Dieter’s Diary: A greater penalty system, and an perception into Nyck de Vries’ gorgeous F1 debut


With varied visits throughout Germany and Italy deliberate earlier than and after Monza’s grand prix I elect to drive down by (electrical) automotive from Belgium. A bonus is that driving gives flexibility whereas avoiding inevitable airline delays and rip-off automotive leases. Briefly, the 1200km journey is painless as a result of variety of high-speed cost factors en route, with recharging working at round 40% the price of petrol.

My journey takes me to Maranello on Wednesday, the place I go to the (self-contained) Haas technical division located deep throughout the general Ferrari complicated, however with completely separate entrances and amenities to stop ‘espresso machine’ discuss. Certainly, as soon as contained in the constructing I don’t see a single crimson shirt.

I really like the intricacy of wind tunnel fashions and Technical Director Simone Resta kindly permits me to take shot of final yr’s rear wing, which completely illustrates the extent of element required in F1, even for groups with lesser budgets. We’ll be publishing Simone’s ideas on Haas’s 2022 season shortly.

Thereafter I go to the native Ferrari Museo – one among two the corporate maintains, the opposite being in Modena near the birthplace of firm founder Enzo. Though it’s about my tenth go to to the Maranello museum it’s by no means the identical as reveals and particular show rotate recurrently, with the historical past of Fiorano being the present particular providing.


Other than driver press conferences I chase the 2023 calendar and subsequent yr’s driver market: The previous may be very a lot a work-in-progress and we refuse to publish ‘idea’ calendars which do followers a disservice as they make journey preparations round dates which are more likely to change given some ideas are a month old-fashioned but punted as ‘breaking’. If followers fell for a few of these ‘calendars’ they’d be reserving for Kyalami…

The phrase is {that a} closing calendar – topic to FIA ratification – shall be issued early subsequent week.

Speaking of Kyalami, a brand new guide in regards to the historical past of the South African circuit is about to be launched, and from the excerpts I’ve been despatched it runs to over 600 pages and the pictures look gorgeous. I’m proud to have contributed some interviews. Keep tuned.

The driving force market is evolving slowly, what with simply three seats remaining, specifically second drives at (alphabetically) Alpine, Haas and Williams – 4 if Guanyu Zhou’s berth is included, however sources are adamant affirmation for the Chinese language is a formality to be sorted by Singapore. Clever cash has Nyck de Vries at Alpine, backed by Jack Doohan as reserve, with Nico Hulkenberg making a return, with Haas.

That leaves Williams – the place Nicolas Latifi’s father is alleged to be upping the ante considerably, leaving the crew with the headache of taking the cash or playing on Daniel Ricciardo’s potential return to type.

As soon as information in regards to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II is confirmed the paddock turns into muted – comprehensible given the deep ties the game has to the UK. Certainly, Mercedes cancel their media BBQ as an indication of respect and different actions are both postponed or scrapped completely.


The day opens to a press launch from Porsche and, as revealed right here a fortnight in the past,the mooted partnership with Crimson Bull is useless – no shock given the quite a few events Crimson Bull boss Christian Horner cautioned media towards claiming a deal had been sealed. Throughout his subsequent media briefing it’s amusing to look at reporters pose questions in (useless) hopes of solutions justifying their earlier claims…

Throughout my wanderings I stumble upon Paul Stewart, son of triple champion Sir Jackie who received his first championship grand prix right here precisely 57 years in the past this weekend. Paul shares with me that his father isn’t current at Monza, an occasion he visits perennially, on account of Covid. I want Jackie, who has shut ties to the British royal household and was on account of meet the Queen this week in Balmoral, nicely and a really speedy restoration.

Following his Friday morning ‘rookie’ run with Aston Martin Nyck de Vries hosts media convention. The eloquent Dutchman bats questions with aplomb and it’s clear the Method E World Champion deserves an F1 seat – little do we all know his probability will include Williams below the ‘mistaken’ circumstances 24 hours later.

On my approach out of the paddock I hear discuss of a driver requirements assembly to be convened for drivers, crew sporting administrators, stewards and officers by the FIA on Monday in Monza below the steerage of Ronan Morgan, long-time motorsport administrator and former world championship co-driver. It’s the first such gathering since 2013.

