The long view - Cyril Abiteboul on Renault’s F1 future vision

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Q: Cyril, there have been a lot of changes at the Renault team since it became a works squad again - including hiring a lot of people. In what stage of the transformation process are you right now? And when will it be finished so that you can go out racing for podium positions?

Cyril Abiteboul: On the factory side we are fairly advanced - we are completely in line with our plan. We have not backed off in terms of investment. We have 20 percent more people on our chassis side in Enstone and we will have a new head of aerodynamics who is joining us in two weeks’ time.

Q: Who is that?

CA: The number two at the aero-department of Red Bull Racing, Peter Machin. He will be our number one in aerodynamics. That shows that we have a lot of respect for Red Bull. So the factory is sorted. The track is more difficult. We have the emergence of results. There is huge pressure to score more than we have so far. Also given our history. We are 40 years in Formula 1 this season - and these four decades are full of success with the biggest names in F1. There is that pressure - but we also know that it takes a bit of time.

Q: So it is paramount not to panic?

CA: Yes, no panic!

Q: Nico Hulkenberg is a very respected name in the paddock. Is he the ‘development’ driver that the team needs right now?

CA: Nico is a leader. He is leading the team from every possible angle. He is charismatic and has a fantastic reputation. But he also has a point to make. He is just like us right now: we have a name - now we have something to prove. We both want to win races and fight for the championship in the next few years. And to push everything forward as fast as possible we needed a driver who is able to set priorities and give directions. And he has all that.

Q: You have ruled out Red Bull’s hopes of a major engine upgrade for the next round in Azerbaijan, but what can be expected when in terms of updates?

CA: There are upgrades permanently - every single race we are making some small improvements. Last year we created a huge expectation and we came with an upgrade that had a big impact. But we can’t repeat that every year. Now it is all about constant improvements which overall will make a difference – but there is no magic bullet. Every race the engine will become more and more reliable with the program on the dyno progressing. Frankly, the next big upgrade will be next year. Then we will have a completely new concept. That will make a difference - but as I said, 2018.

Q: Looking further ahead, teams have recently submitted their visions of the F1 engine beyond 2020 to the FIA. What is Renault’s vision?

CA: If I want to keep it simple and short – as this is a vast field – we say the engine is still important in a car. We are carmakers and the engine is the heart of the automotive industry, so we believe that it needs to be the prevailing factor in Formula One. Having said that, we need to find a better balance than the situation we have now, where the pecking order of the grid is basically the ranking of the engines - which is not healthy for the sport. So yes, we need a better balance between the engine as performance differentiator and the fact that a team with a fantastic chassis can also be hugely successful. That is firstly.

Secondly we do believe in electrification. The world is going towards lower emissions, so Formula 1 cannot turn its back to this evolution so we need electrification. All cars will be hybrid in the future. For sure we don’t mean fully electric cars. It is all about balancing between combustion engines – as this is where the DNA of Formula 1 is – and electrification. Then it is much about finding the right balance between the technology and the show. Maybe right now we have an engine that is too complex and too heavy – and is not producing enough sound and horsepower. But we are open for any discussions in that direction.

We have made a proposition to keep the current engine, but increase the fuel flow and increase the sound. And we have made a second proposal, which will be a simplification of the current engine by removing some of its elements but still keeping electrification and fuel efficiency.

Q: A major demand is cost reduction. Very important to some of the smaller teams…

CA: I understand that, as I myself have been with a small independent team. But at the same time if you take the annual costs of running a Formula 1 team and look at the element of the engine costs – take $12 million for the engines per year as this are the costs that also the FIA estimates – and take the fact that most of the teams operate on a budget of 100 million euro – then the engine would make not more than 12 percent. Is that really shocking? I am not massively shocked. What we need is stability in the regulations – that would bring costs down and enhance the show. We should not go back to a ‘from-scratch’ concept as that would throw us back to 2014 - and nobody really wants that. Small improvements to the regulations to optimize the package – that would make sense.

Q: Everybody seems to agree that an engine solution for past 2020 has to be found by the end of this season. Will fear over the future of Formula 1 be the decision maker in the end?

CA: Well, at the end of the day Formula 1 always has a fantastic capacity to find a solution! (Laughs) Look at Red Bull. Two years ago everybody was panicking that Red Bull could disappear from Formula 1 - and eventually things were sorted out by itself. So I would stay calm, as I don’t think that there is any emergency situation for anyone. Yes, McLaren has its own situation to sort out with Honda. But the best situation for Honda would be to find stability, as with time I am sure Honda is capable of doing a good job. We need some calm about things – as Ross Brawn is doing. I have all the confidence in the world that Ross Brawn will be making the right decision for the future.

