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Featured 2017 Formula One Mexican Grand Prix

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    Mexican Grand Prix.jpg
    Can Hamilton wrap up the title in Mexico? The 2017 Mexican Grand Prix discussion article is here...

    The recently redeveloped and restructured Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez circuit in Mexico makes for a superb motorsport venue full of colour, noise and excitement, with the title battle balanced on a knife edge can Hamilton come away with his fourth World Drivers Championship in the bag?

    Exciting times ahead, get yourself into the discussion below!

    Session Report Links:
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
  2. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    THURSDAY FIA PRESS CONFERENCE - DRIVERS – Max VERSTAPPEN (Red Bull Racing), Sergio PEREZ (Force India), Pascal WEHRLEIN (Sauber)

    Sergio, if we can start with you, you're the home town hero this weekend, just tell us how it feels to be racing in Mexico again?

    Sergio PEREZ: It feels great. It's a race that I'm waiting the whole season for. It comes really late in the calendar, but it comes at the right time. Just the atmosphere, the energy I get from the fans is something that is extremely amazing. So much support; from the moment I arrive to the moment I leave it's flat out and yeah, so much looking forward to give the very best to all my fans in the track and off the track, to give the very best to them.

    Looking back to Austin last weekend, it was another strong race from Force India. You weren't allowed to overtake your team-mate there but we hear that you will be free to race here in Mexico. Is that true and what can we expect from you guys this weekend?

    SP: Yeah, well in Austin and in Japan, for example, we knew that the priority was to secure fourth place in the Constructors', which we are very close to doing so. So that's the main priority. Then I think we have to gain the trust back; to show the bosses that we can race without any trouble. That's the main priority. I think here we should be quite strong actually. We have a couple of upgrades on the car and I think the track should suit the car quite well, so definitely looking forward and to finish our season, which has been good, on a high.

    And free to race?

    SP: That I haven't heard. You've heard it first. But probably yes, we should be able to race here.

    Pascal, there's a lot of talk about 2018 in the F1 paddock at the moment. You've become one of the key players in that game of musical chairs. How close are you to signing a deal?

    Pascal WEHRLEIN: No news yet on this side but I hope… there are some discussions going on for next year and I hope we can fix something soon.

    Do you have a headline when you expect to hear something?

    PW: I have no deadline, no. The last two years it was always quite late. I just hope we can find something and sign a contract for next year and I would be happy.

    Your name has been linked to Williams, but are you hedging your bets, are you looking outside Formula One as well as inside?

    PW: I'm not looking outside yet.

    Well, good luck in that. Max, obviously you are here to discuss events in Austin last weekend. Having had a few days to reflect on what happened, what are your thoughts now?

    Max VERSTAPPEN: The thoughts are pretty similar, but I think in general it was a great race. I really enjoyed that. The pace of the car was great again. That's now three times in a row we were really competitive and I just hope to continue that way here in Mexico.

    It got pretty heated after the race. Do you regret any of the comments that you made or any of the language you used?

    MV: Well, I think after a race the emotions run high, especially you have been taken off a podium, which I think I deserved, because I think the punishment was not correct, because everybody was running off the track in Turn 19, 8 and 9. Even in Turn 6 when you were behind someone you were cutting the inside, a lot of cars were doing it. And then also the fans, I think they loved it. It was a great move and then they tell you that you are gaining an advantage while overtaking someone. Well, if I was really gaining an advantage I would do it every single lap, which you are not, so I don't think it's gaining an advantage. Like I said, a lot of other people did it as well, they were cutting the inside of the corners, and then I'm the only getting penalised, is of course, I think, not correct. And then I think it's quite normal that I get angry. Of course I could have used a few different words but at the end of the day I still think the decision is not correct.

    So the sentiment four days on is still the same?

    MV: Absolutely.


    Q: (Livio Oricchio – GloboEsporte.com) Max, you said there is the same marshal that penalised you, I think it was here in marshal. Who is this marshal please… Sorry he's a steward?

    MV: I don't want to name any names.

    Q: (Helmut Uhl – Bild) Max, how did you digest the disappointment? What did you do the last days?

    MV: I had an event on Monday and then I just stayed around Houston, because that's where I had to be and played FIFA. I mean, at the end of the day I still had a great day. Of course I was not happy that they take away my podium, but you also have to look at the positives and that was that it was a great race, for sure. I'm still a happy person, because the speed was good.

    Q: (Rik Spekenbrink - Algemeen Dagblad) Max, besides you drove a perfect race, there was also some criticism in the Netherlands, maybe for the first time. What do you make of that? What do you think of that?

    MV: As I said, I could have different words, for sure. But, like I also said, I was angry at the time, because I think it was not correct and I already said all the reasons why I think it was not correct. So you also have to understand a bit my point of it, but of course the words were not correct. But I can't change that right now. It was not meant for anyone. I was not trying to offend anyone. Otherwise I would have named them by name if I was trying to offend someone.

    Q: (Manuel Franco – Diario As) My question is about Fernando Alonso. He will be competing in the 24 Hours of Daytona next year. What's your opinion about that and would you compete in a similar race outside Formula One?

    SP: I think it's good experience. Obviously, Fernando is wanting to experience that route a lot, with Indy, the 24 Hours and probably he might think of Le Mans. I think it's a great, you know. I think it's a great experience. It's one of those races that you would like to do at some point. I went there actually last year to see my brother. He did the race the 24 Hours in Daytona, and it's an amazing race and an amazing venue. It's one race that I definitely want to do at some point in my career.

