Reporters – 12/08/2018

Features Reporters

This season Mercedes and their customers have come under greater pressure this year and have been beaten by Ferrari power. However, why does the team principal Gunther Steiner believe that they cannot complain?

Mercedes customers shouldn’t complain about Haas

Haas’s team principal Gunther Steiner believes that Mercedes customers should not be complaining about Ferrari’s power advantage given the advantage they have had in recent years.

Mercedes have been the dominant manufacturer in terms of power unit since the introduction of the hybrids in 2014, however, over the last eighteen months, Ferrari has radically closed that gap. The Italian manufacturer is also now believed to be to be the benchmark.

The gains by Ferrari has also allowed Haas and Sauber to also move up in the midfield with the American team to be best of the rest behind the top three in most races. Steiner told “ Mercedes customers shouldn’t complain because they had a very good engine the last four years.”

“The first years of these regulations, if you didn’t have a Mercedes engine, you were nowhere. Now Ferrari has overtaken them and everybody having a Ferrari engine are critiqued – ‘Oh, you’ve got the good engine’.”

Before the gains became clear there had been questions about Haas’s relationship with Ferrari after the last three new teams collapsed. Haas buys in all the non-listed parts rules, which facilitated the Haas-Ferrari relationship, have allowed Haas to be competitive at a lower cost since it joined the grid in 2016.

“These were not stupid people. It’s just a very difficult sport. We tried a different way because the regulations allow it and it seems to be working better than the others.”

“If somebody now replicates our business model, I’m fine with it. Everybody is free to do it and it’s good. If this makes the sport better, I’m happy, I’ve no problem with it.”


Force India exited administration earlier this week after a consortium led by Lance Stroll’s father brought the team. But who is the Canadian billionaire and his fellow investors?

Who are the consortium who brought Force India?

Lawrence Stroll is the main investor, the Canadian billionaire made his money by investing in high end fashion like Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfinger. Stroll also owns Circuit Mont-Tremblant near Montréal, and is the father of Williams driver Lance. But questions remain, like e has bought the team purely to further the career of son Lance, rather than as a practical business investment.

Andre Desmarais’s family is the seventh wealthiest family in Canada, and his gather set up Power Corporation. It is known for its strong political links, Andre’s wife France is the daughter of Jean Chretien, former Prime Minister of Canada from 1993 to 2003.

Jonathan Dudman is the head of Monaco Sports and Management, a company that describes itself as “a management advisory firm that typically serves high-net-worth clients and their families.”

John Idol has been a COO of Ralph Lauren, however joined Donna Karan as CEO in 1997, COO. He left after a merger with LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton in 2001.

He then became a co-owner and CEO of fashion brand Michael Kors since 2003. Among his high profile moves was the acquisition of shoe brand Jimmy Choo. In 2016-’17 Michael Kors was a sponsor of McLaren.

John McCaw Jr is one of the sons of the McCaw Cellular which was sold to AT&T for £12bn in 1994. His brother Bruce, owned the PacWest Champ Car team.

Michael de Picciotto was previously the  senior managing director of Geneva-based Union Bancaire Privée, founded by his uncle Edgar. He left that role in 2016 to become vice chairman of the supervisory board of Hamburg-based Engel & Völkers.

Silas Chou family made their wealth from textiles in Hong Kong, and has been a close associate of Stroll for three decades. Together they built Tommy Hilfiger into a global brand.


Read more here. The turmoil at McLaren continues, reports backed by the UK government showed that Mansour Ojjech resigned from the board. But not if your McLaren, so what’s going on?

McLaren denies Ojjech resigned

McLaren has denied reports that Mansour Ojjech has resigned from the teams’ board after three decades.

According to company documents, on 26 July Ojjech resigned from the board of the team as well as its marketing division and McLaren Applied Technologies which uses developments from F1 in other industries.

However, the Saudi businessman remains on the Ojjech remains on the board of McLaren’s parent company and its supercar manufacturing division. McLaren insists that his resignation from the board of the team is simply part of simplifying its corporate structure.

They say the decision is simply part of simplifying its corporate structure and nothing in practice has changed other than a decision that makes for a more efficient and practical process.

Ojjech has been a director when he brought a majority stake in the business in 1984, although that has been reduced to almost sixteen percent in recent years.

Sixty-two percent owned by Bahrain’s Mumtalakat sovereign wealth fund and the remainder split between a number of investors including Canadian tycoon Michael Latifi who bought a ten percent stake for £203m in May.

These reports come after weeks of unrest within the team, and the resignation of racing director Eric Boullier.


He postponed retirement to help Lance Stroll in his debut season, but earlier this year the Canadian said Felipe Massa gave him “no guidance.” But how has the Brazilian hit back?

Massa upset by Stroll’s “no guidance” comments

Felipe Massa says it upset him when his former Williams teammate Lance Stroll said he felt that the Brazilian did not give him guidance last year.

Last year, the team asked Massa to extend his career to guide Stroll with his experience during the Canadian’s first season. Between them, they helped the team to finish fifth in the constructors. Earlier this year, Stroll told “I don’t think I had any guidance from him last year, whatsoever” and said, “I don’t know why people seem to think there was a coach or a mentor thing going on”.

Massa said on Brazilian TV, it was “better not to comment” at the time but has now responded to Stroll’s remarks. Adding “I did a lot for him, with all humility.”

“When I first met him, he was 7 years old, so it was a pleasure for me to be with him, trying to help him. He came in with great difficulty to have the speed, to understand an F1 car, to understand how the tyres work, as he was 18 years old.”

“I was very close to him, I talked a lot, I tried to help in things that I have never seen a driver [try to help].” Massa says he tried to mentor Stroll the same way he was mentored by Michael Schumacher.

Stroll and Massa had a small disagreement once the season started, based on Massa’s criticism of Williams picking two well-backed, young drivers.

Massa, now the president of the FIA’s karting division and preparing for his maiden Formula E campaign, reiterated his belief that Williams “took a direction that is not the correct one”


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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