Latest F1 news in brief – Tuesday

  • Silverstone from the air
    Silverstone from the air

    Silverstone proposes new F1 deal for 2020

  • McLaren success is 'long term' aim – Sainz Jr.
  • Sirotkin eyes 2020 F1 return
  • Force India to launch 2019 car in Canada
  • McLaren can trace 2018 problems back to 2013 – Zak Brown
  • Renault budget caused Red Bull spilt
  • Teams will have a year to work on 2021 cars
  • Marko: McLaren chassis is so bad they have to run full wing, full downforce
  • Mallya didn’t flee India with 300 bags

Silverstone proposes new F1 deal for 2020

(GMM) Silverstone has stepped up its bid to remain on the F1 calendar.

Last year, amid growing losses, the circuit-owning British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) triggered a break clause in its contract.

As it stands, the last British grand prix will take place at historic Silverstone in 2019.

But F1 business journalist Christian Sylt reveals that the BRDC has launched a proposal for a restructured deal with Liberty Media.

"The ticket sales would go to Liberty but we could provide all the management, all the organization," a senior member of the BRDC told the Mail on Sunday.

"In return, Liberty would pay us a reasonable amount to cover our overheads for the use of the track and job done.

"All logic says they are going to come to an agreement, but there is no great urgency for it as it's a year before they set the (2020) calendar," the source added.

McLaren success is 'long term' aim – Sainz Jr.

Sainz Jr. in the Mclaren
Sainz Jr. in the McLaren

(GMM) Carlos Sainz says McLaren is aiming for success only in the medium to long term.

The Spaniard says he is happy to move from the works Renault team to McLaren, the beleaguered yet once-great British outfit, on a new two-year contract.

Sainz said his countryman Fernando Alonso advised him to sign, because it is "a team with potential to succeed in the medium term".

"For me it was a positive year," he is quoted by EFE news agency. "It gave me the opportunity to open a door like McLaren for the next two years and I'm sure I'll enjoy them.

"I'm excited. That's the word to describe how I feel," said Sainz.

"In this month I was able to go to the factory to meet the people and see a team that has had such a hard year but now has a renewed spirit," the 24-year-old added.

But he said the "realistic" aim for now is that the Woking team improves "little by little".

"I do not know how much we will improve, but I hope to see progress and contribute as much as possible," said Sainz.

"The short term is important, but we cannot forget that it is a medium term project. The really important thing is where we will be two years from now, not so much in Australia next year.

"Fernando advised me to go to McLaren as he believes the team has potential. He knows that the project is medium or long term, but I am young enough to have patience and establish myself in a team like this," he added.

Sirotkin eyes 2020 F1 return

Sergey Sirotkin - if he has a huge check, he will drive
Sergey Sirotkin – if he has a huge check, he will drive

(GMM) Sergey Sirotkin says his aim is to return to formula one in 2020.

The Russian has been replaced at Williams by Robert Kubica for 2019.

Backed by SMP Bank, the 23-year-old is tipped to become a Ferrari development driver, but he told Tass news agency that he has no word yet.

"Now we are trying to collect all the options, but I think there will be no specifics in the next two weeks," Sirotkin said.

"If there is something, then at best it will be after the New Year holidays."

He said losing his Williams seat was difficult, but he aims to make a return to the grid for 2020.

"Certainly it was a difficult experience, but it made me stronger," said Sirotkin.

"I have a clear understanding that, for objective reasons, I didn't show everything that I could have shown. But I also have a clear awareness that everything is not finished for me in formula one.

"I don't want to give up in any way. I really hope that in a year I will return to the starting grid and prove that it was the right decision to come to formula one," he added.

Racing Point Force India to launch 2019 car in Canada

Racing Point to launch Feb. 13th
Racing Point to launch Feb. 13th

(GMM) Force India has become the second F1 team to announce a reveal date for its 2019 car.

Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene recently announced that the Italian team's new car will be launched on February 15, just days before the start of winter testing.

Force India has now announced a February 13 launch date.

On Twitter, the Silverstone based team said the event will take place at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.

"Stay tuned for more info soon," the newly Lawrence Stroll-owned outfit added.

Canadian newspaper Le Journal de Montreal already has more information.

It said the event will take place at the "Metro Toronto Convention Centre, two days before the official opening of the annual" auto show there.

Billionaire owner Stroll "will also take the opportunity to unveil the colors of his two cars and the new logo" as well as a new official team name.

