Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Red Bull Ring, 2021

Ocon gets new chassis for British Grand Prix

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Alpine have changed Esteban Ocon’s chassis as a precautionary measure ahead of Silverstone.

In brief

Precautionary chassis change for Ocon

After suffering a run of four races where he retired twice, including on the first lap of the Austrian Grand Prix following contact and two where he finished outside the points, Ocon’s team have been investigating his car for any problems which might explains his recent lapse in form.

Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski said that although they had yet to get to the bottom of the issues, Ocon’s chassis had been changed ahead of the British Grand Prix.

“Esteban had two difficult races in Austria and we’re still investigating whether there are any technical reasons behind it,” explained Budkowski.

“To eradicate any doubt, the team has made the decision to make extensive changes to his car for Silverstone, including a new chassis.

“Esteban performed very strongly at the start of the season and qualified the car on the third row of the grid on merit at two races in a row just a few weekends ago, so we are working together to make sure he bounces back, and this weekend is the perfect opportunity to do that.”

Mark White appointed as operations director at Aston Martin

Aston Martin have recruited Mark White as their new operations director at the team. White, who will take up the role in September, comes from Honda’s automotive division, where he has worked in senior operational roles.

The team will restructure slightly with White’s arrival, with Bob Halliwell moving from production director to chief operating officer. White will report directly to Halliwell, taking overall responsibility for production control, quality assurance and manufacturing.

Latifi excited for favourite track “by far”

Nicholas Latifi, Williams, Silverstone, 2020
Latifi is relishing his return to Silverstone
Nicholas Latifi is eagerly awaiting this weekend’s races on what he calls “my favourite track on the calendar by far”.

“The nature of the high-speed corners, which are very fast and flowing, makes it the perfect track to drive these modern Formula 1 cars that have so much downforce,” said the Williams driver. “It is such an exhilarating feeling with all of the G-forces through your body.

“It’s also the team’s home race, so I’m very excited to be a part of that as I didn’t have my own home race this year, but this will be just as special. I am hoping for a very strong weekend to make it all the better.”

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Comment of the day

@Drmouse hopes Formula 1’s new Sprint Qualifying format succeeds, but is doubtful:

I really hope this is a success, because otherwise it will be used forever and a day to block any other significant changes being made to quali. So many in this sport object to change on principal, and this would give them ammunition.

That being said, I’m not optimistic. It may produce a little action further down the field, where the risk of starting from the back of the grid is less important. However, up front I can’t see there being more action than a typical race day, and I think predictions of a procession are likely to be accurate.

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  • 20 years ago today Michael Andretti won the 10th round of the Champ Car Indycar series on the streets of Toronto, closing within 11 points of championship leader Kenny Brack

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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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  • 27 comments on “Ocon gets new chassis for British Grand Prix”

    1. If I could just say exactly the opposite of the comment of the day, it would sum up my feelings of the qualifying sprint race to come this weekend. It may be perverse, but I actually hope that this new format is such a debacle that they will never again tinker with the structure of an F1 Saturday, because it is (finally) great the way it already is.

      1. i hope it is a huge success, anything to make this race series more exciting, as many will admit it is one of the least exciting series, yet is supposedly the pinnacle of motorsport. very old school conservative and quite dated in many respects.

        1. someone or something
          15th July 2021, 9:23

          But none of that has anything to do with qualifying.
          Trying to make the weekend more exciting by race-ifying qualifying is a bit like firing and replacing your best-performing employee to improve productivity when in reality everyone else isn’t doing their work.

        2. I think the completely opposite.

        3. If the format changes, the historical statistics become garbled. Part of the draw of F1 for me is it’s legacy. I am all for technological progression in the sport, which F1 embodies better than any other series. Why mess with the already excellent structure of the weekend, if not for the sake of novelty and it’s attendant money grabs. The supposed lack of excitement is a car problem, not an organizational problem.

    2. How surprising.

      COTD: I’m more reserved in judgment.

    3. I hope Lando doesn’t lose his youthfull smile and altitude after that holdup. Those are life chancing events in persons life.

    4. I wonder if the FIA and F1 management will give in and call the Saturday Sprint Quali a Sprint “Race”.

      Everyone calls it a Sprint Race, the drivers have referred to it as that, TV commentators have called it that. Cars will have qualified in an official quali session to line up on the grid so that they are all on track together being encouraged to overtake to finish in the highest positions they can, with championship points awarded at the end – it’s a RACE! A chance for the top teams/drivers to score (disproportionately) slightly more points at a race weekend than they usually do!

      The briefings and corrections being issued to make sure that the Saturday race is not referred to as a race will surely die down when everyone continues to refer to it as a sprint race. Even my trusty 25 year old dictionary defines a sprint as “a short race, at maximum effort”

      1. @geekzilla9000 not to mention that Liberty Media originally put forward this proposal under the heading of a “sprint race”, and called it as such for about a month before renaming it “sprint qualifying”.

      2. Yes! It’s ludicrous they want to disassociate this RACE from being a RACE when it is clearly a RACE. Just madness. I’m all for it and it definitely makes me more eager to visit a track in person for a weekend as there’s literally just more consequential entertainment to unfold on each of the three days to make it feel more worth the money.

