Good day, motorheads 🏎.
This weekend was full of announcements with most of the F1 teams praising new car updates for the Jeddah circuit. Lots of changes happening at Ferrari and one new team has started recruiting and getting ready for an F1 grid spot in 2026.
Make sure to read below and share this week’s newsletter with your F1 fan friends.
🏁 Latest news & updates
- Ferrari’s team seems to keep falling apart. Laurent Mekies(Former FIA race director, now racing director at Ferrari) has already received three offers, which include offers from Alpine and his old employer, the FIA. The Frenchman has offers from Alpine, Liberty Media and the FIA itself, but his contract with Ferrari would be quite complicated to break without incurring a hefty fine. – Link
Changes currently being discussed at Ferrari:
👉🏼 Laurent Mekies looks set to leave the team
👉🏼 Cardile (chassis department) and Gualtieri (engine development department) future uncertain👉🏼 Simone Resta returning is possible.
- A candidate Formula 1 team, believed to be Andretti, has begun to hire key technical personnel as they continue with their bid to join the grid. Andretti’s bid process is ongoing, with a formal notification of application due in April ahead of a final decision being made by the FIA in June. – Link
Their first hire is rumoured to be ex-Renault technical chief Nick Chester as technical director. – Link
- Charles Leclerc is not planning to change his approach to voicing his thoughts on Ferrari’s strategy calls.The team have often come under scrutiny for various strategy mishaps, with the issue becoming particularly prevalent during the 2022 F1 season.However, when asked on the Beyond The Grid podcast if he feels a need to take more control over such decisions, Leclerc stated his belief that his current approach is the correct one. – Link
- The real changes in McLaren’s MCL60 are expected in Baku, featuring upgrades that weren’t ready for the race in Bahrain. – Link
- New Ferrari team boss Frederic Vasseur says he would not use the controversial veto vote “in the short term.” The controversial check over the rules allow Ferrari to block any regulation change that it feels is not in their, or F1’s best interests. – Link
- Red Bull thinks the edge it has in Formula 1 will “melt away” over the season as the impact of its 2023 wind tunnel penalty bites. – Link
- Formula 1 will test a change to its qualifying format in round six of the season at Imola.
Teams will only race on a single type of tire as listed below:
⚪️ Q1 – Only hard tires
🟡 Q2 – Only medium tires
🔴 Q3 – Only soft tiresIf any part of qualifying is declared wet, then “any specification of tyre may be used.” – Link
- Bottas’s mullet was talk of the day (again) after his latest interview saying the Alfa ‘company policies’ are giving him more personal freedom – Link
🏁 What’s coming in Saudi Arabia
The Jeddah Corniche Circuit
The world’s fastest street circuit, second longest on the calendar, at 6.174km. With 16 left turns and 11 to the right, the Jeddah Street Circuit has more action-packed corners than any other circuit in the world.
- 27 turns
- 252km/h top speed
- 3 DRS zones
Changes to the track layout
The original track layout in Jeddah wasn’t only challenging in terms of the corner sequences and speeds, but sight lines were also tricky, with drivers unable to see the exit of the next corner in some instances.
In response to driver feedback, the race organisers have moved the walls at Turn 8, Turn 10, Turn 14 and Turn 20 to improve visibility, while rumble lines – like you get on a motorway to warn you if you stray out of lane – have been added .
There have been a number of tweaks to the kerbs around the track to allow for better stability with the new generation of car, while a particularly challenging section that has seen multiple incidents in the past two years – the chicane at Turn 22 and Turn 23 – has been tightened, with speeds expected to be some 30-50km/h lower than in the past.
Check out the full schedule for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix below:
Updates before the GP
- The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix could result in a different mix at the top of the grid compared to the previous race in Bahrain. Red Bull and Aston Martin performed well in Bahrain due to their ability to preserve the rubber, while Ferrari struggled with extreme tire degradation. However, Ferrari is optimistic about its chances in the upcoming race due to performances in straight line speeds. – Link
I believe we can be more competitive in the race because the tarmac allows you to push more, there’s less degradation.
We only have one sample, that is Bahrain, with these cars. So we’ve been here for seven days now running with these cars and it’s clear what our problem is in Bahrain.
Let’s see what is a problem in Jeddah with different tarmac, but you are also a bit more front [tyre] limited.
Maybe it helps us, maybe we are the same, we don’t know but I want to be positive.
- Toto Wolff believes that those same track conditions Carlos is mentioning are going to help Mercedes as well on the track in Saudi Arabia. Let’s see now if this move alone, with some minor tweaks to the cars will be enough to catch up to RB. – Link
- Mercedes are expected to bring new parts for Jeddah, these are upgrades that have been planned for a while.There are also bigger packages expected to come at Imola that have been in the wind tunnel since the winter break. – Link