“Very strong” Hulkenberg will get on top of tricky new cars, Leclerc predicts

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jnr say Nico Hulkenberg has a challenge on his hands to adapt to the new generation of Formula 1 cars at short notice following his call-up to Aston Martin.

In brief

No doubts Hulkenberg will get up to speed for race, say Ferrari drivers

Hulkenberg has been brought in on short notice to stand in for Vettel who has been sidelined after testing positive for Covid. Despite not having driven the AMR22, Ferrari drivers Sainz and Leclerc expect he will be able to get up to speed by Sunday.

“I think it’s going to be a bit tricky at first for him because the car also requires a different driving style to the previous ones,” said Leclerc. “But Nico is a very strong driver, a very talented driver, so I’m pretty sure that he will make the most out of the three practices to get up to speed with this car.”

Sainz said that three practice session was “enough for the Hulk” and thinks he will adapt to the new cars. “Maybe it will not be peak Nico Hulkenberg, but even a driver of his calibre without having maybe the optimal running time is still really strong and really good.”

Schumacher spoke with Vettel after positive test

Mick Schumacher said he has spoken to Sebastian Vettel following the Aston Martin driver’s positive test for Covid-19.

“Naturally it is a shame he’s not here,” Schumacher told German media. “I spoke to him briefly, I wished him a speedy recovery.

“Hopefully he will get better soon and then he can come back again. Of course the pandemic is still a big part of our world, there’s no denying that.”

Edwards returns to commentary booth for revamped F1TV coverage

Former BBC and Channel 4 F1 commentator Ben Edwards will return to the commentary booth as part of a new line up for the official F1TV streaming service this season.

Motorsport Broadcasting report that Edwards will commentate this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix alongside former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer and will be featured in ten races in this year’s championship.

The pair will be included on the main feed of F1TV, instead of the Sky Sports English commentary team of David Croft and Martin Brundle. They will be joined by Will Buxton, Sam Collins and Tom Gaymor.

Gran Turismo 7 rendered unplayable by server delay

PlayStation players were unable to play the new Gran Turismo 7 for the majority of Thursday after a scheduled server maintenance period was extended indefinitely after a major issue.

Gran Turismo 7 screenshot
A new patch angered GT7 players
The game, released earlier this month, was the top selling game in the UK following its launch. Despite a heavy single-player focus, the game’s always-online requirement means that players are unable to progress through the game’s campaign or play the vast majority of modes unless connected to the game’s servers.

A two hour scheduled delay on Thursday morning was extended, with the servers still not back online on Thursday evening. Players vocally criticised their inability to play the game during the outage, leading to game director Kazunori Yamauchi apologising for the delay on social media.

The new patch bringing the game to v1.07 was also poorly received, as developers Polyphony Digital confirmed that they had reduced the amount of in game credits rewarded for completing race events, greatly increasing the time investment that players require to earn enough to purchase high-end cars in the game without spending real money through microtransactions.

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Comment of the day

While the decision of new F1 race director Niels Wittich to simplify track limits rules for this weekend proving popular with many, @markzastrow would still like to a touch of nuance added to the revised rule…

I’d rather see Article 33.3 amended so drivers can use the full extent of kerbs and define the track limits as outside of them, as MotoGP does. There are many corners on the calendar where the kerbs are wide enough for a car to be fully on them, outside of the inner white line. I’d rather see drivers fight to stay on the edge of the kerbs and risk upsetting the car instead of simply aiming for the white line, which presents no physical risk or feedback.

But this simplicity is certainly an improvement over how the issue was handled at last year’s Bahrain GP.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Oskar!

