Latest F1 news in brief – Thursday

  • Christian Horner says Liberty underestimated F1 commitment
    Christian Horner says Liberty underestimated F1 commitment

    Liberty 'underestimated' F1 takeover – Horner

  • Canada GP promoter says 'no animosity' with Liberty
  • Honda 'having a strong winter' – Horner
  • Aero changes will not help overtaking – Horner
  • Jan Lammers to be Dutch GP boss
  • Gasly in 'best situation' next to Verstappen
  • Leclerc must not be impatient – Todt
  • Horner: We paid Renault for a First Class seat but got Economy
  • Williams Racing Announce Partnership with James Harvest Sportswear
  • Mercedes F1 Announces Global Partnership with CrowdStrike

Liberty 'underestimated' F1 takeover – Horner

(GMM) Liberty Media "underestimated" the task of running F1.

That is the view of Red Bull's Christian Horner, who was asked about the latest issues surrounding the current F1 owner in the post-Bernie Ecclestone era.

For instance, negotiations over a new Concorde Agreement have stalled, attempts to get a Miami GP failed, and some high profile F1 race promoters are threatening to quit.

"I think they absolutely underestimated what they were taking on," Horner is quoted by the Guardian.

He said one obvious mistake was the desire to quickly improve the racing spectacle by changing the front wing regulations for 2019.

"They will accept it was a mistake to rush through the front wing change for this year," said Horner.

"Taking a front wing and saying it will make racing better is quite a naive and ultimately expensive approach."

He said Liberty, headed by American Chase Carey, is finding that an American approach to F1 "doesn't work" in F1.

"Formula one has a different appeal," said Horner. "You can't just apply a US-sports approach to something that has been established for 60 or 70 years as a global world championship."

And so other efforts to improve the overall 'show' surrounding F1 will not be enough to dramatically improve the sport, Horner said.

"You can window-dress and promote a movie as much as you like, but if the film doesn't have the substance or isn't exciting, people won't watch it," he said.

Canada GP promoter says 'no animosity' with Liberty

Montreal
Montreal

(GMM) Canada GP promoter Francois Dumontier insists there is "no animosity" between the Montreal race and F1 owner Liberty Media.

That is despite the fact that the majority of the promoters like Dumontier recently signed a letter condemning Liberty's current management of the sport.

Not just that, F1 business journalist Christian Sylt has revealed a dispute between Dumontier and Liberty over differing official spectator numbers for the 2017 and 2018 events in Canada.

Writing in Forbes, Sylt said Dumontier did not respond to a request to comment.

But on the issue of the Liberty versus Formula One Promoters' Association dispute, Dumontier played down that controversy.

"There is no animosity between F1 and its promoters," he told Le Journal de Montreal.

"The discussions were frank, with everyone having their position."

Dumontier was commenting after the Liberty-owned Formula One Management and FIA officials visited the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to check on progress of the track improvements for 2019.

"These people did not hide their satisfaction," he said.

"They were impressed by the progress of the work despite the rigors of our climate."

Honda 'having a strong winter' – Horner

Honda and Red Bull should win in 2019
Honda and Red Bull should win in 2019

(GMM) Red Bull is continuing to sound bullish ahead of the 2019 season, with boss Christian Horner declaring that new works engine partner Honda has had a "strong winter".

Despite the failed McLaren-Honda pairing of 2015-2017, the Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso hailed the Japanese carmaker after working with Honda in 2018.

Now, the top team Red Bull is jumping aboard, and top official Dr Helmut Marko thinks Red Bull-Honda is on track for a world championship tilt.

Team boss Horner is quoted by Speed Week: "Honda is having a strong winter.

"Red Bull Technology has been working with Honda for 12 months, so we've had a good look at their evolution and they're on a good way," he said.

"They are committed to their concept and for the first time since returning to F1 they have not had to start again for the new season.

"Of course it depends on the strength of the competition, but on their own data, Honda has made some nice progress," Horner added.

If there is a big question mark, he admits it is reliability, with Honda so far struggling to master F1's 'long life' engine rules.

"It's a daunting task to tackle 21 race weekends with only three engines," Horner admits.

"We would prefer constant development, even if it means we would have to put up with one or two penalties," he said. "We've seen in the past year that depending on the circuit, those penalties can have minimal consequences."

Horner rejected the idea that, sooner or later, Red Bull will fall out with Honda just as it did so obviously with its former supplier Renault.

"That's a different story. We were a customer," he said.

"In fact, we were a customer who had booked a first class flight and then had to fly economy. It meant for a lot of frustration.

"With Honda, we can speak of a true technical partnership, with truly shared responsibility."

Aero changes will not help overtaking – Horner

F1 rules makers did it again
F1 rules makers did it again

(GMM) "All the teams would agree" that Liberty Media and the FIA made a mistake by changing the aerodynamic regulations for 2019.

That is the view of Red Bull's Christian Horner, who calls the changes to the front wings to facilitate overtaking futile and estimates the cost at EUR 15m per team.

"Mercedes and Ferrari made a strong case for these changes and unfortunately they were approved," the team boss told Speed Week.

"In retrospect, all the teams would agree that it was not right," Horner insisted.

