GP2 run gives Schumacher useful Algarve experience among F1 rookies

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In the round-up: Mazepin, Schumacher and Tsunoda have a trip into the unknown this weekend in Portugal, and have used different approaches for overcoming their inexperience at a track fairly new in F1.

In brief

How F1 rookies prepared for Algarve

None of F1’s three rookies have ever raced at Algarve before, and they’ve taken very different approaches to preparing for this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix at the circuit.

AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, the only of the three to have scored points so far, has kept it simple and done “a couple of sim sessions, which I normally do before the race week”. As most drivers tend to visit their team’s simulator before racing at a circuit they have little experience at, Tsunoda’s frame of reference was so limited that even the Thursday track walk took him by surprise.

“Lots of up-down, I didn’t expect that huge difference,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to it.”

Haas pair Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin both got in real vehicles during the break after the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix at Imola, but of very different kinds. Schumacher tested a Ferrari F1 car, albeit at Fiorano, but he has tested privately at Algarve before.

“I have been here in a GP2 car, 2018,” he revealed. “It was obviously before it was resurfaced, so I haven’t driven the new, I probably would call it the new bumps here. But it’s a very fun track. It still has the same characteristic of those undulating parts and a lot of blind corners. Definitely looking forward to driving it tomorrow.”

His team mate Mazepin, meanwhile, spent the last fortnight off-roading in Russia.

“With current regulations of not being able to test unless it’s a two-year-old F1 car, there’s really not much options of what I could have been doing,” said Mazepin. “And then there’s also Covid-19 restrictions that only allowed me to go home and see my family and spend a bit of time outdoors and drive something off-road. That was the only thing I could have done. So good for Mick that he did what he did, but I did what I could have done as well.”

F1 reaffirms Mexican and US rounds will go ahead

F1 has reassured fans both remaining races in North America will go ahead this year following the cancellation of the Canadian Grand Prix. The race was officially called off on Thursday, with a replacement event at Istanbul Park in Turkey immediately announced in its place.

With the next North American rounds half a year away, F1 has given advanced notice to expect both races to take place. “Regarding the announcement about the cancellation of the 2021 Canadian Grand Prix we want to reassure that the Formula 1 Mexico City Grand Prix 2021 presented by Heineken is confirmed to take place next October,” it said in a statement.

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Comment of the day

The crash between Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Williams’ George Russell last time out at Imola was brought to the fore again in the Thursday press conference at Algarve, with Russell backtracking even further from his immediate reaction, where he blamed Bottas, and then his post-race remarks and social media apology from two weeks ago. Whether his latest remarks aligning himself in some capacity with Mercedes’ perspective have actually helped his position both on the crash and within F1 hasn’t gone unnoticed by Ajpennypacker.

It’s not so much the apology, but imagine a former great team with a lot of history and pride, having it’s star driver speak in in the most obsequious manner imaginable about a rival team. I’ve never even seen anything like this with Toro Rosso and RBR. No George Russell. Bottas and Hamilton are rivals, and while it’s not likely you will meet on track again, you are a damn Williams driver right now.

I feel disdain for the charade of big teams and powerful people having soiled the grid with their influence. We’ve seen Toro Rosso plenty of times move over for Red Bull. We’ve seen Force India get out of the way for Hamilton. We’ve seen Alfa Romeo do the same for Ferrari. Now this.
Ajpennypacker

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  • Five years agotoday championship leader Nico Rosberg took pole position for the Russian Grand Prix after team mate Lewis Hamilton suffered engine problems in Q2

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Elliot Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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  • 29 comments on “GP2 run gives Schumacher useful Algarve experience among F1 rookies”

    1. “F1’s dull qualifying needs a shake-up – but sprint races risk ruining integrity (The Telegraph)”

      Especially this – “F1’s dull qualifying”
      In my mind, the F1 qualifying is not dull. Don’t ruin qualifying, with sprint races or other fixes that didn’t work.

      Reading the The Telegraph is a laugh.

      1. Agreed: F1 qualifying is not dull nor does need any kind of fixing.

      2. Agreed too. F1 qualy is good as is. They are trying to fix something that is not broken

      3. @bullmello I can’t say because I’ve never got beyond the Telegraph firewall and so far they’ve refused to pay me to read it.

      4. @bullmello +1 from me on both points. Qualifying ain’t broke, please stop trying to fix it. Fix the myriad other problems that are ruining the sport (I know my opinions are solely mine but as a fan of F1 since 1995, I feel I’m probably pretty representative).

        And of course the torygraph is pure garbage.

      5. The current quali format is the best ever in the history of the sport @bullmello .
        I’m one of those people that look forward to sprint races, but calling the current quali format dull is disingenuous.

      6. I can’t read the whole Telegraph article, but I think the general idea is spot on. I hear you, and there are certainly a lot of die-hard fans like you who think that seeing cars going flat out one by one is the best show in the world. But there are also a lot of the more casual fans, for whom qualifying is the equivalent of downhill skiing, when what they see on track is completely disconnected from what they see on the stopwatch. Basically, they just want to see things by their own eyes : gaps on track and wheel-to-wheel action. The original idea of the sprint races was to provide for just that kind of action, but everybody thinks that it will not succeed at all in that regard.

        “For a sport that lives or dies by innovation, Formula 1 can be spectacularly ham-fisted when it comes to conceiving fresh ways to sell the show.”

