Russell impressed by Red Bull-esque qualities of Alfa Romeo’s chassis

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: George Russell says Alfa Romeo have made a “massive leap forward” with their new car for the 2021 F1 season.

In brief

Alfa Romeo impresses Russell

Russell said his appearance in Q2 last weekend was unexpected given the windy conditions, which his Williams is especially susceptible to. “We know our car is tricky in these conditions,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans, “and I think the Alfa Romeo excels, or probably just struggles much less compared to others, as do Red Bull, so it seems.”

In terms of one-lap performance in Bahrain, Russell said Williams “look slightly stronger than Haas at this moment,” but “Alfa Romeo at this circuit have made a massive leap forward.”

“I think it’s too early in the season to take to a true read because we’re in such a strange and tricky conditions,” he added. “It’s too early to say the true pecking order.”

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

Formula 3 testing starts today

Formula 3 will begin two days of pre-season testing at Red Bull Ring today, ahead of the start of the championship at the Spanish Grand Prix next month.

The following 30 drivers will participate. They include Juan Manuel Correa, who is making his return to competition following the serious injuries he sustained in 2019, and Matteo Nannini, who is conducting joint F2 and F3 campaigns this year.

Prema1. Dennis Hauger2. Arthur Leclerc3. Olli Caldwell
Trident4. Jack Doohan5. Clement Novalak6. David Schumacher
ART7. Frederik Vesti8. Alexandr Smolyar9. Juan Manuel Correa
Hitech10. Jak Crawford11. Ayumu Iwasa12. Roman Stanek
HWA14. Matteo Nannini15. Oliver Rasmussen16. Rafael Villagomez
MP17. Victor Martins18. Caio Collet19. Tijmen van der Helm
Campos20. Laszlo Toth21. Lorenzo Colombo22. Amaury Cordeel
Carlin23. Ido Cohen24. Kaylen Frederick25. Jonny Edgar
Jenzer26. Calan Williams27. Pierre-Louis Chovet28. Filip Ugran
Charouz29. Logan Sargeant30. Michael Belov31. Reshad de Gerus

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Comment of the day

F1’s approach to the boundaries of play wouldn’t pass muster in other sports, says @Eriktorsner:

I honestly don’t get why they even bother painting those white line and name them “track limits” when the actual purpose seem more or less ornamental. Just call them something else. Tracks like Monaco proves that F1 drivers are perfectly capable of keeping the car within certain boundaries as long as they are enough motivated.

Imagine these discussions in football:

Yes the ball was clearly over the side line but the stewards have reviewed the situation and conclude that the attacking team didn’t gain a lasting advantage. But we told them really harshly that they shouldn’t do it again.

Yeah, so for this game we really only going to enforce the rules if the ball goes over the end lines. Teams can just ignore all the the other while lines we painted on there. It’s the same for both teams so… meh.

Yes! It was a physical foul inside the penalty area but for this match, we decided to be a bit lax on that rule in the first half and see what happens. The players was told before the game so it’s beyond us that anyone in the audience would see this as confusing.

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Author information

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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27 comments on “Russell impressed by Red Bull-esque qualities of Alfa Romeo’s chassis”

  1. Re: COTD – it’s not confusing for fans, it’s just angering. We understand the incompetence and spinelessness of the FIA very well.

    1. I’m definitely confused…
      I don’t understand why they don’t just enforce the rules – and by doing so, create a culture of respecting the rules?
      At least on the track, when everyone is watching….

      1. @S

        The reason is that they listen too much to whinging drivers, teams and fans who get upset when a rule is unfair in 1% of the cases.

        1. Indeed, @aapje.
          Or you can call Masi//FIA spineless as @exediron does above.

          Good CotD, @ErikTorsner.

          1. Yeah, I wholeheartedly agree with that as well. Thank you for a really well made CotD @exediron

    2. The rules are not confusing. What is confusing is why are the rules enforced at random, with random penalties???

      1. The rules are confusing because they aren’t clear. I’m not talking about the overtaking.
        Whether we like it or not passing around the outside or going over the white lines on a straight in order to overtake has been deemed illegal for a long time now.

        The problem is this little thing called “lasting advantage” and using a wider exit to carry more speed through a corner.
        These give quite a lot of room for interpretation and change from track to track, day to day and situation to situation.

        This is confusing and annoying at the same time and the tracks aren’t likely to change. So they have to find a way to be consistent and fair at the same time. Therefore you can’t change track limits daily…

        1. To me it’s not confusing because I see faster lap times as a lasting advantage. I don’t see how they wouldn’t be as it makes you reach the goal line faster.

          1. To me it’s not confusing because I see faster lap times as a lasting advantage.

            The confusing bit is that many people complaining not to be confused interpret it differently.
            Maybe ‘ambiguous’ then.

          2. Lap time isn’t the only lasting advantage that can be gained by exceeding track limits… For example:
            1) If I open the steering earlier, I can reduce tyre temperature and wear.
            2) If I do gain time there, I can lift early or increase harvesting elsewhere to recharge/save fuel without affecting my overall lap or sector times. Doing so can even enable a higher performance engine mode.
            3) I can take a narrower line to defend on corner entry without sacrificing so much speed in the mid-corner and exit.
            4) Taking a wider line can give me better acceleration and track position to defend for the following corner.

