In the round-up: Further reports claim Pastor Maldonado is about to lose his place at Renault to Kevin Magnussen, as was first reported two weeks ago.
Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.
Magnussen set to replace Maldonado (Autosport)
"Sources have confirmed Magnussen is poised to sign a deal over the next few days, before being officially confirmed at Renault's launch in Paris next Wednesday."
Kevin Magnussen set to replace Pastor Maldonado at Renault (Sky)
"The Venezuelan, reputed to pay almost £20m for his seat, is believed to have been ousted after backing from his sponsors dried up."
Bernie Ecclestone warns teams on engines (BBC)
"He added that F1 'won't be there' unless the Circuit of the Americas pays its sanctioning fee, but said he had 'no doubts' the situation would be resolved."
Williams feels like 'little girl' in F1, wants to be braver (AP)
"I sometimes feel like I'm the little girl in the room ... sometimes I wish, when I'm responsible for fighting for my team and my team's position within our sport, (I'm) perhaps sometimes braver."
FIA wants closed cockpit plan ready for 2017 (Motorsport)
"They fired objects at various of the protection methods, from different angles and so on. And the Halo came out as the fastest way to tick most boxes, for debris and heavier objects."
Vic Elford on coaching Juan Pablo Montoya (Motorsport magazine)
"I took Pablo (his father) aside and told him, 'Look after him. If he gets the right breaks and is carefully managed he can be world champion.' Unfortunately, there was nobody strong enough to be at his side to make it happen."
Former F1 star Eddie Irvine lists luxury mansion on property website Airbnb (The Mirror)
"Former Formula 1 star Eddie Irvine has listed his luxury Dublin mansion on property website Airbnb."
rFactor Azerbaijan, Baku (YouTube)
A very rough impression of the Baku circuit layout:
This official 1998 #F1 champion cap shouldn't exist. 100 produced. Most of them destroyed. Not this one. #AMuS #TBT pic.twitter.com/iLniZQT4Rq
— Tobias Grüner (@tgruener) January 28, 2016
Hearing Chandon not be @F1 official bubbly after exit of Mumm, but another brand. Wonder how much TV coverage @mclaren will get in that case
— Fritz-Dieter Rencken (@RacingLines) January 28, 2016
Interesting to note having previously touted an Alfa return to #F1, Marchionne is now again delaying plans to expand their road car line-up.
— F1 Fanatic (@f1fanatic_co_uk) January 28, 2016
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Comment of the day
What will be Bernie Ecclestone’s biggest headache in 2016?
Whether Ecclestone has lost or not will, in my opinion, ultimately be decided by the result of the EU investigation, if it goes ahead. If Bernie loses that then his entire financial structure of Formula One could risk falling apart before him.
Happy birthday to Graeme, Hazel J, Mpj1994, Shery, Southpawracer, Hester Burger and William!
If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.
On this day in F1
Happy birthday to 1979 world champion Jody Scheckter who is 66 today.
88 comments on “Further rumours point to Magnussen replacing Maldonado”
29th January 2016, 0:07
Very good news!
Top driver. One of my favorites!
29th January 2016, 2:09
Mag had his chance, he’ll be a privileged boy to get another shot. The hat can’t be official as that f1logo design is post 98, maybe inaccuracy is less relevant than counterfeit.
29th January 2016, 3:30
30th January 2016, 21:53
@beejis60 You are correct Duke’s tapes do present this logo as early as for the 96 review, I still wonder though if the tape is period and if the logo was official.
29th January 2016, 11:39
So what is this then? Time travel?
29th January 2016, 5:11
Very bad news about Kevin (down to totally selfish reasons on my part) Living in Denmark the hype is quite painful to witness, especially from many in the Danish press who know nothing about F1… :-(
29th January 2016, 8:52
I know what you’re talking about. It’s the same reason why I wish that Verstappen hadn’t been Dutch. Great racing driver, a future champ.. But Dutch media prioritises the kid above the sport itself. As a F1 fan, that bothers me.
29th January 2016, 10:44
To be fair, its not only the Dutch media whos quilty of that though…
Tim M (@tim-m)
29th January 2016, 18:43
As an American, I’m glad to not have that problem :) I think we learned our lesson with Scott Speed and Michael Andretti!
29th January 2016, 22:20
@tim-m How is it with Rossi in the media/press?
