Word on the beat - July 2024

Sustainable fuel, team moves and a new Thai GP

  • F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali recently questioned F1’s power unit direction, saying that for 2030, “It is a personal consideration of mine, not yet shared with the teams, even if we have spoken about it with the FIA, that if sustainable fuels work, we will need to carefully evaluate whether to continue with hybrid [technology] or whether better solutions will be available.”
  • Ferrari has confirmed the recruitment of Mercedes’ performance director Loïc Serra as its head of chassis performance engineering. He was with Mercedes for 14 years, having previously worked in F1 for BMW and Michelin.
  • Simultaneous with Serra’s recruitment by Ferrari from Mercedes, Jérôme d’Ambrosio has made the same team move and he joins Maranello as deputy team principal, having served as driver development director at Mercedes.
  • Red Bull’s technical director Pierre Waché has extended his contract at the team to the end of 2028. With Adrian Newey’s departure at the end of the year, Waché will become the team’s most senior technical person.
  • David Sanchez has joined Alpine F1 as senior technical director. He left McLaren earlier this year just three months after joining, having found that his role there was different to that which he’d agreed to. Sanchez previously served as head of vehicle concept at Ferrari and is credited with a major part in the 2017 Ferrari SF70H.
  • Pat Symonds has left Formula 1 Management to be executive engineering consultant at Andretti Cadillac as part of its attempts to join F1.
  • F1 looks set to be going to a street circuit around Bangkok for a 2027 Thai Grand Prix. The calendar casualty of that is expected to be Imola.