Q: Your client Red Bull wants an independent engine manufacturer. Can you see their point? And is it feasible, given the fact that it takes years to develop a sound power train?

CA: There are a lot of high hopes in regards to independent engine manufacturers, but frankly you have to go back a long time in history to find a real independent engine manufacturer. Everybody has Cosworth in mind, but Cosworth was subsidised by Ford. And should there be an independent engine manufacturer, the technology would have to be low end – and that would be inappropriate for Formula 1 as the peak of motorsport. We still have to have a sophisticated technology, as that is part of the footprint of the sport.

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Everyone’s a winner - Q&A with Pirelli’s Paul Hembery

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Q: Paul, in 2017 everything is different: the cars and the tyres. How big a challenge was this for Pirelli - and how satisfied are you with the result so far?

Paul Hembery: Well, because of a lot of unknowns coming into the season it as a bit tricky. We didn’t have an actual car to see all the changes when we started with the tyres and only at the Barcelona test we did see the new cars and how they worked with our tyres. All the time before that we worked with three different hybrid cars, which helped as we could fit the tyres, but that was not exactly what we saw when we got to Barcelona. Yes, there have been a lot of virtual simulations and a lot of data exchange with the teams, but there is no real substitute for getting out on track.

Q: In previous years the teams complained about the tyres deciding races. 2017 should be different, but that doesn’t seem to be so. Why?

PH: Well, we always start off with the fact that whoever wins has the same tyres as the driver coming in last. And if you haven’t won a race you could eliminate tyres from your equation, because all the tyres are the same. So it is all up to the teams. Sure, there are situations where one team got it ‘more right’ than the others in terms of how to get better performance from the tyres, but that is part of the sport.

Q: So the cleverer team wins?

PH: Or somebody with more money! (Laughs) To be serious, we have an interesting championship to start with, and it hasn’t been as clear cut who would be the leading team. Maybe the gap between all the teams is a bit large – between the frontrunners and the rest – but that always happens if you have a significant rules change. Just remember how it was when the new engines where introduced: a few people were leading and the rest lagged behind. Now we have two teams who are very close together.

Q: Mercedes, in particular, have at times struggled to get the tyres into the right operating window – and even when they do it’s not necessarily on both cars. They are no doubt firing questions at you…

PH: Ha, you’d have to ask them why that is. It’s an engineering challenge. In all fairness they have said that to us - they said: ‘We know what we want to do, but we can’t do it.’ But it’s not like they are having a poor season, is it? They have already won races this season. And look at Montreal: Lewis put the car on pole position with a dream time - if that is struggling then everybody would like to struggle that way! (Laughs) We have two teams fighting each other hard and we had thought that Red Bull would be joining that group - but yes, they are chasing a moving target as Ferrari and Mercedes will not be standing still. The championship is alive and I think right now nobody could predict who is going to be world champion. That is fantastic.

Q: Lewis Hamilton especially has had issues finding that elusive ‘window’. He was asked if more mileage on his side in last year’s development testing would have made a difference. Would it?

PH: No. Yes, Sebastian (Vettel) did a lot of testing. It was very intense and he gave us a lot of feedback. We thank him for that. That is what we wanted: the top drivers giving us good feedback. But because he didn’t really know what he was testing – he was blind-testing – it might have helped him psychologically, but I doubt that it helped practically. And actually Mercedes’ issue is linked a bit to certain circuits: in Barcelona they were fine - and in Silverstone and Spa they will be as well. It’s the lower-grip circuits where they’ve had a few more problems, but I am sure they will resolve any issues as we go through the season.

Q: We have had quite a few one-stop races. It was feared that strategy would play a minor role this season, but it seems to be quite the contrary: are you surprised by how much strategy there is in a one-stopper?

PH: Absolutely! We didn’t really envisage some of the strange scenarios that we have seen. I do believe that the majority of the races will be one-stop races. Think of some of the surprising results we have seen despite that: Sauber doesn’t have the fastest car, but with clever strategy they bagged good points. So that element is still there. Maybe we will see a more aggressive approach in Silverstone - there we probably will see a two-stopper.

Q: The ‘undercut’ is yesterday - ‘overcut’ is the name of the game this season. Were you expecting this to such an extent?

