Tokyo’s SUZUKA At the Japanese Grand Prix, a rescue vehicle drove onto the track as Pierre Gasly was still travelling at nearly 200 mph around the extremely wet Suzuka racetrack. Formula One drivers and team managers demanded an explanation from the FIA. An investigation will now be carried out to learn how such a dangerous situation could have been permitted to arise. Gasly then admitted to the media that he was just two meters away from a catastrophic collision.
It was contrasted with Jules Bianchi’s tragic accident at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, where he hit a crane in a gravel trap and suffered significant brain damage. The following year, his ailments led to his demise.
The F1 drivers are pushing hard for similar action from the FIA after Sunday’s race since the organization has a lengthy history of implementing safety enhancements as a result of lessons learnt through mishaps and near misses.
After a hectic first lap in Sunday’s Japanese GP, the incident happened on the second lap. All 20 drivers began the race on intermediate tires, which are often used when the weather is shifting from wet to dry. However, as the race progressed, the weather dropped drastically.
Third-place finisher Carlos Sainz aquaplaned on the straight following the hairpin at Turn 11 and crashed hard into the barrier close to Turn 12. Due to the collision, a portion of the advertising hoarding was torn from the barrier and dropped onto the track, where Gasly struck it after being concealed by other vehicles’ spray. Race management called for a safety car as a result of more spins and Alex Albon’s Williams stopped at the side of the circuit after making contact with a Haas vehicle.
But once the other cars drew up to the safety car, Gasly immediately evacuated to the pits due to damage to his front wing. Gasly was travelling quicker than the safety car to catch up when he returned to the track on his own, but he was still staying within the delta time indicated on his steering wheel. The delta time is made high enough to assure that drivers may do so at a safe pace while still allowing them to catch up with the train of vehicles trailing the safety car. However, it still meant that Gasly often topped 200 km/h in the extremely filthy circumstances (120 mph).
A flatbed truck and a crane were sent onto the track to clear Sainz’s car at some time during the second lap, after the safety car had picked up the group of vehicles without Gasly. Although several drivers were still shocked to see the crane and truck on the track, the safety car drove 17 of the cars past the recovery vehicles.
Gasly was travelling at 200 km/h when he came across the recovery trucks, and video from his onboard camera shows exactly how close he came and how poor the visibility was. Sainz’s car still had an active onboard camera, which captured the amazement of marshals as they were getting ready to hoist the Ferrari onto the rescue van.
We have a delta lap time that we have to adhere to, and Gasly said, “I was nine seconds behind than the delta lap time, so I am catching the line and then I noticed it at the last minute and when I saw it, I am doing 200kph.” “I attempted to slow down, but not suddenly, as slamming on the brakes would have caused me to lose control of the car and crash into the crane.
I was two meters from dying today when I passed two metres on the right, which, in my opinion, is unacceptable for a racing driver.
While Gasly only had one light panel to alert him ahead of the accident scene and it went to red just as he neared it, his onboard camera reveals the race was red flagged just minutes before he came across the recovery trucks. The race was stopped when the red flags were displayed, and all vehicles went back to the pits.
How did it happen?
The FIA did not provide an explanation for why the recovery vehicles were on the racetrack when questioned by ESPN, other than to state that a thorough investigation will be conducted.
No marshal or vehicle may enter the circuit boundary without authorization from race control, according to Article 2.6.1 of the FIA’s International Sporting Code, implying that the recovery vehicles should not have been present without the knowledge and consent of FIA race director Eduardo Freitas.
Under safety car conditions, it is normal for marshals and recovery vehicles to access the track, though often in dry weather and after all cars have joined the line behind the safety car. Each marshal station has a line of communication back to the clerk of the course and race control to guarantee everything is done safely. The purpose of having a safety car is to provide marshals a pause in the traffic so they can focus on rescuing a vehicle.
It is unclear, however, why the recovery vehicles were permitted on the circuit given the poor weather before Gasly had a chance to overtake the pack or the race had simply been stopped by a red flag. As Gasly put it following the race: “A minute later, we were all on the pit lane. I don’t think it’s ethical to risk my life for one minute.”
Another worrying aspect was that there was no opportunity for teams to warn the drivers via team radio because they had not been informed of the rescue vehicle’s location on the course. It was impossible for the drivers to be forewarned of what was taking on at Turn 12 because neither race control nor TV camera images had picked up their presence.
Mick Schumacher receives a new F1 opportunity, his uncle Ralf calls the Mercedes move “win-win.”
After parting ways with Ferrari and losing his place with Haas, Mick Schumacher will fill in for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell the following season. In Germany, expert and Mick Schumacher’s uncle Ralf Schumacher, who competed in 180 races, has some thoughts on the decision.
According to Ralf Schumacher, Mick Schumacher’s move to Mercedes is a “win-win for all sides,” as he feels his nephew can improve his Formula One image while serving as a backup to Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in 2023.
