Wolff: A podium would have been possible
Speaking of the World Cup: Among the designers, Ferrari rose four points over Mercedes in the fight for P2! Toto Wolff explains in Skythat today’s race sums up Mercedes’ entire season very well.
Hamilton had two contacts with other drivers, “and George made a mistake with Verstappen. The pace of the car was absolutely good for a podium, but that’s the way it is.”
“So you come with me [Platz] Seven or eight at home and that’s really not a good result”, he says angrily, but he also explains in relation to the World Drivers’ Championship: “For me, P2 and P3 are completely uninteresting, it’s a matter of victory”.
“It makes a difference for our employees if we come in second or third place, including financially. […]. But it doesn’t really matter to me, second or third,” said Wolff.
Verstappen draws with Vettel
Another thing from the statistics corner: Max Verstappen achieved his 53rd victory in Formula 1 today. He is now level with Sebastian Vettel! Only Lewis Hamilton (103) and Michael Schumacher (91) now have more victories.
And Verstappen is only 26 years old! To put this into perspective: Lewis Hamilton only won his second world title at age 29, and Michael Schumacher only won his third at 31.
You can roughly calculate what is still possible for Verstappen in Formula 1!
Mercedes: completely different race from the Brazilian one
The end result wasn’t much better, but Andrew Shovlin makes it clear: “Our list of positives isn’t long, but it was at least encouraging that the car had good pace.”
“We didn’t have the graining under control on the medium tire as well as on the Ferrari, so we have to look more closely. But the pace on the hard tire was strong,” he emphasizes.
“And as bad as this race was, it wasn’t as painful as in Brazil, where we were just slow,” he explains. In Las Vegas, other circumstances led to the bad result.
Horner: The damage didn’t have a huge impact
After contact with Russell, Verstappen’s front wing was slightly damaged. Christian Horner explains: “Something like this is never ideal, but fortunately it hasn’t changed anything dramatically.”
“We’ve seen a few times this year that a loose license plate doesn’t drastically affect vehicle performance,” says Horner. In fact, the incident can be seen again in the video here:
In today’s press release, McLaren released a brief statement from Lando Norris following his accident. It says: “An unhappy end to our Las Vegas GP weekend.”
“On the restart I bottomed out, lost the tail and hit the wall. This wasn’t how we wanted to end the weekend, especially considering the pace looked promising on the Oscar side.”
“A big thank you to the medical team who examined me and the team for the work they will do on the car. We have a week to get together for the season finale in Abu Dhabi.”
Today, Kevin Scheuren and Christian Nimmervoll will report live from Las Vegas with great analysis of the race! It starts at 1pm on the Formula1.de YouTube channel with the following themes:
– World Cup results and classification
– Controversial turn 1
– Three-way battle for victory
– Vegas Conclusion
Alonso: What was happening at turn 1?
The Spaniard spun right after the start, which seemed quite strange. “I still need to see what happened”, reports Alonso himself, who only thought that his race was already over.
“So I’m happy with the final result and the points,” said Alonso, who finished the race in P9. In fact, teammate Stroll benefited from the Spaniard’s exit at Turn 1.
“I gained ten positions in the first corner”, he reports. Then it went from P19 to P9. Then there was “a fast car”, says the Canadian with satisfaction.
In the end he came fifth, which put Aston Martin within eleven points of McLaren in the World Championship battle for P4.
Bottas: Diffuser damaged early on
Alfa Romeo also ran out of points today. Bottas only finished 17th and reports: “The main reason was the crash from behind [gleich beim Start]which caused a lot of damage to the diffuser.”
“I saw this after the race and there were some important parts missing, that explains a lot,” said the Finn. In the end, teammate Zhou was also far from the points in 15th place.
He reports: “We decided to make a pit stop when the safety car arrived. This meant I had to do 30 laps on medium tires. The strategy worked well and allowed me to recover some positions.”
As he had no other chance to make a pit stop after that, nothing worked on the old tires for the last ten laps.
