Formula One: Kimi “Now, we are really a team”

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As the Scuderia come together to celebrate the start of the Christmas period and reflect on the achievements of the 2015 season, Ferrari President Sergio Marchionne thanked all the staff “and especially all the families, who supported them throughout a year of hard work. However, you know that the real battle starts in 2016, but we can count on two drivers who have already been world champions and engineers who can take us back to the top. This year, we’d have been happy with two wins, but we managed three, as well as a whole host of podium finishes. The most important thing is that, above all, we made the most of our in-house resources, without taking on too many outsiders.”
This sentiment was underlined by Scuderia Ferrari team principal, Maurizio Arrivabene. “Our aim for next year is to work with even more determination, to deserve this badge that we must wear with honour. A special thanks goes to our President, who has always supported us, putting himself in the front line. ‘We race’ is in our DNA.”

However, Christmas is also the time for gifts and those for Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Esteban Gutierrez were definitely made to measure, in the shape of armchairs made out of their respective driving seats.

Sebastian had prepared a long speech in perfect Italian. “This, my first year with Ferrari, has been fantastic, with plenty of successes. Hearing the German and Italian national anthems on the podium was an indescribable feeling. Thanks to all you men and women at Ferrari who, every year, put together this red miracle. Thanks for the affection you have shown me.”
Kimi’s message was more concise, but just as effective: This year did not get off to a very good start for me, but it ended on an upbeat. We must continue working together and then I’m sure the results will come. Because now, we are really a team and actually, I’m sure we will be a great team.” For the drivers, it’s now time for a holiday, but at Maranello, the work goes on…

Formula One: F1 2015 stat heaven!

Pirelli OZ

 

With the 2015 Formula One season complete, Pirelli have put together this series of fantastic infographics to summarise the season.

Enjoy!

It’s incredible to see that half of the F1 tyres produced in a season don’t actually get used, and reassuring to see that 100% of tyres produced are recycled.

P1P3P2P4

 

 

Formula One: New names injected into the Red Bull Junior Team

RBR Helmet

Though the final line up of the 2016 Red Bull Junior Team will not be announced until the new year, there are at least three new names that will be featuring next season: Sérgio Sette Câmara, Niko Kari and Luis Leeds.

Luis Leeds

Born 6/3/2000 in Melbourne, Australia
Competing in the 2016 MSA Formula with Arden

The 2015 Mexican Grand Prix was a big event for Australian Leeds, who grabbed the attention of the F1 world by convincingly winning the opening race of the new Mexican F4 Series. “To travel overseas and race in Mexico was an amazing experience and to have the success was unbelievable,” enthused the 15-year-old, who has just completed his first F4 season in Australia.

“To think that I am now part of the Red Bull Junior Team is just incredible and I can’t wait for the MSA Formula season to start in Britain. I know that the level of competition will be much higher, but at least the cars will be the same so I can take what I have learnt here and make use of it.”

Niko Kari

Born 6/10/1999 in Tuusula, Finland
Competing in the 2016 FIA Formula 3 European Championship with Motopark/Timo Rumpfkeil

Finnish 16-year-old Kari comes to the team as SMP F4 Champion, having dominated the Northern European series with seven wins and 19 podiums from the 21 races. “It was a great year and the series had some really good drivers so it wasn’t easy. I believe that if you do your work well you can achieve your aims and shouldn’t be worried about it,” asserted Kari.

“That’s the way I am looking at next season, of course I will have a lot to learn in F3 but I will work hard to make the best of this big opportunity. It’s a great feeling to be invited to be part of the Red Bull Junior Team. I think it will be a fantastic year, I can’t wait to see Pau, that will be my first street circuit and to go to Spa, that is my favourite, I have already tested there a few times in a Formula Renault and F3 car.”

Sérgio Sette Câmara

Born 23/5/1998 in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Competing in the 2016 FIA Formula 3 European Championship with Motopark/Timo Rumpfkeil

With impressive pace at Zandvoort and Macau, Sérgio showed something of what he is capable of. “Yes, my first season in single seater didn’t start that well for me, but the podium in Spa came at the right time and from there things improved a lot and especially the second part of the season with the podium at Red Bull Ring and the third in the Zandvoort Masters gave me a lot of confidence.”

“I am very proud to join the Red Bull family and it is a great opportunity to be part of it, I am very grateful for it. I am very confident for this coming season and really looking forward to start competing again. I am sure that, together with the team and working on the same direction as we are, we will get our objectives.”

Formula One: Toto Wolff – 21 race calendar a real challenge

Toto

 

In a packed out media briefing session at the Mercedes Stars and Cars event in Stuttgart Toto Wolff, when questioned about the prospect of 21 races in the 2016 Formula One Season commented that 19 races in 2015 was already a lot, with the travelling team growing tired by the end of the season.

As the team plan for the 2016 season they cannot be sure the current structure will work, this may mean that the team could look towards a 2nd shift programme for the travelling team and evaluate the way in which team members are able to ensure appropriate rest considerations are made.

Formula One management have made efforts to reduce the long haul travel requirements across the season in 2016, shifting all Asian races together, and 3 Americas events taking place over a 30 day period. Whilst these changes will extend the time teams are on the road they will reduce requirements around shipping team materials across the globe.

Formula One: #StarsAndCars 2015 Build Up

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With drivers preparing for this this evening’s Stars and Cars event in Stuttgart to celebrate the success of Mercedes Benz across Motorsport in 2015, now seems like a good time to share a few stats and facts about the event.

Hosted in the Mercedes Benz Arena, the track took 108 hours to build with over 3100 people involved, the track is 681 metres in length and required 2400t of gravel and 1220 of tarmac to prepare. The track width varies between 7-8m. It is estimated a lap will take around 33 seconds in an SLS AMG GT3, with a Vmax of around approximately 106km/h

The event will be broken down in to 4 rounds with progressively more powerful vehiles used in each round. Starting with AMG A 45 4Matic and culminating in the SLS AMG GT3.  Drivers across all walks of Mercedes Benz racing will be taking part with both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in attendance alongside DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein.

Each round will require drivers to complete two laps on each configuration of the circuit (the inside and outside) with a mandatory switch between configurations after each lap. Unlike events such as the Race of Champions, the crossover from inside to outside circuit configuration will require drivers to switch lanes.

Having witnessed a few of the warm up laps this morning, the tight and twisty nature of the circuit appears to be quite a challenge for the drivers, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few spins and contact as the day progresses.

You can tune into the broadcast on the Mercedes Benz website following this link

Formula One: Lewis shows off his circus skills

LHJC

Lewis Hamilton continued his tour of the US chat show circuit appearing on the CBS’s  Late Late Show with James Corden yesterday.

With the show attracting a nightly audience excess of 1.3M, Lewis continues to build his reputation in the US, a market in which  F1 has historically struggled to gain traction.

Through the interview Lewis showed off his skills on a unicycle and talked openly about his ambitions in the music industry.

US chat shows booking appearances from Lewis demonstrate his appeal outside of traditional motorsport output. Bernie Ecclestone will  be hoping Lewis can bring some of this new audience towards F1 in 2016.

Clips of the interview can be seen below:

 

Formula One: Pirelli announces compound choices and compulsory sets for the 2016 Australian Grand Prix

Pirelli OZ

Pirelli will bring the following three compounds to the opening round of the 2016 Formula One season in Australia:
P Zero White medium

P Zero Yellow soft

P Zero Red supersoft

These are the tyres that Pirelli has said must be used at some point in the race:

One set of P Zero White medium
One set of P Zero Yellow soft

Each driver must have both these sets available for the race, and must use at least one of them.

There are the tyres assigned for Q3 in qualifying:
One set of P Zero Red supersoft

Following on from the 2016 regulations, each driver must save one set of the softest of the three nominated compounds for Q3. This set will be given back to Pirelli after Q3 for those who qualify in the top 10, but the remaining drivers will keep it for the race – as is the case currently.

The teams are free to choose the remaining sets; making up 13 sets in total for the weekend.

Formula One: Lewis Does Kimmel

LewisKimmel

 

Earlier this week Lewis Hamilton made an appearance on US network ABC chat show Jimmy Kimmel live. Lewis Hamilton appearing on a show such as this in the close season serves to further demonstrate the driver’s market appeal away from the track.

Check out a clip from the show here:

Over the course of this week Lewis has received criticism from the likes of Martin Brundle for electing not to attend the Autosport awards earlier in the week:

 

These remarks possibly prompted Lewis to comment on the ceremony during his interview with Kimmel.

Whilst it is unfortunate Lewis elected not to attend the awards, on balance if the decision was between the Autosport Awards, broadcast to a limited established audience or seek to further broaden the awareness of not only Lewis Hamilton himself but of the sport he represents, appearing on Jimmy Kimmel live to an audience of 2.5M was by far the more logical move.