Tim M (@tim-m)
1st February 2016, 2:46
@huncosi In the broader public, fairly nonexistent. Most racing besides NASCAR isn’t capturing the public’s attention, at least where I’ve been living and traveling. I haven’t been to Austin or Indianapolis, though.
29th January 2016, 0:13
I never take any rumor seriously until it’s in Autosport. Next week’s Renault event will be very interesting…
29th January 2016, 0:16
But the first link is from Autosport, isn’t it?
Pukka T Pie (@pukktpie)
29th January 2016, 8:40
Yes, but the rumours started a couple of weeks ago, hearing/reading it from Autosport gives it a lot more credibility
OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
29th January 2016, 0:14
About that cap, I wonder how many 2008 Ferrari caps with “Massa World Champion” must have been destroyed. On the other hand, when Vettel and Hamilton started to build their points advantage in 2011, 2013 and 2015 (2014 had that double-points farce), I guess thir teams had the caps and t-shirts already printed long before!!
29th January 2016, 0:55
At least the V3ttel shirts didn’t have to be destroyed!
29th January 2016, 0:55
The following is probably heavily influenced by my location, but: I´m not really sure how much merchandise is still sold overall… It´s years since I saw anyone with an wearable F1-merch outside of a motorsport-event, and most of those were still just old Schumi-caps and jackets from the 90ies. Whereas middle of the 90ies, there was F1-merch and people wearing it everywhere.
I do expect wearable F1-merch to still sell well in Japan, but apart from that, I´m not so sure…
OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
29th January 2016, 1:41
@crammond even worse here. You can only find old fakey merchandise resembling 2000-2002 season!!!: McL-Mercedes with Mika’s name, BMW-Wiliams t-shirts and the always-popular Schum’s red caps and t-shirts. But I had to order my 2015 Ferrari t-shirt from the U.S as it was impossible to buy or order at the local Puma stores, which surprises me, cause they don’t even have Alonso’s Ferrari t-shirts from any year.
29th January 2016, 3:25
@omarr-pepper You mean sent to africa…
29th January 2016, 23:51
Very few unless they printed a load in the last few laps of the championship! Massa hadn’t led since round 8..
29th January 2016, 0:22
Re: Keith’s Tweet
It makes sense for Ferrari hold their ground as manufacturer of pure sports cars/cruising cars rather than water down their offering with a possible SUV or smaller variants. They have Alfa to fit that purpose while leaving Ferraris legacy untouched. They are already putting a Ferrari V6 in the new Alfa four door Guilia? (Correct me if I’m wrong).
The decision though gives (from my point of view) the insight that Ferrari are beginning to settle, stop the knee jerk approach to business & could quite possibly mean they’re taking a strategic and long term approach to business in general, all good signs for Seb et al. Lungo Ferrari dal vivo.
29th January 2016, 18:28
What does this mean, I’m asking because it makes no sense in italian. :) Was it a google translate of “Long live Ferrari”? In italian it should translate “Lunga vita a Ferrari”
29th January 2016, 19:55
Haha, well if Google translate can’t even do that properly, what’s the point! Apologies for the murdering of the language!
29th January 2016, 20:01
@ross-willow, the upcoming Alfa Romeo Giulia will have a high performance version with a V6 engine, but the indication is that the engine will be an Alfa unit that is then tuned by Ferrari.
As for the business approach, Marchionne has been accused of making short term decisions instead of taking a more considered long term approach. The decision to float Ferrari on the stock exchange, for example, has only one function – to provide the Fiat Chrysler group with a short term cash injection – because, from a fiscal point of view, the decision is a poor one from Fiat’s long term perspective (Ferrari was providing a small cross subsidy to Fiat, in much the same way that Porsche is being used to cross subsidise the VW Group).
30th January 2016, 2:43
Not that I like it, but Porsche makes a pile of money on SUV. Even if they are based on VW and Audi parts, people buy them.
You also have to consider the US is a giant market for Ferrari and Porsche, and wagons have regulatory and cultural hurdles.
29th January 2016, 0:43
As I’ve said on here before, Maldonado is just an unfortunate symptom of the financial structure of Formula 1. What we have in Maldonado is a driver who has climbed into an F1 car every other week for the past 5 years, knowing that whatever he does, he’ll be driving again at the next race. Which is why he often does whatever he does. So in that sense, I was quite looking forward to see what he could do in 2016, with him knowing he had to actually perform to keep his seat.
