Latest F1 news in brief – Friday

  • Mercedes, Ferrari have different 'attitudes' – Wolff

  • De Vries next in line for F1 promotion
  • Haas drivers must work on approach – Steiner
  • Ferrari CEO announces bigger F1 budget for 2019
  • 'Difficult' to be Schumacher's son – Mick
  • Boss suggests Monza prepared to lose F1 race
  • Sauber F1 team renamed Alfa Romeo Racing

Mercedes, Ferrari have different 'attitudes' – Wolff

(GMM) Toto Wolff says the biggest difference between Mercedes and Ferrari is the "attitude".

The Austrian, who has presided over the German marque's utter domination of F1 since 2014, says he runs Mercedes with a "modest" attitude.

"Part of our DNA is that we remain modest as we win," Wolff told the Dutch magazine Formule 1.

"We do not take the win for granted — we do not see it as something that is self-evident or our right," he added. "We do not go into every weekend with the attitude that winning is a must.

"If there are races in which second is the maximum and we have done our utmost, I have peace with it. I think that is the biggest difference between us and Ferrari," said Wolff.

For the first time in the 'power unit' era, Ferrari put up a strong challenge to Mercedes' domination in 2018, but the Italian team ultimately fell short due to strategic and driver mistakes.

Wolff continued: "They have the attitude that anything less than victory is not enough. They have to win. Being second is a failure, even if they still did their best."

De Vries next in line for F1 promotion

Nyck de Vries at Monaco
Nyck de Vries at Monaco

(GMM) Nyck de Vries hopes he is the next Formula 2 driver who makes the big break into formula one.

Last year, George Russell, Lando Norris and Alexander Albon finished first, second and third in the F2 championship — and all three are moving into F1 this year.

Just behind them in the standings was 23-year-old Dutchman de Vries.

He hopes another F2 season will finally be his springboard onto the F1 grid.

"The last seven champions were all promoted to formula one," de Vries told Het Friesch Dagblad, a Dutch newspaper.

"I don't want to sound arrogant at all, but Norris and Albon were really no better than me.

"Norris won only one race, Albon won four and I won three," he said.

Mick Schumacher is the high-profile F2 driver for 2019, but it might be said that de Vries is actually the favorite.

"I'm the favorite? I have learned not to get ahead of myself," de Vries insisted.

"But I grew up with about 70 per cent of the current F1 grid. Of course it's sometimes frustrating to see that they are there now and I'm not, but everyone walks their own path. It's just easier for some than for others," he said.

De Vries remains a simulator driver for McLaren, and says he has not given up on his dream of racing in formula one.

"That is has not worked out yet is absolutely not at the expense of my belief in my chances to get to formula one. Once you lose that belief, you'd better stop," he said.

Haas drivers must work on approach – Steiner

The running joke is that the Haas drivers never saw a wall or competitor they did not like to hit
The running joke is that the Haas drivers never saw a wall or competitor they did not like to hit

(GMM) Haas' two race drivers need to get better at being calmly consistent throughout the season.

That is the view of Gunther Steiner, the young and small American team's boss.

Last year, the closely Ferrari-aligned team surprised by fielding a truly competitive midfield car, only to eventually finish behind Renault for fifth in the world championship.

"The goal for 2019 must be to get fourth place," Steiner told Denmark's BT newspaper.

"There are many teams who are looking at fourth this year, but I think it's possible," he added.

However, small teams like Haas are expected to be hurt more than their bigger counterparts as the technical regulations undergo a significant tweak.

Steiner said: "The numbers I get from our engineers bode well, but I don't know what the others are coming up with.

"It looks promising. But it is difficult to compare with last year, because the regulations are so different," he added.

Some think the clear weak link in the Haas chain in 2018 was the drivers, with Romain Grosjean struggling early on and Kevin Magnussen often tangled up in disputes with his rivals.

"It's something going on up in their heads," Steiner said. "Neither of them is good at not being the fastest man in the team.

"Romain and Kevin have to keep pushing each other, but they also have to learn that it is ok to be the second fastest in the team sometimes.

"You can win the war without winning every battle," he added.

Steiner also said Haas is sticking with its unique and controversial F1 team model, where it relies heavily on partners like Ferrari and Dallara.

"We have employed about 15 new people, but we must remember that we work closely with external suppliers such as Dallara and Ferrari," said Steiner.

"For us, this is a good way to do things, and I think our model will spread. For example, Toro Rosso will now work much more closely now with Red Bull."

