Alexander Albon, Williams, Shanghai International Circuit, 2024

“Painful” tyre performance was caused by high minimum pressures – Albon

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In the round-up: Alexander Albon described the performance of Pirelli’s tyres last weekend as “painful” after Formula 1’s official tyre supplier increased the minimum front pressures to 27psi for the race.

In brief

Albon unimpressed with high tyre pressures

Albon said “struggling” was “the most diplomatic word to use” when describing how Pirelli’s tyres coped with the Shanghai International Circuit. “They obviously increased the Pirelli minimum tyre pressures again last night,” he told the official F1 channel. “The tyres last literally four corners out of the pit lane. You feel really good through two, three and then they’re gone again.”

The Williams driver said the increase in front tyre pressure, which Pirelli has previously imposed on safety grounds, forced them to increase their front wing angles during the race.

“It’s so high that it’s literally just tearing the tyre up. And ‘safety, safety’ but it’s painful. Anyway, that’s same for everyone.

“We’re putting so much flap in the car, normally you take out flap for a race car, but you’ve just got to keep it in and try and deal with with the oversteer.”

“Pretty clear” Magnussen to blame for collision – Tsunoda

Kevin Magnussen was given two penalty points on his licence for causing a collision with Yuki Tsunoda which ended the RB driver’s race. The pair tangled at turn six following the first restart.

“Car 20 [Magnussen] dived into the corner, braked late and collided with car 22 at the exit of the corner,” the stewards ruled. “We found that car 20 was predominantly to blame for the collision.”

Tsunoda said: “It’s pretty clear that he clips my rear and he just touch into me, so I couldn’t do anything. I didn’t have much space outside. It’s pretty clear.”

Magnussen is now on five penalty points for the current 12-month period.

Alpine fined after car knocks mechanic down

Alpine were fined €10,000 (£8,626) after one of their mechanics was knocked to the ground by Pierre Gasly’s car during a pit stop.

The stewards ruled Gasly was not at fault, and was incorrectly given the signal to leave after the team’s systems failed to detect the right-rear wheel had not been properly fitted. Gasly stopped the car immediately after the team realised its error and switched its gantry light back from green to red.

“We determined that the team was wholly responsible for what transpired,” the stewards ruled. “We accordingly imposed a fine of €10,000 for not ensuring that the car complied with the conditions of eligibility and safety during the race.”

The mechanic’s injuries were light and he was able to continue his work during the race. “Thankfully nobody was hurt and we will investigate the reasons to avoid such incidents in future,” said team principal Bruno Famin.

Fake Ferrari in F4

Wang Yi, Chinese Formula 4, Shanghai International Circuit, 2024
This Ferrari-alike raced in Shanghai last weekend

Zhou Guanyu may have been the crowd favourite at the Chinese Grand Prix but one Formula 4 driver competing on the support bill showed his enthusiasm for Ferrari with this livery on his Mygale. The F1 team did not respond when asked whether they approved of Wang Yi’s design.

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Comment of the day

Many of you questioned whether Logan Sargeant deserved his penalty yesterday.

Surprised at penalty points, as I saw this one as a team error. The team could (via slow-mo replay, which is what I needed with the benefit of being able to wind the footage back and pause it) establish the proper order and ask him to fall behind, but there’s no way Sargeant could have known from where he was sitting.
Neil (@Neilosjames)

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Fixy, Kaylee911, Tracy Brockman, Tracy and Thomas Krol!

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15 comments on ““Painful” tyre performance was caused by high minimum pressures – Albon”

  1. Perhaps Albon could direct his dissatisfaction with tyre pressure to the two other reasons the pressures are so high – primarily the cars (with the truly enormous demands they place on the tyres) but also F1 itself with its target letter, driven by the competitors’ and media’s desire for F1 to be fast, faster and fastest at all times.

    Tyre pressures are proportional to car speed in F1, and that car speed comes primarily from downforce.
    You want lower tyre pressures – take aero performance off the cars. Removing some mass wouldn’t hurt either…

    1. I feel the current generation of F1 cars really have become far too big and heavy.

  2. So, an explainable factor for Sargeant’s last sting struggle, although only with him rather than both, despite their sets being only a lap apart in usage.
    On a related note, the team should’ve indeed informed him about the SC2 line thing, albeit not getting that 10-second time penalty wouldn’t have made any difference in the end, as he’d already dropped to last anyway before the automatic application at the timing line.

