McLaren, Sauber

Sauber is in the running to become the second team to be powered by Honda in Formula 1 alongside McLaren, but not until 2017 at the earliest.

Speculation arose over the course of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend that Sauber could do a deal with Honda, and it is understood that talks have taken place between the two parties.

A deal for 2016 is not possible because Sauber has a contract in place with Ferrari, while McLaren Technology Group CEO Ron Dennis explained last weekend "it was not physically possible" to increase the supply of parts in time for Honda to work with a second team until 2017.

When asked about the possibility of a deal with Sauber for 2017, a McLaren source confirmed that talks had taken place and admitted it could be possibility. It is understood a Sauber-Honda tie-up would be purely a customer deal, with the Swiss team paying for its engines.

When asked by about the possibility of a Honda deal over the Abu Dhabi GP weekend, Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn denied talks had taken place.

"I have not spoken to Honda and as far as I know they have not spoken to me," she said. "This is a typical thing - something is taken out of context and twisted into something, and people try to make it a sensational story, which it really is not."

On the subject of Honda supplying a second team, Dennis - who took responsibility for blocking a possible tie-up with Red Bull for the Japanese manufacturer - said supplying a second team too soon would slow Honda's ability to catch up to its rivals.

"The more engines you have to make, the more your supply chain gets stressed," he said. "We're in catch-up mode - the more people you have to carry with you the slower your reaction time. To slow down our own ability to become competitive didn't make any sense."

Originally on

Image285Phil Krueger never won a race or a championship, but he did win miles of respect at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the 1980s with his moxie.

After a big crash trying to make the show in 1981 in a nine-year-old car that left him with broken bones, Krueger suffered more injuries in 1984 at Michigan and it looked like he's never realize his dream of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.

But, serving as his own chief mechanic, the determined Californian put an older car in the 1986 starting lineup and then came back in 1988 to qualify 15th fastest and finish eighth in a two-year-old March that was supposed to be a show car.

Krueger, who retired following another nasty accident in 1989, embodied the spirit of competition and was one of the great stories of perseverance at Indianapolis.


19SG6630 EDITWhat will you remember the 2015 IndyCar season for? Juan Pablo Montoya's teflon coating wearing off right at the time he needed it most? The introduction of the aero kits, several years after they were first mooted? Rocky Moran Jr.'s inspiring hour of track time at Long Beach?

To try to make sense of it all, RACER's Marshall Pruett, Robin Miller and Mark Glendenning asked each other some searching questions about all of 2015's regulars, which for the purpose of this review, includes anyone who started a minimum of half the races. Look for new installments every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

2015 starts: 16

2015 best finish: 1st (Barber, Toronto)
2015 championship position: seventh; 431pts

The biggest single threat to Newgarden's results were found on pitlane. Minus the routine position losses in the pits, how many additional wins - and places in the standings - could the kid have taken in 2015?

ROBIN MILLER: It's never pleasant to criticize pit crews because they're all busting their ass to do the best job possible in a dangerous environment. However, even someone as decent and pleasant as JoNew had to admit it was getting frustrating to come in leading and lose the top spot in the pits – which he did at Milwaukee and Iowa. He was long gone in the first 100 laps at Milwaukee when he pitted and lost 10 spots. At Iowa, he was clearly the class of the field but a hiccup on his final pit stop cost him a victory by half a second. Newgarden should have won three and probably four times in 2015 and he deserves the best possible people over the wall.

What was more impressive about Josef's breakthrough season: Two wins on road/street courses, or becoming the No. 1 driver at any track CFH visited? 

MARSHALL PRUETT: That one's easy: Josef Newgarden, all-purpose driver, was a massive revelation the year.

The partnership of Newgarden and his race engineer Jeremy Milless, the resources of the combined CFH Racing team, and the switch to Chevrolet power saw the No. 67 rise to prominence at almost every track - at the ovals, in particular.

lat abbott indyQ 0515 7221Few would have predicted Josef would displace teammate Ed Carpenter as CFH's top dog, yet Newgarden finished ahead of Ed at all six ovals. Some of Carpenter's poor showings weren't down to performance; an early tangle and crash at Indy blighted what should have been a strong showing, and hitting Newgarden at Fontana after a communications error with his spotter wasn't very Ed-like. It was the days where both CFH cars were on pace, however, where Newgarden stepped up to make a difference.

