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Unlucky Wehrlein to yield Sauber F1 seat at Barcelona test to Antonio Giovinazzi
Pascal Wehrlein
Posted By: James Allen  |  17 Feb 2017   |  6:51 am GMT  |  78 comments

Pascal Wehrlein’s run of misfortune continues as he has been forced to sit out the first Barcelona F1 test starting on February 27, due to an ongoing back injury incurred at the Race of Champions.

The Swiss team, which has had a long history of collaboration with Ferrari, has turned to the Scuderia to provide its reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi for the test. The 23 year old was a GP2 front runner last season.

Pascal Wehrlein

Wehrlein had a tough 2016; the German had a reasonable season with Manor, with a couple of standout drives, but was passed over for the Force India opportunity in favour of Esteban Ocon, another Mercedes protege. It got worse in December when Nico Rosberg suddenly retired after winning the world championship and Mercedes chose to pay Williams to release Valtteri Bottas rather than promote its junior driver to the works team.

Wehrlein was Sauber’s main target when they decided to dispense with Felipe Nasr and the seat with the Swiss team that is bouncing back after coming close to going under, is a good opportunity for Wehlein to show Mercedes what he is capable of.

Wehrlein was injured in the Race of Champions in Miami in a collision with Felipe Massa last month. The new F1 cars will have higher G forces than last year’s and medical advice to Wehrlein was that he should take the extra time to ensure that he is fully fit before driving. The German will he hoping to drive in the second test from 7-10 March.

Antonio Giovinazzi

Giovinazzi will get an invaluable chance to put several hundred kilometres of F1 mileage under his belt. He drove an F1 car for the first time at Fiorano earlier this month in a short test permitted under FIA rules for correlation of wind tunnel and track data (above, photo Ferrari).

Ferrari has been discussing with Sauber the possibility of the Italian driving on a number of Friday morning practice sessions at Grands Prix, to increase his experience bank. This will make him more attractive next time in the driver market, having missed out on the Sauber race seat this year. He is also believed to be slated for some of the Pirelli tyre testing with Ferrari in season.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff had discussions with the Italian at the end of last year and there were rumours around the time of the Brazilian Grand Prix that he had signed him, with a mixture of F1 testing and DTM in mind. But Ferrari signed him.

Ferrari also has the young Monégasque driver Charles Leclerc coming through. The GP3 champion drove for Haas F1 on Fridays last season and will be challenging for an F1 seat next year.

The occasion has a certain poignance for Italian F1 fans as it makes them realise that it is now five years since we saw an F1 car driven by an Italian, when Jarno Trulli was at Caterham. Like the drought for the French after Olivier Panis, which has now been reversed by Romain Grosjean and Esteban Ocon, it is hard to believe that the country which is home to Ferrari and which has such a proud motorsport history should be bereft of drivers at the top level.

Twenty years ago there were five or six Italians in any given F1 season, but they were bankrolled by Marlboro money. Since the ban on tobacco advertising ten years ago, the pipeline of Italian F1 drivers has dried up.

* As a side note, it is interesting to see in the advance notices for the Geneva Motor Show that Ferrari is set to launch a new model the 812 Superfast, powered by an 800hp V12 engine, a very different direction from the hybrid turbos used in F1.

A debate is underway about the power unit for F1 beyond 2020 with some advocating a return to entertaining engines like V10 or V12 that have nothing to do with the electrification of the automotive industry.

What do you think? Leave your comments in the section below

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I think F1 should drop the hybrid engines and go back to normally aspirated engines (probably v8), drop quick degrading tires, allow refueling to allow the cars to go all out during the race, Standardize some parts (steering wheels, brakes, brake -by-wire, wires, wire harness, nut bolts, rims, perhaps have a standard front wing to prevent zillion dollar wing-let wars. Costs would drop way down and the cars would still be able to have enough character to make them interesting. I would like to see color changes to the cars yearly to make them more visually interesting and hopefully attract new audiences. Sauber has had a tough few years. Everyone blames Monisha but the fact is when they were the king of tire wear a few years ago and their suspension was good the teams engineering talent got raided and combined with fewer upper position placement and fewer dollars to spend they dropped like a rock last year. Hopefully this year they will move up a few spots and into larger money.


