Latest F1 news in brief – Tuesday

  • Yamamoto thinks Honda will flourish with Toro Rosso
    Yamamoto thinks Honda will flourish with Toro Rosso

    Toro Rosso a better fit for Honda – Yamamoto

  • Italy slams Ferrari after Singapore 'disaster'
  • Lauda blames Vettel for Singapore crash
  • Title not lost for Vettel yet – Trulli
  • Bottas 'not number 2 driver' – Wolff
  • Raikkonen manager role 'not the same as before'
  • Honda: McLaren found change difficult
  • Lowe: Stroll should be 'very proud' of drive
  • Arrivabene insists Ferrari will not give up
  • Red Bull feared Ricciardo gearbox exit
  • Pirelli reveals Malaysian GP tire selections

Toro Rosso a better fit for Honda – Yamamoto
(GMM) Honda thinks Toro Rosso could be a better fit for the Japanese marque than McLaren.

After the split was announced in Singapore, Honda's senior F1 chief Masashi Yamamoto said he would have preferred to keep racing with McLaren next year.

He said a lack of performance and reliability "created tension between us" and led to the split.

However, Honda will race on next year with Toro Rosso, Red Bull's junior team.

"The regulations go on until 2020 so we still have three years and we want to show our improvements in the technology," said Yamamoto.

So rather than see it as a step down in the paddock, Yamamoto thinks Toro Rosso could even be better for Honda than McLaren was.

"First Mr. (Franz) Tost knows a lot about Japan. He understands the culture and it's a good communication that we have," said the Japanese.

"Working with McLaren, I've realized that they are a very big company which is very systematic," Yamamoto explained. "It's obviously very strong because of that but at the same time they can find it hard to adapt to change.

"Compare that to Toro Rosso, it is a company that is growing.

"Take this for an example: if we compare both teams with different cuisines, let's say McLaren is a very sophisticated French cuisine — that's the way it is.

"Toro Rosso is more like a countryside, homemade delicious stew where you can add new ingredients. We're excited to do that," he added.

Italy slams Ferrari after Singapore 'disaster'

Ferrari self-destructs in Singapore
Ferrari self-destructs in Singapore

(GMM) The Italian press has lashed out at Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel after a disastrous Singapore grand prix.

The Italian team and boss Maurizio Arrivabene blamed Max Verstappen for the first corner crash that wiped out both Ferraris on Sunday.

As a result, Vettel's points deficit to Lewis Hamilton blew out to 28 points.

The partisan Italian press knows where to look for blame.

"Ferrari did everything wrong," declared La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"The red cars destroyed themselves in a way that even the best horror movie director could not imagine."

The front page of Corriere dello Sport declared: "No, Vettel! Not like that!

"The first 300 meters in Singapore was one of the most catastrophic events for Ferrari in the last decade."

Tuttosport added: "A catastrophic accident drowns Maranello's world title hopes. In a few seconds an entire season is destroyed."

And La Stampa said: "Hamilton can now walk to the world title."

Lauda blames Vettel for Singapore crash

Ferrari engineers stew
Ferrari engineers stew

(GMM) Niki Lauda has joined scores of fans and insiders who blame Sebastian Vettel for putting his championship hopes in tatters in Singapore.

On Twitter, the Maranello team lashed out at Max Verstappen for Sunday's first corner crash, while boss Maurizio Arrivabene said it was "clearly" the Red Bull driver's fault.

But Lauda, the F1 legend and Mercedes team chairman, told Osterreich newspaper: "It was clearly Sebastian's fault.

"I don't know why he would risk so much at this important stage of the world championship."

He also told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "If that had happened in my time, we would have walked back to Maranello."

Why German Vettel was not punished by the stewards for causing the crash, meanwhile, is another matter.

Jos Verstappen, Max's father, told motorsport-magazin.com he sensed a "political" reason.

"If they (the FIA) gave him a real punishment, the championship would be over," he said.

And the Spanish newspaper Marca quoted Mark Webber as saying the stewards not punishing Vettel was "a joke".

"I think sometimes Seb forgets where the back of his car is," said Vettel's former Red Bull teammate.

