Reporters – 21/05/2017

Features Reporters

Formula One and Moto GP are the pinnacles of motorsport. The sports leaders want less overlap of dates and more co-operation where there is a common interest

Dorna and Liberty discuss what they can learn

Director of Motorsport Ross Brawn has met with the Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta in Barcelona to discuss ways that they can avoid races clashing.

The opening two Grand Prix’s of both series clashed this season and there will be six more clashes this year including the MotoGP finale at Valencia and F1’s penultimate round in Brazil.

In an interview with Reuters Brawn, F1’s managing director for motorsport under new owner Liberty Media said it was “not smart” to be in this situation. He added that they also discussed what they could learn from each other.

Brawn told Autosport “We’re not too proud to consult with other championships and work out the best way forward. It’s difficult to juggle dates, and you can’t always achieve what you want, but at least we’re having a dialogue to try and work it out.”

Brawn also said he was an admirer of the MotoGP ladder structure. “I like the meritocracy that they have between Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP.”

“I think it’s interesting looking at the commercial side, the way they structure the teams and the deals and the way it works for the customer teams.” Moto GP has a better progression structure as the Formula One structure is messy.

Brawn says F1 has put the teams “in a position where they don’t have to make those commercial decisions, they just make the decision based on the strongest drivers they can find.”

 

Mercedes have always had the policy of equality while both drivers remain in the title fight. But with Toto Wolff saying that may have to change has there been that change yet?

No change in policy for Mercedes

Mercedes say their driver policy will not change yet despite Lewis Hamilton breaking away from Valtteri Bottas in the drivers’ championship.

Hamilton is now only ten points behind Vettel in the championship, while Bottas is forty-one points behind Vettel. Bottas had first retirement of the season at the Spanish GP while the sister Mercedes won the race.

Despite the defect in points for Bottas, team boss Toto Wolff believes it too early to discount the Finn from the fight. Wolff told Sky Sports “At the moment he [Hamilton] is quite a large chunk ahead in terms of the Drivers’ Championship, but we are in race number five and there are 14 to go.”

“As a team, we have never made that call and we have never made it that early, so we are going to continue to work like we do.” Ferrari are also facing the same decision, but the team has clearly already made the decision to back Vettel over Raikkonen.

Raikkonen has had a difficult start to the year, he hasn’t managed so far out-qualify or outrace team-mate Vettel this year, is 65 points behind the championship-leading Ferrari and seemingly already set to be cast into a support role.

 

Honda appeared to make a step forward last weekend, with Fernando Alonso getting through into the top ten for the first time this season. But he still Here is his reaction following last Saturday’s qualifying…

Alonso attack

Fernando Alonso qualified in the top ten for the first time this year, but he still has said that Honda lacks the horsepower to fight at the front.

Alonso was seventh fastest and 1.8 seconds off the pace of Hamilton in Q3. But he still believes another major step is needed from Honda to have any chance of fighting at the front.

when asked after qualifying if an extra 50bhp would allow him to be on pole, he said “I don’t think that 50 is enough. Maybe it’s a bit more than that. Hopefully we improve the situation, not only the performance side but the reliability because sometimes we could take some points and the past and we had to stop the car.”

Tomorrow he will want to be able to move forward and take his first points of the season. That could be helped and hindered by the fact that overtaking is tough here, but the McLaren is easier to overtake because of the power deficit.

 

Carey eyes Concorde replacement

Formula One CEO Chase Carey says he doesn’t want to renegotiate the Concorde Agreement when the terms expire in 2020, saying he would like a new open-ended “partnership.”

All the changes that Liberty Media want to make before that date will be constrained by the current agreement. Carey wants to replace it with a system that is less contentious.

He told Autosport “We have the infamous document called the Concorde Agreement, which is this agreement that comes up every six to eight years – it comes up in 2020 – which defines the financial arrangements with teams.”

“Our goal is to create much more of a long-term partnership, not a partnership that sort of has a point in time that you go out and renegotiate the next eight-year partnership, that there’s a continuum,”  Carey says that a looming deadline creates problems, as the parties fight for their own interests and makes longer-term planning difficult.

Carey has confidence that the teams will fall behind his vision for the sport, but he accepts that changing the culture of the sport will not be easy.

He says his idea is a partnership between the teams and share the benefits of doing that together. Carey says Formula One  “Is a sport that historically was a little bit every man for himself, and how do you game each other and the like, and that leads to one plus one is one and a half.”

“If you could pull together and figure out what is the right path forward for everybody, you make one plus one is three,” Carey adds the goal is to change the culture of the sport and create a new culture

 

It was the most talked about moment of the weekend. Thomas Daniel bursting into tears as Kimi Raikkonen retired from the Spanish Grand Prix. But he had an unforgettable experience of being invited into the paddock. Would that have been possible a year ago?

Heart ace to joy

It was probably a dream which turned heartbreak for Thomas Daniel on Sunday afternoon when his favourite driver Kimi Raikkonen crashed out of the Spanish Grand Prix.

The youngster bursts into tears as he watched the pictures of the Finn retire from the race. The pictures of his reaction broadcast on TV around the world caused the Ferrari team to go and track down the youngster and his family and invite them into the paddock.

The move by Ferrari received much praised, but F1 CEO Chase Carey says that “special moment” wouldn’t have been possible under Bernie Ecclestone’s leadership.

Carey told Motorsport.com “We got all this press about the little boy who got pulled down, and they did it on their own, having a sense a freedom that they wouldn’t have had a year ago.”

“I didn’t tell them to find the little boy, there are people who did it on their own, thought it would be a special moment, and it was.”

 

That’s all from Reporters for this week. We are going to be taking a brief break and we will return on the nineteenth of June.

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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