Oh yeah, and I also recomend smaller/narrower front and rear wings to reduce the upper body downforce, and therefore wake/turbulence, so as to allow closser racing/following but if nessessary increase under body ground effects as nessessary to achieve good cornering speeds.


I’ve got nothing against keeping the electrical side of the currant F1 powertrain if the “powers-that-be” wish to keep some “road-relevence” in F1, but the engines should sound better. I don’t advocate excessive noise, just a better sound! A naturally assperated 90 degree v8 with 90 degree crankshaft and separate exhausts for each bank sounds great! Take the WOO sprint cars, for example.
I never enjoyed the v10s and the v12s bacause at the revs they were using you jusst heard a high pitched screem with no “personallity” in it. Perhaps a 3 litre engine limited to , say, 10 or 12,000 rpm would good. I recomend less than 1000 bhp total otherwise close racing and overtaking would suffer.


the seat with the Swiss team that is bouncing back after coming close to going under, is a good opportunity for Wehlein to show Mercedes what he is capable of.

How is the Sauber gig any better than his stint at Manor? Sauber are going to be using last year’s Ferrari engines so they’ll be trundling around at the back of the grid all season…


The accident appeared to be his own stupid fault, from the video he drove right into the barrier, never turned the front wheels or braked. He must of thought he could drive through it like you can on a F1 track. Expensive lesson.


Return of V10 or V12and 22,00 RPM please. If you want to see electric cars there is Formula E or go follow a prius. The chills and Goosebumps one gets when standing over the bridge before the hairpin in Montreal as you hear a F1 car approaching from a great distance and the emotions created by it flying underneath you with its glorious symphony is part of the reason to see a Grand Prix live. I will not recommend to friends anymore to go to an event live because that factor is not longer there. Pascal is quite beat up in terms of emotions. He was overlooked by FI then by Mercedes which I believe cause him to overdrive at ROC. Montoya joked during an interview that Pascal could get same results with half the effort. I feel that in a effort to impress he over drove. The subsequent accident could be cracking under pressure. Which makes you wonder if Mercedes knew this and played a part in their decision. It must be pretty serious injury having your spine compressed from the head down and what seemed like an awkward angle. No word on injury type or if passenger is well either bit strange. I am assuming his rapid exit was the adrenaline. Hopefully he can gather himself and show what he can do once he returns.


Thanks James for this
“Twenty years ago there were five or six Italians in any given F1 season, but they were bankrolled by Marlboro money. Since the ban on tobacco advertising ten years ago, the pipeline of Italian F1 drivers has dried up.”
Although I was watching then, I never really appreciated that.
Would you consider them to be some of the first crop of “pay drivers” ?Maybe that explains some of the variance in skill on the grid of that era.


I don’t know why Wehrlein has never impressed me, but he hasn’t.
The ‘back-story’ seems suspicious.
It seems much, MUCH more likely that Ferrari protested the Merc development driver getting a spot at Sauber, and got their development driver, Giovinazzi, who has pretty-much earned a shot at a drive as much as Stroll, and Ocon, into the Sauber.
If correct, my postulation predicts unfortunate, ongoing ‘back-trouble’ for Wehrlein, right into the first race, and a statement, three races in, or so, that they are so happy with Giovinazzi’s progress, and in the context of Wehrlein’s ongoing, … misfortune, Giovinazzi is promoted to the fulltime drive.
We’ll see.


I think you are missing the point about Tesla’s. Impressive as they are, they are supersaloons and not supercars, and are not direct competitors. For a start, they weigh about the same as a Range Rover Sport and are starting to blend into the background like magnolia paint. Apart from straight line performance, supercars are about great looks, noise, handling and relative exclusivity, which the Tesla lacks. It’s a bit like saying that a dragster is better than an F1 car because it’s quicker in a straight line.


This is worth sharing again. Why? Because this is likely a very good indicator of what the future holds for cars like the 812 Superfast. And actually, what the future holds for Ferrari, since it is a collector’s brand.


