#F1 Features: Safety Car farce needs addressing – brought to you by @GoMotorFleet

•July 28, 2014 • 57 Comments

In his post race video blog, Nico Rosberg identifies the randomness of the safety car as costing him the win in the Hungarian GP (Though why he is levitating at 90 degrees to the horizontal is anyone’s guess).

In the mean time Lewis was thanking ‘the Lord’  on the podium as Martin Brundle dodged asking the tough questions.. Brundle was inundated with queries from F1 writers and TV presenters alike on Twitter as to why he failed to ask Hamilton about his failure to obey team orders.

Anyway, that’s a tale is for another day.

So far this year, the safety car has been deployed at a time giving the leading car the opportunity to pit before catching the safety car. This nullifies the opportunity of the lead car being jumped due to the opportunity of others further back to pit and gain an advantage.

In Hungary, this was not the case. The safety car light was displayed on circuit boards and on the drivers’ dashboards just as Vettel, who was in third place (behind Rosberg and Bottas), passed the pit entry.

On lap seven, Rookie Caterham driver Ecricsson, demonstrated the reason why he may be in Formula 1 for only a brief period. He floored the throttle exiting turn three with the resulting heavy hit on the tyre barrier spreading shards of carbon fibre across the concrete run off apron and a portion of the circuit.


At the time of Ericsson’s demise, he was 54 seconds behind Rosberg, or put it another way, Rosberg was around 48-50 seconds from catching him. This places the race leader about 13-15 seconds from completing the lap, yet by the time he crossed the start finish line, the safety car was appearing from the pit lane.

The timing of Charlie Whiting’s decision to deploy the safety car meant the pack was shuffled. Rosberg with a 9 second lead was in fact least affected amongst the front runners by having to pit a lap later than those behind Vettel who all had the opportunity – deprived of the first three – to dive into the pits a lap earlier than the leaders.

Ricciardo, previously 6th,  came out ahead of the rest and behind him was Jenson Button (previously 5th). However, the McLaren weather radar system must have been sourced from a Christmas cracker as the team made the ill fated decision to send Button out on another set of intermediate wet tyres.

It did not rain again.

Massa faired well as his 8th position became third, and Nico Rosberg found himself behind the leading Williams in 4th.

Vettel who prior to the SC was 3rd, fell to 7th and second place man Valtteri Bottas was now way out in 11th. Neither driver recovered from the disadvantage the safety car dealt them in terms of the track position which resulted following their inability to pit at the same time as those behind them.

Here’s the order pre Ericsson’s misdemeanor. untitled

Rosberg (9 seconds ahead)

The snake which eventually followed the safety car for 6 laps, was in the following order.

Magnussen (up from 19th and didn’t pit)

The safety car meant Bottas and Vettel, previously 2nd and 3rd, finished the race in 7th and 8th. Rosberg faired somewhat better due to his 9 seconds lead prior to Ericsson’s off.

This brings us to a crucial issue for Formula 1 going forward, particularly with the spectacle of post safety car standing restarts. Should the decision to deploy the safety car take into consideration the integrity of the racing thus far?

Let’s remember, the safety car was introduced to improve safety during a Formula 1 race, not to ‘spice up the show’. At the time of its introduction, ‘hard core’ F1 fans objected to the arbitrary interference with race order. Though through several iterations of rule changes and the mantra of safety, the modern PC F1 fan accepts the deployment of the safety car without question.

“Simples… its for safety…. innit?”

Clearly, driver and marshal safety must be paramount, however, as was evident in the previous race in Germany, there are other tools at the disposal of the race director to ensure the safety of all concerned.


Double waved yellows in all levels of motorsport, indicates to the drivers that a very serious incident has taken place on track and that they should “slow down and be prepared to stop”.

At the 2014 Hungarian GP, Marcus Ericsson’s car had been concertinaed and the driver was still in the car. Carbon fibre debris was scattered, and the scene of the crash at first sight looked grim.

The safety car was deployed within 10 seconds of Charlie seeing the incident on the monitors.

Yet had double waved yellows been the tool of preference for the race controller, and the drivers obeyed the letter of the law, the safety car could have and should have been delayed without compromising safety. This would have preserved the integrity of the race thus far.

To ensure the integrity of the race, the Ericsson incident in Hungary would have meant delaying the decision to deploy Bernd Mylander by around 38 seconds, under double yellows, and the race leader would have been able to pit and come out in the lead behind the safety car.

38 seconds was the time difference between Magnussen and the race leader, and because the McLaren driver chose not to stop following the safety car deployment, he was the first car ahead of Rosberg following the pit stops shuffle enforced by Ericsson’s shunt.

As it turned out, Ericsson was unhurt, as has been the case with the majority of drivers in similar incidents for many years, due to the fabulous safety of the modern monocoque design.

untitledThe recent furore over whether the safety car none deployment in Germany over Sutil’s stranded car (way off the racing line as anyone who has even driven a kart would know), should be a cause for concern. The huge number of views expressed by F1 fans on social media, appeared favour the view that the safety car should be deployed – if there is any shred of doubt over safety.

However, absolute safety in motorsport is impossible,

Failure to challenge the use and protocols which deploy the safety car, will definitely lead to a creeping use of a device which interferes with proper racing. What is required is a proper risk management based approach to balance safety and interfering with the integrity of the race.

Double waved yellows are a powerful tool at the disposal of the race director to prevent the interference with the race order, until the appropriate time arrives to deploy the safety car.

Drivers must be forced to respect the double waved yellows, as Hamilton confessed he failed to in Germany. “You come around that corner at serious speed and then there are marshals not far from where you are driving. It felt like the closest thing I have seen for a long, long time.’

If drivers refuse to obey or push the limits as to what exactly double waved yellows mean, then it is easy enough to provide them with a delta time/speed for the sector affected by a serious crash. This speed limit could be equivalent that imposed in the pit lane where scores of mechanics are regularly exposed to passing cars. Breach of this should result in severe penalties for drivers endangering lives.

Formula 1 fans have been highly vociferous this year over current and proposed regulations which may manufacture the results of races and even where the eventual drivers’ championship may fall.

Most opposed has been Ecclestone’s decision to award double points in the final race of the season.

Yet the safety car has been manufacturing race results for years, based upon the timing of race control’s decision on when it should be deployed.


Of course the safety car spices up ‘the show’, but if we the fans endorse such a random shuffle of the deck, when technology and simple protocols offer other solutions, then we have lost the moral high ground and when when Ecclestone and Flavio dream up silly ideas which affect racing integrity, our opposition will lack credibility.

The effect of SC periods at times is akin to throwing a ‘multiball’ period into Association Football.

The problem with the safety car is in Hungary was clear. Drivers are given a delta time to which they must drive when the safety car is first deployed. This is a reduced lap time from race pace, designed for safety and to slow the cars down.

However, if a driver pits before catching the safety car, his delta time for the next lap includes the pit stop. Of course having been stationary for a few seconds and trundling through the pits at 60mph, this then allows  driver to blast out of the pits and drive far more quickly in sector 1 because his delta time includes the stationary time in the pit lane.

This is both dangerous, and delivers an advantage to those pitting during the first lap of a safety car, over those who choose, or are forced not to do so. So for the lucky ones, the result is a the best part of a ‘free pit stop’.

Given the technology in Formula 1, this is a complete farce.

untitledUnless we regain control of safety car regulations, we may see similar results to that of the recent IndyCar race – no. 2 – in Toronto, where the victory was taken by a driver who gambled on a safety car incident whilst the track was still green and there was no evidence there would be a full course yellow.

Mike Conway won a race described by certain North American racing media outlets as “The Toronto lottery”. The race in fact ran under the safety car for longer than it did under green track conditions.

The danger for F1 is…. that as in IndyCar, the safety car becomes a creeping menace. This may be great for TV companies who wish to take and advertisement break, and should they offer Ecclestone more cash to facilitate this – then inevitably, more safety car periods will ensue.

Remember, the proposed standing restarts following the safety car in 2015 will be at the discretion of race control, and is that what we want?

F1 fans need to think long and hard over this before throwing their arms in the air and complaining about the proposed manufactured racing and scoring regulations. Double points and other ideas designed to improve “the show”, are no worse than the randomness and manufactured results created by the lack of proper current safety car protocols.

Yet, the safety car ‘spicing up the show’….. has been going unchallenged for many a year.

Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 28th July 2014

•July 28, 2014 • 128 Comments

Go Motor Fleet - Insurance

This page will be updated throughout the day.

Please if you are on Twitter press the tweet button below. If you re-write and tweet individual story headlines don’t forget to include #F1.

You may not realise how hugely important this is and has helped grow our community significantly

Previously on TJ13:

#F1 Features: The F1 school of bloody stupid ideas

#F1 Polls: FORMULA 1 PIRELLI MAGYAR NAGYDÍJ 2014 – Driver of the Weekend

#F1 Race Review: Red Bull’s Ricciardo pulls a rabbit out as Mercedes miss out on the Win

#F1 Polls: How would you rate the FORMULA 1 PIRELLI MAGYAR NAGYDÍJ 2014?

OTD Lite: 1935 – Nuvolari cements his legend in Germany

Il Padrino is not fooling anybody

Pat Symonds compares Bottas to the legends

Mercedes to rethink team orders after Hamilton defiance (GMM)

Alonso, Hamilton say Ricciardo among F1′s best (GMM)

OTD Lite: 1935 – Nuvolari cements his legend in Germany

In what has become known as “The Impossible Victory” – on this day 79 years ago – the 1935 German Grand Prix passed into legend when the dimunitive man from Mantua embarrassed the German teams with his under-powered Alfa-Romeo and left the 300,000 strong crown momentarily silent.

by lap 10 of 22, Tazio Nuvolari led the German teams in the sole surviving Alfa but a disastrous pit-stop dropped him to sixth place and he returned to the rain soaked track to chase down his adversaries. By the start of his final lap he remained 35 seconds behind Von Brauchitsch, but he had destroyed his tyres and Nuvolari passed him to win. Hitler and high-ranking members of the Third Reich were enraged – so confident had they been of German engineering succeeding.

Following the inspirational Nuvolari were 8 German cars that had been considered unbeatable – driven by the likes of Carraciola, Varzi and Rosemeyer; even the runner-up, Hans Stuck, finished over two minutes behind. Popular legends from this race include Nuvolari giving the German authorities a record with the Italian anthem  because they hadn’t been expecting a foreign victory and an Italian flag because the one to be displayed was in poor condition.


