Palmer to be more complete
Jolyon Palmer has promised that he will be a more “complete” driver if the French outfit choose to retain him for a second season. The French team has struggled this season but are aiming to win the constructors by 2020.
Palmer and team-mate Kevin Magnussen are vulnerable with the manufacturer looking for an experienced, “leading” driver in 2017. The brit is hoping that with no sign of an announcement soon he can stay and build on his rookie season in the sport.
He told Sky Sports “The main thing for me is to be judged compared to Kevin because he’s in the same car. Early on I’d say he had the upper hand, it’s fair to say, but after the first third of the season we’ve been very, very close.”
“I want to be with Renault [in 2017] and I know that if I am we’ll have a more competitive car. I’ve learned a lot this year, it’s been tough.” He says that he thinks his driving has not been too bad overall but admits there has been few too many mistakes.
Renault boss Frederic Vasseur said that “Jo is improving, step by step. he is doing a good job.” Renault are trying ti keep options open but Sergio Perez seemed most likely candidate, but the Mexican has now been officially confirmed as a Force India driver for next season.
German publication claims that Valtteri Bottas, Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz remain top of the team’s wish-list despite Hulkenberg and Sainz being under contract at Force India and Toro Rosso respectively, while Bottas is expected to stay on at Williams alongside Lance Stroll.
Alonso concerns over escape
Fernando Alonso has suggested that following Kevin Magnussen fire during FP1 on Friday at the Malaysian Grand Prix that the halo should be removable.
Magnussen was force to jump out of his car in the pit lane after his car caught fire which has raised questions about how drivers would escape from the car if the halo was fitted. When asked if he was concerned the halo would have caused complications, double world champion Alonso said: “I think so, yes.
“When I tried the halo in Singapore, one of the things I noticed was getting out of the car is a little bit uncomfortable, where you have to put the feet and where you have to jump.” He told Autosport.
“For this reason they have delayed its introduction just to make sure we cover all of the possibilities. Maybe there is a way of making the halo somehow removable in a way we can jump out of the car a little bit quicker.” The halo was planned to be brought in next season.
Over the pass few races drivers have been testing the halo in practice while the FIA have been carrying out extraction tests. This has been the main area of concern for all drivers, with Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr adding: “My first thought [seeing the Magnussen incident] was it was dangerous, and safety because of the halo.”
Aussie government advisor arrested
The policy advisor to the Australian Defence Minister and Leader of the House of Representatives Chris Pyne, has been arrested for being in a group of men who striped into their underwear during the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Jack Walker was one of nine men arrested following Daniel Ricciardo’s win at Sepang. Picture show a group of men in their underwear holding up an Australian flag, while wearing the Malaysian-themed underwear with the words “budgy smuggler” across the back.
CEO of the circuit Datuk Razlan Razali told New Straits Times the Australian men deserve to be “locked up, investigated and taken action against”.
“This shows a huge lack of respect to us as Malaysians; this is stupid behaviour from foreigners who have no sense of cultural sensitivity and respect. It embarrasses their own country as well, it gives Australians a bad name.”
A spokeswoman from Mr Pyne’s office told the ABC: “This matter is being handled appropriately by the Australian High Commissioner. Until we have a clearer picture of the process at hand it would be unwise to comment further.”
It is uncertain what the men will face but the Treasurer Scott Morrison said it was a reminder for Australians travelling overseas to behave appropriately. Morrison told radio station 2GB: “They’re their laws, their rules, you’re on their ground, so you know you’ve got to comply.”
“It’s a timely reminder for young people when they travel overseas — know what the laws and rules are and respect them.”
Red Bull forced engine failure
Red Bull “forced” Lewis Hamilton’s engine failure during the Malaysian Grand Prix according to their motorsport advisor Helmut Marko. Hamilton retired in the closing part of the race after an engine failure.
Hamilton’s misfortune allow him to make another pitstop without falling behind the chasing Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, who went on to finish first and second. Speaking to F1.com “Marko said We clearly had the upper hand – my guess is that we very likely forced [Hamilton] into that engine failure.”
“We permanently put pressure on him, challenging his lead, as he knew he had to create a gap. To go permanently full throttle was probably not the best thing for his engine.” Marko believes that Red Bull could of won the race even if Hamilton didn’t retire.
He says that the team were in a strong postion and in qualifying the team was a lot closer to Mercedes and clearly ahead of Ferrari. Marko denid that there was a order to hold position in the closing stages.
Perez “happy and proud” to stay
Sergio Perez looks to stay with Force India in 2017 after saying on Sunday he was “happy and proud” to be with Force India. The Mexican has been looking at other options next season but the team had always insisted they had Perez under contract for 2017.
It did take some time to finalise commercial arrangements with the driver and the group of Mexican companies that sponsor both him and the team. Perez’s career was hanging by a thread when he was dropped by McLaren after one season with them in 2013 but since joining Force India he has scored four podiums.
Over the past few year Perez has shown himself to be a strong driver and has more than justified his place at the pinnacle of the sport, despite the fact he brings money to a team to secure his place.
Both Williams and, particularly, Renault were interested in him, but he has decided that Force India is his best competitive opportunity
Mercedes to enter Formula E
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has announced that the team could enter Formula E for the 2018-19 season as a works team alongside Renault, Audi and Jaguar. The FIA has opened bidding for two new team to increase the grid to twenty six cars.
Wolff told Sky Sports “We have been watching the growth of Formula E with great interest. we are looking at all the options available in the future of motor racing, and we are very pleased with an agreement that secures us an opportunity to enter the series in Season 5.”
Renault won the first two championships in 2014-15 & 2015-16 with a team ran by Alain Prost with former Toro Rosso driver Sebastien Buemi being the current world champion. Williams and McLaren have recently extended there partnership with the sport.
In 2018-19 there is expected to be a major regulation changes to allow more development of the cars by teams. The new season begins in Hong Kong this weekend.