Having said that though, Magnussen is almost certainly a better option for Renault, and he deserves it. He would’ve kept his seat if Alonso hadn’t fallen out with Ferrari when he did, then he gave up an IndyCar opportunity so he could substitute for Alonso (only to break down before the start of his only race) and then get he got dumped by McLaren on his birthday. It’s been a rough 12 months for Kevin and I’d be delighted to see something go his way for once.
29th January 2016, 11:24
COTD for me.
I’d not considered that “sod it, I’m here next weekend whatever I do” mentality of Maldonado.
I hope KMag gets a second chance at an F1 race seat. The question is, assuming Maldonado’s money does turn up even when Renault have dropped him, where does he end up? Manor?
Marc Thielke (@motor)
29th January 2016, 20:42
If by ‘he’ you meant Maldonado then I hope he ends up in Nascar. Then the ‘has Maldonado crashed today’ website will keep going.
29th January 2016, 23:01
If this story in the Washington Post is correct then Venezuela doesn’t have any money to pay the bills.
Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)
29th January 2016, 23:36
@w-k Very insightful read, thanks for sharing.
Fer no.65 (@fer-no65)
29th January 2016, 0:50
F1 might get even more boring next week. As much as I like the idea of Magnussen back in F1, I’ll be sad to see the Maldonado jokes on twitter during every GP.
29th January 2016, 5:21
Yeah, this is pretty sad. But I hope that Pastor at least will be able to get Manor’s seat. Maybe Haryanto/Maldonado?
29th January 2016, 15:59
They’ll be replaced with Palmer and Goofierrez jokes, no worries on that front.
29th January 2016, 1:52
Bernie is annoyed that he has lost absolute power over F1 but the genie is out of the bottle and there is no way to get it back in. With the advances in aerodynamic design and engine technologies it is no longer possible to restrict a development series to a safe (for humans) speed other than to reduce the size of the engine to such a degree that they would need to reduce aerodynamic drag until such time as they managed at great expense to develop more and more power from every cc of displacement, the alternative is bigger simpler engines limited to a designated hp just like formula 5000, cheap, fast but technically boring and not F1. F1 needs the manufacturers and their huge R&D budgets more than the manufacturers need F1.
29th January 2016, 16:00
These engines are expensive and technically boring and regulated and stifled to death.
29th January 2016, 21:23
Expensive? yes, regulated to death ? yes, technically boring ? youve got to be kidding ! @apexassassin.
29th January 2016, 3:44
Oh man, if Magnussen gets the seat it might bring a tear to my eye. There might yet be justice in this world.
29th January 2016, 8:59
Justice, for what? What has Magnussen ever shown? As long as Robin Frijns is still not driving F1, there won’t be any justice.
29th January 2016, 4:19
Dang there goes the excitement on seeing what Crash Donaldo had in store for us in 2016.
Numbs you somewhat to miss the piece of stupidity and stewards will be sorely missing him not to say the number of hits on http://hasmaldonadocrashedtoday.com/ will go down.
I am cringing with disappointment. Boo Hoo.
29th January 2016, 8:47
I’m sure he’ll end up in WEC or IndyCar, with a slightly smaller budget.
29th January 2016, 6:54
Just weighing up the pros and cons of Maldonado being replaced by Magnussen at Renault –
1) More deserving driver on the grid. One who I consider needs another season to prove himself in the sport
2) Renault will see more finishes this season, fewer Q1 exits, get more track time in moving machinery
3) Renault mechanics will be spending less time fixing cars, so they will not be as burnt out in a potential 21 race season. Renault should save a few million dollars in carrying less spare parts every race weekend.
4) Stewards can relax and sip on some tea during races
5) Marshals on track will feel safer. So will other drivers, spectators, safety car drivers, pit crews, TV audiences, etc.
6) PDVSA’s brand image will improve gradually
1) There will be fewer safety car periods resulting in less ‘luck’ factor in races.
2) Lesser humour in the F1 paddock, and interviewers will find chuckles elsewhere. F1 stewards might need to find someone new to pick on as well
3) Maldonado’s teammate will be upset, as he might have to race to beat his teammate.
4) As Sridhar mentioned, http://hasmaldonadocrashedtoday.com/ might go out of business UNLESS he manages to buy his way in to another series
29th January 2016, 7:19
@todfod He should be really ashamed if there can be found any statistical evidence that Maldonado his presence in F1 raised the amount of SC/yellow flags over a season. Like there are now stewards burning their yellow flags everywhere.