The current era of F1 drivers are often criticised for lacking personality. Lewis Hamilton,  has over the course of the 2015 made reestablished the playboy image of F1 drivers with a modern twist. This image makes his profile appealing to an audience away from the sport, Lewis has taken on the role of bringing this audience to F1.

 

 

Formula One: McLaren-Honda and Jenson Button renew partnership with Santander

Jenson Button in the garage.

McLaren-Honda have announced  the extension of its partnership with leading bank Santander UK plc.

The agreement is set to continue the partnership for a further five years until the end of 2020, with British driver and 2009 F1™ World Champion, Jenson Button, continuing to feature prominently in Santander campaigns.

Having first partnered together in 2007, McLaren-Honda and Santander have enjoyed a long and successful relationship. Since then, McLaren-Honda and Jenson Button have appeared in many of Santander’s campaigns, including a number of TV adverts, the launch of Santander’s vision for a London Grand Prix in 2012, ‘Secret Santa’ customer surprises and, most recently, the ‘Summer of Cycling’ events on Santander Cycles across London.

McLaren has played an important role in helping establish and grow the Santander brand in the UK, where it is now a household name and has become the nation’s most switched-to bank, attracting one in four new retail customers.

Ekrem Sami, managing director of McLaren Marketing, said: “Santander and McLaren-Honda have enjoyed an incredibly strong and mutually beneficial relationship since 2007. Our renewed partnership demonstrates a well-founded belief in the team’s ability to successfully activate brands around a shared, common vision for the future. I look forward to developing the relationship and hope to see it continue to go from strength to strength for both brands.”

Keith Moor, chief marketing officer for Santander UK, added: “Our sponsorship of McLaren and Jenson Button has played an important role in helping Santander build a strong awareness across the UK, helping to establish ourselves as a scale challenger to the ‘Big 4’ banks with the 1I2I3 Current Account and, more recently, support our launch of the Santander Cycles scheme in London.”

Jenson Button, McLaren-Honda driver, said: “I’m really pleased to continue working with Santander, as is everyone at McLaren-Honda. We’ve enjoyed a great partnership to date and I look forward to that continuing. While first and foremost I’m a racing driver, I’m also a passionate cyclist, and so I’m looking forward to doing more with Santander Cycles and helping encourage more people to get involved.”

So we can expect more FANTASTIC adverts like this in 2016!

Click here to follow the SantanderGP Twitter feed.

Click here to follow Jenson Button on Twitter.

Formula One: Red Bull Racing PUMA partnership confirmed

Puma RBR
Red Bull Racing have just reconfirmed their agreement a long-term partnership with PUMA, as Team Partner and Supplier of Race and Teamwear as well as Licensed Partner for the 2016 Formula One season and beyond.
This new partnership aims to reinvent the concept of Formula One fashion. PUMA will apply a unique and energetic approach to its licensed product collection with Red Bull Racing that will result in innovative, eye-catching designs in lifestyle and replica ranges, as well as race and teamwear.
The strong synergy between these two brands presents an exciting opportunity to activate global marketing initiatives as Red Bull Racing delivers F1 power to PUMA in support of their mission to become the fastest sport brand in the world. The team will be part of PUMA’s elite partnership portfolio, joining the likes of Usain Bolt, Arsenal Football Club and the Italian National Football team.
Red Bull Racing’s history with PUMA goes all the way back to its first years in F1 and this new agreement revitalizes a highly successful relationship enjoyed by the two between 2007 and 2010.
Commenting on the reinvigoration of the partnership between the team and PUMA;
Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal said: “We are looking forward to working with PUMA once again. This new partnership fits in with a global partnership that already exists between Red Bull and PUMA, involving athletes in other disciplines, the Wings For Life charity and various other Red Bull projects. The licensed collection that will launch in 2016 is looking fantastic; I’m sure the fans are going to love it.”
Björn Gulden, Chief Executive Officer for PUMA added: “PUMA and Red Bull have a great brand synergy, and this new partnership with Red Bull Racing is another big statement for PUMA. There is huge potential within the wider Red Bull organisation to build upon this partnership and explore new territory, and there is an enthusiasm amongst both companies to do so. Red Bull Racing is a great team with massive appeal, and this is another positive step in our desire to become the Fastest Sport Brand in the World.”