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Latest F1 news in brief - Thursday
  • When the Stroll's and their money leave Williams, that could be the final nail in the team's coffin
    When the Strolls and their money leave Williams, that could be the final nail in the team's coffin
    Stroll should leave Williams now - Villeneuve
  • Gasly ready to replace Ricciardo at Red Bull
  • Mick Schumacher confirms F1 'still my goal'
  • F1 still 'pushing' to save German GP - Carey
  • McLaren working to expedite James Key's start date
  • Lauda was days away from death
  • F1 Prize Money down $45 Million Under Liberty Media

Stroll should leave Williams now - Villeneuve
(GMM) Jacques Villeneuve thinks Canadian countryman Lance Stroll should leave Williams immediately.

Stroll's billionaire father Lawrence is leading the consortium that has bought Force India.

"Lance should finish the season at Force India. He should not wait. He should drive in Belgium at the end of the month," Villeneuve, the 1997 world champion, told Le Journal de Montreal.

Paddy Lowe's car is so slow the Stroll's are taking their money elsewhere
Paddy Lowe's car is so slow the Strolls are taking their money elsewhere
Villeneuve thinks amid Williams' abysmal competitive situation, Stroll should jump ship immediately, even though Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon have contracts.

"Anything can be done in F1," he insisted. "We've seen it in the past. Driver changes during the season are doable."

Villeneuve said recently that Williams, the team he won his title with in 1997, is "dying".

He thinks the Strolls jumping ship could now be "the final nail in the coffin".

"The loss not only of Lawrence, but also the sponsor (Martini) is probably the final nail in the coffin," Villeneuve said.

"They'll then lose a lot of TV rights because they'll be at the bottom of the championship. Even pay drivers won't want to spend money there," he added.

Villeneuve said Force India, on the other hand, is a good acquisition for Lawrence Stroll.

"The organization is better than Williams. They only stopped developing this year because they can't afford it.

"Lawrence has always made brands grow. It's one of his strengths. He couldn't do it at Williams because he was not the owner, but his influence will be greater at Force India.

"He will help them. Force India remained a racing team, unlike Williams," he added.

Gasly ready to replace Ricciardo at Red Bull

Is Pierre Gasly ready to be destroyed by Verstappen?
Is Pierre Gasly ready to be destroyed by Verstappen?

(GMM) Pierre Gasly says he is ready to make the step up to Red Bull.

The energy drink owned team is contemplating which driver should replace the Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo.

Gasly, the top driver at Toro Rosso, and Carlos Sainz are the favorites.

"Yes, I would like that but I'm not thinking about it too much," Frenchman Gasly told Marca.

"I am happy with my season so far at Toro Rosso, I'm happy to be here," he added. "At the moment, nothing is decided, I think.

"It's a similar situation to Carlos. We're both waiting to see what happens."

Gasly, 22, says he isn't worried that if he goes to Red Bull too soon, he could end up like Daniil Kvyat without a seat at all.

"No. If I'm fast, I'll have my chance," he insisted.

"I need to focus, make sure I'm fast and the rest will come.

"It depends how you see things. Look at Red Bull and all the drivers who did not reach the first team, or look at Verstappen, Vettel, Ricciardo and the others who were successful."

And if Gasly does stay put, he said he is satisfied if Brendon Hartley stays at Toro Rosso too -- even though the New Zealander has struggled at times.

"Brendon is pretty fast and doesn't make it easy for me," Gasly said.

"I don't care what teammate I have next season, because if I want to be the best, I have to fight against the best.

"It's my first season in F1 and I'm 22, so I am happy to stay at Toro Rosso if they need me. But of course I want to fight for the championship as soon as possible," he added.

Mick Schumacher confirms F1 'still my goal'

Mick Schumacher
Mick Schumacher

(GMM) Mick Schumacher has confirmed that formula one remains his "goal".

A few days ago, F1 chief executive Chase Carey said that if seven time world champion Michael Schumacher's 19-year-old son made it to formula one, it would be a "great story".

Mick Schumacher recently won the European F3 race at Spa.

"I only have good memories of Spa," he said.

