Kevin Magnussen, Pierre Gasly, Interlagos, 2023

Alpine made “clearly a good step forwards” in Brazil – Gasly

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In the round-up: Pierre Gasly was pleased with Alpine’s performance in Brazil.

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In brief

Interlagos a boost for Alpine – Gasly

Gasly rose from 15th on the grid to finish seventh in the Brazilian Grand Prix, leading home Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes among others. He called it “one of our best performances of the season.”

His best result this year is third in Monaco and he took a pair of sixth places in Singapore and the USA. But Gasly was especially pleased with how the team managed his race in Brazil.

“It was a very challenging race to manage with multiple stints and pit stops, but the entire team did a great job to make the right calls and execute the stops well,” he said.

Esteban Ocon added to the team’s points haul despite his Saturday being spoiled by a heavy crash involving Fernando Alonso.

“For the team, in seventh and 10th, it’s clearly a strong performance, especially after starting from near the back of the grid,” Gasly added. “We competed with Carlos [Sainz Jnr] and the two Mercedes throughout, so that is clearly a good step forwards.”

“Grand” one-off opening ceremony for Las Vegas GP

Formula 1 has promised a spectacular opening ceremony will kick off next week’s race at the Las Vegas Strip Circuit

Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei said their spending on the one-off event was partly why costs had risen for the highly anticipated race. “On the initial costs, we’ve got an opening ceremony that’s grand, we won’t have that in future years,” he told CNBC.

Although the cost of the event has risen, Maffei remains convinced the pay-off will justify it. “We had a bunch of initial start-up costs around security, around temporary bridges, around optimising the fan experience in a hurry, that over time we’re going to be optimised both for the quality of the fan experience, but also for probably improved profitability,” he said. “But the impact not just of the race, but what it will do to our interest among sponsors, what it’ll do to our interest fans, we think that is going to be enduring from this year forward.”

Media fuelling Perez speculation – Horner

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2023
Perez hasn’t finished on the podium for two months
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has reiterated Sergio Perez’s seat is not at risk for next year, and said the speculation over his future has been fuelled by the media.

“The only people that keep putting the question mark are you guys,” he told Bloomberg in an interview yesterday. “I keep repeating that Checo is going to be our driver next year.”

Perez goes into the final two races of the season with 258 points to team mate Max Verstappen’s 524.

“He’s had a tough six weeks but he’s started to re-find his form,” Horner claimed. “I thought the race he drove in Sao Paolo was very strong, his race in Austin was strong and he’s finding his form again.

“He’s second in the world championship, he’s over 30 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton with two races to go. So let’s see what he can do over these next couple of races. But he will be our driver alongside Max in 2024.”

Free F1 23 during Las Vegas weekend

EA Sports will offer the official Formula 1 racing game F1 23 free to play during the Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend.

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Comment of the day

The FIA mustn’t water down F1’s track limits rules because of the difficulty it has enforcing them at some circuits, says @Sham:

I beg of you, FIA, do not soften the approach of “the white line defines the circuit” – I think that is one of the cornerstones of the sport that was ignored for far, far too long.

Is it really so difficult to cover all the lines with cameras of appropriate speed and resolution?

The pinnacle of motorsport cannot afford to have its most basic rules made unenforceable.

Happy birthday!

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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22 comments on “Alpine made “clearly a good step forwards” in Brazil – Gasly”

  1. A spectacular opening ceremony: Your F1 subscription cash at work. Enjoy.

  2. I largely agree with the Mike Caulfield tweets & the way the Sky coverage has shifted over the years was the primary reason I stopped watching there extra programming, there pre/post race coverage & this year the Sky coverage completely (I now watch F1TV via a VPN).

    When Sky got the UK rights for 2012 I liked a lot of what they were promising. Not just in terms of the raceday coverage but also a lot of the extra programming be in the initial incarnation of the F1 Show, documentary style programs, archive content & coverage that was geared more to the knowledgable fan with more technical insights, analysis etc…

    But as the years went on we very quickly lost all of that & the coverage more & more turned into a bunch of lifestyle features, silly games & tabloid style reporting.

    Programs like Legends of F1, Architects of F1 & tales from the vault vanished as did archive content in general. The in-depth technical features became fewer & farther between with less & less depth. Features would get hyped up only to disappoint due to feeling rushed.

    Something like Brundle driving an F1 car for example went from been a good few minutes of track action with Brundle driving & detailing how the car felt to about 8 minutes of getting ready to see Brundle in the car with the track shots on been about 20-30 seconds with the end basically been ‘Well now i’ve driven F1 car #50 & it was great’.

    I used to defend David Croft but as time has gone on i’ve just got fed up with him. Not so much because of his mistakes but more his constant rants & how he increasingly started to call what he wanted things to be rather than what he saw as well as mistaking his opinion on certain things as the way things should be.

