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Sauber introduce a leading edge slat


Sauber didn't introduce many upgrades at the Spanish Grand Prix, but one small change to the C33 came in the form of a leading edge slat.
Sandwiched between the side of the cockpit and the outboard vortex generator, the horizontal winglet (see highlighted section) helps stabilise airflow over the sidepod.
Working in tandem with the aforementioned vortex generator the slat works the airflow as it moves over the sidepod. The idea is to increase the operating window of the sidepod, providing performance through a wider speed range.
Ordinarily as speed builds, the airflow passing over the sidepod creates a thicker boundary layer toward the surfaces rear-end. At a certain point that airflow will begin to separate/detach, increasing drag and creating an undesirable airflow structure that could impact the performance of other parts downstream.
The slat and vortex generator combination introduce vortices that reduce the boundary layer thickness, delaying separation, improving the overall performance of the sidepod.
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Another season ahead, will it be better than the last? I'm certainly hoping there will be less politics involved but that's just wishful thinking! Perhaps I will post less on such issues moving forwa

Bernie's really damaging the sport. He's so far behind the times it's impossible to listen to anything he has to say. Just looking at the way other sports leagues have grown over the past 20 years com

I disagree Massa only had one line to of the pits Hulkenburg saw him and could have avoided the contact and still passed Massa as he was on cold tyres. Good race though



After a low-profile period for Formula 1’s official supplier, suddenly tyres and Pirelli are once again grabbing the headlines for what might be for the wrong reasons once again.
Following the days of tyre explosions and disintegrations a couple of years ago, Pirelli chief Paul Hembery admitted last week that he is enjoying not being the “bad guy” anymore. But beneath the surface, discontent remains.
Since the beginning of the ‘power unit’ era, when Pirelli took a much more conservative turn, lap times have blown out as drivers whispered about “concrete” tyres.
Drivers who have recent experience of life both on Pirellis and with Michelin in prototype sports car racing, like Mark Webber, speak with joy about how they can push on every corner of every lap with their French rubber.
Michelin piped up last week, saying it was considering applying to be F1’s sole supplier from 2017.
It triggered an immediate rebuke from Bernie Ecclestone, who predicted the French marque would make a “rock-hard tyre” rather than a show-inspiring product like Pirelli.
Allan McNish, who raced Michelin-shod cars both at Le Mans and in F1, hit back: “Everyone has their view.(But I) can’t say this is my experience of the last … 18 years.”
However, Ecclestone does have his influential allies when it comes to backing Pirelli in F1.
Paddy Lowe, a team boss at reigning world champions Mercedes, thinks that notwithstanding what some drivers say, the Italian marque has improved the spectacle of Formula 1 “a great deal”.
“I think we’ve seen far more exciting races since Pirelli came into formula one,” he said.
Lowe acknowledged that drivers are complaining about not being able to push throughout the race, “But I think that’s been an element (of F1) in the past.
“It may be a slightly bigger element at the moment, but it also adds to the skill necessary from the driver. So it’s still all part of an exciting package,” he added.
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A highly rated young Honda engineer has broken ranks and admitted the Japanese marque will not power a McLaren driver to victory in 2015.
Despite the difficult, uncompetitive and unreliable birth in 2015 to the new works McLaren-Honda alliance, the ‘graphite-grey’ outfit has been a near-perfect picture of optimism.
Drivers and bosses are refusing even to rule out race wins, with Honda’s F1 chief Yasuhisa Arai saying last week that catching up to Mercedes by season end remains the target.
But when asked if Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button will be in a position to win races in 2015, Honda engineer Ryo Mukumoto admitted categorically to Marca: “No. And next year it will also be difficult.”
“For a new team it is difficult to win the first race when the others have been working much longer. In 2016 we will try to win a race, but there are no guarantees in the world of motor sport,” said the Japanese.
Mukumoto’s goal for McLaren-Honda in 2015, therefore, is more modest, “Our goal is to approach the third team at the end of this season. If we succeed, it will be a great achievement.”
He revealed that Honda still has much to extract from its troublesome 2015 ‘power unit’.
“We are not close to the limit,” said Mukomoto. “We are still improving, but it is not simple. We fight, but we are still far away.
“We cannot take it to the limit as other teams can. Our engineers have managed to extract 70 per cent of the power so far.”
This season, therefore, is as much about learning for the future than achieving actual results, he suggested.
“We have to gather experience,” said Mukomoto, “because our engine is new. We cannot make comparisons with the other manufacturers.
“Before using this design we did several investigations,” he added. “I must admit that some did not work, but when we use our tokens it will be much better.”
In 2011 Honda made 22 year old Mukomoto the youngest lead engineer in the company’s history, and he ahs since emerged as part of Honda’s new Formula 1 programme.
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Just five races into the 2015 Formula 1 season, and attention is already returning to the issue of Jenson Button’s future.
Last year Button, 35, survived McLaren’s protracted dithering over its driver choice for 2015, but it is believed the British team signed only a one-year extension with the 2009 world champion.
At the same time, the Woking outfit has two drivers knocking loudly on the door — reserve Kevin Magnussen, and the increasingly impressive McLaren junior Stoffel Vandoorne, who is the overwhelming favourite to win this year’s GP2 title wearing McLaren colours.
For the moment, however, team boss Eric Boullier is quiet when it comes to 2016, “There is no plan, no discussion so far.”
However, he said it would be premature to write off Button, particularly as some have been surprised the veteran Briton is comparing well against Fernando Alonso so far in 2015 — despite a retainer some three times smaller than the Spaniard’s.
“People consider Fernando as one of the best drivers and they are right,” said Boullier. “But it is underestimating Jenson a little bit.
“Jenson is a great driver and there is a very good working relationship between them. From that balance you can see both are talented enough to match each other and emulate each other a little bit,” he added.
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Former F1 driver Jos Verstappen and his Toro Rosso rookie son have hailed the decisions taken last week by the Strategy Group.

