I couldn’t work with Bernie – Brawn
Motorsport Managing Director Ross Brawn says that he could not work with chairman emeritus Bernie Ecclestone if he had remained CEO, but denies he making it a condition of accepting the role.
The former team boss and owner was unveiled as part of a three-man team which includes CEO Chase Carey and commercial boss Sean Bratches. Ecclestone stood down following a coup which removed him from his post.
Speaking to various media outlets last weekend, Ecclestone admitting he now has little to do with the new management. Brawn started working for Liberty as a consultant while the American company progressed with its bid for F1 before agreeing to take on a permanent role.
When asked by F1 Racing, if Ecclestone’s departure was a condition he made in taking the post he said “That is not true. I mean, I couldn’t work with Bernie, but I never made that a condition.”
Brawn says he and Ecclestone have very different views on how to take F1 forward, which would have made working together challenging. “It would have been very entertaining to work with Bernie.”
“It wasn’t impossible, but Bernie has done things in his own way over the years, and very effectively. But I’ve never seen Bernie with any serious partners, certainly not in terms of running the business.” He says Ecclestone’s business philosophy was reactive to the current situation without long-term vision.
Brawn added he would be working closely with the FIA to be strongly involved with decisions on future regulations, but he insisted the ultimate responsibility for the rules would stay with the FIA.
Cooler conditions won’t harm Ferrari
Sebastian Vettel says he does not believe that cooler temperatures in Sochi next weekend will harm Ferrari’s hopes of a third victory this season.
Victories in Melbourne and Bahrain has given the Italian team the early lead in both the drivers and constructors championship. Also, fuelling speculation that the SFH70, is better suited to hotter conditions than the Mercedes.
When asked by ESPN if he thinks cooler temperatures of Sochi will pose a problem for Ferrari, Vettel said “I don’t think so, I think we will manage. We managed as well in China and it was quite cold.”
“I think it will be OK. We’ll see, I don’t know the forecast yet but usually, forecasts keep changing as well so we will see when we get there.”
This week, Vettel did two days of testing in Bahrain and says that any time spent in the car is invaluable to his title ambitions. Saying “I think in that regard every lap that you do helps.”
“Obviously the cars are still quite new to everyone, so are the tyres, so every lap that you do will help you and it’s always nice to drive.”
He says our position in the championship doesn’t change anything.
The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve which will hold the Canadian Grand Prix is to undergo major renovations for this year’s race. Most of the circuits this season have required modifications to safety features to reflect the faster cars and cornering speeds under the 2017 rules.
While the layout of the Montreal circuit will not be altered, substantial work is taking place on its barriers. Most of the guardrails and 5000 tyres will be removed and replaced by TecPro barriers.
The TecPro barriers are made of polyethene and are often filled with foam and stand, which offers more absorption in the event of an impact.
The FIA has also asked for the traditional gravel traps to be replaced by portions of asphalt as seen at other F1 tracks.
The famous ‘Wall of Champions’ – the concrete wall that located at the exit of the last chicane – will have its angle modified, as the FIA has deemed it was dangerous.
Work is already underway and should be finished in mid-May.
Sainz surprised by grid drop
Carlos Sainz was “surprised” with grid drop for his collision with Williams rookie Lance Stroll in Bahrain and believes that a penalty wouldn’t have been awarded if he was up against a more experienced driver.
The incident in the race saw Sainz exit the pit-lane when he lunged down the inside of Stroll, who had already started turning the corner. Sainz says it is unfair to apportion blame for the crash and thinks Stroll would have been warier of the corner if he had more experience.
He told ESPN “I obviously was quite surprised with the grid drop. I thought they were going to consider it a racing incident.”
“Obviously in F1 when you are fighting for position, for the points, there are a lot of racing battles going on.” Sainz says for him it was a racing incident and maybe Stroll didn’t see him, maybe with more experience, he would of.
Sainz now has a three-place grid penalty for Russia.
Wehrlein defences his absence’s
Pascal Wehrlein has once again defended the way he, Sauber and Mercedes handled the news of his back injury and is insists the Swiss squad never hid the severity of it.
The German driver suffered a fractured neck vertebra in an accident during January’s Race of Champions, meaning he missed the first test of F1’s pre-season, citing a “back issue” as the reason for his absence.
Wehrlein decided after practice in Melbourne to withdraw and then also missed china before returning to racing in Bahrain last weekend. On Monday, he tweeted the first images of himself during his recovery, revealing the severity of his state at the time.
When asked about the timing of sharing those images, Wehrlein said: “I was allowed to [release them sooner], but I didn’t want to. I’m not someone who likes to share everything in public.”
“My social media I use it more as a race driver where I do my job and then I like to have a private life as well. And this injury was something private. In the end, it was something serious.”
He, however, doesn’t blame people for judging him because he didn’t disclose the full extent of the injuries. “Everyone knew that I was injured. Everyone knew that I had to get the green light from the doctors, I had to be cleared by the FIA, so normally that doesn’t happen if you have muscle pain.”
“We said it’s a back injury and it will be fine with some time. We didn’t lie to anyone, we didn’t hide anything.” He says there was no pressure from Mercedes or Sauber as the injury could have ended his career.
Alonso @ Indy – Test post-Russia
Fernando Alonso will test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 3 ahead of his debut appearance at the Indy 500 at the end of the month.
Last week Alonso announced he would miss the Monaco Grand Prix to drive for Andretti at the race in May. Following his home race next month, the Spaniard will head to America for two weeks’ worth of testing before the race itself.
The news of him heading to Indy came just six weeks ahead of the race, and it looks to be a busy period with two Grand Prix’s and the hopes of Andretti of organising a private test with Andretti Autosport to familiarise himself with the car and an oval circuit.
That looks set to happen on the Tuesday after the Russian Grand Prix, with a test at Indy. This weekend Alonso is visiting the IndyCar paddock at Alabama’s Barber Motorsports Park to meet the Andretti Autosport team.
Understand why the last day was good – Vandoorne
Stoffel Vandoorne says McLaren and Honda must understand why the final day of testing was so good if it is going to move its campaign forward.
After a difficult race weekend in Bahrain and restricted running on the first day, the Belgian managed to set fourth fastest time and complete 81 laps on the final day in what was McLaren’s best outing of the year.
That was puzzling for the team because they hadn’t made any changes to the engine specification they had run on the first day. Vandoorne says there is no celebration after just a single day of decent running.
When asked by Motorsport.com about whether he felt McLaren had needed some good news after a run of difficulties, Vandoorne said: “I don’t think we need one day like.”
“I think we need it to be all the time like this. To yeah, it was good but there is no guarantees that the next time it will be good again. So I think we need to learn carefully what we’ve done today and hopefully carry that forward.”
The Belgian says the decent day of testing allowed the team to understand the chassis better.
He said “There were some new bits that we wanted to try out: some quite fundamental things which we had to learn about. So we’ve actually been going left, right and centre with the setup.
“That was good for the team to see where the performance comes from and also good for me to know which direction the car is performing better.”