Tag Archives: 2017

Formula One: Sponsors will decide my future – Perez

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Speaking in the drivers press conference ahead of the 2016 Hungarian Grand Prix, Sergio Perez gave comment on recent remarks from Force India Team Principle Vijay Mallya that both he and team mate Nico Hulkenberg would remain with the team for the 2017 season;

“I’m very lucky to have many sponsors behind me, so I’m not alone. I don’t decide my future on my own. I need to speak with my group of sponsors to see what is best for our future, and then we will decide. We have some time in the summer break, and then we will decided what is best for my career”

When pushed on the Mallya’s comments around his 2017 agreement with the team Sergio confirmed;

“What Vijay says is correct, but as I said, it depends on my sponsors as well. We will decide together what to do”

With opportunities at Ferrari, Red Bull Racing closed down for 2017 and Mercedes likely to retain it’s current line up, opportunities for Sergio Perez to move to a front running team appear limited. However, neither driver at Williams is confirmed for 2017, whilst this on paper in terms of 2016 standings would appear at best to be a lateral move. A team with the resources of Williams tend to perform strongly in a period of regulation change. The team could be an attractive proposition for the Mexican and is sponsors in 2017.

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: 2017 technical regulations an opportunity for Shell

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The impact of  2017 changes in Formula One technical regulations have received significant media attention in recent months. With wider tyres and increased front and rear wings coming our way, the visual impact of a 2017 F1 challenger is set to be quite dramatic. An area which has been explored in less detail has been the impact the regulations may or may not have on fuel performance.

Speaking to select media at a Shell V-Power event at the Bruntingthorpe proving ground in Leicestershire following the British Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel and Guy Lovett, Shell Motorsport Innovation Manger, spoke about the regulations and the possible implications.

Guy Lovett: ” It [the regulation changes] gives us a little more opportunity, the token system is abolished so the engine development side of things is more open and its the same on the fuel side. The important thing is for us to exploit our close relationship with Ferrari and ultimately develop the best package. From a fuel perspective, that doesn’t necessarily  change how we work, it just gives us more opportunity”

Sebastian Vettel  “from a driving point of view, next year we will have more grip, more downforce, but that means also more drag down the straight which might slow us down a bit. And the fuel consumption might go up because you have more drag. Equally we go faster through the corners, so it will be interesting to see from that front what we need to do in the car. will we be saving fuel or can we be flat out?”

You can view the interview in full through the Shell Motorsport Periscope Channel Here:

Questions around the impact of 2017 regulations from JWGP can be seen at around 10 minutes into the broadcast.

Over the course of 2015, Shell V-Power introduced five fuel compound upgrades to Scuderia Ferrari, these upgrades delivered a performance improvement of around 0.5 seconds per lap. Such a rate of development and performance gain is a testament to the strength of the partnership. The development race continues into 2016 with Shell set to introduce a new fuel compound for Scuderia Ferrari in the coming races. With such a significant regulation change coming in 2017 Shell have already begun to divert resources towards the 2017 programme. After the summer break the resource split between seasons will be around 50/50, with a complete shift to 2017 planning coming soon after.

A key defining factor in 2017 compound development will be final conclusion of the technical regulations. At this time it has not been confirmed if Fuel tank capacity will increase from 100kg to 105kg or if the current regulation will be maintained. As mentioned earlier in the interview with increased drag through the aero regulations likely to increase fuel consumption, if fuel tanks remain at 100kg Shell will focus their efforts seeking efficiency gains. If the fuel tank capacity increases a greater focus on performance from fuel can be expected.

For more from Shell Motorport, you can follow them on Twitter here

Formula One: FIA – Convergence is coming as tokens are dropped

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At the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya, the FIA earlier today held a press conference with Head of Powertrain Fabrice Lom & F1 Director Charlie Whiting, chaired by Matteo Bonciani, to discuss the developments in the Power Unit Strategy from the governing body.

The full transcript of the press conference can be found here

Changes explored in this press conference are set to be implemented from 2017 onwards.

