Latest F1 news in brief – Wednesday

  • Horner and Marko both think F1's engine rules are farcical
    Horner and Marko both think F1's engine rules are farcical

    F1 should increase engine allocation – Horner

  • FIA open to 'good suggestions' over penalties
  • Alonso 'deserves better' in F1 – Domenicali
  • McLaren better with 'any other engine' – Ricciardo
  • Wolff not happy with F1 weather service
  • Williams Grand Prix Holdings Board Announcement

F1 should increase engine allocation – Horner
(GMM) Christian Horner says he will propose that F1 scraps plans to further ramp up the controversial long-life engine rules next year.

Already on new F1 chief Ross Brawn's table is an idea to reform the often farcical imposition of grid penalties for engine component changes.

But Horner, the Red Bull boss, told Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper that the real problem is that drivers are not allocated enough engines per season under the current and ultra-complex 'power unit' regulations.

For instance, with some drivers already well into their allocation of four engines after 13 races in 2017, the regulations are set to reduce that limit to three engines in 2018.

"This problem should be the number one issue at the next strategy (group) meeting," said Horner.

The Austrian newspaper said Horner proposes that F1 ups the per-driver engine allocation to five per season.

Horner added: "It would be a pity if the world championship was decided by something like the number of engines."

FIA open to 'good suggestions' over penalties

Brawn wants F1 engine penalties changed
Brawn wants F1 engine penalties changed

Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, says it is aware that the sport's current penalty needs to be reviewed, and is open to any "good suggestions" moving forward.

A staggering 150 places worth of grid drops were racked up at the Italian Grand Prix, as drivers exceeded their power unit element allocations and made unscheduled gearbox changes.

Under current Formula 1 regulations, drivers are allowed to use only four of each of the six elements that make up the power unit per season, before grid penalties are imposed.

A 10-place grid penalty is imposed the first time a fifth element is used, with a five-place drop imposed the first time a fifth of any of the remaining elements is used.

Meanwhile, a gearbox must be used for six consecutive events.

In the wake of fans' criticism, FIA President Jean Todt has admitted "there is something to address", though warned "solutions are not always so obvious".

"I'm not a magician, so it's something that goes through a certain process," he told Sky Sports, when asked if the FIA will make changes to the penalty rules for next year.

"The reason we introduced the penalties was to reduce the costs, so if we can make the situation better we will definitely do it, but we are open to any good suggestions."

Put to him that the FIA could take points off Constructors or take money off Constructors and give it to poorer teams and junior racing, he said: "Constructive change and proposals."

Earlier this year, Formula 1 reached a "broad agreement" to introduce, simpler, cheaper and noisier engines from 2021, after the current engine cycle comes to an end.

Alonso 'deserves better' in F1 – Domenicali

Stefano Domenicali
Stefano Domenicali

(GMM) Fernando Alonso "deserves" to be doing better in formula one, the Spaniard's former boss Stefano Domenicali said.

The former Ferrari chief is now the head of Lamborghini, but he made an appearance in the Monza paddock last weekend.

When asked about Alonso's difficult situation at McLaren-Honda and his deliberations over 2018, Domenicali said of his former driver: "It is clearly a difficult situation he is in.

"It's not easy for him to make a decision. But Fernando certainly deserves the best — he's very great, we all know that.

"I hope he can chose a good option and get it right because he deserves it," the Italian told the Spanish sports newspaper AS.

Domenicali says he is happy with his post-F1 life as the Lamborghini chief, but he remains involved with the FIA at the single seater commission.

Not just that, another Volkswagen brand – Porsche – is now strongly linked with a 2021 foray as F1 engine supplier.

A source at Liberty Media said: "Stefano belongs in F1, and will return to F1."

McLaren better with 'any other engine' – Ricciardo

Right now McLaren would be faster with a Renault, but dropping Honda is a terrible mistake
Right now McLaren would be faster with a Renault, but dropping Honda is a terrible mistake for the future

(GMM) McLaren would be more competitive with any other engine on the grid.

That is the claim of Daniel Ricciardo, as the world of F1 continues to wait for news about the likely split between the formerly great team McLaren and Honda.

"Unfortunately Honda has not been able to make McLaren's car fast with these engines," Ricciardo, who drives for Red Bull, told the Spanish daily Marca.

"So I think if they put in a Renault engine or anything else, they will automatically be faster because the car itself looks very good.

"They should be stronger next year," the Australian added.

Ricciardo also said he feels for Fernando Alonso — renowned as one of the best drivers in F1 but crippled by the McLaren-Honda crisis since 2015.

"I really like Fernando and respect him a lot as a driver," Ricciardo said.

"I would like to see him suffering less on the track and in a top car. It would be great to have him as a teammate one day — him or Hamilton. I'd love that," he added.

Wolff not happy with F1 weather service

Toto Wolff disgusted with weather forecasts
Toto Wolff disgusted with weather forecasts

(GMM) Toto Wolff has indicated he is not happy with F1's official weather service.

This year, Meteo France took over from UbiMet as the supplier of detailed weather information and forecasts to all F1 teams.

But at Monza, the forecasters evidently got their weather predictions completely wrong.

"On Friday, it was supposed to rain all day — but it was sunny all day," Mercedes boss Toto Wolff told the German broadcaster Sky.

"And on Saturday, it was supposed to be dry," he added, referring to the absolutely washed-out qualifying session.

Wolff hinted that F1 should be rethinking its reliance on a central weather service, compared to the past when teams engaged their own suppliers separately.

"Maybe we have to think about whether this is the right approach," he said.

Williams Grand Prix Holdings Board Announcement
Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC (Ticker: WGF1) today announces that after six years, Eddie Charlton is stepping down from his position as the Senior Independent Non-Executive Director on the company’s Board of Directors.

As announced in July, Doug Lafferty has joined Williams this week in the position of Chief Financial Officer, and will now take up his position on the company’s Board of Directors.

Doug joins Mike O’Driscoll, Claire Williams, Mark Biddle and Paddy Lowe on the Board, alongside the company’s Non-Executive Chairman Nick Rose and Non-Executive Director Brad Hollinger.

Eddie joined the Williams Board in 2011, after a very successful career in banking with Hambros Bank, Banque Paribas, and HSBC, having served on the Board of a number of companies. Eddie chaired the Remuneration and Nomination Committee, and retires from the Board on completion of his second three-year term, which is normal practice for a Non-Executive Director, and in line with the UK Corporate Governance Code.

Doug has joined Williams from British American Tobacco, where he was Head of Finance for the Americas region. Doug joined BAT in 2001 and has held positions of increasing responsibility during a very successful career with the company. After a number of international assignments, Doug returned to the UK in 2013, as Finance Director for BAT’s Next Generation Products business, where he played a key role in the development of the group’s strategy.

Nick Rose, Non-Executive Chairman, Williams, commented; “I would like to thank Eddie for his invaluable contribution to Williams over the last six years. Eddie will remain a great friend of the team. I am delighted to welcome Doug to our Board. His appointment adds to what is a very strong team of Board members who provide the company and our shareholders with the highest standards of leadership and governance."

Mike O’Driscoll, Group Chief Executive Officer, added; “On behalf of all of us at Williams, our huge thanks to Eddie for his service over the last six years. I know his passion and enthusiasm will be missed by all at the team. I would also like to welcome Doug, who has taken up the position of CFO at Williams this week. Doug is a highly respected financial professional, and I look forward to working alongside him."

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