2016 season could start in April
The 2016 season could start in April with the first Grand Prix being on third of the month. Australia has a deal which means the country must hold the season opener.
Organisers said “The 2016 Australian Grand Prix event dates are 31 March–3 April, 2016, with the later start date set to condense the season, which finishes in November.” The media have already begun to suggest that this has been done to reduce costs for teams and shorten the downtime between races in a bid to maximise interest in the championship.
However organisers in Bahrain say they are hoping to move the race to earlier in April. But the Australian Grand Prix Corporation chief executive Andrew Westacott said “It’s fantastic that Melbourne will again play host to the opening round.”
No F1 Plans – Audi
Audi says that they have no plans to enter Formula One despite the resignation of the executive, Ferdinand Piech who for decades has been the major obstacle to them entering the sport.
Instead the company will focus on their other motorsports championships which include the World Endurance Championship and the German Touring Car Championship (DTM). The German manufacture has been linked to the sport for years but has never come to anything.
Sources inside Germany say that Piech’s antipathy for F1 was rooted in a personal dislike of Bernie Ecclestone, who controls the sport with a similar dictatorial influence over the sport.
Honda research centre
Honda has announced plans to build a new Formula One research and development centre in Milton Keynes. The Japanese manufacturer currently supplies McLaren but has plans to expand its involvement.
Their plan is to build facility adjacent to their existing Mugen Honda unit that will house the main R&D function for their push into F1 engine technology advancement.
Honda new facility will help the town to build on its reputation as a centre motorsport technology and cutting edge engineering. The new facility will create approximately 35 full-time jobs, which will be a mixture of high-skilled engineering positions and support staff and by 2018 it is expected to house 65 full time staff.
F1 losing appeal – Webber
Mark Webber says he believes rapidly degrading tyres and overtaking aids like DRS detract from the appeal of Formula One rather than add to it.
Tyre supplier Pirelli since joining the sport in 2011 have been tasked with creating tyres which degrade quicker allowing for drivers on fresher tyres to attack those on older tyres.
Along with the introduction of the drag reduction system (DRS) the new Pirelli era of Formula One resulted in more overtaking. However he says it has made over taking too easy for drivers.
He told ESPN “I’m talking on behalf of the drivers at the front of the grid because they can’t say what they really feel. But I’m talking to them now. I’d love someone to do a stat on race pace with the 2015 race compared to the mid-2000s – probably Montoya would have lapped Seb in Malaysia three and a half times”
Not enough entertainment
Sliverstone Managing director Patrick Allen, has said that F1 is not providing enough entertainment value for its fans. Even though that ticket sales for this years event is up 26%.
He says that F1 was “too processional” and that the new turbo hybrid engines were too quiet.
“We need the noise back” Allen told BBC News. “Sometimes I wonder whether the technical directors should be on the podium rather than the drivers because it seems you could put anyone in the cars.”
He said ticket sales were “going well” but urged F1 bosses to “look at making the cars more challenging for the drivers” and come up with rules that “produce closer racing”.