Mercedes signed Valtteri Bottas on a one-year deal, he has delivered well, but with big names like Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso out of contract, he will need to fight for it. But will consistency help him?
Consistency key to new contract – Bottas
Mercedes Valtteri Bottas believes the key to renewing his contract with the team is by him delivering consistently strong form. the Finn joined the team from Williams on a one year deal, replacing world champion Nico Rosberg.
Bottas has started the season well, proving in some races to be on par with team-mate Lewis Hamilton, as well as taking his maiden pole in Bahrain, followed by a maiden win in Russia. However, there has been some more difficult races, including China.
Mercedes and Ferrari are beginning to discuss their options for 2018, with Bottas knowing that to remain with the silver arrows he must perform at a “high level.”
Asked by Autosport what he needed to do to stay on board, Bottas said “I think consistent performance. It’s about delivering on the level where the car is, and helping with the development. It’s about working as a team, and winning races, which normally is what a team requires.”
“It [Mercedes] is a winning team, at a high level, so they expect a lot from the driver. Almost every driver would like to drive for Mercedes, so for sure I need to perform to stay.” Bottas says his aim is to stay with Mercedes long term.
Bottas says his debut win in Russia, has taken the pressure off him. Saying “It was nice it was in the beginning part of the year too, to get it done. I don’t need to think about it any more. I know I can do it, and the team knows I can do it.”
Bottas trails team-mate Lewis Hamilton by thirty six points (Pre Azerbaijan), but knows he lost out because of an engine failure in Spain and that spin in China.
Monisha Kaltenborn’s reign as Sauber boss came to an end last week. But here appointment made her the first woman team principal wasn’t easy, facing collapse, prison and un-competitiveness words which can describe her time.
Kaltenborn cuts ties with Sauber
Sources close to Sauber say the team, has parted company with CEO and team principal Monisha Kaltenborn. The Indian-Austrian became the first woman team boss in 2012.
Sources say Kaltenborn has left the team with immediate effect, leaving Sauber without a team boss ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Last year, Peter Sauber sold his controlling stake to Swiss finance group Longbow Finance.
According to Sky Sports, the Swiss-based investment firm wanted to bring in their own individual to run the team on a day to day basis. Since 2010 when BMW pulled out, Sauber has struggled to deliver consistency in the midfield and to score points.
Kaltenborn joined Sauber in 2000, as head of legal becoming CEO in 2010. Kaltenborn was a pioneer, the sports first woman team principal alongside Williams’s deputy Claire Williams.
Kaltenborn’s leadership hasn’t been without ‘scandal’, in 2015 she was threatened with prison in Melbourne after the team technically signed three race drivers and two seats. That meant the team had to pay significant compensation to Giedo van der Garde.
Eighth and tenth-placed finishes in the Constructors’ Championship have followed that dispute, with Sauber’s only victory coming in 2008 thanks to Robert Kubica’s Canadian GP triumph.
Sauber has struggled hugely with finances since returning to private hands in 2010. Last year, the very future of Sauber was in the spotlight, as the team failed in the first half of the season to pay wages on time.
Though Pascal Wehrlein’s crucial four points in Spain means McLaren are currently at the bottom of the standings.
It’s been a tough year for McLaren and Honda. Talks of civil war, very public rows and even rumours of a divorce. But relief for now, flowing points in Azerbaijan lifted spirits
Honda relieveded by first points
Honda’s head of F1 Yusuke Hasegawa is “very relieved” after McLaren scored their first points of the season in Azerbaijan.
In recent weeks the relationship between McLaren and Honda has appeared to be a civil war as they grew more frustrated by poor engine reliability and performance. But, the race will ease the pressure as Fernando Alonso used the chaos to score the team’s first points.
Honda also say the latest engine upgrade delivered what they expected in terms of performance. Hasegawa told Autosport “I’m very relieved that we could get points. The drivers made a very good job in a race of survival and we are very pleased about that.”
“It’s very important [to get two cars to the finish]. We didn’t have a big concern [regarding reliability], even if we were introducing a new engine and MGU-H.” Hasegawa added he was pleased that progress has been made on reliability.
However, conceded Honda still has a long way to go to close the gap to its rivals. Saying “It’s very positive, but just with one race, I couldn’t say we are very confident. From a performance point of view, just 13 cars finished, so it’s fair to say we’re not very fast.”
Sky Sport’s deal for exclusive rights between 2019-24 has been condemned since March 2016. Now under new leadership, would that change and will a balance be found?
Sky Sports exclusive deal detrimental for F1
Formula One bosses have called the tv right deal between them and Sky Sports for exclusive live TV rights from 2019 until 2024 as detrimental to the sport, but say it must be honoured.
Sean Bratches director of commercial operations says he sees the deal as detrimental for the sport. “Free to air is critically important to us,” Bratches said at the FIA conference.
“My vision as it relates to media rights is a hybrid of free to air and pay. Our plan is to balance the two but have a prominent, over the year, free-to-air voice.” He says that the aim is 30-70 free v pay, with the aim of being pay as the revenue owner.
However, it still remains unclear whether exclusive only refers to live races or highlights packages as well. But, Bratches says the “deal is immutable. I’m referring to the things that are in my control”
Bratches days that Sky Sports will be very happy, because “we are going to honour and respect the deals that were in place when we arrived.”
Forty years ago, a team ran from a lock up in Dicot made their debut. Since then seven drivers and nine constructors championships have followed making Williams a household name. But, it hasn’t been easy, car crash in 1986, the events of Imola in 1994, didn’t stop one man from living his dream
Sir Frank celebrated in new film
A documentary film titled ‘Williams’ will be release this August celebrating the fourth anniversary of the teams debut in Formula One.
The documentary based partly on a book ‘A Different Kind of Life’ written by the late wife of Sir Frank Williams, Lady Virginia Williams will tell the story through her eyes. The film will tell the story of how Sir Frank and the human spirit is capable of achieving in the face adversity.
In a press release team principal, Sir Frank said “I hope the fans enjoy the film as much as I’ve enjoyed being part of motor racing. I’m glad that both the people behind the team and my family come out as the true heroes of the story.”
Daughter and deputy team principal, Claire added “This film is a tale of two great loves in my father’s life. Everyone knows of Frank’s pure passion for motor racing.”
“but not everyone knows the remarkable story of my parents’ marriage and how those two things co-existed during the highs and lows of the team’s journey.”
Ms Williams paid tribute to her mother, Lady Williams for holding the family and team together in the aftermath of Sir Frank’s car crash in France in 1986.
That’s all from this edition of Reporters, until next time goodbye