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Home > Features > Reporters – Review 2018 – Part Two (30/12/2018)

Reporters – Review 2018 – Part Two (30/12/2018)

In a special edition of Reporters this week, we are looking back at the last six months 2018 bring you the biggest and best stories from that time of year.

June – Keke Rosberg has been silence from the press for the last decade while his son Nico raced in Formula One. But following his title win and retirement why has Keke broken the self-imposed exile?

Keke Rosberg explains why he hid from media

Keke Rosberg has said he avoided the media during his son’s Nico’s Formula One career. The former world champion retreated from the press in 2010 and gave his first major interview following his son’s title win in 2016.

At the Monaco Grand Prix, Keke and Nico took part in a joint demo, which was posted on YouTube. In an interview, he said “I am! I’ve withdrawn completely out of the public eye since 2010, really. I know it was the right decision.

“It mainly came because active drivers were very difficult to get. So, [journalists say] ‘dad’s there, he’s got nothing to do, let’s ask him’.”

“I found myself being in the public eye much more than I should have been on my own merit, only to comment about him. I said ‘No, no, I can’t continue with this’.”

Keke says he followed his son from home, but it was not the first time he backed away from Nico’s career.

He said the focus when Nico was racing karts was “spending weekends with your boy and letting him go as far as your wings carry you” but guided his early career “as a father”.

 

August – Stoffel Vandoorne’s poor season has led to questions about his form and his results. Ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso moved to support his teammate. But why does he believe he belongs in F1?

Alonso gives backing to Vandoorne

Fernando Alonso has given his support to his McLaren teammate Stoffel Vandoorne amid his difficulties. The Belgian goes into this weekends Hungarian Grand Prix, with the team unable to resolve the issues with hamper him at Silverstone and Hockenheim.

Despite Vandoorne being a serial title winner in junior series and being in his second full season in F1, he is the only driver on the grid yet to out-qualify his team-mate this year after 11 rounds and scored his last points at the Azerbaijan GP in April.

However, two-time champion says that the former GP2 champion has already proved that he belongs in F1, and says Vandoorne will be closer when the team get to the bottom of the issues affecting his car. He told Sky Sports, “I don’t think it [Vandoorne’s reputation] is going down, the car is what it is.”

“In Silverstone, it was the same case, the car is underperforming. We as a team are trying to find the problem and to have both cars in the same condition and the same performance.”

“He’s shown his talent already. No need to prove [anything]. Being champion in every single series before Formula 1 and he arrives now in a difficult car with some difficulties last year and this year as well.” Alonso believes that when McLaren get on top of those issues that Vandoorne can deliver a normal performance.

Alonso has out qualified Vandoorne at sixteen consecutive races stretching back to Malaysia last September, but the Belgian’s average 2018 qualifying deficit to the two-time world champion had been a respectable 0.236 seconds.

But that gap grew to nine-tenths at Silverstone, which CEO Zak Brown has described as “unusual”.

Alonso believes that Vandoorne has generally proved closer to him on pace than a lot of his past team-mates – citing Kimi Raikkonen as a particular example.

 

August –  Force India was sold to a consortium led by Lance Stroll’s father brought the team. But who is the Canadian billionaire and his fellow investors?

Who are the consortium who brought Force India?

Lawrence Stroll is the main investor, the Canadian billionaire made his money by investing in high end fashion like Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfinger. Stroll also owns Circuit Mont-Tremblant near Montréal, and is the father of Williams driver Lance. But questions remain, like e has bought the team purely to further the career of son Lance, rather than as a practical business investment.

Andre Desmarais’s family is the seventh wealthiest family in Canada, and his gather set up Power Corporation. It is known for its strong political links, Andre’s wife France is the daughter of Jean Chretien, former Prime Minister of Canada from 1993 to 2003.

Jonathan Dudman is the head of Monaco Sports and Management, a company that describes itself as “a management advisory firm that typically serves high-net-worth clients and their families.”

John Idol has been a COO of Ralph Lauren, however joined Donna Karan as CEO in 1997, COO. He left after a merger with LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton in 2001.

He then became a co-owner and CEO of fashion brand Michael Kors since 2003. Among his high profile moves was the acquisition of shoe brand Jimmy Choo. In 2016-’17 Michael Kors was a sponsor of McLaren.

John McCaw Jr is one of the sons of the McCaw Cellular which was sold to AT&T for £12bn in 1994. His brother Bruce, owned the PacWest Champ Car team.

Michael de Picciotto was previously the  senior managing director of Geneva-based Union Bancaire Privée, founded by his uncle Edgar. He left that role in 2016 to become vice chairman of the supervisory board of Hamburg-based Engel & Völkers.

Silas Chou family made their wealth from textiles in Hong Kong, and has been a close associate of Stroll for three decades. Together they built Tommy Hilfiger into a global brand.

 

September – F1 could be banned! Not the statement you would expect from the FIA president Jean Todt. Todt believes that if F1 was a new sport it would be banned because of recent accidents at Spa and Monza, but why?

