Renault to reveal 2017 F1 car today

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Renault will become the third team to reveal its car for the 2017 F1 season. Their new chassis is set to appear at 2:30pm UK time today.

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The Sauber C36 looks good in many respects, except perhaps one.

It’s a tragic sight really, the lack of sponsors. Remember even 15 years ago the flotsam down the pack would still be liveried up and have sponsors everywhere. Can you imagine a midfield no-hoper like Arrows getting (beautiful) corporate sponsorship from the likes of Orange or Jordan having such a long partnership with a major tobacco company these days?

Maybe they were right when they said coming off F1’s tobacco addiction might kill it.
Chris Bradshaw (@Bradders1011)

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On this day in F1

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Keith Collantine
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37 comments on “Renault to reveal 2017 F1 car today”

  1. Regarding @Bradders1011 COTD….

    When tobacco sponsorship was 1st been phased out it was hoped/expected that the void would be filled by things like tech companies, internet businesses, telecommunications & banking/finance sectors.
    When you started seeing the likes of Orange, HP, IBM, HSBC, RBS etc.. enter the sport in the early/mid-2000’s it seemed like that belief was proving to be correct.

    However the tech companies initially tied themselves to manufacturer’s & later withdrew whil ethe finance/banking companies all withdrew after the 2008 financial crisis which also took a lot of the smaller sponsorship away as everyone looked to save money & save there businesses rather than ‘waste’ big chunks of it on sponsorship.
    At the same time the rising budgets of F1 through the 2000s saw teams going after bigger sponsorship deals as well as many of the top teams getting into partnerships with manufacturer’s that brought sponsorship deals with them (See how BMW affected Williams & Sauber when they left each team).

    F1 & MotorSport in general was massively reliant on Tobacco sponsorship as the tobacco companies were really the only companies that had the money & the will to invest in the sport. Other companies & sectors see sponsorship as short term investments to get a fast boost of interest & awareness of there brand & when they achieve that to a level there satisfied with them pull back. The tobacco companies always saw the sport as a long term investment & were always willing to throw a lot of cash at it from top to bottom.
    They didn’t just invest in F1, They invested in young drivers & programs similar to what Red Bull have now by finding/backing kids in lower formulas & backing them upto the big leagues.

    1. You can’t simply blame the current lack of interest in F1 on the legal restrictions on tobacco advertising. F1 has, since the early 2000s, progressively introduced a very strict policy of discouraging a large audience around the world. It wants a small, restricted audience in each country, which has gradually but successfully discouraged the multinational corporate interest.
      To add to this F1 has also been very selective of which teams it shows in its TV coverage. The teams which get the most money in the TV rights payout happen to also be the ones with the best coverage, while those that are cheapest to pay for being present on the race track are also those with the worst coverage. Midfield and back of the grid teams would have found it especially difficult to get corporate sponsorship because it was very common to be unaware their cars were actually partaking in a race. The lack of corporate logos being displayed at the launch of this season’s Sauber and Williams cars are good examples of how successful F1 has been in discouraging multinational sponsorship.
      It will be interesting to see what changes Liberty Media has in mind for F1 races.

      1. Snooker was heavily involved in Tobacco sponsorship but seems to have been replaced with Betting companies. Wonder why betting companies are not interested in F1 or pay day loans as most people need a pay day loan to attend an F1 weekend.

        1. The prize money in snooker is still lower than in the days of tobacco sponsorship, and it’s only the huge new market that’s opened up in China that’s keeping the sport going as a serious professional sport.
          They’ve had to do a complete rethink on the way the sport is organised, including the introduction of the new Champions League, to prevent it from collapsing, with players having to travel the world to earn less than what they used to earn from competing in a few big tournaments each year.

    2. What I find a bit strainge is, why arent consumer goods from companies like procter and gamble, ahold or ikea more heavily involved? F1 has the biggest reach after soccer and the olympics with 400m viewers. Is the demographic to much 35-60 males? Or is it that brands don’t want to associate themselves with what they see as ‘polution’ and ‘waiste’ in this day and age? Or is it something else?

      1. I would go for pollution and waist @jeffreyj

        I took a look at other Motosports (wrc, moto gp and wec), and the types of companies that sponsor those categories are more and less the same as the ones in formula. And they have one thing in common, their product isn’t the best for their consumer or for the environment.

        We are talking of energy/alcohol beverages companies (which there are hundreds it seems, as anyone seen a can of Leopard?) and petrol companies. So basically sugary drinks (and sugar has been considered one of the worst things in the human diet), alcohol and one of the main factors that contributes to pollute our planet, petrol!