"Everyone knows it is my dad's living room and I love racing there because I know how well he did," Schumacher added.

As for his F3 campaign this year, Schumacher is just eighth overall.

"Unfortunately luck has not been on my side so far, but I hope the rest of the season is different now," Speed Week quotes him as saying.

"Of course formula one was my goal and still is. We take it one step at a time," Schumacher added.

F1 still 'pushing' to save German GP - Carey

Germany had a good crowd and will return, but may less
Germany had a good crowd and will return, but may less

(GMM) F1 chief executive Chase Carey has given another strong sign that Germany could retain its place on the 2019 calendar.

With the demise of the new Miami race for next season, it is believed Carey is determined to resurrect a mutually agreeable deal with Hockenheim.

"We're pushing for it," Carey told Auto Bild.

"Hockenheim is an important track and Germany is an automotive nation with a large fan base. It's an important country for us.

"But we need partners who are committed to a race and support it. We are working on that," he added.

As for the 2018 season so far, Carey says he is happy with the show the sport has put on overall.

"The two biggest stars are going head to head," the American told Germany's Sport Bild.

"The advantage we have in formula one is that, like football, we have teams that fight each other. But we also have these man against man duels. And when two such different characters meet, it's electrifying," Carey said, referring to Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

"Vettel against Hamilton is as epic as John McEnroe against Jimmy Connors," he continued. "Both are great champions fighting with everything they have, and in their case it's for their fifth world title.

"And then Hamilton does us another favor with his polarizing gestures," Carey added.

McLaren working to expedite James Key's start date

McLaren ran to the media to announce James Key, now it will cost them more for his early release from Toro Rosso
McLaren ran to the media to announce James Key, now it will cost them more for his early release from Toro Rosso

McLaren are working to expedite James Key's start date after recently announcing they'd signed an agreement for the Britain to join the team as their new technical director.

Key however remains contracted to Toro Rosso on a "long-term" deal, which is believed to run until 2020 and Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko expressed no desire during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend to let him out of that deal early.

"[McLaren boss] Zak Brown asked us if we would release him from this contract earlier," said Marko. "We were still negotiating when suddenly we read in the press that McLaren has signed him. Mr. Key will have to wait a long time before he can work for McLaren."

But Brown, whilst acknowledging the deal, said there were "ways" to make sure he could start sooner rather than later, though he wouldn't expand on what that might involve.

"We have hired James Key, he will become our technical director," Brown insisted. "We do not yet have a start date. He does have a current agreement with Toro Rosso which of course, we respect contractual situations.

"I think Toro Rosso and Red Bull are understandably upset that they’re losing a great talent like James Key. He’s recognized as one of the best technical directors up and down the pit lane. We’re very excited to have him join us in due course.

"There’s always, in the world of Formula 1, ways and opportunities to change situations," he added. "That’s certainly something that we’d potentially consider, but we have a plan.

"We obviously knew his current employment situation and are completely comfortable working around that situation. So as we’ve stated before, we’ve done some restructuring. We’ve done some hiring. We’re not done yet, so we’re just head down, operating according to the internal plan that we have."

It's been suggested McLaren could loan Formula 2 star Lando Norris to Toro Rosso in exchange for Key, but it's likely parent team Red Bull would want a long-term deal with the British driver, therefore McLaren may be forced to release him entirely which would be a tough decision for Brown, who is known to be a big supporter of the 18-year-old.

Lauda was days away from death

Lauda (R) will be happy when he returns to the track
Lauda (R) will be happy when he returns to the track

Speaking at a press conference in Vienna, the team of specialists at Vienna General Hospital (AKH) behind Niki Lauda's lung transplant have revealed that the racing legend had a life expectancy of days ahead of last week’s operation.

Christian Hengstenberg (Head of the Department of Internal Medicine II and Head of the Cardiology Department), Marco Idzko (Head of the Pulmonary Department), Walter Klepetko (Head of the Department of Thoracic Surgery), Rainer Oberbauer (Head of the Department of Nephrology and dialysis), Gottfried Heinz (Clinical Department of Cardiology), Konrad Hotzenecker (Clinical Department of Thoracic Surgery) and Peter Jaksch (Clinical Department of Thoracic Surgery) were all present for the press conference which comes a week after the operation.

