Honda made progress last season but why does its believe its not made enough progress, according to its F1 boss Yusuke Hasegawa?
Honda expected more last season
Honda boss Yusuke Hasegawa says that the Japanese manufacturer expected more last season, despite their improved performance in power and reliability.
Last season, Honda power unit made a good step forward from 2015 moving up to sixth in the constructor’s championship. However they are still hoping for better he said. He told Autosport “ was obviously terrible, but it was the first year to prepare everything.”
“That was a stage we needed to overcome naturally and from that point of view, the progress is natural. But I did expect a little bit more. I hoped we would have done a bit better.” Hasegawa admitted that McLaren had underestimated there rivals saying they weren’t expecting Haas and Force India to build “such good cars.”
Hasegawa pointed out that Honda’s strength is reliability and that meant they could now focus on finding performance. In 2015 the team used twenty three units across the season compared to just eight between Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
McLaren drivers required 109 components in 2015, exceeding the amount allowed, but were down to 83, last season. Hasegawa says “we have some issues, but mostly we have managed our weekend programme very well and this has allowed us to realise our performance.”
Hasegawa said he had preferred to avoid any risks with reliability.
The city state of Singapore no longer wants a Grand Prix claimed Berine Ecclestone last year. So why are the public not agreeing with their government and the race organisers?
Singaporeans call for race to stay
A survey by YouGov says that Formula One fans in Singapore want their Grand Prix to remain, despite the stalling of negotiations between the city state and Berine Ecclestone saying the city state ‘no longer wanted the race’.
Contract talks are ongoing still, in that interview with Autosport Ecclestone said that the talks were not progressing well. In November Ecclestone told Auto Motor und Sport, “Yes, the grand prix has cost Singapore a lot of money, but we’ve also given them a lot of money… Now they believe they have reached their goal and they do not want a grand prix anymore.”
The survey of 1,002 people said 57% were keen for the race to continue beyond this year and 70% fell the ace had been a net positive for the country.
YouGov conducted the survey of 9,332 people within eight countries in the Asia-Pacific area because the future of the sport within the wider region is clouded. Looking at other venues, 60% people said they want more races in the region.
The top three suggested venues were Hong Kong (33%), Bangkok (27%) and Sydney (20%). Ticket cost to the race are quite high with the majority (71%) of people saying they may be interest in attending if prices were lower.
More than half (56%) said the brand the closely associated with the sport was Ferrari, followed by Red Bull, Shell and Mercedes. While 42% believe alcohol advertising in F1 is appropriate, compared with 37% who don’t.
Reports suggest that Silverstone could drop the British Grand Prix, there aren’t many places which are able to. But should the government step in?
No interest from Donington
Donington Park says they have no interest in hosting the British Grand Prix, as reports this week said that Silverstone could active a break clause in their contract.
The circuit was placed on the verge of bankruptcy last time it was due to hold the race. A spokesman told Sky Sports “Since the very successful restart of Donington Park six years ago, the board at the circuit has consistently made it clear that we have no intention of bidding for the British Grand Prix.”
Meanwhile former BRDC president Damon Hill has called on the Government to intervene and give funding to the event. Saying “this is a much loved national event. But it has been as difficult to get additional funding from the government.”
Hill says in Brexit Britain this is the kind of thing we need to invest in. The government has invested in the museum but not in the race, which sees a 5% rise in fees yearly set to reached £26 million in 2026.
Could Manor be about to disappear from the sport? For the second time the team face an uncertain future with a takeover falling through, but why?
Fate was sealed in Brazil – Fitzpatrick
The owner of Manor Stephen Fitzpatrick, has told ESPN that the teams entering administration was effective sealed after Sauber scored points in Brazil. The team announced today that they were entering administration after an unsuccessful take-over bid.
Despite finding Asian investment in December the buyout collapsed, leaving the team with little option but to go into administration. Fitzpatrick told ESPN “When I took over the team in 2015, the challenge was clear; it was imperative that the team finish in 10th place or better in 2016.”
“For much of the season we were on track. But the dramatic race in Brazil ended our hopes of this result and ultimately brought into doubt the team’s ability to race in 2017.” He says he has pride in what he has accomplished and thanked the team for constant hard work, determination and passion.
It has become clear through the day, that losing tenth in the constructors was the nail in the coffin. Fitzpatrick described the decision to go into administration as disappointing as the time ran out for a deal to be done.
“Today’s decision to put the team into administration represents a disappointing end to a two year journey for Manor.” He says over the last year there has been talks with investors, but time to complete the transaction ran out.
With new regulations this year coming in how much work do they need to put in to be physically fit?
Workout or be found out – Palmer
Renault’s Jolyon Palmer believes that drivers who are not working out enough will be “found out” because of the higher physical demands of the cars. The new regulations are believed to make the cars around five seconds faster and more demanding to drive.
Palmer told Motorsport.com “I can see it making a difference. We don’t really know exactly the performance next year. We know the numbers, but we don’t know what the tyres are going to do.” Adding he thinks it would become clear early on whose put in the effort and who hasn’t.
Palmer is unsure if the new cars will make the racing more exciting, but he admits it is impossible to tell until they go racing again. Adding he thinks that they may be able to get a massive tow and the DRS be more effective.
He said “You can look back and see what cars had a lot of aero it was quite difficult to follow, thinking 2007/2008, they didn’t have DRS and they were still overtaking.”
That’s all from Reporters for this week.