Nicholas Latifi, Williams, Monza, 2021

Latifi deserved to keep his Williams seat – Russell

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In the round-up: George Russell says he has “a lot of respect” for team mate Nicholas Latifi’s progress in F1.

In brief

Latifi getting “stronger and stronger” – Russell

Russell praised team mate Nicholas Latifi, who ran ahead of him early in the Italian Grand Prix, saying he deserved his recently-announced contract extension.

“Nicky was doing an extraordinary job, he deserved to be in the points,” said Russell. “He’s really getting stronger and stronger, week-in, week-out, finding a lot of confidence and he’s really doing a good job.

“He retained his seat on absolute merit this year. So I’ve got a lot of respect for how he’s working and how he’s going about his business, trying to improve. And as I said, he is truly doing a very good job.”

Stroll given warning by stewards for ignoring yellow flags

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, Monza, 2021
Stroll avoided a yellow flag penalty
Lance Stroll has been issued a formal warning for an incident during the Italian Grand Prix where he did not slow sufficiently under yellow flags.

While ignoring yellow flags tends to result in an automatic penalty, the stewards showed leniency towards Stroll, acknowledging the flags were not easy to see.

“Although the marshalling system was not showing yellows, the marshals were showing yellow flags from the entry to turn eight to the exit of turn 10,” they explained.

“There was one flag point that was not easily visible to the drivers that was showing a double yellow, however this was parallel to an easily visible flag point that was showing a single yellow.

“The stewards were able to determine that the driver slowed as required in the regulation, however could have done so earlier. The stewards therefore issue a warning.”

Schumacher “wouldn’t be happy” with 2021 F2 calendar

Formula 2 returned after an eight-week break
Reigning Formula 2 champion Mick Schumacher isn’t a fan of the new calendar format the series has adopted this year.

Having previously run double-header events, the series has switched to double-header rounds. It is also holding fewer events, with longer gaps between them, making for an uneven schedule.

“I haven’t really paid much thought to it,” Schumacher said when asked about the arrangement. “To be honest, I’m in Formula 1 and I’m happy to be not much looking back. But, let’s say, if Formula 1 had that kind of calendar, I think I wouldn’t be happy with it.”

However he added the arrangement is probably “more logistically and financially better for Formula 2 that way.”

Piastri: F2 title still open despite top two lead

Formula 2 points leader Oscar Piastri isn’t only concerned by the threat from Guanyu Zhou in the championship fight. The F2 feature race winner leads Zhou by 15 points but Piastri says “it’s definitely not a two-horse race.”

The next-closest rival to the pair is Robert Shwartzman, 36 points back from Zhou. “I think if you’re still within 50 points of the lead then you can have a really good weekend or the guys at the front can have a really bad weekend and all of sudden you’re well and truly back in the mix,” said Piastri.

“We’ve got three rounds to go, which is still over a quarter of the season, so it’s definitely not a two-horse race.”

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Comment of the day

If F1 wants the sprint qualifying race to generate more engagement, it needs to add to the weekend without affecting the qualifying order of the grand prix, says CallMeACynic:

If we have to have an ‘event’ on all of Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the so called ‘Grand Slam Weekends’ then I think the only thing I’d be comfortable with is traditional qualifying on Friday, a reverse sprint on Saturday based on championship order in order and then the grand prix on Sunday with starting positions based on qualifying as they always have been.

Decoupling the sprint result from the grand prix is the best improvement they could make regardless of any other changes. I hate that Gasly is starting at the back after his qualifying performance on Friday.
@CallMeACynic

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On this day in motorsport

  • 40 years ago today Alain Prost won the Italian Grand Prix at Monza ahead of Williams pair Alan Jones and Carlos Reutemann. Having failed to qualify for the previous nine rounds, Toleman finally started their first race.

