Formula 1 - 2017

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Formula 1 - 2017 - Why The Hell Not! Yeah, yeah.... @OZCUBAN will no doubt be saying "I told you so" and I really was going to leave Formula 1 at 2016 for at least a year but I figured being

Ugh.  Long long day here.  3 flights followed by a 4 hour drive home and 2 near crashes on the way home.  Love it when the idiots close down one lane of the interstate, back traffic way behind the lan

Hi all. Just advising you all, in a few hours, I'll cease posting for a couple weeks as I am off on break with my son being school holidays here. I most likely won't post anything as the first pa



Ferrari has successfully challenged the legality of suspension technology that rival teams have been using, but the row is set to rumble on into the 2017 season.

F1 banned the FRIC (Front and Rear InterConnected) suspension system back in 2014, but some teams – notably Mercedes – have since come up with a workaround that optimises ride height and offers extra downforce in corners.

Working at its optimum a system that can drop a couple of millimetres of front wing ride height is probably worth around 2/10ths of a second a lap.

Ferrari’s chief designer Simone Resta wrote to the FIA’s F1 race director Charlie Whiting to explain that as a result the Italian team was considering its own novel suspension designs and asked for clarifications on specific areas. This could indicate that Ferrari was a few months behind their rivals like Mercedes and Red Bull in this technology, while medium size and small teams would not have the R&D resource or capability to compete in this area.

Whiting replied with his view that the concepts outlined in the letter would be illegal, which is a signal to the other teams not to appear in Melbourne with the system on their cars or they risk being sanctioned by the FIA Race Stewards.


In his letter, which was distributed to all the teams, Resta wrote: “We are considering a family of suspension devices that we believe could offer a performance improvement through a response that is a more complex function of the load at the wheels than would be obtained through a simple combination of springs, dampers and inerters.

“In all cases they would be installed between some combination of the sprung part of the car and the two suspension rockers on a single axle, and achieve an effect similar to that of a FRIC system without requiring any connection between the front and rear of the car. All suspension devices in question feature a moveable spring seat and they use energy recovered from wheel loads and displacements to alter the position of the heave spring.

“Their contribution to the primary purpose of the sprung suspension – the attachment of the wheels to the car in a manner which isolates the sprung part from road disturbances – is small, while their effect on ride height and hence aerodynamic performance is much larger, to the extent that we believe it could justify the additional weight and design complexity.


“We would therefore question the legality of these systems under Art. 3.15 and its interpretation in TD/002-11, discriminating between whether certain details are ‘wholly incidental to the main purpose of the suspension system’ or ‘have been contrived to directly affect the aerodynamic performance of the car’.

The two areas that Resta requested be clarified in detail were: “1) displacement in a direction opposed to the applied load over some or all of its travel, regardless of the source of the stored energy used to achieve this.

“2) a means by which some of the energy recovered from the forces and displacements at the wheel can be stored for release at a later time to extend a spring seat or other parts of the suspension assembly whose movement is not defined by the principally vertical suspension travel of the two wheels.”


Whiting’s response to Ferrari’s letter explained that the two areas Resta asked for clarification on were likely to be in breach of F1’s technical regulations.

He wrote: “In our view any suspension system which was capable of altering the response of a cars’ suspension system in the way you describe in paragraphs 1) and 2) would be likely to contravene article 3.15 of the F1 technical regulations.”

It is understood that the teams that were running the innovative suspension layout in 2016 have presented their own queries to the FIA.

The row comes ahead of the 2017 season where F1 cars will feature new rules on chassis designs that will make the cars look more aggressive and are intended to lower laptimes.


During the last major bodywork overall back in 2009, the debate over the double diffuser system on the Brawn GP, Williams and Toyota cars dominated the early part of the season. Protests were filed at the opening round, but the system was allowed.

Ross Brawn, whose eponymous team ran the double diffuser that was eventually ruled to be legal and went on to secure both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships in 2009, said late last year that the teams that had made an early start on their 2017 designs would be at an advantage as they, “can start to shape the arguments.”

