Tongue has firmly been placed in cheek after McLaren announced that a flip-flop sponsor would appear on their Halo device. The Halo has widely been derided for how it makes the car look uglier and many have noticed its likeness to a sandal. McLaren have made full use of the joke and confirmed flip-flop manufacturer Gandys will appear on their Halo at the Australian Grand Prix as well as make a limited edition sandal for the McLaren merchandise range. "We are thrilled when McLaren came to us with this idea," said Gandys co-founder Rob Forkan. "By putting Gandys’ branding on the car’s Halo, we can help to strengthen the message behind our Orphans For Orphans initiative., creating a protective and inspiring environment for children at risk. "It is a step in the right direction for the safety of the drivers and a great step for Gandys. "On a personal note, as huge fans of Formula 1 and McLaren, this was an opportunity that was simply too good to pass up. "We … [Read more...] about Flip-flop sponsor to appear on McLaren’s Halo
Esteban Ocon is hoping to lock horns with Max Verstappen further down the line and battle his long-time rival for the Formula 1 World Championship. Ocon and Verstappen's rivalry began to develop in 2011 when the latter beat the Frenchman to the WSK Euro Series title, but Ocon would respond three years later by winning the European Formula 3 Championship. And Ocon would jump at the chance to face his old foe for the biggest title of them all. "Yeah, if there is a championship at the end of that fight I'd sign straight away, there's no problem there," Ocon told Autosport. "Charles [Leclerc], Max, those drivers are very, very strong. I've been racing with them since the very beginning. "I know how good they are and I'm sure we'll meet in the future again." Elaborating further on his rivalry with Verstappen, Ocon said: "It goes back as long as 2010, 2011. "[We were] not friends at all. It was a very intense fight. It came out a bit too much at some point. Now we have no problem at … [Read more...] about Ocon eyes title fight with Verstappen
In the last of our prediction polls for the 2018 season, it’s time to pick which team you think will finish bottom of the Constructors’ Championship. Sauber were last year’s bottom team but there is a brighter outlook at the Swiss outfit following their busy off-season, attracting a raft of new sponsors and acquiring a current-spec Ferrari engine. Other contenders include Williams, with neither car or driver line-up inspiring many heading into the new campaign, while McLaren and Toro Rosso could end up being vulnerable if their engine swaps do not go to plan. Haas could struggle to live up to their billing as ‘dark horses’ after a good pre-season. Cast your vote below, and make sure to take part in our other polls if you have not been able to do so already: Who will be World Champions?Who will finish best of the rest?Which team will suffer the first DNF? All results will be revealed on Monday. … [Read more...] about Predictions: Which team will finish last in 2018?
McLaren have said they are "very unhappy" with Ferrari and the FIA after the Scuderia broke a "gentleman's agreement" by employing safety director Laurent Mekies. Staff who work for the FIA are in the privileged position of learning information from all teams on the grid and, as a result, a 12-month gardening leave period was agreed upon for any FIA member joining any team in future. But Mekies, as it currently stands will be able to start work for Ferrari in September, serving just six months of gardening leave just like Marcin Budkowski did before joining Renault this season. The appointment has caused a new wave of anger in the paddock with McLaren publicly venting their frustration with an agreement being broken. "We very unhappy with the FIA for losing yet another key employee to a racing team," Boullier told Motorsport.com. "Especially after it was agreed by all teams at the last Strategy Group meeting that no key technical FIA employees would be employed by a race team within 12 … [Read more...] about McLaren fume over Ferrari’s FIA swoop
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has suggested Carlos Sainz could replace Daniel Ricciardo should he leave the team at the end of the season. With Ricciardo's contract expiring this year, talks between himself and Red Bull are expected to take place by the end of next month with motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko confirming a deadline was in place. And while Horner wants to keep Ricciardo and retain the partnership with team-mate Max Verstappen, he did name Sainz as a potential replacement. "Our intention is to have him [Ricciardo] with us in the future," Horner told CNN. "But if that isn't possible, we have other good alternatives. We have good drivers in the junior programme and although he's with Renault now, we still have Carlos Sainz under contract." Horner does not feel he will be able to tempt Lewis Hamilton to the team, even though he too is out of contract this year. "Lewis' contract also expires," he added. "It's hard to see him leaving Mercedes, but we never say never." … [Read more...] about Sainz an option to replace Ricciardo at Red Bull
