Thursday, 24 March 2016

The GPDA vs Bernie - The Letter And Reply!

The Letter from the GPDA

Dear Formula One stakeholders, followers and fans,

The Grand Prix drivers would like to state our following position: We drivers love our sport! Since childhood, we dreamed of racing the fastest race cars from the top teams on the coolest tracks against the best drivers in the world. We seek competition and love F1 almost unconditionally, which makes us most probably the people with the purest interest for Formula One, beside our fans.

Formula One is currently challenged by a difficult global economic environment, a swift change in fan and consumer behaviour, and a decisive shift in the TV and media landscape. This makes it fundamental that the sport's leaders make smart and well considered adjustments.

We feel that some recent rule changes - on both the sporting and technical side, and including some business directions - are disruptive, do not address the bigger issues our sport is facing and in some cases could jeopardise its future success. We know that among the leaders of the sport - be it the owners, their representatives, the governing body, the teams or other stakeholders - every individual acts with the very best intentions.

Therefore, the drivers have come to the conclusion that the decision-making process in the sport is obsolete and ill-structured and prevents progress being made. Indeed, it can sometimes lead to just the opposite, a gridlock. This reflects negatively on our sport, prevents it being fit for the next generation of fans and compromises further global growth.

We would like to request and urge the owners and all stakeholders of Formula One to consider restructuring its own governance. The future directions and decisions of F1, be they short or long term, sporting, technical or business orientated should be based on a clear master plan. Such plan should reflect the principles and core values of Formula One.

We need to ensure that F1 remains a sport, a closely-fought competition between the best drivers in extraordinary machines on the coolest race tracks. F1 should be home only to the best teams, drivers and circuits, with partners and suppliers fit for such an elite championship.

Formula One has undoubtedly established itself as the pinnacle of motorsport and as such one of the most viewed and popular sports around the world. We drivers stand united, offer our help and support for F1 to keep it as such, and further to make it fit and exciting for many years and generations to come.

It is important to state that this open letter is intended in the best interests of all and should not be seen as blind and disrespectful attack. Thank you for your attention and granting us the liberty to put our thoughts into words.

Best regards, Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Alex Wurz, on behalf of the Grand Prix Drivers

The Reply From Bernie:

Dear Gentlemen,

I am not sure if this is the right description. It is not always easy to agree with you but you are correct in stating that the decision making process in the sport is obsolete and ill structured.

We must as you have stated urge the owners and all stakeholders of Formula One to consider restructuring its own governance.

It is easy to analyse what is wrong so why not think and come back on this. At least it is better to think before you wish.

I have been in Formula One for nearly fifty years in an active role and another eighteen involved in some way. You state that every individual acts with the very best intentions. I am not sure if this is a misprint. If not, it should read "with their very best intentions".

Best wishes,


p.s. - The picture was't on the letter, it just seemed like the right one to choose to illustrate this :)

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

UK F1 TV Coverage. #C4F1 vs #SkyF1

The TV coverage in the UK market has had a bit of a switcheroo this year with the free-to-air coverage switching to commercial broadcaster Channel 4 after 7 years with the BBC.

Channel 4 will be covering 10 races live with highlights of qualifying and the race on the other 11 weekends whilst Sky have all weekends fully live.

Channel 4 turned up in Melbourne and innovated, their graphics were cool, the presentation team were laid back and full of facts and opinion. They made full use of a very extensive highlights package so much so it didn't feel like anything from the race had been missed!

The package felt very slick, the return of the iconic fleetwood mac, 'the chain' was also a big plus point, it's an F1 anthem. If you hear it you instantly think of F1 even if you're not a fan.

Of course we'll need to see a live broadcast in two weeks time in Bahrain to see if they have truly hit the nail on the head.

Sky did everything how they always have.. nothing seems to have changed.. apart from the increasing price and decreasing content. Sky have their own F1 channel to fill with F1 programming, however more and more dead air seems to be appearing with endless reruns of 3 year old programmes. The weekly staple F1 show has been cut to only half an hour every race weekend rather than an hour a week.This was for the last few years a chance for fans to get involved with a live studio audience on non-F1 weekends. There is seemingly no new content? You would think that they would want to innovate here and stay ahead of the free-to-air competition, but on the evidence of this weekend, you're not missing anything by waiting for the highlights.

This comparison will run and run throughout the year, but race weekend one, the points go to C4.

