Lotus could fight with Ferrari – Maldonado
Pastor Maldonado says Lotus would be able to fight with Ferrari if the team had the budget to develop there car. The team has been struggling financially this season and has been in talks about a possible takeover by Renault.
With the uncertainty about their future the team still has been scoring points with limited development this season proves the team can be among the front runners. He told Autosport “The background we have in the factory and the quality of people in the team, I think it’s one of the best in Formula 1,” said Maldonado.”
He added “The only problem is the financial thing. We have a car from the beginning of season and we are still fighting for points so imagine if we had situation to develop the car.”
He said if they had potential to develop the car the team could be much closer to Ferrari and Williams. But he said he is not sure that the team could be second to Mercedes.
Unfinished business at McLaren
Jenson Button believes he and McLaren Chairmen Ron Dennis have “unfinished business” as they prepare for their seventh season together. After months of speculation earlier this month Button was confirmed for another season.
Denis has admitted he should have told Button sooner that the team had no plan to excise the termination clause in the 35-year olds contract. Button says there is so much he still want to achieve in Formula One.
He told Autosport “This year has been such a tough year for the whole team and to see how well everyone has worked together and how everyone has pulled together in such a difficult situation – that also helps you make the decision.”
Adding “It makes you realise this team will give everything they can to achieve in the future. I’m very excited about that.” It has been a difficult season for the team with them fighting with Manor.
Red Bull engine upgrade
Autosport have said they have learned that Red Bull will have an engine upgrade for this weekends United States Grand Prix if they chose to use it.
Engine partner Renault is yet to use their development tokens but they understand that Renault has now used a “significant” amount of tokens, close to its full allowance. However if they use the engine they would take grid penalties for using a sixth power unit.
The upgrade has been focused on the internal combustion engine (ICE), with some changes made to the turbo as part of next seasons development.
Renault have not used all the tokens for this upgrade but it will be the last upgrade with four races remaining. Red Bull are still looking to renew their relationship with Renault following a break down ove the summer.
Both sides will be looking for a step forward next season even if Red Bull lose their works team status.
Forced V8 return
Berine Ecclestone will force teams to return to V8 engines next season following heavy criticism by Formula One diehards for lacking the high-pitched scream of their predecessors and they have also led to one team, Mercedes, dominating the season.
If the switch were to go ahead it would cost teams hundreds of millions of pounds following the change to V6’s last year. However to change the teams will need to agree as the engine rules are currently fixed until 2020.
Ecclestone told The Independent “I don’t think we should get consent from the teams. I think we should just do it and say to them, ‘If you don’t like it you can go to arbitration’. We could get the V8s back next year. People can build them in no time so we ought to do it.”
The return would level the field most of the teams have spent years working with them. Ecclestone says engine shouldn’t have been that complicated. He also warned that if Red Bull pulled out and ended their relationship with Renault they would be in breach of contract.
Live tyre monitoring
Motorsport.com says they have learned that the sports governing body the FIA, is planning to introduce live monitoring of tyre pressures.
There has been issues with tyre pressure limits this season following a series of tyre failures at the Belgian Grand Prix. Tyre manufacturer Pirelli has called for the enforcement of the limits. Currently they can only be measured manually shortly before they are fitted to the car.
This has prompted fears that teams could be finding ways of reducing the level between the checks and when the car gets out on track for better performance. Meaning they could be altered on track and through races.
If the system was introduced and teams were found to be below the levels they would have to come in on the next lap. It will be be trialled later on this season prior to a full introduction in 2016.
Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery has welcomed the idea saying “We think that it is a tremendous initiative and it is something we would like to find a solution for across many categories of motorsport.”