    PW: I've never followed it so far, but I have only heard positive things about it so probably I will follow it next year.

    MV: Of course the first priority is to stay as long as possible in F1, but if I like it then maybe I will do it, but I only want to do it with my dad. I think after F1 to get the same sensation is really hard, so I try to do that as long as possible.

    Q: (Livio Oricchio – GloboEsporte.com ) Max, sorry to come back to the subject but looking at the video your first reaction, looks like to avoid an impact with Kimi, then you look for the run-off area. Is that correct?

    MV: Yeah, of course. I think at one point he realised that I was trying to overtake him, so he tried to close the door, so you have avoid it. Then, of course, the Austin track gives a lot of possibility to run on the inside, like you could see the whole weekend. So, yeah, first was to try to avoid an accident and then to try and overtake him.

    Q: (Ysef Harding – Xiro Xone News) Sergio, it's great to be home obviously. We know that you've helped put together a lot of money to help repair what's been going on here in Mexico City following the tragedy of the earthquakes. I was wondering what you would have to say to some of your fans and your people who are watching this weekend who are looking to come to race and out behind what has happened recently?

    SP: Yeah, it has been a very tough couple of months for my country in general, not just Mexico City, but other cities. What happened was horrible. But it was amazing to see, so united Mexico, but not only Mexico, the whole world, how everyone supported Mexico was pretty special. I think that's one of the reasons that this race is going to very special for the fans. I really hope that the fans that come here will have an amazing time and the ones watching at home, hopefully I give them an amazing race and a lot of happiness that they really deserve to have.

    Q: (Carlos Jalife – Fast Mag) Max, I was wondering, the pass was deemed illegal, although everybody liked it in Austin, but what can be done, what deterrent can be used so that this doesn't happen again – for all the drivers. Obviously, there should be some self-discipline, but as this was lacking from everyone, should they use bananas, like they do in the first chicane in Monza? What would be your ideas about using a deterrent to avoid drivers using the extra metres?

    MV: It's not self-discipline, I think we know quite well what to do and what not to do. But they never told us anything. Already from lap one in practice one, everyone was running wide. It was all fine. Then, of course, if it's not mentioned, they never tell us anything, then of course we try to go as quick as we can. I think there is a very simple solution. Let's put grass on the inside, or gravel or whatever, that you cannot cut over the kerbs. For example, in Suzuka I don't think we have those issues, do we? So it's quite clear.

    SP: I totally agree with Max. Nothing was being said before we didn't have any guidance on that. That incident was very particular. Yeah, it's definitely something that we need to definitely have a guidance on what is allowed and not allowed.

    Would you like to see grass on the inside as well, as Max has just suggested?

    SP: Yeah, in general I think the tracks have become very boring. If you go off you have 100 metres to go wide. I'm not saying you should put a wall, but I think definitely there should be a lot more gravel and if the driver makes a mistake he should pay more for it.


    PW: Yeah, I'm not a big fan of bug runaways or sausage kerbs. Me, I would also prefer gravel or grass, it makes it much easier.

    Q: (Simon Lazenby – Sky Sports) Max, I think a few people in the paddock were quite surprised that you decided to take yourself out of the conversation, if you like, with Mercedes and Ferrari, and extend your future with Red Bull until the end of 2020? Can you tell me whether there was interest from both of those parties and why you decided to commit so early?

    MV: Well, I don't speak about those things normally, but I feel good at the team and the improvements we made this year I think they have been the most of the whole grid, especially in the last few races, we have been really competitive. And also I think how we are going to start this next year will be better than how we started this year. I believe in the team and what is also very important is that you have people around you who really support you. They are good friends to you as well, and there is just a really good atmosphere in the team, so why would I give that up? At the end of the day, if we can sort out the horsepower deficit then I'm sure we can win races.

    Max, you talk about the atmosphere in the team, would you like to see Daniel Ricciardo stay in the team?

    MV: That would be good, yes, because the relationship is really good. And also in the team there is not like two sides, it's like one big side. Everybody can be happy for each other if somebody has a good result, so I think that's also very important.

    Q: (Jim Vertuno – Associated Press) Sergio, how would you describe your relationship with your team-mate at this point in the season? And do you suspect that given your popularity here that Mexican fans will be cheering for you and against him this weekend?

    SP: I think we obviously had a bad relationship since Baku and especially we hit a very low point in Belgium. But afterwards we had a good conversation between us only, no one was involved there in the team. I think since that point everything has changed you know, the atmosphere, not only between us, also the engineers and everyone, is really good. Having both sides working together has made a big difference. And especially going into next year it's really important. It's a massive challenge. We have to work together for the benefit of the team. It's very important that in a team that both drivers are united. Obviously, you want to beat each other but it's important to have that respect. I think that respect is in place now. It's something that makes me happy and the atmosphere is good. I don't think the fans will be bad to Esteban. Obviously they will support me a lot here but I see no reason why they should be bad to him. If anything, every event we have done so far they have been very good to him, not only to him but to everybody else. They really like the sport and at the end of the day it's just a sport and it's how it should be.

    Q: (Luigi Perna – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Question for Max. Max, how much is it important for you to have the freedom to express your opinion, to be yourself, to have your own personality in Formula One?

    MV: I think it's very important but that's the way I am. I'm not going to hold back or lie. I'm just straightforward.

    Q: (Rik Spekenbrink – Ad Sportwereld) Again for Max, you said you were hoping teams would gather around and talk about this issue, so maybe things could change by being discussed. Did that happen, as far as you know?

