Latest F1 news in brief – Monday

  • Adrian Newey (R) with his son Harrison
    Adrian Newey (R) with his son Harrison, is motivated by fact Aldo Costa's cars have been beating his for years now

    Newey 'fully motivated again' – Horner

  • Only new rules can stop Mercedes – Alonso
  • Rosberg lacks Hamilton's 'killer instinct' – Marko
  • Only 'good offer' would restart F1 career – Buemi
  • Police foil terrorist Singapore GP rocket attack plot
  • Australian Grand Prix Fans Could Face Airport-Style Security Screening
  • Clear: Allison will be missed
  • Engineers agree it's time to think about new engine formula
  • McLaren said no to tire testing

Newey 'fully motivated again' – Horner
(GMM) Adrian Newey is getting much more involved in the design of next year's Red Bull, according to Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.

In the past few years, dismayed at the curtailing of aerodynamics in F1 and the predominance of the 'power units', F1's famous designer took a step back from the front line.

Newey has busied himself with an America's Cup project as well as a supercar collaboration with Aston Martin, but Horner says the Briton's interest in F1 is ramping up again as work on the 2017 car progresses.

The aerodynamics, chassis and tire regulations are changing significantly next year, and Red Bull chief Horner says it means Newey is involved once again.

"We are back where we were in 2014," he told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"Adrian withdrew himself somewhat with the RB12. I would say that his share of the current car is only 20 per cent, which shows how well our engineering office is doing."

But Horner added: "The new rules have Adrian fully motivated again. With next year's car, I would say he is back up at 50 per cent."

It never matters what the rules are, Aldo Costa and Adrian Newey design superior F1 cars
It never matters what the rules are, Aldo Costa (above) and Adrian Newey design superior F1 cars

Only new rules can stop Mercedes – Alonso
(GMM) Fernando Alonso has hailed the timing of F1's regulations change for 2017.

Some have questioned the radical aerodynamics, chassis and tire changes that are coming next year, saying performance in F1 was just beginning to converge in the current 'power unit' era that began in 2014.

But Spaniard Alonso has made no secret that his love of driving in F1 has waned during that period.

"Next year I will take stock," he is quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"The important thing is that I have fun again. 2017 will give the answers to my questions like are the cars as quick as they used to be? Do I have to keep saving tires and fuel?"

Alonso also hopes that, with the new rules, McLaren-Honda will be the team that is poised to finally topple Mercedes' dominance.

But he admitted: "We need more power. Even if Honda had as much power as Mercedes, it would not be enough because Mercedes' overall package is excellent.

"That's why it is so important that F1 is getting a new set of regulations," said Alonso.

However, those who argued that F1 should stay the course, like Mercedes' Toto Wolff, have warned that the new rules could once again leave a single team out in front.

"That's the question mark," Alonso acknowledged, "but it also gives everybody hope. Otherwise Mercedes would have just kept managing their advantage."

The newly 35-year-old therefore has no regrets about having left Ferrari.

"It was time to go," said Alonso. "For me there was nothing more to do.

"I'm not gloating. Ferrari is a great team and I had a great time there. But for the future you need to have either a Mercedes or a McLaren-Honda," he added.

Rosberg too soft
Rosberg too soft

Rosberg lacks Hamilton's 'killer instinct' – Marko
(GMM) It is Lewis Hamilton's "killer instinct" that in 2016 will deliver championship victory to him for a third consecutive time.

That is the view of Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko, when asked to nominate a favorite in the increasingly two-horse title race between Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.

Another former F1 driver, Marc Surer, agrees.

"Lewis will be world champion this year for the fourth time," the German-language television pundit told Sport Bild magazine.

"When Nico was so many points ahead at the beginning of the season, many people wrote Hamilton off. But look at where he is now," Surer said.

"Nico is a perfect driver, but Hamilton is a fighter."

Briton Hamilton could fall behind Rosberg once again after the summer break, as he will take a grid penalty for using a sixth engine of the season.

But Red Bull's Marko thinks that after the nine remaining races of 2016, Hamilton will once again be champion.

"He has the killer instinct that Rosberg does not," he said, "and at the end of the year, that is what will make the difference."

Sebastien Buemi's F1 career is over
Sebastien Buemi's F1 career is over

Only 'good offer' would restart F1 career – Buemi
(GMM) Sebastien Buemi says only a "good offer" from a F1 team could entice him away from his current motor racing forays.

Since losing his Toro Rosso seat at the end of 2011, the now 27-year-old Swiss has rebuilt his career by winning the world sports car championship in 2014.

He is also the reigning Formula E champion.

Buemi has also maintained his links with Red Bull, and last week at Mugello was developing Pirelli's wide 2017-specification aboard the team's modified 2015 test car.

