Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
Ecclestone doubts F1 will race in Miami, London
|Ecclestone does not see an F1 race in Miami or London ever happening|
- Bad season not all Bottas' fault - Salo
- Horner sad to farewell Ricciardo
- Todt proud to 'fight' for Halo
- Departing Ericsson says F1 'artificial'
- Super Formula 'good training ground for F1' - Marko
- No 'off season' for axed F1 driver Vandoorne
- F1 2019 calendar gets final approval from FIA
Ecclestone doubts F1 will race in Miami, London
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone doubts Liberty Media's ability to deliver a second US grand prix on the streets of Miami.
Plans for the Miami race have fallen through for now, but F1 owner Liberty insists it has not given up.
"It will never happen," former F1 supremo Ecclestone told Speed Week.
The 88-year-old said street circuits are notoriously hard to organize, and the plans for Miami were too ambitious.
And "I think the Americans always want a guarantee not to lose money", he added.
|Tree huggers in Miami and London will stop F1|
Ecclestone said Liberty is "in too much of a hurry with all these new races".
"When they came in, they said 'We'll have 25 races, six of them in America'. But they don't know how to do it," he insisted.
Liberty has delivered a new race in Vietnam, but Ecclestone said he decided against that race because of the competing hosts in Singapore and Japan.
"So I let it go," the Briton said.
"If you tell people about formula one there, they don't have a clue what you're talking about.
"Whether it's right or wrong, I don't know. Everywhere is the right place, as long as people come to the track or turn on the TV," said Ecclestone.
He also scoffed at the latest reports about Liberty eyeing a race in London.
"We looked at it years ago," he said. "It's too complicated, too many restrictions.
"We had so many meetings and in the end the difference was three million pounds. I said 'That's the cost of the bottled water at the meetings we still need to have. So let's just forget the whole thing'."
Bad season not all Bottas' fault - Salo
|Bottas career pretty much over|
(GMM) Former F1 driver Mika Salo has defended Valtteri Bottas at the end of a bad season for his fellow Finn.
Many are questioning Bottas' psychological state, after a disappointing season for the Mercedes driver and the looming threat tis race seat posed for 2020 by Esteban Ocon.
Some believe Bottas is being too openly critical of his own level of underperformance.
"I think it's ok to say it out loud," Salo told Finland's MTV.
"At least he has identified what were the weak points for him and will work in the winter so that they are not there next year," he added.
"Valtteri has no choice but to reset completely and start again next year.
"Pretty much everything went wrong this year," Salo continued. "Baku was really bad. If not for what happened he would have led the championship and who knows how the season would have gone after that."
Salo said Baku is just one example of how 2018 was not all Bottas' fault.
"There were so many little things that were just bad luck, not anything that Valtteri did badly. But they surely affected him on the mental side pretty badly," he said.
Horner sad to farewell Ricciardo
(GMM) Christian Horner admits he is sad that Daniel Ricciardo has left Red Bull.
The team boss said Australian Ricciardo alongside Max Verstappen was "the best duo in the history" of the energy drink owned outfit.
Ricciardo shocked both Red Bull and the rest of the F1 world by announcing his move for 2019 to Renault.
"There was a momentum and respect between the two that meant they kept pushing each other to the limit," Horner said, referring to Ricciardo and Verstappen.
Red Bull initially placed Ricciardo at HRT in 2011, before he got a promotion first to Toro Rosso and then Red Bull Racing.
"We never worried about Daniel's pace," Horner told RTL, admitting that the big worry was about Ricciardo's ability to go wheel-to-wheel.
"Now he is one of the best drivers in the field when it comes to overtaking. His personality was also a perfect match for our brand."
Todt proud to 'fight' for Halo
|All open wheel cars must adopt the Halo, including IndyCar|
(GMM) Jean Todt says he is proud he continued to "fight" for Halo.
The cockpit protection innovation was highly controversial from its inception, but in 2018 it arguably protected Charles Leclerc and F2 driver Tadasuke Makino in scary incidents.
But in Abu Dhabi, Halo also arguably stopped Nico Hulkenberg from quickly escaping after a rollover crash that involved fire.
"I had a lot of resistance, but when you think you are going in the right direction, you have to fight for it," the German broadcaster RTL quotes FIA president Todt as saying.
