Latest F1 news in brief – Tuesday (Update)

UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

06/28/16

  • Daniil Kvyat knows his days are numbered
    Daniil Kvyat under pressure

    Kvyat breaks silence as Red Bull eyes future

  • Symonds proud of Williams' pitstop turnaround
  • Monza hopes for 2017 contract by September
  • Red Bull could revive old Spielberg layout
  • Pirelli CEO happy with F1 present and future
  • Bottas steps up management of own F1 career
  • Wolff: Mercedes' competition 'growing'
  • Rosberg eyes third straight Austrian GP win
  • Ricciardo won't say no to Ferrari New
  • Austrian GP weekend likely to see thunderstorms New

Kvyat breaks silence as Red Bull eyes future
(GMM) Daniil Kvyat has finally broken his long Twitter silence, having not uttered a word on his social media account since his calamitous home race at Sochi and demotion from Red Bull.

"A bit going on lately," the Russian now declares, "but hard work continues and I keep on pushing hard! Life's good. Thanks for your kind messages!"

Earlier, following his return to Toro Rosso, Kvyat removed all images and references to the energy drink brand from his Twitter profile, simply calling himself 'Formula 1 driver' in the description.

His brief message this week comes after boss Dr Helmut Marko declared that, despite an obviously strained relationship, 22-year-old Kvyat stands a chance of keeping his seat at Toro Rosso in 2017.

That is despite the fact that Red Bull is obviously preparing for the future, announcing a forthcoming test for 18-year-old Sergio Sette Camara and continuing to back GP2 frontrunner Pierre Gasly.

20-year-old Frenchman Gasly is currently fourth in the F1 feeder series, acknowledging to Britain's Sky that he needs to win the title to secure his Toro Rosso promotion.

"So far, they (Red Bull) don't say anything but the target of course is clear," he said.

"I'm in my second season in GP2 so for me, the only target is I need to win the championship. If I want to get my chance, that's pretty obvious," Gasly added.

Pat Symonds
Pat Symonds

Symonds proud of Williams' pitstop turnaround
(GMM) Pat Symonds is proud of Williams, who have emerged this year as the team with clearly the fastest pitstops in formula one.

With a car outpaced by Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari in 2016 and a smaller budget than the top three teams, Grove based Williams did, however, set an overall record stationary pitstop time of 1.89 seconds recently in Baku.

"The record is nice," technical boss Pat Symonds said, "but the consistency is more important to me.

"In Baku, all three of our pitstops were in the top 4 (fastest) overall. That means more to me than the record," he told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

Remarkably, of the eight races so far this season, Williams has achieved the fastest overall pitstop on every single occasion — something never before seen in F1.

Not only that, a 'bad' Williams pitstop now stops the clocks at 3 seconds, with no more major problems recorded.

It is a remarkable turnaround for the famous British team, having been one of the worst pitstop crews of 2015.

"Our big problem was jamming wheel nuts," said Symonds, who said pitstop equipment was all redesigned.

"I would say that the design of the parts accounts for the majority of our progress," he explained.

"We supply some parts to Manor, and they also wanted our jacks, but it was embarrassing to ask them for so much money. They cost 60,000 pounds to produce."

Another element, Symonds added, is that Williams is not overworking its crew with endless pitstop practice.

"We do not practice more, actually it's less than before," he said. "If you practice 25 pitstops a day, the guys are tired and unfocused, and if they make mistakes, they lose confidence."

Williams mechanics also do specific gym training, while pitstops are analyzed by video. "Each stop is recorded and analyzed in detail," said Symonds.

"In Canada we had 2 stops. The pitstop report after the race was 16 pages long," he smiled. "It's the detail that makes the difference."

Monza hopes for 2017 contract by September
(GMM) An official is hoping Monza finally ends its protracted negotiations over Monza's F1 future by the Italian grand prix in September.

"We are very close to closing the agreement for the Italian grand prix. At Monza," said Italian automobile club Aci chief Angelo Sticchi Damiani.

That is despite that fact rival Italian circuit Imola has been pressing the Aci to make funding earmarked for Monza also available for the track near Bologna.

Sticchi Damiani, however, insists that Monza will win the day, revealing to La Repubblica newspaper: "We are in the last mile."

A deal would be timely, given F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone's warning in Baku recently that if a deal is not done by September, Italy may be completely unrepresented on the sport's 2017 calendar.