With F1 set to become an aerodynamic Formula once again in 2017, additional gains from systems such as the one Ferrari has challenged are well worth having.

Disputes over innovative designs and further solutions in this area are likely to feature prominently in the coming weeks as the new cars are unveiled and testing gets underway.

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3 minutes ago, MIKA27 said:

Formula 1 - 2017 - Why The Hell Not!

Image result for formula 1 2017

Yeah, yeah.... @OZCUBAN will no doubt be saying "I told you so" and I really was going to leave Formula 1 at 2016 for at least a year but I figured being yet another "New era" if one can call it that in the F1 world, I also though "What if" this season end up being better than the past 3? Also, this very post marks 30K for me ;) I think my last milestone post as Fuzz pointed out was some sort of kitchen appliance so there ya go...

So... here we are yet again for another year :)

Not much happening news wise as yet, I'll start posting a few articles but I dare say it will all ramp up toward end of January early February.

As always, your posts, thoughts and readership are much appreciated ;) Here's hoping 2017 the year as well as Formula 1 are better than the last. :2thumbs:


Can't wait for the season and your posts and congrats on the 30k.


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Image result for CHANNEL 4 monaco GP 2017

For the 2017 Formula 1 season, Channel 4 will bring the Monaco Grand Prix back to terrestrial TV in the UK for the first time since 2012 as one of the ten live races it will broadcast this season.

Channel 4 took over the rights for terrestrial coverage in the UK ahead of the 2016 season after the BBC ended its contract early at the end of 2015. Like the BBC’s previous deal, Channel 4 screens half of the races live with the remaining events shown as delayed highlights.

Following a picks process with Sky Sports, which broadcasts all of the races live in the UK and has exclusive rights to broadcast F1 from the 2019 season, Channel 4 has chosen the Bahrain, Russia, Monaco, Azerbaijan, Great Britain, Belgium, Singapore, Malaysia, USA and Abu Dhabi events as the races it will show live in 2017.


Speaking as Channel 4’s choices were announced, Stephen Lyle, the broadcaster’s Head of F1, said: “Following a thrilling first year covering Formula 1, we’re delighted to reveal our schedule for the 2017 season.

“Once again our team will bring extensive coverage of every race with the Monaco Grand Prix, Great Britain and the finale in Abu Dhabi among our ten live race weekends. It’s a particular delight to welcome Monaco back to terrestrial television live, for the first time in five years.”

In the announcement of its live races for 2017, Channel 4 explained that its coverage was “frequently the most watched programme over its time slot”. As expected with the more niche channel, according to figures published on the F1 Broadcasting blog, supplied by, Channel 4 had a smaller average audience in 2016 than the BBC managed the year before.

Channel 4’s 2016 race coverage was watched by an average of 1.96 million viewers, which is down from 3.11m on the BBC. Its most watched live event was the Mexican Grand Prix, with 3.93m peak viewers, followed by the British Grand Prix (3.89m) and Abu Dhabi (3.85m).

But Whisper Films, the production company created by former Williams, McLaren and Red Bull driver David Coulthard and presenter Jake Humphrey that produces Channel 4’s F1 broadcasts, did win an award for its coverage of the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix from the Association for International Broadcasting.

Updates on Channel 4’s 2016 presenting team, which included Steve Jones, Coulthard, Mark Webber, Susie Wolff, Karun Chandhok and Alain Prost, last year, are yet to be confirmed.

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F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has come out in defense of Sebastian Vettel by pointing a finger at Ferrari for not giving the four times World Champion a decent car to win with.

In an interview with Bild, Ecclestone pulled no punches, “Ferrari has fallen back to the times before Schumacher and Todt. There are too many Italians working there. This is nothing against Italy, but it is not in their DNA to lead a team successfully.”

Indeed Ferrari endured a low par season, not helped by the mid-season departure of James Allison, who was replaced by Mattia Binotto as chief technical officer. What transpired thereafter at Maranello was a “head-to-toe” restructuring of the Formula 1 operation in preparation for 2017 and beyond.

