China participation not 100% – Alonso
Fernando Alonso will not hope of returning to the grid this weekend as he awaits a medical to make sure he is fit to drive. The Spaniard was banned on medical grounds following a crash in Melbourne where he suffered a fractured rib.
Alonso will once again be assessed again by the on-site medical team at Shanghai on Thursday, when they will decide for certain whether he can participate in the race. Alonso told Autosport “It was disappointing to be told I couldn’t race in Bahrain, but I fully respected the decision of the FIA medical team.
“While I hope I’ll be back in the cockpit on Friday, until I get the all-clear from the doctors to race – whenever that may be – we cannot assume anything, but I’m continuing to prepare for the race weekend as normal.” Meanwhile Mclaren have confirmed that Stoffel Vandoorne is on standby once again in case Alonso can’t take part.
Speaking about Vandoorne Alonso said “Stoffel did a great job in Bahrain, and although Jenson [Button] suffered reliability issues, it was positive to see that both cars ran quite strongly during the weekend.”
News – in – Brief
- Hollinger appointed – Williams share holder Brad Hollinger has been appointed as a non-executive director for a three year term. Holllinger last month brought the remaining shares of Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. He will serve a three year term along with Nick Rose and Eddie Charlton.
- Shumi rise – the son of Michael Schumacher made a winning start to his career in Italian F4 by winning two races on the 2016 season’s opening weekend.
Red Bull faster than Mercedes
Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz believes that there sister Red Bull car is quicker through low and medium speed corners than the Mercedes. This season the senior team tipped the junior team to be ahead of them on track.
The junior team has been tipped to be ahead of their senior team in the early part of the season. However Red Bull has finished ahead of both the Toro Rossos on track.
When asked by Autosport if he was surprised at Daniel Ricciardo’s pace, Sainz replied: “It shows Red Bull is an amazing car. We’ve been asked many times about fighting Red Bull, and obviously we want to fight them, but we need to keep in mind it is one of the best, if not the best chassis on the grid.”
The Renault engine he says doesn’t look as bad as it did last year and they are as fast if not faster than the Mercedes according to the Spaniard. He says “We can see Ricciardo’s data on the GPS and everything. We can see it in the medium and low-speed corners. They are really quick – as quick as Mercedes, if not more.”
Must avoid public experimentation
Claire Williams says following the elimination-style qualifying system that Formula One must avoid public experimentation. The qualifying format was widely criticised by teams, drivers and fans.
The team called for a return to the 2006-15 format which following disapproval from Berine Ecclestone and FIA president Jean Todt was approved and this weekend the three part session without the knock-out. Ms Williams says she is “relieved” at the outcome.
She believes the main lesson for F1 should be to make decisions with more care and not risk public embarrassment. Ms Williams told Autosport “We have learned that we need to take more time to consider proposals that come to us, absolutely.”
“You don’t want to play out scenarios in the public arena. They should be done behind the scenes.” She added. But the whole weekend format needs to be changed because of declining audiences, both on TV and at tracks, the race weekend format needs to be analysed.
Haas approached questioned
The deputy team principal of Force India Bob Fernley has become the latest person to question the Haas teams approach to Formula One saying the team will face a major challenge with development.
The American team has made a good start to their debut season which many believe is because they have brought as many components as permitted by the rules from Ferrari. This means the American team has had the best start for a new team since Brawn GP in 2009.
Fernley be lives that there long term success and competiveness will be one of their biggest challenges. He told Motorsports.co I think the principles of how they got here and what it did for Ferrari as well, obviously they are questionable,” Fernley told Motorsport.com.
“They are here, what happened then can’t happen again, so they have got to develop themselves. At some point they going to have to develop their own structure, that’s where the challenge is.” Fernley says that Force India needs to keep an eye on how Haas progress through the rest of the season.
He says they may have peaked too early in the season.
Fantastic feeling at Manor
Dave Ryan says that there is a “fantastic feeling” with in Manor as they can now prove they can be competitive in Formula One. The team has made major gains since being in administration eighteen months ago and being rescued in March last year.
In Bahrain the team proved there proved their progress by running as high as seventh in the race but ended up thirteenth with Pascal Wehrlein. Ryan said about Wehrlein “It’s just a fantastic feeling to be actually competing and looking around at cars and thinking ‘We’ve got him, we’ve got him’.”
He told Autosport “We just have to take little steps at a time. We made a reasonable step in Bahrain, and for the next race in China we have to consolidate, not get ahead of ourselves because as the old saying goes ‘one swallow doesn’t make a summer’.”
Ryan says substantial gains in performance have already been made. The data shows Manor are now within a second on one lap pace and they have closed the gap by just under 4.5 seconds.