Latest F1 news in brief - Wednesday
Renault to start Red Bull talks after Monaco
|Can Abiteboul keep Red Bull?|
- Todt tips Ferrari to drop F1 quit threat
- Pirelli could stay in F1 after 2019 - boss
- Advisor says Williams aerodynamics 'stalling'
- Pirelli right to tweak tires for Barcelona - Vettel
- Renault power deficit 'frustrating' - Jos Verstappen
- McLaren looking at series outside F1 - Brown
- Emirates expands Formula 1 deal
- F1 Apologizes For Problems With F1 TV Streaming Service
Renault to start Red Bull talks after Monaco
(GMM) Renault would cope with the loss of Red Bull as a customer.
That is the claim of Cyril Abiteboul, boss of the French carmaker's F1 project.
Currently, it is unclear whether Red Bull will stick with Renault power for 2019 or switch to Honda.
Renault imposed a May 15 deadline on Red Bull, but then extended it until May 31.
Now, Abiteboul told El Mundo newspaper that talks will only begin after Monaco.
"Everything will start at the end of May, shortly after Monaco," said the Frenchman.
"We are not going to put a deadline, because it's not our style. But we cannot postpone it indefinitely," Abiteboul added.
"There is some urgency due to changes in the regulations, so if Red Bull wants our engines, they should let us know. If there is no agreement, we will stay with Renault and McLaren.
"We do not have to supply three teams," he said.
The Red Bull talks may also complicate Renault's desire to keep Carlos Sainz for 2019, as the Spaniard is only 'on loan' for this year.
"We all know about his Red Bull contract," Abiteboul said.
"We are also all aware that, if there is a will by all parties, there is a way to end it.
"We have been talking with Red Bull about all kinds of issues for 12 years and I am convinced that there will be many occasions to talk about this matter soon," he added.
Todt tips Ferrari to drop F1 quit threat
(GMM) Jean Todt thinks Ferrari's F1 'quit threat' will eventually recede.
Indeed, team president Sergio Marchionne recently eased the threat, saying the latest negotiations with the FIA and Liberty Media over the future were more fruitful.
"Ferrari is an iconic brand," FIA president Todt, himself a former Ferrari chief, said in Barcelona.
"There are several reasons for that, and one of them is that the sport is very important for them. Ferrari profits from racing and racing profits from them.
"I'm convinced that if we set up a good format, they will continue to be interested," said the Frenchman.
However, Todt said the FIA must also think about the other teams in F1.
"We have to do something that's good for ten teams, not just one," he insisted.
"More than half of the teams are in difficulty, and that's not good for the premier discipline of motor sport. That's why we have to do something about the discrepancy between the teams."
At the heart of that problem, said Todt, are the high costs.
And so it looks likely that, in the 2021 regulations, the 'MHU-H' element of the power unit will be scrapped.
"It's an interesting technology, but nothing that is absolutely necessary to have a good world championship," said Todt.
"We want to make things simpler, and above all we want to interest new manufacturers. We are well on the way with the engine regulations," he added.
Pirelli could stay in F1 after 2019 - boss
|Marco Tronchetti Provera|
(GMM) Pirelli boss Marco Tronchetti Provera says the Italian brand wants to stay in formula one.
Currently, the tire company is under contract to be F1's sole supplier until the end of 2019.
"We remain willing to be in formula one, if the economic conditions are the same," Pirelli CEO Tronchetti Provera is quoted by Sky Italia.
He said Pirelli's work in F1 in recent years was "exceptional, thanks also to the work of our engineers whose skills are recognized by the drivers".
"In formula one, we work first of all on safety and then on performance. They are our two drivers," he added.
The Pirelli boss said his intention is to keep the brand in F1 beyond 2019, but "If the costs become excessive, there are many other races we are passionate about".
"We can continue to race all over the world in other races," he said.
Advisor says Williams aerodynamics 'stalling'
|Poor Paddy Lowe hasn't a clue|
(GMM) Alex Wurz says the aerodynamics on Williams' 2018 car are basically "stalling".
The once-great British team is now among the absolute slowest on the grid, as young drivers Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin struggle to drive the 2018 car.
"We lose downforce to the diffuser," once team driver and now Williams advisor Alex Wurz is quoted by Italy's Autosprint.
"We had this problem last year but it was just annoying. Now it's stalling.
"We lose grip and the drivers have no confidence in the car."
Worse still, Austrian Wurz said there is not yet light at the end of the tunnel for Williams.
"Identifying the problem is just 10 per cent of the question. Resolving it is the real challenge," he said.
Pirelli right to tweak tires for Barcelona - Vettel
|Ferrari had to run a radical setup in Spain to keep pace with Mercedes. It was still too slow and Vettel's tires wore out quickly|
(GMM) Sebastian Vettel has diluted the conspiracy theory about why Pirelli's tires suddenly changed ahead of the Spanish grand prix.
