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CAR Magazine is reporting that Volkswagen Group's entry into the sport in 2026 is pretty much a done deal!

The rumour is Porsche are targetting a tie-up with Red Bull Powertrains and AUDI want a deal with McLaren; which could be to the extent of a full takeover.

Following on from news that Audi and Porsche were keen to join F1, our intel now suggests the deal is as good as done. CAR understands that the agreement– waiting to get the thumbs up from the Volkswagen supervisory board – will see Audi and Porsche will enter top-league motor racing in 2026.

The plan is now for Audi to team up with the McLaren motorsport division and also take over Woking’s automotive arm. It´ll be a one all-in parcel, racing and automotive, lock, stock and barrel. CAR understands the diligence phase has not yet begun, but the lawyers of both parties are already talking, and the main stakeholders - among them the Mumtalakat Holding Company from the Middle East - are allegedly willing to sell the loss-making car business.
 
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D365

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My main concern with a VAG takeover is, how long before they get bored and pull back out?
 

D365

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One presumes that there's a decent minimum commitment period written into the contract.
Hopefully something that’s better than BMW and their four years with Sauber ;)

Not attaching too much credence to the story, as I think it is more of a 'What if?' piece of journalism, but the BBC's Andrew Benson has posed the question of who would drive for Mercedes this season if Hamilton decides not to participate?
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/59951382
My feeling is that Mercedes would agree a deal with AR to bring Bottas back for one/two years and then bring in Ocon from Alpine. AR would reinstate Giovinazzi.
 

kristiang85

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My feeling is that Mercedes would agree a deal with AR to bring Bottas back for one/two years and then bring in Ocon from Alpine. AR would reinstate Giovinazzi.

The cleanest solution would be for Ocon to go straight to Mercedes (given his previous relationship with them), and then Alpine can slot in Piastri.

I also think Vettel might be in with a chance - given Mercedes' close links to AM, and if Hamilton goes they will need a 'star' driver for marketing purposes. Being German also helps.

But I'm sure this is just one long sulk from Hamilton, and he will be back in 2022.
 

najaB

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But I'm sure this is just one long sulk from Hamilton, and he will be back in 2022.
I'm about 75% sure he'll be back, but the capricious way that he lost the championship really must've dented his confidence in the whole system.
 

LOL The Irony

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The cleanest solution would be for Ocon to go straight to Mercedes (given his previous relationship with them), and then Alpine can slot in Piastri.
This is what is most likely going to happen if Lewis quits. The fact Piastri pulled a Russell and doesn't have a seat whilst Zhou does, is criminal.
I also think Vettel might be in with a chance - given Mercedes' close links to AM, and if Hamilton goes they will need a 'star' driver for marketing purposes. Being German also helps.
Replacing one soon to be retiree with another isn't the best move. Also Ocon was able to beat Alonso whilst Seb was barely ahead of Lance despite getting a podium.
but the capricious way that he lost the championship really must've dented his confidence in the whole system.
But on the flip side, would've made his drive stronger and I reckon he'll smash it out the park this year.
 

najaB

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But on the flip side, would've made his drive stronger and I reckon he'll smash it out the park this year.
From his perspective he did everything right to recover from the mid-season slump and smashed the latter part of the season, only for the system to steal the championship from him.

So it will take a lot to restore his faith that the same thing isn't going to happen again.
 

JamesT

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From his perspective he did everything right to recover from the mid-season slump and smashed the latter part of the season, only for the system to steal the championship from him.

So it will take a lot to restore his faith that the same thing isn't going to happen again.
Firing Michael Masi would probably do the trick :)
 

Non Multi

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I wouldn't be surprised, i thought at times last season he didn't look like he was enjoying it anymore even before the last race.
He got his mojo back at the tail end of the season though.

Being a pro racing driver is addictive stuff, which is why you see many past their prime doing a 'cruise and collect ($$)' for several years at the tail end/midfield before walking away.

Lauda, Prost, Mansell, M. Schumacher, Alonso, and Räikkönen have all walked away and then made a comeback.
 

najaB

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He got his mojo back at the tail end of the season though.

Being a pro racing driver is addictive stuff, which is why you see many past their prime doing a 'cruise and collect ($$)' for several years at the tail end/midfield before walking away.
Indeed it is, but one reason for that addictiveness is the idea that in order to win you just need to be better than the other guy and have a better team behind you than the other guy does. From Lewis' point of view it likely feels like he was the better driver, driving for the better team and factors completely outside the control of either tore the championship away from him.

I'm sure that had the normal safety car procedures been followed and Max managed to pass him anyway he would have the "That's racing" attitude. But, again from his perspective, he didn't do "just enough" to win the last race but was running away with it - 11 plus seconds left with five laps left - but then the combination of the safety car, aggressive lobbying by Christian Horner and (being charitable) an unconventional interpretation of the rules left him completely powerless to stop Max being gifted the win. And that's on top of Max not receiving a meaningful penalty for a very questionable move in Sao Paulo.
 

DarloRich

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I wouldn't be surprised, i thought at times last season he didn't look like he was enjoying it anymore even before the last race.
He was fairly focussed in the run up to the final race! to take the battle to the final race showed commitment and desire considering where he was after, say, USA. He was robbed of the title and that will, ultimately, make him come back imo. That and the bunce!
 

