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After his rally days, Guenther Steiner became the managing director of Jaguar Racing and technical operations director of its subsequent incarnation, Red Bull Racing. And when Gene Haas began exploring the logistics of creating a Formula 1 team, he picked Guenther to lead the effort. The current Team Principal of the Rich Energy Haas F1 Team talks to the Paddock magazine about their evolution, new sponsors, and what he would change to make the sport more popular in the United States.

With all of your experience in motorsports, how do you personally see Formula 1 today?

I believe Formula 1 is in a good place today, definitely in a better place than it has been for a long time. The sport is engaging on all social channels with the fans, and that’s a great thing. And, thankfully, it looks like it’s working.

Is your work as Team Principal changing over the years? If so, how?

Sure, everything changes. In the old days, the Team Principal was more like a team manager, whereas now this role means more politics and a lot more work that is commercial. I personally love to keep up to date with the technical staff, but the sport is constantly evolving in all of its fields.

What is the vibe inside Haas this year? Is it different from last year?

We always keep a good vibe going, because we’re still a new team. There’s always great potential to improve, and we keep on making the changes every year to get better and better. I hope we can keep this vibe going in the future as well.

More events in the USA would certainly help too, but an American world champion would basically drive everything forward.

Are you feeling more support from American fans, brands or partners as Formula 1 is in its third year of Liberty’s era?

I think so, yes. America is one of Formula 1’s growing markets at the time. It’s not all because of Liberty, however the company certainly had a big impact on the sport in terms of social media. American fans are now getting more and more information about Formula 1, they see that the sport is out there.

In your opinion, what is still missing in making Formula 1 more popular in the states? What would you change?

The answer to that is very simple – America needs a successful driver. That’s it. More events in the USA would certainly help too, but an American world champion would basically drive everything forward.

It’s not all because of Liberty, however the company certainly had a big impact on the sport in terms of social media.

What’s it like to have Rich Energy as a new title sponsor? How has the relationship been so far?

The relationship has been superb so far. Rich Energy is a company with a start-up mentality, a bit like we are in Formula 1. We still need to learn a lot in this sport, however having Rich Energy on board has really been a huge boost.

In the beginning, we didn’t have such sponsors, because we were building the team from scratch. Now, we can offer the brands things they’re looking for in Formula 1. It’s a pretty straightforward growing and learning process for us, and today we already can help the sponsors, and they can help us.

Do you already see things that you would like to change within the team for 2020?

We won’t have a revolution, we’re focused on evolution. We’re working hard on making the most with what we have at the moment, and we’ll continue to do that in 2020.

The post Guenther Steiner: “We always keep a good vibe going, because we’re still a new team” appeared first on Paddock Magazine.

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Mark Webber is a legend of the sport, a true Formula 1 gentleman respected by racing fans and professionals all around the world. We’re honoured to have him speak to us about his relationship with Rolex, and what the sport of Formula 1 needs today.

What are you most excited about in Formula 1 this season?

There’s a lot to look forward to from the sport this year and I’m intrigued to see how it all unfolds. I hope it goes deep into the season – I really believe it will. The management changes at Ferrari are good; I think it puts them in good stead to take the fight to Mercedes on a more consistent basis and we’ve already seen how intense the competition is going to be. Plus, it is exciting to watch Charles Leclerc at Ferrari; we haven’t had such a promising young driver promoted to a top team for some time.

Another fascinating storyline over the coming year will be whether Lewis Hamilton can continue to break records and strive for Michael Schumacher’s seven world championships. We also have some exciting rookies in the line-up – Alex Albon at Toro Rosso, Lando Norris at McLaren, and George Russell at Williams.

My routine is still a busy one, but nowadays it is much more in my control.

Mark Webber

How has your understanding and respect for Rolex developed over time and since joining the Rolex family?

Rolex champions high-performance, innovation, and excellence, all values which align with the pinnacle of motor sport – Formula 1 is the ultimate engineering race. It is an absolute honour to be part of the Rolex family. The brand is synonymous around the world for effortless precision and timelessness. Rolex has always supported the most dedicated, high achieving athletes and the legacy that these great people stand for endorses the fact that Rolex is clearly world-class. In my role as a Rolex Testimonee, I’m fortunate to be able to talk about two of my greatest passions – watches and motor sport, and their strong association – with equally passionate people. Personally, to be involved with Rolex is a privilege.