In essence the FIA have broken the power unit strategy into 4 pillars:

  1. Addressing the cost of current Power Unit technology
  2. Obligation to supply
  3. Convergence of Power Unit performance
  4. Reviewing the sound of current Power Unit technology

For details on each of the pillars I highly recommend reviewing the press conference transcript, particularly the area regarding engine supply plans (pillar2), as referenced on this site earlier this week.

One other area of specific interest is that of power convergence. Fabrice Lom explains the need and enabler to the topic here :

“The third pillar was to help performance convergence. So, to do that the first big thing that people thought was important is to have stability in the regulations.”

Regulations stability closes the door to dropping hybrid technology for the FIA and ensures the series Power Unit Strategy remains relevant to the automotive industry:

“There was a lot of discussion of changing completely the regulations, going back to normally aspirated engines, no hybrid. Firstly, nobody wanted that because the trend of the world is to go hybrid and to go low consumption.

But also they thought if there is a big change there will be a redistribution of the cards and there could be a big difference in performance between the power unit manufacturers, so they said stability of regulations would help a lot. So this is the first tool for convergence.”

The current token system around Power Unit development would not facilitate an environment in which manufacturers would be able to achieve a convergence of performance. However to ensure there is no ‘free for all’ the FIA will be implementing specific restrictions around such developments:

“Then we free the tokens, because the ones that are a bit behind wanted no limitation of development to try to recover. We also put limits on some performance related dimensions. This is a bit technical and you all have the regulations but for example we put limits on the crankshaft dimensions, on the weights of some parts, so we are sure that there are limits on the development on these items. These limits were put where the best one is today, so that people know the target and also allow us to stop the best ones to develop more, to go lighter or smaller, so that we put something like a bit of a barrier to development.

In addition to this we put limits on the boost temperature, so they cannot develop too much their cooling and also a bit of packaging on the energy store and control electronics to avoid having to redo all the energy store to help the chassis performance.”

Following this overview the FIA opened the press conference to the floor. In this session further questions around convergence were addressed.

When you do the power convergence, how are you going to ensure that whoever your benchmark is is actually not sand-bagging at the time to be artificially low, so that you can ensure that you have there actual performance to ensure that they don’t gain an advantage after the convergence date?

Fabrice: So clearly the package is to help convergence. We are not mandating convergence; there is no prescribed convergence. So we just put measure that should help convergence.

Naturally the convergence will come with the stability of regulation and we try to speed up the convergence by having these measures but there is no prescribed convergence.

What’s the timeframe for sorting this convergence out, because they have talked about 0.3s per lap around Barcelona. When would expect that to be in place and what if it’s not? What if one of the manufacturers has found something and is suddenly 1.0s clear?

Fabrice: So this figure of 0.3s is apparently something that went in the media. There is nothing prescribed, as I said, but we will measure it at the beginning of each season and if it is considered to be not at the level that we expect to be, we will come back to the Strategy Group and just report, and then what will happen will be a decision of the Strategy Group, according to the F1 governance we have today.

It remains to be seen how in reality a convergence system will work. Given limitations around Power Unit components through a season, manufacturers will  a limited opportunities to introduce updates without penalty. The sport should also question if convergence, which is tantamount to standardisation, is the direction any sport representing a pinnacle should be taking. That being said ‘the show’ element of Formula One can be assured through these actions, which may encourage further investment and a new audience to the sport.

At this time Formula One Management have made no comment around the FIA’s Power Unit Pillar Strategy.

 

 

Formula One: Silly Season Predictions

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Four races into the 2016 Formula One season seems as good a time as any to kick off 2017 silly season.  For the purpose of this piece I’ve elected to focus only on driver line up. Talk of power unit supply, and other partnerships will be addressed later in the season.

