Ending the winless drought – Bottas
Valtteri Bottas says he believes that his Williams team can end there win drought this season. The British team hasn’t won a race since that surpise win at 2012 Spanish Grand Prix and last won a championship in 1997.
Speaking at a sponsor event in Italy Bottas said that he believes Williams are primed to return to the top step when the season gets under way in Melbourne he said “Of course we want to win, and as a team our goal is to do better than last year.” Last season the team finished third
Bottas added “I think it is possible and I think we can do it. We’ve been getting stronger all the time as a team and the new car we have improved from last year so it’s going to be close this year. We have high hopes.”
Felipe Massa said he totally agrees with the Fin. During testing it appeared the team was third in the running order. Massa said “I am totally with Valtteri. We want to win, we want more, and we want to put this car on top.”
‘We did some good lap times in Barcelona; some consistent long runs as well and we’re working really hard to get close to Mercedes and Ferrari.” He added.
Sauber pay staff in full
Sauber has completely paid wages to its staff for February and is not doubting it will be on the grid at next weekend’s Australian Grand Prix. The team confirmed yesterday to the magazine Autosport that a solution had been found to make sure that staff would be paid.
Last November Sauber, Force India and Manor, asked Bernie Ecclestone in for advance on their championship payments. This is because the smaller teams find it hard to make money.
Sauber are believed to be in the advanced stages of securing a title sponsor, though an agreement has yet to be signed.
Unprecedented confidence – Tost
Toro Rosso’s team principal Franz Tost says his team is entering the season with unprecedented confidence following testing. The Italian teams STR11 emerged as a reliable car during the two test.
On Monday he said “It was a positive surprise. To be honest, we didn’t expect that we would be in a position to do so many laps.” Today he went a step futher saying “We’ve had the best preparation as long as Toro Rosso has existed.”
Adding “We’ve done so many laps and collected so much data, and from the driver point of view, the engineering side, the team itself, we have reached quite a good level.” He said the teams confidence is higher than ever before. Tost says while the car works on track it needs to prove itself on track.
He added that he expects Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr to regularly be in the top ten this season.
Watkins Glen Wonderful home – Whiting
Race Director Charlie Whiting believes that Watkins Glen would be a “wonderful” home for the United States Grand Prix. The circuit in New York State last held the race in 1980.
Whiting is charged with making sure that the sports circuit is safe to hold races. He told local TV “I am really, really impressed with the work that has been done. It has been done to a very, very high standard.”
He added “I think it would be an absolutely wonderful circuit for F1 cars to race on, but we all know it is not quite as simple as that.” The sport is once again facing uncertainty in America after local politicians in Texas pulled funding from the event.
Tapping into America
Meanwhile, Brad Hollinger an investor in Williams says the sport should make a more concerted effort to tap into the potential offered by the United States. Hollinger is the second largest investor in the team after Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.
Hollinger said “Formula 1 is quite strong right now [in the US]. It is in a transformative era, with huge growth opportunities internationally, but even more so in the United States.”
He added “When you think of the success of Formula 1, without a meaningful penetration in the US, that portends well.” He said Haas will create more exposure of the sport in America. He said there should be a focus on the two coasts.
He offered to lend a hand in facilitating the possibility of such a race. “I can’t say I have experience in sponsoring major sporting events, however, I am happy to assist in anyway I can. I would certainly be a strong proponent in helping.”
I was asked about Top Gear – Coulthard
David Coulthard said he was asked to join Top Gear but turned it down because “Channel 4 pulled a blinder” with the offer to be head of its Formula One presenting team.
The former F1 driver turned broadcaster was announced as part of the Channel 4 presenting team alongside Top Gear presenter and colleague Eddie Jordan on Tuesday. Speaking on Channel 4 tonight he said “I was being lined up for it because Formula One used to be on the BBC, before Channel 4 pulled a blinder.”
“I love Formula One. I love car racing so I just couldn’t not be part of this new opportunity.” He praised the corporation for the presence of two women on the team and Coulthard said that F1 was not a sexist sport.
He said the sport isn’t sexist and there has been an openly gay driver in the sport. This puts him at odds with Berine Ecclestone, who said in 2014 that he “completely agrees” with the Russian president’s views on homosexuality.