5 F1 drivers that really need to improve
By: Jake Rajala
The F1 season has finally approached a weekend without racing. The Championship picture simply becomes more clear at this late stage in June. With that said, there are certainly many drivers that need to focus less on relaxing and more on bouncing back at the British Grand Prix next weekend. I’m going to simply untwine five F1 drivers that need to improve at the British GP.
The F1 driver from Finland, Valtteri Bottas, has certainly been in the spotlight this week. Bottas fashionably drove an Alfa Romeo F1 in the streets of Milan for Brand’s 112th Birthday. Although, there has also been strong criticism of Bottas after his last racing performance — notably from Jacques Villeneuve. Per Planet F1, Villenveue stated, “So no, Bottas this year should never get beaten by Zhou (his teammate). It’s just not on. Not a driver of his experience that has won so many races”. Bottas didn’t only finish behind his racing pal in the Canada GP, but he also hasn’t finished in the Top-6 since the Spanish GP. Bottas has 46 points on the season, 0 wins, and 0 podiums.
It doesn’t take Captain Obvious to acknowledge that Sergio Perez had a rough outing in Montreal. Perez had a DNF after placing second at the Baku GP, winning the Monaco GP, and having a seven-race streak of getting points. Per Formula 1, Perez stated, “It’s been a weekend to forget”. Perez is still mouth-watering over the possibility of being in the first place (as he sits second with 129 points). He also has expressed his respect for Max Verstappen. Per Fox Sports, Verstappen, “The special thing about Max is the ease of going to the limit. Max goes to the limit from the first lap, every change he makes to the car is important and it’s not that he changes his conditioning style, he always goes to the limit.”
The McLaren driver, Daniel Ricciardo, finished 11th in his last GP. It has been less than an impressive string of races for Ricciardo since the Australian GP (where he placed eighth). Ricciardo still feels optimistic about the team’s direction and his ability to bounce back. Per Race Fans, Ricciardo stated, “But I felt like we did have a little breakthrough after Monica over at the factory on the sim, we tried a few things and I think even though our result today wasn’t good, I think the last couple of weekends have certainly been better and shown more promise”. Zak Brown has stated that his relationship with Ricardo is still strong, as well. Per Pit Pass, Brown stated, “We had dinner a couple of weeks ago in London, we have good laughs together and enjoy racing together so the relationship with Daniel’s never been better”. Ricciardo has 15 points, 0 wins, and 0 podiums on the season at this point.
The 34-year-old, Aston Martin driver, hasn’t had a sexy season, to say the least. He finished 12th at the Canadian GP after having a fine show-case at the Baku GP: 8 points. Vettel only has 13 points on the season, 0 podiums, and 0 victories. His current predicament doesn’t properly his impressive career: 53 wins and 122 podiums. Vettel, who has won BBC Overseas Sports Personality World Sport Star of The Year, is rightfully recognized for having a strong passion for the environment. He may decide to leave F1 to help protect the environment. It’s clear that the Aston Martin principal Mike Crack wants him to stay. Per Motor Sport, he stated, “we have a very good relationship and don’t have to set each other deadlines but at one point if we drag that too long we will run into trouble and he’s aware of that. But they are trustful discussions. From our side, we want to show him that we can improve the car. Barcelona was the first step. I’d like to show him another step then maybe it will be his desire to continue. We’ll see where we are after Silverstone, then we’ll talk”.
The Haas team hasn’t been very inspiring to its close followers as of late. Kevin Magnussen and his team certainly need to be be lethal and stay on the track. He has 15 points on the season, but he hasn’t scored points since the Emilia Romagna GP. He had unique obstacles with the orange and black flag incident at the Canadian GP. His former (potentially biased) team-mate Romain Grosjean expressed dis-taste with the incident, too. Per Planet F1, Grosjean stated, “I wasn’t really impressed with the penalty, I really thought it was very harsh and ruined Kevin’s race that was already damaged by the front wing, and there was nothing he really could have done to avoid that – it was just a racing incident”. Magnussen was also frustrated with his call to repair the scratched wing. Per Motor Sport Week, he said, “The front wing was safe, it was not broken off. Think back to Jeddah last year, Lewis Hamilton won the race with half a front wing … which I think is correct, you know let us race even if we can”. Magnussen and his squad will need to dig something deep in their box of tricks for a moving performance at the next GP.
It would only be fair to Magnussen if his teammate with fewer points/success grabbed a place on this list. Mick Schumacher has yet to finish in points this season — as he also had two upsetting crashes. Schumacher is only 23 years old, but it would be risky if he doesn’t show any potential/Top-10 finishes in the future. His boss in Guenther Steiner has expressed public dis-taste in the driver’s recent hiccups. Per The Mirror, he stated, “It’s not very satisfactory having a big crash here again. We need to see how we move forward from here.”