Formula One: MODO joins The Sauber F1 Team

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With the financial stability of the Sauber F1 Team assured, the team have been able refocus energies into partnership and sponsorship development. The first of these partnerships take the form MODO, joining the team as a Premium Partner. MODO is an eyewear company founded in New York, and driven by a passion for innovation and technology.

MODO adopts the latest manufacturing technology and newest materials in its products’ designs, and its emphasis on quality and functionality produces ground breaking results. MODO’s Paper-Thin Titanium collection is some of the lightest and strongest eyewear in the world. At 6.8 grams, Paper-Thin Titanium sunglasses are fitted with high-performance polycarbonate lenses using High Chromatic Definition (HCD) technology to merge form and function.

The partnership with MODO will kick off during the upcoming Italian Grand Prix in Monza and is for the remainder of the 2016 Formula One season. The MODO branding will appear on the mirrors of the Sauber C35-Ferraris. Furthermore, the entire team will also be equipped with sunglasses to represent the MODO products in style.

Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal of the Sauber F1 Team:
“We are delighted about our new partnership with MODO – a lifestyle brand that has chosen with Formula One and us the perfect platform to represent its brand and products. Technological innovation, detailed precision, and the push for excellence are values the Sauber F1 Team stands for. MODO’s Paper-Thin Titanium collection proves these attributes at the highest level of quality – the lightest and strongest eyewear matching the carbon material Formula One cars are built with. We are pleased to welcome MODO on board, and we look forward to a successful and fruitful partnership in a promising future.”

Alessandro Lanaro, Founder and CEO of MODO:
“MODO is very pleased to start a collaboration with the Sauber F1 Team by becoming a Premium Partner. Our common interests in technology, innovation, and using new materials to create the highest performance make us ideal partners. The Formula One environment is the perfect theater to showcase our brand and products. We are also excited to further develop our partnership by researching new technologies with the Sauber Engineering Division that can be applied to eyewear. We are looking forward to our official debut at the Italian GP in the legendary Monza circuit.”

Check out the MODO homepage for more on the partnership and to visit the online store here

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Formula One: Debut joins Manor Racing

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The Belgium Grand Prix sees Manor Racing completed the 3rd iteration of it’s “Fast Companies Series”, the ‘Debut’ app has been chosen to partner with the team for this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix at the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. They’ll be making their Grand Prix debut alongside the team’s exciting new signing Esteban Ocon, so the Debut brand mark will be right in the thick of the action, and in the full glare of the global media spotlight.

The Debut app offers students and graduates from all around the world the opportunity to directly link with employers. By engaging the most digitally connected generation, Debut offers never-before-seen branding opportunities and a revolutionary talent-spotting tool that enables employers to identify and connect with students based on their hiring criteria. Driven by the same focus and efficiency, Manor Racing will be the first Formula One team to make their debut on the app.

On-car branding at this weekend’s Grand Prix is backed up by practical application of the app within the team’s People strategy. The innovative platform provides the capability to filter the widest talent pool via a plethora of metrics, and enables unprecedented targeting at the touch of a button.

Supported by Debut, the team will be utilising the careers app to find the very best candidates for its intern and graduate recruitment programme – much faster, and more efficiently.

The Debut logo will appear on the rear wing end plates of Manor Racing’s race cars this weekend, next to two fellow trailblazing brands, Shazam and Airbnb.

Charles Taylor, CEO and Founder at Debut

“It’s a real honour to be a Fast Companies Series partner for this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix. Just as a Manor Racing, we focus on harnessing technology and disrupting the status quo. We look forward to an exciting partnership with the team.”

Katie Allen, Head of HR at Manor Racing

“Debut has the ambition to transform the way graduates and students interact with employers and discover career opportunities. Companies like Debut see the gap in the market and go for it. This is why the app is a perfect Fast Companies Series partner and we look forward to growing our partnership beyond this race weekend.”

Formula One: Gi Group joins Scuderia Toro Rosso

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Italy’s leading multinational recruitment group, The Gi Group, have announced a 3 year partnership with Scuderia Toro Rosso this morning. The partnership will see Gi Group branding feature on the arms of drivers overalls. This partnership follows the recent announcement of a long term partnership between Acronis and the Italian team. Such developments serve to underline the independence of the team away from Red Bull and  demonstrate the credibility of team in it’s own right.

Speaking on the partnership Otello Valenti, STR Legal and HR director commented:

 “Success in Formula 1 needs a talented team to work in the best way possible, demonstrating ability, passion, energy and determination. Scuderia Toro Rosso has always sought out and brought on the most talented people and the partnership with Gi Group is a strategic collaboration to support the constant growth of our team.

“Scuderia Toro Rosso and Gi Group share a common vision; striving for excellence through the professional growth of personnel,” continued Valenti. “In the world of Human Resources and in Formula 1, one needs to work with speed, competence, organisation and creativity to always achieve the best possible result. Like Toro Rosso, Gi Group is an innovative team of proven experience and passion in its own sector. We believe that together, we can successfully tackle the challenges of Formula 1 and obtain ever better results.”
Echoing these remarks Stefano Colli-Lanzi, CEO of Gi Group added:
“We are very proud to have signed this partnership agreement with Scuderia Toro Rosso, a company which, like Gi Group, promotes Italian excellence around the world. We believe that, thanks to the know-how of both companies, this partnership will be able to enhance the chances of youngsters interested in embarking on a career in the very competitive and technological environment of Formula 1.”
Under this agreement the Gi Group and Scuderia Toro Rosso will  instigate combined initiatives such as “Formula Future”, a training programme to select, recruit and train talented young graduates, as well as a “Race Academy” which will create an ad hoc new group of young mechanics of a high standard to become part of the Race Team.
To find out more about the Gi Group you can visit the organisation home page here and follow them on social media here.
For more the the Formula Future and Race Academy initiative stay tuned to the Toro Rosso social media page here.

Formula One: Belgian Champion in waiting?

Stoffel Vandoorne will head his home Grand Prix in Belgium this weekend as Mclaren Honda’s reserve driver. After securing the GP2 championship in dominant style in 2015, Stoffel is splitting his 2016 season between his role with Mclaren, which saw him stand in for the injured Fernando Alonso in Bahrain earlier this year, scoring the team’s first points of the 2016 campaign, and competing in the Super Formula Series in Japan.

Stoffel has done more than enough to convince the F1 paddock he is ready to make the step in to a full time drive in 2016. It is widely expected he will replace Jenson Button in the 2017 line up. Mobil One’s the Grid caught up with the Belgian to hear about discuss his 2016 year to date and expectations for the future.

 

 

Formula One: Past, Present & Future – Go-Kart Racing With McLaren-Honda

In an event for Mobil 1 and Esso, Mclaren Honda driver’s; Mika Häkkinen, David Coulthard, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, and Stoffel Vandoorne recently got together at Fernando Alonso’s Go Karting circuit in Spain to pit the skills of Mclaren drivers from the last 3 decades against each other.

The event saw Mika, David, and Jenson return to Go Kart for the first time in years, giving them an opportunity to roll out some tried an tested excuses for performances (of lack there of) on track. Jenson who is very media event you see him in comes across more and more like a presenter enjoyed the challenge, but was keen to point out Fernando’s home advantage.

Who ultimately took the chequered flag? Check out the film above from Mobil One’s The Grid to find out for your self!

For more films from Mobil 1’s The Grid, head to thier You Tube Channel here

 

 

Formula E: Erreà Sport joins Mahindra Racing

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Mahindra Racing have announced a brand new partner, technical-athletic apparel company, Erreà Sport S.p.a. Founded in 1988 at San Polo di Torrile (Parma, Italy) by the Gandolfi family, Erreà has a long and proud history in producing quality sports apparel for some of the best teams in the world in football as well as volleyball, basketball, rugby and other sports.

In a move facilitated by Swiss-based sponsorship agent and Erreà motorsport manager Jon Wilde , Mahindra Racing chose Erreà because of its high performing products and sustainable practices. Erreà was the first clothing manufacturer to obtain the Oeko-Tex certification in 2007, guaranteeing that its products do not release harmful or carcinogenic substances during use, and it certifies that they are totally safe for human health. It remains the only company to do so today.

Erreà  will produce the Mahindra Racing Formula E Team official team apparel and merchandise to be launched in the coming months.

Dilbagh Gill, Team Principal, Mahindra Racing Formula E Team said, “It is a pleasure to welcome Erreà as our official team kit supplier. Italy is a country that is very passionate about motorsport and Erreà shares our commitment to technology development, improvement and sustainability.”

Roberto Gandolfi, Vice Chairman, Erreà Sport S.p.a. said, “It is a pleasure for Erreà to partner with Mahindra Racing in the exciting Formula E Championship. We were attracted to Formula E because the series’ core values and ethos are perfectly aligned with ours and we believe that the partnership with Mahindra in Formula E will enable us to communicate our positioning with regard to technology, fabrics, sustainability and an ongoing commitment to research and development.”

