Nicholas Latifi, Williams, Monaco, 2021

Raikkonen and Latifi go thirsty in Monaco GP after cockpit errors

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In the round-up: Two Formula 1 drivers had to endure 78 laps of Monaco without a drink – for different reasons.

In brief

Latifi and Raikkonen go without water in Monaco GP

Nicholas Latifi and Kimi Raikkonen raced around the Monte Carlo harbour for over an hour and a half without a drop of water in the race due to trouble with their drinks tubes.

For Williams driver Latifi, it turned out to be a self-inflicted problem. It didn’t seem to hamper his performance too much though, as he was only a second behind team mate George Russell at the flag.

“The only mistake I made was forgetting to put my my drinks tube in my mouth at the start of the race,” Latifi admitted afterwards, “so I just did the whole race and only realised afterwards that I didn’t drink anything.”

For Raikkonen, the problem appeared to be a fault that laid in the hands of his Alfa Romeo team, and didn’t take the lack of hydration for the duration of a F1 race as lightly as his rival did.

“One thing, again that fucking drinks pipe came loose on the formation lap,” Raikkonen said on the radio after finishing the grand prix. “It’s been behind my back the whole race the fucking filter, so I don’t know how it’s so difficult to put it, connect it correctly.”

Seidl: Ricciardo’s driving style doesn’t suit McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Monaco
Ricciardo was lapped by team mate Norris in Monaco
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has reacted to Daniel Ricciardo being lapped by his team mate Lando Norris in Monaco by saying the team’s 2021 signing is finding it “not natural” to drive in a way “needed” for the McLaren MCL35M.

“I think if you look back since the beginning of the season, we have made good steps forward with him,” Seidl said of Ricciardo’s start to life at McLaren, which has included four consecutive points finishes prior to Monaco.

“In order to drive our car fast at the moment you need a special driving style, which is not natural for Daniel. That’s why it’s not easy for him to get the laps in and extract the performance.

“We simply have to keep working together now as one team, stay calm, keep analysing, keep learning. And do two things, which is [for] him further adapting to our car because obviously he sees that the potential is there. Which is I think the positive thing for him to see that and that Lando can pull it off.

“At the same time we look at the team side as well about what we can do in order to help him on the path to getting back this natural feeling that you need to go fast.”

FREC shortens Monaco race hours after it finishes

The Formula Regional European Championship held two races in support of F1 at the weekend, the second of which ran to 19 laps on the morning of the grand prix. However when the final classification was published a few hours later, the results were taken based on lap 10 due to an overlooked quirk of the rule book.

The timekeepers for the race failed to take note of event-specific supplementary regulations they were supposed to work to. Article 8.2 of the championship’s sporting regulations was revised to read as “in the event where a race is suspended, the duration of the suspension will not be added to the planned duration of the race”. The word “not” was a significant difference from the usual text.

The change was made because F1 has to operate on a strict schedule when using Monaco’s streets, and so when the FREC race was red-flagged on the opening lap it should have ended half an hour plus one lap after its start time. Instead, after a 17-minute stoppage it was restarted with half an hour still on the clock. This was only noticed post-race, and after teams appealed to the stewards the results were corrected.

Despite the race being cut by almost half its length, the most significant change which arose was that a different driver took 15th place.

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Comment of the day

The death of former FIA president Max Mosley has brought to the surface discussion about some of the controversial activities he took part in during his life, but many have also started talking about the under-the-radar work he did that wasn’t given the attention at the time for the progress it led to. Jack pointed out Mosley’s record on road safety that has contributed to many lives being saved.

As controversial as he was at times, he was unflinchingly effective when it came to improving safety in motorsport and road cars as chairman of EuroNCAP. Anyone who survived a big crash in a car built since the early 2000s probably has him to thank for their life.

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On this day in F1

Mansell did a ‘spin and win’ at Spa today in 1986
  • 35 years ago today Nigel Mansell won the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa despite spinning at the Bus Stop chicane after passing Ayrton Senna, who finished second and regained the championship lead

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Ida 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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20 comments on “Raikkonen and Latifi go thirsty in Monaco GP after cockpit errors”

  1. I wish they would go into more detail about this “special driving style” it’s fascinating. Ricciardo has mentioned before it’s missing traction under breaking so maybe you need to start accelerating when it feels like there’s no grip but then it grabs and you’re okay?

    Either way it’s all just guessing at the moment. I wouldn’t be so understanding if I was Daniel. They need to make a car to suit both drivers. Sure he should adapt a bit, but it should be expected for McLaren to try to adapt their car a bit too. He’s shown he has great talent with the right machinery.

    Imagine spending multiple millions on a great driver then expecting him to change. Either way it’s learning for everyone in the paddock at this point. It’s showing how important it is to be at a team in the early stages of a push for competitiveness and get the car designed to your liking early on.

    It can’t feel any better for Ricciardo at McLaren than it did for him at Red Bull right now. Abiteboul would have to feel a bit redeemed that his strategy was the right one and Dan stuffed it up.

    1. I agree @skipgamer, it’d be great to know more about it but I’m guessing that some of it might be proprietary and will never see light of day because its performance related.

      Whatever it is that is designed in to the chassis, it definitely seems to be working given how much McLaren’s performances have improved in the last couple of years. It seems though that it requires a driving style that is a long way removed from the sort of skills that would have been ingrained in the likes of Ricciardo, Vettel and other “older” drivers which in turn would make it pretty radical.

