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Vettel: 'I will try to make the impossible possible'


Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel is adamant that he is still in the running for the Formula 1 world championship title, despite being 42 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton.
The German took his second victory of the season at last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix whilst his closest rivals faltered in the searing heat of the Hungaroring.
Ferrari has enjoyed a welcome return to form this season after a difficult 2014, taking two victories before the summer break in Malaysia and Hungary.
Vettel has also been a podium regular this season, finishing in the top three seven times out of a possible ten, on his way to third place in the drivers’ standings.
When suggested to Vettel it is now 'game on' in the title race when the season resumes in Belgium later this month, he replied: "It has always been.
"We know we have to remain realistic, that there is still a lot of work to do and a lot of catching up to do.
"You never know. I'm sure we will try absolutely everything, and try to make the impossible possible.
"The best way of doing that is to remain calm, to try to do your best, and then we will see where the journey takes us.
"I'm sure it's well appreciated by all the team to have a bit of a break now, and to recap on a very strong start."
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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

Williams will learn from Silverstone troubles - Bottas


Valtteri Bottas believes that Williams have learned from their missed opportunity at the British Grand Prix where victory looked possible.
The Finn, who sits three points in-front of team-mate Felipe Massa in the driver’s standings, enjoyed a fantastic start at Silverstone which saw both Williams’ drivers head the field in the opening laps.
Bottas seemed to have the edge over his Brazilian team-mate, however initial requests to overtake were denied by the team, as the Grove based squad attempted to pull away from the chasing Mercedes.
Bottas continued to plea with his team to attack, however, by the time he was given the go-ahead, the 25-year old’s tyres had faded away, destroying any advantaged he held over Massa.
Eventual winner Lewis Hamilton then pitted before the Williams, taking advantage of the fresh tyres to undercut both in the first pit-stops.
Rain later in the race further hindered the Williams team as Bottas and Massa fell to fifth and fourth respectively.
The Finn admitted that the rain performance of the Williams was not up to standard, however believes that the team will be more intelligent when found in a similar situation in the future.
"I had the opportunity [to pass Massa] at the beginning when I wasn't allowed to overtake," Bottas said.
"I think, especially in the first stint, my pace was quite a bit better, as we saw with Felipe's in-lap when I gained nearly one second.
"But it's easy to say afterwards. The team thought that was the best thing to do at that time - to freeze the situation, not for us to battle for positions and to lose any time against Mercedes.
"The timing is sometimes critical for these things and when I got the call to be able to race again I just didn't have that advantage any more," he added.
"In the end it rained and we were really poor in the rain. I struggled getting the tyres up to temperature. Once you get below the temperature window it's just so difficult to get it back.
"Should have, could have, we can always say it could have been better, but in the end it was a weekend when as a team we learned quite a lot in terms of wet performance, strategy calls.
"For sure, we are going to be clever now in the future with what we do."
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Honda should have poached rival engineers - Boullier


McLaren's Eric Boullier believes engine supplier Honda should have attempted to poach some engineers from rival manufacturers in a bid to get a head start, rather than rely solely on its own experience.
McLaren is coming under increasing pressure to up its performance after spending much of the season at the back of the grid.
Whilst improvements are coming - the team had two cars in the points for the first time this season in Hungary - they're not coming quick enough and there are signs its drivers are growing impatient.
When asked what Honda could have done differently to improve its situation, he told "Honda could have bought some experience from other engine manufacturers and maybe should [have] actually.
"We would recommend it just because to make sure you go faster and you accelerate your development program because they have solutions ready to fix things, or maybe some understanding."
The Frenchman admits they still have big problems to overcome, but he isn't writing off the 2015 season altogether as the things they learn this year will serve them well in 2016.
"We know the problem we have, but we maybe don't know 100 percent how to solve these issues because we need some more research and development on that. We know where we are weak, but it's not a weakness like we are lacking something, it's a weakness we can't use it. So it's even worse in terms of frustration!
"We have not written off this year because 2016 is an evolution of this year in terms of regulation. For us it's a two-year plan; we want to be able to unlock this potential at some stage.
"It's not going to come in one go, it's going to come in different goes because there are different problems to fix. To try to be competitive at some stage this year would be nice."
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Sauber's summer car wash with a difference

Usually, pit stops are serious business and may mean the difference between winning or losing points - or even races! But it's the official Formula 1 summer break, so we thought we'd entertain you with a bit of summer fun!

