2024 Formula One Spanish Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo, Montreal. Image Credit: Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images

WHO ARE YOU SUPPORTING THIS WEEKEND?


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After arguably the race of the season so far in Canada, the F1 circus moves back to Europe for the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix. A controversial figure returns to the paddock.

A week after all eyes in the racing world have been on the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Formula One returns to action at the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix. At the same time, a familiar (and controversial) face is back with a new role.

Flavio Briatore Returns To The F1 Paddock​

Flavio Briatore is returning to Formula One as Alpine's new executive advisor. The Renault-backed team announced the Italian businessman just before the green flag drops for FP1 in Spain.

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Flavio Briatore returns with Alpine. Image: Formula One

Briatore is no rookie when it comes to Formula One. Now 74 years old, the Italian had big success with the Benetton team in the 1990s, winning the championship with Michael Schumacher in 1994 and 1995. He would later take Renault's reigns and guide Fernando Alonso to his 2005 and 2006 World Drivers Championships.

With Alpine in real trouble in 2024 with just five points in the constructors championship, the Enstone-based team need a fresh start, and the experienced Briatore could be just that. He knows the team and has guided it to championships in the past, but time will tell if he can get Alpine closer to the top of Formula One.

Aside from his successes, Briatore is also infamous for his role in the 'Crashgate' scandal at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. He had reportedly ordered Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash deliberately in order to bring out a safety car for the benefit of teammate Alonso, who would go on to win the race.

The FIA Super Licence Change​

It is no secret that Mercedes wants Kimi Antonelli in Formula One sooner rather than later. The FIA changed their super license rules to allow the 17-year-old to compete. The young Italian, who cannot even legally drive a car on the road yet will not be appearing at the Spanish Grand Prix.

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Kimi Antonelli. Image: Mercedes AMG Content Pool

The FIA modified its International Sporting Code to allow 17-year-olds to be eligible to apply for a Super Licence if they have “consistently demonstrated outstanding ability and maturity in single-seater formula car competition.” Antonelli fits the criteria perfectly.

This rule change does not just affect Mercedes and Antonelli however, as Red Bull stands to gain from this change as well. Their junior program is deep and extends across multiple championships. However, at the top of the list is 17-year-old Arvid Lindblad – currently racing in Formula 3.

Lindblad turns 17 in August, and this could open the door for Red Bull to promote him from their junior program a whole year earlier than they would have been able to before the change.

Mercedes Looking To Build Momentum​

After the SIlver Arrows' first pole position in over a year last time out in Montreal, Technical Director James Allison is confident of a Mercedes comeback this year and beyond: ‘oh God, how could we have been so dumb?’ were his exact words.

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George Russell on the way to P3 in Canada. Image: Mercedes AMG Content Pool

The Mercs were using the updated front wing that debuted on Hamilton's car in Monaco. Russell made it work and put his car at the front of the pack. He would come home third, but significant progress is obvious. Can he do it again this weekend at the track where Verstappen took his first-ever Grand Prix victory back in 2016?

Mercedes arrive in Barcelona fourth in the Constructors’ standings, 177 points behind leaders Red Bull. Closing the gap might be a lofty goal with Max Verstappen not showing any signs of slowing down, but anything can happen in Formula One.

When To Watch The Spanish Grand Prix​

SessionDateTime (CEST)Time (UTC)
Practice 121/06/2413:30 - 14:3011:30 - 12:30
Practice 221/06/2417:00 - 18:0015:00 - 16:00
Practice 322/06/2412:30 - 13:3010:30 - 11:30
Qualifying22/06/2416:00 - 17:0014:00 - 15:00
Race23/06/2415:0013:00

Who are you supporting in this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix? Let us know in the poll above or down in the comments below!
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Connor Minniss
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Well the practice sessions seem to show there's yet again 3 or 4 teams fighting each other at the top, this is great, looks really good for the weekend
 
I wonder how Felipe Massa reacted to that news… ;-)

But seriously, nothing surprises me in the world of F1. There’s always an unpleasant smell of corruption floating around…

Rumor has is that Alpine-Renault is thinking of shutting down its engine department and it seems obvious that the team is up for sale and Briatore is there to facilitate the deal. If Renault doesn’t want to be an engine maker anymore, what incentive does it have to stay in F1?
 
I wonder how Felipe Massa reacted to that news… ;-)

But seriously, nothing surprises me in the world of F1. There’s always an unpleasant smell of corruption floating around…

Rumor has is that Alpine-Renault is thinking of shutting down its engine department and it seems obvious that the team is up for sale and Briatore is there to facilitate the deal. If Renault doesn’t want to be an engine maker anymore, what incentive does it have to stay in F1?
Well Briatore arrival has already pushed alpine back on top, gasly p4 xD.. well from what i've heard, that's not the case, briatore is there to actually help the team get back on track, not to sell it.
 
I thought Flavio was never allowed back in F1... Falvio was actually a fashion manager at Beneton where he then managed the Beneton F1 team... and the smart signing of Schumacher. While the first season of the Beneton was quite illegal with Schumacher's many titles, Flavio became known as Playboy. Should he save Renault? I think he's overrated
 
I thought Flavio was never allowed back in F1... Falvio was actually a fashion manager at Beneton where he then managed the Beneton F1 team... and the smart signing of Schumacher. While the first season of the Beneton was quite illegal with Schumacher's many titles, Flavio became known as Playboy. Should he save Renault? I think he's overrated
Well, he's very, err... "resourceful". But you're right, he was smart when he signed Schumacher and then provided him with an illegal car to win the 1994 championship. Then, there was the Singapor GP scandal.