Il Padrino is not fooling anybody

Il Padrino stated he was happy for all Ferrari’s fans after witnessing a Ferrari driver take second place on the podium but when you consider that this was Fernando Alonso’s 22nd time of starting fifth on the grid since he joined Ferrari in 2010, the new “Old Man’ of Maranello is clearly deluding himself. Any level-headed Ferrari fan is merely happy that they can count on Alonso’s brilliance to overcome a stuttering car on so many occasions.

Ferrari’s team principal, Marco Mattiacci, was beaming in his initial interviews following the conclusion of the Hungarian Grand Prix but reality settled in soon after as he was observed by his squad with a surgeons scalpel in hand. The man who has won industry acclaimed awards for his management achievements running Ferrari America, is proving that his brief is to turn around the ailing company through dedicated work and ignore the much overrated passion.

“Fernando’s second place is an injection of confidence in the great effort that we are all making to try to return Ferrari to the top, but it must be tempered with great realism. Here the weather conditions and the characteristics of the track leveled performance and for this reason we must not delude ourselves, but only to return home with the desire to do better and better. Today we had two great drivers, Fernando was fabulous and Kimi was extremely important. Tomorrow’s meeting will begin with what happened in qualifying not from the second place that circumstances delivered today.” A subtle but definite warning that someone is culpable for the fate that befell Raikkonen.

With the procedures used in qualifying under scrutiny, MM was adamant, “We must be careful in how we make changes because it could result in making the situation worse but I am aware that we have a deficit to the front of between 1 and 1.2 seconds and we need to bridge the gap. I am confident in our team spirit and the people working on the project. Ferrari is a company with a history and values and Fernando is an important element of our project.”

Director of engineering, Pat Fry, was also reflective in his views of the weekend and offered little in the way of hope for the diehard tifosi, “After the summer break, we come to two races that will be difficult for us, on two tracks where it will be important to make the most of any opportunity, just as we did today.”

Ferrari’s talisman Alonso was as honest in his summation as always. “This podium means a lot to me and the whole team, because after so many difficult races, we managed to get the most out of everything, also taking a few risks and second place seems like a win. This race shows that anything is possible when there are unusual conditions like today, with a wet start and the appearance of the Safety Car. We managed to make the most of all opportunities that presented themselves, taking the best decisions even at the most difficult moments. Sure, the characteristics of the circuit, with its limited overtaking opportunities, helped us and that’s why we have to be realistic and continue to work on the car, to improve in all aspects.”

With viewing figures and race-goers seemingly dropping around the world, the sport’s headline act is certainly not helping Monza’s cause when the message emanating from the Scuderia is of struggles. Traditionally the qualifying performance on the Saturday of the Italian fixture mirrors the crowd on the following day. Irrespective of the passion, Italian race goers vote with their feet.


Pat Symonds compares Bottas to the legends

It’s remarkable the animosity that Flavio Briatore generates whenever his name is mentioned in connection with Formula One. With the ever-increasingly absurd Bernard Ecclestone providing the comedy, all Formula One sites have been left aghast at the mere thought of this cheat returning to ‘our’ beloved sport.

symondsbriatoreFernando Alonso was tainted by his victory in what has become christened Singapore-gate in 2008, where Briatore instructed Nelson Piquet Jnr to crash deliberately to allow Alonso the victory. Almost forgotten in this maelstrom is another man who was found guilty of collusion, a certain Pat Symonds; now Chief Technical Officer at Williams.

Talking over the Hungarian Grand Prix, the Williams’ Technical Director voiced his opinion on his young charge Valtteri Bottas. “In many case he reminds me of Alonso, you notice that he is very mature for his age and has what it takes to become a great driver. He is fast, hardly makes mistakes and incredibly intelligent. If he manages to win a race this season, it will create an interesting parallel with Fernando who scored his first victory in Hungary 2003, only his second season in Formula One.”

“I’ve worked with many great drivers and the ones people remember most are Ayrton, Michael and Fernando. The thing that they shared was this amazing self-esteem. I don’t think that’s something unique to racing drivers, I think it’s unique to world class sportsman, that they have to believe they’re the best; they have to go in to every event thinking “I’m the best driver here, so if I don’t win this race it cannot be my fault, it has to be something else”. Ayrton was the first one I saw that thought like that and all the greats seem to apply that logic to everything – and I realised that was a part that made him so special.”

“We did one season together, Ayrton and I, but while everyone talks about his second place in Monaco, the one that stood out for me was Dallas, where he crashed out, but we came out with such a special story from that race. The car was reasonably competitive there, so we expected to have a good race but Ayrton spun early in the race. He then found his way back through the field in a quite effective way and we were looking for a pretty good finish but then he hit the wall, damaged the rear wheel and the driveshaft and retired, which was a real shame.”

“The real significance of that was that when he came back to the pits he told me what happened and said ‘I’m sure that the wall moved!’ and even though I’ve heard every excuse every driver has ever made, I certainly hadn’t heard of that one!”

“But Ayrton being Ayrton, with his incredible belief in himself, the absolute conviction, he then talked me into going with him, after the race, to have a look at the place where he had crashed. And he was absolutely right, which was the amazing thing!”

ayrton-senna-at-1984-dallas-grand-prix“Dallas being a street circuit the track was surrounded by concrete blocks and what had happened – we could see it from the tyre marks – was that someone had hit at the far end of the concrete block and that made it swivel slightly, so that the leading edge of the block was standing out by a few millimetres. And he was driving with such precision that those few millimetres were the difference between hitting the wall and not hitting the wall. While I had been, at first, annoyed that we had retired from the race through a driver error, when I saw what had happened, when I saw how he had been driving, that increased my respect for the guy.”


Mercedes to rethink team orders after Hamilton defiance (GMM)

Mercedes has moved to put the intensifying battle between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg behind closed doors. “Corporate answer,” boss Toto Wolff smiled late on Sunday, when the extent of the potential controversy triggered by the Hungarian grand prix became clear. In the race, after technical failures blighted his last two qualifying outings as he chases down teammate and enemy Rosberg’s points lead, Briton Hamilton was asked repeatedly to let the sister silver car past.

Predictably, team chairman Niki Lauda dismissed as “bullsh*t” any conspiracy theory about Mercedes wanting its German driver to prevail in 2014 over a Briton. Indeed, the much more sensible reasoning for Sunday’s team order was that Mercedes had devised on the fly a new race-winning strategy for pole-sitter Rosberg, after the timing of the safety car period left him trailing Hamilton, who started the race from pitlane. Even Wolff had to admit that, had Hamilton obeyed the order, “Nico could have won the race. It is a difficult situation now,” he added.

The team finds itself on a delicate line between letting its drivers fight freely for the drivers’ title, and handling situations like Sunday, where two non-Mercedes cars eventually crossed the chequered flag first and second. Hamilton’s defiance probably cost Mercedes victory in Hungary, but it did help him narrow the points gap to Rosberg with eight races now to run. 2008 world champion Hamilton said immediately after getting out of his W05 on Sunday that he thinks his bosses issued the team order “for the right reasons”.

But the wheel-to-wheel title battle is something different. “I was in the same race as him,” he said, “so I was very, very shocked that the team would ask me to do that, to be able to better his position. So that was a bit strange.” Hamilton revealed on Sunday that, after his qualifying fire, he had lifted his spirits by sharing a pizza, some chocolate and “a prank” with Lauda.

Lauda said Hamilton was right to ignore the team order. “I would have done exactly the same,” said the great Austrian. “The team was under enormous stress because the race was a very difficult one, there is no question. The call was unnecessary but it was made.”

Even Wolff admits that Mercedes will need to use the three-weekend ‘summer break’, including a two week factory shutdown, to devise a better strategy for dealing with the intensifying championship battle between the two drivers. “What we had at the beginning of the season doesn’t function anymore,” he acknowledged. “Perhaps we need to have a new way. It’s getting intense and we need to sit down and discuss how to handle things.

TJ13 Comment: We have been saying for some months that two rivals in the same team driving the most dominant car in a generation were never going to remain friends due to the pressure of winning motor-sport’s ultimate prize.

It’s indeed refreshing to hear Lauda speaking as a fan whereas corporate Wolff is looking at the things from a board-level members point of view – dark surroundings, muted sound, emotion unwelcome and the minions to be controlled.

Of more alarm is probably the fact that Hamilton has been downgraded from being a guest in Niki’s private jet to going out for a pizza and some chocolate with the Austrian legend… which will cause consternation amongst the heavier drivers of the paddock who can ill afford to gain weight.


Alonso, Hamilton say Ricciardo among F1′s best (GMM)

Daniel Ricciardo has joined the upper echelon of F1′s very best drivers. In the paddock, a big rumour is that for its new works Honda partnership beginning next year, McLaren is on the market for one of the sport’s ‘big three’ drivers. They are Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. But is a new kid on the block about to join their calibre? So far in 2014, Australian Ricciardo has stunned the paddock with his rise from Red Bull’s junior team Toro Rosso.

He has undoubtedly humbled reigning quadruple world champion Vettel over the first half of the season, recording two wins to the German’s none. 25-year-old Ricciardo, two years younger than Vettel, recorded his second career win on Sunday, audaciously overtaking none other than Hamilton and Alonso for good measure in Hungary. Asked if he has now established himself at the top of F1, Spaniard Alonso agreed afterwards: “Yeah, definitely. I think he’s leading the champion team. That says it all.” Hamilton agreed: “Not only one of the nicest guys in the paddock but also one of the best drivers here, for sure.”

Throughout 2014, although regularly beaten by Ricciardo, Vettel has kept up an amiable relationship with the Australian, including in Hungary where he appeared for the customary post-victory team photo. Still, the plaudits are not flowing quite as smoothly from his mouth.

Vettel looked to have the upper hand on Ricciardo around the twisty Hungaroring until the race, where the safety car and a spin halted his progress. “It was not a good race,” he is quoted by Germany’s DPA news agency. “It was simply a question of being at the right place at the right time.” Vettel said the safety car helped Ricciardo. “That was his good luck,” he is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport. “And then he did everything right.” Vettel is now looking forward to the summer break, which is “good for everyone. It was a tough first half of the season,” he admitted.

TJ13 Comment: There are many who would agree with Vettel about DR having been in the right place to benefit for both his two wins this season. There is evidence to suggest it could well have been Vettel as the beneficiary for both the wins, but as the German proved conclusively over the previous four seasons he has also had his fair share of luck.

Being in the right place in Abu Dhabi in 2010 meant that when Ferrari reacted to Webber’s pit-stop, Seb was left in a lead which claimed his first drivers title. The right place in 2011 was a Newey designed rocket ship and then in 2012, after turning in to the Williams of Bruno Senna, spinning amongst the pack and receiving minimal damage whilst rolling backwards his “good luck” allowed him to finish and take the triple crown.

