Formula 1 Discussion - And favourite driver?

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LiveFromNS

JIMI
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Wow, that sucks on the coverage of testing. Maybe they will relent? Hope so. Also this:

Audi and Porsche set to join F1 in 2026, powering McLaren and Red Bull

Published: Yesterday 11:30

Following on from news that Audi and Porsche were keen to join F1, our intel now suggests the deal is as good as done. CAR understands that the agreement– waiting to get the thumbs up from the Volkswagen supervisory board – will see Audi and Porsche will enter top-league motor racing in 2026.

The plan is now for Audi to team up with the McLaren motorsport division and also take over Woking’s automotive arm. It´ll be a one all-in parcel, racing and automotive, lock, stock and barrel. CAR understands the diligence phase has not yet begun, but the lawyers of both parties are already talking, and the main stakeholders - among them the Mumtalakat Holding Company from the Middle East - are allegedly willing to sell the loss-making car business.

In addition to a couple of new logos on the grid – which we’ll get to later – this will result in substantial economies of scale between Lambo, McLaren and Porsche. This would create the world´s strongest sports car group.

Audi and Porsche become engine suppliers​

For a while, it was not clear whether Audi and Porsche would field two pairs of jointly developed F1 race cars or act merely as powertrain supplier. It now transpires that the latter option is about to materialize. While Audi would power with McLaren, Porsche is said to have an arrangement with Red Bull Racing in the works – potentially after the current period with Honda consultancy. There even exists a fallback Plan B: Audi & Williams and Porsche & Alpha Tauri or even Haas.

In some ways, this makes the most sense. Porsche and Audi get to develop and market their hybrid technology – in advance of the new rules – without the cost of chassis development.

What about the engine?​

The new drivetrain is reportedly a joint effort by Audi Sport and Porsche Motorsport. Although the VW side had favoured an ultra high-performance 2.0litre four which was from the very beginning part of the so-called world engine project, the FIA opted for the 1.6litre V6 turbo which was a precondition for Ferrari to stay in F1.

Fed by sustainable fuels and devoid of the capricious MGU-H energy regeneration system, the combustion engine will in the future be supported by 475bhp of e-power - about triple the current output.

How would Audi benefit?​

According to those in the know, Audi is bidding for McLaren Cars and for the F1 unit, said to be worth around £1 billion. Jörg Astalosch, 49, is the designated chief liaison officer in the Audi-McLaren talks. Previously in charge of Ital Design (also an Audi satellite), the former confidant of VW Group supremo Ferdinand Piech started his new job in October.

Audi and Porsche are likely to fuse the F1 R&D work while retaining different set-ups and visual identities. One scenario suggests that Audi/McLaren will partner with Porsche/Red Bull to fight Ferrari and Mercedes in the upcoming hybrid/sustainable fuels era.

This could be a profitable enterprise for Audi and Volkswagen Group. Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius revealed last year that the AMG Petronas F1 commitment creates an annual media value of $1.5bn - and rising. Since Audi has pulled out of DTM and Formula E, the return on investment looks potentially sound.

Is McLaren vulnerable to a takeover?​

McLaren has suffered a torrid time due to Covid-19. The Automotive division recorded a £222.9million operating loss in 2020, a swing from £91.1m profit in 2019. Last year, sales crashed by 64 per cent to 1659 cars.
McLaren had to make some 830 redundancies. And the group has been involved in a critical refinancing, selling the Woking HQ and leasing it back, and issuing £550m of new shares to provide liquidity and pay off a £150m loan.

The situation has improved in 2021, with revenue doubling in the first half of the year. However McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt (below) stood down in late October, after eight years in charge. One of his final acts was to start evolving the Track25 strategy, which proposed the launch of 18 new models in a six-year timeframe, into a plan called Horizon 2030. This is likely to slow down the pace of new derivatives, in favour of higher margin models and an electrification push.

