Pirelli’s intense tyre analysis
Pirelli are planning to intense analyse if the testing they have done this week is providing them with the right levels of downforce. Pirelli this week started the testing with Ferrari and Red Bull with them trying the new wider tyres.
The teams have no idea what tyres they were testing but have modified 2015 cars are representative of the downforce levels the 2017 designs’ wider wings and bigger floors will generate. Speaking to Autosport Pirelli motorsport chief Paul Hembery said “We’re happy because finally we’ve been able to start work on the new wider tyre for next season.”
“There is obviously plenty of work to do as we’ve only started some screening work on different aspects of the tyres. It’s just the first step of many towards where we need to get to.” Hembery says the big challenge is to understand how close they are for downforce next season.
The teams have be given the designs by the FIA but they not set they will be able to achieve the required downforce levels.this has a big impact on the way the tyres perform, so a fair bit of analysis of that when we get back, to understand how close they are.
Pirelli will start testing again with Ferrari and Mercedes in between Spa and Monza.
Hembery also praised the driver feedback, with Sebastian Vettel and Esteban Gutierrez having been in Ferrari’s modified SF15-T on Monday and Tuesday respectively, and Sebastian Buemi driving across both days for Red Bull in an RB11.
Tyre selections for Belgium
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have made dramatically different choices to their rivals Red Bull and Ferrari for the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix. The Mercedes duo have chosen four supersofts, Hamilton has six soft while Rosberg has five and Hamilton three mediums to Rosberg’s four.
Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel have seven supersofts, five softs and one medium. Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo have six supersofts, three softs and four mediums. Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas have gone seven supersoft, three softs and mediums.
Most teams have gone the same for both their drivers with the Williams and Renault duo going for seven supersoft, three of the softs and three Mediums. Force India have chosen six supersoft, four soft and three mediums. Renault gone for seven supersofts and three each of the softs and mediums.
Sauber have seven supersofts, five softs and a medium. McLaren have six supersofts, four softs and three mediums. Manor have five supersofts and four each of both the softs and mediums.
McLaren or Mercedes for title hopes
Fernando Alonso says that only McLaren or Mercedes are his chances of winning a third championship. The Spaniard joined McLaren from Ferrari in 2014 and says he has no regrets about leaving the team.
Alonso return to McLaren was at the beginning of the renewed partnership with Honda which has been difficult with him suffering two accidents on track and struggling to regularly to fight at the top end. But some progress have been made.
This season has also seen a dip by Ferrari who have in recent races fallen behind Red Bull. Speaking about the move Alonso told ESPN “I was right. I was right because I felt I was right. In 2014 I made the decision and had two years more on my contract, but felt I was right to go.”
“Whatever results they achieve in 2015 and 2016 or in the future, for me my time there was fantastic and I wanted to finish on that fantastic feeling.” He says it a relief that Ferrari are not winning and having problems but he said the team will always have a special place.
This year Alonso has scored 26 points this season with a best result of fifth at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Speaking about 2017 he said “We really don’t care too much and we are just concentrating on being world champions. Being world champions requires a big improvement for next year and a lot of the efforts for this year are with a view to next year’s car.”
He adds that the teams priority is trying to understand the power unit as its there main limitation. While developing the current car.
no lead under more than a win ahead – Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton says he will not feel he has the lead of this year’s world championship until he is more than a race win ahead of his team-mate Nico Rosberg.
After a difficult start to the season Hamilton has managed to crawl back points and take the lead of the championship last month. But his lead could be short lived as in one of the next two race he knows he will have a penalty for the engine problems in the opening races.
Speaking to Motorsport.com he said “I definitely feel different to being six points ahead. I didn’t know it until I got into the pen that I was 19 points ahead, I hadn’t figured it out.”
“But it’s crazy, I was 43 points behind, now it’s swung the other way… so I’m very happy with that. But I’m conscious that there’ll be at least one race where I’m further behind and I don’t know how much I’ll be able to regain.”
He says Rosberg will be enjoying a Sunday drive as he believes it will be difficult to get into the top end of the points because Red Bull have improved.
If Hamilton wins at Spa taking the penalty at Monza and finishes second he will just hang onto the lead of the title. But then he would need to rebuild the gap in the last seven races when he knows he will take another penalty.
He added “It’s kind of crazy it’s gone by so quickly, it feels like only a couple weeks ago that we were in Barcelona and I was 43 points behind thinking ‘jeez, I might come away 50 points behind’”
Hamilton added that his “engineers and mechanics have all stayed super focused, which has enabled me to do the same.”
Haas aims for more from Ferrari
Gene Haas is hoping that his team can get more out of their partnership with Ferrari after expressing frustration with the Scuderia’s hesitant approach. The American team had a good start scoring 28 points in four races but failed to match it in the last eight.
Haas he felled they could have gained more believing that they could of exploited more as they run numerous Ferrari ancillary parts as well as getting its engines from Maranello.
Haas told Autosport “The model does work really well with Ferrari, and if anything I hope we can get more out of it too, There’s always been some hesitation on Ferrari’s part, as far as working with us, because of the FIA regulations.”
Adding “So they’ve been very, very careful to be sure they follow everything by the rules, and we’ve been very upfront with the FIA about exactly what they’re doing. In retrospect, I think we could’ve done more.”
Haas said the team could have done more in the development of the car saying they have struggled to understand there chassis and says while Ferrari supply a lot of there parts its for they to understand how they work. Also they need to be mindful of ensuring everything is above board and acceptable to the FIA.
But he believes Ferrari has been too wary. “Ultimately Ferrari has a goal, and that is to beat Mercedes, just as we have a goal to beat some of our competitors at the back, so it’s kind of the same goal,” said Haas.
Bottas heads to Rio
Valtteri Bottas has headed to Rio ahead of this years Olympic Games in support of his girlfriend Emilia Pikkarainen. Pikkarainen will compete for Finland in the swimming.
The Fin won bronze earlier this year in the European championships in London.