Wherlein confirmed by Manor
Mercedes test driver Pascal Wehrlein has been confirmed as Manors first signing ahead of the 2016 season. The German has been linked to the team after Manor signed an engine and technical deal with the car giant at the end of 2015.
The German told BT Sport “Manor Racing is a great place for me to start my Formula One racing career and I’m very pleased to be here. It’s a small and totally focused team and I soon hope to know everyone.
“Though it’s my first F1 season my aim is to help (owner) Stephen (Fitzpatrick) and the guys achieve their goals.” Wherlein thanked the Mercedes team and the boss Toto Wolff for their support,
Team owner Stephen Fitzpatrick said “Pascal is a sharp driver with a very promising future; Manor Racing is excited to have him aboard. We’re a small team up for a big challenge this season, so we’ve chosen a driver with the talent and hunger to match our own on-track ambitions.”
Meanwhile Alexander Rossi says things are looking positive for him to retain his seat with Rio Haryant and Will Stevens also being linked to the team.
- McLaren crash test – McLaren have passed the mandatory crash test before pre-season testing. Every team has now passed the test apart from Red Bull who haven’t confirmed whether they have or not.
- Piquet closes f1 door – Nelson Piquet Jr says his chances of a return to F1 are minimal saying he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Formula E World Champion was sacked for exposing the Renault race fixing scandal in 2009 following the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.
Car priority over drivers – Symonds
Pat Symonds says that the Williams team will continue to prioritise there spending on their car rather than trying to get a big signing. The British team who are believed to have the fifth biggest budget in the sport.
Williams have had two strong seasons after regulations changed in 2014. Speaking to Autosport Symonds said “When I’ve said it in the past, I didn’t meant we couldn’t exploit what superstar drivers have got, but they cost money.
“But at the moment, we are deficient in areas which I would prioritise over a superstar driver. So if Alonso came to drive for us, we would make full use of him and we’d work well with him.” But he added the team couldn’t afford his wages.
He says both Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas are perfect for Williams and work well together.
Under attack from Toro Rosso – Newey
Red Bull may find themselves under attack from Toro Rosso as they prepare for a difficult season says Technical Director Adrian Newey. The team faced an uncertain future after owner Dietrich Mateschitz threated to quit the sport last year.
Team Principal Christian Horner has already warned they face a “transitional” season after a late decision to stay with Renault engines. The team feel to fourth in last year’s constructors Championship their lowest place in six years.
He told Sky Sports “But Honda I’m sure will be making a good step forwards for McLaren. Even Toro Rosso having a one-year out-of-date Ferrari engine will have a good step on their performance. So it’s very difficult for us to forecast exactly where we’re going to be.”
Hamilton could dominate for a decade
The father of Lewis Hamilton says his son could dominate the sport for the next decade. Anthony Hamilton told Sky Sports “He is only going to get better, he is only going to get stronger,”
Previously Hamilton said he was planning to retire aged thirty seven. Hamilton Sr added “He has another seven to 10 years left in the sport and he is extremely competitive. He is still young so he has quite a few left in him.”
He believes that his son will never give up on his other interests which include his music album and the highlife in LA. He added that his soon will remain in the sport as long has he has the sprit which he says is bad news for everyone else.
He believes that Hamilton wants to see others close the gap in 2016 to make it more of a challenge and to win on merit.