Jul 31

Miller’s Mailbag, 7.31

The Mailbag has plenty of questions regarding the old Indy 500 apron that was used through the 1991 event.

Photo Credit: IMS Photo

Hello open-wheel types and thanks for all your questions. I intend to answer your questions every week during the season, so just email me at openwheelmailbag@gmail.com. Don’t feel left out if I didn’t directly respond. I appreciate your interest and passion.

~Robin Miller

Q: Looked like a lot of empty seats at the Brickyard. And it looked like it was even worse for the Grand-Am race. Isn’t it about time to drop some of these races from the IMS calendar?

Craig Phillips

Jul 31

McLaren Making Progress, Says Michael

F1- McLaren Making Progress, Says Michael GETTY

Photo Credit: Getty Images

McLaren sporting director Sam Michael says that the Hungarian GP indicated that the team is making progress, and adds that the race could have been better had the team been able to do a different strategy.

Jenson Button finished seventh after running ahead of top qualifiers Sebastian Vettel and Romain Grosjean before his late first stop, while Sergio Perez overcame a bad first lap to take ninth. Both men started on the prime tire and stopped only twice.

“It was good, but I think it could have been a lot stronger if we’d been able to run our strategy and run a three-stop,” Michael told SPEED.com. “We couldn’t run a three-stop because of traffic, whereas some of the front guys could. They just happened to sneak into the right windows to do the lap times.

Jul 31

Wolff Impressed By Hamilton’s Performance

Australian F1 Grand Prix - Previews

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Mercedes motor sport chief Toto Wolff says that Lewis Hamilton’s winning drive in Hungary was ‘mind blowing’ – an opinion reflecting how the team was as surprised as anyone else that the Brit was able to score such an impressive victory on a day when tire problems had been anticipated.

“It was a fantastic drive,” Wolff told SPEED.com. “The team worked so hard from Friday onwards on the long runs, setting the car up for the long runs, and anticipating the heat. I guess this all came together.

“Lewis’ drive was for me mind blowing – down the inside, round the outside of people. Obviously, we were also lucky with the strategy when Jenson (Button) slipped in front of Vettel. But you have to take these days. A brilliant drive, a great car, brilliant work from the team, and this is the result.”

Wolff conceded that, like Hamilton himself, he had been pessimistic about prospects for the race.

Jul 31

Ricciardo Confirms Wide Hips For 2014 Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo (pictured) is the odds-on favorite to replace Mark Webber at Red Bull next year. (Photo: Getty Images)

Daniel Ricciardo (pictured) is the odds-on favorite to replace Mark Webber at Red Bull next year. (Photo: Getty Images)

Daniel Ricciardo has confirmed reports he would be a tight squeeze at the wheel of Red Bull’s 2014 Formula One car.

The Australian, the hot favorite to replace his countryman Mark Webber at the World Champion team, hit a snag this week when he had a seat-fitting in the cockpit of the 2014-spec RB10.

Jul 30

Wing Damage Spoiled My Race, Says Massa

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 28:  Felipe Massa of Brazil and Ferrari drives during the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at Hungaroring on July 28, 2013 in Budapest, Hungary.  (Photo by Vladimir Rys/Getty Images)

Photo Credit: Vladimir Rys/Getty Images

Felipe Massa endured a difficult afternoon in Hungary after damaging his front wing on Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes on the first lap.

The Brazilian eventually finished eighth, and was clearly very frustrated by his afternoon.

“It was a difficult race for us, and for me especially,” said Massa. “I lost a part of my front wing in the first lap, and I’m sure that was a big problem for my car. I lost the balance, more understeer, more oversteer, using the tires a bit more than I was supposed to because of that. I’m sure that was a big problem for me.