"The agreement will be concluded before the summer. And the signature will be done by September, perhaps during the days of the grand prix at Monza," Sticchi Damiani revealed. "That would be very nice."

Original circuit shown in green
Original circuit vs. new

Red Bull could revive old Spielberg layout
(GMM) Red Bull is looking into expanding the current layout of the Austrian grand prix venue in Spielberg.

The energy drink brand took the former A1-Ring and Osterreichring back to the F1 calendar in 2014.

But according to Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper, owner Dietrich Mateschitz is now considering reviving an iconic old section of the track called the Westschleife (west loop).

"From a driver's perspective, the old track would be interesting," said F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

"It would separate the men from the boys a lot more than it does nowadays, anyway," he added.

John Watson's Penske at the old Osterreichring
John Watson's Penske at the old Osterreichring

Red Bull official Dr Helmut Marko insisted that the expansion is only "in the planning stage" at present.

But he added: "The merging of these two tracks would create one of the most attractive and fastest race tracks in the world."

Whether it happens or not, Ecclestone said he is happy F1 is back in Austria.

"Red Bull always does a great job. We love coming back there," he told Kleine Zeitung newspaper, ahead of this weekend's Austrian grand prix.

Pirelli CEO happy with F1 present and future
(GMM) Pirelli chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera said he is happy the Italian company is still involved in an ever more competitive formula one.

The Milan-based multinational has finally had its new 2017-2019 contract as F1's sole tire supplier rubber-stamped.

"For us, it is a double success," Tronchetti Provera is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Firstly for the image of the Pirelli brand and also for our technology, because we have answered all the challenges that have been proposed."

The next challenge is to help F1 speed up in 2017 with wider, bigger, grippier tires.

"Next year, the new cars will be 4 to 5 seconds faster and the tires will contribute 2.5 seconds, demonstrating how important they are," said the Pirelli boss.

But Tronchetti Provera said he is also happy with how the 2016 championship is shaping up.

"One surprise this season has been the competitive return of Red Bull," he noted, "with Renault making progress with the engines.

"Ferrari is there and only lacking a small piece that we hope they can find in the shortest possible time," Tronchetti Provera added.

Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas

Bottas steps up management of own F1 career
(GMM) Valtteri Bottas says he has his F1 future in his own hands for the first time.

With the 'silly season' about to shift into its high gear, the Williams driver told Finland's Turun Sanomat that he is taking more responsibility for the management of his career.

Earlier, Bottas – who turns 27 next month – was guided by his all-star management team headed by Toto Wolff, Didier Coton and Mika Hakkinen.

"I have all the same managers as before, but now I take care of myself a little bit more," said the Finn.

As for how that might translate into a move up the grid, however, is for now not clear.

"The situation is the same as it was before," said Bottas when asked about his plans for 2017.

Toto Wolff: I will tell them the gap is closing, but last race the gap was the widest it's ever been.  Hehe
Toto Wolff: I will tell them the gap is closing, but last race the gap was the widest it's ever been. Hehe

Wolff: Mercedes' competition 'growing'
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has urged the squad to cut out mistakes at upcoming Grands Prix to deal with "growing" competition from rival Formula 1 teams.

Despite taking victory in all bar one race so far this season, Mercedes has recorded just three double podium finishes, compared to eight at the same stage in 2015.

Wolff was again left with mixed feelings after the European Grand Prix, in which Nico Rosberg cruised to the win, and Lewis Hamilton struggled to fifth amid technical trouble.

"We didn't maximize our potential in Baku," Wolff admitted.

"At some circuits, you seem to find the sweet spot straight from the beginning – and that track suited our car in terms of demands on the power unit and aerodynamic efficiency.

"We left a little disappointed. But overall there were a lot of positives. Our package is clearly as competitive as ever and we have seen that both drivers are pushing right to the limit – sometimes even beyond it.

"This is what we want to see from them. It would be easy to get complacent or ease off the pedal after our recent success. But they are pushing themselves, each other and the team forward at every step.

"We accept that sometimes this will result in tough weekends – but it's good for all of us."

Wolff has highlighted Williams and Force India as emerging threats, alongside existing competition Ferrari and Red Bull, ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.

"Our priority is to eliminate the small errors which have cost points here and there," he said.

"We need every weapon at our disposal operating at maximum capacity to fight off the opposition at the front, who are growing in number.

