Wednesday, 7 October 2015

The 2016 Grid so far and a round-up of rumours!

The 2016 grid is shaping up, and with a lot of drivers staying put, the competition for places is fraught with drivers desperate for a chance to show their worth.

The Grid:

TeamConfirmed Driver 1Confirmed Driver 2Potential Drivers / Notes
MercedesLewis HamiltonNico Rosberg
FerrariSebastian VettelKimi Raikkonen
WilliamsFelipe MassaValterri Bottas
Red BullDaniel RicciardoDanil Kvyat*Pending engine deal
Force IndiaNico HulkenburgSergio Perez
LotusPastor MaldonadoJean Eric Vergne / Pierre Gasly / Esteban Ocon / Jolyon Palmer / Kevin Magnussen / Stoffel Vandoorne
Toro RossoMax VerstappenCarlos Sainz*Pending engine deal / *Not confirmed but expected
SauberMarcus EricssonFelipe Nasr
McLarenFernando AlonsoJenson Button
ManorPascal Wherlein / Alexander Rossi / Will Stevens / Rio Haryanto
HaasRomain GrosjeanEsteban Gutierrez / Jean Eric Vergne

Both Red Bull teams are pending an engine deal and Haas is likely to take one of the Ferrari reserve drivers. If Lotus become Renault then they have quite a good opportunity to recruit some exciting talent.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Ferrari confirm Raikkonen for 2016

Ferrari have confirmed that Kimi Raikkonen will continue alongside Sebastian Vettel for the 2016 Formula One season. Kimi hasn't matched up well to his new German team mate but will point to a lot of bad luck and poor reliability which has cost him dearly this year.

This will surprise many however it is likely that Kimi has been retained on a much lower salary than it will have cost to extract Bottas from his final year in his Williams contract and give the team more options as more contracts are due for renewal at that time.

Expect a pretty similar grid next year as Williams and Red bull will now be expected to just announce the status quo with their line-up's.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

F1 fan surveys - whats the point?

It's so kind of the guys at the GPDA and Autosport to provide competing fan surveys. However lets have a quick look at what people want from them.

The fan surveys are being created to see what real F1 fans want from their sport. How they see the sport developing. However I feel that both of these surveys are somewhat missing the point.

Surely the aim is to bring in new fans to F1? So shouldn't we be asking non-F1 fans why they don't watch? Is a non-F1 fan going to fill in a survey found on or which are sites that fans visit frequently for their latest news? Would a non motorsport fan be going to these sites in the first place? Of course not.

So all we are going to see is some fuel for editorial pieces about why F1 was better in such an such an era. or x percentage of fans want to see more of this... But does any of it really matter in the grand scheme of things?

Just a thought.

Stick or Twist? Is F1 really that broken?

With every day that passes, someone is offering their opinion on why F1 is broken, needs a complete overhaul and needs desperately fixing. I've just sat back and watched all of the opinions appear on other websites before making my comment.

Firstly we need to decide if F1 is really broken? Certainly it's quite expensive to compete, but it always has been and teams have come and gone throughout the years, that has never changed. Maybe it could be made slightly more affordable for those at the back by allowing them to buy more parts or giving them cheaper engines, but F1 cannot have 10 teams competing for pole, it's never been like that.

I maintain that there should be an Engine Manufacturer Chamionship in which every engine moanufacturer gets a €50m bonus for signing up, on the basis that they have to supply power units for €10m to other teams. The money would come from the pot in which Usually disappears from the sport, but it would encourage more engine manufacturers to take part and make it more affordable for those struggling at the back.

The listed parts clause also needs to be expanded, I don't see why every team needs to manufacturer all of their own parts, there should be more shared technology. If a fan watching from the stands can't see the part then why should it be that each team spends so much money developing the same thing?

