Was Raikkonen’s radio rant the best of 2017?

Formula 1 fans have voted Kimi Raikkonen’s radio rant during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as the best radio moment in 2017.

In F1’s latest driver vote, the Ferrari driver’s radio message came out on top of the 10 nominated moments from throughout the season with fan-favourite Raikkonen producing another iconic moment in the sport. During the red flag stoppage at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Raikkonen’s Ferrari squad were briefly caught out ahead of the restart with the Finnish driver’s car out of position.

The Finn was heard asking for his gloves and steering wheel while be wheeled towards the pit exit and grew more and more frantic. Luckily for Raikkonen he did get his steering wheel and gloves in time for the restart but failed to see the finish due to a late-race oil leak.

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“Steering wheel. Gloves and steering wheel, yeah,” Raikkonen said over the team radio. “Give me the steering wheel, hey, hey! Steering wheel somebody tell him to give it to me. Come on! Move!”

Raikkonen’s radio rant beat Fernando Alonso’s exchange about Jolyon Palmer’s five-second time penalty for passing him off the circuit before retiring with a mechanical issue during the Italian Grand Prix.

Alonso’s replacement for the Monaco Grand Prix at McLaren, while he contested his maiden Indianapolis 500, Jenson Button may have only had one F1 race in 2017 but it was enough to complete the top three in the fan vote. Just before the start of the Monaco race Button received a good luck message from Alonso and joked back he would pee in his seat.

To see the full 2017 best radio moments vote follow this link to the video.

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Magnussen: Best season for races, worst season for qualifying

Kevin Magnussen says it was his best Formula 1 campaign for races but worst for qualifying performances after struggling to get his Haas into a strong operating window over one lap.

The Danish driver secured five points finishes in his first year with the US team with the highlight of seventh place at the manic Azerbaijan Grand Prix – marking his best season in F1 since his rookie campaign with McLaren in 2014. Reflecting on his 2017, Magnussen was thrilled with his race day performances for Haas but conceded his qualifying results forced him to fight from further back on the grid.

Magnussen links his qualifying weaknesses to struggling to get the Haas to stay in an optimum operating window with the new Pirelli tyres for a single lap. Despite his frustrations, the 25-year-old was content with his campaign and is confident he can get on top of the issues next year.

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“I think it’s been my best year, especially on Sundays,” Magnussen said. “This year hasn’t been my strongest year in qualifying. This car is a bit oversteery on entry to the corners and that’s not my preferred balance in the car. I struggle a little bit when I have oversteer on entry.

“I can handle mid-corner and exit, and also in high-speed, but if I can’t brake and enter the corner with a stable rear I struggle a little bit so that’s been a little bit of a problem this year. It calms down in the race, when you fill up the car with fuel.

“Often, it’s worse on ultra-soft than super-soft and in the race, you often run with the harder compound and it helps. That is something I need to personally work on for next year, to try and dial in the car more from the beginning when pre-season testing whereas this year I spent a bit of time trying to find out where my problem is and then you start working on that problem, next year, I will have a better understanding and be able to hit the ground running.”

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Formula 1 Gossip: Car plays a big part in Hamilton victories, says Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo believes the quality of the car dictates Formula 1 by 75% as opposed to driver skill and thinks this could be the reason for Lewis Hamilton’s performances. The Australian driver said “Lewis has won three of the last four championships, but if he was in a midfield team, he wouldn’t have three of the last four championships. The car is a big part of it, but you need to be a good driver to get the equipment to the top.” – Planet F1

Adrian Newey, Red Bull’s chief technical officer, has dubbed F1’s new Halo “clumsy and ugly”. The Halo will be implemented from 2018 onwards and Newey said “The engineer in me says that it just seems to be such a clumsy and ugly solution, it just feels as if we ought to be able to do something better than that.” – Planet F1

Williams are set to announce the replacement of Felipe Massa after revealing his retirement last month. The British team is the last to unveil its driver lineup for next season and it’s been reported that this will be concluded on Friday, with Robert Kubica and Renault reserve driver Sergey Sirotkin as potential candidates. – F1 Fansite

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Mercedes have moved for former Ferrari engine boss Lorenzo Sassi. When asked about the Italian’s situation, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne confirmed his move “Sassi is continuing the development of his career.” – Sportsmole

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Ricciardo will assess “who has the best car” before deciding F1 future

Daniel Ricciardo says he’ll wait to see which Formula 1 team has the best car for 2019 before deciding on his future in the sport.

The Australian driver is considered to be one of the hottest F1 properties with his current Red Bull contract expiring at the end of the 2018 season and Ricciardo is eager to secure a title-contending package from his next contract. Ricciardo has endured a number of near-misses with Red Bull having shown flashes of front-running pace despite being dominated by Mercedes in the V6 hybrid era.

With Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen signed up on long-term deals at Ferrari and Red Bull respectively, Ricciardo is happy to wait on signs of early development from the top three teams in 2018 before deciding his future.

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“I highly, highly doubt I will be signing any dotted lines over the next month,” Ricciardo said. “Unless I get a ridiculous offer, but probably not even. Because right now it is not about the offer it is about who is going to have the best car in 2019. So it is worth me just seeing how the start of the year goes. I don’t want to be too clever and think I will have every option possible, but I have enough time on my side to still sit it out a little bit.

