Toro Rosso unveils fans’ dream F1 track

F1i 16/12/2016
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The "dream" F1 circuit.

Toro Rosso has revealed the spectacular Formula One circuit its fans have brought to life following a year-long series of polls.

For each venue that hosted F1 in 2016, the Faenza-based outfit asked its supporters to select the turns, or sections of corners they like most.

After adding the necessary link sections and two DRS zones, the end result is a daunting 16-kilometre layout that features timeless classics such as Monaco’s Tunnel, Spa’s Eau Rouge, Monza’s Variante Ascari chicane, Suzuka’s Esses, and Interlagos’ Senna Esses, but also modern gems like Baku’s ‘Medieval walls’ segment.

“I must say it’s quite spectacular,” commented Toro Rosso ace Daniil Kvyat. “For sure, I’d like to drive this track, there are a lot of cool corners, all the best parts of each track.

“It would not be easy to find the perfect setup for this circuit but racing would be quite exciting. Drivers would like it a lot, though it’d naturally be very hard to have it in real life but it’s always good to dream, isn’t it?”

Talking about his favourite part of the circuit, the Russian added: “It would be the fastest corners, the sequence of Suzuka Esses combining with the Austin Esses. It would be hard for the tyres, but a great sector to drive with its high-speed turns.

“After the Hockenheim straight, there would an interesting overtaking spot, that’s why there is the first DRS zone. There would be other overtaking opportunities elsewhere and the track would be quite spectacular to drive in qualifying.”

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Rosberg expects ‘shock’ void after F1 title buzz

F1i 16/12/2016
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Nico Rosberg says he expects to experience a “shock” void once the buzz of his 2016 Formula One title celebrations have faded away and the feeling of retirement starts settling in.

Rosberg surprisingly announced his departure from F1 mere days following his title-clinching race in Abu Dhabi, saying he was no longer willing to make the same sort of commitment to defend his crown.

Since then, the German has been touring the world to celebrate his championship victory, fulfilling many media commitment along the way.

Speaking to the French edition of GQ during his recent stopover in Paris, Rosberg admits he is prepared to come back to Earth after floating on cloud nine.

“Since we won the title, we have been partying all the way and it will continue for a bit,” the 31-year-old said. “But I must admit I’m starting to feel tired. I have been running on emotions until now but then…

“There will be a void. I have been flat-out and things will come to a halt at Christmas. It will be a shock but that’s how it is and I’m not worried about it.”

Talking about his plans, Rosberg also downplayed talks of a future career in acting after being quoted by news agency AFP that he would be keen to try his hand at it.

“It was not a joke, but you have to know that they asked me whether I could see myself being in a movie and I replied ‘Why not?’ and then the media just ran with it. But yeah, one day, that’d be a cool thing to do.”

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Massa edging towards F1 comeback

F1i 15/12/2016
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Williams has asked Felipe Massa to defer his retirement from Formula 1 by one year to compensate for Valtteri Bottas’ potential departure to Mercedes, French publication L’Equipe reports on Thursday.

The Finn was announced last month as part of Williams’ 2017 driver line-up alongside F1 rookie Lance Stroll. However, Bottas has since emerged as the front runner to replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes following the 2016 world champion’s shock exit from the sport.

The Grove-based outfit has remained tight-lipped on the reports so far, but chief technical officer Pat Symonds has already warned of “heavy” consequences if Williams were to field an entirely new driver pairing next year, especially with radical regulation changes set to come into play.

According to the story, Massa is in “advanced” talks with the British team to extend his stay by another year. The Brazilian joined Williams in 2014 from Ferrari, enjoying a three-year stint before announcing his retirement from the sport at this year’s Italian Grand Prix.

Should Williams let Bottas go to Mercedes, it is alleged that the team would receive an estimated €10 million (£8.4m) discount on its 2017 power supply from the German manufacturer.

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