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Baku street layout ready for sign-off by FIA


European Grand Prix organisers say the Baku circuit layout is ready to be signed off ahead of next year's first F1 race there.
Azerbaijan's biggest city will host its first ever grand prix in July next year, on a 6km circuit around the streets near the Baku Boulevard.
Baku GP boss Arif Rahimov says the circuit is ready for homologation and has no doubts there will be no issues to have it ready in time.
"The track layout has been finalised," Rahimov told
"There are just small details like safety equipment at some corners that took a bit longer to finalise, but we are waiting for the homologation to be done.
"We've also met in Hungary with Charlie Whiting to discuss it and hear what he has to say. There are no major issues."
Rahimov is adamant the track will offer plenty of opportunities for drivers to overtake.
"Yeah, there's the long straight just before Turn 1. That's a huge overtaking possibility. There's quite a lot of places where you can overtake."
No motorsport culture
The circuit will be capable of hosting 19,000 seated spectators, but organisers are also considering a general admission area to increase capacity.
Rahimov said they are also working on a programme to help Formula 1 popularity grow in Azerbaijan to make sure the sport has a long future in the country.
"The first thing we need to make sure is to maintain that popularity and interest from the F1 community and the people who travel with the F1 races, so when they come to this race they really want to return," he added.
"So we are trying to organise the best possible race to make sure that people come back the following years.
"Secondly we are trying to develop some kind of programme to make sure we increase the popularity of the sport within the country because there's no motorsports culture.
"So we are going to try to through different programs on the TV and through marketing to increase the interest in the sport."
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Studio Show -Toto on Hungarian GP & Paddy on F1 summer shutdown

This week Leandra speaks to team boss Toto Wolff about what happened at the Hungarian Grand Prix and why the last two race starts haven't been all too great.
Plus, Executive Director (Technical) Paddy Lowe explains what the F1 summer shutdown is and what the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team is allowed to do during the two week break.
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Original McLaren-Honda domination took five years of hard work, says ex-driver Stefan Johansson


Former F1 driver Stefan Johansson says McLaren-Honda domination of F1 in the late 1980s and early 1990s only came after five years of hard work and thinks the current situation is "not much different than it is today".

McLaren and Honda rekindled its partnership this year with much hype around its hopes of immediately challenging Mercedes. However, the partnership has been plagued with teething problems this year, with Fernando Alonso already writing off the 2015 campaign entirely as a test year ahead of next season.
Johansson, a former McLaren driver who drove the Honda-powered Spirit in 1983, says the team's years of dominance with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost came from the Japanese manufacturer's work in the sport before 1988.
"Everybody keeps talking about the "golden era" of the McLaren-Honda relationship when they basically cleaned up for a couple of years with Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna," Johansson said. "What people tend to forget is that relationship didn't start until Honda had already spent five years in F1, developing their engines to what they finally became.
"The early days were no walk in the park. I know that very well as I drove the first car they entered in 1983 with Spirit and the scenario was not that much different than it is today.
"I used to joke at the time that I stopped doing all my physical training during the week because I got more than I needed on the race weekends with the engines blowing up in every session and I had to run back to the pits to get in the spare car to finish the session. Eventually they got it right of course, and then dominated before they decided to pull out."
Johansson's F1 career spanned 79 race starts between 1983 and 1991, during which time he finished on the podium 12 times. He drove for McLaren in 1987, the year before the team paired up with Honda, and was replaced by Senna the following season.
McLaren-Honda won the constructors' championship for four years in a row between 1988 and 1991. It also won four drivers' championships, with Prost (1989) and Senna (1988, 1990 and 1991).
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Sauber's summer car wash with a difference

Usually, pit stops are serious business and may mean the difference between winning or losing points - or even races! But it's the official Formula 1 summer break, so we thought we'd entertain you with a bit of summer fun!

