The time has come for Dylan Lopez to finally reveal his plans for 2016. His team are moving to Switzerland as Greece struggles through their economic crisis, and this has led to a massive overhaul, new factories just outside Zurich, and Dylan Lopez also invited some colleagues of his to speak on the night as well.
The following script recaptures exactly what went down on what is said to be the biggest day in the team's short history.
Good Morning, Good Afternoon and Good Evening to you, where ever you may be viewing via our online stream, and thank you all for giving up your time to witness the beginning of a new era for this team. I would also like to thank all the guests who I have personally invited to tonight, as we enter a new chapter not only in entering a new season, but under a new roof, with new technology and a team as dedicated as they were on Day 1.
Halfway through Season 1, it became clear that midfield team, Molto Veloce went into administration. This lead to Warrior Racing, the series' first ever Greek team, entering into its first season in what was originally titled the F1 Fanatic Virtual Grand Prix Championship, after Molto Veloce unfortunately could not compete any longer. Their exit gave multiple potential managers to express to Nic Morley, our dedicated CEO an interest to compete in this prestigious competition. To this day I cannot thank him enough for granting me with the power to run a Formula Virtual team under his brand, adding to the spectacle which in my eyes is the greatest show on wheels.
Warrior certainly had more downs than ups on track, but there were many memorable moments along the way in the previous 2 seasons. Abel Osterhagen's 4th place in on/off rain at Indianapolis was something we could never have expected to have achieved in our 6th event racing. Although we know results like this have not come our way ever since, we believe our 2016 challenger has the potential to bring us back into the Top 10.
I would like to now however introduce my guest speakers who I'm sure you all know well. During the season many of the discussions we've had are based on our engines for next season. We would like to thank Mercedes for the 2 years they supplied our engines. One of my guests knows how time consuming these engines are, and for that we all give them many thanks for powering our cars. From this day onward however we are moving to an engine who's franchise will supply the greatest number of teams compared to any other in the field. I would firstly like to invite these gentlemen to their seats beside me: Bradley Downton, Robert Mathershaw, Arthur Lapierre and Rai Miyamoto!
*All men bar Bradley enter onto the stage and take their seats either side of the podium, to cheers and (some) jeers from the audience, Downton stands alongside Lopez.*
I see you have a very proud announcement to make there Mr Downton. The podium is yours my good man.
Many thanks to you and hellp everybody! Welcome again to a lovely event set up here by Lopez and his crew. To be standing here tonight in Switzerland is nothing more than a great spectacle. The city is as vibrant as every country we've travelled to with Formula Virtual, and I look forward to seeing stars come from this lovely part of the world.
I hope you's are all used to listening to my voice now, but however the reason I am here tonight is to reveal to the world that Mr Lopez's refurbished team will be the 4th to run with the Downton DS Units in Season 2016, alongside myself at Downton, Mathershaw, and Ocelot. Many people have come to me since we announced there would be 8 cars on the grid with our units asking why we choose to go down this path. The reason for expanding the number of teams we supply is simple. The more cars that run the engine, the more data and feedback we get, and the better we can make the base unit, benefiting everyone, but it's a fine balance between lots of good data and overstretching ourselves. The decision was made to supply Mr Lopez because he approached us regarding a deal and we both agreed it was in the best interests of both teams.
I hope you're enjoying your night and it is a metaphor for many seasons to come. Again thank you Dylan for inviting me tonight and have a good night everyone!
*Applause as Downton takes his seat.*
Thank you ever so much Bradley. Engines have always been a big talking point and we believe with the units you provide for us can prove to be the best in show.
As you can see behind me, Arthur Lapierre and Robert Mathershaw are also with Rai Miyamoto from Ocelot. All teams running the DS Units as I shall refer to them have all been invited to speak tonight, so next, please put your hands together for Mr Lapierre and Mathershaw!
*More applause and a few German atendees jeer toward the 2 men. Karl Beckenbauer is sighted in the crowd near the area where the sound is coming from.*
Good Evening to everyone, its lovely to be standing here infront of so many lovely people who have followed this team from Day 1. We’re extremely pleased to have Lopez on board for 2016 and beyond – he has a team with real talent and it’s going to be brilliant working alongside them. This deal will go beyond engine supply, I hope we can build a long and fruitful relationship throughout the seasons.
I would also like to thank those who have supported this small team since Day 1 when they were the new kids on the block at the start of Season 2. I’m always pleased to work with guys that are talented, and Lopez's team certainly fit the bill. I’ve been heavily involved with the Downton-DS project, and I’m looking forward to having Lopez on board to give us more development potential. We’re looking strong for 2016, both as a team and as an engine manufacturer.
Thank you for your words gentlemen. And now as they return to the seats, I turn the spotlight to a good friend of mine in the paddock, Rai Miyamoto. I'm sure however our drivers can say they enjoyed battling each other all season long. Please stand forward Rai.
