Mallya steps aside as Force India’s managing director
The founder of Force India Vijay Mallya has stood down as one of the teams managing directors, however, will remain as team principal and co-owner saying he has his “Own legal issues to take care of.”
In an interview with Autosport Mallya confirmed that his soon Siddarth would take his place on the board of the team. He said “My son Siddarth has been appointed instead of me on the board of Force India. That’s it. And I continue as team principal.
“There was no compulsion anywhere to resign, it’s just that I decided that my son should replace me. I have my own legal issues to take care of, so it’s better that the company remains unaffected.”
The Indian government are trying to extradite the businessman on charges of fraud and money laundering, related to the collapse of his airline Kingfisher. Also, banks have filled another case trying to get him to repay £1.15 billion in unpaid debts.
Mallya denies the charges and claims he is the victim of a media witch hunt. His next hearing in his extradition trial has been set for the eleventh of July at Westminster Magistrates Court. Earlier this month, Indian banks won a case in the UK allowing them to collect the debt.
Since being arrested last year, Mallya has been unable to leave the U.K. and fulfils his role as team principal from his house. Deputy team principal Bob Fernley and COO Otmar Szafnauer oversee the running of the team at races.
Mallya’s co-owner Subrata Roy has already been convicted for a case involving his Sahara Group.
Red Bull might not get Canada power unit
Renault says its upgraded engine for next weekends Canadian Grand Prix is ready for every team, but it is not convinced it is the best for every team and “in particular Red Bull” for Montreal.
There will be an obvious advantage to all the teams with the upgrade, however, who gets the upgrades will be influenced by how many engine elements drivers have used. Two of the six Renault powered cars are facing penalties as they are already on the last elements they have already used. That includes Daniel Ricciardo, who suffered ab MGU-K failure in Monaco and will be guaranteed a 10-place penalty as soon as he uses a third.
A third energy store and third control electronics will also add five places apiece. McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne is also on the bubble, having used two control electronics, and he’ll get a penalty if he takes a third.
The works Renault drivers Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg have used two MGU-Hs, and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso two turbos, but with those particular elements penalties won’t kick in until they take a fourth.
Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul, told Motorsport.com, “ We’ve a new spec engine. We have yet to confirm the introduction, because the mileage is not the same across all cars, so we will see where and when exactly we will introduce that new spec.”
“I think we have six engines available, subject to the last event on procurement in the supply chain. That’s the plan, but not sure it’s actually the best to introduce it in all six cars. We always work in partnership with teams, trying to do the best for the overall season result.”
He added that there would be a small gain in power, but the focus will be on the ICE where more power could come from.
Horner calls for cost cap to consider impact on industry
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has called on the sport to consider the impact that any potential cost cap could have on the UK motoring industry.
The sport is currently considering a cost cap of £130 million pounds a year for the development of the car, that cap would exclude marketing, wages of both drivers and staff of the team. Currently, budgets of teams vary from £65m to over £250m between the small and biggest teams.
The cap is one of the central elements of Liberty Media’s plans to reduce expenditure, making racing more exciting for fans and closing the gap between the front and back of the grid.
Another meeting in Monaco last week, Horner warned that the cost cap could lead to many jobs being cut across the UK motorsports industry.
He told ESPN, “I think they [Formula One] are gathering feedback at the moment and the more things that they look at the more questions it raises.”
“Of course there has to be an extremely responsible approach from the governing body and the commercial rights holder because, certainly within the UK, you are talking about potentially thousands of jobs.:
He says the biggest cost in the sport is the regulations.
Mercedes would also need to cut its car manufacturing serious, with CEO Toto Wolff suggesting that a cap should be introduced gradually to avoid a sudden job cull. Saying “Liberty recognised that a cost cap cannot be an event but needs to be a process.”
“It needs to go over several years and it needs to consider the various structures that have been put in place. They are taking our feedback on board and it is clear that we will all be protecting our structure.”
Haas plan “significant” upgrades for Montreal
Haas is to bring there first “significant” upgrades to next weekends Canadian Grand Prix after they decided not to follow most of the teams by bringing upgrades in Barcelona.
While the American team had a difficult weekend in Monaco, the team has made a really strong start to the season. Despite the team’s midfield rivals bringing upgrades for Barcelona, Haas still finished best of the rest.
Team principal Gunther Steiner said in Barcelona that it was a conscious decision to wait to bring upgrades for Montreal. He told Motorsport.com “We’ve got quite significant changes. Front wing, floor, and all the bargeboard area, we’ve made those updates.”
“Obviously, their aim is to go faster, to gain us speed. A lot of people brought their upgrades to Spain. We decided to bring them to Canada to have a little bit more time, because we’re still a small team and cannot react as quickly as the big ones.”
In Monaco, the team removed new bargeboards from the car because of structural problems, after pieces fell off there car in Barcelona. Also, the team struggled to get the softer Pirelli compounds to work, particularly the hypersoft that made its debut in Monaco and will be used again in Canada.
Romain Grosjean added “Tyre compounds are going to be the number one priority for us to understand with the new package. The circuit is very different. It is much more high speed with much more kerb riding, so the set-ups are quite different.”
“We’ve got to get a bit more understanding of them [the hypersofts] before heading to Canada.”
Mercedes complete a wet test
Mercedes Valtteri Bottas and reserve driver George Russell have completed a two-day wet tyre test at Paul Ricard which will host the French Grand Prix next month.
Russell completed a hundred and twenty three laps and Bottas hundred and thirty laps, on an artificially soaked circuit testing both the intermediates and full wet tyres.
Data gathered at the various tests is shared between all teams to ensure that no one gains any advantage, while Pirelli operates the run plan each day.
Teams are also banned from running aerodynamic updates at the tests. Pirelli will next be in action at Vallelunga next month with Toro Rosso.