Comprised of the top teams, Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA, the decision-making body last week responded to calls for change by announcing a raft of proposals to make the cars faster and louder and the races more spectacular.

“This is what F1 needs,” said former Benetton and Minardi driver Verstappen, whose 17-year-old son is the impressive Toro Rosso driver Max. “It will benefit the show.”

Among the proposed changes are the return of in-race refuelling, and the freedom for teams to freely choose the two tyre compounds they take to each race.

“I’m happy with it,” Verstappen junior told De Telegraaf newspaper. “These changes will give the teams more opportunities to make a difference. Strategy will be even more important.”

“As a driver, at the moment you have to be saving so much during the race with efficient driving, so it will become more ‘real racing’ again,” he added.

Father Jos agrees: “The fuel and the free choice of tyres will absolutely make the races more exciting. Now, you only have to think about tyre stops, but there will be much more to it (in the future).

“The teams will have much more influence as there are more variables, increasing the probability of errors and therefore the likelihood of surprises and a better spectacle,” Verstappen added.

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Williams driver Valtteri Bottas has played down talk of a switch to Ferrari in the near future, by insisting driving for other teams in Formula 1 is also attractive.
The impressive Finn is increasingly linked with the fabled Italian outfit, who have already warned existing driver Kimi Raikkonen that he will only race in 2016 if he performs this year.
Bottas and his managers, however, have moved to cool the speculation, and now the 25-year-old insists there are other teams also worth driving for in F1.
“Ferrari is a mythical brand with a special attractiveness,” he is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport, “and its red colour has become part of the legend of formula one.
“However, in the world championship there are other iconic brands, like Mercedes and Williams,” said Bottas.
It is interesting that Bottas mentioned Mercedes, as that team is headed by one of his managers, Toto Wolff.
But he also named Williams, the once-great and resurgent British team that brought him into formula one and turned Bottas into one of the hottest properties on the grid at present.
“Mercedes is still ahead,” said Bottas, “but the gap is smaller now. Ferrari is closer to them but even Williams has room for improvement.”
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Red Bull is reportedly struggling to sell tickets for next month’s Austrian Grand Prix, official Helmut Marko has revealed.
Last year, the sport’s return to the rejuvenated ‘Red Bull Ring’ was a widely-proclaimed success.
But as the energy drink company now complains loudly about the sport’s current regulations, Marko revealed: “Although we are doing a lot of effort with (promotional) events such as the one in Vienna, we are lagging far behind last year” in terms of ticket sales.
“This shows the problems that all the (race) organisers have at the moment,” he told APA news agency.
F1’s decision-making Strategy Group met last week and vowed to make some changes to improve the show, but they cannot be ratified until the next World Motor Sport Council meeting in July.
When asked why organisers are struggling to sell tickets, Marko said: “There is a lack of (engine) sound, but that is not all.
“The cars are too much like a Playstation game,” he insisted. “The drivers are getting out and they don’t even have red cheeks — they’re too easy to drive.
“So there is less difference between the best and the less-good drivers, and the audience knows it. And if you were to paint our car red, hardly anyone would be able to tell the difference with a Ferrari.
“We need more freedom.”
So although the Strategy Group is pushing for some changes, it has been made clear that the basic turbo V6 infrastructure is being left fundamentally alone — including the restrictions on fuel use and flow.
But Marko argues: “When this whole ‘power unit’ change came, a downward spiral began.
“These power units are not suitable for formula one, but as they are so difficult and complex, it will also be impossible to use them in road cars too,” he added.
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Lotus front jack-man who took a mighty hit when Romain Grosjean missed his marks, when making a pitstop during the Spanish Grand Prix, escaped with bruises and is set for action and some beers at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Technical director Nick Chester said of the two pit crew who were in the wars in Barcelona, “I’m glad to say that they are okay. Harry, who does the left front wing flap adjust, had his foot trapped slightly during Pastor’s stop. Jason, who is the front jack man, took a bit of a hit when Romain stopped long and it certainly looked quite dramatic!”
“Craig, whose position is ‘right front wheel off’, was also caught in the action during Romain’s stop. There are some bruises but they are all good. Again, the pit crew are doing an amazing job and they kept their cool in difficult circumstances,” added Chester.
Meanwhile Grosjean “promised to get them some beers to make up for it!”
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Red Bull F1 team boss Christian Horner married Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell in St Mary’s Church in Woburn.
Halliwell arrived at the church in a vintage Rolls Royce ahead of the wedding to Horner, who she first met in 2009.
The groom was at the church an hour earlier, with Formula 1 racing legend David Coulthard who was kitted for the occasion in a kilt.
Formula 1 world champions Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda were also present along with former team owner turned TV pundit Eddie Jordan, and a host of celebrities including the Duke and Duchess of Bedford.
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Kvyat: A real confidence circuit


