I wouldn’t damage F1 – Ecclestone
Chairman emeritus Bernie Ecclestone has dismissed rumours that he could form a rival series, saying he would never want to “damage” the sport.
Ecclestone was removed from his post by the sports new owners Liberty Media after they completed their takeover of the sport and installed a new management structure with Chase Carey taking day-to-day control. Ecclestone has remained as ‘chairman emeritus’, an advisory role to the new board.
He said “The new owner of the company will be able to carry out the administration of the company in a different way to the way I had, which was to produce financial results for the shareholders, the normal actions of a chief executive”
“I would have loved the luxury of what Chase Carey, the CEO, is able to do. I hope the F1 supporters appreciate this as Chase intends to put money back into the sport.” Ecclestone has not commented publicly since the coup last Monday, until now.
Ecclestone says he was touched by the support and thanks he had received from the people he had dealt with over the years.
Ecclestone indicated he would be attending races in his new, if undefined, capacity of ‘Emeritus Chairman’ and advisor to the board and had plenty of other business to attend to.
He says that his close team will be moving to a new office in London, with close allies of his, such as Sacha Woodward-Hill, would be working for the new management.
Verstappen reminds Newey off Mansell
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen’s driving style reminds the team’s Technical Director Adrian Newey of 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell. The Dutch teenager’s performance in last year’s wet Brazilian Grand Prix earned him a place amongst wet weather greats like Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher…
Speaking to Autosport Newey said “Max has been an exciting newcomer, well not newcomer as it was his second year strictly speaking last year. But the way he drove the car did remind me of Nigel’s driving style.”
“What was dramatic about Mansell was that you always knew it was him in the car. He had an almost metaphoric elbows out driving style. Max is the same and it is exciting television.” He added. Verstappen’s driving style has been criticised by some drivers, but he has made it clear he has no intention of changing his style.
Verstappen like Mansell, he says is winning legions of fans with his dramatic fighting style. Newey says its like ‘I’m not going to be bullied.’
Ricciardo speaks 2017 and Rosberg
Daniel Ricciardo believes his Red Bull can this season challenge Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes for both championships. Following a difficult 2015, last season Red Bull re-established themselves as the second fastest team in Formula One.
With the Silver Arrows rocked by the departure of world champion Nico Rosberg over the winter, Ricciardo is hoping to give them more headaches this season. Speaking to F1.com the Australian said “I think we can challenge, yes. If we make the same improvements we did last year then he [Hamilton] won’t have anything easy, believe me.”
Ricciardo was part of the group, which included Rosberg, Max Verstappen and Romain Grosjean who regularly travelled together. Speaking about Rosberg’s retirement decision he said “At first it was a surprise, but once I went through it in my head and put myself in his shoes I understood it a lot better,” the Australian added.
“He has a family now, he’s been involved in the sport even before he was racing himself through his dad Keke, so it’s a long career in that respect. It drains you with all the travel and commitments and he reached what he wanted, so now it’s time for him to chill out. I get it, mate!”
Silverstone confident following Liberty takeover
The British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC), which owns Silverstone are confident that Liberty Media’s takeover will raise the prospect of retaining the race.
The future of the British Grand Prix has been in doubt, following a letter seen by the media, from chairman John Grant, saying the venue would have to consider activating a break clause in its F1 contract due to spiralling costs.
Last week, the report that the break clause would be activated as a decision was made to drop the race after 2019 was dismissed by the circuit last week./ Warwick has told Sky Sports News that he is “very positive now about the future” after Liberty Media completed its buyout of F1.
Warwick said “Monday definitely changed the face of 2017. We know where we’re going now with Liberty, we know where we’re going with Silverstone. We are very positive we can now work this Grand Prix and make a profit in 2017.”
The race is well attended by fans with ever-growing need to increase capacity, however, despite a crowd of 139,000 the terms of the contract mean Silverstone struggles to turn a profit on the event.
Warwick says discussions with new CEO Chase Carey, indicates they could be prepared to relax revenue streams like merchandising, marketing, sponsorship etcetera.
Adding “We know for a fact there are some circuits out there that have more flexibility with their contract with Bernie [Ecclestone] than what we’ve got. So maybe they will join forces and make sure we can all use that expertise.”
Warwick said there are no alternative venues, calling the Circuit of Wales a proposed alternative a ‘white elephant’ which won’t happen.
Sauber call on Liberty to address financial inequalities
Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn has called on Liberty Media to address the financial inequalities between teams as soon as possible. Liberty has already promised to look at the issue which sees the top teams take a huge chunk of the prize money.
However, under the current Concorde Agreement, the way the revenues are split is unlikely to change until 2020. The current way it works Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren, and Williams receive bonus payments on top of the prize money for their finishing position in the previous year’s championship.
But last week Managing Director of F1 Ross Brawn said he would be looking at ways of cutting costs, but has not much hope of being able to change the existing commercial contracts before 2020. Kaltenborn, however, says the issue cannot wait.
Kaltenborn told Racer.com “I certainly hope that it’s not going to drag on until 2020 because I’m sure that when people make such an investment, they do have a business plan in place that should start working when they take over and not start working in 2020.”
This is back under further scrutiny in coming weeks after the Manor F1 team was forced to close on Friday. Plus the EU Commission is still investigating this issue, to decide if it needs to be investigated.
Labour MEP Anneliese Dodds, renewed calls for a full investigation is needed. Saying “Formula One Group, its owners and the FIA as a regulator really need to be investigated after this collapse. The unfair way in which prize money is allocated in the sport.”
“permanently favouring the largest teams regardless of their finishing position, has seen many teams struggle to survive and ultimately reduced the number of cars on the grid.” She added
McLaren to supply all sensors
McLaren’s Applied Technology division has won the contract to supply all teams from 2018 with supply engine pressure and temperature sensors for Formula One engines.
As part of cost-cutting measures The FIA last July, opened up a tender process to standardise sensors. After evaluating the interested parties, McLaren’s technology arm was chosen as the winning bid.
This means that for the first time such sensors will be provided by a single supplier. The division of the team has also having supplied the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) used by all teams since 2008.
Motorsport director Rodi Basso said, “We’re delighted McLaren Applied Technologies has been chosen by the FIA to be the trusted sole provider of engine pressure and temperature sensors for the 2018 to 2020 Formula 1 world championships.”
“From the ECU technology in every Formula 1 car to the engineers supporting teams at the track, McLaren Applied Technologies continues to be at the heart of motorsport.
“Our mission is to provide an unrivalled service, ensuring the world’s premier race teams and series can continue to grow and delight fans around the world.”