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Jolyon Palmer joins the queue at Williams

November 23, 2019 | News | No Comments

Jolyon Palmer has offered his services to Williams for next season, according to the still-Renault driver’s father, Jonthan Palmer.

The French team slipped the British driver his pink sheet last weekend in Singapore as Carlos Sainz joins the yellow outfit for 2018.

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Palmer responded positively however, achieving a career-best F1 finish on Sunday, concluding his Singapore GP in sixth place, a result which will hopefully boost his prospects for next season.

“I hope I can build on this confidence,” he said.

“Of course I want to stay in Formula 1, and there are other options. Whatever happens, happens.”

  • Palmer shines and clinches best-ever F1 finish

Palmer’s father, UK racing circuit mogul Jonathan, is hawking his son’s talents up and down the paddock at present.

The best opportunity is Williams, which is undecided on Felipe Massa’s future and whose short list is rumored to include Robert Kubica, Paul di Resta, Marcus Ericsson and now, Jolyon Palmer.

Palmer senior believes his boy could be a genuine contender for the coveted seat, if he can sustain his Singapore momentum in the upcoming races.

“A few good races and Williams might take notice,” said the former F1 driver who actually made his F1 debut with Williams back in 1983.

“Williams will want to take their best option and he has the chance to show he is that over the next few races.”

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Max Verstappen managed to out-qualify his Red Bull team mate Daniel Ricciardo this weekend, for the eighth time this season.

The pair will start tomorrow’s Belgian Grand Prix alongside each other on the third row. Verstappen will be in fifth place, having finished nearly half a second faster than Ricciardo.

For the Dutch driver – who is unequivocally the star of the show as far as the huge number of fans at Spa-Francorchamps are concerned – the day was a definite success.

“It was good. I really enjoyed it, a bit like last year,” he said. “Of course last year was second position, but my lap today felt pretty similar.

“It was on the limit. I got all the sectors together, and not very often you have that. For me it was the perfect qualifying.

“It couldn’t have been better to be honest as I feel I put everything together and got the best performance out of the car possible.

“I am positively surprised we are so close to Ferrari,” he added.

But with the rows ahead packed out by Mercedes and Ferrari cars, Verstappen is keenly aware that he faces a difficult task in the race if the rain stays away.

  • Record-setting Hamilton dominates Spa qualifying

“Lewis was way ahead. But in the race I think we can be closer, so perhaps a good result is possible.

“It will be difficult to beat them,” he admitted. “I think we can be closer so perhaps a good result is possible. Our strength is in sector 2 so we will work even harder there to improve a bit. But in general the balance of the car was great

“You need a bit of luck as well. Anything can happen on this track,” he said. “It looks dry – hopefully it will change!” he added. “Let’s wait and see tomorrow.”

He said that the massive support from the masses of Dutch fans at Spa had really made a difference to his weekend.

“On my fast laps I was concentrating too much,” he said. “But on my in lap I could see the orange crowd and smoke from all the fans.

“It’s a good motivation because next to the track is all orange,” he chuckled.

“This is amazing to see. As I left the pit lane there was a guy on the fence in all orange waving me on. It’s awesome!”

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Sainz in shock move to Renault for Malaysia!

November 23, 2019 | News | No Comments

Carlos Sainz could be heading to Renault as soon as the Malaysian Grand Prix, according to reports in the European press on Saturday.

An exclusive story from German language website Motorsport-Total.com says that Sainz’ move from Toro Rosso is the linchpin of a complex deal centred on the break-up of the McLaren/Honda partnership.

Sainz had wanted to move to Renault last year. However Toro Rosso has been steadfast in insisting that the Spanish driver is under contract to them for another season. According to the latest reports, the Red Bull management has finally been persuaded to release him early.

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If true, it will leave current Renault driver Jolyon Palmer out in the cold. It follows a frustrating season so far for the Briton. But that will just be the first of many shockwaves resulting from the deal, which was reportedly signed on Friday. It has also been approved by McLaren.

