Exxon switches to Red Bull
Red Bull have annouced that MClaren’s fuel and lubricant supplier Mobil will replace Total as there suplier next seaso as the team’s and official fuel, lubricant and motor oil partner in 2017.
The magazine Autosport understands McLaren will be supported from next year by Castrol which is owned by BP, after the british team ended there relationship with the company. The switch to another supplier comes late in the year as it will affect some of Renaults engine devopment for next season.
The move comes a year after the Austrian team took another sponsor from McLaren Tag Heuer as they agreed to bagde the teams Renault power units from last season. Red Bull team prinpical Christian Horner said “Mobil 1 and Red Bull are two global brands that share a passion for racing, performance and innovation.”
“Mobil 1 has been an iconic brand in Formula 1 for more than 30 years and our new partnership provides us with a unique opportunity to tap into ExxonMobil’s world class expertise.”
Horner also thanks to the team at Total who he said “have made a valuable contribution to our success in Formula 1 during our partnership.”
ExxonMobil has been involved in grand prix racing for 38 years, accumulating more than 100 victories, six drivers’ world championships and five constructors’ titles.
Red Bull motorsport advisior Helmut Marko says he belives that Max Verstappen is”light years” ahead of most of his F1 rivals and the criticsium of his style of driving comes from fear in the “establishment”.
It was a breakthrough season, winning on his Red Bull deubt in Barcelona after being promoted after the Russian Grand Prix. As part of him wripping up the rule book and history he has finished well this season proving himself to be a worth appontat on the whole.
Marko says Verstappen’s successful season has vindicated every decision Red Bull has made about the teenager.
When asked by the official F1 website what the Dutchman’s incredible performance in Brazil told him, he replied: “That we were right to sign him and put him into Formula One at an age where everybody called us mad. And that he has proved ever since that he is something special.”
Verstappe has been prasied for his driving in wet races following the Brazilian Grand Prix, with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff saying the teenager was redefining the laws of physics. Marko thinks Brazil, and not his maiden F1 win in Spain, proved the 19-year-old’s massive potential.
“He’s shown on many occasions that he is light years away from your common Formula One driver by winning his first race sitting in a Red Bull. Yes, the two Mercedes drivers took each other out so this win probably fell in our lap.”
However, his season hasn’;t been without controversy over his moving in the braking zone when defending positions. Those criticisms led to a clampdown of that move, which has now become known as the ‘Verstappen Rule’.
Marko said ” I see is that he brings a completely new approach to the ‘reigning establishment’! He shows them again how racing should be – how it was in the past. I remember when guys like Senna and Schumacher came, they also had a different approach and were a shock awakening for the establishment of their time.”
Stewards look to improve consistency
Stewards are looking to introducing regular meetings to review past races so they can improve their consistency with the way the penalties are applied. This year a number of drivers and teams raising concern about the consistency of penalties handed out.
The biggest question and debate was about the actions of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel’s actions and conduct while fighting Max Verstappen during the Mexican Grand Prix. With Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr the latest to voice that view after a clash with Jolyon Palmer in Abu Dhabi.
On Tuesday during a FIA World Council Meeting the stewards met to discuss how the wording can be tidied up to allow quicker decisions to be made.
The stewards chairman Garry Connelly said “We went through a lot of rules and looked at how we can work with the FIA to tidy up the wording, enabling us to take quicker decisions. We talked a lot about how we can achieve better consistency.”
Connelly added there needs to be more meeting and reviews to discuss the way stewards make their decisions especially driving rulings. “That is quite a subjective issue. These are obviously decisions that are made collectively but understanding how those decision can be made more consistent is valuable.”
One idea is the German DMSB review system which would allow steward to talk by video link and discuss their decisions.
Hamilton made sure Rosberg would be worthy
Former world champion Jacques Villeneuve says that Lewis Hamilton was fair in his approach to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and “made sure” Nico Rosberg would up a worthy champion.
Villeneuve who was part of similar showdowns in the mid-nineties says he would have adopted the same tactics as Hamilton if were needed – and that Mercedes trying to intervene was a “shame”. Twenty years ago he was in the say situation as Hamilton against Damon Hill.
He told Motosport.com “Probably even more! In the last race, when your team cannot lose the championship any more, there’s no more team. This is the one time of the year when the team has to take a back seat, and just live with it.”
When asked if Rosberg was a worthy champion, Villeneuve reckoned: “Definitely, and Lewis made sure that he was worthy.
Generally performed well – Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen says that Ferrari generally performed well in 2016 but were let down too frequently by small issues which built up over the season. It was a difficult season for Ferrari with the team failing to win a race and failing to third in the constructors.
The Fin refused to hide his disappointment despite Ferrari being happier with his campaign and felt too many smaller issues plagued his progress. After three podiums in the opening five races, Raikkonen’s season fell away as Red Bull found gains to leapfrog Ferrari in terms of race pace and in qualifying.
Raikkonen told Crash.net “What matters is that the end result was far from what we, as Ferrari, as a team, wanted from this year.
“There are positive things, like the way we have been working lately, the way we are doing things, the way we work well together even if the results weren’t always what we wanted.
“It was far from an ideal year for all of us. We did good races and not so good races, had too many small issues but that’s what happens in racing sometimes.”
Raikkonen says the season was far from ideal and there was to many issues. Ferrari lost gains they though they had made and made errors in strategy and pit stop. He says personally “it has been better from my side but we cannot be very happy because we’re far from where we want to be, both me and the team.”