Carey first 100 Day’s – Ecclestone stunted growth
Formula One boss Chase Carey has accused his predecessor Bernie Ecclestone of stunting the growth of the sport in the last few years as CEO.
Speaking on the eve of his 100th day as the sport’s boss, Carey says the Ecclestone’s failure to create a long-term vision for F1 has left the sport behind its rivals. Carey has also defended the changes that they have made.
Speaking about the making the changes, Carey said “Day-to-day I find a level of frustration. It was very much a sport that got into a habit of saying ‘no’ too much.”
“I want to be saying ‘yes’ to a whole lot more. What is the value of having an idea if the answer to everything you want to do is ‘no’? All it does is create frustration.”
Carey says there was a number of things which needed to be done that wasn’t done in the past six years which could have been done for the sport to get to its full potential or taken advantage of what was here.
Carey said Ecclestone deserves credit for turning Formula One into an eight billion dollar business. Saying “But in today’s world you need to market a sport. We were not marketing the sport and the ‘divide and conquer’ used by Ecclestone was over.
He said “But in today’s world you need to market a sport. We were not marketing the sport.”
Carey said that there is now consensus on the way ahead. Looking at not three months in advance but on long term value.
Renault push back upgrades
Renault has pushed back their plans to introduce an engine upgrade as they work to ensure there are no reliability risks as a consequence of the changes to their power unit.
The French manufacturer had originally hoped to bring the latest development of their power unit for next month’s Canadian Grand Prix. However, the team have concerns about the durability of the engines in dyno tests.
Speaking to Autosport, managing director Cyril Abiteboul said “We want to do that before the summer break. We want to keep it in sync with the power unit integration, and we want to do that with power unit number three if possible.”
Teams should be switching to their second scheduled power units this month and their third in July. Abiteboul said “It is something that is still work in progress. We are touching some limitations.”
“but we believe the concept that we have introduced this year is the right concept. There is innovation in the pipeline and there is performance in the pipeline.” However, says they know there is fragility in the system and we know we need to cope with that.
Despite holding back on the updates at the moment he said there is potential to close the deficit during the season.
Grosjean elected as GPDA Director
Romain Grosjean has been elected as a director of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association. The Frenchman replaces Jenson Button who stood down last year following a sabbatical.
Grosjean said: “I am proud to have been elected by my peers. We race drivers don’t always hold the same opinion but we are united in wanting the best for our sport.”
Grosjean’s appointment means he will be campaigning officially for the introduction of additional head protection in F1, something to which he is personally opposed. The vast majority of drivers are in favour of such a system.
BBC News say they understand that a meeting between the GPDA, Chase Carey and Ross Brawn sought closer cooperation free of influence from the teams. Wurz backs constructive conversations that establish a majority opinion.
Wurz said, “Drivers prefer to support F1, and that means some topics should not be debated in the media, because safety should at no point become a political matter, as the halo has become.”
Wurz said the GPDA backed the direction F1 had taken in 2017, with new rules producing faster, more demanding cars.
McLaren hope the shield can be tested at Monza
McLaren are hoping that there is a version of the ‘shield’ cockpit protection device at September’s Italian Grand Prix. The shield was established as the preferred option in China, by the drivers and teams.
All cars last season tested the halo. The Shield remains still an outlined concept that hasn’t been extensively tested, but the team’s racing director Eric Boullier is hopeful there will be a device ready by the time the season reaches Monza.
Boullier told Autosport “We just got the drawings a couple of days ago from the FIA. We are pushing for Monza at least to have something to test on the car – so we’ll try our best to be ready.”
But Renault’s Jolyon Palmer says the drivers are still a split between backing either the halo or shield device or preferring no head protection at all.
Fernando Alonso believes some form of head protection will be supported, so he feels it is the job of the FIA and teams rather than drivers to achieve a solution.
Alonso said “For us and all the drivers I guess and the GPDA, we will always confirm that we are happy to have extra head protection. So it’s down to the FIA and to the teams to accomplish this.”
“We don’t have much information about this new device. We only saw the drawings and things so we need to be sure it’s safe enough or is in most of the cases as good as the halo.”
Alonso @ Indy – he is the “real deal”
Fernando Alonso has been described as the “real deal” following his successful maiden test to allow him to complete at the Indianapolis 500 later this month.
After a tough weekend in Sochi where he didn’t start, Alonso was in action at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the mandatory Rookie Orientation Programme.
Driving a Honda-powered Andretti IndyCar decked out in McLaren’s revived orange colours, Alonso passed the various speed tests in around an hour of running to qualify for Indy 500 practice
He told Sky Sports “The first couple of runs were very different from what I’m used to driving, just the oval and the actual car. But I probably got up to speed quite quickly and now feel a little bit better.”
“”It was very different. The speeds are so high and you need to trust the car a lot when you approach the corner. You’re still flat out on the corner with the G-force, the compression, the banking so definitely a new experience.”
His team-mate Michael Andretti says Alonso gets it and you can see why he is “one of the best in the world.” Alonso yesterday did 110 laps reaching a top speed of 230.946mph.
Andretti added “He’ll be fine. He’s a race car driver. He’ll leave today pretty confident.”
McLaren wants the fastest gamer
McLaren has launched a competition to find the world’s fastest gamer to become the team’s simulator driver. The team and Logitech today revealed details of its ambitious plan to find the ‘World’s Fastest Gamer.’
The prize will be a one-year deal as simulator driver and will get to work with engineers at McLaren’s factory and at race tracks. The competitors will be pitted against each other on different platforms to be selected as finalists.
Team boss Zac Brown told Motorsport.com “This is a hugely exciting opportunity – not only within the gaming industry but for everyone at McLaren.”
“We’ve long witnessed the growth of online sports gaming, and, right now, the parallels between the real and the virtual worlds have never been closer.” Brown described it as a unique and exciting prospect which connects racing and gaming.
Esports is one of the fastest growing sports in the sport, with revenues now overtaking those of more traditional Hollywood movies. The global gaming industry is worth more than $100 billion.