In the round-up: Lando Norris says that McLaren’s pre-season testing programme has been a “huge amount” better than 2022 despite their relatively low mileage
McLaren’s pre-season a “huge amount better” than 2022 – Norris
McLaren covered the least distance of any team in the pre-season test in Bahrain last week, but Norris believes the team is in better shape than they were before the start of the 2022 season, when they suffered major brake problems.
“It’s a huge amount better than this time last year,” Norris said. “Of course a bit more focus on making sure we came here on top of everything, which I think we pretty much are. There’s been a couple of little setbacks here and there, but for the most part, the team has done a better job. We’re definitely in a better place.
“There’s still many things, to be honest, which we’ve been struggling with over the last few days. I guess we’ve been exploring – we’ve been trying a lot of different things with set ups. The car looks fairly similar, but still, there’s quite a few different things on the car. Fundamentally the car handles in a reasonably similar way to last year, which is I guess good in many ways, but also it still is evident where we have to focus on.”
Pirelli could mix compounds at Silverstone – Isola
Pirelli motorsport director Mario Isola says the F1 tyre supplier could switch up its tyre compounds for the British Grand Prix later this season.
Pirelli have six compounds available for the 2023 season and have traditionally selected three compounds that are consecutive in their range. However, Isola says Pirelli may opt to mix up their compounds at high speed circuits like Silverstone.
“The older C1 – that is now called the C0 – was working well in Silverstone, Zandvoort, but not [in Bahrain] and not in Barcelona, for example,” Isola explained. “So the target was to develop a new C1 with more grip.
“So we have now the flexibility of having six compounds homologated also to pick different compounds and jumping a level. Silverstone could be C0, C2, C3 instead of C1, C2 and C3.”
Preparing for second year “much smoother” than rookie season – Zhou
Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu says preparing for his second season in Formula 1 feels considerably different to approaching his rookie season last year.
Zhou was the only rookie on the grid in 2022, making his debut with Alfa Romeo in Bahrain, where he finished in the points. He says returning as an experienced driver feels very different.
“I felt a huge difference, because you really feel what experience in Formula 1 can give you,” Zhou said.
“Firstly, when you start to be back on the track, you don’t take much time to be getting to know the car, feeling the confidence to push over one lap. You can be straight on it. So that’s kind of a good thing, that you can step already a step further and then perform that.
“We have the same crew, same engineers that know your driving style and know your preference of the car set up, working with you already for one year. So everything seems to be much smoother and easier.”
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Motor racing links of interest:
Drugovich: ‘AMR23 feels like a big step forward’ (Aston Martin)
“It’s quite difficult to maintain the focus throughout the year. I need to be ready all the time and have the mentality that, at any point, I could be racing – even though I might never race. It is difficult, but the most important thing is to stay calm and be prepared. One day the opportunity might come, so I need to be ready to do the best job that I can.”
Drive to Survive Season 5 lowest so far for female representation (Females in Motorsport)
“In four episodes no women are identified at all. Formula 1 journalist Jennie Gow provides insight in four episodes but, in the other six, this is done by Will Buxton. Buxton’s colleague at F1, journalist Laura Winter, is shown interviewing the drivers in various episodes but is never named on screen.”
Las Vegas, Miami and Austin will be the three most expensive grand prix races of 2023 (Daily Mail)
“It has been claimed that just the tickets and hotel prices for a weekend in Sin City for the November race will set an F1 fan back an eye-watering $7,051.55 on average.”
Ricciardo missed but Gasly ‘no Brad Pitt’ (SpeedCafe)
“At the same time, what I say every time I go to do some filming – I’m no Brad Pitt. I’m Pierre Gasly. So I just try to be myself, and then after they have got the content they use what they want to use.”
WEC: centenary Le Mans entry revealed! (FIA)
“Seven renowned manufacturers will have their eye on the prize in the premier class that will see a battle featuring the likes of Ferrari, Porsche, Peugeot, Cadillac, Vanwall, Glickenhaus and Toyota. The Japanese marque will be aiming for its sixth consecutive win. Porsche will be target its 20th overall victory, while Ferrari returns to the top tier at Le Mans after a 50-year-long hiatus.”
Seven things we learned in the first Cape Town E-Prix (Formula E)
“Heading into the Cape Town E-Prix weekend, it was no secret that this 2.921km street circuit would be quick. However, Nissan’s Sacha Fenestraz took things to another level when he broke a Formula E record and set the fastest lap the championship has ever seen.”
Campos Racing signs Lola Lovinfosse for 2023 F1 Academy season (F1)
“The French driver started in karts in 2018 in the IAME Winter Cup X30 Juniors. She competed in the Trofeo delle Industrie in 2019, achieving a top-10 finish. She also finished inside the top 15 in the 2020 WSK Champions Cup – OK. The 17-year-old then stepped up to single seaters in 2021. She debuted in the Spanish F4 Championship, accumulating vital experience in the junior category.”
ALL ACCESS: Behind The Scenes With Valtteri Bottas On His Media Day! (F1 via YouTube)
“All Access goes behind the scenes with Valtteri Bottas as we capture all the content needed for the 2023 season.”
Formula 2 Season Preview (The Side Pod via YouTube)
Former F2 racers turned IndyCar drivers Marcus Armstrong and Callum Ilott preview the F2 season in true Screaming Meals fashion.
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