In the round-up: AlphaTauri has defended its driver Yuki Tsunoda and Red Bull strategist Hannah Schmitz after conspiracies theories circulated on social media over a Virtual Safety Car period which played a role in deciding the outcome of the race.
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Tsunoda conspiracies “insulting” – AlphaTauri
Tsunoda’s retirement from Sunday’s race, which occured when he stopped on-track for the second time in two laps, prompted wild conspiracy theories on social media as it triggered a VSC which played into Max Verstappen’s hands. AlphaTauri is Red Bull’s junior team and Tsunoda has previously voiced his support for Verstappen.
The conspiracy theories were accompanied by abusive language directed at Red Bull’s head of strategy Hannah Schmitz. AlphaTauri defended the pair and categorically dismissed the insinuations over Tsunoda’s retirement.
“It is incredibly disheartening to read some of the language and comments directed at our team and towards Red Bull Racing’s head of strategy, Hannah Schmitz,” they said in a statement. “Such hateful behaviour cannot be tolerated, and to entertain accusations of foul play is unacceptable, untrue and completely disrespectful towards both Hannah and us.
“We have always competed independently, fairly and with the highest levels of respect and sportsmanship. Yuki had a failure that the team didn’t immediately detect which caused him to stop on track. To suggest anything different is insulting and categorically incorrect.”
Stroll laments more misfortune
“I think it was unfortunate, really,” said the Aston Martin driver. “I think our pace was good and our strategy, we were looking like we were going to finish P7, something like that.
“But then we were just unlucky with the timing of the safety car so we didn’t get to pit under the Safety Cars. The ones I was racing: the two Alpines and Norris, they all pitted under the Safety Car, so that just kind of put us back a little bit.”
“I felt really good in the car,” he added after finishing 10th. “It’s just a shame we walked away with only one point.”
Extreme E reveals Hamilton-led diversity drive
Extreme E has launched a new initiative under which its teams will be permitted to add a sixth member to their on-site engineering divisions, which are ordinarily restricted to a maximum of five, providing they have “less than one year’s professional motorsport experience”.
The Racing for All scheme, previously revealed by RaceFans, has come about through its work with Lewis Hamilton’s Hamilton Commission and is aimed at attracting engineers from under-represented backgrounds, including women and ethnic minorities.
“When I first discussed the idea of creating a programme with Alejandro [Agag, Extreme E CEO] and the Extreme E team, we all agreed that it had to be something which led to real change, and I believe Racing for All does just that,” said Hamilton. “I’m so excited to see this program adopted across the paddock, and I can’t wait to see what the first group of Racing for All candidates goes on to achieve.”
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On this day in motorsport
- 35 years ago today a mistake by Ayrton Senna with eight laps to go let Nelson Piquet in to win the Italian Grand Prix