Luke Smith, Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc discussed on The Autosport Podcast
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc would end day two of the Barcelona pre season test at the top of the timesheets, but let's talk about those time sheets. How much can we really read in? The lap times. It's not really half the story. It's such a small part of the story that needs to be told, which is why we've not sent one or two or three of the team. We got our famous 5 on the ground, trackside in the pit lane in the paddock, talking to people, looking at the cars observing them on the track walking the circuit as well to not only crunch the lap time, numbers, but be able to decode that. Along with their experience of reporting on Formula One for many years and also looking at the cars up close as well. Matt Q joins our coverage for Formula One this year at autosport alongside Hayden Cobb hour auto sport dot com editor who was on yesterday's podcast and at F one reporter Luke Smith. And joining me on tonight's are our technical editor Jake boxhall leg. And our Grand Prix editor Alex Keller got lots of questions that you guys I'm sure will answer on tonight's podcast. But first of all, I want to talk about issues bigger than Formula One, bigger than sports. And that is the news of Russia and Ukraine. Well, Hass will complete the final day of Formula One pre season testing with a plain white livery, or at least their livery which has the Hass in red letters, but without their sponsor and Luke Smith at F one reporter, sent us his take on the news and what's happening. Probably the biggest news this evening was relating to harsh, which is a team that has a Russian title sponsor or a Kali. And a Russian driver in Nikita Mazepin. He was due to appear in the same principles press conference earlier today, but he was pulled out of the last minute, so it left only four figures in there instead of 5. And the mazepin's press call was also canceled later in the day. Harsh announced this evening just to about to leave the circuit to Catalonia that the team would not be running with any oral Kali sponsorship on its car tomorrow. The team runs with red, white and blue colors that resembled Russian flag, all karlie has been the title sponsor of the team for the past two seasons and the team is known as karli Haas F one team. Harsh said it will be running in an all white livery tomorrow, the driver lineup of mazepin and Schumacher doing half day each. That will remain unchanged. While Sebastian Vettel said his mind was made up and I quote, my own opinion is I should not go, I will not go. I think it's wrong to race in that country. And we'll hear from what Max Verstappen said as the voice of Formula One's world champion in just a moment, but Alex, can I start with you actually and talk to you about what the feeling is in the pit and patty carry with the teams and even amongst fellow journalists as well about Formula One's decision to meet this evening with the team bosses and the organizers and the rights holders to talk about whether Formula One should go to Russia and indeed what Formula One is going to say about the bigger events happening in the world right now. It's a real shame that we are having to talk about this and that people in F one circles are doing so. They're obviously under a lot of pressure. You wait for a considering taking matches away from the Champions League. There's World Cup qualification matches that are under threat. Actions have to have consequences. Russia has invaded another sovereign country. It's inconceivable that it should be getting the prestige that comes with hosting sporting events. This is why whenever anybody says, oh, sport and politics don't mix politics shouldn't mix. He's getting it completely wrong. They're intrinsically linked because so many nations, even Britain, I know for a fact that the British government was very keen for the British Grand Prix to get on that COVID testing plan. So that it could show off how successful it's vaccination rollout was in the context of Brexit. You'll be outrageous if it goes ahead. And I think Sebastian Vettel, in particular, was commendable for coming out in the press conference and saying that he would refuse to go. Max Verstappen as well. He came out and said, when a country is at war, it is not right to race there. He's a young guy, but he is the world champion, so his words do carry real weight. So good on those guys for speaking out. But also, we've had some with the branding coming off. That's probably the right step as well. It's an awful situation, and hopefully it can get resolved very quickly. And as peacefully as possible. There is a GP racing podcast now like it was a few months ago. I'll find it before we publish and I'll put a link in the show notes where Mark Gallagher makes a really interesting point about politics and sport and actually he makes not defending any of these countries, but on that podcast Mark makes a really interesting point about where Formula One goes as a sport, whether that is to nations that kill journalists or to China that will suppress entire ethnic groups. And he says, you can make a case for Formula One to going to no country in the world, but there are exceptional circumstances, and I think what he would probably, you know, if we updated that podcast now, say, this is an exceptional circumstance. I've seen lots of obviously debate online. Yes, Formula One does to go to many contentious countries controversial as well, but this is hopefully people would agree. More of a special case. Now let's get on to today's action. Guys, I want to start with Ferrari first of all. Alex and I'll start with you. Now Charles Clark, yes, he topped the timesheets. He put in 78 laps. Carlos Sainz Jr. 71 laps. He was in 5th, but ignoring the timing screens for now. Something that I've mentioned yesterday, but I want to pick up a bit more on today. And that seems to be the reliability. Now testing is full of we had a small water leak here. There was a fuel pump pressure problem there. But some of the teams, Ferrari being one of those seems to have bulletproof reliability at the moment. Can we draw a line between that reliability and pace at this stage, you're the expert on this, how much can we read into that? I wouldn't have said so purely because Carlos Sainz Jr. has come out and said today, we can go up to four seconds faster. It's the sandbagging that comes with testing and in different stages of their programs. But what Ferrari is able to do because it has been so reliable has to chase a little bit of performance, but they say they're nowhere near getting that. But what's really what's really interesting with Ferrari is that the reliability is very impressive considering this is labeled a shakedown, not a test because the teams were so concerned and Formula One was concerned about the cost was not working. Which was always ridiculous because the rules of Formula One for years have improved reliability. Gearbox is only lasting a certain number of events. The same with the cap on engine parts in the pool. Have meant that these bits have got to get better and better and better. And the rule changes for 2022 are purely aerodynamic. The engine is going to be frozen. That's the other big update. And then there's obviously the restrictions on cost and things like that. There's very little expectation amongst from our side, certainly, that there is going to be a repeat of the rest 2014 situation, but there we go. But yeah, with Ferrari, it's really, really interesting..