Sauber launch 2016 car
Sauber have become the last team to launch there 2016 car the C35 ahead of the second pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn has set the team the target to become a regular midfield runner.
Last week the team ran there 2015 after choosing not to change their plans to run at the first test which according to the teams Technical Director Mark Smith has not hurt them too much. Speaking ahead of the first run Kaltenborn said “We want to clearly improve. Obviously, there’s a certain position we’d like to achieve.”
Adding “But, to start with, it’s important to become established in midfield. Only then are we going to focus on individual positions.” Felipe Nasr said “The whole team has been working very hard to explore areas in the car that we can improve. That’s why I’m confident that we’ve made progress.”
Nasr’s team-mate Marcus Ericsson added “The battle for positions is getting fiercer. But I’m convinced that, with the new car, we’re going to take a step forward so that we can finish in the points with greater consistency and under our own steam.”
My return from exile – Ryan
Manor racing director Dave Ryan says he has “a clear conscience” about his 2009 split with McLaren and subsequent Formula 1 exile. Ryan was stacked by McLaren after telling Lewis Hamilton to lie to the stewards about what happened in the closing stages of the Australian Grand Prix.
Ryan ran his own GT team Von Ryan Racing before being asked to return by Manor last year. He concedes there was initial scepticism after receiving a call from Bob Bell, who spent six months with Manor in 2015 as a technical consultant.
Speaking to Autosport he said “To be honest I was pretty busy doing my own stuff. I wasn’t at all sure about it, but he [Bell] called me again, I got talking to him, and then I met [owner] Stephen [Fitzpatrick].”
“I kind of liked what I saw. Compared to what I had before, or where I came from, it’s like two extremes.” He said he did miss some parts of the sport but he added he was busy doing his own thing and he says he had good will messages.
Speaking about McLaren he said “Let’s be honest, McLaren is a bit of a sleeping giant at the moment. They haven’t had a good few years, and last year was particularly difficult I would say, but they’ve the potential to get it right.”
Mercedes spilt driving
Mercedes have announced that both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will split the driving for the second test. The team was forced to change there plans after both drivers ran record breaking mileage on the first two days of the first test.
Hamilton will drive Tuesday afternoon with Rosberg in the morning. Both drivers will get two morning and afternoon sessions. All others teams will not spilt days in two.
Lynn continues as development driver
Williams have confirmed that Alex Lynn will be continuing as the teams development driver this season. The British driver will be “undertaking a significant simulator programme and full immersion project with the team, which included an official Formula One test in Barcelona.”
Lynn started his racing career in Formula Renault UK, dominating the 2011 championship with a record 12 wins from 20 race starts. Before two seasons in F2 and the FIA European Championship claiming third in the overall standings and was crowned Rookie Champion. Last year he finished sixth in GP2.
He said “I am really delighted to continue in my Development Driver role with the team this season and remain grateful for their on-going support. I relish the opportunity to build on the hard work I put in last year, to continue helping develop the Formula One car and gaining further knowledge.”
Claire Williams added “After a really encouraging first season with the team, we are pleased to be able to continue working with Alex in 2016.We’re looking forward to seeing him progress this year, both within the team and as he fights for the GP2 title”
Figuring out new qualifying –
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner believes the new knock out qualifying will be swiftly be figured out by all the teams. The F1 Commission approved the new system last week.
However, over the weekend Berine Ecclestone announced the system would not be used until May’s Spanish Grand Prix at the earliest, owing to the time taken to develop the required software.
The three sessions will remain as previous seasons with 22 cars on the grid. Q1 will see seven minutes before the first car dropped before the slowest drivers are dropped at 90 second intervals until fifteen remain.
Q2 will see six minutes before the first car dropped before the slowest drivers are dropped at 90 second intervals until eight remain.
Q3 will see five minutes before the first car dropped before the slowest drivers are dropped at 90 second intervals until two go head to head in a shootout for pole.
Seven cars will drop in both Q1 and Q2 with eight going in to Q3. In all sessions cars will stop as the last car is knocked out.
Horner said the idea came from F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, backed by numerous circuit promoters, leading to the teams being “happy to support it”.
Domenicali appointed CEO of Lamborghini
Former Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali has been appointed as CEO of Lamborghini after the former CEO Stephan Winkelmann has been moved to head Audi’s Quattro GmbH, the company’s high-performance division.
Domenicali was Ferrari’s sporting director between 1998-2008 before he was promoted to team principal in 2008, he resigned after taking responsibility for the team’s poor performance that season.