Mekies says 2021 will be bit rough
Ferrari’s sporting director Laurent Mekies believes that the 2021 cars will “deliver something a bit more rough” as the result of the delays in agreeing to the new regulations.
The negotiations in agreeing the new regulations have been put back to October the 31st after teams and Liberty Media failed to reach agreement on both technical and financial regulations. This could leave the teams with sixteen months to build a very different type of F1 car before testing begins ahead of the 2021 season.
Asked by Motorsport.com about the impact such a delay would have on design work, Mekies said: “We could make up the time for most of the items, you will just deliver something a bit more rough. In that specific case it’s probably more important that we get the regulations right, even if it comes at a later stage, even.”
“If it means something is delayed to the following years, [it is better] than to have something early that we are not happy with.” Mercedes technical director James Allison says that he would aim to begin in November or December for a season starting more than a year later.
However, he admitted that a bigger rule change would require “a bit more of a run-up at it”.
Saying “A sort of facile answer to that is that there’s always enough time, it just depends on the quality of what you do changes, depending on how much time you have.”
He believes that while you can build a car in that time, he says you need to have fourteen months with the regulation change. But they could get it done before then.
Though teams have some idea of what the 2021 technical rules will entail there is no final version and debate continues over significant elements such as standard parts.
Red Bull’s chief engineer Paul Monaghan said: “It would be preferable to have rules that we all agree on before we embark.
Ferrari regrets errors in 2019
Ferrari says its only retreat from its difficult 2019 season would be if it had not learned from the errors that caused it to miss opportunities this season. Charles Leclerc has taken third in the driver’s championship, following two wins and two podiums in the last four races.
Constant aerodynamic development appears to have eradicated the wild swings in performance that cost Ferrari at several tracks over the first half of the season.
Asked by Motorsport.com if he regrets how the year has played out after losing too much ground to Mercedes early on, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said: “I think having regret does not make sense. We need to move forward and look ahead.
“If we were not performing as expected or we missed opportunities it’s because we’ve got some responsibility on that. More important is to try as a team to move forward and to learn from mistakes and make sure they are not happening again in the future.”
Binotto says they would have regretted it if they hadn’t learned from it as they have missed out on both titles. Leclerc will be knocked out of mathematical contention this weekend and even if he avoids that, as it stands he must outscore Lewis Hamilton by 108 points over the remaining five weekends, with 130 points available.
Aerodynamic development appears to have eradicated the swings in performance, that cost Ferrari at several tracks over the first half of the season. But the Italian says he doesn’t regret losing too much ground to Mercedes.
Adding, “It would be great to do at least better than last year [Ferrari scored 571 points in 2018, and currently sits on 409], because that would show that as a team at least we are improving.”
Binotto admitted that Ferrari had a bad start to the season but nothing is impossible. But that was the first teams objective was to improve.
Renault needs “big points” – Hulkenberg
Renault will be bringing a new front wing to the Japanese Grand Prix, where Nico Hulkenberg says the manufacturer must target “big points”.
The French manufacturer cut the gap to McLaren in the constructor’s championship after Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg finished fourth and fifth in the Italian Grand Prix, but lost ground again after two disappointing races in Singapore and Russia.
However, it is refusing to give up on the battle to finish the season best of the rest, and has brought a new front wing and a “chassis wing” to Suzuka. Nick Chester, Renault’s chassis technical director told Motorsport.com, “externally the changes are pretty subtle, but we expect more downforce and grip as a result”.
Suzuka is not a high-downforce circuit and has long flat-out runs throughout the lap that Chester admits produces “high sensitivity to drag” and a “difficult compromise” when picking the rear wing.
A stronger front end could help that balance and would benefit Renault in the first sector, which features a lot of high-speed direction changes. Tyre warm-up could be an issue at Suzuka, with Renault hoping that better downforce can see it cut the gap to Ferrari.
Hulkenberg, who has scored points in the last four races, drawing himself level with Ricciardo on 34 points, believes Renault needs to eye a strong haul from Suzuka. The German added, “It’s obvious we missed out on points in Singapore and Russia and that’s frustrating given our competitive pace and qualifying positions.”
“We’re still in the battle for fourth. We have to focus on race by race and extract everything from the weekend. Our Sundays especially have to be cleaner, but that’s down to a range of factors: on my side, on the team’s side and some things we can’t control.”
Ricciardo repeated his belief that he and Renault should have finished the last two races without points. Adding “It’s important we come away with something to keep in the race for fourth. We know it’s going to be tough, but we won’t give up.”
Riccardo resolves a dispute with former manager
Daniel Ricciardo and former manager Glenn Beavis have reached an amicable settlement over the $12 million law suit which was being heard in the UK High Court.
Beavis had raised a dispute over commissions he felt were still owed to him from Ricciardo’s lucrative Renault contract, signed mid-way through 2018 to commence this season. He claimed that he was entitled to twenty per cent of Ricciardo’s base salary, believed to have been around $12 million, and several other contractual fees, including the cost of the Australian driver’s super-licence.
But a statement said “Daniel Ricciardo and Glenn Beavis are pleased to confirm that they have reached an amicable settlement over the amounts due to Glenn and thus bringing to an end the proceedings in the High Court in London. Daniel and Glenn wish each other well in their future endeavours.”
Beavis provided management and consultancy services to Ricciardo from 2012 until the beginning of the current season. Ahead of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Ricciardo announced a new partnership with CAA Sports.
He claimed he started negotiations with Renault in 2017 which saw Ricciardo sign a contract with the team in August last year. The lawsuit stated Ricciardo told Beavis he was seeking an end to their partnership in December. But it was agreed Beavis could continue as “there were various outstanding matters to be dealt with first, including negotiating the long form of the Renault driver contracts”.
Beavis said he finalised the long form Renault contract on March 7, a week before the Australian Grand Prix and before his agreement with Ricciardo ended on March 31.
Ricciardo’s defence stated that “at no stage was any entitlement to commission raised or agreed”, even after Beavis had agreed to stay on to finalise