The issue with engines is surely about noise, not the hybrid technology. Both race cars and performance road cars need to make a lot of noise, or people don’t like them. That differentiates them from ordinary family cars, where lack of noise is valued.
There’s no reason why F1 shouldn’t use 3 litre V8s with hybrid technology – they’d have massive power, make lots of noise and achieve high efficiency/mpg. That would both please race fans and make the technology relevant to the large manufacturers.


noise is a harmful waste product which is not only an environmental harzard but a health hazard. adrien newey lost most of his hearing because of all the time he spent around those noisey engines.
hazardous noise not needed in f1. pus are great as they are.


Minority view. Brundle did a walk through the crowd at Spa last year and the overwhelming response he got from them was that they hated the noise of the current engines and wanted proper sounding engines like V10 back.


brundle also claimed that schumacher was great because he built a team of ross brawn, rory byrne, nigel stepney and co at ferrari who worked together to achieved 5 championships at ferrari but we all know that they all already worked together at benetton to win those two championships. they were already a team before schumacher went to benetton. schumacher never put them together. fact! adrien newey lost his hearing fact! it is illegal to expose employees to avoidable hazardous conditions such as air and noise polution at the work place. fact!


Great info but you haven’t addressed my point that the majority of fans wouldn’t like your idea.

Are you implying that Brundle lied about what the fans told him at Spa?! Adopting the Trump approach I see!

And why do you keep talking about Newey’s hearing?? He can leave if he wants can’t he.


to address that burning issue of yours, I don’t even know the number of f1 fans around the world let alone those who like the louder sound. i can’t just do what you do and make false claims hoping someone would believe me. so I have told you what I like and what the law says about noise hazards.


“i can’t just do what you do and make false claims hoping someone would believe me.”

So you maintain that Martin Brundle was lying when he reported the thoughts of the Spa fans?

Odd that you don’t regard paying F1 fans at an actual F1 race as a good enough sample pool to draw analysis from. Or maybe you’re just being ignorant. I cannot help but laugh at your ‘noise hazards’ argument. Why don’t you try Formula E and leave this forum in peace.


i have not read or heard brundle saying most fans wanted a more noisier f1. if he did say that without carrying out a survey then he is not telling the truth. if you claim that most f1 fans want a noisier f1 and you don’t have a clue about the number of f1 fans you are also not telling the truth. simple as.
what is formula e by the way? is that an energy drink? never seen it in the shops. how much do they retail for?


You’re close, but it goes further.

Peak F1 happened with V10s. Internet, youtube happened with V10s. Most people ever have seen F1 with V10s and have an expectation of the product. And sound is a HUGE part of the product.

I don’t know who thought this marketing direction with PUs made any sense at all. It was a stillborn from day one. It was a change to an expectations fans came in with. Imagine you go to a UFC fight and two cheerleaders come out instead to do a cheer-off. Or you go to McDonald’s and order a Big Mac and they give you a baloney sandwich. That’s the type of expectation and let down Formula 1 delivered with these PU cars.


I read an interesting tidbit of info about hybrids and the company who continues to benef the most from the Formula 1 free hybrid advertising blitz with 3/4 of hybrid market.

…turbocharging doesn’t improve the thermal efficiency of gasoline engines. The most fuel efficient gasoline engine on the road is naturally aspirated and it’s found under the bonnet of a Toyota Prius (over 40% thermal efficiency).

So much for the need to replace 40% efficient little ICE in Prius with a turbo. And as the Viper ACR V10 NA 6 speed stick(no “F1” paddles) is proving by leveling McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 lap records, performance hybrid live in no man’s land. The proof is in the pudding. Viper ACR cost less than a 1/4 of those performance hybrids, is faster, and can knock out hot lap after hot lap after hot lap. DYK that P1 and 918 can only do 1 hot lap because they run out of juice? And here you were thinking only P100D can’t do more than 1 hot lap.


every road car should be a toyota prius.


