No agreement on commercial terms
The team principal of Haas, Gunther Steiner says the team is yet to agree commercial terms with Formula One Management (FOM). A deal is required to bind them to the sport to receive its share of profits and prize money.
Steiner told Autosport: “Let us say we are at a ‘make and shake’ point, but I am most encouraged by the progress we have made.” In 2013 Marussia now Manor were left out of the agreement called the Concorde Agreement. The team would be eligible for a minimum of £6.5 million annual payment after it signed its deal with FOM.
Last year Renault was involved in long negotiations to solve its financial arrangements as it progressed with its Lotus takeover. The payments are made based on the constructor’s championship. Steiner has set the team the target of seventh which is worth £40 million pounds.
Meanwhile Steiner says the objective in Melbourne is “to get into Q2 and if possible to get a point home, and otherwise finish in the top 15, but to do the best we can,” with the target of seventh in the Contractors Championship.
Autosport says it understands that Haas would be ineligible to claim the revenue if a commercial deal is not struck with FOM.
Incredible performance – Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton has called the performance of the new Mercedes as “incredible”. Hamilton along with his team-mate Nico Rosberg managed to get record mileage which left their rivals stunned at its consistency.
He told BBC News “I’ve never seen anything like it. Just the strength of this car, it just keeps going. After winning two championships, it’s so easy to lose focus – but everyone has done an even better job”
The reliably was so high the team had to alternate drivers through-out the day to keep them on the ball. Hamilton added “It’s just been an incredible weekend for testing for us. Before we came here they were talking about doing 800km (497 miles) a day and I thought that was crazy because I’ve never done that in the past.”
Yesterday the team tried out a new nose with a number of unusual aerodynamic features. He added “Obviously we don’t know the pace of the car just yet but what we can say is that it’s gone the distance and that’s half the battle.”
Guesswork for new engine – Key
The technical director of Toro Rosso James Key says the team used guesswork to design the installation of its 2015-spec Ferrari Formula 1 engine while waiting for confirmation of the deal.
The teams car was originally designed for a Renault with the design of the car being agreed in August. However in November the team switched to Ferrari power but they had already prepared contingency plan using the resources that were available.
Key told Autosport “When it became clear the power unit may or may not change and when that change would be confirmed was unclear, we carried on with what we knew and we tried to guess what to do”
He added “It sounds crazy but there are pictures around, ideas and a bit of hearsay. You have to put together some contingency based on that. It looked likely Ferrari could be a go-ahead but we couldn’t talk to them about design options until a deal was signed”
He said they used CAD models to create an idea coming close to the estimations and the worst case scenario just in case. He added “The production guys have been outstanding, to get everything ready in time. So it’s been a hell of three months.”
Risking their health – Sainz
Carlos Sainz has warned that some heavier drivers like Daniel Ricciardo could be risking their health by losing weight because cars are heavier.
He Said “ow do you tell a driver to perform at his highest level while taking into account that he needs to lose three or four kilos?. It’s one thing against the other. You turn up to a test wanting to be as strong as possible but you cannot be as strong as possible because of weight (loss).”
Three drivers told Reuters they needed to lose weight before the opening race in Australia on March 20.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo has shed three kilos, and says more must go, while Renault’s Kevin Magnussen and Sainz’s 18-year-old team mate Max Verstappen have been told to lose a few.
Every team aims to have the lightest car and driver combination, with ballast used to bring it up to the minimum weight. This can be moved around, improving performance.
He added “I heard really drastic things from Jean-Eric Vergne, what he had to do. It’s not safe and not the right way to go. We like to be fit and thin, that’s our job, but it’s not our job to be extremely skinny.”
Mallya stands down from United Spirits
Vijay Mallya has stood down as the Chairman of United Spirits Limited with immediate effect. The Indian businessman has been under presser after failing to repay loans linked to Kingfisher Airlines.
A statement said “The time has now come for me to move on and end all the publicised allegations and uncertainties about my relationship with Diageo and United Spirits Limited.”
“Accordingly, I am resigning my position with immediate effect. I am pleased to have been able to agree terms with Diageo and United Spirits Limited. The agreement we have reached secures my family legacy.” Mallya has been the chairman since 1983 until he sold most of his shares to Diageo in 2012.
Mallya will still be paid $75 million over a period of five years and listed as Founder Emeritus of the company, having no rights or benefits. He is still the joint control shareholder with Sahara.