Sauber expects ‘pay drivers’ – Kaltenborn
The team principal of Sauber Monisha Kaltenborn says that the Swiss team is expecting to sign drivers with financial backing. Both their current drivers Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr bring huge funding to the team but are out of contract at the end of the season.
Sauber had has a cash injection from there new owners who have supported Ericson and this has allowed development on the car and recruitment of technical staff. Sauber once again look set to take drivers with cash with Kaltenborn telling Autosport it “is certainly beneficial” to have a driver with backing.
She added: “It would help us in implementing our targets quicker and be a big help in the overall plan we have. We have to consider that in view of what the environment is like out there.” Kaltenborn says the team is confident of having a better car next year and having more sponsors.
When asked if Sauber could employ two drivers without financial backing, she replied: “I don’t think that is going to happen.” Ericsson and Nasr are speaking to other teams as well as Sauber about a seat next season. But with Ericsson’s
Kaltenborn admits there has been interest from others following the team’s takeover but she is in no rush to make a final decision. Saying “There are a couple of [driver] options on the table and we are assessing and seeing what to do. I’ve got no timeline in mind. We have our options, we are assessing them and when we are ready, we will announce.”
She prasied her team for their efforts over what she called ‘crappy’ years.
Giving it all says Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton says he will give it all at this weekend as he looks to retake the lead of the championship at the Malaysia Grand Prix. The title battle with team-mate Nico Rosberg has heated up over the summer and following the break Rosberg took all three wins.
Hamilton was hit by technical issues in Singapore and was also affected by engine penalties in Spa. These issues have allowed Rosberg to retake the lead of the title. Hamilton told AFP “”Singapore was a difficult weekend for me, so to come away with a podium in the circumstances was pretty good damage limitation,” Hamilton said this week.
He repeated comments he said earlier this month “I have no idea if the momentum will swing back to me or when it might. I just have to keep giving it my all and hope for the best.”
“It’s going to take some good results to get back in front and stay there — but I’ve had plenty of those in the past, so there’s no reason to think they won’t come back to me again.”
Mercedes can sign off the constructors championship this weekend if they finish one two. However Rosberg was cautious saying “Red Bull and Ferrari are both pushing us really hard, so there will be some tough weekends ahead.”
Hamilton on 2017 changes
Lewis Hamilton has also been speaking about what he wants from the regulation changes next season saying he hopes to be “surprised” and “amazed” by next year’s Formula 1 cars, having been one of the biggest critics of the current era.
The cars will be faster, featuring different aerodynamic packages and wider front and rear tyres as part of an overhaul of the technical regulations. Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz has already said he thinks it will make F1 look like “another level” having seen the Toro Rosso in the windtunnel.
Hamilton has now done the same with Mercedes, Hamilton hopes his doubts over whether the changes will be good for F1 are wide of the mark. He told Autosport “My feeling from seeing the car in the windtunnel is that it is going to be more physical. It’s basically taking this car and making it three seconds faster.”
“What I am hoping for is to be surprised and amazed at the difference that it makes for racing.” Hamilton earlier this year complained that the fact he was often in conservation mode and limited to when he could overtake or really push. He also suggested the current formula is too complicated.
Something his former team-mates Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button agreed with. Alonso says the cars are not fun for him to drive anymore. Button says “There’s always give and take but I think it’s a much better balance having the high-downforce cars and the tyres they’ll have next year.”
2017 calendar changes
The FIA have released an updated provisional calendar for next season the Australian Grand Prix has been moved to the 24-26 March and the Chinese Grand Prix has been moved to the 7-9 April.
The Russian Grand Prix has been moved to 28-30 April. Malaysia and Singapore as swapped dates, with Malaysia now 15-16 September and Singapore 29 September – 1 October. Mexico moves back to 3-5 November.
Other changes from WMSC
The FIA have announced a new starting procedure for wet starts if a safety car is required for the beginning of a race due to wet weather, a normal standing start will occur once the track is deemed safe to race. The process will see the safety car return to the pit lane and the cars assemble on the grid for the start.
Following Mercedes stock piling of engines at Spa for Lewis Hamilton they have changed it so only the last element is subject to penalty, only the last element fitted may be used at subsequent events without further penalty.
Drivers will only be permitted one change of helmet during the season and the same livery at every event for easy recognition of the driver in the car. However there are permitted to should they change teams during the season.
Also tyre selection will not be permitted for races which tyres must be chosen twelve weeks in advance for Australia Bahrain and China with the allocation being two sets of the hardest compound specification, four sets of the medium compound specification and seven sets of the softest compound
Wehrlein / Ocon “a good match”
Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon are “a good match” and would represent the ideal pairing for next season according to Manors Racing Director Dave Ryan.
Both the drivers are signed to the Mercedes junior programme with Ocon also being part of Renaults programme too. With Manor last year signing a discounted engine deal with Mercedes they can place drivers in the team and this could continue next season. Williams also have a ‘parts deal’ with Manor.
Ryan told Autosport “With every driver who is available, you have to look at everyone. Pascal’s a great kid who is coming along really strongly; Esteban has huge potential as well. Anyone would be pleased to have them, us included. Given the right set of circumstances, then I’d absolutely love them to stay.
The British team has made a step forward in 2016 with them fighting just outside the top ten currently sitting tenth ahead of Sauber. Suggested to Ryan it was hard for Wehrlein and Ocon to prove themselves, he replied: “We’re a team that’s going places, we’re a solid team and we’re getting improving as things go along.
“We’re competitive now – of course, not competitive with Mercedes, but then no-one is – but we are competitive with other teams
Tyre management “crucial” at Sepang – Hulkenberg
Nico Hulkenberg expects tyre management to play a “crucial” role in the outcome of this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
The circuit has undergone changes over the year with the circuit being resurfaced, several corners and kerbs were tweaked and the drainage system improved at a venue where rain often spices things up. This is why the race was moved to this weekend.
Hulkenberg told F1i “It feels strange to be going to Sepang at the end of the season, but it’s also a nice change to mix up the calendar.”
“Most of the races I remember in Malaysia have seen crazy weather conditions, in April, with monsoon rain, red flags and aquaplaning everywhere. I am quite curious to see how it will change now that the race is in October.”
Sepang is a challenging race like Singapore with both circuits only being four hours away by road. Hulkenberg added “It’s a track where I have scored some good points and where I had a strong race in 2014, so I hope to go there and create some more special memories.”