Highly rated Red Bull junior driver Pierre Gasly would take over from Sainz at Toro Rosso for the remainder of the season. The 2016 GP2 Series champion has been competing in the Japanese Super Formula Championship, waiting for an opening in Formula 1.

    Engine ‘not the biggest factor’ in deciding Alonso’s future

However Gasly’s promotion might prove to be short-lived. According to Motorsport-Total.com, Honda protégé Nobuharu Matsushita is to participate in Free Practice 1 sessions with Toro Rosso. The Formula 2 driver could then get his full-time break in Formula 1 next season alongside Daniil Kvyat.

Matsushita had been working with McLaren as part of the Honda partnership arrangement. If he leaves Woking, Formula 3 European Championship leader Lando Norris is likely to take up his development place at McLaren.

The next domino expected to fall is Toro Rosso parting from engine partner Renault. Under the new deal, it will instead receive power units from Honda in 2018. And if all goes well, the senior Red Bull race team could then follow suit in 2019.

Toro Rosso’s switch clears a spot for McLaren to receive Renault power units. The team is desperate to end its current arrangement with Honda, which has been beset by chronic performance and reliability issues. Renault had wanted a ‘sweetener’ such as procuring Sainz to justify agreeing to the deal.

Toro Rosso will need McLaren to supply transmission units to work with the Honda power units. Red Bull management is banking on Honda finally overcoming its various issues within the next 12 months.

Switching to Renault power might enable McLaren to convince Fernando Alonso to stay at the team for another season. His current contract expires at the end of this year, and the two-time world champion has been evaluating his options for several weeks.

McLaren is likely to sign the contract with Renault on Monday. An official announcement is to be expected ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix race weekend.

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Williams puts together 40 years of F1 sounds

November 22, 2019 | News | No Comments

As it continues to commemorate its forty years in Grand Prix racing, Williams has compiled in one video four decades of sounds of its amazing cars.

From the March 761 which started it prosperous journey to the revolutionary and title-winning Williams FW14Bl, the short film delivers the thrilling sights and sounds of several bygone eras.

 

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Biometric gloves to help monitor drivers in 2018!

November 22, 2019 | News | No Comments

Always on the cutting edge of technology, Formula 1 will introduce a biometric glove for drivers next season which will monitor several medical factors.

The technology includes a small sensor stitched inside a driver’s glove capable of measuring pulse rate and oxygen levels in the blood, two parameters essential in addressing a driver’s medical condition in the event of an accident.

Ultimately, the technology, which is supported by the Global Institute for Motor Sport safety, will also have the ability to monitor body temperature and respiratory rate.

Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull drivers tested the special biometric glove in Hungary this summer.

In an interview with the FIA’s in-house magazine Auto, FIA Deputy Medical Delegate Dr Ian Roberts spoke of the merits of the technology and its purpose.

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“We know that the monitoring of people is essential in terms of their medical care,” he said.
“Drivers in incidents are no different. We would like to start monitoring and assessing them as soon as we possibly can.

“But the equipment that we currently use is relatively bulky and is only applied after the incident has happened.

“There are also times when the driver isn’t immediately accessible to us, so if we can’t see him or we’re not actually next to him, there’s limited information that we can get.”

As an example of the technology’s function and use, Roberts pointed towards Carlos Sainz’ accident in practice in Russia in 2015, when the Spaniard was trapped under a barrier, making his condition impossible to assess.

“Accurate monitoring was impossible until we got hands-on, and obviously we couldn’t do that until the barriers were moved,” he said.

“If we had monitoring on him straight away we could have planned our rescue even better than we did.

“With this new technology, the moment a driver has an incident we will receive physiological readings and biometrics, so he is continually monitored from point zero right through to the initial response and on to the medical center.”

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Horner: ‘Verstappen penalty is bad judgement’

November 22, 2019 | News | No Comments

Red Bull boss Christian Horner was searing following the US Grand Prix Steward’s decision to penalise Max Verstappen and deprive the Dutch driver of a well-deserved podium finish.

