Latest F1 news in brief – Wednesday

  • Arrivabene eyes a step up for Ferrari. Everytime he does that the competitors come out with an even bigger step up
    Arrivabene eyes a step up for Ferrari. Every time he does that the competitors come out with an even bigger step up

    Arrivabene eyes step forward for Canada

  • Alonso says Honda engine upgrade coming for Canada
  • Doornbos warns Ricciardo over 'emotional' rhetoric
  • Pundits disagree over Rosberg team orders
  • Prost admits 'mixed feelings' about Haas
  • Villeneuve slams safety car start in Monaco
  • F1 right to trade 'sexy' for safety – Magnussen
  • Doornbos tips Verstappen to bounce back
  • Kvyat tops penalty charts after Monaco
  • Baku City Circuit receives first test run
  • Button: Car was 'scary' in wet conditions

Arrivabene eyes step forward for Canada
(GMM) Ferrari is eyeing a step forward for Canada, after not only failing to catch Mercedes but even falling behind Red Bull at the last two races.

Sections of the partisan Italian media are now calling it a "crisis", but team boss Maurizio Arrivabene is vowing to hit back.

"We will accelerate some developments for Canada — you will see another Ferrari," he is quoted by Speed Week amid speculation of a further engine upgrade.

"In order to become competitive, we must make improvements at every race, and that is what is planned," the Italian added.

But Arrivabene suggested the biggest problem is a mysterious loss of ability to stay in Pirelli's tire operating 'window' between the early and later stages of qualifying.

"It's absurd to go into Q1 fastest and not be able to repeat it in Q2 and Q3," he said. "We need a deep analysis of what happens between the chassis and the tires with the temperatures and the pressures," he added.

As for the suggestion Ferrari has already fallen behind a resurgent Red Bull, Arrivabene hit back at that notion.

"If it is Red Bull that is Ferrari's problem, then I just go home now," he laughed.

Alonso tells Boullier I need more power
Alonso tells Boullier I need more power

Alonso says Honda engine upgrade coming for Canada
(GMM) McLaren and Honda have played down Fernando Alonso's claim that the decision to take an upgraded engine to Canada next weekend has already been taken.

The Anglo-Japanese team expected a more competitive weekend on the twisty streets of Monaco last weekend but Spaniard Alonso remains upbeat about what is coming.

"There is much room for improvement," the sports daily Marca quotes him as saying.

"We're going to Canada with some improvements, particularly with the engine. Let's see if we start to use some tokens and can be more competitive," Alonso reported added.

But McLaren team boss Eric Boullier denies a decision has been taken, telling Marca: "About the engine in Canada? No, certainly not."

And a Honda spokesman agreed: "It is not decided yet."

Finally, Red Bull said it is looking forward to seeing how its package fares in Canada, after Max Verstappen won in Barcelona and Daniel Ricciardo dominated almost all weekend in Monaco with Renault's latest upgrade.

"The real test for us will be in Montreal," said team boss Christian Horner. "It's a completely different place compared to the last two circuits."

With his contract up for renewal, like Vettel who was moving to Ferrari, the Red Bull team doesn't do you any favors
With his contract up for renewal, like when Vettel who was moving to Ferrari, the Red Bull team doesn't do you any favors. Verstappen will become the team leader unless Ricciardo signs a contract soon.

Doornbos warns Ricciardo over 'emotional' rhetoric
(GMM) Former Red Bull driver Robert Doornbos has advised Daniel Ricciardo to tone down his post-race rhetoric in the wake of the Monaco grand prix.

The Australian was nothing short of livid after finishing second to Lewis Hamilton last Sunday despite dominating the weekend overall.

Responding to Ricciardo's anger, one Australian bookmaker even refunded bets on the 26-year-old, agreeing that the normally chirpy driver had been "sabotaged by his own team".

Indeed, Ricciardo had said after the race that he was "screwed" by Red Bull not only in Monaco, but also two weeks earlier when Max Verstappen won in Spain.

"That's nonsense," Doornbos told the Dutch broadcaster Ziggo Sport Totaal.

"Red Bull would never do that on purpose; I think you win and lose together."

Nonetheless, Doornbos said he was highly impressed with Ricciardo's winning form in Monaco.

"He was faultless. It was his weekend," said the former Minardi driver.

"After qualifying I talked to him for a while and he said his car was incredibly good. So when you have the best car and can't win, for sure he has a right to be annoyed but he should watch what he says in the heat of the moment."

No longer fuming, Ricciardo now suggests that he found not winning in Barcelona and Monaco so difficult to cope with because he feels he deserves better results from his F1 career so far.

"I don't want to say it because it's arrogant," he said, "but I believe a lot in my ability. And I should be getting more rewarded.

