Teams should be grateful for top three tyre testing
Pirelli say that the teams which are not taking part in the tyre testing should be grateful for the big three teams caring out the work.
Some argued that Ferrari, Mercedes and red Bull will be getting an advantage ahead of the new season, in which wider front and rear tyres will be used, by taking part in Pirelli’s test programme over the next few months.
Williams have suggested that tyre choices should be standardised as they feel the top three will have the upper hand. Hembery told Autosport: “I’ve spoken to people involved in our testing in the past and they’ve said they hadn’t a clue what it was we were testing.”
“On this occasion what we test on one car might be one small part of the jigsaw that hasn’t been matched with another bit we’re testing on another car. So you’ll be grasping at straws to understand what the final product is, and in terms of getting an advantage, it’ll be marginal.”
Hembery added that in the future Pirelli will be able to test with all of the teams on the cars. He says the biggest challenge which has limited testing is the aero changes which he says stopped them testing more. Hembery says “As it is we have to be thankful – and the other teams have to be thankful – because the top teams have taken on this responsibility.”
“Whilst we are making a financial investment ourselves, the teams have had to do that as well.” All the information which is gathered during the test is being shared with all the teams. Hembery feels this way the other eight teams to gain knowledge quickly is to go pre-season testing in a warm climate next year.
Hamilton suggestion for penalty
Lewis Hamilton has suggested that he would rather take his engine change penalty at next weekend Italian Grand Prix rather than at Spa this weekend. The reigning world champion faces two changes which incur at ten place grid penalty after reliability problems earlier this year.
Drivers are only allowed five changes through-out the season and Hamilton is likely to require seven with one needing to be taken in the next two races. Speaking to F1i team boss Toto Wolff said “Could be Monza as well… it’s about minimising his penalty on a track where overtaking is a bit easier than on others and we want to drag it out a bit to really make it as smooth as possible to finish the season with that last engine.”
Wolff says any upgrades to those parts also have to be factored in, with Mercedes keen to ensure equality between its two drivers. Saying “You don’t want to upgrade it or change the engine when the following race would be an upgrade that would be performance-enhancing that would be benefitting Nico, so that has to be taken into consideration.”
Honda plan two upgrades this season
Honda say they are planning to introduce two more engine upgrades before they switch their full attention to their 2017 program says Yusuke Hasegawa. The Japanese manufacturer is planning the first one for next weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.
There final upgrade of the season is expected to be focused on the internal combustion engine, which is currently the weakest part of the Honda unit. This year they have focused on the ICE system which was introduced at last month’s British Grand Prix.
Hasegawa told Autosport “Sakura is always developing, so as soon as we are ready, we will introduce it. We only have nine races, so even if you have an idea, we only have two chances to introduce it.
“So we have one chance at Spa and one more after that and the plan is still to use all of the tokens.” He added. Hasegawa says that there biggest challenge is deciding when to stop development on this year’s engine, with a full switch to 2017 expected at the start of October.
“This is the biggest job for me, deciding when to divert resource from this year to next year. So far, I won’t give up on this year, but maybe this month, I have to decide. After September, the research will stop.” He added.
Force India duo on verge of being snapped up
Force India’s deputy team Principal Bob Fernley says the teams drivers Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg are on the verge of being snapped up by championship-challenging team.
Both drivers have contracts for 2017 but the team has told Perez that he can leave the team because it’s believed that there is interest in the Mexican from Renault and Williams. Fernley says believes both drivers are targets for F1’s top teams and would not block such a move – but does not want to see them leave for any lesser squads.
He told Autosport “Whenever you give Checo [Perez] an opportunity for a podium, he takes it. You can’t fault it. Over the last three years with us, his progression has been remarkable and he has settled in to be a real contender.”
“Nico always delivers solid performances, but this year it is difficult to answer where his luck has gone. But it doesn’t matter, his head never goes down, he continues to fight all the time and he pulls off good results.”
Fernley added that both drivers are on the verge of going to championship winning teams. He says the team “would be the first to wish them well. But what we don’t want to see either of them do is make a sideways move.”
Drivers who put in work will benefit in 2017
Carlos Sainz Jr believes that younger drivers and those who put in the work over the winter will benefit when the new regulations are introduced next season. New regulations will see wider bodywork and tyres, with more downforce increasing cornering speeds and significantly reducing lap times.
“Physically, looking at the corner speeds and lap times we are about to do next year, the human body will be again a limitation, like it was in 2004 and 2005. I could benefit from being a young guy and willing to push in the break to make sure I’m fit for that.” He told Autosport,
Sainz says that next year will be like stepping into a new category saying every time he has moved up a category he has been stronger. The Spaniard has had great form following a change of team-mate, he has scored in six out of the last eight races helping him work his way up to eleventh in the championship.
The Spaniard puts that down partly to the improved reliability he has encountered allowing him to get into a rhythm. He added “I’m a better driver than the driver I was last year. Last year there was definitely something going on with the reliability.”
“I was always having DNFs and couldn’t find a consistent platform to work on. This year, this stopped happening and I showed when nothing happens, I can put some strong races and full weekends together.”
Toro Rosso have been limited because of the team running year-old Ferrari engines, but they have a strong chassis something Sainz believes will pay off when it returns to Renault power in 2017.
Confident of retaining Key – Tost
Franz Tost the team principal of Toro Rosso says he is confident that the teams technical director James Key will remain with the team despite interest from rivals in luring him away.
Key has been linked with several teams including Ferrari on the back of the promise that his Toro Rosso chassis designs have shown in recent years. The Italian team is well aware of the interest in the British designer and say following talks there is no reason to think he will leave. Tost told Motorsport.com “”Of course we have discussed this, but James has a contract with Toro Rosso.”
He added “James is an honest person and a gentleman. I expect that he respects his contract. He has also good working conditions and has a good team around him. Therefore I hope that he will stay with us.” Tost is aware of the lure of a big manufacturer team but says working for Toro Rosso has its own benefits
He said “personally think that currently the environment on the technical side of Toro Rosso is positive. The working conditions are good. The rest we will see then next year with what’s going on with the chassis and the Renault power unit.”
I have broad shoulders – Verstappen
Max Verstappen believes he has broad enough shoulders to carry the recent criticism of his driving. The Dutch driver came under pressure for his aggressive nature of his defensive driving, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen deriding it as “not correct” following their incidents in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Verstappen’s moving in the breaking zone was it is believed were discussed in Germany with Jenson Button saying “I’m sure he understands a bit better now than he did before”.
The Red Bull driver was unfazed by the comments saying he always sees it has a positive thing. He told Autosport “If people are talking about you then you are doing something right. Of course, you always have people who criticise. Some people are for you, some people against.”
“But I just try to do the best possible job for the team because we are fighting with Ferrari. You don’t just allow somebody by. Of course, I am always on the limit, but that’s how you become successful, by being on the limit – because if you are under it then you will never achieve what you are capable of.”
He added “So for me, it [the criticism] doesn’t really change a lot. I will drive exactly the same as I have done before because there is nothing wrong with it.”
Verstappen admitted that the pressure is higher after his win in Barcelona followed by three other podium finishes to sit sixth in the drivers’ standings.
“After the win, of course people expect a lot from you. I just approach every weekend the same, just trying to do the best possible job, trying to set up the car as well as I can, drive as well as I can.”