    MV: I think not for the moment, but it will happen, yeah.

    Q: (Rachel Brookes – Sky Sports) Checo, how happy were you to hear that Max was staying with Red Bull until 2020, with the possibility of a Mercedes or Ferrari seat opening up in 2019. And have you spoken to either team? Does that interest you?

    SP: Well, going that far forward doesn't really change anything.

    MV: I did it for Checo!

    SP: As a special favour for me? I hope that works in my advantage. No, seriously, it doesn't change anything, it's too far away. Let's see how the season starts next year and we'll see what opportunity comes up in the future. I expect there will be some changes next year. A lot of movement, so it's good Max is staying there. I hope he stays a lot longer!

    Q: Pascal, we should probably throw that to you as well, you're a Mercedes junior driver. The ramifications of Max staying at Red Bull. Do you think they could play to your advantage as well?

    PW: In my case we need to fix next year first and then think about 2019.

    Q: (Rafael Bolaños – Televisa) Checo, based on what you have done for the team in the past years, do you think you deserve to be the number one driver in the team?

    SP: No, I think it's fair that there is no number one driver in the team. I think both drivers in any team should be treated equally, with the updates you get etc. At the end of the day the number one driver is always the one that scores the most points or can deliver the most for the team. And that's my priority, to try to deliver the most for the team but, at the same time, help with the development, work together with Esteban to help the team, and move forwards – because considering the tight budget we have, and we're fighting forces like Red Bull or Ferrari, it's really difficult for us. We really have to work, all of us together, to try to move the team forwards, and I'm trying to improve that.

    Q: (Ysef Harding – Xiro Xone News) To all three drivers. Last week there was a lot of talk on social media about the intro of last week's race and how spectacular it was. It was very American. There were a lot of mixed view on that intro. I would like to get your take on what you guys thought of that intro. And for Sergio, do you think something like that could work here in Mexico?

    SP: I think if there's a race that doesn't need anything like that it's especially Mexico. Mexico has been the greatest grand prix for the last two years and I believe that it will be the same. Personally, I like it for the sport. Having all the time the same… I think probably every race should have their own signature – because when you go to China or Brazil it's the same: you have the same Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Everything is very similar. I think those things definitely help the sport. Personally, sitting there and waiting so long is not the best thing, especially before the race – but I think it was good for the sport and is good that some races think on something like this.

    Pascal, your thoughts?

    PW: I really liked it. Probably not for every race – it would be a bit too much – but, for example, some special races, I think, like Monaco, Singapore, something like this. I think it would be very nice.

    And Max.

    MV: Yeah, I think it was a good thing to do, but of course it was very American, so it will not work on every single track. We just need to see where it's going to work – or not. Some fine tuning is always good but I think for the first time it was actually pretty well done.

    Q: (Septime Meunier - AFP) How would you rate Exxon Mobil's work this season for Red Bull?

    MV: It's been great, I think they have given us the biggest engine upgrade, so that's always very, very positive. There are a lot of things still coming so I am looking forward to that.
  3. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    THURSDAY FIA PRESS CONFERENCE: DRIVERS - Sebastian VETTEL (Ferrari), Valtteri BOTTAS (Mercedes), Pierre GASLY (Toro Rosso)

    Q: Pierre, welcome back to Formula One, Before we talk about this weekend in Mexico, tell us about last weekend and how frustrating it must have been to go all the way to Japan, where you were hoping to wrap-up the Super Formula title but didn't get to race.

    Pierre GASLY: Yeah, really strange last weekend in Japan. I went there really excited, really motivated to fight for the title and, in the end with the Typhoon coming in, in the country they cancelled both races, so really weird to finish the weekend on the Saturday night but in the end I keep really good memories from my season in Super Formula. I really enjoyed it out there. It was great finishing second in my rookie year but of course I would have liked to really fight for the title until the end.

    Q: Let's talk about Toro Rosso now. You've completed two races for the team in Malaysia and Japan. Can you tell us about those experiences? How did you find the car? How did you find Formula One?

    PG: It was amazing. Of course starting in Formula One is always a special moment and for me, Malaysia was crazy. I really enjoyed it, and a lot of things to learn with the team, to come at the end of the year like this is never easy but I really tried to make the best out of it. Yeah, I just feel more comfortable in the car, lap after lap. So, I guess it's going to get better race after race, but yeah, you know, I'm trying my best to make sure we have good races and I'm really looking forward to the next couple of race weekends.

    Q: New team-mate this week. I think that makes you the senior driver in the team.

    PG: yeah, exactly. A bit weird after only two race weekend. We're both new, it's exciting to be in this position. For me it's a great opportunity and I'm really looking forward to it.

    Q: Valtteri, coming to you, Mercedes sealed the Constructors' Championship in Austin. Just how proud of that achievement are you and of the contribution you made.

    Valtteri BOTTAS: Definitely really proud. It's amazing feeling, being part of a championship winning team, and also the feeling you get that you've been part of it, you've done something right. We've done this as a team. No other team has done it with such a big regulation change, again winning the title. It's such a strong team and I'm a really proud member of it.

    Q: Hard car to drive, hard team-mate. Have you been able to pinpoint where you've been losing out to Lewis Hamilton since the summer break?

