Mistake free qualifying key – Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton says that a mistake free qualifying could be the key to a successful weekend at the Austrian Grand Prix. The world champion could take the lead if team-mate Nico Rosberg fails to score.
At the last race Hamilton topped all three practice sessions before his weekend began to unravel during an error-strewn qualifying resulting in a crash in qualifying. The Red Bull Ring is difficult to overtake because the high speed nature with flexibility at a premium if the race runs to the rhythm of a one-stop strategy, Hamilton says there can be no room for error this Saturday.
Speaking to Sky Sports Hamilton said “We’ve got an old school track there in Spielberg. It’s fast, with a good flow to it. It’s tough to overtake but there are places you can try something different so that’s a good challenge.
“It’s definitely a big advantage starting up front there, though, so I need to get back on it in qualifying and do a better job than last time out. Austria is a beautiful country and I always enjoy my time there, so it would be great to get a win there and tick it off the list.”
His team-mate has won the last two races at the circuit in Austria and another win for Rosberg would take him more than thirty points clear in the standings. Speaking about this weekend Rosberg said “the past two years. It’ll be tough against the Williams cars in particular, as they’ve pushed us hard there before.”
“But I think our Silver Arrow is still definitely the best package on the grid and I can’t wait to see what it can do in Spielberg.”
Force India targeting Williams
Force India setting their sights on passing Williams in the constructors’ championship this year following two podiums from the last three races. The team has had a good run of form.
The teams recent run of form has moved them up to fifth place in the constructors’ standings. Although the outfit is well aware that Toro Rosso is only 27 points behind, it senses an opportunity to move forward more and close down.
Motorsport.com asked the deputy team principal Bob Fernley if thoughts had shifted towards challenging Williams for fourth place, he said “we would be lying if we didn’t say we didn’t have our eyes on Williams. And that should be our goal”
Fernley says the teams confidence has raised because of upgrades brought on board from the Spanish Grand Prix, but says the start of the season did not deliver the results hoped for because of bad luck.
“We did believe and we should have had the car performing better in the first four races. The actual package that we had for the first four races was capable of points all the way through.”
“We just had some terrible misfortune, and hopefully that is behind us. At Barcelona, we put the upgrade on, and the car performed as expected.” He believes that the form between Force India and Williams ebb and flow over the campaign, depending on track characteristics.
Honda will be close to Mercedes – Boullier
McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier says Honda will get ‘very close’ to Mercedes performance levels in 2017 as the Japanese manufacturer evaluates a major engine overhaul.
It’s understood that Honda is considering a major revamp of their power unit because of the scrapping of Formula 1’s token system. Although he did not reveal exactly what Honda planned to do for 2017, Boullier has expressed some confidence about what is coming.
He was asked by Motorsport.com if Honda could match Mercedes as early as next year, Boullier said: “I would love to. I think we will get closer. I don’t know if we will match them, I hope so, but we will get very close.”
The Frenchman said he was encouraged by how Honda had reacted under new management, following the arrival of Yusuke Hasegawa as its new F1 chief earlier this year.
“These people have more of a racing mindset,” he said. “We have a very good relationship with them and their understanding of issues and expectations are easier.” He added.
He said that there had been compromise in Honda’s previous reluctance to hire staff from other companies to help its progress. “It [hiring outsiders] is not key to improve, but it helps,” he said. “They have a different approach now, everything moved halfway and it is fine.”
Right price paid by Hamilton – Palmer
Jolyon Palmer says Lewis Hamilton was right to paythe penalty for his inability to fix an incorrect engine setting which scuppered his European Grand Prix chances, British rookie Jolyon Palmer has said.
Hamilton was unable to solve the problem he caused by putting his engine into the wrong setting which the team were unable to tell him how to change the setting. The world champion described the situation as dangerous as he attempted a number of different settings on his complex steering wheel, while driving at speeds in excess of 220 mph.
Hamilton called for the radio ban needed to be re-addressed by the sport’s governing body, the FIA. Former world champions Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso were also vocal in their support of the Briton, with the former labelling the ban as “a joke”.
Palmer said “The radio ban is really good. Some people don’t know how to change the modes and then they get slower. They should do. If you can know what’s going on with your car then it’s an advantage. I genuinely think it’s a good thing for Formula One.”
He added “We have to think a lot more about what’s going on the car. The engineers can always see if something is not right, but they can’t tell you what. They can tell you something in a code that makes you think, but they can’t say what to change.”
Tyre allocations for Silverstone
Pirelli have announced the tyres which drivers have chosen for next weekend’s British Grand Prix. For the race Pirelli nominated the orange hard, white medium and yellow soft tyres.
Every driver in each team has gone for the same amount of tyres from each type. Mercedes have seven sets of soft while main rival Ferrari have gone for eight, Mercedes have five sets of mediums to Ferraris three while Mercedes have one set of hard to Ferraris two.
Sauber, Williams, Manor, McLaren and Renault have all followed Mercedes with seven softs, five mediums and one hard for each driver. Ferrari and Toro Rosso both took the same plan eight softs, three mediums and two hards.
Red Bull chose for both drivers seven softs, four mediums and two hards. Force India is the only team to bring less than seven sets of softs for its drivers, as well as the only team to bring more than two sets of hards.