George Russell, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2022

Red Bull ‘expect Mercedes to be quick in French Grand Prix’ – Horner

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In the round-up: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner expects Mercedes will not be far away from his team’s pace this weekend in France.

In brief

Red Bull expects Mercedes “to be quick” in France, says Horner

Mercedes could have a strong weekend on the Paul Ricard, Christian Horner believes.

After gradually upgrading their car over the course of the season, Mercedes have closed the performance deficit to their rivals ahead in recent rounds. Due to the fast and smooth nature of the French circuit, Horner says Mercedes could be in contention this weekend.

“We’d expect them to be quick in [Paul] Ricard,” said Horner. “They’re showing flashes of being there or thereabouts.

“The last two races have been pretty decent for them. There’s been no sign, I think, of any porpoising at all. So they seem to be slowly bringing themselves back into the game.”

Horner says Mercedes could become “contenders” at the front of the field if they continue on their development trajectory.

“They keep consistently scoring points,” he said. “Sometimes having more cars in play is a good thing, sometimes it might be a bad thing. But I think for the fans, it’s great to have six cars competing for victories.”

Hughes to miss four F2 races after positive Covid test

Formula 2 driver Jake Hughes will miss both the Paul Ricard and Hungaroring rounds of the championship after his Van Amersfoort team announced he had tested positive for Covid.

Hughes, who currently sits 15th in the drivers’ championship after 16 races, will be replaced by David Beckmann for the two rounds. Beckmann had previously stepped in for Charouz at the Imola round of the championship after Cem Bolukbasi had to miss the event following injuries sustained in a heavy crash in Saudi Arabia.

I never thought equalling Andretti was possible – Dixon

Mario Andretti sent his congratulations to Scott Dixon after the Ganassi IndyCar tied his career wins total on Sunday. “Utmost respect for my friend Scott Dixon and truly happy to congratulate him on 52 wins,” Andretti wrote on social media. “Also congratulate his team because nobody does it alone. I hope this is just a step on your continuing journey. Well done.”

Asked what Andretti’s words meant to him, Dixon said: “It means a lot. I love Mario. I love Mario for so many reasons, what he’s done in the sport, and achieved, and what he gives back to the sport. I feel extremely lucky to have the likes of himself and AJ [Foyt] here most weekends. Even to sit and chat with these guys, the generations that they raced in or the time they raced is a lot different from now.”

“It means a lot to me to even be mentioned in the same conversation as these greats. I never thought it was possible.”

Dixon’s victory at Toronto means he has taken at least one win for 18 consecutive seasons, a streak dating back to 2005. This is his 20th season with at least one win in American open-wheel racing, which began with his rookie campaign in the 2001 CART season with PacWest.


Mercedes to invest ‘millions’ in sustainable aeroplane fuel

The Mercedes Formula 1 team have announced a “multi-million-dollar” investment in ‘sustainable aviation fuel’ (SAF) in a bid to help reduce the team’s carbon footprint.

Aviation emissions account for over a quarter of the team’s carbon footprint and Mercedes believe the investment will help them to almost halve the carbon footprint of transporting their team personnel by aircraft.

“Sustainable aviation fuel has the potential to transform the way we travel and the impact that we have on the environment,” said team principal Toto Wolff.

“This is a topic that I think about a great deal personally as well as professionally. I fly a lot; the team flies a lot. If we must fly, then we need to find a better way to do so and SAF is the best solution available to the aviation industry right now.”

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Comment of the day

With Alexander Albon already halfway towards a race ban after collecting six penalty points since returning to Formula 1, @SjaakFoo questions if penalty points are being handed out too eagerly by stewards…

I honestly think penalty points are not being used in the spirit they were intended, as to prevent dangerous driving. We’re giving out penalty points for almost every infraction, including a lot where no danger was posed from the infraction.

Some of the things that have been given penalty points:
“Crossed pit entry line”
“Ignoring blue flags”
“Left track”
“Gained advantage off track”

Like, cool, those are all things you can give penalties of various degrees for because they broke a rule, but do we really need to hand out penalty points leading to a potential race ban because you put your car all four wheels over a white line?

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Cube, Phil G, Tom Haxley, Robk23 and Toiago!

On this day in motorsport

Despite criticism, the FIA affirmed the introduction of the halo into F1 today in 2017

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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14 comments on “Red Bull ‘expect Mercedes to be quick in French Grand Prix’ – Horner”

  1. Does anyone know if the Mercedes SAF investment is talking about a new company or is it funding Paddy Lowe’s ZeroPetroleum company which also made announcements today about aviation fuels? ZeroPetroleum is using energy generated from renewable resources to synthesise fuel from water and from CO2 recovered from the air. Hence it is a carbon-neutral process. At this time petroleum remains a more energy-dense medium than batteries, and safer to handle than hydrogen, so it has a lot of potential, particularly as a short to mid-term solution for aviation.