I would go to that carwash. All. The. Time. :D

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Alonso: Pit-lane push underlines love for F1


Fernando Alonso insists that he is still in love with F1, despite rumours that he may be looking elsewhere for his motorsport fix.
Despite being boosted by an unexpected fifth place in last weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix – a race that always seems to suit the Spaniard – Alonso admitted during the week that F1 was not as exciting to him as it was previously. The goal of dragging the McLaren-Honda combination back to competitiveness continues to drive him on, however, and if anyone needed any proof of his desire, Alonso says they need look no further than his attempts to return his MP4-30 to the pit-lane during qualifying.
“I want to be out there and I want to race,” the double world champion claimed, having pushed the powerless car back to the McLaren garage, “This shows how much I love my sport. It doesn't matter if you are last, if you are 15th or if you are on pole position, you want to drive the car and you want to enjoy it out there.”
Ultimately, Alonso's efforts proved in vain, as he was prevented from resuming his pursuit of a place in the top ten shoot-out.
“I understood when I arrived in the garage it was not possible [to rejoin] as, by the regulations, the car needs to arrive by itself with the engine on,” he acknowledged, a little sheepishly, “I didn't know that or I would have parked the car a little bit before…”
Despite having to come from row seven of the grid, however, Alonso was able to claim McLaren's best finish of the season, as incidents further up the order allowed him to rise to fifth at the chequered flag.
“Some opportunities arrived in our hands, we took it and it's fantastic for the team,” he admitted, before reflecting on the fact that many of his most significant results have come in Budapest, “It was always special to me, this place. I got my first victory here and, last year, I nearly fought for the victory, arriving second. That was my last podium, so to arrive this year and be fifth is a nice memory I will have.”
The jumbled order meant that Alonso had to overcome his likely successor as Spain's F1 favourite, passing Carlos Sainz shortly before the Toro Rosso rookie retired.
“Every time that I'm with Carlos on the track, I'm a little bit worried because, if we touch each other, that will show very bad!” he smiled, “It was important to pass him, because we knew [Lewis] Hamilton and some other people will arrive very strong from behind us at the end of the race, so we needed every second available to maintain position.”
Alonso eventually came home three seconds ahead of his former McLaren team-mate, who admitted to having 'a bad day at the office', and the ten points boosted both his season's tally and championship position.
“It feels great,” Alonso admitted, “We are here to compete, to win, but we are not in that position right now. Every race is a test for us - we need to keep improving and we need to keep growing. I think we know that we are going in the right direction, but it's always better if you score points. We were a little bit lucky with some of the things that have happened but, in some of other races, we have been unlucky, so we need take every opportunity. The team works 24 hours a day in the factories and so this is a day that we need to feel proud of.”
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Maldonado laments lack of Lotus upgrades


Pastor Maldonado is hopeful that the Lotus F1 team will be able to bring a significant upgrade to its E23 before the end of the 2015 season, after getting by with little tweaks in the opening ten rounds.
The Venezuelan revealed in Budapest that the biggest modification to the car to date had been the high downforce wing introduced as a necessity for Monaco, with very little else being brought despite the season now being beyond its halfway point.
“The rear wing was just for Monaco – it was a high downforce one which is the same as we were using [in Hungary],” Maldonado explained, “At this kind of track it is working, but maybe not in Barcelona.
“There have been no more upgrades since the beginning of the season – not big upgrades but, for sure, we have been doing a few things around the car but not big upgrades.”
Maldonado's early season results were disappointing thanks to a combination of Lotus frailty, misfortune and some typically mercurial performances on his behalf, with five DNFs only interrupted by a lowly 15th in Bahrain. Things only started to look up with back-to-back sevenths in Canada and Austria, before going horribly wrong once again with a double first lap exit for the entire Lotus team at Silverstone.
Hungary was little better as a wildly inconsistent qualifying was followed by a race that contained not one, but three, penalties that almost certainly cost the Venezuelan a points finish, leaving him 14th in the standings, four places and nine points shy of team-mate Romain Grosjean.
Both drivers have seen their direct rivals – Toro Rosso and Force India – take steps to improve their cars, the latter by introducing a B-spec model of its VJM08, and Maldonado is keen to see Lotus follow suit, although the team's much-publicised financial concerns may impact that wish. Already issued with a winding-up petition, Lotus was prevented from joining FP1 until a third of the way through the session in Hungary after a late payment to tyre supplier Pirelli saw Maldonado sitting in team hospitality while his rivals were getting their first laps in…
“Hopefully, we can have [a big upgrade after the summer break],” he suggested, “It is not clear yet, but we must be very close to having a big one soon. It is the moment to do that, and it should be a good one, so hopefully we can get it soon.”
Citing a good baseline for the E23, the Venezuelan remains hopeful of hauling Lotus – which sits just five points adrift of Force India - into the top five of the constructors' table.
“Everyone else has made steps but, if you look at our performance, even without any upgrades we always continue to be there, which is very positive,” he concluded.
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Hamilton credits 2015 form with qualifying improvements


