Sir Frank & Claire Williams stepped aside from the running of the team after the Italian GP.
Vet has purchased the iconic (Red 5) Williams – Renault FW14B, the car that took Mansell and the team to their 1992 World Championships.
Italian GP @Gran Premio Heineken D’Italia. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.
Lap record 1m 21.046s held by R. Barrichello Ferrari (2004).
Roy Nissany was the only reserve driver in the Williams of Rus. Ver went off and hit the barrier at Ascari. Mag had a cooling issue. Ver got back on track after some minor repairs. There were quite a few spins & offs but no other major problems.
Rus was back in his FW43, but there were a more spins and off’s and times deleted but no major dramas.
Ric pulled off with a fuel pump problem causing a late red flag. Gro was passing a slower car as Ham appeared having to take to the grass to avoid the other cars. 8 drivers were summoned to the stewards for slow driving.
Ham got his 7th pole at Monza. Bot, Sai, Per & Ver made up the top five. Ham posted a new track record 1m 18.887s (264.362km/h), the fastest in the history of F1.
Ham got off the grid well, but another slow start for Bot. Ric went over the grass, Alb in the run off area and battles galore with a lot of position changes, Vet had a brake failure on lap 6. Mag pulled off the track with a power unit problem causing s/car to be deployed for 3 laps. Lec had a heavy crash into the barriers in the Parabolica, another s/car then red flags to repair the barriers. Ham & Gio were given a 10 second stop/go penalty for entering the pits when the pit lane was closed. Ver retired with a power unit problem. There were some good overtaking manoeuvres and some very good exciting close racing moments during the race especially the last few laps. Gas got his first win in F1. Sai & Str joined him on the podium. Ham did a great job after his penalty from 17th place to finish 7th.
Per will leave Racing Point at the end of the year & Vet has been appointed as his successor.
Mick Schumacher drove the Ferrari F2004, the car his father drove in his last Championship winning year, before the Tuscan GP.
F1 Tuscan @ Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, Scarperia e San Piero, Florence. The circuit was purchased by Ferrari in 1988 and had never hosted a Formula 1 race, but it was used for in season testing in May 2012.
This race, being the 1,000th for Ferrari, they had a special Burgundy livery the shade of red used at their first F1 GP at Monaco in 1950 with the Ferrari 125F. The Scuderia have raced in F1 every year since. The safety car also had red livery to mark the Scuderia’ achievement albeit with the Mercedes – AMG GT R. It was 20 years ago at this circuit that Räi made his F1 test debut for Sauber.
Apart from some spins, lock ups and minor offs it was a fairly calm session.
Gro had a battery problem. Nor had a big crash bringing out the red flags. Räi had a spin after being clipped by Per exiting the pit lane. Vet stopped at the end with a power loss.
Rus spent the hour in the garage with a brake problem. Bot was top again with Ver, Ham, Str & Gas making up the top five.
Qualifying – out went both Williams’ drivers with Mag, Gio & Gas. Str was released into the path of Ver but no drama.
Oco had a spin causing yellow flags.
Ham unchallenged on pole. Per was given a one place grid drop for causing an accident in FP2.
Race day at Mugello was sunny, but quite windy. Ver had a software problem on the grid. Gas hit Räi and was launched into Ver. Sai had a spin after being hit by Str with Vet involved. Bot got the jump on Ham to take the lead. Ver & Gas out. Räi & Vet pitted for repairs. Safety car deployed, restart on lap 7 and a massive pile up on the pit straight. Gio ran into the back of Mag with Sai & Lat getting caught out; red flags. Oco didn’t make the restart as brake problems. Standing start from the grid positions, Ham passed Bot for the lead. Gro went wide and clipped Vet. Str crashed into the barriers at turn 9. S/car out and a mad rush in the pit lane. Räi entered late, crossing the lines. Another red flag to repair amaged barrier. Another restart. There were some very good overtaking manoeuvres. Ham took the chequered flag with Bot & Alb joining him on the podium.
Ham caused a bit of a stir on the podium wearing a black T-Shirt emblazed with “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor” on the front and “Say her name” with a picture on the back.
Stefano Domenicali the ex-Ferrari Team Principal will take over the role of CEO of FI from January next year replacing Chase Cary who will become a non-executive chairman.
Russian GP @ Sochi Autodrom
Lap record 1m 35.761s Lewis Hamilton (2019)
Sochi is situated on the banks of the Black Sea at in the Imeretinskaya lowland, Adler District, Krasnodar Region, South Russia and is commonly known as the ‘Russian Riviera’. It is Russia’s largest and most popular resort and has now emerged as one of the country’s top sporting venues after hosting the 22nd Winter Olympic Games in 2014, the 11th Winter Paralympic Games. It was also the host city for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It is the fourth longest circuit after Spa, Baku & Silverstone. 1.7kms of the circuit are public roads with a very long start/finish straight. The circuit made up of 18 turns 12 right hand and 6 left hand.
31,000 spectators were allowed to watch, all with allocated positions according to COVID and government regulations of social distancing.
Half hour in and Sai crashed into the barriers at turn 7. Lat crashed into the barriers at turn 10. Ham had problems with locking up and flat spotting his tyres. There were a lot of spins and off circuit excursions.
Sai & Lat were able to get out after having their cars repaired following their crashes in FP1.
More spins, lock-ups & offs and times deleted, but nothing too dramatic.
Out went both Alfa Romeo & both Haas drivers with Lat. Ham had his time deleted. Vet crashed heavily into the barriers at turn 4 causing the session to be red flagged. Str had to be pushed back into his garage. Out went both Ferrari drivers along with Rus, Str & Kvy.
After the fast and furious 12 minute shoot out Ham got his 2nd pole position at this circuit. Ver, Bot, Per & Ric made up the top five. Lat & Alb were both handed a 5 place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change.
Great start from Bot to get past Ver in turn 1 & Ham in turn 2. A few scraps and wheel banging further down the field as Lec banged wheels with Str with the Canadian crashing into the wall. Sai was forced wide and misjudged the gap between the bollards hitting the wall bringing out the safety car for 4 laps. Ham was given 2 x 5 second time penalties for doing 2 practice starts at the end of the pit lane not in the designated area. Ric & Alb were given 5 second penalties for ignoring the race directors’ instructions.
There was a busy period and a few position changes during the pit stops especially for Ham with his 10 second penalty coming out at the back of the field. An exciting race with lots of action and overtaking manoeuvres; some better than others, but all clean with no more wheel banging. Bot took the chequered flag for the 2nd time at this circuit. Ver & Ham joined him on the podium. Bot posted the fasted lap with a 1m 37.030s on lap 51.