Some, including Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko, mused openly that Mercedes successfully lobbied to have the tread of the tires made thinner.
The result was Ferrari suddenly struggling last weekend in Barcelona, while Lewis Hamilton went on to win and extend his championship lead.
But after testing the old versus new tires back to back in Barcelona on Tuesday, Ferrari driver Vettel backed Pirelli's decision.
"If we had used those (old tires at the grand prix) it would have been worse. They blistered very seriously and could have caused serious problems.
"It was right to bring the thinner tread," the German is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Our mistake was that we could not get the wear out of them that our rivals did, and it's up to us to react and work on it," Vettel added.
"We have some ideas and now we need to turn them into reality."
Renault power deficit 'frustrating' - Jos Verstappen
|Jos Verstappen (R) says if you don't start up front in F1 it's almost impossible to pass|
(GMM) Jos Verstappen says Renault's continuing engine struggles are "frustrating".
Currently, Red Bull is considering switching from Renault to Honda power for 2019.
And it seems that Jos, the former F1 driver and father of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, is pushing for the move.
"I think the car has more potential than we have seen so far," the Dutchman told Ziggo Sport.
"In the race it's fabulous but in qualifying it's not fast enough. Renault just does not seem capable of delivering extra power like Mercedes and Ferrari can in the final qualifying session.
"It seems to me that they have no idea how to tackle the issue. It's very frustrating," Verstappen snr added.
"Qualifying position is fundamental because with these cars it's more difficult than ever to overtake an opponent."
Jos was also asked about speculation that Max could have a new teammate next year, as Daniel Ricciardo is considering a switch to Mercedes or Ferrari.
"I know that Red Bull would like to keep Daniel," he answered. "Ricciardo is thinking it over thoroughly.
"At Ferrari we see that Vettel is better than Raikkonen. At Mercedes, Hamilton is better than Bottas. But at Red Bull the difference between the drivers is small.
"I see that as an advantage for Daniel and Max, because they push each other and that benefits them both," Verstappen said.
McLaren looking at series outside F1 - Brown
(GMM) If F1 budgets go down, McLaren will consider entering teams in other racing series.
That is the claim of Zak Brown, whose top driver Fernando Alonso is already splitting his time between F1 and the world endurance championship this year.
Last year the Spaniard also did the Indy 500, with American Brown admitting it is "an important market" for McLaren.
"Now we are assessing the budget constraints in formula one and understanding if they allow us to look more closely at other racing series," he said.
"It would be interesting to take part in Le Mans and win," Brown added.
"Our shareholders like our ideas, as long as they are financially viable, they make sense for the brand and we will be successful on the track," he said.
Emirates expands Formula 1 deal
|Emirates does a lot of sponsoring in F1|
Formula 1 has expanded and extended its partnership with Emirates airlines, the renewed agreement began at the start of the 2018 world championship season and will extend until the end of 2022.
As part of the new deal, the Dubai-based airline will enjoy an expanded branding and consumer activation presence at over 15 races on the Formula One calendar across Europe, Asia, Australia, North America and South America.
The five-year extension includes extensive trackside branding at the races, hospitality for guests at the Paddock Club, interactive fan engagement activities at Formula One fan zones and fan festivals at selected races, as well as Supercar Hot Laps at eight races and branding across digital media assets.
Emirates, which has been a global partner of the leading motorsport series since 2013, will also offer its Skywards members the opportunity to use their miles to bid for exclusive VIP experiences at various races.
In addition, the airline served as the title sponsor of the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona on the weekend, and will occupy the same role at the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim from 20th to 22nd July.
“There’s an excellent fit between Emirates and Formula One, from the global extent of our destination network and the cities in which races take place, to the focus on innovation and technology that underpins the sport and our approach to the development of products and services for our customers,” said Thierry Antinori, executive vice-president and chief commercial officer at Emirates.
Formula One next heads to the streets of Monte Carlo for the Monaco Grand Prix on 10th June.
Emirates last week reported a 124 per cent surge in net profit to Dh2.8 billion (US$762 million) for the 2017 fiscal year.
F1 Apologizes For Problems With F1 TV Streaming Service
|At least the Fan-Zone at races works|
Formula 1 apologized to fans for "problems with an already-delayed F1 TV streaming service at its launch in Spain last weekend," according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS.
Fans were complaining on social media from early in the weekend that the product to which they had subscribed "suffered from buffering and other issues that rendered it unwatchable."
F1 acknowledged on its official website that it suffered "some live playback issues" at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya and apologized for the "inconvenience."
Subscribers were offered a refund, with F1 saying that "this weekend was on us."
Managing Dir Ross Brawn said, "Apologies to our fans, but we are dragging our sport from a place where none of these initiatives previously existed and we will get there."
F1 also launched its Twitter Live show and F1 Vision, a handheld device on which fans at the circuit can follow the race, in Barcelona. REUTERS