In the round-up: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner isn’t missing a close contest at the front of the field in Formula 1.
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Horner “still in recovery” from 2021 title fight
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says he was not expecting the extent of Max Verstappen’s domination this season, and does not want that level of domination to stop.
“I think it’s beyond everybody’s wildest imagination to be sitting in this position now,” said Horner after Verstappen’s victory in the Belgian Grand Prix, which gave him a 125-point lead in the championship, the equivalent of five race wins.
Horner played down the extent of Verstappen’s advantage over his team mate Sergio Perez, who lies second in the championship. “It’s levels of superiority over everybody at the moment”, he said. “I think that generally it’s been outstanding and what we’re witnessing with Max at the moment is something that you see once in a generation”.
After Verstappen finished the Belgian Grand Prix half a minute ahead of the next car from a rival team, Horner said “not one ounce” of him wished for a closer competition with their rivals. “I think I’m still in recovery from 2021.”
Pirelli conduct wet tyre test at Spa
Aston Martin and McLaren were in action at Spa-Francorchamps yesterday testing wet weather tyres for Pirelli.
Oscar Piastri conducted the full day of running for McLaren, and will do so again today, while Aston Martin used Lance Stroll for Tuesday and will call upon the services of Stoffel Vandoorne for Wednesday.
Pirelli confirmed that Piastri and Stroll were testing “different types of intermediate and extreme wet tyre with a view to 2024” during the first day of running. Stroll covered 70 laps with a fastest time of 1’57.697, while Piastri did 47 laps and was three seconds slower.
Vandoorne joined Aston Martin as reserve driver at the start of 2023 and today’s running will be his first on-track action with the team. He last raced in F1 in 2018, and was Formula E champion last year.
Indy Nxt line-ups change for Nashville
Two major changes have been made to the Indy Nxt entry list for this weekend’s race in Nashville.
Enaam Ahmed has dropped off the entry list and Matthew Brabham has taken his place in Cape Motorsports’ line-up for the weekend. Ahmed is currently 13th in the standings with a best finish of fourth, while Brabham has three series wins to his name and recently returned to Indy Nxt with a cameo appearance for Juncos Hollinger Racing.
His move to Cape left Juncos looking for someone to drive the car that was raced by Matteo Nannini for six weekends before he hit financial trouble. Victor Franzoni, who took the 2017 USF Pro 2000 title with the team and won for them in Indy Nxt in 2018, will return to them for the four remaining rounds on road and street courses.
Franzoni will not do the race on the Gateway oval later this month, leaving Juncos in need of another replacement.
Four young drivers enter Ferrari scouting camp
The first Ferrari Driver Academy scouting camp of 2023 is underway, and features four drivers. The camp consists of physical training, simulator work and testing in a Formula 4 car, with the participants fighting for the chance to make it to FDA’s Scouting World Finals.
Two Italian are among those taking part in the test. They are Giacomo Pedrini, who has already been busy this year testing in F4, and Francesco Marenghi who was the 2021 Italian champion on X30 Junior karts and now karts at a senior level.
The other two participants, Maciej Gladysz and Jan Przyrowski, are both from Poland. Former Sauber junior Gladysz won the junior-level FIA Karting Academy Trophy in 2021, and came fourth in the CIK-FIA World championship for OK-Junior karts last year.
Przyrowski beat him to the 2022 WSK Euro Series title, and they stepped up to OK karts together this year. Last weekend Przyrowski came 13th in the CIK-FIA European championship and Gladysz was 20th.
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Happy birthday to Daniel, Nefer, Gilles De Wilde and Manox!
On this day in motorsport
- 70 years ago today Formula 1’s first world champion Giuseppe Farina scored his final world championship victory in the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring Nordschleife