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Archive for the ‘F1 Drivers’ Category

If…

As Lewis Hamilton goes into the World Championship decider, Mercedes has issued the following movie, starring John Hurt…

It’s just a shame that they cannot use TV footage…

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The value of social media

So the cars are not doing very well and your eyeball numbers are down. You want to keep your sponsors happy and so you decide to do a viral campaign to give them a little added value. This is how you do it…

Imagine if FOM had people thinking along these lines…

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Abu Dhabi extends

Abu Dhabi has extended its race contract for an undisclosed length of time. The original deal, agreed in 2007, extended from 2009 until 2016, an unusual eight-year deal. The deal has now been extended and in all probability it will be a normal five-year deal and so will run until 2021 It is not clear why this would need to be a secret but it is in keeping with the current culture of F1 to keep meaningless things secret.

“This race and the Yas Marina Circuit has introduced Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates to tens of millions of visitors and TV viewers from around the world. We remain committed to continually delivering a better experience for the Formula 1® family and ticket holders,” said HE Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management. “It is a mark of the quality of our partnership with Formula One World Championship that we both want to focus on looking forward and on delivering many more successful races.”

Due to growing demand, this year Yas Marina Circuit expanded its capacity to 60,000, a 20 percent increase since 2009.

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Driver movements et al

Abu Dhabi has been buzzing this afternoon with all the expected announcements about drivers for 2015. Ferrari announced finally that Fernando Alonso is leaving the team. The team also confirmed that the driver line-up next year will be Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel. Vettel joins the team on a three-year contract, although there are believed to be options for a further two years. Lotus had previously announced that Romain Grosjean would be staying on next year, alongside Pastor Maldonado. The team also announced that Esteban Ocon will be taking part in the FP1 session on Friday. Ocon will also take part in the post-race test, with Charles Pic doing the second day.

Caterham has confirmed that Will Stevens will be the team’s second driver this weekend. The latest team principal, accountant Finbarr O’Connell, says that the team is in discussion with a number of potential buyers. He has also confirmed that he has become the administrator of the 1MRT company, using an obscure British law that allows this to happen to non-UK registered companies that primarily do business in the UK. He added that the two Caterham-related entities will be sold as one so that the assets and the F1 entry are put together in the future.

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Test drivers at Force India

Force India has announced that it will be testing Jolyon Palmer and Spike Goddard in the post-Abu Dhabi GP tests. Palmer is well known as the GP2 champion and son of former F1 driver Jonathan Palmer, while Goddard is less well-known having achieved little during two years in the European Formula 3 Championship. His one claim to fame was that he won the rookie title in British F3 in 2012, although the competition was not spectacular that year.

Goddard’s story is certainly complicated and began with his father Bruce, who born in British Columbia in Canada but went to university in the UK. After that he went to the US to work in finance and in 1986 joined an investment business called Barclays Global Investors (BGI), based in California. BGI was owned by Barclays but was a stand-alone operation in which Goddard played a key role, particularly after 1997 when he was appointed to head BGI operations in Australia. Goddard’s three sons were all born in the US. Richard (known as Spike) was the youngest. He was born in Pennsylvania but moved to Australia when he was five and grew up in Sydney until he was 19 when he moved to UK to race in Formula Ford, after starting his career in karts in Australia.

BGI would ultimately be sold by Barclays for $13.5 billion in 2009. Goddard obviously made a lot of money and he would go on to form a financial firm called Vinva which help to fund Richard’s racing career. There has been little in his career to suggest that he is an F1 driver of the future and thus the test drive most be viewed as being a paying opportunity. The same may well be true of Palmer as well.

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Bianchi back in France

Jules Bianchi has been flown home from Japan, seven weeks after his accident at Suzuka. He is now in the intensive care unit of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nice, in the south of France, where he is under the care of Professors Marc Raucoules and Professeur Carole Ichai, under the head of neurosurgery Professeur Philippe Paquis. According to the Bianchi Family, “Jules is no longer in the artificial coma in which he was placed shortly after the accident, however he is still unconscious. He is breathing unaided and his vital signs are stable, but his condition is still classified as critical.” The family says that the situation “continues to be serious, and may remain so” but that he was deemed to be sufficiently stable to be repatriated by air ambulance.

“We have nothing but praise for the outstanding care provided by the Mie Prefectural General Medical Center since the accident. We owe the medical staff there an enormous debt of gratitude for everything they have done for Jules, and also for our family, during what is a very difficult time for us. In particular, we would like to extend our thanks to Doctors Kamei and Yamamichi, and also to Mr Ogura, all part of the team of personnel caring for Jules in Japan.”

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Into the air again

So I’m off to Dubai today, and have upgraded myself with my miles so that I can get some work done on the flight. Life is so much easier when you’re upstairs on an Emirates A380, planes with wireless Internet relieve the stress of needing to be in contact with the world, although I still hate people using mobiles on planes, it ruins the sanctuary of airplanes. Miles come and go and this week I was happy to be alerted to the fact I have just become a gold card holder with two different airlines, which is a pretty mighty achievement if one only ever travels in economy and one does not have the flexibility to use multipliers and other such tricks. I’m looking forward to the weekend. There is bound to be a lot of bull in the paddock given the cluster f*ck that the sport currently is, but the racing should be good. Onward and upward…

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