Manufacturers reach agreement on future
The FIA and the engine manufacturers have reached a broad agreement on the future of engine technology with the aim of targeting cheaper, louder and powerful engines after 2020.
On Friday the FIA, the current manufacturers, as well as Volkswagen and other manufacturers not currently in the sport, reached a broad agreement on the future regulations. The changes are likely to see the ditching of the 1.6-litre V6 hybrids for simpler.
The details are yet to be finalised but these points have been agreed
- A desire to maintain F1 as the pinnacle of motorsport technology, and as a laboratory for developing technology that is relevant to road cars
- Striving for future power units to be powerful, while becoming simpler and less costly to develop and produce
- Improving the sound of the power units
- A desire to allow drivers to drive harder at all times
FIA President Jean Todt said “I was very pleased with the process, and the fact that so many different stakeholders were able to agree on a direction for the FIA Formula One World Championship in such an important technical area,”
The hybrids were brought into make the sport appeal to manufacturers who have been pushing towards greener technology. This has been a success as the current power units achieve roughly 50 percent thermal efficiency compared to the 30 percent of the naturally-aspirated V8s that went before.
The current regulations were locked in place until 2020 by an agreement between teams and the FIA aimed at achieving performance convergence, lower costs and an improved the noise.
Verstappen wants V10’s
Max Verstappen has made it clear what he would like to see the new engine regulations, he would like the sport to return to the louder V10s.
On Friday the FIA announced a broad agreement had been made to ditch its current engines in favour of cheaper and louder alternatives. FIA President Jean Todt has said that a return to V10’s would not be acceptable by society.
However, the Dutchman hopes a way can be found for V10s to return as part of that new direction.
He told Autosport “I think it would be very nice to have a V10 engine or something, with the lovely sound. [The current engines are] nice for me in the car, but I think it’s not really impressive for the fans if you compare it to a V10 or V12.”
V10’s were last used in 2005 before being replaced by V8 and V6’s in 2014. The current regulations have been shaped by road relevance, with energy recovery systems a key component.
While purely-electric engines are becoming more common in motoring, and are the focus of Formula E, Verstappen would not be a fan of all-electric racing.
Giovinazzi to replace Wehrlein in China
Sauber has confirmed that Antonio Giovinazzi will once again replace Pascal Wehrlein at this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix. The Italian made his debut last month after Wehrlein withdrew because of injury.
The German suffered a back injury during January’s Race of Champions, which caused him to miss most of testing. He then withdrew from last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.
Wehrlein insists that the decision was because of fitness and had nothing to do with the injury recurring.
Giovinazzi took over Wehrlein from FP3, qualified right behind teammate Marcus Ericsson and finished 12th in the race.
He said in the teams Preview “For me the most important is that I can train intensively to ensure a 100 percent performance from my side as soon as possible. I will then be well-prepared for my first complete Grand Prix weekend for the Sauber.”
“Hopefully this can be in Bahrain but, if not, then we will take the time it needs until Russia to make sure I am completely ready.”
Alonso will not walk midseason – Massa
Fernando Alonso’s former team-mate Felipe Massa says he is confident that he will not walk out of McLaren during the season. This is after Channel 4’s Mark Webber, claimed that the Spaniards growing frustration with McLaren.
The Spaniard is out of contract at the season and it looks unlikely unless McLaren makes significant improvements that they can retain him.
He top Sportv “I think the first thing to understand is that he has a contract. If he leaves now, he’ll be stuck until next year, and for what?”
“He has a huge contract, so he will stay there and fulfil it – although it’s true that anything can happen.
“If he’s thinking of moving to a competitive team, that’s not for this year. Stop in the middle? I don’t think so, but as I said, nothing is impossible.”
Hamilton at a higher level – Wolff
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes Lewis Hamilton is operating at a higher level this season than he has at another point in his four years with Mercedes.
Hamilton has won two world championships since joining the team in 2013 and Wolff believes that Hamilton is even more essential to the structure of the team, saying Hamilton s reaching a new level both on and off the track.
Wolff told ESPN “I’ve been encouraged by how both of our drivers are approaching this season so far. Lewis is the best Lewis that I’ve seen in the last four years, both on and off track.”
“He has become a pillar of this team and he proved that in Melbourne. Valtteri [Bottas] has settled in well and performed at a high level, rising above all the pressure and seamlessly taking over from Nico.”
Hamilton finished second in Melbourne, with Ferrari looking to challenge them all season. But, Wolff says his team had identified some of its weaknesses from its defeat in the first race and would be looking to rectify those issues in China this weekend.
“Australia was the first weekend for the new technical regulations, with a new car, new tyres and a new driver. We collected lots more information that will be flowing into all future thinking and will help us make better decisions.”
FIA to launch Hall of Fame
The FIA are planning to launch the first official motorsport Hall of Fame later this year to help celebrate motor-racing names past and present.
Despite more than a century of history, motorsport’s governing body has never previously sanctioned such an idea that has been adopted by a number of other sports.
President Jean Todt has said that two will open in Paris and Geneva by the end of the year. He said “In December we will open an FIA Hall of Fame. It is something that we have been working on now for two or three years.”
“We will have one Hall of Fame in Paris and one in Geneva, but when you see some of the people who could be represented – some have unfortunately passed away, but when you see the images around it, it is fascinating.”
However, it is unclear if these will be open to the public.