Daniil Kvyat is looking for a smooth start to his Monaco weekend as he looks to build up rhythm, confidence and lap time.
Determined to turn around his wretched start to this season - Kvyat has scored just six points in five grands prix - the Russian racer is hoping for a good result on the streets of Monte Carlo.
However, in order to achieve that, he concedes he needs to quickly find form at the circuit.
"It's a real 'confidence' circuit. You need to be in tune with it. You need to find yourself, find the flow, you need to find the right approach mentally and with the car and then you just have to make it happen," he said.
"In the beginning it's a big test. To go out and find that confidence is not easy and you always question yourself, asking 'when is it going to happen, when am I going to feel it enough to really go for it'.
"But at some point in the weekend it just happens, you find the rhythm and the lap time comes. When it works like that, when you get yourself in the right place and you find a good understanding with the track, it's great."
The Red Bull racer, though, reckons there is no one key secret to doing well at the tight, twisty circuit.
"I'm not sure there's a special secret about it and there's no one area that holds the key. It's just a really massive lap, the whole thing seems to go by in one breath. It's just as well it's a short lap!"
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Strategy Group's plans would make fastest F1 cars ever - Toto Wolff


Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff believes the Formula 1 Strategy Group's planned changes will create the fastest cars in grand prix history.
A raft of proposals have been put forward with the intention of stemming the tide of a declining worldwide audience.
The aim is to make cars five to six seconds faster than at present via a number of aerodynamic rules, wider tyres and a reduction in car weight.
There will also be higher-revving engines, technical change to increase noise and refuelling will be reintroduced.
"The bottom line is we believe we can make cars five to six seconds faster than the current generation of cars, which means the fastest Formula 1 cars that ever existed," Wolff told AUTOSPORT.
"This is exciting. This was the major breakthrough where we all lifted our hands to push for such a performance target.
"What we want is to definitely make it the fastest car on the planet. This is happening and it's really great news."
Refuelling has been banned since 2010, and although pushed through initially via the Strategy Group, it is by no means a given it will make a return from 2017.
A feasibility study will first be conducted to assess whether it is financially viable, although Wolff is in favour.
"There were people [at the meeting] who said it is very spectacular," he said.
"It also means a lighter car in the race so a driver can push more, that the tyres aren't killed with the weight of the car.
"There was a bit scepticism because we obviously banned refuelling a few years ago, and there are concerns about shipping the kit around.
"But it makes the racing a bit more unpredictable for the fans; it means you are not quite sure what is going on.
"We have agreed to explore the topic and to go for it if we can, as long as we don't jeopardise the spectacle around pitstops in general."
One area of concern surrounds the likely introduction from 2017 of customer cars that could leave the independent teams reviewing their business models and futures.
Wolff feels this is a positive opportunity for F1 to reinvent itself.
"We obviously don't want to risk the small teams going out of business, and whatever system you try to implement it's difficult," said Wolff.
"We need to find a way where the small teams can survive, and we don't want a situation where each of them is spending more than it earns.
"The Strategy Group teams are prepared to offer a works-spec car to the other teams or potential new entrants.
"Another contingency plan, should we lose a team, is to run a third or fourth car ourselves.
"This is not the most appealing story for Formula 1, but if you imagine Mercedes running a car with a young driver and he's in that car for one season and he is a challenger to the other guys, it could still be interesting.
"In both versions you are adding competitive cars running close to the front of the field, or in the middle.
"This is a route we will explore and come back within a month with a viable commercial set-up so it can function."
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If they introduce these new rules for 2017 then I'm definitely going to Melbourne GP and maybe one of the Euro races. Some serious nostalgia if refueling comes back and oh to have typre wars again! So much excitment!

Looks like possible rain for Monoco this weekend, could prove interesting for the championship.

