F1 Today – 14/12/2017

F1 Today

F1 about car not driver – Ricciardo

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo says he believes that Formula One is still too much about who has the fastest car rather than who has the most natural talent.

In his four seasons with Red Bull he has managed to score five impressive wins, however, the team has been unable to deliver a car which is capable of winning championships since the introduction of the V6 turbo power units.

Ricciardo is set to be a key mover in the 2019 driver market as he is considered one of the most talented drivers on the grid, as his contract with Red Bull expires. So far, in his F1 career, he has been unable to fight for the title and looks set to be a key mover in next years driver market.

He says that the sport needs to change what is the more important factor in being competitive. He told ESPN, “Lewis [Hamilton] has won three of the last four championships, but if he was in a midfield team, he wouldn’t have three of the last four championships.”

“The car is a big part of it, but you need to be a good driver to get the equipment to the top. You need both. It’s still a bit more dominant with the car than the driver — I’d say maybe 75 percent to 25 percent.” He says that it would be good if the sport was more fifty:fifty.

Ricciardo says that two of the three-tenths of Hamilton’s advantage comes from the car, and believes that he could fight with the four times champion in equal machinery.

With Mercedes not signing any drivers for 2019, Ricciardo has been linked to the team. Despite his thoughts on Hamilton’s current situation at Mercedes, he respects the way the Englishman consistently performs at a high level.

Despite his thoughts on Hamilton’s current situation at Mercedes, he respects the way the Englishman consistently performs at a high level.

“Lewis, even if with the best material, he still had pressure and expectation, and he’s had that since he started F1 ten years ago. I think he’s always been on a very high level, and he’s also got a lot of other distractions in his life, and can still perform when it counts.”


Honda switch not straightforward

Toro Rosso’s technical director James Key says that the switch from Renault to Honda for next season was not straightforward because of the way the power unit is designed.

The Italian team is switching to Honda power following an engine swap deal between McLaren and Toro Rosso. Each engine has the turbo in a different location meaning each team was forced to tweak their car layout.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, Key said “They [the engines] are completely different. It’s a very nicely packaged engine, but the whole power unit is a different architecture. It doesn’t drop into the same space. There’s quite a bit of car layout work that has to be done to adapt to it.”

Key added that they are sticking to the rule of not upsetting too many areas which have already been developed so that they are not starting from scratch in too many areas. The team’s gearbox will be shorter than its predecessors and will be a bespoke gearbox

Key says that people do not understand how independent Toro Rosso is and said that was really frustrating.  Adding “Although it makes a lot of sense to join together [with RBR] where you can, we’ve got our own aero department in Bicester, with our own wind tunnel, and that’s entirely independent because it has to be legally.”

“The entire design of the car is done in Faenza. So the only bit of the car that comes from RBT is the gearbox internals which are jointly designed.”


Massa could have won Baku – Lowe

Williams’s Paddy Lowe says that Felipe Massa had not suffered a damper failure, which locked his suspension solid during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix he could have won the race.

Massa was running third when the race was red flagged, before he suffered an issue and fell down the order before he was forced to retire. Many other drivers have claimed they could have won that race but Lowe says the teams’ analysis shows that he could have won.

He told Motorsport.com “After Baku, which was a pretty eventful race, there were a lot of people that came up to me afterwards and said we could’ve won that race if only.”

“I analysed it and I don’t actually agree with most, but I definitely agreed with the Felipe scenario. If only we hadn’t let him down with a car failure, he absolutely would’ve won that race.” Lowe says it was a shame that the team denied him the win in his final year,

The Brit described Massa as a fantastic driver who has been a “tremendous support” for Stroll. Adding “As we know he was briefly world champion, so he is a world champion class driver and it’s been great to work with him for this year, and get to know him as a person as well.

“He’s a fantastic guy. There’s nobody in the paddock that isn’t a friend of Felipe and he’s great fun to work with because he’s always happy and that’s not actually the case with all driver.”


Grid Girls to be reviewed

Formula One has placed the use of grid girls under strong review. The use of grid girls has been long standing as part of the wider show, they lining up before the race and appearing at the grid slot of each driver.

Liberty Media is carefully considering whether the practice should continue. In a programme on BBC Radio, managing director for motorsport Ross Brawn said “We’re trying to respect all parties. There’s a lot of people respect the tradition of the grid girls and there’s people who feel that it has become a bit dated, so we’re addressing that.”

The world endurance championship scraped the use of grid girls in 2015. Since Liberty took over the sport this year, they have made a number of changes to the sport, but F1 CEO Chase Carey says he is yet to have time to look at the matter

He told the BBC “On the list of things I have been dealing with, grid girls wasn’t really up there on top, with all respect. Is it something from the past, or is it something distinct that should be part of the future? I don’t think it will be a personal decision for me.”

“I may have a point of view but, when you have a sport, you are dealing with teams and a large eco-system and a large fanbase that is very passionate. There is never going to be a consensus, but a set of views.”

In the programme, Carey added that he hopes to see a female on the grid soon.


Schumacher still fighting as daughter pays tribute

The daughter of seven times world champion Michael Schumacher Gina-Maria has paid tribute to her father while picking up an award for her Western-style horse riding achievements at the prestigious Audi Generation Awards in Munich, Germany.

The two times World and European Champion, thanked her parents for their support. She said “I would like to thank the jury, but especially my parents for the love they give me every day,” she said, after revealing she used to go karting with her legendary father but chose a different career path because “horses are better”.

Schumacher is still recovering four years after a Skiing accident in the French Alps in which he suffered serious head injuries. Speaking last week, the FIA President Jean Todt said “We miss Michael. He’s there, still fighting. I’m happy to have Sabine here, to run the family business.”

“I wanted [his son] Mick to come tonight but he’s doing some testing in Spain and [wife] Corinna is in the States. A fight is going on. Michael is someone very special, someone special for motorsport. He’s special to me, he’s a friend.”


Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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