Latest F1 news in brief – Wednesday

  • Ghosn says Renault will no longer supply F1 customer engines and may quit F1 altogether

    Magnussen to miss Singapore with broken hand

  • Renault confirms engine supplier days 'over,' may quit F1 altogether
  • No more 'duck' nose for Sauber – report
  • Ricciardo unsure as Red Bull eyes 'customer' status
  • Rosberg to use Monza engine in Singapore
  • Thai beer sponsors Raikkonen
  • McLaren will not stop Magnussen exit
  • Austrian broadcaster may stop F1 coverage
  • BMW rules out F1 return
  • Sauber's Zehnder sure haze won't stop Singapore GP

Magnussen to miss Singapore with broken hand
(GMM) Kevin Magnussen will miss this weekend's Singapore grand prix after breaking his hand.

The Dane, who is McLaren's reserve driver, tweeted a photo of his plastered arm and confirmed that he "Won't be in Singapore for the night race this year".

"Next year! Better stick to four wheels," he added.

A team spokesman confirmed: "Kevin has been training extensively on his bicycle over the past few weeks and months, but unfortunately he fell off it the other day.

"He has sustained a small fracture in his left hand, but is expected to make a full recovery within the next three weeks or so."

Renault confirms engine supplier days 'over,' may quit F1 altogether
(GMM) Carlos Ghosn has confirmed that Renault will cease to be merely an engine supplier in F1 beyond the end of 2015.

"We have said very clearly: it's over," the German news agency DPA quoted him as saying at the Frankfurt motor show.

Currently the supplier to Red Bull and Toro Rosso, who are reportedly set to switch instead to Ferrari power next year, Ghosn confirmed that talks with Lotus about buying the Enstone team are taking place.

But he also admitted that quitting F1 altogether is a possibility.

"We are not in a hurry, we are taking our time," said Ghosn.

He said the biggest problem with the Red Bull arrangements was that when the team was struggling, it openly blamed Renault.

And "When we won championships, unfortunately the name Renault was never mentioned," said Ghosn.

"We gained the impression that the investment paid off only very weakly."

Cash-starved Lotus, set to face another petition to have it placed in administration on Friday, is now nervously waiting for Renault's decision.

"I fear for the future of the smaller teams if it doesn't get resolved," Force India deputy Bob Fernley, referring to the Lotus situation, told the October edition of F1 Racing magazine.

"I'm not sure that either CVC or the manufacturer teams are even listening — or care. And that's my biggest concern," he added.

Nasr in the 'duck' nose Sauber
Nasr in the 'duck' nose Sauber

No more 'duck' nose for Sauber – report
(GMM) The centerpiece of Sauber's new package for Singapore is a short nose, the respected Swiss correspondent Roger Benoit claims.

The struggling Swiss team has rarely updated its 2015 car this year, but a major aerodynamic package will be raced by Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson in Singapore this weekend.

Benoit, writing in the Blick newspaper, said the most obvious change will be the disappearance of the long "duckbill" nose, replaced by a shorter one.

"Our goal is to get the maximum out of this innovation," said Swede Ericsson.

What? I have to race with Ferrari's 'B' engine?
What? I have to race with Ferrari's 'B' engine?

Ricciardo unsure as Red Bull eyes 'customer' status
(GMM) Daniel Ricciardo is not convinced that reverting to engine 'customer' status will be a guarantee of success for Red Bull.

In the new 'power unit' era so far, the former quadruple world champions have struggled with Renault's V6.

The French carmaker's CEO Carlos Ghosn confirmed on Tuesday that Renault will no longer merely supply engines in F1 beyond 2015, and so it is believed Red Bull will tie up with Ferrari power for next year.

However, also down on power this year is McLaren, but the Woking team insists that full works status is a prerequisite for championship success in F1.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner does not agree, declaring this week that although enjoying premier status, the energy drink owned team was in fact never the Renault factory outfit.

Amid the uncertainty, Australian Ricciardo flirted with a switch to Ferrari's works team, but ultimately is under contract and will stay with Red Bull for 2016.

As for the future, he is unconvinced.

"Any situation at the moment isn't perfect," he told the October edition of F1 Racing magazine.

"Now we're down on power, but if we were to go with a customer engine, would that let us win? Do you actually have an opportunity to win in the next few years? That's the big question.

"Speaking to the big guys in the team, they've given me the confidence that I need to understand that they're doing all they can," Ricciardo added.

It appears that Red Bull will at least enjoy the 'A' specification of Ferrari's engines next year, having earlier been offered a deal that would have put the team a step behind the works outfit.

Ricciardo, meanwhile, said he will drive whatever package he is given.

"I'm putting a lot of my trust in the team," he insisted.

"I do that because I know they want to return to the success they had. When they say they're doing all they can to be as competitive as possible for 2016, that's all I need to hear for now."

Rosberg happy to get the latest Mercedes'Wundermotor'
Rosberg happy to get the latest Mercedes'Wundermotor'

Rosberg to use Monza engine in Singapore
(GMM) This weekend in Singapore, Nico Rosberg will use the very same new-specification Mercedes engine that was removed from his car ahead of qualifying at Monza.

That is the claim of Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, as new details about Mercedes' upgraded 'power unit' now begin to emerge.

Auto Bild, another German publication, describes the unit that cost Mercedes all remaining 7 of its performance upgrade 'tokens' before Monza as a 'Wundermotor'.

