Renault can out develop rivals
There is no reason why Renault cannot out develop its rivals over the course of the 2016 Formula 1 season according to Jolyon Palmer. The French manufacturer put in a good performance in Melbourne leaving the brit encouraged by progress.
Palmer and his team-mate Kevin Magnussen, finished the Australian GP just outside the points in 11th and 12th. With the French manufacturer still getting up after taking over Lotus in December but Palmer feels the foundations are strong.
He told Autosport “I’m massively confident we can improve on such a performance. Before the season started we would probably have taken the whole weekend, with both cars reaching Q2 and just outside the points. It’s a really good start.”
Palmer says the development of the car was late but they can out develop there rivals with the regular upgrades. He says the team is more competitive than in qualifying “so it hopefully shouldn’t be too long until we are fighting in the points consistently.”
Drivers have adequate times to express concerns
Race director Charlie Whiting feels that “adequate” amount of forums at which to make their feelings known, despite recent dissatisfaction.
The drivers have offend complained that when they speak out they are ignored by the key decision makers. Last week the union which represents drivers the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association complained about the championship’s “obsolete and ill-structured” governance.
Whiting suggested they “don’t think it needs more, because they’ve got adequate” input. He told Autosport “They’ve got many, many chances to talk about the rules with us. I honestly don’t see how they could have much more.
“And of course, even at Formula 1 Commission level, there’s nothing to stop a driver asking their team principal to put their point across because all the teams are on that Commission.” He added that the drivers and the GPDA are always invited to the technical and sporting working group meetings.
He also said drivers have a seat on the FIA Circuits Commission but offend they don’t attend and every race there is the drivers meeting. He said not many attended the one earlier this month in Barcelona.
Bahrain will be tougher – Verstappen
Max Verstappen fears that this weekends Bahrain Grand Prix will be a much tougher to compete with Mercedes powered teams. Verstappen and his team-mate Carlos Sainz put in a strong qualifying in Melbourne and may have been able to be in the top five.
There strategy may have cost them in the race. Bahrain is a faster circuit so may favour the Mercedes powered teams. He was asked by Motorsport.com where he thought Toro Rosso stacked up in the pecking order after Melbourne, he said: “We could have been P5 behind the Red Bull, so I think it’s Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, and then us.
“The Williams and the Force India, they were both not so strong in the race – but for sure they will become better, especially in Bahrain with the long straights.” Verstappen believes that the fight with the sister Red Bull team will be close.
However, Red Bull have the pace in the race with Toro Rosso having the better qualifying pace. He says he “thinks Bahrain will be a bit more difficult than Australia. But we will try to do our best and hopefully our car will work there again. “
Toro Rosso can maintain strong performance – Horner
Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner thinks that sister team Toro Rosso will be able to maintain there strong performance that they showed in Melbourne for at least for the first half of the season.
The team had a good race with both Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz fighting with the bigger teams for points in the race before the lost time in traffic which pushed them down the order. The cars looked strong in qualifying.
Horner told Motorsports.com “The Toro Rosso cars you can see are fast, particularly over a single lap. Lewis [Hamilton] couldn’t pass a Toro Rosso on the straight, he passed us a little easier than he did those guys.”
He added “You can see they’ve got a competitive car, and we expect them to be, as predicted pre-season, quick, certainly in the first half of the year before upgrades start to kick in.”
Horner believes that there Ferrari engine will see them ahead this weekend in Bahrain but they will fall behind later this season as they have a 2015-spec engine.
Las Vegas return – Ecclestone
Berine Ecclestone says that Las Vegas has agreed to hold a race which is positioned to replace Monza on the calendar. Las Vegas last held the Caesars Place Grand Prix thirty two years ago in 1982.
Speaking to the Daily Mail Ecclestone said “Monza has got a contract for this year so it is going to go ahead. Next year is the question mark. I don’t think we have to have an Italian Grand Prix. “
The United States already holds in national Grand Prix in Austin and there was meant to be a race in New Jersey but it has been delayed for four years.
However Ecclestone said “We have got 21 races now. It could go more, but I don’t think it will. It’s enough. Some of the guys at the teams are shattered.”
New level if title with Ferrari – Clear
Jock Clear says that winning a title with Ferrari would be a “new level” to anything else he has achieved in Formula One. Clear is joining from Mercedes after he spent a year on leave.
This year Ferrari want to win their first drivers’ championship since 2007 and there first constructors since 2008. Clear has won titles with Williams, Brawn in that remarkable 2009 season and with Mercedes in 2014.
He said “When you get into motorsport there is one name which is synonymous with motor sport at the highest level and that is Ferrari. We have huge respect for all our opposition up and down the pit lane and I have worked with many of the guys out there over the year.”
He said he will a title with Ferrari.