Kaltenborn: Mercedes gained tire advantage for 2014

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Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn has spoken out over the on-going tiregate fiasco, believing that Mercedes will have not only gained in the short term from their tire test, but it has also aided their development for 2014.

Next season will see a new raft of regulations, and Toto Wolff has previously revealed that 50% of the Mercedes’ F1 workforce is already working on the W05 car. Although the team will face the FIA tribunal over the test, Kaltenborn is adamant that they will have gathered data for next season in the test.

“From the facts that we have heard in the media, they were testing 2014 tires,” Kaltenborn said in an interview.

“If you get an idea of 2014 tires, even if they are maybe developed later on, you at least have some basic knowledge which the others don’t have, and if you have experts with all those sensors, then you cannot exclude at least that you will not gain some benefit from there and know at least what you shouldn’t be doing – which is also a benefit.”

Although Kaltenborn conceded that she could not predict just how great the advantage is, she is confident that Mercedes’ planning for next season will have been aided.

“None of us can assess how much and how big the advantage is for next year’s car, because we are all at a very critical time of developing our car. A lot of decisions have to be made now in to what direction you want to go, and you have to define certain layouts and concepts of the car.

“And we all can simply not assess it, but nobody can deny that there could be an advantage.”

Should Pirelli choose to leave the sport at the end of the season, this advantage may not materialize as another supplier takes over the reigns. However, the FIA tribunal is set to meet in the next 45 days and make a decision about what penalty, if any, should be given to Mercedes over the affair.

Ryan Hunter-Reay hired as replacement for Conor Daly at Ed Carpenter Racing

Ryan Hunter-Reay Carpenter
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ryan Hunter-Reay was named to replace Conor Daly in Ed Carpenter Racing’s No. 20 Dallara-Chevrolet, starting in the NTT IndyCar Series event next week at Road America.

Hunter-Reay is the 2012 series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner. He finished 11th for Dreyer & Reinbold last month in the 107th Indy 500, his first start since the 2021 season finale. He drove full time for Andretti Autosport from 2010-21.

“We need to improve our competitiveness and I wanted to add a fresh perspective from a driver like Ryan who has a massive amount of experience and success as well as a reputation as a team leader. I am excited to welcome Ryan to the team,” team owner Ed Carpenter said in a team release. “We have worked together in the past as teammates and he tested for ECR at Barber Motorsports Park in October 2021, where he made an immediate impact as we were able to qualify one of our cars on the pole following that test. I am confident that his experience and technical abilities will be an asset to ECR as we move forward toward our goals as a team.”

Hunter-Reay has 18 IndyCar victories, most recently in 2018. He also is a winner in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, having been a part of winning entries in the 2020 Twelve Hours of Sebring and 2018 Petit Le Mans. Last year, he was an endurance driver for Cadillac Racing while being on standby for Chip Ganassi Racing.

He replaces Daly, whose departure was announced a day earlier in what the driver and team said was a mutual decision.

“I was surprised when I got the call from Ed,” Hunter-Reay said in a team release. “He described how frustrated he was that his team has not been able to realize its potential despite their efforts, investments, as well as technical and personnel changes over the past few years and asked for my help. Ed and I are very close friends and have been for a long time. I’ve worked with the team in the past and they are a very talented group with high expectations and a committed partner in BITNILE.COM.

“This will certainly be a challenge for me as well. It’s a tough situation jumping in a car in the middle of the season without any testing in what I believe to be the most competitive series in the world. Certainly, part of my motivation in saying ‘yes’ to Ed is the great challenge ahead. The last time I turned right driving an NTT IndyCar Series car was in October of 2021 with this team at Barber. However, I remain very confident in both my driving and technical abilities and believe by working with the talented people at ECR and Team Chevy, while representing BITNILE.COM, we will make progress. I am going to do everything I can do to help the team achieve its long-term objectives.”

Said Milton “Todd” Ault, the chairman of sponsor BitNile.com: “It is great for BitNile.com to be aligned with an Indy 500 Winner and an NTT IndyCar Series champion. I have followed Ryan’s career for years and I am confident he will challenge the entire ECR team to perform at higher levels. I wish everyone luck at Road America.”