What’s happening in F1?

Well, there’s a lot going on – but not a lot to report about, as everyone rushes to get their new cars ready for the start of testing. There have been a few muttering a about a rescue package for Manor with word of a last minute deal being on the cards, but I hear that if it doesn’t happen today (Friday), the team will be liquidated.

There is one person constantly banging on about how the sale of the Formula One group is illegal and should be stopped, with his articles referencing earlier articles he has written to try to stack up a story that is just not there. Why he is doing this is open to discussion, but it will probably continue until the people publishing this tosh finally work out that it is not happening. I know “fake news” is all the rage these days, but F1 really doesn’t need more than it already has. The sale is done and dusted and the competition people in the various countries have other more important things to worry about than trying to stop a deal that is likely to be a good thing for the sport.

There has been some shuffling of race team management at Williams and McLaren with the most significant thing being the move to Williams of Dave “Otis” Redding, who has been a McLaren stalwart for many years. He will take over some of the role that Steve Nielsen has been doing at Williams, but as I understand it Steve will be staying on at Williams but travelling less.

There’s a lot excitement about McLaren switching to a papaya orange colour scheme and a new numbering system for the cars, underlining that the Ron Dennis era really is over.

Elsewhere, Vijay Mallya’s position remains slightly nervous as the Indian  government has now officially asked the British govrrnment to extradite him to face charges in India. The team is ticking on merrily, but it is not entirely clear what will happen if Mallya cannot go on funding at least some of the budget.
Beyond that Sebastian Vettel crashed a Ferrari while testing Pirelli tyres… which is probably not the start to the year that he would have wanted. Let’s hope things get better from here on… Having a strong Ferrari never hurt the sport – just not too strong politically…

68 thoughts on “What’s happening in F1?

  1. Can one reasonably infer the organ grinder feels the same way as the monkey regarding ‘impediments’ to a sale? I struggle to understand it otherwise.

  2. Elsewhere I see quotes from Claire Williams in which she referred to Nielsen as having done a great job as “sporting manager” and announcing Redding’s arrival as “team manager”.

    In Williams-speak, what’s the difference?

  3. Ferrari are pretty quiet in regard to the new season, unlike last year when they boasted about catching Mercedes and all that…and consequently set themselves up to fail miserably. Hopefully this year they can do better without the fanfare.

  4. McLaren are very well showing Ron and all associates out the door aren’t they!!

    Ron never wanted orange back as that was how “they used to be”, but I think they will just to show him- but “that’s motor racing”….. a bit harsh still !!

    1. It really is a destruction of Ron’s Mclaren Legacy. They are doing their best to put him to ground in a media massacre including those who stood alongside him.
      The big thing is Ron will be back in some way at some point. But now the pressure is on the Wooden Kings of Mclaren. If Honda fail to provide a good power unit and the car is a donkey. Then the media massacre will be on them in full HD .

  5. Good work, Joe. Polished & tidy, original and not the merest hint of embitterment. Is that a word? Proofread yourself before proofreading me, at any rate.

  6. Please keep us informed about the Manor situation. It would be very bad for the new F1 owners Liberty to watch the 2017 season begin without a team. Anyways, is it too late for a new buyer to build a new car before the season begins ? If so, let this team go and prepare a comeback for the 2018 season instead of being a mobile chicane on track in 2017.

    I don’t remember if you talked about that earlier, but I wonder if F1 teams are making money with their activities. That’s not clear for me. I suppose they don’t because we would see more companies with deep pockets involved in that business. Virgin was there for a little time and decided to go after few seasons.

  7. Back in 1976, when I needed new tyres for my Triumph Spitfire, it felt so right to buy some Goodyear F1 Eagles.

    When I started buying grown-up cars, Pirelli P7s were the “must have” tyre. More recently, every new car I buy seems to be equipped with Bridgestones.

    I know you have told us that Pirelli say their product is just flying off the shelves, but as a piece of PR, their current F1 escapades seem to be, I have a loaded gun, now where is my foot!

