Early stage of Aston Martin return
The Deputy Team Principal of Force India Bob Fernley says the team is in the early stages of discussing a deal with Aston Martin are in early stages and that any deal is “still a little way off”.
In Mexico team owner Vijay Mallya said there are discussions going on with Aston Martin. If the deal is agreed the team will be rebranded as Aston Martin with the whisky brand Johnnie Walker being title sponsor but would continue as an Indian registered team.
If the team was rebranded it would be the fifth time since the Jordan days in the early nineties. The other names were Midland F1 and Spyker F1. Fernley told F1i “Two things: one is I think it’s a shareholder issue and is a discussion [that is ongoing] with Vijay.”
“And secondly it is still a little way off. It’s got to be credit to the team that they are attracting such a great brand as Aston, even if it is just for discussions.”
Mallya has confirmed the plan would be to continue as a indian registered team.
Nurburgring hoping to return
The Nurburgring is back in talks with F1 boss Berine Ecclestone with the hopes of returning in 2017.
The circuit in Germany was due to hold the race under the agreement with Hockenhiem which means they hold it every other year. But they pulled out because of financial difficulties and changes of ownership eventually forced to pull out last winter.
Ecclestone hoped Hockenheim would step into the breach and take up the July 19 slot, but negotiations failed, ensuring there was no race in Germany this year, for the first time since 1960.
Speaking to Autosport Nurburgring CEO Carsten Schumacher said: “We had long discussions about Formula 1 this year. We were very committed to making sure we had a race, and I regret it did not occur at the end of the day, but we could not and would not bear alone the risks.
He says he has regrets that the race was cancelled but it was a business decisions.
Adding “We strive for a Formula 1 race in 2017 and are in appropriate discussions with Bernie. The theme of Formula 1 is not off the table. I hope Formula 1 will return to its former strength, and if the value for money is true, then we will [return].”
May retire in 2016 – Massa
Felipe Massa has told the Brazilian media that he will retire from the sport at the end of next season if he cannot secure a competitive seat. The 34-year old is currently the third oldest driver on the grid.
Massa joined the sport in 2002 and next year it will be his fifteenth season. During his career he has driven alongside legends Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso. He also narrowly lost out to the 2008 championship by a single point to three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.
Since is life and death crash in Hungary in 2009 he has struggled to return to the form he had during 2008. Speaking to UOL Esporte he said “Next year will be the last of my contract. so I think it will be the most important season to understand if I continue or not.
He added “I will be in F1 if I have a team like Williams, where I am very happy to drive and they are also happy to have me. When you love working somewhere and feel loved as well, that is what gives the motivation to continue.”
Labelling us Ferrari B Team no problem
Gene Haas has no problem with his team being labelled a ‘Ferrari B-team” and predicts it will have a better chassis than the Prancing Horse in 2016. The team will join the grid next season.
The label ‘B-Team’ came after Haas brought as many parts from the Italian team and is working with Ferrari on the design of its 2016 car it is also in partnership with Italian chassis manufacturer Dallara.
They will use Ferrari’s engine, transmission, suspension but he is confident that there car will be “substantially different” to Ferrari.
He told Sky Sports “there’s still a lot left that we have to do. We’re doing our own CFD computer analysis on our own, we’re also working with Dallara on a lot of the analysis of the body structure, but we’re building those parts ourselves.”
He adds Haas are taking a different design approach than Ferrari is and we think it’s probably a better.
He says there is no negativity in being labele a ‘Ferrari B Team’ saying “we’re going to have some of the best equipment out there to compete with these teams. I don’t think we could beat them at that.”
Sorry for European GP / Le Man clash – Todt
FIA president Jean Todt has apologised for the clash that puts next year’s Le Mans 24 Hours up against Formula 1’s first grand prix in Azerbaijan. The change came following teams calls for a four week break in August.
The race was planned for July. Todt has suggested pushing the race to early evening but says that organisers could move the races to different times moving Le Mans to an earlier start and the Grand Prix to a later start.
He told Autosport “Organising the calendar is a very tricky job because you have 21 races in Formula 1, 10 races in Formula E, 10 races in World Endurance and 14 [world championship] rallies.”
But all hopes rest on next month’s final World Motor Sport Council meeting of the year in early December.