The F1 Times.com - News http://www.f1times.co.uk Catch up on all F1 news, here at TheF1Times.com's RSS Feed! 1 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09398http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09398Verstappen to make practice debut at SuzukaMon, 29 Sep 2014 21:37:59 GMTMax Verstappen will take part in first practice for the Japanese Grand Prix on Friday, just a few days after he turns 17 years of age. The Dutch driver will take over Jean-Eric Vergne's seat for the session as part of his preparations for a full-time race seat next season when he replaces Vergne. The 16-year-old described the opportunity as "a dream come true". "My dad has raced at Suzuka many times and he told me it's not an easy track to start on," explained Verstappen. "For me it will be a very valuable experience, spending some time in the car and also getting used to working with everyone in the team, to prepare myself for next year. "I am not going there to break any records, I just want to gain experience," he added. "I have spent one day driving this track on the simulator, which helps a bit, but it’s no substitute for driving it for real. "My first impression is that it's not an easy track and for example it looks hard to get the combination right in the first esses. I have one and a half hours to drive there and I’m looking forward to doing a good job, for myself and for the team."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09397http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09397Relying on humans could be Mercedes' downfallMon, 29 Sep 2014 21:22:06 GMTCar unreliability in Formula 1 can be caused by a number of different things. Poor, or fragile initial design can obviously lead to a higher risk of component failure on the cars during their often extreme duty cycles in racing conditions. Manufacturing faults, or the use of imperfect materials can equally be at the heart of mechanical breakdowns on the race track, where parts simply can’t cope with the stresses and strains thrust upon them on a Sunday afternoon. Operational misuse is another common area for failure. Pushing parts of the car too far, pushing the people operating the car too far, or trying to do too much with the technology to hand is more common than many might realise and stems largely from the highly competitive nature of those people involved in our sport. Of course with all of the sophistication, technology and analytical tools in Formula 1, failures are far rarer than we’ve seen in years gone by, but one thing that can be very difficult to mitigate against, is the inevitable human element of the process and the occasional costly ‘mistakes’ that that can bring with it. No matter how professional a team is, no one’s immune to a very occasional slip-up. Often these kind of errors, whether they’re bad strategic decisions, driver mistakes, detrimental setup choices, or ‘finger trouble’ from mechanics or system engineers, will often be explained away as technical failures by the team, but the reality is often that, while many would love to engineer F1 into an exact science, there are humans involved in all procedures…and humans make mistakes. The 2014 season began with many predicting a disastrous race of attrition at the season opener in Australia. The vastly new technology was incredibly complex and difficult to package effectively, let alone to learn how to best use it for a performance advantage. Pre-season testing had seen huge numbers of cars either stopping on circuit or being confined to the garages while solutions were sought for the technical issues being encountered. Some even openly questioned race director Charlie Whiting on exactly what he would do, should so many cars fail to finish in Australia that there weren't enough competitors left to fill all of the points scoring positions. The doomsayers were proved to be far from accurate with their pessimistic predictions and the first season of Formula 1’s hybrid era has provided some wonderful entertainment. More than that though, the teams in F1’s pit lane should be highly commended for their adaptation and integration of the new technology under some pretty intense timescales and unimaginable pressure to succeed. Some difficult decisions had to be taken ahead of that first race in order to balance risk against reward, both for the individual teams themselves and for the good of the overall sport and its public perception. Over half of the field breaking down in Australia would’ve done little to impress the watching millions, it would’ve done nothing to highlight the advantages of motor manufacturers being involved in our sport and showcasing their products and it would’ve done nothing but harm the championship ambitions of those taking part. Consequently, a number of teams had to reign back their performance in order to ensure adequate cooling, drivability, or longevity of their preciously fragile power units throughout the early races. It’s perhaps a little surprising then, that the one team with such a dominant performance advantage over everyone else also has one of the most catastrophic reliability records.  Mercedes have come up with a car and power unit package that stands head and shoulders above all others, even up to 2 seconds a lap at some circuits. That’s meant they haven’t had to develop to the same level as some of their rivals and they’ve even been able to hold back on a number of upgrades throughout the season, simply because they haven’t needed them. One might naturally think, that if a huge team with the resources of Mercedes was in the fortunate position of having a car that didn’t need to go much faster, they’d be diverting considerable chunks of time and budget into making it virtually ‘bullet proof’ in terms of reliability.  The truth is that they are. The team have stressed repeatedly that giving their two championship contenders tools to do their jobs is at the very top of their priority list right now and has been all year. There’s a ‘Reliability Team’ at Brackley, who’s sole purpose is to ensure quality control, designers will undoubtedly have a risk averse approach to new parts and updates and those working with the car in the field must be bordering on paranoia, wondering if the next failure will be down to them. Surely getting through each race untroubled is on everyone’s minds right now and despite all of that, Nico Rosberg’s car failed disastrously in Singapore, because someone in the wider team at Mercedes didn’t do their job properly. It wasn’t that a part broke, that its design was flawed or that it was being pushed beyond its normal limits. It wasn’t the result of Nico mistreating his car or that it had been in service for too long, it was simply that someone, most likely either in the electronics department or beyond that, the inspection department, had slipped up.  The official line is that “the steering column electronic circuits were contaminated with a foreign substance”, but what that almost certainly means is that whoever last took the column apart to inspect and service it, failed to clean it properly, or re-assemble it carefully enough afterwards. The substance could’ve been any number of cleaning sprays or substances, perhaps they were using one that, when left in contact for prolonged periods (ie. not cleaned off) eroded wiring or electronic components. Perhaps there had been some work done to the column itself and carbon fibre dust or particles were present, forming a conductive build up around components?  We don’t know exactly, but what’s certain is that, with the minuscule size of the circuit terminals and wiring in those areas of the car, it wouldn’t take very much at all to cause an intermittent short circuit like the one we saw in Singapore. What’s almost unbelievable, but in truth just incredibly bad luck, is that by the time the problem manifested itself, it was too late to be able to do anything at all about it. Whilst the team have been refreshingly open about the issue, providing at least some reasonable explanation of why Nico suffered the excruciating trauma we all watched him go through last week, they naturally haven’t gone as far as to apportion blame. The reality is that there’ll be someone inside the factory at Brackley who’s feeling pretty low, knowing that they simply slipped up, but that that slip up proved very costly indeed. Given that the perceived unreliability issues have somewhat evened themselves out between Hamilton and Rosberg and points are almost all square with five races to go, the pressure’s not only on the two guys in the driving seats. The entire team will be increasingly nervous that the forthcoming ‘five race Formula 1 World Championship’ could just as easily be decided by a simple oversight from any one of them, as it could by the outstanding talents of Lewis or Nico. Let’s hope not.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09396http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09396Caterham expect to overtake Marussia with upgradeMon, 29 Sep 2014 20:50:02 GMTThe Caterham F1 Team are confident they will move closer to the mid-field at next weekend's Japanese Grand Prix with the introduction of a brand new front-wing. The team have been working on overhauling the development of their car since a group of investors took the team over earlier in the season. The first major upgrade came at the Belgian GP but failed to close the gap to Marussia. However team boss Manfredi Ravetto reckons the latest package, which centre's around a new front-wing, will be enough to put them on the tail of Lotus and Sauber. "We are planning to run a new front wing in Suzuka and this should allow us to catch, and to properly catch up, on the main mid-grid pack," he told Autosport. "We don't see Marussia as a direct competitor any more," he added. "We expect to catch up on Sauber and Lotus." The team are desperately trying to claim 10th place in the Constructors' Championship to claim much needed prize money, but Ravetto insists losing out won't see them drop off the grid. "Our 2015 plan is in place regardless of achieving the 10th place, although I don't need to say achieving the 10th place is of huge, huge importance."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09395http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09395Alonso confident Ferrari will beat Williams to thirdMon, 29 Sep 2014 13:22:25 GMTFernando Alonso says he's confident Ferrari will overhaul Williams in the Constructors' Championship standings to secure third position. The Italian team is currently fourth, nine points behind the resurgent Williams squad, but closed the gap last time out in Singapore where Williams struggled. The Spaniard says there are plenty more opportunities before the end of the season to close it further and eventually take surpass Williams. "We are Ferrari, we are much more than a normal team," said the 33-year-old. "So we just have to keep working hard and whatever is the performance of the car, whatever our advantage or disadvantage over Williams we will fight until the last lap of the last race because there are a lot of points on the table. "There is Abu Dhabi with double points and there is a lot of opportunities that we will have to close that gap. "I'm confident that at the end of the championship we will beat Williams."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09394http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09394Mercedes expect larger gap to rivals in JapanSun, 28 Sep 2014 23:00:45 GMTMercedes are expecting a larger advantage over their rivals at the next few races after the gap seemed to close in Singapore. With the top nine in qualifying covered by just over half a second and the top five within a quarter of a second of Lewis Hamilton's pole position, Red Bull and Ferrari declared they'd made progress. Mercedes however believe it was a track specific issue, partly down to it not being a power circuit and partly because they believe they were wearing through their tyres quicker. "Singapore is a unique track and the overheating of the tyres was at its highest, maybe compared to all the other tracks with the supersoft tyre," explained Nico Rosberg. The German, who retired from the race, expects a return to 'business as usual' at the remaining five races. "Definitely the others were close, but if we remember Austria, for example, the Williams were quicker than us in qualifying and then after that different tracks came and we were looking really strong again," he added. "We need to wait and see how it is the next couple of races [before we panic]. "I still think we're looking good, and hopefully the next tracks will suit our car better and we can pull away again."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09393http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09393Sainz Jr shocked after being overlooked by Toro RossoSat, 27 Sep 2014 20:53:45 GMTCarlos Sainz Jr. says he was shocked to have been overlooked for a seat at Toro Rosso for 2015, with Red Bull instead choosing 16-year-old Max Verstappen instead. The Formula Renault 3.5 championship leader has been a strong contender for the seat and has taken part in various tests and demos for the team but has failed to secure a promotion so far. Sainz Jr. says the decision came as a surprise, especially considering his experience outweighs Verstappen's who has been promoted to F1 despite a single season of Formula 3. "It was a shock," he told Crash.net. "I just need to focus on myself and win the championship to prove to all the people who think I am not good enough, that I can be the first Red Bull junior to win the championship and youngest ever too. "It was a big surprise for me. It was unexpected, especially when you are leading a championship but these things happen." The Spanish driver however remains grateful to Red Bull for supporting him throughout his junior career. "I would not be in this championship if was not for Red Bull so I am thankful for that," he added. "It is a tricky situation."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09392http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09392Bad things come in threes A view on three-car teams and F1's costsFri, 26 Sep 2014 23:36:38 GMTYou probably don’t need me to tell you that in F1 2014-style there have been plenty of things to fuss over. And we have. To name a few (deep inhale) the new rules, noise, entertainment, tarmac run-off areas, team mate wars, crashes, trips down escape roads, conspiracies, FRIC, 17 year old debutants, radio transmissions, etc etc.  But in our shrieking at a few mice scuttling around the floor we had our attention taken seemingly from the elephant in the room. A far more weighty matter – and not a new one – rumbled in the background.  In the hour or so after the recent Italian race Adam Parr, with a certain amount of deceptive sang froid, via Twitter rather dropped a bombshell: ‘This is the last year of F1 as we know it. In 2015 eight teams will contest the championship, with several teams entering three cars’ he said. Of course, it is but one source, but Parr is one normally who can be trusted and is not known for mischief. As a recently-ex Williams CEO and chairman he presumably also remains well-connected. It’s also not clear what ulterior motive he’d have for stirring the matter up. Plus his prophecy has the benefit of appearing to fit precisely into what we know already. As Martin Brundle noted shortly after Parr’s tweet landed: ‘We’re heading that way, it’s something we’ve discussed this year and a number of years’. The concept is nothing new, neither are the issues that apparently are driving it. Cost control and various teams’ survival remains the sport’s great unresolved issue. Its manifestations remain clear too. Caterham, sadly, is now giving all of the outward sign of a team in its dying days. Even going to the point of appointing Colin Kolles who is to F1 teams what Ted McGinley is to sitcoms. Marussia and its revolving door for its driver slot at Spa didn’t bode well. The usually fastidious Sauber teams reportedly got way behind on its payments of its driver Nico Hulkenberg last season as well as to suppliers. It’s not at all clear the extent that the situation has improved since (though it may be rescued by Lawrence Stroll). And it’s afflicted Lotus too – a team that within the last 12 months had a highly competitive car and was in the fight for runners' up spot in both tables – in a variety of ways that we know about.  The modern day drivers' market is as much a bidding war as a talent war. Martin Whitmarsh at the start of 2013 spoke of seven of the 11 teams existing in ‘survival mode’. The theoretical 13th F1 team slot has for years laid unclaimed, as has the 12th slot vacated by HRT.  Even going back further Max Mosley in his then role as FIA president conspicuously wrestled with the cost control issue in the mid-to-late noughties.  And recent events haven’t got us any closer to an answer. We remain in the midst of a global economic slump with its knock-on impact on advertising and the like. But there is plenty that F1 has done all by itself. Most notably the collapse of previous cost control via FOTA and the Resource Restriction Agreement; Ferrari and Red Bull cutting and running out of self-interest. And starting a new and costly arms race which Mercedes eventually resolved it had little choice but to join if it wanted to win.  That the majority of the sport's revenues goes off to CVC never to be seen again doesn't help, neither does the curious lack of sponsorship on many of the cars, even allowing the consideration outlined above. That even a team as prestigious as McLaren hasn’t been able to attract a title sponsor to replace Vodafone is likely highly indicative. Then there’s the fact that the wealth that is there is hideously skewed to the few at the top. To illustrate, Ferrari based on 2013 got $171m in result money; Red Bull $162m. Lotus – despite being about as competitive as Ferrari – got a princely $65m. Indeed it’s not all that much more than Caterham gets, at $40m (if it qualifies by finishing in the constructors’ top ten two years out of three). So little to do with merit, and is in large part because the Enstone squad doesn't benefit from a bonus independent of its constructors' placing, that the 'big five' of the Bulls, Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren and Williams get. The wedge given to Ferrari and the Bulls just for being them is particularly wide. Board seats for the two have also been mooted. And they just happened to be the ones who as mentioned cut and run from the previous settlement. Almost like it’s all a coincidence.  And now with the Strategy Group the rules are in large part framed by this select band of teams too.   This move outlined by Parr for 2015 almost has a logical conclusion about it of a sport that allows the few at the top to carve things up for its own benefit, and to pull the ladder up as it does so. It’s hardly a surprise therefore that a few at ground level are under risk of withering away. And the ‘solution’ (a term I use advisedly) that Bernie Ecclestone and a few others seem to find alluring, and have done for months and years, is simply to allow the teams at the bottom to fall off the back, or else for them to change utterly. For a long time it was expressed in the form of requiring those at the back to buy chassis rather than build them, perhaps as effective B teams. But another bad idea that has lingered in spite of itself is that of the bigger teams running three cars each, and the rest go hang. Now apparently it’s back with a vengeance. It seems to me an extreme misdiagnosis, simply adapting to the symptoms of illness rather than seeking a cure. And most probably adapting in a way that will only exacerbate the said illness in the long run. Some are sanguine about the prospect of three-car teams, indeed Tony Dodgins for one reckoned that more cars from the top squads would make the sport more competitive. And taking F1’s full expanse of history three-car teams are hardly unheard of. To take an extreme example BRM fielded no fewer than five in 1972. I’ve heard others claim it’ll help deserving drivers get into F1 as well as into competitive rides. Possibly so (though as Johnny Herbert pointed out three-car teams this season likely would have given us Mercedes podium lock-outs most times). But F1 needs to be careful what it wishes for.  As is often the case in such matters ideally a balance would be struck. F1’s supposed to be the elite after all. It should be difficult, and only the fighting fit should be in there. We can hark back to 1989 when there was 39 cars trying to get on the grid, but as Martin Brundle noted a lot of them were rubbish. Embarrassing rubbish. And in some cases dangerous rubbish (just ask Perry McCarthy about some of his adventures in the Andrea Moda three years later). Similar goes in my view for the 1970s when anyone with £20,000 in the bank and fancying a jape could go Grand Prix racing like it was F3 or something. But it seems we now have already gone way too far in the opposite direction of making the sport a closed shop. The dangers of this are manifold.  One risk of course is that it could freeze the sport’s competitive order. The prospect of a Frank Williams or Eddie Jordan being able without a manufacturer basis or else another seam of gold to build from nothing all the way to the top step of the podium has long been a virtual impossibility.  There also seems to be a potential thin end of the wedge about this, in that it vastly increases the grid numbers’ volatility and the associated risk to the sport. ‘Eight teams of three cars’ noted Brundle in Monza, ‘does that become six teams of four cars after two years? Because somebody’s going to lose, somebody’s going to run out of interest and money. It’s a slippery pole, at that point you’re going down.’ Then, Brundle went on, there is the peculiar case of Red Bull company which owns two of the teams: ‘If you end up with say six teams of four cars, and somebody like Red Bull with Toro Rosso decides their marketing spend should be somewhere else now, you’d lose eight cars off the grid. Ideally you’d want 12 or 13 teams with two cars that are healthy. ‘And even in a front-running team somebody’s going to be last. We’ve seen Toyota, Honda pull out, BMW disappeared. We need to be really careful.’ Brundle is correct that excluding the sport’s enthusiastic entrepreneurs and independent entrants to the benefit of manufacturers and sponsor-owned teams is a highly risky game. As the former band is the sport’s lifeblood, the ones that will continue for as long as they are able. Whereas without seeking to be contentious for companies such as Red Bull, Mercedes, Honda and others – as we have seen before frequently – the decision to quit would be a brutal and instant one. As Jackie Stewart noted on such things a few years ago: ‘the decision won’t come from their trackside personnel, but from the Board of Directors. There’s no racing passion there. It will be a straightforward and cold-blooded decision.’ Jordan, one who is not prone ordinarily to disagreeing with Bernie, summed it up: ‘This is a typical Bernie situation, I’m sorry I really am at odds with him over this’ he said in Singapore. ‘These three teams at the back…to single them out I think is disrespectful and it doesn’t show them the support that they should be getting from Bernie at this moment. The manufacturers, they’re the people who have left continually in Formula One days, and I think the private wholly-owned teams by supporters and people like I was myself, now is the time that people should come together and support those people.’ And most of all it's hard to imagine that even were you to cut the top teams' budgets substantially, perhaps even by half, that many of those watching on would notice. Indeed I vaguely recall at the time that Mosley was seeking his apparently swingeing £40m budget cap a few years back that it wasn’t too far off the budget at which Williams won championships in the mid-1990s. It’s hard to argue that to the naked eye the F1 product was noticeably weaker at those spending levels. Far better than adapting to the symptoms would be to treat the illness. The sport’s shortcomings in raising revenue, in distributing it evenly as well as in splurging it every direction would be a good place to start. When the F1 skewed wealth distribution (outlined already) is compared with those of sports that enjoy healthy growth such as the major American ones as well as Premiership football, the difference is striking. In the latter last season the team of the 20 at the bottom of the money list (Cardiff) got about two-thirds of the TV and prize pot that the team at the top of the pile (Liverpool) did, even though were it purely a matter of TV audiences the ratio in Liverpool’s favour would be pushing 6 to 1. In short, such healthy sports appear to have realised that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and allowing those at the bottom to fall over the edge is viral. So what can be done? Getting the teams to agree on a different settlement would be near-impossible. It would fall foul of getting turkeys (in this case Ferrari, Red Bull – and Toro Rosso, natch – and perhaps Mercedes) to vote for an early Christmas. And even without this F1 is so dysfunctional and the teams so focussed on self-interest that they can rarely agree on what day of the week it is, let alone on anything important. Bernie of course isn’t likely to dismantle a deal that he spent a good while constructing, and as mentioned his attitude to it all appears rather Darwinian (possibly because his contract with the FIA reportedly requires a minimum of 20 cars, and three-cars teams and/or customer cars is a simple way of ensuring it). So that leaves the sport’s third power base of the FIA. But under Jean Todt’s command that avenue hasn’t always looked promising either, as Todt presidency had been, in Jonathan Noble’s words, ‘typified by the following of procedure and a shying away from confrontation.’ Indeed Todt’s predecessor Mosley a few months ago criticised the Frenchman for not taking a stronger stance on matters of controlling cost.  ‘Sometimes you’ve got to be a bit confrontational’ Mosley said. ‘Back in 2003, when the teams would not agree about costs, I just said “we’re just going to stop the qualifying engines and qualifying cars and we’re going to have a parc ferme at six o’clock”. The teams went berserk, but it was the right thing to do and now people agree about not having qualifying cars and engines.  ‘At the moment, maybe he's (Todt’s) a little bit too reluctant to confront. He seeks consensus, (and) it’s good to have consensus, but sometimes you've got to get them to just do something.’ So, are we in an impasse? Locked on to the course of our fate? I had been worrying as much, but we’ve had in recent days evidence that, finally, after a few years in the job Todt might just be learning from his predecessor. This was in his recent moves clamping down on driver coaching via the radio. Todt – this time with Bernie’s support – rather out of character simply faced the teams down. And his imposing of an extreme solution thus forcing the teams to either lump it or negotiate a more sensible settlement but with the fundamentals of what Todt wanted in tact (and in the end they went for the latter) was classic Mosley. Might Todt be building himself up for the biggest battle? We can but hope.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09391http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09391Foreign substance cause of Rosberg DNF - MercedesFri, 26 Sep 2014 22:26:07 GMTMercedes have revealed the exact reason for Nico Rosberg's Singapore Grand Prix retirement after analysing his steering column and electronics back at their Brackley base. The German was forced to start from the pit lane and then later retired during his first pit stop as he had no control over the cars clutch and couldn't change engine settings. Mercedes say a 'foreign substance' had contaminated the steering column and caused a short circuit in the electronics. It's believed the 'foreign substance' is used during pre-event procedures but went undetected until the race start. "Forensic analysis has revealed that the steering column electronic circuits were contaminated with a foreign substance," Mercedes confirmed. "The contamination was not visible and did not manifest itself until Sunday as Nico [Rosberg] went to the grid. "The result was an intermittent short circuit in the electronic circuits meaning Rosberg could not command clutch or engine settings." The team insist they are working hard to resolve the reliability troubles which have plagued their season so far and say new parts will be used for the Japanese GP to avoid a repeat. "Fresh parts will be used at the forthcoming races. Our hard work on reliability processes will continue at the same intensive level."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09390http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09390Next year's Lotus will be 'significantly different 'Fri, 26 Sep 2014 17:11:28 GMTLotus are promising major changes to their car for the 2015 season which will see them almost starting from scratch rather than improving upon the E22. The team have failed to come close to repeating their 2013 success which saw them score 315 points. At present they have just eight to their name after 14 races. Technical director Nick Chester is therefore looking forward to a fresh start next season and says the E23 will see major changes both above and below the bodywork. "There are rule changes to the front of the chassis and the nose, so all the cars will look different next year," he explained. "On top of that, our engine installation and cooling layout will change quite a lot meaning that the car will be significantly different under the bodywork. It will be quite different." The team are believed to have agreed a deal to use Mercedes power next season instead of the under-performing Renault unit. That and the progress back at their Enstone factory is encouraging for Pastor Maldonado. "I am confident we can finish the season off in a good way which will give us some great momentum for the new season in 2015," said the Venezuelan. "From what I see and learn the 2015 car looks like being a very good package. There is a lot to look forward to for sure."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09389http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09389Caterham happy to retain Ericsson for 2015Fri, 26 Sep 2014 11:00:32 GMTMarcus Ericsson looks set to remain at Caterham next season after team boss Manfredi Ravetto admitted their "doors are open" to him for 2015. The Swedish rookie secured his best result of the season in Singapore which Ravetto believes is evidence of a breakthrough for Ericsson after a relatively disappointing season so far. "I saw a strong Ericsson in Singapore who did the best race of his season," Ravetto told Autosport. "The fact is he superbly managed to keep both Marussias behind him and did a really fantastic race on a very difficult track. "We are really very happy with the progress he made and our doors are open for him for next year." Taking reliability and DNF's in to account, Ericsson has been outqualified ten times to three by Kamui Kobayashi and has only beaten the Japanese driver once on Sunday, yet the team are still debating whether Kobayashi will race in Japan next weekend. "We have no rush to make any decision," he added. "Driver choice is a very sensitive one and I have to listen to many people's advice and influence in this respect. It is not a single man's decision."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09388http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09388Harmony at Mercedes an impossible task - BoullierFri, 26 Sep 2014 10:44:05 GMTMcLaren racing director Eric Boullier believes Mercedes will never enjoy a harmonious atmosphere whilst Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton remain in title contention. The pair have been in a closely fought race for the title since the first race and are currently separated by just three points. Whilst things have calmed recently after flaring up in Monaco, Hungary and Belgium, Mercedes can likely expect more ructions going forward according to Boullier. "It is an impossible task," he replied when asked for his view on Mercedes position and how they can keep everyone within the team happy. "When you are in the position of Mercedes, both drivers can win the championship - and that grows more true race by race. There is only one winner - and one loser. Nobody wants to be the loser, and this is why it is impossible to get this harmony within the team." It's not only the drivers which need to be kept happy as according to Boullier, team members will also have a favourite out of the two and therefore their emotions can also get in the way. "To keep people happy is also very complicated. There is clearly a very strong fight between them, and obviously it is very difficult to keep the team in harmony because everyone has their own favourite, which is a human feeling," he added.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09387http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09387Caterham deny Pirelli withholding tyres for JapanFri, 26 Sep 2014 10:27:02 GMTCaterham have denied reports they won't be at the Japanese Grand Prix because Pirelli have refused to supply them with tyres. According to media reports the team, which was recently taken over by a group of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors, haven't paid Pirelli due to spiralling debts. The Italian tyre supplier has therefore refused to supply the team going forward, but that isn't the case according to new team boss Manfredi Ravetto. "It's just stupid," he told OmniCorse. "We will have Pirelli tyres like regular for Suzuka." Ravetto however didn't deny the financial situation at the team is difficult amid rumours that more than one team won't make it to 2015. "The financial situation is not one of the easiest," he added. "We inherited a situation [from Tony Fernandes] which was more than critical."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09386http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09386Ferrari targeting Hamilton as Alonso replacement?Thu, 25 Sep 2014 22:37:41 GMTSpeculation surrounding Fernando Alonso's future has gotten wilder as the days pass. The Spaniard has now been linked with a return to Lotus - some have even suggested he is set to invest in the team - but one thing is for sure...he holds the key to the driver market. Once his position for 2015 has been settled, the remaining dominoes should begin to fall in place and it's likely they'll fall exactly where they stand if he remains at the prancing horse. However should at least one of the rumours prove to be true, be that McLaren, Red Bull, Mercedes or even Lotus, then the driver market could be set for a major reshuffle. According to journalist Adam Cooper via a source close to the Italian team, Ferrari are preparing for Alonso's departure and are actively seeking a replacement in the form of Lewis Hamilton rather than the more likely Sebastian Vettel. "Hamilton now figures high on Maranello’s wish list, and indeed the Briton might be more easily able to walk away from Mercedes in 2015 than some might believe," writes Cooper. "He's certainly less tied down than Vettel." Why would Ferrari want to rid themselves of one of if not the most highly regarded driver on the grid though? Marco Mattiacci is believed to have implemented a five year plan to turn things around and Alonso simply doesn't fit because of his age. He'll be 38 by the time Mattiacci's plan is in full swing and that's considered 'over the hill' in F1 terms. Hamilton however will still be in his prime and some in the paddock reckon he would happily leave the strained-relationship between him and Nico Rosberg at Mercedes if he can at least add another world championship to his tally. The 'source' however could simply be sending the media on a wild goose chase as the 'silly season' continues in full swing. We're likely to know more - much more if some are to be believed - within the next couple of races. It's either going to be a year of major change, or one of stability.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09385http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09385Broken radiator seal to blame for Magnussen burnsThu, 25 Sep 2014 17:46:23 GMTKevin Magnussen's complaints of intense heat inside his McLaren cockpit during the Singapore Grand Prix was down to a broken radiator seal according to Autosport. The Danish driver complained over the radio that his seat was getting hot and that his drink was burning his mouth. After the race, McLaren were confused as to what could have caused it, but have now confirmed that a broken radiator seal was directing hot air past his drinks bottle and into the cockpit. Speaking to the media, racing director Eric Boullier confirmed the issue had been resolved: "Regarding Kevin it is already fixed, so will never happen again." The team are still awaiting information from Mercedes as to why Jenson Button's engine cut off in the closing laps of the race, ruining his chance of scoring points. "We don't have yet the full answer on what happened to Jenson, but there was an electrical issue from the power box."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09384http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09384Too late to add a third car for 2015 - McLarenThu, 25 Sep 2014 17:13:56 GMTTo add a third car would take at least six months according to McLaren's Eric Boullier and therefore it might already be too late to implement should Bernie Ecclestone get his way. The 83-year-old has hinted at the idea for several years, but only last weekend took a major step forward in consulting the teams on the matter and telling the media that within the next two or three races a final decision would be made. That won't come in time according to Boullier who notes the logistical challenge of not only building but operating a third car. "Hiring the driver is the easiest to get on board," he said. "However, to build the chassis, sort the logistics and to get the people around, we would need at least six months' notice." Force India's Vijay Mallya also expressed concern over the cost of an additional car after Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff predicted it could cost an additional £26 million. "We are going to demand compensation to build a third car, we're not going to do it for free," said Mallya. "I'm sure the commercial rights holder realises that – he's got to make it economically viable. This year you see both Mercedes ahead of everybody else and in the last few years we had Red Bulls in front of everyone else. So now you want the entire podium to be occupied by one team. It doesn't make too much sense does it?"http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09383http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09383RB10 just doesn't suit my driving style admits VettelThu, 25 Sep 2014 11:43:01 GMTSebastian Vettel is certain that the RB10 simply doesn't suit his driving style and that is the reason he has struggled so much this season compared to team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. The four-time world champion is currently 57 points behind the Australian, but enjoyed his best ever race weekend in Singapore after finishing second. After the race however he admitted he couldn't push the car as it simply wouldn't do what he wanted, something he reiterated again. "Every time I want to push or make something happen, it just doesn't," explained Vettel. "I think it is a characteristic of this year's car in combination with the downforce we have, with the tyres. It just maybe doesn't give me yet what I want in a certain area of the corner. "That is not an excuse, because in the end I have to get the best out of the car. We've done a lot of progress but there is a lot we can do better." Vettel enjoys a more stable car, but with the loss of rear-downforce thanks to the ban on double diffusers and the increased torque from the new engine, he has struggled to get to grips with how the 2014 cars drive. These changes are forcing him to adapt his style which he admits is "tricky". "Obviously you drive the way you think is quickest, whether that means you have to hold back or you have to push, it depends on the situation. "It is not that straightforward this year and it is not always consistent, so that is the tricky bit."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09382http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09382Verstappen comparable to Senna claims MarkoWed, 24 Sep 2014 18:16:25 GMTNew Toro Rosso signing Max Verstappen is most like Ayrton Senna according to Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko. The 16-year-old will make the step from a single season of Formula 3 to racing against Daniil Kvyat at Toro Rosso next year. Verstappen recently compared his driving style to that of Fernando Alonso, but when Marko was asked to compare the young Dutch driver to another, he chose none other than Senna - often regarded as the greatest F1 driver of all time. "He is an exceptional talent that comes along only once in decades," the Austrian told the official F1 website. "You must not look at his age," he insists despite some criticism that he is too young. "He has been talking with people who are experts when it comes to the development of youngsters and they all say that [in terms of] his mind he is more like 22 than 16." When asked to compare him to another driver, Marko said: "Most likely Ayrton Senna. "Regarding his skills behind the steering wheel, he has been racing since he was four years old - professionally. "So we expect him to be competitive from the first race." Marko is certain he and Red Bull know what they're doing as Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Kvyat are evidence that their young driver programme works. "We are not playing the lottery - we know what we are doing and [our past] success proves us right."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09381http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09381Why exactly do Ferrari want third cars so much?Tue, 23 Sep 2014 22:09:38 GMTFerrari and Bernie Ecclestone are the only driving force behind the idea of having a third car per team, nobody else seems keen on the idea at all. Of course there are benefits to having three cars per team. The grid receives a boost, one which might be much needed should one or more teams drop out as has been speculated. It also gives teams more sponsor real-estate to sell. In fact a Ferrari spokesperson recently said their backing of the idea is driven by improving the show by having a more competitive grid. Is that really the case though? Do both Ecclestone and Ferrari want three cars to improve the show or is there a deeper meaning to such vocal support? The regulations state that a race must consist of 20 or more cars. That is ten teams running two cars each. At present the sport has 11 teams running 22 cars. Should one team drop out, fine. But should two - which isn't too hard to imagine - then the commercial rights' holder - aka Ecclestone and CVC - would fail to meet their obligations as set out in the 100-year commercial rights' contract. If you're not aware, the FIA 'leased' the sport to Formula One Management (FOM) for a very small fee. That contract has a long time left to run, but the FIA is reportedly keen on taking back control, but can't do so unless the contract is broken. Who has the most to lose from the FIA taking control again? Ferrari and FOM (Ecclestone/CVC) of course. Ferrari are paid a substantial 'sweetener' by FOM just to compete. In fact if they finished fourth in the constructors' championship, they'd still receive more prize money than the team in first. FOM would also lose its source of revenue and would cease to exist. Therefore they are keen to see the grid remain at 20 plus cars and third cars might be the only way to assure that happens. Ecclestone is smart. The regulations state that should the grid drop below 20 cars then those teams that can afford it, must run a third car. But the key part is 'if they can afford it'. Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff predicts that an additional car could cost upwards of £26 million to run. With the financial situation in F1, not many can afford that. Therefore Ecclestone is keen to change the regulation in his favour, but must have agreement from all 11 teams to do so. Sadly for him, nobody else, other than Ferrari, is behind the plan and they're unlikely to be swayed. If the FIA were to take over F1 again, everyone bar Ferrari and Ecclestone would have something to gain as the governing body would undoubtedly distribute the prize money in a more fair manner and at the same time, Ferrari would certainly lose its sweet deal.