Formula One

  • Button hails Honda power unit progress

    Jenson Button has praised Honda’s efforts in solving the recovered energy deployment problems that blighted McLaren throughout 2015, saying the progress made in that area ahead of the new season has been 'massive'.

    Button and team mate Fernando Alonso often suffered a competitive disadvantage last year because they were unable to deploy recovered energy at a rate similar to their rivals, but changes to the turbine and compressor of their Honda power units over the winter have, according to Button, solved the issue.

    “The progress is massive in that area,” the 2009 world champion said. “That’s something we knew we had to work on. Deployment is not something we could work on massively last year with the compressor, but over the winter we’ve been able to [look at it] and Honda have done a great job in terms of bringing that to testing.

    “We’ve had no reliability issues with it at all and it’s a big difference. At some circuits last year, in the race we were losing six tenths every lap because we didn’t have deployment. Now the system’s working well and from here on it’s marginal gains compared to our competitors. So it’s a good step forward and a necessary step forward.

    “In qualifying we lost probably one or two tenths because we couldn’t deploy through a whole quali lap and now we can easily.”

    Despite the improvements brought about by the latest specification of power unit, Button, who completed a further 121 laps in the MP4-31 on Wednesday, said there is still plenty of work for McLaren to do ahead of the season opener in Melbourne.

    "I don't feel we've done any proper work yet with the set-up,” he said, “it's been mostly aero work and understanding if we're in the right place or not - not specific driver set-up work.

    “The next two days are very important - we need two clean days, lots of laps, and lots of time on new tyres to really get a good feel for the car because we’re not there yet.”

  • F1: Ferrari joins Honda, Renault in anticipating engine penalties

    Mercedes looks set to be the only manufacturer on the grid that will reach the checkered flag this year on the long-life engine rules.

    So tough has the 'four engines' rule been to returning Honda, that the FIA agreed to let any new engine manufacturers in F1 enjoy an extra engine per driver in future.

    And the rule was applied retroactively for McLaren's struggling Japanese supplier.

    "The decision encourages new power unit suppliers to enter Formula One," said Honda's Yasuhisa Arai.

    "So I want to say that I appreciate all of the teams and the power unit suppliers for supporting that direction, which is good for the team and driver.

    "But it also means Honda is not where we want to be in terms of reliability," Arai added.

    Indeed, he acknowledged: "Unfortunately we will have more penalties during the coming months, but you will also see big improvements from both sides -- chassis and power unit."

    Also unreliable in 2015, meanwhile, is Renault.

    Daniel Ricciardo, for example, is already onto his fifth engine of the season, having served penalties for having it installed.

    At the same time, Renault's premier partner Red Bull is waiting for a much-needed engine performance upgrade to arrive for Sochi in October -- which will trigger more penalties.

    Team boss Christian Horner said: "Only time will tell as to whether we can get to Sochi or not without incurring another penalty before introducing the upgraded unit."

    Even Ferrari, who is biting the heels of pacesetters Mercedes this year on the 'power unit' front, will nonetheless likely be taking penalties this year for using a fifth engine.

    Italy's Autosprint reports that a scheduled upgrade for the Ferrari unit will debut at Monza, costing the Maranello marquee two performance 'tokens.'

    That, however, will be the fourth and last scheduled engine for Sebastian Vettel, even though Ferrari will still have five tokens up its sleeve in 2015.

    So, Autosprint claims, a fifth engine - carrying penalties - will be ready by the end of October, arriving either for Austin or Mexico.

    Ferrari's technical boss James Allison, however, has hinted that Ferrari's push for progress is more important than the prospect of penalties this season.

    "We can be satisfied that we have taken a significant step forward so far this season," he told Auto Motor und Sport as Vettel entered the summer break with victory in Hungary.

    German Vettel, however, has played down his title chances, and now Allison adds: "We still have a lot to do before we have a car of which everyone can be proud.

    "We are still not able to fight for the world championships, but we are realistic and bear in mind where we came from," he said.

    Finally, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone says the long-life engine rules are among his least favorite things about the sport today.

    "Imagine the poor driver, he's going to get fourth position on the grid, and because he's changed his engine or his gearbox he goes back 10 places," he told Spain's Movistar F1.

    "It's all, in my opinion, completely wrong," said Ecclestone.

  • FIA post-qualifying press conference - China

    DRIVERS: 1 - Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), 2 - Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), 3 - Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

    TV UNILATERAL

    Q: Lewis, quickest in both sessions yesterday, quickest again today in all sessions, it’s looking pretty good for you this weekend?

