Motorsport Week - Formula 1 News http://www.motorsportweek.com Catch up on all F1 news, here at Motorsport Week RSS Feed! http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15420http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15420Pirelli concludes Kimi Raikkonen's tyre failure caused by contactWed, 26 Jul 2017 17:45:49 GMT<p>Kimi R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen&#39;s British Grand Prix tyre failure was likely caused by contact with &quot;an external body&quot;, tyre supplier Pirelli has claimed.</p> <p>Ferrari&#39;s Sebastian Vettel and&nbsp;R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen both suffered tyre failures in the closing laps of the race, and whilst <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15382">Vettel&#39;s was caused by a slow puncture</a>, further investigation into the Finn&#39;s failure was needed.</p> <p>Pirelli has now concluded those investigations and found two areas of damage to the &quot;edge of the belt&quot;, which it claims is&nbsp;synonymous with the tyre making contact with an external body, such as another car or debris.</p> <p>&quot;The results of the analysis on Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen&rsquo;s front-left soft compound tyre, which experienced an issue at the end of the recent British Grand Prix, reveal specific damage in two places at the edge of the belt close to the internal shoulder area,&quot; confirmed a statement.</p> <p>&quot;This damage is not present throughout any other areas of the tyre whatsoever. Furthermore, the belt and the structure do not show any signs of fatigue.</p> <p>&quot;The possible initial cause of this damage is consistent with contact against an external body, leading to a partial separation of the belt from the carcass in the two affected areas. In one of these two places, as a logical consequence, part of the tread also became detached.</p> <p>&quot;This damage did not however compromise the actual tyre structure, with Raikkonen able to make his way safely back to the pits on an inflated tyre.&quot;</p> <p>Pirelli conducted further tests on tyres from other cars and found those with even less life showed no signs of damage.</p> <p>&quot;A number of detailed tests have since been carried out, both destructive and nondestructive, on other tyres used by frontrunners at the British Grand Prix with a similar or bigger distance on them compared to the set used by Raikkonen (for 25 laps). On no occasion was there any sign of fatigue, detachment or laceration &ndash; or even the beginning of such problems &ndash; that affected the structure of the tyre.</p> <p>&quot;In conclusion, Pirelli can confirm that no issues have emerged connected with the tyre itself.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15417http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15417Lando Norris lands McLaren F1 test outing in HungaryWed, 26 Jul 2017 15:52:43 GMT<p>McLaren junior Lando Norris will drive the team&rsquo;s 2017 Formula 1 car at the post-Hungarian Grand Prix test.</p> <p>The British racer is currently racing in the European Formula 3 Championship with Carlin, and is third in the standings after scoring three race victories so far during his rookie season.</p> <p>In the previous two seasons, Norris took the British MSA Formula title, before clinching championships in Formula Renault 2.0&rsquo;s Eurocup and NEC categories, as well as the Toyota Racing Series.</p> <p>He joined McLaren&rsquo;s young driver programme at the start of 2017, having previously won the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award last year &ndash; which entitled him to an F1 test.</p> <p>The second in-season F1 test of the 2017 season takes place at the Hungaroring from August 1-2, following on from the Hungarian GP weekend.</p> <p>McLaren racer Stoffel Vandoorne will drive the MCL32 on day one, with Norris then taking over running on day two.</p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/McLarenF1/status/890226558149025792">TWEET: McLaren confirms driver line-up for Hungary test</a></p> <p>Vandoorne completed one day of driving at the first in-season test in Bahrain, with McLaren test driver Oliver Turvey also taking to the track for the team.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15415http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15415No winning car next year will complicate things - Jos VerstappenWed, 26 Jul 2017 12:20:04 GMT<p>Max Verstappen&#39;s father Jos, says his son needs a winning car next year otherwise things will become complicated, referring to whether or not his son&nbsp;stays with Red Bull after 2018.</p> <p>Verstappen is contracted to Red Bull next year but it&#39;s believed he has the option to leave in 2019, and Jos Verstappen hinted that could be likely if he isn&#39;t provided with a car capable of regular race wins.</p> <p>&quot;Max wants to become a champion and he will do anything to win,&quot; Jos told&nbsp;<em>RTL.&nbsp;</em>&quot;Right now he does not have such an opportunity, but he uses this year to become stronger.&quot;</p> <p>The 19-year-old has had a string of reliability failures which has left him with half the points tally of his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. Understandably frustrated, his father says things could be complicated further if the situation doesn&#39;t improve.</p> <p>&quot;Next year, it is clear what our goals are,&quot; he added. &quot;We want to win, and if this does not happen, the situation will become more complicated.</p> <p>&quot;At the moment Max cannot do anything. He is doing everything right, and he feels good in his skin, but he just wants to win.</p> <p>&quot;That&#39;s what you notice about Max. The disappointment that he cannot win, which is why he has had some problems. He has never experienced that before.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15414http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15414Force India 'not giving up on chasing Red Bull' - Vijay MallyaWed, 26 Jul 2017 11:40:47 GMT<p>Force India aren&#39;t giving up on beating Red Bull this season according to team boss Vijay Mallya, despite the growing gap between the two teams.</p> <p>The Silverstone based team is currently fourth in the championship standings with a strong 54-point buffer to Williams, but Mallya has set their targets higher this year and believes they can challenge Red Bull in the second half of the season, although overhauling them in the standings could prove difficult with 79 points separating them.</p> <p>&quot;We&#39;re up to 95 points in 10 races, we&#39;ve never had this kind of points tally in the history of the team that I can remember,&quot; said Mallya.</p> <p>&quot;We&#39;re 54 ahead of Williams, our nearest competitor, and slowly consolidating ourselves in fourth position.</p> <p>&quot;Let&#39;s see what opportunities the second half of the season throws up. I&#39;m not giving up on chasing Red Bull.</p> <p>&quot;It&#39;s always good to set our targets high. That allows you to really challenge yourself. Whether we get that or not, finishing fourth for a second consecutive year is a credible achievement.&quot;</p> <p>Assessing their first half of the&nbsp;2017 season,&nbsp;Mallya says he couldn&#39;t really ask for more from his two drivers, barring one incident in Baku.</p> <p>&quot;We should&#39;ve had nine [double points finishes] at least, but eight out of 10 is pretty good,&quot; added Mallya, referring to the contact between Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon which cost them a possible double podium.</p> <p>&quot;It&#39;s very satisfying to see two good, competitive drivers. I couldn&#39;t ask for more; two cars regularly in the points, it&#39;s what we need.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15413http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15413Formula 1 ranked fastest growing sports brand on social media in 2017Tue, 25 Jul 2017 22:20:37 GMT<p>Formula 1&#39;s social media offering under Bernie Ecclestone left much to be desired, but with new owners Liberty Media taking control this season, that has changed with the sport&#39;s social media accounts ramping up engagement.</p> <p>It&#39;s been reported that F1 is the fastest growing sports brand on social media, with its follower base passing the ten million mark during the first half of the 2017 season &ndash;&nbsp;that&#39;s an overall increase of 56 per cent&nbsp;compared to the end of 2016.</p> <p>The sport has seen triple the growth compared to other leading sports series, such as the Champions League, MLB, Nascar, NBA and the Premier League.</p> <p>F1&#39;s YouTube account now has over 580,000 subscribers, an increase of 178 per cent, whilst its Instagram has seen a 104 per cent increase in followers to just under 3m.</p> <p>Video content has proven particularly popular, with video views on F1&#39;s official website up&nbsp;283 per cent, meanwhile a recent video post to Facebook following qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix, in which Lewis Hamilton was given one of Ayrton Senna&#39;s helmets for matching his pole tally, is F1&#39;s most popular video ever, with more than 7.7 million visualisations.</p> <p>Frank Arthofer, F1&#39;s head of digital and new business, described the figures as &quot;encouraging&quot;.</p> <p>&quot;One of the objectives we set ourselves at the start of the season was to broaden the audience for Formula 1 on our online platforms. We have found that in some of our most avid markets our fanbases are a bit older: so aging down the audience is and will continue to be a priority,&quot; said&nbsp;Arthofer.</p> <p>&quot;The figures from the first part of the championship are very encouraging. We have increased the content on offer and fan engagement has been incredible. It means we are on the right path and, at the moment, Formula 1 is the fastest growing sports brand on social media. This is the type of success that this sport deserves.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15411http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15411Formula 1 must consult expert groups over 2021 engine noiseTue, 25 Jul 2017 14:24:09 GMT<p>Formula 1 must carefully consider a number of aspects before it settles on a definite 2021 engine&nbsp;formula, consulting various expert groups to ensure it gets things such as the noise right, according to Mercedes engine boss Andy Cowell.</p> <p>The sport is looking to replace the current hybrid V6 turbo power unit, that has been in existence since 2014, with a cheaper option.</p> <p>Meetings have been taking place with key stakeholders including the FIA, Liberty Media, all four current engine suppliers as well as new potential suppliers such as Audi, Porsche, Aston Martin and Cosworth.</p> <p>With just over three years until it is set to replace the current engine, manufacturers are keen to confirm the new specification as research and design will need to begin within the next year.</p> <p>Cowell says that decision can&#39;t be rushed and expert groups must be consulted to avoid running into the same problems as the current specification, such as its lack of noise and its high cost, as well as ensuring it is road related.</p> <p>&quot;Everybody&#39;s expressed their opinion on what 2021 should bring,&quot; said Cowell. &quot;We need to make sure that the technology that&#39;s introduced in Formula 1 in 2021 is ahead of the road car world in 2021 and perhaps mimicking what will be in the showrooms in 2026.</p> <p>&quot;But there&#39;s a whole load of other topics that need to be discussed and the conclusion of the second meeting&nbsp;is that we need to do some more work [on these].</p> <p>&quot;We need to break out into expert groups and that&#39;s not necessarily us, that&#39;s people from outside of F1 that understand about engine noise and how that brings pleasure to people that are hearing it, the musicality of it.</p> <p>&quot;Then [there are] more scientific studies that we will be involved in, like removing the MGU-H &ndash; [do] we have single turbo or twin turbos?&quot;</p> <p>Cowell says work on getting those experts together has already begun and is hopeful that a decision on what will power F1 after 2020 will be made before the end of the season.</p> <p>&quot;The FIA is going to chair several meetings, several working groups that conclude over the summer on that particular subject matter and then in September, bring that back together and try and condense that into one overall package.</p> <p>&quot;As ever, there will be compromise but I think if we come up with the best package for Formula 1, for the manufacturers, for the fans, for the drivers, for the chassis teams etc then it will be a good step.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15409http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15409Williams confirms Luca Ghiotto for Hungary F1 testTue, 25 Jul 2017 09:16:51 GMT<p>Williams has confirmed that it will hand an F1 test debut to F2 racer Luca Ghiotto during next week&#39;s running at the Hungaroring.</p> <p>Formula 1 will stay on in Hungary for two days of in-season running, and Ghiotto will get behind the wheel of the FW40 at the test, with Felipe Massa also in action for the team.</p> <p>Ghiotto finished runner-up to Esteban Ocon in GP3 in 2015 and holds fifth place in the F2 standings.</p> <p>&quot;A big thanks to Williams for this opportunity,&quot; said Ghiotto.</p> <p>&quot;I think the first F1 test for any driver is a special moment, and to do it with such an historic team is even better so I&rsquo;m really excited.</p> <p>&quot;Of course, I also need to focus on the F2 weekend beforehand, but I&rsquo;m really looking forward to the test and I really hope it goes well.&quot;</p> <p>Claire Williams, the squad&#39;s Deputy Team Principal, added: &quot;This will be Luca&#39;s first opportunity of a Formula 1 outing.</p> <p>&quot;Our team has a strong track record for developing young talent, and we always enjoy seeing young drivers getting opportunities to demonstrate their ability. I look forward to seeing how he performs in the car next month.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15405http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15405Jenson Button almost rejoined Williams for the 2017 seasonMon, 24 Jul 2017 18:42:44 GMT<p>Jenson Button says he almost rejoined Williams for the 2017 season, which would have seen him replace Valtteri Bottas&nbsp;instead of Felipe Massa, who came out of retirement to partner Lance Stroll when Bottas got his late deal to race for Mercedes.</p> <p>Button began his career with the British outfit back in 2000&nbsp;where he finished eighth in the standings and he&nbsp;completed&nbsp;a single season before moving to Benetton, with a best finish of fifth in Germany.</p> <p>Speaking to&nbsp;<em>CNN,&nbsp;</em>Button revealed that he had several conversations with Williams throughout his career about a possible return, including the most recent one ahead of the current season when he stepped aside from his McLaren seat.</p> <p>Button, however, emphasised that the time was right to retire, following 17 consecutive seasons in the sport.</p> <p>&quot;I&rsquo;ve almost rejoined Williams I think three times, four times,&quot; said Button. &quot;I spoke to Williams about racing this year, a couple of times.</p> <p>&quot;I spoke to them last year and I spoke to them this year as well. It&rsquo;s a great team but just for me, it was time [to stop].&quot;</p> <p>When asked if he could replace Massa in 2018 if&nbsp;the Brazilian chose to re-retire, Button simply replied: &quot;No.&quot;</p> <p>Button made a one-off comeback at the Monaco GP this year when Fernando Alonso raced in the Indianapolis 500. Button retired from the race after contact with Pascal Wehrlein.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15404http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15404Santino Ferrucci gets Haas F1 test days in HungaryMon, 24 Jul 2017 16:05:54 GMT<p>Haas development driver Santino Ferrucci will get behind the wheel of the VF-17 for next week&rsquo;s in-season test at the Hungaroring.</p> <p>Ferrucci, 19, joined Haas as its development driver in 2016 and received his first taste of Formula 1 machinery during the two-day group session at Silverstone.</p> <p>Haas has mirrored its 2016 schedule for the second 2017 mid-season running at the Hungaroring, with Ferrucci set to drive the car on Tuesday and Wednesday.</p> <p>Ferrucci currently occupies 14th position in the GP3 championship, his second season in the tertiary category.</p> <p>Gene Haas confirmed last week that Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen will continue to race for the outfit in 2018.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15403http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15403Toto Wolff: Mercedes must anticipate a strong fight back from rivalsMon, 24 Jul 2017 15:56:59 GMT<p>Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff has warned that his team mustn&#39;t get complacent with its points advantage and must anticipate a fight back from their rivals, namely Ferrari and Red Bull.</p> <p>The championship momentum seems to have swung into Mercedes favour recently, with the team winning four of the last three races &ndash; the other of which was won by Red Bull&#39;s Daniel Ricciardo thanks to a loose headrest for Baku race leader Lewis Hamilton.</p> <p>That&#39;s handed <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/f1/standings/2017/constructors/">Mercedes a 55-point lead over Ferrari</a> in the Constructors&#39; Championship, but with rivals Ferrari and Red Bull expected to bring big updates to the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend, Wolff says Mercedes must be prepared for a &quot;fight back&quot;.</p> <p>&quot;We enjoyed a fantastic weekend in Silverstone but it is now something nice in the history books,&quot; said the Austrian.&nbsp;&quot;[Now] we head to Budapest for the final race before the summer break.</p> <p>&quot;We have to do the job again beginning with first practice in Hungary. Our rivals will be determined to fight back strongly &ndash; and we have to anticipate that.</p> <p>&quot;There is no complacency at all at Mercedes, just a resolute determination to get the job done.&quot;</p> <p>Despite the points advantage and Vettel&#39;s narrow one-point lead in the Drivers&#39; Standings, which was greatly reduced last time out, Wolff insists both titles remain &quot;in the balance&quot; and the team must remain focussed on the job at hand.</p> <p>&quot;We have reached the halfway point of the 2017 season and both championships are very much in the balance right now,&quot; he added.</p> <p>&quot;The points tables show that we have a small buffer in the Constructors&#39; race and a small deficit on the Drivers&#39; side. But that&#39;s not important at this stage &ndash; there are no prizes awarded for the half-time champions.</p> <p>&quot;Our approach is to take it weekend by weekend, to build our performance at each circuit in a calm and logical way and to keep pushing.</p> <p>&quot;The time for worrying about the points will come later.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15402http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15402Hungary presents best opportunity for strong result - McLarenMon, 24 Jul 2017 12:58:32 GMT<p>McLaren heads to Hungary in high spirits that the final race before the summer break could be the turning point in what has been a dreadful Formula 1 season for the British outfit.</p> <p>With just two points to its name courtesy of Fernando Alonso in Azerbaijan, the team is last in the standings and in need of an upturn in performance in order to move up the championship classification.</p> <p>Hungary presents the team with its best opportunity of the season so far to do just that, with the short straights and medium to high-speed corners encountered at the Hungaroring heavily dependent on a strong chassis over engine performance.</p> <p>&quot;On paper, the Hungaroring presents one of the best opportunities for us this year,&quot; commented Alonso.&nbsp;&quot;The short, twisty circuit means we are less reliant on outright power, and the drivers have to really depend on the capabilities of the chassis to get the best out of the lap.&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;The temperatures are high and it&rsquo;s a testing weekend for the teams and drivers &ndash; especially since the summer break is so close, but a good result can be a great boost for everyone going into the shutdown period.&quot;</p> <p>Alonso is however cautious that reliability issues could always derail its targets this weekend, despite some recent upgrades from Honda.</p> <p>&quot;The important thing for us, as always, is reliability,&quot; he added. &quot;Even if our car could perform better in Hungary, we need to have a trouble-free weekend to take advantage of every opportunity for points.</p> <p>&quot;We made some big decisions in Silverstone in terms of taking grid penalties in preparation for this race, and hope that&rsquo;s paid off so we can put ourselves in the best possible position for points this weekend.&quot;</p> <p>Honda&#39;s Yusuke Hasegawa concurred that Hungary is McLaren and Honda&#39;s best chance at scoring big points.</p> <p>&quot;Despite showing improved competitiveness during the last few races, we&rsquo;re yet to translate this into on-track results. Having said that, we&rsquo;re pleased with our current development and we now head to Hungary feeling more positive about the race weekend.&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;The Hungaroring is a unique twisty circuit that should give us one of our best opportunities this season. Though it is not a power-oriented track, it still requires precise energy management throughout every lap of the race. It is also a track where overtaking is extremely difficult, so qualifying will be enormously important for us,&quot; said Hasegawa.</p> <p>&quot;We know we&rsquo;re capable of a good result on this type of track, so our target is to reach Q3 and be in a good place to score points in the race. Fernando claimed his first Formula 1 victory at the Hungaroring, and Stoffel won there in GP2 in 2014, so our cars are in excellent hands.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15400http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15400Mercedes engine boss expects Honda to 'come good pretty quicky'Mon, 24 Jul 2017 10:44:44 GMT<p>Mercedes engine boss Andy Cowell has warned against&nbsp;underestimating Honda, despite their current woes, and has tipped the Japanese manufacturer to &quot;come good pretty quickly&quot;.</p> <p>McLaren&#39;s engine supplier Honda has struggled to get on top of its performance and reliability issues this season, despite it being their third term since returning to the sport under the current power unit regulations.</p> <p>Cowell, who has been in charge of Mercedes&#39; engine development during their dominant period, says Honda and McLaren shouldn&#39;t be written off.</p> <p content="“I think collectively we’ve helped with convergence in Formula 1 in the opening season, performance development through the year,” Cowell said." data-reactid="22" type="text">&quot;I think collectively we&rsquo;ve helped with convergence in Formula 1 in the opening season, performance development through the year,&rdquo; said Cowell.</p> <p content="“But then the opportunity to do a big change with Honda coming in, we all agreed that Honda could have that same opportunity to change everything in the first year and then the request came from manufacturers in addition to Honda saying ‘please can we take this crazy token table away because it’s bad for the sport?’" data-reactid="23" type="text">&ldquo;But then the opportunity to do a big change with Honda coming in, we all agreed that Honda could have that same opportunity to change everything in the first year and then the request came from manufacturers in addition to Honda saying &lsquo;please can we take this crazy token table away because it&rsquo;s bad for the sport?&rsquo;</p> <p content="“It’s bad if somebody can’t train to get better and so we agreed, yeah, take the table away because it’s better for the sport because it means that you can innovate, you can introduce whatever you like." data-reactid="24" type="text">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s bad if somebody can&rsquo;t train to get better and so we agreed, yeah, take the table away because it&rsquo;s better for the sport because it means that you can innovate, you can introduce whatever you like.</p> <p content="“I think none of us should underestimate the technical prowess of Honda and of McLaren and I think my money is on that combination coming good and coming good pretty quickly. No pressure…”" data-reactid="25" type="text">&ldquo;I think none of us should underestimate the technical prowess of Honda and of McLaren and I think my money is on that combination coming good and coming good pretty quickly.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15399http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15399Issue 225 of Motorsport Monday is out now – From Russia with LoveMon, 24 Jul 2017 09:50:55 GMT<p><strong>Issue 225&nbsp;of our free weekly magazine, Motorsport Monday, is online now and packed full of great content&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;<a href="http://mmuk.realviewdigital.com/?iid=154526#folio=1">click here</a>&nbsp;or the&nbsp;link below to start reading.</strong></p> <p>To start with, we head to Russia for rounds 9 and 10 of the DTM Series from the Moscow Raceway. Read Phillip Horton&#39;s full race reports to get the lowdown on two dramatic events and how race 2 produced a surprise winner.</p> <p>Then it&#39;s across the pond to the constitution state of Connecticut in the United States, for the first of the two GT only IMSA WeatherTech&nbsp;Championship rounds at Lime Rock Park. And it turned out that one marque put on a dominant display all weekend. Find out which one did in Daniel Lloyds weekend report.</p> <p>After that it&#39;s over to Finland for Jerry Williams&#39; preview of next week&#39;s Finnish Grand Prix, or WRC Neste Rally Finland as we now have to call it. Read his preview and all the news from the teams ahead of the flat out race around the lakes near Jyv&auml;skyl&auml;.</p> <p>Jackie Chan may be a film star but did you know that he and his life-long friend David Cheng also love endurance racing. Daniel Lloyd sat down with team owner and star driver Cheng to find out how the Jackie Chan DC Racing team is coping after their Le Mans overall podium success.</p> <p>And to wrap up this week&#39;s edition, Joe Saward shares his invaluable insight from within the paddock; pontificating today about which team will run what engine next year. See if you agree with his predictions...</p> <p><a href="http://mmuk.realviewdigital.com/?iid=154526#folio=1"><img alt="" height="127" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Magazine/click-to-read.png" width="800" /></a></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15398http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15398Nobuharu Matsushita to get first F1 test run with SauberMon, 24 Jul 2017 09:17:50 GMT<p>Sauber has confirmed that it will run Honda-backed youngster Nobuharu Matsushita during next week&#39;s in-season post-race test session at the Hungaroring.</p> <p>Matsushita, 23, currently holds seventh place in the F2 standings, his third year in Formula 1&#39;s feeder series, having taken three wins during his time in the category.</p> <p>Matsushita will sample the C36-Ferrari during next Wednesday&#39;s running, taking over from F2 rival Gustav Malja, who will run on Tuesday.</p> <p>&quot;When I was four years old, I was fascinated by Michael Schumacher, watching him racing in Formula 1,&quot; said Matsushita.