But it could get worse for Vettel anyway. La Repubblica newspaper reports that the German's engine may have been damaged in the crash.

"The one used in Singapore was number 3 for the season. If it cannot be recovered, Vettel may take penalties later in the season," the reporter noted.

Title not lost for Vettel yet – Trulli

The Mercedes never breaks down and the rest of the circuits favor the longer wheelbase Mercedes. Hence it's over for Vettel
The Mercedes never breaks down and the rest of the circuits favor the longer wheelbase Mercedes. Hence it's over for Vettel

(GMM) Jarno Trulli says it is still possible that Sebastian Vettel will win the 2017 title.

That is despite the fact the partisan Italian press is livid that, with the first corner crash in Singapore, "an entire season was destroyed".

Italian and former F1 driver Trulli agrees that the crash was Vettel's fault.

"If you really want to blame one driver more than another you could say that Vettel could have done that maneuver better," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"But the championships are won at the end, not now. There are still 6 races and these days there are 25 points to be won each time so we know that anything can happen.

"Actually the championship is extremely balanced," said Trulli. "It is clear that today 28 points seems a lot, but one false step by Mercedes and Vettel will be back.

"This is a Ferrari we can expect everything from. We have seen them become competitive when we did not expect it, so nothing is lost. The story is only complete at the checkered flag at the last race," the former Renault driver added.

However, Ferrari is also attracting widespread criticism as a result of the Singapore incident, including the team's pointing of the finger of blame at Max Verstappen.

Former F1 driver Robert Doornbos said Vettel was clearly to blame.

"With this aggressive move, he not only eliminated himself and his first title with Ferrari, but also Kimi, Max and Alonso," he told Ziggo Sport Totaal.

"With this action and also Baku, Vettel does not deserve to be champion," Doornbos said.

Bottas 'not number 2 driver' – Wolff

All of a sudden Bottas is nowhere near as fast as Hamilton, whereas before he was sometimes beating him. Guranteed the Mercedes engineers have detuned his engine ever so slightly to make him #2. Wolff would never admit it.
All of a sudden Bottas is nowhere near as fast as Hamilton, whereas before he was sometimes beating him. Guaranteed the Mercedes engineers have detuned his engine ever so slightly to make him #2. Wolff would never admit it.

(GMM) Toto Wolff says he still will not designate Valtteri Bottas the 'number 2' driver behind Lewis Hamilton.

While Hamilton completed a victory hat-trick and pulled out a 28 point advantage over Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in Singapore, Mercedes teammate Bottas has struggled recently.

"Yeah, Valtteri has been a bit lost," agreed former F1 driver Mika Salo, speaking to the Finnish broadcaster MTV.

"It's difficult to know the reasons — maybe it's just been hard for him to set up the car. Or maybe it's starting to show that Hamilton is more familiar with the car concept," he added.

So with Bottas now lagging in the championship and off the pace, Salo said team orders is not an issue "because Lewis is simply faster".

When asked if Mercedes will put its full weight behind Hamilton for the rest of the championship, team boss Wolff answered: "I think it's clear that Lewis' chances of winning the championship are higher than Valtteri's.

"As before, we will assess the situation, but the situation becomes clearer after every race."

But Wolff added: "I don't want to say that one driver is the number 1, because it could affect the motivation of the second … I mean the other, driver."

Raikkonen manager role 'not the same as before'
(GMM) Kimi Raikkonen effectively manages his own affairs in formula one.

That is the admission of the Finn's long-time manager Steve Robertson, who recently helped Raikkonen agree his new one-year deal to stay at Ferrari next year.

But Robertson told the Finnish broadcaster MTV: "The process was pretty simple because the contract was made four years ago.

"I had not much to do, because Ferrari wanted Kimi for another year. I negotiated the main contract four years ago and the new deal is just one more page."

Raikkonen, 37, is now the oldest and most experienced driver on the F1 grid, with Robertson saying he manages a lot of his own affairs these days.

"My role is not the same as before," he admitted. "I'm here if Kimi needs me.

