Newey recalls the last-lap defeat which left Vettel “absolutely distraught” · RaceFans

In the round-up: Red Bull’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey describes how Sebastian Vettel reacted to his famous last-lap defeat by Jenson Button in the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix.

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In brief

Newey recalls podium that hurt Vettel and inspired team

Vettel took pole and led all but two laps of the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix. He began the final lap in the lead, but a mistake halfway around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve allowed McLaren’s Jenson Button through to nab the win

“Jenson beat him. And he was absolutely distraught at that because he felt he had not driven as well as he could have done, and therefore he had lost what should have been a dominant win,” Newey recalled in a Red Bull podcast.

The defeat made a big impact on Vettel as he pursued his second world championship, Newey explained. “Everybody’s packing up the computers and everything in the engineering office around him while he just sat there going through the data with his engineer, going through the television feeds and stuff. He wanted to understand what he could do better should that situation arise again.

“I think that dedication, that played through into the team as well. That meant that then the team often prepared to put in that extra mile because they saw his work and commitment that he was prepared to put in.”

Alonso banks on needing extra engine

Fernando Alonso has told his new Aston Martin team to plan on needing an extra power unit this year, The Objective reports.

While the 2023 F1 calendar has expanded to a record 23 rounds this year, and could increase to 24 if China’s cancelled event is replaced or reinstated, drivers remain limited to a maximum of three power units. Using a fourth will trigger an automatic grid penalty.

Alonso got through six Renault power units over the course of 22 events at Alpine last year due to various failures. However he is understood to have been impressed by the performance of the well-used Mercedes power unit in his car when he made his first appearance for Aston Martin during the post-season test at Yas Marina. Alonso will be powered by the three-pointed star this year for the first time since he drove for McLaren in 2007.

Hamilton pays tribute to Ken Block

Following the death of famous rally driver Ken Block in a snowmobile crash, seven-times F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton joined those paying tribute to the late American on social media.

“Today I received news of the loss of a dear friend. I am devastated to hear of Ken Block’s passing. He was such an amazing person, always lived life to the fullest,” he wrote.

“I remember our first time working together and how positive he was. So much talent behind the wheel. Years ago we had an amazing time heli skiing and snowboarding in Canada. We held so much respect for one another. He will truly be missed and my thoughts and prayers go to his beautiful family. Gone too soon. Rest in peace, Ken.”

R-ace GP reveals FRMEC line-up

French team R-ace GP have revealed six drivers for their four-car attack on the Formula Regional Middle East Championship.

Two of the drivers, Levente Revesz and Formula 4 graduate Nikhil Bohra, will do all five rounds of the series which runs through January and February.

Francesco Braschi and Martinius Stenshorne will share the third car, with Braschi doing the first two rounds and Nicolas Todt’s protege Stenshorne doing the remaining three.

In the fourth car, British F4 runner-up Matias Zagazeta will do rounds one to three then hand over to ADAC F4 runner-up Tim Tramnitz.

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On this day in motorsport

  • Born on this day in 1989: Future IndyCar race-winner Graham Rahal, son of multiple IndyCar champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal