Latest F1 news in brief – Tuesday

  • Former Renault F1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr. will be the team lead for McLaren in 2019
    Former Renault F1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr. will be the team lead for McLaren in 2019

    Sainz Jr. to 'lead' McLaren in 2019

  • Hamilton teammate Bottas 'is not there' – Verstappen
  • Berger sees F1 chance for nephew Auer
  • Ferrari's Binotto 'has received other offers'
  • Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team extends the partnership with Interroll
  • Former F1 team owner Vijay Mallya faces extradition from the UK

Sainz Jr. to 'lead' McLaren in 2019

(GMM) Carlos Sainz Jr. says he will do his best to "lead" McLaren from the cockpit in 2019.

The Spaniard is moving to the struggling British team from Renault.

"I'm leaving very good friends," Sainz said. "I feel that it is unfinished business."

The 24-year-old struggled at times this year, but says the main problem was feeling uncomfortable in the Renault car.

"I did not lose confidence in myself at any time," said Sainz.

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul agrees that Sainz could return some day, explaining: "The bridges have not been burned, so who knows. He is young and so are we.

"We are very happy that he got another seat and it is at a team like McLaren. It is a team that has to rebuild, but he can take on that responsibility," Abiteboul added.

Sainz agreed: "I'll take my chances with the experience I have to lead the team from the beginning of the year, especially while Lando (Norris) is learning. It will be a new start for McLaren."

McLaren boss Zak Brown says the Woking outfit hit a "low point in the history of McLaren" this year, but is now "on the road to recovery".

McLaren and Renault will use the same engines in 2019.

"We have a very good relationship with them," said Brown. "I got the report about the new power unit in Abu Dhabi and it was very encouraging.

"They've given us a reliable engine and we're happy with the decision," he added, referring to the decision to dump Honda at the end of 2017.

Red Bull is leaving Renault and switching to Honda for 2019, with McLaren's Brown declaring: "We will benefit from that."

Hamilton teammate Bottas 'is not there' – Verstappen

Verstappen says Bottas not fast enough to challenge Hamilton
Verstappen says Bottas not fast enough to challenge Hamilton

(GMM) Max Verstappen has admitted he will try to emulate Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes' approach to winning the world championship.

The Dutchman can finally stop complaining about his customer Renault engines in 2019, as Red Bull makes the switch to works Honda power.

"The engine for next year is a completely new one," he told Ziggo Sport.

"It has been on the test bench for a while but it's a bit of a wait. I think the prospects are good compared to what we had until now. It is definitely a lot better," Verstappen said.

However, Red Bull is remaining cautious, with Verstappen saying he will aim for consistency early next year when Honda may still be catching up.

"If we can just do a bit better and then do a season like Lewis just had then it is already a lot better for the championship," he said.

Verstappen says he does not feel that Hamilton is a better driver, but that the Mercedes star just has a better car.

"It is not about being ready or not ready," he insisted. "You just have to have the right material.

"Lewis was ready in his first year already, just because he had a really good car. But now he also has less pressure.

"He has a very good car and his teammate is not there anyway. When the whole team is all about you, it's a lot easier. And the better your car is, the easier it is again," said Verstappen.

Berger sees F1 chance for nephew Auer

Lucas Auer would need a very large check to buy an F1 seat
Lucas Auer would need a very large check to buy an F1 seat

(GMM) Gerhard Berger is hoping his nephew may have a future in formula one.

One the one hand, the F1 legend said he is sad to see Lucas Auer leave DTM, the German touring car series that he now runs.

"But I see it with the eyes of an uncle," Berger told Tiroler Tageszeitung newspaper. "He has to use this opportunity in formula sport."

Berger, the former McLaren and Ferrari driver, is referring to the fact that Auer has been signed up by Red Bull's junior program and will race in Japan's highly respected Super Formula series next year.

At 24, Auer is unusually old for the Red Bull program but Dr Helmut Marko said "We wanted to keep his career going".

Indeed, Toro Rosso may even have been an option for Auer in 2019.

"There would have been a good chance for Lucas in formula one," said Berger. "Unfortunately he did not have the necessary points for the super license."

