FIA tweaks rules again, Max soars in FP1 & FP2, and where will Liam Lawson land next? 🏁
Hey there, F1 enthusiast 👋
First of all, welcome to the 618 of you who joined us in the last week. I’m really glad we get to go on this F1 journey together.
We’ve got a lot to cover today. It’s race weekend and FP1 & FP2 have shown interesting results.
🐝 Vettel’s Return: The Suzuka circuit is witnessing the return of Sebastian Vettel, and boy, is he buzzing! Why the excitement around Vettel here? Dive in to find out!
🔥 Red Bull Takes Charge: Guess who’s back in town? Red Bull, with Max leading the charge! He dominated Friday’s practice, setting the pace for what promises to be a thrilling weekend. Is this a sign of what’s to come?
As always, in the world of F1, expect the unexpected!
In today’s email:
- Pit Stop Talks – Catch all the buzz from the Japanese GP! It’ll feel like you’re right there on the track.
- In-depth education- Why Do F1 Drivers Get Weighed?
- Fast Lane News – Stay updated with the freshest news. Believe us, it’s a rollercoaster you won’t want to miss.
- The Japanese GP – Track info and the latest from Pirelli.
Lights out, and away we go!
Pit Stop Talks
🏎️ FP1 & FP2 results
🔵 Max Verstappen was on top in both sessions with best lap: 1:30.688, beating Leclerc by three-tenths.
🔴 Leclerc improved in FP2 from being nine-tenths behind in the first session.
🚨 The only major incident: Pierre Gasly crashed his Alpine, ending the session early.
🚀 Top speeds: Alpine, Haas, Ferrari
⚫️ Cars with the Mercedes Power Unit are really close to each other.
🔵 Red Bull is back in the game with a considerable gap in Top Speed compared to their colleagues at Alpha Tauri
And we’re not just talking apparel—how about adding a collector’s helmet to that shelf? Now’s your chance to zoom past high prices, thanks to our special partnership.
📝 FIA resets rule for Japanese qualifying
The FIA race director Niels Wittich has reinstated the maximum time limit for all laps during F1 qualifying, just in time for the Japanese GP.
This move aims to prevent dangerous scenarios where drivers slow down excessively, risking collisions.
Why this matters:
- Maximum time limits for all qualifying laps are back.
- This rule was last used at the Italian GP.
- The rule applies to in-laps, out-laps, and all laps in between.
- Wittich will confirm the exact lap-time limit after the second practice session on Friday.
- The rule change follows a near-miss incident during the Singapore GP’s Q1 session.
The reintroduction of this rule was prompted by risky behavior during qualifying rounds, where drivers would back up in final sectors to get a “clean” lap. This created dangerous situations where nearly stationary cars could be hit by others at high speeds.
For the Singapore Grand Prix, the FIA chose to drop the ‘all laps’ rule, which resulted in a hazardous situation. Nearly half the field was bunched together, and Max Verstappen was called to see the stewards for impeding another driver, though he was later cleared. This sequence of events forced Niels Wittich to bring back the rule for the Japanese GP to ensure driver safety and race integrity. Read more
⚙️Teams unveil tech tweaks for Suzuka
- Testing a fresh floor design in Suzuka.
- Using their British GP setup for better straight-line speed
- Introducing a new beam wing
- Made tweaks for better cooling.
- They’ve made rear wing changes.
- Removed some parts for reduced drag.
- Small tweak to their rear wing.
- This change helps with downforce and drag.
🟢 Aston Martin
- Updated their front brake ducts for optimal cooling at Suzuka.
- Adjusted their floor design for smoother airflow.
🔵 Red Bull details the “inherent” car weakness in Singapore
Red Bull Racing reveals its RB19 car has an “inherent” weakness on short-corner tracks, an issue that became glaringly evident after both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez failed to impress in the Singapore Grand Prix.
Why this matters:
- Both Verstappen and Perez underperformed during the Singapore GP, failing to move past Q2.
- Chief Engineer Paul Monaghan hinted at ‘inherent’ weaknesses in the car without going into detail.
- Horner confirmed that the RB19 struggles with short corners, a fact that was apparent as early as the Monaco GP.
- Red Bull aims to address these weaknesses for the 2024 season.
Although Horner remains optimistic about fixing these shortcomings in future designs, he also emphasizes the challenge of creating an all-round competitive car. Different tracks favor different car strengths, making it an intricate puzzle for engineers to solve.
The issue at hand is not a quick fix; it’s part of the car’s basic makeup. Even if they went back in time to the Singapore GP, a silver bullet solution wouldn’t exist. According to Horner, the problem lies at the intersection of aerodynamics, mechanical set-up, and how these interact with the tires and circuit layout. And as we know in F1, one weakness can send you from hero to zero faster than a tire change at a pit stop.
