Latest F1 news in brief – Saturday

  • Prost thinks Ferrari should pick Carlos Sainz Jr. (Above)
    Prost thinks Ferrari should pick Carlos Sainz Jr. (Above)

    Prost says Sainz Jr. ready for Ferrari

  • Vettel hopes to keep troubling Mercedes
  • Hulkenberg to 'definitely' return to Le Mans
  • Legend sure Alonso will tackle Le Mans
  • Button 'interested' in TV presenting future
  • Lance Stroll more mature than Verstappen – Wolff
  • Toro Rosso to use Red Bull rear end in 2017
  • 2020 F1 contract negotiations to start soon
  • FIA has eye on flexing Ferrari, Red Bull
  • Ricciardo expects Red Bull to beat Ferrari
  • Verstappen reprimanded for Bottas incident
  • Ricciardo warns Red Bull over title shot
  • Daly F1 Steward in Azerbaijan

Prost says Sainz Jr. ready for Ferrari
(GMM) F1 legend Alain Prost says that if he was looking to replace Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari, he would choose a young Spaniard.

Prost, the famous quadruple world champion, said that in Max Verstappen's "shadow" for most of his impressive F1 career so far has been Carlos Sainz Jr.

"I would like to see how he develops in a top team," Prost told the French-language Minute-Auto.fr.

So when asked who Ferrari should turn to if Raikkonen is to be ousted, the 61-year-old said: "I think Sainz. It is always a question of balance and who would work well with (Sebastian Vettel), but I'd choose Sainz."

Vettel close to Mercedes, but Mercedes likes to sandbag on Friday
Vettel close to Mercedes, but Mercedes likes to sandbag on Friday

Vettel hopes to keep troubling Mercedes
(GMM) Ferrari may have taken the leap ahead it was seeking after introducing a revised turbo design for the Canadian grand prix.

Sebastian Vettel split the two Mercedes cars in Friday practice in Montreal, with the German remarking: "I hope not only to split them on Sunday, but to be in front of them."

Ferrari senior engineer Jock Clear confirmed that the new turbo, updated so that the recovered energy can be deployed more often, did "what it said on the tin".

However, both Vettel and teammate Kimi Raikkonen were still grumbling about the handling of their red racers, indicating that Red Bull is still in the battle.

"I'm sure we can be in front of them again with the right lap (in qualifying)," said Daniel Ricciardo.

But his teammate Max Verstappen acknowledged: "I think Ferrari is stronger than they were in Monaco."

Ferrari's Vettel is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport: "Are we stronger (than them)? I don't know, but the good news is that the new parts seem to work."

Hulkenberg in Montreal
Hulkenberg in Montreal

Hulkenberg to 'definitely' return to Le Mans
(GMM) Nico Hulkenberg says he definitely wants to return to Le Mans one day.

Last year, the German stunned the motor racing world by filling a gap in the F1 calendar with winning the fabled 24 hour endurance race on debut with Porsche.

But Hulkenberg, who still races full-time for Force India, cannot defend his title in 2016 because Le Mans clashes with the inaugural F1 race in Baku.

Asked if he will try to follow the events instead, he said in Montreal? "Why not? After qualifying and all the meetings are over, I will try to see what's happening either on TV or online."

Told that it must be a strange feeling to not be able to defend his title this year, Hulkenberg answered: "Actually no.

"I have always clear said that formula one is my main passion, my job, and this year it just so happens that I can't do Le Mans too. But in the future, definitely I'll be back at Le Mans," he added.

Tom Kristensen
Tom Kristensen

Legend sure Alonso will tackle Le Mans
(GMM) Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen is certain F1's Fernando Alonso will contest Le Mans one day.

Spaniard Alonso cannot, however, tackle the fabled 24 hour endurance race this year, as McLaren-Honda forbids it and it clashes with next weekend's inaugural grand prix in Baku.

But Kristensen, who won Le Mans a record nine times, said: "Two years ago I saw him at Le Mans and that he has a huge passion for racing here.

"I know that he has spoken to many people about it, including Mark Webber," the 48-year-old Dane told Spain's El Confidencial.

"I know he feels a great passion to do this race in the future."

Button 'interested' in TV presenting future
(GMM) Jenson Button has admitted he is still interested in a future on television.

Last week, an episode of the new format of BBC's popular Top Gear motoring program went to air that featured the British driver, who according to current speculation could lose his McLaren-Honda seat to Stoffel Vandoorne for 2017.

