Ferrari serious about quitting
Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne says the threat of walking away from Formula One is serious and it will withdraw if Liberty Media does not change its plan for the sport in the immediate future.
Ferrari are the only team to have contested every world championship since F1’s inaugural year in 1950, issued the warning in early November after Liberty outlined its vision for the next cycle of engine took control in early 2017,
Other believed to be considering ways to redistribute prize money among F1’s teams, regulations, set to start in 2021. The sport’s new owners, who want a cheaper and simpler engine, as well as a cost cap to address the costs of the sport. They also want to address the current disparity in performance between teams on the grid.
At the time, Marchionne questioned whether Liberty Media’s plans were what the sport was about, saying “If we change the sandbox to the point where it becomes an unrecognisable sandbox, I don’t want to play anymore.”
On Saturday, Fait Ferrari’s parent company, announced sister manufacture Alfa Romeo was to become Sauber’s title sponsor. Speaking at the launch, the Italian said it would be unwise to underestimate his threat.
He told reporters “The dialogue has started and will continue to evolve. We have time until 2020 to find a solution which benefits Ferrari. The threat of Ferrari leaving Formula One is serious.”
“The agreement with Sauber expires in 2020-2021, right when Ferrari could leave.” Last time, Ferrari threatened to quit in 2009, it was joined by McLaren, Red Bull, Brawn (Mercedes), Renault, Sauber (Then owned by BMW), Toro Rosso and Toyota, to walk away from the sport over a cost cap.
Marchionne added, “”We have to find a solution which is good for the sport but we also have to be clear on the things we can’t back down on.”
“a lot at stake” in Riccardo’s future
Daniel Ricciardo admitted there is “a lot at stake” over his contract talks and insists he will not be pressured into a premature decision about his future with Red Bull.
The Australians contract with the team expressing their priority is to retain him alongside Max Verstappen until 2020. However, Ricciardo wants to see how the team performs at the start of next season, if not longer because he knows the next step in his career could define his future.
Writing in his driver column on Red Bull’s website, Ricciardo said about his contract: “So where do things stand? The short answer is that there’s absolutely no rush, and things can take as long as they take – I’m not setting a deadline for anyone else’s sake, or just to get it done for me.”
“I’m not just going to settle on something because I want it to be off my mind, because there’s a lot at stake. It’s a big decision for me, so if I need to take time to make it, I will.” Ricciardo added he is planning to be in the sport for a long time, but a new three-year deal would represent a big part of his future.
The Red Bull driver will be well aware of the pivotal role he could play in the 2019 driver market, with all three of the top teams having seats free. However Ricciardo says that his only focus is on finding the car that will give him the best chance of winning.
“I know what I want, and the performance side is more important than ticking the money box, if you like. Having the chance to be able to fight for something really meaningful – races, championships – that’s the absolute priority. It’s not even close.” He added.
Bratches defends logo change
Formula One’s managing director of commercial operations Sean Bratches, says it is a compliment that fans have been upset by the new F1 Logo.
Liberty media unveiled a striking bold logo after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, to replace the old one after twenty-three years because it felt the logo was no longer suitable for the digital age. But that has been controversial, dividing opinions of fans and drivers.
Twice as many fans ‘disliked’ on the YouTube video revealing the logo than ‘liked’. Bratches says F1’s owners were well aware that changing the sport’s logo was always going to stir emotions, but he says the fact that it has become such a big talking point is positive in a way.
Asked about the backlash, Bratches told Motorsport.com “These are difficult changes – as it is any time you change a corporate mark, and particularly one around a passion brand.”
“The incumbent mark has been around for decades and it served the sport well. But we have not gone into this light-heartedly, and we have given it a lot of thought.” He says that he is pleased that people have a pinion as it shows they care about the sport, describing Liberty as the caretakers of the brand.
Next season, the sport will see a full relaunch of the digital and TV brand, marketing director Ellie Norman thinks fans will come to better understand why the change was positive once it starts getting used more.
“The more and more we put this into applications, and we bring to life the identity that this new logo will have, I think that more over time the fans will see what we can give back to them through that,” she said.
Eat your cake we claimed fourth
Vijay Mallya has told people who doubted the lofty ambitions he set Force India to be in the top three of the championship this year to eat humble pie, despite the team only managing to seal fourth.
At the launch of the teams 2017 car, Mallya said that the team could finish third this season. However, despite the step forward this season third place was too much of a step, but the team was consistently best the rest behind the top three and wrapped fourth place up long before the last race of the season.
Despite not being able to match the 2016 results of third place, Mallya has praised the team’s ability to get consistently strong results on a limited budget. Speaking at the Autosport Awards, he said “We set out to achieve third but landed up with fourth for the second year running. I had many sceptics who I advise to eat their own words and I hope it tastes good.”
Mallya says he is proud of the team’s ability to punch above its financial resources.
Hamilton claims the double at Autosport Awards
Four times Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has taken home two of the top awards at this year’s Autosport Awards, claiming both the International Racing and British Competition Driver awards.
The Mercedes driver first won the International Award five times in the last ten years, including in his debut F1 season in 2007. Last year, he lost out to his teammate Nico Rosberg, but beating Sebastian Vettel to this year’s title w with nine victories, and also broke the record during the season for the most pole positions
Hamilton was not available to collect the awards in person, but sent a video message to acknowledge his awards. Saying “I wanted to send a message to thank Autosport and thank the fans for voting for me. I want to congratulate all the nominees and all the other winners this evening. It’s great to see England producing such great talents still.”
Other nominees were Vettel, Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso for his efforts at the Indy 500. Also last years Formula E runner-up, current championship leader and former Virgin driver Lucus di Grassi.
Hamilton beat respective GP3 and European F3 champions George Russell and Lando Norris, F2 frontrunner Oliver Rowland and Ferrari WEC drivers Sam Bird and James Calado to the British Competition Driver award.