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09380http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09380Lowdon insists Marussia will see out 2014 at leastTue, 23 Sep 2014 19:22:06 GMTMarussia's sporting director Graeme Lowdon insists the team will see out the 2014 season despite rumours to the contrary. Speculation has it that Marussia might not make it to the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi, with some reports even suggesting they wouldn't be at the Belgian GP last month which proved untrue. Lowdon admits times are certainly tough, but says the team has the funding in place for the remaining five races of the current season. "Is it plain sailing, navigating a company through an industry that has the cost structure of Formula One? No," Lowdon told the Press Association. "But if we didn't think we could be here, then we wouldn't be here. "You don't want to give the wrong impression by glibly saying 'yes, we're fine' because it's always a challenge operating businesses in this environment. "I can say that, yes, we have the funds for this season. If we didn't, we shouldn't be here." He refused however to confirm if they will be on the grid in 2015, but revealed that the team are working on next year's car already and the progress is encouraging. "Nobody can state unequivocally they will be racing next season," he added. "Not a single person in this pit lane can do that. "Look at Honda, Toyota and BMW who all pulled out at the drop of a hat. They were companies who had finances to be in this sport, but chose not to. "We are quite happy with the progress we're seeing [on the new car]. "The bottom line is: times are tough, but we're still here, still on the grid, still fighting, and at this stage we’re doing everything to be on the grid in 2015."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09379http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09379Mercedes bosses praise 'sensational' HamiltonTue, 23 Sep 2014 19:14:06 GMTLewis Hamilton's Singapore Grand Prix victory should have been an easy one. His main competition and team-mate retired after just 20 or so laps, but a mid-race Safety Car made things much harder for the Briton. Hamilton had to give it everything to pull a gap to the chasing pack of Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel. He put in qualifying lap after qualifying lap to eventually hold a 25 second advantage, but still had to pass Vettel after his final stop. His victory has earned him high praise from the Mercedes bosses, with non-executive chairman Niki Lauda claiming Hamilton "is worth his money I can tell you that! "He won the race because he drove a sensational race - nothing more to say. Hard, hard and tough." Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff and technical boss Paddy Lowe were equally impressed, with the latter describing Hamilton's drive a "fantastic performance" to take a "hard-earned win". "That was really awesome," said Wolff. "These are the Lewis Hamilton days. These are the days when you recognise how great he is and it makes the difference between the superstars and the stars." Lowe added: "Lewis delivered a fantastic performance. The pace was strong and our tyre endurance better than that of our competitors. "We had hoped to pull the full pit-stop gap over Vettel before Lewis made his final stop but the tyres didn't quite last long enough. That left Lewis with a little work to do when he emerged from the pits, but he enjoyed a significant performance advantage on fresh tyres and made a good pass into Turn Seven. "It was a very controlled drive and a hard-earned win."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09378http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09378Hamilton: 'I still feel like I'm chasing Rosberg'Tue, 23 Sep 2014 08:38:37 GMTLewis Hamilton says he is still in the hunting mindset rather than the hunted despite taking the lead of the world championship standings. The Briton won in Singapore whilst team-mate Nico Rosberg retired, handing Hamilton 25 points and a three point lead over the German as they head to the Japanese GP next month. Regardless of his lead, Hamilton says he is still chasing down his team-mate and he reckons that's a good belief to have with just five races left. "In my head, the best I thought l could do here [in Singapore] was claiming seven points back and I'd have to keep chipping away at it. Instead, all of a sudden, it's 25 points caught up," said the Mercedes driver. "I still feel like I am hunting, I still feel like I am chasing – and that's a good feeling. "This is game time. This is about hunting. In my head, I don't think I am leading the championship. There are still five races left and all I'm going to do is what I've done in the last two races which is just attack every session." Hamilton is aiming for the best five races of his career to give him the best shot at securing a second championship title. "You just have to take it one race at a time and we don't know what to expect. But in terms of performance, I'm happy that I'm back to being back at my best in terms of getting those pole positions, making sure I'm really utilising, maximising, on those races. "I want to make sure these next five races, if I don't do any more races in my whole life as good, these next five races will be the ones."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09377http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09377Wolff: 'It would be unfair if reliability decides title'Mon, 22 Sep 2014 17:59:54 GMTMercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff believes it would be unacceptable for the Formula 1 championship to be decided by reliability. Nico Rosberg suffered an electrical issue in Singapore which saw him fail to finish whilst team-mate Lewis Hamilton won the race, turning his 22 point deficit into a 3 point lead. So far this season, both Hamilton and Rosberg have had two race ending failures, however Hamilton has suffered a further two on Saturday which has forced him to start from the back of the grid. It would be unfair for that to decide the final championship outcome according to Wolff. "It would not be satisfying at all to have the championship decided because one car let the driver down," said the Austrian. "We need to refocus, get our heads down and keep concentrating on preventing these reliability problems reoccurring. "It's something we need to get on top of - we have a missile of a car but, in terms of reliability, we are having issues. We have a great group of people in our reliability team who are dedicated to quality. We're very proud of the structures they are putting into place - and that's what makes it even more astonishing that we keep having these issues. "These things take time to get a grip on - but we will not stop until we stop suffering these DNFs. If we could do anything more to prevent further retirements we would be doing it - I would break my arm again to make it happen," he joked after breaking his arm earlier this season. Wolff praised Rosberg for dealing with the matter in a professional manner. "I said sorry to Nico for having let him down. As a driver it's a bitter blow having lost so many valuable points, so it doesn't really help them what you say in that moment - but as a team you need to apologise when you have messed up," he added. "Nico was very professional, very calm, and that's something I'm very proud of. One of his strengths is even when disaster strikes he is able to hold his head up high and support the team during the race."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09376http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09376McLaren believe Red Bull's radio messages illegalMon, 22 Sep 2014 11:53:27 GMTMcLaren's racing director Eric Boullier believes Red Bull broke the new radio restriction ban during the Singapore Grand Prix when it gave Daniel Ricciardo driving advice. The Australian was suffering from a battery issue which Red Bull believed was caused by riding the kerbs. The team were repeatedly heard telling him to avoid the kerbs. "Avoiding exit kerbs may help the problem with the car," was the exact message relayed to Ricciardo during the race a number of times. Boullier reckons it was close to the limit, but refused to confirm if McLaren would pursue the issue, insisting it's up to the FIA to step in should they believe it illegal. "I think it was coded, yes," explained the Frenchman. "It is up to the FIA to investigate, so it is not for me to say anything. "But it was a strange message. Once would have been OK, but twice or three times is a bit strange." Red Bull team principal Christian Horner however insists the message was cleared with race director Charlie Whiting. "Obviously we spoke to Charlie and told him Daniel had some reliability issues," he confirmed. "That was why he was told to stay off the kerbs, because that was causing damage to the battery."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09375http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09375Rosberg retirement caused by wiring loom - WolffSun, 21 Sep 2014 18:50:04 GMTMercedes has revealed that a broken electrical wiring loom was probably to blame for Nico Rosberg's Singapore Grand Prix disaster. The German had a problem on his lap to the grid which resulted in the team changing his steering wheel in the hope it would solve the problem, however as the formation lap began it became apparent that the problem was much worse and Rosberg was wheeled into the pits. He managed to start the race but retired several laps later as he attempted to pit for fresh tyres, but eventually threw his hands in the air and called it a day. Speaking about the retirement, Wolff said: "It looks like a broken loom in the steering column, which was within the duty cycle and not towards the end of its life cycle. "It just shut the whole thing down," added Wolf. "The only thing that worked was the gear change and then the radio came back. There was no hybrid energy any more, so when we called him in we changed the steering wheel, and tried to get it going but it wouldn't. "The only way to get it going was to get first gear in at high revs, and this is when I said stop, we don't want to have a jack flying out of the rear of the car and hurting somebody."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09374http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09374Magnussen treated for burns after Singapore GPSun, 21 Sep 2014 18:11:14 GMTKevin Magnussen was treated for burns to his lower back and bottom following his media duties after the Singapore Grand Prix. The Danish driver was complaing that his seat was getting hot and then said his drink was too warm and was burning his lips. The Singapore GP - the longest race on the calendar - is known for its high temperatures which prove a real test for the drivers. Magnussen eventually finished tenth and said it was the hardest point he's ever scored. "That was tough, very tough. At least we got one point," he said after the race. "I don't know if something was wrong, but my seat was very hot, so we have to check what's going on. I couldn't even drink the water. "It's the hardest-earned point I've ever had. It's better than nothing." McLaren racing director Eric Boullier explained why Magnussen was raising his arms during the safety car period. with extreme tyre wear. "To add injury to insult, he was then subjected to severe bodily discomfort as his car's cockpit began to overheat, necessitating his holding his arms aloft, first one then the other, in an effort to direct cooling air down his sleeves and inside his race-suit, which was an unusually painful complication for him."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09373http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09373Hamilton wins in Singapore as Rosberg retiresSun, 21 Sep 2014 15:20:59 GMTLewis Hamilton took a sensational victory in the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix after a safety car cut his advantage and forced him to overtake Sebastian Vettel is the closing laps to regain the lead. The Mercedes driver however made the most of his pace advantage and eventually finished 13 seconds ahead of the German who struggled with his tyres to fend off Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso. The win gives Hamilton the lead of the championship after team-mate Nico Rosberg was forced to start from the pit lane after an electrical issue which then forced him to retire. In fifth was Felipe Massa, whilst Jean-Eric Vergne fought hard for sixth to finish ahead of Sergio Perez who could have been higher had it not been for contact with Adrian Sutil which caused him to lose his front-wing and brought out the safety car. Kimi Raikkonen, Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen completed the top ten. Race Result - 2014 Singapore Grand Prix: #DriverTeamGapPts 01. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 25 02. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull +13.5 18 03. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull +14.2 15 04. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +15.3 12 05. Felipe Massa Williams +42.1 10 06. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso +56.8 8 07. Sergio Perez Force India +59.0 6 08. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +60.6 4 09. Nico Hulkenberg Force India +61.6 2 10. Kevin Magnussen McLaren +62.2 1 11. Valtteri Bottas Williams +65.2 12. Pastor Maldonado Lotus +66.9 13. Romain Grosjean Lotus +68.0 14. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso +72.0 15. Marcus Ericsson Caterham +94.1 16. Jules Bianchi Marussia +94.5 17. Max Chilton Marussia +1 lap 18. Jenson Button McLaren Retired 19. Adrian Sutil Sauber Retired 20. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber retired 21. Nico Rosberg Mercedes Retired 22. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham Retired http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09372http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09372Small vs large: Some are disadvantaged by screen sizeSat, 20 Sep 2014 21:12:23 GMTWith the recent ban - albeit a watered down version - on performance related team radio, drivers will have to rely more on the information displayed on their steering wheel. 2014 gave the option of upgrading to a larger screen (above) manufactured by McLaren Electronics which is capable of displaying tons of information. Not all of the teams took the opportunity to upgrade. McLaren, Mercedes, Ferrari, Toro Rosso, Sauber and Marussia all did and are therefore at an advantage compared to their rivals. The new full-colour 54mm high and 95mm wide screen can display several pages of information from the very basics: speed, gears etc, to much more detailed information such as fuel usage, engine maps and brake balance. It can also be customised to show the most important information on the default screen. Red Bull, Williams, Force India, Lotus and Caterham have all stuck with the older (below) and far smaller unit which can only show the most basic of information, much of which is accessed by scrolling to different pages and is therefore distracting for the driver. http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09371http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09371Ricciardo expects to challenge Mercedes for victorySat, 20 Sep 2014 19:03:57 GMTDaniel Ricciardo believes Red Bull can challenge for the victory at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday after coming within less than a couple of tenths of pole position. The Australian held provisional pole until Nico Rosberg and then Lewis Hamilton crossed the finish line, but with a gap of just 0.173 seconds between him and pole, he says Red Bull are closer than they thought they'd be. "It's definitely encouraging," he said. "Coming into the weekend I thought if we could be within two or three tenths it gives us more optimistic chance of staying with them in the race. "We ended up a bit closer than we thought we would, particularly after yesterday, so it was a good day. "It's going to be a fun race tomorrow, definitely, tyres are going to be key, but it's also not going to be as simple as Monza where we had a one stop." Lewis Hamilton also admitted shock at seeing how close Mercedes' rivals are now after dominating much of the season. "The others have taken a step, it is a real, real surprise," said the Briton. "I'm just as surprised to see Ferrari competing on a lap, which is great to see, also Williams and Red Bull. "For racing it is great. That is the most exciting qualifying session I have had for a long time. You have to be spot on and I was almost [on that last lap]."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09370http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09370Hamilton snatches pole from Rosberg by just 0.007Sat, 20 Sep 2014 15:13:04 GMTLewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix in pole position after narrowly beating team-mate Nico Rosberg by the smallest of margins and one that James Bond himself would be proud of. Hamilton's 1:45.681 was just 0.007 quicker than Rosberg, but those behind aren't far away with pole looking like a shoot-out between three teams as Ferrari and Red Bull looked competitive whilst Williams weren't far behind either. In the end though it was a Mercedes 1-2, with Daniel Ricciardo securing third ahead of his own team-mate Sebastian Vettel. Fernando Alonso starts fifth ahead of Felipe Massa whilst Kimi Raikkonen couldn't improve on his first flying lap thanks to a power unit failure in the final minutes of Q3. He starts seventh ahead of Valtteri Bottas. Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat complete the top ten as their team-mates could only manage 11th and 12th respectively. Qualifying - 2014 Singapore Grand Prix #Driver Team Q1Q2Q3 01 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:46.921 1:46.287 1:45.681 02 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:47.244 1:45.825 1:45.688 03 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:47.488 1:46.493 1:45.854 04 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:47.476 1:46.586 1:45.902 05 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:46.889 1:46.328 1:45.907 06 Felipe Massa Williams 1:47.615 1:46.472 1:46.000 07 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:46.685 1:46.359 1:46.170 08 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:47.196 1:46.622 1:46.187 09 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:47.976 1:46.700 1:46.250 10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:47.656 1:46.926 1:47.362 11 Jenson Button McLaren 1:47.161 1:46.943   12 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:47.407 1:46.989   13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:47.370 1:47.308   14 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:47.970 1:47.333   15 Sergio Perez Force India 1:48.143 1:47.575   16 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1.47.862 1:47.812   17 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:48.324     18 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:49.063     19 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:49.440     20 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:50.405     21 Max Chilton Marussia 1:50.473     22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:52.287     http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09369http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09369FP3: Alonso quickest as Mercedes struggle for paceSat, 20 Sep 2014 12:19:30 GMTFernando Alonso was once again the quickest man during practice. After topping the first session on Friday, he sailed to the top on Saturday with a 1:47.299. Daniel Ricciardo was second quickest with a time just over five hundredths slower than the Spaniard whilst Mercedes seemed to struggle for once. Nico Rosberg could only manage the third quickest lap, almost two-tenths down, whilst team-mate Lewis Hamilton was down in sixth after an engine issue stalled his progress. The Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne was fourth ahead of the second Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel. Completing the top ten runners: Felipe Massa, Valtteri Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen and Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez. FP3 Full Times - 2014 Singapore Grand Prix: #No.DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:47.299     02 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:47.350 0.051   03 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:47.488 0.189   04 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:47.693 0.394   05 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:47.711 0.412   06 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:47.738 0.439   07 19 Felipe Massa Williams 1:47.909 0.610   08 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:48.205 0.906   09 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:48.226 0.927   10 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:48.422 1.123   11 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:48.450 1.151   12 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:48.577 1.278   13 22 Jenson Button McLaren 1:48.599 1.300   14 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:48.637 1.338   15 11 Sergio Perez Force India 1:49.078 1.779   16 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:49.115 1.816   17 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:49.485 2.186   18 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:50.149 2.850   19 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:50.376 3.077   20 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:50.939 3.640   21 4 Max Chilton Marussia 1:51.221 3.922   22 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:51.598 4.299   http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09368http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09368Massa urges Alonso not to leave Ferrari for McLarenSat, 20 Sep 2014 11:33:32 GMTFelipe Massa has advised former team-mate Fernando Alonso not to move to McLaren next season amid rumours the Spaniard is considering an offer from the Woking outfit. The Brazilian, who himself left Ferrari last year to join Williams, says he's never been happier after the change, but says Alonso should remain at Ferrari for 2015 at least. When asked if he should move, he replied: "No. It was different for me. If I was him I would not to go McLaren," he added. "Mercedes, yes. Red Bull, I don't know. "He should only move to a team where he can win and I think Honda and McLaren will be a good chapter but not for winning next year." Alonso leaving Ferrari without having won a title could be deemed a complete failure according to Massa. "Yes, maybe, you could say that," he agreed. "But Alonso is not stupid, he knows what to do. I think he will continue in Ferrari next year, but you know anything can always happen." The two-time champion is known to be growing unhappy at Ferrari after five years of playing second fiddle to Red Bull, but has denied any speculation about his future.