    1. I’m not sure but I’m sceptical about biofuels. Last I read up they were more energy intensive to make than simply burning fossil fuels or they required crops that replaced food generation which pushes up food prices. The only way that you ended up with a smaller carbon footprint was to use waste products but none gave commercial quantities of product… Has this changed yet? Is it time I did some more reading?

      1. Does no one understand thermodynamics any more?

        You can’t get more energy out of a system than you put into it. Fossil fuels are a cheat, because that energy was put in via heat and compression over thousands or millions of years, and we didn’t have to expend it.

        The free ride is over. All future fuels, or energy sources, will require more energy to go in, than will come out. The question is, what provides that energy source? Biofuels in theory rely on biological reactions or compounds– sunlight, renewable energy, or even nuclear reactions “lower” the cost (redistribute would be a better term), but we can’t take advantage of lengthy geological processes to give us “free” energy any longer.

        Ecologically speaking, fuel sources that don’t generate excessive CO2 (or methane) will be better for the planet, but again– not “free”, like petroleum or coal has been for the last two centuries.

      2. Last I read up they were more energy intensive to make than simply burning fossil fuels or they required crops that replaced food generation which pushes up food prices.

        Depends where that energy comes from….
        If it comes mostly from the sun or the wind – it would be wasting it to not use it, wouldn’t it….
        And look at how much food and useful (but inedible) plant product is wasted every year.

        If nothing else it’s a step away from oil, and that is an important step. One of very, very many ahead of us.
        Hopefully nobody believes that the perfect fuel is just around the corner – or worse, already here in the form of batteries.

      3. S, ZeroPetroleum is not the same as biofuels. You use water, CO2 which you’ve captured from air, some catalysts, a bucketload of energy, and some very clever chemistry to synthesise hydrocarbons. Basically you use electricity to make hydrogen from the water, you use electricity to make carbon monoxide from CO2, and then even more energy to fuse them together into hydrocarbons.

        So forget all the arguments about food crops. There is no biomass involved. You just need energy, and lots of it. In terms of inputs and outputs, it is basically the same as what green plants do in photosynthesis, sunlight-powered conversion of air and water to organic chemicals.

        As Grat rightly points out, you must always put in more energy than you get out, and it would make no sense whatsoever to use energy generated from burning fossil fuels. Synthesising hydrocarbons is not as energy-efficient as using your energy to directly power electric trains, or using it to charge batteries in vehicles, but for planes where you need high energy density, it may be a lifeline which allows us to continue using existing technology whilst saving our oil reserves for more important things such as making plastics. A word without plastics would be very grim indeed.

  2. Agree with COTD! There are far more worrying things going on in track (more so last year) than those picking up penalty points.

    Also, they butchered the Renault to rebuild the Torro Rosso! I found that hilarious! Yes, it’s a Dutch thing but still seems like sacrilege… I guess all the other Renault engines from 2015 blew up.

    1. Yeah, that video of mounting an engine on to the Toro Rosso is kinda pointless, just for show.

      I don’t think it’s that easy to swap engines between different cars, they all had slight variations custom for each team depending on packaging requirements.

      1. They could better added a Honda engine they would got more room with it.

  3. 5 years to the halo? Time flies!

  4. We’ll see, possibly.

    Tim Edits’ video is interesting, but I’m slightly surprised Van Amersfoort even got an STR10 & RS16 (or E23 hybrid in the following season livery) from the respective teams that originally used them.
    I initially felt the latter might only be a show car, though.

    I share COTD’s view in principle.
    Stewards indeed hand out penalty points too eagerly, especially for merely briefly leaving a track.

  5. Paul Ricard is as flat as i gets, so naturally Mercedes will have a much easier time getting around it. I’m more interested in seeing them at the Hungaroring, which is bumpy, tight and requires using the kerbs in almost every corner.

    Sure, Mercedes is also on the hypetrain, but so were they (and everyone else) after Spain. And I’m pretty sure the next race wasn’t very kind to them….

    1. While i agree with your point about Spain, Mercedes had their answers in Austria after the British GP. Their car was not as slow as in Monaco and Azerbaijan. They definitely took a step forward but they definitely are still not contenders for race wins, unless on certain tracks or some misfortune for the leaders.

    2. 1st Lewis win of the season, they are going to use that dodgy pu mode from spain and take the opportunity to win this one.

  6. I think Mercedes’ is only looking like they’ve improved because AT and McLaren and Alfa have completely lost the plot. Alonso is their only competition. They are going to lose
    By 30 seconds barring safety cars or meteor strike.

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