How important is it for brands like Rolex to be associated with championships such as Formula 1?

Rolex’s association with Formula 1 displays and reinforces the brand’s commitment to excellence and motor sport on a global scale. Time has been such a huge part of motor sport, which is why outstanding brands have always been very keen to align themselves with top-flight motor sport. Rolex has a passion for innovation with no room for complacency or weakness in design, something they have successfully championed throughout the brand’s history.

Do you believe that partnerships between luxury watches and Formula 1 will continue further into the future?

The synergies between motor sport and watchmaking are extremely close – in order to be successful in both industries you have to be world-class. It goes without saying that timing is at the heart of motor sport. The drivers, teams and event organizers live by time, whether we are designing a car or up against the split seconds on the stopwatch during a race.

Racing is timing – the sport has always been, and will continue to be, a fight against the clock.

How does your routine differ today compared to during the height of your racing career?

My routine is still a busy one, but nowadays it is much more in my control. I take time to do what I want to do, spending time enjoying other pursuits and ventures – I’ve never been one to rest on my laurels. The important thing is to ensure that you make time for yourself and for your family.

My personal agenda is certainly a lot less regulated by the Formula 1 calendar nowadays, but I do attend a number of races throughout the season, both in my capacity as a Rolex Testimonee, as well as a TV pundit. It’s great to still be involved in the sport that has defined my career and to be able to talk to so many people about it – sharing my knowledge and experience with a wider audience.

The post Mark Webber’s love for watches and motorsport appeared first on Paddock Magazine.

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Can anyone stop Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes team? Given the way Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas have started the 2019 Formula One season, it appears not.

With 1-2 finishes in Australia, Bahrain, and China in the bag, Mercedes are clear favourites to sweep the Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix in Baku on April 28. But judging by the online betting odds, Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari could have a chance at causing an upset.

Hamilton Leads Vettel in Azerbaijan F1 Betting Odds 

Lewis Hamilton leads the Azerbaijan Formula One betting odds, but not by as wide a margin as you would expect. We checked at Freebets.uk for free bet offers from various online bookmakers, and found Hamilton paying as much as 15/8 at bet365. Next in line are Sebastian Vettel, 2/1, Valtteri Bottas and Vettel’s Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc, both 10/3, and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, 20/1.

Hamilton and Mercedes have firmed in overall Formula One season betting thanks to their incredible start. At Betfair, Lewis Hamilton has tightened to 1.52 for the 2019 Drivers Championship, with Vettel and Bottas back at 5.00. Mercedes is paying 1.18 for the Constructors Championship, ahead of Ferrari, 3.25, and Red Bull, 25.00. 

Form, History Suggest Hamilton Should be at Tighter Odds 

Lewis Hamilton was the favourite for the 2019 F1 Drivers Championship prior to the beginning of the season. Incredibly, he and teammate Valtteri Bottas have so far exceeded the heavy expectations placed on Mercedes.

Bottas finished first and Hamilton second at the season-opening Australian GP, with Vettel back in fourth. In Bahrain and China, it was Hamilton first and Bottas second, with Vettel finishing in fifth and then third place.

This year’s form isn’t the only good omen in the Mercedes’ team’s favour as they look ahead to Baku. This will be the third running of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix since it was added to the F1 calendar in 2017. Hamilton beat Vettel’s then-Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen in Azerbaijan last year despite finishing second in qualifying behind Vettel. The previous year, Daniel Ricciardo won the race, with Bottas second, Vettel fourth, and Hamilton fifth.

The Good Money is on Hamilton 

Given form and recent history, Hamilton might actually be good value at 15/8. Lewish Hamilton has gone on long winning streaks before, most notably a five-race streak in 2014 that saw him win in Italy, Singapore, Japan, Russia, and the USA. Vettel holds the record for most consecutive race wins, with nine in a row when he was driving for Red Bull Racing back in 2013.

Of course, you can never rule out Sebastian Vettel, but his poor form to begin this F1 season suggests his odds should be a little longer. If anything, the next generation of stars in Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen are paying the best odds to win at Azerbaijan.

Leclerc, in particular, can’t be too far away from his first ever Formula One race victory. The 21-year-old driver from Monaco is being hyped up as Ferrari’s next big star when 32-year-old Vettel eventually retires. Leclerc had the first podium finish of his career in Bahrain, and has finished in the top five of all three races so far this Formula One season.

