F1 News Round-up #1

A general News round-up with detailed information on each News story since the New Year including Valterri Bottas moving to Mercedes so far the car launch dates.

16/01/17

Bottas finally joins Mercedes

Valtteri Bottas will replace retired world champion Nico Rosberg as Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate at Mercedes for 2017. Bottas has signed a one-year deal with the option for more, while Rosberg moves into an ambassadorial role.

In spite of this, Felipe Massa has suspended his retirement and will replace the departing Bottas at Williams once again to partner Lance Stroll. Pascal Wehrlein was the front runner in replacing Rosberg at Mercedes but Mercedes felt that Wehrlein was not ready for promotion. Wehrlein joins Sauber from Manor and will replace Felipe Nasr to partner Marcus Ericsson.

Manor enter Administration

Manor Racing have gone into administration and will collapse without new investment. Announced on the 6th of January, the team has just until the 20th of this month as a deadline for the teams survival. Manor finished 11th and last in the Constructors championship in 2016 after being beaten by Sauber by 1 point. That position change in the penultimate race of the season has proved that the 10th place was crucial for Manor’s financial status. The amount of money that is between 10th and 11th places is astronomical and finishing in 10th place would not see Manor in this place.

If a new investor is not found in time, Manor can miss up to the first three races of the season before losing their rights to race in F1. The fourth race is the Russian GP.

Paddy Lowe leaves Mercedes

Paddy Lowe has left his role as Mercedes executive director to join Williams. While Mercedes hasn’t announced Valterri Bottas to join Lewis Hamilton it is expected that Lowe will join Williams soon, replacing Pat Symonds, who exited just before Christmas.

Mercedes, meanwhile, could replace Lowe with former Ferrari technical director James Allison. Allison left the Scuderia last July with his gardening leave period thought to last for 12 months.

Vasseur leaves Renault team principal role

Frederic Vasseur has left his position as boss of Renault’s Formula 1 team. The moves comes after months of claims by sources of a difficult relationship between Vasseur and Renault Sport managing director Cyril Abiteboul.

This has apparently upset new signing Nico Hulkenberg, who joins Renault from Force India for 2017. Vasseur, was named a key figure in signing Hulkenberg. Hulkenberg has driven for Vasseur back in GP2 when he won the title back in 2009.

Car launch dates so far

  • February 21: Renault
  • February 22: Force India
  • February 23: Mercedes
  • February 24: Ferrari and McLaren
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2016 In Review

2016 has been a great year for me and also this blog, it has attracted more attention and encouragement from people that I ever imagined. I have loved writing about Formula One, Formula E and BTCC throughout the year and can’t wait to do the same again in 2017.

03/01/17

Blog Stats in 2016

  • Views: 388
  • Visitors: 217
  • Posts: 95
  • Views from Countries include: United Kingdom, United States, Norway, Australia, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Pakistan, Indonesia, Italy, Finland, Saudi Arabia, India, Romania, South Africa, New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR China and Hungary!

Whole Year in review!

In the Christmas of 2015, I started my Bronze Duke Of Edinburgh Award and in the Christmas of 2016, I completed it! It took up a few weekends over the course of the year and made me miss a couple of races of F1. I had to catch up on these races and this wasn’t fun.

bronze-award-certificate

My Duke Of Edinburgh Bronze Award that I received in December. Next step, Silver?

As I am 4th year at school, it opened up the opportunity for me to take the “Exite” program as a subject for the whole year. It is a Work Based Vocational Learning programme. It includes a day per week working place in an industry of interest to the young person. As I want to be a Journalist, I chose my local newspaper and they have taken me on up until Easter. It has given me an insight into how a newspaper works and what it takes to be a Journalist. I am really enjoying it and I am gaining new skills in writing.

1st-article

My first article in the Dunoon Observer.

These are just a few of the articles that I have done for the paper. I have also visited my local council, Argyll and Bute, in the communications department for an insight on how they work and I hope to be visiting again soon!

What does 2017 hold?

In 2017, I hope to be going to Knockhill again for the British Touring Car Championship and to the Ignition Festival of Motoring again. I hope to be going Karting a lot more and I will still be doing articles for the paper. I will be sitting Prelims late January which won’t effect the post on F1 as the season has not started yet.

Thank you for visiting and reading the blog and also all the support and feedback I have received over the course of 2016!

Team Review 2016

It was the first time since 2009 that every team scored a point in a single season in F1. The teams closed up at the back and at the front to give us more closer racing. Take a look at how your favourite team performed during the course of the F1 season.

02/01/16

Mercedes

  • Wins: 19
  • Pole Positions: 20
  • Podiums: 33
  • Fastest Laps: 9
  • 2016 Finish: 1st, 765 points

2016 Season: Before the season even began, Mercedes were the quickest car in Pre-season testing and that has been shown during most of the season. Red Bull and Ferrari have been their closest rivals, challenging Mercedes throughout the season. The relationship between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton hit another roadblock at the Spanish GP where both crashed and handed the win to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Both made contact again on the final lap of the Austrian GP, giving away a 1-2 finish. Mercedes held a comfortable lead in Constructors championship all season, clinching the championship at the Japanese GP.

Red Bull

  • Wins: 2
  • Pole Positions: 1
  • Podiums: 16
  • Fastest Laps: 6
  • 2016 Finish: 2nd, 468 points

2016 Season: Compared to 2015, 2016 has been a far better for Red Bull. The in-season swap for Max Verstappen to replace Daniil Kvyat has worked a treat for Red Bull. With Verstappen making Daniel Ricciardo perform better, which pushed each other to their limits. Verstappen gave the teams’ first win at the Spanish GP and many more podiums followed for Verstappen and Ricciardo, including a win for Ricciardo at the Malaysian GP. With the 2017 regulations mainly about Aerodynamics, Red Bull have a really good shot for next year to get even closer to Mercedes.

