In the round-up: Mercedes technical director James Allison, who has returned to the position after exchanging the position of chief technical officer with Mike Elliott, says their role swap will allow both to play to their strengths.
W14 a “weak” car by Mercedes’ standards – Allison
Allison has made an eye-catching return to the role of technical director, a role he vacated two years ago, in a bid to restore the team to competitiveness following their second consecutive sub-par start to a season.
He told the official F1 website his exchange of positions with Elliott was not “particularly dependent on the fortune of the car at a given race weekend – it was based on a sober assessment of what the pair of us are best suited to. We think that the overall fighting strength of this team is maximised by this role swap.”
It followed the team’s most encouraging performance of the year so far in Australia. “Let’s hope Melbourne is just the first step in a general pick-up and recovery that helps us to get more competitive by the weekend,” Allison continued. “Mike and I are convinced that with the jobs we’re setting out to do we’ll be playing our best part in that recovery in the time ahead of us.”
While the team already plans to bring a series of improvements to its W14 in the coming races, Allison said the car is not without its positive features. “It’s reliable – touch wood – that’s a definite strength,” he said. “It’s got a very quick pair of punters pedalling it around.
“It’s better than most of the grid out there but until it’s the quickest one it will always feel like a weak car to all of us.
“It’s adequately kind to its tyres but not as good as some other cars we’ve made in the past. It’s got more downforce than most of the cars on the grid but not sufficient. Its handling characteristics leave a little to be desired and need to be worked on, for sure.
“But none of this stuff is revelatory. We’ve been talking about it most weekends and it’s part of what this team needs to address to get winning material back in our hands.”
Massa lawyers up
Felipe Massa has gathered a team of lawyers to investigate the events of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, Motorsport-Total reports. The former Ferrari driver, who finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton in the world championship 15 years ago, is seeking to challenge the outcome of the race following Bernie Ecclestone’s claim F1 and the FIA knew before the end of the season that Fernando Alonso’s victory had come about due to his team mate’s deliberate crash.
Hamilton “fed up”
Joan Villadelprat, who worked for McLaren, Ferrari and Benetton in Formula 1 before being involved in Epsilon Euskadi’s unsuccessful attempt to enter the series in 2010, says he doubts Lewis Hamilton is motivated to win an eighth world championship. Writing in his column for El Confidencial the 67-year old claimed Hamilton is “fed up” and too quick to complain when his tyres or strategy are not right.
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Motor racing links of interest:
IndyCar refutes Liberty Media sale rumor (Racer)
“There’s no truth to any of that. There’s been no discussion, and frankly, we wouldn’t sell it. Being the stewards of the Indy 500 and being stewards of the IndyCar Series go hand in hand.”
Formula 1 Taps Brakes On Selling, For Now (Front Office Sports)
“Given the situation in the stock market, the likelihood that in the short term we decide to sell is extremely unlikely. It would only have a negative impact on us and not benefit our shareholders.”
ESPN Turning Up The Music for Formula 1 Fans at Racing Fan Fest in Miami’s Wynwood (ESPN)
” Kicking off the activations for the F1 Miami Grand Prix, ESPN is launching new F1 creative in collaboration with Gryffin. The spot features the artist’s unreleased single ‘Oceans’ with up-and-coming vocalist KidJoi, and will run in promotions across linear, digital, and social leading up to the race at Miami International Autodrome, a circuit built in the complex of Hard Rock Stadium.”
Drugovich fastest at Berlin Rookie Test (Formula E)
“FIA Formula 2 champion Felipe Drugovich (Maserati MSG Racing) set the fastest time at the Berlin Rookie Test; inside the quickest pole position effort of the Berlin E-Prix weekend and just two tenths of a second off the best time set in practice by Maximilian Guenther – in the same car.”
Would You Rather with Théo Pourchaire (Formula 2)
“Win from last for sure, it’s a lot more exciting. If I have to choose for sure to do the pole and to win from pole. It’s the most perfect result we can possibly do, but I mean you don’t have that extra adrenaline overtaking everyone and that’s amazing, too. I don’t know if it’s possible to win from last in F2. If we have to do it this year, maybe we need to check some things but we’ll see.”
Paul Dalla Lana Retires From Racing (Daily Sportscar)
“To race for Aston Martin, compete at Le Mans and win a world championship title, has given me so many memories that I will cherish for the rest of my days. But the racing always had to stop at some point, and for me, that time has been coming for a while now.”
Ferrari Hypercar | Driver Profile: Alessandro Pier Guidi (Ferrari)
” Pier Guidi gives us an exclusive insight into his motorsport journey that saw him racing in 21 seasons, 11 of them in the FIA WEC during which he has won three titles in the LMGTE Pro class.”
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On this day in motorsport
- 30 years ago today Alain Prost dominated the San Marino Grand Prix and closed within two points of championship leader Ayrton Senna, who retired with a hydraulics failure