F1 Today – 12/09/2016

F1 Today

Red Bull been key architect – Symonds

Red Bull has been a key architect in how Formula 1 cars will look in 2017 according to Williams technical director Pat Symonds. Next season wider wings, new body work and bigger tyres will be introduced as part an overhaul of the technical regulations.

Symonds believes that Red Bull have been pivotal in shaping what will eventually take to the grid. He says the new cars look nice telling Autosport “When we first started talking about the 2017 cars, I was worried because there was this real drive for a retro look. A retro look wouldn’t have done anything.

“Red Bull on the back for doing a great job in styling the car because what they did was take away what the Strategy Group had asked for and they really styled it.

“They started with this premise that we want the car to look like it’s going fast even when it’s stationary and I thought yeah, that’s a really nice way of expressing it.”  While Adrian Newey has been working on concept cars Symonds says the new F1 machinery will “not look futuristic” either.

He described the styling in a way that delivers a look of “being dragged through air”.

 

Wedding bells

Valtteri Bottas has married his girlfriend Emilia Pikkarainen in Helsinki in the days after Monza. Pikkarainen took gold in Rio last month.

 

I knew Renault would plummet – Grosjean

Romain Grosjean has told Autosport that his move from what is now Renault to Haas was motivated more by a suspicion Renault would plummet in 2016 than seeking a route to Ferrari.

The Frenchman was one of the names which was linked to Ferrari to replace Kimi Raikkonen before the team resigned the Fin. Lotus was brought by French car giant Renault in December 2015. Asked by Autosport whether he felt the door to an eventual Ferrari drive was still open, he replied: “I think it is. But the idea of coming to Haas was not with an eye on Ferrari.

“I felt Renault would have the year they are having, that it would be very difficult. On the other hand there was an American team coming to Formula 1 and I thought if I can be there and make it successful, it’s going to be huge in the US” He added.

Grosjean says that was more his thinking than the route to Ferrari saying the team only signs drivers that suits them. Saying the best you can do is doing a good job and show you’re consistent.

Asked if there was any disappointment when he heard Ferrari had opted to retain Raikkonen, he said: “Yes, because one day I want to go to Ferrari. But on the other hand I thought ‘Well, you know what, it gives me chance to try the new Haas’.”

He says as well as being the first to score points for Haas he  would like to be the “first to stand on the podium for the team and possibly win a race.” Grosjean recognises Haas is unlikely to fulfil his ambition of being an F1 world champion, but he is prepared to be patient.

 

Lack of politics helps Force India

Sergio Perez says that Force India’s strongest season in the sport has been helped by a “lack of politics” at the outfit. The team has had a good season with them currently equalling there best finish in the championship.

But the team has targeted Williams in fourth. When asked why Force India is having surprising form he said that at the team is working in unity. He told Motorsport.com “It is the structure of the team. I think the people, technically, we have very good people.

“There are no politics in the team so people are allowed to do their job. It makes a massive difference in the environment of the team. Everyone is working to be better as a team and that is a key to it.” He says that the importance of a good structure and having key people doing their job properly.

The team has had a much better European season scoring 93 points and two podiums compared to 13 points in the first four races. Force India improved their cars after identifying the weak spots of the VJM09, one of which was massive tyre degradation.

“To look back and see the season we have had, the podiums with great racing, it has been a really, really strong year” Perez said.

“That was a massive key, that we focused so much on weak areas of the car early in the year and that has helped us massively.”

 

Money not priority in line up decision  

Sauber are insistent that money will not be there priority when it comes to picking its final 2017 Formula 1 driver line-up. The Swiss team had difficult start to the season with it having to halt car development and left the future of the team in doubt.

But a deal with investment firm Longbow Finance to take over the outfit has resurrected its fortunes and finally allowed the team to begin a new update programme and lift hopes for a step forward next year. The deal means the team will not need drivers with the biggest sponsorship backing.

Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn has told Motorsport.com “”We have never at Sauber just taken a decision for financial reasons and we are known for that,” Kaltenborn told Motorsport.com.

“Financial reasons have to be considered, but we have always looked at the driver and have to be first convinced of the driver when we take him as a race driver. If money is required, which isn’t the current situation, not only for us, then one would have to take that into consideration as well.”

Marcus Ericsson looks set to stay as the financial support comes from his backers. But Felipe Nasr remains s in strong contention although has also been linked with Williams.

Kaltenborn said that both men had delivered in difficult circumstances this year, but was well aware of how important it was for them to bring points before the end of the campaign. She added that  Sauber was in no rush to finalise its driver plans, even though the market elsewhere was moving fast.

When asked when we could expect an announcement, Kaltenborn said: “In due course. We are not giving any time lines. We will announce when we are ready.”

 

McLaren set for strong finish season

Jenson Button says that McLaren upgrades should allow the team to get a strong finish to this season and has even set his sights on challenging Ferrari.

2016 has been a much stronger season with reliability and performance have been steady rather than drastic this year, though favourable circuits and engine upgrades are on the horizon. Button has warned other teams that McLaren could be on the charge next season

He told Sky Sports “We’ve made massive gains over the last 12 months and if you look at what we have coming in the future, we should be able to fight towards the end of the year with teams that are a above us at the moment. Ferrari would be one of them.”

McLaren are currently sixth in the constructors championship and Button is optimistic they could do better.  He says for next week’s race at Sepang the team could see gains  in performance as they may be fighting Ferrari. Though back-to-back races in Belgium and Italy didn’t quite suit their package.

Team boss Eric Boullier said “Despite spending the next few weeks far away from the UK, our development push is still ongoing and we’re still working hard on achieving performance improvements right up to the end of the season.”

 

Big progress made – Taffin

Renault technical director Remi Taffin says there engine performance in the Italian Grand Prix shows it has made “big progress” in Formula One. Red Bull there only customer team nearly get a second off their best time in 2015.

Speaking to Autosport Taffin said “We had a trouble free weekend, so the clear picture of the engine is there. We know Mercedes is in front and that Ferrari is, too, but we saw in the race, there is no problem getting past another car when it is needed.

He says the fact we have made big progress doesn’t mean there isn’t a long way to go. When asked about the relative gaps to Mercedes, Ferrari and Honda, Taffin said: “We still have a small way to go to Ferrari. I guess Ferrari is halfway to the gap we have got to Mercedes. Honda are catching but they are quite a way behind us.”

Renault made a late call to bring a upgraded engine package in Singapore this weekend, has improved both in terms of reliability and power, with Taffin targeting reaching the end of the year without any penalties. He says “I have to cross fingers when I talk about that [reliability] but it’s true we have a good record.”

“We’re the only engine manufacturer to not have got a penalty on that and it’s clear we have to get the record.”

Jack

Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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