This Week in F1: Week 14

As with every week the tide of news still flows out of Formula 1. Though the surge is less a tidal wave than it normally is between race weekends there is still plenty to digest and analise as we finish up Q1 of 2020. 

Lawrence Stroll Becomes Executive Chairman of Aston Martin 

As the continued COVID-19 pandemic takes its toll on the global economy, shares in business across the globe have been taking huge hits. Though many-a-people’s loss is often a billionaire’s gain…

Having already agreed to take a stake of just under 17% in the iconic British brand in January, Stroll’s Yew Tree consortium have revised the original agreement and as of Tuesday and have acquired 25% of the company investing over £260 million. The deal will see, as expected, Aston Martin returning to Formula 1 as a works team and the renaming (and almost certainly re-colouring) of the Sport Pesa Racing Point team. 

Formula 1 will of course offer a huge global marketing opportunity for the brand and Stroll will be looking to leverage this opportunity to strengthen the Aston Martin brand in a number of key and emerging markets. Success on track will always help in such endeavors and with the latest version of the RP20 showing some real promise it will be interesting to see how the team gets on. 

It will be great to have Aston Martin and another true British brand on the Grid in the coming years so there should be exciting times ahead for Stroll… and his son.

Drivers Join Staff in Taking Pay Cuts

McLaren F1 became the first team to start furloughing staff in the UK. Taking advantage of the government scheme McLaren became the first team (with others likely to follow suit) to start taking cost saving measures including the furloughing of a number of staff with other employees, including Sainz, Norris and Zak Brown taking pay cuts. 

The FIA have already started to offer measures to help teams save money as no income from races and the continued economic downturn begins to take its toll on businesses across the globe. I am almost certain that the other UK based teams will soon decide to take the same route to help them manage costs at this time and more drivers will certainly follow the great example of Sanz and Norris in taking pay cuts to bring things under control. 

Lando Norris also took to his twitch stream to raise over £12,000 for health workers in the UK fighting the COVID 19 pandemic, promising and following through on shaving his hair off should the milestone be met. 

Bernie Ecclestone Announces he is Expecting Child Number 4 at Age 89

Bernie Ecclestone (89) and wife Fabiana Flosi (44) have announced they are expecting a childt who will arrive just before the Former Chief Exec turns 90. 

The controversial figure has waved off any public scrutiny of the announcement and his sex life joking: ‘’There’s nothing that unusual is there? I haven’t had a job for a little while so I have had plenty of time to practice

‘She is thrilled. We’re not sure what all the fuss is about! ‘I’m very happy and happy really for my wife, she’s been looking forward to this happening for quite a few years so I’m happy she’ll have someone after I’m gone.

‘It’s fun, I don’t see any dramas, I’ve got grandchildren and I’m looking forward to having another baby.’

Virtual Grand Prix’s Bring in More Drivers

The official F1 virtual Grand Prix championship hauls in it’s biggest driver set to date. Off the back of a successful few weekends of streaming virtual Grand Prixs on a Race Sunday on cancelled GP circuits, the ESports series will have 6 of the 2020 grid drivers this evening

Charles Leclerc, Alex Albon, George Russell, Lando Norris, Nicholas Latifi and Antonio Giovinazzi will all be racing for their respective teams tonight joined by other personalities from the F1 and ESports community. Red Bull’s Albon will be partnered by Red Bull sponsored athlete and England Cricket hero Ben Stokes for the event. 

Following an amusing practice session yesterday the race is shaping up to be the most entertaining of the series so far. Still far from the real thing, it is great to see F1 continue to try and find ways to keep fans engaged and entertained. 

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