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Pirelli Emilia-Romagna GP 16th Apr - 18th Apr 2021 Pre-Race Chat

Discussion in 'F1' started by DF1, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. DF1

    DF1 F1 World Champ
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    Next race appears soon for next week! Who will be the victor at this interesting circuit???

    Weather is pleasant for Friday and Saturday. More clouds on Sunday and a touch cool at 14C.

    Brundle offers this assessment of rake and the next race - https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/brundle-f1s-rake-focus-is-a-distraction/6203027/

    Brundle: F1's rake focus is a "distraction"
    By: Tom Howard
    Apr 11, 2021, 10:31 AM
    Martin Brundle believes the current intrigue in Formula 1 surrounding car rake is "a distraction" from the real issues at play between Mercedes and Red Bull.
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    The pace shown by F1’s top two teams at the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix left Mercedes in no doubt that its form had been hit by new rules introduced this year.

    In particular, it believes that changes to the floor aimed at cutting downforce have hurt lowrake cars like its own and Aston Martin much more than high-rake models like Red Bull.

    Aston Martin even went as far as suggesting the rule changes resulted in its car losing one second per lap of performance compared to high-rake rivals.

    Sky Sports F1 pundit Brundle is not convinced that the rake issue offers the full explanation behind Mercedes apparent pace struggles.

    He is confident that despite its early struggles with the W12, the Brackley squad will “get it together” as he still thinks Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton are the team/driver combination to beat.

    “I think the rake thing is a little bit of a distraction and I think the Mercedes is not really working that well at the moment,” Brundle told Autosport.

    “Red Bull and Honda are working particularly well, as are a few other cars.

    “The regulations mean you can’t just keep throwing new upgrades at it every week like they have perhaps done in the past, but Mercedes will get it together.

    “[Lewis] Hamilton and Mercedes are still the combo to beat for the world championship.”

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    The cars of Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, 1st position, and Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, 3rd position, in Parc Ferme

    Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

    Looking ahead to next weekend’s race at Imola, Brundle is predicting another closely fought contest between Mercedes and Red Bull.

    The ex-F1 driver turned distinguished broadcaster says that Hamilton’s Bahrain victory proved that Mercedes, even on the back foot, cannot be underestimated.

    “It depends what they do to their car in between times,” added Brundle, when asked if he thought Mercedes would have a tougher battle to overcome Red Bull at Imola.

    “It is obviously more limited as to what you can change anyway now.

    “I wouldn’t underestimate Mercedes. I mean everybody is talking about rake and how it has damaged Mercedes and therefore Aston Martin, but unless I’m mistaken, a Mercedes won the race in Bahrain with Red Bull having dominated the last race [in Abu Dhabi] last year.

    “I think it will be really close, they will sort the Mercedes out.

    “Hamilton was absolutely magnificent in Bahrain and for me he won the race as much as anybody else lost it, or any team lost it.

    “I really don’t know who will be best around Imola and that is the wonderful thing about live sport.”
     
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  3. Ferrari 308 GTB

    Ferrari 308 GTB F1 Veteran

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    AT where pretty fast in qualy last year so expecting good things from them with that improved Honda in the back.
     
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  4. william

    william F1 World Champ
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    On present form, Red Bull/Verstappen seem to have a slight advantage on Mercedes/Hamilton.
     
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  5. DF1

    DF1 F1 World Champ
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    Last year Imola F1 - via F1 Twitter

     
  6. johnireland

    johnireland F1 Rookie
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    Let's forget Mercedes and Red Bull. The racing for third through ninth is going to be more interesting. Norris and Tsunoda and Russell are all fighting to show what they can do. Maybe they could put Vettel in a Williams and put Russell in the Aston Martin. And the next few races will show what Perez and Ricardo and Alonzo have left in their tanks. Looks like ESPN isn't covering FP 1 again.
     
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  8. Bas

    Bas Three Time F1 World Champ

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    Imola may gave us a clearer picture on the true order of teams. Bahrain is not completely representative due to significant temperature differences and wind played a big factor too on the weekend. Bahrain is also not the strongest track for both Mercedes and Red Bull, traditionally Mercedes shared victories with Ferrari in the hybrid era. Lets see where things stand this weekend.

    Funny enough, Brundle echoing my words...rake angle is a lot of BS from merc/aston.
     
