Hinted of ending career at Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton has hinted to Sky Sports that he will end his Formula One career with Mercedes. The British driver is in his four season with the team and any route to Ferrari will be closed while Sebastian Vettel is there according to Red Bull’s Christian Horner
Speaking to Sky Sports Hamilton said “I look at my team, the Silver Arrows, and think I’m a part of this history which I will be for way beyond my time and I want to continue being a part of it. When I stop racing, I still want to be a part of it.”
At the time of his move from McLaren was condemned as a bad move but since then he has won two more titles and twenty one races while McLaren haven’t won a single race. This season has been tough and he has a 43 points defect to his team-mate but while statics are on Nico Rosberg side he not giving up on a fourth title and third consecutively.
He added “What I love about Mercedes when you look at Sir Stirling Moss, when you look at all drivers still today in their old age, they are still with Mercedes, you’re with the brand for life.”
Speaking about Ferrari he appeared to rule out any move saying “Without a doubt when I grew up watching F1 I saw the red car, it looked awesome.” Going on to say “There’s something particularly very special with the Italian passion for that team. But I’ve been with Mercedes since I was 13, more than most drivers at my age.”
I can end Monaco drought for Ferrari – Vettel
Sebastian Vettel says he is convinced he can end Ferraris fourteen year winless drought at the Monaco Grand Prix. The Italian team last won the race with Michael Schumacher in 2001.
In Barcelona the team struggled to match the Mercedes and Red Bull plus failed to capitalise on the double retirement of the silver arrows allowing Max Verstappen to take victory. Vettel says he thinks Ferrari should be in the position to fight for a first win of the season in Monte Carlo.
Speaking to F1.com Vettel said “I think Monaco should be a strong track for us, last year we were very competitive there. Now we have improved the car in the areas you need for that Grand Prix so I think it should help.
“Here in Barcelona we were as competitive as expected, with the exception of Saturday. Now we are not in the best position, we are not the favourites going to Monaco either, as the favourites remain Mercedes, but we try very hard and if there is a chance to win we’ll try to win.”
Over the last three years it has been won by Nico Rosberg and Vettel himself has won the race once like the other favourite Lewis Hamilton.
Williams focus switches to 2017
Williams have already switched there aerodynamic focus to their 2017 car in an attempt to get ahead on next year’s regulations. All teams are facing the challenge of develop there 2017 cars while working on their current cars.
Pat Symonds has told Motorsport.com that the aerodynamics, developments for the current FW38 have been wound down – but there are enough parts coming through the system already to keep updates going until the summer break.
But Symonds says parts will continue at least until the end of July but tweaks will continue on aspects of the cars that can be carried over to 2017, like mechanical and suspension tweaks. He said “We have certainly got stuff planned – aerodynamics – until Hungary definitely, maybe even beyond that.
“But our focus is moving a little bit to some of the suspension areas and things like that, which can be carried over [to 2017]. Certainly the design philosophy will carry over, even if the components will not necessarily. So there is a fair bit going on in that area too”
Some components they bring may not be suitable to the 2017 car but Symonds says anything learned now to improve understanding will help. The team has already tested parts seen this week.
Tyres for Hungary
Pirelli have announced that the white-marked medium, the yellow-marked soft and the red-mark supersofts will be available for selection for the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest.
Each driver will have a compulsory set of the supersofts for quailing and one set of mediums and softs. Teams will pick ten remaining sets permitted from the three available compounds, making up 13 sets in total for the weekend.
The same tyres have been available for the majority of the races this season.
Honda could be on par with Ferrari
Honda motorsport boss Yusuke Hasegawa believes that the Japanese manufacturer could be on a par with Ferrari were it not constrained by the engine token system.
This season the engine giant and McLaren have shown good progress managing to be further up in the midfield. Honda entered the sport the year after the V6 turbos were introduced and during the season like all teams is limited on the amount of development they can do.
Speaking to F1i Hasegawa said “It is difficult to say but technically speaking our designs are — I can’t say the number — but almost based on the same as the Ferrari level of engine. Although we are not achieving that at the moment.”
“So if we didn’t have the tokens and we were just adding more parts we could achieve that level I think. But currently to achieve this level we need more than 40 or 50 tokens. So that’s why we have to wait and have to choose which upgrade will be very effective to close the gap.”
Honda are the only manufacturer who have not used any of their tokens yet but plan to bring an upgrade in Monaco or Canada after successful tests in Barcelona this week.
Hasegawa added “As a variation point of view I have a lot of [upgrade] options, but it isn’t very big so I don’t want to choose that kind of option.”