Reporters – 21/01/2018

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Dan Gurney you may not have heard of him but the former driver died this week. But how did this little known American impact Formula One?

Former F1 driver and inventor Dan Gurney dies aged eighty-six

The former Formula One driver Daniel ‘Dan’ Gurney has died aged eighty-six. The American was the first driver to spray champagne on the

His first taste of F1 came at the non-championship Riverside Grand Prix, which attracted the attention of Ferrari. He made his F1 debut the following season with podiums at the Nurburgring and in Lisbon.

On his debut in Portugal, he was the fastest of the Ferrari’s, before fourth place at Monza. But his relationship with the Scuderia became strained and he left for BRM.

His time with BRM was marked only by unreliability, frustration and tragedy. A brake failure in the Dutch Grand Prix caused a crash that broke his arm and killed a spectator.

He then spent the next two seasons with Porsche where he finished fourth and fifth in the championship. His time with Porsche saw him take the first pole at the Nurburgring and his first wins at Rouen-les-Essart, plus the non-championship round at Solitude.

When Porsche pulled out at the end of 1962, he teamed up with Jack Brabham who saw his potential as a driver with a engineers brain. Dan was the man who broke through to score this new constructor’s first championship triumph, at Rouen once more.

If he had stayed with the team he could have been champion the following season, but he joined Colin Chapmen at Lotus.

He was already quicker than the proprietor himself, who in turn was quicker than the man he brought in to replace Gurney, Denny Hulme. It was Brabham and Hulme who won the titles in those two years. But Dan, having seen both Brabham and, thanks to Indy car racing, Lotus, from the inside, decided to strike out on his own as a constructor.

It was his engineering smarts that saw the invention of what is now known as the Gurney flap, a small lip to add to wings which multiplied the downforce they provided for minimal additional drag.

Full obituary

 

Friends but foe, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg’s friendship deteriorated while they fought for the title. But why does Rosberg believe it can be repaired?

Rosberg remains hopeful to rekindle Hamilton friendship

Nico Rosberg is still hopeful that his relationship with Lewis Hamilton can be repaired in time. Their relationship deteriorated while they fought for the championship between 2014 and 2016, before that they had been really good friends.

But by the end of Mercedes dominating the sport in 2016, they were barely speaking to each other. Hamilton won the title in 2014 and 2015, Rosberg emerged as world champion in 2016 before announcing his shock retirement at the end of the season.

In a YouTube Q&A session, a follower asked if Hamilton was “as annoying behind the cameras as he is on them?” Rosberg replied, “Look, we were really good friends back in the day and I still have a lot of respect for him and always will have.”

“In private he’s a good guy, so of course it’s always different the way you get perceived on camera and how you are in that big F1 world, but in private I can say he is a really good guy with some good values,” Rosberg says that having Hamilton as his teammate made his title success all the more special.

 

Haas has performed well in its first two seasons and now Kevin Magnussen believes they could challenge Force India this season. But how do the two teams compare and what is the Danes target in 2018?

Haas can match Force India – Magnussen

Kevin Magnussen believes that the performance of Haas in their first two seasons shows they can match Force India. Haas has finished eighth in its first two seasons, while in Force India’s first two seasons they finished last.

The teams form so far compared to Force India’s form in the same period, shows that Haas has potential. He told Motorsport.com “I’m very confident we can go forward and [show that] small teams can do well; Force India are showing that.”

“If you look at Force India’s first couple of seasons in Formula 1, as a new team we’ve raced and done better, so it’s looking good and I think the team is going in the right direction.” Haas was built from nothing while Force India was born out of Jordan, Midland and Spyker.

Force India also achieved a pole position and second-place finish in the Belgian Grand Prix in its second F1 season, while Haas finished in the top six in its first two GPs but has only done so once since.

Magnussen left Renault to join Haas in 2017, but he says competing with Renault in 2018 is a realistic target for Haas.

“Renault are doing well, but I just feel very good here and I feel that we can improve and take the fight to Renault next year if we get everything right,” he said.

 

Liberty Media is looking to expand the race calendar, one venue could be a street race in Vietnam. But how likely is the race and could a deal be close?

Vietnam set to join calendar

Vietnam could be on course to make its debut in Formula One calendar with a street race in the south Asian country, following meetings in London earlier this week.

On Wednesday, the promotor as seen at a meeting of the Formula One Promoters Association in the Sofitel London St James hotel. The meeting on Wednesday was followed by further meetings on Thursday, according to Forbes.

One source told the magazine “Vietnam street race is what they are going to announce.” It is believed that the plan could be for a street race in the capital Hanoi, but no official news about the race has been announced.

Autosport reported in October that the country was on a list of potential venues but it was in “on-going” talks with officials there.  The Independent newspaper revealed that F1’s former chief executive Bernie Ecclestone gave the red light to a Vietnam before Chase Carey replaced him in the driving seat at the start of last year when Liberty took over.

A circuit was due to be built in Ho Chi Minh in 2010, but that was abandoned for legal reasons. The law changed last year with Vietnam opening its advantage of it.

However standards are far below Grade One Homologation, but a track which would meet them was reportedly under consideration in 2016. However, Liberty wants a balance between new venues and the historic races.

Liberty needs to renegotiate the contract with Silverstone after they triggered a break clause meaning next years race could be the last race.

Liberty wants to invest in its own home race in the United States. It would boost F1’s appeal in a market with a proven track record and could lead to the creation of races in “destination cities”

 

That’s all from Reporters 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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