F1 feels “back to normal” with return of crowds – Norris

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In the round-up: Lando Norris says it feels like Formula 1 is getting back to normal after the pandemic.

In brief

Norris enthused by Austin buzz

F1 felt like it got back to normal at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, says Lando Norris, as a packed crowd watched the race and more people were allowed into the paddock.

“It was epic,” said the McLaren driver. “It’s difficult when you’re racing and focussing so much but the in-lap and also the parade lap we did earlier today, it’s pretty awesome to see how many people there were.

“Similar vibes to Silverstone with how many people there were in the grandstands along the banks and stuff. And very enthusiastic as well the fans here.

“It’s lovely to have them back and also for them to come onto the track and stuff at the end, things feel like a lot more back to normal and how Formula 1 should be now with more guests and media and VIPs back in the paddock. It feels more like Formula 1.”

Ex-Williams aerodynamicist Terzi dies

Aerodynamicist Terzi penned race-winning Williams F1 cars
Former Williams designer Antonia Terzi has died, the team has confirmed. The 50-year-old was involved in a car accident in the UK earlier this week.

Terzi rose to the position of chief aerodynamicist at the team between 2003 and 2004 and contributed to their race-winning BMW-powered cars raced by Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher. They included the eye-catching, ‘walrus-nosed’ FW26, which had scored the team’s most recent victory until Pastor Maldonado’s shock win in the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our former colleague and chief aerodynamicist, Antonia Terzi,” said the team. “Our thoughts go out to Antonia’s friends and family at this difficult time.”

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Comment of the day

Does F1’s choice of location in Miami mean its race is doomed to underwhelm?

America has area of 9,834,000km² and we are racing in a car park.

Yes it is close to a city and that stadium looks cool. But didn’t F1 tried that once before?

I want this Miami race to work but I feel like this idea was too easy. Yes there are all those FIA Grade One rules but a car park… really?

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Narboza22, Rafael, G and Greggriffiths!

On this day in motorsport

  • 35 years ago today the final race for the original Formula 2 era was won by Kazuyoshi Hoshino at Suzuka. Nelson Piquet did a demonstration run in Williams-Honda ahead of F1’s first race at the track the following year

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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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17 comments on “F1 feels “back to normal” with return of crowds – Norris”

  1. I want this Miami race to work but I feel like this idea was too easy. Yes there are all those FIA Grade One rules but a car park… really?

    Agreed. A car park in Miami and a car park in Las Vegas will be certified for F1 but so many great tracks here can’t be because….. money.

  2. F1 is considering not broadcasting the first pre-season test session next year……

    Because the Bahrain organisers have given Liberty a lot of money to ensure that fans get next to no coverage of the first test so that all the focus is on the Bahrain test where they will have a big new car launch event for the zero fans in attendance.

    And yet Liberty claim to care about & be listening to the fans. But of course they are just as much about the money as Bernie & CVC were. Hence why we have gimmick races & other sponsored awards, bonuses & awful misleading graphic features plastered all over our screens.

    Utter nonsense! Liberty & F1 should be ashamed of themselves if they don’t give us coverage of the first test because Bahrain brought it away.

    It’s bad enough the season has to start in Bahrain. OK fine It’s a decent track for racing but the place has zero atmosphere & the season starting there always feels a bit flat compared to Melbourne just like it always feels a bit flat ending it in Abu Dhabi. But they will just start/end wherever offers them more money I guess.


    1. Honestly, @roger-ayles, I think the reality is rather that there is just next to nobody watching live testing.

      To me a daily roundup of what happened – maybe a 20-30 minute one, would be perfectly fine. An hour to 90 minutes of “what happened during testing this week” at the end of the week would also be perfectly fine. Probably with a “tech talk” kind of thing for that week added since there are surely going to be a lot new things with new cars.

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        2nd November 2021, 7:09

        @bascb I’m somewhat inclined to agree. I might watch some of the the very first day of testing live, just to get that F1 fix back after so long, but normally I just resort to highlights as you suggest. This year F1TV made some very good 30 minute highlight packages for each day, that were pretty much the perfect length to sum up what was essentially an 8 hour practice session.

  3. RE: COTD
    I have to agree. Whether F1 races on specialist tracks or street circuits, it’s still almost always possible to go and drive your own vehicle (or a rental) on the same tarmac, or stand by a famous corner or complex. But something set up from scratch and completely torn down later leaves nothing behind for fans. Is anybody really going to go and park their car where they think the start/finish line was?

