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About MIKA27

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  • Birthday 04/26/1976

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  1. The Wild History of Poison Rings A favorite decoration of both assassins and generals, 'poison rings' could conceal perfume, tiny momentos—or something far more deadly. Life is tough; there are tremendous amounts of dastardly and deadly substances out there, with all sorts of malicious properties. The only logical protection against them, of course, is magical jewelry. While this might sound crazy to 21st-century minds, jewelry was used as the first line of defense against many forms of devilishness for centuries. For instance, a gold or silver rattle with a piece of coral on one end served two purposes: the coral was porous and a relatively soft material, perfect for teething infants, but coral has also long been used to ward off evil spirits and as a protective charm. If the coral helped a screaming child through the pain of sprouting a tooth, then perhaps the magic charm was real enough, after all. Medicine, magic, and religion all were once intermingled in the ancient psyche, and the most superstitious answer often won out. The mystical solution for any given problem, like a pregnant woman’s baby being swapped out for a changeling, could easily be attributed to the magical powers of a stone or a protective charm. As much as jewelry was a protective tool, it was also used as a weapon. There is a long history of poison rings, and some of the oldest examples may date back to ancient Asia and India. In Western European culture, they surface prominently in the Middle Ages, the quintessential era for tipping one’s hand over a goblet to sprinkle deadly powder into wine. In her book Rings: Jewelry of Power, Love and Loyalty, Diana Scarisbrick writes that, “for centuries, rings, conveniently ready for use on the finger, have been adapted for functions other than the sealing of documents with signets. They might be attached to perfume flaçons, spy-glasses and handkerchiefs; they might measure time, safeguard property and conceal poison.” Poison rings usually have a large stone bezel set into the band of the ring, but they can come with all sorts of different ornamentation. The larger the stone, the more concealed the compartment below is, and thus the dispersal of poison liquid or powder can go undetected. A small catch and hinge allow the stone to swing open and release the deadly agent into the victim’s food or beverage. If they didn’t hold poison, these rings commonly concealed pomanders—small capsules of fragrance to disguise the atrocious odors of streets and rank gutters. The cavities could also be used to hold relics, bits of bone, fragments of flesh, or even locks of hair, a kind of precursor to 19th-century mourning jewelry. Russian 14K gold, onyx, and old mine diamond poison ring, circa 1900 from @plattboutiquejewelry Italian Renaissance femme fatale Lucrezia Borgia is thought to have used poison rings to elegantly off her enemies, but it’s never been proven. In 183 B.C. the Carthaginian soldier Hannibal committed suicide by ingesting poison from a ring after he had sent home spoils of other rings taken from Roman soldiers’ corpses. Much later, noted mathematician, philosopher, and politician Marquis de Condorcet also died by his own bejeweled hand following his arrest in 1794, in order to beat the guillotine. This particular so-called “poison ring” (see below) is a 19th-century American version from the firm of Marcus & Co., so it was probably not intended as an actual poison ring. The faceted emerald flanked by chimeras flips up to reveal a cavity that could be used for a variety of purposes, including a perfumed scent. To every poison, there is an antidote. This is where the widespread superstition and mysticism surrounding the innate powers of gemstones comes in. Rock crystal was commonly thought to be a prophylactic and guard against poisons. We see many rock crystal elements in goblets and chalices over the centuries, due both to its luxury-item status, and in the hopes that it might dispel any poisons in the cup. The jeweled form of the clenched fist, with the thumb between the first and second finger, is known as a “figa” charm, and has a long and complicated history. In Italy, it had a reputation as a fertility charm, but in other parts of Europe, it is known to keep away the evil eye. This particular figa from Wartski in London is Iberian in origin, and was made in the 17th century. The gold cuff around the wrist and the loop on the end suggests this would have been worn as a pendant, and perhaps dipped into beverages to dispel toxins. Figa charm from @wartski1865 Other magical objects used to ward against evil draughts can be found in a newly opened exhibition on the occult in Oxford, England. Titled Spellbound: Magic, Ritual, & Witchcraft, the exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum boasts objects from all over the United Kingdom that have to do with sorcery and mysticism. One ring, loaned from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, is described in the catalogue for the exhibition: “This Northern Italian silver ring from the early 15th century reuses an onyx intaglio of a scorpion, dating from the second or first century BC, that evokes the zodiac sign of Scorpio. Rings and talismans with images of scorpions were believed to protect against poisoning.” Large rock crystal ball in a silver gilt mount c.1650 The V&A also has in its collection a ring known as a toadstone ring, which is actually the fossilized tooth of a fish called Lepidotes, which was common in certain areas of England. It was a hard brownish orange substance, thought to come from the head of a toad, that cured kidney disease, protected against venomous bites, and kept pregnant women’s babies safe from changelings. The toadstone ring would also supposedly heat up in the presence of poison. From protector to poisoner, jewels can play a dangerous game, especially rings. Maybe make sure several charms are at hand in order to stand the best fighting chance? Ring with engraving of a scorpion, silver and onyx, early 15th century © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  2. The Whisky Vault Is a Bulletproof Safe for Your Prized Hooch It’s nearly impossible to get your hands on a bottle of one of the World’s Best Whiskies at retail. But if you manage the herculean feat of picking up a Ballantine’s 17, Pappy, Hibiki, or (insert your coveted bottle of choice here) you’re going to need a way to keep it safe. If you’re anything like us, you’re far less concerned about ne’er-do-wells and intruders than you are about your own drunk self and your friends. Consider protecting your prized collection of bottles with the Whisky Vault, a bulletproof, armored and almost impenetrable safe that will keep your bottles cozy while also allowing you to show them off. The “ultimate in whiskey protection” is exactly as advertised—a side-loading, solid steel plate construction safe with multiple vault door locking bolts, a tri-spoke handle and a bullet proof window that allows you to protect your impressive collection. The Whisky Vault is supposedly launching an Indiegogo campaign in December. If you don’t want to wait that long—and who does?—you can apparently order the bomb-proof booze safe starting at $6,000
  3. THE WORLD’S MOST EXPENSIVE RED WINE JUST SOLD FOR $785,000 Did you hear that sound? No? That’s the sound of a record being smashed. Up until recently the most expensive standard bottle of wine ever sold was a ‘measly’ $328,000. But over the weekend a bottle of 1945 Romanee-Conti Burgundy wine went under the hammer for an unprecedented sum—$785,000, to be exact—at a Sotheby’s auction in New York. The previous record was set when a 1869 Chateau Lafite Rothschild was sold in Hong Kong in 2010. However this weekend, Romanee-Conti rubbed salt (sulphates?) in the wound, as just minutes after the global record-breaking bottle was sold, another 1945 of the same brand was auctioned for $698,000 (which would have also broken the record). The sought-after bottles came from the personal collection of Robert Drouhin, former head of the prominent wine producing company, Maison Joseph Drouhin. As reported by the ABC, “Mr Drouhin’s father made an agreement in 1928 with the owners of Romanee-Conti to be their sole distributor for France and Belgium—and consequently amassed a unique wine collection.” The wine also has an interesting back-story. According to Mr Drouhin, during world war two, his father created a secret compartment in the cellar to make sure the wine was never discovered by the Nazis. “Regret even through there remain some for my children and friends, but mainly pleasure as those who will purchase the bottles—apart from the appreciation of quality and luxury they convey—they will receive a testimony of my family and Burgundy at its very best.”
