Red Bull renew Renault deal, as Toro Rosso switch back
Red Bull and Renault have officially confirmed that they will continue their partnership until 2018. Red Bull’s sister team Toro Rosso will also return to Renault engines after a year with Ferrari.
Last year the relationship between the two broke down after a second consecutive year with an uncompetitive power unit. Unable to secure a supply of engines elsewhere for 2016, Red Bull stuck with Renault this season and badged its power units under the name of watch manufacturer TAG Heuer.
The deal will see Toro Rosso get a 2017 spec engine after a year with Ferrari and will have the freedom to badge it with a sponsor’s name. This year Red Bull have been the only team other than Mercedes to take a pole position in Monaco after taking victory in Monaco.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said the progress had been key to the new deal. “We are delighted to extend our partnership which has proved very successful over time.”
“After the reconstruction that Renault has undertaken, clear progress has been made which has made it logical to continue with the TAG Heuer badged engine.”
Jérôme Stoll, president of Renault Sport Racing, added: “We are very pleased to partner with two such strong teams as Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso. Having competitive partners demonstrates the confidence
Halo to be introduced in 2017
Over the weekend Formula One announce they will be introducing the halo head protection from next season. Technical chiefs decided the device, which forms a protective structure in front of and above a driver’s head, is the more ready of the two options.
However Red Bull will continue their development of their aeroscreen which could be introduced in 2018. The Halo will be tested again in June before a a planned final agreement in July. This is said to be a more elegant solution than the design tested in Spain in February.
The delay with the screen is due to an unexpectedly poor performance in its most recent test. It has also not yet been tested in a form that provides enough free head space for the driver.
The halo will need to be formally agreed by the strategy group, Berine Ecclestone and the FIA. The FIA does have the option of forcing it through on safety grounds, but this is not expected to be necessary as all parties are in agreement that a device will be adopted.
Tyre selection for Canada
Pirelli have announced the teams and drivers tyre selections for next weekend Canadian Grand Prix. Like in Monaco the teams have chosen from the of ultra-soft, super-soft and soft.
Leading teams Mercedes have chosen three soft, two super and eight ultra for both Ferrari’s have chosen three soft, three super and seven ultra.
Haas and Renault have chosen the same tyres as each other going for the soft and ultrasofts with a mandatory set of supersoft. Sauber’s r Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr going for two soft, five super and six ultra.
Toro Rosso, McLaren and Sauber chose two sets of the softs, four supersofts and six ultrasofts for all their drivers.
Ferrari considers another engine upgrade
Ferrari are considering introducing another engine upgrade in a bid to restart there season. The Italian team were given a clear target by team principal Maurizio Arrivabene to win the title.
In Monaco the team struggled to match the pace of Red Bull and Mercedes with the team only managing to qualify behind the two teams. The team are also focusing on tyre management and debating when to bring the upgrade as Arrivabene has already said that there would likely be improvements made to the power unit.
Arrivabene was ask what the team had planned for Canada by Motorsport.com he answered “We will bring some news on the power unit front. But we do not yet know whether or not we will spend the tokens. We’re talking to the FIA to decide what to do.”
Arrivabene says the team’s priority is w addressing its qualifying woes, which he believes are related to how rivals are better optimising the pressure and temperature of tyres.
“It was the story of Barcelona and also of Monaco,” he said. “The problem is there on a Saturday afternoon. We must try to understand it, because it is abs”
Could be last season – Massa
Felipe Massa has admitted that this season maybe his last season with Williams. Rumors have already linked McLaren’s Jenson Button to a return to the team and in Monaco Daniil Kyvat emerged as another name.
The the Brazilian told UOL Esporte “From the Monaco race, you start talking about things and teams and drivers start working on what the future holds.I’m already beginning to understand what can happen, but I don’t know yet.
He said staying at Williams for a fourth consecutive season next year cannot be ruled out. “The intention is to try to get into a good position for a few more years. I think that nothing is impossible.”
Massa says when your contract is ending you need to see the right way to go. He added “I have the chance to continue in Williams, yes, but also to negotiate with other teams.”
Having conversations and return top priority
Following Pastor Maldonado saying on Friday says his priority remains returning to the Formula One the Venezuelan has reviled that he has had conversations with a number of teams.
Maldonado was replaced by Kevin Magnussen when Lotus was taken over by the French manufacturer Renault. Speaking to Autosport Maldonado said “”I really want to have my second chance because I still feel I have a lot to do in F1”
“My plan is to return to Formula 1. It was not too bad to stay away for one year as it has given me time to reflect. We have started conversations with teams and we are trying to negotiate something for next year.”
Maldonado is backed by Venezuela’s state oil company and was dispute with Renault over payments that resulted in it opting to tear up its deal, leaving Maldonado without a seat.
With several drivers out of contract next year, Maldonado believes he is an attractive proposition to teams. He added “I’m not a rookie who needs to restart for zero. After five years in F1, I feel I can do a very good job.”