Dive into potential FIA rule changes for 2026 cars, rumored disagreements between Red Bull’s “Bosses” and find out how F1 gained popularity in the US
Hey there, speedster! 👋
Warm greetings to all the turbo-charged enthusiasts joining our F1 community this week. Put on your helmets because we’ll dive into a whirlwind of F1 news.
🚦 New Car Conundrums: The word on the track is that some teams might not get a head start with their 2026 car developments, as FIA’s got some new rules in the pipeline that could change the game.
🚀 Red Bull Rumbles: Rumors are fueling up that Christian Horner and Helmut Marko might be at a crossroads. Are we sensing a pit stop or just a minor detour in their partnership?
🛣️ Andretti Aspirations: Andretti is eager to claim that 11th-team spot on the grid. But with the looming shadow of Covid, could their journey face a red flag?
In today’s email:
- Pit Stop Talks – Get all in-depth news ahead of the United States GP
- In-depth education- Rise of F1 in the US
- Fast Lane News – Your fast dose of F1 updates – intense, impactful, and the exact charge you need to stay in the loop
- The United States GP – Check out some fast facts
Lights out, and away we go!
Pit Stop Talks
🟠 McLaren in The Racing Spotlight
Everyone’s buzzing about Red Bull’s recent wins, but don’t sleep on McLaren.
In the last three races, McLaren’s tally:
🟠 McLaren: 104 points
🔵 Red Bull: 74 points
🔴 Ferrari: 70 points
⚫ Mercedes: 63 points
🟢 Aston Martin: 13 points
They’ve been dominating since the Singapore race, especially on high-speed tracks. And they believe they could have been better.
Lando Norris was pretty bummed about missing out on potential wins in Qatar.
- During the Qatar GP Friday qualifying, both his Q3 lap times got scrapped. So, instead of starting in 2nd behind Max Verstappen, he began from 10th
- During Saturday’s sprint, a mistake pushed him behind, and his teammate Oscar Piastri got ahead
- Piastri snagged the win in the sprint, but Norris clawed his way from 10th to 3rd in Sunday’s GP
Norris reflected on McLaren’s pace and felt that they could’ve even challenged Mercedes. – Read more
Despite emerging as the closest challenger to Red Bull, Team Principal Stella thinks that McLaren is not yet ready to challenge.
The fact that [Lando] has been second four times actually doesn’t change very much. Every event is a new event, so you have to do the whole job, you don’t accrue any credit, but the results show that we have improved and are now close [fighting for consistent podiums].But if you see the performance step that is required, for instance in Japan to be P1, it is huge, more than half-a-second in qualifying.
⛳️ Netflix Dives Into Live Sports with F1-Golf Mashup
Netflix is hitting the live sports arena for the first time with “The Netflix Cup,” a golf tournament featuring athletes from its Formula 1 and PGA Tour series.
Between the Lines
- Netflix’s Sports Play: This move comes amidst reports that Netflix is interested in bidding for F1 broadcast rights. With competitors like HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video heavily featuring sports, Netflix may soon change its current approach of focusing on docuseries.
- Technical Hurdles: Although Netflix experienced technical issues in previous live events like Love Is Blind: The Live Reunion, it successfully aired a live Chris Rock comedy special.
- Tournament Structure: Four groups will compete in an eight-hole match. The top two teams will duke it out on the final hole for the inaugural Netflix Cup title.
Netflix’s entry into live sports broadcasting is seen as a strategic move, as they are uniquely combining their popular docuseries content with live action.
The event’s timing and venue, closely tied to the Formula 1 event in Las Vegas, also appear calculated to draw maximum attention. This may indicate a larger strategy to integrate more live sports into their content portfolio, possibly giving competitors a run for their money.
🚶 Hamilton’s Track Walk Ignites FIA Debate
After retiring from the Qatar GP due to a collision, Lewis Hamilton walked across the active race track to return to the pits. The FIA fined him €50,000 for this, but later, they decided to revisit the incident, saying they were concerned about the example he was setting for young drivers.
