Mercedes optimistic with the progress made
Mercedes are optimistic with the progress made in high temperatures and believes that it will perform better in warm weather races in the future.
Mercedes have overworked it rear tyres more than its rivals meaning it vulnerable at races in warmer climates and Mercedes has traditionally overworked its rear tyres more than rivals, leaving it vulnerable in races held in higher temperatures and at rear-limited circuits.
However, Lewis Hamilton’s victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix prior to the summer break was earned in sweltering 33C heat, with track temperature at 57C.
Crucial to Hamilton’s win was a one-stop strategy, with a very long first stint on ultrasoft tyres that set up a long second stint on softs.
Explaining Hamilton’s ability to nurse the tyres, team boss Toto Wolff said after the race: “Free air plays a big role but it’s a little bit of a mystery that sometimes you perform on a tyre and not on the other one. I think it was the other way around with Ferrari.
“More data to collect, more to understand, but the prevailing, overarching feeling for us is that we won the race in Budapest with 60-degree track temperature.”
Wolff says Mercedes believed that it wouldn’t have been achievable and says the team understands more, saying he believes that Mercedes can be more competitive at warmer races.
Hamilton suggested on Friday before that tyre management was the weakness and dismissed others who suggested that Mercedes finding a silver bullet.
“If you look at some of the comments from the last race, it was ‘oh Mercedes all of a sudden knows, this race they’ve made the tyres last’, which is not the case,” said Hamilton.
Technical director James Allison said after the race weekend it was a combination of the 2018 car being kind to its rear tyres, the car’s set-up that weekend and Hamilton’s ability to manage the rubber well.
Another area that Mercedes performed better in was its starts, with Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas keeping Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen at bay on the long run to Turn 1.
Wolff has previously indicated that was a weak point Mercedes needed to address, and Hamilton called it “an ongoing process” over the race weekend.
Hamilton believes Mercedes stronger in first half
Lewis Hamilton believes that Mercedes has performed better than Ferrari in the first half of the season. While it is accepted that Ferrari has pulled slightly ahead of Mercedes, Hamilton still leads the championship.
The surprise dominant win by Hamilton in Budapest in the wet, at a circuit expected to favour Ferrari and Red Bull, allowed him to open a twenty-five point lead over Sebastian Vettel in the drivers’ championship. The Englishman has called on Mercedes to up its game in the second half of the season as it looks to close the performance deficit to the Italian manufacturer.
Speaking to ESPN, Hamilton said, “As I said before I think Ferrari have had a slightly better package but we’ve delivered ours better and hopefully that will make the difference.”
“Hopefully in this second part of the season, we will be able to upgrade our package so it’s a little bit stronger than theirs and if we keep bringing that ‘A game’ then hopefully they’ll have no return to our ace serve.’”
Last years Hamilton returned strongly from the summer break, winning five races from six when he secured his fifth title. The reigning champion also admitted he hasn’t been perfect and he knows where he needs to improve.
Saying “As I said before I think Ferrari have had a slightly better package but we’ve delivered ours better and hopefully that will make the difference.”
Following his sixth victory at the Hungaroring. “Hopefully ” in this second part of the season, we will be able to upgrade our package so it’s a little bit stronger than theirs and if we keep bringing that ‘A game’ then hopefully they’ll have no return to our ace serve.”
McLaren denies Ojjech resigned
McLaren has denied reports that Mansour Ojjech has resigned from the teams’ board after three decades.
According to company documents, on 26 July Ojjech resigned from the board of the team as well as its marketing division and McLaren Applied Technologies which uses developments from F1 in other industries.
However, the Saudi businessman remains on the Ojjech remains on the board of McLaren’s parent company and its supercar manufacturing division. McLaren insists that his resignation from the board of the team is simply part of simplifying its corporate structure.
They say the decision is simply part of simplifying its corporate structure and nothing in practice has changed other than a decision that makes for a more efficient and practical process.
Ojjech has been a director when he brought a majority stake in the business in 1984, although that has been reduced to almost sixteen percent in recent years.
Sixty-two percent owned by Bahrain’s Mumtalakat sovereign wealth fund and the remainder split between a number of investors including Canadian tycoon Michael Latifi who bought a ten percent stake for £203m in May.
These reports come after weeks of unrest within the team, and the resignation of racing director Eric Boullier.
Hockenheim believes it can hold a race in 2019
Hockenheim believes that it can still secure a place on next years calendar helped by the success of this year’s German Grand Prix. Despite the successes of both Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel, the race has struggled with financial viability.
However this years race was the most successful race in a decade and 71,000 fans attended the race, up twenty percent on average from recent years, however, the circuit which only has a bi-annual contract since 2007.
The Nurburgring has not asked Liberty about hosting next years race, and with the races in Miami and others not ready the calendar is set for twenty races. Liberty has never expressed a desire or need to have twenty one races or more, meaning the calendar may shrink to twenty next year, after all, its interest in new venues meant it was considering an expanded schedule.
With those new races not happening, Germany could find a place on the 2019 calendar without presenting a new logistical challenge. Speaking to Motorsport.com, Hockenheim boss Georg Seelier “Logically, we’re negotiating
The calendar may shrink to twenty next year after all, its interest in new venues meant it was considering an expanded schedule.
However, Hockenheim stressed it was not about a stop-gap solution, they want a long-term deal.
Last month, commercial F1 managing director Sean Bratches said that Germany, along with Britain and Austria posed unique challenges because they are not underpinned by government support.
Germany’s minister of transportation Andreas Scheuer was part of discussions during the race weekend, but such support exists on a symbolic level.
While it presented a message to Liberty that the country cares about F1, there will be no public funds for the grand prix. The problem will be whether Hockenheim has the long-term finance to commit to a deal.
Gasly says driveability “more consistent”
Pierre Gasly believes that driveability of the Honda engine is “more consistent” than he experienced with Renault at the end of last season. The Frenchman made his debut with Toro Rosso in Malaysia at the end of last season.
Gasly finished the Hungarian Grand Prix where he started in sixth and believes that while Honda is still making progress in reducing its power deficit to its rival manufacturers, the engine has other strong points already.
He told Motorsport.com, “On the driveability side since the beginning of the year, I think it’s pretty good and more consistent compared to what we had with Renault last year. It’s more on the throttle and the torque you get from the engine.”
“We know where we need to improve, in terms of overall power we need to improve it, but in terms of driveability it’s really good.” Gasly says that the power curve made it good when you need to be at the limit of traction.
Honda’s technical director Toyoharu Tanabe says that it was very difficult to evaluate if the engine played a part. Saying “Honda trackside support thinks the driveability is one of the priority. They are developing it on the Sakura side, we have it here in the real world where the driver is our customer.
“Driveability is the communication between the power unit and the driver, so we need to improve that area and it’s very important for us.”
After a run of races on power-sensitive tracks that exposed the extent of Honda’s peak performance deficit to Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault, the weekend in Budapest was overwhelmingly positive for the Japanese manufacturer.