The four-time world champion has reconnected with some old Formula 1 friends at Aston Martin and the effect has been transformative. Always funny and engaging off-track – until circumstances drove him to miserablism at Ferrari – Vettel has found his voice again in his new environment and thrown himself into social activism. He’s also taken up the challenge of leading the team to deliver on new owner Lawrence Stroll’s aspirations of world championship glory.
GP Racing editor Ben Anderson and columnist Mark Gallagher join host Stuart Codling to explore how the Silverstone-based team is undergoing a radical transformation after years of instability and under-investment. With a new factory coming and a new name on the gates, this is a team which should be going places.
Investment in facilities is just one of the levers Stroll is pulling. Vettel has been a big-name recruitment but others are arriving, including former McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh, as part of a strategy to turn Aston Martin into a billion-dollar technology business.
The podcast guests also take a look back at the success of the recent Dutch Grand Prix and the message that sends to F1’s commercial rights holders, who recently announced a new deal with Qatar. Someone has to pay to host grands prix, whether that is the ticket-buying fans or wealthy governments looking to put their country on the sporting map. Is there an argument for holding races without fans, as a pure TV spectacle? Many drivers and F1 purists would disagree…
And as Netflix ‘drops’ a new feature-length documentary devoted to the life of Michael Schumacher, this month’s GP Racing features an exclusive interview with the makers of the film. Our panel weighs up the success of the project, and Netflix’s increasing interest in Formula 1 as a whole. Might the streaming giant look to acquiring the broadcast rights at some point? And even if not, who might be next for the big-screen documentary treatment?