Rosberg says Alonso should have replaced him
Mercedes ambassador Nico Rosberg, says he would of rather McLaren’s Fernando Alonso replaced him has Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate. Rosberg retired after winning last year’s championship.
This caused late changes in the driver market with Mercedes eventually signing Williams’s driver Valtteri Bottas to replace Rosberg after Felipe Massa reversed his decision to retire. Speaking to the Marca, the German says that Alonso would have been his ideal choice as a fan, but admits that move wouldn’t have worked.
When asked who he’d have preferred to take his place “OK, because I’m now a fan, and on that side of the fence, it’s very easy to respond. Everyone says Alonso and I say it too because there would be fireworks with Hamilton.
“As a fan, it would be nice, but for the team, it wouldn’t work. They’ve found a great solution. Bottas is fast and though Hamilton will be at a very, very high level and it will be difficult to beat him, I have proved that he can.” He said
Mistake ousting Bernie – Mosley
Former FIA President Max Mosley says that the sports new owners Liberty Media have made a mistake by ousting Bernie Ecclestone. Liberty removed Ecclestone as CEO following their takeover last month.
Ecclestone was replaced as CEO by Chase Carey but remains as ‘Emeritus Chairman’ which doesn’t have a defined role. Liberty is hoping that Ecclestone will continue to offer the board advice.
Mosley said, “If it had been me in the case of Liberty, I’d have kept Bernie on to do the things that he’s superbly good at – such as dealing with the promoters and the organisers and all that side of it.” The former President has a close and important alie of Ecclestone for decades.
Liberty could have concentrated on “doing the things that up to now have not been done” in Formula One such as virtual reality and digital technology. “But of course they bought a business and are fully entitled to come in and think they can run the whole business better.” He added.
Mosley has warned Liberty about making too much radical changes to the sport. Liberty has spoken about changing the format of the weekend and increasing the number of races, creating ’21 Super Bowls’. “You’ve always got to be careful, if it isn’t broke don’t fix it. But they are fully aware of that,” said Mosley.
“They (Liberty) are serious business people. Whether they can deal with everything better than they could have dealt with it using Bernie for the things he’s good at”
News In Brief
- Finnish GP – Finland is exploring the possibility of holding a Grand Prix at the Kymi Ring, which is due to hold a round of Moto GP from 2018. The circuit near the capital Helsinki is currently under construction and is aiming for Grade 1 classification.
- Force India eyewear – Force India have announced the eyewear company Foresight & Vision will be a partner from this season. The company will provide handmade sunglasses for the team and their logos will appear on the cars.
Wehrlein still undergoing tests
Sauber says that Pascal Wehrlein is still undergoing medical examination’s following a crash at the Race Of Champions, following reports he could miss some of pre-season testing.
Wehrlein lost control of his car which led to contact with Williams’s Felipe Massa. Hitting the rear as Massa turned into Turn One, causing him to mount the Brazilian’s car. This launched him over the barriers bringing out the red flag.
German media reported today that Wehrlein had suffered a neck injury in the accident, claiming he could be forced to miss some of the testing that kicks off on February 27.
Sauber response to these claims was “pure speculation”, but did reveal Wehrlein was still undergoing medical tests.
A statement said “Current rumours about Pascal Wehrlein in the media: The medical examinations are still ongoing. Therefore, the reports are pure speculations. We will provide information in due time.”
Wehrlein will race with Sauber this year alongside Marcus Ericsson after having made his Grand Prix debut with Manor last year.
Kubica wants to drive F1 car
Former Renault and BMW – Sauber driver Robert Kubica says he wants to drive a Formula One car again and feels he’s physically able too. The Pole’s F1 career was ended six years ago today, following a rally crash in the Ronde di Andora rally.
However, he has managed to return to motorsport and last year started dabbling in circuit racing. Last year he raced in four GT races and this year is returning to full-time racing in the World Endurance Championship with the ByKolles LMP1.
Kubica has been in contact with teams and has done simulator work earning himself a test. In an interview with Autosport, he said he turned down a test because he did not feel he would be capable of doing a good job, but he does not believe the limitations of his right-arm injury would be a problem now.
“At that moment I didn’t have the confidence to do well. I know that often some chances only come one time, but I always wanted to be sure about my condition and what I can do.”
“And if I was not sure, I always said to myself, ‘forget it’. My physical condition is not a common one, and few people have experienced similar circumstances.” He added. Asked if he would test a car now he said yes, but he thinks he would need to prove himself.
Kubica adds “I have tried many simulators, and I am convinced that I would drive at 80% of the F1 tracks – but not all of them. I also have to point out that testing a Formula 1 car is one thing, a race weekend is something totally different.”
No plans for BMW return
The German car manufacturer BMW says it has no plans for a return to Formula One as it doesn’t fit with their long-term strategy. BMW raced in Formula One from 2000 until 2009, when it pulled out because of the global financial crisis.
There was hope following the takeover by Liberty Media, that the popularity of the sport could entice more manufacturers. The FIA is looking for manufacturers who are not currently in F1, to play a part in planned discussions about engine rules for beyond 2020.
In a statement, BMW told Autosport “When we decided to pull out of Formula 1 in 2009 it was a long-term strategic decision of the company. We wanted to put some of the F1 resources into the research and development of alternative powertrain solutions – and so BMW did.”
“We established ourselves as the leading premium car manufacturer in the field of electric mobility. We are watching the developments in the world of motorsport, but currently, we have no plans to re-enter Formula 1.” BMW currently runs programmes in DTM and GT racing, with plans to enter Le Mans.
BMW is also a technical partner to the Andretti team in Formula E and is evaluating a full entry in the electric-vehicle series for the 2018/19 season. The Magazine has also learnt that Toyota is also not interested in a return.
Toro Rosso launch
Toro Rosso is to launch their 2017 car the STR12, on Sunday 26th of February at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya. The car will be launch on the eve of pre-season testing.
It’s the latest date to be confirmed, in what is scheduled to be a busy week of car launches with Force India, Renault, Mercedes, McLaren and Ferrari are all holding launch events in the week before testing. While Sauber and Haas, are expected to reveal their cars after filming days at Barcelona.
Red Bull is yet to confirm their launch plans. You can see the full list here.