Grosjean’s Mercedes test postponed due to travel restrictions

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In the round-up: Covid-19 travel restrictions have forced Mercedes to delay Romain Grosjean’s F1 test, although the team say it will still go ahead.

In brief

Mercedes say Grosjean test will still go ahead

Mercedes promised Grosjean two test runs in their car – one public, one private – following the crash which cut short his F1 career last year. However, travel restrictions and schedule changes have so far made those tests impossible.

Grosjean was to perform a demo run in Mercedes’ 2019 car during the French Grand Prix on its original date. However, as the event was moved forward to this weekend, he is unable to attend due to a clash with IndyCar’s Road America race.

Now travel restrictions have scuppered plans for a private test on 29th June, also at Paul Ricard.

A Mercedes spokesperson said: “We’re disappointed to announce that we’ve had to postpone Romain Grosjean’s test with us, due to travel restrictions and quarantine requirements.

“However, we’re committed to giving Romain his chance to drive one of our Mercedes F1 cars, so we’re working to reschedule the test for later this summer.”

F3 driver Tóth to miss races after positive Covid test

Formula 3 issued a statement saying one of their drivers would not participate in the races at Paul Ricard, following a positive Covid-19 test. No replacement, if he will have one, has been announced by his Campos team or F3 as yet.

F3’s statement reads: “The FIA, Formula 3 and Campos Racing can confirm that during mandatory pre-race PCR testing for the 2021 French Grand Prix and its associated support events, Campos Racing driver László Tóth tested positive for Covid-19.

“In accordance with Covid-19 protocols and public health authority guidelines, he will continue to isolate for the required period and therefore not compete during the French Grand Prix weekend. No other members of the Campos Racing team have been affected by this situation.”

Binotto: Ferrari not on pace of top teams yet

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Baku City Circuit, 2021
Don’t read too much into Ferrari’s pole positions, says Binotto
Mattia Binotto says despite Ferrari’s back-to-back pole positions in Monaco and Baku, they remain only the third-fastest team. However, he expects more gains over the course of the season.

“There are two cars ahead of us which are still stronger, no doubt. It was great to have pole positions both in Monaco and in Baku but I don’t think that’s reflecting our true performance overall. So I think there are two cars which are stronger but I think that we are progressing.

“We are progressing because eventually we are learning the car. We are exploiting it better compared to the start of the season.

“And we know that there will be some developments coming in the future. So overall, I think that that’s where we are.”

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Comment of the day

Alianora La Canta raises a point about mid-season changes. After Baku’s flexi-wing debacle was passed due to budgetary concerns about having to manufacture new parts, both where does the Pirelli technical directive update leave teams having to implement new procedures or part mid-season – and those who have incurred costs due to damages at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix?

One aspect I’ve not seen discussed is how making all the teams bring a brand new seal-able valve cover for tyre tests is supposed to be compatible with a pre-set budget cap.

Teams are going to need to start discussing allowances for complying with FIA directives not known to the teams at the start of each accounting period (i.e. rule changes informed before January 1 would be included in the budget cap for that year, but rule changes with any cost implication on/after January 1 would have to be separate).

Otherwise, the cap turns into a game of who can either guess how much extra expense the FIA is going to mandate mid-season, or about who has the best-hidden cheat mechanism to get such requirements funded without having to log them on the budget (with those having neither option potentially being punished for having the temerity to trust the FIA).
@Alianora-la-canta

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On this day in F1

  • 70 years ago today Giuseppe Farina won the Belgian Grand Prix for Alfa Romeo, two minutes and 51 seconds ahead of Alberto Ascari’s Ferrari, whose team mate Luigi Villoresi was another minute and a half behind.

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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  • 15 comments on “Grosjean’s Mercedes test postponed due to travel restrictions”

    1. I’m wondering if G.Farina ran a 1 or 2 stop strategy in that race, and what was the condition of his tyres at the finish. Obviously he did not intentionally drive to a (near) 3 minute lead whilst managing his tyres, his closest competitors must have overdriven their tyres till they “fell off the cliff” during the last laps. Must have been a very boring race. :-)

    2. There are so many reasons why an F1 race in London is a terrible idea that I’m amazed Sadiq Khan is even suggesting it halfway seriously.

      Firstly, would he even have the power to authorise it? I bet he wouldn’t; most of the roads in the capital are actually controlled by the 32 London boroughs, and even if he arranged a race track made out of red routes there’d be support roads etc needed. He doesn’t have the best relations with many of the borough councils so this would be a big stumbling block.

      Secondly, covid has blown a huge hole in London’s budget (largely, to be fair, because the central government insisted that Transport for London continue standard service patterns despite nobody actually using them), so where on earth is he getting the money for this expensive boondoggle from?

