F1 Today – 23/05/2017

F1 Today

Red Bull’s structure behind failure

Red Bull technical boss Adrian Newey believes that the teams ‘committee’ structure the team has put into place to deal with him stepping back from the front line of designing cars has struggled with the rule changes this season.

The British-based team has only taken two podiums this season, despite the team being tipped to challenge Mercedes and Ferrari f0r the title. This prompted Newey to increase his involvement in the team, despite his other projects including the Aston Martin hypercar and the America’s Cup yacht race.

He told Autosport “I had stepped right back, but it became obvious that the car under a more delegated, or a committee way of operating, wasn’t performing.  As a kind of a duty to the team, to try and bring things forward, I have been quite busy since the second test, getting back involved to see what I can do to help.” Newey admits that’s he doesn’t want to be doing long term.

He believes that the system hasn’t worked because of the big regulation change. But team boss Christian Horner believes the system the team had put in place had worked and was now adapting to accommodate Newey again.

“The system is very similar, because he’s still been feeding into that system. He’s regularly sitting with the technical principals. I think communication across the departments is possibly what he’s referring to.” Horner admitted Newey may not have the understanding of the regulations, as he wasn’t fully invovled in the changes.

He added Newey had huge involvement in the design of the car and his experience for the team was an enormous asset for us. Horner also defended the work of the desginers when Newey was away saying “The team did a great job with [2016 design] RB12 in developing it into a very competitive car.”


Renault can’t offer Alonso a competitive car

Renault’s advisor and four times world champion Alain Prost, says the French manufacturer is not able to offer Fernando Alonso a car which could be a title challenger in the next two years.

Alonso won both his titles with Renault in 2005-06, and is out of contract with McLaren at the end of the season. He has warned his team at the end of the season he will leave, unless he is persuaded the team can be winners in 2018.

Renault has been tipped as the favourites to sign Alonso, but the team only returned to Formula One last year and Prost says the team is still finding their feet as a works team and will not yet be able to give the Spaniard what he craves in the foreseeable future.

Prost told Sky Sports “Fernando wants to win races or championships. I don’t think we can offer him a car to be world champion next year – and also maybe in two years.” While Renault have shown progress the team so far, has been unable to translate that into points.

Prost added “We have to be very realistic. I have been in this business for almost forty years and l know how difficult it is going to be.” He says we have to be careful about that and we can’t be stupid about our objectives because Alonso’s there.


Emotional return for Rosberg

Mercedes Nico Rosberg says he is prepared for an “emotional” weekend as he attends his first race of the year, the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend.

Rosberg returns to the paddock for the first time since announcing his retirement in December and says he is anticipating a “special” experience returning to the race as a spectator, rather than as a competitor.

He told ESPN “The Monaco Grand Prix is going to be the most emotional race for me to get back to because I’ve closed a chapter now on my career and I have all these amazing memories and emotions.”

“Now coming back to the race track, meeting all the people again and seeing all my fans here in Monaco — where I always had so much support from them. Coming back now as a world champion, that’s going to be amazing.”

Rosberg says he feels total fulfilment from finishing his career at the very, very top and says it was the best thing he could do.

Speaking about his team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s title battle with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel he says it has been an “awesome” advert for F1.

“The races so far this year have been absolutely awesome for Formula One. There’s been everything; excitement, stuff happening, they’ve been unpredictable so we can’t wish for more.” He says he is keeping a close eye on the championship.

Rosberg believes that Hamilton has a very different situation as now he has the whole team behind him.


Arthofer appointed head of digital

Frank Arthofer has been appointed Formula One’s new head of digital. Arthofer will lead the digital strategy group, which has been tasked with increasing engagement with fans globally.

This area of the sport which has emerged as a major focus of Liberty Media, who want to strengthen the digital offering to increase revenues through owned and operated products and forming strategic partnerships. The requirements of the role reflect Liberty Media’s efforts to turn around the business’ antiquated commercial model, which has been widely blamed for a stagnation in sponsorship revenue.

He certainly has experience of this, following his time at Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) media and technology practice, working with large multinational companies in the US, Europe and Asia Pacific.

He is credited with driving top-line growth, launching new businesses and digital transformation across an array of partners – including broadcast TV station owners, large TV and film studios, digital video platforms, and regional and global pay-TV companies.

Sean Bratches, Managing Director of Commercial Operations told The Drum “Frank’s appointment will significantly bolster our digital capability, something we immediately identified as a priority for Formula One.”

“His experience at sporting and media brands during periods of transition will prove invaluable as we build out our digital presence.”

Arthofer said “Marquee sport is one of the most valuable assets in today’s media and entertainment landscape, and Formula One is an incredible brand with a very rich history.

“Equally, we have a truly unique opportunity to build on more than 50 years of success by investing in our digital and licensing businesses.”


Tributes to Moto GP’s Nicky Hayden

Formula One teams and driver have paid tribute to the former Moto GP champion Nicky Hayden, who died yesterday from injuries sustained in a crash while cycling.

The American was hit by a car last Wednesday and suffered a severe head and chest trauma, as well as several fractures. He was then transferred to the Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, where he succumbed to his injuries five days later.

The American was hit by a car last Wednesday and suffered a severe head and chest trauma, as well as several fractures. He was then transferred to the Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, where he succumbed to his injuries five days later.

Drivers and teams from Formula One have been sharing their reaction on social media and passed on their condolences to the 35-year-old’s family and friends on social media. Lewis Hamilton tweeted “Dear Nicky, you will be missed. May God hold you high, you are forever in our hearts. My thoughts and prayers to you and your loved ones.”

Ferrari simply wrote “Nicky Hayden 1981-2017. We all will miss you.” Williams said “We are saddened to hear of the loss of Nicky Hayden. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family. #RIPNickyHayden”

The ‘Kentucky Kid’ finished his Grand Prix career with a world title and three Grand Prix wins.

This season, he was competing for Red Bull in the World Superbike Championship, as he targeted becoming the first rider to win titles in both MotoGP and World Superbikes.


Ferrari battle helped Wolff rediscover love of F1

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the intense battle the team are having with Ferrari has helped him “re-discover” his love for Formula One.

Mercedes have dominated Formula One for the past three years, but that dominance has come under treat because Ferrari have adapted better to the  new aerodynamic regulations. As a result, Mercedes and Ferrari have been battling it out for wins early on in the year.

Mercedes currently lead Ferrari by eight points in the constructors championship. While Lewis Hamilton has closed the gap to Sebastian Vettel in the drivers’ championship, and Wolff says he is relishing the “fierce” fight at the front of the F1 pecking order.

He told ESPN “The last three years were extraordinary but this season I have re-discovered why I love the sport. I love the intense competition.”

“This competition means that you won’t be winning easily — but that you’ll have a fierce fight on your hands. Because of that, the feeling is even greater when you manage to come out on top, as we did in Spain.” Wolff says if that happens in Monaco the team will bring the roof down.

Mercedes had the slight edge in Barcelona, but Wolff says Monaco is a completely different ball game, and you need to get “everything exactly right if you want to perform to your maximum around those streets.”


Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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