Kvyat not returning to Toro Rosso
Reports suggest that Daniil Kvyat has been dropped by the Red Bull programme and will not return to Toro Rosso. The Russian has been replaced by Brendon Hartley for this weekends Mexican Grand Prix and Pierre Gasly will return following his race in Japan.
Kvyat finished tenth in the United States Grand Prix, following a two race absence and he described it as his performance as his “best of the season”, but it is set to be his final race for the team. Speaking to Auto Bild, Red Bull’s advisor Helmut Marko said “Kvyat will not return again.”
“We do not believe he can make the turnaround in the long term. Gasly and Hartley are finishing the season. Then we’ll see what happens.” This places the Russians career in doubt as only Williams have a seat free for 2018.
The Russian joined Red Bull’s junior programme in 2010 and made his Formula 1 debut in 2014 with Toro Rosso. He was then prompted to Red Bull alongside Daniel Ricciardo in 2015, after Sebastian Vettel left to join Ferrari.
He finished second at the 2015 Hungarian GP and third at the 2016 Chinese GP but was demoted back to Toro Rosso in May 2016, with Max Verstappen taking his seat at Red Bull. Following the demotion to Toro Rosso, he was heavily outscored by Carlos Sainz.
He was then ‘rested’ for Malaysia and Japan after crashing in Singapore. His point at the Circuit of the Americas was his first since May’s Spanish GP and only his fifth of the season.
No intention to keep Verstappen’s upgrade from Ricciardo
Red Bull says there was no intention to keep Max Verstappen’s engine upgrade a secret from Daniel Ricciardo, despite him not knowing about it until the media told him.
Verstappen was given a new spec of engine for the United States Grand Prix which featured some of Renault’s development parts for next season. Those parts were believed to be worth about two-tenths of a second with the right fuel, with the Australian surprised when informed of his team-mates slight performance advantage.
The lack of knowledge of the situation prompted suggestions that the team were favouring Verstappen. However, the team says it didn’t mention the upgrades to Ricciardo because they believed there was a worthy performance gain from the new power unit.
Team principal Christian Horner told Motorsport.com “It is very difficult for us to measure what the difference is. Renault have only made one engine available to each team and Max was due a change here.”
“So obviously it made logical sense for that to go in his car this weekend and then take the penalty. The intention with Daniel, and it is still the intention, is to not to have to take a penalty between now and the end of the season.”
Pushed on whether the team were planning to keep it a secret he says the upgrade was so marginal the difference wasn’t able to be measured.
Ricciardo was forced out of the United States Grand Prix after his Renault engine shut down when it began losing oil. Without that, Horner reckoned the Australian would have finished on the podium.
Massa questions suitability of Kubica and di Resta
Felipe Massa has questioned the credibility of both Robert Kubica and Paul di Resta as potential Williams drivers next season. The team, along with Pascal Wehrlein for the second seat next season, is currently considering all three drivers.
Kubica has tested twice for the team to see whether he is capable of driving for the team, following an accident that halted his career in 2011. However Massa believes that it is inevitable that the Pole will be hampered by physical issues.
in an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com’s GP Gazette, Massa said “I have no idea how he’s driving, first of all. To be honest, I cannot do what he’s doing, driving with only one hand.
“It’s impossible for me to believe that he will not suffer with some of the races with this car that we’re driving that is a lot more difficult physically. I really respect what he’s doing, it’s just amazing. But it’s impossible to believe that he will not have some issues.”
Speaking about di Resta he says that his DTM performance since leaving Formula One has proved he is not right for the team. Massa acknowledged that there is nothing more he can do to influence the team’s decision.
“I’m quite confident that people know what is the best for the team. This is pretty much what people know.
“As I said, sometimes in F1 it’s not only your talent that counts, sometimes you have some other things around, and this is unfortunately part of F1 for some of the teams.” However, Massa remains prepared for 2017 to be his final season in the sport
Hamilton on rebuilding Mercedes ties
Lewis Hamilton says that a conversation he had with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff at the end of 2016 has allowed his relationship with the team to blossom as he looks to seal his fourth world title this weekend in Mexico.
Last season was another turbulent fight with Nico Rosberg, Hamilton believes the conversation with Wolff was important in improving the team’s dynamic. Speaking to ESPN, Hamilton said “”I think going and seeing Toto at the end of last year was crucial in solidifying longevity within the team.”
“To just put everything on the table and say what’s needed to say. To then build and create a new, stronger relationship which we have done. Toto does an exceptional job in running this team and I am sure there are things we could have done better if we could go back and do them.”
Hamilton says that the arrival of Valtteri Bottas has changed the atmosphere within the team. Also saying fighting with Ferrari has created a hurricane of energy which is going into the car and moving the team forward.
He says he feels Bottas wants more and he has more to come. Hamilton added “I will work with him, I don’t mind if he wins some races but I don’t want him to win them all. I like that he can push me. Particularly at the beginning of the year, that’s what he’s been doing.”
Alonso to race at Daytona 24 hours
Fernando Alonso is to take part in January’s Daytona 24 Hours with McLarens boss Zak Brown’s United Autosport team. Alonso who took part in this year’s Indy 500, will make his second racing debut in under a year at an iconic race in America.
Suggestions that Alonso could take part in the race began to emerge over the weekend in Austin and were confirmed yesterday by Brown. The Daytona 24 Hours is held annually at the Daytona International Speedway and combines portions of the famous oval used in NASCAR and the infield road course.
The Spaniard has made no secret of his ambition to win the triple crown, Monaco Grand Prix, which he has won twice, the Indy 500 and Le Mans 24 Hours before he retires from racing. His entry to the race will give him some experience of endurance racing.
Speaking at the weekend, Alonso said “As I said many times, the Triple Crown is the main thing. I know that the Indy 500 was a nice thing and I felt very competitive.”
“But it was a big challenge that I took from zero, with no testing and no similar racing experience before the Indy 500 at any other oval, it was a big challenge.” He says he was competitive at Indy, but he now wants to prepare for Le Mans.
Renault to focus on F1 after Formula E withdrawal
Renault has announced they are withdrawing from Formula E at the end of the 2017-18 season, to allow it to focus on their “aggressive goals” in Formula One.
Renault are the most successful manufacturer having won three constructors championships, although they have only won one driver’s championship. Nissan will take over the entry and this will be seen as the French car giant stepping up their Formula One efforts.
Renault executive vice president of sales and marketing Thierry Koskas said “We had an incredible championship run during our first three years in Formula E and look forward to a competitive fourth season with the benefit of a very stable environment at Renault e.dams,”
The manufacturer has been looking over the last two years at expanding their F1 operation following the buyout of Lotus. Renault has set themselves an ambitious target of challenging for the title by 2020, but it also has supply deals with Red Bull and McLaren.
Renault added more than 80 personnel across 2016, and stressed it needed to continue to grow its staff numbers and upgrade its facilities at Enstone this year.
This has allowed them to score more points this season and they currently have an outside chance of stealing fifth in the constructors’ championship.