Only question is engine performance
Daniel Ricciardo says Red Bull only question going into the 2016 season is there engine performance is there only question facing the team. The Australian says he believes the teams other elements are back at their best.
After a year dominated by a row with engine partners Renault the team has remained with the French manufacturer. Ricciardo says he only thing in his opinion which will prevent a title challenge is the engine. He told Autosport “ I’m not going to go in thinking we can win the title. That would be the wrong thing to do.”
He added “If it works, awesome. I think we’ve got the platform. The way the team developed the car last year, it’s really proven not only the quality of people, but the motivation and the hunger still within the team.” Ricciardo says the team is probably dependant on the engine they have.
“Unfortunately now it’s probably always going to be dependent on which engine we have and that’s going to dictate the success a little bit. But mechanically we can definitely build a good car for 2016.
“How good is the engine going to be? That’s the question.”
Jordan joins Top Gear
Former team owner and BBC pundit Eddie Jordan will remain with the broadcaster to present Top Gear. He will present alongside Chris Evans, Matt Le Blanc, Sabine Schmitz and The Stig when it is relaunched in May.
No targets but rebuilding
Renaults Racing Director Fredric Vasseur has not set a target ahead of a return to Formula One as a works team. The Frenchman says the team aren’t focused on their place in the constructor’s championship.
Vasseur seems to say the team’s priority will be making progress in the development side and building a platform for the future. He told ESPN “It is not important in terms of ranking,” he said.
Adding “We know the situation and we only took on the company on the 19th of December, so the purpose of me is not to say P9, P7 or P5. The first objective is to build up a strong team and build up a base for the next season.”
He says Renault need time to become a competitive force again in Formula One something he says could take up to five years. Which in history makes sense because Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes took around that long to be competitive
Vasseur said “We had a tough year last year, but even at the end they were not far in terms of performance and in Spa they were on the podium.”
Hanging in balance
The future of the Italian Grand Prix after this season remains uncertain after the circuit is yet to agree a new deal to remain on the calendar. The Grand Prix along with the British Grand Prix is the only race to have taken place since the inaugural championship in 1950.
Last month the president of the Automobile Club of Italy Angelo Sticchi Damiani said the future of the race should be secured to 2020 or 2023 by the end of February. A meeting hasn’t yet taken place as it believed the owners haven’t found the investment to modernise the circuit.
This includes improvements the quality of the grandstands, develop the public areas and improve the parking situation.
Easier to enter F1 now
The current V6 engines make it easier for new manufacturers to enter Formula One in comparison with the V8 and V10 era according to Andy Cowell. The managing director of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains says it presents the perfect and accessible platform for new manufacturers top enter F1.
Speaking to Autosport Cowell said “The V10s and V8s were so specialist, 20,000 or 18,000rpm naturally-aspirated engines were very peculiar, just to Formula 1. Twenty years ago you used to spend days working out what the bore size should be, or how many cylinders you should have, but now it’s in the regs, so I think it’s easier.”
Cowell feels the current rules are worthwhile for manufactures not just in motorsport but in aviation and motoring industries to allow them to develop new technology.
Solid car foundations
Nico Hulkenberg believes that Force India has solid foundations to build a good all-round car for 2016. The team had a good second half of 2015 after they introduced a B-spec car at the British Grand Prix.
The VJM08-B delivered the team good results including podiums and helped them to secure fifth in the constructors championship last year. Hulkenberg told Autosport “If you look at all the different tracks, the different tyre compounds, whatever, with the B-spec we are more or less in a position where we can score good points on every track on any day, and that is good.”
Hulkenberg says that the team have built a solid foundation which puts them in a good position and now they need to build on that. He added “Obviously we target on improving and to close the gap to the front, that is definitely what we are after, what we want and what everybody is pushing for.”
He said also they can’t become complacent and they need to continue to make gains.