For more from Erreà Sport, check out the online store here and follow them on social media here

Formula E: Interview with Mahindra Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist

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Earlier today Mahindra Racing Formula E team announced the signing of Felix Rosenqvist for the 2016/ 17 FIA Formula E World Championship. The partnership will see the 24-year-old Swede line up alongside Nick Heidfeld as the team embark on their third season. JWGP caught up with Felix during the filming for the announcement of the team’s new partnership with Errea Sport.

JW: Felix, how much time have you spent behind the wheel of a Formula E car, what are your first impressions?

FR: In total I’ve been in the car for 8 days. Mahindra have a private test track just outside of Barcelona, we’ve been working flat out to maximise our time before the first group test at Donington Park. The level of dedication from the team has been incredible. We’ve been working from 7AM to 10PM on every day of testing. The team use a test car for private testing, I haven’t driven a Formula E car before so can’t really pass comment on changes from Season 2 to season 3, but the team seem very happy with the progress.

Driving a Formula E car is very different to Indycar or a DTM car, in those cars when you are doing 200 KMPH and come off the power it is almost like applying a brake. In a Formula E car, when you come off the power the car will just keep going. It feels counter-intuitive at first, but you soon get used to it.

JW: Have you spend much time with your team mate Nick Heidfeld? What are his thoughts on the M3Electro compared to last season’s car?

FR: Nick was around for 2 of the days I was testing. I think our driving styles will compliment each other. Nick is highly technical, focused on the fine details to optimise. Where as my approach is more toward making the most of the package I have. In bringing our styles together we should be able to push the team forward. With respect to progress from the team from S2 to S3, Nick has reported a positive step in performance. The first indication of this should be seen in Donington, but in reality the true pace won’t be seen until Hong Kong.

JW: What drew you to Formula E? Have you been following the series?

FR: Formula E represents a new and different type of challenge in motorsport.  I have a good record around street circuits (most notably winning the 2015 Macau F3 race) The cars and frenetic approach to a race appeal to me.  The racing has been enjoyable to watch. I’ve been impressed with the performances of Robin Frijns and Felix Da Costa, the other ‘younger’ drivers on the grid. I hop we are in a position to challenge the ‘old’ boys in this season.

JW: Does racing in Formula E rule out options in other championships for you?

FR: Not at all, I think of myself as a jobbing driver. I’ve been racing or testing almost every week this year.  Racing in Indycar is still on the agenda, and DTM, whilst initially only for Moscow is still an option. I like to be busy, the Formula E calendar and race format allows me to be just that.

JW: Finally, what are your hopes for the Season with Mahindra Racing

FR: Until we start the group testing its impossible to know exactly who we are competing against. I hope to perform strongly and surprise a few of the established drivers.

Thanks to Felix for taking time out during his day with Errea Sport. Best of luck for the season ahead!

Formula One: Indycar vs. F1. The Drivers Championship

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As a Driver, if you compare the gravitas of succeeding in Formula One to Indycar, on the face of it, Formula One is the ultimate accolade. Exploring the physicality of each series tells a slightly different story.

Current era F1 cars are both lighter and more powerful than an Indycar. They produce more downforce and utilise higher performing brake performance. However, they also feature power steering. An Indycar is heavier, less powerful, produces less downforce and critically has no power steering.

In recent interview for JWGP Felix Rosenqvist following his test for the Chip Ganassi team at Mid Ohio commented, “it doesn’t matter how fit you are, the first few laps in an Indycar destroy you. I’ve not driven in F1, but compared to my time in DTM, GT’s and F3, the physical strength required to drive those cars is much greater”

You see it in an Indycar driver’s physique, they train to build physical upper body strength much more than cardio work. Completing an Indycar race is far more physically demanding than an F1 race under current regulations. Current leading F1 drivers such as Daniel Ricciardo have acknowledged this and called for the 2017 regulations to place more emphasis back towards the driver.

The variety in circuits is another unique component to the challenge of Indycar. Over a single season driver’s will visit; street circuits, road courses, long ovals, and short ovals. Each configuration requires a very different style of driving ranging from man handling a car around St Pete, to driving like you re holding a cup of tea you can’t spill around Indianapolis. Drivers can’t afford to specialise in one style of racing. To win in Indycar you have to be strong in all circuits. As Will Power explains in the film below from Mobil One’s The Grid:

Ultimately Formula One elevates a driver’s profile to global super stardom, but is Indycar the real human test of raw skill? With former F1 driver, now Indycar winner Alex Rossi opting to complete his season in Indycar rather than return to F1 with Manor Racing this season perhaps the tide is turning. Indycar has created an environment in which driver skill and strength is key, the economics of the series enable drivers to earn a living with reduced pressure around finding a budget to race.  Has Indycar quietly become the new home of the real racing driver?

