Latest F1 news in brief – Tuesday

  • Todt to try and avoid F1, WEC and Formula E schedule clashes
    Todt to try and avoid F1, WEC and Formula E schedule clashes

    Todt seeks to avoid calendar clashes

  • Alonso may not do 2018 Indy 500 – Brown
  • Only Red Bull door closed for 2018 – Alonso
  • Horner forgives Verstappen for outburst
  • Vettel on pole for 2017 title – Lauda
  • Alonso hails performance despite DNF
  • Malja to test for Sauber in Hungary
  • Ericsson blames brakes for SC accident

Todt seeks to avoid calendar clashes
(GMM) F1's governing body has vowed to better coordinate the calendars of the major championships.

The date clash of Le Mans and the Baku grand prix last year was highly controversial.

In that spirit, FIA president Jean Todt met with F1, sports cars and Formula E chiefs at Monaco last weekend.

"We have begun the process of harmonizing our sporting calendars and I look forward to continuing this effort as we define our championship schedules for next season and beyond," said Todt.

Alonso may not do 2018 Indy 500 – Brown

Alonso's plans for 2018 remain unclear
Alonso's plans for 2018 remain unclear

(GMM) Fernando Alonso might not return to do next year's Indy 500.

That is the news from Zak Brown, the new McLaren executive who engineered the Spaniard's controversial skipping of the Monaco grand prix to bid for victory in the fabled US race.

But Brown is quoted by Brazil's UOL as suggesting he has other plans for Alonso in light of a similar race date clash in 2018.

"I hope he gets back on track with us to win the Monaco grand prix again," he said, "which means that perhaps the return (to Indy) will not happen in 2018.

"Of course the calendar isn't final yet but our main objective is to win again in Monaco with Fernando in the car," Brown added.

But he said that doesn't mean Alonso, 35, will never return to the 'Brickyard'.

"I think he's coming back someday, but I do not know what year," said Brown.

"He wants to win the triple crown and I don't believe he was expecting to win first time out. So I think he's coming back."

Only Red Bull door closed for 2018 – Alonso

Alonso's best bet for 2018 will be Renault
Alonso's best bet for 2018 will be Renault

(GMM) Fernando Alonso says the only top team with closed doors for 2018 is Red Bull.

Amid McLaren-Honda's crisis, the Spaniard skipped Monaco last weekend to do the Indy 500 and he admits he could be on the move within pitlane for next year.

"We'll see. I would be lying if I told you now that I have a concrete plan," Alonso told Planeta Calleja.

"I could go to another team, I don't know whether it is Mercedes or another. If Renault starts to dominate, I don't know," he added.

"If in June or July a team calls I think we would have a chance but it's all to be talked about," said Alonso.

"I think perhaps Red Bull is the only one that has doors a little closed because it already has young drivers with long contracts," he added.

Alonso says his future could also depend on F1's new owners Liberty Media, amid plans to drastically expand the calendar beyond a scheduled 21 races for 2018.

"I have to see what they plan to do," he said. "I read that they want to make a championship of 25 races.

"When I started in F1 there were 16, now there are 20. If they tell me there are 25 I will retire," Alonso revealed.

Horner forgives Verstappen for outburst

Christian Horner
Christian Horner

(GMM) Christian Horner says Red Bull's relationship with Max Verstappen remains on track.

That is despite the fact the Dutchman made a foul-mouthed radio riposte during the Monaco race, when a pit strategy gave his teammate Daniel Ricciardo the track advantage.

Asked if he understood the outburst, boss Horner told Auto Hebdo: "Of course.

"When you end up with your teammate in front of you when he was behind you, you can be angry.

"But once the circumstances were explained, everything was in order," he added.

Also angry after Monaco was Kimi Raikkonen, amid suspicions Ferrari deliberately disadvantaged the Finn so that teammate Sebastian Vettel could win.

"I don't think Ferrari did anything deliberately," Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko told Auto Bild.

"He had to react to us and Bottas because he was just too slow. We also had to pit Max early," he added.

Ricciardo was on the podium in Monaco ahead of both Mercedes, but Horner says that does not mean Red Bull's 2017 troubles are now effectively over.

"I am worried about Montreal, Baku and Spielberg," he said. "They will be the biggest challenges along with Monza.

"If we manage to do well on those three tracks, what we have in the pipeline should enable us to have a much better second half of the season."

Vettel on pole for 2017 title – Lauda

Vettel on pole for title says Lauda
Vettel on pole for title says Lauda

(GMM) Niki Lauda has admitted Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel is now on pole position for the 2017 world championship.

Amid Lewis Hamilton's Monaco struggles, Vettel won in Monaco and now has a 25 point advantage after six races.

"Vettel won because he was faster when Raikkonen stopped," Lauda, Mercedes' team chairman, told Sky Italia.