Monday, 21 March 2016

The Failure of Qualifying Knock-out - A Protest By The Teams

It's been clear for a little while that Bernie wants to spice up the show, he wants better 'entertainment' to get people watching and buying subscriptions to view the racing live. To do this he knows that the current format will not give him crazy races week-in-week-out and has been working to devise ways to change things.

Firstly you and I both know that lining the cars up in order of the  fastest at the front, and the slowest at the back, you're unlikely to see too many position changes as the natural order has already been found. Overtaking in races is usually due to strategy mis-match, errors, or drivers out of position.

Bernie's original plan was to keep qualifying as it is, but add a success time penalty, so the driver who finishes on pole gets 1 sec added to his time, 2nd place 8 tenths... etc etc etc which would therefore shake up the grid. The pole-sitter would probably start 8th or 9th and it would work a bit like a GP2 reverse grid (without calling it a reverse grid, or just simply reversing the grid because that upset the purists).

This would create a jumbled up top ten and mean that everyone has to race hard & overtake if they want to win, and occasionally someone who wouldn't usually win might manage to use track position and claim a win. A Williams or a Force India, Or a Toro Rosso maybe? Who wouldn't want to see that?

Well the teams.. to be precise. They like Qualifying. It's fairly simple, its predictable and works like clockwork. They can prepare their qualifying and race strategy in advance and pretty much have a good idea how everything is going to pay off. One thing they don;t like is Chaos, or of course anything that will make them anti-competitive.

Desperate for a change Bernie pushed for his qualifying success penalty, but instead the committee voted for a lesser of two evils, the knock-out system. A system they didn't want (as it would throw up variables) but gave enough of a change to make it look like they were trying.

Trying is exactly what they didn't do come Saturday in Melbourne however. With cars and drivers sat in the garage being eliminated one-by-one looking terrible on TV, 'settling for their position' rather than being racers and constantly trying to better themselves. The teams didn't make a go of it, because they didn't want it. They knew that if they made enough of a bad show, they'd be able to vote back their old comfy blanket of standard qualifying as an emergency. Thus a real power-play behind the scenes, one un-noticed by many is a sign of the teams flexing their collective muscle against Bernie and his plans to create a better 'show'.

The knock-out qualifying format didn't work as well as expected. Although it certainly could have. Q1 and Q2 were pretty exciting, A few tweaks were needed maybe, and maybe a shorter shoot-out Q3 would have been a simple way to fix but keep this new excitement. Of course all of this is irrelevant as the teams have got their blankets back.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

FIA Thursday press conference - Australia

DRIVERS - Rio Haryanto (Manor), Jolyon Palmer (Renault), Esteban Gutierrez (Haas), Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

Daniel Ricciardo, let’s start with you. Here we are, 20 years on from the grand prix moving across from Adelaide to Melbourne, tell us about what a buzz it is for you to showcase your sport once a year here and what it means for the fans in Australia?

Daniel Ricciardo: It’s exciting, definitely. It’s exciting to be racing again in general. But to come here… (coughs)… pardon me, it’s emotional, jeez! It’s cool, you know. Every year that I’ve been here now there’s still an awesome buzz. It’s something that will definitely never get old as long as we keep coming here, as long as I’m racing. So yeah, Melbourne is great, especially when the sun shines. Everyone is super enthusiastic by the race here and there are always cars on track - woken up this morning by the two-seater. They really fill up the schedule and the fans definitely get their money’s worth.

Your long run performance in particular looked strong during the tests in Barcelona. Do you feel you will be able to compete more perhaps in the race than in qualifying, certainly in the early part of the season at least?

DR: yeah, I think the long pace will be better for us. The short runs are going to be a little more… I think in qualifying we’re probably not going to be as strong but long runs we should be good. Let’s see what happens. I don’t know, time will tell. I’ve been answering these questions all week and you can’t really answer them at the end of the day. On Sunday everyone will see where the real pace is, including us.

OK. Let’s turn to Esteban - welcome back. Thirty-eight grands prix contested in your two previous seasons in Formula One. You were in the points for Sauber in 2013. How has your period as a Ferrari reserve driver made you a stronger competitor?

Esteban Gutierrez: Well, it was very interesting with this guy in front of me [Sebastian Vettel]. I think in general as an experience it helped a lot in my career being able to observe many things from a different perspective and obviously getting very hungry to get back racing and finally reaching this moment, starting what I love most, to be racing, to be in a race seat.

How has the build up to the first race gone for Haas? What are the biggest challenges for a star-up team in the sport?

