Hamilton has Senna qualities
Williams Paddy Lowe, says that Mercedes Lewis Hamilton has the raw speed and talent without the ruthlessness of his idol and three times world champion Ayrton Senna.
In Montreal, at the weekend Hamilton equalled the sixty-five pole positions that Senna achieved with the family choosing to give him one of the Brazilian’s helmets from the Senna family in recognition of that achievement.
Asked by Autosport, if he believed Hamilton had the same raw speed as Senna, Lowe said: “Yes. Undoubtedly. Those great drivers are able to pull out an extraordinary lap and I think you saw that with Lewis [with Montreal pole].”
“Probably on Mercedes’ estimations and simulations, that time wasn’t in the car. hey didn’t have it on the charts. They probably thought Ferrari had them after P3, and then you see Lewis will go out there and really dig deep.”
Lowe says that drivers cannot do that every weekend but the can do extraordinary things when required and that Hamilton is one of them. But added there are big differences between Senna and Hamilton’s approaches to F1.
He said “People criticise [Hamilton] for a number of things but actually he is within it all a real gentleman and a very fair racer. Hard but fair.”
“With Ayrton, we have a tendency to get a bit rose-tinted. Mostly I was playing against Ayrton, that is why I struggle a bit with perspective, but mostly I was at Williams in those days and Ayrton was the guy we were struggling to beat.”
Stroll has proved doubters wrong
Williams’s deputy team principal Claire Williams says that the team’s rookie Lance Stroll has proved his doubters wrong after he scored his first points in his home Grand Prix.
The Canadian has had a rocky start to his Formula One career, as he has failed to finish four of his first six races and struggling to get close to team-mate Felipe Massa in qualifying.
In Montreal, Stroll finished ninth to score points for the first time after he started seventeenth and mixing it with some established names along the way. Williams believes that performance has gone some way to hit back at the critics.
She told Autosport “I think it was real vindication for him, wasn’t it? He proved all those doubters wrong, and he truly deserves his place.”
“He came from 17th from ninth, and he did it twice. I’m really proud that he’s done what he’s done. It takes the pressure off everybody, which is really good.”
Stroll’s brilliant performance prompted technical boss, Paddy Lowe, to mistakenly head towards the podium, so strongly did it resemble his feeling of winning with Mercedes in recent years.
Williams added “I think he’s been under a huge amount of pressure, and that pressure comes from himself. He’s one of those drivers for whom that’s a good thing, it drives him forward and I think he’s dealt with it really well.”
She says people need to remember the fact that Stroll is only eighteen and the fact that he was able to bounce back with quality was impressive.
Williams remains sixth in the constructors’ championship leaving Canada, with Massa collected by Carlos Sainz Jr on the opening lap.
Ms Williams says if Massa “could have maybe even got on the podium again. More points lost, that we didn’t need. It was great to see the Force Indias up there fighting with the Red Bulls and Ferraris.”
McLaren to part with Honda – Gascoyne
Former Toyota technical director Mike Gascoyne has told Sky Sports, he believes that McLaren has already made the decision to part with Honda at the end of the season.
During the Canadian Grand Prix, team boss Zak Brown described Honda as “lost” with Eric Boullier giving damning their performance in Canada as “completely unacceptable” – is a signal that McLaren has already started to draw up the divorce papers.
Gascoyne said, “The rhetoric has been quite critical for the last couple of races and it just sounds like a decision has been made and they are just fencing around about how to make it public.”
According to reports talks with Mercedes were held in Montreal about McLaren returning to Mercedes power. Technical Analyst Craig Scarborough says he a return to Mercedes power is a no-brainer for the fallen superpowers as they consider their options for 2018. “Mercedes are the obvious choice,one off” he said.
“Arguably, it’s the best engine, they are very good with their customers and politically it would fit in very nicely. The other options? I can’t see McLaren-Ferrari and a Renault supply is not a direction you’d want to go.”
Drivers briefing was one off
Formula One bosses have confirmed that the decision to release the recording of the driver briefing at the Monaco Grand Prix,one-offdespite the positive reception it received.
As part of moves by the sports owner Liberty Media to give the fans greater access, a short video from the regular driver briefing was released in Montreal last weekend. It was the first briefing to be recorded since the 1990’s, offering a rare insight into what is one of the most secretive moments of a grand prix weekend.
The briefing is designed as a free and open meeting for the drivers and the FIA to discuss any issues from sporting to safety matters. There is a concern about broadcasting the meeting could make drivers reluctant to talk honesty and openly about the issues in the sport.
However, Felipe Massa has called for the meeting to be made public, he told Autosport “I think it is a good idea. To be honest I didn’t even notice that somebody was filming it in Monaco.”
“If everybody knows that we are talking with Charlie Whiting and the teams and everything, then everybody understands a little bit more about F1.”
When pushed on whether he felt having television cameras inside might change the meetings’ nature, Massa said he didn’t care. “I am there to try to do the best for F1, and say what I think is not right or something that I think needs to be better about the rules, or about so many other things. For me it is not a problem.” he added.
Massa also says that he thought F1 should open up in even more areas.
Force India could change name
Force India boss and co-owner Vijay Mallya says the team is considering changing its name once again to give the team a more “international flavour” and make the team more attractive to potential new sponsors.
The team which through-out its twenty five years has been called Jordan, Midland and Spkyer after being owned by various people. Mallya brought the team in 2007 and renamed it Force India, with the aim of bringing Indian sponsors.
While the teams on track performances have brought more sponsors on board, the team has struggled in bringing Indian sponsors into the team. Mallya told Autosport “There is a growing feeling that maybe since we are a much-improved team in terms of performance and attracting more international sponsors”
“Sadly less Indian sponsors, there is a debate as to why the name should not be changed to give it a more international flavour. There are some people who believe the current name Force India is restrictive psychologically.”
He added that along with other shareholders they are debating what he said was a major decision and one which won’t be taken lightly and could depend on the direction Liberty Media take.
Force India came close in 2015 to rebranding as Aston Martin, but that deal collapsed at the final hurdle.
Mallya said there was a “proposal on the table” from a sponsor regarding the name change while adding the team is in “negotiations for some additional sponsorships as well”.
When asked if this was because of his impending extradition case between India and the UK over unpaid loans and debt of up to a billion pounds relating to the collapse of his Kingfisher Airlines.
He said “The fact the country of India and me are not the best partners is something that has been going on for a few years no. This is nothing new. I haven’t in the last few years considered any name change”
Baku prepares cultural programme
Azerbaijan tourist minister Abulfa Garay has told local media that the city which will hold next weekend’s race is preparing a plan of cultural events for the period.
Abulfas Garayev told reporters “Our cultural institutions will work, but I think that the most interesting events are directly related to the Formula 1 race itself.”
“Performance of foreign singers, who will take part in a concert program to be organized in the Seaside National Park [Boulevard] during the racing competitions, will be of huge interest.”
“This, in turn, will affect the growth of the number of tourists coming to Azerbaijan.”
A total of 28,000 people are expected for this years race.