Also under fire was their star driver Vettel, who was criticised for his performances in 2016. In some races he appeared desperate and as a result made some glaring errors that were thrust in the spotlight by the potent Italian media.

He also endured criticism from his own team, including a bizarre mid-season warning by team chief Maurizio Arrivabene that he should focus on driving and not on management matters.

His well documented meltdown during the Mexican Grand Prix summed up the mounting frustration he was facing, but at the same time his demeanour under pressure became an issue.

But Ecclestone pins the blame on the team and he exonerates Vettel, “It is not his fault that he does not win, it’s the car and the team.”

In the wake of Nico Rosberg’s sudden departure from Mercedes, Vettel was immediately linked with a possible move to Mercedes, but Ecclestone scoffs at the idea, “Sebastian’s mission is with Ferrari. I know he wants to win the championship with them first.”

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne signaled a warning during the team’s end of the year media event,”With Vettel it doesn’t make sense to talk about [contract] renewal now. We must first understand if he feels comfortable with us in 2017.”

But acknowledged cryptically, “We must give him a winning car, otherwise talking about the future is useless. We know Vettel wants to win with us. Can we guarantee it? In return, he must drive with composure, be more calm, less agitated.”

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F1 2017: Unfit drivers will be found out by changes, Palmer tips


Formula 1 drivers who have not upped their fitness programmes to match 2017's significantly faster and more-physical cars will be "found out", Renault's Jolyon Palmer believes.

Headlined by wider front and rear wings and bigger tyres from Pirelli, major changes to F1's regulations are set to lower times by four to five seconds per lap in 2017.

Markedly increased cornering speeds will also make the new-generation machinery more physical to drive, which Palmer believes could catch some drivers out when testing starts next month.

"I can see it making a difference," Palmer said.

"We don't really know exactly the performance: we know the numbers, but we don't know what the tyres are going to do.

"If it is what we think, then I think it will show early on who has been in the gym over the winter and who hasn't.

"If drivers aren't in the gym this winter they will be found out.

"It is clearly much quicker than we are racing now, it will be a challenge to drive, physical as well.

"I think it will be really exciting."


Debate over whether the new rules will improve the quality of grand prix racing flowed during 2016, with critics believing more downforce and widers cars will not aid overtaking.

Palmer believes the full impact will not be known until the season opener in Australia.

"We don't know until we hit the track," he said.

"You can look back and see when cars had a lot of aero it was quite difficult to follow, thinking 2007/2008, they didn't have DRS and they were still overtaking.

"Some of the slipstreams were massive and at the moment we are not getting much, so there will be a double effect.

"We will only properly know in Melbourne I think.

"I think the cars going quicker will generally be a bigger challenge, but there will be some corners that will be less of a challenge because they will be flat."

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Force India 2017 F1 launch date revealed


Force India will launch its 2017 Formula 1 car at Silverstone on February 22.

The Silverstone-based F1 team will unveil its new challenger for the first time the day before world champion squad Mercedes does likewise at the same venue.

Force India is the third F1 squad to reveal its 2017 launch plans. Mercedes is running a competition for fans to attend its launch event on February 23, the day before Ferrari plans to run its new car for the first time at Fiorano.

Force India enjoyed its best F1 season in 2016, beating fellow Mercedes customer team Williams to fourth in the constructors' championship.

The team has improved its competitive standing greatly since it began using Toyota's windtunnel in Cologne for aerodynamic testing in 2015.

Deputy team principal Bob Fernley says the outfit is "relishing" the technical challenge posed by the new rules for this year, which will increase the size, speed and aerodynamic power of the cars.

"This will be the first new generation car that we're producing using a 60% windtunnel model," he told Autosport late last season.

"If you go back through the years, first off all there were 50% models initially done in Brackley, subsequently done at Toyota.

"The [2017] car is the first model we've done which has actually benefited from a 60% model in itself.

"For us it's a good opportunity to have that 60% car on a level playing field.

"Obviously it's not perfectly level, because the other teams have better windtunnel capabilities than we do, but it's closer than it's ever been before and it's a challenge that we're really quite relishing."