On this day in motorsport

Button grabbed a win for McLaren while Hamilton fumed over his strategy

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Will Wood
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  • 42 comments on ““Very strong” Hulkenberg will get on top of tricky new cars, Leclerc predicts”

    1. You mean Mick Schumacher. (I admit I was startled for a bit)

      1. Well, it’s been years of Mick being the one who’s driving and Michael being in condition he’s in. I got used to it a while ago…

    2. Losing the Sky F1 commentary for the quali/race session is a big NO from me.
      Last year was the first time F1TV was available in my country and that was also the first time I didn’t pirate the coverage. Although F1TV didn’t have the preshow, or the people that make the Sky F1 coverage my favorite, the full, live coverage of the events and the ease of access made me stick with F1 TV for the season. But the most crucial factor for me was the commentary from Sky F1 team for the race quali/race sessions. There’s a reason people like the Sky coverage. The team they have are the best. Especially Martin Brundle and David Croft. Plus the input from other team members where needed. – pretty much purfect.
      As I have a monthly F1 TV subscription, I’ll give the new people a chance, but I’m afraid I very likely will be forced to revert to the not so legal way of getting my coverage from the team I love. Sad news as I love the F1 TV otherwise.

      1. I believe it will still be there. Sky has too much of their own programming and agenda to be a good fit for f1tv.
        I was a big fan of the short lived duo of Brundle and Coulthard on the bbc. I can’t stand sky therefore whenever c4 had a race I watched it on 4, since live races are all on sky we have no choice. Last season I wished the proper feed (no lower quality and pic-in-pic) had an alt commentary. Edwards is not a favourite of mine either but anyone beats Croft… except Gaymor. Why Gaymor? He is so bad, I love super formula but Gaymor was incompetent, he wasn’t annoying or bias just straight up unprofessional, lazy and inaccurate. Sam Collins is a tad too much like Ted but more of a self proclaimed expert, though a decent person. Will is a cynic. I have nothing against Alex Jacques, why isn’t he on?

      2. I would love to not have Brundle and Croft. Croft must be the only guy I’ve ever seen allowed as a broadcaster that has a stammer. I mean great for diversity, but maybe get a guy in a wheel chair that can actually not stammer. And Brundle trying to affect an accent a bit above his station in life is almost as annoying. I liked those guys in testing. The black guy, Palmer and someone else. Need younger blood in the commentary box. At least someone who has driven this century.

        1. Croft seems to get worse with each passing year. He used to be pretty good, certainly tolerable, but now he resorts to childish shrieking at even the most mundane of events. This is the worst kind of commentary – trying to drum up the excitement just by getting louder and louder. He also feels the need to fill every moment with inane comments (this is something every bad commentator does) – moments of silence are fine, even desirable, and it’s not like it’s radio so they could let the pictures speak for themselves at times.

          Brundle used to be amazing but I think he’s probably had his time now. I quite liked him as a lead commentator alongside Coulthard. Frankly, the less said (and heard) of Ted kravitz and his awful blokey, unfunny in-jokes, the better. Give me Lee McKenzie any day.

      3. You’re the first guy I hear from who likes Croft’s comments.
        But of course as a failed stand-up comedian with no experience in racing it’s difficult to be funny in a racing commentary position.

      4. Oh come on, I understand it’s sad to lose Brundle, but at least there’s no more Croft, the guy who doesn’t even watch the races he commentates. That weirdo is reading tweets or whatever while things happen on track, he never knows who made the overtake and who was overtaken… Brundle even started correcting him with somewhat irritated voice I think. He’s also hard to suffer through if you’re not a Hamilton fan. Last thing I remember what Latifi’s crash, that “ooooh noooooooooo” when he realized what it means. I’d rather have anyone instead of him, he talks much and loud, but it’s rarely something useful and I don’t care for a commentator who’s unaware of the race. I cannot wait to see him replaced, but that’s not going to happen.

      5. Wow, I never thought I’d meet a David Croft fan, but each to their own…

        1. I like David Croft. I think it’s good that he loves the sport, and like how he gets so excited during races, and I also enjoy his stupid stats. I also like Ted Kravitz, because I find him amusing, and Martin Brundle because of his excellent insight. But I wish they weren’t in favour of sprint races ;)

      6. As @peartree mentions, you will not “lose” the Sky F1 commentary @renee – I watched FP2 just now and they just made a small change.

