In the takeover of a business or change in political leadership the perceived success or failure can be defined by…
With the depressing news emerging this afternoon that Just Racing, the operating company under which Manor Racing had been running has ceased trading with no buyer having been found for the team. Images of a 60% scale model of were posted online earlier today.
The model gives the first indication of what fans can expect F1 2017 to look like, with highly complex front wing aerodynamics and curved rear wing end plates. Production of the model suggest the team were well advanced in their plans for 2017. Confirmation that the team have ceased trading is a real blow for the championship and more importantly the staff and suppliers to the team.
Credit to Matthew Somerfield for posting the image on twitter.
In a PR engagement broadcast on social media yesterday Mclaren Honda’s Stoffel Vandoorne inadvertently revealed the team’s 2017 teamwear, on which Castrol branding is evident the left sleeve.
At this time Mclaren have not commented on the 2017 plans around fuel and lubricant supply. It is widely understood BP have entered into partnership with the team. Based on the image of Stoffel BP have chosen to promote the Castrol brand through the Mclaren partnership.
Thank you to Laura Leslie for posting this image online. Her original post can be seen here:
— Laura Leslie (@LauraLeslie23) January 17, 2017
In amongst new driver announcements, car launch dates, eRacing, and calender shuffling, the eagle eyed motorsport fan may have noticed a small but significant change in the name above the door of the current Formula One Constructors Champions over the Christmas period.
Since January 1st 2017, the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team has been re-branded Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport. In contacting the team the rationale for the change was explained as a move to harmonise the team with the overall strategic direction of the business. The team went on to explain the change does not necessarily indicate plans for the Brackley based team to expand into other categories, but that the team would not rule out this happening at some point in the future.
With a notice of intent offered to Formula E having been made by the Mercedes Grand Prix in 2016, in effect granting them first refusal on the final team slot in the championship, the harmonisation of Mercedes Motorsport branding could signal team preparations to enter the championship. Another factor to consider could be the rumoured budget cap set to be implemented across Formula One. Mercedes Grand Prix employ over 1200 staff, the salary bill alone could exceed the budget for running a team in future. Diversification of the team into other racing categories would serve to increase Mercedes brand awareness and maintain it’s commitment to the motorsport industry in the UK.
Mercedes’ positions in DTM & GT racing, logically, could also be housed under a single Motorsport entity, possibly located in the UK.
See below to follow developments at Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport live:
In what may be one of the shortest retirements in recent Formula One history, Williams Martini Racing have confirmed the Felipe Massa will return to the Grove based team for the 2017 season.
Following earlier confirmation that Pascal Wehrlien will join the Sauber F1 Team for 2017, Valterri Bottas’ path to join Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes AMG Petronas is now clear freeing up the seat alongside Lance Stroll at Williams for Felipe Massa in 2017.
Speaking about the announcement Felipe Massa said; “Firstly, I am very happy to have an opportunity to return to Williams. I always intended to race somewhere in 2017, but Williams is a team close to my heart and I have respect for everything it is trying to achieve. Valtteri has a great opportunity, given the turn of events over the winter, and I wish him all the best at Mercedes.
“In turn, when I was offered the chance to help Williams with their 2017 Formula One campaign, it felt like the right thing to do. I certainly have not lost any of my enthusiasm for racing and I’m extremely motivated to be coming back to drive the FW40. The support from my fans over the last few weeks has been a huge boost and I’m grateful for that. I also look forward to working with Lance; I’ve known him for many years and seen his talent develop during that time, so I look forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”
Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal, said; “I’m delighted that Felipe has agreed to come out of retirement to be a part of our 2017 campaign. With Valtteri having a unique opportunity to join the current Constructors’ Champions, we have been working hard to ensure that an agreement could be made with Mercedes to give Valtteri this fantastic opportunity.
“Valtteri has been part of the Williams family since 2010 and in that time has proved a huge talent, securing nine podium finishes. I would like to take this opportunity to thank him on behalf of the whole team, and wish him a successful season as he joins Mercedes.
