Formula 1 2023 Summer Preparations; Spanish driver Fernando Alonso’s two-time world champion moves to the Aston Martin team at the Formula 1 World Championships to replace Germany’s Sebastian Vettel, who announced his retirement at the end of the current season was the focus of attention after the Hungary Grand Prix. AFP highlights five points to discuss, with the World Championships entering their annual summer holidays.
As of Formula 1 2023 Summer Preparations, Ferrari chairman Mattia Binotto faced mounting pressure after the recent failure in the Hungary Prize, with Ferrari starting Sunday’s race in second and third places, with Spain’s Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc of Monaco, but finishing fourth and sixth in the finish.
In contrast, Dutch world champion Max Verstappen and fellow Mexican Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez moved from 10th and 11th to 1st and 5th in an apparent reference to teamwork and intelligent strategy.
Red Bull leads the manufacturers’ standings with 431 points, ahead of Ferrari (334) and Mercedes (304).
Although Ferrari owned the fastest car for most of the season, especially in trials, it wasted this advantage through failed strategic decisions, driver errors, engine failures, other technical problems, and a lack of consistency and reliability.
Former British driver Johnny Herbert, an analyst at Formula One channel Sky Sports, described Ferrari’s recent failure as “embarrassing.”
The Italian team asked Leclerc, who is 80 points behind in the title race, to stay on track driving on medium vehicle tires while leading 30 laps ago, before being called into the fold, to turn into solid tires, falling back in order.
Binotto remained calm and blamed an unexpected drop in car and tire performance but promised a series of in-depth reviews.
Mercedes recovered after a difficult and unbalanced start to the season. They reinstated the seven-time defending champion, Lewis Hamilton, to rekindle his belief that he could claim his 104th career victory and compete for the drivers’ title for the record eighth time in his career.
The British driver, 37, who has risen five straight on the podium this season, including two consecutive runners-up solutions, confirmed the team’s return as a competitive force.
“Certainly, if we take this pace in the second half of the season, we can start fighting other guys,” Hamilton explained.
Alonso’s transfer ignites the season.
Alonso’s rapid solutions transition to Vettel’s location has sparked speculation amid expectations of greater protectionism in the Formula 1 2023 Summer Preparations driver market.
The first vacancy in the Alpine team, where Australian reserve driver Oscar Piastri, winner of the 2020 Formula 3 World Championship and the following year’s Formula 2 World Championship, will be a clear candidate. The young driver, supervised by former Red Bull driver and compatriot Mark Webber, is an immense talent to come.
Also, there may be another vacancy in Williams, where Canada’s Nicholas Latifi contract will expire this year. Williams may be interested in Piastri, if not selected by Alpine’s team, or the Dutch Mercedes backup driver Nick De Vries.
The Dutch driver starred in test races with Williams in Spain and Mercedes in France. Low-luck candidates also highlight the name of British stand-in driver Jamie Chadwick, who dominated the only women’s tournament this season, but the move may not be too lucky.
The future of German Mick Schumacher, the son of seven-time defending champion Mykel, remains another talking point as his contract with Haas expires this year.
While drivers will be heading to European shores for their holidays, many teams will continue to work on solutions to the problem of bounces that have affected many cars this season.
The FIA is set to introduce measures to control the problem and protect drivers starting with the Belgium Grand Prix. Still, some teams, particularly Red Bull, oppose changes affecting the “ground impact” formula introduced this season.
Red Bull has designed a car that is less prone to these problems and rewards results.
Team chairman Christian Horner warned of severe disagreements and problems at the team’s maintenance center if new rules were introduced mid-season.
Abusive behavior by some fans in past races and on social media has led to significant reactions in the world of Formula 1.
Campaigns have been launched to reject them, but there have been persistent reports of abusive behavior and other social media images showing allegations that Verstappen fans burned goods related to Lewis Hamilton at the Hungary Circuit.
“That’s unacceptable,” Verstappen said, adding, “I certainly don’t agree with that because it’s disgusting.”
Recent events in Austria and Hungary came after other occasions when some drivers cynically cheered the booing whistles from drivers involved in accidents.