D onnerstag is the PR day before a Grand Prix. auto motor und sport will find stories and rumors in the paddock for you. We ask the engineers what's new about the car and the drivers how they assess the race. Here is our foray through the ten garages.
Mercedes is confident that normal conditions will return to Silverstone. The temperatures will settle between 20 and 23 degrees on the weekend of the GP England. So in the comfort area of the eight-time season winner. That means the Silver Arrows will beat up the competition again. The layout of Silverstone suits Mercedes. Downforce is required in the fast corners. The proportion of straight lines is rather small. Lewis Hamilton still believes that the opponents have made progress: “Ferrari and Red Bull have improved step by step recently. I expect a closer fight. Ferrari was extremely strong here last year. ”But the five-time Silverstone winner also warns:“ Silverstone is tailor-made for our car. ”
Ferrari continues its experiments. This time with a new fairing that has a slimmer waist in the rear. Team principal Mattia Binotto admits: “Silverstone is not the type of track that our car suits.” This is where you can best see the progress. If there are any. Binotto has announced the next aero step for the Hungarian GP. Charles Leclerc doesn't think Ferrari can repeat its good performance from Austria: “Silverstone is more of a Mercedes track than a Ferrari track. But I have to say that we have looked stronger as a team in the last three races. We've definitely gotten stronger. ”
Sebastian Vettel, on the other hand, complains about the strong ups and downs: “We found the answers we were looking for. Now it depends on whether we implement these answers. Our biggest problem right now is consistency. You could say that we are stronger on tracks with many straights and fewer corners than the other way round, but there is no uniform pattern when it comes to corners. It happens that the car feels sometimes worse, sometimes better in the same type of corner, depending on the conditions or route. ”
Team boss Christian Horner is still puzzling ten days after that Max Verstappen's victory in Austria: “We still don't know exactly why we were so strong there. The new front wing was definitely a step forward, but we didn't expect that much. ”This time, the Red Bull engineers limited themselves to minor modifications to the baffles. “We have a couple of new flow aligners,” reveals Horner. Silverstone used to be Red Bull's parade route. Not anymore: “The full throttle share is increasing more and more. In the meantime we are driving at full throttle per lap, which corresponds to a complete lap in Barcelona. “
This will be a tough home game for Racing Point. Fast corners are not the territory of the pink-colored cars, and Part 1 of the big aero package won't come to Hockenheim for two weeks. Close your eyes and through is Sergio Perez's motto: “Maybe the English weather will help us. I finally want to score again. The last time I did it in Baku. ”
Finally Williams is also reacting. The FW42 is equipped with new wings around the cooling inlets and a modified mirror bracket. Team boss Claire Williams refuses to speak of an 'upgrade'. “Call it test components. They are there to tell us in which direction we should develop. ”The team boss says that new parts, both aerodynamics and mechanics, have been added to the car for five races. Even at Silverstone. “Last year we had a new head of aerodynamicscommitted who brought a new philosophy with him. First we wanted to know whether we could develop further on this basis. Today I can say that we don't have to change our concept. ”
Everyone at Renault is excited. What can the France upgrade do at normal temperatures? Nico Hülkenberg believes that the new asphalt will completely turn the general conditions on its head. “In the last few years the asphalt has been quite bumpy here. We had to drive with maximum downforce in 2018 to keep the cars on the track. My teeth almost fell out. That set us back badly because we had a big power deficit last year. Now we are top with the engine. And the track looks a lot smoother. We'll go into the first training session with less downforce right away. ”
Toro Rosso wants to end his bad series. Two races without points for the Red Bull junior team. Instead of major upgrades, error analysis is the order of the day: “First you have to sort out what went wrong recently,” demands sports director Helmut Marko.
Four days before the GP England, main sponsor Rich Energy got in touch via Twitter. They are dissatisfied with the team's performance and therefore end the sponsorship agreement with HaasF1. Team boss Guenther Steiner did not want to comment on the surprising turn. The team will meet its contractual obligations and hold talks with Rich Energy over the coming weekend. “The sponsor logos will stay on the car for this race. I don't want to go into details of our contract, but first wait for the discussions with our sponsor. I can't say more about that, ”Steiner regretted.
The South Tyrolean has bigger problems to solve: “We have to find out why we have a good car on Saturday and why we can't keep it on Sunday. It's hard to find a pattern because the conditions on Sunday are always different. And that's why we find it difficult to keep the tires in the window. We suffer from it more than other teams. ”Meanwhile, Kevin Magnussen tries to straighten his team:“ We shouldbe proud that we have a car with which we can drive to fifth place in the qualification. ”The Dane promises:“ We turn every stone, check every detail. We have a great product with our car, but when something goes wrong, you can tell that we are the smallest team in the field. ”
McLaren confirmed what was already clear was. Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris will also ride in the team in 2020. There is no room for Fernando Alonso. Norris breathes a sigh of relief: “Now I can plan for two years. It takes a lot of the weight off my shoulders. ”The technicians are continuing their development program. Team boss Andreas Seidl confirms: “We have a lot of new parts from front to back that we will test on both cars on Friday.”
The Swiss racing team ignites its biggest upgrade to date . The front wing, the nose with hood wing and the baffles are new. This is the first time that the Sauber technicians are leaving their path of small steps. Team boss Frédéric Vasseur announces further development steps in Hockenheim and Budapest. But he also warns: “It all depends on whether you get the tires to work. It's like this for us: if we have a good set-up on Friday, it will almost work by itself. When we start with tire problems, we go around in circles. We convert the car and in the end we usually end up even deeper in the forest. Because the tire factor overshadows everything. You can improve the balance of the car without noticing it because the tires are not in the window.