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“We know what we are struggling with” – Pierre Gasly

Scuderia AlphaTauri endured a challenging start to their home Grand Prix, with 2020 Italian Grand Prix winner Pierre Gasly being the best AT03 on the opening day in fourteenth-place.

It certainly wasn’t the sort of day the Faenza-based team would’ve been hoping for, with the Frenchman ending Friday three-tenths of a second behind tenth-placed Alex Albon. It’s vital that AlphaTauri make a “step in the right direction”, with Gasly being somewhat confident that the team know where they are struggling.

The French driver knows there is “some work to do”, but is confident that he can deliver a top ten in Qualifying on Saturday.

“There is still some work to do, but tomorrow we have an opportunity to make a step in the right direction. We know what we are struggling with and that was noticed again today in both FP1 and FP2, there was especially a lot of sliding in the medium to high-speed corners.

“Though there was the Red Flag, it didn’t change the overall performance much, because we were still able to gather all the necessary data about our weaknesses. We will need to analyse everything tonight to allow us to deliver a strong top 10 in Qualifying tomorrow.”

Esteban Ocon: “We are fully focused on tomorrow and to have a good Qualifying”

Esteban Ocon says the BWT Alpine F1 Team are ‘fully focused’ on executing a good Qualifying session at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on Saturday, particularly with a number of the regular front runners carrying penalties in the weekend.

Both Oracle Red Bull Racing drivers – Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez – as well as Scuderia Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. all will drop down the order after taking new engine and/or gearbox components for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

Ocon, who finished sixth fastest in the opening session on Friday and eighth in the second, feels the penalties can open up opportunities for teams such as Alpine, and it will be important for them to get the set-up spot on for the Qualifying hour on Saturday.

“It’s always a pleasure to drive in Italy and at Monza,” said Ocon, who is sporting a helmet paying tribute to Michael Schumacher this weekend.  “It was a good Friday overall for us with two productive sessions and both cars in the top ten.

“We’ll be focusing on ourselves and how we can keep extracting further performance ahead of tomorrow. We’ll be looking at our data and also analysing possible scenarios for the race with so many penalties and different cars trying different things today.

“I feel like we’re in the mix” – Alex Albon

Alex Albon made an excellent start to the Italian Grand Prix, after ending the opening day at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza in tenth-place.

The Anglo-Thai driver looked strong around Monza, where he has so far proven to be considerably better once again than team-mate Nicholas Latifi who languished at the back. Albon ended the opening day just under 1.2 seconds behind pacesetter Carlos Sainz Jr, in what was a promising day for Williams Racing.

Albon is confident that he’s “in the mix” this weekend, but recognises that the team must “maximise everything”.

“It wasn’t a bad today and I feel like we’re in the mix. It’s definitely close out there, so we need to make sure we maximise everything for tomorrow. Ultimately, we know what direction we need to go in and with the long run pace, we need to make sure we get on top of the tyres, but I’m happy with how today went.”

“We’ll do our homework overnight” – Nicholas Latifi

It was a bad day at the office for Latifi, after the Canadian driver ended Friday in nineteenth-place. To make matters even worse, the under-pressure driver was virtually 1.2 seconds slower than his team-mate, around a circuit that only takes just over eighty-seconds to lap.

Max Verstappen: “We should stand a good chance” of Italian GP victory

Max Verstappen made a strong start to the Italian Grand Prix, where the Dutchman ended the day in second-place, just over a tenth behind Carlos Sainz Jr.

The reigning World Champion spent a lot of time focusing on his race set-up, with the championship leader set for a five-place grid penalty on Sunday for taking a new Internal Combustion Engine. Whilst overtaking is usually difficult at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, it should be somewhat easy for the Oracle Red Bull Racing driver, due to the RB18’s superior top speed.

Verstappen ended Friday believing that the car was “pretty good”, but does recognise that Scuderia Ferrari are also looking mighty fast at their home race.

“I think the car was pretty good today, we’ve been trying a few different things from FP1 to FP2. Some things worked and some didn’t, if you look at the long runs we look good and of course that’s most important for the race.

“We did more long run practice knowing that we have the five place grid penalty on Sunday, everything seemed to work out quite well. There are still a few things that we can do better, but I think we should stand a good chance. The Ferraris look good, I’m not worried about them but we still have a few things to finalise.”

