Formula One: F1 ownership broken down

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Throughout motorsport journalism there is often talk around who owns Formula One, and what exactly do they own. Paul Caramés of Business and Sport, has put together this fantastic set of infographics to try and explain the true ownership of the sport.

The second chart below details the value shareholders have extracted from the sport:

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This final chart indicates the FOM race fees taken from each of the circuits the F1 circus will visit over the 2016 season:

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The differences between each venue is quite staggering. When you take a cold view of the value creation from each circuit it is entirely understandable why FOM may seek to move away from Europe to more lucrative venues.

To anyone interested in the finances behind Formula One, this data goes someway to explain the complicated ownership model behind the sport.

Data shown in this article is collected through publicly available sources. It is by no means definitive, rather illustrative based on best information availble.

You can follow Business & Sport on twitter here

Many thanks to Paul Caramés for agreeing to my reposting this data here on JWGP.

Formula One: Longbow Finances acquire Sauber F1 Team

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The Sauber group have announced  a change in ownership. Following the signing of the acquisition agreement with the current shareholders, Longbow Finance S.A. will fully acquire Sauber Holding AG which is the ultimate holding company of the Sauber Group. It is Longbow Finance S.A.’s clear intention to stabilise the group and create the basis for a competitive and successful future. This transaction also secures the continuation of the brand Sauber in Formula One and will open opportunities to further grow the engineering activities of the group. There will be no changes to either the company or the team name.

Peter Sauber will retire from all functions, being succeeded by Pascal Picci as Chairman of Sauber Holding A.G. Monisha Kaltenborn will remain as a member of the Board of Directors and continue to lead the company in her functions as CEO and Team Principal.

Pascal Picci, President & CEO, Longbow Finance S.A.:
“As a Swiss company, we are very pleased with having secured the future of a Swiss presence in a highly specialized and innovative industry.”

Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO and Team Principal:
“We are very pleased that by reaching an agreement with Longbow Finance S.A., we can secure the future of Sauber at the pinnacle of motorsport. We are convinced that Longbow Finance S.A. is the perfect partner to again make the team competitive and successful in Formula 1. At the same time the new structure will allow us to finally further expand our third party business in which we commercialise our know-how. This solution is in the best interest of our employees, partners, loyal suppliers, the base in Hinwil and for the Swiss motorsport. We are very grateful that Longbow Finance S.A.believes in the competences, efficiency and capabilities of Sauber Group, and we look forward to a new exciting future.”

Peter Sauber, President of the Board of Directors, Sauber Holding AG:
“Monisha Kaltenborn and I yesterday signed an agreement which secures the future of the Formula 1 Team and the Sauber Group. I am very happy that my courageous investment to buy the team back, which I made six years ago, with the intention to secure the base in Hinwil and the place in Formula 1 has proved to be correct.”

More to follow

Formula One: Nasr committed to Sauber for 2017 – JWGP Exclusive Interview

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Ahead of the 2016 Hungarian Grand Prix, JWGP caught up with UK based Brazilian driver Felipe Nasr to discuss his season to date, his views on the halo device and future regulation changes, along with a view on his plans for 2017 and beyond.

  • As we head towards the mid point in the F1 season, how would you rate your performance so far?

Felipe Nasr: In absolute terms it might look not good, relatively to last year it is not good, but when you look deep into it I think it is a good performance. Together with the Team we managed to do some very good races.

  • How have you developed as a driver from 2015-2016?

FN: Learning, the popular saying goes, never exhausts the mind! I can say that, I am more excited every day with the developments we have made and those that we have in the pipeline.

  • From a driver’s perspective can you explain the impact of the challenges Sauber have faced in 2016?

FN: We are a big family and whenever one part of it is suffering, we all suffer together. One impact in one point reverberates everywhere.

  • How do you approach a race weekend? What motivates you?

FN: Besides the physical preparation a lot of mental focus. The motivation comes from the fact that I am living my dream: to be a F1 driver one of the 22 chosen ones.

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  • What would you say are the key strengths of the 2016 Sauber? Which of the circuits left on the calendar do you expect the car to suit?

FN: We have a good project base from 2015 and with the proper modifications the car can be competitive and score points. We have one update now in Hungary and other packages in races 13 and 14. We are all positively waiting for that.

  • What would you like to see from your team through the remainder of 2016?

FN: The same enthusiasm and commitment that they showed until now.

  • What do you think of the 2017 regulation changes? Do you think they will improve racing? Have Sauber started working on the 2017 car?

FN:It is in the F1 DNA to keep changing and improving. For sure the races will have another balance of power, here at Sauber we have not given up on the 2016 car, but we have already thoughts about what the 2017 car will be.

