Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Red Bull Ring, 2021

Vettel will “be less nice” to avoid future blocking penalties

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel said being “the only nice guy” cost him, in on-track traffic that led to him impeding Fernando Alonso.

In brief

Vettel says blocking penalty was “a bit weird”

Vettel says that he found the Austrian Grand Prix stewards’ decision to penalise him for impeding Alonso hard to understand.

“They said I did nothing wrong,” he explained. “So I don’t understand why I got a penalty, it’s a bit weird, no?”

He said that, as far as discussions between the drivers went about turns nine and ten, there had been “nothing on paper with the agreement but we had the [race director’s] notes.”

Vettel was delayed by a queue of drivers ahead him in Q2, some of which had overtaken him during his out-lap, and held up Alonso as a result. “I think I was the only nice guy so [I’ll] probably be less nice,” he reflected.

FIA unveil new F4 chassis

Nikolas Tombazis, Maya Weug, Jean Todt and Michael Masi unveil the second-generation F4 chassis
The FIA has unveiled a second-generation Formula 4 chassis, with improved safety features and a design intended to accommodate a larger range of driver sizes.

F4 championships are run nationally, as drivers’ first step into single seater cars. Being intended for teenagers, driver height can vary significantly and the new chassis has been designed to improve visibility regardless of a driver’s size.

It also adds the halo head protection, bringing F4 in line with every other FIA single seater series. The powertrain package available for the car has been updated, including capacity for a hybrid system if organisers took up that option in future..

Ferrari’s 2022 simulator completed

Ferrari have completed work on a new simulator, which will help them develop their 2022 car.

Although their current simulator will be used for work on the SF21, their new facility is specifically designed to develop “the 674 project” – their new car for the 2022 F1 season.

Built on-site in Maranello, the new simulator will now undergo calibration. It was built in collaboration between Ferrari and UK-based specialists Dynisma, run by former Ferrari engineer Ashley Warne.

Formula E viewing figures in recovery from 2020 slump

Formula E’s viewing figures are improving
Formula E’s 2020-2021 season has so far seen a significant recovery in television audience, from the seriously interrupted previous year. Over the nine races held so far in 2021, audience is up 125% on the whole previous season, showing a decent recovery from damage caused by the pandemic-disrupted schedule.

Figures have never formally been released for the previous season but are known to have slumped recently. Only the first five races were run as normal and the subsequent six during an intense, nine-day Berlin finale that saw them shown mid-week and against a clash with the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

Restarting after a six month pause in racing this January, the 125% improvement should be seen as encouraging ground regained rather than gigantic expansion, following a very challenging year for the series.

Fans able to return for Formula E New York race

A limited number of fan tickets have been made available for the New York Eprix, taking place this Saturday and Sunday in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Formula E had been refused access to fans for the event until today, with tickets being allocated for free, rather than sold, for this year’s event.

30 points currently separate the top six teams, after nine rounds and with a maximum of 84 points available across the double header, only one team is mathematically ruled out of taking the title lead in a single weekend.

“A look at the standings shows how close everything is,” said Audi team principal Allan McNish. “After nine races, everyone is pretty much still in the game. Literally every point counts this season and it’s precisely with this mindset of fighting for every single point that we’re going into the two races in New York.”

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Comment of the day

In the discussion around F1’s future fuels, Kerry Maxwell addresses why hydrogen, although promising, isn’t yet a magic bullet.

Currently about 95% of hydrogen used for fuel is stripped from fossil fuels, and only about 5% comes from the electrolysis of water.

So until we get all of our hydrogen from water, and make sure the energy for splitting water is clean itself, hydrogen is not a net benefit for sustainability.

Then there’s the safety issues involved in using it in racing, and I think you can move the date out far further than even ten years, though it’s likely advances in battery technology will moot it’s application in F1.
@Kerrymaxwell

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On this day in motorsport

Charles Leclerc appeared in an official F1 session for the first time today in 2016
  • Five years ago today Charles Leclerc participated in a grand prix weekend for the first time, aged 18, driving Esteban Gutierrez’s Haas in first practice for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone

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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  • 17 comments on “Vettel will “be less nice” to avoid future blocking penalties”

    1. It would be helpful to include who is making the new F4 chassis and some cost data. Open wheel entry racing is getting stupid expensive; FF1600 and FF2000 served as great training grounds at reasonable cost with many chassis manufacturers and engine builders but we seem to have converged to only one (expensive) option. Sad as this eliminates so many not so wealthy racers.