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  9. DF1

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  10. DF1

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    The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola - https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/f1-drivers-who-must-improve-imola/6217910/
    By: GP Racing
    Apr 12, 2021, 9:02 AM
    After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…
    Perez doesn’t yet look an upgrade on Albon

    Alex Albon could probably allow himself a wry smile. So often last season he was (rightly) castigated for failing to perform at the crucial moments, leaving Red Bull disadvantaged in its battle with Mercedes.

    Red Bull replaced Albon with Sergio Perez because it felt Perez’s experience would make up the deficit, but Perez’s first race with his new team was below par. Impressed by the way Red Bull takes “everything to the limit”, Perez is so far struggling to find the limits of the RB16B himself. Partly, that’s to be expected. Perez himself is on record saying it will take five races to get fully up to speed. But he would have expected to make Q3 and finish fourth as a minimum, and he achieved neither.

    “I don’t quite feel the car is within me yet,” Perez said after Friday practice. “I still have to think about what’s going on. It doesn’t seem to be coming naturally over one lap.”

    The pattern repeated on Saturday, when Perez missed Q3 by less than four hundredths of a second to Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin (palpably a slower car). Perez lapped within four tenths of Max Verstappen – giving away most of his deficit in Turn 1 alone – but it was nowhere near enough.

    Perez impressed Red Bull with the calm and mature way he rebooted his car following a random shutdown on the formation lap. From there, Perez raced cleanly and decisively through the field to finish fifth. A decent damage limitation job, but less than expected from a car with a significant pace advantage over everything bar the Mercedes.

    “There are some specific problems to the way I’m driving,” Perez admitted after the race. “I have to adjust my driving to the car. It’s taking me a while, because it’s very different to what I’m used to.”

    In other words, Perez needs more time to adapt to a car built around Verstappen’s extreme driving style – from a team that has a recent history of impatience. It’s down to Perez to up his game and ensure history does not repeat.

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    Daniel Ricciardo, 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

    Photo by: GP Racing

    Ricciardo is outshone by Norris heroics

    Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren debut was reminiscent of a test cricketer playing himself in. Careful to avoid an embarrassing early duck – or ‘doing a Mazepin’ as it will surely become known in F1 parlance – Ricciardo drove sensibly and came home with a decent, if unspectacular, result.

    Ricciardo adapted quickly to the McLaren’s quirks and pipped Lando Norris by less than half a tenth of a second in qualifying. Dan admitted after testing he has work to do to get comfortable with McLaren’s braking systems, and it looked as if he doesn’t yet fully trust the car in that area given the understeer he appeared to pick up mid-corner.

    “I think all of us could jump in any car on the grid and get up to 90%, 95% relatively quickly,” he said in the build-up to Bahrain. “But it’s then extracting probably the last 5%, that’s where you exploit different characteristics of the car. I think extracting that last bit will naturally come over time.”

    The disappointment for Ricciardo, and to his surprise it seemed, came in the race. He lost out in early wheel-to-wheel combat with team-mate Norris, then struggled to stay with Norris and Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari. Ricciardo averaged 0.27s per lap slower than Norris in the second stint (on mediums) and 0.514s slower in the final stint (on hards).

    “With everything settled I felt like I would probably progress the most through the race, but it was the opposite,” admitted Ricciardo, who later discovered he was carrying floor damage from early contact with Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri. “I got more out of qualifying than the race and just struggled to keep pace. I felt like if I lifted my level and pushed my lap times, I could hold it for one or two laps and then it would quickly drop off, so I struggled to really manage the tyres and keep all that sensible.

    “I probably don’t have a setup yet that I’m really sure of, or love, so I’ve got some homework, but I’m certainly not discouraged – I wouldn’t say it was an exhilarating race or performance, but I feel like we can just get better from here.”

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    Fernando Alonso, 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

    Photo by: GP Racing

    Alonso shows he’s lost none of his fight

    Fernando Alonso has been away from Formula 1 for two full seasons, so a bit of ring rust would be perfectly understandable at this stage. When he began regularly locking brakes and running off track while battling for the lower points paying positions with the likes of Lance Stroll, Sebastian Vettel, Carlos Sainz and Kimi Räikkönen, it looked as though that’s exactly what Alonso was struggling with.

    As it turned out, Alonso was battling reduced performance resulting from a battery problem in his second stint, before an errant piece of sandwich wrapping paper lodged in a brake duct and overheated the car’s system. “This caused some damage, so we retired him for safety reasons,” explained Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski. “It was a very unlucky first race for Fernando considering how strong he looked.”

