Whiting: Driver’s choice to use DRS

Charlie Whiting believes drivers who had incidents through Silverstone’s new DRS zone have only themselves to blame as it is a “driver choice” to open the flap.

Romain Grosjean was the first big casualty as the Frenchman crashed in Friday’s practice after failing to close his DRS.

Two days later it was Marcus Ericsson who was buried in the barriers, the Swede revealing he failed to hit the button resulting in his crash.

As such F1 race director Whiting reckons the new zone, which led onto the already flat-out Turns 1 and 2, was very much in the hands of the drivers and it was their “choice” whether to take the chance.

He said: “I think the incidents where drivers lost control through Turn 1 because they had their DRS open through Turn 1 is a driver choice, just like any other choice you make on a car.

“It’s like any car that is challenging to drivers, and sometimes they try to do it flat when it’s not really flat, and they spin.

“It’s the same thing, it’s their choice. If they thought they could do it, they can try it. It’s not a requirement to do it.

“It’s like any other choice that teams and drivers make.”

However, whether it is there next year remains to be seen as Whiting concedes it didn’t help with overtaking.

“I don’t think it actually helped,” he said.

“The idea was that drivers might get a little bit closer than they would have done otherwise and therefore be in a better position to attack on the straights between Turns 5 and 6.”

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Perez ‘pleased’ with Gasly penalty

At a time when F1’s stewards are coming in for some stick, Sergio Perez has praised their decision to penalise Pierre Gasly at the British Grand Prix.

Gasly was in the thick of a late-race battle with Perez that saw the Toro Rosso driver collide with the Force India man and forced him off the track.

Gasly was slapped with a five-second time penalty that dropped him to 13th and elevated Perez to P10.

But while the Frenchman called the penalty “bullshit”, Perez says he is pleased his rival was punished for his antics.

“With two laps to go, Gasly pushed me off track,” he said.

“I gave him enough space but that was not enough: we still made contact and I lost the place.

“I believe it was an unfair move. I’m pleased that the FIA took action after the race to penalise Gasly, which gave me back the final point.”

But despite his top-ten showing, Perez says he was still unhappy with his Sunday at Silverstone.

“I cannot be totally happy about the race.

“The incident at the start compromised my race: I lost the rear end trying to avoid the incidents ahead, spun and suddenly I was at the back of the field.

“After that, our race was pretty strong. We had good pace and overtook a lot of cars. We made the most of the various safety cars and made it back into the points.”

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Hamilton: Kimi said sorry, I accept it and we move on

Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton has accepted an apology from Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen and recognised that their first lap collision in Sunday’s British Grand Prix was a racing incident and not deliberate.

The Mercedes driver, who fought back from last to second after being sent spinning at the third corner by the veteran Finn, had spoken immediately after the race of the Italian team’s ‘interesting tactics’.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff had suggested two collisions between Ferraris and his cars in three races were either deliberate or incompetent.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel also collided with Mercedes Valtteri Bottas in France last month.

“Kimi said sorry and I accept it and we move on. It was a racing incident and nothing more,” Hamilton posted on Instagram. “Sometimes we say dumb shit and we learn from it.”

Wolff’s comments had angered Ferrari principal Maurizio Arrivabene, particularly as he had referenced former Ferrari technical director James Allison, who is now working for Mercedes. “In James Allison’s words, ‘do you think it is deliberate or incompetence?’. So this leaves us with a judgement,” the Austrian had said.

Arrivabene told Sky Italia after the race that Allison should be ashamed if he had said that, “We’re here in England, sometimes they want to teach us how to be gentlemen, and he should start first. Really, this annoyed me so much.”

“It’s been a beautiful battle, a battle that I think the audience appreciated, there will be other battles where most likely Mercedes will win and this is a lesson for us to stay classy, a thing that they haven’t done today.”

Mercedes defended Allison on Twitter, emphasising he had not spoken to media and there had merely been a ‘jokey conversation’ during the race that Wolff repeated and that had been misinterpreted.

“We know it was just a stupid mistake on Kimi’s part. Like Seb in France. It’s the race but it’s still annoying twice on three GPs,” the team said.

Vettel now leads the championship standings by eight points and Ferrari top the constructors’ table by 20, leads that increased at Silverstone, the tenth round of the championship.


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Hamilton: ‘Sometimes we say dumb sh*t’

Lewis Hamilton has posted on his Instagram page saying that Kimi Raikkonen has apologised to him after the Lap 1 incident at Silverstone on Sunday.

