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Ferrari is to blame for Sebastian Vettel's recent form, according to Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who says the team needs "fresh blood" in order to return to winning ways.

Vettel enjoyed a fantastic start to life at Ferrari, taking three victories in his maiden season with the Scuderia in 2015, following his switch from Red Bull. Ferrari had high hopes it could challenge Mercedes for the title in 2016, but failed to replicate the race-winning success it achieved the previous year.

"Ferrari has fallen back again into the era before [Michael] Schumacher and [Jean] Todt," Ecclestone said in an interview with German publication Bild. "Too many Italians are working for the team at the moment. I have nothing against Italy, but to have a firm rule within a team doesn't run in Italian DNA."

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Bernie Ecclestone wants Schumacher name back in F1 (January 06, 2017)
Lewis Larkam [ Source: ESPN UK ]

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Bernie Ecclestone says he hopes seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher's teenage son Mick can make it all the way to Formula One.

Mick Schumacher is stepping up to European Formula 3 in 2017 with Prema Powerteam, having finished runner-up in both the German and Italian Formula 4 championships last season, taking a total of 10 wins across both series in the process.

When asked if he would like to see Mick on the F1 grid in the near future, Ecclestone told German newspaper Bild: "If he is anywhere near as good as his father, why not? It would be good for Formula One if the name Schumacher was with us again."

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F1 champions Mercedes to 'unveil the beast' on February 23 (January 05, 2017)
Alan Baldwin [ Source: Reuters ]

 Mercedes' Formula One World Champion Nico Rosberg during the ''Ein Herz fuer Kinder'' (A Heart for Children) TV charity telethon in Berlin, Germany December 3, 2016. REUTERS/Britta Pedersen/Pool - RTSUJ5H

Mercedes, Formula One's dominant team who have yet to announce a replacement for retired world champion Nico Rosberg, will present their 2017 car at Silverstone on Feb. 23.

The Mercedes website (www.mercedesamgf1.com) said on Wednesday that the reigning champions would "unveil the beast to the world" at the British Grand Prix circuit down the road from their Brackley factory.

Fans who register for a prize draw on Facebook will have the chance to win VIP access to witness the first laps of the W08 challenger.

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Pertamina drops sponsorship for F1 driver Haryanto (January 04, 2017)
Fergus Jensen [ Source: Reuters ]

 Formula One - Australia Grand Prix - 20/03/16 - Manor Racing F1 driver Rio Haryanto drives during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Indonesian driver Rio Haryanto has suffered a major setback in his bid to return to Formula One this season after state-owned energy company Pertamina announced it was ending its sponsorship.

"This year there will not be a continuation of participation by Pertamina in F1," spokeswoman Wianda Pusponegoro said in a statement on Tuesday, noting that Pertamina could not meet a sponsorship deadline.

"Of course we regret this very much, but we have already made maximal efforts for Rio and Indonesia," she said.

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F1's next goal? Become a destination (December 30, 2016)
Kate Walker [ Source: ESPN UK ]

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Following months of speculation about the future of Formula One, the Financial Times has today published the comments of an unnamed senior executive involved with F1 and who is said to be familiar with Liberty Media's plans for the sport once their takeover is complete.

As has been widely expected, one of the primary aims is to create a marketing arm tasked with improving F1's reach. While the sport travels far and wide, F1 has long been lacking a sustained and long-term effort to keep F1 in the public consciousness once each grand prix has left the country. Some races are inescapable from the moment you land in the airport, while others may as well be run in secret, so little attention is paid outside the circuit.

Another core element is to improve social and online reach, both to connect with existing fans and to help sell the concept of F1 to those who aren't already interested.

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Fernando Alonso: 2016 my third-best season (December 29, 2016)
Nate Saunders [ Source: ESPN UK ]

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Fernando Alonso rates his 2016 season as the third best of his career and better than both years he won the Formula One world championship.

Though there was clear progress from McLaren and Honda in 2016, the team remained a long way off the front of the pack and could only finish sixth in the championship. Alonso was impressive throughout the year, finishing fifth in Monaco and the U.S. and out-scoring Jenson Button by 33 points despite sitting out the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Although he won his world championships in in 2005 and 2006, neither make Alonso's own list of best seasons, which is topped by 2012 -- the year he nearly beat Sebastian Vettel to the title in a less-competitive Ferrari -- and his winless 2014 campaign.

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Fernando Alonso will not be driving a Mercedes in 2017, according to manager Flavio Briatore.

Alonso has become a fan favourite for the seat vacated by Nico Rosberg following the German's shock retirement from Formula One as world champion. The Spaniard is set to enter the final year of his contract at McLaren, though Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said Alonso is under consideration for the drive.

Alonso lobbied for a Mercedes seat at 2014 while he was still a Ferrari driver but the team ultimately decided to retain Rosberg. The two-time world champion did eventually leave Ferrari for McLaren ahead of the 2015 season, signing for three years.

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