Sauber is on pole position – to launch 2017’s first Formula 1 car. The strange part is that two relatively unknown drivers (Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein) will unveil the new looking car.
Given the excitement around the new look, couldn’t Formula 1 (read: Liberty Media) get some of their superstar drivers to do so?
But this pole position works well for Sauber. It is a PR masterstroke. This unveiling might garner them more publicity than the previous two seasons. As for McLaren, they almost clinched pole! Their agency might have just leaked their livery images on social media.
PS: Williams’ unexpected reveal on Autosport/Motorsport was after this podcast was recorded and published.
Nico Rosberg wants to go back to being friends with Lewis Hamilton. Is it easier for him to say so now that he’s beaten him? Either way, we think Rosberg-Hamilton could be the Rocky Balboa-Apollo Creed of Formula 1.
Also, in this week’s episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, we dissect Juan Pablo Montoya’s comment on ‘weak’ European drivers, the engine fire-up by teams, Kimi Raikkonen’s karaoke skills and new bar and Fernando Alonso’s really cool emojis.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has said that the new tyre and downforce regulations for the 2017 Formula One world championship should provide a fascinating spectacle for teams and fans alike.
“It’s going to be a great season,” said Horner. “I’m sure the Mercedes and Ferrari teams are going to have a strong year ahead and we’re going to try and push them hard.
“Hopefully we can have some fun along the way. Exciting times in Formula One at the moment, and hopefully we can put on a good show.”
The new tyres to be supplied by Pirelli will see an increase of 25 per cent in width, and will have to cope with faster speeds and increased downforce of up to 20 per cent at Grand Prix events.
“2017 with the big regulation change is going to be a fascinating season to witness,” said Horner.
“Tyres are going to be a key part of that – the new dimensions; the bigger, wider, more aggressive-looking tyres; new aerodynamics; the cars going four, five, six seconds a lap quicker – it’s going to be a great spectacle for all the fans.
“Pirelli’s involvement from the very first test that we were involved in last summer have really embraced this and I think Formula One is really going to benefit from the investment that Pirelli has made into the product for this year.”
In a special video message to the Italian tyre manufacturers, Horner also saluted a significant milestone in the company’s history.
“Congratulations on 110 years of Pirelli in competition, an incredible achievement and something you should be very proud of.
“We’ve enjoyed all our time working with Pirelli. Three of these cars behind me in what we call our hall of fame won world championships on Pirelli tyres – drivers and constructors in 2011, 12 and 13. We’d love to add to that.
“We’re going to try and give Mercedes a hard time this year. I’m sure Ferrari are as well. Hopefully we can enjoy a really successful year of racing ahead of us.”
It may not be accurate numbers from drivers’ current contracts, but the compilation is a fair assessment on what this year’s grid will earn from their respective teams.
There are no real surprises at the top of the list with Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel taking in a staggering $98 million per year between them.
Further down the list there are some interesting figures, with some newer drivers earning more money than you’d imagine.
Jolyon Palmer, for example, makes $1 million per year after only one season with Renault, in comparison to Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat, who earn $750,000 each and have more Formula One experience than the Briton.