EG: I think the biggest challenge is to really integrate ourselves as a team, because the flow of communication in general… everything is new, there are a lot procedures that need to be defined. I think Barcelona, as a test, was a great experience for the team, a lot of character building. We had some difficult moments, some other good ones and all in all it’s where we need to focus - to be efficient and very dynamic for the development of the following races.

Rio, coming to you, 23 years old, from Indonesia, one of three rookies in the field. First Formula One driver, more importantly, from Indonesia. Let’s start with that. What’s the response been like and how does it feel to be a pioneer?

Rio Haryanto: Yeah, there’s been tremendous support back home. Obviously to be able to compete in Formula One is a great thing. I’m very proud and I’m sure the whole nation are proud too to have me in Formula One.

You won races in GP2 and GP3 during your apprenticeship for this opportunity. What are your expectations for this season with Manor?

RH: I’m new to Formula One so there are a lot of things to learn. My expectation is to try to learn as quick as possible and to try to build a good relationship with the team and we’ll see how it goes in the races?

Ok, coming to another rookie, Jolyon Palmer - welcome. Twenty-five years old, GP2 champion in 2014, you’ve also waited a few years for this opportunity. What’s the best thing about now becoming a Formula One driver?

Jolyon Palmer: Well, racing! It was a bit frustrating last year having a year on the sidelines after GP2, but I learned a lot and it makes it even sweeter to be here racing again. I was out here last year seeing what Melbourne’s all about, did the track walk, was ready to go, but of course as a reserve driver you rarely get the chance. So looking forward to getting behind the wheel for at least an FP2 and an FP3 as well this time.

Well, it was Lotus last season, the team has now become Renault, so what should we expect from you and this team this season?

JP: Well, it’s difficult to say at this moment. Taking over from Lotus there were a lot of difficulties over the winter, everything was a little bit late. The expectations are pretty low and this year is just about building a foundation. So I think we need to build a solid base and the team has a lot of potential to move forward in the next few years.

Let’s turn to the world champion - Lewis Hamilton, two-time Australian Grand Prix winner, four time polesitter here in Albert Park, Melbourne. Lewis, you said recently there’s still more to come from you this season. What are you looking for?

Lewis Hamilton: I don’t remember saying that, but OK…

Let’s presume you did!

LH: Cool. That’s good. I hope there is! I don’t know, I think you are always searching for perfection, always learning, always growing, both inside and outside the sport. I’m just looking forward to that journey. I don’t know what’s to come. I don’t when I’m going to be growing or more, but I guess that’s the same for every single one of us, so that’s what I’m excited about.

When you say perfection, what do you mean exactly?

LH: You’re always looking for that perfect lap; you’re always looking for the perfect race, you’re always looking to raise the bar every time you go out, because it can always be raised.

There are quite a few more variables this year due to the regulation changes. Looking at the team radio restrictions in particular, do you think that’s something that could actually play to your strengths - given that you guys are all going to be much more on your own now? Is that something that could work for you?

LH: We’re all in the same boat. Some of us will handle it better than others. I don’t particularly see there being much of be a problem. But is it good? I don’t really know but we’ll manage it the best way we can.

OK. We’ve heard from the champion, let’s hear from one of his main challengers, Sebastian Vettel, 2011 Australian Grand Prix winner, three-time polesitter here. Sebastian, you know what it takes to win in Formula One, do you and Ferrari have enough to trouble Lewis and Mercedes this year?

Sebastian Vettel: I think we have. Obviously, the question is whether we are ready in time, but we are on a good track, we are making progress, we did so last year, I think we did a step over the winter, but as I said, whether it’s big enough or not I think we need to wait for the first couple of races and see. But for sure our target is to turn things around, but going into this season I don’t think it’s a surprise when I say that Mercedes is still the favourite but, as I said, we try to become the favourites in the future.

It’s not hard to see where the problem has been, qualifying has been Ferrari’s weakness in recent times, when fighting you and Red Bull in those days and more recently Mercedes - only five poles in the last six seasons, seems astonishing really. So has the team put any particular focus on qualifying pace and unlocking that qualifying pace with this car to give you the tools you need to fight on Sunday?

SV: Well, usually qualifying pace is all about raw pace so I think by trying to make our package quicker, make our car quicker, our engine stronger, we enhance our chances also in qualifying to do well. I don't think there is a big secrete behind it - usually in qualifying, as I said, it’s all about the raw performance of the car and we know that we are still a little bit behind. We have been last year and obviously we try to be a lot closer this year, how close, I don’t know, I don’t have an answer… yet. But we have a plan; we know what we want to do; we know where we want to go, so bit by bit I hope we improve and we’ll be in a better position very soon, with more pole positions under our belt.


