A busy F1 news day from Hungary featured Daniel Ricciardo for the first time in 2023, while Lewis Hamilton shared his thoughts on possible budget cap breaches.
Thursday is the traditional media day ahead of a Grand Prix weekend and, for the first time this year, Daniel Ricciardo was on duty as a race driver as he spoke to the media after his move to AlphaTauri.
Aside from Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton had plenty to say about the rumoured budget cap breaches ahead of the FIA’s sign-off on 2022, while Lando Norris still hates driving his McLaren! Let’s find out what happened during the day in Formula 1.
Daniel Ricciardo sheds light on the career-revitalising Pirelli tyre test
During the week, we found out that Daniel Ricciardo managed to convince Red Bull to ditch Nyck de Vries and take him back to a race cockpit in just 11 laps on track at Silverstone, and the Australian shared some of what went down during the critical Pirelli test.
“I think there already was, maybe, a little bit of excitement and curiosity about the test,” he told media in Thursday.
“I think the sim had kept getting better and better to a point where Christian [Horner] and Helmut [Marko] had got some belief in me again and the test was just that last box that needed to be ticked and to make sure that I could translate everything on track.
“It was already after probably two runs that there was some smiles in the garage and I think that was pretty much it!”
Lewis Hamilton lashes out at budget cap enforcement
Last year, the FIA’s auditing process of the first year of the budget cap rules in 2021 resulted in the discovery of a Minor Overspend Breach on the part of Red Bull – triggering a 10 percent reduction of their already reduced wind tunnel time and a $7 million fine.
While the fine is the second largest monetary punishment ever handed out in the history of the sport, Lewis Hamilton feels the punishment was nowhere near severe enough to put off teams from taking risks with the budget cap limit as the FIA closes in on handing out the compliance certificates for 2022.
“It wasn’t really a big punishment last time so there’s no real [deterrent],” he told Sky F1
“There’ll be people that will probably go for it again, and know they’re just gonna get slapped on the wrist.”
Sympathy for the fired Nyck de Vries
While there was plenty of happy smiles to see the popular Daniel Ricciardo back in a race seat, there was also a steady outpouring of sympathy for Nyck de Vries after his harsh treatment from the ever-ruthless Red Bull company.
The Dutch driver, whose immediate racing future is not yet known, was in the thoughts of many drivers as they spoke to the media on Thursday.
“I think it’s obviously very difficult for Nyck. I sent him a text yesterday because it’s I’m sure that it’s a difficult one to take,” Charles Leclerc said.
“I’m sad. I think it’s too harsh for Nyck, but obviously also happy to see Daniel back in the paddock. It’s part of Formula 1 but it’s true that it’s very harsh for Nyck.”
Compatriot Max Verstappen, who was spotted swimming with De Vries near Monaco after the news broke, also shared his thoughts: “I’m good friends with Nyck so it’s also sad to see him go. But unfortunately, that’s also how this world works. I don’t think there are any hard feelings between the drivers, that’s just how it goes.”
Red Bull upgrades break cover
While all those around them have been rolling out revolutionary upgrades in recent races, Red Bull have been comparatively quiet on the upgrade front.
But, for Hungary, the World Champions have shown up with re-designed radiators and the inlets have evolved with the new ‘letterbox’ look that is wider and shorter compared to what the team ran in Baku, which marked Red Bull’s most recent big upgrade.
According to initial reports from Verstappen trying them out in the sim, the reigning World Champion is pretty pleased with the development, which is rumoured to be worth around two-tenths of a second per lap…
Lando Norris still hates driving his McLaren
The MCL60 may be taking massive strides forward on track in recent weeks as McLaren have rolled out upgrade after upgrade, but Lando Norris still isn’t a fan of how the car handles.
Despite finished second only to Max Verstappen at Silverstone last time out, Norris is less optimistic about a strong weekend around the slow-speed Hungaroring, and says he’s having to drive the car in a way he really dislikes.
“I don’t like to drive the car the way that I have to drive it,” he explained to media on Thursday.
“I feel like it isn’t to my strengths at all. I want to be able to carry minimum speed and ‘U’ a corner. The last thing I can do in the world now is ‘U’ a corner. I have to ‘V’ the corner more than ever. I have never been the biggest fan of doing that, and I don’t like it that much.”