Trackside View / Word on the Beat

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

Current page

173

Current page

174

Current page

175

Current page

176

Current page

177

Current page

178

Current page

179

Current page

180

Current page

181

Current page

182

Current page

183

Current page

184

Current page

185

Current page

186

Current page

187

Current page

188

Current page

189

Current page

190

Current page

191

Current page

192

Current page

193

Current page

194

Current page

195

Current page

196

Current page

197

Current page

198

Current page

199

Current page

200

Current page

201

Current page

202

Current page

203

Current page

204

Current page

205

Current page

206

Current page

207

Current page

208

Current page

209

Current page

210

Current page

211

Current page

212

Current page

213

Current page

214

Current page

215

Current page

216

Current page

217

Current page

218

Current page

219

Current page

220

TRACKSIDE VIEW ‘S’ CURVES, SUZUKA

Red Bull’s RB14 and the art of balance

The Red Bull RB14 doesn’t seem to know that Suzuka’s Turn Four is a corner. Pretty much everyone is flat into it these days, but for the other cars there are consequences whereas this one goes through there apparently mass-less, like a cursor on a computer screen. Some other cars cannot quite get back over to the left-handed approach for Turn Five and are obliged to turn in from the middle of the track, others lift the throttle earlier in order to place themselves on a better line. But Verstappen and Ricciardo don’t need to show that courtesy – can just steer over to the ideal geometric approach without compromise.

The next most impressive car through here on this Friday morning, as the Ferraris are struggling with some understeer, is the Sauber. Charles Leclerc is hugely confident and hustling the Alfa-liveried machine as if it’s a kart. The Mercedes may be getting through here faster, but looks harder work, more demanding of Hamilton and Bottas. Into the right-handed Turn Five, it rotates quite suddenly, as if it’s about to snap into overseer – but it never does. As soon as the roll comes off the car, it snaps back into line, as if the sudden swinging around of the rear had been an illusion. It underlines the fact that there are some incredibly trick suspension geometries in F1, but visually it looks less supple here than at other places. This particular trick of vehicle dynamics is seen to best effect on slower corners than this. Here it has the effect of making even the big, long W09 look a little nervy, though doubtless Hamilton and Bottas have become used to trusting it.


WORD ON THE BEAT

Rumour and gossip from the F1 paddock

F2 champion elect at the time of writing, GEORGE RUSSELL has been confirmed as a WILLIAMS driver for 2019. It’s not yet clear who his team-mate will be. The arrest of ARTEM MARKELOV’S father seems to have stymied plans for the Russian F2 frontrunner to be there. Existing Russian Williams driver SERGEY SIROTKIN is still in contention, pending an agreed financial package, as is current third driver ROBERT KUBICA. CLAIRE WILLIAMS would ideally like to run ESTEBAN OCON as Lance Stroll’s replacement, but financial requirements might overrule that wish. Meanwhile, the RICH ENERGY drinks company – which had earlier bid to buy FORCE INDIA – is tipped as a Williams sponsor.

HONDA’S latest engine – as used by TORO ROSSO in Suzuka and Austin – is reckoned to be about 60BHP more powerful than the current RENAULT engine in the RED BULL…

At SUZUKA, after yet another FERRARI operational misjudgement led to SEBASTIAN VETTEL and KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN taking to a dry track on inters at the beginning of Q3, team boss MAURIZIO ARRIVABENE made a startling attack on his team, saying: “What happened today is totally unacceptable. I am very angry. It’s not the first time these mistakes have occurred… It is true that we are a young team, and we are probably missing an ‘old hand’, an experienced person capable of reading situations correctly and quickly.” This was said within the context of increasing internal tensions between Arrivabene and young technical director MATTIA BINOTTO, as outlined in last month’s issue.

VETTEL’S comments on ideas being discussed about changing the qualifying format for 2019. “Just wondering what we will discuss in 10 years’ time, whether we will be talking about Q9 and Q10… I think we need too much entertainment to be happy. “I think it would be nice to settle for something less. My preferred qualifying was back in the days when they had one hour and you could do what you want.”

RENAULT’S CYRIL ABITEBOUL revealed in Suzuka that the team tried to buy out CARLOS SAINZ’S RED BULL contract at around the time of the FRENCH GRAND PRIX in order to make a long-term deal with him, but that Red Bull’s blocking of that move ironically led Renault to take DANIEL RICCIARDO away for 2019. Continuing niggle between Abiteboul and Red Bull was also evident when the question of the number of Grands Prix in future was posed. With Abiteboul having gone on record favouring a reduction to 16 rather than the planned expansion, CHRISTIAN HORNER responded with: “Maybe Cyril’s just thinking about fewer engine penalties.” A day later Renault’s 2019 driver DANIEL RICCIARDO failed to get his Red Bull out of the pitlane in Q2 after his Renault engine broke…

SEBASTIAN VETTEL’S robust defence of LEWIS HAMILTON at Turn Three in SOCHI continued to niggle at Hamilton into the driver’s briefing at the following event in Suzuka – Hamilton was adamant that Vettel had moved twice in the braking zone, Vettel insisting he’d done nothing wrong. When Hamilton asked the other drivers if they thought Vettel’s was one move or two, the only one supporting Hamilton was… MAX VERSTAPPEN. Amid much hilarity Hamilton pointed out that, “The rule is only there because of you, Max!”

Related articles

Related products