Di Resta returns as Williams reserve driver
Williams have announced that Paul di Resta is to return to F1 as the reserve driver. The Scot did race for Force India for three seasons before returning to DTM.
He will combine like many other reserve drivers will combine racing in DTM with his role at the team. Speaking about his return he told Motorsports.com “I am delighted to be joining Williams as reserve driver and look forward to the 2016 season,” said di Resta.
“It will be a busy year combining both driving in DTM with Mercedes AMG, and attending the Formula 1 grands prix in my new reserve driver role.” He says he is looking forward to the “exciting possibilities the year has ahead.”
Deputy team principal Claire Williams said “We are delighted to welcome someone with Paul’s experience to the team. Having competed in 58 Formula 1 races throughout his career Paul’s racing knowledge will be invaluable.”
Desire to disappear – Kelm
The manager of Michael Schumacher says the seven times world champion had the desire to disappear from the public eye before his skiing accident.
In December 2014 the legend hit his head on a rock while skiing in the Alps between Christmas and New Year leaving him in a coma. He has returned home where he continues to be looked after. Speaking at the weekend Sabine Kelm said “In general the media have never reported on Michael and Corinna’s private live.”
“When he was in Switzerland, for example, it was clear he was a private individual. Once in a long discussion Michael said to me, ‘You don’t need to call me for the next year, I’m disappearing.’
Speaking about the tough media black out she issued no apology for the little details about his condition. She said “I understand it needs o be reported and that people are interested. But I believe as a journalist you should also ask yourself what and how you report.”
Smith leaves Sauber
Sauber have announced that Technical Director Mark Smith is to leave the team because of family reasons. Smith joined the team in july last year
A statement from the team said Smith “has already left the company. We would like to thank Mark for his efforts and we wish him all the best for his future.”
He was the former technical boss at Red Bull and Caterham. No news about a replacement has been issued.
Zanardi didn’t sign for C4
Alex Zanardi denied ever agreeing to a role in Channel 4’s Formula 1 coverage, just days after he was announced as part of its team. The F1 driver and Paralympian said he never signed a deal.
Niki Luada says that Berine Ecclestone proposed a reversed grid whereby the driver who claims pole position would drop back to 10th place.
The Mercedes boss and four times world champion condemned the new knock-out style format which will see drivers fall at timed intervals throughout the three parts. Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport he said “They seem really stupid to me.”
He added “I am part of the Strategic Group and Bernie Ecclestone arrived and told us that he wanted to change something in terms of the pole position to make it more exciting. His first proposal was to invert the grid and have the top time start in 10th.”
Lauda said it wasn’t convenient for the team and that it is not liked by most of the drivers. He said the gap may have closed by .3 of a second. He said the battel this season will involve Red Bull who he thinks “can cause problems at the street races like Monte Carlo and Singapore.”
Haas invites Nascar owners to F1
Gene Haas has invited fellow Nascar team owners Roger Penske and Rick Hendrick to join him at Grands Prix this year to see for themselves how his team fares.
Speaking at the Nascar race in Las Vegas he told Motorsport.com that all US based team chief including Penske, who famously claimed an F1 win in 1976 with John Watson in Austria. Haas said Penske “He’s always wished me well in my Formula 1 venture because he’s done it, a long, long time ago.
Adding “We’ve invited him to F1 races, we’ve invited everybody who wants to go to one. These guys, being the racers they are, I think they’d be very interested in it.
“It’s a sport that has a whole different twist to [American racing]. I’d love to get Penske and Hendrick out to a Formula One”
Penske said he is “anxious to see how they do. I don’t know how, with the economics, and you hear the kind of investment – $300million to go to F1, I guess it’s the ticket you have to have.”
Renault sign Latifi
Renault have signed the Canadian Nicolas Latifi as there tests diver and to a “long-term development programme”.
The program will see the 20-year old take part in one session. Latifi will this season in GP2 for DAMS alongside Williams development driver Alex Lynn. He said “Being named test driver for the Renault Sport Formula One Team is something very special — an amazing opportunity.”
“There’s a lot of history behind the Renault name in F1, so to be a part of that, and get the chance to learn from them and gain expertise in a full factory team, is really going to help my development.”
Renault boss Frederic Vasseur said: “Nicholas is a fast developing young talent who has competed in a diverse selection of championships in his short career to date.”
“We are excited at the prospect of nurturing him into a Formula One ready entity at such a dynamic time for the team.”