Sergio Perez finished a career-best seventh in the world championship with Force India last season, and he will lead the team into 2017 paired with Mercedes junior driver Esteban Ocon, who replaces Renault-bound Nico Hulkenberg.

Pre-season testing gets underway at Barcelona on February 27.

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Mercedes announces 2017 Formula 1 car launch date


Mercedes has become the second team to reveal the launch date of its 2017 Formula 1 car, with its unveiling taking place at Silverstone on February 23.

The reigning world champion outfit will pull the covers off its W08 a day before rival Ferrari runs its car for the first time at Fiorano.

With all-new regulations coming for 2017, teams are eager to complete shakedowns to iron out any early trouble prior to official pre-season testing beginning at Barcelona in Spain on February 27.

Under F1 rules, these initial launch runs come from the teams' allocation of 'filming days' for promotional use.

Mercedes has also opened a competition for fans to attend the launch event.

While Mercedes has finalised plans for revealing its 2017 car, it has yet to announce its driver line-up.

Discussions with Williams over a deal for Valtteri Bottas to move across and replace Nico Rosberg alongside Lewis Hamilton are continuing.

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Renault to debut 'aggressive' new engine concept for 2017 season


Renault will debut a new engine concept in 2017 that it believes will deliver greater development potential and therefore huge gains later in the year and beyond as it looks to close the gap to its rivals, chiefly Mercedes, which it still lags behind in outright performance.

With the new power units now entering their fourth season, the rate of development is slowing and smaller steps are therefore expected next year, but Renault believes it can buck that trend by going down a completely new development path thanks to an "aggressive" overhaul of its design.

According to Renault's managing director Cyril Abiteboul, the French manufacturer isn't content with its power unit despite massive steps forward in 2016 and has taken a radical approach, rather than playing it safe and focussing purely on the chassis and aerodynamics.

"Frankly we have had long discussions about that because at the point in time that everything is changing on the rest of the car, we could have taken a more conservative approach in trying to freeze what we have and focus on the chassis," he told Motorsport.

"But we have not gone for that. We have gone for a very aggressive option. If we want to be where we would like to be for 2018 or 2020, which is the next phase, when we want to target the top teams, we cannot afford to delay anything. So we need to accept the risk."

Abiteboul warned not to expect immediate gains as Renault will instead be focussing on the reliability of the power unit before it begins extracting performance later in the season.

"We will be focusing on reliability with that new concept of engine - which will be a new concept I can confirm that," he said.

"It means that it may not be a big jump in terms of performance, simply for the reason that we want to make sure to introduce this concept that it is reliable and that will be the perfect platform to develop the performance for the next three to four years."

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Mick Schumacher

With Michael Schumacher’s son rapidly making his way towards Formula 1, through the junior ranks of the sport, Bernie Ecclestone is keen to have the Schumacher name back on the grid.

Asked by Bild about Mick Schumacher, Ecclestone replied, “If he is anywhere near as good as his father, why not? It would be good for Formula 1 if the name Schumacher were represented again.”

The 17 year old will be racing in Formula 3 this season and is adamant that his goal is to succeed at the very highest level, “I want to be an F1 world champion, like every driver. F3 is the next step for me and I can hardly wait.”

“2017 will certainly be a challenge, but the tests in the past few weeks have shown that the car is great fun to drive.

“This [F3] is the category that all the big names have come through. From the point of view of professionalism, it’s a bit closer to F1 and a bit more difficult,” added Schumacher.

After finishing runner-up in both the Italian and German F4 championships – where he won ten races and was on the podium 22 times – the youngster is playing down his rapid progress and insists Formula 1 will only happen “once I feel ready for this step.”

“I will only know the moment when it comes, I will do it in the way that I think is right,” he added. “I have already shown that I can do this in karting. In the Formula car it also went quite well.”

“I drive by instinct, I listen to my gut. If I see a gap that I like, I’ll try it. If it doesn’t work, I try it just one more time.”