Carpenter impressed in his climb from 22nd to 10th at Milwaukee, and improved from 11th to sixth at Iowa. Newgarden, for the sake of comparison, earned the first pole of his career at Milwaukee, led 109 laps, was often the fastest car in the 250-lap race, and had Carpenter handled the entire time before the aforementioned pit stop issues relegated him to fifth. Iowa was another example where Newgarden started ahead of Ed (P7) and finished ahead (P2) of the ovalmeister.

Does it mean Ed's the second-best oval driver at CFH going forward? Not at all. But I do think it will be harder for Carpenter to reassert his dominance as IndyCar continues to trim in-season test days from the calendar. Having Newgarden in the car every weekend and building momentum from round to round with Milless is a decided advantage over Ed, who must get up to speed with race engineer Matt Barnes in an instant.

Take a ridiculous talent, who finally got his hands on all the tools needed to succeed, and had an awesome oval teammate and educator like Carpenter to fill in any oval gaps that existed prior to 2015, and maybe Josef's left-turn performances shouldn't have been hard to predict.

lat FPW 0612MM 1543Why was Josef able to outqualify Carpenter on ovals so often?

MARK GLENDENNING: I think Ed's probably asking himself the same thing. Newgarden had a stellar season by any measure, but for me, the qualifying score within CFH on ovals was the most remarkable bit of all. There were six ovals on the 2015 schedule, and Newgarden started ahead of his boss at five of them. (Carpenter had him covered at Fontana). Josef's average starting position at an oval this year was 7.8; Carpenter's was 14.1.

The answer to the question probably has more to do with the #20 side of the garage. Using Newgarden's performance as a guage of the team's overall potential, and factoring in what history has taught us about Ed's prowess at turning left, the disparity has at least as much to do with whatever malaise was affecting Carpenter's car as it does with Newgarden's achievements, noteworthy as they are. After putting the car fourth on the grid at Fontana, Carpenter gave his clearest hint that something was fundamentally wrong when he spoke about the value of a rare week off in the schedule in the lead-up to that weekend.

"We had been struggling on the ovals and the week off really gave us a chance to get immersed in what our problems were and come up with some good ideas to come here and get back on track," he said at the time. "I just have to thank all the guys on the team, mechanics, engineers, everybody, for putting in the hard work to get the cars driving nice again."

The problem was, his qualifying results actually got worse after that: 22nd at Milwaukee, 11th at Iowa, 21st at Pocono.

So were Ed, his engineer and his car all struggling to speak the same language? Was there something fundamentally weird about the chassis he switched to after trashing his original one in the practice crash at Indy? Carpenter's input was clearly benefiting Newgarden, but why, then, did whatever was working on the #67 not translate across to the #20? I don't know. But while Newgarden was rocking it everywhere he went this year, Carpenter was firing blanks. And his problems contributed as much as Newgarden's strong form to the gap that opened up between them.

lat masche 150828 1302

Missed one of the earlier reviews? You can go back and read them here:

Pirelli F1 tyres

Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery is concerned one test session is unlikely to be enough to bring a tire performance "cliff" back to Formula 1.

While the main aim of Tuesday's 12-hour test session at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi is to run the rule over the new-for-2016 ultra-soft compound, Pirelli is also looking at again increasing the number of pit stops.

The level has often fallen below the brief of a minimum of two per driver over the past two years, primarily due to Pirelli taking a back seat to allow the teams to focus on the turbocharged hybrid power unit following its introduction at the start of 2014.

ANALYSIS: Does 2012 hold the key to F1's tire future?

p4The ultra-soft tire will play a part in changing things for 2016, but Pirelli and Hembery would ideally like to go further to spice up the show, with the feeling being that tires that dramatically drop off in performance is the way to go. Pirelli, however, has only the test at Yas Marina to find a solution, otherwise it may have to be put on the backburner until 2017.

"We would have liked more pit stops this season, but that is not something we can change without quite extensive testing," said Hembery. "While the ultra-soft next year will give us more options for certain races, it's not going to dramatically change the scene. That's something we need to look at for '17.

