Wolff quits as no drive
Williams test driver Susie Wolff who was the first woman to take part in a grand prix weekend for more than 20 years has announced her retirement from motorsports at the end of 2015.
The 32-year old made her announcement on the BBC News’s Breakfast that aim of racing in Formula 1 “isn’t going to happen”. Wolff added “It was a decision I made at the end of the summer. There was very little opportunity to carry on in Formula 1. My goal was to get on to the starting grid and that didn’t look achievable. So I had to call it a day.”
Wolff will race one more time alongside former F1 driver and commentator David Coulthard at the Race of Champions in London’s Olympic Stadium on 20-21 November representing Scotland. Her decision was partly made after Williams ruled her out to cover Valtteri Bottas following his injury in march.
However says she doesn’t “think it was the pivotal moment, but it was one of the moments where I could just see it getting harder and harder.” Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Susie over the years and see her develop as a driver within the team.”
She says she wants to try to help the next generation of women make it in motorsport. Her husband and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says she is unlikely to continue to have an active role in the sport. Wolff has also been linked to join Top Gear.
Renault working at Enstone
Personnel from Renault have begun working at the Louts base in Enstone ahead of their return to the sport next season according to the magazine Autosport.
The magazine also says the former technical boss Bob Bell will return to the team. Bell who left Mercedes for Manor earlier this year worked for the French manufacturer between 2001-10 as technical director. He also stepped into the role of team principal after the ‘crashgate’ scandal.
Bells appointment is part of the slow buy-out of the team as they look to return to the sport next season. Lotus deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi told the magazine “There were a number of meetings that took place right after Singapore. We had various people [from Renault] coming across to Enstone and meeting with our people.”
He added “They sent people across to help us continue the development of next season’s car, and we’ve had marketing and administration people, to finish off bits and pieces and to keep us moving.”
Gastaldi says there is no fixed date for the name change because Renault “have been through the due diligence process, the [Lotus] board accepted and now they are on board already, working, pushing.”
Magnussen if Grosjean didn’t sign – Haas
Gene Haas says his team would have signed the former McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen if they had failed to sign Romain Grosjean from Lotus.
The 23-year old lost his role at Mclaren last month after a impressive 2014 debut season when he was able to out qualify team-mate Jenson Button 10-9. Magnussen said earlier this year he would not settle for another season on the sidelines in 2016.
Haas did make contact with the Dane – but team boss Gene Haas said the fact they were able to persuade Grosjean to join from Lotus. Haas told Formula1.com “”We talked to Magnussen, who was a very good candidate”
Haas added “He was very well respected by the McLaren team. In fact if Romain had declined we would have taken Magnussen as the primary seat.” He revealed that the team was also talking to another driver but after a month of negotiations the unnamed driver eventually decided to stay with their current team.
McLaren confirmed in mid-October that they will not retain Magnussen in 2016, and with Haas announcing Esteban Gutierrez as their second driver in Mexico,
Close to new deal – Stevens
Will Stevens is close to signing a deal with Manor For 2016. The team is currently in limbo after the resignation of two key personnel Team Principal John Booth and Sporting Director Graeme Lowdon.
Behind the scenes, negotiations are continuing with a number of drivers over the only two remaining F1 seats for 2016. The magazine say they understand the Esser and his backers are poised to complete a deal with Manor that will guarantee the 24-year-old’s position on the grid.
Stevens told autosport “Everything is moving in the right direction. I’ve a lot of people working on my behalf, and everything on a daily basis is improving. We are happy with what’s going on and the way we are going forward.”
He added “Obviously I’d love for it to have moved forward quicker than it has, and to say I’ve signed for next year, because as a driver I want to get it done as quickly as possible.” Stevens feels he has done a good enough job on track to prove he is worthy of the drive, rather than finances leading in the decision-making.
Button representing Team GB and England
Jenson Button will represent the UK at this months Race of Champions at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Button will take part for the fifth time and his best finish was the semi-final of the individual event, as well as the Nations Cup for Great Britain in tandem with Andy Priaulx.
He will drive alongside 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series champion Alex Buncombe in one of the two English teams, with the other comprising two-time British Touring Car champion Jason Plato.
Six weeks for track walker
The British man who walked onto the track during the Singapore Grand Prix has was sentenced to six weeks’ imprisonment on Tuesday.
Judge Chay Yuen Fatt gave the sentence after Yogvitam Pravin Dhokia pleaded guilty to the offence which will be backdated to October 16, when Dhokia — who was free on bail at the time — voluntarily returned to custody in the hope of cutting any jail term that would be imposed.
The judge described Dhokia’s action as “selfish and foolhardly” and noted that he had admitted to deliberately entering the track to film the race.