    Lewis Hamilton: Yeah, I think China’s continuing to be generally a good circuit for me, and a very, very positive vibe here. The car’s handling fantastically well this weekend, a lot better, in terms of the whole weekend, compared to how it was in Malaysia. At the end of the day this team continues to do an amazing job. The guys back at the factory did a great job to kind of regroup after the last race and bring some improvements for this weekend and I feel very grateful for that.

    Q: Nico, we heard you on the radio at the end there sounding frustrated. Did you think pole was there for you today?

    Nico Rosberg: Definitely, yeah. When it’s four hundredths, it’s nothing, you know. So I was frustrated, I am frustrated, yeah, because it’s so close and of course I would have wanted to have pole today.

    Q: Thank you. Sebastian, what are your hopes for taking Mercedes in the race, after what you did in Malaysia, what are your hopes for taking them in the race again tomorrow?

    Sebastian Vettel: Well, first of all, happy with today I guess. I think it was a, yeah, different strategy we had in Q3, going only once, on a new set. Obviously these guys were a bit quicker than we expected to be honest, but yeah I think P3 was our maximum today. For tomorrow I think we should be a bit closer. How close we will find out. Definitely looking forward to going racing, and hopefully go race them tomorrow. It’s not very far to turn one, so I guess that’s fairly straightforward, but it’s a long race and tyres are very important here. Obviously we try to do well and get a lot of points.

    Q: Just back to you Lewis, what lessons were learned from Malaysia that the team has brought into this weekend?

    LH: I think there are too many to mention but obviously it wasn’t the tidiest weekend for us. But more so, for me and my guys on our side of the garage, we just tried to get our full programme and fortunately we didn’t have any problems so far this weekend and that’s a big step for us. But obviously we’ve got a tough race ahead of us tomorrow. Nico’s very quick and also the Ferrari’s are very good still, with their long-run pace, so it’s not over by all means.

    PRESS CONFERENCE

    Q: Lewis, this has always been a great track for you, you’ve got a good record around here - what is it about this track, do you think, that suits you so well.

    LH: People keep asking me that. I don’t really know. Have you seen the banners that I have here? The support I have here’s pretty unreal. Otherwise… I don’t know. I just like the track. I guess it just naturally suits - a little bit - my driving style as opposed to other circuits for me. And one that I generally just really enjoy driving. It’s a tough circuit, it’s got a great combination of corners and the race is a good challenge.

    Q: Nico, four one-hundredths of a second the difference today. You’ve had success around here as well. Where did it get away from you today, do you think?

    NR: There’s not one specific place. It’s just four hundredths and that makes it even more annoying because it’s just very, very close. A lap is never 100 per cent perfect and four hundredths is really the blink of an eye nearly y’know? That makes it even more disappointing.

    Q: Sebastian. Mercedes have saved a set of tyres for the race tomorrow, obviously their concern after what happened in Malaysia. How do you win this race tomorrow?

    SV: I think so have we. We’ll see. I think we knew that it will be tough today in qualifying to be really, really close. I think Q1 but then especially Q2 looked quite promising. In Q3 I think it was a bit what we saw in practice, so quite a large gap. For us we’re fairly happy to make sure we are right behind them. Obviously we want to close the gap. Maybe tomorrow we are a bit closer, but for now I think we can be reasonably happy. Bit of a shame not to get both cars in the second row. As I was told, Kimi was a bit unlucky on the warm-up lap. Yeah, tomorrow’s race though, we should have good pace, so we’ll see what we can do.

    QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR

    Q: (Niu Hong Lin - China Radio International) Lewis, you’ve been nominated by the Laureus award and the ceremony would be on Wednesday so we do not really expect you to show up as you have a race soon after. So do you have anything to say about that, and maybe especially to Chinese fans?

    LH: Definitely. I feel very proud and kind of honoured to be one of the nominees. That’s very cool. I don’t think I’ve been nominated many times if any. I think perhaps maybe one year, many many years ago, so... It’s a very prestigious event and I’ve got to witness many other great athletes win it, so I’m just grateful to be in amongst a great group and regardless of if I do or don’t win.

    To the fans, they’ve been amazing. Every single year I come here... I couldn’t imagine it growing but there’s more and more people I get to see and the flags, the support is just... it’s almost like it’s my home Grand Prix, so I really do appreciate it.

    Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto, Motor und Sport) Seb, did you chose this tyre strategy because it looked like you could have gone through on a hard set of tyres through Q1?

    SV: I disagree. I think it was probably possible but very very close. If you don’t make it, you start the race tomorrow from P16 or P17, so I think that’s why we decided to do that and if I’m right, I think everybody put on the options in the first part of qualifying. I’m not sure about those two. They didn’t? Then they were just quick. Obviously we tried to save a set for tomorrow and hopefully we can be a bit closer in the race. 

  • Jules Bianchi dies after Japanese F1 Grand Prix crash

    French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi has died from his injuries sustained in his October 2014 crash at the Japanese Grand Prix. He was 25.

    Marussia driver Bianchi suffered the most serious race injury since Ayrton Senna's death in 1994, crashing into a recovery tractor in wet and treacherous conditions at the Suzuka Circuit.

    He had been in a coma for nine months, succumbing to his injuries on Saturday morning.

    "Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end," Bianchi's family said in a statement.

    "The pain we feel is immense and indescribable. We wish to thank the medical staff at Nice's [Centre Hospitalier Universitaire] who looked after him with love and dedication.

    "We also thank the staff of the General Medical Center in the Mie Prefecture (Japan) who looked after Jules immediately after the accident, as well as all the other doctors who have been involved with his care over the past months.

    "Furthermore, we thank Jules' colleagues, friends, fans and everyone who has demonstrated their affection for him over these past months, which gave us great strength and helped us deal with such difficult times.

    "Listening to and reading the many messages made us realise just how much Jules had touched the hearts and minds of so many people all over the world."

    Bianchi's team, now known as Manor F1, described the driver's death as devastating.

    "We are devastated to lose Jules after such a hard-fought battle," the team tweeted.

    "It was a privilege to have him race for our team."

    An International Automobile Federation (FIA) report said in December that Bianchi had not slowed sufficiently under warning flags before his crash.

    The report found that Bianchi's car hit the tractor at 126kph and said medical services were not at fault in their handling of the aftermath.

    Bianchi's father, Philippe, had told French radio earlier this month that he was "less optimistic" of a recovery. In May he said they had been preparing for the worst.

    "It's hard to get up in the morning while telling yourself that you're not sure whether your son is going to live and every day is like that," he said.

    Bianchi, who came from a motor racing family, was a regular travelling companion of McLaren driver Fernando Alonso and was popular with other drivers.

    The Nice-born Bianchi, a graduate of Ferrari's young driver academy, scored the now defunct Marussia's first ever points when he finished ninth in the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix and was tipped for a bright future.His accident in the Japanese Grand Prix occurred at the same point of the Suzuka Circuit's track, where Adrian Sutil had aquaplaned off into the tyre barrier moments earlier and was watching his car being removed.

    It is thought the conditions played a part in Bianchi's accident, with heavy rain and wind wreaking havoc throughout the race.

    The track had been under a local yellow flag instead of a full-course caution at the time of the accident, meaning cars only had to slow down in a specific area instead of forming a line behind the safety car.

    The tractor that Bianchi crashed in to was between the track and the outside wall at the time of the accident.

    The race was restarted behind a safety car twice before Bianchi's crash.

  • Lewis Hamilton Supreme in Hot Bahrain

    Lewis Hamilton drove to a dominant victory in Sunday’s 2015 Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, but Mcrcedes teammate Nico Rosberg ultimately fell prey to Kimi Raikkonen after a brake issue and a race-long battle with Ferrari.

    A clever switch of strategy put Raikkonen on the faster soft tires for his final stint, during which he was able to haul in the medium-tired Rosberg, before passing the German, who like Hamilton had brake issues, on the penultimate lap.

    Raikkonen’s teammate, Sebastian Vettel, had been in contention for second until a mid-race error forced to him to make an unscheduled pit stop for a new nose and he ultimately came home fifth, just losing out to Williams’ Valtteri Bottas.

    Both Red Bulls scored points, with Daniel Ricciardo sixth and Daniil Kvyat ninth, though the former’s car expired as he crossed the finish line. Between them were Lotus’s Romain Grosjean and Force India’s Sergio Perez.

    Williams’ Felipe Massa took 10th, having charged through the field after a problem on the grid forced him to start from the pit lane.

    McLaren-Honda’s Fernando Alonso scored his best result of the season in 11th, narrowly missing the team’s first points.

