Bernie Ecclestone revealed it himself first, that he was no longer in charge of Formula One, but new bosses Liberty Media soon followed up with the confirmation – they have officially taken control of the sport and their first task was to replace Bernie. The 86 year old’s tenure at the top is over, and although he still has an honorary title within the new organisation, it looks as though his day to day dealings with the sport are over.
It's the first Debrief of 2017, and what better topic to be discussing than the change of leadership for the commercial side of Formula One. Bernie Ecclestone is stepping aside at long last and letting someone else take control of the sport we know and mostly love.
There's been plenty of news this week, with Mercedes finally confirming what everyone had already come to suspect - Bottas taking the spare seat next to Hamilton, and Massa coming back out of retirement to shore up the driver lineup at Williams. There are a handful of posts about that in the links that follow but other topics have come to the fore as well.
The World Motorsport Council gathered in Geneva today for an extraordinary meeting to discuss the potential takeover of Formula One by the Liberty Media Corporation. Two statements released after the meeting reveal that the acquisition has the approval of everyone involved, with CVC transferring their entire shareholding to the new owners Liberty Media Corporation.
It’s the news everyone has been expecting but it was finally confirmed today that Mercedes have indeed managed to poach Valtteri Bottas from the Williams team to join them for 2017. Bottas will move to Mercedes to replace the outgoing world champion Nico Rosberg, and partner Lewis Hamilton for the coming season.
Sauber have completed their driver line up for the coming Formula One season, by hiring Pascal Wehrlein, fresh from the ailing Manor team. Wehrlein has been in the frame for a couple of larger profile drives, but was potentially considered not experienced enough for Mercedes, and not quite the right fit for Force India.
Despite us only being a couple of weeks into the new year, the news keeps coming thick and fast, with changes of leadership in two of the top teams and the ongoing troubles at Manor. It's also Autosport International this weekend, so we're starting to hear news from the attendees as well, particularly if they are interviewed on the main stage. To keep you occupied if you're not there, here's a roundup of recent Formula One links that are worth your attention.
Renault and team principal Frederic Vasseur have confirmed they have parted ways by mutual consent, leaving the running of the team to Jérôme Stoll and Cyril Abiteboul. Although Vasseur’s departure has been agreed mutually, it sounds as though things weren’t quite as amicable as you might hope.
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