Sergio Perez is hoping that a strong season with Force India will help him in his quest to move up the grid in 2019. Although Perez is entering his fifth season with Force India, the Mexican racer did have the opportunity to move to Renault last year. He opted against it, believing his future would be best served by remaining with Force India rather than trying to rebuild Renault. However, next year it is anybody's guess given that race-seats could become available at Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. "Definitely it is a year that is going to determine my career, my coming years," Perez told Reuters. "This year it's going to be interesting to stay where we are and then see what's available. "I definitely want to be in the best possible car I can be." … [Read more...] about Perez: 2018 season will determine my career
It’s the tag that nobody wants, but which team do you think will suffer the first DNF of the season? We’ve asked for your World Champions and your best of the rest, now it’s time to get into the murky waters of unreliability. The Mercedes-powered cars ran reliably as ever in winter testing, while Ferrari have been known to have some very costly DNFs of late. The Renault engine can be ticking timebomb, as Red Bull and Toro Rosso found out last year, while the latter will he hoping the Honda engine does not slip back into its old habits after such a positive pre-season. McLaren, meanwhile, surely have to be a contender given their continued troubles in testing despite switching to Renault power. Cast your vote below, and we will reveal all your predictions on Monday, the first day of race week. … [Read more...] about Predictions: Which team will suffer the first DNF?
Williams could be in for a tough start to 2018 with Paddy Lowe acknowledging that the FW41 has limitations, most notably "corner entry and stability". Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin, the youngest line-up on this year's grid, did not have the best pre-season. The duo struggled for pace, often finishing at the bottom of the timesheets. It doesn't bode well for Williams' chances at next weekend's Australian GP with technical boss Lowe conceding that the car has issues. "The limitation in the car at the moment is corner entry and stability," he told Autosport. "That is quite often the limitation in a car to be honest, but it's particularly exaggerated at the moment with what we're running. "I think if we can unlock some progress there, we will find a lot more lap time than we've got at the moment – because some other aspects of the car are working really, really strongly through other phases of the corner." The former Mercedes man believes Williams' decision to adopt a different … [Read more...] about Lowe admits limitations on corner entry, stability
Declaring that "title number five is the ultimate goal" when he visited Brackley earlier this week, Lewis Hamilton is adamant he's up for the fight. The four-time World Champion paid a visit to Mercedes' Brackley headquarters on Monday before making his way to Melbourne for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Hamilton was in a buoyant mood. "It is hands down the best team because we all work together, and that's really inspiring for me," he reported told the team personnel gathered for the send-off. "I will give it everything this season, title number five is the ultimate goal. "Let's go for it!" However, in order to get title number five, Hamilton has to beat Sebastian Vettel, who is also chasing his fifth. Last year it was Vettel who led throughout the first half of the championship before Hamilton put in a strong run mid-season and raced to the title. "Nothing's going to be different," he told Sky Sports. "We're going to be going hard at it as we did last year. "I cannot … [Read more...] about Hamilton: Title number five is the ultimate goal
FIA president Jean Todt says he was the only one during a recent Concorde Agreement meeting to oppose Ferrari's veto right. The Scuderia controversially have a right to veto any regulation they do not approve of. It was given to them back in Enzo Ferrari's days but remains a part of the rules. Todt, despite being Ferrari's former team boss, wants to see that change. "The veto was given at the time of Enzo Ferrari, when he was isolated in Maranello," said the Frenchman. "When his was the only team supplying engine and chassis against some other teams that were all powered by Ford. "At that time it was decided that being away from what is called the silicon valley of motorsport they needed to have a protection. That is the story of the veto. "But personally, I feel now I am not in favour of that. Times have changed." But while Todt may not be in favour, others seem to be okay with Ferrari retaining the veto. "I was the only one against," he said of a recent Concorde Agreement … [Read more...] about Todt weighs in on Ferrari veto, pay, quit threats