</p> <p>&quot;Since then my dream was to become a Formula 1 driver. I am very excited about my first Formula 1 test and I am really looking forward to driving the Sauber C36-Ferrari at the Hungaroring &ndash; it is a great opportunity for me.</p> <p>&quot;I hope it will be a productive day for the team as well as for myself, so that I can learn as much as possible. I would like to thank the Sauber F1 Team for making this happen.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15397http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15397Renault confirms Robert Kubica for post-Hungarian GP testMon, 24 Jul 2017 08:24:46 GMT<p>Robert Kubica will test Renault&rsquo;s R.S.17 during next week&rsquo;s in-season group running at the Hungaroring, the team announced on Monday.</p> <p>Kubica competed in Formula 1 between 2006 and 2010, spending his last campaign with the French manufacturer, before he suffered serious arm injuries in a rally crash.</p> <p>Kubica returned to the cockpit of a Formula 1 car for the first time in six years when he sampled Renault&rsquo;s 2012-spec E20 during a private test at Valencia&rsquo;s Ricardo Tormo Circuit last month.</p> <p>Kubica was encouraged by his progress and Renault organised a second test in the same machinery, which took place at Paul Ricard.</p> <p>Renault has now given Kubica one day in its R.S.17, next Wednesday, in order to further assess his capabilities.</p> <p>&ldquo;The first two days of testing allowed both Robert and ourselves to gather a great amount of information,&rdquo; said Renault&rsquo;s Cyri Abiteboul.</p> <p>&ldquo;The upcoming session with the R.S.17 at the Hungaroring will allow us all to obtain detailed and precise data in a current car and representative conditions.</p> <p>&ldquo;After this test, we will carefully analyse the collected information to determine in what conditions it would be possible for Robert to return to competition in the upcoming years.&rdquo;</p> <p>Formula 2 racer Nicholas Latifi will drive on Tuesday&rsquo;s opening test day.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15395http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15395Esteban Ocon quicker than I expected says Force India's Vijay MallyaSun, 23 Jul 2017 11:28:59 GMT<p>Esteban Ocon has impressed Force India team principal and co-owner Vijay Mallya during his rookie season with the team, with Mallya admitting the Frenchman&#39;s pace took him by surprise.</p> <p>Ocon has <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/f1/standings/2017/drivers/">scored 43 points in the opening ten races</a> of the season with a best fifth place finish at the Spanish Grand Prix.</p> <p>Ocon has failed to score in only one race, in Monaco, and sits just nine points behind his far more experienced team-mate, Sergio Perez.</p> <p>Mallya is therefore expecting a lot more from the 20-year-old as his experience grows over the coming races and seasons with Force India, having signed a multi-year deal, which Mallya says is the reward for taking a chance on the youngster.</p> <p>&quot;Esteban has come up to speed really well and is quicker than I thought &ndash; it&rsquo;s fantastic,&quot;&nbsp;said the 71-year-old team boss.</p> <p>&quot;We had a tough call to make over the winter about who our driver was going to be. There were only rookies available and I think we made the right choice.</p> <p>&quot;He&rsquo;s only going to mature and get better. You know that experience is hugely important, and the more experience he gets the better he&rsquo;s going to become.</p> <p>&quot;He has the talent, which has showed already. I&rsquo;m happy we have him signed up on a multi-year contract, so I&rsquo;m expecting regular point-scoring finishes from him.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15392http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15392Forget the halfway house Halo - F1 needs closed cockpitsSat, 22 Jul 2017 16:10:32 GMT<p>Cockpit protection is the F1 issue that won&rsquo;t quit. To the point it&rsquo;s hard to recall a time that &lsquo;solutions&rsquo; did not linger in the background, appear in artists&rsquo; impressions, and turn up for real for the first few laps of the odd first Friday practice session.</p> <p>We can understand it too, as with the safety strides of recent years the exposed cockpit feels like the final frontier. These days it is the accidents wherein the exposed head gets near to debris, barriers or other cars that <em>really</em> make us wince &ndash; think among several others of Scott Dixon at the Indy 500 this year; Romain Grosjean barrelling over Fernando Alonso at Spa in 2012.</p> <p>Little wonder <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15389">the FIA spoke in recent days</a> of its &ldquo;priority to address this existing weak point.&rdquo;</p> <p>But now in F1 at least the phoney war is to end. Next season the &lsquo;Halo&rsquo; will feature over F1 cockpits, forced through by the FIA on safety grounds.</p> <p>And the dismay at the inelegant addition&rsquo;s confirmation has been about as long-in-preparation. The sport will be a laughing stock, they say. Fans will flock away. The safety &lsquo;solution&rsquo; isn&rsquo;t much of a solution in any case. It&rsquo;s the end of F1 as we know it. And we don&rsquo;t feel fine.</p> <p>That we&rsquo;ve got to this precise point was foreseeable though, and for beyond the reasons outlined. The FIA was determined to introduce <em>something</em> for next year; indeed postponed a similar effort 12 months ago. Postponing another year would, as Lawrence Barretto described it, have been &ldquo;a slap in the face&rdquo;. The teams needed the 2018 chassis spec confirmed pronto. And, crucially, the Halo is the only thing ready.</p> <blockquote> <p>That we&rsquo;ve got to this precise point was foreseeable. The FIA was determined to introduce <em>something</em> for next year; indeed postponed a similar effort 12 months ago.&nbsp;And, crucially, the Halo is the only thing ready.</p> </blockquote> <p>The other solutions, while having potential, clearly have a way to go. Taking the &lsquo;shield&rsquo; as one example, Sebastian Vettel had to park his Ferrari early in Silverstone last week due to the distortion it caused his vision. At the very least the Halo is a stop-gap, better than nothing, that will improve safety while other, better, solutions are finalised.</p> <p>As for aesthetics? Well for all the Halo&rsquo;s inelegance it&rsquo;s not nearly as hideous as the Ann Summers noses of 2014, and we somehow stopped noticing them within a few laps of pre-season testing (<a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/08472?id=08472" target="_blank">this from the time written by someone who should know better may amuse</a>). I suspect strongly the same would happen here.</p> <p>We also can dismiss the inevitable &lsquo;F1 should be dangerous&rsquo; yelps audible at such moments. There are a number of counter arguments, but for now I&rsquo;ll leave only the words on safety of the late Denny Hulme, a man who knew more than most what it was to lose people to motor racing.</p> <p>&ldquo;We didn&rsquo;t know any better in the old days,&rdquo; Denny has said. &ldquo;Now we&rsquo;ve got the most incredibly hygienic circuits you have ever seen. Some people criticise them. They say it&rsquo;s terribly boring motor racing. Yes, compared to the old N&uuml;rburgring it is. But it&rsquo;s better than going to a funeral every Tuesday morning. &rdquo;</p> <p>The FIA also, as noted, can claim credibly the matter is hardly new; the implementation hardly knee-jerk. The issue&rsquo;s been acute indeed ever since Felipe Massa fought for his life after being hit on the head by a spring in Hungary in 2009 which was a few days after Henry Surtees&rsquo;s death in a similar incident in an F2 race. The FIA Institute has been investigating solutions since 2011.</p> <blockquote> <p>How many times have you looked at things including today and thought, that was lucky? One day it won&rsquo;t be lucky and we&#39;ll all be sitting there going: &lsquo;We should have done something about that - Paddy Lowe</p> </blockquote> <p>And <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/19464178" target="_blank">Paddy Lowe for one following the mentioned 2012 Spa crash</a> described even then additional cockpit protection as &ldquo;inevitable&rdquo;.</p> <p>&ldquo;How many times have you looked at things including today and thought, that was lucky?,&rdquo; said Lowe. &ldquo;One day it won&rsquo;t be lucky and we&#39;ll all be sitting there going: &lsquo;We should have done something about that.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p> <p>Subsequent crashes in F1 and beyond, some tragic, have re-stoked the issue at regular intervals.</p> <p>But this leads us to the counter-point, which in turn leads me to suspect that with the above I may have been giving the FIA too much credit. Which is given the FIA has been examining such things for the best part of a decade why has it only got one solution ready to go? And one that feels nothing like the final answer? That instead feels, as Ben Anderson described it, as &ldquo;a terrible hybrid&rdquo;?</p> <p>Even parking the &lsquo;unsightly&rsquo; argument against &ndash; and others such as its effect on the driver&rsquo;s vision &ndash; a major Halo drawback remains that it is helpful mainly for countering a <em>certain type</em> of accident &ndash; errant wheels and large debris. It has mere 17% effectiveness for smaller pieces.</p> <blockquote> <p>Given the FIA has been examining such things for the best part of a decade why has it only got one solution ready to go? And one that feels nothing like the final answer?</p> </blockquote> <p>Yet even so the FIA has over recent years had a strange, and exclusive, attachment to the Halo as its cockpit protection answer. &ldquo;Ever since the FIA first latched onto the concept, no other has genuinely been given a chance to prove itself,&rdquo; <a href="http://www.racer.com/more/viewpoints/item/142478-buxton-halo-goodbye?showall=1&amp;limitstart=" target="_blank">said Will Buxton in the last few days</a>. &ldquo;The governing body pinned its colours to the mast in the very earliest iterations of Halo, and since then no other idea has had a look in.&rdquo;</p> <p>You could counter that alternatives like the shield are fairly new concepts, but so is the Halo, conceptualised by Mercedes only a couple of years back. While the fully enclosed cockpit (more of this anon) has been on the table from the start and yet years on has scarcely got beyond the artists&rsquo; impression stage. It has not been tested in anger as far as we can tell.</p> <p>Another problem outlined by Buxton is when the FIA postponed the Halo&rsquo;s introduction last year it said &ldquo;that another year of development could result in an even more complete solution.&rdquo; Yet what has there been since? Again nothing we&rsquo;re aware of.</p> <p>An auxiliary point too is that if the arguments in favour of the Halo are so plain &ndash; last year after a FIA presentation on its safety benefits the air was rich of virtually all drivers being converted &ndash; then why has the FIA only been able to convince <em>one</em> team to back it? At the very least it doesn&rsquo;t reflect well on the body&rsquo;s PR skills.</p> <p>Yet the biggest problem is that the Halo seems in any case like an interim and partial solution. And taking this to a logical conclusion I&rsquo;ve been of the view for a while that the final answer to this is the fully enclosed F1 cockpit. So why not put all efforts behind developing that rather than halfway houses?</p> <p>As Buxton for one has noted every F1 concept car of the future it seems has a closed cockpit, and I don&rsquo;t know about you but I think they look pretty good. Presumably it&rsquo;d be hard to make the &lsquo;wuss&rsquo; argument against them too given that would have to apply also to fighter pilots.</p> <blockquote> <p>Why bother have [just] this nod to it being open cockpit? If you want to have a shield then why not fully enclose it? - Edd Straw</p> </blockquote> <p>Yet as noted the F1 closed cockpit over a period of years barely has got off the runway in design and development. Maybe it reflects the attachment to F1 as an &lsquo;open cockpit formula&rsquo;, a resistance illustrated by Edd Straw observing that the shield seems a full cockpit canopy only with a hole cut in the top serving to keep the sport nominally open cockpit.</p> <p>&ldquo;Why bother have [just] this nod to it being open cockpit?,&rdquo; asked Straw, &ldquo;if you want to have a shield then why not fully enclose it?&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;They want to have a closed cockpit solution without going closed cockpit,&rdquo; Anderson added.</p> <p>I am cynical generally about &lsquo;what F1 is&rsquo; claims, and my cynicism lingers with open cockpits. We&rsquo;ve all seen the <a href="http://8w.forix.com/varia/bh-d67.jpg" target="_blank">Protos F2 machine</a> from the 1960s with its bubble cockpit and slit for the driver to peer through. <a href="https://twitter.com/Prost_official/status/888513171966705665" target="_blank">McLaren also tested something like it</a>, hoping for an aerodynamic benefit, in 1985. F1&rsquo;s core principles contain very little other than cars racing each other to get to the end of a set distance first.</p> <p>Anderson summed the matter up. &ldquo;I think they should pause the whole thing and decide once and for all, do you want to stay open cockpit i.e. as we are? Or do we want to go properly closed cockpit for safety reasons and then come up with a serious, credible, proper solution, that can take Formula One in that direction?</p> <p>&ldquo;And stop having this half-arsed approach when you try to please all camps because it never works.&rdquo;</p> <p>Details about a closed cockpit would need to be resolved &ndash; vision, speed of extraction, what happens if fumes or similar get into the cockpit, and not least what happens when it rains&hellip; But these presumably are solvable; WEC has licked most of them, as have those who design fighter planes.</p> <p>And as the sage Anthony Davidson has explained, <em>all</em> of the solutions will have downsides (and that applies to doing nothing as well) so it is a matter of balancing off considerations. Maybe even of taking the least worst option.</p> <p>Not for the first time it seems a matter for deciding a direction and committing to it. But also not for the first time, it seems F1 falters at such moments.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15389http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15389FIA defends Halo as 'best solution' for Formula 1Sat, 22 Jul 2017 12:02:01 GMT<p>Formula 1&#39;s governing body, the FIA, has labelled the &#39;Halo&#39; head protection device as the &quot;best solution&quot;, following its decision to implement the system in the sport next year.</p> <p>The FIA has strived to increase head protection in recent years and it announced on Wednesday that the halo will be mandatory in Formula 1 in 2018.</p> <p>On Saturday, the FIA published a lengthy statement explaining the process behind choosing the Halo, labelling it as the most viable option for 2018.</p> <p>It added that further work will be done to &quot;refine&quot; the design in cooperation with teams and drivers, before it&#39;s debut next season.</p> <p><strong><em>Full FIA statement:</em></strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>This week FIA confirmed the introduction of the Halo system for use in 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship. Let us recall the context of this process started several years ago.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Safety in motorsport is a paramount concern for the FIA and while great strides have been made in many areas of motor sport, head protection in single-seater competition has been an area of concern for many years.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Motor sport by its nature involves risk but it is the mission of the FIA, as the sport&rsquo;s governing body, to continually strive to minimise that risk through the constant pursuit of greater safety on the track through sound research and technological development.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Over the past decade motor sport has witnessed serious incidents that affected drivers. The severity of the incidents made it clear to the FIA that developing a solution to mitigate against frontal impact in the area of the cockpit is a research priority for the FIA&nbsp;to address this existing weak point. There&nbsp;were also a number of near misses that highlighted the need for action.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Following several incidents, the Grand Prix Drivers&rsquo; Association also expressed to FIA President Jean Todt in&nbsp;July&nbsp;2016 a request that some form of frontal cockpit protection be &ldquo;implemented as swiftly as possible&rdquo;.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>A month later, following meetings of the F1 Strategy Group and the F1 Commission, the Commission confirmed a commitment to introduce &ldquo;some form of cockpit protection from the 2017 season&rdquo;, assuring that &ldquo;all stakeholders are working together to make this a reality, with the &lsquo;Halo&rsquo; concept currently the preferred option.&rdquo;</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>While static tests of the device continued, other solutions were simultaneously explored, particularly the &lsquo;Aeroscreen&rsquo;, a windshield mounted on twin pillars attached to the coaming on either side of the cockpit. The system was tested in free practice at the 2016 Russian Grand Prix but while it was successful in some areas, further testing raised concerns as to the effectiveness of the device.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>By contrast, tests of the Halo continued to prove successful. Centreing on three significant major risk types, car-to-car contact, car-to-environment contact and external objects, tests revealed that in the case of car-to-car incidents the Halo was able to withstand 15x the static load of the full mass of the car and was able&nbsp;to significantly reduce the potential for injuries.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>In car-to-environment tests it was established that the Halo was able to prevent helmet contact with a wall or a barrier in many cases, using a selection of previous incidents as a reference.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Finally, in the case of external objects the Halo was found to successfully deflect large objects away from the cockpit environment and also demonstrated an increased net level of protection against small debris.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Furthermore, feedback from extensive track testing revealed that visibility was substantially unaffected, and there was no significant visual obstruction due to the central strut. Track testing also revealed no issues regarding egress from the cockpit and multiple extrication tests were conducted with the Halo in place, with a revised&nbsp; procedure formulated to ensure safe extrication.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Despite the success, in July of 2016 the F1 Strategy Group agreed to defer introduction of a cockpit protection system in order to provide more time to conduct track testing with the Halo device and to explore emerging alternative solutions.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>However, while implementation was deferred, the Strategy Group reaffirmed its commitment to the introduction of a protection system by stating it was &ldquo;agreed unanimously that the 2018 season will see the introduction of frontal cockpit protection for Formula One cars in order to significantly enhance the safety of drivers.&rdquo; The Halo remained the preferred option.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Intensive track tests took place across the second half of the 2016 Formula One season with a wide number of teams and drivers assessing the impact of the device on visibility. Simultaneously the FIA maintained its commitment to the introduction of a device for the 2018 season.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Following these track tests&nbsp;and analysis&nbsp;of emerging alternative systems the F1 Strategy Group and F1 Commission decided, in April of this year, to &ldquo;give priority to the transparent &lsquo;Shield&rsquo; family of systems. The FIA aims to carry out track tests of this system during this season in preparation for implementation in 2018.&rdquo;</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>After&nbsp;static testing, the Shield system was given a short track test at the 2017 British Grand Prix, with the device fitted to the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel. Feedback from this test concerned a number of limitations around such a system.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>In light of this and cognisant of the successful deflection tests conducted with the Halo system, the multiple successful track tests conducted with a wide variety of drivers and teams in the latter half of the 2016 season, and the need to implement regulations for the desired deadline of the start of the 2018 season, the Halo system represents the best solution to the issue of frontal cockpit protection currently in existence.</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>The latest design of the Halo will now be further refined ahead of its introduction in 2018 in a joint effort between teams, drivers and FIA.</em></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15388http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15388Renault labels double points finish in Hungary 'critical'Sat, 22 Jul 2017 07:00:52 GMT<p>Renault&rsquo;s Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul says getting both cars into the points at the Hungarian Grand Prix is &ldquo;critical&rdquo;, in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of recent upgrades.</p> <p>Nico H&uuml;lkenberg ran with Renault&rsquo;s new floor in Britain and raced to sixth place, equalling his and the manufacturer&rsquo;s best result of the campaign.</p> <p>H&uuml;lkenberg&rsquo;s Renault team-mate, Jolyon Palmer, will receive the new floor at the Hungaroring, and Abiteboul insists the squad must now target a top 10 result on both sides of the garage.</p> <p>&ldquo;We have shown at Silverstone that we are continuing to improve,&rdquo; said Abiteboul.</p> <p>&ldquo;Chassis developments, in particular the new floor, proved to be positive exemplified from Nico&rsquo;s eight points and both cars showing strong qualifying pace.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s critical to back up this improvement with both cars finishing in the top 10 in Hungary &ndash; we want to finish the first half of the season on a positive note.</p> <p>&ldquo;To achieve this, we need to put behind our reliability problems. We know our situation and the areas which require more attention.</p> <p>&ldquo;Our targets remain unchanged; we want to be sixth by the end of play on 30th July and fifth by the end of the season. A double-points finish is well within our reach.&rdquo;</p> <p>Renault, which holds eighth in the standings, seven points behind sixth-placed Toro Rosso, will evaluate updated front bodywork and a modified cooling package in Hungary.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15387http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15387Formula 1 boss wants more German manufacturer teamsFri, 21 Jul 2017 23:05:21 GMT<p>Formula 1&nbsp;boss Chase Carey says he is keen to see more German manufacturers involved in the sport, particularly as the country has a rich history in motorsport as well as it&#39;s present success in F1.</p> <p>His comments come as Porsche is considering its future in the World Endurance Championship, with a belief that the supercar maker could switch to F1 as it offers far greater marketing opportunities than the endurance series.</p> <p>Meanwhile Porsche and sister company Audi were involved in a recent Power Unit Working Group meeting alongside current manufacturers Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari, to discuss the future direction of F1&#39;s engine.</p> <p>Carey would like to see them running teams in F1 and is hopeful that the future rule changes will be enough to attract them.</p> <p>&quot;Our goal is to have companies like that [Porsche, BMW, Audi] want to run teams in Formula 1,&quot; Carey told Germany&#39;s&nbsp;<em>Sport Bild</em>&nbsp;newspaper.</p> <p>&quot;It&#39;s why we are adjusting the technical and economic conditions.</p> <p>&quot;We have a German champion [Nico Rosberg], a German car as champion [Mercedes], a German fighting for the title this year [Sebastian Vettel] and we would like to have more German teams.&quot;</p> <p>Carey also mentioned the country&#39;s race as being important to the sport, adding: &quot;The German Grand Prix has a great history and we want to fight for it to continue.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15386http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15386Honda confident current engine concept has potential to match MercedesFri, 21 Jul 2017 22:51:41 GMT<p>Honda believes its power unit concept, which was designed from the ground-up for the 2017 season, has the potential to match the leading power unit supplied by Mercedes, and therefore the manufacturer will stick with it and continue to develop it through 2018.</p> <p>Honda currently supply only McLaren and has struggled to get on top of the new engine rules, with seasons one and two proving disastrous for the team. Meanwhile their third season together hasn&#39;t gone much better, in fact they have less points than they did at the same point in 2016.</p> <p>But Honda chose to introduce an entirely new design concept this year, which Honda F1&#39;s head Yusuke Hasegawa compared to starting from scratch and considers this year to be &#39;Year One&#39; of the project, therefore performance gains will take time, but he is confident they&#39;re on the right path.</p> <p>&quot;We introduced a new power unit concept this year, so I would almost call this Year One again,&rdquo; said Hasegawa. &quot;But our aim is to develop the 2017 concept into the 2018 season and hopefully 2019 as well.</p> <p>&quot;So the engine weight, centre of gravity and the combustion concept is all going in the same direction as the other three engine manufacturers.</p> <p>&quot;It was good for us to do that. We can modify the specification of some of these parts to catch up with the other three engine manufacturers. Last year the engine concept was completely different, so with minor modifications we could not duplicate the same type of performance. That&rsquo;s why we really needed to change the whole engine concept this year.&quot;</p> <p>Hasegawa says he&#39;s confident they&#39;re beginning to close the gap to the leaders following the introduction of their &#39;Spec 3&#39; upgrade, meanwhile work continues on &#39;Spec 4&#39; &ndash; with everything carried over to next year, unlike last year when development had to stop because it wasn&#39;t relevant for the new engine concept.</p> <p>&quot;I am definitely confident that we are closing the gap to the leaders so, from that point of view, our speed of development is good. But at the same time it is natural for the follower because you have a target that you know is achievable.&quot;</p> <p>He added: &quot;We don&#39;t stop developing, we need to keep updating. Of course the performance and results are the most important things but it&rsquo;s all learning for the future too. Compared to last year we needed to modify the engine concept, but next year we will keep the same concept.