McLaren ‘could be anywhere from second to sixth team’ in Hungary – Piastri

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In the round-up: Oscar Piastri says it’s difficult to predict how competitive McLaren will be at the next race following their surprise performance in the British Grand Prix.

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In brief

McLaren ‘anywhere from second to sixth’ in Hungary

Following their best performance of the season so far at Silverstone and another strong showing a week earlier at the Red Bull Ring, McLaren’s form going into the next race in Hungary is harder to predict, says Piastri.

“I think Austria has always suited McLaren quite well,” he told Wimbledon Radio Channel. “We went to Silverstone optimistic we’d be better than earlier in the season, but maybe not as good as Austria, and we managed to be even quicker. So we’ll see what Hungary brings.

“I think Silverstone does suit us quite well, so we’ll see if we can maintain that form, but we’ll see. I think we could be anywhere from potentially second quickest team again to, who knows, maybe fifth or sixth, in that pack that we are now hopefully in with the Ferraris, Mercedes, Aston, even Alpine on that day as well. The order can change so much, even Williams beat both the Ferraris on the weekend. So you can’t take it easy and just expect yourself to be anywhere on the grid now.

“Obviously Hungary is a very different circuit, looking quite hot, so hopefully we can maintain the pace that we had. But we’re being realistic and it could be anywhere in that top 10, hopefully.”

Ben Sulayem pays tribute to van ‘t Hoff

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem was one of the speakers at the funeral of Dilano van ‘t Hoff on Tuesday. The Formula Regional European Championship was killed in a crash at Spa-Francorchamps two races weekends ago.

Ben Sulayem, whose son Saif died in a road car accident in March, thanked van’t Hoff’s father Alex for welcoming him to the funeral. “I went through this moment four months ago,” he said. “It’s unfair for the parents to bury their own children and I buried my own youngest son. So it’s definitely emotional for all of us.

“Today, we gather here to bid farewell to Dilano van ‘t Hoff, a talented young driver who has left a mark on our hearts and the history of our sport. Dilano’s journey up motorsport’s ranks was rapid. From karting to Formula 4 series, in the UAE and then in Spain, where he showed his remarkable talent and determination. Behind Dilano’s many achievements, we find the unwavering support and guidance of his loving parents, Mr and Mrs van ‘t Hoff, and his sister Luca. Your dedication and belief in Dilano’s dreams have been instrumental in his success. Your commitment to his aspiration will forever be remembered and cherished.

“As we bid farewell to Dilano, let us remember him not only as a gifted driver, but also as a young man who embodied the true spirit of motorsport. His tenacity, his resilience and his passion will continue to inspire generations to come. To the van ‘t Hoff family, we extend our deepest condolences and stand with you during this difficult time. May the memories you shared with Dilano provide solace and strength in the days ahead. Dilano van ‘t Hoff was a testament to the extraordinary strength that resides within the next generation of motorsport.

“Rest in peace, Dilano. Your spirit will forever be part of the FIA family.”

Young driver retires from racing after van ‘t Hoff death

The death of van ‘t Hoff has prompted fellow FREC racer Alex Partyshev to retire from racing. The teenage Ukrainian crashed out of the race prior to the incident that killed van ‘t Hoff, and withdrew from last weekend’s FREC round at Mugello. On Tuesday he announced on social media he will not return to the cockpit.

“I regret to announce that I am bringing my career as a driver to a close. This decision weighs heavily upon me, as it represents a significant and poignant step in my life. However circumstances, particularly the unfortunate events involving my dear friend Dilano van ‘t Hoff, have compelled me to respond in this manner.”

F1 in Schools World Finals hits new landmark

F1 in Schools, the engineering based education programme that competition, will hold its World Finals at this September’s Singapore Grand Prix and with a record 68 teams taking part.

At last year’s World Finals there was a 60-40 split between male and female participants, and even more women are expected to participate this year. Students use Formula 1 technology and techniques, including CAD software, to design, manufacture and test miniature cars before they test them against the cars of their opposition (who are other schools).

There are 60 countries in which F1 in Schools is active, and teams from 26 of those have made the World Finals. “It’s almost guaranteed that at least one future F1 engineer will be among the students taking part in Singapore,” said F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.

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Comment of the day

What were the motivations behind AlphaTauri sacking Nyck de Vries mid-season, beyond underperforming? That’s a question a lot of people have been asking, particularly in light of his replacement being a driver who himself was dropped from an F1 drive at the end of 2022 for underperforming but also is rated highly by AlphaTauri’s sister team Red Bull who have their own underperforming driver.

If they had dumped him in order to try another rising young hopeful then I could kind of understand it.

The fact that they are putting Ricciardo in the seat though makes me think that they know the car is the problem and they just want an experienced pair of hands on the wheel who can give them useful feedback and info about where the car sucks the most.
Nulla Pax

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On this day in motorsport

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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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8 comments on “McLaren ‘could be anywhere from second to sixth team’ in Hungary – Piastri”

  1. Re. COTD. I thought the same, Ricciardo has been hired – maybe contrary to his own medium-term interests – to sort out the AlphaTauri. Having read about how it rapidly unfoldly with Marko sacking De Vries as Ricciardo was still setting great times in the Red Bull, it seems more like it’s a way of giving Ricciardo some real track and race practice before bumping him up to Red Bull alongside Max. Supposedly his times would have seen him on the front of the grid alongside Verstappen. Sure lots of provisos in terms of track conditions, tyres, situation, but Red Bull clearly know that. I certainly wouldn’t put it past Red Bull to promote Ricciardo rapidly.

    1. After all, when ricciardo was at red bull, his last few races, he actually stole a mexico pole by a few thousands of a second from verstappen and would’ve held off vettel for 2nd place in the race (red bull was the best car that race) if it weren’t for yet another mechanical failure that season.

      1. @esploratore1 Being so influenced by Ricciardo’s lap times makes it seems more like an impulsive decision for the main team rather than a well planned strategy for the b-team. I’m sure RBR always wanted Ricciardo as close support for Verstappen (maybe Horner himself even contemplated them being ‘equal’ though Marko clearly not). Hiring a Ricciardo back to his previous levels – if that is indeed possible – would make Red Bull more or less equal in driver talent to Ferrari and Mercedes, their main rivals. There’s a sound logic to it, especially on the presumption that the other teams will catch up. And placing a younger driver alongside Verstappen has proven utterly demoralizing for the rookie.

        1. Makes it seem impulsive but I get the feeling it might be the opposite – waiting patiently for about 8 months for Ric to confirm his commitment to the team by doing whatever crap they asked him to, produce consistently fast sim times and then finally real laps (and it’s entirely possible that Ric has said No to an AT seat up until now).

  2. RE QOTD, Ricciardo could be the new Marcus Ericsson at AT, if you can’t beat Dan then you aren’t the next Max.

  3. Mclaren’s competitive for could indeed be anything in that range at Hungaroring.
    In any case, I think they’ll perform similarly to Red Bull Ring & Silverstone at Spa-Francorchamps, Monza, & Suzuka circuits, perhaps even LV with similar high-speed characteristics.

    Retiring from active racing because of a fatal accident is wholly understandable, especially when such a tragedy happens on a simultaneously shared track, even if such a decision kills the ultimate dream for good.

    Replacing De Vries with Ricciardo is understandable during the season, but keeping him in the B-team for next season would be a different story.

      1. Thanks for this essential update 😐

Comments are closed.