Dive into the latest F1 buzz as the FIA hikes up fines, Andretti’s grid dreams hit some speed bumps, and Honey Badger is back on track.
Hey there, podium chaser! 👋
A huge shoutout to all of you who revved up to join our community this week. There’s a ton happening on the track and behind the scenes, so let’s dive right in.
⚫ Fine Line: The FIA raises the stakes with a raised maximum fine. Will our favorite racers be able to foot the bill, or will they tread carefully? Scroll for the details.
🚀 Andretti Ambitions: Andretti’s hopes of joining the F1 grid seem to be hitting more bumps than expected. Is the dream over before it even began?
🧐 Red Bull Rumblings: Whispers and rumors are afoot about Horner and Marko. We’re taking a pit stop at Red Bull’s garage to uncover what’s revving behind those closed doors.
In today’s email:
- Pit Stop Talks – Stay updated with all the latest news before the US Grand Prix
- In-depth education– Guide to F1’s American Gem: COTA
- Fast Lane News – Get your quick F1 fix here
- The United States GP – Tires, track highlights & F1 Academy debut
Lights out, and away we go!
Pit Stop Talks
Rear Wings for Austin GP Insights
- Load Levels:
🔵 RB: High
⚫️ Merc: High
🔴 Ferrari: Medium-high
🔵 Alpine: Medium
- Higher Load Pros:
- 🟢 Better at corners and braking
- 🟢 Improved tire life
- Higher Load Cons:
- 🚫 Slower on the straight roads
- 🚫 Uses up the battery faster
🔵Red Bull, with its naturally low drag, can rock those loaded wings.
⚫Mercedes might be hoping for their tires to last longer in the race, even if it means dealing with more drag.
🔵Alpine’s medium wing choice might be because of their lesser power.
💸 FIA’s Maximum Fine Quadrupled
The FIA upped the max fine for F1 racers to €1 million. They felt the old fine of €250,000 wasn’t cutting it anymore, especially given how much the sport has grown. For some context, F1 teams are now valued at nearly $1 billion.
This isn’t just about F1, though. Other FIA world championships like World Rally and Formula E will see their max fines go up to €750,000. And for other FIA events, the fine’s now €500,000. Anyone in an FIA event, whether a driver, a team, or even the whole event, can get fined.
Drivers think it’s too much.
I think it’s pretty ridiculous that a driver could be fined €1m. In my first year of Formula 1, I was on a five-figure salary and actually lost over six figures in that first year from paying for my trainer, paying for flights, paying for an assistant. And that’s probably the case for 25% of the grid.
And that if they want a million, they need to be transparent about where it goes.
If they are going to be fining a million, let’s make sure that 100% of that goes to a cause. There’s a lot of money in this whole industry and there’s a lot more that we need to do in terms of creating better accessibility, better diversity, more opportunities for people who wouldn’t normally have a chance to get into a sport like this.
On a related note, the FIA is cracking down on people using flares at races. They’ve been causing a ruckus at F1 events lately, like at the 2022 Dutch GP. But this isn’t just for F1; flares can mess up visibility in rallies, too.
Last year, the European Union’s Council had already voiced concerns about pyrotechnics at sports venues. The FIA agrees and is now officially banning the unauthorized use of pyrotechnics at their competitions. – Read more
🔎 What’s Happening Behind The Scenes at Red Bull?
A year after the loss of Red Bull’s founder, Dietrich Mateschitz, the F1 team still shines bright. But there’s been some behind-the-scenes action. Some folks wonder about shifts in responsibilities and even talk of power games at the top.
What We’re Hearing
☕ Rumors & Dynamics:
- Talks of a rift between Christian Horner and Helmut Marko, but Max Verstappen dispels them.
- Horner highlights a solid bond with Marko, appreciating his candid insights.
📈 Boardroom & Strategy:
- Smooth interactions with the board and CEO Mintzlaff.
- AlphaTauri undergoes management tweaks for better alignment.
- Optimistic about Red Bull’s future, with investments in tech and a steadfast team spirit.
💔Is Andretti’s F1 Dream Over?
Andretti has the FIA’s approval to join the F1. However, the real challenge lies ahead: they must secure a commercial agreement with FOM, which handles F1’s financial matters.
Previously, teams could race in F1 without such a deal, only missing out on the prize money. Now, without an agreement with FOM, teams can’t even step onto the grid. The buzz is that FOM might not be too excited about adding an 11th team right now.
Between the Lines
- FIA’s nod is just step one; FOM holds the cards.
