Albon will have new-spec Williams in Austria again after damage repair

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In the round-up: Williams says it has been able to repair the upgraded aero package on Alexander Albon’s car after his crash at the start of the British Grand Prix.

In brief

Albon will be able to run upgrades at Austrian Grand Prix

Albon was the only Williams driver to run the team’s major upgrade package at the British Grand Prix. However it was heavily damaged when he was taken out in the multi-car crash at the first corner of the race.

However Williams’ head of vehicle performance, Dave Robson, said it had been possible to repair much of the damage.

“Having damaged Alex’s car at the race start last weekend, coming straight into a sprint event is logistically difficult,” Robson acknowledged. “However, we have been able to repair or replace much of Alex’s car such that we can continue to understand the updates during FP1 on Friday.”

The team’s efforts to assess the changes will be made more difficult by the loss of one practice session this weekend. “There is very little time to change the car before it passes into parc ferme at a sprint event and so we will need to be bold going into FP1 if we are to continue to push the performance,” said Robson.

Norris warns over sausage kerb crashess

Lando Norris said Formula 1 should take note of the alarming airborne collisions caused by sausage kerbs, after one launched Dennis Hauger’s car into Roy Nissany’s cockpit during Sunday’s Formula 2 race at Silverstone.

“I think we’ve mentioned it several times and every now and then you maybe have a year where you get away with it and nothing happens and everyone’s like, ‘oh, it’s okay,'” said Norris. “But you have freak accidents, like turn one [in the grand prix] and like what you saw in the last corner in F2, that it can happen even when you least expect it.”

Norris said the sport has been “lucky” to avoid worse crashes involving the kerbs, “because I think the halo genuinely did save someone’s life again today. Maybe not many people saw it, but good to see.”

He said that “something needs to be done” about the kerbs. “It’s always hard because you’ve got a guy, whatever kerb is there, if you’ve got a guy coming to T-bone you, no matter what height they’re at, it’s never a good thing.

“But the way that they get smashed up into the air and launched in the air is it probably comes out worse that way than if it was just a pure side impact in some circumstances.”

Lawson yet to learn when he’ll drive Red Bull

Liam Lawson does not yet know whether he will get to for Red Bull after replacing Juri Vips as the team’s test and reserve driver.

Vips drove in the first practice session for Red Bull in Barcelona, one of two sessions the team is obligated to give over to young drivers during 2022. He was subsequently dropped from the team after using a racial slur during a live stream, though he remains part of their junior driver programme.

“For me, it’s a very, very cool opportunity, obviously,” said Lawson. “But that stuff, I’ll wait to find out more, I guess. I don’t know exactly what sessions I could potentially be doing this year, but for now it’s it’s just carry on focussing on F2 and we’ll see what happens later. But it’s a great opportunity.”

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Comment of the day

@Flig disagrees that Ferrari should have reacted more quickly to Charles Leclerc warning them he was losing time behind Carlos Sainz Jnr.

No matter what the decision (orders or not) the team will receive criticism.

We’re not even halfway through the season, Sainz still has a shot at the title and he did outscore Leclerc last year, so while I agree Leclerc looks faster, it’s too early to destroy Sainz’s racing spirit with a clear number two status.

Let’s see what a win does to his confidence, it could be a turning point.
@Flig

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ddonovan1993!

On this day in motorsport

  • 20 years ago today Michael Schumacher won at a slippery Silverstone, ahead of team mate Rubens Barrichello and pole-winner Juan Pablo Montoya

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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  • 14 comments on “Albon will have new-spec Williams in Austria again after damage repair”

    1. I don’t agree with the cotd ! I bet Sainz will be obliterated by an angry Leclerc in Austria. This useless win has served only RBR’s interests.

      1. @tifoso1989 Leclerc is clearly outright faster but Sainz is pretty consistent at scoring points. He did it at Mclaren as well as last season. Sometimes it’s not outright pace that wins championships but consistency, especially with these longer seasons! I do think Leclerc will outscored him this year but Carlos is at Ferrari on merit and with the bugget cap/reliability, Ferrari should always ensure he gains every point he can. He might get lucky yet!