Let's now look at the racing, which isn't really that bad. People are moaning because Mercedes are doing a better job than anyone else, but a couple of years ago it was Red Bull in that situation, and before that it was Ferrari with Schumacher winning 5 championships in a row. The FIA changed the rules to try and level the playing field with every opportunity but usually failed! The problem being that it's quite unfair to penalise those doing a better job, as it's not their fault that everyone has lost their way. Although as new technology progresses and the gains become smaller, the teams will once again bunch up and races will be closer. The only way to speed this up would be to allow engine development to be unlimited for 12 months and then freeze them or allow everyone to use their tokens at any time.

Lift and coast was the phrase that was much bemoaned after Canada, although fuel saving fuel has always been a part of F1, it does seem to have become more extreme with the new restricted fuel engine formula. Solving this would involve a) refuelling or b) starting with a set weight fuel tank to ensure that everyone has enough fuel to start the race. Although this won't really help if drivers still can't lean on their tyres because they degrade too quickly. Once again however, making more durable tyres is a dangerous game because multiple tyre stops has spiced up races in recent years. This therefore is a difficult trade off, do we create tyres that last a whole race and tell drivers to push, therefore allowing them to really put the hammer down for the whole race? Sounds good but removes some of the variables that make F1 unpredictable. You can see why this is such a difficult decision.

Another thing that has been mentioned is how F1 drivers used to be heroes, wrestling these powerful beasts around circuits whilst current drivers are cruising and managing systems rather than driving as fast as possible. So F1 cars need to be harder to drive. Bringing back manual gear changes would help sort out the men from the boys as would increasing the speed through ground effect aero. It would also really help if drivers were allowed to speak their mind rather than pandering to the teams corporate sponsors (however important they may be for funding the spectacle) let's be honest, it's why we love Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya because they are ballsy on and off the track! 

TV coverage of F1 is also an issue, it's difficult to attract new fans if there is no consistancy, in some respects F1 is trapped between a rock and a hard place with this as it needs the money from pay TV but the viewers from free-to-air coverage. But the BBC could do a better job with a "match of the day" style regular hilights package of every race meaning that their is a regular slot and format, even when it has the live races it could do a substantially better job, only going on air 30 mins before the Canadian GP where as its pay per view counterpart added an extra hour pre race. 

Thus finding 'fixes' for F1 isn't as easy as it looks, and surveys that ask the hardcore fans what they want is a bit like asking your church congregation to tell you what keeps them attending where as really you should be asking those outside why they are not. There is no point wasting time asking those already hooked how to improve it if you want to grow the sport. 

One thing however that is clear, is that the strategy group needs to be disbanded, it's great if All the teams want to get together to voice their opinion, but your never going to get competitiors to sit round the table and vote on rule changes for the greater good. Rules should be made by the governing body but sadly the governing body is as absent as ever. Time to grow some balls Mr Todt and do the job for which you were elected, and govern the sport.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

News Round Up

Bernie Ecclestone has been telling those who will listen that we need to ditch the current engines and go back to the old V8's immediately as it will be a) Cheaper and b) bring the fans back?

I'm not quite sure why Bernie says this rubbish its clear it's not true! It'd obviously just to get idiots debating this. but lets face it, the current engine manufacturers are not going to go backwards or spend millions re-calibrating all of their kit to to breathe life to the old dinosaurs!


The Daily Mail have decided that Lewis Hamilton is degrading women by spraying one of the podium hostesses with champagne after winning the Chinese GP.

One again this is just a bad newspaper that really has no idea what they're talking about. The girl herself isn't that bothered about it, She knew that it was possible when she signed up for the job, and many girls do sign up to being podium hostesses / Grid girls etc, that's some people's choices of career so its clear that this is just a story made out of nothing but the aim to bring the British World Champion down.


