Full picture for teams – Brawn
Sporting Director Ross Brawn says that Liberty Media will present the teams with a full picture of their vision for the future of Formula One before an agreement can be made on the future of revenue distribution.
The sport’s bosses have already made it clear they want to see a fair distribution of the way the sports profits are split from 2021, following the expiry of the Concorde Agreement. But the big four teams and the engine manufacturers will need to be convinced because they will lose out the most.
Brawn has also been asked to design a new technical package, that will include a new engine while reducing the cost and increasing competition on the track. However, the challenge for Brawn will be convincing the manufacturers to agree.
Brawn told Motorsport.com “To have a discussion about remuneration with the teams is difficult if you don’t present both sides.”
“We’ve got to present how we see the sport going forward in terms of the investment that the teams make because it’s substantial,” Brawn says that there isn’t a team in Formula One which wouldn’t welcome a cut in costs and they are going to put the proposal to the FIA.
Brawn says that newly appointed finance director, Nigel Kerr, has been tasked with studying current spending by teams, and demonstrating how that can change under a new rules package.
But, added “I think one thing I’d like to say is that we don’t want to dumb F1 down. I think F1 still has to be aspirational for the teams.”
No plans to remove Honda boss
Honda says they have no plans to remove there Motorsport Boss Yusuke Hasegawa, despite the poor performance and reliability this season.
The Canadian Grand Prix was tough after McLaren boss Zak Brown and sporting director Eric Boullier launched a very public attack on Honda. But, Honda defended themselves, only for Fernando Alonso’s engine to fail in the closing laps of the race.
Boullier said that was “absolutely not good enough” as McLaren continued its public attack.
Hasegawa, who has previously worked in F1 with the BAR-Honda project, took over from Yasuhisa Arai ahead Honda’s second season back in 2016, with the manufacturer showing improved performance and reliability compared to 2015.
It is believed that most of that improvement was down to the groundwork was down to Arai, before his departure. But, it is understood that hasn’t led to questions about Hasegawa’s own future.
Asked about that very topic, Hasegawa told Motorsport.com “”I do not decide my future. If someone wants to change my position, I have to obey that.”
“From Honda’s point of view, nobody is thinking about changing my position. The focus is on the job and making progress. As long as I am here, I am going to do my best.”
Former Honda team principal and F1 sporting director Ross Brawn told BBC News “if we can do anything to support their efforts to improve for the future we will do that.”
Following those comments, Hasegawa spoke to Brawn. “He said I’m happy to support Honda if you have a request.”
Alonso set for grid penalties
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso is expecting another grid penalty for this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, following more reliability problems in Montreal.
It’s been a difficult season for McLaren after a number of power unit failures in the early part of the season. Alonso’s car has already had penalties in Monaco, as they car exceed its quota of four turbochargers and four MGU-H.
Following another failure in the final few laps of the Canadian Grand Prix, Alonso is expecting to exceed another of his car’s quotas in Baku this weekend. Alonso told ESPN “After getting so close to scoring our first point in Canada and suffering another retirement.”
“We go to Baku with even more determination, but it’s no secret that we expect to find this weekend trick,” Alonso added Baku is a circuit which it is difficult to overtake, but he says it is not impossible.
This comes after Alonso upped pressure when he set an unrealistic target of winning a race by September. Such a feat is almost impossible from the team’s current competitive position.
Renault has capacity for another team
Renault says they have enough capacity to supply a fourth team should McLaren split with Honda and search for a new partner. The French manufacturer supplied four teams in 2014 and they continue to have the capacity.
Speaking to Motorsport.com, technical director Cyril Abiteboul said “We’ve had the capacity to do four teams in the past. It’s sometimes been very successful, at the end of the V8 era.”
“It’s been sometimes very difficult and painful, at the start of the V6 era. I think we are now getting back to a position where we could seriously consider a fourth customer.” Abiteboul said later this season reliability will be better next year.
As it stands for 2018, drivers will only have three engine for the season. With teams currently running four engines per car that mean Renault are using twenty engines. That gives the team only an extra four to produce should another team come on board.
Abiteboul said that while Renault doesn’t have the best power unit at the moment, he’s confident that customers can rely on the parity of equipment.
adding “Frankly I think we have demonstrated that we are capable of accommodating any customer, from the most demanding to Caterham, in the past.”
Sauber look for ‘major step’
Sauber says their updates which will be introduced at the Austrian and British Grand Prix’s should deliver them a ‘major step’ which could see the team becoming a regular runner in the midfield.
The 2017 car has been down on downforce compared to their nearest rivals and the team is targeting a step forward with the upgrades. Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn, told Autosport “The car is not where it should be, and the technical team now has to improve its competitiveness.”
“That is the clear goal. They know that, and it is now for them to try to already take the next step with the package we want to bring around Silverstone and Spielberg.” She suggests that the full upgrade will not be in place until Budapest at the end of July.
Kaltenborn is targeting the midfield but says that isn’t a hard and fast position because the team hasn’t looked at that seriously.
She added “We see how far we can get. It is a challenge to our technical team and they are taking up the challenge, and now they have to show that they can master it.”
Sauber is currently ninth in the constructors because of Pascal Wehrlein’s eighth-place finish at the Spanish GP, it has fallen away from the opposition on ultimate pace in the last two races.