Bracing for impact of Brexit
Formula One could feel the decision by British voters to leave the European Union as soon as next week’s Austrian Grand Prix after falls on the global stock market.
The cost of the pound has hit a thirty year low after almost 52% of the public voted yesterday to leave the EU which has prompted falls across all the global stock markets. This means that costs for teams could rise as the cost of hotels, food and basic supply’s has risen.
Brexit will not happen overnight, but it remains to be seen regarding the nature of individual deals struck with European governments over the movement of goods and people.
It’s believed that the UK will retain visa-free short term travel but for teams employing people it could lead to a substantial amount of paperwork and added costs for work visas if UK Nationals wanted to work in the EU. However some teams like Mercedes, Renault and Red Bull could relocate to the Europe which could further impact the economy.
Formula One and Motorsport in the UK is a huge industry worth £9 Billion to the economy and employs over 40,000 people with many more industries like aerospace and automotive through to military and manufacturing linked to the sport.
No one during the referendum would comment on the potential impact of Brexit on their team or the sport as a whole. This could impact on the on the re-negations of the Concorde Agreement in 2020.
Record breaking speeds – Allison
Formula One will reach record breaking speeds and lap times next season when new regulations are introduce next season says Ferrari technical director James Allison.
The brit also believes that the changes will also produce better racing, and will help ensure races become a ‘proper fist fight.’
Speaking at the FIA Sport Conference he said “The historic best lap time was set a while back, but we’re starting to approach those now. I’m looking forward to next year, because next year we’re going to start smashing those records.
“Some people think that lap times aren’t so important, that the closeness of the racing is the only thing that matter. I think both matter” he added the team would like every race to be a proper fight and the sport is heading that way.
He says the astonishing efficiencies of modern power units, should be duly celebrated. Admitting the new rules give opportunity for teams to transform their performance relative to their rivals.
“They are exotic and remarkable beasts indeed,” Allison said of the modern power units. “The only other things on the planet that approach the sort of thermal efficiency we are seeing with our Formula One power units are either very academic things in universities
He added the the sport could be flexible with the engine and the driver can use around a track and control exquisitely through corners.
He said it’s “enjoyable because all the things you have been working on get put aside and you get to put aside and you try to think completely fresh about how to attack a problem and that’s always stimulating “
Decision won’t be made in September – Dennis
Ron Dennis says that McLaren won’t necessarily make a decision on their 2017 driver line-up by September. While the team have Fernando Alonso under contract for next season the team have to decide wheatear to drop Jenson Button in favour of impressive reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne.
McLaren had planned to open negotiations with Button in September but Dennis says this may not be the case, claiming they will “take everything into consideration” in due course. He told Sky Sports “We are not even going to talk about drivers until after Monza.
He added “We will have a board meeting towards the end of September, which is a logical time to make a decision, but we might not even take one then.” He said the team doesn’t want to hamper anyone’s career saying “we have a young and aspiring driver, two tremendous world champions, and as and when we have to talk about it we will take everything into consideration.”
In Baku Alonso said he would be happy with either Button or Vandoorne next season, though he admitted he worked “fantastically well” with Button.
Ferrari most consider “ambience” – Prost
Four times world champion Alain Prost says that Ferrari must consider the “ambience” of the team when deciding whether to drop Kimi Raikkonen for 2017.
Raikkonen’s future is once again uncertain with his contract set to expire at the end of the current season. The Fin has had a good start to the 2016 season but has ran into reliability problems and he earned praise for moving over to let teammate Sebastian Vettel by in Baku, something Raikkonen said cost him time.
Speaking at the FIA Sport Conference he said “Everybody can see the positive points and the negative points. There are one or two drivers on the market who could be quite good for Ferrari, maybe a little bit quicker, but you do not know.”
He says they need to consider the pressure of Ferrari and sometimes “you can see some very good drivers in an average team and, when they go to a top team, they do not perform the same because it is a little bit different.”
Prost thinks it is clear who are number one and number two driver at Ferrari.
“The positive sign for him [Raikkonen] to stay is that he has a very good relation with Vettel and you have a number one and number two, not on paper, but in fact.
Pirelli announce options for Spa and Suzuka
Pirelli have announced the tyres which teams will be able to choose from for the Belgian and Japanese Grand Prix’s.
The Italian tyre manufacture said the supersoft, soft and medium compounds will be for the race at Spa in August. Teams will be required to keep one set of the softs and mediums for the race.
For the Japanese race the teams will have the three hardest compounds – the soft, medium and hard. Two sets of hard tyres form the mandatory selection, meaning teams will have to use at least one set of hard tyres during the race.
The tyre choices for Italian and United States Grand Prix’s should be announced next week eight and ten weeks respectively before the race.
Now a match for Mercedes – Hasegawa
Honda believes there new Energy Recovery Systems it has developed this season are now a match for Mercedes in Formula One. ERS was seen as there key weakness last year when they failed to qualify in the top 10 for any race and finished a lowly ninth in the F1 constructors’ championship.
Over the winter the Japanese manufacture focused much of their development on recovering energy from the exhaust and in Montreal introduced another update to the turbo for the recent Canadian Grand Prix to further enhance ERS performance.
Speaking to Autosport Yusuke Hasegawa said “From an energy recovery system point of view, we have already achieved our target, which is already on Mercedes level. Our recovery system’s performance is not very different to the top teams, I am very confident about that.
“The energy recovery has already doubled from last year and is achieving at the top level. I can’t tell if it is better than others, but it’s reasonable to say it’s a very even area.”
Honda is the only team not to have used any of their engine development tokens on an in-season combustion update in 2016, unlike its rivals.
They have 12 remaining to use before the end of the season, and Hasegawa said Honda would “definitely” introduce performance updates to its ICE [internal combustion engine] before the end of the current season.
He added “We don’t have enough performance in an update [yet] so we can’t introduce it.”