D Thursday is the PR day before a Grand Prix. auto motor und sport will find stories and rumors for you in the paddock. We ask the engineers what new parts there are on the cars and the drivers what they think of the race. Here is our foray through the ten garages.
It was the question of the day: Where is Lewis Hamilton? The world champion was supposed to hold his regular press round in the Mercedes-Motorhome on Thursday at 4:05 p.m. But he wasn't there. The official version: 'inevitable personal obligations'. We hear that Hamilton had to attend a funeral.
We only saw something of the announced aero upgrade at second glance. Of course, the wings are Monza-like. But that's the case with all teams. However, Mercedes has also made changes in the front area of the chassis and on the baffles. Internally one speaks of a decent step. Vatteri Bottas would like to give himself a birthday present on Sunday. The Finn turned 29 on August 28. Bottas knows how difficult that is: “We made progress with cars and engines in Spa and hope that we will benefit even more from it in Monza. But we can't ignore the fact that Ferrari is super fast on the straights. ”Mercedes has not yet asked the Finn to join Hamilton. 'If the situation demands it and I see that it will help the team, I'll help Lewis.'
One podium is not enough for Sebastian Vettel. After victories in Toro Rosso 2008 and Red Bull 2011 and 2013, Vettel wantsfinally his first Ferrari win in the Autodrom. The World Cup runner-up does not see his victory in Spa as a guarantee that it will be as easy in Monza. “First of all, we weren't as dominant at Spa as it looked. Second, Monza is a different route. I am happy that we are able to improve our car. In some areas we caught up with Mercedes, in others maybe a small lead. If Mercedes is pushing us into the role of favorites now, that's a compliment for us. That proves that they take us seriously. But we're still a long way from where Mercedes has been in recent years. Even if we're a little ahead now, we can't rest. ”Kimi Räikkönen still has no information as to whether he will drive for Ferrari next year. “I think anything is possible.” Then the Finn affords himself another telling hint: “I enjoy racing. Not the rest. ”
Daniel Ricciardo knows this starting position. He received his first engine penalty in Hockenheim. Now the second in Monza. “Better than Singapore. We make ourselves more hopeful. ”Ricciardo will play the guinea pig for Verstappen. The Australian is testing Renault's new C engine on Friday. If it is found to be good, Max Verstappen will also get it on Saturday. Hopes are dampened. “I don't want to expect too much from the new engine. Then I'm not disappointed either, ”says Ricciardo. Despite his start from the last row, Ricciardo has set himself high goals: “I want to be on the podium here.”
Force India continues with Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon . The new boss Lawrence Stroll's plan to accommodate his son in the cockpit has to wait. Not so many pieces of the puzzle can move that fast. Perez praised his team: “The result in Spa shows how good this team is. We had a turbulent summer break and performed as if nothing had happened. ”The Mexican believes that Force India will also be strong in Monza:“ On this track, the same qualities are important as in Spa. ”
Sergey Sirotkin sees progress in his car: “In Spa we were able to drive in the top ten for a while for the first time on our own. The important thing is that we now finish in the points. ”Sirotkin is the only driver in the field who is still without points.
Nico Hülkenberg is in for a second time Drive sequence from behind. First the penalty for the starting crash in Spa, then another engine penalty for another change of the drive unit. “Monza is not our specialty track and I'm starting from behind. It won't be an easy weekend for me. I'm still trying to enjoy it. ”
Like all teams, Toro Rosso will compete in Monza with mini wings. “We don't have any experience with it yet. But normallyour car produces a lot of air resistance. It's going to be a tough weekend, ”fears Brendon Hartley. Pierre Gasly shares the view: “In the third practice session at Spa I drove an aero specification with less downforce and it didn't work.” Honda remains loyal to the Spec2 engine for the power battle in Monza. The third stage will probably come after the Japanese GP.
Kevin Magnussen admits: 'Now all that counts is the duel with Renault for 4th place.' On the strengths and When asked about the weaknesses of the cars, the Dane said: “It's hard to say which car is better where. Recently there has been a trend that we have been faster. But that doesn't mean anything. I expect an up and down between us for the rest of the season. Now it depends on consistency. ”
Romain Grosjean will drive with the new underbody in Monza, after he had preferred the old one in Spa. “I didn't feel comfortable with it on Friday at Spa. We revised a few things and found that we need a different setup with the floor. Kevin showed in Belgium that the new floor is a step forward. ”Then Grosjean criticized himself:“ Our car was good from the first race. Unfortunately, I made some stupid mistakes that shouldn't have happened to me. ”
Political note: HaasF1 remains tough on the Force India case. Team boss Guenther Steiner does not accept the objection that Force India might have to lock up without the attendance bonus and the field would shrink to 18 cars: “When we got into Formula 1, nobody said: give them the money, otherwise there are only 18 cars. We knew we wouldn't get the money because the rules are like that. That's why we didn't even ask. ”
Fernando Alonso is sitting in a new chassis after his accident in Monza. In fact, it's an old one. 'I drove it in the winter tests and in the first few races,' explained Alonso. The engine apparently survived the Spa flight insert. “We still had doubts on Sunday, but the first checks after that looked positive. We'll see the rest on Friday. ”McLaren is short of spare parts. “The only parts of the current aero kit are those that are on the cars. If something breaks, we have to go back to an older specification, ”Alonso warns. Alonso doesn't expect much from Monza: “It will be just as difficult as Spa.”
Charles Leclerc once again praised the Halo: “We don't know what would have happened without Halo, but it was good to have him. It can be helpful in some accident scenarios. It doesn't matter what it looks like: it deserves its place in Formula 1. ”Even the accident driver Nico Hülkenberg had to admit:“ I'm not a fan of the Halo, but you have to see the facts. He did his job. ”