        I hope we get some drama, and I guess incidents that do occur in the sprint race will absolutely have bigger repercussions. It could definitely spice things up, plus I’m eager to see drivers on the tyre they want, on low fuel, all just going flat out against one another. I think surely that is going to be something we haven’t really seen for a while, isn’t it besides a late red flag restarted race.

      3. someone or something
        15th July 2021, 9:24

        The easiest solution would be to drop the concept altogether.

      4. It is not a race, not a race, looks like a race but it is most definitely not a race just happens to have a start, a race distance, checkered flag and wreaths for the podium.

      5. The main reason they are putting so much effort into not calling it a race is because certain types flip out at the suggestion that there will be two races at an F1 event.
        If F1 purists weren’t so pedantic, it wouldn’t have ever been an issue.

        1. S I agree which is why long ago I was emphasizing around here it is a trial to see if there is a more exciting way to qualify for the race. Of course it is in race format, because that might be more exciting than time trials, which we will still get on Friday anyway. But some have said from the start that F1 just wants more races for the sake of more races. I have not understood why all along Brawn and Domenicali have not just been taken at their word that they are looking to see if there is a more exciting way to qualify for the race.

          And sure, why wouldn’t they want it to be commercially successful too? What is wrong with growing the sport? Couple of bottom lines for me…I am just grateful to have F1 at all and am thrilled to go along with it’s continued journey especially when it had become unsustainable under BE, and as well, nothing that Liberty and Brawn and now Domenicali have said it done makes me worried about F1’s future nor a draconian withdrawal from tradition. It still overwhelmingly comes down to teams and drivers plying their trade.

      6. @geekzilla9000 @anon @davidhunter13 @someone or something @peartree
        The most literal way of describing is sprint qualifying race, as the session is both qualifying and race simultaneously.

        1. @jerejj, et al, I think it likely that it will not be called a race for legal reasons regarding the current broadcasting contracts. I am keeping my fingers crossed for these not-a-race sessions being widely available, free to air, as F1 promotions to attract new fans. Even Bernie E. believed F1 needed to be FTA until reminded of his mortality and wanted to maximise the amount of money he could quickly extract from the work of the teams.
          PS. I include social media in FTA.

    5. So England is already on Brazilian levels now..
      Hold ups and robbing after the race.

    6. Not good news for Ocon. Changing chassis is a last resort. Followed by an exit?

    7. A little off topic, but, there are reports of severe flooding in Spa Francorchamps and the surrounding area in the Ardennes. The flooding also covers the Rhine and Mossel rivers in Germany.

      Reply moderated
    8. It’s a total assumption on my part but I can’t imagine someone wearing a 40000£ watch to a stadium by choice, was it a contractual obligation to wear such a watch?
      I’ll be clear here that I blame those who robbed him, not Lando for wearing the watch

      1. Gavin Campbell
        15th July 2021, 10:18

        I reckon a lot of people in the second tier of wembley had eye wateringly expensive watches on.

    9. Gavin Campbell
      15th July 2021, 10:17

      I have no problem with them mixing up the race/quali procedure. I do think however they should possibly use F2/3 for this kind of experiment first. I’m also not a huge fan that we didn’t know before the season starts what the whole plan was (although I get that its a bit Covid dependant there!).

      Sprint races I’m not so sure on but they could mix it up for sure:
      Monaco – traditional 1 hour qualifying?
      1 lap qualy in reverse championship order?
      What about knicking MotoGPs system where you have to get into the top 10 say in fastest times from FP1 & 2 – those top 10 get a bye into the second part of quali and everyone else fights it out.

      As long as you issue a calendar with the qualifying format for each race – I dont see why not.

      Also possibly a missed oppurtunity to have not tried the format change at the double header for a bit of variation.

      I would say however that looking at sport in general the most popular sports are normally the most simple, at least in terms of basic structure. Football (Soccer) is fairly easy to understand and not too many people are asking questions about the rules for the 100m final. So there is some merit in having a simple “formula” that is repeated at every event.

    10. So if the winner of the race thats not a race gets a laurel leaf, who gets the tyre?

      Hamilton after a hundred poles×393.jpg

      Max after a hundred poles?

    11. Quite a few of us enjoyed the recent article here on RaceFans that detailed the history of how points were awarded over the history of the sport. I imagine that an article about how race qualifying has changed over the years would be well met here too. Hot topic!

    12. Re Ocon’s new chassis: So the’re making it much, much harder for him now?
      Re Latifi: The Bridge was good.
      Re RaceFans Instagram post: Can’t we bring back wreaths for normal race weekends?
      Re F2: Unless we will list down his redeeming qualities…

    13. If I recall correctly, it was only a short while ago that there were rumblings of having 2 day events and potentially having qualifying go Sunday prior to the race.
      The motivation was to save money and cut emissions.
      Now here we are back solidly to three days and more running, tyes and racing. Oh yes, more broadcast time too.
      Saturday is going to be interesting.

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