Mercedes are blocking changes – Marko
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has accused Mercedes boss Toto Wolff of blocking the plans regulations changes for 2017 because of paranoia of hurting his team’s dominance. The sport is split on four changes around the engines.
In China team principal of the team Christian Horner expressed his doubts in that an agreement will be reached in time for April 30, the final deadline for 2017’s regulations. Wolff has said that he may need to compromise on the f regulations when the decision is made at the end of the month.
Horner has called on the FIA to reintroduce the threat of a budget engine to bring manufacturers into line. Speaking to Motorsport-Magazin Marko said “Except for Toto and the teams that must follow him due to their engine contracts, everyone is for a change.”
“Only Herr Wolff has this paranoid fear that Mercedes will lose its superiority if you change even the smallest thing on the engine or chassis. Toto Wolff is doing everything he can to prevent any change.” Wolff says the new rules will only bring a repeat of another dominant team.
He says “we’re going to change it, somebody else or us are going to run away with the championship next year because it is new regulations and everything starts from the beginning.”
Hungary gets extension of contract
The company which operates the Hungaroring have signed a five year extension to their contract. Three years ago the deal was renewed until 2021 and means the race will see a fortieth year in the sport.
The track is currently undergoing redevelopment and was resurfaced earlier this month. The Hungarian government has made fund available for the facilities to be redeveloped starting next year. F1 boss Berine Ecclestone told Autosport “They’re good supporters, they do a good job, good for the country, good for us, and I’m very, very happy we’re always in Hungary, and we’re staying there.”
Hungary’s national development minister Miklos Sesztak added: “Without giving out secrets regarding the details of our contract, I can tell you we’ll be able to organise and run our F1 race for another five-year period under very favourable terms.”
U-turn on woman drivers – Ecclestone
Berine Ecclestone has vowed to support the Dare To Be Different program in any way he can to get woman in to formula One. The Formula One boss said earlier this week woman racing in F1 “would not be taken seriously”, while also suggesting they would be physically unable to drive quickly.
Susie Wolff the founder of the campaign has told the BBC World Service that his comments were taken out of context, and he is determined to assist wherever possible.
Something he back up in an interview with Autosport “Whatever she wants to do we will try and support it. Let me be clear, I would love to see a woman driver in Formula 1. Absolutely. 100 per cent.”
“I was asked on stage by Martin Sorrell [the interviewer at the forum] ‘If by chance there was a sponsor out there that wanted to put 100 million into a team, providing it had two women drivers, what would you say to that? I said ‘I’d be very happy and I’d give another 20 million to make it happen’”
He said the media in recent years have overlooked his change in views in recent years. But he appeared to say he thinks they shouldn’t just be there because of their gender.
Ferrari engine upgrades
Motorsport.com say they understand that Ferrari is considering spending their first of their first engine tokens of the season before next weekends Russian Grand Prix.
The team who are believed to be the second strongest to Mercedes have struggled with reliability so haven’t been able to challenge there rivals on track. The website is reporting that sources say they have unlocked horsepower improvements on the dyno and is willing to spend three of its remaining nine development tokens to bring the combustion updates to track already.
If this were true it would mean Sebastian Vettel would have already used the majority of his power units. But the old units could be used at low speed circuits.
In Shanghai Sergio Marchionne dropped a hint about the scheme in China last weekend when he suggested the team was ready to bring forward developments.
Mustn’t be scared to try stuff – Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton says F1 must not be scared to use this season to try things to tweak the race weekend before the changes due to be introduced next season. The sport has agreed to complete “a global assessment of the format of the weekend” this season.
Hamilton said even though F1 has gone back after trying something new with qualifying, that should not dissuade it trying other ideas during 2016 ahead of next year’s planned changes. He told Autosport that they shouldn’t be scared of trying new things.
“I definitely think we should use this year as an opportunity to come up with some ideas and test some things which have a small implication on the race weekend.
“If the fans saw that we tried another new format and it didn’t work, sure they might not like it, but they would at least know that we are trying and we are in that development phase for next year.” Hamilton says he doesn’t know all the answers.
But say he knows he loves driving but says some weekends could be different. Suggesting the GP2 format which has a sprint and feature race