Many experts and fans are calling out the FIA for being inconsistent. They’ve pointed out other instances where drivers, like Max Verstappen, did the same thing and weren’t penalized. Some feel Hamilton is being singled out because he’s such a prominent figure in the sport.
Richard Bradley, a Le Mans winner, said he understands Hamilton’s actions, given the adrenaline rush drivers experience post-crash. But he’s not happy with how the FIA is handling the situation.
I feel like if they’d worded it there’s a continuing trend of this happening and we need to address it, I think that’d be actually fair enough. The one thing we always complain about with the officials and the FIA is inconsistencies, and this isn’t doing anything to help that. If the FIA came out and said, ‘OK, this is a precedent, we want to try and stop’, I’m all for it. But I think the way they’ve singled out that incident without referring to others just goes against the consistency.
Sky F1 broadcaster and former F1 driver Karun Chandhok also chimed in, wondering why some previous incidents of drivers crossing the track weren’t looked into. He thinks it’s odd to talk about setting a precedent when Hamilton isn’t the first to do it.
Many feel that singling out Hamilton is inconsistent and goes against the FIA’s usual approach. – Read more
🔀 Red Bull’s Replacement Chatter
Word on the street is that Christian Horner wants to part ways with Helmut Marko. Apparently, things got tense after Marko made some bad comments about Red Bull’s driver, Sergio Perez. And many fans were mad and wanted Marko gone.
Marko used to be super tight with Red Bull’s founder, Dietrich Mateschitz, but since Mateschitz passed away, things have been a bit shaky. Some articles even say Horner is trying to take over the show.
Helmut Marko quickly shut down the idea that Christian Horner, Red Bull’s Team Principal, wants him out of the team.
When and how I stop, when it is over, I decide, and not for example, Mr Horner. Due to the new [structures after the death of Mateschitz in October 2022], everything is different, and people are trying to redefine their powers. This is all just speculation, like also about [Sergio] Perez, there is no ultimatium [to finish second in the Drivers’ or lose or lose his seat for 2024. We’re winning too much – incredible things are happening and Max Verstappen’s performances should be appreciated more – it is extraordinary.
Marko isn’t officially part of Red Bull Racing. He’s an advisor for the bigger Red Bull company and was the right hand of its founder, Dietrich Mateschitz before he passed away.
Oliver Mintzlaff took over after Mateschitz, and Marko feels Horner might be eyeing more control in the team, especially since he’s already the CEO and Team Principal. – Read more
🚨2026 Car Development Banned Until 2025?
The 2026 season is approaching, and teams are already planning for it. There’s a buzz that a new rule might be introduced to prevent teams from getting a head start on their 2026 preparations.
Why It Matters:
▶️ Level Playing Field: Ensures no team gets an early start advantage.
📅 Strategic Planning: Promotes balancing immediate needs with future planning.
💵 Budgetary Implications: Encourages wise fund allocation given F1 budget caps.
⚙️Technical Stagnation: Prevents 2024 and 2025 cars from becoming too similar.
🏟️ Fans: Ensures variety and evolution in car designs for fans.
🎯 Organizational Focus: Keeps teams grounded in the present season.
⚖️ Fairness: Provides an even ground for both established and newer teams.
What We’re Hearing:
- Mercedes engineer mentioned that 2026 will be like starting from scratch for all teams, offering a fresh beginning.
- The upcoming changes provide hope for teams trying to match or surpass Red Bull Racing’s performance in the coming years.
- Focus on 2024 & 2025 cars will be very similar, making current developments crucial.
- Alfa Romeo (soon to be Sauber, then Audi F1 team) seems to have a head start with their plans for 2026.
- There are discussions among F1 teams about preventing too-early preparations for 2026.
