McLaren to decide Button’s future in September
Eric Boullier says McLaren will wait until September to decide who will drive alongside Fernando Alonso next season. There have been reports the team could drop Jenson Button in favour of Stoffel Vandoorne.
Vandoorne is seen as a driver who is wanted by other teams following his debut in Bahrain earlier this season. Vandoorne has an option which needs to be taken by the 1st of September and Chairman Ron Dennis has warned other teams to ‘keep their hands off’ until they decide what to do.
Boullier told Motorsport.com said: “Because we don’t want to destroy this year, we don’t want to talk before September. If we start to speak before then, it is going to make the drivers’ head go wrong.”
The Frenchman is adamant the team has not made any decision on whether or not it wants to promote Vandoorne. But suggested the team could benefit from young driver rather than sticking with an experienced one.
“It depends which stage you are in with your restructuring of the team and the path to win. You need experience, but you also need youth because it means new blood, and also pushing as well the experienced driver [team-mate] to not be in a comfortable zone.” He added.
Cool conditions prevented better result
Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez believe that the cool conditions in Montreal prevented them from scoring a better result. Despite both cars being in the points they think they could have been in the top six.
During the race temperatures were around 10-12 degrees which they believe affected the performance of their cars. Speaking to Motorsport.com Hulkenberg said “I think we were hoping for a bit better, we were hoping to be a bit closer to the Williams.”
“The car was a bit weaker [in the race] then the rest of the weekend, [maybe] the conditions changed, the winds picked up, we have to understand what happened but the car generally wasn’t good, the grip was very low.”
The German lost out after a “really” bad start losing a place to Fernando Alonso at the start, but recovered to ensure eighth place after Felipe Massa retired. He said he thinks his clutch “as completely out of where I was supposed to be.”
Perez tried a one stop strategy which didn’t work because of heavy graining on the front tyres. “We tried a strategy which didn’t work, we couldn’t manage to make the soft tyre work, it was too cold for it,” he explained.
“Starting on soft, we lost a position, Jenson [Button] went through. There was lot of graining on the front that I couldn’t extend my stint, so that hurt me massively and it hurt the strategy.”
He says the strategy didn’t work with him using soft, super soft, soft through the race. When he came in for a stop he said “there was something wrong with the clutch, I stalled so I lost a couple of seconds.”
Force India keen to keep Perez
Force India says they are expecting to keep Sergio Perez next season as rumours continue about who could replace Kimi Raikkonen should he retire from Ferrari. Raikkonen is out of contract at the end of the season.
Despite the rumours Force India’s Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley is convinced Perez will be at Force India for a fourth season with the team. Speaking to Autosport he said “It is a compliment to Checo, and the great job he has done, to get the interest across the board that is there.
“I won’t go into details on their contracts, but I’m confident we’ll have the same two drivers next year, so I’m not worried.” He added “The consistency we’ve had from Nico and Checo over the last two years has helped us enormously, and it would be good for us to have that same consistency with the new chassis next year.”
Fernley says he thinks that they team has two “super” drivers but admits that outside events can “can always play a part and you just have to wait for things to happen, but I’m pretty confident we’ll be the same.”
He says he is convinced with Perez and Hulkenberg now starting to regularly pick up points which will help the team retain their fifth place in the constructors’ championship.
Mercedes to bring aero upgrades
Toto Wolff says that Mercedes are to bring aero upgrades for next months British Grand Prix. Mercedes are beginning to become under pressure from Red Bull and Ferrari in recent races.
While the team has won every race apart from Barcelona when both cars crashed out, the gap they have to their rivals has been reduced to less than two tenths.
The performance of Ferrari in race conditions has also caught the eye of Wolff as the series heads to Azerbaijan this week for the first time. Speaking to Crash.net he said “Interestingly Red Bull’s performance in qualifying was better than in the race performance, and Ferrari was strong in qualifying and in the race.”
“If you see the long-term development slope of Ferrari is that they are getting better every race and they have had some bad luck at the beginning of the season. But this weekend again you could see that the Ferrari is capable of winning races.”
Wolff said that Mercedes are working hard so they can maintain its dwindling advantage, by constant progress on the power unit and an upgrade being readied for round ten at Silverstone.
Heineken could be involved in teams
Autosport say they understand that the multi-million pound sponsorship which Formula One announced with Heineken will lead to them becoming involved in Red Bull and another team.
Last week a multi-million pound deal to become the official global beer partner until 2020. There sponsorship was already prominent at the Canadian Grand Prix but the sponsorship officially due to start until its sponsorship of the Italian Grand Prix.
Heineken is to form partnerships with two F1 teams, although its logo will not feature on the cars or drivers’ overalls. “We are not going to have any real sponsorship with any team, it will be more about access,” explained senior director Gianluca di Tondo.
“It’s what we call the team experience, and for a regular fan. I want to bring a lucky few to the garage. I want them to have a chat and a walk as I did in Melbourne with Jackie [Stewart] because that’s mind-blowing, it’s the experience of a lifetime.”
Red Bull is expected to be there main team alongside their own branding but di Tondo is looking for a second team to play a part. A Red Bull tie-up will be prominent option because of Max Verstappen a young Dutch driver who is great to watch.
A decision over Heineken’s preferred two teams will be made before the race in Italy.
Sauber hoping to bring upgrade
Sauber are hoping they can introduce their first upgrades of the season at one of the next three races. The Swiss team has suffered months of cashflow problems at the start of the season with staff not being paid on time for three successive months.
The problems with cash flow means the team hasn’t brought any upgrades to their car with it being almost identical to the one that ran in pre-season testing.
Team boss Monisha Kaltenborn has been talking to prospective new sponsors and progress is believed to have been made in recent weeks. Marcus Ericsson told Autosport “In two or three races’ time, updates could be there if it works out as we hope.
“That would be welcome, not only because we’re get new parts but also because it is a boost for everyone. That energy you get from bringing some updates is something we all need in the team so I’m looking forward to it.” He added.
But the Swede was caution on what to expect from the updates, which are aimed at improving drivability, but he remains hopeful based on results at the factory. “You never know how good or bad they will be, even if they look alright in the factory” he said.