F1 would be banned if incidents were fatal – Todt

FIA president Jean Todt claims that Formula One would risk being banned if recent accidents saw drivers be seriously injured or killed.

The last to Grand Prix weekends have saw two big accidents, at Spa Charles Leclerc’s halo deflect a flying wheel during the first corner crash. While in practice at Monza, Marcus Ericsson suffered a high speed barrel role in practice and in 2016, Fernando Alonso crashed in Melbourne forcing him to miss the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Todt knows that its vital drivers are able to walk away from such incidents unhurt. Although injuries and fatalities were an accepted part of F1 decades ago, Todt said the world has changed in such a way that any run of problems nowadays could have terrible consequences for motor racing.

He says in the future there should be no hesitation to introduce safety improvements. The Frenchman told Autosport “If you see Alonso’s crash in 2016, if you see Ericsson on Friday, you should spend some time and realise how amazing it has become and the progress that has been done. It is not taken for granted.”

“A few decades back, after [crashes like] that, drivers would not be there. It would be a big pain, because what was acceptable 40 years ago would not be acceptable now. And it could maybe mean that motor racing would be banned.”

Todt was a huge supporter of the halo which was criticised by drivers when it was introduced at the start of the year. Speaking about that, he said “maybe it changed a little bit the design of the car. But honestly I love racing, I love F1. I am not in shock when I see a car with the halo.”

 

October – Hired, fired, hired, fired and hired, that’s how you could describe Daniil Kvyat’s career. The Russian has been given another chance with Toro Rosso?

Kvyat a “more mature” driver – Marko

Red Bull say that Daniil Kvyat who was dropped by Red Bull in May 2016 and by Toro Rosso last October, deserves another chance in F1 because he has changed and is “more mature”, according to motorsport advisor Helmut Marko.

The Russian who first joined Toro Rosso in 2014 earned himself a seat with Red Bull in 2015. However, following a disappointing 2017, he was dropped entirely from the Red Bull program this time last year.  Now, Marko believes that after a year with Ferrari, Kvyat is a more mature personality.

The Austrian told Sky Sports, “Daniil changed – he is a far more mature personality. He was working with a different team so he saw the whole atmosphere, working programme, and he also found out how difficult it is to get a Formula 1 seat.”

“We give him a third chance because we always believed he was very fast, but his mental problems, we think he has solved. He is a far more mature driver and I’m sure we will see some very positive races from him.”

Marko says that Kvyat went to Ferrari and believed there was a chance to drive for the team, but realised there wasn’t and that’s when the talks restarted with Red Bull.

Kvyat is also happy to be back in the fold saying that “we are grown up enough to be able to turn the page and have a fresh start. I do feel you always change through your life. This year has been a bit different for me, it’s been a year away from racing but yet it was a very important year.”

Kvyat made his debut in 2014 before being promoted to Red Bull, he outscored his teammate Daniel Ricciardo. His disastrous start to 2016, where he collided with Vettel twice, saw him be demoted in favour of Max Verstappen.

He was finally dropped entirely by Red Bull after last years Japanese Grand Prix.

 

October – Hired, fired, hired, fired and hired, that’s how you could describe Daniil Kvyat’s career. The Russian has been given another chance with Toro Rosso in 2019?

Kvyat a “more mature” driver – Marko

Red Bull say that Daniil Kvyat who was dropped by Red Bull in May 2016 and by Toro Rosso last October, deserves another chance in F1 because he has changed and is “more mature”, according to motorsport advisor Helmut Marko.

The Russian who first joined Toro Rosso in 2014 earned himself a seat with Red Bull in 2015. However, following a disappointing 2017, he was dropped entirely from the Red Bull program this time last year.  Now, Marko believes that after a year with Ferrari, Kvyat is a more mature personality.

The Austrian told Sky Sports, “Daniil changed – he is a far more mature personality. He was working with a different team so he saw the whole atmosphere, working programme, and he also found out how difficult it is to get a Formula 1 seat.”

“We give him a third chance because we always believed he was very fast, but his mental problems, we think he has solved. He is a far more mature driver and I’m sure we will see some very positive races from him.”

Marko says that Kvyat went to Ferrari and believed there was a chance to drive for the team, but realised there wasn’t and that’s when the talks restarted with Red Bull.

Kvyat is also happy to be back in the fold saying that “we are grown up enough to be able to turn the page and have a fresh start. I do feel you always change through your life. This year has been a bit different for me, it’s been a year away from racing but yet it was a very important year.”

Kvyat made his debut in 2014 before being promoted to Red Bull, he outscored his teammate Daniel Ricciardo. His disastrous start to 2016, where he collided with Vettel twice, saw him be demoted in favour of Max Verstappen.

He was finally dropped entirely by Red Bull after last years Japanese Grand Prix.

 

November – What was making the “Neowww” noises at the US Grand Prix? The question may have been answered….

“Neowww” man identified

The man who made the “Neowww” noises during the United States Grand Prix has been identified. During the race a man was heard making several “Neowww” noises, mimicking the sound of Formula One cars passing by at speed.