PH: Ha, I believe we confuse a lot of fans with ‘overcut’ and ‘undercut’. But in fact the tracks dictate what you do - if overtaking is possible or not. And, of course, the longevity of the tyres helps keep more windows open. I personally think that in Silverstone we will see where we are with the sport. You can overtake, you have big corners, the drivers will have to be very fit - so it could be a defining race this year.

Q: Have you been surprised by the longevity of the tyres?

PH: Honestly, at most of the tracks we could do the whole race distance on one set of tyres. So track position, safety car eventuality and the layout of the track will open up opportunities for the teams.

Q: Based on what you know so far, will there be any changes for 2018? What is the spectrum of wishes from the teams?

PH: A long list! (Laughs) We have to be careful with the performance of the cars - where they are going. If we make too radical changes - to go to maybe more aggressive compounds, which is actually what they want as the cars are working with the tyres very well - it might get tricky. Right now all the teams have a very balanced wear: we have no blistering, graining is no issue. So we are in a good place and we have to be careful about making changes for the sake of changes. What we are really working on is the rain tyres. There we need the warm-up improved. We are testing continuously on the rain tyres.

Q: So it sounds like whoever wins the titles this year, Pirelli will be winners too! No complaints so far…

PH: It is a good cooperation with all teams and drivers - that makes us all winners!

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Azerbaijan preview quotes - Renault, Sauber, Toro Rosso, Mercedes, McLaren & more

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Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team at Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday 11 June 2017. © Sutton Motorsport Images

Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team at Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Montreal, Canada, Saturday 10 June 2017. © Sutton Motorsport Images


Nico Hulkenberg

“It is still a new venue to Formula 1 which is exciting, we are still getting used to it. Going through the old town is cool with the narrow walls, but it takes time to learn the track. I am usually good at adapting quickly and learning new tracks and new lines. It is exotic and a bit different here. There are some cool looking, vintage houses around. The old castle brick wall has a blind entry which is unique, Monaco is spacious in comparison!

“There are some walls waiting for you so it is important to be quite brave. The viewing is good for fans and the speed is cool to watch. It is the fastest street circuit on the calendar. Overtaking will be possible with the long, DRS straights. There are a lot of tight, 90-degree turns matched with flat-out kinks, so I am looking forward to racing it. The castle complex of turns 8 to 10 will be especially close with the wider cars.

“It was obviously unfamiliar surroundings last year as we were all new to the track. But I had a positive weekend, qualifying in twelfth place before making up a couple of places in the race to come home in ninth with two points. I remember the first practice session last year and really enjoying the track as it was different and had a bit of everything. The weekend was pleasing so hopefully we can build on that this year, especially with our recent form.

Jolyon Palmer

“I think it is a cool track, there are some high-speed sections - especially for a street circuit - and overtaking is a possibility. The middle sector is busy and difficult with its undulation and the sector is extremely tight. Any mistakes on a street circuit tend to mean you are into the wall, so you have to be alert. It is wider than Monaco, apart from through the castle section. You’ve got to get as close to the walls as you can to open up the line and carry the speed through.

“I’ve loved street circuits ever since I drove Marrakesh in F2 and then Monaco in GP2. I’ve always got on well with them. I’m looking forward to getting back out on another city circuit and approaching it very differently to Monaco and building up a little bit more. It’s great when you’re so dialled in and you get close to the walls; that’s the best buzz for us. That is two eleventh place finishes in a row. I think in Baku we can at least be in the top ten, maybe top eight. We are doing well at the moment, we will keep going and I am feeling strong, I need to work on qualifying pace and being higher on the grid.

“It is going to be very hot and it is very windy in the city, so that could affect us as well. The wind affects the airflow over the car. We’ve had cars crash in the past because of a sudden, big gust of wind and these F1 cars are very sensitive. Race day in Canada was like that, it was very windy especially across the back straight! Baku is by the coast as well so you could get a bit of coastal wind coming in, according to my GCSE geography…

“It is always tricky getting to grips with a new circuit, it is very high speed and it brought a lot of challenges (last year). We now know where the bumps are and which gears to use. I qualified on the final row last year and managed to work my way up to fifteenth in the race. I think I put in the eighth fastest lap of the race which is very positive, I am looking forward to getting out there and building on that knowledge.”

Nick Chester, Technical Director

“It was a pretty tricky place last year on the circuit’s Formula 1 debut. It has a bit of a Monaco styled section but with some long straights down the back. It is a bit bumpy and a very difficult place for both set-up and driving. We will need good braking stability as it is hard braking with hard and tight corner entries. It has a tricky mix and we probably need three different cars; one for each section!