        You can have some telecommunications companies, such as Vodafone (even though it is becoming harder to find Vodafone sponsorship, I only saw the Vodafone rally of Portugal), Movistar, Sky, etc. Which I assume are there because they are the companies broadcasting those events.

        After these you have the usual car parts manufacturers like DENSO for the toyota wec project or bosch.

        It is also common to see Abu Dabhi written on the flanks of citroen wrc cars, don’t know if that is to promote tourism maybe??

        Then of course you have smaller consumer goods companies, but because their product isn’t related to the sport the ones that I saw as main sponsor choose categories that do not demand as much money as F1, and that is of course understandable. You can also see quite a few Asian companies in MotoGP, which is to be expected if we take into account the manufacturers that they have there.

        The only one that stand out of the crowd is Microsoft, they are the main sponsors for toyota in the wrc, which is a bit odd if we take into account Bill Gate’s position in regards of environment protection. But then again Toyota are the ones pioneering hybrid systems, and the prius was the first successful hybrid car on the road (even tough overall it isn’t very green, but it is marketing I guess).

        With liberty at least I wouldn’t be surprise if more tech companies would be interested in sponsoring some teams, but that will depend on the virtual exposure of F1. Companies like Samsung (as long as they don’t make the batteries), Apple or Huawei could become interested. If the sport embraces the digital era, maybe even Facebook/Google and other social media pages could chip in, after wall those websites live out of the adds they feed us.

        1. Great work @johnmilk really interesting. So to prove your point, any chance you can look into which companies are involved in Formula E? Surely this form of motorsport will be attracting companies that can put their logo on cars ‘guilt free’.

          1. Yes @unicron2002, nice thinking.

            There is a lot of manufacturing backing over there, but lets see

            In formula e we have:
            Audi, after the VW scandal is one of the few places where we can still see them

            Amlin-Andretti team – TE connectivity is their biggest sponsor, it is a electronic devices company (BMW is also involved with them)

            Virgin – I think we all know the position of Richard Branson in the matter (the citroen DS division is also involved here)

            Panasonic Jaguar – a consumer goods company and a manufacturer company, and it isn’t just sponsoring, it is their team as well

            Techeeta – they are owned by a medical capital chinese company, they are the sauber of formula e

            Then we have the manufacturers of electric cars, Faraday future, NextDev, Venturi and the motor racing company Mahindra. And the more conventional ones, Renault, Citroen, Jaguar, Audi, BMW

            There is no petrol companies or energy drinks (some driver though have their backing). But the environment is very different, 8 out of 10 teams put cars on the road (or have partners that do) or are on the verge of doing so, which is very different from Formula 1. Some of this teams are even using Formula E as launch pad

            You can find in the cars other sponsors such as PS4 (the series is very much involved with sim racing, they even put fans competing with the drivers). Which is odd, I don’t see codemasters in any F1 car, and they make the official game.

            I did saw the race this last weekend. I didn’t find it to be very good if I’m honest, but there were a few positive things. One of the funniest was seeing drivers lock-up and note hearing the sentence “he flat spotted those tyres”. The engagement with the fans is also very good, I wasn’t planning to see the race, but a notification popped-up on my phone and I just followed the live stream. There is a lot of manufacturing backing on those teams, that certainly reduced the need for big sponsors, and they surely don’t mind being associated with the formula, certainly the idea of being environmentally conscious appeals to them.

    3. Your shortfall in sponsorship can, I think, be linked directly to a move to pay TV.

      Sponsors got a great deal with free to air TV because passing viewers would increase their brand exposure. This doesn’t happen on pay TV, therefore, the teams get less revenue as a direct result.

      Moving to pay TV was the dumbest, most commercially short sighted idea F1 has ever had.

      1. Agreed that pay TV is a bad move in terms of viewer numbers, but still it has the most viewers after the world cup and olympics with 400 million (down from 600m before they moved away from)

        I do get the reason though, as the series makes more from TV money (and the teams get a big portion of this too) while the smaller teams suffer most in lack of sponsor ship, both in the amount of money they get as well as the relative importance of sponsor money to their entire budget. This is because small teams don’t have the private acquity a RB, Ferrari or Mercedes can pump in the team. Plus small teams get very little tv money because only the big teams get money off the top. For the big teams the TV money more than makes up the loss in sponsorship.

        This is why it’s so important the money distribution gets re-done ASAP by Liberty and why it’s so bad that the big teams now want a new labor association for teams to protect their previliged position. I’m afraid Liberty needs that mandate from the European Union court anti trust case that Sauber has innitiated, although it will come with a hefty fine (reportedly up to $168m) that will come out of Liberties pocket.