Lewis Hamilton says a concerted effort to improve his qualifying performances have been a significant contributor to a stronger first half to the 2015 season than his 2014 title-winning effort.
Though it was Hamilton that would go on to clinch the 2014 Formula 1 drivers' crown with 11 race wins, he was comfortably out-performed by Nico Rosberg in terms of single lap pace on a Saturday, with the German starting 11 races from the top spot, compared with Hamilton's seven.
Indeed, though Hamilton felt he was at the top of his game last season, he identified qualifying as an area for growth. It is a focus that has yielded evident results in 2015 having clinched pole position in nine of the ten races so far.
“There was a goal this season to improve on the last,” he said. “I had a fantastic season last year and I came into this one thinking how will I improve.
“It is hard to improve and when you are at the top of your game it is not easy at all. Trying to find out how I can do that this year is something I've enjoyed.
“Qualifying has been an area which has been good, particularly Q3 which has given me the poles.”
By contrast, Rosberg has aired his disappointment at the turning of tables between himself and his team-mate, but ultimately feels his race craft has at least improved.
“It is frustrating at the moment but I am nearly over it. It is not something that pulls me down but it is the way it is and as long as my racing is good I can try to turn it around.”
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Formula 1 is poised to make a decision which will have a significant bearing on the quality of the racing we can expect from 2017 onwards.

It is about which company will provide the tyres and with Michelin and Pirelli in competition for the role, the stakes are high.
The racing in the last four and a half years with Pirelli has been quite varied, with the early years characterised by some chaotic races with multiple pits stops and lots of overtaking as drivers took advantage of fading tyres on a rival’s car to pass them.
Then there was some controversy when we saw tyre failures, which Pirelli blamed on the teams running the tyres outside their operating guidelines on pressures and cambers. That was stamped out and the construction changed to cope with the demands.
Recently things have stabilised and the tyres are more robust, in some cases they have proved too hard for the venue and led to rather dull one stop races.
It’s a sign of how attitudes to F1 racing has changed under Pirelli that we are now disappointed if we don’t get the variability that two or more stops brings.
Of course the primary objective is for the tyres to provide good racing, with cars which allow drivers to get up close behind their rivals and try moves, like we saw in Hungary aplenty on Sunday.
Michelin started out by saying that they would not make tyres that deliberately degrade and that they had to be on 18 inch rims, but behind the scenes they are reported to be moving towards a more flexible position on this, appreciating that providing ultra-durable tyres that skew every race towards a one-stop strategy are not what is needed from the point of view of the racing spectacle.
Michelin takes a more scientific approach to tyres than the other major companies competing in motor sports. When they were last in, supplying teams to most of the grid except Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi, they had tailor made solutions for each of their leading teams. So did Bridgestone with Ferrari and it made for an intense competition with lap times seven or eight seconds faster than we see today.
That’s all in the past. The message has got through to the rival tyre companies for 2017 that what is needed now in F1 is a high grip tyre, one that rewards being pushed with a fast lap time (several seconds faster than today’s), but which has a linear degradation to make the strategic options interesting.
The simple solution for increasing the grip is to increase the contact patch of the tyre, in other words to make it wider, but the more scientific approach would be in engineering the compounds and constructions to achieve that objective.