Verstappen carved through the field from the outset after starting 16th following a grid penalty, with his charge ending hot on the heels of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

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The Red Bull driver successfully challenged and overtook the Finn on the inside of Turn 17 on the final lap, securing an impressive third place finish.

But a five second penalty for exceeding track limits and gaining an advantage wreaked havoc on his podium plans.

“There’s been cars going off track all day today and no action at all, so I think it would be unbelievably harsh to give Max a penalty,” Horner told Sky Sports.

“It’s wrong. We’ll have a look at it, but for me it was fair, hard racing. I think that’s a bad judgement by the stewards to have made that call.

“He did it the hard way. We’ve seen cars off track all day today, all weekend, so to penalise him at this stage, that’s not right.”

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Rosberg joins Sky Sports F1 for Suzuka

November 22, 2019 | News | No Comments

Reigning world champion Nico Rosberg will join the Sky F1 pundit team next weekend in Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Alongside Martin Brundle, Damon Hill, Johnny Herbert and Anthony Davidson, Rosberg will offer his unique insight and expertise to Sky viewers for both qualifying and the race.

The German driver won in Japan last year, in his championship season, at the challenging Suzuka venue.

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“I am thrilled to confirm I will be joining the Sky F1 team this weekend in Japan,” Rosberg said.

“Since my retirement last year I have only attended a few Grands Prix so I am pleased to return to the fold.

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“In 2016 I had a great win at this track, so I am looking forward to share my insights and memories of Suzuka.

“I love this race track and the fans are also amazing. It will be great to have the opportunity to thank the Japanese fans for their wonderful support over the years.”

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Beware of the Corporate GMO Spin Doctors

November 22, 2019 | News | No Comments

You may have heard that popular scientist Bill Nye has mysteriously revised his outlook on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Several years ago, the children’s show host advocated for the labeling of genetically modified foods, citing concerns about what GMOs could do to ecosystems. But now his position on the controversial technology has flipped. This development is the latest in a trend spearheaded by agribusiness giants to discredit the GMO labeling movement, and it’s especially hard to disassociate his reversal from this PR blitz since it coincided with Nye’s recent trip to Monsanto’s headquarters.

We’ll never know what actually went down during Nye’s visit, as Tom Philpott at Mother Jones notes, but we do know that Monsanto has poured millions of dollars into public relation efforts to sell the public on GMOs. Because that’s what you do when you are a corporation with deep coffers and a product that the public is wisely skeptical of.

Does this mean that it’s game over for the GMO labeling movement or that we should trust Monsanto’s word? Of course not. In fact, it means we should be more suspicious than ever.

Companies like Monsanto hope that casting doubt on the GMO labeling debate will cause us to get caught up in the proverbial weeds of the issue. So let’s get something straight: the debate over GMOs isn’t just about GMOs. It’s about the current and future state of our food system—who grows and sells our food, how it’s marketed, and what technologies were used to produce it. By selling seeds to farmers, peddling pesticides, forming corporate monopolies, and funding academic research on GMOs, agribusiness giants like Monsanto have one goal in mind: controlling the food system. The millions of people calling for labeling of GMO foods have a problem with that. Furthermore, it is disappointing to see such beloved science advocates as Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson being captured by the industry.

As I outlined in my book Foodopoly, Monsanto’s roots in the biotech game date back decades, and they have a long history of subverting public policy. In effect, the company used its relationship with the Reagan Administration to create a weak regulatory process that would help the company bring its products to market quickly and smoothly. A 1985 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruling that allowed for plants to be patented further entrenched Monsanto’s power in this area. Since 1999, the fifty largest agricultural and food patent-holding companies and two of the largest biotech and agrochemical trade associations have spent more than US$572 million in campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures, much of it to create a favorable political context to allow GMOs to proliferate.