      Reply moderated
    2. I would love to watch Formula E but as an American I need a cable sub to watch CBS Sports Network which for reasons beyond me is different from CBS Sports HQ which which I can get as a part of Paramount+ that I do occasionally pay for for Star Trek stuff and would get again if I could watch the actual Formula E race, but I can’t so I won’t. Same crap with a lot of Indy Car and Peacock, can watch qualy but need a cable sub for the race so I don’t watch either. Don’t get me started with NASCAR, again need a a cable sub for Fox and even then you are bombarded with constant commercials for nonsense conspiracy propaganda. Just want to watch some racing, due to all this garbage I see F1 TV as a heck of a deal.

      Reply moderated
      1. dontworryaboutmyname
        10th July 2021, 17:24

        same here. id like to watch FE and Indy but i wont be paying for cable or the streaming service they are on. f1tv is all ill purchase

        Reply moderated
        1. Trust me. I have watched FE, and you’re way better off saving your money.

    3. I was under the impression that as new generations of cars came along, the Halo would become more integrated, not a bolt on afterthought.

    4. While I am broadly in agreement with the COTD, note that a large portion of that hydrogen is a side product of what chemical products are produced, meaning it is arguably not asking (much) extra power or resources.

      Still, the main application of this is not automotive, but for powering/heating those plants themselves and things like Siemens, Deutsche Bahn launch local hydrogen trains trial | Article [AMP] | Reuters” short range (local) trains (or busses, short range transportation), so the point of the COTD remains.

      1. Green Hydrogen (with fuel cell) is not a different fuel, but merely an alternative to batteries to store electrons.

        Those double H atoms are very efficient in carrying the electrons, and cleaner than batteries, but are a bit pesky (inefficient) in storing and releasing them.

      2. Problem is his production methode is not correct.
        Hydrogen is not stripped from fuel but made using fuel.
        Most commercial hydrogen is made via Steam Methane Reforming (SMR).

      3. I surely wouldn’t want to give the impression I know what I’m talking about, but did want to make clear that hydrogen is not an energy source, or carbon neutral for the foreseeable future.

      4. The thing that has to made clear is Hydrogen powered vehicles are not combustion engine vehicles. They are fully electric vehicles using a Hydrogen fuel cell than creates electricity that typically charges a battery to feed an electric motor. While there are some hydrogen combustion examples they are pretty rubbish and inefficient. Other than how the hydrogen is produced the other big issue is the massive infrastructure cost to build to supply demand. Lots of issues to overcome.

    5. Ah, the good old Gentleman’s Agreement… Of course it’s not going to work any more – there are no gentlemen in F1.
      It’s a perfect reflection of the cold, hard business that F1 has become.

      1. It has always been a cold, hard business to the team owners. Money is the lifeblood of F1 and points mean money. Simple as that.

    6. I was hoping they’d call it the Jeddah al-Darwish Circuit, after the young man who came to a premature death recently.

      1. Sush Meerkat
        8th July 2021, 15:58

        Jeddah khashoggi racetrack

    7. Re F4: About time they implement the Halo.
      Re Formula E: Free-to-air impact I think.

    8. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      8th July 2021, 15:06

      So, according to the article the 2021 Formula E season so far has “a cumulative audience of 150 million viewers”. ‘Cumulative’ presumably means the viewing figures of each session added together, so that’s 9 races and qualifying sessions so far. Assuming those figures are maintained, that would mean around 250 million viewers across the whole season.

      For reference, the 2020 F1 season had a cumulative audience of 1.5 billion viewers. I find it very difficult to believe Formula E has an audience 1/6th the size of Formula 1. Perhaps Alejandro is using the same tricks Bernie when the 1999 F1 season had ‘58 billion viewers’.

    9. Hi @keithcollantine, can you look at the site css? Looks like every page that have picture and caption distorts the alignment when seen from smartphone.

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