Why did Ocon disregard the Alpine team’s orders?
Esteban Ocon impressed with a strong fourth place in Las Vegas. However, this was overshadowed by the fact that in one situation he overtook his teammate Pierre Gasly, despite the team prohibiting overtaking.
Ocon received instructions on the radio to maintain his position behind Gasly – but he still passed. Opposite Sky He justifies his action after the race by saying he simply didn’t understand the instructions.
“Hold position,” the team demanded on the radio, but Ocon said, “I only heard ‘position’.” The Frenchman also makes it clear: “If the team had asked me to return the position, of course I would have done so immediately”.
However, this did not happen because while Gasly had tire problems and fell in the points, Ocon finished fourth. In the end, there were seven places between the two Alpine drivers.
Time to leave!
And that’s it again for today’s ticker. We’re changing things up a lot, tomorrow my colleague Norman Fischer welcomes a new edition and from Thursday Kevin Scheuren will be there again just in time for Media Day in Abu Dhabi.
Have a good rest of your Tuesday and see you then!
Krack: The crisis made Aston Martin even stronger
After a strong start to the season, Aston Martin is looking pretty worn out this season. According to team leader Mike Krack, this did not cause unrest in the team – quite the opposite!
“I think it showed the real qualities of the team, of Fernando and Lance, that we kept together”, he highlights, explaining that they were “really difficult times”.
“And I think the relationship has become even stronger as a result,” says Krack happily. At the beginning of the season it still felt like a “honeymoon”, reveals the team leader.
But even in the difficult times, we stick together afterwards.
The greatest leadership in history
One thing is already certain: Max Verstappen will set another Formula 1 record in Abu Dhabi this weekend! Because the Dutchman will end the season with the biggest advantage a world champion has ever had.
To date, this record is still held by Sebastian Vettel, who was 155 points ahead of Fernando Alonso at the end of the 2013 season. Verstappen is now 276 points ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez!
Even in the “worst case scenario”, namely if Perez wins, sets the fastest lap and Verstappen is eliminated, the world champion will end the season with an advantage of at least 250 points.
Test: Haas with Fittipaldi and Bearman
In exactly one week, i.e. the Tuesday after the season finale in Abu Dhabi, there will be another test at the same location. This consists of two parts, namely a “normal” tire test and another specifically for young drivers.
This means: All teams can use two cars each. Haas has now announced that none of its regular drivers will drive there. Ferrari junior Oliver Bearman will once again complete the junior test, with Pietro Fittipaldi driving the other car.
“Pietro’s reliability is always appreciated by the team, especially when we are still collecting data and knowledge for the next season. That’s why it’s good that he continues his testing work after the tire test at Silverstone,” said team principal Günther Steiner.
Let’s wait and see what other drivers we see in the car in a week. In most cases, the young drivers will probably be the drivers already in the car in FT1.
Two years ago today…
…Lewis Hamilton won the first Formula 1 race in Qatar. Thanks to his victory, he was eight points behind leader Max Verstappen in the world championship.
What no one knew at the time: it would be Hamilton’s penultimate victory in Formula 1 to date. He only managed to win the next race in Saudi Arabia.
The record world champion has not won in the premier class since December 5, 2021.
© Motorsport Images
Vasseur: New battery did not bring performance
Ferrari had hoped to be able to change the battery in Carlos Sainz’s car without penalty after the accident in first practice in Las Vegas that was not his fault. But that was not possible and the Spaniard had to move back ten places on the starting grid.
You can’t just swap a set of tires or engine for a new one because it’s about performance, explains Vasseur. “But there is no battery performance”, he explains.
This means: According to Vasseur, the new battery did not provide additional energy over the weekend compared to the old one. The team leader therefore hoped to be able to claim a case of “force majeure”.
But according to the race stewards, this was not possible.
The duel between the two Alpine riders…
… in fact, you can also see it again in the video here. Unfortunately without the corresponding radio messages…
Saying yes in the craziest paddock of the season!
In our new video, Kevin Scheuren takes you on a short tour of the Las Vegas Grand Prix paddock and shows, among other things, the chapel where Jacques Villeneuve got married and the “Holy Grail” of Formula 1, the paddock!