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09367http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09367Maldonado to get new chassis after FP2 crashFri, 19 Sep 2014 19:38:32 GMTPastor Maldonado will receive a brand new chassis for the remainder of the Singapore Grand Prix weekend as a result of his second practice crash. The Venezuelan brought out the red flag after 45 minutes when he slammed into the barrier on the exit of turn 10, blaming a lack of grip on the soft tyre. "I was just losing grip from the tyres," he said. "I just lost the car, the car was too snappy and I lost the car in the middle of the corner. It was a mistake, the car was too loose and I lost it into the corner." The damage sustained to his chassis is beyond repair and the team will therefore build up a new one for Saturday's final practice.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09366http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09366FP2: Hamilton pips Alonso to lead second practiceFri, 19 Sep 2014 16:17:57 GMTLewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso traded places during second practice as the Mercedes driver edged the Spaniard by a tenth. The Briton however wasn't happy with his car and complained over the radio, but it seems it was good enough to post the fastest lap. Alonso took second ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen whilst Sebastian Vettel was fifth quickest despite only completing five laps at the very end of the session thanks to an engine change after FP1. Pastor Maldonado provided the drama as he often does, crashing at turn 10 and causing heavy damage to his Lotus. FP2 Full Times - 2014 Singapore Grand Prix: #No.DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:47.490   25 02 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:47.623 0.133 28 03 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:47.790 0.300 28 04 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:48.031 0.541 29 05 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:48.041 0.551 5 06 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:48.358 0.868 33 07 22 Jenson Button McLaren 1:48.435 0.945 30 08 11 Sergio Perez Force India 1:48.653 1.163 30 09 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:48.751 1.261 31 10 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:48.770 1.280 31 11 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:48.800 1.310 33 12 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:49.062 1.572 33 13 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:49.075 1.585 30 14 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:49.139 1.649 13 15 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:49.170 1.680 34 16 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:49.290 1.800 37 17 19 Felipe Massa Williams 1:49.361 1.871 29 18 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:49.971 2.481 28 19 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:50.612 3.122 24 20 4 Max Chilton Marussia 1:51.558 4.068 21 21 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:52.075 4.585 33 22 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:52.936 5.446   http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09365http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09365Ecclestone pushing for third cars for 2015 seasonFri, 19 Sep 2014 15:28:59 GMTBernie Ecclestone wants to see the leading teams running a third car next year regardless of whether the current 11 teams survive. Should the grid be reduced to eight teams, then the regulations state that each outfit must run three cars, rather than two, to ensure the grid remains at roughly 24 cars. Whilst a number of teams are under financial pressure and surviving from race to race, the majority are expected to compete in 2015, but Ecclestone, regardless of this, wants the top teams to enter a third car. "It's always been on the cards that if we lose up to three teams then the other teams will run three cars," he said. "I think we should do it anyway. "I would rather see Ferrari with three cars, or any of the other top teams with three cars, than having teams that are struggling." The 83-year-old expects the position of a handful of teams to become clearer in the following few weeks, paving the way for a vote on third cars. "We'll know after the next two or three races," he addd.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09364http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09364FP1: Alonso tops opening Singapore practice sessionFri, 19 Sep 2014 12:54:30 GMTFernando Alonso topped the opening practice session for the Singapore Grand Prix under a setting sun, putting the Spaniard a tenth ahead of the Mercedes duo. It was Lewis Hamilton that led championship leader Nico Rosberg. The pair were split by little over a tenth as well, but the gap behind the top three was far greater. Sebastian Vettel's 1:49.874 was over eight tenths behind Alonso. Though pleased with the lap, the German was forced to pull over at the end of the session with a suspected engine failure which might see him miss most if not all of the second session. The second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo was without trouble as he went a second slower than Alonso, two-tenths down on his own team-mate. The session was relatively drama free minus a couple of spins, most notably Kamui Kobayashi at the start of the session as he got to grips with the low-grip street circuit. FP1 Full Times - 2014 Singapore Grand Prix: #No.DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:49.056   16 02 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:49.178 0.122 23 03 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:49.205 0.149 24 04 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:49.874 0.818 27 05 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:50.122 1.066 21 06 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:50.539 1.483 11 07 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:50.783 1.727 19 08 22 Jenson Button McLaren 1:50.922 1.866 21 09 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:50.990 1.934 26 10 11 Sergio Perez Force India 1:51.131 2.075 23 11 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:51.217 2.161 24 12 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:51.604 2.548 23 13 19 Felipe Massa Williams 1:51.953 2.897 20 14 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:52.125 3.069 25 15 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:52.146 3.090 19 16 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:52.171 3.115 15 17 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:52.237 3.181 22 18 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:52.906 3.850 26 19 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:54.113 5.057 15 20 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:54.475 5.419 26 21 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:54.607 5.551 21 22 4 Max Chilton Marussia 1:55.170 6.114 17 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09363http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09363Double points will 'probably' be dropped - EcclestoneFri, 19 Sep 2014 10:40:57 GMTBernie Ecclestone has hinted that double points will likely be dropped for the 2015 season and beyond following the backlash from fans and the media. The 83-year-old was keen to expand double points to the final three races, but says he has now given up on that idea altogether. "I wanted it to be for the last three races and then people would believe it was still possible for somebody else to win," he said in Singapore. "But they all say I'm mad, so we won't do it." When asked if double points for the final race would remain in place next season, he added: "Don't know. Probably not. "It just seemed to me the right way to keep the championship open. "Otherwise for the last three or four races, people are running in non-championship races." The final decision will likely come as a result of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this season which should give some idea as to whether or not the new rule is successful. "We can't see whether it has worked, so it depends [on Abu Dhabi]." Several leading F1 figures have also admitted the idea probably wasn't right, therefore a unanimous vote to change it for 2015 shouldn't pose a threat.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09362http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09362FIA relaxes radio ban after drivers express concernFri, 19 Sep 2014 09:07:38 GMTThe FIA has issued a revised technical directive to the teams on Friday morning with regards the recent ban on performance related radio communications and pit board messages. The proposed ban had included all performance related information, but will now only concern a driver's own performance, rather than that of the car itself which will be delayed until 2015 following safety concerns. A revised list of banned messages has been sent to all the teams, with things like fuel use, engine settings/maps, gearbox settings, steering wheel settings, information on tyre pressures and temperatures and start procedures all now allowed. The teams and drivers had complained that an immediate ban on such communications was too complex to implement without weeks of notice, therefore the aformentioned car related messages will be banned from the first race of 2015. The revised list of non-permitted messages is below: - Driving lines on the circuit;- Contact with kerbs;- Car set up parameters for specific corners;- Comparative or absolute sector time detail of another driver;- Speeds in corners compared to another driver;- Gear selection compared with another driver;- Gear selection in general;- Braking points;- Rate of braking compared to another driver;- Rate of braking or application of brakes in general;- Car stability under braking;- Throttle application compared to another driver;- Throttle application in general;- Use of DRS compared with another driver;- Use of any overtake button; - Driving technique in generalhttp://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09361http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09361Vettel not giving up on winning a race in 2014Thu, 18 Sep 2014 22:38:28 GMTSebastian Vettel has never gone a full season without winning at least one race, and the German is hopeful of continuing that trend. The closest Vettel has come to a race win in 2014 was at the Malaysian and Canadian Grands Prix where he finished third both times. The upcoming Singapore and Japanese races offer Red Bull their best opportunity due to the nature of the tracks and Vettel is gunning for his first win of the season. "Well I would prefer to win, we still have some races to go and I'm here to win," he said. "I don't like being beaten but this year I've been beaten many times, but that's part of sport, part of life." His team-mate Daniel Ricciardo has won three races and currently sits 60 points ahead of a somewhat outclassed Vettel, but the season hasn't been a complete failure according to the 27-year-old. "There's always something you can learn from winning, but you can always learn something from being beaten or losing. "In that regard we've learned already a lot, it's been a tough year already but the confidence is high and there's confidence we will win again."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09360http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09360London Formula E race set for first council voteThu, 18 Sep 2014 22:25:51 GMTFormula E has scheduled the final round of the inaugural championship to end in London's Battersea Park in June 2015, but the event hasn't yet been awarded planning permission nor has it been signed off by the local council. A preliminary vote by The Borough of Wandsworth's Community Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee is due to take place next week, before a final vote at the end of October. After that, it will be required to go before the council's executive where if signed off, planning permission will be applied for which could take an additional two months. The process has however been factored into Formula E's schedule and was expected. A back-up plan is also being considered which could see the race relocated to East London's ExCel centre. Environmental spokesman councillor Jonathan Cook stressed that several conditions must be met before approval is granted. "What we are quite clear about is that we could not support a proposal that would cause harm or damage to the fabric of the park and its important historical and heritage features, cause unnecessary or unreasonable disturbance to residents living nearby or involve excessive disruption to people's normal enjoyment of the park," he explained. However a test run completed by Lucas di Grassi in August didn't register a single complaint from local residents as the benefit of electric cars is that they're virtually silent. http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09359http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09359Formula E to use shorter Monaco track for May raceThu, 18 Sep 2014 22:12:19 GMTFormula E won't use the full Formula 1 layout for the Monaco ePrix scheduled for May next year as part of the inaugural season of the new all-electric motorsport series. FE boss Alejandro Agag has revealed that a shortened version will be used which will see the cars taking a sharper right-hand turn at Ste Devote where they will then drive toward the tunnel before a hairpin turn will bring them back onto the F1 circuit before the Swimming Pool section. "It is going to be a very good layout, about two kilometres [1.2 miles]," explained Agag. The race will only take place every other season as it rotates with the Historic Grand Prix, therefore a race in Paris is being sought in order to fill the gap for the 2015/16 season. "We are having discussions on which I can't go into detail," Agag said about the Paris event. "I am very optimistic about having a race in Paris in season two and if we have a race in Paris, I would like that race to be the first one of the season." Formula E Monaco layout (F1 track in grey): http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09358http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09358Massa: 'Expect a big fight in the drivers' briefing'Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:12:48 GMTFelipe Massa is predicting a backlash against the FIA's new rule which limits what can and can't be said over team radio in an attempt to put more focus on the driver's decisions. The Brazilian says he is "completely against" the change and knows of others who are too. He says the FIA could face a "big fight" during the drivers' briefing on Friday. "For me it is a little bit funny that they change this type of thing in the moment that is not the correct moment," he said, believing it could have waited until 2015. "Maybe they changed it because they spoke too much to the old drivers. I think in some areas it is fine, but there are so many things in the car that we are doing that if you don't do them maybe there will be too much temperature in the rear brakes because the battery gets too hot and then you have a fire in the car. "You can have a big accident and this is not something that is related to the driver, it is related to a very complicated power unit in the car." He hasn't expressed his concerns to Charlie Whiting yet, but suggested he may do so on Friday when all the drivers meet to discuss the race ahead. "No, but I'm sure we will if the ruling stays like this. It will be a big fight tomorrow in the drivers' briefing."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09357http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09357Alonso says Vettel swap rumour damaging to FerrariThu, 18 Sep 2014 13:06:12 GMTFernando Alonso says he's confused as to why the Italian media are spreading rumours about his future, after reports he and Sebastian Vettel are to swap places for 2015. The rumours started in the Italian media and Alonso believes they are damaging the harmony at Ferrari by creating uncertainty, even though he has consistently denied them. "Nothing really to add," he said when asked about the rumours. "I've been commenting about my future for 13 months, I think, from last year in August, so I have nothing new to say. "Sometimes it's sad when it comes from Italy and they create, for some strange purpose, these rumours, which are not helping Ferrari. "That's why we are all here and Ferrari is a much bigger brand than any individual one of us or Formula One in general. I respect a lot Ferrari and I try to create a good atmosphere by going out to dinner, playing basketball, playing poker and whatever to have a united team. It's what we need and what we expect from us. When all these things come in from Italy it is not really clear what is the purpose, and if we know the purpose one day I will tell." The Spaniard also spoke of Luca di Montezemolo's departure which he described as an 'end of an era', but stressed his faith in Ferrari's new boss Sergio Marchionne. "It has been some interesting days with a lot of changes for the team and the year as a whole has been quite different with the team principal leaving, the head of engine leaving in the summer and now also the president stepping down. "He was our leader for so many years, so definitely it was a great time for Ferrari and we wish him good luck on his new projects. With the new president we wish him good luck for hopefully a very successful future. "I spoke with Sergio and I have had a very good relationship with him for many years. He comes to Monza, Austin and Canada sometimes and always he shows full commitment to us. I saw him in Maranello and he repeated the same thing and he is ready for the challenge and set some changes, but like all the big companies when they make changes they hope for better."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09356http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09356Ecclestone wants live telemetry limits like radio banThu, 18 Sep 2014 12:59:15 GMTBernie Ecclestone has hinted that he would like even tougher conditions for the drivers following the recent back on performance related team radio calls. The 83-year-old, speaking at a Johnnie Walker sponsorship event, revealed that he kicked off the discussion about banning team radio. "I was the one who started it off, yes," he said. "I think none of the drivers want it. They are all happy that it has gone. "They drive the cars, they should know what is wrong or right. They don't need someone on the pit wall telling them what to do." However he doesn't believe it goes far enough. When asked if he would like to see greater restrictions on live telemetry, he replied: "Yes." Adding: "We have a regulation in force that drivers must drive the car unaided. They have been aided - and still are. "Even if we get rid of this ship to shore, as I call it, there are still a lot of aids that they should not have." The teams will meet this weekend to discuss the recent changes and meet with the FIA's eight-man team which will monitor all radio calls and report directly to race director Charlie Whiting.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09355http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09355Stats: Power unit component usage after 13 racesThu, 18 Sep 2014 10:15:01 GMTWith the increased focus on reliability and durability in 2014, keeping an eye on the number of power unit components throughout the season could prove key to any championship hopes. Should a driver exceed the allocation of any of the components below - of which they get five per season - then they will be hit with a grid penalty. Should a driver use a sixth component for the first time, they will be hit with a ten-place grid penalty. A five-place penalty will be applied to any sixth component after that and so on. Several drivers are now approaching grid penalties as they approach their sixth unit with no less than ten drivers on their fifth unit of at least one component. Here are the latest statistics concerning use ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix. ICE - Internal Combustion EngineTC - Turbo ChargerMGU-K - Motor Generator Energy-KineticMGU-H - Motor Generator Energy-HeatES - Energy StoreCE - Control Electronics #DriverTeamICETCMGU-KMGU-HESCE 01 S. Vettel Red Bull 5 4 4 4 3 4 02 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 4 4 4 3 3 4 03 L. Hamilton Mercedes 4 4 4 4 3 3 04 N. Rosberg Mercedes 4 4 4 4 3 3 05 F. Alonso Ferrari 5 4 3 4 4 5 06 K. Raikkonen Ferrari 5 4 3 5 4 5 07 R. Grosjean Lotus 4 5 4 4 3 3 08 P. Maldonado Lotus 5 5 5 5 4 4 09 J. Button McLaren 4 4 4 4 3 3 10 K. Magnussen McLaren 4 4 4 4 4 4 11 N. Hulkenberg Force India 4 4 4 4 3 3 12 S. Perez Force India 4 4 4 4 3 3 13 A. Sutil Sauber 5 5 4 5 4 4 14 E. Gutierrez Sauber 4 4 4 4 3 5 15 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 4 4 5 4 3 3 16 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 6 4 5 4 3 3 17 F. Massa Williams 4 4 4 4 2 3 18 V. Bottas Williams 4 4 4 4 4 4 19 J. Bianchi Marussia 5 5 4 5 3 5 20 M. Chilton Marussia 5 5 4 5 3 4 21 K. Kobayashi Caterham 4 4 4 4 3 4 22 M. Ericsson Caterham 4 4 3 3 3 4 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09354http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09354Hamilton: 'It's back to the old-school ways'Wed, 17 Sep 2014 22:22:41 GMTLewis Hamilton has welcomed Formula 1's recent decision to limit what information can be shared via team radio which comes into effect at this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix. The ruling bans any performance related information being passed from engineer to driver and Hamilton has hailed it a return to "old-school" racing. The Briton reckons the change puts the driver at the heart of the race, forcing them to make their own decisions and forcing their rivals to use their own talent, rather than advice and information from the pits, to be the fastest. "I remember way back from when we were in karts, the cool thing in karting [is] you don't have any data – or we didn't back then. So no one could ever see where I was quick," he told SkySports. "Maybe that's a little bit more of a step in that direction because now you have so much data you can see everything, everything I do, any trick that I have. Every driver in every team will see that from his team-mate, but hopefully this is one step in that [other] direction. "But I quite like now that we're left to do it ourselves – that's how it was back in the karting days. So it's back to the old-school ways."