Engineering reshuffle for Toro Rosso
There could be more changes at Toro Rosso with the team poised for an engineering reshuffle that could lead to the departure of Max Verstappen’s race engineer Xevi Pujolar. The news comes a day after it was announced Verstappen has left the team for Red Bull.
Motirsport.com say sources close to the team say that decisions have been made for a reshuffling of the engineering staff. The moves are believed to include Pujolar and Verstappen’s data engineer Olivier Helvig, who are set to leave their positions.
The website says that it comes after rows between engineering staff and team principal Franz Tost following qualifying at last weekend’s Russian Grand Prix. But Red Bull has confirmed that Verstappen hasn’t brought his engineering team with him meaning there future remains uncertain.
This could suggest they will leave the team with Verstappen with Red Bull confirming the Dutch teenager will be using Daniil Kyvat’s engineers. But there has been no official confirmation of this by the team.
Mercedes issues due from growing Ferrari treat
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says the teams technical problems are a result of the growing threat of Formula 1 rival Ferrari. The team looked reliable in pre-season testing but have struggled with a series of problems during race weekends, particularly on Lewis Hamilton’s car.
Lewis Hamilton has been bearing the brunt of the problems suffering two engine failures in Sochi and Shanghai which required parts to be flown in overnight. Nico Rosberg has also sufferd problems forcing him to back off because of an issue on the MGU-K.
In a video on youtube Wolff said “With the regulations staying stable, you want to extract every single bit of benefit out of the engine and therefore it becomes more difficult.”
“Ferrari has made a huge step over the winter and this is why we are pushing boundaries and sometimes when you reach the limits, you just need to find out. And this is where we are.” He added the cause of hamiltons problems is not yet known.
Wolff said Hamilton “ had a cracked carbon pipe which looks like it being a problem on the quality of the pipe itself. We need to look at it. We are trying to analyse and find the root causes for the problems and it’s not evident. It’s a complex issue.”
No sympathy for Mercedes
Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko has no sympathy “at all” for Mercedes in light of the recent agreement on the Formula 1 engine regulations.
Marko believes that new rules which are due to be introduce next year will hopefully bring the our engine manufacturers are eventually within three tenths of a second of one another. When asked by Formula1.com if e sympathised with Mercedes given their reluctant to change for 2017, Marko told Formula1.com: “Not at all. Because it was all about not losing any advantage.”
He added “Now all the teams again have the chance to close the gap. Of course, we are probably the biggest beneficiary as in the past when new regulations came in we’ve always been ahead.” While this seasons races have been closer Marko believes that changes are necessary because o the dominance of Mercedes.
Regulations changes which is set to see significant body work changes from next season will play to the strengths of Red Bull. But “it all depends on whether everything is done the way it has been written down and decided.” He added.
There will always be pressure – Palymer
Jolyon Palmer says there will always be pressure in Formula one and is confident he can improve after a mixed start to his debut campaign with Renault.
Palmer has had a good start to his career out qualifying his more experienced team mate Kevin Magnussen in the next three grands prix and even propped up the field in China. Daniil Kvyat’s demotion back to Toro Rosso has once again shows how breutal the sport can be.
Speaking at a Renault test day he told Sky Sports “the pressure is always on in Formula 1. There’s 22 drivers and everyone’s looking for performance, the team is pushing hard, we’re wanting to deliver for ourselves and there’s a lot of young drivers that are like me last year, wanting to get in.”
“I put myself under more pressure than anyone else can put me under. I want to do a good job for me.” Palmer says that the demotion of Daniil Kvyat was “unbelievably harsh.”
He added “He was on the podium in China, Vettel didn’t like it but he did nothing wrong, go a podium for it which is Red Bull’s only one of the year so far.”
Latifi does his first test for Renault
Nicholas Latifi has taken part in his first Formula One test for Renault yesterday at Silverstone. The Canadian driver was announced as the teams official test driver but needs to work towards earn his FIA Super Licence before he can drive in any of this season’s FP1 sessions.
To get his licence he needed to complete 116km or a 140 laps nearly two and three quarters of a Grand Prix distance in dry and warm conditions.
“I’m really pleased with the way things have gone,” Latifi declared after the test. “The main thing was that I accomplished the 300km minimum distance but we were able to go even further because everything ran so smoothly. That’s a nice feeling when you’re jumping in a car for the first time – especially when it’s a Formula 1 car.”
He said his goal is to build up his confidence and is now applying for his FIA Super Licence and his focus is on his GP2 Season which starts at the Spanish Grand Prix.