Kyvat full of confidence
Daniil Kyvat says he is coming into next season full of confidence saying that his worst days at Toro Rosso are behind him. The Russian was demoted from Red Bull in May, which started a down turn in form.
At his lowest point in Hockenheim Kvyat appeared to be a broken man, after he was knocked out in Q1. He began questioning himself, saying “I don’t know what’s going on at the moment. I think I need more than a summer break.” But since that low he came back stronger following the break, thou the Toro Rossi was falling away.
When asked by ESPN how he feels about the season ahead he said “I was feeling good in the car [in the final races]. Me and my engineering crew were feeling confidence when we started doing our own thing.”
“we are very pleased with how everything worked. We hope to carry all of this into next year” he added. Speaking about the difficult moments last year, he says he’s pleased with how he responded to the set back.
“then they drop you like this into a car that’s difficult to drive, [immediately struggling] is what you have to expect more or less! It took time to be at my Red Bull.” He said the summer break was key as it relaxed everything and that he had more control over everything.
Tyre management frustrates Hulkenberg
Nico Hulkenberg says he hopes that the new tyres will allow drivers to push more, as the tyres used in recent years has been frustrating. This season Pirelli have been asked to give tyres with lower tyre degradation and a bigger operating window.
This season the balance is moving towards out-and-out speed and away from tyre management. While the German backs the change in philosophy, he is unsure if the tweaks will come to fruition this season.
When asked by Motorsport.com if he was optimistic of the direction taken by F1’s new-for-2017 ruleset as a whole, Hulkenberg said: “I am not sure. I don’t know at the moment how those cars and tyres will behave. It is a bit early for that, as I haven’t felt and run those tyres. We will only know better once we start testing and have done a few races.”
Adding that he hopes that the cars will allow a bit more pushing and not as much management, but is unsure if that will allow drivers to push more. Asked if tyre management was frustrating he said at certain moments but it’s a different challenge.
“Sometimes you feel like you are limited, as naturally your mindset is you want to push all the time. It is not always possible and you need to decide when you pick your battles and decide.” He added.
Mercedes to launch on 23rd February
Mercedes have announced they are to launch there 2017 car at a shakedown test at Silverstone on the 23rd of February. The current champions will be the second team to launch after Ferrari.
Mercedes are launching on a film day this allows the team to carryout limited running before the first pre-season test in Barcelona the following week. Under the team has opened a competition for fans to attend the launch event.
While Mercedes has finalised plans for revealing its 2017 car, it has yet to announce its driver line-up.
Braver drivers to be rewarded – Horner
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner believes that the ‘braver’ drivers are to benefit from this year’s regulation changes. This season the biggest regulation changes since 2009 are being introduced.
The 2017 cars will feature more aggressive looking cars which have been achieve by wider tyres and wings with the aim of making cars around five seconds faster a lap. Horner says these changes will differentiate the ‘braveness’ of the drivers.
Horner told Crash.net “It will balance it up a bit. The cars will be more physical, more challenging and it will differentiate the drivers more than what we see at the moment.”
The braver drivers will be awarded and it will be a more exciting spectacle as well.” The cars he said will achieve something “quite special” in terms of cornering speeds. Red Bull are the team with the most to gain this year, it is widely expected and hope that Renault can deliver more in terms of straight line speed.
Red Bull are entering their first full season with the line-up of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, which Horner says presents a exciting opportunity.
He added “We have a strong team, a strong driver pairing and we have all the ingredients to put a strong campaign together for next year. Hopefully we’ll close that gap down to the dominance we have seen with Mercedes.”
My immediate impact – Brown
Zak Brown says his impact as the new executive director can be felt immediately by the McLaren.
Brown arrived at the team at the end of last year following a coup which saw long-time chairman Ron Dennis ousted as chairman. Brown reviled that the team overspent by £8.1 billion last season and there dip in form has seen them lose money from FOM.
Brown said “”I definitely would be shocked if I didn’t have some commercial contribution in 2017.” Meanwhile, he downplayed talk that McLaren will be sold. Rumours persist that McLaren is a target of Apple or possibly a Chinese group.
He told the Financial Times “That’s for the shareholders to decide. (At the same time), I would not be surprised to be sitting in a McLaren uniform at a Grand Prix 10 years from now.”
Honda expected more last season
Honda boss Yusuke Hasegawa says that the Japanese manufacturer expected more last season, despite their improved performance in power and reliability.
Last season, Honda power unit made a good step forward from 2015 moving up to sixth in the constructor’s championship. However they are still hoping for better he said. He told Autosport “ was obviously terrible, but it was the first year to prepare everything.”
“That was a stage we needed to overcome naturally and from that point of view, the progress is natural. But I did expect a little bit more. I hoped we would have done a bit better.” Hasegawa admitted that McLaren had underestimated there rivals saying they weren’t expecting Haas and Force India to build “such good cars.”
Hasegawa pointed out that Honda’s strength is reliability and that meant they could now focus on finding performance. In 2015 the team used twenty three units across the season compared to just eight between Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
McLaren drivers required 109 components in 2015, exceeding the amount allowed, but were down to 83, last season. Hasegawa says “we have some issues, but mostly we have managed our weekend programme very well and this has allowed us to realise our performance.”
Hasegawa said he had preferred to avoid any risks with reliability.