</p> <p>&quot;It&rsquo;s good that we can use the same concept because this year&rsquo;s development and improvement is directly connected to next year. So that means we don&rsquo;t need to stop the current development, and from that point of view we have already started next year&rsquo;s design.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15384http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15384Video: Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo on team chemistry at Red BullFri, 21 Jul 2017 16:50:00 GMT<p>Max Verstappen&rsquo;s arrival into F1 has seen Red Bull Racing enter something of a new era of late. And with 6 podiums between them in the opening ten races so far this season, Verstappen and teammate Daniel Ricciardo are brimming with confidence ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, as Mobil 1 The Grid found out.&nbsp;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15383http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15383Haas says Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen will stay for 2018Fri, 21 Jul 2017 15:42:53 GMT<p>Gene Haas says his team will retain its current driver line-up of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen for the 2018 Formula 1 season.</p> <p>Grosjean joined Haas for its maiden campaign last year and scored all of its 29 points as the squad claimed eighth in the standings.</p> <p>Magnussen, meanwhile, replaced Esteban Guti&eacute;rrez, following previous spells at McLaren and Renault.</p> <p>Haas holds seventh position in the standings and the 64-year-old says that Grosjean and Magnussen will remain as its driver pairing into 2018.</p> <p>&ldquo;We will run with the same drivers that we have this year again next year, that is a given,&rdquo; he told the official F1 website.</p> <p>&ldquo;And given the other continuity aspects, we should be better racers next season.</p> <p>&ldquo;[Magnussen] can score points and that was the key for bringing him on board.</p> <p>&ldquo;Kevin can grab points and Romain can too. We now have 29 points. Last year around this time we also had 29 points, but did not score for the rest of the season.</p> <p>&ldquo;So now if we can score another 29 points by Abu Dhabi, that would be a great position.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15382http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15382Pirelli confirms cause of Vettel's British Grand Prix tyre failureFri, 21 Jul 2017 15:36:43 GMT<p>Pirelli has confirmed the reasons behind&nbsp;Sebastian Vettel&#39;s tyre failure during the final laps of the British Grand Prix, which cost the German a podium finish.</p> <p>Vettel had been in third place on the penultimate lap of the race before his front-left tyre failed, sending him wide through the right-hander at Luffield.</p> <p>As the failure happened during the opening half of the lap, Vettel lost significant time as he crawled back to the pit lane for repairs, dropping to seventh come the chequered flag, his title advantage over Lewis Hamilton cut to just one point.</p> <p>Pirelli, following an investigation into the cause of the problem, has revealed that a slow puncture was ultimately behind the failure.</p> <p>&quot;As appeared clear since Sunday afternoon, a full investigation has now confirmed that the original cause of the failure was a slow puncture,&quot; said Pirelli in a statement.&nbsp;&quot;The consequent driving back to the pits on an underinflated and then flat tyre led to the final failure.&quot;</p> <p>The cause of the slow puncture however isn&#39;t known, although there was debris on the circuit following a first lap crash between Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz. Vettel also heavily flat-spotted his front-left during the race (pictured).</p> <p>Vettel&#39;s Ferrari team-mate Kimi R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen also suffered a tyre failure on the lap before the German, and Pirelli confirmed in the immediate aftermath that the two drivers had encountered different problems.</p> <p>Alongside the publication of its findings into Vettel&#39;s failure, Pirelli revealed that an investigation into the cause of the Finn&#39;s issue is still ongoing.</p> <p>&quot;Kimi R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen&rsquo;s damaged tyre shows less evidence of what occurred, so further tests and analysis are still ongoing in Pirelli&rsquo;s laboratories and indoor testing facilities.</p> <p>&quot;It will take a few more days to reach a definitive conclusion.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15380http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15380Daniel Ricciardo expects Hungary to be a physically demanding raceFri, 21 Jul 2017 14:02:33 GMT<p>Daniel Ricciardo is expecting the Hungarian Grand Prix to be one of the most physically demanding of the year, given there are lots of high-speed corners and few straights to rest on, and ambient temperatures can be extremely high.</p> <p>The 2017 cars are expected to easily set lap records at the circuit, which makes it a far more demanding challenge than in previous seasons, something Ricciardo is wary of and has been preparing himself for.</p> <p>&quot;The Hungarian Grand Prix is always at the point of the season where summer is approaching so I&rsquo;m always in a pretty good place and the car is normally getting better as well. It all kind of comes good by the end of July,&quot; said Ricciardo.</p> <p>&quot;We&rsquo;ve got lots more grip this year so it&rsquo;ll be a bit more fun. The second sector is going to be amazing. That&rsquo;s one of my favourite sectors in F1.</p> <p>&quot;If&nbsp;Sunday&nbsp;is hot it&rsquo;ll definitely be a physically demanding race, so I can&rsquo;t make the mistake again of eating too much meat&nbsp;on Saturday&nbsp;night,&quot;&nbsp;joked Ricciardo, as he tends to take his team out for a pre-summer break meal after qualifying.</p> <p>&quot;This track means elbows out for sure as there are three key places where you can overtake. I&rsquo;ve made some good moves in Turn 1 in the past. Turn 2 you can go inside or outside, as both lanes work and the hairpin is fun too.&quot;</p> <p>Team-mate Max Verstappen says the higher grip levels they&#39;re expecting means some corners may need to be approached differently.</p> <p>&quot;We do have more grip this year so maybe you have to do a few different lines compared to the previous year, but all in all that&rsquo;s manageable and quite straightforward,&quot; he added.</p> <p>&quot;It&rsquo;s always a bit too early to say how we&rsquo;ll do in Hungary but we&rsquo;re constantly improving, trying to get a better balance and more downforce on the car. Luckily there are not too many long straights.</p> <p>&quot;It&rsquo;s a great track, especially in an F1 car. It&rsquo;s actually quite narrow and with high speeds it&rsquo;s really fun to drive so I&rsquo;m very much looking forward to it. I wouldn&rsquo;t say it&rsquo;s Monaco without walls, but it&rsquo;s definitely a bit more narrow than other circuits we go to.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15379http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15379Max Verstappen doesn't take Sebastian Vettel's criticism seriouslyFri, 21 Jul 2017 11:47:09 GMT<p>Max Verstappen says he cannot take criticism from four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel seriously, because of the incidents the German has gotten himself into this and last season.</p> <p>Verstappen and Vettel found themselves locked in a battle for position during the recent British Grand Prix, with the pair making slight contact as the Ferrari driver attempted to pass the Dutchman at Vale and Club for fourth place.</p> <p>Vettel accused the Red Bull man of moving under braking and said he was &quot;a bit jumpy&quot; whilst defending.</p> <p>But Verstappen says he doesn&#39;t listen to Vettel&#39;s criticism, because he cannot take it seriously when it&#39;s coming from a driver who has been involved in multiple incidents, including deliberately driving into Lewis Hamilton during the Azerbaijan GP, for which he was handed three penalty points, taking him to nine &ndash; three shy of a race ban.*</p> <p>&quot;I don&#39;t take that [criticism] seriously,&quot; Verstappen is quoted as saying by <em>Eurosport</em>. &quot;Especially not after all the things he did. If you look at the penalty points that he&#39;s got...</p> <p>&quot;The fight with Sebastian was good. It was hard but fair, I think,&quot; added the 19-year-old. &quot;That little bit of contact maybe not, but for the rest everything was OK.&quot;</p> <p>Verstappen was disappointed with Red Bull&#39;s pace at Silverstone, which meant he was unable to stay with Vettel and Kimi R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen in the latter stages of the race, until both suffered tyre blowouts, but is hopeful of making gains at the next race in Hungary when Red Bull introduces its latest upgrades.</p> <p>&quot;We were still too slow, of course, but I think we did the maximum,&quot; he said. &quot;I think it was positive. We scored points. And now we need to improve the car.</p> <p>&quot;Hard to say,&quot; he replied when asked about his expectations for Hungary. &quot;We get a lot of updates, so we need to see how these work. We shall see.&quot;</p> <p>*Three of Vettel&#39;s penalty points expired after the British GP, taking his total down to six.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15378http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15378Daniil Kvyat wants quick decision on Red Bull/Toro Rosso futureFri, 21 Jul 2017 11:18:41 GMT<p>Daniil Kvyat says he would like a quick decision on his future with Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso, but sees no reason why the two parties wouldn&#39;t wish to continue working together in 2018.</p> <p>Red Bull have yet to take up an option on the Russian driver for next season, whilst Kvyat&#39;s team-mate Carlos Sainz has been told he will remain with the outfit for a fourth season.</p> <p>Kvyat has been at the centre of several incidents this season, including in the two most recent races in Austria and Britain, where he was involved in first lap incidents, the blame for both placed on his shoulders by the race stewards.</p> <p>Kvyat however believes he and the team are on a good level and wishes to remain at Toro Rosso for another year.</p> <p>&quot;I think our common trust is going back to a good level so I don&#39;t see any reason why I wouldn&#39;t want to collaborate,&quot; said Kvyat.</p> <p>&quot;They know everything about me and we already had some talks before, everyone is happy, I am happy with them, I think they&#39;re happy with me so I don&#39;t see any reason why we wouldn&#39;t want to collaborate.</p> <p>&quot;I need an answer as soon as possible because obviously it is getting to the part of the season that you want to know your future.&quot;</p> <p>Whilst Kvyat doesn&#39;t wish to push the team for a decision, he believes having his future secured will allow him to focus on racing and getting back to where he needs to be.</p> <p>&quot;It would be great to know as soon as possible but I don&#39;t see any reason why we wouldn&#39;t want to collaborate together. I&#39;m not a guy to give any deadlines, it is in their hands so why would I force it. But they know the better you are settled with your future, the more you can stay focused on your actual job.&quot;</p> <p>He added: &quot;I want to do my job. Red Bull have been taking care of me for the last seven, eight years. Whatever Dr Marko will decide, I will take the answer.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15377http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15377Niki Lauda calls Halo decision an 'overreaction' by the FIAThu, 20 Jul 2017 21:41:09 GMT<p>Three-time Formula 1 world champion Niki Lauda has described the FIA&#39;s decision to push through the Halo head protection device an &quot;overreaction&quot; and one that the sport will &quot;regret later&quot;.</p> <p>The governing body has gone against an almost unanimous vote against its introduction &ndash; only Ferrari voted in favour &ndash; to push the device through on safety grounds.</p> <p>Lauda&#39;s Mercedes co-worker Toto Wolff admitted he isn&#39;t a fan of the Halo, but said the <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15376">FIA had no choice</a> but to act. Lauda meanwhile is strongly against the decision and says it&#39;s an overreaction to recent events and will destroy the DNA of the sport.</p> <p><font>&quot;There is no doubt that you have to improve safety where you can,&quot; the 68-year-old, who has been involved in life-threatening accidents during his F1 career, told <em>Auto Motor und Sport</em>.</font></p> <p><font>&quot;We tried the Halo, then the Aeroscreen from Red Bull and the Ferrari&nbsp;Shield.&nbsp;</font><font>No one is 100 per cent&nbsp;convinced [by these].&nbsp;</font><font>You have to make the right decision.&nbsp;</font><font>The Halo is the wrong one.&quot;</font></p> <p><font>Lauda believes F1 is now safer than ever and with the risk of flying wheels greatly reduced thanks to new stronger tethers, head protection isn&#39;t such a massive issue, particularly as the Halo wouldn&#39;t have helped Jules Bianchi and it&#39;s possible it wouldn&#39;t have helped Felipe Massa when a loose spring struck his head.</font></p> <p><font>&quot;The Halo destroys the DNA of a Formula 1 car,&quot; added Lauda.&nbsp;&quot;The FIA ​​has made F1 as safe as it gets.&nbsp;</font><font>Also the danger of flying wheels is largely stopped, because the wheels are now more firmly attached.&nbsp;</font><font>The risk to the drivers has become minimal.</font></p> <p><font>&quot;There is 100 per cent a better solution than the Halo, o</font><font>therwise we would not have tasted three [other] things.&nbsp;</font><font>If we find something that does not destroy the aesthetics, then it will be introduced in 2019.&nbsp;</font><font>It&#39;s as simple as that. There is no reason to do something we will regret later.&quot;</font></p> <p><font><font>He added: &quot;We&#39;re just [now] trying hard with [the introduction] of fast cars [to attract] new fans. T</font></font><font><font>his is destroyed by an overreaction.&quot;</font></font></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15376http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15376FIA had no choice over Halo introduction - Toto WolffThu, 20 Jul 2017 21:19:03 GMT<p>Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff believes the FIA had &quot;no choice&quot; but to push the Halo head protection device through for the 2018 season, despite strong opposition.</p> <p>Formula 1 has been looking to introduce greater head protection following a number of incidents in F1 and other motorsport categories recently. The Halo was a solution put forward by Mercedes, followed by the Red Bull Aeroscreen and then the Shield &ndash; which was mostly recently tested last weekend during the British Grand Prix.</p> <p>Sebastian Vettel completed&nbsp;just a single lap with the Shield fitted to his Ferrari after complaining of feeling &quot;dizzy&quot;, which put the brakes on further tests with the device until further development has taken place.</p> <p>Therefore the Halo has been chosen by the FIA as the most suitable option and despite a reported nine of the ten teams present at the Strategy Group meeting on Wednesday voting&nbsp;against its introduction, the FIA chose to push it through on safety grounds.</p> <p>Wolff believes they had no other choice but to&nbsp;act after already delaying its introduction by a year.</p> <p>&quot;I think that probably the FIA had no choice than to introduce the Halo,&quot; Wolff said on Thursday. &quot;It is the mandate of the FIA to increase the safety, we have looked at various systems and none of them really worked.</p> <p>&quot;The Halo was the only one that was just about right.&quot;</p> <p>Wolff admitted he wasn&#39;t a fan of how it looked, but said they must live with the FIA&#39;s decision.</p> <p>&quot;I don&#39;t like the look&nbsp;of it and the aesthetics, but the decision was made yesterday, now we have to make the best out of it.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15374http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15374Pascal Wehrlein expects big performance boost from major Sauber upgradeThu, 20 Jul 2017 17:28:30 GMT<p>Sauber&#39;s Pascal Wehrlein says he is expecting their Hungarian Grand Prix development package to deliver a big performance boost, as almost the entire car will be upgraded for the race.</p> <p>The Swiss team is currently ninth in the standings, ahead of only McLaren which has two points to Sauber&#39;s five &ndash; all of which have been scored by Wehrlein thanks to his eighth place finish&nbsp;in Spain and tenth in Azerbaijan.</p> <p>Whilst Renault remain some way in the distance with 26 points, Sauber&#39;s aim is to finish ahead of McLaren, which will be a difficult task as both the Woking team and its engine supplier Honda are working hard on delievering race-by-race developments.</p> <p>But Wehrlein is confident of a boost in that fight at the next round in Hungary.</p> <p>&quot;For&nbsp;Budapest we are set for a big upgrade,&quot; he told the official Formula 1 website.&nbsp;&quot;Almost all the car &ndash; or all the aero side &ndash; will be new, so that should give us a good performance boost.</p> <p>&quot;If what the data shows really can materialise we could be on a good go. So the plan is to [move past]&nbsp;the Silverstone weekend and look forward to Budapest!&quot;</p> <p>Wehrlein admits that Sauber needs &quot;luck&quot; to score points this season, but says the team is working hard to change that, and with the recent signing of Frederic Vasseur as team boss, the German feels that progress isn&#39;t far off.</p> <p>&quot;The team wants to do better than we are doing now or did last season,&quot; added Wehrlein. &quot;So from now on we need &lsquo;lucky races&rsquo;.</p> <p>&quot;It is definitely a different situation now than it has been. The team wants to get back to where they were around five years ago. You can physically feel this desire in the team.</p> <p>&quot;I don&rsquo;t know how fast Fred can change things or how he can change them. He has so much experience in motorsport and in many other ventures outside racing. He is a very successful man. He could help Sauber. He could be very good for the team.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15373http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15373Stoffel Vandoorne completes latest Pirelli wet-weather tyre testThu, 20 Jul 2017 15:09:36 GMT<p>Pirelli has concluded its latest in-season tyre test, with McLaren&#39;s Stoffel Vandoorne completing two-days of running at the former French Grand Prix venue, Magny Cours.</p> <p>Pirelli is allowed 25 days of in-season testing with 2017 cars this season, and the Formula 1 supplier chose to focus on improving its&nbsp;wet weather tyres, specifically the intermediate tyre, with the test taking place across&nbsp;Wednesday and Thursday.</p> <p>Vandoorne completed 135 laps of trouble-free running on Wednesday and a further 117 laps on Thursday, bringing the Belgian&#39;s total to 252, or 1,108km &ndash; just under four race distances.</p> <p>A second test also took place at Silverstone on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Williams&#39; Lance Stroll and Haas reserve Antonio Giovinazzi completing slick and wet tyre testing for Pirelli.</p> <p>Both tests were &#39;blind&#39;, which means the drivers and teams are unaware of what compound is being used, and whether it is a current or prototype construction. All the data collected is distributed by Pirelli to all 10 teams.</p> <p>The next tyre test is due to take place at the Hungaroring in August.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15372http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15372Codemasters adds classic McLarens to F1 2017 gameThu, 20 Jul 2017 14:42:45 GMT<p>Codemasters have&nbsp;revealed the final classic cars which will be included in the latest edition of its official Formula 1 game, F1 2017, which comes out on August 25.</p> <p>The previously announced&nbsp;McLaren MP4/4 will be joined by the MP4/6, raced by Ayrton Senna and Gerhard Berger in 1991, with the former taking his third and final drivers&#39; title that year whilst the car would secure the constructors&#39; championship.</p> <p>The 1998 title winning MP4-13, driven by champion Mika H&auml;kkinen and David Coulthard will also be available, as will Lewis Hamilton&#39;s title-winning&nbsp;MP4-23, which was also driven by&nbsp;Heikki Kovalainen.</p> <p>&quot;It&#39;s&nbsp;pretty hard to pick just four significant McLaren Formula 1 cars &ndash; so all credit to the people at Codemasters for choosing these iconic, championship-winning machines,&quot; commented McLaren executive director Zak Brown.</p> <p>&quot;I don&rsquo;t think you&rsquo;d be able to get away without choosing 1988&rsquo;s MP4/4 &ndash; it&rsquo;s probably the most iconic F1 car of the last 40 years, a machine that looks as sleek and fast today as when it was first raced. And it&rsquo;s superbly complemented by another Senna car, the V12-engined MP4/6; Mika Hakkinen&rsquo;s beautiful, silver-liveried MP4-13, and Lewis Hamilton&rsquo;s jaw-droppingly complex MP4-23.</p> <p>&quot;If you&rsquo;re a gamer, or a McLaren fan of any era, then I think you&rsquo;re going to want to race these cars in Codemasters&rsquo; F1 2017.&quot;</p> <p>They join a list of already iconic classic&#39;s from the past, including the Williams FW14B, Ferrari 412, Renault R26 and the Red Bull RB6.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15371http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15371F1 insider: John Hogan - Bringing the circus to townThu, 20 Jul 2017 11:29:50 GMT<p>Imagine the surroundings&hellip;</p> <p>I&rsquo;m perched at a beautiful round oak table sipping English Breakfast tea with soy milk from fine china with a magnificent grand chandelier to my left as John Hogan&rsquo;s mesmerising stories dance through my ears. I listen intently as the famed sponsorship guru, known as Formula 1&rsquo;s &lsquo;Marlboro Man&rsquo;, relays how he became one of the most prominent figures ever to grace motorsport. I&rsquo;m sure that the walls of the Monaco&rsquo;s iconic L&rsquo;Hotel Hermitage have heard many stories, but none like his&hellip;</p> <p>Having worked in F1 now for over 40 years there was definitely no shortage of conversation and there&rsquo;s no doubt the interview could have easily gone on for days.&nbsp;</p> <p>Humble, intriguing and still displaying a distinct sparkle in his eyes, Hogie kicked off the interview with his recollection of being on the inaugural flight on the Concorde with his &lsquo;mate&rsquo; Bernie Ecclestone, en route the Brazilian GP. On that same trip he even saw one of the Great Train robbers being arrested in his hotel - and that was just in the first five minutes of our chat.</p> <figure class="image" style="float:right"><img alt="" height="220" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Features/IMG_3218.jpg" width="400" /> <figcaption>The setting: Monaco&rsquo;s iconic L&rsquo;Hotel Hermitage</figcaption> </figure> <p>This former Phillip Morris executive responsible for Marlboro and now Special Advisor to CSM, was the first man to plaster the tobacco giant&rsquo;s sticker on his good mate James Hunt&rsquo;s McLaren in the early 70s.&nbsp;</p> <p>That humble deed ignited a partnership that launched both brands to the highest heights of the sport for over 30 successful years and changed the course of sponsorship in motorsport!</p> <p>As a trusted voice, firstly the BRM F1 team, and then to Teddy Mayer&rsquo;s McLaren outfit, it was the spritely young Hogie who advised the latter to sit Hunt in the hot seat way back when, securing his step from F3 to F1.&nbsp;</p> <p>His stories of Hunt, which he relays with an affectionate gaze, made my jaw drop and my eyebrows rise to the hotel&rsquo;s intricately designed roof. Unfortunately for our readers, I promised John I wouldn&rsquo;t print any of those very entertaining tales, but man would I love to&hellip;</p> <p>After listening to one of the most incredible careers I have ever heard told, Hogie told me that he probably sees his greatest achievement in motorsport as being the role he played in helping to reform the McLaren team in the late 70s and early 80s.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Basically what had happened was they had fallen downhill,&rdquo; he explained. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s happened to a lot of teams out there now that it&rsquo;s happening [<i>to them</i>] again. This business is about people. I knew Ron Dennis, I knew what an awkward bugger he can be and I thought he&rsquo;s just the right person to turn the team around, which he did.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Essentially, he renewed the whole McLaren team, which was a good team but had just fallen on hard times,&rdquo; he continued. &ldquo;We paid for the hard times, and he turned them around. I&rsquo;m responsible for Ron Dennis! That&rsquo;s a big statement but totally true.&rdquo;<br /> Bringing his friend Ron and McLaren together proved to be a winning formula and one that John is unmistakably proud of. The blue eyes lighting up as the words spilled from his mouth, coated in that Aussie twang, Hogie took me back to where it all began...&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;d started off with the BRM F1 team in 72; 73 wasn&rsquo;t particularly successful and we could see it wasn&rsquo;t going anywhere and then we moved to the McLaren team in 74&hellip; I&rsquo;ll tell you a story about that later on which you can&rsquo;t record,&rdquo; he added with a mischievous grin and a chuckle.&nbsp;</p> <figure class="image" style="float:right"><img alt="" height="220" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Features/Even%20when%20Hogan%20hired%20Ron%20Dennis%20(right)%20to%20join%20Teddy%20Mayer's%20(centre)%20McLaren%20team%20with%20designer%20John%20Barnard%20(left)%2C%20Marlboro%20was%20front%20and%20centre.jpg" width="400" /> <figcaption>John Barnard, Teddy Mayer and Ron Dennis</figcaption> </figure> <p>&ldquo;We were with McLaren for 15-20 years which kind of proved the value of staying with what you&rsquo;ve got and improving on it rather that throwing it away and starting again,&rdquo; Hogie continued, making note of the team&rsquo;s current situation as a potential positive for sponsors.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The heritage and the value that we got out or the goodwill that we got from the press or the media for staying with McLaren and rebuilding them was enormous. I didn&rsquo;t get the blame for employing Ron Dennis at all,&rdquo; he added sarcastically.</p> <p>As I soon realised, there was no stopping Hogie&rsquo;s entertaining humorous streak creeping into the conversation every now and then. It&rsquo;s easy to see why the likes of Senna, Prost, Lauda, Hunt, Ecclestone and a long list of other legends of the sport called the quick-witted executive a friend and many still do.</p> <p>Another pot of tea was needed as John excitedly recalled memory after memory between bites of his omelette. Winning with McLaren on track and Marlboro off track was the aim of the game, a game both brands played very well, propelling them into a league of their own!</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s interesting, I didn&rsquo;t really interject because we were a tobacco company our activation was about getting the brand name shown, that was all, just get the name out there, get it up in lights,&rdquo; Hogie explained passionately. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s what you&rsquo;re selling - Marlboro was the biggest selling single brand in the world, think it still is.