Latest F1 news in brief – Wednesday

  • Red Bull Tests the Halo Tuesday
    Red Bull Tests the Halo Tuesday

    Red Bull would vote against Halo

  • 'Getting noticed' difficult at Manor – Wehrlein
  • Haas leaves driver question open for now
  • Arrivabene: Ferrari still focused on chasing Mercedes
  • Lynn feels 'ready' for Formula 1 seat
  • Leclerc describes 'special' Ferrari test
  • Sirotkin enjoys chance to prove his worth
  • Ferrucci: F1 car capabilities 'unfathomable'
  • Ocon: Mixed weather conditions useful

Gasly looks out under the Halo
Gasly looks out under the Halo

Red Bull would vote against Halo
(GMM) Red Bull has indicated it will vote against the introduction of the 'Halo' cockpit protection for 2017.

That is despite the fact that, at the Silverstone test on Tuesday, Red Bull youngster Pierre Gasly tested the innovation for the energy drink team.

"It was strange to see something in front of me but I was surprised that it didn't change (the visibility) much," said the young Frenchman.

GP2 driver Gasly admitted, however, that he would prefer if F1 keeps its open cockpit format.

"Of course it is more risky without Halo, but everyone who drives these cars knows the risks and accepts them," he said.

Red Bull actually pioneered the Halo alternative, Aeroscreen, which has been put on the back burner by the team because the FIA is asking for further developments.

Team boss Christian Horner said he thinks 2017 is too soon for Halo to be introduced.

"I'd prefer there to be more research time taken to do the job properly, rather than rushing something through that may have other consequences," he is quoted by Express newspaper.

"I certainly wouldn't vote in favor at the moment."

Pascal Wehrlein
Pascal Wehrlein

'Getting noticed' difficult at Manor – Wehrlein
(GMM) Pascal Wehrlein has indicated he wants his F1 career to step up a notch for 2017.

A few days ago, the Mercedes-backed rookie said he would be happy to stay with the backmarker team Manor next year.

"First and foremost this is a huge opportunity and I need to take advantage of this chance, of course," the 21-year-old German told DPA news agency after testing Mercedes' 2014 car for Pirelli at Silverstone.

"But the problem is that getting noticed at Manor is difficult," he insisted.

"If you don't include the weekend in Austria, there has not been much of a highlight. On the other hand, if Austria had been a bad weekend, I would have no chance to draw attention to myself this year.

"So this was a key weekend for me," Wehrlein added.

Haas leaves driver question open for now
(GMM) Haas is leaving its driver lineup for the 2017 season open for now.

It is almost certain that Romain Grosjean is staying at the new American team next year, particularly after Ferrari re-signed Kimi Raikkonen.

"It is not true that I went to Haas only because of Ferrari," the Frenchman, referring to Haas' close technical partner, is quoted by Speed Week.

"I see this as a long-term project."

Esteban Gutierrez, Ferrari's former reserve driver, is similarly linked with the works team as are his Mexican backers, but his future seems less clear than Grosjean's.

Haas team boss Gunther Steiner said: "We have agreed to only talk about the driver lineup after all of the races in Europe."

F1's next four grands prix are all in Europe — in Hungary, Germany, Belgium, and finally the Italian grand prix at Monza in early September.

As for Gutierrez, Steiner commented: "It wouldn't be fair to judge Esteban only on the first half of the season, because there were some races where he was let down.

"We are under no pressure. We are also not negotiating with anyone, because we want to avoid speculation and uncertainty. The drivers should be able to do their performance with the best possible atmosphere," he added.

Arrivabene disillusioned if he thinks Ferrari can catch Mercedes
Arrivabene disillusioned if he thinks Ferrari can catch Mercedes

Arrivabene: Ferrari still focused on chasing Mercedes
Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene insists that the team is still targeting pacesetters Mercedes rather than worrying about fending off Red Bull in the battle for second in the constructors' championship.

After Max Verstappen was promoted from third to second by Nico Rosberg's Silverstone penalty Ferrari has an advantage of just six points over RBR.

