Holding nothing back – Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton is to “hold nothing back” in his bid to beat team-mate Nico Rosberg to this year’s world championship. The three times world champion is currently thirty three points behind Rosberg in the championship with a maximum of hundred still to play for.
Hamilton has not won since July while Rosberg has taken four victories in five grands prix means Rosberg leads the standings by 33 points putting himself in pole for the title. Rosberg only needs four second places to seal the title for the first time.
He told Sky Sports “We’ve got four races left to make the most of it and that’s exactly what I plan to do. It’s just about hitting every race weekend as hard as I can, going all out for every win and seeing what happens from there. I’ll be holding nothing back out there.”
Hamilton has been under the spotlight since ‘snapchat-gate’ in Japan and losing races because of another poor start in the Suzuka race, which effectively ended his victory hopes immediately. Also build up to this weekends US race has been overshadowed, after he missed testing because of a foot injury
Hamilton has always gone well in America with him winning three out of the four races in Austin and took victory at Indianapolis in 2007, giving him four wins. He said America “is like a second home race for me these days.”
“I love the country, the culture, the people and the track, so I can’t wait to get started. I’ve got some great memories from Austin, with three wins from four races and, of course, the title win last year.”
Williams let themselves down
Pat Symonds technical director of Williams has admitted the team has let themselves down by there in season developments. The British team have slipped away to fifth this season after finishing third over the past two years.
The team has struggled this season and have been pushed to fifth by Force India, but there is time with four races remaining for them to retake fourth place. Symonds conceded the team has been “remarkably stagnant” this season, saying that upgrades haven’t worked as expected.
He told Motorsport.com “I think we’ve been remarkably stagnant this year. I think other teams, particularly Force India, have moved on. Force India did most of it in one upgrade, which is quite unusual these days because you tend to trickle things race by race.”
“At Barcelona they made a pretty major step forward and while it may not have been quite as apparent in Barcelona, I think it took them a little bit of time to understand how to utilise it.” However he says the team has improved the car.
He said that the early switch to develop next year’s car is not an excuse for their poor performance this season. But adds “Because some of the things we concentrated on at the start of the year to become our developments right through the year simply didn’t work as well as expected.
King to drive in FP1
Jordan King will return to the cockpit this weekend in first practice for the United States Grand Prix. The 22-year old last drove for the team at the test at Silverstone in July.
King, last drove in Abu Dhabi and currently fifth in the GP2 Series with two races to go in Abu Dhabi at the end of November. King said in the teams preview “I’d like to thank the team for making this possible. It’s another big step in the right direction for me.”
“After two really positive tests in the MRT05 which paved the way for this opportunity. It’s a dream come true, but at the same time I have a job to do in the car on Friday” he added. The team has yet to announce whether Pascal Wehrlein or Esteban Ocon will sit out the session.
Racing Director Dave Ryan added “It will be good to give Jordan his first FP1 session. He’s done a really great job in his Development Driver role and this opportunity was a planned part of his programme with us.”
Force India to take time over Hulkenberg replacement
Force India are going to take their time to choose would will replace Nico Hulkenberg following his surprise switch to Renault next season. Last week it was announce that he would join Renault next season.
Team principal Vijay Malaya had decided not to keep Hulkenberg who was signed for 2017 and had not expected the move during the Japanese Grand Prix weekend just days earlier.
Asked if Force India was caught unaware by Hulkenberg’s exit, deputy team principal Bob Fernley told Autosport “Yes, no question. We didn’t have that on the radar, hence the reason why it had to be responded to by Vijay.”
“We dealt with that in a very professional and speedy manner because in all fairness, last weekend, there was nothing on the table.” He says the team needs to dust themselves down because of the surprise of Hulkexit.
Fernley described Hulkenberg has “a loyal and consistent supporter of Force India”, but feels it would have been incorrect “to keep somebody with you who doesn’t want to be with you”.
There are a number of drivers floating about from Renault, Sauber and Manor but it feels as if for the next fortnight commercial interests, due to Sergio Perez’s home race on the first of November is there priority.
Renault admit internal tensions
Team Principal of Renault Fred Vasseur has been forced to defend the structure and admit there tensions behind the scenes following criticism of a lack of leadership.
Managing and Technical Director recently admitted to tension behind the scenes, suggesting some clarity was needed over exactly who is responsible for what as the Enstone/Viry alliance is rebuilt. With insiders suggesting the leadership is holding the team back, as the look to return to the front.
Vasseur told Autosport the structure is clear internally, and working well. “I’m not sure we have more chiefs than Mercedes, with Toto [Wolff] and Niki [Lauda], or Red Bull, with Christian [Horner] and Helmut [Marko].”
“If you put Mateschitz on top it is quite similar [between Red Bull and Renault]. We have an organisation with [Renault Sport Racing president] Jerome [Stoll], Cyril and I.”
But says three leaders is not too many and its clear who is in charge of what. Vasser said he is in charge of the track operation and the performance, Cyril is in charge of the company. He says because of their back grounds it works well but it may not look that from the outside.
He dismissed that Sergio Perez didn’t join the team because of the uncertainty concerning the chain of command, but Vasseur hinted something else was at play there. “It [the leadership] is not the reason for Perez – it’s another story,” he added.