Red Bull turn focus to 2017
Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner says the team has switched their main focus to development to next years car with some minor updates to come for this year.
It has been a stronger season for the team which has been helped by the improvements by engine manufacturer Renault. The improvements have meant they have leaped Ferrari in the constructors’ standings. With the rule changes coming in next season Red Bull will want to be ahead of Mercedes.
Like all the teams they are piling as much of their efforts as possible into 2017 development work. Horner told Autosport “We have a few little bits and pieces [for Singapore]. Now the whole factory is focused on 2017. There are little bits and pieces [for the 2016 car] but nothing major.”
Red Bull at Monza failed to reach the podium for the first time since Baku in June. But Horner still is positive about his team’s chances in the remaining seven races, starting with Singapore. “It is a different type of circuit. We expect to be stronger.”
“Hopefully we can get closer to Ferrari and give them a harder time than we did in Monza. We’re in a better position to where we were 12 months ago, but there is still some way to go to close that down.
“But we know that there are circuits coming up which should suit more the characteristics of our car. Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Mexico are theoretically all tracks which should be reasonable for us.”
Barrichello speaks Button & Massa
Jenson Button’s former team-mate Rubens Barrichello says that Button could “come back stronger” if he returns to racing with McLaren in 2018. The Brazilian was Button’s team-mate between 2006-09 at Honda and Brawn.
Button is taking a year out to be McLaren’s reserve driver and ambassadorial duties next season, with Stoffel Vandoorne to make his fulltime debut in F1. McLaren has the option for him to return in 2018. This could do him the world of good he says.
Speaking to Motorsport.com Barrichello said “I think only he can talk about it. I think when you spend a long time in Formula 1, you are very limited in your day-after-day [life], to always do the same things.” Barrichello says that if you are in F1 you have to travel with family.
Barrichello also spoke about Felipe Massa’s recent decision to retire from F1. “Massa’s retirement made me very surprised, I did not expect this kind of news,” added Barrichello. “I did not think it was time, but only the driver knows when it’s time to go to do another thing.”
He added that Massa would be welcome to drive in any series in Brazil.
Ecclestone will walk if too much interference
Former FIA president Max Mosley says Bernie Ecclestone will “walk away” from Formula 1 if new owners Liberty Media interfere with his running of the business.
Mosley told the BBC “These people may take a more active role and they want to sort of run the business but that could bring them into conflict with Bernie. It is much more likely there will be a collaboration.” He says he expects the sport to continue as I has been but says there needs to be a succession plan for Ecclestone, who is 86 next month.
“But as far as the overall picture is concerned, I doubt very much that anything is going to change because they bring I would imagine certain sorts of expertise to the table.” He said they still need him has he has an enormous knowledge of the sport.
Ecclestone admitted he has failed to embrace the possibilities offered by the internet and social media to expand F1’s audience and potentially its income. Mosley says he thinks that Chase Carey would be able to work together.
“If Chase Carey is a person of real ability and he wants to understand and he’s clever, I think he’ll get along fine with Bernie. Most of the people Bernie has not been able to get on with, it’s because they are not up to the level at which he operates.”
He added that the plans to offer the teams the chance to buy shares in the sport was a mistake, saying that “every time that has happened in any other form of motorsport, it hasn’t worked.
Zanardi retains gold in Rio
Former F1 driver and Cart champion Alex Zanardi has retained his first gold medal of the Paralympics in the hand-cycling for Italy. Zanardi lost both his legs in accident during a CART race at the Lausitzring in 2001.
The Italian won the race by three seconds over his nearest rival in his first race of the games. Zanardi enjoyed a successful motorsport career before he lost his legs in a crash in 2001. He raced sporadically in F1 between 1991 and 1994, with his only points finish coming for Team Lotus at the 1993 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Following his crash he raced in World Touring Car Championship for BMW between 2005 and 2009 with prosthetic legs. Then he tried various other sports.
Zanardi took up hand cycling leading to two gold medals at London 2012. He has also competing in various triathlons and an Iron Man event in his wheelchair. Later this week he will looking to improve on the sliver he won in the team event four years ago.
Pressure over the edge – Kyvat
Daniil Kvyat says the pressure he has had this season went “over the edge” as his year unravelled. The Russian lost his drive at Red Bull to Max Verstappen early in the season with him being demoted to Toro Rosso.
Since then he has failed to match new team-mate Carlos Sainz with him only scoring two points compared to the 26 of team-mate Carlos Sainz since the Spanish Grand Prix.
Kvyat headed into the summer break expressing concerns as to what lay ahead, bemoaning the lack of feeling with his Toro Rosso and stating “I don’t think anything bright is ahead”.
Speaking to Autosport he said “I really needed the shut down to be honest. There was a lot of accumulated stress, thoughts, pressure building up. It just built up too much, a bit over the edge, but I was able to free my mind.”
“It was unfortunate for the team the last two races [high-speed circuits Spa and Monza] were completely unsuitable for our car.” He says he was able to work in the shadows and optimise things.
Kyvat is aware the next few races could be pivotal to his F1 career with Pierre Gasly currently leading the GP2 standings.
“Formula 1 is a sport where anything can happen, and in the last five years there have been a lot of up and downs, with the last six months quite different – not very comfortable for working.” He said
Prost greatest of all time
Berine Ecclestone has named Alain Prost is the greatest F1 driver of all time.
Ecclestone speaking to the Spanish sports daily Marca, passed on Juan Manuel Fangio, Ayrton Senna and seven-time champion Michael Schumacher. His choice is four-time champion ‘professor’ Prost, who was tops in F1 in 1985, ’86 and ’89 with McLaren and ’93 with Williams.
Ecclestone said “if I had to choose one over the years, I would probably say Prost. He was better than Schumacher or Senna.”
“Michael had a lot of help from the team or teammates, and at some points it was the same with Senna. But Prost never had such privileges. He always had competitors even within his own team.”
Ecclestone named Jochen Rint as his personal favourite the sports only posthumous champion who he was a close friend and advisor too.