    VB: Yes, I've been able to pinpoint quite well and there's been some races where I've definitely struggled more than the others. Some have been quite positive. I think there was a lot of positive things, even to take from the last race, even though the end result was far away optimal – but yeah, it's all about details, as always in this sport. Some things with the driving style, some things with setting up the car, which I'm getting, learning all the time. That's why I really believe that I can get to a good level again before the end of the year.

    Q: Do you feel that Lewis has raised his game since the summer break?

    VB: I think so. I think he's been really on it all year but especially after the summer break. He's been consistently getting everything out of the car and being able to set it up right for each track, for each condition. That comes from experience but also hard work and he definitely deserves all the credit for his results this year.

    Q: Sebastian, you've won four titles, you've come close on other occasions. Now, of course it's not over until it's over this year but how do you reflect on 2017. Is there a little bit of you that feels this is the one that got away?

    Sebastian VETTEL: Well, first of all it's not over, though obviously it's not in our hands as much as we'd like it to be but overall I think it's been a very good year. Obviously, nobody expected us to be that strong to start with, nobody expected us to be that strong midway through the season, towards the end of the season, so I think there's a lot of positives. The pity really is that, y'know, there were a couple of races where we just weren't there to fight. We didn't have a chance to fight. I would have loved to have been on three wheels, even in the race but with a chance to fight. They obviously got away from us and we were just sitting on the sidelines. That was bitter but in the end, made a big difference. Nevertheless, we are now where we are and, as I said, we still have a chance. We want to win the last three races and I think we can. So that's our goal. And then we see what happens. Overall, I think the team has done incredible to be where we are now. Which, again, nobody expected. We've proven probably everybody wrong. There was a lot of talk in the winter, I remember, for sure about Mercedes, who were the favourites going in, but a lot of talk about Red Bull, other people, but no so much about Ferrari. It was good, obviously, to start off strong and keep going that way.

    Q: So what's the team got to do to go one place better? You're a man of huge experience. Do you think it's more of the same and just hone a little bit or do you think there needs to be some changes back in Maranello?

    SV: No, I think, y'know, we had things breaking and so on but that's part of racing. I think overall I know and I feel there's still a lot we can do, and we have to do better. But we know where to tackle, I think we know our weaknesses. Some things may happen quick, some things will take some time but if we get those things sorted I think we will end up being a much stronger team, able to build a much stronger car and a stronger package, stronger engine, so that's the things that we need to keep working on. We keep growing as a team, growing the culture, that allows us to build a strong package, a strong car, a strong engine. That's where we've made massive steps in the last three years and where we have to continue to make those steps.


    Q: (Rafael Bolaños – Televisa) Seb, do you think in the future you will be willing to get as a team-mate another top driver for example, like Daniel Ricciardo, that you raced against in Red Bull?

    SV: Yeah, I don't mind. I like Daniel. Obviously for next year things are sorted, and then, y'know, things can change quick. Things cannot change that quick, it depends always on what's going on but yeah, in the end it's not my choice, it's the team's choice and in the end if you're not prepared to race whoever it is, then what's the point of racing? That's the way I think. I don't know what happens but to be honest it's not what I'm thinking about now because it's still quite far away.

    Q: (Manuel Franco – Diario As) For all three: Fernando Alonso will be in the Daytona 24 hours next year. What is your opinion about that and would you like to compete in a similar race in the future, out of Formula One, like Daytona, Le Mans?

    VB: I never really thought about much elsewhere. I'm loving driving Formula One, competing with all the best drivers around and with such cool cars, so at the moment I'm just focusing on this, so no thoughts on the other categories at the moment. Of course it's good for Fernando if he can do it and if he wants to do it, why not?

    PG: Exactly, for me at the moment my only target is on F1 and that's the only thing I'm excited about at the moment but yeah, I'm still 21, I still have many years ahead of me. I think Fernando looks to like America at the moment so if he's happy about it then it's going to be a great experience for him. That's about it.

    SV: Well, all the best. I don't even know which cars they really race there; I think it's GT3 mostly in Daytona. LMP2. The way I look at it, in the past, if you look back a long way, not the last twenty years probably, but a long way, drivers used to race a lot more in different cars which I generally find pretty cool. The fact that they had to adapt to different cars, work with different people, with different mechanics, setting up the cars differently but mostly drive and adapt. Obviously where the sport has gone has been very very professional, there's not that much time to do many other things, if you commit properly to Formula One but overall we are racing drivers and I quite like the idea to drive more in different cars. I don't know if that will ever change in the future but if they had different categories in the same weekend where Formula One drivers were… I don't know, with the Procar series many years ago, for example, with the BMW M1s, where they did a race before the Grand Prix. Stuff like that I think would be cool but for sure you can see the difficulties these days in terms of the paperwork and all that. But for raw racing, it's very nice to race different cars, why not, every weekend.

    Q: Max Verstappen told us in the first session that he'd like to do Daytona with his father, Jos. Is there anyone you'd like to race with, Sebastian?

    SV: Well if I raced with my father I'd probably compete in a hillclimb race and he would probably show me my limits, still, but yeah, I think there's a lot of different categories. Even if you go back, down in a way, the level of competition is very high in karting. That would be really cool to do more of that and then there are so many cars to explore. The question is obviously who pays for it but yeah, I think overall it would be nice to explore a lot more and drive different cars.

    Q: (Carlo Felipe – Fast Mag) Last year, Valtteri, you almost broke the record for straightline speed in Formula One. You came within a tenth of a kilometre short of Montoya's record at Monza. Do you think this year, with the faster cars, you can break that record? Well, you or any of the twenty drivers?