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s where our desire to win came from because if you win, you get exposure and that&rsquo;s essentially what it was about,&rdquo; he mused. &ldquo;It was a totally different activation than it is now. The stuff that is called activation now we couldn&rsquo;t do anyway, contacting consumers directly putting product in their hand, we couldn&rsquo;t do that.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>It wasn&rsquo;t only winning that made Marlboro/McLaren a household name, their eye-candy activations were just as successful.</p> <p>There are many things that John will be remembered for in the industry forever and this is one of them. One of the most entertaining branding activities, especially for the men of the world, was the first Marlboro grid girls. Some of the most stunning ladies in Europe were hand-picked to promote the brand in what proved to be the best way possible.&nbsp;</p> <figure class="image" style="float:right"><img alt="" height="220" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Features/Hogan's%20best%20mate%20James%20Hunt%20was%20an%20enthusiastic%20consumer%20of%20his%20sponsor's%20products.jpg" width="400" /> <figcaption>James Hunt, an avid consumer of Marlboro</figcaption> </figure> <p>And it was all John&rsquo;s brilliant idea. Hiring the top beauty queens of the world to be dressed in the Marlboro brand then interact with the public was sheer genius and so surprising that no one else had thought of it.</p> <p>&ldquo;The catch was &lsquo;how do we bring the circuit to town&rsquo;, I always had this picture, I&rsquo;m a bit of a picture thinker, and I&rsquo;d seen a film called the Four-ring Circus [<i>staring Kirk Douglas</i>]. It was all about bringing the circus to town - lions, tigers, the people. I thought, hang on, that&rsquo;s bringing the circus to town.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>Hogie&rsquo;s &ldquo;circus&rdquo; of Marlboro girls entertained, enthralled and stole the eyes of every passer-by, at the same time spreading the word of the Marlboro brand like wildfire.</p> <p>&ldquo;Prior to every Grands Prix in Europe we used to have super cars, Lamborghinis, vans, they were staffed by attractive young girls who were all Miss Sweden, Miss Finland etc and they&rsquo;d go and blitz a town and give out stickers and posters and post cards [<i>saying</i>] come to the Grand Prix and that had a tremendous effect.</p> <p>&ldquo;It got photographers excited because they were attractive girls, they were dressed in tight red trousers, shorts because we were bringing the circus to town,&rdquo; he enthused further.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It was harmless fun at the end of the day, it did a great job for the brand, positioned the brand where we wanted it and without blowing one&rsquo;s own trumpet. I think it worked.&rdquo;</p> <p>Creative brilliance, boldness and no fear of failure proved supreme personality traits which led John throughout his career. Eventually the &lsquo;Marlboro Man&rsquo; became Vice President, Marketing of Phillip Morris International and ruled the motorsport sponsorship roost for many years.</p> <p>Looking back, the 74-year-old guru, with the energy of a 40-year-old credits his success to simply doing the right thing at the right time.</p> <p>Transforming from playful to wise, Hogie concludes: &ldquo;We had courage with our convictions, we were not afraid of anything. McLaren are struggling again at the moment, but they&rsquo;ve got the right man at the helm, in Zak, to turn things around.&rdquo;</p> <p>To the unaware Hogie could be mistaken for a sweet, care-free man with a surprising spring in his step. Little do they know this former member of the &lsquo;Piranha Club&rsquo; is an incredible vault of F1 knowledge, stories, and secrets!</p> <p>Probably too modest to admit it, as he offers for me to join him for club sandwich in the Hermitage&rsquo;s stunning dining room, John Hogan has influenced and shaped our sport like few others ever have before, and probably never will.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15370http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15370Renault could run Robert Kubica at Hungary test as return beckonsThu, 20 Jul 2017 11:01:12 GMT<p>Renault are reportedly considering running Robert Kubica during one of its two test days following the Hungarian Grand Prix at the end of the month, as speculation about a possible return for the Pole mounts.</p> <p>Kubica has already completed two test days in a 2012 Lotus E20, both of which were organised by the Renault team. He impressed in both, completing a total of 210 laps without issue, prompting him to declare that the chance of returning to Formula 1 is <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15167">between 80 and 90 per cent</a>.</p> <p>Meanwhile Renault&#39;s Cyril Abiteboul said the team&nbsp;hadn&#39;t &quot;<a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15297">seen any obvious roadblocks</a>&quot; that would stop him returning, but urged caution as they&#39;d yet to see Kubica drive a 2017-spec car, which are much more physically demanding.</p> <p>With Renault keen for a test to take place in their R.S.17, the post-Hungary test is the perfect opportunity for Kubica to try out a modern F1 car to properly assess whether a comeback in 2018 is a reality.</p> <p>But with the rules stipulating that a team must run a young driver &ndash; a driver with fewer than three F1 races under their belt &ndash; on at least two of the four in-season test days, therein is the problem for Renault as they have already run Nico Hulkenberg during one of those days in Bahrain, and&nbsp;Sergey Sirotkin on the other.</p> <p>That means they can only run an experienced driver on one of the two days in Hungary, with the other day going to a young driver &ndash; likely to be Sirotkin again.</p> <p>Do Renault run Kubica at the expense of current full-time driver Jolyon Palmer and risk denting the Briton&#39;s confidence further amid a string of poor races and reliability troubles,&nbsp;which has seen him score zero points to Hulkenberg&#39;s 26? Or do they run Palmer out of fairness, despite it seeming unlikely that he&#39;ll be with the team next year?</p> <p>There is however an alternative thanks to Article 10.5e of the Sporting Regulations, which says a team may carry out one additional day of testing, during the season, with a current spec car, if they&#39;re planning on substituting a current driver for another.</p> <p>However that test must not take place at a current circuit on the F1 calendar and is only eligible for drivers that haven&#39;t competed in F1 during the past two seasons. Kubica would therefore qualify, having last raced in 2010.</p> <p>So Renault could run Kubica outside of the Hungary in-season test during a private track day with their R.S.17, whilst still giving Palmer an outing.</p> <p>If Renault were to then substitute Palmer for Kubica for the remainder of the season after that test, they wouldn&#39;t face a penalty, but if they chose to retain Palmer, they would be docked a day of pre-season testing ahead of the 2018 season as a penalty.</p> <p>So to minimise the impact on Palmer&#39;s career, they could opt to run the acclimatisation later in the season, or even prior to the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi, meaning the Briton would miss just one race and Kubica could try out a 2017 car and race in Abu Dhabi before making a full comeback next year.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15369http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15369FIA confirms 'Halo' will be introduced next seasonWed, 19 Jul 2017 18:37:38 GMT<p>Formula 1&rsquo;s governing body, the FIA, has confirmed that the &lsquo;Halo&rsquo; head protection device will be used in 2018, despite opposition from the majority of teams.</p> <p>Formula 1 has strived to increase head protection for drivers, with a number of options explored, and the Halo was trialled extensively in 2016.</p> <p>The Halo was originally scheduled to be introduced for 2017 but this was delayed by a year, while an alternative, the &lsquo;Shield&rsquo;, was explored.</p> <p>The Shield was trialled by Sebastian Vettel during practice at Silverstone but the Ferrari driver <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15291">commented that the device made him dizzy</a>, and it was removed from his car after one lap.</p> <p>On Wednesday, the FIA confirmed that it will push through the Halo for use in 2018.</p> <p>&ldquo;Following the unanimous agreement of the Strategy Group, in July 2016, to introduce additional frontal protection for Formula One and the repeated support from the drivers, the FIA confirms the introduction of the Halo for 2018,&rdquo; read a statement.</p> <p>&ldquo;With the support of the teams, certain features of its design will be further enhanced.</p> <p>&ldquo;Having developed and evaluated a large number of devices over the past five years, it had become clear that the Halo presents the best overall safety performance.&rdquo;</p> <p>All 10 teams were present during the Strategy Group meeting, with representatives from Renault, Toro Rosso, Sauber and Haas joining the regular members. It&#39;s believed the majority voted against the introduction of the Halo, but the FIA chose to override them on safety grounds.</p> <p>Other matters were discussed during the meeting, including the new power unit set to debut in 2021, with the FIA confirming that &quot;further analysis will be completed over the summer which will be reviewed at the next meeting of the Strategy Group in September.&quot;</p> <p>Cost control and improving&nbsp;the show were also tabled for discussion. The statement added that &quot;a new approach to cost control was presented and received unanimous support&quot;. Though no further details were given.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15368http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15368Steve Nielsen appointed as Formula 1's Sporting DirectorWed, 19 Jul 2017 16:06:08 GMT<p>Steve Nielsen has been appointed as Formula 1&rsquo;s Sporting Director, and will report directly to Ross Brawn, with the Briton to take up his role at the start of August.</p> <p>Nielsen has worked in Team Manager and Sporting Director roles at various Formula 1 teams, most recently with Williams.</p> <p>Williams announced earlier in 2017 that Nielsen would step away at the end of July, citing his desire to reduce his travel commitments.</p> <p>Nielsen will now join Formula 1&rsquo;s team, which has been gradually expanded since Liberty Media&rsquo;s takeover of the sport earlier this year.</p> <p>&ldquo;I have known Steve for many years and have seen at first hand his skills and ability,&rdquo; commented Brawn.</p> <p>&ldquo;His appointment will strengthen the working group we are setting up to work with the FIA and the teams in defining a framework for the technical and sporting regulations for Formula 1&rsquo;s next phase.</p> <p>&ldquo;Steve&rsquo;s main responsibility will be related to sporting and organisational matters, for example by attending the meetings of the Sporting Working Group.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15366http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15366Video: Sebastien Ogier fulfils childhood dream with Red Bull RB7 driveWed, 19 Jul 2017 11:28:59 GMT<p>S&eacute;bastien Ogier realised a childhood dream thanks to Red Bull when he got the opportunity to drive the title-winning&nbsp;RB7 at the Red Bull Ring in Austria last week.</p> <p>The four-time&nbsp;FIA World Rally champion is currently&nbsp;engaged in a fierce fight with Belgian&nbsp;Thierry Neuville, the Hyundai driver&rsquo;s poor start allowing Ogier to build an 11-point lead with co-driver&nbsp;Julien Ingrassia&nbsp;heading into 67th Rally Finland from July 27-30.</p> <p>With the summer break allowing the WRC circuit a much needed pause, following a hectic first half of the year, Ogier travelled to Spielberg to get behind the wheel and fulfil a childhood dream of his.</p> <p>&quot;As a kid I was watching [Ayrton]&nbsp;Senna, he was my idol, and of course I was dreaming one day to try this kind of car.&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;For a racing driver to have fun you need to be fast and a Formula One car is the fastest car you can drive, so of course every racing driver wants to feel that one day.&quot;</p> <p>Find out if M-Sport driver Ogier could master a car where top speeds hit 325km/h and the forces bearing down on a driver exceed 4.5G in the video above.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15365http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15365Cosworth set for F1 return in 2021 under new engine rulesWed, 19 Jul 2017 09:16:21 GMT<p>Cosworth is set to return as an engine supplier to Formula 1 when the tweaked engine formula comes into force, which is expected to be in 2021.</p> <p>The Northampton-based company was last involved as an engine supplier in 2013 when it supplied the Marussia outfit &ndash; the sole survivor of the three new entrants which joined in 2010, before its own collapse last year under the Manor banner.</p> <p>Cosworth supplied all three at the time; Virgin, HRT and Lotus, as well as Williams, with a 2.4 litre V8 engine, but exited the sport when the current power unit was introduced, partly because of the development costs involved on the hybrid side, but also because it couldn&#39;t secure enough customer teams to make the project profitable.</p> <p>But with a simpler engine formula set to be introduced in 2021, Cosworth confirmed to&nbsp;<em>Motorsport.com</em>&nbsp;that it is exploring a return and has actively been involved in framing what the new engine will look like, alongside current manufacturers, and potentially interested new entrants including Porsche/Audi and Aston Martin.</p> <p>&quot;I think that we&#39;ve got sufficient support from the existing teams, and we&#39;ve had discussions with some, that enable us to make the commitment to proceed [with returning],&quot; said Hal Reisiger, CEO of Cosworth.</p> <p>Reisiger even confirmed that Cosworth has some agreements already in place to supply &quot;some existing and future teams&quot;, enough that &quot;would enable us to be a sustainable engine partner&quot;.</p> <p>With an expected debut in 2021, or even 2020,&nbsp;Reisiger says Cosworth will need to begin development and testing soon.</p> <p>&quot;We would typically start in 2018. I know there is some discussion about moving it ahead by a year, and that would mean working really soon,&quot; he added.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15364http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15364Supersoft tyres preferred for Hungarian GPWed, 19 Jul 2017 08:06:02 GMT<p>Formula 1 teams have favoured the Supersoft tyres for next weekend&#39;s Hungarian Grand Prix, while the Medium compound has been rejected.</p> <p>Pirelli will bring the Supersoft (red), Soft (yellow) and Medium (white) compounds to the Hungaroring and, as per usual, drivers have been given free choice for 10 of their 13 allocated sets of tyres.</p> <p>On Wednesday morning, those choices were communicated, and every team but Haas has selected either nine or 10 sets of the Supersoft tyres, while conversely each driver will have just Pirelli&#39;s allocated set of Medium tyres available, with the compound not favoured.</p> <p>One set of Supersofts must be put aside for use only in Q3, while either the Softs or Mediums must be run for one stint of the 70-lap Grand Prix.</p> <p style="text-align:center"><img alt="" height="1200" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Formula1/Britain/unnamed.jpg" width="849" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15363http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15363Zak Brown: London GP would be a 'tall order', expects Silverstone to stayWed, 19 Jul 2017 07:01:14 GMT<p>McLaren chief Zak Brown believes Silverstone will remain the home of the British Grand Prix in Formula 1 beyond 2019, after labelling any proposed race in London as a &ldquo;tall order&rdquo;.</p> <p>Silverstone hosted the inaugural World Championship race in 1950 and has maintained an uninterrupted presence on the calendar since 1987.</p> <p>However, Silverstone&rsquo;s owners, the British Racing Drivers&rsquo; Club, last week triggered a break clause in its 17-year contract, signed in 2010, allowing it to drop hosting duties after 2019.</p> <p>Both Silverstone and Liberty Media have spoken of their respective desires to ensure the British Grand Prix continues to take place, although the latter body has not specified a location, with London mooted as a potential venue.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s a good way to test markets,&rdquo; Brown said of last week&rsquo;s F1 Live London event in the capital.</p> <p>&ldquo;Now people are taking about a London Grand Prix, which I think in this particular instance is a tall order and Silverstone will remain the home of Formula 1 racing in England.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think the infrastructure that would be required to put on a London Grand Prix would be unlike any other street race, unless you did it maybe around the Olympic Stadium.</p> <p>&ldquo;[But] I think it&rsquo;s a great race at Silverstone.&rdquo;</p> <p>Brown expects senior figures to thrash out a solution to ensure Silverstone remains on the Formula 1 calendar into the next decade.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think if you look around the track, sat down &ndash; which I&rsquo;m sure they [BRDC and Liberty] will do &ndash; and say &lsquo;we&rsquo;ve got a revenue gap here, how can we together generate revenue from the British Grand Prix... I think there&rsquo;s ways to do that,&rdquo; he commented.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15361http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15361Charles Leclerc to drive for Ferrari at post-Hungarian GP testTue, 18 Jul 2017 15:17:37 GMT<p>Formula 2 championship leader Charles Leclerc will drive for Ferrari at the post-Hungarian Grand Prix in-season test next month.</p> <p>The Monegasque driver joined Ferrari&rsquo;s Driver Academy at the start of last year, before taking the GP3 title with ART Grand Prix.</p> <p>During the season, he also tested for Ferrari and completed several first practice runs for the Haas F1 team.</p> <p>This season, he is racing in F2 and has dominated so far, with six consecutive pole position and five victories &ndash; giving him a 67-point lead after six rounds.</p> <p>He confirmed on Twitter that he will be completing one day of running for the Ferrari F1 team at the Hungaroring test, which takes place from August 1-2.</p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/Charles_Leclerc/status/887316840174759936">TWEET: Leclerc confirms Ferrari F1 test</a></p> <p>Leclerc will be at the wheel of Ferrari&rsquo;s 2017 car, the SF70-H. The team has yet to announce who will drive on the second day.</p> <p>Ferrari&rsquo;s reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi &ndash; who had an FP1 outing with Haas at Silverstone &ndash; and championship leader Sebastian Vettel shared running at the first in-season test in Bahrain.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15359http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15359Retaining Valtteri Bottas for 2018 'almost a no-brainer' - Toto WolffTue, 18 Jul 2017 10:28:45 GMT<p>Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says keeping Valtteri Bottas at the team for the 2018 Formula 1 season is &ldquo;almost a no-brainer&rdquo;.</p> <p>The Finnish driver is only on a one-year contract after being drafted in to replace 2016 F1 champion Nico Rosberg, following his shock retirement.</p> <p>Bottas has edged closer to the title fight in recent races, following his wins in Russia and Austria, and charging drives to second place in Baku and Great Britain.</p> <p>However, Wolff wants to see how the driver market puzzle comes together before committing to anything, and is also focused on looking beyond 2018 too.</p> <p>Mercedes is also in no rush to make a decision and an agreement is not expected before the summer break.</p> <p>&ldquo;He&#39;s almost a no-brainer [for 2018],&rdquo; Wolff said after the British Grand Prix. &ldquo;I would just like to get the puzzle together, and it&#39;s not only about 2018, but I think it is logical.</p> <p>&quot;I think it&#39;s about looking forward and what happens in &#39;19 and &#39;20, the risk and opportunities.</p> <p>&ldquo;That&#39;s why after Budapest, and hopefully a good race again, I&#39;m going to contemplate on a beach about what&#39;s right and wrong for the team.&rdquo;</p> <p>F1 championship leader Sebastian Vettel now holds a one-point lead over Lewis Hamilton after the British GP, with Bottas 23 points behind the Ferrari driver.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15358http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15358Nikita Mazepin, Lucas Auer get Force India test chance in HungaryTue, 18 Jul 2017 09:38:02 GMT<p>Force India will hand test opportunities to Formula 3 racer Nikita Mazepin and DTM title contender Lucas Auer during next month&rsquo;s running at the Hungaroring.</p> <p>Formula 1 testing will take place in Hungary on August 1/2, with Mazepin and Auer scheduled to run for half a day each on both the Tuesday and Wednesday.</p> <p>Mazepin, 14th in this year&rsquo;s F3 standings, tested for Force India at Silverstone last year, while the run in the VJM10 will be Auer&rsquo;s first chance to get behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m really looking forward to testing with Force India again,&rdquo; said Mazepin.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been working with the team for over a year and it&rsquo;s great to get another chance to drive the car.</p> <p>&ldquo;The last time I drove an F1 car was in 2016 so it&rsquo;s going to be interesting to make a comparison with the new 2017 regulations.</p> <p>&ldquo;I learned so much from the last test and it&rsquo;s an important part of my development as a driver.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been doing lots of simulator work to get ready for the test and I&rsquo;m working hard to make sure I deliver everything the team expects from me.&quot;</p> <p>Auer, currently second in the DTM title race, added: &ldquo;It&rsquo;s really exciting news &ndash; the most beautiful moment of my life. For me, it&#39;s a childhood dream come true to drive an F1 car for the first time.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&#39;m particularly proud that this will happen with Force India &ndash; a top Formula 1 team.</p> <p>&ldquo;I must say thank you to everybody who has worked to make this possible, especially to the team at Force India who have given me this opportunity.</p> <p>&ldquo;I will be aiming to make the most of the test - and, of course, I&#39;ll be savouring every second of it.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15356http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15356Tech Bite: Red Bull's updated British GP front-wingTue, 18 Jul 2017 08:14:54 GMT<p>The RB13&rsquo;s steady evolution continued at Silverstone as Adrian Newey&rsquo;s re-involvement in the team is beginning to show its influence.</p> <p>Red Bull were one of the first teams in the modern era of Formula 1 to look at how the mechanical and aerodynamic performance of the car can work cohesively, which is why we rarely see a huge visual upgrade for one particular race, or indeed an overall transformation of the car over the year &ndash; it is the summation of small incremental tweaks that inch the car&rsquo;s pace forward race by race.&nbsp;</p> <p>For the British Grand Prix we saw a new front-wing with subtle revisions to the outboard section.</p> <p>Previously the wing was divided into six distinctive elements but now the trailing three have been subdivided in two (see arrow). This means that eight individual aerofoils are controlling the flow of the air around the front tyre, the highest number we have seen in F1 for a few years.</p> <p>More slot gaps allows the introduction of airflow along the wing&rsquo;s curvature, decreasing the chances of flow detachment and allowing the wing to turn the air more aggressively.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15355http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15355Lewis Hamilton says 'there's no current reason' to retire from F1Tue, 18 Jul 2017 08:01:02 GMT<p>Lewis Hamilton says he plans to see out his current Mercedes contract, which expires at the end of the 2018 season, and says there&#39;s no current reason that would make him want to retire earlier than that, amid speculation about his future.</p> <p>The Briton has been the subject of much speculation recently, which some believing he has thought about hanging up his racing boots to focus on other projects, but Hamilton insists he&#39;s &quot;loving racing&quot; and&nbsp;will be in F1 with Mercedes next season.</p> <p>&quot;At the moment I&rsquo;m loving driving,&quot; said Hamilton.&nbsp;&quot;I feel like I&rsquo;m at my prime. I feel like I&rsquo;m driving better than ever and I&rsquo;m loving driving with this team.</p> <p>&quot;So I can&rsquo;t imagine&hellip;there is no current reason to want to have to stop.</p> <p>&quot;I&rsquo;m still enjoying it and I still have a contract with the team for at least a year so I plan to see that out at the moment.&quot;</p> <p>Even adding a fourth title, which would see him match the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Alain Prost, wouldn&#39;t encourage Hamilton to quit as the hunger to add more titles will always exist &ndash; which is in stark contrast to his former team-mate Nico Rosberg who retired days after winning his first title.</p> <p>&quot;Even getting another championship, it won&rsquo;t be a case of hanging up my gloves,&quot; added the 32-year-old. &quot;I will always want to get more.&quot;</p> <p>However&nbsp;nothing is impossible and Hamilton hinted that he could change his mind&nbsp;should&nbsp;circumstances drastically change in the next few months.</p> <p>&quot;I can&rsquo;t really say what is going to happen six months from now, except to say I am loving racing.</p> <p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know what is going to happen, I love driving and you could say it&rsquo;s unlikely [I would retire], but you can&rsquo;t say what frame of mind I will be in at Christmas.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15354http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15354Renault adamant Jolyon Palmer/Carlos Sainz rumours aren't trueMon, 17 Jul 2017 17:07:16 GMT<p>Renault has rubbished media speculation linking Carlos Sainz Jr. with a mid-season switch to replace Jolyon Palmer at the Enstone-based outfit.</p> <p>Reports surfaced in French media publications claiming Sainz Jr. would step in for Palmer at the Hungarian Grand Prix, with the Spaniard&#39;s Toro Rosso seat consequently taken by Red Bull junior and reigning GP2 champion Pierre Gasly.</p> <p>However Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul moved to dispel such rumours, telling Palmer directly on the Sunday morning of the British Grand Prix that his seat is safe, despite the Britain&#39;s recent struggles.</p> <p>&quot;I have completely dismissed speculation of him being replaced in Budapest,&quot; Abiteboul told&nbsp;<em>Autosport.</em></p> <p>&quot;It&#39;s not good [such rumours], particularly on Sunday morning [before a race].</p> <p>&quot;When I found out,&nbsp;I made it clear to everyone that there was absolutely nothing true in that, and I told that to Jo directly.</p> <p>&quot;I wanted to clear that off his mind before the start.