Two former Volkswagen Group executives – both appointed McLaren Group non-executive directors in early October – will steer Automotive for an interim period. They are former Porsche CEO Michael Macht, who will run the technical and operations side, and Stefan Jacoby, who also worked at GM and Mitsubishi.

What about BMW?​

BMW was previously in the race to buy McLaren, but that has now gone cold. A key player is Mumtalakat, the Bahrain state investment fund which owns about 42 per cent of McLaren. Reportedly Mumtalakat had its first, on-the-record meeting with BMW in early December. It appears that didn't come to anything of note.

BMW has had ties with McLaren since providing the iconic F1 supercar’s V12 in the ‘90s. A few years back, the two companies had talks about McLaren collaborating on a mid-engined supercar for Munich, but the project never got off the ground.

For BMW, acquiring McLaren would've kicked the door to supercar heaven wide open. And BMW could do with a new sports car plan, because the cupboard is bare. The M8 is an overweight GT, the Z4 wouldn’t exist without Toyota and brand-shaping halo cars like Z8 or i8 are history.

But surely VW has too many sports car brands?​

Rumours suggest Volkswagen Group has considered divesting brands including Lamborghini and Ducati; CAR’s Georg Kacher broke the story of Bugatti being spun-off to Croatian EV pioneer Rimac. So why bid for McLaren?

While the F1 connection is self-explanatory, an Ingolstadt source revealed, there are logical reasons to acquire McLaren Automotive. One is defensive: to block rivals from Korea or China – Geely reportedly was in talks with McLaren Cars last year – or arch-rival BMW.

In the long run McLaren could end up in sync with Bentley and Lambo to boost synergy effects in a profitable but increasingly volatile market. And in a single decade, McLaren has raced from nowhere to matching Ferrari and Lamborghini in ability and desirability – and there are admirers within the group who fancy driving it forward themselves.

It's not the first time BMW and VW Group have gone head-to-head for a blue-chip British car maker. In the late '90s both sought the then-combined Rolls-Royce and Bentley – with BMW ultimately getting the Spirit of Ecstasy and VW the Winged B.
 

Coccxys

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It will absolutely suck if they take over mclaren and rename their F1 team to Audi/Porche for the branding.

If Williams and McLaren go in the future (Williams having nothing to do with the family anymore of course) then F1 bosses are really going to have to sit up and take note. Though they'd probably be too busy jacking it over all the manufacturer teams they now have (while ignoring how notoriously fickle those teams are compared to the sport's mainstays).
 

Pee Cola

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It will absolutely suck if they take over mclaren and rename their F1 team to Audi/Porche for the branding.
I can't see that happening.

If the article cited by @LiveFromNS is accurate, VW is buying the whole McLaren enterprise (automotive and racing). It wouldn't surprise me if VW keeps the McLaren branding for F1 and road cars. IIRC VAG hasn't closed down an automotive brand since NSU back in the early '70s; NSU being a hangover from VW's purchase of Audi in the late '60s. VAG has bought about 10 brands since then (including ones that were subsequently sold on), so I can't see them dropping the McLaren name.

It also wouldn't surprise me if the Audi F1 engines are branded McLaren, much in the same way that Lambo uses Lambo-branded Audi engines for some of their road cars.

Slightly OT... but I can't help but wonder if VW decided to jump in and buy McLaren just because BMW was also interested. It wouldn't be the first time VW bought something just to spite BMW, and there's probably still a bit of bad blood from the schmozzle that was the sale of Rolls-Royce Motors in the late '90s.

This was a schmozzle because the owners of Rolls-Royce Motors (Vickers) sold the company VW in the late '90s, but it didn't come with the rights to use the Rolls-Royce name or R-R logo, which was owned by Rolls-Royce Plc (the aeroplane engine manufacturer).

Bear in mind that Vickers was set to sell Rolls-Royce Cars to BMW, however VW came in at the last minute and gazumped BMW. Unfortunately, BMW had already bought the rights to use the name and logo from Rolls-Royce Plc, leaving BMW with a brand but no cars and VW with cars but no brand.

