News round-up from the week

By on

Sebastian Vettel started its 2017 season in a rather bad way, Renault won't announce a new team principal despite the departure of Frederic Vasseur, teams are announcing the presentation dates of their 2017 cars, Fernando Alonso will bring McLaren's new car onto the track for the first time, more teams changed their fuel supplier.

Sebastian Vettel’s season didn’t get off in the best way

Scuderia Ferrari completed a testing programme on home soil in Fiorano this week. The Italian marque put focus on Pirelli’s rain tyres. F1’s sole tyre manufacturer wanted to test the behaviour of its new product which also grew in its width such its dry weather tyres. The main priority was to check the warming-up process of the new tyres.

Ferrari prepared its ‘mule’ 2015 machinery which mimics the downforce level expected in the new campaign. The Fiorano test track was artificially soaked with water. The work was curtailed when Sebastian Vettel lost control over his car.

Pirelli said the incident was a normal accident which happened because of the very low temperatures. Sebastian Vettel sustained only minor bruises.

More F1 teams announced the launch date of their 2017 cars

As the clock ticks down, F1 teams are working ceaselessly to complete the assembly of their cars which will roll to the track for the first time on 27 February in Barcelona.

Sauber will launch its new machinery on 20th February, Renault follows the Swiss team the day after, Force India will hold its presentation on 22th February. Mercedes unveils its 2017 title challenger on 23th February in Silverstone and will give the new car its track debut on the same day. Ferrari presents the successor of the SF-16H on 24th February in Fiorano. McLaren chose the same day for the presentation as its Italian rival. Haas and Toro Rosso will present its new machineries on 26th Feburary, a day before the official winter testing kicks off near Montmelo.

Renault won’t replace departing Vasseur

Renault recently announced that it parts ways with its team principal Frederic Vasseur. The announcement came after a rather difficult year for Renault which was its return year as a works team. The French manufacturer’s cars rarely survived the first qualifying segment.

Vasseur left the squad amid speculation of management dispute. The managing director Cyril Abiteboul claimed that Renault won’t nominate a new team boss as its current management structure is so strong that it doesn’t need to fill the position. He keeps his position and will attend the meetings of team principals. Alan Permane and Ciaron Pilbeam will remain on the pitwall and fulfil their tasks.

Fernando Alonso to debut McLaren-Honda’s new challenger

McLaren announced that Fernando Alonso will give its new car the track debut later this month when the winter testing period begins on February 27 in Barcelona.

McLaren-Honda finds itself in a period of change once again. Long-time team principal and McLaren’s shareholder Ron Dennis left the team amid speculation of dispute with major shareholder Mansour Ojjeh. Changes are also foreseen on the drivers’ side as Jenson Button left the squad after a seven-year period and his seat will be occupied by Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne. The company’s executive director is Zak Brown while Eric Boullier remains the F1’ team’s chief.

More teams replace their fuel supplier

More F1 teams parted company with their fuel supplier for the 2017 season. French works team Renault ended its long partnership with Total and will instead team up with British Petrol for fuel and with Castor for lubricant supplement. The French team last worked with BP and Castrol back in 1997 when the Williams-Renault team conquered both the drivers’ and the constructors’ title. The swap of oil and lubricant supplier or Renault means that Total leaves the Formula One for now.

McLaren’s long time partner Exxon/Mobil left the partnership with the traditional British team and joined Red Bull as its supplier. The energy drinks’ company’s contract means that the same Renault power unit will work with different fuels and lubricants. Renault announced that it will follow a single development path despite to the different fuel products.
Because of the collaboration of Red Bull and Exxon/Mobil, McLaren-Honda had to search for a new partner. From the 2017 season on British Petrol will be the Woking-based team’s partner such as Renault’s supplier.