F1 Raceweek: Drivers open to Olympic race


Former Red Bull team-mates Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat revealed they would be open to a Formula One event at the Olympic Games in the future.

With the Games in Rio de Janeiro rapidly approaching, the drivers were asked whether they would enjoy the chance to compete at the event in a non-championship race.

Ricciardo, who is yet to win an F1 championship, would welcome the chance to get himself a gold medal.

"I like medals, so yeah," the Australian said, before joking: "No points, but a lot of prize-money, I guess. Yeah?"

Kvyat, now driving for Toro Rosso after being replaced by Max Verstappen at Red Bull earlier this season, was similarly enthused, citing the chance to compete on an even playing field as a particular draw.

"We would maybe build a same car, probably, for the Olympic sport and all 22 drivers, same car, same tyres everything the same," Kvyat said.

"Maybe it could be interesting, like a world final, if you like."

F1 at the Olympics is not a new idea, but the International Olympic Committee have ruled it out in the past, citing the Games are for athletes, not engines. 

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen shares a similar view, saying: "What can I say? There's always ideas, let's see what happens in the future but it's hard to see that it's going to happen so..."

The Finn is set for his 99th Ferrari start at this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix and is looking to end a 62-race winless run, but is unsure of how the tyres will react on a new surface around the Red Bull Ring. 

"It varies a lot depending on how the circuit is, conditions, weather, all those things, what tyres we will have over the weekend and I think in the last few races it's been quite difficult but we managed to find something and turn it around for qualifying, for the race," he said.

"It depends how the weather will be here, obviously. It's a bit unknown. There's a new surface on the circuit so how will that affect things we will have to see but I think it should be OK."

While Haas have gone from fifth down to eighth in the constructors' standings in recent races, Esteban Gutierrez has enjoyed a better run of results, despite still being without a points finish.

"I've been pretty unfortunate in the first part of the season. It hasn't been easy to have a lot of technical issues. It wasn't very straightforward," the Mexican said.

"I believe it wouldn't be fair to rate my season based on the points, because I've been in a lot of positions to score the points in many races and not been able to finish the race because of different reasons that were not in my control, so now it's been improving a bit. 

"It hasn't been easy in the last three Grands Prix because of my health, but now I feel much better so now I'm looking forward to the next four Grands Prix, which are pretty close together."

Renault driver Kevin Magnussen meanwhile has struggled since his seventh-place finish in Russia, and the Dane believes the team should shift their focus to developing a more competitive car for 2017. 

"As a driver what you care about at the end of the day is winning and we are so far off that that in my mind I would be fine to switch focus completely, because we are clearly not going to win with this car," he said.

"The sooner we can start winning the happier I am and that's what I want to focus on, so shifting focus as quick as possible I think is the best thing. 

"But I am not team principal and there is a reason for that. Maybe more qualified people take these decisions but I trust whatever the team is doing."