Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2021

‘There’s got to be learning’ from pandemic experience – Hamilton

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton shared his love the planet once again in the Thursday press conference at the Austrian Grand Prix, while Yuki Tsunoda spoke of the support his team is giving him and backmarkers got quizzed on their 2022 plans.

In brief

Hamilton wanting positive changes to humanity after pandemic

Lewis Hamilton says the world being given “more time to think” over the past 12 months during the COVID-19 pandemic means there’s “got to be learnings” that can be applied.

The Formula 1 paddock have actually been racing or testing on 26 of the last 52 weeks, and are currently embarking on the busiest championship calendar ever with a scheduled 23 grands prix. However, away from race tracks, drivers’ home lives are under the same restrictions as everyone else’s.

“I think this is something that naturally has given us all more time to think about things since we’ve been isolated,” Hamilton said ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, the event that kicked off the delayed 2020 season a year ago.

“You’ve had the social and the racial discussion that’s also had time for people to focus on. So I think there’s been lots of positives to take away from this period of time and I just hope that we have learnt, and humanity has learnt from this experience. There’s got to be learnings from it, because otherwise we just go back to where we were before.

“I don’t know if that’s necessarily going to be positive for the world, but I definitely think there’s lots of positives. And for me personally, it’s how I manage time. It’s about being present. It’s about making sure you’re maximising in the day rather than thinking too far ahead.”

Tsunoda getting help from Perez

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, Red Bull Ring, 2021
Tsunoda was back in the points last weekend
Yuki Tsunoda’s recent turnaround in form, with two points finishes in the past three races, has pleased his AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost and comes after fellow Red contracted driver Sergio Perez gave him some encouragement after tricky spell early in his rookie season.

“Sergio gives me a lot of advice, especially like after France, also Monaco,” revealed Tsunoda. “He gave me a message that, after I had such a really bad weekend, he messaged me advice and also some positive words to me, and that makes me more motivated.”

Following his 10th place in the Styrian Grand Prix, he’s already setting his sights further up the order ‘on Ferrari’.

2022 deals not under discussion yet at back of grid

Mick Schumacher, Haas, Red Bull Ring, 2021
Could Schumacher end up in an Alfa Romeo next year?
Mick Schumacher and Nicholas Latifi, currently occupying 18th and 20th in the championship standings and without a point to their names, have said their 2022 plans are not under discussion with their teams yet.

Ferrari junior Schumacher joined Haas for 2021 on a multi-year agreement, entering F1 as the reigning Formula 2 champion. He was asked at the Austrian GP whether that contract prevents him from moving to Ferrari’s other customer team Alfa Romeo for next season.

“My focus is really on here, now,” Schumacher stated. “Obviously what is happening next year is something that we’ll have to talk about in maybe some weeks’ time.”

Latifi is in his second F1 season with Williams, and also on a multi-year deal. However whether he remains at the team for 2022 is also under question.

“At the moment I haven’t really been thinking too much in the future,” he said.

“We are still very, very early on in the season. And I guess that’s the generic answer, but it’s the truth for me. Obviously I’d love to stay with the team next year, that is my goal and my objective.”

Junior series behemoth Prema under new ownership structure

Lance Stroll won 2016 F3 title with dominant Prema squad
Top Formula 2 and Formula 3 outfit Prema has joined up with their Formula 4 rival Iron Lynx under a new owner, Swiss-based company DC Racing Solutions, after several years with Aston Martin F1 chairman Lawrence Stroll as one of their investors.

Stroll’s involvement with the team came about as his son raced for Prema in F4 and FIA European F3 on his way up to F1, and he remained so once Lance had made it into the top level of single-seater racing with Williams.

Iron Lynx meanwhile has primarily competed in sportscars, and is fielding Alfa Romeo reserve driver Callum Ilott this year in a Ferrari, but over the last few years has expanded its presence in F4 with its female-focused Iron Dames brand that includes Ferrari junior Maya Weug for 2021.

For now there will be “no changes in the operations of either team”, and further announcements about the tie-up are expected late in the year.

Ryan Norman “honoured” to join Grosjean at Dale Coyne

Former Indy Lights driver Ryan Norman will make his IndyCar debut at Mid-Ohio this weekend, as team mate to Romain Grosjean at Dale Coyne with Rick Ware Racing in his first ever race.

After winning the 2016 championship in Atlantics, the same series Gilles Villeneuve and Michael Andretti won, Norman spent three seasons in Indy Lights and claimed two victories. He then moved into touring cars last year, and won the title in the IMSA Pilot Challenge.

