Discussion in 'general sports' started by spitfire, Nov 27, 2016.
I was using edge, but I could try on chrome. No matter now, I had other things to get on with
I wish they'd get a grip with the toe-curling podium interviews. I have to mute the sound.
Oh, Danny Ric is serving verruca cocktails.
The driver market
It seems that the driver market is waiting for Ferrari to make a decision over it's 2018 driver line-up, both drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel are out of contract at the end of this season. A seat behind the wheel of Ferrari is considered the pinnacle of the sport for the vast majority of drivers, so they should be in a position to pick the best. With Lewis Hamilton contracted to Mercedes until the end of 2018 it seems that all other seats are up for grabs. Red Bull management have been very vocal in claiming that both their drivers are contracted until at least 2018, but most F1 experts are saying they don't believe that Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen have signed contracts without performance clauses and that both could leave the team if these clauses are not met.
While Valtteri Bottas has a one year contract with Mercedes and reports are claiming that Niki Lauda has told friends that Vettel has signed a pre-agreement to driver for Mercedes in 2018 things are still very confused, but clearly the German team would love to have a Germany driver.
Other rumors in the driver market are that Jolyon Palmer may be dropped by Renault during the summer break to be replaced by Sergey Sirotkin (third and reserve driver for the Renault Formula 1 team this season) for the rest of the season. In the longer term it is thought that Fernando Alonso is top of Renault's wish list but there is also talk that Sergio Perez is also wanted if they can't afford Alonso's fee. Perez signed a 1 year extension to his Force India contract at the end of 2016 saying "Going on to a new generation of rules [for 2017] all I wanted was to have some stability, not to move around too much. Loyalty also plays an important role for me because this team has been continually good for me, for my career. But obviously it is a one-year extension, and that's it. I want to see where we are for next year and what's available for the future".
2018 F1 calendar bit of a nightmare
The FIA usually issue a draft calendar for teams around this time of year, although the official calendar will not be produced until much later in the year. 2018 is going to be a tricky year for the calendar as the World Cup in Russia is on the 15th July with a kick-off time in western Europe being at 3pm. This is smack-bang in the middle of the European leg of the season, it is also the weekend of the Wimbledon Finals, so unless they drop a flyaway race in the middle of July with a start time in the morning for Europe this weekend is out for sure. Le Mans is on the weekend of June the 17 and F1 have already stated that they don't want a clash with that. With France and Germany returning to the calendar in 2018 this makes the European leg very complicated and we may even see 3 back to back races to ensure all races can be fitted in. Baku, Austria, France, Britain, Germany and Hungary are all looking for a race in July and with the 15 being blocked by the World Cup 6 into 3 just will not go. Canada falls right in the middle of the European leg between Spain and Baku and should be moved closer to the other races in the Americas, but Canada like Monaco is thought to have a "fixed date" written into its contract, Monaco has a contract that its race is on the last weekend of May and it is believed that Canada has a choice of the two weekends in the middle of June.
With Liberty Media wanting to extend the calendar things can only get harder to sort-out and the teams say it is extremely hard for them to hold back to back races because they need additional crews to cover the ground necessary to get all the equipment from track to track and the logistics involved in this are very difficult, the larger teams hospitality units can take 4 days to build.
2018 provisional calendar has 21 races
Date Race Circuit
25-Mar Australia Melbourne
08-Apr China Shanghai*
15-Apr Bahrain Sakhir
29-Apr Azerbaijan Baku
13-May Spain Barcelona
27-May Monaco Monaco
10-Jun Canada Montreal
24-Jun France Le Castellet
01-Jul Austria Spielberg
08-Jul Great Britain Silverstone
22-Jul Germany Hockenheim
29-Jul Hungary Budapest
26-Aug Belgium Spa Francorchamps
02-Sep Italy Monza
16-Sep Singapore Singapore*
30-Sep Russia Sochi
07-Oct Japan Suzuka
21-Oct USA Austin
28-Oct Mexico Mexico City
11-Nov Brazil Sao Paulo*
25-Nov Abu Dhabi Yas Marina
* Subject to commercial rights holder confirmation
Some interesting info, the first ever triple-header in the history of F1, with the French, British and Austrian rounds taking place on successive weekends. There is no clash with Le Mans (16/17 June) but there is again a clash with the Indy 500. The biggest change is the Russian Grand Prix which moves from April to September and will form a back-to-back with Japan.
That is a brutal schedule for the teams...