  2. I don’t get all the hypocrisy directed at Lewis over an opinion he’s always had. He was against the whole data sharing thing from the jump. Also, if the FIA saw it fit to change the rules on driver communication to stop drivers being spoon fed (let’s at least be honest with each other and ourselves, & admit that it was Nico Rosberg and his side of the Mercedes garage that were repeatedly blatant with it until, fans, team principals & the FIA alike were commenting that they were “less than pleased” about the constant updates of every little minutiae of Hamilton’s progress), how come it’s so “wrong” & “unsporting” when Lewis just reinforces his position, & year or so ago everyone & their mothers were sick of it too???

    1. Just to add, I’ve always viewed a driver’s craft as intellectual property, & wish the teams did as well. If one guy has the ability, confidence in himself & his assessment of his equipment to push the limits, and has the stones to, for example, go flat through a particular series of corners, the next guy who was too timid to push the limits on his own should not be able to look at a graph & say, “Oh, X driver was flat out here!” and then basically go out there all clenched up to have a go because he his rivals telemetry told him he could. That’s not the sort of thing that makes me feel good about F1… I’m having a hard time understanding how some people think that the so called pinnacle of motorsport is supposed to be like that.

      1. +1 couldn’t agree more I really can’t believe how that’s hard to understand for some people, it is supposed to be a competitive sport..If any driver is struggling and copies his teammate exactly by studying his data, it just takes the race craft out of the sport. The criticism blows my mind as not sharing data effects both drivers equally, it makes no sense unless some people are afraid that a specific driver might be better at pushing his machinery to the limit than the other.

      2. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
        21st February 2017, 2:07

        That’s actually a great way to articulate it Aldoid, as an intellectual property.

        1. Cool. How do you feel about the intellectual property Lewis stole from Alonso?

          1. You mean the one that cost Mclaren $100m because they let them race and Alonso went into meltdown because he couldn’t stand the heat in the kitchen?

        2. Exactly ‘intellectual property’!
          And as for all companies, if you develop something in your boss’ time, and on his payroll, it is the team’s intellectual property, not yours.
          The team only pays you for your skills and time, and hope that you use those skill to the best of the team’s benefit.

      3. Mercedes is spening 500 million a year to send some carbon and titanium around in circles. Lewis is spending ZERO and his contributions only add a tenth or two.

        Engineers add seconds and deserve their chassis to end up in the highest place possible.

        If Lewis can’t handle his teammate beating him with his own data that’s his own fault. If you can’t win with your own data you’re really not that good and if you’re crying about somone coming second with your data you’re a bit of a baby.

      4. I dunno about you guys, but I have been watching this sport avidly for 30 years. I haven’t missed a race live in probably over 10 (if I have, I’ve recorded it & watched the replay before checking results). I don’t recall a single instance of any driver being spoon-fed every little detail about where his teammate was beating him except with Mercedes & Nico Rosberg. If anyone has examples, & my memory isn’t as good as I think it is, by all means feel free to reeducate me. Nico got told how much more MPH Lewis carried through corners, how many meters later he braked, which engine modes Lewis was using, how many meters before braking zones Lewis was coasting to save fuel… He was getting these live updates on the fly! And that’s as well as the usual stuff that’s normally up for grabs, like his individual sector splits, tire compounds, info on tire wear, how critical he was on fuel, etc. Lewis never got any help from Nico & his side on how to drive the car. Such a policy deliberately handicaps one driver & bolsters the other at his immediate & exact expense. How can racing fans be ok with this???? This is what some people really watch motor racing to see????

        1. Definitely well said.

        2. I don’t agree. Drivers throughout the ages have learned from others about certain ways of attacking corners, won time by studying rivals and teammates. It’s the wonderful dichotomy of F1, natural talent versus hard workers. You would say there is no subsitute for natural talent, but then again there are those who get where they are by working hard and adapting. Even great drivers like Prost and Lauda needed to learn how to better approach their driving. It is of all times and of all regulations. Certain drivers have a more natural feel, others need to realise it is possible to attack at a certain speed and then get to do it. Hamilton is the former, Rosberg is the latter. I can’t judge which you should prefer, but your diatribe makes no sense to me.

          1. Like I said, if anyone knows of any example where one teammate was helped at the expense of his teammate anything nearly as much as Nico Rosberg was (I have already cited numerous examples above… there are more) and basically given blow by blow commentary on exactly what the other guy was doing in the other car, & how, please feel free to name your examples. Until then, your reply makes no sense.

