No longer fair competition
Monisha Kaltenborn the team principal of Sauber says the sports financial and governance structure has led to a sport that is “no longer fair competition”.
Earlier this year the team along with Force India made a complaint to the European Union who investigating the sport’s governance structure and prize money system. The investigation will continue regardless of the outcome of the referendum on Britain’s membership despite being registered as a UK company.
Kaltenborn says it is frustrating to see that nothing has been done about what she thinks is an unfair revenue distribution scheme, as teams like hers struggle for survival. Kaltenborn told Motorsport.com “That is indeed a bit disappointing, because we have such a fantastic sport. We have a fantastic product, and controversies are part of our product that also makes it exciting.”
“It doesn’t take much to change it in our sport, so it was of course frustrating because we really tried to talk to the stakeholders and try to get them to change something.”
She believes that it is unfair that only the leading teams get bigger share of the revenues, but are also involved in the rule-making process makes the competition unjust.
“Everyone knows how this deals were done and the worse part about it is not that you want to change something just because you don’t like it anymore, it is having a massive impact on our competition, and that’s the thing we are saying,” she said.
Could biometrics change F1?
In the latest edition of the FIA Magazine the research department has reviled they may push towards using biometrics to review major accidents.
For the first time following Fernando Alonso’s crash in Melbourne the FIA used data from the high-speed camera, installed on cars at the start of this season, in conjunction with its accident data recorder and in-ear accelerometer tools.
In an interview the general manager of research for the Global Institute for Motor Sport Safety Laurent Mekies said it’s a “significant step” had been made but there was still more to do.
“It’s an exercise that never stops, but it is certainly a very significant step. The next step is biometrics – gathering data from drivers such as heart rate, body heat and even sweats levels.” Mekies told the magazine.
“I hope that we will be able to put something on a driver before the end of the season, at least in a test.”
“Biometric data will help us to assess the driver’s conditions before, at the time of the crash and after the crash, as far as the rescue operations are concerned.”
With the introduction of the halo head protection next season there will be potentially more locations for cameras. Mekiues added “You could imagine a million things tomorrow – you could imagine us trying to estimate the loads on the actual upper body of the drivers through the safety belts, for instance.”
Concorde agreement next priority
Claire Williams says she expects the sports key figures to begin talks on a new Concorde Agreement which is due to expire at the end of 2020. It comes after months of debate over regulation changes the focus needs to switch to the binding deal,
Ms Williams says she “imagine now that those have been concluded that we now move on into a period of not only talking about the Concorde agreements for 2020 and beyond, but also what the sport looks like in 2020 and beyond.”
Currently the rules are made by the strategy group, the commission then the World Motor Sport Council for ratification before being written into the regulations.
Autosport asked Ms Williams if the she would like the Strategy Group to continue after 2020 “Falling short of no-one coming up with a viable alternative, yeah. It has pushed through some good things. What’s the alternative?”
“Bernie [Ecclestone] has six [votes], [FIA president] Jean [Todt] has six and the teams have six but they listen to us. I have never experienced a case where they have just gone ‘no’ and bulldozed us. Apart from qualifying.”
The body which represented teams disbanded in 2014, Williams says she does not believe such a body will return in the future but says the teams have proved they are still capable of coming to a common decision.
Brink of being amazing – Tronchetti
The chairman of tyre supplier Pirelli Marco Tronchetti Provera says that Formula One stands on the brink of becoming “amazing.” In Monaco the Italian firm unveiled a prototype tyre which will be ready for 2017.
The tyre width will be increased with the front being 305mm and the rear 405mm. Autosport asked Provera about the challenge of getting tyres ready in time for next year, Provera said: “It’s a major change, but technologically speaking it is very attractive for us.
“People are very much involved and willing to deliver the best possible performance, and these tyres can provide an amazing result. To improve by just tenths of a second you have to do a lot of things on a car and the engine.”
He says these tyres will improve cars by tenths and a lot of speed comes from the other parts on the cars.
“But next year’s tyres look powerful, they give a sense of power, and after the first test in the wind tunnel they are proving the outcome can be amazing, and with lots of fun I hope.”
Pirelli have agreed more testing for these tyres but Tronchetti says that normally “for a new set of tyres for a road car we work with our clients for two to three years, testing 20 to 25 times the tyres.” He said before they had little testing.
Will be able to share more – Key
Red Bull and Toro Rosso will be able to share more technology when Toro Rosso returns to Renault power next season after a year with Ferrari says Technical Director James Key.
The return means that both teams will run the same power unit which means they can once again share components and R&D which will cut costs. Key told Autosport “It always makes sense if you have two F1 teams, to have levels of overlap between those teams.”
“We moved away from Renault as there was uncertainty as to what they would be doing as it wasn’t clear if they would buy (Lotus) and we knew there were some troubles that were affecting both teams a little bit – but a lot of those have gone away.” He added
Key says the reason they originally swapped engine suppliers was for this reason which gives them the ability to come up with solutions which suits both teams and you cut out as a result two R&D streams as you have one.
Currently the share gearboxes but Toro Rosso could effectively become a customer team if they share fuel system, hydraulic systems, perhaps exhaust design, some of the electronics.
Expanding cooperation says the magazine is under consideration but could be difficult as the two teams are based in different countries