Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Zandvoort, 2021

Zandvoort banking will suit Red Bull more than Mercedes – Bottas

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Valtteri Bottas says that the camber of Zandvoort’s high-speed, banked corners will suit Red Bull.

In brief

Bottas: Zandvoort “a good track for Red Bull”

Bottas believes the Red Bull car has better balance through cambered corners and so will suit the revised turns three and 14 at Zandvoort.

“I feel like it’s quite a good track for Red Bull, no doubt,” said Bottas. “Their car is always good when there’s cambers, off-cambers and it feels like the car is maybe a bit more stable in those kind of corners.

“But we’ll find out. On paper [it’s] all to play for and we’re going to be fighting for the win.”

Steiner: calendar changes will be cancellations not moves, now

Start, Istanbul Park, 2020
F1 intends to return to Istanbul Park in Turkey
Haas team principal Günther Steiner does not believe there is any flexibility left in the F1 calendar and any further issues will lead to race cancellations.

“If there [are] changes, I think there will be more cancellations and not any changes anymore because we are just running out of weekends at the moment, there is not a lot you can do anymore,” he said.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali remains keen to see out the calendar as it stands, said Steiner “If something will happen, depending always on the Corona, at the moment FOM and Stefano, they are pushing hard to get this calendar to the end like it is now.

“But you never know. As we saw last weekend, we don’t have nature in control. So if the pandemic hits hard in one of the countries we are going, I think the only option is to cancel the event.

“I don’t think that is a big option to change it to another place because there’s just not enough time if you think in a little bit more than three months that the season is over.”

Visser cleared to race at home W Series round

Both drivers who were taken to hospital following the dramatic crash during W Series qualifying last weekend at Spa have been cleared to race at the championship’s Zandvoort round.

Beitske Visser described herself as “a bit sore” ahead of her home race this weekend. “But I’m excited to be back racing.”

“[It’s] really cool to see so many Dutch fans here,” she added. “It’s been a long time since F1 has been in Holland, so I expect a lot of people here this weekend. So hopefully that gives me a little motivation.”

Max Günther signed to Nissan e.Dams

Max Günther has filled Oliver Rowland’s vacant spot at the Nissan e.Dams Formula E team. Three-time race winner Günther had been with the BMW Andretti squad for two years but split from them following BMW’s exit from the sport at the end of the last season.

Günther will partner Sebastien Buemi. “It makes me feel very proud to become part of the Nissan e.dams family,” said Günther. “The team has high ambitions in Formula E and I am full of motivation to contribute to the success of this project.”

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Comment of the day

After the non-event that was the Belgian Grand Prix, Imre asks if parc fermé rules should not be changed when the conditions do?

I am constantly baffled by the parc fermé rule in these situations. Acclimatisation can be achieved by multiple formation laps so a warmup is replaced this way.

We could have a rule that there is no parc fermé in case of a wet race. They could announce whether the race is declared wet two or three hours before the race. That is enough time to re-set-up the cars. There could also be a minimum ride height for a declared wet race to reduce the chance of aquaplaning.

Of course this would mean no one ever sets up their car anticipating a wet race but I don’t think they do it anyway.

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On this day in motorsport

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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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44 comments on “Zandvoort banking will suit Red Bull more than Mercedes – Bottas”

  1. Cotd, williams did set their car for the rain, regardless I agree. Parc ferme’s purpose seems to have been lost over time.

    1. @peartree, Agree, there are no qualifying engines, gearboxes, tyres etc. and the teams need permission to work late, so what is the point.

    2. someone or something
      3rd September 2021, 1:10

      Where did you get the idea that Williams set up their car for rain? George Russell was among the fastest on the straights in qualifying (2nd fastest out of Raidillon, 3rd fastest at the end of Kemmel straight), so they clearly didn’t put more rear wing on.

      That notwithstanding, not being allowed to adapt cooling to a change in conditions strikes me as odd. Downforce levels and suspension set-up, okay. That’s part of the challenge of setting up your car for two very different sessions on different days, so there shouldn’t be a “get out of jail free” card for that. But cooling is a different matter. You should be able to change that liberally, so that your brakes and tyres get a fair chance of reaching their working range. Allowing that doesn’t disadvantage anyone, it just levels the playing field regarding a single, extremely volatile, variable, while leaving everything else unaffected.

      1. @peartree
        Where did you get the idea that Williams set up their car for rain? George Russell was among the fastest on the straights in qualifying (2nd fastest out of Raidillon, 3rd fastest at the end of Kemmel straight), so they clearly didn’t put more rear wing on.

        I assumed Williams was set up for the rain myself tbh because Russell’s rear wing was like a sail compared to the other teams. Higher downforce will mean higher corner exit speed, so could make you faster along the straight, but admittedly set up will vary from car to car so perhaps whether it was set up more for the rain, only the team will know.