    It cannot get much worse than acnowleging that you have a poor wet tyre, obtaining permission to test a new compound and then having a 4-times WDC write off a Ferrari within a few laps.

    1. Completely unscientific this may be, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable that Pirelli get a bump in sales because the public as a whole might not watch F1 but do understand that it’s fast. They don’t read or care much about Ferrarris winter testing mishaps.

    2. Interesting point – in fact my cars have been equipped from new with Continentals. And very good they are too!

      1. Mine also but they are very noisy. I considered switching to Pirellis but then I saw the price. However I seem to see Hankook everywhere now.

        Pirelli were trying out new different tread patterns and compounds on the full wets when Vettel caused an early lunch and ended the test. I was not previously aware that Fiorino was one of the FIA designated test tracks.
        Were others invited to the Ferrari track test?

        1. A quick Google and it looks like the Global rankings for tyre production has
          No 1. Bridgestone
          No 2. Michelin
          No 3. Goodyear
          No 4. Continental
          No 5. Pirelli

          Joe is right that since 2008, Pirelli have increased their sales from about 4 to 6-million units. However, they are minuscules compared to Bridgestones 29-million units. Continental sell about 40-million units.

    3. I think the average Joe doesn’t care in the slightest what tyres go on his road car. Only someone buying a sports car or a real enthusiast will even know what type of tyres are on their car. If your regular life is driving to work and the shops in something like a Ford Mondeo then it makes no difference if your. I’d be willing to bet if you took a survey of the average driver less than 5% could tell you what tyres are on their car and even less could tell you the difference between the different brands

      1. When in university I was a student with professor Hans Pacejka for a while. Mr. Pacejka is of course well known (in the tyre world) for the mathematical modelling of tyres and his ‘magic formula’. At the time he was one of the leading authorities on tyre behaviour in the world.

        Yet when his own car needed new boots, he went to the local Kwik-Fit and choose the cheapest option…

  8. Actually Joe as of today 2/10/17 [ 10/2/17 for you Euro’s & UK’ers ] the only part of the transaction currently completed between CVC and Liberty has been the stock aspect of the deal with the entire cash aspect still remaining to be paid . And until all the cash is on deposit and all bills have been paid the sale is not quite ‘ done and dusted ‘ yet [ Business 101 ] As many in the financial world have reported Liberty does not currently have the funds needed to complete the deal : now desperately running from one scheme to another in the attempt to raise the funds in order to complete the deal . And having Liberty in my backyard with at least three of their upper management in my [ gated ] neighborhood I can confirm all that Reuters , WSJ , Bloomberg , Denver Post * etc are saying to be accurate and anything but ‘ fake news ‘ Fact is the only fake news I’m aware in regards to the sale [ I have no idea what articles or individual you’re referring to here ] is the fake news coming from Liberty and CVC claiming the deal is done . It is not . And should the deal be completed sometime in the future that will leave Liberty strapped for cash begging the question : how can they invest in F1’s future when they have no money or future of their own . My guess ? Liberty goes into default

    * Fact is Joe amongst the business and investment community across the Front Range of Colorado ya aint a hearin nary a cheer or an enthusiastic whoop about Liberty’s F1 Folly . Rather severe consternation and trepidation is more the overall tone .

    PS; Chalk one up for the courts : with the stench of the ‘ so called ‘ presidents fried ego permeating the air across the land . Suffice it to say if the decision should be reversed by the Supreme Court that will seriously impact the US F1 race in light of many of the F1 team members countries of origin and the fact that Dual Citizenship is included in the ban . So cross yer fingers Joe . Round Two is no doubt on the horizon . And the fight goes on .

      1. It’s nonsense Joe. i’m a holder of FWONK , I read the reports and yes. Bernie wanted cash rather than meaningless stock. so Malone went to his hedge fund buddies in Conn.,and got cash for the stock Liberty was going to float to give to Bernie. It’s an $8 billion business with $2 billion in revenue/yr. It was more of a merger than outright purchase With Liberty having an investment in Live Nation, I can see them taking a promoter role in races in Europe since they have a big slice of cable TV there. A good time for the “chairman emeritus” to find a buyer for Manor and keep the grid full.