LOL The Irony

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In a move befitting of Moe's Tavern or hitachi, Aston Martin have replaced Otmar Szafnauer with former bmw motorsport boss Mike Krack
Aston Martin have appointed former BMW motorsport boss Mike Krack as team principal.

The move is part of the restructuring of Aston Martin as they seek to become one of the leading player in F1.
Krack joins Aston Martin after gaining extensive experience in motorsport management at BMW and Porsche. He has also been an engineer in F1 for Sauber.

The 49-year-old said his new role was "a challenge that I plan to embrace with energy and enthusiasm".


Krack's appointment is in the mould of McLaren's signing of former Porsche motorsport boss Andreas Seidl as team principal three years ago.

Seidl, under whom Krack worked at Porsche and BMW, has been a notable success in restructuring McLaren and returning them to a competitive position.

Martin Whitmarsh, the former McLaren team boss who joined Aston Martin as chief executive officer last year, was instrumental in Krack's appointment.

Whitmarsh said in a statement: "Mike Krack is exactly the right kind of dynamic and modern team principal.

"Having worked in very senior motorsport positions at both BMW and Porsche, backed by an engineering background in Formula 1 with Sauber, Mike possesses a blend of experience and expertise that makes him the ideal choice for us.

"He works well with drivers, having prioritised that aspect of his role at BMW in recent years, and also with engineers, since he speaks their language."

Krack is the latest in a series of major appointments as Aston Martin seek to become one of the main players in F1.
 

LOL The Irony

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So in the past few days;
Lewis came back to social media
Haas revealed their 2022 car
red bull revealed their 2022 car
and Aston Martin revealed their 2022 car.

Interesting to note is Haas and rb have kept the cola bottle rear, whilst Aston have gone with something resembling ground effect cars of old, with long sidepods extending most of their permissible length. Here is the Haas and Aston side by side.
1644533012362.png
 

D365

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So in the past few days;
Lewis came back to social media
Haas revealed their 2022 car
red bull revealed their 2022 car
and Aston Martin revealed their 2022 car.
"Revealed" in the loosest sense of the word.
 

Non Multi

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The Aston Martin is their actual 2022 car. The others were just livery launches on the FOM 2022 generic showcar.
 

Domh245

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The Aston Martin is their actual 2022 car. The others were just livery launches on the FOM 2022 generic showcar.

The Haas was also supposed to be an early iteration of the actual car, it's only Red Bull of the three that have done a showcar launch
 

LOL The Irony

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And here's the McLaren, yet another radical difference in design behind the cockpit. Haas is the same as before with the full coke bottle, Aston have long sidepods with louvres and the coke bottle shape only around the gearbox and exhaust area and McLaren have a square, long tail looking back end.
IMG_20220212_113505.jpg

Alpha Tauri, Alfa Romeo and Williams have revealed their cars today.

The AT had its side profile leaked online by someone assumed to be an employee, before official photos were posted by Pierre Gasly. They have gone down the path of McLaren, with the longtail-esque rear end.
1644956510011.png
1644956660195.png
Alfa posted photos of their test mule camo'd car, which was also filmed doing runs at Fiarano. They have gone down the route Aston have taken, with long vented sidepods, though I think Aston's are longer. (look at the far centre left of the bottom image to see the vents)
1644957128238.png
Williams have gone for the approach of Haas, but with fatter, smoother sidepods and rear bodywork. They also had it doing runs but at Silverstone instead.
1644957380073.png
 
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GB

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Masi removed as race director...


Michael Masi has been removed as F1 race director as part of a restructure at governing body the FIA in the wake of last year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem announced a series of changes as a result of the inquiry into the controversial end to last year's World Championship.
Masi failed to correctly apply the rules in a late safety car period and had a direct impact on the outcome of the title race.

Two men will now alternate in the role, while extra help will be provided to officials.
 

LOL The Irony

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News today:
Masi removed as race director...
Just to add to this, he has been replaced by DTM (exactly what we need, another touring cars race director:rolleyes:) race director Niels Wittich and ACO race director Eduardo Freitas, with both sharing the role in alternating races. First thing to note is that Niels was going to be in a support role to Masi this year anyways. The second thing to note is that all 3 men were involved in final race controversies last season, so it's kind of been a bit embarrassing for the FIA all round. There will also be an off-site team going over decisions, parroting several ball sports. All this will now be supervised by Charlie Whiting's right hand man, Herbie Blash.

Next story is that Alpine have confirmed Otmar Szafnauer as their new Team Principal.
Otmar Szafnauer has joined Alpine as team principal as part of a wider management restructure of the Renault-owned F1 team.

The ex-Aston Martin team boss will bring "technical knowledge and leadership to build the team across multiple areas," chief executive officer Laurent Rossi says.
It sees Alpine return to a traditional organisation after an unusual three-man senior management team last year.

Rossi said the changes were needed.

He added it would "take the team to the next level".

Alpine finished fifth in the championship last year, the third consecutive season in that position for the team that used to be called Renault.

And finally, Ferrari officially revealed the F1-75, it having been leaked yesterday.
1645130646352.png
1645130809045.png
Also, one thing to note is that I posted an image of the showcar in a Williams livery instead of the the actual car, due to them being revealed so close together. Tomorrow, Mercedes will reveal their car.
 

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