Stroll needs to learn quickly
Valtteri Bottas says his new team-mate for 2017 Lance Stroll will need to learn quickly when he makes his debut in Formula One next season. Last week Williams announced it was prompting Stroll to replace Felipe Massa.
Stroll will make his debut as the second youngest driver to start a race. Bottas told ESPN “I don’t need to advise him, he’s a talented driver. I’m sure he’ll learn a lot quickly and he’ll be up to speed very quickly. As a team, we’ll do everything we can to help him improve.
“There are plenty of things to learn when you jump from any category. There are many more people in the team, there is a lot you to learn technically from the car so I will help in the ways I can.” Bottas says that he is sure that Stroll will learn quickly and he is looking forward to pushing the team forward.
Stroll has come through a unusual route into the sport with him not going via GP2 and GP3, Bottas opted to miss GP2 deciding to focus on test and reserve driver roles with Williams, before being promoted to a race seat in 2013.
When asked about Stroll’s decision, Bottas replied: “There’s no driver that wouldn’t take the opportunity to drive in Formula One if it’s there.”
Hard to swallow if I lose – Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton says that losing the championship to Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg would be hard to swallow. The world champion has been on the back foot through-out the season because of technical problems.
But following a good couple of races Hamilton has closed the gap, however he needs Rosberg to have difficult weekends as the German can seal the title with second and third place finishes. The brit told Autosport “I don’t know how you can prepare for losing. I don’t think you can prepare to lose, even though I’ve experienced it before.”
Hamilton has been in Rosberg’s position before, in 2007 he was the one being chased by Kimi Raikkonen who turned a seventeen point deficit into a point lead with a maximum of twenty. “I know it [this year] won’t be as painful as then,” added Hamilton.
“I’ve lost many races and championships through my career, so it’s not like I haven’t experienced it. Right now I’m in a scenario where I know there is more of a chance I will lose it than I’ll win it. It’s hard to swallow, but it is what it is.” He adds.
Hamilton says he feels that is unusual that he is the one without his own destiny in his hands. He says that it’s a great feeling knowing he has to fight for something and not knowing if he can do it. But “One way it can be painful, another way it can be a great thing, but all I know is, right to the last minute, things can change, so that’s why I can’t give up.”
Equal engine life for Mercedes
Mercedes say that both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will be equal on power unit life going into the last two races of the season. This weekend Rosberg could seal the title if he wins the race.
Hamilton knows he needs to win and Rosberg be third or lower if he is to get a chance to retain his title. The gap is nineteen points between the two Mercedes drivers, meaning Hamilton needs a win or second to keep his hopes alive and needs to rely on Rosberg not being on the podium in Abu Dhabi.
Technical Director Paddy Lowe told Motorsport.com the mileage already run by their remaining power unit elements. “The situation is reasonably balanced across the two of them. Not ideal in either case, to be honest! But there are no factors between them that would create a performance advantage.”
“As always we’re putting all our attention into making sure that we have two good cars and two good power units that will get to the end. Mexico was another two finishes, two cars home, which was great.” Lowe says it is difficult to judge how close Red Bull and Ferrari will be this weekend because there different factors at play in brazil.
Lowe gave the example of Ferrari who have been frustrated by qualifying but have performed better in races.
Ferrari has endemic problems
Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene has admitted they have endemic problems in hot conditions and believe they have found the cause off the issue.
In Mexico the team struggled to get the tyres working when the temperatures warmed up for qualifying with Sebastian Vettel describing the tyre performance as “unnatural”. If Ferrari had been better in qualifying there race pace displayed by Vettel and Raikkonen suggested the team could have put more pressure on Mercedes.
Vettel finished fourth on track with Raikkonen sixth, the penalties applied after the race meant the team lost ground in the contructors championship. Arrivabene told Autosport “What was wrong [in Mexico qualifying] is the endemic problem we have all year long. In Baku I explained the same, and in Monaco, when the temperature has gone up to the sky normally we are going to have problems.”
“We are making an analysis on that and now it’s quite clear the reason why.” With the weather looking mixed for this weekends race it could give Ferrari a chance this weekend through qualifying and the race.
Arrivabene says that the work ethic all season and there performance in Mexico proved “they are fighters”.
“The most important thing is the team is reacting very well. I’m not happy, because we were not winning the race, but we demonstrated the character of the team and on top that something is moving and this is for me important.” He added
FIA rejects return of gravel
The FIA have rejected suggestions that asphalt and grass should be replaced by gravel following debates in the media following the Mexican Grand Prix. In Mexico both Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen cut corners but only Verstappen was given a penalty.
The events have prompted a debate in how drivers should be punished or stop them gaining from going off track. Berine Ecclestone’s idea of the track limits should in fact be defined by walls has been also dismissed. Former F1 Driver Juan Pablo Montaya has backed the gravel idea.
Red Bull’s Daniel Riccardo has already said “I’m a fan of gravel, because it punishes you. If you don’t get stuck, you have rocks on the tires and in the sidepods, so you’re not getting an advantage.”
But the German publication claims more gravel is unlikely, mainly because of F1’s tire supplier. “Pirelli is already complaining that there are too many stones around that damage the tires,” an FIA source is quoted as saying. “With gravel this would be even worse.”
Imola withdraw case against the government
Imola have withdrawn their legal action against the Italian government backing of Monza to retain the Italian Grand Prix. In September it was announced that Monza was retaining the race but Imola says that Monza was given an unfair advantage.
Monza announced it was going to sign a a new three-year deal to keep the race through to 2019 had been secured, but admitted the contract had not yet been signed. But Imola took legal action because Monza had government backing to Monza and not Imola, to help fund an Italian GP beyond this year.
The case was set to be heard two weeks ago in court but the case was withdrawn which allows Monza to continue talks with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone with the aim of getting a deal sorted in the coming weeks.
A Monza source told Autosport: “Imola withdrew its objection against Monza and so the court case scheduled for October 26 did not go ahead. This leaves the way open for Monza to continue negotiations with Formula One Management to secure the future of Monza as a Formula 1 venue.”
“We are confident that matters will be concluded before the 2017 calendar is confirmed in early December.”