Stroll in pole for Massa seat
Lance Stroll may have put himself in pole position to replace Felipe Massa when he turns eighteen after two wins and a second-place finish in European F3 at the Nurburgring this past weekend mean that, with two rounds to spare, he cannot finish lower than third in the championship standings.
The Canadian is now looks set to finish the season third as a minium after being almost out of reach of his team-mate Nick Cassidy and Goegore Russel. Both Cassidy and Russel still have a mathematical chance, however slight, of leapfrogging Stroll in the standings with 150 points still up for grabs, there is no scenario in which Stroll will finish lower.
This gives him enough points to equal the forty points on his superlicence which allows him to race in Formula One next season. Stroll is already Williams’s reserve driver with a seat free next season it could be filled by the Canadian.
However he will need to wait until the end of October when he turns eighteen.
Mercedes say not favourites
Mercedes have conceded they are not the favourites going into this weekends Singapore Grand Prix despite winning all but one race this season. Last weekend the sliver arrows were half a second faster than anyone else. But last year they struggled in the city state.
Speaking to Sky Sports Lewis Hamilton said “Ferrari and Red Bull will be on it I’m sure, so we’ve got a big fight on our hands if we are up at the front.” This weekends race could be key as he will be looking to build his lead over Nico Rosberg at the toughest race of the year.
Singapore is a much slower circuit which will give Red Bull a chance following there pole in Monaco. This is because the corners and chassis will play to there strengths as the circuit because of the style of the circuit.
Nico Rosberg speaking about Singapore said “It was our most difficult race ever – well, in the last few years. 1.8 seconds is huge. We can’t go there with too much confidence. This is going to be a challenging weekend.
Pirelli wants race drivers to test
Pirelli chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera says that he hopes that Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at some stage in its 2017 Formula 1 tyre testing.
Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari are the teams helping the tyre manufacturer test the new tyres. But Mercedes have opted not to use either one of there race drivers. Red Bull has only used Formula E champion and former Toro Rosso driver Sebastien Buemi.
Pirelli made it clear it wants to test with current race drivers, and while Wehrlein fits that bill, Tronchetti Provera hopes Mercedes moves on from Toto Wolff’s view that “at the moment it’s not planned they [Hamilton and Rosberg] make the test”.
He was asked by Autosport if the teams agreed to provide race drivers, he replied: “It’s wrong for them if they don’t. Ferrari gave the best drivers and I think and hope all the rest will give them. The priority is to have the best pilot.
“The speed is changing, so the best pilots, they have to test it. They have the sensibility to understand the change [in the tyres].” Mercedes have more testing with Rosberg saying he wants to test, while Hamilton is yet to do any in season testing this year.
Williams posts a profit, but warns of uncertainty
Williams Group has posted a pre-tax profit of £4.1 million for the first half of 2016. The teams profits dipped after it began to return to the top end of the championship in 2014 but this has brought a substantial increase in prize money for finishing third in that year’s constructors’ championship.
The team’s interim financial results report a pre-tax (EBITDA) profit of £4.1million for the F1 arm of the operation over the first six months of this year, compared to £1.6million over the same period in 2015.
However there was a slight dip in profits from there Formula One team of £1,000 in the first half but this was offset by the improved performance for the Advanced Engineering offshoot of Williams.
The Advanced Engineering arm made nearly double the amount of profit in the first six months of the year. These figures don’t take in the decision of the UK to leave the EU at the end of June, but it will become clearer in the next results.
Group CEO Mike O’Discoll said “These financial results show strong progress across the Williams Group and continue to validate the approaches we have taken to achieve our core long-term objectives of building a championship-contending Formula One team and profitable advanced engineering business.”
But warned the changes next season, the uncertain caused by Brexit and the global economy will impact on future results.
Haryanto’s new backers
The manager of Rio Haryanto says the Indonesian losing his seat has brought new backer which may help him to return to a race seat. Haryanto was dropped from his race seat in August , after the funding required to meet his contractual obligations did not materialise.
He was replaced by Mercedes junior and Renault reserve Ocon and then accepted an offer to stay on as reserve, a role it is understood does not require funding.
Peris Hunnisett told Autosport “when the news broke that Haryanto had been dropped, new backers started to come forward. There was shock in Indonesia, They were asking ‘why is our boy not racing?”
“Some people came forward to ask how they could help. It woke them up. The money was in place, but Ocon had done the deal. We missed the window by a week.”
“We were promised funding by the government and we had some problems there.” Hunnisett added there were normal sponsors from Asia but it was too late.
The plan now is for talks to happern in Singapore with a new package which will not require government support. “We are working for next year and we’re quite optimistic that what has happened has woken everything up, It’s realistic now.” He added.
Gary Brabham loses appeal on rape conviction
Former Formula One driver and son of Sir Jack Brabham has lost his appeal against his rape conviction. Gary Brabham was sentenced to 18 months prison in April after a Brisbane District Court jury found him guilty of raping a girl, aged five or six at the time.
Brabham urged that the evidence about a letter the victim wrote detailing the abuse should not have been heard at trial.
The victim had testified to writing the letter to her mother in 2005, but it was no longer available when the matter went to court, and its contents were not divulged.
Brabham’s legal team argued mention of the letter would have caused the jury to speculate about its contents. Brabham Jr raced in Formula One for a brief period in 1900 and retired in 1995.