“My goal throughout my whole racing career has been to become an IndyCar driver,” Norman said. “So many years of hard work and sacrifices have finally paid off, and I want to thank Dale Coyne for giving me a shot to show what I can do in the series.

“It’s an honour to be able to drive for DCR. They have shown over the years that they have created a great competitive program, and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together.”

Norman tested at Mid-Ohio this week along with Grosjean, and is the second driver to race Dale Coyne’s #52 car this year after NASCAR driver Cody Ware, who came 19th on his debut two weeks ago at Road America.

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Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

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Comment of the day

Fernando Alonso’s comments about track limits made PMP wonder about his long-term plans:

Alonso sounds more like a future FIA president every week. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s aiming for that with an agenda that he will work for fans (and drivers).

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Author information

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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34 comments on “‘There’s got to be learning’ from pandemic experience – Hamilton”

  1. Funny that about Perez helping Tsunoda. Did they know each other before or is this part of a Red Bill team thing, nurturing younger drivers?

    1. Maho Pacheco
      2nd July 2021, 1:21

      Or maybe it was just because another Japanese did that when Perez was a rookie, and he is just returning the favor. Kobayashi.

      1. Could be either one.

    2. Perez is a very experienced driver is here the most important thing so some pointers from him can help a lot.

      1. Yeah, it’s great to see; recall Hamilton giving both Russell and Norris encouragement and tips (and maybe Vettel to Mick Schumacher?), I guess at that level they are confident enough (when it’s not their direct teammate?) to see others have struggles similar to what they went through earlier in their career and encourage, give some advice.

    3. I think it’s more about what Maho Pacheco mentions, just Perez being happy to share his experience to help a guy who seems to be struggling mostly with getting a grip on how he approaches the race weekends pull through and be able to show their talent @gabf1, although being part of the same RB family probably does make it more straightforward.

  2. #buildbackbetter

  3. Regarding the twitter post, never knew see through clothing existed for men… Could this one be to add for our wardrobes? LOL

  4. Fashion, celebrities, humanities.. What’s wrong with motorsport?

    1. As my old Dad once said to me.

      ‘The only thing wrong with todays Generation is you’re not a part of it’

      1. @f1-plossl It’s more like today’s generation is not part of it

        1. Possibly, but I look at it as we’ve burdened them with decades of crippling debt and a dying Planet, why not let them mould it in there own image, Its what the Young do, sweep out the old and bring in the new.

          1. @f1-plossl Nah it’s just the social media obsession of theirs. Then it’s what you wear, what the celebrities are doing and what the the ‘in’ virtue signaling is. It’s like the old girlie magazine of my generation got a foothold with the guys now somehow. Worse still, if it isn’t on social media, it doesn’t seem to exist for them.

          2. As said previously ‘Out with the Old, In with the New’ like it or not social media is the future, how long before your assigned a social media account when born? alongside a digital Birth certificate and National Insurance Number, the ironic thing about social media is that it is making everybody less sociable.
            As Warhol said ‘ In the future everybody will be World famous for fifteen minutes’

  5. Drivers from across teams seem to help others over the years. Sumtimes with advice sumtimes with words of encouragement. Its not like they are actual enemies just competitors.

  6. Sounds to me like Lewis should start learning how to speak proper English, before criticizing others in the real world.

    These people live in bubbles… and they want to speak to us about how the world works?

    1. Give it a rest, everyone lives in bubbles mate.

      1. Perticilarly Woke bubble.

        It is a long standing tradition, that exceptional men think, they are exceptional at everything.

        Lewis is falling in to this trap.

        1. Meh. Sorry, your new name @jureo – Being Dutch and occasionally exposed to Dutch F1 coverage, I have a hard time accepting criticizing other drivers for being in a bubble. I am sure Max Verstappen himself makes sure he gets solid feedback when he needs it about racing matters, or he wouldn’t be such a great driver on track, but really I tend to think he would be a better person out of the car if he were more outside of the Red Bull/Verstappen/Dutch motorsport idolisers bubble (but having said that, he’s young, Hamilton in a lot of respects matured a lot over the years too, though some things stuck as being his ‘style’ or even ‘brand’, and I am sure Max will too).

          1. I am a Verstappen fan when it comes to him holding a wheel and using it.

            When he opens his mouth, he is a racing driver who ditched school, forgone much of growing up, and it shows.

