Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff hailed a new chapter for a team who have won the last six drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles with Lewis Hamilton chasing his seventh career crown this season.
Formula One is entering a new era in 2021 and the teams, including Mercedes, have yet to sign a new agreement with U.S.-based commercial rights holders Liberty Media beyond this year, with some evident sticking points.
Despite that, Wolff — a shareholder in the team — sounded optimistic.
“We are in this for the long term,” Wolff told reporters at a news conference at London’s Royal Automobile Club.
“We like the platform but at the same time we are in negotiations with the rights holders and things need to be sorted out.
“But the partnership is clearly something that indicates our wish to continue our successful journey in Formula One,” added the Austrian.
Mercedes’ parent Daimler said in November it would cut at least 10,000 jobs and reduce staff costs by around 1.4 billion euros (1.16 billion pounds) by the end of 2022, but Wolff said Formula One worked for the carmaker.
Ridiculing recent media reports that Mercedes were considering pulling out of the sport, he envisaged instead a time when Formula One actually made a profit for the carmaker.
“We see the data… participating in Formula One is one of the greatest returns on investment in the whole Daimler Group,” he said.
“This is an exercise that costs little in comparison to the billions of marketing value that are being generated,” he added, pointing to data that showed the average Mercedes customer was getting younger.
“We want to make it (competing in F1) a no-brainer from the sheer numbers… that the Formula One activity will be something that will be a profitable exercise, like it should be.”
Wolff pointed to successful franchises in U.S. sports such as the NFL and NBA as the business model the sport should aspire to emulate.
“This is my personal aim and contribution with our partners to turn this into such a company so that from a Mercedes standpoint it becomes a no-brainer to participate,” he said.
Hamilton is out of contract at the end of this year but Wolff made clear his desire that the 35-year-old Briton should remain with the team, saying they were the ‘obvious pairing going forward’.
“We would like to have the fastest man in the car and I know Lewis wants to be in the fastest car, so there is an obvious mutual outcome” he said.
The Ineos principal partnership is one rung below title sponsorship, with Petronas filling that role at Mercedes, and represents the latest sporting investment by a company already involved in running, sailing, cycling and soccer.
Mercedes already had a ‘performance partnership’ with the company, working with the Team Ineos cycling outfit and Olympic yachtsman Ben Ainslie’s INEOS TEAM UK in a challenge for sailing’s America’s Cup in 2021.
Between 13-15 November 2019 the 14. Professional Motorsport World Expo was heldin KolnMesse, Germany.
The aim of this exhibition was to present car accessories, developments and equipments on the high professional level.
The expo opened usually on Wednesday and in the afternoon already many visitors arrived besides the business interest.
Many race accessories were presented like gloves, helmets, race shoes, racing suits. Also car equipments were there like clutches, brake discs, brake pads and pedals. In the window of XTRAC brightening and kind lasting gearboxes, gear wheels and other accessories can be seen.
These stable parts can be used even for three years and after a long distance race only can suffer some scraches which can be easily replaced.
Besides the huge AP Racing GT, Le Mans carboon and metal brake disc the Forma 1 clutch also can be seen.
Around 5-6 presentations per day on various topics like differences on gears, how to plan a new race track, race safetiness, race car building, ect. were also part of the expo, in two halls.
It should be noted on the changes within materials which are used on the cars. While previously materials, wood and glass fibres were favourites more recently they are rare, rather the focus is on aluminium and even plastic. And of course carbon and kevlar.
Furthermore visually carbon is fantastic. This year exhibition several companies represented themselves from the carbon manufacturers area.
We have to note that there is a new natural composite material in this segment which is based on flax fibre.
Also should be not missed cranks, rings, motor running and related special equipments from the expo, and if course the to-be-rent race cars because this is a new profile for more and more tuning company. Of course the prices are high but thanks to the professionalism behind it definitely worth thinking on it.
This area is a good carrier opportunity also for the young and talented inventors and genious engineers to show their ideas on unique solutions or brave car shapes. On Borrelly exhibition area an extravagant car can be seen designed by engineer-racing driver Fabien Bourgeon.
Gala dinner and award ceremony
Part of the exhibition a presentation gala was also took place on Thursday evening. Hundreds of exhibitors like engineers, team members and media attended on it.
