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Reporters – 13/01/2019

Formula One is known for its expensive cars but when they crash they cause thousandths of pounds worth of damage, but how much did it cost one team in 2018?

Crashes cost Toro Rosso nearly £2 million

Toro Rosso spent over £1.85 million on crash damage last year, following a number of heavy crashes by both Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley. The Red Bull-owned team ended their first season powered by Honda ninth, in the constructors.

Team principal Franz Tost has said that the opposite end of its fortunes were several costly shunts, including first-lap accidents for Gasly in Spain and Brendon Hartley in Canada. Tost told Motorsport.com, “We had highlights this season and some races which were really not good,”

“The highlights were quite clear, when Gasly finished fourth in Bahrain, which was a strong race, and he did a very good race also in Monaco [sixth], Budapest he finished sixth.”

“Spa was a good race, because we didn’t expect to finish in the points there but we finished ninth, and in Mexico, where he finished 10th. Then we had many crashes. This year we spent €2.3 million only for crashes.” He said that the mid-season crashes and accident provided costly.

Gasly, who joins Red Bull for 2019, believes that the high points out weigh the negatives. Honda’s progress compared to its engine rivals meant Toro Rosso remained in contention to the end of the year, though.

Gasly, who joins the Red Bull senior team for 2019, believes Toro Rosso needs more “consistency”.

He said “There was no way we could have fought with the Renault, both drivers scored many points. Force India were better, so I think we are not far from where we deserve to be. It’s so tight in that midfield that little things can really make you gain a lot.”

 

Lawrence Stroll took over the Force India team last year, and this week he set out his aims for the team. So how does he hope to meet his hopes for future success for the team?

Stroll has lofty ambitions for Racing Point

Lawrence Stroll says that he has lofty ambitions for his Racing Point team. The Canadian billionaire saved the team from administration in August 2018, after leading a consortium which brought the team.

His son Lance will join as one of its two drivers next season alongside the long-serving Sergio Perez. The Silverstone team has been one of the strongest performers and is regarded as the team who gets the most in terms of value for money.

Stroll says that he wants to use the regulation changes in 2021 to close the gap. Setting out his goals to F1.com, he said “Short-term, we want to stay fighting where we are. Medium-term, we want to try and fight for third, instead of fourth. Long term, when all the rules change, hopefully, we will be one of the greatest teams in the paddock.”

The team’s previous owner Vijay Mallya took a hands-off approach when it came to running the team, but the Canadian has made it clear he wants a very different and more hands-on approach.

He added “The plan is, number one – ‘Nothing is broke here so you don’t need to fix it’. It already has great leadership and management in the team. They have been doing this for a long time and doing a great job.”

“So it’s about supporting them. Number two – it’s about putting financial stability in place.” The team are expected to unveil a new name for the start of the season.

 

Michael Schumacher celebrated his fiftieth birthday earlier this month. Following his skiing accident in 2013 he hasn’t been seen in public, but what was his effect and how much do Mercedes owe him after five consecutive championship doubles?

Schumacher “founding father” of Mercedes

Mercedes F1 CEO and team principal Toto Wolff has described Michael Schumacher as the “founding father” of the team’s huge success, on the seven times champions fiftieth birthday.

The German came out of retirement to join a new manufacturer Mercedes team in 2010, although his three seasons with the team only resulted in a podium. Wolff says that the contributions made by Schumacher have been felt during the last five back to back titles.

He told Motorsport.com, “Michael is one of the founding fathers of the success we have had in the last five years. There is no other driver like him and his vast experience contributed tremendously in the development of our team.”

“He played a crucial role when we re-joined F1 and was one of the people who laid the foundation for our future success. We’re extremely grateful for everything he did for us.”

Wolff who never worked directly with Schumacher, says that he was star struck when they meet in 2013. For that season Schumacher had been replaced by Hamilton, but his legacy was laying the foundations for the current success.

 

 History shows that in Formula One teams have success then years if not decades of poor results. But admit the struggles of Williams and McLaren, why does Ross Brawn believe the sports unforgiving?

F1 shows no mercy despite the history of teams – Brawn

F1 managing director for motorsports and technical director Ross Brawn, says that the struggles of Williams and McLaren in 2018 is proof that the sport shows “no mercy” for teams which get things wrong.

The two British teams are amongst the most successful teams in the history of the sport, however, in recent years both teams have struggled to fight in the mid and at the front of the grid. The Englishman believes while Mercedes has benefited from stability, instability with both Williams and McLaren’s technical and management teams has contributed to their woes.

Brawn told Motorsport.com “Mercedes still have the same people that I found there in 2007 and that is more than 10 years of stability, that’s so important.”

“I think Williams and McLaren, they went through changes and it always takes a while for those things to settle down. They are great teams with a great history, but unfortunately, Formula 1 is not a great respecter of histories. It only respects what’s going on track.”

He says that the sports management wants to get the teams back to a title-winning position because they are great teams and brands. Brawn adds that their failure to win shows that the sport has no mercy.

Speaking about Ferrari, Brawn believes that the instability caused by the death of its chairman Sergio Marchionne was a factor amongst the combination of factors.

Saying “It was tragic in itself but it also had an impact on the team. For a man of his calibre and standing, it’s always going to be a very destabilising situation for a while.”

“But I think they will have looked at what they have learnt and Sebastian [Vettel] would look at what he’s done. I think there’s a strong chance that they will be there fighting [in 2019].” Brawn says that the progress over the last two years the progress have been massive and put them in a title-winning position, where they weren’t in 2015-16.

 

And that’s all from Reporters for this week, goodbye

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Jack Fielding
Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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