Variability is the key:
What everyone has realised is that variability is the key. No-one wants to see uniform races with everything – including the drivers’ actions – controlled from the pit wall. This is true of the tyres, the starts, the racing and the strategies.
More variability should be seen from Spa onwards with the drivers being in control of the starts, taking away the information from the teams in preparing the clutch for the starts. This will introduce an element of luck to the starts, which increases the variability of what we will see and that is all for the good.
For 2016, the last year of Pirelli’s contract, they are working with the FIA to come up with a new tyre supply plan which increases the variability of the performances between cars.
One idea getting some traction is to have three different tyre choices of which the teams must choose two, with an extreme soft tyre as one of the options. Another is to have an allocation of tyres for the season across the range of supersoft, soft, medium and hard and it’s up to the driver to decide which tyres to bring to which race.
Pirelli’s Paul Hembery said: “We’re having some pretty good ongoing discussions with the teams and the FIA and we seem to be homing in on a solution that gives the variety of choice they’d like to have and gives us an element of security that strange decisions aren’t made.” In other words there would be restrictions on inappropriate tyres for certain circuits with high corner loadings.
Meanwhile Juan Pablo Montoya’s idea of taking away all the sensors except the pressure one for safety reasons is a good one and gained some appreciation among the drivers over the weekend.


What happens next?
The FIA has conducted the tender process and the two candidates have presented their proposals. The choice of Pirelli or Michelin now is with Bernie Ecclestone as commercial rights holder to evaluate the best commercial package for the sport. He is, of course, world class when it comes to ‘creating a market.’
Pirelli have certainly done F1 more cheaply than Michelin did last time and the financial aspect will be one of the decisive factors. Teams are hopeful that this ‘market’ between them will lead to a better outcome that they enjoy at the moment both in terms of the quality of the tyres and the financial package.
There will inevitably be quite a bit of politics around this decision as Ecclestone has a long relationship with Pirelli. But Michelin have put together a credible package and seem ambitious for a return to the sport where they last competed in the mid 2000s.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner, who is close to Ecclestone, was very clear on where his loyalties lie,
“An 18 inch rim and a one stop is going to do nothing for the spectacle of a Grand Prix and I think actually we need to be looking at doing the opposite: getting two to three stop races, controlled degradation, maybe more choice for the teams in terms of the tyres that they can take to Grands Prix, all the things that we’re talking about.
“I think Pirelli have done a good job since they’ve been involved in the sport, they’ve been supportive of Formula One through hard times as well as the good times.
“And hopefully with the cars that are coming for 2017, that are going to be quite a bit different, quite a bit quicker, with tyres that are significantly different to what we have now as well, then that represents a great challenge and hopefully Pirelli will be successful with that.”
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f1 needs two tire suppliers to spice things up a bit. Imagine if everyone was running the same engine, it would be boring.

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f1 needs two tire suppliers to spice things up a bit. Imagine if everyone was running the same engine, it would be boring.

I agree 100% and HOPE they bring back a tyre war.

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f1 needs two tire suppliers to spice things up a bit. Imagine if everyone was running the same engine, it would be boring.

F1 needs as many tire suppliers as are willing to participate. The teams should be able to use whichever tire, engine, chassis, fuel, etc. they're able to sign. And as long as safety is a top priority, the teams should be able to do whatever they want to do to make the fastest, most reliable, best performing car each season. It should be a truly Unlimited class - safety is key, but otherwise anything goes. F1 is supposed the be the pinnacle of Motorsport. It's high time they started acting like it.