"We've one shot for next season, and we don't know if it will work the way we want it to, but we are trying to bring back a 'cliff' into it. While it may create more pit stops, what we don't know is if it will create any differences in strategy, which is the ideal solution. So we're looking at it, and we've a couple of concepts we'll be testing, but it's very hard to get that right with only one test session."

The primary concern for Pirelli is ensuring the ultra-soft tire works, with four variants overall to be tested as it tries to find the best solution.

"The ultra-soft is the real priority," added Hembery. "We've four different proposals for the ultra-soft, but it will be completely blind for the teams so they won't know what we are looking at.

"The circuit is quite ideal because it offers a smooth surface, and traction is important, so we'll be testing against references of what we used in the race [soft and super-soft]. Ideally, we want something that will give us a qualifying tire in some races.

"It will be something that if chosen by the teams they could take an aggressive start to a race strategy, so let's see what the results are like. We believe we'll have something after the test, although it might be too early to say. What I can say is there will be definitely be an ultra-soft tire in 2016."


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 N7T6360Christian Horner is adamant Red Bull's Renault engine agreement for 2016 is bulletproof even if the French firm's Lotus takeover talks collapse and it pulls out of Formula 1.

Horner revealed on Friday, ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, that after months of uncertainty the team's future was now secure as a power unit deal was in place for next year, with confirmation expected by the end of this week. Having failed to land a power unit from Mercedes, Ferrari or Honda, Red Bull has been forced to return to Renault.

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In tandem, Renault is in the final throes of its takeover of Lotus, although has hit a stumbling block in its negotiations with F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone over the revenues it feels it is entitled to, given its longevity in F1.

Ecclestone held talks on two occasions with Renault Sport F1 president Jerome Stoll over the course of the weekend with regard to constructors' bonus and historic payments. It is understood a final offer is on the table from Ecclestone that Stoll is to discuss with Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn, which if rejected will end the Lotus deal.

Regardless of what transpires between Ecclestone, Renault and Lotus, Red Bull will still go forward into next season with its power unit plan in place according to Horner.

Asked whether the deal was dependent on Renault's future in F1, Horner said: "We have a signed contract for an engine, the details of which I hope to be able to announce within a week. There's obviously been an awful lot of activity over the last few weeks. I am not at liberty to say what that activity is, but I'm sure it will all come out in the wash.

"But, the situation is clear in that we have an agreement for next year. I would like to be able to tell you what that is, but unfortunately I can't."

Among the conditions understood to be attached to Red Bull's continuation with Renault are that title sponsor Infiniti, one of the brands under the Renault/Nissan alliance, will be dropped, representing a loss of around $70 million per year. Although the power unit will still be supplied by Renault, there is a possibility it will be rebadged as "Nissan F1" to put further distance between team and manufacturer.

Asked whether the engine would carry Japanese branding, Horner replied: "I'm not going to confirm or deny anything. It will be confirmed within a week or so."


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Nico Rosberg wins Abu Dhabi GP 2015

Nico Rosberg finished the 2015 season by completing the first victory hat-trick of his Formula 1 career, beating Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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It was a relatively comfortable lights-to-flag triumph at the Yas Marina circuit for Rosberg, who has been unstoppable since Hamilton won his third F1 title at Circuit of The Americas in October.

Rosberg has won every subsequent race, finishing another runner-up campaign with six successive pole positions in total, and a run of wins that took him to 14 overall and provided him with a lift ahead of the 2016 campaign.

Come the end of the 55 laps Rosberg finished 8.2 seconds ahead of Hamilton, who opted for a different race strategy in a bid to find a way past the German, only to fall short.

267A9931When Rosberg made his second stop on lap 31 of 55, Hamilton opted to stay out rather than pit on the following lap. As Hamilton extended the life out of a set of soft Pirelli tires, there followed an exchange of messages between driver and the pitwall over to whether he could go to the end of the race.

With Rosberg closing rapidly, Hamilton eventually pitted for a second time after 41 laps, but rather than taking on super-softs – although he had no new sets left, only used – the switch was to softs, leaving him with a 12.5s deficit.

There was another brief surge, but ultimately it was a forlorn battle for Hamilton who had to settle for runner-up to Rosberg again.

Behind Mercedes' 12th one-two of the season – a new F1 record – Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen finished on the podium for only the third time this year, and for once ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel, who rose from 15th on the grid to fourth.

