Reporters – 07/01/2018

Features Reporters

Over Christmas, Lewis Hamilton caused a Twitter storm after an Instagram after posting a video saying he was ‘ashamed’ of his nephew for wearing a princess’s dress. But why did that post caused so much outcry on social media?   

Hamilton causes Twitter storm

Lewis Hamilton caused controversy last week because of a post on Instagram. The four times world champion posted a video appearing to mock his nephew for wearing a princesses dress on Christmas day.

Hamilton later took down the post and tweeted an apology, however, he was criticised further after he liked replies which said there was no need to apologise and give into the “PC brigade.”

In a series of Tweets, Hamilton wrote “’Yesterday I was playing around with my nephew and realised that my words were inappropriate so I removed the post. “I meant no harm and did not mean to offend anyone at all. I love that my nephew feels free to express himself as we all should.”

“My deepest apologies for my behaviour as I realise it is really not acceptable for anyone, no matter where you are from, to marginalise or stereotype anyone. ‘I have always been in support of anyone living their life exactly how they wish and I hope I can be forgiven for this lapse in judgement.”

In the initial Instagram video, Hamilton told his 5.7 million followers: ”I’m so sad right now. Look at my nephew.” The camera then moved to a young boy wearing a blue and pink princess dress and waving around a pink heart-shaped furry wand.

Hamilton asked the small child: ”Why are you wearing a princess dress? Is this what you got for Christmas?” When his nephew said yes, Hamilton replied: ”Why did you ask for a princess dress for Christmas?”

He then shouted: ”Boys don’t wear princess dresses!” That prompted the youngster to covers his ears with his hands and turn away.


Ferrari and Sauber announced an expansive deal in December. The new deal has been called “very visionary” by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, but is he thinking about a future partnership for Mercedes?

Wolff considers Ferrari “visionary” Sauber deal

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said he is very impressed by Ferrari’s “very visionary” partnership with Sauber and is considering something similar for the world champions.

Last month Ferrari and Sauber announced a new technical and sponsorship deal with the team being renamed Alfa Romeo Sauber from 2018. The deal also saw Charles Leclerc gain a race seat and Antonio Giovinazzi handed the reserve role.

Ferrari also has a close technical partnership with Haas which caused controversy during the American team’s debut season in 2016. Wolff is wary of how the latest deal could strengthen Ferrari. Wolff told ESPN he thinks what Ferrari are doing is very clever.

He told ESPN, “They’ve had a good relationship with Haas. That has helped Haas and helped Ferrari and what they are doing now with Sauber is very visionary.”

“With Fred [Vassuer] he has a team principal on the other side who knows the business inside out and it can be an alliance that can be dangerous for us.”

Asked if Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes, are considering a similar move, he admitted that its an idea that he is considering. But added, “It’s not easy because you don’t want to distract your own organisation with a collaboration with another team on the other side.”

“We are not the only ones who are having intelligent ideas — we are having discussions but nothing is done yet.”


As Formula One continues to look towards new engine regulations for 2021, a new or should that be an old idea has been suggested a global engine. However, while standardising engines across racing would drive down costs its likely to cause disagreements. So Why does FIA president Jean Todt believe it’s a good idea?

Todt reopens global engine debate

FIA president Jean Todt has opened the idea of a ‘global engine’ which could be used across Formula One and other motorsport series.

In the late 2000s, the sports governing body asked engineering consultancy Ricardo to investigate the potential for a common rules package to create a base engine that could be adapted for use in as many as 11 major series around the world.

The report suggested that two baseline packages could be created, one for single seaters like F1 and IndyCar and another package for rallying, touring cars and prototype sports cars. However, the concept disappeared over the cost and practicality from the targeted championships and manufacturers.

Given the huge investment needed to produce engines for the current hybrid F1 regulations, Todt believes reviving the global rules concept could be attractive. He told Autosport, “Probably what we should say, which is not easy as well, is could we use this [F1] engine in other categories of motorsport?”

“At the moment each category of motorsport has its own single regulations, so probably we should try to see if we can have some synergies.” The Frenchman believes that WEC LMP1 class and F1 could use the same engines, as they both move towards longer engine life.

However, the last time this was tried it lead to the demise of the World Sportscar Championship ahead of the 1993 season.


Liberty Media aimed to grow the sport when they took over last January. Results they published on Friday shows that Formula One was the fastest growing sport in 2017. But should they be concerned about viewing figures?

Strong season on social media and television

Formula One saw an increase in audience figures across television and digital media platforms in 2017, becoming the fastest growing sports brand on social media.

Newly released figures published today by FOM show a 6.2 percent rise across all broadcast figures compared to 2016. Positive growth was registered in the UK, Germany, Brazil and Italy, being the top four performing races, while viewing figures also rose significantly in China, Switzerland and Denmark.

The overall picture remains stable with six hundred and three million viewers from 2016, but there was a one percent increase in the live audience, as well as rising viewing figures for both practice and qualifying sessions.

Figures also show the sport is the fastest growing sports brand on social media, combining the social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube now has a total of 11.9 million followers, reflecting an increase of 54.9 percent compared to 2016.

The news will be a positive sign for the sports owners following their first season in charge. 2017 saw Liberty Media look to relax the rules around digital media and push for social media engagement between drivers and fans, this was part of the push to engage fans.

Managing director for commercial operations, Sean Bratches said in a statement “We are encouraged by the growth in audience numbers across linear and digital platforms during the 2017 season.”

“Central to our efforts last season was to improve the fan experience across our platforms and it is encouraging to see the engagement that fans around the world have with Formula One media.

“Our work continues as Formula One fans will see material changes in 2018 with respect to both incumbent experiences and the creation of new ones. It is a good time to be a Formula One fan.”


That’s all from Reporters for this week, goodbye


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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