As for the pressure of being the son of a living legend and the sport’s most successful driver, Schumacher said, “Even if there is a lot of attention on me, I want to race and that’s the most important thing.”

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Alonso: Michael Schumacher was my toughest opponent


Throughout his 15-years in Formula 1, Fernando Alonso revealed that Michael Schumacher was his toughest opponent on the track.

Despite battling it out with a host of talented drivers since his career began, the Spaniard was in awe of the German racing legend, calling him one of a kind.

“Michael was really special,” he told Auto, Motor und Sport.

“Of all the drivers I raced he was undoubtedly the most talented. Everyone respects Michael, he is a legend. For my generation he will always be the man who dominated Formula 1.

“It was a privilege for me to have been given the opportunity to race against him and fight him for the world championship.”

Praising some of his attributes, Alonso was most impressed with seven-time World Champion’s relentless attitude on the track and his skill to turn a bad situation into a good one.

“He was tough and never gave up, making the most of every opportunity that came his way. He gave it his best every single time,” he continued.

“I remember so well the 2006 season when we battled for the title until the very last race. When the Bridgestones were performing he was unbeatable, but when the Michelin’s had the edge he was still he was still a force to be reckoned with.

“Even when you had the perfect weekend and succeeded in depriving him of some big points, he would still finish third or fourth! Only Michael could do that.”

MIKA: Bring back the tyre wars I say! ;)

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‘2017 won’t be another learning year,’ says Verstappen


Ahead of the 2017 season, racing prodigy Max Verstappen says his third year in Formula 1 won’t be another learning year for him.

At the tender age of 19-years-old, Verstappen is already a Grand Prix champion after he became the sport’s youngster race winner in history when he won the Spanish Grand Prix.

Spending two promising years at Toro Rosso and Red Bull, the Dutchman feels he is one of the more established figures on the track.

"I don't think you can talk of a learning year in 2017; after two seasons in Formula 1, you can't say you are still learning," said Verstappen.

"It's not that I'm now raising the bar for myself, it's just different.

"You build on experiences rather than just your feeling."

However, Red Bull boss Christian Horner reckons that Verstappen can still improve, even if he did an outstanding job 2016.

"Any sportsman can always improve in all areas, and he's gaining experience all the time," said Horner,.

"As he gains that experience it holds him in better stead for the upcoming years… there are always areas that you can improve and it's working on those marginal returns."

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Reports – Wehrlein joins Sauber


Mercedes development driver Pascal Wehrlein has reached an agreement with Sauber and will race alongside Marcuss Ericsson ahead of the new season.

With the German youngster joining the Swiss outfit, it is looking more likely that Valtteri Bottas will be the one to take Nico Rosberg’s seat at Mercedes as he and Wehrlein were the two front-runners.

The development is expected to be announced in the coming days.

In conjunction with the Wehrlein to Sauber confirmation, it is also expected that Bottas to Mercedes and Felipe Massa to remain at Williams to also be announced.

There only race seats available on the grid is at Manor Racing, with Rio Haryanto, Felipe Nasr and Esteban Gutierrez being linked with the British outfit.

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New rules for Formula 1 in 2017 and a key part of that will be the tyres, bigger tyres for better performance is the goal.

Pirelli give the lowdown on the new regulations and the impact tyres will have.


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Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain Wednesday 24 February 2016. World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic ref: Digital Image _L4R8100

In terms of technology Formula 1 and NASCAR are worlds apart, but Haas F1 team chief Gene Haas has revealed that there is a great deal of interest and curiosity surrounding his F1 venture from the NASCAR community.

Haas told ESPN, “There’s always been a lot of interest from the NASCAR side about F1, I think there’s a lot of curiosity from people who would like to come to the races and find out what it’s all about because it’s interesting. I’ve seen a lot of interest from people, individuals, who have encouraged us in what we’re doing.”

“It’s obviously on a very small level but we’ve got a lot media attention, a lot of business contacts, I think there’s been a fairly positive response to us in Formula One.”

