Ferrari “a group of scared people”
Ferrari is no longer a Formula One team but “a group of scared people” that’s the assessment of the teams former chief engineer Luca Baldisserri. The Italian team has had and will fail to meet there target of taking this year’s titles in both the drivers and constructors.
The team has had a reshuffle during the year following the exit of technical director James Allison. Baldisserri, who left the Scuderia last year, reckons the Italian squad lives under a state of constant fear.
In a interview with Baldisserri told Corriere dello Sport Bladisseri said “Unfortunately neither [president Sergio] Marchionne nor [team boss Maurizio] Arrivabene have experience in racing, a culture that the Scuderia of today has lost.”
“They are no longer a team, but a group of scared people. There is a climate of fear. The boys don’t take risks for fear of being fired in disgrace” he added. Baldisserri says he doesn’t support the new horizontal structure with fewer bosses saying he thinks the structure needs to be a military one.
Speaking about Alison’s replacement Mattia Binotto he says the Italian is not the ideal person to lead the technical team. “Mattia knows how to motivate people, he has great experience but he is not a technical director,” he added.
“He knows he cannot design a car and does not have deep knowledge of the chassis, aerodynamics or mechanical side. He would be a good team principal instead.”
No Hamilton meltdown – Rosberg
Nico Rosberg has dismissed reports that Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton is in ‘meltdown’ mode after losing ground in the title battle. Speaking to Sky Sports at the teams base in Brackley yesterday he said “It’s complete rubbish.”
“He’s on it as ever before, fully motivated and does massive work hours also. I’ve seldom seen that from him in the last years, such a large amount” Said Rosberg. The team was celebrating winning their third concessive constructors title.
Hamilton was criticised by the media on Thursday after using Snapchat in the press conference and for walking out of a media session. Monday’s papers talked of a ‘delicate ego’, examined his ‘fragile mental state’ and suggested the Briton was losing it on and off the track.
The Times called Hamilton a “cocky prankster (gone to) sullen losser” and claimed that Mercedes “Executives were mouthing the word ‘meltdown.” These claims have been made because it was clear the media needed to produce headlines, building up and knocking down according to team boss Toto Wolff.
Wolff said “Lewis had a couple of tough weekends… if he recovers and has a good weekend in Austin, he’s the hero again. That’s why I’m pretty relaxed about it.”
Hamilton’s response on Thursdays claims was “Today was meant to be fun, not at all disrespectful. Some people take themselves to seriously. I had a blast, highlight of my day!” he tweeted.
Mercedes post loss for 2015
Mercedes have filed a post-tax loss of £22.3 million for 2015 when they successfully defended the drivers and constructors championship. The accounts of the team are better than 2014 but they posted a post-tax loss of £76.1m.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Mercedes “exceeded expectations yet again” as the team was “able to maintain or improve upon the high standards set during the record-breaking 2014 season”. The team says that they equalled and had increased there turnover to £66.3m.
It adds there was “an increase of £8.1m in operating costs mainly due to inflationary increases in salary costs” and a “a decrease of £4.1m in consortium tax relief claims”.
Mercedes will get a bonus from FOM this season for meeting its agreed target of two world championships in ’14 and ’15. “The challenge for the future is to continue to compete for the championships in every season, whilst also continuing the recent commercial improvement,” the report reads.
I’m out performing – Kvyat
Daniil Kvyat feels he is currently out-performing his Toro Rosso which demonstrates he deserves a seat next season. Kvyat was demoted from Red Bull in May since then has appeared to be struggling only scoring four points.
However since his returned to the team he has only scored four points unlike team-mate Carlos Sainz who has scored twenty six. In two of the last three races Kvyat has finished ahead of the Spaniard. When asked by Autosport if he was proving he deserved a seat in 2017 Kvyat said “I think I am outperforming the car at the moment, to be honest, so if this is not enough then I don’t know what is.”
“I’m feeling a lot more comfortable than a couple of months ago, that’s for sure. I have to create my own comfort and it feels quite good. The start of every weekend is more enjoyable.” Kvyat knows the coming races will not be easy but says he knows he needs to enjoy what he is doing.
The Russian says he is no nearer knowing whether he will be retained by Toro Rosso next season, hopes he will not have to wait too much longer.
Ferrari surprised in Japan – Horner
Christian Horner says that he was surprise with how Ferrari threw a chance of being on the podium away at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel was third behind Max Verstappen and ahead of Lewis Hamilton when Ferrari decided to extend his middle stint, before switching to soft tyres. This meant the Ferrari had to settle for fourth after his tyres fell away.
Horner thinks the team sacrificed a strong position by putting Vettel on the softest compound for such a long stint. He told ESPN “We toyed with that because once you have been undercut, then you have to try something different.”
“So we went longer, but the tyres were dropping off at a point where we didn’t think we could get to the end on the soft. So it was a question of again going on the hard.” Horner believes that it was surprising as Ferrari look good all weekend
He says at Suzuka Ferrari were slightly stronger than them and because the circuit is one where you’re at full throttle longer making it engine dependant. Horner says they were able to convert the grid positions into points
Horner said “We made the most of the position we had with Max, he drove a very mature race and we expected, had Ferrari stopped a lap later, for them to be putting Max under pressure at the end of the race.”
Haas hope to carry performance to Austin
Team principal of Haas Guenther Steiner says he hopes the teams improved performance in Japan will continue into their first home race. Haas had a great weekend, with both cars getting into Q3 for the first time.
However failed to convert that into points but Steiner is buoyed by the improvement the team found with the new part. He told ESPN “I think the new front wing they are very happy with that one, how it behaves, more total than overall downforce, it’s more like the behaviour of the car now which he likes better and he can be more aggressive.”
Steiner says they struggled on Friday but in Malaysia they had a new front wing but was unable to test it properly and find the correct balance or setup. “There’s no point to have a good front wing and you don’t know what your tyres are doing, so we focussed on it here, we had a little bit of a better weekend without big mechanical failures or anything.” He added.
Sepang was eventful race with Grosjean suffer a brake failure and Gutierrez lose a wheel mid-way through the race. But Steiner says that the team is getting more experienced and thinks they made progress again.