Latest F1 news in brief – Sunday

  • Word is that Mateschitz kicked the Mercedes team out of his hotel near the Austrian GP

    Rosberg keeps Monaco momentum with Montreal pole

  • Mateschitz kicks Mercedes out of his Austria GP hotel
  • Ricciardo to win Bandini trophy
  • Tost admits Sainz Jr on road to Toro Rosso
  • Drivers happy with Canada GP contract news
  • McLaren wants to 'carry on' with Button – Boullier
  • Renault to have 'new power unit' in 2015
  • FIA to 'look into' disputed Renault test

Rosberg keeps Monaco momentum with Montreal pole
(GMM) Nico Rosberg has carried on his Monaco momentum by beating teammate Lewis Hamilton to pole position in Montreal.

The German had said in Monaco, where tension with Hamilton boiled over following a qualifying controversy, that winning was crucial to break the sister Mercedes' run of top form.

On Saturday in Canada, Rosberg – who had reclaimed the championship lead in Monaco – scored another victory over Hamilton, beating him to pole by a mere 7 hundredths of a second.

Asked about his new run of momentum, the 28-year-old said: "Well, it's just that little bit extra when you come here knowing you have the result behind your back.

"It just helps a bit," said Rosberg. "Lewis obviously had that winning streak and to bring that to an end was important."

For his part, Hamilton was a miserable jealous loser in Monaco, refusing even making eye-contact with Rosberg and earning a rebuke from Niki Lauda for failing to be gracious in defeat.

So after qualifying on Saturday, he made sure to pat Rosberg on the back.

"Nico did a fantastic job today," Hamilton told reporters, "so congratulations to him.

"It just wasn't the greatest qualifying session for me — sometimes you have good ones, sometimes you have bad ones.

"Nico just did a better job," he added.

However, Rosberg may have moved to step up the off-track 'mind games' with Hamilton.

The major German daily Bild on Saturday quoted Rosberg as suggesting Hamilton sometimes copies his car setup.

"It's often the case that you have a great creative idea, but your teammate immediately has access to it. Quite clearly that's annoying," he reportedly said.

Mateschitz kicks Mercedes out of his Austria GP hotel
(GMM) Tension between arch F1 rivals Mercedes and Red Bull is ramping up ahead of the forthcoming Austrian grand prix.

Recently, Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda criticized Red Bull for axing the 'Niki Lauda Kurve' at the refurbished Red Bull-Ring and naming it after a sponsor instead.

And now, a spat has broken out over Mercedes' accommodation for the forthcoming Austrian grand prix, where the race promoter is Red Bull mogul Dietrich Mateschitz.

A rumor circulated in the Montreal paddock on Saturday that Mercedes had cancelled its bookings near the Red Bull-Ring because it discovered that the new owner of the hotel was none other than Mateschitz.

But Mercedes' Toto Wolff is quoted by Kleine Zeitung newspaper: "We were kicked out."

Mercedes team staff will instead stay in nearby Graz.

Wolff complained: "Those who work the most and the hardest on the cars will now have to commute 70 kilometers each day."

Ricciardo to win Bandini trophy
(GMM) Daniel Ricciardo is to be the latest winner of the prestigious Trofeo Lorenzo Bandini.

Past winners of the trophy are a roll-call of long and successful grand prix careers, including champions Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.

24-year-old Australian Ricciardo, who has given world champion Vettel a hard time after joining Red Bull this year, will receive the prize at the end of August in Brisighella, Italy.

Brisighella is the home town of the late Bandini, who was killed at the age of 31 during the 1967 Monaco grand prix.

Tost admits Sainz Jr on road to Toro Rosso
(GMM) Carlos Sainz Jr is well on the road to formula one.

After Daniil Kvyat made his impressive F1 debut in 2014, 19-year-old Spaniard Sainz, whose father is the world rallying legend, is now the cream of Red Bull's junior driver program.

He is expected to step up to Toro Rosso next year.

But Sainz's father, who is in Montreal this weekend, told the Spanish sports daily AS: "There's no hurry — the later the better.

"I have had no notice from Red Bull or anyone regarding anything other than the (Renault) World Series for Carlos," he added.

After four rounds of the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 series, Sainz Jr is clearly leading the championship.

But his father Carlos Sainz continued: "We go step by step, with confidence, trying to do things right."

However, Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost has acknowledged that Sainz does appear to have a future in F1 — and logically one that starts with the Faenza team.

"Nothing is decided," he said, "but I think that sooner or later he will be on the track with us.

