Button enjoys being in the fight
Jenson Button says he is enjoying being able to “fight” again with other drivers in 2016 now that McLaren has become more competitive in Formula One’s pecking order.
It was a difficult season for the British driver following McLaren’s return to Honda power this season has seen a step forward with the team. The team have already scored fifteen more points than last season and are currently seventh in the championship.
Speaking to ESPN Button said “The closer you get to the front the better it is and at least we can fight now. Before we would qualify OK and then we’d just say goodbye to everyone because of our deployment.”
He added “This year we have good deployment, the problem is as soon as we’re in a battle in a race we struggle to overtake because we don’t have certain things we need to help us overtake.”
Button was asked if its more difficult going through an uncompetitive period having enjoyed previous success in his career, the 2009 world champion replied: “It is tough and a lot of drivers would have jumped to other teams, as we’ve seen with many drivers jumping teams.
“Sometimes it works out for you and you jump into a car that is winning and [winning] consistently.” Button is convinced that McLaren has made significant progress over the last year and convinced the team is going in the right direction.
Renault’s search for ‘charismatic leader’
Cyril Abiteboul the managing director Renault says they are looking for a ‘charismatic leader’ to lead there driver line up for 2017. The French manufacturer is currently looking at their current line up as well as others.
There are two names already being linked to the team Force India’s Sergio Perez and Williams’s Valtteri Bottas as well as the current line-up of Kevin Magnussen or Jolyon Palmer. Speaking to Autosport Abiteboul said “from Renault’s perspective, what we are looking to see is people buying into the long-term project.
“We want them to be able to act as a leader and ambassador for the brand – and leader for the team. It’s not easy when you’re young, so there’s more to come from them [Magnussen and Palmer] with their involvement, in their capacity to take the role of leaders. We need that.”
He said that all the big teams all lean towards charismatic leaders and says Renault will need that at some point. With big names all under contact for 2017 it will be impossible to steel one from another team. Adding “So it’s better we do not rush any decision and take more time to form an opinion about who we have in priority, and that is the best way forward.”
Abiteboul admitted that the team has not provided the drivers with a car to prove themselves this season. Abiteboul is not ruling out Mercedes junior and his team’s current reserve Esteban Ocon
Magnussen using 2016 as prep for the front
Kevin Magnussen says he is using this season to prepare himself for the future prospect of fighting at the front of the grid. It has been a difficult season for him and Renault since they took over Lotus.
The team are currently ninth in the constructors’ standings having just one points finish this season when Magnussen claimed seventh place at the Russian Grand Prix.
The Dane admits that thinking about his future prospects has helped act as motivation during a difficult 2016. He told ESPN “You can always motivate yourself by thinking about next year and the year after that, just thinking about the future and try to learn as much as possible.”
He added “prepare for when you get the chance because that’s how Formula One is, suddenly you’re in a car that can win and you have to deliver. So learning and preparing yourself for that time is what I’m doing now.”
Magnussen says it difficult not to be fighting for points and its hard if your chasing someone down and even if you do get him and overtake him — you’re working so hard to overtake him and you still don’t get poi
Renaults best result following points in Russia has been two twelfth places by Palmer. Magnussen believes he has learned a lot during the first half of the season and feels he can be relatively happy with his own performances so far in 2016.
Massa is underestimated – Bottas
Valtteri Bottas says his team-mate Felipe Massa ability behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car is underestimated. The Brazilian who was world champion for a few moments in 2008 is out of contract at the end of 2016.
Massa may have to fight to retain his seat as it is believed that Williams are waiting for McLaren’s Jenson Button to make a decision about his future. Massa has scored 38 points this season, 20 ponits behind Bottas. He finished 15 points behind Bottas last year and 52 further back in 2014.
Speaking to Autosport Bottas said “”He is underestimated – his skills and how he really can be. As a driver, your goal is always to be quicker than your team-mate, which I feel I have achieved so far this season, like last year and the year before.”
Bottas sees no reason why Massa’s place in F1 next year should be in doubt. He added “It depends on Felipe [whether he wants to continue] but personally, I see no reason why he would not continue.”
Technical Director Pat Symonds told the magazine “One of the aspects of the team I am happy with is the drivers. They push each other hard, have similar performance and they do it in a way that puts the team first.”
Adding “Felipe has continued to deliver very strong results and he’s pleased me all the way through 2014, 2015 and continues to.” Symonds says Massa has some really strong fights and he is still very quick.
Massa wants to stay at Williams for a fourth season as he still enjoys working with the team but he has left the door open about a move to another outfit. “I want to stay here but I want to race inside a team where I will be important and where you see it developing.”
News – in – Brief
- Raikkonen ties the knot – Kimi Raikkonen has married his partner the underwear model Mintu Virtanen on Sunday in Siena, Italy. in attendance was principal of the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One team Maurizio Arrivabene and his wife Stefania Bocchi.
- Need “raw speed” – Red Bull driver Max Verstappen says the team just don’t have the “raw speed” needed to challenge and beat Mercedes in the dry. It has been a good season with the team currently second to Mercedes but says Singapore would be the best place to fight them.
I was wrong on Verstappen – Hakkinen
Two times world champion Mika Hakkinen says he was wrong to criticise the age which Red Bull driver Max Verstappen came into Formula One.
The former McLaren driver said Verstappen was not suitably prepared for his 2015 debut season with Toro Rosso, and said at the time: “I would never let a driver as young as that race in F1.” But speaking at Assen home to the Dutch TT Hakkinen admitted he was wrong.
He said “I criticised him personally when he was entering Formula 1, thinking he was too young. “But I was really happy I was wrong, and it has strengthened my understanding that young girls and young boys they are much more ready in this world.”
“Max, obviously, it’s great what he has been doing and when I was a young kid – 16, 17 – when [I was] go-karting, it was amazing. It was incredibly competitive: the materials, discipline, physical efforts – what I needed to perform was at a very high level.”
Hakkinen says people are developing faster and not just in motorsport but in sport and business because of the tolls available or them to study and understand what is happening in this world.
“You can go for it and study as much as you want on the internet if you find the right information. So the life is much more in the fast lane these days. That explains why these young drivers are entering in such high positions.”
He finished by saying “nevertheless you need great talent and commitment, great discipline to be successful and Max obviously has done a great job.”
Kyvat needs to banish psych issues
Franz Tost says he is hoping that Daniil Kvyat can banish the psychological issues currently plaguing his Formula 1 form and remain with the squad for 2017.
Kvyat has struggled to deliver since he was demoted from Red Bull to junior team Toro Rosso. In Germany Kvyat suggested he needed more than F1’s summer break to overcome his problems and that his future was up in the air.
However showed good signs during the race with him acting on instincts.
Though Tost said nothing was set for 2017 yet, with Red Bull steering driver choice for its junior team, he hopes he can keep Kvyat. Speaking to Autosport Tost said “I can understand it [the lack of confidence] because it was a big rotation coming from Red Bull back to Toro Rosso.”
“But on the other side Red Bull – which is the only company in the world which has two Formula 1 teams – gave him the possibility to stay in Formula 1 and continue racing, and he should see this from the positive side.”
Tost says that he need goods results to get his confidence back saying he did a very good race in Germany. Saying that he hopes “that at the next races he gets everything together, and we can provide him with a competitive, fast car. Once he has a good result the confidence will come back.”