Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
Toro Rosso to announce Gasly's US GP replacement
|Will Sebastien Buemi get the call for Austin? Depends whether his check is large enough|
- Marchionne still believes in Vettel title
- Massa should retire - Marko
- Alonso to blame for bad career choices - Rosberg
- Red Bull wants Ricciardo until 2020
- Mercedes not worried about Hamilton engine
- Kubica will not race Toro Rosso in Austin - Rosberg
- Beating Hulkenberg 'will not be easy' - Sainz Jr.
- Drivers set for grid introductions at Austin
- Massa perplexed by Williams' race deficit
- Theater Chain Cinepolis To Air Formula 1-Related Films To Promote Race
Toro Rosso to announce Gasly's US GP replacement
(GMM) Team owner Red Bull will imminently decide who will replace Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly at the US grand prix next weekend.
Red Bull official Dr Helmut Marko says Toro Rosso's media statement saying Gasly will race alongside Daniil Kvyat in Austin was "wrong".
He said the team was caught off-guard by the late deal reached between Renault and Red Bull regarding the early release of Carlos Sainz to the French team.
"Renault decided very late and a little unexpectedly in changing (Jolyon) Palmer," Marko told Auto Motor und Sport.
"Gasly cannot drive in Austin because our new engine partner Honda wants him to get the Super Formula title at the same time in Japan," he added. "We cannot deny their wish."
There is reportedly a huge list of potential one-off replacements for Gasly.
Among them are Robert Kubica, Sergey Sirotkin, Sebastien Buemi and even Takuma Sato and Indycar champion Josef Newgarden.
"Don't worry," Marko said. "We will know who is in the second Toro Rosso on Tuesday."
Buemi, a long-time Red Bull-backed driver, is perhaps the frontrunner.
But Marko admitted that bringing him back to F1 full-time next year as a replacement for Carlos Sainz is unlikely.
"Even if Toyota leaves Le Mans, it would be difficult to get Buemi next year because of Honda," Marko said, referring to the Swiss driver's existing contract. "The competition between the Japanese companies is too big."
Marchionne still believes in Vettel title
|Sergio Marchionne must be on some hallucinogen|
(GMM) Sergio Marchionne insists Ferrari's 2017 title charge is not over.
That is despite the fact the partisan Italian press thinks Sebastian Vettel's campaign went up in smoke in Singapore, Malaysia and Japan.
"In three races, Maranello destroyed all the good that had been done in the first 13," said La Gazzetta dello Sport.
La Repubblica added: "How could you lose the championship with such a fast car?""
But Ferrari president Marchionne says that despite Vettel's big points gap to Lewis Hamilton with just four races to go, Ferrari "will not give up".
"The important thing is not to lose the confidence that brought us so far," he told Italian finance broadcaster Class CNBC.
"Without being arrogant I think Ferrari is at or beyond Mercedes' level today," Marchionne added.
"I have immense confidence that in the next four races we will be able to close the gap to them."
He said Vettel's problem at Suzuka was a "59 euro spark plug that affected a car worth millions".
"We need to renew our commitment to the quality of the components we use for F1," Marchionne added.
"On at least three occasions it has had a devastating impact on the Scuderia's performance. We will fix it."
Massa should retire - Marko
|Felipe Massa panned|
(GMM) Dr Helmut Marko thinks Felipe Massa should retire.
The rebuke comes after the lapped Fernando Alonso and Massa, the Brazilian F1 veteran, held up Max Verstappen in the closing stages of the Dutchman's pursuit of Suzuka winner Lewis Hamilton.
"Max had the pace to attack Hamilton," Marko, the Red Bull official, told ORF broadcaster.
"It cannot be that when the leaders approach you only move over after so many corners. Without the episode we would have had an exciting end.
"It would be better if Massa retires," the Austrian added.
Alonso to blame for bad career choices - Rosberg
|Rosberg says Alonso made all the wrong moves|
(GMM) Only Fernando Alonso is to blame for the Spaniard's failure to add another title to his tally in over a decade.
That is the view of the reigning world champion Nico Rosberg, who came out of retirement to appear as a pundit for British television at Suzuka last weekend.
When asked by Spain's AS newspaper to comment on Alonso's "bad luck" since winning his second title for Renault in 2005, Rosberg said: "It was not bad luck.