He's obviously not a technical expert, but he surrounded himself with the right engineers at Benetton and Renault, plus he signed great drivers. All sarcasm aside, he seems to be a very good manager. If he's really hired to clean up the mess at Renault instead of selling the team as some people think, he could do a good job.
 
Premium
Well, he's very, err... "resourceful". But you're right, he was smart when he signed Schumacher and then provided him with an illegal car to win the 1994 championship. Then, there was the Singapor GP scandal.

He's obviously not a technical expert, but he surrounded himself with the right engineers at Benetton and Renault, plus he signed great drivers. All sarcasm aside, he seems to be a very good manager. If he's really hired to clean up the mess at Renault instead of selling the team as some people think, he could do a good job.
But, and this is the big one, has his 'style' of management become obsolete?
Thing have changed and the cultural shift has seen the old dragons outed, look at Ron Dennis way of complete control and perfection, look at Bernie's 'do it with money' culture, and the latest Christian Horner saga, his management might have been accepted 10-20 years ago but with changes in what is accepted now will it be effective? and will he be able to respect that perhaps some in his team might identify as something different to what he's known in the past, old people in general adapt very slowly.
 
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I thought Flavio was never allowed back in F1... Falvio was actually a fashion manager at Beneton where he then managed the Beneton F1 team... and the smart signing of Schumacher. While the first season of the Beneton was quite illegal with Schumacher's many titles, Flavio became known as Playboy. Should he save Renault? I think he's overrated
Yep he was banned for life but he was recently pardoned.. also he's quite old actually, even if all the cosmetic surgery may hide it a bit xD
 
Yes, great qually guys!! well exactly in the end i expected more from the ferraris to be honest but anyway..
 
Yes, great qually guys!! well exactly in the end i expected more from the ferraris to be honest but anyway..
Ferrari has lost a lot of momentum since Monaco. It seems to have the 4th best car at the moment, behind McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull.
 
I am incredibly disappointed by Charles Leclerc. I know better than to idolise or even look up to any of these spoiled, out of touch brats but of all of them he seemed one of the more palatable.

Yes he has a history of melting under pressure, spreading the Sauber up the fence every time it was in a good position, often spreading the Ferrari up the fence when things are looking good. The outrageous pole to win ratio isn't entirely the teams fault.

Intentionally driving into people in a little fit of rage is a new low. Yes, Lance Stroll did it too, water is wet, we know Lance Stroll isn't a real F1 driver. The stewards need to have a look in the mirror and have a think about if deliberately and intentionally driving into each other is acceptable and deserving of no penalty at all. I think it's absolutely shameful. Though if we are bringing Flavio back, maybe the F1 paddock doesn't understand what shame is.
 
Intentionally driving into people in a little fit of rage is a new low. Yes, Lance Stroll did it too, water is wet, we know Lance Stroll isn't a real F1 driver. The stewards need to have a look in the mirror and have a think about if deliberately and intentionally driving into each other is acceptable and deserving of no penalty at all. I think it's absolutely shameful. Though if we are bringing Flavio back, maybe the F1 paddock doesn't understand what shame is

I still don't understand they didn't black flag LH when he drove into Vettel. Consistency has never been their strong suit though. Larger penalty for Alonso on an overtake then Stroll ramming DR from behind under a SC for example.... Just like decisions in football, it seems part of the game.
But if anything, I thing they should revise the current dumb overtaking rules.
 
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I still don't understand they didn't black flag LH when he drove into Vettel. Consistency has never been their strong suit though. Larger penalty for Alonso on an overtake then Stroll ramming DR from behind under a SC for example.... Just like decisions in football, it seems part of the game.
But if anything, I thing they should revise the current dumb overtaking rules.
The whole DR situation was especially ridiculous, not only did the incident ruin his race, because he couldn't serve a penalty during the race they ruined his next race as well because an incident that wasn't his fault ruined that race before they had a chance to ruin that one first.

Now Correa has had his F2 podium taken away post race for track limits. Among six other post race penalties. For track limits.

Running wide, jail. Accidental crashing, jail. Team doesn't tell you about a car coming behind, jail. Finish the race with not quite enough fuel, believe it or not, jail.

Deliberate crashing OK.

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Verstappen has said one thing this weekend that is totally true: he said that he can't be driving 101% all season long, at some point a mistake is going to come losing many points.

He can win races with an inferior car with the current advantage that mclaren currently has, but if mclaren gets an upgrade that make that car any better then it is going to be a complete walk over for Lando, and even if mclaren keeps this same performance advantage until the end of the championship Verstappen is going to make a mistake at some point.

Red bull needs an update that at least fixes the suspension issues with bumps and a lot of work on tire management. If the Red bull upgrade at Silverstone don't work I can see Lando winning this championship with no issue. Verstappen won't be able to carry the entire team by himself all season long, they need at least more tire management in that car, the car is fast enough but eats the tires.
 
Premium
I saw at least two occasions that showed drivers can go through turn 1 without incident. I also saw one in particular which showed a certain driver's propensity to push the outside car off track. No action taken.
 

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