Mercedes spend 772m euros on F1, Williams restructure the race team, Where’s Paddy? Firmly at McLaren for now, Jerez Running Order

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Mercedes Finances

Mercedes balance sheet for the year ended 2011 shows they have invested in total, 278m euros. Spending on the AMG F1 team was 144m euros that year spent from Brackley, however Brixworth where the engines are made had a cost explosion. Their 2011 spend was 134m euros, up over 50% on 2010.

This division of Mercedes, has been developing engines for the electric super sports car SLS AMG Electric Drive, the current KERS system and the turbocharged V6 engine for Formula in 2014.

Research and development cost rose from 20m to 60m euros and around 78 new employees were recruited bringing total staff numbers to just under 1000. Salaries paid were 69.2m euros and interestingly, Mercedes in Brixworth made a profit of 5.6m euros compared to Brackley’s loss of 12.2m.

Here are the views of Caroline McGory, MD on the Resource Restriction Agreement. “The RRA provides tensions among the Formula 1 teams. It is increasingly clear that the current monitoring compliance with the TERMS & CONDITIONS are not sufficient to convince anyone that all competitors are abiding by the restrictions. To ensure all teams are on the same level, is one of the biggest challenges for the Formula 1 to deliver.”

Since Mercedes bought Brawn, their total expenditure has been 772m euros. However, a Daimler spokesman commented that after monies received from sponsors and customers like Force India and McLaren, the “Net cash from Daimler for the Formula 1 program is in the double-digit million range . This is less than half the cost in 2005.”

Looking at the numbers, this would suggest the R&D for the new engines may well stand Mercedes 100m euros when 2012’s spend is revealed. Then, if they can get 15m euros per team for the first 2 years (2 customers plus AMG F1) then it will take just over 2 years to pay back the R&D cost.

That doesn’t appear too onerous at all. If the engine specifications don’t change before the end of Concorde in 2020 then an even more generous offer to customers of about 12m euro’s could well be doable. This of course partially binds Mercedes to F1 as an engine supplier for at least 3 more years should they wish to recoup the investment made in the V6 Turbo’s powertrains.

Mrs Judge: has wanted one of these for some time (I know it’s not F1, but it breaks up the text a bit – and looks hot)

Mercedes Launch: A rather low key affair. Lewis and Nico, on the main straight opposite the pits in Jerez merely pulled a black cloth rather sheepishly from the car. Ross and Toto joined them for a short photo opportunity, and that was that. Lauda was nowhere to be seen – probably to do with minority shareholders rights.

Well, I suppose they’re all burned out following the drama and tensions from the past couple of weeks and further, given the performance of the W04’s predecessors thought a heads down show of humility was best.

Ross Brawn has defended the design of the W04 having being criticised by likes of Gary Anderson and other commentators who suggest there’s little new to see, unlike on the McLaren MP4-28. “There are a number of concepts we have looked at, and no doubt when you see all the new cars you revisit some of the concepts, but this car has taken a good step forward in terms of aerodynamic performance.”

“I think there are some innovative things on the car and you probably need to look a bit deeper to see them.

“We are comfortable with the designs and solutions we have come up with; but we will see the first signs in the next few weeks and certainly at Melbourne.”

Toto has chipped in with his pennies worth. It appears – unlike Lauda who managed to deliver a coupe by landing Hamilton – Wolff has given up on recruiting Paddy Lowe in the immediate future.

“It would be foolish to take assumptions now, or take some things as fact. I need some time to meet the people, speak to the people and get an overview, but I think what the teams needs utmost is stability.”

“We are just ahead of a difficult season, a very important season for the team, so let’s keep the ball flat at the moment and see how it develops. All the rumours about new people joining us are not good at this stage, and generally do not help,” said Wolff.

“I think Paddy is very well recognised and is one of the top guys in the paddock, and McLaren and many other top teams will be interested in him – but at this stage we cannot tell you more.” Toto then adds more, saying “He is at McLaren this year and let’s get on with our job and do the best possible in 2013.”

Can you help?

Lewis said today, “This is a new start for me with the team in Brackley but I have worked with Mercedes-Benz for a very long time now, and I learned one thing most of all: Mercedes-Benz doesn’t know how to lose. We are playing a long game here but I know we will have success together and I’m excited to be a big part of making it happen.”

I need a new definition of the verb ‘to lose’.