Force India duo Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg finished a strong fifth and seventh either side of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

Williams driver Felipe Massa was eighth, followed by Romain Grosjean in his final race for Lotus ahead of his move next year to Haas. The Frenchman used an alternative strategy and a late charge on super-softs to come through from 19th on the grid.

Daniil Kvyat completed the top 10 in his Red Bull, fending off Carlos Sainz Jr.

Incidents in a hectic first part of the race included a collision in the pitlane between Williams's Valtteri Bottas and McLaren's Jenson Button. As Bottas was released – unsafely, according to the stewards, as he was penalized with a five-second time penalty – and as Button cut across into his pitbox, the Finn caught the rear of the Briton.

The incident resulted in damage to Button's rear wing, while Bottas sustained front-wing damage, leading to a long, slow lap back to the pits for a new nose. That relegated Bottas to 18th at the time, with Fernando Alonso the only man behind as the two-time champion had required his own new front wing at the end of lap one in the wake of a first-corner crash with Pastor Maldonado's Lotus.

It was the ninth time this year Maldonado had retired, while Alonso's error incurred the wrath of the stewards as he was also penalized with a drive-through penalty for causing a collision.

Running around at the rear, and just before the midway point of the race, Alonso suggested he had had enough when he declared over the radio: "If we don't get a safety car, I will retire the car."

The Spaniard, however, kept going to the flag, ending his worst season – in terms of points scored, since his 2001 debut with Minardi – down in 17th, with only Manor duo Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi behind him.


1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1h38m3175s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 8.271s
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 19.430s
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 43.735s
5 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m03.952s
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m05.010s
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m33.618s
8 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m37.751s
9 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 1m38.201s
10 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m42.371s
11 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1m43.525s
12 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1 Lap
13 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1 Lap
14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
15 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
16 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1 Lap
17 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 2 Laps
18 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 2 Laps
19 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 3 Laps
- Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes Collision


1 Lewis Hamilton 381
2 Nico Rosberg 322
3 Sebastian Vettel 278
4 Kimi Raikkonen 150
5 Valtteri Bottas 136
6 Felipe Massa 121
7 Daniil Kvyat 95
8 Daniel Ricciardo 92
9 Sergio Perez 78
10 Nico Hulkenberg 58
11 Romain Grosjean 51
12 Max Verstappen 49
13 Felipe Nasr 27
14 Pastor Maldonado 27
15 Carlos Sainz 18
16 Jenson Button 16
17 Fernando Alonso 11
18 Marcus Ericsson 9
19 Roberto Merhi 0
20 Alexander Rossi 0
21 Will Stevens 0


1 Mercedes 703
2 Ferrari 428
3 Williams/Mercedes 257
4 Red Bull/Renault 187
5 Force India/Mercedes 136
6 Lotus/Mercedes 78
7 Toro Rosso/Renault 67
8 Sauber/Ferrari 36
9 McLaren/Honda 27
10 Marussia/Ferrari 0


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Mercedes and Ferrari, Mexican GP 2015

The FIA has closed a number of loopholes in its regulations that had sparked concerns of a potential "arms race" in Formula 1 after a challenge from Mercedes.

The champion team claimed there to be a number of ambiguities in appendices six and eight of the 2015 F1 sporting regulations, with the former relating to listed parts, and the latter to aerodynamic testing restrictions. Mercedes argued it was seeking clarification with regards to opportunities in the regulations it was considering for the future.

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff suggested if the loopholes remained open and exploited it would lead to the bigger teams using a junior team to aid the speed of development. New team Haas, for instance, enters F1 next year on the back of a deal with Ferrari, which will supply a number of parts, and with use of the Scuderia's wind tunnel.

At no stage in any correspondence over the past few weeks between Mercedes and the FIA were either Ferrari or Haas mentioned. However, Wolff warned on Saturday if such rules were allowed to go unchecked "it could become an arms race of how many corporations or partners you could sign up in order to develop at the greatest speed."

Following a meeting of the stewards in Abu Dhabi, spearheaded by former F1 driver and BRDC president Derek Warwick, steps have been taken to ensure the regulations in the future cannot be abused.