Mercedes Not Putting a lot of Emphasis on ‘High-Risk-High-Reward’ tow at Monza – Russell

George Russell felt it was a ‘strange’ Friday at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, but he was disappointed to see both Scuderia Ferrari and Oracle Red Bull Racing seemingly pull away from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team in the second free practice session.

The British racer had ended third fastest in the first session in Italy but fell to fifth in the second, but the gap between him and the fastest time increased from three-tenths of a second to seven-tenths.

Russell felt he was struggling with electrical deployment at Monza on Friday, and he hopes the team will be able to solve that issue ahead of Saturday’s Qualifying session and more so before Sunday’s race.

“Bit of a strange day, FP1 was looking pretty strong but then Ferrari and Red Bull seemed to take a step forward in FP2 and we went a little backwards so we have work to do tonight to understand that,” said Russell.

“Generally speaking, we’re lacking a little electrical deployment here, we’re similar to Red Bull but Ferrari seem to have the upper hand on deployment which might be tricky in a race scenario.”

Lando Norris: “I’m happy with the progress that we’ve made”

It was a positive Friday for the McLaren F1 Team at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, with Lando Norris ending an encouraging fourth fastest in the second free practice session.

The British racer was only sixteenth in the opening session but found significantly more pace in the second hour of running, and he was only beaten by Scuderia Ferrari duo Carlos Sainz Jr. and Charles Leclerc and Oracle Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen.

Although not yet completely happy, Norris felt the team made progress throughout the day in Italy, and he hopes they can come out on Saturday in similar fashion and find a little bit extra to potentially move themselves even closer to the front of the field.

“Reasonable day. We made good progress through today, so I’m happy with the progress that we’ve made,” said Norris.  “We’re still not where we need to be.

“I don’t think we’re competitive enough yet to really fight confidently for, say, Q3 at the minute. We’ll keep working very hard. I think we’ve understood some things better today, after learning from the past few weeks, but like I said, still not quite where we need to be.

Italian GP: Crazy grid pending as a plethora of drivers awarded grid penalties

The Italian Grand Prix looks set to be an enthralling one, with six drivers having been awarded grid penalties for Sunday’s race.

The penalties have been awarded to a mixture of the frontrunners and midfield contenders, meaning that a surprise podium could be on the cards at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.

Championship leader Max Verstappen has been awarded a five-place grid penalty for Sunday, after having a new Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) fitted to his car. Team-mate Sergio Pérez has also had a new ICE fitted to his RB18; however, the Mexican has been awarded with a ten-place grid penalty. It means victory may not be on the cards for Oracle Red Bull Racing, with so much work likely to be needed from both drivers.

Friday’s fastest driver, Carlos Sainz Jr, will start from the back of the grid, after the Spaniard had many gearbox components changed, plus a new ES, control electronics (CE) and MGU-K. Sainz will be joined at the back by Lewis Hamilton, who has taken a new power unit for Monza. Unless he qualifies in the top three, then Valtteri Bottas will also start from the back of the grid, after taking a new power unit following his retirement at last weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix.

Yuki Tsunoda has also been awarded with a thirteen-place grid penalty. He was awarded a ten-place grid penalty for driving around the circuit with his seatbelt undone during the race at Zandvoort last weekend, and has been awarded a further three-place grid penalty and two licence points for ignoring yellow flags during Free Practice Two today.

Aleksandr Smolyar takes his second pole position of the season in Monza

An extremely high-pressure FIA Formula 3 qualifying for the top seven in the championship, began with the three Jenzer motorsport cars making their way onto the track, as the whole grid sported the soft tyres for the first time this weekend.

Championship leader Victor Martins struggled in his first flying lap as he was forced to make his way through the bollards at turn one after misjudging his breaking point.

When the grid’s first flying laps had been set, it was Roman Stanek who topped the times with a 1:38.431, followed by Jonny Edgar in second.

Improvements were being made up and down the field, but Stanek would remain on top, bettering his first time by 0.324 seconds, as Jonny Edgar and Zane Maloney completed a Trident 1-2-3 with just under twenty minutes remaining in the session.

However, soon enough the session was red flagged, as Isack Hadjar experienced oversteer at turn 11 and was sent hurtling into the barriers, putting an end to his qualifying session.

