In the round-up: W Series ended its season early due to financial trouble, but is confident it can return in 2023.
W Series wants to keep F1 support status despite early season endwould not take place due to financial concerns. But it is already talking of a 2023 comeback and its CEO Catherine Bond Muir still intends for the championship to continue to run in support of Formula 1 during grand prix weekends.
“Certainly we do want to still be on the F1 support bill, but obviously going forward, we need to be mindful of our costs,” she said. “It would be prudent to have more European races than we have and European races are somewhat of a scarcity with F1.”
Although W Series raced alongside F1’s other regular support series this year, it also picked up spots at events where Formula 2 and Formula 3 were not racing. With those series yet to reveal their 2023 calendars, there may be less space for W Series next year despite the F1 schedule expanding to 24 grands prix.
“We haven’t been told yet what races we have been offered. F1 come back to us and offer us certain races and then we go from there. The four European races that we had this year were the four European races that we were offered.”
AlphaTauri considered Red Bull’s F1 juniors before signing de Vries
AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost says Red Bull’s junior drivers were considered to replace the departing Pierre Gasly next year before the team pursued IndyCar star Colton Herta and eventually settled on Nyck de Vries.
“All the Red Bull young drivers were taken into consideration,” Tost said. “There’s Liam Lawson, there’s [Ayumu] Iwasa, there’s [Dennis] Hauger in Formula 2, then [Isack] Hadjar in Formula 3, but they all still miss experience. They need to do another year or two in their categories and then we will see what the future will bring.”
The team’s strategy since being bought by Red Bull ahead of the 2006 season has been to promote the brand’s juniors into F1, and has rarely looked outside of that pool of talent when signing new drivers. However De Vries had no Red Bull affiliation before being signed and is already well established in professional motorsport, having won the Formula E championship last year.
Schumacher’s hard work “finally” paying off in car understanding
Haas’s trackside engineering director Ayao Komatsu says it has taken over a season-and-a-half for Mick Schumacher’s efforts in car understanding to be rewarded in improved form.
While the team’s form has fluctuated since Schumacher joined at the start of 2021, the Ferrari junior driver has also had inconsistent showings of pace.
“At Silverstone, he scored his first points in F1. That was huge pressure off him and he followed up with that performance in Spielberg, so the confidence is there,” Komatsu said.
“And then the understanding of the car. He’s a very hard worker, he always sits with his engineers trying to understand what he’s done wrong, where he can improve on Friday night, in between FP1 and FP2. So he’s always working hard. So finally in a season-and-a-half, since his debut, it started paying off. Then that gives him confidence and that’s the positive cycle.”
After scoring his first points back-to-back in July, Schumacher has more consistently beaten team mate Kevin Magnussen although neither have scored in the last seven grands prix.
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On this day in motorsport
- 25 years ago today points leader Jacques Villeneuve took pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix but was controversially disqualified for a yellow flag infringement