Max Verstappen Wins First-Ever Formula One Sprint Race


Jalopnik 17 July, 2021 - 12:00pm 21 views

What is the Silverstone sprint?

The F1 Sprint has been introduced for the first time on the Formula 1 calendar at Silverstone for the 2021 British GP. Raced over 100km, which amounts to 17 laps of the Silverstone circuit, drivers will compete flat out from start to finish without the need to pit stop in sprint qualifying. ... nationalworld.comWhat is the F1 sprint? How does new race work - qualifying, points and format ahead of British GP explained

Red Bull's Verstappen leads Ferrari duo in final practice 17 July, 2021 - 07:16am

Max Verstappen topped the timesheet in Saturday's final practice, the Red Bull charger leading Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in a session that appeared widely devoted to preparation for Sunday's main event.

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas concluded FP2 in the lower part of the top ten as the Mercedes drivers focused on the long pace of their W12 Black Arrow.

The Silverstone crowd and teams alike were greeted with near perfect 25°C conditions mid-day on Saturday and there were no signs on the weather radar of a disruption of the climate in the Northamptonshire countryside.

After Friday's qualifying that saw Lewis Hamilton regain the upper hand over arch-rival Max Verstappen, there were a few discussions in the paddock among the drivers who questioned the purpose of FP2 given that teams are not allowed to undertake any major set-up changes ahead of this afternoon's sprint qualifying.

But with the jury still out on which tyre compound to use in the 17-lap mad dash – softs or mediums – the 60-minute session was expected to deliver some insight into that crucial choice as well help teams prepare for Sunday's main event.

There was little relevancy in the running order in the first part of FP2 as everyone was on different programs, with drivers sampling all three of Pirelli's compounds.

Nevertheless, the bulls guided their RB16B to the top of the time sheet, with a medium-shod Verstappen edging Perez by 0.646s.

In fact, it was a Red Bull wave at the front halfway through the session with Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda completing the top four.

As Verstappen upped the pace, Ferrari's Carlos Sainz - running on the softs - slotted his SF21 into P2 but the Spaniard was demoted in short order by teammate Charles Leclerc, while Alpine's Esteban Ocon clocked in an excellent fourth, ahead of Perez.

The positions among the top five remained unchanged in the final minutes of the session, while McLaren Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo lined up P6 and P7, ahead of the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Bottas who shied away from performance runs to focus on the long pace of their W12.

There was little to take away from the session as teams followed a diverse set of running plans, but check back later this afternoon for a run-down on F1's first ever Sprint Qualifying?

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Hamilton delights home crowd ahead of historic F1 weekend 16 July, 2021 - 02:28pm

SILVERSTONE, England (AP) — Lewis Hamilton and George Russell thrilled their home crowd Friday night as the British drivers dazzled in Formula One’s first attempt at a new sprint qualifying format.

Hamilton was fastest at Silverstone in a qualifying session that set the grid for F1′s historic debut of a sprint race to determine the starting lineup of the British Grand Prix. The seven-time champion thanked the 90,000 in attendance for energizing him through the session.

“It feels like such a long time since we’ve been able to get anywhere near, so this is incredibly special and obviously to do it on your home turf there’s no greater feeling,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton nipped championship leader Max Verstappen in the session but it does not count as a pole position. That will be determined Saturday when F1 experiments with a new format. The three rounds of qualifying Friday night replaced the traditional second practice, and the sprint race is designed to bring more entertainment to the race weekend.

Russell was first to hear the roar of the British supporters when he advanced into the third round of qualifying for the second consecutive race. The fans were on their feet again when the 23-year-old qualified eighth, two spots behind fellow countryman Lando Norris.

Then it was Hamilton’s turn and despite a slight slip in his Mercedes on his flying lap, he shot to the top of the board. When Verstappen finished his lap 0.075 seconds behind Hamilton, the cheering was deafening.

Hamilton climbed from his Mercedes and congratulated teammate Valtteri Bottas, who qualified third, then turned to the grandstands and pumped his arms in achievement.

“This is down to the fans,” he said. “That first lap was great. The second one was looking even better but just lost the back end in that last corner, so my heart was in my mouth as I crossed the line. But I could see the crowd and it was really reminiscent of my first pole here in 2007.”

Hamilton trails Verstappen by 32 points in the standings. The Dutchman takes a three-race winning streak into Sunday.

“We were still quite close, so it’s alright,” the Red Bull driver said. “It’s a bit of a weird feeling to be honest. You do qualifying, you go flat out and actually it doesn’t really mean anything in terms of pole position. I think we have a strong race car we just need to fix a few issues we had in qualifying. I’m quite confident still.”

F1 is calling its tryout of this qualifying format “The Sprint” and it started Friday night with the three rounds and teams mandated to use soft tires. The actual starting lineup will be determined Saturday over 100 kilometers — or 17 laps — and the top three finishers will receive points toward the championship.

Red Bull holds a five-race winning streak ahead of the British GP, but the crowd seems determined to get Hamilton back on top of the podium. His last victory was May 9 at the Spanish GP.

“We’ve been missing this for a whole year. I’m so grateful to see everyone here,” Hamilton said as the fans chanted his name. “To come to the Silverstone grand prix and have a full crowd like this, to see the energy… when I was coming into it, I was hopeful that with the great work we’ve done together in the team plus the energy of the fans would get us there.”

Silverstone has long been a Mercedes stronghold and the team has won seven of the past eight races, six of those victories from Hamilton. Race organizers expect 140,000 fans on Sunday and all in attendance had to provide proof of full vaccination or a negative test taken within 48 hours of arrival.