        This is absolutely true. Every time I hear about the expression “the DNA of Formula 1” – and I heard it often those last times – I cringe. There is no such thing as a true Scotsman. There is a world of possibilities between turning F1 into a gimmick TV reality show and engraving its format in stone for the sake of nostalgia.

        1. Maybe that would be a way of walking in other people’s shoes : who here thinks that watching downhill skiing on TV is super exciting ?

    2. 3 day boycott of social media… like what? How is that supposed to put pressure on anything exactly. Content creators and influencers need social media a lot more than social media needs content creators and influencers.

      In the AFL, the league has handed out harsh bans, and clubs have cancelled memberships against “fans” spewing racial hatred on social media. Nothing stopping UEFA, FIA, or whoever else wants to from taking a similar stand. Sends a much stronger message than a temporary boycott that changes nothing.

      1. I don’t understand it either. Not saying anything for 3 days, what’s that doing to do?

      2. 3 day boycott of social media… like what? How is that supposed to put pressure on anything exactly.

        Ironically*, the boycott might get people talking about it and the attention could force clubs and federations to take stronger action. Or at least the silent majority realising that it is an issue and speak up when they encounter it.

        * a better example than ‘rain on your wedding day’.

        1. As @coldfly mentions @fer-no65, @skipgamer Hamilton (and the other people who are talking about planning the boycot in the first place) talking about it, bringing it up, is what gives the effect of pushing platforms into action.

          Remember, it is about generating buzz around a theme, picture, hashtag etc. So when this gets talked about, gets attention, it has a greater chance of influencing those platforms to do something with it. They are the first who follow their own metrics.

          1. @bascb that’s very logical. Thanks as always! Makes sense then… I know from experience that social media companies are never willing to do much about the content from their users, even if there’s a legal requirement. My mother is a lawyer and on some trials information was needed from Facebook or Twitter and they never share it, even if obligated by a court.

      3. @skipgamer the argument they have put forward is that those clubs and governing bodies have been trying to do exactly what you suggest – there have been bans imposed, and even instances of people being prosecuted for particularly malicious activity – but one of their key complaints is that those social media companies are not co-operating with them and not helping them impose penalties on those guilty of such behaviour.

        As ColfFly notes, the idea is that, through generating increased public awareness, they want to put more public pressure on those social media companies to act and to also put greater pressure on legislators to impose additional legal requirements if the social media companies do not act.

      4. Football, rugby and cricket teams must be doing something right if 44 is against them

    3. Agree 100% with COTD. 2 drivers per team. This is the rule. Of course, we have seen Toros making room for Bulls and Force Indias making room for Mercedes, but at least them tried to hide it a litlle. The thing with Toto, Russell, Mercedes and Williams is a complete joke and the FIA ​​should take action on the matter.

      1. You say ‘at least they tried to hide it a little’ like that’s a good thing.

      2. As long as there have been “B-teams” with the same engine as the main team, this has always been the case.

      3. should take action on what? for fighting Bottas too hard on track?

    4. Re. COTD

      We’ve seen Toro Rosso plenty of times move over for Red Bull. We’ve seen Force India get out of the way for Hamilton. We’ve seen Alfa Romeo do the same for Ferrari. Now this.

      I’m critical too but it’s not quite the same thing: Russell was overtaking the ‘big team’ car and not because of some mishap, simply because he was driving a lot better than Bottas in the race. And what he has said isn’t that he’ll ‘give up’ track position but that he will treat the Mercedes drivers as ‘team mates’ and try to avoid colliding with them. I’m not convinced it will make much difference in racing terms (though I’d like to hear VB and LH confirm that they will reciprocate with the same ‘team mate’ treatment for GR – some chance). Russell breezed past Bottas at the Sakhir GP without issue and I’m sure will do so again if the opportunity arises, unlikely though that is. What is off-putting and suspect is how TW is trying to cajole GR into towing the line by saying it’s all about sharing the Mercedes engine when, of course, everyone and their cat knows Russell has or had been lined up for a seat at Mercedes itself. Which he may or may not be given. That for me is why TW’s comments were unedifying. It was like hearing Horner cajoling the second Red Bull driver, Gasly or Albon, threatening demotion, but in Russell’s case he’s not even at Mercedes yet. Just weird.

      1. I would hope that at any level of motorsport, any decent driver would go out of their way to avoid colliding with another driver – ‘team mate’ or not!

    5. JungleMartin
      30th April 2021, 5:07

      Well Mazepin has walked right into jokes about ‘off-roading’ there hasn’t he!

      1. Exactly! Now if he spins off we’ll all go “look how well prepared he is, he’s done his homework!”

      2. Guess it’s the only thing he takes during breaks!

    6. Raikkonen didn’t get out of Vettel’s way, and the str guys would often try to make a point when letting the RB guys through in the end even at this merc has excelled, every merc powered car just lets the mercs breeze past.

    7. US and Mexican GP situations can still change.

      Dull qualifying, LOL.

      COTD: Maybe, but Red Bull B-team drivers raced a senior team driver unnecessarily hard at Nurburgring, so not always a case.

      Q3 actually. He made Q3 but didn’t set a time, so he eventually qualified 10th.

    8. So this is interesting: Bell Media, which owns F1 broadcast rights in Canada, have bought the race promoter company for the race as well https://www.lapresse.ca/affaires/2021-04-30/bell-devient-le-promoteur-du-grand-prix.php

      1. @maciek

        Just spotted this – thank you for linking us to it; Dieter had the same story straight from Bell, so it will be in tonight’s Round Up but we always appreciate a tip!

    9. Remembering Roland Ratzenberger today.

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