Manor goes into administration
The Manor team have entered administration and face collapse if new investment isn’t found. Through-out the day a number of media outlets have been reporting various lines from sources close to the team.
Efforts are ongoing to save the team, but a deal and discussions so far haven’t resulted in a deal with new investors. Sources have told Sky and BBC News that that staff at Manor’s headquarters were expected to be informed about the developments later on Friday morning.
Its understood that a deal to sell the team to the race promoter Tavo Hellmund, have broken down in the last few weeks, while other potential buyers appear to have failed to reach a conclusion too.
BBC News that two buyers had made it to the diligence process, however none provided the funds necessary to buy the team, nor was there any proof they had the money to run it
Manor suffered a huge blow at the blow late last season when Sabuer leaped above them at the Brazilian Grand Prix, seeing them lose millions of pounds in prize money from FOM
Fate was sealed in Brazil – Fitzpatrick
The owner of Manor Stephen Fitzpatrick, has told ESPN that the teams entering administration was effective sealed after Sauber scored points in Brazil. The team announced today that they were entering administration after a unsuccessful take-over bid.
Despite finding Asian investment in December the buyout collapsed, leaving the team with little option but to go into administration. Fitzpatrick told ESPN “When I took over the team in 2015, the challenge was clear; it was imperative that the team finish in 10th place or better in 2016.”
“For much of the season we were on track. But the dramatic race in Brazil ended our hopes of this result and ultimately brought into doubt the team’s ability to race in 2017.” He says he has pride in what he has accomplished and thanked the team for constant hard work, determination and passion.
It has become clear through the day, that losing tenth in the contructors was the nail in the coffin. Fitzpatrick described the decision to go into administration as disappointing as the time ran out for a deal to be done.
“Today’s decision to put the team into administration represents a disappointing end to a two year journey for Manor.” He says over the last year there has been talks with investors, but time to complete the transaction ran out.
Renault launch date
Renault have announced this evening that they will launch there 2017 car the on the 21st February. The team will launch the day before Force India and would be the first to launch, but not all teams have announce their dates yet.
Renault will be hoping this year for gains, after finishing a lowly ninth in the 2016 constructors’ championship. Last season they were hampered by the late takeover of Lotus, with them forced the team to run an adapted version of the ’15 Lotus design.
The car struggled for downforce, power, was particularly difficult to drive over bumps, and proved to be a marginal Q2 and lower points contender at best. Renault used last year as a rebuilding year and are working on a upgrades to their base at Enstone.
Albert Park announces changes to circuit
The Albert Park circuit which is due to hold the opening round of the 2017 season will undergo some alterations to accommodate the new cars, which are being introduced this season.
Data provided by the organisers the circuit looks set to see increased cornering speeds of around 20 to 50 KPH on mid to high speeds corners with breaking points being around 25 metres later, which will see cars be around three to four seconds faster.
Because of the new regulations a number of safety changes and tyre wall re-profiling has been made at a cost of $100,000 on just the Tecpro high-speed barriers at Turn 12 – a first for the Melbourne circuit.
Craig Moca, Division Manager of Infrastructure at the AGPC told Motorsport.com “The FIA gave us instructions, based on the simulations they’ve done, on which turns would need additional tyre buffers.”
“We took all the information we received from the FIA, and being a temporary circuit we had to manufacture additional tyre buffers and purchase 80 metres worth of the Tec Pro barrier.” Moca added.
He described the changes as a big step for the circuit which he says is ‘old school’. Changes have been made at turn six doubling the tyre barrier, turn fourteen where the entire run off will be doubled as well as the tyre barrier.
“Because our barriers are so close to the track, it’s making sure that we’ve got enough protection that if a driver does go off track, it can stop without seriously injuring the driver or damaging the car substantially.” He added
Corners will be like straights – Gross
McLaren technical director Tim Gross says that some corners will be classified by engineers as straights because of the extra grip from the wider tyres next season.
A wide range of changes including new aero rules are aimed at reducing lap times. This will be achieved by traveling faster through and into corners, writing on the teams website he said “At a time of big regulatory change, when all the pieces of that puzzle get thrown into the air, scattered to the four winds, and then need to be pieced together within a desperately short time, the pressure to get it right is immense. And painfully stressful.”
Adding the aim is to “make the cars look more aggressive; to make them faster, so that F1 was very much at the pinnacle of motorsport in terms of outright speed, and to make them more difficult to drive.”
Drivers say these cars will be more physically demanding and mean some corners won’t be corners in a engineers view. Gross explained “Engineers define a corner as a point on the track where the driver has to lift and essentially drive and handle the car through it.”
“If he’s going round a bend and his foot is flat to the floor on the accelerator, we class that as a straight. As the new cars will be going faster, some of 2016’s ‘corners’ will be classified as ‘straights’.”
He believes the new cars will produce cars look “mean” and “cool”.
Honda revises architecture
Honda says that there new power unit for this season will feature revised architecture and a new layout, as they continue to move forward with McLaren next season.
There have been reports that the Japanese manufacturer has been planning a major overhaul of its power unit, but has been secretive about its plans. Since Honda returned to the sport in 2015, it has pursued a tightly packed unit featuring a split turbo and compressor within the confines of the V-bank of its V6-engine.
In the interview on the teams website Tim Goss said “For 2017, the Honda engine architecture and layout have been altered to serve both for performance and packaging needs.”
“The new power unit takes much of the learning from the past two seasons, but has been specifically redesigned for this season.” This concept is similar to the one used by Mercedes.
Donington not interested in F1
Donington Park says they have no interest in hosting the British Grand Prix, as reports this week said that Silverstone could active a break clause in their contract.
The circuit was placed on the verge of bankruptcy last time it was due to hold the race. A spokesman told Sky Sports “Since the very successful restart of Donington Park six years ago, the board at the circuit has consistently made it clear that we have no intention of bidding for the British Grand Prix.”
Meanwhile former BRDC president Damon Hill has called on the Government to intervene and give funding to the event. Hill said “This is a much loved national event, but it has been as difficult to get additional funding from the government.”
Hill says in Brexit Britain this is the kind of thing we need to invest in. The government has invested in the museum but not in the race, which sees a 5% rise in fees yearly set to reached £26 million in 2026.