Ferrari CEO announces bigger F1 budget for 2019

Louis Camilleri
Louis Camilleri

(GMM) Ferrari will boost its 2019 budget in a bid to finally beat Mercedes to a world championship this decade.

The fabled Italian team challenged hard in 2018, but team and driver mistakes ultimately meant Mercedes won its fifth consecutive drivers' and constructors' titles.

During the course of 2018, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne died, and CEO Louis Camilleri took over.

Camilleri said this week: "In 2018 we achieved our best result since we last won the championship, and for 2019 the goal is to win.

"I repeat that in 2019 our goal is the world championship title, so there will be an increase in investment to reach that goal," he added.

Italian media estimates put Ferrari's 2018 budget at about EUR 430 million, some EUR 20m shy of Mercedes.

'Difficult' to be Schumacher's son – Mick

Mick Schumacher
Mick Schumacher

(GMM) Mick Schumacher has admitted that it is sometimes "difficult" to be the son of F1's most successful driver of all time.

Reigning European F3 champion Schumacher, 19, is stepping up to Formula 2 this year, and he also recently signed up with Ferrari's driver development program.

Some think Schumacher's path was made easier because his father, fellow German Michael Schumacher, won seven world championships and famously drove for Ferrari and Mercedes.

On the other hand, the Schumacher name might be seen to be a burden, particularly amid great secrecy about the wellbeing of the now 50-year-old Schumacher.

"I am happy to be the son of the greatest F1 racer of all time," Mick insists. "I admire him for that.

"And even if sometimes it can be a bit difficult, it is what it is. There are good sides to it and there are bad sides," Schumacher told the FIA's Auto magazine.

However, Schumacher is yet to turn a wheel in Formula 2 this year, and yet already the collective F1 world is expecting him to step up to F1 for 2020.

"Again, everybody has to find out for himself what's best for him," said the German.

"We always said that we wanted to take time for me to develop as a racing driver in the best possible way, and we were good in doing it the way we did."

Finally, Schumacher addressed concerns about his sudden form boost in mid-2018.

"I see from people's reactions that it is hard to understand and it's also hard to explain, but really I think it was the outcome of a lot of hard work," he insisted.

Boss suggests Monza prepared to lose F1 race

Monza crowd

(GMM) Monza is not the only F1 venue that is worried about the cost of hosting an annual grand prix, according to Italian GP boss Angelo Sticchi Damiani.

The Italian automobile club (Aci) president this week confirmed that Monza is among the 16 F1 circuits protesting the race fees charged by Liberty Media.

"The cost you pay to Liberty Media each year is on average very high," he is quoted by Corriere dello Sport.

"It is really difficult to imagine, in our case as the grand prix of Monza, that in 2018 it had a cost of $24 million, which is a huge amount," Sticchi Damiani added.

He said the last contract agreed was a "sacrifice" because Monza "wanted to find a solution" to remain on the calendar.

"But today it is not possible to have that reasoning, and the problem concerns not only us but all of the grands prix.

"Liberty Media's demands are too close to what went before and unfortunately on the rise, but that is not possible," Stocchi Damiani insisted.

"The Aci will do its part, as we are perfectly aware of the importance of the role it plays. But we must have a chance of economic sustainability," he added.

"We have to convince Liberty Media that Monza has an irreplaceable value to the world championship and we want that to be recognized."

Sticchi Damiani hinted strongly that Monza is prepared to fail to reach an agreement with Liberty Media.

"This is a negotiation made in a moment of greater serenity than when we signed the agreement with Bernie Ecclestone," he said.

Sauber F1 team renamed Alfa Romeo Racing

Sauber will become known as Alfa Romeo Racing in 2019.

A year after Alfa Romeo came on board as title sponsor and technical partner, the Italian car maker takes over the name of the long-standing Swiss team ahead of the new F1 season.

Sauber, however, remain an independent team with their ownership structure unchanged.

"It is a pleasure to announce that we will enter the 2019 Formula One World Championship with the team name Alfa Romeo Racing," said team boss Frederic Vasseur.

"After initiating the collaboration with our Title Sponsor Alfa Romeo in 2018, our team made fantastic progress on the technical, commercial and sporting side.

"This has given a boost of motivation to each team member, be that track-side or at the headquarter in Switzerland, as the hard work invested has become reflected in our results.

"We aim to continue developing every sector of our team while allowing our passion for racing, technology and design to drive us forward."

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