Vodafone set to leave Formula 1?

Hamilton signs with Mercedes for 2013  by Les Speed – via F1QA – September 28th, 2012

With Lewis Hamilton jumping the good-ship McLaren Mercedes and Mexican Sergio Perez quickly brought on-board as his replacement, can Vodafone be far behind?

Celebrity Life Image by JohnONolan via Flickr

Reports had confirmed that McLaren were offering Lewis quite a bit less then his previous deal, which possibly with Jenson Button as team-mate and the fact that Lewis hasn't won a World Championship for some time might have been justified. That argument could go both ways, as with co-number one drivers and a slightly unrealiable car, how could Lewis have won a World Championship anyway?

Nonetheless, in the last four years since Lewis did win his one and only World Championship, everything has gone up in price; gas, food, travel, etc. So to be offered a lower salary as reward for the years of service, probably didn't sit right with the Flash of Stevenage, OBE and of whom, with the firing of his greatest mentor, his father Anthony, is obviously a man of few sentiments and of many ambitions.

Enter, stage right, Mercedes, who have known and somewhat nurtured Lewis' career over the years, to throw one of their own overboard and scoop the disorientated Flash while the scooping was good. After-all, the team needed a good reason to get the board in Struttgart to continue funding their addictions.

That in itself warrants a report of its own – as does, how McLaren is actually faring after launching a $200,000 Supercar in the midst of a Global recession.

Yet, with Telmex backed Perez in at McLaren, what does that say, in addition to the lower pay-packet offer, about Vodafone's committment to the future? Especially, now with the dynamic-British-duo no more. And to the rumours of Coca-Cola as a 2013 McLaren sponsor?

Are they the Real-Thing, after-all?

If you do recall Schweppes was a McLaren sponsor for years, so the Woking outfit knows how to service a drinks company and current sponsor, Lucozade, a potential clasher with Coca-Cola, has recently taken to promoting its MaxiMuscle brand on the rear wing. Plenty of intrigue and B2B potential ahead, no doubt.

Enjoy the show!

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Adam Parr’s departure was profitable for Williams

F1 business good for Williams after Ecclestone payment

By: Adam Cooper via Autoweek. SPEED TV on September 11, 2012

Williams Grand Prix Holdings has announced an improved financial performance for the first six months of 2012.
 
Pastor maldonado antes de chocar en los próceres Image by anyulled via Flickr
 
The company says turnover on its core Formula One business has increased by 57 percent to $117 million, while net profits are up from $13.6 million.

Williams is one of 12 F1 teams, and is listed on the German stock exchange.

The team makes no secret of the fact that its performance has been boosted by a “sweetener”payment from F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone related to the new Concorde Agreement.

It said in a statement: “The notable increases in half-year turnover and profit are largely due to our diversification strategy,as well as the recent receipt of a one-off payment following a new commercial agreement for our continued commitment to Formula One.”

Sir Frank Williams said: “Williams is at a very exciting stage in its history, and these promising results are indicative of this. We have made good progress on track this year, thanks in part to a new technical team, which has seen us pick up our first win in eight years. Our diversification strategy is also gaining momentum, positioning us as a leader in the development of cutting edge technology in areas such as sustainability and safety.”

CEO Alex Burns emphasized the company’s diversification strategy: “These results also validate our long-term business plan of adapting technology and know-how developed in Formula One for commercial application in energy efficiency, safety and education. Our core business is now generating strong revenue figures from projects outside of Grand Prix racing.

“For example, our partnership with Jaguar, to develop the ground breaking C-X75 hybrid supercar, is making good progress, and other Formula One teams are also using our technology, including a new deal with Marussia that will see them use our KERS technology next year.”

On the track, Williams driver Pastor Maldonado of Venezuela won the Spanish Grand Prix in May to give the team its lone win of 2012. Maldonado is 15th place in the driver standings, one spot ahead of teammate Bruno Senna.

Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20120911/f1/120919969#ixzz26Dqt1KJS

 

Ferrari chief and his vision of Formula 1

 

 

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has renewed calls for a cheaper Formula 1 with more testing and less reliance on aerodynamics – plus perhaps consideration given to shorter races.
 
Salone dell' Auto di Francoforte 2007 Image by schumachergirl1956 via Flickr

On a weekend where there has been a renewed focus on cost control in F1, di Montezemolo argued that the time was ripe for a big rethink about the future of the sport.

“We want an F1 with less cost,” he said at Monza. “Tell me why we have to spend a huge amount of cost to spend 24 hours in the windtunnel to do a small wing flap that for the public [the interest] is zero, for the television is zero, and for me as a road-car manufacturer it is less than zero because we will never use this for the road car?”

He added: “Ferrari has been in F1 for more than 60 years. The success in F1 is crucial. Ferrari will remain in F1 if F1 is F1 and not a race for electric cars or games. It is innovation and technology and, if you have to spend money, you spend it for the advanced research and not for something that is nothing to do with competition.”

Di Montezemolo met with FIA president Jean Todt and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone for talks at Maranello on Friday to discuss the future of grand prix racing – and said he believed important steps needed to be taken.

“I want to have rules that permit us to spend less, because I don't think if you say, this is [area] limited to spend [on], how can you control this?” he explained. “I think in the recent past, somebody cheated on this.

“So I prefer to have clear rules that allow [teams] to spend less, particularly in something that is not crucial for the spectators or the competition.”

Speaking about potential changes to the format of race weekends, di Montezemolo said: “Looking at young people, it [the length of races] is too long.