Hamilton was tapped by the Finn, and spun round.

The four-time World Champion was P18 at the end of the first lap, but came through the field to finish on the podium at the British Grand Prix in P2.

However, he stormed off after the race, and was not interviewed in parc ferme. Instead, Martin Brundle caught up with him on the podium where he suggested that Ferrari were using ‘interesting tactics’ to get the victory.

After reflecting on it overnight, the Brit seems to have calmed down, and understood the situation of the high-pressure scenario.

He said on his Instagram post:

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Ferrari boss: Allison should be ashamed

James Allison should be “ashamed” of himself after accusing Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen of a “deliberate” crash or “incompetence” in his British GP clash with Lewis Hamilton.

Raikkonen put Hamilton firmly on the back foot at Silverstone when he hit the Mercedes driver on the opening lap.

Hamilton spun off and dropped down to 18th place in the classification.

Although he recovered to second place, it was a case of what could have been – and it was a case of Mercedes were not happy.

Motorsport boss Toto Wolff told Sky Sports: “In [technical director] James Allison’s words, ‘do you think it is deliberate or incompetence?’. So this leaves us with a judgement.”

WATCH: Lewis Hamilton spins out after crash with Kimi Raikkonen

And while Arrivabene accepts there will always be some who question, he is angered that Allison is one of those.

“Who is incompetent? Kimi? Who is he to judge what the drivers are doing in the car?” he told Sky Italia.

“If he really said something like that, he should be ashamed!

“Allison worked at Maranello for many years, but now we are here in England teaching him to be a gentleman.

“I accept it from [TV pundit] Jacques Villeneuve because he was a driver. But this guy?”

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Brundle explains Hamilton’s hasty exit

Such was Lewis Hamilton’s anger in the immediate aftermath of the British GP that he walked off before giving a post-race interview done in anger.
Hamilton, second in Sunday’s British Grand Prix, stormed off instead of speaking to interviewer Martin Brundle in the wake of the race.
The Brit was furious with Ferrari’s “interesting tactics” which saw Kimi Raikkonen tag him on the opening lap, spinning Hamilton down into 18th place.

WATCH: Hamilton refuses post-race interview

Raikkonen’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel won the race while Hamilton put in an incredible drive to recover to second.
He was nonetheless still furious.
“The reason Lewis didn’t talk to me in the Parc Ferme is because he wanted time to go and calm down,” Brundle explained to Sky Sports.
“He was so angry about that. He didn’t see it as a last-to-second comeback drive.
“He saw it as somebody torpedoed me off the race track.”
He added: “He scampered out of Parc Ferme, up the stairs.
“Matteo Bonciani of the FIA said ‘be careful with him, he’s really not happy at all at the moment’.
“So by the time I came out on the podium, I think he composed himself.
“I don’t think he wanted to say any words that he’d regret down there.”
Lewis Hamilton has since posted on social media that he has accepted Kimi Raikkonen’s apology and is ready to move on.

https://twitter.com/wtf1official/status/1016274078288760832

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‘Ferrari antics deliberate or incompetence?’

Mercedes were left smarting by Ferrari’s antics at Silverstone with James Alison questioning whether it was “deliberate or incompetence.”

Kimi Raikkonen ruined Lewis Hamilton’s race at the British Grand Prix when he tagged the Brit, pitching him into a spin.

Although Hamilton dropped to 18th, he put in a storming drive to finish the grand prix in second place.

It, however, was a question of what could have been were it not for that contact with Raikkonen.

WATCH: Lewis Hamilton spins out after crash with Kimi Raikkonen

Sebastian Vettel won the grand prix, extending his points-lead in the championship to eight.

Asked about the incident, Wolff told Sky Sports: “A racing incident.

“Unfortunate because Le Castellet first time we got taken out and now it is the second time we got taken out.

“It is a lot of constructor points.

“In [technical director] James Allison’s words, ‘do you think it is deliberate or incompetence?’. So this leaves us with a judgement.”

And while Hamilton questioned Ferrari’s “tactics”, Niki Lauda conceded it was an unfortunate, unfair and not particularly funny accident.

He told Autosport: “Lewis did an incredible job, no question about it. Everything was going right.

“The accident was unfair basically, because it’s the second time a Ferrari hits us in the first corner, and it’s not funny.

“But that’s the way it is.”

