Reporters – 18/08/2019

Features Reporters

This year’s German Grand Prix was only on the calendar because Mercedes stepped in to save the race. But with new races next year and the financial situation remains uncertain, the manufacturer has decided against doing it next year?        

Mercedes will not save German GP

Mercedes F1 CEO and team principal Toto Wolff says that the manufacturer will not intervene to try to keep the German Grand Prix on the 2020 calendar, despite helping to ensure that this year’s race took place.

The race is looking as if it will be dropped from next years calendar after the additions of Vietnam and the Netherlands took the total number to twenty-two. Hockenheim subsequently signed a one-year deal with an option on F1’s side for 2020, but that has not been taken up, with Liberty viewing the fee involved as insufficient.

Speaking about the deal, Wolff told Motorsport.com, “Last year’s deal came up pretty spontaneously. We had a meeting on Sunday morning with Chase and Sean, and they said would you be able to help us bridging the gap?”

“In half an hour, we bartered out a deal in order to make the German GP happen. But this is not something which we are in a position to continue because I believe that we shouldn’t really be interfering in the business of Liberty and F1 – it is up to them to decide which tracks are on or off.”

Wolff stressed that despite its value to Mercedes it didn’t want to get involved in pushing for its home Grand Prix, despite its obvious value to the company.

Adding “I believe it’s really encouraging that there is lots of interest in hosting a race. Liberty has the great problem of having more demand than supply, and that is good, and also good for the teams, because fundamentally we share a large part of the prize fund.

 

Lewis Hamilton has been in the form of his life, winning most of the races so far has set him up perfectly for his sixth world title. However, despite his strong season, he insists he hasn’t got a perfect record, but why?

Not a perfect record – Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton says he does not have a perfect record this season, despite him making his strongest season winning eight of the twelve races in the first half of the season.

While his teammate Valtteri Bottas has won two of the other races. It has put Hamilton on course for his sixth world title. Should if the momentum carries into 2020 the chance to pass Michael Schumacher’s all-time win record early next year and equal his seven world titles.

Asked by Autosport to reflect on his eight wins from 12 races, Hamilton admitted it was an “exceptional” start.

He added “But I look at those races and 8 out of 12, there’s still some missing. So how did we miss those? How were we not perfect on those weekends?”

“We’ve also had races where we were quite fortunate, Ferrari were quicker but through sometimes team error and sometimes driver error, it’s put them in the position of not winning.”

Hamilton admits that they have had two lucky wins because Ferrari was on the edge and had a car failure in Bahrain, which he believes shows how on the limit everyone is and that you can’t anything for granted.

His team-mate Valtteri Bottas scoring two wins and lying second in the championship. It means Mercedes is on course for yet another title double, having scooped every championship since 2014, making the team the first to score seven back to back drivers and constructors’ championships.

He added, “The majority of the time we don’t get complacent. We always arrive with the same mentality. We’ve had all this success, everyone continues to work just as hard, nobody’s better than the other and we all lift each other up.”

Through tweaks to regulations, the German manufacturer has remained the team to beat, and that critics of the team according to Hamilton don’t know how hard it is to achieve this performance. He says that it still about delivering week in, week out.

 

It was a year ago that Daniel Ricciardo shocked the sport by announced he would join Renault this season. But the prospect of losing his race engineer Simon Rennie played a role?

Loss of Rennie played a role in Red Bull exit – Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo says that the prospect of losing his race engineer Simon Rennie played a role in his decision to join Renault from Red Bull. The Australian was expected to sign a new deal with the energy drink giant for 2019.

Instead, he shocked the F1 paddock by putting pen to paper on a two-year deal with Renault. Regardless if he has stayed at Red Bull it would have been his last year working with Rennie, as he was keen to travel less and was thus being moved into a factory role.

Red Bull had planned to reunite Ricciardo with his former British F3 race engineer Mike Lugg, but the Australian then surprised the team by selecting to join forces with Renault – which partnered him with Carlos Sainz’s former race engineer Karel Loos.

Ricciardo told Motorsport.com, “There were a lot of reasons, but losing Simon – I knew he wasn’t going to engineer this year if I stayed at Red Bull, and I thought I had a good relationship with him, and there were some unknowns.”

“I was certainly comfortable with him. If I knew he stayed, I don’t know if that would’ve been the deciding factor, but it was another [thing] – obviously, when you’ve got the Honda concern and a few others, I guess that was another little thing.”

He repeated, there were a lot of little ‘unknowns’ that added up, refusing to use the word ‘concerns’ as he felt that was disrespectful. Ricciardo says alleged favouritism towards teammate Max Verstappen was not a major aspect, as “it was talked about more than [what] I saw”.

He also said Red Bull “did okay” in terms of the salary that was offered, adding: “That wasn’t a big difference in the end, it wasn’t a deciding factor.”

 

And that’s all from Reporters for this week, goodbye

Jack

Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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