Latest F1 news in brief – Monday

  • Massa says the Renault engine won't be enough for Alonso to be a title contender
    Massa says the Renault engine won't be enough for Alonso to be a title contender

    Massa doubts Alonso will win 2018 title

  • Hamilton leaves Verstappen 'perplexed'
  • Renault wants to keep same engines in 2021
  • Hartley had 2018 contract for 'weeks'
  • Lauda, Wolff want Hamilton to stay
  • Wolff worried about Liberty's F1 vision
  • Alonso admits eyeing Le Mans 'future'
  • Mayor says Sao Paulo not losing grand prix

Massa doubts Alonso will win 2018 title
(GMM) Felipe Massa does not think his old Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso will win the title next year.

Brazilian Massa is retiring, and he admitted his next move will probably be into Formula E.

"I think it's the most interesting place to compete and win again. It's the future of the cars we will be driving," he told the Spanish newspaper AS.

But he also wishes F1, Williams and his current teammate Lance Stroll well.

Massa said F1 "has a good future" in the hands of Liberty Media.

"To win a championship again, Williams needs more money, but I think if they can improve many things they can be on the podium," Massa said, referring to the British team.

And as for Stroll, "He is a lot better now compared to when the year started, but I think we can say more about his future in the second or third year".

Massa says the best teammate he has shared a team with was Fernando Alonso.

"I would say Schumacher was at a similar level, the same as Lewis," he added.

"After that Vettel is a great driver but at a lower level and also maybe Verstappen, although he lacks consistency," said Massa.

As for how Alonso will do with Renault power at McLaren next year, Massa answered: "Next year will be better for him but he will not fight for the title."

Hamilton leaves Verstappen 'perplexed'

Hamilton always has a different pretty woman by his side
Hamilton always has a different pretty woman by his side

(GMM) Max Verstappen says Lewis Hamilton's off-track behavior often leaves him "perplexed".

The Red Bull driver told De Telegraaf newspaper that over the course of the last year, he began using social media less and less.

"I don't follow many drivers on social media," Verstappen revealed.

"I follow Daniel (Ricciardo). And Lewis. And Pierre (Gasly) because he's a nice guy.

"When I see what Lewis does in his free time, I'm sometimes really perplexed. He does so much! It's his life and he wins races and championships so it's fine. You can hardly say it doesn't work for him," he added.

Verstappen is quoted by Turun Sanomat as saying that after a bad start to the season, he now doesn't want 2017 to end.

"Abu Dhabi is the last race but I'm in really good shape at the moment. I'd prefer to just keep racing and racing," said the Dutchman.

Renault wants to keep same engines in 2021

Cyril Abiteboul
Cyril Abiteboul

(GMM) Renault cannot approve of Liberty Media's vision for the 2021 engine formula until other aspects of the future are also clear.

That is the claim of Cyril Abiteboul, the Renault team boss who said he joins Mercedes and Ferrari in currently opposing the plan for substantially different engines.

"What we have been presented with is a new engine," he told Auto Motor und Sport.

"That means a new development, a new project, probably more people, more investment.

"The second problem is that we don't know what formula one will look like in 2021. The chassis, the cost reduction measures, how the money distribution changes — we don't know the whole picture," said the Frenchman.

"We have the engine concept but we can only judge that when the other puzzle pieces are together," Abiteboul added.

A key element of Liberty's engine vision is the removal of MGU-H, but Abiteboul said that is actually "an unknown".

"From today's perspective I have to say I don't like MGU-H," said Abiteboul. "But by 2020 we will have our problem under control.

"Then it will be cheaper for the manufacturers and the customers, and yet everything will start again at zero with a new engine concept," he added.

"And there will again be manufacturers who will find the right and the wrong solutions, dividing the field into two groups again. Therefore, I see no reason to deviate from the existing concept."

Hartley had 2018 contract for 'weeks'

Yeah, I knew for weeks
Yeah, I knew for weeks

(GMM) Brendon Hartley says he has known for "several weeks" that he will be driving for Toro Rosso next year.