    1. The great thing about YouTube is that view counts are public. The technical videos F1 uploads itself just don’t do very well. The “public” would rather watch some random driver draw a silly cartoon than watch an educated engineer explain how a suspension works. That’s just the way it is and there’s not much a broadcaster can do to change that. When items that are expensive to make also get bad ratings compared to the cheap fluff, it’s an easy choice to make.

      Croft is playing a character; he was on some of the F1TV winter programming, and it’s a totally different person when he’s just relaxed and chatting. Unfortunately, even F1TV has apparently instructed its usual commentary team to mimic that character, and the previously level-headed commentary has turned into another shouting match with a big dose of English nationalism thrown in.

      Since F1 funnels its entire product through a select few broadcasters, it can’t be overstated how huge the impact of the coverage is on how F1 is experienced by viewers on the outside. It’s disappointing that they can’t at the very least offer two audio tracks for the race coverage. When I still had an F1 TV subscription I often watched the races with the audio turned way down because the incessant talking to fill the silence was unbearable. Apparently nobody has told these guys that the viewers can also see the same images they are watching.

      1. To be perfectly honest, most of the tech stuff on YouTube is beginner explanations. What is a plank? How do tires work? What is aero?

        I’ve been watching F1 religiously for the better part of 30 years, I don’t need a ten minute explanation on plank wear and skid blocks. I’d rather watch Vettel list off all F1 World Champions in reverse order without missing a beat than that.

        1. Agree with both of you, stefmeister and MichaelN

          Just a few races into starting to cover F1, Sky stayed on-air to report on the Williams garage fire. Recently I’ve noticed (assuming no red flag delays), Sky F1 absolutely *have* to be off-air at a determined time, just so they can show “their” 60-minute highlights (rushed, botched edit) before the Channel 4 highlights programme begins…

          You can be sure the outro of the upcoming Abu Dhabi race broadcast will be the usual montage of “our presenters bloopers / larking around with the teams and drivers”. Channel 4’s outro of the Abu Dhabi highlights will be a considered montage of memorable moments from the season just completed (mentioning the behind-the-scenes broadcast team too).

          It’s clear that David Croft is playing the “Crofty” character, rather than be a commentator for F1. Some bugbears (just five):

          – The race with the DRS fault and he was complaing that DRS was not enabled

          – During Sao Paulo race, getting all worked up about predicting a pass / overtake that had no chance of happening

          – Also during Sao Paulo race, taking an absolute age to see / mention the loose tyre hitting Ricciardo’s rear wing

          – “They’re going wheel to wheel!!!” (with a huge gap between the cars. Mansell & Senna at Spain 1991 was wheel to wheel…)

          – “Switcheroo”

      2. “It’s disappointing that they can’t at the very least offer two audio tracks for the race coverage.”
        Do correct me if I’m wrong, but you have a selection of commentary feeds on F1 TV Pro: F1’s own and Sky in English, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Portuguese and FX (no commentary). Adding a third English commentary for hardcore fans would seem rather redundant.

  3. COTD is spot on. I made a comment a few days ago about the MotoGP system. It took months to iron out but its indisputably better and fairer than F1. Surely F1 is more ‘technologically advanced’ than MotoGP. Cameras and sensors aren’t even new tech.

    1. It’s not about technology, it never has been. It’s always been about the cost. The current status simplistically is that the FIA president says the tracks have to fix the track limits problem or lose their calendar spots. So that’s where the burden currently lies.

      Realistically there needs to be investment and co-ordination from all stakeholders. Maybe one day the sword-shaking will cease and they’ll actually get on with it.

      1. It’s not about technology, it never has been. It’s always been about the cost.

        It’s not even about cost. It’s about the desire to accurately identify a problem and find a proper and lasting solution to it.
        F1 lacks that desire. There is simply too much internal resistance in F1’s management structure to tackle any issue properly.
        F1 has too many stakeholders, are most of them have too much say over F1’s management and direction.

        the FIA president says the tracks have to fix the track limits problem or lose their calendar spots.

        And fair enough too, if he actually does say that (I haven’t seen that reported anywhere, though).
        The tracks are bidding for contracts to participate in the FIA’s racing series – as part of their bid they need to supply a suitable venue inclusive of all applicable ‘management furniture’.

        The actual problem behind this and most of F1’s other shortcomings is the truly ridiculous requirement that the commercial aspects be separated out from the FIA’s management of their own series, and instead handled by a third party.

        1. the truly ridiculous requirement that the commercial aspects be separated out from the FIA’s management of their own series

          That’s not ridiculous at all, as the FIA and what was then Formula One Administration were abusing their power to the detriment of other series and other parties involved in racing and broadcasting; including imposing excessively lengthy exclusivity contracts that deprived series other than F1 a chance to be broadcast and/or race on certain tracks. Maybe the current FIA could handle that responsibility in a fair manner, but they made their own bed by doing the exact opposite in the past.

