Latest F1 news in brief – Friday

  • Vandoorne's bigger check replaces Magnussen's
    Vandoorne's bigger check replaces Magnussen's

    Magnussen and McLaren to split – reports

  • F1 to allow in-season engine development in 2016
  • Raikkonen not ruling out staying beyond 2016
  • Lauda slams Sauber over European Commission complaint
  • Wehrlein to meet Wolff to discuss F1 future
  • Red Bull 'must stay' in F1 – Lauda
  • FIA: Customer engines must be same spec
  • Kvyat: Formula 1 'growing a lot' in Russia

Magnussen and McLaren to split – reports
(GMM) Kevin Magnussen is splitting with McLaren, two Danish publications report.

The 23-year-old has been the Woking team's reserve driver in 2015, having lost his race seat after just a single season.

Dane Magnussen, the son of another former McLaren driver Jan, told the Danish newspaper BT recently: "I am in contact with several interesting teams both inside and outside of formula one."

A headline at the Copenhagen Post now declares: "Magnussen done at McLaren."

It explained that Honda-powered McLaren "won't be renewing the young Dane's contract for 2016".

It is believed the famous British team will instead promote new GP2 champion Stoffel Vandoorne, who in recent races has been standing in for Magnussen as McLaren reserve while the Dane recovers from a broken hand.

BT, a Danish tabloid, agreed: "Magnussen is finished with McLaren."

And the BT correspondent Peter Nygaard said: "What is it with McLaren and the Magnussen family? First they destroyed Jan's F1 career and now they're doing the same with Kevin."

Renault will be allowed in-season development to try and improve their current boat anchor
Renault will be allowed in-season development to try and improve their current boat anchor

F1 to allow in-season engine development in 2016
(GMM) F1's struggling engine manufacturers will be able to deploy performance upgrade 'tokens' during the 2016 season.

The news follows a key meeting on Thursday in Geneva, in which it was also agreed between the FIA and engine makers to overturn the newly-published regulation outlawing the use of year-old 'power units' next year.

That will leave the door open for Red Bull and Toro Rosso to do last-minute 2015-specification engine deals with Ferrari and stay in formula one.

"The guillotine is there but I hope it doesn't come down," former Red Bull driver Mark Webber told the Red Bull-owned publication Speed Week.

"I think they will stay. Maybe the solution for 2016 will not be perfect but both teams will be able to continue. Who will be the partner? I have no idea.

"The biggest problem now is time."

However, Speed Week reports that Bernie Ecclestone's proposal to revive a normally-aspirated V8 option for Red Bull was voted down at the meeting, attended by representatives of the FIA, Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda.

Webber, meanwhile, also urged the sport to "support Honda" as McLaren's works engine partner struggles to improve amid the development restrictions.

Those restrictions were set to tighten even further for 2016, with the amount of 'tokens' to reduce from 32 to 25, while 'in-season' performance development was set to stop completely.

However, at Thursday's meeting, it was reportedly agreed that engine manufacturers will in fact get the same rules next year as are currently in place — 32 tokens that can be used throughout the entire season.

It is good news especially for Honda and also Renault.

"I expect them to be much closer next year," Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost told F1's official website.

And Leo Turrini, a Ferrari-linked media insider, agreed on his blog that it made "no sense to condemn Renault and Honda to a condition of permanent inferiority".

I may stay longer!
I may stay longer!

Raikkonen not ruling out staying beyond 2016
(GMM) Kimi Raikkonen has not ruled out extending his stay in formula one even beyond the end of 2016.

Earlier, the popular Finn's future beyond this season was clouded as Ferrari reportedly considered replacing him with Williams' Valtteri Bottas.

35-year-old Raikkonen, however, was ultimately re-signed, and the 2007 world champion has now indicated he might also be interested in extending his F1 career even beyond his fourteenth consecutive campaign next year.

"I don't know," he told Sky Italia.

"I have a contract for at least one more year. What happens beyond that remains to be seen."

And Raikkonen also will not rule out staying at Ferrari in a non-racing role even after his career ends, perhaps akin to how Michael Schumacher and Giancarlo Fisichella remained affiliated beyond retirement.

"I've been with Ferrari a long time," said the 20-time grand prix winner, who has also raced for Sauber, McLaren and Lotus.

"Maybe that possibility opens up, but I do not make the decision now," he added.

Lauda slams Sauber
Lauda slams Sauber

Lauda slams Sauber over European Commission complaint
(GMM) Niki Lauda has slammed Sauber after the Swiss team filed a complaint about F1's governance with the European Commission.

Sauber chief Monisha Kaltenborn, backed by the Silverstone based team Force India, argues that Bernie Ecclestone unfairly divided the sport into 'privileged' and 'non-privileged' teams in the areas of income and rule-making.

F1 legend and Mercedes team chairman Lauda, however, has no sympathy for Kaltenborn.

"The problem is that for years Sauber never managed to come over the hurdle of building a competitive car that can compete with the top teams," he told the Swiss weekly Handelszeitung.

Force India has also joined Sauber's official complaint to the European Commission, but Lauda focused his attack on the Hinwil based team and Kaltenborn.

