McLaren, Paul Ricard, 2021

McLaren drivers’ run-in at Paul Ricard was “on the limit” – Seidl

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In the round-up: McLaren say their drivers have clear instructions about when they are allowed to race each other.

In brief

Seidl: McLaren drivers have clear rules about racing each other

During the French Grand Prix McLaren’s Lando Norris went off-track after being pushed wide by team mate Daniel Ricciardo, who had moved to defend against him.

After the race, team Principal Andreas Seidl said he had no concerns about their drivers’ behaviour, as they have been told what’s expected from them.

“The rules are clear for our two drivers and within the team,” Seidl said. “That they’re both allowed to race for position if there’s not a strong reason for not allowing them to race because of, let’s say, there’s a huge difference in terms of pace, because of strategy or whatever reason.

“In the end, I guess what we have seen was on the limit but was ok. It wasn’t touching, that is the most important.”

Ocon: Alpine pace in Austria unknown after French Grand Prix

After a frustrating French Grand Prix when Alpine slipped from strong Friday performances to both cars finishing outside the points on Sunday, Esteban Ocon says that it’s impossible to predict their position in the midfield currently.

“I don’t know at the moment. I think if we look at the last year when we raced there, we were a contender for top 10,” he said.

“Obviously, this year everything’s a bit different. But I think we will be navigating through there. The aim is to is to be in the top 10 again, score points and try to do the best we can. But at the moment, until we put the car there, we are not going to be sure.”

Horner: scoring big at Mercedes’ circuit major boost

Christian Horner has said that Red Bull taking the French Grand Prix win, at a circuit previously dominated by Mercedes, was ‘fantastic’ but there was still a long championship to go.

“We came [to Paul Ricard] knowing that this would be one of Mercedes’ strong circuits. They’ve led every lap there prior to this race, bar one. And that was with Lewis.

“So it’s fantastic that we’ve that we’ve had a big score here this weekend. It’s the win the Max should have had two weeks ago. But you can see how close it is. There’s nothing between the two cars. So we’ve just got to keep pushing and keep looking for performance and pushing all the way through.

“There’s such a long way to go in this championship. You can’t take anything for granted.”

Former F1 technician aiming to break land-speed motorcycle record

 White Motorcycle Concepts WMC250EV
White Motorcycle Concepts WMC250EV

Rob White, who worked as a power unit technician on Jenson Button’s McLaren in 2014, has invented what he says is a new aerodynamic concept to allow electric vehicles to run more efficiently. His bike, which he claims produces 70% less drag than a conventional superbike thanks in part to a void running through its centre, lets vehicles use less power to reach higher speeds. White intends to use it to make a land speed record attempt next year.

White said the project had a genuine purpose for the electric vehicle industry, as well as being a bid to be the fastest. “The records are all champagne, but are actually the insignificant part of the story.

“While this technology allows you to go faster, it also allows you to go much further for the same amount of energy. This has a direct and tangible benefit on CO2 reduction.”

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Comment of the day

Ahead of what may very well be a wet Styrian Grand Prix, X1ZNet says that rain may have had the biggest effect on Paul Ricard’s surface, despite no wet sessions.

Personally, I believe the rain showers that cleaned the existing rubber from the track was probably more significant that changes to the track or surface.

I remember the same thing happening in Montreal 10 or 15 years ago – bright and sunny all three days, but late Saturday and overnight, there were heavy thunderstorms, but everything dried up by Sunday morning.

The drivers were unprepared for the lack of grip and increased wear.

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On this day in F1

  • 20 years ago today Michael Schumacher won the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring from pole position for Ferrari.

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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22 comments on “McLaren drivers’ run-in at Paul Ricard was “on the limit” – Seidl”

  1. Does any one know of a good link to an in-depth article about Rob White’s electric motorcycle concept? It sounds fascinating.

    1. Yeah, I would also love to see more about that one @ferrox-glideh!

      1. @ferrox-glideh @bascb Here is some more details and pictures.
        Quite impressed how the hole is just a big opening running through, I was expecting some kind of diffusing effect, not just a plain hole. Will be interesting to follow what happens.