          1. I was reading Max’s book and how Bernie as head of FOCA said if the race tracks didn’t want to pay the fee then we will promote it and the teams didn’t want any part of the take. Now if Silverstone can’t afford the fee let us take it over..pay for the right and any profit is on us.As the last time the teams are not taking the offer..Ferrari slow to buy shares,etc.

            1. LM offered the teams to own shares,1% up to 5%=$40m up to $200m. but LM wants only silent partners, in short, their money.
              In realty teams can leave LM with 100% of nothing by taking ownership of their own destiny.

                1. “What a lot of rubbish” No problem at all with that from on this side, as everybody that follows the sports are entitled to their opinion, an opinion formed by those/all following the sports without exception being whispered too, asking and being given answers, or reading what those that matter says.
                  And now I have noted in my book that Forbes might be a problem/cannot be trusted.

        1. I hope this last throw of the dice for Manor works, it’s always a shame to see a Grand Prix ready car not racing, and by extension the team and drivers

    1. Some time ago according to Forbes CVC swapped their owner with part ownership of LM, and that LM didn’t had the money to buy, as they still need to find $1.1bn in cash (25% of the purchase price), and that they are selling “debentures” and rising funds through loans.

    2. I thought that CVC and Liberty were saying its a “done deal” back in September 2016. A willing buyer and a willing seller.

      Sure the ink can take a long time to dry, but I cannot believe someone is about to jump up from nowhere with an impediment.

    3. Sorry Hardley if you want to immiate someone from the US it might be better not to assume the persona of an extremely rich person. What extremely rich person has time or cares to read or respond to blog posts. Maybe your name would be better as “sock puppet”. Twitter may be a better forum for this drivel about Liberty F1.

    4. “10/2/17 for you Euro’s & UK’ers+ . I think you should have stated most of the world, as most of the world use either 10/2/17 or 17/02/10, the logical way.

  9. Notably absent from the nonsense written about the closing of the sale of F1 is the identity of any injured party,with standing,that could/would file a complaint.

  10. I guess Vettel’s test crash was down to driver error or the mule car, and not in any way specific to the Pirelli wet weather tyres. Or could the first wet race of the year end with DNF for every entry? That would be the very first time ever….

  11. Has Dave “Otis” Redding” reach the “Docking Bay” at Williams yet, perhaps he has been” loving McLaren too long” or offered Williams “These arms of mine” somehow I don’t think I’ve got that quite right?

  12. As a member of the tifosi I’m dreaming that Ferrari crashing is a good omen.

    After all, Schumacher crashed out in early testing on a number of occasions and went on to title glory..

    Either that or Vettel really doesn’t like his mule!!

      1. Well that would be a damned shame…a really solid little team with good people, de-bagged because of a profligate owner. Having said that, it’s worth an awful lot more money than Manor, just less than VJM want’s I guess. Got to be worth a look at by a sensible head now that there’s a sniff of fairer prize distribution under LM?

  13. Well this should be interesting. If the extradition order is activated by the courts. Great TV as Vijay is escorted by UK immigration officers onto an Air India 747. Surprised Bollywood😎 haven’t made a musical song dance film about Vijay and his many hidden money bolts
    🎵🎤Around the world in Vijay Days🎤 🎶 .
    Agree regarding Ferrari .
    So Manor and it’s racing licence (which as you reported is gold for any team getting into F1) will be lost and wasted. Shame RIP Manor.

    1. Manor operating company doors seems to have been closed, but the license holder company still stands, it is still not the end of the road, a buyer can still come in and buy, according to the “license” rules as are, they can miss up to 3 races, which means up to the Russian GP.

  14. yep, they did delete Ron completely so they did. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi . . . Brutal and sad story indeed . . .
    . . . and yeah, i don’t get what those people pursue who are going about legality of sale of F1 to Liberty. What’s the aim there?