    VB: Honestly, I doubt it a little bit because the cars are definitely faster around the lap but they are not quicker on a straightline, they are quite a bit slower on a straightline than years before, so I doubt it.

    Q: (Jack Lopez – Moment GP) Valtteri you seem to have had some problems in the last races against the rhythm of Lewis. Can you say why? Obviously, he's so fast but you know, in the first part of the season, you always were there, but in the second part, it seems like some lack of pace or something. Can you tell us what?

    VB: I think… when we started this press conference, I already listed quite a few things that I think Lewis has been really on it in the second half. I've been struggling to find the optimal set-up many times, sometimes going in the wrong direction, myself. Some tracks, with this car we have, the way it needs to be driven has been arguing with my natural driving style so I've had to change some things with my driving style and that doesn't happen overnight. If you think about it, if you need to change your golf swing, you just can't do it like that and be natural about it and not to think about it too much. So yeah, there are multiple things: how to manage the tyres, preparing for qualifying laps and especially during the race I've been struggling a little bit more with overheating the tyres. But we have been working on every single issue we've spotted, always managed to improve those, step by step, been getting stronger. I think my pace in the last race was actually very similar to Lewis before I struggled in the second stint with… various reasons for that so that was positive. So like I said, aim to continue the hard work and to continue to get better and better and quicker and hopefully can finish the season strongly.

    Q: Has the momentum swing within the garage affected your relationship with Lewis?

    VB: No. Not at all.

    Q: (Marius Salvini – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Sebastian, the last two times here have been difficult races for you. Do you think there is a particular reason for that, maybe about the track or something else?

    SV: Not really. I think two years ago I crashed. Last year, obviously we had that fight for the podium and then podium, no podium so… Generally I think we've been quick. I like the track, it's obviously not easy to get everything right. The cars, despite maximum downforce, are quite difficult to drive and a bit – in a way – similar to Monza but you've got more corners, different nature of corners. But we will see. But I hope for a smooth race this time without any issues and hopefully at the end a deserved podium.

    Q: (Simon Lazenby – Sky Sports) Sebastian, in the past, when championships have got away from Ferrari, the poor old team principal seems to be the one that gets it in the neck. If this one gets away from you guys, would you like to see Mr Arrivabene stay in that position? Is continuity in that position really important to you guys? And what are his strengths, as a team principal, that you've enjoyed this year?

    SV: Absolutely. What are his strengths? Look at the results. Look at where Ferrari was after 2014, how competitive Ferrari was in 2014 and how – sorry to say – what miserable shape it was. The spirit was down so I think he's the key person responsible for bringing most of that back and to make the team grow, to open things up, to change things that have been set like that for 20 years before that, just because they used to be like that. So I think he has a very innovative and creative way of thinking. So I think he's the right man, he's a very strong leader, I think he's well respected – I know he's well respected by all the people, no matter… I don't know… if you look at a hierarchical way, no matter which level of the company, so absolutely I'm a fan. As I said, the most important thing is that if you look at the result, it's coming. Obviously this year we would like it to be a bit different, especially towards the end but these things happen, we're still growing and we set ourselves the target at the very beginning to grow and to do something new, something different and we're still on that journey. Obviously the expectations are always high, you finish second in the championship, the year after you want to win, you don't manage to do that but I think where we've gone, '15 to '16, especially through '16 and then for '17, things are going and heading the right way and he's a key person in that.

    Q: (Christoph Becker – Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung) Valtteri, just to stick to the point of the relationship with Lewis; Toto and Lewis have both markedly talked about the atmosphere in the team and how much it has improved since last year, so my question to you is have you been too nice and if your answer is No, then can you elaborate a little bit why it is important to have such a good relationship with your teammate?

    VB: I think, personally, maybe it's important to have a good relationship with your teammate, such that you can work well as a team, that you don't need to hide anything within the team, that you have two cars, two drivers producing data and producing points that can be improved. Obviously always it's better the closer the teammates are, you can always pick up things better and better. And also everyone is having more fun when the spirit is good. Obviously I have no idea how it's been before with the team. I only joined in January but since January everything has been very good and to work as two teammates together I think just pushing the team forward together for a long term that will bring results.

    Q: (Ysef Harding – Xiro Xone News) To go back last week to what the new owners have been doing, especially all season with some of the changes that have been made, we saw that at the US Grand Prix with the intros for the drivers. Generally some sports have an end-of-season event like an all-star game. Would you guys be up for something like that, like an all-star kart race, get all of you together in the same karts, everyone get a chance to really show and shine and just have fun at the end of the season?

    SV: It's called Race of Champions, so I think we have something in place. I like it, I join it every year that I can and we race in different cars. Obviously it's mostly fun and the track is a different track, it's in a stadium and there's a lot of show as well but overall I think it's a great idea as well. I don't know why other people are not joining, I think mostly because they prefer to spend their holidays somewhere else. I think it would be great to meet up for a race in the same car and just race for fun.

    On the Austin thing, it's not my cup of tea to be honest but I think for the people if they enjoyed it then that was obviously nice.

    VB: I think it was a good idea. I think if they're planning when it's going to be important so everyone can make it but yeah, good idea. I kind of like the direction things have been taken within Formula One now, a bit more relaxed, like the thing in Austin before the race. Of course for us it was a bit more extra things to do before the race and a bit more busy than normal, less time to focus on our performance with the engineers and so on but if people like it then it's good.

    Q: Pierre, you weren't in Austin but what was your take on what we saw there before the start and would you like to see an all-stars race?

