Discontent over decision making
The union which represents drivers has called for Formula One to abandon ‘obsolete and ill-structured’ decision-making processes that they said could affect the sport’s popularity.
In strongly worded open letter Chairman Alex Wurz and the two directors Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel called for the owners of the sport to “consider restructuring its own governance.” Also fort the sport to base its decisions on a “clear master plan” reflecting core values.
“We feel that some recent rule changes — on both the sporting and technical side, and including some business directions — are disruptive, do not address the bigger issues our sport is facing and in some cases could jeopardise its future success,” it said.
The union says drivers feel the decision making process prevents progress from being made. The body represents the majority of drivers and is tasks with negotiating body with the commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone and governing International Automobile Federation (FIA).
Like the small teams they have also express concerns about the way prise money is distributed.
Sky bag exclusive rights
Sky Sports have announced they have signed a deal for exclusive Formula One rights from 2019. The deal comes months after Channel 4 joined to show free to air rights of half the live rights.
Sky has promised to show the British Grand Prix live for free, as well as highlights of all other races. The deal will be in place from 2019 to 2024, and will be the first time that Formula 1 coverage has not been shared between Sky and a terrestrial broadcaster.
However, in 2013 BT Sport said it had exclusive rights for Moto GP only for ITV to get the FTA rights months later, the news comes a week before Channel 4’s first live weekend.
Bernie Ecclestone said, “I am delighted that we will continue to work together. Sky’s commitment to the Sport and standard of coverage is second to none.” Ecclestone had previously made a commitment to viewers in Europe and the Americas to keep F1 on FTA in some form.
Williams underestimate Toro Rosso
Williams say they feel they underestimated how competitive Toro Rosso would be in 2016 following pre-season Formula 1 testing and is now behind the Red Bull junior team.
Toro Rosso’s drivers made it through to Q3 at the Australian Grand Prix and out raced the British team. Speaking to Autosport technical director Pat Symonds said he believes the team’s qualifying pace showed its true level.
“In testing, we were not completely clear where Toro Rosso were. When we rank the cars, we put error bars on our rankings because it’s not perfect data and we had put error bars which were more negative than positive on the Toro Rosso and that was a mistake.”
“We should have made them symmetrical and then they would have been pretty good.”
Haas points proves wrong direction
Williams technical director Pat Symonds says with Haas scoring points on their debut proves the sport is going in the wrong direction. Haas shocked the paddock after good timing for a tyre change during the red flag period helped Romain Grosjean secure a sixth place finish.
He questioned whether customer cars were the right direction for the sport he told Motorsports.com “I think that the status of being a constructor is being gradually eroded and some would like it completely eroded.”
“I think what Haas has done is good for him, but I don’t know if that’s the way F1 should be going. It is totally legal, but is it really what F1 wants? I’m not sure.”
Haas formed a close relationship with Ferrari to by as many car components as are allowed under the ‘listed parts’ regulations. Symonds thinks that expanding what teams are allowed to share could ultimately spell the demise of constructor teams.
Red Bull can fight Ferrari
Christian Horner believes that Red Bull will be able to “take it” to Ferrari in the second half of the season after seeing signs of encouragement at the Australian GP.
The team were expecting very little this season before they received there upgraded Renault in Canada but Daniel Ricciardo was fourth. The Australian set the fastest lap of his home grand prix and while Horner was disappointed Ricciardo wasn’t able to catch his former team –mate Sebastian Vettel.
Horner told Sky Sports “Our plan is to make progress throughout the year,”
He added “Ferrari aren’t a huge amount ahead. If we keep our heads down and keep pushing, it’s not unfeasible that over the second part of the year we can take it to them a little bit.”
Ricciardo played a good strategy which saw him rise through the field finishing 15 seconds behind Sebastian Vettel.