Nico Rosberg complained after the Chinese GP that Hamilton had driven 'too slow' and backed him into Vettel. The truth is the that Hamilton drove to delta times as required by the team, the slowest time needed in order to keep the tyres in check (partly because of paranoia from the defeat by Ferrari in Malaysia)

Nico is currently making himself look very weak minded and sounds almost like he's resigned himself to losing the championship already. Comments about Hamilton's champions drive in Melbourne etc just point out the gulf in confidence between the two. Nico surely needs to come out fighting this weekend in Bahrain in order to re-gain some ground and do his talking on the track.


McLaren are looking to start ramping up the power on their Honda engine this weekend in Bahrain after an encouraging and reliable double finish in China.


Red Bull are continuing their threats to quit the sport as they cannot get their own way or build a fast enough package in conjunction with their engine supplier. Whilst making these noises they are also re-signing long term sponsors. ....?????


Lotus scored their first points of the season in China with Grosjean and are hopeful that Pastor Maldonardo will be able to start to turn his season around at the Bahrain GP


Williams agree that they are adrift in 3rd place at the moment behind Mercedes and Ferrari. They also believe that Felipe Massa is driving as well as he ever has.

Also today is Sir Frank Williams birthday - Happy Birthday Sir Frank, A true inspiration to all of us.



DRIVERS – Sergio PEREZ (Force India), Max VERSTAPPEN (Toro Rosso), Will STEVENS (Manor), Pastor MALDONADO (Lotus), Lewis HAMILTON (Mercedes), Daniel RICCIARDO (Red Bull Racing)


Lewis, you’re coming off the back of three straight poles to a circuit where you’ve never been in on pole position before in your career. How do you see this weekend and the battleground that is qualifying on Saturday?

Lewis HAMILTON: The same as every race. Excited for it. The team have worked very hard to try to learn from the last race and improve. Naturally, for me, as you suggested, I’ve been on the front row but I’ve not been on pole here. So naturally that’s something I want to try to change.

Now throughout Formula One history the psychological battle between title rivals has always been intense. Can you tell us a bit about how you’ve evolved your attitude that and your thinking about that as you’ve matured as a driver?

LH: It’s not really changed much. I just do my talking on the track, that’s how it’s always been since I was eight years old. And naturally you juts try to learn from decisions you take and experiences you have and hope that you get better.

So, the approach is not to get involved then?

LH: That’s not what I said. You just do your talking on the track and try to do your best. All the stuff that comes out of the car I have no particular interest in it.

OK thank you for that. Coming to you Pastor, some good battles in China last time out and breakthrough points for the team, scored by your team-mate. How do see this Lotus team evolving in 2015?

Pastor MALDONADO: To be honest we’ve been a bit unlucky in the first two races, especially for me in the first corner I’ve been hit by Nasr in Australia and I was P6 already and the same in Malaysia, I was P8 or P9, I think it was P8, and I’ve been hit by Bottas in the first corner, so the first two races have been completely compromised by the first corner, you know. Last race was actually our first race where we’ve been able to compete against the other teams, or the other teams around us. We confirm what we’ve been expecting, the pace of the car. Actually in qualifying we still maybe are not at the top of our package. We’ve been working quite hard and hopefully this weekend it should be a bit better than it was in the past three races. But actually the race pace was quite good, encouraging and we are really looking to do our best and to finally be in the points this weekend.

There’s been a Lotus in the final part of qualifying at every round this year so far but you yourself have only managed it once. Can you tell us what areas you are focusing on in particular to make sure that you get yourself into Q3?

PM: Yeah, quali is maybe the main focus for the team. We just need to try to put everything together. I think the speed is there. But normally it has been like this, even in the past, we’ve been less competitive in quali than in the race. I really expect, and we will approach different ways the qualifying to try to get 100 per cent from the car and then trying to keep the same situation or the same pace for the race.

Thank you for that. Coming to you Max: the performance in China. No points but plenty of praise worldwide for your performance there. Do you feel it’s put you on the Formula One map and what was the highlight?

