Latest F1 news in brief – Thursday

  • Halo set for heated vote
    Halo set for heated vote

    F1 set for vote showdown over 'Halo'

  • Wolff says driver rows will race on for now
  • Football game sends Schumacher 'positive energy'
  • Ecclestone 'not indifferent' to Monza, Hockenheim
  • Jos Verstappen beats up own father – reports
  • Haas looks to overhaul McLaren in Germany
  • Alonso not expecting repeat of Hungary pace

F1 set for vote showdown over 'Halo'
(GMM) F1 looks set for a showdown between Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA over the introduction of the 'Halo' cockpit protection system for 2017.

The drivers are split over whether the titanium device should be brought in, and Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko calls the concept "idiocy" in the context of spicing up the sport.

Now, F1 supremo Ecclestone has also raised his clear objection ahead of Thursday's vote in Geneva of the strategy group.

"We don't need it because it won't do any good," he told the Telegraph. "It could cause more damage than it's going to save."

This is totally at odds with F1's governing body, after the FIA showed a detailed presentation of the benefits of Halo to the drivers in Hungary last weekend.

"The presentation was quite clear. The outcome was positive in all crashes," said Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel.

Still, the sport appears totally split on the issue of Halo.

"I don't like it," Mercedes' Toto Wolff told Stuttgarter Nachrichten newspaper, "but I still have not decided (how to vote)."

Ecclestone, however, is clear.

"Most of the drivers don't want to see it. It's a case of us and the teams will decide in the end," said the 85-year-old.

If the teams vote no on Thursday, it is believed the FIA could overrule their wishes by invoking the safety argument.

Jenson Button agrees that it shouldn't be the teams casting their vote.

"It's a safety issue," he said. "If the FIA decide it's a safety issue, we should have it on the car."

But Ecclestone hit back at opinions like Button's. "They've got a small problem: they don't own the teams and they don't own the cars. If they (the drivers) don't want to drive, they don't have to."

Hamilton and Rosberg fight will continue
Hamilton and Rosberg fight will continue

Wolff says driver rows will race on for now
(GMM) Toto Wolff has admitted that Mercedes' philosophy of signing two 'number 1' drivers will never be perfect.

His comments come after the latest public disagreement between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, who are both staying at the team until the end of 2018 at least.

In Hungary, Hamilton disagreed with Rosberg not being penalized in qualifying to the point that he even visited race control for clarification about how much a driver needs to slow for yellow flags.

And Bild newspaper now claims that Hamilton will raise the issue again in Friday's race briefing ahead of the German grand prix at Hockenheim.

The report said Mercedes is not overly happy with Hamilton's stance, especially having raised the issue directly with Charlie Whiting.

"I don't think I influenced the stewards investigation," the reigning world champion is quoted as saying.

For his part, team boss Wolff says he is happy with Mercedes' current driver lineup but admitted it is "not perfect".

"A perfect pairing would be two number ones at the same level, both capable of winning the world championship and not generating any controversy.

"But this is an illusion that does not exist. We have opted for this philosophy for the benefits it has to the team but with the disadvantage that we have to do a lot of people management," he told Sport Bild.

"There is always one winner and one loser, one happy and one unhappy one each Sunday."

But Wolff said Hamilton vs Rosberg does work for Mercedes.

"Their relationship is constantly changing, it's up and down, but they're in their fourth year and fighting for the title for the third time and so far it has gone relatively well.

"We don't know for how long that will be the case, and there may be a point in which we say 'We did it for four or five or six years but can't do it anymore.

"Then it may be that we need to exchange the drivers or change the philosophy. So far we aren't there yet but it is a wild horse that we ride," Wolff added.

Vettel and Massa chase ball
Vettel and Massa chase ball

Football game sends Schumacher 'positive energy'
(GMM) German basketball legend Dirk Nowitzki on Wednesday said he hoped some "positive energy" was beamed back to Michael Schumacher.

The NBA star organized a charity football match in Mainz, Germany, on Wednesday featuring Schumacher's protege Sebastian Vettel, ex-rival Mika Hakkinen, former teammate Felipe Massa and even his 17-year-old son Mick.

Nowitzki told Bild newspaper: "The fact that Mick is here makes the evening even a little emotional.

"I hope that we can send Michael a little positive energy and show him that the people have not forgotten you, and that you are still their idol," he added.

