day, but hopeless once the harder compound went on.

  3. That Telegraph article about Alonso was very balanced and fair.

    There seems to be a general shift in attitude toward Alonso from the press (well the English language ones). Considering all the negativity that’s surround him in the past, the current coverage seems to be more positive. Curious.

    His comments about Hamilton and Schumacher are quite spot on. Every time they pulled their helmets on, they nailed it, hence they deserve to be the best. Can’t disagree with that.

    1. That’s something that’s also true about Alonso though. He was always at his best, even in inferior machinery.

    2. Great accuracy in China 2007 to nail the smallest gravel trap ever

  4. I disagree with CotD, whats the point of the driver programmes if they don’t promote the drivers, redbull might have a current issue but they have 7 drivers on current grid who have driven for them. Hamilton is at his peak but I don’t see him continuing past 2023, if they put Russell alongdide Hamilton he can learn from him.

    1. Indeed @broke84.
      And I don’t feel sorry for the cutthroat attitude either. There are currently only 20 seats in F1; they need to test these kids under pressure to see who is really up to it and could be the next Hamilton.

    2. The point of the driver programs isn’t just to nurture that talent to be possibly used by their own teams in future – they are there to prevent other teams access to that talent too.
      Of course, those exclusive contracts can be bought out for a sufficient sum of money, or some other form of payment….

    3. @broke84 The point is that it is useless to promote the drivers unless there’s somewhere to promote them to. At the moment, Mercedes has nowhere to promote George to, and as Williams is not a Mercedes B-team…

      1. 2022 contracts are not in place for Hamilton or Bottas so there is a seat available for Russell in 2022

  5. I would have picked a different quote for the AT round-up story:
    “I felt very good with the soft tyres, I was able to manage them well at the start of the race and when the others started to struggle, I could push to pass the Renaults, McLarens and a Racing Point in the end.”

  6. “I think (Hamilton and Michael Schumacher) have an amazing talent. They are legends of the sport and they capitalised on the machinery that they had in the right moment. They didn’t make any mistakes and they nailed it every time that they put the helmet on. They both deserve to be the two best in the sport.”

    I am not a Schumacher Or Hamilton fan, but I couldn’t agree more with Alonso.

  7. So, a screenshot image of Sainz overtaking the Mercs on the computer screens in the factory, or a wallpaper?

    I don’t share the same view as the COTD.

    1. Whatever it is, what a picture!

    2. @jerejj The reception of the Racing Point factory has a large photo of its cars bracketing the race leaders on the run-up to Les Combes on Lap 1 of Spa 2018 on its wall.

      I can imagine McLaren having something similar on an appropriate wall of its factory.

  8. Re COTD recent comments do make you wonder what Merc’s long term strategy is re drivers. I suspect Lewis will sign a new 2 year deal to take him until the end of 2023. So for now they don’t really have an issue. What happens after though?

    Bottas is not really a great long term prospect for easily winning world championships. Are they thinking it might be just down to a case of poaching Max off of RBR to keep their dominance going?

    I don’t know who else is in the Merc young drivers programme but I would have thought they would really be quite keen to make sure Russell stays in an F1 seat? With a view to longer term.

    I guess another option may be Norris now that McLaren are joint the Merc PU family.

    1. They should have put Russell in the seat alongside Hamilton next year. Too late now though.

    2. A 2 year contract would take him to end of 2022 not 2023

  9. This first lap shows clearly why the common phrase ‘rain is the great equalizer’ is nonsense. In tricky conditions you really rely on your car and your tyres. While Raikkonen and Sainz were really flying, Verstappen was exceptionally slow and sliding all over the place. When several other races show that all three are quite handy on a slippery track, it didn’t show yesterday. Sometimes drivers fly on a wet track and sometimes these same drivers struggle on a wet track. It is not because they lost their ability.

    1. @matthijs, I think the contact with Perez on lap 1 “disturbed” Max’s initial pace. IMO it was just not the car or the tyres, the contact and all that comes with it (such as a loss of speed and getting “out of position” in the peloton) played a relevant factor in the struggles he had with the humid track.

      1. Tommytintop (@)
        26th October 2020, 9:51

        He’s not on a bicycle!!

        1. It is completely different to race if you are just following the 2 Mercedes or if you have to fight the midfield (RPs, Renaults, Ferraris, McLarens) that means several drivers around you compromising your normal lines.
          Think about Mugello where he got involved in that crash and he himself mentioned that what upsetting the most was the fact he had problems that made him be in that position in the first place, because once you’re in the middle of the pack, these things happen.
          Ricciardo also mentioned last year the struggles he faced of having to drive the first laps in the middle of the pack as opposed to the front.

    2. Nothing to do with the wet but the tyre temperatures. I wouldn’t read anything into yesterday in terms of a wet track.

  10. Dad I think I’m bored of racing now, I don’t win anymore. I wanna do something else. Maybe a world famous moviestar, or an astronaut. That might be cool.

  11. petebaldwin (@)
    26th October 2020, 11:58

    Re: COTD-

    “Russell still hasn’t proved himself up against a top driver in F1.”

    Has Bottas?

    1. He’s proven that he can come close to Lewis and can frequently take second when Lewis wins. That’s his job and it’s easier said than done.

      1. I far preferred how Rosberg did his job at Mercedes than how VB is doing it.

Comments are closed.