Q: (Abhishek Takle - Mid-Day) Question to Lewis. Mercedes has ran a lot of miles in testing. From a drivers’ point of view would you have preferred to do some more performance running to feel the ultimate limit of the car?

LH: Definitely. Of course, the performance runs are always the most fun, the long runs are, kind of, long. And less exciting. But we did what we had to do and I guess we went into the testing with a goal of achieving 800km a day. We didn’t actually think we were going to do it so perhaps in hindsight we would have shifted our running. But at the end of the day it suited us perfectly.

Q: (Flavio Vanetti - Corriere della Sera) To Sebastian, could you describe what could be the point of strength of the new car in the season, and would it be a surprise if you are not as close as you expect to the Mercedes?

SV: Well, we’ve worked very hard. Obviously the project of this year’s car started very early so I think it is definitely a big improvement, big step forward overall. Obviously from the outside it’s easy to see the main differences but I think especially on the inside we’ve done a very, very nice job and it allows us to be, first of all, quicker from the start and also have more chance of improving throughout the year. So that’s good news. Whether it’s good news right from the start, I don’t know. As I said earlier, I don’t know yet. I hope so. We know that our challenge is very, very big, we know that Mercedes in the last two years have built a very, very strong and solid platform for the whole package. Not just the engine but also the car has been very, very strong, in particular last year, and I think it is quite difficult to start the next season with a worse car than you had before. So we know the bar is high, but we’re pushing, pushing very hard.

Q: (Jon McEvoy - Daily Mail) Lewis, I was wondering, after we saw the video of you riding a bike and filming as you were going along, whether you feel you have any responsibility to, as an example to others, not to do that? Or maybe not…

LH: Not particularly, no. I don’t really have much of an answer for you unfortunately.

I was just wondering if you think you… you’ve always said you were an example to young dudes. I was wondering if you thought in light of that, this is where you should show an example?

LH: Again, I don’t really have much of an answer for you, so…

Q: (Lennart Bernke - Bild) Seb, why and when did you decide to name your car after a pizza?

SV: It’s not named after a pizza. It’s a name, first of all. So, I think…

DR: What’s it called?

SV: Margherita.

DR: It’s a cocktail!

SV: I think if you look up, the first thing that comes it is that it’s a name, not a pizza.

Why Margherita then?

DR: Because it’s a pizza!

SV: No, because it’s a drink! No, various reasons. We like the name. Every year we give the car a name. Last year Eva, this year Margherita. We’re happy with that.

Q: (Daniel Johnson - Daily Telegraph) A question for Seb. A lot’s been made, and people are getting quite excited about the prospect of you versus Lewis for the title and having quite different styles and characters. Lewis, obviously, has his style and uses Snapchat and things like that. I was wondering if you could describe how your… what your style is and whether looking at any of that ever tempts you to get on Snapchat or Twitter or Instagram or any of that?

SV: Up to now I haven’t understood all of the modern technologies fully so I’m sure he can give me some classes but I’m not that interested. I think everyone picks his style, and the things they like. I think we’re all different. Some people like pizza plain - like Margherita - some people like a lot of stuff on top of it. I think that’s a good summary.

Q: (Alex Popov - NTV/Match TV) For Lewis - but a little bit more of a racing question: it’s about tyre allocation. Because you never used the supersoft of Barcelona, and most of Barcelona testing you and Nico was on medium and here, your personal allocation is just one set of medium and again it’s Pirelli who chose it for the race. Then for supersoft you never train, tomorrow it’s rain forecast so for the race it will be OK?

LH: I think it will be OK. You’re right, we didn’t use the supersoft and, once again, I think once we realised how much mileage we’d done, perhaps in hindsight we may have changed it, who knows? But we’ll face it as we always do. I don’t believe they’ve changed a huge amount with the tyre so I don’t think it’s going to be a big issue for us.

Q: (Jon McEvoy - Daily Mail) Lewis, are you using a Blackberry or an iPhone?

LH: Both

Q: (Shane McGuinness - Radio 3AW) Dan, Australian motor racing legend Alan Jones has come out and said that he’d like to see you at Ferrari next year, obviously out of contract this year. Does that become a distraction at all for you and how do you ensure that it doesn’t affect your driving, and bat away these questions during the season? And would you like to be teammates (with Sebastian) again?