Brian Frank (@brianfrank302)
29th January 2016, 10:06
Your comment reminded me of this
They might be out of business too ;)
29th January 2016, 10:44
Doubt it. They should be around for a while ;)
29th January 2016, 7:13
Don’t worry just yet at the there being less excitement without Pastor…
Manor haven’t announced their drivers yet!!!
29th January 2016, 7:47
Problem is that the Manor’s can’t mix it up with other racers due to their lack of pace. In 2016 though, we could have some good battles at the back of the pack between the Manors, Haas and Mclarens.
29th January 2016, 14:13
And it isn’t as if Sauber haven’t signed three drivers before…
Stephen Crowsen (@drycrust)
29th January 2016, 8:04
The problem with engines is more money often equates to better performance. Yes, F1 teams have to pay more for the new hybrid package, but the question is if a supposedly cheaper engine format was chosen, e.g. V8, would the teams with less money be able to perform better than Mercedes and Ferrari? I’m sorry, but if a financially constrained team was able to beat a team like Mercedes or Ferrari then it would be just a short term measure, in the long term the teams with more money would end up copying and then outspending the financially constrained team.
If you take the 2009 season as an example, Brawn GP won 6 of the first 7 races, they got 11 podiums out of the first 8 races, but they were very financially constrained, and so they weren’t able to spend as much as their competitors, so the second half of that season wasn’t as successful as the first half. They got 4 of the remaining 9 races. Other teams with better financial resources were able to catch them.
Stephen Crowsen (@drycrust)
29th January 2016, 8:06
… They got 4 podiums out of the remaining 9 races…
29th January 2016, 11:09
I don’t even think these engines are that expensive @drycrust. It’s development they’re spending the money on, and as you say that would just kick off all over again with a new spec of engine. It’s all about Red Bull and how they promote F1 for Bernie, and how he can’t bear for them to be left out of the top tier, depending on another team for an engine.
29th January 2016, 21:38
@drycrust, spot on, we know how to make these cars go 300mph if we want to, any new format that doesn’t have a restriction on either fuel or hp will end up being either too powerful or too expensive, Bernie wants a single 1000 hp engine or 3-4 virtually identical 1000 hp engines that are relatively cheap and very noisy for the show, with a 1000 hp the aerodynamics can have huge drag and still be winners, Formula Winglet will replace F1.
Stephen Crowsen (@drycrust)
29th January 2016, 22:25
@hohum Unfortunately “cheap” just doesn’t cut the mustard. Cheap and Formula 1 are mutually exclusive. If there was a $50,000 engine that any team could build that was also good enough for F1, then teams would add bits to it to make it better, so then it’d be a $100,000 engine, and then, before long, they’d have upgraded it again so it was a $200,000 engine, and then, a few upgrades later, it’d be a $500,000 engine. Then some teams would see their own engine supplier was sort of lost or not upgrading fast enough, or the upgrades were downgrades, or whatever, so they’d be looking around and buying from another team, so they’d be customer teams, and then the manufacturing team would want the customer teams to contribute to the cost of research to make the “cheap engine” more powerful. Before you know it, we’d end up with the current situation. Every way you turn you end up with expensive engines and expensive research to build better engines and customer teams being asked to contribute to the cost of the research.
If you want to win then you have to have the best engine, you cannot win with a cheap engine, especially if your competitors have expensive engines.
30th January 2016, 0:07
@drycrust, maybe I should have been more explicit, we are both making the same point here.
29th January 2016, 23:57
I know that this is most likely hyperbole, but until F1 cars become closed-wheel and/or get 3000bhp engines, 300mph couldn’t happen.
30th January 2016, 0:13
@matt90, I guess you did the math so I’m not going to argue, but what sort of Hp do you think a twin turbo 3.5 L V10 would put out at 20,000 rpm ?
30th January 2016, 2:12
@hohum I don’t know, but I image it would be far too highly stressed to last a single race.
For reference, BAR used their 2005 BAR 007 with a 900+bhp V10 to average 247mph when specially adapted for a speed record attempt. Consider that much more streamlined hypercars with greater power ‘only’ get to around 270mph.
Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty)
30th January 2016, 8:35
@matt90 I wonder how powerful a modern car could get under the old Grand Prix formula – 750 kg maximum car weight, minus fuel, oil and driver. In 1938, Caracciola set the still standing road speed record of 268 mph, on the Autobahn. That’s faster than Button at Bonneville 10 years ago! Surely 300 mph could be cracked, with 80 years worth of F1 development?