No increase in power units says Todt
FIA president Jean Todt says there will be no going back on the reduction in engines from four to three next year, despite the fears that it will lead to many grid penalties through the season.
Red Bull has lobbied for the reduction in engine parts not to happen, with team boss Christian Horner saying it is “barking mad” to be cutting back on engine usage with manufacturers have struggled to get through this year with four power units.
However, Ferrari vetoed the moves to change the regulations meaning it will not happen because it needed agreement from all the teams. Todt says while he is not happy about the number of engine penalties this season, there was nothing he can do without all the teams wanting the change.
He explained to Motorsport.com “”It is something that was decided. “Some people are still thinking, why don’t we have one engine for the whole championship? It is not something that is new. It was decided years ago for 2018.”
“”We had some meetings with teams and the way the regulations are made and the governance are made, to decide now to go back to four engines, or let’s go back, we need to be in 100 percent agreement.” While he says there was no option as not cutting back on engines would have created a free for all, plus smaller teams would never be able to afford customer deals.
“I don’t feel it is easy to find the right solution,” he said. “If you don’t do anything – it will be more expensive to buy the engines.
“For the FIA to decide that you don’t have limited amount of engines, it won’t be a problem, but it would be a problem for the competitors. So you have to translate with grid penalties”
Hamilton admits he let things slip
Lewis Hamilton has admitted he let his preparations slip in the final two races of the season after he won his fourth world title in Mexico and has vowed to start next season on top form.
Ninth place in the race secured the Mercedes driver his fourth world title, but at the following two races he failed to secure either a pole or a win. He spun off in qualifying in Brazil before for recovering to fourth and was then outperformed in both qualifying and the race in Abu Dhabi by teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton suffered the same slump in form in 2015 when he sealed his third title with three races remaining, but he is insisting that will not affect him at the start of next season saying it is of “zero concern.”
He told ESPN “There’s zero concern. I think it’s clear that something happens after you win the championship and all I can say is that the week after I won the championship I partied a lot with my family and celebrated, and that’s what you do.”
He admitted sleep and energy was definitely different at the last two races, but he tried to approach them in the same way. Hamilton says that his approach will be the same at the start of the season, as it was at the start of 2017.
Hamilton says his relationship with Mercedes has improved this season and believes that contributed to securing the results necessary to win his fourth world championship. “Each year I’m growing and my understanding of life, the decisions you make and ways of engaging with other people has grown.” He added.
“I would definitely think that over these last year’s my confidence is growing in terms of my approach and how I go about my business.” He says he is not an insecure person and the reassurance from Mercedes commitment at the start of the year helped.
Renault to priorities engine reliability next year
Renault says it will priorities reliability first when they are designing next years power unit after they admitted they rushed through a number of performance upgrades this season.
Despite Red Bull winning three wins this season, the French manufacturer was on power compared to Ferrari and Mercedes. Also towards the end of the season were hampered by a number of engine reliability problems, resulting in grid penalties for themselves and their customers in the final races.
The pressure will grow next season as McLaren and Red Bull will both be supplied by Renault, but Formula One managing director Cyril Abitboul is confident the team has learned lessons for next season. He told ESPN, “The first thing will be reliability because we’ve seen this season that you need to walk before you run.”
“I think on many occasions we’ve been too aggressive in the way that we were trying to bring performance and extra power to the engine too quickly because of the expectation of all customers including the yellow cars [the Renault works team].” Abiteboul says during testing its important that the team does as many miles in testing.
The Frenchman says that they need to take winter testing step by step, getting the mileage done. He added the engine needs to be reliable so Red Bull can get the most out of their car. Both Red Bull and McLaren are hopeful they can fight at the front.
But with the restructuring and rebuilding of the works team over the last two years, he is confident that they can be fighting with McLaren next year.
Adding “”It seems to me that, competing against these cars, that they have a great chassis, so I don’t see why McLaren wouldn’t have a great chassis again next year.”
“I think it should be a strong package and as far as we are concerned, we hope and believe we will be racing against McLaren and so that should provide an interesting show.”
Abu Dhabi showed why change is needed
Formula One CEO Chase Carey says that the lack of action during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was a good demonstration of why the sport has to change.
Speaking earlier this week, Carey insisted that the teams understand the need to create closer competition and better racing despite the agreement its needed there is no agreement on how to create it. He told Motorsport.com “I think there’s broad-based agreement amongst the teams. Obviously, on specifics, there’ll be differences, but there’s broad-based agreement on things we need to do”
“To make the competition better, make the action better, make the sport more captivating, have other cars have a chance to win, have the unexpected happen, and have events happen on the track that really live up to what makes F1 so special.” Carey says that it will be difficult to achieve the changes and bring the fans along.
He believes, however, that longer term and hardcore fans will accept changes. Carey says he does want to bring in new fans while respecting the past, that what has made the sport special.
Carey added “It’s a great sport, with great stars, a great brand, great heroes. It is an incredibly captivating sport which combines competition with state of the art technology, that I think shocks and awes fans. It’s great, but we can make it much better.”