"I'm 27 very soon and I don't even have anything close to a world title and I believe I should have something like that very soon," he told Britain's Sky.

Rosberg holding up Hamilton in Monaco
Rosberg holding up Hamilton in Monaco

Pundits disagree over Rosberg team orders
(GMM) Two F1 pundits disagree over whether Nico Rosberg did the right thing by obeying team orders during the Monaco grand prix.

While struggling notably with his pace in the wet-dry street race, championship leader Rosberg let his teammate past and was later thanked by the winning Briton for being a "gentleman".

But former F1 driver Christian Danner wonders if it was the right thing to do.

"The team said Nico was classy but in the end he wants to be world champion," he told Bild newspaper.

"If at the end Nico is missing two, three, four points, he will remember letting Lewis past. I am also quite sure that Hamilton would not have done the same thing," Danner added.

But another former F1 driver and pundit, Marc Surer, says Rosberg was right to let Hamilton past because not doing so would have handed a win to Mercedes' rivals.

"If you're half a second slower than your teammate and world championship rival, then you hold him up. But Rosberg was three seconds slower and so it was right to let Hamilton go — you can't give points to the competition like that," he said.

Hamilton's win was also a major boost for morale on that side of the garage, after a seven month winning drought for his side of the garage, including many mechanics who used to work for Rosberg.

"I think this is a boost for my mechanics, who have been nervous all year," said Hamilton. "It's not easy coming from one side of the garage to the world champion's car."

Team boss Toto Wolff was also happy with Sunday's outcome, declaring: "The last weeks and months have been hard for Lewis.

"But if you can survive difficult times like that together, the relationship is lifted to a whole new level," he added.

How can Alain Prost forget what a loser his team was trying to build 100% of the car themselves
How can Alain Prost forget what a loser his team was trying to build 100% of the car themselves

Prost admits 'mixed feelings' about Haas
(GMM) Alain Prost has admitted to having mixed feelings about F1's newest team.

The F1 legend and Renault ambassador is referring to Haas, the outfit founded by Nascar team co-owner Gene Haas who collaborated closely with Ferrari in order to prepare its 2016 car.

"I have mixed feelings about Haas," quadruple world champion Prost said in a French-language report by AFP.

"On the one hand it's 100 per cent positive for formula one. As a team they are making the most of the rules but they quickly reach a limit — they will not have the ability to continue to improve," he added.

"But it's their choice. I can also understand the reaction of some teams, like Williams, when a team like Haas is able to just buy parts left and right," said Prost.

"After all, to make everything yourself, that's something else — it's not the same job," he added.

Jacques Villeneuve likes to hear himself talk
Jacques Villeneuve likes to hear himself talk

Villeneuve slams safety car start in Monaco
(GMM) Jacques Villeneuve has slammed F1's race director for starting the 'jewel in the crown' Monaco race last Sunday behind the safety car.

The 1997 world champion said it was "ridiculous" that just because it was raining in the Principality for the race start, the normal grid start was called off and the drivers did seven laps behind the safety car.

"Seven laps behind the safety car — that's ridiculous," Villeneuve, the 11-time grand prix winner who is now a pundit for Italian television, told the German-language Motorsport-Magazin.com.

"These are not tourists, they are the best paid drivers in the world.

"Formula one is already losing fans and things like this do not help at all because it makes the drivers look not like gladiators but weaklings," the French Canadian charged.

45-year-old Villeneuve admitted that racing in the rain on a street circuit like Monaco is dangerous, but what happened on Sunday was not the right look for F1.

"It's risky but they're professionals," he said. "Let them start, or change the rules so that we never start in the rain."

Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen

F1 right to trade sexy for 'safety' – Magnussen
(GMM) F1 must defer to "safety" over "sexy" when it comes to preventing more deaths, according to Kevin Magnussen.

It emerged after a meeting in Monaco last week that the sport has now decided to push ahead with introducing the controversial 'halo' concept for cockpit protection in 2017.

It is believed the 2017 version will be made of titanium and more elegant than the 'halo' tested by Ferrari earlier this season, but many preferred Red Bull's alternative 'aeroscreen' concept.

"It's hard to judge without having tried them," Renault driver Magnussen told the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet.

"The screen looks nicer than the halo, but fortunately it's not up to me to make these decisions."

As for claims the cockpit coverings are too ugly for a sport that should be attractive and glamorous, Magnussen answered: "Formula one should be sexy, but we also need to do everything we can for safety.

"I don't really want it, but I also don't want myself or anyone else to die. So if it helps with safety then you have to introduce it," he said.

What Magnussen is fully supportive of are in the new tire and chassis regulations for 2017.

"I think the cars should be faster," he agreed.

"They've been getting slower and slower since 2004 while safety has been getting better and better. I would have preferred that while safety is going up, so too is the speed of the cars."