        1. someone or something
          3rd September 2021, 12:14

          The thing is, it can’t have been more of a sail than anyone else’s. The Williams isn’t necessarily an extraordinarily aerodynamically efficient car. It tends to end up in the top half in the speed trap, but it’s nothing like the 2014 Williams (for example), that simply couldn’t generate as much downforce as everyone else, and consequently set the highest top speeds on a regular basis.
          Bu Russell did ranked higher than usual in the speed traps at Spa. And that is simply incompatible with having more rear wing than the rest. Considering the rain, we can’t even resort to DRS to explain the phenomenon away, as DRS was disabled. So whatever it was they did with Russell’s car, it cannot simply have been a gamble on a purebred wet setup. Maybe we’ll have to live with the fact that the car simply came alive in these conditions, and allowed Russell to put in a sensational performance.

      2. Williams made all the right decisions, going full wet on the set up meant they got the traction and confidence over s1 hence why they had the best top speeds, rb with a much smaller rear wing failed to take advantage of it in s1.

        1. someone or something
          9th September 2021, 14:47

          Is this a real comment,
          is this just parody?
          Caught in a landslide
          There’s no escape from inanity

          I’m not going to waste my time showing why this is utterly ridiculous. But it is.

  2. someone or something
    3rd September 2021, 0:57

    Re: That article from The National
    The most frustrating aspect of articles about Spa 2021 is how they act like crystal balls are commonplace.

    So the first attempt to start the race was aborted after two laps. It was very wet, more rain kept falling, and basically everyone except Verstappen reported a lack of visibility, to the point of not being able to see the flashing red light at the rear of other cars (possibly hyperbole, but still). From a non-armchair perspective, was there really any point in going in circles any longer? Wasting away laps that could’ve been race laps, had the weather shown some mercy, while cooling the cars down to a point far outside their working range where tyres grip and brakes offer predictable deceleration?
    Only if you know the future and can tell that it won’t stop raining.

    Fast forward to the second attempt. Here, too, the author of the article seems to assume that knowledge of the future was readily available, but Race Control decided to act against it, by sending out the cars for purely cynical reasons. What about the fact that the radar indicated a break from the rain, and that it did look more promising trackside? Doesn’t matter, we judge decisions by their outcome, whence we infere the underlying intentions.

    So, after two ill-fated attempts, the race is abandoned, and everyone is unhappy (except maybe for George Russell, can’t blame him for having some spring in his step). But the armchair verdict is even harsher: If circling behind the Safety Car until points are awarded was what they wanted to do, they could’ve done so three hours ago, and given us the afternoon free after that. In other words: When they do it late in the day, we’re going to call it cynical. But if we propose, in hindsight, that they do the very same thing but much earlier, that’s sensible.

    Let’s be honest here: Was there any way for Race Control to save the day without getting mud flung at them? And I mean logically consistent decisions, based on the facts that were available at the time, so no clairvoyance or time travel. While assuming a realistic audience, not just the one in your head that applauds everything you come up with, but millions of angry fans and hundreds of know-all writers who cannot wait to take out their frustration on your actions?
    Can anyone of us come up with better decisions, against which no better criticism than that exemplified by the article in question can be levelled?

    1. Good post.
      If they’d done half a dozen laps at 3pm and decided that was enough and everyone should go home now, there’d be endless complaints of ‘Why didn’t you stick around and try again later? Maybe the weather would have improved.’

      Many people also seem to have forgotten Baku, where they did go out to complete the race and that was also a terrible thing to do in fans’ eyes.
      How can F1 possibly win?
      Ultimately, the complaints about Spa were that it rained and F1 cars aren’t suitable for that – but nobody can change the weather, and the power in F1 don’t seem to want to change the cars to enable them to be more versatile.
      It quite simply was what it was – circumstance that couldn’t be changed on the day.

      1. someone or something
        3rd September 2021, 10:40

        Good post.

        I appreciate it. It means my rant wasn’t entirely in vain.

        Ultimately, the complaints about Spa were that it rained and F1 cars aren’t suitable for that – but nobody can change the weather, and the power in F1 don’t seem to want to change the cars to enable them to be more versatile.

        I wouldn’t even say that. Cars aren’t no suitable for rainy weather. They’re no sports cars that can keep going even when deep puddles form on the track, granted. But qualifying has shown that they can deal with quite a lot of water, that they can displace a lot of it with their tyres and aerodynamics, before it becomes dangerous.
        But the very properties that allow them to clear a lot so much water from the track for their tyres to bite into the asphalt are what made the race impossible. Because of the spray they generate.
        But the thing is, contrary to what basically all the commentary seems to suggest, this isn’t always the case. In fact, it has been the case just this once so far, while many other races have been run in similar circumstances. The circumstances just happened to form a perfect storm this time, and it irks me that the many, many races that have been run in absolutely lousy conditions with cars just like this, but the extreme short-term memory of fans and journalists alike (especially for journalists, there hardly appears to be any middle ground between “That used to be so much better in the Sixties” and “I’m going to base my entire perception of F1 as a whole on that one thing I didn’t like about last weekend”) makes a mockery of any notion of swarm intelligence by actively contradicting any lessons learned from previous races under less than optimal circumstances.