  • Rosberg beats Vettel to inaugural Baku win

    Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg dominated Sunday’s 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe, beating Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Force India’s Sergio Perez to victory at the new Baku City Circuit. With Lewis Hamilton finishing fifth, Rosberg extended his championship lead over his team mate to 24 points.

    Rosberg led into Turn 1 and was never challenged as a tactical battle unfolded behind him to see who would finish ‘best of the rest’. Starting 10th on the grid, Hamilton rose as high as fourth before his charge was halted by ERS problems on his F1 W07. After several laps down on power, the world champion eventually found the right settings on his steering wheel to resolve the issue, but by then it was too late to improve his position.

    Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen took fourth, while Valtteri Bottas was the lead Williams in sixth, ahead of the two-stopping Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen. Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and Williams’ Felipe Massa completed the top ten.

    Rosberg’s was a superb redemptive victory - his fifth of the season - and the German never put a wheel wrong on a day when Mercedes crushed Ferrari. Against all expectations after two carnage-ridden GP2 races with multiple safety car deployments, there were no major incidents - but lots of passing.

    Rosberg was in charge from the start and was completely unchallenged. Ricciardo gave chase initially until Vettel powered his Ferrari past the Red Bull on the main straight on the sixth lap as the Australian pitted early to switch from supersoft Pirelli tyres to softs. A handful of others did likewise on two-stop strategies, but when he was instructed to pit on the eighth lap, Vettel overrode Ferrari and would stay out until lap 20, a lap before Rosberg pitted.

    Instead, Raikkonen took that stop, and as Vettel finished second, 16.6s behind Rosberg - it had been as much as 19.8s on the 44th lap - the Finn seemed set to finish third after a lengthy second stint. But he had incurred a five-second penalty for crossing the pit entry line without entering the pits, and with Perez thundering along in fourth within that window in the final laps, the Mexican was clearly going to be the final podium finisher.

    The Mexican rammed the point home however - as Raikkonen suffered late ERS problems (as he had in Canada), Perez jumped him going into Turn 1 on the final lap to put the gloss on an excellent drive for Force India that made up for his shunt in FP3 which cost him his rightful second place on the grid thanks to a gearbox-change penalty.

    Hamilton had quickly moved up from 10th, avoiding putting himself at risk in the opening laps, but when he failed to pass Perez it became clear that he had trouble. He struggled with a persistent de-rating problem with his ERS - when he had lower than maximum electrical deployment in his powertrain - and became increasingly frustrated as his engineers were not permitted by the radio rules to advise him on the exact nature of it. For a while he got his power back after endless fiddling with controls on the steering wheel, and set the race’s fastest lap on the 42nd, but then he began going slower again and was 56.3s behind his team mate at the finish.

    Interestingly, Rosberg said he had a similar issue but got out of it by altering the “right controls”.

    Bottas could do no better than sixth for Williams, as team mate Massa slumped from running ahead of him prior to the pit stops to finish 10th. Neither the Brazilian nor Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg had any answer to Red Bull’s late pace as Ricciardo and Max Verstappen - both on more durable medium tyres - took seventh and eighth places in the closing stages.

    Button just missed a point in a tough race for McLaren in which Fernando Alonso ran just ahead of him before joining the retirements list with downshift problems. Already on that list were Pascal Wehrlein, who had a feisty single-stop race for Manor before running out of brakes, and the Toro Rosso duo Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat who had mechanical problems.

    Felipe Nasr survived a brush with a wall for 12th for Sauber, leading home Romain Grosjean’s Haas, Kevin Magnussen’s single-stopping Renault and the Dane's team mate Jolyon Palmer, Esteban Gutierrez in the second Haas, Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber and Rio Haryanto’s Manor.

    Rosberg’s lead in the world championship jumps up from nine points after Canada to 24, with 141 to Hamilton’s 117, and Vettel is closing on the reigning champion with 96. Raikkonen reclaims fourth from Ricciardo, with 81 to 78, as Verstappen overtakes Bottas, 54 to 52, and Perez passes Massa, 39 to 38.

    In the constructors’ stakes, Mercedes have 258 to Ferrari’s 177, Red Bull’s 140, Williams’ 90 and Force India’s 59.

  • Spain preview - will car upgrades upset the pecking order?

    After a three-week gap, this weekend sees the teams and drivers rev back into action with the first European race of the season in Barcelona. As is customary at this time of year, all of the major players will be bringing serious updates to their cars, so it will be fascinating to see whether there are any changes to the pecking order at a track reckoned to be the best reflection of true form.