        Now the menu includes “F1TV commentary” next to “Worldfeed” which is the Sky commentary and then there are other languages dependent on your language settings, as we were used to last year.

        Personally I am incredibly happy with the F1 TV team, tried out Sky commentary a few times last year (there were one or two races where the pitlane channel with the F1TV team was not available for some part of the raceweekend) and it just reminded me of how over time the Crofty/Brundle team just is not as good as they were a few years back, when they still had competition.

    3. @renee You will still be able to get the Sky commentary on F1TV.

      The dediccated F1TV commentary as well as ghe pre/post race coverage will be on what was the old pit lane channel thats now been rebadged as the ‘f1 live’ feed.

      The Sky commentary will be on what will be called the international feed which will show the uninterrupted world-feed.


      1. Whew, thanks for the information. F1 can have my money for another year then.

    4. The article about female fans in motorsport was disappointing to read. One of the big turn offs for me for cricket and football was the sort of crowds those events seem to attract. Motorsport crowds have always seemed more respectful at the events I’ve attended. Looks like there’s still a way to go though.

    5. CotD makes the most basic of errors by comparing motorbikes to cars.
      Of course it makes more sense to allow kerbs for bikes – they can’t be within the lines and on the kerbs at the same time, as a car can be.
      By allowing a car to use the outside of the kerbs as the track limit, they would be permitted to run well beyond it with the outside of the car. Far from the designed and designated racing track surface.

      Sometimes I feel like people need to do a bit of research into why kerbs exist.
      Hint – they aren’t there to make the track wider.

      1. Of course a bike can be within the lines and on the kerbs at the same time—they have two wheels and corner with large slip angles. The very issue of whether one or both tyres need to be on track was debated last season when they tightened enforcement and began giving out warnings for a single tyre off track.

        I’d also be fine with changing the regulations so that, like MotoGP, a single tyre off the outer edge of the kerb is a violation. Kerbs are meant to be a deterrent—the further onto them you go, the deeper the serrations get and the more likely they are to upset the car or cause damage. If we prevent the drivers by rule from exploring their full extent, we’re not letting the kerbs fulfill their purpose as a physical deterrent.

        1. Bikes have two wheels in the same plane @markzastrow. Not comparable.
          If they were riding Segways, maybe the comparison would work. They would have an inside wheel and an outside wheel, much like a car does – typical motorbikes, however, just a front one and a rear one.

          If we prevent the drivers by rule from exploring their full extent, we’re not letting the kerbs fulfill their purpose as a physical deterrent.

          The deterrent is the simple fact that they are outside of the track limit already.

          As I said, you might find it beneficial to research why kerbs exist. Not just how they are used.

          1. When cornering at speed, a motorbike hangs its rear tyre outside the front, so there is very much an inside and outside wheel, offset not infrequently by about the width of a Segway.

            If there were a Segway racing league, I sure hope they would not be banned from putting both wheels on the kerbs! Watching Segway riders bound over kerbs would surely be more entertaining then watching them try to keep one wheel over a painted line.

      2. Think you need to go and watch some vids of Marquez, Stoner, Melandri etc. Before the one wheel rule the first two would hook their front wheel in the outside ridge of a corner whilst keeping the rear wheel ‘on track’.

        1. That’s great and all, but we aren’t (or weren’t) arguing what MotoGP should do, but what F1 should do.
          I’m well aware of how to ride a bike on a circuit, thanks – and equally know why there are kerbs.

          If they were intended for racing on, they’d be flat and coated with tarmac.
          And they’d have a white line at the outer edge…

      3. I agree here on CotD: If the track was limited to the white lines with a bike, they would be unable to use the kerbs (almost) at all. In F1 (or other car racing), you can run the outside wheels on the kerb, and even completely over them most of the time, while still keeping the inside wheels within the white lines.

