Freeze Mercedes development – Tost
Toro Rosso’s team principal Franz Tost says that Formula One should freeze Mercedes engine development to allow their rivals to catch up. Mercedes have dominated the sport since the introduction of the V6 hybrid power units in 2014.
This season an agreement has been made between manufacturers and the FIA last year for engine regulations, some elements have been frozen for 2017 in a bid to converge performance. These include the minimum weight of the MGU-H and the MGU-K, plus certain dimensions.
In 2018, the rules look to be tougher, with an increase in the minimum weight of the ERS system being increased so that it will not allow the best one to be improved. Tost believes while other manufacturers are making progress, something more extreme needs to be done to equalise the engine suppliers on the grid.
Tost told Autosport “I hope that earlier or later there will be a power unit parity because this is not the case currently. We need Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari fighting for the championship at least.”
“If the power unit parity is not coming then the FIA should come up with a regulation to freeze it. I would freeze the power unit from Mercedes, the others should catch up and then they freeze all of them,” he added. Tost said this would allow free development of the battery as its important for the future.
Tost also repeated his calls for a budget cap to clamp down on costs.
Vettel crashes out of Pirelli test
Sebastian Vettel’s first day of Pirelli tyre testing was brought to an early end after crashing at the Fiorano Circuit. The German was testing the wet tyres on an artificially wet circuit, using a mule car.
Vettel was believed to be on a warm up lap when he lost control of the SF15-t as he exited the bridge. Images posted online showed the car flicked right as the circuit turned to the left, and Vettel plunged head-on into the barriers. He was unharmed during the accident apart from minor bruising.
However, the impact with the wall caused huge damage causing the rest of today’s testing to be abandoned. Ferrari is still to decide whether they will repair the car for the second scheduled day of testing on Friday will be taken during the evening.
Pirelli’s desire to get a pre-season wet tyre test completed was largely prompted by this season’s move to standing starts following safety car periods and the driver’s criticism of the warm-up characteristics of last year’s Pirelli wets.
Exciting changes for McLaren
McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier has hinted about ‘exciting changes’ to the teams 2017 car, the MCL32. The Woking based team will unveil their new car on the 24 of February, the teaser has prompted speculation that the team could return to the their iconic orange livery.
In an interview published on the team’s website, Boullier explained in detail the reasons he was excited – including the team’s new structure behind the scenes. “There will always be changes, and that’s the way it always should be. As you know, a Formula 1 car itself never stays the same from one race to the next.
“Across the businesses, in fact, we’re triggering other changes – and we’ve got some exciting changes planned for our new car, the MCL32, but we want those to be kept secret until we show it to the world on February 24.” This week it was announced that the team was losing Dave Redding to Williams.
Speaking about the reshuffle, Boullier said they are extremely enthused by what they have done. He says there was no hesitation from McLaren in promoting chief mechanic Paul James to the new role.
“As McLaren’s chief mechanic, Paul is the best in Formula 1 – and that’s not merely my opinion, but that of many of my peers at McLaren who’ve had the opportunity to work up and down the pitlane in many other teams, as I have of course.” Andera Stella moved to chief contact with the FIA, James is replaced by Kari Lammenranta as chief mechanic while he
Andera Stella moved to chief contact with the FIA, James is replaced by Lammenranta as the chief mechanic while he is replaced by Marc Cox as Fernando Alonso’s main mechanic.
Baku calls for unity between promoters
The chief executive of the Azerbaijan (formerly the European) Grand Prix Arif Rahimov says he believes that race promoters should unite to help shape the future of Formula One.
Liberty Media took over the sport in January and are keen to grow the sport and stop the decline in race and TV audiences by focusing more on fan engagement. Rahimov told ESPN “To be honest, right now it is really hard to say [what will happen] and what they want to change and what they want to implement in F1.”
“From our perspective, we need to really understand how the sport is going to run from this year onward because it is definite there are going to be some changes, not major changes.” He added. Rahimov says he hasn’t spoken to the new owners yet but knows there eager to make some changes to the sport.
He says it would be good to have a joint promoters meeting to discuss changes and knows there was a promoters association these issues, but there hasn’t been a meeting ‘really’ to discuss the issues.
“To be honest, that will be good to have a joint meeting of all the promoters to introduce new changes across the board that can benefit both promoters and F1 as a sport, and that will be cool if something like that happens eventually.” He added.
Liberty’s aim is to create a weeklong event to give the races a festival feel and get better value for money for the fans.
F1 in jeopardy – Mosley
Former FIA President Max Mosley has told Newsweek that the legacy of deposed F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, is in jeopardy following the takeover by Liberty Media.
Ecclestone was ousted in a coup after Liberty completed their £6.4 billion takeover of the sport last month. Mosley was a key ally of Ecclestone and insists there is uncertainty surrounding the future of the sport. Mosley said “His [Ecclestone’s] legacy at the moment is going to be Formula One. How that survived remains to be seen. Because there is now change and it may get better, it may get worse.
“For sure, it’s going to change, and that may not be bad because, in a way, Formula One depends on fashion and fashion means change. It’s absolutely impossible to predict whether it will be successful or not.” He said. Mosley believes it was a mistake to remove him.
Ecclestone has been appointed as chairman emeritus, an advisory board but Mosley says “I think that’s like being an emeritus academic; it means he’s retired.”
Perez supports #Bridgesnotwall
Sergio Perez has thrown his support behind the #Bridgesnotwalls campaign over the foreign policy of US president Donald Trump.
Trump has vowed to build a wall along the Mexican border as well as calling them drug dealers, rapist and murders. In November, Perez dropped one of his sponsors, after they said Mexicans should buy its shades to hide their tears when Mr Trump began to build a border wall.
The campaign also includes the policy of Trumps, the hugely controversial ban on people from seven Muslim countries entering the US.
Speaking at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez who have also announced they are to display the message, Perez said: “World class international events such as the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Mexico provide an excellent opportunity to showcase to the world what the Mexican people are capable of achieving when we work together.”
“Through this unique global platform, Mexico has been shown as a warm and welcoming destination. The 2015 and 2016 races were award winning, 2017 promises to be even more memorable.”
The campaign has taken off on social media and there have been huge protests around the world over his policies.