Ferrari's Binotto 'has received other offers'

Arrivabene may force Binotto out in exchange for Aldo Costa
Arrivabene may force Binotto out in exchange for Aldo Costa

(GMM) Whispers of discord at Maranello are continuing, even after the end of the 2018 season.

As pundits do their analysis of where Ferrari's title campaign went wrong, many have pointed to a rift between team boss Maurizio Arrivabene and technical director Mattia Binotto.

And Corriere della Sera, an Italian daily, says that argument is not yet over.

"In the days after Abu Dhabi, Binotto asked for a meeting with his bosses to understand how to proceed," correspondents Daniele Sparisci and Giorgio Terruzzi revealed.

They said Binotto is being isolated not only by Arrivabene but also Sebastian Vettel, with the latter disagreeing with those who think his 2018 car was a match for Mercedes.

"If you have a global vision of the whole year, I think we were still very far away," said Vettel at the weekend.

Corriere della Sera believes Binotto "has received offers from various teams, but he would like to stay to continue the unfinished mission".

"To do so, he requires clarity, a protection of roles and serenity in the environment," the correspondents added.

Ferrari clearly struggled in the wake of president Sergio Marchionne's death this year, with new chief John Elkann now stepping into that gap.

"Lately he has increased the frequency of his visits to Maranello," the correspondents revealed, referring to Elkann.

"He inherited the organization of the team but has not touched anything in recent months while his public appearances were very rare. But now he has been called on to restore serenity and strength."

Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team extends the partnership with Interroll

The Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team is pleased to announce the extension of the partnership with Interroll.

The Interroll Group is a leading global supplier of high-quality products and services for internal logistics. The successful collaboration between the two companies first started in 2012, with the goal of optimizing the team’s logistical processes – a critical factor in operating successfully at the pinnacle of motorsport.

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team & CEO Sauber Motorsport AG:
“We are happy to be extending our longstanding partnership with Interroll. Building on our collaboration that has been successfully in place since 2012, we will continue optimizing our logistical processes which are an important key to success in Formula One. We look forward to making further progress together."

Jens Karolyi, Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Culture Interroll:
“We are pleased to continue the successful partnership with the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team. We value the focus on quality, efficiency and innovation at Sauber. The exchange as well as joint events inspire us and our customers over and over again. Beyond sports, Sauber once again sets new standards in engineering."

About Interroll:
The Interroll Group is the leading global provider of material handling solutions. The company was founded in 1959 and has been listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange since 1997. Interroll provides system integrators and OEMs with a wide range of platform-based products and services in these categories: Rollers (conveyor rollers), Drives (motors and drives for conveyor systems), Conveyors & Sorters as well as Pallet & Carton Flow (flow storage systems). Interroll solutions are in operation in express and postal services, e-commerce, airports, the food and beverage industry, fashion, and automotive sectors, and many other manufacturing industries. Among the company’s end users are leading brands such as Amazon, Bosch, Coca-Cola, DHL, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, Siemens, Walmart and Zalando. Headquartered in Switzerland, Interroll has a global network of 32 companies with turnover of around CHF 450.7 million and 2.100 employees (2017). For further information about Interroll, please visit:

Former F1 team owner Vijay Mallya faces extradition from the UK

Vijay Mallya
Vijay Mallya

A London court ordered that Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya should be extradited from Britain to India, where he faces fraud charges over unpaid loans tied to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

Monday's ruling will be passed to the Home Secretary for approval.

India wants to bring criminal action against Mallya for over $1.4 billion in loans Kingfisher took from Indian banks. Authorities argue that the 62-year-old has no intention of repaying those loans.

The businessman's attorneys have argued against the prosecution citing insufficient evidence and even suggested that the accusations are politically motivated. His lawyers say the case runs the risk of facing unfair trial due to political pressure and media scrutiny, according to The New York Times.

Once listed as one of India's wealthiest people, Mallya's extradition would be a huge win for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who faces a crucial re-election next year. Modi has been criticized by opposition politicians of being lenient toward several citizens that have left their country in recent years to escape prosecution.

"Great Day for India. No one who cheats India will go scot free," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took to Twitter to weigh in on Mallya's extradition. He said that the National Democratic Alliance — which includes the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party — had brought Mallya "to book." Mallya had fled India during BJP's time as a ruling power.

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