Williams drop Massa appeal
Williams have dropped the appeal against Felipe Massa’s disqualification from last weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix. The team was disqualified because of a breach of the FIA technical and sporting regulations, FIA international sporting code and the instructions of Pirelli.
Massa’s right-rear tyre on Massa’s car was discovered to be 27 degrees centigrade above the allowed maximum of 110 degrees. Leading tto him being disqualified from eightieth place and the team to launch an appeal.
Head of engineering Rob Smedley said earlier this week the FIA readings were wrong and three independent readings of its own that show the temperature to be comfortably below the permitted level.
After consideration the Williams team who believed they had a strong case have dropped the appeal as they believe it will have a bearing on its 2016 preparations, and with legal costs to consider.
In a statement Williams said “Following detailed consideration the team has concluded that despite not agreeing with the exclusion and believing it has sufficient evidence with which to successfully contest the ruling.”
Adding “it will not formally appeal the decision as a hearing date is unlikely to be available until after the end of the season, impacting a time when the team wishes to turn its attention to its 2016 campaign.”
News – in – brief
- Team moves – Williams head of performance Rob Smedly has been linked to a move to Haas according to the Italian magazine Autosprint. Smedly joined Williams along with driver and friend Massa in 2014.
- Midfield battle – Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn is prepared for a much tougher midfield battle in 2016. With Manor securing Mercedes power units and the new Haas F1 team with its strong Ferrari links.
Very, Very close to Mercedes – Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton says that Ferrari are “very very close” to matching Mercedes in terms of performance. Earlier this month team principal Toto Wolff made similar comments.
The three times world champion says he has always been wary of the threat the Italian team has posed throughout his career. Hamilton expects the team to continue to match the level of development it has been making already in 2015.
When asked about Niki Lauda’s comments that Ferrari has matched Mercedes in terms of engine power and performance he said that he feels Mercedes still has the edge. However, he feels that Mercedes needs to continue their development.
He told Crash.net “I still feel that Mercedes makes the best engine, so I still think there are areas where we are stronger, but they have come a very long way from the power they had with Fernando last year.
Adding Ferrari “have made a huge, huge step and I anticipate next year will be even better, so we have got to continue and it’s harder when you are at the top to keep that gap.”
Hamilton has confidence with the progress of the team but says no one can be sure.
Angry at set backs in Brazil – Sainz
Carlos Sainz says he was angry with the reliability which meant he wasn’t able to complete a lap during last weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix. The Spaniard failed to start the race after suffering an engine problem in the pitlane before the start.
The Renault power unit in the Spanish rookie’s Toro Rosso shut down as he attempted a practice start on his way to the grid. He also suffered electrical problems in final practice and qualifying, which meant he lost telemetry and the use of his clutch.
The latest retirement was his seventh of the season. Speaking to Autosport he said “I’m honestly very pissed off and angry with the situation, because I think we had a great opportunity to score points.”
Adding “It’s the seventh time in the whole season. It means 50 per cent of the races not finishing. Obviously, it being my rookie year it’s not what you want and it’s not what you’re here for.”
Sainz says he is happy with his performance this season and says “When you are in your rookie season and you have so many failures but still manage to create an impression in the F1 paddock, it hasn’t made me very sad at all.”
return to old days
Sebastian Vettel says he would like to race in other series around Formula One but does say he wouldn’t take it lightly.
In the 1950’s, 1960’s it was common for F1 drivers to race in other series and races such as Le Mans, Indy Car and F1. The idea has returned after Nico Hulkenberg won the Le Mans 24 Hours at the first attempt for Porsche while racing in F1.
The German says he is excited by the prospect of racing in other categories but warned that drivers shouldn’t expect an easy ride because of their success at the pinnacle of motorsport. He told ESPN “Yeah I think there’s a lot of categories that look like a lot of fun.”
Adding “The only thing is I think you need to be careful because I think in the past just to make a good example with DTM I think ex-Formula One drivers thought ‘ah, that’s a nice way to keep paying the bills and have some fun around the track’ but then you had the young guns.”
Vettel has no plans firm plans to race outside F1 but warned drivers shouldn’t expect an easy ride because their at the pinnacle of motorsport.