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Jolyon Palmer expecting more one-stop F1 races in 2017

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Renault Formula 1 driver Jolyon Palmer is expecting more one-stop races in the 2017 season after sampling Pirelli’s more conservative and consistent tires in Barcelona earlier this week.

Pirelli has overhauled its F1 range for 2017 following a number of changes to the technical regulations that required the tires to increase in size by 25 per cent.

Pirelli has also worked to make its compounds more durable and predictable, with drivers complaining in recent years that they were forced to think too much about tire management from the start of the race.

Speaking to reporters in Barcelona earlier this week, Palmer said he found he was able to push his tires more and still have low levels of degradation, leading him to predict there would be more one-stop races in 2017.

“In terms of how the races are going to unfold, I’d say that’s a massive difference because there is much less deg,” Palmer said.

“The warm-up is pretty different as well, so I think qualifying in some places will be quite tricky, but the deg is none.

“For us it’s quite nice. You can really lean on the tires. In a race condition, I think there are going to be lots of one-stop races at the moment.

“But also I’ve not been able to run on the soft and the medium, but maybe the ultra-soft is going to be another step. We don’t know really. Could be.

“Some unknowns yet, but for now, no deg. Barely any.”

Hamilton, Red Bull teammates both go to NASA before USGP

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool
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One of the more intriguing United States Grand Prix adventures occurred on Wednesday, as both Lewis Hamilton and the pair of Red Bull Racing teammates, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, all went to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston – in separate sessions – before heading onto Austin.

Hamilton posted on his Instagram story on Wednesday that he’d “quit his day job in a second” to work at NASA and become an astronaut, and the unbridled enthusiasm spoke to the three-time Formula 1 World Champion’s love of different life aspects entirely outside of racing.

“(I) had an incredible day yesterday, having a bit of a comedown today,” Hamilton said today at the FIA Press Conference. “I was just buzzed all day yesterday because it’s always been something I’ve wanted to do. It’s always something I’ve been fascinated about, space and space travel particularly.

“So to actually go there… and I had a million questions. I’m sure the guy got fed up with me. I asked a lot of questions and I got to see a lot of great things, some of the new technology they are working on and yeah, I want to go back.”

The Mercedes AMG Petronas team posted a gallery of Hamilton’s adventure on its website, linked here, and a few samples are below.

As for the Red Bull pair, the young duo of Ricciardo and Verstappen were equally awestruck by the experience.

“There really are a lot of similarities between this and F1, just the technology alone,” Ricciardo said. “I had a guest come to a race last year, when they got into the garage they were like: ‘this is like a space station’. We went to mission control here and it’s really like what we have in the Ops Room in Milton Keynes. Even the safety technology is similar. The astronauts go through the same measurements, a similar kind of HANS device etc. It’s really cool.”

Verstappen added, “There are quite a lot of comparisons, if you really want to talk about it we could go on for an hour! The control center looks pretty similar to ours. We share a lot of the same technology. It was really interesting for us to see that and I bet it would be the same if they could see ours.”

Here’s a link to Red Bull’s gallery and some teaser shots below.