  4. Steven Moffat's New Dracula Miniseries Is Going To Be A Netflix Period Piece Sherlock creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ long-awaited Dracula miniseries is finally happening, and the BBC is partnering with Netflix to make it a reality. And here’s the best part: Oh yeah, it’s a period piece. In a press release, the BBC announced that its Dracula three-part miniseries, which was first teased back in 2017, is at long last moving forward. BBC Drama controller Piers Wenger called Moffat and Gatiss’ planned horror adaptation “as clever as it is chilling,” saying their version will re-introduce fans to the classic villain who’s been brought to “life” in countless adaptations. Some good, some bad. And hey, since we never got the Dark Universe version, this seems as good as time as any to bring him back from the dead. Even though there’s a wide breadth of content to choose from, the three 90-minute episodic series will focus on the Dracula from Bram Stoker’s original novel. Taking place in 1897 (therefore guaranteeing we won’t get a Blade III situation), it’ll center around Dracula, the infamous Transylvanian vampire, as he prepares to take on Victorian London. In a joint statement, Moffat and Gatiss remarked on why they wanted to adapt Stoker’s Dracula for the small screen. “There have always been stories about great evil. What’s special about Dracula, is that Bram Stoker gave evil its own hero,” they said. This is the latest post-Doctor Who project that Moffat has announced, the previous being a television adaptation of The Time Traveller’s Wife for HBO. Moffat and Gatiss are serving as showrunners, writers, and executive producers for Dracula, with Sue Vertue from Hartswood Films also coming on as an executive producer. The series will premiere on BBC One in the UK and Netflix internationally. No production or release dates have been revealed yet.
  5. MIKA27


    Carlos Reutemann and F1’s most mysterious championship showdown This year’s world championship may well be decided this weekend in America. Yet whatever goes on it will struggle to match one particular showdown, if not necessarily for drama then certainly for oddity. The 1981 title also was decided in America, 37 years ago this week. Still today what went on is wrapped in a riddle. In debates about the best ever F1 season fabled 1982 tends to rise above all others. Eleven different winners, no one winning more than two rounds, all amid multiple acts of drama and acrimony. Perhaps though this leads to the season before being too easily forgotten. That also has strong claim in the drama stakes. Its championship battle was tighter. The on-track entertainment was at least as good, perhaps better. It matches ‘82 for acidity. It wasn’t far off in variation of results either. In ’81 no driver won more than three races; the world champion totalled but 50 points which was only six more than in ‘82, and this was without the peculiarities of neither starting driver for the constructors’ champion, Ferrari, completing the year and more than half the grid boycotting a race (though on the other hand ‘81 had one round fewer). In the final table five drivers were within seven points of the top. If nothing else ‘81 has convincing claim to being F1’s strangest campaign. It looked for much of the preceding off-season that there wouldn’t be a world championship at all, or at least one as we knew it, as the FISA-FOCA stand-off appeared unresolvable. The season then started, sort of, with a race that wasn’t in South Africa held under Formula Libre regulations. Not long after the season proper got going almost all cars were in wilful and unconcealed breach of the governing body’s flagship regulation on 6cm ground clearance – aimed at minimising the de rigueur ground effect. Moreover it created dangerous and unsatisfying machines, bouncing around on the rock hard suspension now required. The season’s title finale was appropriately odd. Held in the car park of the Caesars Palace hotel in Las Vegas, the three contenders stumbled over the line. Nelson Piquet claimed his first world championship of three, by being least worst. And if we’re looking for intrigue, and of the light and shade sort, no driver is as appropriate for the central role as Carlos Reutemann. In an F1 career that had stretched back to 1972, when all was well he would be devastating. But on the days that not all of his ducks were in a row his driving would tail off notoriously. “He saw driving a Formula 1 car as a sort of art form,” his technical boss at Williams Patrick Head reflected, “and it only gave him pleasure if it was perfect, and if it wasn’t perfect he didn't want to play. And the problem is he couldn’t get it perfect enough times.” Chief mechanic Alan Challis added that Reutemann was prone to psyching himself out. “I think Carlos was one the most underrated drivers that ever drove a grand prix car,” he said, “but he sometimes got a blockage in his head. Carlos had foibles about the chassis and the engine. When he arrived at the track the first thing he would want to know was which engines he would have. If it wasn’t a certain engine you could see that he would worry about that.” A fly-on-the-wall TV documentary from that year demonstrates the point (it’s on YouTube and the whole thing’s a fascinating watch). On the grid before the British Grand Prix Reutemann’s team-mate Alan Jones sits relaxed in his cockpit and cracks jokes with Patrick Head. Reutemann by contrast paces worriedly around, complains of understeer on his reconnaissance lap, holds frantic discussions and prods at tyres. Yet early in ‘81 it appeared Reutemann at last found a way to string together the peaks. He was quick everywhere and when he won the Belgian round at Zolder to take a decisive lead in the championship it was his 15th consecutive finish in the points, at the time a record. After the Silverstone round where he finished second it appeared he couldn’t lose. His lead was 17 points – with nine for a win – with just six rounds remaining. But things perhaps had already gone wrong. A round earlier Williams had switched tyre supplier from Michelin to the returning Goodyear. “He was an emotional driver,” noted Reutemann’s engineer Neil Oatley. “He was pretty upset when we switched from Michelin to Goodyear tyres in mid-season. He was convinced it was the wrong thing to do, and if you compare the points he won before and after that, the two halves of the season bear no resemblance to each other.” Indeed after Silverstone Reutemann scored only six more. For most of that time he underwhelmed; the old foibles resurfacing. Quintessentially, when the rain bucketed down just before the start of the penultimate round at Montreal Reutemann shook his head persistently in his cockpit, beaten already. He dropped quickly to nowhere while Piquet, crucially as it transpired, hauled his Brabham to fifth and two points. It meant Reutemann entered the Las Vegas showdown just one point ahead of Piquet; Montreal victor Jacques Laffite also had a slim chance for Ligier. Yet it looked initially like Reutemann would prevail after all. The circuit plotted in the Vegas car park was a torturous anti-clockwise affair; the race would last an hour and three-quarters in intense heat. Manna for the bull-strong Reutemann; emphatically not for Piquet. Reutemann took a comfortable pole on the first day of practice. Throughout he beamed. This, surely, would be one of his good weekends. But it lasted, literally, until the race’s starting light. From there he sank. Fourth by the first turn, he lost another place on lap one; another on lap two; yet another on lap three. This put Piquet on his tail. The showdown’s pivot point was through-the-looking-glass absurd. After 16 laps