Ferrari is the oldest team in Formula One and issued threats many of times about quitting the sport. But while launching the return of Alfa Romeo last week did group president Sergio Marchionne reissue that threat?
Ferrari serious about quitting
Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne says the threat of walking away from Formula One is serious and it will withdraw if Liberty Media does not change its plan for the sport in the immediate future.
Ferrari are the only team to have contested every world championship since F1’s inaugural year in 1950, issued the warning in early November after Liberty outlined its vision for the next cycle of engine took control in early 2017.
Other believed to be considering ways to redistribute prize money among F1’s teams, regulations, set to start in 2021. The sport’s new owners, who want a cheaper and simpler engine, as well as a cost cap to address the costs of the sport. They also want to address the current disparity in performance between teams on the grid.
At the time, Marchionne questioned whether Liberty Media’s plans were what the sport was about, saying “If we change the sandbox to the point where it becomes an unrecognisable sandbox, I don’t want to play anymore.”
On Saturday, Fait Ferrari’s parent company, announced sister manufacture Alfa Romeo was to become Sauber’s title sponsor. Speaking at the launch, the Italian said it would be unwise to underestimate his threat.
He told reporters “The dialogue has started and will continue to evolve. We have time until 2020 to find a solution which benefits Ferrari. The threat of Ferrari leaving Formula One is serious.”
“The agreement with Sauber expires in 2020-2021, right when Ferrari could leave.” Last time, Ferrari threatened to quit in 2009, it was joined by McLaren, Red Bull, Brawn (Mercedes), Renault, Sauber (Then owned by BMW), Toro Rosso and Toyota, to walk away from the sport over a cost cap.
Marchionne added, “We have to find a solution which is good for the sport but we also have to be clear on the things we can’t back down on this.”
Overtaking is what makes racing exciting to watch, but new figures released by Pirelli this week shows that overtaking on track fell in 2017. So what do the other figures reveal about this season?
Overtaking falls by half in 2017
Analysis from Pirelli shows that overtaking in 2017 fell by half compared to 2016, representing the worst season for overtaking since DRS was introduced in 2011.
Analysis from the Italian manufacturer of the first season of the new regulations showed that overtakes had fallen to four hundred and thirty-five, compared to eight hundred and sixty-six. That is a fall of twenty-eight percent.
Pirelli claim the figures only take into account if they take place ‘during complete flying laps (so not on the opening lap) and maintained all the way to the lap’s finish line’, and that ‘position changes due to major mechanical problems or lapping/unlapping are not counted’.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo did the most overtaking moves this season, while teammate Max Verstappen has tied with Lewis Hamilton on the driver who has been overtaken the least.
This season Pirelli supplied teams with 38,788, 33,520 were supplied for race weekends and 5,268 for testing. 25,572 were slicks and 13,016 were rain or intermediate tyres and the total number of tyres used during race weekends: 12,920, of which 11,532 were slick tyres and 1,388were rain or intermediates.
During tyre testing, they have covered 14,285km testing 198 different prototype compounds, 147 slick, 18 intermediates and 33 wet. This season they tweeted around 2,400 tweets about Formula One.
Lewis Hamilton vowed he wouldn’t let anyone else do what Nico Rosberg did if he won his fourth title. However, once again he failed to win or take pole at the following races. But why does he insist that it will not affect him going forward?
Hamilton admits he let things slip
Lewis Hamilton has admitted he let his preparations slip in the final two races of the season after he won his fourth world title in Mexico and has vowed to start next season on top form.
Ninth place in the race secured the Mercedes driver his fourth world title, but at the following two races he failed to secure either a pole or a win. He spun off in qualifying in Brazil before for recovering to fourth and was then outperformed in both qualifying and the race in Abu Dhabi by teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton suffered the same slump in form in 2015 when he sealed his third title with three races remaining, but he is insisting that will not affect him at the start of next season saying it is of “zero concern.”
He told ESPN “There’s zero concern. I think it’s clear that something happens after you win the championship and all I can say is that the week after I won the championship I partied a lot with my family and celebrated, and that’s what you do.”
He admitted sleep and energy was definitely different at the last two races, but he tried to approach them in the same way. Hamilton says that his approach will be the same at the start of the season, as it was at the start of 2017.
Hamilton says his relationship with Mercedes has improved this season and believes that contributed to securing the results necessary to win his fourth world championship. “Each year I’m growing and my understanding of life, the decisions you make and ways of engaging with other people has grown.” He added.
“I would definitely think that over these last year’s my confidence is growing in terms of my approach and how I go about my business.” He says he is not an insecure person and the reassurance from Mercedes commitment at the start of the year helped.
As FIA president Jean Todt begins his final term as the head of global motorsport what would he like to leave behind for the future of not only motorsport but for the motoring industry?
Election 2017 – Todt re-elected for fourth term
Jean Todt has formally been re-elected as the president of the sports governing body the FIA for his third term at the General Assembly in Paris. The former Ferrari boss who first took the post in 2009, ran unopposed and will now govern until the end of 2021.
This will be his final term as president of the FIA, having entered his third and final term. Speaking after the announcement, Todt said “It is gratifying to have such universal support. I would like to thank all of the member clubs of the FIA for their support.”
“I see this as a validation of the direction the FIA has taken under my leadership, and as encouragement to continue the programme we have pursued over the past eight years.” Todt has set out his vision for his final term with the focus on innovation, advocacy and developing a strong leader in mobility and motorsport development.
“To encourage this, we propose to establish an FIA Innovation Fund. Our clubs are the largest consumer organisations in their country and their 80-million road-user members make the FIA one of the largest global consumer bodies.” He added.
Another area of focus will be his work as the UN’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, as well as the future of the motoring industry. Todt wants the FIA to be an influence in these decisions and the FIA “to strive to be the best it possibly can – stronger, smarter, more secure, more professional and globally respected.”
Todt also announced a restructured team, with Brian Gibbons, who has acted as FIA deputy president for mobility since, taking over from Nick Craw as president of the FIA Senate.
Thierry Willemarck leaves his role as president of Region I of the FIA to replace Gibbons, while Graham Stoker continues as deputy president for sport.
The annual poll by Autosport has once again named Lewis Hamilton as number one, but who was the surprise in fifth?
Hamilton tops team bosses driver poll
A poll conducted by Autosport has ranked Lewis Hamilton as number one this season, with Esteban Ocon coming in in fifth place. The magazine asked all ten team bosses to rank their top ten drivers, based on on-track performances over the course of this year’s 20 races.
All the drivers are awarded points for position in that top ten based on the standard system, with the winner is the driver with the most points. Hamilton was ninety points ahead of his nearest rival Max Verstappen, with Sebastian Vettel two points behind the Dutchman.
The top ten in full
- Lewis Hamilton 233
- Max Verstappen 143
- Sebastian Vettel 141
- Daniel Ricciardo 112
- Esteban Ocon 73
- Fernando Alonso 65
- Kimi Raikkonen 49
- Carlo Sainz Jr / Nico Hulkenberg
- Valtteri Bottas 39
That’s all from Reporters this week, goodbye