Sainz again fears the early decision of the World Cup

Sainz again fears the early decision of the World Cup

8:32 in the morning

Sainz again fears the early decision of the World Cup

Will we see early decision at the World Cup again in 2024? At least that’s what Carlos Sainz fears, because the Spaniard sees Ferrari in a better position than in 2023. But Red Bull is still slightly ahead.

“I think they will definitely have an advantage in the first third of the season until we make one or two improvements that allow us to fight them regularly,” believes Sainz.

Problem: So it will be “probably a little late” to get Red Bull into the World Cup. Because the Bulls won three of the first four races of the season. Only in Melbourne, where Verstappen was out with a defect, Sainz won.

The Spaniard also explains with a smile that they need “more Australia” for Red Bull not to escape unscathed in the World Cup in the first third of the season.

Because even if Ferrari have a car that can compete with Red Bull later this season, the Bulls may already be out of the World Cup race…

2:08 p.m

Verstappen’s former sponsor on court

Former LMP2 driver and owner of the Nederland Racing Team, Frits van Eerd, will face charges from September. The old man who is now 57 years old was arrested in September 2022 and his house was searched.

Why is this important to us in Formula 1? Because he is the former CEO and still co-owner of the Jumbo supermarket chain, which Max Verstappen sponsored for a long time.

You can read the full story here!

1:55 p.m

The first victory

The Shanghai International Circuit is a very special place for Red Bull. It was there in 2009 that Sebastian Vettel won the first of 116 Formula 1 victories for the Bulls.

To put this into perspective: Although their first win was only 15 years ago, Red Bull have already worked their way up to P4 in the all-time premier class list during this period.

Only Mercedes (125), McLaren (183) and of course Ferrari (244) have more wins than the Bulls. By the way, you can also read everything in our huge database!

1:37 p.m

System 1 reduces CO2 emissions

System 1 today released an update on its sustainability efforts. This report states, among other things, that CO2 emissions were reduced by 13 percent from 2018 to 2022.

Further measures to further reduce emissions include “investment in a renewable energy strategy in all areas of the company”.

In addition, energy will be saved in the paddock and investment will be made in “new technology” that “reduces dependence on physical infrastructure,” it said.

The full report is available here!

1:18 p.m

Tires in China

Pirelli is bringing the combinations C2 to C4 to Shanghai this weekend, that is, the three middle variants in the spectrum. These were also the combinations that were released at the last race in China.

But that was already five years ago! And because at that time, for example, 13-inch tires and completely different cars were being driven, there are really no comparable values ​​for Pirelli and the team.

Of course, it doesn’t help that there’s only one free practice session on Friday because of the sprint. If you want to know more about tires, Pirelli has put together this informative graphic:

13:00 ‘Hour

A new junior to Alpine

There is also a small note from Alpine: the French have signed a new driver, Kabir Anurag, to their junior program.

The 16-year-old hails from Singapore and took part in the final three weekends of Italian Formula 4 last season, but failed to score any points in nine races.

He is scheduled to drive there again this year, but this time for the entire season, which begins in early May. The road to Formula 1 is still long for him.

12:46 p.m

Interview with Adrian Newey

My colleague Jonathan Noble conducted a fascinating interview with Adrian Newey. There, the renowned architect offers interesting and scientific insights into the direction he believes the Formula 1 should go.

For example, Newey explains, “I think a lot of people would say that from a concert standpoint, you probably want a high-end, naturally aspirated V10.”

“We all want the V10 and even the V8 engines of the 2000s. But of course they are uneconomical. So you have to balance between spectacle and social responsibility,” said the Brit.

You can find the full interview here!

12:35 p.m

New Ocon flooring

We checked again with Alpine: the upgrade in China is a new person and Esteban Ocon will be the driver who will get the update. So Pierre Gasly will have to wait for now.

