Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Baku City Circuit, 2021

Baku crashes led to Red Bull’s request to salvage lost front wing part

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In the round-up: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner explains why the team was so eager to reclaim part of a front wing which broke off one of their cars in Friday practice.

In brief

Red Bull reclaim lost front wing part

During second practice yesterday Red Bull’s sporting director Jonathan Wheatley was heard asking Formula 1 race director Michael Masi if they could retrieve part of a front wing which broke off their car.

Team principal Christian Horner said the damage their cars suffered in Max Verstappen’s two crashes at the previous round, plus the constraints of F1’s new cost cap, had led to the request.

“It’s very tough because consumption of parts is high,” said Horner, “We’re not running big stock levels because of the cap, so it’s a balancing act continually. And three races on the trot with circuits that are hungry for front wings.

“We didn’t come out of Baku particularly flush with them following the failure in the race and Max’s incident on Saturday morning. So it is a key factor.”

Report: F1 teams want alternative to kerbs which can “destroy a car”
Horner echoed criticism of the kerbs at the exit of turn two, pointing out they are too low for drivers to be able to judge where they are and avoid them.

“The problem is that the way that the kerbs are laid out they’re not immediately visible to the drivers so it’s sort of inviting you to go there. It’d just be nice if we can find something that doesn’t do quite as much damage to the car, that there was a time penalty.

“This is why I think probably gravel is a better longer-term way to go that there is a physical penalty other than just smashing our front wings which in a cost cap world is obviously very expensive.”

Norris: Ferrari pace “not a surprise anymore”

Lando Norris says Ferrari’s pace in qualifying trim should not come as a shock to anyone given their recent form.

“I don’t know why everyone always sounds so surprised,” said Norris, “like, it’s Ferrari and Renault [Alpine], they’re quite quick often. Maybe Renault are a bit more of a surprise.

“But they’ve been quick at a few races this year and they’re a bit slower at others. So it’s not a surprise anymore.”

Grosjean quickest, Magnussen 23rd in IndyCar practice

Magnussen had his first ever run in an IndyCar
Romain Grosjean headed the time in the first practice session for IndyCar’s Road America Grand Prix. The Coyne/Rick Ware driver lapped the Elkhart Lake track in a best time of 1’47.6781. Ryan Hunter-Reay took second fastest ahead of Josef Newgarden.

McLaren SP newcomer Kevin Magnussen, substituting for Felix Rosenqvist, ended his first ever run in an IndyCar with the 23rd-fastest time, 2.8 seconds off Grosjean’s pace. Fellow debutant Cody Ware was almost two tenths of a second quicker.

Sims: Puebla is “aggressive” for Formula E

Alexander Sims expects a challenge from Formula E’s first visit to Puebla. The Mahindra driver said the track’s combination of high speeds, banked sections and bumps will make for a tough combination.

“It’s quite bumpy,” he said. “Lots of track repairs have been done that have quite high profiling, which should make it bumpy throughout, but small bumps. The banking on the straight seems to be quite aggressive so the transition from the straight section, from the oval into the infield, will be a decent step.”

Formula E has made some minor alterations to the track, including slimming it with a wall at turn 10. “They’ve tightened up a couple of corners compared to what we expected, so that will challenge us a bit more to manage our energy but it all seems pretty sensible,” said Sims.

“It’s a very high lateral-loaded track, lot of corners where you’ve got very few straights in between so that will put a lot of stress through the tyre,” he added. “The last corner, in qualifying – if it’s dry – I think is going to be a pretty big corner to try and look after the tyres and get onto the banking section.”

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Comment of the day

AJ says that worrying whether new viewers or casual fans will understand changes to Formula One defeats the point of making them.

A lot has been said about casual fans. Who are these casual fans? How many times has one actually turned on the TV, and casually watched a sport they don’t understand?

I have no interest whatsoever in Moto GP, and never have I tried watching it just because I love F1. I don’t know how scoring in golf works, that doesn’t mean the bosses sitting in the offices of golf associations should tweak the rules to attract me.

Point is, there’s an extremely small percentage of people who fall into this ‘casual’ category. A person who has interest in F1 or any other sport will do his/her research about it and eventually understand whatever rules and format is thrown at them, and stick with the sport irrespective of its era.

There is no need to purposefully come up with gimmicks like sprint qualifying or whatever else is running in their heads just to attract newer generations.

