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Serious tweet: Williams FW38 starts testing with old stubby nose. New cleaner Mercedes-style nose planned for Melbourne. https://twitter.com/tgruener Not so serious tweet: F1 launches so far: Las

Mercedes W07

Malaysia to stop hosting Formula One Grand Prix after 2018

Malaysia will not host a Formula One Grand Prix after the current agreement expires in 2018, the country's tourism and culture minister said on Monday.

"After 2018 no longer," Nazri Abdul Aziz told reporters in parliament when asked about reports that the country was considering halting the annual race.

"(From the) longer term perspective, it's probably the correct decision because it's more expensive and no longer that attractive," the minister added, according to audio recordings of the comments heard by Reuters.

Malaysia had been considering cancelling the race due to declining ticket sales and TV viewing figures.

Earlier in the day, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has cast doubt over the future of the sport in Southeast Asia by telling a German magazine that Singapore no longer wanted to host a grand prix after its current deal expires next year.

The Malaysian Grand Prix was last held in October, when Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo claimed his first win of the season.

State oil and gas firm Petronas are the title sponsors for the F1 race in Kuala Lumpur. The company has been hit hard in recent times by the tumble in oil prices.




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Formula One: Button and Massa make proud exits



ABU DHABI: Jenson Button and Felipe Massa made emotional exits from Formula One on Sunday (Nov 27) when they took part in their final races of long and successful careers.

Briton Button, the 2009 champion, and Massa, who missed out on the 2008 title in dramatic circumstances after winning his home Brazilian Grand Prix, were both given warm farewells by their teams, friends and paddock regulars.

Button was forced into retirement after only 12 laps of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix won by former McLaren team-mate and compatriot Lewis Hamilton, for Mercedes.

Hamilton's current Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg finished second to claim his first drivers' world title.

Massa finished the race in ninth position to score points in his final race for Williams, the team with which Button started his career.

"I am so proud and it is very emotional," said Massa. "I have enjoyed it all so much and will have wonderful memories of my time."

Massa drove 250 races for Sauber, Ferrari and Williams.

Button, who came into Formula One aged 20 in 2000, started 305 races and, like Massa, has been much admired for his easy-going personality.

"Our reliability is something we pride ourselves on -- we don't have failures. It's so unusual. It's unlucky, but to be fair I don't really care," he said on Sunday.

"But it doesn't change any feelings of my career and ending my career. I'm very content with what I've achieved. Tonight's going to be a hell of a lot of fun."




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Not sure if I'm alone in this, but I thought the Mercedes team management showed incredible naivety during today's race when they started giving orders to Hamilton over the radio in the closing laps. It's a world championship decider folks. The team comes second this time.

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18 hours ago, arwebb said:

Not sure if I'm alone in this, but I thought the Mercedes team management showed incredible naivety during today's race when they started giving orders to Hamilton over the radio in the closing laps. It's a world championship decider folks. The team comes second this time.

It wasn't naive, it was interfering, EXACTLY what they said they wouldn't do!

They could've advised Hamilton about Vettel, but to get Paddy Lowe on to issue an instruction was putting him in a situation where he either had to give up his WDC hopes or disobey his boss. That wasn't fair.

Mercedes said they were going to let the two of them race, and they decided not to with their radio instructions. Thankfully Hamilton was aware of the situation around him and what he had to do, as was Rosberg, and both gave us a great tactical race. I think both of them deserve a huge amount of credit for showing such single-mindedness in their pursuit of a WDC yesterday. The team, not so much.

Edited by Rob.
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Formula 1 calendar 2017: German GP dropped & Brazil in doubt


Germany has been dropped from next year's Formula 1 calendar and the Brazilian Grand Prix is also in doubt.

The official calendar, to be published later on Wednesday by governing body the FIA, has been seen by BBC Sport.

It contains 20 races with Brazil listed as provisional.

F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone told the FIA he was still in talks with Brazil's president and could not confirm the race's place on the schedule until January.

The Canadian race in Montreal, which had also been in doubt, has been confirmed.

Germany was unable to complete a deal for the race to be held at Hockenheim. In the country's biennial swap deal, it is the turn of the Nurburgring but that circuit has financial problems and cannot host the F1 race.