            These young men sacrificed a lot to get this good at what they do great.

            Lewis Hamilton is now making the transition to think he now should speak about everything, should other drivers do the same we can expect similar issues.

            I would much rather hear about world issues from people who spent time thinking about them and developed in to great thinkers.

            Max Verstappen i feel curently is young enough to be humble and not trying to enforce any ideology. He is here to race.

      2. Iam just glad Iam nowhere near Xcm’s bubble :-)

    2. Hamilton seems to have his heart in the right place, even if he’s not necessarily the most inspiring public figure on these issues. The fact that he keeps bringing up a set of issues even though it tends to attract negative feedback and even ridicule suggests he’s genuinely interested.

      What makes it a bit odd is that he is going out of his way to avoid contributing to solutions by taking his vast fortunes to Monaco. Like it or not, a lot of the systemic issues he talks about require governments to be involved in the solution, whether that’s on climate issues or helping people get access to education, work opportunities, etc.

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        2nd July 2021, 18:17

        @cashnotclass I think you’re pretty close with this. I’m with you in thinking that he’s probably quite interested in these issues, and hearing about the work he’s put in with his Hamilton Commission in the last few months does back this up a bit in my opinion. But I’m not 100% sure he necessarily wants to bring this up all the time; he seems to be asked about it quite a lot (significantly more than the other drivers). The problem is likely that he brought it up once or twice (such as at the height of the George Floyd protests last year), and then he’s become the media’s go-to person to ask about anything related to activism, be it racism, sustainability, etc.

  7. But isn’t Mick already committed to Haas for next season? My understanding was that both Haas drivers joined the team on at least two-year deals.

    1. @jerejj Mick might be committed to Haas, but is Haas committed to Mick?

      1. If Ferrari want Mick there, unless Haas were to switch to Renault (they are looking for another customer, right?), I’d guess they have some incentive to commit to Mick @jimg, so I guess I agree with @jerejj, unless he were to move up to Sauber/Alfa Romeo if RAI moves on?

  8. The “learning” (for those who weren’t aware of it already), is that the world should move on from “Bread and circuses” type of society and economy, and start redistributing wealth into universal healthcare systems, social policies for improving the stability and safety of working class people, and rising the wages of the so-called “essential workers” type of jobs.

    But that would mean we don’t need these 20 clowns racing around for no other benefit, than to numb us and take away our minds from how horrible the every-day reality is.

    So, I don’t think he will have that “learning” in mind.

  9. As a casual Indycar fan (I have a series link set, try to watch them but sometimes skip a few races), I get so confused by all the driver changes. Is it me or does it feel like there’s new people in and out the cars every weekend?! Just gets a bit confusing, I’m like who are they replacing? What team were they at before? Doesn’t help me follow the championship.

    1. Probably a lot to do with sponsorship money being hard to find in this at the current phase of the epidemic @cduk_mugello.

  10. Stop the babbling Lewis before Max gets out of reach.

  11. Re Tsunoda: He should watch Kobayashi’s best moments for some motivation!
    Re Mick and Nicholas: Long shot prediction – they’ll announce their deals in a shorter time then what Mercedes can do.

  12. Perhaps someone needs to tell Hamilton that the pandemic was caused by a virus, not by racism… If anything, the willingness for people to interact internationally increased the speed by which it spread.

    And that interview with Lando is really rather cringe. Lando comes across as quite immature. I hope he learns to push back a bit soon. Russell, Max and Leclerc are just 2 years older than Lando, but seem way more mature by comparison.

    1. @aapje It really was the opposite of international interaction. If anything got me thinking during the pandemic, it was that when the chips are down, it’s the national states that looks out for you. All the talk that one needed big organizations and unions for the important times turned out to be complete BS. Remember EU wouldn’t even help the beleaguered and begging Italy with a cent, and WHO was like a headless chicken who couldn’t even tell you the most basic if face masks worked or not (changing their advice from no to yes).

      1. I think that you are confusing the reason why the virus spread so fast, with the proper way to contain it (which indeed was the opposite of lots of travel and putting things in the hands of incompetent and slow institutions like the EU).

        Initially the virus spread quite fast because of business and holiday travel. I remember vividly how our elites refused to close the border and instead tried to contain the virus by isolating regions, as if it is easier to prevent contact between people within the country than between countries.

        Although, I understand why the elites think that, given how little contact they have with much of the country and how much with the elites of other countries. For them, closing the border didn’t only seem incomprehensible, but was a threat to their own way of life.

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