Latest F1 news in brief – Sunday
A pissed off Rosberg throws his hat at Hamilton after the USGP. We guess he forgets how it feels to be beaten all the time.
Rosberg happy to have Hamilton as teammate for life
- Renault and Honda facing tough winter
- Magnussen rules out F1 reserve role
- Nasr eyes 'more competitive team' for future
- Father says Verstappen staying at Toro Rosso
- No minute of silence for Paris victims – Todt
- Mercedes steps up move for Schumacher Jr – report
- Ecclestone determined to fix F1 for future
- Wurz approached to be new Manor boss
- Todt plays down Hamilton's road car crash
Rosberg happy to have Hamilton as teammate for life
(GMM) Nico Rosberg is sure he can take on Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, insisting he is even prepared to spend the rest of his career as the triple world champion's teammate.
Although the championship chase is over for 2015, German Rosberg on Saturday secured his fifth consecutive pole.
Asked if he can keep beating Hamilton, including to next year's world championship, he told Bild am Sonntag newspaper at Interlagos: "Of course I can.
"That's my challenge. At Mercedes I have the best car, the best team and I race against one of the best drivers. I see absolutely no reason to want to go somewhere else."
Rosberg signed a new multi-year contract last year, and Hamilton has spoken of staying with the Brackley team until the very end of his own career.
Asked if he can imagine never being paired with another teammate in F1, Rosberg said in Brazil: "I would be happy to. I wouldn't mind."
He said he feels sufficiently supported by Mercedes, "Otherwise I would not be here. I am glad that in Toto Wolff I have a boss with whom I can talk about anything."
Meanwhile, when asked if he is worried about Rosberg's run of good form, Hamilton answered on Saturday: "No.
"I've had the most poles of the year and I've won the world championship so there's nothing really to read into it.
"My main job is done this year, so it (winning in Brazil) is not the most important thing, but of course that's the target," added Hamilton.
But Rosberg said he is confident he has now turned the tide, particularly in qualifying.
"In the past I considered it one of my weaknesses and it was definitely one of the reasons why Lewis won the championship this year. So yes, I am pleased," he said on Saturday.
|Ricciardo says his new Renault engine in Brazil this weekend is even worse than the old one, so obviously Renault is lost and Red Bull is faced with another bad year.|
Renault and Honda facing tough winter
(GMM) Red Bull will use an unbranded Renault engine in 2016, in a deal that is expected to be announced officially in Abu Dhabi later this month.
The story is now little less than an open secret in the Interlagos paddock, with Auto Motor und Sport claiming that although the warring parties earlier appeared divorced, the contract was in fact never legally annulled.
It means that even if Renault fails to buy out Lotus and pulls out of F1, Red Bull is still guaranteed an engine.
But it seems that Renault is staying, with former McLaren powertrain chief Axel Wendorff spotted in the French marque's colors this weekend at Interlagos.
The report also said the French carmaker is completely re-designing its 'power unit' for 2016, which will be music to Daniel Ricciardo's ears, after the Australian used the latest specification in Brazil this weekend.
"For Renault it's back to the drawing board," said Ricciardo, revealing that in his opinion the 'new' engine is even worse than the old one.
"We need to try a different path or something if we are to continue together next year," he added.
Also with a lot of work to do ahead of 2016 is Honda, after Fernando Alonso's obvious frustration was on display in Brazil as yet another engine failed.
The Spaniard then set social media alight after qualifying by sitting in a picnic chair on the track verges with his face turned towards the sun, as F1 fans adept at Photoshop wondered about '#PlacesAlonsoWouldRatherBe'.
"I need to be more prepared next time," Alonso joked, "and take my phone and sun lotion in the car."
He and teammate Jenson Button then posed together at the top of the Interlagos podium, joking that it may be their only opportunity this year.
Still, Alonso insists he is patient.
"We know the situation we are in, with big problems that need big solutions, which is what is being done for next year," he said.
Indeed, Honda chief Yasuhisa Arai insisted the Japanese marque's latest engine specification is not fundamentally flawed, despite the constant problems.
"I must say that the problems (in Brazil) are probably related to the quality of the individual components, not with the engine as a whole," he said.
Magnussen rules out F1 reserve role
(GMM) Kevin Magnussen has ruled out keeping his foot in the F1 door next year by staying as a reserve driver.
For 2016, McLaren has replaced the Dane with new GP2 champion Stoffel Vandoorne, after 23-year-old Magnussen insisted he needed to get back to racing.
So Magnussen has now completed a test for the leading Le Mans team Porsche.