Schumacher, who had lost his Haas seat as well as his links with Ferrari after two years on the grid, was hired as a reserve driver by Mercedes this week, reuniting two of motorsport’s biggest names.
Mick’s father, seven-time world champion Michael, retired from racing for Mercedes (2010-12).
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The 24-year-uncle old’s Ralf, a famous and successful F1 Schumacher himself, has complimented the arrangement, which sees Mick replace Nyck de Vries.
“I think it’s a win-win situation for all sides,” Ralf Schumacher, who drove in 180 F1 races, said on Sky Sports in Germany.
“One, for the team they have a fantastic driver, if they need a replace short term, if one of the drivers for some reason can not drive.
“And, of course, he is now in a team where he can learn a lot, first and mainly through a new framework, a large structure.”
Ralf had previously been scathing of how Haas handled his nephew’s exit, claiming their conduct was “not normal” and that team chief Guenther Steiner was a “self-promoting person” who didn’t “get along with the fact someone else is the spotlight”.
“I think it’s a great chance for me,” he said of Mick joining Mercedes. “Because he now has an experienced team, with two seasoned team members, and most importantly, for a change, a team that is delighted that he is there.”
What will Schumacher’s role be in 2023 and what next?
Mick Schumacher will be involved in Mercedes’ pre- and in-season development of the W14 car next year, and he may get an opportunity to test and drive it if he is available at race weekends.
Ralf believes he may be useful not only for Mercedes, but also for the Mercedes-powered Aston Martin and Williams.
“I believe Mick has the strength to come in there and step on the gas.
“However, please don’t just think of Mercedes; there’s nothing wrong with that, but there might be a problem for Mercedes-operated teams at some point, and then they could turn to someone who is fresh from the season and understands all the tracks and all the handling with the cars.”
In terms of Schumacher’s future, Ralf suggested Audi, which will compete in Formula One as a works team beginning in 2025.
“He has the potential to grow even more,” he remarked. “He deserves and is entitled to a chance, if not to drive a car, then to serve as a replacement for test drivers and as a third driver.
“I think that’s fantastic, but I can see Audi being interested because there aren’t many German drivers on the market.
“But, from that perspective, it’s still a long way off. I believe it is now in good hands, and the rest will tell. The good news is that I believe he will have a fantastic opportunity again once he reaches the age of 24.”
Wolff: Mick a victim of ‘brutal’ F1
Before the transaction was announced, Mercedes manager Toto Wolff praised Mick’s character and said he had been a victim of a “brutal” sport.
“I genuinely like Mick and I admire the family – how they’ve nurtured their kids with this tremendously famous name – and I think he deserves a shot,” Wolff remarked on F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast. “He won the junior series, which is not easy.
“Things might go against you in your first years in Formula 1. He was under pressure to deliver, which didn’t help, and Formula One is ruthless.
Mercedes and Aston Martin tech innovation banned in 2023
F1’s technical restrictions made the Mercedes front wing endplate and Aston Martin rear wing unlawful.
Both concepts raised eyebrows when they were introduced because, while complying with the rules and deemed legal by the FIA, they appeared to go against a broad concept that car designs to increase performance did not make it harder for cars to follow each other.
In its debut at the Miami Grand Prix, Mercedes debuted a ground-breaking design for the endplate of its front wing, where the wing’s flapped section met the endplate.
This action was taken in an effort to reclaim some of the outwash that had been lost as a result of the new regulations.
In the outer section, the flaps had been swept forward very aggressively, and as a result, the rear lower edge of the endplate had become totally disconnected from the flaps.
While this was going on, Aston Martin made headlines at the Hungarian Grand Prix by introducing a rear-wing design that appeared to go against one of the primary goals that the 2022 rules were trying to accomplish.
At the same time, Aston Martin made headlines when it debuted a rear-wing design at the Hungarian Grand Prix that appeared to go against one of the primary goals that the 2022 regulations were trying to accomplish.
With a curving transition between the components, the new laws had the ambition of putting an end to the conventional interaction between the endplate and the wing that had been used in the past.
This was intended to lessen the force exerted by the tip vortex, with the end purpose of minimizing the disruption caused to the airflow and contributing to the overarching objective of making it simpler for vehicles to stay in close proximity to one another.
The Fédération International Automobile (FIA) was satisfied enough with both ideas to allow them to be utilized in this year’s competition; nevertheless, formal adjustments have been made to the technical regulations for 2023 to ensure that the ambiguities that allowed them have been clarified.
According to Nikolas Tombazis, who is the single-seater technical director for the FIA: “Evidently, they were both in compliance with the law this year. In order to prevent those solutions, the restrictions on both the front and the back have been modified in a variety of various ways.”
This has been accomplished by the modification of the rules, which are now more stringent regarding the sweeping back of front wing flaps and are also more explicit about the definitions of the tips of the rear wings.
Despite the Aston Martin idea now being banned, its performance director Tom McCullough said he was still proud of the fact that his team had created something so bold amid the restrictive 2022 rules.