“Felipe has always been a much-loved member of the Williams family, and having the opportunity to work with him again is something we all look forward to. He was always going to race somewhere in 2017, as he has not lost that competitive spirit, and it was important that we had a strong replacement in order for us to let Valtteri go. Felipe re-joining us provides stability, experience and talent to help lead us forward. He is a great asset for us.”
With the 2017 F1 regulations changes set to be the most significant in decades, Williams have been keen to ensure an experienced driver lines up alongside F1 Rookie Lance Stroll.
It is understood Felipe walked away from opportunities within Formula E in order to return to Formula One. Felipe has returned to the team with a single season agreement.
Whilst the F1 worlds waits for final confirmation that Valtteri Bottas will join Mercedes AMG Petronas for their 2017 campaign, the first images of his arrival have begun to appear on social media. Bottas’ personal sponsor Wihuri can be seen on the sleeve of the shirt worn in this image suggesting he has carried the partnership to his new team.
More information to follow…
Mclaren Honda, in collaboration with timepiece partner Richard Mille, have created a one-off Graphene inspired livery to celebrate the launch of the special edition Mclaren RM 50-03.
The RM 50-03 Tourbillon Splits Seconds Chronograph Ultralight McLaren F1 weighs less than 40 grams, making it the lightest mechanical chronograph ever made. It’s a landmark that’s been achieved through the use of cutting-edge technical materials – titanium, carbon-fibre, and the introduction of an entirely new material into the world of watchmaking: Graph TPT, composed of Carbon TPT and a newly discovered material called graphene.
Speaking at the launch, held at the SIHH event in Geneva, Richard Mille, CEO of Richard Mille Watches, said:
“We couldn’t have dreamt of a more fitting partner in terms of image than McLaren. It’s an organisation that strives to achieve perfection – whether it be in research and development, aesthetics or execution, right down to the smallest detail. With our 10-year partnership, we’re really only at the beginning of exploiting the opportunities and know-how that exists between both our companies.”
Zak Brown, Executive Director of McLaren, added:
“We’re absolutely delighted to be able to celebrate the collaboration between McLaren and Richard Mille with such a stunning and cutting-edge piece of watchmaking. The RM 50-03 really is a world-first: the lightest mechanical chronograph ever made, and the first watch in the world to incorporate graphene. Like McLaren, the Richard Mille brand is all about seizing every opportunity to challenge our prevailing notions about technology: in such a short period of time, Richard and his team have created a unique niche for themselves in the horological world, and this new watch pushes them even further ahead of their contemporaries.”
The RM 50-03 McLaren F1 will be produced in a numbered limited edition of 75 pieces and will be available only at Richard Mille boutiques. Each watch will be accompanied by a 1:5 scale model of the 2017 McLaren-Honda car driven by double-world champion Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.
Further information on the Mclaren Richard Mille partnership and details on the RM 50-30 can be found here.
Fans will be hopeful that with a refreshed management structure, Mclaren will take inspiration from this one off livery when signing off plans for the 2017 vision for the racing livery.
President of Motorsports Governing Body, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), Jean Todt had kicked off 2017 by joining Twitter!
The account, whilst currently not verified, appears to be genuine with the President’s first two tweets coming from a BMW Autonomous driving demonstration at CES in Las Vegas and the Formula E Visa Vegas eRace over the weekend.
— Jean Todt (@JeanTodt) January 8, 2017
At this time Jean Todt, or those managing the account on his behalf, are not following any other users on the social media platform seemingly opting to use it to communicate on events attended rather than engage directly. This approach may evolve in the coming weeks and months as the full 2017 motorsport season commences.
During 2017 Jean Todt’s second term as president of the FIA will come to a conclusion. No formal comment has been made with respect to plans to seek re-election, nor have any alternative candidates been mentioned. It had been speculated that Jean Todt would not seek a re-election for the unpaid position following his appointment as Special Envoy for Road Safety to the UN.
You can follow Jean Todt on Twitter here.