    Alonso looked feisty on his return to action, qualifying ninth in a car that looked only a marginal contender for Q3. His first stint was combative, but the fact he was the first runner on a normal strategy to pit suggests the A521 also lacks finesse on this latest generation of Pirelli tyres. Nevertheless, Alonso was clearly ahead of young team-mate Esteban Ocon. Truthfully, it looked as though the old master had never been away…

    “I will probably disagree with that – I was not at my 100% I’m sure of that,” said Alonso, who described his return to Formula 1 racing as “very emotional”. “I had a couple of good battles, but I need to find more pace from myself and find more confidence – and I need to extract more from the car, the brakes, and execute the start better.

    “It was not too bad but there is a lot of room to improve from my side. At the pitstops I think the guys did an amazing job, but my position in the second stop was not right. These are small things and mistakes I keep doing from testing and this first race – but hopefully by race two and three I can perform better personally.”

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    Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin

    Photo by: GP Racing

    Vettel looks all at sea in Aston green

    Sebastian Vettel’s first race since leaving Ferrari looked nothing short of a catastrophic disaster in the round. Already on the back foot trying to adapt to the now-green ‘Pink Mercedes’, following gearbox problems in testing, Vettel trailed team-mate Lance Stroll after Friday practice, FP3 and qualifying.

    We’ll never know exactly how close to Stroll’s pace Vettel could have got, because his second run in Q1 was derailed by yellow flags, leaving him 18th fastest and eliminated from Q2, but his first run was two and a half tenths slower anyway. To compound the misery, Vettel was then handed a grid penalty and penalty points on his licence for failing to abandon his timed lap after rookie Nikita Mazepin spun his Haas in the dying moments of Q1.

    Judging Vettel’s race pace is nearly impossible, considering he was the only driver to attempt to make a one-stop strategy work. Ultimately, it was a failed gamble because Mick Schumacher’s Haas was the only car still running at the end that Vettel didn’t finish behind. The 10s penalty (plus extra licence points) Vettel received for ramming Esteban Ocon’s Alpine at Turn 1 was the lowlight of a trying first weekend for the four-time world champion, who errantly tried to blame Ocon for the incident when it was completely Vettel’s fault.

    “I’m not at home in the car,” said Vettel afterwards, admitting that he did not drive or race well in Bahrain. “There’s a lot of things that are fighting me so that I can’t really focus on driving. We need to address them and try and fix them.

    “There’s so many things going on still that break the rhythm and make it quite difficult in terms of feeling the car and feeling what I need to do to drive fast, so there’s still a lot to do. I hope we can fix a lot of it very quickly. I think a lot of the things can be addressed – some of them on our side, some of them are not. We’ll see going forward. The next couple of races will be very good for us to calm things down.”

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    Carlos Sainz, 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

    Photo by: GP Racing

    Sainz makes cautiously optimistic start in Ferrari red

    Of all the drivers who switched teams over the winter, Carlos Sainz’s performance in Bahrain was probably the most quietly impressive.

    He was faster than new Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc in FP2 and FP3, and fractionally faster again after the first runs in Q1. That Sainz only just scraped through to Q2 in 15th was more down to the yellow-flag anomalies than any lack of pace on his part. In Q2, Sainz was fastest of all on the medium tyre, pipping Leclerc by a thousandth of a second.

    So far, so impressive – but Q3 “didn’t go to plan” for Sainz, who trailed home eighth, well over half a second behind Leclerc, who admitted he was overdriving Ferrari’s improved car before qualifying. Sainz didn’t make a great start to the race either, dropping behind Fernando Alonso’s Alpine and Lance Stroll’s Aston on the first lap. Sainz also bounced off Stroll at Turn 10 after a failed attempt to repass, so was fortunate to avoid damage.

    But thereafter Sainz settled into a strong rhythm, recovered some lost ground, pulled an impressive double pass on champions Alonso and Vettel, and finished the race within nine seconds and two places of Leclerc. Sainz’s pace was decent too – about a tenth per lap slower than Leclerc on medium Pirellis, but half a second faster on hards, with a five-lap offset in Sainz’s favour.

    Impressive stuff against one of the most highly rated drivers on the current grid. Sainz now needs to work on stringing his whole weekend together.

    “Overall, the weekend is stronger than the result feels in race circumstances and qualifying circumstances,” Sainz reflected. “I was a bit on the back foot after the first few laps, probably taking a bit of a cautious approach into my first few laps with Ferrari – we just wanted to make sure I finished this race. Once I managed to clear the two slower cars, the Aston and the Alpine, and I managed to get into clean air, I was actually very happy with the car and could extract pace from the car.”

