The eagle-eyed F1 Fan will have noticed a few interesting faces in and around the F1 paddock over the weekend of the Austrian Grand Prix. After attending a recent meeting to discuss the future of F1 Power Units a number of Porsche ambassadors made their presence known through the event. As a pundit for Channel 4’s F1 coverage, seeing Mark Webber in the paddock is not an unusual sight. Less usual though was his choice of attire, as pictured below Mark spent much of the weekend wearing Porsche team wear. Similarly, Mark’s former teammate and former Red Bull Junior driver Brendon Hartley attended the Grand Prix and he too wore Porsche team wear combined with a Red Bull cap for much of the weekend.
Of course a logical explanation for this is that both drivers were taking part in demonstration runs through the race weekend, but a far more exciting ‘hollywood’ story is that fresh from having achieved their objectives in the World Endurance Championship securing 3 back to back victories at Le Mans, Porsche are seeking a new challenge. Given Webber’s recent history with Red Bull Racing, he, perhaps under the guise of his ambassador role with Porsche is in someway involved in discussions to bring the two parties together with a role for Brendon Hartley as a driver within the package.
I have stated previously that the relationship between ExxonMobil, BP, and Renault for me is not logical. Fuel and Lubricant solutions must be developed in conjunction with power unit development. It is not possible to define a one size fits all development roadmap for the Renault Power Unit. At some point in the near future, if not, at some point in the past. BP or ExxonMobil will identify a performance opportunity with the Renault power unit which does not favour the other supplier. At this point power unit development will split. Renault will produce one power unit format for the works team and a different solution for Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso. Who will fund this alternative solution, and at what point is a Renault Power Unit no longer a Renault Power Unit?
Could Porsche be considering redirecting budget from the World Endurance Championship, a figure believed to be in the region of $100M towards a power unit development plan in Formula One? Paying Renault to use their technology as a basis for involvement would minimise the risk of ‘doing a Honda’ ensuring reasonable performance from the word go.
One thing is for sure, Porsche are seeking a new challenge, drivers, unlike fans, don’t attend race meetings in team wear when they are not competing for the fun of it. Perhaps in this case 2+2 might just equal 5.
Thanks to Sean Bull for pulling together incredible concept artwork for a Red Bull Racing Porsche mash up.
Back in November I had the good fortune to attend the Marrakesh ePrix with the Techeetah Formula E Team and Jean Eric Vergne. Marrakesh played host to the second round of the 2016/ 2017 Championship and gave me my first behind the scenes experience of an ePrix weekend.
At 26 years old, you would still consider Jean Eric Vergne to be a young driver, so when you take a look back at his career in motorsport it’s incredible to think of what he has already achieved. As with many successful drivers, Jean Eric’s career started in Karting. At the age of just 4 years old he first got behind the wheel at his fathers karting circuit on the outskirts of Paris. At the age of 10 he entered his first competition and went on to become a junior French champion in 2001. He continued in karting competing in the European Championship and others until 2007 when he graduated to Formula Renault
Driving for Formula Campus, Vergne won the championship with ease securing 10 podium finishes from 13 races. His performance attracted the attention of the Red Bull Junior team, who navigated his career through the British Formula 3 Championship with Carlin where he won 12 races in 24 events securing the championship with 6 races remaining. Alongside his British F3 outings he also competed in GP3 and in 2010 Red Bull promoted Jean Eric to Formula Renault 3.5. A championship he secured his first win after only 3 races in the championship. He took the championship fight down to the wire and whilst ultimately lost out to another competitor, his skills in the championship were enough for Red Bull to bring him into Formula One initially in a test capacity then joining the Toro Rosso team as a driver in 2012.
Reaching Formula One can be the pinnacle of any drivers sporting career. From the very outset Jean Eric’s pace with Toro Rosso was unquestionable. More often than not Jean Eric would be found ahead of his teammates on the track, unfortunately he found himself in a situation of wrong place at the wrong time. Poor reliability left Jean Eric seemingly trailing his team mates Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kyvat at the wrong time. Resulting in him being overlooked for the Red Bull Racing drive
Despite these stumbling blocks, for which many insiders say were no fault of Jean Eric’s, 2015 saw him transition to Formula E with the Andretti team. The Frenchman instantly found a new home in the series setting pole on his debut in Uruguay. JEV went on to complete the season with Andretti and for season 2 moved to the DS Virgin Racing Team. A team which with the freedoms offered to teams as the championship found its feet took an alternative approach to technical gearing and power delivery compromising the team’s ability to consistently compete at the front of the grid.