🟠 McLaren secures Piastri till 2026
The Aussie rookie has been doing wonders on the track this season, so it’s no surprise McLaren wanted to keep him around. Even though he had a year left on his contract, Oscar and McLaren shook hands on a deal for three more seasons.
He’s been killing it alongside Lando Norris this year, and things are looking even better with his recent achievements, like standing among the top three in Belgium’s Sprint.
Everyone at McLaren is singing his praises
He’s an incredible talent and an asset to the team so it’s fantastic to be committing to each other in the long term.
As for Oscar? He’s announced it in his own style, along with Alpine’s on point response. We just love F1 twitter.
The new contract is the second-longest in F1, only behind Max Verstappen’s deal with Red Bull, which lasts until 2028. – Read more
🔵 Lawson might be leaving Red Bull?
AlphaTauri is expected to confirm their 2024 driver lineup this weekend in Japan, likely featuring Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo. This leaves current stand-in Liam Lawson in a bit of a bind. However, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner hints at a possible solution—a loan to another team, perhaps Williams.
What We’re Hearing:
- AlphaTauri’s 2024 driver lineup is almost confirmed, likely excluding Lawson.
- Team boss Christian Horner describes the situation as a “luxury problem” for AlphaTauri.
- Horner suggests a loan move for Lawson to gain experience.
- Williams could be the destination, considering the uncertainty around Logan Sargeant’s seat.
- Past precedents like Carlos Sainz’s loan to Renault might offer a roadmap.
Liam Lawson has shown impressive skills that have turned heads within the F1 community. Despite this, he finds himself potentially without a seat at AlphaTauri next year.
Christian Horner, Red Bull’s Team Principal, has hinted that Lawson might be loaned out to another team to continue his F1 journey. This wouldn’t be unprecedented; Carlos Sainz was once loaned to Renault by Red Bull to gather experience.
Williams could be a possible destination for Lawson. With Logan Sargeant’s future at Williams hanging in the balance, Horner’s comments seem to point toward this as a plausible solution. He assures that even if Lawson doesn’t secure a permanent seat next year, he will still be busy, implying that Red Bull has other plans for the rising star. – Read more
He’s a gritty racer. We know that about him. He’s grabbed this opportunity in Formula 1 that very seldom drivers get a chance to demonstrate their talent. I think he’s done a tremendous job and certainly has put himself firmly on the radar and cemented the feeling that we had about him.”
Why Do F1 Drivers Get Weighed?
Ever wondered why Formula 1 drivers hop onto a weighing scale at the end of a race, looking more like they’re participating in a fitness challenge rather than a car race? Well, let’s demystify this unique aspect of the world’s fastest motorsport.
Fast Lane News
🗨️Liam Lawson chatted about the ups and downs of being an F1 reserve driver, especially after his surprise call-up to the AlphaTauri team. – Read more
🏛️George Russell’s crash spot is now marked as a historical landmark on Google Maps. – Read more
🤕 Daniel Ricciardo might be coming back from his injury a bit later than expected. – Read more
🟠 McLaren has brought on Japanese driver Ryo Hirakawa as their reserve for 2024. – Read more
🤝 Red Bull’s main sponsor is now collaborating with the Tesla Cybertruck. – Read more
🟥 Felipe Massa’s legal push to reevaluate the results of the 2008 F1 season could shake the foundations of the sport, warns Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff. – Read more
🐝 Suzuka’s Turn 2 kerbs will sport black and yellow colors for the F1 Japanese Grand Prix to back Sebastian Vettel’s new biodiversity initiative. – Read more
⚫ Mercedes clarified why it seemed like no one from their F1 team was at the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix podium to celebrate with Lewis Hamilton. – Read more
🏆 Alpine’s boss, Bruno Famin, said they’re discussing a possible 2024 World Endurance Championship drive with Mick Schumacher. – Read more
THE 2023 JAPANESE GP
🇯🇵 Scheduled 22-24 September
1️⃣ Circuit length: 5.807km
2️⃣ Number of laps: 53
3️⃣ Lap record: 1:30.983 Lewis Hamilton (2019)
4️⃣ Corners & DRS: 18 corners with 1 DRS zone
Tire & Track Preview
⚫ Harder tire compounds: ⚪Hard (C1), 🟡Medium (C2), 🔴Soft (C3)
↗️Among the roughest of all season
📈 High tire wear ➡️ potential three-stopper
🌡️ Recent high temps: Up to 33°C
⏬ Potential for quick tire wear
💨 Loads of high-speed corners
⚫ Requires harder tire compounds
Car Performance Needs:
⬆️ High downforce: Crucial
⬆️ High efficiency: Important
⛈️ Qualifying moved to Sunday: 2004, 2009, 2010, 2019 (due to rain/typhoons)
💦 2022 race: Delayed start, used only intermediate and full wet tires
MEME OF THE DAY