“We have got a few updates, including bodywork. We have some things to try on suspension to improve the handling and also an update to the cooling system to improve the performance a little bit. What we learned from Canada will be useful for Baku especially in terms of hard braking.”

Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Sport Racing Managing Director

“Baku will mark the inaugural Azerbaijan Grand Prix after the circuit made its debut in the European Grand Prix last year. It’s an event we’re looking forward to as it’s another opportunity for us to improve and develop, which are the keywords for our season.

“Baku is an especially exciting and testing circuit on the Formula 1 calendar and it is important that we add to our success from Canada with another points haul. Baku presents a fairly similar task to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with some long straights finishing in hard-braking zones. Everything we learned in Montréal should be very useful for building towards a clearer picture for Azerbaijan. Last year was a step into the unknown but there is a positive feeling this time around as we have the know-how on what to expect.”

Marcus Ericsson (SWE) Sauber and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber at Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday 11 June 2017. © Sutton Motorsport Images


Marcus Ericsson

“This will be our second trip to Baku – definitely an interesting location. It is a city track with long straights and interesting corner combinations, making it quite special. Last season, relatively high track temperatures had an impact on our tyre management. I expect that we will have similar conditions this year. As a team, our goal remains to make further progress in improving the performance of our car.”

Pascal Wehrlein

“I am really looking forward to getting back into the car in Baku. Last year′s race weekend in Azerbaijan was quite interesting for all of us, because it was the first time that a Formula 1 GP took place there. Finding the suitable car set-up for this track was a challenge to all of the teams. Due to the layout of the track, top speed and traction are the key factors for success.”

Carlos Sainz jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 fans selfie at Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Friday 26 May 2017. © Sutton Images

Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso at Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Montreal, Canada, Saturday 10 June 2017. © Sutton Motorsport Images

Toro Rosso

Carlos Sainz

“You can't compare the Baku track layout to Monaco, even if it's a street circuit… It's not better or worse, just different. It's a very tough circuit to race at – I wouldn't say it's tougher than Monaco, but it gets quite close to it and any small mistake can be critical, so you have to stay concentrated and focused at all times.

“I enjoyed it there last year, I think it was quite a special race… It was just a shame I couldn't get to finish it, because I was enjoying it a lot out there. I remember having very good battles with the McLarens and Red Bulls and there was no rest.

“We don't get to enjoy the views while we drive at 300kph, but one of the things I like the most of Baku is the medieval castle that becomes part of the backdrop while racing there – some of the photos of this race are unique!

“One of the things I like the most is that our hotel is very close to the track… Literally just outside the Paddock entrance! This is perfect, as you get to sleep a bit more and feel much more comfortable as you have all your stuff only a couple of minutes away from the garage. If you want to, you can even go to the toilet in your room during the day!

“It was great to be able to meet Enrique Iglesias in Baku last year. He's a great guy and not only I enjoyed it – my sisters are great fans and they were extremely happy to be able to spend some time with him. I remember them being quite nervous and it made me laugh. They also got to go to his concert that weekend, and again this year in Bahrain! I listen to his music a lot in the summer!”

Daniil Kvyat

“The track is unique, which makes it a very cool venue to go racing at. It's an impressive layout: the straight is unbelievably long and then suddenly you get to a very narrow section, where you're just kissing the walls. Only one car at a time can pass here, which makes racing a challenge. There's a 'Monaco' section but, at the same time, there's also a 'Monza' section, so it's a particular track and I like it.

“Last year we had a very good qualifying session in Baku – I was P7 and our pace was good. I even started the race P6… It's just a shame that we were not able to finish the race. Hopefully this year we will have a better ending to the weekend.

“Scoring points at a race where we haven't been able to do so yet is always a target – to score points for the first time at any track is always a good feeling and hopefully we can have a good race there this year and score some!

“Even if I wanted to, I didn't have much time to walk around Baku last year, but this year I'd really like to, as it seems to offer an interesting combination of old and modern architecture. One of the things I'd like to do is visit the Heydar Aliyev Centre…that building is really cool!”


Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

“It’s always interesting to discover new places and I really didn’t know what to expect going to Azerbaijan for the first time last year. They’ve done a great job with the circuit, the city centre is beautiful, the infrastructure works well and our hosts look after us well, so I’m looking forward to going back again.”

Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren on the grid at Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday 11 June 2017. © Sutton Motorsport Images

Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren at Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday 11 June 2017. © Sutton Motorsport Images


Fernando Alonso

“Baku is a great city, and after the success of last year’s inaugural grand prix I’m really looking forward to going racing again in Azerbaijan. As a Baku Ambassador, I’ve spent more time there than a lot of my peers and colleagues, and it’s a really cool location to host a Formula 1 race. We literally drive straight through the centre of the historical old town and the old city walls make the perfect setting for this race in a new territory for the sport.

“After getting so close to scoring our first point in Canada and suffering another retirement, we go to Baku with even more determination, but it’s no secret that we expect to find this weekend tricky. After the power unit issues it’s likely we’ll need to take penalties, and the nature of the narrow, fast straights and tight corners means overtaking is generally tough. However, it’s certainly not impossible, and we’ll keep fighting as we always do.

“Baku City Circuit is the fastest street track on the calendar, so from a driver’s perspective it’s really exciting to be racing at such high speeds with the walls closing in on you either side. As usual, the starts are always one of the most crucial points of the race for us, so getting the set-up just right on Friday in time for qualifying on Saturday will be the most important thing.”

Stoffel Vandoorne

“I’m excited about racing in Baku for the first time. I’ve spent quite a lot of time in the simulator driving the track already – and I did last year too, to help the engineers prepare for a new circuit – so it doesn’t actually feel too unfamiliar.

“The circuit is a real mix of great characteristics from other tracks – high speeds and long straights but also close racing and heavy braking for the tight corners on the infield section of this street circuit layout. It has a bit of everything so there’s a lot for our engineers to work on. It’s heavy on fuel consumption and puts high loads on the ERS, so we’ll need to try to optimise our package to adapt to the demands that the weekend will throw at us.

“Canada was a disappointing race for the whole team, and we don’t expect Baku to offer us any particular surprises in terms of performance, but we’re learning all the time and working hard to get on top of our issues. We’ve already regrouped and we continue to look forward, and we’ll approach next weekend the same way we do every race weekend – fighting hard and trying to extract everything we can from the package beneath us.”

Eric Boullier, Racing Director

“After the frustrations we felt in Montreal, we move to what is another fascinating city in Baku, for the second race in the city’s history at the newly renamed Azerbaijan Grand Prix. In Canada we were unable to fulfil any potential we showed during the weekend, and we anticipate that in Baku we will face a similar challenge due to the demands this circuit’s characteristics place on the car.

“Nevertheless, in the midst of our current struggles, we aren’t standing still. Quite the opposite, in fact, and the team’s hunger and determination are stronger than ever to move us forward and into the hunt for more positive results. Rather than focus on the negatives, we need to turn our attention to solutions and work together to get the best out of our situation.

“Although we know this weekend won’t be easy, the backdrop of the stunning old town and medieval walls of Baku offer a dramatic arena for more great racing. The atmosphere during our first visit there last year was incredible and the support we received from the fans was fantastic. In terms of location, it couldn’t be better: the team stays at the Hilton situated downtown – indeed precisely overlooking the start-finish line – and places us on the doorstep of the stunning city centre, where we hope we will be able to make the most of an enjoyable weekend.”

Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda R&D Co. Ltd Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer

“This season will mark just our second visit to Baku, and after a disappointing end to our Canadian Grand Prix weekend we’re looking forward to moving on to the Azerbaijan capital.

“The race is not back-to-back this year so we’re fortunate to have extra time back at the factory to analyse and understand the data collected in Canada. However, we’re under no illusions that this weekend will be straightforward for us – Baku City Circuit has one of the longest straights of any Formula 1 track at over 2km (1.243 miles) and is a notoriously power-hungry circuit. I think we can expect another tough challenge for the team.

“We’re going through a difficult time at the moment, but we’re doing all that we can to rectify the situation. We must continue to concentrate on development as one team with McLaren and turn things around as soon as we can.”

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas VF-17 at Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice, Montreal, Canada, Friday 9 June 2017. © Sutton Motorsport Images

Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 at Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Montreal, Canada, Saturday 10 June 2017. © Sutton Motorsport Images


Romain Grosjean

“It’s going to be pretty exciting. I think some parts of the circuit are going to be very tight for the wider cars, but some other corners are going to be really nice to drive. Straight-line speed is going to be a bit down. I think it’s going to be a really cool track to drive with these cars – braking late and carrying a lot of speed in the corners, and playing around with some pretty fast corners through the walls.

“I believe there’s always a lot of things you can bring from the past, even when the cars are different. We’ll look at what we did last year, what our setup was like, and what we could’ve done better in the race. I think we’ve got some ideas and we’ll apply that with the deltas of this year. There are always things we can learn and improve.