    PG: Yeah, I think in Austin it was pretty cool. I wasn't there but from what I heard from close people they seem to have liked it so it's different than what it was before but if the people liked it then that was the main thing. It's a pretty cool show and I will be happy if I can discover it properly. Yeah, on the kind of Race of Champions or stuff like this I think it's a really cool idea, at least to give me the proper chance to race with Seb and Valtteri because of the same equipment and yeah, I think it's cool, as a driver you want to be able to fight with the same cars, same karts, stuff like this, so I think it would be really cool. I have never been to the Race of Champions but always watched it and it's a really great event with drivers coming from different series, more or less the best drivers of all these series and yeah, it's really exciting and really cool, so if we can make something like this in Formula One I will be more than happy
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    • Hartley and Gasly in at Toro Rosso, Kvyat out for season
    • Both McLaren's facing heavy grid penalties
    • Force India to potentially remove team order restriction for Perez home GP
  5. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium


  6. rubaru


    I think it's great that Giovinazzi is getting some time in the car, but where is Haas' other driver Ferrucci? I probably just missed it, but he is their 2nd reserve driver. Where has he been getting his seat time outside the simulator?
  7. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium


    Bottas Shines at Last
    Mexican Grand Prix FP1.jpg
    Valtteri Bottas finally overcomes his slump in form to take fastest time in opening practice for the upcoming Mexican Grand Prix.

    Mercedes are rapidly marking themselves out for the fastest car of 2017 award, however after a strong start to the season Mercedes new boy Valtteri Bottas has been somewhat off key in recent months, something the young Finnish driver will be looking to put to bed once and for all with a quickest time in opening practice at the Mexican Grand Prix.

    Bottas topped out with a solid 1:17.824 to go almost half a second quicker than championship leading teammate Lewis Hamilton, locking out the top two spots for newly crowned Constructors champions and leaving next best Red Bull trailing in their wake.

    Sebastien Vettel must be feeling a little down in the dumps this evening as he could only manage a disappointing fifth place, almost eight tenths off the pace and behind both Mercedes and Red Bull drivers.

    All would not be lost for Vettel and Ferrari as the Italian squad concentrated mainly on hard tyre running, masking the true pace of the car with regards to outright lap pace, not helped by a minor off for the German driver who fortunately for him managed to avoid damage to his scarlet machine.

    New faces for Free Practice One would be home hero Alfonso Celis in the Force India, Antonio Giovinazzi deputising for Grosjean at Haas F1, Charles Leclerc at Sauber and the constantly underwhelming Sean Gelael for Toro Rosso. Both Gelael and Celis would be in the wars during the session, with Celis the worse off of the two after he clouted the T16 wall hard and brought to an early end his morning of running in the pink machine.

    Free Practice One Results
    1. Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes 1:17.824 42
    2. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes 1:18.290 +0.466s 35
    3. Max Verstappen - Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:18.395 +0.571s 16
    4. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:18.421 +0.597s 28
    5. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari 1:18.586 +0.762s 28
    6. Kimi Räikkönen - Ferrari 1:19.008 +1.184s 27
    7. Sergio Perez - Force India Mercedes 1:19.240 +1.416s 21
    8. Fernando Alonso - McLaren Honda 1:19.346 +1.522s 20
    9. Felipe Massa - Williams Mercedes 1:19.443 +1.619s 32
    10. Nico Hulkenberg - Renault 1:19.552 +1.728s 19
    11. Carlos Sainz - Renault 1:19.554 +1.730s 24
    12. Lance Stroll - Williams Mercedes 1:19.772 +1.948s 34
    13. Kevin Magnussen - Haas Ferrari 1:20.644 +2.820s 16
    14. Pascal Wehrlein - Sauber Ferrari 1:20.971 +3.147s 30
    15. Antonio Giovinazzi - Haas Ferrari 1:21.269 +3.445s 26
    16. Charles Leclerc - Sauber Ferrari 1:21.446 +3.622s 28
    17. Sean Gelael - Toro Rosso 1:21.639 +3.815s 29
    18. Brendon Hartley - Toro Rosso 1:21.747 +3.923s 10
    19. Alfonso Celis - Force India Mercedes 1:22.342 +4.518s 17
    20. Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren Honda 3
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
  8. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium


    Red Bull Make Good in Mexican Grand Prix Second Practice.
    Mexican Grand Prix FP2.jpg
    Following 'newenginegate' in Austin Daniel Ricciardo responded in fine style in Mexico, wrapping up second practice with the quickest time and laying down a marker for the rest of the weekend.

    Red Bull already looked strong during first practice, and thanks to his 1:17.801 Daniel Ricciardo managed to put himself right to the very front of the timesheets on Friday afternoon, shading Lewis Hamilton by just over a tenth of a second and very much proving Red Bull could be in contention for a strong result this weekend, despite the Renault power deficit to top teams Mercedes and Ferrari.

    Excellent news for the neutral looking to enjoy a good race on Sunday, an impressive half a second would cover the top sixth runners in second practice, potentially leaving the door open for a very enjoyable Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon and giving title contenders Hamilton and Vettel something serious to think about as the go tooth and nail for the World Drivers Championship this weekend.

