In the winter weeks it can sometimes be eerily quiet in terms of global Formula 1 news. There is no racing and you may return to your favorite Formula 1 website a little less often. But don’t worry: in this weekly overview we keep you up to date every Sunday about all the news that has passed in review the past week, so that you can start a new winter week with a refreshed memory. What happened in the F1 world this week? Check it here in the winter weekly overview of F1Maximum!
Monday, January 3: Red Bull versus Aston Martin in court
The week kicked off with the news that Red Bull Racing has gone to court to block a transfer from Dan Fallows to Aston Martin. The Briton was the head of Red Bull’s aerodynamics department for many years and wants to leave for Aston Martin, but Red Bull believes that can only be done in mid-2023. The two sides will meet in British court in three weeks, when the case goes to the British higher court. The dispute revolves around the question of how long the so-called ‘gardening leave’, a long transition period to combat unfair competition, should last.
Then on Monday there was also a promotional video from Alpine and the French road police, to celebrate the purchase of some Alpine vehicles. The video shows a police car performing stunts and spinning donuts on a public road, something that has caused quite a stir on social media. Angry French reacted indignantly to the video on Twitter, which also appeared on the account of the French gendarmerie. In the end, it was Esteban Ocon who took the cold out of the air, stating that he was behind the wheel and that the video was made purely for Alpine’s promotional purposes.
Tuesday, January 4: Volkswagen in the sea with Williams?
On Tuesday it was announced that Bose, developer of speakers and audio hardware, will stop as a partner of Mercedes. The Mercedes sponsor received a lot of attention at the Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia, when Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff threw Bose headphones hard to the ground after the collision between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. However, the now famous fragment did not lead to the sponsorship stop. On the contrary, according to marketing experts, Bose would have received a lot of exposure as a result of the moment.
Williams would also be willing to sacrifice the cooperation with Mercedes if Volkswagen knocks. That suggests team boss Jost Capito in an interview. In it he indicates that he is satisfied with the cooperation with Mercedes, but emphasizes that a factory engine is so attractive that Williams would consider terminating the contract with Mercedes early. Williams is known for wanting to produce everything itself, so having an ‘own’ engine manufacturer, in the form of Volkswagen, would fit well into the team’s philosophy.
Wednesday 5 January: Szafnauer and Aston Martin split up immediately
On Wednesday morning, striking news appeared from the corner of Aston Martin: team boss Otmar Szafnauer has said goodbye immediately. The Romanian American was partly responsible for the strong seasons from 2013 to 2020 and was especially praised for the good results with a relatively small Formula 1 team. In November, Szafnauer was strongly associated with the Alpine team, but those rumors were then firmly suppressed by the team boss himself. Will Szafnauer still go to the French competitor?
Thursday, January 6: Red Bull engine slower in 2022
According to the German Auto, Motor und Sport, the Red Bull engine by 2022 will lose about twenty horsepower as a result of the introduction of the E10 fuel. From next season, the fuel of the Formula 1 cars must consist of at least ten percent ethanol, and this new fuel mix ensures a lower output in the combustion chamber. The E10 fuel should make for a more sustainable sport, but Marko emphasizes that the new innovation could put pressure on Red Bull Racing’s performance in the coming seasons.
Friday, January 7: Porsche and Audi in talks with McLaren and Red Bull
We are going into the weekend with exciting news as alliances are already being forged between the teams and possible new engine suppliers from 2026. The new engine era that will start that season offers the opportunity for new manufacturers to join, with Audi interested have in a partnership with McLaren. In addition, Porsche is also said to be in talks with Red Bull to facilitate the development and production of an engine for the team.
There was also more news from Aston Martin, which is busy building its new factory in Great Britain. A lot of money has been invested in the construction of a new headquarters and the building is now taking shape. A video is shared on Twitter showing the current state of affairs.
Saturday 8 January: Proud Lammers looks back
On Saturday, F1Maximal looked back on a wonderful Formula 1 year together with Jan Lammers, with of course a race in the Netherlands. The sporting director of the Dutch Grand Prix is especially proud of how the event went. ‘The fact that you have been able to score maximum towards the motorsport fan makes me proud. Whether that’s the Max or Hamilton fan, it doesn’t matter, but we definitely scored in delivering motorsport entertainment without hurting those who don’t care too much. You just want to do your thing and cause as little inconvenience as possible. Fortunately we succeeded in that. Then the trick is to do it again’, says Lammers.
Read the entire interview below:
In addition, McLaren gave an insight into how they will adapt their chassis for the 2022 season. An innocent-looking photo betrayed that from next year the team will be using a ‘pull rod’ suspension around the wheels, a technique that has not been used by the teams for years.
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Sunday 9 January: Honda staff frantic
We close the week with beautiful new images from the Honda factory in Sakura. During the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, people sympathized with Max Verstappen, who took the world title. New images show how people in Japan celebrate the title and at the same time say goodbye to Formula 1.