Big teams want protection in spending terms
Formula One boss Chase Carey says that the top teams have told Liberty Media they want to be “protected them from themselves” in spending terms.
Carey believes that the teams are spending too much purely so they can match their rivals, and the only way to tackle this is to reduce costs and stop unnecessary expenditure. Carey told Autosport “What some of the teams spend on the sport today is an incredible amount, and they’ll acknowledge it’s an incredible amount,” said Carey.
“There are a handful of teams that spend an extraordinary amount that aren’t really spending to create something that enhances the consumer experience.” Carey says the big teams are only spending that much because the other teams are doing that and they need to in order to compete.
Carey and Ross Brawn agree that post-2020 engine regulations are key to cutting costs and six manufacturers recently agreed for “simpler, cheaper, louder” engines.
Carey is adamant that technology plays too big a role at the moment, although he understands its significance to F1. He says that we will make sure we enhance Formula One and they are doing it for the fans, not the teams.
He added, “One of the things we keep saying to them is at the end of the day we’re doing it for the fans, we’re not doing it for the teams.”
“We want first and foremost a simpler sport, sports entertainment, so you’ve got to make the entertainment great, and then enable fans to connect to it.”
But Carey knows that the best chance of revising the distribution of income among the teams once the current Concorde Agreement expires in 2020.
Turbo defect caused Bottas retirement
A turbo defect caused which Mercedes has never encountered before was behind Valtteri Bottas’s retirement from the Spanish Grand Prix.
Bottas was running third when the issue developed and caused his retirement from the race, which cost the Finn ground in the championship to Sebastian Vettel and teammate Lewis Hamilton. Mercedes had reverted back to the older power unit because there was a water leak in his new power unit ahead of FP3.
Though Bottas was running an older engine, it was a defect that led to the failure, with team boss Toto Wolff saying that is proof the team needs to remain “double diligent” in their fight with Ferrari.
Wolff told ESPN “”It was painful to lose 15 valuable points with Valtteri retiring from P3. We’ve identified the root cause of the problem, which was the turbo.”
“We haven’t seen that defect before, which shows you that you need to be double diligent. This is a technical sport and if you stretch your limits, you’ll encounter technical problems.” Bottas’s failure now means he is forty-one points behind Vettel in the championship.
Bottas did, however, play a key role in holding Vettel up during his charge with soft tyres and preventing him from building too large a gap to his Mercedes teammate before his pit stop.
Monaco is a “one off” – Button
Jenson Button is playing down hopes that he could return to the gird next season saying his drive in this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, is a “one off.”
Button is replacing Fernando Alonso who is competing at the Indianapolis 500, with the Brit replacing him for the race. The Englishman claims he is enjoying life away from the sport and that his return will be short lived.
But, he is the one with the McLaren contract for next season, rather than Alonso. He said, “Of course when the chance came to race in Monaco I was going to take it.”
“I don’t want to be racing in F1 for a whole season because I’ve done my time in F1. I’ve loved most of my career but it was time for me to have a break. To come back for the Monaco GP – that is just the dream.”
Button is stepping into a car which has yet to score a point this season and has reliability problems. He says that this weekend is a one-off where he wants fun.
He repeated he was contacted earlier this year by two teams wanting him to race for them this season.
Alonso qualifies fifth at Indy
Fernando Alonso has quailed in the middle of the second row of the grid after qualifying fifth for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500. The Spaniard set an average of 231.300mph on his four-lap qualifying run, while New Zealander Scott Dixon took pole at 232.164mph.
For Alonso, it is a brilliant performance considering he hasn’t driven an IndyCar car until earlier this month. He told BBC News “I think the car was better than yesterday.”
“We had an over-boost problem (with the turbocharger) in the final corner, so the engine was like hitting the brakes and I lost a bit.” He says that cost him 0.3-0.4mph on his average, which equates to the difference between fifth and either second or third.
In the context of Nigel Mansell’s performance in 1993 coming out of F1, the Brit was eighth.
Former Manor driver Alex Rossi was third ahead of former Jordan, Bar and Super Aguri driver Takuma Sato was fourth. Rossi won the race last year from eleventh.
While Max Chilton was fifteenth.
Red Bull harmed by tyre testing
Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes the team’s involvements in tyre testing with Pirelli harmed the teams form as the tyres didn’t develop as expected.
Red Bull along with Ferrari and Mercedes created ‘mule cars’ to help Pirelli to develop tyres which could take higher levels of downforce. Those teams that took part in the tests have gained an advantage, despite the blind nature of the testing and Pirelli’s promise to share data.
Speaking to Motosport.com’s GP Gazette, Horner suggested that the team took the wrong direction with the RB13 because the definitive 2017 tyres were not what the team anticipated after the mule car testing.
He said “Obviously the regulation change was reasonably significant over the winter, and I think actually running the Pirelli mule car hurt us in a few ways.
“A few things changed late in with the tyres that we potentially were designing the car around. I think that may have perhaps influenced our development direction.” he said he isn’t saying it back fired but it lead the team in the wrong direction.
Horner says that the engine issues also hampered there running in testing and they only got the real picture in Melbourne. But, is confident Red Bull can get on top of the problems it has had with this year’s car.
Rosberg expecting baby
Formula One champion Nico Rosberg has announced that he and his wife Vivian are expecting their second child this year.
The Mercedes ambassador tweeted a photo with “NR2 Yeah!” and a picture of him, Vivian and daughter Alaia, who he said had changed his life forever.
Rosberg said: “’We are very happy and it is a very nice time for us. ‘Since my career has now ended, we will have more time together as a family. It is the greatest gift to give new life together.”
“Having two children will be very exciting. I am glad that I can support Vivian in this.”