Financial issues of smaller teams “fundamentally wrong”
Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn says the financial problems facing the smaller teams proves there is something “fundamentally wrong” with the sport.
The team had has a difficult start to the year starting in testing when they were unable to run their 2016 car until the second test and then failed to pay their staff in full last month. The team along with Force India and Manor asked for an advanced payment on monies owed by Formula One Management (FOM).
Last year along with Force India the team made a complaint to the EU about the sports governance and payment structure and Kaltenborn’s concerns have been heightened by the team’s struggles in recent weeks.
She told Crash.net “”You can’t look at yourself and give an excuse and say ‘I can’t do this and, by the way, five others can’t do it as well’ because you have to look at your own people. It unfortunately just says what situation the sport is in.” Kaltenborn says its hard to explain to people why the sport makes so much profit while the smaller teams are struggling.
She said the first few months of the year are some of the most expensive of the year and they don’t comment on financial matters.
Why is there second knock out qualifying – Wolff
Toto Wolff says he is struggling to understand why F1 is having a second attempt with the knock out qualifying at this weekends Bahrain Grand Prix.
The sport was accused of a knee-jerk reaction in slating the new elimination system that made its debut in the season-opening race in Australia earlier this month. But after a discussions by the Strategy Group and the commission they decided to give it one more go.
Another review will take place before the Chinese Grand Prix in mid April. Wolff told Autosport “This weekend we will see the new qualifying system continue after a less-than-impressive debut in Australia. The teams were unanimous in their opinion of it on Sunday in Melbourne, and it wasn’t a positive opinion.”
“We haven’t found the right format with this change and it’s hard to see how it might be more entertaining for the fans this weekend in Bahrain.” The Mercedes boss says careful approach is needed to make sure the right system is introduced.
Scrap fuel limits – Abiteboul
Cyril Abiteboul says he wants the sport to scrap the fuel limit on cars, as he feels the sport is beginning to “lean towards endurance” over flat-out racing.
Currently cars are limited to a 100KG of fuel during the race with engines restricted to a fuel-flow rate of 100kg per hour. There are discussions within the sport about scraping the fuel limit were blocked by Mercedes. He told Autosport “I am a big fan of making sure F1 remains F1.”
“We should not lean towards endurance. One of the things that has put F1 in danger, or could be another threat to F1, is if we try to combine F1 and endurance.” Abiteboul says the fuel saving is having a negative impact on the sport.
He says removing the fuel limit would “take all the negativity away from the message regarding this new technology, which is fantastic. We’ve done an amazing job.”
Rule changes won’t improve racing – Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton has warned that planned rules changes to make cars faster next season will not improve the racing. The world champion said last week the people making the rules don’t have an understanding of how cars work.
The plans to make the cars five seconds faster through aerodynamics will not improve racing. All drivers were criticised by Race director Charlie Whiting for not attending meetings and said the union is always invited to the technical and sporting working group meetings.
Hamilton told Sky Sports “There’s been a lot of talk about the rules and whether the drivers should be more involved in decision making. It’s not our job to come up with ideas and we all have different opinions anyway.”
He says his personal opinion is that cars need “more mechanical grip and less aero wake coming off the back of the cars so we can get close and overtake.”
He said he was speaking as someone who loves the sport but he doesn’t have all the answers
Alonso to take new engine
Fernando Alonso will take a new power unit following his crash at the season opening Australian Grand Prix. His McLaren was destroyed in a terrifying accident which he lucky walked away from.
Alonso will now have four penalty free power units to use for the rest of the season. Honda motorsport boss Yusuke Hasegawa said: “We have recovered the power unit from Fernando’s car used in Melbourne.
“After initial investigations we are massively disappointed the ICE, and most of the surrounding parts, have been heavily damaged as the impact from the accident was just too great.” Hasegawa said the race in Melbourne highlighted some power deficiencies remain.
McLaren has had to totally rebuild the car as the chassis was damaged and will need as much track running on Friday to check it out. Racing director Eric Boullier has also praised the efforts of the team in being able to ready Alonso’s new car following what he felt was “a heart-stopping accident”.