Still no deal on engine regulations
Formula One bosses have failed to reach a deal on new engine regulations after a meeting yesterday according to the magazine Autosport. The Strategy Group and F1 Commission need to get the changes agreed on Saturday.
The FIA want to address the cost, availability of supply, noise and performance convergence of F1 engines. But the magazine say there was agreement at the strategy Group. Then in a Commission meeting they failed to make a final decision.
Its believed that the sticking points are around the specifics of the guarantee of supply and the cost of the power units. The manufacturers are expected to discuss their alternative plans this week before seeking the approval by the Strategy Group before going back to the F1 Commission.
Its understood that they have all agreed on the new aerodynamic regulations earlier this month. If no deal is done soon it may mean the changes may be put on hold until 2018 because teams will not have enough time to develop their cars.
Brundle in a Brawn
Sky’s martin Brundle will drive Jenson Button’s title winning car this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. The Brawn GP car won eight races on the way to both drivers and constructors championship in 2009.
Owner Ross Brawn said “I’m absolutely delighted that one of only three Brawn BGP 001s built is coming to the Festival of Speed.”
Failing to meet expectations – Mallya
Force India has failed to meet the expectations of team principal and owner Vijay Mallya. Despite showing strong pace on track the team has failed to convert that into good on track results because of accidents in Bahrain and the timing of the safety car in Shanghai.
Mallya told ESPN “In all honesty we expected more from the start of the season, but for various reasons the cards have not fallen for us.” He pointed out the team was in the same position after the first three races which they managed to convert into their most successful season.
He added with 18 races to go there is a long season ahead and we have plenty of opportunities to turn around our fortunes. There is no doubt that we have an inherently quick car.”
“We are also working hard to bring an upgrade package to Barcelona: it’s an aero step and further suspension evolutions, which will bring some performance gains.”
Mallya says there target is to qualify well and score points this weekend in Sochi.
Ferrari stepped up effort
Ferrari have stepped up their efforts to give the team there first victory of the season in Russia. The team have brought their first engine upgrade and have brought a new front wing for this weekend.
Technical director James Allison back to work full-time following the death of his wife, with the team hoping to push towards and making more progress to challenge Mercedes. The website Motorsport.com say the understand Ferrari will introduce a new front wing for both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.
The team hopes that the step will help it fully exploit the potential of the SF-16H and allow it to make up for the world championship points it has lost through reliability problems. Last week they announced they will use all three of their engine tokens to make improvements to the combustion.
These improvements are to allow them to raise the compression ratio inside the cylinder – which will lead to increased exhaust gas flow that will help the turbo perform better.
The hope is that not only will the changes deliver an out-an-out improvement in horsepower, but they will also help improve the efficiency of the Energy Recovery System.
We need to remain united – Massa
Felipe Massa says drivers need to be presented as a united front because they don’t have a lot of power.
Eighteen drivers had dinner on the Wednesday before the Chinese Grand Prix with many posting a picture of the occasion on Twitter with the hashtag #racingunited.
It followed a letter, signed by Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and GPDA president Alex Wurz, which called for F1’s governance structure to change. The union has condemned the way decisions are made and the move to pay only TV.
Drivers only have a meeting with the FIA during race weekends and rarely away from the track. Massa told Autosport “We need to repeat this [dinner] more, we need to be united because we have a lot of power,” he said.
“Drivers together, united, we can push for a better show and a better sport. We can help. We want to be here to drive and be positive about F1. It was the dream for all the drivers that were together to be in F1.”
He says the drivers don’t see each other during race weekends and they had fun getting to know each other better
Tyres will continue altering strategies
Pat Symonds says that the tyre rules will continue to alter strategies at the Russian Grand Prix. Since the Pirelli tyres were introduced in 2011 they strategies used by teams have been varied and given some suprising results.
The surprises have been continuing this year as drivers now select there tyre allocations for each race. Williams have been losing out in the first few races which means they have been changing there selections for races. “In the past, harder tyres have been quite competitive, whereas the super-soft tyres we see in qualifying might be quite difficult to get good performance out of at the end of the lap from turns 13 to 18,” Symonds told Crash.net
“Last year it was an easy one-stop race but having the super-soft tyres in use this year – which some cars will be required to start on depending on qualifying position – may mean that a one-stop strategy may not be the best way to achieve the maximum result.”
Symonds says Sochi will be the ideal opportunity to make up for lost ground
as the circuit suits there car.
Luxury of equalling Schumacher and Rossi
Lewis Hamilton says he hopes he has the luxury of Seven times Moto GP class champion Valentinio Rossi and Michael Schumacher admits he has put a time frame on how long he plans to stick around in Formula 1.
Rossi is one of the most experienced rider in the sport and now towards the end of his career hasn’t shown a dip in for after winning the Spanish Grand Prix at the weekend. Hamilton has talked about how he wants to find himself in a similarly peak position for years to come.
Speaking ahead of the race Hamilton told Motorsport.com “Valentino is towards one of the older riders now, but he still has the ability to be at the top. He still has the ability to do so, and so I hope that I am in the similar position towards the end of my career.”
Hamilton says he thinks he will be in the sport until the early part of the 2020’s. He was asked if he ever thinks about retirement, he said: “I do. Generally when I think about it, I have this three-year contract. I am hoping that I have another three or four years after that.”
He appeared to hint that he wouldn’t be inclined to quit after winning a title and thinks “ it is a very hard thing to do and I am yet to know that I have the maturity and strength to walk away from something that I loved since five years old. Only time will tell.”