According to British reports, viewers of the Top Gear episode remarked that Button might make a better new lead host for the show than Chris Evans.

"Hopefully after a few shows people will get into it, because I enjoyed it," Button said, defending the new format.

The 2009 world champion told Sun newspaper: "I don't know what I am doing in the future and whether Top Gear would be an option anyway. But I would be interested in doing some TV.

"I am lucky because I am in a position where I can choose what I do in the future and I want to choose something fun and I enjoy doing," Button, 36, added.

Lance Stroll
Lance Stroll

Lance Stroll more mature than Verstappen – Wolff
(GMM) Lance Stroll, a Williams development driver, has caught the eye of Mercedes' team boss Toto Wolff.

Canadian teen Stroll is currently leading the highly-competitive European F3 season, combining that race seat with a role at Williams.

The 17-year-old said this week that he is eyeing the reportedly expiring contracts of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, but he may not have known that Wolff also has an eye on him.

"He works extremely hard," Wolff said of Stroll, "but his intelligence and maturity is something else as well."

Wolff said that when it comes to Stroll, he is even more impressed with his maturity level than he is with F1 sensation Max Verstappen's — who is a year older.

"Max behaves more like a youngster," Wolff told La Presse newspaper.

"Max is a teenager. In the car he is extremely good, but when you are with him, he's a boy. But Lance's maturity is surprising at just 17 years old."

Wolff, referring to Lance's billionaire father Lawrence, also told the Canadian newspaper The Star: "I think for this is the next Canadian kid in formula one and it has nothing to do with his father's wealth.

"It is because the boy can drive."

Toro Rosso to use Red Bull rear end in 2017
Jul.11 (GMM) Toro Rosso will move a big step closer to Red Bull's premier F1 team in 2017, boss Franz Tost has revealed.

Once regarded as effectively a 'satellite' team with a very similar car, Faenza based Toro Rosso had to steer away from Red Bull Racing some years ago due to tighter customer car rules.

But with the new American team Haas leaning heavily on Ferrari for parts this year, and Toro Rosso switching back from Ferrari to Renault power for 2017, Tost indicated that the second Red Bull team will change tack next year.

"The main reason we decided to go back to Renault is to use more synergies with Red Bull Technology," he explained in Montreal.

"We can get nearly the whole rear part from Red Bull Technology — the gearbox, hydraulics and also suspension systems, and this will help us make another step forward," added Tost.

More uncertain for Toro Rosso heading into 2017 is the driver issue.

Next year would be a rare third in a row at Toro Rosso for Carlos Sainz, who has been linked with a move to a bigger team, while Daniil Kvyat has been making noises about wanting to leave the Red Bull family altogether.

When asked about drivers for 2017, team boss Tost answered: "I don't know yet.

"This is a decision that will be made by Red Bull at the end of the season. So far, I must say that Daniil has recovered very fast (after being dropped by Red Bull Racing) and I expect a very good second half of the season from him."

2020 F1 contract negotiations to start soon
(GMM) Team bosses think negotiations over the next commercial contracts in formula one will begin shortly.

With a European Commission investigation already underway, the issue of the inequitable distribution of income up and down pitlane is highly contentious.

The teams' individual contracts with the Bernie Ecclestone-led commercial rights holder expire at the end of 2020, and so with a billion dollars a year in the offing, a lot is literally at stake.

"It's still some way away," Red Bull's Christian Horner said in Montreal. "We're talking about 2020, but I would envisage that talks would start over the next 12 months or so, or 24 months, but impossible really to predict."

The new American team Haas, meanwhile, is totally unique in F1 because Ecclestone has so far declined to offer an individual financial agreement to the outfit.

"Let's see what the next 12-24 months brings when negotiations start," team boss Gunther Steiner said in Canada.

"I think they should start pretty soon so that we are not getting to a point where people are forced into taking a decision to take what is there (offered) or leave.

"Next time we will play a part in it and voice our opinion," he added.

Is the Ferrari rear flexing?
Is the Ferrari rear flexing?

FIA has eye on flexing Ferrari, Red Bull
(GMM) Some flexing bodywork on the 2016 car has caught the eye of some rival teams.

That is the claim of Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, revealing that at high speed the rear wing and 'monkey seat' of the red car flex, providing a likely aerodynamic advantage.

Not only that, correspondent Michael Schmidt said details on Red Bull's front wing is also attracting attention, even though both the team and Ferrari are passing all of the current FIA flex tests.