While all eyes will be on Hamilton v Vettel in Azerbaijan, the side-battle between Leclerc, Bottas, and Verstappen should be equally fascinating.

The post Hamilton, Mercedes Lead Azerbaijan F1 Betting Odds appeared first on Paddock Magazine.

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Ferrari pays tribute to the Austrian champion.

A workaholic, a computer-like brain ahead of his time, a stickler for detail who could separate emotion and rational thought and go straight to the heart of the matter. But at the same time, a person who could have moments of madness, who, to take the title of his autobiography, went on a journey “to hell and back.” A man who found the strength to jump back in his racing car just six weeks on from that terrible accident which he miraculously survived. These were just some of the elements that made up Andreas Nikolaus Lauda, known to everyone simply as Niki. Last night, at the age of seventy, he passed away.

“This is a very sad day for me, having been fortunate to have actually seen him race and also for all fans of Ferrari and Formula 1,” commented Ferrari Vice President, Piero Ferrari. “Niki leaves us having suffered so much and that is painful for me. He won so much with Ferrari and with other teams too and he always remained a friend. He was a fantastic driver, an accomplished businessman and an amazing person. I will miss him.”

“My memories of Lauda go back to my childhood,” recalled Scuderia Team Principal Mattia Binotto. “When I was little I saw him and Regazzoni win for the Prancing Horse on race tracks all round the world. I was not yet ten and to me he seemed like a fearless knight. Once I came into Formula 1, my relationship with Niki was one of mutual respect. I think that thanks to his bravura and his undoubted charisma, he helped make this great sport well known and loved all over the world. I have fond memories of him telling me that my Swiss approach was just what was needed to bring order to the very Italian Ferrari! That was Niki all over, straight talking and direct and even if you didn’t agree with him all the time, you couldn’t help but like him.”

Lauda was born in Vienna on 22 February 1949. He was an innovator and a champion who brought a new way of thinking to his racing. When Niki first appeared on the Formula 1 scene, he came across as a stubborn young man, with strong self-belief, to the extent that he ignored the wishes of his family and took out a loan to follow his dream to race in Formula 1. In 1973, the Austrian drove for BRM alongside Clay Regazzoni and it was the Swiss driver who mentioned the youngster to Enzo Ferrari. In one of those typical moves that caught out everyone in the sport, Ferrari signed Lauda for 1974. Right from the start, at the races in Spain and Holland, Niki was a front-runner, fighting for the wins in the 312 B3-74. He missed out on the title, but in 1975 he would drive the 312 T. Lauda was fully immersed in the team, helping it to improve with his mania for detail and his attitude endeared him to Enzo Ferrari, who treated him like one of his family. Lauda and the Scuderia evolved into the perfect partnership and grit and determination brought win after win. In 1975, the Austrian took his first world championship crown, also helping the Prancing Horse to win the Constructors’ and Drivers’ titles for the first time after an eleven year wait.

The 1976 season got off to an encouraging start for the reigning champion. Niki won five of the first nine races – Brazil, South Africa, Belgium, Monaco, Great Britain – so that he had more than double the number of points of his closest rival. Then it was time for the German GP at the Nurburgring, the circuit known as the Green Hell, because it was so long, tricky and dangerous. On lap 2, Niki lost control of the car on the damp track and crashed heavily into the barriers. As a result, the car burst into flames. Thanks to the valiant efforts of other drivers, he was pulled from the wreckage, but he was seriously injured, to the extent he was given the last rites. But Lauda was not the sort to give up easily. He fought just as hard in his hospital bed as he had done on track and recovered in record time. Just six weeks later, he was racing again, although in great pain. He was determined to retain his title, but it was not to be. He missed out on the championship by a single point under a downpour at Fuji in Japan. Events had turned Lauda into a true hero, in sport and in life. His popularity transcended the world of racing as he entered the collective imagination, to the extent that his life was even turned into a film.

In 1977, Lauda won his second world championship, but it was also the year in which he severed his ties with the Scuderia and Enzo Ferrari. Lauda switched to Brabham for the following year but, on their own, neither he nor Ferrari managed to win. Niki briefly retired from the sport, before returning to take his third and final title in 1984, with McLaren.

Despite a turbulent end to the relationship with Scuderia Ferrari, the story of Lauda and Maranello would have a final chapter, when he returned as a consultant to the team in 1993. With his two titles and 15 wins over four seasons, Lauda is the second most successful driver for Scuderia Ferrari in Formula 1.