“Talking to Red Bull is easy because I know them already. The other two, if they are interested they will need to make the approach. I don’t want to come across as desperate. I know is that there is not really any merit in me doing it now. I don’t think I will leave it late next year, for sure I’d want to know something earlier but I don’t need to do it in the winter from what I understand.”

Since graduating from Toro Rosso to the Red Bull squad in 2014, Ricciardo has notched up five career wins and one pole position with the career high of third place in the F1 drivers’ world championship in 2014 and 2016.

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McLaren feared losing staff over Honda struggles

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has confessed he feared key staff leaving the team in its third year of troubles with Honda in F1.

In January 2014 Boullier was appointed racing director at McLaren under Ron Dennis and has spent the past three years restructuring the team and getting in new personnel. The McLaren chief says when it was clear the team would stumble for a third consecutive year due to an underpowered and unreliable Honda power unit at pre-season testing he held crisis talks with the senior management to resist a mass departure of key staff due to poor results.

Boullier says McLaren’s split from Honda ultimately came down to “business reasons” and is relishing a brighter 2018 with customer engines from Renault. McLaren confirmed its switch to Renault at the Singapore Grand Prix with Toro Rosso picking up Honda as its power unit supplier from next season.

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“I went to the management, showed them the data and told them that we cannot accept another year like this,” Boullier said. “We had a tough first year with Honda, we had a tough second year, and had expected progress good enough to get us back to where we belong – but Barcelona showed that we would go backwards and that was absolutely not an option.

“I warned them about the consequences of another year of no results, where you keep everybody afloat. We have a new team, which has been reconstructed in the last three years: new people, very good new people – competitive people who used to win – and the danger was we’d lose them. The perception of a team is still very much based on drivers, because they are the faces of the team, but for me the real danger was losing those people. That was the discussion at the very beginning of the season.

“Any big decisions are always difficult to take. The concept of McLaren winning with Honda was a dream for everybody, yes – it was a beautiful story. Today we have huge respect for them and we definitely don’t divorce with fights and screams and finger pointing. We are all very professional – and in the end it was a business decision, which they understand. Now we have to see that we get back to competitiveness – back to the top.”

McLaren’s best results during its Honda partnership between 2015 and 2017 were a trio of fifth place finishes all scored by Fernando Alonso – 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix, 2016 Monaco Grand Prix and 2016 United States Grand Prix.

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Hartley eager to “prove my worth in F1”

Brendon Hartley says after a tough introduction to his Formula 1 career he is keen to “prove my worth” in the sport with the new-look Toro Rosso Honda squad in 2018.

The New Zealand driver endured grid drop penalties for engine changes at every race he contested for Toro Rosso at the end of 2017 with a best result of 13th place coming on his F1 debut at the United States Grand Prix. Having constantly battled on the backfoot while trying to get up to speed in the STR12 with the Pirelli tyres, Hartley confessed it was a tricky four races but feels he can use that experience and his World Endurance Championship title with Porsche to produce a stronger start in 2018.

“I’m hearing a lot of positive things out of Toro Rosso and out of Honda,” Hartley said. “I can’t wait to work alongside them next year, and hopefully prove my worth in Formula 1. It was obviously very sad this project [with Porsche] came to an end. Porsche gave me a huge break those four years ago. It’s been an incredible journey. As I said before, I guess we’re all sad that it came to a close, but on the other hand we feel like we achieved a lot, and it was probably time that the chapter was finished.”

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Hartley rounded out a frantic 2017 at the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix having started his campaign back in January at the Rolex 24 at Dayton for Tequila Patron ESM in the WeatherTech SportsCar championship. After two outings for ESM, Hartley got his full WEC season underway which was highlighted by victory at Le Mans 24 Hours before combining his efforts for the final four F1 races. Next year Hartley will solely focus on F1 with Toro Rosso Honda alongside Pierre Gasly.

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Ocon brushes off F1 teammate Perez's extra pressure claim

Esteban Ocon has dismissed Force India Formula 1 teammate Sergio Perez‘s claim that he will be under more pressure to perform in 2018, saying he is happy to have people taking notice of his strong on-track performances.

Ocon ran Perez close at Force India during his first full F1 season, finishing just 13 points behind in the drivers’ championship as the pair enjoyed a number of close battles throughout the season.

While praising his teammate’s displays through 2017, Perez said he felt Ocon would be under more pressure to perform next year as he would be expected to replicate his impressive season with Force India.

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When asked to respond to Perez’s comments, Ocon brushed them off, denying he would feel more pressure.

“I feel alright if everyone is watching me for that so people are expecting me to do well which is always positive,” Ocon said.

“I don’t have more pressure, I will work the same way with the team with dedication and train the same way.

“I won’t change much, except that I’m a different driver now compared to the beginning of the year. I’ve been learning so much more which will help me at the start of the year like knowing the tracks – Australia, China, Monaco – all that will help me.”

With more than a season’s worth of races now under his belt, Ocon said the biggest thing he has learned is to leave no stone unturned and stress over minor details in order to improve on-track performance.

“You can’t let any details hang there. Any small issues, you can’t leave it,” Ocon said.

“They will come back bigger, so any details you can fix, you have to fix.

“That is what I’ve learnt this year and put into my performances.”

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