News on Lance Stroll, Sebastian Vettel, Logan Sargeant and more

By | September 19, 2023

auto prix f1 without qualifying

F1 Notes: walk, Vettel waiting for SuzukaCAROLINE CHIA – Getty Images

Lance Stroll will return to the Aston Martin F1 team seat for this weekend’s event in Japan, Aston Martin boss Mike Krack highlighted last weekend in Singapore.

Stroll suffered a major impact during Q1 in Singapore after losing control of his AMR23 in the final high-speed corner. He was given the all-clear after a precautionary visit to the medical center, but on Sunday morning he and the team decided not to race because he “wasn’t feeling 100 percent,” according to Krack.

The Aston boss countered that there was “zero” risk of Stroll not returning to the car at Suzuka, and continued to defend the Canadian from critics who suggested he was not fully involved in the sport.

“To take this corner at that speed, you have to have a certain commitment, and this is another proof that he fully has it,” Krack said.

Kevin Magnussen of Denmark drives the 20 Haas F1 VF 23

A late crash by Mercedes’ George Russell allowed Haas’ Kevin Magnussen (20) to sneak into 10th place in Singapore.SOPA Images – Getty Images

Haas returns to the points in Singapore; Logan Sargeant fights

There were mixed fortunes for the American contingent in Formula 1 on Sunday in Singapore.

The Haas F1 Teram, which has struggled badly with tire degradation in 2023, is back in the top 10 courtesy of Kevin Magnussen. He marked Haas’ first top-10 finish since the Miami Grand Prix in May.

Magnussen qualified in a good sixth place but slipped wide mid-race, believing his hopes had been wasted. Subsequently the team bet on soft tires and returned to the race, picking up the final point after George Russell’s last lap collision.

Looking ahead, Haas is preparing a sizeable update for its VF-23, which is due to be introduced at the US Grand Prix in Austin, after deciding to tweak its design concept. Team principal Guenther Steiner admitted at the weekend that Haas had hit a dead end with the development of its current concept and had decided before the summer to change its approach.

Singapore F1 Grand Prix

Logan Sargeant finished 14th in Singapore for Williams.Clive Rose – Getty Images

Logan Sargeant, meanwhile, had a lackluster weekend as his struggles continue. Sargeant was compromised slightly by Williams’ old front wing, but a mistake at Turn 8 caused him to hit the wall, lose a lot of time and was subsequently compromised by increased tire degradation due to the damage.

“It wasn’t a bad race in terms of pace and throughout the weekend,” said Sargeant, who finished 14th. “I have to eliminate those little errors because the margins are so small.”

Teammate Alex Albon was on course for eighth until he was forced wide by Sergio Perez, a move for which the Red Bull driver was penalised. Albon finished 11th.

Rouge Lizard livens up FP1

There was some excitement during a relatively mundane opening practice session on Friday.

The session was yellow flagged on three occasions due to a lizard appearing on the track at Turn 9 and languidly crossing the racing line, evoking memories of a similar situation in 2016. The lizards are diurnal and are therefore more likely to appear during the day, when FP1 took place, compared to the qualifying/race hours at night.

“Ah, there’s a lizard on the track,” Max Verstappen radioed after timing the creature, having joked in 2016 that he saw Godzilla snaking along the racing line.

“Maybe Godzilla had a son,” was the deadpan response of Verstappen’s race engineer, Gianpiero Lambiase.

Unfortunately for the wayward reptile it appears his luck ran out during the final stages of FP1 when he had an interaction with Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin.

spobis congress

Sebastian Vettel is expected to make a rare F1 appearance this weekend at Suzuka.photographic alliance – Getty Images

Vettel ready for return to the paddock

Sebastian Vettel will attend this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.

The four-time F1 world champion, who will retire at the end of 2022, made only a fleeting appearance in Formula 1 this year after a low-profile visit to Monaco in May. German media reported in Singapore that Vettel, an environmental advocate who has a strong affinity with Japan, will travel to Suzuka to help install the beehives behind Turn 2, and will be aided in this task by a master carpenter.

Vettel has taken five pole positions at Suzuka, including the last of his career in 2019, and four victories at the circuit during his career.

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