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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F1 ยป 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.


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



F1 Live — British GP Update – July 7, 2012


Silverstone encourages fans to attend the British Grand Prix on Sunday 08 July.

On the Turn Image by andrewrennie via Flickr

Silverstone would like to thank fans that heeded the circuit’s advice on Friday evening and did not come to the Formula 1™ Santander British Grand Prix on Saturday.

While it was an extremely difficult decision, and one that will have disappointed people that had to stay away, the decision gave the circuit a fighting chance to repair and get previously unsafe car parks into a state that can be used on race day.

The circuit has implemented further contingency plans throughout Friday night and Saturday. As a result, it is now in a stronger position to accommodate all ticket holders coming to Silverstone on Sunday.

The circuit has issued the following important information for fans coming to Silverstone tomorrow:

Information for Sunday (08 July)

  • – Everyone with a valid ticket for Sunday is encouraged to come to Silverstone
  • – Please leave plenty of time to arrive at the circuit and, where possible, travel in 4×4 vehicles, on motorcycles or car share
  • – Where possible, please maximise car capacity for your journey
  • – In order to park vehicles safely, fans should be prepared for a longer walk than usual. Please wear sensible shoes and clothing
  • – The severe weather conditions over the last weeks and, in particularly, the last 48 hours, has had a significant impact on the public car parks. It will, therefore be more difficult to park on than in previous years
  • – Please follow Stewards’ instructions. They will do everything possible to ensure you are parked as quickly and efficiently as possible
  • – Everyone who has a valid ticket for Sunday entry arriving by foot (campers & people staying in the locality) with pre booked tickets should arrives as normal
  • – People with pre-booked Park and Ride passes and tickets should follow directions as sent out and follow instructions from stewards. Please be patient – we are doing our very best and are working hard to get you in
  • – Campers must leave cars at the campsites and not bring them to the circuit as they will be turned away
  • – Campers should avoid trying to leave the site on Sunday night and stay until Monday morning. This will avoid getting caught up in traffic unnecessarily
  • Hospitality guests should follow instructions as normal, and again be patient with stewards
  • – To help stagger traffic exiting the site, please stay behind and enjoy the off-track entertainment, including the post-race Grand Prix Party

For up-to-date information tune into 87.7FM, keep an eye on the website, or on our Twitter and facebook pages.

Richard Phillips, Managing Director of Silverstone Circuits Limited, said: “The weather has been a constant issue over the weekend. Tomorrow will be a bit of a challenge, but please bear with us; we are going to do our best.”

The event will not be able to take place without the drivers, teams and officials. Please ensure they are given priority when accessing the circuit in the morning.



F1 Driver Rankings – 2012



BGP07 1090Image by p_c_w via Flickr

Now that we are seven races into the 2012 Formula 1 race calendar, one thing is clear, the total domination we've seen by Sebastian Vettel and the Red Bull Racing team in past years seems to be over. For now. While some people (including Ferrari driver Fernando Alonsohave complained there are too many contenders, I think it makes for great racing. The only exciting thing about the 2011 season was watching Vettel win all the races and really dominate the sport. Watching the individual races was actually less exciting because you almost expected him to qualify in pole position, then finish first. When he did it, it was expected, not an exciting finish.


The 2012 F1 season has been much more equalized, yet with podium positions still mainly divided among the same five or so top drivers. I would like to see more of lesser-known drivers win races, we did have that in Spain when Williams driver Pastor Maldonadowon the race. But other than that race, and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg's win in China in mid-April, it's still the same small club. Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Red Bull's Mark Webber and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. You can pretty well be sure the top three will include those drivers, in some order, at least.


2012 race results

The first race of the 2012 season in Australia was won by Jenson Button. It was Fernando Alonso who won the second race in Malaysia. Mercedes' Nico Rosberg took the checkered flag at the third race of the season in China, followed by Vettel's win in Bahrain. In Spain it was new guy Pastor Maldonado who won, followed the next race by Mark Webber's Monaco victory. Next race was in Canada and Lewis Hamilton won that one, leading us into the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe, scheduled for June 24 in Valencia, Spain.



After the seventh race, it's McLaren's Lewis Hamilton at the top of the F1 driver's rankings with 88 points. Behind him is Ferrari's Fernando Alonso with 86. In third place is Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel with 85 points. red Bull's Mark Webber is next with 79, followed by Mercedes' Nico Rosberg with 67, then the field trails off sharply.



A lifetime auto racing fan, Freddy Sherman collects vintage muscle cars and attends races and rally events in the U.S. and around the world. He loves and writes about IndyCar and Formula 1 racing and you can follow him on Twitter –@thefredsherman

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