F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Race

Symonds delighted with Williams’ form and progress

1 Comment

Williams technical director Pat Symonds has heaped praise upon the team and its drivers following a remarkable turnaround in fortunes over the past year.

This time last season, the British squad had just one point to its name in the constructors’ championship, and would score just four more en route to ninth place in the standings. In 2014, Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa have scored 135 after eleven races, and this figure could yet soar with the team’s strongest circuits yet to come.

For Symonds, the progress that Williams has made since his arrival last July goes beyond anything he could have imagined.

“I obviously knew where I wanted to get the team to, and I still know where I want to get to, and that is a long way further ahead from where we are now,” Symonds told Formula1.com. “But the initial progress is much better than I had expected.

“It’s never one person: what it shows is that there was some quality there, it just needed direction as to how to turn that quality into performance.

“There were other fortunate things as well, not least of which was the Mercedes contract. There is no doubt it is the best power unit in Formula 1 at the moment and I always felt it would be, and it has helped in the renaissance without a doubt.”

Besides the engine, Symonds also feels that the driver line-up of Bottas and Massa is one of the best that he has worked with in Formula 1.

“Of all the years I’ve been in F1, of all the great drivers I’ve worked with, I think I’m lucky this year to have two guys that are right up there, who get on well, who approach their job with intelligence and diligence, who are both very quick and both understand what we are trying to do as a team,” he explained.

“They are very good at driving the team together – that is probably the key reason I am so happy. The team is undergoing change and the drivers are so much part of that, it is helping us no end.”

Report: Ecclestone believes F1 could be sold by year’s end

F1 Grand Prix of Germany
(Getty Images)
Leave a comment

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone on Tuesday said the racing series is up for sale and has as many as three potential buyers.

Ecclestone told The Associated Press that a deal could still be struck by year’s end.

“I think so, maybe this year,” Ecclestone said. “There are three people mentioned to buy. So it’s a case of whether CVC or Mr. Mackenzie wants to sell.”

Ecclestone was referring to F1’s largest and controlling shareholder, CVC Capital Partners co-chairman Donald Mackenzie.

But even if F1 is sold, the 84-year-old Eccelstone doesn’t plan on going anywhere.

“The people that I’ve spoken to … have asked me if I would stay,” Ecclestone told AP.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

IndyCar: Andretti, Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe test at Mid-Ohio

TORONTO, ON - JULY 19:  Marco Andretti driver of the #25 Andretti Autosport Dallara Honda stands on pit wall prior to qualifying for the Verizon IndyCar Series Honda Indy Toronto on the Streets of Toronto on July 19, 2014 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Monday was IndyCar team owner Michael Andretti’s 53rd birthday and son Marco was nowhere to be found – but with good reason.

The younger Andretti and Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay were both testing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course near Lexington, Ohio.

Also taking part in the test was Schmidt Peterson Motorsport’s James Hinchcliffe.

It was Hinchcliffe’s second successful test since recovering from his horrific crash during practice for this year’s Indianapolis 500 in May.

Hinchcliffe’s first test was last week at Road America in Wisconsin.

Monday’s test session was not open to the public or media, but a Honda source told Motorsportstalk that drivers and teams reportedly focused on testing aerodynamics for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

Follow @JerryBonkowski