The season starts in Australia on 26 March and ends in Abu Dhabi on 26 November. The British Grand Prix is on 16 July.

The race in Baku in Azerbaijan has been moved back a week to 25 June to avoid a clash with the Le Mans 24 Hours.

At the meeting, the FIA also said it had identified 11 corners at circuits around the world where changes needed to be made to ensure there was no controversy about drivers gaining advantage by going off the track.

This was a major issue at last month's Mexican Grand Prix, where there was a debate about incidents involving Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

It is likely that this will be dealt with by installing steep 'sausage kerbs' that slow cars down if they go off track.

2017 calendar in full

26 March Australia (Melbourne)

9 April China (Shanghai)

16 April Bahrain (Sakhir)

30 April Russia (Sochi)

14 May Spain (Barcelona)

28 May Monaco

11 June Canada (Montreal)

25 June Azerbaijan (Baku)

9 July Austria (Spielberg)

16 July Britain (Silverstone)

30 July Hungary (Budapest)

27 August Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)

3 September Italy (Monza)

17 September Singapore (Marina Bay)

1 October Malaysia (Sepang)

8 October Japan (Suzuka)

22 October USA (Austin)

29 October Mexico (Mexico City)

12 November Brazil (Sao Paulo)*

26 November Abu Dhabi

* = to be confirmed



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New Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg announces retirement


Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg has announced his retirement with immediate effect.

The German beat Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the title in 2016, sealing the crown in a tense season finale in Abu Dhabi last weekend.

Speaking ahead of Friday's FIA Prize Giving Gala in Vienna, Rosberg announced his retirement from Formula 1.

"I want to take the opportunity to announce that I have decided to end my Formula 1 career in this moment here," said Rosberg.

"It's hard to explain, it has been ever since I started when I was six years old, I had a very clear dream and that was to become Formula 1 world champion.

"Now I've achieved that, I've put everything into it for 25 years of racing and with the help of everybody around me, with the help of fans and the help of my team and my family and friends I have managed to achieve that this year.

"So it has been an incredible experience for me that I will remember forever.

"At the same time, it has been very very tough also because the last two years losing to Lewis were extremely difficult moments for me, which fuelled my motivation in a way that I didn't even know was possible to fight back and to achieve my dream finally."


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Felipe Massa has reportedly agreed terms with Williams for the 2017 Formula One season, having announced his retirement from the sport under a month ago.

The Brazilian driver has agreed an offer of £5m to return for Williams, according to Sky Sports Italy, but the announcement will be delayed until 2017.

The postponement is because Mercedes will not unveil their replacement for Nice Rosberg until January, with Valtteri Bottas widely expected to fill the seat left by the retiring world champion.
Once Bottas is revealed as Lewis Hamilton’s new team-mate, the report claims Williams will follow suit with their news on Massa’s return.




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Sauber agrees Wehrlein deal for F1 2017


Sauber has reached agreement for Pascal Wehrlein to line up alongside Marcus Ericsson this year, sources have revealed, paving the way for Valtteri Bottas to take the vacant seat at Mercedes.

After weeks of speculation about who would replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes – with Wehrlein and Bottas the clear favourites from the start – it appears that the final steps are now being made to get everything signed off formally.

Although Wehrlein had been a contender for the Mercedes seat, it is understood that his lack of experience meant the team felt he was too much or a risk to be promoted to its works team just yet – especially going up against a driver as tough as Lewis Hamilton.

According to sources with good knowledge of the situation, Mercedes has instead now agreed terms with Sauber for it to take its junior driver Wehrlein for 2017. The final details of the contract are still to be finalised, but that should be done in the next few days.

Mercedes has settled on landing Bottas – whose exit from Williams has now been assured, with Felipe Massa having agreed to delay his retirement by another season to ensure that the Grove-based team has an experienced driver on hand alongside rookie Lance Stroll.

The announcements of Bottas, Wehrlein and Massa may well be co-ordinated to ensure that no teams risks being left in an awkward position.

The confirmation of the plans for Mercedes, Sauber and Williams means that the only vacancies left on the grid are now at Manor, which is currently in takeover talks with interested investors.

Esteban Gutierrez is a front-runner for one of the seats, while Felipe Nasr and Rio Haryanto have also been linked with the outfit.