"Do I look happy? Ferrari always has a slice of my heart. They were perfect and we were not.

"The championship? It's going in the direction of Vettel but there are still many races," said the F1 legend.

Lauda also told the Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung: "On Monday I was still angry, but now we have to find the right tire window.

"Another thing is clear: Vettel must have a failure, otherwise it is over. Ferrari are in a real flow and if this continues, the gap is enormous," he said.

Alonso hails performance despite DNF

Alonso happy with Indy performance
Alonso happy with Indy performance

Fernando Alonso labelled his Indy 500 experience as "one of the best" of his career and reveled in his performance, despite retiring from the race due to an engine failure.

Alonso fought up front for the bulk of the 200-lap event and headed the pack for several spells, scrapping among Andretti team-mates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi.

Alonso was running in the lower reaches of the top 10, and striving to make progress, when he slowed along the main straight on lap 179 when his engine expired.

Alonso received a standing ovation from the spectators as he climbed from his stricken machine, before another team-mate, Takuma Sato, went on to take a popular win.

"It's a shame," he told ESPN after the race.

"I think we deserved at least to finish the race and experience the in-lap and all the things, but who knows which position we could be.

"The racing was fun, it was nice. I think the performance was good. We were up there, leading the race for a couple of laps, on the red flag we were leading the race.

"It was a very nice surprise to come here with these big names, big guys, the best in oval racing, and be able to be competitive."

Alonso hinted that he would return to the event in the future.

"Obviously it's very early [to say], I've just finished this one," he commented.

"I feel competitive. If I come back I come back with something that I know, how it will feel. It will be easier the second time than what it has been this one. It was really good fun.

"Thanks to all of IndyCar, thanks to Indianapolis, thanks to the fans, because this has been one of the best experiences in my career."

Malja to test for Sauber in Hungary

Gustav Malja has check, will test
Gustav Malja has check, will test

Formula 2 racer Gustav Malja will make his Formula 1 test debut with Sauber during the in-season running at the Hungaroring in August.

Regular drivers Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein conducted testing last month in Bahrain, meaning Sauber must run an inexperienced driver for the Hungaroring test.

Malja, 21, finished 13th in last year's GP2 Series with Rapax and switched to Racing Engineering in the rebranded Formula 2 Championship for 2017, and currently holds ninth spot.

"The prospect of driving a Formula 1 car is exceptionally thrilling, and a childhood dream come true," said Malja, who will pilot the C36-Ferrari for one of the two test days.

"I can't wait to experience that sensation; I'm sure it will be a very surreal moment.

"I will do everything in my power to make the most of the test day and learn as much as I possibly can.

"Wholehearted thanks to the Sauber F1 Team for giving me this fantastic opportunity."

The second in-season test will take place on the Tuesday and Wednesday following the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Gustav Malja
Date/Place of birth 4th November 1995 / Malmo (Sweden)
Nationality Swede
Website click here

2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship, currently 9th
2016 GP2 Series, 13th
2015 Formula Renault 3.5 Series, 9th
2014 Formula Renault 2.0 NEC, 5th
2013 Formula Renault 2.0 NEC, 15th
2012 ADAC Formel Masters, 2nd
2011 ADAC Formel Masters, 13th
2006 – 2011 Karting

Ericsson blames brakes for SC accident
Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson has blamed overheating brakes and cold tires on his race-ending accident behind the Safety Car during the Monaco Grand Prix.

Ericsson was running in 16th position when the Safety Car came out for the clash between team-mate Pascal Wehrlein and McLaren's Jenson Button late on.

While the train of cars lapped the circuit at a steady pace, Ericsson has claimed that his brake temperatures spiraled out of control, while his tire temperatures dropped.

On lap 64/78, four laps after the Safety Car was deployed, Ericsson slid off track at Sainte Devote and slammed into the barriers, causing terminal damage to his C36.

"It has been a very tough weekend from the start to the end," said Ericsson.

"With the pace we have had this weekend, the race was decent from my side.

"Unfortunately, I had some issues with the brakes overheating behind the Safety Car. I tried to bring the brake temperature down, but I had to keep the tires in the right working window.

"The combination of overheating brakes and cold tires made me struggle a lot to stop the car, so I could not avoid sliding into the barriers."

McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne endured a similar crash just after the Safety Car came in, having also struggled to keep heat in his tires.

"Towards the end of the race, I knew it would be difficult at the restart," he said.

"It's always difficult to heat up the Super Softs, and we knew we wouldn't be able to cover Sergio [Pérez] and Felipe [Massa], who'd switched to the Option behind the Safety Car.

"That wasn't an option for us – when you're in the top 10, you've got to keep your position.

"It was hard to get the tires and brakes up to temperature, and I just had nowhere to go."

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