Latest F1 news in brief – Tuesday

  • Like many before it, the Montreal Formula E race is a financial disaster
    Like many before it, the Montreal Formula E race was a financial disaster

    Formula E a 'financial fiasco' – Montreal

  • Official defends Carmen Jorda amid criticism
  • Other teams would join Ferrari in F1 breakaway – Marchionne
  • Others not to blame for Alonso's mistakes – Alguersuari Sr.
  • Toto Wolff: Money still the 'elephant in the room' in post-2020 talks with Liberty

Formula E a 'financial fiasco' – Montreal
(GMM) Formula E has been slammed as a "financial fiasco" by withdrawing race host Montreal.

The Canadian city was scheduled to host the season finale next July, but mayor Valerie Plante said taxpayers were not willing to pay the EUR 23 million bill.

"Citizens have made it clear that we cannot waste their money on badly planned projects that do not help them," SID news agency quotes her as saying.

She said a one-year break from the electric series was proposed, but "Formula E leaders categorically rejected the option".

Plante was also quoted by Le Journdal de Montreal newspaper: "Formula E will not be back in Montreal in these conditions".

Official defends Carmen Jorda amid criticism

Carmen Jorda is under fire because she believe Woman cannot beat men and should have their own league
Carmen Jorda is under fire because she believes woman cannot beat men and should have their own league

(GMM) A Spanish motor racing official has defended controversial figure Carmen Jorda.

Renault F1 ambassador Jorda, an advocate of an all-female F1 series, was criticized as the FIA appointed her to the 'women in motor sport commission'.

"This witch hunt seems unfair to Carmen," Gonzalo Gobert, boss of the Valencia circuit, told Radio Marca.

"She is a friend and I agree with her, but perhaps her appointment to the commission was not well explained. The president is still Michele Mouton.

"It's a good move because at least she is there for the debate."

Spaniard Jorda has been criticized especially because she never qualified higher than 20th in GP3, while more recently representing F1 teams Lotus and Renault and arguing that women should race alone in their own series.

Gobert commented: "Why not have a female formula if it is not exclusive or obligatory?

"The idea is to create more opportunities for women to race, be an example for new drivers, and get more funding from sponsors. Carmen was crushed on social media.

"She is not the best in the world, but nor was she the worst. And one of the things she says is that without being the best she reached F1 test driver, while a lot of men without being the best reached F1," Gobert added.

Other teams would join Ferrari in F1 breakaway – Marchionne

And what alternate series would that be Sergio?
And what alternate series would that be Sergio?

(GMM) Sergio Marchionne has doubled down on his threat to pull Ferrari out of formula one, warning that he could also entice other teams to an alternate series.

The Ferrari president is making the threats after new F1 owner Liberty Media announced its intention to change the engine rules for 2021 and impose a budget cap.

"The thing that bothers me is that an experienced man like Ross Brawn is looking at ways that are against the DNA of F1," Marchionne said at Ferrari's Christmas lunch.

"We are not interested in cars being the same and simple and cheap engines like in Nascar," he is quoted by La Gazzetta Dello Sport.

"But I believe that we will satisfy everyone for the future, otherwise Ferrari will go away. If they believe that we are bluffing, they are playing with fire.

"I believe Ferrari has the strength to pull others into an alternative championship," Marchionne added.

Meanwhile, Marchionne said he thinks the "very emotional" Sebastian Vettel has learned from his mistakes of 2017, and warned Kimi Raikkonen that next year could be his last in red.

"Sometimes it's a pleasure to see him drive, at others we do not recognize him," he said of the Finn.

"It would be a shame if he finished his career next year without showing his potential. There are great talents around like Leclerc, Verstappen and Giovinazzi," Marchionne added.

Finally, Marchionne seemed to deny speculation the Fiat Chrysler brand Maserati could be set to join Alfa Romeo in returning to F1.

"I have a commitment for Maserati in my mind, but not for now," said the Italian-Canadian.

Ferrari announced that its 2018 car will be launched on February 22.

Others not to blame for Alonso's mistakes – Alguersuari Sr.