Haas Automation has benefited from the B2B opportunities that emerge due to their involvement in the sport, but Haas believes there is still a way to go for his team to secure a major title sponsor for their F1 project,

Haas explained, “We’ve had more interest and we’re talking to a number of companies but we haven’t put anything in hard writing. I think we will have a couple of associate sponsors but I think we still have to prove we can race at this level.”

“Racing in general, there’s some viewership issues, there’s only a number of viewers you can provide to potential sponsors.”

“In general I think all racing venues have had issues in terms of sponsors and most of the teams you see here don’t have any major sponsors yet except from the top three or four teams.”

Haas enjoyed a sensational start to their Formula 1 adventure during the early part of the season, but as the year progressed the hardship of contesting at the highest level took its toll on the team. Nevertheless they finished eighth in what must be described as a remarkable season for the debutantes.

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Formula 1 fans in Singapore are keen for the race to remain there, despite negotiations between organisers and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone seemingly stalled, according to a survey conducted by British research firm YouGov.

The contract for the Singapore race expires this year and Ecclestone and organisers are still in negotiations about extending beyond 2017, though he suggested in an interview with a German autosport magazine last November that talks were not progressing well.

The Singapore race costs some S$150 million ($104.69 million) to put on every year, 60 percent of which is funded by the government. It was first staged in 2008 and the city-state renewed its contract for another five years in 2012.

The future of the race, however, was a concern for the 1,002 Singaporean respondents to the survey, with 57 percent keen for it to continue beyond this year.

About 70 percent also felt the race had been a net positive for the country.

YouGov conducted the survey of 9,332 people within eight countries in the Asia-Pacific area because the future of the sport within the wider region is clouded.

The area hosts five Grands Prix on the 20-race calendar this year – in Australia, China, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan.

Malaysian organisers have already said they had no interest in hosting a race after 2018 because of declining ticket sales and television viewing figures.

The survey, however, found that overall more than 60 percent of respondents wanted more races within the region with Hong Kong (33 percent), Bangkok (27 percent) and Sydney (20 percent) suggested as potential hosts.

While 71 percent would be interested in attending races, high ticket costs and having to travel to another country to do so were major deterrents.

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Fernando Alonso.

At 35 time is fast running out for Fernando Alonso in Formula 1, but before his time is up he is seeking a third title to add to the two he already has and is hoping that the 2017 regulations have the wow factor to keep him motivated.

Speaking to the official F1 website Alonso declared, “Another championship is the ultimate target and we are working hard on that project.”

“With the new regulations in place next year we will probably get the excitement back as the cars will be much more attractive – and much faster. That is still the target that Fernando wants to achieve!” he added with a laugh.

The McLaren driver has endured two well below par seasons with the Woking outfit that are reunited with Honda, but have yet to deliver at the highest level. As a consequence he has not visited the podium since his Ferrari days in 2014, while his last victory was with the Reds back in 2013 at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Alonso has often spoken about the lack of excitement in driving the current era F1 cars and has made it clear that the challenge of driving the 2017 cars will determine how long he remains at the pinnacle of the sport, explaining that much has changed since he made his grand prix debut 15 years ago.

“You change in any ways – not just as a driver. A person at 19 years of age is completely different than a man of 35. That goes for any kind of relationship: family, friends, and the approach to the team, the working methods and of course the media.”

“Everything changes – not because you want to have it changed in one direction, but because life changes you! You cannot escape that – the Peter Pan story of not growing old is only a fairy tale!”

Nevertheless, the ardent will to win remains, “Probably success is the most important thing of the enjoyment of being here. You are here to compete – you are here to compete against 21 other drivers and try to be the best in the world. So being on the podium, winning a race or even a championship: these are the moments of ultimate enjoyment.”

With regards to the 2017 season, he was asked if the fatter tyres, faster lap times plus more horsepower and downforce will re-ignite his passion, Alonso replied, “Yes, because it means that you are very excited in the car when you jump in. I expect the feeling of ‘wow’ again – as when I started in F1!”

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Silverstone considers activating British GP break-clause in 2017

Silverstone considers activating British GP break-clause in 2017

Silverstone’s owner, the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC), says it is serious about the possibility of activating a break clause to drop the British Grand Prix.

