Along with revealing their 2016 driver line-up and branding, Renault Sport also announced a new initiative – the Renault Sport Academy, tasked with “finding future Renault Sport champions.” There are plenty of young driver programmes out there, and Renault are striving to add a little bit something extra to theirs.
Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul has said that the power unit token system, that was designed to limit the amount of upgrades any one manufacturer made to their engine, will be scrapped from next season onwards. The system was brought in last year and was intended to have a descending number of tokens each season to help curb costs but keep things competitive.
Renault unveiled their full 2016 F1 line-up during a launch in Paris today, confirming Kevin Magnussen alongside Jolyon Palmer for the upcoming season, with Esteban Ocon as reserve driver. The covers were pulled off Renault’s car, showcased in a black livery with yellow accents, but the team did suggest it wasn’t the finished version of the RS16.
There have been rumblings for a few weeks now but Pastor Maldonado has taken the step of announcing his own departure from Renault F1, and Formula One as a whole, for now at least. Pastor’s future had been under increasing speculation due to the fact his sponsor, PDVSA, was struggling to meet required payments.
We're starting to see F1 faces creeping from their winter hibernations and getting themselves ready for the season ahead. We've had three teams participating in winter testing, the announcement of a handful of launch dates, plus some engineering department changes up and down the grid. For fans at home, it's simply a matter of waiting for the fun to begin, and here are a few links to while away the hours whilst you do so!
It’s a familiar story, the McLaren-Honda partnership failing to complete their testing programmes. This time, the team were participating in Pirelli’s two-day wet tyre test, along with Red Bull and Ferrari. The cars and engines in use were 2015-spec which goes some way to explaining why McLaren found themselves with power unit problems cutting one of their day short.
Not content with bringing on board ex-Ferrari designer Nikolas Tombazis, Manor GP have continued to scoop ex-Scuderia staff by signing up engineering director Pat Fry as a consultant for the 2016 season. The team are gradually picking up the pieces from what is left of Marussia’s efforts, and will now have Fry’s expertise to help them out.
It’s no secret that the calendar for the 2016 F1 season is considered to be on the long side, and teams are starting to think about how that will affect their processes. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has been talking to Autosport about the potential for a second shift of employees to share the burden.
For the 2016 season, UK fans of Formula One will be able to choose between Sky Sports F1 or Channel 4 as their broadcasters. Channel 4 have picked up the free-to-air rights from the BBC, which means they will be showing ten of the races live, and the rest with extended highlight packages.
The expanding Formula One calendar has put pressure on teams to get their cars ready for the season in super-quick time, and Sauber have had to admit they’re not quite ready. Whilst the Hinwil squad will be present at the first week of testing in Barcelona, they will be running a modified 2015 car whilst this year’s machinery is being finalised.
FIA president Jean Todt has confirmed that during a meeting with engine manufacturers set for the end of January, he will be raising the concept of bringing back refueling to F1 races once more. The idea was already discussed midway through 2015, to mixed response, but it was eventually dropped for the time being.
Manor F1 have been quiet in the lead up to the 2016 season, with two race seats still open and no names attached. However, they have been busy behind the scenes and have shored up their engineering department with the appointment of Nikolas Tombazis as chief aerodynamicist.
It's not every day you see an F1 car halfway up a mountain, but Max Verstappen showed just what Red Bull machinery can do with some chains attached. The Dutch racer was watched by a 3,500 strong crowd as he took an old Red Bull car up to 1600 feet and beyond.
McLaren have finally made progress in relieving Jonathan Neale of what was supposed to be a temporary assignment as Chief Executive Officer of McLaren Racing. Now, Neale can concentrate on his new role as Chief Operating Officer of McLaren Technology Group, thanks to the appointment of Jost Capito in the CEO role.
Former Williams F1 tester Susie Wolff only left her role last year, but she’s not taking any time off. The Scot has appeared at Autosport International to launch her new initiative that is hoping to get more female participation in sport, particularly geared towards encouraging younger drivers to step forward.
Late last year, Force India chief Otmar Szafnauer talked of a deal between the team and manufacturer Aston Martin, with the cars due to be rebranded and the AM name returning to Formula One for the first time in decades.
It's 2016, we're tentatively opening the curtains to a brand new year and a new season of F1 racing, and that means people are starting to talk, and more importantly write, about this year's sporting endeavours. Selection box makes a welcome return to highlight some of the little gems you might have missed over the last few days, this time including some thoughts on champions, a look at key designs from 2015, and a glance back even further at some old time liveries.
As part of their pre-season testing, Pirelli invited teams to bring their 2015 spec cars along to Paul Ricard for two days of wet tyre specific testing, at the end of January. Now it has been confirmed that only Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren will be present, with the focus for Pirelli on testing existing and prototype wet compounds.
The new Haas team have made a big step forward in their preparations to join the 2016 F1 season, with confirmation their car has passed the final crash tests mandated by the FIA. Successfully passing the tests means the team can start prepping for their first test in Barcelona at the end of February.
The team based at Enstone is gradually shedding any reminder of its former life as Lotus and returning to its Renault roots. The upper levels of management have been altered, with Cyril Abiteboul returning to the fold along with Renault’s finance director Thierry Cognet. The moves happened in late December, and have pushed out Eric Lux from Genii Capital.
365 F1 stories
Which champion, crowned in 1964, was born on this day in Surrey in the UK?
F1 test schedule
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||22 Feb|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||23 Feb|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||24 Feb|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||25 Feb|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||1 Mar|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||2 Mar|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||3 Mar|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||4 Mar|