We have an exciting exclusive to bring you as part of today’s F1 news round-up, with an interview with 1978 World Champion, Mario Andretti as part of our line-up.
The motor racing legend was on good form on a range of topics, though when it came to Ferrari, he was not pleased with the direction of travel at Maranello – with him being left feeling sorry for both drivers in their current form.
With that, let’s dive into today’s selection of F1 news.
Mario Andretti asks: Where would Charles Leclerc go if he left Ferrari?
Mario Andretti has spoken exclusively to PlanetF1.com, and the 1978 World Champion has voiced his concerns about all things Ferrari – from believing Luca di Montezemolo should not have been let go, to his worries for the situations of both drivers.
With both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz out of contract at the end of next season and neither driver having yet agreed an extension, with Leclerc’s future in particular seemingly up for debate.
Does he stay on another long-term deal at Ferrari, or does he try something else? Andretti believes that even if he wants to go elsewhere, the options may be thin.
“Even if there was say, a Red Bull, why would you want to be next to Max Verstappen? Max will always be number one. Where do you go from Ferrari now?” He said.
“It looks like McLaren are looking pretty good, with Oscar Piastri coming on – he’s shown moments of brilliance in the last couple of Grands Prix. I think McLaren is OK in the setup for drivers, I can’t see a change there, so where else would Charles go?”
Nyck de Vries takes educational route with post-F1 move
Nyck de Vries has revealed he has enrolled at Harvard University with his next move after Formula 1, taking a course in Negotiation and Leadership as he moves forward.
This is a similar path to former Williams driver Nicholas Latifi, who recently announced he is set to begin studying at the London Business School.
But for former AlphaTauri driver De Vries, he’s going to take time for other interests alongside racing – and has no interest in giving up on driving.
David Coulthard took ‘massive b*llocking’ from former boss for floor reveal
David Coulthard was on the receiving end of an earful from Ron Dennis during his time at McLaren for not steering photographers away from his car after going into the gravel in Barcelona in 1998.
So much so, in fact, that he missed part of a free practice session as a result – leaving him in no doubt as to the former McLaren team principal’s fury at seeing team secrets leaked elsewhere.
“Whilst he’s going through the ramble, practice has started,” Coulthard explained on the Formula For Success podcast.
“The Grand Prix cars are out practicing, and my car is in the garage because I’m getting a bollocking for not staying with the car in the previous session. So I eventually said ‘No, nothing to say, sorry, Ron’, and I eventually got back and got in the car.
“But it showed… he waited until the last moment to give me a bollocking. Even though it was going to cost the team some track time, he knew it was going to really resonate with me as a driver that I was missing being out on the racetrack. So that was an unusual one.”
Red Bull ‘surprised’ rivals have not cottoned on to not-so-secret weapon
Red Bull technical director Pierre Waché admitted his surprise at rival teams having not yet understood how their DRS works so well yet, almost two years after it has been introduced.
Data consistently shows that with the rear wing open, Red Bull gain the most speed in a straight line and the top speed of both the RB18 and RB19 was among the strongest assets of both cars.
But when it comes to rivals catching up, as they inevitably do in Formula 1, he is shocked that teams haven’t yet done so…
Speaking to Motorsport.com, Waché said: “The crazy thing is that people are talking about it two years after we introduced it.
“We had hundreds of tests by the FIA to see if we had used a trick or something, and people [even recently] don’t understand why on high downforce tracks the advantage disappears.
“Okay, that means they haven’t been able to understand it yet. And that surprises us a lot.”
Cyril Abiteboul points to missing piece in Alpine puzzle
Former ‘Team Enstone’ boss Cyril Abiteboul knows more than most about what it takes to work at Alpine, having run the team during its days as Renault.
With Renault still overseeing the operation and running it through its Alpine brand, Abiteboul left in 2020 and is now holding the reins of the Hyundai World Rally Championship outfit.
But when it comes to winning, Abiteboul believes a powerful figurehead at the top is needed for Alpine to succeed.
“There has to be someone high up at the top of the company who also the vision,” he said as per Motorsport.com. “He also has to think, we have to win at all costs.
“Red Bull had that with Mateschitz and his legacy maintains it. Aston Martin has that with Lawrence Stroll. Mercedes succeeded, despite the corporate structure. They have set it up in such a way that Mercedes F1 management can win.
“The point is not that there is a battle between the makers of the cars and those who don’t, but that there is someone at the top of the company who wants to win at all costs.
“That is necessary to be successful, especially in Formula 1.”