Formula One: ‘No Comment’ from Renault on 2017 Power Unit Supply

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Renault have declined to comment on plans around teams to whom they will supply power units to in 2017.  Power unit manufacturers were required to supply the FIA with a list of works and customer teams for the 2017 season by May 15th (the Spanish Grand Prix) So far Honda and Mercedes have confirmed no change in team supply, leaving Renault and Ferrari to confirm plans.

Renault’s reluctance to share information on power unit supply suggests a change in team allocation  is to be expected. With the 2016 spec power unit a significant step forward for the manufacturer and further gains being seen as the manufacturer develops the unit, it can be expected customer teams may have approached the French manufacturer.

It is highly likely Red Bull Racing will continue ‘white label’ PU supply agreement, with Scuderia Toro Rosso the most likely team to switch back to Renault to ensure 2017 technology. Sauber and Haas are the other Ferrari customers, Haas have a long-term partnership with Ferrari with no change expected. Sauber whilst long standing customers of the Scuderia may consider a change if the Renault PU is more affordable.

Formula One: 2016 F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize launched

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Tata Communications, Official Connectivity Provider to  Formula 1® and the Official Managed Connectivity Supplier of the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team, is launching the 2016 F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize, and unveiling the first challenge of the competition. The aim of the USD $50,000 prize is to inspire fans worldwide to harness their technical know-how and passion for F1® racing to drive innovation in the sport through two technology challenges. This year’s challenges will focus on how virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) technologies could be used to make the sport more immersive for fans, and help the teams work more effectively together in the run-up to and during each Grand Prix.  

The first challenge, set by Formula One Management, calls on technology enthusiasts to develop a solution that uses VR and AR to enable fans at home to experience a Grand Prix virtually. The solution should allow fans who are not at the live event to immerse themselves into the exhilarating world of F1® racing – from the pit lane and the Formula One Paddock Club™, to the drivers’ parade and the starting grid formation.

John Morrison, Chief Technical Officer of Formula One Management and one of the judges, says, “We want to give as many fans as possible the opportunity to experience first-hand the thrill of a Grand Prix – and VR or AR could enable us to do just that. These technologies represent the next big innovation opportunity for the sport. In the not-too-distant future, they could enable fans to get virtually transported to a Grand Prix, complementing and enriching the race experience.” 

“In the last two years, the F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize has grown into a major platform for showcasing the huge potential of data and superfast connectivity in boosting F1® teams’ competitiveness, and in bringing fans closer to the sport,” says Julie Woods-Moss, Tata Communications’ CMO and CEO of its NextGen Business. “We now invite fans from all over the world to share their ideas for how VR and AR could take fan engagement to the next level.”

In addition to John Morrison, the jury includes Lewis Hamilton, driver of the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team; Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical) of the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team; David Coulthard, former Formula 1® race driver and Channel 4’s F1® racing Lead Expert Analyst and commentator; Martin Brundle, former Formula 1® race driver and F1® commentator for Sky Sports F1® and Mehul Kapadia, Managing Director of F1® Business at Tata Communications.

The jury will pick three winners from each challenge of the F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize. The six winners will be awarded trips to the 2016 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX in October, where the jury will announce the Grand Prize winner. The Grand Prize is a cheque for $50,000 and a bespoke trophy. A full brief for the first F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize challenge can be downloaded from the F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize website. The closing date for the first challenge is 16th June. The second challenge will be set by the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team in July.  

Tata Communications is the Official Connectivity Provider of Formula 1®, enabling the sport to seamlessly reach its tens of millions of fans across the globe.

Formula One: Admiral Yachts join Renault in Monaco

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Admiral Yachts branding can be seen on the engine cover of the R.S.16 this weekend in Monaco. The partnership will include a technical collaboration between the groups. Admiral Yachts is a member of The Italian Sea Group, one of the biggest conglomerate groups in the boating industry.

In a rare public comment since returned to team ownership, former team owner, now team shareholder Gerard Lopez, Renault Sport Formula One Team, Director comments:

“This is an exciting new partnership between Renault Sport Formula One Team and Admiral Yachts. Admiral Yachts are at the cutting edge in their field so there are many synergies between us and them. They utilise sophisticated design processes and hybrid power so there are distinct areas where we can both add valuable input to each other’s business. As a global entity The Italian Sea Group alliance covers all sectors from entry level to the luxury segment. Our association with the luxury brand Admiral Yachts has fantastic synergies with our portfolio of partners also in the premium sector including Infiniti, Bell and Ross, APL and Devialet. There is no better location to herald this new union than the jewel in the Formula1 crown, the Monaco Grand Prix, and we are both looking forward to a fruitful future together.”

