Chad Knaus is one of the biggest gambling crew chiefs in Sprint Cup. He takes chances and plays the odds when other crew chiefs would rather play it safe.
More often than not, Knaus’s gambles have paid off quite handsomely, particularly during the record-setting, five-season Sprint Cup championship run by his driver, Jimmie Johnson, from 2006-2010.
But in Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway, Knaus made a rare gamble that didn’t pay off.
Surprisingly, if not shockingly, Knaus called for just two tires on Johnson’s final pit stop of the race. You would think that with all the twists and turns Johnson had to do on the nearly 2-mile road course, that Knaus would outfit him with fresh rubber on all four corners of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
Perhaps Knaus was trying to get Johnson a competitive advantage with the two-tire stop. After all, because of significantly cooler than expected temperatures during the race, both in the air and on the racing surface, tires did not wear as much as crew chiefs likely anticipated.
But in the end, Johnson faded in the closing laps as several drivers passed him. He ultimately finished ninth, when he appeared headed to an easy top-five, maybe even top-three showing.
MILAN (AP) Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone is confident the Italian Grand Prix in Monza can find the needed cash to stay on the calendar.
Ecclestone tells the Gazzetta dello Sport, “We will find the right solution – I no longer have doubts – to provide a future for the Italian GP.”
No circuit has hosted more F1 racing than Monza, but officials at the track outside Milan have had trouble producing the estimated 25 million euros ($26.6 million) per year that Ecclestone seeks to keep the race in place after the current contract expires next year.
Ecclstone says, “Things have been cleared up and there is only one go between, (Angelo) Sticchi Damiani, the president of the Italian Automobile Club.”
The Italian GP next year is scheduled for Sept. 4.
Plans to introduce a new alternative, cheaper engine into Formula 1 for 2017 – hypothetically a 2.2-liter V6 similar to what is seen in IndyCar – will at least temporarily go on the backburner.
The F1 Commission has rejected the so called “alternative engine solution,” where several companies submitted proposals to be that alternative supplier.
“The F1 Commission voted not to pursue this option at this stage — however, it may be reassessed after the Power Unit manufacturers have presented their proposal to the Strategy Group,” the FIA said on Wednesday.
“The parties involved have agreed on a course to address several key areas relating to Power Unit supply in Formula One,” the statement added.
Meanwhile the statement outlined four things the current manufacturers – Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda – would be tasked with improving on the current 1.6-liter formula:
- a guarantee of supply to teams
- the need to reduce the engines’ cost
- simplification of the specification
- “improved noise”
Further meetings between the manufacturers and the governing body are scheduled, including one this weekend at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix season finale.
As F1 heads into the final weekend of the season, political/paddock items such as Red Bull and Toro Rosso’s respective power unit futures, whether Renault’s takeover of Lotus will finally become official and what will happen with Manor’s team leadership stake – this marks Graeme Lowdon and John Booth’s final weekends although ex-McLaren man Dave Ryan has been hired as the team’s new racing director – are among the talking points.
You couldn’t make this stuff up.
Dominant GP2 Series champion Stoffel Vandoorne had his first go in a Super Formula car at Suzuka on Wednesday, but the engine woes that have hampered his Formula 1 team’s efforts (McLaren) all season appear to be equal opportunity woes.
Vandoorne only completed a limited day of running due to technical issues; naturally, and in an unfortunate coincidence, the Super Formula cars also have Honda power.
The Belgian is now en route from Japan to Abu Dhabi, where this weekend’s final round of the GP2 season will be held alongside the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Wandsworth Council’s Community Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee voted seven to four late Tuesday night, in favor of retaining the FIA Formula E event in Battersea Park.
This will see the London ePrix – the season finale for the electric open-wheel championship – continue at the site for at least the next two seasons.
The 2016 race will run July 2-3, to avoid a direct head-to-head clash with the British Grand Prix a week later in Silverstone.
Battersea Park’s race faced local opposition in recent weeks, which put the race under threat.