VW Chief and Red Bull ally – Martin Winterkorn – resigns
On Wednesday Sept 23rd the VW Board of Directors met. The only item on the agenda was the story that broke last Friday and is now being referred to as “Diesel-gate.”
The revelations of VW’s epic deception has sent automotive related companies share prices into decline and even entire market indexes have been affected negatively.
VW’s share price has now fallen by almost 35% since the markets opened on Monday, wiping a whopping €24bn off the company valuation. Until yesterdays meeting, Winterkorn had stood his ground, apologising for the incident, but refusing to step down as head of the company.
That changed at the VW Board meeting yesterday. Winterkorn was in fact made the sacrificial lamb for VW’s sins and is expected to be replaced by the Porsche CEO – Matthias Müller.
Under the previous tenure of CEO Ferdinand Piëch, there was never a chance of Audi or any other of the VW brands joining Formula One due to a mutual hatred between Piëch and Bernie Ecclestone.
Earlier this year, Winterkorn ousted Piëch and the F1 media believed Audi would now be joining F1. Winterkorn is known to have a good personal relationship with Dietrich Mateschitz, and was the likely force driving any future partnership proposals between Red Bull racing and VW.
The Porsche family have been cool on the idea of a return to Formula One, and the new CEO of VW is unlikely to see F1 as a must for the VW group to be involved with.
Toto Wolf, Conspiracy Theorist.
Pirelli has taken a lot of heat in the weeks since the Belgian GP.Sebastian Vettel’s tirade of abuse towards the F1 tyre supplier following the deflation of his tyre towards the end of the race opened the floodgates for criticism of Pirelli.
Since then, new tyre pressure regulations have come into force, followed by their ‘reinterpretations’ due to a cockup by the FIA. Pirelli have also been canonised by Pope Bernie the first, and presented the as the best thing for F1 since Jackie Stewart.
This week saw the Mercedes cars stumble for the first time this season, and it is no surprise that now it is Mercedes turn to blame the F1 tyre manufacturer for ruining everything.
Toto Wolf explains why his cars were light years behind the Ferrari’s the Red Bulls in Singapore.
“For a moment I thought ‘Have Pirelli given us a different tyre to the others?’ I’m not saying that it happened, just that I thought it.”
The Wolff should consider a post F1 career in USA politics, this kind of assumptive reasoning would fit well with the tea party.
I’m not saying that Toto is an alien that eats babies, just that it occurred to me – that he could be.
All kidding aside, this should not even be possible if things were run correctly. All teams should draw lots for the tyre they will use. It should be a completely random process as to who gets which set of tires, after all they are all supposed to be identical.
Jenson Button Helmet on Ebay
The speculation train, on the future of Jenson Button’s career left the station weeks ago, and we here at the TJ13 towers were one of the first to blow the whistle. It is expected by most in the paddock that Jenson will announce his retirement some time this weekend in Suzuka.
And, if you are a Button fan, there is a piece of his history up for sale this week on Ebay.
Jenson is offering one of his race helmets for sale as part of the benefit for Justin Wilson’s Children’s Fund, through the Graham Rahal Foundation.
According to his twitter this will be the only 2015 helmet made available to the public. If you are a Jenson fan, this will probably be your only chance to get a real racing helmet, but due to the fact Jenson will be announcing his retirement this weekend, and the helmets auction ends on Monday, expect the price, which currently sits at just over $30,000, to rise significantly.
Jenson Button wore this helmet while driving a McLAREN Honda MP4-30 in the following races.
• 2015 Spanish Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
• 2015 Spanish Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
• 2015 Spanish Grand Prix – Qualifying
• 2015 Canadian Grand Prix – Race
• 2015 Austrian Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
• 2015 Austrian Grand Prix – Qualifying
• 2015 Italian Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
Perez stated, “I am very happy to confirm that I will be staying with Sahara Force India. It means I can simply focus on the important stuff – driving the car and scoring points for the team”.
Perez had a troubled season and joined the Silverstone team in 2014 and the Mexican reflects: “Since coming here I’ve really grown as a driver and I feel I’m performing at my best. I’ve always said I want to establish myself in a team and it’s the right moment to announce my commitment for the future with Sahara Force India.
“I can feel the potential in the team and there is a good energy, which gives me confidence for next year. I think we can continue to deliver strong results and I will do my best to help drive the team forward.”
Vijay Mallya is of course delighted that the Perez millions are not about to leave his team and he praises Sergio’s contributions over the past two seasons.
“I’m very happy Sergio has committed his future to Sahara Force India,” he said. “He’s done a fantastic job for us already and when we give him a competitive car we know he can get the job done.
“He’s also got a great attitude and never gives up – it’s that fighting spirit which fits well with this team. You only have to look at his results in the last three races to see that he is performing at the top of his game.
“It’s an exciting time for Sergio, especially with the upcoming race in Mexico next month, and with our close connections to the country I’m sure it will be a highlight for everybody in the team.”
This means the substantive driver market is relatively simple to analysis. Romain Grosjean is most likely set to join Haas F1 and replace Kimi at Ferrari in 2017.