Mercedes could change F1 line-up if tension remains

© Getty Images
1 Comment

Mercedes could be forced to drop either Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg from its Formula One line-up unless the tension between the pair is not eased, according to team boss Toto Wolff.

Hamilton and Rosberg’s rivalry was one of the biggest stories throughout the 2014 season as they battled for the drivers’ championship, with tensions boiling over at last year’s Belgian Grand Prix when they made contact on track.

Further incidents followed this year in China and Austin, with Hamilton’s aggressive overtaking move at the latter riling Rosberg as he saw his title hopes end a month before the end of the season.

The German rallied following this defeat to win the last three races of the year, leading many to tip him for a renewed title battle in 2016 and an escalation of the hostility between both sides of the Mercedes garage.

Speaking to motorsport.com, Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff said that unless tensions between Hamilton and Rosberg were eased, he would have to consider changing the line-up for the good of the team.

“We struggle sometimes in winning races on Sunday and having always one [driver] upset,” Wolff said. “And this spills over into the team. It is something that needs to stop.

“We took the decision of having two evenly matched drivers in order to make the team progress faster and better. It was a very conscious decision three years ago.

“Going forward, we will consider if it is the best set-up for the team. Personality and character within the team is a crucial ingredient for the team success.

“If we feel that it is not aligned with the general consensus, spirit and philosophy within the team, we might consider that when we take a decision, in terms of the driver line-up going forward.

“I think it is important to have talented and fast drivers in the car. But we want to work with nice guys.”

Rosberg’s current Mercedes contract expires at the end of the 2016 season, but the team is understood to have an option on his services for 2017.

Hamilton signed a new deal with the German marque earlier this year, taking him to the end of the 2018 season.

Supercross reveals 2023 Daytona track designed by Ricky Carmichael for 16th time

0 Comments

For the 16th consecutive year, Ricky Carmichael has designed a signature course for the Daytona Supercross race, which will be March 4, 2023.

Eli Tomac took advantage of a last lap mistake by Cooper Webb last year to win a record setting sixth Daytona race – and with that win, he broke out of a tie Carmichael.

Construction on the course will begin two days after the completion of the 65th running of NASCAR’s Daytona 500 when haulers start to unload 7,200 tons of dirt onto the grassy infield in order to create a course 3,300 feet long.

“Ricky has designed yet another incredible course for this year’s Daytona Supercross,” said Daytona International Speedway President Frank Kelleher in a press release. “We’re thrilled to unveil it to the fans, and we can’t wait for them to come out to the track and see it in person.”

MORE: Designs for SuperMotocross finals at zMax Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway

Carmichael’s Daytona course will take center stage for Round 8 of the 17-race Supercross season and the 31-race SuperMotocross season.

The Supercross race coincides with Daytona’s Bike Week, which runs from March 3-12 and includes races from the American Flat Track series and the legendary Daytona 200 speedway race that is contested on the infield road course.

Last year’s course was reported to have 57 obstacles including the return of an over-under bridge. For 2023 the number of obstacles listed in 42, but that will not keep this from being one of the toughest tracks on which the Monster Energy Supercross series will race.

Many of the same elements from last year will be present including sharp turns, vaulted jumps, sand sections and a finish line that aligns with the oval tracks’ start/finish line.

“This year’s Daytona Supercross design is one of the best,” Carmichael said. “It races great for the riders – it’s safe yet challenging and it’s very similar to last year with the split lanes. Daytona is the toughest, gnarliest race on the Supercross circuit, but it’s the most special to win.

“This track is going to produce great racing and I think the riders are going to put on a fantastic display for all our fans.”

While Tomac has dominated this race during his career, Daytona has also been the site of some other dramatic victories. In 2021 Aaron Plessinger scored his first career Supercross podium in 35 starts with a win there and reversed a three-year streak of bad luck on the track.

The Daytona Supercross race is the first of two the series will contest on speedway infield courses. A little more than one month later, Atlanta Motor Speedway will enter their third season as a supercross venue. These two courses will serve as an early test for the SuperMotocross three-race finale that begins September 9, 2023 at zMax Dragway in Charlotte, North Carolina. The three playoff races will each be held on courses that contain elements of Supercross and Motocross, much like Daytona and Atlanta.