&quot;</p> <p>Palmer has yet to score a single point this season while team-mate Nico Hulkenberg has 26 to his name, but much of Palmer&#39;s recent struggles have been down to poor reliability &ndash; he retired on the formation lap of his home race at the weekend with a hydraulic problem.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15353http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15353Silverstone retirement 'less painful' than others - Fernando AlonsoMon, 17 Jul 2017 16:19:21 GMT<p>Fernando Alonso says his retirement from the British Grand Prix at Silverstone was &ldquo;less painful&rdquo; than others, because he does not think a top 10 result was possible.</p> <p>Engine component changes left the Spaniard with a 30-place grid penalty, meaning the McLaren driver lined up last for the race.</p> <p>He steadily made up ground through the early stages, but a fuel pressure problem on lap 35 cost him a race finish.</p> <p>His team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne finished just outside the top 10, so Alonso believes nabbing a point or two was not possible at Silverstone.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was a difficult weekend for us, starting last with the penalties; then in the race, when I was following a group of cars, I had another issue,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;Hopefully, it hasn&rsquo;t done any damage to the engine and we&rsquo;ll be able to keep using it in the future.</p> <p>&ldquo;Stoffel was 11th, so I think we weren&rsquo;t quick enough to be in the points and I think I could have ended up 13th or 14th, so the retirement is a little bit less painful than it would be if we&rsquo;d lost a points finish.</p> <p>&ldquo;Now I&rsquo;m looking ahead to Hungary, which should be a better weekend for us.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15351http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15351Nico Hulkenberg admits sixth at Silverstone 'a big success' for RenaultMon, 17 Jul 2017 16:15:32 GMT<p>Nico Hulkenberg says sixth place at the British Grand Prix is a &ldquo;big success&rdquo; for Renault, adding the team&rsquo;s new upgrades are &ldquo;working well&rdquo;.</p> <p>The German driver set quick times in the mixed conditions during qualifying, taking sixth on the grid &ndash; which then became fifth, due to Valtteri Bottas&rsquo; demotion for an unscheduled gearbox change.</p> <p>He lost out to Bottas in the early laps but continued to pull away from the chasing pack, which included the Force India drivers.</p> <p>A leak around the exhaust in the closing laps caused him to gradually lose power and this allowed Daniel Ricciardo to sneak ahead, but he then gained a spot with Sebastian Vettel&rsquo;s late puncture.</p> <p>&ldquo;We are very happy with the race result,&rdquo; he explained. &ldquo;P6 is a big success for the team.</p> <p>&ldquo;We were able to get a good lap in qualifying and then to carry it through to the race. We had a strong race pace, and were able to keep ahead of both Force Indias, which is really positive.</p> <p>&ldquo;We lost some power at the end, especially down the straights, which made it easier for Daniel to pass me, but then we gained back a position from Seb [Vettel] when he had his problem.</p> <p>&ldquo;Overall this is a very positive result. The new upgrades worked really well, we were able to push the car and I&rsquo;m really pleased for the team.&rdquo;</p> <p>His team-mate Jolyon Palmer failed to make the race start after a hydraulics issue on the formation lap.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15350http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15350Franz Tost: British GP 'worst scenario' for Toro Rosso after clashMon, 17 Jul 2017 15:17:55 GMT<p>Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost labelled the outcome of the British Grand Prix as the &ldquo;worst scenario&rdquo; for the team, after its drivers collided on the opening lap.</p> <p>Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr. battled for position, though Kvyat drifted wide through Becketts, and collected Sainz Jr. as the pair rounded the left-hander.</p> <p>Sainz Jr. retired on the spot while Kvyat pitted for repairs and was penalised for re-joining the track in an unsafe manner, which triggered the collision.</p> <p>Kvyat <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15342">disputed his drive-through penalty</a> and suggested Sainz Jr. should have been more aware, while the Spaniard declined to offer his opinion.</p> <p>Tost, though, was circumspect, and believes the pair&rsquo;s actions robbed Toro Rosso of a potential top 10 finish.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was a big disappointment for the team because the worst scenario that can ever happen is the collision between teammates on the first lap of the race,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;This should not have happened.</p> <p>&ldquo;From a performance point of view, the car would&rsquo;ve been able to finish within the top 10 &ndash; Daniil&rsquo;s lap times were quite competitive, although the floor was damaged, as well as other parts on the car.</p> <p>&ldquo;We had to call him in to change the front wing and in parallel to this, we also changed the tyres to the Soft compound.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;We thought that he could maybe stay out longer, but then we had to do another pit-stop for the Supersoft.</p> <p>&ldquo;At the end we finished the race in P15, so with no points, but all we can do is forget about this race weekend and prepare ourselves in the best possible way for Hungary.&rdquo;</p> <p>Toro Rosso still holds sixth in the Constructors&rsquo; championship, albeit only four points clear of Haas, with Renault just a further three behind. &nbsp;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15345http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15345Issue 224 of Motorsport Monday is out now – High five HamiltonMon, 17 Jul 2017 08:33:10 GMT<p><strong>Issue 224&nbsp;of our free weekly magazine, Motorsport Monday, is online now and packed full of great content&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;<a href="http://mmuk.realviewdigital.com/?iid=154400#folio=1">click here</a>&nbsp;or the&nbsp;link below to start reading.</strong></p> <p>What a weekend of motorsport it was on both sides of the pond! Silverstone hosted a thrilling British Grand Prix, and although the victory was a dominant display by the local favourite, guessing the other two podium slots was an impossible as task as the result changed several times in the closing laps. Formula 1&#39;s support races, Formula 2 and GP3, were also in action.</p> <p>Then it is over to the N&uuml;rburgring in Germany for round 4 of the World Endurance Championship where&nbsp;the action was all about Toyota and Porsche duelling it out for 6 Hours&nbsp;in the LMP1 class.</p> <p>Meanwhile on the opposite side of the Atlantic it was New York City&#39;s first ever Formula E race - and a double header at that. With Sebastien Buemi on WEC duties in Germany, did title rival Lucas di Grassi make the most of the opportunity to close the gap? And how did the Frenchman&#39;s stand-in Pierre Gasly perform on his debut?</p> <p><a href="http://mmuk.realviewdigital.com/?iid=154400#folio=1"><img alt="" height="127" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Magazine/click-to-read.png" width="800" /></a></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15342http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15342Daniil Kvyat disputes penalty, Carlos Sainz Jr. remains tight-lippedSun, 16 Jul 2017 16:30:24 GMT<p>Daniil Kvyat disputed the penalty he received during the British Grand Prix, while Toro Rosso team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. remained coy, after the pair collided on the opening lap.</p> <p>Kvyat and Sainz Jr. battled on the first lap at Silverstone before coming to blows through Becketts, with Sainz Jr. spinning into retirement as a result.</p> <p>Kvyat was handed a drive-through penalty, and two penalty points, after stewards deemed he &ldquo;left the track and rejoined in an unsafe manner, causing a collision with Sainz.&rdquo;</p> <p>The Russian went on to finish in 15th position but was angry with the manner of his sanction, and believed Sainz Jr. also played a part in the collision.</p> <p>&ldquo;I knew already I wouldn&rsquo;t be on the perfect line for Turn 12, where the collision happened, since Turn 10, because you commit to the corner very fast,&rdquo; said Kvyat.</p> <p>&ldquo;Second of all I didn&rsquo;t leave the track, me and the team both agreed, because the punishment was for leaving the track, we need to understand it.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m narrowly [off], but within the track limits, we believe the penalty was too harsh.</p> <p>&ldquo;I believe between racing driver and racing driver, not normal people and journalists, [but] a racing driver knows when he sees what happens to me, that you&rsquo;re never going to be at a perfect line for Turn 12.</p> <p>&ldquo;So when you put yourself there you know the collision is 90 per cent unavoidable.</p> <p>&ldquo;I believe had the other car been a bit more anticipating about it, he would have been trying to get me back on the next straight.</p> <p>&ldquo;It didn&rsquo;t happen, just put yourself there, and just say to your team-mate &lsquo;okay, you crash in me&rsquo;.</p> <p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s what I believe happened, I completely disagree with penalty; yes of course there&rsquo;s responsibility on me also, but I think we both should be feeling responsible for what happened.&rdquo;</p> <p>Sainz Jr. was repeatedly asked about the incident during his post-race media session but declined to offer his full opinion.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not going to give any opinion about it as I think it&rsquo;s something to keep internally and analyse internally,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;But I think the images speaks for themselves, so I&rsquo;m not going to comment about it.</p> <p>&ldquo;We were battling for sure, giving each other quite a lot of room, going into fast corners, until I think one car lost control and hit the other one.&rdquo;</p> <p>When asked what he now expected from &ldquo;the other one&rdquo;, Sainz Jr. replied: &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know and I don&rsquo;t really mind, you know, it&rsquo;s something that will be discussed inside the team.</p> <p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t want to generate any polemics as I think the team has enough with two cars crashing out in the first lap to now have someone talking about the other one.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15341http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15341Pirelli: Vettel and Raikkonen tyre issues 'totally different'Sun, 16 Jul 2017 16:01:32 GMT<p>Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has confirmed that &ldquo;totally different&rdquo; tyre issues affected Kimi R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen and Sebastian Vettel during the closing stages of the British Grand Prix.</p> <p>R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen, running in second, slowed with a problematic front-tyre, and toured back to the pits, with his delay promoting Valtteri Bottas into second and Vettel third.</p> <p>However, Vettel suffered a puncture one lap later and dropped down to seventh position, elevating&nbsp;R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen back into third, and the German&#39;s title advantage over Lewis Hamilton was cut to one point as a result.</p> <p>Both R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen and Vettel were running on the Soft tyre during the closing laps, having both started on the Supersoft compound, but Pirelli says the issues were unrelated.</p> <p>&ldquo;Two totally different troubles, totally, totally different,&rdquo; said a Pirelli spokesperson post-race.</p> <p>&ldquo;Sebastian got a fail, a puncture, he was very much in the end. From what? We don&#39;t know exactly.</p> <p>&ldquo;For sure, he flat-spotted when he was fighting with Bottas.</p> <p>&ldquo;Maybe he was fighting sometimes on the kerb, because he was defending a position and so on. But he was simply making his job.</p> <p>&ldquo;The difference with Kimi is that when he came to the pits, the tyre was totally inflated, he was not having a total failure to the tyre &ndash; it was worn out, of course.</p> <p>&ldquo;With Kimi, the tyre is inflated, and you see all the tread worn out, starting to show the cable.</p> <p>&ldquo;With Vettel, you see the tyre worn out, which was broken on the inside, because of a puncture.&rdquo;</p> <p>Pirelli will conduct a thorough investigation into the respective problems in the coming week.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15340http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15340Red Bull 'played it safe' after Raikkonen tyre dramasSun, 16 Jul 2017 15:53:50 GMT<p>Max Verstappen says Red Bull elected to &ldquo;play it safe&rdquo; and make a precautionary additional stop, rather than risk a tyre failure, during the closing stages of the British Grand Prix.</p> <p>Verstappen held fifth position, but was poised to move into fourth position after Kimi R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen suffered a tyre failure in the final few laps.</p> <p>Verstappen pitted on the same lap as R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen, remaining behind the Finn, and remained in fifth, but moved up to fourth when Sebastian Vettel also encountered problems late on.</p> <p>&ldquo;It is a positive day, I am happy to finish the race and get some solid points once again,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;We got a bit lucky with Seb&rsquo;s puncture at the end and I pitted to be safe as I knew I had enough room behind me.</p> <p>&ldquo;The front left didn&rsquo;t feel great and having seen what happened to the Ferrari we played it safe.</p> <p>&ldquo;If I had seen Kimi pit at the end I may have stayed out to try and get a jump on him but we made the precautionary stop to make sure we finished.</p> <p>&ldquo;With a lot of fast rights here it takes its toll on the front left so we knew there would be issues late on.&rdquo;</p> <p>Verstappen earlier ran in third position for Red Bull after moving ahead of Vettel on the opening lap, and defended against the Ferrari driver, before ultimately being overhauled through the pit phase.</p> <p>&ldquo;At the beginning I knew I was quite a bit slower than Seb so I just did my best to stay in front and have some fun,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was the only thing I could do and luckily he didn&rsquo;t manage to pass me on track, after that little battle my race became a bit lonely.</p> <p>&ldquo;Fourth is a good result, probably one place better than we expected which is always nice.</p> <p>&ldquo;We have some upgrades coming in Hungary which I am hoping will make some steps towards being able to fight with the top two teams.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15339http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15339Lewis Hamilton hails 'faultless' Mercedes after British GP victorySun, 16 Jul 2017 15:26:05 GMT<p>Lewis Hamilton has described his Mercedes team as &ldquo;faultless&rdquo; during the British Grand Prix, after winning the race for the fifth time in his F1 career.</p> <p>The British driver started from pole position on home soil and had a good start, to lead the field on the opening lap at Silverstone.</p> <p>Having negotiated the early safety car, he was able to open up a considerable gap over Ferrari&rsquo;s Kimi Raikkonen, eventually finishing 14 seconds clear.</p> <p>It was his fourth consecutive triumph at the race and Hamilton admitted Mercedes did not put a foot wrong on Sunday.</p> <p>&ldquo;The team did an exceptional job this weekend, the car felt great and the team really were generally faultless,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m so proud of everyone at the factory. Valtteri did an exceptional job to come back from all the way in ninth - a perfect weekend for us in the team.</p> <p>&ldquo;I was up front, got a good start, after that I was able to manage the gap between myself and Kimi, and just bit by bit extended it.</p> <p>&ldquo;I could see on TV screens a few places around the track Valtteri&rsquo;s race so I could see a bit, then I heard at the end there were some tyre blowouts.</p> <p>&ldquo;I had graining and some vibration on mine so the last couple of laps I took it easy, as I knew that others were having trouble.</p> <p>&ldquo;When I crossed the line, I could have kept going, we really had the legs this weekend, you saw the crowd&hellip;</p> <p>&ldquo;The support has been immense, I&#39;m glad the rain held off. The amount of flags, the amount of support, the energy was tremendous.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15338http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15338Valtteri Bottas admits he 'got lucky' to take second at SilverstoneSun, 16 Jul 2017 15:16:25 GMT<p>Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas has admitted he &ldquo;got lucky&rdquo; to take second place at the 2017 British Grand Prix.</p> <p>The Finn started from ninth on the grid after a gearbox change penalty, but made a good start to move up several places.</p> <p>He was involved in some intense battles throughout the race, making his way ahead of Sebastian Vettel later in the race and into third place.</p> <p>Bottas was then promoted to second when Kimi Raikkonen suffered a puncture with just a few laps to go, giving Mercedes a 1-2 finish.</p> <p>&quot;For us as a team it was really a perfect weekend for the circumstances,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;How we started today from ninth, it&#39;s just amazing what we&#39;ve done today.</p> <p>&ldquo;The car was so good to drive, it was really quick, the team did perfect strategy for both of us, me and Lewis.</p> <p>&ldquo;I started the race with soft tyres, I had to run really long and we actually extended the first stint quite a bit because everything was still looking good.</p> <p>&ldquo;Towards the end on supersofts the pace was good with the fresh tyres. I got through on Sebastian, and was closing on Kimi, but I think realistically he was too far away for me to get P2, so I got lucky.</p> <p>&ldquo;On the other hand he got unlucky to lose his second place in the end, but a 1-2 is perfect.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15336http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15336Daniel Ricciardo awarded Driver of the Day for British GPSun, 16 Jul 2017 14:17:07 GMT<p>Red Bull Racing&rsquo;s Daniel Ricciardo has won the Driver of the Day award for the British Grand Prix after his drive from the back row to fifth.</p> <p>Problems in the first segment of qualifying saw him finish the session 20th, but despite gearbox and engine component change penalties, he started the race 19th.</p> <p>That was due to Fernando Alonso&rsquo;s huge 30-place grid penalty for power unit component changes, elevating him one position.</p> <p>However, that did not stop Ricciardo from a charging recovery drive to fifth place, despite a few setbacks along the way.</p> <p>Having made up ground early on, Ricciardo was shuffled back a few spots when he was forced wide at Luffield, dropping to 18th and last place.</p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/F1/status/886581221311913985">WATCH: F1 reveals British GP Driver of the Day</a></p> <p>The Australian bounced back by gradually moving up the field and benefitted from the late drama, with Sebastian Vettel falling to seventh with a puncture, to claim fifth.</p> <p>After some brilliant battles and a feisty performance, he finished a few seconds behind his team-mate Max Verstappen and was voted Driver of the Day by the fans.</p> <p>F1 supporters can vote for Driver of the Day from the mid-way point of the race and Ricciardo received the most.</p> <p>It is his first time winning the award this year, <strong>here&rsquo;s a look at who has won at each race so far in 2017</strong>:</p> <p>Australia &ndash; Vettel<br /> China &ndash; Verstappen<br /> Bahrain &ndash; Vettel<br /> Russia &ndash; Bottas<br /> Spain &ndash; Vettel<br /> Monaco &ndash; Vettel<br /> Canada &ndash; Vettel<br /> Azerbaijan &ndash; Stroll<br /> Austria &ndash; Bottas<br /> Britain - Ricciardo</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15334http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15334Kimi Raikkonen: 'Unlucky situations keep following us'Sun, 16 Jul 2017 14:15:48 GMT<p>Kimi R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen rued some bad luck during the British Grand Prix as a late puncture cost him second place, though the Finn still finished third after his team-mate Sebastian Vettel also suffered the same fate.</p> <p>With R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen stopping on lap 49 of 51, he dropped from second to fourth&nbsp;behind Valtteri Bottas and Vettel, but the German then suffered a puncture on the penultimate lap, handing the third back to R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen.</p> <p>He was left disappointed to lose second place, but believes he got the most out of his car.</p> <p>&quot;I think we got more or less the most out of the car in the race, they [Mercedes] were just a bit faster today,&quot; explained&nbsp;R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen.</p> <p>&quot;I was struggling in some points a little bit too go faster.</p> <p>&quot;Then unfortunately these&nbsp;unlucky situations keep&nbsp;following us and for whatever reason the front left, not really exploded, but the canvas came off the tyre,&quot; he added.&nbsp;&quot;Luckily I could get back in one piece.</p> <p>&quot;Unfortunately Seb had, a lap later, the same thing so not happy but better than nothing.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15333http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15333Lewis Hamilton dominates British GP as puncture costs Sebastian Vettel podium finishSun, 16 Jul 2017 13:38:01 GMT<p>Lewis Hamilton claimed a fourth consecutive British Grand Prix victory as he dominated from lights out to the chequered flag, while Sebastian Vettel hit late tyre troubles, costing the German a podium finish.</p> <p>The Mercedes man led from start to finish at his home event, never relinquishing the lead, to close the championship gap to leader Vettel down to just a single point at the halfway mark of the season, after the German took only seventh.</p> <p>Valtteri Bottas claimed second, 14 seconds adrift of his team-mate; Kimi Raikkonen had been running second, but a puncture on lap 49 of 51 handed the position to Bottas and allowed Mercedes to extend its championship lead.</p> <p>Raikkonen would go on to finish third thanks to his team-mate&#39;s puncture, whilst Max Verstappen, who at the time was right behind the Finn, chose to pit on the same lap as he complained of high tyre wear &ndash; however staying out would have handed the Dutchman a podium place. He finished fourth.</p> <p>Daniel Ricciardo was fifth for Red Bull, coming through from P19 on the grid, gaining a place on the last lap, demoting Renault&#39;s Nico Hulkenberg to sixth, with Vettel seventh and the two Force Indias in eighth and ninth, with Esteban Ocon leading Sergio Perez.</p> <p>Williams&#39; Felipe Massa completed the top ten, with McLaren&#39;s Stoffel Vandoorne narrowly missing out on the points in P11.</p> <p>The race began with an aborted start as Renault&#39;s Jolyon Palmer suffered a hydraulic issue on the formation lap, forcing his retirement before the race had even begun.</p> <p>Hamilton got a strong start to stay ahead of Raikkonen, whilst Vettel came under pressure from Verstappen as the pair switched places at Turn 1. Vettel would get back past Verstappen through the Loop before switching places again during a dramatic opening lap.</p> <p>Daniil Kvyat and team-mate Carlos Sainz tussled through Becketts with the Russian running wide, as he rejoined the circuit, he collided with Sainz and the pair span. Damage to Sainz&#39;s car saw him retire and the Safety Car deployed.&nbsp;</p> <p>Kvyat was hit with a drive-through penalty for yet another opening lap incident and now has 9 points on his license &ndash; with another three forcing a race ban.</p> <p>Both Fernando Alonso and Ricciardo made quick progress in the opening laps, climbing several positions before Ricciardo ran wide at Woodcote and dropped back down to last place.</p> <p>Alonso later retired from the race with a loss of fuel pressure and then a loss of power as a result.</p> <p>The result looked settled under drama broke out with two laps remaining as both Ferrari cars suffered punctures, costing them&nbsp;second and fourth places.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15331http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15331Confirmed starting grid for the 2017 British Grand PrixSun, 16 Jul 2017 11:00:26 GMT<p>A number of penalties has slightly reshuffled the grid for Sunday&#39;s British Grand Prix. Although the top three remain the same from qualifying, things change a little behind as Valtteri Bottas, Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo share a total grid drop of 50 places between them, the majority of which belong to the McLaren driver.</p> <p>Lewis Hamilton retains his pole position despite the threat of a penalty from the stewards for&nbsp;blocking Romain Grosjean, but the Briton was later cleared of any wrongdoing, much to Grosjean&#39;s anger as <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15322">he suggested the title fight was the reason</a> for that.</p> <p>Hamilton&#39;s team-mate Bottas drops from fourth to ninth thanks to a gearbox penalty &ndash; the same problem that hit Hamilton in Austria and saw him start eighth. That moves Max Verstappen, Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon and Stoffel Vandoorne a place higher each.</p> <p>Daniel Ricciardo starts from 19th after taking a gearbox penalty (+5) and then a new MGU-H (+10). He was however slowest in qualifying after a turbo failure, so actually gains a position thanks to Alonso&#39;s mammoth 30-place grid drop.</p> <p>The Spaniard took on several new engine components for this race, meaning he starts last after qualifying 13th, pushing a number of drivers up the grid.