Formula 1

Lando Norris: Is He Getting Enough Credit?

Lando Norris may not be on the podium very often right now, but there’s no denying the lad has talent. There’s a lot of it. Norris is a fan favorite because he was the only driver outside of Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mercedes to finish in the top three of a race last season.
However, his boss, Zak Brown, believes that his son’s name is not being given enough respect. Of course, we’ve all seen him completely destroy Daniel Ricciardo in recent seasons, but Zak believes Norris isn’t getting enough credit for how good he truly is.
“He’s just getting better and better,” Brown said in a YouTube interview with McLaren.
“He puts together some incredible qualifying laps. “I don’t think he gets enough credit for how amazing he can be when it comes time to saddle up.” We’ll be in FP3 and then, bang, there it is in qualifying when he needs to do it in Q3, which he frequently does.”
Lando even managed to impress us all in Brazil last season despite being sick with food poisoning. Despite being absent from the track on media day, he competed in qualifying, Sprint, and race while ill.
“I lost 3.5kg, almost 4kg in weight,” Lando admitted after the weekend in Brazil, despite finishing P4 in qualifying on Friday!! Crazy 🤯
“He makes very few mistakes, and he rarely makes a big mistake,” Brown said of Lando.
“When I compare him to when he first started, he has a very high level of confidence – but not arrogance – and he’s definitely at one with the team and the racing car… If I compare season one to now, his racecraft has improved exponentially.”
Of course, Zak will now promote Lando as his team’s best driver. However, it made us think…
Do people give Lando enough credit for what he does now in Formula One? Please let us know in the comments.

Formula 1

James Vowles Appointed Williams Team Principal

Jost Capito has been replaced as team principal by James Vowles.

Capito left Williams after two years in charge in December.
During Mercedes’ title-winning streak from 2014 to 2021, Vowles led the strategy group.
The new team principal of Formula One’s basement team is one of the architects of Mercedes’ dominant streak.
James Vowles, Mercedes’ Strategy Director, will start as Williams’ Formula One Team Principal on February 20, three days before preseason testing begins.
Vowles takes over for Jost Capito, who left the company in December after two years in charge.
Vowles, 43, started his Formula One career with BAR Honda in the 2000s and stayed with the team as it evolved into Honda, Brawn GP, and finally Mercedes.
He was the de facto on-site leader during the rare weekends when boss Toto Wolff was not present, and led Mercedes’ strategy group during its eight-year F1 Constructors’ Championships from 2014 to 2021.
“It’s an honor to be a part of a team with such a rich history,” said Vowles. “The team is an icon of our sport, one I greatly respect, and I am very much looking forward to the challenge. Mercedes has been extremely supportive throughout my journey, and we parted on good terms after over 20 years of working in Brackley. I am grateful for everything Toto and the team have done for me, and it has been such a special experience to travel through failure and success with them.
“Williams Racing has put their faith and trust in me, and I will reciprocate. Williams has enormous potential, and our journey together begins in a few weeks.”
“While we are naturally sad to be saying goodbye to such a capable member of the team, I have no doubts whatsoever that he has all the necessary skills to become a fantastic team principal in Formula One,” Wolff said.
Williams finished last in the 2022 Constructors’ Championship standings for the fourth time in five seasons. It will begin the season with a partially revised driver lineup of Alexander Albon and Logan Sargeant, the country’s first driver on the grid since Alexander Rossi in 2015.
Williams will unveil its 2023 livery on February 6 in a virtual ceremony ahead of the car’s on-track debut in Bahrain a few weeks later.

Formula 1

Nyck de Vries opens up about his relationship with new AlphaTauri team mate Yuki Tsunoda

Nyck de Vries has spoken out about his relationship with his new AlphaTauri teammate Yuki Tsunoda ahead of his first full season on the Formula 1 grid, revealing that he has long admired the Japanese driver’s work.
De Vries will replace Pierre Gasly, who has moved to Alpine, at AlphaTauri this year, and will partner Tsunoda, who is in his third season with the Italian team, as he moves up from the reserve driver role he held at Mercedes for two seasons.
“When he was in Formula 2, I was one of his biggest supporters,” De Vries said on F1’s Beyond The Grid podcast podcast. He’s obviously a fun young man who isn’t afraid to express himself. I like watching him.
“He’s extremely gifted and quick. I’m sure we’ll have a great time together, and I’m excited to join him. It’ll be the first time in my career that a teammate is smaller than me, but we still have the same shoe size!” he joked.
“I believe we did some bonding two years ago. We once traveled from Austria with Max [Verstappen]. The Red Bull Ring hosted a marketing event near the track, and I was there for a [European] Le Mans race. We were traveling back to Monaco together ahead of the Grand Prix, so we did some bonding.”
De Vries is returning to work in a country he knows well, having spent time karting there when he was younger, with AlphaTauri based in Faenza, Italy. And the Dutch driver believes he and the team can achieve “great things together”.
“AlphaTauri is a Red Bull sister team, and they share a lot of knowledge and resources, so I think the package and team have a lot of potential if we use those resources to our advantage,” De Vries said.
“The team is headquartered in Italy. I spent a lot of time in Italy while karting, so it just feels like a very welcoming and nice environment. I truly believe we can accomplish great things together, but it will take a good winter preparation to get on top of things, and then we’ll give it our all to achieve the best we can.”
Listen to the full episode of Beyond The Grid with Nyck De Vries above in the audio player, or click here to listen on your favorite podcasting platform.

