Pirelli begin testing 2017 tyres
Pirelli have carried out their second day of 2017 tyre testing with Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel at the Fiorano Circuit in Italy. Yesterday Vettel tested with a modified version of the teams 2015 car and today it was the turn of Haas’s Esteban Gutierrez.
Vettel yesterday did laps on the slick tyre before the circuit was dampen to allow Pirelli to test the intermediate and full wet tyres on an artificially dampened surface. The tread that is 25% wider than the current size.
Red Bull will test the slick tyre at Mugello tomorrow and Thursday before they take a break with Mercedes testing in early September. Mercedes will be providing a modified car for testing will take to the track at Paul Ricard in France.
The three Teams taking part (Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull) will undertake a total of eight days of testing per car between now and the end of November. Each Team will have exactly the same amount of testing as each other for wet and intermediate tyres (two days) as well as slick tyres (six days).
The last three tests in Abu Dhabi will feature all three teams plus a post-season test for all elven teams.
Plan for independent championship
Autosport say they have learn of a plan for six formula one teams to contest a ‘independents championship’ if they stuck to a cost cap. The teams would still compete as part of the constructors championship.
The idea was from Force India’s deputy team principal Bob Fernley and it would mean the ‘non works teams’ apart from Red Bull would stick to a budget of $100 million. The cost cap would not include spending on marketing, hospitality and driver contracts.
The plan would need agreement from the commercial rights holder and the FIA for separate commercial agreement. The idea was blocked by Toro Rosso and Williams. Bob Fernley told Autosport “What I was looking at was whether the six independent teams wished to enter into a voluntary cost-cap arrangement, obviously policed by the FIA.”
He added “First of all we need to see if there was an appetite for it in the first instance. We were testing the water. In principle, they liked the concept, but they needed time to think about it.” Toro Rosso team prinipcal Franz Tost said they weren’t backing it because owners Red Bull did not back it, but he insisted ways to cut costs must be found.
Tost said “If you start doing this, with a cost cap $100m, you can’t develop anything anymore and then, from the performance side, you are last.”
Manor owner Stephen Fitzpatrick told Autosport the concept “is worth investigating” but added: “almost all teams given an unlimited budget, they would find a way to spend it.
Ecclestone’s pilot arrested over kidnap of mother in law
Brazilian police have arrested Berine Ecclestone’s pilot in connection with the kidnapping last month of his mother-in-law in Sao Paulo on 22nd July.
Aparecidas Schunck was abducted from her home in Sao Paulo on 22 July, but was rescued on Saturday. A $36.5m (£28m) ransom was demanded for her release but none was paid.
Pilot Jorge Eurico da Silva Faria the alleged mastermind of the kidnapping is one of three people seized by police. Ms Schunck was freed after being traced to a house near Sao Paulo after investigators monitored phone calls between the kidnappers and her family.
Shortly after she was freed, Ms Schunck told Brazilian media: “I only ask for these bandits to be jailed so they can’t abduct anyone else in Sao Paulo.”
BBC News understands Ecclestone had offered to travel to Brazil and offed the services of a private security company to deal with the kidnappers.
McLaren launch action in contract dispute
McLaren have launched legal action against Mercedes over a Loic Serra who they say has agreed to join the team. McLaren has been carrying out a recruitment drive to bolster its structure during its new era with Honda, the Woking-based has been on a recent recruitment drive this year.
It has emerged that one of the key personnel it had persuaded to join it was Mercedes’ head of vehicle dynamics, Loic Serra. Both teams believe they have a binding contract with the teams. McLaren say that Serra had broken his break clause to join the team.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff did not wish to comment on the matter when contacted, but confirmed that Serra was remaining at the team.
A McLaren spokesman said: “The matter is subject to legal proceedings and we do not wish to comment until that process is complete.” Serrea was the head of vehicle performance at BMW Sauber from 2006 to 2010 before moving to Mercedes in 2010 as chief engineer of vehicle engineering
These actions are not new McLaren has had a similar dispute with Red Bull when 2014 they believed it had a binding contract with aerodynamicist Dan Fallows – before he decided to remain at Red Bull. The case was settled by face to face talks between the two teams
We can’t keep waiting Williams warn Button
Williams have told Jenson Button that the team will not be “waiting around” for him to make up his mind on his future in Formula One. The British team are keen for Button to return to the team which brought him into the sport.
McLaren have already said they will not make a decision on who will partner Fernando Alonso next season as they have Stoffel Vandoorne who they are keen to retain.
Deputy team principal Claire Williams, speaking to Press Association Sport, said: “We will own our driver line-up decision, and I am not sat here waiting for (McLaren chairman) Ron Dennis to make his decision or for Jenson to make his decision.”
Felipe Massa is expected to depart from the team free up some money, but doubts remain as to whether the Grove-based constructor will be able to afford Button. The Englishman currently earns around £12million a year but Button commercial appeal makes him a good option.
Ms Williams add “He started his career here, but more importantly Jenson is a great driver, and he has still got a lot of fight left in him. He is a great talent in the car, but also outside of the car and we need a driver like him. That is not to say our focus is purely on Jenson.”
The criteria the team are looking for is “talent in the cockpit, the intelligence to feed back to the engineers, and for us, as an independent team, the commercial factors are going to play a part in the decision-making process to
Haryanto search for new backing
Rio Haryanto says that he and his management team will be holding discussions to allow him to compete until the end of the season. The Indonesian driver backed by the country’s government only had enough funding to carry him through to the conclusion of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Haryanto now will spend the summer seeking new investment to give him a seat for the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of August. If the funding doesn’t come it is thought the Mercedes junior and Renault reserve Esteban Ocon would take over the seat following the summer break alongside Pascal Wehrlein.
He told Autosport “It will be quite a busy summer break for me. we need to find some financial support from some sponsors. My management are currently working very hard, we’re going to have a few meetings over the next couple of weeks and hopefully there is good news coming out of it.”
The Indonesian says he is disappointed there are still doubts over his seat snf his management is currently working hard to secure the seat for the whole season.
The Indonesian government has backed Haryanto with funding coming from state oil company Pertamina, and talks ongoing to release more money.