F1 Bahrain GP 2019 review: Leclerc’s bright future is clear but what about the series?

Black Book Business Diary: Breakaway threat rears ahead of second race of the season.

F1 Bahrain GP 2019 review: Leclerc’s bright future is clear but what about the series?

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc shone at the Bahrain International Circuit but ultimately succumbed to a frustrating third place finish due to engine difficulties.

The dogged Lewis Hamilton won his first Grand Prix of 2019 as Mercedes secured a one-two finish with Valtteri Bottas second but Leclerc issued a clear signal of his intentions this season.

The second youngest driver ever to start on pole drove an excellent race before losing power in his engine after a cylinder failure, which allowed the Mercedes duo to overtake.

In the other Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel finished fifth after spinning off the track whilst battling with Hamilton. Another costly mistake from the German, whose title hopes last year were dented by consistent errors.

21-year-old Charles Leclerc finished third in the 999th Grand Prix in Formula One history

Formula One's future

Following last week’s meeting between Formula One and the International Automobile Federation (FIA), a framework has been set for the future direction of the sport from 2021. The framework includes revisions on ‘new technical and sporting regulations, power unit rules, costs, governance and revenue distribution’.

This is the first major action new owner Liberty Media has taken as it looks to make its mark on the future of motorsport. In a statement on its website, Formula One said it: ‘wants to create great action and bring the cars closer together, make the drivers the heroes and make the business more sustainable’.

However, there have been murmurings that a breakaway series could be in the offing with it being revealed that Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff and Racing Point owner Lawrence Stroll have held tentative meetings with former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone, according to the Daily Express.

Although, Ecclestone did say that in regards to a breakaway series: “I don't see anyone agreeing. They also have to get the promoters to get that far, because everyone has to agree.”

Racing Point owner Lawrence Stroll is reported to have met with former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone regarding a breakaway series

Going once, going twice ...

Formula One announced a new partnership at the Bahrain Grand Prix with RM Sotheby’s. The deal will see the first ever major international collector car auction held at the final Grand Prix of the year in Abu Dhabi.

Sean Bratches, managing director of commercial operations at Formula One said: “While not all of us can drive away with a priceless piece of automotive art, our collaboration gives all the racegoers the opportunity to see these beautiful cars up close over the race weekend.”

OTT issues continue for Spark in New Zealand

The Spark Sports’ over-the-top (OTT) service was under pressure for the Bahrain Grand Prix after deciding not to simulcast on TVNZ Duke as a backup. Whilst the live stream of the final race on Sunday was untroubled, users had difficulty accessing the on-demand replays of qualifying and practice sessions due to procedural issues.

A spokesman for Spark told the New Zealand Herald: “The disruptions to normal viewing that Formula One fans experienced stemmed from process and procedural issues in deploying content correctly to the platform.”

Users took to Twitter to vent their frustrations and the Spark official account replied in good jest.

The show must go on?

Formula One is now more a show and a business than a sport. You can say the same probably for other sports, but maybe in other sports it doesn’t filter down as much to the actual athlete as much as it does here. There just needs to be [a decision about] what we want. If we say we are a show, then bring on the show. I feel we are wasting so much time and energy with regulations that are just expensive really for nothing

Ferarri's Sebastian Vettel, lets it all out in an interview with the Times

The Big Picture

Liqui Moly debuted its trackside branding in the Gulf State in a deal that provide the lubricants manufacturer with exposure at ten more races throughout the season and regional Formula One intellectual property rights in Germany.

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