      I’m wondering if that (or something similar) explains why a 4 time world champion “appeared” to lose his speed and why “new” guys seem to be able to drive the Ferrari faster. Losing the sort of muscle memory that comes with “traditional” driving techniques would take a fairly bit effort & frankly I can’t see it happening completely. It’s possible that an entire generation of drivers could find themselves struggling if there is some new “magic formula” for getting cars around a track faster that requires a completely different skill set.

      Maybe they’ve all designed cars that are similar to the esports game – it seems the gamers are the ones now handling their machinery best – pretty much all of them spend huge hours on their rigs learning other driving habits.

      1. @dbradock Perhaps in the distant future once this matter will be entirely out-of-date anyway, but a point on Seb and Gasly: Their cases have generally seemed that both need a planted rear-end.

    2. @skipgamer
      My pet theory is that the current cars are extraordinarily fickle. The regulations allow for a million little winglets and flicks all over the car, and while these can produce insane downforce it’s also a million little things that can each have their own side effect. The cars are not just “fast” or “slow”, they’re “fast” or “slow” with multiple asterisks, and that’s partially why an incumbent tends to perform better, and why gaps between extremely talented teammates have never been larger.

      It’s bizarre to me, to see drivers struggle so much at one team (or with one car), and then produce great performances at/with another. Vettel is the clear poster child; it is absolutely nonsensical for him to have been one of the best drivers in the field during his first 3-4 years at Ferrari, and then suddenly forget how to drive fast in 2019/20. The car is the thing that changed, not him. Same thing with Gasly, and the same thing with Alonso and Ricciardo (who has been the only driver to keep Verstappen in check for the past few years).

      If I was a driver, I’d be wanting a multi-year contract just to give me time to get used to the general characteristics of the cars a team produces.

      1. @inininin I wouldn’t say that it is just the current cars that are overly fickle though, as many drivers over the decades have ended up struggling with cars that have characteristics they couldn’t adapt to.

        Think of Berger and Alesi in the 1990s with the Benetton B196, or Keke Rosberg’s troubles with the McLaren MP4/2C in the 1980s. You can continue going right back to some of the earliest years of the sport – think of the 1954 Ferrari 555, where drivers who had fought for the WDC a few years earlier were now often at sea with a car that had a reputation for being extremely unstable.

        Sometimes, a particular car can have a set of inbuilt traits that do not match up particularly well with the driving style of a driver. In the case of the B196, neither Berger nor Alesi could cope with with tendency to oversteer that chassis had, and indeed not many drivers were that happy with the oversteer bias of a lot of Benetton’s cars in that era: at the opposite end, Keke just couldn’t adapt to the tendency of the MP4/2C to understeer.

        It is true that incumbency does bestow certain advantages, and that is likely to be exaggerating some of the performance gaps which we are seeing right now. Added to that, pre-season testing was extremely paired back compared to previous seasons, which would enhance that particular gap.

    3. The good part about all this is that Dan hasnt been whinging, at least not in public.

      The best drivers find a way round the problems, I’m sure Dan will, he will just need time.

    4. I think it is all about the new tyre.

    5. “Imagine spending multiple millions on a great driver then expecting him to change.”

      Maybe that’s why he should be able to adapt. I fully expect Ric to come good with the car, but surely paying the big bucks means the driver should be able to drive around the issues.

    6. Well, there is only so much you can do on the car during the season to make it better work for a driver @skipgamer. Especially this year, with all the restrictions and a big change coming for next season. For this year, given that Daniel was only released to cooperate after the end of the year they really didn’t even have much chance to take his driving into account in development. That will almost certainly change for next year though.

      So while I am sure McLaren is looking at ways to get their car to work better for both drivers, I fear that for this year the onus will be largely on the driver to adapt his driving to best cope with how the car behaves.

  2. Cannot see Zac Brown getting any tattoos this year.

  3. Who is Devin Altieri and why is she the reason Chip Ganassi got pole at Indy?

    1. Was thinking the same.

      According to Pintrest:
      @devinaltieri·Racing enthusiast. Avid stress baker. Moonlights as scientist and graphic designer. Part time Christmas tree.

      She appears to be a journo on Drive Tribe as well. Gotta ask Scotty Dixon how it translated into pole though.

      I get the feeling I’ve missed something… more like everything!

      1. @jaymenon10 @macca I’m only more confused now, I’m happy she’s happy, but would I’d like to know what she did, and why that made Chip happy, or sarcastic. Surely someone here knows.

  4. You will not have the drink Kimi

    1. Ahaha, was thinking the same, some things never change!

    2. Was it water, or what?

  5. Not the first time Kimi has had a drink system issue while driving.

    Perhaps Dan’s driving style doesn’t suit the MCL35M, but I’m sure he’ll eventually start doing better at Mclaren the more track time he gets.

    George and Mick are indeed two drivers who are gaining absolutely nothing in their present situations. As much as I wouldn’t mind Bottas staying once again, I subconsciously hope George would become a regular Mercedes driver from next year.

  6. I knew Todt and Schumacher were friends, but not this close. Regular visits also means there must be some sort of communication which is encouraging.

  7. Happy birthday to Sumedh and Joe Papp!

    Thanks, guys!

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