Last season in Brazil, Alonso offered words of warning to Vettel about how his four titles would become a curse when he found himself pedaling a car that was not the best of the field. The implication being that it would either cement his legacy or destroy it and Alonso once again took the opportunity to twist the knife into a floundering Seb by suggesting that Daniel is the new team leader.


#F1 Polls: How would you rate the FORMULA 1 PIRELLI MAGYAR NAGYDÍJ 2014?

•July 28, 2014 • 41 Comments

2014 HungarianGP Podium 2

How do you rate the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix? What made the race in your opinion? Changeable conditions, freedom for the drivers to race, just lucky that it was such a good race? Is there anything else that can be done to “spice” the racing up? Please use the comments section to state why you voted the way you did.

#F1 Race Review: Red Bull’s Ricciardo pulls a rabbit out as Mercedes miss out on the Win

•July 27, 2014 • 50 Comments

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Mattpt55

2014 HungarianGP Podium


The Hungarian GP started under angry skies and turbulent weather. A massive downpour had turned the track into a river 40 minutes before the start of the race and the warmup laps featured anxious drivers and engineers on the radio in a desperate bid to nail the right starting tyre. With the field settling on inters and 3 starters from the pitlane, Kvyat having been stranded at the start of the formation lap, the Grand Prix of Hungary featured everything a proper race should: Safety cars, Spins, Shunts and Strategy, brilliant overtaking, a pitlane to podium drive and a non-Mercedes winner, with a massive dash of teammate controversy thrown in to boot. The best possible send off for the summer break.

The early laps featured a drying track with all the drivers trying to conserve their inters after the first few laps. Hamilton had an early spin with front wing damage and sounded anxious on the radio. Despite this, he recovered and began to carve through the field. Rosberg was not immune; he too had an off all by his lonesome, but without the accompanying damage. And thus it was till Marcus Ericsson decided to shave all the corners off his car, bringing out the safety car. Seizing the moment, with the leaders already past the pit lane, Ricciardo dived into the pits strapping on a pair of softs and making his race. The rest of the field was left to chase the new leader and at the end of the day, they just wouldn’t have enough.


Massive clouds darkened the horizon at the Hungaroring as an epic but short-lived storm had soaked the track shortly before the start. With a whirlwind of activity, the field settled on inters for the start and wound up with 3 pit lane starters as Kvyat was unable to leave the grid for the formation lap. Temperature on the ground was 21◦C with a track temperature of 28◦C, much cooler than yesterday. Both Mercedes taped their brake ducts to help keep temperatures up and the pre-race featured shots of Merc trying to heat Hamilton’s brakes before the start.


AS the lights went out, Rosberg managed a slow but steady start that saw him well clear by turn one. Vettel drifted back into his spray and Bottas, thinking clearly stayed wide and took the position from him. Alonso pounced a turn later as the Red Bull struggled on the wet track. Behind, Hamilton lived up to his dramatic reputation by immediately spinning his car as his brakes were cold as ice and still in passive mode according to race radio. He recovered rapidly with minor front wing damage and the next laps saw him anxiously on the radio making sure the car was copacetic.

Alonso booted turn one on the second lap which allowed Vettel back through and with his car up to temperature the leaders settled in to tiptoe round the rapidly drying track. Further back Lewis began to get it in gear and had managed to get up to P17 by the fifth lap. Rosberg decided to push hard and had opened a substantial gap but paid the price on lap six as he had quite the little off through turn one, which featured as the slipperiest on the track when wet.  The drying track began to take its toll as well as more and more drivers began heading off line to pick up water to cool the inters.

This was to be short lived as Marcus Ericsson continued to endear himself to the new Caterham owners by ripping all four corners off his car due to putting a wheel on to the wet AstroTurf. The resulting massive shunt immediately brought out the safety car, but after the leaders had passed the pitlane entry. Button was the first to react, but McLaren apparently had the wrong location dialed into their weather radar and kept Button on inters after a long and confusing stop.

Ricciardo chased Button into the pits and unlike McLaren, Red Bull strapped on a pair of softs without hesitation and thereby turned the race. Passing Button in the pits and emerging P1 made the race and having seized strategic control Red Bull would not relinquish it. Due to the reshuffling, Ricciardo led, followed by Button and Massa. Rosberg was into 5th with Vettel even further back and Bottas into 11th with Hamilton up to 13th.

Button meanwhile demanded certainty over the weather from his team, who were starting to sound less certain as they looked about and saw everyone else off the inters. The Safety Car was in lap 14 and the race was back on, with Button making the most of his inters and taking Ricciardo’s position, but not for long as the promised rain was looking less and less likely. Lewis made the most of his new tyres on the restart and rapidly advanced to 9th behind Vettel. Rosberg was struggling with an issue as there was visible smoke coming from his rear brakes during the safety car period, but he was assured that all was well as the car returned to racing speed.

Rosberg , taking advantage of the good news had an ill-advised go at Magnussen which wound up costing him a place to Vergne who came up the inside at turn 1. All the cars were sliding the rears through the turns as the track had yet to finish drying .

Hulkenberg mucked it up lap 16, collecting his teammate and parking it up out of the last turn, for his first DNF of the seaon and the end of his points scoring streak as well as bringing out the double yellows. DRS returned for lap 17 as Hamilton remained behind Vettel and Vergne was on fire, maintaining his 4th and seemingly keeping Rosberg at bay.  An understeery Pastor bounced off the back of Bianchi as Ricciardo continued to dance off down the track, making 5 seconds by lap 20.

Hamilton, seemingly out of patience was once again pressing Vettel, but just couldn’t seem to make it past as his teammate continued to cruise behind Vergne without really looking racy. Lewis continued pressure came at a price as the team warned him of marginal brake temperatures on the fronts. It wasn’t going to be a lasting issue as Sergio Perez was the next to bring out the safety car, with an epic impact into the pitwall following an excursion onto the AstroTurf down the start/finish straight.


Once again Ricciardo was in the right place at the right time and he led the exodus into the pitlane for new tyres. The new order was Alonso Vergne, Rosberg, Vettel Hamilton and Ricciardo as ominous clouds graced the horizon. As the Safety Car prepared to come in, Kobayashi parked it up on lap 26 with an issue. Hamilton was told it was critical to get past Vettel and Vergne, ignoring his teammate entirely and at the restart he got right down to it. With a massive DRS train, it turned out to be no easy task and aside from occasional peeks up the inside, there was nothing in it for Hamilton as neither Mercedes was making headway.

Ricciardo hung back watching tyres as Hamilton continued to struggle with finding a way past. Rosberg opted for pit strategy and boxed on lap 33 and as he did so the gods of the race chose to frown on him. Under relentless pressure Vettel too had taken to the AstroTurf to maintain a gap down the straight and it finally caught him out. Spinning him into the wall and letting Lewis past. Not one to waste an opportunity he immediately chased down Vergne and executed the kind of multi-turn pass that should make even the haters stand up and cheer. Rosberg suffered an extra slow pitstop that was down to removing tape from the brake ducts as the lack of rain meant the brakes were on the temperature limit. This cost him dearly as he slotted back into 11th behind both Bottas and Magnussen as Hamilton drove off into clean air to eat massive chunks of time out of Alonso who was now the next driver up the road. This effort put Lewis in front of his teammate on strategy and a desperate Rosberg radioed for permission to push like crazy to make up the difference before Hamilton had to pit.


Driving like a man possessed, Rosberg took after Bottas and ran him wide through the exit of turn one to get on with the job at hand. The clean air was benefiting Lewis and he continued to extract the maximum from his tyres as Alonso cleared the way by pitting and emerging in front of Rosberg, compounding Nico’s woes.  Hamilton finally brought it in on Lap 40, with Mercedes taking extra time to remove the tape from his brake ducts as well as adding a wing adjust as they had chosen to send him out on the Mediums, to try and run to the end of the race. He emerged in front of Rosberg and behind Alonso whose gearbox he would be intimately familiar with by the end of the race. Raikkonen, who had been in front of Alonso, cleared the way as Hamilton’s tyres came on by pitting. He emerged in 9th and was immediately set upon by Vettel, who was trying to atone for his earlier error whilst defending against Hamilton. Though he looked to have the edge, after a bit of a dice it was Kimi coming out ahead, starting to show a little of the form that has been sadly missing this season.

Rosberg was making the most if his tyres in the meanwhile and as Hamilton managed the gap to Alonso Rosberg clawed to DRS range on his teammate, and that’s where the fun truly began as Mercedes ordered Hamilton to let Rosberg by as he would be making an extra stop, Rosberg having made clear that it was Mercedes, and not he who made the request.

Hamilton, appearing to be in no particular hurry to respond and apparently not entirely convinced he would make the end without another stop himself, demanding clarification about tyre life from Bonnington, his race engineer. Displaying a race intelligence many thought he lacked, Hamilton rightly divined that letting Rosberg past would guarantee Nico finishing ahead of him. AS Mercedes continued to gently chivvy him, Hamilton continued to hold his ground, willing to let Nico go but not willing to slow his own pace to make it happen. AS for Rosberg, he continued to drift in and out of DRS for the next 8 laps, never once closing up on Lewis and forcing the issue. According to post race Sky analysis, Rosberg would have finished 2nd and Hamilton 4th if  Lewis had pulled over, but the larger question of why Hamilton was kept on the slower strategy once he passed his teammate is one that Mercedes should be looking at over the break.

Act IV

AS the Mercedes melodrama continued, Ricciardo’s tyres breathed their last and he came through the pits on lap 54 to be reshod. Ricciardo wasted no time coming after Lewis and in response Lewis upped his pace and began to reel in Alonso at a rate that guaranteed all three of them coming together at the same time. Rosberg played his final card for a used pair of softs lap 57 and the die was cast for a remarkable finale.

In short order Rosberg picked up two places as he took first Raikkonen and then one lap later Massa for 4th.  He set about chasing down the leading trio just as all three came into DRS on lap 61. Hamilton and Alonso beginning to struggle on their old tyres and Ricciardo’s claim of possible victory looked more and more likely with each passing lap as Rosberg was approaching at almost 2 seconds a lap.

Hamilton, unable to get to grips with Alonso on the softs, was told by his engineer to use revs not torques. Alonso under pressure went wide on turn one and then utterly missed the chicane. Acknowledging his error, he drifted back rather than pressing home the advantage thus avoiding the scrutiny of the stewards. Rosberg clearly had the pace and Ricciardo, looking to do the deed got past Hamilton but went wide on the exit giving Lewis another chance. But the end couldn’t come soon enough as he began locking up turn after turn as the mediums had been flogged down to the canvas at that point.