"It's not bad luck when you choose the wrong teams to be at, because that's all part of being a top driver.
"You can be the best driver in the world, but you won't win in a bad car," the German added.
So when asked if Alonso is making the right choice by staying with McLaren next year, Rosberg answered: "It's his only option."
Told however that Alonso has hinted at a move to Le Mans or Indycar, Rosberg said: "Yes, but that's not formula one -- and formula one is the maximum."
Red Bull wants Ricciardo until 2020
|Red Bull wants to keep both Ricciardo and Verstappen|
(GMM) Red Bull wants to keep Daniel Ricciardo beyond next year.
That is the view of team boss Christian Horner, even though fellow Red Bull official Dr Helmut Marko said at Suzuka that the Australian driver is "on the market".
"Technically Helmut is correct," Horner is quoted by international reports including De Telegraaf.
"Daniel's contract expires at the end of 2018 and it is the first time in his career that he is a free agent.
"But that doesn't mean that we don't want to keep him," Horner added.
"In the long term we want to continue with Max (Verstappen) and Daniel. The dynamics of Daniel's experience and Max's youthful enthusiasm works very well.
"And Daniel has had a very consistent season, scoring nine podiums," the Briton added.
"I am quite clear that our intention is to keep both drivers, I would say at least until 2020."
Horner explained that Red Bull has the option of bringing Carlos Sainz to Red Bull for 2019, should either Verstappen or Ricciardo leave before then.
Mercedes not worried about Hamilton engine
|Hamilton will win the remaining races on the calendar except maybe Abu Dhabi where the shorter wheelbase cars like Ferrari or Red Bull could prevail|
(GMM) Mercedes is not worried about an engine problem aboard runaway championship leader Lewis Hamilton's car.
At the checkered flag at Suzuka, the Briton said on the radio that despite winning the race, he felt strange vibrations coming from the "PU" (power unit).
But team boss Toto Wolff says there is another explanation.
"From the beginning Lewis drove very smoothly, saving the engine and the tires, but closer to the finish there were difficulties," he said.
"It was not a problem, just the tires did not immediately start working again after the virtual safety car."
Hamilton also said he is not worried, despite admitting to making the concerned radio call about the engine.
"I felt a couple of things so I just point out anything I might forget to say afterwards," said the Briton.
"I honestly don't think there's anything wrong with the engine. You make lots of different switch changes and the turbo makes strange noises and different vibrations, so I don't think it's anything."
Kubica will not race Toro Rosso in Austin - Rosberg
(GMM) Co-manager Nico Rosberg has counted Robert Kubica out of the running for a one-off debut in Austin next weekend.
Toro Rosso is looking for a one-off replacement for Pierre Gasly, who during the US grand prix weekend will be in Japan fighting for the Super Formula title.
Pole Kubica is looking to return to F1 after a seven-season absence due to a permanent arm injury. He has tested for Renault this year and is now in the running to replace Felipe Massa at Williams in 2018.
But Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said the 32-year-old's management, including the reigning world champion Rosberg, is not pushing for the Gasly seat.
Reportedly, one of the reasons is that when Kubica does return, he would have to give back a lifetime insurance payout he received for being permanently unable to race in F1 -- even if that comeback is for one race only.
And Rosberg said Toro Rosso's one-race opportunity would be too great a risk for Kubica.
"If you are thrown into deep water in a strange car without a test, you can only lose," said the German. "It is better to keep going for the Williams opportunity."
Beating Hulkenberg 'will not be easy' - Sainz Jr.
|We will now see whether Carlos Sainz Jr. has what it takes|
(GMM) Carlos Sainz Jr. says he is happy to make the switch to Renault earlier than originally planned.
Actually, the Spaniard said recently that he preferred to spend the rest of the season with Toro Rosso before starting afresh with his new Renault adventure in 2018.
But then a sudden deal was reached between Renault and Jolyon Palmer whereby the Briton exits his seat immediately to make room for Sainz's debut in Austin next weekend.
"I heard about it from my manager only half an hour before the announcement," Sainz told Auto Motor und Sport.
"I was just as surprised as everyone else."
And so he admits that, on the grid at Suzuka, he did not know how to feel about his last race for Toro Rosso.
