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Force India tipped for Aston Martin rebranding

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Force India could run with Aston Martin branding and Johnnie Walker sponsorship next year.


Comment of the day

Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2015
How do you rate Tilke’s work on Mexico’s F1 track?
Lots of views yesterday on the revised Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez:

I think the revamp has it upsides and downsides, but I have to say overall I’m a bit negative towards the redesign.

My main complaint is that a lot of character has been lost: the old lay-out had a lot of medium-radius corners, for instance turns one to three and four to six used to be more open – same goes for the esses. The majority of corners on the new circuit are small-radius turns, a Tilke trademark when redesigning tracks. For some corner I can understand, but for instance why did turns five and seven had to be so tight?

Another thing I don’t like are the Esses. I understand that they had to change them due to FIA’s run-off area requirements, but it has completely ruined the flow of that section. The biggest mistake, in my opinion, was making the first turn of the Esses (turn seven) so slow, because it makes turns eight and nine feel flat. Also, I think the straight between turns nine and ten is too long, it pretty much breaks the Esses section up into two generic chicanes. It’s really a shame, because I think the combination of a slippery track, relatively low downforce and a flowing section could have been epic.

Some positives though: I wasn’t sure about the final corners, but it’s much better than I thought. Drivers seem to take a very late apex at turn 13 (the hairpin), which should leave the door open for some Kobayashi-like overtakes. That entire stadium section feels a bit odd, it’s definitely unique which I quite like.

So yeah, some positives, but in general I think the new circuit feels a bit flat.

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Keith Collantine
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  • 54 comments on “Force India tipped for Aston Martin rebranding”

    1. My my. Another torpedo slams into the McLaren hull?

      1. @meander If Force India don’t already have the record for ‘most alcohol sponsors on a racing car’, this is surely going to clinch it.

        1. maarten.f1 (@)
          31st October 2015, 1:06

          Makes you wonder what the car will look like in the Middle East…

          1. Speaking of that…why was Checo’s firesuit so barren on the podium in Russia?? Why we’re the Smirnoff and kingfisher logos removed?

            1. There are some laws banning alcohol advertising in Russia. You can still drink it, but it cannot be advertised so those logos were not present.

        2. Great move for Force India if it happens. I always imagine what they could do with a proper budget; what they achieve(d) with their modest budget is amazing, year in, year out. Look where they are this season and they used the launch spec car almost until the summer break without any upgrades at all.

          The only shame is that British Racing Green won’t be used, but it’s a business more than a sport. Personally Blue and Gold doesn’t make me think of Johnny Walker anyway, so perhaps this will change that.

      2. @meander, and it is an entirely self inflicted wound as well thanks to Ron Dennis’s arrogance – Johnnie Walker offered to provide McLaren with £35 million a year in return for being the title sponsor, but Ron Dennis dismissed the deal out of hand as undervaluing the McLaren brand.

        1. Exactly!

    2. Force India to become Aston Martin? Blue and gold colours? Excellent news!

      Bad luck for McLaren.

    3. Anyone fancy doing a quick render of the to-be Aston Martin livery!? ;)

    4. I agree about the Mexican circuit. More of those medium-speed corners please. Turns 1-3 and 4-6 used to be much more open. Plus, although in theory tighter corners mean longer braking zones and potentially more overtaking, I think slightly more open corners lead to other benefits for overtaking. For example, it’s easier to go around the outside and they give higher speeds onto the next straight (so longer braking zone for next corner). Look at Spa for example – through Les Combes and the sequence of turns after Pouhon. Another example is at the end of the Wellington Straight through Brooklands and Luffield, and also through Stowe at the end of the Hangar Straight.

      1. @vmaxmuffin, I was under the impression that Les Combes was classified as a low speed corner, rather than a medium speed corner; similarly, Luffield is closer to the classification for a low speed corner than a medium speed corner.

      2. This circuit is bleeech. Maybe if they had proper tyres with grip it would ok, certainly no worse than Sochi or the Hungaroring, but as it is this looks to be a very processional race coming.

        Love the crowd’s enthusiasm though! That’s how a GP should look!

    5. Seeing some photos of floods at COTA today. There are a few here.

    6. Really gutted that there’s another chapter added to Manor’s saga. You’d imagine that with Mercedes engines for 2016 and after a miracle of a recovery, things would be looking alright. But with two key men leaving the team, I can’t help but worry. F1 teams tend to collapse over time once their roots are gone, just look at Minardi, Lotus, Brabham or Arrows. I hope to be wrong, but what will become of Manor without those two guys who were at the team since the beginning?

      1. @npf1 may I suggest some counterexamples of teams having success beyond the departure of their founders: McLaren, Ferrari, Stewart and Jordan.

        1. @jerseyf1 That’s why I used the phrase ‘roots’ over founders; Ferrari is still linked to the car manufacturer, McLaren has had a very solid base after Bruce McLaren. With Stewart and Tyrrell, it’s hard to say, since they were taken over and transformed far beyond their older teams. Effectively Tyrrell was still disbanded one season after Ken Tyrrell sold it, since BAR only bought their license and shut down the Tyrrell factory. Stewart and Minardi were very different teams from what now are Red Bull and Toro Rosso.

          Jordan has been an odd case of bad luck turning to good. I don’t think there has been another team that started out so great, was sold to a shady bunch (which ran as Jordan in 2005, as Midland in 2006), then another shady bunch (Spyker in late 2006 and 2007) only to be sold again, but to owners who actually made something of the team. Still, they remained in the factory where Jordan was located and apart from owners/team bosses typically had stable employment.

          With the teams I mentioned in my original post, often the bases were moved around, ownership, etc. Once stability is lost and results start to go south, teams tend to disappear. Manor hasn’t had that many great results to start with, which makes me fear it’ll end up going as soon as HRT, Caterham, Arrows or Prost.

          1. @npf1

            I don’t think there has been another team that started out so great, was sold to a shady bunch

            Jaguar turned a decent Stewart team in to a play mobile outfit. They were bad and got much worse before the Red Bull buyout.

            1. @npf1

              Effectively Tyrrell was still disbanded one season after Ken Tyrrell sold it…

              If memory serves, didn’t Ken stand down before Tyrrell’s final season as Tyrrell because the BAR folk (who had already bought the team) signed a well sponsored Ricardo Rossett?

              I might be mistaken, but I remember Rosset being a bit rubbish.

            2. @andybantam

              Jaguar turned a decent Stewart team in to a play mobile outfit. They were bad and got much worse before the Red Bull buyout.

              Fair enough, Ford were reputable owners but their ran a promising team in the ground. Was never a Stewart or Red Bull fan, but it seems Jaguar has actually fallen to ‘forgettable’ status for me. I’m surprised nobody warned against Lauda’s involvement at Mercedes AMG after his time as Jaguar team boss. The low point of his tenure had to be his test which was basically out of spite for modern F1 drivers.

              If memory serves, didn’t Ken stand down before Tyrrell’s final season as Tyrrell because the BAR folk (who had already bought the team) signed a well sponsored Ricardo Rossett?

              The story, as I’ve read it (I became an F1 fan in 1998 but being 7 at the time means I don’t remember much paddock talk) was that Ken wanted to keep Jos Verstappen for 1998 and had promised sponsor PIAA to give Takagi a race seat. BAR honoured Takagi’s deal, but signed Rosset on top of announcing to Tyrrell they’d not be investing anything in their final season. This link cynically mentions it could have been an easy cop out as well, regardless it underlines that BAR only went after the license and basically forced a few dozen people out of a job by the end of 1998.

            3. @npf1

              Ahhh, that makes sense.

              I remember Rosset spinning at Monaco once. He tried to doughnut his car around to face the right direction so he could continue but he managed to lose control and jam his car between to advertising boards. The gap was only just big enough. I’ll never know how he managed to do it. Unfortunately for him, it was kind of hilarious, in an awkward way.

    7. So happy for Force India…. Hoping they fight for the championship someday. They are doing very well currently with such low resources already. With more resources, one can only imagine where FI might be in future. They already have have the drivers to do so. With FI too in the top mix perhaps, the races would become much more exiting and intriguing.

      Also exited about the new livery. Just hope that they retain the Indian flag colors smh and is not totally removed.

      1. @square-route I always wanted to see a blue Force India, its the sports team colour of India, but i agree, hopefully Mallya retains some of that orange and green. But them fighting for championship ain’t realistic, eg williams. they are good but not good enough to be constructors champions, cause you need to be a works team.

        1. Toto Wolff clearly thinks a non-works Red Bull team with Mercedes engines could be constructors champions.

          1. No, he clearly doesn’t.

          2. Ron Denis clearly thinks a non-works Red Bull team with Honda engines could be constructors champions.

      2. As I understand it Diaego is keen to lose all reference of Mallya with the team, so its likely that with the rebranding the colours are going out together with the team name @square-route, @illusive, together with Mallya himself likely not being active within the team anymore.

        1. @bascbbascb Vijay has already said that he is not going anywhere.