No, no, no. 98% of road cars should be 100% electric, self driving, linked in a network for efficient in-traffic performance, and fully utilized for seat capacity.


turbocharging allows them to use smaller engine capicities while maintaining the same level of performance.


By the way, as noted in the comment, Prius engine is so small and so efficient, it hardly is a case where Turbo makes sense. Unless you want to add more complexity and cost. That’s the point the comment makes. That small NA engines can be and are lovely. We’ve come a long way there with direct injection and more gears or CVT to deliver efficiency, simplicity, low cost.

And let’s not kid ourselves, we’re going 100% electric. Each day that passes I’m more and more hard set on a Tesla. And after seeing this PBS show, I am not beyond any doubt that we’re going 100% electric. Batteries will get more powerful, way safer and smaller – making them swappable. Imagine a car with 2 battery packs, one permanent, one swappable. That means you should recharge, but for 200 mile range, you can swap out one of the two packs. Like 2 fuel tanks in Jaguars. You pull up, and swap out just 1/2 the battery pack in a car. You just refuelled your electric car at a battery station in 90 seconds. You have 200 mile range. They keep batteries charged up ready for cars. Your old left over battery pack is recharged in less than an hour and put into someone else’s car. Am I talking science fiction or totally doable logic?

Watch this:

The whole thing is worth watching fully. But if you have ADD and want to be amazed right away, go to 30 minute marker and pick it up from there. See what this guy Mike invented and what it means for batteries. No more lithium ion, but Lithium, and 100% safe. WOW.


Think cobalt.


thanks for the link sebee but there still isn’t a solution to the energy storage problem. tesla are wasting their money in building cars which are no where near as efficient as the internal combustion engine and without the demand to break even let alone make a profit.
they don’t even have evidence to support the idea that carbon dioxide causes global warming. there are numerous experiments around the world which confirm categorically that increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere increase the rate of photosynthesis in plants. why can’t the same experiments be modified to confirm that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels contribute to global warming? the simple answer is, increasing carbon dioxide levels do not contribute to global warming but global warming does cause an increase in carbon dioxide levels.
apple has used batteries in all its products to become the greatest design and manufacturing company in all time in a very short space of time and yet the electric car has been in existence for over 100 years and not a single electric car manufacturer has made a profit.
does that not tell you and tesla something?
a battery powered car cannot beat the internal combustion engine on propelling a car more efficiently unless it’s source of energy is directly from the sun.
they have more money than sense.
whatever happened to fuel cells?


And how is the fuel efficiency between the two? More and more consumers realize that turbo is not fuel efficient in the real world. We’re not driving turbo cars in real world in the way they do in labs where they make their MPG claims. Not even close.


turbo is intended for more horsepower, for higher performance. at high revs, turbos are meant to be more efficient than nas.



FYI, Ferrari is saying that the Superfast will be the last NA Ferrari made. They will go to forced induction and hybrid going forward, which is really misguided in my view for this brand as it was for Formula 1. They may obviously be lying about the Superfast being last NA Ferrari, or maybe even last V12 to create demand. Or they really are going to do it. As illustrated by Viper ACR V10 NA with standard 6 speed (no paddles), all this hybrid tech conplexity mumbo-jumbo is not so good for performance and lap times. The Viper ACR has been leveling McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 lap times at most tracks ever for a production car. Also doing things like 2 hot laps back to back as these hybrid cars like P1 and 918 can’t. Ferrari are exempt from MPG regulations due to sub 10k per model production I believe, but clearly Ferrari is in a tough spot. Their cars can’t be seen as dirty and politically incorrect while Tesla is delivering P100D that levels pretty much everything in the Ferrari stable in a standing 1/4 mile with pure electricity while being able to take 7 to the movies tonight.


Your first point -we’ve heard that from Ferrari before. Ferrari could easily make turbo V12s i’m sure as well and make nearly as loud as one with no turbo.


I don’t think Ferrari has ever before said that they would stop making naturally aspirated engine equipped cars. This is a first. It’s quite an empty threat, because they are a boutique car shop and can do limited run limited edition cars any time, but it is out there.