Ferrari

  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 11
  • Fastest Laps: 4
  • 2016 Finish: 3rd, 398 points

2016 Season: Disappointing to say the very least. After a strong and encouraging 2015 season, Ferrari have fallen flat. The experienced line-up of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen couldn’t manage a single GP win. The pressure from the Ferrari management and conflict between them haven’t helped the frustrations of the season. One of the good things to come out of the season, due to the car, is the improvement performance of Raikkonen. He has been able to out-qualifying Vettel 11-10  due to the performance of the car.

Force India

  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 2
  • Fastest Laps: 1
  • 2016 Finish: 4th, 173 points

2016 Season: The season for Force India started slowly but things picked up at the Monaco GP where Sergio Perez finished 3rd. Another podium for Perez followed at the European GP where he again finished 3rd. The season was also a good one for other driver, Nico Hulkenberg. Although he didn’t manage any podium finishes, he helped Force India to their highest finish in the Constructors championship of 4th place. With Hulkenberg departing to Renault for 2017, Force India have signed Esteban Ocon as his replacement.

Williams

  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 1
  • Fastest Laps: 0
  • 2015 Finish: 5th, 138 points

2016 Season: Williams have dropped from 3rd place in 2015 to 5th place. Like Ferrari, it’s been quite disappointing year for them in terms of results. Both drivers of Valterri Bottas and Felipe Massa scored in every race up until Monaco. Bottas scored the team’s first and only podium of the season with 3rd in Canada. Williams won the DHL Fastest Pit Stop. They set set 14 fastest pit stops out of the whole season with the best of 1.92 seconds at the European GP. Overall, Williams lost out to the battle with Force India for 4th in the championship.With Massa retiring, the team have promoted Lance Stroll to partner Bottas.

McLaren

  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 0
  • Fastest Laps: 1
  • 2016 Finish: 6th, 76 points

2016 Season: Generally a better season than last year but still still no podiums or wins so far with Honda. The season started off with a terrible crash for Fernando Alonso which made him sit out the next race in Bahrain. This gave the opportunity for Stoffel Vandoorne to race. And raced he did, finishing in 10th place and giving McLaren their first points of the season. Alonso was generally the better driver than Jenson Button, putting in great and enthralling performances throughout the season. McLaren improved from 9th in 2015 to 6th. With Button retiring, Vandoorne will be promoted alongside Alonso.

Torro Rosso

  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 0
  • Fastest Laps: 1
  • 2015 Finish: 7th, 63 points

2016 Season: Torro Rosso decided to use the 2015 Ferrari engine from last year. This meant that they would be slower in the second half of the season compared to other Ferrari powered teams like Sauber and Haas. Carlos Sainz had a great season putting in great performances and he scored well over the course of the season. Daniil Kvyat rejoined after the Russian GP and performed quite poorly on his return only scoring on 3 occasions. The second half of the season was difficult for either drivers to score points and be competitive. Torro Rosso have retained Sainz and Kvyat for 2017.

Haas F1

  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 0
  • Fastest Laps: 0
  • 2016 Finish: 8th, 29 points

2016 Season: Haas and lead driver Romain Grosjean were living the American Dream in the first couple of races where Grosjean finished 6th in Australia and 5th in Bahrain. The dream slowly died with the team struggling all season long with failing brakes. Esteban Gutierrez struggled all season long finishing outside the points in 11th place, 5 times. Grosjean then scored in Russia, Austria and in USA. Grosjean is staying for next year unlike Gutierrez who is getting replaced by Kevin Magnussen.

Renault

  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 0
  • Fastest Laps: 0
  • 2016 Finish: 9th, 8 points

2016 Season: Renault returned to the sport as a manufacturer team and had to work off the budget that Lotus had last year. The pairing of Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer proved to challenge each other every single race. Magnussen scored the team’s first points in Russia with 7th place. Both drivers struggled over the course of the season and were around the midfield. Magnussen finished in 10th in Singapore and Palmer the same in Malaysia. Palmer is to stay for 2017 alongside the arrival of Nico Hulkenberg.

Sauber

  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 0
  • Fastest Laps: 0
  • 2016 Finish: 10th, 2 points

2016 Season: Sauber suffered severe financial issues over the Winter and pre-season and the car was less competitive due to lack of development. Sauber became the only team not to score a single point after Manor scored in Austria. Sauber battled the likes of Manor and Renault over the course of the season and the team had to wait until round 20 in Brazil to scores points. Felipe Nasr finished 9th in a great drive in wet conditions to move Sauber ahead of Manor. Marcus Ericsson is confirmed for next year while Nasr is still in contention.

Manor

  • Wins: 0
  • Pole Positions: 0
  • Podiums: 0
  • Fastest Laps: 0
  • 2016 Finish: 11th, 1 point

2016 Season: Manor had a great season compared to last year but 2016 was well below their expectations. The pairing of Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto fought around the midfield which is really good for them. Having raced in Austria before in DTM, Wehrlein scored the team’s first points in 10th after a strong drive. Haryanto’s sponsors fell back on payments and he was replaced for the Belgian GP by Esteban Ocon. Wehrlein regularly progressed to Q2 and both drivers fought nearer the midfield and top 10 near the end of the season.