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15 comments on “Latifi deserved to keep his Williams seat – Russell”

  1. What a shame Tom, however your commentary does not beat silence.

    1. You beat me to it! The best thing about watching IndyCar on Sky was when NBC went to an advert break and we were left alone with pure unadulterated world feed. The sounds of the cars are perfect and to the front and it sounds beautiful. Better than any other serie’s production. 3 or 4 mins of bliss before NBC come back… but now, nope. ruined by Tom. So I’m quite happy for technical problems to bring our pure sound back!

  2. Re Sprint Races, revised weekends etc.
    All F1 need to do to generate more engagement is continue to have a close fought championship fight with two or more protagonists who are not prepared to back out of challenges at corners.

    It was always going to be the case that team performances would converge after the last set of regulations had a chance to mature. It’s unfortunate really that just when regs mature and teams all start to level out that a new set of regs is created.

    We just have to hope that the 2022 regs don’t create yet another opportunity for 1 team to dominate for the next 5 seasons or so.

    What we don’t need however, is F1 trying to create some kind of mythical “engagement” via gimmicks to “improve the show”.

    1. Performance has ‘converged’, as you put it (although, with only two teams) not because the regs have ‘matured’ but because they are coming to an end. Much development focus has shifted away from the current cars and on to the future ones.
      If the regs had continued for two more years as they currently are, Mercedes would have maintained most of their advantage.

      As for the the 2022 regs – there should be no ‘hoping’ for anything. Liberty have already shown that they have little faith in them solving the major issues by keeping DRS and investigating further means to close things up – aka ‘gimmicks.’
      They know the cars can’t/won’t provide sufficient show, so something else has to make up for it…

  3. I actually agree with George. Latifi has quietly impressed me this season, always seeming to be much closer to George and to the points than he was last year. Sometimes that was down to pure luck, but there has been some flashes of speed there as well.

    1. @randommallard Yeah good on him to keep plugging away to a decent level now, and even willing to ‘lead the Williams charge going forward’, but probably aided by Russell’s being low on charge following the Mercedes move lately.

  4. Re COTD (@callmeacynic)

    I agree. I don’t mind watching a Sprint race, I quite enjoy them. But I don’t feel they really add anything other than potential jeopardy to a race weekend when it really isn’t needed. I’d rather they weren’t there because they cheapen the Qualifying Session, take away from the race, and for those of us who do like to watch Practice – they make FP2 feel a bit pointless.

    I’m not totally against them, but I just don’t see that they add anything. I know that the ambition is for them to generate a new audience – but they just seem to add confusion and at the detriment of Quali and other race weekends.

    The races are so close at the moment, adding an artificial set of variables to spice things up just isn’t required. And if the racing weren’t so close (with 1 team completely dominating), then the Sprint Race just enables that team to dominate more by adding a few more points to their tally.

  5. Sprints are a gimmick imho and I’m not impressed. True, they give us something to watch on a Saturday beyond just qualifying but in terms of real entertainment it doesn’t work. Quali was always the best opportunity to see the best of the cars and the drivers technique and now it’s secondary.
    Btw after 20 plus years on this site the obtrusive ads are too much and I’m switching to another race site as my primary goto.
    Disappointed.

    1. Completely agree re: ads on the site. I understand why Racefans needs ad revenue, but some of the formats being used now make the content almost unreadable (especially on mobile)

    2. There’s always the option to go ad-free for £12/year.

  6. Another story about tennis girls. What’s the deal with that? A case of ‘the mouth speaks what the heart is full of’? ;)

  7. Nice to see the shout out from Grosjean to Ricciardo.
    I was expecting him to comment on Verstappen as well, as he also came out on top.

    1. Haha,
      I suppose Verstappen was also the highest placed finisher?

  8. If Friday QLF is a must, I’d ax FP2 or push back Parc Ferme to begin from Sprint lights out.

  9. Re Latifi: Can’t see him staying for 2023.
    Re Schumacher: I’m not happy with it either. Oh wait, there’s F2 and F3 at the same weekend in Sochi!

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