Mexico form just a blip
Haas team principal Gunther Steiner says he is sure that the teams downturn in the Mexican Grand Prix was just a blip, saying the team “didn’t get stupid over the past two weeks”.
The American team struggled in Austin but still managed to get a point following a difficult weekend. But then in Mexico the team struggled with limited running and Grosjean had change the floor of his car and continue to struggle with its brakes. Despite those issues, Steiner thinks the lack of performance came from the slow start to the weekend.
When asked by ESPN if Haas needed to change anything to prevent a repeat at the Brazilian Grand Prix, he replied: “No, we just need to do a good job, we don’t need to change anything.
“We won’t change any parts and after speaking with the guys we just need to keep focused as we know we are able to do it. We didn’t get stupid over the past two weeks we just need to have a smooth weekend.” Steiner refused to make an excuse for their poor form.
But said they struggled with balance and getting the tyres to work. He said the team needs to be “honest with ourselves and say we didn’t do a good job this weekend starting on Friday.” Steiner hopes that the team stops spending Friday in the garage and get both cars out in FP2.
FP2 is the key session for teams in terms of set-up which Steiner says was “our biggest handicap at the moment that in the last two races we didn’t have a clean Friday and Saturday.”
Changes key to form – Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen says that changes to his team within Ferrari have been key in turning around his form. Last year he was behind his team-mate Sebastian Vettel scoring half the number of points but this year has had a much better performance.
Raikkonen has had two difficult seasons which had started speculation about his future with the team. In 2014 the Fin also had a difficult season with him only scoring a third of third of then team-mate Fernando Alonso’s points. This year Räikkönen has been more consistent and shown his pace allowing him only to be seven points down.
Last month Team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said Raikkonen now feels he has the trust and commitment of his mechanics. In Mexico, Raikkonen revealed he has been working with new personnel this year. He told Autosport “There were some changes with the people that I work and they have been very good.
“The guys are very good at what we do and we all work together very well, in a very good way. We understand each other well and we have the same idea how we want to do stuff.” Raikkonen says that this leads to precision and sound decision-making process is paying dividends.
He says the small details are correct they make a big impact. Raikkonen despite his personal progress a admits Ferrari still has a lot of work to do.
I have no role but consultant – Brawn
Ross Brawn says he has not accepted any role with Liberty Media but has admitted he has been doing consultancy work for the sports new owners.
The former team boss says that the US Media giant was not ready to make any definitive job offers. He told the BBC “Liberty have not got far enough down the road to make any commitments yet. I’m doing a little consulting to help them better understand F1 but that’s all”
Last week, following extracts of his book which is released tomorrow Brawn indicated he was ready for a return to the sport in a engineering role but not in a job where you need to deal with the politics. Bernie Ecclestone is expected to remain in post until 2019/20, but there has been no official confirmation from Liberty.
Insiders report that he is expected to be replaced by at least two executives – one to look after the commercial side of the sport; the other the sporting side. But current has seats on the strategy group, the commission and the FIA World Council.
This protocol is enshrined in the teams’ contracts until 2020, after which a new deal will have to be reached. Negotiations on that have not started and will be among Liberty’s first concerns.
Kvyat had nerves over future
Daniil Kvyat says he was nervous about his future in Formula One before being resigned by Toro Rosso for next season. The Russian was under scrutiny from the media following his demotion to Toro Rosso in May.
Kvyat has struggled against Carlos Sainz and was thought to be in line to be replaced by Pierre Gasly who could win the GP2 title at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost highlighted the importance of continuity entering 2017’s major technical rule changes.
Kvyat said “It was getting to the point where it was important to know [plans for 2017] because otherwise it would have started to be nervous times and they were starting to be nervous times.”
“I wasn’t standing still, I was looking for the answers. I was getting a bit impatient in a way. I’m grateful to Red Bull I got these answers early on.” Kvyat says that he did have interest from other teams but is pleased he is remaining within Red Bull.
He adds changing teams lots means no consistency.
Should gravel traps return?
Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg have called on the sport to re-think the run off areas following the ever growing discontent over some drivers actions during the Mexican Grand Prix.
Race leader Lewis Hamilton escaped without penalties for cutting the circuit while Max Verstappen was later penalised for doing the same thing. The incidents have brought up a row over inconsistency with the rules with some calling for more deterrents to stop them going wide.
Ricciardo told Motorsport.com “”I am bit of a fan of gravel traps because it is a proper deterrent. Even if you do get though the gravel trap with good speed, you still have stuff in your radiators or stones on your tyres, so there is more of a penalty.”
But Hulkenberg believes gravel traps are a issue saying the sports needs consider greater use of cones to slow drivers down. F1 makes use of such slow-down channels at Monza and Sochi. He said “I don’t know necessarily about gravel traps, but maybe something like what is at Sochi if you go off, or Monza, where you have to go around a certain thing to make you pay a price.”
Berine Ecclestone’s idea of small walls has been branded too extreme by Red Bull’s Christian Horner but he agrees something needs to be done. He said “I definitely think there is an argument for a gravel trap, because then if you end up in the gravel you either lose an enormous amount of time or you are out of the race.”
But Horner indicated that part of the problem is having different stewards at different races who have different interpretations of the rules.
Tyre choices for Brazil
Pirelli have announced the drivers tyre allocation ahead of next weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix. For this race the drivers chose from the hardest tyres with Pirelli giving the choice of the orange hard, white medium and yellow soft tyres.
Both the Mercedes have chosen eight soft, four mediums and a hard. Williams, Red Bull, Force India, Manor, Haas and McLaren have all given the same allocations to both their drivers. Williams nine softs, three mediums and one hard. Red Bull and Sauber drivers have seven softs, five mediums and a hard. Force India eight softs, four mediums and two hards.
Renault and Toro Rosso’s have eight soft, five mediums and a hard.
The only team not to allocate there drivers exactly the same was Haas apart from there soft allocation of seven, but Romain Grosjean has a extra medium bringing
We are having a break tomorrow night and hope you’re be back reading again on Friday night. From the team goodbye!