Has team principal Monisha Kaltenborn left Sauber?
Just yesterday I was reading a press release from Sauber with quotes from Monisha Kaltenborn welcoming Additive Industries as a new sponsor to the team, but today there are reports that she has left Sauber. While the team has yet to make any official statement, it seems she has gone because of disagreements with the new owners Longbow Finance. It isn't clear at the moment if she walked or was pushed. Kaltenborn is the sport's first woman team principal and joined Sauber in 2000 to run the legal department, she took over as chief executive in 2010, she took over from Peter Sauber as team principal in 2012, she is also a part owner of the team. There have been rumors that Pascal Picci the chairman of the holding company and Monisha haven't seen eye to eye on a number of issues since the team was sold last year.
One issues is believed to be the treatment of the team's Swedish driver Marcus Ericsson (believed a main force in Longbow Finance buying the team) and Germany's Pascal Wehrlein, with the owners wanting to give priority to the former. Ericsson has yet to score a point in seven races this season while Wehrlein, a Mercedes-backed driver, finished eighth in Spain in May. Kaltenborn has also been trying to recruit new technical leadership but the board are not willing to put up the money.
While it is early days there are a couple of people who would be able to step-in at keep things running, Dave Ryan (ex-Manor boss) and Frederic Vasseur (who recently left Renault) are both free agents with experience, also Jost Capito the ex-CEO of McLaren could be available.
Could Porsche be about to join the F1 circus
According to Auto Bild in Germany, Porsche have accepted an invitation to join the next F1 engine meeting as discussions continue about what rules and regulations should be in place beyond 2020. The Volkswagen-owned German sports car maker has just won its third overall victory at Le Mans on the trot and the post-2020 engine rules for Le Mans have already been set. But Porsche's Le Mans chief Fritz Enzinger has also revealed that it is no guarantee that the team will remain in that class of racing.
Interestingly, both McLaren's Zak Brown and Eric Boullier were present at Le Mans as guests of Porsche, sparking further speculation that they are interested in a customer engine deal with company. While Formula 1 isn't the only option open to Porsche it is being reported that Porsche's Fritz Enzinger and his fellow chief Andreas Seidl will attend the Austrian grand prix.
Jean Todt has confirmed there is interest from new teams
Re the above story;
FIA president Jean Todt has confirmed there is interest from new teams to join Formula 1 in the near future, but will not issue a tender until firm proposals have been put forward. The F1 grid dropped to 10 teams for 2017 following the closure of Manor Racing, marking its lowest full-season contingent since 2009. Speculation emerged in recent weeks that personnel from existing teams are being headhunted for a new project based in the UK, with concrete details about the operation yet to become clear.
Speaking to reporters at the FIA Sport Conference in Geneva on Tuesday, Todt said that the FIA would like to have another two teams racing in F1, as well as confirming that there had been recent interest, "when we feel it is time, we will be able to make a tender. At the moment we have ten teams and the idea is to have up to 12 teams, so we have an opportunity, if we have one or two strong newcomers it could be possible. There are always rumours, but we have had some interest from some teams".
The last new team to join F1 through an FIA tender was Haas, which joined the grid in 2016. Todt said that getting another new project on the grid would have to follow a similar process, "it's going through a kind of audit to see who are the potential buyers. If it's a big manufacturer, it's easy, if it's a privateer, you need to be more careful. And then, once you are sure that there is a real interest, and once you're sure that people are able, like it was the case with Haas, for example, then we make tender".
Another GP weekend.
The schedule isn't bad for Europeans, or indeed for fans left of London.
The UK times:
Fri 23 June
FP1 - 10.00
FP2 - 14.00
Sat 24 June
FP3 - 11.00
Qual - 14.00
Sun 25 June
Race - 14.00
Sorry to hear about Monisha maybe leaving the team.
I always respected her honesty, and her ability - holding that team together in some pretty gruelling circumstances.
China F1 Racing Team Ltd
What appears to be a non-trading company called Bronze Fortune Ltd first registered in 2003 has recently changed it's name to China F1 Racing Team Ltd. It seems to only have one director a French lawyer by the name of Michael Orts
While there have been rumors of people from established teams being headhunted, it would seem strange for anyone to take a job in a company that doesn't have an entry in the FIA F1 World Championship and starting a team from scratch, other than by a car manufacturer seems a strange way to go. Buying an existing team is not only a much cheaper option but also ensures you may be eligible for prize money from year one. Any new team has to wait 3 years to get any serious return from the prize fund.
