Clear mind over re-organisation – Arrivabene
Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene says “clear in mind” over how to reorganise the Formula 1 team following technical director James Allison’s departure.
Allison’s departure was announced on the Thursday before the German Grand Prix, with Mattia Binotto moving from his role as engine boss to become chief technical officer. The team’s head of race activities Jock Clear admitted Ferrari would have to “work hard to cover the gaps” following Allison’s departure.
Before speaking about the changes he said “We are reorganising the team, first of all without panicking, because taking that decision means we are clear in mind about what to do with the organisation.”
“We are looking forwards to the rest of the season and we know very well where we have to work. I can’t give you all the detail, but we know where.” The changes couldn’t are at a time when Ferrari have slipped behind Red Bull in the constructors’ championship after Germany.
Arrivabene admits Ferrari has struggled with a downforce deficit since the Spanish GP in May but now understands the root of its problems. “I don’t think we have great improvement in terms of downforce since Barcelona,” he said.
“That is the problem and it’s why I said we clearly know where to work now – and we have to do it as soon as possible, even if it’s not easy. I spoke about downforce, there are two types – aerodynamic downforce, the other one is mechanical downforce.”
“We have to work on those areas together and sometimes they talk a different language at the moment.
Huge opportunities for rivals – Wolff
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says that next season will throw up “huge opportunities” for the teams rivals warning that Ferrari should never be underestimated.
Going into the season the Italian team were expected to be a treat to Mercedes dominance but so far have not scored a victory. There has been more turbulence for the team following the departure of technical boss James Allison and question marks over Maurizio Arrivabene’s future.
Speaking to F1.com Wolff said “I don’t think you can write Ferrari off. They’ve clearly had a tough time recently – I think they switched off very early for 2017. Never underestimate a team with so much resources and so much passion.”
Mercedes have been the dominate force in the last few years since the V8 Hybrids were introduced, something which is unlikely to change this season.
Wolff added “Looking at our competitors: the expectations for Ferrari are always very high – and living up to those expectations is a different matter And probably after a strong 2015 season we see a setback for Ferrari this year. But I do believe that they are improving.”
He says that Red Bull has improved and so has Renault with Red Bull winning the race when both Mercedes. Wolff wasn’t predicting such dominance as we prepare for the final nine grands prix following the summer break, though he is also anticipating a Red Bull fightback.
Wolff said “we were expecting Hungary to be a very difficult one and Red Bull to be performing well and it was the opposite, we were actually as strong as in Silverstone. But Hockenheim could have been won easier for us and it was the opposite, so it isn’t clear cut.”
No excuses for Sauber in 2017
Sauber’s team principal Monisha Kaltenborn says the team has no excuses if the team is not on the pace next season. It was a difficult first half of the season with financial difficulties preventing development of the car and threatening its survival in F1.
But it was acquired by Longbow Finance last month, with car developments to be put into production while accelerating its preparations for 2017. Speaking to Autosport Kaltenborn said “Our focus is to get back to business as normal. We need to focus not just on how to survive the next day but to think longer term and get the most out of the car.”
“I’m convinced you can still get things out of this year’s car but then focus on next year’s car.” She added. Kaltenborn said the team has the infrastructure and said the team should have ambition.
Sauber are currently restructuring which will mean filling the vacant post of technical director which has been split between other heads of department and head of track engineering but Kaltenborn conceded that has not been ideal.
“It has hurt because you do not get the highest efficiency out of a group but if this is the way we had to work, there’s no point in saying it would be better not like this.”
A perfect career, even with no third title – Alonso
Fernando Alonso says he will see his career as ‘perfect’ even if he cannot achieve his burning desire of securing a third world championship. The McLaren driver says there is no pain after losing a few.
This is because his age has taught him to prioritise other aspects of the sport – including the simple enjoyment of racing, which he expects to be magnified in 2017. Speaking to F1.com Alonso said “I have been so lucky in my entire career to fight for championships,” Alonso told Formula1.com. “Yes, there have been more good opportunities for me, but for one reason or another it did not happen.”
Asked about the idea he could have matched Juan Manuel Fangio’s records if fortune had been slightly kinder, Alonso added: “Yes probably – but my career path also could have ended in karting! So everything is perfect for me.
“Probably success is the most important thing of the enjoyment of being here – you are here to compete. Being on the podium, winning a race or even a championship: these are the moments of ultimate enjoyment.”
He adds that there are other things he enjoys about F1. Saying the sport has given him opportunities to visit counties he wouldn’t have if hr was in the sport.
Asked if such views have changed over time, Alonso explained: “You change in any ways – not just as a driver! A person at 19 years old is completely different than at 35. That goes for any kind of relationship: family, friends, and the approach to the team, the working methods and of course the media.”
Very healthy line up – Horner
Christian Horner says Red Bull’s current line-up of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo is “very healthy” and is helping the team achieve its goals in 2016.
There were question marks over the switch by Red Bull with Verstappen brought in to replace Daniil Kvyat who fill Verstappen’s seat a Toro Rosso. Horner believes the team has only benefitted from having two competitive drivers in its ranks.
He told ESPN “You can see that it is very healthy, There is great respect between the two of them. As far as teammates can go, they seem to like each other and they want similar things from the car. Beyond that, they’re both very, very fast.”
“[Germany] went in Daniel’s favour, Barcelona went in Max’s favour — it’s the swings and roundabouts of a season, and I think that both drivers have done an outstanding job.” Red Bull have moved to second in the championship following a double podium at the German Grand Prix.
Hockenheim was also the third consecutive circuit that Red Bull has beaten a Ferrari driver to the podium. Giving Horner a positive sign for the remainder of the season.