Speed but not results satisfies Raikkonen
Kimi Räikkönen says that his speed but not his results has satisfied him this season. The Finn is currently fourth in the driver’s championship, with 116 points.
It has been an impressive season for the Finn, he took his first pole since 2008 in Monaco and has scored four podiums. However, that first win since the 2013 Australian Grand Prix still alludes him and he is 76 points behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
Asked by Motorsport.com to give himself an appraisal of his season, he said “Personally, I’m not happy with the results. I want to win races, I want to be up there all the time, and that hasn’t been the case this year too often.”
“I know when things are correct and there are quite a few things that happened and you pay the price for it. Driving-wise, I have the speed, so I’m not worried about that. It’s about putting things in the correct places.”
It is understood that Ferrari is thinking and leaning towards retaining both Raikkonen and Vettel next season. However publicly he hasn’t said what he wants to do next year, but he says that he has told Ferrari.
“I’m not very happy where we have been finishing, considering all the races so far, but this is what we’ve got so far – we cannot change it. Is that enough whatever happens in the future? I don’t know. We’ll see at some point.”
Raikkonen says his only goal and reason he is in Formula One is to do well.
Alonso won’t miss Singapore
McLaren has dismissed the suggestion that Fernando Alonso could miss next months Singapore Grand Prix, to contest the IndyCar finale in Sonoma.
The Spaniard missed the Monaco Grand Prix to take part in the Indy 500, but his IndyCar debut ended with a Honda engine failure, prompting him to declare he would return to the event in future. The move was to try and motivate Alonso, against the back drop Honda’s struggle this season.
Alonso is currently using the summer break to consider his future with McLaren. In the United States, the rumours about Alonso running in a fifth car in September has been spread, but McLarens CEO Zak Brown has branded these reports as “Fake news.”
He told Racer “”It’s completely crazy. He would have to first make that request through us, which he has not, and that event conflicts with F1 in Singapore. It’s fake news.”
Alonso has made it clear he wants to stay in Formula One in a car which is able to fight for his third title. But re-joining Ferrari or going to Mercedes, which would seem unlikely as he wouldn’t really want Sebastian Vettel or Lewis Hamilton as a team-mate.
McLaren are still debating what engine they should use next season, though it appears as it may be too late to change suppliers at this stage of the season.
Brown says it is currently unclear how Andretti’s engine plans would impact its hopes for another crack at the Borg-Warner Trophy, though he suggests a lot will hinge on its own relationship with Honda come next year.
Focus on improving, and not my future – Grosjean
Romain Grosjean says that his focus is improving Haas rather than where he will be driving next season. Gene Haas who owns the American team has said he is expecting the team to field an unchanged driver line up next year.
However, should Ferrari replace Kimi Raikkonen the Frenchman has been tipped to replace the Finn. The Ferrari situation is beginning to stall the driver market, with Mercedes also waiting on Ferrari to confirm their line-up.
Haas is yet to give official confirmation of a contract extension by the Haas team, Grosjean is happy to remain part of the American team’s project for another season. Grosjean told F1.com “It was not such a big surprise for me. I’ve known this since September 2015! So I would call it a normal continuation. And things are great.”
But Grosjean is mindful of the other opportunities on the F1 grid but does not want to force a move elsewhere. He says that he wants Haas to do well, however, hinted that when opportunities of a world championship winning car came up he would take them.
When asked what colour car he could foresee driving after Haas, he said: “Different than this. Life can be full of surprises. Take Valtteri [Bottas] and how his fate changed from the 1st to the 7th of December last year.”
“Things like that do happen. Right now I am part of a great project. I am very proud of what we have done together — and we want to become better, of course.”
Hulkenberg impressed by Kubica
Nico Hulkenberg says that he was impressed by Robert Kubica’s driving in last week’s test. The polish driver drove a modern F1 car for the first time during last week’s test in Budapest.
In the built up to that test he had driven the 2012 Lotus E20 at Valencia and Paul Ricard earlier this season as he began to assess his chances of an F1 comeback six years after his devastating rally crash. That earned him a chance to try out a 2017 car.
It was an impressive first outing for Kubica, he did 142 laps on his way to fourth fastest. Hulkenberg emphasised that he did not “have much information” as he “wasn’t on site” for the test, he said what he did find out had impressed him.
The German told Autosport “I had some information and I obviously saw the lap times. I think for him personally [it was] obviously a great comeback.”
“After the severe accident and injuries he had to come back and drive a modern Formula 1 car, and to do 140 laps just like that, is quite impressive. Especially at a track like Budapest, which is very physical. So respect for that. And I think the performance seemed alright.”
Though Renault has played down speculation that this may lead to a return to a race seat this season. Hulkenberg said he had not been given any steer on Renault’s thinking after Kubica’s latest test.
“I’m not sure what’s going to happen, what Renault wants to do, but the test was OK, I think,” he added. Kubica says he would not be disappointed if he wasn’t in a race seat next season.
Kubica said “If we see where I was four months ago compared to where I am now, it is a big change and it happened very quickly. So I think if in three months I did improve a lot and moved forward quite a lot, everything can happen in the future.
Kvyat needs discipline and less emotions – Tost
Toro Rosso’s team principal Franz Tost, says that Daniil Kvyat needs to be more disciplined and less emotional with is driving.
July was a difficult month for the Russian, he collided with Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen at the Austrian Grand Prix start, a clash with teammate Carlos Sainz on lap one in Britain and an impeding incident with Lance Stroll in Hungary has all put him just two penalty points away from a race ban.
Tost says that while he has no complaints about Kvyat’s pace the Russian needed to learn to curb his “impatience.” He told Motorsport.com “Daniil is doing a good job, apart from sometimes after the start when he is too impatient, or when he risks too much. If you look to his speed during the race, if he is just running by himself, his laptimes are very, very competitive and very good.
“He wants to be successful, he wants to overtake people where maybe there is no possibility to overtake, and there he must become more disciplined.” Tost say that he needs to keep his emotions under control, but the rest is ok as he is showing good speed and giving good technical feed back.
In talks after the British GP clash, Tost had urged Kvyat and Sainz to “respect each other” and said they must share blame for that tangle. Any repeat of the incident would potentially be handled by Red Bull itself, Tost suggested.
Leclerc “makes sense” for Sauber
Sauber team principal Fred Vasseur says that running junior Ferrari drivers like Charles Leclerc would “make sense”.
As part of the teams new deal with Ferrari there have been suggestions by Vasseur and Ferrari’s President Sergio Marchionne, that the team could become a junior team, saying it’s “something we are working on.”
Vasseur has experience in bringing young drivers up in junior formulas, he told Autosport “As a team, it would make sense to have someone like Leclerc or other young drivers.” But the Frenchman has met his first goal of sorting the team’s engine supply out.
He insists the new deal with Ferrari did not include taking a Ferrari young driver, but says the option was open for discussion. Saying “It is a bit too early to speak about drivers, to be honest.”
“We had to close the [engine] deal quite quickly. It would be a mistake to mix the drivers into the discussion. But we will have the discussion in the next few weeks.”
Regarding a deadline for having his 2018 drivers sorted, Vasseur said: “I think it will be difficult to do it before September but that could be a good target.”