It is too late for any company wanting to enter F1 (as a new team) to be able to race in 2018, so the earliest would be 2019. As mentioned above Todt has said the FIA would like to see 12 teams on the grid, so there are two "entry's" up for grabs. I think once the new power-units are sorted out and the new concorde agreement is in place we will see new teams joining the grid.
There are two teams that could be for sale, Force India have been up for sale for a while, despite Vijay Mallya claiming it is not. The chairman of the company Sahara Force India, Subrata Roy is still in jail and Mallya managing director and team principal is wanted by the Indian government on fraud and money laundering charges. Also I believe that Saubers new owners, an investment company would sell for the right price. Longbow Finance only took over the company as Peter Sauber was no longer able to finance the company (the problem for any investor in buying Sauber is its location, but its assets would be worth picking up).
If those two teams were available, what would be the point in anyone starting from scratch? I could see a manufacture starting a new team as investment and 3 years running cost without any return from prize money wouldn't be such a problem and they would more than likely get a couple of teams to buy their power-units.
As 1%er reported earlier, the main news today on Sky F1 is Monisha leaving Sauber.
Indeed a murky yarn of driver preference seems to be behind it.
And Vasseur is being reported as the likeliest candidate to step in.
It's nice to get the griff a couple of days before Sky puts it out.
Now do you get it?
McLaren/Honda to start from the back of the grid at Baku
The FIA have confirmed that both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne have received 15 place grid penalties with both cars having a sixth turbo and MGU-H. McLaren also fitted a fourth engine and fourth MGU-K to Alonso's car, but neither are subject to penalties as they are within the quota.
This year the FIA clamped down on a loophole in the rules that allowed teams to stockpile components and take a big penalty at a single event in order to avoid penalties at future events. The revised rule states that "if a driver introduces more than one of a power unit element that is subject to penalty, only the last element fitted may be used at subsequent events without further penalty. This is to prevent the stockpiling of spare power unit elements".
Williams will not be Honda works team
Williams has categorically rejected reports it might become the new works Honda team for 2018. It is believed McLaren will split with the struggling Japanese manufacturer after three hapless years, potentially leaving backmarker Sauber as the only Honda-powered team next season. Williams, however, has been linked with taking over the McLaren deal, but deputy chief Claire Williams said: "The rumours about talks with Honda are just wrong. We are more than satisfied with our Mercedes power, so there is no question of a change".
Blue flag rule to be tweaked
Formula 1's blue flag procedures have been slightly tweaked for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix following recent complaints from drivers about the difficulties of lapping traffic this year. While backmarkers are supposed to move aside for lead cars as soon as they get given a blue flag warning, the timing of that alert was changed for the start of this season. While the slower cars should get a pre-warning from their teams when leaders are three seconds behind them, an official automatic trigger point for blue flags and lights in the cockpit was reduced from 1.5s to 1.0s for the start of 2017. Though the actual change in time was minimal, the need to get that half-second closer to the car in front in a season when the aerodynamic changes have made it harder to follow closely has led to a situation where some lead drivers thinking lapping cars has been made too hard.
Having listened to the drivers, F1 race director Charlie Whiting has decided upon a slight tweak to the timings from this weekend with the blue flags and lights now triggered at 1.2s rather than 1.0s. The FIA will view what impact this change makes on the backmarker situation before deciding whether further tweaks are needed or it is the right solution. A note sent from Whiting to teams said: "When the faster car is within 1.2s of the car about to be lapped blue flags will be shown to the slower car (in addition to blue light panels, blue cockpit lights and a message on the timing monitors) and the driver must allow the following driver to overtake at the first available opportunity".
Liberty Media want free-to-air F1 races
Formula One’s new owners believe the UK television rights deal they have inherited from the previous management, led by Bernie Ecclestone, is detrimental to the sport – with coverage entirely behind a paywall from 2019 to 2024. Sean Bratches, the managing director of commercial operations for the Formula One Group, sees free-to-air television as key to the future of the sport but F1 will be shown exclusively on Sky for five years from 2019. On Tuesday the chief executive, Chase Carey, criticised Ecclestone as having a “short-term, deal of the day focus”. “Free to air is critically important to us,” Bratches said at the FIA conference. “My vision as it relates to media rights is a hybrid of free to air and pay. Our plan is to balance the two but have a prominent, over the year, free-to-air voice. That is important from a fans, sponsors and relevance standpoint. There is the cauldron full of cash on the pay side and on the other side of the scale you have brand and reach. My view is a 30-70 model of free-to-air to pay, where you have a number of grands prix to be on free to air and then we can play and toil with the pay side to generate revenue that we can reinvest back into the sport.”
