Ecclestone plans to cut millions of pound big four
Formula One CEO Berine Ecclestone has reviled plans to scrap tens of millions of pounds in bonuses to the big teams which were intended to keep them locked into the series.
The way the prise money is spilt has caused anger with smaller teams who aren’t happy that most of the cash goes to the big four works teams and based on the position in the championship. Ferrari also has an extra bonus for being as the only team to remain in F1 since the world championship began in 1950.
The first opportunity to change the payments will come in 2020 when the current commercial deal between the teams and the sport’s rights holders comes to an end.
F1 CEO Ecclestone revealed he had warned head of Mercedes Motorsport Toto Wolff that change could be on the way. He told The Times “I told Toto not to think about banking any money yet. I am going to have a good look at how things work to see if I can come up with something more equal for all the teams.”
Ecclestone is considering sharing the TV Rights money like in the Premier League where all 20 teams receive an equal share of revenue from TV coverage as well as prize money.
Ecclestone added: “The Premier League has a good way of distributing the prize money, so maybe that could work for us. There will be people who will like it and people who won’t like it, and people who will suffer.”
The prise money has a big gap this year with Ferrari the biggest team earning £192 million and the smallest team Manor earning £47 Million.
Rosberg relationship never been better
Lewis Hamilton says his rivalry between the two Mercedes drivers has never been better. The rivalry has dominated the headlines since 2014 when the pair crashed out at Spa and reignited since the same crash in Barcelona last month.
Mercedes has warned that threatens to tear the team if their relationship falls apart and the need to learn to co-exist. Hamilton says the passage of time, children and an unlikely meeting in Monte Carlo. Telling the Daily Mail “It’s actually really good with Nico at the moment. Really, really good. Surprisingly. I would definitely not have expected it to be where it is.”
“I guess it is probably with age. He’s a family man. He’s got a kid. He has probably grown in that process and I have grown and come of age. The respect that we have always talked about is bigger than it has ever been.”
He said we discus things that we’re unhappy about something or not, we discuss it face to face. For example “ I was swimming in my pool – the building we live in in Monaco, there is a shared communal pool.
“I guess he saw me from his apartment and came down and sat on the diving board and when I finished a few laps, we sat and talked for 20 minutes or half an hour. In a relaxed state”
Williams has to close gap – Smedley
Williams’s performace director Rob Smedley says the team has to close up to the front runners next season with the regulation changes next season.
Since the regulations changed in 2014 the team has performed well finishing third in the constructors’ championship. But has not performed as it has so far this season slipping back to fourth behind Red Bull however the team remains to look strong on track.
Part of the reason for this has it is not as well financed as the teams above them which places strain on its efforts to develop this year’s FW38 in tandem with its design for next year, when F1 will introduce faster cars with wider tyres.
Speaking to Autosport Smedley said “The way we develop the cars in Formula 1 now, with the aerodynamic testing restrictions, is much more favourable for someone who is resource restricted.
“2017 offers Williams a great opportunity to close back to the frontrunners. We have to be able to do that, otherwise you join the second tier of Formula 1.” He says however the changes present the team with a change to close the gap.
He says Williams has “to exploit that opportunity to the maximum, but the target of the company is to do that and move forwards, not just stay where it is. There are a lot of strengths at Williams, and we’ve got to continue to exploit those strengths as well as trying to grow the weaker areas as well.”
Smedley said it’s vital the team focus on all areas and not the ones particular weaknesses in isolation.
“There’s no one particular weakness, It’s the perennial mistake in Formula 1 – let’s all focus on this particular area. Unless there is some kind of glaring mistake you can’t [do that].”
Less competitive than expected – Grosjean
Romain Grosjean says Haas’s recent tough form has left the team “a bit less” competitive than he was expecting at the start of this season.
The team had a brilliant start to the season with sixth place in Australia being followed by fifth in Bahrain. Four points followed in Russia but the team has failed to score in any of the last four races, causing it to slip to eighth in the constructors’ championship.
Team Principal Guenther Steiner has said the brilliant start to the season increased expectations beyond a reasonable level. When asked by F1i, if his total score so far is above what he was hoping for at the start of the season, Grosjean said “A little bit less. After winter testing I thought we could be close to the top ten and score points on a regular basis.
“After the first races everyone was like ‘Come on’ and then in China we just thought ‘China is a tricky one’.” The Frenchman feels Haas can make the necessary improvements without bringing updates to its car.
“It’s not missing a lot, we are talking about two or three tenths per lap that we need to find, and once we get there we should be able to come back in the points more regularly.”
He says it not only tyres causing the issues saying “I think it’s in the car but it’s hidden by something we don’t understand. So we don’t have the grip we should have, we don’t have the confidence we had earlier in the year anymore for some reason.”
Never say never – Brawn
Former Benetton, Ferrari, Mercedes and Brawn boss Ross Brawn says that he would “never say never” on a future return to F1, but is content in his current life away from the sport.
The 61-year old is one of the most successful team bosses and technical directors in the sport winning nine world constructors championships with three different teams. Although Brawn indicated he had now retired from the sport, which has not stopped the 61-year-old being linked with potential roles from time to time
Speaking at Goodwood he was asked if had received any high-profile job offers to return, Brawn told Sky Sports “Not at that level, no.
“Never say never about any of those sort of things, but I’m quite content doing what I’m doing and nothing has come along that I would be motivated and interested in.”
Brawn worked in the sport for just over thirty years from the late 1970’s until 2013. He added “My nature when I was involved was 24/7 and I’m not sure I want a 24/7 anymore.”
Leclerc to drive in five practices for Haas
Haas announced over the weekend that the Monegasque racing driver Charles Leclerc will drive in five practices sessions this season starting with next weekend’s British Grand Prix.
The 18-year old is a member of the Ferrari Academy who the team have a close partnership with. Leclerc currently competes in the GP3 Series where he won at the Spanish Grand Prix and he will also drive in practice in Hungary, Germany, Malaysia and Abu Dhabi.
“I’m honoured by the faith Haas F1 Team and Ferrari have in me. This is an important step toward my ultimate goal of becoming a Formula One driver,” the Monegasque said in a statement.
Camara to test for Toro Rosso
Formula Three driver Sergio Sette Camara will get his first taste of Formula One when he drives at next month’s test at Silverstone with Toro Rosso. Sette Camara drove a 2012 vintage Red Bull-Renault RB8 as part of a demonstration for the team at Aragon in April.
The 18 year old is currently a member of the Red Bull Junior Team and currently seventh in his second season in F3. He told Autosport “this will be my first official Formula 1 test and I will make sure I do the best job possible as well as have fun – it’s not something that happens every day.”
“Silverstone is a great track which I know quite well as I’ve already driven there before. So this will definitely help me on the day to focus on the car.
Team principal Franz Tost said “Giving young drivers, mainly those from the Red Bull Junior Team, a real taste of Formula 1, is something we have become accustomed to doing at Toro Rosso.”
“I find it fascinating to see how these youngsters adapt, not just to the extra power, downforce and braking of a Formula 1 car, but also how they react to the pressure of a day in the F1 spotlight.”