What happened in July – F1 News #13

The calendar month of July was a important month for a few teams in Formula One – with many news stories circulating around Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren. Also, one of the most popular drivers on the grid reveals what could of happened to him. 

02/08/18

July 4th – Boullier resigns amid McLaren reshuffle

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has left the team amid a wider restructure of their leadership. McLaren had high hopes of making inroads up the pecking order this year after making the switch to Renault engines after ditching Honda after 3 poor years. Boullier joined McLaren in 2014 after leaving his post as Team Principal for the Lotus F1 Team.

Former Indycar champion Gil De Ferran has been appointed sporting director while Andrea Stella has been appointed performance director, responsible for trackside operations. McLaren chief executive Zak Brown said that he had consulted closely with double world champion, Fernando Alonso, on the appointments and also said that the Spaniard had been “a part of the process.”

July 11th – Kubica had signed 2012 Ferrari deal

2008 Canadian GP winner and Williams reserve driver Robert Kubica has revealed that he had signed to drive alongside Fernando Alonso at Ferrari in 2012 before the Polish driver had suffered life-changing injuries in a rally accident in 2011. In episode 2 of F1’s official podcast Beyond the Grid, Kubica revealed that he had signed to drive for Ferrari in 2012 and that the rally that he would be competing in 2011 would have been his last due to a clause in his Ferrari contract that did not let him race outside of F1.

Before his rally crash, Kubica drove for the Lotus Renault team in 2010 where he had finished on the podium twice ending the season in 8th with 136 points. Kubica suffered severe injuries to his right arm and had to undergo numerous surgeries to regain limited mobility in his wrist. Kubica had competed in two Friday practice sessions with Williams so far this year in Spain and Austria.

July 12th – Mercedes announce 2019 technical shake-up

Mercedes have announced that there will be changes their technical department after the news that two key figures will be leaving their roles. Engineering Director Aldo Costa, who joined Mercedes in 2011, step into a consultancy role from next season onwards so he can spend more time with his family. Chief Designer John Owen will take over this role.

Performance Director Mark Ellis, joined Mercedes in 2014 after being with Red Bull through their title-winning era of 2010-13, will retire from his role and take a sabbatical next season. Chief vehicle dynamicist Loic Serra will take over this role.

July 23rd – F1 abandons 2019 Miami race

Formula One has abandoned plans for F1 to race in Miami for 2019 instead delaying the race in America until 2020. Talks between the race officials and Liberty Media have been going on for quite a few months with Liberty wanting to expand to expand more into the US.  F1 commercial boss Sean Bratches said time had run out “to deliver the best possible wheel-to-wheel racing experience” in 2019. The current USA GP at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, has been held since 2012.

July 25th  – Sergio Marchionne, 1952-2018

Former Chairman and CEO of Ferrari, Sergio Marchionne, has passed away at the age of 66. The news comes after the Scuderia announced that Marchionne was unable to return to work. John Elkann was named as Chairman with Louis C. Camilleri named as CEO. Marchionne was unable to return after complications from surgery on his right shoulder. Marchionne was a key figure in F1 and was mainly responsible for turning Ferrari back into a winning team after the disappointment of the 2014 season.

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