          1. yeah, well he would, wouldn’t he @sushant008. Thing is, he might not have much choice. Afterall he his more or les broke, his companies are in trouble with Diaego and he might have to concede the team to them to get ouf of trouble.

            Sure, he will probably keep his stake in the team (but what about Sahara’s stake? He is unlikely to be going to be able to invest now, is he?), and yes, the team will stay with its India registration. But apart from that it looks like other things that remind too much of both Sahara and Mallya might well disappear soon.

        2. Also he noted that it’s not a ownership change. Team will remain Indian. It’s just a partnership and a new title sponsor.

          1. FI is not Indian , its a british team with an indian owner

            1. @royalz LOL In the same way that Merc is a british team with a german owner or red bull is a british team with an austrian owner. FIA entry list clearly says it’s an Indian team. Get over it.

            2. Exactly. Only Sauber, Toro Rosso and Ferrari aren’t actually British.

            3. @sushant008 my bad, i thought it was based on where the HQ is.
              What will happen to the FI academy?

    8. @keithcollantine If the deal goes through, will it mean that the name ‘Force India’ would be changed? Wouldn’t like that though.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        31st October 2015, 10:10

        in the linked article:

        Force India will have to apply to Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One’s commercial rights holder, to have the change in name approved.

        One can only wonder what Bernie wants in return from the team that denounced him to the EU.

        1. @coldfly If Ecclestone were to block it, would that not be further evidence of F1 abusing its dominant position as per the EU complaint?

    9. COTD is bang on, there were a lot of unnecessary things which I fear were done for the sake of changing it all. But the stadium section is brilliant, it’s unique, and even has the podium overlooking it, so no complaints about that.

    10. I don’t really trust Daily Mail to come up with something that’s not somewhat out of context, but I do feel that latest Hamilton quote rather arrogant.

    11. USA onboard:
      Hamilton asking about grip at the start
      Does vettel gain an advantage by going off track at turn 1?

      1. Hamilton asking about grip at the start

        As per the transcript.

    12. That daily mail article is unreadable:

      But it was his Hamilton evoked in explaining how hard it is for Nico Rosberg, his vanquished Mercedes team-mate, to beat him

      I’m pretty sure that sentence doesn’t make sense. You then skip past a few photo’s and land on a quote that makes even less sense without knowing what question Hamilton was asked to give it as an answer.

      1. @philipgb That’s Daily Mail for you. Honestly “journalism” and especially internet ones nowadays really just want to stir things up. They love to put random quote without the context and some like Daily Mail even put lot of large pictures between sentences or paragraph that I really believe it was to distract the reader from seeing the big picture (which make whatever quote they write after those images much less provoking).

        1. some like Daily Mail even put lot of large pictures between sentences or paragraph that I really believe it was to distract the reader from seeing the big picture

          So… they’re using big pictures to hide the big picture? :)

    13. Pretty great news about Force India and Aston Martin. With a limited budget Force India are fighting with the top dogs and this will surely cement their place in top 5, if they had b-spec car from beginning I imagine they would be in p4 in constructors. With such endless negative press about our beloved sport it is great to hear a brand wants to join the show.

      1. @broke84, I am sure that Force India are hoping that Aston Martin stick to just sponsoring the chassis (as they did with the Lola chassis in sportscar racing) and don’t get involved in the design (as they did with the AMR-One, which was a total disaster from start to end).

    14. I’m a bit worried about Manor. Their new owners aren’t portrayed in the best light in that Motorsport article. They don’t seem like they’ll be around in the long-term. Booth was Manor, and in their short history he was able to lead the team through the initial transition into F1, the Virgin then Marussia era, the Bianchi tragedy plus the financial issues.

      The only way that team survives is if they have committed owners, not ones with an eye to profit out of it in a few years. Ecclestone is 2/3s right when he was disparaging about the new teams. Manor can prove them wrong but only if the current owners are serious about being a mid-grid team, not as something they’re gonna flip to the next best offer.

    15. Ecclestone is understood to have little sympathy for Manor. He’s always been very wary of team owners who are happy to “coast and collect”

      Unfortunately the same can’t be said of FOM owners.

    16. Should Alfa Romeo sponsor a team with Ferrari engine?

    17. Hope it is just a rebrand, and a bigger injection of cash, but not much in the means of changing how the team is managed. They’ve have always had a way with maximizing their resources and approaching the season as a whole – start with a conservative base, work on reliability in the first half of the season, and then on performance in the second half, which is where they always seem to break ahead of the midfield, consistently bagging top ten finishes.

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