Just because the industry has launched a charm offensive in the media when it comes to GMOs doesn’t change the basic facts: GMOs are largely untested, and their long-term effects on our health and our planet are still unknown; they promote the use of dangerous chemicals, and they pose a significant threat to organic agriculture. What’s more, consumers should absolutely get to decide whether the food they are buying carries these unknown risks or supports this system; GMO foods must be labeled.

Corporations and their hired guns love confusing people about the science behind their questionable products to help shape favorable public opinion (in the case of GMOs, asserting there is scientific consensus where none actually exists). But we aren’t buying their spin, nor should you.

Wenonah Hauter is the executive director of the consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch. She has worked extensively on energy, food, water and environmental issues at the national, state and local level. Experienced in developing policy positions and legislative strategies, she is also a skilled and accomplished organizer, having lobbied and developed grassroots field strategy and action plans.

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Williams secures strategic partnership with Acronis

November 22, 2019 | News | No Comments

Leading data protection and storage company Acronis has joined Williams as a technical partner for the 2018 season.

Acronis is a familiar name in the motorsport arena as the Singapore-based tech company has been a prominent partner of Toro Rosso in F1, as well of the French edams squad in Formula E.

The firm’s CEO, Serguei Beloussov, took a keen interest in the Grove-based outfit following the arrival of Sergey Sirotkin, and ultimately considered a deal made sense although it was not conditional on the Russian rookie’s presence.

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“For us it was totally unrelated. It had to do with the technology. That was the basis of our decision,” said Acronis president John Zanni.

“The reason we moved to Williams was the scope of the infrastructure that needed to be protected and Williams’ vision to work with us to protect that infrastructure.”

As part of the agreement, Acronis will deliver innovative data protection solutions, including backup, disaster recovery, software-defined storage, and file sync and share.

“Technical innovation is at the heart of everything we do at Williams, and with that comes a crucial need to protect our data,” said Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Acronis whose values mirror our own to push technology and innovation.

“We look forward to them helping to deliver practical solutions throughout the coming season to support our racing efforts.”

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As a reminder, Williams will unveil its 2018 FW18 car this Thursday at an event in London.

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In case you weren’t already worried about the current and rapid acidification of the world’s oceans, a new report by leading scientists finds that this very phenomenon is to blame for the worst mass extinction event the planet earth has ever seen—approximately 252 million years ago.

The findings, published this week in the journal Science by University of Edinburgh researchers, raise serious concerns about the implications of present-day acidification, driven by human-made climate change.

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“Scientists have long suspected that an ocean acidification event occurred during the greatest mass extinction of all time, but direct evidence has been lacking until now,” said lead author Dr. Matthew Clarkson in a statement. “This is a worrying finding, considering that we can already see an increase in ocean acidity today that is the result of human carbon emissions.”

The paper looks at the culprit behind the Permo-Triassic Boundary mass extinction, which wiped out more than 90 percent of marine species and two-thirds of land animals, making it even more severe than the die-off of the dinosaurs.

The scientists evaluated rocks in the United Arab Emirates that, 250 million years ago, were on the bottom of the ocean. Researchers then employed a climate model to determine what drove the extinction.

A summary of the researchers’ findings explains the mass die-off “happened when Earth’s oceans absorbed huge amounts of carbon dioxide from volcanic eruptions. This changed the chemical composition of the oceans—making them more acidic—with catastrophic consequences for life on Earth.”

The kicker? The carbon that drove this process during the Permian-Triassic Boundary extinction was “released at a rate similar to modern emissions,” the report summary concludes. “This fast rate of release was a critical factor driving ocean acidification.”

Over the past 200 years alone, international oceans have become dramatically more acidic, putting coral reefs and sea life at risk, and even, in some cases, causing snails’ shells to dissolve.

As Dr. Rachel Wood of the University of Edinburgh told the Independent, “The important take-home message of this [report] is that the rate of increase of CO2 during the Permian mass extinction is about the same rate as the one to which we are exposing the ocean to today.”