It’s important, because what does it mean for potential return to a V10 or V12 NA if Ferrari doesn’t have a product. Although as noted, if anyone can do a 180 at will it is….


Sebee, The ACR is a stripped out track special that is useless on the road, the P1 and 918 are road cars that also are extremely good on the track. I’m not sure about this claim that hybrid supercars can;t do more than one lap without running out of juice either, where did you get that from? The P1 is a plug in hybrid that can be charged from the mains to utilise it’s elecyric only running mode, when this charge is depleted the battery is then charged by the engine. The electric motor provides 173 bhp while the petrol engine provides 727bhp, so I think there is enough left to provide useful performance!


Stereo, leather, climate control, 7inch touchscreen GPS, power everything including rear trunk and backup camera and child seat teathers? Stripped down?!


quote those important sales figures , why don’t you?


Aveli. Probably better if I just give you the figures. In the EU last year plug in hybrid sales grew by 17% to 112999, none plug in hybrids were up by 29% to 303506 and full electrics grew by a rather disappointing 2.9% to 90795.


303506 hybrids in EU you say?

351,861 electric car sales registered in China during 2016 represent approximately 46% of ALL plug-ins sold worldwide this year, with Chinese carmakers responsible for 43% of all EV production in 2016.

And would you be surprised at all if China electric car sales double in 2017? Me neither. They make their own models because western car makers are dragging their feet so much. I think all top 5 EVs in China are Chinese and world wide 3 of the top 5 by volume. Already car makers you and I are familiar with have missed the wave to this huge market to establish themselves.


Sebee, that’s all very interesting, but the fact remains that you said that Hybrid sales are dropping and that isn’t true. This is an F1 blog and the point you were trying to make was that hybrids are irrelevant and the teams are wasting their time using them as nobody wants to buy them. My sourced and accurate figures prove you wrong yet again, at which point you start wittering on about China! You are fond of telling us all that there are about half a dozen F1 fans in America and that the Chinese aren’t interested, so surely this means the F1 manufacturers main focus would be Europe, who just love hybrids!


If anyone is at all interested in hybrid car sales figures, here’s a link to an article about the increase in world sales during 2016,
And here is another showing that while traditional hybrid sales did drop in 2016 in America, sales of plug in hybrids grew


Scroll above, just for you! 🙂


accurate figures?


There was no way in a million years that Wehrlein was going to be a Merc F1 driver in the year our of our lord 2017. He’s too raw, too rough round the edges and has something of an attitude problem…………..

Empirical Evidence for that statement? The fact that he was overlooked by Force India for Hulk’s replacement. F.I. were impressed by Ocon’s pace, yes, but also the French yoof’s charming, amiable personality, quality feedback, mechanical perception and his work ethic to “muck in” with his engineers, come good times or bad.


Visually, I think Pascal is a plug in for Lewis, when Lewis leaves.

I was convinced that Pascal made sense. But apparently not yet. Maybe the play was to preserve him. But if they plugged him in as clear #2 the pressure would be off. It was manageable. Toto was simply dead set on his boy. That picture in Toto’s office made me laugh hard. Imagine the two are car salesmen, you’re in their office. Just before that smile they tell you “Mercedes hybrid PU has won 3 WCC and WDC in s row. We’re sure you’ll enjoy your V8 AMG, delivery is expected in 10 days.” Then Bottas flicks that suspicious looks, as in the photo.


‘A debate is underway about the power unit for F1 beyond 2020 with some advocating a return to entertaining engines like V10 or V12 that have nothing to do with the electrification of the automotive industry.’

But how will all of the gigantic road car manufacturers cope without F1 doing all of their work??!!! LOL


Very pleased for Giovinazzi.
Wehrlein has the rest of the year to enjoy the F1 seat.


A debate is underway about the power unit for F1 beyond 2020 with some advocating a return to entertaining engines like V10 or V12 that have nothing to do with the electrification of the automotive industry.
Yes please and while they’re at it remove the other restrictions and lets go racing again.


