Russia must be our low point – Arrivabene
Maurizio Arrivabene says that Ferrari must ensure the Russian Grand Prix was the lowest point of its 2016. While the team finished third in the race the team was around a second off the pace.
They also lost Sebastian Vettel after he was caught up in an accident at the start of the race. Arrivabene refused to come up with excuses for their problems and said they can’t make any more mistakes. He says that the next two races in Barcelona and Monaco play to the teams hands because of d the effectiveness of Ferrari’s combustion upgrade
He told Autosport “On this track, it was expected but I don’t want that to happen again. First of all, we don’t have to make any more mistakes on our side. Second, I really trust that from now on we can perform much better than we are performing now.
“Because the configuration of the tracks that are coming and because of the tokens that we spent – we are happy this is going to help us more in Spain than the track in Russia.”
Arrivabene says Ferrari have made things harder for themselves but refused to give up on the championship saying “If I had to define the championship this year, we are not the kind of team who like to win comfortably and we are looking for a big challenge,”
Russia could hold more races
Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko has played down suggestions that the country could hold more than one race a year. In Sochi Bernie Ecclestone said he is so happy with the race and Vladimir Putin’s support that he would like to see more Russian grands prix take place each year.
Kyvat could hold talks over future
Red Bull Daniil Kyvat will hold talks with Red Bull over his future with the team after team bosses called the Russian Grand Prix “a day of disaster”. The Russian upset Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel on the opening lap for the second race in a row.
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko didn’t defend the Russian telling City AM “It’s a pity because he did not only ruin Vettel’s race and Ricciardo’s race, but also his own race. He had to do an extra stop.
“It was a day of disaster for Red Bull. In contrast to Shanghai [where Kvyat also tussled with Vettel] I understand him [Vettel] completely this time. He is right. Let’s cool down a bit. During the week we will talk about this. I said one word to him. The rest still has to be said.”
Kyvat finished fifteenth in Sunday’s race which may see the pressure build on him as there has been reports that Marko wants to promote Max Verstappen and make the unpredented move of returning him to Toro Rosso.
Mallyas issues not impacting Force India
Force India’s Chief Operating Officer Otmar Szafnauer, says that the current financial troubles of owner Vijay Mallya are not impacting on the teams operations. Today Mallya resigned from his seat in the Indian parliament ahead of a report saying he should be expelled from the house.
Mallya says he is in “forced exile” in the UK as he faces increasing pressure from banks in India to repay hundreds of millions of pounds worth of debt related to the defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
Mallya told the Financial Times “We have always been in dialogue with banks saying: ‘We wish to settle’. But we wish to settle at a reasonable number that we can afford and banks can justify on the basis of settlements done before.
Szafnauer insist the issues facing Mallya will not have a big impact on the way the team is run.
“Well, we’re all used to seeing Vijay at the circuits, but he has many business interests and at the factory he used to come at Christmas time and also around Silverstone, so from that regard, from an operational standpoint I don’t think it has a big impact on the team,” he told ESPN
“I know he’s working hard with the Indian government to resolve his issues and hopefully soon we’ll see back at the races.”
Significant upgrade for Spain – Boullier
McLaren racing director Eric Boullier says the team is planning to b ring a “significant” upgrade to the Spanish Grand Prix. In Sochi the team achieved there best result since the Hungarian Grand Prix last July with Fernando Alonso finishing sixth and Jenson Button 10th.
The Frenchman said after the race that McLaren would have matched the pace of Williams, which finished fourth and fifth, had it not had to save fuel. Boullier “We have a significant upgrade for the next race in Spain. Monaco should suit us, so we should be more competitive in Monaco, but Barcelona I don’t know.”
He added that he was happy with the Honda’s general engine performance but added it “could be a little bit better”.
Jenson Button appeared to agree with saying “The potential is there and there are some circuits coming up now that will suit our car even better, like Barcelona and Monaco. So [I have] high expectations for those and hopefully we execute it OK, those weekends, and we maximise those points.”
Tyre selection for Spain
Mercedes and Ferrari has for the second race in a row taken different tyre options for the Spanish Grand Prix. For this race teams could pick from the orange hard, white medium and yellow soft tyres.
Mercedes have selected seven sets for each driver of the yellow soft tyre while there main rivals Ferrari have selected eight of the soft compound. For the white medium tyres Mercedes have five sets and Ferrari have four. Both Williams have seven soft five medium and one hard.
Red Bull have both their drivers on two sets of hard, four sets of mediums and seven sets of soft tyres. Manor and Sauber have set their drivers up with the same tyres but Manor have picked six softs and five mediums with Sauber doing it the other way round with both teams picking two sets of hard.
Jolyon Palmer has chosen one more set of the mediums, while Renault team-mate Kevin Magnussen has favoured an extra set of hards.
Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr selected one more set of hards compared to Max Verstappen with the latter going for another set of mediums.
At Haas, Romain Grosjean has chosen the fewest sets of mediums – three – of all drivers while his team-mate Esteban Gutierrez has taken four.