I would have stayed – Grosjean
Romain Grosjean says he would have stayed with Lotus for next season if Renault had concluded a takeover of the team. The French driver will leave the team to join Haas a move he said was partly motivated by his desire to one day race for Ferrari.
Speaking to the BBC World Service the Frenchman said “I was the first one who wanted to be part of the Renault project. If they had come earlier I would have stayed, but I met with Haas, they made an approach and it was attractive.”
He added the fact that the team is “close to Ferrari made it very appealing. Not because I’m thinking about Ferrari in one, two or three years, but it does bring me closer for sure.”
Haas has a technical partnership with the Italian team meaning there test driver and former Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez is likely to join him.
No Honda power for others
Honda has dismissed reports that the team could supply Toro Rosso with engines next season. The junior team to Red Bull have also parted company with current supplier Renault.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has described the team situation with regards to their engine as ‘critical’ in recent days. It could leave both teams without an engine supplier for 2016. Honda have refused to supply anyone other than McLaren.
Also Ferrari are reluctant to supply Red Bull. A spokeswoman for Honda said “Honda has no plans of supplying a second team next year, and this has not changed.”
Adding “As Honda has always said since returning to Formula 1, we are open to supplying additional teams in the near future.” She added it is very late to make a decision.
As it stands the team at the moment will not be able to race as they would be able to block a rule change that would allow old engines to be used, thereby ensuring it only gets current specification power units.
Frustration over development rules
McLaren CEO Ron Dennis has said the current regulations in Formula One are holding back the teams return to competitiveness with Honda.
The revival of the team’s partnership with Honda has not gone to plan with them struggling with reliability issues and an uncompetitive power unit. Development of power units are restricted as well as wind tunnel time and CFD development.
The McLaren boss said the regulations had increased the cost and made a barrier to close to the top teams. He told ESPN “I think the frustrations I have with the regulations is that everything that has been designed to reduce costs.”
He added the changes have “increased it and primarily because the cost of getting durability is endless evaluation on dynos and test cells. I would like to go testing, I would like to have freedom in wind tunnels, freedom in CFD.”
He added that Honda is working hard to develop as quickly as possible but they would only be available when they have been proven.
Limit or not to limit practice?
Nico Hulkenberg says there is too much practice session during race weekends. Currently on Fridays there are two ninety minute sessions with an hour before qualifying on Saturdays.
Hulkenberg said the sport should follow the example of the main feeder series GP2 where there is only one forty five minutes session. He said “I am sometimes of the opinion that we have too much practice in Formula 1,” said Hulkenberg.
Adding “Two 90-minute sessions on Friday and on Saturday another hour – it is a lot of practice.”
His team-mate Sergio Perez disagrees saying he thinks the current format works well. “I don’t think we have too much practice. You only have one practice to try the long run stuff – P2 – and then you have P3 to really try the qualifying.”
Aware of our weaknesses – Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen says his Ferrari team is aware of the weaknesses within their 2015 car and are limited on what it can do to solve them in the remaining grands prix.
The team scored there first double podium in Singapore when Mercedes had their difficulties. Last week normal order resumed with Ferrari being second best. Raikkonen says the teams development for 2016 has will be hampered. He told Autosport “We know where the weaknesses are but there are limited things we can do at this time of year.”
He added “Sure we’ll keep improving and next year we’ll be in a better shape. We’re second best. We keep doing progress, we’re doing the right things and we must keep improving.”
Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabenne said Suzuka had shown a step forward saying “ If you look at the gap we had to Mercedes at Silverstone and the gap at Suzuka, it’s smaller.”