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    Yuki Tsunoda, 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

    Photo by: GP Racing

    How did the rookies do?

    The performances of Formula 1’s three rookies in Bahrain largely followed the anticipated form book. Yuki Tsunoda showcased the adaptability and penchant for rapid learning that has so enthused Helmut Marko by superbly lapping second fastest in Q1, just a tenth behind Max Verstappen.

    But he then discovered a “strange” feeling on Pirelli’s C3 compound medium tyre, failing to progress to Q3 while AlphaTauri team-mate Pierre Gasly was eighth fastest in Q2 (on the same tyre) then fifth overall. Tsunoda was pleased to finish ninth after a last-gasp lunge on Lance Stroll, but also disappointed with ground lost on lap one, and the time it took to recover.

    Nevertheless, Gasly was impressed with Tsunoda: “So far a couple of mistakes here and there but when he managed to put things together, he’s really fast”.

    And then there was the Haas pairing of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin. It was an inauspicious start to life in F1 for Michael’s son, who was “95% happy” with qualifying four tenths adrift of Sebastian Vettel’s Aston. Schumacher spun at the exit of Turn 4 early in the race and finished last of the cars still running at the end, but at least banked a race distance to learn from.

    Team-mate Mazepin returned to Bahrain in a “happy place” after testing, but endured a torrid debut – spinning off the track multiple times in practice and qualifying, then crashing out on lap one with a true rookie error: “My tyres were cold, and I got on the kerb and took too much throttle and spun. Totally my mistake”. Surely the only way is up from here…
     
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  12. jgonzalesm6

    jgonzalesm6 F1 World Champ
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  13. william

    william F1 World Champ
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    Not could but should !

    Russell deserves a better car to demonstrate his talent, and Vettel ...., well, he would be OK as long as he can spin the car ... :)
     
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  14. ingegnere

    ingegnere F1 Rookie
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    :)
     
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  15. ingegnere

    ingegnere F1 Rookie
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  16. william

    william F1 World Champ
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    I don't hate Vettel; he is a lovely guy, a very good after-dinner entertainer with a good sense of humour.
    As a driver he is over the hill and very over-rated now; I cannot see him being a big asset at Aston Martin.
    Plenty of people agree with me and criticise his driving on this forum too.
    He should have retired by now and taken some ambassadorial role like Nico Rosberg.
     
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  17. ingegnere

    ingegnere F1 Rookie
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    I don’t know, sounds like hate to me. :)

    Like I don’t hate HAM. I just think he’s a crybaby, has delusions of grandeur beyond his fame—like Senna, he thinks he’s God, basically—and, paradoxically, a persecution complex, LOL. Good driver though.
     
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  18. Bas

    Bas Three Time F1 World Champ

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    When it's against Lewis it's hate.
    When it's against Vettel, it should be excused because reasons.
     
  19. ingegnere

    ingegnere F1 Rookie
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    Right. And pointing out that HAM has a persecution complex because he’s convinced the new floor regulations were aimed at him—while he goes on to win the first race and even Brundle claims the rake discussion is just a distraction—is considered hating. Imagine that.
     
  20. piolaxo

    piolaxo Formula Junior

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    Yeah, bring the rain...! That should spice things even more.
     
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  21. johnireland

    johnireland F1 Rookie
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    They could penalize Ferrari if the rain amount exceeds FIA allowances.
     
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  22. jpalmito

    jpalmito F1 Rookie

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    Can’t wait to see Max beat him fair and square!
     
  23. Flavio_C

    Flavio_C Formula 3
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    @jgonzalesm6, are you trying to promote "AdriaMarket"? :D
     
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  24. DF1

    DF1 F1 World Champ
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    Via BBC -

    Formula 1 has changed the schedule of this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to ensure cars are not on track at the same time as the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral.

    Saturday's on-track sessions have been moved forward an hour, with qualifying now starting at 14:00 local time (13:00 BST) and final practice at 10:00 BST.

    Friday practice has also been moved as a result, to comply with regulations demanding specific gaps between sessions. The first hour-long session will be at 10:00 BST and the second at 13:30.
     
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  25. ingegnere

    ingegnere F1 Rookie
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    Is it just me or isn’t it ridiculous to affect a global event schedule for a national event and when not the host country.
     
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