          2. Huge difference between watching game tape & being given the other guys playbook… well, to me at least…

          3. @Aldoid Where I think you are misguided is this concept that Nico is the only one. You are forgetting that the rivalry for the WDC has only been between LH and NR, so that is going to skew the coverage right there. Then there was the fact that LH was the proven WDC before joining Merc, and Nico the unproven one, so they were going to skew the radio comm that way too. You are sadly mistaken if you think, with all the radio comm we DON’T get to hear, that Nico is the only one asking for and getting info on where a teammate is faster and why. It happens all the time going both ways on a team. Rarely does one driver have a contract that shuts out his data from his teammates…MS/ Ferrari being the most extreme case.

            You ask for proof of something that we armchair enthusiasts are not privy to enough data on. But at the same time, don’t take the one-sided radio comm from one rivalry…the one of most interest due to their WDC chase, as proof of anything that can be claimed across the board, namely that Nico is the only one, or even that LH never took info from NR.

            Then consider that maybe just maybe LH likes to make himself sound like the be all and end all to drivers, and take that into consideration when he chooses to make it sound like only his data is sought after.

        3. To be honest, I can’t think of a driver that has whined as much as Hamilton, so maybe that’s why we’ve not really heard of any.

        4. And then there is the possibility that Nico may have been better than Lewis last year at reading his teammate’s data and finding exploitable weaknesses or strengths within the team system.

      5. F1 is a TEAM sport. It is not about one driver achieving the highest result, but two drivers achieving the highest result. Thus data sharing is inevitable and here to stay and to moan about it is pointless and does not deserve any time or attention.

        1. Believe me, they drivers may say its a team sport but NONE of them believe it.

    2. There is a party to this argument that hasn’t been mentioned, which is the Team Principal. Last year I heard the racing commentators mention the driver has to have a meeting with their Team Principal after each race. So why wouldn’t he or she drag up a faster driver’s data and show it to a slower one as proof they need to improve? Wouldn’t this be especially so if the slower driver posted social media messages from around the world between races or said things like “I don’t need to practice on the simulator” instead of preparing for the forthcoming races?
      Maybe this wouldn’t happen at a team like Ferrari, where there is an expected completing race order result (“We are displeased. You were too fast!”), but what happens in a team where there is a supposed equal status? Why wouldn’t a Team Principal be expecting a slower driver to look at the faster driver’s data? For example, wouldn’t Toto Wolff have been telling Hamilton to study Rosberg’s race data each time Rosberg won, and wouldn’t he be telling Rosberg to study Hamilton’s data each time Hamilton won? Wouldn’t the same apply post this year’s Melbourne GP? Why wouldn’t Toto drag up the faster of the two drivers data and expect the slower one to be studying it? Like it or not, one of the Mercedes drivers might have to accept they has some extra homework following the Melbourne GP.

  3. Nice column by Gordon Kirby, as always. Great reading about Mike Fisher. Especially the Jim Clark driving lesson. Even after all these years of knowing what a gentleman Jim Clark was, it is still heartwarming to hear another story that reaffirms it. Hard to imagine anything like that happening in this era of F1.

    1. I really liked it too, and will add that these links to historical stories in the F1fanatic round-up are very welcome, especially in the off-season.

  4. Looking forward to seeing the new Renault today not expecting it to be a world beater bit it’s gunna be one of the most evolved from last year. Should be in testes ting to see what hulk has got himself into

    1. Interesting not what ever came though on predicted text

  5. Disagree with Hakkinen. Once something has been demonstrated, it becomes much easier for you to do from a psychological POV.

    This is why 9 dart legs in darts become much more common once John Lowe did one on TV decades ago, it’s why 147’s in snooker become much more common. People still practice’d as much back when they hadn’t been done as they do now, but they couldn’t achieve the perfect game because they kept getting brain fade at the crucial moments as they thought ‘wow i could actually do the un-do-able’

    Stick a driver in a car going 150+mph heading towards barriers and see if they can jump on the brakes later than they’ve ever done without seeing that their teammates done it plenty of times in the same equipment.

    1. Nowadays all drivers do much of that stuff in the simulator anyway N.

  6. I´m sure Lewis put that into his contract. If not, then the team bought his Data and can do with it as it wishes… If we break Lewis mindset and argumentation down its as simple as this: I´m for everything that gives me an advantage, and against everything that gives me a disadvantage.

  7. Renault are already live, but the car will only be shown at 15.30 (uk time)

    It is still under cover, but it is the first time we see it close to someone, looks enormous.

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