        1. Thanks @jeanrien. That really looks interesting. I am looking forward to see how they get on.

  2. “After a frustrating French Grand Prix when Alpine slipped from strong Friday performances to both cars finishing outside the points on Sunday” – Alonso finished P8.

    1. Just wanted to write the same @aesto. It was quite frustrating for Ocon, but Ocon made it a decent result.

      1. Eh. fun typo there. Seems Alonso is somehow getting pushed out of ones mind when we think about the team :-)

    2. That’s bizarre as Racefans made Alonso one of its Drivers of the Weekend!

  3. Maybe someone doesn’t count Alonso as part of the “Team”.
    For what seems to be a pretty fickle and not very quick car, FA seems to be able to wring something out of it.

  4. COTD makes a fair point…
    So maybe we should bring in Bernie’s sprinklers idea, but only on a Saturday night, so it can dry out again by Sunday, but leaving a lack of grip. 😄

  5. I don’t recall a Canadian GP weekend with a similar wet weather timing. Definitely not 10 years ago as the 2011 race had rain, LOL. Anyway, I share COTD’s point itself.

    1. @jerejj
      I think COTD means probably the 2010 race. From a RaceFans article back then:

      Changes to the track surface at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, overnight rain on Friday and varying temperatures all played a role on turning Sunday strategy into a guessing game.

      That was the race that made Bernie ask Pirelli to produce these unpredictable tyres from 2011, because everyone liked the unpredictability of the tyres back then at that one race… and too much of something is never bad…………. /s

  6. Re McLaren: They’ll probably issue team orders which ends with “Let’s Get Them”.
    Re Ocon: Not easy, huh?
    Re Sean Kelly tweet: There should be a few more changes too…
    Re ART GP Instagram post: That’s a bummer that Thomas had to stop racing, but I understand that.

    1. Actually huge respect for Thomas, and the people around him to find the courage to take this step and be open about it.

      We think of race car drivers as living the dream, but they are also humans struggling with the same kind of pressures, fears, frustrations and need to feel motivated as all of us face.

      If only we as a society were better at making those hard decisions in time, instead of trying to toil on despite them only too often.

  7. Just watching that incident again, RIC seemed to leave enough space to the outside, seemed like a bit of an overreaction from Lando to go off track. I do think there is friction there however, Lando is growing up for sure.

  8. That land speed bike design only makes sense if there are height minimums or length restrictions for the design of the bike that compete in the record. Otherwise it makes more sense to put the driver behind or in front of the engine and make the bike much lower.

    And I don’t see any relevance to regular bikes, since people are not going to want to lie in a superman position on top of their bikes.

    1. @aapje Jeanrien above has kindly provided a link to a fine article that explains why this design makes sense. In short, the rider is not in a superman position, the duct between the riders legs significantly decreases drag and increases front wheel down force without changing rear wheel downforce (eliminating the wheelie effect), and electric engines drive both front and rear wheels for better traction at high speed. Sounds like relevant concepts to road bikes to me. Check it out!

      1. @ferrox-glideh

        The riding position on that page seems way too aggressive for even very sporty road bikes. The article claims that it is no worse than a Yamaha R6, but that has a way different riding position. On the WMC250EV, the feet are level with the knees and the head is only slightly higher than the butt.

        Compare that with an R6 driving position:

        And in that picture the driver is clearly keeping his head lower than usual, which is still far higher than on the WMC250EV.

        1. @aapje From the linked page:

          apart from the ultra-high position of the rider’s feet on the land speed bike, the riding position isn’t too extreme. The seat height is about as high as a Yamaha R6’s.

          It’s not saying that the riding position of this record challenging special is like a road bike, just that it’s not as extreme as it could be.

          I think this is the most innovative use of the flexibility in packaging afforded by electric powertrains that I’ve seen so far. I wish them luck and I await the outcome with interest.

        2. I expect the electric scooter that the article says they are developing in tandem will have a better riding position and still take advantage of their design advances.

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