Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2024

“So I’ve got nothing to worry about?” – The best unheard team radio from Jeddah

Formula 1

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The second round of the 2024 Formula 1 season may have appeared very much like the first in that it was not the most thrilling of race, but there was plenty going on during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix if you looked under the surface.

From drivers facing penalties to a debating about their strategies to even a moment of frustration late in the race for winner Max Verstappen there was a lot unfolding over the 50 laps of the race.

Here are some of the key moments you might have missed last weekend as they played out over team radio.

Norris gets away with one

Lando Norris, McLaren, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2024

Aside from Alpine driver Pierre Gasly suffering a gearbox problem on the formation lap, Lando Norris provided another moment of drama before the race had officially begun. He was clearly moving in his grid slot as the lights extinguished, which appeared to all the world that he would be hit with a jump start penalty.

Norris seemed to know it too, as he appeared to check with race engineer Will Joseph whether or not “I’ve got nothing to worry about” during the Safety Car:

Lap: 7/50 NOR: 2’07.025
Norris Pace feels pretty fast…
Joseph ‘Yellow flag at turn 22-23, Stroll’s in the barrier. Safety Car deployed. Safety Car deployed.
Norris Is he good?
Joseph Haven’t seen. I’ll get an update. Yes, he’s all good and out.
Norris And. Everything else is all good?
Joseph Everything else is all good.
Norris So I’ve got nothing to worry about?
Joseph Not currently. I’m not worried.
Norris We staying out?
Joseph And you are the second car. So Lando you’d give up places to six cars, coming out ahead of Hulkenberg behind the group of Tsunoda, Bearman, Magnussen…

Norris was one of two drivers towards the front of the field, along with Lewis Hamilton, who opted to stay out under Safety Car. He quickly realised he would have a lot of work to do when the race went green again:

Lap: 8/50 NOR: 2’54.005
Norris I guess everyone boxed? So I wouldn’t have lost…
Joseph ‘And there’s a recovery vehicle on-track. So Hamilton stayed out and Hulkenberg stayed out. The others fitted the hard. And the recovery vehicle is on track.
Norris Okay, so let’s have a clear plan. Do we have a target? I need to judge everything off the target, so.
Joseph Yeah. I’ll get back to you. So we’re thinking plan a target plus five. Plan A target plus five.
Norris Yeah okay. It could start to be tough if I’m going to just get overtaken, which is quite likely. So depends what that does to us.
Joseph Yeah. Understood. It could change as we go through, but that’s what we want to aim for, for now. The cars behind you I’ll give you an order. It’s Verstappen, Hamilton. Perez, Leclerc, Oscar, Alonso behind Oscar.
Norris Do you not think it’s better just to push as hard as I can just to create a gap? Or do you want the tyre delta.
Joseph I’ll come back to you.
Norris Because honestly, I feel like it’s just going to be both. I’m going to have to push to stay ahead of these cars behind.

Later in the race, it was time for Norris to make his sole stop. But Hamilton pitted first from behind to try and undercut the McLaren driver, forcing the team to act. Despite a slow stop, Norris was able to just get out ahead of the Mercedes.

Lap: 37/50 NOR: 1’36.675
Joseph Hamilton has pitted. He’s put a soft on. He was four seconds back.
Joseph And Lando minor white H4 position four. 100% pace.
Norris Fuck.
Joseph Lando we think we need to go this lap for a soft tyre. Still happy?
Norris Yes, I know. Yes.
Joseph Box this lap.
Lap: 38/50 NOR: 1’50.849
Joseph This will be close to Hamilton at exit. Hamilton approaching it’ll be close.
Norris You think fastest lap or not?
Norris Already said no…
Joseph Yeah we want Alonso, 13.1. let’s go for it.
Joseph I know you know, Hamilton with DRS.

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Perez’s penalty

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2024

Sergio Perez had been beaten to the front row of the grid by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in qualifying and was rebuffed by him while they battled for second through the opening corners. After passing the Ferrari to take second place in the early laps, Perez pitted behind Red Bull team mate Verstappen, but left his pit box when the red light was on right in front of Fernando Alonso.