</p></div> <p><strong>Starting Grid for the 2017 British Grand Prix</strong></p> <table class="pure-table practice-table"> <tbody> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">Pos</td> <td class="driver_name">Driver</td> <td class="driver_team">Team</td> <td class="driver_icon">&nbsp;</td> <td class="driver_gap">+/-</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">1</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/admin/f1/img/flags_iso/16/gb.png" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Lewis Hamilton</td> <td class="driver_team">Mercedes</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/mw-img/cars/mercedes.png" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">2</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/admin/f1/img/flags_iso/16/fi.png" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Kimi Raikkonen</td> <td class="driver_team">Ferrari</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/mw-img/cars/ferrari.png" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">3</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/admin/f1/img/flags_iso/16/de.png" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Sebastian Vettel</td> <td class="driver_team">Ferrari</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/mw-img/cars/ferrari.png" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">4</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/admin/f1/img/flags_iso/16/nl.png" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Max Verstappen</td> <td class="driver_team">Red Bull</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/mw-img/cars/redbull.png" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">5</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/admin/f1/img/flags_iso/16/de.png" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Nico Hulkenberg</td> <td class="driver_team">Renault</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/mw-img/cars/renault.png" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">6</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/admin/f1/img/flags_iso/16/mx.png" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Sergio Perez</td> <td class="driver_team">Force India</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/mw-img/cars/forceindia.png" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">7</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/admin/f1/img/flags_iso/16/fr.png" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Esteban Ocon</td> <td class="driver_team">Force India</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/mw-img/cars/forceindia.png" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">8</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/admin/f1/img/flags_iso/16/be.png" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Stoffel Vandoorne</td> <td class="driver_team">McLaren</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/mw-img/cars/mclaren.png" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">9</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/admin/f1/img/flags_iso/16/fi.png" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Valtteri Bottas</td> <td class="driver_team">Mercedes</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/mw-img/cars/mercedes.png" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">+5</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">10</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/admin/f1/img/flags_iso/16/fr.png" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Romain Grosjean</td> <td class="driver_team">Haas</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/mw-img/cars/haas.png" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">11</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/admin/f1/img/flags_iso/16/gb.png" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Jolyon Palmer</td> <td class="driver_team">Renault</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/mw-img/cars/renault.png" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">12</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/admin/f1/img/flags_iso/16/ru.png" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Daniil Kvyat</td> <td class="driver_team">Toro Rosso</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/mw-img/cars/tororosso.png" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">13</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/admin/f1/img/flags_iso/16/es.png" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Carlos Sainz</td> <td class="driver_team">Toro Rosso</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/mw-img/cars/tororosso.png" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">14</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/admin/f1/img/flags_iso/16/br.png" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Felipe Massa</td> <td class="driver_team">Williams</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/mw-img/cars/williams.png" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">15</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/admin/f1/img/flags_iso/16/ca.png" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Lance Stroll</td> <td class="driver_team">Williams</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/mw-img/cars/williams.png" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">16</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/admin/f1/img/flags_iso/16/dk.png" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Kevin Magnussen</td> <td class="driver_team">Haas</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/mw-img/cars/haas.png" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">17</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/admin/f1/img/flags_iso/16/de.png" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Pascal Wehrlein</td> <td class="driver_team">Sauber</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/mw-img/cars/sauber.png" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">18</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/admin/f1/img/flags_iso/16/se.png" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Marcus Ericsson</td> <td class="driver_team">Sauber</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/mw-img/cars/sauber.png" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">-1</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">19</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/admin/f1/img/flags_iso/16/au.png" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Daniel Ricciardo</td> <td class="driver_team">Red Bull</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/mw-img/cars/redbull.png" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">+15</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="driver_pos">20</td> <td class="driver_name"><img alt="Flag" class="driver_flag" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/admin/f1/img/flags_iso/16/es.png" />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Fernando Alonso</td> <td class="driver_team">McLaren</td> <td class="driver_team"><img alt="Car Icon" class="driver_flag" height="20" src="https://www.motorsportweek.com/mw-img/cars/mclaren.png" /></td> <td class="driver_gap">+30</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15330http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15330Daniel Ricciardo to get new power unit for British Grand PrixSun, 16 Jul 2017 10:39:39 GMT<p>Red Bull have elected to fit Daniel Ricciardo&#39;s RB13 with a new power unit for the British Grand Prix, after the Australian&#39;s retirement from qualifying on Saturday means he will start from the back row of the grid.</p> <p>Ricciardo had been quickest in qualifying during Q1 before a turbo failure saw him grind to a halt on the circuit, bringing out the red flags and pausing the session.</p> <p>After a short stoppage, the session resumed and times began to fall as the damp track dried, pushing Ricciardo to the bottom of the time sheets, meaning he would start the race from last place, though he picks up a position thanks to Fernando Alonso&#39;s 30-place grid penalty, putting the Australian 19th on the grid.</p> <p>With such a lowly grid position, Red Bull have opted to fit a&nbsp;new internal combustion engine, turbocharger, MGU-H and MGU-K to Ricciardo&#39;s car for the race.</p> <p>The only one of those components to exceed the allocation of four per season is the MGU-H, which adds an additional ten places to Ricciardo&#39;s gearbox penalty from earlier in the weekend. However he remains 19th, thanks to Alonso&#39;s much larger penalty.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15322http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15322Romain Grosjean: Lewis Hamilton escaped penalty because of title fightSat, 15 Jul 2017 17:04:12 GMT<p>Romain Grosjean believes Lewis Hamilton escaped a penalty for blocking during qualifying because he is involed in a close championship battle with Sebastian Vettel, and the stewards were reluctant to interfere.</p> <p>Hamilton was investigated during qualifying after Grosjean complained he was held up by the Mercedes driver at Club corner during Q3.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15314">stewards chose not to penalise the Briton</a>, who claimed a dominant pole in front of his home crowd, as they didn&#39;t believe Grosjean was &quot;impeded&quot;.</p> <p>&quot;Surprised by the wording: &#39;the driver behind has not been impeded&#39;,&quot; Grosjean said. &quot;If losing 0.35-0.4 seconds in one corner is not being impeded, I am very surprised.</p> <p>&quot;I think it opens room for messy qualifying and the rules are pretty clear.&quot;</p> <p>Grosjean then hinted that the title fight could be the reason the stewards backed off from penalising Hamilton.</p> <p>&quot;I know there is a world title going on at the front but we are in a position where we actually fight as hard as the boys at the front and I was impeded today.</p> <p>&quot;How can I put it? Maybe if it was another driver there would have been something. It does feel sometimes that there are two types of decision.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15320http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15320Max Verstappen focused on finish after recent troublesSat, 15 Jul 2017 16:53:35 GMT<p>Red Bull&rsquo;s Max Verstappen says he is &ldquo;realistic&rdquo; over his prospects and wants to halt his run of misfortune during Sunday&rsquo;s British Grand Prix at Silverstone</p> <p>Verstappen qualified in fifth place, substantially behind the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers, but clear of the midfield pack, and will move up to fourth on the grid as a result of Valtteri Bottas&rsquo; penalty.</p> <p>Verstappen, though, is keeping level-headed, heaving retired from five of the past seven Grands Prix due to an array of issues, and is hoping to kick-start his flailing campaign.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was a lonely qualifying for me and we ended up pretty much exactly where I expected,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;We were lacking the speed and therefore unable to get close to the Mercedes and Ferraris but the car still felt good so I had fun out there. Fifth was the best we could have done today and I achieved that.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ll start tomorrow in fourth which of course is better but I never like to rely on penalties for other people to help, I wish I was there just on pace.</p> <p>&ldquo;We shall wait and see what the weather brings tomorrow, hopefully some rain as I think I have a better chance of challenging for a podium in the wet.</p> <p>&ldquo;I want to be realistic and not dream so I&rsquo;m hoping my luck has changed and I can have a good, fun race tomorrow and bring the car home.</p> <p>&ldquo;I am not talking about podiums or winning for now. If something happens to the cars in front then we can challenge for a better result.&rdquo;</p> <p>Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo led the way during the damp phase of Q1 but halted on track due to a suspected turbo failure and was unable to partake in the remainder of the session.</p> <p>As conditions improved, Ricciardo slipped through the order and was eliminated from contention, and will line up from 19th place on the grid.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m just disappointed not to show more of what we could do in qualifying as these conditions should have given us a bit more of an opportunity,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;We were quick straight out of the box today and I was P1 before the failure, so we look pretty good on the intermediate tyre.</p> <p>&ldquo;Tomorrow is where the points are, we&rsquo;ve got to work hard to get back in there but it is what it is.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15319http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15319Fernando Alonso says being quickest at the end of Q1 'feels good'Sat, 15 Jul 2017 16:50:35 GMT<p>Fernando Alonso put McLaren at the top of the timing screens for the first time since the team recoupled its relationship with Honda, and he says it &quot;feels good&quot;, even if it was for nothing.</p> <p>Alonso made a late decision to switch to the dry tyres at the very end of a damp qualifying and with just milliseconds left, he crossed the line before the chequered flag fell and&nbsp;was able to set a timed lap on them.</p> <p>That proved to be the quickest lap by far, with Alonso topping the times in Q1 by more than 1.3 seconds to Max Verstappen in second.</p> <p>&quot;We made the right call at the end of Q1 by switching to Option tyres,&quot; said Alonso.&nbsp;&quot;We took advantage of a track that was on the limit at that moment &ndash; and it was nice to hear people cheering.</p> <p>&quot;It&rsquo;s good for the guys in the garage as well: they deserve it as they have been working so hard these past couple of years, and, even if it&rsquo;s just for one moment, to be up there at the top of the time sheets feels good.&quot;</p> <p>Alonso eventually finished 13th quickest, but will of course start last having incurred a 30-place grid penalty, and is hoping for a chaotic race to make up some place.</p> <p>&quot;Not making it into Q3 allows us to choose our tyres for the race. We&rsquo;ll start last, owing to the penalties; starting on used Q2 tyres wouldn&rsquo;t have been ideal, so we&rsquo;re relatively happy with 13th.</p> <p>&quot;Now we need to think about&nbsp;tomorrow. We proved today that we&rsquo;re quite competitive in mixed conditions, so a wet/dry chaotic race could work in our favour. Hopefully it&rsquo;ll stay like this&nbsp;tomorrow, weather-wise.&quot;</p> <p>Team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne mastered the conditions too, ending up ninth quickest in Q3 &ndash; which is the first time he has outqualified Alonso.</p> <p>&quot;To take part in Q3 at Silverstone was a bit unexpected,&quot; said the Belgian.</p> <p>&quot;But I&rsquo;ve been working very well for the past couple of races, and we&rsquo;ve clearly seen the improvements inside the team &ndash; in Azerbaijan, in Austria, and here at Silverstone this weekend, Fernando and I largely matched each other&rsquo;s pace. It&rsquo;s obviously a pretty good feeling to have made that extra step.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15314http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15314Stewards take no action against Lewis Hamilton for blocking incidentSat, 15 Jul 2017 14:06:50 GMT<p>Lewis Hamilton will keep his 67th career pole position &ndash; now one shy of the all-time record set by Michael Schumacher &ndash; after the British Grand Prix stewards deemed he did not impede Romain Grosjean during qualifying.</p> <p>Grosjean complained that he had lost time behind the Briton when the two met at the Club corner, with Hamilton preparing for his second Q3 flying lap on his first run, while Grosjean was on a quick lap behind.</p> <p>The stewards said the matter would be investigated after the session, leaving Hamilton&#39;s pole provisional; shortly after, the stewards deemed Grosjean had not been &quot;impeded&quot; by the Mercedes driver and chose to take no further action.</p> <p>&quot;While Grosjean potentially may have been affected by presence of Hamilton, he was not impeded,&quot; confirmed the stewards.</p> <p>Grosjean felt he lost at least one position because of the incident.</p> <p>&quot;My first run in Q3 was really good, I got completely blocked by Hamilton in the last corner and lost a good three tenths,&quot; said the Frenchman.</p> <p>&quot;[It cost] at least one position, I would have had [Stoffel] Vandoorne at least. I&#39;m very unhappy with my first attempt being completely ruined at the last corner.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15313http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15313Sebastian Vettel rues tyre warm up issues in Q3Sat, 15 Jul 2017 13:59:40 GMT<p>Ferrari&rsquo;s Sebastian Vettel was left to lament tyre warm-up issues during his final Q3 run, as he was left in third place on the grid for the British Grand Prix.</p> <p>Vettel held second position after the initial laps but while he improved his time on his second run, his deficit to pole man Lewis Hamilton grew, as he also slipped behind team-mate Kimi R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen.</p> <p>As a result, Vettel will line up from third on the grid, but reckons Ferrari can still put Hamilton under pressure at his home event.</p> <p>&ldquo;On the last run I was a bit compromised,&rdquo; Vettel explained.</p> <p>&ldquo;The first sector, especially, because the tyres were not where they should have been, they [Ferrari] should have seen that on the out lap I was in a bit in traffic, in a bunch of three of four cars.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not ideal but anyway it&rsquo;s a decent result, the most important [thing] is car is good, we improved it for today and also tomorrow it should be better.&rdquo;</p> <p>On his chances of overhauling Hamilton, Vettel replied: &ldquo;There&rsquo;s always an opportunity, so we&rsquo;ll see.</p> <p>&ldquo;The target is to put him under pressure, he&rsquo;s been certainly very competitive all weekend.</p> <p>&ldquo;Nevertheless I think it&rsquo;s been a positive day for us, we improved the car, in qualifying the car was great.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15312http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15312Lewis Hamilton: 'The team didn't tell me about Romain Grosjean'Sat, 15 Jul 2017 13:58:29 GMT<p>Lewis Hamilton says he wasn&#39;t given any indication by his Mercedes team that Romain Grosjean was approaching him on track, amid an investigation into blocking which could threaten the Briton&#39;s pole position.</p> <p>The stewards announced an investigation into the incident after Grosjean complained that he had been held up by Hamilton, who was preparing for his first flying lap in Q3.</p> <p>Hamilton insists he wasn&#39;t aware of Grosjean&#39;s presence, with the team failing to inform him as they usually would.</p> <p>&quot;I need to watch the replay.&nbsp;I was coming around to start my lap, Valtteri [Bottas] was up ahead, I was, as we all do, trying to get the space,&quot; he explained.</p> <p>&quot;Behind me was one of the Force Indias, who then came in [to the pits], so there was no-one behind me, literally as I was about to get on the gas I looked in the mirror and saw there was a car coming, so I don&rsquo;t know if I got in the way, and if I did I apologise.</p> <p>&quot;I had no indication from the team that there was anyone coming,</p> <p>&quot;I think I just got away without blocking him but I need to look at the footage&hellip; I don&rsquo;t think he was that close when I had pulled away but I&rsquo;ll have a look.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15311http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15311Lewis Hamilton storms to dominant pole position at SilverstoneSat, 15 Jul 2017 13:14:01 GMT<p>Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton dominated qualifying&nbsp;at Silverstone to claim his fifth British Grand Prix pole position.</p> <p>The qualifying hour began in wet and drizzly conditions, but the session dried out as it progressed, leading to some incredibly fast times in the final segment.</p> <p>Hamilton was on top after the first Q3 runs but found even more time to take a clear pole, with the quickest lap of the current Silverstone configuration &ndash; a 1:26.600.</p> <p>He finished over half a second clear of Ferrari&rsquo;s Kimi Raikkonen, with Sebastian Vettel third fastest and Valtteri Bottas fourth &ndash; although he has a five-place grid drop for a gearbox change.</p> <p>Max Verstappen improved late on but remained fifth, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.</p> <p>Stoffel Vandoorne outqualified his team-mate Fernando Alonso for the first time and was ninth fastest, with Grosjean completing the top 10.</p> <p>The Frenchman however complained that he had been blocked by Hamilton, costing him a higher grid slot, though stewards cleared Hamilton shortly after the conclusion of the session.</p> <p>Renault driver Jolyon Palmer just missed out on a spot in the final segment of qualifying, in front of his home crowd, after being squeezed into the drop zone by Perez.</p> <p>Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr. were 12th and 14th for Toro Rosso, the latter only setting a timed lap in the final minutes of the session.</p> <p>Alonso finished between them, having set the pace in Q1 after a brave final lap on supersoft tyres &ndash; when everyone else was on intermediates.</p> <p>However, the Spaniard will start the race from last due to a 30-place grid penalty. Felipe Massa completed the Q2 order in 15th. &nbsp;</p> <p>A late lap on supersofts from Alonso pushed Lance Stroll into the Q1 drop zone in the final seconds, joining Kevin Magnussen and the Sauber duo of Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson.</p> <p>Red Bull&rsquo;s Daniel Ricciardo suffered a turbo failure mid-way through Q1, bringing out a brief red flag. He was quickest at the time, but conditions improved as the session progressed.</p> <p>The Australian would have been set to drop to the back of the grid anyway due to a five-place gearbox change penalty, but tumbling lap times meant he ended the session 20th and last.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15310http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15310Formula 1 insight: Rise of the Pink PantherSat, 15 Jul 2017 11:29:08 GMT<p>Standing rigidly in the Force India pit garage, beads of sweat forming on his brow from both the heat and tension, BWT&rsquo;s CEO (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) Lutz Huebner looked on, filled with anticipation. The global water technology company were about to make their debut in F1 and they weren&rsquo;t entering quietly. Throughout the pristine space focus and concentration was plastered on every team members face as they prepped the car for the first race of the season, the 2017 Australian Grand Prix.</p> <p>As the garage covers parted, the&nbsp;VJM10-02 rumbled out of its den to an audience of almost 100 photographers. They were eager to catch a glimpse of F1&rsquo;s first &lsquo;pink panther&rsquo;, which BWT had helped create.</p> <p>&ldquo;Everybody was nervous. After 14 years of marketing I was nervous. That was a very special moment,&rdquo; Lutz recalls, his voice filled with emotion. &ldquo;If you see the car it&rsquo;s iconic from my point of view. One of the most interesting moments in my marketing career was putting the car on the track in Melbourne. When it came out it was unbelievable. It was like George Clooney (arriving). Until the victory of Sebastian Vettel in that race we were topic number one in Formula 1 worldwide. Still today we have one of the most photographed cars on the grid.&rdquo;</p> <p>As Esteban and Checo sped past the Albert Park grandstand at 200-300km an hour, hunting down the Ferraris the bright blue BWT logo against the pink background was as clear as, well, water. A very well thought out colour scheme for racing right there.</p> <p>In what Lutz describes as &ldquo;a positive shock for the race track&rdquo; the Austrian-based company initiated their pink campaign in motorsport by transforming the Mercedes AMG DTM cars in 2015. The distinct branding of their Magnesium Mineralised Water product was used to create the eye-catching livery.&nbsp;</p> <p>For a company that prides itself on being Europe&rsquo;s market leader in water treatment, desalination plants, filter jugs and pharmaceutical water, motorsport sponsorship proved to be a huge success. Their customers increased and brand exposure heightened.&nbsp;</p> <p>F1 soon became BWT&rsquo;s next challenge. They began the search for a willing partner, speaking with a number of teams and Force India were the ones to raise their hand, welcoming BWT as their new sponsor.</p> <p>&ldquo;For us the only solution was to bring a big bang into F1 with this pink colour code,&rdquo; Lutz explained. &ldquo;We had a couple of discussions with Force India (and other teams), very interesting team. They said at the end, we will do it. We will make the car pink.&rdquo;</p> <p>But it wasn&rsquo;t just that the Silverstone-based team were interested in &ldquo;feeling the pink force&rdquo;, their repore also helped seal the deal.</p> <p>&ldquo;With all the emotions and all these iconic moments that motorsport has for you we need a cool brain and very professional work. It&rsquo;s the same in the team. If you see the Force India team they are low budget and they are extremely hard working, extremely professional and extremely cool, this fits perfectly together with us.&rdquo;</p> <p>Standing out against their competitors on the supermarket shelves, BWT was now doing the same on the world&rsquo;s top race circuits. The aim of entering F1 was to get the brand noticed worldwide, and that they did at lightning speed. The bold, simple yet extremely effective statement certainly had people from far and wide asking &lsquo;who is BWT?&rsquo;.</p> <p>The brightly-coloured machine somehow even sparked a homosexual debate which was quickly shut down by the social media reaction alone Lutz explained. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t see that this is a very women-oriented colour. It&rsquo;s visible and it&rsquo;s very, very much different.&rdquo; And if you&rsquo;ve seen Lewis Hamilton&rsquo;s new hot pink sneakers you would have to agree.</p> <p>With Force India fighting Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull in almost every race, Lutz believes the partnership is in a &lsquo;dream position&rsquo;. &ldquo;We are in the position of the challenger and the mass is always identifying with the challenger not the establishment.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>With a 3-5 year plan in place for the Force India &lsquo;pink panthers&rsquo; BWT expect to see the changes hit their bottom line in the longer term. For now, they&rsquo;re chuffed with having been a pioneer in bringing something new to F1. And who knows, we could well find a VJM10-02 tickling a museum pink one day.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15309http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15309New PU parts lead to 30-place grid drop for Fernando AlonsoSat, 15 Jul 2017 10:16:10 GMT<p>Fernando Alonso&rsquo;s grid penalty for the British Grand Prix is now up to 30 places after new power unit elements were fitted prior to Saturday&rsquo;s third practice session.</p> <p>Alonso entered the weekend with a five-place demotion for using his fifth Energy Store of the season, though Honda warned that further sanctions were likely to follow.</p> <p>These were confirmed on Saturday morning, with the FIA revealing that an eighth Turbocharger and eighth MGU-H have been installed in his McLaren MCL32.</p> <p>These sanctions come with a 10- and five-place penalty respectively.</p> <p>A sixth Internal Combustion Engine and sixth MGU-K have also been installed, with each of these transgressions earning a five-place demotion.</p> <p>Combined, the respective penalties have resulted in a 30-place demotion, meaning Alonso is likely to start the British Grand Prix from the back of the grid.</p> <p>McLaren team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne has yet to pick up any engine-related penalties this weekend.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15308http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15308Lewis Hamilton heads close FP3 at drizzly SilverstoneSat, 15 Jul 2017 10:02:52 GMT<p>Lewis Hamilton moved to the top of the timesheets as he edged title rival Sebastian Vettel during a drizzly final practice session for the British Grand Prix.</p> <p>Light rain fell early on but the circuit remained sufficiently dry for the bulk of the field to complete runs on both the Soft and Supersoft tyre compounds, before conditions worsened during the final 15 minutes.</p> <p>Hamilton ended the one-hour session with a 1:28.063 on the red-banded Supersoft rubber, just 0.032s clear of Ferrari&#39;s Vettel, with the Briton having also led the way during the early runs on Soft tyres.