    Reigning champions Mercedes, of course, have won three of the opening four races, but Ferrari’s victory in Malaysia demonstrated that the Italian team have seriously closed the performance gap, and ever since they have kept the Silver Arrows honest.

    The indications from the opening rounds were that Mercedes still have a power and downforce advantage, but Ferrari have superior tyre wear. Will those remain each team’s outstanding characteristics in Barcelona, or will their respective updates change anything significant?

    Ferrari’s brilliant strategy in choosing a soft-medium-soft tyre schedule nearly enabled Kimi Raikkonen to score an upset win in Bahrain last time out, as team mate Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes’ drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg opted for soft-soft-medium, and team boss Maurizio Arrivabene plans to maintain that aggressive ploy while Ferrari continue to work on closing the gap.

    "In Bahrain we put together an aggressive strategy and this is exactly what we discussed," he says. And he warns: “We now have some solutions for Barcelona. We are doing all of our development step-by-step but I think here we are going to finally take a good package."

    Mercedes, however, are determined to weigh up all of their options, rather than just rushing developments through to try and stem the Ferrari tide. Non-executive chairman Niki Lauda says that they won’t be bringing revised engines to this power circuit. "What may appear as a disadvantage now will become an opportunity when it really counts, in the second half of the season," he says. "The right thing to do is to not change work programmes on a whim. In any case, we'll have big changes to the car at Barcelona."

    Lauda also says that he isn’t surprised that Ferrari have recovered so quickly after last year’s disappointments. “Their resurgence is deeply rooted in last season, in the good job done by (technical director) James Allison, in the restructuring of the team."

    Both Lauda and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believe that their drivers are at their peak, and that Bahrain signalled Rosberg’s return to form. He is currently 27 points adrift of championship leader Hamilton, but Wolff is adamant that the German will be back on the pace this weekend.

    "Nico wouldn't be in Formula One as a multiple race winner and a challenger for the championship if he allowed himself to be destabilised after a few races,” Wolff says. "I fully expect him to come bouncing back. I don't know when it will happen, but he's always going to be there, no doubt."

    Elsewhere, Red Bull and Toro Rosso are hoping for good news from Renault. The French power unit manufacturer’s director of operations Remi Taffin says that they have high hopes after making changes based on lessons learned from the first four races: “Barcelona is much more of a traditional circuit than the first four tracks we have visited so far this year. The layout flows a lot more, with high and medium speed corners rather than tight, slow hairpins and long straights.

    “The three-week gap has given us an opportunity to look at all the information from the start of the season. We have been flat out to counter the issues encountered early on and we will have a modified spec of engine for this race that should give improved reliability and driveability.”

    That should be a relief to Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz after their recent powertrain tribulations.

    Williams are bringing not just updates but better knowledge of how to get the best out of their Pirelli tyres, which already helped to reduce the deficit to Mercedes and Ferrari in Bahrain. The Grove-based team will run test and development driver Susie Wolff in FP1 - her first appearance of the season.

    Lotus have also heavily revamped their promising E23 Hybrid, which among other things will feature a Williams-like nose this weekend. And reflecting his performances in China and Bahrain, tester Jolyon Palmer will get another outing on Friday morning.

    McLaren will be bringing more development to their MP4-30, but perhaps the most noticeable difference to the Honda-powered car will be in the livery department. The team have dropped the chrome colour scheme that has adorned their cars since 2006 and replaced it with a more “predatory” stealth-grey look. Local favourite Fernando Alonso will be hoping the new look brings him extra luck at a track he won on in 2006 and 2013.

    The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, at which the teams tested in February, places very high demands on tyres, especially the left front, because of its wide range of high-speed corners and rough asphalt. Thus tyre suppliers Pirelli are bringing their orange-marked hard and white-marked medium tyres this weekend.

    “Spain is obviously one of the more familiar venues that we go to, as there has already been plenty of data gathered during testing,” says the Italian company’s motorsport director Paul Hembery.

    “One of the things we have noticed so far is that this year Barcelona will once again be a front-limited circuit, from a tyre perspective. Last year, the increase in traction and torque from the cars meant that for the first time the race became a rear-limited event, with the useful life of the rear tyres dictating the pit stop strategy.

    “Thanks to the improvements we made to the rear tyre construction for this year, we’re back to Barcelona being a front-limited circuit again. However, we do not expect this to mean that there will necessarily be more pit stops this year: last year the majority of competitors used a two-stop strategy and that will probably be the case again.

