Formula One drivers face a weekend off as they prepare for the maiden Las Vegas Grand Prix on November 19. However, the fallout from an eventful Brazilian Grand Prix continues with several teams reeling from disappointing performances.
Max Verstappen stormed to another victory – taking his tally to a record-breaking 17th triumph for the season. But there is disappointment at Mercedes after one of their poorest results of 2023.
On a track where the Silver Arrows enjoyed vast success last year, Lewis Hamilton came eighth while George Russell did not finish. Both drivers will hope for a better outing as teams return to the USA next week.
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Mercedes chief sends frustrated email
Mercedes technical director James Allison has revealed that he sent a frustrated email to the team’s factory employees in the aftermath of the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Silver Arrows endured one of their worst weekends in recent memory in Sao Paulo, with Lewis Hamilton finishing eighth and George Russell retiring as his power unit neared the point of failure.
Speaking on the F1 Nation podcast, Allison said: “I just wrote an email back to the factory saying I feel knocked for six by it because we came here, it would have been too much to imagine a repeat of last year because the stars would have to align for that, but I thought we’d be troubling the podium.”
“Now you could say ‘you’ve been undone by your own hubris’ but never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that we would have the torrid weekend we just had.
“In some ways, there’s a comfort in that because we must have just got something wrong and we’ll go off and uncover what that was. And with a bit of luck, under the lovely thing that racing gives you, a couple of weeks’ time we’ll come back and hopefully put it to bed.”
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Hamilton given hope
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has promised Lewis Hamilton and George Russell a ‘fundamentally’ different car next year.
The drivers have endured another difficult season despite the odd podium finish, with their woes compounded by a horrible display at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
But Wolff insists that Interlagos is evidence for why they are actually on the right track with their technical development plan.
“This is our route, and we will have a fundamentally different car next year. [This race] proves that it is the right thing to do,” Wolff said.
“Last year, you come out of an Interlagos weekend and you’re absolutely on top, you’re demolishing your competition on Saturday and Sunday, and it was like: ‘Are we doing the right thing by continuing with the chassis that we have?’
“Now it is pretty clear. It feels horrible for the whole team, and I wish we could start the new season and concentrate on the new car.
“The glass is always half-empty, but what we know is that we’re changing the car completely.
“We are an outlier, we’re an outlier compared to the last eight years when we’ve been at the front solidly, we’ve structured people to perform at the front, whether it is winning championships or not, and I think it more than confirmed that the steps we have taken are necessary.”
Red Bull fear Max Verstappen wrath
Red Bull race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase has joked that he wonders how Max Verstappen will treat him when the Dutchman actually has competition.
Verstappen has stormed to three consecutive world titles, smashing several records over the last two seasons in particular.
Lambiase has revealed that his ‘biggest fear’ is when Verstappen is not winning most races as he will face the wrath of the Red Bull star.
He said on the Talking Bull podcast: “My biggest fear is the moment that we do have increased competition and we’re not winning every race because you see how he’s treating me at the moment and he’s winning every race there! I’m really not looking forward to it.”
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