The post Ciao Niki appeared first on Paddock Magazine.

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The post Spanish Grand Prix 2019 appeared first on Paddock Magazine.

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By Natalia Langsdale | We’re always excited to talk to Mika Hakkinen, and this time he opens up about his work with Johnnie Walker, bringing big partners to Formula 1, and his personal plans.

Mika, how do you see the sport today?

Formula 1 has been going through a continuous change since decades and decades. Since I finished my active career in 2001, there has been a tremendous amount of development and changes. I do follow Formula 1 today very closely, and I strongly believe that the sport has all the rights to continue winning the hearts and minds of fans for decades to come.

In a recent interview, Stirling Moss told us that the drivers used to have an enormous amount more fun than the current drivers have now. Is that true?

Today’s drivers are phenomenal athletes, but I think that has always been the mindset. Did we have more fun in my days? I think that depends on your personal attributes as well as the people around you. Yes, we worked hard, spent enormous amount of time on testing, which doesn’t exist today, did some serious racing, but still somehow we did have some fun. Occasionally.

I think there is so much more we can offer for motorsport fans using the new technology, and I’m truly excited about that.

Mika Hakkinen

In an interview for us last year, Sir Jackie Stewart mentioned that Liberty Media are Americanizing the sport, but Formula 1 isn’t going to lose its European touch. What’s your take on that?

Most big American companies are a few steps ahead in terms of marketing, merchandising, and commercialising events, sports events included. The fans want to see real racing, and I think Liberty Media are very much aware of this, so my take on this is an optimistic one.

How is your work with Johnnie Walker going?

I’ve been Johnnie Walker’s “Responsible drinking” ambassador for more than a decade now, can you imagine? What a journey we’ve had so far – we’ve visited dozens of countries across many continents, and urged people to sign up and promise to never drink and drive. We’ve collected some 15 million signatures so far. And the journey continues!

Do you think Formula 1 is still capable to bring in giant international partners?

As the sport has moved away from tobacco and alcohol brands, we have seen many technology partners coming in. In my opinion, we will see new multinational partners in Formula 1 for years to come, absolutely. What brands and companies are looking for and also what the sport is able to offer will evolve, however I believe Formula 1 will keep its business charm.

Talking about Formula 1 itself, there are still talks about whether it should keep its exclusivity or be more open to the fans. What would you do?

When I was racing in Formula 1, there was no social media. Today, every driver or even partner has a personal, separate media channel. If a Grand Prix takes place every second Sunday and lasts some 100 minutes, what can we offer to the fans between the races, and should that content be exclusive? It’s actually all very challenging. Fans need more authentic content, and virtual races against Formula 1 drivers just might be one of the solutions in the future.

Any personal plans for the near future?

Certainly! As a father of five children, I’m busy to stay connected to the young generation. Furthermore, I’m very lucky to have a great set of top quality partner companies including McLaren, Johnnie Walker, UBS, Nokian Tyres, Unibet, and Neuroth. I’ve also co-founded a social media company iNZDR, which we are preparing to introduce for Formula 1 fans pretty soon. I think there is so much more we can offer for motorsport fans using the new technology, and I’m truly excited about that.

The post Mika Hakkinen: “I think there is so much more we can offer” appeared first on Paddock Magazine.

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Formula One is a big event for auto racing lovers. It is watched by millions of fans worldwide. According to 2019 reports the last, two years the number of viewers of F1 has increased dramatically.

The number of people who watch Formula One on TV or on their laptops has increased around the globe. As reported, the audience from the top 20 markets has grown significantly, the countries where F1 got more popular in recent years is China (+69%), it is followed by France (+40%), Indonesia (+25%), and Brazil (+20%).

The numbers of F1 fans and followers on different social media platforms has grown as well. The total number of all social media fans on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube has doubled compared to 2017, making Formula1 the fastest growing sport on social media platforms.

Most fans watch Formula 1 on TV or on their laptops and only a few have a chance to see it offline and attend the race. Many fans dream to get the possibility and see it live. However, is watching F1 more enjoyable online or offline? Let’s see.

Watching Formula One online
Watching Formula One online is the most common way of enjoying the race. Let’s put it straight, the only disadvantage of watching F1 at home is that you are not attending the actual event. As for the advantages, there are many of them.

