New changes with the FIA, a shuffle in Mercedes, 2024 tires, and why Massa says “No more!”
Hey there, podium chaser! 👋
For our veteran followers and the newbies who just joined the pit lane, there’s a ton happening in the world of Formula 1. Let’s shift gears and dive straight into the freshest updates.
🔧 FIA’s Pit-Lane Protocol: The FIA is at it again with another rule change. This time, they’re cracking down on some pit-lane behavior.
🔍 Behind the Silver Arrows: There’s a stir in the Mercedes camp. Their CTO has bid adieu, but the team remains upbeat about the 2024 season.
🚗 Tire Tidbits: Could this year’s tire testing set the standard for the next? There’s chatter about making it the new norm for next year.
Strap in, and let’s hit the throttle!
In today’s email:
- Pit Stop Talks – Get all in-depth news ahead of the Brazilian GP
- In-depth education- What Is F1 Multiviewer?
- Fast Lane News – Your speedy F1 roundup – powerful, punchy, and precisely what you need to stay informed.
- The Brazilian GP – All information on tire, strategy, and Kevin Magnussen
Lights out, and away we go!
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Pit Stop Talks
💨 Teams Tackle Brazil’s Air Density
🌬️ Brazil’s unique air density changes how cars are set up ➡️ Prefers higher downforce even if it means increased drag
⬇️ Ferrari, Mercedes, and McLaren are going for high-downforce settings with bigger rear wings
📸 Big difference between Red Bull and Alfa Romeo’s wings
Red Bull’s huge wing ➡️ confidence in their aerodynamics
⏫ With DRS, Red Bull might not be the fastest, but they’ll get a big boost
🤞 Alfa Romeo’s had drag problems this year. Their medium-downforce wing choice hopes to bring in some points this race.
🚨F1 Rule Change Alert
The FIA is putting its foot down on some pit-lane behavior just in time for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Why It Matters:
- Formula 1 race safety and integrity are crucial.
- Excessive slowing in the pit lane during qualifying increases on-track risks.
- FIA aims to ensure fairness and safety with rule changes and clarifications.
What We’re Hearing
Starting from the Brazilian GP, Formula 1 drivers are no longer allowed to come to a halt in the fast lane of the pit lane. This move aims to curb a clever tactic where some drivers intentionally slowed down to strategically create the perfect gap for their upcoming fast lap.
For context, during the Italian GP, the FIA established a minimum lap-time rule between the two Safety Car lines. This was in response to cars backing up and creating dangerous high-closing speeds. However, some racers, being the strategists they are, found a workaround.
As per Article 33.4 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations, drivers are not allowed to go unnecessarily slow, that includes stopping a car in the fast lane of the pitlane. During the [Sprint] Shootout and Qualifying, drivers may create a gap between the pit exit lights and the SC2 line. Any driver who wishes to do so must drive as far to the left as possible to allow other drivers to pass them on the right side of the pit exit road.
👋 Mercedes CTO Steps Down
Mike Elliott, Mercedes’s chief technical officer, is saying goodbye to the Formula 1 team. He’s decided to hit the brakes and think about what’s next for him in the racing world.
He’s been with Mercedes since 2012, starting as the head of aerodynamics, and has been a huge part of their success story, especially during the turbo hybrid era.
Elliott’s contract is winding down, and after swapping his tech director role with James Allison earlier this year, he feels it’s the right time to step away.
He shared the news with the team at the factory and is going to take a short break, a ‘gardening leave,’ to figure out his next move after a non-stop 23 years in F1.
It has been one of the great privileges of my career to be part of this Mercedes team. During my time, I have seen it grow from a group of people pulling together to win races, then a first championship, to winning a record eight consecutive constructors’ championships. – and I am proud to have made my contribution to that journey.
Toto Wolff, Mercedes CEO and team principal, had only good things to say about Mike.
Mike is a fiercely intelligent technical brain and a great team player; he has made a strong contribution not just to winning racing cars but also to building the culture of our team.
Mercedes is shaking things up after two not-so-great F1 seasons. They aim to provide Lewis Hamilton and George Russell with a top-notch car for 2024. With Mike’s departure, there’s some buzz about potential new strategies for their W15 car next year. – Read more
🆕 F1 Considers New 2024 Tire Rule
Formula 1 always evolves, aiming for increased safety, heightened excitement, and sustainability. A new tire rule has been tested this season, which could potentially change the game for both drivers and fans.
What We’re Hearing
🧪 The Experiment: The rule was to use all three tire compounds during qualifying – Hard in Q1, Medium in Q2, and Soft in Q3. After its trial run at the Hungarian and Italian Grands Prix, it appears to have been a hit.
💬 Feedback from the Paddock: There’s a buzz around this new rule. It adds an exciting twist to qualifying and promotes sustainability. A formal decision will be made at the upcoming F1 Commission meeting during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
⬇️ Tire Usage: Currently, teams get 13 sets of dry-weather tires per car for each GP weekend. With this new rule, it would drop to 11 sets.
