Williams confirm test line up
Williams has officially confirmed that they will run both Robert Kubica and Sergey Sirotkin alongside Lance Stroll at next weeks end of season tyre test in Abu Dhabi.
The test takes place next Tuesday and Wednesday with all the teams testing the 2018 tyres. Kubica will drive on Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon. With Stroll driving Tuesday afternoon and Sirotkin most of Wednesday.
Yesterday it was reported that the test for Kubica is about answering the final question marks about his physical abilities to drive a Formula One car.
The aim is to get a better understanding of the 2018 tyres. However, the test in a 2017 spec car will be seen as another milestone for Kubica as the team assesses his physical abilities after a 2011 rallying crash that left him with severe arm injuries.
While Kubica is the leading candidate for the seat, other names on the team’s radar are reserve driver Paul di Resta, Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein, Sergey Sirotkin and former Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat.
Yesterday the team released a statement denying reports that they have completed a deal with Kubica to be the teammate of Lance Stroll next season and that there would be no announcement about the team’s driver line up at this weekends Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Bottas wanted more wins
As he completes his first season with Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas has admitted that he hoped for more than just two Grand Prix wins this season.
The Finn currently is third in the championship but still has an outside chance of finishing second to his teammate Lewis Hamilton, should he win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and if Sebastian Vettel finishes ninth or lower.
Bottas beat both Hamilton and Vettel on merit in both Russia and Austria, which has earned him another season with the team. However, since he signed a one-year extension he has struggled to match the form of his teammate.
Speaking to local media in Abu Dhabi, Bottas said “Only two wins, unfortunately,” Bottas told The National. “I was definitely hoping for more like I said, but I am glad I have proven myself and the team signed me up again for next year.
“Next year’s going to be the same thing. I need to again prove if I am going to stay with the team for a long time. I always knew it was going to be a challenge as Lewis is such a good driver and he is one of the best ever in F1.”
Bottas admitted it was going to be a challenge to beat Hamilton, but he is working on his weaknesses. He also acknowledges that things may be tougher next season, with Red Bull and Ferrari looking as if they are stronger.
Election 2017 – Todt set to be re-elected
FIA President Jean Todt is set to run unopposed in next months presidential election which guarantees him a third four-year term as president.
The former Ferrari boss announced in May that he would seek another four-year term as president having first been elected to the post in 2009. No other candidate has registered an interest to run against Todt meaning the FIA General Assembly will now ratify Todt’s continued role as president when it meets on December 8.
In May, Todt said “It is very important because if I had a lot of resistance not to go for the election, my decision would be much easier, because I would then decide that I will go.”
The Frenchman is allowed to stand again in 2021, but that is the final term he can seek as president.
Szafnauer questions standard parts
Force India’s chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer has questioned the move towards the standardisation of some parts of the engines. The plans are for louder and simpler engines, as well standardising some parts and restrictions on other developments.
However, Szafnauer believes that even if some parts are standardised that will not stop the manufacturers from seeking a competitive advantage by building a better engine. Speaking to Autosport, Szafnauer said “We’ve got to make sure that the formula has different aspects of performance. What we can’t do is dumb down the powertrain to a point where they’re all the same, or marginally the same.”
“Why remove the powertrain challenge from F1? I don’t get it. We can spend 100million on a driver for three years or whatever the figure is – why would we spend 100million on a driver? The only reason is because you get an advantage.”
Szafnauer added that the sport is a driver formula and spending millions on aero development, saying the sport “should also be an engine formula. It should be driver, it should be aero, and it should be engine.”
Adding that if you remove the engine differentiator the other two factors become more valuable. He also pointed out that the recent discussions did not cover the potential costs of power units in 2021 to customer teams like Force India.
Consistency key for Haas
Kevin Magnussen says improving consistency is key to helping Haas to make a dramatic leap forward and progress with next years car. While the American team has scored more points this year, there has been races where the team has struggled for performance.
The Dane says that improving on the bad days rather than the good days should be the teams focus over time winter. Speaking to Motorsport.com he says that it has been a season of ups and downs. Adding “Performance-wise some races we have been very good, and at other races, we have been pretty poor. So next year we need to try to find more consistency.”
“We don’t necessarily need to focus on our highs because they are quite high. We just need to raise the lower bar so we don’t have those awful weekends.” Magnussen suggested that some of the inconsistencies are because of the fact that it does not have the huge numbers of staff that big money rivals have.
Asked about where he felt the team’s weakness was, he said: “I think it is a general understanding of the car that perhaps isn’t strong enough. And also tyres, we don’t have any specific tyre specialists.
He also believes that the team has an advantage because the team aren’t involved in the politics of the sport, meaning it can react faster to changes. Saying “You really have a lot of synergy in the team and everyone is working together, whereas I found in other teams, big teams, that you have the different departments growing very big.”
“So sometimes they have a hard time agreeing and finding a direction because one department wants this because they are aero and the other department wants this because they are vehicle dynamics.”
McLaren announces the World’s Fastest Gamer
McLaren has announced the winner of the 2017 World’s Fastest Gamer as Rudy van Buren a twenty-five year old sales manager. The Dutchman who was also a karting champion in his youth won from more than 30,000 contestants in the competition that began back in May.
In the final round of the contest, a four-hour assessment on McLaren’s F1 simulator, van Buren beat compatriot Freek Schothorst to take the crown.
Van Buren completed a four hour assessment on McLaren’s F1 simulator, Van Buren beat compatriot Freek Schothorst to take the crown.
He started karting aged eight winning the Dutch Karting Championship in 2003, but because of a lack of funding was forced to quit aged sixteen. Van Buren told Sky Sports “Every boy that starts karting dreams about F1, and at a certain point, that dream just vanishes. Now by winning World’s Fastest Gamer, I can relive that dream.”
“This has been the most incredible experience and words can’t describe how I feel right now. To think that I came to the McLaren Technology Centre for the very first time last week but am leaving here today as McLaren’s newest employee is mind-blowing.”
Van Buren described it as the toughest interview he has had with the most incredible reward.
McLaren executive director Zak Brown said: “My congratulations to Rudy – he really showed the mettle, determination and ability to succeed. This was an outstandingly tough contest.”
“One where we went to great lengths to stretch our contestants beyond their limits, and he’ll be a real asset to the organisation as we develop and refine our 2018 car throughout the next season.”