Mercedes seeking investor – Wolff

F1 Fanatic round-up

In the round-up: Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff says the team are looking for an investor.

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Toto Wolff says Mercedes needed a professional to invest in F1 team (Autoweek)

“We are a group with ??100 billion in turnover but we are not sure whether we really understand motorsport. We would like a professional who is not only a manager but is also a co-shareholder, who is involved financially, has entrepreneurial risk and is therefore someone we would be comfortable with.”

Ecclestone pleased with Sochi progress (Autosport)

“I was here even before building works started and was impressed. Now I’m happy with how things are going on.”

Dennis drives McLaren beyond F1 (FT, registration required)

“As for F1, Mr Dennis said he has ‘moved on’, and that team principal Martin Whitmarsh calls the tune. But Mr Dennis is still key to McLaren?s F1 ambitions. He consented to Lewis Hamilton?s departure to rival Mercedes, which are now seeking to sign up McLaren?s chief engineer Paddy Lowe.”

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Comment of the day

Who could be F1’s fourth engine manufacturer?

And who?s that fourth manufacturer going to be? It isn?t VW, that?s for sure. They were quite open and serious about a potential involvement, but only starting 2015. So VW, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini and Bugatti are all out of the picture, at least for 2014. I don?t see Toyota coming back too soon either, based on how their last escapade in F1 ended and their current commitment to the WEC project. Hyundai is nothing more than a Bernie-fueled rumour right now, PURE had their cash-cord pulled a while ago etc. etc.

In my humble opinion, I simply can?t see anyone prepping an engine in time for 2014 other than Honda. They are the only manufacturer that already have a V6 turbo they can develop (the one they run in IndyCar) and the know-how to do so in less than one year. Think about it, what if Ross Brawn gets the boot from Mercedes? Maybe laying the foundation for a new Honda factory team might not be that bad of a prospect for him. And what if there?s some truth and willingness on both sides, behind the McLaren-Honda rumours? I know it?s all science-fiction at this stage, but this is a puzzle where the pieces might just fit.

Personally I?d love to see Toyota or BMW aiming for a comeback, or an US manufacturer like Chevrolet getting involved, or Audi and their WEC staff launching an F1 offensive, or even Citroen or Peugeot having a go at Renault?s crown bub… my money is on Honda.
Antonio Nartea (@tony031r)

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On this day in F1

Happy birthday to Hector Rebaque who is 57 today. Rebaque was the last Mexican driver to compete in F1 before Sergio Perez.

Despite partnering Nelson Piquet at Brabham in 1981, when Piquet won his first championship, Rebaque never managed to score a podium finish.

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28 comments on Mercedes seeking investor – Wolff

  1. f1alex (@f1alex) said on 5th February 2013, 0:07

    …And so the mad speculation-fest otherwise known as testing begins…

  2. Shakalak said on 5th February 2013, 0:13

    My understanding of the thinking behind the 2014 engine rules was (in addition to being more “road relevant”) mainly for it to entice manufacturers to the sport. So it’s quite disappointing to observe that it hasn’t really achieved this and the COTD really reflects this. What else has to be done to attract more manufacturers to the sport?

  3. JPedroCQF1 (@joao-pedro-cq) said on 5th February 2013, 0:14

    YES! Testing begins today! This season is on!

  4. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th February 2013, 0:24

    What time can we expect the Marussia and Caterham launches today? I would assume they are to be unveiled shortly before testing begins, so I’m guessing it will be around 7 or 8am local time, but I could be wrong.

    • f1alex (@f1alex) said on 5th February 2013, 0:27

      Yeah, I’d think it’ll be around that time, because testing starts at 9 doesn’t it? So I guess sometime before then.

    • Nick (@npf1) said on 5th February 2013, 1:22

      I’ve seen 8:15 and 8:45 (both CET) thrown around the web, but couldn’t find anything official.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th February 2013, 3:41

        Well, at least it’s at a reasonable time for me.

        I’m genuinely interested to see what Marussia in particular have come up with. They showed genuine improvement at the end of last year, and now that Pat Symonds has served his sentence for his role in the Singapore scandal, he is free to work directly on the car.

        • Brace (@brace) said on 5th February 2013, 5:50

          @prisoner-monkeys
          Hopefully, he will have at least decent budget to do something. I mean, the guy is one of the biggest brains in F1 and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if he’s head-hunted by a top team in a matter of months.
          Nobody seems to mind Coughlan’s McLaren episode, when they know how clever the guy is.

  5. mhop (@mhop) said on 5th February 2013, 0:45

    What about the news that Bianchi will be testing for Force India in Jerez?

    Surely this all but confirms that he’ll be their second driver this year? They wouldn’t put a potential rival in their car would they? Or do you think they are potentially testing him out for pace? Very interesting!

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th February 2013, 0:50

      @mhop

      What about the news that Bianchi will be testing for Force India in Jerez?

      Surely this all but confirms that he’ll be their second driver this year?

      No, it doesn’t. It is by no means confirmation at all.

      Force India want feedback on the VJM06. And while Paul di Resta can provide it, it’s always better to have more than one source for feedback. Since Nico Hulkenberg has left the team, Jules Bianchi is the next-best alternative because he knows the team and has helped with development in the past.

      • mhop (@mhop) said on 5th February 2013, 1:04

        @prisoner-monkeys
        You have a remarkable talent for repeating press releases and passing them off as your own supposed personal insight!

