GENEVA - The World Motor Sport Council has approved Formula One being sold to Liberty Media, a U.S. company that invests in entertainment and sports, for $4.4 billion. Liberty Media Corp., which is controlled by 75-year-old tycoon John Malone, ended years of uncertainty about the ownership of the auto racing series with the takeover announcement in September. Four months on, the WMSC approved at a meeting Wednesday the change of control of Delta Topco, F1's holding company, from investment fund CVC Capital Partners to Liberty Media Group. The new F1 season starts in Melbourne on March when the buyout is expected to be completed. Copyright © 2017 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.
LONDON - Pascal Wehrlein will drive for Formula One team Sauber this season. The team says the German driver will line up alongside Marcus Ericsson when the F1 season starts in Melbourne on March 26. In his rookie season with Manor in 2016, Wehrlein scored the team's only point with a 10th-place finish in Austria. Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said: "There is surely more to come from Pascal, and we want to give him the chance to further grow and learn at the pinnacle of motorsport.'' Copyright © 2017 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.
LONDON - Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas will race alongside Lewis Hamilton at Formula One team Mercedes this season. Bottas will fill the seat left by world champion Nico Rosberg's retirement. With Bottas moving on, F1 team Williams said Monday in a statement that Felipe Massa will come out of retirement to race for a fourth consecutive season. Rosberg retired only five days after beating Hamilton to his first world title in November. "Valtteri has been part of the Williams family since 2010 and in that time has proved a huge talent, securing nine podium finishes," Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams said. "I would like to take this opportunity to thank him on behalf of the whole team, and wish him a successful season as he joins Mercedes." Bottas finished eighth in the drivers' standings with 85 points last season. Massa heads back to Williams only a few months after retiring from Formula One. The Brazilian has agreed to a one-year deal and will race alongside F1 ..
SUZUKA, Japan - For Lewis Hamilton, there is no better track than Suzuka to re-ignite his Formula One title hopes after the disappointment of last weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix. Hamilton's engine failed while leading in Malaysia, handing the victory to Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo. Title rival and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg finished third to stretch his championship lead to 23 points with five races remaining. Urgently needing a win to restore both his confidence and title chances, Hamilton is in the right place for this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix after winning the previous two races in Suzuka. ''I will find strength from within to fight back over these next five race weekends,'' Hamilton said. ''If I can perform like I did last weekend and the car holds together, then good things can still come my way.'' Hamilton was furious after the incident in Malaysia but said he is doing his best to put it behind him. ''..
Formula One returns to Suzuka for the 42nd Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday. Here are three things you need to know ahead of the race: The track Suzuka International Racing Course Circuit length 5.807 km Number of laps 53 Race distance 307.471 km (Courtesy: Formula One) A favourite among the drivers, Suzuka, opened in 1962, offers arguably the most riveting viewing of any course on the relentless F1 calendar. Exceedingly challenging, the rare "Figure 8" layout oozes peril at many of the 18 turns, but still maintains a sense of rhythm and flow that makes it one of the most iconic on circuit. Designed by the legendary John Hugenholtz, Suzuka - augmented by an always boisterous Japanese crowd and the backdrop of an amusement park - Suzuka is highlighted by its iconic S-turns, ranking among the most difficult sections of track F1 drivers past and present face. And yet, despite the succession of wicked turns - from the uphill Dunlop, to the Degners, down to Spoon and then the 130R - Suzuka, th..
SUZUKA - Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg capitalized on a slow start by teammate Lewis Hamilton to win the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday and widen his lead in the Formula One drivers' championship. Rosberg, who started from pole position, controlled the race throughout and finished 4.9 seconds ahead of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who held off Hamilton in close racing over the final few laps. "The start went really well," Rosberg said. "Everything went well, and then it was just controlling the pits and the gaps to Max in the race. It was a perfect weekend to win on this legendary track." With four races remaining Rosberg holds a 33-point lead over Hamilton. "It's better that way than the other way round but it's still Lewis that's my teammate, so I always need to reckon with him," Rosberg said. "He's going to be going for it in the last four races. There's still a long way to go." The result clinched the constructors' championship for Mercedes for th..
SUZUKA, Japan - An underwhelming performance in the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday was a setback to a McLaren Honda team that was feeling upbeat after securing points in the previous race in Malaysia. Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso put up a spirited battle at the Suzuka circuit to take the fight into the midfield, but was never in a position to challenge for points. He eventually finished 15th. Jenson Button started 22nd on the grid after the team elected to change his power unit components before the race, incurring a penalty. Starting so far back meant expectations were limited. Despite pulling off a couple of satisfying passing moves, he finished 18th. ''It's been a very tough weekend,'' Button said. ''It's a shame that Suzuka is our bogey track because it's our second home. Still, we have to take the rough with the smooth: we haven't been quick here, but we hope to be quicker at the next race.'' Alonso finished sev..
AUSTIN, Texas - Lewis Hamilton got the victory he needed to keep his Formula One championship hopes alive, winning the U.S. Grand Prix for the fourth time in five years Sunday. Hamilton cut Mercedes teammate and championship leader Nico Rosberg's points lead to 26 with three races to go. Rosberg finished second ahead of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo to maintain a relatively comfortable cushion over Hamilton in the title chase. Rosberg doesn't have to win any of the final three races to get his first Formula One championship, even if Hamilton wins all of them. Two more seconds and a third place will wrap it up. But that also means Rosberg can't afford a bad race if Hamilton is going to make a late charge. Hamilton started from pole position and got one of his best starts of the season to hold position for his seventh victory of the season. ''Yeehaw!'' Hamilton roared over his car radio as he rounded the final turn for the checkered flag and his 50th..
SILVERSTONE, England - German driver Nico Hulkenberg will leave the Force India team at the end of the Formula One season to join French manufacturer Renault. After Force India announced earlier Friday that the 29-year-old Hulkenberg was going, Renault confirmed he will be arriving next season on a ''multi-year'' deal. Renault did not elaborate. ''In his stint with Renault, Michael Schumacher not only helped make Germany an F1 nation, he also sparked my enthusiasm and fire for racing,'' Hulkenberg said in a Renault statement. Either Dane Kevin Magnussen or British driver Jolyon Palmer - Renault's current F1 pair - will have to make way for Hulkenberg, who thanked Force India for not blocking his move. ''I am grateful that Force India has given me the chance to take up this new opportunity,'' he said. ''It has always been my dream to work for a manufacturer team. F1's new regulations (in 2017) will change th..
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Formula One could be on its way out of Malaysia after the country's sports minister said ''we should stop hosting'' the grand prix and the chief of the Sepang International Circuit inferred the dominance of Mercedes had stripped the sport of its excitement. There is a contract to hold an F1 race at Sepang through 2018 but the prospects of continuing beyond that are diminishing. An early exit could possibly be negotiated as F1's new ownership seeks to expand its presence in the United States without extending the season schedule. Amid falling ticket sales and television viewership, SIC chief executive Razlan Razali told local media that ''maybe it will do Malaysia good to take a break'' from hosting F1. ''The product (F1) is no longer exciting. It's being dominated by one team,'' Razali was quoted as saying. This criticism is despite Malaysia's state oil company, Petronas, being both..