In the round-up: Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says the bill for damage caused by Mick Schumacher last season was $2 million (£1.6m).
Steiner reveals cost of Schumacher’s crashes
Haas dropped Schumacher at the end of the year due to concerns over the costs of his crashes over the course of the year. His position was in doubt following a heavy impact in qualifying at Jeddah and another substantial crash in Monaco.
Late in the year Schumacher crashed again after leaving the pits to perform a practice start in wet conditions during first practice at Suzuka. In his forthcoming book, an extract of which was published last weekend by The Times, Steiner is quoted saying that crash alone cost the team $700,000 (£563,000).
“It happened on the foking in-lap,” says Steiner in his book. “On the in-lap! Sure, it was very wet out there on the track, but nobody else managed to write off a car while they were driving back to the pits.
“We lose a car after five minutes and now have to build another. I cannot have a driver who I am not confident can take a car around safely on a slow lap. It’s just foking ridiculous. How many people could we employ with $700,000?”
Nojiri leads penalised Lawson after Fuji opener
Red Bull junior driver Liam Lawson was unable to repeat his season-opening win in the second Japanese Super Formula race at Fuji. Team mate Tomoki Nojiri claimed his second pole position and this time converted it into victory, taking the championship lead along with it.
Toshiki Oyu took the lead of the race from third on the grid but Nojiri returned to the front when the field pitted en masse during a Safety Car period. Oyu dropped back after locking up his tyres in an unsuccessful attempt to regain the lead.
Lawson worked his way up to third behind Sho Tsuboi at the chequered flag, but the officials had already handed him a five-second time penalty for an infringement during the Safety Car period. That promoted Kenta Yamashita and Ritomo Miyata ahead of him in the final classification. The series continues at Suzuka in two weeks’ time.
Leclerc asks fans to “respect my privacy”
Charles Leclerc has urged fans not to visit his home after details of his address was revealed. The Ferrari driver, who was the victim of a mugging in which his watch was taken last year, said on social media: “For the past few months, my home address has somehow become public, leading to people gathering beneath my apartment, ringing my bell, and asking for pictures and autographs.”
“While I’m always happy to be there for you and I truly appreciate your support, please respect my privacy and refrain from coming to my house,” Leclerc continued. “I’ll make sure to stop for everyone when you see me on the streets or at the track, but I won’t be coming downstairs if you visit my home.
“Your support, both in person and on social media, means the world to me, but there is a boundary that should not be crossed.”
Happy birthday to Roberttty and Browny!
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