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F1 INBOX: Answers to your questions about Alonso, Leclerc and Aston Martin after the Bahrain Grand Prix

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Was F1 extra thrilling prior to now, is Mercedes heading in the right direction and why are some groups battling the tires greater than others? These are only a few of the questions you requested this week. F1 Host Will Buxton, Corridor of Fame reporter David Tremayne and extra of our consultants have the solutions within the F1 Inbox.

Q: Prior to now, have been F1 races typically higher and extra enjoyable than now? (through @PlayGamesMovies on Twitter)

A: (Will Buxton, F1 TV Presenter) It is at all times tough to check durations. Due to this fact, the controversy over who actually is the GOAT (The Best of All Time) will in all probability by no means be answered.

WATCH: F1 for newcomers – all the pieces that you must find out about F1

Wanting again usually implies that we will not assist however see the previous via rose-colored glasses, as a result of we rigorously choose those that naturally stand out as moments that stand out and make an impression.

Certain, with fewer races, one was extra prone to be excellent, however trying again on the time I reported on the game, and even my childhood, there have been races received by a full lap.

Thirty years in the past, Damon Hill received the Australian GP by two laps. Rating would see all of the seconds cut up the primary two rows. I contend that the pitch has maybe by no means been this shut – however past that, it is about having fun with the game within the second.

2023 F1 season kicks off in Bahrain

Q: It may be mentioned that Aston Martin lived as much as expectations within the first race, however that is solely the primary race. Do you suppose the inexperienced staff will obtain good outcomes sooner or later? (through @JosipLisıcak on Twitter)

A: (Will Buxton, F1 TV Host) Aston Martin’s soar from seventh to fifth place might have been a narrative. However being third, and even second quickest, is a good achievement.

I feel what’s much more thrilling is that with the seventh-best staff final yr and Crimson Bull putting even tighter constraints on them when it comes to improvement, the inexperienced staff’s skill to innovate within the 2023 calendar yr is excessive, and so I feel it is much more thrilling. they’re prone to preserve and even improve their efficiency stage.

READ MORE: ‘That is only the start’ – Alonso warns after Bahrain podium there’s ‘extra to come back’ from him and Aston Martin

2023 Bahrain Grand Prix: Key moves that helped Alonso take the podium in Aston Martin's debut

2023 Bahrain Grand Prix: Key strikes that helped Alonso take the rostrum in Aston Martin’s debut

Q: Do you suppose Mercedes is cussed or perhaps a bit naive to proceed with the automotive idea they’d final yr? Figuring out that there are some design flaws with it and it was actually solely aggressive in a couple of races. And is that this yr a repeat of final yr? (through @ToxicFrostbite4 on Twitter)

A: (Mark Hughes, Particular Contributor) No, I do not suppose that is naivety or stubbornness. They felt that the issue with final yr’s automotive was not the core idea, however the limitations imposed by the mechanical facets, significantly the rear suspension, which was on the coronary heart of the automotive’s bouncing points.

So there was each motive to consider that the brand new automotive can be tremendous as soon as this function was fastened. And in comparison with the previous one, this is the factor: it does not soar, does not should get too excessive to pull, and is considerably quicker than the previous automotive, regardless of a regulatory change it ought to add. 0.5 seconds In Bahrain, he laps 0.7 seconds quicker than final yr’s automotive, regardless of this rule change.

The staff had no means of figuring out in isolation that there can be extra wins to be made by groups with a unique idea. The shortfall is in high-speed downforce, and Crimson Bull (and Aston Martin) have made large positive factors right here.

Q: If Mercedes obtained the ‘zero sidepod’ design mistaken and so they could also be contemplating altering it within the upcoming races, how will they have an effect on improvement by managing the price cap for the remainder of this season and sacrifice this season for improvement? W15 subsequent yr? (through @Ganeshsportsfan on Twitter)

A: (Mark Hughes, Particular Contributor) Even a change in sidepod design would solely be a compromise repair for a automotive with tough spots just like the monocoque form and radiator format designed round a unique idea.

We noticed one thing related on the Aston Martin final yr with the Barcelona improve, which appears to be like very completely different from the unique automotive however continues to be restricted to the unique’s key anchor factors. In fact any replace prices cash and sure, if this can be a corrective moderately than a developmental replace, it should put a ceiling on how a lot additional improvement potential could be achieved as a result of value cap.