        1. @antznz
          Unless a team have a dominant car with no competition, in normal circumstances when there is competition the drivers that win championships are the outright fastest. The likes of Hamilton, Alonso, Verstappen, Schumacher… that are able to find those special extra tenths from the car and perform under pressure. Consistency while being conservative not 100% flat out is not enough to win the championship.

          The drill is, a driver need to be consistently extracting 100% of his car just like Verstappen this year. Hamilton in his Mercedes years, Schumacher in Ferrari, Alonso in both his stints at Renault and Ferrari… Besides, this year Sainz had a tendency to make more mistakes than Leclerc. He made a lot of mistakes in qualifying sessions. In Silverstone, a couple of laps of Verstappen pressuring him were enough for him to make a silly mistake and lose the lead.

      2. Sainz jr is barely f1 material. Charles should be ashamed for 2021.

    2. Williams plight further illustrates the sprint weekend abomination makes it almost impossible to test/validate any development parts or car set ups. In reality they’re just going to have to “hope” that the upgrade works and have pretty much no time to fine tune it.

      I’d advocated a month or so ago that FP1 at the very least should be returned to 90 minutes but here we are with a weekend coming up where teams get 60 minutes to set up cars that have shown to be extremely sensitive to set up change for the entire weekend.

      How that makes any sense at all just so Ross can get his way is beyond me.

      1. @dbradock Because the aim is to turn it into a more random lottery as that is apparently more exciting for the netflix casuals.

        Why give them running fans can actually see when you can push them towards more simulation work behind closed doors which fans can’t watch.

        Why let drivers learn tracks, Teams time to test upgrades and figure out setupswhen you can throw them straght into things unprepared in the hope it creates chaos which the netflix crowd will then deem the greatest racing ever despite how artificially contrived it is.

        I don’t think any other category or maybe even any other sport takes testing and practice away from the competitors. I mean Indycar regularly tests and it gives fans more opportunities to go and watch but you can’t have that in F1 because you can’t have it looking too much like a sport anymore.

        Random lottery shows is the goal.

        1. There’s nothing artificial or contrived about putting experienced racing drivers and their teams into a competition that they, themselves, support and willingly enter. They even get to create the rules these days.

          1 hour of practice is more than F2 and F3 drivers get at each and every one of their events.
          1 hour of practice is more than most sports give the competitors at each specific event location, prior to a competitive session.
          One of the challenges in motorsport is in adapting to the circuit. The most skilled and talented participants will do it better and faster than the others.
          If you think that’s a lottery, then I think you are misinterpreting the sporting element altogether.

          As far as moving development into the virtual world – it’s too late. That horse has already bolted and was digitised long ago. They can’t do any more of it, because they are already using 100% of the resources allowed within the regs.
          If you want to see more on-track testing, then you really need to start supporting massive cost reductions at every level of F1.

          1. The problem is that to effectively use digital simulations you have to have assurance that the digital model corresponds to reality. With the new rules this year is seems that 60% wind tunnel models with a 180 kph speed limit are not delivering useful information for such unexpected things as porpoising, which happens at high speeds. Until there can be validation of the digital model to on track reality the simulation is pretty useless except for slow speed stuff. Maybe teams should be allowed actual track time away from races.

          2. 1 hour of practice is more than F2 and F3 drivers get at each and every one of their events.

            In spec cars with no development cycles worth mentioning.

            1 hour of practice is more than most sports give the competitors at each specific event location, prior to a competitive session.

            Most of what a football player (either US or EU), rugby player, lacrosse player, sprinter, endurance runner, pole vaulter, figure skater, etc., needs in terms of training doesn’t vary from venue to venue. You don’t have to “learn” the field, the track, the rink, etc..

