Jessica Hawkins’ ‘secret’ lap times and Martin Brundle under fire – F1 news round-up

Jamie Woodhouse
Aston Martin's Jessica Hawkins tests an AMR21 at the Hungaroring.

Aston Martin's Jessica Hawkins tests an AMR21 at the Hungaroring.

The action keeps on coming, so it is time to bring you up to speed with the latest key Formula 1 headlines.

Nico Rosberg has revealed just how “rapid” Jessica Hawkins was in her Aston Martin test, while Martin Brundle’s take on the extreme Qatar GP driving conditions has not gone down well with physiological expert Dr. Chris Tyler.

All this and much more, so let us get going…

Jessica Hawkins “rapid” compared to Felipe Drugovich

Aston Martin driver ambassador Jessica Hawkins became the first female in over five years to drive a Formula 1 car when she took the AMR21 for a 26-lap stint at the Hungaroring.

Her times have been kept guarded, but not from Rosberg, who revealed the “secret” that they stacked up very well against Aston Martin’s current reserve, reigning Formula 2 Champion Felipe Drugovich.

“I can tell the little secret that you were rapid compared to the official test driver,” said the 2016 World Champion and Sky F1 pundit.

Read more – Nico Rosberg reveals Jessica Hawkins ‘secret’ over mystery lap times

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Martin Brundle feeling the heat after Qatar comments

The extreme temperatures and flat-out mandated Pirelli tyre stints led to multiple drivers falling ill in the Qatar Grand Prix, while Logan Sargeant could not make it to the end, retiring the Williams, too ill to carry on.

The FIA subsequently announced steps would be taken to avoid a repeat of these extreme racing conditions, though Brundle has rallied against that, saying it is in such conditions that the drivers show themselves as the “heroes” they are.

However, Associate Professor in Environmental Physiology at Roehampton University London, Dr. Chris Tyler, branded such comments “not helpful” as he sat down for an extended chat with PlanetF1.com, regarding how the FIA “dodged a bullet” in Qatar.

Read more – Exclusive: Physiological expert reveals how FIA ‘dodged a bullet’ at Qatar GP

Ted Kravitz stunned by Mercedes Qatar strategy

Lewis Hamilton did not experience the demands of the race to give his own opinion, with his Grand Prix Sunday ending at the first corner when he collided with Mercedes team-mate George Russell.

It was an incident which he accepted the blame for, having gone around the outside of Russell with the extra grip of his soft tyres, though then left Russell with nowhere to go.

But, with Russell starting a position ahead on the mediums, Sky F1 pit-lane reporter Kravitz cannot fathom why Mercedes did not come up with a plan for the start to avoid this shunt.

Speaking on the Sky F1 podcast, Kravitz said: “I don’t understand why it wouldn’t have been the Mercedes strategy to say, ‘Okay, guys, this is what we’re going to do. Lewis is on the soft, he is going to come around you, George, you are not going to fight him and he is going to try and get Max’.”

Read more – Ted Kravitz stunned by key Mercedes trigger for Lewis Hamilton-George Russell shunt

Mercedes told their Lewis Hamilton-George Russell control is gone

Both drivers have made a point about working together to take Mercedes back to the top of Formula 1, but with this Qatar shunt following tense on-track scraps at Suzuka, are Hamilton and Russell still racing with that goal in mind?

F1 pundit Peter Windsor does not believe so, and warns Mercedes they are now merely passengers as they can no longer control their drivers.

“Just imagine if Mercedes were in the running for the World Championship in any given situation in any given year,” said Windsor in a YouTube video.

“Imagine what it’d be like between Lewis and George Russell. The management have absolutely no control over them now and there is nothing they can do about it.”

Read more – More Hamilton v Russell fireworks predicted as Mercedes have ‘no control’

Sergio Perez done at Red Bull after tame Helmut Marko comments?

After several blips earlier in the campaign, it feels like Perez’s Red Bull career could now be broken beyond repair after another dismal showing in Qatar, where he received three time penalties for track limits violations.

However, with Marko having simply said that it is up to Perez now whether his contract until the end of F1 2024 is honoured, former Bridgestone chief Kees van de Grint speculated this mild reaction for Marko’s standards is a sign that Perez is coming to the end of his Red Bull career.

“Normally this would be a reason for Marko to freak out after Perez’s performance,” Motorsport.com quotes the former F1 tyre expert as having told Viaplay.

“I expect this to be the calm before the storm. I think something will happen once his second place in the World Championship is confirmed.”

Read more – More Sergio Perez speculation rises after latest Helmut Marko comments

Read next – Nico Rosberg: Max Verstappen is ‘more aggressive’ than Lewis Hamilton