Piquet nipped past facing what appeared no Reutemann resistance. Carlos then continued his trajectory, finishing a lapped eighth. Laffite drove tenaciously to second, then his tyres went off and the resultant pitstop dropped him out of contention. This left Piquet running fifth, needing sixth place for the title. Yet he was, as Jeff Hutchinson explained, “on his last reserves of strength.” Driving by instinct he got home with two seconds to spare over the recovering Laffite and John Watson. With another lap Piquet would have lost everything. Perhaps the title tilting back to Reutemann in spite of himself would have been a fitting coup de grace. While all this was going on Jones disappeared into the distance to win, in what everyone thought was his last race before retirement. He’d driven well in his championship defence campaign but had been unlucky, particularly with two sure wins lost due to a strange mid-year Williams late-race fuel pickup problem. Many thought the victorious send-off appropriate. Mystery surrounds the Reutemann drive even yet. “He said that the gearbox had been baulky,” noted Head, “but when the mechanics took the gearbox apart, there was no damage at all – it was immaculate. We did have a clutch drag problem and I can imagine the gearbox was a bit gratey, but I think he just let it get to his head. “Peter Windsor, who was very close to Carlos, kept saying that Nelson Piquet’s physio had told him that Nelson was absolutely rooted,” Head continued. “He told Carlos so many times that Piquet was finished that I think Carlos began to believe it. When Piquet was snapping at his heels in the race, Carlos just couldn’t believe it and gave way.” Windsor takes a different view. “He had a horrendous tyre vibration throughout the race,” Windsor countered. “With the absolutely rigid suspension, if you did have a mismatched set of tyres it was like driving with square wheels.” Windsor added that Williams at Vegas was running with four cars for the first time – as Jones insisted on having a spare car ready in addition to Reutemann’s – and this contributed to the error. Yet neither Head nor Oatley recall anything about tyres being said at the time. In any case technical problems don’t explain Reutemann’s outward lack of fight. “In Las Vegas I think you could say that Carlos had convinced himself that he wasn’t going to win,” reckons Oatley. “And, sure enough, it came true. “He was a unique character. When it became obvious that Alan couldn’t really win the 1981 championship it didn’t really change the dynamic of how Patrick and Frank operated. As a result, Carlos didn’t feel they were on his side. He seemed to think, ‘They don’t really care if I win or not’.” Frank Williams, years on, accepted this had some basis. “He needed psychological support more than most drivers,” he reflected of Reutemann. “He needed to be aware everyone in the team was wearing a Reutemann lapel badge and an Argentine scarf. Probably we didn’t appreciate that sufficiently at the time.” Windsor has reported too that Head – who was thick as thieves with Jones – was usually able to overrule Williams on technical matters, including things that Reutemann had agreed with Frank. Jones more generally had his feet well under the Williams team’s table and this manifested itself in small ways and big. It all served further to undermine the more sensitive and distant Carlos. The Vegas drive though remains a matter of mystery. One that likely never will be satisfactorily explained.
  6. MIKA27


    THE FIGHT FOR SEVENTH: Five drivers in running for ‘best of the rest’ accolade Lewis Hamilton may be on the brink of wrapping up the 2018 F1 world title, but behind him, there’s a intriguing battle for P7 that’s tight – very tight. Just four points splits five drivers looking to finish as ‘best of the rest’ in the drivers’ standings and just four races to go… When the top three teams get both their cars home on race day, seventh is the best their midfield rivals can aspire to – and it’s the same in the drivers’ standings, with the respective Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull drivers locking out the top six. And it’s fair to say the fight for seventh has been fierce this season. It’s swung one way, then the other and with a certain amount of kudos going to the winner, they’ll be fired up heading into the final four races of 2018. So who’s battling for the P7 accolade? And what does history tell us? We take a closer look… Who are the contenders? Four teams are represented in this tussle, with Force India’s Sergio Perez currently leading the way thanks to his ‘dream’ result in Japan, which saw the Mexican claim seventh in Suzuka, but he’s by no means running away with it. In fact, Perez is tied on 53 points with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg – but sits above the duo courtesy of his brilliant podium finish at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The rules state that ‘the driver with superior race results (based on descending order, from number of wins to numbers of second-places down) will gain precedence’ – and his P3 in Baku puts him above his rivals, with Magnussen’s two P5s this year bettering Hulkenberg’s sole fifth-placed finish. McLaren’s Fernando Alonso trails the trio by just three points, with the sister Force India of Esteban Ocon one point further behind. We told you it was tight… How has the battle swung? Like a yo-yo… Alonso had early control of proceedings – even sitting fourth above Kimi Raikkonen, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen post-Bahrain - and he held on to P7 for the first seven races of the season. But three consecutive DNFs, coupled with Hulkenberg’s P9 in France handed the German the advantage – and despite Magnussen temporarily grabbing the spot in Austria, the Renault star regained control and began to find his rhythm with a run of consistent performances. But then the brakes came on, with Renault suffering a surprising qualifying slump – and Magnussen, armed with a strong Haas package, jumped above Hulkenberg with an impressive showing in Russia. It didn’t stay that way for long though. Perez’s performance in Japan - a race that saw Magnussen, Hulkenberg and Alonso all fail to finish - helped the Mexican leapfrog all three to seventh. And that leads us nicely on to the next section… Who has the momentum? It’s hard to argue that Perez doesn’t have the momentum, with the Force India driver enjoying the best Japanese Grand Prix result of all five drivers – and he’ll have his tail up heading to the next round in Austin. Perez and his team mate Ocon are certainly riding the wave, with both drivers enjoying a positive start to Force India’s new Racing Point era. They’ve failed to secure points just once since the summer break, which came in Singapore when the pair committed F1’s cardinal sin by colliding with each other. With the threat of team orders hanging over them, they’ve kept their noses clean since and with plenty at stake for both of them, you suspect the task in hand for the remainder of the season will be to get their cars home in the points. Their rivals, on the other hand, have struggled since F1 returned to action at Spa. Magnussen has collected just eight points, two more than Alonso, while Hulkenberg has notched up just one point, which came at Marina Bay. As we’ve seen already this season, though, things can change very quickly in F1… What does history tell us? Perez not only has the momentum, but he has the experience, too. The Mexican has finished P7 for the last two seasons, so he knows what is needed to get his car up in that position. Ocon – who came home eighth last season, 13 points behind his team mate – has never bettered P8 in his short career while