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Every race this season has been tough for struggling Manor Marussia but Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix will be the hardest yet as memories of the team’s greatest moment mingle with the saddest.
French driver Jules Bianchi has been in the thoughts of all Formula One since his horrific accident at Suzuka last October but his absence will be felt all the more at a home race where he stood out a year ago.
The 25-year-old has been in hospital in his nearby home city of Nice since November, when he was flown back from Japan, and remains in a coma.
“It’s going to be difficult. It’s going to be tough for everybody. He’ll be in the next town,” Manor Marussia team principal John Booth, who has kept in close touch with the family, told Reuters.
“It will be very mixed feelings, it really will. We are carrying the JB17 (Bianchi’s initials and number) on the car for the whole year. One thing that really pushed us to keep going over the winter was to not waste that effort (of his).”
It is because of what Bianchi achieved in Monaco last year that the team, paddock paupers against a backdrop of conspicuous wealth, are still on the starting grid.
Bianchi’s outstanding ninth place handed Marussia their only points to date, a highlight that also secured the team ninth place overall in the championship and some $50 million in revenue payments this year.
Without that, the team would never have come out of administration at the 11th hour after making their employees redundant and missing the final three races of last season.
The team, with two rookie drivers and an undeveloped car that would be off the pace even in the GP2 support series, cannot expect any points this time.
Even finishing will be a challenge, with few spares for a race whose metal barriers and tight and twisty streets are unforgiving.
After failing to race in Australia, Manor only got back up to full staffing strength at this month’s Spanish Grand Prix and did not take part in last week’s test in Barcelona because there was no point.
All efforts are directed to the new car, but there are no guarantees that will see the light of day before the end of the European season.
“We are still pushing to get the new car out this year,” said Booth. “We set ourselves an impossible target of August and it would be a miracle if we got it out for August.”
The team’s driver pairing of Britain’s Will Stevens and Spaniard Roberto Merhi will continue in Monaco but there is no certainty about their future either.
“It is a little bit fluid,” Booth said, after a long pause. “In an ideal world, I’d love to have them both in for the season.”
Manor are based in northern England but a move back to Banbury, near Silverstone, is on the cards although the old Marussia factory now belongs to the U.S.-owned Haas team, who will make their debut in 2016.
“We are hoping to relocate in August,” said Booth, who ruled out any move to the Leafield facility previously used by now-defunct rivals Caterham and up for sale.
“I’ve been around the place a few times, looking at equipment and it’s a sprawling thing,” he said.
Manor’s white trucks, first used for the Barcelona race, were the green ones Caterham used last season.
“The race team are about 85-90 percent our original group of people, which is great,” Booth said.
“A few are in different positions. And we’ve got some really good young engineers who’ve just been brought through last year and have been thrown in the deep end. The core of people back at base…is pretty much the same core we had last year.”
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Undeterred by his last points prediction coming back to bite him, Fernando Alonso has said he expects his misfiring McLaren Formula 1 team to open their account for the season in Monaco this weekend.
The Spaniard had told reporters before his home race in Barcelona two weeks ago that he was confident McLaren would finish in the points.
Instead, he retired with a brake problem — which the team blamed on a trapped visor tear-off — while 2009 champion team mate Jenson Button finished 16th and lapped after wrestling with the ‘scary’ handling of his car.
“I think we will get points in Monaco,” Alonso told Sky Sports ahead of Sunday’s showcase race. Our simulations (in Barcelona) until the retirement put us in ninth place, so (that) was already the first opportunity to get the points.”
“In Monaco it will be the second. From now on we will always be on the limit of the 10th place for the next two or three races. Hopefully after Austria we will be more secure — seventh, eighth place I hope. That’s the target.”
Former champions McLaren have not won a race since 2012 and are enduring their worst start to a season as the new partnership with Honda beds in, but Monaco has rewarded them more than any team over the years.
Alonso won in the principality with Renault in 2006 and McLaren in 2007 while Button did so in 2009 with Brawn. Germany’s Nico Rosberg has won the past two editions with Mercedes.
The tight and twisty circuit means McLaren’s power disadvantage will be less apparent, with driveability and a driver’s skills more important.
“I’m hopeful we can sort out the balance issues we had on my car in the last race, so Monaco should see an improvement,” Button said in a team preview of the race.
“After a disappointing race in Barcelona, naturally it’s easy to be frustrated when you step out of the car, especially when you feel you deserved more.
“I firmly believe that we’re making solid progress, which is why having a difficult race is hard to take.”
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Audi has no plans to enter Formula 1, the company said on Monday, seeking to end speculation that the sportscar maker was tempted to broaden its commitment to motor racing.
“This is not a topic for us,” a spokesman for the premium brand, which is owned by Volkswagen, said.
German daily Handelsblatt on Monday reported that Audi Chief Executive Rupert Stadler had ruled out an entry into Formula One after speculation of a partnership with former champions Red Bull.
“Formula 1 needs to solve its problems on its own,” Handelsblatt quoted Stadler as saying in its Monday edition. The sport, in which Ferrari and Mercedes race, is seeking to make cars faster and louder again to maintain its allure.
Last week Stadler was quoted as saying Formula One remained an option for Audi. He told Britain’s Auto Express magazine website that “in life you must keep things open”, in response to a question about the sport.
There has long been speculation about whether Audi might be tempted into Formula 1, and it increased after Volkswagen’s Chairman Ferdinand Piech quit last month.
Piech was seen as being strongly opposed to Formula One where top teams have annual budgets of over $200 million.
Audi competes in the Le Mans annual endurance race, the German Touring Car series and the fledgling Formula E competition for electric powered cars.
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Pirelli will tackle the unique twists and turns of Monaco with their all new supersoft tyre and warn that the manner in which drivers use the new rubber on the challenging street circuit will be crucial.
Speaking ahead of the sport’s most glamourous weekend in Monte Carlo, Pirelli motorsport chief Paul Hembery revealed, “We’re bringing our brand new supersoft tyre for the first time this year, together with the soft, as has been the case [at Monaco] since we started our current Formula 1 era in 2011.”
“Monaco has often been described as a circuit where overtaking is impossible, but we have seen in the past there how tyre strategy and degradation has often led to positions changing, including on-track overtaking,” said the Pirelli boss.
And warned, “The way that drivers use the new supersoft tyre, with it’s notable performance advantage, will be crucial.”
“The right preparation and collection of tyre data during practice will put any driver in a strong position to maximise their potential in the race as well as the crucial qualifying session,” added Hembery.
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Impressive rookie Max Verstappen is heading to Monaco with a bruise on his backside.
With F1 taking a weekend off between the Spanish and Monaco grands prix, the Toro Rosso driver headed to Valkenburg in his native Holland to participate in a Red Bull-sponsored soap box derby.
The 17-year-old sat at the wheel of a miniature ‘car’ dressed up like his Toro Rosso and headed cautiously over the jumps, constantly tugging on the handbrake. The final ‘jump’, however, damaged the car and clearly rattled Verstappen’s backside and knees.
“It was a hard landing!” he smiled, according to De Telegraaf newspaper, “but I finished the course and have nothing broken. This was the main aim for me.”
“Of course I thought carefully about the risks — I deliberately drove a little slower on the straights,” he admitted.
Verstappen is now heading to Monaco for his first F1 race in the fabled Principality, “It looks good. A place in the top ten should be possible for us.”
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Button 'won't be happy' with points