"The fact that Red Bull is performing very well is good for F1, it's good for competition, for the show," said Arrivabene. "I still think that our target is Mercedes, and not Red Bull."

"At this stage of the season if you want to say we give up, it's not absolutely correct. We need to be focused. In terms of problems, bad luck, and everything, we are already at the top in terms of points. I hope that this kind of points will go down and we'll start to get better. But saying we give up, not at all."

Arrivabene said there were obvious reasons why Ferrari struggled at Silverstone.

"It's easy. All of you know this is a track where aero performance is requested, and we pay our fees in that area. The other problem is related to the reliability of the gearbox, and this problem penalized a lot Sebastian. Also psychologically. When you see a champion like Sebastian that is driving not in the best condition, at the end of the story he's not a robot, he's a human being."

"Yesterday I was surprised when somebody was highlighting the reaction of Sebastian after the failure of the gearbox [in FP3]. But I mean, guys, we are not talking with robots, with computers, we are talking about human beings. For me it was absolutely normal. Thank God we had this reaction."

Regarding the gearbox issues he added: "It's the third time we've had this problem. It's a concern, it's something that needs to be solved as soon as possible."

Lynn feels 'ready' for Formula 1 seat
Williams development driver Alex Lynn says he feels ready to graduate to Formula 1 after he conducted his fourth test day in the sport at Silverstone on Tuesday.

Lynn received a day's worth of running in the Mercedes-powered FW38, finishing third overall, having also tested for the squad earlier this season in Barcelona.

Williams' driver line-up for 2017 is uncertain and Lynn, who currently competes in the GP2 Series, is hopeful that his day of testing will boost his prospects.

"I hope so," when asked if his test was positive for his chances.

"I think it's another day completed, with no incidents, no problems – I did a good job, and compared very competitively with the race drivers in the runs that I did.

"I feel ready to make the step up and it's another little tick in my experience book."

Lynn added that the FW38 have him "a lot of confidence" in the high speed sections.

"I think it felt really nice in the high speed corners, which gave me a lot of confidence, especially [compared with] the cars that I usually drive," he explained.

"In the high speed it is really good, and at slow speed we had good grip.

"It's a shame that I didn't try it on the Soft qualifying tire, but on the Medium tire it felt good, which I did all of my running on in the Barcelona test as well."

Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari
Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari

Leclerc describes 'special' Ferrari test
Charles Leclerc described as "special" his first official Formula 1 test with Ferrari at Silverstone on Tuesday, despite technical trouble.

Leclerc got his maiden run in Formula 1 machinery with Ferrari earlier in the year, when he drove the team's 2014-spec car at Fiorano.

But the Monegasque, 18, made his full debut during the second in-season test, fresh from a free practice outing with Haas last Friday.

Leclerc completed 19 laps, mostly in dry conditions, en route to fourth overall, losing track time due to an issue with Ferrari's power unit.

Asked to reflect on the day, he said: "It's special. I'm only 18, so it's even more special.

"At six-years-old I was looking always at the red car, so it's unbelievable to be here.

"It helped me to do some kilometers in a Formula 1 car, and this is always helpful for a driver, especially the youngsters who want to arrive there, and to learn from the experience Ferrari has.

"I enjoyed every second of it this morning. We couldn't do many laps this afternoon because of a little problem on the old power unit. But yeah, it has been a good day anyway."

Leclerc said it was difficult to compare his Haas and Ferrari outings.

"It's two different things," said Leclerc, part of Ferrari's driver academy.

"In FP1 it was mostly for Haas, because they had a weekend after, and I had to work for them and do as much kilometers as possible, and today as well, but it was a long day, so we could plan it a bit better.

"Both [outings] have been amazing, and the more cars I can try, the more different ways of work I can see, and the more experience I get, so it's always good to try some things."

Kimi Raikkonen will take over from Leclerc on Wednesday.

Sergey Sirotkin at Silverstone test
Sergey Sirotkin at Silverstone test

Sirotkin enjoys chance to prove his worth
Sergey Sirotkin says that he enjoyed another opportunity to prove his worth to Renault on the opening day of the second in-season test at Silverstone.

