Inside Line F1 Podcast: The FIA Bans 'The Verstappen'

Kunal Shah 25/10/2016
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Should Verstappen teach the other drivers a lesson?

The United States Grand Prix was a joke in itself. The only saving grace was the brief wheel-to-wheel battle between Carlos Sainz Jr. and Fernando Alonso. The BIG chatter from the weekend was the FIA banning ‘The Verstappen’ and Venus Williams snubbing Martin Brundle. Shame on you, Williams.

(Martin Brundle drove a race for the Williams F1 Team in 1988 – had Venus Williams known this fact, would she still have snubbed Brundle?)

How do Formula 1 drivers ensure that they don’t become victims of ‘The Verstappen’? Ask the FIA to ban it! Ridiculous or sensible? Either way, history suggests that the FIA could well un-ban what they’ve banned in the first place.

Actually, instead of banning ‘The Verstappen’ the FIA should have allowed Max Verstappen to host a session for the other drivers on how to pull off ‘The Verstappen’. He’s the one driver that’s brought some cheer to Formula 1. Okay, Daniel Ricciardo too.

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Pit stop blunder crushes Raikkonen's hopes for US top five finish

F1i 24/10/2016
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Raikkonen was enjoying a solid, although uneventful, run in the top 5 when a pit stop blunder sealed his fate during his third stop of the afternoon.

The Finn pulled away too quickly after changing to Soft tyres but in the process yanked a tyre gun off a rear wheel, damaging the car’s nut and stub assembly.

Raikkonen stopped at the exit of the pitlane and rolled his car back down the slope and onto the pit complex where he retired.

The mishap not only put the Finn out of the race, it also earned the Scuderia a €5,000 fine for unsafe release.

“I don’t really know what happened, obviously we have to find out,” said Kimi Raikkonen.

“The green light came on, and obviously I will go once there’s a green light. Why it came on while we were not ready, I don’t know. I saw some sparks coming out and asked if it was okay, and was told to stop.”

Up to that point, Raikkonen had been running in fourth position but without any chance of catching the Mercedes and Red Bull up the road.

The Finn initially made his first stop for Soft tyres as early as lap 9, Ferrari evidently banking on a somewhat surprising three-stop strategy which came about as a result of a disappointing run on the Soft compound.

“We expected more from the Soft tyres, and we changed when it was needed, but in the end it didn’t make any difference.”

The Finn was at a loss to explain exactly why the Ferrari was less competitive in Austin compared to Japan two weeks ago.

“I have no idea, we’ve seen many differences from circuit to circuit. Perhaps it was the conditions or something which explain why we weren’t as close as we were two weeks ago. The car’s balance is quite good but we just need more grip overall to go faster.”

Ferrari appears indeed to be lacking consistency with regard to its overall pace, a weakness which perhaps points to set-up difficulties, which Raikkonen did not deny.

“It’s always going to be difficult to set-up the car exactly how you want, it depends on many conditions. I think when it’s very windy it seems to affect us more than we like.

“Obviously we tried different things on Friday, but sometimes it’s difficult when you don’t have a lot of time to make the changes to work.

“Yesterday the balance was as good as it was going to get but unfortunately the lap time is not where it should be.”

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Hamilton wins American GP

Sport360 staff 24/10/2016
Reporting for podium duty: Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton turned in a commanding display to win the United States Grand Prix and complete the first leg of what would be a remarkable fightback in the Formula One world championship race.

Hamilton, who started from pole position, led virtually every lap here in Austin to record his 50th career victory and move to within 26 points of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Rosberg spent much of the race behind Daniel Ricciardo, but finished in second place after he leapfrogged the Red Bull driver during his second pit-stop.

Despite Hamilton claiming his first win since July’s German Grand Prix, the championship battle remains firmly in Rosberg’s hands with only three rounds remaining.

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