See the full race
Thanks to the broadcasting you are able to see the full race and have a great view on the race track. Otherwise, when you are actually attending the F1 race you are only possible to see the certain points of the race track and wait for the cars to make a full lap to see them again. So instead of standing there and waiting you can sit on your sofa and enjoy the full view.

Enjoy it as you like it
Watching F1 online gives you the opportunity to enjoy the race as you like it. Do you like to watch it alone with some of your favorite snacks? Or with friends? Do you like to make comments every other second? You can do all you want when you are watching it offline and enjoy it fully.

Save money
You will definitely save a lot of money if you choose to watch F1 online. You have to buy a flight ticket, arrange the accommodation and by the admission ticket which can be from 200 USD to 7000 USD and in most cases, you will still have to watch the race on the giant screen. How many other things you can do with this money? You decide, but you can use some portion on it on betting.

Bet online
Betting for F1 is very popular. As you can see here most of the betting websites offer customers to bet on F1. Betting on the race adds more excitement to your watching experience when you bet the money you are allowed to bet without feeling scared of losing it. Since F1 is getting more and more popular it is expected that many betting sites will offer this opportunity. If you do it correctly and luck will be on your side as well you can enjoy the race and make some money as well.

Watching F1 offline
Attending Formula One race has its own advantages as well, after all, it is a lifetime experience. It’s not just going and seeing the race when attending F1 but it is a whole event you can enjoy in many different ways. You watch the on-track action, there is live entertainment, food, and beverages you enjoy and many more. Moreover, you are surrounded by the fans of F1 and can enjoy the vibe of car racing. While watching F1 online is so comfortable if you ever have an opportunity to get the first-hand experience you should not refuse it and go there at least once in your life.

The post Enjoying Formula One – Online or Offline appeared first on Paddock Magazine.

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By Elina T Htun | Paddock magazine meets Monzer Hourani – the engineer, innovator, architect, music conductor, and the business man.

The business man

Mr Hourani attended the University of Texas in Austin, where he earned the degrees in structural engineering and architecture, a degree in Architectural Studies, and a Physics Degree from French Institute.

Founded in 1971, M Hourani & Associates Consulting Engineers had been involved in engineering innovations for many building techniques and engineering concepts, which have had a great impact on the construction and economy of the building industry in the US. Leveraging healthcare project experience and relationships, in 1974 Monzer Hourani founded Medistar Corporation as a medicine-focused real estate development company that has a stellar reputation to date. As the Texas Medical Center in Houston grew into the world’s largest medical district, Hourani and his associates earned selection to a growing number of complex, medical projects.

Hourani’s work ethic and discipline exemplifies his philosophy to develop, design, and construct cutting-edge buildings that advance the latest in both technology and medicine.

The innovator

Mr Monzer Hourani has been a pioneer and a leader in the world of construction.

He has several patented inventions, including an oil skimmer for major oil spills. His latest invention is the Hurricane Window Brace, strong enough to resist hurricane forces over category 4 or 5. His innovations have a great impact on the economy of the building industry in the United States.

His latest invention is the Hurricane Window Brace, strong enough to resist hurricane forces over category 4 or 5.

The architect

Over the past 35 years, Hourani and Medistar Corporation have designed, engineered, constructed, developed over 54 major building projects and provided structural engineering services on 590 commercial buildings in 43 states and four countries outside the US.

A talented architect at heart, this year Monzer Hourani added a beautiful, very modern, deluxe, also mighty efficient 22-story building to Houston – the InterContinental Houston Medical Center, a 353 guestrooms and suites hotel located adjacent to the Texas Medical Center, considered the largest medical complex in the in the world.

The philanthropist

If a person’s life is a message to the nation, Monzer Hourani has truly made it an inspiring one. Evidence of his altruism can be seen in his numerous diverse charitable causes, including St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Feed the children Foundation, United Nations Development Program for Cancer Research, and many others.

Most significantly, arising out of his deep love for classical music, he is the major underwriter of Virtuosi of Houston, a premier young artists’ chamber orchestra aimed at educating and developing the city youth, talented musicians – aged 10 to 18 – into true professionals who would pursue a musical career as performers, educators, and advocates of classical music. Virtuosi of Houston students are among the top winners of city and national music competitions. Following their two-tour “stand up acclaimed” performances in France, UK, and in the USA, Virtuosi of Houston youth orchestra gained national and international recognition.

The musician!