“It was a really good race (last year). It’s a beautiful city and a beautiful track. The only downside we noticed was the plastic bags flying around – they actually cost us points in the race as one got caught in the radiator intake. Hopefully, that’s improved. For me, that was the only downside of what was a really good weekend.

“I would say (the track’s most challenging part) was the back end – going around the castle, up the hills, then going back down and the two last corners, which were actually pretty tricky. It’s the most challenging one. It’s pretty high speed and you’ve got to get the right balance in those corners as well as the braking. It’s pretty exciting when you get it right.”

Kevin Magnussen

“I never tried the Baku City Circuit in a simulator before actually racing there. It was a cool experience to just go on a track you don’t even have 100 percent idea which way the corners are going. I really had to learn the circuit from scratch. It was a cool experience and the track was really cool. I’m looking forward to going back again.

“It’s going to be fun. The corners are going to be faster this year because of the increased downforce. We’re going to be a bit slower on the straights, so I suspect Baku might be one of the tracks where we’re not going to be that much faster than the old cars, but it’s still going to be massively fun and challenging in the corners.

“Now I know the track, and I learned which way the corners are going, coming back this year will be easier to adjust to the track. A couple of corners might be easy flat now, maybe even turn 13 will be flat now, which it wasn’t last year. That will be a cool experience.

“It was a pretty cool race (last year). Baku offers good opportunities to overtake. There’s a lot of action in the race – that’s always good. The most challenging part was sector two. It’s very low speed, very narrow. It’s easy to make a mistake.

“I guess (the Baku City Circuit is) a mixture of Monza and Monaco – which is pretty unusual. I’m looking forward to it.”

Guenther Steiner, team principal

“Like all the circuits, we have to see where our time will be. The times improve more on a slower circuit with the new car than on the fast circuits because the top speeds are not much higher than last year. So, I don’t know how the surface looks this year in Baku. Last year it was pretty slippery, and I don’t know if the asphalt is still slippery. We’ll really only know until after FP1.

“You can use all the (2016 Baku) data again because now, having done seven races, we can translate the data from last year’s car to this year’s car pretty easily. It all helps, and we’re able to come in to this race as well prepared as we can.

“It’s a fantastic place. Everybody did a good job there last year. The organizers were good and the race track was good. They knew what to do and they were well prepared.”

Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing on the drivers parade at Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday 11 June 2017. © Sutton Motorsport Images

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium at Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday 11 June 2017. © Sutton Motorsport Images

Red Bull

Max Verstappen

“Baku in my opinion is quite a special street circuit, it’s really unique in terms of having quite wide sections but also some of the tightest parts of track on the calendar. Sector 2 is tighter than parts of Monaco which has always been regarded as really narrow and challenging. When you drive up into the old town and past the castle it is fun and tricky but also amazing to watch as a spectator. That section of the track is my favourite, the straight is quick but seems to go on for a long time and gives you a chance to relax a bit.

“As the hotel is really nice and new as well as being situated right next to the paddock I didn’t manage to get out and have a look around last year. The old town is fun to drive so I think I should try and get up there one evening this year and see what else it has in store.”

Daniel Ricciardo

“This year I want to try and see the city more and get out to explore. Our hotel is so convenient being basically on the circuit but it means you don’t go out of that area too much and become a bit complacent. The view from the top of our hotel was awesome, from the gym you could see the entire city and track which is pretty unique.

“The track was fun so I’m looking forward to having another go on it. Another street circuit is exciting for me as I really enjoy those types of tracks, it doesn’t suit our car that much but there are a lot of opportunities for things to happen. I think the circuit is definitely as tight as it looks and has a lot of corners unlike any others on the calendar. There are a few interesting lines past the castle which adds to the toughness and is definitely a section of track like no other. The straight is so long that it gives you time to think, which is nice as the corners are technical and you really need to concentrate.”

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​Austin Duo in Possession of Meth Injure 4 Cyclists, Attempt to Steal Car

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RELATED: Watch How This Cyclist Responds to Being Shot While Riding

Yet somehow, that's not the craziest part of the story. According to a witness who had gotten out of his Jeep to help the cyclists, Rodriguez got out of his car and handed something to a woman standing nearby (later identified as Amanda Florez, 32); Florez then jumped into the witness' Jeep and began to drive away.

The witness chased down his departing car, and police showed up in time to arrest both Florez and Rodriguez. Florez was charged with felony theft of property, violation of city ordinances, and possession of a controlled substance: Police found crystal methamphetamine in her bra. It is still unclear whether either driver was tested for crystal methamphetamine at the time of arrest. There has also not been any confirmation on whether Florez was in the car at the time of the accident, or how Florez knows the driver.