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Franz Tost, the team boss at Toro Rosso, has compared Formula 1 teenager Max Verstappen to quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel and the late Stefan Bellof.
“There are many parallels,” he told Bild am Sonntag newspaper. “Max has a similar way of thinking, working methods and the same focus as Sebastian.”
“Actually it’s more like Stefan Bellof – this kind of disrespect without arrogance,” he explained.
Bellof was the highly rated German driver who was destined for big things in Formula 1 before his life was cut tragically short when he suffered a fatal accident during the 1985 1000 km of Spa World Sportscar Championship race.
He set the fastest lap ever on the Nordschleife configuration at the Nürburgring in 1983, driving a Porsche 956.
Bellof was the winner of the Drivers’ Championship in the 1984 World Sportscar Championship, driving for the factory Rothmans Porsche team.
For his part, rookie Verstappen plans to spend his summer break collecting some kilometres on the streets as he bids to secure his normal driving licence.
But he told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that he is also already looking forward to Spa-Francorchamps, which is almost a home race for the Belgian-born Dutchman.
“It’s just a shame that it will be difficult to score points. The long straights are not good for us,” said Verstappen.
Before Verstappen set off on vacation, he headed to the Imola circuit last week for a Toro Rosso ‘filming day’.
Omnicorse reports that, ahead of the FIA rule tweaks that come into effect at Spa, Verstappen practiced so-called ‘manual race starts’ in his STR10.
MIKA: How about Max Verstappen is like Max Verstappen? I wouldn't say he's like his father Jos Verstappen either because Max has outscored his father in half a season versus his fathers 106 starts!! surprised.gif
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Sauber could be set for a change of Formula 1 engine supplier for the 2016 season and beyond.
That is the news according to Blick, whose veteran and well-connected correspondent Roger Benoit claims that talks took place recently in Hungary.
Currently, Hinwil based Sauber is supplied by its long-time partner Ferrari, but the ‘power unit’ market looks set for a major shakeup as Renault contemplates buying the Enstone team Lotus.
It could mean divorce between the French carmaker and both Red Bull-owned teams, with Red Bull Racing linked to Mercedes and Toro Rosso with Honda. In the fallout, Sauber could end up as a Renault customer, Benoit reports.
“It makes sense,” the veteran journalist explained, “because in 2016 Sauber would only be Ferrari’s number three.” He is referring not only to Ferrari’s fabled works team, but the new, closely Ferrari-aligned entrant Haas F1 Team.
Regarding the ‘silly season’, meanwhile, Benoit claims that Mercedes is looking to bring its reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein, 20, onto the grid next year, possibly to replace one of Force India’s current drivers Nico Hulkenberg or Sergio Perez.
Benoit said the deal could result in “cheaper engine bills” for the struggling Silverstone based team.
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Highly rated rookie Felipe Nasr has played down earlier speculation that linked him with a potential switch to Williams for 2016.
It was said the Brazilian and his Banco do Brasil sponsorship dollars could be headed to Grove to replace a potentially Ferrari-bound Valtteri Bottas. But Sauber then announced that both Nasr and his current teammate Marcus Ericsson are staying put.
“There was a lot of speculation,” Nasr, 22, told Globo Esporte, “but the Williams rumours appeared only because I was a test driver there last year.
“Many were saying that I would go back there automatically. But the best thing for me was to continue at Sauber, to continue my work and the development of the car,” he added.
“The plan for 2016 is taking shape and there is a lot of good developments coming to the car. The team will make a big jump in 2016,” Nasr predicted.
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Williams determined to end yo-yo form


Williams have blown hot and cold in recent races, but Valtteri Bottas has vowed that it will be a "different story" at Spa and also urged the team to up their game at high-downforce tracks.
The Grove-based squad failed to finish in the points at the Hungarian Grand Prix last time out and it was the second time that has happened this campaign following an equally disappointing display at the Monaco GP.
And what do those circuits have in common? They both require high levels of downforce, something that the FW37 has been lacking this year.
Bottas, though, is confident Williams will bounce back after the summer break as Belgian and Italian Grands Prix tracks require low downforce and the team have shined at a similar track like Canada where they finished on the podium.
"I think we’ve seen that we really struggle in long corners," he is quoted "When you spend more time in the corners, that’s when we lose out.
"We struggle to get to the same high downforce level that many other teams can, so that’s the problem.
"It will be a different story in Spa, where it’s quite low downforce, same in Monza. We should be more competitive there but we need to keep pushing because you still need the downforce in Singapore or Suzuka..."
Team-mate Felipe Massa also empahised the point that Williams need to improve as they will once again require high downforce at the Singapore Grand Prix.
"I don’t think that what happened [in Hungary] we will see in every race," the Brazilian said. "We were very strong in the last race [british GP], fighting for the podium, even for first place.
"We need to understand. We have another slow circuit which is Singapore so we need to do everything that we can to be competitive. But we will have many, many good tracks which are good for us."
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Kvyat finding his feet at Red Bull