  • What is your position on the Halo system? Do you think it is the right solution? Is this the right direction for the sport?

FN: A solution has to be found and I am sure that the best one will be chosen.

  • Looking ahead to 2017, you will be out of contract with Sauber, are you talking to other teams on the grid? If so which?

FN: I have a contract with Sauber until the end of the year, I have to think about the here and the now. Why not to continue here in 2017, after putting so much effort together?

  • Have the team kept you informed regarding commercial developments to secure the future of the team? Do you believe they will find a solution?

FN: As I said before we are a family and we have to be honest and talk about everything between us, I can assure you that the solution is already there.

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  • Brazil has a strong heritage in motorsport, how important is the continued fan support to you? What do you think about rumours Interlagos may disappear from the calendar?

FN: Brazil also has a very strong tradition about rumours, it is not the first time that the end of Interlagos is announced. I am sure that in the end everything will be arranged.

  • How would you describe the F1 paddock atmosphere?

FN: Competitive, highly competitive all the time!

  • Can you give a bit of background as to your Banco do Brasil relationship? how did it come about? what does the partnership mean for you and prospective future developments?

FN: Banco do Brasil started sponsoring me when I still was racing in GP2. They wanted to diversify as they were heavily concentrated on Volleyball.  For them it was a very good move and they are very happy both in the promotional and commercial aspects, Motor Racing opened a lot of new opportunities for them and their products all over the World. For me they are fundamental for future developments and plans.

  • What do you think of racing series such as Formula E or WEC? Would you consider a drive in either of these series after Formula One?

FN: Formula E has [seen] a lot of success and WEC has always been one of the stepping stones of Motor Racing. They are both options for my racing career after F1.

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JWGP would like to thank Felipe Nasr for taking time out of his Hungarian GP preparations for this interview. Thanks also to Carlos Lua for facilitating our time together. All the best to Felipe Nasr and the Sauber F1Team for the Hungarian GP and the remainder of the season.

You can follow Felipe Nasr on Twitter here & the Sauber F1 Team here

Formula One: Thales join Williams

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Williams have announced is a new technical partnership with Thales, a leader in critical information systems, cyber security and data protection.

As part of the agreement Thales will deliver state-of-the-art cyber security solutions for real-time global telemetry transmission to both WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING and Williams Advanced Engineering, the engineering services and technology division of Williams.

Thales designs, develops and operates resilient and high-performance critical information systems supported by its 2,000 cyber security experts and world class data protection and digital trust management solutions, protecting mission critical data anywhere data resides. Cyber security, especially data protection, is of the utmost importance in the competitive world of Formula One.

Speaking about the new partnership Marc Darmon, Executive Vice-President, Secure Communication and Information Systems for Thales said; “Thales is a world class cyber security expert and a globally recognised systems integrator, delivering safety and security critical systems in challenging environments such as Aerospace, Space, Defence, Finance, IT and Technology and Ground Transportation. This agreement builds on the already strong existing relationship between our two companies and our combined skills and expertise. It clearly illustrates Thales’s commitment to accompany its clients in their digital transformation where cyber security is a vital requirement.”

Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal and Commercial Director of Williams, added; “Williams has undergone a significant digital transformation over the past two years. We are revolutionising our IT infrastructure to make sure that we are well placed to continue innovating. With the help of Thales, we will be introducing cyber security systems that keep our data secure from wherever we are in the world.”

As a technical partnership Thales branding will not feature in the team environment or on the car livery.

For more information on Thales click here or follow Thales on Twitter here

Formula One: Why neither Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg want to win in Hungary

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Lewis Hamilton heads into the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend only one point behind his teammate and championship leader Nico Rosberg. As teams head toward the mid season break, with 9 wins between them the drivers have dominated the 2016 championship. However, if either of them want to translate their success into the world championship, history suggests they do not want to win the Hungarian Grand Prix this Sunday.

The Hungarian Grand Prix has developed somewhat of a reputation for producing unexpected race results. In fact, not since the 2004 Grand Prix has the winner in Hungary gone on to lay claim to the World Championship. What’s more only twice in that period has the championship winning constructor sealed victory in Hungary.

The circuit is often referred to as an oversized go karting track with minimal straights and extremely limited overtaking opportunities. A Monaco without the yachts. On paper the circuit should lend itself to the strengths of the Red Bull Racing duo. That being said, the Hungarian Circuit has been entirely resurfaced for 2016, we saw in Baku that Red Bull Racing appear to struggle with tyre performance on a fresh tarmac. This may play into the hands of Scuderia Ferrari who are yet to seal a victory in 2016. With rumours of increasing senior management pressures a win in Hungary would go a long way for the team. Sebastian Vettel secured his second victory for the Scuderia around the circuit in 2015.

