Hulkenberg fastest as Mercedes rack up the miles further
Nico Hulkenberg was fastest on the third day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalyuna – Barcelona for Force India. The German set the fastest lap of the day a 1:23.110 on the super soft tyres.
The time was set on the super soft tyres which are slower than the ultra-soft tyres with him only two tenths slower. Yesterday Sebastian Vettel led on the same type of tyre. Romain Grosjean continued the impressive start for Haas going second fastest.
Hulkenberg told Sky Sports News “I wouldn’t get too excited at these early stages. Today we tried a bit more to see and test where our package stands at the moment more that the competition.”
Battle style qualifying
Drivers may battle in a new elimination-style qualifying format which maybe introduced in Melbourne. The sports key player want the sport to be more unpredictable.
The plan came following a meeting of the rule making body the F1 Commission. The commission which sets the rules for the sport has approved a plan to improved cockpit head protection in 2017. The move has been introduced to protect drivers.
All changes will need the approval of the FIA World Council. Plans to make cars wider and faster with bigger tyres have also been confirmed.
- It will work like this Q1 will last for 16 minutes
- The slowest driver is eliminated after seven minutes
- Then one will go every 90 seconds until seven drivers are out
- Q2 will last for 15 minutes
- The slowest driver will be eliminated after six minutes
- Then one will go every 90 seconds until the end of the session
- That leaves eight drivers in final qualifying.
- Q3 will last for 14 minutes
- The slowest driver will be eliminated after five minutes
- Then one will go every 90 seconds until there are two drivers left
- There will then be a final 90-second shoot-out for pole position
No VW entry until certainty on rules
Volkswagen says it will not enter Formula One until there are certainty over the ownership of the sport and technical rules says Wolfgang Durheimer the groups motorsport boss.
In September the German car giant were close to taking over Red Bull before the VW emissions scandal leading to the resignation of CEO Martin Winterkorn. Durheimer told Autocar “Formula 1 is not on our agenda right now.”
Durheimer added “The situation is not predictable enough to make the kind of investment required. Before you commit the kind of money needed you must see five years of rules stability.”
Talks over the sports future continue with a deal needing approval by the FIA.
Durheimer says “If you are a big business making a big investment you expect to have some influence on the set-up, with an assurance the present ownership will last. In F1, it seems the owners will not be there forever and that creates some instability.”
Bringing American support – Haas
Gene Haas says he wants his team to bring back the support of fans in the United States. Haas is the first American team on the grid in thirty years.
Haas told AFP “We’re hopeful Americans will stand behind us. We’d like to get more Americans involved in Formula One because it is a great motor racing sport and we’d be humbled to have more Americans support us in this endeavour to bring Formula One back to the United States.”
He admits the team needs time to create competitive product before bringing other sponsors on board. Expectations for Haas’s debut season would be limited to “fighting at the back of the gird” and trying to finish as many races as possible.
He believes that investment is needed to see improvement in F1’s image in the US.
Haas added “I think the problem with Formula One in the past is that they never really had any association with a bunch of Europeans. As an American in an European sport people are going to want to see two things: how badly you do, or, if you can beat these guys.”