Rosberg eyes Abu Dhabi win
Nico Rosberg says he wants to take victory despite only needing a podium to take his first world title. Rosberg goes into Abu Dhabi with a 12-ponit lead over team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton has won the last three races but has been on the backfoot for most of the season because of technical issues in the opening rounds. Speaking to Autosport Rosberg said “It feels great to be in the world championship battle with Lewis for a third year in a row.”
“I will give it everything to end the season with a win. I’ve had a great week, relaxing and catching up with my family and friends, so I feel like I’m in a good place.”
Rosberg says he was joking about taking it one race at a time but added that it is not as crazy as it sounds. He says that “Doing a good job on a Grand Prix weekend is always a challenge. Nothing in this sport is easy, so this won’t be any different and I still have to go all out for a good result.
Brown confirmed as McLarens director
McLaren has confirmed that Zak Brown will become the groups new executive director as they begin restructuring after the departure of Ron Dennis last week.
Brown will work with Jonathan Neale the teams chief operating officer and work with the executive committee to appoint a successor to Ron Dennis. He will start his role next month and will have “a significant part of a restructuring programme that will align the Group’s commercial and strategic operations relating to achieving success in Formula One.”
Brown has experience from the commercial side being the founder of JMI marketing group which has had close involvement with sponsorship deals in the sport. He had been linked with Liberty Media the sports new commercial rights holder, but last week it emerged he was leaning to the McLaren role.
Brown said “I’m immensely proud to be joining McLaren Technology Group, I have the utmost respect and admiration for what the business has achieved to date.”
“Having worked closely with McLaren for many years, I’ve been struck by the talent and ambition of the entire workforce, and I very much look forward to complementing the business’s many existing strengths, and building on them.”
He added that he has worked closely with the team before on sponsorship deals which has allowed him to develop excellent relationships across the company.
One Brown’s priority will be looking for a new title sponsor as the team has been without one for three years.
Wehrlein leads the race for Sauber seat
Autosport say they understand that Pascal Wehrlein is the leading candidate to drive alongside Marcus Ericsson at Sauber next season. Yesterday the team confirmed that Ericson would stay with the team for 2017.
The Swiss team wanted to retain Felipe Nasr, however there waiting on the Brazilian’s main sponsor Banco do Brasil to confirm they will continue to back the Brazilian. This means Nasr has been moved to the bottom of the list, bringing the Mercedes backed Wehrlein into contention.
Autosport say that his manager and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff met with Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn met in Brazil where they discussed drivers. Wehrlein was disappointed when he was not chosen to replace Nico Hulkenberg at Force India.
Manor who are keen for him to stay for 2017 remains an option for the German, but Sauber are taught to be the stronger and more-stable opportunity for Wehrlein.
Only the seat as Ericsson’s team-mate and the two Manor drives remain up for grabs on the 2017 grid. It’s expected to be confirmed in the coming days however Sauber are in no rush, given the good options still on the table.
Haas focused on 2017 before season began
Haas switched their attention to 2017 before they made their debut in Formula One and made a full switch in May. With the major regulation changes next season most teams switched their development earlier than normal.
With the limit on windtunnel time Autosport say they understand that the team stopped allocating all of its runs in Ferrari’s windtunnel to its 2016 car just before the season opener in Australia in March. In the next two months, only a handful of runs were used for its maiden VF-16, with the bulk of time spent on the 2017 car.
Haas made a strong start before dropping away this season. Grosjean told the magazine “Our performance dropped this year because we didn’t run the 2016 car much in the windtunnel this season. That means that we have to run another car in the windtunnel, and that’s to prepare for the future.”
“When I joined the team, we wanted to be better in year two and better in year three, and that’s still the plan.” Grosjean added there still a lot of work to do and the says they need to work on processing data quicker to allow it to improve the speed in which it responds to problems.
Symonds not aware of loopholes
Pat Symonds says he is not aware of any loophole which gives a team the opportunity of finding an advantage similar to the one Brawn GP had in 2009.
Brawn found a way of interpreting the rules effectively to create a double diffuser to allow more downforce, while others weren’t sure whether it was legal. When it was declared legal, it prompted all teams to come up with their own versions.
Next season there is a bigger overhaul of the regulations and Symonds says he is not aware of a loophole with the same potential as the double diffuser. Symonds told ESPN “2009 was slightly different. There was a huge discrepancy between the teams but largely because there was a somewhat twisted use of semantics to interpret a regulation that made a fantastic difference.”
Symonds said that if it happens again they are in trouble because we would all interpreting the rules in a similar way. But says that trying to find a different interpretation of the rules, has become a key part of modern car design.