HOCKENHEIM, Germany — The Formula One paddock is a busy place that hosts a lot of serious business over a race weekend, but this here we try to bring you some of the news stories you might otherwise miss ahead of the German Grand Prix.
Next stop: Hollywood
Lewis Hamilton has his eyes set on a big future — and not just in Formula One. The reigning world champion is on course to beat Michael Schumacher’s remaining records but has been laying the foundations for whatever follows this current part of his life story. The Englishman has launched several fashion ranges with Tommy Hilfiger and has dabbled in the music industry. He has also dipped his toes into the water in the movie industry as well, with cameo appearances in Cars and Zoolander 2.
Hamilton has now teamed up with Titanic and Avatar director James Cameron to work as executive produce on a documentary called The Game Changers, which focuses on the rise of plant-based diets in sports. The project saw him work with action movie legend Arnold Schwarzenegger and tennis star Novak Djokovic.
Hamilton sees it as the first of many forays into Hollywood projects.
« I have a lot of meetings, particularly in film and entertainment, » he said. « That is an area I am interested in. TV and movies.
« I heard James Cameron wanted to get in touch with me about this project. I am a huge fan of his and jumped at the chance.
« It is really cool. I met Schwarzenegger at a GP in Australia and I am also a huge fan of his. I remember watching his training regimes.
« It was interesting to see different people’s perspectives while making the film. I had gone along the same journey as some and achieved another level of physical fitness.
« Look at Djokovic. There is an extra little bit there that people seem reluctant to look into. Time wise it is not easy managing it all but there is more work that I am doing in this segment, so there is more to come. »
Jenson Button has become a dad after welcoming a baby boy to the world with fiancée Brittny Ward.
The 2009 world champion announced the news on his Instagram story this week, sharing a post Brittny put online showing a black and white picture of their son’s feet with the caption: « He’s here, he’s healthy and our hearts couldn’t be more full ».
A new look…
Mercedes has paid tribute to its history in motorsport with a commemorative livery for this weekend’s German Grand Prix. To mark the team’s 200th start in Formula One and the 125th anniversary of its time in motorsport, the cars have been painted in a distinctive one-off design. The livery gives the impression of white paint that has been scraped away to reveal the car’s usual silver and green paintwork underneath.
It pays homage to the legend of the first ‘Silver Arrow’ at the 1934 International Eifel Race at the Nurburgring. The story goes that Mercedes’ brand new W25 car weighed one kilogram more than the permitted 750-kilogram maximum weight limit. Mercedes team manager Alfred Neubauer ordered the team to strip the car of its white paintwork — the national racing colour of Germany — leaving its silver aluminium bodywork bare and saving the crucial kilogram.
– Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) July 25, 2019
– Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) July 25, 2019
The next morning Manfred von Brauchitsch won the race in the lightened W25 with a dominant performance, later telling the press: « To drive a Silver Arrow is an honour. » A period of success followed for the ‘Silver Arrows’ in pre-war grand prix racing and the stripped silver bodywork soon became silver paint everywhere Mercedes raced as a manufacturer team.
This weekend’s W10 race car features a retro Mercedes logo on the white part of the bodywork and a modern three-pointed star on the silver. The car’s Halo is half white and half silver, incorporating both logos in a split design.
It’s been a bad year for people driving non-F1 cars on F1 circuits, hasn’t it? First a recovery vehicle drove into a bridge at Baku during practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, while recovering George Russell’s Williams car to the pits.
That theme has continued ahead of this weekend’s German Grand Prix, with a bus slamming into the lights which hang above the starting grid on Thursday.
– Tobi Grüner �� (@tgruener) July 25, 2019
Fear not, race fans, the lights were fixed by the evening…
Late drama online
Lando Norris and Max Verstappen were teammates last weekend in a 24 hour endurance race online. The pair are avid online racers and they were on route for a dominant victory in the race when disaster struck.
Things had been going smoothly until the final laps when Verstappen’s actual brake pedal, rigged up to his console at home, broke, forcing the pair’s team into a late, unscheduled pit-stop. They had already lapped everyone and had enough of a buffer to actually win the race.
The moment Max Verstappens brake pedal fell off with 10 minutes to go. Team Redline just won the 24H of Spa in iRacing with Lando Norris and Verstappen. #iRacing #F1 #Spa24H pic.twitter.com/wMSJFe6sZy
– Laurens Stade (@StadeLaurens) July 21, 2019
– Laurens Stade (@StadeLaurens) July 21, 2019 Verstappen proabably isn’t the first young man to admit he could have prevented something happening by being a little bit more proactive.
« My brake pedal failed, my actual brake pedal at home, » he said. « I already had new ones laying there because I wanted to swap them anyway but I was okay to do that race, I was a bit too lazy to swap them at the time because it is not so easy to get to, and with 15 minutes to go it came undone and the brake pedal you could literally hear it falling off.
« It was not good but we still managed to win it. It was a good reason to immediately swap my brake pedals. »
Norris admitted he initially thought the Dutchman had been winding him up.
« I thought Max was joking about all of it — I was like ‘yeah right’! But you can hear it. I was streaming [the race online] and you can hear the bearings and everything fall off. We got quite nervous because he stopped at the side, get towed back to the pit-lane — it all took 3 minutes, driver swap took 30 seconds. So I had to get in. Everything was optimised for my streaming and not my driving, so it was a bit hectic. But we did what we needed to. »
More to follow throughout the weekend.