Jaime Alguersuari Sr. (L)
Jaime Alguersuari Sr. (L)

(GMM) A Spanish motor racing figure believes Fernando Alonso needs to adjust his attitude if he wants to be successful in formula one once again.

It might be argued that Alonso has made three key mistakes in his career: leaving McLaren in 2007, leaving Ferrari in 2014, and joining the ill-fated McLaren-Honda project.

"He became world champion twice, but with the talent he has and that no one doubts, he could have won eight titles," Jaime Alguersuari Sr., father of the former Toro Rosso driver, told the Barcelona newspaper Diario Ara.

"For sure, at some point he thought 'I am formula one'.

"Fernando always did everything his way, and when he was wrong, others were always to blame rather than finding the reasons for the mistake within himself," Alguersuari, the former promoter of the Renault World Series, added.

"The question is: Is he going to change? I'm not sure he knows how to," he said.

Toto Wolff: Money still the 'elephant in the room' in post-2020 talks with Liberty

Toto Wolff - show me the money
Toto Wolff – show me the money

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says the subject of money remains the "elephant in the room" when discussing Formula One's future beyond 2020 writes ESPN's Laurence Edmondson.

The teams' existing commercial contracts — struck by Bernie Ecclestone under F1's previous ownership — are due to expire in 2020 and negotiations with new owners Liberty Media are already underway for 2021 and beyond. Liberty is hoping to use the end of the existing contracts to level the playing field between large teams like Mercedes and F1's smaller outfits, but has already faced a quit threat from Ferrari after simply broaching the subject.

While a cheaper set of engine regulations and a budget cap are on the agenda, Wolff says the most contentious issue is still the distribution of F1's prize fund beyond 2020.

"Well that's the elephant in the room," he told ESPN in an exclusive interview. "That's the most important topic after 2020. It is clear that we need to find a structure that works for everybody. Some of the smaller teams struggle on the income side.

"We are not against a cost cap as long as it can be policed in the right way and it has a sensible system [of introduction]. We are not going to cut our workforce by 30 percent from one year to another and we are not going to give up a performance advantage that we have lightly, so there needs to be something on the other side.

"These discussions have just started in a friendly way, and again here we acknowledge that we might have different opinions. But at the end, for the sake of Formula One, we will find the right solutions."

Asked if he would follow the lead of Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne and consider pulling Mercedes out of F1, Wolff said: "Sergio is pretty outspoken and straight, and he comes to the point. He says that he wouldn't accept certain things and it's his way of dealing with things — and in principle I share his opinion.

"I have said it in Abu Dhabi that we love Formula One, we are in here to stay but it needs to have the right framework — governance framework, regulatory framework, it needs to be managed in the right way and we will voice our opinion if we think things are not going in the right direction."

Mercedes has dominated Formula One under the current set of regulations and has invested a significant amount of money in developing its turbo hybrid engine. Any major changes after 2020 could upset the team's position at the top of the sport, but Wolff insists Mercedes will not resist change simply to try to protect its position.

"We are all up for it," he said. "We like the challenge, we understand the shortcomings of some of the current regulations — it needs a fight at the front and we embrace the fight.

"I think it's important to acknowledge that the other side might have a different opinion on things. I don't think there are massive barriers between us on the engine. They recognize it needs to be high-tech and we don't want to develop a completely new engine, so there is pretty much an alignment there.

"We need cars that are fast and spectacular, but you need to be able to overtake. We need to have a percent of the attention, we need tracks that you can overtake and where mistakes are being penalized, so this is our job and we actually want it to prosper.

"We can cope with any regulation change. There is no team in the world that has won with every single championship and this is something that we are pretty realistic about."

However, Wolff is still pushing for the next set of engine regulations to retain the MGU-H (the part of hybrid system that recovers energy from the turbo). The MGU-H has proved expensive and difficult to develop, but Wolff would be willing to offer a supply deal for struggling manufacturers in order to keep the technology.

"I think we are halfway there [with the engine proposal]. We don't like the cutting of the MGU-H — a high-tech piece of equipment — we would rather like to supply the H to some of the teams that lack the technology or some of the OEMs that lack the technology. The devil lies in the details but the conversations are going in the right way." ESPN

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