As McLaren close in on the points, Jenson Button says that the moment will "not" be a success as they are a team that should be winning.
Although last time out in Spain much was expected of the Woking team and their Honda engine partner, they failed to deliver.
Fernando Alonso retired from the race with brake failure while Button revealed that his MP4-30 had been "scary" to drive as it was all over the track.
But despite an awful Sunday afternoon, there have been signs of progress from McLaren in recent weeks.
Not only has the team featured inside the top in a practice session but in Barcelona both cars made it into Q2 for the first time.
And although points are on the horizon, Button says McLaren-Honda won't be happy until such as a time as they are winning races and fighting for World titles.
"I wouldn't say it's a new start but it was obviously very difficult for all of us at the start of this year," he told
"We were two laps down at the first race and three and a half seconds off the pace. We knew it would be tough but you never know how tough it's going to be. But the progress has been good and you always want more.
"We're still not happy, even if we score points we won't be happy. It's still not going to feel great, it's still not going to be a position we want to be in because you've got two drivers that have won World Championships, you've got a team that have won many World Championships and an engine manufacturer which has won many World Championships. So we are here to win in the future but there is a lot of hard work here to do before that.
"Every race we go to we'll get asked the same question: 'Do you think you've made enough progress? Are you where you thought you'd be? Where do you think you're going to be?' And none of us can answer it truthfully because we don’t know.
"If we all work hard and we progress and we hope that we progress enough to make everyone feel that we've progressed enough... but inside we know it's going to take a long time. We've just got to enjoy the moments when we do make big progress and we see difference in lap time and difference in feel with what we have."
The Brit was questioned about his new team-mate Alonso, who he says forces him to raise his own game.
"Fernando is, as we all know, a very complete driver. Fernando is a very fierce competitor in the race and to beat in a race you have to do an exceptional job but that’s what I'm here to do, to do an exceptional job.
"I've enjoyed working with Fernando so far this year and I think having two experienced drivers in this team makes a massive difference, especially with Honda because the feedback we give them makes a big difference.
"Not saying too much but I think we both seem to like the same car. We develop a car in the same way, we have the same feeling from a car, so it's good for both of us. We'll see what happens later this year but so far I've really enjoyed it."
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Alain Prost: Renault progress may not be seen until 2016 F1 season


