Posts tagged jean todt
Formula 1 racing is coming back to North America, and coming back in a big way. Whereas a few years ago there was no grand prix on this continent at all, now the Canadian Grand Prix is back in Montreal, a new track is being constructed to host the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, and negotiations are back under way to hold a race in New Jersey. But if that’s not enough, now Mexico is throwing its sombrero in the ring.
The country south of our border held a total of fifteen world championship grands prix in the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, but after ’92 it fell by the wayside. But now F1 racing is enjoying a resurgence in popularity in Mexico, mostly revolving around the Sauber team. Sergio Perez is driving for the team, Esteban Gutierrez is their test driver, and Telmex is one of their principal sponsors.
On the back of that popularity, talk is in progress to bring F1 racing back to Mexico. The project reportedly involves entertainment company CIE and billionaire businessman Carlos Slim’s son Carlos Slim Domit. CIE owns the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City (named after the brothers who were arguably the most prominent F1 drivers in Mexican history), which could potentially be rejuvenated and brought back up to modern F1 standards, or alternatively a new street circuit is being mooted for Guadalajara.
Either prospect would be several years away, but FIA president Jean Todt is quoted as supporting the venture, which would also join the Brazilian Grand Prix that is currently the only F1 race in Latin America since the demise of the Argentine Grand Prix in 1998.
Mexico in contention to host a Formula 1 grand prix? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 12 Aug 2011 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
When Formula One opted to switch from the planned four-cylinder engine regulations to the new six-cylinder format, it came as good news (or at least, less bad news than originally expected) to just about everyone involved. With the possible exception of PURE.
As you may recall, former BAR-Honda team principal Craig Pollock started the outfit called Propulsion Universelle et Recuperation d’Energie a few months ago with the aim of joining Cosworth, Renault, Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari as F1 engine suppliers. The firm got what it believed would be a head start by beginning development of its new turbo four earlier than the existing suppliers could. The change in direction must have thrown a wrench in the proverbial works over at PURE’s headquarters in France, but its latest hire might help it get back on track.
The hire in question is Gilles Simon, well known in the racing world as a certified guru when it comes to motorsport powertrains. He was the brains behind the engine that powered Peugeot‘s Le Mans program in the early 90s, then followed Jean Todt to Ferrari to run its racing engine program, and joined Todt again in 2009 as an FIA propulsion consultant.
Now that he’s leaving the FIA to join PURE, however, the other engine manufacturers have raised some concerns. Namely, that in his capacity with the motorsport governing body, he was privy to each supplier’s engine specifications, information he could potentially take with him to their new competitor. Looks like someone’s gonna have some explaining to do.
F1 teams concerned over FIA engine chief moving to competitor originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 31 Jul 2011 12:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
The ambition in the Hethel offices of Lotus appears to know no bounds, its road car program rivaled only by its expanding racing operations.
The British automaker already participates, in one manner or another, in Formula 1, IndyCar, GP3 and GT racing. The company is also said to be working on a new LMP2 program to challenge for the second-tier Le Mans category. But before that comes around, reports indicate that Lotus is working on an in-house rally project.
Rather than compete in the top-tier WRC or IRC classes, reports suggest that a production-based Exige is in the works for privateer entries, presumably for tarmac rallies, set to debut at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Despite the fact that the Exige has gone out of production, it remains a popular choice among privateers who have Lotus road cars converted to rally specifications by independent outfitters, a slice of whose pie Lotus apparently is keen to take.
The growing motorsport division at Lotus is headed by one Claudio Berro, who followed CEO Dany Behar over from Ferrari, where he was once the F1 team’s manager. And, like his former boss Jean Todt, Berro comes from a background as a rally co-pilot, navigating a Talbot Sunbeam Lotus through the Group 2 Italian Rally Championship in the early ’80s.
Lotus planning Exige-based rally car for Frankfurt originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 30 Jun 2011 18:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Filed under: Motorsports
Isn’t it nice when we can all get along? After decades of rift between the FIA (which governs such premier racing series as F1, the WRC and the WTCC) and the ACO (which organizes Le Mans and its related series), the two have gotten together to form the new FIA World Endurance Championship.
The rapprochement is widely credited to FIA President Jean Todt, who lead Peugeot’s factory team to victory at Le Mans before running the Scuderia Ferrari. After the initial announcement a few days ago, Todt and his ACO counterpart Jean-Claude Plassart held a press conference just two days before the start of this year’s 24-hour race at La Sarthe to announce further details on what we can expect from the new series.
For starters, it would appear that the FIA World Endurance Championship will replace both the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and the FIA GT1 World Championship in 2012, basing the new calendar on the ILMC’s current season now underway. The official calendar will be announced in the fall, and will consist of seven races of at least six hours each: two in the United States (likely Sebring and the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta), two in Asia (probably in China and Abu Dhabi) and three in Europe (including Le Mans and two others – we’d guess Spa and Silverstone).
Points will be awarded on the same scale used in all FIA championships, awarding 25 points for first place, 18 for second, 15 for third, then 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1 point for tenth place. The headline 24 Hours of Le Mans, however, will be worth double points towards the titles. The classes will follow the ACO’s formula, consisting of LMP1, LMP2, GTE Pro ad GTE Amateur. For more details check out the full announcement after the jump.