Read more: Hamilton snipes at Ferrari over race ‘tactics’

He did, however, praise the stewards for “realising” what is going on and handing Raikkonen a 10-second penalty having only given Vettel a five-second punishment in France.

“First of all it was wrong when they gave Vettel five seconds,” he told Sky Sports.

“At least now they gave Kimi 10 seconds. The stewards realised what’s going on here.

“But that’s the way it is. It should not have been, but for me, Lewis’s job, being last, coming all the way to second, shows what performance he had here.

“So, I say without the crash he would have won the race.”

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Gasly hits back at ‘bulls**t’ British GP penalty

Pierre Gasly says the stewards should let the drivers race rather than hand out “ridiculous” penalties such as his post-British GP five-second time penalty.

Gasly was slapped with the time penalty in the wake of Sunday’s British GP as the stewards felt he had “severely compromised” Sergio Perez’s grand prix in their late-race battle.

As a result of the penalty, Gasly dropped from 10th to 13th and Perez scored the last point.

The stewards ruling read: “The Stewards felt that Gasly’s maneuvers were generally reasonable, and that he was attempting to make a good racing pass. Perez left his sufficient room throughout.

“However, Gasly touched the sausage kerb at the apex of turn 16 which caused him to collide with Perez. This subsequently forced Perez off the track on driver’s left before turn 17 and severely compromised his ability to race through turns 17 and 18, and Gasly was thus able to pass Perez.

“The Stewards determined that Gasly was wholly or predeominantly to blame, and while the collision was light it led directly to the pass.Therefore the Stewards ordered a 5 second penalty.”

Gasly, who prior to hearing about the penalty called it a “nice battle” with Perez, hit back at the ruling on Twitter.

“Five sec penalty, ridiculous…” he wrote.

“Every weekend there are contacts with no further action, that’s part of racing & what makes it exciting!

“Was close battle, I enjoyed it.

“Just let us race and stop all this bullshit with penalties! Will keep fighting.”

https://twitter.com/PierreGASLY/status/1016027327204126726

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Verstappen rues ‘tragic’ F1 v F2 power deficit

Max Verstappen says Red Bull’s power deficit with their Renault engine is nothing short of a tragedy, comparing it to the difference between F1 and F2 cars.

Although the Dutchman was on course for a solid points-haul at Sunday’s British Grand Prix, he never once looked as if he could challenge for the win.

And with Lewis Hamilton putting in a recovery drive that saw him slice his way through the field, even a podium looked a step too far for Verstappen.

Either way he never got to see the chequered flag, retiring due to a brake-by-wire problem.

Verstappen told Dutch TV after the race: “I had to manage the tyres the whole way through the race but we were super-slow on the straights anyway, which was just a huge drama.

“I tried to do a one-stop. In the end I was lucky that there was a Safety Car, because that wasn’t going to work.

“After the first Safety Car I made that move on Kimi, which was nice, but it’s just incredibly frustrating how much we are lacking on the straights. It’s a real bummer.”

Asked about the power deficit Red Bull’s Renault engine had to that of Mercedes and Ferrari, he replied: “It was tragic. On the straights it’s like you are driving in a different series.”

Like F1 versus F1? “Yes,” he said.

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Alonso unimpressed with ‘soft’ stewarding

Fernando Alonso feels the British GP stewards were “soft” at Silverstone after failing to penalise Kevin Magnussen for his latest antics.

Fresh from Friday’s troubles in which Alonso accused Magnussen of trying to hit him not once but twice, the two again found themselves racing wheel-to-wheel during Sunday’s 52-lap race.

Battling for position, Alonso felt Magnussen pushed him into the gravel as he attempted to overtake him.

“The incident was at Turn 7, I went around the outside and when I came back to the normal line I was pushed off, into the gravel,” Alonso said.

“We’ve been told you have to leave room for the other car but some don’t and nothing happens.

“And then, as we were stuck behind a big group there was no possibility to attack those at the front of that group.

“I think we lost at least one place, but at the end we finished ahead of Magnussen, anyway.”

Alosno later overtook the the Haas driver, finishing eighth while Magnussen was ninth on the day.

The double World Champion added to ESPN: “He fought hard, like he always does, and the FIA was a little soft today, in my opinion.

“It was fine as in the last lap I could re-overtake him, so in the end there was maybe not a big difference in terms of position, so I’m happy for that, happy with the position, and with getting more points for the team.”

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