• The Brazilian GP promoter Tamas Rohonyi is adamant that the race is staying at Interlagos despite resurfacing claims that it could be set for a switch to a new venue in Rio.
• In Austin a technical directive was issued regarding pulsing of the fuel flow meter to subvert the maximum flow. It was in response to a query from Red Bull, which thought one of its competitors may have been using such a system. The FIA stipulated that such a system would be illegal.
• Two races earlier Ferrari requested clarification about the rear brake duct and suspension arrangement on the Mercedes, which appears to direct air between the brake drum and rim, allowing the tyre temperatures to be controlled. The FIA cleared it as legal.
• Alex Albon (above) has retained his Red Bull drive for 2020 following his promising part-season with the senior team this year. Toro Rosso keeps Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat.
• Verstappen, after both Hamilton and Vettel said in Mexico that they race him differently to others, so as not to ‘get torpedoed’ responded in Austin with: “It’s easy to have a dig at someone but from my side, it’s fine. It’s always positive when someone talks about you because it just means that you are in their heads. I just focus on my driving and that’s enough said.”
• Renault’s interim chief executive officer Clotilde Delbos has confirmed that the company’s F1 involvement post-2020 is under review. “It’s not a minor review,” she said. “This is a deep review of our strategy and plan.” Asked if he could confirm Renault would be competing in F1 for 2021, Cyril Abiteboul said, “I can’t tell you that… but let’s be optimistic. If everything [in the 2021 financial and rules package] is better, I don’t see why we would get to a different position to the commitment we made in 2015.”
• Against that backdrop, the Enstone-based team is in the process of re-structuring its technical department. Dirk de Beer returns as head of aerodynamics after stints at Ferrari and Williams. Pat Fry – ex-McLaren and Ferrari engineer – returns to the team which he last worked for in 1993 in its Benetton guise, with his exact role yet to be announced. James Rodgers has been promoted to chief aerodynamicist.
• The proposal to experiment with a Saturday reversed grid sprint race format for three races next year did not receive the unanimous approval from the teams. Mercedes’ Toto Wolff voted against it, saying: “When you watch the 100-metre final at the Olympic Games, Usain Bolt doesn’t start five metres behind the others to improve the show.” Liberty’s Ross Brawn was disappointed that Wolff and one other team boss vetoed the idea.
F1 frontline with Mark Hughes
Some years ago I wrote a column outlining the case against wind tunnel use in F1, pointing out the horrendous amount of energy they consume, all essentially devoted to making…
VON STUCK TAKES THE MONT VENTOUX RECORD
THE Mont Ventoux lull Climb is one of the longest in the world, being 21 kilometres 600 metres in length. It starts at the pretty little village of Bedoin, at…
The speediest land traveller
A history of Alberta auto racing by Richard McDonell, ISBN 1 894694 35 X published by Granville Island, US$22.95 This little gem of a paperback focuses on the many local…