Most challenging season – Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton has told Autosport that this season has been the most challenging yet and winning this year’s world championship will mean more to him than his previous three.
After a difficult opening five races Hamilton bounced back winning six out of the last seven allowing him to take a 19-ponit lead over his team-mate. However the problems he had with his power units will come back to haunt him as he faces a double penalty – one in the next week – for exceeding his engine allocation.
Speaking to Autosport Hamilton said “I’ve had ups and downs [in other years] but I think this has definitely been harder because it hasn’t felt so much like fault from me not being focused, or me not training or taking the time.”
“It’s been a really good experience and I honestly feel stronger today and able to handle whatever it is that is going to be thrown at me.” he added. Hamilton was asked if this year’s world title feel more valuable than the others because of his problems, he said: “I think it will. All race wins feel different for a different reason.”
“Sometimes it’s been easier and sometimes it’s been harder, sometimes you’ve felt more stress, sometimes you’ve felt fitter, all these different things. Every championship I’ve won, I seem to enjoy it more and more and more. Winning those championships has always been a different journey.” He added.
Hamilton added that his summer break for him was about balancing downtime and training.
Rosberg clean slate from Spa
Nico Rosberg says the second half of the season feels like a “clean slate” as he looks to take advantage of Lewis Hamilton’s penalty for engine change. Rosberg started this year’s championship by winning the first four races before a crash in Barcelona with Hamilton.
Since the crash the momentum has shifted away from the German with Hamilton winning six of the following seven. However Rosberg will want to close the gap with him insisting he feels better than ever heading to Spa-Francochamps.
He told ESPN “It’s been great to have a couple of weeks with the family to relax and recharge the batteries. I’ve loved every minute — but now it’s time to get back to work! For me, it’s like a clean slate at this stage.”
Rosberg has never won the race at Spa but he thinks the inconic circuit is the perfect place to revive his stuttering championship campaign. Saying “I can’t wait to get in that car, put my foot down and get everything I can from these next races. Belgium is a great place to kick start the year after the break.”
“It’s such an awesome track, with so many challenges and usually some crazy weather just to mix things up even more. If you ask any driver they will tell you how much they love racing here.” He says there have been many iconic raCES at Spa and the history makes it even more special.
Tyre selections for Monza
Pirelli have announced the teams tyre selections which drivers will be using for next weekend’s Italian Grand Prix. The top teams have chosen the same selections for the weekend.
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have chosen seven supersofts, five softs and one medium. While there team-mates Nico Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen and Williams’s Valtteri Bottas have also seven supersofts but vary the other two compounds with four softs and two mediums.
Both Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen chose six supersofts, five softs and two mediums. Renault, McLaren, Manor have all chosen the same compounds having chosen nine sets of the supersofts, four softs and two mediums. Haas will be the team with the most supersoft at Monza, with nine, three softs and a medium.
Clinching tenth made harder – Ryan
Dave Ryan says that Manor’s clinching tenth in this year’s constructors championship has been made harder following the Sauber’s investment deal.
Manor gained 10th after Pascal Wehrlein took tenth place at the Austrian Grand Prix, which would guarantee the team a considerable amount of prize money for next year. There main rival has been taken over by Longbow Finance which gives them the money to bring upgrades.
Speaking to Autosport Ryan said “”First of all, what’s happened to Sauber is fantastic for Formula 1. They’ve been around a long time, and had worked hard to get to where they were. Obviously, they’ve fallen back a bit at the moment.
He added “In overall terms for Formula 1, it’s good news. For us, it’s just made another team potentially competitive, and made our job harder. We’ve got a point and we have to try and keep that point over and above them for the rest of the year.”
Ryan confirmed that there will be small upgrades to their car during the rest of the season. But added “But we’ve got small developments – which have been in the wind tunnel and are in the system now – coming through over the next two to three races, so we do have little upgrades, and hopefully good upgrades.”
Sabuer are bringing new upgrades for this weekends race as there team principal says finishing outside the top 10 is not an option. They have a updated rear wing from this weekend’s Belgian GP.
“We have one or two things we want to bring in this year because we clearly don’t want to finish where we are at the moment,” Kaltenborn told Autosport.
Newey fully motivated – Horner
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says that Adrian Newey is full motivated by the changes to the F1 technical regulations for 2017, and is making a major contribution to the development of the team’s new car.
Newey took a step back to focus on other projects over the last year developing a new road car for Aston Martin. But new technical rules have temped him back giving him a big influence on the teams car. Horner told Motorsport.com “The senior technical team have taken a step up and are doing a great job, as you can see with the current car. But Adrian’s influence and guidance is still very much there, and is very present with the 2017 car.”
He’s got a very high work ethic anyway, and he seems to be enjoying the challenge at the moment. I think for any engineer regulation changes are always stimulating” he added. Horner belives the rules will be a boost for the sport they are trying to create.
He says “Inevitably there have been compromises, but generally yes, it is the right direction. I think the cars will be more exciting, more challenging to drive, and they will be faster and more impressive to watch.”
No easing for McLaren – Boullier
Eric Boullier says McLaren will not ease up in there development program in the second half of 2016. The British team remains far off the pace of the top of the grid but this season the team has shown progress this year.
Bouiler says he thinks that the teams development rate this season has surpassed any of its rivals as it continues to close the gap to the front. McLaren are hoping to capitalise on next year’s regulation changes to return to the front but Boullier says that does not mean it will stop pushing for results this season.
He told ESPN “We are now just over halfway through, and ready to fight again to achieve our end-of-season goals. he midfield pack is particularly close, and each team is stronger on different circuits.
“So there’ll be no let-up in in how hard we push or the developments we bring to the car in our bid to continue our progress through the rest of the season and into next year.” Bouiler thinks every new part brought to the current package will serve as a good lesson for the new-look 2017 cars.
He say that the team is continuing to push hard and everything they are doing is valuable learning for next season. Saying “our ambition is as strong as ever, and we’re definitely ready to go racing again!”