Four-time world champion Alain Prost believes Renault­-powered Formula 1 teams may have to wait until next year to make a major step forward.
A series of power unit failures for the French manufacturer means Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat are already on the fourth and final power unit of their allocation after just five races, with 14 still to go.
With reliability proving such a headache, Renault has prioritised getting to the bottom of the issue at the expense of performance, an approach Red Bull boss Christian Horner wants reversed.
But Prost, who is an ambassador for Renault, said: "There is going to be some development.
"Maybe not enough for this year but it's going to be for the next."
Horner, though, remains hopeful of progress this season, although he concedes it may not come until after the summer break.
"From a team point of view we want it as soon as possible," he said.
"Obviously Renault are nervous about reliability, so I think it will certainly be the second half of the year before we see anything significant.
"We're in a difficult situation at the moment because we're a little bit in no­-man's land with the power deficit that we have."
Despite Renault's poor performance since the new 1.6­-litre V6 turbo engine era began last year, Prost does not believe the Renault brand is being damaged.
"It cannot be good but I don't think it affects the Renault brand," said the Frenchman.
"You should not forget this happens sometimes in motor racing, you can dominate and then you can lose the domination. You need to accept that.
"Maybe there are a few more problems than expected.
"But the change of regulations was quite big and they were concentrating on the championships before.
"And don't forget the performance of the car is not only the engine but also the chassis.
"It is not only black and white, you can see with performance of Toro Rosso with the same engine."
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Force India F1 team counting on luck in Monaco Grand Prix


The Monaco Grand Prix gives Force India a chance to overcome the inherent weaknesses in its current Formula 1 car, says deputy chief Bob Fernley.
With the long-awaited arrival of the B-spec car not due until late June in Austria, Force India is being forced to make the most with the limited resources at its disposal.
Drivers Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg could do no better than 13th and 15th in the last F1 race in Spain, but Fernley thinks the possibility of unpredictable situations in Monaco and the following Canadian GP will help.
"I'd like to see us try and do a little bit for Monaco, if the dice roll our away," Fernley told AUTOSPORT.
"As we all know it is a bit of a lottery there. You do need luck.
"Monaco has always been lucky for us, like with Bahrain, so hopefully that luck stays with us.
"So I can see an opportunity there, and I can probably see a bit of an opportunity in Montreal, and then hopefully we will get close to running the B-spec.
"So whether the B-spec is as planned ready for the test, or whether we can bring it forward to the race, we will see.
"But whatever happens, from then on it will help us."
Fernley added that Force India had always been braced for a struggle at Barcelona, where both cars went out in Q1.
"That gap to our rivals has been there since day one," he said.
"But the Circuit de Catalunya is a track that really hurt us, and the race highlighted it. It was similar in Malaysia and China.
"Where we have had opportunity, and the opportunity was there in Australia and Bahrain, we've managed to deliver.
"Australia was better than we thought, and Bahrain was what we aimed for.
"In Barcelona, our race pace was better than we showed in qualifying, but we could do no more than what we achieved."
2008: In the days when the team was struggling to escape the back row of the grid, Adrian Sutil got up to a remarkable fourth in a wet/dry race, then was left heartbroken when Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen slid into the back of him.
2010: Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi gave the team its first double points finish as Force India with ninth and 10th (pictured below).
2013: Sutil overtook world champions Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso in a charge to fifth place.
2014: A second straight Monaco top five for Force India as Nico Hulkenberg took fifth, albeit a lap down.
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Ferrari chasing a pre-Canadian GP fix for F1 traction problems


Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene says next month's Canadian Grand Prix will be a particular "nightmare" for the Formula 1 team if it can't get on top of its traction problems.
During the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were losing half a second to their Mercedes rivals in the tight third sector, where traction is key.
"If you look at the third sector, it's traction sector," said Arrivabene.
"If we are not able to solve the problem it can be worse not in Monaco - because in Monaco you have special settings - but in Canada.
"I don't want to go to Canada with the same problem of traction otherwise it will be a nightmare."
Ferrari brought a revised bodywork package to Spain, with Vettel running the new update and Raikkonen "sacrificing" his result for the team by running the old spec.
But despite Vettel scoring his fourth podium in five races, the German finished 45 seconds adrift of winner Nico Rosberg - the biggest gap between Mercedes and Ferrari all season.
Arrivabene insisted the team's data was showing the update was a step forward, but conceded more work needed to be done to get the most out of it.
"If you compare to the car that Kimi was using, it was a step further," said Arrivabene. "But it is not enough to close the gap to Mercedes.
"We are not blind. In the last sector, we were losing half a second. I'm not escaping from the reality. It is there.
"We have an internal comparison and they are telling us the solution is good but the reality is telling us it is not good enough.
"The team needs to understand if it is related to this track or if it is really something we need to analyse in a very deep way.
"We need to find out how to improve the new package, but it is clear the new package is better than the old one.
"We will look at the numbers and make a decision. If we make a mistake, we will tell you."
Arrivabene added that while a title challenge was unlikely based on the current state of play, he still expected the team to meet a pre-season target of two wins.
"Being in the fight for the championship is a bit too much," he said.
"I still believe [the two win target] is achievable. But nothing in life you can achieve without working hard.
"I don't really care about being on the podium. If you look at the situation we had last year, now every race weekend we are on the podium. What I care about is the gap.
"If you want to win two or three races, you have to be there. At the moment, we are not."
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F1 figures to share Ayrton Senna memories at London charity event