VW and BMW worked out a deal where VW eventually handed Rolls-Royce Motors over to BMW, and BMW allowed VW to use the R-R IP that BMW had the rights to. The deal lasted from 1998 through 2003.
 
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The Grognard

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It will absolutely suck if they take over mclaren and rename their F1 team to Audi/Porche for the branding.

If Williams and McLaren go in the future (Williams having nothing to do with the family anymore of course) then F1 bosses are really going to have to sit up and take note. Though they'd probably be too busy jacking it over all the manufacturer teams they now have (while ignoring how notoriously fickle those teams are compared to the sport's mainstays).
Williams and McLaren have far too much of a brand to just discard away, especially since McLaren's active in the road car business to try and Williams is still one of the old teams everyone recognizes. The most they'll do is something like "Williams-Porsche" or "McLaren powered by Audi". They could even exploit the names like how Cooper is still being used by MINI as a label for their hotter cars.
 

RomanesEuntDomus

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If the goddesses of fate smile down upon us, Williams and McLaren would get back to fight for the title.
Can you even imagine Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, Williams and McLaren competing for every pole and every podium? If AM is up there too, I'd be a happy guy.
How glorious would that be.
 

Things Better Forgotten

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If the goddesses of fate smile down upon us, Williams and McLaren would get back to fight for the title.
Can you even imagine Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, Williams and McLaren competing for every pole and every podium? If AM is up there too, I'd be a happy guy.
How glorious would that be.
Its possible, if remotely that the new cars could shake everything up and Haas is a major contender and Mercedes totally bungled the aero work and is a perpetual backmarker. Its also possible that guy in your spam folder really is a Nigerian Prince, but I wouldn't bet on it.
 

Coccxys

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Its possible, if remotely that the new cars could shake everything up and Haas is a major contender and Mercedes totally bungled the aero work and is a perpetual backmarker.
See 2009 for an example of this sort of craziness happening. Bankrupt team that was saved at the last second by the team principal buying it and running it on a skeleton staff turns up and destroys everyone else. They then got bought by Mercedes, that season was also the beginning of the rise of Red Bull.
 

Balr0g

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Too bad we don't get a Mclaren-Porsche. Would be a nod to the old days

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Then again there was also this massive failure when Porsche entered last time so caution is advised

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I am excited how 2022 will turn out. I hope Ferrari will be a major competitor for the championship just to give us more like 2012
 

Coccxys

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I hope Ferrari will be a major competitor for the championship just to give us more like 2012
If ferrari make a WDC competative car I expect an implosion, they have two very good drivers one is maranelo's golden boy and the other is more experienced and has the measure of him. Given ferrari's interesting approach to managing driver conflicts I could see a messy fallout.
 

RomanesEuntDomus

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If ferrari make a WDC competative car I expect an implosion, they have two very good drivers one is maranelo's golden boy and the other is more experienced and has the measure of him. Given ferrari's interesting approach to managing driver conflicts I could see a messy fallout.
Absolutely, and given that they very obviously play favorites and throw one driver under the bus constantly for the other, we'll see them do their usual shitshow and causing fierce team-internal trouble that will cripple what little chance of a championship they originally had.

I can't put into words how much Ferrari is a clownteam.
"oKaY, wE'rE cHeCkInG" and "sLoW bUtToN oN" have become memes for a reason.

Leclerc on old inters: "What position do we get if we keep up this pace" -"First if we keep Bottas behind".
Thanks a boatload, Aboobity-bibi-abeebedi-boobie-bro.
 

