In the round-up: Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes they can make significant gains with their W14 without bringing significant upgrades for it.
Mercedes can do more to “optimise” 2023 car without upgrades
Wolff says that development on their 2023 car has “almost stopped” but that does not meant they will not be able to find more pace from the car.
“I find it good because there’s so much we can optimise on the current car without looking too much onto upgrades,” Wolff said in a video produced by the team. “Let’s see how we can really get it into more of a sweet spot whilst gaining lots of understanding for next year.
“I think the main areas of improvement is just to give the drivers a more reliable car. It’s not about absolute amount of downforce, but it’s just for them to know that the car is going to be stable when they turn into the corner, which isn’t the case at the moment.”
Green concerns affecting F1 in Germany – Hulkenberg
Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg has suggested the perception of the automotive industry in Germany may contribute to the reduced popularity of F1 in his home country.
Germany has not held an F1 race since 2020. Viewing figures are also down compared to growth seen in other nations in recent years.
“I think it’s a few things,” Hulkenberg said when asked why he felt F1 had lost popularity in Germany. “Obviously Germany was always spoilt in racing with Michael [Schumacher] then with Sebastian [Vettel], [Nico] Rosberg, Mercedes – we’ve always had a very strong presence in Formula 1, at least in the last 30 years or so.
“Naturally I think sometimes the sport is more popular and in higher demand and then probably it tails off sometimes. But then also I think in Germany to the perception of, in general, the automotive industry – it’s like responsible for climate change, it’s not sustainable. And I think that rubs off onto motorsport and that’s why I think there’s a perception and what politics tell the people is that this is bad and somehow that has a negative impact on racing in Formula 1.”
Alfa Romeo missed target of seventh before break – Pujolar
Alfa Romeo’s head of trackside engineering, Xevi Pujolar, admitted the team had missed its target to be sitting in seventh place in the constructors’ championship by the summer break.
“Everything is very, very tight in the midfield and we just need to keep working hard and developing,” Pujolar told media including RaceFans. “We’ll see what our direct competitors can bring after the shut down, but we have some upgrades in the pipeline.
“The main target for us, we wanted to be in P7 before the shutdown, but we’re still within these two points, so everything can change very quickly in the next couple of races again. For us, the main thing is that we don’t increase that gap to P7 and also in terms of pace and performance to be there with our direct competitors.”
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- Born 70 years ago today: Future Formula 1 and CART IndyCar champion Nigel Mansell