Robert Doornbos looks for Verstappen to beat Ricciardo
Robert Doornbos looks for Verstappen to beat Ricciardo

Doornbos tips Verstappen to bounce back
(GMM) Max Verstappen has been tipped to bounce back from a dire weekend in Monaco, just a fortnight after making history with his astonishing Barcelona win.

The 18-year-old made history in Spanish grand prix only to crash literally to earth both in qualifying and the race on the unforgiving streets of Monaco.

"All great champions have their black days," fellow Dutchman and former F1 driver Robert Doornbos told Ziggo Sport Totaal.

"In the space of a few days, Max has experienced for himself how cruel the sport can be after the seventh heaven in Spain.

"It's important how he handles it now but I think he will be fine. Last year he also had a disappointing weekend at Silverstone and yet a week later he was fourth in Budapest," he told the Dutch broadcaster.

"I don't think Max needs to worry about his place at Red Bull. Actually it's nice to see that Max is just flesh and blood after all," Doornbos added.

Indeed, in Canada next weekend, Verstappen will get the same Renault engine upgrade that was used so effectively by his teammate Daniel Ricciardo in Monaco.

"By then the team could overtake Ferrari to be Mercedes' main rival," said Doornbos.

F1 whipping boy Daniil Kvyat
F1 whipping boy Daniil Kvyat

Kvyat tops penalty charts after Monaco
Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat departed the Monaco Grand Prix with the most penalty points out of the Formula 1 field, after his collision with Renault's Kevin Magnussen.

Under current Formula 1 rules, if a driver accrues 12 penalty points over a 12-month period, their Super Licence will be suspended for a race, before all points are wiped off.

In addition, any driver receiving three reprimands in a season will be given a 10-place grid penalty for the current or next event, providing two or more were for driving infringements.

After a dramatic Monte-Carlo weekend, Kvyat sits on seven penalty points, following other incidents in Russia this year and Hungary 2015, leaving him five away from a race ban.

Marcus Ericsson, who clashed with Sauber team-mate Felipe Nasr, is next up on six, with Max Verstappen on the same number after two sanctions during the second half of last season.

Romain Grosjean, Nico Hulkenberg, Valtteri Bottas and Pascal Wehrlein are on four points, with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen holding three and most other drivers on two.

Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Rosberg, Sergio Pérez, Felipe Massa, Jenson Button and Jolyon Palmer are the only drivers without any penalty points or reprimands for the 12-month period.

Grosjean will shed two points in Canada, with Vettel losing all three of his.

On the reprimand front, Hamilton currently has two, for reversing in the pit lane in Bahrain and missing a bollard in Russia, while Sainz Jr. has one, for a pit exit violation in Spain.

Baku circuit
Baku circuit
Way too tight thru here

Baku City Circuit receives first test run
Euroformula Open driver Gulhuseyn Abdullayev has become the first person to sample the Baku City Circuit ahead of its debut on the Formula 1 calendar next month.

Formula 1 will visit Azerbaijan's capital for the first time in 2016, with a six kilometre, 20-turn street circuit incorporating Azadliq Square and the Old City.

Local driver Abdullayev, 19, completed four laps of the new venue in the old-specification GP3 Series car, as preparations ramp up for the European Grand Prix.

"The Baku City Circuit consists of a combination of both slow and fast turns," he said, after sampling the layout.

"In general, this track has a very unique layout. Unlike other street tracks, Baku City Circuit has sufficient width as well."

The European Grand Prix takes place on the weekend of June 17-19, with the GP2 Series also joining Formula 1 at the venue.

It is the only new addition on this year's 21-race Formula 1 calendar.

Button at Monaco
Button at Monaco

Button: Car was 'scary' in wet conditions
Jenson Button says his McLaren MP4-31 was "scary" to drive at times in wet conditions, though praised the outfit's strategic calls as he scored points at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Button started the race from 13th place but moved forwards and ultimately crossed the line in ninth position, netting two points in the process.

With team-mate Fernando Alonso in fifth spot, it ensured both McLaren drivers finished in the top 10 for only the third time since its reunion with Honda at the start of 2015.

"My car felt almost undriveable during the wet opening laps – we were struggling to get heat into the rear tyres, and were locking the rear wheels whenever we hit the brakes, which was a bit scary," explained Button.

"I switched to Intermediates at probably the right time – that first call was the trickier one.

"I feel I'm pretty good at making those tyre calls, but, on such a short lap, and when everybody else follows suit, it didn't make too much difference.

"I think we made the right calls in terms of strategy, but lost out a little with the attendant traffic – which I couldn't help – but the team made some good calls nonetheless.

"We wouldn't have scored this many points if it'd been dry, so it's good to get a decent haul."

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