Latest F1 news in brief - Tuesday
Ricciardo wants Melbourne podium
|Ricciardo in Melbourne|
- Alonso has 'total' faith in Renault engine
- Azerbaijan says current F1 deal 'unacceptable'
- Mallya loses legal battle, to pay $90 million in claims
- Verstappen: We'd be unbeatable with Mercedes power
- WILLIAMS and Acronis Announce Strategic Technology Partnership
Ricciardo wants Melbourne podium
(GMM) Daniel Ricciardo says he wants to be on the podium as soon as the very first race of 2018.
In previous years, Adrian Newey's new Red Bull was unveiled as late as possible.
But after the early struggle of last season, the team changed tack for 2018 and will now be among the very first teams to launch their new contender next week.
"Last year we realized already at the winter tests that we were behind Mercedes and Ferrari," Australian Ricciardo told Speed Week.
"This year we want to be in good shape from the beginning. We want to be on the podium in the first race."
In 2017, Red Bull's late season progress was notably thwarted by Renault, the third-best engine in F1 whose unit was also unreliable.
Ricciardo said: "It is clear that the reliability and efficiency are better now.
"We are working hard with the aerodynamics and if our calculations are correct, then we will be in good shape in Melbourne and fighting for a place in the top three."
Alonso has 'total' faith in Renault engine
|Fernando Alonso no longer has any excuses|
(GMM) Fernando Alonso says he has "total" confidence that he will win in 2018.
After three bad years with Honda power, McLaren is now switching to customer Renault engines.
Spaniard Alonso won his titles with works Renault power over a decade ago, and so he said the French marque will be able to fix its reliability problems of late 2017.
"Total. Total," he said again when asked by Spain's AS newspaper how much confidence he has.
"I believe there are three engine manufacturers now at a very high level, and of the three, Mercedes has dominated in this era.
"But if you have to trust someone, you trust Renault, who in the last ten or 12 years has won six or seven times," Alonso added.
"Renault is an engine of guarantees and always has been," he said.
Alonso will uniquely split his time between F1 and the world endurance championship this year, declaring that between his duties, "I will win" in 2018.
Asked if he can win in F1, Alonso answered: "I don't know. We'll see.
"But I said I am going to win this year and I will."
Alonso drove an all-orange McLaren entry in the Indy 500 last year, and now there is speculation the British team will field a similar livery in F1.
"I haven't seen the colors but if it is orange like in Indy it will be perfect," he said.
"But it's also perfect if a sponsor comes and paints it whatever color at the last moment.
"What is really certain is that expectations are much better than we had in the last three winters. The atmosphere in the factory is much more positive," said Alonso.
Azerbaijan says current F1 deal 'unacceptable'
|Baku may not be around much longer|
(GMM) The Azerbaijan government is not sure it will agree to a new race deal with F1 chiefs.
Baku hosted its first race on the historic city streets in 2016, with the contract having been negotiated with the now former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
Now, sports minister Azad Rahimov is planning to stage talks with Liberty Media after the 2018 race in April.
"Within three months after the grand prix, we must give an answer to the leadership of formula one about whether we will extend the contract for another five years until 2025," he told Tass news agency.
"Everyone understands that the contract we have now is unacceptable. I think the new leadership of formula one understands that as well," Rahimov added.
"We are talking about a number of commercial conditions, sponsorship rights and the price that we pay," he continued.
"But I think both ourselves and the leadership of formula one have the desire to leave the race here."
Mallya loses legal battle, to pay $90 million in claims
Embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya has lost another legal battle linked to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines after the UK High Court awarded Singapore-based BOC Aviation an estimated $90 million in claims.
The latest case involving the 62-year-old businessman, whose extradition case over alleged loan defaults amounting to around Rs 9,000 crore returns to Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on March 16, is related to the leasing of aircraft by Kingfisher Airlines dating back to 2014.
Justice Picken, in a judgment dated February 5 at the Business and Property Courts of the High Court in London, ruled that “the defendants have no real prospect of successfully defending the claim”.
The defendants in the claim brought by BOC Aviation in Singapore and BOC Aviation (Ireland) Ltd have been named as Kingfisher Airlines Ltd and United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd.