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09353http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09353Singapore to benefit fuel efficient drivers - RenaultWed, 17 Sep 2014 19:28:26 GMTThose whose driving styles naturally use less fuel will benefit around the Singapore street circuit as it is ranked amongst the highest in fuel consumption according to Renault. That, combined with the ban on team radio calls about fuel usage and ways to save fuel such as 'cost and lift' could see the first race of the season in which fuel saving becomes a major priority. "These short bursts of power naturally require good torque response and driveability but they also bring fuel consumption well up," Renault's head of track operations Remi Taffin explained. "In fact we will use the largest amount of fuel per lap over the season here and we will be right on the limit of the 100kg permitted. To put this in context, last year we used 150kg of fuel - over 30% more. Here, more than anywhere else, shows the advances we have made in efficiency." The energy recovery systems, particuarly the MGU-K, will also be tested according to Taffin. "The Energy Store and MGU-K are really put through their paces. Each braking event is long and hard, particularly around the 'hotel' section through the grandstands, where the K will be able to recover enough energy to keep the battery at a relatively high level of charge throughout the lap. "In contrast, the MGU-H is used a little less as the short straights between the corners do not really offer ample time for the exhaust to develop a steady flow."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09352http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09352Renault hunting pole position to prove performanceWed, 17 Sep 2014 13:28:28 GMTRenault believes it has closed the gap to Mercedes since the start of the season, but reckons only a pole position will prove the performance is there. The French engine manufacturer has had a power deficit since the opening race and has been working tirelessly to catch-up with the leading Mercedes unit. Three race wins are a sign that things have improved, but Renault's Remi Taffin knows that they've come as a result of Mercedes woes and he is therefore aiming for a pole as evidence of their progress. "We know we can win races, and we are just in the position to be sure that we can grab this when there is opportunity," he said. "But what we are effectively after now is a pole position to show the pure pace - and it would obviously be easier to win a race in this condition." Taffin says Renault has achieved what it can with it's current specification and is comfortable that it can optimise its performance for each race. However much of their focus is on 2015 when the engine will undergo major changes as the engine freeze is relaxed over the winter season. "The most effort in terms of achieving what we wanted to achieve is behind us for this year. "What we now get on track is actually the fruit of this work - and we now have the right direction to go for optimising the performance, plus we are able to repeat this every single race. "This is the most important thing to us. We know what performance we have got, we know how to get it any time we want. "So we will try to bring a little bit more race after race until the end of the year. "But even if the focus is to try to get the most out of this year, we have to focus on next year."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09351http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09351Heidfeld defends Formula E after Vettel's negativityTue, 16 Sep 2014 22:14:12 GMTNick Heidfeld has defended the new Formula E racing series after four-time Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel said he wasn't a fan of it, labelled it "cheesy" and said he wouldn't be watching. The racing series is based on all-electric cars which compete over ten city-based races around the world and recently held its inaugural race in Beijing this month. Heidfeld, who almost clinched victory before a terrifying crash at the final corner of the final lap, says Formula E aims to be different so that it doesn't have to compete with F1 and believes there are plenty of people who will find it interesting. "I like Sebastian and I don't know in what context he said that," said Heidfeld. "But I think that Formula E cannot currently compete against F11 and actually it does not want to. The concept is quite different. "But the series is justified when you consider the development of electric mobility and the interest the manufacturers have in it. How successful it is, we will have to see. "I think even F1 is currently struggling with some negative headlines, but it is the peak of motor sport and that will long remain the case. "But that doesn't mean that there can't be something else as well," added the German. One of the biggest complaints is that the racing looks relatively slow when compared to F1 and Heidfeld, himself former F1 driver, agrees. "Compared with F1, the performance is modest," he admitted. "We have almost 300 horse-power in qualifying and the cars are 900 kilos. And the Michelin tyres we are using are not slicks, which is slower but we can use them in the wet and the dry. "Ultimately they are normal single seater cars, which are always difficult to drive on the limit. "But another reason I chose to race is because of the opponents — in terms of the quality of the drivers, we don't need to hide from F1."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09350http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09350Hamilton and Rosberg are like 'enemies' - WolffTue, 16 Sep 2014 22:02:57 GMTNico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton started their motorsport careers as good - some would say great - friends. Fast forward to the present day and the pair are anything but. According to Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff, the duo are now 'enemies', or at least act that way, following a spate of incidents every Formula 1 fan is fully aware of. A competitive car has given them both the opportunity to fight for the title and it has tested their relationship, but it's no longer a secret that they're at war and Wolff doesn't blame them. "It has changed from, let's say, an almost amicable relationship at the beginning of the season to a very intense moment, where it was almost like realising these two are enemies competing for the world title," he told BBC Sport. "It's also a learning process [for them]," he added. "These boys have been calibrated their whole life that their main priority is to win the drivers' championship in F1. And here they go - they are in the same car, competing against each other for that trophy and one is going to win and one is going to fail. "This is a new experience for them - a difficult experience maybe."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09349http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09349DTM's Wehrlein named Mercedes reserve driverMon, 15 Sep 2014 17:11:05 GMT19-year-old Pascal Wehrlein has been named Mercedes reserve driver following his ADAC Formel Masters DTM victory last weekend. The German also finished runner-up in his debut Formula 3 season in 2012, as well as completing over 12,000km in Mercedes' F1 simulator this year alone. Last week Wehrlein completed a 500km test at the Autodromo Internacional Algarve to prepare him for F1. "I was delighted when I learned that I would be completing a Formula One test for Mercedes," said Wehrlein. "It took me a few laps to get used to the incredible speed, the very hard brakes and the high cornering speeds - it's in another league compared to the DTM. "I adapted quickly and was able to improve in each of my short and long runs and didn't want to go back to the pits. The test was simply the greatest experience I have had so far in motorsport. There weren't any nerves, which surprised me - I just felt ready for it. The feedback from the team and from Toto [Wolff] was very encouraging and I think that I did a good job." Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff says it made sense to promote the youngester as he is familiar with the team, how it works and the car thanks to his simulator experience. "We are delighted to officially welcome Pascal to the team after his successful test last week in Portugal. He has worked hard behind the scenes this year in our simulator, playing a very important role in our pre-race preparations. Aside from Nico [Rosberg] and Lewis [Hamilton], he is the driver most familiar with all the procedures of our F1 W05 Hybrid and therefore the right choice for the role of reserve driver. "He took an important step last week when he drove a Formula One car for the first time - and we were pleased to see him deliver a composed and impressive test, in line with our expectations. This was followed by a fantastic win yesterday at the Lausitzring in the DTM, making the most of conditions where pure driving talent was able to shine. Pascal has a bright future ahead of him and we are excited to have him onboard for what will be an intense conclusion to the Formula One season."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09348http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09348Vergne says he has the potential to match RicciardoMon, 15 Sep 2014 16:30:03 GMTJean-Eric Vergne reckons Daniel Ricciardo's strong form is evidence that he too could perform well at a top team should he be given the chance. The Frenchman outscored Ricciardo 16 points to ten during their first year as team-mates at Toro Rosso in 2012, but was then outscored 13 to 20 the following season, but Vergne insists he could match Ricciardo in a competitive car. "Doing three years at Toro Rosso makes me very strong," said the 24-year-old. "Daniel in a way is a good help for me because some teams expect world champion drivers, but maybe [the future] is not in world champion drivers, but in younger drivers who are really hungry and motivated, and that's what I am. When you look at my results compared to Daniel all of our career, I have the potential to be what he is." Vergne will lose his Toro Rosso seat to Max Verstappen next season, meaning he could be forced out of F1 unless another team picks him up. He says his focus at the moment is performing well to increase his chances. "Tere are so many drivers who wanted to focus on F1 and got nowhere. So I am not stupid - I have my eyes open I would say. I would really love to race. It depends on the chance I will get to drive in a race, but at the moment my focus is on getting a race seat."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09347http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09347Prodromou determined to get McLaren back on trackMon, 15 Sep 2014 16:17:24 GMTPeter Prodromou returns to work for McLaren this week following an eight year stint at Red Bull, working alongside chief designer Adrian Newey. Prodromou played a key role in Red Bull's dominance after leaving McLaren in 2006 for the Milton Keynes team, but was lured back when he agreed to return last year - though his actual start date wasn't until this week thanks to Red Bull's insistence on him seeing out his contract. Now that he's back and able to work on next year's car, he has promised to do everything he can to get McLaren back where it belongs at the very front of the grid. "It's fantastic to return to McLaren, and to see a mixture of faces old and new," he said. "Of course, I have first-hand experience of just what a passionate, focused and capable race team exists within these walls, and I've already seen the enthusiasm and positivity that exists to return McLaren to world championship-winning glory. "I, too, am determined to work flat-out to do everything I can to help initiate a new chapter of success in McLaren's history." Chief operating officer Jonathan Neale says Prodromour's return is just one part of their recovery plan, but it shows they're serious about moving forward. "I'm delighted to welcome Peter back to McLaren," said Neale. "He joins us at an extremely exciting time: we're making exciting progress with our new engine partner, and our entire design department has been galvanised and motivated by an ongoing restructure that has really begun to bed-in and deliver results. "His position as chief engineer will enable him to play to his considerable strengths as a top-flight aerodynamicist and an engineer, and I'm sure he'll dovetail seamlessly with his fellow engineers. We're steadily putting everything in place to ensure that McLaren can once again return to its race- and world championship-winning ways. "We're under no illusions that we're yet there, but Peter's appointment is a very significant one, and is also a very public reminder that we're adding strength in depth to our organisation all the time."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09346http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09346Force India 'desperate' to beat McLaren - HulkenbergMon, 15 Sep 2014 09:27:49 GMTForce India are desperate to finish ahead of McLaren in the Constructors' Championship according to driver Nico Hulkenberg. The team have slipped steadily down the order since the start of the season when they were, at one stage, third before Ferrari pulled ahead followed then by Williams. The team are now sixth after McLaren's recent run of points finishes have put them just one point clear of the Indian-owned outfit. Hulkenberg concedes they're unlikely to get any higher than fifth, but their target must be to score consistently again and pass their nearest rival. "There's no chance of getting back ahead of [Williams or Ferrari]," the German driver told GPUpdate. "McLaren is our main opponent now and the race is between us and them. Obviously we're desperate to finish fifth in the Constructors', that's important to us and [is] our target. "Our aim should be to replicate the first half [of the season]. We've been consistently in the points." With it looking likely Hulkenberg will remain with Force India next season, the 27-year-old insists he doesn't mind another season with the midfield team. "I'm not massively worried, the situation is what it is. You're always trying to do as good as you can with the package you've got - everyone in the paddock knows that's how it works. "Then hopefully one day the opportunity will come that you have a winning car, or that with this team we can have a winning car."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09345http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09345Hamilton's title experience not a concern - RosbergSun, 14 Sep 2014 19:59:39 GMTWith the championship battle boiling down to just 22 points between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, some have suggested Hamilton's experience of fighting for the championship in 2007, 2008 and 2010 make him favourite this year despite his points deficit. Rosberg, whilst admitting it might give his team-mate an advantage, doesn't believe it'll swing the title in the Briton's favour and says the additional experience is "not a concern." "It might help him, yes, quite possibly having those experiences. But it's not something that I am concerned about," said the German. "I'm focused on my own thing. He is a strong competitor, he has his strengths and weaknesses, but I concentrate on doing my job with my team and getting the most out of it." Rosberg denies the events in Monza, when he was forced into a mistake, prove the title battle is proving overwhelming. "I am enjoying the moment more than I ever have in the sport because I get to a race and I have a car where I know I can be on pole and I can win," he added. "That's the overwhelming thing at the moment and, thankfully, my mind is just focused on the moment."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09344http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09344Lowe hopeful of a 'drama free' Singapore one-twoSun, 14 Sep 2014 12:45:28 GMTPaddy Lowe has his fingers crossed for another Mercedes one-two in Singapore, just like they achieved last weekend in Italy, but he's hoping it comes without the drama. The battle between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton has been the source of much controversy and several conspiracy theories and that's something Lowe, despite being pleased with the result, wants to avoid in future races. "As a team we were incredibly happy with the result in Monza," he said of the one-two they achieved when Hamilton took advantage of Rosberg's mistake at the chicane. "It's one of the great circuits of the season and a challenging one to take a win, let alone achieve a one-two finish, so that was extremely satisfying." But a more satisfying result according to Lowe would be a straight-forward win and second place without the need to fend off questions from the media and fans about team-orders. "It's always an action-packed, incident-filled race [in Singapore], with the nature of the track and the heat playing a role in retirements - both mechanical and by human error. "We'll be aiming to steer clear of any drama and come away with another strong result as the season enters its final third."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09343http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09343Prost handed grid penalty after Heidfeld clashSat, 13 Sep 2014 16:59:16 GMTNicolas Prost has been handed a 10-second penalty for causing an avoidable collision with Nick Heidfeld during the first ever Formula E race. The Frenchman, who was leading at the time, swerved into Heidfeld at the last corner of the last lap as he attempted to overtake, causing the Venturi racer to fly into the barriers. As a result, the stewards handed the e.dams racer a 10-place grid drop for the next round in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Even though the stewards put the blame on Prost, he insists he wasn't at fault, saying Heidfeld was "going too fast" and "tried to dive-bomb" him.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09342http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09342FIA to review F1 Super Licence systemSat, 13 Sep 2014 12:03:53 GMTThe FIA will conduct a review into the way Formula 1 Super Licence's are granted in response to younger drivers making their way to the top tier of motorsport with little experience. At present, a driver must have achieved success in a lower formula, as well as completing 300km of running in a Formula 1 car to be eligible for a Super Licence. However with 16-year-old Max Verstappen taking up a seat with Toro Rosso next season and having completed a single season of European Formula 3, the whole system has been called into question. Young drivers would usually progress through GP3 and GP2 before they're promoted to an F1 seat, but this hasn't been the case in Verstappen's case and some believe he is not only too young, but too inexperience. The FIA hopes to have a new system in place for 2017. "A mandate has been given to the FIA Administration to review the qualification and conditions for the issuing of a super licence, in consultation with all parties concerned," read a WMSC statement. "A proposal will be put forward for WMSC approval in December for implementation in 2016."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09341http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09341Video: Prost and Heidfeld crash at the final cornerSat, 13 Sep 2014 11:38:27 GMT Nicolas Prost looked set to take the first ever FIA Formula E victory at the Beijing ePrix after he lead the race from start to almost finish. The e.dams driver made contact with the chasing Nick Heidfeld and when the Venturi driver made a late lunge at the final corner of the final lap, the pair collided, sending Heidfeld into the crash barriers.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09340http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09340Last corner crash hands first FE win to Di Grassi Sat, 13 Sep 2014 11:29:44 GMTLucas di Grassi claimed the first ever FIA Formula E victory at the Beijing ePrix thanks to a last corner crash between race leader Nicolas Prost and the chasing Nick Heidfeld. Heidfield, driving for Venturi, was chasing Prost down in the final few laps and made a late braking move at the final corner to pull alongside the e.dams of Prost, but the Frenchman made a late defensive move which saw the pair collide. Heidfeld hit the barrier and his car rotated twice before coming to a rest on its roll-hoop, the German escaped unharmed though. Audi Sport's Di Grassi made the most of the incident and swept through the carnage to claim the win ahead of Andretti Autosport's Franck Montagny whilst Sam Bird completed the podium for Virgin Racing after Daniel Abt was penalised for failing to complete a drive-through penalty during the race. Race Result - 2014/15 Beijing ePrix: #DriverTeamPts 01. Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport ABT 25 02. Franck Montagny Andretti Autosport 18 03. Sam Bird Virgin Racing 15 04. Charles Pic Andretti Autosport 12 05. Karun Chandhok Mahindra Racing 10 06. Jerome d'Ambrosio Dragon Racing 8 07. Oriol Servia Dragon Racing 6 08. Nelson Piquet Jnr China Racing 4 09. Stephane Sarrazin Venturi Racing 2 10. Daniel Abt Audi Sport ABT 1 11. Jamie Alguersuari Virgin Racing 12. Nicolas Prost e.dams-Racing 13. Nick Heidfeld Venturi Racing 14. Katherine Legge Amlin Aguri 15. Michela Cerruti Trulli GP 16. Ho-Pin Tung China Racing 17. Takuma Sato Amlin Aguri 18. Sebastien Buemi e.dams-Renault 19. Bruno Senna Mahindra Racing 20. Jarno Trulli Trulli GP PP Nicolas Prost e.dams-Renault 3 FL Takuma Sato Amlin Aguri 2 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09339http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09339Wolff: Team radio ban 'complex and controversial'Fri, 12 Sep 2014 18:17:43 GMTMercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff reckons the team radio clampdown will prove "complex and controversial" to both understand and govern. The FIA announced this week that all performance related team radio calls would be banned in an effort to make sure the driver is making the key calls during a race, rather than just following instructions. Wolff expects some controversy to come from the change as engineers are so used to providing mountains of data that it's become second nature. "It has been confirmed that we will now see less radio traffic," Wolff noted. "This is a complex and controversial decision which will require a significant effort from the teams to understand how best we can work around it. "The directive is not yet fully clear and there will inevitably be some controversy, so it will need further clarification as to how much the essential on-track procedures will be affected - particularly before the start of the race." The FIA has informed the teams that they will not be lenient and have also confirmed that code words will also be considered illegal.