Ilmor seeks a team for F1 entry
The engine manufacturer Ilmor say they are seeking a partner to work with on a project for 2021. The independent manufacturer currently supply’s engines and consultancy to the IndyCar Series and MotoGP, and they previously worked with Mercedes in the 1990’s.
The firm still is working with Mercedes and Renault, providing consultancy work. F1’s sporting director Ross Brawn wants to encourage independent engine suppliers to join the field, an initiative supported by teams such as McLaren and Red Bull – who are looking at future options.
Mario Illien, founder and technical director has been attending the meetings between the FIA and manufacturers about the future of the engine regulations.
Illien told Autosport “ Obviously there is a desire to have the possibility for independent manufacturers to come in. That’s one reason I’m in the meetings, to see whether it’s going the right way for an independent.”
However, he has ruled out Ilmor supplying engines, saying it would only be viable with a partner. “Somebody has to fund the initial development costs. Customers are probably not the right way to go, that doesn’t pay for it. You probably need a manufacturer to support it.”
Illien adds that to encourage new manufacturers engine costs would need to come down considerably as well as the cost to develop engines. He also believes that the limit on engine allocation for the year has increased costs.
Adding “Next year, having three engines is more expensive than producing four engines. All the new parts you are developing have to go through testing on the dyno, to make sure you have achieved the mileage for three engines a year. And that is expensive.”
“Critical” Renault achieve double points score
Cyril Abiteboul says it is “critical” that Renault achieves their first double points score of the season, as the pressure continues to mount on Jolyon Palmer.
The Englishman has struggled against his Renault team-mate Nico Hulkenberg this season and has failed to score a point this season. Hulkenberg achieved his best result of the season at Silverstone, when he finished sixth, while Palmer failed to start the race because of a hydraulics leak on the formation lap.
While Abiteboul accepts that Renault needs to improve their reliability but believes the team’s recent upgrades should propel them into the top 10 this weekend. He told Sky Sports “We head to Hungary with a positive mood brought about by the recent performance gains we have seen to the RS17.”
The Frenchman says that Silverstone showed the team are continuing to improve and the new floor gave great qualifying pace. Adding “It’s critical to back up this improvement with both cars finishing in the top ten in Hungary. We want to finish the first half of the season on a positive note.”
He says that to achieve this they need both cars into the points and they need to put the reliability problems behind them and their target for fifth in the championship by the end of the season. Williams currently holds a 15-point advantage over them at the halfway point of the season.
Refusing to give up on third – Mallya
Force India’s owner and team principal Vijay Mallya says he is refusing to give up on the target of chasing down third in the constructors’ championship.
When the British based team launched their car in February, Mallya set the team the target of breaking into the top three. Currently, the team is almost eighty points behind Red Bull, but they have a healthy gap over Williams. But Mallya says that third is still achievable.
He told ESPN “We should have had at least nine, but eight out of ten is a very good record of double-points finishes. It’s very, very satisfying to see two good, competitive drivers. Two cars regularly in the points is exactly what we need.”
Mallya says that the team has never had a point tally like this in their history and they are slowly consolidating their fourth position in the championship. Adding “I’m not giving up on chasing Red Bull, it’s always good to set your targets high because that allows you to really challenge yourself in terms of performance.”
“Whether we get that or not, finishing fourth for the second consecutive year is obviously a very creditable achievement,” Mallya says they have a “robust” development programme in place to allow them to catch Red Bull.
News – in – brief
Norris set for test – McLaren junior driver Lando Norris will drive for the team during next weeks test following the Hungarian Grand Prix. The seventeen-year-old will take over from Stoffel Vandoorne on the second day of the test.
Social Media Growth – Reports suggest that social media growth for Formula One’s social media accounts has grown by fifty percent in the first six months of 2017. The growth is triple the amount seen by other top class sports. Frank Arthofer, F1’s head of digital and new business, described the figures as “encouraging”.
Grosjean baby – Haas driver Romain Grosjean and French F1 journalist Marion have announced on Twitter that they are expecting a girl. The couple already have two children.