McLaren announced Thursday that its team head Zak Brown and two other team members had tested positive for the coronavirus. The team said Norris and Daniel Ricciardo were unaffected.

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BASTROP COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Rodney Reed’s family will speak at a rally Saturday afternoon ahead of a new evidentiary hearing that begins on Monday.

Campaigners and Reed’s supporters argue that he was wrongfully convicted of murdering Stacey Stites in Bastrop in 1996. Reed has been on death row for more than 20 years.

At the end of the same week Texas Democratic lawmakers made a mass exodus from the state Capitol to block the GOP-led elections overhaul bills, three fully vaccinated members of the Texas House Democratic Caucus have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Caucus officials.

The two will host state and local officials in Del Rio, Texas. Abbott recently requested immediate federal assistance to help with the surge of migrants at the border. DeSantis deployed Florida law enforcement to Texas in response.

Hamilton did Friday morning "practice session" in simulator to aid pole bid · RaceFans

RaceFans 16 July, 2021 - 01:40pm

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Lewis Hamilton revealed he spent Friday morning in Mercedes’ simulator to help raise the team’s performance before topping qualifying for the first time in six races.

As today’s single, one-hour practice session did not begin until half past two in the afternoon, Hamilton used the morning to travel to Mercedes’ factory in nearby Brackley and conduct development work. Mercedes has introduced an aerodynamic upgrade to its W12 this weekend.

“I was in the factory on the sim on Tuesday and again we had this morning free and I was like, look, [I’m] not going to sit around and waste time, let’s get to it.

“So we did a practice session this morning on there, just trying to develop it, trying to give the guys as much information as possible so as we’re developing the car. We’re squeezing absolutely every every ounce of performance from this thing, but it was holding together today. So I’m over the moon.”

Red Bull were fastest by over seven-tenths of a second in practice, but Mercedes hit back in qualifying, which they led for the 10th consecutive occasion at Silverstone.

“I don’t know what they were doing in there,” said Hamilton. “They were very quick, obviously, in that practise session, but we were just staying focussed on our job and trying to layer up.”

Hamilton’s first run in Q3 earned him pole position for the sprint qualifying race. His second lap was initially quicker, but he lost time when he made a mistake at Vale.

“That first lap was great,” said Hamilton. “The second one was looking even better, but just lost the back end in that last corner, so my heart was in my mouth as I came across the line.

“But I could see the crowd and it was really reminiscent of my first pole here in 2007. I couldn’t have done it without all these guys here, so a big, big thank you.”

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I know AWS graphics could be inaccurate, but I remember in Austria and France, Hamilton was extracting 95% of the car’s maximum performance in the corners. Today, it showed that he was extracting 97% of that. I wonder if this is representative because he was fastest today. Also, I wonder… is that percentage related to Hamilton’s driving limit of the car on the setup he is running? Or is it related to the car’s full theoretical performance on a perfect setup? Because the graphic can mean that Hamilton can be driving just 95% of the car’s full potential but also the car can have a poor setup accounting for the 5% remainder. I wonder if Mercedes have managed to unlock something from the W12 in terms of setup.

I think these are all great questions and a reason why it’s hard to put any stock in those AWS numbers. The Sky commentators swore that AWS has team data no one else has but even if they have all the traces, data, etc., you would need a super sophisticated physics model and modelling of the track and the effect of the surface from temperature etc to say whether a driver got 95.6 or 95.7 percent of the performance on a given lap. I’m skeptical this means more than their tire-wear graphic. I mean does AWS know whether there was a bit of gravel or dirt on the track or a gust of wind or car 5 seconds ahead and factor that in?

I think we should get rid of the AWS predictions altogether.

They may be right, but the price is too high if they are wrong. The driver’s reputations are at stake here. Seems like F1 has stopped caring about its drivers or the latter has even less say in affairs.

As @dmw writes, just forget about the AWS numbers @krichelle. They are more or less just the fastest sectors of a driver put together and then comparing how many of those they managed to get together in a single lap.

Maybe in a year or 2 their AI system will have learnt enough about F1 cars, about track evolution, about different tyre compounds, the weather, time of day and just simple mistakes to be able to accurately estimate the effect of the driver doing their thing in the cars. But for now, it really doesn’t give any new or dependable information.

That’s not true at all. AWS uses streaming data from the cars to build an AI neural network (SageMaker), which then predicts the limits and battle stats etc (they already take into account the factors you’ve mentioned, and more).

This is interesting, as Lewis has frequently said in the past that he’s not a fan of the simulator.

This is interesting, as Lewis has frequently said in the past that he’s not a fan of the simulator.

Looks like it just made them go backward like in Austria as they were miles off in early practice

Your comment didn’t. Just like in Austria Hamilton had heroically been at the simulator, which they openly admitted caused them to go in a wrong direction. Only when backtracking to a regular known setup did they find speed for qualifying. And the same seemed to happen here. Way off in practice with the new simulator setup, but then found speed for qualifying again.

…I was like, look, [I’m] not going to sit around and waste time, let’s get to it.

Competition is a great motivator. I’m sure there were times when Lewis believed he didn’t need to do any practice before a Grand prix, but now that he’s second in the WDC he needs to be driving his car at the edge of it’s performance window. I guess one question is was Valtteri there too?

Lewis seems very old school in this regard. One thing that is remarkable about him is how he is able maintain a lot of activities outside the sport and not have his performance suffer for it. A lot of athletes seem to be unable to do that. His newfound enthusiasm for the simulator suggests that the passion and will to win is still there despite all of his previous achievements.

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