Will the sports power brokers agree a deal about the future of the sport in time for the March deadline?
Last chance if changes go ahead in 2017
F1 bosses are facing a key meeting next Tuesday if new regulations are to be put into place for 2017. The new regulations are aimed at making the cars up to six seconds faster.
The meeting where the Strategy Group and the F1 Commission will discuss the changes will take place in Geneva. The magazine Autosport says they understand there is every possibility the changes may be put on hold until 2018.
One source says “We will have reached the point of no return by next Tuesday. It’s OK to have self-interest, but we need to do what makes sense for what we want the cars to do.”
Adding “If we build cars that are great on downforce, but you can’t overtake anymore, and Pirelli has to put 35psi into the tyres to make them last, then the sport is not being helped in any way.”
Recent discussions have caused more problems with Red Bull boss Christian Horner saying “The mandate was clear to make cars five or six seconds a lap quicker, much harder to drive, more spectacular and sort the men from the boys.”
But are the rules to complex already? Sebastian Vettel thinks they are and is the sport trapped in the debate
Too complex – Vettel
Sebastian Vettel says he believes that Formula One has become “too complex” and risks alienating fans with over-the-top regulations. The sport has had major changes over the past three years.
Next season another set of sweeping changes to the sport but the four times champion has claimed the sport has been come too lost in technology and the focus should return to the drivers. Vettel himself was criticised between 2011-2013 when he won three out of four titles.
But the Mercedes have won 32 of the last 38 races and with very few rule changes over the winter, this looks unlikely to change even if Ferrari step up their game. Vettel told The Telegraph “In short, I think the sport should be in the spotlight and it should be about which driver is the fastest.”
He added “Today the car plays an important role, like it did in the past. But we shouldn’t get lost in over-complicated rules. Our audience has to be able to identify with our cars again.”
Formula One has been trapped in a debate about what it should be for years, which has been heighten by rules introduced in 2014.
What impact did Toro Rosso’s late switch from Renault to Ferrari power have? How compromised will they be?
Radical redesign for Toro Rosso
Toro Rosso’s Technical Director James Key, says the team was forced to radically redesign there car following the late switch to Ferrari power for 2016. The change of design came after the return was confirmed in December.
He says the team had to massively redevelop the car because “you can’t really start again in October/November.”
He told Autosport “The design change was massive. It was completely different. What we tried to do was take the philosophy of what we had already designed – aerodynamically and mechanically – and adapt it to the Ferrari installation”
He says everything needed to change to suit the Ferrari engine and the whole team “has worked incredibly hard for two to three months to get this together. And it’s not just the shape of it. It’s the specifications of everything.”
He says there were a huge range of things which needed to be changed and things they had to adapt. The team are hoping that the car will be quicker this season with sister team Red Bull boss Christian Horner expecting them to be quicker than them.
Why does Sahara want to sell its stake in Force India and could the team be facing financial issues?
Sahara wants to sell
The Sahara group which owns a 42.5% stake in Force India wants to sell their stake in the team. Sahara paid $100 million (£699,547,750) for a 42.5% stake in the team.
The reason Sahara want to share their stake in the team is to free the founder Subrata Roy from prison. The group still needs to gain the permission of India’s Supreme Court to sell their stake and other assets. Former F1 marketing executive Mark Gallagher said such a sale would not be easy.
“I don’t think anybody will pay 100 million pounds, euros or dollars for 42.5 percent of a mid-level F1 franchise.” However, others say it would be easier for owner Vijay Mallya to buy back Sahara group share.
Mallya is also under pressure from lenders after not meeting loan repayment obligations linked to his grounded Kingfisher Airlines; the stake on its own could be a hard sell. Lenders are owed more than $1bn (£698,545,980) relating to the airline.
That’s all from this edition of Reporters