Determined to keep bid alive – Rosberg
Nico Rosberg is determined to keep his title bid alive as his team-mate Lewis Hamilton looks on course to retain his title. Mercedes are concerned about a repeat of Singapore where they suffered tyre problems leading to a lack of pace.
Rosberg says he feels he has enough positive feelings to draw on to justify his optimism as he prepares for a keenly-anticipated contest. He spoke to AFP saying he is “not backing down in my fight for the championship and gaining those positions back fair and square showed that.”
Adding “We have five races to go and, although the championship gap to Lewis is quite big, in my mind it’s definitely not over yet.”
Executive director Paddy Lowe, says “This was a tricky weekend last season, with a new circuit to learn and fresh tarmac which produced slightly unusual behaviour from the tyres.”
Pirelli has change the tyre compounds from last year which Lowe said may have been “influenced by Nico running almost the entire race last year on a single set of tyres.”
Red Bull’s future decide by end of the month
Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz says they will decide whether to leave Formula One by the end of the month. The team along with junior team Toro Rosso are threatening to quit unless they secure a supply of ‘competitive’ engines for next season.
Red Bull have already spilt from current suppliers Renault and need to secure a deal with Ferrari if they are to remain in F1 after Mercedes said they were not willing to supply them.
Ferrari would be unable to supply them as it is too late and have deals with Sauber and Haas for 2016. They did offer to supply Red Bull with there 2015 spec engine. If a deal isn’t done by end of the momth then Red Bull will walk away from the sport.
Mateschitz told Speedweek magazine “We strive to get motors, but we get none – at least not the one we want.” Asked how long the team were prepared to wait for a deal, Mateschitz replied: “Sometime in late October.”
Maldonado’s seat never under threat
Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado’s seat was never under threat as his sponsors “paid in advance” through to the end of 2016, according to team boss Federico Gastaldi.
The Venezuelan driver was confirmed with the team for 2016 as uncertainty over the teams future continuing. The team receives money from his man sponsor PDVSA which is state owned which is believed to be $27 million a year which will full fill his three year contact.
Team boss Federico Gastaldi told F1i in Singapore “we confirmed him just as a routine we had agreed with his sponsors. We did it last year in Monza. Monza was the previous race before Singapore and we just only announced it a week after that because that’s what’s been agreed on the documents.”
He said it was normal despite reports Maldonda was going else where. He says all PDVSA payments “have paid in advance. So I don’t know who or why people start inventing those situations. He was signed for three years, the last year is the end of 2016.”
It is not known who will be his team-mate or whether they will be taken over by Renault.
Alonso will start last because of upgraded engine
Fernando Alonso will take a penalty of twenty five places this weekend for using a fifth engine. This is because the team’s engine manufacturer Honda is introducing an upgrade and the Spaniard has already used his allocation.
The Japanese manufacturer has used all their remaining tokens for this season to upgrade mainly the internal combustion engine upgrade, plus associated exhaust parts.
Alonso has already used nine ICEs, eight turbos, eight MGU-Hs and six CEs this year which adds up to a twenty five place penalty. This however in practice translates to starting last. Honda didn’t have time to manufacture enough new parts in time to make another new unit for Jenson Button.
Alonso was chosen because he has more mileage than Button.
Not expecting new engine – Perez
Sergio Perez says Force India is not expecting to receive the upgraded Mercedes engine before the end of the 2015 season. The works team has run the upgrade since the Italian Grand Prix.
However the team’s customers Force India, Williams and Lotus have not had the upgrade. The German manufacturer has had concerns over reliability of its new spec, heightened by Nico Rosberg’s troubles with the upgraded power unit when it was introduced in Monza.
Perez told ESPN this has been a factor and said “At the moment all we are hearing is [Mercedes] are checking the reliability to see if it is working well.”
He added “From there we will see. We are not planning to get any of the full spec for the rest of the year, is what I heard from the team. Hopefully for next year we get it.”
He also said he was taking his final penalty free engine change for this weekend’s race.
The managing director of Silverstone Patrick Allen has described formula One as a ‘s*** product’ which is becoming increasingly difficult to sell to fans.
The race fee for 2016-21 will increase by five percent to £16 million next year after being delayed by a year with a further five percent rise for 2022-26 which could impact the circuit hard. This year’s race 120,000 ticks were sold breaking the record.
He told the Independent “As a promoter I can only promote what you give me and if that isn’t up to standard, people aren’t going to buy.” Saying he has already raised the issue with Ecclestone.
He says “that people don’t come to watch guys looking at data screens. Fans want to see gladiators racing and fighting it out in a fair fight. Nobody wants to hear drivers getting told to ‘lift’, ‘coast’ or ‘we’re not going to catch the guy in front, settle for second’.”
He says it is criminal that the state of racing and that is not saleable.