Sky’s coverage began in 2012 when the BBC was still showing 10 races a season, after which year the 2015 Formula One global media report showed a drop of 3.8 million viewers in the UK. It was the sharpest drop during a 17% fall in viewing figures between 2011 and 2015 cited in the same report. Bratches was aware of the global decline but insisted they could not be renegotiate. “That deal is an agreement that we inherited,” he said. “They are done between adult parties at an arm’s length and my suspicion is that Sky is very happy and we are going to honour and respect the deals that were in place when we arrived.”
Cricket is an example of the issues of losing a sport from free-to-air TV. The 2005 Ashes on Channel Four hit a peak audience of 8.4m compared to the final day of England’s first Test victory against Australia in 2015 which had an audience on Sky of 467,000. The same year the Sport England Active People survey showed a decline of 32% in the number of people aged 16 or older playing cricket at least once a month during the season since 2007.
For Formula One, participation is not the benchmark but catching the fans of the future when they are young is crucial. Most followers will attest that it was in their youth that they formed an affiliation to the sport.
I'm not sure if it is really true or just PR, after all Liberty Media surprisingly with such a name are a media company
I think they will look at the overall picture and understand that a mixed format will produce the most revenue and biggest fan base. Clearly in this day and age a subscription service over the internet has to be on the cards, but I think the current TV deals rule that out in the short term.
I think we will see a deal in the years ahead that has all the formats covered, pay-to view, free to air and internet. How such a deal would be structured is well above my pay grad, but would be the best way to promote the sport. I can see no reason not to have the race on youtube, but I think it would be a day or two after the race, as showing it live over the internet on their own platform would allow Liberty Media to increase its advertising revenue.
Oh lordy. FP2.
Alonso has a brand new engine and power unit bits, with penalties and stuff...
... and the power unit has blown up.
All the cars have been struggling for grip in FP2.
I think all of them have steamed into the run-off areas at least once.
Red Bulls were looking really good until Max stuffed his motor into a barrier.
edit: Sky commentator said he stopped counting yellow flags in FP2 when it reached 50!
Good morning and welcome to the inaugural qualifying session of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Here is an interview with Christian Horner after FP1, he has some interesting things to say, not least that both Red Bull drivers are still on junior drivers contracts (albeit with better money). So these contract do not have get-out clauses Horner claims. What is interesting is that Max's dad signed his contract as he wasn't 18 at the time of signing, so I wonder if Max could challenge that?
Looks like Force India are looking at a name change. Wanting drop the word "India".
You are correct there was a race last year but it was not the Azerbaijan Grand Prix it was the European Grand Prix in Azerbaijan, the records books will show the difference
Yeah, realised that after I'd posted.
Fair play to Hamilton and Mercedes
Hamilton nearly up to Schumacher on poles now which is some achievement.
Side by side grid for tomorrow Mer, Fer. Stroll in front of Massa
Lewis will do it and in much fewer races I believe.
Schumacher scored 68 polls from 308 starts (22.8% conversion rate) and Lewis has scored 66 polls from 196 starts (33.67% conversion rate). I'm not sure if Lewis can get a better conversion rate than Senna who had 65 polls from 162 starts a rate of 40.12%.
Only 3 drivers have a better percentage but with many fewer races, Juan Manuel Fangio 29 polls from 52 races (55.77%), Jim Clark 33 polls from 73 races (45.21%) and Alberto Ascari 14 polls from 33 races (42.42%).
Out of interest looking at the tables our friends from Sky F1 Johnny Herbert & Martin Brundle are joint top of the table for "most races entries without a poll position"
MB could probably have had a much better career, though, if he hadn't had his accident, which smashed up his ankles. He only narrowly missed out on beating Senna to the Formula 3 Championship in 1983.
Yes, Johnny Herbert also nearly lost both his feet in an accident as well.
The 83 F3 championship is well covered in the book "the life of Senna" well worth a read, MB lost in the last few laps of the last race (it was 84 he broke both ankles, his first season in F1 the Dallas GP)
I still haven't seen a single race this year.
I think it's safe to say I've fell out of love with F1. I'd followed it since I was 10 years old
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