27 July 2019 20:48
Sainz 'scared' to see McLaren rivals improve Carlos Sainz says it "scares" him that McLaren may be dropping down the F1 pecking order in 2019. Toto Wolff says he needs to do some more "thinking" about Mercedes' 2020 driver lineup. German GP demise about 'dollar bills' - Vettel Sebastian Vettel thinks the demise of the German GP is about "dollar bills". Ferrari 'expects more' from Vettel - Binotto Mattia Binotto says those at Ferrari "expect more" from Sebastian Vettel. Daniel Ricciardo has likened Sebastian Vettel's current 'crisis' to his time alongside the German at Red Bull in 2014.
Rosberg: 'Vettel is having a rough season' George Russell says he can now see "light at the end of the tunnel" at Williams. Claire Williams is not commenting on rumours that Ferrari may "veto" the 2021 budget cap. Drivers present 'four point plan' to improve F1 F1 drivers on Tuesday presented the FIA and Liberty with a 'four point plan' to improve the sport. Gasly now using Verstappen's car setup The secret of Pierre Gasly's sudden form boost may now have emerged. Gunther Steiner says Haas' title sponsorship situation could change after the summer break.
Likewise Williams, where Robert Kubica out-paced George Russell, the Pole clearly benefitting from the Grove outfit's upgrade while his teammate ran his car in the old spec. The lights go green and Norris leads the way, followed by Magnussen and Grosjean. The Dane on mediums and his teammate on hards, as is Norris. Magnussen goes quickest of the three, the Haas driver crossing the line at 16.214. More and more drivers head out, a fair mixture of mediums and hards. No sooner has Grosjean gone quickest with a 15.673, than Stroll and then Sainz (15.457) go quicker. "Obviously the high temperatures mean that there's more thermal degradation," says Pirelli, "so we're seeing the hard tyres out as well, which cope better with hot conditions. A 15.177 sees Raikkonen go top, as Kubica's Williams is up on its stands and not looking likely to run any time soon. While the Silver Arrows and Bulls opt to wait, the Ferraris head out. Leclerc goes quickest (14.569) on the hards while teammate Vettel (14.804) goes second on the mediums. "It's quite tricky to drive like this," says Leclerc, "who feels that his pedals are to close. Gasly goes third with a 15.089 on the mediums, the Frenchman taking full advantage - and then some - of the kerbs, particularly in the final corner. Hamilton, on mediums, goes quickest in S1, and again in S3, finally crossing the line at 14.456 to go top. Bottas goes third (14.794), having been hampered by traffic. As Verstappen goes third (14.740), Bottas goes quickest in S1, finally crossing the line at 14.467 to go second to his teammate by 0.011. That said, Hamilton subsequently improves to 14.074. The Briton, remember, is on mediums while his teammate is on hards. Behind the 'big three' or 'big six' or whatever you wish to call it, Raikkonen remains best of the rest, ahead of Grosjean, Stroll, Sainz and Perez. Grosjean goes quickest in S1, going on to post a PB in S2. At the line the Haas driver posts 14.179 to go second, 0.105s off Hamilton's medium pace. Sainz and Stroll head out on the red-banded rubber. Stroll goes third with a 14.268, while Sainz can only manage seventh (14.662). Vettel is the first of the big guns to turn his attention to qualifying, the German posting two purples and a PB on his way to a 13.573, the German losing out in the final sector. Despite traffic in the stadium section, and 'only' posting PBs in all three sectors, Leclerc goes quickest with a 13.449. Hamilton goes third (13.595), going quickest in the final sector despite running wide and kicking up a cloud of dirt. Another scrappy lap from Bottas, who runs wide in the penultimate corner, the Finn crossing the line at 14.11 to go fourth, 0.662s off the pace. Unable to get any closer than 0.146s to Leclerc, Hamilton abandons his lap and heads for the pits. As attention now switches to Sunday, Vettel switching to mediums, it's: Leclerc, Vettel, Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen, Grosjean, Stroll, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg and Perez. "I'm not learning anything with this," says Vettel, "box?" Once again, Bottas gets it wrong in the penultimate corner, the Mercedes pair continuing to look scrappy. Perez is told that his pace is similar to the Toro Rossos and Renaults. Problems for Ferrari as Leclerc pits and the car falls off its front jack. When Hulkenberg complains that his boost is cutting out, he is told that it will be fixed for tomorrow. However, it is clearly more serious than Renault thought and the German grinds to a halt near pit exit. Moments later the session is red-flagged when Gasly loses the rear of his Red Bull exiting the final corner, and hits the barriers, damaging the left-hand side of the car. The session resumes with nine minutes remaining, Verstappen first out on to the track. Among the first out is Hulkenberg, who subsequently reports that his boost issue has returned. "I hear something a little bit strange under braking," reports Leclerc. "Brake pedal failure," says Sainz, as he gingerly heads into the pitlane. Leclerc is quickest, ahead of Vettel, Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen, Grosjean, Stroll, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg and Perez. Sainz is eleventh, ahead of Kvyat, Ricciardo, Albon, Gasly, Norris, Giovinazzi, Magnussen, Russell and Kubica. That said, Ferrari looked strong, and while Grosjean and Stroll were best of the rest, suggesting that Racing Point has taken a step forward with its upgrade, the fact that Russell was quicker than Kubica must have Williams puzzled. Sainz 'scared' to see McLaren rivals improve Carlos Sainz says it "scares" him that McLaren may be dropping down the F1 pecking order in 2019. Boss admits Renault may re-sign Hulkenberg Toto Wolff says he needs to do some more "thinking" about Mercedes' 2020 driver lineup. German GP demise about 'dollar bills' – Vettel Sebastian Vettel thinks the demise of the German GP is about "dollar bills". Ferrari 'expects more' from Vettel – Binotto Mattia Binotto says those at Ferrari "expect more" from Sebastian Vettel. Red Bull is running out of spare parts, according to team official Dr Helmut Marko. Vettel crisis similar to 2014 – Ricciardo Daniel Ricciardo has likened Sebastian Vettel's current 'crisis' to his time alongside the German at Red Bull in 2014. Zak Brown says there will be a seat for Fernando Alonso if McLaren does the full Indycar calendar next year. Toro Rosso says it wants to keep its current drivers for 2020. Ocon set to kick off driver market – Steiner The four-time world champion is 100 points adrift of championship leader Lewis Hamilton heading into his home race at Hockenheim. Charles Leclerc fastest in second German practice Team-mate Sebastian Vettel was fastest in first practice. Vettel leads way in opening German Grand Prix practice George Russell says he can now see "light at the end of the tunnel" at Williams. Claire Williams is not commenting on rumours that Ferrari may "veto" the 2021 budget cap. Drivers present 'four point plan' to improve F1 F1 drivers on Tuesday presented the FIA and Liberty with a 'four point plan' to improve the sport. Gunther Steiner says Haas' title sponsorship situation could change after the summer break. Lewis Hamilton remains worried about the cooling systems aboard his otherwise dominant 2019 Mercedes. 'No panic' about 2020 Mercedes deal – Bottas Valtteri Bottas has dropped a strong hint about his future at Mercedes. Romain Grosjean has admitted his place at Haas for 2020 may not be secure. Renault will be the first F1 team to test Pirelli's 18 inch tyres for 2021. Sebastian Vettel says quitting Formula 1 is "not an option".