“We are pleased with the judgment but would not like to comment further at this stage,” said a spokesperson for BOC Aviation in Singapore.
The legal claim relates to a leasing agreement between Kingfisher Airlines and aircraft company BOC Aviation involving four planes, of which three were delivered.
The delivery of the fourth was reportedly withheld due to unpaid amounts due in advance under the lease arrangement. BOC Aviation claims that the security deposit, which is a course of redress in such matters, was also inadequate to cover the payments that Kingfisher was “contractually bound” to make, resulting in the High Court claim in London.
In his order, Justice Picken awarded BOC Aviation the amount overdue along with interest payments and legal costs, which overall amounts to nearly $90 million.
“The Second Defendant [United Breweries] shall be jointly and severally liable with the First Defendant [Kingfisher Airlines] to pay the Claimants [BOC Aviation] half of the said costs liability,” the court order notes.
There was no immediate response from Kingfisher.
The latest ruling comes weeks before India’s extradition case against Mallya is set to come up for one of its final hearings before Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot on March 16, with a judgment expected in May.
The businessman remains on a 650,000-pound bail bond, extended until April 2 at the last hearing in the extradition case in January.
Verstappen: We'd be unbeatable with Mercedes power
|Max Verstappen figures he could smoke Hamilton if he had more power|
Max Verstappen believes Red Bull's rivals "would never see us again" if his RB was powered by the Mercedes engine.
Last season Red Bull raced to three victories, two for Verstappen and one for Daniel Ricciardo, on their way to third in the championship.
It was the team's fourth successive season without championship success with their fall from P1 coinciding with the introduction of the hybrid V6s in 2014.
And although Red Bull's engine supplier Renault took steps forward in 2017, it wasn't enough to challenge the Mercedes with Verstappen saying his team would be unbeatable if they ran the Brackley outfit's engines.
"I think that if we had a Mercedes engine in the back, they would never see us again," he told Motorsport.com.
He added: "Ours just isn't that stable compared to what Mercedes and Ferrari have.
"But it has to do with several things. Otherwise they would have solved it a long time ago, of course."
WILLIAMS and Acronis Announce Strategic Technology Partnership
WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING announced a new technology partnership today with Acronis, a global leader in hybrid cloud data protection and storage. As part of the agreement, Acronis will deliver innovative data protection solutions, including backup, disaster recovery, software-defined storage, and file sync and share.
Formula One is one of the world’s most technologically advanced sports. Every Grand Prix weekend Formula One teams capture hundreds of gigabytes of telemetry data, and produce terabytes of engineering and test data at the factory. Data analysis fuels innovation and technological development. The ability to interpret the data and make informed decisions is often what sets teams apart, making data the most valuable asset in the race toward the finish line.
Acronis’ expertise in data protection will assist Williams deal with the growing volumes of data without compromising the security and flexibility mandated by Formula One. Through its partnership with Acronis, Williams will be able to access a full set of innovative data protection solutions, including:
• Acronis Backup, the world’s fastest backup, which delivers near instant recovery;
• Acronis Storage, a scalable and secure universal software-defined storage;
• Acronis Access Advanced, a secure and flexible enterprise file sync and share solution.
Acronis also integrates a unique artificial intelligence-based active ransomware protection technology into Acronis Backup. As new ransomware strains increasingly target backup files, Acronis’ solution protects backups while adding another level of defence to the entire system.
Acronis’ products are already used by top automotive and manufacturing companies worldwide. Racing teams and corporations choose Acronis solutions for the performance and reliability required in high-pressure manufacturing environments.
“Technical innovation is at the heart of everything we do at Williams, and with that comes a crucial need to protect our data,” said Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal, Williams Martini Racing. “Acronis will protect Williams’ on-premise and cloud service data with backup, disaster recovery, and secure file sync and share solutions. We are delighted to be partnering with Acronis whose values mirror our own to push technology and innovation. We look forward to them helping to deliver practical solutions throughout the coming season to support our racing efforts.”
“Acronis is at the leading edge of data protection technology and continuing to push. Speed, technology, innovation, and a never-give-up attitude are at the heart of our DNA and this is what unites us with Williams. Acronis’ data protection solutions are perfectly suited for Williams data-intensive environment. We’re looking forward to a productive season together,” said John Zanni, President of Acronis.