"With these wide tires the cars look super cool, and they're fun on the inside of the car as well," he told the Swiss newspaper Blick.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has advised to Renault that Buemi should be brought back into F1 full time, but the driver warned: "It would have to be a good offer for me to give everything up."

Plan to bomb Singapore race foiled
Plan to bomb Singapore race foiled

Police foil terrorist Singapore GP rocket attack plot
A plan by terrorists with alleged links to so-called Islamic State to stage a rocket strike on next months' Singapore Grand Prix has been foiled, according to media reports.

The gang were plotting to launch the attack from the Indonesian island of Batam, just 10 miles from Singapore. Rockets were to have been fired across the strait between the two islands.

“This shows how our enemies are thinking of different ways of attacking us," said Singapore’s home affairs minister Kasi Shanmugam.
"Terrorists will seek to come in through our checkpoints. They will also try to launch attacks from just outside. And this is in addition to lone-wolf attacks."

31-year-old Gigih Rahmat Dewa and five other suspects have been arrested after their plot was detected through online social media discussions. They are believed to have links to Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian IT graduate accused of organizing a massacre in Jakarta six months ago and who is now with IS in Syria.

"The men in Batam seem to have been radicalized over social media, specifically using Facebook, rather than directly," police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar told Reuters.

"They didn't announce it but they were discussing it – communicating on social media between all the members.

"They have been in communication with Bahrum Naim in Syria. It looks like he sent funds and instructions to them," he added.

Whether the group would have been capable of actually staging the attack is unclear. Police found only a rudimentary collection of bomb-making material, firearms and arrows during their search of the ringleader's home.

January's deadly attack on Jakarta consisted of a straightforward gun and bomb assault staged by four militants which was swiftly dealt with by the police.

Last month another would-be terrorist attempted a suicide bombing rub on a police station in Solo using a motorcycle, but the only fatality in the incident was the attacker himself.

However experts have warned that despite the police success in stopping this particular group, there are likely to be other clusters of militants looking for targets to attack in the region.

Security is expected to be stepped up in Singapore when the city hosts the 15th race of the 2016 season on September 18 at the glittering Marina Bay waterfront street circuit.

Australian GP
Australian GP

Australian Grand Prix Fans Could Face Airport-Style Security Screening
Australian Grand Prix fans "may face airport-style screening from next year amid fears the race could be the target of a terrorist attack," according to Tom Minear of the HERALD SUN.

Strict new security provisions "are being considered by the State Government" to give race organizers more power to check spectators at Albert Park. A departmental report on the proposed changes said that the Grand Prix "may become a focus for violent protest or terrorist activity."

If approved, racegoers "could have to walk through screening machines or be swept by handheld devices" so staff could check "large volumes of people for items related to terrorist attacks." The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources report said that the tougher arrangements may annoy patrons "as a result of the inconvenience, perceived intrusiveness and queuing."

But it said that the overall burden would be "relatively minor" and the security procedures "were already accepted practice at other public events" HERALD SUN

Jock Clear
Jock Clear

Clear: Allison will be missed
Now in his second season at Ferrari, Jock clear, who worked alongside Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve during Williams glory days in the mid-90s, admits the team has been hurt by James Allison’s departure.

"Obviously you're not going to find losing someone like James, someone of his caliber is not going to go unnoticed," admitted the Briton. "So the team is going to have to work pretty hard to support everybody and cover those gaps.

"In that respect Mattia (Binotto) is going to need help from everybody," he continued. "We're going to have to pull together.

"I don't think there is any suggestion that Mattia is going to immediately step into the kind of role James was doing," he admitted. “But the fact is Ferrari has to move forward and we have to make the most of this situation as it is, and I know everybody is committed to pulling together and covering any of those areas where James was very, very strong, and he will be missed, but that's the challenge for us."

Clear, whose F1 career began with Benetton in 1989, first came to the public's notice when he moved to Williams 1995 where he worked with Damon Hill and then Jacques Villeneuve, following the Canadian to British American Racing.

Following Villeneuve's departure Clear remained at Brackley as the team morphed into Brawn and then Mercedes. At the end of 2014 it was revealed that the Portsmouth born engineer was heading to Maranello in 2015, having seemingly spent his entire career battling the Italian team.

"I started in January and this half of the season has been, as you see now, dominated by tragic events in March and that affected all of us, affected us emotionally, affected us practically. So I certainly don't think I've seen Ferrari in the most enjoyable light, if you see what I mean, with that shadow hanging over us.

"But what I have seen is a very motivated group of guys, a very motivated team, a very passionate team, and an unbelievable will to win.

"As I've said recently, that passion can sometimes be our Achilles heel, it can sometimes be something that holds us back, but overall that passion is what is going to get us over the finish line, that passion is what drives people in Ferrari day by day.

