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Kimi Raikkonen has his say on Vettel/Ferrari split

Kimi Raikkonen does not think the relationship between Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari is as bad as being perceived from the outside.

It was a bad opening weekend on and off the track for Vettel and Ferrari at the Red Bull Ring, which is also the host of the upcoming second round.

Vettel countered Ferrari’s claim that the decision for him to leave at the end of the 2020 campaign was a mutual one and that prompted Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto to claim that the global health crisis forced the team into a U-turn on keeping him.

On the track, Vettel failed to make it into Q3 and scraped a solitary point in P10 as he wrestled with a very unstable SF1000 car and recovered from a costly spin when coming into contact with his Ferrari replacement Carlos Sainz.

The Ferrari SF1000 doesn't look particularly fun to drive. #F1 pic.twitter.com/JWapoTBxh8

— Planet F1 (@Planet_F1) July 6, 2020

Head on over to the Formula 1 shop for all your official Kimi Raikkonen merchandise

From the outside looking in, it appears the cracks are already showing between the two parties as their partnership comes to an end.

But Raikkonen does not believe it will be as bad as being reported.

“Honestly, I spoke to him last weekend, quickly when we saw each other, I think it was before the start, and that’s all that I know,” Raikkonen said in Thursday’s FIA press conference, responding to a question asked by Autosport.

“I don’t know what is going on there, it’s none of my business. I think it’s unfair to comment if someone is treated badly or not, because I don’t know what is going on.

“I doubt that they have as bad relationship as people are making out.

“Obviously sometimes it goes this way, that you leave the team, or choose to leave, whichever way it is. We’ll see what happens in his future. You need to ask from him.

“I wouldn’t put too much saying how difficult it is right now after one race. It wasn’t the most easy for [Alfa Romeo] either. I’m sure they can be much stronger than they were last weekend.

Questions are also being asked as to whether Ferrari will treat the departing Vettel differently to Charles Leclerc but, based on Raikkonen’s own experience, he feels they will be treated the same way.

“I’m certain that they get exactly the same treatment, both of them,” Raikkonen said.

“It’s in their benefit to try to get the best result on both cars, so I don’t see why they would do anything else.”

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‘New’ Alonso has shaken off ‘toxic’ baggage, says Renault

Renault believes it is bringing back to Formula 1 a “new” and “better” Fernando Alonso, who has shaken off the “toxic” baggage from his last spell in the sport.

The French car manufacturer has signed a two-year deal with the Spaniard that will see him enjoy his third spell with the team that brought him his two championship titles.

But while Alonso earned a reputation in his career for venting frustrations in public if things did not go his way, Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul believes his driver is a totally different character now.

Speaking exclusively to Motorsport.com about Alonso, Abiteboul said: “I think the years that he had away from the track have probably been an opportunity for him to reset, to actually measure how lucky or privileged we are all of us to operate and perform in Formula 1, and probably to come with a fresh set of mind.

“Let’s not forget how the competition, it can be toxic on people, on individuals, you know. No matter how hard you try, or how hard you work, you can’t win. And it’s the sport that is doing that.

“I’m not surprised that a sport that’s like that is creating this type of situation and therefore legacy, but that’s also why he [Alonso] was so interested in this new profile for the sport, and maybe the opportunity of bringing a new Fernando into a new F1.”

Abiteboul says one of the key factors that won Alonso the seat against similarly experienced stars like Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel was the motivation he showed in making a success of the project.

“I guess that above everything else, I would put the motivation and mental frame there. The talent is there with Fernando and it is also there with Vettel and Bottas. There is no doubt about that .

“But, you know, the mix of the mindset and motivation were important elements, plus also the timing of this crisis.”

And while Alonso has a reputation for being tough for team bosses to manage, Abiteboul says he will likely lean on former Renault chief Flavio Briatore for advice.

“I guess the only one who has been successful in that respect is Flavio [Briatore], and I think it’s no secret that I grew up myself with Flavio.

“I’ve seen also some of the things that he was doing with Fernando and I keep on having some dialogue with Flavio. He’s around, and he has been amongst many people, and I’m not going to mention them, but he’s been part of today’s announcement.

“I take inspiration in what I will have to do next year in the way that I will handle Fernando. But for me again, the new Fernando, fresh from his one year off from F1, I think will be a better Fernando.

“I will make sure to be extremely transparent with him, because he’s a smart person. He understands and knows a lot about F1, so the one thing that I would never do is lie to him or over promise and under deliver.

“So managing his expectation, his own expectation, will be probably the starting point of a strong and fruitful relationship.”


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Car Reviews

Norwegian Capital Oslo Has The Most EVs Per Capita In The World, Report Says

This is not surprising in the country where EVs have boomed in popularity in the last few years.