Hulkenberg has never managed to finish higher than ninth and Magnussen is yet to secure a top-ten finish in the drivers’ standings. Alonso, meanwhile, has undoubtedly had the most successful career of all those battling for this position. The Spaniard is a two-time world champion, and he has also finished runner-up on three occasions. In fact, only five of his 16 seasons in F1 have seen him fail to finish in the top seven in the drivers' standings. But he'll have is work cut out if he is to clinch P7, given the disappointing pace of McLaren's current package. Any added incentives for the drivers? For Hulkenberg and Magnussen, they’ve both kept their seats at Renault and Haas for next season – and so this pursuit for P7 will be about finishing the season on a high, and taking that momentum into next season. Force India, however, are yet to confirm their 2019 line-up, so Perez and Ocon face uncertain futures. Lance Stroll is expected to join the team his father now owns next season, and Perez is the favourite to partner the Canadian. That has left Ocon with a fight to find a 2019 seat, and Toto Wolff – who manages the Frenchman’s career – recently said that he may take a sabbatical year next season. That means he’ll be desperate to go out with a bang and remind everyone of his talent. Alonso is another one who will want to finish on a high, given he is leaving F1 at the end of the year. The Spaniard knows how to push his car to the limits, and it’ll be no surprise if he bounces back from what has been a tough season for the iconic Woking squad, and deliver the goods when he needs to most. This is one battle you don't want to take your eyes off...
  7. MIKA27


    HAAS PREVIEW THE UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX America loves its sports, and autumn brings a cornucopia of action that stretches coast to coast, across purple mountain majesties and amber waves of grain, all taking place under spacious skies. As college football rivalries play out on Saturdays to whet fans’ appetites for NFL action on Sundays, amid the MLB playoffs and the start of the NBA and NHL seasons, motorsports remains very much in the mix. Car culture has been, and continues to be, woven into the fabric of America. And when the most sophisticated and technologically advanced racing series in the world arrives on U.S. soil, people take notice. Approximately 260,000 fans will descend upon Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas for the Oct. 19-21 United States Grand Prix. That’s more than three times the amount of people AT&T Stadium holds for patrons of America’s team, the Dallas Cowboys. It’ll be the seventh time the track has hosted the FIA Formula One World Championship, but only the third time fans have been able to cheer for the home team. Haas F1 Team is the only American team competing in Formula One. Having debuted in 2016, the Kannapolis, North Carolina-based outfit has steadily improved each season, scoring 29 points in its inaugural 2016 campaign and 47 points last year. With four races still remaining on this year’s 21-race calendar, Haas F1 Team has tallied 84 points and is fifth in the constructors’ standings with an eye set on overtaking fourth-place Renault. The French manufacturer is just eight points ahead of Haas F1 Team, and despite France being America’s first ally, there is no such Treaty of Alliance between Haas F1 Team and Renault. In the past two races leading into the United States Grand Prix, Haas F1 Team has scored eight points to Renault’s one, making the battle for the top of the midfield the truest championship fight as series-leader Mercedes holds a 78-point lead over Scuderia Ferrari and third-place Red Bull is 219 points back. While there is no laurel wreath or champagne magnum given for earning best-of-the-rest accolades, there is value nonetheless, especially for a team in only its third season going up against far more established entries with decades of Formula One experience. As much as Americans love their sports, they are equally enamored with underdogs. Perhaps it began when scrappy colonialists went up against the largest empire in the modern world. They believed they could win then, and that belief persists more than two centuries later. Despite its underdog status, Haas F1 Team believes it can be best of the rest, and getting there means continued point production from drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen. Both wheelmen have earned points-paying drives at COTA. In the second Formula One race at the 5.513-kilometer (3.426-mile), 20-turn track in 2013, Grosjean finished a career-best second to the dominant Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel. It’s one of three point-paying results Grosjean has achieved in his six career Formula One starts at COTA. Teammate Magnussen finished in the points in his first Formula One start at COTA in 2014 when he came home eighth. And in his second Formula One start at COTA in 2016, Magnussen finished a respectable 12th. This duo has combined for Haas F1 Team’s best season to date, and with their sights set on fourth place in the constructors’ standings, they look to turn Austin into #Haastin with another points-paying performance. Circuit of the Americas Circuit Length: 5.513 kilometers (3.426 miles) Laps: 56 Race Distance: 308.405 kilometers (191.634 miles) Broadcast: ABC (1:30 p.m. EDT on Oct. 21) Guenther Steiner, Team Principal How important is the United States Grand Prix to Haas F1 Team and to Formula One’s recognition in America? GS: “I think it’s very important for Formula One to have a race in the United States. For a long time, until COTA came on the scene, there wasn’t one. I think the fan base is growing. It’s important for Formula One, but also for us because it’s our home grand prix. We’re all looking forward to it.” Would you like to see another Formula One race in America? GS: “It would be fantastic to have a second Formula One race in America. I think we will get there. It takes a little bit of time, but it will happen.” Would another Formula One race in America accentuate or take away from COTA’s presence in Formula One? GS: “I think it would accentuate it. There are enough fans, we could get attention for two races. I think it would add to the presence of Formula One in the United States and not take anything away from COTA.” Austin has become a destination venue for the Formula One industry, much like Singapore and Monaco. Why does the city resonate so well with those in Formula One? GS: “It’s a fantastic city. There are always a lot of things going on in Austin. It’s a young city and just a cool place. The weather’s usually pretty nice. It’s just one of those cities that everyone likes.” Romain Grosjean In joining Haas F1 Team, you took a leap of faith in the vision Gene Haas had for an American Formula One team. What has it been like to be a part of this endeavour and what makes Haas F1 Team different from other Formula One teams? RG: “I’d say it’s a great adventure. When I met with Gene and Guenther for the first time, I felt that they knew what they were talking about. I wanted to be part of that journey. I’m very pleased with how it’s gone. In our third year now, things are as good as they can be. We’re fighting for fourth in the constructors’ championship, which is quite crazy.” Haas F1 Team has accomplished a lot in less than three years in Formula One. Can you talk about the team’s growth this year and, specifically, how it has outperformed compared to last year? RG: “We’ve made a good step this year. I think 2017 was maybe the year where we underperformed, but in 2018 we’ve come back to the route being planned out since the start of the team. The team has been growing a lot and improving in every