“I think what was nice this year is the fact that we came up with something novel and new,” he said when asked by Autosport for his thoughts on it getting outlawed.
“It was a very difficult interpretation of the rules that added performance to our car. It was a part that people couldn’t just copy quickly because of how complicated it was to get around several different regulations.
“So in a way, we’ve sort of had that advantage this year because, by the time we brought it to Budapest, it’s quite late for people to react to understand it and, from the cost cap [perspective], they had already made their high downforce wings. So for me, I was really happy.
“A lot of people were involved in that project for a long time, many months in the toing and froing between the FIA. But I understand: our job is always to make the most of the regulations and, if they change, we have to adapt to that really.”
Tombazis has stated unequivocally that, while the rules prohibit teams from introducing designs that are detrimental to racing, the FIA will always go through the proper regulatory processes to eliminate such possibilities.
This includes discussions with teams as well as working through the F1 Commission and the FIA’s World Motorsport Council to make adjustments for future seasons.
Article 3.2.1 of F1’s Technical Regulations states: “An important objective of the Regulations in Article 3 is to enable cars to race closely, by ensuring that the aerodynamic performance loss of a car following another car is kept to a minimum. In order to verify whether this objective has been achieved, Competitors may be required on request to supply the FIA with any relevant information.”
When asked if the revisions for 2023 were motivated by concerns about the designs negatively impacting racing, Tombazis responded, “Some of these items where we amended the rules are in that category.”
“But that article [3.2] wasn’t intended that: ‘Okay, if you’re smart and you have a solution, we’re going to take it off the car immediately.’ It just gave an explanation about sometimes why we have to intervene with the regulations. “But we’ve still done it via governance. We don’t have the right to just say: ‘we don’t like this, let’s ban it.'”
Formula1 2022 was one of my worst season- Lewis Hamilton
After the drama in Abu Dhabi, Lewis Hamilton discusses the advantages and problems of 2022 and how fan support “got me through” the year. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff defends Hamilton’s season and the “irrelevant” loss to his new teammate. John Russell
Lewis Hamilton considers the 2022 Formula One season to be one of the worst of his career, but he has thanked the public for their “more affection than ever before” support following his heartbreak in Abu Dhabi, which he claims helped him get “through the year.”
While his sixth-place finish in the championship was his lowest ever, Hamilton endured the first season of his record-breaking F1 career in 2022 without a win or pole position while driving a surprisingly underperforming Mercedes.
Hamilton said he was happy to see the back of his W13 car at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where a lack of speed and a race DNF summed up the seven-time world champion’s campaign.
He continued, “This year wasn’t the best. “It ranks among the top three worst seasons, probably. However, there have been many positives in terms of the team’s ability to remain cohesive.
“Winning would have been nice, but one victory isn’t really enough, is it?
“When we obtained our first fifth this year, it seemed to me like a victory. Our first fourth seemed like a victory when we achieved it. I’ll just hold onto those second places because when we finished on the podium for the first time, it felt like a victory.”
After the post-season test in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton wrote on Instagram: “I am confident that we will return improved. We’ll return. I’ll return”
Amazing support helped me get through the year, Hamilton
In a pre-race interview, Hamilton acknowledged that one of the most challenging aspects of 2022 was his desire to recover from the title agony of the previous year but being unable to do so due to Mercedes’ struggles.
Hamilton acknowledged that “it was definitely not easy” and that he “would have loved to have been up there fighting” as Max Verstappen and Red Bull dominated F1 2022 with drivers’ and teams’ titles.
Verstappen controversially defeated Hamilton on the last lap of the final race in 2021, but Hamilton claimed he had gotten support unlike anything he had ever experienced to get him through the difficult season.
I obviously did not anticipate the incredible fan response that would follow, he continued. “I believe that what helped me get through the year was the overall love I had encountered.
We have felt more love and affection than ever before because of the challenge of returning, wanting to fight back, and not being able to fight back.
Wolff defends Russell’s “irrelevant” loss against Hamilton.
Toto Wolff, the head of Mercedes, praised Hamilton’s season and called the fact that he lost to new teammate and rookie George Russell “irrelevant.”
Russell, who is 13 years Hamilton’s junior and is driving for Mercedes for the first time, ended 35 points in front of Hamilton in the season-ending standings and won the team’s lone race of the year in Brazil.
Regarding Russell’s advantage, Wolff remarked, “That is irrelevant. “They weren’t competing for a world title.
“With the exception of Brazil, they haven’t competed for wins. No member of the squad should be concerned if they place second, third, fourth, or fifth, in my opinion.
Since losing the championship to Nico Rosberg in 2016, Hamilton hadn’t finished last to a teammate until 2022.
Wolff said, adding this about Hamilton’s 2022: “The previous year was significantly worse. It was taken away from us last year. We were defeated on merit this year. We simply weren’t up to par.
“Lewis has been exceptional because one would anticipate a former world champion who has had his championship stripped to simply walk in and destroy everyone. We didn’t, however, offer him a car to accomplish that.