Oslo, Norway’s capital capital, is now reportedly the world leader in terms of electric vehicles per capita (along with the country’s second largest city, Bergen). This comes as no surprise since Norway leads the way in EV adoption, and its capital has set itself a very ambitious target to be near-zero emissions by 2030.

According to a local report quoted by TheDriven, as many as 60 percent of all cars purchased in Oslo in the first quarter of 2020 were fully electric or electrified. Another 16 percent were plug-in hybrids, while gasoline- and diesel-burning cars hovered around 15 percent.

Currently, around 18 percent of all passenger cars operating in the city are fully electric, 9 percent are plug-in hybrids and 5 percent are regular hybrids. And this shift isn’t only in the passenger car segment; electric vans have also gone up in popularity too, with 23 percent of all new vans bought in Q1 2020 being fully electric.

So unlike many countries in Europe (or the rest of the continent) that have self-imposed emissions targets they want to reach in coming years, it looks like Norway is actually well on its way to achieve its own. And while in other cities in Europe, a reduction of 95 percent in the total emissions from vehicles in the next 10 years seems far fetched, Oslo might just make it.

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Norris has ‘made next step’ as a driver – McLaren

McLaren believes Lando Norris’ charge to third place in Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix proves he has “made the next step” as a driver.

Norris scored his first F1 podium at the Red Bull Ring after a late charge saw him pass Sergio Perez before making up the time to cash in on Lewis Hamilton’s five-second penalty.

It saw Norris become the third-youngest podium finisher in F1 history, capping off an impressive weekend that saw him qualify fourth and spend much of the race leading the midfield runners.

McLaren F1 boss Andreas Seidl said it was proof of the advancements Norris had made entering his second season on the grid.

“For a driver it is important to create this momentum for himself as it gives him the confidence he needs to pull it off when it matters in qualifying and the race,” Seidl said.

“Lando was simply building it up as he started well last year. You could see that last year in his race starts when he started carefully at the beginning, and then once he had a bit of confidence and races under his belt, he was there.

“With the work he has done together with his team over the winter, I think he simply made the next step.

“I am very happy, very happy with the team, so we can have some great results with him in the future.”

The final lap saw Norris gain 0.8 seconds on Hamilton by setting the fastest lap of the race, allowing him to snare third by less than two tenths of a second in the final classification.

On-board footage of Norris’ final lap has gone viral on social media in the aftermath of the race, with his race engineer instructing him when to use the overtake button before celebrating the result once Hamilton’s penalty was confirmed.

“At some point we all thought we missed the podium when [Charles] Leclerc went through, but obviously we were communicating the gaps to Lando about Lewis,” Seidl explained.

“Then when he got his penalty, Lando was prepared for his last laps in terms of getting the maximum of everything that the car had.

“[For] Lando to pull it off like that is impressive, and if you look now at the whole weekend, it is impressive what Lando has done. It also shows that as we expected from him, he developed, or made the next step as a driver, which you would also expect after your rookie season in Formula 1.

“He did very well in analysing last year’s season and looking into how he could be even better prepared going into this next season. He grew up in terms of personality and character.

“How he was approaching the first race of the season, I was very impressed. I am sure we will have a lot more fun with him in the future.”

Speaking about his final lap, Norris said: “The pace was really nice in clean air. The Ferraris were quicker than us, the Racing Points were quicker than us, especially on the race pace.

“We were very fast yesterday but the race pace they were for sure quicker. They have a nicer car to drive, a bit more downforce and that helps in the race with the tyre degradation.

“It was very difficult but I think when I had the clear air, and I kept the tyres in a good condition, then I could really lean on it and the car came alive a bit.

“We turned up the power a little bit and I put in some really nice laps. I’m still out of breath from trying so much to finish where I did.”

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Car Reviews

This Tesla Model Y Has Already Paid For Itself In Just Three Months

Tesla doesn’t directly offer any cash on the hood, but you can certainly work to put some cash in the frunk.

Ryan Shaw has owned his Tesla Model Y for about three months or so. His crossover is the least expensive Model Y currently available – the $52,900 Long Range. Still, that’s a whole lot of money for a new car. Thankfully, Tesla will bring a cheaper Standard Range version to market at a later date.

As soon as we tell you that Shaw’s Model Y really did pay for itself, you’re probably skeptical. There’s no longer a $7,500 federal EV tax credit for Tesla vehicles, and he hasn’t had the car long enough to rent it out enough times to add up. However, Shaw can still stand behind the claim that the electric crossover is paying for itself.

Shaw explains five ways his Model Y has paid for itself. First of all, he took advantage of cash incentives. Shaw lives in California, so he got $2,000. In addition, he got $1,000 from his power company, Southern California Edison.

