Latest F1 news in brief – Monday

  • Sainz Jr. Renault bound
    Sainz Jr. Renault bound

    Sainz Jr. not confirming Renault switch

  • Frank Williams 'can no longer travel' – Claire
  • Ferrari 'favorites' for Singapore – Lauda
  • McLaren will not loan Norris to rival team
  • F1 Has Received Around 40 Offers From Potential GP Venues, Exec Says
  • Flex-Box becomes Race Partner of the Sauber F1 Team
  • Renault sure it can still overhaul Williams
  • Sauber Plans To Increase Its Staff By 100 Members

Sainz Jr. not confirming Renault switch
(GMM) Carlos Sainz Jr. looks set to contest his final race for Toro Rosso this weekend in Singapore.

Multiple sources are reporting that, in Singapore, the Spaniard will sign a contract to complete his switch from the junior Red Bull team to Renault.

He will reportedly replace the struggling Jolyon Palmer, with Red Bull rookie Pierre Gasly jetting in from his Super Formula duties in Japan to fill in for Sainz at Toro Rosso.

It appears to be the move that completes the complex divorce saga between McLaren and Honda, with the British team switching to Renault power for 2018 and Toro Rosso signing up with Honda.

However, Sainz is not confirming his impending move.

"Red Bull does its best for my career and so whatever they decide, I will accept it," he told Marca sports newspaper during a sponsor event at the weekend.

"It is difficult for me because what I say may please one person and displease another, so I prefer to say nothing.

"All I know is that there are many people in Toro Rosso that I want to think for making me the driver I am today," Sainz added.

Asked if a conclusion to the entire McLaren-Honda-Renault-Toro Rosso saga is now imminent, he answered: "I don't know.

"But I think for the sake of the teams involved, they are going to have to decide sooner rather than later, because (preparation for) 2018 is already here," Sainz told EFE nes agency.

Germany's Auto Bild said the transfer fee agreed between Red Bull and Renault for Sainz is EUR 8 million.

The publication said Sainz, 22, had a seat fitting at Renault's Enstone factory last week.

Frank Williams 'can no longer travel' – Claire

Sir Frank Williams
Sir Frank Williams

(GMM) Sir Frank Williams is doing well, according to the F1 team founder's daughter Claire.

Today, Claire is the deputy boss of the famous British team, with her famous 75-year-old no longer able to travel due to his tetraplegia.

Indeed, Sir Frank recently underwent a long hospitalization for illness, but according to Claire is now "fine".

"He is obsessed with motor sport," Claire Williams told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag. "His whole life always was and still is formula one.

"It is a pity he can no longer travel, but he still loves it as much as he did on the first day," she added.

However, there will be no representatives of the Williams family at the races for the rest of the season, as 41-year-old Claire is about to give birth to a baby boy.

"When I see how my family has changed, I miss that my parents are no longer here (at the F1 circuits)," she said.

"I grew up here and remember that Mum and Dad were always here, and now they're not anymore. It's just me."

Meanwhile, Claire said the Williams team is determined to recover from a disappointing 2018 season.

"For us the season has been disappointing and really frustrating," she said. "Obviously there are teams that have done a much better job than we did in developing their cars.

"Even in the last one or two years F1 has changed so much," Williams explained.

"Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull with all their money, without cost controls, without new engine regulations, without new manufacturers — there are just so many forces that are against us.

"But I will never let go of my dream of Williams winning again," she insisted. "Because the moment you let that flame go out, just grab your things and go home. And I'm not here for that."

Ferrari 'favorites' for Singapore – Lauda

Lauda (R) thinks Ferrari will win Singapore. He forgets who designs the Mercedes.
Lauda (R) thinks Ferrari will win Singapore. He forgets who designs the Mercedes.

(GMM) Niki Lauda has named Ferrari as the favorite to win this weekend's Singapore grand prix.

That is despite the fact Lewis Hamilton took over the championship lead at Monza last weekend, after humiliating a struggling Ferrari at its home circuit.

Now, a thrilling title battle between Mercedes' Hamilton and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel is in the offing, with Lauda declaring: "My heart is with Ferrari but my head is with Mercedes."

The F1 legend, who is among the most famous former Ferrari drivers, is now the chairman and co-owner of the Mercedes team.

As for his split allegiances, Lauda told Corriere dello Sport newspaper: "It's ok for me.

"We won at Monza and that was a shame for Ferrari and their important event.

"But in Singapore maybe Vettel will change things again," the great Austrian said.

"Many times Ferrari has been faster than Mercedes. At Spa Vettel was very close. Ok, at Monza perhaps a little less, but in my opinion this was due to a mistake in the Ferrari setup.

"Ferrari will be the favorite in Singapore," Lauda declared, "but on the other hand it is difficult to say who will win. I hope it is Hamilton."

But if it is Vettel on top, Lauda admits that his 'heart' still beats for the Maranello team.

"Vettel is a number 1 driver," he said. "His heart is for Ferrari and if the team is competitive, you can't discount him."

McLaren will not loan Norris to rival team

Lando Norris
Lando Norris

(GMM) Zak Brown says McLaren will not loan Lando Norris to another F1 team.

Briton Norris, the 17-year-old star of European F3, is tipped for a bright future in F1 and already firmly under contract to McLaren.

But Brown has said McLaren is likely to place Norris in Formula 2 next year, rather than seriously consider him as a potential replacement for Fernando Alonso.

But as the standout F3 star, other F1 teams may be interested in offering Norris a 2018 seat.

"No team has made a request so far, and our current plan is to let him compete in Formula 2," Brown is quoted by Speed Week.

"He's definitely our star of the future, so I do not think we're giving him to another team.

