Latest F1 news in brief – Tuesday

  • James Allison

    Allison vows to 'finish my work' at Ferrari

  • Rosberg sure he can win 2015 title
  • F1 drivers to attend Bianchi's funeral
  • Rookies deny F1 now 'easy'
  • Tost urges Renault to improve performance
  • Lotus reaches agreement with supplier – report

Allison vows to 'finish my work' at Ferrari
(GMM) James Allison has hit back at rumors he might be the victim of Ferrari's new slump.

Last week, as the Italian press analyzed the apparent dip in Ferrari's 2015 resurgence, eyes began to shift to technical boss Allison's unextended contract.

It was claimed the Briton's deal runs out in less than a year, with La Gazzetta dello Sport wondering if his performance is "already under scrutiny".

But Allison insists: "First, I have a contract that binds me to this company for several years.

"Second, I came back to this team to repeat the experience of winning, because it is an unique feeling. I experienced it as a young engineer, and it was amazing to win five world championships.

"And the prospect of being able to relive those moments in the role that I occupy today is something that I really wanted to do, as a matter of the heart," he said in the latest edition of Italy's Autosprint magazine, published on Tuesday.

"I want to stay here until I finish my work and if Ferrari feels the same then I will be very happy," Allison added.

Now 47, Allison was in his early 30s when he first worked at Maranello, but he subsequently blossomed into one of the sport's most respected technical figures at Lotus.

Now in the top job in red, he admits the pressure is high.

"But I have always seen pressure as a good thing," insisted Allison, "because it forces you to do your best, to keep improving."

He says 2015 has been "positive" so far, explaining: "Obviously no one in this company will be happy until we win, but I can say that this group has grown so much from a starting point that was not the best.

"We have improved, but we still have much to do."

So Allison is not surprised that the performance dip of the past few races has turned into the current speculation.

"We are a team with very good drivers, a significant budget, cutting-edge tools — we have no excuses. We have to fight for victory.

"And when it does not work it is a disappointment for everyone. Those who work for Ferrari know that if you don't win it is very likely that there will be problems.

"At Maranello everyone knows that — that when you decide to work for Ferrari, you take the responsibility of having to build a winning car. And I think that will always be so," he added.

Asked if it might have been easier if Sebastian Vettel's early-season breakthrough win had come a little later, Allison answered: "perhaps in the management of expectations, yes.

"But you cannot refuse success when it comes."

As for Ferrari's apparent mid-season dip, he added: "In the first part of the season updates came much faster than the competition and we reduced the gap.

"Then we saw that the Mercedes teams took a huge leap forward in Montreal, and the gap widened again.

"But if I had to bet on what will happen in the second half of the season, I think we will return to reducing the gap to Mercedes and staying ahead of Williams," said Allison.

Rosberg will not beat Hamilton unless Mercedes makes it so

Rosberg sure he can win 2015 title
(GMM) Nico Rosberg is sure he can keep pushing teammate Lewis Hamilton in the fight for the 2015 title.

Last year, the Mercedes pair had a close duel for spoils, with Hamilton emerging with his second career title and a palpable boost in confidence.

The Briton appeared to carry that form into this season but Rosberg has also impressed, as he is currently within a single victory of the championship lead.

Asked if he can be the 2015 champion, Rosberg told Spain's Diario AS: "Definitely. I'm really enjoying the fight with Lewis and I am sure that I am capable of winning, so I keep believing in myself."

Asked what changed in his approach as he ended an early-season dip in form, Rosberg answered: "Nothing. They are simply phases. Nothing has changed in the way I work.

"No, I really don't think that," he insisted when asked if there might be a technical or psychological explanation.

"It's like going to the casino and playing blackjack — sometimes you win seven times in a row and sometimes you are on the other side of that."

Rosberg does not even admit that Hamilton has a big upper hand in qualifying, even though he has rarely been quicker than the Briton this year on Saturdays.

"He is very strong, undoubtedly," said the German, "but it's a matter of tenths. And you're better off being stronger in the race anyway," he laughed.

Asked to predict which forthcoming circuits he might master better than Hamilton, Rosberg said: "We're very close and every weekend I have a chance to win.

"No matter where we are, I know that if I do things right I have a chance of beating him."

F1 drivers to attend Bianchi's funeral
(GMM) A number of current F1 drivers will travel to Nice on Tuesday for the funeral of their fallen rival Jules Bianchi.

Germany's Sport Bild claims that Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Massa, Nico Rosberg and Nico Hulkenberg will be among the late 25-year-old's closest friends and family as they farewell the former Marussia driver.