Alternately defending from Daniel and attacking Alonso, Hamilton eventually couldn’t maintain his position as the poorer characteristic s of the Mediums made themselves apparent on lap 68. Alonso locked it up getting round a backmarker, and in reaction so did Hamilton. Ricciardo finally drove home the advantage and in rapid succession passed both drivers to race off for the checkers. An increasingly desperate Hamilton, sensing his vulnerability to Rosberg was once again told to use revs instead of torques as the Mercedes driver was just unable to get past the wily Alonso with no tyres left.

Lap 69 finally saw the eagerly awaited showdown between the nonplussed Rosberg and Hamilton, but it was for 3rd rather than 1st.  Entering the DRS zone for the last time Hamilton made a mistake exiting turn one. Rosberg closed up down the inside but Lewis fought back, effectively taking Rosberg to the edge of the track as he wound up on the outside after having started his pass on the inside. It was a brutally effective shutting of the door, but in replay it was clear that Hamilton had left room for Rosberg and had not put him 4 wheels off. From there it was white knuckle ride for Hamilton but one that saw him cross the line ahead of his teammate and having taken a further 3 points out of Rosberg’s WDC lead. Alonso lifted the hearts of tifosi by cruising across in 2nd and no one would begrudge Ricciardo’s primal howl of joy as he took his second win of the year, his smile illuminating his helmet from the inside.


The best race of the season by far, today’s result should be a concern for the Brackley squad as creeping unreliability is beginning to eat into their unerring dominance. More importantly, their artificial equalization of strategy might be causing them more trouble than it’s saving them, as switching Lewis to an extra stop and covering Ricciardo would have left them dicing for the win rather than 2nd or 3rd.  Conversely both Ferrari and Red Bull have to be heartened as the relentless pace of development begins to open opportunities for them. Lastly, today’s race makes an utter mockery of the need to “spice up the show” and hopefully it will put paid to the effort to rehabilitate Briatore once and for all.


Final Results:

# Driver Ctry Team Time Gap Pits
1 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:29.140 1:53:05.058 3
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:29.602 5.200 2
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:29.723 5.800 2
4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:29.653 6.300 3
5 Felipe Massa Williams 1:30.016 29.700 3
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:30.296 31.300 2
7 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:30.049 40.700 2
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:29.961 41.000 3
9 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:30.597 58.100 2
10 Jenson Button McLaren 1:32.125 66.800 3
11 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:31.977 67.600 2
12 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:32.910 77.800 2
13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:30.606 83.300 3
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:33.478 1 lap 2
15 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:32.125 1 lap 3
16 Max Chilton Marussia 1:31.933 1 lap 2
R Nico Hulkenberg Force India RETIRED 15 laps 1
R Esteban Gutierrez Sauber RETIRED 33 laps 2
R Sergio Perez Force India RETIRED 23 laps 1
R Kamui Kobayashi Caterham RETIRED 25 laps 1
R Marcus Ericsson Caterham RETIRED 8 laps 0
R Romain Grosjean Lotus RETIRED 11 laps 1

Drivers World Championship

2014 Drivers' Championship Graph Hungary


Constructors World Championship

2014 Constructors' Championship Graph Hungary

#F1 Polls: FORMULA 1 PIRELLI MAGYAR NAGYDÍJ 2014 – Driver of the Weekend

•July 27, 2014 • 126 Comments

2014 HungarianGP - Qualifying

As the sun sets on the first part of the 2014 Formula 1 season who was your driver of the weekend during the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix? This takes into account the whole weekend and not just the race. Please use the comments section to state why you voted the way you did.

#TechF1 Treasures- The #F1 Race Weekend in Official FIA Documents #HungarianGP

•July 27, 2014 • 12 Comments

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Mattpt55 - the best in Scrutineering, Stewards’ Decisions, and other assorted FIA documents looked at slightly irreverently  

There’s the race we see on telly, and then there’s the race behind the scenes. One rarely talked about by reporters but told in part by the official FIA documents. Here is a selection of this weekend’s documents for you to peruse at your leisure. Enjoy. Wonder where all this great stuff came from? Right Here




From the Dept of Leftovers





Who is the Tom Kristensen and what does *He* know about racing compared to Felipe? LOL


From the Dept of All the Kings Men




They couldn’t put Humpty together again, but were able to screw Lewis’ Merc back together. Similar≠Same. Extra Points if you know what a SPLEF is. Wonder if they billed Brembo for all that?


From the Dept of Back to the Future




Well, that will keep them to only using 1.95 metres then.



From the Dept of Paved Roads




Let’s hope they actually get around to putting it up before the event.


From the Dept of Inferred or Implied




We can infer that it is implied that *someone* was rather naughty at the last GP


From the Dept of Counting All the Things




This is liable to be the only race Pastor is odds on to win this year. But either Toro Rosso or Grosjean could still pull it out of the bag and clinch as early as this weekend.


From the Dept of Dental Hygiene




So when is a gearbox not a gearbox? When the FIA says so, that’s when.


From the Dept of Let’s Turn these in on Time, Please




He must be special, since he get’s his own document


From the Dept of Wordy Words




That would be everyone including your teammate,right?


From the Dept of Why Not?







It would have been vastly more interesting than what you did ask him…


From the Dept of Silly Questions with Silly Answers




Yes, by crashing with Pastor at every opportunity


From the Dept of Crash Courses





Glad to see they have both learned this little life lesson


From the Dept of Planning







Now if they just had a plan for making a better car


From the Dept of Perspicaciousness





Yes, I suppose it is true, not finishing the race is not the best for performance.


From the Dept of Commonality





Yes, 5 DNF’s would pretty much be a problem, all right.


From the Dept of Testify




I ran this through Google Translate and it came out as “I can’t believe I left Ferrari for this disaster of a team”.


From the Dept of Secret Identities




Holy Hopping Horse-Toads, could we have found the judges secret alter ego? .


From the Dept of Shiny New Things






Well, we’re halfway through the season…


From the Dept of More Shiny New Things





Pretty sure 4 isn’t half of 5 though….


From the Dept of Officially Shiny New Things





Took me a minute to figure out it was gearboxes. LOL


From the Dept of Hot Air




Why do they insist on calling it “Sahara”. I thought that was done.


From the Dept of Passing the Buck




Wow, we’re just following orders answer. How could that possibly go wrong


From the Dept of passing the Euro





Wow. Just wow. Craven.Especially considering Bahrain cost McLaren their title sponsor.


From the Dept of Passing the Pound Sterling




So if you think it wrong for F1 to make political statements, wouldn’t you think it wrong for F1 to be used by other countries for the same purpose. Because I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going to happen. Disingenuous would be the polite word.


From the Dept of Where Have All the Germans Gone




LOL, that Christian does have a quick wit. Though Seb was pretty disparaging earlier in the year.


From the Dept of Actual Questions




Holy Cow, someone screwed up and let actual reporters in. Ask a decent question, get a terrible answer, LOL. Though someone should tell Dieter that it’s an *additional* billion bringing the total debt to $3.5 billion. CVC has cleared $4 billion. No need to worry their poor little brains about that.


From the Dept of Dry Your Tears




So Azerbaijan is crying out for motorsport. Who knew?


From the Dept of Arbitrary Decisions




Marco wins the argument, hands down.


From the Dept of Mix and Match





This week it’s Match


From the Dept of Incongruity



Finally, an answer to the question of what do Lewis and Pastor have in common.


From the Dept of Janus






LOLtasty! Now we know for sure. Also, think Nico left out “when it’s not spontaneously bursting into flames” discussing the engine.


From the Dept of Proximity





*Sigh* close but no cigar.


From the Dept of Long Term Planning





It’s good to have a goal.


From the Dept of Loose Language





Like, say, overage charges on your mobile? OR are you talking Caterham. Enquiring Minds and all that..


From the Dept of Unexpected Things




Until Massa runs into something again, that is.


From the Dept of Understatement





Until the tarmac dried. Then it was taking candy from babies time.


From the Dept of Famous Last Words




Free Beers on Seb, everyone’s new favorite driver. Can’t think of a better way to wrap it up. Happy Race Day Everyone!




From the Dept of Happy Days They Published Parc Ferme







From the Dept of Sat on the Naughty Step






There you have it.







#F1 Features: The F1 school of bloody stupid ideas

•July 26, 2014 • 40 Comments

Briatore returns to F1

In the short time between FP3 and Qualifying, team principals’ are usually engaged in frenetic activity which includes final preparations for their cars and drivers, along with pressing the flesh of important sponsors. So when Bernie calls an emergency meeting for the top brass in F1, something big is afoot.

The most likely rumour fitting this extra-ordinary event was that Ecclestone had reconsidered his position on racing in Russia. This was not to be the case.

In fact the topic of the meeting was no surprise to anyone in the end in that it was Bernie banging the drum and rousing the troops for more spicing up of what he now calls, “the show”.

What was a big deal, was that Ecclestone was insisting the teams accept his decision to recall disgraced former team boss who was found guilty of race rigging – Flavio Briatore.


The F1 supremo has become obsessed with this issue because as the year unfolds, the fall in the global TV audience continues and the recent collapse in attendance at the German GP have highlighted the fact that people are turning off to F1 and the sport is failing to attract a new audience.

It appears that Briatore will be joined by Christian Horner, Marco Mattiacci and Toto Wolff and form an F1 ‘popularity working group’. Wolff explains, “A couple of guys will sit together [to work out what to do], because it’s difficult to do when you invite everybody and come up with priorities and solutions.

Speaking to a smattering of F1 writers, Wolff added “We’ll probably get you guys involved to avoid the situation last time when you found our ideas really s***! So that’s the procedure”.

Following Christian Horner’s little outburst when he lectured F1 reporters about being negative, this is clearly the buzz word of the moment. Wolff insists, “It wasn’t a negative meeting, we have seen some great racing and some packed race tracks, at Austria, Montreal and Silverstone.

But then we have seen smaller audiences here and at Hockenheim – why is that? So we’re going to come together and come up with ideas.”

Flavio has been chunnering away in the background for some time about ways to improve the current F1 show, and one of his ideas includes a ballast handicap system, whereby the faster/winning cars will receive a weight penalty to the playing field.

One individual who was at the meeting, revealed off the record, the ballast idea had found a surprising level of approval from those present.