Saying yes in the craziest paddock of the season!
Kevin Scheuren takes you on a short tour of the Las Vegas Grand Prix paddock and shows you, among other things, the chapel where Jacques Villeneuve got married and the “Holy Grail” of Formula 1, the paddock. More Formula 1 videos
Tires on the weekend
Because we’ve already talked briefly about the tires: the three softest compounds will be used over the weekend, namely C3 to C5. Mario Isola explains: “This is the same selection as last year and also an identical selection to the one in Las Vegas last weekend.”
Background: Abu Dhabi is one of the routes on the calendar where the tires are subject to the least stress. “That’s why we chose the three gentlest blends,” says Isola. You can find more information about tires and cargo in Abu Dhabi here:
Schwarzman tests for Ferrari
We have already talked about Friday’s drivers in Abu Dhabi and now, as expected, Ferrari has also confirmed that Robert Schwarzman will replace Charles Leclerc there in FT1. The complete list looks like this:
Red Bull: Jake Dennis and Isack Hadjar
Ferrari: Robert Schwarzman
Mercedes: Frederik Vesti
Alpine: Jack Doohan
McLaren: Patricio O’Ward
Alfa Romeo: Theo Pourchaire
Aston Martin: Felipe Drugovich
Haas: Oliver Bearman
Williams: Zak O’Sullivan
You can find the complete overview of all Friday Drivers 2023 here!
Pirelli is canceling C0 again for 2024
This year Pirelli had six tire compounds to choose from (C0 to C5). However, as the C0 mixture was not used in a single race, it will be canceled again for 2024.
Mario Isola reveals: “The FIA recently announced that the compounds for 2024 will be the same as this year. The only change is that there will now be five compounds available instead of six.”
The background is that “the C0 mixture, which was never used on a race weekend this year, has been abolished,” said Isola. The C0 mixture was the most difficult and was intended only for emergencies anyway.
But such a situation has never occurred in 2023.
2012: An Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the ages
While we are at it: in this context, I would also like to recommend our great article about the Abu Dhabi race in 2012. Raikkonen’s victory back then is mainly remembered today because of his legendary radio messages!
2012: An Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the ages
Abu Dhabi firmly in the hands of Mercedes and Red Bull
In 2012, Kimi Raikkonen won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for Lotus. Why is this so special? Because to this day he is the last driver who did not win in Abu Dhabi for Red Bull or Mercedes!
Sebastian Vettel won there for the Bulls in 2013, after which Mercedes came top six times in a row between 2014 and 2019. And since 2020, Max Verstappen has won three times in a row for Red Bull.
In fact, the record holder is Lewis Hamilton, with five victories in Abu Dhabi, the first in 2011 for McLaren.
There are more interesting statistics in our large database!
Perez: Comeback is my personal “highlight”
In the real World Cup, the Mexican has been runner-up since the weekend – for the first time in his career. He therefore looks back on the 2023 season with mixed feelings.
“It was a very difficult year. It started very well, we were fighting for the championship. But in Barcelona we had a very dominant car, but I couldn’t adjust it properly,” he explains.
After that, he went into a negative spiral and lost his self-confidence. Therefore, his personal “highlight” this year was fighting to get out of this crisis.
He emphasized that he managed to “consistently fight at the top at the end of the year.” Although there may be differences of opinion because Las Vegas was his first podium since Monza…
Perez is world champion!
At least in our alternative World Cup, in which Max Verstappen does not participate 😉 The decision was made over the weekend in Las Vegas! Just take a look at our photo gallery:
Photo series: Alternative Formula 1: This is what the 2023 season would be like without Max Verstappen!
Leclerc: Las Vegas is not representative
Speaking of Ferrari: Charles Leclerc does not want to exaggerate the strong performance over the weekend, as he highlights that there were conditions in Las Vegas that do not exist “anywhere else”.
“It’s very, very cold and I think overheating [der Reifen] not a big problem here. It was more about granulating and keeping the tires at the right temperature and we are very good at that,” he emphasizes.
“But when it’s hotter we have to fight more. That doesn’t exactly make me confident for the future, because Abu Dhabi will be completely different from here”, predicts the Monegasque.
Because it will be significantly hotter there than at night in Las Vegas…