            F1 is unique in that each team has a bespoke car that behaves uniquely, and that behavior varies considerably from track to track. Their ability to simulate off-track has been severely compromised, the significantly changed aero rules force the cars into very narrow windows of operation, and the suspension rules essentially eliminate all of the tools the teams had to work with last year to maintain that aero profile.

            In short, the FIA and Liberty, in order to “spice up the show” and “save money”, have made it nearly impossible for the teams to do in-season development work.

            On the plus side, Red Bull and Ferrari just lost money from their budgets, and Mercedes gained money, with similar changes taking place in the wind tunnel and CFD departments.

            Now, if you can solve these issues for even one of the teams, I’m sure they’d be willing to pay you substantial amounts of money.

            1. I appreciate your views, grat.
              The fact that F1 visits a different circuit for each event is irrelevant. Each team has the exact same potential track time, so the challenge is equal for every competitor.
              All that mattes is how they use that track time and what they do with the information they get from it.
              Giving them more time doesn’t make anything objectively better or worse – only easier (and in terms of real-world track testing, more expensive).

              Development and refinement doesn’t need to be all done ‘today’ – there is no end point. It’s a process, and the only thing additional track time does is potentially speed up that process.
              If you don’t want to watch it unfold organically over a season (and multiple seasons) then you might as well watch a spec series where it’s all done before the car is unveiled to the public and enters its first competition.
              Personally, I enjoy watching the slower development aspect, where each team’s ability to understand an issue and problem solve it is tested as much as the driver’s skill is in driving to, and around, it.
              Further to that, the argument remains that the inverse is actually happening as well in parallel – where the track time they do get is in competition, development in competition tends to be accelerated due to the additional pressure.

              It’s not the FIA’s fault that some teams were spending their way to an uncompetitive and unsustainable racing series.
              They had to do something about it, and one of the ways agreed to increase the integrity of the competition through reduced spending was to limit track testing.
              I don’t necessarily think it was the best way to do it, but they didn’t want to compromise too much in other areas so that’s what they chose.

              I mean, they could instead mandate using a production engine block to save costs. They could mandate to use a production hybrid system to save costs. They could mandate a common (spec) chassis to save costs… They didn’t want to go down any of those paths, so they chose limited track testing instead.

    3. Totally disagree with COTD.
      Sainz was much slower than Leclerc in the race, made a rookie error while under pressure from Max. He was holding up Charles by at least 1 second a lap.
      His win was not on merit at all. He was handed a win and only finished P1 because of the scrap behind, or Lewis or Perez would likely have caught him as well.
      Sainz did his best to lose the race, but the odds just so happen to be in his favor and Ferrari was absolutely hopeless.

      Let’s see if the win does in fact wake him up. But the truth is, he is slower than Leclerc and makes rookie errors more often than Charles(who also makes mistakes here and there)

    4. As a kiwi, Liam is the best chance of another F1 driver that we have so I’m glad he got the call up! He can be blindingly fast and he has pulled off some of the best moves I’ve seen in motorsports, but he hasn’t been consistent. He was great in DTM last year but this year Carlin doesn’t seem on top of their car compared to others, like HiTech! There’s definitely talent there, hopefully he can finish the season strong and show he IS F1 material.

    5. Quiche must be among the weirdest things on which they’ve signed an autograph.

      COTD brings a valid point. However, Sainz’s championship chance is pretty theoretical anymore, even though he managed to cut his deficit to the lead from 73 to 54 points, which is still more than the two-race maximum score & more than Leclerc’s pre-British GP.
      Furthermore, since he’s been regularly slower & finished lower on average, his chance to still properly join the battle is relatively unrealistic.
      Ironically, he’s less behind Leclerc in the standings (11 points) than Leclerc is behind Max at 43, so one fourth-place finish simultaneously with zero for Leclerc, depending on Sprint, & he’d end up ahead.

      1. Perhaps, more accurately, Quiche box & without the quiche inside anymore.

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