REPORTERS – 11/12/2016

Features This Week

Pirelli tyres will be bigger next year. But concerns that Pirelli’s mull cars are not giving the right downforce but why and how has it affected testing?

Pirelli tyres will be different in 2018

Pirelli Racing Manager Mario Isola say that the tyres they are developing for 2018 will be different because next season they will be allowed to use current cars in testing.

The Italian manufacturer was asked to change the tyre sizes for next season, with the front tyres being 60mm wider and 80mm for the rears which are all part of the wider technical changes. But they were forced to test with ‘2014 mull cars’ this season, as teams were developing under the current ones.

Pirelli had concerns that the mule cars they were using were 20% down on the amount of downforce they require, this would skew the results.

Isola Told Autosport “I feel that the direction is good and we probably need to continue the development and to have a new product in 2018. But because next year we will have the real race cars testing, we have another step towards the right product.”

Last week following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull tested tyres. But next season Pirelli are planning to widen the test to other teams. Isola says they are optimistic following the test and happy with the development so far.

He added “We have some encouraging signs. We were obliged to change completely the product, the compounds, everything. It’s not just the size that was bigger it was a complete redesign of all the tyre.”


It’s the home of British motorsport this week after a turbulent month relating to the sale of the circuit finally some good news for Silverstone. A museum will be built showcasing the best of British motorsport. Can it help with regeneration in the long term?

Silverstone gets lottery funding

The Heritage Lottery Fund has announced funding of £20m for a museum to be built to showcase British motorsport at Silverstone. The investment covers nearly half the funding required.

Leading names has welcomed the £9.1m grant including Sir Stirling Moss and Nico Rosberg. The museum which will open in 2019 will display dozens of Formula 1, other racing cars and bikes along with personal items from famous drivers.

Rosberg told BBC News “The heritage of the sport is massively important – and it has such an incredible heritage. I hope one day I will be able to go to the centre and see all the stuff there.”

Part of the museum will included part of the only remaining aircraft hangar which dates from the 1940’s when it was an airfield. The collections, BRDC archive and research centre will also be built on the circuit with other motorsport collections will also be based there.

Sir Stirling Moss who raced in the first British Grand Prix at the circuit in 1948, before the formation of the championship said “I think for people who go up there, they’ll see what it is all about. See how things started – what has been done.”

The museum will also look at the history of the village and people which have lived there snice its earliest recording was in 1086 in the Domesday Book.


It’s been off the calendar since 2014, bogged down in legal disputes and this week the saga over the Indian Grand prix took another turn. Why is FOM still owed the race fees?

India owes £41m in race fees

The dispute which has been running for three years over the Indian Grand Prix has taken another turn, as it been reviled that the race organisers owe £41.1m to FOM in race fees.

The race was halted in 2013 because of a legal dispute with local government who don’t class F1 as a sport and classes it as entertainment. This means that organisers need to pay tax and duties on everything connected with the race.

The Liberty Media say that if the money owed by Jaypee is paid to F1’s operating company, Formula One World Championship (FOWC), it will raise its £3.5bn offer for the sport by the same amount. Organisers still have the rights to two more races.

According it The Telegraph “If Formula 1 receives certain monies owed to it in connection with race fees in India, Liberty Media will pay up to approximately $51m of additional cash consideration to the selling shareholders.”

Adding “’Indian Race Fees’ means the total of US$51,350,000 relating to fees due from Jaypee Sports to FOWC under the Indian Race Promotion Agreement, the race promotion agreement between FOWC and Jaypee Sports” In September 2011.

The contracts between FOWC and race organisers state that fees are paid free of all taxes.


Max Verstappen was the FIA’s personality of the Year and the FIA Action of the Year Awards. But could he get better and what’s the warning from Red Bull to the other drivers?

Room for Verstappen to get better – Horner

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has warned the other drivers that Max Verstappen has the room to get better following an impressive season which saw him promoted from Toro Rosso to Red Bull.

He took his first win on his debut in Barcelona and won wide spread applause including  driver of the day after driving to third from fourteenth in the difficult wet conditions in Sau Paulo. Verstappen has already said he feels ready to fight for the championship if championship if Red Bull can deliver him a car, and Horner believes that his driver can also step up his game.

Horner told “I think any sportsman can really improve in all areas. He is gaining experience all the time. He drove a very mature race [last time out in Abu Dhabi] and the way he looked after both the supersoft and the soft tyre was very mature.”

“I think as he gains that experience it will hold him in better stead for coming years. There are always areas that you can improve and it is [about] working on those marginal returns.” Speaking about Barcelona, Horner said it was proof of his talent and of how he will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.

Horner said other race were strong mentioning Montreal, Silverstone, Spliberg, Sukuza and Mexico. Adding that Brazil was an absolutely outstanding drive and he has produced another great drive [in Abu Dhabi]. He has marked himself out as a man of the future.”


Vijay Malaya marks ten years in F1 next year and why, despite recent controversy over his businesses outside the sport does his deputy believe he deserves more credit?

Malaya deserves more credit 

Force India Team Principal Vijay Malaya deserves more credit for the team’s success this season, says his deputy Bob Fernley.

Fernley has a long relationship with Malaya, as he assisted in the purchase and then the running of an Ensign F1 car that Malaya drove to victory in that year’s Madras Grand Prix. Malaya over the past eight years following the purchase of Spyker seen them rise to fourth in the constructors, there highest place since third under Jordan in 1999.

Malaya has been under investigation over debt owed by the now defunct airline Kingfisher from lenders who want him to repay hundreds of millions of pounds worth of debt. He claims he is a ‘victim of a witch hunt’.

When asked if Malaya didn’t get the credit he deserves for the success Fernley told Autosport “Yes, he deserves a lot of credit. Vijay celebrates 10 years in Formula 1 next year. There are not many individual team owners that have been around for 10 years and he continues to support it.”

“That’s fundamentally where it [the reason for the team’s rise] is.” This  season Force India finished fourth in the constructors, beating Williams for the first time meaning there due for a huge financial boost.

Fernley says “What it does is endorses what the team has been doing for the last three or four years. You can never underestimate the enthusiasm this will drive through the team and [help] bring it to the next stage.”

“While it’s nice to have the extra funding coming in, that is incidental to the enthusiasm it will put in and the commitment it will deliver for 2017.” Fernley paid tribute to the calibre of the staff at Force India, describing working for the team as a difficult option because of the responsibility each person must carry.


That’s all from this edition of Reporters this week


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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