Mercedes boss Wolff unhappy about F1 engine rules plan

Sport360 staff 29/10/2015
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Toto Wolff has clashed with Bernie Ecclestone over engine rules.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team has “different objectives” to the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone with regards to new engine regulations.

– F1: Perez bracing for first ever home Grand Prix
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The FIA announced on Monday it is pushing ahead with plans to introduce a cheaper “client engine” in 2017 in order to bring costs down for customer teams. The move is also designed to try and keep Red Bull in the sport as it threatens to quit F1 as a result of not having a competitive power unit. While Wolff understands why Ecclestone has been keen to make such a move, he is not in favour of the plan to introduce new engines.

“I think you have to understand the different perspectives in that situation,” Wolff said. “You have the engine manufactures who spend a considerable amount of money, who have decided to enter Formula One and stay in Formula One because their particular engine concept fits what is happening on the roads.

“But if you are looking at it from the commercial rights holder, the main priority is to have a level playing field and it’s not good that one concept is more successful than the other. It must always be an objective to level it out in some kind of way and it’s clear in that particular case that we have different objectives.”

And Wolff says Red Bull’s situation is a problem of its own making which he believes could be resolved by the team salvaging its partnership with Renault.

“First of all, I want to say that there is no team without an engine, one team decided to cancel the engine contract when they had one and that team can probably have the same engine again, although I’m not involved in those discussions, but there is no one without an engine.

“Introducing a new style of engine is complex because it needs to be balanced against the current system, we need to change the regulations and it is a completely different technological approach. Can it be done? Yes, it can be done but it’s not what we would be hoping for, but it’s because we have different objectives.”

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Sergio Perez bracing for first ever home Grand Prix

F1i 28/10/2015
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Racing in Mexico: Sergio Perez.

As Formula 1 returns to Mexico, Sergio Perez is all set and ready to go on the eve of his very first home Grand Prix weekend.

The Force India driver has enjoyed some solid races recently which have undoubtedly boosted his moral and prospects.

But a good performance on home soil won’t just be about ensuring continuity for Checo, it’ll also be about living up the expectations of his huge Mexican fan base.

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“The races in Russia and the United States have been an ideal way to prepare me for the return of my home race,” Perez said.

“A podium finish and a strong fifth place have given me a lot of confidence ahead of the final part of the season. I think there is more to come from us and I’m really looking forward to the final few races.”

“Having the opportunity of driving in my home Grand Prix is something I never thought would happen. It will be one of the highlights of my career and I have no doubt that this race will become a modern classic of Formula 1.”

“Mexico has a lot of history in motorsport: the fans know the sport; they have a lot of enthusiasm and have been waiting a long time for Formula 1 to come back. I think everyone will have a great time.”Racing at home will obviously add a hefty amount of pressure and personal requests for Perez, but the Mexican is intended on remaining focused on the job at hand, first and foremost.

“Racing in Mexico is, of course, very special for me, but at the same time I should not let this distract me from the fact that it is another race in which I will need to give 100% to bring home a good result. I am incredibly motivated to work hard with my team to have another race to celebrate.”

His assessment of the new Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, which just partly retains a historic link with the track’s original configuration, is very positive as he looks ahead to the layout’s numerous challenges.

“I had the chance to drive a lap of the new track layout recently and it’s a fantastic circuit. There are quite a few changes compared to the old layout when F1 last raced there, but I don’t think the circuit has lost any of its character.”

“The new section in the stadium is spectacular and it will be such an incredible emotion to drive through there for the first time when it’s full of fans. There are a lot of fast sections, but at the same time you have a combination of fast, slow and medium-speed corners that make for a very varied lap.”

“I am also happy to see the final corner has been named after Nigel Mansell. He is a hero to motorsport fans in Mexico and I admire all he has achieved. Nigel won the last race in Mexico in 1992 and produced one of the greatest overtakes of all times there, so it is right that he has been honoured in this way.”

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Fernando Alonso: F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton already a great

F1i 27/10/2015
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The win gives Lewis Hamilton his third driver's titile.

Fernando Alonso says Lewis Hamilton’s three championships and ability to win without the best car makes him one of Formula One’s greats.

– F1: Hamilton crowned World Champion at USGP
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Hamilton secured his third drivers’ title courtesy of victory in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, giving him the championship with three races still to run. The success puts Hamilton in esteemed company, leaving him level with Ayrton Senna, Niki Lauda, Jackie Stewart, Jack Brabham and Nelson Piquet.

Asked if Hamilton will go on to become a great or is one already, Alonso replied: “I think he’s one already, I guess.

“Three titles, as Niki has and Ayrton, so we cannot put Lewis in a different level. He’s one of the best in the sport and I think there are more to come so he’s definitely one that we all respect.

“Some ups and downs but the good thing about Lewis is that when he didn’t have the best car he still won some races, maybe not the championship but he was still winning some races in that season and fighting for the championship  and that’s not something everyone did.”

And Alonso – who raced alongside Hamilton at McLaren in 2007 – says he rates Hamilton and his fellow competitors by more than the number of titles they have to their name. When asked how many championships Hamilton can win, Alonso said: “That’s difficult to tell.

“It depends a lot in the car. We saw Lewis winning in the second year, and then if he hadn’t gone to Mercedes maybe he could retire even with one title if you do not have the Mercedes. Maybe he can now win six if nobody can beat Mercedes in the next years, so it’s difficult to say but rating a driver [comes down to] much more than a title.”

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