The European summer has officially kicked into high gear over the past week, with this weather forecasts for Friday and Saturday in Hungary suggest a scorcher, however with heat in Europe, comes storms, long range forecasts suggest the race on Sunday could be interrupted by heavy rain. If this proves to be the case the drivers at Scuderia Toro Rosso, and previous race winner Jenson Button could spring a surprise.

Formula One: Acronis joins Scuderia Toro Rosso in Hungary

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Scuderia Toro Rosso have announced a new partnership with Acronis, a global leader in hybrid cloud data protection, for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

“We are very happy that Acronis has chosen to our team to celebrate the speed and technological excellence of Acronis Backup 12, for a one-off partnership in occasion of the Hungarian race in Budapest on July 24” commented our Team Principal, Franz Tost

Formula 1 is the fastest and most technologically advanced data intensive sport on earth, and with the world’s fastest data protection speeds, Acronis demonstrates a perfect fit.

If you don’t blink, you may see the Acronis logo stamped on the side of our STR11 racing past your eyes at the Hungaroring this weekend. Before the car completes one full lap, Acronis Backup 12 users will be able to restore more than five servers. With the world’s fastest data recovery time of less than 15 seconds, Acronis Backup 12 is a new solution giving businesses and IT managers more control over their data and workloads than ever before.

According to the latest report released by Network Testing Labs this week, Acronis Backup 12 has largely outperformed other competitors. It only takes 35.6 minutes to back up a 180GB virtual machine with Acronis, compared to higher numbers with anything else on the market. This makes Acronis Backup 12 the fastest data protection technology in the world.

To mark the achievement and as part of the broader partnership negotiations, Acronis selected Scuderia Toro Rosso as the launch partner for Acronis Backup 12.

Shaving milliseconds from the lap time can make the difference between winning and losing. Reducing data recovery time from the industry-standard of 15 minutes to less than 15 seconds can make the difference between business success and demise.

“Acronis is a cutting edge and forward looking company, growing rapidly in the field of data protection, which links very well with our sport. This cooperation will see Acronis and us work well and progress together,” said Scuderia Toro Rosso driver, Daniil Kvyat.


“Scuderia Toro Rosso competes in the highest category of Motorsport and Acronis subscribes to its philosophy of success – focusing on a combination of personal ingenuity, team unity and cutting-edge technologies and engineering. We are proud to be associated with Scuderia Toro Rosso as the main launch partner for Acronis Backup12,” said Serguei Beloussov, Acronis’ Founder and CEO.


JWGP Comment  “as this press release suggests Acronis are using the Hungarian Grand Prix to evaluate the impact of  sponsorship with a view to a more significant partnership within Formula One. The brand will be monitoring fan awareness of the partnership and any increased traffic towards Acronis social media channels and websites. In addition they will be monitoring new commerical opportunities from a B2B perspective through interactions arising from within the paddock. STR and the agency introducing this partnership will no doubt have lined up numerous senior leadership meetings with other bluechip organisations represented on the F1 grid”



Formula One: Hungarian GP – Tyre stats, watch outs, and reminders

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Following the flat-out straights and fast corners of Silverstone is the tight and twisty Hungaroring: two circuits that could not be any more different. The medium, soft and supersoft tyres have been nominated for Hungary: statistically the most popular combination of the year so far, which was last used in Baku. The Hungaroring has been described as being like an oversized go-kart track, and adding to the challenge of the first circuit ever to stage a grand prix behind the Iron Curtain exactly 30 years ago are weather conditions that can range from extremely hot (a common occurrence) to rain (which was the case two years ago, as well as 2011).


  • There’s only one real straight on the Hungaroring, which means tyres are constantly working.
  • It’s a well-balanced track, with traction, braking and lateral energy demands roughly equal.
  • High temperatures make thermal degradation a factor.
  • The emphasis is on mechanical grip, as a low average speed means there is little downforce.
  • Drivers describe the Hungaroring as one of the year’s most physically demanding circuits.
  • Hungary starts another back-to-back weekend, with the teams then going straight to Germany.


  • White medium: a mandatory set that must be available for the race, low working range.
  • Yellow soft: another mandatory set whose versatility will make it a popular race tyre.
  • Red supersoft: used for qualifying but it’s not yet clear how much they will figure in the race.


