REPORTERS – 17/03/2017

Features This Week

McLaren and Honda appear to be at breaking point. This week it turned into open revolt and would a return to Mercedes power bring wins?

McLaren capable of winning, if they had Mercedes power

McLaren’s Eric Boullier says the team would be capable of winning if they still had Mercedes power. The British team gave up Mercedes engines three years ago to reunite with Honda in an exclusive partnership for the start of the sport’s new turbo era.

But its not been a happy few years, and recently tensions have seen the partnership hit rock bottom following a tough winter testing when they finished second bottom of the timesheets and recorded the fewest number of laps.

Asked directly at Barcelona by Spanish publication AS if he believed McLaren would be winners if they were armed with Mercedes power, Boullier replied: “I think we would.”

Pressed whether he meant in 2017, Boullier reiterated: “Yes, we’d be winning again.” The Frenchman’s remarks follow remarks by Fernando Alonso, who gave a damming assessment of the teams form in testing.

Alonso said “We have only one problem which is the power unit. There is no reliability and there is no power. We are 30kph down on the straight.” The Spaniard is in the final year of his contract.


Red Bull head into this season with the most talked about line ups. But can Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen lead the team back to the top?

Pushing to the Max

Red Bull could be the team this season were the internal battle could be the most talked about driver pairing this season and with them set to be in the top end of the field. Even thou they currently look to be behind Ferrari and Mercedes they would give up likely.

The team has one of the best line-ups with the smiling Australian assassin Daniel Ricciardo and the exciting Dutch teenager Max Verstappen. Both men have the speed and the ability which makes them both firm fan favourites. Speaking about the line-up, Christian Horner said “There is a buzz around him that is growing and growing.”

“You saw the people that turned out to see him at Spa last year….there is a national following behind him. But beyond that there is this raw talent. His potential is enormous and that is what is so exciting about him. He is so grounded.”

Ricciardo is rapidly becoming a fan favourite because not only his on-track fight but his attitude off track, cheeky charm and the ‘shoey’, in which has become a trademark celebration. His eyes will be on another ‘shoey’ next weekend at his home race.

Horner told The I paper “You suspect they both have more evolution and it will be interesting to see the battle between the two of them this year.”


John Surtees an icon of world motorsport died last week. The only man to win Moto GP and Formula One championships his achievements will never be repeated again.

John Surtees dies following short illness

The former Moto GP and Formula One world champion John Surtees has died following a short illness. The 83-year old is the only man to have won titles at the top of motorcycling and car racing.

Born in 1935, Surtees made his motorsports debut at the 1952 Ulster Grand Prix in Moto GP before switching to Formula One debut in the 1960 Monaco Grand Prix. In his career he won four world championships across both series.

Son of a motorcycle dealer he made his debut aged fifteen alongside his father in a sidecar, but was disqualified after winning because of his age before going on to work for Norton.

He raced for the manufacturer until 1959, his first taste of success in world Motorsport came in the 250cc race at the 1955 Ulster Grand Prix. Before winning three world championships the first in 1957 than three back-to-bat in both then 350cc and 500cc classes in the same seasons. Before his F1 debut for Colin Chatman’s Lotus 1960 in Monaco.

A family statement read “after a short period in intensive care he passed away peacefully this afternoon. His wife, Jane and daughters, Leonora and Edwina were by his side.”

“We deeply mourn the loss of such an incredible, kind and loving man as well as celebrate his amazing life.

His achievements earned him an MBE in 1959 and winning BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. However, he responded by setting up the Henry Surtees Foundation, which will undoubtedly be his legacy.


Full report. Bernie Ecclestone’s departure was one of the biggest shocks to Formula One in decades. But what is his future involvement and does he forgive Liberty for ousting him?

I would have liked to stay

Chairman Emeritus Berine Ecclestone, says he would have liked to have remained as CEO for another year, but doesn’t feel let down by the new owners. In his first television interview since the coup, Ecclestone told Sky Sports he understood the American firm’s decisions.

“They bought the car, they wanted to drive it,” he said. In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with Craig Slater, Ecclestone also revealed: He has been asked to negotiate a new contract with Brazil’s president, he plans to be at half the races and there are no hard feeling towards Liberty or Chase Carey.

When Liberty took over last year Ecclestone said he had been asked to stay on by the American media firm for a further three seasons. But following the takeover Liberty installed Ross Brawn and Sean Bratches as managing directors to oversee sporting and commercial sides.

Ecclestone has been put in an advisory role with Carey saying his  “advice will be invaluable” as the new owners get up to speed in the sport. Asked if he felt let down, Ecclestone said: “Not at all. I know the way the world operates.”

But asked if he would have made the same change as Liberty, Ecclestone replied: “Probably not. I would have asked them to work with me for a bit, wait for a year and afterwards say ‘has it worked, not worked?’ ‘Not worked? Sorry, you’ll have to leave,’ or whatever.


Sir Jack Brabham Australia’s only champion has yet more honors. So why has the Royal Australian Mint given him a special coin?

Brabham commemorated with a coin

The Royal Australian Mint has honoured the three-time world champion Sir Jack Brabham with a commemorative 50-cent coin

. Sir Jack won three world titles, including one in his own car in 1966 and died in 2014 aged eighty-eight.

Royal Australian Mint chief executive Ross MacDiarmid said Brabham’s career and legacy deserved recognition. “Sir Jack Brabham was not only a superb racing car driver but he was also an innovative engineer and pioneer, paving the way forward for motorsports.”

“As we enter the 2017 Formula One season, this coin celebrates one of the world’s motor racing greats and his remarkable achievements, on and off the track.”

His son, the former F1 driver and Le Mans winner David, added the coin was an important tribute to Sir Jack as his achievements “are likely to never be repeated with today’s technology replacing hands-on experience.”

“This coin encourages us all to share the Brabham legacy and recognise what is possible if you put your heart, soul and mind into it just like Jack, a pioneer of his time.”


That’s all from Reporters for 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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