Stefano Domenicali, Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton won’t have ‘number two’ team mate at Ferrari like Schumacher – Domenicali

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari will be unlike Michael Schumacher’s successful spell at the team in one crucial respect, says Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali.

In brief

Leclerc “won’t accept domestic duties” when Hamilton arrives

Domenicali, who worked at Ferrari while Schumacher won five world championships with the team in the early noughties, praised Hamilton’s decision to join the team next year but pointed out he won’t have the same supremacy within the team his predecessor enjoyed.

“Schumi had absolute dominance,” Domenicali told Quotidiano. “Irvine was clearly a number two.

“Lewis will have to compete with someone like Leclerc, who will never accept domestic duties.”

The F1 CEO declined to comment on the ongoing controversy surrounding Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. “It’s a topic I’m completely unfamiliar with,” he said. “I don’t make comments.

“I simply hope that the image of Formula 1 is respected by everyone in our world.”

Aston Martin bringing upgrade for Suzuka

Aston Martin deputy technical director Eric Blandin says the team will introduce aerodynamic upgrades at this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.

“We are introducing an update at Suzuka as part of our continuous development, including changes to the floor, some bodywork and a new beam wing,” he said.

However Blandin suspects their gains may be cancelled out by those of their rivals. “Other teams will bring upgrades,” he said. “We’re in a competitive development race, but hopefully our upgrades will be a step forward and help us to close the gap to the front.”

Changes coming for Drive to Survive season seven

Guenther Steiner, Drive to Survive season six
Changes are coming for season seven of Drive to Survive
Drive to Survive producer James Gay-Rees says they are “looking at evolving it this year” for its seventh season. “We brought in some new, senior executives who’ve never worked on it before to just breathe new life into it,” he told The Fast and the Curious.

“It’s not there’s anything wrong with the show, but it’s healthy on any of these shows to think of what can we do differently? You rarely throw the baby out with the bathwater.

“You might make some relatively subtle adjustments to it. We’re trying to tell the stories in a slightly different way this year, which will be dependent on maybe deeper access in certain situations.”

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Initial viewing figures fell for the sixth season of Drive to Survive when it debuted earlier this year. However Gay-Rees said interest in the series remains strong and they don’t plan to drastically change it.

“You always kind of have these radically exciting ideas and then you basically have to work with what you’ve got. We still love making it, I have to say, we still really enjoy it and we’re really excited to rethink it a little bit this year and try to make it fresh for the audience at the end of the day.

“They’ve been so loyal and they still turn up in their droves, so it warrants us to put as much effort into it as we can to make it the best possible show.”

Fame “takes a bit of getting used to” – Piastri

Piastri was in high demand at his home race
Oscar Piastri says adjusting to fame has been the hardest part of becoming a Formula 1 driver since arriving in the series last year.

“A lot of things have changed,” he told 10 News. “Just people knowing who I am is probably the biggest thing.

“I think the way I’m going about my racing and trying to improve is still the same. I feel like I’ve improved in certain areas, which is always a nice thing, but definitely just the fandom, I guess, is something that takes a bit of getting used to and it’s not really something you can train for or prepare for. It’s kind of just thrust upon you.

“So that’s been the biggest thing to try and get used over 12 months, but it’s been a fun process, definitely.”

Pourchaire to IndyCar?

Formula 2 champion Theo Pourchaire posted a picture of himself arriving in Indianapolis yesterday. Speculation has linked him with a substitute role at McLaren, who may require a replacement for David Malukas again at Long Beach, but will not be able to call on Callum Ilott again as he is due to participate in the World Endurance Championship round at Imola.

Australia “not how we want to go racing” – Albon

Alexander Albon thanked his Williams crew for repairing the car he crashed in Australia, though the team will again be without a spare chassis this weekend.

“Australia was clearly not how we want to go racing as a team, and it did unfortunately highlight the journey that we’re on,” he said. “Despite this, the team trackside and back at Grove has really pulled together in an impressive way to repair the car and deliver it to the track on time, which we are all hugely thankful for.”

