In the round-up: Haas may have had an awful Sunday in Monaco, but feel boosted by the impact of their car upgrades.
Haas getting a morale as well as performance benefit from upgrades
Haas’ director of engineering Ayao Komatsu says the car upgrades they brought to Monaco have exceeded performance expectations.
“It’s really positive for the team because the first major upgrade we brought to track in Miami, it just worked,” Komatsu explained. “It’s not as simple as saying ‘coming from the wind tunnel this is a big gain and this should work’, which happens quite often and you don’t actually see it, but this one was the opposite – it didn’t make a huge difference in the wind tunnel in terms of headline numbers, but we believed it was worthwhile introducing it due to certain details we saw.
“At the track, we saw exactly the behaviour change we expected, and in fact, it was actually better than anticipated. Then, following that philosophy, we brought a front wing to Monaco which was meant for Imola, but in Monaco you can’t measure anything so we will measure it this week. Team morale-wise, it’s brilliant.”
Sargeant disappointed with result in first wet F1 raceLogan Sargeant was unhappy to finish a twice-lapped 18th in his maiden Monaco Grand Prix, which was also the first time he had driven a Formula 1 car in the wet.
“Once the rain came, it was just about learning a little bit on the inter tyre. A couple of mistakes that I had in the wet to clean up on,” he said to media including RaceFans.
“I mean there’s positives. I drove a car in the wet now, so I know what it’s like. I don’t think it was even too bad at times. Just a couple of small lock-ups, and obviously here you just have to go straight or turn around. But yeah, I mean it’s honestly disappointing.”
Indy 500 breaks prize money record
The Indianapolis 500 hit a new record with its prize money pot for entrants for the second year in a row.
Josef Newgarden earned $3.66 million (£2.9m) for taking the race win, and in total $17m (£13.7m) was handed out. It marked the biggest ever pay-out for the winner and for the 33-car field in total, with each driver getting an average of $500,600 in prize money.
Last year’s record was $16m which beat the 2008 record of $14.4m. AJ Foyt Racing’s Benjamin Pedersen earned the $50,000 bonus for being the race’s ‘Rookie of the Year’ by qualifying 11th and finishing 21st in the race.
Toyota announce Ritomo Miyata in new WEC role
Miyata was a Toyota junior early in his career, winning two Japanese Formula 4 titles and the Super Formula Lights championship. He then stepped up to Japan’s top sports car and single-seater series, and is currently in contention to win the title with Toyota teams in both Super GT and Super Formula having won races early in the year.
His new role will involve being trackside for three 2023 WEC rounds, and “a special WEC Challenge Programme training will be held at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June for young entry-level drivers”.
Hill raves about Monaco GP qualifying
Damon Hill, the 1996 Formula 1 world champion, praised the high standard of driving in the qualifying session for last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.
“By the end of this year’s qualifying, my heart was pumping adrenaline as if I was actually driving,” he told The Telegraph. “That was the best Monaco qualifying session I can ever remember seeing.
“Total drama. Watching the best of the best put it all on the line to get that oh-so-important perfect lap. They were all brilliant. Now, maybe it is because I used to race myself that I can feel and see something newcomers don’t get. But we have to help them get it. Because Monaco is special.”
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