F1 still needs Ecclestone – Moss
Sir Stirling Moss says that following the takeover by liberty Media for £3.3bn the sport still needs Berine Ecclestone. When the takeover was announce Ecclestone said he plans stay in his role for three more years after US firm Liberty Media agreed to buy a 35.3% stake from CVC Capital.
Moss believes this can only be a good thing for the sport telling the BBC “He is exceptionally important – thank goodness we’ve got him for three years,” said Moss.
Ecclestone will be joined at the helm of the sport by new chairman Chase Carey, vice-chairman of 21st Century Fox. Speaking to BBC Sport on Thursday, Ecclestone joked the pair were “dictators”.
Moss raced in Formula One between 1951-1961 says the development under Ecclestone has been exceptional. “Motor racing now is really good, you look at the pits and they are all nicely organised, and everything works well,” he added.
“He’s done so much for the sport and brought it forward enormously. Look where we are now.” Ecclestone has had control of the sport since 1978 and Moss says has long as he in charge he can get things done.
News- in – Brief
FIA Statement on Liberty
Governing body the FIA has welcomed Liberty Media’s acquisition of Formula 1, but has called for further information to be provided before assessing the consequences of the deal.
Small changes big different
Kimi Raikkonen believes small changes made to his Ferrari this season have made all the difference in allowing him to get on terms with Sebastian Vettel.
He told motorsport.com “There are so many small things, but if a small thing is not correct then it will affect lap time – if it is just one lap or a race distance.”
Button’s dream contract
Jenson Button says his new McLaren contract is a “dream” and will allow him to engage with some of his original motorsport passions, such as go-karting, in 2017.
Next year Button will take a year out of F1 with the possibility of him coming back in 2018 a if a seat is available after agreeing a revised two-year contract with the team.
Although Button will attend some races in 2017 and serve as reserve driver to Fernando Alonso and the newly-promoted Stoffel Vandoorne. But the 36 year old made it clear he needed a break. Button says other motorsports is on his agenda.
He Told Sky Sports “I’ll definitely do some karting in the future and probably rallycross as well, that I’m very fond of and it’s very close to my heart.”
“I’m still racing, very busy and loving my racing. I only finished 12th at the weekend [at the Italian GP], but I had a great race and loved fighting through from last where I was after lap one.” Button says motorsport is the best job iun the world and even with the best job in the world you need a break.
Button was speaking at an event for McLaren sponsor Esso who have launched a 360-degree Virtual Reality karting experience.
He was asked if could regret not having a formal opportunity to say goodbye to the sport if he did not return, Button replied: “I understand what you mean, but emotional moments for me are when you are winning and celebrating with the crowd and people that you love.”
He added after 17 years living by Berine Ecclestone’s schedule it would be nice having a year living by his own schedule and do his own thing.
Mercedes curiosity about Singapore
Mercedes say they are “curious” to find out if they have found what caused there problems at last year’s Singapore Grand Prix. Mercedes had there worst performance at the race as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg could not get decent performance out of their tyres.
The teams investigation concluded that the problem could be solved by better tyre management and setup, it will have no proof about its progress until F1 returns to Singapore. Toto Wolff later told the BBC that they had the same problems the previous year masked by their dominate car.
Wolff speaking in Monza admitted that there could not yet be totally confidence about its hopes. He explained to Motorsport.com “We had a discussion in the briefing about Singapore. We weren’t competitive last year and I think we understood why.
“We made some conclusions which helped us in the following races and throughout the season. So in Singapore we are going to check whether our assumptions were right.”
Wolff says that there was no single issue but a perfect storm of problems caused the problems in Singapore. “You can see that where we got it right is that our car is the best compromise. We have 21 races throughout the season and we have to have a chassis-engine combination that works well on average [everywhere].” He said.
Rosberg agrees with Wolff saying “We cannot go there with too much confidence because we were miles off last year. In qualifying I think we were 1.8 seconds off the pace, if I am not mistaken. That is huge.
No Slim take over – Fernley
Force India’s deputy team principal Bob Fernley has denied that he was holding talks with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim about a takeover. Reports in Mexico suggested that he was talking to the team about a deal connected to Serigo Perez future.
Fernley told Motorsport.com the first he knew about it was the reports. He said “there’s no truth in that rumour at all, there are no discussions going on with Carlos Slim regarding buying the team.
“I don’t think that’s the philosophy that Carlos works with when bringing through drivers, he wants the freedom to do whatever he feels is appropriate for the drivers.”
Williams sign Ferrari’s tyre performance head
Williams have announced they have signed Ferrari’s former tyre performance head Antonio Spagnolo to help analyse their Formula One rivals’ strengths. S
Spagnolo worked for the team until February this year and joins the team has there Competitor Analysis and Performance Concept Team Leader. His role will be focused on understanding our competitors’ strengths and identifying areas of our performance which require prioritisation of resources.
Which they say will bring considerable experience will be brought to bear in guiding our restructured Tyre Performance Group to better understand and exploit both theoretical and practical aspects of tyre performance.
Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds said “Williams is determined to continue the positive momentum it has had since 2014 and, with new additions to the team, hopes to become even stronger.”
The statement added “We are constantly seeing ways to improve our performance and trackside operations and believe Antonio will make a valuable contribution to this process.”
Massa reflects and says he nearly left in 2013
Felipe Massa says he considered quitting Formula One when Ferrari dropped him at the end of 2013 replacing him with Kimi Raikkonen. Last week the Brazilian announced he was retiring at the end of the season.
Massa told Autosport “I was thinking to do it myself three years ago. You need to be strong enough to decide things that are sometimes quite difficult. That is what I did.
“I’m relieved and happy with what I’m doing. I think this year was the time to do that.” During his career Massa has won has won eleven races and forty one podiums plus missing out on the 2008 title by a single point.However it could have been different he admitted.
Massa pointed out his Singapore mistake when he left the pits with the fuel hose attached and his engine failed with three laps to go in Hungary four races earlier
“I lost the championship by one point, but I was on pole position and won the race, so I did the best I could,” he said of the Interlagos finale.
He added “So many things happened and it would have been different at the end of the season, but anyway… As I’ve said I’m really, really proud of my career.”