Hamilton’s dilemma about his future
Lewis Hamilton has admitted he is battling a personal dilemma about his future in Formula One, though he wants to continue racing in the sport he also doesn’t want to miss out on other life experiences.
The four times champion is expected to start contract renewal talks with his Mercedes team about a contract extension for beyond 2019 in the next few weeks. It thought that Hamilton wants a two-year extension as he starts to consider life after F1 and other opportunities.
Speaking to Motorsport.com, about his mindset for the future, he said “It’s like the weather. It’s about trying to find the balance. I’ve currently got another year with the team and I do want to continue. But, I’m at that point where there’s that question.”
Hamilton has various other interests including music and travel, away from the sport, however, he knows that if he quits the sport he will miss it as you cant come back. Adding “I was talking to my best friend the other day about things that I do envy or look forward to, like living in one place, getting a routine, that’s my gym, I have game night with my friends here, my family.”
“Each year I stay in the sport, I delay those things. But from 40 onwards there’s so much time for it.” Hamilton says the death of his aunt to cancer has brought his life into focus after she said “I’ve worked every day with the plan of stopping one day and doing all these different things, and then I ran out of time.”
He says he wants to keep racing, but he wants to have his cake and eat it at the right time. Hamilton says that he has no interests in a political career, but says there are many cultural things he wants to get involved in.
“I think I am a big part of the culture I bring to F1, where I’m from. Appreciating that more in other locations. Admiring that… The charity stuff I’ve done before, but I’m really starting to focus on the future as my time comes to an end in F1.”
No freebies says Carey, as teams worry about profits
Formula One CEO Chase Carey says team need to understand that there are “no free lunches” when it comes to making the sport bigger as teams become uneasy about the reduction of £31.7m in prize money.
A number of teams have expressed concerns about an unprecedented drop in income from the commercial rights in the last quarter. Recent documents suggest a drop of £201.7m in the third quarter, 13% lower than the same time last year.
Carey is aware that the fall is something the teams didn’t want in the short term but says the investment is needed to allow Liberty Media to create a bigger profits and increase the prize fund in the long term. Speaking to F1.com, Carey said “I think the sport has been underserved by a continual short-term focus. I think we’ve got some fresh momentum back into it.”
“A lot of things were not going in the right direction in recent years, but this year attendance is up, viewership is up and I think we’ve got a much more positive spirit behind it. The sport needed fresh energy and investment.” He says they had inherited a sport which wasn’t developed properly.
He added he believes there is an understanding and appreciation of what we are doing, and there was agreement on what needs to be done for the sport.
Liberty is planning over the winter to reveal more about its vision for the sport, as well as short and long-term goals.
Vettel reflects on his season
Sebastian Vettel says he will miss his 2017 car Gina and is not looking forward to sitting behind the Halo next year. The Ferrari driver mounted a strong challenge for this year’s title in the first half of the season, but reliability and his own mistakes saw him finish forty-six points behind Lewis Hamilton.
But it was the most successful season for Ferrari since 2010. However, the car is unlikely to be driven again because of the complex nature of the regulations with Vettel saying he would miss the car.
He told ESPN “Yeah, of course. Nowadays it is not so easy to operate the car so it will be the last time. In the past it was [easy to run them] and every now and then you could go back, with the V8s, but with these power units it’s more complex, it makes no sense.”
“I will miss it, I think it was a fun season and it’s a bit of a shame that it’s over. I would’ve liked to have another five races, then I think we would be in good shape!”
Speaking about the Halo which is being introduced to protect the drivers heads, he said he was not looking forward to it but it was part of the game. “You need to play around a little bit — but I think we will when we get to next year’s cars. But yeah it’s in the front of your face, in front of your helmet — you get used to it, though.” He added
Stroll enters Daytona
Lance Stroll has revealed that he will be racing for fun in January’s Daytona 24 Hours for fun. The Canadian has been motivated by a desire to race together with a group of drivers he knows well in a pressure-free environment.
Stroll will compete in the IMSA SportsCar Championship opener on January 27/28 in an ORECA-Gibson 07 fielded by the Jota-run Jackie Chan DC Racing squad alongside Felix Rosenqvist, Daniel Juncadella and Robin Frijnho.
Speaking to Autosport, Stroll said, “Sometimes it’s nice to step back and do something that’s a bit less high pressure — I’m looking forward to having some fun.”
“I’ll be out there with some of my buddies in the same car, and it’s going to be a pleasure to do this race again because I just love to race. We are the four young guns so it will be great fun, I’m sure because we go way back together.”
He says that the main aim was to enjoy it and take part, but as always to try to win. Stroll will get his first test in early January, he has already got long stand relationships with all three of his teammates.
Juncadella and Frijns, respectively factory GT drivers with Mercedes and Audi, are part of the Winway driver management and coaching set-up with which Stroll also works.
Stroll is the second Formula One driver to announce his entry into the race, after two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, announced he would race a United Autosports Ligier-Gibson P217.
Woman’s only series underminds women
Mercedes boss Toto Wolf says that plans for a woman’s single-seater championship would “undermine” the prospects for women to make it into Formula One.
Proposals have been drawn up by a London company, to stage a women’s series of six races, with the champion, promised a Formula One test drive.
Motoracing is the biggest sport in the world which does not have an alternative for women to race in standalone events. It has been more than 40 years since a woman entered a Formula One race when Lella Lombardi qualified at the 1976 Austrian Grand Prix.
The group behind the proposal, which was circulated earlier this year, hope the series will offer women the chance to showcase their talents, but Wolff fears it could do the opposite.
Wolff told the Press Association “An all-women championship is giving up on the mission of eventually making girls compete on a high level and against the boys in Formula One. It is undermining what girls are able to achieve.”
“When a sport comes down to physical power, then it definitely needs to be split between men and women, but motor racing is a little bit like horse riding where we fight with the same tools. I believe that motor racing is a sport where women can take on men.”
Wolff is married to the former Williams driver Susie Wolff who was the last women to drive at a Grand Prix weekend. As well as her ambassadorial role with the team, she also runs the Dare To Be Different campaign which inspires female participation in motorsport.
“What we lack is more girls in karting,” Wolff said. “If you look at 100 kids there will be three girls. Susie’s movement is out there to encourage more girls to start karting so the ratio changes from three in one hundred to 20:80.
A number of women have been approached by organisers about the series, but some are understood to be sceptical and believe a single-gender championship may compromise their position within the industry.
Old logo “neither iconic or memorable”
Formula One’s managing director for motorsport Ross Brawn says the old logo was “neither iconic or memorable”. Saying he thinks changing the branding of the sport was an important step for new owners Liberty Media.
A new logo unveiled on the podium in Abu Dhabi has divided opinions between fans about t whether or not it was a wasted effort. There was some frustration that effort had gone into the logo change, while bigger concerns, like farcical grid penalties, a lack of overtaking and out-of-control costs had not been addressed.
In an email to staff and the media, Brawn said “Over the past few days the question was asked as to whether the logo is really a major priority and the answer is yes”
“Apart from the commercial aspects, the new logo is much more flexible in terms of its use, especially when it comes to its application on merchandising and in the digital world. It has impact. The old logo was neither iconic or memorable.”
He says it’s important that the sport looks to the future and attracts new fans outside its normal environment.