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09338http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09338FIA confirms 20-race F1 calendar for 2015 seasonFri, 12 Sep 2014 12:44:26 GMTThe FIA has confirmed that the 2015 Formula 1 calendar will feature 20 races with the return of the Mexican Grand Prix. F1 will return to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City for the first time since 1992. Much of the calendar remains unchanged from 2014, though the season finishes a week later. 15/03 Australia 29/03 Malaysia 05/04 Bahrain 19/04 China 10/05 Spain 24/05 Monaco 07/06 Canada 21/06 Austria 05/07 Britain 19/07 Germany 26/07 Hungary 23/08 Belgium 06/09 Italy 20/09 Singapore 27/09 Japan 11/10 Russia 25/10 USA 01/11 Mexico15/11 Brazil 29/11 Abu Dhabihttp://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09337http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09337Brawn spoke to Ferrari but not seeking returnThu, 11 Sep 2014 20:22:49 GMTHighly rated former team boss Ross Brawn has admitted he held 'what if' talks with Ferrari, but insists he is not seeking a return to the Formula 1 grid. The Brit has guided several outfits to success, most notably Benetton, Ferrari and Brawn GP, as well as helping to build Mercedes up to what it is now, before he retired in 2013. Speculation has linked the 59-year-old with a return to Ferrari after he was seen at their Maranello base a few months ago, but that was a private matter. "I am living a very different life this year and it feels good," he told Auto Motor und Sport. "I am determined not to return to a full-time job." The Italian team are however keen to see him return with new team principal Marco Mattiacci admitting he would be a welcome member of the new-look Ferrari, but that isn't enough to tempt Brawn. "My visit to Maranello in May was purely of a private nature. We talked a little about 'what if' but nothing serious," he explained. Brawn however left the subject with an open end after admitting a return certainly wasn't an impossibility. "Never say never, because you never know what options are going to arise, but at the moment I am pursuing some interests outside of the sport that I never had the time to do before."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09336http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09336Team radio: What will and won't be acceptable?Thu, 11 Sep 2014 19:06:27 GMTThe FIA has chosen to enforce a ban on performance related team radio between team and driver in an attempt to remove the stigma that drivers are simply 'puppets' controlled by higher powers within the team. The ban, which comes under Article 20.1 of the sporting regulations which states: "The driver must drive the car alone and unaided," will see a drop in the number of radio broadcasts simply because the majority of messages at present are performance related. But under this ban, what exactly can they say, and what can't they? Note: This list provides a few examples and is in no way exhaustive. Banned Team Radio - Fuel: If a driver is low on fuel, using too much or too little, then this information must be displayed on their steering wheel. - Brakes: Too hot or too cold? Would a driver benefit from moving the balance forward/backwards? Well this can't be communicated via the team radio. - Tyres: If the driver is wearing the rears/fronts too much compared to a rival, tyre pressures are dropping or they're too hot/cold, then the driver should identify the problem and report it to the team. - Codes: Mix 5, Hammer Time, Map 2, etc. These will also be banned. - Formation Lap: The team cannot request a certain number of burnouts, start procedure, brake/tyre warming etc, this should all be agreed beforehand. - Timing: How often have we heard, driver X is quicker through turns 7 and 8, try saving ERS for this section. This won't be allowed. Allowed Team Radio - Team Orders: As team orders are allowed under the regulations and not considered performance related, but strategic, they can still be communicated. - Traffic: The team can still inform a driver if they're approaching traffic or if they need to open a gap - this happens mostly throughout practice and qualifying of which the team radio limits remain in place. - Pit Stops: The team can call a driver in for a pit stop, or communicate a certain lap to stop on. - Safety: If a radio call is for safety reasons, this is allowed. For example if someone has stopped on the circuit, or if there is debris, the team can pass this information to the driver.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09335http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09335New Ferrari CEO says F1 performance 'top priority'Thu, 11 Sep 2014 18:45:41 GMTFerrari's new chief executive officer, Sergio Marchionne, has described returning to the front of the Formula 1 grid "not negotiable" and of the highest priority. Marchionne, who also heads up Ferrari's parent company Fiat-Chrysler, removed long-term boss Luca di Montezemolo from the top role in order to oversee major changes at the Italian marque in order to see them return to competitive form. During a press conference on Thursday, he highlighted Ferrari's power unit as the main issue which needs resolving and insisted they would get to the bottom of the problem. "We know the problem," he said. "We have a power unit problem. I have faith in Ferrari and its sporting arm, and that it will be able to resurrect as it did in the past. The sporting arm continues to be an essential element for Ferrari. We'll work in order to try to win, because it's part of this company's DNA. "The important thing is to get back to winning ways, this is essential. The problem is not about the problem we have here on the market. We need to give credibility to Ferrari on the track and fixed on that we need to return to the top. That will give us support to Ferrari. Winning on the track is something that is not negotiable. We must get there, and I don't have the slightest doubt we'll be able to do it." Outgoing Di Montezemolo was also present and he too has no doubt Ferrari will return to the top soon enough. "This is a very important day for me," he added. "Ferrari means culture. Ferrari means passion. Ferrari means to look ahead. That's precisely what we have tried to do throughout these years on all fronts. "We must have some regrets for not having won the title in 2010 and 2012. I consider the last two seasons negative. We have two world champions: from Kimi [Raikkonen] we expect a strong end of season, while Fernando [Alonso] is the strongest driver in the races. We must develop a competitive car, the rest is just talk. "Any second thoughts on the past? Certainly not concerning the drivers. But as far as technicians yes, because as I said earlier we had a lack of specific knowledge in the power unit project."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09334http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09334Button: Hamilton the best in terms of outright speedThu, 11 Sep 2014 18:32:39 GMTJenson Button has praised his former team-mate Lewis Hamilton, describing him as one of, if not the, fastest driver in terms of outright speed. The Briton however knows that to be successful in Formula 1 it takes more than just speed, but reckons Hamilton has come a long way in maturing since they were team-mates at McLaren. "He's one of the fastest to ever jump into a Formula One car," Button said of his fellow Brit. "His natural ability is probably better than anyone in terms of outright speed. But we all know F1 is not all about natural ability, it's about how you build on your natural ability and also how your engineering skills are and how you work with hundreds of people within a team to develop a car. "I think he's good [at that now] and when we were team-mates we had a lot of fun racing together. Some of it was controversial, but not a lot of the time." Proof of Hamilton's new-found mental strength has shown through this season as not only has he had to deal with a competitive team-mate, but he's also had to overcome a string of reliability issues. "For me, watching him on TV and speaking to him he seems very comfortable in himself which is not the Lewis I knew when we were team-mates. He seems to be taking it on the chin, with the problems he's had I think he comes across really well. "I don't know if it's just a front or if it is that he feels confident inside that he can still come back after these problems and fight for the world championship, but I really think he can."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09333http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09333FIA to enforce team radio limits from SingaporeThu, 11 Sep 2014 12:42:58 GMTThe FIA will enforce an immediate ban on any performance related team radio communications from next week's Singapore Grand Prix. As we reported earlier this week, the teams discussed plans to limit what information can be shared between the pit wall and its drivers to put more emphasis on drivers making their own decisions. Whilst the change wasn't expected until 2015, the FIA's Charlie Whiting has written to all the teams to inform them that the change will happen with immediate effect under Article 20.1 of the sporting regulations which state: "The driver must drive the car alone and unaided." The change doesn't constitute a complete team radio ban, but is instead designed to stop drivers asking for performance related information such as where they can go faster compared to their team-mate. The matter will be discussed further during the Singapore GP weekend ahead of the race to clarify exactly what can and can't be communicated.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09332http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09332Verstappen completes 400km of track running in STR7Wed, 10 Sep 2014 18:52:32 GMTMax Verstappen got his first taste of a Formula 1 car at speed when he took part in a test for Toro Rosso at the Adria International Raceway with the 2012 STR7. The 16-year-old, who had an outing earlier this month in which he drove through the streets of Rotterdam, completed 148 trouble-free laps of the 2.702km circuit just two hours from Toro Rosso's Faenza base. Speaking about the day, in which he not only got up to speed but also practiced starts and pit stops, he said: "I was looking forward to my first drive in a Formula 1 car on a proper race track and I really enjoyed it. "It was a good opportunity to work with Xevi [Pujolar], who will be my race engineer next year, as well as having a chance to get used to all the buttons on the steering wheel. I think it went well and I can’t wait to get back into a Formula 1 car as soon as possible." His future race engineer Pujolar, added: "Max started his run on Intermediates and got up to speed, making no mistakes. We worked through various procedures that make up a race weekend. He was very focused and precise and learned quickly, without having to ask many questions. "Once we were able to fit slicks, he got used to the car in the dry and built up his speed, while we tried various fuel levels, replicating both qualifying and race trim, doing a mix of short and long runs. For a first day, it was very impressive."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09331http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09331Vettel to get fourth new chassis for Singapore GPWed, 10 Sep 2014 17:45:40 GMTSebastian Vettel will get behind the wheel of a brand new RB10 at the Singapore Grand Prix as the team continues to get to the bottom of the German's struggles. This will be Vettel's fourth new chassis of the season so far. The team replaced his first at the Spanish GP after suspecting it was deformed. That however failed to cure his problems, so the team handed him a replacement for the Italian GP last weekend, though according to Helmut Marko, this wasn't a completely new car. "The chassis in Monza was actually an older one that was used in testing at Silverstone. It was more for psychological reasons," he told Sport Bild. "Now he's going to get a brand new one," confirmed the Austrian. Meanwhile team-mate Daniel Ricciado has used just the one and continues to out-perform his four-time champion counterpart. Though in Monza - where Vettel outqualified Ricciardo - this was down to the hard tyres according to Marko. "With the harder tyres he [Vettel] has had inexplicable problems."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09330http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09330McLaren urge Magnussen to continue attacking styleWed, 10 Sep 2014 17:35:16 GMTKevin Magnussen has been penalised twice in the last two races for what the race stewards consider dangerous driving, but McLaren have urged the rookie to continue his attacking style. The Danish driver was handed a 20-second penalty in Belgium when he forced Fernando Alonso wide and then a fortnight later, he was given a five-second penalty for doing the same to Valtteri Bottas. Whilst some have praised his attacking style, the FIA believe he is too eager to defend position, but McLaren racing director Eric Boullier reckons the Monza penalty simply wasn't justified. "I think the Spa penalty was deserved to be honest, but I believe, obviously, not the one in Monza," he said. "He was unfortunate to be penalised, but we believe it was just a normal move and a legitimate defence. "I don't think he will have to change his approach. I think Spa was a one off and Monza, for us, was unfortunate, let's say. I think he needs to keep building up his confidence by doing what he is doing." Had it not been for the penalties, he would have finished ahead of team-mate Jenson Button and Boullier says that proves Magnussen is punching above his weight. "It is clear that he is stepping up," said the Frenchman. "He is maybe punching above his weight because he doesn't have the car to be fast enough to chase the better results. But he is trying his best, and it is good for him, good for the fans and good for the show to see this young kid, this young rookie, fighting with the big boys. "His self-confidence is massively growing and it is good for his race craft, which is only going to get better and better."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09329http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09329Sirotkin handed Friday practice outing in RussiaWed, 10 Sep 2014 17:26:59 GMTRussian youngster Sergey Sirotkin will make his grand prix debut during Friday practice for his home race in Sochi, Russia next month. The 19-year-old is part of Sauber's driver development programme and had been expected to land a full-time seat this season thanks to Russian investment in the team. That however failed to materialise and he has since been sidelined, competing in Formula Renault 3.5. However the Russian tweeted that he would be behind the wheel of the C33 on October 10th - the Friday of the Russian race. He has some experience of the car when he took part in the Bahrain in-season test earlier this year.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09328http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09328Di Montezemolo steps down from Ferrari roleWed, 10 Sep 2014 09:49:20 GMTFerrari president Luca di Montezemolo has confirmed he will leave the company next month, ending speculation over his future at Ferrari and the F1 team. The 63-year-old has been with the Italian marque for 23 years, but a decision by Ferrari's parent company Fiat-Chrysler to float on the New York Stock Exchange has prompted his departure. "Ferrari will have an important role to play within the FCA Group [Fiat-Chrysler Automotive] in the upcoming flotation on Wall Street. This will open up a new and different phase which I feel should be spearheaded by the CEO of the Group," he said. "This is the end of an era and so I have decided to leave my position as chairman after almost 23 marvellous and unforgettable years in addition to those spent at Enzo Ferrari's side in the 1970s." He will officially leave the company on October 13th. Di Montezemolo's sudden announcement, just days after insisting he wanted to see out the remaining three years of his contract, has likely been pushed by Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne who has been critical of Ferrari's F1 performance. Marchionne will become Ferrari's new chairman and hinted in his statement that change was needed to get the company's F1 team back on track, even though Ferrari itself is expected to announce record profits this year. "Luca and I have discussed the future of Ferrari at length. And our mutual desire to see Ferrari achieve its true potential on the track has led to misunderstandings which became clearly visible over the last weekend." In the statement, Di Montezemolo thanked his staff: "Ferrari is the most wonderful company in the world. It has been a great privilege and honour to have been its leader. I devoted all of my enthusiasm and commitment to it over the years. "Together with my family, it was, and continues to be, the most important thing in my life. "I wish the shareholders, particularly Piero Ferrari who has always been by my side, and everyone in the company the many more years of success that Ferrari deserves."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09327http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09327Schumacher leaves hospital to continue rehab at homeTue, 09 Sep 2014 14:29:10 GMTMichael Schumacher has left the Swiss hospital which was treating him during his rehabilitation to continue the process at home with his family. The German has been hospitalised since late-December when he suffered a skiing accident. He was moved from a French hospital to the Lausanne hospital in Switzerland to be closer to his home. He will now continue his extensive rehabilitation at home confirmed manager Sabine Kehm, though she pressed that this decision shouldn't be considered evidence of massive changes in his health. "Henceforth, Michael's recovery will take place at his home," she said in a statement. "Considering the injuries he suffered, progress has been made in the past weeks and months. There is still, however, a long and difficult road ahead. "We would like to extend our gratitude to the entire team at CHUV Lausanne for their thorough and competent work. "We ask that the privacy of Michael's family continues to be respected, and that speculations about his health are avoided." Kehm also confirmed no building work has taken place at Schumacher's home to accomodate him, as has recently been reported.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09326http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09326Bob Bell to join Ferrari from Mercedes?Tue, 09 Sep 2014 12:52:39 GMTIt's expected that Ferrari will confirm the appointment of Bob Bell as it looks to bolster its technical team in the hope of returning to the front of the grid in 2015. Bell, who currently works for Mercedes on "non-F1 projects" after resigning as technical director in December last year, would be a good fit for the Italian team as not only has he worked with Fernando Alonso and James Allison in the past, but he is also aware of the inner-workings at the Silver Arrows. Journalist Adam Cooper suggests Bell might sit directly under team principal Marco Mattiacci and work with Allison on developing the '15 car. However some believe Bell might even take over from Mattiacci in the not too distant future. Mattiacci has only been in the role of team principal since April, but many saw the move as an initiation, to learn the ways of Ferrari before eventually taking over Luca di Montezemolo's role as chairman of the company. With Ferrari's parent company Fiat taking over Chrysler using large amounts of debt to finance the deal, it has been suggested Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne - who recently criticised Di Montezemolo - is looking to float Ferrari in order to raise finance to repay the debt, an idea Di Montezemolo is strongly against. Mattiacci, now that he's been in charge of both the American road car business and the F1 team for a few months, now understands how Ferrari works on both the commercial and sporting sides and is therefore better placed to take over as chairman. He also fits Marchionne's long-term vision for the company.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09325http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09325Haas says Ferrari will supply much of their carTue, 09 Sep 2014 12:30:11 GMTThe Haas F1 Team could very well be considered a Ferrari B-team when it debuts in 2016 after team owner Gene Haas admitted that much of the car will be supplied by the Italian marque. The American outfit will be based in Kannapolis, but will have a UK base, whilst it has agreed a deal to use Ferrari's drivetrain. Haas also intends to source several other areas of the car from Ferrari in order to get the best start possible. "We are going to try to get as many parts as allowed by the FIA," he told NBCSN. "It is going to be suspension, it is going to be I think wheels and chassis parts and transmission, engine. Everything down to even the steering modes. "One of the prior Concorde agreements was that the big teams could help the smaller teams, so we hope to get a lot of help from Ferrari to tell us what direction to go in. "Then we are gonna have a lot of other people to help us build those parts. Dallara will probably [be] one of the sub-contractors. "Our goal at least initially is to try to rent, buy whatever we can to go racing because that is what we are here for." The UK base is also a change of heart after Haas initially planned to start an all-American team solely based out of the USA. "The next step is that we have to get our base together. Obviously Ferrari is based in Italy, we have our facilities in Kannapolis," he added. "We are probably going to need to have some kind of facility in the UK, in the southern part where all the other Formula 1 racers are. So, just the logistics of putting all of that together is the next challenge."