"Force India have been very strong recently, Williams are always quick in Spielberg and, of course, there is the constant threat from Ferrari and Red Bull – particularly at a home race for the latter.

"It should be an exciting weekend."

Rosberg leads from the start in 2015
Rosberg leads from the start in 2015

Rosberg eyes third straight Austrian GP win
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has set his sights on securing a third successive Austrian Grand Prix victory at this year's event, after returning to winning ways in Azerbaijan last time out.

Rosberg overhauled Williams drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa – who had locked out the front row of the grid – in 2014, and got the better of team-mate Lewis Hamilton 12 months ago.

Rosberg won the first four rounds of the 2016 campaign, before a three-race dry spell, but says that his confidence has returned after he triumphed at the recent European Grand Prix.

"Baku was a good weekend for me; I really felt at one with the car, so that's a big positive looking ahead to the next races," said Rosberg, who leads Hamilton by 24 points in the standings.

"Now we go to Austria, which has been a real strength for us as a team in the past two years.

"It'll be tough against the Williams cars in particular, as they've pushed us hard there before. But I think our Silver Arrow is still definitely the best package on the grid and I can't wait to see what it can do.

"Two wins from two races at any track is pretty special, so if I could make it three that would be awesome.

"It's a short run to the first corner there and generally my starts and first corners have been strong this season, so if I can qualify well there's a good chance of a top result – I'm looking forward to the weekend."

Rosberg took three straight Monaco Grand Prix wins from 2013 to 2015.

Ricciardo - an Italian with Australian citizenship, would fit in perfectly at Ferrari
Ricciardo – an Italian with Australian citizenship, would fit in perfectly with the Italian team

Ricciardo won't say no to Ferrari
Daniel Ricciardo has admitted he wouldn't turn down an offer to join Ferrari as Sebastian Vettel's team-mate, if the Scuderia came knocking on his door next season.

The Australian, who raced alongside the four-time champion at Red Bull and comprehensively beat him before Vettel switched to Ferrari, knows he's a candidate to replace Kimi Raikkonen should Ferrari opt against renewing the Finn's contract.

"It's like last year, I understand if they were to make a change I'm a driver on their list," Ricciardo told Autosport.

"Am I the only driver on that list? Probably not. Am I their top pick? I don't know."

When asked if he would relish the opportunity of going up against Vettel again, he replied: "Yeah of course, I wouldn't turn it down."

However Ricciardo made it clear that he would only go up against Vettel if Ferrari could offer a car capable of fighting at the front, otherwise he'd prefer a fresh team-mate challenge in the form of another champion.

"The only reason I would jump ship [from Red Bull] and go up against him again would be to fight for a world title.

"Otherwise, if it's just to have a [different] team-mate, I would rather try against a Lewis [Hamilton] or Fernando [Alonso] or something different."

Weather outlook for Austrian Grand Prix weekend sees a mixture of sunshine and storms.

Austrian GP weekend likely to see thunderstorms
Weather outlook for Austrian Grand Prix weekend sees a mixture of sunshine and storms.

Those drivers who excel in changeable weather conditions should be relishing the Austrian Grand Prix weekend if UBIMET, the official meteorological service provider, has got it right.

Whilst there will be sunshine, we can also expect rain and even thunderstorms.

Mostly fine conditions are expected on Tuesday and Wednesday with a mixture of sunshine and some fair weather clouds. Maximum temperatures are expected to reach 23 degrees on Tuesday and 27 degrees on Wednesday.

There will be a mostly sunny start to Thursday with showers expected in the afternoon. The risk of thunderstorms also increases considerably throughout the day as well as the risk of strong winds near any shower activity. Temperatures are expected to reach 26 degrees, before cooling down during the rain.

Mostly fine conditions are expected for Friday morning with the risk in the afternoon of showers and further thunderstorms. Away from shower activity, weak winds are expected with a maximum temperature of 25 degrees.

On Saturday, there will be a mostly sunny start with showers and thunderstorms expected to develop during the day with a high chance of the qualifying being affected. Temperatures are expected to reach a maximum of 24 degrees by early afternoon.

On Sunday morning cloudy conditions are expected, with the chance of some light rain.

However, during race day a mixture of sun and clouds will prevail with dry conditions expected for the race. Weak winds are expected with temperatures reaching 20 to 22 degrees C.

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