Alfa Romeo queried race control over Stroll’s off-track pass on Bottas

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In the round-up: Alfa Romeo asked the stewards to confirm whether Lance Stroll’s first-lap pass on one of their cars was legal.

In brief

Alfa Romeo query Stroll’s pass on Bottas

Valtteri Bottas immediately got on his radio to complain about Stroll’s first-lap pass on him during the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Stroll left the circuit as he completed pass on Bottas
Stroll drew level with Bottas on his outside as they approached turn four and pulled ahead as they rounded it. However as he applied a slight steering correction at the exit, Stroll put all four wheels over the white line at the exit of the corner. “The Aston overtook me outside the track, turn four”, Bottas told his team.

Alfa Romeo’s head of trackside engineering Xevi Pujolar confirmed the team had queried Stroll’s pass with race control. “We reported it but we were told that was okay,” said Pujolar in response to a question from RaceFans. “That was it, we had to leave it, we left it there.”

Stroll went on to finish tenth, two places ahead of Bottas. In total 15 lap times were deleted during the race for running wide at turn four, including one by Stroll on lap nine.

Lo plans to invest in existing team

Hong Kong billionaire Calvin Lo, who is backing one of the new F1 team applicants for 2026, says he is considering an additional investment in one of the current teams.

“There have been talks about the possibility of Mr Lo getting involved with a second existing F1 team.” said a statement issued on his behalf yesterday.

He is keen to raise the sport’s profile in Asia, where four races on the 2024 F1 calendar will take place.

“To make F1 truly global, we cannot forget about this part of the world,” Lo said. “There are many opportunities left untapped in F1.”

Martins calls team mate’s pass “too optimistic”

Victor Martins was not impressed with ART Grand Prix team mate Theo Pourchaire’s attempted overtake during the Formula 2 feature race at the Hungaroring, which almost resulted in a clash between the two frontrunners.

Martins was unimpressed with Pourchaire’s attempted pass
“Theo tried to go on the inside of turn three, which was a bit too much optimistic, and then we were arriving side-by-side into turn four, but I just kept the line,” said Martina. “I need to review again, honestly I don’t know what really happened but I focused ahead and on myself.”

He felt “just regarding the race” the move was not too aggressive “but if you take the championship and where he is, I would say yes.”

“That kind of move at that moment of the race is, for me, a bit too optimistic. But in the end we didn’t touch each other, we tried to stay clean. I’m sure he ran a bit out of turn four, really wide, because he didn’t want to touch with me. So, in the end it was a matter of keep it clean between team mates.”

Pourchaire sits second in the F2 standings, and Martins is fourth, with both harbouring title ambitions. “We are aggressive, both of us, and we know that we don’t need to do mistakes,” Martins concluded.

Motorsport mindset ‘not normal for female mind’ – Patrick

Danica Patrick, IndyCar’s most successful female racer, claims the skills needed to be successful in motorsport don’t come naturally to women. She also pointed out the shortage of women racing in junior categories and go-karts makes it less likely any will arrive in F1 in the near future.

Speaking during a special live broadcast of the Hungarian Grand Prix aimed at and presented by children, Patrick was asked whether she thinks there will ever be a female world champion.

“As I’ve always said in my whole career, if it takes 100 guys to come through to find a good one and it takes 100 girls, that takes a long time to find a good one, right? So it’s just the odds are not in favour of there always being being one or being many of them,” she said.

“At the end of the day, I think that the nature of the sport is masculine, it’s aggressive. You have to handle the car, you have to be – not only just the car, because that’s a skill, but the mindset that it takes to be really good is something that’s not normal in a feminine mind, in a female mind.

“For me I know if somebody tries to blow off or make it difficult on me, I would go into like an aggressive kill mode, right? It’s like – nnn! – and you just want to go after him. And that’s just not a natural feminine thought. And I say that because I’ve asked my friends about it. They’re like ‘yeah, that’s not how I think’. And so I just think that that’s why there aren’t as many [women], but it doesn’t mean there aren’t.

“So I think it’s possible. Will I see it? I’m 41. Will I see it in my life? I don’t know, maybe. Maybe it will be you.”

She added female participation in motorsport is on a trajectory that’s “always steadily on the incline” for roles in and out of the cockpit.

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Comment of the day

Ferrari had a woeful Hungarian Grand Prix, with Charles Leclerc finishing seventh ahead of team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr.

Team principal Frederic Vasseur admitted Ferrari made “too many mistakes” during the weekend, but stood by an ultimately redundant strategy decision to swap the positions of their drivers during the race.

Daniel Ricciardo clearly showed that a soft-hard-medium strategy would have worked for Sainz as well.

Clearly, Sainz failing to reach Q3 is main reason Sainz didn’t get a better result – Sainz then being stuck behind Leclerc on those faster softs after an amazing start didn’t help him much.

Vasseur is not delivering and Ferrari should start regretting the decision to fire Binotto – a brilliant engineer that was loyal to Ferrari for a long time, helped Ferrari with a great start of 2022 and what we clearly see now in 2023 than majority of the issues and errors run way deeper in the team/drivers than just Binotto’s management.
Jimmy Cliff

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On this day in motorsport

  • 30 years ago today Alain Prost scored the final win of his Formula 1 career at the Hockenheimring

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 “Alfa Romeo queried race control over Stroll’s off-track pass on Bottas”

  1. Re Comment of the Day:

    Clearly, Sainz failing to reach Q3 is main reason Sainz didn’t get a better result – Sainz then being stuck behind Leclerc on those faster softs after an amazing start didn’t help him much.

    I suspect if Carlos (now on 87 points) had started ahead of Charles (now on 80 points) team orders would have been given to put Charles in front of Carlos. The only way to avoid this situation is for Carlos to try and keep another car between him and Charles, much like Kimi used to do when he was teammates with Sebastian.

    1. Yeah, and that kind of stuff is one of the things where Ferrari make it harder on themselves @drycrust – because both drivers know this sort of thing does figure into their thinking, and because of many mistakes and hesitations on their part the drivers (have to?) constantly think and consider what is behind the decisions the team wants to make.

    2. Are you kidding? We’ve seen so many times this season a faster Leclerc, even on a different strategy/compound, stuck behind Sainz.

      They do this to both their drivers because they are so weak and are afraid to exert control over EITHER of their drivers.

  2. If Stroll really overtook Bottas similarly to how he overtook Gasly in the previous race, i.e., maintained position by briefly going past the white line, then that move, unfortunately, went entirely unseen in the world.
    Probably nothing extraordinary in the end.

    I didn’t expect Masi to talk about Ricciardo’s situation.

    1. Yellow Baron
      25th July 2023, 8:20

      Except it’s not supposed to be okay like verstappen in Bahrain 2021. If it was piastri overtaking max it would have been penalised

    2. Jimmy Cliff
      25th July 2023, 8:54

      Stroll carried way too much speed into turn 4 and didn’t just go a bit over the white line, he went completely off the kerbs as well.

      It is utterly insane/nuts that race control said YES that is an acceptable overtaking move – Bottas was all the way on the inside so there was plenty of room and only Stroll himself put him off track simply by braking less, carrying too much speed but in doing so being able to overtake.

      Stroll absolutely should have given that place back or gotten a penalty for it and after the complete track limit farce in Austria I really can’t understand how race control could possible say “that is OK”.

    3. I didn’t expect Masi to talk about Ricciardo’s situation.

      Someone lifted the rock then?

  3. The new FIA white line stance sometimes seems to be “Don’t go outside the white line… Unless you’re using it to overtake, then it’s fine.”

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