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On this day in F1

Nico Rosberg won in Baku while team mate Lewis Hamilton fell foul of short-lived radio rules today in 2016

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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30 comments on “Baku crashes led to Red Bull’s request to salvage lost front wing part”

  1. Carlos Furtado das Neves
    19th June 2021, 0:11

    ??? Something to hide???

  2. Completely agree with the COTD. Chasing casual viewers is nothing more than a surefire way to alienate the actual fan base. Casuals watch because a sport is popular; to attract casuals, you need a strong product that attracts enough interest for people to find it on TV or watch it because they heard their friends talking about it.

    Also — ‘casual fan’ is an oxymoron. There is no such thing.

    1. I beg to differ. Doesn’t affect motorsport, but the Olympics is prime casual sportsfan fodder! What is the Olympics if not a showcase of minority sports, yet the viewership of the Olympics is the dragon that F1 is chasing.

      1. And this year the Olympics will have GRAN TURISMO as an official sport.

        Video games are now higher profile than Formula 1.

      2. @eurobrun

        Sure, but these people only watch the Olympics because of all the fanfare around it, because of nationalism and because it happens once every 4 years (or less). They don’t even watch world championships for the sports they will watch during the Olympics.

        Formula 1 has been making all kinds of choices that put these kind of people off: pay walls, more races, complicated and inconsistent (application of) rules, very reliable cars, effortless DRS overtakes, etc.

        It doesn’t make sense to me that Sprint qualifying would somehow lure casuals with all these issues.

        1. So pretty much the dictionary definition of a casual fan then, which was my original rebuttal. I also stated that the Olympics has no relevance on Motorsport, but a sweeping generalisation that a casual fan does not exist is incorrect.

    2. @exediron Sprint races are not taking anything away from anybody except the most hardcore, having no life fan who watches ever pre and post practice, pre and post qual, pre and post race and every requisite session in between. They sit on multiple forums, maybe paying for a sub to the special features at or autosport or wherever. They may have jobs and families but that is tertiary to experiencing and engaging in every facet of F1. They can recite the champ from every year, every single heated title battle, the name of every named turn, and come up with arguments why every new track looks terrible (and offers multiple reasons why their own is far, far superior). They know the names of the director of every team over the last decade or more, has several apps open during the race to see all the extra data (timing, tires, etc) but gets upset when that information is displayed on screen (lol?).

      This is a very very marginal number. The vast majority of attendees are not even half that devoted and many may not even actually watch on TV (because sports in person is quite different than sports on TV)…

      Sprint races will not be displacing anything. It will jist be adding things for people who may only have half an hour on a Saturday because they have lives. F1 cannot continue to target people with all that discretionary time, given how the world is heading, financially. At some point all the old, rich, white (and wannabe white) men will die and F1 won’t have any fans left, if it never changed.

  3. Not everyone is you AJ. You can’t use your experience as an expectation for everyone else. I, and a lot of others watch other sports regularly, be it tennis, basketball, cricket, ice hockey, soccer, darts, ten pin bowling, lawn bowls, cycling, even curling! I’ll even throw on American Football every now and then and that’s one I don’t think I’ll ever understand.

    I chose F1 as my sport of choice to enthuse about, but I’m not going to do that at the exclusion of watching other sports, and without a doubt others are the same in reverse.

    You don’t see them because you’re not doing research about who watches F1 like F1M are, but obviously they do exist. I’m even surprised by the people on my F1 feed that do an odd post about F1 every now and then and they’re definitely not as keen about it as I am.

    Some weird exclusionary elitism in this CotD. “If you’re not going to bother to learn the rules before watching then don’t bother” absolute dribble that F1 is trying to avoid. Everyone should be welcomed and if there’s a format that will be more interesting for the casual fan, like what T20 has done for cricket, then why not?

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      19th June 2021, 7:52

      @skipgamer I agree with you here. F1 and football/soccer are my main sports to watch, but I’ll watch Basketball, American Football, Athletics and other sports if it is a big game/match/race/event. Under very rare circumstances I may even be found watching cricket…

    2. @skipgamer

      The problem with your analogy is that T20 cricket is an alternative to traditional long-form cricket, and is being played in different events at different times. If you proposed replacing the Ashes (or some other prestigious Cricket tournament) with T20, that would be more equivalent to modifying the F1 weekend. There are already forms of motorsport designed for a shorter time slot.

  4. Regarding the COTD, I think a “casual fan” is someone who watches a bit of F1, maybe a few races each year but for whatever reason is not really invested in keeping up with the sport.

    Even myself, although I follow F1 since I was a little boy and Williams was running supreme, sometimes it just doesn’t interest me anymore, especially in years that there is no competition. I think I must have watched less than half races last year, and no, watching teams fighting for the 3rd place in the championship doesn’t really get me excited.

