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Teams’ reactions after Barcelona opening day

The opening day of Round 4 of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship, the Spanish Grand Prix saw Mercedes control the action with Valtteri Bottas topping the first session and Lewis Hamilton edging his team mate in the afternoon practice….

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Britain’s new travel restrictions for Turkey casts doubt on race | RaceFans Round-up

In the round-up: Formula 1’s recently-announced race at Istanbul Park in June has been put in doubt after Britain revised its travel restrictions for the country.

In brief
Turkish travel restriction casts doubt on race
Britain, which is home to the majority of F1 teams, announced on Friday that Turkey has been added to its “red list” of countries which “should not be visited except in the most extreme circumstances”.

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Poll | Does Red Bull have more speed than they’re showing?

The results of the first two free practice sessions in Spain painted a remarkable picture. Red Bull Racing, especially in the second practice session, was not as high up the grid as expected. Mercedes looked strong as ever, but the lead may not be as big as the times suggest.
Normally it is Mercedes that is accused of sandbagging, or not showing what they actually have. Now the eyes are on Red Bull Racing, who according to analysts have much more speed than we saw on Friday.

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Verstappen still sees advantage for Mercedes: ‘But we’re getting closer’

Max Verstappen will be driving his hundredth race for Red Bull Racing this weekend, the team that gave him his first victory. So for the Dutchman a special place where he likes to race.
During an interview with Ziggo Sport, Verstappen is visibly in a good mood. “I’m a professional sim driver now,“ he says jokingly, referring to the virtual races he has participated in recently, including the 24-hour race on the long layout of the Nürburgring.
“We know the engine is better, but we are not yet where we want to be,” Verstappen continued.

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Despite solid long run pace, Red Bull say beating Mercedes would be “unbelievable” | 2021 Spanish Grand Prix Friday practice analysis

Having had three weekends to get used to Formula 1’s new, shorter Friday practice sessions, it seems teams are increasingly prioritising their long-run pace – even at a circuit like Circuit de Catalunya, where overtaking is difficult and qualifying well is therefore critical.
First practice for the Spanish Grand Prix saw almost every team avoid using the medium compound tyres, to save them for the afternoon session when conditions would be similar to those that would be raced in.
Once all three compounds had been run, teams discovered significant difference in lap times between them.

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F1 ‘assessing situation’ for Turkish GP after UK adds Turkey to travel red list

Lewis Larkam
7 May 2021

   

Formula 1 says it is “assessing the situation” over its plans to stage the Turkish Grand Prix after the UK government added Turkey on its travel red list.

The race was only added to F1’s 2021 calendar last month as a replacement for the Canadian Grand Prix, which was cancelled due to the championship failing to receive an exemption to the 14-day quarantine rules imposed on arrivals into Canada.

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Mercedes’ advantage smaller than it seems: ‘Lead over Red Bull is misleading’

It was expected that the race weekend in Barcelona would be representative of the relationships between the Formula One teams. If that is indeed the case, things are looking good for Mercedes so far. However, according to reporter Mark Hughes, things are not looking as good as the timesheets suggest.
Speaking on behalf of The Race, he writes that Mercedes may have an advantage over Red Bull Racing, but it’s only a small one.

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Friday in Spain summed up: Sandbagging Red Bulls or Mercedes back at the top?

In Portugal, many drivers, including Max Verstappen, struggled with the lack of grip on the new asphalt. In combination with Pirelli’s hard compounds, grip was hard to find and Verstappen made no secret of his anticipation for the next race on a ‘normal’ track. We didn’t have to wait long for that, as the Spanish Grand Prix weekend is already in full swing.
Is Mercedes back at the top?
Mercedes have never really been away from the top of course, but Red Bull Racing seemed to have closed the gap, and in certain circumstances they even seemed faster.

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F1 assessing Turkish GP impact after country placed on UK red-list

Travellers returning to the UK who have been in countries on the list in the previous 10 days are obliged to pay for a compulsory 10-day quarantine in government-approved hotels.
Turkey will officially join the red list on 12 May, a month before the scheduled race date of 13 June.
It’s understood that the usual UK government exemptions which allow F1 team personnel and others directly involved in the sport to avoid quarantine cannot be applied to countries on the red list.
That would impact the seven British-based teams as well as many F1 and FIA personnel who return to the UK between races.

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Kubica apologises after ‘paying a high price for a small mistake’ with spin | 2021 Spanish Grand Prix

Robert Kubica apologised to Alfa Romeo after spinning into a gravel trap 17 minutes before the end of first practice at Circuit de Catalunya.
The team’s reserve driver, who was already familiar with their C41 chassis from a pre-season filming day at the same circuit, was making his first appearance in their car in an official session this year. He went off at the revised turn 10 at the Spanish track, where his car became stuck.
“Unfortunately I misjudged a bit the grip level I would have with the soft tyres,” said Kubica.

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American F1 drivers desirable but not realistic in short-term – Domenicali

By Chris Medland | May 7, 2021 1:46 PM

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali says the sport has been working with teams on trying to find ways of identifying American drivers, but doesn’t expect to see one on the grid in the next few years.
The last American driver to start a grand prix was Alexander Rossi, who took part in five races for Marussia in 2015 (main image), but despite Liberty Media’s ownership there has not been another in the six seasons since.

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Honda positive about Friday in Spain: "Everything went smoothly"

Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri seem to have a competitive car based on the first two free practice sessions of the weekend. There are a lot of points to be scored and Honda as engine supplier also seems to have its act together. Toyoharu Tanabe sees opportunities for both teams in Spain.
Positive day for Honda according to Tanabe
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were not at the top of the timesheets at the end of the second free practice session in Barcelona, but the Red Bull Racing team is largely positive about the first day of the weekend.

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