"I am not at the races so much, only if I am needed, but of course I always follow Kimi and what is happening with him."

Honda: McLaren found change difficult

Yamamoto says Honda was too systematic
Yamamoto says Honda was too systematic

Honda's motorsport boss Masashi Yamamoto believes McLaren is a "systematic" company which can struggle to adapt to change, and hopes Toro Rosso will be more open to ideas.

McLaren and Honda reunited in 2015 but the partnership has been beset by a lack of reliability and performance, and the parties will split at the end of the year.

Honda will instead link up with Toro Rosso, in a multi-year deal, and Yamamoto is optimistic that the Faenza-based outfit will be more receptive to change.

"Working with McLaren, I've realized that they are a very big company which is very systematic," Yamamoto said in an interview with the official Honda website.

"It's obviously very strong because of that, but at the same time they can find it hard to adapt to change.

"Compare that to Toro Rosso, it is a company that is growing. It is very important for us to work in partnership together, heading towards the same goal.

"So for us we are very much looking forward to being able to work closer.

"Take this for an example: If we compare both teams with different cuisines, let's say McLaren is a very sophisticated French cuisine, that's the way it is.

"Then Toro Rosso is more like a countryside, homemade delicious stew where you can add new ingredients. We're excited to do that

"The regulations go on until 2020 so we still have three years and we want to show our improvements in the technology.

"We want to show Honda's potential."

Yamamoto, though, conceded that Honda was unable to meet McLaren's expectations, and failed to deliver the results it anticipated.

"Our motto as McLaren-Honda is 'One Team' – working together to get performance," he explained.

"However, we didn't perform as well as we hoped in the pre-season tests, so from the beginning of the season onwards we were unable to deliver as much power as we wanted, and McLaren expected.

"Obviously Honda would have preferred to stay in partnership with McLaren, but we were not able to reach the performance and reliability targets set by the team.

"This created tension between us and unfortunately separation was the result. In the world of Formula 1 it's important to get the results, it's part of the deal."

McLaren-Honda currently holds ninth place in the Constructors' Championship.

Lowe: Stroll should be 'very proud' of drive

Lance Stroll getting better
Lance Stroll getting better

Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe says that Lance Stroll should be "very proud" of his drive to eighth in Singapore, marking his fifth points finish from eight races.

Stroll came under scrutiny in the early stages of his rookie season, failing to score a point over the first six Grands Prix amid a lack of pace, incidents and reliability issues.

However, he made a breakthrough on home soil in Canada, finishing ninth, capitalized on drama in Azerbaijan to claim his maiden podium and starred in a wet qualifying in Italy to land a front row start.

At Marina Bay, Williams suffered another double Q1 exit, as its dry-weather qualifying struggles continued, but rain fell in the build up to Sunday evening's race, presenting opportunities.

Stroll, in 18th, opted for Intermediate tires, immediately making up ground as the Ferraris and Red Bull's Max Verstappen clashed, before picking off several other rivals.

He was one of the first drivers to switch to slicks, and held seventh as the order settled down, a gain of 11 places, only for a small mistake to let McLaren-Honda's Stoffel Vandoorne through.

Reflecting on Stroll's performance, Lowe said: "In Lance's case he drove a great race.

"He was one of the earliest to stop for dry tires and he had good pace on the Ultra Soft, taking the advantages at every stage.

"He put up a good defense as well, particularly towards the end, and managed to get an excellent eighth place for his first finish in Singapore; one of the toughest races on the calendar.

"Congratulations to him for achieving that, he'll be very proud of himself for holding steady and driving so well throughout the whole two-hour race."

Stroll also expressed satisfaction at his result, which moved him to within three points of experienced team-mate Felipe Massa in the championship standings.

"I think it was a fantastic race," he commented.

"It was raining at the beginning so to capitalize on the start, overtake, and really come through the field due to others making mistakes was fantastic in tricky conditions.

"Then after that, we ran a steady race. We kept cool.

"I made one mistake letting [Stoffel] Vandoorne by. I just locked up into Turn 7 and he got past but all-in-all, a fantastic result and four points for the team."