Lap: 7/50 PER: 2’04.615
Perez Copy what’s the pace for Max?
Bird 34.0, 33.6 this lap.
Perez Are we boxing?
Bird Okay so box Checo, strat 12 in the pit lane. Max also boxing, roll into the pit box.
Lap: 8/50 PER: 3’07.369
Bird Traffic. Traffic. Strat eight. Strat eight.
Perez Yeah good job there, guys.
Lap: 8/50 ALO: 3’05.292
Alonso Woah I nearly crashed with a Red Bull. So close.
Cronin Just focus on pit exit. Okay. Just keep an eye on your delta now. You can go back to cool and run switch cool.
Alonso I had to lock all four tyres I think.
Cronin Copy, understood, we’ve reported it.

Perez’s premature exit earned him a five-second time penalty, although it did not affect his finishing position, as he built up enough of an advantage over Leclerc by the end of the race for it not to matter.

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Lap: 18/50 PER: 1’33.282
Bird For another step in the high speed it’s display five, position one. Display five, position one. Minus four. Norris at 1.3. And a race update we’ve got a five second penalty for an unsafe release in the pit stop.
Perez What position you want?
Bird Display five. Position one. Display five. Position one. That’s minus one from here.
Lap: 19/50 PER: 1’33.545
Perez What’s the penalty for?
Bird Unsafe release at the pit stop.
Perez Is mode 10 efficient?
Bird Mode 10 is good.

Adami’s advice

Oliver Bearman, Ferrari, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2024

At Ferrari, 18-year-old Oliver Bearman was in the middle of an unexpected grand prix debut at one of the toughest tracks on the calendar. But throughout the first 50 racing laps of his Formula 1 career, he enjoyed plenty of encouragement and advice from Carlos Sainz Jnr’s race engineer, Ricardo Adami.

Lap: 20/50 BEA: 1’34.828
Bearman Mate he’s so slow.
Lap: 21/50 BEA: 1’34.368
Adami Good job. Lap 20 completed. Heads down.
Lap: 22/50 BEA: 1’34.559
Adami Focus on brake release and early throttle turn 16 to carry more speed into 17.
Lap: 23/50 BEA: 1’34.128
Adami And diff mid plus one to help you for balance. Diff mid plus one. Mid.
Lap: 24/50 BEA: 1’33.966
Adami The pace is good. Matching Russell or faster than him.
Lap: 41/50 BEA: 1’32.691
Bearman At this pace will Norris catch us or not?
Adami Yeah we believe so, in four laps.
Adami We believe Lando will come to us and perhaps we have a chance to stay in front of Hamilton. Let’s focus on our fastest race to the end.

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No ‘Plan B’ for Alonso

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2024

While Alonso successfully avoided colliding with Perez in the pitlane, he was struggling to keep up with the Red Bulls, the Ferrari, the McLarens and the Mercedes of Hamilton ahead of him. He lobbied race engineer Chris Cronin to think about changing their strategy, but Aston Martin did not like the idea based on their data.

Lap: 14/50 ALO: 1’34.877
Alonso Yeah. Any chance of plan B? Because, I mean, they are in another league.
Lap: 24/50 ALO: 1’34.033
Cronin Fernando, Russell has been told to push for the last few laps. He’s been trying to push to get on to you. But you’re doing well. At this point, the Safety Car windows are closed. Would you take a medium back on or stay where you are? Are these tyres feeling okay?
Alonso Yeah. I mean, very low grip, mate. Let’s see.
Lap: 25/50 ALO: 1’33.890
Alonso How is the race unfolding behind us? Apart of Russell, this whole phase?
Cronin So obviously Norris and Hamilton still need to stop. If they get a Safety Car now, Norris would probably be just on top of you. And behind Russell you’ve got Bearman, eight seconds behind you, same strategy, same stop as us. That’s Bearman eight seconds back from you. And Bearman’s in a completely free air and he’s same pace as us, same pace.
Lap: 26/50 ALO: 1’33.841
Alonso Plan B is out of the question.
Lap: 27/50 ALO: 1’33.580
Cronin So plan B is a ‘no’ at the moment, plan B is a ‘no’.
Lap: 28/50 ALO: 1’33.863
Alonso Copy. Any suggestions?
Cronin Click forward on brake balance. One click forwards brake balance.