    “The start of the European season traditionally means that many teams bring important upgrades, and it will be very interesting to see how these interact with our 2015 tyres.”

    The 4.655-kilometre Barcelona track, a staple on the calendar since 1991, is largely unchanged since last year, though changes have been made to the kerbs at Turn 9 and Turn 15. A new CCTV camera has also been installed at Turn 3 - the site of Alonso’s unusual pre-season testing crash.

    As in 2014, two DRS zones will be in operation over the weekend. The first has a detection point just after Turn 8 and an activation point after Turn 9, while the second has a detection point just ahead of Turn 16 with the activation point 157m along the pit straight.

    The weather is expected to be dry, sunny and warm all weekend, with a high of 26 degrees Celsius on race day. Sunday’s Grand Prix will start at 1400 hours local time (1200 GMT) and will run over 66 laps or 307.104 kilometres (190.825 miles).

  • Tata appointed broadcast supplier for GP2, GP3 and Porsche Supercup

    Tata Communications, a leading provider of A New World of Communications™ and the Official Connectivity Provider to Formula 1®, today announces that it has been chosen by Formula One Management (FOM) to provide broadcast services for the GP2, GP3 and Porsche Supercup racing series. Tata Communications will provide a fully diverse end-to-end fibre and satellite solution to broadcasters from across the globe at the 12 race locations in 2015.

    With this agreement broadcasters will have access to a provider with knowledge and experience in motor racing and the infrastructure capability to provide specific media management and movement services that go above and beyond the core technology.

    Bernie Ecclestone, Chief Executive Officer of the Formula One group commented: “We are always looking to help provide our partners and clients with the highest standards of support and service and our decision to appoint Tata Communications as the provider of these broadcast services is designed to deliver this.”

    The agreement will also enable broadcasters covering GP2, GP3 and Porsche Supercup races to take advantage of Tata Communications’ Race Network Operations Centre (NOC), located in the Formula 1 Technical Centre, Formula One Management’s 150 ton, 750 square metre nerve centre present at every F1 Event.

    Servicing the requirements of GP2, GP3 and the Porsche Supercup is a key milestone in Tata Communications’ journey as a Technology Supplier to Formula 1, and as an enabler of innovation in sport. Tata Communications already provides MPLS, Internet access and managed hosting and security, as well as Content Delivery Network (CDN) and co-location services for FOM. This robust global platform also delivers data and live broadcast quality video to FOM and since 2012 Tata Communications has successfully supported 57 races with over 400 hours of live service management. The same platform also delivers a range of connectivity services to the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team and Chello DMC, which distributes to Dutch sports channel Sport1.

    Tata Communications installs and tests its network infrastructure in two days at the 19 race locations, then dismantles it in just three hours after the races.

    Vinod Kumar, MD and CEO, Tata Communications, says: “Tata Communications’ work with Formula One Management is a testament to the diversity and versatility of our services. Each Formula 1 race demands a range of connected services similar to that of a small city. By consolidating fixed line connectivity needs with Tata Communications, Formula One Management will be able to take the greatest possible advantage of that infrastructure and tap into the versatility, on and off-site support and existing knowledge and experience of our platform and our team. We are a unique player in the ecosystem and well-placed to help deliver high quality live feeds to customers all over the world.”

  • Volkswagen close to buying Red Bull's F1 Team

    Volkswagen is close to agree on a deal to buy Red Bull Racing's Formula One team. This is the claim of Eddie Jordan, current chief analyst for BBC F1 and former team principal of Jordan F1.

    It is likely this deal was discussed alot earlier this year within the Volkwagen group, and it is also believed that the only thing holding back the deal was a veto against the plan from former chairman Ferdinand Piech, grandson of Ferdinand Porsche.

    According to Jordan, this deal could see Volkswagen buy the austrian team, which is set for a split with it's long time partner and engine supplier Renault, and could lead to Volkswagen enter as a full manufacturer team with it's own engine. Jordan also states Volkswagen would not enter the grid until at least 2018, meanwhile possibly designing an engine fit for the current regulations. In the meantime, Red Bull will likely use Ferrari engines starting from next year.

    It is, however, still unclear what of their many brands the Volkswagen group would intend to use, even if Audi appears to be the current favourite. Other likely brands are Porsche and Lamborghini, as both has been in F1 at one point, with Porsche's TAG engine's powering McLaren to several wins in the 80's. Other brands include Skoda, Seat, and luxury brands Bentley and Bugatti.