James is it possible that some people in F1 are thinking -making F1 road relevant is doing nothing to draw the fans in so lets bin that idea even if reality it’s what the executives at most of the companies would prefer to have. Could we even see this potential V10/V12 idea for 2020 onward morph into an idea for the introduction of naturally aspirated hybrid engines thereby keeping some of the road relevance . Ferrari La Ferrari was a naturally aspirated V12 hybrid road car so why not. What is your opinion James? My view is something like a V8 hybrid is more likely after 2020 . I just can’t see teams/the FIA agreeing to go back to 10 or 12 cylinder engines again. the best thing to do from 2020 would be to make it open season for manufacturers and let them build whatever engine configuration they feel appropriate in a naturally aspirated form as long as it incorporates hybrid technology still -that would be my only rule in regard to engines 2020 onward.


the fia are keen to keep f1 fans interested in the racing. if teams are allowed to build whatever engine they want, the championship could be decided after the very first race by the team with the engine advantage. even with the current regulation, mercedes are able to stay ahead of the competition..
best move would be to share the money equally at the end of each season and allow teams to keep their sponsorship money..


I agree. I don’t see how Formula 1 stays fair without as much standardization as possible and a cap. The expense and pointlessness of that expense is ridiculous. Standardize parts, make it fair, make it competitive for all, make it possible for any driver to win. Feed some starving children and plant some trees with the savings. BUT, this should not come at the price of speed. Speed is possible even on a budget. Cars could be way cheaper and way faster easily. Put a few of these team engineers in a room and tell them to stay in there until they come up with a simple, fast, cheap car design. Guess what. They would. As I noted over and over again, I would take a shot at building 24 Formula X1 race cars with enough V10 engines to last a season for 100m, and I think it would be doable. Even if it would cost 20 or 40 million more, that’s still back of the Formula 1 grid F1 budget for an entire grid of cars that would be faster than F1 cars.

Math in Formula 1 is ridiculous, and has no reason behind it. In the very least cap this insanity at 100m. I mean seriously, if you can’t field an F1 car for 100m you’re just not resourceful enough. Any dummy can spend limitless amounts.


what’s the point in going green when carbon dioxide doesn’t cause global warming?
do you understand what effects magnetic fields affect living tissues inclise proximity to it?
do you understand why high tension power cables are kept away from schools and play grounds?
do you understand how electric and magnetic fields around high energy storage batteries affect living tissues?
people sat close to high energy batteries are at a higher health risk than breathing high levels of carbon dioxide i.e. above 0.04%.


budget capping is too expensive to police. restrictions in the use of materials, cfd and wind tunnel time along with equal distribution of money at the end of each season should be enough fairness in the sport. imagine what force india williams and sauber could achieve with the same budget as ferrari.


that’s why you and i enjoy f1. we know there isn’t a better form of motorsport out there otherwise we’d enjoy that instead.
f1 doesn’t need more standard parts than it currently enjoys. all f1 needs right now is for the money to be shared equally between the teams, allowing each time to keep and use all their sponsorship money as the please within the current material cfd and wind tunnel restrictions.


You think poor teams can spend on CFD what rich teams can?

Why do we have so much CFD anyway by rich teams? Oh yes, we wanted to save money not testing.

F1 is pathetic. Someone either has to go in there and tell them how it’s gonna be, or the whole thing will collapse on itself sooner or later. And since 2020 is the dooms day when teams don’t have to commit anymore, and that makes for perfect headlines it better be now. Because the headline will read “Formula 1 failed because it lacked 20/20 vision.”

As I noted before, I cannot WAIT to see how Liberty takes away 100M preferential treatment or historic payment, whatever it is called from Ferrari. If I was Ferrari, I’d start designing a WEC LMP1 car now, to send a clear message.


