Dive into the latest on the Qatar GP’s heatwave, unexpected pit stops, and McLaren’s record-breaking weekend
Hey there, speedster! 👋
Big shout-out to the 259 new faces who’ve geared up with us in the past week. Rev your engines because we’ve got a full grid of news to dive into today.
🔥 Hot Wheels: The Qatar GP was heating up, literally! With drivers feeling exhausted, it brings the question – is the desert circuit too hot to handle?
🚗 Tire-gate 2023: Drama unfolds on the track as unexpected tire issues force a mandatory 3-stopper. How did they not see this coming?
🟠 McLaren Magic: What a weekend for the McLaren team! They’ve been tearing up the tarmac and breaking world records along the way.
In today’s email:
- Speedy Race Review – The latest charts, analysis, and buzz after the Qatar GP
- In-depth education- Why F1 Tires Matter
- Fast Lane News – Prepare for a rapid rundown of the latest Formula 1 news.
- The United States GP – Track and circuit info
Lights out, and away we go!
Speedy Race Review
📈 Gap to Winner(s)
Race: Gap to Verstappen
🟠 McLaren picked up the pace in their last stint, gaining about 5 seconds on Verstappen. Even after Verstappen pitted and got new tires, he didn’t go any faster!
🚀 Russell was amazing in his second stint, which landed him in 4th place.
⚫ Russell started strong and kept it up until lap 9, but then his soft tires just couldn’t keep up.
🟠 Norris was blazing fast in the last laps.
📊 Qatar GP Race Analysis
- Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris secured double podium (P2 & P3)
- McLaren now only 11 points behind Aston Martin.
- Fastest pit-stop world record: 1.80 sec
- Celebrated their 500th podium in F1.
McLaren ⚔️ Aston Martin ⚔️ Alpine
The big three midfield teams from the late turbo-hybrid era trying to break into consistent frontrunners, 2023 marks each team’s smallest gap to the leaders since 2017!
- No significant degradation on MED or HARD tires.
- If it weren’t for the mandatory pit stop limit, teams would have extended most stints.
🤢 Many Drivers Sick at Qatar GP?
Driving the Qatar GP made drivers sick. Literally. A bunch of them needed medical care after the race.
Here’s a quick rundown:
- Williams’ Logan Sargeant quit mid-race because he felt sick.
- Alpine’s Esteban Ocon threw up in his helmet.
- Alex Albon and Lance Stroll had a hard time getting out of their cars after the race.
- Oscar Piastri had to lie down in the cooldown room to catch his breath.
By far the most physical race I’ve ever experienced. I felt close to fainting in that race. I’ve never experienced anything like it before.
F1 drivers are super fit – they even train in saunas to prep for hot races. So, what made this race at the Lusail International Circuit so challenging?
🌡️ The Heat
- Race temp: 32 degrees after sunset
- High humidity and no wind
- Car cockpits got super hot
- Trying to get fresh air by lifting the visor = a faceful of sand
🏎️ The Track
- Originally for motorcycle races
- One long stretch + lots of speedy corners = constant hard work for drivers
- More turns = more body stress
- Safety concerns changed tire strategies
- Result: Drivers raced like it was qualifying for all 57 laps
When I saw the weather before coming here, I was not looking forward to it. It’s just too warm, and like Lando said, it has nothing to do with more training or whatever.
Why were there no problems at other desert races?
Other races in the Middle East are scheduled to avoid extreme heat. For example, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia races are at night in March, and Abu Dhabi is in late November. The Qatar race is moved to the end of November next year, which might help. If not, there’ll be serious talks about keeping the drivers safe. – Read more
🚨 RELATED: FIA is investigating the situation and will discuss potential measures, including modifying cockpit airflow and altering the calendar for favorable climatic conditions, to prevent similar occurrences in the future. – Read more
⚫ Qatar F1 Tire Drama
F1’s main tire provider, Pirelli, had to step in with the FIA after they found some issues with the tires used in Qatar.