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Giuseppe Taranto, CEO, The Italian Sea Group, adds:
“We are proud to commence this relationship on the year of the fiftieth anniversary of Admiral Yachts and we were naturally drawn to the gold represented on the best looking car on the Formula 1 grid. The speeds of a Formula 1 car and those of a luxury yacht are very different yet both are at the represent the very forefront of technology. We are harnessing the exciting area of hybrid power in a very different form to that seen in a Formula 1 car, yet our engineers will be able to learn a lot from the Formula 1 relationship and I hope we can give valuable insight to Renault Sport Formula One Team too.”

Further information on Admiral Yachts can be found here. Its seems we may have found the Renault Sport F1 team’s hideout for the weekend!

 

Formula One: Monza set for radical overhaul

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The Autodromo Nazionale Monza, home of the Italian Grand Prix is set for a radical overahaul, which pending final approval will be completed by March 2017.

Dromo, Italian circuit design house are leading project which will see the average speed around circuit dubbed the ‘temple of speed’ increase substantially. In what will be the 9th iteration of the circuit layout,  Dromo have submitted plans to remove the current first  corner chicane replacing it with a full throttle turn one. This change has been proposed in part to address safety concerns around the high number of incidents which have occured across many racing categories throughout the history of the current layout of the circuit.   In removing the first corner chicane, the start finish straight will extend to 1400 metres in length, making it the longest straight on the F1 calendar. Simulations suggest F1 machinery can expect to exceed 350KMPH around the modified circuit.

Already the fastest Grand Prix on the F1 calender, race simulations on the new circuit suggest a significant reduction in overall lap time and as a consequence a further reduction in overall race time. An F1 race is limited by length rather than time,  race distance is capped at 305KM.

Turns two and three will see a significant elevation change of 2.5 metres, which will result in a challenging blind entry to the corner. Further changes to the circuit will include resurfacing and additional re-profiling of corners as well as modifications to run off areas.

Speaking to JWGP, Jarno Zaffelli  head of circuit design and the Dromo company itself, confirmed that the proposed modifications to the circuit have been made with both FIA and FIM (motorcycles) requirements in mind. Dromo have been awarded the contract to redevelop the circuit, have gained provisional approval of the changes from the FIA and FOM and have submitted the redevelopment to local government for approval. Once local approval is granted, Dromo along with circuit owners will return to the FIA and FOM for final design approval.

Pending this approval, work will commence in November 2016 and is scheduled to take 6 months. Redevelopment of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza is not directly linked to ongoing negotiations to extend Formula One hosting rights for the Italian Grand Prix beyond the current contract which expires at following the 2016 running of the event.

Formula One: Massa’s Monaco helmet design

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Williams Martini Racing have released images of Felipe Massa’s special edition Monaco helmet design. Under FIA regulations it is understood Massa will not be permitted to use the helmet during on track sessions, although it is possible the team have agreed a form of  dispensation.

The penatly for electing to run an alternative design is believed to be financial only, it could be that Massa or Williams have elected to pay a fee in order to use the design. The helmet design itself comes from Brazilian Street Artists OSGEMEOS translated as “THETWINS”, Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo.

More information on OSGEMEOS can be found here

Further design images:

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Formula One: VIDEO – Häkkinen explores Monaco

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Two Time Formula One World Champion Mika Häkkinen, as an ambassador for UBS, took Amanda Davies out for a lap of the Principality to discuss his racing highlights around the circuit and give his take on how the Mercedes AMG Petronas Team will approach the racing weekend.

Winner of the race in 1998, Häkkinen talks about how he thought he had thrown away his only chance of victory, clipping the wall at Rascasse with only 5 laps remaining.

Filmed in gap between the Historic Grand Prix event held in Monaco and the F1 weekend, Häkkinen does not offer opinion on the incident between the two Mercedes drivers at the Spanish Grand Prix. Instead he reflects on how the team will have learnt lessons from the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix in which Hamilton reacted to a late safety car period by electing to pit from the lead under the assumption that those around him, including his team mate, would do the same in so doing handing the victory to his team mate Nico Rosberg.

Häkkinen does very well to avoid answering the question on whether or not he thinks Lewis will take his second Monaco victory this weekend.

 

 

 

IndyCar: VIDEO -100th Running of the Indy 500

This weekend will see the 100th running of the Indy 500 take place. Mobil One’s the Grid explore the history of the event and interview previous race winners including; Juan Pablo Montoya, Vin Diesel Tony Kanaan, and Ryan Hunter Reay, Alongside drivers bidding to find success around the brickyard such as Marco Andretti.

In addition to sharing dates, the Indy 500 shares the accolade of the jewel in motorsport crown with the Monaco Grand Prix. With an expected track side audience of 400,000 and a global viewing audience in the 100 millions, wining the Indy 500, like winning around Monaco raises a driver to truly iconic status.

 

Formula One: Monaco Tips + Spot the missing Driver

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If we can take anything from the Spanish Grand Prix it is expect the unexpected, with that in mind, but with a sustained sense of reality, here are my top tips for the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.

Qualifying.

