Following the pre-season testing in Estoril, the attention of some of the assembled media turned to the Liverpool team, who may be in more trouble than their second-fastest times over the week suggest. The team, who run out of the Mathershaw Technology headquarters in Ellesmere Port and the Lapierre Competition stable in Paul Ricard, will see their two year deal with Liverpool Football Club conclude after the 2015 season, and plans are already in motion to stabilise the team for 2016 and beyond, with the suggestion being the team will need to find new sponsorship for next season.
The Formula Virtual universe has had to wait a long time for the World Champions to reveal their 2015 challenger, but that day has finally arrived.
With no further ado, we hand you over to the team principal, Jamie Franklin.
"Firstly, thank you all for coming! We realise it's been a long wait, but I assure you, the wait will have been worth it. Our team has put every effort into ensuring that each and every possible second has been spent on designing our new car. This season brings a new set of regulations, and we wanted to make sure that we utilized that to get a jump on the rest of the competition. In the past two seasons, we have set a very high standard for what it takes to become Champions, but for this season, we will look to raise that bar even higher. By employing two known quantities in Enrique and Elroy, we believe that we can push harder than ever before, and the competition need to be ready for that. But for now, it is my greatest pleasure to pass you over to Takanobu Ito, CEO of Honda!"
"Thank you very much! It is no secret that we have shared a lot of success with Franklin in the past two years, which is why I have decided to come here myself today. Together, we have proved a dominant power in the Formula V universe, and as aforementioned, we will be looking to take it even further. It seems as though Franklin believe in the power of dreams just as much as we do at Honda, and I look forward to seeing how we perform again this year,"
Franklin-Honda have prepared a short video:
ER: "I'd just like to say that I am very excited for the coming season. Last year was my first full year, and though there was a definite learning curve, I felt, for sure, that I proved toward the end that I was a deserving Champion. I've spent a lot of time over the winter with the team, hopefully playing a more vital role in the development than I had done the previous year, and also I have been training much harder. I feel much more ready for this year of Formula V.
EW: "I would also like to say that last year I couldn't show my true talent, as I did in our first year. For sure, it's a different environment, and will take some getting used to, but I have no doubt that I can take the challenge to Enrique.
LS: "I was quite close to getting a seat this year, but alas, it wasn't to be. I'm still really happy to be in the team, and a reserve driver role isn't the worst place to be in the World Championship winning team, as Enrique has already proven. I hope that I can get some drive time this year and show what I'm capable of!"
JF: "Finally, thank you all for coming once again. Thank you to Honda, and our new sponsors Red Bull. I know that this will be a tough year, but I have every faith that our team can once again show why we are Champions. All I can say is be ready, be prepared, because we're pushing harder than ever,"