Nicholas Latifi, Williams, Sochi Autodrom, 2021

Latifi ‘pushing Russell very hard’ since Williams improved car

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Nicholas Latifi is benefitting from experience and a much improved car in his second season of Formula 1, says his team.

In brief

Latifi thriving in improved Williams

Williams’ head of vehicle performance Dave Robson says Latifi has made considerable progress in his second year of Formula 1, with a considerably better chassis underneath him.

“There’s little substitute for experience,” said Robson. “He’s clearly benefiting from that.

“He’s got a good group of people around him and they’ve really started to gel and work really well together, which has probably take a little bit of time as it always would. And actually, this car now is so much better than it was 12 months ago, that gives him an opportunity, I think.”

Although Latifi has seldom beaten George Russell, Robson says he compares well against his highly-rated team mate.

“He’s been extremely good for the last six, seven, eight races,” said Robson. “He’s been strong and he’s been pushing George very hard.”

But Latifi has suffered some misfortunes in recent races, Robson explained. “Every weekend there’s been something different, that’s really just been a little bit unfortunate. So he hasn’t been able to bring it all together yet and show what he really can do relative to George. But I think that is only a matter of time.”

No “brand new chapter” in F1 for Briatore

Briatore left F1 following the ‘Crashgate’ scandal in 2009
A social media post featuring F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and Flavio Briatore promising “a brand new chapter” for the championship does not signal a return to the sport for the former Renault and Benetton team principal, RaceFans understands. The video, in which Briatore declared F1 would see “new energy, new power, new excitement”, was intended as a joke.

Gasly is first F1 driver to sell non-fungible tokens

Pierre Gasly is launching his own series of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for sale. NFTs are unique digital items exchanged using cryptocurrency, which has drawn criticism for the significant amount of energy required to process a transaction.

The AlphaTauri driver’s NFT offering includes tokens which can be used to redeem a race-used helmet, opportunities to meet Gasly and others. The auction begins today, with some NFTs given starting prices of over $6,000 (£4,350).

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Comment of the day

Sprint qualifying itself may have added little to the spectacle, but is Domenicali right that there something to be said for the revised race weekend format?

He’s not saying that the sprint qualifying itself has been well-received, it’s the impact the sprint qualifying has on the overall weekend that’s been viewed positively. And he’s not entirely wrong.

I’m not fully convinced on just how much the teams are disadvantaged by having one less practice session, but if it gives more chance for teams lower down the field to shine, then I’m cautiously onboard.
@MarinatedMonolith

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On this day in motorsport

Senna clinched his final title in the Japanese Grand Prix today in 1991
  • 30 years ago today Ayrton Senna won his third and final world championship at Suzuka after Nigel Mansell spun out. He also let team mate Gerhard Berger through to win the race.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 21 comments on “Latifi ‘pushing Russell very hard’ since Williams improved car”

    1. some racing fan
      20th October 2021, 2:52

      Drive to Survive is enormously popular over here in America. It’s actually given F1 a new lease on life here.

      And if there’s going to be a 3rd US GP it has to be on the West Coast.

      1. @some racing fan, Preferably east or eastwards because of time differences to Europe.

        1. some racing fan
          20th October 2021, 9:40

          You could start a GP at noon in California, which is 8pm in the UK and Portugal, and 9pm in western Europe.

        2. That’s quite a selfish viewpoint

      2. I also think that ESPN picking it up and the rise of streaming helped a TON. For “youngsters” such as myself, not having cable prevented us from watching F1. But being able to stream through the ESPN app means I can watch every race and not have to pay more for another service (I already have ESPN for college football and stuff).

    2. Doesn’t using NFTs to raffle off physical items just circumvent the whole point of NFTs…? Seems a bit unnecessarily wasteful on Gasly’s behalf

      1. It’s just a digital currency which can be used for buying either physical or virtual goods.

        1. NFTs are as much of a “currency” as a certificate of authenticity is.

        2. An NFT is the opposite of a digital currency, hence ‘non-fungible’. A currency by definition needs to be fungible (interchangeable).
          It’s using the same technology though (blockchain).

          Using NFT as an ownership proof of a physical item/event is quite ridiculous as mentioned by Luca above.

          Also linking it to Bitcoin, and its ridiculous use of energy as in the editorial blob above, is shortsighted, as there are many blockchain administration protocols which use minimum energy (even less than printing a receipt).

      2. Pretty much. Looks like this partnership with fantom wanted to push NFTs but they didnt think some cookie-cutter photoshops of the Monza podium was a sufficient draw. You do get some actual NFTs, but i cant imagine the main pull is anything other than the physical items. https://gasly.artion.io/#nfts

    3. Some interesting nuggets in the Alonso interview, but it’s still all about what he thinks of the German drivers. (I guess a very German approach?)

    4. I don’t think saying NFTs required significant amount of energy required to process is not fair judging by the ridiculous price of many NFTs.

      Unless we talking about Bitcoin minting.

    5. A joke, after all. I should’ve guessed, although I never truly assumed a return.

      I still doubt LV would join, and especially that a street like Strip could get closed for a weekend and around. Additionally, two races in a single country per season is enough. Yes, Italy had three last season, but that was because of an available circuit shortage caused by COVID. CBS post, Domenicali implied NYC has complexities but equally does LV.
      Once again, Indianapolis already exists and holds the necessary FIA Grade, so returning there would be easier.

      So Albon even travels to flyaway circuit locations on Saturday.

    6. I think Domenicali is wrong about less practice meaning more unpredictability. I suggested the same thing last year in regards to the single practice session at the Nurburgring and Imola, and someone correctly pointed out to me that less practice just means that the teams who have better simulators (more money) have an advantage, so the bigger teams come out on top again. And with the sprint weekend they arguably have better practice as they get to do a mini-race in the same conditions as all the other cars before the actual Grand Prix (no full setup changes, obviously, but it helps understand the tyres more for strategy, the pace relative to other cars in race conditions, and small setup changes).

    7. Have to say – that photo of Ayrton gives me a huge lump in my throat. 30 years. Where does the time go?

      1. José Lopes da Silva
        20th October 2021, 14:51

        Indeed.
        +1

    8. Disappointed in Gasly jumping into NFT’s. Not a great look.

      1. @rocketpanda probably not as bad as the Andretti Formula E team announcing “Avalanche” as their new title sponsor!
        https://racer.com/2021/10/20/avalanche-joins-andretti-formula-e-as-title-sponsor/
        Not a good look!

    9. williams has been much stronger in Q than in the races, I think they have been testing merc’s pu reliability. Now that merc is satisfied with the reliability of the pu, I don’t see williams standing out as much. In retrospective it is clear some merc teams were at different stages of the season, unusually slow and the speed charts often failed to reflect merc’s pu dominance.

    10. Re Latifi: His points in Hungary is just not enough…yet.
      Re Gasly: Oh all that cryptocurrency…still not jumping into it.

    11. Why doesn’t Pierre just sell his helmet instead of selling an NFT that can be redeemed for a helmet?

    Comments are closed.