Meanwhile, the BBC recently reported that in Asia, technology has been developed which will deliver virtual fans to venues lacking in attendees and atmosphere.

untitled Hanwha Eagles fan-bots in the pipeline

Fan Robots are in the pipeline for a Korean baseball team who can cheer, chant and even perform a Mexican wave. The robots can be operated by real fans over the internet, and even the face of the bot can reflect the face of the fan operating the machine.

There is an opportunity to monetarise the army of robot fans, as real fans can pay to operate a bot for a sections of the sporting event, then handing over to others ready to pay based upon simple supply and demand.

Of course, no one is certain how misbehaving robots, getting abusive, drunk and throwing food will be handled yet. The spectre of the robot hooligan does indeed loom large on the horizon.

Then again, if fanbots are recruited for Formula 1, we may see what would have been an empty grandstand filled with an army of mechanised fans holding up different messages from Ecclestone. “Bernie says…”

There was a recent move in Japan to develop technology which could re-create live matches using holographic technology in other locations. It would mean, in theory, that several stadiums full of fans could be watching the same match at once.

The development of the technology was halted when the brown envelopes under the cushions of the FIFA delegates seats, meant that Qatar beat Japan in their bid to host the 2012 Football World Cup.

This persistent debate over the F1 “show” and fans race attendance is absurd, particularly when hundreds of man hours and millions of wasteful words merely result in ideas such as double points, trumpet exhausts and now a weighting handicap system.

F1 is being run by fools because the answers to the problems of falling fan numbers are simple.

Two years ago, fans could attend a race weekend and hire FanVision. This gave the viewer a mobile hand held device which delivered commentary and pictures for all of the on track action.

Ecclestone refused to extend the FanVision contract, believing FOM would be delivering a solution which would create a direct and more profitable revenue stream.

However, Tata communications have not yet delivered the blanket WIFI transmission technology at F1 circuits yet, so the planned mobile device application to replace FanVision has been neutered.


Personlaised Fanbot

Within a short time, every premier league club will be offering this technology to football fans according to BBC Sports business correspondent Matt Cutler.

Hardcore fans will attend F1 racing with or without FanVision or whatever one day will be its replacement. However, FanVision had become very popular with a significant section of race going fans and anecdotal evidence this writer has seen, suggests most of these folk are staying away from F1.

Further, a TJ13 representative speaking to a senior individual from Santander at the British GP was told they had struggled to fill their huge corporate ticket allocation and the biggest complaint from guests the previous year was the loss of FanVision.

Of course the escalating cost of attending an F1 race hits everyone, and this too is preventing F1 fans from enjoying their sport in person.

Yet the single biggest reason F1 is losing ground in TV land, has been the move from free to air TV to subscription based channels.

BSkyB’s recent acquisition of Rupert Murdoch’s pay-TV assets in Italy and Germany, Sky Italia and 57.4% of Sky Deutschland,  created a European powerhouse with c20 million subscribers.

One London City analyst commented that this would mean BSkyB would be well placed to buy broadcasting rights on a pan-European basis if that ever replaces the current country-by-country basis.

This could clearly affect Formula 1 TV audiences if the UK fall in viewing numbers is replicated since SKY UK obtained the rights to broadcast all races exclusively.

The return of Briatore to F1 will have a ‘marmite’ effect on F1 fans. Some will appreciate the return of Flavio’s flamboyant character, whilst others will question the wisdom of giving responsibility to a man who was found guilty of corrupting the field of competition.

F1 is facing dangerous time as the commercial rights holder’s CVC realise they have extracted the maximum value from their investment and want out. The perception that F1 revenues have reached a high water mark under Ecclestone’s current business plan is widespread. However, this has led to the senior figures of the sport acting like headless chickens as they lurch from one “sh^t idea” – Toto’s words – to another.


There is an obvious and simple 5 plan solution to an F1 future of unfettered joy and harmony, which is blindingly obvious.

  • Get rid of Ecclestone
  • Get rid of Ecclestone
  • Get rid of Ecclestone
  • Get rid of Ecclestone
  • Get rid of Ecclestone

Until then, our heroes will ‘think tank’ themselves silly and bring on the trumpeting exhausts, exploding sparks, probably quadruple points, Azerbaijan, the handicap ballast and maybe next the Hanwha Eagles Fanbots…… the list, whilst not quite endless, appears to grow by the week.

#F1 Qualifying Review: Mercedes on pole but are the wheels coming off?

•July 26, 2014 • 47 Comments

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Mattpt55

2014 HungarianGP - Nico Rosberg Pole 1

The start of qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix saw the temperature plummet 4◦C as the clouds rolled in just before the track went green. With rain in the area and storms forecast for tomorrow, weather metaphors were in plentiful supply regarding the long term fate of the sport. The action on track mirrored the mercurial meteorology as spins, mechanical failures and a Mercedes flambé led the way and that was just in Q1. Despite being robbed of the drama of a Hamilton-Rosberg showdown, the rain stepped in and made Q3 the best chance in recent memory for someone other than Mercedes to take pole. It wasn’t to be however, as Rosberg’s steady hand and cool demeanour saw him once again in charge at the end of the day


With both Mercedes at the top and only a hair apart in times for FP3, qualifying promised to be an exciting one especially as Sky was reporting zero grip with the Mediums in the suddenly cooler temperatures. And as the track opened for business, Pastor Maldonado wasted no time in foreshadowing the day’s events by pulling his stricken Lotus off track at the 15 minute mark following a massive lockup.

The sharp end was out to play once the yellows cleared and it was Rosberg on it for Mercedes, as rain was reported in the area. AS 12 minutes ticked by he spoiled his first effort by missing the chicane entirely as his struggles with the early Q1 runs continued.

Not that it made a difference today as just like last week, a jarring cut to a car in trouble led to the rapidly dawning realization that it was once again Lewis Hamilton, only this time his car was spectacularly engulfed in flames instead of having a 30G impact. As he guided his car gently down the pit lane looking like a rolling bonfire, he replied to his teams entreaties to stop the car by the marshal with the extinguisher by saying he was unable to stop the car. He eventually got it off track in a good location but it was clear he was going no further and he was out without even setting a time. There are those who don’t believe in luck, but you’d be hard pressed not to argue Hamilton has seen more than his fair share of travails this season and you could hear the Hamifosi gnashing their teeth across the Atlantic

Qualifying continued regardless, and it was Bottas with the early pace followed by Ricciardo and Vettel. Rosberg began banging his lap out as Hamilton’s ride belched forth smoke. Magnussen slotted into 4th as Rosberg completed his lap and to no one’s surprise took the top spot away. As the Sky director lingered on an arty shot of a forlorn Hamilton watching his car burn, it became clear that with him and Maldonado out, there was a real chance for one of the backmarkers to steal a march into Q2.

With 7 minutes left to go and the reverberations receding, the bottom of the grid retired to change to new softs. As Bianchi, Chilton, Grosjean, Kobayashi and Ericsson got ready to duke it out with Kamui currently owning P16 the sharp end parked it up to make the hard choices about whether their times were good enough or whether they needed to sacrifice a set of new options on the altar of expedience.

4 minutes to go and it was Grosjean out and flying into 8th. Perez followed up with a P6 and Hulkenberg lagged into 16th after mucking up the final turn. Vergne claimed top spot with Kvyat third as the seconds ticked to less than 2 minutes with Kobayashi’s time just 0.1 seconds off Hulkenberg’s.

Super Max became Super Slow Max as the cold hand of reliability reached out yet again and tapped him on the shoulder, ruining any chance he might have had to play with the big boys in Q2 with fuel pressure problems.

His teammate was having no such problems and as he flashed round the circuit Raikkonen fell into 15th, Ferrari having decided to save tyres for Q2. Hulkenberg was into his last sector when the checkers fell and his drive to P12 displaced Raikkonen to P16 and as the Iceman looked helplessly on, in a glimpse of the future, Bianchi completed his last flyer to take P16 away from Kimi and knock him out of Q2. Massive fail from the Ferrari strategy boys as the team continues to struggle on all fronts. Raikkonen, Kobayashi, Chilton, Ericcson, Hamilton and Maldonado all out with the rest moving on.


Well, the chance had opened for someone to make Q3 and Perez, deciding it might as well be him, leaped onto the track followed closely by Hulkenberg. Sergio’s started his first lap at the 12:30 mark and as the first wave of times came in, it was to be Bottas on top until Rosberg got it done.  The Red Bulls lingered in the garage and first impressions of a fuel leak were confirmed by Lauda and in a simultaneous interview Lewis actually managed a bit of a laugh about seeing flames in the mirror.

Vettel settled down to his effort as Lewis walked through the onboard action which started with a brake issue that required resetting some functions followed by a loss of power. The engine was cutting in and out for him as he sought a place to stop, never sounding out of sorts whilst on the radio. Vettel got through in P2 and confirmed that he had the pace over his teammate as Ricciardo could not best him and had to settle for P3. A bitter pill for Hamifosi as Lewis confirmed top 5 would be a miracle for Sunday, though true race fans will hope for an epic wet and storming drive to liven up the day.

Sudden shots of Perez climbing out in the garage brought home the fact that as the season goes, reliability will start to play an increasing role in the fate of the drivers, with a 2nd problem for a Mercedes powered car. Reported as hydraulics at 5 minutes left, it must still be a concern to Brackley to see these issues cropping up after such a solid start to the season.

The bad news for Force India was going to be good news for someone as Sergio’s ill–fortune opened up a spot in the top 10. With Hamilton out as well, the drama was gone. Rosberg and the Red Bulls decided to stay parked but the rest were out to defend their positions. A big lockup for Massa saw P5 as the best he could do.

Hulkenberg improved to P9 moving Button to P10 and relegating Kvyat. Double waved yellows spoiled the rest of the runs as it transpired Kvyat had driven himself right out of Q3 by putting his left front onto the grass and spinning as a result. Track limits indeed!

Kvyat’s adventure saw himself, Sutil, Perez, Gutierrez, Grosjean, and Bianchi all out. Grosjean was clearly unimpressed with his inability to beat Sutil, before settling on the cooler track temps as the main source of Lotus woes. Aside from the lack of money and a decent engine, of course.


Given the lack of Lewis, Q3 promised to be a perfunctory affair to yet again confirm the dominance of Mercedes. Yet Mother Nature helpfully stepped into the void for as the track waited to turn green, shots of Kvyat’s Toro Rosso being recovered showed drops of rain glistening on the bodywork of his car. There was a sudden crush at the pitlane and at the off it was Rosberg leading the way as the radios crackled with nervous engineers imploring their drivers to get a banker in in case the track went away from them. Only Alonso and Vettel bided their time, hoping to hit the gap between the traffic and potentially worse weather.