For Season Three Jean Eric Vergne has become part of the newly formed Techeetah Formula E team, a team built on the foundations of the Aguri team with power unit supply from championship leading Renault. Edmund Chu, Techeetah Team President on Jean Eric joining the team commented:
“We are tremendously excited to have Jean Eric on board. He has a great experience in the upper echelons of racing and his experience in F1 and FE is going lend itself to us as being a competitive team.”
During pre-season testing Jean Eric showed the pace fans had become accustomed to in his early career, topping the time sheets on 5 of 6 days. Pace at the Hong Kong ePrix gave indications of the team and driver pairing potential, unfortunately with the team still familiarising themselves with their new surroundings the ultimate result did not quite meet expectations.
Bringing us full circle Marrakesh. Meeting Jean Eric on the eve of the ePrix the Frenchman comes across as relaxed and engaging. The characteristics of the circuit, look set to suit the Techeetah team, something Jean Eric demonstrated in shakedown testing setting the 3rd fastest time.
As we head into race day the air of quite confidence resumes, something which Jean Eric manages to carry all the way through qualifying, bringing his car into the super pole session setting the fastest time during the group sessions. Unfortunately, team teething troubles strike again leaving JEV unable to repeat his earlier efforts and he heads into the race starting P5, which later becomes P4 as Buemi is hit with a post qualifying penalty.
Between qualifying and the race Jean Eric and the rest of the grid compete in an eRace in preparation for the $1 Million eRace taking place in Vegas in the new year. Whist the crowds in Marrakesh are smaller than some may have hoped the fans that are at the circuit flock towards Jean Eric at any opportunity and relish this chance to meet their hero.
Heading into the race as we circulate the grid Jean Eric has a quiet confidence about his ability to turn his P4 into something special. Early race performances vindicate this confidence with JEV moving into a strong P2 ahead of the car swaps. Then disaster, the pit lane speed limiter fails and JEV incurs a drive through penalty. Whilst able to recover and score vital points for the team. Jean Eric is left feeling as though a possible victory has been snatched from his grasp.
After such a challenging result you might expect Jean Eric to be frustrated, and there is no doubt he is, not so much for losing a race win, but because he knows the team can do better. After a few hours debriefing, Jean Eric puts the race behind him, firmly resetting focus towards the next race. He is commitment undiminished, Formula E is his home. A home in which he is determined to win.
Following the announcement that Red Bull Racing have entered into partnership with ExxonMobil from 2017 as the teams Fuel and Lubricant supplier, JWGP can confirm the partnership will extend to a supply agreement for Scuderia Toro Rosso.
At this time it is not clear if the supply agreement will include the use of ExxonMobil or associated businesses branding on the STR 12, but sources at Red Bull Racing have confirmed the supply partnership.
With Scuderia Toro Rosso returning to Renault power unit supply for 2017, following the 2016 campaign in which a 2015 Ferrari power unit was used, Italy’s second team is expected to make significant strides up the grid. Toro Rosso are yet to indicate how the 2017 power unit will be badged. It is understood the power unit has been made available under the same agreement as Red Bull Racing allowing the team to sell the naming rights for the Power Unit, as seen with Tag Heuer and Red Bull Racing. With performance improvements expected such naming rights could prove highly valuable to an existing team sponsor seeking to increase exposure.
Whilst unconfirmed, Renault Sport F1 are not expected to make any changes to their fuel and lubricant supplier TOTAL. The team have confirmed they have made provisions to homologate the 2017 Power Unit for 2 fuel and lubricant suppliers. Such a move will set in motion a separate Power Unit development programme between the Red Bull owned teams and the works Renault Team and could form the basis for an as yet unnamed engine manufacturer entering the sport through the back door….
Scuderia Toro Rorro have announced a new partnership with Mexican IT company KIO Networks. At the Mexican GP, their logo will appear prominently on the nose and barge boards of both cars.
Franz Tost, Team Principal commented: “Last year’s Mexican Grand Prix proved to be a great success, providing an amazing show. It’s a real pleasure to welcome KIO Networks on board for this race on their home soil, establishing a good new connection with such a high profile IT company. We look forward to enjoying together what we are sure will be another exciting race weekend for the many passionate fans filling the grandstands here.”
Sergio Rosengaus, KIO Networks’ CEO, said: “We are very happy to join forces with Scuderia Toro Rosso, with whom we share the passion for technology, innovation, IT and its high-level performance. We are happy to be associated with a team that, as KIO Networks itself, is daring, challenging and fun. We are sure that Carlos and Daniil will give their best on track and we can’t wait to see them in action at our home Grand Prix, with Scuderia Toro Rosso.”
This partnership will be a great opportunity for fellow Tech partner of Toro Rosso, Acronis to explore possible business to business opportunities. The Mexican Grand Prix paddock will be a buzz with senior leadership in a critical growth market for this industry.
KIO Networks partnered with the Lotus F1 team over the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix weekend.