Max VERSTAPPEN: Well, first of all, I was really enjoying my race. We didn’t have a great qualifying, but still I was very confident that we could do a good race because I think the car and it’s race pace is really strong, especially high speed. I had some good overtakes, I was really enjoying that. It’s also every race I’m getting more and more confident in the car. Especially in the first two race you don’t want to take too many risks and I decided in China it was time to do some overtakes and take some more risk.

Toro Rosso, apparently, have never scored a point here in Bahrain, amazingly in their ten years. This weekend that, I’m sure, will be your target, but you do have some engine issues going into this weekend. Can you give us your thoughts on how that’s going to stack up?

MV: Yeah, for sure it’s very short notice for us after China, where we had the engine issues. But we will try to do our best to deliver a good race and try to score points, because I think at the moment the car is capable of it and I’m feeling much better every race in the car. So I’m really looking forward to this race.

Sergio, coming to you, obviously 12 months ago here a very strong weekend, qualified well, in fourth, got up on the podium. Presumably it’s one of your favourite tracks. What is it about this place and you?

Sergio PEREZ: Obviously it was great, no, to remember that day. It was a fantastic day, a fantastic race for me. It was really difficult to make it onto the podium, as it was a very intense race all the way through. Generally, I have been doing well [here]. The year before I did quite well at this track, so I think I get on with the track quite nicely. Unfortunately we are not in a similar position to dream about a podium for this weekend but I think, hopefully, we can score some points and make a great improvement. I think we managed to do a good step in China, we just finished out of the points, so I hope that here we can score some points.

You have a big update coming in Austria. From what you know of it what is the target of where it’s going to put you in the pecking order?

SP: It’s difficult to say, as everyone is improving all the time and everyone is bringing upgrades. We are not the only ones who are going to bring them but we really have identified our issues with the car, our weaknesses, so in that respect it should put us a lot better. I think if we can solve the general issue of the car, the main weakness of the car, then it can be a really good step that can put us in a really good position to be a constant points scorer.

Q: Will, obviously didn’t start in Australia or Malaysia but a 15th place finish last time out in China. Tell us about the mindset in the team and how you set goals and objectives for each race – and what they are here.

Will STEVENS: As you said, China was the first race that I did personally this year – but as far as the weekend went, I think it was a big step forwards for the team. I think it was good to get both cars to the finish for the first time this year. As the weekend went, it ran pretty smoothly. I think, looking forward to this weekend, obviously we want to finish the race with both cars again. Every time I we back in the car, especially for me, missing Malaysia, I’m getting more and more comfortable. I think the pace that I showed in China was pretty strong. We just need to keep moving forward and see where we can get to.

Q: From what you’ve seen and experienced so far, what makes you believe in this project.

WS: From where we set out, we knew the first few races were going to be difficult. The team, where they finished last year in the Constructors’, they’re in a different position now to what they were before. So I think, moving forwards for the future, we can only get better. I think moving towards the end of this year, hopefully we’ll get the new car coming in and then we can really start to make some progress.

Q: Daniel, coming to you, you’ve scored in all three races so far but not the kind of scores I imagine you were hoping for when the season started. Can you give us a window in on the mindset with things like engine duty cycles and other challenges you’re facing, and how that’s changed your expectations?

Daniel RICCIARDO: It sounded pretty good, finishing the first three in the points – but obviously we hope for more at this stage. Look, we’re trying to do what we can, that’s for sure. There is progress being made. Still, obviously, we’re wanting more each race and I obviously felt we had a better… or rather we all expected a bit more from China. I thought the weekend was going to be better for us, especially after Friday. I think we’d made real good progress. Didn’t turn out that way but here we are a week later. Obviously there’s not much, updates-wise, that can happen in a week but from myself and the team as well, we still know there’s more potential in what we’ve got for now, and I think we can definitely try to grab that this weekend.

