Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
Marko hails step forward after Ecclestone exit
|Some people are happy Bernie is out|
- Red Bull hoping for Renault upgrade - Marko
- Teams unhappy amid Mercedes-Honda cooperation rumors
- Marko confirms official role for Jos Verstappen
- Stroll says he 'needs time' to learn in F1
Marko hails step forward after Ecclestone exit
(GMM) Dr Helmut Marko has hailed a step forward for formula one in the wake of Bernie Ecclestone's departure.
During the Spanish grand prix, a distraught young Ferrari fan was plucked out of the grandstand by Formula One Management staff so that he could meet Kimi Raikkonen and get a signed cap and once-in-a-lifetime paddock visit.
"I don't know if something like that was possible under the old management," Chase Carey, who replaced the ousted long-time F1 supremo Ecclestone, is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.
And that isn't all. In Barcelona, among other new fan-friendly initiatives, there was a F1-branded white two-seater Minardi doing laps all weekend.
"There are new ideas from race to race," said Red Bull official Marko.
"We (Red Bull) have often had ideas that were not supported, but it's no longer about things imposed from above, but a cooperation to make the whole event more attractive."
It is of particular interest to Red Bull, as the energy drink company is not only a team owner but the actual race promoter of the Austrian grand prix.
Indeed, Marko said he has been in contact about the Red Bull Ring's 2017 race with new commercial boss Sean Bratches.
"We presented him with a list of ideas and within an hour all ten points were agreed," Marko said.
"It is a different atmosphere and mood, but at the same time there are also very intensive talks about new regulations on the technical side, the engine side, and the finance side."
Red Bull hoping for Renault upgrade - Marko
|Red Bull wants more power|
(GMM) Red Bull is waiting on a Renault upgrade that has been delayed for reliability reasons.
In Barcelona, the former champions took a clear step closer to runaway pacesetters Mercedes and Ferrari.
"We closed more than 60 per cent of the gap," Red Bull official Dr Helmut Marko told Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper.
He admitted the team is hoping for another big step in time for the Red Bull-promoted Austrian grand prix in July.
But that also depends on whether the Renault upgrade will be ready by then.
"Naturally we are hoping that something will come before Austria," he said.
Teams unhappy amid Mercedes-Honda cooperation rumors
(GMM) Two F1 teams have admitted their opposition amid rumors Mercedes is preparing to help Honda finally get up to speed in formula one.
The rumor has been taking shape in recent weeks, and in Barcelona it emerged that the Austrian company Avl might also get involved to help Honda finally end its reliability and performance crisis.
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff, however, is not confirming the rumblings.
"Honda is a large and prestigious company," he told Spain's El Mundo Deportivo.
"They're in a difficult situation now but I'm sure they will find a way out and do not need our help."
But amid the rumblings, there are already signs that some of Mercedes and Honda's rivals are not happy with the plan.
Renault-powered Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko said: "I don't know if it's true, but I don't think it's a good idea.
"There are already very strict rules about cooperation with regards to the chassis."
And amid a sea of 'no comments' elsewhere, Bob Fernley admitted that as Force India's deputy boss, he would not be happy if Mercedes started working with Honda.
"As a team that's not only paid for its (Mercedes) engines but contributed to the development of them, I would certainly be very negative towards sharing that technology with another team that is a competitor of ours," he said.
Marko confirms official role for Jos Verstappen
|Max and father Jos Verstappen|
(GMM) Dr Helmut Marko has confirmed reports that Max Verstappen's father is taking on an official Red Bull role.
Earlier, we reported that former F1 driver Jos Verstappen, whose teenage son now drives for Red Bull Racing, was considering taking up a role as a sort of young talent scout for the energy drink company.
Marko, who runs Red Bull's driver programme, confirmed: "This is a good cooperation and expansion of the Red Bull junior team."
The Austrian said 45-year-old Verstappen, who oversaw his 19-year-old son Max's meteoric rise to F1, will help Red Bull as it looks for the next talents of the future.
"It is a question of time, as there are clashes with junior races so that I cannot see them," said Marko, who attends all the grands prix.
"So we asked if he has the time and the inclination to visit certain races for us," he said, revealing that Verstappen's first assignment is the F3 race in Pau this weekend.
But Marko said Jos' scope will go beyond that as well.
"Jos was always closely involved in karting," he said. "He can not only coach the drivers with his experience, but also look at the teams.
"The success in the development phase that he managed with Max is obvious," Marko said.
Stroll says he 'needs time' to learn in F1
Williams rookie Lance Stroll has hit back at critics of his early performances in Formula 1, insisting that he simply needs "experience and a bit of time" to learn the ropes.
|Still making rookie mistakes|
Stroll failed to finish his first three races, due to a brake failure in Australia, and clashes in China and Bahrain, and has not troubled team-mate Felipe Massa in qualifying.
He reached the chequered flag for the first time in Russia, taking 11th after an early spin, and was the final finisher in Spain, being overhauled by Massa, who suffered an early puncture.
Stroll, speaking ahead of last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, expressed his view that many people have unrealistic expectations for his first season.
"The media have to accept the condition I'm in, as I'm 18, it's my first year, I've never been to all of the tracks, and these new cars are very demanding to drive," he said.
"If you expect me to come in here and just show the world what I'm made of in my first couple of races, then that's the wrong way to look at this whole thing.
"I need experience and I need a bit of time, then I can become the best I can be.
"I can't rock up to the first Grands Prix and get into a car that's new for me, at a track that's new, my first time in the championship at 18 years old, and just blow everyone's mind, that's not the way it works.
"I'm not frustrated by that, I accept the condition I'm in, I know there's time ahead of me and I know that when I learn the tracks and come back I'll already be a lot better.
"I know that based off experience in the past, my first year in F3, my second year in F3, I was a hell of a lot better in the second year, and that's how it goes."
Stroll added that he always expected a difficult start to his Formula 1 career, despite significant running in older machinery through 2016.
"It's just all new, the experience of being here in Formula 1 is all new," he said.
"I think it's all things I expected, and I expected it to be challenging, as it is... challenging for the reasons I explained, the situation I'm at.
"If people can't accept that, well, I'm sorry, miracles don't happen, so it's about taking the realistic steps and approaches to each race."