Winners in six cathegories were announced:
Motorsport technonogy: Airshaper
Motorsport equipment: Bend Motorsport Park
European championship: WSR/ Team BMW
Young brittish champion: Robert Wilson
Racing car: WSR/ Team BMW 330i M
Special support: Alejandro Agag
The head of WSR/ Team BMW Dick Bennett also participated in the gala. He was the mentor of Ayrton Senna, Mika Häkkinen and Rubens Barrichello so he was the star guest of the evening.
Rare racing parts designed and prepared by tunning companies and manufactures were presented to the lucky visitors. Also new investments and ideas and furthermore completed cars gave an overall picture of the current status of the racing world, of course the biggest companies were all there. So you can feel and even touch them. Let’s see some photos.
Author: Sződy Szabolcs
Photos: Sződy Zsolt és Sződy Szabolcs
Just days away from the new year of 2020, let’s take one final look at everything the 2019 Formula 1 season had to offer.
It has been close to a month since the 2019 Formula 1 season came to an end on Sunday, December 1, but with just days remaining before the calendar flips to 2020, let’s take one final look at what this past season had to offer.
The 2019 season consisted of 21 races, which tied the all-time record that was set in the 2016 season and then first matched in the 2018 season, and it resulted in Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton winning yet another championship. Once again, he locked up the world title with three races remaining on the calendar.
The 34-year-old Briton has now won three consecutive championships, all in decisive fashion, and he has won five of the six titles that have been decided since the V6 turbo hybrid era began back in 2014, only slightly failing to win the 2016 title in a five-point defeat to teammate Nico Rosberg.
As a result, Hamilton is now a six-time champion, bringing him to within one title of Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of seven, a record that he is favored to match in 2020.
With another 11-win season in 2019, the third of his career and the second in a row, and a sixth straight season with at least nine victories, Hamilton is also poised to break Schumacher’s all-time wins record next year. Hamilton has now taken the checkered flag on 84 occasions, while Schumacher managed to do so 91 times over the course of his legendary career.
Aside of Hamilton, four other drivers won at least one race in the 2019 season, with three of them winning multiple races. While Hamilton tied his career-high single-season win total, the three drivers who won multiple races all set new career-highs in wins.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc entered the season with a career-high finish of sixth place, as he spent his rookie season in 2018 driving for Sauber before receiving a promotion to Ferrari to replace 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen ahead of the 2019 campaign. He won two races to become the first first-time winner since Verstappen in 2016, beating teammate Sebastian Vettel, who won just one.
Mercedes dominated the constructor standings, finishing well clear of Ferrari and Red Bull Racing with 15 victories compared to their three apiece. Their constructor title was their sixth in a row and made them the second team in Formula 1 history to win six in a row; Ferrari won six in a row from 1999 to 2004.
McLaren and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. won the unofficial “best of the rest” constructor and driver titles, respectively, and Sainz did it with a sixth place finish in the standings, not a seventh.
This is because of what happened with Red Bull Racing’s second seat throughout the season. Looking at entry totals, this seat would have finished sixth in the driver standings. However, after 12 races, Red Bull Racing promoted rookie Alexander Albon from sister team Toro Rosso to replace the struggling Pierre Gasly.
Sainz, Gasly and Albon all ended up finishing within just four points of one another (96-95-92). The second Red Bull Racing seat accounted for 139 of the 187 points scored by Gasly and Albon.
Ironically, it was Gasly who ended up finishing in the best position that a “best of the rest” driver has finished since Raikkonen won the 2013 season opener driving for Lotus, and he did so after being demoted back to Toro Rosso with a second place finish in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
In total, “best of the rest” drivers secured three podium finishes in 2019, up from just one in 2018. Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat finished in third place in the German Grand Prix while Sainz drove from last (20th) to third in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Albon did finish as the highest rookie in the driver standings in eighth place. McLaren’s Lando Norris, Alfa Romeo Racing’s Antonio Giovinazzi and Williams’ George Russell finished in 11th, 17th and 20th, respectively, although Russell had a dominant season over teammate Robert Kubica that is not at all reflected by his position as the sport’s only scoreless driver.
The 2020 Formula 1 season is scheduled to get underway on Sunday, March 15 with the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia. What does the 2020 season, which is slated to feature a record 22 races, have in store?
The last round of the Hungarian national slalom championship took place on the well known Kakucs Ring on 12th October.
This race was also part of the Middle-European zone race. 70 drivers arrived to the chilly morning to have the last fight for the category podium positions, many of them still not yet decided.
