Uncertainty about German GP
The future of next years German Grand Prix remain uncertain as the Nurburgring is yet to agree the deal to hold the race. The grand prix which alternates with Hockenheim is yet to agree a deal to hold the race as they face substantial losses.
The circuit media and marketing consultant since the 1980s Katja Heim said “They will have a race in 2018, 100 percent.” Heim added that Hockeheim would only step in if there was outside assistance or if there was a surge of interest, but that looked doubtful.
“I really doubt that they would do the 2017 race,” she said. “They can’t take a risk and I’m not sure whether there is any party or organisation which would guarantee or help them to avoid any risks.”
Germany was a strong place in the early 2000’s when Michael Schumacher won five of his seven titles when the country held both the German and European Grand Prix’s.
Since Schumacher’s first retirement fans attending the race has fallen. Figures for last weekend’s race was 57,000 below the break-even mark of around 70-80,000 Heim estimates they require to break even.
Chris Amon Who Dies After Cancer Battle
The former Formula One driver Chris Amon has died after a battle with cancer aged 73. His family confirmed this morning that he died in Rotorua Hospital on Wednesday.
Amon made his debut for the Parnell team in 1963 at the Monaco Grand Prix and it was a difficult season for the New Zealander wo suffered a crash at Monza where he broke ribs but managed to score points at Zanvoort. While Formula One was difficult Amon gained wins for McLaren at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans.
This paved his way to Ferrari the following season where he delivered podiums but his achievement was overshadowed by the death of teammate Lorenzo Bandini at Monaco. Amon showed he could deliver good laps by taking a few pole’s but never managing to convert them to wins.
Perez future in sponsors hands
Sergio Perez future in Formula One is out of Force India’s hands because the team has no influence over the Mexican driver’s sponsors. Perez has a contract for 2017 but the magazine Autosport say they have learnt of a break clause.
Perez brings substantial investment from his backers which has prompted interest from Williams and Renault. But earlier this year Force India boss Vijay Mallya said the team were hoping they can retain bot Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, but appreciates the ball is not in its court.
Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley told Autosport “It’s a case of seeing how the promotional side goes. We’d dearly love to keep everyone on board, but it’s their decisions at the end of the day, not ours.”
Fernley added “Vijay’s main objective is to keep the driver pairing together, and that’s what we’re after. But at the end of the day everybody has to make their own minds up. We can only influence the drivers; we can’t influence the commercial side.”
There is no plan to replace Perez and there are no plans to talk to other drivers for Perez to stay Fernley added. Adding “There’s a contract in place, and unless something happens with that I don’t think you can dangle a carrot to another driver. It’s not fair. For me, we’ve got plan A, and plan A is what it is. If that fails only then will we have a plan B”
When about the time to find a replacement, he replied: “It will look after itself. I’m not unduly worried.”
Perez suggested that by the next race in Belgium in late August his future will be resolved.
No star to replace Allison
Ferrari say there are no plans for a star name to replace James Allison as technical director after team principal Marizio Arrivabene, hinted about a different approach to its technical structure instead.
Ferrari suffered a blow following his departure and has in recent races been under pressure from Red Bull. Allison’s replacement Mattia Binotto doesn’t have extensive experience of aerodynamics nor chassis development, but Arrivabene says the teams new approach means he’s the right man.
Arrivabene told Motorsport.com “He will work with the team to help improve the car. All the technicians talk to each other, but the difference is very important: there will be no more of ‘this is ‘Mr X’s’ car’.”
Adding “There will be a car that will be the result of the co-operation between all the working groups involved in the project.” Ferrari had considered roles for Ross Brawn and Toro Rosso’s James Key, neither have shown any interest in getting involved at Maranello.
The team are considering putting in a horizontal structure meaning the technical operation headed up by several key figures – similar to what McLaren has with Peter Prodromou, Tim Goss and Matt Morris.
“We are modifying our technical structure but we’ll complete this operation only when we understand if we already have in the team engineers with untapped capacity,” said Arrivabene
McLaren to continue 2016 program
McLaren say they will continue their development of their current car following the summer break despite the focus beginning to move to next year’s car.
McLaren this season has been one of the most aggressive in terms of bringing updates to its car this season, as it pushes to get itself back into the podium contention. Most teams with the major regulation changes have already moved focus to 2017.
Racing Director Eric Boullier told Motorsport.com “There will still be some car developments after the shutdown. Every development we are doing is obviously applicable to next year’s car, so we focus on this and on next year’s car.”
McLaren are going to bring chassis upgrades with their engine partner Honda expected to be bringing engine updates as they still have tokens remaining. Honda engine boss Yusuke Hasegawa said: “We will not give up with this year. But we have to start work on 2017, so when we have to change our resource to 2017 is a very difficult decision.”