*Miyamoto stands as Lapierre and Mathershaw retake their seats.*
Konnichiwa Switzerland! Very special place even though I have only been in the country for 3 hours! (Crowd Laugh). I've enjoyed my first season as Team Principal at Ocelot here in FV. Our vision at Ocelot is to make sure we become a team to be remembered, a dynasty if you will. Something which Franklin is starting to create with their domination in the sport, we wish to create something like this but with more close battles with our rivals for our fans to enjoy. We wish to create an incredible alliance between a driver and a team, something which is yet to be seen, as no driver has won a double world title as of yet. We believe with the right amount of patience we could potentially become the next team to do this but it will take a few years yet.
The Ocelot family is thrilled with what they have seen this season, learning the grips of the sport. Overall we have been extremely pleased with managing to pick up 4 points in our debut season, of course we would have loved more but we won’t complain. There have of course been areas we wish we could go back and change but we won’t dwell on the pass as our future looks bright in the sport.
My thanks go out to you Rai for managing to fly in to be with us tonight on such a limited time frame.
Now however comes the most anticipated moment of the night. Who will we be in Season 2016. We were Warrior in Greece, but now everything is changing here at... (Drumroll)
The Lopez Formula Virtual Team (Lopez FV Team). I now declare, with my colleagues alongside me, that this is now the pathway we have chosen going forward and that we are now open for business here in Switzerland.
*Loud Applause yet again from the large crowd attending. All 5 now collect a microphone for media questions.*
We'll start off with you Bradley. Where do you think these engines will place Lopez in the pecking order next season?
Our season has been much better than expected. Naturally we're disappointed to have lost fourth, but we were planning for a season in the bottom three, so everything else has been a bonus this season. The Brazil 1-2 was undoubtedly our biggest highlight of the season and hopefully we can build on results like that in 2016.
Over to you now Rob, how rough has this season been with the movement from Vauxhall to Downton mid-season. Do you believe the drama affected your title ambitions?
Well, we were already working with Downton to a certain extent – they provided the base units that Vauxhall tuned. It became clear relatively early on that it wasn’t working, so both Arthur and I made the decision to pursue DS to come aboard, while I was extremely keen to get the Downton guys working in a really tight partnership. Of course, this means that we have had a bit of a transition period, but from the second we became the DS works team, attentions turned to 2016, so everything from car design to strategy was being optimised for the coming season.
What about Karl Beckenbauer? Has your relationship with him deteriorated ever since the swap?
I’ll take this one, as I know it’s something Robert still isn’t to keen on talking about! Of course, what happened in Germany felt like a let down, and after that he and the team didn’t talk for a long time. Let’s be clear, Karl was a wonderful servant to the team, but he burnt his bridges with us to an extent. However, he’s been with Dylan for the rest of the year – we wanted him to get a good shot, and he’s with Ocelot next year – they’re both running the DS logos this year – that’s no coincidence.
*Silence from the area Karl is seated.*
Over to you Dylan. Can you confirm at this stage who will be driving alongside van Snelheid will be? Are the rumours true that Lopez FV Team are trying to hire Elroy Wagner for a 2 year contract?
Gotta love the media and what they come up with! All will be reveal soon madam, I can assure you that.
Bradley, your team are supplying engines between 3 others. Is this affecting your team budget substantially?
The funding is fine. We know where we stand and we're happy with the position. We wouldn't be doing this if we were losing money.
Finally over to you Rai. I have 2 questions for you, firstly, has Karl been sharing any secrets to you ever since he moved to Warrior after Liverpool dropped him since he's driving for you?
Erm.. give me a moment to process that...
No Karl has not been sharing anything with us about Warrior. However, Karl has an impressive amount of experience in FV especially with his time at Liverpool, so its nice to be able sign someone who not only has secrets on one team but also another, in a way this has been quite useful for us in understanding on how we can develop the car further. We very much hope the addition of Karl is a deal which lasts a long time, as the whole team values him greatly. We also believe he has come under a lot of fire as of recent races and with what happened in Germany.
And do you have any advice for the 2 new teams, North Star and FIRST Motorsport?
As for any advice for the two new teams, I think it would be wise for them to not sign anymore drivers than the ones who are allocated to their seat (Crowd Laughs). As this was a harsh decision which we soon came to regret in terms our finances of developing the car. This isn’t to discredit Scott or Hugh though, both have done an incredible job thus far.
Anybody else? ... No?
So that will conclude tonight's talking from us. We hope you enjoy the after party we have set up just in the Southern Building which is directly on the other side of this stage. Once we raise the curtains you'll be able to enter. We'll all be there to chat, drivers to sign autographs, and also a disco with a great banquet for all of you's tonight. We hope you enjoy it and have a great night tonight with the Lopez FV Team.