Szabolcs Sződy and Zsolt Sződy also arrived to earn more points.
“After we checked the track it is evident that the race would be a fast one. We like it. The temperature would be a key factor as for it will reach even 20-24 celcius. So many aspects we need to handle” – said the brothers.
This race is important for Zsolt as for he is still in fight for the third position but for Szabolcs his year-end place is already fixed so he can drive without pressure.
Szabolcs started first with the 22 start number. “It is a fast track however there are two spots where the rythm broken a little in a slow S curve. But it is manageable.” His first lap was 02:03,323 sec.
Zsolt followed him a little later with the 52 start number. “It was okay, the asphalt will be hotter later with more grip. I am happy with my time, seems really good.” His clock stopped at 1:58,323 sec.
In the second round Szabolcs left the track on one of the curves, which is not that bad as for there is grass next to it but he did not realise that there was a hole there as well. The car shaked and after he felt some vibration on the car. Luckily the car did not damages and he can continue the race but the lap time was definitely slower (02:04,137).
Zsolt was even faster in his lap and delivered one more excellent time with 01:58,096.
The third laps took place in early afternoon with the warmest condition of the day. The 24 celcius was the air and the track temperature was much also. But the tires warmer faster.
“However in the morning we were looking forward to a hotter condition now we can say that is it too much. We lost some grip. As for the track is a fast one the tyres can quickly reach the optimum temperature but also can be overheated during the lap.” – said Szabolcs was not happy with his next time, it was 2:04,283 sec.
Zsolt did struggle with some gripping problem within his lap and slightly losing control in among the last buoys. ” I left the track to the dust and lost time and gripping as well. I hit one buoy and missed the rest resulted 22 sec penalty. This lap will be definitely eliminated from the final result.” – was sad a little Zsolt (Lap time included penalty 2:24,996).
The temperature was optimal on the forth lap. It is definitely appeared on the times as well.
“This was the target time the whole day, I would like to get beyond two minutes, it nearly happen on the last lap completed” – said Szabolcs after had a lap of 2:00,525 sec.
“I delivered the 1.58 times the whole day, this was also a good 01:58,375. I hope I will be on the podium.” – said Zsolt.
Track racing team reached their best result in this season with today excellent and solid performance of Zsolt, who reached the overall second position in Serie 3 category on the Kakucs Ring. This was the first time second position of Opel. Szabolcs finished at fourth. (hungarian championship points)
- Taczman Zsolt Citroen Saxo VTS 00:05:48,268
- Sződy Zsolt Opel Tigra 00:05:54,794
- Juhász Ádám Citroen Saxo 00:05:57,159
- SADOVSKI Milan Citroen Saxo 00:06:00,418 (outside the national championship)
- Sződy Szabolcs Opel Tigra 00:06:07,985
- overall results, Serie 3 category (between 1400-1600 ccm)
- Kaposznyák Mihály Citroen Saxo VTS 58
- Ildzsa Dávid Suzuki Ignis 55
- Taczman Zsolt Citroen Saxo VTS 35
- Sződy Zsolt Opel Tigra 34
- Sződy Szabolcs Opel Tigra 27
- Juhász Ádám Citroen Saxo VTS 13
- Kovács Viktor Renault Twingo RS 8
- Csiszár Alexandra Opel Corsa 1
- Hajdú Eszter BMW 0
Summary of the day:
“The weather was good however it is the middle of October. It was a fast track with exciting competition. We did not expect in the morning that we will have a chance for the podium second position, that is a great surprise and nice finish of the season.However we just missed the third place we are not disappointed. Was some chance for it, but finally missed minimum 2 points. It was plan “B” to reach at least another podium today, which completed and it was second place, above all expectation. It was a good race and a good season. Definitely we will analyse the season and based in that prepares for the next season. But right now we have a small celebration with the teammates to close the season.” – said the brothers as not sad.
This was the last race of the season. The yearly summary will come shortly.
The next race of the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe season held at Hungaroring. The weekend was all about
Raffaele Marciello and Vincent Abril, who finished first place on both qualifying and standing at the top of the podium after the two races. This excellent performance earn them enough points for the #88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG duo to be on the third place overall, after fallen out at Nürburgring.
The Hungarian visitors enjoyed every minutes of the show. The open hour at the boxes resulted massive tumult ahead of each teams and the open podium above the boxes were full of people who enjoyed the performance of the mechanics during the wheel changes.
