This week has seen some shocking news for Williams with Toto Wolff leaving, Marussia’s Timo Glock leaving the team and the sport, Formula One gaining a new doctor and some drivers speaking out about their peers and themselves. Read on my friends…
Glock Leaves Marussia
I think this week’s biggest news shock. It has been announced by Marussia that their driver Timo Glock has left the team and will not be driving in the new season. Timo has been with the team since their debut as Virgin Racing since 2010 and has been helping them over the years get more competitive in the sport.
Team Principal John Booth has announced the reason for Timo’s departure from the team was due to ‘commerical considerations’ that the team have had to make in this economic climate. Booth has also thanked Timo for his time at the team and believes he is a ‘fantastic driver’. Booth has also publically stated that they will not name Glock’s replacement as of yet (even though it has been suggested in the media that Bruno Senna and rookie Luis Raza are maybe in the running for the second seat).
Glock has spoken to the media regarding his departure from the Marussia team gracefully and thanks the team for ‘… allowing him the opportunity to help build the team over the past few seasons and wishes the team every success in the future.’ When asked about the future, Timo is ‘…very excited about the future and the opportunities it presents.’ Timo is expected to race in the German Touring Car Championship this year. I wish him every success in the future.
Wolff Leaves Williams
It has been announced this week that ex Williams Executive Director Toto Wolff has accepted the offer of becoming Mercedes new Executive Director. Wolff has a long history with Mercedes and in his new role he will oversee Mercedes in Formula One and other Motorsports they compete in such as DTM. Wolff will also work together with the team’s other shareholders including Niki Lauda to oversee the team’s activity at Grand Prix weekends.
It is expected that Wolff will also retain his 10% share in the Williams team and will be an non active member of their board. It was also publically stated that Wolff left the Williams team on ‘good terms’ and Team Owner Frank Williams wishes Wolff the best of luck in his new role.
Massa Considered Quitting F1
You read that headline correctly. Ferrari driver Felipe Massa has admitted in an interview this week that he was considering quitting the sport due to his poor performance earlier on in the 2012 season. Felipe admitted that he did ‘…seriously think about stopping and thinking about not staying at Ferrari.’ Massa also admits to talking to a sports psychologist in order to try and work out what was going wrong with his season.
However, mid-season, it was expected mid-way through the 2012 season that Massa’s contract with the Ferrari team would not be renewed, however Felipe’s second half of the season was enough to secure his contract being renewed with the team.
Felipe is confident that the 2013 season will allow him to be ‘… in good shape’ and be able to race Alonso who he regards as being ‘…the best driver he has ever raced with.’ We shall see.
I guess your all wondering what this news is about. Well the FIA have announced that Dr Ian Roberts will be joining the medical staff for the 2013 as a medical rescue co-ordinator. Dr Roberts’s role will be mainly to oversee serious accidents on the track and to oversee medical procedures undertaken on the track.
Dr Roberts has also been a chief medical officer for Silverstone and the British Grand Prix. This news was announced on the eve of Professor Sid Watkins’s memorial service this week. I wish Dr Roberts luck in his new role.
This week has seen Caterham announce that they are to launch this year’s new car the CT03 on 5th February 2013 with their intention to take the wraps off the car before the pre-season testing. Here’s a list of when the Formula One teams are going to launch their new challengers for this season:-
|Formula One Team||Date of Launch|
|Force India||31st January|
|Red Bull||2nd February|
|Toro Rosso||4th February|
BRDC needs more government backing
BRDC President Derek Warrick is calling on the government and the National Lottery to provide some extra support to them and British Motor Racing. Warrick believes that the government needs to give the same level of support that they do to the Team GB Olympic team. It is believed that the government will be providing nearly £276 million pounds to help their cause.
Every year, Formula One at Silverstone is battling to stay on the calendar even though it has according to Warrick a 17 year contract to host the event and gives them a bit of security. However, Warrick has stated that ‘the event does not make much money and we really do help because we are struggling and the drivers are struggling for funding in motorsport.’
