Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, 2019

Sainz hopes 2021 F1 rules make podiums possible

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In the round-up: Carlos Sainz Jnr says he hopes Formula 1’s planned rules change for 2021 allows him to fight for podiums.

What they say

What I really care as a driver is that one day hopefully in two years’ time with a regulations change is that we go to a grand prix with the optimism of maybe if I do a perfect weekend I can get into the top three. And that is what Formula One lacks at the moment.

I love Formula One. I love how fast the cars are, how much records are beaten every grand prix and every pole position that Lewis (Hamilton) does. But I don’t like that I know that I’m going to qualify like last year with Renault, two seconds away from pole and I’m not going to have a chance to be on the podium or even fight for it.

So I think that’s the main thing Formula 1 needs to solve more than all the other issues.

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Comment of the day

@Gt-racer has the inside line on what to expect from the coverage of testing:

It will feature the same trackside camera angles and usual world-feed timing graphics.

There won’t be onboard cameras on every car as teams install there own sensors and things in the usual camera locations during testing preventing a live TV camera from been used. They may have 1 car carrying a live onboard each day depending on if a team agrees.

Along with that there will be no telemetry or team radio since FOM usually pull those things via there systems which with the lack of onboard cameras won’t be on the cars.

Timing and tracking data will be less than usual as the timing systems been used will be more basic due to the full systems not been installed around the circuit.

Coverage will run from 8am-5pm with a lunch break between 12-1pm. An additional review program will run from 5-6pm to look at the days running.

There will be no live coverage of the second week but will be a final wrap-up show on the Friday at 5pm.

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  • 47 comments on “Sainz hopes 2021 F1 rules make podiums possible”

    1. Coverage will run from 8am-5pm with a lunch break between 12-1pm. An additional review program will run from 5-6pm to look at the days running.

      Real time or Brexit time?

        1. Sadly Nase, testing begins before we take back control of our clocks.

          1. @gongtong
            Please tell me you’re being more sarcastic than what I was prepared for.
            If so, hats off to you!

            If not, I’ll have you know that the UK has never shared a time zone with the rest of the EU (with just two exceptions). In other words, the UK has been ‘in control of its clocks’ for the entire bleepin’ time.
            In case you were serious, your post would be a sad example for the rabid Brextremism that has poisoned the public debate to the point where one side brainlessly blames absolutely everything on the EU, be it the economic situation, the snowfalls of early 2018, or the bleepin’ time on the clock (and the other side is far too heterogeneous to constitute a political counterweight to be reckoned with; as always, the fools and fanatics are certain of themselves, and the wise full of doubts).

            1. The Brexit debate is a bit like the aftermath of a 50/50 crash between two particularly self-regarding racing drivers.

              Two drivers utterly incapable of seeing the other guy’s point of view, with absolutely no interest in hearing what the other guy has to say, entirely convinced they’re right and willing only to engage with those who agree with them (and everyone else is an idiot).

            2. @neilosjames
              While it’s tempting to agree for the sake of harmony, I’m afraid I can’t. The mere fact that there are two sides, approximately balanced in strength, doesn’t mean they’re equally right (or wrong). That’d be a false balance (or ‘false equivalence’, as it’s more commonly known).

    2. If they are ok with alcohol advertising and not getting it banned – then i dont think they should be cribbing about tobacco trying to circumvent the ban.

      1. @muralibhatsit has been mentioned in the past that the long term plan is banning of alcohol and energy drinks sponsors. One thing at a time, and tobacco is first for obvious reasons; it is terrible for your health and offers little value to life.

        Unfortunately with the current economic state of F1, banning those things now as well would leave very little funding.

        1. It is terrible for one’s health but it’s up to one’s own decision if he smokes, drinks, or eat glass. That is why we have something that’s called a free will, and should not be subjected to someone’s else enforcing what is good for us and what’s not.

          1. Exactly. Also..The bans really are politically motivated . Education is more important rather than policing it like this.

      2. and gambling! just as addictive and harmful when abused.

    3. Ferrari have been sponsored by Marlboro (Phillip Morris) for ages, they never stopped. First they had the barcode, till they had to have it removed. Then they came up with the Mission Winnow thingy, but there was no serious uproar until McLaren signed up with BAT, why? If you can advertise alcohol on race cars, especially with drink driving a huge issue, which young people aren’t excluded from, why can’t tobacco companies sponsor teams? Especially since they’ve taken steps to not make the cigarette products visible.

      1. Because alcohol sponsorship hasn’t been banned. YET.

        I have no doubt that in the coming years it will be curtailed hugely. Followed, by energy drinks. To me (an ex-smoker) it is an absolute no-brainer that tobacco should have been first to fall. In my opinion energy drinks should be second, but either way, advertising for all three will probably be something my grand kids look back and laugh at.