Sainz takes Ferrari to the top of the timesheets in Monza

Scuderia Ferrari have maintained a near-perfect start to their Italian Grand Prix weekend, with Carlos Sainz Jr. topping the timesheet and outpacing the current World Champion and leader in the championship Max Verstappen, with Charles Leclerc finishing third fastest.

Max Verstappen led the way in the RB18 for the first stint of the practice session, quickly setting a lap of 1:23.021 on the medium compound tyres, but it was Sainz who clocked an impressive 1:21.664 by the end of Free Practice 2, leading Verstappen by 0.143s. First Practice pace setter Leclerc was half a tenth slower in third. Verstappen was on track to threaten the Spaniard for that first position, but a hefty and unfortunate lock-up into Turn 1 caused the Dutchman to back off from the pace and lose valuable performance from the medium compound tyres he was running.

Lando Norris, who ran third for a brief moment in the first stint, managed to maintain the pace in his McLaren and finished the session in fourth place, ahead of George Russell and Sergio Perez. Despite Norris’ finish in fourth place the McLaren F1 Team expressed concern about the cars ‘draggy’ nature around the Monza track which seemed to affect Norris’ team-mate Daniel Ricciardo more as he finished the session in eleventh.

Thirty minutes into the session Haas driver Mick Schumacher reported a sudden loss of power, resulting in the session being red flagged with Schumacher retiring from the session and leaving his VF-22 on the side of the track. He finished the session in twentieth, over two seconds off of the pace of Sainz.

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, who seemingly enjoyed a positive start to the Monza weekend, had both of their drivers less than happy as they tried to maintain pace in their W13. Lewis Hamilton, who finished the session in seventh place, was heard over the radio stating that his car felt ‘very unstable’ and was struggling as he entered Turn 1. Meanwhile, teammate George Russell was concerned as he experienced ‘quite a bit more bottoming on the straight’.

‘Quite Different’ DNA Behind Break Down in Talks between Red Bull and Porsche – Horner

Christian Horner says the talks between Oracle Red Bull Racing and Porsche broke down because the two parties had ‘quite different’ DNA, but their commitment to becoming a powertrain manufacturer within the FIA Formula 1 World Championship remains.

Ahead of the 2022 season, Red Bull took over the intellectual rights of Honda’s powertrain following the decision of the Japanese manufacturer to withdraw from Formula 1, and the Milton Keynes-based team have been building a new building to accommodate their planned engine department.

Talks began between Red Bull and Porsche about becoming partners, which would have allowed the German marque to return to the sport for the first time since the early 1990s.  However, Horner, the Team Principal at Red Bull, says the discussions have now concluded, with Porsche’s request for a fifty-per-cent buy-in of the team proving a sticking point.

“Obviously with Red Bull becoming a powertrain manufacturer in 2026, it was always natural to hold discussions,” said Horner to  “Those discussions have now been concluded, and the consensus was that it was not right for Red Bull’s involvement in F1.

“We committed to becoming a powertrain manufacturer a year and a half ago, or just over that. We’ve invested massively in facilities and people and the first Red Bull engine fired up approximately a month ago.

Porsche Officially Calls Off Red Bull Talks Over 2026 Engine Supply

Porsche’s planned partnership with Oracle Red Bull Racing from 2026 has been abandoned, with the two parties unable to find solutions to differing opinions.

The Volkswagen Group had approved Porsche’s return to the FIA Formula 1 World Championship when the new engine regulations come in in 2026, and Red Bull were always the intended partners with them.

However, Porsche’s bid to take over fifty-per-cent of the Red Bull team was the major reason behind the decision to break off talks, with the German marque releasing a statement saying they will no longer be pursuing the partnership with the Milton Keynes-based team.

“In the course of the last few months, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG and Red Bull GmbH have held talks on the possibility of Porsche’s entry into Formula 1,” read a statement from Porsche.

“The two companies have now jointly come to the conclusion that these talks will no longer be continued.

Charles Leclerc leads the way in at Monza first practice

Scuderia Ferrari’s Italian Grand Prix got off to the perfect start as Charles Leclerc topped the time sheets of Free Practice One while his teammate, Carlos Sainz, was second fastest in the opening session of the weekend.

After the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, all team personnel across the grid wore black armbands and observed a minute’s silence as a mark of respect. Tributes were also visible on a number of cars as FIA Formula 1 World Championship pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.

