Kevin Magnussen, Lando Norris, Interlagos, 2022

Passing Magnussen was goal in “tough” sprint race for Norris

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In the round-up: McLaren’s Lando Norris admits he had a “tough” sprint race after recovering from suspected food poisoning prior to the race weekend.

In brief

Norris found sprint race “tough” after illness

Norris qualified fourth on the grid for the sprint race and fell to seventh by the chequered flag, despite passing Kevin Magnussen with five laps remaining. He will start sixth on the grid after gaining one place with Carlos Sainz Jnr’s five-place grid penalty.

“[It was a] tough day today, but our main objective was to pass Magnussen, and we did that, so I’m happy,” Norris said.

“We didn’t really have a chance to compete against the top three teams and I really wasn’t expecting more than P7. I found it tough today. I’ve been unwell, it was hot and this track is hard work – but we had a good race. We’re in a decent position, and if we can get both cars into the points tomorrow, it could be a really good day for us. We’ll work hard tonight, and see what we can do.”

Williams no longer ‘stuck in the past’ financially – Demaison

Williams technical director Francois-Xavier Demaison says that the team are no longer “stuck in the past” financially after the investment into the team by owners Dorilton.

The team, founded by the late Sir Frank Williams, was bought by the American capital firm in 2020. The team has received significant investment in their facilities to bring it in line with rival teams, Demaison said.

“We’ve been investing a lot of money and effort in the modernisation of the company,” said Demaison. “For many reasons, mostly financial, Williams have been stuck a bit in the past. So that was the priority – invest in the wind tunnel, invest in the factory and invest in people.

“We are slowly getting to where we are, but to build a team you need two to three years. And to get the maximum out of this team, it’s another two to three years. So, it’s a long journey.”

Buemi, Hirakawa and Hartley beat Toyota team mates to WEC crown

The number seven Toyota hypercar team of Sebastian Buemi, Ryo Hirakawa and Brendon Hartley secured the World Endurance Championship title in the hypercar class despite being beaten to victory in the final race of the season in Bahrain.

Toyota team mates Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez won the eight hour endurance race at the Sakhir circuit, 45 seconds ahead of the number seven crew, but it was not enough to deny Buemi, Hartley and Hirakawa the world title. It was the fourth consecutive world championship for Toyota, with the trio also having won the Le Mans 24 Hours earlier in the season.

Jota claimed the LMP2 championship title with Antonio Felix da Costa, Roberto Gonzalez and Will Stevens. Next year’s WEC will see Ferrari enter in the hypercar category with its new 499P model, while Penske, Jota and Cadillac will also join the series under the LMDH Daytona hypercar regulations.

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Comment of the day

The sprint race may have been more eventful than many that had come before it, but @Roger-Ayles fears the grand prix will be less exciting as a result…

Anyone that was out of position basically recovered so what would have been a fun opening stint to a grand prix has taken place today meaning the grand prix tomorrow will likely feature a lot less action making it less interesting and exciting than it otherwise would have been if the sprint hadn’t normalised the starting grid.

We saw it at several of these sprints now. Cars out of position after provisional qualifying recover those places in the sprint so it always end up being racing action taken away from the grand prix.
Roger Ayles

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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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10 comments on “Passing Magnussen was goal in “tough” sprint race for Norris”

  1. Cotd is spot on.

    These sprints do nothing but devalue the gp in situations like this. Cars out of place drop back or move forward in the sprint so when we get to the go the next day there is less shuffling of the order to happen.

    1. COTD is off the mark. Mercedes are out of position on the front row. Verstappen is out of position in 4th. Alpines are out of position in P17 and P18. It is set up to be great race today.

      And it is not as if we’ve only seen boring main GP’s on sprint weekends either. Monza 2021 was great and so was Silverstone last year. Sometimes it hits and sometimes it misses. Basically like each and every F1 weekend. For that reason I disagree with Keith’s tweet too. Not all tracks are suited to feature sprint races and thus I don’t like to see them every weekend.

      1. @spafrancorchamps Given what we saw in the sprint and comments from drivers and teams after – I don’t think the Mercs are out of position. I think we now know because of the sprint that they are favourites to win, so it will be somewhat less exciting if/when that happens now since we have that knowledge we wouldn’t normally have before a race.

    2. If there wasn’t a sprint race, the qualifying would haven been on Saturday on dry and the order of cars in the race for today would have been more or less the same position as they are lining up the grid after the sprint race. I am not a big fan of the sprint races but you have to admit that there was an extra excitement this weekend compared to the other ones.

  2. Sprint was pointless again, I’d rather have qualifying on a Saturday, qualifying was an exciting one. The sprint did not totally ruin the qualifying but tomorrow is the race, had the sprint kept going we might have had a really interesting race but now there is another start and another 300 km to erase all the drama of qualifying and the sprint.

  3. It was the wet qually that made the sprint worth watching. Wet qually always makes for an exciting race. Might as well draw random grid positions. Guaranteed would have exciting racing every single race.

    It’s just a farce.

  4. Auto Auction: Old news.

    The Forbes post about WRC is interesting.

    I wonder why Alpine seemingly faces more toxicity than other teams.

    Enzo Fittipaldi is an interesting addition.

    Last season’s Silverstone & Interlagos Sprints were also decently good.

    I’m not pessimistic like the COTD.

  5. The worst part of the Sprint race (wich was a really good one) is that now we know that yellow tyres are not very good and everybody’s going to start on soft tyres… well, maybe Ferrari makes Leclerc start on mediums.

    We’ve lost a surprising slow race pace for Red Bull and tyre strategy war.

    1. But do we know that? Verstappen called that he had picked up debris, we don’t know the extend of it and it was a washed track, so a soft will always perform better. Now with more rubber into the track things will be different. The soft was faster and looked fairly reliable, I would personally expect at least one Ferrari and an Alpine on mediums, perhaps even a Haas, Aston and/or an Alpha Tauri. We have also seen track where the yellow dropped in performance only to stabilize a few laps later which could be the tale of some of Verstappens trouble yesterday.
      It’s any given sunday.

    2. The race will start 90 minutes earlier than the sprint. The sprint usually held before sunset. This might be a significant difference in temperatures, so the mediums might even be ok. Otoh starting on mediums as a lone driver, was interesting, but at least they have tested them for today.

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