Scuderia Toro Rosso have confirmed that it is keeping Daniil Kvyat on for the 2017 season. With Carlos Sainz’s future in the team already assured since earlier this summer, it means that continuity is the name of the game.
In so doing the team have put an end to months of speculation around the future of Daniil Kvyat with the team and the Red Bull Driver programme. At this time the implications of the confirmation on GP2 championship challenger Pierre Gasly are unclear.
Daniil Kvyat: “Great news! I’d like to thank Red Bull, Dr. Marko and all the team for their support and the faith they have shown in me since I returned to the team earlier this year. I’m very happy to stay with a team that feels like home to me. I’m really looking forward to continuing the hard work together in 2017and I’m really aiming high. I will always be fully dedicated, giving my ‘200%’, and I will be pushing as hard as I usually do, that’s for sure. I’m delighted!”
Carlos Sainz: “Considering how many changes there are in the Formula 1 pipeline for 2017, it’s good to know that Daniil and I will continue to be teammates here at Toro Rosso next year. We know each other very well, as we’ve been racing together since 2010, and we work well together. I know that this season isn’t over yet, but I’m already looking forward to next year!”
Franz Tost: “It makes a change to announce our driver line-up relatively early. There are so many new elements coming to Formula 1 in general and to our team specifically, in terms of the change of power unit supplier, that having the same two drivers gives us stability and a benchmark to work from. For Carlos, it will be his third year with us, which speaks volumes when it comes to how highly we rate him. In recent races, it has been clear that Daniil is backon top form. I always told him that his future with us was in his hands and he has stepped up to the mark and delivered the sort of performances that haveensured his 2017 seat in the STR 12. We now have a very talented and strong driver pairing to tackle a season in which we expect to be very competitive.”
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.
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.
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”
Scuderia Toro Rosso have announced that Sérgio Sette Câmara will drive our current STR11 car at the forthcoming Formula 1 test at Silverstone Circuit, following the 2016 British Grand Prix.
The 18 year old Brazilian is a member of the Red Bull Junior Team and is currently in his second year of competition in the FIA F3 European Championship. Sérgio started his racing career in karts in his native Brazil back in 2006 and his switch to single-seater cars came last year with the move up to Formula 3. This season, Sette Câmara is currently lying 7th in the series.
“I’m very happy and excited to be testing with Scuderia Toro Rosso”, commented Sérgio during today’s visit to Faenza. “It’s a great opportunity which I’ve worked very hard for and I’d like to thank everyone who has made this possible, especially Red Bull. This will be my first official Formula 1 test and I will make sure I do the best job possible as well as have fun – it’s not something that happens every day! Silverstone is a great track which I know quite well as I’ve already driven there before, so this will definitely help me on the day to focus on the car and all the new information without having to learn a new layout at the same time. I just can’t wait to drive out of the garage, it will definitely be a moment I will never forget!”
For this two-day test, Sérgio is planned to drive on Wednesday (13th July – Day 2), taking over from Carlos, who is scheduled to be at the wheel on Tuesday (12th July – Day 1).
Our Team Principal Franz Tost said:“Giving young drivers, mainly those from the Red Bull Junior Team, a real taste of Formula 1, is something we have become accustomed to doing at Toro Rosso. Personally, I find it fascinating to see how these youngsters adapt, not just to the extra power, downforce and braking of a Formula 1 car, but also how they react to the pressure of a day in the F1 spotlight. It provides a valuable insight into how they might progress in the future. Therefore I am pleased to welcome Sérgio to our team for the day and I hope that it will be a mutually beneficial experience.”
Teams participating in mid season tests are obliged to run a young driver on at least one day. STR are fulfilling this obligation with Sérgio Sette Câmara. It is thought unlikely he is being considered for a full time drive with the team in 2017.
As speculated on JWGP yesterday ,Renault have this morning announced that Scuderia Toro Rosso will return to Renault Power Unit supply for 2017. The agreement will see the team use in year technology for the 2017 & 2018 with the freedom to badge the engine as they see fit. Similar to the TAG Heuer Red Bull Racing Partnership, who have also extended their relationship with the French manufacturer through the 2017 & 2018 seasons.
Speaking on the partnership Jérôme Stoll, President of Renault Sport Racing, commented: ‘We are very pleased to partner with two such strong teams as Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso. Having competitive partners demonstrates the confidence both have in the improved Renault power unit and in our organisation as a whole.’
On the extension of the Renault RBR agreement Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal, said: “We are delighted to extend our partnership which has proved very successful over time. After the reconstruction that Renault has undertaken, clear progress has been made which has made it logical to continue with the TAG Heuer badged engine.”
With this deal confirmed, no further changes are expected in team a Power Unit supply across the remainder of the grid for the foreseeable future.