Alonso and Hamilton ‘best friends’?
Firstly, Fernando Alonso this week has announced that he will stay at the Ferrari team after 2013 even if the team fails to deliver this season. This is fantastic news for Ferrari who don’t want to lose their driver to another team, however this will not provide the incentive and drive that Ferrari need in order to be competitive this season.
Alonso also this week has announced that Lewis Hamilton is ‘…the strongest driver in the sport right now.’ It would seem over the past few years that Hamilton and Alonso’s relationship has seemed to have ‘thawed’ from their years as team-mates at McLaren in 2007. Alonso has also praised Martin Brundle from Sky Sports F1 (see previous F1 News articles for further details) in his view that Lewis may win in a Mercedes F1 car this year and will be surprised if he doesn’t just do that.
‘More testing, less races’ says Alonso
Again this week Fernando Alonso this week has stated that he would like more testing and less races within the Formula One calendar. This year’s calendar is down to 19 races due to New Jersey not being able to fulfil their commitment, however Alonso would like to see go down to 18 races.
Alonso states his reasons why is due to ‘…not being easy to maintain a consistent performance throughout the season.’ Also, he has also stated that drivers have commitments after the season that need to be fulfilled by the team and the sponsors and it can have an effect on performance.
Is Charles Pic a ‘pay driver’?
Well, that is the question. Charles Pic’s move to the Caterham team for the 2013 season is seen by many as Caterham choosing a ‘pay driver’ to race for them. However, Charles himself as publically refused this claim by saying that he is at the team ‘…based on his performances and his driving talent [and has] a several year contract with the team.’
When is Force India announcing their second driver?
That is what the Formula One paddock and media want to know. I want to know. Ever since Nico Hulkenberg’s move to Sauber, the team are not any closer to announcing who will be partnering Paul Di Resta this season. I have for the last few months believed that the team’s Test Driver Jules Bianchi and ex Formula One dtiver Adrian Sutil are in the running for the driver and this is true.
The team has also said this week that their second driver announcement will not be announced at the launch of their 2013 car as many suspected within the Formula One paddock.
‘We Want Bianchi in Formula One’ says Ferrari
Ferrari Team Principal Stephano Domelicali has announced this week that he is trying to get Force India’s Test Driver Jules Bianchi a role within Formula One. Bianchi is a driver from the Ferrari Academy and is believed to have a ‘great future’ within the sport and comes highly rated.
I will keep you updated on news regarding Bianchi and Force India as soon as I hear anything.
Sauber switching to Mercedes’s engines for 2014
It has been stated this week that due to the changes in engine and technical regulations within the sport, Sauber are thinking of switching to Mercedes engines for 2014. Sauber have refused these claims by saying that ‘…we have used Ferrari engines for 10 years now and they are our first point of contact for engines in 2014.’
New Issue of GP International Magazine out NOW!
The final piece of news this week. If your a avid Formula One fan like me, you’ll be happy to know that the latest issues of GP International magazine is out now. In case you haven’t heard of the magazine, it is a brand new magazine out every month that brings the latest news, articles and some stunning pictures from the sport.
This month’s issue sees the magazine celebrate 50 years of the McLaren with some stunning pictures, interviews and articles which shows the development of the team from its founding years with Bruce McLaren, Ron Dennis turning around the team, the Senna and Prost years, an interview with Mika Hakkinen and articles on Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.
And it was a cracking read. As a McLaren fan, I was engrossed in the magazine and also the history of this great team which I love so much. And GP International captured the spirit of the team extremely well. While reading the magazine, I was transported back to some of my best Formula One memories such as Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton winning their world championships, the battle between Hamilton and Alonso and also Jenson entering the team and also his epic win in Canada 2011.
And this is why so many F1 fans like myself are now finding themselves buying this magazine every single month. They have the same joy and passion for the sport that us fans have. And that is something your willing to part £4.95 an issue for!
GP International is available from selected Tescos and WH Smiths stores, on Twitter under @GPImag and on the app store for iPhone.