Lotus face uncertain future
Louts will race at this weekend as the team’s future remains uncertain because of financial problems. The bailiffs attempted to impound the teams cars and equipment after Belgian Grand Prix.
The issues come after former reserve driver Charles Pic accused the team of a breach of contract. A spokesman has confirmed that the team’s trucks were heading to Monza for this weekend’s race.
There has been speculation that the team’s former owners Renault could save Lotus and take them over. On Tuesday it emerged in The Times newspaper that F1 boss Berine Ecclestone covered wages of 400 staff.
Ecclestone said “I thought I should cover the wages of the people there to make sure they were all right and so that Lotus would at least get to Spa and, hopefully, to Italy.”
Allison remains at Ferrari– Technical director James Allison is to remain with Ferrari to the end of the 2018 season after signing an extension to his current contract. Allison joined from Lotus midway through the 2013 campaign.
No talks yet with drivers – Manor team John Booth told Russia’s Championat that the team hasn’t started thinking about the teams line-up for 2016.
Red Bull confirm penalties
Red Bull has confirmed that both their drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat will definitely receive grid penalties for another engine change ahead of this weekend’s Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix.
Team principal Christian Horner suggested after the last race in Belgium that it was “most likely” both RB11s would require a sixth engine. Now the Brit has confirmed that Ricciardo and Kvyat will need a sixth element of the power unit will have been used this season.
Horner told Autosport “We’ll be taking a penalty this weekend with both cars, which will be power unit six. We’re out of mileage on the units we’ve got, and we need to do what we can to get to the end of the year.”
He says this was a tactical decision because of the high speed flat nature of Monza. Renault’s power unit has been considerably down on power compared to Mercedes and Ferrari, while even Honda believe they now have a 25hp advantage on Renault.
Honda did there engine at the Belgian Grand Prix resulting in penalties of 105 grid places between them. Until recently, they would have been converted into in-race penalties.
Williams retain Massa and Bottas
Williams have also confirmed that they have retained both Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa for next season. Bottas had been linked to a move to Ferrari before they resigned Kimi Raikkonen.
Williams considered signing McLaren’s Jenson Button if Bottas had left. The Fin will enter his fourth season and Massa his third after he left Ferrari. Bottas said two weeks ago the links to Ferrari were unsettling, adding: “For sure, it doesn’t do any good to my and the [Williams] team’s relationship.”
Co-founder and Team Principal Sir Frank Williams said “To be able to enter a third season with one of the strongest driver line-ups on the grid puts Williams in a fantastic position to continue its momentum towards the front of the grid in 2016.”
The top and the big four teams in the constructors championship have stuck to the same driver line ups for 2016.
Perez close to staying at Force India
Sergio Perez says he close to gaining another season with Force India dismissing reports that he has held talks with Lotus rumoured new owners Renault.
Many of the seats for next season are and have been filled. His team-mate Nico Hulkenberg has already signed a two year deal which the Mexican called “great news” and said he now expected his own future to be resolved imminently.
Perez said last year he was on a “multi-year deal” last year with his position linked to the presence of a number of Mexican sponsors at the team.
Protect historic races – Stewart
Sir Jackie Stewart has called on Formula One to protect historic races as doubts over the future of the Italian Grand Prix.
F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone said last month that there is a “good chance” the race at Monza would be dropped after 2016. There are also doubts over the future of the German GP, which was dropped this season but is penciled in for 2016.
Stewart told Autosport that is not good when the sport started losing the historic circuits. Monza has held every Italian Grand Prix bar one sinice the World Championship began. He said “It would be very negative for Formula 1 and motorsport in general if Monza could not put a deal together, with a possible compromise on one side or the other.”
Adding “No matter where you are in the world, if you say the word Monza, it comes to everyone’s mind what it is – it’s the home of the Italian Grand Prix. The charisma of Monza and the passion of the crowd is in excess of any other grand prix in the world.”