The entire grid, meanwhile, will reportedly pause for a minute's silence ahead of what will be a somber Hungarian grand prix this weekend.

And FIA president Jean Todt, whose son Nicholas was close to Bianchi, has announced that the driver's personal race number 17 will be permanently retired from F1.

"As F1 car numbers are now personally chosen by each driver, the FIA believes it to be an appropriate gesture to retire Jules Bianchi's number 17," a statement confirmed.

It is also believed the former Marussia team, Manor, will carry Jules' name on the sidepods of Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens' cars this weekend in Hungary.

The backmarker team, having entered administration at the end of last year, only survived to tackle the 2015 season because of the millions in official prize money secured with Bianchi's against-the-odds points in Monaco.

Russian tycoon Andrei Cheglakov has told The Independent newspaper that he decided to quit F1 as a direct result of the Bianchi crash in Japan last October.

"After what happened in Japan I was so deeply depressed because you have a responsibility for people working for you," he told business journalist Christian Sylt and Aaron Rook.

Max Verstappen

Rookies deny F1 now 'easy'
(GMM) Toro Rosso's young rookies have hit back at claims formula one is increasingly "easy".

With the unprecedentedly-young Max Verstappen, 17, and 20-year-old Spaniard Carlos Sainz thriving this year despite their inexperience, many critics see it as a sure sign the pinnacle of motor sport is not as difficult as it once was.

But Dutchman Verstappen told Brazil's UOL Esporte: "I do not think that formula one is getting easier.

"The point is that, from an early age, you are able to prepare much better now than you could 20 years ago. Because everything is more professional," he said.

"The result is that drivers are coming in sooner," Verstappen added.

Sainz, who according to his boss Franz Tost has also done an "excellent" job in 2015, agrees.

He cited examples like Rafael Nadal (tennis), Michael Phelps (swimming) and MotoGP's Marc Marquez, insisting athletes in the 21st century are increasingly breaking through and dominating from a very early age.

Sainz said: "Anyone who thinks that F1 is easy must also think the same about all sports, because we are seeing people coming through earlier and earlier.

"Why would this not happen in F1 too?" he added.

"The same happened in MotoGP but nobody talks about that getting easier. But it is a global trend because young people are better prepared."

Franz Tost (Top)

Tost urges Renault to improve performance
(GMM) Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost is hoping Renault can now add much-needed performance to its 2015 'power unit'.

As the season reaches its mid-point, experts increasingly agree that the James Key-designed STR10, despite the team's modest budget, is one of the very best chassis on the grid this year.

However, the Red Bull junior team is currently just eighth in the constructors' championship, ahead only of the struggling McLaren-Honda and Manor.

"There are still ten races on the calendar," said Tost, referring to Toro Rosso's stated goal of finishing fifth in the end, presumably behind Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams and Red Bull.

"The STR10 is a very good chassis," he told Speed Week, "both our drivers are extremely talented and doing an excellent job, and the team's working methods are slowly coming up to formula one standard.

"Lack of reliability is the cause of our currently-weak position," Tost added. "When eight times out of nine races you don't see the checkered flag, you cannot be in the top five of the world championship.

"This is the main reason, as well as accidents and errors of the team. But we need to solve this (reliability) vulnerability together with our partner as soon as possible."

Toro Rosso's 'partner' is Renault, the under-fire French supplier that is said to be close to changing tack and buying back Lotus to re-form a works team.

Tost acknowledges, however, that Renault has still been working hard on solving its problems in 2015.

"They have worked a lot on the reliability. I hope that is now under control, as the next thing that must be improved is the performance," the Austrian said.

Lotus reaches agreement with supplier – report
(GMM) Lotus has swerved being ordered into administration by reaching an agreement with a disgruntled supplier.

Earlier in July, a spokesperson for London's Companies Court confirmed reports that an order to 'wind up' the Enstone team had been brought by a creditor.

It was confirmed that the unpaid supplier is Xtrac, a transmission specialist.

The case was adjourned for two weeks until July 20, ostensibly so that Lotus and Xtrac could negotiate a solution out of court.

But as recently as last Friday, 'Lotus F1 Team Limited' was still appearing in Companies Court's latest 'winding-up list'.

But as the case resumed on Monday, it now emerges that the process to have the team placed into administration has been postponed again, Spain's El Mundo Deportivo reports.

"Lotus has reached an agreement with Xtrac, with both sides avoiding the inevitably long, expensive and uncertain legal avenue," correspondent Raymond Blancafort said.

"Lotus has also paid some bills to other creditors, as requested by the judge," he added.

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