The clause allows Silverstone to end its deal to host the British GP at the end of 2019 – but Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone needs to be informed about the plan ahead of this year’s race.

The presence of the clause has been known for some time, but it has now emerged that the excessive cost of holding the annual F1 race is making the threat of the break clause being activated very real.

In a letter to members from BRDC chairman John Grant that was sent before Christmas, and has been leaked to ITV, he says the circuit has become increasingly worried about the financial implications of holding an F1 race.

“Your board would like to preserve the BGP at Silverstone for many years to come, but only if it makes sense to do so,” he wrote. “And we have to protect our Club against the potentially ruinous risk of a couple of bad years.

“Without some change in the economic equation, the risk and return are out of kilter, and so we are exploring various ways in which this might be altered.

“Among other alternatives, the Board is considering whether we should give notice before the 2017 BGP (as required) of our intention to exercise the break clause in the BGP contract at the end of 2019. This is not a simple decision, and we will consider fully all the implications before coming to a conclusion by mid-year.”

Silverstone logo   Fans at the podium   Felipe Massa, Williams FW38

17-year deal

A 17-year deal to host the British GP was signed by Silverstone in 2009, but the rising costs of a 5 percent escalator that forms a part of many of Ecclestone’s race deals has given the track second thoughts.

BRDC president Derek Warwick told’s sister site Autosport last year that the escalator had pushed the circuit over the edge.

“At the end of the day, if you can't afford it, you can't afford it,” he said. “We've supported the British Grand Prix now for many years without any kind of third party support or government support.

“We've spent over £50million building the Wing, changing the circuit, and doing everything Bernie wanted in order to secure the grand prix.

“But now we are in a situation where the escalator [clause] has become too expensive for us.”

Silverstone track map   Circuit atmosphere   Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H

Venue switch

Ecclestone did not seem too concerned about the situation, and said other tracks had contacted him to discuss the idea of replacing Silverstone.

“If they want to activate a break clause, there is nothing we can do,” he told ITV.

“Two other tracks have contacted us and we are keen to keep a British Grand Prix, there is no doubt about it, we want to have one. As far as Silverstone is concerned, it's not in our hands.”

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Ferrari tipped for new livery, new engine tech in F1 2017

Analysis: Ferrari tipped for new livery, new engine tech in F1 2017

Formula 1's focus has already shifted to the arrival of the all-new 2017 cars – which will be wider, more aggressive looking and faster than their predecessors. But, as Franco Nugnes reveals, even bigger changes could be coming at Ferrari.

Is Ferrari ready to ditch its white livery band, for example? It is a desire of the technical staff at Maranello, and there are suggestions the team will abandon the white stripe that returned last year.

The white had been historically associated with bad times and, after a season where the SF16-H took 11 podiums but no wins, Ferrari's management may hope that reverting to an all-red concept may at least mark the start of a new chapter.

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne and team principal Maurizio Arrivabene want to turn the page on a disappointing 2016 campaign.

And although the two chief men at Maranello are not going to risk making firm predictions for 2017, they are both convinced in the job that the technical group under Mattia Binotto can do.

Binotto is an excellent organiser, and is credited with giving a chance of redemption for a lot of the specialists in the racing department that were left in the shadows by the arrival of James Allison and other technical management.

Allison's departure last July was not painless for the team, because some of those left behind were not convinced about the new structure that was put in place, where there would no longer be a pyramid reporting structure but a more horizontal one.

Ferrari chose, however, not to sign a big-name replacement – although some of the reason for that was the lack of available candidates.

Mercedes' Aldo Costa, for example, is bound to the German car manufacturer until January 1, 2018 – and even if he had decided to return to Italy he would still need to go through a year of gardening leave – meaning he would only really be on board for 2020.

Binotto has got straight down to work through, and is pushing hard the 14 working groups inside Ferrari to try to get back to winning ways – and end a victory drought that stretches back to the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix.

Ferrari has set a February 24 date for the presentation of its 2017 car, which will run at Fiorano for a filming day.