The aerodynamic changes are intended to help a chasing car follow in the wake of his rival, therefore improving the chances of overtaking moves.

Horner said: "I don't think anything will change.

"Based on the data and the simulations, we recognize that the car dynamics are different in some parts of the circuits," he explained.

"But as far as one car being able to closely follow another, it makes no difference at all.

"To pick out the front wing and believe that the racing will be better is naive and ultimately expensive. And who pays for it? The teams.

"These changes are a huge mistake," Horner said.

Jan Lammers to be Dutch GP boss

Lammers grew up in Zandvoort
Lammers grew up in Zandvoort

(GMM) Hopes for a Dutch grand prix at Zandvoort in 2020 are rising by the day.

Although Assen insists it remains in the running, and despite the lack of government funding, an agreement in principle is reportedly in place between Liberty Media and the former F1 venue Zandvoort.

Media reports say that a contract between Zandvoort and Liberty Media must be in place by March 31.

And now, the potential 2020 race has appointed a boss.

It is Jan Lammers, a former F1 driver, Le Mans winner and motor racing team manager.

The 62-year-old was actually born in Zandvoort, a Dutch beach resort town that is bordered by coastal dunes that characterize the famous nearby circuit.

Algemeen Dagblad newspaper claims Lammers has been involved in the project for months.

"I have always been involved and, for logical reasons, that involvement has increased more recently," Lammers confirmed.

"From a sporting and communication side, I can contribute," he added.

"In the longer term, a more official character may be given to it, but there must be a real need. I do not need to be the boss of empty boxes," he said.

Zandvoort circuit director Robert van Overdijk applauded Lammers' involvement.

"We are honored that Jan, an icon of formula one, wants to be sports director for this unique event," he said.

"We are convinced that with his knowledge and experience he can make a major contribution to the realization of the grand prix in Zandvoort."

Gasly in 'best situation' next to Verstappen

Pierre Gasly won't think so after he gets mopped up by Verstappen
Pierre Gasly won't think so after he gets mopped up by Verstappen

(GMM) Pierre Gasly says he is in the "best situation" to have Max Verstappen as his 2019 teammate.

This week, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner declared that Verstappen is the driver that five time world champion Lewis Hamilton now "fears" the most.

Gasly is Verstappen's actual teammate.

Although older than the Dutchman, 23-year-old French driver Gasly is starting his second full season in 2019. He drove for Toro Rosso last year but has been promoted to replace Daniel Ricciardo.

"It's a very important season for me," Gasly told Ouest France.

"There are three teams that stand out from the rest of the field: Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull. At 23, for my second season, I find myself in one of those seats.

"For me it's a dream I had since I started karting. I will be with a teammate who is one of the best and most talented of the moment. To continue to improve, this is the best situation that can happen to me," he said.

Red Bull officials are expecting the first year with new works supplier Honda to be strong, but Gasly says it may take time for the relationship to gel.

Asked about the Barcelona testing that begins in less than two weeks, Gasly said: "It will be important to drive as much as possible to develop the engine.

"This is the first time that Red Bull and Honda have collaborated, and we know that at the beginning of a relationship, it always takes a little time for things to become automatic and you get the most out of it.

"We will have to be patient," he added. "Later, I think Red Bull and Honda will be able to reach a very good level of performance, even if I don't know how long that will take.

"But they're putting a lot of energy, time, and even money into that. For the moment, we don't know how it will be on the track."

Leclerc must not be impatient – Todt

Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc

(GMM) Charles Leclerc's manager says the new Ferrari driver must not be "impatient" in 2019.

Replacing Kimi Raikkonen for the new season, many are tipping 21-year-old Frenchman Leclerc to give nominal 'number 1' driver Sebastian Vettel a run for his money this year.

But Nicolas Todt, the son of FIA president Jean Todt and a well-known driver manager, pointed out that Leclerc "has never been on the podium yet because he did not have a car to do it".

Todt thinks Leclerc will have a top car in 2019, but he warned his young charge about getting carried away.

"The mistake that Charles must not commit is to be impatient," he told Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport.

"He is only 21 and will have to handle the disappointment of defeat, which he feels even if he is second. Charles always sets himself very high goals, but it will not be a problem for him," Todt added.

Leclerc is a product of Ferrari's driver development 'academy', and among the next in line to potentially benefit from that is Mick Schumacher.

Todt is now also involved in the management of Michael Schumacher's son.

"Ferrari understood that it was worth investing in young people and today they are beginning to reap the rewards," he said.

"After Leclerc, Kvyat and Massa I will most likely play a role with Mick too," added Todt.

"Mick at Ferrari is a special story. Ask anyone in the world who Schumacher is and they can answer, and if you match that name with the word Ferrari, it's something really special.

"Mick in F1 would be extraordinary not only for his family, but for sport, for Ferrari, for the fans," he said.

"Because of the affection for Michael, this amplifies expectations but the name does not make him fast," Todt warned. "He will have to build his future himself."

Horner: We paid Renault for a First Class seat but got Economy

Horner
Horner

Red Bull are still hurting in the wake of their ‘divorce’ from Renault, with Christian Horner lobbing a barb the way of their former engine partners as his team begin their new era with Honda power.

