Is Dennis’s time up with McLaren or not – as reports say
Autosport say they understand that McLaren chairman Ron Dennis will leave the team at the end of the year, as his contract will not be renewed by the group.
Dennis’s departure would see the end of his thirty year relationship with the team and the McLaren Group which is made up of McLaren Racing, McLaren Marketing and McLaren Applied Technologies. But will not affect the running of their car company McLaren Automotive which is a separate company with a longer history.
Denxit will see the end of the coup from 2014 which was reported to have backroom rows and a fall in the team performance over the past four years. Dennis was a shareholder who was planning to buyout the controlling stake from the Bahraini state wealth fund Mumtalakat and deadlines by which Dennis was required to raise the money.
McLaren so far have denied the reports saying “In response to your question, Ron Dennis responded by stating categorically that he is not stepping down.”
“Moreover, he remains contracted as chairman and chief executive officer of McLaren Technology Group, and he retains a 25% shareholding in the Group. Over many years, many decades in fact, McLaren shareholders have often entered into dialogue on the subject of potential equity movements.”
But the spokesman says that conversations about his future is ‘more of the same’ but seems to say that discussions over Dennis’s future are on going. As expected that remains confidential.
Haas head home for first time
Gene Haas says the American team doesn’t know what to expect going into their first home race in Austin this weekend. The team hope they will be cheered by the fans at the race.
Speaking to ESPN at their US Base in Kannapolis Haas says “It is another race that we have to go to and do. I’m not sure what to expect actually. … I’m sure the American contingency will welcome us wholeheartedly and we just hope we can do a respectable job.”
This weekend is a test for Haas as they look at the support by American fans to measure there success, but there isn’t a home driver however there maybe some Mexico to support Esteban Gutiérrez.
Haas says that “It all comes down to how well we do. The worse thing would be to embarrass ourselves as an American team. Maybe we will pull off an Australia where we actually finish top 10; that would be great.” He says that he is tying to not set expectations and its just another race.
Romain Grosjean says “It’s going to be super exciting to go to Austin. It’s a home race for the team. It’s been 30 years [since] we have had an American team on the grid. It’s something more unique.”
Grosjean says he has seen a boost in social media from the US and Gutierrez says it could come from Mexico, where next weekends race is. Team Principal Guenther Steiner said “we hope so. It’s the first time in 30 years an American team in America, a Formula One team. Let’s see how that goes down with the fans. Hopefully good.”
Mr Haas added he has no regrets spending millions to enter the world’s biggest racing series.
Every second career on the line – Palmer
Jolyon Palmer says he feels his Formula One career is on the line every second as Renault decides who will drive alongside Nico Hulkenberg next season. Last week the French team announced that Nico Hulkenberg would join the team with the team looking for an partner for him next season.
There are two others being linked to the teams second seat current Manor driver Esteban Ocon. Palmer told Autosport. “The biggest pressure is in qualifying because it’s all down to one lap. If you don’t put the lap together you are out in Q1, which is what happened to me in Malaysia and Kev in Japan, so there’s big pressure on us.”
He added “In the race I sort of thrive on it a little bit more because it’s not down to one lap. It’s difficult with the pressure because we’ve got to show what we can do, to try and show the bosses.” Palmer also says you can’t make mistakes either.
It could still be another option if Force India do a deal like Manor has to save money on their engine meaning Ocon could replace him. Speaking about his relationship with Magnussen Palmer said “I think we work really well together as team-mates.”
“Both of us are pretty open. We’re obviously competing against each other, but we get on well and we are working well to improve the team, and I think that shows with the results.
Hamilton v press round two
Lewis Hamilton has been called to face the media in tomorrow’s press conference at the United States Grand Prix. Two weeks after he had dispute with the media over his use of Snapchat app to take pictures of fellow drivers and sounding generally disinterested in Japan.
He then walked out a media briefing on the Saturday with him hitting out at “disrespectful” criticism of his behaviour by journalists and saying he was “not here to answer your questions”. Hamilton was upset with the journalists and blocked some British Formula One reporters on Twitter.
Hamilton is due to speak at a sponsor event tomorrow and must under his terms with the FIA speak to broadcasters after Friday practice and is scheduled to talk to written media after Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s race.
Nothing wrong with aero package
Toro Rosso is going to stick with their aero package after finding there was no issue with the design. The team introduced the package in Germany but by Singapore the team was still struggling to understand it and the numbers being fed back.
The team tried at the Singapore race the team ran both the old and new specifications in the hope of finding answers. The team decide to run it in Japan after deciding it was the progress of its rivals, and not the package itself, that had caused confusion.
Carlos Sainz Told Autosport “We have settled with the new one, we couldn’t see big differences, one tenth up or down. It doesn’t really matter.”
“Unfortunately for us it’s not the fault of the aero package. It is doing what it needs to do, it’s just the others have improved more than us and we are not where we want to be.” He added. Sainz says that other teams have evolved with their engines.
The teams biggest issue was masking the improvement from the new aero package, however Toro Rosso has stagnated this season as they have been running a 2015 engine. Sainz says they don’t need to exploit there engine.
“If you put more downforce on the car, you also put more drag, but if you don’t have the horsepower to compensate that you cannot exploit it. At the beginning of the season in high speed we were clearly faster than everyone, but now everyone has closed up.”
“So if we take off more downforce for drag we know we are not exceptionally quick in the high speed any more.” He added. Sainz say these small details have made them vulnerable to other teams.
Why I left Mercedes – Brawn
Ross Brawn says in his new book Total Competition that he left Mercedes at the end of 2013 because he could not trust Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff, who were added to the management team by Mercedes.
In his new book Total Competition written with Adam Parr, Brawn says “What happened at Mercedes is that people were imposed on me who I couldn’t trust. I never really knew what they were trying to do. I mean Niki would tell me one thing, then I would hear he was saying something else.”
Brawn added that Wolff was making critical comments about him in a conversation recorded by former F1 team boss Colin Kolles. “So I was beginning to deal with people who I didn’t feel I could ultimately trust; people within the team, who had let me down already in terms of their approach.”
He says when he learned that Paddy Lowe was joining the team and challenged Wolff and Lauda they blamed each other. Brawn says he couldn’t trust them and he said he had not previously been in an “us or them” situation at a senior level in a team: “I have never faced that and maybe I just didn’t feel passionately enough about the whole project to want to go through that grief.”
Wolff and Lauda became shareholders, which Brawn say he never understood. “Their view was that they wanted management who were committed and I think they also took a view that by being shareholders they would gain greater respect from the team.”
The book is realised on the 3rd of November.
Hamilton to give his best shot
Lewis Hamilton has been speaking about his hopes ahead of what could be another pivotal race in this years championship.
Hamilton, 33 points behind German team mate Nico Rosberg with four rounds remaining, is determined to give it his best shot on the track as well – even if it is looking unlikely. Hamilton needs to win all four remaining races with Rosberg lower than second in at least one of them.
Hamilton told reporters “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.”
Hamilton has great memories of America with him winning three out of the four races in Austin and took victory at Indianapolis in 2007, giving him four wins.
Hamilton said “It’s almost like the American fans have adopted me as their own, so I’ll try to channel all of that positive energy into this weekend.” Twelve months ago it was Rosberg who handed Hamilton the title after a mistake, something Hamilton doesn’t want to repeat.
Rosberg speaking about that race said “Last year this race obviously didn’t work out so great for me, so I’m looking forward to getting back out there and doing my best to get it right this time,”