@ stephen taylor…yes, i would agree that F1 needs to forget all this ‘green’ nonsense for the future. The major companies, like Honda/Mercedes etc have proved a point but why labor on when presumably the next big thing will be total electrification and the FIA already have that covered. Mercedes have already tried to float the continuation of this “green’ hybrid theme and they have been saying that they want this concept to continue on in 2020. Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they?. There is also talk about ‘four wheel drive being part of that concept as well? Well that’s retro too! What i think, IMO, is the best way forward is to return to lightweight high tech V8’s / V10’s with all wheel drive and possibly KERS as a ‘kicker’. Then i woke up….hahaha


noise is hazardous.


f1 should keep the current engines forever for the sake of efficiency and keep improving the efficiency by introducing supercapacitors combined with batteries. not for the sake of being green. reduce the noise as much as possible if it makes them more efficient and fairly competitive.


What an awful idea.


My theory is this. Hybrid sales suck. They are shrinking. Funny thing is mostly other brands are shrinking. Toyota is holding YoY volume well and between brands owns 3/4 of the hybrid market. Maybe F1 is finally tired of putting on a dog and pony show while giving Toyota and their hybrids free world wide advertising. After all, what hybrid can you buy from Mercedes AMG? None. V8s and V12 are top AMG selling cars as I keep mentioning. Ferrari? You have the LaFerrari – hardly relevant in the grand scheme. How many examples were made? Renault? Sure, they have hybrids…I think. I’m not sure because I never look at or consider their products. In fact, I wonder all the time what is it that they are selling us here in F1. What is this marketing strategy here? It’s as if I was advertising bicycles in an automotive publication. Both have wheels, but… Honda? That NSX, not sure how it is selling. I’m going to guess it isn’t. Not when it is in the price bracket against P100D and Viper ACR. So really, this PU formula is the furthest F1 has ever been to road relevance as far as manufacturers on the grid are concerned. Between them they offer cars with this technology that equal probably 5000 units in annual sales, IF that. Is F1 PU worth it for that sales volume? Talk about crappy ROI.

And that’s before we even remind ourselves that this PU tech is not road relevant because in real life, on real roads the type of braking forces found in F1 that make energy harvesting possible and thus these PUs possible simply don’t exist.

Then, let’s remind ourselves that 100% electric car sales are growing like weeds. Why just in January 100% electric were over 4% car market share. This while hybrid sales continue to poop.

F1 has to return to V10 NA power. All this time I feel like the person in the car who knows we’re lost and keeps saying go back to the main road. Stop this silly adventure and get back on track F1! V10 is the route F1 has to take. Give us a pitstop worth watching too, not this 2s Mickey mouse crap.


I agree completely. F1 is not road relevant and when it is relevant it trickles down and then is banned from F1 anyway ie. abs traction control etc… I do not see road cars being made out of carbon fiber. Why hasn’t there been an advance in how Carbon fiber is made to make it viable for road cars or another superior solution found, if F1 is pushing innovation? This whole green movement is BS. The beef industry does more damage to the planet than all of the transportation industry. They cut down the rain forest which converts co2 to Oxygen. You reduce trees that “filter” air to put cows which increase co2. But no one speaks of this and makes it seem like buying a prius will reduce carbon footprint which requires mining and shipping of batteries which also damage the planet. Or F1 going “green” is going to save the planet by reducing its insignificant footprint in the grand picture. I thinK F1 should just be F1 the whole green movement is marketing to sell cars. Make cars v10 or v12 lighter not heavier. I personally prefer cars which are lightweight, RWD, high rev and manual so regardless of what is marketed by Mercedes it is unlikely I will buy a car from them firstly because they do not produce any manuals in the U.S. hopefully Lotus returns to this market. Also when participating at track events and grass roots racing I have never seen a Mercedes let alone a competitive one. I wonder what type of cars F1 fans prefer to drive? I ideally would have a road car that matches an F1 car as closely as possible ie. lotus But it seems F1 instead of influencing automotive industry is being influenced by it. Road cars are continually growing and weighing more. Alonso has complained about this significantly as of late how the cars are heavier less nimble etc… Find a road car that now weighs less than 3000lbs. probably can count them on one hand. Look at a 3 series which now is almost the size of the first 7 series. So please take the opportunity in 2020 to revert to light nimble cars v10 or v12 high RPM’s.


hybrid sales my be static but there aren’t any significan full electric sales, only feeble hope.