With overtaking around the streets of Monaco almost impossible many see qualifying on Saturday as the real race over the weekend. Drivers will be looking to build momentum towards a performance crescendo in the session, expect drivers to be completing a lot more laps than typical qualifying sessions, and expect to hear a lot of complaints about traffic!

Qualifying pace is likely to come down to the team with the greatest ability to turn up performance over the weekend and the team most comfortable on the new Ultra Soft tyre compound. Mercedes elected not to run the tyre in testing, offering Red Bull and Ferrari hold an advantage. Odds of 10/1 are on offer for either Daniel Ricciardo or Max Verstappen to set pole, 12/1 for Vettel and interestingly 25/1 for Kimi Raikkonen. Kimi is quietly performing very well this year, currently sitting 2nd in the driver’s championship the SF16-H clearly suits his driving style. The 2007 champion and previous Monaco winner is long overdue a return to the front of the grid, with long odds like that he might be worth consideration.

Check out William Hill here for more.

Weather

The 5-day forecast predicts a 60% chance of rain for race day. Whilst this is still a bit far out, a rain affected Monaco Grand Prix often throws up interesting results, who can forget the 1996 race in which Olivier Panis won in a Ligier, and only 4 cars passed the finish line.

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Keep an eye on the weather forecast as the weekend progresses, should rain look likely come Friday I would look towards the drivers who have performed well around Monaco in junior series, such as the Renault duo of Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer as outsiders for an each way split as race winners (which would mean a payout at 1/3 odds for a podium finish) available at 2000/1

Check out William Hill here for more.

Red Bull Racing

Whilst the Mercedes team and drivers claim to have moved on from the race ending incident in Spain, pressure will be at an all time high heading into Monaco. Hamilton has not won a race since Austin 2015, and for one reason or another hasn’t been able to beat Nico around Monaco since they became teammates. Could the pressure to perform could prove too much and a repeat of the Spanish incident could be possible?

Red Bull Racing showed, as in 2014, when Mercedes slip up they will be there to pick up the pieces. With odds of 9/1 on either RBR driving taking the chequered flag, the Austrian team should be considered an option for the weekend.

Check out William Hill here for more.

 Mclaren

I’ve been talking about Mclaren’s Monaco prospects since before the Spanish Grand Prix (in this article and this one!) the same theory stands. Mclaren have pace on low speed corners, they have a strong chassis and a restored air of confidence. Alonso has commented Monaco should be the teams best race of the year.

With odds still available at 100/1 for Alonso and 150/1 for Button for a win. A punt on the team should be given serious thought. A win would still require retirements from the top teams and as we have seen that already this year this can not be ruled out. Taking an each way split or podium offering could be a winner.

Check out William Hill here for more.

Spot the missing driver

Finally, a quiz for you all to play when checking out bookies odds for the Monaco Grand Prix. Spot the driver missing from all the odds. Check out the Monaco section on this site , and see if you can see which driver is missing.

Answers on a postcard… or in the comments section below. Name the driver and the crazy speculation as to why he is not included!

Enjoy the Monaco Grand Prix!

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Formula One: Mercedes dispel “Hamilton to miss Monaco” rumours

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Mercedes AMG Petronas have dismissed any speculation that Lewis Hamilton is set to miss this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix commenting on social media:

Rumours have been circulating on social media of additional tension in the team following the Spanish Grand Prix having come to ahead. These rumours appear to be without any merit. Attention should now focus to the racing weekend in prospect.

Formula One: Monaco Target “Stay out of the walls” Verstappen

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After his sensational maiden win at the Spanish Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen is keeping his feet firmly on the ground. Acknowledging the Red Bull Racing RB12 should be strong around the streets of Monaco, Max’s first target is simply to stay out of the walls. Something Verstappen didn’t quite manage in the 2015 running of the event, when whilst running 11th for Scuderia Toro Rosso miscalculated an overtaking manoeuvre against Romain Grosjean into Turn 1 in the closing stages of the race.

Verstappen goes on to comment that with a competitive car, he expects to be close the front end of the grid and believes a podium result could be possible.

Both Max and Daniel have high expectations for Monaco and the subsequent races in Canada and Baku, believing the nature of the circuits will suit not only the RB12 but their respective driving styles
“I always enjoy racing street circuits like Monaco because you are really pushing the limit and are very close to the walls, it gives you a great feeling that you are on top of your car and getting the most out of it.” Comments Max

 
As the only team to win a race besides Mercedes in 2016, Red Bull Racing are now regarded by pundits and bookies as the team most likely to challenge the Silver Arrows in Monaco. After a successful in season rest in Barcelona, Renault look set to introduce the B-Spec power unit for both the Renault works team and Red Bull Racing (under Tag Heuer branding) Sources within Renault claim the updated Power Unit could be worth as much as 0.5 seconds a lap.
 
Despite this, it is still possible to gets odds of 10/1 on either Verstappen or Ricciardo to win on Sunday with William Hill. With a podium for one of the drivers looking achievable, an each way bet might be worth considering.