Since the 2018 mid-season acquisition, the team has been called Racing Point Force India.

2019 Formula 1 Car Launches to-date:

Racing Point (Force India):
February 13th
Scuderia Ferrari:
February 15th

2019 Formula 1 Pre-Season Testing:

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (Test 1):
February 18th to 21st
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (Test 2):
February 26th to March 1st

McLaren can trace 2018 problems back to 2013 – Zak Brown

McLaren team in action
McLaren team in action

McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes that the team’s “lack of consistent leadership" across the past half-decade has played a large part in its recent struggles.

McLaren is in the midst of one of the worst spells in its distinguished Formula 1 history.

It has not won a Grand Prix since 2012, has not appeared on the podium since 2014, and in 2018 finished a low-key sixth in the Constructors’ Championship.

During that spell it has undergone several managerial changes, with Martin Whitmarsh departing, Ron Dennis returning and subsequently ousted, Eric Boullier coming and going, while Jost Capito’s stint lasted mere months.

Brown joined in late 2016 as Executive Director and in April this year took on the role of CEO, coinciding with McLaren Group being restructured and split into three divisions.

Gil de Ferran joined as Sporting Director mid-2018, ostensibly as a replacement for Boullier, with Brown accepting that success for McLaren was “years away", off the back of its low level of performance.

He believes that McLaren now has the right structure in place to rebuild and recover from its difficult campaign.

“Ultimately what got us here this year started five years ago," he said.

“So this year’s problem is years in the works. My summary of that is that we’ve had a lack of consistent leadership. I don’t point the fingers at any one individual.

“That was a lack of focus because of all the activities that were going on, from the board room down, buyouts, merging of companies, team principles, team principles out, CEOs in, CEOs out so it was just a constant revolving kind of lack of focus.

“I think that’s what created the issue and then what fell out of that is that people didn’t have clear goals and accountability, responsibility, and so ultimately that’s what produced a poor race car this year, it was kind of our structure, our organization.

“The individual people are extremely talented. We’ve got world championships, we’ve got over 100 people that have been here for over 20 years.

“So they haven’t forgotten how to win we just didn’t have the right infrastructure in place, and that’s what we’ve set out to fix."

McLaren will enter 2019 with a revised driver line-up of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr.

Renault budget caused Red Bull spilt

With Ghosn behind bars, will Renault stay in F1?
With Ghosn behind bars, will Renault stay in F1?

Renault cannot make progress on their engine due to their limited budget, and that’s why Red Bull switched to Honda, says Helmut Marko.

Though the Renault-Red Bull partnership saw four consecutive title wins in the past, the relationship soured in the last few years because of a lack of performance in the French engine.

Marko says Red Bull had no choice than to switch their engine maker to Honda since they were not getting any improvement from Renault.

Speaking with Motorsport-Magazin, Marko said: “For us, it was clear at one point that Renault could not deliver us a victorious engine,".

“With their budget, you cannot expect them to fight against Ferrari and Mercedes. It was clear that we had to do something.

“Now for the first time in our history, we have a factory engine [Honda]. There is a good development, and all that has happened so far is good for Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso for next season."

The performance of the Japanese engine in Red Bull chassis is yet to be seen. Toro Rosso taking too many grid penalties in 2018 makes even hard-core fans jittery about the prospects of the new relationship

But Marko is certain they made the right call to ensure Red Bull remains competitive in the series.

“The Honda engine has been improved generally, many penalties have been taken into account because we have always wanted to bring something new," added the Austrian.

“According to our simulations, we would have a much better appearance with the current Honda engine. But we do not need to think about that, Mr Abiteboul, and next year we will see," he said referring to Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul’s comments on Honda’s spending spree to speed up their development.

Teams will have a year to work on 2021 cars

Ross Brawn
Ross Brawn

While the Formula 1 world waits impatiently for direction on regulations for 2021 and beyond, motorsport chief Ross Brawn has revealed that the delays have been by intent, in an effort to try and balance the opportunities available to teams irrespective of resources.

In a way, rule makers are caught between a rock and a hard place with regards to the rules deadline, too soon may benefit the big budget teams – Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull – to the detriment of the minnows. However the same could be said if the rules are released too late, hence timing is critical.

In his end of the season review, Brawn explained, “The FIA and ourselves have issued a framework of what the car could be like with tasks for each team to look at aspects of it. It’s not enough for teams to go off and start designing a car, we’re purposefully trying to hold back on that."

