Third cars backed by Wolff
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff like the idea of allowing third cars for teams to maintain the number of cars. The grid could be reduced to eighteen cars next year if Red Bull and Toro Rosso leave.
The teams owner Dietrich Mateschitz is considering pulling both the teams out of the sport. Wolff says third cars with young drivers will be the solution to ensure the grid was full but hopes F1 will not lose any teams.
He told Autosport “If a team would leave, and we’ve had the discussion about Lotus a while ago, then third cars are the solution to fill up the grid. For me personally it is a pretty exciting idea.”
Wolff added “I’d rather have Red Bull in the sport and third cars and a grid of 27-28 cars, and some exciting young drivers in those third cars.” He said this is a fall back solution and the number one priority is to keep them in Formula One.
Wolff said while he sympathised with Red Bull’s engine predicament, Mercedes’ own performance has to be its priority. Saying “You can’t close your eyes to the fact that this is a platform, and it needs players and it needs a competitive environment.”
Hungary begins refurbishment
Hungoring bosses have begun the first stage of a refurbishment of the track. Owners are removing all the track surface which is around thirty years old in most places dating back to when it was built.
The plans have been in the works for four years with the owners saying in July that the plan couldn’t wait anymore. They plan to rip up to 5CM of the surface and relay it as they believe the rest of substructure beneath it still believed to be in good condition.
The gravel trap at Turn Ten will be replaced with a asphalt run off and new kerbing at some corners. The project will take around two months deepening on the weather.
Also the plans maybe park of a $90 million upgrade with nearly everything being rebuilt.
Nascar better at drama – Haas
Gene Haas says that Nascar is better than F1 at creating drama. The Haas Team will make their debut in F1 next season which will give him a unique position of being able to compare how motor racing’s biggest two categories stack up.
Haas believes as his team continues preparations for 2016, has led him to believe that it grabs the attention in a way that NASCAR is not able to. Speaking about the future of Lotus, Red Bull and Toro Rosso, Haas said “There is a lot of drama.”
He told Motorsport.com “Last year they were thinking three teams were going to drop out, but the reality is that only Caterham dropped out. So there is always this thing that they say two or three teams are going to drop out, but they always seems to show up each year and always go racing.”
He believes that believes that there are big difference between the way that F1 and NASCAR are governed. Saying “The FIA is definitely more democratic, NASCAR is more like a dictatorship.”
“They [NASCAR] kind of basically say: ‘Here is what we want to do’. They listen to your input but they basically make the decisions.”
Wind tunnels gone in future
Mercedes technical boss Paddy Lowe believes that one day teams will not use wind tunnels. However he doesn’t think it will be soon.
The Strategy Group has proposed a ban on wind tunnels however it is not clear how long until they will be banned. With opinions in the paddock over a ban tend to vary accordingly.
Mercedes invested in an upgrade of its wind tunnel in 2012, which has been used to aid the design of the dominant W05 and W06 cars of the last two seasons.
Lowe told ESPN “I think there will come a day when we will stop using wind tunnels all on our own, because new technology becomes superior, but I think the timing of that is a long way off — many, many years.” He says CFD is great to added thr wind tunnel.
But he thinks there is a “overriding safety demand [for keeping wind tunnels]. We’ve seen other formulae in which cars become unstable at high speed. We must make sure the cars are fully validated from that point of view and the wind tunnel, at the moment, is the only reliable way of doing that.”
Gains in aero masked by Honda – button
McLaren has made considerable gains in aerodynamic performance this year but they have been masked by the Honda power unit according to Jenson Button.
This year’s car was designed by Peter Prodromou, who joined from Red Bull in September last year. The car has struggled this year due to a lack of power, but Button says big improvements have been made on the aerodynamics. Speaking to ESPN he said “You can probably see his influence with the way the car looks and the way the ride height is with the car.”
He says “Prod(romou) is coming in at a very difficult time and if he’d came in two years ago then last year would have been a lot more competitive. Now it’s very difficult to see how we have improved with the car balance and its speed, but it’s definitely there.”
Button says the team is hurt by the lack of result but can be encouraged by the improvements it has found on the chassis side this year. He added “It’s tough for everyone. The guys are positive and confident it’s going to improve — and that’s a reality — but they are also hurting as well.”