    Magnussen’s penalty was indeed a clear slam dunk, as his chance of getting past without contact from so far back was non-existent.

    I wonder who the driver in that fake Ferrari is.

    What a weird rule WEC has.

    Stuart Codling’s tweet is savage.

    1. notagrumpyfan
      22nd April 2024, 9:24

      Stuart Codling’s tweet is savage.

      Stuart Codling’s tweet is childish. FTFY
      Would only be appropriate here as part of Caption Competition.

    2. “I wonder who the driver in that fake Ferrari is.”

      Read it again – it’s in the text!

  3. The Fake F4 Ferrari is, er, interesting. I can’t imagine Ferrari or their sponsors will be too pleased, especially with the great big Geely logo on the rear wing.

    1. Really surprising this car/livery was allowed to take part in the event. Finished 10th in race one and 7th in race two, btw

    2. I wonder if they are sponsored by a Rolex knock-off company?

  4. notagrumpyfan
    22nd April 2024, 8:48


    The team could (via slow-mo replay, which is what I needed with the benefit of being able to wind the footage back and pause it) establish the proper order and ask him to fall behind

    They could’ve just checked the timing screens which showed HUL 0.042S (about 2m) ahead at that point. But of course at the next mini-interval a few seconds later it showed SAR ahead.
    I assume their timing sheets allow for replays, otherwise they could get an F1TV subscription like I used ;)

    But all in all I still think this is (also) for race control to advise and manage; it’s their role to observe if the cars are in the right order and advise teams if they find a discrepancy.
    Only if teams refuse to follow race control’s advice/instructions then should the stewards get involved.

    1. But all in all I still think this is (also) for race control to advise and manage; it’s their role to observe if the cars are in the right order and advise teams if they find a discrepancy.

      It’s not the FIA’s place to prevent participants from making self-serving decisions – it’s up to the teams to read, learn and understand the rules themselves.
      The FIA’s function is to penalise competitors when they breach those rules. Since they can’t even get that part down properly, I wouldn’t recommend giving them any more burden to do the competitors’ jobs for them.

      1. notagrumpyfan
        23rd April 2024, 6:41

        I left the ‘also’ in just for you.
        I didn’t say ‘prevent’.
        I used ‘advise’ and ‘manage’; we do refer to them as race control or race management in the end :P
        A one second call to Williams would’ve (probably) stopped wasted time for the stewards and us internet warriors.

    2. I still think this is (also) for race control to advise and manage

      Absolutely agree. The job of race control should be to ensure the race runs smoothly and fairly, not to find ways to impose penalties. In a well run race, you wouldn’t even know race control existed. Sergeant’s error was akin to an offside in football. It is a technical error, absolutely no intent to cheat, and absurd that they should issue penalty points for it.

      1. notagrumpyfan
        23rd April 2024, 6:43

        Well said!

        S, some interesting reading for you!

        1. I read it.
          The FIA doesn’t sit around baiting competitors into traps – the teams get themselves into trouble and the FIA reacts. That’s exactly how it should be, and any more interaction than that would be interference.
          Intent is completely irrelevant. The rules were either broken or they weren’t. In that case they were broken, and a prescribed penalty applied as per the regulations that all parties have and accept in advance.

          We can debate whether or not it feels right – but ultimately, in F1 context, the rules say what is right and wrong, and they do so without the filter of human emotion getting in the way – for good or otherwise.

          1. S, apparently you didn’t watch the race or read the article, or you’d know that the FIA in this case effectively did bait that trap by forcing a decision based on pure guesswork without performing the role it would be required to perform to allow correction.

            A 0.042 second gap isn’t large enough for people to know whether it’s in or out based on their own perception, and the mini-sector wouldn’t have been up long enough to know whether it was a car actually ahead or one of the increasingly common computer glitches creeping in. Recall that attempting to change the order round is itself a penalty-worthy and penalty-generating issue without FIA permission – even if it is to correct a known fault.

            Unless you propose to stop every car coming out of the pit lane at the Safety Car line until it is possible to visually identify who was ahead without recourse to replays or screenshots, the contents of the article demonstrate that the FIA baited Williams in this case by not performing its duties. At least, if you think the rules say what is right and wrong.

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