Mercedes launch car
Mercedes have officially launched their 2017 car in windy conditions a Silverstone. The team launched their car in tricky conditions with both Lewis Hamilton and new team-mate Valtteri Bottas each driving the car for the first time.
Hamilton told Sky Sports “”It is undoubtedly the most detailed car we have ever built as a team.” Following his first on-track drive in the W08, Hamilton described the car as feeling like “a powerful beast”. The three times champion says this year’s car looks better than past cars.
“I’m really hoping F1 is going to be super exciting this year for the fans and it will be a lot closer between the teams and that us drivers will be able to make more of a difference.” He added. Mercedes will be looking to continue their run of successive titles.
However, the team are wary because they know the changes in technical regulations means other teams, in particular, Red Bull could mount a more sustained push for the world title.
Team boss Toto Wolff said “We had a very successful run the last three years. We have benefited from a regulation change in 2014 and have put a great team together and developed an amazing car.”
Mercedes are going into 2017 with a turbulent few months, following the departure of Nico Rosberg and Paddy Lowe. Bottas is seen as the near like-for-like replacement for Rosberg – provides Mercedes with another highly-rated talent, but the Finn has yet to win a grand prix.
Could Manor have a lifeline
Sky Sports say they could still be hope for Manor who collapsed last month after the team failed to find a buyer. They say they understand that talks have been on going for a number of weeks, but say that administrators are deferring their decision.
A reporter says “Talks have been ongoing over the last couple of weeks with a party that would seek to buy the team and that has meant that the administrators, who are in charge of the factory and the cars, have deferred any kind of auction or sale of all of those goods until they are sure that either they can go ahead with this sale or that it’s not going to come to pass.”
Manor could enter the campaign as late as the Spanish GP, though they may have to use an old chassis if they really were to return.
Toro Rosso filming day runs into problems
Toro Rosso’s filming day on Wednesday was halted because of a power unit issue. The day was halted after the teams ran into technical issues before the hit the maximum amount of mileage.
However, the team was able to capture the images it required from the day’s running.
Toro Rosso did not indicate what the reason was behind the stoppage, but Motorsport.com has learned that the cause was rooted in a problem with the Renault power unit.
It is believed to have been an ERS issue and was only present in one of the two hybrid engines at hand. Renault is now working to find out what caused the issue before next week’s test.
Mercedes not worried about FRIC row
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he is not worried about a protest against the team’s suspension system at the Australian Grand Prix. The row began last month after Ferrari asked the FIA about the legality of a ‘pre-loaded’ concept late last year.
With the situation still not sorted – but a technical directive on the matter from the FIA expected before next week’s first pre-season test – there remains uncertainty about how things will develop.
Force India’s technical boss Andy Green, says Ferrari could get an answer to their inquiry next week.
Speaking at Mercedes launch, Wolff told Motorsport.com “There have been discussions in the TRM [Technical Regulations Meeting] around suspensions and legality.”
“As far as Mercedes is concerned, I am very confident and comfortable with the situation. We know what the rules say and what you are allowed and not allowed to do.
“I think it is the usual kicking at the beginning of the season, and it is not something that is worrying for us.” Mercedes were behind the technology and would lose majorly should it be outlawed.
No grounds for extradition
Force India Team Principal Vijay Mallya says that Indian authorities had no grounds to extradite him from Britain and he would not be leaving. Prosecutors want the businessman to stand trial on charges of fraud over loan repayments over his defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
Mallya fled India last March after banks sued to recover some $1.4 billion the Indian authorities say is owed by Kingfisher. He has dismissed the charges against him, saying last month that “not one rupee was misused”.
Mallya told Reuters “The government-owned banks are trying to hold me personally responsible for the failure of India’s largest airline and to repay their debts/ I have a counter claim on them as well. That is in the judicial system right now.”
“Recovery of loans made to a PLC is a purely civil matter. The central bureau of investigation, at the behest of the government, converted it into a criminal matter. And then charges of defrauding banks and money-laundering appeared.” Mallya says there is no case against him, saying let them come to the UK and try as they have no evidence.
Orange Bus become Force India’s digital partners
Force India has announced that Orange Bus will be the team’s digital partner and will be designing the teams website.
As Formula One enters a shifting media landscape following the sports takeover by Liberty Media, the team hopes they can bring its fans the ultimate experience, whether on desktop or mobile and to offer new ways to follow the team as the season unfolds.
Orange Bus has a wide range of clients from huge international brands and governments. The company says it is ‘a leader in the agile development and emergent technologies, its innovators are matched to projects based on specialist skills in UX, technical engineering and languages, project and account management, quality assurance, and creative design.’
Team Principal Vijay Mallya said “We are a global team with global ambitions and we are aware of the untapped potential of the digital realm. Orange Bus impressed us with their vision and we are looking forward to working with them to develop an online presence suited to a Formula One team.”
CEO of Orange Bus Julian Leighton added “We’re delighted to announce this partnership. Sahara Force India shares many of Orange Bus’s core values: they’ve achieved major success with a fraction of the budget of the supposed big players around them.”