Sauber express doubts on engine agreement
Sauber and Force India have written a joint letter to Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA, outlining their doubts over the recently concluded engine agreement.
The agreement between the manufactures and the FIA has been designed to give the smaller teams lower prices in the future and give all teams a guaranteed supply.
Its understood that there are believed to be some questions about the process that led to the agreement being ratified. Which Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley and Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn went to discuss with Ecclestone and Jean Todt at the weekend.
Speaking to Motorsport.com Fernley confirmed the letter had been written but would not comment on the content saying “A letter was sent to the FIA and the commercial rights holder, putting our position to them.
“I’m not going to deny that we sent it, but I’m not going to comment on it either” he added. Both teams remain involved in there complaint to the EU Competition Commission about governance, structure and the way revenue is spilt.
EU Referendum – Possible F1 impact
In six weeks’ time voters in the UK go to the polls in a referendum asking whether Britain should remain a part of the European Union. While Berine Ecclestone one of few Labour party members calling for Britain to leave the EU what do others think?
Last week all team bosses were asked during a press conference about the vote as ever tide the line set by Ecclestone “we don’t talk about politics”, even though the question asked was not about the politics of the referendum.
Already the commission is interested in looking at a investigation into anticompetitive practices within Formula One and allegations that the sport operates as a cartel.
Ecclestone told Auto Motor und Sport this month “The European Commission is beginning to be a little more interested in Formula One and whether the competition laws are respected.”
Regardless of the outcome the investigation will continue and Britain will be subject to EEA rules. Already Footballs governing body FIFA, has had an investigation into wire fraud, racketeering, and money laundering.
Legal expert Richard Pike told ESPN “it could be interesting to see what might happen, though, if anyone decided to ‘put the pedal to the metal’ and pursue an antitrust case in the U.S. courts. U.S. and EU law might look similar on their face but private treble damages claims in the U.S. courts would arguably look a lot more threatening”
Honda wouldn’t be happy if forced to supply
Honda says that they would not be happy if the FIA were to inforce the regulation that obliges a Formula 1 manufacturer to offer a deal to a team without an engine.
Engine manufactures had until last sundae to confirm their teams they have agreed to supply if any team doesn’t have one the FIA will begin talks to find a solution by June 1 and should that not happen, a ballot will take place to arrange a supply.
Speaking to Autosport Honda head of F1 Yusuke Hasegawa said “We are not happy about that. We understand we need to supply multiple teams. We have to contribute to the F1 society – currently only Ferrari and Mercedes are providing to four teams and we are only one.”
“We are not controlled by FIA to select a team so as a regulation point of view, I don’t think it’s a very good thing.” Hasegawa says they need to see what happens and manufacturers can decline the request if certain conditions are not met.
Hamilton and Rosberg not allowed to test
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are unable to take part at the next test after the team fielded Rosberg and Manors Pascal Wehrlein in Barcelona.
The sporting regulations say two of the four in-season tests must be ‘allocate at least two of the [in-season test] days for young driver training tests. No driver who has competed in more than two F1 World Championship races may take part in such tests.’
The team planned to run Esteban Ocon on the second day which would have meet the rules. However he was replaced by Wehrlein because Mercedes felt they required a driver with more experience to test parts in Barcelona.
Hamilton was down to do the first day at Silverstone but the sporting regulations prevent that.
I’ll be ready if there was a seat – Wehrlein
Pascal Wehrlein says he has no doubts that he would be ready for race seat with Mercedes in Formula 1 if a seat opens up, after his latest test for the team.
Yesterday he was brought in to replace Esteban Ocon after Mercedes decided wanted an experienced driver to test new parts, it comes against the backdrop of speculation surrounding Nico Rosberg’s future with the team.
If they drop either Rosberg or Lewis Hamilton the young German looks to be the favourite to replace one of them. Wehrlein believes that following the test he has no doubts he would be ready.
He was asked by Motorsport.com if his test was like being in an audition he said “You always are, you cannot relax, step back, hope or be sure of what happens next year or the next years, so you always need to push. You always need to push yourself and make the best out of it.”
Wehrlein said the call was made late on Tuesday evening, and meant he had to return to the circuit for a seat fitting. Asked if he was told the reasons, he said: “I don’t really know. I think yesterday they couldn’t finish the test program and they wanted an experienced driver
More time before regulations changed – Haas
Gene Haas has told Autosport that his Haas team would have had two seasons before the regulations changed. The team is facing starting from scratch again like all teams as plans to dramatic change the cars are introduce.
The American team technical partnership with Ferrari and the team owner admitted that without it the rule change would have been incredibly daunting. Speaking to the Magazine Haas said “I certainly would have liked to have another year with the current package but unfortunately they do not subscribe to our timeline.”
He Added “Another one or two years with what we have would have been a lot easier. But the Ferrari technical aspect of it will make that attainable for us to do that. Without it, we would have been lost.” The second season in the sport tends to be the more difficult for new teams.
Haas face the challenge of development of two cars at the same times like every team but it’s harder without the experience of being in the sport. Haas says “you cannot simply look at someone else’s car and say ‘I am going to build a car like that’, you have got to understand how these cars work.”
“Even a minor variation, moving an aero part around a half-inch.”