          While it makes sense to have global organisation like the FIA pool their efforts and resources, that still doesn’t make them exempt from laws in the countries in which they are based and/or operate. Which is a good thing. Both in theory, and because we’ve already seen what happens when they thing they can do as they please.

          1. Instead, we are now seeing what happens when Liberty “does what they please” and it opposes what the FIA want their series (which is their property, remember) to be.
            Endless conflict and compromise, which ultimately benefits and satisfies nobody.

            Add the fact that Liberty are now (arguably) running their part of F1 in breach of the same laws that the FIA supposedly were in the past, by committing the same abuses of power and creating an environment that is even more anti-competitive.

  4. The only “highly anticipated” thing about the Las Vegas race is of the promoter’s own making.
    They just keep hyping it on and on, as if it’s something that every F1 fan can’t wait to see. Personally, I couldn’t care less or more than I care about any new addition to the calendar.
    The Singapore race was highly anticipated because it was the first night race, so there really was something new and special about it. New Hockenheim was highly anticipated, and then highly dredded, once we saw what has become of it, but that’s about it.
    Bahrain was an interesting addition, because it was the first of its kind for F1 – the desert track.
    Sepang was highly anticipated as it was the first all-Tilke track, and it was actually good.
    Austin was highly anticipated partly because of all the hype around it, but partly because it was looking like a really good track from all the previews.

    Las Vegas isn’t highly anticipated – it’s highly hyped, is what it is.

    1. It’s easy to be ho-hum about this, but it’s big, bigger than Miami, as big as COTA’s first race really. People are paying a lot for these tickets so F1 really needs to impress and go ahead with no major issues. There’ll be a lot of eyes on it. It may be just another new street circuit to die-hard racing fans, but as far as F1’s push as a world-leading entertainment product, it’s just about the biggest event there can be.

      As Liberty are essentially saying, the question now is whether the gamble will pay off.

      1. There’s no gamble. You can absolutely bet on the fact that Liberty’s surveys and research will show that it was be best event ever.

        Personally I suspect it will flop big time, but they’ve already proven that they don’t let facts get in the road of saying how popular things are.

    2. Indeed LV is hyped a lot.
      But simply don’t believe the hype (listen to the song instead). I hardly ever open the articles or even read the snippets which fill the daily round-up.

    3. The only “highly anticipated” thing about the Las Vegas race is of the promoter’s own making.

      Maybe, but that’s kind of their job; to sell the product and convince people it’s special. They, and their predecessors, have been doing that for a long time, and whatever one thinks of Las Vegas in particular, F1 has usually been very successful at this game. The only real dud in the past 20 or so years was probably South Korea.

  5. I’m looking forward to what that one-off opening ceremony will be like & regarding COTD, not every corner necessarily needs to have a camera, but other than a physical deterrent that automatically slows down, sensors are something I’ve seen people mention a few times over the years, so not having them either is surprising, considering viability with modern technology.

  6. Are there some local political issues at play in the background? Tons of stories coming out of Las Vegas, usually from local outlets, are constantly complaining about how tough it all is on residents to host a three day event in a city of over 600.000 people, most of whom probably don’t even live near where the race will be. It sounds like a bunch of reporters are going out of their way to find the loudest complainers.

    1. Yeah, except that it isn’t just three days of disruption. Track construction has been going on for months and has been upsetting and inconveniencing locals. Both the date, mid November, and the time, basically midnight local, are absurd. I suspect the spectators shivering in 50° F temperatures will be unhappy with this event. There are no support races, just F1, so there will be hours of dead track time; ticket and room rates are ridiculous (although it seems tickets and rooms are getting cheaper by the day).

  7. An opening ceremony? What does that even look like? I guess it kinda makes sense for round 1 when the championship starts…. will there be flag bearers? I feel awkward about this…

    1. Sky Sports say this

      Sounds better than the Miami launch event last year. Wonder if has his “mime orchestra” again?

      1. That was one of the most cringe inducing spectacles I’ve ever seen. And to think that guy probably got paid a few million dollars to pretend to be conducting an orchestra. I almost 🤮 when they did that starting lineup thing. Believe it or not, most Americans thought it was weird and stupid too.

        They make it seem like that’s how America wants or does it. No sport here does that. Yes, at the start of NBA games they announce the starting lineup’s names, positions and height, but they don’t make little vignettes up about them (e.g., “Yuki may be small, but he’s huge in Japan!” or something similarly ridiculous).

        Most ironically, most American fans love F1 because it’s Eurocentric and nothing like American motorsport. So, they’re definitely not serving those fans and I doubt foreign viewers liked that nonsense.

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