        It’s a massive difference, and is likely the reason for the difference in the rules between bikes and cars. With a car, you still have “physical risk [and] feedback” while keeping a wheel within the white lines, because half the car can go on (or over) the kerbs.

        1. @drmouse I fully agree with you that this is the logic behind the existing rules, but that doesn’t change my mind that kerbs are a better reference for track limits—and also that it is more exciting when F1 cars are allowed to put all four tyres on the kerbs, as they generally have been.

          For instance, take Verstappen’s pole lap at Austria last year. I think it’s breathtaking. I also count five instances where he has all four tyres beyond the white line and/or on the kerbs—T1, T5, T7, T8, and T9. I would hate to see this kind of lap disallowed, which it will be this year if the sporting regulations are enforced as currently written. And as I think the sporting regulations should be applied as written, I support changing them!

          1. If they want that, all they have to do is move the white line to the edge of the kerbs.

            1. @drmouse No, it would also require amending Article 33.3 to strike the conflicting phrase that “the kerbs are not” part of the racing surface.

            2. Then it would also require changing all the FIA track design and grading documentation, as they also state that the kerbs are not part of the track, but are designated as track furniture.

            3. You say that like it’s a bad thing. Naturally, I’d want tracks to be designed with the new principles in mind!

            4. I say that like it’s a bad thing because it would most certainly be a bad thing.

          2. it is more exciting when F1 cars are allowed to put all four tyres on the kerbs

            I can’t possibly imagine why you find this so much better, @markzastrow.
            The drivers are doing the exact same thing, just somewhere else – somewhere easier to do it, requiring less sacrifice, judgement and skill.

            1. Trying to keep a tyre atop a flat white line, as opposed to flirting with the edge of a rough surface that gets more undulating and riskier the further out you drive on it? It’s hard for me to imagine finding the former to require more skill or judgment, or be more interesting. To me, driving within a white line is a deathly dull, sterile, and artificial challenge. If it forces you to take a tighter line, that simply makes it a tighter, slower corner, not one that requires more skill. But venturing out onto progressively riskier surfaces in search of time? To me, that’s part of the essence of motor racing.

            2. To me, driving within a white line is a deathly dull, sterile, and artificial challenge.

              Find me a racing circuit which occurs naturally in the wild. They are all artificial challenges. That’s the point of them, @markzastrow.
              Staying on the track, as defined by the white lines, is the challenge. Not just driving around near it.

              I think you’ve been watching F1 exclusively for too long, if you find car racing (generally) to be sterile.

              But venturing out onto progressively riskier surfaces in search of time? To me, that’s part of the essence of motor racing

              That sounds like a great offroad racing series. Rallying, perhaps?
              However, circuit racing isn’t a rally. Circuit racing, by design, has a strictly defined track, and competitors need to stay on it. Everything off it is out of bounds for competitive purposes. Most of it is there for safety reasons, and in the case of kerbs, largely for financial reasons.
              But regardless of the reason, it’s still off the track.

            3. Find me a racing circuit which occurs naturally in the wild.

              You’re aware that grand prix racing originated on racing circuits made of public roads, right? Spa, Rouen, Clermont-Ferrand, etc.

              The level of artifice in racing circuits has varied over time and still varies by series. For F1, I think that if there are kerbs wide enough to place an entire car on them, a white line on the outside of them is preferable to the inside — let the drivers get up on them and challenge themselves on the deepest serrations.

              I think you’ve been watching F1 exclusively for too long, if you find car racing (generally) to be sterile. […] Circuit racing, by design, has a strictly defined track, and competitors need to stay on it.

              Oh, I watch all kinds of racing. I didn’t say I find car racing sterile — I find the “stay between the painted lines” approach sterile.

              This is getting a bit far-flung from my original point, which wasn’t that there ought not to be a strictly defined track in F1, but that I’d like the kerbs inside it.