        1. This tobacco histery is as hypocritical as you can possibly be. Ban tobacco, then energy drinks and then maybe alcohol? Man, I guess you like to have a couple of beers on a Friday night? Don’t get me wrong, I do not deny that tobacco kills, you don’t tell me – I’ve lost grandad with lung cancer. But can you imagine people kill because of tobacco or for tobacco? Nope? Me too. Now look at statistics, how many crimes, rapes, murders people doing just because they’re drunk. Google it. But no, we ban tobacco first, energy drinks second. This is sick.

          1. It is not about banning them. It is about banning the advertising.

            1. Exactly, @socksolid.
              I guess some commenter’s brains are already affected by smoke that even an actual ban on smoking would come too late ;)

        2. Magnus Rubensson (@)
          16th February 2019, 10:47

          I’ll stir this pot a bit. :)

          Ban anyone advertising loans and credit – the biggest drug of them all in the West. Banks have been driving entire populations into chronic and severely damaging DEBT for decades – latest run since 2008. Why should banks be allowed to advertise on F1 cars?

          Debt kills. Ban bank adverts on cars.

          Back to national racing colors I say. Red Italian cars, blue French cars, green British cars, silver Mercs…
          Red Bulls can become white Hondas with a big red circle. Toro Rossos become red Hondas with a big white circle.

          1. That’d be epic. A white car with red bulls.

    4. “I think it’s normal, especially early in the season, that if there are particular situations our priority will be Sebastian,”
      Sebastian has little to prove, and he remains our guide. Charles still has to learn, as pointed out by himself, but we know how talented he is.

      After reading Binotto’s comments on how he plans to handle Vettel and Leclerc’s championship chances, it seems kind of obvious that Leclerc will be playing a #2 driver role for the 2019 season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see team orders and preferential strategy that favour Vettel from race 1 to be honest.

      It’s a bit of a letdown for all the F1 fans who were hoping for a young promising talent to take the fight to multiple WDC drivers. Ferrari just replaced a fairly decent #2 driver with a younger, faster and hungrier #2 driver. I believer that if Ferrari want to still adopt a #1 driver and #2 driver approach to winning championships…. then they should look out for a better #1 driver.

      1. @todfod Too early to jump to definite conclusions. If Leclerc can match Vettel straightaway, then there definitely wouldn’t be a place for team orders and or preferential strategy treatments. For me, the article quite obviously implies that’d only be the case in certain situations, rather than the norm for the season, which is normal at any given team.

        1. @jerejj

          It’s just the impression I’ve been getting especially since Leclerc hasn’t made any bold statements yet saying he’s going to fight for the championship. His aim for 2019 is to use it as a learning year, and hopefully rack up 2 wins over the course of the season. They just aren’t the kind of statements you’d expect from a driver who knows he’ll have a championship winning car under him .

          If you couple Leclerc’s statements with Binotto’s recent statements, it seems kind of obvious that he knew his role for 2019 would be that of a #2 driver at the time he put pen to paper.

          1. I think Seb’s mistakes, particularly last year, have some, perhaps many, assuming this discounts him from ever winning another WDC. In reality he is a 4 time Champ and could well be fighting for a fifth this season. If we assume it is still going to be between Merc and Ferrari, I think it goes without saying that their best bet for going up against LH is SV, not CL this season.

            And if F1 is hard, which is how we should want it, CL as the newbie at Ferrari, as with any driver new to a team alongside a proven veteran, is the one starting off on his hind foot while the new relationship builds. CL will likely be a natural number two this year before an order is even needed. But he will have the same equipment as SV. Just as with Bottas, if he comes out dominating his teammate, then different story, but that’s what they’ll have to do against their Championship level teammates, and what are they odds they’ll sustain that.

            Suddenly CL is a beater of Champions (not just SV) over a whole season? And beater of an eager VB in the potentially WCC car? I hope F1 isn’t that easy. Conversely, it would be a historic feat by CL, no question. But if LH is the benchmark, which he obviously is, none of us could possibly know at this point if CL has the mental ability to handle pressure at it’s greatest and sustain a season of beating Seb and LH (and VB). At this particular time, of course they have to say what they have about CL, for he has never been in a WDC level car. He has everything to prove. Let’s start with that reality. Ferrari’s reality.