"Next time I have meetings with various teams," he told the Danish broadcaster TV2, "and I am talking inside and outside of formula one so we'll see what happens."
Magnussen admitted, however, that his F1 chances are slim.
"There are several possibilities in formula one if I want to be reserve driver," he said. "But I do not. I will go and race something next year.
"It's not because I can't be bothered being reserve driver, I simply cannot. I am a racing driver and I have to be racing. I cannot bear not to drive anymore."
But Magnussen sounds more than happy to leave F1 behind for now to enter world endurance sports car racing with Porsche.
"I knew that it was a good car, but I was surprised that it was that good," he explained.
"It is clearly the coolest race car I've ever driven. Formula one is obviously the highest, with the most money and the most things coming with it.
"But looking purely as a racing driver, the Porsche is better. The test went incredibly well, the car suits me perfectly, I was quick and I worked really well with the team," he added.
Nasr eyes 'more competitive team' for future
(GMM) Felipe Nasr says he will have to leave Sauber in order to achieve his goals in formula one.
The Brazilian made his debut with the Swiss team this year, and with his backing by the Banco do Brasil he will stay at Sauber in 2016.
But Nasr, 23, told O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper: "I will not win a race with the Sauber car, and I think many people understand that.
"Of course I want to be in a better situation, fighting for wins and podiums in a more competitive team."
Nonetheless, Nasr said he is happy with how his first season on the grid has gone, insisting that despite recurring brake problems he gained "a lot of experience".
"The highlights were fifth in Australia and sixth in Russia, showing that when there were opportunities I was there to grab them.
"I think that's what people want to see. Knowing the limitations of Sauber, I could show why I came to formula one," he added.
Asked what lessons he learned from 2015, Nasr continued: "I think I learned to control my frustrations. We started the year very well but then had a lot of trouble due to a lack of car development."
As for how 2016 might go, he answered: "It's difficult to know what to expect.
"The concept of the car is quite different. What we have this year is very similar to 2014, with very few updates. Next year is very different with a more aggressive concept. And everyone is expecting an improvement," said Nasr.
|Max Verstappen back with Toro Rosso|
Father says Verstappen staying at Toro Rosso
(GMM) Max Verstappen's father has ended any uncertainty about the future, revealing the 18-year-old will once again race for Toro Rosso in 2016.
There had been speculation Red Bull might call up the Dutchman to its senior team, or that the energy drink company might pull out of F1 altogether.
And boss Christian Horner this week warned any rival teams that attempts to poach Verstappen will be futile due to his watertight contract.
"I think we should be happy that Max will also drive next season at Toro Rosso," Jos Verstappen told De Telegraaf newspaper.
"I think in our situation we are best off here," the former F1 driver added. "Max still has much to learn and can gain experience at Toro Rosso.
"Am I relieved? I think we saw it coming," Verstappen added, referring to the fact that Red Bull had earlier looked in danger of being pushed out of F1.
"No, I did not have any sleepless nights."
It appears that Red Bull will not change its drivers across the board for 2016, with Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat staying at the senior team, and Carlos Sainz to remain Verstappen's teammate.
Turning to his father, Max commented: "I'm glad that all the drivers are confirmed now as I was afraid they might put you in there!"
No minute of silence for Paris victims – Todt
(GMM) F1's French president of the FIA, Jean Todt, has come under fire for making controversial comments about the terrorist attacks in Paris.
Already scheduled to fly into Brazil this weekend long before Friday night's atrocities in the French capital, Todt on Saturday sounded reluctant to alter the pre-race plans to mark remembrance day for road crash victims.
"Do you realize the number of people killed in road accidents is by far bigger than the number of people who died in Paris?" he told Canal Plus at Interlagos.
Todt said a "moment of attention" would be observed on Sunday for the Paris victims, but the planned "minute of silence" would be for road deaths, as planned.
After Todt's comments, many in the paddock expressed alarm and disappointment, asking F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone if he would step in to ensure F1 pays appropriate respect in the wake of the terrorist attacks.
"I will speak with Jean Todt," Ecclestone told Bild newspaper.
Shortly afterwards, F1 announced that drivers will wear black armbands on Sunday, while a French flag would be flown by the truck on the drivers' parade.
But the "minute of silence" on the grid, the FIA insisted, will be a "tribute to those who have lost their lives or been injured in road traffic accidents".
Mercedes steps up move for Schumacher Jr – report
(GMM) Michael Schumacher's teenage son appears in the middle of a scrap between Ferrari and Mercedes over his future.