Q: Obviously your start in China was a bit of a talking point. I think I’m right in saying that, apart from your start in Malaysia, both you and Kvyat off the line have lost places every single time in the first three races this season. Can you tell us what that’s all about.

DR: Yeah. To be honest, Melbourne wasn’t as bad as it looked. As I guess most people are aware, we had a lot of driveability issues going on in Melbourne and it wasn’t until we got the gears, and where these problems were affecting us, that’s what really hindered our performance in Melbourne – otherwise the actual launch was decent. And yeah, Malaysia wasn’t bad. Obviously it wasn’t ideal, what happened in China, and obviously after looking through everything, yeah, it was my mistake in the end. Sometime I obviously won’t let happen again. The important thing is that I’m aware why it happened and what happened and will move on from there. Definitely last year the starts weren’t the strongest on the grid. In general it’s a point that we all want to improve. I think it’s got to be better this weekend.


Q: (Kate Walker – I’ve got a question for Lewis. Your weekend in Shanghai has been rather overshadowed by coverage of the podium ceremony. I don’t know if you’ve heard the comments from the grid girl who was finally contacted and said she thought the entire thing was a bit of a fuss for something that lasted one or two seconds. What are your thoughts on the podium ceremony and the media furore that has surrounded something entirely normal in motorsport?

LH: Good question. I hadn’t really heard too much about it until today. Obviously when you come into the team you get a kind of debrief of what’s happened during the week. So fortunately for me it’s not overshadowed my week. Ultimately it was a great weekend. My actions are through excitement. This is Formula One, it’s the pinnacle of motorsport, I’d just won a grand prix for the team and… I usually see it as a fun thing. I would never intend to disrespect someone or try to embarrass someone like that. So, yeah, I guess… I don’t really know the reasons why people are starting to bring those kind of things up but this is a sport that so many people love and the more we show character and fun, perhaps it reflects just how great this sport is. That’s what I try to do. I don’t really know what to say about it. It hasn’t really affected me and it’s nice to know that the lady wrote in… if it had been the other way and she’d wrote in and she was really unhappy, then perhaps there would be more concern.

Q: (Dan Knutson – Auto Action / Speed Sport) Daniel, you said China didn’t go quite the way you thought it would. Is there just maybe some fine-tuning in the setup that you can get the car much better to your liking?

DR: I think so. I mean, there’s definitely, I believe, within the car, there’s more to be unlocked, so to speak. In terms of setup, I don’t think myself or Dany have really found a balance or setting that we’re really comfortable with. I think China took a step forward, we did start to feel more comfortable but it still obviously didn’t give us a big chunk of lap time that we thought was still in there. So, there’s still a few balance things. If we keep ironing them out we will find… I don’t think it’s a second but we are going to find a fair few tenths that will put us in that group with Williams and hopefully get us onto the back of the Ferraris. Yeah. Good race here last year. I think we had good pace. Again just optimistic for a better weekend here. Everyone’s ready to go, and obviously after my start last week I’m hanging out to get back on the grid and redeem myself.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Two questions for Lewis: the first is about management of the rear tyres. This is a hot track like Malaysia, the race is in the night. How afraid are you about the performance of Ferrari with the rear tyres? And the second one is about what Toto Wolff said about team orders. What comment can you make? If a driver says ‘too close’ they can make some unpopular decisions. I would like to have a comment from you.

LH: Regarding the tyres, still as it was in Malaysia, very much a rear-limited circuit so you have to assume that Ferrari will be very strong again, but I think we’re going to try and take, from our experience with Malaysia, we’re going to try and take a slightly different approach and hope that that helps us combat that whatever you want to call it: weakness or area in which we can improve. I feel quite confident that as a team we can rectify that issue that we had in Malaysia, but it’s still going to be tough and Ferrari have been very very competitive in the last couple of races. So I anticipate they will be very strong this weekend and our race is definitely with them.

