In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says he would have no issue with Mercedes returning to a silver livery for the 2022 F1 season.
Hamilton didn’t expect black Mercedes livery to “last particularly long”
In an interview last year Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff appeared to suggest 2021 would be the final year for Mercedes’ black anti-racism livery which was introduced at the beginning of last season.
Hamilton, who instigated the change of livery in a discussion with Wolff last year, said he isn’t against the team switching back, as the team’s diversity programmes will continue.
“I don’t have a particular feeling towards it,” said Hamilton. “I’m obviously not involved in that particularly right now for next year and it is originally a ‘Silver Arrows’.
Mercedes last ran in silver during pre-season testing in 2020
“I did expect, when I asked if we could make the car black last year in terms of the symbolism and what we intend to do moving forward in terms of support, I wasn’t expecting it to last particularly long and we carried it into a second season, which is awesome.
“If it goes back it would be a nice change and it doesn’t deter us from the changes that we are making internally as we continue to truly push for diversity, even working with all our partners.
“Just the other day with UBS we had these young kids come, trying to inspire the next generation of engineers of all different backgrounds. We’ve got a good programme going, so it doesn’t make a difference.”
Ricciardo reprimanded for Stroll incident
Daniel Ricciardo was issued a reprimand by the stewards for blocking Lance Stroll during qualifying. The stewards’ verdict said that although Ricciardo clearly did impede Stroll, it was related to a mistake made by the McLaren team, who believed Stroll to be on a slow lap.
The decision said “The stewards compared this situation to every other impeding case for the past two and a half seasons. The stewards believed this bordered on ‘unnecessary impeding’ hence was a breach of the rules and therefore required a penalty, however, considering all the circumstances, it was felt a reprimand was the most appropriate and consistent penalty.”
McLaren and Ricciardo were warned that further sanctions would apply if the error was repeated.
F3 standings affected by lack of Saturday race
Formula 3 dropped one of its trio of Sochi races
Following the decision to restrict Formula 3’s final race weekend of the 2021 season to only one reverse-grid race and the qualifying-decided race on Sunday, two drivers have been mathematically eliminated from the hunt for second place and three from competing for third.
If 44 points had still been available, following yesterday’s first race of the weekend, Clement Novalak, Victor Martins and Frederik Vesti would have been able to overhaul Jack Doohan for second place in the standings. However, with a maximum of 27 points now available, only Novalak is within range of Doohan’s total.
Leclerc used qualifying running to work on Ferrari’s wet weather weakness
Charles Leclerc participated in Q1 and Q2, despite knowing that he will start from the back of the grid due to power unit penalties, to gather wet running data for Ferrari.
“I actually wanted to do quite a bit of laps in those conditions,” said Leclerc. “I think it’s conditions where we’ve been struggling in the past. So even though it seems like it’s only five laps, it’s five laps where we can learn a lot and I think we did today.
“We were also very competitive in the last five laps. So we didn’t put the second set off of tyres in Q1, just to not take too much risk, but we’ve learnt a little bit, which was the goal with this lap. So now we’re focussed on the race tomorrow. It’s not going to be an easy one.
“Of course, because these are conditions that you don’t find very often in the season and even though we’ve had them a bit more often this season than than others.
“But I think it’s a good opportunity for us, every time you have those conditions to get out and do some mileage, considering that not so consistent in those conditions. So, yes, even though it was normally a useless session for us, I think we’ve learnt.”