RB’s grip woes

Daniel Ricciardo and team mate Yuki Tsunoda both pitted under the Safety Car. But while Ricciardo ended up at the rear of the field, Tsunoda battled with Kevin Magnussen at the front of a train of cars behind the Haas driver.

Lap: 17/50 TSU: 1’37.603
Tsunoda He [Magnussen] overtook me off-track.
Spini We are on it.
Lap: 20/50 TSU: 1’35.060
Spini Magnussen is under investigation, Yuki.
Lap: 22/50 TSU: 1’35.698
Spini Magnussen has 20 seconds time penalty. We need overtake him to more forward but take zero risk.
Lap: 24/50 TSU: 1’35.882
Spini Yuki let’s try to overtake Magnussen. Either before 27 or prepare very well the exit.
Lap: 34/50 TSU: 1’34.768
Spini Yuki, Magnussen picked up the pace now. He was slowing down the pack. So we can put more if you can.

Meanwhile, team mate Ricciardo was struggling for grip at the rear of the field.

Lap: 13/50 RIC: 1’36.337
Ricciardo I got no rear grip at the moment. Super-twitchy.
Lap: 24/50 RIC: 1’34.935
Hamelin Magnussen is P12 but he has a penalty and he’s trying to help his team mate.
Hamelin There’s a number of people with penalties for track limits. Magnussen has a penalty and Albon is very close to getting one.
Lap: 30/50 RIC: 1’35.608
Ricciardo Is everyone on hard?
Hamelin Confirmed. So let’s get into that fight. People are making mistakes.
Lap: 35/50 RIC: 1’34.658
Hamelin Okay Daniel turn 13 is our main limitation, two-tenths compared to the cars ahead. How can we help in turn 13?
Lap: 48/50 RIC: 1’43.781
Hamelin Okay Daniel we’re checking everything.
Ricciardo Understood. I gave it too much kerb turn one.

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Verstappen’s traffic trouble

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2024

Towards the end of the race, leader Verstappen caught up to the gaggle of cars at the rear of the field to lap them. He ended up making his way through the traffic for several laps and was particularly happy to by Tsunoda before Esteban Ocon was the last car to be lapped.

Lap: 39/50 VER: 1’31.995
Lambiase Okay, so ahead there’s a train of six cars.
Lap: 41/50 VER: 1’32.491
Lambiase So the first car ahead is Daniel.
Lap: 42/50 VER: 1’33.013
Lambiase Just pick your way through these carefully Max. But don’t let the tyres cool overly in this.
Verstappen I’m trying. It’s hard to follow.
Lap: 47/50 VER: 1’32.784
Verstappen [After lapping Tsunoda] Fucking finally.

Leclerc and Russell get bad vibes

George Russell, Mercedes, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2024

Once Leclerc had lost second place to Perez, the Ferrari driver had a lonely race. Despite feeling a vibration on his car in the closing laps, Leclerc decided to push for the fastest lap.

Lap: 48/50 LEC: 1’33.364
Leclerc Some high engine vibration in the straight.
Marcos Padros Okay. We are checking.
Leclerc I think it’s coming from the tyres. Now just slowed down.
Marcos Padros So we are still checking. Overall you are doing a good job and two laps to go when you cross the line, okay.
Chequered flag
Leclerc What’s the fastest lap?
Marcos Padros You’ve got the fastest lap?
Leclerc Yes!
Marcos Padros Good job. Well managed.
Leclerc For some reason, I really struggled to be consistent. Let’s, speak about it.
Marcos Padros Yeah copy that.
Leclerc And huge congrats to Ollie. Amazing job.
Marcos Padros Yeah copy.
Vasseur Good job Charles you had the fastest lap.

