Renault’s optimism for Montreal
Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul says his teams is optimistic for the Canadian Grand Prix weekend as a result of its power unit update. Renault introduced a b-spec power unit in Monaco.
They had a mixed weekend as Daniel Riccardo took pole for Red Bull but the works driver Kevin Magnussen had a difficult weekend and eventually retired. Red Bull was pleased with the progress and attributed the pole to the new power unit.
Abiteboul admits it was a disappointing race for Renault in Monaco but believes the “full benefit” of the power unit upgrade will be seen in Montreal.
He told F1i “Sometimes it’s best to look forward and not reflect too much on the last race. Monaco was not kind to us this year, with a multitude of issues, so it’s definitely best to focus on Canada.
“There are a number of reasons we can be optimistic for Montreal: the main one being that both drivers will have the new power unit upgrade for the first time.” He added.
Technical director Nick Chester is also excited to see the full potential of the upgrade, with Jolyon Palmer also receiving it in Canada. He added “It’s a good step forward and we have it in both cars in Montréal.”
“In Monaco we were able to benefit primarily from the improved driveability whereas Montréal is more a power track thanks to its straights following slow corners.”
Difficult decision on development
Four times world champion, Renault Ambassador and Channel 4 pundit Alain Prost say the team faces its “most difficult decision” over when to stop developing its underperforming 2016 Formula 1 car and plough its resources into 2017
The French manufacturer has had a difficult return to the sport which they expected but there customer team Red Bull have shown that there engine is competitive. Like all teams they face the question of when ti switch development to 2017, with major regulation changes.
Autosport asked Prost if the t where the team should place its resources, “I think that may be the most difficult decision to take. Given where they are in terms of the chassis, which is obviously not very good, you have a good reason to say ‘OK, we stop development and we go to ’17’.
He added “But more or less we also have the same good reason to say we have to develop because we need to understand to go ahead. When you are talking about motivation and psychology, staying at the back is not very good for the team, so it’s a very difficult decision.”
Prost says he was surprised by the progress shown by Red Bull with the new power unit. He says “Here with the engine what we have seen is an improvement, which is quite surprising, but again that’s typical F1.
“Things can change. Sometimes what you get is that you pay for making a decision, or not making a decision, two or three years beforehand when you are committed to something.
Plenty to be proud off
Claire Williams says her Williams team has plenty to be proud of, despite not having been able to match rivals like Mercedes or Ferrari. the team has finished third in the constructors championship for the last two years.
Williams are unable to compete with their works rivals has they operate on a smaller budget. Ms Williams says she would want her team to fight for victories, she concedes the realities of the budget make it almost impossible.
“If you look at it from a pure racer’s perspective, and idealistic perspective, then of course it is disappointing, because we want to be up there fighting at the top,” she told Motorsport.com.
“But we have to bear in mind where we came from, and how far ahead Mercedes were when we all came out in 2014. It has just been a continuous game of playing catch-up.”
Williams added that the team considers they “ have done a good job and we should be proud of the job we have done to be in that position, fighting against teams. but teams with budgets three times the size of ours and keeping the teams who are behind us, behind us.”
She said it was “frustrating” that the team has dropped to fourth this year behind Red Bull, admits finding the right balance between budget and development is tricky.
Good as ever Monaco proved – Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton says his first win of the season is evidence that he is as good as ever following a difficult start to the season. Hamilton took his first victory at the last race in Monaco and his first since October last year cutting the gap to Nico Rosberg to 24 points.
Speaking to BBC News Hamilton said “I’ve proven that I’m just as strong as I’ve ever been and I will be for the rest of the year. There’s a long way to go yet, though. We’ve seen from the first six races that anything’s possible.” Rosberg won the first four races when Hamilton ran into a series of problems, errors and technical failures.
Montreal is the track where he took his first victory in 2007 since then he has taken four victories. Last year he said on the podium “I love Montreal” after winning the race.
“Montreal has always been a good track for me, so hopefully I’m able to shine like I did the first time I went there in that great city atmosphere.”
Very real treat – Wolff
There is a “very real treat” coming from Red Bull which underline the work Mercedes have to do if it is to retain its Formula 1 titles this season says there motorsport boss Toto Wolff.
Red Bull took advantage after both Mercedes took each other out in Barcelona and had a very strong weekend in Monaco where they looked on course for victory until a pitstop error. Wolff Told Autosport “I’ve said this many times before, but we have no breathing space in this championship,” he said.
“Maintaining any advantage is a constant battle, and the pressure is only getting bigger. This unpredictable season has been great for the sport and shows that Formula 1 is alive and well, but for us as a team there is clearly work to do.”
He added that he recognises that Mercedes can’t be looking over to be caught by Ferrari and Red Bull. Who he says “We’re trying to follow our path, develop the speed we have identified is necessary to win the title and that is more important than looking at the competition.”
Tyres for Baku
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have taken different options for next weekend’s Grand Prix of Europe in Baku. Pirelli chose not to put the ultra-soft tyres which are intended for circuits like Baku, instead they choose the mediums, softs and supper soft tyres.
Hamilton has chosen one set of the mediums and four sets of softs while Rosberg has two sets of mediums and three sets of softs, both the Mercedes have chosen eight sets of the supersofts. The Red Bull, Renault, Toro Rosso and Haas drivers will have eight sets of supersofts as well.
Ferrari and Williams’s Felipe Massa have seven sets of the supersoft, five softs and two mediums. Sauber has gone for the least super-softs, with Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr choosing just six sets each.
No team has taken more than two sets of mediums, with soft choices ranging from between three and six sets.