</p> <p>Friday pacesetter Valtteri Bottas, who will drop five places from wherever he qualifies due to a <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15296">gearbox change</a>, logged the third best time, a mere 0.074s down on Mercedes team-mate Hamilton.</p> <p>Kimi R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen was a lonely fourth, six-tenths down on the lead trio, with a seven-tenths advantage over the midfield group, which was headed by Renault&rsquo;s Nico H&uuml;lkenberg.</p> <p>Daniel Ricciardo, another driver with a <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15303">five-place drop</a> due to a gearbox penalty, was sixth quickest, and survived a wayward moment when he half-spun exiting Club, and almost hit the pit wall, during the closing stages in wet weather.</p> <p>Haas&#39; Romain Grosjean claimed seventh, while Max Verstappen was eighth for Red Bull, his best time coming on the Soft tyres, as the worsening weather halted his Supersoft run.</p> <p>Felipe Massa took ninth for Williams, while Stoffel Vandoorne edged McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso for the final spot inside the top 10.</p> <p>Force India finished a low-key 12th and 15th, Esteban Ocon ahead of Sergio P&eacute;rez, with the pair split by Haas&rsquo; Kevin Magnussen and Renault&rsquo;s Jolyon Palmer, preparing to tackle his home Grand Prix for a second time.</p> <p>Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr. were next up for Toro Rosso, their best times coming on Supersofts and Softs respectively.</p> <p>Sauber took 18th and 19th, Pascal Wehrlein ahead of Marcus Ericsson, who spun under braking for Club in the final moments, while Lance Stroll finished at the foot of the times; as with Verstappen, his Supersoft run was aborted when the rain intensified.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15306http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15306Mercedes, Petronas extend deal until at least 2020Sat, 15 Jul 2017 09:26:41 GMT<p>Mercedes has renewed its sponsorship agreement with long-term partner Petronas, which will see the Malaysian oil giant staying with the Anglo-German outfit&nbsp;until at least the end of the current decade.</p> <p>Petronas has acted as Mercedes&rsquo; primary sponsor since the manufacturer returned to Formula 1 full-time in 2010, and on Saturday an extension to that deal was announced.</p> <p>&ldquo;There is a renewed vitality and a new level of energy in the sport this year,&quot; commented Petronas President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin.</p> <p>&ldquo;With new rules and regulations for this year, and many new things for the fans, the sport is increasing in terms of audience and that&#39;s great.</p> <p>&ldquo;And for all of us at Petronas, we know that the technical contribution will be even more important this year because of the stiff competition from our rivals.&rdquo;</p> <p>Rumours circulated that the exit of Malaysia from the Formula 1 calendar at the end of 2017 could trigger Petronas&rsquo; departure from Mercedes, and also the team&#39;s exit from the sport as predicted by Channel 4&#39;s Eddie Jordan, but this has now been dismissed.</p> <p>&quot;Our involvement in motorsports actually began in 1995, which is a few years before the first race in Sepang in 1999,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&quot;And we intend to stay the course. The partnership has given us very positive results for many years and I am pleased to announce the extension of the sponsorship contract with the team.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15303http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15303Daniel Ricciardo set to join Valtteri Bottas in taking gearbox penaltySat, 15 Jul 2017 08:03:48 GMT<p>Red Bull&#39;s Daniel Ricciardo is set to take a five-place grid penalty after taking on a new gearbox for the remainder of the British Grand Prix weekend.</p> <p>A report issued by FIA Technical Delegate Jo Bauer on Saturday morning confirmed that Red Bull conducted the change following the conclusion of Friday&#39;s practice sessions at Silverstone.</p> <p>As Ricciardo&#39;s gearbox has not lasted for the mandatory run of six events, he is poised to receive a five-place demotion from wherever he qualifes on Saturday afternoon.</p> <p>Ricciardo is therefore set to join Valtteri Bottas in taking on a grid demotion, after the Finn was handed a five-place drop for the same transgression.</p> <p>Ricciardo finished in sixth place overall during Friday&#39;s running at Silverstone.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15301http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15301Private consortium working on London GP at Olympic ParkFri, 14 Jul 2017 22:45:01 GMT<p>A private consortium is hoping to host a London Grand Prix following Silverstone&#39;s decision to pull the plug on its contract to host the British GP.</p> <p>A race on the streets of London has been a long-held ambition of former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, but those ambitions remain strong with new owners Liberty Media, who are keen to hold &quot;destination races&quot; in capital cities across the globe.</p> <p>London has been highlighted as one of those, and with the success of the first ever F1 Live event in London on Wednesday, which saw more than 100,000 fans in attendance despite a 24-hour period of notice, the hunger for a race in the city has increased.</p> <p>It&#39;s been revealed that a private&nbsp;consortium have been working on plans for a race at the site of the 2012 Olympic Games for several months now.</p> <p>A newly-formed organisation called London GP issued a statement this week confirming their plans, with claims that more than a million fans could attend the event, with various activities taking place in the week building-up to race, which would make it more of a festival than just another grand prix weekend.</p> <p>&quot;The founders of London GP have been developing plans to host a Formula One race on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for over 12 months,&quot; read a statement. &quot;The Park has all the supporting transport infrastructure required to manage a major sporting event such as Formula One.&quot;</p> <p>It went on to explain that London mayor Sadiq Khan&#39;s <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15270">recent comments backing a race in London</a> is &quot;good news&quot; for the project.</p> <p>&quot;Recent coverage in the media highlights the significant interest that such an event would bring to London,&quot; it added. &ldquo;The latest statements by the Mayor of London supporting such an event are extremely good news for all Formula One fans and this project.&quot;</p> <p>Both Liberty Media and the mayor&#39;s office have been made aware of the plans, though neither commented on them at the time.</p> <p>Four possible track configurations have been shown off, all of them featuring a &#39;stadium section&#39; that would pass through the former Olympic Stadium &ndash; now West Ham United&#39;s football ground.</p> <p>There are plans for 100,000 seats, more than half of those located inside the stadium.</p> <p>This comes as news of a second London race has emerged in the Docklands area, which would feature Canary Wharf in the background, though details remain scarce.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15300http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15300Disney Pixar teams up with Formula 1 to launch Cars 3Fri, 14 Jul 2017 22:18:18 GMT<p>An eleventh team has joined the British Grand Prix pitlane in the form of Disney Pixar&#39;s Lightning McQueen and Jackson Storm from the Cars franchise.</p> <p>Disney Pixar has teamed up with Formula 1 to promote the release of the third film in the franchise, which is due for release in the United Kingdom this weekend.</p> <p>The film features Lewis&nbsp;Hamilton as &#39;Hamilton&#39;,&nbsp;a fully loaded, built-in voice command assistant, with Sebastian Vettel filling the same role for the German and Italian versions and&nbsp;Fernando Alonso for the Spanish language release.</p> <p>The voice of Lightning McQueen, Owen Wilson, will be present at the British GP this weekend and will take part in a two-seater F1 experience on the Sunday. He&#39;s joined by&nbsp;the film&rsquo;s director Brian Fee and producer Kevin Reher.</p> <p>&quot;We&#39;re thrilled to be collaborating with Disney and the blockbuster Cars franchise,&quot; said&nbsp;Sean Bratches, managing director, commercial operations at Formula 1. &quot;After seeing the incredibly authentic race scenes in Cars 3, we knew that F1 British Grand Prix was the only place to launch the film in the UK and we&#39;re sure it will delight our growing family audience for F1.&quot;</p> <p>Lee Jury, co-head of the Walt Disney Studios UK added: &quot;We are so thrilled to be partnering with F1, what better way to celebrate the release of Cars 3 than to welcome the legendary Lightning McQueen and his new arch rival, Jackson Storm, to Silverstone in this unprecedented activation at the Formula 1 Rolex&nbsp;British Grand Prix. Fans are in for a treat.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15298http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15298McLaren encouraged by Friday running at SilverstoneFri, 14 Jul 2017 18:10:31 GMT<p>McLaren was left encouraged by trouble-free running on Friday for the British Grand Prix, with both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne showing strong pace across both 90-minute sessions.</p> <p>Alonso finished the session ninth quickest, just three-tenths adrift of &#39;best of the rest&#39; Nico Hulkenberg in seventh for Renault, with Williams&#39; Felipe Massa splitting the pair, and although the Spaniard is aware that positions on Fridays account for nothing, he was left in a positive mood.</p> <p>&quot;I&rsquo;m pretty happy with how my day went,&quot; said Alonso.&nbsp;&quot;We&rsquo;ve got several options we need to look at now, to choose the best one for&nbsp;tomorrow, but we&rsquo;ve mainly been concentrating on race pace because we know that we&rsquo;ll start from the back,&quot; he added, referring to his five-place grid penalty for a new energy store.</p> <p>&quot;As we know, the lap-times are not that significant on a&nbsp;Friday. For the last couple of races we&rsquo;ve been between 8th&nbsp;and 12th&nbsp;position, so we have to wait and see what happens&nbsp;tomorrow.&quot;</p> <p>Vandoorne was also happy with his practice sessions, considering the nature of the Silverstone circuit is power-demanding and shouldn&#39;t suit the Honda power unit.</p> <p>&quot;Today has actually been a pretty good start to our weekend. Given that this is a long circuit, with a lot of high-speed corners, I think our car has been performing well &ndash; I felt pretty comfortable out there,&quot; added the Belgian.</p> <p>&quot;As usual, the times in the midfield are very close, so it&rsquo;ll be the tiniest details that will make a difference during qualifying&nbsp;tomorrow. At the moment, we&rsquo;re still exploring the car&rsquo;s limits &ndash; particularly in the Becketts section of the lap. I think both Fernando and I had a moment during that part of the lap &ndash; just losing the rear on the entry of the final section.&quot;</p> <p>The pair could yet face further grid drops though, with Honda considering several component changes ahead of the next race in Hungary,&nbsp;which is expected to suit the MCL32.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15297http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15297No 'obvious roadblocks' stopping Robert Kubica's F1 return - RenaultFri, 14 Jul 2017 17:47:58 GMT<p>There are no &quot;obvious roadblocks&quot; stopping Robert Kubica from making a full-time return to Formula 1, according to Renault&#39;s Cyril Abiteboul.</p> <p>The Polish driver hasn&#39;t competed in the sport since his rallying accident in 2011, but earlier this year he took part in a test with the Renault team to measure the limitations he might have when driving an F1 car.</p> <p>Having completed 115 laps of Valencia&#39;s Ricardo Tormo Circuit during the test, Kubica himself declared he was now seeking a comeback, whilst Renault were left encouraged by what they saw &ndash; enough to schedule a second test which took place this week at Paul Ricard.</p> <p>Speaking on Friday at Silverstone, Abiteboul admitted that he saw no reason why Kubica couldn&#39;t make a return to F1, but said it wasn&#39;t a conversation for the present time.</p> <p>&quot;I don&rsquo;t want to say yes or no,&quot; he replied when asked if the latest test showed Kubica was ready. &quot;It is not like a test that you are passing as an exam. But we have not seen any obvious roadblocks.&quot;</p> <p>Abiteboul was however cautious, reminding everyone that driving a 2012 car versus a 2017 car &ndash; which is a lot more physically demanding &ndash;&nbsp;is very different.</p> <p>&quot;Testing in this circumstance and testing in a modern car are something completely different,&quot; he said.</p> <p>&quot;Again, this situation is complex &ndash; we are not doing it for PR purposes even though we see it is creating a lot of media expectation and focus. That is not what we are doing, we care so much for Robert than this.</p> <p>&quot;What I can tell you is he is still quick, he is still very consistent and more importantly he has this energy and this drive, this enthusiasm that he has always had.&quot;</p> <p>He added: &quot;It is too early to talk about next steps, I don&rsquo;t want to add to speculation. Right now, the focus is on getting the most out of the overall line-up and package we have. Then we will think about 2018 in due course, which is not now.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15296http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15296Valtteri Bottas set for five-place grid penalty after gearbox changeFri, 14 Jul 2017 17:20:15 GMT<p>Valtteri Bottas is set to be hit with a five-place grid penalty for the British Grand Prix this weekend, meaning the Finn won&#39;t be in contention for pole position on Saturday.</p> <p>Mercedes has confirmed that the number 77 car of Bottas requires a gearbox change following Friday&#39;s practice sessions &ndash; both of which were&nbsp;topped by Bottas from team-mate Lewis Hamilton.</p> <p>It&#39;s the second event in a row Mercedes have encountered gearbox problems, with Hamilton taking a five-place grid drop in Austria &ndash; a race won by Bottas &ndash;&nbsp;for an out of sync change.</p> <p>&quot;His [Bottas&#39;]&nbsp;gearbox was damaged in the same way as Lewis&#39; but less severely, and we had hoped to coax it to the end of the cycle,&quot; read a statement from the team. &quot;However, we have not been able to do so. The cause of the damage is understood and now behind us, just as for Lewis&#39; problem.&quot;</p> <p>Gearboxes must last six consecutive events, with any change before that incurring a penalty.</p> <p>Therefore with Mercedes somewhat dominating practice on Friday, it looks as though Hamilton could be set for an easy pole position at his home race unless rivals Ferrari and Red Bull can find some speed overnight.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15293http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15293Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton encouraged by Mercedes startFri, 14 Jul 2017 15:34:13 GMT<p>Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton expressed satisfaction with the manner in which Mercedes began proceedings at the British Grand Prix on Friday.</p> <p>Bottas <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15290">led a Mercedes 1-2</a> in both sessions, with Hamilton finishing just 0.047s shy of his team-mate overall, despite making a mistake on his Super Soft run during the afternoon session.</p> <p>&ldquo;We&#39;ve started the weekend really well,&rdquo; said Bottas.</p> <p>&ldquo;In the first session, the balance was not too far away, so a positive start.</p> <p>&ldquo;There is still work to do to get the car more driveable and to be able to trust it more in the high-speed corners.</p> <p>&ldquo;But overall I think it was a good start for the weekend. We just need to work as normal, try and make improvements for tomorrow.&rdquo;</p> <p>The quickest times set by both Mercedes drivers were faster than Hamilton&rsquo;s pole lap in 2016, and the Briton revelled in the feeling of the new-spec Formula 1 cars at Silverstone.</p> <p>&ldquo;The track is absolutely incredible with these new cars,&rdquo; Hamilton commented.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was already one of the very best circuits in the world, but with this car and the speed we are able to carry through the corners, it&#39;s just phenomenal, it&#39;s like the greatest rollercoaster ride ever.</p> <p>&ldquo;We worked through all the sessions, fine-tuning the balance and I think we&#39;re in a good position at this early stage of the weekend.</p> <p>&ldquo;We still need to build upon it, but it&#39;s a great foundation moving forward.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15291http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15291Sebastian Vettel says F1 shield made him feel 'a bit dizzy'Fri, 14 Jul 2017 14:01:22 GMT<p>Ferrari had to cut short a test of Formula 1&#39;s latest head protection device, dubbed the &#39;shield&#39;, because it made Sebastian Vettel feel &quot;a bit dizzy&quot;.</p> <p>The German was tasked with trialling the new device, which is a large curved screen which wraps&nbsp;around the cockpit, during first practice for the British Grand Prix.</p> <p>But Vettel completed just a single lap at slow pace, despite plans to do several laps at varying speeds.</p> <p>&quot;I tried it this morning, I got a bit dizzy,&quot;&nbsp;said Vettel. &quot;Forward vision is not very good.</p> <p>&quot;I think it&rsquo;s because of the curvature, you get quite a bit of distortion. Plus you get quite a bit of downwash down the straight pushing the helmet forward.</p> <p>&quot;We had a run planned with it but I didn&rsquo;t like it so we took it off.&rdquo;</p> <p>Vettel doesn&#39;t believe the shield will have a major impact on driver extrication though, unlike the Halo, the device which was extensively trialled during the 2016 campaign.</p> <p>&quot;Getting in doesn&rsquo;t matter,&nbsp;I think getting out it&rsquo;s more about getting used to it, it&rsquo;s not the main thing.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15290http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15290Valtteri Bottas edges Lewis Hamilton in British GP FP2Fri, 14 Jul 2017 13:30:33 GMT<p>Mercedes&rsquo; Valtteri Bottas stayed on top during the second practice session for the British Grand Prix, narrowly ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton.</p> <p>Hamilton breezed clear of the pack on the Soft tyre runs in the second 90-minute practice session at a cool and cloudy Silverstone, setting a 1:28.543, before the leaders switched to the Supersoft compound.</p> <p>Bottas edged ahead on a 1:28.496, before Hamilton scuppered his Supersoft run by sliding wide through Becketts, costing himself a substantial chunk of lap time.</p> <p>Hamilton was unable to improve overall, meaning his best time remained his earlier run on Soft tyres, the Mercedes duo consequently separated by just 0.047s.</p> <p>Having lagged behind Red Bull during the morning session, Ferrari established itself as Mercedes&rsquo; primary challengers, with Kimi R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen third, 0.332s behind compatriot Bottas.</p> <p>R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen, however, suffered a wild moment during his long-fuel run, his car snapping sideways as he rounded Becketts, spinning into the gravel as a result, though he was able to rejoin the action.</p> <p>Title leader Sebastian Vettel followed in fourth place, a further tenth of a second down on his Ferrari team-mate.</p> <p>Red Bull was fifth and sixth, returning to its perennial 2017 positions, though Max Verstappen was within reach of the Ferrari pair, while Daniel Ricciardo was cut adrift.</p> <p>Nico H&uuml;lkenberg completed his low-fuel Super Soft lap relatively later than his midfield rivals and emerged in seventh place for Renault.</p> <p>Felipe Massa was eighth for Williams, the Brazilian having spun through Chapel on his high fuel run.</p> <p>Race Control is also investigating an incident involving Massa and Verstappen, after the pair almost tripped over each other through Club.</p> <p>Fernando Alonso (McLaren) and Esteban Ocon (Force India) completed the top 10, ahead of Toro Rosso pair Carlos Sainz Jr. and Daniil Kvyat.</p> <p>Sergio P&eacute;rez took 13th, in front of Haas&rsquo; Romain Grosjean, Williams youngster Lance Stroll and McLaren&rsquo;s Stoffel Vandoorne.</p> <p>Kevin Magnussen returned to action for Haas, having missed FP1 in favour of Antonio Giovinazzi, and placed 17th, while Jolyon Palmer spun exiting Brooklands en route to a low-key 18th.</p> <p>Sauber finished 19th and 20th for the fifth successive free practice session, with Marcus Ericsson seven-tenths slower than nearest opponent Palmer, as Pascal Wehrlein rounded out the runners.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15287http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15287Lewis Hamilton to launch his own emoji appFri, 14 Jul 2017 11:23:32 GMT<p>Mercedes driver and three-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton is set to launch his own emoji app.</p> <p>Fans will be able to communicate using animated cartoon images of his face when the app launches in the near future.</p> <p>Named &lsquo;Hamoji&rsquo;, the app is &ldquo;coming soon&rdquo; to online stores and features images of Hamilton portraying a vast array of emotions.</p> <p>It also includes Snapchat animal filters and the blonde hairstyle Hamilton debuted back in 2015.</p> <p><strong><a href="https://twitter.com/LewisHamilton/status/885802702248304641">VIDEO: Hamilton&#39;s emoji app trailer</a></strong></p> <p>Hamilton announced the launch of the app on social media, but he is not the first driver to release his own set of emojis.</p> <p>Fernando Alonso did the same earlier this year, with his app including iconic moments such as the deck chair incident from Brazil 2015.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15286http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15286Antonio Giovinazzi upbeat after maiden Haas F1 runFri, 14 Jul 2017 10:56:40 GMT<p>Antonio Giovinazzi says he hopes to close the gap to Romain Grosjean across the remainder of his Friday practice session, after he received his first Haas run at the British Grand Prix.</p> <p>Ferrari reserve driver Giovinazzi, who competed in the opening two races of the year as a replacement for the unfit Pascal Wehrlein at Sauber, has been recruited to carry out seven FP1 sessions for Haas this season.</p> <p>The first of those seven came during Friday morning&rsquo;s opening session at Silverstone, in which the Italian placed 16th, two positions and four-tenths of a second down on team-mate Grosjean, both drivers having set their best lap on the Soft tyres.</p> <p>Giovinazzi expressed delight at his first experience of the VF-17, the third different current-year Formula 1 car he has driven in 2017, but hopes to close the gap to Grosjean across the remainder of the year.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think it was a good session,&rdquo; Giovinazzi, runner-up in last year&rsquo;s GP2 series, told Motorsport Week.</p> <p>&ldquo;Of course to start in FP1 at Silverstone, it&rsquo;s one of the hardest tracks for these cars,[but] it was a really good run.</p> <p>&ldquo;I was only four tenths from Romain, so I&rsquo;m really happy; Romain is a driver who&rsquo;s really strong in high speed [corners], so for this track I think he&rsquo;s a good reference.</p> <p>&ldquo;My target was to take confidence with the car in high speed and everything, so it was important and a good session.&rdquo;</p> <p>On whether he regarded the 2017 runs as an audition for a 2018 race seat, Giovinazzi replied: &ldquo;Now I&rsquo;m just focusing on these seven FP1s, to do my job and to be more close as possible to Romain at the end of the season and then for next year we&rsquo;ll see.&rdquo;</p> <p>Giovinazzi will return to the cockpit of the VF-17 during the next event in Hungary.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15285http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15285Valtteri Bottas pips Lewis Hamilton in British Grand Prix FP1Fri, 14 Jul 2017 09:32:51 GMT<p>Mercedes&rsquo; Valtteri Bottas continued his recent fine form by clocking the quickest time during the opening practice session for the British Grand Prix on Friday morning.</p> <p>Bottas logged a time of 1:29.106 on new Soft tyres to finish 0.078s clear of team-mate Lewis Hamilton, whose best lap came on used Softs, at a cool and cloudy Silverstone.</p> <p>Both Mercedes drivers lapped quicker than the time set by Hamilton to take pole position for last year&rsquo;s event.</p> <p>Red Bull emerged as Mercedes&rsquo; primary opponents, with Max Verstappen 0.498s down on Bottas, running the Super Soft tyres to take third place.</p> <p>Daniel Ricciardo was fourth, over three-tenths behind the Dutchman, while Ferrari took fifth and sixth, a second down on Bottas, with Kimi R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen ahead of Sebastian Vettel, the trio all lapping on the red-banded compounds.</p> <p>Vettel gave Formula 1&rsquo;s &lsquo;shield&rsquo; &ndash; the proposed head protection device &ndash; <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15284">its on track debut</a> during the opening minutes of running, completing an installation lap with the canopy affixed to his SF70-H.</p> <p>The device was subsequently removed from the car, and he completed his run plan as usual, via a half-spin through the second Becketts segment.</p> <p>Daniil Kvyat spearheaded the midfield charge for Toro Rosso, 1.7s down on Bottas, with Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne a promising eighth and 10th for McLaren.</p> <p>The McLaren pair sandwiched Williams&rsquo; Felipe Massa, who lost parts of his FW40 after running wide over the new double exit kerb at Copse early in the session, and was the only non-Mercedes driver in the top 10 whose best time came on Softs.</p> <p>Carlos Sainz Jr.&rsquo;s car was cleared for competition after Toro Rosso entered his STR12 with faulty wheel tether tape &ndash; the problem was corrected and the team was absolved of wrongdoing by the FIA &ndash; and he placed 11th.</p> <p>Esteban Ocon and Sergio P&eacute;rez were next up for Force India, ahead of Haas&rsquo; Romain Grosjean and Williams rookie Lance Stroll, who went off at Becketts late on.</p> <p>Antonio Giovinazzi returned to Formula 1 action for the first time in several months as he replaced Kevin Magnussen for the first of seven planned FP1 runs with Haas.</p> <p>Giovinazzi, who competed in the opening two races with Sauber, wound up 16th quickest, completing 24 laps in the Haas VF-17.</p> <p>Renault was a low-key 17th and 18th, Nico H&uuml;lkenberg ahead of Jolyon Palmer, while Sauber&rsquo;s miserable form showed no sign of abating, as Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson finished at the foot of the table yet again.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15284http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15284Sebastian Vettel gives F1 'shield' on-track debut at SilverstoneFri, 14 Jul 2017 08:22:34 GMT<p>Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel has given the FIA&rsquo;s &lsquo;shield&rsquo; cockpit protection device its on-track debut during first practice at Silverstone.