Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is trying to avoid making predictions for the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix after the Italian Grand Prix did not meet the expectations he had from the team’s pre-race simulations.
His drivers were fifth and sixth fastest in qualifying, and penalties meant George Russell moved up four places to start on the front row. However he lacked the pace to fight for victory and finished third, while Lewis Hamilton recovered from a penalised 19th on the grid to take fifth place.
The next race in Singapore will see teams switch from minimum to maximum downforce levels. Wolff said “the track layout should suit our car, the bumps not.”
“On the simulations again it says it should be one of our better tracks,” he added. “But I’m trying to stay on the careful side with any predictions for Singapore.”
De Vries cancels UK trip due to travel fiasco
Formula E world champion and recent F1 debutant Nyck de Vries, who is currently being courted by multiple F1 teams, was unable to travel to the UK yesterday due to a problem with his travel documents which he said was related to “Brexit” – Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union last year.
“Got refused on the 7:10am flight to London,” he wrote on social media. “An EU ID is no longer a valid travel document. “My passport is at the embassy for a Japanese visa, second passport expired. UK trip cancelled – going home instead. Early start to the weekend, I guess.”
Alonso proteges set F3 test pace
Gabriel Bortoleto and Pepe Marti, recently signed to Fernando Alonso’s A14 Management firm, were the fastest two drivers on the second day of Formula 3 post-season testing at Jerez. Trident driver Bortoleto caused one of many red flag stoppages during Thursday’s action, but he did also become the first driver to lap sub-1’30.00.
Campos Racing’s Marti did the same before the day’s running was over. Marti topped the afternoon session, which was significantly slower, ahead of Hitech GP’s Gabriele Mini – another driver to bring out the red flags – and Prema’s Paul Aron.
McLaren sign Chelsea director as CCO
Steve Atkins, the long-time director of communications and public affairs at Chelsea football club, has been signed by McLaren as their new chief communications officer.
Over the next few months he will continue in an advisory role at Chelsea, and will officially start his McLaren duties on 1 December. Prior to his 14-year stint at Chelsea, Atkins worked in the British Embassy in the United States and worked on international conflicts.
“Steve is a fantastic leader and brings a wealth of communications experience from sport and government that will prove invaluable in helping us maximise opportunities and navigate any challenges,” said McLaren Racing’s CEO Zak Brown.
‘The head of McLaren Racing held a town hall Thursday at its IndyCar shop to introduce new hire Brian Barnhart and quell any concerns over this week’s sudden departure of the team president. Zak Brown did not give a title for Barnhart, an industry veteran who spent the past season as strategist for Alexander Rossi at Andretti Autosport. Rossi will be part of Arrow McLaren SP’s expanded three-car lineup next season and Barnhart will report to Brown.’
»You may have heard about how Singapore is boring, so the grand prix adds a bit of spark and buzz to the island,’ says Gary Ng, a lifelong Singapore resident. ‘It is great for petrol-heads and those who want to have fun. Singapore rarely lets its hair down.»
‘The 15-year-old from Shillong, in Meghalaya, graduates into Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series after a karting career that included the Meco FMSCI X30 National championship, in which he became the first Indian rookie to score a podium on debut. He finished as runner-up in the series the following year, whilst also separately contesting the MRF Challenge FLGB 1300 and JK Tyre Championship.’
‘Chaired by FIA Deputy President for Sport Robert Reid, council members from across the world gathered in person in Slovenia to discuss a wide range of topics. It was also the first FIA meeting attended by the newly-appointed CEO of the FIA, Natalie Robyn.’
‘Late this afternoon, the second Scouting Camp organised by the Ferrari Driver Academy came to an end. Organised as an element of the partnership with the ACI (Automobile Club d’Italia), four drivers born between 2005 and 2007 took part. Two were put forward by the ACI, Brando Badoer and Sebastiano Pavan both from Italy, and the American James Egozi and Ireland’s Alex Dunne.’
‘When Jimmie Johnson pulled into his pit after a 16th in the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion just had completed his first full-time season in the NTT IndyCar Series. The finish in the season finale matched his career best for a street and road course event (in the July 3 race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course).’