Earlier, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and the New Zealander insisted they did not know who would drive for the energy drink company's junior team in 2018.

Hartley and Pierre Gasly have now been confirmed.

"To be honest, I knew about the contract for several weeks," Hartley told Russia's Championat.

"For me it was not a surprise."

Hartley has rounded out 2017 with a busy calendar as he juggled his new F1 duties with his other job with Porsche in the world endurance championship.

As for 2018, however, "I doubt that I can participate in two series at the same time.

"I don't know all the details of my contract for next season, but sometimes it's not easy to change from one series to another. These are different cars that require different settings and driving style.

"But it was the end of this season, so it was fine," he added.

Lauda, Wolff want Hamilton to stay

Well of course they want Hamilton to stay
Well of course they want Hamilton to stay

(GMM) Mercedes has admitted it wants to keep Lewis Hamilton beyond 2018.

Some media sources claim the new quadruple world champion is demanding a pay-rise for a new contract in 2019 and beyond.

Niki Lauda, the team chairman, thinks Hamilton has driven perfectly this year.

"This year, Lewis won the championship for Mercedes, it's that simple," he told Brazil's Globo.

"I think Ferrari had the best chassis-engine package, and now Red Bull has arrived too. But Lewis drove like never before, with little to no errors, driving like a God, and gave us the title," Lauda added.

Team boss Toto Wolff agrees.

"He's the greatest driver I've ever worked with," he said. "We really want him to stay with us, of course."

Lauda agrees that Hamilton staying in the future is important to Mercedes.

"Experienced drivers become better grand prix after grand prix, year after year. It's the only way to succeed in any sport," he said.

And to that end, Lauda hinted that Mercedes will keep his eye on the development of young sensation Max Verstappen.

"Max is the most fantastic young driver I've ever seen, no doubt," said the F1 legend.

"The only thing I would tell him is to keep his feet on the ground. He has a tendency to lose control of himself, but if he masters those impulses he can be one of the greatest drivers F1 has ever known."

Wolff worried about Liberty's F1 vision

Toto Wolff has no need to worry as long as Ferrari does not steal Aldo Costa back
Toto Wolff has no need to worry as long as Ferrari does not steal Aldo Costa back

(GMM) Toto Wolff has now joined Niki Lauda in saying he is worried about F1's future.

Lauda, who co-owns the Mercedes team together with Wolff and the German carmaker, recently said he is concerned about Liberty's vision of the sport's future.

He now tells Brazil's Globo: "We had to give them time to identify the DNA of the series.

"But I can already say that for Mercedes, and from what I have talked about with other teams too, there are things that worry us.

"One is that they have restructured F1, hiring a number of professionals at a cost of $70 million a year, which could mean less money for the teams. We still don't know what amount will be divided between us in 2018," Lauda said.

The F1 legend also said he is worried about Liberty's plans on the sporting side.

"Every time we talk, I get the feeling they (Liberty) want the Nascar system, where all the teams are the same so that everyone can win. But this is the opposite of F1," said Lauda.

"In our competition, we honor the best car, the best designers and the best drivers. And that's something Ross (Brawn) should know because he was a part of this F1," he added.

Wolff, the Mercedes team boss, admits he shares Lauda's concerns.

"Bernie Ecclestone invented something and made it into something great over 50 years," he told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

"And we now have the responsibility to keep it great. We have different opinions about how to do that, but we will continue to talk to each other," Wolff said.

Alonso admits eyeing Le Mans 'future'

Alonso won't do IndyCars after retiring from F1, it will likely be sportscar racing
Alonso won't do IndyCars after retiring from F1, it will likely be sportscar racing

(GMM) Fernando Alonso says he is willing to talk about "the future" with regards to a potential Le Mans foray.

Amid rumors he will do the fabled 24 hour endurance race next year, the Spaniard tested Toyota's LMP1 prototype in Bahrain at the weekend.

"Such a car is not only fast but also very consistent," he was quoted by Germany's Auto Bild afterwards.

"At some point I want to race."