Championship leader Max Verstappen finished the first practice session in fifth-place, over four-tenths of a second behind the fastest time of the session. The Oracle Red Bull Racing driver was on course for a time that would have challenged Leclerc’s fastest lap but a slow-moving Lando Norris at the Curva Parabolica heavily compromised the Dutchmen’s lap time.

Once again Sergio Perez finds himself trailing his teammate, as the Mexican set the fourteenth-fastest time of the session, over eight-tenths of a second behind his teammate.

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team enjoyed a positive start to the weekend as both drivers were able to finish the session inside the top four. George Russell was third fastest, two and a half tenths behind the fastest time of the session, while Lewis Hamilton was fourth fastest, just over a tenth behind the pace set by his Mercedes teammate.

Oliver Bearman tops the times in final practice of the FIA Formula 3 season

The drivers headed out on to the wet Monza track for the final practice of the FIA Formula season, to get some important laps in ahead of the qualifying session later on this afternoon, as seven drivers are still in contention for the Formula 3 title.

After first laps had been set by most drivers, and the virtual safety car period that had commenced due Federico Malevesti’s car coming to a halt at the side of the track, it was an ART 1-2 at the top of the timing sheets. 

However, championship leader Victor Martins was not one of them, as Gregoire Saucy led the way, followed by Juan Manuel Correa.

Soon enough, a dry line began to appear on the track, as Zak O’Sullivan set the first lap time in the 1.49’s, despite a wobbly moment on the exit of Ascari.

Many drivers then headed to the pits to put on slick tyres, in an attempt to improve their lap times that they had set on the wet tyres.

“We know that Monza will not be a strong point for us” – Steiner on Haas’ Expected Italian GP Performance

Team Principal of Haas F1 Team, Guenther Steiner, claims that the team are ‘not in a position’ to fight at high-speed, low downforce tracks this year, which will result in a difficult Italian Grand Prix for the team at the sixteenth race of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

The American outfit has opted for two sets of Hard (C2) tyres, three sets of Medium (C3) tyres, and eight sets of Soft (C4) tyres for the weekend allocation, as the final race of the current triple header approaches. Steiner did, however, start his Italian Grand Prix preview with a reflection of last weekend’s race at Zandvoort, where bad luck cost the team a better result.

“We knew that our car in Zandvoort should be performing well because the track has high-speed and medium-speed corners – a little bit like Silverstone and Austria – where we performed pretty well. Mick got the best out of it I’d say, and it was very good of him to get into Q3.

“Unfortunately, Kevin didn’t get used to the track to put a good performance in, he was getting there but we just ran out of time for him. All in all, we know that the car is performing, we just needed to get a little bit lucky, and we could’ve had points on Sunday, but qualifying was not too bad.”

When asked about the pit wall’s morale when a race doesn’t go to plan, the fifty-seven-year-old expressed the team’s determination to continue:

“We won’t be taking a different approach into the weekend” Says Magnussen Ahead of Italian GP

Kevin Magnussen says that Haas F1 Team will not be changing their approach to racing in this week’s Italian Grand Prix; while also complimenting the ‘exhilarating’ nature of the classic track. The American outfit has failed to score points in the last four FIA Formula 1 World Championship races but enjoyed a haul of fourteen points in Austria, which they will be hoping to replicate this weekend.

“We won’t be taking a different approach into the weekend – Monza is a great race, one of the favorites, certainly in my book. The atmosphere, the track, the history of the place, it just is a special feeling racing there. It’s also a super racing friendly track, there’s lots of slipstreaming and always a very unique form of racing in Monza,” Magnussen explained.

When asked how historic circuits such as Spa-Francorchamps, Zandvoort, and Monza compare to newer circuits, the number twenty driver described the road surface as being a big factor in the enjoyment of the circuit.

“I think it’s ok to have a mix with old and new, but I do tend to prefer the old ones because they were built differently. Nowadays, tracks are built very efficiently, smooth, flat and wide. When you get to a track like Zandvoort, Mugello, Monza or Suzuka, you really feel the difference and it tends to be more exciting and more exhilarating.

“You let your mind think about what it must’ve been like back in the day and also the old tracks that we race on now have been updated. It was just different back then and the tracks that still exist from back then still have some of that character in them.”