</p> <p>F1 has been looking to bring in improved cockpit protection and the FIA extensively tested the &lsquo;halo&rsquo; device, which included FP1 runs.</p> <p>The plan was to introduce it for 2017 but this was pushed back and then abandoned in order to find a better solution.</p> <p>The FIA then revealed a new device was being considered and developed; dubbed the &lsquo;shield&rsquo;, it is similar to &lsquo;aeroscreen&rsquo; canopy trialled by Red Bull in early 2016, but extends further down the nose.</p> <p>The shield has emerged as the clear favourite so far and there are plans for it to be tested on track later this year, but a development version of the device was run on Friday morning.</p> <p>Vettel emerged from his Ferrari garage in FP1 for the British Grand Prix with his SF70H sporting the shield device.</p> <p>He completed one, slow installation lap with the device before pitting, where it was then removed.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15283http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15283Proposed Copenhagen Formula 1 street circuit revealedFri, 14 Jul 2017 07:49:08 GMT<p>The route for a proposed Formula 1 race on the streets of Denmark&#39;s capital, Copenhagen, has been revealed, as the project gathers pace for a potential 2020 debut.</p> <p>As reported last week, a Danish group led by&nbsp;businessman Lars Seier Christensen have already met with Liberty Media to discuss the plans, with the meeting described as &quot;very positive&quot;.</p> <p>Now plans for the circuit have been released, which will see cars pass the Christiansborg Palace &ndash; home of the Danish parliament &ndash; and pass over two harbour bridges, one of which will allow cars to reach speeds in excess of 300 km/h.</p> <p>The circuit length totals 4.5 km, and whilst it isn&#39;t the final design, it isn&#39;t expected to change much if the project gets the final go ahead. Famous F1 circuit designer Hermann Tilke has also reviewed the plans and visited the city to look at the proposed route.</p> <p>&quot;The track we have submitted to Formula One in London is not with complete certainty the final version, but it is the basis, and if there are any changes they will be minimal,&quot; former MP Helge Sander, who is also involved in the project, told <em>Jyllands-Posten</em>.</p> <p>&quot;The track has been approved by Hermann Tilke who also had questions and ideas for adjustments. But that is something we will look at on an ongoing basis.&quot;</p> <p>Denmark has one representative on the current Formula 1 grid, courtesy of Haas&#39; Kevin Magnussen.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15281http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15281Gallery: The best photos from F1 Live in LondonThu, 13 Jul 2017 21:53:34 GMT<p>Check out the best photos from F1 Live in London &ndash; <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/f1/gallery/id/00033">click here</a> if you&#39;re not redirected automatically.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15280http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15280Video: 79-year-old test drives Renault F1 carThu, 13 Jul 2017 20:29:46 GMT<p>Rosemary Smith is a 79-year-old former rally driver from Dublin who still has the passion for driving fast, and recently got the chance to test a Renault F1 car at Paul Ricard in France.</p> <p>During the filming day, she received driving tips and help from current racer Jolyon Palmer. The test makes her the oldest person to ever drive a 800bhp race car.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15279http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15279Revealed: Formula 1's new shield head protection deviceThu, 13 Jul 2017 16:33:45 GMT<p>Formula 1 will test another head protection device during the British Grand Prix this weekend, with Ferrari&#39;s Sebastian Vettel to run the new &#39;Shield&#39; during first practice on Friday.</p> <p>Following trials of the Halo and Aeroscreen last season, the FIA chose to delay the introduction of a head protection device until 2018 in order to find a more suitable alternative, with drivers raising concerns over visibility, with aesthetical reasons also cited.</p> <p>A new screen, dubbed the &#39;Shield&#39; has been undergoing development and will face its first real world test on Friday, with Vettel likely to complete a number of laps with the screen&nbsp;fitted to his SF70H.</p> <p>The &#39;Shield&#39; is more similar to Red Bull&#39;s Aeroscreen, but extends further down the nose, improving visibility and aerodynamics.</p> <p><img alt="" height="441" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Formula1/Britain/jm1713jy131.jpg" width="800" /></p> <p><img alt="" height="442" src="/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Formula1/Britain/jm1713jy124.jpg" width="800" /></p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15278http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15278Toro Rosso summoned to stewards over unsafe carThu, 13 Jul 2017 16:22:56 GMT<p>Toro Rosso has been summoned to the British Grand Prix stewards for entering a car which is known to be unsafe after it was found that one of Carlos Sainz&#39;s wheel tethers was damaged.</p> <p>During scrutineering on Thursday, it was discovered that a wheel tether on Sainz&#39;s car had &quot;several cut fibres&quot; and a request from the FIA for it to be changed was refused by the team for an unspecified reason.</p> <p>The stewards have asked the team to explain the reasoning behind this and could choose to punish Toro Rosso or even refuse Sainz from taking part if the race if the tether isn&#39;t replaced.</p> <p>&quot;During initial scrutineering car number 55 was found to have a damaged wheel tether,&quot; a report from the scrutineers read.&nbsp;&quot;The scrutineers made the team Scuderia Toro Rosso aware of this and asked the team to replace it.</p> <p>&quot;The team refused to follow the instructions of the scrutineers and therefore the technical delegate checked the damaged tether himself and found that the tether was not only damaged but also several cut fibres were knotted together.</p> <p>&quot;Therefore the team was aware of the damaged tether and presented the car in an unsafe condition for scrutineering.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15277http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15277Kimi Raikkonen says his Formula 1 future is in Ferrari's handsThu, 13 Jul 2017 16:11:21 GMT<p>Whilst Ferrari have said that it is Sebastian Vettel&#39;s decision if he wishes to remain with the Italian squad next season, his Finnish team-mate Kimi R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen&#39;s future very much hangs in the balance.</p> <p>R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen has <a href="https://www.motorsportweek.com/f1/standings/2017/drivers/">less than half Vettel&#39;s points tally</a> and sits behind Red Bull&#39;s Daniel Ricciardo in the standings thanks to some poor performances and a spate of reliability issues, but the 2007 world champion isn&#39;t too worried about his future, despite admitting it&#39;s very much Ferrari&#39;s decision whether he stays or goes after the current campaign.</p> <p>&quot;It&#39;s up to them, whatever they decide it&#39;s their choice,&quot; said&nbsp;R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen when asked about his situation, given Ferrari announced his last one-year extension ahead of the British Grand Prix weekend.</p> <p>&quot;I don&#39;t know, we&#39;ll see...you&#39;ll have to talk to the team and ask, but in my view it&#39;s a normal situation, like it was last year.&quot;</p> <p>R&auml;ikk&ouml;nen conceded that his season so far had been disappointing, but he is confident he has the pace to win races and it&#39;s just a matter of things outside of his control coming together to make that happen.</p> <p>&quot;For sure I&#39;m not very happy where we&#39;ve been finishing, considering all the races so far, but we cannot change it.</p> <p>&quot;The team knows for sure what I want but even then it&#39;s up to them. My only aim is to do well, that&#39;s the only reason I&#39;m here. It&#39;s not always fun when it&#39;s not going well, but that&#39;s how it is sometimes. I&#39;m sure the results will come.</p> <p>&quot;I don&#39;t even know where we are with the points, I&#39;ve not looked. For sure not what we&#39;ve wanted, but this is how it is. This is another weekend and hopefully we can try and get the result we know we can get.</p> <p>&quot;Speed wise I think I have it. But it&#39;s not always enough if the rest doesn&#39;t go to plan.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15276http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15276Stoffel Vandoorne: 'Nothing to worry about' over futureThu, 13 Jul 2017 16:07:15 GMT<p>Stoffel Vandoorne insists his future at McLaren is secure beyond the end of the current campaign, despite a subdued start to his full-time career in Formula 1.</p> <p>Vandoorne stepped up to a full-time race seat at McLaren this year after a lengthy spell under the team&rsquo;s guidance, which included taking the GP2 title in 2015.</p> <p>Vandoorne has yet to out-qualify team-mate Fernando Alonso in 2017 and has yet to pick up a point, taking a best of 12th in Azerbaijan and Austria, amid McLaren-Honda&rsquo;s struggles.</p> <p>However, the Belgian emphasised that his position at the team beyond the end of 2017 is secure.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think there&rsquo;s nothing to worry about,&rdquo; he said, when asked by <em>Motorsport Week</em> if he had been given assurances about 2018.</p> <p>&ldquo;I have a multi-year contract with the team, I&rsquo;m very happy here, everything moving in the right direction as well in terms of performance.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m just working with the team very hard, which is my main focus, spending time at the factory, with the engineers, aerodynamicists, and trying to move everything in the good direction.</p> <p>&ldquo;This is the only thing I&rsquo;m focusing on.&rdquo;</p> <p>On how McLaren-Honda is likely to fare at this weekend&rsquo;s British Grand Prix, Vandoorne said: &ldquo;I think from our side we&rsquo;re just trying to optimise the car set-up, what we learned over the past races, making sure we feel comfortable, and get the most out of it.</p> <p>&ldquo;Where it will put us in the order is difficult to tell.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15275http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15275Lewis Hamilton defends decision not to attend F1's London eventThu, 13 Jul 2017 15:41:56 GMT<p>Lewis Hamilton has defended his decision to miss Formula 1&#39;s first ever F1 Live event, which saw every current driver bar the Mercedes man in attendance to entertain tens of thousands of fans ahead of the British Grand Prix this weekend.</p> <p>Hamilton, who many will have turned up to see on Wednesday, chose to instead fly to Greece with some close friends, and the Briton insists it was the best way for him to prepare for this weekend.</p> <p>&quot;People will have opinions about it but I am trying the best I can and as it is a very intense season I am trying to prepare the best I can for the battle,&quot; he said on Thursday.</p> <p>&quot;Other people have other ways of doing it. I love this Grand Prix and I love this race so I don&#39;t feel yesterday plays any role in how great a race weekend this is for me.&quot;</p> <p>When asked if he had seen images and video from the event, he replied: &quot;I genuinely haven&#39;t been on my phone for the past couple of days I&#39;ve been trying to switch off.</p> <p>&quot;I turned it on a couple of times to receive messages but other times I&#39;ve tried to stay away from it.&quot;</p> <p>Hamilton says he informed Liberty Media and his Mercedes boss Toto Wolff about his decision and suggested the media were looking for a story that isn&#39;t there.</p> <p>&quot;I told the organisers last week that I wouldn&#39;t be going and I spoke to Toto Wolff and informed the team which they understood and were respectful of the decision.</p> <p>&quot;When I go and visit a hospital and&nbsp;visit kids that can&#39;t attend a grand prix, that&#39;s important to me and&nbsp;that&#39;s not something you report on,&quot; he added.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15274http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15274Fernando Alonso gets latest spec engine and a grid penalty for British GPThu, 13 Jul 2017 15:10:04 GMT<p>Honda and McLaren have chosen to take a grid&nbsp;penalty for the British Grand Prix in order for&nbsp;Fernando Alonso to run the latest Honda power unit.</p> <p>Both Alonso and team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne were given the upgrade at the Austrian GP last weekend, and whilst Vandoorne experienced good reliability, Honda spotted an issue with Alonso&#39;s MGU-H and he was forced to revert back to an older engine for the remainder of the race weekend.</p> <p>The Spaniard will now revert back to his newer Spec 3 engine &ndash; which was used during practice in Austria before the issue was discovered &ndash; but will keep the old MGU-H, meaning he avoids a grid penalty for that part of the change.</p> <p>However, a new energy store will be fitted and this is Alonso&#39;s fifth of the season, therefore a five-place grid penalty must be served as a result.</p> <p>Alonso and Vandoorne could face further drops, with Honda set to make a call on whether it needs to change other components after Friday practice.</p> <p>Meanwhile the Japanese manufacturer is working on a fix for the MGU-H issue, but with Austria and Britain being back-to-back races, Honda haven&#39;t yet had enough time to test the change.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15273http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15273Marcus Ericsson hails Sauber's recruitment of Frederic VasseurThu, 13 Jul 2017 13:44:08 GMT<p>Marcus Ericsson has labelled Fr&eacute;d&eacute;ric Vasseur as a &ldquo;great signing&rdquo; for Sauber, following the appointment of the Frenchman as Team Principal.</p> <p>Sauber was left without a Team Principal in the wake of Monisha Kaltenborn&rsquo;s exit last month but announced on Wednesday that it had recruited Vasseur as her successor.</p> <p>Vasseur has been instrumental in the success of the ART team, which operates in junior categories, and last year acted as Racing Director, and then Team Principal, at Renault, upon the manufacturer&rsquo;s return to Formula 1.</p> <p>Ericsson, who has been with Sauber since the end of 2014, reckons Vasseur, who will officially join on Monday, will have a positive influence on the Swiss outfit.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s a really good signing for Sauber,&rdquo; Ericsson told <em>Motorsport Week</em> ahead of the British Grand Prix.</p> <p>&ldquo;Fred has shown &ndash; maybe not in F1, because he&rsquo;s not been that much in F1 &ndash; but everything else he&rsquo;s done has been very, very successful.</p> <p>&ldquo;In the paddock when you speak to people he&rsquo;s highly respected, so for the team he&rsquo;s a great signing.</p> <p>&ldquo;He&rsquo;s starting on Monday, I&rsquo;m sure he will put his touch on the team, overall [he&rsquo;ll] look at different departments and make sure that things are done the way he wants, so it&rsquo;s pretty good.&rdquo;</p> <p>Rumours have arisen in recent days that the 2018 deal between Sauber and Honda is under threat, and Ericsson thinks Vasseur&rsquo;s priority will be to address the situation.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m not really sure to be honest,&rdquo; Ericsson said when asked for the latest on the situation.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s all been a lot of things happening the last few days, obviously nothing I&rsquo;m involved with, from what I understand there is some things happening.</p> <p>&ldquo;Fred&rsquo;s priority to start off is to sort that out.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15272http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15272Sergio Perez feels Force India 'pretty much dominating' midfieldThu, 13 Jul 2017 12:22:34 GMT<p>Sergio P&eacute;rez says Force India is &ldquo;pretty much dominating&rdquo; Formula 1&rsquo;s midfield in 2017, following a run of strong results.</p> <p>Force India has scored a double points finish in seven of this season&rsquo;s nine Grands Prix, and only missed out on a top 10 result in Monaco.</p> <p>As a consequence, Force India has amassed 89 points to hold fourth place in the Constructors&rsquo; Championship, with a 49-point buffer back to Williams.</p> <p>P&eacute;rez, meanwhile, occupies sixth place in the Drivers&rsquo; standings, five points clear of Red Bull&rsquo;s Max Verstappen.</p> <p>&ldquo;In the midfield I think we have been really consistent [from] track to track and pretty much dominating that midfield battle at the moment, it&rsquo;s great,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;Although Max has had some reliability issues, I also have [had] a couple of bad results and still it&rsquo;s nice to be ahead in the championship.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s amazing, P6 in the championship, we never would have thought [it possible].&rdquo;</p> <p>P&eacute;rez nonetheless feels that despite holding fourth place in the standings once more, Force India is further behind the leading three teams in terms of outright pace, compared to in 2016.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s been a good year up to now, the main thing is that the difference to the top teams is quite big,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;To be in that midfield fight, always consistently, if not out-scoring [rivals], but very close to&hellip; basically [we are] minimising the bad weekends on our side, that has been one of the keys to this season.</p> <p>&ldquo;Probably when you compare it to last year, by now we had two podiums, probably less points but we had two podiums in the pocket.</p> <p>&ldquo;Probably the car was similar competitiveness wise but it was a bit closer to the top teams, therefore we were able to make a podium.</p> <p>&ldquo;We lost a big opportunity in Baku, hopefully later in the year we can have that one back.&rdquo;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15271http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15271Formula 1 announces global partnership with Snapchat's Snap Inc.Thu, 13 Jul 2017 12:08:12 GMT<p>Formula 1 has announced a new global partnership with Snap Inc., the parent company of the popular social media app Snapchat which allows users to send short video clips and timed photos to one another.</p> <p>F1 will join Snapchat&rsquo;s curated editorial platform, Discover. The deal kicks off with coverage of the British Grand Prix this weekend through the app&#39;s Our Stories feed.</p> <p>Our Stories, one of three types of content on Snapchat&rsquo;s Discover platform, are compilations of Snaps submitted from Snapchatters at events and locations around the world, and curated by teams of editors and producers at Snapchat. Our Stories allow Snapchatters at the same event to contribute their unique perspectives through video and photos to one collective Story, capturing the atmosphere and excitement.</p> <p>Frank Arthofer, head of digital and new business at Formula 1, said the deal is the sport&#39;s &quot;first step towards expanding our social media strategy,&quot; which is expected to include collaborations with other digital platforms.</p> <p>He added: &quot;Right from the start, we have said we want to work with partners to bring fans closer to the amazing show that is Formula 1, an incredible mix of technology and individual talent - and Snap fits that bill.</p> <p>&quot;We need to continue to bring new fans to the sport - by reaching out to them on social media platforms with behind the scenes, fun and engaging content. Snap&rsquo;s platform is one of the most popular among &lsquo;millennials,&rsquo; a sector we are particularly keen on attracting, as it represents the future of our sport.&quot;</p> <p>Ben Schwerin, vice president of partnerships for Snap Inc. added: &quot;We want to work with the most iconic sporting organizations in the world, that are beloved by our global community of passionate and highly engaged fans - and working with Formula 1 has been at the top of our wish list for a long time.</p> <p>&quot;Our goal is simple - we want to make being a fan more fun no matter where you are and Snapchat offers unique and creative ways to experience it with their closest friends. We are honoured to be the first platform they are partnering with, and are excited to start offer their teams, partners and advertisers an opportunity to reach millions of Snapchatters around the globe.&quot;</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15270http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15270London Mayor open to F1 race in capitalThu, 13 Jul 2017 11:58:03 GMT<p>Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, says he is &ldquo;keen to listen&rdquo; to Formula 1, if the sport has proposals to hold a race in the capital.</p> <p>Formula 1 hosted a live event in Trafalgar Square on Wednesday, in the run up to the British Grand Prix, with 19 of the 20 drivers present, along with a host of other famous faces.</p> <p>Drivers conducted demonstration runs along a closed-off course in Whitehall with thousands of fans in attendance.</p> <p>The build-up to this year&rsquo;s event at Silverstone has been overshadowed by the British Racing Drivers&rsquo; Club&rsquo;s decision to exercise a break clause in its contract, permitting it to drop the British Grand Prix after 2019.</p> <p>Liberty Media has been keen to retain the British Grand Prix beyond 2019, but has been open regarding location, with London mooted as a potential destination.</p> <p>&ldquo;We are going to put our shoulder into making Silverstone one of the greatest races on the racing circuit over the next three years and we will see where we go from there,&rdquo; said commercial chief Sean Bratches.</p> <p>&ldquo;But from a Formula 1 standpoint we are very committed to a British Grand Prix going forward.&rdquo;</p> <p>Khan, elected as Mayor last year, is receptive to the idea of Formula 1 racing in the capital city.</p> <p>&ldquo;If F1 want to speak to me I am keen to listen,&rdquo; Khan told <em>BBC London Sport</em>.</p> <p>&ldquo;My ambition is for London to carry on being the sporting capital of the world.</p> <p>&ldquo;There are some hurdles to overcome, but I am certainly interested in the future in having F1 in London.&rdquo;</p> <p>Motor sport is now permitted on closed public roads in the United Kingdom after a change in the law earlier this year.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15269http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15269New double kerbs added at Copse and Club cornersThu, 13 Jul 2017 09:55:18 GMT<p>Additional exit kerbs have been added to two corners at Silverstone, ahead of this weekend&rsquo;s British Grand Prix.</p> <p>In the pre-event notes, Race Director Charlie Whiting has confirmed that a double kerb has been installed on the exit of Turn 9 (Copse) and at Turn 18 (Club).</p> <p>Elsewhere, the tyre and TecPro barriers have been increased in depth around the outsides of Turn 1 (Abbey), Turn 2 (Farm), Turn 6 (Brooklands), Turn 9 (Copse), Turn 15 (Stowe) and Turn 16 (Vale).</p> <p>The layout of the circuit has not been changed since last year&rsquo;s event.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15267http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15267Pirelli to take Ultrasoft tyres to Mexican GPThu, 13 Jul 2017 09:10:27 GMT<p>Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli will take the three softest compounds from its range of five to the Mexican Grand Prix later in 2017.</p> <p>Pirelli has selected the Ultrasoft, Supersoft and Soft tyres to cope with the demands of the Aut&oacute;dromo Hermanos Rodr&iacute;guez in October.</p> <p>As per usual, one set of the softest allocated tyres (Ultrasoft) must be set aside for use only in Q3, while either the Supersofts or Softs must be used during the race trim.</p> <p>Pirelli&rsquo;s choice is a step softer than the direction it took at last year&rsquo;s Mexican Grand Prix, and is in line with recent selections.</p> <p>It means that, of the 18 tyre designations announced so far, half have featured the three softest compounds, with the Hard tyre abandoned after it received negative feedback in Spain.</p> http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15266http://www.motorsportweek.com/news/id/15266Honda and Sauber; is the relationship dead already?Wed, 12 Jul 2017 14:46:25 GMT<p>During a press conference last Friday at the Red Bull Ring, I asked Honda engine boss Yusuke Hasegawa if the recent departure of Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn would be a stumbling block in the newly signed engine supply agreement with the Swiss team&hellip;</p> <p>Instead of explaining how things were going, Hasegawa-san was very short and non committal in his answer to me saying that: &ldquo;This is Sauber and Honda&rsquo;s collaboration.&rdquo; He went on to say that while he &ldquo;appreciated&rdquo; Kaltenborn&rsquo;s &ldquo;start in the collaboration,&rdquo; he could not comment any further about the &ldquo;inside of the Sauber organisation.&rdquo;</p> <p>Interesting words coming out of the Japanese engine boss when it should have well been within his remit of knowledge that Sauber were close to announcing Fred Vasseur as the team&rsquo;s new CEO and team principal this morning. No words of support for Sauber during a difficult time, no outright comment that Monisha&rsquo;s departure would have no effect on the relationship; no, just a short and non committal answer that clarified nothing at all!</p> <p>Listening to paddock scuttlebutt over the rest of the weekend (usually reliable for a general tone rather than specific facts), it was clear that all was not well between Honda and yet another F1 team, this time Sauber! If the second hand stories I picked up on were reliable, it turned out that Hasagawa-san only (officially) learned of Kaltenborn&rsquo;s departure like the rest of the paddock via a jumbled series of midnight media releases.</p> <p>Surely, you keep your ace card (Honda) fully updated with progress and any major internal developments before they become public knowledge? Clearly the Swiss team&rsquo;s new owners either didn&rsquo;t consider the departure of their key conduit between the two companies would have an effect on the future relationship, or they didn&rsquo;t care&hellip;</p> <p>So it was with interest that I read overnight that the German tabloid Auto Bild Motorsport was reporting that the arrangement to supply Honda engines to the Hinwil based team next year was dead. The reason apparently given by the Japanese automotive giant was that Kaltenborn was no longer in place and that they had not been advance warning of her departure.</p> <p>If this is the case, and I may add that no one that I have tried to reach this morning was prepared to make any comments on record and deny this situation, it now means that incoming team principal Fred Vasseur also has to secure an engine supplier for next year.</p> <p>The easiest route would be to shore up the existing relationship with Maranello or he could even perhaps go knocking on his previous employer&rsquo;s door, Renault, and see if they are prepared to supply the team. Only time will tell which route he will explore.</p> <p>And given the precarious relationship between Honda and McLaren, could Honda again be departing F1 at the end of this year; something that they have done on a number of occasions before? Surely Liberty Media will be doing everything within their power to keep Honda involved next year?</p>