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Comment of the day

With Istanbul Park joining the queue for a grand prix, will Formula 1 really stick to a maximum of 24 races if it gets a good enough offer?

We’ve heard talk of “limits” a million times, and we always get more races. The teams have signed a contract that agrees to 25 races max, so 25 is what we will get! I expect this!

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to D_Omin!

On this day in motorsport

Michael Schumacher won Formula 1’s first race in the Middle East two decades ago today
  • 20 years ago today Michael Schumacher cruised to victory in the first Bahrain Grand Prix, leading a Ferrari one-two with team mate Rubens Barrichello

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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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11 comments on “Hamilton won’t have ‘number two’ team mate at Ferrari like Schumacher – Domenicali”

  1. Of course Domenicali manages to single out the only driver Schumacher clearly drove in service of. This guy never ceases to amaze…

    Anyway, Pourchaire to IndyCar sounds interesting. If he gets a genuine shot it’ll be a good way to gauge how he compares to some known names, rather than fellow youngsters. The level of the F2 field always ebbs and flows a bit, and it seems like 2023 wasn’t held in the highest regard in that sense.

    1. Barricello?

  2. I know DtS isn’t exactly popular here but I loved the behind the scenes footage of media briefings. It’s a side of the sport we don’t ever get to see and highlights exactly how controlled the teams are with their talking points. A few of the scenes highlighted just how uncomfortable the teams were with having the cameras present.

    It would be great if they were able to get even more behind the scenes access. That being said I’m not sure that’s what the general population watch for, rather than the contrived drama nonsense.

    1. Yellow Baron
      4th April 2024, 0:59

      I’ve only ever watched one episode, the one about Lewis from this season and I was actually pretty surprised to see that part. The level of dictation in what to say and not. Weird and shows how fake F1 is. It’s all contrived and just a show like politics.

    2. The problem with behind the scenes stuff is that while initially you may get a realistic impression of things after a while they start to act differently and playing to the cameras that they have become used to been there.

      One of the reasons they stopped releasing footage of the drivers briefings for example was because it started to become apparent that it was altering the way they were been conducted because some drivers started to think more about how they & there opinions were coming across on camera.

      What you see with most of these things isn’t actually the way things happen when the cameras aren’t there & the more the cameras are there & the more aware of them been there everyone gets the further away from reality what you see gets.

  3. That photo from 2004 is glorious, still one of my favorite years for aesthetics

    1. Totally agree, those cars were beautiful! Who would have realised what they’d end up looking like 10 years later!

  4. Of course, he won’t, although impossible to predict at this point who’ll come out on top.

    DTS Season 7: While you’re at it, why not also leave out all non-racing vehicles from the mix?

    Certainly, no team wants to be in such a situation, but as Williams still doesn’t have a spare monocoque on site, both drivers need to be careful, even if that means sacrificing outright performance relative to closest rivals as a compromise, especially with corner exits, given grass & gravel proximity at places.
    The good thing for them is that Suzuka has more runoff space than Albert Park, meaning the risk of ending up in the same situation is lower.

    COTD shows precisely that third-party individuals’ words don’t have relevance.
    24 will be the stable annual amount for the long-term as long as Domenicali doesn’t say differently, & his words are all that matter in the end, not to mention since certain European locations will start rotating from that year, Istanbul Park wouldn’t necessarily even need to directly replace anything to fit in, if it could ever return on an annual basis in the first place.

  5. Well, let’s firstly see whether Lewis will be able to beat Leclerc. It will all naturally find it’s place. Lewis will primarily be there for the company value and marketing.

  6. ‘The FIM is convinced that these World Championships will benefit from the strength and broadcast quality of Liberty Media Corporation…’

    Broadcast quality? Did they last watch F1 during the Bakerville Days or ever? I mean, how many years onboard telemetry is out of sync now? And that’s just one of the enormous quality issues which exist since years. Don’t get my started on virtual advertisements even…

  7. Leclerc is already written-off. Even if he beats Hamilton. This is Rosberg-Schumacher-Hamilton situation. Hamilton is there for bringing money and attention. After that ferrarists will look for someone else.

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