Red Bull duo confident for Singapore
Daniel Ricciardo says he is “excited” about his team’s prospects for Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix. Red Bull are expected to mount the best challenge to Mercedes at a similar circuit to Monaco where he took pole.
“It is the next closest track to Monaco so we look at it as a good chance to try to get a victory on our side.” He was asked by the BBC if he was favourite for the weekend, Ricciardo joked: “We have a good chance of the top 10, absolutely. That’s about it.”
“Let’s see. I am not going to put too much pressure on myself or them. Deep down, we obviously want to win, and we are winners.” Team-mate Mac Verstappen who won the Spanish Grand Prix added the track should suit the team a lot better.
Verstappen said “This track should suit us better. We don’t know yet how well it will suit us, but if you look to last years and previous years, it is definitely a better track for us.”
Last year Mercedes had their most difficult weekend in Singapore with the team saying ‘they can’t have confidence’ going into this years race. However, they think they have understood the problem, which they say was rooted in their failure to get the best out of the tyres.
Ricciardo vowed if he won the race he would repeat the so-called ‘shoey’ – drinking champagne from his racing boot – which he did after finishing on the podium in Belgium.
Too early to be favourites – Verstappen
Max Verstappen meanwhile has said he thinks it premature to make Red Bull favourites going into Singapore Grand Prix despite confirming that the team will have an updated Renault power unit at Singapore, which is expected to deliver a small performance lift.
Singapore is expected to be the perfect venue for Red Bull to mount a challenge to Mercedes, but the Dutch teenager was more cautious than Ricciardo telling Motorsport.com “Hopefully the upgrade will be very positive, but we will have to wait and see. I’m just very happy to be here, we know that we have a chance here to score some good points.”
Last year Mercedes had their most difficult weekend in Singapore with the team saying ‘they can’t have confidence’ going into this year’s race. Verstappen says he will make a prediction after practice despite the expectations on the team
“We just focus on our own thing, people can write what they want. We have a good chance.”
Third head protection idea
Motorsport.com say they have learned that there are plans for third type of cockpit safety device – called the ‘Active Windscreen’ – have now emerged.
The Active Windscreen has been developed by the former Williams and Ferrari engineer Enrique Scalabroni and was shown for the first time to Bernie Ecclestone and Red Bull boss Christian Horner at the Italian Grand Prix.
While the Aeroscreen has been put in doubt after problems passing the FIA’s crash tests, there remain some doubts also about the Halo – especially with regards to driver extraction in the event of an incident.
The idea came for Scalabroni came following Felipe Massa’s crash in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix and the death of Henry Surtees at Brands Hatch the previous week in July 2009.
He explained the concept “It consists of two separate elements – the first is an active windscreen and the second is a moveable hood above the driver’s head.
“The active windscreen is concealed in the top of the chassis in front of the driver. It is made of high impact-resistance material and does not have any curves in it so as not to hinder visibility.”
However, F1 race director Charlie Whiting expressed scepticism about the idea of an ‘active’ cockpit protection system when it was put to him earlier this year.
More Rio medals for Zanardi
Alex Zanardi has won the silver medal in the H2 road hand-cycling at the Rio Paralympic Games adding to the gold he won yesterday in the time trial.
The Italian took his fifth medal of his Para-sport career fifteen years to the day he lost his legs in a crash at the Lausitzring which resulted in losing both of his legs. The 49-year-old narrowly missed out on his third Paralympic gold medal to South Africa’s Ernst van Dyk following a sprint finish.
Speaking to Channel 4 he said “I gave it everything I had. I don’t know if it was the type of course, or my age, or the fact I didn’t sleep much — but to finish second, I am really happy.”
Zanardi has one more event to go on Friday the team relay.
Winning for Mclaren-Honda greatest achievement
Fernando Alonso says his first win for the revived McLaren-Honda partnership would represent his greatest achievement in F1.
The two times champion says the team have made progress since scoring points in four of the last six races to move up to sixth in the Constructors’ Championship. But podium finishes are unlikely this season with Alonso being hopeful they can make a big step forward when the sport’s aerodynamic rules are overhauled for 2017.
He told Sky Sports “Yes. The first win with this project will be quite a big thing for any of us.”
“I don’t know if I will have that chance or Stoffel [Vandoorne, his 2017 team-mate] will have that chance or whatever, but when that day arrives everyone who was involved in this project from day one” Alonso says that the gain of 4.2 seconds gained over the last year and a half and when that first win arrives it will be a massive achievement. He added that there was no doubt that McLaren and Honda will win again something that others believed was unthinkable.
Manor 2017 car started in January
Manor owner Stephen Fitzpatrick says the team started work on their 2017 in January as he believes the regulation changes provide an opportunity to move up the grid.
Last season the team completed with a modified 2014 car following the late purchase to secure its future, but started this season with a new car. This season the team has shown some progress and Fitzpatrick believes a bigger step can be made next year with technical overhaul, which is why resources were diverted early.
Speaking to Autosport he said “We set out with a five-year plan last year and it was to make up one place a year. So far we are on target – we have one team behind us.”
“The first year of the plan was to assemble a team of people with a lot of experience that can help us efficiently develop the car and get the best out of it on track.” He says next year they have the opportunity to accelerate their one-place-a-year plan, because with the big changes in the regulations.
He says his ambition is for the Manor team to be the “top independent team” and used Force India’s rise as an example of what can be achieved. Fitzpatrick has identified software and data science as areas in which Manor can lead the way.
Future’s – In – Brief
Jenson Button says he could race in Rallycross or Japan’s Super GT series in 2017 as he takes a break from Formula One. He told the Retuers “I want to spend more time with friends, family and to do other things…I love triathlons and maybe I’ll race in something else like Rallycross or Super GT in Japan.”
Felipe Massa thinks it most likely he will race in DTM, WEC or Formula E next year, after confirming his retirement from Formula 1. Massa told Motorsport.com “It will be maybe DTM, WEC or Formula E – maybe one of these three I think. But everything is open.”