Perez expects it will be “hard to make progress” from seventh on grid

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In the round-up: Sergio Perez says it will be challenging to move up the field in the Dutch Grand Prix

In brief

“Hard to make progress” from seventh – Perez

Red Bull driver Perez says it will be “hard” to gain positions in today’s Dutch Grand Prix after qualifying seventh on the grid.

Perez was 1.3 seconds slower than his team mate Max Verstappen who secured pole position for today’s race. He said the team got their tactics wrong at the end of Q3.

“I think we probably took the wrong strategy in regards to a double push lap, I think we took too much out of the tyre,” Perez told media including RaceFans after the session. “But as always, you know the better strategy after the session. Anyway, we are P7 and tomorrow the main target is to have a strong start and then go forwards from there.

“It’s going to be tricky, definitely. Certainly tomorrow with the amount of fast cars around us. It will be hard to make progress but I’m confident we can make it.”

Brown impressed by Ricciardo’s return before injury

McLaren CEO Zak Brown praised his former driver Daniel Ricciardo for his performances in his first two races at AlphaTauri before breaking his hand in a crash on Friday.

Ricciardo raced for McLaren the previous two seasons but was dropped by the team two years into a three year deal for consistently underwhelming performances. He was brought back to replace Nyck de Vries after the Hungarian Grand Prix but will miss today’s race and likely more after breaking his hand.

“He’s doing an excellent job,” Brown said. “I think Tsunoda is very quick and he’s proven to be every bit as quick, if not maybe even a little bit quicker. So hopefully he can come back quickly – I don’t know how bad the break is.”

Starting F2 race “absolutely unacceptable” – Boschung

Formula 2 driver Ralph Boschung has hit out at the decision to start yesterday’s sprint race in wet conditions at Zandvoort.

The wet race was red-flagged after an opening lap incident, where Boschung hit the side of team mate Kush Maini who had collided with Jak Crawford at turn five on the first lap after the start. The crash caused Boschung’s car to come to rest underneath his team mate’s at turn six. As rain fell heavier during the red flag, the race was eventually abandoned with no points awarded.

“I’m thankful for the halo that saved my life today,” Boschung wrote on social media. “I, however, find it absolutely unacceptable to start a race with no visibility at all. This is not racing.”

IndyCar quintet collect grid penalties

Five IndyCar drivers will each take nine-place grid penalties at this weekend’s race on the gateway Oval. They are Scott Dixon and Takuma Sato of Ganassi, Scott McLaughlin of Penske, Kyle Kirkwood of Andretti and Juncos Hollinger’s Agustin Canopino.

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Comment of the day

With Felipe Massa giving his side of the story after starting legal action against the FIA and F1 over crashgate, AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken has a degree of sympathy…

I’m one of the people who believe that Massa did, indeed, deserve the 2008 title.

However, so did Hamilton.

The two were neck-and-neck for much of the season. Each driver put in some cracking performances… and made some blunders. And each driver was, at various times, robbed of points through no fault of their own.

Sometimes in F1, that happens: Two (or more) drivers are equally deserving of the crown, but only one of them can win it. But, in the case of 2008, Crashgate does mean that there’s a question mark hanging over the final results. Would Ferrari still have botched Massa’s pit stop if the race had gone differently prior to that point (that is, if there had been no deliberate crash)? If Massa had won at Singapore, would Hamilton have driven differently in the final races, and if so, would he have scored more points?

We obviously don’t know. And this uncertainty is at the heart of the whole debacle. There’s a part of me that would like the FIA to recognise Hamilton and Massa as joint champions – that way, Massa would get the title he deserved, but Hamilton wouldn’t be robbed of the title which he, too, deserved – but, barring that, I think the best course of action would be to leave the results as they currently stand.

I do feel for Massa, though. I really do.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Vettelfan, Pemsell, Monosodico and Konstantinos!

On this day in motorsport

  • 45 years ago today Mario Andretti scored his final F1 win in the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, for Lotus

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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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9 comments on “Perez expects it will be “hard to make progress” from seventh on grid”

  1. “so it’s going to be tough to make moves on track after the first lap. But there’s still strategy to play”

    As much as I know this to be the case, it still makes my heart sink a little to be reminded. Despite all my years (decades) of watching F1, I think I must suppress any knowledge of ‘difficult to pass’ circuits, so that I can – as much as possible – start to watch each race with maximum possible optimism.