Ecclestone wants his money and if he doesn't get it will ax both Hockenheim and Monza
Ecclestone wants his money and if he doesn't get it will ax both Hockenheim and Monza

Ecclestone 'not indifferent' to Monza, Hockenheim
(GMM) The long and protracted saga over the future of the Italian grand prix may finally be at an end.

The authoritative Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that, notwithstanding Imola's moves to snatch the race, Monza looks to have secured a new four-year deal with Bernie Ecclestone valued at EUR 88 million.

The report said even the F1 supremo confirmed that an agreement is now "very close".

If confirmed, it will be good news for proponents of keeping Europe's traditional races on the calendar, although the future of the German grand prix still looks far from secure.

When asked about the fate of tracks like Monza and Hockenheim, Hockenheim chief Georg Seiler told Bild newspaper this week that he thinks Ecclestone understands the dilemma.

"I do not think he is indifferent to Monza or Hockenheim," Seiler said.

"He does want these traditional tracks to remain. But as long as there are countries that are offering these sums of money, we must also remember that he is operating formula one as a businessman.

"Whether that is always fair is another issue," he added.

Jos (L) beat the crap out of his old man father Frans
Jos (L) beat the crap out of his old man father Frans

Jos Verstappen beats up own father
(GMM) Max Verstappen's famous father has reportedly had an eventful few days between the Hungarian and German grands prix.

De Telegraaf, a Dutch newspaper, reports that the former Benetton and Minardi driver physically attacked his own father, Max's grandfather Frans Verstappen.

The report said the incident happened shortly after the Budapest race last Sunday, in Jos' hometown of Montford, The Netherlands.

De Telegraaf said Frans Verstappen filed a complaint with the police.

"We've seen before that Jos has loose hands but this was the limit," Frans, showing multiple wounds and bruises on his body and head, is quoted as saying.

"Jos is very bad tempered," he added.

Max and Jos' manager Raymond Vermeulen said the incident was a "private matter".

Later, Limburg broadcaster L1 reported that Frans had withdrawn the complaint because "it's just a private matter between myself and Jos.

"I want to keep it between ourselves," he added.

Guenther Steiner smells blood
Guenther Steiner smells blood

Haas looks to overhaul McLaren in Germany
Haas team boss Guenther Steiner says the squad wants to enter Formula 1's summer break having gained a position in the Constructors' Championship, after a promising first half to its maiden campaign.

Romain Grosjean has collected 28 points to put Haas eighth in the standings, 10 points behind rival outfit McLaren, which pulled clear courtesy of seventh for Fernando Alonso in Hungary.

This weekend's German Grand Prix is the last event prior to the sport's summer break and Steiner has set Haas the target of leaping ahead of McLaren.

"We would like to go into the summer shutdown one position higher than we are now in the championship," Steiner commented.

"I think it's always good that the last race, whether it's before the summer shutdown or the next season, that you end up on a bit of a high, because then everybody relaxes and nobody is too worried.

"If we can get out of Germany with a few points, that would be fantastic for everybody."

Haas has scored points only once across the past seven Grands Prix, when Grosjean finished seventh in Austria earlier this month.

Fernando Alonso knows Hungary was a fluke
Fernando Alonso knows Hungary was a fluke

Alonso not expecting repeat of Hungary pace
Fernando Alonso says he is not expecting McLaren to repeat its Hungary form at this weekend's German Grand Prix, having been "the number four team" at the preceding round.

Alonso placed seventh in every session at the Hungaroring as he finished behind only the Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari drivers, while McLaren closed on Toro Rosso in the standings.

Alonso, however, is wary that Hockenheim is unlikely to be as well-suited to the MP4-31 package.

"For sure, it will be different to Hungary," commented the Spaniard.

"We can't expect to be the number four team there, and our midfield rivals will be stronger.

"But we'll try to maximize everything we have in our armory and give it our best shot."

Jenson Button is also anticipating that McLaren will be dragged back into a midfield fight.

"Our car is strong under heavy braking, but despite the long, sweeping corners and fast straights, this isn't as much of a necessity there as in Hungary," he explained.

"We're expecting it to be a tricky weekend as the best-placed cars are the ones with the highest straight-line speeds, but we'll see what we can do.

"The MP4-31 is well balanced and has good traction out of the corners, so we might be able to make up some time around a lap."

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :