Lotus and Toro Rosso dismiss takeover reports

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Senior figures at Lotus and Toro Rosso deny claims their teams could be bought in the neat future.


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Lotus F1 team not for sale, says CEO (SBS)

"My shareholders have said quite specifically the team isn't for sale."

Franz Tost Q&A: Toro Rosso have a lot to offer a manufacturer (F1)

"At the moment (Renault Sport boss) Cyril (Abiteboul) said that their main problem is currently to sort out their reliability problems and not painting a car. And before that is sorted out they will not think in the direction of either taking over a team or branding a team."

Michelin vuole tornare in F1 (Autosprint - Italian)

Michelin say they would like to return to F1 but only if tyre development is opened up instead of them being used as 'a tool in a spectator show'

Ecclestone: Michelin ideas bad for F1 (Autosport)

"Ecclestone is also unimpressed by Michelin's preference for 18-inch tyres. 'I don't like them. They're horrible looking,'"

F1 Strategy Group meeting at 'critical point' for sport's future (Sky)

"We’re not capable at the moment of agreeing to bring in something like Max Mosley’s suggestion, for instance, of having a cost-cap and more (technical) freedoms - one that I would dearly love to consider."

'Constructive' F1 Strategy Group meeting points to progress (Motorsport)

"Formula One chiefs are understood to have made ‘constructive’ progress in efforts to plot a better path for the sport in Thursday’s crunch Strategy Group meeting at Biggin Hill."

Gutierrez linked with Haas drive in 2016 (F1i)

"Haas has apparently set a September deadline for a driver decision, with rumours NASCAR's Danica Patrick and GP2 racer Alexander Rossi may also be under consideration as the California businessman is obviously keen on including at least one American driver in the Kannapolis, North Carolina-based squad."

Strategy Group set to make call on fifth engine (Adam Cooper's F1 Blog)

"People who supply the engines don’t want to supply more unless they get more money, and the teams can’t afford it."

Sabine Schmitz: A woman on a mission (FIA)

"The biggest problem is they will get afraid because they come up against men with a lot of testosterone talking about how good you are looking, trying to make you uncomfortable. So my advice is don’t care about what people are saying to you. Do your thing, concentrate on the race and that’s it."


Comment of the day

Yesterday I argued that stability in the technical rules is the best way to keep costs down and promote competition, but Robert McKay has a different view:

I’d argue that the teams actually need a constant and steady stream of rule changes to keep them continually off-balance, continually having to learn and adapt, stopping them effectively just slipping totally into a ranking by budget expenditure.

This doesn’t mean changing the engine formula every 365 days, but I think every season there should be enough minor changes to the sporting regs – modifications to the quali set up, new tyre rules, etc. etc. that don’t fundamentally change the game but provide new things to factor in, and every, say, 6 seasons there should be a fairly substantial set of changes to the technical regulations of the day.

The point would be that each set of rule changes would be signposted well in advance, not continually tinkered with and shaped by the teams up until the last minute and even after. This would give the teams time to anticipate and react to them and factor them into the working budget, whilst at the same time allowing different teams to try and do a better job from near-scratch as opposed to trying to optimise what near-optimised concept they have at the time. Continual minor changes in the sporting regs keeps things from stagnating too much in each block of stable seasons.
Robert McKay

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53 comments on “Lotus and Toro Rosso dismiss takeover reports”

  1. I’m With Bernie on the 18″ wheel. I like the 13’s

    1. @fletch I’m with him aswell. And not just because of the looks, which I also hate.

      I don’t see why bigger rims can change the racing in any way, other than massive costs in new suspension geometries, settings, gear ratios and god knows how much more.

      Doesn’t seem like a cost-effective idea. Besides, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the current setup…

      1. I’ll support Michelin’s bid for a return.

        It’s not about changing the look, or changing the racing, it’s about implementing technologies that are relevant.

        What was the most recent road car that had 13″ wheels with balloon tyres that degraded extremely quickly on your way to work, just to ‘spice’ up the drive ?!

        1. @prof-kirk, Michelin themselves have stated in the past that the move to 18″ wheels would be for their advertising – they make a far bigger profit on low profile, large diameter tyres than on a conventional tyre (15″ or 16″, which is predominantly what is used around the world).

        2. Very little on a Formula 1 car is road relevant. And even if it were, it would be more cost effective to spend directly on researching road car technology. Manufacturers like similarities because they can use their involvement in F1 in their marketing strategies.

        3. @prof-kirk yeah but how many cars come with 18 inches wheels as standard? it’s all marketing, hardly any relevance in technology. The compounds and all that has nothing to do with tyre size for research porpuses.

          It’s a pointless idea that will only push team’s budgets to the limit, again…

          1. @prof-kirk large wheels are not a “relevant technology”, but a fad that offers you style, expensive tires, and a rough ride on your everyday surface streets.

    2. I’m NOT with Bernie, although I understand the cost issue with 18″ rims.
      What is wrong with a set of tyres that would last a whole season ? as long as they generate as much grip as the current comedy-tyres being long lasting would allow cars to run much closer, brake later and generally have-a-go at chasing and passing the car ahead, not to mention the vast cost saving for the teams. But Bernie would sacrifice all those advantages just to ensure that Ferrari could fluke a win in Malaysia no matter that in order to have a car fluke a win against MB-AMG we have to forgo proper racing throughout the rest of the field all year, Bernie can’t think beyond gimmicks to stop the best car winning despite the obvious damage being done to the actual racing.

      1. Yeah, agree with that

        What is wrong with a set of tyres that would last a whole season ?


        Sure, I wouldn’t want to necessarily have only those tyres, (would be interesting to have a choice between strategies) but if Michelin can make a fast racing tyre last that long, why not.
        As for 18″ tyres, I think they look good, and also think its not just a gimmick, as 18″ tyres are far closer to premium tyres the manufacturers regularly sell, so then the race tyre development is bound to be of more use (or be able to tap into existing knowledge) than the 13″ tyres.

        1. And there would be a market for the unused tyres @bascb

        2. 18″ tyres would also allow more space in the wheels for larger brake diameters, better brake cooling etc.

          1. Which could open the way to steel brake discs that would probably mean more chances of getting someone in the (longer) braking zone

  2. Is it just me or does Bernie look like an old Liam Gallagher from Oasis?

  3. Has anyone named a dog after the Sochi track yet?

  4. Sean (@spaceman1861)
    15th May 2015, 0:16

    +1 for first article i have ever seen from sbs linked here :D

    1. hah. i didn’t even realise until I saw your comment. SBS is a great resource in Australia for news :)

  5. I know Gene Haas hasn’t officially entered but maybe a quick read of the rule book is in order. Apart from the fact she’s nowhere near good enough to be in F1 (although as we all have complained before, talent is no longer as important in F1 as money) Danica Patrick will not be eligible for a super licence In 2016. She won’t have any eligible points towards it and has zero F1 experience to be given an exception. Also she’s been out of single seaters 3-4 years now so prior knowledge of single seaters won’t count. Basically if Danica Patrick ends up in F1 next year, it will be purely an exercise in using a female racer for commercial gains. *cough cough Lotus*

    Also, please don’t think of me as sexist for saying she is nowhere near good enough. I am a big fan of Simona. I’ve watched her and Danica a lot in the States but Simona is an absolute true racer. Danica has her moments, particularly on super speedways due to her bravery but is weak in wheel to wheel combat and is very poor at setting up her cars. This has been shown in both Indy and NASCAR. She often finds herself “lost”.

    Personally, for the Haas F1 team, I think the favorites have to be Rossi and Gutierrez.

    1. Those rumors started more in the American media than with Gene Haas. He already said she wasn’t an option because of all the details you said. He talked about maybe Rossi who is on GP2 and would be a natural progression, but nothing would be decided until September because he wants to see how the F1 drivers market goes (there are some reports saying that he’s expecting maybe a big name with no options for next year, but I really doubt Ricciardo or Bottas would jump on that idea).

      Like you, my bet goes to a Rossi-Gutierrez line-up, but they aren’t the best friends out there! Some big rivalry during GP3 (not sure about the series) years.

      1. I reckon Jenson would be good choice for a seasoned benchmark, team him up with a hot new talent and see what happens.

        1. Another great idea!! It would be interesting to watch, for sure! There is a lot of possibilities that’s why Haas is taking his time to decide ;)

          1. Yeah, going from untested new engine to an entire untested team… I’m sure JB will be thrilled to end his career this way.

          2. As against playing 2nd. fiddle to Nando and being Ron’s kicking post when they still can’t earn more than the odd point, what was I thinking.

        2. I like Jenson, but immediately saying he is pessimistic about scoring points after one weekend in which his car handled terribly … that’s a red flag.

          1. Beware of realists ?

    2. @eoin16 linking his team to Danica Patrick in a soft way with a steady stream of “we’d certainly consider her” type quotes is a great way for Gene Haas to get free publicity for his new team. It will never actually happen, and I am sure that he understands the super licence points system. However he’s a savvy guy who admits that his primary motivation in starting the team is to make to mote his CNC machine business. So it’s no surprise that he’s doing what’s required in order to get the column inches rolling, especially in a country where Danica Patrick alone would have a higher profile than the sport of F1.

      1. @tdog, nailed it again.

      2. +1 – all publicity

      3. Pleeeeeeasss bring Danica Patrick into Formula 1 so she can be lapped repeatedly and stop this ridiculous talk. It must be nice to make a good living being sub par just because you are marketable.

    3. I think you misunderstand what is happening there @eoin16. I am sure that Gene Haas would never even seriously consider Patrick as a driver (apart from maybe a PR stunt for testing or FP1 runs).

      But she is in his stable for NASCAR, media ask about her and she is losing her current sponsor by the end of the season. In that situation its good do give it a bit of a buzz in the hope that a sponsor gets attracted (either to the F1 team or more likely to sponsor Patrick in NASCAR).
      When asked in the press currently, he is surely not going to talk her down is he?


    Like DC said, F1 is about competition between engines, chassis, aero..so why not tyres!

    I used to love the tyre war. The only downside with it was that Ferrari had Bridgestone working out of Maranello.

    1. I would agree, but only if the teams could choose whichever tyre they wanted for any race without any cost penalty or obstruction, the current testing ban would ensure that the tyres didn’t only work on 1 car.

      1. the current testing ban would ensure that the tyres didn’t only work on 1 car

        Yeah, right. Knowing F1, this is actually the scenario that most likely WOULD happen.

        1. And that was one of the driving factors behind moving to a single tyre supplier – both Michelin and Bridgestone, during the last tyre war, ended up favouring one team over the rest of their customer base, effectively handicapping the rest of the field.

          1. That is right, anon, that is what I was trying get around before giving my approval to a tyre war, a single supplier giving all teams the best tyre they can make is obviously the best scenario.

        2. You might be right, I should have said; would not be designed to only work on 1 car.

    2. @jaymenon10 The problem with the tyre war was that only 1 of the 2 tyres was great and back in the early 2000’s that was the bridgestone, and they had an exclusive development deal with Ferrari, so competition had to go Michelin or take a 2nd rate bridgestone.
      Competition is good, but you need more than 2 for the competition to actually provide a benefit to the viewer. Thats why the different aero and engines works in F1.

      1. @dragoll

        and they had an exclusive development deal with Ferrari, so competition had to go Michelin or take a 2nd rate bridgestone.

        Not actually true, There was no special deal between Ferrari & Bridgestone.

        The problem back then was that in 2001 the Michelin looked like it was going to be the best tyre to be on so all the top teams apart from Ferrari switched to them. The other Bridgestone teams didn’t have the budget to test while Ferrari were testing weekly, Sometimes at more than 1 track at the same time so Bridgestone simply took advantage of that.

        There were occasions where Ferrari got new compounds 1st because like you sometimes see with new front wings & stuff today sometimes there was a limited stock available as new compounds were coming through regularly & since Ferrari had done the testing & were usually fighting for championships they got that limited stock with other teams getting it as soon as they were able to develop more stock.
        In 2006 when Toyota switched to bridgestones’s that changed a bit because Toyota were also doing a lot of testing.

        Michelin were able to be more equal to there teams because they had several teams who were all doing a lot of testing so they were able to design tyres suited to each teams car because they were getting enough data to do that.