However, the future is not yet set in stone, even though in the immediate aftermath of McLaren driver Alonso's test, Toyota announced that it will contest Le Mans in 2018.

That is despite the fact that every other major car manufacturer has withdrawn from the top-tier LMP1 category.

Alonso said: "We have enough time now to think about the future."

WEC Rookie Test Times from Sunday

Pos No. Team Car Class Driver Time Laps Gap
1 PORSCHE LMP TEAM Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 Timo BERNHARD 1:40.244 9 0.000s
2 8 TOYOTA GAZOO RACING Toyota TS050 – Hybrid LMP1 Sebastien BUEMI 1:42.183 10 1.939
3 1 PORSCHE LMP TEAM Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 Pietro FITTIPALDI 1:42.275 32 2.031
4 7 TOYOTA GAZOO RACING Toyota TS050 – Hybrid LMP1 Mike CONWAY 1:42.381 64 2.137
5 8 TOYOTA GAZOO RACING Toyota TS050 – Hybrid LMP1 Fernando ALONSO 1:43.013 113 2.769
6 7 TOYOTA GAZOO RACING Toyota TS050 – Hybrid LMP1 Thomas LAURENT 1:43.273 31 3.029
1 28 TDS RACING Oreca 07 – Gibson LMP2 Konstantin TERESHCHENKO 1:48.444 62
2 36 SIGNATECH ALPINE MATMUT Alpine A470 – Gibson LMP2 Gabriel AUBRY 1:48.859 61 0.415
3 36 SIGNATECH ALPINE MATMUT Alpine A470 – Gibson LMP2 Nicolas LAPIERRE 1:48.905 5 0.461
4 37 JACKIE CHAN DC RACING Oreca 07 – Gibson LMP2 Rinus VAN KALMTHOUT 1:50.140 36 1.696
5 37 JACKIE CHAN DC RACING Oreca 07 – Gibson LMP2 Garett GRIST 1:50.456 59 2.012
6 13 VAILLANTE REBELLION Oreca 07 – Gibson LMP2 Matevos ISAAKYAN 1:50.690 30 2.246
7 26 G-DRIVE RACING Oreca 07 – Gibson LMP2 Mahaveer RAGHUNATHAN 1:51.019 68 2.575
8 38 JACKIE CHAN DC RACING Oreca 07 – Gibson LMP2 Ho-Pin TUNG 1:53.489 37 5.045
1 92 PORSCHE GT TEAM Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Pro Kevin ESTRE 1:57.663 70
2 91 PORSCHE GT TEAM Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Pro Frederic MAKOWIECKI 1:57.999 38 0.336
3 91 PORSCHE GT TEAM Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Pro Richard LIETZ 1:58.272 35 0.609
4 71 AF CORSE Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Pro Davide RIGON 1:58.630 60 0.967
5 91 PORSCHE GT TEAM Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Pro Earl BAMBER 1:59.038 15 1.375
6 71 AF CORSE Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Pro Miguel MOLINA 1:59.140 54 1.477
7 91 PORSCHE GT TEAM Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Pro Nick TANDY 1:59.363 15 1.700
8 51 AF CORSE Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Pro Alfonso CELIS Jr 1:59.387 41 1.724

Mayor says Sao Paulo not losing grand prix

Brazilian GP to continue says Mayor
Brazilian GP to continue says Mayor

(GMM) Sao Paulo mayor Joao Doria has dismissed as "speculation" reports Interlagos is set to lose the Brazilian grand prix.

A cloud was already over the race's future even before a spate of violent robbery incidents marred the recent 2017 edition.

But after that, the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper claimed Florianopolis had been earmarked as a potential alternative venue for the Brazilian grand prix.

"There was nothing except speculation," Sao Paulo mayor Doria told Brazil's Globo.

"We are contracted with the FIA and Liberty until 2020," he insisted.

"And we hope it will continue for another five, ten years after Interlagos is privatized," Doria added.

"Sao Paulo is the largest center and tourist and business destination in Latin America," he explained. "Without any disrespect to Florianopolis or any other Brazilian city, Sao Paulo is as important to F1 as F1 is to the city."

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