Wolff faces Masi
Even two years later, Toto Wolff’s anger at the end of the 2021 season still doesn’t seem to have passed. When it comes to the fierce World Cup fight against Ferrari, he will definitely perform again in today’s media round.
“I think we are tied on points with a decent race leader [nach Abu Dhabi]”So it should be good,” said Wolff, in a clear allusion to the season finale at the same venue two years ago.
At that time, race director Michael Masi provoked the ire of Wolff and Co. And at least for the Mercedes team boss, that wound still hasn’t healed…
Stella: Bump caused Norris accident
The McLaren team boss reveals regarding the Briton’s violent exit: “There is a bump at this point. And you can see that all the cars emit sparks when they go over this bump.”
“I think the combination of the bump and the cold tires may have surprised him,” said Stella, who is therefore asking for this bump to be removed next year.
“Because the tires will always be cold”, he explains, and the lack of grip makes this a “very difficult corner”. However, the team boss also admits that the impact is the same for all drivers.
“Maybe Lando thought there would be enough grip,” he muses. The result was definitely a violent impact.
The decisive overtaking maneuvers…
… it’s here again in the video! Once Verstappen against Leclerc for P1 and once Leclerc against Perez for P2:
Why did Williams remain without points?
Albon and Sargeant were temporarily in P5 and P6, but in the end they were only in P12 and P16. “I had a lot of problems with grain today,” reports Albon. Furthermore, the safety car didn’t help.
Because it gave many other drivers a free pit stop. “I was racing against everyone on old tires,” explains Albon, stressing that it was “a little frustrating” not to score any points in what was a really good weekend.
“Honestly, I don’t think we did much wrong today,” emphasizes Sargeant, explaining: “I don’t think we were in a bad position until the second safety car came along and ruined any chance we had.”
Williams didn’t make any mistakes, he just had “a little bad luck” today.
Piastri: Safety car at exactly the wrong time
The Australian was even on the podium at one point, but in the end he only achieved one point in tenth place. He explains that the safety car entered the track at exactly the wrong time for him.
“I really wish there wasn’t the rule about using two tire compounds, because then I would have run on hard tires until the end and I think we had the pace to stay in P4,” said Piastri.
The pace was definitely “a good surprise” after the disappointing qualifying, he emphasizes. First you need to understand the reason for this, she emphasizes.
“There are a few things we need to look at, but it almost feels like we deserved a little more than P10,” he concluded.
Leclerc: Penalty for Verstappen fits, but…
Back to the scene at Turn 1. Leclerc reveals: “Max already came to me and explained the situation. He was over the limit and I think the five second penalty is justified.”
“It was tight and I tried to get off the track but there wasn’t enough grip to maintain my position. But that’s the way it is. He was then punished and that was the right punishment,” said Leclerc.
“I just think it would be better if the FIA ordered the return of the position because it’s a big advantage when it comes to handling the tires if you’re not driving behind anyone,” he explains.
Gasly: Hard tires cost a good result
The Frenchman was in the top four at the start of the race, but only finished eleventh. What was happening? “The main reason was that the hard tire had grain after five or six laps,” he reports.
The tires never recovered from that, which is why the last 25 laps were “very painful”. This is “of course frustrating, because the beginning was great,” he says angrily.
“I knew we had a great chance. But with the hard tires it was just a nightmare,” he nods.
Sainz: P6 adequate “damage limitation”
A lot has happened for the Spaniard: first his no-fault penalty this weekend, then there was contact at Turn 1 and he was almost at the back of the field after the first lap.
So it was “definitely a good recovery and damage limitation” to finish in P6. In turn 1 he had “cold tires” and simply no grip – like other drivers.
When contact was made in Turn 1, it was likely that “something in the suspension or steering wheel” was damaged. Even so, he managed to continue driving. But then he had to protect the engine, which got too hot.
“We couldn’t overtake because we wanted to protect the engine. We also had to protect the tires,” she emphasizes. Because of all these problems, he said he was very happy with the P6 in the end.