Formula One: Silly Season revisited

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The 2016 silly season on the face of it has turned out to be some what of a damp squib. With Mercedes, Ferrari, & Red Bull locking down their drivers early on change at the front of the field has been ruled out

Back in May this year I made a few predictions around changes. As the F1 circus returns from a well deserved summer break, outstanding driver agreements will feature highly on many teams ‘to do’ lists. Based on the current driver market I’ve revisited my silly season predictions. It’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section below or through twitter (@jonnywilde)

Mercedes AMG Petronas:

As predicted Nico Rosberg’s contract with the team has been renewed. This comes despite a number of incidents between Nico & Lewis on track. Rosberg now has a contract with Mercedes until 2018. This sees his agreement fall in line with Hamilton’s contract. If nothing else, salary demands of Lewis and Nico by 2018 are likely to necessitate a change in line up. With this in mind Mercedes are priming Wehrlein and Ocon as future works drivers.

 Scuderia Ferrari:

Many expected the Scuderia to replace Kimi Räikkönen in 2017, I suggested Sergio Perez would be the ideal candidate to take on the role, but with a strong first half of the year Ferrari have elected to maintain the Vettel, Räikkönen line up for a 3rd season. Kimi’s life away from the track appears to be having a positive effect on his performance as a driver and as a Ferrari brand ambassador. With changes in the Ferrari management team, driver stability for 2017 and perhaps beyond could be a good thing.

Red Bull Racing

At the time of writing my original silly season article, I commented Verstappen was a shoe in for the second seat with Red Bull Racing alongside Daniel Ricciardo. I also suggested it could happen before the end of the year. I did not expect it happen so quickly. Nor did I expect Max to win a race in 2016! (did anyone?) Both Daniel and Max are now locked down at Red Bull Racing until at least 2018. Putting the Red Bull Racing Junior Driver Development programme on hold.

Williams Martini Racing

2016 has been tough for Williams. The team have fallen behind in the development race, possibly / hopefully due to an early switch in focus to 2017. With engine performance convergence emerging, budget shortfalls in comparison to the top 3 have been felt more than in recent seasons. It seems to be widely expected that 2016 will be Felipe Massa’s last year in F1, with this in mind Botta’s performances haven’t been strong enough. I suggested in the previous article that Kyvat and Bottas’ would be a formidable line up for the team. I now see this as less likely. I struggle to buy into the Button return narrative, but can imagine sponsors would be more than happy to see him re-join the team. That being said if Williams adopt a bold strategy they could look towards development driver Alex Lynn, and replace Bottas with Jenson. If they require funding alongside a driver, Perez could be attractive, although this would be nothing more than a lateral move for the Mexican.

Mclaren Honda

Jenson Button is out of contact at the end of this season. Fernando Alonso is contracted until the end of 2017. The team have Stoffel Vandoorne waiting in the wings. I expected Jenson to leave the team at the end of the season, If the 2017 Mclaren Honda is not in a championship contending position I also see Alonso finally calling time on his F1 career. Stoffel will step up into a race seat with the team for 2017, but who will he race along side? Whilst the original Mclaren Perez relationship did not end well in 2013. Sergio brings substantial backing and has consistently over delivered for Force India. Could he be an outside bet for a seat with Mclaren? The team has the manufacturer backing Perez’s sees as a must to contend for future championships.  With the top team drives locked down, Honda or Renault are his next best bet.

Sarhara Force India

Vijay Mallya has gone on record to state both drivers will be retained for 2017. I do not see this happening. As mentioned above I believe Sergio will move on to pastures new. To me the same logic applies to Hülkenberg. Neither driver is going to contend for championships with Force India. Neither driver is getting any younger. I believe Hülkenberg will move away from F1 towards WEC in 2017. This leaves Force India will a huge budget and talent shortfall. The team may look towards Mercedes and taking on a development driver in the form of Pascal Wehrlein for 2017, who on circuits with which he has prior knowledge has looked very impressive at Manor this season. The team could overcome the budget shortfall and maintain the Mexican links with the team through promoting Alfonso Celis or picking up Esteban Gutiérrez after his tough return to the sport with Haas. Equally, the team have Russian driver Nikita Mazepin on their books, he brings backing in the form of Uralchem and whilst a little hot tempered has performed strongly in junior series.