        Of course the team are going to say that! But there is no way that they would let Jules Bianchi anywhere near their car this year unless he already had some kind of contract with them for the season ahead.

        To follow your logic do you think McLaren will be offering Lewis Hamilton a spin in their car this week “because he knows the team and has helped with development in the past”?

        • Nick (@npf1) said on 5th February 2013, 1:15

          I think you’re reading a bit too much into Bianchi testing. It has been said by the team; Bianchi would have remained a 3rd driver if it weren’t for Hulkenberg leaving. Bianchi could very well end up staying as their reserve driver after this test; his input would still be more valuable.

          I’d also like to remark the slippery slope argument was rather uncalled for. Jules Bianchi is not on any other team’s shortlist and not signed to any other team as well and could possible reclaim his testing position of 2012. Heck, neither Force India nor Ferrari seemed to mind him driving their cars in the space of 3 days at the Young Driver’s Test last year, separate jobs. Lewis Hamilton signed to another team all together, leading to a much broader set of (contractual) difficulties and unlikeliness.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th February 2013, 1:15

          @mhop

          there is no way that they would let Jules Bianchi anywhere near their car this year unless he already had some kind of contract with them for the season ahead

          First of all, that was always the plan.

          Secondly, you seem to think that because Bianchi is testing, it is indirect confirmation that he will race this year. But he could just as easily be staying in the third-driver role.

          Thirdly, who would benefit from inside knowledge of the VJM06? It hardly sent shockwaves through the paddock when it was launched. And furthermore, teams will be following their own testing and development schedules between now and the Australian Grand Prix. Bianchi, on the other hand, will get one day of testing in the car. By the time any rival team is in a position to use the knowledge Bianchi has, it will be outdated.

          Finally, you seem completely unconcerned about James Rossiter’s presence in the team at the test.

          • mhop (@mhop) said on 5th February 2013, 2:20

            Oh man.

            Why exactly should I be “concerned” about James Rossiter’s presence? Are you suggesting that his presence is somehow analogous to Bianchis?

            Rossiter is the CONTRACTED SIMULATOR DRIVER at Force India. He had been confirmed to run at this test for some time. Bianchi on the other hand is somebody who (as far as we know) has no official role with the team other than BEING A MAJOR CANDIDATE FOR THEIR VACANT RACE SEAT THIS YEAR! Also the announcement that Bianchi will run at Jerez is surprising as it goes against information which the team released on Friday. Obviously something happened between that day and this which has meant that Force India now consider it efficacious to run Bianchi in this week’s test…

            The fact that this is not of interest to you suggests that you’re either someone who is singularly incapable of reading between the lines or, as I rather suspect, someone who just enjoys taking the opposite side of the argument. Which makes this whole conversation rather pointless, doesn’t it?

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th February 2013, 3:39

            Or maybe I just believe that the simplest explanation is the best explanation, and that I’m not prepared to go reading too much into Bianchi’s presence at the first test.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 5th February 2013, 13:56

      Maybe they are just waiting to see who can bring the most money!

  6. mhop (@mhop) said on 5th February 2013, 1:09

    Or maybe Williams should get Bruno Senna in the car for a day?

    Don’t buy it!

  7. JCost (@jcost) said on 5th February 2013, 6:20

    Testing begins today, as always there will be surprises. Some good some bad. Ferrari will look raw and Mercedes will look competitive. Red Bull will be Red Bull, not the best but everybody believes Newey and his “muchachos” will do what they do before we get to Melbourne and when we get to Australia, I bet:

    1. MP4-28 will be the fastest car seconded by RB9
    2. Ferrari will look unfinished but Alonso will manage a top 3 finish
    3. Lewis will qualify top 4
    4. Lotus will be up there with top dogs and, on Monday after GP Sunday Kimi will be seen as potential WDC.

  8. Ilanin (@ilanin) said on 5th February 2013, 8:55

    Re: COTD
    It’s been claimed in many places (here, for example, citing unnamed Honda sources) that Honda have already built an F1 engine but that this is the sort of thing that Honda R&D does, regularly, without it actually meaning that they will necessarily enter as an engine supplier.

    The hybrid formula does suit the Japanese carmakers well, but even if Honda have been doing what they have allegedly been doing, it’d still be a big ramp up in cost and development to take an engine from test-bed stage to being raceworthy.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 5th February 2013, 14:01

      Another point on COTD excellent analysis though it may have been, I haven’t seen anything that says a 4th. engine supplier would have to be ready for 2014, why not evaluate 14 and decide go or no for 15.

  9. BasCB (@bascb) said on 5th February 2013, 10:45

    Ah, yes. Testing commences, the speculation begins and the first cars are seen running on track. F1 season: welcome back!

  10. nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 5th February 2013, 12:35

    Regarding Toto Wolff comments. I think that this decision to get a co-shareholder as a manager of Mercedes Motorsport is a great idea. Why? Because everybody that is financially involved in a business and run it at the same time have much more interest than the one who is just in charge and has no financial risk.

  11. Deepak (@ideepak) said on 5th February 2013, 12:39

    So basically Toto Wolff is saying the F1 risk will be spread in case their boat sinks right?

    I simply don’t understand how such a behemoth like MB/Daimler can get into such a venture not fully committed.

    I don’t get how a company like mb can say “we don’t fully understand” . Such an attitude makes me even wonder why they’re in F1.

  12. Imagine if Maclaren became the big investor at Mercedes and Hamilton ends up paired with Perez!

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