Latest F1 news in brief – Friday

  • Claire Williams slow to write those checks
    Claire Williams slow to write those checks

    Williams wins race as F1's slowest bill payer

  • Ricciardo better than Verstappen – Villeneuve
  • Mallya steps down as Force India director
  • Pirelli skips supersofts for Singapore
  • The biggest wrong in F1: Verstappen earns more than Ricciardo
  • Guns N’ Roses will play at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Williams wins race as F1's slowest bill payer

(GMM) Williams has emerged as the F1 team that pays its bills the slowest.

Also struggling on track in 2018, the once-great British team takes an average of 20 days past the due date before it settles outstanding invoices, the business insights company Dun & Bradstreet found.

But interestingly, it was the much bigger-budget teams of Mercedes and Renault that came in next, paying their bills just one day quicker than Williams.

A big gap to McLaren (8 days) followed, with Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing paying bills only 1 day late. Force India and Sauber, both low-budget outfits like Williams, were the only teams to pay bills on time.

No data was available for Ferrari and Haas.

Compared to a year ago, the big mover was Force India, whose payment performance improved by 16 per cent. Williams, however, moved in the opposite direction, with a 14pc bill-paying blowout.

Deputy boss Claire Williams said recently the Grove based team has a tough road ahead, particularly with title sponsor Martini departing at the end of the year.

"We haven't done a good enough job and we need to really dig deep if we're going to make progress this year," she said. "It's going to be a really tough year which is great for the fans, just not so great for us at Williams."

Ricciardo better than Verstappen – Villeneuve

Verstappen has to come to terms with the fact he is a flawed driver
Verstappen has to come to terms with the fact he doesn't have the mental capacity to be great

(GMM) Daniel Ricciardo is a better driver than his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen.

That is the claim of Jacques Villeneuve, the always outspoken 1997 world champion.

Verstappen, 20, is having an error-strewn 2018 season, but while boss Christian Horner says he needs to "reset", he backed the young Dutchman to eventually bounce back.

Villeneuve is less sure.

"Verstappen makes mistakes in every race. It happens all the time," the Canadian told Sky Italia.

"It's a bad sign. For example, Ricciardo was not at all to blame for their crash in Baku. He did nothing wrong.

"If a driver is constantly making mistakes, he must calm down and slow down. But to be at Ricciardo's level, he has to take more risks. It can only mean one thing: Max is not as good as Daniel. Full stop," Villeneuve said.

Mallya steps down as Force India director

Vijay Mallya
Vijay Mallya

(GMM) Vijay Mallya has stepped down as a director of his own formula one team.

A filing at the UK's Companies House shows that the Indian's directorship of his team Force India was terminated last Thursday.

"According to the British press, Mallya leaves the board of directors due to the need to focus on his legal problems," a report at Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport said.

Mallya remains a major shareholder and team boss, and the report said Bob Fernley and Otmar Szafnauer are also staying in their prominent roles.

The news comes amid rumors Silverstone based Force India is close to being sold to British energy drink Rich Energy.

Pirelli skips supersofts for Singapore

Pirelli tires
Pirelli tires

For the fourth time this season, the Singapore Grand Prix will see Pirelli skip a compound.

In China, Pirelli skipped the supersofts, opting to take the mediums, softs and ultrasofts, with the same three compounds being taken to Germany and Hungary.

In Singapore however, while the supersoft is dropped once again, the compounds to be featured are the soft, ultrasoft and hypersoft, which will be making its third appearance of the year.

One set of soft and one set of ultrasoft must be available for the race and one of them must be used at some point in the race, while the hypersoft is the assigned tire for Q3 in qualifying.

For the last two years, the soft, supersoft and ultrasoft was used in Singapore,

Last year's race was won by Lewis Hamilton on a one-stop strategy, starting on Inters before switching to ultrasofts when conditions improved.

The top ten finishers were on a variety of strategies with some on two-stops and others, like Hamilton, on one, though tenth-placed Esteban Ocon stopped three times, starting on full wets before switching to Inters and finally two stints on ultrasofts.

Confirmed Tire Compounds

Grand Prix Hypersoft Ultrasoft Supersoft Soft Medium Hard
Australia X X X
Bahrain X X X
China X X X
Azerbaijan X X X
Spain X X X
Monaco X X X
Canada X X X
France X X X
Austria X X X
Britain X X X
Germany X X X
Hungary X X X
Singapore X X X

The biggest wrong in F1: Verstappen earns more than Ricciardo

Ricciardo making less money than Verstappen is the biggest joke in motorsports
Ricciardo making less money than Verstappen is the biggest joke in motorsports

Lewis Hamilton believes that for their treatment of the Monaco Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo will remain at Red Bull despite speculation he may move to Ferrari or Mercedes, the reigning Formula 1 World Champion also taking a dig at the energy drinks outfit in the process.

Red Bull signalled their intent late last year by signing Verstappen to a long-term deal in what many felt was a slap in the face for the Australian. Since then he has not been in a rush to ink a new deal as he takes stock of his current season and also what lies in store for the future.

Now, after a superb victory in Monte-Carlo, Ricciardo’s shares are bullish as a decision on his future looms and talk of interest from Mercedes and Ferrari have been a constant for some time now.

Hamilton, by design or not, stirred the pot after the race on Sunday, “From what I hear, [Daniel] has a teammate who is making a lot more money than him and yet he is more consistent at keeping the car together and more often than not pulling it through."

“It’s important in a team you are valued at what you a worth. I would imagine his future is there. He is one of the top drivers and in the top areas there are only Ferrari and Mercedes that he could ever consider."

Hamilton doubts that Ricciardo will find a drive with Mercedes or Ferrari next year, “That is unlikely here [at Mercedes] and l don’t think that is going to happen. And if you look at Ferrari, I imagine Kimi will want to continue – he is driving really well this year and doesn’t seem to be ageing."

While Verstappen has endured a season littered with incidents and expensive crashes, Ricciardo is delivering. In Monaco, the Australian maximised a package which was the pick of the field in qualifying and the race. Never putting a foot wrong all weekend and digging deep to hang on to his best victory at the pinnacle of the sport.

In contrast, his teammate crashed late in FP3, which resulted in the car with pole and race winning potential starting the race from the back of the grid with no chance to make it into qualifying. Expensive on all fronts.

Hamilton continued, “At the moment [Ricciardo] is the probably the lead driver in that team so it’s not a bad place to be. At some stage, Red Bull are going to get an engine and then they will be even closer in the mix with us. He just needs to keep his head down and doing what he is currently doing."

Ricciardo’s victory on Sunday puts him third in the 2018 F1 world championship standings behind leader Hamilton and second-placed Sebastian Vettel. After six races, the big smiling Aussie has twice the number of points as his younger teammate.

Big Question: Does Max deserve to earn more than Dan? Big Answer: No. Year in and year out Ricciardo wins more races and scores more points. Verstappen is overhyped and overrated

Guns N’ Roses will play at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Guns N’ Roses have been announced to perform at the forthcoming Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The band will play at du Arena on November 25 after the final Formula One race of the season.

GNR last appeared in the UAE as part of their ‘Not In This Lifetime’ world tour in Dubai in March 2017.

The Weekend will also perform ahead of the Grand Prix as part of a four day concert series on November 23.

The latest announcement comes after it was recently confirmed Liam Gallagher and The Killers will be performing at the Singapore Grand Prix along with Dua Lipa, Simply Red, Young Fathers, The Sugarhill Gang on September 14-16.

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