Since Shaw isn’t using the car every day at this point, he decided to rent it out on Turo. So far, he’s made almost $1,000 via Turo in about a month.

The third, and likely most profitable situation for Shaw related to his Model Y, is his YouTube channel. He has benefited financially from making videos about the car. Sure, it’s one of his jobs, and it’s not something everyone is able to do successfully. But still, without the Model Y, Shaw wouldn’t have that income. So, it’s fair to say the Y is paying for itself here, though it requires some hard work. Shaw actually made videos prior to the Y and saved money for the car’s down payment too.

Also related to his YouTube channel, Shaw has used affiliate links to generate additional income. Again, if he’s promoting products for the Model Y, and he makes money doing so, the car is paying for itself. Shaw explains:

“If you check out the description in my videos, I list off all the equipment I use to make my videos …

This is one of those things where you might say ‘how is this the Model Y paying for itself? It’s a camera lens on amazon,’ but the only reason that link was clicked, is because I made a video about the Model Y, which is a popular subject.”

Finally, the Tesla Referral Program has helped make the Model Y pay for itself. He has enough referrals to pay for his Supercharging for a long time. Moreover, he could end up with more incentives from the program.

Have you used any of the above methods to help pay for your car? If so, share them with us in the comments below.

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Racing

Verstappen has to wait as Red Bull runs at Silverstone

Max Verstappen will have to wait until the Austrian Grand Prix for his first chance to run in a Formula 1 car since lockdown started, with the UK’s quarantine restrictions making it too complicated for the Dutchman to join his Red Bull team’s run at Silverstone on Thursday.

Red Bull elected to use up one of its filming days with its 2020 F1 car to get it drivers and staff up to speed again.

As well as giving the drivers a refresher in the cockpit, such tests have been valuable in helping teams better understand the protocols that will be in place for the closed-door events at the start of the season.

While in an ideal world Red Bull would have had both it drivers present, instead Alex Albon will run alone for the day because the UK’s mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone arriving from abroad meant that it was too hard to arrange for Verstappen to fly in from his home in Monaco.

For Verstappen to have joined the test, he would have needed to arrive in the UK in the first week of the quarantine in early June – with sports stars currently not exempt from the restriction that forces people to self-isolate for two weeks after their arrival.

Both team and driver therefore agreed that the test went ahead without him.

Verstappen’s absence means that he will be one of the few drivers that will not have run in either current or past F1 machinery before the first race of the campaign at the Red Bull Ring.

Mercedes conducted a test with a 2018 car shortly after the UK’s quarantine restrictions started, with both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas having been able to get into the country before the rules came into force.

Ferrari has been testing at Mugello with both its drivers in a 2018 car, while Renault elected to take an old car to the Red Bull Ring so Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon could get some running.

Red Bull’s options for running have been restricted, however, because of the current testing rules limitations.

In theory it could have taken a 2018 car to a foreign track for a multi-day test, but it was running Renault powerunits that year so it would have been a challenge to have arranged a proper test with its former engine partner.

And while it would have been allowed to take its 2020 F1 car to a foreign track so both drivers could run a ‘filming day’, the fact that it would have been limited to just 100km would have meant there would have been a lot of effort for little return.

In the end, it made sense for a 2020 car test to take place at Silverstone with Albon alone, and Verstappen is unlikely to be at much of a disadvantage through missing out.

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Kevin Magnussen has 'no idea' how quick Haas are

Kevin Magnussen says he has “no idea” what Haas’s pace will be like in Austria, but expects answers from the doubleheader.

The American team’s car was notoriously temperamental last season. At some races, it would be the best of the rest while at others it was only ahead of the Williams.

The 2020 campaign is going to be hugely different in many ways, and Magnussen says things are as unpredictable as ever.

“It is difficult to say in who it [the changed calendar] benefits,” he told Ekstra Bladet.

“I really can’t predict it. We also have no idea how good our new car is for this year.”

In 2019, the performance of the Haas challenger was hugely affected by external factors such as temperature. The Dane feels that starting with two races at the same track should provide some considerable insights into whether that will be the case again.

“It’s going to be exciting to see. You get rock-solid proof of whether performance depends on the track or if other factors are involved,” he added.

“You have the feeling that it is very decisive for the speed if the circuit suits the car. We will get clear answers to that. If one weekend is good and the other weekend is not in terms of results and speed, it will give food for thought.

“But I emphatically expect it to be more or less the same. If you are good in the first weekend, you should be good in the second weekend, given that the weather is the same.”

Last year, the team struggled to understand their car so much that they ended up reverting back to the original spec model. If they can get on top of things by the end of the doubleheader, they’ll undoubtedly be in far better shape.

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