- FOM’s hesitance might be due to logistical challenges and the costs of adding an extra team.
- F1 venues are set for 10 teams; an 11th adds costs.
- Tapping into the shared prize money might be necessary to cover these extra expenses.
- FOM’s slow decision-making could delay Andretti’s debut.
The current rules and regulations governing F1, known as the Concorde Agreement, are set to change after 2025. This presents an opportunity for Andretti as the FIA might advocate for conditions that favor new entrants in the next version of the agreement.
Ben Sulayem, the FIA’s president, emphasizes fairness and is keen on achieving a balanced deal. He believes the FIA should have a more substantial say and suggests that in past negotiations, it might have compromised more than it would have liked.
The outcome of the Concorde Agreement negotiations is uncertain. However, if the FIA can push for more inclusive terms, Andretti might still realize their F1 dreams. – Read more
🟢 Stroll’s Actions Contradict His F1 Love
Lance Stroll says he still likes F1, but his actions tell a different story. Just recently, at the FIA press conference before the US Grand Prix, he looked pretty disinterested, lounging on the sofa.
This comes after his not-so-great moment in Qatar, where he tossed his steering wheel and even shoved his physio. Despite getting a warning and needing to apologize to the FIA, he didn’t seem very remorseful.
Fast-forward to the press conference and Stroll was hardly engaging. When asked about the incident with his physio and if he’s still into F1, he quickly answered, “Yes and yes.” And that was it- no further comments. It’s clear he wasn’t in the mood to chat. – Read more
💪Red Bull’s Dominance Continues in 2024?
Red Bull’s Adrian Newey has a heads-up for their competitors in 2024: Catching up with Red Bull will be super tough!
Newey feels that their game plan for 2024 will make it really challenging for any rival teams to get ahead. Given Red Bull’s recent track record – they’ve clinched 33 out of 39 Grands Prix, with additional accolades like 20 pole positions and 52 podiums – it’s easy to see why they’re feeling confident.
Even though Red Bull’s competitors have shown some promise, with Oscar Piastri finishing just five seconds behind the Red Bull leader in a recent race, they still have a long way to go.
I was at a function the other night with Adrian Newey, we’re cyclists, we cycle a lot together in Cape Town,” he continued, “and Adrian tells me that he feels that the evolution of what they’ve got at the moment is going to be so difficult for anyone to catch up with.
Guide to F1’s American Gem: COTA
In the heart of Austin, Texas, lies a marvel of modern motorsport engineering: the Circuit of The Americas (COTA). Since its introduction to the F1 calendar, COTA has become one of the most anticipated races of the season, offering a unique blend of high-speed thrills and American charm.
History of COTA
Fast Lane News
⭐Alpine added six sports legends to their owner list, and Taylor Swift’s boyfriend is one of them. – Read more
🏨 Hotel prices in Las Vegas have dropped by up to 70% just before the first F1 race next month. – Read more
🎫 Thinking of hitting up an F1 race? With ticket prices rising, check where you can get the most bang for your buck without breaking the bank. – Read more
🟠 McLaren F1 team just welcomed F1 Academy’s Bianca Bustamante to their Driver Development Program. She’s making history as their first female driver. – Read more
🏎️ Kimi Raikkonen moved his family to help his son chase his dream of racing. – Read more
📝Williams F1 team lands multi-year partnership deal with THG. – 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
⚪C2: P Zero White (hard)
🟡 C3: P Zero Yellow (medium)
🔴 C4: P Zero Red (soft)
Last Year: Max Verstappen, the winner, used Mediums for the start and end, and Hards in the middle. There were two safety car pauses.
US Grand Prix History
🎉 75th Grand Prix in the US
🛣️11 different venues have hosted the race
⬆️ Watkins Glen had the most (20x), followed by Indianapolis (19x)
🥇 Austin’s past races:
- Hosted 10x
- Lewis Hamilton won 5 of them, the latest in 2017.
- Lewis’s first F1 win was in 2007 at Indianapolis.
- Turns 3-6: Remind us of Silverstone’s Maggotts-Becketts complex
- Turns 12-15: Inspired by Hockenheimring
- Turns 16-18: Echo the famous turn 8 at Istanbul Park
F1 Academy Spotlight
🎉 First appearance alongside Formula 1 in Austin
🏁 Celebrating their season finale
♀️ Focused on young female drivers
🏆 Championship Standings:
- Marta Garcia (Prema Racing) leads with 235 points.
- Lena Buhler (ART Grand Prix) has 187 points.
- Hamda Al Qubaisi (MP Motorsport) sits at 179 points.