AS Rosberg hurtled across the start/finish, the adrenaline must have been full tilt as he hit the first corner since it was the only one he wouldn’t have driven on his warm up. And rightfully so as it appeared that was where all the moisture was. Rosberg didn’t have a chance and was forced to take to the run off area completely spoiling his lap. For a brief, shining moment the door was open and it was possible that Mercedes might not have the pole yet again. Then, having seen no yellows Kevin Magnussen entered T1 on full song, slamming the door shut by smashing into the tyre barriers and red flagging the session. AS the marshals came round to assist him, Brundle could be heard imploring them to stay back as with more traffic approaching, they were indeed in a perilous situation.

It didn’t take long to reset the tyre barriers, but it was enough for the weather to clear and as the cars hit the track with 9:59 to go, Rosberg was told he was fueled for 3 timed laps.

Once again in the lead, Rosberg tiptoed through T1 but it was clearly drying and further back Bottas took advantage of Rosberg’s caution to set a time nearly a second faster. At the end of the first set of runs it was Bottas, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Alonso, Button, and Massa all in front of Rosberg, but the Mercedes man’s 2nd turn saw him take his customary lead as the sun once again began to shine.

No sooner did they make for the pits than calls for returning rain hit the airwaves. Bottas, looking for any advantage, tore out of the pits as Vergne turned his lonely lap in, good for P5 as the live stream inexplicably changed channels to lawn bowling for a moment.

Fortunately not for long as the time had clocked down to less than 2 minutes. Bottas, having followed Button, was unable to improve on Rosberg’s time but stayed P2.

12 seconds to go and it was Rosberg, Bottas and Vettel – though Sebastian was on a flyer and as the last seconds ticked off he was the fastest man on track, just edging Rosberg’s time and displacing Bottas to P3. But not for long as the Mercedes of Rosberg, having claimed ultimate track position, came across nearly a half second faster than Vettel. That brought the session to a close, Rosberg Vettel and Bottas, followed by Ricciardo, Alonso, Massa, Button, Vergne, Hulkenberg and Magnussen to round out the top 10.

With storms on tap for tomorrow, and Hamilton once again starting from the back and Alonso and Ricciardo next to one another, tomorrow’s race ought to be a cracking send off for the summer break.


Qualifying Result:

# Driver Ctry Team
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
6 Felipe Massa Williams
7 Jenson Button McLaren
8 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India
10 Kevin Magnussen McLaren
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso
12 Adrian Sutil Sauber
13 Sergio Perez Force India
14 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber
15 Romain Grosjean Lotus
16 Jules Bianchi Marussia
17 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
18 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham
19 Max Chilton Marussia
20 Marcus Ericsson Caterham
21 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
22 Pastor Maldonado Lotus

Daily #F1 News and Comment: Saturday 26th July 2014

•July 26, 2014 • 51 Comments


This page will be updated throughout the day.

Please if you are on Twitter press the tweet button below. If you re-write and tweet individual story headlines don’t forget to include #F1.

You may not realise how hugely important this is and has helped grow our community significantly

OTD Lite: 1925 – Antonio Ascari killed in French GP

Teammate Wars – Comparison thus far

Alonso – super human effort or Ferrari politicking?

Silly season’ strikes F1 throughout 2014 grid (GMM)

Hamilton slams Pirelli tyres in Hungary (GMM)

FP3 Report

Christian Horner slams media

Extracting value out of F1 – a Masterclass

OTD Lite: 1925 – Antonio Ascari killed in French GP

On this day, nearly 90 years ago, Antonio Ascari lost his life whilst leading the French Grand Prix in an Alfa Romeo P2 at the Autodrome de Montlhery near Paris.

A contemporary of Tazio Nuvolari both in age and birthplace he had recently won the inaugural Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium with a pit-stop that allowed him to replenish fluids and also eat in a comfortable manner.

His only son, a boy named Alberto was just seven years old but would take to the race tracks himself and achieve greatness in his career. Some may believe that being Italy’s only World Champion he has been placed on a rose tinted pedestal, but one of motor-sport greatest journalists – Denis Jenkinson placed Ascari above Fangio in ability.

The haunting statistic from both father and son was that both men died at the same age of 36 years old and on the 26th of the month.


Teammate Wars – Comparison thus far

One of TJ13′s readers brought our attention to a teammate comparison chart that was published on Reddit F1 by a reader called Ayedfy.

The Comparison:

What do you make of this readers, accurate reflection of the current state of play? (Is it just me or is Raikkonen the only one showing the true colours of Ferrari? :P)


Alonso – super human effort or Ferrari politicking?

Il Padrino has attacked the new breed of Formula One cars for some time. Considering he once welcomed the new formula because it was more relevant to engine and road car technology as opposed to aero dominated – it appears a complete about face.

His latest issue has been about Formula One being essentially about ‘taxi-driving’ but it is emerging from Italy that Old Man Luca may have a point with his statements. Whilst many who have bias against Ferrari or it’s venerable leader will assume it’s derogatory, anyone with a little open-mindedness will appreciate what is being said.

For some races we have heard of drivers coasting into corners, lifting off some way before the braking zones. In fact Hamilton’s ability to race like this seems more efficient than Rosberg’s if the fuel consumption figures are accurate. But in Germany, Alonso was forced to enter fuel saving mode whilst fighting with Daniel Ricciardo.

But, the cynical would ask why it has not been confirmed if Ferrari had to save fuel because of the consumption of their unit, or if they had under-fuelled with suspected rain on the horizon. Telemetry showed that Alonso was lifting at around 300 metres before the braking points.

Which begs the question, when a Formula One car can brake from over 200mph to practically a stop in less than 100 metres, why was the Red Bull fighting with the ailing Ferrari. Either the Red Bull drives in a similar fashion or there may be some hood-winking gong on.

It may be worth bearing in mind that this sort of information would only be available from the team and there is no correlation to previous races and where the Ferrari drivers were lifting off before corners. But it would suit Ferrari and Renault to have fuel flow limits removed. It’s interesting that this release of information comes a few days after Todt agreed to meet up with the F1 teams…


Silly season’ strikes F1 throughout 2014 grid

The unofficial ‘silly season’ has officially hit F1, as talk of a move to Mercedes for world champion Sebastian Vettel buzzes the paddock.vThe rumour went full circle in the space of a couple of days, with Mercedes’ Niki Lauda trying his best on Friday to bring it to a swift halt.

But Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko suggested to Sport Bild that he doesn’t necessarily believe Lauda did not make a move for the German driver.

Unfortunately, Niki has three opinions: one in the morning, one at noon and one in the evening,” he said.

Silly season is, however, not limited to the front of the grid, even though Force India’s Vijay Mallya said he wants to keep Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. “We have options on both,” the Indian said on Friday. “I’m very happy with both of them and I see no reason why we should be looking at any change.

There is also movement right at the back of the grid, although Briton Max Chilton expects to keep his well-funded seat at Marussia. “I’m confident I’ll be here next year,” he said.

But his teammate Jules Bianchi is in a slightly different situation, as he is backed by the might of Ferrari and looking to finally make a step up the grid for 2015. “I can stay at Marussia,” the Frenchman told RMC Sport, “but there could also be other good opportunities.

The goal for me is to fight more regularly for points,” said Bianchi. “I’m just trying to do a good job on the track.

(Manager) Nicolas (Todt) is working on it, Ferrari as well, and I trust them.

One of the keys to the midfield silly-season could be Romain Grosjean, who may join partners Renault and Total in leaving Lotus should the Enstone team switch to Mercedes power. The new engine deal has not yet been announced, but Frenchman Grosjean told reporters his future is not necessarily tied to the eventual outcome.

I am 98, 99 per cent sure that next season Lotus will be better than it is now, and I’m not just talking about the power unit,” he said.

Grosjean grinned throughout as reporters reeled off the names of potential 2015 employers. What about Formula E? “Not an option!” he exclaimed. “Sorry, but I need gasoline!

Most likely, perhaps, is a move to McLaren, now run by his former manager Eric Boullier. Asked what their relationship is like today, Grosjean explained: “Friendship. We not only see each other in the paddock, but sometimes we spend time together.

But this doesn’t mean that I am one step closer to McLaren. Friendship is one thing, business is quite another.


Hamilton slams Pirelli tyres in Hungary

Lewis Hamilton was heavily critical of Pirelli’s tyres after practice for the Hungarian grand prix. “The tyres are not going very well here,” the Mercedes driver, fastest of all at the Hungaroring, where he has won four times, is quoted by the Spanish sports daily Marca.

It’s pretty bad — I don’t know if it’s just the tyres or the track, but it’s bad.

I don’t remember it ever being this bad,” Briton Hamilton added. “Neither compound is good,” the 2008 world champion continued. “You have to take care of them a lot so it’s not very fast and that can make it boring.


FP3 Report

Glorious weather greeted the teams as they prepared the cars for the final practice session before heading into qualifying. Candy floss clouds floated serenely above the sizeable crowd and the commentators queried what would the Mercedes drivers disclose to each other in this final session.

Yesterday Hamilton complained bitterly about the tyres whereas Rosberg disclosed that he had found a great balance – more mind games? Rosberg’s questioning about advice for driving was still causing mirth amongst the professionals although a telling statistic was that Hamilton hasn’t been on pole position since the Spanish Grand Prix.

Unsurprisingly for a Brazilian male – Bruno Senna offered that he preferred women’s tennis and beach volleyball to mens and his co-commentator laughed at the non politically correct views as Kimi’s scarlet Ferrari circulated with Marco Mattiacci watching on whilst leaning on what looked like an MRI scanning machine. The extremes Ferrari goes to…

Rosberg made further comments about the magic button malfunctioning – which to Casanova would have had an entirely different meaning – but it’s safe to assume it’s an electronic system because he is newly betrothed and leading the championship. Hamilton radioed in that he was struggling with his brakes and locked up into the first corner a couple of times – with his car sounding like a Mercedes tractor unit, it seemed a little unfair to suggest they were trying heavy industrial units for the Briton.

Both Ann Summers appendaged Caterhams oversteered into the run off areas that had been painted to look like a gravel trap. With constant criticisms of tarmac run off areas not penalising the drivers anymore, Bernie’s decorators had rocked up in Hungary and made the Hungaroring look classic and retro.

Massa crossed the line with third fastest time and seemingly dragging his chirping car down the main straight. Either Williams had forgotten to repair his car after his 9.4 scoring barrel roll in Germany or we were listening to his in-car stereo with Shakira on fast forward!