Sirotkin, one of the team's test drivers, finished just four laps shy of a race distance at the British Grand Prix venue in mixed weather conditions.

Sirotkin ended the day 11th out of 12th runners, losing time as Renault carried out set-up changes, but was nonetheless pleased with his efforts.

"It was quite exciting," Sirotkin said of the day.

"Unfortunately I didn't spend so much time on track due to the [wet] weather and some set-up development we did, which took quite a bit of time to change

"But it was great opportunity for me, great experience."

Sirotkin's test mileage followed a practice outing at his home event in Russia, in which he placed 13th, five spots and almost eight tenths up on regular driver Jolyon Palmer.

"I would say I showed what I can do in Sochi," he added.

"This was just another opportunity for me to get experience, help the team with development for next year, and to prove that I can do a good job, that I can do what the team needs."

Palmer is at the wheel for the final day of Renault's test.

Santino Ferrucci tests for Haas
Santino Ferrucci tests for Haas

Ferrucci: F1 car capabilities 'unfathomable'
Santino Ferrucci labelled the speeds involved in Formula 1 as "unfathomable" after making his test debut with Haas at Silverstone.

Ferrucci, who competes in GP3, worked his way through 55 laps of the venue, hitting the mileage total required for a Super License.

"Wow, it was pretty amazing!" said the American, 18, who ended the day seventh overall, one of six drivers in the 1m34s bracket.

"It is a pleasure to drive a Formula 1 car, the circuit is pretty great too, and all of the guys did a great job, so I was really happy with the day."

He added: "It was incredible under braking and its unfathomable how quickly you go down from 320km/h to about 100km/h – it's pretty impressive."

Ferrucci admitted he was cautious, particularly when the rain arrived.

"I really wanted to go out there in the wet, but I was a little bit frightened," Ferrucci added.

"Coming from the GP3 car, obviously the Sunday race was really good, running in almost wet conditions, but with a Formula 1 car it is more than double the horsepower!

"I think going out there and taking it easy with the aero-rake was enough experience.

"I don't really want to go out there and spin the car, put it in the gravel and give the mechanics more work to do for tomorrow – the idea is to learn what you can and go smoothly."

Ferrucci would still need to gather enough points, handed out to drivers under the FIA's official championship-by-championship system, to earn a full Super License.

Ocon in the Mercedes
Ocon in the Mercedes

Ocon: Mixed weather conditions useful
Esteban Ocon says he benefitted from running in various weather conditions on the first day of the post-British Grand Prix test session.

Ocon was the most productive driver at Silverstone on Tuesday, racking up 123 laps, the equivalent of more than two races distances.

It marked Ocon's first test with Mercedes, and follows a pair of practice outings with Renault, where he is on loan as its reserve driver.

Ocon, who completed all his dry running on the Medium tyre, ended the day second to Fernando Alonso, who used the Super Softs.

"It's good; all the experience I can take, I take it," said Ocon, who was set to drive at the first in-season test, before Mercedes called up Pascal Wehrlein to test new parts.

"It's good for my development, to test all the tyres today, not all the compounds in the dry, but to test the full Wet, the Intermediate and the dry [Medium], really good."

Pushed on his wet-weather running in the afternoon, Ocon added: "It was quite challenging, firstly because of the rivers and then the changing conditions all the time.

"You are going out when it's dry, then it's drying during the [run], and you are losing like five seconds one lap to another, so that was quite tough, but you can expect that here."

Ocon says he was "close to the limit" by the end of the morning's running, and is expecting another useful stint behind the wheel on Wednesday, in predicted dry conditions.

"It's still new for me to drive a Formula 1 car at Silverstone," he said.

"With all the high-speed corners here, it takes you a bit of time, but I had quite a few sets of Medium tyres and at the end I think I was close to the limit, which was a very nice feeling.

"Today we achieved most of the programme. We took most of the morning because we knew it was going to rain in the afternoon, so that was good, and we still kept working on the rain.

"Let's see tomorrow, there should be more dry running and a lot of laps again."

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