Alonso concerned Sochi visibility could be as bad as Spa

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says that Sochi Autodrom’s lack of elevation means water can pool on the track, creating spray problems in wet conditions, which could be a problem if the expected rain arrives.

In brief

Sochi visibility “bad” in wet conditions – Alonso

Second practice was run in wet conditions at the 2015 Russian Grand Prix. Alonso recalled that spray was a significant problem due to standing water on the track.

“I do remember – It was not great,” he said. “I tell you, the visibility was bad. It’s a very flat track. There are no elevation changes here so the water stands quite a lot on track.

“I remember turn one being quite difficult, which is not a corner normally, but it was a real corner on wet.

“For Sunday, fingers crossed it is not that wet or not raining too much because the visibility will be bad and we don’t want to see anything like Spa.”

Heavy rain is predicted for the whole of Saturday, this weekend.

Mexican Grand Prix releases Covid-19 protocols for attendees

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019
F1 did not visit Mexico last year
Mexican Grand Prix organisers have announced their plans to ensure safety for attendees at the event. All ticket holders will be required to show proof of full Covid-19 vaccination, including dates or a laboratory-processed PCR or rapid antigen test, taken within the past three days, in order to gain entry.

A ‘fast access’ line will be available to attendees who upload their proof of vaccination for online approval ahead of the event, in order to process crowds more easily.

W Series confirmed yesterday it has cancelled its planned race during the grand prix weekend.

Giovinazzi: Alfa Romeo can “improve and improve” with Bottas

Antonio Giovinazzi, who has worked with the Sauber team (now badged Alfa Romeo) since 2017, said he thinks incoming driver Valtteri Bottas will contribute to the growth achieved in the team during his and Kimi Raikkonen’s time there.

“For sure it’s a different team from my first experience in 2017,” he said of the Swiss outfit. “Plus also with Kimi since 2019, he’s [brought] some good things from Ferrari or from his experience.

“This is what I think Valtteri will find and what he can bring, he’s another experienced driver that came from a great team like Mercedes. So I’m sure he can bring good things for the team and can still improve and improve, year after year.”

Sports car and grand prix driver Nino Vaccarella dies

Nino Vaccarella
Ferrari ace Vaccarella passed away
Noted sports car driver Nino Vaccarealla, who won the Le Mans 24 Hours for Ferrari in 1964 and 1965, has died at the age of 88.

As well as sports cars, he drove in five championship F1 races, his last for Ferrari at the 1965 Italian Grand Prix. He also achieved a third-place finish in a non-championship race using F1 cars at Vallelunga in 1961.

Piero Ferrari said Vaccarella was “a driver whose achievements honoured Ferrari, but above all a true gentleman driver.”

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Comment of the day

On the subject of junior drivers not finding places in F1, @Jelle-van-der-meer points out that the current F2 situation, where the champion cannot race in the series again the following year, might incentivise stalling – for drivers that can afford another year.

Closer to the end of the season you might get the odd situation that Oscar Piastri is deliberately dropping points to become runner up in F2 rather than F2 champion so he has another year in F2 and hopefully a better chance to get a F1 seat for 2023.

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On this day in motorsport

  • 15 years ago today Simon Pagenaud won the Champ Car Atlantic title at Road America after rival Graham Rahal retired with a technical problem on lap five. Pagenaud was taken out by James Hinchcliffe two laps later.

Author information

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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17 comments on “Alonso concerned Sochi visibility could be as bad as Spa”

  1. The Verstappen rubbishes claim he’s under pressure and attacks ‘hypocrisy’ over Hamilton crash thread is the end of the line for me. I’m not reading the comments section on any Hamilton or Verstappen articles any longer. It was bad in the first half of the year, went sour after Silverstone, went completely toxic after Monza and continues to plummet to new lows.

    The extremity of views being expressed is mind-boggling. I guess it shouldn’t be, we see it in society everywhere nowadays. Sad.

    1. @aussierod

      Its only going to get worse mate.

    2. And the media keeps on bringing these articles; preferably with incendiary headlines.

    3. +1. And +1 to it being a mirror of what’s happening to ‘discussion’ elsewhere in society.

      Not that it really qualifies as discussion, half the time… seems more like a competition to churn out the most absurd, reality-dismissing collection of sentences. With bonus points if you manage to collect some ‘likes’ or +1s from similar-minded individuals. Used to be very rare on Racefans/F1F, but it’s slowly infesting every corner of the F1 online landscape…

      I do like the extra content we F1 fans can access through social media and online, and I greatly appreciate that I myself can comment on and discuss F1… but there’s a lot to be said for the past, when the only people who had a publicised opinion were professionals, mostly neutral, who actually knew what they were talking about and remained within the boundaries of reality.

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        24th September 2021, 7:36

        @aussierod and @neilosjames I agree.

        While increased social media interaction can be great for the sport, sometimes it can just bring out the other side of people as well. I’m not innocent, and are slightly ashamed of some of the comments I made after Monza and particularly after Silverstone.

        I’ll repeat what I said yesterday: there is a fine line between passion and toxicity. Before click post, please just read over your comment again, and ask yourself is it really necessary, or are you just fuelling the fire.

        1. When I joined F1F (and still had a blue handle) it was for the insights and statistics this site offered.
          But sadly over the years it seems that this site is focussing more on clicks than on keeping the high standards of the past.
          There are great additions to this site and great new contributors, but there are also too many articles milking a non-story to the last drop. And that attracts a different kind of ‘fanatic’.

  2. Re COTD: Too late. Oscar Piastri will still winning it because no one wants to pass his point tally and became F2 champion without F1 seat.

    1. Maybe they should force the teams that end up 1st and 2nd each year to run 3 cars the following year, but they can only be run with a rookie or rookies, (a true rookie, not an Alonso rookie). I’m sure with some tweaking to budget caps this would at least give these drivers a chance? They could also possibly guarantee the F2 winner was one of the rookies. So the team finishing first in the F1 championship gets to chose their own rookie or the F2 winner and the if they chose their own rookie then the team finishing 2nd gets the F2 winner.

      It could be a good way to extend the grid and ensure some new talent is scouted. There would undoubtedly need to be some tweaking with signed/sponsored drivers and also the ability to remove a rookie from a team if they weren’t performing after a set number of races but worth exploring, maybe??

  3. Based on the CotD I assume that a F2 champion is not allowed to do another year in the series.

    Another way to ‘solve’ that is to create the same rule in F1 (and rename the WDC the Nico Rosberg trophy).

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      24th September 2021, 7:38

      Your assumption about F2 champion is correct. They can’t stay on in F2 if they won the title, hence why Nyck De Vries moved to Formula E after winning F2

      1. @randommallard I think the allure of a factory Mercedes seat after he’d spent two years circling the championship trying to get into different teams (and as an Audi reserve) might be a key factor there, too…

      2. Thanks, @randommallard.
        Weird/inconsistent rule if it doesn’t also comes with an automatic promotion.

  4. Hm, well, to be honest, I wouldn’t even mind if Alonso is right and the rest of the weekend gets cancelled because of bad visibility.

    At least here there won’t be that many disappointed fans as in Spa – with Putin quarantining recently, not even he is likely to make his customary visit, is he.

  5. Piastri himself has said he wouldn’t do such a thing.

    Light rain is okay, so this race won’t become threatened as long as the forecasted rain doesn’t get considerably heavier.

    1. But the prediction is not for light rain.

      Heavy rain is predicted for the whole of Saturday, this weekend.

  6. Funny how it’s assumed that everyone knows what FTX is

Comments are closed.