        1. someone or something
          3rd September 2021, 10:40

          *not suitable

        2. I guess the point some make is that those 60’s style cars could have run in those conditions because they wouldn’t be lifting so much spray. Visibility would have been massively better in comparison. Each iteration of F1 has increased reliability on aero performance and under-car airflow, contributing to the issue we saw last week.
          The physical size of the current cars and the width of the current tyres only exacerbate the problem in such conditions.

          Aquaplaning is an issue in such wet conditions, of course – but unlike the spray from another car, each and every driver can solve that problem on their own by slowing down.

          My point is that F1’s rules are increasingly focusing the cars in the direction of being a dry-track racing series only at the expense of that versatility to be able to race in any conditions.
          We already know how useless full wet tyres are, for instance, because they don’t even let the cars onto the circuit until it’s dried enough for inters…

          1. Increased reliance on aero…. not reliability.

    2. Great post, finally some one sees the circumstances in which decisions factoring in several elements which we might not be privy of. One of the rarest circumstances hit F1 that Sunday.

  3. Regarding CoTD. The forecast said it was gonna hammer with rain all afternoon, this was days before the event, even if they were running the 2009 Monsoon Bridgestone tyres it would of been touch or go, and after seeing a Porsche doing a 360 out of Eau Rouge into radillion and somehow not collecting anyone no amount of parc ferme tweaking was gonna make the race happen, they knew this and spent the afternoon conspiring to make it an ‘event’ that ticked all the legal boxes to hopefully get away with it.

    1. I suggest you read the previous comment, or share where you bought your crystal ball.
      The radar images I saw during the wait (and commented on by some team principals) all showed an expected break in the rain, which in the end did not (sufficiently) happened.

  4. @byronf1
    “This has to be Kimi #Raikkonen’s worst nightmare. He’d far rather walk away at the last race and never return. Now he faces half a season of how does it feel for last this, last that, best this, best that, regrets? On and on Nightmare. Oh yes…and what’s your best radio message?”

    Best radio message (and the message to any question raised by his retirement)?
    This one:
    “Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing”

    1. Interestingly, it is maybe the most repeated Kimi message, but we’ve heard very similar messages from other drivers (Lewis, Max, Alonso).

      1. Yes, similar. But that quote is all Kimi.

    2. It’s funny that often-used quote ‘Leave my alone, I know what I am doing” is in fact incorrect. He said “Leave me alone, I know what to do”. It’s a small step for man, but a giant leap for humanity :)

  5. Speaking of the calendar, the COVID situation in Texas is so dire that there are 26,000 new cases every day, and that’s at a plateau. The US GP will likely be dropped.

    1. I live in the so called “epicenter” county in Texas. It’s no where near a bad as the media make it out to be. By the time COTA rolls around, this will have quieted down. Covid is here to stay and will mutate and rear it’s ugly head again and again. But so do the flu and colds and many other viruses.

      1. I don’t believe or agree with you. I don’t know which county is the epicenter (I’m going to guess it’s Harris County), but other developed countries actually have this virus under control, and Texas, which is the second largest economy in the US does not and Governor Abbott, the criminal SOB he is has made claims that “everything is fine”. It’s not. It’s really not.

        1. You are free to disagree. I live here.

          1. Keith Crossley
            3rd September 2021, 4:14

            Interesting report. So, what of these Texans’ accounts?

          2. @David Sexton

            So much for that read and time I’ll never get back. We now have a much better understanding about the world you live in. The link you posted is from a well known anti-vax doctor from Lubbock, Texas, with only a general MD degree that is not a specialist in the subject, he has no accredited training or degree in infectious diseases, in article he gives mis-leading info, quotes very dubious facts to support his claims without showing the back-up data or the sources of any data
            Just like his articles in the well known hard right political website The Patriot Post. Many of his articles and his beliefs have been shot down by numerous virus transmission and epidemiology research scientists who are actually much more qualified about the subject and state facts from qualified studies.

            Okay, so lets just say even if this Gilbert Berdine is on to something and covid isn’t really anything to worry about, so then please explain why so many Texas hospitals no longer have any room in their ICU’s? They’re all filled up, Is it because of something else that is afflicting so many Texans all of a sudden? Or is it false reports and if so by whom?

