Hamilton admits his ‘attention was elsewhere’ after last year’s Formula One title win
‘I’m not really too fussed about what happened in the final few races of 2015 as it didn’t affect my championship
‘Of course, I love winning and that’s always the goal – but to be honest my attention was elsewhere at that point.
‘It had been such a successful season and you can’t win them all, so that was my feeling at the end of the year.’
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Jenson Button welcomes ‘big step forward’ from McLaren-Honda
Jenson Button says Honda have made massive improvements to the deployment of electrical energy over the winter after completing his first miles in the 2016 McLaren.
The 2009 world champion highlighted deployment as the key reason for McLaren’s struggles last season and was delighted to find the situation had improved on the first day of pre-season running.
In all, Button completed 84 laps – in excess of a full race distance at the Circuit de Catalunya. This time last year, the newly-forged McLaren-Honda partnership registered a mere six laps.
After a difficult campaign, Button was understandably beaming in his post-session press conference and his smile could get wider with Honda set to deliver further improvements before Australia. It is understood that the engine manufacturers will deliver an updated version of the power unit for next week’s test in Barcelona.
“It is difficult to say in terms of power because this won’t be the engine we take to the first race. The deployment is so much better. I don’t know if it is the same as the other guys have but it feels like it is. That is a big step for us,”
Tweet of the day
Christian Horner calls on all parties to save F1 at crucial Geneva meeting
Whilst we all try our best not to show our ‘not surprised faces’ upon hearing this from Spice Boy Horny, it could in fact be one of the more sensible and predictable statements ever to exit his face.
“We need to do it now because if we need unanimous agreement [required after the end of February deadline] then you might as well forget it,”
The meeting is, effectively, the last chance for F1 to endorse a series of radical proposals to revitalise the sport in 2017 with more aggressively designed cars with wider tyres that are more difficult to drive and five seconds a lap quicker.
Radical change would suit Red Bull fine. For in Adrian Newey they possess the finest designer in F1. He craves a clean piece of paper more than anyone else so he can create a new, aero-led car. Horner, at his most evangelising, continued:
“It would be a great shame if this opportunity was missed. The thing that concerns me is that every team has a vested interest. We need to see strong governance and leadership. I don’t think F1 is in crisis but we have got an opportunity to do something really good.”
Mercedes plan run a new ‘unusual’ front wing
“There’s a lot of talk floating around that we’ll bring an innovative front wing [today]. Indeed we have parts that a little unusual ,” said Wolff , but when pushed would not give more details:
“It is not yet certain whether they’ll go on the car tomorrow, it depends on how the analysis of today’s (Monday) data fails. When I saw the new parts for the first time, I was surprised a little”
Renault’s new car
Very interesting front suspension arrangement allowing lots of airflow through?
Bernie Ecclestone: Formula One is worst it’s ever been… I wouldn’t pay to watch it.
Bernie Ecclestone is in extravagant form. He extols Vladimir Putin, a president he admires, and calls for Jean Todt, the head of Formula One’s governing body and a president he despairs of, to hand over responsibility for the sport.
‘This sort of thing is what is commonly known as a cartel,’ said Ecclestone. ‘And cartels are illegal. We are running something that is illegal. On top of all that it is anti-competitive.’
‘Jean is doing a very good job for road safety. He makes a big effort. He travels the world meeting people. But his interest in Formula One is purely a result of being president of the FIA and the fact that he is expected to be there for Formula One. He doesn’t look to do anything that might destabilise what he really wants to do in the UN.
‘He should carry on with the other stuff, but hand over responsibility for Formula One to someone else. I am going to speak to him about it.’
When asked who should take over Todt’s Formula One brief, then?
‘No idea,’ said Ecclestone. ‘That’s up to the FIA…….
I have a vested interest. I want to do what is best for Formula One.
‘I don’t need the job. I don’t need the money. Most of the participants are only thinking about what’s good for them in the short term. Long term for most of those people is two or three races. The result is that Formula One is the worst it has ever been. I wouldn’t spend my money to take my family to watch a race. No way.”
Although he thinks there is ‘no chance’ that Formula One’s cumbersome decision-making process will permit agreement on rule changes for 2017 by the deadline of March 1 — a surely elastic timescale — he revealed a revolutionary plan that he wants in place for the opening race of this season in Melbourne on March 20 — mixed grids.
“We need more competitive racing,’ he said. ‘I would keep qualifying as it is. The guy who is quickest would still have his number of poles recorded for history. But then he could start, say, 10th based on his pole and where he stands in the championship. We are looking at exactly how we could do it.
‘The guy who is third fastest in qualifying would start, say seventh or eighth. That is better than totally reversed grids because all you get with them is the man at the back getting past the slower guys at the start of the race. This way makes it competitive between guys of similar speed. It won’t be easy to get past people.
‘The big thing is that it would create debate. I would say, “I think the pole man will win for this reason or that”. You say, “No, I think so-and-so will win because…” That’s what we need. I don’t know if we can get it through in time. We’ll see.”
STR goes size zero
It seems it’s not only McLaren who believes in ‘size 0’, note the rear of the Toro Rosso 2016 challenger.
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