In spite of their young age, not once but many times the Virtuosi of Houston youth orchestra impressively deliver the difficult Beethoven’s symphony pieces leaded by Mr Hourani, a self-educated and truly inspiring composer and conductor.

The post The signature: Monzer Hourani appeared first on Paddock Magazine.

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The post Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2019 appeared first on Paddock Magazine.

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By Kunal Shah and Mithila Mehta

Mithila and Kunal host the weekly Inside Line F1 Podcast, which aims to add some much needed humour to the otherwise serious sport of Formula 1. You can listen to their episodes on www.kunalsf1blog.com

The results from the 2019 Australian Grand Prix were a surprise – the biggest surprise being that of Valtteri Bad*ss winning the opening race of the season for Mercedes in the commandeering fashion that he did. If You are betting on Formula 1 champions outcome – Bottas is a great candidate. A big credit to his turnaround in performance has been attributed to a rule change that came in to force from this season – separation of the driver and car weight. This change has allowed the bigger (and heavier) drivers to eat with a bit more freedom – basically live a more healthy life. Who would’ve thought that all Bottas would need to beat Hamilton comprehensively in the opening round was more food!

The other surprise was Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing-Honda. Verstappen, who doesn’t usually like to score till the calendar has crossed the third way mark into the season, managed to split the two Ferraris in qualifying. On race day, he kept his race clean, apart from a few “lawn mower” moments, and managed to overtake Sebastian Vettel for third place. The Dutch fans would’ve erupted and claimed a holiday on Monday had Verstappen managed to overtake Hamilton after coming this close. As for Red Bull Racing, their decision to switch to Honda power was vindicated in the best way and at the most apt time possible. Sorry, Daniel Ricciardo!

Finally, the least surprising result was that of the Ferraris. We have seen time and again of how pre-season testing has no bearing on actual form in the races. For Ferrari’s sake, let’s hope that Australia was an outlier – something that the team and their drivers are time and again claiming. Apart from the lack of pace, Ferrari were also reprimanded by their fans for using team orders – they refused Leclerc’s request to overtake Ferrari. In fact, it was Leclerc’s question that sprang a surprise. Instead of asking if he could overtake Vettel, he asked the pit-wall if he should stay behind. No, I am not being nit-picky about how a Formula 1 driver racing in the top 5 couldn’t frame a question correctly in a language that isn’t his primary – but again, this does give a hint to the sort of mind-frame Leclerc has been put in with at Ferrari.

Further down the grid, the drivers who qualified lower down the order and ran on the reverse (medium-soft) tyre strategy saw themselves get the jump on their higher placed rivals using the conventional soft-medium strategy. Now you know how Lance Stroll and Daniil Kvyat, the critics’ favourites, scored points in Australia. Kvyat vs. any Red Bull is always a joy to watch – this time it was Pierre Gasly who couldn’t find a way past. Will we ever have a Kvyat vs. Verstappen this season?

Haas, the unofficial superstars of the Netflix-Formula 1 show, claimed to have practiced 300 pit-stops in the run up to the opening round of the season. As with 2018, it was the pit-stops that caught them out – costing Kevin Magnussen vital race time (even though he finished best of the rest in 6th place) and handing Romain Grosjean his first retirement of the season. For the producers of Season 2 of the Netflix-Formula 1 documentary (if there is going to be one at all), they could just re-use much of episode 1 from Season 1!

Haas, the unofficial superstars of the Netflix-Formula 1 show, claimed to have practiced 300 pit-stops in the run up to the opening round of the season.

Finally, McLaren and Williams not scoring points was no surprise. Although rookie Lando Norris’ P8 in qualifying did raise hopes for McLaren fans. In fact, those very fans were accustomed to seeing a Spanish driver racing a papaya-coloured McLaren retiring from a race with a failing engine and Carlos Sainz Jr. did well to fill in Fernando Alonso’s absence. Lastly, despite Nico Hulkenberg’s 7th place finish, Renault’s dejection is understandable. It took only 13 laps for them to experience their first engine blow-out of the season (in Sainz Jr’s McLaren). But what took even lesser time (four seconds or thereabouts) was for them to see Daniel Ricciardo’s overdriving at the start costing him a front wing before even reaching the first corner at Albert Park. For all of Ricciardo’s magical clean racing in Red Bull, let’s see how well he copes in the uber-competitive mid-field.

The post Hints of the endgame appeared first on Paddock Magazine.

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