How one cyclist reacted to being hit by a car and left for dead:

All four cyclists—Kimberlee Anderson, Wendy Meyer, and Terrance and Jeannette Lockett—sustained non-fatal injuries, including brain bleeds and vertebrae fractures.

"There was nothing we could have done to avoid this," Meyer, the cyclist who wound up on top of Rodriguez's car, told reporters. "All the conditions were right, it was quiet, there was plenty of space to go around, we were safe, we had lights on.” 

At the time of reporting, only the invalid license charge had been filed, but area cyclists are hoping Rodriguez is at least charged with reckless endangerment.

RELATED: What It Feels Like to Get Hit by a Car

"When reckless driving is a contributing factor in a crash, more serious charges should be leveled," Mercedes Feris, executive director of Bike Austin, told KXAN.

When Bicycling approached the Austin Police Department for comment, Public Information Officer Lisa Cortinas said the investigation is ongoing, and has been assigned to a vehicular homicide detective.

"Anyone with video or other information about this case that has not spoken with APD, please call 974-TIPS. Please keep an eye out for cyclists and share the road," Cortinas says. 

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5 apps for tyres on your Android

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There are many things to check on your car. Tyre pressure, when to change your tyres and which tyre you can use as a replacement. A couple of years ago it took a lot of research to find the information you were searching for. Today apps help you to reduce this effort to a minimum and help you to keep track of your tyres to always drive safely. To make your life easier
found the most useful apps so you and your tyres are always on the safe side. All featured apps in this article are free, although for some of them there are pro versions. They can be downloaded at the Google Playstore. This is the standard store to get apps for your Android smartphone (since Android is an operating system invented by Google) and shall be preinstalled on your device. The easiest way to install the apps is either to visit the links we provide below or type the names in the search bar in the PlayStore-App. Tyre Apps
App Tire Expert
What are the differences between the various models? To help you find a way through the jungle of tyres this app is your guide. Especially if you want to replace your tyres and you want to see what the difference will be Tire Expert is a great help and makes you see much clearer. Also, it makes suggestions which tyres could be a great replacement for the ones you have right now.
App Tire Calculater FREE
This app also shows you the mathematical differences of your new tyres. All you do is type in the specs of the old and the new tyres. Then this app tells you how much they differ in size (like radios, height or sidewall height) and if the new tyre you like to choose is recommended as a replacement.
App Tire Pressure
On your pressure gauge there is only a scale for one pressure unit while the tyre manufacturer’s recommendation is in another one? Instead of consulting your physics teacher you can use this app. It converts instantly your input from one of the most common units KPA (kilo pascal), PSI (pounds per square inch) and kg/cm2 to the others.
App Gear Tyre
If you change tyres and you want to know how this affects the speed, this is the right app for you. Don’t let you get discouraged if you don’t know the gear ratio of your car - or what that even is - there are presets for most of the cars. Given the opportunity to compute two options enables you to compare two tyres and see, how the new ones affect the performance of your car.
Wheel History
The purpose of this app is quite simple: To remind you when you changed the tyres on your car. Since the period between two tyre changes is quite long it is very easy to forget, when the last change has been. To not be in danger of having an accident because of bad tyres, a quick look on this app let’s you know when the last change was. Even if you use multiple tyres for one car that is not a problem, since you can save options for multiple sets of tyres.


On There is just one thing all of these apps can't replace: Your awareness and consideration how meaningful tyres are for road safety. Although it is so important, you sometimes, for example, forget about checking your tyre pressure. By the way, what is the perfect pressure for my tyre again? Using all these apps shall help you to keep your tyres safe. Still, no app can replace the judgment of experts. So in case of insecurity please ask someone to help you.
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Ban Bolt ! Taxify is RIPPING OFF Nigerians ! Uber Clone is making millions off unsuspecting Commuters