“We don’t want teams with a lot of resource to gain a march on those who don’t. But it’s a difficult balance because there is a perfectly valid argument that the later you leave the issuing of the information, the more it suits the teams with a lot of resource."

“The teams will have about a year or so to work on the designs of these cars, I think that’s the right sort of timescale. Once they’ve designed their 2020 cars, they need to be able to focus on 2021," added Brawn.

Simple maths suggests that a “year or so" from now is circa end of next season, upon which teams will have the double headache of embarking on an all-new project while maintaining their race program at the same time.

On the upside for fans, sweeping regulation changes can tinker with the pecking order as his own BrawnGP team proved in 2009 with Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello.

“Whenever you introduce fairly major conceptual change in the regulations, the opportunity exists for a team to devote its resource to that project and leapfrog a year – accept where it is and that it might not be the greatest year – in favor of jumping up to where they want to be the following year," reasoned Brawn. grandprix247

Marko: McLaren chassis is so bad they have to run full wing, full downforce

Marko mocks the McLaren chassis
Marko mocks the inferior McLaren chassis

Earlier this year bad blood between Red Bull and McLaren boiled over when the Woking outfit poached Toro Rosso designer James Key and announced the deal before it was cast in stone, so no surprise when Helmut Marko was asked to review the season past he reminded McLaren that paybacks are a bitch.

First, Marko reminded how not long ago McLaren boasted they had the best chassis on the grid, until this year when – after years in the wilderness with Honda – they bolted on Renault engines to their cars expecting to match similarly powered Red Bulls, only to find that they fell way short.

Asked to explain the deficit, Marko could not resist a sarcastic swipe, “We lap McLaren twice in a normal race with the same engine. So what do you think it is?"

“Of course, if you only look at downforce – you just have to look at how [McLaren] went the previous season at Spa: full wing, full downforce. Of course, they were the fastest in the corners."

“But on the straights… if we set-up our car that way, we would never achieve our results. You have to make a compromise. The combined lap time is what counts, not the cornering speed."

Mallya didn’t flee India with 300 bags

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s counsel has argued that he did not carry 300 bags with him when he left India two-and-half years ago, nor did he flee the country but he went to Germany to attend a conference of World Motor Sport Council as the director of his Formula-One team, Force India.

Arguing for Mallya, senior advocate Amit Desai, claimed Mallya had only five bags with him when he flew to Europe, on March 2, 2016. Desai was responding to a plea filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking an order from the court formed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to declare Mallya a fugitive economic offender.

The ED’s counsel, advocate DN Singh, maintained Mallya left the country with around 300 bags, with an intention of never returning. Singh alleged Mallya’s legal team had produced no evidence to show that he had left India to attend a business meeting. “Who goes to attend a meeting with 300 bags and a huge cargo," Singh had argued last week.

Desai on Monday filed an affidavit stating Mallya left the country to attend the World Motor Sport Council’s annual conference. According to the affidavit, the council’s 2015 meeting shows Mallya as one of the participants and declares the next conference on March 4, 2016. This is why Mallya left the country well in advance, Desai argued.

With Desai’s submissions, the arguments seeking to declare Mallya as a fugitive economic offender conclude. The special court has now reserved its order on December 26.

Mallya didn’t flee India with 300 bags

Mallya with son Sidhartha and wife Pinky
Mallya with son Sidhartha and wife Pinky

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s counsel has argued that he did not carry 300 bags with him when he left India two-and-half years ago, nor did he flee the country but he went to Germany to attend a conference of World Motor Sport Council as the director of his Formula-One team, Force India.

Arguing for Mallya, senior advocate Amit Desai, claimed Mallya had only five bags with him when he flew to Europe, on March 2, 2016. Desai was responding to a plea filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking an order from the court formed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to declare Mallya a fugitive economic offender.

The ED’s counsel, advocate DN Singh, maintained Mallya left the country with around 300 bags, with an intention of never returning. Singh alleged Mallya’s legal team had produced no evidence to show that he had left India to attend a business meeting. “Who goes to attend a meeting with 300 bags and a huge cargo," Singh had argued last week.

Desai on Monday filed an affidavit stating Mallya left the country to attend the World Motor Sport Council’s annual conference. According to the affidavit, the council’s 2015 meeting shows Mallya as one of the participants and declares the next conference on March 4, 2016. This is why Mallya left the country well in advance, Desai argued.

With Desai’s submissions, the arguments seeking to declare Mallya as a fugitive economic offender conclude. The special court has now reserved its order on December 26.

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