- The proposal is to hold off aerodynamic testing for the 2026 car until 2025, but it’s still awaiting official confirmation. – Read more
🦠 Haas Boss Doubts 11th F1 Entry
Guenther Steiner, the head of the Haas F1 team, feels that Formula 1 should be cautious about adding an 11th team. He points to the challenges F1 faced during the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason.
Right now, there’s talk about the American Andretti team joining F1. But many, including Steiner, question if it’s beneficial to have an extra team. More teams mean sharing prize money, which could hurt existing teams financially.
Steiner recalls how quickly F1 went from being in a good spot to nearly losing half its teams during the pandemic. This should be a warning, he believes.
Because who knows what in three or four years will [happen]. And I go back, it’s also only in 2020 when we were struggling to stay alive as Formula 1 because if four teams fall out, there are only six left. And why would you make it weaker now? If something comes up again, we need to be as strong as we can be, the 10 teams which are here, which got through the hard times.
He believes that Andretti’s entry should only be approved if it truly benefits everyone in F1. And while Andretti might bring new sponsors, Steiner says that’s still a big “maybe.” – Read more
⚫ Mercedes Brings Upgrade to US
Mercedes is set to introduce vital upgrades for the W14 at the upcoming race in Austin, Texas. These upgrades are not just for the current race but are also seen as a blueprint for the 2024 season.
Why the Change?
Mercedes started 2023 on a shaky note, leading to a significant shift in their development strategy mid-season.
This shift means the team is focusing on a stronger 2024 start, even if it comes at the expense of the current season.
What’s New in Austin?
The highlight is a new floor, which Technical Director James Allison says will hint at the team’s future direction. And they are also hoping for a podium finish.
Allison believes that gearing up for 2024 is also about prepping for 2025, especially with major regulation changes expected in 2026.
The goal is to have a solid foundation for the next few seasons, given that many components from 2024 will be carried into 2025. – Read more
Rise of F1 in the US
Shift in US Perception
Fast Lane News
🐭 Disney+ is releasing a documentary by Keanu Reeves about the Brawn GP team’s 2009 Formula 1 championship win. – Read more
↕️ George Russell’s highs and lows in F1. – Read more
🏆 Graham Hill’s F1 trophy collection up for auction – Read more
🏎️ Mick Schumacher is testing with Alpine, which might influence his racing career beyond F1.- Read more
🙌 The 10 greatest Kimi Raikkonen quotes of all time. – Read more
🥇 Ayrton Senna was selected as F1’s ‘number one’ driver ahead of Max Verstappen. – Read more
⚫ Haas reveals special livery for United States GP – Read more
THE 2023 UNITED STATES GP
🇺🇸 Scheduled 20-22 October
Circuit of the Americas – Austin, TX
1️⃣ Circuit length: 5.513km
2️⃣ Number of laps: 56
3️⃣ Lap record: 1:36.169 Charles Leclerc (2019)
4️⃣ Corners & DRS: 20 corners with 2 DRS zones
Lewis Hamilton’s US Grand Prix Dominance:
🥇 Most successful driver with six wins
📈 Surpassed Michael Schumacher’s five wins from 2000-2006
🏆 First to clinch the Drivers’ Championship in the US twice (2015 and 2019)
🐎 Ferrari leads with 9 US Grand Prix wins
🌟 Mercedes was the only multi-winner at Circuit of The Americas until 2021
🥤 Red Bull secured their second win in Texas in 2021, their first being in 2013
Notable Records and Moments:
🌴 No American driver has won the F1 US Grand Prix 🇺🇸; however, Mario Andretti won the 1977 US Grand Prix West
🍾 Sebastian Vettel debuted at the US Grand Prix in 2007 and clinched a win in 2013
⛰️ Circuit of The Americas is a hilly track with a 30.9-meter elevation difference
🙌 Kimi Raikkonen ended a 114-race win drought by winning the 2018 US Grand Prix – the longest in F1
Lewis Hamilton could tie Ayrton Senna’s record of five poles at the US Grand Prix in 2023