Step back before agreeing to change – Wolff
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has called on his fellow team bosses, Berine Ecclestone and FIA President Jean Todt to take a step back ahead of a meeting which could see fundamental changes to the sport.
The proposed changes to make the cars three seconds a lap faster, more difficult to drive and aerodynamic different must be agreed before the Russian Grand Prix. But Wolff says after an entertaining race in China he says it would be much better to leave well alone.
Gwen asked why the rules are going to be significantly changed, Wolff told the Guardian “I don’t know. We are having an ideal situation with great racing and three great races in a row now. Are we capable of reacting quickly enough and acknowledging that and reverting to regulations which seem to be OK now? I don’t know.”
Some say these changes will have the opposite affect and Wolff say that the same thing as Mercedes did in 2014 will happen again. Wolff added “Somebody else, or us, are going to run away with the championship next year because it is new regulations and everything starts from the beginning. There will be more downforce and less overtaking.”
“There is nothing to be sold on that. There is no selling proposition within the regulations in my opinion. We should just leave it alone.” He says this season the racing will be better.
Mallya facing arrest over debut
A court in India has issued a arrest warrant for the Force India boss Vijay Mallya over a $1.4 billion debt owed by his defunct Kingfisher Airlines. Mallya is accused of using 4.3 billion rupees ($65 million) of bank loans to Kingfisher Airlines to buy property overseas.
Mallya the team principal of Force India has not been seen in public since march but there are media reports have traced him to the Hertfordshire village of Tewin, north of London, where he owns a house.
The UB Group on Sunday denied the Enforcement Directorate’s allegations, calling the basis of the warrant against Mallya “erroneous and unjustified”. The court has issued a non-bailable warrant just days after the Indian government suspended the diplomatic passport of Mallya.
Creditors earlier this rejected an offer of partial repayment offer by Mallya, who had given a personal guarantee for the Kingfisher loan, and have demanded that the former billionaire attend a hearing in India’s Supreme Court.
Mallya rejects all the accusations against him and says he is a victim of a media witch hunt. The court may also issue an international arrest warrant.
EU Referendum – Ecclestone sets out case for Brexit
Berine Ecclestone has told Advertising Week Europe the reasons why he is backing the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union. He said he is a 100% backing the Vote Leave campaign.
He said “I don’t see what Europe does for England. [I see] no [economic] benefit at all. Europe has become less important, full stop. I don’t think we need to have anything to do with Brussels.”
Ecclestone is one of few Labour party members who back Britain leaving the EU. He also backed the US Republican candidate Donald Trump to become president saying “I think he’d be a fantastic president. I’m sure he’s much more flexible than most of them. If he’s made a mistake, he’s more likely to say: ‘It was a good idea at the time’”
Earlier this year he said Valdimir Putin should be in charge of Europe.
Pirelli gets more development time
The F1 Commission has agreed allow tyre supplier Pirelli to have more track time to develop the 2017 tyres. Yesterday the manufacturer warned if it hadn’t been agreed by 16 CEST on Monday they would quit as there would quit the sport.
Yesterday the Commission and the Strategy Group approved the regulations to allow Pirelli to go ahead with its scheduled programme. Pirelli’s motorsport boss Paul Hembery said that it was vital for testing plans to be finalised in order to be ready for the new demands.
Hembery told Motorsport.com “In practice, we are at the limit already. There are only six months of work left in order to study and implement the whole thing, and it’s not easy.”
“The teams want a perfect tyre but week after week it is becoming less and less feasible. Our deadline is [the end of] April.
Tyre selections for Russia
Pirelli have announced the teams and drivers tyre selections ahead of next weekend’s Russian Grand Prix. The same three tyre compounds medium, soft and super-soft were available for this race and also were picked before the season began.
The three leading team Mercedes, Ferrari and Red bull have taken different amounts soft and supersofts but have all taken just a set of the medium tyre. Mercedes have taken four sets of the soft and eight super-soft, while Ferrari has split its selection evenly with six sets of both specifications.
Red Bull have chosen two sets of softs and ten super softs, Williams have gone for three sets of softs and nine super softs.
F1 wins two Laureus awards
The world’s biggest sports stars gathered in Berlin last night for the annual Laureus World Sports Awards. While Formula One stars didn’t take the top two prizes there was a life time achievement award for the Mercedes non-executive director Niki Lauda.
The three-time world champion was given the award by Lewis Hamilton and is the only driver in F1 to win world championships for both Ferrari and McLaren, the sport’s two most successful constructors.
His legend also includes perhaps the most courageous comeback in sporting history, as he returned to racing just six weeks after suffering horrific burns at the 1976 German Grand Prix. Hamilton lost out to the top prize to Novak Djokvoick.
While Max Verstappen, who won rookie, action and personally of the year at the FIA awards in December lost out to golfer Jordan Spieth in the break-through category.