"However tough things are we rely on that and that's the biggest factor for me, that's the biggest eye opener for me, just the sheer passion running all the way through the company, it's fantastic."

Lowe thinks it's time to begin talk about the next generation F1 engine
Lowe thinks it's time to begin talk about the next generation F1 engine

Engineers agree it's time to think about new engine formula
Whilst fans are currently watching how the 2016 season plays out, most teams have already switched their focus to 2017 when a raft of new regulations aimed at making F1 faster and sexier come into play.

Even as most of the paddock headed off on holiday after Germany, Pirelli, in association with Ferrari and Red Bull was testing its much-anticipated wider 2017 tires.

With attention divided between the old and the new, some might have forgotten that the current engine formula only runs to the end of 2020, and a number of leading technical directors admit that now might be the time to start looking ahead.

"I think it is about time we started to talk about the engine beyond this one or power unit, really, we should say," said Paddy Lowe.

"It does raise some very big considerations, such as how do we define an engine or power unit that is correct for the sport but also relevant to the kind of power units that we will see in the future in road cars?

"Do we remain in some way related to that technology which is increasingly electrical or do we go our own way? There are some very, very important questions there.

"The debate started really with the issue of the sound of these engines when they arrived in 2014. It's better now than it was back then but it doesn't match the sound of the old V8s or the V10s but it still raises an interesting debate.

"I think road cars of the future, at some point not that far off, will be completely silent if they are all electrical so will we want noise, will we associate noise with performance or not? There are some very interesting debates there and I think we need to start that process."

"I think what we have learned from this cycle and this era of hybrid engines is that the power units now are very, very complicated and it needs a lot of planning," added Ferrari's Jock Clear, "and I think we'll go into those next negotiations with eyes wide open this time, which may be that time round, for a lot of us, and I don't think there's anybody who didn't fall into the category of underestimating what might have been involved, and as such, the sooner we start, the sooner we'll be aware and the sooner we can come to a solution that will be the best for the sport.

"So yeah, we do need to think about these things, we need to think about it in the context of what the sport needs, what the public wants, what looks sexy. But fundamentally, it's still a technological challenge and we need to get the technology right."

The only engine that would bring costs down in F1 and make the series 100% relevant to passenger cars is an electric one
The only engine that would bring costs down in F1 and make the series 100% relevant to passenger cars is an electric one. They've already ruined the sound of F1, why not remove it completely

"We should probably start sooner rather than later," agreed Red Bull's Paul Monaghan, "and I think Formula One should look at itself and decide what level of power unit performance differentiation does it seek. Should it be a dominant between the teams, should it be a factor within your performance differentiation and then look at how long has it taken these power units to begin to converge – we haven't converged as yet – and how does that look into the next few years of those next engine rules?

"If we can establish those perhaps more successfully than we did for the 2014 engine, and maybe different views around my colleagues, then I think the formula could be healthier and then the other debates – how much noise do we have and what spectacle does Formula One wish to create – should become part of that debate? And then it begins to set a cost level and a technology level that the sport thinks is acceptable and how you proceed from there."

"It's got to be affordable hasn't it?" said Pat Fry. "The costs have snowballed since the normally aspirated engines. It does need bringing back under control to some degree, doesn't it?"

"We probably don't want to get in a situation where there are such big differences and visible differences between cars that are put down to power unit," added Clear, "whether that's exactly what it is or not, but the fact is that the big change a couple of years ago created big, big gulfs between cars and we don't want to see that. Maybe something that brings us closer together or gets us converging much quicker."

"It is good to start the talks now because it's important for the engine manufacturers that are already in to see what is happening in the future," said Matt Morris of McLaren, "because they need reassurance that what we are going to do in the future is still relevant to their business and I think also having visibility of the future could also potentially attract more engine manufacturers into our formula. So the sooner we start discussing this, then the better." Pitpass

Pirelli said no to tire testing

While Ferrari and Red Bull have already had a taste of Pirelli’s 2017 tires, McLaren declined the opportunity to test as they wanted to focus entirely on 2016.

Last week Ferrari trialed Pirelli’s wider wet tires at Fiorano before Red Bull ran the slicks at Mugello.

Both teams put in two days in their respective tests as they assisted Formula 1 tire manufacturer in preparing for 2017 when F1 will run wider, fatter tires.

Ferrari will test again in September with Mercedes also scheduled for slick and wet tests.

However, it won’t be until November 29 when all the teams run the new tires in Abu Dhabi.

“In the end, you have to balance the costs, the distraction for your resources where we are now obviously and we believe it was better not to get distracted by doing a new car and [Pirelli] testing," said McLaren racing director Eric Boullier.

“There is some learning to do the testing, but most of the data is shared to the non-testing teams and I think that we are not where we want to be so we’d be better focused on making our car faster."

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