The stewards' full ruling on the case

williams noseThe FIA has made clear its intention, via the rules, was to place limits on the amount of aero development each competitor would be able to carry out and to prevent an escalation of costs associated with research. Decisions taken by the stewards include the fact one competitor cannot share information with another relating to the aerodynamic geometry/surfaces of listed parts.

Most notably, with regard to wind tunnel use, the FIA has issued a list of activities that would be deemed attempts to circumvent the rules and are therefore outlawed with immediate effect (see list below).

It states that "the purpose of the aerodynamic testing restrictions is to place limits on the amount of aerodynamic development each competitor is able to carry out."

It adds that the detailed wording in the regulations "is also intended to ensure no competitor is able to circumvent the purpose or intention of the restrictions by, for example, using a third party to carry out aerodynamic development on their behalf."

In essence, no team can use another for its own aerodynamic development.

The FIA has confirmed receiving verbal submissions from Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, Williams and Force India, and written submissions from not only Mercedes, Ferrari and Force India, but also Manor.

Previous correspondence was also examined between the FIA and Ferrari, Haas, Red Bull and Mercedes, while reports of FIA audits, inspections and visits to team facilities were examined.

A FIA inspection of Ferrari's wind tunnel earlier this year found it operating within the rules, with the Scuderia not using Haas-allocated time for its own benefit.


From the FIA stewards' decision:

The following (non‐exhaustive) list may be deemed attempts to circumvent the purpose or intention of Appendix 8, any of these could therefore be reported to the stewards of the next Event as a breach of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations.

1) No employee or consultant of a competitor who is involved in aerodynamic development may pass any information obtained under their own ATR quota to an employee or consultant of another competitor.

2) No employee of a competitor who is involved in aerodynamic development, who leaves that company and takes up a similar position with another competitor, may do so without a suitable (or normal) period of "gardening leave" or "isolation."

3) No employee of a competitor who is involved in aerodynamic development, and who leaves that company and takes up a similar position with another competitor, may then return to the original competitor without a suitable (or normal) period of "gardening leave" or "isolation."

4) No employee of a competitor who is involved in aerodynamic development, and who then leaves that company, may pass information obtained under their former employer's ATR quota to an employee or consultant of another competitor before a suitable (or normal) period of "gardening leave" or "isolation" has elapsed.

5) No employee of an external entity who is involved in F1 aerodynamic development may be employed by a competitor, on a permanent or temporary basis, without a suitable (or normal) period of "gardening leave" or "isolation".

6) No employee of a competitor who is involved in aerodynamic development may be seconded to, or temporarily employed by, another competitor unless such secondment or employment is a genuine long term arrangement for the sole purpose of providing the other competitor with technical expertise. Any seconded employee must not then return to the original competitor without a suitable (or normal) period of "gardening leave" or "isolation". Three months would be considered as a genuine long term arrangement.

7) No competitor may acquire aerodynamic surfaces from an external entity (even if such entity claims to have designed them for its own purposes), unless any aerodynamic testing resource used to develop the surfaces is counted within the relevant competitor's ATR quota.

8) Teams sharing a wind tunnel (or any other aerodynamic testing resource as referred to in Appendix 8, including a CFD cluster) must put appropriate procedures in place to avoid any breach of confidentiality or of the general restrictions of Appendix 6 and Appendix 8. This would include (but not be limited to):

(i) ensuring staff shared by both parties or employed by one party but involved in the operational part of the aerodynamic testing of the other party (such as operating or maintaining the wind tunnel and/or CFD hardware) give contractual covenants not to pass information or to allow information to pass between the parties.

(ii) putting the physical infrastructure in place so the two parties operate their support activities (such as wind tunnel model preparation), other than the operational part of the testing mentioned above, in separate environments.

(iii) putting the IT infrastructure in place so the two parties operate on separate networks and store their data on separate (at least virtually) storage hardware.

Note: "A suitable or normal period of gardening leave or isolation" must be 6 months except in the case of force majeure or a competitor ceasing operations (for example due to bankruptcy). Normally "gardening leave" is a contractual matter between the employee and the competitor from which that employee is leaving, and "isolation" is a similar arrangement and obligation for the competitor to which the employee is moving.


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nismoThe NISMO Festival is an annual gathering at Fuji Speedway in Japan that allows Nissan fans to get close looks at famous Nissan racecars through the years. Going beyond mere static displays, the event includes demo runs from every car in attendance.

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