Renault speed up five year plan
Renault has sped up there five year plan following new investment from there parent company. The French manufacture has played down there expectations this season with their goal of being competitive by 2020.
Six months into the rebuilding program Renault has decided it is not prepared to wait until 2020 to be in a position where it is challenging for championships. Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul told Autosport “Talking about investment, the one thing we are doing is bringing forward our plans and increasing the total package.”
Renault when launching their return said they hoped to be back on the podium in 2018. Abiteboul added “We had put together a five-year plan, with an investment package, but a couple of weeks ago we had approval to increase that package and bring it forward.”
“What we want is to make a difference as quickly as possible, and for that there is no better way than to accelerate what we need to do over the five-year plan.” Abiteboul says when Renault brought back Lotus they were completely aware of the finance issues.
He added there was a lengthy diligence process before the purchess of the team and said “Maybe now people will understand why [the takeover] took us a little bit of time to approve.”
Focus for the team will have now switched for the team because of the new regulation changes next season. But Abiteboul said they have been pleased with the long-term progress being made.
Wehrlein to know future after summer break
Pascal Wehrlein says he expects he will know about his future after the summer break following talks with Mercedes. The manor driver is currently on a one year deal with the team as well as being Mercedes revere driver.
There won’t be any seats with their works team next season or the one after but a seat could become free at Mercedes other customer team’s Force India and Williams.
Wehrlein told Autosport “need to sit together with Toto [Wolff, Mercedes team boss] and Mercedes and then we will discuss what the plans are for next year. Then we will start discussions. After the summer break, we will know a bit more.
For now the German’s focus will remain on at least retaining tenth and trying to close the gap to Renault in the championship. Wehrlein said he has already achieved his aim this season to bring points and leapfrog Sauber which brings much needed extra funds should they retain it.
He added “There is always you can do better but we as a team, we did a very good job but also the progress from the first race to now is huge. Now we need to keep going and improve even more and if we can stay in 10th position at the end of the season, we did our job.”
Why McLaren turned down tyre testing
McLaren decide they wouldn’t take part in Pirelli’s tyre testing program as they felt it would have been too much of a distraction. Ferrari and Red Bull began testing the new tyres this week.
Tyre manufacturer Pirelli will test over 24 days new wider tyres with the top three teams over the next three months ahead of a final shake down test in Abu Dhabi. All the teams have developed ‘test cars’ accommodate the wider rubber and simulate the increased downforce loads in 2017, but McLaren opted to reject the invitation to do the same.
Speaking to ESPN racing director Eric Boullier explained “In the end you have to balance the costs and the distraction for your resources. Where we are now obviously, we believe it was better not to get distracted by doing a new car and [Pirelli] testing.”
“There is some learning to do the testing, but most of the data is shared to the non-testing teams and I think that, today, we are not where we want to be so we’d be better focused on making our car faster.” He added
Williams also turned down doing testing because of cost reasons, but technical director Pat Symonds believes the teams testing will be at an inherent advantage next year. When asked if he thought McLaren would be at a disadvantage by not testing, Boullier simply replied: “No.”
Alonso calls for consistent rules
Fernando Alonso has called for “consistency” in the rules for F1, after yet more changes were implemented ahead of the German Grand Prix. A meeting last Thursday lifted the radio restrictions and put in rules to stop qualifying if there were double waved yellow flags.
Speaking at Hockenheim, Alonso bemoaned the constant alterations and claimed it made it harder for fans to follow the sport. He told Sky Sports “It’s not the normal way for our sport to keep changing the rules, and most of the time we go back to what we had two weeks ago, two months ago or two years ago.”
He says drivers try to be on side of all changes because we don’t make them. He adds “we just wait and listen to our teams and what we’re allowed to do or not do in every session, qualifying or race and that has been more or less the same thing for the last few months, because it keeps changing all the time.”
Zero idea for Rossi over future
Alexander Rossi says he has “zero idea” whether he will be driving in Formula One next season. The American driver who drove for Manor in five races last season and finished runner-up in the GP2 championship.
Rossi joined Indy car team Andretti-Herta Autosport, just weeks after Michael Andretti’s team bought up the assets of Bryan Herta Autosport on a one year deal winning the 100th Indianapolis 500. But remains on a one year deal because F1 remains his goal.
He told Motorsport.com: “My role as reserve driver for Manor is that if they’re short of drivers then I’m there to fill in. Whether that is something that happens or not, I have zero idea.
“I’m just focused on IndyCar through Sonoma [the season finale in mid-September]. I’m also focused on looking at the potential future in IndyCar beyond that.”
He says he would be lying if he wasn’t thinking with the uncertainty around Rio Haryanto about driving for Manor at the United States Grand Prix in October. But says “A lot of things would have to align for that to happen, and again, there have been no discussions about it. So given how long things take to happen in this sport, I don’t imagine it’s going to happen.”
Rossi adds he not going to replace anyone at Manor but says he doesn’t know Haryanto’s contractual position. Speaking about 207 he said he has no firm plans but is talking about IndyCar where he hinted he may stat but hasn’t ruled out F1.
Rossi said “ wait and see what happens in the next couple of months.”