Williams suited to budget cap
Williams Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams, says that a budget cap would suit her team because they are already efficient in the way it already uses its modest funds.
The idea has re-emerged following the takeover of the sport by Liberty Media last month. The idea has already been backed by the McLaren executive director Zak Brown came out in favour of the concept and Williams believes it would also suit her operation.
Liberty and sporting director Ross Brawn are currently looking at ways of distributing funding to teams more equitably. Speaking at SPOBIS summit, Ms Williams said: “Liberty have talked about trying to bring distribution of income to a much more equitable level in order to make sure we have a sport that thrives and is sustainable into the future.”
“Williams is an independent team and our budget’s around the mid-point among other teams in our sport. For us in the middle, it gives us quite an exciting future because if they do bring about a more equitable distribution of income, obviously we will benefit from that.” She adds
She says Williams are a team which is able to thrive under a budget cap. But says that a big team may need to reduce what they do. Williams praised Ecclestone for his work during a 40-year-reign at the helm of F1.
Speaking about deposed CEO Bernie Ecclestone’s role she said “We were waiting to see if Ecclestone would retain a place around that table with Liberty and it transpires he won’t be involved on a day-to-day basis. He’s been given the title chairman emeritus, so we’ll have to see what that means.”
Overtaking will be easier – Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen says he thinks that overtaking this season might be easier, based on the DRS having a bigger impact. There is the feeling amongst the paddock that the aero changes could have a negative impact on wheel-to-wheel racing.
Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery has suggested F1 will end up with processional racing because the rules shake-up will spread the field out. But, the Dane is not convinced, saying he believes the DRS could become more effective with the new rules.
He told Autosport “The DRS should have a bigger effect than last year as there is more downforce and drag on the rear wing. When you open the DRS it should make a bigger difference to the car in front.”
“So there are things that point to better racing. With more downforce, you would think it would be hard to stay close but we will have to wait and see” Added Magnussen.
This season’s regulation changes are expected to make cars around five-seconds a lap faster. Magnussen says he looking forward to racing the new cars, especially as drivers are expected to be able to push the cars.
FRIC-tion between teams over the suspension
The FIA have issued a clarification on ‘trick suspension’ which was used by Mercedes and Red Bull after Ferrari queried the legality of the system. The Italian team wrote to the FIA last month to ask if the system was legal.
Ferrari believes that Front and Rear Interconnected Suspension (FRIC, which was banned in 2014) is a way of controlling ride heights to give greater downforce and stability in corners and over kerbs. There is no physical connection between the two.
Article 3.15 of the regulations states that “any specific part of the car influencing its aerodynamic performance must remain immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car” which effectively bans moveable aerodynamic devices.
According to the German publication Auto Motor und Sport, in a recent meeting of team technical bosses, Ferrari only found the support of three other teams. The split opinion is hardly surprising given how far along the teams are with the development of their 2017 cars and how detrimental a new rules restriction could be for the upcoming season.
While Motorsport.com added that teams debated several alternatives, including switching to a conventional system, active suspension or no restriction on the current concepts in question.
FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting is expected to issue a technical directive on the issue before testing begins in Spain on February 27, which should help shape whether the controversy continues into winter testing.
However, these are not legally binding, until the stewards interpret the rules, which means the row will rumble on until the opening race.
No hiding of pace – Lauda
Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda says he believes that in testing the teams will not hide the true pace of the new cars before the opening Grand Prix of the season.
Pre-season testing is often non-representative of who has the best package. Last season Ferrari looked like they could have the ability to challenge Mercedes, however, last season for the Italian team resulted in no victories and them being pushed to third in the constructors.
The four times world champion says with the new and more aggressive regulations, the team wants to know where they are in the pecking order before Melbourne. He told the Swiss newspaper Blick “”The Barcelona tests will be used to get to know the new rules during the first four days [February 27 – March 2].
“The four days between the testing sessions will be used to develop updates. Then, from March 7 to March 10, we will do business. This time nobody will hold back and only show their cards at Melbourne.” He added.
Speaking about the teams 2017 car, the WO8, he gave a positive assessment saying it looked “awesome” in the factory.
Sauber extend Interroll partnership
Sauber has announced they are extending their partnership with Interroll. Interrol is a leading producer of high-quality key products and services for internal logistics.
The group suppliers a broad range of technology for companies, who require internal logistics. Suppling names such as Amazon and DHL, as well as motoring brands Peugeot and Yahama. They describe themselves as “engaged in global research projects for logistics efficiency and actively supports industry associations in developing standards.”
Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn said “We are delighted to be able to continue the trusting and active cooperation with Interroll. As a global sporting event, Formula One depends on reliable, precise logistics processes around the world.”
“Just like in Formula 1 quality, the ability to innovate and flexibility are crucial success factors.” She added.
Jens Karolyi senior vice president added “With our joint agreement we are continuing our successful partnership with the Sauber F1 Team which has existed since 2012.
“Like Sauber, Interroll is a global brand that combines comprehensive technology expertise with outstanding commitment. We are convinced that the Sauber F1 Team is well-positioned for the coming season and that the team’s hard work is going to pay off.”
Red Bull launch
Red Bull has announced they will launch their 2017 car, the RB13 on the same day as sister team Toro Rosso. Both teams will launch their cars at the Circuit de Catalunya – Barcelona, on Sunday 26th February.
Renault, Force India, Mercedes, McLaren and Ferrari will hold bespoke events in the week before testing. Sauber has opted for an online reveal on February 20, two days it completes a filming day at Barcelona.
Haas will launch at a filming day the week before, Williams is the only team yet to announce its plans. Full details of all the launches are here.