TK rocked up with some breaking braking news – yes deliberate choice of words! Mercedes were running Carbone Industrie brakes all round on both cars. Why? Because they had lost faith in the Brembos? Because they had discovered a fault? Because the Carbone brakes were better around Hungary? Is it a bird, is it a plane, no it…. Whoops, back to Mercedes, the official line is that these work better around Hungary, the circuit has few heavy braking sectors but due to the nature of the track the brakes don’t get a chance to cool down… the conspiracy theorists will no doubt believe it’s because it takes Hamilton’s advantage away.

An interview with Christian Horner started with an electronic voice effect that didn’t end, obviously the programme has fallen into limp home mode, and he spoke of having “a joys of a summers morning”. Maybe his rant yesterday where he passed all authority for decisions back to Bernie and the FIA has removed a significant amount of angst from his karma – and this is a man that was being suggested as the replacing Mr E?

Kimi Raikkonen gave a little clue as to his current woes, essentially he has forgotten how to drive around a circuit. Whatever problem the fabled Maranello machine is capable of, he was putting the car control of Sebastien Loeb to shame. Bruno Senna, speaking to Ted and David hypothesised about the benefits of a chocolate rear wing on these cars and this little gentlemans club went all Monty Python with their respective views. Hmmmm as much use as the fabled chocolate tea-pot no doubt; not the rear wing but the commentary.

A Red Bull slid off the track and replays showed Vettel catching it on the sand coloured tarmac area. In years past Mansell driven cars actually spelt out his actions behind the wheel, and with young Seb the feeling is still that he doesn’t understand why the car doesn’t grip when he puts the throttle down. Considering how proud Horner was of his young charge and how he could adapt his driving over a race weekend over the last four years, it seems astonishing that in the seventh month of the year he is still struggling…

Alonso appeared to have been caught out with his twittering once again and the team enticed him back into the car. One warm up lap followed by a flyer and he was top of the leaderboard. “In your face Kimi” he reportedly offered.

Mclaren were busy with changing the camber settings on Jenson Button’s car, it looked initially like a brake issue but team reports stated that Button hasn’t been going quick enough to make use of his brakes since Lewis left. The insider rolled his eyes and offered that Button has always had balance issues but there is no truth that he is to see an ear specialist even though Ron offered to pay.

Ferrari sent their boys out to play together, by the end of their lap the Matador swept across the line 4/100ths of a second faster than the melting Iceman both on the options tyres but of maybe more relevance for the upcoming qualifying session, on similar harder tyres, Rosberg had set the fastest three sectors but not together – something for Lewis to chew over.

Beautiful Max had problems with his VVB down into Turn 12, “that would explain the lock-up” suggested his engineer and there followed radio silence from Goldilocks. His father was seen leaving the FOM camera truck with a lighter wallet as no replay was seen of Max waving to his fans he met yesterday at Turn 12.

As the session drew to a close Hamilton was demanding information from his engineer. He wanted sector times as he went round and wanted to know Nico’s speed through Sector 3. He set the fastest lap and returned to the pits as Rosberg closed the gap down to mere hundredths of a second and yet the question is by how much is Rosberg sand-bagging.

Interesting qualifying coming up shortly with Red Bull trailing Mercedes closely.

# Driver Ctry Team Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:24.048 21
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:24.095 0.047 24
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:24.455 0.407 16
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:24.678 0.630 15
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:24.685 0.637 21
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:24.769 0.721 11
7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:24.818 0.770 19
8 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:24.867 0.819 21
9 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:25.162 1.114 17
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:25.170 1.122 19
11 Felipe Massa Williams 1:25.231 1.183 18
12 Jenson Button McLaren 1:25.468 1.420 14
13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:25.829 1.781 22
14 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:25.859 1.811 19
15 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:25.934 1.886 21
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:26.023 1.975 23
17 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:26.035 1.987 19
18 Sergio Perez Force India 1:26.142 2.094 17
19 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:27.560 3.512 23
20 Max Chilton Marussia 1:28.083 4.035 17
21 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:28.605 4.557 22
22 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:28.821 4.773 14


Christian Horner slams media

Team principal of the Red bull racing team, and according to some, heir apparent to the Ecclestone throne, Christian Horner ‘lost it’ in the team principal FIA press conference whilst fielding questions about up coming races in Russia and Azerbaijan

Let’s hear in full what Horner had to say.

“Look, there’s a calendar that comes out in October or November,” he said. “We all have a choice whether we enter the world championship or not.”

All the people sitting here are racers and they’re here because they’re passionate about the sport and they want to compete. When we sign up for that championship, we put our faith and trust in the promoter and the FIA and we will attend those races unless they deem it unnecessary for us to be there. All of you will be at those races, or the vast majority of you will be at those races and why, because you’re either passionate about the sport or because you earn a living out of covering the sport and I think it’s wrong to make Formula One a political statement or subject when we are a sport.

We should be talking about the drivers in these conferences, we should be talking about the spectacular racing that happened between our drivers and [Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci's] driver at the last grand prix. We should be talking about what a great race it was for Lewis Hamilton to come through the grid, yet all we do is focus on the negatives and it has to be said, it gets pretty boring for us to sit up here and field these questions.

So how about asking some questions about what’s going to happen in the race on Sunday, what’s going to happen in qualifying tomorrow, because if you’ve got these questions, please point them at Mr Todt or Mr Ecclestone rather than the teams.”

Claire Williams had earlier commented, “Obviously what’s going on in Russia and that part of the world at the moment is of huge concern to everybody. But we’ve always said as a support we try to disengage from taking a political angle on these things. Here the FIA is the governing body of our sport, they issue a calendar and we have to take our direction from them and at the moment, the race is still on the calendar.”

Vijay Mallya had already fudged the issue when asked would the team’s “follow Bernie to North Korea”

“You know, it’s a not question of following Bernie”, Mallya replied. “I think we’re racing people, more popularly known as petrolheads. We come here to race and to win and to enjoy it. The governance is an international organisation called the FIA. It is up to the FIA to decide where the sport is conducted.

I don’t think that the teams, individual participants in the sport, should be holding their individual positions to determine social political issues that you have raised. The FIA is perfectly competent to determine where Formula One should be staged and not be staged.”

Marco Mattiacci had little to say on the matter, other than to agree with Mallya.

Over to the TJ13 readers.

Should Horner be allowed to define the scope of questions asked?

Christian criticizing those who are speaking negatively about F1?

Are the team principals just ‘racers’?

How do the sponsors and employees feel about this matter?

What is in fact the point of the strategy group, if teams have no impact on say for example, crazy logistical scheduling?

Do we really believe all the team principals are happy about going to Russia?

Watch it quickly before FOM get it taken down


Extracting value out of F1 – a Masterclass

Despite the focus during yesterday’s team principal presser falling mainly on Russia and the newly confirmed Azerbaijan races, it has come to light that CVC have set into place plans to leverage an additional $1 billion on the back of the commercial rights. According to Forbes, credit rating agency Moody’s has put Formula One’s debt facilities under review for downgrade following its plans to raise the $1 billion loan to fund a payout to shareholders.

The loan would bring the total F1 debt to $3.5 billion and according to Moody’s assistant vice president, Tobias Wagner, the ratings are being put under ‘negative pressure by F1’s leverage levels exceeding seven times debt divided by earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA)’.

It would appear that CVC have decided that they will not get the price they want for F1, and will go through the back door instead to maximize their profits before dropping the mess into someone else’s lap. Despite their remarkably blasé attitude in public, it must be somewhat concerning to the team owners, if not the principals, given the fact that dropping audiences will make the sport less attractive to sponsors (never mind regular races in politically controversial countries) whilst the pool of money available for prizes will be shrinking due to the increased debt service.

Further, there will be little doubt that this will have a negative impact on the price that CVC get for the commercial rights as well as potentially driving suitors away. Could this be the plan to drive the price of shares back down so Bernie can repurchase them? For those who think that Mr. E doth protest too much it fits the bill. CVC get their gold, Mr E gets his shares at the price he wants and no more fuss about whether or not he’s in the dock.


Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 25th July 2014

•July 25, 2014 • 120 Comments


This page will be updated throughout the day.

Please if you are on Twitter press the tweet button below. If you re-write and tweet individual story headlines don’t forget to include #F1.

You may not realise how hugely important this is and has helped grow our community significantly

Previously on TJ13:

#F1 Circuit Profile: Hungaroring – Hungary 2014 – Round 12

The #F1 Bar Exam: 24 July 2014

TJ13 consults the readers

OTD Lite: 1982 – Arnoux leads home a Renault 1 – 2

Capelli elected to be sacrificial lamb for Ecclestone

Alonso ‘really’ values Raikkonen’s contribution

Rosberg not worried about ‘Hamilton track’ Hungary (GMM)

Vettel refuses to stamp out Mercedes rumours (GMM)

Hungary 2014: FP1 Report

Hungary 2014: FP2 Report

BREMBO find no clear evidence for Hamilton’s failure

TJ13 consults the readers

As TJ’s long term objective is to be a site ‘of the fans, for the fans’ we want to consult you on something important for the ever nearing new web presence being developed.

TJ always believed the life of the site would become evident through the comments from the community and it is important we make this better and more easily accessible for readers.

We understand the mobile issues and will deal with them as best we can.

At present we plan for the comments section on the page to be a lot wider and allow for easier nesting of 7-10 comments down from the primary comment.

However, the Daily News and comment will be a set of single stories in an index, each with its own page to click on – no need to scroll down – but we are concerned if we just put a comments section at the bottom of each, there will be a diaspora.

We may be able to have just one comments section for the day – but features, competitions and historical articles will have their own.

Whilst it is fantastic we have recently been scoring regularly over 100 comments a day, it has begun to feel more like a forum – and this may be good or bad.

So in a manner truly the antithesis of the FIA and FOM, its over to you to help us think through these issues.

PS, If you missed the comments section yesterday, it was a classic, so check it out.


OTD Lite: 1982 – Arnoux leads home a Renault 1 – 2

The first indications of Alain Prost’s driven personality appeared after the 1982 French Grand Prix. Up to this point he had appeared as a genteel quietly spoken man with his political machinations discreetly hidden within the Renault teams motorhome.

The Renaults had dominated qualifying but withe Brabhams prepared to stop to re-fuel, they fell back to third and fourth. After the Brabham retired due to mechanical problems, Arnoux once again led from Prost and they continued in these placings until the end.


Prost was livid because he felt he should have been allowed through due to a better placing in the championship – he also claimed they had made a pre-race agreement something that Arnoux always refuted. In the remaining races of the season, Arnoux would win again and finish second, taking his points tally to 28. Prost secured a second and a fourth, thus finishing with 34 points. With Arnoux having suffered ten retirements against Prost’s seven, the differences were too small to argue.