  2. I was indifferent to Extreme E for a long while but I’m quite looking forward to qually today.

    1. Of course I don’t like that it’s in Saudi one little bit, fairly easy to imagine it’s Tatooine for the duration.

  3. Re F3: Expect Charouz to confirm Sargeant and Belov, but seeing as there’s a month left, they still got time. Also a nice tribute helmet from Correa.

    Re very rare McLaren photo: Never knew that windscreen concept was tested way before.

  4. it feels like we never used to spend so much energy arguing about track limits. if you CUT the track then that’s obviously not allowed (e.g. Hamilton at Spa 2008) but if you drift out on the outside, who cares?

    i’m not sure exactly when, maybe 5 years ago, but it feels like there was a run of races where some circuits started to have strict track limits imposed. And that opened a whole can of worms and then somehow within a year or so we ended up with these strict track limits everywhere. Any efforts to make the track more naturally punish off track driving have been quickly vetoed by the team for, boo hoo, damaging the cars.

    it’s pointless drawing comparisons with the “white lines” in football or tennis ​-
    I think a better analogy is the offside rule in football, look at how imposing a “black and white” interpretation of the rule has not improved the game whatsoever and FIFA are rolling it back.

    does anyone else long for simpler times where we just didn’t waste so much energy arguing about track limits? has this strict interpretation really brought anything positive to the racing apart from confusion?

    1. if you drift out on the outside, who cares?

      Sometimes they drift outside to make their lap times faster so they do it for the same reason they would do cutting corners. Of course FIA could change the rule that there is a track limit only on the inside.

      1. @pejuee so what? that’s my point. if they gain an advantage, no problem.

        1. See the second sentence of my reply, it holds answer to your question. Currently there is a rule and the discussion is about enforcing it. Many think that it’d be silly to have rules that are not enforced.

          1. I’m pretty sure that the rule about the definition of the “track” had always been in the rulebook, right? It’s not about “enforcing” it, the argument is about “interpreting” it – another interpretation would be saying a part of the car has to be inside the white line at all times, another interpretation is that no part of the car can go outside the white line. None of them are “wrong”, they are just interpreting the wording of the track definition in the rules (and yes I’m sure that they have introduced further sporting regulations to reinforce their interpretation).

            I’m saying the interpretation of that rule was clearer in the decades before we all decided about five years that for some reason we suddenly had to move to a strict interpretation of the rules.

          2. @graham228221 An excerpt of the F1 sporting regulations:
            27.3 Drivers must make every reasonable effort to use the track at all times and may not leave the track without a justifiable reason.
            Drivers will be judged to have left the track if no part of the car remains in contact with it and, for the avoidance of doubt, any white lines defining the track edges are considered to be part of the track but the kerbs are not.

            It’s very much an issue of enforcement, and not at all an issue of interpretation.

            As for previous decades of F1 – the track characteristics were different in the past, and tended to naturally penalise with grass, gravel or walls. Safety requirements have changed since then and tracks need to cater to clients other than just F1.

          3. Limits are supposed to be limits. Rules are rules. Old school recollection.
            If the current philosophy were applied to the Technical rules …. it would be chaos. Lots of fun, but a mess.
            COTD is on mark. Agree with S that in previous times, the limit of the track was not worth using, grass, gravel and other speed reducing hazards. Paved run-offs invite abuse but the safety aspect trumps all. Curbs can fix this but it doesn’t sit well with Bike Racing.
            Maybe the driver (like Tennis) needs an out of bounds buzzer (with Cliff Clavin electro-shock feed-back). Like to see the testing for that one.

    2. @graham228221

      if you CUT the track then that’s obviously not allowed (e.g. Hamilton at Spa 2008)

      That’s an interesting example to call ‘obvious’, I think that incident caused about the most comments ever on this site, and I still disagree with the ruling.

      I agree about the comparison to the offside rule in football though, the problem is if you punish every infraction then you’re going to be handing out penalties like nobody’s business, because the drivers will run right up to the limit and sometimes they’ll get it wrong. Yes you can say they manage it at street tracks (well…most of the time), but then there’s a bigger disincentive to break the rules as it can end your race and potentially cause you physical harm.

      Like you say, make it a natural disadvantage to run wide through less grippy surface or a rumble strip or something.

      1. @george was the controversy not mainly about the manner that Hamilton gave the place back, rather than disagreeing that he should have given it back?

        1. @graham228221
          True, I believe that’s when ‘gained a lasting advantage’ came into the rulebook.

  5. @graham228221 A better example would be Raikkonen Spa 2009 (and years before that), going off the track and wide in T1, L1, thus creating the momentum to sail into the lead on the following Kemmel straight.

  6. “Just 0.375 of a second – less than the time it takes for you to say, “Holy cow!” – separated the top 10 drivers Wednesday at Texas.”

    How much more american can you really get.

  7. Does anyone know when the race prediction results will be out?

    1. Typically just before the next event.
      Sooner would be nice, but having done some of this sort of thing in the past, I can sympathize with KC and the RF team.
      It is nice to have it back for 2021. Nothing like the intense stress of competition for 142nd place in the standings.
      Gun fighter’s credo … “One hundred and forty one were faster than he, but Irving, was looking for one forty three.”

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