Renault

2016 was always a holding / building year for the team. They inherited a driver partnership with Jolyon Palmer and to be honest, he has looked a little out of his depth at times this season. I don’t expect the team to retain him. Renault are keen to re-establish the French connection with the team. Assuming Ocon performs well at Manor in the second half of this season I expect him to move over the Renault for 2017. Renault will be keen for the French man to sever his links to Mercedes moving forward and will likely be prepared to pay for the privilege. The other seat at Renault, to me, is between Kevin Magnesun and Sergio Perez. The team know KMag, and know what he can do with the car, but in Perez they have a driver capable of over achieving and a driver with significant backing and a huge fan base. Perez and Ocon would be a strong line up for a team rebuilding and looking to challenge for future championships.

Scuderia Toro Rosso

I expect the driver line up of Sainz and Kyvat to go unchanged into 2017. Sainz was confirmed earlier in the season, his role is secure. With Kyvat the story is a little different, he has struggled since returning to the team from Red Bull Racing. His ultimate pace and skill are not in question. The team must work with him to rebuild his self confidence. STR has historically been the home of junior Red Bull drivers. Pierre Gasly would be the logical driver to make the step up to the team in 2017, but I personally see Red Bull placing him else where, possibly with Manor. STR in order to grow should no longer be seen as a proving ground for future Red Bull Racing drivers and with the current line up at RBR locked down until 2018, STR have an opportunity to operate as their own entity.

The Haas F1 Team

After an incredible start in F1, Haas have settled in a midfield team. I expect 2017 will be a huge challenge for the team. With major regulations changes and the team no longer having such unregulated support from Ferrari I expect them to be battling at the very rear of the field. Grosjean appears to have very few options away from the team, that being said a return to Renault should not be ruled out. For Haas to bring F1 to America they would do very well to sign Indy 500 winner Alex Rossi for 2017 alongside Grojean. I expect Esteban Gutiérrez to move on.

The Sauber F1 Team

With the future of the team secure through Longbow Finances. The Swiss based team can look towards rebuilding themselves. Security in reality has come a little too late to kick start a 2017 challenge into anything more than a return to consistent points finishes, but this is a great place to start. Stories continue to swirl around Marcus Ericsson’s backers being behind the Longbow Finance investment into the team. My personal take is that even if this is true I do not believe the backing is linked to Ericsson maintaining a drive with the team. Investments are made with an expectation of return not simply to pay for a drive. That being said I hope the team will maintain their current line up into 2017. Stability during a period of rebuilding is key, and it should not be forgotten both Nasr and Ericsson are more than capable of turning in strong performances.

Manor Racing

The Manor Racing team have a history of announcing driver partnerships very late on into the year. Rio Haryanto’s mid season demotion to reserve driver demonstrate the continued reliance on drivers with backing. I expect the team will be keen to maintain a development driver relationship to a larger team, be that with Pascal Wehrlein and Mercedes or Gasly and Red Bull Racing (despite the Mercedes power unit agreement) The second seat at Manor, I believe will be taken by Jordan King. He has performed admirably in GP2 this season with Racing Engineering and brings a healthy budget to his seat. It should not be forgotten his father supported the team in their re-emergence from bankruptcy.

Spa, Monza and Singapore have a history of being a circuit in which driver announcements are made, expect significant news in the coming weeks.

 

Formula One: The Inside Story – Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas have dominated the 2016 season to date. In the first half of the season the only real threat to their dominance has been themselves. At the Spanish Grand Prix in May this year, every team’s worst nightmare came to pass. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg collided on the opening lap of the race immediately eliminating each other.  How do a team move on from that?

They just move on.

In this exclusive film from the UBS Formula 1 team, the Mercedes AMG Petronas team talk candidly about the direct and immediate impact the incident had on the team, and much more importantly how they refocus and move on to the Monaco Grand Prix.

It’s incredible to think that a team of 850 people are behind those two cars we see on track every other weekend. F1 is the ultimate team sport! Team members can spend as much as 200 days a year on the road, sacrificing family life and personal time for the benefit of the team. Their commitment and dedication is relentless.

For an enthusiast, such as myself, focused on the commerical side of motorsport, UBS Formula 1 provide excellent insight into the way in which the Mercedes team prepare for Monaco as a business and how the team are constantly benchmarking themselves against not only other teams on the grid, but other racing series and other sports. We get to hear from Nico Rosberg’s management team in the form of Georg Nolte, who talks through his role and how he and Nico work together in every aspect of his performance both on and off the track.

What I found most impressive about this film was the genunie sense of pride the team take in their success. They are building a legacy, every member of the team is proud be part of the Silver Arrows.

For more exclusive UBS Formula 1 content follow this link

and if the team are looking for a guest to sit in the W07 during pit stop practice in Monza or Spa, give me call!