Formula 1's Latest Rumours and Talk: Romain Grosjean on Sergio Perez and More

Oliver HardenFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2014

Formula 1's Latest Rumours and Talk: Romain Grosjean on Sergio Perez and More

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    With the shock waves of the crash between Sergio Perez and Felipe Massa still in the process of settling down, Romain Grosjean has offered some advice to the former on how to lose his reputation as a dangerous driver before it's too late.

    Grosjean, having salvaged his own career, can now afford to act like a fountain of knowledge—but you would imagine his 2012-spec self would not have entertained one of the controversial rule changes which have now been confirmed for 2015.

    On the subject of 2015, talk of McLaren's driver line-up for next season has refused to disappear, with the team linked to a move for one of their former drivers.

    McLaren hope to return to the summit of F1 next year, and the same can be said for Renault, which aim to be over the worst of their power-unit troubles by the offseason.

    Closing this week's roundup is the news that Force India will hand a race weekend debut to one of their affiliated drivers at Silverstone next weekend.

Romain Grosjean Offers Advice to Sergio Perez

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    After coming under scrutiny for his last-lap collision with Williams' Massa in the Canadian Grand Prix, Perez has been offered advice by Formula One's last "crash kid."

    Grosjean was handed a one-race ban in September 2012 for triggering a huge first-corner crash which led to the retirements of world champions Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton from the Belgian Grand Prix.

    The Frenchman's misdemeanor at Spa was the latest of a number of incidents that saw Grosjean clash with rivals on the opening lap of a race in 2012.

    And the Lotus driver, who, with the aid of a psychologist, has since repaired his reputation to establish himself as one of the fastest drivers on the grid, has urged Perez to be mature enough to accept the blame and learn from his mistakes.

    Grosjean told Ben Anderson of Autosport:

    If you want to improve you have to accept blame.

    When you have a bad day in the car, you have to look at what you could have done better and reset your mind.

    It's not because of blame that you can't trust people or work with them. Criticism is only to move forward.

    In my case it was taking a little bit the wrong decision at some key points.

    There's not much difference between getting it right and getting it wrong.

    I just needed to work, which I did with my psychologist, and we still work quite hard.

    It was [about] just getting the right objective [in mind].

    At one point everything I wanted to do was win a race, so from the start line to the first corner to the chequered flag it was all about winning.

    I was not focused anymore on the right option.

    It was certainly not the best time of my F1 career. You need a lot of mental strength to come on the grid when everyone is beating on you.

Standing Restarts Among 2015 F1 Changes

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    Races will restart from the grid following safety-car periods from the 2015 Formula One season, it has been confirmed.

    The overhaul of safety-car protocol is one of a number of rule changes announced by the FIA, the sport's governing body, after the World Motor Sport Council met on Thursday.

    Other rule changes include drivers being limited to four engines across the campaign and new regulations to ensure this season's "ugly noses" do not return. But it is the alterations to the safety-car procedure that will cause the biggest stir.

    A statement by the World Motor Sport Council, published on the official F1 website, read:

    Safety Car restarts will now be a standing start from the grid. Standing starts will not be carried out if the Safety Car is used within two laps of the start (or restart) of a race or if there are less than five laps of the race remaining.

    The rule may be confirmed, but you suspect we have not heard the end of this just yet.

Lewis Hamilton to Make McLaren Return?

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    After being outperformed by McLaren teammate Kevin Magnussen in last weekend's Austrian Grand Prix, Jenson Button is preparing for his home race at Silverstone with fresh question marks over his Formula One future.

    Although Fernando Alonso, the disgruntled Ferrari driver, would be the prime candidate to replace Button, should the 2009 world champion fail to earn a contract extension at McLaren, it has been suggested that Hamilton, Button's former teammate, could be in line to fill the void in the Woking-based team's driver line-up.

    Daniel Johnson of The Telegraph has implied that Hamilton's former employers could take advantage of any fallout from his championship battle with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, writing:

    Telegraph Sport understands the team have opened very tentative dialogue with Lewis Hamilton, in case the psychological scars of this year’s title fight at Mercedes become too great. The only circumstances in which Hamilton would leave Mercedes are if he lost out to Nico Rosberg for the drivers’ championship.

    Hamilton's current contract with Mercedes, however, is not due to expire until the end of next season.  

Renault Face Long Wait Until the Winter

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    Renault fear that they will be unable to satisfy demands for improvement until the 2015 season.

    Red Bull, the French manufacturer's chief power-unit customer, were left frustrated after power problems in the Austrian Grand Prix led to Sebastian Vettel's third retirement of the season.

    Power-unit manufacturers are prevented from making notable changes to their products over the course of a season due to the homologation rules, which are lifted during the offseason.

    And Rob White, Renault's deputy managing director, has admitted that the French constructor may face a painful wait until the winter.

    White told Autosport's Jonathan Noble:

    The opportunity to change the specification of the hardware is extremely limited during the course of the season.

    Up until this time that hasn't been an obstacle to the progress that we have been able to make.

    But we are pressing on with a development road map that clearly has more opportunity to deliver improvement from changing the specification [for 2015].

    At the moment the regulations are explicitly clear: we may not change spec except without the prior approval of the FIA, which would not normally be given for performance improvement.

    We have been able to make improvements and significant headway this year in closing down the gap to our competitors. We still have work in progress and will deliver further improvements.

    But of course there are longer term pieces of work in progress that can realistically, for regulation, practical and legitimate reasons, be delivered over the winter that cannot be delivered over the course of this season.

    There are short term and potentially bigger things that are available to you down the line.

Dani Juncadella to Drive for Force India at Silverstone

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    Dani Juncadella will make his Formula One race weekend debut with Force India in next weekend's British Grand Prix.

    The Spaniard will replace Nico Hulkenberg, who currently sits sixth in the drivers' championship, for the first free practice session before the German returns to the cockpit for the remainder of the weekend.

    Juncadella already has good experience in 2014-spec F1 machinery, having appeared for Force India in pre-season testing at Jerez before driving the VJM07 in testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in May.

    The 23-year-old told Force India's official website:

    I am delighted and ready and I'd like to thank Sahara Force India for this opportunity. This will be the first time I take part in an official Grand Prix weekend session, so it will be a very special day for me—I've been waiting for this moment for a very long time and it goes to show that hard work and determination can get you there!

    Since the start of the year back in Jerez, where I got my first chance to drive the car, I've been working very hard together with the team and I've definitely learned a lot. My second outing at the test in Barcelona and all the hours we've spent together on the simulator have given me plenty of confidence. They were also the perfect way to get to know the team better, something which I think is always essential in order to do well.

    This is also the team’s local race, which makes a day I will never forget even more special.

    Juncadella will not be the only driver making a race weekend debut at Silverstone, with Susie Wolff set to make her long-awaited bow with Williams.