David Coulthard, Paddy Lowe, Patrick Head, Martin Donnelly and Senna film writer Manish Pandey will share memories of Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna at a charity event next month.
The Life of Ayrton Senna Q&A in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals charities will be held in London on Tuesday June 30, organised by Hexagon Modern Classics.
Former Williams design chief Head and 13-time grand prix winner Coulthard worked with Senna in the early part of 1994 before his death in the San Marino GP at Imola, with Coulthard stepping up from the test driver role to race for the team after the loss of Senna.
Lowe, now technical director at the all-conquering Mercedes F1 team, joined McLaren's R&D department for Senna's final season at the squad in 1993.
Donnelly raced alongside Senna in F1 in 1990, with the Brazilian famously attending the scene of the Irishman's horrific crash at Jerez that year.
Pandey was writer and producer on the award-winning Senna film that introduced the Brazilian's story to a new audience on its release in 2010.
The Senna evening will also feature an auction of F1 memorabilia and will be presented by Sky Sports F1's Natalie Pinkham. Click here for more details.
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With Vettel on the podium four times out of five races, with one victory, he’s certainly started positively.
Sebastian Vettel has long outgrown the ‘Baby Schumi’ moniker, but after a strong start at Ferrari is the four-time world champion starting to replicate his idol’s galvanising impact on the Scuderia? Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene has said, “there are times when I look at Vettel and [he] really seems like a carbon copy of Schumi. There are impressive similarities for those who have known both.
We hope that the results are the same as well.” That may be a loaded comparison for the team to draw, but, given the parallels between the two, lessons from Schumacher’s time at Ferrari can serve as a pointer for Vettel as he looks to lead the Prancing Horse back to title-winning glory.
Relative Experience Schumacher arrived at Ferrari in 1996 as a 27 year-old reigning two-time world champion with four full seasons of F1 racing behind him. Vettel is also 27, but boasts a vastly more experienced CV including four drivers’ titles across seven and a half seasons. Whilst Vettel adds more gravitas in terms of trophies, there’s no doubt that Schumacher’s move to Ferrari carried a more weighty significance. Whereas Vettel is one of a crop of talents who could lay claim to be the best driver in F1 today, Schumacher was the undisputed class of the field in 1996. For Schumacher, changing teams was a means to move on from the allegations of illegal driver aids and questionable events that had dogged his championship years with Benetton.
In Vettel’s case, leaving Red Bull allows him to start to shed the unpopularity accrued through repeat spats with former teammate Mark Webber and his dominant 2011 and 2013 title-winning campaigns. Like Schumacher before him, Vettel has a chance not only to try and reset his reputation but also to tap into Ferrari’s global appeal and fanbase – boosting his profile while also potentially offering a degree of support and adulation that has been conspicuously absent from his career to date.
A Difficult Inheritance
Both Schumacher and Vettel came to Maranello in the midst of a difficult period for Ferrari. When Schumacher joined, no Ferrari driver had won the world championship since 1979 and the team hadn’t won the constructors’ title since 1983. Furthermore, Schumacher arrived to find a team in disarray. With two wins in five seasons, the R&D and production facilities split between Maranello and Surrey, and a change in regulations forcing Ferrari to abandon their iconic V12 engines in favour of V10 power for 1996, Ferrari was in a state of upheaval with no quick fix in sight.
Vettel has also arrived at Ferrari during a sticky patch for the team in terms of championships, with no constructors’ title since 2008 and no drivers’ champion since 2007. However, the infrastructure is such that Ferrari have everything in place to succeed immediately – giving Vettel a significantly stronger starting point from which to mount an assault on the world championship.
Building a ‘Dream Team’
Schumacher’s Ferrari dynasty was built from the top down. Luca di Montezemolo and Jean Todt were already in place when Schumacher arrived at Maranello, and Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne were poached from his former team Benetton at the end of the 1996 season. The ‘Dream Team’ offered a stable core of strong leadership and technical and design acumen built around a singularly brilliant driver, and remained in place throughout Schumacher and Ferrari’s ascent from race winners to title challengers to dominating the sport.
Upon entering F1 in 2005, Red Bull quickly set about implementing a ‘Dream Team’ blueprint of their own. Helmut Marko, Christian Horner, Adrian Newey and Peter Prodromou were all in place by the end of 2006, and by the time Vettel joined Red Bull as the final piece of the jigsaw in 2009 the team were in a position to challenge.
Vettel’s subsequent four championship wins were built on foundations of consistent leadership blended with technical and driving brilliance, but he arrives at Ferrari following a complete overhaul of the senior management team. Whether Sergio Marchionne, Maurizio Arrivabene, James Allison and Simeone Resta can provide a stable platform to offer Vettel a Maranello ‘Dream Team’ of his own will go a long way to determining Ferrari’s chances of once again challenging for championships.
From Victory to Dynasty
Like Schumacher, Vettel has enjoyed a podium-riddled start to life at Ferrari up against dominant opposition. For Mercedes in 2015 read Williams in 1996, and both Schumacher and Vettel were quickly able to apply pressure to a team with a crushing performance advantage. Unlike Vettel however, Schumacher was applying pressure in a car that had little right to challenge. The John Barnard-designed 1996 Ferrari F310 was a slow and unreliable disappointment, and Schumacher’s ability to deliver podiums and race wins was a testament to his peerless driving skills.
It wasn’t until his fifth season with the team, after losing out at the last race in 1997 and 1998, that Schumacher finally won the championship for Ferrari in 2000 – a victory that he and the team were able to use as a springboard to a period of unprecedented dominance.
Vettel has a much stronger baseline of performance as a starting point with the SF15-T, but Ferrari’s recent past shows that competitiveness alone is not enough. Five years of fruitless pursuit and near misses proved to be the breaking point for Fernando Alonso’s Maranello aspirations. Do Vettel and the team have the patience for further years of consolidation, or can the new management, existing infrastructure and Vettel’s performance help accelerate their competitiveness?
Despite his achievements, curiously Vettel still has something to prove to many observers of Formula 1 – a feeling exacerbated by a 2014 campaign where he was soundly beaten by Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo. Only ten drivers, including Schumacher, have won world championships with two different teams, and Vettel knows that emulating his idol and leading Ferrari back to title-winning ways would go some way to cementing his place as one of the all-time greats.
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Hamilton amazed to be nearing Senna's achievements