single area. There’s still room for improvement, which is amazing to know and to see.” You’re racing for an American team in the United States Grand Prix. Because of that, does walking into the paddock at COTA and driving out of the garage and onto the track take on the greater significance or give you an added sense of pride? RG: “It’s special. It’s like when I’m in the French Grand Prix, I get an extra feeling, something special. At COTA, it’s the same thing. You expect a lot of fans to be coming and cheering for you. You can see them there wearing the Haas colors, T-shirts, caps, scarfs, whatever. It’s just great to know that it’s not always about, say, Lewis (Hamilton) or Max (Verstappen), but that it’s about Haas F1 Team as well.” Formula One returned to the United States after a four-year absence when it raced at COTA in 2012. You participated in that race. What was the industry’s reaction to Formula One’s return to America? RG: “I didn’t know what to expect the first time we went to COTA in 2012. Obviously, many people still had in mind the 2005 grand prix at Indianapolis. When we came back though, it was probably the biggest attendance of the season that year. It’s always packed. It’s a great circuit with a great atmosphere. I love going there.” When you first competed at COTA, what did you think of the venue? RG: “It was very nice and very well organized. The city is great. There are a lot of bars and concerts going on in the city, and people came from all over the country to see the race. It was amazing.” You equalled your career-best Formula One finish (second) at COTA in 2013. Talk about that race and any moments that stand out, particularly the start where you managed to get away from the dominant Red Bulls. RG: “The start was very special. I had a really good one. The Red Bulls were so much faster than we were. I had to do something like 50 laps of the grand prix with Mark Webber on my gearbox. He was trying everything he could to pass me. At the time we had manual KERS, and I was using it wisely at different places every lap, just to do something different to keep him behind. It was an amazing race. I had a bit too much champagne on the podium, which made the press conference fun.” COTA’s first corner is at the top of a hill – a blind and tight left-hander that sends drivers into a section modelled after Silverstone’s Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel complex. How do you approach that corner knowing there’s a moment when you don’t know what’s on the other side? RG: “You know that nobody’s coming the wrong way, so that really helps when you come to the corner. It’s really about focusing on the right thing at the right time. First the braking point, then the turning point, and then the apex and exit. Yes it’s a blind corner, but once you’ve got in the rhythm you just take it all step-by-step and there are no surprises.” COTA has been described as having the most overtaking opportunities of any track on the Formula One calendar. Is this accurate and, if so, what makes COTA better for overtaking than other venues? “It’s not that simple to overtake at COTA. You’ve got a huge straight line on the backstraight, which helps, of course, with the DRS. The braking into turn one is very wide and you can have some chances there. But, on the other hand, it’s very hard to follow in sector one, and into that very long right-hand side corner before the last two corners.” What is your favourite part of COTA? RG: “All of sector one.” Describe a lap around COTA. RG: “First you brake on the very wide track uphill into turn one. You then have tricky traction going downhill through sector one. It’s very high speed – very similar to Silverstone. Here you try to carry some good speed. Then you go to the hairpin before the backstraight, again you want good traction here. There’s very big braking at the end. Then there’s a very tight section with a double right corner. After that it’s a long left hairpin, with tricky braking, then a full right-hand side corner, almost flat out in qualifying. Then it’s the two mid-speed final turns, which are pretty interesting, going down into the first one, and the second one going up again before you finish the lap.” Austin has become a destination venue for the Formula One industry, much like Singapore and Monaco. Why does the city resonate so well with those in Formula One? RG: “I think because it’s the United States Grand Prix. Austin is a great city and it gets a lot of fans visiting, too. There’s also a great atmosphere around the track.” How much of Austin have you been able to explore, and is there an area of the city you like the most? RG: “I’ve seen quite a bit of Austin. The nightlife is amazing, too. During the day there are some nice shopping centers. It’s a great place.” How important is the United States Grand Prix to Haas F1 Team and to Formula One’s recognition in America? RG: “It’s very important for us. It’s our home race. To have more recognition in the United States, we need more than one grand prix, just because the time zones don’t always work. It’s not easy to follow Formula One in America. It’s different from NASCAR or IndyCar. We would probably need another two or three races to get more of an audience there.” Would you like to see another Formula One race in America? RG: “Yes. Miami’s been talked about. Los Angeles or Las Vegas have too. I think if we had Austin, then one race on the east coast, another on the west coast, and with Canada and Mexico too, that would be pretty good.” Kevin Magnussen In joining Haas F1 Team, you had to buy into the vision Gene Haas had for how an American Formula One team would operate. What has it been like to be a part of this endeavour and what makes Haas F1 Team different from other Formula One teams? KM: “From day one, I’ve really enjoyed working with Gene Haas and the team. I like the way the team works. I like its simplicity, and I like how straightforward things are here. The results show that it works, as well. I can’t complain.” Haas F1 Team has accomplished a lot in less than three years in Formula One. Can you talk about the team’s growth this year and, specifically, how it has outperformed compared to last year? KM: “I think there are a couple of things that stand out this year. One of them is, obviously, just experience. The team has been growing every year. Everyone is using their experience better and better, while at the same time, gaining more experience. I also think the quality of our car, in terms of the actual build of our car, is much better. We’re better able to put the car on track that we intended to, and not have little errors or faults in production of the car. That quality is a lot better this year, and I think that contributes as well to the performance. Our tire knowledge has improved a lot. In Formula One, Pirelli tires are very tricky, and our management and understanding has improved a lot this year. I would say those are the main things regarding our growth this year.” You’re racing for an American team in the United States Grand Prix. Because of that, does walking into the paddock at COTA and driving out of the garage and onto the track take on the greater significance or give you an added sense of pride? KM: “There’s absolutely an extra will, or motivation, to do well in the U.S.A. We always try our best. We’re always on maximum attack to get the best result possible. It just carries a bit more significance to get a good result in America and at our home track. America’s obviously not my home country, but you feel like it is racing there that weekend.” When you first competed at COTA, what did you think of the venue? KM: “I would say COTA is one of the only new tracks that I really enjoy. Sector one there is