“Hungary provides a very different type of challenge to what we’ve seen at Silverstone, but some of the teams used the recent Silverstone test to try out a few ideas that could be relevant to the Hungaroring, so it will be interesting to see what effect this has. The track has been completely resurfaced, and we saw in Austria that this had quite a profound influence as well: we will need to see if this is case in Hungary too, so free practice will be very important.”


  • The track has been entirely resurfaced and the circuit infrastructure upgraded this year.
  • There is also some new kerbing and run-off areas while the effect of the resurfacing has additionally been to smooth out some of the bumps. This should culminate in faster lap times.

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Formula One: Pit stop time vs. Pit lane times

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Since the start of the 2016 Formula One World Championship DHL have been awarding teams for the fastest pit stop to take place during each F1 race. Until the British Grand Prix this accolade had been reserved for the Williams F1 Team but does fastest pit stop time tell the full story?

A 1.9 second pit stop (an accolade recently achieved by the Williams F1 team) may look fantastic on paper, but what speed was the driver doing when he entered the pit box? How much time was lost in ensuring he hit his marks perfectly? Changing tyres, adjusting front wings, cleaning visors and removing debris from sidepod’s, whilst exceptionally complicated and highly choreographed is only part of the pit stop process.  A more relevant or more complete measure of a team’s success during a pit stop is the total pit lane time.  The Mercedes AMG Petronas Pure Storage Pitwall launched at the British Grand Prix, within this dashboard are details of the top 10 fastest pit lane times through a race. If you compare the DHL fastest pit stop award to the fastest pit stop times you can some very different results.

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Taking this one step further the fastest pit lane time does not consider when the driver activates or de-activates their pit lane limiter, to build this into the calculation you need to consider the total time over of an inlap and an outlap. The issue with then comparing data of this nature between teams is that you have to consider outright vehicle performance. Which raises the question of what is the purpose of the award? If it is to award the out and out fastest team, that is covered through the actual race winner! If it’s to award an element of the race in which the team plays a more significant role maybe the fastest pit stop is appropriate, but is it actually relevant to the race?

As you will see in the video below from Mercedes AMG Petronas, with a focus on race wins, the team would rather have a steady pit stop which may by 3-5 tenths slower than the fastest pit stop, they focus on minimising errors in the pit stop process and optimising the vehicle entry and exit from the pit lane.

Finally, kudos to the Renault Sport F1 team for achieving the fastest pit lane time during the British Grand Prix.

You can follow the Hungarian Grand Prix through the Pure Storage Pitwall here

Car Review: My weekend with the Infiniti Q30

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After receiving a late invitation to the British Grand Prix last weekend I arrived, late, at the Europcar desk at Heathrow Airport. As every frequent rental car user, I decided to try my luck at free upgrade from my economy ride for the weekend. Free didn’t come my way, but I was offered an Infiniti Q30 for what felt like a very reasonable additional fee. (after a bit of healthy negotiation)

Having become familiar with the brand name through Formula One with both Red Bull Racing and more recently the Renault F1 team, I was excited to be finally trying out an Infiniti model for myself. My car at home is a 2009 BMW 330, this feels like an appropriate benchmark for the Q30.

Stepping inside the cabin of the Q30 is a very pleasant experience. In racking up around 30,000KM’s per year, mainly on motorways I’ve become very picky about a quality interior. The interior is made up of a high quality materials produced to a high standard, suede upholstery with purple stitching was a great touch! There is a sense of familiarity to the switch gear in the Q30, mainly due the fact that much of it is shared with the Mercedes A Class / GLA. This is no bad thing, systems are easy to navigate and on the whole fairly intuitive.

Heading on to the motorway you get a feel for where the Q30 is most at home. The ride is self assured, not too soft, but not as harsh as you might expect from a German peer. The 7 speed automatic is responsive with a more than capable on-board management system, it’s very rare to find the Q30 grappling for gears. The Q30 has all the driver alerts you expect to find in a modern car, lane change and closing distance alerts, adaptive cruise control and blind spot warnings. Heading up from Heathrow to Silverstone was a breeze, the Q30 is a very pleasant place to find yourself.  I did have some issues with the DAB radio, but I’ll put that down to user rather than system!

Over the course of the next few days the Q30 was put through it’s paces through back roads and tracks, trying to avoid the infamous Silverstone traffic. I have to say compared to the BMW this is where the Q30 comes a little unstuck. The road holding and vehicle dynamics do fall slightly short of the sector leaders. That being said the Q30 never feels unstable, it remains more than capable.

Another neat feature of the Q30, perfect for post race traffic jams, is the all round camera. From the central screen you can monitor how close you are to surrounding obstructions with ease, taking a lot of the stress of not paying for additional car insurance out of my rental experience!