He says he feels vindicated by the incidents seen this year.
"We were able to demonstrate that without Halo, there would have been worse consequences for Charles," said Todt.
Formula E and Formula 3 will both use Halo from 2019.
"Safety is indisputably a priority, and the FIA is right if it insists," said Liberty Media's F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn.
Departing Ericsson says F1 'artificial'
|Ericsson knows F1 is 99% car, 1% driver. F1 is an engineering exercise. Engineering is not a sport. Never was, never will be.|
(GMM) Marcus Ericsson has departed F1 by saying the category is "a bit artificial".
The Swede drove in F1 for Caterham and Sauber, but he has lost his race seat for 2019 and is switching to Indycar.
Ericsson, 28, got his first taste of Indycar with a test in America this week.
He is quoted by Brazil's Globo: "This brings me back to why I fell in love with racing.
"F1 will always be F1, but it's a bit artificial in some ways," Ericsson added.
"In F1 you always start with perfection, but here you have to deal with the car and then perfect it. It's a lot more work for the driver, which is the biggest difference.
"It brings me back to the passion of racing," he said.
Super Formula 'good training ground for F1' - Marko
|Helmut Marko impressed with Super Formula Series|
(GMM) Japan's Super Formula is now a "good training ground" for Red Bull's future F1 drivers.
That is the view of Dr Helmut Marko, who is getting behind the top Japanese open wheeler category like never before.
"We were very impressed last year with the performance and development of Pierre Gasly, so we are sending some other drivers to Super Formula next year," he said.
In charge of Red Bull's junior program, Marko is referring to Dan Ticktum but also Lucas Auer.
Auer's appointment in particular is a surprise, because the nephew of F1 legend Gerhard Berger is already 24 years old.
Marko says Red Bull is throwing him a lifeline following the withdrawal of Mercedes from the German touring car series DTM.
"We want to keep Auer's career going," he told Speed Week.
But he also admitted Red Bull's "new partnership with Honda is having an effect".
What Marko means is that Red Bull will directly back three Honda-powered Super Formula cars in 2019, also including Adrian Newey's son Harrison.
"We support the young Newey, but he is not a Red Bull junior team member," Marko clarified.
As for Auer, Marko admits F1 cannot be ruled out in the future.
"With Super Formula alone, he cannot get the points he needs for a formula one license," Marko said. "He needs more."
Nonetheless, Marko admitted he likes what he sees in Super Formula.
"The cars are fast and it seems to be difficult to get the best from the tires, which is similar to Europe," he said.
"Generally it is a very impressive field and a good training ground for formula one."
No 'off season' for axed F1 driver Vandoorne
|Having failed in F1, Vandoorne has been exiled to Formula E|
(GMM) There will be no winter 'off season' for one 2018 F1 driver.
Dropped by McLaren, Stoffel Vandoorne has been snapped up by Mercedes for its new works Formula E effort.
That season kicks off next weekend in Saudi Arabia.
"It was a short winter break for me," the Belgian driver laughed to Sporza.
Vandoorne said Formula E will be a "voyage of discovery", and not just for him but also Mercedes' team HWA.
"During the tests we got an idea of the car, but Valencia is not comparable to the circuits in Formula E," he said.
"I hope it will be a positive story, but we have to be realistic because it is a big adjustment for myself and the team."
Vandoorne, 26, insists Formula E is "not a step back" from F1, as the all-electric series "has a lot of potential to grow".
"The championship has been on only four years and has grown enormously in that time," he added.
For now at least, Vandoorne says he is relieved his F1 adventure is over.
"After my last race in the F1, I was glad that it was over and I was able to start something new in a completely different environment," he said.
"I had two good years at McLaren, but unfortunately it was the worst years in their history, and I couldn't change much about that from my side."
F1 2019 calendar gets final approval from FIA
The FIA has formally approved the 2019 Formula 1 calendar, with the dates remaining the same as on the provisional version released in October.
The 21-round schedule will begin in Australia on March 17, and finish with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on December 1.
|23rd June||France||Paul Ricard|
|30th June||Austria||Red Bull Ring|
|14th July||Great Britain||Silverstone|
|27th October||Mexico||Mexico City|
|1st December||Abu Dhabi||Yas Marina|