Bottas needs a more “killer” approach
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has defended the way Valtteri Bottas drove the Brazilian Grand Prix but says that the Finn needs a more “killer” approach.
Bottas lost out at the start of the race to Sebastian Vettel, despite starting from pole but had to settle for second. While his teammate four times champion Lewis Hamilton drove from the pit lane to fourth and was only two point seven seconds off Bottas by the end of the race.
However, Wolff rejected suggestions that Hamilton’s performance in the race showed he could have passed Vettel admitting there was some disparity between both drivers. Wolff told Autosport “I think Lewis the whole year has been rock and roll, and Valtteri has recovered slowly but still needs the tick of a killer.”
“But you must not underestimate that in traffic against the Ferraris it was pretty difficult. You can see that at the end, when Ferrari switched the engine on, there was not much difference between the cars. Therefore you cannot expect easy overtakes.”
Wolff admitted that there was little hope of Bottas passing Vettel and that’s why they took the gamble to try the undercut on Ferrari. He added “Valtteri had a solid race. He lost it at the start, the initial getaway was good but there was too much wheelspin through the gears and if the gap is so close between the cars then there is not a lot in it.”
FIA/Liberty to review security after incidents in Brazil
Liberty Media and the FIA have put the security around the Brazilian Grand Prix on the agenda of the next World Motorsport Council following a number of incidents over the last week.
On Friday night, members of Mercedes were robbed by armed men as they left the circuit. While Members of Sauber and the FIA were also where placed in threatening situations.
A further incident on Sunday night involving Pirelli, caused the tyre manufacturer to cancel a tyre test. That fourth attempted robbery was despite Sao Paulo police saying it had increased its presence outside the circuit. Everyone involved in the incidents escaped unharmed.
Yesterday, Liberty said in a statement “Security within the circuit is up to the promoter, and they have to liaise with the local authorities. We have our own security team that travels with us, and they were liaising with the local authorities.”
Today it has been confirmed the FIA has asked Liberty to carry out a review. A statement said “In the continued spirit of positive collaboration with Formula 1, the Council will then discuss the ways in which a more consistent and effective security procedure can be applied at all events of the FIA Formula One World Championship.”
“The findings will also be shared with other FIA championship organisers to maximise the positive impact this can have across all motorsport. Security is a cooperative effort, and the FIA will seek to work closely with Formula 1 and all its stakeholders to maintain a safe environment for everyone working at or visiting Formula 1 events.”
Liberty to address manufacturers concerns
Managing director of Motorsport Ross Brawn says that Liberty Media is ready to address the concerns of the manufacturers about the new engine proposals, but there is no way that the current hybrid V6’s will be scrapped.
Following the Liberty/FIA idea to standardise parts in a move to reduce costs, the teams and manufacturers feared the move would take away the manufacturers’ individuality and that prompted criticisms about the direction that the FIA and F1’s owners Liberty Media were taking.
Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne went as far as suggesting that the team, which has been in the sport since 1950, could walk away if the rules didn’t suit what they needed from the sport. But Brawn has played down the remarks by his former employer.
Brawn made it clear that he believes the conflict has been triggered by the way the meeting has been presented to teams and fans. Speaking about Marchionne’s comments, Brawn told Motorsport.com “Let me say that Ferrari is a very important part of F1. I worked there for 10 years, I know what Ferrari represents.”
“We want to find solutions so we don’t lose Ferrari in the future. And I’m sure we can. Maybe we could have presented the rules in a different way, that could have avoided some of the conflict.”
The Englishman is well of aware of the concerns of the manufacturers and believes worries about costs and standard part issues can be resolved.
A timing schedule has been proposed to ensure that existing manufacturers are not forced to spend too long running parallel development programmes. Saying “If we are really worried about the costs, we could say the current engine could have a freeze for that period.”
“What we don’t want is to fire the starting pistol now and then within 12 months time already find that some of the existing teams, those with the resources, are spending more money.”
Stroll needs a slower team-mate – Villeneuve
Former world champion Jacques Villeneuve believes that fellow Canadian Lance Stroll needs a slower teammate for him to perform at his best. Stroll was running fourteenth, but a flat spot on his tyre meant he was forced into another pit stop.
While his teammate Felipe Massa who is retiring at the end of the season, finished sixth in his final home race allowing him to move ahead of Stroll in the driver’s championship. Villeneuve says that he wasn’t impressed by his performance.
He told Motorsport.com “It was impressive. He was about to get lapped by his teammate. Then he blew a tyre so at least he has an excuse. It’s not a weekend to remember.” It was a difficult start to the season for Stroll, but since his home race, he has delivered strong results including a podium in Baku.
However, Villeneuve says that the pace hasn’t shown much in terms of improvement. aDding “Something has to happen during the winter because he’s been better than that in the other categories. He needs to figure something out. Maybe a new teammate will be helpful.
When asked what Stroll needs to do to improve, Villeneuve said: “Have a slower teammate. He needs to find a way to go faster.” Stroll is set to say by Williams until 2019, though the team hasn’t decided who will replace him.
McLaren stockpile of engines paying off
McLaren racing director Eric Boullier says the team’s strategy of tactical engine penalties and “stockpiling” Honda power units paid off for Fernando Alonso.
Earlier in the season, the team targeted the final two races as ones which would be more favourable to their car than other races. So decided they would take tactical engine penalties adding fresh components to the pool.
In Brazil Alonso used one unit on Friday and another on Saturday, meaning he started sixth and ran without problems in the race finishing seventh. Boullier told Motorsport.com “We obviously took a lot of energy penalties before to try to protect Brazil and Abu Dhabi.”
“We used a lot of engines before just to make sure we had fresh parts for here. You have to try something, and we decided to protect some mileage. In Mexico, we were more competitive than expected, and here we had a good race as well.” He added.
McLaren is hoping that the street style third sector in Abu Dhabi will be favourable to the car. Boullier also praised Fernando Alonso’s progress in Brazil, despite the deficit in straight line speed.
Saying “He managed very well the way he was using the energy of the car, cutting off in the unnecessary part of the track, and using more in the straight line.”