Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, Spa-Francorchamps, 2022

Stiff cars and bumpy track will make COTA a “big challenge” – Gasly

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In the round-up: Gasly is braced for a bumpy ride at the Circuit of the Americas.

In brief

Gasly expects challenge for 2022 F1 cars with COTA bumps

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly thinks Circuit of the Americas will pose a greater set-up challenge with this year’s Formula 1 cars due to the track’s bumpiness.

“The track has always been very bumpy, and I think with this generation of car, it’s going to be very complicated in terms of ride,” he said.

“This year’s cars are very stiff and so it’s going to be a big challenge for everyone, although I understand they resurfaced some sections earlier this year in time for the Moto GP race there, so let’s hope it’s an improvement.”

The FIA introduced a technical directive in August to limit how much F1 cars bottom out, and therefore to reduce the problem of porpoising that has occurred with cars being run low to the ground this year.

F1 Arcade to launch in London

The first official F1 Arcade will open next month
The first official F1 simulator arcade racing centre will open in London at the One New Change shopping centre behind St. Paul’s Cathedral.

There will be 60 simulators in F1 Arcade, though rather than base itself around existing F1 video games there will be “a newly created gameplay experience” on the rFactor2 simulator software that “will allow guests to choose from a variety of racing modes to compete against each other individually, in team-based groups, or as part of all-venue racing formats”.

Visitors will be able to create their own “personal driver profiles” and collect an “experience currency” that will “be used to enhance guests’ experiences by offering unique prizes, activities in venue, and once-in-a-lifetime competition entries”.

On grand prix weekends there will be “enhanced experiences” taking place at F1 Arcade.

De Vries could see “limitations” of Mercedes ties when looking elsewhere

Nyck de Vries says he had to clarify his relationship with Mercedes when looking for a 2023 Formula 1 seat after his starring debut at the Italian Grand Prix at Williams.

De Vries was a McLaren junior from 2010 to 2019. He joined Mercedes after winning the Formula 2 title in 2019, though not as a junior driver and initially part of their new Formula E programme. Since then he has become one of their F1 reserve drivers, separate from Mercedes’ junior team, and has driven this year with engine customers Williams and Aston Martin.

“I won Formula 2 and I started building up a relationship at Mercedes,” he told the official F1 website. “I think in the public eye I was also always very much perceived as a Mercedes driver.”

“Although our relationship was formally limited to FE contract and a reserve driver contract. Now obviously we were building up a friendly relationship here up together with with everyone in the team, but I think I was always seen as a Mercedes driver. And I think that Monday evening after Monza made me understand that that could have its limitations. So it was important to clarify my situation to the people that make the calls.”

One of those people was Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko, who de Vries convinced to sign him to AlphaTauri for 2023.

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Comment of the day

It looks like Daniel Ricciardo will not be on the 2023 F1 grid after losing his McLaren seat, but he thinks if that is the case then he can find a seat for 2024. Some believe his diminishing reputation will not be helped by a year on the sidelines, while others think a reserve driver role could be just what he needs to extend his F1 career.

We have hard data that first off, shows the entropy of the driver market circus and secondly how seemingly easier it is getting into F1 as a third driver. Throw in the fact none of these drivers I mentioned nor those who would be available in 2024 have what Ricciardo has i.e. a disgusting amount of brand cache and goodwill, a proven resume that speaks volumes, and if his Merc deal goes through tangible, knowledgeable, and tactile data of a multiple constructor and driver championship team working as a third driver with them and it really isn’t that hard to see how 2024 could a #homecoming for DR. I mean the marketing side would print money on its own if done right.

Ricciardo is fine, come 2024 he’d be the most reasonable pick for any and all teams dissatisfied with their driver lineup or looking for stability or a galvanising factor to spearhead development.allie

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Danthorn, Shaggymike, F1Yankee and The Abbinator!

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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6 comments on “Stiff cars and bumpy track will make COTA a “big challenge” – Gasly”

  1. Even in that picture the AT can’t turn.

  2. “Looking for stability or a galvanising factor to spearhead development” Ricciardo has proven to provide neither of those things. His resume speaks volumes, but it’s not all good. Along with dispatching a former WDC and being on an even keel with an admittedly inferior version of the current one; he’s jumped ship twice, not taken a fight head on, and not been able to get a car to work that another driver has. At the end of the day, he either needs to become comfortable in a car that isn’t guaranteed to win races and hope for some Button-esque luck, or find another formula. I’m highly doubtful that Red Bull, Mercedes or Ferrari will want him.

    De Vries situation reminds me of Piastri to an extent. I wonder if we will see more drivers being open about exactly where their contractual obligations lie with teams. The good will of being brought up under a team’s programme doesn’t really mean much if it’s not landed them in a fortunate position.

    1. You can’t conclude that Norris has got the Mclaren working.
      Mclaren hasn’t built a decent car since 07/08, coincidentally during the spygaye era.

      It appears Mclaren hopes a young driver like Piastri can adapt to the atypical Mclaren, that lacks all characteristics of a fast F1 car.

      Drivers that are used to driving an F1 car with the right characteristics will never get on top of the Mclaren.

  3. seemingly easier it is getting into F1 as a third driver

    Sorry to ruin the party for the CotD author, but statistically the chances to race the next season in F1 are much higher for an actual driver (83%) than for a reserve driver (10-20%).

    The way I see it Ricciardo Haas only one smart option.

  4. I never really put any emphasis on his Merc reserve driver role anyway.
    Many drivers have a similar in different teams, so nothing different.

    Brave & openly honest letter. I applaud Zak’s bravery & openness in the budget cap breach matter.

    Funny COTA Twitter account video.

    I share COTD’s view to an extent, but time will tell.

  5. Stiff Gasly is an epitome of big challenge…

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