Pirelli deal signed with more testing
Yesterday the FIA formally approved rule changes around the tyres to allow tyre supplier Pirelli to have more testing ahead of the introduction of new wider tyres.
The Italian manufacturer was awarded the contract last October and warned earlier this month that time was running out of time to develop and manufacture these tyres. But last night the FIA announced that tyre rules had passed a measure agreed earlier in the week by the Formula One commission that includes all the teams.
In a statement the governing body announced in a statement that “the changes will allow 25 car days of testing with current cars, fitted with 2017 tyre sizes, in 2016, 2017 and 2018.”
“In addition, there will be an opportunity to test prototype 2017 tyres (in 2016 sizes) on 2013 or 2014 cars – these tests on older cars only apply in 2016.”
Motorsport director Paul Hembery warned that “We cannot do our job without this (agreement being approved). We cannot deliver. We are being asked to make very significant changes, by changing the driveability of the tyres”
The changes are all part of plans to improve the sport.
Ferrari challenge returns to Singapore
Organisers of the Singapore Grand prix have announce the Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific will support this years race in the city after a three year absence. Other support races will be TCR International Series and Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.
Canopy could be brought in next year
Race director Charlie Whiting says that Red Bull’s canopy head protection could be introduced next season, if it shows well in impact testing taking place later this week.
Yesterday Red Bulls Christian Horner has told Sky Sports that the team could test their idea to protect the drivers heads in the first practice session for the Russian Grand Prix. The Red Bull idea is seen as a possible long-term replacement for the Halo concept being developed by Mercedes and Ferrari
The team has speeded up there development and will be tested before Strategy Group and F1 Commission meeting on Tuesday. Speaking to Motorsport.com, Whiting said: “I think it’s fair to say that when it was initially presented it was in its infancy. However Red Bull have done a great job of getting it to the point now where it will be tested this week.
“This is something that I don’t think we expected to happen. But as it has, we have got to take it seriously. If it performs as well as the Halo in testing there’s no reason why we can’t present it as a potential solution to the Strategy Group and F1 Commission.”
He says the Halo doesn’t have to meet next Saturdays deadline for the rest of the 2017 technical regulations but the final decision cannot be left for too long.
I would beat anyone – Alonso
Fernando Alonso has claimed in an interview with Sky Sports that he would beat any driver if he was in a similar car and still harbours hopes of landing a third world title.
This season marks ten years since the Spaniard won his second championship with Renault. But since then spells with Ferrari and Mclaren have failed to deliver a championship with McLaren looking well off doing it this season. He told Sky Sports Martin Brundle “I don’t believe that I’m better than anyone on pure speed in qualifying, I don’t think I’m better than anyone in wet conditions, dry conditions, qualifying, race.”
He added “But if you put me in the same car at the same moment and same track as anyone. I think that I will beat them. Maybe I’m not best of all sections, but overall I will beat them.”
He admitted he is “lucky to be alive” after his high-speed collision with Haas’ Esteban Gutierrez in the season-opener, but admitted that his “stupid” initial thoughts were on getting back to racing.
Alfa Should look to by a team – Marchionne
The CEO of Fiat Chrysler which owns Ferrari and Alfa Romeo Sergio Marchionne says if Alfa want to return to Formula One should look at internal options for any potential return to Formula 1 rather than looking at existing teams such as Sauber.
Alfa have been exploring different options about bring the brand back and have been linked to a Sauber takeover. The Swiss owned team which is supplied by the group has been facing financial difficulties that have resulted in its staff being paid their salaries a few days late for the past two months.
He told Autosport: “There are perhaps other alternatives for Alfa if they wanted to come back into the race. It is a very close cousin of Ferrari, and you should start looking at your family first before you start looking outside.”
It’s 31 years since the two times drivers championship winners last entered 1979 and 1985 but failing to win any races.
Calls for action on road safety in Baku
The parents of a man killed in a road traffic accident Baku last June has called on Bernie Ecclestone and the sport’s governing body to do more to improve road safety in the city before its first grand prix in June.
Micah Maxwell-Milne was killed after the Mercedes in which he was travelling collided with a Ford Transit in central Baku. Three other technicians involved in the same incident were airlifted to Turkey with serious injuries. Speaking to the Guardian his mother Jennifer said Formula One and the FIA had a duty to try to do something about the situation.
“Bernie Ecclestone, the Azerbaijan government and all Formula One stakeholders owe it to the fans and people of Azerbaijan to do more to ensure the safety of the many thousands of visitors to Baku this year.”
“We have been told that driving licences are for sale on the streets of Baku. Surely more must be done to protect those travelling to Azerbaijan this summer.” Figures from the World Health Organisation say 1,256 people are killed in Azerbaijan every year in road accidents.
Ms Maxwell-Milne praised the UK embassy for their assistance but was critical of the Azerbaijan government and the European Olympic Committee.
UK Government advice on road travel are “Many cars are poorly maintained, and the standard of driving is erratic. Accidents are common, mainly due to poor or reckless driving and inconsistent enforcement of traffic rules. “