Mitchell’s 2015 season was a largely unhappy affair with just one podium at Estoril and 8th in the championship. At their 2016 car launch, team boss Joe Mitchell discussed with FF1M’s lead commentator James Brickles what went wrong that season as well as his prospects for the upcoming season.
Q: Thank you for talking to us today Joe. How would you summarise what looked like a difficult 2015 season for yourself?
A: Well first of all, no reason to thank me. I am being paid for this after all and remember our little deal – you make me look good and I will make your bank balance feel good.
As for last season, well let’s be honest, it was a total horror show. We were slow, uncompetitive and let’s be honest unmotivated. That’s why I have rung the changes this season as I will not tolerate another season of mediocre results.
Q: I must admit I had predicted you doing quite well last season. What were the main reasons behind the struggles?
A: This remains off the record, but the truth is, it was my fault. I totally dropped the ball when it came to improving the car, but for the purpose of this interview, it was all to do with that terrible Climate… Clip Art… Crampus… you know, that silly engine that Tobias sold me. Did you know he even promised me that I would get all the good engines? The lying little toad!
Q: You have returned to Mugen for 2016 after just one season with Climax. What were the main reasons behind the switch?
A: Oh yes! Climax, that’s what the engine was called. Well, the details of mine and Mr Cramer’s deal will remain private, but let’s just say I am getting value for money plus a couple of extra perks thrown in as well, plus you know what you are getting with him as he is a total pro.
Q: For the first time since 2009, your line-up doesn’t feature Nico Hulkenberg. With Lewis Hamilton coming in alongside the young Cooper Lee, how do you rate your chances for 2016?
A: Listen, I want to go on the record and say that I have always been a massive fan of Nico and still am, but when you get the chance to sign a driver like Lewis, you have to make tough decisions.
Q: Are the two talking to each other after their incident at Monza last season?
A: As I have said before, I did not have relations with the woman, she was just helping me with a broken zipper… oh wait, you mean our blow up! Nico is like family and sometimes family fights, but I still love him like a son and I know he will drive for me again one day.
Q: Just a quick one on FF2M, 2016 will see Charlotte Plectrum (a.k.a Charles Pic) race for OLM Racing alongside Daniil Kvyat. How do you see his FF2M return going?
A: Charles has been signed as he is a solid driver at that level and I think Daniil can learn a lot from him, but I want to make it clear that he doesn’t have a future in my FF1M team.
Q: And on Chuck Bucknum, he has switched teams once again for his third season in FF3M. Will 2016 be the year he finally wins FF3M championship?
A: Chuck knows that it is now or never. If he doesn’t deliver this year, then he is done with Mitchell.
Q: And lastly, which of the other FF1M teams do you see doing well for 2016?
A: Myself and all the other Mugen teams will dominate and Tobias and his Floppy Johnson customers will finish bottom. Other than that, no one else is on my radar or matters.