I’m not really aware of Toto’s comments so I don’t really know anything about it. Team orders is not something we generally talk much about. It’s not our approach but ultimately our job as two drivers is to try to help the team get the best result overall and regardless of whether you’re first or second, it’s your job to try and make sure you try and secure the most points as possible for the team.

Q: (Khodr Rawi – Sergio, how do you motivate yourself coming into this weekend, knowing that the maximum you could do is to score some points while last year you had a podium here?

SP: Yes, it’s already the position that we have at the moment and only 12 months ago it was a different story but now it’s time to give our best, the same as we did those months ago. The difference is now that a great result would be to finish in the points, whereas 12 months ago a great result would be to finish on the podium. But it doesn’t really change anything. As a driver you have to be committed all the time and give your 120 per cent to your team to try to maximise the package that you have. It doesn’t really change anything. Obviously I wish to have a more competitive car with which I can show the potential that I have as a driver but it’s what it is and we will try to do our best. It doesn’t really change anything.

Q: (Ralf Bach – Sport Bild) Lewis, did you really understand what Nico meant after the race that you drove too slowly? Did you truly understand what he meant?

LH: Well, it’s something we spoke about after the race so I don’t particularly see a reason to go back into it. Obviously you know what my comments were after the race and some people have spun those words in whichever way they wanted to spin them. Yeah, we’re moving forwards and we will re-unite as a team this weekend and try to do a great job. There’s no issue between me and Nico. We saw each other this morning and everything is good. They’re going to be times when people are unhappy about some things but we’re grown-ups and we move past it.

Q: (Ralf Bach – Sport Bild) The winner of the race is normally the quickest guy on the track, that’s what I mean.

LH: But I was.

Q: (Alan Baldwin – Reuters) Lewis, if I can go even further back, to last year’s race when you and Nico had a real battle here, given the comments that have been made over the last few days, do you think he’ll be even more fired up to try and get past you this time?

LH: Well again, I don’t know what comments have been made over the last few days, I don’t read it, simply just not of interest to me, but last year we had an amazing race here, it was really fantastic, great fun, huge huge challenge both for Nico and for me and hopefully... that was the first night race here. It was honestly the best race, visibly, that I had seen here in Bahrain so it was great and I’m looking forward to that. I think with these tyres and with Ferrari in the mix, I think we could see a real special race here. On my part, I’m just going to keep doing what I do and try to... ultimately I want to improve. Last year I didn’t qualify on pole here, I’ve never been on pole here so that’s the challenge but as long as it doesn’t get in the way of the challenge of trying to win the race.

Q: (Nahed Sayouh – Autosport Middle East) Max, after this race you will go to the European season where there are tracks which you have previously raced on. Do you believe that this will help you to show more speed?

MV: To be honest I think so. You always try to do your best on every track and that’s how we are going to continue.

Q: (Dan Knutson – Auto Action and Speed Sport magazines) Will, you did your first race distance in China; these guys all did race distances in testing. Do you foresee that you have a much better baseline now, starting out the weekend as far as the car is concerned?

WS: Yeah, the longest stint I did before the race was six laps. So I had to learn the race as I was going. I think the race ran pretty smoothly so for sure starting here this weekend, we’re starting off from a much better position so I think as a team we can only progress and keep moving forward.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Statement from Giedo van der Garde