    Free Practice Two Results:
    1. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:17.801 26
    2. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes 1:17.932 +0.131s 40
    3. Max Verstappen - Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:17.964 +0.163s 17
    4. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari 1:18.051 +0.250s 35
    5. Kimi Räikkönen - Ferrari 1:18.142 +0.341s 40
    6. Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes 1:18.299 +0.498s 43
    7. Fernando Alonso - McLaren Honda 1:18.508 +0.707s 26
    8. Sergio Perez - Force India Mercedes 1:18.728 +0.927s 41
    9. Nico Hulkenberg - Renault 1:18.775 +0.974s 19
    10. Esteban Ocon - Force India Mercedes 1:18.822 +1.021s 42
    11. Carlos Sainz - Renault 1:19.060 +1.259s 30
    12. Felipe Massa - Williams Mercedes 1:19.206 +1.405s 37
    13. Brendon Hartley - Toro Rosso 1:19.423 +1.622s 40
    14. Lance Stroll - Williams Mercedes 1:19.524 +1.723s 42
    15. Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren Honda 1:19.844 +2.043s 32
    16. Pascal Wehrlein - Sauber Ferrari 1:20.306 +2.505s 38
    17. Kevin Magnussen - Haas Ferrari 1:20.318 +2.517s 35
    18. Marcus Ericsson - Sauber Ferrari 1:20.362 +2.561s 38
    19. Pierre Gasly - Toro Rosso 1:21.745 +3.944s 10
    20. Romain Grosjean - Haas Ferrari 1:25.526 +7.725s 3
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
  9. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium


    Verstappen Fastest Ahead of Qualifying for Mexican Grand Prix
    Mexican Grand Prix FP3.jpg
    Max Verstappen and Red Bull made good on their Mexican Grand Prix form on Saturday morning, topping the final practice ahead of the crucial qualification session later in the afternoon.

    Red Bull have been quick all weekend in Mexico and it was once again the in form Max Verstappen who took the fight to Mercedes during the final 60 minute practice session of the Mexican Grand Prix weekend, ending his running with an impressive 1:17.113 to go just a few thousandths quicker than Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes before the real business of qualification begins later on Saturday afternoon.

    Verstappen would be representing Red Bull alone at the top of the times as team mate Daniel Ricciardo appeared curiously off pace throughout the session, eventually ending up in fifth position but just under three tenths of a second shy of his young team mate, showing just how close the field could be come the end of qualifying as once again a mere four tenths of a second covered the top six during the morning running.

    It would be a morning of mixed emotion for Toro Rosso, with Pierre Gasly suffering engine failure that looks likely to keep the Frenchman out of qualifying later in the day, but Kiwi WEC driver Brendon Hartley showed encouraging form in the second car as he powered to 11th place in the timesheets, by far the most assured performance from the 27-year-old Le Mans winner since his shock call up ahead of the US Grand Prix last weekend.

    Provisional FP3 Results:
    1. Max Verstappen - Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:17.113 20
    2. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes 1:17.188 +0.075s 23
    3. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari 1:17.230 +0.117s 21
    4. Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes 1:17.283 +0.170s 18
    5. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:17.361 +0.248s 10
    6. Kimi Räikkönen - Ferrari 1:17.517 +0.404s 27
    7. Sergio Perez - Force India Mercedes 1:18.040 +0.927s 20
    8. Esteban Ocon - Force India Mercedes 1:18.165 +1.052s 18
    9. Carlos Sainz - Renault 1:18.208 +1.095s 21
    10. Nico Hulkenberg - Renault 1:18.380 +1.267s 21
    11. Brendon Hartley - Toro Rosso 1:18.602 +1.489s 23
    12. Felipe Massa - Williams Mercedes 1:18.690 +1.577s 23
    13. Lance Stroll - Williams Mercedes 1:19.066 +1.953s 20
    14. Kevin Magnussen - Haas Ferrari 1:19.205 +2.092s 19
    15. Marcus Ericsson - Sauber Ferrari 1:19.331 +2.218s 27
    16. Fernando Alonso - McLaren Honda 1:19.565 +2.452s 22
    17. Romain Grosjean - Haas Ferrari 1:19.586 +2.473s 22
    18. Pascal Wehrlein - Sauber Ferrari 1:19.826 +2.713s 16
    19. Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren Honda 1:20.030 +2.917s 25
    20. Pierre Gasly - Toro Rosso 2
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
  10. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium


    Vettel Refuses to Give Up on Title Hopes With Outstanding Pole Lap in Mexico.
    Mexican Grand Prix Qualu.jpg
    Ferrari and Sebastien Vettel showed the fire still burns brightly in Italy with a stunning Pole Position lap on Saturday, keeping alive the slender title chances for team and driver

    Vettel would be in fine form driving the #5 scarlet machine as he just edged out an equally impressive Max Verstappen on his final qualification run, ending the day with a new lap record time of 1:16.488 to edge just under a tenth clear of the Red Bull driver, scoring his 50th pole position and denying Verstappen the opportunity to become the youngest pole sitter in the history of the sport.

    Verstappen would be under pressure all weekend as he looks to keep alive his championship battle for another race weekend, however the class of the German driver would show through during the session as he remained calm to plant his car in exactly the right place as the chequered flag waved out on circuit.

    Vettel and Verstappen would make it a challenging day for Lewis Hamilton who would only wind up third following a scruffy lap, the Mercedes man four tenths down but still very much in with a shout of a solid result come race day, only needing a fifth place finish to wrap up the 2017 WDC for a fourth time in his career.

