Manor switch to Mercedes
Manor will be hoping they will make a major step forward after they signed a engine deal with Mercedes and a technical partnership with Williams. The team should see a upturn in form.
Mercedes which has the best engine on the grid will supply there engine with Williams suppling their transmission and suspension. “Ultimately, the strength of the Mercedes-Benz package speaks for itself” said Manor team principal John Booth.
Booth added it had been a rebuilding year after being rescued from bankruptcy earlier this year. He said “rebuilding year in every aspect of our operation” and that the team had “put in place a strong foundation from which to progress.”
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said the deal had happened “in anticipation of Renault’s takeover of the Lotus F1 team”. Manor has been using a 2014 B-spec Ferrari engine this year.
Lotus has a three year deal which should be ended following the letter of intent to complete the sale earlier this week, but the fact that their engines have now been given to Manor suggests that the deal is now certain to be finalised.
Russia talks extension and night race
Organisers of the Russian Grand Prix are already in talks to extend their race beyond 2020 and turn the race into a night race. The race was first held for the first time in a century last year.
According to the state news agency the President Vladimir Putin, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said he wanted to follow the example of Singapore and attract more fans with a switch to the night format, according to state news agencies.
RIA reports that Kozak said “At the current time, we are holding talks to extend the period of the contract, which ends in 2020, and also on moving, because these races are more popular, the race in Sochi from daytime to night-time.”
Meanwhile race promoter Sergei Vorobyov told another news agency that from 2017 the race will “most likely” switch to night.
Button stays at McLaren
McLaren has confirmed that Jenson Button will remain with the team for 2016. The British driver will race for his seventeenth season and his seventh for McLaren alongside Fernando Alonso.
Ron Dennis said there was not a renewal but a decision not to trigger the exit clause in his contract. Adding “Jenson that he remained as enthusiastic and as committed and as focused as ever, that option immediately became an irrelevance.”
“That being the case, Jenson will race for McLaren-Honda next year, under the terms and conditions as set out in the two-year contract that both parties entered into a year ago.”
The announcement means the brit will be the third driver after Michael Schumacher and former team-mate Rubens Barrichello to pass the three hundred race mark. Dennis called Button a “massively valuable asset.”
Button said “Over the past month or so I have done quite a lot of thinking, and it is no secret that I was at one point in two minds about my future. But I have been a McLaren driver for six seasons now, and in that time I have got to know Ron very well.”
The former F1 driver Jamie Algersuari has announced he is retirement from motorsport aged twenty five. The Spaniard was the youngest person to take part in a race until Australia this year.
He drove for Toro Rosso in forty six Grand Prix’s and drove for Virgin in nine ePrix’s during the inaugural Formula E season. He however was force to sit out the final double header in London after a health scare. Doctors have found no cause for the problems.
He said he had lost his motivation to continue racing. He added “Ive lost my love for this girlfriend. I’m 25 and I’ve decided to start a new chapter … Nowadays I don’t belong in racing, but I can’t say it’s the end either.”
F1 teams have brought forward the first preseason test following the change to mid-march for the season opener. The original plan was for one of the tests to take place that weekend.
The first test will take place between the 22nd and 25th of February and the second between 1st and 4th of March. The teams will be forced to change their plans because of the removal of the break in between.
The third test of the year will take place following the Spanish Grand Prix on the 16th and 17th May. The changes mean they will need to change their development programs.
There will also be one next December in Abu Dhabi.
Florence’s Blur in Abu Dhabi
The British band Florence + The Machine and Blur will headline this year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix along with Enique Lglesias during the season finale at the end of November.
The event will be part of a weeklong event building up to the race which may decide this year’s world championship. Around 60,000 tickets for the weekend are expected to be sold breaking last years record.
Mark Webber will also attend the events. Organisers say tickets are already selling out.