Barcelona test – Rosberg fastest on day one
Nico Rosberg was fastest during the first day of a two day test at the Circuit de Catayluna-Barcelona. The German who won Sundays Grand Prix set the best lap of 1:24.374 on a new experimental tyre brought by Pirelli.
Rosberg lead for most of the day going 0.307 seconds quicker than his pole time on Saturday but was 1.6 seconds slower than he was in qualifying on Saturday. Marcus Ericcson was second for Sauber and Ferrari Academy driver Raffaele Marciello next up for the Scuderia, just 0.024s behind the Swede.
Marciello will swap with Ericcson for the final day tomorrow driving for the Swiss team. All the teams focused on testing a variety of new components and aerodynamic parts.
Nick Yelloly made his debut for Force India after Mercedes test driver Pascal Wehrlein who was forced to pull out through illness. Mercedes is hopeful Wehrlein will be fit enough to step in for Hamilton on Wednesday as he focus on contract talks.
Williams’s Felipe Massa only managed 54 laps and was just over 3.5s back, with McLaren tester Oliver Turvey bringing up the rear, 4.1s down.
Hamilton new deal in Monaco
Lewis Hamilton new contract with Mercedes could be announced at next weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix. There have been reports that the talks were in deadlock over money
Hamilton hinted on Sunday that hinted that there may be an announcement in Monaco. He said “You’ll see it in Monaco — I will have some news for you in Monaco.” Suggestions in the media say the new contract could give the double world champion £25.6 million a year under the new contract.
Last year, the talks were put on hold so that Hamilton could concentrate on the title battle. He told reporters before the Malaysian Grand Prix in March that it was 99.6 percent done with only some ‘legal stuff’ remaining. The deal could leave him as one of the sport’s top earners.
Giving back – Drivers Union
Formula one driver will announce a plan next Friday to give more back to the fans during the rest day in Monaco. The chairman of the drivers union Alex Wurz announced after the drivers unanimously agreed the move at a meeting at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
Wurz says the plans are “To make sure this sport remains at the pinnacle and gets ever more popular, we would like to engage more with the fans.” The plans are believed to involve social media. F1 has the reputation for exclusive and inaccessible compared to series like the world endurance championship, where fans have much more access to the paddock and drivers during race weekends.
In recent month F1 Boss Berine Ecclestone has appeared to do a U-turn over the sports use of social media and now has a team working on developing the way FOM use social media.
Audi F1 is an option
Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler says that Formula One remains a option for the German manufacturer as speculation about a partner with Red Bull continues.
He told Auto Express that in life you need to keep options open. “We’re already well stuffed with successful motorsport projects. But with F1, wait and see. It’s an option for Audi. Not at this moment, perhaps. But it is still an option.”
The rumours have been growing louder after Ferdinand Piech has quit as chairman of parent company Volkswagen. Piech was believed to be the person who was blocking them joining the sport.