      Thirdly, almost all of London’s transport strategy is focussed on getting people not to drive cars. Formula E is kind of reasonable-ish in this context, F1, not so much. Moreover, the amount of disruption created in a city that operates 24/7 would be horrific and very unpopular. Londoners are not known for being fans of transport disruptions.

      Fourthly, F1 has quite enough street circuits as it is, and there is little to be gained from adding additional ones; what’s London adding to the calendar, precisely? Europe has lots of popular, purpose-built circuits that there isn’t space for in the calendar; let’s not add a street circuit with no history.

      Fifthly, from F1’s perspective the idea of adding a non-heritage European race is ridiculous. What is it adding? Europe is already over-represented in the calendar to some extent (for heritage reasons), there’s no reason to make this worse. If we must add more rounds, at least put them somewhere that isn’t well-served already.

      1. All this is true. A truly terrible idea. The disruption would kill the city stone dead and the hate from residents and road users would render re-election prospects to zero in as many seconds.

        I should point out I don’t live in London, but I think I can safely say it would not go down well.

      2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        17th June 2021, 6:24

        The idea of F1 cars racing down the Mall and through Parliament Square sounds great but in reality it’s the stuff of fantasy. The last thing that London needs post-pandemic is the disruption of staging a Grand Prix. Residents and local business would never stand for it, they pay up to £40 per vehicle per day to drive in an ever expanding ‘Ultra-Low Emmision Zone’ only for those roads to be closed to make way for gas-guzzling F1 cars. Could you imagine the reaction of groups like Extinction Rebellion? There would be chaos! Thousands of them supergluing themselves all over the circuit.

        1. But they wouldnt be racing down the Mall, or anywhere near. Even in Boris’s day as Mayor it was always going to be held in the Greater London area. As Liberty confirmed in 2018. Heathrow and the Olympic Park being the obvious choices.
          And despite the usual naysayers the London Olympics proved that bigger events than F1 can be held quite successfully with little opposition.
          And when you have a government that invests billions into its motorsport industry, F1 are going to more than happy to acquiesce to any request from them.
          Not that I think it will ever happen; or should. Put the track in any destination city and all you ever see is wire fencing surrounded by high rises; with the occasional birds eye view of the track.

      3. Thanks Ilanin, I completely agree, it’s a stupid idea for all the reasons you’ve mentioned. London doesn’t need the promotion that Baku and others pay for, and it certainly doesn’t need the disruption. Whether you place it around Heathrow or Wembley doesn’t matter, it’ll cost a fortune and there are two tracks that can operate easily (I’m not sure if Donnington ever got it’s grade-I license, but it could, with a little investment i’m sure, Brands Hatch has it’s issues, but could also).

        I can’t see an argument for racing on the streets of London. When things are normal, I assume that the Silverstone race is fantastic for the local economy. Whatever Liberty would charge, contribute, I’d just point at Silverstone, it’s not my favourite track, but it works and has done for a long time.

        Why would you spend hundreds of millions on something when you have something purpose built less than 100 miles away?

    3. Ooo, I’m a sucker for a good sports game story mode. Hopefully they can pull off an interesting storyline that makes it worth the time.

      1. @skipgamer And Codemasters have apparently hired professional writers and external animators so hopefully it won’t be as predictable as the 2019 F2 story mode.

    4. Now I have a lot of things to reply to!

      Re Grosjean: Bummer, hopefully it can be done.
      Re F3: Meanwhile, no F2 driver has ever tested positive for COVID so far…
      Re Binotto: Back then, they could do everything. Now, they can’t.
      Re Andretti SC crash: That looked really dangerous.
      Re Ticktum: At least that isn’t Santino!
      Re F1 2021: The story mode is better than F1 2019. In 2019, you just had transcripts from your F2 rivals and nothing else.
      Re W Series Driven: Will it be as good as DTS or better than DTS?
      Re Japanese taxi driver: Wow. That’s a story.

    5. I’d never considered the possibility that the person in the F1 2020 open lobby crashing into people for “fun” and ruining their races could actually just be a 93 year old Japanese ex-taxi driver…

      1. Being an ex Taxi driver I bet He’s a Demon on Wreckfest :-)

    6. I like this approach from Binotto. He is honest and straightforward with his analysis of the team’s pace and where they stand in the pecking order. He admits that 2 pole positions was a surprise but at the same refuses to bask in their glories or get carried away by it. Moreover, i think the most important inference here is that Binotto has laid down the marker by saying there are only two teams better than them–Mercedes and Red Bull; in doing so telling Mclaren that Ferrari are better than them at this moment. Excellent confidence. There is enormous hope that Ferrari fans draw from his words.

      1. Yes, I like this too and it’s true.

    7. Just saw notes posted on twitter and track limits are going to be a talk of town.

      1. Had enough of everyone countering you?

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