        With the modern testing restrictions you would not see any of that because no team would be doing more testing than anyone else.

    3. @jaymenon10

      This reminds of something that happened in the comments to a round-up a few days ago: I was stating I liked the Pirelli far better than the Bridgestone-era before, and the someone replied that I got everything wrong, and it was far better before Pirelli. However, he then went on to link video-examples… and those weren´t from the Bridgestone-era, but from tyre-war-times.

      There´s quite a few pros in a tyre-war, most of all tyres being designed for the fastest way possible. However, if it´s only 2 suppliers, chances are one is simply better than the other, and that makes for a boring championship. I think it should be at least 3, and they should be free to design 13″ or 18″ or whatever tyre, so we can have different concepts with different advantages/disadvantages. *dreammode* And I want a six-wheeler with 4 small fron tyres in the field */dremmode*

  7. “The biggest problem is they will get afraid because they come up against men with a lot of testosterone talking about how good you are looking, trying to make you uncomfortable. So my advice is don’t care about what people are saying to you. Do your thing, concentrate on the race and that’s it.”

    I had the pleasure of being on the Nurburgring back in 2004/5 and can remember her there driving the ring taxi and passing me like i was standing still. Granted, i’m an amateur nobody, but if anyone thinks she’s not a damn good driver, they’re an idiot.

  8. 90 messages between Lewis and his engineer!! wow!

    1. probably was the same message, but Lewis kept yelling at him to talking to him in the corners

      1. to stop* talking

    2. actually though. I have a serious question. What’s Lewis going to do at Monaco? No real straights for his engineer to talk to him on… Probably get Lewis grumbling about lack of info ;)

      1. @dragoll he should probably ask him before practice and the race just to be sure😂

    3. 90 were broadcast, I doubt Maldonado only spoke to his engineer twice.

      1. @tino852 he had probably watched the new Mad Max movie so he knew what to do 😄

  9. Initially I´d be disappointed Sabine Schmitz isn´t in the 24-hours, but only the support race which is WTCC. But if that gives more international attention, for whatever reason, so be it. Good to see her linked here, I had a great time at that taxi-drive last year, it´s incredible fast even if you´re used to go driving round the ring 2-3 times per year yourself, have done thousands of hours online-racing and consider yourself reasonably fast compared to other drivers on tourist rides.

  10. I found the statistics for the radio messages that are broadcast quite interesting. FOM are ‘manipulating’ the story line of the race to a certain extent. It’s a shame really, you often hear drivers giving their interviews post race mentioning they had this problem or that problem, or managing an issue, these things were obviously talked about over the pit-to-car radios by the respective drivers and their engineers, yet we hear nothing about it during the race. I think that even though a car is lower down the field, doesn’t mean it’s not still interesting to know if they have problems, it may even help us to appreciate why the driver is not having a stellar race and allow us to see their tallents in their true light by seeing what a great/poor job they are doing with a handicapped car, instead of just thinking they are plain slow.
    So personally would like to see more radio traffic broadcast from up and down the grid, especially if drivers are struggling with issues, no matter what their position in the race.

  11. Taking nothing away from Estaban, why do I smell “Ferrari” in this Gutierrez-Haas partnership (if it comes true).

    I personally have very high hopes for Haas F1 Team, Gene Haas is a zealot and he seems to know a lot about racing. Most teams that came into F1 lately couldn’t last long, maybe Haas can put an end to this sad streak.

    1. I personally have very high hopes for Haas F1 Team, Gene Haas is a zealot and he seems to know a lot about racing

      @ducpham2708 – I have the same impression, and hiring someone like Estaban does not fit into that picture.

      1. But who else he can hire really? Is not like he can just call any driver. Most drivers don’t want to drive for a new team that will probably be at the back of the grid. Even Kobayashi would reject him after the bad experience he had with Caterham.
        Also Ferrari may be pushing his hand a little to take someone like Guiterrez.
        So Haas maybe thinking that although Guiterrez isn’t exactly the biggest talent but at least he had two years of F1 racing experience and now learned a few more things by working with Ferrari and can be a decent enough choice in absence of any real big talent willing to drive for his team. If we include a few millions discount on engine or something by satisfying Ferrari then even better.

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