The decision to support Ocon makes sense because he is currently the best placed driver in the World Cup. However, all Alpine pilots currently have zero points on their account, that’s why it doesn’t make much difference…

12:21 pm

Black spot for Verstappen

There will be 24 race tracks on the Formula 1 calendar in 2024. And Max Verstappen has already won at least once at 22 of them! Only China and Singapore are still missing from this “collection”.

His best result to date in Shanghai is third place in 2017 – his only finish there so far. But the chances aren’t so bad that he can fix that this weekend…

12:07 p.m

Alpine prefers updates

We’ll be back with news from Alpine after our little break. Team boss Bruno Famin has revealed that the team from Enstone will update the car this weekend, which was originally only planned for Miami.

“It was good to bring the first updates to the Suzuka car, but we still have to do more. The team has done a lot of work and we were able to improve the car this weekend, one race ahead of schedule,” he insists.

This means: The update will initially only be available for one driver and then the other car will be re-installed in Miami. Let’s see if the new parts will help Alpine to leave the last place in the World Championship.

10:30 in the morning

This is what the 2024 season would be like without Max Verstappen

That fits with our main topic today: Would Formula 1 be more exciting if Max Verstappen wasn’t involved? We answered this question last year with a series of photos.

And now there’s a new version just in time for the 2024 season:

Photo series: Alternative Formula 1: This is what the 2024 season would be like without Max Verstappen

10:13 am

McLaren expects “damage control” in China

The season started strongly for McLaren. The team from Working will enter next weekend’s race as the third team in the World Championship. But when we return to China we will have to practice damage control due to the many slow corners, the main suspect of the team Andrea Stella.

Because while McLaren remains a force on very low tracks, the team admitted earlier this year that its persistent weakness at low speeds had yet to be addressed.

“I have to say that in this first part of the season, China is the track that worries me the most in terms of competition,” admits Stella.

You can read his full statement here!

9:59 am

Bad “surprise” for Red Bull in China?

Will Shanghai possibly be another “Australia” that Carlos Sainz hopes for? At least Helmut told Marko The sky he recalls: “We haven’t been to China for three or four years now.”

“And I hope that we will not have a surprise there like in Melbourne, (where) the road was messy, where we were completely wrong when wearing the tire, which in itself is one of our strengths. “said Marko.

“Perhaps there could be another surprise in this direction but we have been warned by Melbourne and I think now we know more how to respond,” said Marko.

And the situation is the same for all teams, because no one has raced in China since 2019.

9:22 am

Vasseur: We have to put Red Bull under pressure

Ferrari team boss Frederic Vasseur also sees Red Bull still slightly ahead. But he is still proud of the progress the Scuderia has made in recent months.

“We have taken a big step forward at a faster pace compared to last year, and Suzuka is certainly a good example of that,” he insists.

“Overall, I think we’ve made a good step forward compared to Red Bull in the last four races last year and the first four this year. They’re definitely still a bit ahead,” he admits.

“But the goal is to put them under pressure, and with pressure you make more mistakes,” he explains. Usually he also sees the Bulls slightly ahead of his team at the moment.

8:51 am

Verstappen’s fourth name?

By the way, if Max Verstappen becomes the world champion again this year, it will already be his fourth world title in a row. Only four drivers in the history of the premier class have achieved this before him!

More about this in our photo gallery:

Photo series: Formula 1 champions who successfully defended their world title

8:21 am

It’s them!

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of our Formula 1 news indicator. We will be speaking Chinese this week because the Prime Minister’s class is visiting Shanghai for the first time since 2019.

Before Press Day officially begins on Thursday, we want to inspire you to return to China today and tomorrow with a familiar mix of news and entertainment.

Ruben Zimmermann will accompany you all day today and if you have questions, suggestions or complaints you can use our contact form. You can also find us on Facebook, X, Instagram and YouTube, and if you have any questions, you can also use our X-Hashtag #FragMST. Let’s go now!

Here you can re-read yesterday’s live ticker!