Two Grand Prix a weekend
F1 boss Berine Ecclestone says the are considering replacing Qualifying with a race next season. The news comes after yesterday announcement that F1 would revert back to 2015’s qualifying format.
Yesterday also there was a promise of a “global assessment” of F1’s weekend format ahead of next season. The two race format would see the first race being made up by a qualifying session and the second race would see the race result revised to make up the grid.
The format is already used by the sports main feeder series GP2 and GP3. Berine Ecclestone put forward the idea saying “Basically more the qualifying than anything. Maybe having a race on the Saturday which would count instead of qualifying, for example.”
“We’re looking at all these things, which would be for next year obviously. We’ve made a big enough muck up to do that for this year so must not do that again.” Ecclestone has complained the current format does not provide value for money over the first two days of a race weekend.
The current format has two Friday and one Saturday practices which equals three hours, a one hour Saturday qualifying and the race on the Sunday.
Vettel to use second engine in China
Sebastian Vettel will take a second of his five power units at next weekends Chinese Grand Prix after his failure on the formation lap in Bahrain. The four times world champion pulled off and retired on the formation lap of the race after smoke came pouring out his car.
An investigation said it h has determined a software failure caused a problem at low revs. The Scuderia says it was a “very unlikely combination of circumstances” that led to a valve breaking.
The German will now move to his second power unit for the remainder of the season he will only have three more to use. This is the same as in 2015 when drivers had four power units for the nineteen rounds but this season this was upped to five because of two more rounds in Germany and Azerbaijan.
The team are putting measures in place to ensure the problem does not happen again when operating at low revs.
Imola could replace Monza
The magazine Autosport say they have learned that officials from Imola have met with Bernie Ecclestone in Bahrain to discuss the possibility of a return to the circuit.
The circuit has not held a race in ten years and the future of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza with talks continuing between the circuit and Ecclestone but may not be viable for the historic venue. In June the circuit failed to agree a deal because organisers demanded a lower race fee it’s believed.
Imola has been re-developed in recent years but it understood they don’t want to undermine Monza the country’s national circuit.
Imola held the Italian Grand Prix in 1980 followed by the San Marino Grand prix from the following year until 2006. Last June it was reported that Berine Ecclestone has already met with the city’s mayor, Daniele Manca.
Sauber solve cash flow issues
Sauber have solved recent cash flow problems after securing sponsorship from Swedish backers. Yesterday it emerged that the Swiss team failed to pay their staff fully last month for the second month in a row.
The magazine Autosport say they understand that the Swedish sponsor and they will pay their staff by Monday. The team appears to be in a difficult situation and team principal Monisha Kaltenborn has been working around the clock to find more backers.
Its understood that if no deal is done the teams drivers sponsors will step in to pay staff this month. Ericson says he is “100 percent” sure they will be on the grid next weekend.
The team was one of three teams to ask F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone for an advance on their championship payments last year to help liquidity.
Ericsson told Autosport “It’s always tight on money, we’re a small team so we cannot develop like the big guys. I’m here to do my job and maximise my material every time I’m out on track and that’s all I can do as a driver.”
What does Vettel want to change?
Sebastian Vettel says if he could change one thing about Formula One it would be a return to normally aspirated engines. The German feels the problems facing the sport are from the decision to switch to V6 hybrid units and feels it was the wrong direction for the sport to take.
Speaking to Sky Sports he said “I personally think the current power unit regulations are too expensive and it would be beneficial for all the teams and the whole sport to go back to something normally aspirated.”
He says these current power units are too expensive and will continue to be. Vettel added that he thinks “a lot of problems that we face now goes back to the fact it was the wrong way to go. It is easy now to raise your hand and admit that, but we are still stuck with what we have.”
F1 Boss Berine Ecclestone echoed Vettel’s view saying the sport is not for experiments in road car technology.
He said “this [V6] engine is good, I’m told, for the car manufacturers – although nobody can ever use that engine. But if it is and they want to use it to experiment they should use it in the World Touring Car Championship.”