A Daily Round up of Formula One news, inside whispers, opinion and comment. Today,
ART considers Formula One entry
In the late eighties and early nineties the Formula 3000, GP2’s predecessor, did not only feed drivers to Formula One, but occasionally also teams. Jordan, Pacific, Coloni, Forti – granted that’s not exactly a list of championship winning teams, but it happened. That was then, but if reports of Speedweek.de are any indication, the ART team is considering the step up to the top-tier of openwheel racing, following that traditional path to F1.
French team ART, led by Frederic Vasseur, is well-connected in the world of motorsports. They run one of the Mercedes teams in DTM, Esteban Ocon drives for them in GP3 and with Stoffel Vandoorne they are runaway leaders in GP2. While speedweek.de suggests that this decision comes on the back of the currently discussed return of customer cars to F1, team shareholder Nicolas Todt says that the team would also consider entering as a classic constructor if they are able to forge a technological cooperation with a bigger team.
Pirelli unhappy about free tyre choice
Pirelli’s Paul Hembery is not too happy about the Strategy Group decision that from 2016 the teams will be able to decide freely which two out of four tyre compounds they will use over a Grand Prix weekend, insisting that the top teams will likely choose what the Italian manufacturer would have chosen anyway, while smaller teams might gamble and end up with downright dangerous tyres on tracks they are not suited for.
The average fan, who is in possession of common sense would counter that Pirelli may just build tyres that can at least do five or six laps on the harshest circuits like Sepang, and experts believe that will be the result. The Italians will simply build harder compounds to avoid tyre blowups a la 2013 when the initial construction was unfit for the purpose.
Personally, I like the idea. It adds a true strategical element instead of useless gimmicks like DRS and we might end up seeing one-stoppers and three-stoppers in the same race. Pirelli’s misgivings are most likely of an economic nature anyway. So far they could plan manufacturing and logistic well ahead. The new idea will raise costs for the Italians and F1 will no longer be the marketing freebie it has been so far.
Nürburgring 24h goes down to the wire between Audi and BMW
Two Belgian teams in German cars will most likely decide the 24h of Nürburgring among themselves. WRT-Audi and Marc-VDS BMW are separated by one minute with five hours to go. Many manufacturers in the top class, among them Bentley, Aston-Martin, Mercedes, Porsche and Glickenhaus have been thrown far back or been completely wiped out in a crash-ridden night.
Different fates befell the fan favourites. While the thirty-year-old foxtail Opel Manta is currently lying 54th and leading the SP3 class, another favourite of the crowd, Sabine Schmitz is out of the race after one of her team mates crashed the Frikadelli Porsche GT3-R in the Karoussell shortly before midnight. Forty-six yearl old Schmitz had become the first woman to score a WTCC point yesterday, finishing 10th in the first of two races on the Nordschleife. She has won the 24h race previously with Schubert Racing, but both her former and current team are now out of the race already.
The closing hours of the race are live-streamed by Vodafone free of charge. http://vod.af/N24h