After a close look, they noticed a problem with the sidewall that could have caused some real trouble.
To keep the drivers safe, they decided that the tires should only be used for up to 18 laps, basically making the Qatar race a three-pit-stop deal. This means that tire management was unimportant, as drivers had to push most of the race.
What caused the damage?
Cars have been running over aggressive kerbs at high speeds. These impacts damaged the tires. The damage is in all four tires but varies in severity. The track changes aimed to reduce this.
Fun fact: similar issues happened in 2021. – Read more
Couldn’t they have seen this coming?
Pirelli did send a report after 2021, but the new kerbs came in just a month ago. Since the damage was unexpected and unusual, nobody saw it coming. – Read more
🔝 Rookie Piastri Dominates F1 Scene
People were buzzing about his talent before Oscar Piastri even set foot in an F1 car.
Now, after Piastri’s impressive win in a sprint race and coming second in the Qatar GP, it’s clear he’s living up to the hype. With the support of McLaren, Piastri’s showing everyone how it’s done.
Only two other drivers in this century – Lewis Hamilton and Juan Pablo Montoya – have won an F1 race in their debut season.
Lando Norris, Piastri’s teammate, even joked that Piastri got his first win before he did!
📊 Current season stats:
- 83 points.
- Three podiums.
- Sprint race win.
- Max Verstappen’s rookie year: 49 points.
- Mark Webber’s best rookie finish: P5.
- Daniel Ricciardo in his first year: No points.
Piastri’s success, especially compared to Norris’s debut season, highlights his potential. He’s recently narrowed the gap with Norris, and the tide seems to be turning in his favor. – Read more
🛠️ FIA Urges Fixes for F1 Track Limits
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem is pretty clear: tracks with boundary issues like Lusail and the Red Bull Ring must be sorted. Otherwise, they could be dropped from the F1 calendar.
After a chaotic Qatar GP where track limits messed up the race, Sulayem wasn’t having it. He doesn’t think stricter policing by FIA is the answer.
The solution is to improve the track itself. I know some are resistant to it, but to tell you the truth, if they don’t, there is no race. It is as simple as this. We can’t afford this.
Why this matters:
👉 Race Fairness: Consistent breaches can skew race results and rankings.
👉 Driver Safety: Overstepping limits, especially due to track design, can pose safety risks.
👉 Sport Integrity: Frequent boundary issues can tarnish the sport’s credibility.
To manage potential track limit breaches, FIA improved its monitoring system. And while Sulayem sees potential in technology, he feels FIA needs more funding to harness it fully. He stressed the need for a better funding agreement with F1. – Read more
F1 Tires Explained
Formula 1 cars are speed monsters, but their tires are the only part touching the track. So, to perform their best, they need top-notch tires. But it’s not as simple as just picking one kind. Teams must consider the weather, track type, and how long they want their tires to last.
Every race has its own challenges, and picking the right tire is crucial.
Fast Lane News
🏆 The FIA made it clear: Formula 1 world champions must wait for the official prize gala to get their trophies. No exceptions! – Read more
😠 Stroll faced backlash for his behavior after getting knocked out in Qatar’s Q1. – Read more
💸 Lewis Hamilton got a fine for walking across the Qatar GP track after a run-in with his teammate, George Russell. – Read more
😅 Button’s hilarious response after McLaren forgets his existence. – Read more
❌ Audi addresses the buzz about possibly canceling their Alfa Romeo/Sauber team takeover. – Read more
🥳 Adrian Newey celebrates his 25th Championship win in F1. – Read more
🗨️ Nico Rosberg says that if Lance Stroll wasn’t with Aston Martin, he wouldn’t be racing next year. – Read more
🤔 McLaren: “Norris challenging Qatar team orders was part of our F1 protocol.” But is it though? – Read more
THE 2023 UNITED STATES GP
🇺🇸 Scheduled 20-22 October
Circuit of the Americas
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
MEME OF THE DAY