Maldonado unsure about proposed radical future for F1

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Pastor Maldonado is unsure that Formula 1 should look at becoming more radical and powerful in the next few years, believing that it the costs associated could do serious damage to the smaller teams in the sport.

Earlier this week, the F1 Commission met in Geneva to decide whether or not it should follow a more radical path and overhaul the regulations for 2016, but opted to delay any possible changes until 2017 at the earliest.

Some of the ideas raised included upping the power of the current engines to over 1,000bhp and making the car designs more appealing.

When asked by MotorSportsTalk in Barcelona whether he felt that such changes would be good for the sport, Maldonado had mixed thoughts.

“It’s good and not good,” Maldonado said. “For sure, as a driver, we want even more than 1,000bhp. That’s good!

“Maybe, for the smaller teams, it’s going to be very painful or very hard for them to deal with the cost it creates, because it’s not only that you put in a new engine. You need to redesign everything. We’ll see.

“It’s maybe a difficult one from my side. As a driver, I want developments and to go forward in the future. For sure we want more horsepower. We want much faster cars every year.

“But at the same time we are living in very difficult times. I don’t know if it would be the right moment to introduce these kind of new engines.”

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has led the call for a revolution in F1 with more powerful and louder engines and eye-catching car designs, prompting the release of a concept render by the Italian team earlier this week.

“That car was a provocation,” Arrivabene explained. “It’s not so far from the reality that we could achieve in the future.

“I’m expecting other teams to propose their own view without talking about ‘ah my car is better than yours’ or ‘I was doing this before you’ – this is stupid.

“I’m going to ask every team to try to propose a concept car. This way, we are going to move something instead of stabilising the situation as it is.”

The technical regulations that were introduced in 2014 have come under fire from a number of leading figures in F1, with the quieter V6 turbo engines being a particular sticking point.

Valtteri Bottas fastest in Friday F1 practices for Russian Grand Prix

F1 Sochi Valtteri Bottas
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SOCHI, Russia — Valtteri Bottas paced both F1 practices Friday for the Russian Grand Prix on Friday as Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton was slowed by damaged tires in the first session.

Bottas turned a fast lap of 1 minute, 33.519 seconds in the second session that bettered Hamilton’s 1:33.786.

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo was more than a second behind Bottas in third at 1:34.577, followed by the McLaren Racing duo of Carlos Sainz Jr. (1:34.723) and Lando Norris (1:34.847).

In the first F1 session at Sochi, Valtteri Bottas set the pace with a time of 1 minute, 34.923 seconds, beating Ricciardo by half a second. Max Verstappen was third quickest in his Red Bull, a further 0.147 back.

Hamilton could only manage 19th fastest after locking up his tires and leaving them with a flat spot. Ferrari again struggled to find pace with Sebastian Vettel ninth and Charles Leclerc 11th.

HISTORY IN SIGHTLewis Hamilton aims to tie Michael Schumacher’s record

The first session was briefly red-flagged when Nicholas Latifi crashed his Williams. Carlos Sainz Jr. spun his McLaren backward into a barrier and broke off his rear wing.

Verstappen spun during the second session but avoided damage to his car.