Life as a Red Bull driver didn't get off to a particularly good start for Daniil Kvyat, but the Russian is finally settling and now heading in the "right direction".
Barely a season after making his Formula 1 debut, Kvyat was promoted from Toro Rosso to Red Bull on the back of Sebastian Vettel's departure to Ferrari.
The 21-year-old, though, struggled to have much of an impact in the early stages of the 2015 season and many started to question the decision to put him in a Red Bull car so early in his career.
However, he appears to have finally come to grips with life at one of the top teams on the grid as he has outscored team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in the last five races, picking up 40 points to the Australian's 26.
The highlight of his career to date came in Hungary where he secured his maiden podium, a P2 behind Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.
"I think, obviously, the beginning of the season wasn't easy for many reasons, and there were a few problems here and there," Kvyat said. "There were a few reliability issues, which we managed to sort out, and it started to go more in the right direction for me in the second half [of the first part] of the season.
"But it is never easy - there are a few things that I am still getting use to, trying to understand a few other things, but all-in-all it is going quite well."
Kvyat and the rest of the Formula 1 community are enjoying a couple of weeks off as it is the annual summer break and the Russian hopes he will continue his good form when the action resumes in Belgium.
"Obviously, it is a break and the break is the same for everybody, but some do it in one way and I will do it in my way," he said. "I will try to get some rest but I will always keep thinking, even if some people say it is better not to think at all.
"Somehow you keep thinking a little bit about things, and try and analyse them. Sometimes, after the summer break, you can just come back and be another person, and I hope [that happens] in a positive way for myself."
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Rosberg mystified by qualifying deficit to Hamilton


Nico Rosberg has admitted he is mystified by the gap to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton on the Saturday of a race weekend, as the German has claimed just one pole position compared to Hamilton's nine.
Qualifying was a particular strength of Rosberg's in 2014. He went on to win the 'Pole Trophy' as he secured eleven poles, compared to just seven for Hamilton.
However the tables have now turned and the 30-year-old is at a loss as to why.
"I've been working to improve my racing and it may have slightly compromised qualifying a little bit, but most of it is not explainable to me," he said.
"I don't understand why there is such a big difference and it is frustrating at the moment, but I am nearly over it. It is not something that pulls me down - it is the way it is and, as long as my racing is good, I can try to turn it around."
Rosberg's tactic of focusing on the race might not be paying off. He's one race win shy of the four he secured at the same point in the season last year, whilst Hamilton is equal with five.
Turning his attention to the next race in Belgium, where a new start procedure will take effet, Rosberg believes it will be an added complication.
"We have been practicing the starts," he revealed. "The procedure is the same, but you have to be more reactive because the clutch won't be in the perfect position if it has not been set perfectly. It just gets set, then you have to deal with it. It is going to be quite complicated."
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Fernando Alonso commends 'beautifully balanced' MP4-30


Fernando Alonso has suggested that McLaren's issues aren't chassis related, but entirely down to Honda's underpowered engine, after applauding the "beautifully balanced" MP4-30.
McLaren scored its largest points haul of the season in Hungary after Alonso finished fifth, whilst team-mate Jenson Button was ninth, taking their total points tally for the season to 17.
Whilst Alonso admitted the result came from poor reliability and various incidents amongst their rivals, he believes the pace they showed proves they're making progress.
"We're still not where we want to be, but the result in Hungary shows that we're headed in the right direction.
"To be able to take on and race the other cars felt great, and, while the result was largely achieved through attrition, we showed throughout that we had the pace to fight for the points."
Their pace was largely helped by the Hungaroring layout which masked some of Honda's power deficit and allowed McLaren's chassis, which Alonso lauded, to shine through.
"This car has been beautifully balanced all season, and was just something I could really push all the way through the race.
"I'm really looking forward to the second half of the season, I think we'll see more progress."
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Honda to spend three tokens on Belgian upgrade