George Russell had also spent the majority of the race on his own, behind Alonso’s Aston Martin but ahead of Bearman’s Ferrari. Within sight of the chequered flag, however, he also suddenly reported a vibration on his Mercedes which, fortunately for him, turned out to be nothing. Mercedes confirmed they had examined Russell’s car after the race and determined that there was no problem with his car.

Lap: 50/50 RUS: 1’35.145
Russell Bit of vibration on the fronts.
Dudley Yeah understood, it doesn’t looks bad on data. One lap remaining.
Russell Check front-right tyre pressure, front-right tyre pressure.
Dudley Looks okay. Looks okay at the moment.
Russell Something not right, front-right.
Dudley Front wing looks okay. Pressures look okay. Gap behind four seconds.
Dudley Chequered flag is out.
Chequered flag
Russell Yeah, affirm. Just couldn’t get quite close enough though the high-speed.
Dudley Yeah I think the pace was good just couldn’t get close enough to actually do the pass.
Russell Yeah. Let’s discuss it when we get back. Lots of work to do.
Dudley Affirm.
Russell Thanks for your efforts everybody. Let’s keep on pushing.
Dudley And George do you still feel anything on that front-right?
Russell Yeah something doesn’t feel quite right with it. Like I can even see the sidewall looks a little bit funny.

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Bearman’s only fault

Oliver Bearman, Ferrari, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2024

After keeping his car on track and out of the walls, Bearman reached the chequered flag to earn well-deserved points in seventh place on debut. While he earned praise from his team, he struggled to get his drinks button to work as he intended – perhaps the only thing that went wrong for him all evening…

Lap: 50/50 BEA: 1’32.186
Adami Russell may have an issue in front. Russell four seconds in front.
Chequered flag
Adami And P7. Awesome job, mate. And mode slow.
Vasseur Mega good job Ollie, congratulations.
Adami And charge off and mode slow. Charge off and mode slow and pick up.
Bearman Not bad, I think. I would have liked to go a bit longer with that soft at the start because it felt good. Just difficult to overtake. But the was mega today so thank you. I really enjoyed it. It was so much fun out there. Thank you for Fred and everyone for the opportunity.
Vasseur Enjoy it, enjoy it.
Bearman The drink is going everywhere except in my mouth.
Adami Okay, we need to fix it then. You are the driver of the day of there, good showing.
Bearman Ah, thanks everyone.

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Author information

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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5 comments on ““So I’ve got nothing to worry about?” – The best unheard team radio from Jeddah”

  1. An Sionnach
    15th March 2024, 9:38

    What is the rule about jump starts if you leave the transponder out of it? Is it okay to line up behind the line and start moving before the lights as long as you don’t cross it before they go out? Or, did Lando get off on a technicality because the transponder malfunctioned? Do they need to change the rule so they can penalise those who clearly jump the start in spite of what the transponder says? Lando is a likeable guy and attracts high ratings. Does his charm also sway the monitoring equipment?!?

    1. Since the transponders were introduced, the rules have essentially been built around them as the primary trigger.

      Any stewards who ‘override’ that technical device needs to have a really, really good justification for doing so.
      Good enough that the teams can’t argue it and whip up a media storm…

      F1’s regulations are no longer run solely by the FIA, unfortunately. The teams have enormous power – and they know it.

    2. There’s 3 components to the rule, any of which trigger a penalty and 2 of which involve the transponder (one about transponder detecting a false start – subject to an unwritten FIA rule about tolerances – the other means transponder failure plus any movement whatsoever equals a penalty). The third component is if both the front and side of the tyre are outside the grid box. It is not clear how much of either needs to be out to count, but if the whole side of the tyre was out, that would definitely count.

      If that is the case when the lights go out, it’s a penalty regardless of transponder state or other factors (so bad parking, an excessively large hop and a blatant false start would all get the same penalty on the same clause)..

  2. Ollie Bearman, one of a long line of Ferrari drivers to not have The Drink.

  3. Some of the dialog seem to be cut and incomplete, strange.

Comments are closed.