    Provisional Qualification Results:
    1. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari 1:17.665 1:16.870 1:16.488 20
    2. Max Verstappen - Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:17.630 1:16.524 1:16.574 19
    3. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes 1:17.518 1:17.035 1:16.934 21
    4. Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes 1:17.578 1:17.161 1:16.958 17
    5. Kimi Räikkönen - Ferrari 1:18.148 1:17.534 1:17.238 20
    6. Esteban Ocon - Force India Mercedes 1:18.336 1:17.827 1:17.437 19
    7. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:18.208 1:17.631 1:17.447 15
    8. Nico Hulkenberg - Renault 1:18.322 1:17.792 1:17.466 17
    9. Carlos Sainz - Renault 1:18.405 1:17.753 1:17.794 17
    10. Sergio Perez - Force India Mercedes 1:18.020 1:17.868 1:17.807 19
    11. Felipe Massa - Williams Mercedes 1:18.570 1:18.099 10
    12. Lance Stroll - Williams Mercedes 1:18.902 1:19.159 11
    13. Brendon Hartley - Toro Rosso 1:18.683 12
    14. Fernando Alonso - McLaren Honda 1:17.710 9
    15. Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren Honda 1:18.578 13
    16. Marcus Ericsson - Sauber Ferrari 1:19.176 9
    17. Pascal Wehrlein - Sauber Ferrari 1:19.333 9
    18. Kevin Magnussen - Haas Ferrari 1:19.443 10
    19. Romain Grosjean - Haas Ferrari 1:19.473 11

    Q1 107% Time - 1:22.944 Note - Gasly failed to set a time within the Q1 107% requirement, races at stewards' discretion.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
  11. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium


    Verstappen Wins Race, Hamilton Title in Upside Down Grand Prix in Mexico.
    Mexican Grand Prix.jpg
    Lewis Hamilton only finished in ninth position, however the result was enough to catapult the British driver into the history books as a four time World Champion and take away the plaudits from the race winning Max Verstappen.

    Whilst Verstappen would put on a master class of competitiveness out front for the duration of the Grand Prix, all eyes would be firmly focused on the dueling championship rivals Hamilton and Vettel as the two drivers fought tooth and nail from their early race delay and contact on the opening lap, however despite a spirited fight back to fourth position Vettel would be powerless to prevent another championship slipping through his fingers as Hamilton took the points, and the title following a hard fought year of racing.

    As for the Grand Prix itself it would be a rather strange affair with tension high on the grid, compounded by an opening lap incident that saw Vettel make contact with the Mercedes can and demote both drivers to the rear of the field following pitstops to rectify the respective damage. All this was of no consequence to Red Bull and Verstappen out front, as the 20-year-old Dutchman cruised to his third career victory in crushing fashion at the front of the field.

    The race would eventually play out in rather tedious fashion (championship rivals fight backs and a spirited Fernando Alonso defense aside), however outstanding performances from Force India and Ocon and the impressive Lance Stroll should also be noted for their fifth and sixth place finishes respectively.

    Provisional Race Result
    1. Max Verstappen - Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 71 1:36:26.552 25
    2. Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes 71 +19.678s 18
    3. Kimi Räikkönen - Ferrari 71 +54.007s 15
    4. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari 71 +70.078s 12
    5. Esteban Ocon - Force India Mercedes 70 +1 lap 10
    6. Lance Stroll - Williams Mercedes 70 +1 lap 8
    7. Sergio Perez - Force India Mercedes 70 +1 lap 6
    8. Kevin Magnussen - Haas Ferrari 70 +1 lap 4
    9. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes 70 +1 lap 2
    10. Fernando Alonso - McLaren Honda 70 +1 lap 1
    11. Felipe Massa - Williams Mercedes 70 +1 lap 0
    12. Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren Honda 70 +1 lap 0
    13. Pierre Gasly - Toro Rosso 70 +1 lap 0
    14. Pascal Wehrlein - Sauber Ferrari 69 +2 laps 0
    15. Romain Grosjean - Haas Ferrari 69 +2 laps 0

    DNF Carlos Sainz - Renault 59 DNF 0
    DNF Marcus Ericsson - Sauber Ferrari 55 DNF 0
    DNF Brendon Hartley - Toro Rosso 30 DNF 0
    DNF Nico Hulkenberg - Renault 24 DNF 0
    DNF Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 5 DNF 0
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
  12. Bram Hengeveld

    Bram Hengeveld
    Founder Staff Premium

    Another GP at prime time this weekend. F1 should do that more often instead of 2 or 3 pm in the afternoon. Like it :)
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper

    Looking good for Brendon. Good times. Solid job. Admittedly a track he knows well but even so hope he goes well in the race.
  14. shimon.ifraimov


    alonso at p5 on q1 0.0
    same tires as hamilton only 0.192 off :thumbsup:
  15. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper

    That's until the others turn their engines into qualifying mode. However yeah a good showing so far Especially on a circuit that places so much demand on engine power.
  16. shimon.ifraimov


    ya it shows already, both mclarens didnt make it to q3 :[

    amazing lap by VER though
  17. Sergio Goncalves

    Sergio Goncalves

    Amazing lap from Vettel.
  18. Bram Hengeveld

    Bram Hengeveld
    Founder Staff Premium

    That came close to perfect indeed. Very well done. Very tight and exciting qualy today.

    Looking forward to the race tomorrow on this amazing track.
  19. Jan Larsen

    Jan Larsen

    Wondering if Vettel and Verstappen are sitting ducks down into T1...
  20. HypoToad


    Since Hamilton only has to finish in the top five to win the championship that pretty much means he would have to crash or breakdown not to do so.