"But when I went to bed in the evening, I knew it was a good chance for me," said Sainz.
"Now I can get used to the car, the engineers and the mechanics," he added.
Some say Sainz's early switch is in fact not a good idea, because he only risks being shown up by his highly rated and experienced new teammate Nico Hulkenberg.
Sainz said: "I would not have minded finishing the season with Toro Rosso. But the early start can be very important.
"It gives me an opportunity to get to know everything in the new team and to adapt the car to me. These four races will help me next year. And if I can get a few points for the team, that would be great," he added.
As for beating Hulkenberg, however, Sainz admits it will not be easy.
"He has done 16 races with a car that I've never driven," he said. "It will take me a while to adjust.
"Of course my goal is to reach his pace as soon as possible. But it's not automatic. You have to work hard for it. It is about analyzing the data and learning how to drive that car."
Drivers set for grid introductions at Austin
Legendary announcer Michael Buffer is set to introduce drivers onto the grid at next weekend's United States Grand Prix, in a new initiative from Formula 1 owner Liberty Media.
Buffer, the Hall of Fame Sports and Entertainment Announcer, is famed for his iconic boxing introductions, most prominently the "let's get ready to rumble" call.
"I've been involved in some of the biggest sporting events around the world and have introduced most of the greatest boxers of the modern era," said Buffer.
"Now is my time to introduce the world's finest racing drivers.
"They are the stars of the show and I want to introduce them with the energy and adrenalin they deserve before they fire up their engines and get ready to race."
In order to accommodate the change to the pre-race schedule, the FIA will apply for an exemption to the Sporting Regulations as a one-off.
As a result, the pit lane is set to open at 13:15 local time, rather than 13:30, ahead of the race start at 14:00, with the initiative backed by all teams.
"This will allow more time on the grid with the cars and drivers," said Race Director Charlie Whiting.
"The period leading up to the start of a Formula 1 Grand Prix is always very spectacular and we are pleased to be able to make it even more exciting for the general public watching both at and away from the track."
Massa perplexed by Williams' race deficit
|It's now clear that it wasn't Paddy Lowe (above) that made the Mercedes fast, it was Aldo Costa. Lowe is now at Williams and they are lost.|
Felipe Massa says it is "difficult to understand" why Williams lacked race pace compared to its midfield rivals at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Massa qualified in eighth position at Suzuka and retained his position during the first stint, but fell away through the second stint, and came under pressure from both Haas drivers.
Massa was overhauled by Kevin Magnussen, while Romain Grosjean followed through, leaving him in 10th spot, which he managed to preserve, despite late pressure from Fernando Alonso.
"It was a very difficult race for us," said Massa.
"I was struggling with the degradation of the tires with both sets.
"The other cars had better pace than us and it's difficult to understand why.
"At the end, I lost positions to both Haas in a move that was a little bit tricky, but they were much quicker than me anyway.
"If they didn't pass me there, I think they could have passed me afterwards with the pace difference.
"I'm not happy with the pace, but looking at the problems we had, we still finished in front of Renault and Toro Rosso, and one point is better than nothing."
Lance Stroll, meanwhile, was left to rue a challenging Grand Prix, which came to a premature conclusion when he suffered a puncture on the run to Turn 3.
"I had a really good start and was up to 11th, but then I made a mistake in Turn 11, hit Magnussen and I think something went on the car," he said.
"I had to box really early as I thought something was broken or I had a puncture.
"Then I had a long stint on the Soft tire, working my way back up, but we were out of the points at that stage.
"I then felt there was something a bit strange at the front end, and then had a puncture.
"It is always surprising when you get a puncture, as it is very much unexpected and unfortunate at the same time!
"I was very close to [Daniel] Ricciardo when I came back on the circuit, but I managed to brake without anything happening."
Theater Chain Cinepolis To Air Formula 1-Related Films To Promote Race
Ahead of the Mexican Formula 1 Grand Prix, theater chain Cinepolis "will show various movies related to the sport from Oct. 13-19 at 45 locations throughout Mexico." The race will take place on Oct. 29.
Race Dir General Federico Gonzalez Compean said, "Through initiatives like this we look to boost the race and share the energy and emotion of racing outside the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
"We want the race to be experienced beyond the track and for it to be experienced in different parts of the country"