            VB is much more experienced than CL and even he has been relegated to LH’s number 2 early on, due to Seb’s challenge against LH. And Ferrari is famous for their one-rooster philosophy anyway. As if, when Merc issues their first team order on VB, Ferrari will just sit there and put their eggs is CL’s basket. The only chance CL and VB have is to come out of the blocks dominating their teammates, and particularly LH as the benchmark. Does that sound like something that will happen? The odds say no.

            CL is the biggest unknown amongst the 4 drivers that will have a WCC level car this year. He knows he has it all to prove, so he is not about to claim publicly he will be fighting for the WDC this season, even if he thinks he can. He’s smart to keep his role a humble one in these early days. Even he doesn’t actually know if he can handle sustained pressure in a WDC duel. That level of pressure is what can bring on costly mistakes, and he doesn’t need to put more pressure on himself with wild claims of beating Champions. Is CL immune to mistakes where Seb is not? Once he makes a costly mistake will he just put it behind him and carry on? Ferrari can’t afford for this season to be an experiment.

            1. Hey @robbie welcome back man!

              I agree with you in theory. That teams like Mercedes and Ferrari want to maximise their chance of the WDC championship. Mercedes would use VB as a #2, and I understand it, because they’ve got a tried and tested top notch performer, who can deliver in Lewis Hamilton. I also understand that CL is a bit of an unknown. It’s a big question mark regarding how he’ll perform when he’s in a high pressure environment with a championship contending car.

              Where I feel Ferrari’s situation is different from Mercedes, is that does Ferrari really have a tried and tested top notch driver who can deliver? They had it in Schumacher and Alonso. But do they really have it in Vettel? If anything, I think Vettel has proven that he falters when there’s tight competition at the top. After his championship winning years, he’s been beaten by Ricciardo in 2014, almost matched by Kimi in 2016 and dropped the ball massively in a championship winning car in 2018.

              As you mentioned, it’s a big question mark regarding how quick CL will be right out of the box. But Ferrari could find themselves in a difficult situation if they back the wrong horse. In the second half of 2016 and the second half of 2018, Kimi outscored Vettel. They shouldn’t have Leclerc give up points to Vettel early on in the season, just to protect themselves from Sebastian’s frequent dip in form.

              I feel where both of us are going to have a different opinion is in Vettel’s capability. You’re convinced he’s still the best man for the job, and I’m convinced that he isn’t. Whether CL is the best man for the job …. well only know that once we get to Australia. My whole point was that Ferrari shouldn’t be subjecting him to a #2 driver role unless he’s actually finished his first few races.

            2. @todfod I do get where you are coming from, but they are not talking about relegating him to a number 2 role automatically. They have said that if certain situations arise they will do that. And I’m sure CL will be completely on board. It sounds like he is fully respectful and mindful that he is the newbie there to learn and SV is the proven Champ. But it sounds also like CL will have every opportunity to show us and the team why any mid-race decision they might have to make will not be taken lightly.

              But your issue is with SV. Flawed as SV may be, it is going to take a driver of his level, albeit with a tighter season than he had last year, to usurp LH. And I just do not tend to think his mistakes have been as much the decider in the WDC, particularly last year, as you do. Yes of course he lost many points making mistakes. But the team also lost their way with development and some of that could be the reason for SV’s mistakes, from having to overdrive the car and make up for where they started to lose ground. It is a team effort and Mercedes seemed a little lost earlier on then found their way and didn’t look back. SV and Ferrari had to look back three months in order to get their car back to being more competitive again, but of course to beat Merc and LH one cannot do that, and we saw by the gulf in points in the WCC in the end, that LH once again had the necessary WCC car.

              I say give SV the same WCC level car and we won’t see the same mistakes happening. But of course this is a new season. SV will have spent much time reflecting on what he can do that is in his own control, and then we have to see where the cars stand amongst each other. And I think it doesn’t matter that SV has made some mistakes. So has the team so they collectively know they need to improve when Merc/LH is the target and the benchmark, and ultimately it is not going to be CL that they will bank on, but SV, but that is not automatically to say CL will be prevented from showing his stuff too.

              Hey, CL can make this type of discussion go away by dominating SV and LH. But what are the odds of that? Failing distinct betterment over SV, the team will be supporting SV as their best bet. And CL will understand that. You needn’t worry that they are somehow going to harm CL by making him the number 2 when it might be prudent. If he is that good he might only be having to give up a spot or two here or there. And if he is that close to SV then he will have it in his control to do even better.

      2. @todfod Binotto’s comment is just a pragmatic approach and he did said its only for early races only. Ferrari can only improve if they had constant factor as reference point and Vettel early performances would be the one. With Binotto technical background, it save to say there would not be a rush engine change and ruin the whole momentum like last year.