Starting with the seemingly inevitable 2016 Constructor’s Champions Mercedes AMG Petronas. Lewis Hamilton renewed his commitment to the team midway through 2015, despite growing frustrations around reliability through his 2016 campaign, it is highly unlikely he will be leave the team anytime soon. Nico Rosberg on the other hand is in a very different situation with his contract expiring at the end of the 2016 season.  Winning the opening four races of the year is likely to have strengthened Nico’s hand at the negotiating table, but team management have expressed concern around team mate harmony in the past. Should the Lewis Nico partnership boil over in the same way it has in the past two seasons, champion elect or otherwise Nico may be forced to look elsewhere for his 2017 seat. That being said such a situation is extremely improbable, I would expect an announcement of Nico Rosberg’s contract extension around the Monaco Grand Prix.

Scuderia Ferrari find themselves in an interesting position. The team are rebuilding with a clear objective of Sebastian Vettel becoming the team’s next world champion. He is under contract for another two seasons and has himself spoken of a desire to emulate the success of Michael Schumacher with the team. That leaves the second seat with the team, Kimi Räikkönen plays the part of number two driver admirably. He is consistent but lacks the ultimate pace seen earlier in his career. With Sebastian and Kimi the team have had a harmonious partnership, but is Kimi sufficiently motivated enough to continue? I think not. This leaves the second seat with the team open for 2017, many pundits believe the team will make a bid for Max Verstappen, I see this as highly unlikely, he represents a threat to the Vettel era the team are trying to create. A more plausible move for the team would be to look toward a more known quantity, I see Sergio Perez as a strong candidate for the seat. As a former Ferrari Academy driver he is known to the team and he is strongly tied to the Slim family, sponsors the team through the telecommunications giant Telcel.

Red Bull Racing will more than likely become the home of Max Verstappen in 2017, many believe the deal is already in place, and that it is the knowledge of this deal has seen Daniil Kvyat find himself at the centre of a few too many incidents this season. It is understood that Daniel Ricciardo is under contract for the 2017 season, his contract may include similar performance related clauses that facilitated Sebastian Vettel’s move to Ferrari for 2015, but Ricciardo is likely to have fewer top line seats available to him. Sebastian is unlikely to support a proposal for him to join him at the Scuderia having been sounded beaten by the Australian in 2014.  I expect Daniel to stay put in 2017.

Williams Martini Racing have a problem. In 2014 they made struck gold in moving to the Mercedes Power Unit, returning the team to a top four position in the constructor’s championship. Unfortunately for them, something is still lacking. In Massa and Bottas they have two highly capable drivers, but seemingly drivers that lack a level of aggression to push for an out and out win. The line up seems too comfortable in itself. After a career spanning 14 seasons I believe 2016 will be Felipe Massa’s final year in Formula One. His retirement opens up an attractive seat on the grid. There has been talk of Button returning to the team where he made his name, but to me this seems unlikely, replacing experience with experience is short sighted. I believe Frank Williams has his eye on Daniil Kvyat. His aggression, almost desperation to perform may be just the thing to reawaken the drive in Valtteri Bottas. Together they may finally get Williams back to the top step.

Moving to Renault Sport F1. I predict this driver line up could be in place long before the 2017 season. When Renault Sport F1 took ownership of the Lotus F1 team at the end of 2015 they inherited a driver line up of Pastor Maldonado and Jolyon Palmer. The turbulent nature of the Venezuelan economy soon bought an end to the financial support Maldonado was expected to bring to the team, allowing Renault to bring in Kevin Magnussen, a driver I expect to be with the team for a number of years.  Jolyon Palmer’s position with the team looks far less secure. The team have been publically critical of his performances in the opening races of the season, and with Renault ownership comes an expectation of a French driver joining the line up. Esteban Ocon, currently on loan to Renault from Mercedes is highly likely be the driver to relieve Palmer of his duties in the near future. In Ocon, Renault Sport F1 have a possible future world champion, with all the plaudits Max Verstappen has received since breaking on to the F1 grid, it has been quietly forgotten that Ocon actually beat Verstappen in their F3 season together.

Mclaren Honda have three drivers and two seats for 2017. The Honda partnership is showing signs of coming together, Fernando Alonso is believed to be in a three-year deal with team which would take him through 2017, he has restated his commitment to the team on numerous occasions. Jenson Button has been planning his retirement for the past two seasons, 2016 looks likely to be the season he gets to implement these plans. With a point scoring debut n Bahrain earlier this year Stoffel Vandoorne is almost certain to take replace the Brit. Only unexpected availability of either Mercedes driver could change the teams plans.