Formula 1

Andretti and Cadillac’s bid to join Formula 1 grid met with opposition

Michael Andretti has responded to current teams’ stale reaction to Andretti and Cadillac’s bid to join the Formula 1 grid.
Andretti described the opposition as “all about greed” in an interview with Forbes. He suggested that “money” is a driving factor behind any reluctance towards Andretti and Cadillac joining F1.
He stated that some teams may be concerned that the addition of another team will “dilute” the amount of prize money available. This was echoed by team principals during a press conference at the Miami Grand Prix last year. Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff did not appear to be in favor of a new team joining the grid. He claimed that the addition would result in “a 10% dilution [in prize money] for everyone else.”
This was a sentiment shared by Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, who said: “the 10 teams or 10 franchises have an intrinsic value and you dilute that by increasing the number”.
“[Teams] get very greedy thinking that we will take all the American sponsors as well,” Michael Andretti added.
“It’s all about greed and looking at themselves rather than what’s best for the series’ overall growth.”
Following the FIA’s announcement that it would be looking into new teams joining F1, it was revealed that Andretti would be collaborating with Cadillac, a subsidiary of General Motors. The bid involves a collaboration between two titans of the American auto industry.
Since the announcement, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been the most vocal supporter of Andretti-Cadillac. The FIA President has spoken out against what he calls a “adverse reaction” to Andretti’s announcement.
“In Formula One, the owners look out for themselves; not what is best for the series,” Andretti said, comparing Ben Sulayem’s stance on an Andretti team to the negative response of current team owners. President Mohammed is concerned about the sport’s future.”

Alpine and McLaren are on board.

Whilst most teams have been less than enthusiastic towards the Andretti-Cadillac announcement, Michael Andretti has labelled Alpine and McLaren CEO Zak Brown as “allies”. Andretti elaborated on his friendship with Brown, saying that they “help each other.”
“I’ve been a big help to him with IndyCar racing,” Andretti said. “It’s a friendship that benefits both parties.”
It’s no surprise that Andretti has Alpine and Brown on his side. During the Miami Grand Prix in May of last year, Andretti lobbied team principals to gather signatures in support of Andretti’s F1 entry. However, he was only able to obtain the signatures of two people: Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi and Zak Brown.
Michael Andretti, on the other hand, is not deterred by the opposition to the Andretti-Cadillac bid. “I actually use the critics as motivation,” Andretti explained. “It’s always fun to silence them.”

Formula 1

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem backs new Formula 1 entries amid Andretti Global’s ongoing bid

In the midst of Andretti Global’s ongoing bid, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has reiterated his support for new Formula One entries.
Last week, Andretti announced a partnership with General Motors in which Cadillac would join the grid alongside it. F1’s reaction was lukewarm and cautious, whereas the FIA, the series’ governing body, was more receptive and welcoming.
According to a recent report, the vast majority of F1 teams are opposed to Andretti joining the grid and expanding it beyond ten teams. Alpine is expected to support Andretti’s entry because Renault is believed to be the manufacturer that will initially supply Andretti Cadillac with Power Units.
Teams are concerned about how Andretti’s entry will affect their revenue share. However, Ben Sulayem, speaking to the media at the Dakar Rally from Saudi Arabia, believes that F1 should be more open to accepting new teams.
“In general, if we look at the sustainability of Formula 1, we have to open it up to other brands. “We can have up to 12 teams on the grid,” Ben Sulayem explained. “An OEM – manufacturer – will help make Formula 1 better and I see no reason for which we should not welcome new teams, especially the Americans.
“We’ve already had three races there this year. Any proposal to be one of the 12 teams is welcome.
“We accept good teams, even if they are small, as Haas is. We’re hoping that things will change and that we’ll be able to field a proper 11th team; we’ll see what happens.”
The FIA is considering establishing an expressions of interest process for potential new teams. If Andretti Cadillac’s bid to join the grid is successful, the team will almost certainly field an American driver. Colton Herta is the current frontrunner, having piqued Red Bull’s interest in 2022.