The overall champions were crowned in Hungary, as were class title-winners in Pro-Am and Silver Cup.
Raffaele Marciello and Vincent Abril delivered a spectacular showing in Hungary. It was not enough to earn them the title – they had fallen out of contention at the Nürburgring – but a brace of pole-to-victory performances ensured the #88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG duo third in the standings.
FFF’s secret weapon was the incredible work of their pit crew, who frequently gained significant time for the #563 Lamborghini.
Andrea Caldarelli and Marco Mapelli emerged victorious at the top of the overall standings, with the #563 Orange1 FFF Racing Lamborghini crew edging Luca Stolz and Maro Engel (#4 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG) by the smallest possible margin. As has become the norm in sprint racing, the title remained in the balance until the chequered flag flew.
The #63 Grasser Racing Lamborghini took six podiums this term – four of them runner-up finishes – without winning a race. In fact, Mirko Bortolotti and Christian Engelhart were among the top-three finishers in five of the last six contests, helping to ensure that a Lamborghini crew stood on the podium 10 times from 10 races.
A total of 19 drivers finished on the overall podium this season.
The final race to be held at Barcelona on 28th September will decide the final order of the championship.
After a seven weeks of summer break the Hungarian slalom championship backs to Kalocsa.
The airport place hosted a race last year as well so the 47 cars again had the opportunity to speed below the sport airplanes on a hot and sunny day.
Not to easy
Sződy brothers are also looking forward to it.
“It was a long break but we are here on the fourth race of the championship. Before was a good and exciting race last time. After we checked it seems to be a complicated one but let’s see during the laps. During the practice race it did not worked well to find the right raceline directions but the race would matter.”
Szabolcs stated first. “As we realised during the practice session this is not an easy track. I missed the practice on the third part of the track. I am not too happy, I suffered during the lap. There is no more room to fail, I have to do it it next time.” – sadly told Szabolcs. He got 80 seconds penalty (lap time 3:02:879 sec)
Zsolt followed him but he also did mistake: “I missed the track on the very same place as I did in the practice session. I missed one buoy in the last part. This will be the eliminated lap, definitely. But now I will go and have another look of that part of the track, I have to memorise it.” He got 2 seconds penalty (lap time 1:43:505 sec).
The brothers had new opportunities in their second lap and forgot the mistakes started with clean cards. They managed to deliver the laps without mistakes. Szabolcs did a security lap while Zsolt managed to bring a faster one. (lap times 1:41:111 and 1:33:860 sec).
After some summer rain and short break the race continued with the third laps. Szabolcs reached a 1:38:777 no lap on a slightly wet surfaces while Zsolt on an already dry one a 1:33:808 sec lap.
The track became optimal in the afternoon, which also reflected by the lap times, of course the drivers routine add it’s part to it.
Szabolcs spoke on the speed of the track: “My mistake was frustrated at the beginning of the day but afterwards all my following three laps were fine. Especially the last one where I expected around 1:37 but reached 1:34.333. The end it was okay. I am relaxed now after these three good laps.” – said Szabolcs with smile.
Zsolt also reached his best time on his last lap. ” Everything was optimal, however the tyres were a little loud. I really hope I can reach the podium.” (with this 1:31:021 lap time).
After a difficult day Zsolt managed to reach the third place, got a nice throphy and many points. Szabolcs reached the fourth place.
Standing (4 of 7 races)
S3, 1401 – 1600 ccm
- Kaposznyák Mihály Citroen Saxo VTS 40
- Ildzsa Dávid Suzuki Ignis 36
- Sződy Zsolt Opel Tigra 20
- Taczman Zsolt Citroen Saxo VTS 18
- Sződy Szabolcs Opel Tigra 15
- Kovács Viktor Renault Twingo RS 5
- Juhász Ádám Citroen Saxo VTS 3
- Csiszár Alexandra Opel Corsa 1
- Hajdú Eszter BMW 0
„There were everything on this day: sunshine, some rain, sadness and happyness. However it started very hard we managed to put together ourselves and deliver a good result. The track was not easy but got used to it and improved a lot. The car worked perfectly, even under wet circumstances. And it was our best race with the third and fourth place. We are extremely happy and looking forward to the next race.” – said the brothers.
The next race will be on the place of the trade exhibition city called Hungexpo. This is a street race basically, but we’ll see the race on 24th of August.
