There’s been a flurry of Formula One-related news in the past couple of days, ranging from new engine supply deals to revised calendars to Dutch youngster Max Verstappen passing his road driving test.
First up there’s confirmation that Marussia is ending its current contract with Ferrari for power units in favor of a new contract with Mercedes AMG. Marussia will start using a Mercedes power unit next season and is entered in a multi-year agreement. Under the agreement, Marussia will be supplied with 2015-spec power units throughout the term.
McLaren, which will be sticking with a power unit from Honda next year, has confirmed that Jenson Button will still be racing for the team. He will be 36 then. Though it’s yet to be confirmed, Fernando Alonso will likely stay with McLaren as well. He was recently reported as saying he will end his career at McLaren. There had been some doubts following news Renault was set to revive its F1 team next season. It was with Renault that the Spaniard won both his world championships.
Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso
The FIA has also made a few changes to the regulations and calendar for next season. A record 21 races will remain, but the first race, the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, has been moved ahead to March 20 instead of April 3 as previously planned. The schedule of races has also been adjusted.
A new rule has also been proposed to make the cars louder. From 2016, the cars must have a separate exhaust wastegate tailpipe through which all wastegate exhaust gases must pass. This should make the cars noisier without hurting power or emissions.
Finally, Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen celebrated his 18th birthday by securing his road license—a full year after gaining his the FIA Super Licence that enabled him to become F1’s youngest driver ever. His personal ride is a Renault Clio RS.