Lotus in trouble
A case was brought by creditors on Monday trying to wind up the Lotus team in a London.
The case will be heard in full at the company court on 20th July. The team had some financial problems before the signed the Venzuelan Pastor Maldonado has brought considerable backing from state oil company PDVSA.
There have been rumours in the press that Lotus maybe targeted for another buyout by their former owners Renault. By CEO Matthew Carter says Lotus are not for sale despite persistent paddock speculation linking them to Renault.
He told Autosport “A number of suppliers are feeling a little bit negative because of what happened to Caterham and Marussia and they felt they had to go down this process.”
He says “A resolution had already been found, that’s why the process has been adjourned. Things are being dealt with.”
No guarantees of a seat – Vandoorne
McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne says there is no guarantee he will make it onto the Formula 1 grid next year, even if he wins this year’s GP2 title. The Belgian driver currently leads the GP2 Series from Alexander Rossi.
McLaren current races drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button on multi-year contracts and if there was an opening he would have to fight with Kevin Magnussen for a race seat.
Vandoorne told Eurosport “Formula 1 has always been a very competitive sport, everyone knows it, and there have always been drivers who have done well and not got to F1.”
“We know it is still similar at the moment and even if I win this championship this season there is no guarantee I will be in F1 next year.” He added.
The Belgian has spent an extensive amount of time in McLaren’s simulator and drove during the Austrian Test.
New completion on fuel sensor
The FIA have now approved another option of fuel flow sensor. The governing body has given the go ahead for Sentronics Limited to supply teams along with Gill Motorsport Systems.
Sentronics says there new senor has a completely different mechanical and electronic set-up compared to its competitor, with a unique flow-path that is aimed at making it as consistent and reliable as possible.
According to Motorsport.com engine manufacturers have already been in dialogue with Sentronics about evaluating the new unit. They also say testing may take place soon.
Sentronics managing director Neville Meech said “The FIA’s and competitors’ experience of the technology in its first year understandably had an effect on the approach to homologation a second sensor.”
Smart move – Nasr
Sauber driver Felipe Nasr believes that the appointment of Mark Smith as technical director is a “smart” move that is the beginning of the solution to the team’s problems.
The Swiss team has struggled has struggle since double points finishes in two of the opening three races to constantly be in the points. The Team will be hoping to make a step forward with a planned engine upgrade for the Belgian Grand Prix and a chassis update for Singapore in September.
Nasr told Autosport “I feel bringing in a new technical director to overview the bigger picture of our car and direct the team on which areas we have to work on in the short, medium and the long term is the beginning of the solution.”
He called the move a smart one but said it needs time to work. Team-mate Marcus Ericsson added “If you look at his experience he’s been around for a long time and experience like that is very valuable for a team like ours.”
Fake stops warning
The FIA has warned teams about making ‘dummy’ pit stops after Mercedes’ failed attempt to fool Williams at the British Grand Prix. Mercedes tried to forced Williams into changing their strategy.
Race director Charlie Whiting said “I have no intention of giving them a few chances and will talk to all the teams in Hungary about this and warning them that we will want to see (and hear) evidence that they were actually intending to stop.”
The regulations say team personnel can only enter the pit lane “immediately before they are required to work on a car and must withdraw as soon as the work is complete” for safety reasons.
Toto Wolff admitted that the team had been trying to fool their rivals into making a stop. He said his wife Williams test driver Susie sent him a WhatsApp message saying “You guys think you can fool us? Hahaha. So it was worth at least the entertainment”