There is more F1 goodness in this 42s than in all of PU era so far. Don’t miss the guy on the left with the refuelling hose.


Oh well. He can always rest up and come back swinging. Maybe not a good idea to go crazy in an empty stadium racing in The RoC which was monumentally dire to watch a haphazard sky presentation. Looked amateur which doesn’t bode well for F1 heading behind Murdochs dunny out house pay wall.


The last 2 paragraphs are giving me hope…. please bring back V10’s & V12’s – let manufacturers have choice but based on fuel limitations.


Screw fuel limitations!

Were going to let a jets carrying all the hardware and people burn 100s of times more than F1 cars do each weekend and we’re going to sit here and pretend fuel savings on track matter? Spare me the B.S. Formula 1 rules. Let’s go refueling and make going fast the priority. You need 300kg of fuel to win? Knock yourself out!


Without some sort of capacity & fuel consumption limit you would create an ‘arms race’, then cost spirals & major manufacturers will walk away (like Merc & Honda). Suits Ferrari but no one else.

Refuelling is not good for F1 – neither necessary nor creates any value. F1 has always been about strategy to manage tyres, fuel & reliability. Arguably the best era (80’s through 90’s) had no refuelling.


Appears that’s the way Bugatti thinking has gone with their new 1500 hp $2.3 million supercar +/-. Seems Ferrari has a bit of a stretch to get there for their latest road car too, eh? Oh, and they don’t produce 10,000 units/year, either.


Would love a return to v10 & v12’s. Monster engines and the noise was truly epic. Personally I think f1 doesn’t need to fit in to current road car needs. It should be put there as a unique product and the loudest, fastest beasts out there. I live in hope. For a taste of the v12 go to YouTube and search for mansell at hockenheim. Awesome

Rob in Victoria BC

Yes please!


Unfortunately no one listens to us. I think Villeneuve was spot on recently when he said the manufacturers get nothing out of F1 that adds value to their road cars. If they really did, then you’d see those same manufacturers have an advantage over their competitors on the road which is not what we are seeing at all.
I’ll also add that the noise of the old engines is absolutely part of the attraction for fans and is proven by the fact that all TV ads\promos for F1 use the sound of the V8 and V10’s in their promo’s precisely because they’re far more impressive sounding and attract attention.


Are you reading my thoughts? Clearly I have to upgrade to three layers of tinfoil inside my Schumi cap. It’s the one with #3 on it before he went on a tear at Ferrari. Those were hopeful days!


No one seems to mention the passenger from race of champions. Even the commentators on the day seemed to forget that there were two in the car.
I’m wondering if the other guy is OK?


Neither were wearing the HANS device either, which is specifically made to guard against neck injuries. Why not?


Good point I actually noticed that too….they were really dumb sky commentators. Jennie gow had no regard for the passenger as if he was some robot which begs the question. It is silly to have a passenger in the car what was he doing there anyway?


It’s a good point, but I don’t think there’s any worry. Both Wehrlein and passenger were able to walk away after the accident. Wehrlein has no significant injuries, but is being kept out of the car as an additional accident would be dangerous *given his existing minor injuries*.


A question for you James — do you think Manor’s engine allocation will be snapped up by Sauber? Seeing as they have effectively been usurped by Haas as a “Ferrari B team”?

With regards to F1 future engine direction. I think the manufacturers should be given more freedom in engine configurations. Cap it using power/torque/fuel pressure that would be common amongst all engines, turbo+hybrid, NA, turbo, supercharged, twin charged etc etc.

Costs -MAY- spiral out of control because if an engine manufacturer messes up and wants to change the entire configuration, then it’s inevitably not sustainable.

Pipe dream though 🙂


Pascal could end up fading into obscurity if he doesn’t have a good season.

Lots of talented youngsters coming through and a bad season could see him overtaken in his quest for a top drive.


Passed over by Force India, passed over by Mercedes, passed over by Williams. Barring an exceptional season I would say Werhlein’s ship has already sailed.


Bringing back proper track testing like the old days would help eliminate this ridiculous scenario of talented drivers disappearing based on one bad year.

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