    So I think most of these gimmicks are targeted at keeping people invested in watching the whole season or getting back in F1 if they have stopped watching. Of course they will fail because what everyone needs is closer competition and a better show not just another race with the same issues.

  5. I honestly thought that Magnussen would be right up to speed in his Indy car debut. For him to be near the bottom of the FP1 time sheet tells me that jumping into one of these cars for a timed session with zero prior testing is no piece of cake, even for a driver of K-Mag’s experience.

    1. I think, realistically, Grosjean has been the quickest learn in a very long time. Before that it was the British version of Dale Earnhardt but I forget his name.

  6. Cotd. There is such a thing as casual fans. People happen to just watch indy the 24 hour or monaco or just watch grand slams or just the euros. The casuals can make up the majority of the ratings. Converting casuals to regulars is critical to the overall numbers as there is only one monaco, one month of may, the calendar does not always favour casusl viewing as often things clash or people find better stuff to do, can’t be may all year.
    Now the real question is if it makes any sense to pander to casuals? No, not really, you taste something besides encouraging someone to get another bite you are not going to be able to change what someone is tasting, in the end of the day you either like f1 or you don’t.

    1. How do I upvote this^^^
      Bang on
      I watch some random golf, tennis, hockey, lots of racing (Le Mans but not WEC, Indy when I can, sometimes NASCAR), but only F1 has me hooked to where I’ll get up at 5am Sunday to watch an event live. I would not waste 3 afternoons watching golf coverage unless I was really bored.

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        19th June 2021, 7:53

        @nanotech @peartree Yep 100% agree here

      2. @nanotech Just say “+1”!

  7. I know plenty of casual f1 fans. People who care to know a little bit about results and will tune in when there’s a conveniently timed race. Certainly not obsessive like me so probably wouldn’t care to understand the intricacies but know enough to appreciate a good drive. I’d consider myself a casual fan of all other motorsport series cause I love racing but I can’t possibly dedicate the same amount of time and effort to understand the ins and outs of every series nor arrange my life to catch everything live. I imagine there’s plenty of casual fans of F1 who dedicate their time to another racing series. I don’t know that sprint races will necessarily wean them from an alternate motorsport series to F1 though.

  8. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
    19th June 2021, 6:31

    Thanks for the COTD @keithcollantine

  9. Re Norris: Maybe Lando will post the full lyrics to the song that says that every team than McLaren is a noob team?
    Re IndyCar: Shows that Romain is faster when you put them both in a field of closer competition…so far. Let’s see how today and tomorrow will be.
    Re Red Bull photo: RAKES!
    Re Nordschleife: Great tribute to Sabine.

  10. I don’t really watch any other sports but if they threw in a round at the start of the golf where they played crazy golf I’d watch it! :)

    1. @1nkling I would definitely watch full size crazy golf, with real windmills, etc.

  11. RandomMallard (@)
    19th June 2021, 7:54

    What a beautiful tribute to Sabine.

    1. Agreed. And well deserved.

  12. My interpretation of casual f1 fans are people who don’t actually pay to watch any of it, so they might watch free highlights or some YouTube videos, follow teams social media and read the F1 website. The sprint race seems like an opportunity to stack a race weekend with more action so casual fans might be tempted to buy a weekend pass to watch it, enjoy it, then pay for more.

  13. I don’t know what Christian is on about with the curb not being in the drivers eye line. It’s generally in the same place it was on the previous lap.

    It’s not a moving target.

    1. There is also no indicator on track where drivers should brake, yet somehow they still manage.

  14. COTD:

    Point is, there’s an extremely small percentage of people who fall into this ‘casual’ category.

    It’s not an extremely small percentage – it’s 100%. At some point every formula 1 fan watched their first race. They didn’t know the rules. They didn’t understand the importance of pit stop strategy. They maybe wouldn’t even recognise the stars of the era. If the sport is to have a future, then these viewers need to enjoy their first race so they watch their second and eventually become F1 fanatics.

    That’s not to say that F1 should be chasing new fans at the expense of existing ones. They have to make the sport appeal to both types of fan.

  15. Queen of the ‘Ring [Green Hell] – Sabine Schmitz Kurve – most appropriate – RIP Sabine.

  16. MM to JW: OK John, we will remove them, but we will replace it with a brick wall, as your drivers had no problem @ Monaco.
    Also, how much are your drivers paid to be the bet in the World?

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