"I am convinced that he is fast enough to compete in formula one now, but we also have to ensure it's not too soon for him and he gets enough experience," he added.

F1 Has Received Around 40 Offers From Potential GP Venues, Exec Says

Everyone wants an F1 race because of its huge global TV viewership
Everyone wants an F1 race because of its huge global TV viewership

Formula 1 Managing Dir, Commercial Operations Sean Bratches said that there have been "around 40 expressions of interest from potential grand prix venues" since Liberty Media took over the sport earlier this year, according to Adam Cooper of MOTORSPORT.

Bratches said that F1 will choose new events "on the basis of what they can bring to the sport, with a focus on street races in major cities, rather than automatically taking the best commercial deals." He also wants to "split the season by region," with races in Europe, Asia and the Americas grouped together, to "aid with both logistics and marketing."

He said, "Right now by the operation of the Concorde Agreement, the cap is 25. In the seven months I’ve been in this job I’ve probably had about 40 countries, cities, municipalities, principalities approach me about interest in hosting an F1 race, which is extremely encouraging."

Bratches does not expect to see permanent Hermann Tilke-style tracks built in deserts, on swamps, or on farmland.

He said, "In terms of the next tranche of where we’re going, I don’t think you’re going to have too many more purpose-built tracks built. We’re going to have an apportionment between city tracks, heritage tracks and purpose-built. The next objective is to put our shoulders behind more city races. For the reasons I stated, we think that’s a very attractive proposition from our perspective."

Asked which current races "do not contribute enough to survive," Bratches said, "We love all our children! I think as we look at the apportionment of races by region, you’re going to see some fall out, and some added." MOTORSPORT

Flex-Box becomes Race Partner of the Sauber F1 Team

Sauber to carry Flex-Box logo
Sauber to carry Flex-Box logo

The Sauber F1 Team is delighted to announce a one-time race partnership with Flex-Box at the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix. Flex-Box is a global company, which specializes in manufacturing shipping containers.
During this year’s Singapore Grand Prix, the Flex-Box logo will appear on the sides of the monocoques, as well as on top of the noses of the two Sauber C36-Ferrari.

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal, Sauber F1 Team:
“We are pleased to announce our race partnership with Flex-Box. With 20 Grands Prix taking place all around the world, flawless logistics are among the most important factors for success in Formula One. As a manufacturer of shipping containers, Flex-Box have selected the perfect platform with the Sauber F1 Team and Formula One to increase their brand exposure, in particular in the Asian market. We look forward to working with Flex-Box at this exciting race weekend in Singapore."

Henrik Nielsen, Managing Director, Flex-Box:
“I am delighted about our partnership with the Sauber F1 Team at the Singapore Grand Prix. The night race in Singapore is one of the highlights of the Formula One season, and I look forward to seeing our logo on the two Sauber C36-Ferrari while they race on the streets of Singapore. As a global company we can relate to the international layout of Formula One, and especially that of the Sauber F1 Team. The demand for high-quality shipping containers, and the safe and swift transportation of freight, is especially relevant in the motorsport industry."

About Flex-Box:
With over 15 years of experience in shipping container development and manufacturing, Flex-Box is an international industry leader. Known worldwide for their continuous innovation and development of new industry standards, they specialize in manufacturing shipping containers to meet their customers’ requirements. More information is available at: www.flex-box.com

Renault sure it can still overhaul Williams

Can Renault beat Williams?
Can Renault beat Williams?

Renault Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul says the manufacturer still has the "capability" to overhaul Williams in the battle for fifth in the Constructors' Championship before the end of the season.

Renault, which finished ninth upon its return in 2016, ahead of only Manor and Sauber, set itself the pre-season target of moving into the top five this year.

However, Renault holds eighth, three places behind Williams, with the gap growing to 21 points after the Mercedes-powered team scored strongly last weekend in Italy.

Abiteboul, though, insists that Renault can overhaul Haas and Toro Rosso before hunting down Williams, labeling a strong return in Singapore as "vital" to its prospects.

"With seven races to go, it's very much in our capability to chase that [gap] down by the end of the season," Abiteboul commented.

"We need to create some momentum and string together some consistent results with both cars inside the top 10 – Singapore will be vital to kick start this effort."

Renault led the midfield charge on one-lap pace in Britain, Hungary and Belgium, before slipping back, as expected, in Italy, due to the high-speed nature of the Monza circuit.

Technical Director Nick Chester is confident that Renault can front the midfield pack once again in Singapore, as it prepares to bring minor bodywork updates to the R.S.17.

"We've kept improving the car which has been very positive," Chester explained.

"Since Silverstone the car has been a chunk more competitive.

"Budapest and Spa kept that trend up and we were the fourth quickest car in terms of pace. We weren't as quick in Monza, but the upcoming races should see us back to the level of performance we saw at Spa.

"There are no remaining tracks with super low downforce.

"We have good potential to be strong at these next three Asian races."

Sauber Plans To Increase Its Staff By 100 Members

Vasseur to beef up staff
Vasseur to beef up staff

Formula 1 team Sauber "plans to increase its workforce by a quarter" as it bids to haul itself back into the F1 midfield in '18, Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur said, according to Lawrence Barretto of MOTORSPORT.

Vasseur is in the process of "overhauling the team," having taken over from Monisha Kaltenborn, and is "turning his attention to the staff numbers after securing the latest spec engine from Ferrari" for '18.

The Swiss team's current staff stands at "around 320, one of the smallest on the grid," but Vasseur "hopes to boost that by around 100 by strengthening all departments, particularly aerodynamics."

Vasseur hinted the recruitment "could happen reasonably quickly" and used former team Renault, where he spent a year as team principal, as an example. He said, "When I joined Renault last year, we were at 470 and I left at 600" MOTORSPORT

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