Force India – The Benetton team of the modern era, not the championship winning Benetton, but the 1996-2000 Benetton, capable of the odd shock result but never genuinely considered as a threat. I expect to see a complete overhaul of the Force India’s driver line up for 2017. Nico Hülkenberg having tasted victory at Le Mans with Porsche must be asking himself if he is happy to finish 7th in a Force India week in week out, or would be prefer to mount a championship challenge in the World Endurance Championship, I expect the lure will become too great in 2017. As commented earlier I expect to see Perez join Ferrari next season, leaving two open seats. Force India have spent years developing a strong Mexican sponsorship portfolio, and are giving Alfonso Celis as much time as is possible in the car this year to prove he has what it takes to stake a claim for a drive. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely he’s make the grade at least in 2017. The continued instability around majority shareholder and team principle Vijay Mallya hangs over the team like a cloud, which could push out driver line up decisions well into the back end of 2016. I expect the team will be looking for a line up with financial backing, If Celis does not make the grade perhaps the Banco do Brasil backed Felipe Nasr would be a contender for a seat, alongside a Mercedes supported Pascal Wehrlein, who had been touted for to replace Hülkenberg in 2016.

Scuderia Toro Rosso have developed quite the ruthless reputation when it comes to driver retention. The team represent the penultimate step on the Red Bull young driver development program, with Max Verstappen almost certainly heading to the top team for 2017, that leaves Carlos Sainz. Whilst performances indicate he is capable of beating Max, history suggests that it is unlikely he will be retained for a 3rd season. I predict a fresh line up for the team with Pierre Gasly stepping up from GP2 and Sérgio Sette Câmara making a leap from F3 to the big leagues (super license points dispensation pending)

With huge technical regulation changes heading to the sport in 2017, the long-term benefits of the Haas F1 Team, Scuderia Ferrari relationship may well be short lived. The team will be looking for stability in the race team. Taking this into consideration I expect to see both Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutiérrez to stay on board for a second season.

Decisions around seats with Manor Racing and the Sauber F1 team are likely to be decided based on financial backing or support a driver can bring to a team.  It would be foolish to predict where the money will be come the end of the 2016 season. That said, the FIA mandated payment structure for 2017 power unit supply is going to apply a lot of pressure to small teams at the very beginning of the year. Teams will be seeking cash rich partners to front the bill, the size of a driver’s wallet could prove move valuable than ever for these teams in 2017.

Formula One: Red Bull Racing 2017 Engine Supply to be confirmed by the Spanish GP

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Under the 2017 Formula One Sporting Regulations published on April 29th 2016, power unit manufacturers; Renault, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, and Ferrari ,must confirm to the sports governing body details of the teams they will supply power units to for the 2017 season no later than May 15th 2016 (the date of the Spanish GP), unless all parties agree to a later date.

This addition to the sporting regulations will put an end to protracted season long negotiations between teams and power unit suppliers as seen with Red Bull Racing through the 2015 season.

With a unanimous agreement to extend the deadline to submit this information to the FIA unlikely, Red Bull Racing have 11 days to finalise 2017 power unit supply plans. It is highly unlikely the addition of this requirement in the sporting regulations come as a surprise to the team, no doubt negotiations are well advanced if not an agreement already in place.

Given the improved reliability and performance Red Bull Racing have seen in the opening rounds of the 2016 season with the Tag Heuer branded Renault power unit a change in supplier is thought to be unlikely. Both parties have been keen to speak positivity around the partnership since the beginning of the the 2016 season.

Aside from Red Bull Racing,  Scuderia Toro Rosso, & Sauber may also seek to change engine supply for 2017, any such change would require definition in accordance to the same May 15th deadline. Whilst the 2017 sporting regulations make no mention of manufacturers supplying 4 teams on the grid, it is not thought existing agreements of this nature will not longer be feasible, as such current Mercedes Benz customer agreements are unlikely to change.