incredible. There are also some good spots for overtaking and slipstreaming. I think it’s a really good compromise. Perhaps there’s still a bit too much runoff – a little too safe for my liking – but the layout of the track is great.” COTA’s first corner is at the top of a hill – a blind and tight left-hander that sends drivers into a section modelled after Silverstone’s Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel complex. How do you approach that corner knowing there’s a moment when you don’t know what’s on the other side? KM: “The braking zone is really uphill, so you can brake really late. You can’t see the apex of the exit, but the track is so wide you can choose different lines.” COTA has been described as having the most overtaking opportunities of any track on the Formula One calendar. Is this accurate and, if so, what makes COTA better for overtaking than other venues? KM: “COTA is a little bit better than most other circuits in that it doesn’t just have one place to overtake. That much is correct. It has a few places to overtake, not just the one or two that most tracks have. Some tracks don’t have any. COTA has a few places where you can line it up for a move. It’s a good track for racing.” What is your favourite part of COTA? KM: “Sector one. I like it simply because it’s fast.” Describe a lap around COTA. KM: “Simply, it’s a fun track to drive. There’s a lot of elevation. You’re driving up and down. There’s always a lot going on. It’s a bit of a rodeo ride.” Austin has become a destination venue for the Formula One industry, much like Singapore and Monaco. Why does the city resonate so well with those in Formula One? KM: “The city’s just great for going out. There are great restaurants and great places for having fun. Having a Formula One race there is the perfect package for having a good weekend.” How much of Austin have you been able to explore, and is there an area of the city you like the most? KM: “I love the city, but I haven’t been able to explore it too well with my schedule. You can just feel though, when you’re out for dinner, or driving through the city to get to the track, it’s a place you’d like to explore. You see all these restaurants and bars, there’s a lot of life in the city. It’d be a great spot to have a good night out. I think it’s significant to Formula One events that the city you’re nearest is fun and interesting. People that come to a grand prix don’t just come for the afternoon then go back home. They tend to come from all around the world, and in COTA’s case, all around America. You need to have some nightlife for people to enjoy, and it seems that Austin is pretty cool for that.” Would you like to see another Formula One race in America? KM: “I’d love to see another race in America. I really enjoy the country. I love being over there. If there’s one place I’d like to live outside of Denmark, it would be America.”
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    RED BULL PRVIEW THE UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX Teams and drivers preview the United States Grand Prix weekend, Round 18 of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship, at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. Daniel Ricciardo: “Hell, I’m gonna take this opportunity to perfect my American accent for y’all (laughs). So read with your best Southern Drawl. Damn, I love the city of Austin and the country of America, I think it’s beautiful. Firstly, I think it’s one of the best circuits we go to on the calendar for racing. You can pass in four different places. There’s some tracks you struggle to pass on once, so to have four different opportunities with the shape of the corners and the apexes, everything just creates a real good atmosphere which encourages you to battle. It encourages you to fight. Fight in the spirit of America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. Boy, I love the feeling of racing at COTA. Beyond that, it’s also a great circuit for the spectators. If you get perched up on the hill at Turn 1, boy, you can nearly see the whole circuit. Turn 1 is a great place for the start, for overtaking and pit stops. If there’s racing out of the pits you’re in prime seat, that’s right, prime seat. Then you’ve got the COTA Tower. If you know someone, who knows someone, who might just know someone and you can get up the COTA Tower you’ll have a whole view of Austin, hell, that’s really something special. And then there’s the city. Boy, don’t get me started on the great city of Austin. I’m not gonna drop names on y’all now and give away all the places we go because I love em all, but the food is something special. I love my ribs, my brisket and boy, they got nachos coming out of their tachitos. What’s a tachito, I have no idea! I feel when I talk in this accent, I become this person. Oh boy, I’m gonna stop this right now as I got a bit carried away. See y’all in Austin.” Max Verstappen: “As always I am really looking forward to getting back to the US. COTA is really fun to drive, it has long fast straights, slow tight corners and quick flowing sectors, all you want from a race track in one. The trickiest part is probably Turn 1 as you are blind to the apex coming up the hill. When we race in America it is always unique to any other round, as you saw last year with the driver presentation they always go the extra mile. While staying in Austin there are so many options for good food, the meat and BBQ restaurants make you venture out and get stuck in. This year I will stop off in Miami for an event on the way to Austin so I’m excited to see a bit more of the country and sample a few of their local dishes.”
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    RENAULT PREVIEW THE UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX Renault Sport Formula One Team previews the eighteenth race weekend of the 2018 Formula 1 season, the Pirelli United States Grand Prix. Drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Carlos Sainz share their thoughts on the challenges of the Circuit of the Americas, while Cyril Abiteboul and Nick Chester give the latest on the team and on the Renault R.S.18-R.E.18 package. Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director, Renault Sport Racing: “Fourth position is going to be close as we reach the final straight of the season, but we’re feeling positive ahead of the next race in the United States. We are reaching the end of our development cycle this season since we are increasingly focused on 2019 projects, but our immediate priority remains meeting our objectives set at the start of 2018. To do this, we need to see the final four races as a mini-championship. Austin is the next challenge and we go there in a determined mood with a point to prove.” Nico Hülkenberg: “It’s been a tough couple of races, but we remain positive and eager to bounce back for the last four weekends of the season. Japan didn’t go to plan, but we’re aiming to learn from what happened to be best prepared for Austin. I’m determined to be in the points for the last four races – as is Carlos on the other side of the garage – so it’s going to be maximum effort to extract the most from the current package and ensure we keep fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship.” Carlos Sainz: “After scoring a point in Japan, I’m feeling hopeful for Austin. The circuit should suit the car better than Suzuka, so we remain positive. We have to keep fighting. We know the second-half of the season has been tough for everyone involved with the team, but it shows we have a lot of spirit. Even if we don’t have all the pace we want, we’re still scoring points, so we need to hold onto that and keep fighting and pushing. We can meet our targets.”