"I hope he drives with us on a Friday, but I cannot confirm this yet because we are still early in the season and trying to solve our reliability problems.

"Carlos will be in the car one Friday," Austrian Tost then added.

Drivers happy with Canada GP contract news
(GMM) The future of the Canadian grand prix has been secured for the next ten years.

As expected, a new deal worth more than $200 million, including plans to renovate the ageing facility by 2017, was announced at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Saturday.

"I think it (the news) is great," said world champion Sebastian Vettel on Saturday.

"I think it's one of the few places on the calendar where the whole city really parties all weekend long and really appreciates the grand prix being here."

"It's great," agreed championship leader Nico Rosberg, "because Montreal is one of the best races of the year.

"It's a great track, the fans are fantastic, so I'm very happy and I'm sure everybody is that we're going to be coming here a lot more often in the future."

McLaren wants to 'carry on' with Button – Boullier
(GMM) Team boss Eric Boullier on Saturday suggested McLaren is making plans for the future with Jenson Button.

There are rumors team supremo Ron Dennis and 2015 engine supplier Honda are making moves to woo Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel or even Lewis Hamilton to Woking.

But Boullier went into the Montreal weekend offering high praise for 34-year-old Button, the most experienced driver on the F1 grid whose contract runs out at the end of the season.

When asked on Thursday if that praise indicates a new contract is on the table, Button answered: "Er, no.

"No more progress at all. We both want to work together in the future but it's just not time yet."

On Saturday, Boullier agreed with Button that the time for contract talks is yet to arrive, but he also insisted McLaren wants to keep the Briton on board.

"I would love, when it is time, to sit down with him, to carry on with him, clearly, and as long as we can," the Frenchman told the British broadcaster Sky.

"With Kevin (Magnussen) as well. But I more and more appreciate working with Jenson, it's true," Boullier added.

Renault to have 'new power unit' in 2015
(GMM) The tension between the world champion team Red Bull and its engine supplier Renault remains high.

Before the Montreal weekend, the French marque's Remi Taffin announced that, in Canada, the Renault V6 would finally reach "100 per cent" of its potential.

Indeed, Sebastian Vettel had a solid qualifying on Saturday and will line up on the grid behind only the ultra-dominant Mercedes cars.

But when asked about the Renault improvements in Canada, the reigning world champion said: "Well, honestly I don't know where the Renault talk comes from.

"I think as far as we're concerned, we always obviously try to improve but we didn't have any major steps for here."

Also apparently playing down Renault's pre-race '100 per cent' claim was Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.

He is quoted by Salzburger Nachrichten as saying in Montreal: "We are down about 60 horse power compared to the Mercedes teams."

Renault is also expected to be right on the limit in terms of fuel consumption over the 70 laps of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Sunday.

"So when Mercedes goes through without problems and are not on the limit with fuel, then it's difficult," said Red Bull's always-blunt Dr Helmut Marko.

"It will also be very difficult to stay ahead of the two Williams. They have the fastest top speeds here, so if they go to overtake us, we have no chance," he added.

However, both Horner and Marko have now separately confirmed that Red Bull will continue to be Renault powered in 2015.

Perhaps that is because Renault's Taffin says the French marque will produce a substantially new engine next year.

"We will look at what our opponents have done and what is working for them," the Frenchman is quoted by Kleine Zeitung newspaper.

"Next year we will have a new power unit," he added.

Marko has already referred to some sort of deadline expiring at the Austrian grand prix in two weeks.

Referring to the engine development 'freeze' that is currently in place, he explained: "The necessary steps then need to be taken for the re-homologation for 2015.

"We will continue to work at least to stay within striking distance. But in 2015, we want to be able to win again," said Marko.

FIA to 'look into' disputed Renault test
(GMM) The FIA is looking into what happened in Graz, Austria, between the final Bahrain test and the season opening Australian grand prix.

A whistleblower last week circulated letters to the governing body and some rival teams about an alleged illegal six-day test on Austrian automotive company AVL's 'rolling road' facility.

Red Bull have denied conducting the test, but it is believed sister team Toro Rosso was indeed in Graz, along with Red Bull development driver Antonio Felix da Costa.

Engine supplier Renault's Remi Taffin is quoted by APA news agency: "We just had to work with our partner AVL, because our own facilities were at full capacity."

The French marque argues that the 'test' was in fact just perfectly legal engine bench testing, amid reports the Toro Rosso car was not fitted with front or rear wings.

Nonetheless, an FIA spokesperson said: "We will look into the matter carefully and then answer any questions."

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