    Of course, it is particularly great to see hard fought passes if they do occur on such tracks. But part of me still wishes there was decent opportunity at all circuits.

    I’m unsure that the satisfaction of scoring a goal in a football match with “half-sized” goals would be enough to convince anyone that such variation in scoring difficulty would improve the game.

    1. It’s not just the circuit making it difficult, though. It’s the cars and everything else about modern F1 – including the drivers.

      1. I really couldn’t agree more.

        I know many would see my view as an oversimplification, but I truly think that as the expertise now involved in F1 has pushed the cars towards the limits of performance of the regulations, it is that much harder to come up with significant differentiators.

        Of course the cars do not perform identically, as they are not identical. And I am not saying that there are no as yet undiscovered breakthroughs that might propel a team up the pecking order. But the scope of such discoveries is much less that in years gone by.

        It’s hard to put into limited words, but it feels as though the limits of the cars (and tyres) are mostly within the reach of all of the drivers in a way that didn’t seem to be the case way back when. In those days it appeared as though there was a good chunk of time available to those that would grab the car by the scruff and muscle it around the track. Now it seems as though they are all fractions away from throwing it off the track in such circumstances. And that is when they are not driving to conserve tyres, fuel, or engines.

        1. Yeah, absolutely.
          You only have to consider any one single part of a current F1 car and why it is the way it is to understand why F1 is where it is now. Every aspect is engineered almost to perfection for the exact conditions it will be put under, at the exclusion of any aspect about it that is unwanted. That engineering ability is ever-present now.
          Same goes for the tyres – they aren’t just round black rubber things that you simply bolt onto a car anymore. They are developed specifically for the F1 cars of today (mass/aero/COG/performance) and the cars are designed specifically for them. They are, by far, the most complex part of the car, and yet they are so incredibly focused on very specific performance targets and characteristics. They are significantly softer than in the past, but yet ~equally long-lasting and massively more structurally durable and resilient. An old Bridgestone/Goodyear/Michelin fitted to a current F1 car wouldn’t even last a lap at pace without catastrophic structural and thermal failure.

          I just watched a bit of 1975’s Zandvoort race, and couldn’t help but listen to (and enjoy) the (relatively) erratic throttle applications and watch the cars visibly squirming under braking and drifting around most corners. Not from backmarkers, either – these were the top drivers of the day, struggling with all the technical and behavioural limitations that the cars of the day presented to them.
          The cars were several orders of magnitude slower than the cars of today, but they were far more engaging in pretty much every way.

          Indeed, the drivers now also understand the behaviour of their machinery as well as the designers and engineers do – which is, again, orders of magnitude more than in the past. Massive amounts of data are taken from every aspect of the car at all times – nothing escapes data analysis now and the teams often know about something driving-related before the driver does.
          Even when they aren’t driving the real car, the simulators are now very nearly as good as the real thing for the most important tasks they need to cover.

          While F1 can’t unlearn what has already been learned and implemented – they can limit the use of that information in application, and they can fundamentally change what is important to F1, in a sporting sense.
          Unfortunately, modern F1 is about money first and foremost, though. Short term financial gains are the most important thing to the people who pull the strings – and today, that includes the competitors.

  2. For him, yes.

    1. For anyone. This is not an overtaking circuit.

      1. Coventry CLimax
        27th August 2023, 11:35

        According to these statistics, there were 24 overtakes in 2021 and 2022.

        I have no idea what types of position change are counted as ‘overtake’, but whether true pass or strategical, this proves overtaking is possible. Whether that backs up Perez’s confidence is another matter.

        It would be useful to have clear, reliable and publicly accessible statistics for this, to avoid pointless discussions and/or backup opinions.

        1. And there was some great overtakes last year, Especially a few around the outside of turn 1 that were real overtakes rather than the unmemorable boring DRS highway passes seen on many other circuits.

          I’m also of the view that overtakes should be difficult, Obviously not impossible but difficult enough that both defending as well as overtaking is more down to driver skill rather than silly gimmicks like DRS & where the overtaking we see is more exciting & memorable. The problem with where we are with DRS on many circuits is that overtaking is so much easier & so frequent that nothing really stands out as much as the fewer overtakes we see on circuits where it’s a bit tricker & more down to drivers having to think about where to place there cars.

          Should be about quality rather than quantity!

  3. Sorry Sergio, but if Max was starting seventh on the grid, we would all be predicting how long it would take him to take the lead.

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