‘We have reached a settlement with Sauber and my driver contract with the team has been ended by mutual consent. As a passionate race driver, I feel sad and am very disappointed. I have worked very hard my entire career, ever since starting with go-karts at the age of eight, to live my dream and become a successful Formula One driver. I had hoped at last to be able to show what I am capable of, driving a car for a respected midfield team in the 2015 season. This dream has been taken away from me and I know that my future in Formula One is probably over.
I had a valid driver contract for the entire 2015 season and enforceable rights to it. I pushed very hard until last Saturday in Melbourne to get the drive that I was entitled to. This legal process started in 2014 and has taken a great deal of effort. It was never a last minute thing, but it only became public in the last week when we tried to force the team to accept the rulings of a succession of legal authorities and courts.
I am a race driver and all I want is to race. However, the team principal was adamant not to let me drive, notwithstanding my legal rights to do so and a series of rulings and court orders in my favour and despite my race driving abilities. I will never understand this. I could have persisted, but the team principal had taken a decision contrary to my contract that she would not work with me and this became painfully clear in the paddock in Melbourne. To push on against this determination might have brought down the team, it would most certainly have wrecked the opening Grand Prix in Melbourne because the team´s cars would have been seized by the court, it may have ruined the careers of two young drivers Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr. Possibly the team´s directors would even be taken into custody. I decided I did not want to live with that idea, even though it was only the team’s management that was responsible for the bizarre situation I found myself in.
I am very grateful to my fans and many friends in Formula One who have given me a lot of support during the last couple of months. This period has been very difficult for me especially since I could not talk to anybody about the pending proceedings. Last week, many drivers on the grid gave me their support and several of them did so openly in the media as well. The same goes for several leading figures in the paddock who include team bosses and reputable former Formula One drivers. I thank them as well.
My future in motorsport has not finished: on the contrary, I see this as a new beginning. I will sit down with my management in the coming weeks to discuss my future plans. I would love to take part in the WEC and the Le Mans 24 Hours in an LMP1 car. Former Formula One drivers do very well in this series. We also have our eye on other series such as the DTM in 2016 and beyond.
There has been a lot of speculation in the media over the past week, so I want to set out clearly that my sponsors paid the sponsorship fee related to the 2015 season in its entirety to Sauber in the first half of 2014. This was simply in good faith and to help the team deal with its cash problems at the time. Effectively, it was my sponsor’s advanced payments that helped the team survive in 2014.
Sauber’s financial decision-making in this case is bizarre and makes no sense to me. I am not at liberty to discuss details, but Sauber paid significant compensation to avoid honouring the contract they had with me. Only in that respect can I be satisfied that my rights have finally been recognised and that at least some justice has been done.
I want to thank McGregor for sponsoring me from the time I won the Formula Renault 3.5 Ltr. Series in 2008. I hope we can continue to build on this as my motorsport career goes forward in other series.
I want to thank my family, my father Gerrit and my wife Denise in particular, for their tireless support throughout the years that I have been chasing my Formula One dream. The last couple of months have been especially hard for me but they have always stood by me. Of course, I also want to thank my father-in-law, Marcel Boekhoorn, who has been a great supporter during my entire career through the motorsport ranks. Without him, I would not have got this far.
I also thank Jeroen Schothorst and Jan Paul ten Hoopen for managing my career and business affairs since 2008 and in particular for their unconditional support during these last four and a half months. I also extend thanks to my legal advisor Gijs Rooijens and the law firms, Druces, Blackstone Chambers and King & Wood Mallesons (Australia), that worked very hard and enthusiastically – sometimes literally day and night and during weekends – to fight for my rights.
Finally, I would like to direct a few words to the teams, drivers, future drivers, their managers and the Formula One governing bodies. I sincerely hope that what has happened to me will start a movement aimed at setting new standards and bringing about new regulations to help protect the rights of drivers. I would like to think that the values and business ethics that apply in any other business should be equally applicable in Formula One. I am lucky to have had Marcel and Jeroen on my side. Both of them have extensive backgrounds in business and bring a lot of expertise to the table when it comes to resolving complicated business affairs. Without them, I would have remained empty-handed in the wake of this extraordinary affair. There are numerous examples of talented drivers with good intentions but without the sort of professional support that I have had, who have been broken by Formula One and who have seen their careers destroyed. I therefore hope that my unprecedented case which was heard last week by the Supreme Court of Victoria at Melbourne will serve as an example to illustrate what should change, and that new regulations will be implemented to help protect driver rights.’