Grandprix times

Ross Brawn promises 'sensational' video-game inspired Formula 1 cars in the future

2018-01-12 17:34:54

Formula 1's Ross Brawn has promised "sensational" looking cars in the future that will resemble something from a video game.

Although the latest generation of F1 car has been designed to look more aggressive than past cars, with its wider tyres, lower and wider wings, Brawn reckons they can go further and make them truly stand-out.

With the introduction of the Halo head protection device, aesthetics, in the eyes of many, will take a step back this season, but Brawn says F1 has designers actively working on improving the look of the Halo by incorporating it into the design of the car as well as improving the overall look when new rules come into play for 2021.

"We've had designers working on the aesthetics of the cars for some time now and the aesthetics of the cars are a really important thing," he told Sky Sports.

"I think we've done some great work on how you integrate the Halo, for instance, because it looks like it's just been stuck on the car – which it quite literally has."

Brawn says the aesthetics of Formula 1 cars is high on the agenda for Liberty Media.

"It's obvious, but when you talk to the fans [they say] the cars have got to look great. They've almost got to look like derivatives of video games and evolve in a way where the video games take their key from Formula 1, not the other way round."

"I think they'll look sensational. We're going to have some great-looking cars in the future, that's a really important thing for us [Liberty]."

Image reproduced with permission from concept designer Antonio Paglia.

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Pirelli: F1 lap times should be 1.5s quicker in 2018

2018-01-12 13:27:16

Pirelli chief Mario Isola says lap times in Formula 1 should reduce by 1.5 seconds in 2018, due to the rate of car development and the move to softer compounds.

Pirelli, the sport’s sole supplier since 2011, adopted a relatively conservative stance in 2017, amid Formula 1’s widespread regulation changes, which featured wider tyres and higher downforce levels, leading to faster cars.

As a reaction to a spate of one-stop races through 2017, Pirelli has made its compounds one step softer, and also introduced a new pink-banded Hypersoft tyre, which is set to debut in Monaco.

“The Hypersoft in Abu Dhabi was one second quicker than the Ultrasoft so it’s quite an extreme compound,” said Isola, speaking at the Autosport Show.

“I don’t like to call it a qualifying compound as it was developed to be used also on some street circuits or low severity circuits.

“I would like to see the Hypersoft in some races this year, Monaco is probably the race where we’re going to use it for the first time.

“In terms of lap times, we will have faster lap times this year, because we should consider the development of the car that is probably roughly one second per lap as an average.

“Plus the fact that especially at the beginning of the season we are planning to use softer compounds [compared to 2017], so in my expectation we should be quicker compared to last year by 1.5s per lap by average, it’s a lot, it’s another big step.”

Expanding more on the new-for-2018 Hypersoft, Isola added: “The performance is great but also the degradation will be high, it’s the normal trade-off between performance, degradation and wear.

“The degradation in Abu Dhabi was quite high, it’s accepted as it’s a very soft compound and that’s why we are taking three compounds to each event.”

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Cosworth would require manufacturer backing for 2021 Formula 1 engine

2018-01-12 13:09:58

Cosworth won't be developing an engine for the 2021 Formula 1 regulations unless it can secure some manufacturer backing or a partnership to finance the development costs, according to managing director of powertrains Bruce Wood.

Speaking at the Autosport International Show, Wood said Cosworth were happy with the direction that the proposed regulations had taken, particuarly in reducing the complexity and cost of future power units, but admitted the cost of entry was still too high for Cosworth alone to finance.

"First off, we'd love to be there," said Wood. "It's been reported quite widely that we've been heavily involved in the ongoing [future engine] discussions.

"The rules as they are being proposed would certainly technically facilitate Cosworth coming back into it and will bring down the cost barrier to entry to the point where there's a lot more OEMs, or not necessarily car manufacturers but other sponsors, who see Formula 1 as something they can bring into their sorts of budgets.

"Where we sighted it from the beginning is that it's unlikely you will see a completely independent Cosworth on the 'if you build it they will come' [basis].

"That's unlikely because the economics of that are hard to make work," he added.

"We certainly hope that we might be there partnered with a small OEM, that's willing to make a much smaller financial commitment to get into F1."

Aston Martin is another small manufacturer looking to get involved in F1 under the new engine regulations and is believed to be working with Red Bull to reduce development costs.

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Formula 1 extends Spanish TV deal with Movistar through 2020

2018-01-12 13:01:39

Formula 1 will continue to be broadcast on pay-per-view channel Movistar+ in Spain through 2020, after a new deal was agreed.

Formula 1 went behind a paywall in Spain, home to two drivers on the 2018 grid – Renault's Carlos Sainz Jr. and McLaren's Fernando Alonso – in 2014, and a new contract has been signed.

Movistar+ will broadcast all practice and qualifying sessions, along with the 21 Grands Prix, and has also received a number of ‘additional digital rights’ for the 2018-20 period.

“We are very happy to extend our partnership with Movistar+, which has begun in 2014, for three more years,” said Formula 1 Director of Media Rights Ian Holmes.

“Spain is one of the most important European markets for Formula 1 and, thanks to this

partnership, the Spanish fans will be able to continue to enjoy the spectacle provided by the pinnacle of motor sport 24/7 on a dedicated channel, Movistar F1.

“We will be also help Movistar+ to produce exclusive content for its distribution across their digital and social media platforms, which will contribute to broaden the fan base and its engagement.”

“Motorsport is a strategic pillar for Movistar+, with its perfectly defined offer and two internationally groundbreaking dedicated channels,” added Alex Martinez Roig, Movistar+ Content Manager.

“We are poised build an ambitious project with Formula 1, with one specific goal in mind – broadening the Formula 1 fan base and meeting its wildest expectations.

“Most of the fans are tech savvy viewers and the online environment is the niche we want to explore and where we anticipate a major breakthrough.

“2018 will be the fifth consecutive year in which Formula 1 will be fully broadcast in Spain by Movistar F1, our dedicated channel. The renewal of the partnership constitutes a further step in our commitment to provide the Spanish viewers with the best possible sports offer.”

Commercial chief Sean Bratches has previously spoken of the aim to evaluate the PPV/FTA (free-to-air) distribution of Formula 1 rights on a territory-by-territory basis.

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