He reports that the FIA is aware of the issue and could invoke Article 3.15 of the technical regulations that forbids any part of the car to move for aerodynamic gain.

Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo expects Red Bull to beat Ferrari
Daniel Ricciardo says he expects Red Bull will have the pace to beat Ferrari at the Canadian Grand Prix, despite trailing Sebastian Vettel during second practice for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Vettel finished second to Lewis Hamilton at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, while Ricciardo was fifth quickest, his best lap seven tenths of a second shy of his former team-mate.

Red Bull has held an advantage over Ferrari across recent races and Ricciardo is confident that trend can continue, albeit wary that Mercedes has maintained a comfortable gap at the head of the pack.

"I had a good knock of the wall on probably my third or fourth lap today, so I was still probably letting off some steam," Ricciardo joked, referring to his frustration post-Monaco.

"I've always enjoyed driving around here, pushing the limits and jumping over the curbs.

"I don't think we quite got everything out of it today. I think if we put the right work in we can be close to Ferrari, or ahead of them.

"Mercedes had a good buffer on us today, but I feel like we've got a lot to come from a lot of areas. If we're within half a second tomorrow that would be good, and we'll see what happens in the race."

Max Verstappen, who narrowly edged out Ricciardo to take fourth, reckons Ferrari holds a slender advantage over Red Bull.

"They [Ferrari] look a bit better pace," he commented.

"We still need to do some work. I think everybody wants to improve. We need to improve. But I would say it's a positive day."

Max Verstappen looks dejected after the FIA reprimand
Max Verstappen looks dejected after the FIA reprimand

Verstappen reprimanded for Bottas incident
Max Verstappen has been reprimanded by stewards at the Canadian Grand Prix after he impeded Williams rival Valtteri Bottas during the first practice session at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Verstappen was travelling slowly on the approach to the final chicane while Bottas was travelling at speed.

Bottas had to take to the run-off area of the chicane in order to avoid the back of the Red Bull and immediately voiced his anger via the team radio.

Stewards have consequently issued Verstappen a reprimand, his first such sanction of the season.

Should a driver collect three reprimands across the course of a season they will receive a 10-place grid penalty.

Daniel Ricciardo wants a title shot
Daniel Ricciardo wants a title shot

Ricciardo warns Red Bull over title shot
Daniel Ricciardo says he may consider leaving Red Bull if the team cannot guarantee a shot at the world title in coming Formula 1 seasons, amid speculation linking him to Ferrari.

Ricciardo made his debut with backmarker HRT midway through the 2011 campaign, before spending a two-year stint at Toro Rosso and earning promotion to Red Bull for 2014.

Ricciardo took three victories in 2014, but recorded just two podiums last season, and his relationship with the team has been tested following this year's Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix.

Ricciardo led early on in Barcelona but dropped to fourth on a three-stop strategy, as new team-mate Max Verstappen pitted twice, before missing out in Monte-Carlo due to a botched pit-stop.

Asked about his future in Canada, Ricciardo admitted he could be forced to look elsewhere.

"To be honest, the only interest I have is in a world title," Ricciardo commented.

"If Red Bull said, 'We can't give you that for the next few years', then the only other place I would want to go is somewhere that could say, 'Yeah, you can fight for a world title with us'.

"That's all I want to fight for and I'm not interested in being with someone for an image – it's results."

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel says he would be open to racing alongside Ricciardo again.

"I raced with him in 2014 and we didn't have any problems, but then again it's not my decision or my job to sign people," said Vettel, when asked about the prospect.

"I like him. I think he's a strong guy. He had a good season in 2014. Last year and this year are a bit difficult to judge because you don't know what's going on internally.

"But from what I know [of Ricciardo], he's a good guy."

Derek, dressed in vintage race gear for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500
Derek, dressed in vintage race gear for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500

Daly F1 Steward in Azerbaijan
Former Formula One driver, Derek Daly, will be the Driver Steward in Baku, Azerbaijan, June 17-19. The new venue for Formula One will host the Grand Prix of Europe on one of the most spectacular street circuits on the Formula One calendar. "Although it's on the other side of the world, the trip will be fascinating if only because it's the world's fastest city street circuit. Charlie Whiting told me just a few days ago that it's a 'mega' place," said Daly.

Baku is a Herman Tilke designed circuit that winds around some of the city's prominent historical sites.

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