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    Verstappen: F1 risks qualifying becoming practice Max Verstappen believes Formula 1 risks turning qualifying into "just another practice session" if it adds an extra phase to the knockout format. F1 has considered a revised format that would involve four cars being eliminated in Q1, Q2 and Q3, leaving just eight for a final shootout in a new Q4 session. At present, a driver that makes it through to the top-10 shootout will likely run twice in all three parts of qualifying, giving them five runs before the lap that finally determines their grid position. "I would keep it like it is, otherwise you're running so much," said Verstappen of the mooted change. "It's more and more practice, and qualifying should be more a shorter session where you don't have that many opportunities to do a lap. Otherwise, what's qualifying for? "It's just another practice session, where everybody can get into a rhythm. What I always understood in qualifying is that you have to go out, have a few shots at it, and that's it. "If you start to do more and more and more, everybody at one point starts to do a good lap." Renault driver Carlos Sainz shared his former Toro Rosso teammate's view that drivers should not get as many chances in qualifying. Asked by Motorsport.com about the possibility of an extra session, Renault driver Sainz said: "I would like to see that, but only with one set of tyres per session. "Don't give the drivers a second chance, [make them] have to do it one time per session. I think the pressure would be higher. "Your speciality as a driver is putting a lap together straight away in Q1, straight away in Q2 and not sandbagging like a lot of drivers are doing in Q1 and then give it all out in Q2, or give it all out in Q3. "If you have only once chance, you put a lot of beans, a lot of concentration, into that one lap, because you cannot get it wrong." One problem that has emerged with the current format is that races where tyre degradation is higher have hurt, rather than rewarded, the best-of-the-rest runners behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. Making it into the top 10 means they need to start on the tyre they used in Q2, which is usually the softest compound, and this presents a strategic disadvantage in the race because their rivals immediately behind on the grid have free tyre choice. Details such as the impact on tyre allocation in the 60-minute session were not established when the change was discussed at F1's Strategy Group meeting last month but Sainz said F1 could use a format change to address the problem. "If they think about making a new qualy format, they need to think about the tyres," he said. "It all goes together. You cannot do a new qualifying without really thinking about what you do with the tyres."
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    Guenther Steiner: Second US GP would boost F1, COTA Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner reckons a second Grand Prix in the United States would boost Formula 1 in the country, without detracting attention from Austin. Formula 1 has long targeted the United States as a market it wishes to exploit, and has made a permanent home at the Circuit of the Americas, which joined the roster in 2012. Austin’s arrival came after a chequered history with the country, with several locations used to host Formula 1 events, the most recent of which was Indianapolis in 2007. Plans for a Grand Prix in New Jersey fell through while a Miami Grand Prix has been mooted, but will not be held until at least 2020, after a 2019 proposal failed to come to fruition. “I think it’s very important for Formula 1 to have a race in the United States,” said Steiner, who oversees the US-registered Haas operation that joined in 2016. “For a long time, until COTA came on the scene, there wasn’t one. I think the fan base is growing. It’s important for Formula One, but also for us because it’s our home grand prix. We’re all looking forward to it.” “It would be fantastic to have a second Formula 1 race in America. I think we will get there. It takes a little bit of time, but it will happen.” “There are enough fans, we could get attention for two races. I think it would add to the presence of Formula 1 in the United States and not take anything away from COTA.” Haas driver Kevin Magnussen concurred with his team boss, commenting: “I’d love to see another race in America. I really enjoy the country. I love being over there. If there’s one place I’d like to live outside of Denmark, it would be America.”
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    HAAS AND OLD WORLD INDUSTRIES EXPAND PARTNERSHIP Press Release: Old World Industries, the makers of PEAK Coolant & Antifreeze and BlueDEF Diesel Exhaust Fluid and Equipment, has expanded its partnership with Haas F1 Team beginning with the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship. PEAK and BlueDEF will be much more visible in 2019, moving to the rear-wing endplates of the racecars driven by Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen. Since July with the British Grand Prix, PEAK and BlueDEF have been featured on the nose of the Haas VF-18s. The brands will retain this position through the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix before moving to the more prominent rear-wing endplate positions in 2019 to coincide with Old World Industries’ increased investment with Haas F1 Team. “Just as we have improved our performance year after year, we have improved our commercial viability, and this expansion of our partnership with PEAK and BlueDEF is proof of that,” said Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team. “We work hard to score points in races, and we work equally hard to ensure the partners associated with Haas F1 Team score points with their customers. It’s been great seeing how energized PEAK and BlueDEF distributors are with this program and how it has resonated.” The third-year American team is a solid fifth in the constructors’ standings having tallied 84 points so far this year, easily outpacing its point total from the two previous seasons combined – 29 points in its inaugural 2016 campaign and 47 points last year. Old World Industries will augment its partnership with Haas F1 Team by also joining Stewart-Haas Racing, the championship-winning NASCAR team co-owned by Gene Haas and three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart. PEAK Coolant & Antifreeze and BlueDEF Exhaust Fluid and Equipment will be the primary sponsor for driver Clint Bowyer and the No. 14 team for three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races in 2019 with associate sponsorship on the No. 14 Ford Mustang at all other races. “Old World Industries is an American, family-owned, independent business whose values and methodologies align very well with Gene Haas and his race teams,” said Bryan Emrich, Chief Marketing Officer, Old World Industries. “In a very short period of time, Haas F1 Team has proven to be extremely valuable in expanding our global footprint. PEAK Coolant & Antifreeze and BlueDEF products can be found in more than 50 countries worldwide, and these same countries and regions are where Formula One competes. We’ve already made significant gains with our PEAK Coolant & Antifreeze and BlueDEF brands via our partnership with Haas F1 Team and we wanted to leverage it even more. We’re able to broaden our role with Haas F1 Team while also shoring up our presence in the United States with Stewart-Haas Racing.” This agreement heightens an already aggressive and diverse motorsports portfolio for PEAK and BlueDEF, with the leading automotive brands enjoying relationships in Formula One, NASCAR, NHRA and the Late Model Dirt Series. “We get the best of both worlds with Haas F1 Team and Stewart-Haas Racing,” Emrich added. “The PEAK Coolant & Antifreeze and BlueDEF brands get global exposure and continued recognition domestically. The technology of Formula One and NASCAR helps sell our products, as do the personalities we’ve aligned ourselves with. Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen and Clint Bowyer are genuine people who engage well with our customers. Racing is a relationship business, and we’re extremely proud of the relationships we’ve fostered with Haas F1 Team and Stewart-Haas Racing.” Old World Industries has been a leader in the development and distribution of high-quality automotive and heavy-duty products for more than four decades. For nearly the same amount of time, PEAK has been actively involved in motorsports as a way to highlight the excellence and competitive quality of its family of brands. From partnerships with such racing icons as Dale Earnhardt and John Force to title sponsorships of international series, specifically, the NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series, PEAK has successfully utilized motorsports to showcase PEAK Coolant & Antifreeze and BlueDEF Diesel Exhaust Fluid and Equipment. “Haas F1 Team provides PEAK and BlueDEF the necessary platform to engage a global audience while showcasing a dedicated commitment to all things racing,” Steiner said. “PEAK and BlueDEF have a track record of success in motorsports and we’re proud to carry on that tradition in Formula One.” PEAK Coolant & Antifreeze features patented, advanced technologies allowing for superior protection for all vehicles, both on pavement and off-road, and BlueDEF is the number one brand of Diesel Exhaust Fluid in the United States.
