Reporters – 14/06/2020

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The shooting dead last month of George Floyd has sparked debates and protests about race relations around the world. Formula One a mainly white dominate sport has been criticised by Lewis Hamilton for not speaking out…

F1 speaks out about racial injustice

Formula One drivers have been speaking out about the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by police in Minneapolis on May 25. Six times champion Lewis Hamilton has criticised his fellow drivers for “staying silent” amid the ongoing global protests against racial injustice.

Meanwhile, curfews have been imposed in forty cities, but people have largely ignored them, leading to tense stand-offs. Riot police clashed with protesters in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, firing tear gas and pepper bullets to try to disperse the crowds.

It has been seen as the biggest protests and civil unrest in the US since the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968, with reports of 4,100 arrests. The protests continue despite the United States having the highest number of deaths from Coronavirus.

Numerous prominent sporting stars and public figures have used their platforms to lend their support to the ongoing protests and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, including Hamilton, who has shared regular posts in recent days.

On Sunday, Hamilton took to Instagram to call out his industry for “staying silent” on the matter through a post on his Stories.

Saying “I see those of you who are staying silent, some of you the biggest stars yet you stay silent in the midst of injustice. Not a sign from anybody in my industry which of course is a white-dominated sport. I’m one of the only people of colour there yet I stand alone.”

“I would have thought by now you would see why this happens and say something about it but you can’t stand alongside us. Just know I know who you are and I see you.”

Charles Leclerc added, “To be completely honest, I felt out of place and uncomfortable sharing my thoughts on social media about the whole situation and this is why I haven’t express myself earlier than today.”

“I still struggle to find the words to describe the atrocity of some videos I’ve seen on Internet. Racism needs to be met with actions, not silence. Please be actively participating, engaging and encouraging others to spread awareness”

Hamilton’s compatriot and McLaren F1 driver Lando Norris currently has a message on his Twitch bio reading: “Sign BLM petitions #BLACKLIVESMATTER.”

Hamilton says that racism isn’t just a problem in America, but Spain, the UK, Italy and all over. This follows comments in April, where he spoke about the need for greatest diversity within motorsport, saying back in April he thought the situation was “worse than ever before”.

 

Williams has been the first casualty of the lack of racing forcing the team to sell the family-owned team. Despite the search for new investment, deputy team principal Claire Williams insists that the team can be successful again…

Williams can be successful again

Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams has insisted the search for investment for the Formula One team should only be viewed as a positive, saying there was “no reason why Williams can’t be successful again.”

Last week it was announced that its F1 team was up for sale after a £13m loss in revenue for the company last year, as part of a ‘strategic review’ following disappointing seasons on the track. The decision marks a major change in direction, having been under family control since Sir Frank Williams founded the team in 1977.

But Williams, Frank’s daughter and the deputy team principal, is adamant it is the right thing to do. She told Sky Sports, “It’s funny – I’ve been getting so many emails of condolence. It’s much appreciated, but I’m looking at this in a positive perspective as this will ensure the future sustainability of our team.”

Adding, “Williams, the Williams family, has always been about that. We put our team first, and we put its success first. The investment that we’re looking for is going to help us achieve that.” Ms Williams says that the sale of the team should not be seen as anything other than a positive.

The team hasn’t won a championship in 1997 with Jacques Villeneuve, and have not won a race since 2012. It remains her ambition to lead the team back to the front of the sport, saying “I’ve always had a very clear ambition for Williams as deputy team principal and as part of the family.”

She admits the last few years were awful where the team felt an enormous amount of pain. Williams sees no reason why the team can’t be successful in the future, her ambition remains to lead the team back to the top of the sport.

 

The driver moves back in May were surprising for everyone, even drivers. Lando Norris will go into next season with a new teammate, while Daniel Ricciardo’s arrival doesn’t surprise him, he is surprised that Carlos Sainz was signed by Ferrari…

Norris shocked by market moves

Lando Norris says the recent moves in the driver market came as “a bit of a shock”, but was not surprised McLaren signed Daniel Ricciardo for 2021. The driver market went crazy in May when Sebastian Vettel announced he would leave Ferrari at the end of the year.

Ferrari within days announced the signing of Norris’ current teammate, Carlos Sainz, as Vettel’s replacement, while McLaren snapped up Renault driver Ricciardo to join the team for 2021.

Norris says he didn’t expect Vettel to leave Ferrari, and Sainz get picked up as his replacement, the arrival of Ricciardo at McLaren came as little surprise given the team’s previous interest.

He told Motorsport.com, “It wasn’t so much of a surprise of Daniel coming to McLaren, but I think the bigger surprise was Carlos leaving McLaren for Ferrari and Vettel leaving Ferrari. I guess it was a bit of a shock.

“Especially because no one really expected Seb to do what he did and not to sign with Ferrari again. I think as soon as Seb didn’t sign, then you knew something was going to happen. Everyone seemed quite firmly in place with their teams because no one was really expecting it.”

Saying it was fair play for Sainz to go for the Ferrari seat, and is happy for him. He also says that the signing of Ricciardo was just as a surprise, but he knew that McLaren wanted him before last season. Norris believes it would bring race-winning experience to the team, as well as offering him a new experience by changing teammates for the first time.

Adding “Daniel’s obviously just got that bit more experience with working with those top teams and knowing what’s exactly needed to win races. So his mentality of that side of things is something that’s going to be different from what Carlos had and I think.”

Norris says that he has never spent two years in any category apart from my first years of karting, 2020 is a new situation where he doesn’t know what to expect, meaning it still relatively new for him.

 

Hans Mezger died at the age of ninety this week, his motorsport career led him to F1 in 1991. But, he had more success in other series….

Engine designer Mezger dies aged ninety

The architect of a line of successful racing engines at Porsche including the TAG-badged Formula One turbo V6, Hans Mezger died at the age of ninety.

He also headed up their entry into F1 in 1991 with the Footwork team at the end of a career with the German manufacturer that stretched back to 1956. He also designed the flat-six boxer engine for the 911 in 1963.

Mezger oversaw the development of the flat-12 that powered the Porsche 917 to a pair of Le Mans 24 Hours victories in 1970 and ’71 and the flat-sixes for the 935, 936 and 956/962 designs that between them won the French enduro no fewer than 11 times.

Mezger joined Porsche in 1956 straight from university, working initially on diesel engines before moving into its calculations department. Then in 1960 joined its F1 programme and then designed the Mezger engine’ for Porsche’s new 911 sportscar, which was originally called the 901.

Mezger was subsequently promoted to the department head of the new racing division set up by R&D boss Ferdinand Piech in 1965 where he oversaw the 917 project.

He also led the development of the TAG Turbo V6 commissioned by McLaren.

This engine powered the McLaren MP4/2 that Niki Lauda took to the F1 world title in 1984, before Alain Prost followed up on that success with back-to-back championships in 1985-86.

 

And that’s all from Reporters, goodbye

Jack

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.