Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Paul Ricard, 2019

France was Mercedes strongest race so far – Wolff

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In the round-up: Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says the French Grand Prix was his team’s best performance so far this season.

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What they say

Wolff said Mercedes only had a few minor problems in a race they dominated:

Often when you look at it from a TV perspective it doesn’t really tell all the little dramas that happened behind.

We were trying to manage the car in the right way to avoid all troubles. At a certain stage we had some very shallow blistering on the tyres. It wasn’t a worry but it was interesting to see.

And a little misfire on Valtteri’s engine that caused a little bit of a headache but overall I am really happy with the team’s performance this weekend. I think it was our strongest showing so far this season.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

The stewards have taken a lot of flak over recent penalties, but are the tracks really to blame?

While I can see the problem with Ricciardo’s overtaking on the final lap, this is getting ridiculous.

The biggest issue is that a lot of tracks are changed in a why that allow you to take some advantage by going a little outside. A proper circuit will have a patch of grass or gravel, thus such maneuvers, if working at all, will be simply brilliant.

The new updates with ‘safety’ Tarmac are a complete disgrace for the sport. It’s counter intuitive and ugly driving on them – the instinct tells you where the grip is, but the book thinks differently. If I fasted forward 20 years ago to now I would never believe that what I have watched today was a F1 race. It would have looked to me as the local driving school.
Nacho Nachev

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On this day in F1

  • 35 years ago today Brabham’s Nelson Piquet withstood a late charge from Martin Brundle to win in Detroit. However Tyrrell were later thrown out of the championship, so Elio de Angelis was promoted to second.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 19 comments on “France was Mercedes strongest race so far – Wolff”

    1. LOL at your tweet, Keith, as well as Jamey Price.

      “keep[ing] drivers within the confines of the circuit” using grass? Didn’t we just do that like a fortnight ago?

      1. Does this tweet mean we spend the rest of the season pretending we are not visiting numerous F1 tracks with grass; and ignore Indycar when its all concrete or a series of 90 degree turns?

    2. Hemingway (@)
      24th June 2019, 0:19

      F1 is not a sport. It’s all become too much of a show. It’s getting to the point that I’m about to stop watching after 20+ years. The carpark runoffs, the lack of competition, the questionable application of the rules, and the lack of progress is all too much. W series is more of a sport than F1.

      1. Steveetienne
        24th June 2019, 9:39

        There is no Sport. There is entertainment and commercial interests.

    3. those WTCR replays are the loveliest thing!

    4. Yes, Pipo, HAM is too good indeed, but what truly spoils the fun is Mercedes. They did this at the 50s, they’re doing it again.

      COTD, I agree. However, without solving the ever-poking stewarding conundrum, I don’t see it solved, incidents-wise.

    5. Any news on the attendance figures for race day?
      No matter how many went I doubt if any of them had a thrilling time :/

      1. Down 25,000 over the three days. Which given its the difficult second album and last years traffic issues, was considered to be pretty good.

        In my time Iv’e yet to meet more than a handful of spectators who haven’t been thrilled about what they have just witnessed; and most first time attendees are just blown away.

        1. Most people will try to make their own fun anyway (unless they are terminally dull) and first time I remember being blown away just by the sound ;)

          25,000 isn’t to bad for sure all things considered and is a lot less than some had suspected. Let’s hope – for the sport – that numbers stay healthy though what looks like being a fairly predictable season.
          One or two engine problems with the Mercedes upgrade would be welcome about now for me.

    6. The comments by AlexYoong and Gavin Ward sum things up nicely. F1 needs to take decisive and yes, difficult decisions now. Or it will slowly die as a sport.

      Judging by Toto’s comments even Mercedes are surprised by how easy it’s all become.

    7. I enjoyed the race to be honest

      1. @johnmilk Same here. Yes, it definitely wasn’t a classic, but neither the worst ever. Once again, even if there wasn’t too much excitement on the very top of the field, there was excitement further down the field more or less throughout the race be it close racing for numerous laps or strategic decisions and their impact on track positions.

        1. @jerejj I’m glad that if I’m going crazy, I’m not the only one

          but what you said is precisely how I saw it

    8. Regarding Alex Yoong’s tweet: They can’t make decisions like that now, though. Changes that significant need time, and addressing those two specific topics indeed is the target for 2021 as is widely known.

      1. Exactly. Surprised an ‘F1 insider’ would even say this. It is exactly the ‘now’ decisions that have gotten F1 where it is via BE. Liberty will get F1 out of this mode in the deliberate manner they are doing it, and when existing contracts have run out.

    9. There is a point to be taken from Wolff’s statement: TV has not been able to show us what is affecting the cars and the race.
      I am not sure if we want of can cope with a second screen full of graphics, but just showing the cars exterior is not enough anymore. Maybe some version of the telemetry or even a technical/telemetry analyst would be required in future brodcasting. Mission control rooms have to be incorporated in the program.
      I confess that sometimes the gaps fluctuation on a timesheet gives me a more precise – and exciting I dare to say – version of the race.
      Yes, some people would be bored by speadsheets and graphics, but there is where the performance is really going on. They should be available even as an alternative.

      1. I don’t watch. I listen to the radio with a few screens open on multiple monitors. A screen of the kind of stuff you suggest would be awesome for me. I have plenty of spare monitors to accommodate it.
        I wouldn’t necessarily know what I was looking at but it would be massively entertaining :)

      2. @maiagus – F1 could certainly release or make available more data for those interested. But I don’t think that is what F1 is missing at the moment. It would be interesting to know that Mercedes is chasing down faults and heading off problems before they kill the car. However, when they are winning every race and finishing most of them 1-2, it doesn’t really matter how they do it.

      3. F1tvpro paid subscription app is exactly that. Dual screen, onboards, sector times, tyres, tyre laps, gaps, circuit map with positions. In live and replay, nice to analyze some parts of the race follow the driver you’re rooting for. It has its weaknesses sometimes big and it’s not free but it is usable most of the time so far.

    Comments are closed.