Post-Italian Grand Prix noticebook

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Last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix has produced arguably the best race of the season so far, creating a high level of excitement and thrill which will be almost impossible to surpass in the remaining seven rounds. Just a few days after this emotional event, it is time to assess the consequences and hot talking points following the last European round.

No ill-considered actions – FIA’s new race director Michael Masi said that the governing body is in no rush to require substantial changes from race tracks following recent incident. At Monza, F3 driver Alex Peroni broke his back in a terrifying airborne shunt when he ran over a sausage kerb which lifted his car into the air. Speaking to the media at Monza, Masi confirmed that FIA would have a look at the kerbs and run-off areas, but changes would only be made if a serious danger is detected. “All of these circuits were approved by the FIA with a Grade 1 license. There are inspections, and all the safety measures are checked in accordance with strict criteria. After such incidents, it would be naive to believe that there could be an immediate measure to cover everything,” the Australian said.

In the meantime, the Spa circuit is considering to change the asphalt run-off at the top of Eau Rouge to gravel following Anthoine Hubert’s crash in the feature Formula 2 race.

Halo is now a proven device – When asked about the effectiveness of the head protection design, FIA president Jean Todt said that ‘halo’ has even convinced the initial critics after it has saved the life of several drivers since its introduction at the start of the 2018 championship. “When we introduced the Halo, the critics said we didn’t need it. Now they say we need it more than ever. As always, it’s an emotional discussion” However, the Frenchman admitted that motorsport is still very dangerous despite to the constant effort of the governing body to make the sport safer. “One victim is already too many. And we have thousands of drivers. Motorsport is less dangerous than before, but it’s still dangerous,” he is quoted as saying by De Telegraaf.

Still in induced coma – After his horrific crash with Anthoine Hubert in the Formula 2 race at Spa, Juan Manuel Correa has been in intensive care. The young talent has been transported to London where he has been in an induced coma with paralysis in order for his lungs to get as much rest as possible. According to his parents, Juan Carlos and Maria Correa, the Ecuadorian-American driver has made tiny improvements over the past days, but his state of health is still critical. Infections are under control and respiratory indicators remain stable.

“We have good days and bad days as well as long nights and short nights but with the support of the motorsports community, our friends, family, country and fans, we continue to pray for Juan Manuel,” said Juan Carlos Correa, father of Juan Manuel.

Pirelli with double focus – Formula One’a tyre manufacturer Pirelli has completed two important test sessions over the past days. Esteban Ocon completed a total of 212 laps in a current Mercedes, working on Pirelli’s 2020 tyres. Although it its still not official, but the disliked 2019 tyres with thinner surface are expected to be used next year again.

A much more interesting test was completed by Sergey Sirotkin at Paul Ricard where Pirelli first tested its 18-inch tyres that will race in 2021. The Russian completed a total of 213 laps in a modified mule car based on the 2018 Renault. Further tests are planned with Mercedes and McLaren in October and December.

Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola was happy with the outcome of the first on-track test of the brandnew F1 tyres. “This was very useful for us to take a first look at the new generation of tyres and start shaping the development path that we will follow for the remainder of this year and next year.

“Of course, it is hard to read too much into this test as these are still very early days, but we have accumulated all the preliminary data that we wanted in good weather conditions, so thank you very much to Renault and to Sergey for their availability.”

Contract extenstion - Williams and Mercedes have announced an extension of their power unit partnership until the end of the 2025 Formula 1 season. The Grove-based team has used the hybrid power unit of the Anglo-German marque since the beginning of 2014. During this period, Felipe Massa scored the most notable result with a pole position in the qualifying session for the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Williams deputy team principal has been delighted with Mercedes’ power unit since the beginning of their relationship. "We have enjoyed a wonderful partnership with Mercedes-Benz over the past six years of what was originally a seven-year agreement, and so we are delighted to be continuing working with them for a further five years from 2021.”

End of the shattered relationship – Formula One’s American team Haas terminated its contract with the British energy drinks brand Rich Energy. The partnership began ahead of the season, but there was no harmony between the two parties. In July, Rich Energy announced on social media that it terminated its sponsorship with Haas due to its poor results, albeit the relationship continued after that.

The American outfit announced the end of the partnership with the energy drink company on social media. “Haas F1 Team and Rich Energy have amicably agreed to end their partnership together in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship with immediate effect.”