Nico Rosberg has finally agreed his two-year contract extension with Mercedes.
The team announced it by posting a video showing the German signing his contract alongside a smiling Toto Wolff.
Negotiations have been ongoing for some time, with Gerhard Berger working as an advisor and helping Rosberg to get a better deal.
Yesterday when referring to the drawn out discussions Rosberg noted: “Of course you need to be careful, because it can influence and take some energy away, but I think from my side with the experience that I have now I know how to handle it, and in my part I have Gerhard Berger who is handling it for me, specifically to make sure that I don’t lose any focus on the racing and to get the best out of it.”
The troubled Sauber team has finally secured a deal to safeguard its future with a sale to Swiss investment company Longbow Finance.
The team admitted some weeks ago that a “solution” was at hand, but no details had been forthcoming. Since BMW pulled out at the end of 2009 the team has been owned by founder Peter Sauber and team principal Monisha Kaltenborn.
Sauber, who has always been reluctant to sell, will retire and leave his role as chairman, and will be succeeded by Longbow’s Pascal Picci. Kaltenborn will stay on a team principal.
In a statement the team said that it is Longbow’s “clear intention to stabilise the group and create the basis for a competitive and successful future. This transaction also secures the continuation of the brand Sauber in Formula One and will open opportunities to further grow the engineering activities of the group. There will be no changes to either the company or the team name.”
“We are very pleased that by reaching an agreement with Longbow Finance S.A., we can secure the future of Sauber at the pinnacle of motorsport,” said Kaltenborn. “We are convinced that Longbow Finance S.A. is the perfect partner to again make the team competitive and successful in Formula 1. At the same time the new structure will allow us to finally further expand our third party business in which we commercialise our know-how.
“This solution is in the best interest of our employees, partners, loyal suppliers, the base in Hinwil and for the Swiss motorsport. We are very grateful that Longbow Finance S.A.believes in the competences, efficiency and capabilities of Sauber Group, and we look forward to a new exciting future.”
Peter Sauber added: “Monisha Kaltenborn and I yesterday signed an agreement which secures the future of the Formula 1 Team and the Sauber Group. I am very happy that my courageous investment to buy the team back, which I made six years ago, with the intention to secure the base in Hinwil and the place in Formula 1 has proved to be correct.”
Mercedes has lodged an intention to appeal with the FIA regarding the decision that saw Nico Rosberg docked 10 seconds in the British GP results, and which dropped him to third place behind Max Verstappen.
In effect the team has bought itself time to assess the situation, and it can now decide whether to proceed with the appeal or withdraw it. Had it not appealed the results would have been final today.
The key to the decision was the team telling Rosberg how to deal with his seventh gear problem.
Nico Rosberg has been given a 10 second penalty for a breach of the radio communication rules in the British GP.
He thus drops to third behind Max Verstappen.
The FIA deemed that he had breached Article 27.1 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations, and noted that: “Having considered the matter extensively, the Stewards determined that the team gave some instructions to the driver that were specifically permitted under Technical Directive 014-16. However, the Stewards determined that the team then went further and gave instructions to the driver that were not permitted under the Technical Directive, and were in Breach of Art. 27.1 of the Sporting Regulations, that the driver must drive the car alone and unaided.”
Marcus Ericsson has been given clearance to start the British GP after an early morning FIA medical check.
A statement from the FIA said: “Following a medical examination undertaken this morning at the Silverstone Circuit Medical Centre, the FIA has cleared Sauber F1 Team driver Marcus Ericsson to take part in today’s British Grand Prix.”
The Swede went for a checks at a hospital in Oxford yesterday after his FP3 accident at Stowe, before returning to the circuit later in the afternoon.
Although he did not take part in qualifying the stewards gave him permission to race as he had been fast enough in practice, pending today’s medical check.
The Sauber team has built up the spare chassis, and he has also changed his gearbox.
Kimi Raikkonen joked today that he is happy to see “disappointed people” after news of his new Ferrari contract stirred up some criticism from media and fans.
Raikkonen has been confirmed as Sebastian Vettel’s team mate for next season despite inevitable discussion about whether he deserves to stay on. Raikkonen said he’s pleased that the talk will now stop.
“Obviously it is more easy,” he said. “People stop asking the same question. I would not sign the contract if I wouldn’t be happy here, if I wouldn’t think that I can drive well. The rest doesn’t really change. We go every race weekend the same way, we work the same way.
“It’s just I think more easy for us, people leave us alone a little bit more and are not hassling us around these kind of things.
“Obviously I am very happy about it. It gives me pleasure to see disappointed people! When it comes to next year obviously it is a different story again with the different rules.”
Ferrari has confirmed that Kimi Raikkonen will stay with the team in 2017, ending speculation about the Finn’s future and his possible replacements.
A simple statement said: “Scuderia Ferrari announces that it has renewed its technical and racing agreement with Kimi Raikkonen. The driver line-up for the 2017 racing season will still consist of the Finnish driver and Sebastian Vettel.”
Although it is not spelled out it would appear that the deal is just for one year.