However, in accordance to the 2017 sporting regulations, manufacturers are now mandated to facilitate supply 2.75 teams should it be required or requested. In the days following the Russian Grand Prix  Honda have made it public that they are prepared to comply with this regulation and supply an additional two teams if requested. It is possible Honda may seek to expand its presence within the sport in future years with the rumoured exclusivity or veto clause McLaren hold over power unit supply nullified through this regulation development.

To review the 2017 Sporting & Technical Regulations in full follow this link.

Relevant Sporting Regulations Extract:

APPENDIX 9
SUPPLY OF POWER UNITS FOR THE 2017-2020 CHAMPIONSHIP SEASONS

  1. )  No power unit may be used in a given Championship season unless the Power Unit Manufacturer supplying such power unit accepts and adheres to the following conditions.

    Each of the Power Unit Manufacturers of an homologated power unit must :

    1. i)  provide the FIA, before 15 May (or such other date as agreed in writing between all the Power Unit Manufacturers and the FIA) of the season preceding that in which such power units are to be supplied, with the list of teams (clearly identifying the appointed “works/factory” team, if any) to which a supply agreement has been concluded for the given Championship season ;
    2. ii)  if called upon to do so by the FIA before 1 June (or such other date as agreed in writing between all the Power Unit Manufacturers and the FIA) of the season preceding that in which such power units were to be supplied, supply at least a number of teams (“T”) equal to the following equation :

      T = 11-A/B-C

      • –  A = Total number of teams (including “works/factory” teams) having a supply agreement concluded for the given Championship season with a New Power Unit Manufacturer.
      • –  B = Total number of manufacturers of homologated Power Units for the given Championship season.
      • –  C = Total number of New Power Unit Manufacturers for the given Championship season.

        provided that if the result contains a fraction then the fraction shall count as a full team (e.g. 11 teams divided by 4 manufacturers = 2.75, each manufacturer must, if called upon to do so by the FIA, supply at least 3 teams).

Formula One: Vergne trials 2017 F1 tyre compounds with Scuderia Ferrari in Fiorano

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Scuderia Ferrari development driver Jean Eric Vergne is testing 2017 F1 tyre compounds in Fiorano today, Pirelli have confirmed.

Contrary to reports in other news outlets testing from Fiorano today is the first time 2017 Pirelli F1 design concepts have taken to the track. Pastor Maldonardo is yet to participate in any testing for the tyre manufacturer.

Jean Eric Vergne will be completing the test in the 2014 Ferrari F14-T, the first Ferrari of the hybrid era. The test will be used to assess tyre compound and construction only. Modified tyre dimensions set to be introduced under 2017 regulations will not be trialled. At this time Pirelli will not be releasing images from the test.

Formula One: FIA investigate driver protection concepts

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In the FIA run quarterly magazine newsletter AUTO, the FIA have detailed the three driver head protection systems currently under review as part of the 2017 Formula One Technical Regulations.

The publication is available to review in full here:

The three concepts under review feature; the Halo Effect, the Mercedes AMG Petronas advised solution, which creates a solid halo structure around the driver cockpit. The central line roll up, comprising (in concept form) of 3 non rigid supports stretching over the length of the nose section of the car. Finally the is the review of additional frontal protection in the form of 3 rigid structures positioned in front of the cockpit aimed to redirect debris away from the cockpit.

Detailed analysis of each solution is available in the FIA publication. It is understood Red Bull Racing will soon submit an additional concept to the FIA for review which will be more ‘windscreen’ like in design. The FIA aim to define a single solution to be used as a standard component across all teams. The intention is to introduce this development through the 2017 technical regulations.

If you are unable to view the publication through the above page, please use this link.

Formula One: Jordan King sets sights on 2017 F1 debut

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Manor Racing will retain Jordan King in the role of Development Driver for a second season.

Jordan, 22, will continue to play a supporting role within the 2016 driver line-up, at the same time as contending GP2 Series with Racing Engineering.