DR: I don’t know if Seb wants that, to be honest, so we’ll see. I heard AJ say... or I heard some comments yesterday and got asked the question. Yeah, last year I was asked as well. I honestly can’t... I don’t have much more to say on that. It’s still very early in the season and to give you a boring but honest answer is that I’m just completely focused on this year now and with Red Bull. That’s where it stands. Not exactly out of contract either. Don’t get too excited. I don’t know (if I’d like to be teammates with Sebastian again). Maybe if he joined social media...

SV: I will not dance with you in the pit lane so if you’re looking for that...

DR: I’m looking for something more from my team mate. We’ll think of something, eh?

SV: I can offer you marguerita. I don’t mind Danny, we’ve never had issues. Obviously the year we had together was very good for him, not so good for me. I think that’s one thing that happens on the track but outside the track, which I think is more important when you talk about your team mate, whether you get along or not, we never had - at least I don’t remember... It’s a bit weird when he gets changed but other than that...

DR: I walk around in my underwear a lot! Get comfortable with that. This question’s gone pear-shaped, hasn’t it? Next question.

Q: (Abhishek Tackle - Midday) To the front row: everyone says in testing, we’re just testing, we don’t know where we stand, we don’t know anything, but given the simulation and data analysis tools you have these days at your disposal, how good an idea do you have of where you stand relative to each other in the pecking order?

DR: I don’t know. You get an idea, you definitely get an idea. I guess I’ve driven a few years now in F1 and I know what a good car feels like so at least with us I know... at least from testing I can take out that our chassis is pretty good. What’s still an unknown is what Seb and Lewis are saying. Are they hopping out of their car saying this chassis is a lot better than last year’s as well? I still expect them to be the front runners, Ferrari and Mercedes, at the start of the season but me knowing what I know from previous years, yeah, I think we’ve started off with a good chassis and as we’ve done in the past, we can keep improving that. If we can improve that, along with the power unit this year, then by probably the second half of the year we should be able to maybe challenge them but again, it’s still really guesswork, it’s not like numbers, it’s not like they all add up to victory at the end of the day. It’s still a bit inconclusive until we get going, probably the first four or five races.

SV: The answer’s  probably a bit more accurate than that. I think Mercedes are the favourites going in, they seem to be very reliable but also very quick in Barcelona. I think we are closer than last year, especially in the race. Then I think Toro Rosso has made a massive step. They had a very strong car last year but probably with the Ferrari engine this year they will be quite a bit stronger. Daniel touched on it himself and some of you touched on his long run pace, they looked very strong for the race. I think Esteban and Team Haas could surprise and the others are a bit unknown I would say.

LH: I agree with what they’ve said. I think this year that the whole pack looks like it’s a little bit closer but personally I think that they’ve got something up their sleeve this weekend. I think Ferrari are going to be a lot closer than they talk about, than just arriving on a low but going to deliver high.

Q: Do you welcome that?

LH: Absolutely.

Q: (Chris Lines - AP) Question for the back row: are points achievable for you this year and how soon do you think you might be in a position to challenge for points?

EG: Well, it’s very ambitious as a new team to arrive and set a target to score points but we will work very hard to achieve that. It’s definitely the way we want to go. I think initially it’s very important to keep our feet on the ground, make sure that we run smoothly during the weekend and if we accomplish that this weekend we can get out in a very happy mood. Obviously we have everything to gain so achieving points would be something extraordinary.

JP: I think for us it’s definitely a goal for us to be in the points at some point in the season. I think that if we can start off with a solid base this weekend then I think we’ve got good potential to improve over the course of the season and so definitely, we hope to be in the points.

Q: Rio, it looks like Manor have made quite a big step forward in performance from last year to this year. Is that giving the team confidence that they will be in the points regularly?

RH: Yeah, definitely. It’s a much better package that we have in comparison to last year and that’s the goal, to score points. We don’t know when but we’ll try our best every race as the races will be long and let’s see what we can do.