The moment went viral after the race, with some commentators on various TV channels taking the footage stopping to reference the strange sounds.

A video by a Twitter user Luis Baeza (lbaeza06) tweeting a selfie video taken during the race. The man in it gleefully stands next to an effects microphone placed at the top of the Circuit of the Americas landmark tower and makes the impressions, stopping only to laugh about his antics.

What is unclear, whether the Twitter user is the man in the video, which was posted online on Thursday. Formula One then got in on the act themselves, putting the two moments together to show how it unfolded in real time.

 

November – “Is that Glock? Is that Glock?” one of the defining lines in F1 history and in Timo Glock’s career. But a decade on from that race Lewis Hamilton is a five time champion, and that mistake at Interlagos was just the start. What does it mean for Glock?

Glock repeatedly asked about Interlagos in 2008

He didn’t win or stand on the podium, but the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix for Timo Glock became a defining moment in his career. Interlagos was the place where Lewis Hamilton stole the championship from Felipe Massa by a point.

Over those last three laps the rain intensified and Glock started to struggle, eventually being caught by both drivers at the final corner, albeit after Massa had crossed the line as race winner and temporarily as world champion. Although it was a strategy call that ultimately gained Toyota two places.

Speaking to ESPN a decade on, the German said “There were a couple of journalists who were very aggressive, especially from the Italian side, pointing fingers at me and saying I had done this on purpose and it must have been planned before the race, ‘how much did Mercedes [McLaren’s engine supplier] and Lewis pay you’.”

Glock says that he never expected to be in that position and that his only in a position to influence the championship because Toyota went a different way to everyone else on strategy.

Anyone wanting to have helped Hamilton win the championship would have stopped for ‘intermediates’ like everyone else and stayed outside of the top five, leaving the Englishman a stress-free drive to the flag regardless of whether Vettel passed him or not.

Glock said since FOM released the full video on social media, the annual “What happened” question has died down. Answering that question, he said “you can see how much I struggled on the last lap.”

He says that the video should have been made available sooner and that “helped people understand there was no tactic behind it and that it was just a battle to keep it on the race track.”

 

November – Punchgate was one of the talking points after Brazil, the altercation between Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon continued to be talked about in Abu Dhabi. But why does Sebastian Vettel believe emotional rollercoaster of a grand prix makes it hard to judge?

Emotions hard to judge after races – Vettel

Sebastian Vettel believes that it is hard for non-racing drivers to judge the emotional rollercoaster of a grand prix weekends following the off-track altercation between Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon after the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Verstappen tracked down Ocon after the race and repeatedly shoved him in the chest before storming off. The incident was investigated by the stewards of the race and Verstappen was given a penalty of “public service”.

Asked by ESPN, Vettel initially said “I mean, I have an opinion and I’m not sure I should say what I think. I think in the end it’s very simple.”

“I think we have emotions, we are human beings and emotions go both ways. They go full of joy when something good happens and you’re happy and they probably swing the other way if you’re not happy or upset.

Vettel was the subject of an FIA investigation last year after he drove his Ferrari into the side of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes under a Safety Car in Baku.

Pushed to give his opinion on the events in Brazil, he said it is hard for those who do not race to understand the emotions at play during and after a race. Vettel says that the drivers are only human and they are full of joy when it goes right and in the other way if you’re not happy or upset.

He added, “There’s a lot at stake and I think that explains the emotions and, as I said, I think emotions are a part of sports I think they will always be.”

 

December – Dressgate, now Slumgate, Lewis Hamilton words and actions away from the sport has caused controversy. The latest involved his home town of Stevenage which he caused a slum at BBC Sport Personality, so why has he apologised?

Hamilton apologies for calling home a slum

Lewis Hamilton has apologised to the residents of his hometown of Stevenage a slum at BBC Sports Personality of the year.

Speaking on Sunday, where he finished second in a public vote, behind Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas, he said “It really was a dream for us all as a family to do something different. For us to get out of the slums. Well, not the slums, but to get out of somewhere and do something. We all set our goals very, very high but we did it as a team.”

The remark sparked a backlash and prompted the leader of Stevenage Borough Council to say it was “disappointing” and that people felt “very offended”.

In a post on Instagram addressed to the people of Stevenage, he said “I’m super-proud of where I’ve come from and I hope that you know that I represent in the best way that I can always and nobody’s perfect,” he said.

“I definitely make mistakes quite often and particularly when you’re up in front of a crowd trying to find the right words to express the long journey that you’ve had in life. I chose the wrong words.

“But I didn’t mean anything by it and those of you who know me know that I always mean love so God bless you. Have a great day.”

Hamilton had faced controversy earlier this year, after a post where he filming himself saying: ‘I’m so sad right now…look at my nephew.’ Lewis then turned the camera on his nephew, who looked over the moon waving a wand and wearing a purple and pink dress with a tulle skirt.

Hamilton later took down the post and tweeted an apology, however, he was criticised further after he liked replies which said there was no need to apologise and give into the “PC brigade.”

 

And that’s all from Reporters for this week, we wish you all a very happy new year, goodbye

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Jack Fielding
Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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