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Below you will read a story that amazes but let me first give simpler examples happening  everyday iniitally the rider saw 500 naira as the cost of the ride but on arrival was billed 800 Naira !  many people are complaining that bolt gives you a small bill to entice you to take the ride but when you get to your destination it is suddenly higher a price you would never have agreed to in the first place ! This is happening everywhere lagos abuja benin city . when the passenger complained that this is not the price the Bolt Driver Got AGGRESSIVE ! the passenger just quietly paid up .this happened in benin city gra just imagine a 4km ride for 800 naira thats 200 naira per kilometer !  Technology is supposed to make things cheaper easier and safer but this is not the case that is the driver really uncouth human being . you wont want to enter his car i bet you ! so bolt where ever you are . one way or the other you will leave nigeria . Service Provider ASI SURAJA JIBRIL Invoice no. 15787010200676 08034737307     Another Really Scary Occurrence Bolt customer recently cried out on social media after one of the companies drivers overbilled her the sum of N12,200 for a trip that was supposed to cost N800. The customer took to her Twitter page to narrate how she took a Bolt cab from Obanikoro to Gbagada which was estimated at between N700-N800 on the Bolt app. It was also a card trip. What really happened? According to the aggrieved customer, after her ride from Obanikoro to Gbagada, she was prompted by Bolt that her card details can’t sort out her bill due to lack of funds. She said she became worried because she noticed that the estimated price (which was supposed to be N800) had now increased to N12,200. How could this have possibly happened for a journey of such a distance? Apparently, the Bolt driver that drove her had left his meter running after her trip ended. Interestingly, he drove all the way from Gbagada where he dropped her off, to Sango-Ota in Ogun State. All the while, the meter was on. This is how the bill piled up.


I got into @Boltapp_ng (Taxify) ride from Nepa Office Obanikoro yesterday. Estimate to Gbagada was ₦700-900. This morning Bolt's been prompting me that my card can't settle the trip- why? the bill is ₦12,200.

The driver left the meter running & drove to Ota. I've emailed.
View image on Twitter

The Driver’s Reaction: The lady added that when she called the said driver, he responded that maybe it was twin brother that must have used his car for the trip. He then hung up.


I got into @Boltapp_ng (Taxify) ride from Nepa Office Obanikoro yesterday. Estimate to Gbagada was ₦700-900. This morning Bolt's been prompting me that my card can't settle the trip- why? the bill is ₦12,200.

The driver left the meter running & drove to Ota. I've emailed.
View image on Twitter

I called the driver and he said, maybe it's his second that took me. ? And hung up.

See Obii's other Tweets

Bolt’s Response: The passenger went further to state that she emailed the company and they responded that the driver partner had technical issues ending the trip at her drop off location. This is why the meter was left running until the Bolt technical team terminated it from their system.

Replying to @ObiiOutLoud

I called the driver and he said, maybe it's his second that took me. ? And hung up.


So Bolt has finally responded to my multiple complaints.

?"It appears the driver partner had technical issues ending the trip at your drop off location and the trip continued reading until it was terminated by the system."?

What’s next? Many of the customer’s followers had reacted to her Twitter post, asking if the extra fee will be waved off from the customer as it clearly was not her fault that her trip incurred extra charges. Many also questioned if Bolt will allow its customers to be ripped off of such an amount because of their technical fault or would they resolve it at their end and proffer solutions to their aggrieved customers who have been victims of similar “technical glitches”.

Replying to @ObiiOutLoud

So Bolt has finally responded to my multiple complaints.

?"It appears the driver partner had technical issues ending the trip at your drop off location and the trip continued reading until it was terminated by the system."?
Adedayo Jibi Adeniyi@Daydah

Technical abi? As long as they refund the remaining extra money they took, we are fine. Pele.

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attempts to contact Bolt for further clarification on this issue. However, all efforts to establish contact proved abortive.

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drop free taxis !

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Transporters is a world class transportation solutions provider. Transporters was set up to make travel across Nigeria more pleasurable. Using technology, we help travellers get the best deals and move easily from one place to another. For us, it's about the experience... we give our customers the best travel experience, end to end. Try us today!

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schoolgirls released by Boko Haram,Amunike Resigns As Coach,Watch Lil Kesh, Victoria Kimani

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The 9jabook Tweeterest DIGITAL  Newsletter Reloaded

9jabook is Now in Ibadan !





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Tweeterest Canada Launch Canadian Nigerian

America Launches

Our Top Sites Nairalaw: Financial & Political News..Gloworld: Magazine & Downloads

Twixel Club & Artngine: Models Photos & Design.. Drupp: Lets Ride  Health..  Funding :





The 9jabook Tweeterest DIGITAL  Newsletter Reloaded

9jabook is Now in Ibadan !





UNSUBSCRIBE Go To Bottom of This Email 
Tweeterest Canada Launch Canadian Nigerian

America Launches

Our Top Sites Nairalaw: Financial & Political News..Gloworld: Magazine & Downloads

Twixel Club & Artngine: Models Photos & Design.. Drupp: Lets Ride  Health..  Funding :



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