We’re still three weeks away from the season resuming with teams putting in work to try and catch Red Bull. It’s a time to relax for the drivers with Championship leader Max Verstappen already jetting off on holiday with his girlfriend Kelly Piquet.
The pair were seen arriving in Sardinia by private jet earlier this week while Daniel Ricciardo has been spotted living it up in Ibiza. It’s a chance to recharge the batteries for many with the 2023 season featuring the most-ever races in a single calendar year.
There’s already been 12 races with Red Bull standing on top of the podium for all of them. But there’s 10 more to come before the end of the year, starting with the Dutch Grand Prix at the end of this month.
All eyes will be on the debut of the Las Vegas Grand Prix later this year with Liberty Media spending a fortune on developing the street circuit.
56 mins ago20:23 Charlie Gordon
Albon and Ricciardo find common ground
Alex Albon claims that he relates to Daniel Ricciardo, with both drivers previously forced to take time out from the F1 grid.
Albon was axed by Red Bull in 2020 and Ricciardo did not secure another seat upon leaving McLaren last year.
Both now back with Williams and Alpha Tauri respectively, Albon claims that the time away will have benefitted the Aussie.
“I really do think that year out helped me,” he said. “When you’re in the circus and things aren’t going well and you’re just going race to race, you’re not really able to reflect and understand what’s going on, you’re in the washing machine a little bit.
“It’s important to be able to reflect and to improve, but it’s also just good where you get time away and you can fully reset mentally.”
2 hours ago19:29 Charlie Gordon
Alonso on Aston Martin struggles
Fernando Alonso has given his verdict on why Aston Martin have slipped down the F1 pecking order in recent weeks.
The Spaniard began this season with a succession of podiums, but it seems as though the team have improved at a slower rate than their competitors.
“We are finding some obstacles right now,” Alonso told the BBC. “We are dealing with some extra performance from our opponents, our lack of performance in certain circuits and these kinds of things. Which I find very interesting and very useful for us as a team to grow up.
“We will always find difficulties and some obstacles in the way. And it’s up to us now how to deal with those and overcome them.”
3 hours ago18:29 Charlie Gordon
McLaren boss eyes Monza improvement
McLaren chief Andrea Stella claims that the team will be hard at work to address the issues that sprung up at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri made up time in damp conditions but suffered when the track dried out, with Stella admitting that the current weaknesses would leave them exposed at Monza in September.
“Belgium confirmed that the areas we haven’t addressed yet give us a reality check that there’s more work to do, and to some extent confirm that those areas need to be addressed quite urgently,” Stella explained.
“This urgency, for instance, comes from the fact that the second race after the shutdown is Monza. You can’t go racing in Monza like this, so there’s urgent work that needs to happen at McLaren to fix the situation.”
4 hours ago17:02 Charlie Gordon
Horner on ‘secret’ to Red Bull success
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has spoken out on what he believes makes the F1 team so successful.
With Max Verstappen leading the charge, Red Bull are en route to a third consecutive Drivers’ Championship and a second Constructors’ Championship on the trot.
“I think the secret to success is the culture that flows throughout the business,” Horner told ESPN. “[It is] very much a can-do attitude. Everybody loves winning and so we celebrate every success.
“We obviously had some difficult years where we were trying to get back into a winning position but nobody lost focus on what the target was, what the goal was and what the ambition was. I’ve never seen motivation higher on the campus.”
5 hours ago15:56 Charlie Gordon
Wolff injured during summer break
Toto Wolff has picked up an injury while on holiday during the F1 summer break, according to his wife Susie.
An Instagram post revealed on Sunday that a mountain biking mishap had left Wolff’s arm in a cast due to a suspected fractured elbow.
“Action-packed start to the summer holidays,” read the caption. “Last picture shows how the downhill mountain biking ended for Toto…”
6 hours ago14:59 Stuart Ballard
Red Bull cutting back junior programme
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has revealed the team will be cutting back their successful junior programme in the coming years.
“It’s focusing a bit more on youth I think going forward as well. We have a lot of drivers in Formula 2 this year, I think that will be thinned out moving forward and perhaps a refocus on perhaps some of the lower formulas as well,” he said.
“But you know, a Max Verstappen or a Sebastian Vettel, they don’t come along every season.
“So, it’s just making sure that you identify that talent when it does come along.”
7 hours ago14:30 Stuart Ballard
Alonso fires shots at Szafnauer
Fernando Alonso doesn’t hold Otmar Szafnauer in the highest esteem after his unceremonious split from Alpine last year.
The Spaniard was not impressed at Alpine’s contract negotiations in 2022 before deciding to jump at the opportunity to join Aston Martin’s project.
And Alonso feels Szafnauer has been left with egg on his face given Aston Martin’s surprise performance this year.
He told the BBC: “It is the way they do things. Or the way Otmar does things. Because after this year, he should be quiet. He should not talk at all. After the results of Aston Martin and the results he’s achieving, he’s still talking and still proud of the decision, which is incredible, amazing.”