Cheap engines rejected
Formula One Commission has rejected a plan by Berine Ecclestone and FIA President Jean Todt to introduce a cheaper, alternative engine alongside the turbo hybrids.
The plan was introduced to try and force the engine manufacturers to reduce costs. The idea was seen as a bargaining tool to try and drive down cost which appears to have worked with engine manufacturers agreeing to address concerns about the cost, supply and complication of existing engines.
The Commission is made up of teams, engine manufacturers, circuits and sponsors as well as Ecclestone (the commercial rights holder) and Todt. A statement said “the parties involved have agreed on a course to address several key areas relating to power-unit supply in F1.”
The four areas are a guarantee of supply to teams, the need to reduce the engines’ cost, simplification of the specification and “improved noise.” These issues will be addressed at the next meeting in January. This will be seen as a victory for Mercedes and Ferrari who didn’t like the plan brought forward by Todt and Ferrari.
Ecclestone was trying to create a situation that reduced the power of Mercedes and Ferrari and increased his own. Meanwhile the FIA say they had received “four credible expressions of interest” from potential suppliers of the engine.
We still don’t know whether we will race in 2016
Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz has told the Red Bull owned Speedweek that “at some point even we’ve had enough” of the engine. Mateschitz told the magazine that there are still no concrete plans for any engine supplier.
He was asked by Speedweek whether the teams would be still in Formula One next year which he replied “I cannot give a definite answer to that question because we still don’t know if we will get an engine and what else is planned for the future.”
“But at some point even we’ve had enough.” In Brazil Team Principal Christian Horner said the team needs to needs to know in the next few weeks what engine it will use if it is going to make next year’s first pre-season test. But Red Bull running the new spec Renault engine in Brazil, has been seen as a hint that they may run an unbranded Renault engine next year.
Horner said “The team in Milton Keynes have demonstrated their ability to work to massively tight deadlines, and I am sure we will be able to meet whatever targets we need to, as long as we come to a decision in the next couple of weeks.”
Red Bull was hoping that the independent engine supplier would have helped but this plan was blocked by Ferrari.
No ill feelings about Haas – Rossi
Alexander Rossi says he has no ill feelings with the Haas team for not choosing him to drive for the American team. However, he feels the team missed a believes the American team missed out on a good opportunity to run a native driver.
Rossi says he was not surprised when Haas announced Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez were announced as their drivers over the last few months
When asked by Motorsport.com about the decision he said “I understand that Formula 1 is a business as much as it is a sport. So, they were ok and felt with their kind of business model, it is the direction that they went and I have respect for that.”
He added he still has a good relationship with Gene Haas and Team Principal Gunther Steiner and he wished “them the best of luck for next year and I hope to see America represented even more.”
Speaking about 2016 he says he is having talks with Manor and “things are looking very positive and I think we would both like to try and put something together for next year.” He says he has ruled out for now a switch to the likes of the World Endurance Championship or Formula E.
Delight that Ferrari fighting at front – Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone has admitted to the La Gazzetta dello Sport that he is delighted that Ferrari is fighting again at the front of the grid saying its “important for me and all of Formula 1”.
After a difficult 2014 the Italian team has had a strong season taking three wins and nine podiums with Sebastian Vettel while Kimi Raikkonen has had two podiums helping the team to second in the constructor’s championship.
Ecclestone said when asked what the best thing is about 2015, Ecclestone replied “I can say that in one word: Ferrari. Their return to victory was important for me and all of Formula 1. We expected it.”
“How they were able to get back on top in such a short time. I supported Vettel and his move to Ferrari and when I saw him finish first in Sepang it was fantastic.” Ecclestone has also praised the German saying he feels Vettel is one of the top four drivers of the modern era along with Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher.
“A driver must also be judged on how they perform based on their surroundings. There are a lot of drivers that could fight for victory but they are rather anonymous.”
Bond stronger between McLaren & Honda
Honda motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai says there bond with McLaren has grown stronger despite a tough season for them both.
The Honda and McLaren were harbouring back and had the expectations of the strong performance during the late 80’s and early 90’s. But they had problems with its Energy Recovery System (ERS) during the season and go into the winter with both parties expecting drastic improvements for a competitive 2016.
While Red Bull has had a very public row and marriage breakdown with Renault McLaren has kept a brave front despite their difficulties. McLaren is bracing itself for its worst constructors’ finish since 1980. Arai insists the relationship between both parties has never been better going into the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
He told ESPN “We have come a long way since that first test, and although we have had a difficult and eventful season in 2015, the team is as united as ever. The amount of changes that have gone into both the car and the power units this year with such speed has been incredible.”
He said both sides have worked hard to make progress and the bond has become stronger as the season progressed. Arai has thanked Honda staff for their hard work.