              Having said that, mathematically, a circuit requires only a start/finish line and one checkpoint (a marker to round or a timing line to cross). After that, there’s a whole spectrum of things you can add: more checkpoints, physical obstacles to prevent competitors from going where you don’t want them, differing surfaces like grass or gravel or kerbs to challenge or punish them, and possibly artificial boundaries that may include painted lines if the others don’t have the intended effect.

              Of the types of racing I watch that involve circuits (not just cars), an upwind/downwind sailing course is at one end of that spectrum. An F1 track with painted lines the whole way round is at the other. Motocross, rallycross, and Indy cars are somewhere in the middle.

              Painted lines all the way round is a perfectly valid form of circuit racing, but it’s not the only one, and it’s not my preferred one.

      4. Coventry Climax
        18th March 2022, 17:41

        Agree. Another decent research would be what they actually are, and what they are called in a lot of other languages.
        Mostly it translates to ‘boundary-stones’.

        But I don’t understand the commotion at all, if it’s so desirable at certain places, certain circuits, to be able to go outside of these bounday-stones, then they will paint the white lines outside of them. No reason to muck up the nicely clear and simple rules for that again.

        1. Yep, that would work, but like I said above, it still requires amending Article 33.3 to remove the phrase “but the kerbs are not” from the phrase “any white lines defining the track edges are considered to be part of the track but the kerbs are not.”

          1. What if the kerbs are painted yellow and red (such as at Spa) or yellow and green (like Melbourne) @markzastrow?
            They aren’t white painted ‘lines’ either….

            1. You’ll have to enlighten me. What if?

    6. Yesterday was going to be my first day on Gran Turismo 7, and of course I came across the same issue everyone else did. Does anyone know why a single player campaign would need constant connection to servers? It just seems that they’ve set themselves up for a fail.

      1. Polyphony Digital have been in an arms race for years with people who want to cheat in singleplayer or engine swap cars. There were cheat devices with codes for GT2, plus save editors for GT3, so in GT4 (with plans for online multiplayer in mind) PD started to encrypt the savegame and force the game to save after certain actions. That was cracked for GT5, so PD introduced scripts in the game that would check the player’s money and car setup for legitimacy, then GT6 started reporting back to their server what the player was doing. For GT Sport, they took the nuclear option of mandating a server connection so that the reporting was always active, and anyone cheating could be banned ASAP before they had a chance to mess about with multiplayer (…in theory anyway). GT7 carries that over, because it still has multiplayer modes, and PD seem to really hate cheaters even in singleplayer.

        1. @pez2k Ahhhhh….. thank you. That makes some sense. As someone who never plays multiplayer it’s a bit of punch in the gut, but at least there’s some reasoning behind it.

    7. I’m also sure he’ll get up to speed decently quickly.

      I hope Edwards would equally start re-doing official season review narration.

      Hulk’s Twitter & K-Mag’s Insta posts are cute.

      Schweinswale refers to the animal, although somewhat untranslatable otherwise.
      Perhaps hupfen & springen for bouncing or sturzen for pouncing are more fitting, IDK.

      If the proposed LV GP becomes true (be that next year or later), I wonder how long Strip portion would get shutdown overall?
      The article specifically means LV Boulevard, areas around Bellagio & further north, but I can’t entirely visualize what these mean total Strip distance-wise.

      I’ve suggested using kerbs as the limit reference wherever possible, although with GE-DF drivers might want to avoid driving above them anyway.

    8. RandomMallard
      18th March 2022, 8:58

      Great to see Ben Edwards back in the comms box in a somewhat frequent capacity instead of just as cover.

      That NASCAR at Le Mans is very interesting. Should be exciting.

      Also we now have an official onboard of the remodelled Spa. I think they done it quite well to be honest.

      1. Agree on the Spa footage.
        I was afraid they will alter Eau Rouge / Radillon too much, but the shape of the turn still looks familiar.
        And Im happy to see some safety changes.

    9. ” and Pirelli tyres — are produced by companies on the shameful list.”

      Is this how F1 gets better tyres, the FIA sanctions Pirelli?

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