Red Bull confirm Aston Martin Technical Partnership

Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Advanced Technologies announce new Innovation Partnership with Aston Martin to create next generation hypercar
Red Bull Racing and British luxury sports car brand Aston Martin are today announcing a partnership which sees Red Bull Racing’s Chief Technical Officer, Adrian Newey and Aston Martin’s Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman collaborate to produce a ground-breaking Aston Martin hypercar.
Codenamed Project ‘AM-RB 001’, the new hypercar will represent the ultimate blend of cutting edge F1 technology with Aston Martin’s signature sports car design. The combined talents of Newey, widely noted as the most successful Formula One designer of all time, and Reichman, Aston Martin’s design chief since 2005, are set to produce the ultimate hypercar.
Combining the strongest elements of Red Bull Racing, Red Bull Advanced Technologies and Aston Martin, this new Innovation Partnership unites the world’s best aerodynamicists, composite experts and manufacturing masters. All the parties offer different elite capabilities ensuring that Project ‘AM-RB 001’ promises to be an exciting prospect for customers and enthusiasts around the world.  
Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner said of the new partnership: “This is a very exciting project for everyone at Red Bull Racing. Through this Innovation Partnership the iconic Aston Martin logo will return to grand prix racing for the first time since 1960, and Red Bull Advanced Technologies, led by Adrian, will be using Formula One DNA to produce the ultimate of all road cars. It’s an incredible project and also realises a dream and vision long held by Adrian to design a road car. We are very much looking forward to what I’m certain will be a successful partnership.”
Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer said: “Formula One offers the ultimate global stage to build wider awareness of the Aston Martin brand. However, this partnership will deliver even more than that when the hypercar that Aston Martin and Adrian Newey are in the process of developing hits the road. 
Between Q by Aston Martin Advanced, Red Bull Advanced Technologies and project partner AF Racing AG, we are going to create a car that will excite and stir the imaginations of the car designers of the future and a global audience of sports car enthusiasts. 
“These are exciting times for Aston Martin and arriving hot on the heels of our DB11 launch earlier this month, this new partnership underlines that our brand really is racing again.” 
Having an illustrious Formula One career spanning nearly 30 years, and as the designer of ten World Championship winning Formula One cars, the partnership represents a new challenge for Red Bull Racing’s Adrian Newey. 
“From the age of six I have had two goals in life – to be involved in the design of racing cars, and to be involved in the design of a super car.” Newey commented. “Whilst the former ambition went on to form my career to date, the latter has always bubbled away, resulting in countless sketches and doodles over the years.
“The opportunity to now develop and realise those ideas whilst working with Marek and his colleagues from Aston Martin is tremendously exciting.  It allows us to translate the technology we have developed in F1 into a new arena.”
As the designer of cars such as the Aston Martin DB11 - which was revealed earlier this month at the Geneva International Motor Show - the Aston Martin Vulcan and the One-77, Marek Reichman holds the key to the unmistakable design language of the modern era of Aston Martins. 
“We are in the process of developing a hypercar that combines the latest in aerodynamics from F1 and the stunning design language of an Aston Martin sports car,” said Reichman. “The opportunity to collaborate with Adrian (Newey) and Red Bull Advanced Technologies will be a fascinating experience for everyone involved. Unconstrained by F1TM regulations, we have a unique chance to create a car in its most efficient form that will represent the ultimate fusion of art and technology.”
To celebrate the partnership between Aston Martin, Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Advanced Technologies, the RB12s will carry the iconic Aston Martin wings logo throughout the 2016 season, making their debut at this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne.  

Monday, 14 March 2016

Williams Appoints Paul di Resta as Reserve Driver for 2016

WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING is pleased to announce Paul di Resta as its official Reserve Driver for the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship season.

Paul made his Formula One debut in 2009 as a test driver with Force India Formula One Team, after winning the European Formula 3 Championship in 2006. Paul subsequently secured the DTM title in 2010 and in 2011 made his Formula One race debut with Force India where he spent three seasons with the team, scoring a total of 121 points.

Paul will spend extensive time with the team at races to ensure he is fully accustomed to the controls and procedures of the Williams Mercedes FW38, should he be required to step into the cockpit during the season. He will also spend time integrating himself into the team with some simulator sessions to ensure he is fully prepared for his role this season.

Speaking about his new role Paul said: “I am delighted to be joining Williams as reserve driver and look forward to the 2016 season. It will be a busy year combining both driving in DTM with Mercedes AMG, and attending the Formula One Grands Prix in my new reserve driver role. I will be giving my full support to both and look forward to the exciting possibilities the year has ahead. I would like to thank Claire and Williams for the opportunity to be part of the team.”

Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal of WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING added: “We are delighted to welcome someone with Paul’s experience to the team. Having competed in 58 Formula One races throughout his career Paul’s racing knowledge will be invaluable. We are also confident that given his recent Formula One and current DTM experience Paul will be able to confidently step into the FW38 and assist with our 2016 campaign.”