Testing – Wehrlein sets pace for Mercedes
Mercedes test driver Pascal Wehrlein set the pace on the first day of a two day test at the Red Bull Ring. The day was heavily interrupted through the morning causing the event.
Wherlein’s fastest lap was down on Sunday’s grand prix. The German replaced Nico Rosberg after Red Bull and McLaren chose not to run their race drivers. The red flag caused a four hour delay because of the weather.
Force India’s Esteban Ocon was second for the team who tested parts of their b-spec car which will make its’s debut at Silverstone next weekend.
Max Verstappen was third for Toro Rosso after again running strongly in the initial wet conditions. Ferrari debutant Antonio Fuoco was fourth fastest despite crashing in the afternoon.
Not leaving Red Bull
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, has shrugged of speculation about his future in F1 after The Times reported that he was to depart from the team.
The news came from an unidentified boss who gave the impression that former McLaren and Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger was to replace him. Berger is close to the billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz who owns Red Bull and Toro Rosso.
Horner said he was shock and “had no idea people were talking about me that way. I have a long contract with the team. It is difficult but I had dinner with Dietrich on Saturday evening and we still get along very well.”
He added “We know we have problems but we just have to work through them and I am here to do that job.”
In recent months the relationship between Red Bull and Renault has been at breaking point over Renault not devilering performance.
To early decide Raikkonen future – Arrivabene
Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene says it is too early to decide if Kimi Raikkonen will stay with the team in Formula 1 in 2016. Raikkonen has struggled this season compared to his team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
Arrivabene will face a decision later this year over whether to drop the former champion. He told Autosport “There are many many things to consider and now is too early to tell him something or to decide something.”
He added “I could look too defensive or protecting Kimi, but we are not even halfway through the season.Try to be in my position, and going to Kimi to say you are out or you are in or whatever.”
However there is a internal deadline when the decision will be made.
Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn says she thinks engine suppliers who haven’t won the championship should be allowed free engine development.
Last year DTM allowed Mercedes extra time and an additional test to develop their uncompetitive C-Coupe – concessions that were not given to BMW or Audi. Kaltenbortn believes this will be the only way to level the playing field and if given to Mercedes will only pull them ahead.
She told Sky Sports “I think that is the kind of thinking we need that you have to make it a level playing field, because the advantages which are there will be for years and not be able to be caught up.”