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Manor Racing enter administration and are on brink of collapse


Manor Racing have gone into administration and will collapse without new investment.

Staff were informed of the development on Friday by chief executive officer Thomas Mayer, a source told BBC Sport.

Administrators FRP said there was "a very limited window of opportunity" to save the team before the start of the 2017 season in Australia on 26 March.

FRP said it was "assessing options" and that the process affected Manor's operating company Just Racing Services.

Manor Grand Prix Racing, which owns the rights to the team's participation in F1, is not in administration.

Team owner Stephen Fitzpatrick said in a note to staff: "It was imperative that the team finish in 10th place or better in 2016."

Manor, who finished 11th and last in the championship last season, have been in talks with new investors but so far no deal has been concluded.

Administrator Geoff Rowley said: "The team has made significant progress since the start of 2015, but the position remains that operating a F1 team requires significant ongoing investment.

"The senior management team has worked tirelessly to bring new investment, but regrettably has been unable to do so within the time available.

"Therefore, they have been left with no alternative but to place [Manor Racing] into administration."

A source said several buyers had been lined up over the past few weeks and two had gone as far as conducting a due diligence process.

But none of them provided the funds necessary to buy the team, nor was there any proof they had the money to run it.

Fitzpatrick, the boss of the energy company Ovo, decided to put the team into administration on Thursday night.




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Valtteri Bottas to partner Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in 2017 season


Valtteri Bottas has succeeded world champion Nico Rosberg as Lewis Hamilton's team-mate at Mercedes.

The move, expected since December, also sees Brazilian Felipe Massa come out of retirement to replace the 27-year-old Finn at Williams.

Mercedes' young driver Pascal Wehrlein, passed over in favour of Bottas, joins the Swiss Sauber team.

Massa, 35, said he was "extremely motivated to be coming back" and Bottas had been given a "great opportunity".


'It felt like the right thing to do'

Massa announced his retirement at the end of last season but quit F1 only because he knew he was not wanted at Williams and there was no other good seat available to him.

A winner of 11 grands prix, he said: "Given the turn of events over the winter, I wish Valtteri all the best at Mercedes.

"In turn, when I was offered the chance to help Williams with their 2017 F1 campaign, it felt like the right thing to do."

Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams said: "With Valtteri having a unique opportunity to join the constructors' champions, we have been working hard to ensure that an agreement could be made with Mercedes.

"Felipe has always been a much-loved member of the Williams family, and having the opportunity to work with him again is something we all look forward to.

"He was always going to race somewhere in 2017, as he has not lost that competitive spirit, and it was important that we had a strong replacement in order for us to let Valtteri go.

"Felipe rejoining us provides stability, experience and talent to help lead us forward. He is a great asset for us."

Massa, who has signed a one-year deal, is an experienced and known quantity for Williams, who needed a driver over 25 to partner the 18-year-old Canadian rookie Lance Stroll as a result of their title sponsor, drinks giant Martini.






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Ecclestone confirms Chase Carey has replaced him as CEO of F1

Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that he has lost his position as the CEO of the Formula 1 Group, and has been replaced by Liberty Media's Chase Carey.

Ecclestone, 86, says he has been offered the title of 'Honorary President', but has acknowledged that he doesn’t know exactly what his role will be.

It’s understood the change will be formally announced on Tuesday, along with the appointments of Ross Brawn and former ESPN man Sean Bratches, who will take up newly created sporting and commercial roles respectively.

“I was deposed today,” Ecclestone told Auto Motor und Sport. “I am simply gone. It's official. I am no longer the leader of the company. My position has been taken by Chase Carey.

“My new position is one of those American terms. It's something like an honorary president. I have this title now, even though I don't know what it means.”

Asked about his future, he said: “My days in the office will be getting quieter now. Maybe I will attend a Grand Prix sometime in the future.

"I still have many friends in Formula 1, and I still have enough money to afford to attend a race.”

Ecclestone added that he doesn’t expect to retain his seat on the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

“I doubt it," he said when asked if he would remain involved. "First of all, I have to talk to [FIA President] Jean Todt about this.”

It’s believed that Donald McKenzie, boss of erstwhile majority shareholders CVC, was keen to keep Ecclestone in a more hands-on role. However, he was overruled by Liberty Media, which is now on the brink of concluding its F1 takeover.


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