Balr0g

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To be fair Ferrari has become better in terms of the inner workings. They managed to bring the engine and the power unit more closely to Mercedes and Honda. They made a quiet upgrade in Sotschi and from there they had no problems. Also their pit stops have improved significantly compared to the last years. Though I agree if they don't keep their drivers under control it will blow up. Leclerc was beaten standing wise in 2021 (though imho with a lot of bad luck) and I think he will not underestimate Sainz. I just hope that both drivers will adhere to possible team orders. From the raw speed I would say that Ferrari has the best driver pair so far
 

Coccxys

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From the raw speed I would say that Ferrari has the best driver pair so far
Give Ricciardo a car a bit more suited to him and McLaren have one hell of a driver pairing. Norris kept Sainz mostly honest and nuked Ricciardo (all be it while Ricciardo was settling into the new car). If McLaren can deliver the goods that would be a spicy championship and best of all no one would be pissed off if either of them won even if they preferred the other one.
 

Quiritium

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I would prefer to have McLaren-Porsche back, but if McLaren-Audi starts winning you won't hear me complain. Just sent the article to my father and he's already ranting it should be McLaren-Porsche and that Merc are going to start "sabotaging" McLaren if they start to get close lol

@Coccxys, agreed. My father and I are Mclaren fans all the way but at this point we wouldn't mind seeing Ferrari win the championship, just to break the monotony.

Any idea when the new cars will be presented?
 
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Coccxys

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And the whole "he might retire" ploy laid bare

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Then they go off on the usual "but hambone was wobbed" rewriting the events of the Abu Dhabi grand prix that I can't be assed to read nor post.

As I hypothesised earlier its a Mercedes/Hambone ploy to get an inquiry to say what they want and the FIA to do what they want figuring they're bigger than the sport.
 

New Fag

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And the whole "he might retire" ploy laid bare

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Then they go off on the usual "but hambone was wobbed" rewriting the events of the Abu Dhabi grand prix that I can't be assed to read nor post.

As I hypothesised earlier its a Mercedes/Hambone ploy to get an inquiry to say what they want and the FIA to do what they want figuring they're bigger than the sport.

Please FIA don't release the inquiry till the third race in, cause we all know despite them saying it he ain't going to not get in the car till then.
 

RomanesEuntDomus

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And the whole "he might retire" ploy laid bare

View attachment 2878207
View attachment 2878208
View attachment 2878209
View attachment 2878210
View attachment 2878211

Then they go off on the usual "but hambone was wobbed" rewriting the events of the Abu Dhabi grand prix that I can't be assed to read nor post.

As I hypothesised earlier its a Mercedes/Hambone ploy to get an inquiry to say what they want and the FIA to do what they want figuring they're bigger than the sport.
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The Lewlew asskissing is on a whole new level.

Masi applied the rules the way he saw fit and well within regulations of FIA, get the fuck over it.
Also, Hamilton isn't a wife that got beat up by a redneck who now has to win her affection back by hard work. FIA has to do jack fucking shit and should give precisely zero fucks if a driver is unhappy or not.

This article wants to suck off LewLew and ends up making him look like a toddler that is throwing a tantrum... and that is a highly appropriate image.
 

Weeb Slinger

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I am losing patience with the choreographed drama that Mercedes and Hamilton are jointly attempting to spin around Abu Dhabi; the way that Hamilton's future participation in the sport is being passive-aggressively wielded like bargaining chip, and the FIA's willingness to indulge this childish behaviour. Everybody knows that this insufferable, over-privileged prima donna will be racing in 2022 and playing up his underdog status, like he is racing in a Minardi with the backmarkers. Oh, for a dose of karma where Mercedes actually screw up and fade into the mid-field, but that's probably too much to hope for.

If Ecclestone were still pulling the strings, by now he would have made some seemingly off the cuff, somewhat ambiguous statement regarding Hamilton that would have amounted to 'fall in line or fall underfoot.'
 

Coccxys

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Unfortunately I am expecting the FIA to cuck to Toto/Hambone. They've already done fuck all about them flouting the rules about going to the gala, they already said they understand about Hamilton refusing to talk to them, they already put out an initial report about how it was terrible "for the image of the sport". They spent multiple seasons giving Merc everyrhong they asked for and I don't expect them to stop now.