ACO & FIA announce details for joint World Endurance Championship originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 10 Jun 2011 07:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Filed under: Motorsports
International motor racing is a complicated web of various series, each with their own types of cars run under different rules. The one element that binds them all – or at least a good proportion of them – together is the FIA. The international automobile federation governs Formula One, the World Rally Championship, the World Touring Car Championship and a variety of others. The one notable exception is Le Mans.
The iconic 24-hour endurance race and its affiliated series are organized by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), and have long stood apart from the FIA. But not any more, as the two French racing organizations have come together to form the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The announcement is set to take effect with a new series next season, but poses more questions than its answers. Of particular interest is what effect this will have on the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Europe-based Le Mans Series, the American Le Mans Series and the newly formed Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, as well as the FIA’s GT1 World Championship (pictured above) and GT3 European Championship. However, the FIA is said to be working on combining its GT1, GT2 and GT3 regulations into one class of sports cars.
A further announcement set for June 9 will hopefully address such details, but in the meantime, as a symbol of their cooperation, FIA President Jean Todt has been announced to start the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 11. Follow the jump for the full press release.
FIA and ACO team up for new World Endurance Championship originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 06 Jun 2011 07:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Ferrari and its stakeholders and executives (past and present) seem hell-bent on gaining control of Formula One and all it’s worth. First came the election of former Ferrari CEO Jean Todt to the head of the FIA, which governs Formula One. Then more recently came reports that Exor – the Agnelli family trust that effectively owns Ferrari – was part of the consortium led by News Corp looking to buy into the sport’s commercial rights. Now further details have emerged adding the Mubadala Development Company as a member of the same consortium.
Mubadala is a company whose assets have recently been closely intertwined with those of Ferrari’s. The company is owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, where the Ferrari World theme park stands. Until recently, Mubadala also owned part of Ferrari itself, its logos featuring prominently on the team’s cars and uniforms (as did Abu Dhabi’s national airline Etihad, also owned by the royal family). But even since the shares were reacquired, Mubadala remains (alongside the Ferrari family) a large shareholder in Piaggio Aero, the aerospace company chaired by Pierro Ferrari (Enzo’s son and vice-chairman of the namesake automaker) and whose planes, incidentally, the Scuderia flies from one grand prix to the next.
Of course, once again, none of this appears to be going anywhere since the current owner CVC doesn’t appear eager to sell. But if it did, hypothetically speaking, Mubadala might be a more suitable candidate, much as CVC sold to the rights to the MotoGP bike series to Bridgepoint (another investment company) before acquiring Formula One.
Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Co emerges as another partner for F1 bidders originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 May 2011 07:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
The initial reports indicated that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, together with an unnamed second investor (speculated to be connected to Ferrari), were looking into acquiring the commercial rights to the premier motor racing series, which are currently held by CVC Capital and directed by Ecclestone. That second party turns out the be Exor, the investment company owned by the Agnelli family and chaired by its scion John Elkann, who also heads up the Fiat Group… which in turn owns Ferrari.
Exor has confirmed that it and News Corp are interested in buying all or part of the F1 business, although it admits that its interest alone won’t necessarily lead to the deal’s completion. After all, CVC would have to be willing to sell, and sources don’t expect that to come any time soon. But then, everything has its price.
The notion of Ferrari’s owners also owning F1, of course, will lead to much speculation, particularly since the team’s former chief executive Jean Todt already presides over the FIA, the body which governs everything about the sport that Formula One Management doesn’t. Follow the jump for the brief announcement from Exor.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and Agnelli family’s Exor confirm F1 plan originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 May 2011 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
In early April, Jean Todt, president of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), made it known that he hopes to launch a couple of racing events (electric car, go-kart and single-seat vehicles) that will eventually lead to an electrified Formula One series. Though Todt’s plans will likely be opposed by F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, that hasn’t prevented Mitsubishi from declaring that it’s “very interested” in a racing series for electric vehicles. Japan Today reports that Mitsubishi president Osamu Masuko is intrigued by the notion of electric racecars. Masuko supposedly told the newspaper that:
The development costs for electric vehicles seem much lower than for gasoline cars, and it would also contribute to the technological development of cars that are already on the market. I’m said to be unenthusiastic about motorsports, but with electric vehicles, I want to promote them.
Open-wheel racing, at any level, would be uncharted territory for Mitsubishi, but the Japanese automaker has invested a significant amount into developing its own electric vehicles. If the company is going to enter the world of open-wheel racing, it’s fitting that it would go electric.
Photos copyright (C)2010 Jeff Glucker / AOL
[Source: Inside Line]
Mitsubishi “very interested” in electric F1 racing league originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Mon, 02 May 2011 17:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Mitsubishi has expressed serious interest in FIA president Jean Todt’s proposed electric F1 series. The idea is in its infancy, and there is long way to go before silent F1 cars are zipping around the world’s best racing circuits, but interest from the brand gives the idea a bit of a boost.
Over the last two years, Mitsubishi has significantly reduced its motorsports participation, beginning with its withdrawal from the 2009 Dakar Rally. That, coupled with the recent controversy surrounding the future of the Lancer Evolution, has elicited criticism that the Mitsubishi is moving in an anti-motorsports direction.
Company brass say that isn’t true. Mitsubishi claims it’s very interested in electric-vehicle racing as a way to speed up EV technology development and make advancements in its future road vehicles. Still, we’d wager it’ll be years before an electric Evo hits the streets.
[Source: Mainichi Daily News]
Mitsubishi interested in electric Formula 1 series originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 01 May 2011 17:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.