Photos: Track Racing
A late-charging Lewis Hamilton has won the Hungarian Grand Prix, as he overtook Max Verstappen for the lead of the race with four laps left to run.
Verstappen was out in front for most of the race, having kept his lead off the line and into Turn 1. Hamilton kept the pressure on the Dutchman, but couldn’t pass him in the early stages of the race.
Verstappen was the first of the two to pit, while Hamilton stayed out for another handful of laps, rejoining the circuit a number of seconds behind the Red Bull driver.
However Hamilton soon closed up on Verstappen, but once again couldn’t pass him, despite a close wheel-to-wheel battle through the first sector.
Mercedes opted to pit Hamilton for a second time for the medium tyre, which saw him close up in the final 20 laps to eventually overtake Verstappen for the lead with four laps left to run in the race.
Verstappen then pitted late on after he had lost the lead for a fresh set of soft tyres to secure the fastest lap of the race.
Hamilton and Verstappen were seemingly in a race of their own, as Sebastian Vettel, who secured the final spot on the podium by making a late overtake on teammate Charles Leclerc, was a minute behind.
Valtteri Bottas was put out of contention for the win after he made contact with Leclerc in the opening phase of the race, forcing him into an early pit stop for a new front wing.
The Finn battled back through the field to secure an eighth-place finish, but loses out in the championship battle, with Verstappen now right on his tail for the second spot.
Carlos Sainz produced another strong drive for McLaren, as he crossed the line in fifth place to secure another eight points for the Woking squad.
Pierre Gasly, who started the race from sixth place, dropped back a number of positions at the start, managed to recover to cross the line in that position – albeit a lap down on Hamilton and Verstappen.
Kimi Raikkonen finished inside the top ten once more for Alfa Romeo, ahead of his compatriot Bottas.
Lando Norris, who was running behind his teammate Sainz early on in the race, had a slow pit stop which saw him drop down the order and eventually cross the line in ninth.
Alexander Albon picked up the final point for Toro Rosso, after being involved in a close tussle with teammate Danil Kvyat on lap 14 of the race – a battle which Kvyat came out on top in.
However, the Russian driver would eventually end up in 15th place, one week on from his podium finish at the German Grand Prix.
Hamilton now holds a 62 point lead in the championship over Bottas, who himself is only seven points in front of Verstappen for second in the championship.
The precocious Red Bull driver is still only 21 and yet the breakthrough at the Hungaroring, in front of a crowd of raucous and orange shirted fans on a cloudy afternoon, felt long overdue.
As Verstappen’s race engineer told him over the radio: “Better late than never”.
Verstappen is the man of the moment, the sport’s on-form driver with two wins in the last three races and 20 successive top five finishes, so it seemed like a distinct anomaly that he had never started on pole.
He has seven wins already and team boss Christian Horner regularly refers to him as a wise head on young shoulders, praising his maturity.
It was not ever thus, with Verstappen a young man in a hurry from the moment he became the youngest to take part in an official practice session — with Toro Rosso three days after his 17th birthday in 2014.
The youngest F1 race driver, also at 17, Verstappen became the youngest winner at 18 but the opportunity to become the youngest pole sitter slipped through his fingers.
Sebastian Vettel, who also started out at Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso and is now at Ferrari and a four-times champion, did that at 21 years and 73 days.
Verstappen, the 100th driver to take a Formula One championship pole position, sometimes got it wrong and sometimes Red Bull were hampered by reliability problems with former partner Renault’s engines.
“For me it never really mattered,” Verstappen, who turns 22 next month, said of the lack of poles. “I knew it was a matter of time. You need a bit of luck sometimes as well.
“Of course, I made mistakes myself to miss a pole position shot. And today we got it, so very happy with that.”
Saturday’s pole was also a first for engine partner Honda since Jenson Button put their factory team on the top slot of the grid in Australia in 2006.
A week ago at Hockenheim, the Japanese manufacturer celebrated the first time since 1988 that two of their teams were on the podium.
Verstappen’s victory in Austria in June was the first for a Honda-powered car since Button in Hungary in 2006.
While Horner hailed Verstappen, saying he was “on fire this afternoon”, he was also careful to praise the manufacturer’s contribution.
“It’s fantastic for him to get his first pole,” said the boss. “It’s all credit to Honda, and we couldn’t have done it without them.”
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)