You have to love Lewis Hamilton. He is just himself and doesn’t care about the 100’s of millions of people who watch and read what he has to say. When asked about the main difference between McLaren and Mercedes he reflected for a moment and blurted out, “Im just happier”.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Jerez, 2013

Hamilton 1st lap in a Mercedes

Williams

The loss of Adam Parr, then his successor Toto Wolffe and now Mark Gillan – the team’s their chief operations engineer just before Christmas – have left Williams off balance despite all the assurances to the contrary. History demonstrates F1 cars not ready for the first pre-season test are problematic further down the line and Williams 2013 version will not be ready before the second tests in Barcelona.

You may be wondering why Williams have deferred the launch of their FW25 and Mike Coughlin, Team Technical Director, explains. “As part of our preparations for the 2013 season, we took the decision to launch our FW35 in Barcelona for a number of reasons. We have already spent a great deal of time rig testing key areas of the new car for reliability, including doing over 3000kms on the gearbox and rear suspension and 7000kms on our 2013 KERS, and we are happy with the results we have seen.

Our cars also passed all mandatory crash tests for 2013 and so were fully FIA homologated earlier this year. Our focus for track testing is to work on developing our aerodynamic package with extra time and resource now being available in the wind tunnel for a further upgraded race package ahead of the Australian GP.

Sounds a little defensive to me.

Today the team have announced a small re-shuffle. Xevi Pujolar, Pastor’s race engineer in 2012 has been promoted to a newly created role chief race engineer. This role will oversee all aspects of race car performance within trackside operations.

Xevi joined the Grove outfit in 2003 and was the voice we heard on pit lane radio – keeping Pastor calm whilst being hounded by Alonso in Barcelona last year. Andrew Murdoch and Jonathan Eddolls will be the Race Engineers for Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas. Andrew has been with the team since 2006 in the role of Performance Engineer and Jonathan joined Williams F1 in 2003 as part of the graduate training programme.

More recently he was Senior Performance Engineer for Bruno Senna’s during the 2012 season. Jonathan was the Race Engineer for Valtteri during his first practice sessions last season, so some continuity for the rookie may well help him settle in to his full time driving role.

Coughlan comments on the re-shuffle. ‘’2013 will be an important year for Williams and I’m pleased to announce a refreshed technical team that has the talent to help move us further up the grid. Xevi has proven himself to be a highly capable and experienced race engineer and his promotion to Chief Race Engineer was a natural progression.

Jonathan and Andrew have been key members of our race operations team for a number of years and this experience will prove valuable as they step up to Race Engineer. We made good progress in 2012 and will be looking to achieve further success in 2013.’’

Bottas gets days 1 and 2 in Jerez with Pastor driving on the third and fourth days.

Jerez Running Order

Team 5th 6th 7th 8th
Red Bull Webber Webber Vettel Vettel
McLaren Button Perez Button Perez
Ferrari Massa Massa Massa De la Rosa
Mercedes Rosberg Hamilton Rosberg Hamilton
Lotus Grosjean Grosjean Raikkonen Raikkonen
Sauber Hulkenberg Hulkenberg Gutierrez Gutierrez
Force India Di Resta Di Resta/Rossiter Rossiter/Di Resta Bianchi
Williams Maldonado Maldonado Bottas Bottas
Torro Rosso Ricciardo Ricciardo Vergne Vergne
Caterham V der Garde V der Garde Pic Pic
Marussia Chilton Chilton TBC TBC

Au Revoir

Gotta dash, catching a flight to get to Jerez. I guess Somers will cover the Torro Rosso launch. I’m not sure what I can post this week, but keep dropping by – the tj13 team are working on new items for you.

I’ll be back in full flow on Monday….

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6 responses to “Mercedes spend 772m euros on F1, Williams restructure the race team, Where’s Paddy? Firmly at McLaren for now, Jerez Running Order

  1. I think the criticism logged at Mercedes is a bit unnecessary, there wasn’t alot they could take away from the 2012 car and everything the Mercedes folks have said has indicated that they want 2014 to be their championship year.

  2. Mercedes Grosjean Raikkonen
    Lotus Rosberg Hamilton

    That’s the biggest news I’ve heard about all day 🙂

  3. “I need a new definition of the verb ‘to lose’.”
    Brilliant…! I was just about to make a similar comment as I saw your own.

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