"Mr. Lauda suffered from a so-called hemorrhagic alveolitis," revealed Marco Idzko. "This is an inflammation of the alveoli, which had been accompanied by bleeding into the pulmonary tissue and respiratory tract.

"This ultimately leads to the destruction and loss of functional lung tissue," he added, "and the patient is no longer able to absorb enough oxygen through his lungs."

"Unfortunately, after ten days in intensive care, because of a critical oxygen supply, therapy escalated," revealed Gottfried Heinz. "Therefore, we had to perform a mechanical lung replacement, an ECMO, an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation."

With his life expectancy now measured in days, the three-time world champion was listed for an imminent transplant.

"We could assume that he would be assigned a suitable organ within the next few days," said Konrad Hotzenecker. "The average waiting time in this case was five days.

"The lung has an excellent primary function, so that we were able to remove the circulatory support, the ECMO, in the operating theatre," explained Hotzenecker. "The graft lung has taken over its function well."

"The patient survived it excellently and could already be extubated after 24 hours," revealed Christian Hengstenberg. "That means, the tube in the lung could be removed and the patient could breathe spontaneously.

"This is extremely important for us and for the entire healing process as well," he added. "We can see that he is fully conscious and that all the institutions are functioning properly. Everything is completely in order. It's a very, very gratifying development."

"After such a big operation, you feel like you've been hit by a tank," admitted Hengstenberg. "But already after 24 hours Mr. Lauda could breathe independently. Of course, this is very important for the entire healing process."

"Survival rates are over 90 percent after one year, and around 75 percent after five years," said Peter Jaksch. "Patients usually have a very good quality of life."

Doctor Rainer Oberbauer told Bild newspaper that the transplanted kidney donated by Lauda's wife Brigid ten years ago had also failed.

"Fortunately we were able to restore function," he said.

As for the new lung, surgeon Walter Klepetko commented: "If the course continues to be positive, the patient can return to his normal life."

Another doctor, Christian Hengstenberg, said: "The patient will certainly need intensive care for some time, but after that it can be less intensive."

F1 Prize Money down $45 Million Under Liberty Media

One man, Bernie Ecclestone, made F1 a fortune, with twice as many staff as Bernie had, Liberty Media is burning through cash, has not signed a single new race or sponsor
One man, Bernie Ecclestone, made F1 a fortune, with twice as many staff as Bernie had, Liberty Media is burning through cash, and has not signed a single new race or sponsor

Formula One’s teams are on track to receive $45 million less prize money this year than before Liberty Media took the wheel of the racing series in January 2017 according to results released today.

They show that in the three months to the end of June the ten teams received $307 million of prize money which was a 7% drop on the same period last year. Contrary to a report in British sports magazine Autosport, the teams haven’t taken a $23 million hit on the previous year as Liberty’s documents state that “team payments are recognized pro rata with the number of races.”

The number of races has increased this year so naturally the pro rata payment has reversed but the total amount of prize money the teams receive will actually rise. The addition of the French Grand Prix has driven the total to 21 races with seven taking place in the latest quarter like last year.

It gives a total of $921 million in prize money for 2018 which is an increase of $2 million on last year. However, it is a staggering $45 million less than the total the teams received in 2016, the year before Liberty bought F1 and listed it on the Nasdaq with the ticker FWONK.

The drop has been driven by a boost in costs which has put pressure on F1’s bottom line leading to lower prize money payments as the teams share 68% of its underlying profits. Costs have accelerated as Liberty has re-branded F1, commissioned an official theme tune, launched an Esports series, moved the series to a plush new headquarters in London and doubled its headcount.

In the latest quarter alone, F1’s costs, aside from the prize money payments, increased by a staggering $27 million. The results reveal that this was fueled by “increased fan engagement activities, freight, technical activities and digital media” as well as “increased marketing and research costs and foreign exchange movements.”

Since it stepped into the driving seat, Liberty hasn’t signed a major new sponsor or race. Its much-vaunted plan to host a Grand Prix on the streets of Miami in 2019 recently got the red light. Forbes.com

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