🗨️ Drivers’ Take: Not all drivers are on board. For them, qualifying should be about raw speed, and this rule might alter that essence. Using different tire compounds in qualifying might not allow them always to use the fastest tire.
♻️ Sustainability: For F1 and tire supplier Pirelli, sustainability is paramount. The new rule would reduce the number of tires shipped worldwide by 3840, aligning with F1’s eco-friendly strategy.
⚫ Mercedes Optimistic About 2024 F1 Car
Mercedes is feeling positive about kicking off next year’s Formula 1 season on a high note, especially after facing challenges in the past two seasons. They’ve shared some promising news about their car’s development for next year.
Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ trackside engineering director, gave a hopeful update about the car they’re prepping for 2024.
Even though their focus has been on developing next year’s car, Mercedes has been updating the current car throughout this season. Notably, they rolled out a major upgrade in the United States, introducing a new floor.
“If we look at the performance in Austin and Mexico, being able to race cars like McLaren and Ferrari effectively, we’d say that the track data is certainly suggesting that we’ve made a forward step. Bear in mind that all of the top teams have been bringing upgrades to their cars over the last few races, it is crucial that you can match them on development, even better to be able to continue to fight them on track.”
On the topic of the new floor, Shovlin confirmed the new floor design is in line with their vision for 2024. – Read more
😮💨 Massa’s Last Warning: No More Deadlines!
Felipe Massa, the former Ferrari F1 driver, made it clear: F1 and the FIA won’t get another deadline extension to address the controversial 2008 championship. Speaking before the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Massa said he’s expecting an answer by Nov. 15.
Between the Lines
Massa believes a “conspiracy” robbed him of the 2008 title. Although a response was initially expected by mid-October, F1 and the FIA got an extension till Nov. 15 to finish their internal investigation. This was already their second extension, by the way.
We are waiting for their response to see if the case will have to go to court. Logically, there are no more requests, from now on there will be no such thing as ‘give us one more month.’ That will be the limit and a decision will have to be made.”
A bit of history
Lewis Hamilton narrowly won the 2008 title. The season became infamous after Renault’s Nelson Piquet Jr. said he was told to crash on purpose during the Singapore GP. Massa was ahead in that race until Piquet’s crash shook things up.
Massa thinks the race should’ve been called off. He claims that the sport’s bigwigs knew about the crash but hid it. Some of those involved have since passed away, while others are quite elderly.
FIA’s current president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, mentioned last month that he’s leaving the issue to the FIA’s legal experts.
Massa believes the FIA should prioritize the sport’s integrity over its own defense. He’s still hoping that his old team, Ferrari, will support him, saying many at Ferrari are on his side. – Read more
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Fast Lane News
🎞️ The trailer for the Brawn GP documentary is out now. – Read more
🟢 Aston Martin just shared who their backup driver will be for the upcoming season. This driver will not only help improve the car but will also step in if the main drivers can’t race. – Read more
👁️ Ever wonder how often a Red Bull driver blinks on the Interlagos track? – Read more
🗣️ F1 has stepped in to set the record straight regarding the buzz about the Abu Dhabi GP possibly being called off because of the tension in the Middle East. – Read more
🇲🇾 Malaysian Grand Prix might be making a comeback as they’ve just locked in a big 3-year sponsorship deal. – Read more
😒 Michael Andretti feels that Formula 1 teams see his crew as “hillbillies” and is surprised by the pushback he’s getting. – Read more
🟢 Fernando Alonso warns that anyone spreading baseless gossip about him leaving the Aston Martin F1 team will face consequences. – Read more
THE 2023 BRAZILIAN GP
🇧🇷 Scheduled 3-5 November
Autódromo José Carlos Pace – São Paulo, Brazil
1️⃣ Circuit length: 4.309km
2️⃣ Number of laps: 71
3️⃣ Lap record: 1:10.540 Valtteri Bottas (2018)
4️⃣ Corners & DRS: 15 corners with 2 DRS zones
⚪ Hard: C2 (P Zero White)
🟡Medium: C3 (P Zero Yellow)
🔴 Soft: C4 (P Zero Red)
⏹️ Strategy: Two-stop race
🥇Race Wins at Interlagos:
- Mercedes holds the record
- Lewis Hamilton (2021) and George Russell (2022) bagged recent wins
📊 Interlagos Stats:
- Hosted 39 world championship races
- Ferrari clinched 10 wins
- Michael Schumacher is the top driver with 4 wins
👏 Kevin Magnussen’s Highlight:
- Snagged Haas’s first-ever pole position last year
- Took advantage of soft tires in the rain during Q3
- This was Kevin’s first pole, and he finished eighth in the sprint race the next day