“Maybe I'm wrong but I think we have to look very carefully what we can do to improve the show of F1. I give you one example, one and a half hours is a long time for young people; maybe it is good instead to have the race in two parts.

“Maybe it is a mistake, but we have to think of something, we cannot stay always the same.

“We have to be innovative without losing the F1 DNA, like technology and innovation. Now, the last 10 laps if you are in the lead, you take care of the tyres, because maybe you don't arrive at the end, you take care of your engine. This is not F1 extreme; it is something we have to look at. Maybe we maintain the race, maybe it is something we change for the future.”

He also suggested that F1 should be more flexible about when races take place.

“You can maybe give more room for technological research for the road cars and also to improve the show, because this is another problem,” he said. “I don't think it's good to race in July and August at 2pm when the people are in the sea or on vacation. Soccer plays at 6, 7, 8 o'clock.”

F1 » Hamilton hits 100GP’s in Germany

Lewis Hamilton: I still remember my first [F1 race] as if it were only yesterday…

2010 Canadian Grand Prix Podium: Hamilton, Button, Alonso Image by Gregory Moine via Flickr

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton will reach a landmark in Germany next weekend, when he takes in his 100th F1 race, and he has admitted that he finds it quite 'unbelievable' that he has already done so many grand's prix.

The 2008 F1 world champion has enjoyed much success since making his debut at the top level back in 2007, and while Silverstone last time out was disappointing and he only finished eighth in front of his home fans, he is already looking ahead and looking to strike back.

Indeed he is keen to mark his latest F1 milestone in style and given his current position in the drivers' championship, he is 37 points off Fernando Alonso, a win – his second win of the year – would be well-timed.

“I was quick to get over our disappointing weekend at Silverstone, running with the Olympic flame on the day after the race and then quickly turning my full attention to Hockenheim.

“Unbelievably, next weekend will mark my 100th grand prix. That's incredible, because I still remember my first as if it were only yesterday – I guess F1 has that effect on you!” Hamilton said.

Looking to the German GP more specifically weekend, Hamilton added that he likes the Hockenheimring, although he wishes he would have got the chance to race on the old longer layout.

“It's always been a regret of mine that I arrived in F1 too late to race on the classic Hockenheim layout, where the track disappeared for miles into the forests and was only broken up by a couple of relatively high-speed chicanes,” Hamilton continued.

“It must have been incredible battling round that track with minimal downforce, locked in a slipstreaming battle with another car and waiting for just the right moment to pounce and overtake.

“Still, I very much enjoy the updated track – it's a place that's built for racing: the hairpin at the end of the back straight is a classic overtaking spot, and the whole layout seems to make it more inviting for a following car to attempt an overtake,” he concluded.

 
 

De Villota recovery described as ‘remarkable’

 

via AFP – 22 hours ago — Marussia test driver Maria De Villota is making a remarkable recovery from last week's horrific crash which resulted in her losing her right eye, her F1 team reported on Wednesday.

Jerome d'Ambrosio Image by nic_r via Flickr

The 32-year-old Spaniard required two operations at Addendrooke's Hospital in Cambridge after the accident at Duxford Airfield that saw her run into the tailgate of a stationary service vehicle.

Although her condition was life threatening over the first few days, on Monday De Villota showed enough of an improvement to be moved out of the Neurological Critical Care Unit.

A team statement read: “Despite severe injuries, Maria's recovery during that time has been remarkable.

“Following two successful surgical procedures in the days following the accident, last Saturday the medical team at Addenbrooke's Hospital began to gradually reduce the level of Maria's sedation.

“By Sunday morning, Maria was awake and able to speak to her family, which provided a very important – albeit early – indication that there were positive signs for Maria's recovery.

“Since that time, Maria has been making small but significant steps. She was moved out of the Neurological Critical Care Unit on Monday and is no longer receiving sedation.

“Her family remain by her side and she is communicating freely with them and the medical team. Medical assessments are ongoing to monitor Maria's improving condition.”

 

 

Coca-Cola rumored as McLaren major sponsor…

 

F1: Sources Insist Coke Eyeing McLaren Sponsorship Deal
via SPEED Staff / GMM  |  Posted July 11, 2012   GMM Newswire
 

Button Rocket Image by polarjez via Flickr

Sources continue to insist that Coca-Cola is interested in entering Formula One as a sponsor.

Business journalist Christian Sylt suggested recently that Coke, arguably the most recognized brand name in the world, could replace McLaren's title sponsor Vodafone.

It had emerged that Vodafone is currently reviewing its major sponsorships.

Another F1 journalist, however, on Tuesday rubbished the “stupid” story on the basis that McLaren already has a drinks sponsor, Lucozade.

But two well-placed sources insist that the Coke rumors are real.

One of the sources said he can prove that Coca-Cola's global head of sports sponsorship has been obtaining detailed data on the beverage sponsorships sector in F1.

He said Coke has “more than a passing interest” in the sport.

The other source, meanwhile, said the Coke/McLaren link is so strong that a potential 2014 McLaren livery has been contemplated that harks back to McLaren's classic red and white of the '80s and '90s.

McLaren's current grey/silver livery dates back to 1997, but its engine partner Mercedes' rival works cars are now also colored similarly.

Moreover, the Woking-based team will begin to pay for its Mercedes engines from 2013, as Force India does already.

“If McLaren goes ahead and switches its livery, it would make sense to do it for a brand as big as Coke,” said Sylt on Wednesday.


 

F1 Live – at the British Grand Prix

 

Start Your Engines, F1 Style, at the British Grand Prix