Haas to continue break evaluation
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says that the American team will continue to evaluate what brake package suits them best during this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
The American team has struggled with their breaks since they first entered the sport last season. Romain Grosjean has been the driver who has been most affected by the issue, while Steiner has previously said that Kevin Magnussen is more capable of driving around the issues.
At Silverstone, Haas decided to run different breaks on both of the cars so they could understand the situation, as Grosjean ran brakes from new suppliers Carbon Industrie, while Magnussen stuck with Brembo. Although the team felt progress was made, Steiner insists further investigation is required.
Steiner told ESPN “We made one step toward understanding the new brakes. There is a second step because in Silverstone there is no hard braking. It’s one of the circuits where you use the brakes less than in all of the other circuits.”
“Hungary is the opposite. You use the brakes quite a bit and you have no time to cool them down because there are no big straights. You need to get your brake package in the right window so you’re not putting too much energy into the tyres from the brakes.”
He says that drivers will always need to get the breaks in the correct window and he said that they will decide on Friday night which ones to run for the weekend.
Grosjean says he received positive feedback from the Carbon Industrie breaks at Silverstone and would prefer to stay with that supplier until Brembo can offer a better solution.
Verstappen stronger due to recent frustrations
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says that Max Verstappen’s recent frustrations have helped the Dutchman become a stronger and more composed driver.
Verstappen has had a difficult first half of the season, retiring from half of the races so far. Two of them was due to collisions and the others because of reliability issues, including a potential win in Azerbaijan when his engine failed.
Those problems have been frustrating for the Dutchman, however Horner says that has improved his resolve. He told Autosport “I think he has shown tremendous maturity, to be honest with you. He’s had a flair of emotion at the time, but very quickly he’s got himself under control and focused on the next event.”
“The way he’s driving this season, he’s just getting stronger and stronger. It’s been a bit of character building for him. I think he’ll come out the other side a stronger person with this being a difficult part in his very short career so far. But he has dealt with it very, very well.”
Horner says he has had a flair of emotion but he has managed to keep himself under control and he is just getting stronger and stronger. Also, he says that he will come out the other side a stronger person and deserves praise for the way he has handled this.
London race a “tall order” – Brown
McLaren CEO Zac Brown believes that moving the British Grand Prix or holding one in London would be a “tall order” and believes that Silverstone is the only realistic venue to host the race.
The long term future of the race has been put in doubt after the circuits owner triggered a break clause meaning the race’s future after 2019 is uncertain. There has long been talk of the race being held on the streets of London, but the only credible options appear to be the Docklands or the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Brown believes a street race would be unlikely it would mean shutting down London down for a week. He told Motorsport.com “People are talking about a London GP, which I think in this particular instance is a tall order – and Silverstone will remain the home of F1 racing in England.”
When asked why he felt a London race would be too hard to put on, he said: “I think the infrastructure that would be required to put on a London GP would be unlike any other street race, unless you did it maybe around the Olympic Stadium or Olympic Park.”
The McLaren boss recently suggested that a way Silverstone could be saved is Liberty buying the circuit and turning it into a hub for Formula One. He also says he believes Liberty and the BRDC will reach a deal over the future of the race.
Brown says while he belives a race is unlikely a repeat of F1 Live could be copied around the world. Saying “I think it is an example of where Liberty have talked about 20 Super Bowls. What the NFL does, they come into the town of the week of the event and they take over the city with fan engagement to a whole new level.”
Roland set for Renault test
Formula Two driver Oliver Rowland will drive a Formula One car at Assen next month with Renault at the Gamma Racing Days.
The British driver will drive the 2012 Louts car that Robert Kubica has been using as part of his evaluation to see whether he is capable of a return to the sport.
Rowland took victory at the Monaco Grand Prix in the F2 race and currently third in the championship. He will share the driving with team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.
Roland has already tested a McLaren in 2012, as part of his prize as the winner of McLaren Autosport BRDC Award. He also got to demo a Red Bull car at Silverstone in 2015 as a prize for leading that year’s Formula Renault 3.5 Series at the halfway stage – a championship he went on to win.
Roland told Motorsport.com “It’s a really exciting time for me to drive Renault’s F1 car in front of 100,000 people in Holland. I see this as a step in the right direction to achieving my dream of driving in Formula One.