Lewis Hamilton says he's still amazed by the thought of matching his idol, Ayrton Senna, on wins and championships - both of which could happen this season for the Briton.
The Mercedes driver, speaking ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix where both he and Senna finished second on their debut, is hoping to add another win to his tally of 36, taking him one step closer to Senna's 41 wins.
"When I started watching Ayrton, he was the one that caught my eye and really brought me to the sport," recalled Hamilton.
"It's insane to think that, all those years back – and I remember exactly where it was that I started watching my first grands prix, with bacon sandwiches on the cream sofa at my dad's – who would have known, back then, that, as a family, we would be where we are today."
Whilst Hamilton is nearing Senna's achievements, he says it's too soon in the season to begin talking about matching the Brazilian's three titles.
"It is far too early to talk about [a third title], but winning the world championship [again] is obviously the goal," he said.
"I always said, from when I was very young, that I wanted to emulate Ayrton, so to even be in the position where I am close to achieving the same level of wins or world championships hasn't really sunk in."
Senna: 3 titles, 162 races, 41 wins, 80 podiums, 65 pole positions, 19 fastest laps
Hamilton: 2 titles, 153 races, 36 wins, 75 podiums, 42 pole positions, 23 fastest laps
MIKA: Lets not forget to compare dummy spits:
Senna: 3 Hamilton 103 ;)
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Felipe Massa supports the re-introduction of refueling in Formula 1, and believes that there will be no safety issues despite his experience at 2008 Singapore Grand Prix (above) which saw him drive out of his pit box with the fuel hose still attached to his Ferrari.
Massa told Sky Sports, “I don’t think it’s a problem for safety. We had many years with refueling in Formula 1 and we had a few problems, but not really very dangerous problems to be honest.”
The Brazilian explained, “I think it’s a good thing and [will] change completely the race. The problem now is that we will race with very heavy cars with the full tank and the lap times, if you compare qualifying and the race, it’s a big difference.”
“It’s a lot slower compared to how it was with the refueling. I’m sure the race will be more interesting and nicer for the driving – more sprint racing. So I like the refueling and I am in favour.”
Right now the refueling issue is still on proposal stage, and Martin Brundle is skeptical that it will actually happen.
“Can’t see refueling being reintroduced in F1,” Brundle wrote on Twitter. “Means all new car with smaller tank and big equipment freight costs. Better ways to spend money.”
Meanwhile Massa, veteran of 215 grand prix starts, is lobbying for drivers to have more of a say with regards to the future of the sport.
“It’s important. The driver needs to be inside the decisions. I remember I was talking with Jean Todt in the winter and he asked me why the races are a lot slower than before.”
“I said because we have the full tank. The car is already heavier and the race is a lot slower and lot more technical than before,” insisted the Williams driver.
“I think it’s important that drivers are together with technical and sporting meetings to decide the future of Formula 1 and to change things so it’s much more interesting for the racing and the fans.”
“We need to understand what is nicer to see in the race and for the fans to really enjoy Formula 1 once more. We are pushing to have drivers in the meetings, which is important,” concluded Massa.
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