          3. I live near Washington, D.C.- and no, I don’t watch CNN or MSNBC. It’s shameful what is going on there, and F1 shouldn’t go to Austin until this virus is under control there- and that won’t be by late October.

      2. Totally agree with “some F1 fan”,

        The Texas vision of what Covid is and their transparency is a very far cry from what the educated science medical field and other First Worlds think (sans Brazil).

        Today (22/9) Williamson County sets the record for daily new COVID-19 cases.
        Currently 100 Texas hospitals ICU’s are at full capacity, meaning if your little Johnnie or Aunt Julie get in a serious car accident, ICU beds and critical care will not be available to give them the care they need. F1 will not be sending 1,000’s of people over to Austin, Texas with that kind of high risk due to low health care (third world level capacity). But I guess this whole Covid thing means nothing?

        Besides, it doesn’t really matter to F1 what Texas thinks, it’s all about being on the red list and thanks to Texas and other southern states odd views & non-action on Covid that we’ll most likely will not get to see F1 racing in Austin.
        As of right now, until your state dramatically increases ICU bed rates and greatly improved covid numbers its game over; let’s hope that will not be the case.

      3. David Sexton I’ve reported your comments for spreading coronavirus misinformation. The article you linked contains the following phrase, which is enough to tell me that the article has an agenda and is not based on fact.

        It is quite likely that significant complications from the vaccine may exceed the average expectation of deaths prevented.

        This comment is not backed up by any supporting evidence and seems to be purely the opinion or speculation of the author. It is well known by now that on average the benefits of taking the vaccine far outweigh any miniscule chance of suffering serious side effects. I assume the rest of the article is similarly inaccurate or straight up false.

        1. Ah, thank you Steve, I have seen the error of my ways for having a contrary opinion. The Thought Police have arrived so that I might be taken away and re-educated. Au revoir.

          1. Contrary opinions are fine. Lies and misinformation about a virus that costs lives are not. I didn’t expect to change your mind as if you still have this ‘opinion’ at this stage despite all the information available then there’s nothing I nor anyone else can say to sway you.

    2. US GP is still a long ways away before having to make that logistics deadline no-go call, so hopefully there will be improvements in the numbers by then and off the red list. Mexico & Brazil are also not looking good. With Japan that’s four races in a row that could be changed or cancelled. Bummer

      It’s all about getting on the red list by the UK & EU and then how quickly those countries get removed from the red list in time enough before the logistics call has to be made. Maybe Spa could play as the alternate for one of them, weather permitting? It would be for Oct. 8th.

      1. I don’t know how realistic a 8 Oct Spa race would based on expected weather, but it could be a good option to reimburse to some extent last week’s ticket holders.

        1. Agree, Spa in Oct. is not exactly tropical and F1 would most likely have to look for tracks more south like Spain…..etc. or move everything to the Far East and just camp there for the Fall/Season.

          I for one, would not like to see that, too many races on the same tracks. It’s getting harder and harder to find tracks with the correct FIA grade, big enough to handle the circus and track big enough to handle the car width (competitive wise) and fit within the distance/time parameters set by F1.

        2. Difficult to predict the weather 2 months in advance. October can be quite wet, but it can also be dry. 2020 January was almost completely dry for example, but February was quite wet.
          This summer was not only the wettest summer, but even one of the wettest seasons (incl. autumn and winter) since the start of the measurements in Belgium.

      2. @redpill Not really anymore. About a month & ten days left, so not much remaining for freight lead time.
        I share your and some F1 fan’s view on ICUs, though. Having those available is important in case of a bad on-track accident.
        Southern Europe is indeed more favorable deep into the autumn, although the Far East isn’t an option anymore.

        1. @redpill 20 days I should’ve typed.

        2. @jerejj

          Sorry I mistyped, I was meant to say Middle East not Far East.

  6. Interesting & insightful COTD.

    I am curious about the suggestion of increasing ride height. May be those with a technical background can help, but does increasing ride height reduce chances of aquaplaning? I thought aquaplaning was to do with the interaction between tyres and track.

    1. The problem in Spa was more of visibility than aquaplanning, Spa is in the middle of the hills and without wind the floating drops of spray stay like forever in the air.
      I’m not an engineer but I guess a higher car has less ground effect so the cars would create less spray.

  7. COTD’s idea mightn’t be bad. Perhaps worth doing.

    I like the old paper about Kimi. The person who tweeted, I immediately recognized the name as he’s Rally Finland Course Clerk.

  8. Well, it was about time RB got some kind of advantage l. Although if a Mercedes driver makes a statement it is mostly not true.

  9. Re Bottas: The smaller the tracks, the more downforce. Is it like that?
    Re Visser: Expect standing ovations if she gets a brilliant result.
    Re Kai Tarkiainen tweet: That predicted the future.

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