    Maybe the track will be great, and the way everything else is set up will be good for fans near and far, but I doubt it. Onus is squarely on the organisers to do a good job. I hope this doesn’t become yet another forgettable track producing forgettable races, memorialised only by F1 accountants.

  4. Wolff blatantly accusing Verstappen of cheating when colliding with Hamilton at Monza, but when the same was insinuated about Hamilton at Silverstone, he accused them all of damaging their reputation.

    Wolff is definitely one of F1’s biggest hypocrites, and that takes some doing.

    1. Incredible to watch/hear indeed. You’d thought he would be more clever and understand that we see right through him. He is nothing shy from a 4 year old. Together with Horner by the way. Horner wasnt a surprise though, we knew it ever since the Renault conflict. Pity Abiteboul isnt around anymore. These three make a nice set. Personally I think the three of them are an embarrassment to the sport.

  5. RIP, although I had never heard of her until yesterday.
    PS, I still like the FW26 walrus front-end design used until the German GP.

    Not broadcasting the opening three-day test at Circuit de Catalunya is a non-issue.
    Broadcasting pre-season testing is only a recent past thing anyway, far from a tradition.

    A slightly funny COTD this time.

  6. Oh yeah, Lando is right – still have goosebumps remembering when the packed stands in Sochi cheered and stomped for him to win – one of the best races I’ve attended. And a cry of despair from the whole crowd (including Ham’s fans) when he gambled for slicks and snatched the defeat from the jaws of victory just silenced the modern F1 motors. Empty stands are awful.

    1. Yep, Silverstone was incredible this year. We were watching quali from Maggots/Becketts and I thought the stand was going to collapse when Russell went 7th in q3. Rapturous.

      1. Yeah, that’s an epitome of racing – we all want to see all guns blazing not just the couple of guys leading the pack for +1 second. Damn, it’s impossible, but I’d like to see some of the current overrated guys fighting in those cars with no aero with say Gilles Villeneuve, Nikki Lauda, James Hunt etc.

  7. Wolff really needs to just stop talking.

    1. I read that quote and thought, WHAT.

    2. This is borderline insanity now from Wolff. What a fall from grace this man has made this season. Exposed he is. To me personally to the extent that he has thrown away all his goodwill and achievements of 8 WCC titles. That is quite a come down I would say. Lewis should part from this as it is rubbing off on him as well. I still wonder what the Mercedes board is thinking about all this and what influence it has on their brand. I probably would try to force him out or have him not use my brand on the car.

  8. Regarding Miami and races in the USA, I have some thoughts (as an American F1 fan):

    The talk of having *three* races in the USA is utter madness. Miami may make sense for many reasons but three seems a stretch. Don’t get me wrong, I would drive to Vegas if they had it there but I think two races would be plenty.

    I think Liberty had to do a deal to race in Miami because Steven Ross from the Dolphins (NFL Team) was supposedly part of a group that was bidding for the commercial rights. IIRC, Liberty got the commercial rights but had a “gentleman’s agreement” to race in Miami to paper over any residual anger by the rival bidder.

    In many ways, Miami could be wildly successful from an attendance standpoint. It has great air links to other countries and is a popular destination. It would draw fans from all over northern Latin America and the Caribbean, not to mention Canadians and Europeans.

    Yet, racing on a flat temporary circuit seems…forced. No terrain chances, no character, and no real scenery. Montreal may be flat but it has character and atmosphere in spades, not to mention history. Miami would be another in a growing list of street circuits that lack everything except a convenient location.

    On the other hand, where else to race in the USA. IMS is ok but kinda…meh (I went to first three races there). Road Atlanta is kinda cool but would need significant upgrades. Mid-Ohio is ok but lacks facilities from what I can tell. Road America is great but needs a lot of upgrades. Can’t think of any others that may even be worth considering. That means…street circuits.

    Just my random thoughts. I would rather F1 have one outstanding race in the USA and more elsewhere. But adding races seems a bit much, personally I think 19 should be the limit.

  9. Do journalists get special accreditation from Liberty? I mean it is probably at their (Liberty) will who gets in and out right? Must be because I cant remember hearing a critical remark or question from any journalist for a long time. I mean, why does no one address the behavior of Toto and Horner? Probably cause Liberty likes it for the ratings and the journo are not allowed to be critical. I would love to get my hands on those team bosses and ask them about how they perceive their leadership and role in all of this. I have tons of questions for both and also to their shareholders on the performance of their team bosses. Lots

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