Rounding up all the added news and notes from media day in Barcelona ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, here is's F1 paddock notebook.

- Romain Grosjean will race with a new chassis in Spain this weekend after large cracks were found following his crash in Baku. The repaired chassis will arrive at the race to be used as a spare.

- Gunther Steiner joked that Haas had no updates for its VF-18 car in Barcelona, before saying that the changes were minimal from Baku due to a lack of spares and a fear of damaging parts for Monaco.

- Following some mixed signals from McLaren regarding the size of its update package that would arrive in Barcelona, Stoffel Vandoorne said that while the car would look “quite different”. However, McLaren, like most of the teams, will be bringing more and more updates to races in the coming weeks.

- Vandoorne’s comments were justified when the first images of the updated nose of the McLaren MCL33 arrived late in the day, featuring a unique design not yet seen on any other F1 car.

- With a decision on a Miami due later today following the City Commission vote, the bulk of the F1 paddock offered its approval and support for the decision. However, Lewis Hamilton continued his criticism of the proposed layout, saying he would be happy to help design the circuit. Stoffel Vandoorne added that he didn’t think the track was “very attractive” at a first glance.

- Drivers who go off-track at Turn 2 will be required to stay to the left of a bollard before rejoining the circuit at Turn 3 in order to prevent them from gaining an unfair advantage.

- Esteban Ocon conceded that seeing Force India teammate Sergio Perez on the podium in Baku was “hard to swallow” after his early retirement, but said the team’s performance in Spain would prove whether or not its impressive pace last time out was a one-off.

- Pierre Gasly and Kevin Magnussen have spoken since the initial fall-out from their clash in Azerbaijan, with both drawing a line under the incident. “I was really upset after the race and didn’t actually listen to him so he sent me a message,” Gasly said. “It’s all clear now.”

Barcelona GP Sizzling Moments

Video Thumbnail: 

- The first images of rear-view mirrors being fitted to the Halo on an F1 car surfaced on Thursday as Ferrari prepares to trial the concept in Barcelona practice. The team will also be continuing with the split mirror design it tested on Kimi Raikkonen’s car in Baku.

- Fernando Alonso played down the significance of his victory on his WEC debut at Spa last weekend in relation to his F1 career, saying he was treating the two championships totally separately. He did however admits he struggles to adapt his driving style going between the two cars, having to be more flexible in his approach when piloting an LMP1 chassis.

- On a similar vein, Brendon Hartley was asked his own switches back and forth between F1 and LMP1 from the tail-end of last year, and admitted he found the opposite to Alonso, feeling more comfortable in the sports car than the single-seater.

- Alonso was also asked if he would prefer to win the Spanish Grand Prix or the 24 Hours of Le Mans. “Now that I have won a couple of times here in Spain, obviously for me it would be winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans, because it’s the biggest race in the world,” Alonso said. “But I think everyone will have different answers in different parts of his career.”

- Lewis Hamilton was asked if he would consider following Alonso’s lead by trying WEC, but once again distanced himself from a Le Mans entry: “I wouldn’t do that series personally. I don’t really know enough about the series. I’ve heard some things about it but I don’t really know enough about the series so I can’t make too many comments about it.”

- Carlos Sainz Jr. remained coy when asked about reports Renault is already working to try and sign him up on a long-term deal despite Red Bull’s option on his services for 2019. “I’m working very hard,” he said. “I think the Formula 1 bosses appreciate the hard effort, the travelling to Enstone, everything involved and they see that I am very very close and at any moment it can fall for me. Because of that, I am very very calm, very confident and they are giving me that confidence that I enjoy and that I’m willing to give back with results like I did in Baku.”

Charles Leclerc is not expecting a repeat of Sauber’s “miracle” Azerbaijan GP result in Spain this weekend. The Monegasque driver, who scored his first F1 points with a brilliant run to sixth during a chaotic race in Baku, reckons Sauber’s weaknesses through the high-speed corners that dominate the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will result in a “hard” qualifying for the Swiss squad.



Loading Comments...