"Monisha Kaltenborn has her own way of leading a team," said the great Austrian. "There have in my view been quite a few inconsistencies that were close to the limit.

"If drivers who have paid cannot race, or their cars are confiscated before the grand prix, that is just stupid," Lauda charged, obviously referring to the Giedo van der Garde affair.

He is particularly scathing, however, of the European complaint.

"Sauber is part of a racing community, they signed the Concorde Agreement where everything is regulated to the last detail and then they say 'This is suddenly not valid'. I don't understand the reasoning.

"In formula one there have always been the teams that win and the teams who are behind. Like every other sport," Lauda argued.

"It cannot be that a team that is steadily accumulating debt then suddenly as a last resort brings the whole system into question.

"Everyone is responsible for himself. Sauber should fight first against their own inabilities," he said.

Mercedes to put Wehrlein in 2nd Manor seat in exchange for engines
Mercedes to put Wehrlein in 2nd Manor seat in exchange for engines

Wehrlein to meet Wolff to discuss F1 future
(GMM) Two important meetings that will determine Pascal Wehrlein's future in formula one are now looming.

The first is this weekend at Hockenheim, where the young German will blow out the candles on his 21st birthday cake and charge to become the youngest champion in the history of the German touring car series DTM.

After that, it seems Wehrlein is destined for the F1 grid in 2016.

He is the cream of Mercedes' driver development program, already the reigning double world champion team's F1 reserve and strongly linked with a newly Mercedes-powered Manor seat next season.

That will mean farewelling DTM.

"If that was the case, on one hand it would be a shame," Wehrlein told DPA news agency. "Especially as this year has been so much fun with the team — and successful too.

"On the other hand, I want to be in formula one and I will do everything to make it happen," he added.

But as match point in the DTM finale looms this weekend, it seems Wehrlein has already done everything that Mercedes chief Toto Wolff asked of him in 2015.

After Hockenheim, a crucial meeting with Wolff will take place.

Wehrlein confirmed: "We will discuss what options there are and what would be the best for me. But it may well be that we decide to go for another year of DTM."

Red Bull to stay
Red Bull to stay

Red Bull 'must stay' in F1 – Lauda
Niki Lauda says Red Bull "must stay" in Formula One as uncertainty over its future in the sport intensifies.

Following numerous quit threats, Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz said ahead of the Russian Grand Prix weekend he will have to make a final decision by the end of October. Red Bull is unhappy at its inability to receive a competitive power unit, having terminated its Renault contract a year early and been turned down by Mercedes.

While Ferrari may still provide Red Bull with engines, Lauda – who often spends time with Christian Horner and Helmut Marko – admits he is unsure what the solution is for the team.

"I've no idea what they do," Lauda told F1i. "They should stay, the most important thing is they must stay."
Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat believes recent results – including his fifth place in Russia – show team owner Dietrich Mateschitz the potential for the team to win again with the right equipment remains strong.

"I hope that we are showing that probably with not the most competitive power unit we are still squeezing out some good points almost every race," Kvyat said. "We are fighting, we are showing good pace and we are just missing something little. Red Bull's style is to win championships and I'm sure we will soon be back to that path."

FIA: Customer engines must be same spec
Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, has ruled that customer power units used during the 2016-2020 seasons must be the same specification as that of the primary team.

Red Bull, frustrated by Renault's struggle for reliability and performance, has been pushing to secure an alternative engine supply agreement for the 2016 campaign.

At the Russian Grand Prix, it was suggested that Ferrari could supply 2015-spec engines, but only to one of Red Bull or junior team Toro Rosso, due to the demands involved.

However, in updated regulations published by the FIA, it is made clear that manufacturers must supply identical engines to its customer teams until the end of the latest cycle.

"Only power units which are identical to the power unit that has been homologated by the FIA in accordance with Appendix 4 of these regulations may be used at an event during the 2016-2020 Championship seasons," explained Article 23.5 of Formula 1's 2016 Sporting Regulations.

Although the amendment rules out Red Bull, or any other outfit, using year-old engines, it is still possible for the regulations to change again, should all teams unanimously agree.

Unlike in America where no American has a competitive ride, F1 is growing in Russia because Kvyat is with a top team
Unlike in America where no American has a competitive ride, F1 is growing in Russia because Kvyat is with a top team

Kvyat: Formula 1 'growing a lot' in Russia
Daniil Kvyat feels that Formula 1 is "growing a lot" in his native Russia, after what the Red Bull driver witnessed during the sport's second visit to Sochi Autodrom last weekend.

Almost 150,000 spectators attended the event, with 20,000 turning up on Thursday, 25,000 for Friday practice, 42,000 for qualifying and 62,000 on race day – a circuit record.

Sochi also named the Turn 3 grandstand in Kvyat's honor for the weekend.

"It was nice to see all the people that came here to support me," said Kvyat.

"It's a great feeling and hopefully it will continue and get better and better.

"I could also see that other drivers had their fans in the crowd as well which was nice; it's a true passion and it looks like in Russia the sport is growing a lot and many people are coming which is great."

Russia's initial Formula 1 deal runs through the 2020 season.

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