Williams not satisfied with fourth
Claire Williams has told Sky Sports that Williams are not satisfied with fourth in the constructor’s championship and want everyone fighting to win races again.
Speaking to the broadcaster she made it clear she doesn’t think their current position is good enough. “We cannot be satisfied with being in third or fourth in the championship, that’s not who we are as a team. We’re not here just to go racing because we love it, we’re here to go racing because we love to win.” She said.
Williams have finished third since the introduction in 2014 of the hybrid power units which has been a step forward as they were ninth in 2013. Also the team replaced Maldonado with Felipe Massa from Ferrari, who also brought his race engineer Rob Smedley with him.
Last weekend they qualified sixth and eighth placed finish for Massa and Bottas respectively at a circuit they were expected to do well at because of the straight line speed. Ms Williams says that Smedley shares the same opinion of wanting the team to return to winning ways.
“It’s taken us a long time to get back to third and I think we’ve done an amazing job in just two short years to do that, but we have got a lot of work to do if we are to take the fight to become a race winning team again.”
She praised the team for the progress they have made but says there “are challenges within the environment they’re operating – whether that be resource, budget or fighting against the likes of Red Bull and Mercedes.”
Vettel optimism of winning this year’s title
Sebastian Vettel remains optimistic that Ferrari can still win this year’s championship despite Ferrari having not won a race this season. The former world campion is currently 45 points behind leader Nico Rosberg, while his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen is fourth, a further 15 points back.
In the Constructors’ Championship Ferrari are 81 points behind leaders Mercedes.
Speaking to Sky Sports Italy Vettel said “We are not even in the middle of the season, there’s still a long way to go. I think we had a rough start, not ideal, but nevertheless we have found ourselves in a strong position.”
“We know that this year’s car is a step up. Obviously we still have a long way to go but I’m a big believer and I know this team can do many things, great things.” Vettel say the team has to tackle it step by step and not get too distracted by what people expect from the outside.
Risk remains main attraction
Sebastian Vettel has told the FIA Sport Conference that the main attraction of Formula One remains the sports high speeds and element of danger.
The four time champion told the conference ““I think racing should keep its core pillars and speed is one of them. Technology has allowed the cars to get a lot quicker, which makes them more exciting to drive.
“The feeling, the sensation you get is incredible. The cornering speeds we can do are incredible and that has remained one of the main pillars throughout. To some extent the danger as well, because that’s what also makes it exciting.”
Speaking about comments made that the Baku Street Circuit was unusually dangerous in places he said he disagrees. Adding “I think the FIA and the organisers did a hell of a job fitting that race track in a place not made for racing, but it’s fantastic.”
When asked the key benefits of the technological advancements made in Formula One racing over the years he again replied speed – and safety, in which he stressed there must always be an ongoing quest for improvement.
The four-time champion says that “The best thing that has come out is that the cars are very quick! If you look at the cars from 10 years ago – 20, 30, 50 years ago – and where they are now, technology has allowed the cars to get a lot quicker.”
Red Bull halts Areoscreen development
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has said the development of their Aeroscreen has been stopped because they are not prepared to waste more of their resources if it is not going to be approved anytime soon.
The Areoscreen was Red Bull’s alternative to the proposal by Ferrari who proposed the Halo device which has approved by the FIA as the one they will concentrate on for next season, with the Aeroscreen lacking data and raising concerns over the upper rim area affecting the drivers’ head.
Speaking to Motorsport.com Horner said “At the moment, we have suspended all our work on the Aeroscreen because we are awaiting a direction officially from the FIA. They have all the info. We don’t have the resource nor capacity to continue the development on it. Plus somebody also has to pay for it.”
FIA needs to agree to successor to Ecclestone
Jean Todt the president of the sport’s governing body the FIA, says the successor of Formula One commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone’s successor will require agreement from Them.
The 85-year old says he not interested in selling his 5.3% stake in F1 and is showing no signs of stepping down from his role. Earlier this year the president of Ferrari Sergio Marchionne said Ecclestone needs to finalise a succession plan to ensure he leaves the championship in good health.
Todt was positive about the job Ecclestone is doing and said he had faith the board of F1 owner CVC Capital Partners will make the right call over a replacement. Speaking at the FIA Sport Conference in Turin Todt said “The actual promoter has been doing an extraordinary job to develop Formula 1.
He added “That doesn’t mean we do always agree, but I do respect all that he has been doing. Bernie has his style, everyone does. There is a major shareholder – CVC – they are very strong, talented business people.
“The day they decide something needs to change in the management of one of their assets, I’m convinced they know what to do. They will make a proposal. It has to be suitable for the FIA, but I don’t have any real concerns.”
The magazine Autosport asked Todt if the FIA has to give final approval on his successor, Todt said: “I’m not going to get into the detail of the contract. But they need to have a final agreement from the FIA, yes.”
Brazilian GP is safe – Rohonyi
The promoter of the Brazilian Grand Prix Tamas Rohonyi has insisted the future of the race is safe, despite repeated comments from Bernie Ecclestone suggesting the 2017 event is in doubt.
Brazil is currently suffering from a political and economic crisis which has prompted Ecclestone in recent weeks to say that there is a chance this year’s race at Interlagos could be the country’s last. That is despite a firm contract between Ecclestone and Interlagos being in place that lasts until the end of 2020.
Speaking to Motorsport.com Rohonyi says he has put the F1 supremo’s comments down to simple a warning shot for the local government about future negotiations rather than a real threat to drop the race. He Said “I’ve known Bernie for 42 years and he is famous for these kind of statements where he doesn’t think too much before.”
“What Bernie is trying to say – but will never say directly – is that the costs of [holding a race] are rising. There is a demand from Formula One Management to increase the contribution from Brazil so what he wants is, with the government, to claim a higher subsidy.”
Rohonyi adds that neither side has a clause to break the contract but any break would require a process to discuss damages.
“There would be problems on the side of our company, but also bigger problems for Sao Paulo. The city earns $120 million USD with the event.
“A breaking of the contract was never considered and never will be. It is not convenient for anybody.”