That date – just a few days before Barcelona testing begins – has been set because the team wants to hold back on unleashing its engine (with only four power units available for 2017) and its aerodynamic developments until the last possible minute.

In engine terms, the 062/2 marks a different direction for the team – with its head of ERS, Thierry Baritaud, set to be given an internal combustion engine that will make better use of the MGU-H – which should increase the efficiency of the hybrid systems and also limit the risks of turbocharger reliability.

But perhaps the most radical innovation concerns the combustion chamber, with Ferrari considering the use of a new multi-jet ignition system that will move the team to the next level in its relationship with the Mahle technology company.

Ferrari's gearbox is also set to be heavily revised, because the 2016 concept of mounting the rear suspension between the differential and the gearbox proved useful for helping deliver a very narrow rear suspension but was not very efficient in maximising traction at the rear axle.

So Ferrari is set to revert to a more proven solution, and will pursue a front suspension route similar to Mercedes.

The overall chassis dimensions are also set to change, although this has been partly forced on it because the fuel tank capacity will be increasing from 100kg to 105kg as part of the new regulations.

It is expected that the wheelbase of 3494mm will grow by around 200mm – with the engine set slightly further back compared to last year's car.

At Maranello the team is staying tight-lipped about what is being planned, but there are expected to be some surprises from the 668 (the codename of Ferrari's 2017 car) – amid talk that there are some 'unusual' shapes on the wind tunnel model.

We will see just how radical these designs are next month.

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Adrian Newey open to F1 windtunnel ban


Formula 1 could now ban windtunnels outright if it wanted regulations that restricted resources but rewarded creativity, reckons Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey.

The designer behind many of the most successful F1 cars of the last three decades said he accepts the need for the championship to cut costs and become more of a level playing field.

While opposing any suggestion of reviving the budget cap concept, Newey believes there is plenty more scope for rules that restrict teams' resources.

"My personal view is that [F1] should be a battle of drivers coupled with the creativeness of engineers," he told Sky Sports F1.

"That means it shouldn't purely be battle of resources, which is what it has tended to become on the engineers' side.

"It would be entirely possible to come up with a set of regulations that would reward creativity more than simply the number of people [in a team].

"A budget cap is very difficult to implement but you could come up with resource restrictions, certainly on the chassis side, most of them aerodynamic driven.

"You could restrict research resources much more heavily than we do, perhaps scrap windtunnels altogether, be much more restricted on the CFD runs.

"If you restrict the resources there wouldn't be [any] point having so many engineers because they couldn't feed it through the funnel."

Newey is also sceptical about the value of F1's hybrid engine format.

He believes there has been little successful technology transfer to road machinery, despite this being a key aim of the regulations introduced in 2014.

Underlining that his view was a "personal opinion, which I'm sure will be a very controversial one", Newey predicted that manufacturers' proclamations of road relevance would prove hollow.

"All this blurb which a few manufacturers would like to put out, that it improves their road car product... if that is the case then those manufacturers in the future, five years at the most, should be demonstrably ahead of their rivals in the automotive sector," Newey said.

"Somehow I suspect that will not be the case, which tends to say it is marketing blurb."

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Thanks @MIKA27.  If i lived near you I'd buy you a beer for doing this.

Looking forward to 2017.  Hoping to see Haas step up to the challenge and do even better and to see McLaren/Honda with some solid success.  Pretty sure Bottas is a sure thing for Merc now.

Also looking forward to the 24 hours at Daytona and Le Mans.

And for the winter to end here lol.

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I was going through F1 news withdrawal.  Super happy you are doing this again @MIKA27 though I would completely understand if you did take a year off.  Best FOH thread in my book.

Hoping that McLaren can compete with the big 3 but I'm not too optimistic this season.  Uncertainty over the management changes can't help.  It's a shame that a talent of Alonso's caliber is being wasted.

Liking the look of the new cars (conceptually).  Hoping that the races will be more exciting this year.  But I think the biggest problem are the boring tracks that is almost impossible to pass.

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