In the round-up: Logan Sargeant wants the FIA to be more consistent in applying its track limits rules across all sessions of a race weekend after losing his best time in Q1.
Sargeant wants track limits enforced in practice after Q1 elimination
Williams driver Sargeant had his first lap time of Q1 deleted by the stewards after his left side wheels ran onto the painted divide between the race track and the pit lane entrance – something prohibited by the race director’s notes for this weekend.
Sargeant was one of four drivers to have times deleted for breaching the prohibited area in qualifying. his 1’29.721 would have seen him comfortably reach Q2.
“It was in the event notes to not cross the pit entry line, so it is on me,” Sargeant admitted. “But I feel like we need to do a better job of policing it through the free practices, to give us a reference. I pretty much did exactly what I’ve done all weekend and it gets deleted. So that’s a bit frustrating.”
After being eliminated from Q1 in 20th after failing to set a time within the 107% limit, Sargeant has been granted permission by the stewards to start today’s race.
First points “definitely on offer” for Piastri from eighth
McLaren rookie Oscar Piastri is eyeing his first ever points from eighth on the grid today after unexpectedly reaching Q3 for the first time.
After being eliminated in Q1 in Bahrain and retiring early, Piastri was a surprise participant in Q3 in qualifying for today’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and believes his McLaren can fight for points. “They’re definitely on offer,” Piastri said after qualifying.
“I think it’ll be tricky. This result probably wasn’t that expected, to be completely honest, but we’ll try our best. Our race pace we thought was actually better than our quali pace yesterday – we’ll see if that’s true tomorrow. Obviously, our straight-line speed is not exactly our strength, so we’ll see how that goes. But I’m confident to try and fight for the points.”
Double Red Bull gearbox change “planned” – Horner
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says that the gearbox changes made to both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez’s cars earlier this weekend were a deliberate strategic decision made by the team.
Perez had his gearbox and gearbox casing replaced on Friday, before Red Bull carried out the same service to Verstappen’s car before yesterday’s final practice.
“That was actually scheduled, just to have two in the pool,” Horner explained. “There was nothing untoward that we saw to warrant a change. It was just planned.
Horner says there is no connection to the driveshaft failure Verstappen suffered in qualifying that left him 15th on the grid for today’s race.
“What’s happened there obviously was unplanned, so we’re now trying to understand exactly what the cause of failure was and try and make sure it’s addressed.”
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Motor racing links of interest:
‘A lot of money for nothing’: Fans’ frustration over Grand Prix ticket change (The Age)
“As organisers gear up for record-setting crowds at the Australian Grand Prix, some of the sport’s most loyal fans are unhappy about changes made to the event’s VIP ticketing program. Ticket holders to the event’s Access23 program no longer have access to exclusive viewing areas provided at last year’s event despite a price hike of almost $150.”
Have Williams found a leader in James Vowles who can bring them back to their glory days? (F1)
“I think the primary thing is this: we don’t have the structure in place technically, as a result of the changes that were made. Number one is, let’s put in place a proper set of structures in terms of technical director, head of aero, etc, because clearly an organisation needs those to move forward.”
Mike on… the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix (Aston Martin)
“We will get even more out of Fernando and he will get more out of us as our relationship grows. We are already collaborating at a very high level, and the celebrations in Bahrain showed the strong bond that already exists between Fernando and the team, but we’re still very much in a building phase – still getting to know each other.”
Enzo Fittipaldi on brain surgery recovery and ‘honour’ of carrying a great F1 surname (Mirror)
“You can’t really do anything because you’re really injured for one or two weeks in the ICU and those moments were the hardest, but also you grow a lot as a person on and off the track. It was a bad experience, but after it became something good because I think I became stronger as a driver, physically and mentally. I got through it and I overcame the difficult times.”
Zane Maloney eyeing AlphaTauri 2024 F1 race seat and ”expects” to win F2 championship (Mirror)
“There’s a lot of pride when it comes to representing Barbados. It’s the best place in the world as far as I’m concerned! I love Barbados and, to be able to show what we have on the island – we have lots of rallying and circuit racing – to be able to show that on the world stage means a lot to me.”
Hauger: Salvaging Sprint Race point a positive after qualifying misfortune (F2)
“Overall, it was good I think compared to where we started, but obviously wish we could have moved forward a bit earlier because we came up quite a bit at the end. Tomorrow it’s going to be a longer race, so hopefully we can do a bit more there.”
iRacing 2023 Season 2 Build Update (iRacing via YouTube)
“This season update includes three new cars: Late Model Stock, Ray FF1600, and Renault Clio R.S. V. Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto joins the iRacing roster of racetracks.”
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On this day in motorsport
- 45 years ago today Keke Rosberg won the non-championship BRDC International Trophy in a Theodore in very wet conditions at Silverstone. Emerson Fittipaldi was second for Copersucar.