In the round-up: McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl says Lando Norris’ form this season shows why McLaren secured him to a long-term deal early in the year.
Norris performance ‘confirming that he’s something special’
“Lando is just blooming all season already,” the McLaren team principal explained. “It’s why we signed him for so many years. He is confirming that he’s definitely something special, that he has everything he needs in order to become a great one in this sport.
“That’s obviously great to see for me, as being in charge of the team and also how he pulled through these last two weekends with his illness as well was impressive.
Seidl was particularly impressed with how Norris was immediately on the pace in Monaco. “Not putting a foot [wrong] throughout the race was again an outstanding performance,” said Seidl. “I’m just happy to have him in place within the team for many, many more years.”
Norris has comfortably had the beating of Daniel Ricciardo in their second season as team mates so far. Seidl said McLaren has a responsibility to give both drivers a car to reflect their talents.
“It’s simply down to us to make sure that, for both Lando and Daniel, we keep working hard in order to give them an even better car, because in the end they want to fight higher up and not just for a P6.
“We have the same ambition. At the same time as we always say we need to be realistic on the deficits we’re still having in some areas of the team, but we are working on it and looking forward to many more good races with both of the guys.”
Gay driver ‘would help push F1 in a better direction’ – Vettel
Sebastian Vettel has become the first Formula 1 driver to be cover star for an LGBTQ+ magazine, in the pride month edition of UK publication Attitude. In the interview, which is published in the current July/August issue, Vettel discusses allyship and advocating for LGBTQ+ rights as part of the F1 world.
“Perhaps it wouldn’t have been the case in the past, but now I think a gay Formula 1 driver would be welcomed – and rightly so,” he told the magazine. “I feel that a gay driver would help to speed up the elimination of prejudice and help push our sport in a better direction. So I think and hope our sport would be ready for one.”
Vettel said he understood why drivers might have felt compelled to stay closeted in the past, however. “I guess it might be similar to the situation in a sport like football: the old image of a player or driver as a ‘hero’ who should match a certain set of criteria. But the judging criteria are just wrong. How are those stereotypes in any way related to performance? Who got to decide?
“It takes enormous courage to show your real self, rather than hiding behind a façade based on what people expect.”
Baku’s track dimensions and weather present power unit challenge
Nicola Bariselli, Ferrari’s power unit track operations director, explained how Baku puts unique demands on the hybrid system’s performance.
“The nature of the circuit means the power unit has to be versatile,” Bariselli explained. “The driver wants it to be nicely drivable in the tight and slow sections without, however, wasting energy, as it’s essential to be able to deploy it down the long straights.
“Outright power is also essential, especially when it comes to acceleration out of the many low speed corners, when going for a quick lap in qualifying as well as during the race”.
Balancing that power management with Baku’s coastal weather conditions, Bariselli said, was a particularly delicate balance. “The changes in intensity and direction of the wind in particular can produce different operating conditions in terms of speed through the corners, which therefore impact torque and gear ratio settings and time spent on the straight.
“A tailwind or headwind down the last straight can have an effect of several tenths of a second”.
Baku a stand-out even in street-circuit heavy calendar – Alonso
Having already been to the street circuits of Jeddah, Miami and Monaco this year, Fernando Alonso says that Baku still stands out as unique.
“We have a lot of street circuits now in Formula 1,” the Alpine driver said. “I do enjoy them as there is really no margin for error.
“Baku is a track where overtaking is very possible. In my last three races there I’ve managed to gain a number of places during the race, so it’s very different to Monaco in that respect. It’s a fun track and one where overtaking is possible.”
“It’ll be interesting to see how the 2022 cars find this circuit,” Alonso added. “I can’t really compare it to a track we’ve already raced on this year. Also, Saturdays don’t necessarily decide your race there too, and a Safety Car can completely shake up the order. I think it’ll be a fun one and for sure I’m excited for the challenge ahead.”
Vips hoping to repeat double Formula 2 Baku win
Jüri Vips, who gained four places in the Formula 2 championship standings during the last round in Monaco, hopes to repeat his 2021 win double in Baku.
“After last year I can’t say that I’m not excited to race in Baku again,” Vips said. “Last year, it was a very, very good track for me and Hitech because we were very fast there. It’s a nice place in general, and it’s a very unique race weekend in itself.
“I’ve always enjoyed street tracks and even though it’s not one of the most difficult ones, it’s very unforgiving,” he said, of the often-chaotic F2 races in Azerbaijan. “Baku has always got good racing so I’m looking forward to it. It has a bit of everything and hopefully, we can repeat what we did last year.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:
Happy #PrideMonth ❤️🌈
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) June 8, 2022
— RaceFans (@racefansdotnet) June 8, 2022
As part of the Penske Entertainment Sustainability Initiative, all 26 of the race car transporters and the @FirestoneRacing truck that transports race tires are fueled by renewable diesel.
— NTT INDYCAR SERIES (@IndyCar) June 8, 2022
— Claire Cottingham (@Cla_Cottingham) June 8, 2022
- Find more official F1 accounts to follow in the F1 Twitter Directory
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
Happy birthday to Stevo and Ricardo Marques!
On this day in motorsport
- 10 years ago today Justin Wilson scored his final IndyCar victory in the Texas 550 for Coyne. He died in a crash at Fontana three years later