Mercedes should of “communicated differently”
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the team should have “communicated differently” and allowed both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton to race freely during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Rosberg finished second taking the title, while Hamilton repeatedly tried to back his team-mate into traffic to try and push him off the podium so he could have retained his title. Hamilton disobeyed repeated instructions to speed up from the team, with reports that he would face disciplinary action over his actions.
Wolff appears now to have done a u-turn saying he now regrets the decision to interfere. Wolff told Sky Sports “ In the heat of the moment, sometimes when you make decisions you get them wrong.”
“In our mind, the way we think, this race is giving us the same number of points as other races and we try to win that one, not considering that there was much more at stake for the drivers.”
“How the race panned out, we should have communicated differently and in hindsight let them race in the way they deemed to be appropriate.” Mercedes have seen two on track incidents earlier this year in Barcelona and Austria, with Wolff saying their attention now is a ‘brave’ decision on Rosbergs replacement.
An announcement is expected before Christmas with Pascal Wehrlein and Valtteri Bottas the favourites. Wolff said Hamilton was just an employee in this situation but added “We will give Lewis the information once we’ve come to a point where we think it’s a sensible decision and then inform him.”
Alonso not driving for Mercedes – Briatore
The manager of Fernando Alonso and disgraced former Renault boss Flavio Briatore says the Spaniard will not be driving for Mercedes next year. Alonso has been one of the favourites to replace Nico Rosberg following his departure from Mercedes.
Alonso will next season be in the final year of his McLaren contract with Mercedes considering making a offer to bring him to Brackley next season. Alonso tried to move to the German team two years ago, but they chose to retain Rosberg. With Alonso joining McLaren instead.
But Biratore says there is no chance he will leave McLaren before the end of his contract at the end of 2017. Alonso lobbied Mercedes two years ago for the team to take him but failed, instead returning to McLaren on a three year deal.
Biratore told La Gazzetta dello Sport “Fernando Alonso will not be in a Mercedes in 2017. Granted, people always think of Fernando when a top car is free. But we have a contract and we will respect that.”
Alonso is considered as the most complete driver currently in the sport.
Liberty shareholders vote on deal in January
Shareholders at Liberty Media have been asked to vote on the plan they have agreed takeover of Formula One. The American company has agreed subject to regulators approving the deal to take 19.1% stake in the group.
Although last week F1 CEO Berine Ecclestone suggested that he was unsure if the deal would go through as planned, but today Liberty y announced on Friday that its shareholders will gather on 17th January to discuss the matter.
Liberty stated that at the meeting the shareholders will “vote on proposals relating to Liberty’s issuance of shares of its Series C Liberty Media common stock in connection with the proposed acquisition of Formula 1 and the renaming of the Liberty Media Group and the Liberty Media common stock to the Formula 1 Group and the Liberty Formula 1 common stock.”
Ecclestone told Motorsport.com about the deal “I’ve never counted their money. I don’t know their company, so I have no idea. They paid what they had to pay, they bought 10 percent of the company and they paid.
“I’d be surprised if it didn’t happen, but if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. CVC will still own their shares, less what they sold. Liberty will have 10 percent.”
Paul Ricciard Layout
Organisers the French Grand Prix have announced the Paul Ricciard will have a chicane on the Mistral Straight when it returns to the calendar in 2018. Earlier this week it was announced the race would return to the circuit for the first time since 1990.
There were other layouts which could have been used, but it was decided that this was the only one which meets the FIA Grade 1 requirements that all F1 tracks must have is the 5.842-kilometre version that features a chicane on the north side of the Mistral Straight.
Pirelli tyres will be different in 2018
Pirelli Racing Manager Mario Isola say that the tyres they are developing for 2018 will be different because next season they will be allowed to use current cars in testing.
The Italian manufacturer was asked to change the tyre sizes for next season, with the front tyres being 60mm wider and 80mm for the rears which are all part of the wider technical changes. But they were forced to test with ‘2014 mull cars’ this season, as teams were developing under the current ones.
Pirelli had concerns that the mule cars they were using were 20% down on the amount of downforce they require, this would skew the results.
Isola Told Autosport “I feel that the direction is good and we probably need to continue the development and to have a new product in 2018. But because next year we will have the real race cars testing, we have another step towards the right product.”
Last week following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull tested tyres. But next season Pirelli are planning to widen the test to other teams. Isola says they are optimistic following the test and happy with the development so far.
He added “We have some encouraging signs. We were obliged to change completely the product, the compounds, everything. It’s not just the size that was bigger it was a complete redesign of all the tyre.”
Mallya Twitter hacked
The Twitter account of Force India boss Vijay Mallya has been hacked by a group calling itself “The Legion” who are threated to publish details of his assets, accounts and passwords.
The Indian businessman is currently being investigated by Indian authorities over money laundering and business practices. Mallya has had his passport revoked and faces extradition to India after a court issued a warrant for his arrest.
The tweets should a list of luxury cars and what appeared to be a residency permit of “unlimited” duration. The group said that the information published was just a “trailer” and that more would be released soon. It is the second time his account his been hacked by the group.
One of their tweets read “More info on Mallyas bank accounts & foreign assets will be published as the investigation is completed in some other matters.” The link where the hackers said the documents were has been taken down.
Mallya claims that the group are trying to blackmail him and has previously claimed he was a victim of a media witch hunt. Mr Mallya made his fortune selling beer under the Kingfisher brand and branched out into aviation, Formula One and Indian cricket.
He denies all the allegations, failing to appear before investigators in India over financial irregularities at the airline.