Jordan King:

“Spending time trackside with the team last year was really important for me and for where I want to get to. I saw all the processes and techniques that go into running an F1 team, plus I got a good grasp of how the tyres work as well as the data. So when I got the chance to drive the MR03B in the Abu Dhabi test, it felt like I’d had a massive head-start and I was really confident. I racked up 300km in that test and loved every second in the car. But what I want to do now is race one and I’m flat out working to achieve that. Continuing in the Development Driver role with Manor Racing is key to that progression and I’m excited to be working with Dave Ryan, Pascal and Rio for the first time, as well as the guys I’m more familiar with.”

Dave Ryan, Racing Director:

“I was at the Abu Dhabi test where Jordan drove our car for the first time and he did an impressive job. It was clear that he’d taken full advantage of the opportunity to get under the skin of the team and understand the systems, processes and people. Over the winter months he helped us to refine driver installation with the new chassis, pending the signing of our race drivers, so the Development Driver role really is mutually beneficial. We look forward to having him around the team and wish him a successful season in GP2.”

In an interview for this site in 2015 Jordan discussed his hopes to make it to the F1 grid by 2017, maintaining his development seat with Manor Racing this season is a further step towards realising this dream. To see the interview in full click here.

Formula One: F1 Commission confirm new bodywork and sporting regulations

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Meetings of the F1 Strategy Group and the F1 Commission were held yesterday in Geneva, with a number of constructive proposals being agreed. Upon the recommendation of the Strategy Group, the F1 Commission passed a series of new measures designed to deliver a faster, more spectacular FIA Formula One World Championship.

Qualifying format

A new qualification format was unanimously accepted by the F1 Commission. The new system is being evaluated for introduction, potentially as soon as the beginning of the 2016 season.

The basis of the new elimination format is as follows:

–        Q1

  • 16 minutes
  • After 7 minutes, slowest driver eliminated
  • Slowest driver eliminated every 1 minute 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag
  • 7 drivers eliminated, 15 progress to Q2

–        Q2

  • 15 minutes
  • After 6 minutes, slowest driver eliminated
  • Slowest driver eliminated every 1 minute 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag
  • 7 drivers eliminated, 8 progress to Q3

–        Q3

  • 14 minutes
  • After 5 minutes, slowest driver eliminated
  • Slowest driver eliminated every 1 minute 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag
  • 2 drivers left in final 1 minute 30 seconds

 

The final elimination in each session occurs at the chequered flag – not when time is up.

Driver of the Day

The F1 Commission agreed to the introduction of a Driver of the Day award, to be implemented by the Commercial Rights Holder in conjunction with Formula One broadcasters, with the intention of driving greater fan engagement.

Viewers will be encouraged to vote online for their “Driver of the Day” throughout a Grand Prix, with the winner to be announced as part of the race broadcast immediately following the conclusion of the race, when the driver will be presented with their prize.

2017 Sporting and Technical Regulations

Following the recommendation of the Strategy Group, the F1 Commission agreed to postpone the deadline for the finalisation of 2017 Sporting and Technical Regulations until 30 April, 2016 – to allow all stakeholders the best opportunity to complete all relevant work.

2017 bodywork

New bodywork regulations have been adopted to create more exciting cars, delivering additional downforce to increase speeds and lower lap times.

The FIA, teams and official tyre supplier will continue discussions on the best solution for testing of the new tyres required as part of the regulations.

Power unit supply

Significant further progress was made on the four major topics regarding Power Unit supply:

–        Supply cost

–        Obligation to supply

–        Performance convergence

–        Further improvement of noise

 

A working group consisting representatives of the FIA, Commercial Rights Holder, Power Unit suppliers and customer teams will undertake further work with the aim of reaching agreement on a plan to meet the above requirements by 30 April, 2016.

Cockpit protection

The F1 Commission confirmed the intention of introducing some form of cockpit protection from the 2017 season. All stakeholders are working together to make this a reality, with the “Halo” concept currently the preferred option. Other options, such as transparent cockpit protection, will continue to be evaluated.

Full analysis of this FIA statement to follow.