As well as, updates to the FIA’s Distant Operations Centre (digital race management) located in Geneva are anticipated to be shared. Though ROC permits race management to enhance procedures and decision-taking, it has no regulatory powers nor can or not it’s used to change previous choices. Nonetheless, it’s a step in the correct route and one among many sweeping modifications to F1 deliberate by FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.


Information breaks that Alex Albon has a medical concern and that Nyck could possibly be shoehorned into the blue automotive – and so it transpires for FP3, qualifying and the race. Whereas I clearly really feel for Alex and hope he recovers rapidly, the sub position couldn’t occur to a extra deserving fellow.

Then it’s deal with time: For FP3 I’m going trackside, timing my stroll to the primary nook/chicane to catch the vehicles at full chat down the primary straight, then braking arduous for the right-left complicated. It’s the primary time I’ve seen the brand new vehicles attain such speeds – Nicolas Latifi was quickest, hitting 345km/h – and really spectacular and secure they give the impression of being. Equally, the distinction in sounds between the Ferrari, Honda, Mercedes and Renault items is startling.

On my approach again I stroll by the help occasion re-race space and catch a glimpse of the Lotus parade subject, together with the beautiful 56B turbine automotive campaigned by the crew in 1971 – in Worldwide Racing gold/black as boss Colin Chapman was involved that the Italian authorities could impound Crew Lotus belongings within the wake of the earlier yr’s Jochen Rindt tragedy.

Submit qualifying there’s, after all, an outcry over lack of readability about who begins the place in any case sporting and engine penalties are tallied. In fact, F1 ought to have bullet-proof rules in place that allow the FIA to concern outcomes inside minutes of a session ending and hopefully Monday’s assembly will type that – however the greater query is whether or not a greater process exists that doesn’t detract from the pole place struggle.

A reader instructed a drive-thru and/or stop-and-go system reasonably than grid place penalties which I then refined earlier than discussing it with the FIA (and Martin Brundle, who kindly name-checked me throughout his grid stroll). A component of jeopardy could possibly be launched by making the crew elect when to take the penalty (or stop-and-go for a number of infringements by a driver), but the sanctity of qualifying can be preserved.

After the same old classes I head for Aston Martin’s high terrace for a sundowner in celebration of the ultimate European race of F1’s ‘new period’. Whereas there I study from the FIA that Crimson Bull’s plan to put in Colton Herta in Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri to allow the Frenchman to maneuver to Alpine stalled after Ben Sulayem refuses to be brow-beaten by groups into adjusting the superlicence factors system to go well with. Good on him.

			© XPBimages

© XPBimages


First off, a phrase about Monza visitors: Why do circuits (and native police) want to vary visitors preparations every day? Three days in a row I’ve wanted to argue that the Monza Golf Membership entrance is legitimate for F1 personnel and that I actually DO NOT want to be diverted straight into visitors jams. At this time I have to robustly argue the case, aided by a neighborhood automotive marshal who interprets. Ultimately I’m allowed by however others aren’t.

As soon as within the paddock I’m launched to Hendrik Jan, Nyck’s proud father who sacrificed the household’s Renault dealerships to fund his son’s early profession, and what an intensive gentleman de Vries Snr seems to be. We additionally atone for the grid, and it’s clear his son’s F1 debut is an emotional event.

Thereafter I meet with Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi over the Piastri affair. The Frenchman admits his crew made ‘some errors’ however is adamant Alpine acted completely ethically. He additionally suggests the corporate’s younger driver is being re-evaluated. I’ll publish the complete interview earlier than the following spherical in Singapore.

Submit-race now we have the same old squabbles about crimson flags and Security Vehicles – whoever advantages is completely happy and whoever loses out is vital, and that applies to groups, drivers, followers and the media. Reality is such incidents can and can occur in F1 and whereas the Security Automobile might nicely have been deployed earlier, race management takes choices to neutralise a race based mostly on the perfect data obtainable on the time. Once more, a subject for Monday.

That’s it till Singapore, the place Max Verstappen might conceivably be topped once more. Take care till then.

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