READ MORE: ‘One of many worst days in racing’ – Wolff says Mercedes must be ‘radical’ after Bahrain actuality verify


Mercedes accomplished the long-distance P5 and P7 on the season opener as a result of ongoing automobile points.

Q: Can Fernando Alonso be thought of one of many biggest, though his statistics are usually not among the many likes of Hamilton, Schumacher and even Senna? (through @dystainak on Twitter)

A: (David Tremayne, Corridor of Fame F1 reporter) Completely. The way in which I consider drivers’ excellence takes many components under consideration. In fact, there should be a point of success, however Stirling Moss, for instance, has at all times been disadvantaged of the deserved title.

What actually issues is their pace and who they beat. Jim Clark, for instance, received 25 races in opposition to Lewis Hamilton’s 103, Michael Schumacher’s 91 and Ayrton Senna’s 41 and received ‘solely’ two titles, however would anybody dare to say he wasn’t nice? Or Juan Manuel Fangio with 24 wins and 5 titles?

TREMAYNE: The looks of Aston Martin and Alonso is one thing we should always all be completely satisfied about

Once more with two championships and 32 wins, Fernando was the person to lastly beat Michael, and he is nonetheless expert on the proper racing machine immediately with Lewis and Max Verstappen being the highlights of the present era.

His stats may very well be quite a bit higher with higher judgment on his favourite groups, however pure stats ought to by no means be the one criterion of judgement.


Alonso was one of many stars of the present in Sakhir, together with race winner Verstappen.

Q: Are you able to clarify F1 tires – if I am proper, there have been three completely different tire combos final yr however there are 5 this season? Have they got to make use of all or some – how do groups decide this? (through @totofds25 on Twitter)

A: (Samarth Kanal, F1.com Employees Author) Final yr Pirelli had intermediate tires and moist tires to be used in F1, along with 5 completely different dry tire compositions starting from C1 to C5 (softest to hardest). This yr Pirelli has six completely different dry tire compounds, starting from C0 to C5, as they’re launching a brand new C1 compound.

Tire suppliers allocate three dry tire compounds, a set quantity for every, to be used in every Grand Prix (plus intermediate tires and moist roads). In Bahrain they allotted two units of C1 (additionally referred to as hards), three units of C2 (mids) and eight units of C3 (softs).

READ MORE: Pirelli confirms tire alternatives for first three F1 races of 2023 as new compound rolls in

In dry circumstances, groups should use two dry rubber compounds per race, but when the bottom is moist, they don’t seem to be required to pit for an additional compound. Strategists search for one of the simplest ways to make use of their tires and when it’s best to cease for the tires to maximise time on the observe and reduce time spent within the pits.

Q: Will Leclerc get a motor penalty after he retires in Bahrain? (through @TheBritishGuy5 on Twitter)

A: (Samarth Kanal, F1.com Employees Author) Charles Leclerc purchased a brand new Management Electronics and Vitality Retailer forward of the primary race of the season, the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix. Solely two of these things are allowed per driver earlier than the engine penalties kick in.

2023 Bahrain Grand Prix: Leclerc

2023 Bahrain Grand Prix: Leclerc “no energy!” he screams for being pressured out of the race from P3

Whereas Leclerc makes use of the seconds of every piece, if his staff chooses to switch each, he’ll seemingly exchange each.

Ferrari Group Principal Fred Vasseur did not particularly say Which One of many components of the Ferrari energy unit failed in Bahrain, however he mentioned the offender was an “accent” to the facility unit.

READ MORE: New Ferrari chief Vasseur to order ‘full investigation’ into Leclerc’s DNF in Bahrain

So we do not but know if Leclerc will obtain a motoring penalty after retiring in Bahrain – however he’s the driving force closest to being hit.

It might definitely be uncommon for Ferrari to place him behind the grid so early within the season in a spot like Jeddah, however worst The place to do that is the place a brand new engine would positively assist its goal, as it is a lengthy straight…

Have a query about F1 you need to reply? Drop us a line on Twitter utilizing the hashtag #F1inbox and we’ll reply to a variety at F1.com

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