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Fergal Walsh: What a winter for Formula One

  • Published on 28 Jan 2017 10:27
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

When Nico Rosberg secured his championship in Abu Dhabi, I let my mind settle and began my usual F1 hibernation, where I duly wait for the new car designs and pre-season testing. It's usually agonizing, watching your calendar and waiting for the right days to role back around.

A couple of days after Nico's championship, I began my dormant phase only to be prematurely woken by his announcement that he had retired. It was unforeseen and so my sleep was delayed. However the story carried through to Christmas with no hype fading and we actually had a story to talk about!

Manor then entered administration which hit home hard, as I was really gunning for the small team. I remained hopeful for them and crossed my fingers. Meanwhile the rest of the grid fell into place with Bottas coming in at Mercedes, Wehrlein going to Sauber and Massa returning to Williams.

After that I turned my attention back to Manor and just hoped that an investor was found. Ron Dennis was mentioned, as was Ricardo Galeal but at the end of the day I just wanted someone to come along, wrap their expensive arm around the team and guide them to the grid in Australia.

 

Ecclestone's reign comes to an end

Rumours started to gather that Bernie Ecclestone's future was in danger. Although it had been speculated before, there was something much more solid about these suggestions and lo and behold, Ecclestone was ousted on Monday.

Ecclestone is responsible for getting Formula One to where it is today, and for that I thank him. He's built his business and made it global, made it popular. However a change was hastily needed as I believe Ecclestone to be too old fashioned. With online activities and digital communications now a norm, Ecclestone failed to address the situation, something new owners Liberty Media will.

Ideally, Ecclestone's reign should have ended a couple years ago, with a possible gradual transaction being more peaceful (no rumours of a breakaway series). What remains now though is that he is no longer CEO and we can look forward to the changes and evolution to come. It was an all round positive happening in Formula One.

Manor's harrowing folding

In total contrast, it emerged a few days later that Manor have completely folded, and the team will not be competing in 2017. Or so it seems. Maybe it's false hope but upon reading articles and articles about the Manor situation, I haven't heard the word 'liquidized' once. It certainly looks poor for them which is a shame after years and years of committed struggling and fighting. It looked so good for them right up to the 2016 Brazil Grand Prix.

The 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was over two months ago. Time has moved by surprisingly quick for a winter break. We now only have one month before pre-season kicks off and although it is nothing competitive, it will be nice to see the new cars take to the track and just have the beating heart of F1 kicked into gear once again.

 

Fergal Walsh

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Driver profile

  • Team Alfa Romeo Racing
  • Points 1,549
  • Podiums 61
  • Grand Prix 141
  • Country FI
  • Date of b. Aug 28 1989 (32)
  • Place of b. Nastola, FI
  • Weight 70 kg
  • Length 1.73 m
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
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Bahrain
26 - Mar 28 2021
Bahrain
16 - Apr 18 2021
Italy
30 - May 2 2021
Portugal
7 - May 9 2021
Spain
20 - May 23 2021
Monaco
4 - Jun 6 2021
Azerbaijan
18 - Jun 20 2021
France
25 - Jun 27 2021
Austria
2 - Jul 4 2021
Austria
16 - Jul 18 2021
United Kingdom
30 - Aug 1 2021
Hungary
27 - Aug 29 2021
Belgium
3 - Sep 5 2021
Netherlands
10 - Sep 12 2021
Italy
24 - Sep 26 2021
Russian
8 - Oct 10 2021
Japan
8 - Oct 10 2021
Turkey
22 - Oct 24 2021
United States of America
5 - Nov 7 2021
Mexico
12 - Nov 14 2021
Brazil
19 - Nov 21 2021
Qatar
3 - Dec 5 2021
Saudi Arabia
10 - Dec 12 2021
United Arab Emirates
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United Arab Emirates
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
26 - Mar 28 2021
16 - Apr 18 2021
30 - May 2 2021
7 - May 9 2021
20 - May 23 2021
Monaco Monte Carlo
4 - Jun 6 2021
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
18 - Jun 20 2021
France Paul Ricard
25 - Jun 27 2021
Austria Red Bull Ring
2 - Jul 4 2021
Austria Red Bull Ring
16 - Jul 18 2021
United Kingdom Silverstone
30 - Aug 1 2021
Hungary Hungaroring
27 - Aug 29 2021
3 - Sep 5 2021
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
10 - Sep 12 2021
Italy Monza
24 - Sep 26 2021
Russian Sochi Autodrom
8 - Oct 10 2021
8 - Oct 10 2021
Turkey Istanbul Park
22 - Oct 24 2021
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
5 - Nov 7 2021
12 - Nov 14 2021
Brazil Interlagos
19 - Nov 21 2021
3 - Dec 5 2021
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
10 - Dec 12 2021
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
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United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
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