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    BERGER: MICK DOESN’T ONLY LOOK LIKE HIS FATHER… Mick Schumacher – Schumi III – is already being tipped to carry the famous surname into Formula 1 as the newly-crowned European Formula Three champion finished the season with his 14th podium placing on Sunday. The 19-year-old son of stricken Formula One legend Michael Schumacher took second in the final race of the 2018 season at Germany’s Hockenheim circuit. Having already been confirmed European F3 champion on Saturday, Schumacher finished the last race of 2018 behind his Prema team-mate Robert Shwartzman for his 14th podium place in the 30-race season, with seven wins. Former F1 driver and team owner Gerhard Berger, now boss of DTM has had a good look at the youngster as the European F3 Series runs on the same calendar as the premier German tin-top series. After watching Schumacher junior clinch the title on the final weekend at Hockenheim, Berger told reporters, “I am happy for Mick. He has prevailed and won the title early with a podium finish by his own means today.” “However, I am also very happy for Michael Schumacher and I wish that he will be back with us one day to watch Mick’s future career together with all of us.’ “Mick doesn’t only look like his father, doesn’t only have the same posture and the same walk, he even has his father’s forearms as I noticed yesterday. But the decisive thing is: particularly in the past weeks, he has proven that he has his father’s racing driver genes.” “When he is able to keep on delivering this performance, his career path will bring him into Formula 1,” predicted Berger. Schumacher’s rapid rise from mediocrity to front-runner during the course of this F3 season was nothing short of sensational, impressive performances thrust him from relative obscurity to the current limelight that has him on the brink of Formula 1 and, of course, the inevitable comparisons to his legendary father. The head of Mercedes motorsport – whose engines power the youngster – was equally impressed as Schumacher impressed massively with five straight wins last month to seize control of the drivers’ championship. “He can be a big name in our sport,” said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. “The boy was in the spotlight from the beginning and was under huge pressure, it’s far from easy to deal with that.” In Italy, Gazzetta dello Sport declared there is an “heir to the Schumacher dynasty” – 14 years after Michael Schumacher’s last F1 world title and 28 years after he was crowned German F3 champions, at two years older than Mick is now. For the teenager with the one of the most famous surnames in motorsport, the first major title of his career was “a nice feeling and confirmation that we’re doing something right,” he said, making sure to thank his Prema team for their support. Schumacher has qualified for a FIA “super licence”, a prerequisite to race in Formula One, and is weighing up whether to move up to Formula Two or higher. “Not yet,” he replied when asked if he has decided about his future, but revealed talks are in progress.
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    VANDOORNE FINDS REFUGE IN FORMULA E WITH HWA Ditched by McLaren, Formula 1 refugee Stoffel Vandoorne has secured a drive with the HWA Racelab Formula E team for the forthcoming season starting in Riyadh in December. Vandoorne announced on Twitter: Mercedes are entering Formula E for the first time this season with HWA, Vandoorne will join recently crowned DTM champion Gary Paffett in the team. Vandoorne said, “It definitely won’t be easy. My objective is to be competitive in the series as soon as possible and to make a good impression.” “It’s great to work alongside such an experienced driver as Gary Paffett. I am pretty sure that we will benefit from each other during the season. Although we are all newbies to the series, I have no doubt that we will have a steep learning curve.” It brings to an end a brief and disappointing Formula 1 career for the 26-year-old Belgian from whom a lot was expected, but circumstances at McLaren and his own poor form have conspired against him.
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    ROSBERG: FORMULA 1 AND FORMULA E WILL PROBABLY MERGE Formula 1 World Champion and Formula E shareholder Nico Rosberg believes that the two single-seater series’ will merge sometime in the future. Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag claims to have the exclusive rights to electric racing and that Formula 1 cannot become electric in the future, despite the fact that Liberty Media are also stakeholders in the relatively new championship. Agag also predicts that his series will become bigger than Formula 1 in the years to come. FIA president Jean Todt immediately poured cold water on the theory that Formula E will usurp Formula 1, while Rosberg argues that there could well be a common middle-ground. The 2016 F1 World Champion told the Associated Press, “Maybe we will never even get to that point and we will just see a merger between Formula 1 and Formula E before that.” “When the moment comes that Formula 1 needs to go electric, which will happen, maybe you will just see a merger then. The step for Formula 1 to go electric will be a big and difficult one. “If the whole world is selling and driving electric cars, it doesn’t make sense for Formula 1 to be combustion engines, so that moment will come.” “The advantage is that Formula 1 and Formula E have the same owner,” added Rosberg, referencing Liberty’s investment in the series. The fifth edition of the Formula E championship begins on 15 December in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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