Last week, 16-year-old Mick tested for the European F3 team Prema, an Italian outfit with close links to Ferrari.
Schumacher's famous father Michael won five world championships with Ferrari, but his last team in F1 was Mercedes.
Indeed, Mercedes has invited Mick to its end-of-season Stars and Cars event in Stuttgart, and according to the Kolner Express tabloid is now stepping up its quest to secure Mick's future.
Schumacher's current F4 outfit, the Dutch team Van Amersfoort, was powered by Volkswagen engines in European F3 this year, where Mick is now tipped to move for 2016.
And Express said Van Amersfoort is moving to Mercedes power for 2016.
Boss Frits van Amersfoort denies it. "Not all the contracts are signed for next year — not even with Mick," he said.
As for Mick's test with Prema, reportedly under the watchful eye of Ferrari's Luca Baldisserri, van Amersfoort insists: "It is normal that drivers do that in the winter, it's no problem.
"Mick's test times were good, but we were faster."
|Bernie Ecclestone determined to fix the F1 engine mess|
Ecclestone determined to fix F1 for future
(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone sounds determined to lead formula one into a better future.
The F1 supremo says that despite some opposition from powerful carmakers, the sport will have faster cars in 2017 and an independent supplier of a new, more affordable engine to run parallel with the controversial current rules.
Mercedes' Toto Wolff, however, is opposed to the idea of 'equivalency' rules for two sets of engine regulations, and in Brazil has also raised doubts that F1 can safely make its cars suddenly 5 seconds faster for 2017.
"We are not satisfied," he told the Sunday Times.
"Some of the teams have different agendas and think that rolling the dice makes a lot of sense. We are not in the rolling-the-dice business.
"We need to be sure that the tire manufacturer can cope with the proposed aero rules. And because some teams are just seeing the new rules as an opportunity, having a different agenda or political perspective, it is still up in the air and needs to be discussed," Wolff added.
It is believed Mercedes, Ferrari and perhaps even Honda and Renault are preparing to raise their objections at the next strategy group meeting, which is a precursor body to any new rules being rubber-stamped by the FIA.
Ecclestone is no fan of those "very democratic" processes.
"I think the world and certain sports need not a dictator, but a good leader who thinks about what is best for the sport and not what is best for himself," he told Brazil's Globo at Interlagos. "I have always tried to do that."
As for those reportedly preparing spoiling tactics for the proposed changes, Ecclestone told Auto Motor und Sport: "They are not thinking of the sport, only themselves."
He argues that the independent engine supplier is necessary because the carmakers are setting extremely high engine prices and even refusing to supply certain customers at all.
"We cannot destroy formula one due to people who believe they can take the sport hostage," Ecclestone said.
|What does Alex Wurz know about running a race team?|
Wurz approached to be new Manor boss
(GMM) Alex Wurz admits he has been approached to take over as Manor's team principal.
It was confirmed at Interlagos this weekend that boss John Booth and deputy Graeme Lowdon have both resigned and will leave the team after Abu Dhabi.
So Manor has announced that Dave Ryan, the former long-time McLaren sporting director who stepped down in 2009 amid the 'lie-gate' scandal, is returning to F1 next year to be the British backmarker's new 'racing director'.
And Austrian Wurz, who earlier this week announced his retirement as a racing driver, admitted in Brazil he has been approached to be Manor's team boss.
When asked by Kleine Zeitung newspaper on Wednesday what his next steps in motor sport will be, the former F1 driver answered: "I can't say too much about that now."
On Saturday he had to admit there have been talks with Manor.
"I would have preferred it not be out in public but I can't deny it," said the 41-year-old, who last raced in F1 with Williams in 2007.
|Lewis Hamilton at the wheel of the Pagani Zonda just before he hit three parked cars|
Todt plays down Hamilton's road car crash
(GMM) The FIA will not strip Lewis Hamilton of his role as an ambassador for road safety.
Last week, the triple world champion drove his $2m Pagani Zonda supercar into three stationary cars in Monaco, admitting heavy partying and fatigue contributed to the 3:30am crash.
A spokesman for a British road safety charity said: "Hamilton has a choice to make; party more or drive less.
"He can't carry on doing both and expect to keep his road safety role."
But although attending the Brazilian grand prix to mark world remembrance day for road crash victims, FIA president Jean Todt played down the controversy.
"Sometimes you spend time on unnecessary controversies, which have no meaning," said the Frenchman.
"When I hear, for example, the importance that was given to Lewis having a little incident on the road, we should not care about that. We should care about important things," added Todt.