Ahead of the new season, Horner told Reuters, “I think we’ve had a really collaborative approach and open approach with Honda. Communication has been very honest and very open about areas of strength and weakness."

Despite four glorious years in which they won eight F1 world titles, Red Bull’s relations with Renault were fractured from the start of the V6 turbo hybrid era, when Mercedes began a period of domination that has now brought them five successive title doubles.

Horner was sure the Honda partnership would be very different and said of the last three seasons with Renault, “Effectively we’ve been paying for a first class ticket and you get an economy seat."

“An awful lot of frustration was born out of that… so I think with Honda, it being a true technical partnership, there’s much more collective responsibility from both sides rather than being a customer-supplier scenario."

Horner also said Red Bull aimed to be more consistent across all circuits this year, rather than just those where engine power was less of a factor.

Williams Racing Announce Partnership with James Harvest Sportswear

Williams Racing is pleased to announce James Harvest Sportswear as an Official Supplier, bringing style and leisure fashion to the Formula One paddock for the 2019 season.

James Harvest Sportswear prides itself on design and high quality to produce garments both functional and fashionable. As the team’s official travel clothing supplier, the sportswear company will provide apparel to all Williams staff attending Grands Prix.

Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams said: "We are pleased to welcome James Harvest Sportswear to Williams. Throughout the year, our race team put their clothing through a lot of stress travelling around the world to each Grand Prix. It is important for us to partner with a supplier that stands for quality and style; and James Harvest Sportswear certainly meets these criteria."

CEO of Texet Benelux Tom Van Heffen said: “Motorsport has been a part of the James Harvest Sportswear’s DNA for many years and the opportunity of working with one of the giants of Formula One is a dream come true."

Marketing Manager Fredrik Johansson from James Harvest Sportswear added: “We are delighted to be partnering with a brand of Williams’ stature. We’re looking forward to introducing James Harvest Sportswear to the world utilizing the platform of Williams Racing and Formula One."

Mercedes F1 Announces Global Partnership with CrowdStrike

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport is delighted to announce a partnership with CrowdStrike, the leader in cloud-delivered endpoint protection. The endpoint security company is working to protect the team from cyberattacks. Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport will use CrowdStrike's technology platform and services at the race track as well as the team's F1 technology unit in Brackley, UK.

"Formula One is a highly technical sport where Intellectual Property is fundamental to creating and sustaining competitive advantage," said Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. "To win, we need complete confidence in the information and infrastructure that drive our team. I am delighted to have CrowdStrike as our cybersecurity provider and partner."

"Formula One is a highly data-intensive sport – and winning teams know that by leveraging and protecting vast amounts of critical data they can create a true competitive advantage" said George Kurtz, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder at CrowdStrike. "We believe the partnership between Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport and CrowdStrike is setting a new standard in motorsport and cybersecurity. It is an example of a world-beating team striving for excellence in a sophisticated and highly competitive world like Formula One, turning to the world leader in large-scale cloud-delivered cybersecurity to protect its massive infrastructure on race day and throughout the year."

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport manages huge amounts of information – each car produces 500 GB of data alone during an average Grand Prix weekend with a further 5-10 TB produced per week at the factory. Additionally, the team's operations are founded on a complex network of geographically dispersed workforce and facilities, opening up exposure to cyberattacks. CrowdStrike Falcon solves these challenges by enabling critical threat protection through immediate seamless deployments across thousands of endpoints – all via its native cloud architecture.

"Major global sporting events around the world are the target of widespread cyberattacks and the more successful a team is, the more likely they are to be the targets of hackers and eCrime actors looking for intellectual property or notoriety," said Kurtz. "CrowdStrike is excited to be the team to protect against these attacks damaging the reputation and operation of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, enabling them to focus on what they do best: winning races and championships."

CrowdStrike becomes the fifth partner of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport from Silicon Valley, further strengthening the team's integrated approach to the digital world. Data is becoming increasingly more important in the world of Formula One and the team is working closely with global leaders in technology to harvest, transmit, encrypt, store, analyze and protect its data in the hunt for improved performance and reliability.

About CrowdStrike

CrowdStrike is the leader in cloud-delivered endpoint protection. Leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), the CrowdStrike Falcon® platform offers instant visibility and protection across the enterprise and prevents attacks on endpoints on or off the network. CrowdStrike Falcon deploys in minutes to deliver actionable intelligence and real-time protection from Day One. It seamlessly unifies next-generation AV with best-in-class endpoint detection and response, backed by 24/7 managed hunting. Its cloud infrastructure and single-agent architecture take away complexity and add scalability, manageability, and speed.

CrowdStrike Falcon protects customers against all cyber attack types, using sophisticated signatureless AI and Indicator-of-Attack (IOA) based threat prevention to stop known and unknown threats in real time. Powered by the CrowdStrike Threat Graph, Falcon instantly correlates 1 trillion security events a week from across the globe to immediately prevent and detect threats. There's much more to the story of how Falcon has redefined endpoint protection but there's only one thing to remember about CrowdStrike: We stop breaches.

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