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The styling of the Q30 may not be to everyone’s taste. It is a large car for what it is. the loading space and rear leg room are not industry leading, but in all honesty I imagine they will be more than sufficient for the typical owner. I personally found the exterior of the car very appealing, it’s a car with which you will stand out from the crowd. It reminded me of the Renault Avantime project (pictured) seeking to create a new sub category within an existing model range.

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When returning the Q30 to Europcar I found myself wondering If I would actually consider buying one for myself. To be honest, probably not. There is a lot I like about the car, and a lot I haven’t mentioned in this review. The fuel economy for example for a 2.2 litre engine was very impressive. The fact that it is built in Sunderland  would let me feel like I’m doing something good for the UK, but would I buy it? With the specification I would want on the car the cost would be around £30,000. Which is more than I would feel conformable spending on a car in this category.  So in short:  No.  I would however seriously consider leasing it! Being part of the Renault Nissan alliance, Infiniti are able to offer very attractive rates should you be on the market.

Model – Infiniti Q30

  • Engine: 2.2 Diesel
  • 7 Speed automatic
  • Lease rates from £180- 280 PCM

To arrange a test drive of the Infiniti Q30 head to the Infiniti home page or make a request for the model the next time you hire a car with Europcar.

Formula One: The British Grand Prix from Silverstone Six

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I don’t like the British Grand Prix, It’s a shocking statement. Especially for a Brit! Over the year’s I’ve been fortunate enough to have the money to attend a number of races all over the world, during that time I’ve been to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone 4 times. My last trip to the circuit had been in 2009. Don’t get me wrong on TV the British Grand Prix is an incredible spectacle. The high speed challenge of the circuit is a joy to watch, and more often than not the circuit provides some excellent racing. However, As a fan at the circuit always felt I missed out.  Sure the atmosphere is something special, unique to the British, but the nature of the site never lent itself to the fan.

The circuit, build around a former military airstrip is flat and huge. Two features that don’t lend themselves to great visibility for the race attending fan. Most grandstands are situated on the outside of the circuit, this results in limited viewing. Modern F1 circuits are designed with the race attending fan in mind. It is possible to see a large percentage of the track from a single viewing point. Silverstone was not designed in this way. That was until the circuit was remodelled in 2011.

I realise writing a review on a 5-year-old circuit upgrade may feel a little unnecessary, but there are many race fans similar to myself who avoid Silverstone because of the outdated perception that the circuit isn’t great for spectators. I am happy to report this is no longer the case. Courtesy of my good friends at Shell V Power I was given two tickets to the Silverstone Six hospitality stand for the British Grand Prix. The unit is situated on the infield of the Maggots- Becketts complex, which in itself is an incredible view. Adding to this the grandstand is elevated and overlooks the new sector of the track with views of the loop and Aintree corner. In total from a single vantage point I could see 6 corners, and over the course of the 2016 British Grand Prix witnessed some of the most incredible overtakes I have seen in modern F1.

Now to be honest, during GP2 and GP3 Races I found myself getting confused with the old and new circuit layouts, tracking cars around the lap at the wrong time, but I think that just shows my age. The Silverstone Six Grandstand gave me an entirely fresh perspective of the entire circuit. I remembered why I enjoyed Silverstone in the first place. As a spectator you get a true feeling for the challenges of the circuit and for the speeds drivers are taking into corners.

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The Silverstone Six experience is something special. Arriving at 8:10 AM on Sunday morning, 5 minutes before the GP3 race started we had a full breakfast buffet available to us, and even Mumm Champagne for those feeling eager! Leading up to the race a full lunch menu was available. Whilst the weather in the minutes leading up to the race was not great for fans in a grandstand the entire hospitality unit we sat in (the Brabham suite) decamped to our seats for the race. The race itself was a thriller! Another great addition to Silverstone has been larger clearer screens around the circuit along with radios playing commentary of the race to ensure you can keep up to speed. Many times during the race there was so much going on it was hard to chose between sections of the circuit or the screen to look at. Following the race the suite stays open until 6:30, offering an afternoon snack and further drinks. The quality of food and drink in the suite is fantastic.

Silverstone have done a great job at tackling the inherent issues of the circuit. They have invested in sound and logical infrastructure and made the event something to be proud of.

Finally, I would like to thank the staff at Silverstone Six for making the day so memorable. It is easy to forget how tough it must be to pull off an event such as the British Grand Prix. The entire team should be proud.

For more on Silverstone and the Silverstone Six hospitality suites click here.