McLaren set in their ways
Honda motorsport boss has label McLaren as ‘systematic’ and is set in their ways. McLaren is ninth in the constructor’s championship and has blamed that on the Japanese manufacturer after a number of engine failures from the underperforming power unit.
In an interview with the manufacturer’s website, Masashi Yamamoto said “Working with McLaren, I’ve realised that they are a very big company which is very systematic. It’s obviously very strong because of that but at the same time they can find it hard to adapt to change.” In the past, those comments have been made by McLaren about Honda.
On Friday, McLaren announced they were switching to Renault with Toro Rosso switching to Honda. Yamamoto says that Honda would of liked to have stayed with Mclaren, but accepted they had been unable to meet the targets set by the team.
Despite the spilt, Honda remains determined to make a success of its Formula One project and has three years with the current engine regulations to show what it could do.
Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost understand Japanese culture and Communication was good, added Yamamoto. Saying “We have seen that they also have a young factory and are growing, which for Honda is very important because we can work with the same mentality and have the same approach.”
Vettel hasn’t taken responsibility Verstappen
Sebastian Vettel has not taken responsibility for the crash which took himself, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen out on the first lap of Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix, says the Dutchman.
Verstappen has blamed the Ferrari driver for the collision because he moved across the track, after he made a poor start from pole. Vettel said he did not know how the accident had happened as the Ferraris and Red Bull tried to go three abreast after the start.
The incident was investigated after the race with the stewards deciding it was a racing incident. Asked by Autosport, if Vettel had admitted making a mistake and apologised in the stewards’ room, Verstappen replied: “No. He did say something like, ‘yes, in hindsight things could have been done differently’. But what’s done is done.”
Verstappen was surprised Vettel defended so aggressively, given he was not racing against main title rival Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen says Vettel didn’t need to take so much risk because he’s fighting for the championship and if it was Hamilton it would have been a different story.
Verstappen’s father and former F1 driver Jos, was adamant even before the stewards decided it was a racing incident. He said “If you look at the images, Raikkonen comes to the right and steers in. But if you look at the footage more closely, you can also see that Vettel comes to the left, and Max is in between them.”
“He can’t go the left and he can’t go to the right. You can hardly blame Max for any of this.” Jos also suggested Vettel should have been penalised for triggering the collision.
Mercedes can’t rest on laurels
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says that the team cannot rest on their laurels despite the remarkable turnaround in the Singapore Grand Prix, which has moved the team closer to a fourth consecutive drivers and constructors championship.
Mercedes went into the race looking to limit the damage from a strong Ferrari and Red Bull which put both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas on the third row. However, Hamilton was gifted the victory, after title rival Sebastian Vettel collided with his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.
Hamilton now has a twenty eight-point lead over Vettel, while Mercedes lead by one hundred and two points over Ferrari. While the majority of the remaining races play towards Mercedes and Singapore is seen as the pivotal moment in the season, Wolff says he is not getting carried away.
He told ESPN “We musn’t drop the ball. But clearly, you wouldn’t feel comfortable in Ferrari’s shoes having a 28-point deficit.”
“So whatever the perspective is, from my opinion, and this is how we’ve done it in the last years, we just need to do continue and get on with the job. Lots of time for cheering when we’ve actually done it.”
Hamilton trailed Vettel all season until Monza. But, Wolff believes that the Englishman will not be making any changes to how he approaches each of the remaining races now he finds himself with a comfortable advantage.
Malaysia tyre allocations
Pirelli has announced the driver’s tyre allocations for next weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix, for the final running of the race the Italian manufacturer has gone for the mid-range of the compounds with the Supersoft, Soft and Medium.
Both Mercedes have chosen seven sets of the supersoft tyres, Valtteri Bottas has four softs and a medium. But Lewis Hamilton has five softs and a medium. While Red Bull’s Daniel Riccardo has eight supersofts, four soft and a medium, like his team-mate Max Verstappen has a single medium but has nine supersofts and three softs.
Both Ferrari’s have nine supersoft, three softs and a medium. Both Force India’s and Toro Rosso’s have eight supersofts, four softs and a medium. Both Williams’s and McLaren’s have ten supersofts, two softs and a medium.
The only teams to vary allocations are Haas and Sauber. With Romain Grosjean and Pascal Wehrlein, have seven supersofts, five softs and a medium. Their teammates Kevin Magnussen and Marcus Ericsson have seven supersofts, four softs and two medium
Palmer wants to finish on a high
Jolyon Palmer says he wants to finish the season on a high, after scoring his first points of the season in the Singapore Grand Prix.
The Englishman finished sixth in Sunday’s race, only two days after his team announced that Carlos Sainz would be taking his place in 2018. However, rumours continue that the Spaniard could replace him before the end of the season, with Palmer adamant he would be staying until the last race in Abu Dhabi.
He told Sky Sports “The result this weekend is finally a bit of good luck. This result could have come earlier in Baku, Silverstone or Spa. I hope we can build from this in the next six races,”
“At the moment the news about Renault is quite fresh. From my side I want to go out with six of the best races. I want to stay in F1 and there are other options. I want to do myself proud in these six races.”
Palmer’s options appear limited to Williams, as Toro Rosso is expected to replace Sainz with Pierre Glasy. Sauber is set to sign Charles Leclerc and McLaren expecting Fernando Alonso to re-sign.
Palmer’s future would now appear tied up with that of Williams Felipe Massa who almost retired at the end of last season.