"It brings not so much more horse power," said team boss Toto Wolff, "but it works more efficiently.

"We wanted something to test in connection with a new fuel for 2016."

However, although Lewis Hamilton went on to win at Monza, and some rivals sensed the potential of the new engine is "scary", Rosberg's unit was removed before qualifying amid reliability concerns.

But Auto Motor und Sport claims the very same unit will now be raced by the German driver in Singapore, after post-Monza investigations showed that the power unit itself was undamaged.

"It turns out it (the problem) had nothing to do with the engine," said Rosberg. "It was a chassis component that we've had on the car for a long time.

"So with hindsight, it was perfectly ok to put the new engine in," he added.

The report said Mercedes will now be preparing the engine specification for customers Williams, Lotus and Force India to use at subsequent races if they desire.

Auto Bild said the specification is fundamentally different from its predecessor, as it features an "innovative, fuel-efficient combustion process".

So after a miserable weekend of reliability at Monza, Rosberg is hoping for smoother sailing this weekend.

A new complication, however, is the pollution-filled skies above Singapore, potentially worsening what was already a tough race physically for the drivers.

"That (the air quality) makes it even harder for us, and perhaps also for the cars," Rosberg is quoted by the German broadcaster RTL.

Thai beer sponsors Raikkonen
(GMM) Kimi Raikkonen has aligned with yet another alcoholic drink.

Early this month, we reported that the Ferrari driver is the new face of the tinned gin and dry 'Iceman Long Drink'.

And now in Bangkok, the 'Iceman' himself was present as Singha Corporation and its beer brand was unveiled as his new personal sponsor, the Finnish newspaper Iltalehti reported.

Ron Dennis won't stop Magnussen's exit, they need a driver with a bigger check
Ron Dennis won't stop Magnussen's exit, they need a driver with a bigger check

McLaren will not stop Magnussen exit
(GMM) McLaren has denied reports it allowed the option on Kevin Magnussen's contract to "lapse".

The reports coincided with intense speculation the Danish driver is set to leave Woking to drive for the new Ferrari 'B' team Haas in 2016, partnered by either Esteban Gutierrez or Jean-Eric Vergne.

Magnussen, absent in Singapore this week after breaking his hand in a cycling crash, was quoted in a headline by the Spanish daily as saying "I would love to race for Haas".

But as for claims the option in Magnussen's McLaren deal ran out on August 31, a McLaren spokesman told us that is "inaccurate".

"(Team boss) Eric Boullier has said that we would not stand in Kevin's way if the possibility that he might be offered a race drive with another team were to arise, that is all," he explained.

Meanwhile, Jenson Button has warned that although "miracles" should not be expected, McLaren is looking forward to this weekend's Singapore street race.

"We've got our biggest engine and chassis upgrades for one race and the circuit should suit us," he told the Mirror newspaper.

"We are going from the worst circuit for us (Monza) to the best and I'm looking forward to fighting to get a decent result," said Button.

Austrian broadcaster may stop F1 coverage
(GMM) Austria could be set to lose its F1 television broadcaster.

The publication TV Media claims that the contract held by ORF, whose coverage includes the former F1 driver and GPDA chairman Alex Wurz as pundit, expires at the end of 2016.

Reportedly, the Austrian public broadcaster ORF may no longer be prepared to pay the annual fee of EUR 15 million.

APA, the Austrian news agency, said ORF is yet to take a final decision.

BMW boss Harald Kruger says BMW isn't going to blow hundreds of millions of dollars on a silly F1 engine that 0.00000% of fans care about
BMW boss Harald Kruger. BMW isn't going to blow hundreds of millions of dollars on a silly F1 engine that 0.00000% of fans care about

BMW rules out F1 return
(GMM) BMW has issued a clear "no" on the issue of a potential F1 comeback.

First with Williams, and then as team owner in the BMW-Sauber era, the German carmaker raced throughout almost all of last decade.

After pulling out at the end of 2009, BMW returned to the German touring car championship in 2012, winning the title that season and again in 2014.

"Motor sport is part of the core brand of BMW, and the DTM is important for us," said Harald Kruger, who has been the carmaker's CEO only since May.

Undoubtedly, however, BMW's international profile has dipped since the F1 withdrawal, especially as key rival Mercedes dominates the sport in the new hybrid era.

Kruger, however, told Auto Motor und Sport: "Formula one is not an option for us. It simply does not fit with our long-term strategy.

"I would not categorically rule out Le Mans," he said, adding that BMW is also "looking closely" at the all-electric open wheeler series Formula E.

Sauber's Zehnder sure haze won't stop Singapore GP
(GMM) Singapore's skies remain hazy, but one paddock veteran is sure the popular and floodlit street race will go ahead.

Preparations at Marina Bay are in full swing, drivers have been busily performing promotional duties throughout Wednesday, and Sauber team manager Beat Zehnder thinks "unhealthy" air quality will not stop the racing.

"Until two days ago I heard that the situation was extreme," he told Speed Week, "but now it's becoming better.

"Just now, before coming to the circuit I saw a report on TV that said the Indonesians are going to get the worst fires under control.

"We've had bad air elsewhere before and still raced," Zehnder added.

"I can remember Mexico in 1989, you couldn't see beyond 300 metres because of the smog, so I can't imagine that as things are now there will be a problem."

Leave a Reply