    1. It is only one person who longs for the return of the man who pulled his strings. Puppets have no value unless someone works them…

      1. yes i sense that. but what the logic there? just to keep themselves anyhow busy or do they really think that the Puppet Master will, is willing or is able to buy it back, run forever and appoint certain suspect as press minister? or do they think that EU will appoint them to run the Circus instead? i make this is just beating around bushes with no substance in it

  15. Alonso in an orange McLaren!?! And Bottas now with Mercedes. Perhaps I will give you a 35th season after all, F1.

  16. Thank you Joe

    Some questions:

    How do things stand with the idea to have grid starts after safety car periods ? Have all the teams agreed ? Was that a requirement ? Does it relate to just a wet safety car start or all safety car periods ? The motivation is to ‘spice up the show ?’

    Also:

    The Ferrari letter to the FIA regarding the suspension systems used by teams such as Mercedes and Red Bull….heave dampers I think. Has the FIA responded with any definitive ruling ?

      1. The FERRARI letter achieved the fact that the suspension system as described by them will be considered illegal as will the new trick race starts.

  17. Just an important fact in the Vijay Mallya extradition request case:

    Britain considers India as Class 2 category under extradition rules and Britain has not extradited even a single criminal in the last 24 years since the signing of treaty.

    Mallya is small fry, even someone like Raymond Varley wanted for pedophilia in Goa and Tiger Hanif wanted for the 1993 Bombay Terrorist bomb blast case have not been extradited till now.

    So, Vijay will enjoy his stay in UK mansion without any worries, he will visit the factory, attend the UK race and maybe later after few years apply for the citizenship.

    1. I believe he already has. I am told he has renounced his Indian citizenship and wants to be British. Still he won’t be borrowing more money in India and he needs to be careful where he goes if he does get a British passport as some country’s will send him back. I guess the UK doesn’t mind being considered a safe haven for terrorists, paedophiles and alleged crooks.

      1. > I guess the UK doesn’t mind being considered a safe haven for terrorists, paedophiles and alleged crooks.

        ‘Not minding’ isn’t what it’s about.

        Positively welcoming these people has been the government’s big economic idea for a few years now. Post the Brexit vote, that’s been turbocharged.

        The downside (well, the -other- downside, besides the loss of integrity, reputation & soft power and the evident stench of corruption) is the quid pro quo, whereby for example we are obliged to pay state aid to the state-owned nuclear industries of foreign countries, and suck up to corrupt orange racist clowns.

  18. Folks just won’t let go of this papaya orange McLaren will they? Although I learnt of the Denny & Bruce Can-Am show M8s in particular from the late Alan Henry’s McLaren book, honestly I now associate the colour with the new Mini…

    1. Well there you go George…..another pointer to BMW secretly having another tilt @ F1 with McLaren tossing Honda in their favour…….

    2. Unfair to say Ron didn’t like the colour because it was ‘old’. The team traditionally revealed the first new car of the season in that colour. Granted, that did cease several years ago for reasons I’m not entirely sure about.

  19. No doubt Otis’ decision to jump was in part due to the fact Mrs Otis and AbTaste are no longer a McL company. Probably another “eliminate RD” scenario as he funded the original start up and remained co-owner.

    McL forget AbTaste were owned by someone else when updating their website this week…

  20. As an aside, I thought the McLaren BP announcement was a little unusual by using the word “confirm” rather than “delighted that announce” or other such guff. As if they were happy with the leaks and speculation prior to the release.

    A very understated release imho and surely reading between the lines there is no cash – just supply and R&D here and they’re pissed it isn’t exclusive.

  21. To me if you are going to signal the end of an era wouldn’t you start the numbering scheme over as well. Why not MCL01 ? It like divorcing your wife but still having sex with her.

  22. Events in Euro Parliament of today (14/02/17) suggests a little stirring of the pot may be on the cards at long last.

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