Frightened of fall out
Berine Ecclestone says that the chairman of Ferrari Sergio Marchionne is “frightened he is going to upset his team” should they supply Red Bull with engines.
The Italian manufacture has emerged as the only supplier to replace Renault after they decided to spilt with them and Mercedes ruled them self out. Ecclestone confirmed that he initially brokering an agreement between Ferrari and Red Bull, although Marchionne has expressed the same concern.
Ferrari fear a well-designed Red Bull, the customer would potentially be stronger than the works team. Ecclestone told Autosport “For Formula 1, he [Marchionne] would love to do it, to get Red Bull competitive with an engine, but he doesn’t want to damage the team he runs.”
He added if Red Bull get a better engine they “are obviously going to be competitive, it’s an obvious concern, but he’s frightened he’s going to upset his team.”
Ecclestone says Marchionne is aware of the pressure on his shoulders as to lose two teams and four cars from the grid would damage Formula 1.
Manor are hoping that there move to a new permanent home this week will help them move up the grid. The team has been without permanent home since last year when they went into administration.
There old factory in Banbury was sold to the US to the Haas team which will use the factory as there European base. Currently the team has been operating from various buildings, including Manor’s Dinnington headquarters and offices at Silverstone.
However, later this week the team will be united under one roof when it moves to new premises in Banbury. 2015 has been a rebuilding year for the team which has led to recruitment of senior members of other teams as the look to move up the grid.
Force India waits to confirm Perez
Force India maybe waiting until Novembers Mexican Grand Prix to confirm whether Sergio Perez has signed a new contract for 2016. After his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg signed a two year deal earlier this month Perez declared hopes of signing his contract before the Singapore GP.
But the team has decided to wait to make the announcement that he will be staying with the team in the run up to his home race on November 1. Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley told Autosport “The deal will be done; I don’t have any doubts about that.”
Fernley added “Even if it was done, in reality, the best place for us to announce it is in Mexico, so I don’t think there will be anything before Mexico.” Perez has performed well since the team introduced the B-spec car at Silverstone with another update in Singapore.
The team has already confirmed they hope further update for the race.
Mercedes are hoping to make a recovery at this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix. The team were baffled after a lack of pace during the Singapore Grand Prix and now need to convince Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg that it was a one off.
Hamilton told the media “I don’t have any confidence. I don’t have any information to give me that confidence” when asked how confident he was that Suzuka would be different.
He added “I’m hoping it’s a one-off but it was a strange weekend to say the least. Our car has not got slower. I think some other people might have brought an upgrade package… but that doesn’t explain it.”
Singapore played to the strengths of their main title rival Ferrari with them half a second down. There will be questions for the team if Ferrari are quick at Suzuka which may open the championship up. But Suzuka looks to favour Mercedes because it is fast and flowing.
“The car broke down… and I didn’t lose a huge amount of points to the guy who’s right behind me. It could have been a lot worse, so I’m looking at the glass half-full” said Hamilton.
As ever it will be a difficult weekend for fans, teams, the media and drivers after the events in 2014 which claimed the life of Jules Bianchi.
Take Advantage – Smedley
Williams will need to take advantage at the Japanese Grand Prix to close the gap to Ferrari in the championship. Valtteri Bottas’ fifth place in Singapore Grand prix was not enough to stay close to their main rival Ferrari.
Bottas was the second best Mercedes during the race on Sunday behind Nico Rosberg. But both teams are asking what happened to their race pace during the race and be hoping that they will bounce back.
Head of performance Rob Smedly told Crash.net “The car was really good [in Japan] last year in the dry, if not so much so in the wet.”
He added Suzuka has “got a good mix of high drag sensitivity, high engine power sensitivity and high speed corners [and] all of those things really suit our car, so I’m expecting it to be a good race for us.”