RAC­ING NEWS Haas pleased Volk­swa­gen

The Volk­swa­gen out en­ter­ing time, un­pre­dictable For ru­mours would

Motor Sport News - - Racing News - TEST­ING ROUND-UP

F1 new­comer Haas man­aged more mileage in the open­ing test than the team was ex­pect­ing. De­spite a front wing fail­ure on the open­ing day and elec­tron­ics is­sues in the fi­nal ses­sion, Haas still man­aged to com­plete 281 laps – more than both Mclaren and Manor. “We are pretty happy with progress of test­ing,” said team prin­ci­pal Gun­ther Steiner. “We didn’t an­tic­i­pate we could get all this run­ning done this week. To do a whole race dis­tance was pretty cool so that gives a good feel­ing.”

It is hard not to ar­gue with Bernie Ec­cle­stone when he says that F1 lacks ex­cite­ment. He is right when he says it was clear that Mercedes would usu­ally dom­i­nate any given race week­end last year and if it wasn’t Lewis, then it would be his team-mate Nico Ros­berg at the top.

He says that the grids need to be re­versed to make sure that the rac­ing re­mains spicy.

This has led to howls of de­ri­sion from the sport’s purists be­cause F1 is sup­posed to be about the fastest pick­ing up the big­gest re­wards and no ar­ti­fi­cial gim­micks to make the ac­tion closer (al­though, it seems, the Drag Re­duc­tion Sys­tem is OK…).

This is where you will al­ways have the chasm be­tween the pure thor­ough­bred rac­ers and Bernie him­self. The rac­ers want a tenth of a se­cond, Bernie wants a 10 per cent in­crease in view­er­ship (or maybe, just maybe, a 10 per cent in­crease in race fees based on that big­ger au­di­ence) across the world – the two ob­jec­tives pull in dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions.

But let’s get car­ried away and fol­low Bernie’s phi­los­o­phy for a mo­ment and see where it takes us. He says that you wouldn’t want a full re­versed grid, be­cause that would just be ridicu­lous. Sen­si­ble chap. Maybe just the top 10 or so would need to be switched to make it com­pet­i­tive. You would still re­ward the man who was fastest from the qual­i­fy­ing ses­sion with his place in the record books.

He is in favour of the dif­fer­ent tyre com­pounds, a great way to mix up the ac­tion should some­one over­work the soft op­tions, or un­der­work the harder ones. So that can stay.

But let’s go fur­ther. How about slow­ing down any dom­i­nant car by fur­ther ar­ti­fi­cial means? Many stud­ies would have to be done into the safety as­pect of this, but what about lump­ing suc­cess bal­last on to a car that clearly has an ad­van­tage over the rest?

If that car then be­comes un­suc­cess­ful, then it would shed the hand­i­cap and it would pass on the next driver along to win a race. That could con­tinue through­out the year.

That would keep things nice and open and you could have up to five driv­ers go­ing for the ti­tle in the last round. That would keep Mr E very happy in­deed.

Hang on a minute, haven’t I just de­scribed the Bri­tish Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship?

Heaven for­bid the the very high­est level of the sport should go that far...

The Jaguar Land Rover group could soon buy Sil­ver­stone and se­cure the fu­ture of the Bri­tish Grand Prix.

Sil­ver­stone owner the Bri­tish Rac­ing Driv­ers’ Club has con­firmed that it is in talks with the In­dian Tata-owned group about a buy­out. A pro­posal was pre­sented to mem­bers last week and BRDC pres­i­dent Derek War­wick says it was re­ceived pos­i­tively.

“The deal is def­i­nitely not done yet, but we are well down the road,” the ex-for­mula 1 driver and world sportscar cham­pion told MN.

“There’s still a lot of work to do to get the deal to where both sides are happy and we told the mem­bers to get a flavour of what they thought of the deal. The re­sponse was favourable so we will now set up an EGM for the mem­bers to vote and give the Board a man­date to pro­ceed with the deal and con­tinue with the ne­go­ti­a­tions with JLR.”

A JLR spokesper­son told MN: “Jaguar Land Rover reg­u­larly eval­u­ates op­por­tu­ni­ties to sup­port its long-term and sus­tain­able growth in the UK. As part of this, we are ex­plor­ing po­ten­tial op­tions at Sil­ver­stone with the BRDC, but it is too soon to share de­tails at this stage.”

The BRDC took over the Sil­ver­stone lease in 1952 and pur­chased the cir­cuit in 1971. In re­cent years it has in­vested in many de­vel­op­ments, in­clud­ing the new lay­out first used for the Bri­tish GP in 2010, but fur­ther up­grades re­quire more fund­ing.


Ec­cle­stone: con­tro­ver­sial F1 rules sug­ges­tions

There could soon be new own­ers

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