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09324http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09324Red Bull won't help Ricciardo with team ordersTue, 09 Sep 2014 09:20:07 GMTDaniel Ricciardo will not receive the help of team-mate Sebastian Vettel this season as team principal Christian Horner has ruled out the use of team orders. Ricciardo remains Mercedes' closest title rival with just 50 points between him and Lewis Hamilton and a further 22 behind championship leader Nico Rosberg. Therefore challenging for the title seems unlikely, but is far from impossible. The Australian has also consistently finished ahead of Vettel and currently has a 60 point advantage over his German counterpart. That's not enough for Red Bull to throw their full support behind one driver though according to Horner. "I think that we let the drivers race," he said. "We trust them that they race hard and wheel-to-wheel extremely fairly. "The points difference between Daniel and the two Mercedes is enormous so it doesn't make sense for us to interfere with the two driver's racing. "It's down to what they do on track and that's how they raced [at Monza]."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09323http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09323F1 set for team radio clampdown in 2015Tue, 09 Sep 2014 08:31:25 GMTFormula 1 drivers will soon be unable to rely on their engineers for vital information such as fuel use, where they can gain time and tyre wear as the sport is considering a ban on such team radio. F1 team bosses discussed the matter during an F1 Strategy Group meeting last weekend in Monza, and believe fans dislike the constant help drivers receive from the pit wall which makes them seem like 'puppets' following commands. Team radio won't be banned as a whole, as it's understood some radio messages add to the excitement, but those which help performance will fall under Article 20.1 of F1's Sporting Regulations which states that: "The driver must drive the car alone and unaided." The radio calls wouldn't simply be filtered out of television broadcasts, but banned altogether, though it would be difficult to police. Discussions are therefore ongoing between team bosses and the FIA and clarification on the matter is expected before the Singapore GP. What information will be banned is also set for clarification, but it's believed radio calls such as: "your team-mate is faster through corners A, B and C," and "try saving ERS boost for a specifc part of the track, then attack," would be considered illegal as it gives drivers information they wouldn't necessarily have without radio contact. Speaking to Autosport, McLaren racing director Eric Boullier believes it will be better for the sport going forward. "FOM could switch it off, or filter it. But at the end, why not go with another rule that is going to make it simpler and let the driver express himself a bit more on track? It is better, of course."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09322http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09322Fiat boss criticises Di Montezemolo's commentsMon, 08 Sep 2014 17:26:43 GMTFiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne has criticised Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo for his Monza statement, in which he said he would be the one to decide when he will leave Ferrari. Rumours had circulated the paddock that the Italian was set to announce his retirement, but he addressed the media on Sunday, making it clear that he planned to see out the remaining three years on his contract at minimum. He added: "I will be the first - and I emphasise the first [to announce my departure from Ferrari]." That comment didn't please Marchionne. The boss of Ferrari's parent company warned Di Montezemolo that anyone, including himself, is indispensable and the company would decide when he leaves. "We are good friends but his statements, these are things I wouldn't have said myself," he said. "On volume and economic results Luca has done an outstanding job. I [also] consider myself essential, of course. But I also know very well that I am at the service of this company. So to create positions, illusions that one can operate outside the rules, is talking rubbish. "It's the same for him as it is for me; we serve the company. When the company has a change of plan, or if there is no longer a convergence of ideas, things change. Nobody is indispensable." Marchionne was also critical of Ferrari's recent results and called the six year gap without a title unacceptable. "The heart of Ferrari is winning in F1. I don't want to see our drivers in 7th and 12th place. To see the Reds in this state, having the best drivers, exceptional facilities, engineers who are really good, to see all that and then to consider that we have not won since 2008. "The important thing for Ferrari is not just the financial results, but also it is winning and we have been struggling for six years."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09321http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09321Billionaire Stroll looking to buy Sauber F1 TeamMon, 08 Sep 2014 17:09:31 GMTSauber is on the brink of being taken over by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll according to reports in the Monza paddock over the weekend. The team is in need of investment after a disappointing season and a collapsed financial deal with a group of Russian investors. Stroll, who made his fortune in the fashion industry, was linked with the purchase of a stake in the sport itself, but it's now apparent that he is looking to invest in a team and talks with Sauber have recently taken place. Stroll has strong links with Sauber's engine supplier Ferrari. He has an expansive collection of Ferrari cars - he recently paid £17 million ($27.5m) for Ferrari 275 GTB - and his son, Lance, is a member of Ferrari's Driver Academy. Stroll also lives in Switzerland, not far from Sauber's Hinwil base and owns the Mont Tremblant circuit in Canada. The deal would come at a crucial time for Sauber which is yet to score a point all season and requires major investment to get back on track. It also comes amid a difficult time for F1 when several outfits are struggling amidst rumours 2015 might feature just eight teams.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09320http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09320Wolff calls on F1 fans to stop booing driversMon, 08 Sep 2014 11:38:33 GMTToto Wolff has called on Formula 1 fans to stop booing drivers on the podium after Nico Rosberg was subjected to boos for the second race weekend in a row. The German has been on the receiving end of the abuse because of the lap two incident with team-mate Lewis Hamilton in Belgium and it continued in Italy where he finished second. Whilst some have argued that booing is just fan engagement and part of the 'show', Wolff believes it is disrespectful and needs to stop. "There should not be any booing on the podium," Wolff said. "It is the top three guys who have had a mega race and whoever it is they shouldn't be doing it. "It is sport and sport should unite. But all those guys have fans; some of them are pretty emotional." The Austrian is however confident Rosberg can overcome the emotional stress it causes. "Does that take a toll on you? Yes. So I think you have to be pretty tough," he explained. "I don't want to even think about being booed - but maybe it is something you need to survive if you want to take it to the top." "Lewis had many of them and he came back and we have seen Nico after Silverstone come back," he added. "You need extreme mental strength to make it to the end and win the championship. "Both of them have it in them to bounce back after weekends. Before the incident at Spa it had been going back and forth."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09319http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09319Albers resigns as Caterham team principalSun, 07 Sep 2014 18:02:00 GMTCaterham team principal Christijan Albers has resigned after spending just two months in his role since the team was taken over in July. The Dutch businessman was put in charge following the takeover by a group of Middle Eastern and Swiss investors, but says personal reasons have led to his departure. "Over the past months I have dedicated all my energy to ensure the takeover of the team would go as smoothly as possible and to achieve the best possible result for our investors, sponsors and all the people involved with Caterham," he said. "As such I worked tirelessly to reconstruct the team while, at the same time, making technical updates on the car. In doing this we created both a better foundation for the team's future and achieved significant improvements on the speed of the car. "Due to private reasons and in order to be able to spend more time with my family, I will resign from my position as CEO of Caterham. I wish the team all the best in the future." Manfredi Ravetto is promoted to the role of team principal.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09318http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09318Rosberg admits Hamilton pressure led to mistakeSun, 07 Sep 2014 17:31:10 GMTNico Rosberg has admitted he made his chicane cutting mistake because of the pressure he was under to up his pace to remain ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton. The Briton was charging after Rosberg and closing in at an average of two tenths a lap. As Hamilton closed to within seven tenths, Rosberg locked a wheel and took the escape route at the first chicane which handed the lead to Hamilton. Rosberg admitted he was disappointed with the error - one he actually made twice during the race. "Lewis was just quick coming from behind so I needed to up my pace and as a result just made a mistake," he explained. "It was very bad and that lost me the lead in the end, so I'm very disappointed from that point of view. "Monza is one of the most difficult tracks for braking because of the low downforce and the highest speed of the year. It isn't excuse, it is what it is. It is one of the challenges here and unfortunately I just got it wrong two times in the race." The result closes the gap between the pair to just 22 points with six races remaining. Rosberg isn't too downbeat though as he still holds a substantial advantage. "For me, of course I'm disappointed now right afterwards but it's still second place and a lot of points so it's not a complete disaster. I have to look at reality. There is worse than that, I only lost seven points to Lewis."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09317http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09317Hamilton wins as Rosberg cracks under pressureSun, 07 Sep 2014 14:34:29 GMTLewis Hamilton surpassed Sir Jackie Stewart's win tally of 27 as he secured victory at the 2014 Italian Grand Prix ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg. The Briton started on pole but a troubled start dropped him to fourth, allowing Rosberg to open a gap in the lead ahead of the quick starting Kevin Magnussen. Valtteri Bottas also got away slowly and dropped to tenth but eventually managed to recover to fourth behind team-mate Felipe Massa. Hamilton forced his way past Massa and Magnussen before he began to close in on Rosberg, but the German cracked under the pressure and cut the chicane, allowing the Briton to take the lead where he remained until the 53rd and final lap. Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth thanks to some brilliant overtakes, including one on team-mate Sebastian Vettel. Kevin Magnussen finished seventh but was hit with a five-second penalty which was added after the race and therefore drops him to P10. Race Result - 2014 Italian Grand Prix: #DriverTeamGapPts 01. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 25 02. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +3.1 18 03. Felipe Massa Williams +25.0 15 04. Valtteri Bottas Williams +40.7 12 05. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull +50.3 10 06. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull +59.9 8 07. Sergio Perez Force India +62.5 6 08. Jenson Button McLaren +63.0 4 09. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +63.5 2 10. Kevin Magnussen* McLaren +66.1 1 11. Daniel Kvyat Toro Rosso +71.1 12. Nico Hulkenberg Force India +72.6 13. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso +73.0 14. Pastor Maldonado Lotus +1 lap 15. Adrian Sutil Sauber +1 lap 16. Romain Grosjean Lotus +1 lap 17. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham +1 lap 18. Jules Bianchi Marussia +1 lap 19. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber +1 lap 20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham +1 lap 21. Fernando Alonso Ferrari Retired 22. Max Chilton Marussia Retired http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09316http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09316Williams retain Massa and Bottas for 2015Sun, 07 Sep 2014 12:38:45 GMTWilliams has announced that both Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas will be retained for the 2015 Formula 1 season. The pairing have helped the team to recover to fourth in the championship this season with several races remaining and just ten points between them and Ferrari. Speaking about the announcement Massa said: "I'm really enjoying my time at Williams and I feel settled here. Williams is such an iconic name in motor racing and I have a lot of pride when racing for this team. "This season we have started to show our true potential and I'm driving a car that is looking strong and has improved a lot as the season has progressed which is very encouraging for the future. It's important that we continue to push in the second half of the season and that we start 2015 with some really good momentum that we can build on." Bottas added: "I've been a member of the Williams team for five years now and we have developed together throughout that time which is a great feeling. The team has also made some very impressive gains this season and I'm confident that I'm at a team that is moving in the right direction and can continue to be competitive. "Sir Frank and Claire have put a lot of faith in me and I'm very grateful that they continue to do so. Felipe and I have a good working relationship and this early announcement will help us both input into the ongoing development of the FW36 and the FW37."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09315http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09315Alonso reckons Hamilton is favourite for the titleSat, 06 Sep 2014 21:47:09 GMTFernando Alonso believes Lewis Hamilton is probably favourite for the 2014 title at present, despite a 29-point deficit to team-mate Nico Rosberg. The Spaniard, a former team-mate of Hamilton's, reckons the 2008 world champion's experience fighting for the title in '07 and '08 will play to his advantage. "I don't think that Lewis needs any learning for the fight," he told NBCSN. "I think he has the talent and he has the abilities to fight for the championship already from the first year that he arrived. "It is true that in this fight he is maybe more ready because it is not the first time that he will fight for a world championship." That experience could make the difference and that's why the Briton is favourite according to the Ferrari driver. "When there is one race to go [his experience] could make a difference, and probably right now, he is the favorite." Hamilton starts the Italian GP from pole position, alongside Rosberg.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09314http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09314Ecclestone hopeful of Monza deal post-2016Sat, 06 Sep 2014 19:13:10 GMTBernie Ecclestone is hopeful of signing a new deal with the organisers of the Italian Grand Prix as long as they can agree new terms in line with other European races. The 83-year-old recently threatened to scrap the race once its current deal expires in 2016 because it pays less than the majority of events - an announcement which was met with much criticism. But speaking on Saturday in the Monza paddock, Ecclestone was more hopeful of a new deal following talks with new promoter and former driver Ivan Capelli. "I spoke to them this morning and the bottom line is simple: all we want is for Monza to have the same terms as all the other European races," he said. "I would like to cross the name out of any [other races] contract then I would like to put in the name 'Monza'." When asked if a deal was possible, he said: "I hope so. They seem competent people."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09313http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09313Alonso: 'I struck the absolute maximum in Q3'Sat, 06 Sep 2014 17:25:39 GMTFernando Alonso believes he got the most out of his Ferrari F14T after posting four almost identical lap times during the top ten shoot-out for pole position. The Spaniard will start seventh, but throughout practice it looked as though he would end up closer to the Mercedes duo. However he believes higher fuel loads and engine performance make for misleading times. "It was a nice session for me, I think," he said after. "It's difficult after free practice because we always create some optimism because we seem to be always a little more competitive - probably we run different fuel loads compare to our opponents. "In qualifying we know they [Mercedes-powered cars] turn up the engine and are a little bit quicker than us normally so we expected a tough qualifying and it was. I was completely on the limit today. I had two runs in Q2 and two runs in Q3 and I did four identical lap times, so I could put 100 sets of tyres on and I would do identical timed laps." Alonso is the highest placed non-Mercedes powered car and he reckons that proves he got the maximum out of the car considering team-mate Kimi Raikkonen qualified 12th. "It was absolutely the maximum and it was positive for me because I see two Mercedes, two Williams, two McLarens, one Ferrari, two Red Bulls, so personally I think I struck the maximum. The important thing is to do a good race tomorrow."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09312http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09312Rosberg won't change approach to racing HamiltonSat, 06 Sep 2014 17:16:22 GMTNico Rosberg says he won't change his approach to racing against team-mate Lewis Hamilton on Sunday despite their falling out in Belgium when the pair made contact. Rosberg will start alongside pole sitter Hamilton for the Italian Grand Prix, and although Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has issued a warning that further contact will not be tolerated, Rosberg says he will continue as before. "The message is that we are keeping on racing, that is the way it is," he replied when asked if Wolff's warning would be ringing in his ears. "It has not changed since before we started the season. The message has been clear. There is no real change at the moment, it is the same as always. "At the moment I'm out to win, it doesn't matter where we are. I'm not thinking about the end of the season yet or anything like that. Every race I'm trying to get the best out of it to try and win the race." The German missed the final practice session after running into gearbox troubles, but he doesn't reckon it impacted his qualifying chances despite finishing four-tenths down on Hamilton. "To be honest straight from the first run in qualifying I had a good feeling and the car was better than yesterday in many areas. We adapted the set-up overnight and worked on it so I actually got straight into it, I was happy about that feeling because I was expecting it to be a bit more complicated. "Mainly overnight by looking at the running yesterday and the problems we had. The team made some suggestions - there's also a whole group of people back in the factory looking at the computer - and we adapted that here at the track. I was quite pleased about that because it felt a lot better."