Massa finished just outside the points in 11th, describing his day as a "disaster" after starting on the Wet tire and lacking pace throughout.

Arrivabene insists Ferrari will not give up

Maurizio Arrivabene and Binotto should just start working on the 2018 car. 2017 is over.
Maurizio Arrivabene and Binotto should just start working on the 2018 car. 2017 is over.

Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene has emphasized that the squad will keep fighting until the final lap of the 2017 season, off the back of its "very disappointing" result in Singapore.

Ferrari, following a sub-par home showing in Italy, expected to bounce back in Singapore, with the layout of the Marina Bay Street Circuit tipped to suit the SF70-H's characteristics.

Sebastian Vettel stormed to pole position on Saturday evening, posting two laps quick enough for top spot, with Kimi Räikkönen fourth, while title rival Mercedes was left on the third row of the grid.

However, Vettel, Räikkönen and Max Verstappen came to blows in wet conditions on the opening lap, with the contact resulting in the retirement of all three drivers.

Vettel's exit means that he is now 28 points behind race winner Lewis Hamilton in the standings, while Ferrari's slim chances in the Constructors' battle have narrowed, with the team 102 down on Mercedes.

Arrivabene, though, has vowed that Ferrari will keep fighting in its quest to deliver the title.

"That was very disappointing and it was definitely not the result we were expecting," said Arrivabene.

"But it doesn't mean that the battle is all over, just that it has become more difficult.

"We are very disappointed for our fans, but we will be back. We proved that we have an excellent car and two great drivers.

"All of us, those in Singapore and those working back in Maranello, we all have the Prancing Horse stamped on our hearts.

"We guarantee that we will be fighting right to the final corner of the very last Grand Prix of the year."

It marked Ferrari's first double retirement since the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix.

Red Bull feared Ricciardo gearbox exit

Ricciardo in Singapore
Ricciardo in Singapore

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner says the squad feared that Daniel Ricciardo would have to retire from the Singapore Grand Prix due to a gearbox problem.

Ricciardo, having dominated Friday practice, lined up from third, and moved up to second at the start amid drama elsewhere, despite being overhauled by Lewis Hamilton.

He held second over the course of the time-limited race but was unable to provide a threat to Hamilton up front, and ultimately came home in the runner-up spot for the third straight year.

However, his Red Bull team feared that Ricciardo would not reach the checkered flag due to a gearbox issue in the RB13.

"Daniel started to lose an awful lot of gearbox oil, which created a lot of problems with oil pressure," revealed Horner.

"We were feeling that it was looking unlikely that Daniel would get to the end of the race.

"However he managed to nurse the gearbox of the car incredibly well for three-quarters of the Grand Prix.

"Though able to hold off any threat from behind from Valtteri [Bottas], unfortunately he could not attack Lewis ahead."

Ricciardo, though, did not feel that the gearbox problem denied him a shot at victory.

"I was just advised to do some short shifts from fairly early in the race and I was then reminded to continue to do that up to the end," he said.

"[But] I don't think it changed the shape of the race; I don't think that was the reason that we were second and not first."

Ricciardo strengthened fourth position in the championship as a result of his podium.

Pirelli reveals Malaysian GP tire selections
Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli has revealed drivers' selections for the Malaysian Grand Prix, with Red Bull and Ferrari going more aggressive than Mercedes.

Pirelli will bring its Super Soft, Soft and Medium compounds to the Sepang event, the same as in China, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Britain, Hungary and Italy, and also selected for Japan and Brazil.

Williams and McLaren have taken the most aggressive approach, selecting 10 sets of Super Softs, two sets of Softs and just the one, mandatory set of Mediums per driver.

Out of the frontrunners, Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen will take the most sets of Super Softs, selecting nine each, with Daniel Ricciardo on eight.

Mercedes' choice is more conservative, with seven sets of Super Softs per driver; Lewis Hamilton will take more Softs (five sets) and Valtteri Bottas more Mediums (two sets).

As usual, drivers were free to pick 10 out of 13 compounds; a set of Super Softs will be held for Q3, and a set of Softs and Mediums for the race (one of which must be used).


Leave a Reply