        Also, last year we saw that Charles need couple races to adapt. I hope when Ferrari found their winning formula, Charles had been ready to deliver. I’m still ready to have new WDC this year in Charles.

        1. Charles already had a season at Sauber, so he knows how to manage the engine and the car should be a lot more drivable than the Sauber was as well. I don’t see why he wouldn’t be able to perform from the 1st race.

    5. I agree with Sainz that it’d be better if more teams/drivers had a realistic shot at fighting for race wins than just three (and six drivers) as has been the clear case for the last two seasons, but F1 has more or less always been like that even in the seasons that weren’t dominated by a single team.

      How can color affect the weight of the car, LOL?

      1. How can color affect the weight of the car, LOL?

        @jerejj – I don’t know if its the same for an F1 car, but road cars have a clear coat on top of the actual paint that gives it its colour. So if they’ve gone for a matte-finished paint, then they can avoid the need for a clear coat, saving a bit of weight.

        However, I’d be surprised if my logic actually extends to race cars, since that seems like an easy win that most/all teams would like to take, and not just RBR/Ferrari.

      2. How can color affect the weight of the car, LOL?

        I recommend you read up about why Mercedes cars in the 50s were grey / silver for the answer to this question.

        1. Sumedh, if you are referring to the old legend about Mercedes supposedly scraping white paint off the cars for the 1934 EifelRennen race because the cars were overweight, the research into that story by the journalist Eberhard Reuss has fairly conclusively debunked that myth.

          There are a lot of problems with that supposed story – for a start, the EifelRennen race was a Formula Libre race, so the cars did not have to meet any sort of weight limit in the first place.

          Former mechanic Eugen Reichle, who joined the team at the start of 1934, has stated that the cars were never painted in the first place, and Mercedes’s photographic archives seem to confirm that, as photos taken during a test session a month before that race show the car was unpainted.

          The press releases that Mercedes released in March, three months before that race took place in June, described the cars as “silvered arrows”, and in a recording of Paul Laven, a popular contemporary radio broadcaster, from a race at Avus in 1932, he is heard clearly using the phrase “the silver arrow” when Mercedes’s car came into view – pre-dating the supposed paint scraping event by two years.

          It seems that the confusion arose because there were a few photographs which supposedly showed the Mercedes as being painted white. It turns out that those photographs were in fact overexposed when being developed, making the bodywork look like it was white – the original negatives, which were in Mercedes’s archives, confirmed that the cars were always silver to begin with.

          All the evidence that is available seems to confirm that the cars were never painted in the first place and no paint scraping ever occurred. It seems that stories about ingenious mechanics scraping paint off the cars to make them lighter started as far back as 1904, and it seems that it was a case of an old story becoming synonymous with a famous car (the W25).

          The legend became so strong that eventually Neubauer, the former head of the team, came to believe the fake story and, many years later, he recounted that tale in his memoirs. As a famously vigorous raconteur, once he came to believe and promote the story, it seemed to give the legend the ring of truth in later years, until finally Reuss came along to question those assumptions.

          It shows how, if a story is told often enough and persuasively enough, even those who were there at the time can come to believe the myths and create their own fake memories of events to match. It was nothing more than a fairytale, but one told persuasively enough that it managed to even trick those who were there at the time.

          1. And what about the story that Ferraris are red due to the blood of all the roadkill.

            And don’t tell me that British Racing Green is not linked to the fact that for to the regular train on the Isles most cars ended up in the paddock.

          2. Hi anon… far be it for me to query your comments – but… your statement:
            “…photographs were in fact overexposed when being developed…”
            Film/photos don’t get any exposure during development (unless the lights are turned on accidentally when the film is fogged and ruined). I suspect you meant: ‘…overexposed during printing…’
            Respect, man.

            1. BlackJackFan, I do stand corrected on that part, as I should have referred to the printing process.

              In general, though, it shows how deep rooted these sorts of myths can become – even when they’ve been fairly thoroughly debunked, people still seem to want to cling on to them.

              @coldfly, it is a curious thing that people do sometimes talk about the idea of racing in national colours, and yet nobody can quite agree what they are.

              The idea of “British Racing Green” is just an example – the shade of green which was supposedly used for the first races is said to be shamrock green, a much lighter shade of green than most would today associate with “British Racing Green”.

              In practise, though, the term “British Racing Green” didn’t refer to any particular shade of green at all at the time – the team was applied pretty indiscriminately at the time, and really just meant whatever shade of green that a British made car happened to be painted in.

