Podium was on merit – Fernley
Force India’s deputy team principal Bob Fernley says that Sergio Perez’s podium in Baku was achieved on merit. It was a good weekend for the Mexican who qualified second but was dropped back to seventh after a gearbox penalty.
Perez second podium in three races is the first time that Force India after fighting through the field and gives them there best result in a single season with two podiums. Fernley told Autosport “It looked a bit tough after Saturday but we came through and it’s nice to be able to do it on performance – on merit.”
“Nobody gave us anything and we fought hard on it. It’s a testament to the guys that have done good things with the car. Sometimes you have to wait for opportunities to come along.
“But when you’re getting podiums on merit, that’s a whole different ball game.” He added. Fernley says that Perez drove well to get the best out of the car and that team had misfortune before they introduced a big update in Spain.
The team has close the gap fourth-placed Williams in the constructors’ championship since the update. Fernley added “Right from the beginning we’ve had the right package. For the first four races we struggled to get it going in our favour, but since Barcelona we’ve been pretty on it.”
Very happy at Force India – Perez
Sergio Perez says he is “very happy” at Force India but indicated that his future in Formula One remains l uncertain as he continues to be linked with Ferrari.
Perez was dropped after just a single season at McLaren in 2013 but has subsequently rekindled his F1 career at Force India. In Baku the Mexican driver had a strong race where he took his seventh career podium finish in F1.
Speaking to Sky Sports he said “”I am very happy where l am. I am enjoying it, l love this team. What happens next year? I just hope l am in Formula 1, but who knows where. It is too early to talk about the future.”
Many drivers are expected to be our of contract they are believed to be Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa, Jenson Button. Perez is also believed to be one but Force India says they have confidence that both Perez and existing team-mate Nico Hulkenberg will stay on.
“I think he’ll be be with us next year. In this business you can never be 100 per cent sure about anything but l would be comfortable to say that he will be with us.” Bob Fernley, the deputy team principal, told Reuters
Williams speaking to ‘a lot of drivers’
William’s deputy team principal Claire Williams says her team is speaking to ‘a lot of drivers’ about 2016 but has refused to rule out re-hiring Jenson Button. Williams have the Valtteri Bottas under contract but there are rumours that Ferrari has interest in the Fin.
Ms Williams told Sky Sports “We are talking to them and we are having other conversations with other drivers in the paddock to see what other opportunities there are.”
Adding “But that’s not to say we aren’t happy with the job Valtteri and Felipe are doing. We have a great line-up, but no decision has been made. We just have to work through the conversations.” Earlier this season she vowed to be proactive in the driver market this year after uncertainty shrouded their line-up.
Button won’t know until September whether McLaren are going to keep him or replace him with Stoffel Vandoorne and there has been links to the team.
Speaking about this she said “He started his career here, he’s a world champion and extremely intelligent when it comes to building a team around him and helping the engineering side develop the car.”
Tyre selections for Austria
Pirelli have confirmed the drivers allocations which they have chosen for next weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix. The Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have taken a slightly different approach.
For next weekend Pirelli has given each driver there mandatory set of soft, supersoft and new-for-2016 ultrasoft tyre for the Red Bull Ring. A set of the softest available compound may only be used in Q3. Teams are then free to choose the remaining ten sets.
Hamilton and Rosberg have opted for eight each of the purple Ultrasoft tyres but Hamilton has chosen three sets of the red Supersofts and Rosberg has taken four. Hamilton has two yellow soft to Rosbergs one. Both Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel have nine ultrasofts, three supersofts and one soft.
Felipe Massa, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo have all chosen two softs, four supersofts and seven ultrasofts. Both McLarens and Felipe Nasr chosen three softs and supersofts plus seven ultrasofts tyres. Both Manor’s have one soft, four supersofts and eight ultrasofts.
Long term deal wanted by Baku
The chief executive of the Baku Circuit Arif Rahimov, says that Azerbaijan can look forward to a long-term Formula One future after a successful debut race on Sunday.
The race on Sunday was less dramatic than people expected with no crashes or drama but Rahimov says they achieved the main aim of showing off Baku to a worldwide television. He said “It is a success. It’s really great to hear all the compliments from everyone.”
“From drivers, from teams, from Formula One management… everyone’s really happy, everyone’s proud of the event. We made it.” Adding “We showed what Baku is: great racing along with a great city. If we reach the success that we reached this year, I’m sure it’s going to be a long term event.”
Farkhad Mammadov head of Azerbaijan’s Centre for Strategic Studies and representative of the Presidential Office, told reporters the contract was guaranteed for five years with options beyond that.
Chandhok, Rosberg among the drivers at Goodwood
Former F1 driver and Channel 4’s Technical Analyst Karun Chandhok has joined Williams as the official driver for the team’s Heritage division. Chandhok will focus on the testing and public demonstration of Williams’ historic racing cars.
The Indian driver will start the role at this weekends Goodwood Festival of Speed where he will drive up the iconic Goodwood Hill behind the wheel of an FW08C from 1983 and an FW13B from 1990.
It was announced earlier this year that Ross Brawn will attend the event along with David Brabham, Sir Jackie Stewart, John Surtees, Mclaren’s Jenson Button, Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, Susie Wolff, Championship leader Nico Rosberg and Renault Jolyon Palmer.