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09311http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09311Hamilton takes Monza pole by comfortable margin to team-mate RosbergSat, 06 Sep 2014 14:13:51 GMTLewis Hamilton secured pole position by a comfortable margin of just under four-tenths as he topped all three sessions to dominate team-mate Nico Rosberg and secure his first pole since the Spanish GP. The Briton's first run in Q3 was enough to secure him the top spot as Rosberg failed to improve by enough on his second run, eventually settling for second. Mercedes power dominated the top six as the Williams pairing of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa start third and fourth respectively, whilst McLaren's Kevin Magnussen outqualified Jenson Button to take the third row on the grid. Ferrari favourite Fernando Alonso could only manage seventh, far better than team-mate Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn failed to escape Q2. Kamui Kobayashi declared his lap "mega" as a final attempt put him ahead of both the Marussia's for the first time in several races. Qualifying - 2014 Italian Grand Prix #Driver Team Q1Q2Q3 01 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:25.363 1:24.560 1:24.109 02 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:25.493 1:24.600 1:24.383 03 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:26.012 1:24.858 1:24.697 04 Felipe Massa Williams 1:25.528 1:25.046 1:24.865 05 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:26.337 1:25.973 1:25.314 06 Jenson Button McLaren 1:26.328 1:25.630 1:25.379 07 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:26.514 1:25.525 1:25.430 08 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:26.631 1:25.769 1:25.436 09 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:26.731 1:25.946 1:25.709 10 Sergio Perez Force India 1:26.569 1:25.893 1:25.944 11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:26.261 1:26.070   12 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:26.689 1:26.110   13 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:26.140 1:26.157   14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:26.371 1:26.279   15 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:27.034 1:26.588   16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1.26.999 1:26.692   17 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:27.520     18 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:27.632     19 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:27.671     20 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:27.738     21 Max Chilton Marussia 1:28.247     22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:28.562     http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09310http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09310FP3: Hamilton quickest as Rosberg hits issuesSat, 06 Sep 2014 11:47:22 GMTLewis Hamilton was back on top for final practice for the Italian Grand Prix as this time it was his team-mate Nico Rosberg that had issues. Hamilton's 1:25.519 was the quickest lap of the weekend so far, but only two-tenths quicker than his hard tyre lap, which allowed Fernando Alonso to close in to within just four-tenths. Williams held third and fourth and looked strong on their long-runs, potentially showing their hand and a possible capability to challenge Mercedes on Sunday. Nico Rosberg meanwhile remained in the garage for the entire hour long session with gearbox troubles, but it doesn't look likely that it will need changing. FP3 Full Times - 2014 Italian Grand Prix: #No.DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:25.519   23 02 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:25.931 0.412 13 03 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:26.090 0.571 19 04 19 Felipe Massa Williams 1:26.114 0.595 18 05 22 Jenson Button McLaren 1:26.242 0.723 21 06 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:26.290 0.771 17 07 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:26.327 0.808 15 08 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:26.437 0.918 21 09 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:26.482 0.963 16 10 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:26.608 1.089 17 11 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:26.829 1.310 20 12 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:27.207 1.688 18 13 11 Sergio Perez Force India 1:27.312 1.793 10 14 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:27.479 1.960 22 15 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:27.498 1.979 12 16 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:28.025 2.506 19 17 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:28.137 2.618 20 18 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:28.265 2.746 21 19 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:28.459 2.940 14 20 4 Max Chilton Marussia 1:28.579 3.060 19 21 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:29.251 3.732 22 22 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes No time   3 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09309http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09309Kvyat hit with sixth engine ten-place penaltySat, 06 Sep 2014 10:22:20 GMTToro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat has incurred the first engine change penalty of the 2014 Formula 1 season following confirmation from the team that they have changed his internal combustion engine. The change means the Russian is now on his sixth unit. As per the regulations, drivers are limited to just five units and a sixth unit brings with it a ten-place grid penalty. "The internal combustion engine used by the above driver is the sixth new internal combustion engine for the 2014 championship season and as this is not in conformity with Article 28.4a of the 2014 Formula 1 sporting regulations, I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration," reads an FIA stewards report on the matter. Kvyat will therefore start ten places lower than he qualifies. If however he qualifies 13th or lower and can therefore not move back the full ten places, the remainder will carry over to the Singapore GP. Example: Kvyat qualifies 15th. He drops to 22nd (drops seven places). A three-place penalty will carry over to the next event. You can keep up with component usage for all 22 drivers here.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09308http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09308Stats: Power unit component usage after 12 racesSat, 06 Sep 2014 10:12:31 GMTWith the increased focus on reliability and durability in 2014, keeping an eye on the number of power unit components throughout the season could prove key to any championship hopes. Should a driver exceed the allocation of any of the components below - of which they get five per season - then they will be hit with a grid penalty. Should a driver use a sixth component for the first time, they will be hit with a ten-place grid penalty. A five-place penalty will be applied to any sixth component after that and so on. Both Red Bull drivers have changed their ICE, TC, MGU-K and MGU-H, whilst Sebastian Vettel is now on his fourth Control Electronics, as is Caterham's Kamui Kobayashi. Here are the latest statistics concerning use ahead of the Italian Grand Prix. ICE - Internal Combustion EngineTC - Turbo ChargerMGU-K - Motor Generator Energy-KineticMGU-H - Motor Generator Energy-HeatES - Energy StoreCE - Control Electronics #DriverTeamICETCMGU-KMGU-HESCE 01 S. Vettel Red Bull 5 4 4 4 2 4 02 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 4 3 4 3 2 3 03 L. Hamilton Mercedes 4 4 4 4 3 3 04 N. Rosberg Mercedes 4 4 4 4 3 3 05 F. Alonso Ferrari 4 3 3 3 3 4 06 K. Raikkonen Ferrari 4 3 3 4 4 4 07 R. Grosjean Lotus 4 5 4 4 3 3 08 P. Maldonado Lotus 5 5 5 5 4 3 09 J. Button McLaren 4 4 4 4 3 3 10 K. Magnussen McLaren 4 4 4 4 3 3 11 N. Hulkenberg Force India 4 4 4 4 3 3 12 S. Perez Force India 4 4 4 4 3 3 13 A. Sutil Sauber 4 4 4 4 4 4 14 E. Gutierrez Sauber 4 4 4 4 3 5 15 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 4 4 5 4 3 3 16 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 6 4 5 3 2 2 17 F. Massa Williams 4 4 4 4 2 3 18 V. Bottas Williams 4 4 4 4 3 3 19 J. Bianchi Marussia 5 5 4 5 3 4 20 M. Chilton Marussia 4 4 4 4 3 4 21 K. Kobayashi Caterham 4 4 3 4 3 4 22 M. Ericsson Caterham 4 4 3 3 2 3 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09307http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09307Mercedes duo the only source of excitement - BriatoreSat, 06 Sep 2014 09:18:47 GMTFormula 1 should be thankful of the Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton on/off track battle at Mercedes as it's the only source of entertainment this season according to Flavio Briatore. The former team principal was recently involved in discussions to bring additional excitement to the sport before the plans were abandoned following a string of exciting races. Briatore however remains unhappy with the way sport has gone recently, but says F1 must be thankful for the drama coming from the Mercedes garage. "Hamilton and Rosberg are the only ones who are bringing this Formula 1 to life," declared the Italian. "If they were more disciplined, looking at Mercedes' technical advantage, no one would be able to keep in touch with them. "You can't have avoidable incidents which put other people's work at risk, but they are good enough to fight without accidents." Briatore believes the team should already have declared Rosberg its number one driver because of his points advantage, relegating Hamilton to a supporting role. "For me there has to always be a first driver and a second. One wins the Championship and the other helps with the Constructors' title. "After three or four races you realise who is the first, the one with more points. It should be Rosberg in this case."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09306http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09306Todt has privately expressed concern over Russian GPFri, 05 Sep 2014 22:24:01 GMTFIA president Jean Todt has privately expressed concerns over the Russian Grand Prix according to FIA insider and close ally Ari Vatanen. However, despite growing tension between the West and Russia over its involvement in the Ukraine crisis, Todt is unable to express his concern publicly, says Vatanen - who himself has called for the race to be cancelled. "Of course Jean knows about my comments, we spoke about it," he told the Telegraph. "I think he partly shares my view. It is true that his hands are tied. I can say things much more openly and freely than he can. "I’m not saying he agrees with everything that I say, but he has a much more reduced room for manoeuvre. He cannot do big moves one day to another. Any movement by people starting to talk about it and then it can spread and lead to action." Vatanen, who despite running against Todt in the 2009 FIA presidential elections, now works closely with the Frenchman after being appointed to president of the commission for closed road racing. The Finn made his own feelings on the matter clear and believes F1 must avoid visiting Russia at all costs as it would give the sport a bad image. "It would send a message of acceptance if we went to Russia. It would say we [F1] condone, effectively, maybe not explicitly, but by our actions we condone what is going on because it is used in propaganda. "It is often said that Formula One should not mix politics and sport, but the Russian regime is already mixing politics and sport in a blatant way, so we have to respond. It is for Bernie and the owners to cancel the race," he added.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09305http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09305Mercedes open to relaxing engine freeze ruleFri, 05 Sep 2014 20:04:27 GMTMercedes has joined rivals Ferrari and Renault in agreeing that a relaxing of the engine development freeze could be beneficial for the sport. The German marque, which has an advantage this season after developing a better hybrid power unit, would be open to the idea, originally suggested by Ferrari's Marco Mattiacci and then backed by Renault's Cyril Abiteboul, even if it cuts their lead. "It's about defining what we want to do," said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. "Obviously we have a competitive advantage but we would take the challenge [of increased competition] on. "Is it the time to change the rules? Maybe. The discussions we've had so far were pretty open." Wolff is, as are both Mattiacci and Abiteboul, wary that it must be done in a way that doesn't significantly increase costs and therefore further discussions are required on the subject. "There are various concepts on the table and if we decide to go completely in the opposite direction and open it up completely, this will increase costs quite dramatically. "I'm not sure we could deliver all the same specification of engines to everybody - logistically it's not feasible - so the devil lies in the detail." Related: Renault would support lifting engine freeze | Ferrari want power unit freeze to be liftedhttp://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09304http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09304Lotus halts development of E22 to focus on 2015Fri, 05 Sep 2014 18:07:33 GMTLotus has halted development of its 2014 car, the E22, as it looks to turn its full focus to next season following a lacklustre campaign so far. The team have failed to perform anywhere near the same level they did in 2013 when they challenged Ferrari for third place in the constructors' championship. So far this year they have scored just eight points compared to 187 at the same point last year and Romain Grosjean doesn't expect them to score anymore, simply responding with "no" when asked if the E22 was capable of scoring in the last few races. As a result, the team have chosen to stop development and focus on next year's car completely. "We have some problems with the aerodynamic consistency of the car," added Grosjean. "It's a problem we have had since day one and it's something we certainly cannot 100 per cent solve for this year. "We are on next year's car. There is no more development for this year's car," he confirmed.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09303http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09303Formula 1 will benefit from Formula E - TodtFri, 05 Sep 2014 17:58:22 GMTFIA president Jean Todt insists the new electric single-seater racing series, Formula E, will benefit other motorsports series, including Formula 1. F1 has moved to hybrid systems this season as it looks to become more environmentally friendly, but the power units are still in their infancy. Todt reckons FE's focus on sustainable racing will filter up and down to other series. "We can expect development in batteries, motor technology and security issues that can be transferred with other series such as F1, WEC etc," he told the official Formula E website. "You always learn from one championship to another one. For example, what generates a lot of cost is aerodynamic development and in Formula E it's quite limited, which I think is a good thing because sometime you see how complicated aerodynamics are on a car. "You take Formula 1 now with all the little winglets that require so much wind tunnel testing. So I would say let's try to develop as much that can be transferred to a city car." The series launches next week with the inaugural Beijing Grand Prix http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09302http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09302FP2: Rosberg quickest as Hamilton hits problemsFri, 05 Sep 2014 14:41:22 GMTNico Rosberg was the quickest driver during second practice for the Italian Grand Prix as his team-mate Lewis Hamilton once again suffered from reliability troubles. The German's 1:26.225 was enough to put him top, but he was only 0.061 seconds quicker than Hamilton who posted the second quickest lap despite electrical issues costing him over an hour of the session. Ferrari had something to cheer about as both Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso were on the pace. The Finn was just a tenth off Rosberg's quickest in third, whilst the Spaniard was fourth. Valtteri Bottas was fifth quickest ahead of McLaren's Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen. Daniel Ricciardo completed the top ten, just behind Felipe Massa, as the Australian looked to recover from engine issues in FP1. Romain Grosjean provided the entertainment as he went off several times, often taking trips through the Monza gravel traps. FP2 Full Times - 2014 Italian Grand Prix: #No.DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:26.225   41 02 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.286 0.061 16 03 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:26.331 0.106 31 04 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:26.565 0.340 26 05 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:26.758 0.533 34 06 22 Jenson Button McLaren 1:26.762 0.537 34 07 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:26.762 0.537 27 08 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:26.881 0.656 44 09 19 Felipe Massa Williams 1:26.935 0.710 33 10 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:26.992 0.767 37 11 11 Sergio Perez Force India 1:27.079 0.854 42 12 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:27.227 1.002 39 13 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:27.476 1.251 37 14 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:27.840 1.615 33 15 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:27.929 1.704 33 16 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:28.029 1.804 35 17 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:28.659 2.434 34 18 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:28.700 2.475 42 19 4 Max Chilton Marussia 1:28.786 2.561 29 20 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:29.085 2.860 29 21 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:29.178 2.953 32 22 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:29.275 3.050 37 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09301http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09301Williams: 'F1 performance to blame for 20m loss'Fri, 05 Sep 2014 11:52:57 GMTThe Williams F1 Team has blamed investment in ensuring it moved toward the front of the Formula 1 grid for losses of more than £20 million ($32m) in the first six months of 2014. The team, as part of Williams Grand Prix Holdings, released its interim financial results on Friday which revealed big losses for the company. In the opening six months of this year, the F1 team recorded a loss of £20.7m ($33.8m), whilst the group as a whole lost £18.8m ($31m) on income of £46.6m ($76m). The losses aren't a major concern however, as CEO Mike O'Driscoll explains that they were expected after the team took a conscious decision to invest heavily in its F1 operation to ensure it was more competitive when compared to recent years. "At the beginning of the second half of last year we began an ambitious strategy to rebuild the Formula One organisation, develop a strong Advanced Engineering division, and divest non-core operations. We have already made substantial progress towards our objectives. "This strategy has required significant investment, as illustrated by our first half results, and it is anticipated that this will also impact the full year results. "After a number of disappointing seasons, our Formula One team has been significantly strengthened across all key functions. Our long-term power unit supply agreement with Mercedes provides strength and stability. As a consequence we have made a significant step-change in our on-track performance. We have also made great progress commercially, underscored by our title partnership agreement with Martini." The teams costs have risen as a result of the 2014 power units which cost an estimated £8m more than the V8 engines, whilst the loss of Pastor Maldonado's sponsorship package is also taken into account. The team currently sit fourth in the championship standings, just ten points behind Ferrari. If they finish fourth, they stand to land a £15m bonus in F1 prize money compared to 2013 when they finished just ninth.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09300http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09300FP1: Hamilton sets pace in opening Monza practiceFri, 05 Sep 2014 10:44:47 GMTLewis Hamilton opened the first practice session with the fastest lap to give him a commanding lead over the rest of the field, including his team-mate Nico Rosberg. The Briton's 1:26.187 came toward the end of the session, but it was enough to put him six-tenths ahead of McLaren's Jenson Button and a further two-tenths ahead of Rosberg in third. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was the only other driver to get within a second of the lead Mercedes, but only just. McLaren will surely be happy with Button in second and Kevin Magnussen fifth as they look to exploit the top-speed advantage of their Mercedes engine combined with low-drag bodywork. Sebastian Vettel was sixth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez - the Mexican suffered a slight off under braking for Ascari which sent him through the gravel trap. Several reserve drivers had an outing with Giedo van der Garde for Sauber, Daniel Juncadella for Force India, Charles Pic for Lotus and Roberto Mehri for Caterham. FP1 Full Times - 2014 Italian Grand Prix: #No.DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.187     02 22 Jenson Button McLaren 1:26.810 0.623   03 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:26.995 0.808   04 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:27.169 0.982   05 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:27.228 1.041   06 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:27.271 1.084   07 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:27.493 1.306   08 11 Sergio Perez Force India 1:27.687 1.500   09 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:27.741 1.554   10 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:28.112 1.925   11 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:28.114 1.927   12 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:28.148 1.961   13 19 Felipe Massa Williams 1:28.150 1.963   14 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:28.300 2.113   15 36 Giedo van der Garde Sauber 1:28.429 2.242   16 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:28.487 2.300   17 34 Daniel Juncadella Force India 1:29.192 3.005   18 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:29.512 3.325   19 4 Max Chilton Marussia 1:30.017 3.830   20 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:30.081 3.894   21 30 Charles Pic Lotus 1:30.125 3.938   22 45 Roberto Merhi Caterham 1:30.704 4.517   23 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:30.948 4.761   http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09299http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09299Mercedes would consider driver line-up changeThu, 04 Sep 2014 21:16:55 GMTMercedes boss Toto Wolff has admitted that the team would have to consider changing its driver line-up if they're unable to manage the current pairing of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. The pair have been locked in an intense battle on and off track since the start of the season. Their relationship began to fall apart in Monaco and has failed to fully recover since, in fact it has only worsened with the problems in Hungary and Belgium. Rosberg was punished for his part in their Spa clash and the pair have been warned against further disruption. If disciplinary action fails to deter them, Wolff says Mercedes would have no other option but to change one or both of their drivers. "We would have to take decisions and take the consequences of having a different line-up," the Austrian told the BBC. "If we are not able to manage the two of them following the Mercedes-Benz spirit then we need to admit that," he stated. When pushed on how Rosberg was disciplined - rumours suggest a six-figure fine - he refused to be drawn on the details and said he hoped it would be the last time he'd have to punish a driver. "When you are managing a team it is very important to keep it balanced. I would very much like the penalties we have been implementing to stay within the team because it is just not fair on the driver to discuss that in public. "We have made it very clear this is an unacceptable scenario for us, for both of them. We don't want this to happen ever again."