              If you look at the shades of green that were used by teams from BRM, Lotus and Cooper through to Aston Martin and Vanwall, you will see that they’re all quite different to each other. In the case of BRP, the shade of green that they used was a quite light shade of green compared to those other teams, but that was also referred to as a form of “British Racing Green” – the whole idea of “British Racing Green” meaning a type of dark green paint is really a more modern concept.

              It’s a similar tale with the idea of “rosso corsa” supposedly being the racing colour of Italy, yet in reality that term tended to be a catch all that referred to a wide range of shades of red.

              Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Lancia and Maserati all deliberately used different shades of red to make their cars more distinct on track from each other over the years, ranging from brighter orange tinted shades to quite dark shades that were more of a rust coloured brownish red. Even Ferrari, which perhaps has used that colour the longest, has varied the particular shade quite widely over the years – the idea of a sort of “national racing colour” was really intended just to be a rather rough and ready loose description, rather than any sort of clear sense of national identity.

            2. anon your comments start making too much sense ;)
              If you’re not careful you might do the sensible thing and register (please do).

      3. It is not just the weight but center of gravity. Most of the paint in the car is pretty high off the ground which means the thicker your paint the higher your center of gravity is. There is tiny effect on inertia as well. As every bit of weight counts in these heavy cars you want as little as possible.

        1. @socksolid: So… are some lower sections coated with lead-based paints for ballast?

          1. You would not use paint for ballast ;-)

            1. @socksolid: You might not…but you haven’t seen how I apply paint. Can cover many structural issues when applied incorrectly. Repeatedly.

            2. @jimmi-cynic
              I have no doubt about that ;-)

    6. Don’t understand Binotto and Ferrari’s stance of backing Vettel over Leclerc.
      2010 showed that even with emotional support of the team, Vettel makes mistakes on track.
      Conversely, 2013 showed that even if the team doesn’t give on-track support, Vettel can do a pretty flawless season.

      Giving Vettel no. 1 status isn’t going to eliminate his on-track mistakes.

      Ferrari should go for an equal driver policy and eventually support one over the other depending upon the championship situation.

      1. Conversely, 2013 showed that even if the team doesn’t give on-track support, Vettel can do a pretty flawless season.

        I don’t know about Vettel not being supported in 2013. It was pretty clear that from 2010 to 2013, Vettel had the emotional support over Webber in the Red Bull garage, especially by a certain Marko fellow.

        I don’t think increased support from Ferrari will really reduce his on track mistakes. He made plenty of mistakes in 2016 and 2018 on his own accord despite being the favoured Ferrari driver.

        Schumacher and Alonso were mighty in that #1 driver role. They absolutely smashed their teammates, and were a no-brainer for the entire Ferrari squad to get behind. Vettel doesn’t seem to excel at the #1 driver role the way his predecessors have, so I agree, it’s a bit of a shame that they’re going to set a pecking order for next season.

        1. Agreed. I don’t see any reason why any team should prioritize until late in the season when it’s clear which of the two drivers still have a shot at the title. I’m really interested in the battle of these two, it would hurt the sport if Ferrari denied us of it by issuing team orders or intervening in the order early in the season.

          1. @andrewt But it’s ok when Merc does it for LH? And when they do, Ferrari should just sit there and have unproven CL take points away from their proven veteran on the team? You don’t see any reason why any team should prioritize until late in the season, but we all have witnessed that the reigning dominators of the sport will do just the opposite, which then forces their competitors to do the same between their teammates. If Merc once again ‘hurts the sport’ Ferrari will have to follow suit and go with their odds on better bet. And that won’t be unproven CL.

            1. @robbie No, it’s not okay either, and yes, stats say that teams with No. 1 status drivers tend to win more likely a championship. We obviously cannot see behind the scenes and don’t know that Hamilton destroying Bottas last year was how much part Hamilton, how much part Team and how much part Bottas, but if I remember correctly, the first direct order came in Germany, where Bottas was not allowed to challenge Hamilton for the lead. Meanwhile during the very first race, where 2nd place Räikkönen led Vettel in 3rd, Ferrari had no problem sacrificing Kimi’s race by compromising it with an improvised pit stop strategy to enhance the chances of their lower running driver. Without the virtual safety car it just would have been a simple artificial place swap between the Ferrari drivers, and behind Hamilton.

              The thing is, you are right, it’s happening, it’s a trend, maybe I should have approached it more like that this trend is disillusioning.

      2. Magnus Rubensson (@)
        16th February 2019, 10:52

        Gut feeling tells me Leclerc could potentially give Vettel the same type of problems Hamilton served up to Alonso back in 2007.

        Always interesting to see a potentially strong newcomer in a top team.

    7. Shut up, Lopez! don’t crash when you have the opportunity to do well, and Penske would not replace you…

    Comments are closed.