FIA China Thursday Press Conference

Leave a comment

Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing) will take the headlines for obvious reasons in the wake of the team’s “Multi 21” controversy at Malaysia, but the Australian was not alone in the official FIA Press Conference on the Thursday of the Chinese Grand Prix.

Both Nicos (Rosberg, Mercedes and Hulkenberg, Sauber), Lotus’ Romain Grosjean, McLaren’s Sergio Perez and Force India’s Adrian Sutil also joined the driver lineup for the press conference.

Rosberg, who’s been quiet about his and Mercedes’ repeat chances, remained realistic rather than overly optimistic given the new Pirelli tire compounds this weekend.

“Things evolve so quickly – the different tires we have this year bring us into a whole new situation,” he said. “So you can’t really compare, you need to take it as it comes and adapt to what you have this weekend. And so, that will be crucial, working through Friday and Saturday morning to try to optimize everything in order to have a great weekend.”

Rosberg also addressed Mercedes’ own team orders plan in Malaysia, which saw the German finish behind Lewis Hamilton.

“At the end of the race, I didn’t have that thought (to overtake),” he said. “I had decided well before to fully respect the instructions that Ross (Brawn) had given me.

“The difficulty was that we hadn’t really discussed them beforehand, y’know?” he explained. “And so that was the mistake that we did. So, important going forward is that everything is discussed and then whichever way it goes, if I’m in front and Lewis is behind then he will respect it and vice versa. Then it’s OK. As long as one is prepared for it and it’s discussed well and understood, that’s the important thing and that’s the main mistake we did as a team.”

Williams confirms Kubica and Sirotkin for Abu Dhabi F1 test

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Williams has confirmed that Robert Kubica will enjoy his third Formula 1 test outing with the team at the end-of-season running in Abu Dhabi next week as rumors grow regarding a possible race seat for 2018.

Almost seven years after his last F1 start, Kubica’s remarkable return from severe injuries sustained in a rally accident saw him enjoy two private tests with Renault before completing running with the team in a 2017-spec car in Hungary over the summer.

Reservations over Kubica’s capabilities prompted Renault to pass on giving him a seat, instead opting to hire Carlos Sainz Jr. for next year, only for Williams to become an alternative for the Pole.

Kubica tested a 2014-spec Williams at both Silverstone and the Hungaroring in recent months, and will now sample a 2017 car when he tests at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kubica will share track time with regular Williams racer Lance Stroll and Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin, who has worked with Renault over the past two years but also missed out on a 2018 seat.

“Williams Martini Racing is pleased to confirm it will run Robert Kubica and Sergey Sirotkin for the Abu Dhabi Pirelli tire test, alongside current race driver Lance Stroll,” a statement from the team reads.

“The Pirelli tire test will take place over two days at the Yas Marina circuit during the week following the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“On day one Robert Kubica will drive the FW40 in the morning session, before Lance Stroll takes over in the afternoon.

“On day two Sergey Sirotkin will drive in the morning and afternoon sessions before handing over to Robert in the late afternoon.

“The test is aimed at evaluating 2018 candidate tires on behalf of the Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli.

“Williams is excited to have this opportunity to assess the new tyres across such an interesting range of drivers: Lance, as confirmed race driver for 2018, Robert with his huge experience, and Sergey as a very promising young talent in Formula 1.”

Williams denied earlier this week it has signed Kubica to partner Stroll for 2018, but indications are the deal looks very likely to go ahead, subject to the relevant paperwork and contracts being finalized.