Pirelli’s tyre uncertainties affecting teams
Formula One teams are facing delays with the construction of their 2017 because the FIA and tyre supplier Pirelli have not agreed on wind tunnel time. Next year the sport will move to winder tyres hoping that this will help make the cars faster.
The tyres have a major effect on the aerodynamics along with the way the cars are designs. Pirelli have produced a first batch of tyres for the teams to use as part of their development of their cars. But Pirelli are unlikely to be given out until the Italian company’s final contract with the FIA for its 2017-2019 F1 supply deal has been signed off.
Paul Hembery the tyres manufacturers’ motorsport director told Motorsport.com that the tyres were ready and “we are just finalising details of contracts with the FIA and then we need to do the teams. Also we need the final regulations to be confirmed.”
Without the wind tunnel tyres which are essential for simulating how the actual rubber will deform under load. Talks are due at the end of April to sign off all the plans. Hembery says he is hoping like everyone that they are all agreed then.
James Allison is spending some time away from formula one as he mourns the recent death of his wife, Last week Rebecca Allison died suddenly from meningitis.
Manor expected to be in mid field –
Dave Ryan says that his Manor team expected to start the season slightly higher up the grid and insists it has the resources to leave the back row.
The British team were tipped to have a much stronger team after they secured a Mercedes power unit and Williams transmission. They were expected to be further ahead this season but in Melbourne they were out qualified by Haas. Ryan said the team wasn’t expecting to be that far down.
He told Autosport “I think it’s fair to say we are not quite where we expected to be, but I’ll qualify that. We were always going to be on the back of the grid [in Australia]. That was the minimum expectation.”
Ryan says the team were expecting to be around fourteenth and there in a great position to progress. He added “We’re in a great position, a far better position than we have been in the past. There is a big desire to do well and resource available to improve in lots of areas.
Merhi joins Manors World Endurance team
Roberto Merhi has moved to Manor team for the World Endurance Championship. The team was setup and run by the former bosses of their F1 team bosses John Booth and Graeme Lowdon.
Merhi will race alongside former team-mate Will Stevens as both were left without a seat after being replaced Rio Haryanto and Pascal Wehrlein. Merhi said “I’m really excited to be part of this new exciting chapter with Manor.”
“It is a great opportunity to work with Graeme, John and the team again. This is my first time at endurance racing, LMP2 is a very strong championship.”
John Booth said “It is great to welcome Roberto back to Manor. Roberto is a talented driver with plenty of speed and experience.”
“I know that he will fit in straight away having worked with many of the team before and also been a team mate to Will Stevens last year.” Manor F1 and Manor Motorsport are two different teams and are no long linked to each other.
Whiting dismisses claims on radio rules
Charlie Whiting has dismissed claims the new radio restrictions for 2016 pose safety risks because communication to drivers is so limited. Going into the season the FIA clamped down on communications to give more control to the drivers.
Mercedes had difficulties with brake temperatures and tyre wear that almost derailed race winner Nico Rosberg’s hopes in the Australian GP. Team boss Toto Wolff had suggested that there would “lead to situations which are beyond the engineers’ control”.
Whiting, however, told Autosport “The safety critical stuff can be displayed on the dash, so they need to make sure they display the right things. It’s a question of managing it between the team and the driver without the need for the radio, without being told what settings to apply. They’ll deal with it.”
He belives the sport has the right balance something that Rosberg believes F1 has taken a step in the right direction with the ban on radio traffic.
Rosberg said “It really gives us more responsibility in the race. It’s a good challenge and a tough challenge. The most important thing is the fans think it’s the right direction.”
Inevitable rows – Symonds
Williams technical boss Pat Symonds says it is inevitable that Formula 1 finds itself in strife over its rules, because teams have too much say.
In Melbourne the disastrous qualifying prompted a row over the format and the failure to axe the format for this weekends Bahrain Grand Prix showed the sport governance is failing. Drivers have called for reform as well.
Symonds says he believes until an independent authority is given the mandate to decide regulations then F1 will always find itself facing difficulties. He says that if you ask teams how to change the rules in football and you have a bad goal keeper you would want a smaller goal.
Last year Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner called on an independent outsider, like Ross Brawn, to be appointed to help give F1 a better direction. Symonds agrees that an authority with no links to teams – so was not influenced by self-interest – would be best to help improve F1.