Honda is hard at work back at its Tochigi engine facility in Japan as it looks to close the gap to rival engine manufacturers at the Belgian Grand Prix when the season resumes after the summer break.
However Honda's engineers won't be taking a two-week break like the teams as they, along with Formula 1's other engine suppliers, are exempt.
"There is no holiday for us unless something unexpected happens in the factory. We will continue to work hard," Honda's motorsport boss Yasuhisa Arai confirmed.
Meanwhile they will spend three tokens on their next upgrade for the Belgian GP, leaving them with four to use later in the season, according to an unnamed Honda engineer.
"Before the end of the season we also hope to take advantage of the other four tokens that will remain [after this upgrade]," they told Omnicorse.
"We hope to gain 15 horse power from the changes," he admitted, rubbishing claims it could be worth as much as 50hp. "A small step in the long chase of Mercedes.
"We are aware that it is late to be competitive, but we're working like crazy to try to recover."
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QuintEvents Mexico offers unparalleled travel packages for Mexican GP


Interested in attending the Mexican GP? Then you have to check out this offer from QuintEvents Mexico.

The return of the Gran Premio de Mexico at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is an enormous attraction because of the decades-long absence of Formula 1 in Mexico.

As a result, general admission tickets are selling out fast, and accommodations are difficult to come by. The best and most secure option now is to purchase from the official hospitality provider of ticket packages for the race, Gran Premio de Mexico VIP (

This is an official, direct-from-organizer platform for premium hospitality paired with tickets and exclusive events at the race.

VIP access to an F1 legend
The program features customizable ticket packages, which can include discounted hotel stays, an autographed picture of F1® driver Sergio “Checo” Perez, on-site hospitality parties, VIP access, ground transportation plus meet-and-greet opportunities with Formula 1 legend Emerson Fittipaldi and GP2 driver and former F1® reserve driver Alexander Rossi.
Fittipaldi’s involvement includes hosting a special “Lunch with a Legend” on Friday with gourmet food and drink plus complimentary beer, wine and champagne, and a Question/Answer Session with the esteemed driver, who has done virtually everything in the sport and is now also a renowned safety advocate.
Rossi is the only American to hold an FIA F1 Super License, will be doing meet and greets throughout the weekend at various venues.
Rossi said: "I’m delighted to be involved with QuintEvents Mexico for the Gran Premio. I love connecting with motorsport fans throughout the world, and closer to home where the passion for F1® is growing year on year."
Packages available at a variety of price levels and can be customized to fit the exact needs of the race fan.
The program can accommodate both corporate client relations programs and large groups of fans on a weekend experience.
Brian Learst, QuintEvents Mexico CEO, said: “The involvement of F1® drivers and legends, access offered through the VIP program, unprecedented 4-night rates at downtown and Polanco hotels, and three days of in-circuit drop off ground transportation included in hotel packages will make this event extraordinary for fans coming in from around the world.”
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Red Bull admits 2015 nose regs had big impact on performance


Red Bull is confident it has finally regained the downforce it lost as a result of changes to nose and floor regulations over the winter.

Last year Red Bull had scored two victories by the summer break, but this year it has only scraped two podiums together - both at the last round in Hungary. The team has loaded much of the blame on engine supplier Renault, but it also saw its performance curtailed by changes to the regulations between 2014 and 2015, including new nose and floor regulations, and it was not until the Spanish Grand Prix that Red Bull managed to pass crash tests with its intended nose design for 2015.
As a result, the drivers have reported that RB11 has not been as well balanced as its predecessor and has lost its prowess in high-speed corners relative to the competition. However, following the double podium result in Hungary, Horner is confident his team has regained its lost downforce and is back on track.
"I think that definitely the aero boys have made some improvements around the front of the car," Horner said. "Mechanically there's been a bit of an improvement as well. I think that the penalty of the regulation changes over the winter actually did hurt us with the front end of the car, but I think we've now recovered that. I think the last two/three races have been pretty positive on the chassis side."
Horner admits the next two races at the high-speed tracks of Spa and Monza will not play to Red Bull's strengths, but believes the team is still making progress.
"They're going to be much more challenging than here and Singapore is probably our next opportunity to shine. We're going to keep pushing, keep developing with the car. You never know, it could be wet in Spa. You've got to be in a position on those days when it doesn't go right for others."
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