Seven years later, as a double World Champion, Prost was still displaying petulant behaviour in regards not receiving preferential treatment when he insinuated that Honda were not supplying him with equal engines to Senna. Except this time he had the power of the corrupt President Balestre to manipulate the rules as they saw fit. Vive le France…

On this day in 1993, Prost took his 53rd and final victory and sine then there have been just two French drivers to win an F1 GP.


Capelli elected to be sacrificial lamb for Ecclestone

Ivan Capelli is another of those seemingly mercurial Italians that won titles on their ascent to Formula One but seemed over-whelmed once they actually arrived.

A well liked figure in the F1 paddock he was recently voted in by the SIAS as the new president of A.C.I Milan. The SIAS controls the Autodromo di Monza and Capelli has stepped into the shoes of Carlo Valli, a former president of Monza’s Chamber of Commerce.

Bernie Ecclestone has recently threatened Monza will be removed from the calendar when their current contract expires in 2016 and it is Capelli’s task to open talks with Mr E in Hungary. The problem is that however ‘nice’ Capelli is, Mr E has reduced may a good man to tears with lost empires and this decision by the Italian authorities has left observers under-whelmed.

Ferrari has remained surprisingly silent since the little man’s outburst against the Italian circuit. Luca de Montezemolo is well aware of the games Bernie plays, and at the time the Monza authorities were clear they understood the game as well.

Which makes the appointment of Capelli a fascinating one. With Bernie in trial and supposedly with his powers being drained, CVC looking for ways to get out of the sport, the landscape is changing, Canada, Spa, the German circuits – they are all signing deals that are far less lucrative for Bernie and his high powered legally trained gangster friends as the government backed Grand Prixs in the ‘new world’ have started collapsing like a pack of cards.

Cpelli had a short career in F1, he raced for a variety of teams from his debut in 1985 to his retirement, two races atter joining the Jordan team in 1993. Many thought of him as a future champion but a season at Ferrari in 1992 appeared to destroy his spirit.

Then again for any driver to refer to another in such nauseating terms as “the great Mr Prost” after finishing second to the Frenchman in Portugal 1988, for many demonstrates there is little steel to their core. Ivan left Formula One a broken man and eventually turned up as an F1 commentator for Rai 1 in Italy.

Has Monza capitulated with their choice going forwards or is this an inspired move in the changing sands of Formula One…


Alonso ‘really’ values Raikkonen’s contribution

The Spanish Samurai has long been considered one of the more cerebral drivers on the grid. He has made good use of the media to get his views across to the teams by whom his employed, whether it was ‘feeling alone’ at Renault or being marginalised at Mclaren throughout a fraught 2007 campaign.

In recent years, increasing frustration with the Ferrari situation has resulted in even greater use of the media – both social and television – messages seemingly coated in sugar but laced with acid for those at whom the are directed.

Unlike Hamilton who seems genuinely caught out by off the cuff questions, Alonso is too street smart and savvy to fall for those tricks. Any answer he gives is fully measured for impact, as was the case with this recent nugget:

“Definitely Kimi and I work together a lot and all the meetings are quite long this year because we have a lot of things to sort out after the races. We’ve been constantly making our suggestions and comments from what we see on the track and try to help the engineers to transfer that to Maranello and translate those comments into ideas for the car. It’s not a big change compared to the work I did with Felipe or other team mates.”

Yet in other interviews he has suggested his driving level this year is similar to his 2012 performances. “Last year was also good, but like 2012 I think this year was a step above. Also compared to my teammate, who has the same car, I have rarely felt better, with the new rules I have been almost every day in the simulator, also working with Pedro (de la Rosa). I’ve spent more time in Italy, with the team, than ever before. As to Kimi? I don’t know what problems he has.”

So Luca. Your man Fred did tell you last year that Massa was as quick as any team-mate he’d ever had -and to date – Kimi has proven frankly out-classed and out-witted by the whirling of the scarlet matador’s cape.. The Iceman has proven anything but cool, and most unusually when interviewed following the Spanish GP when the team appeared to mess his race strategy up, Kimi was angry enough to walk away from the camera and questions.

In the meantime Alonso is being feted as the greatest driver on the grid, though as he remarked recently – Fred would rather have more titles than everybody’s respect for his driving qualities.


Rosberg not worried about ‘Hamilton track’ Hungary (GMM)

Championship leader Nico Rosberg insists he is not worried about racing on ‘a Hamilton track’ this weekend in Hungary. Determined to hit back at his teammate after a mixed weekend in Hockenheim, Lewis Hamilton has won no fewer than four times on the Hungaroring, and another victory on Sunday will be a year-on-year hat-trick. “It’s a great circuit,” said the Briton, who after his qualifying crash in Germany and fight through the field to third, lies 14 points behind German Rosberg. “Maybe it suits my driving style more than perhaps some other circuits, or maybe it’s luck, I don’t know. Let’s see this weekend.”

Rosberg, however, said Hamilton’s Hungary record does not faze him. “I don’t care about statistics,” he is quoted by Finland’s Turun Sanomat in Budapest. “I know that if I am able to bring out my best performance, I can win the race. I assume that I can extend my lead here,” Rosberg added. There is also a slight question-mark about Hamilton’s physical condition in Hungary, mere days after his 30G crash and resulting knee, neck and back pain. “I’m not 100 per cent fit,” he admitted to Speed Week, “but I’m not far from it.”

Meanwhile, after boss Toto Wolff joked that one Mercedes driver this year will require “psychological treatment” should they lose the WDC title due to the double points in Abu Dhabi, Rosberg admitted he too is no fan of Bernie Ecclestone’s Abu Dhabi finale. “The (double points) concept is really artificial, I don’t like it and that is a pity,” he said in his Daily Mail column. On the other hand, “winning is winning, and obviously I will be happy if I win this year’s championship whatever the circumstances”.

On this, we have a rare moment of agreement between the Mercedes pair as Hamilton has also stated, “I’m not going to get to the end of the season, and if I won it that way, say I didn’t want to win it that way. I just want to win the world championship.”

TJ13 Comment: Bear in mind that Canada was also recognised as a Hamilton speciality track – yet Rosberg claimed pole and was leading throughout. Many observers said if he didn’t dominate there, he would struggle mentally – will Hungary be the same.


Vettel refuses to stamp out Mercedes rumours (GMM)

The big paddock rumour in Hungary is that Mercedes has made a move to sign Sebastian Vettel. The speculation was even pushed along by Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko, who suggested rivals like McLaren and Mercedes have indeed made big-money approaches to the German.

“I don’t know which sources Helmut has, or doesn’t have, but they seem to vary, let’s say,” Vettel smiled on Thursday. But at the same time, the 27-year-old did not issue a categorical denial. In an interview with F1′s official website, he agreed that “sometimes a change can work miracles“. And then Vettel issued a classic diversionary answer. “I am focused and busy with what we do here,” he said in Budapest, “because it is not so easy to make progress.”

Like Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, Vettel is firmly under contract for 2015, but that doesn’t mean offers and approaches are not flying about among the sport’s top teams and drivers. “I think any offer has to be considered,” Vettel admitted to reporters, “but nothing has changed. I don’t talk about these things. I am very satisfied in my current team,” he is quoted by Der Spiegel. “At the moment, it’s not a question.”

But, still, an outright denial that he could be seeking a change of scene sounds different. Vettel was asked, for example, if he thinks the Mercedes star is “sexy”. “At the moment no,” he is quoted by Bild newspaper, “because it is constantly in front of us. But if stars mean titles, then stars are something great, as a sportsmen should always have the goal to be as high as possible,” Vettel added. He even failed to deny that talks with paddock figures like Mercedes’ Toto Wolff or Niki Lauda might be beginning.

“Today, there are many ways to make contact with someone. We all know each other and it’s not as though I have an unfamiliar face,” said Vettel. “There’s lots of ways to contact someone without everyone knowing,” he added.

TJ13 Comment: Is Vettel being completely honest? Of course it goes without saying these guys want the best deal possible for themselves, but it is also common knowledge that drivers use other teams interest to push through improvement to their contracts, earnings and less commitments because of what team a offered.

Lauda amusingly tells Marko today, “We’ve never talked to Vettel about driving for us. There is no demand for new drivers at Mercedes.”

So maybe Sebastian is playing games with Hamilton’s head in pay back for comment he made two season ago suggesting he didn’t rate his ability or his success because it was all down to the design of the car. Rosberg told Vettel in Monaco last year about the ‘secret’ test Mercedes ran in Barcelona, so maybe they are / were friends and Vettel wants to help his fellow German out.

Either way, rumours of Hamilton’s impending contract renewal seem a trifle premature..


Hungary 2014: FP1 Report

Just 5 minutes and 15 seconds following the chequered flag, here’s TJ13′s free practice report

It was a glorious morning in Budapest, cloudless skies and temperatures rising when the cars took to the Hungaroring to begin the weekend of the 29th Hungarian GP.

TJ13 commented before Germany, that the loss of FRIC would be less important in Hockenheim, but more so here due to the bumpy, stop/start nature of the circuit. Would that be the case?

Alan McNish suggested recently, his analysis was that Ferrari and McLaren looked last weekend to have been more affected in Germany by the loss of the Front and Rear Linked Suspension (FRIC), with Mercedes, Red Bull and Williams less so.


6 seconds after the pit lane lights went green, it was an eager Valtteri Bottas who took to the circuit with a new high down force rear wing on display. Massa will gain less benefit from this upgrade than Bottas because he is forced to use the same floor which was damaged in his barrel roll through turn one in Hockenheim.

Prior to the session, a coy Bottas was playing down Williams chances. Hungary might be tough for Williams, as the strong point of their car is efficiency rather than total downforce, and most are expecting Red Bull to be closest to Mercedes this weekend”.

Having completed just the installation lap, Chilton’s Marussia, freshly fitted with a shiny new chassi, came steaming down the pit lane (literally) as Chilton’s car, exuding plumes of smoke, pulling up short of his garage area as flames licked around the gear box. Max would be subsequently be given unscheduled leave from driving this morning, to go strut his stuff in the paddock and radiate his beauty to all the chicks.


Mercedes broke with ‘big team’ tradition and most helpfully joined in with the track cleaning for the first half hour, as Rosberg and Hamilton traded early lap after lap, searching for any incremental information they could glean in their private duel for supremacy.

The Ferrari F14T looked flaky at the rear on the prime tyre, though Alonso always finds a way of flattering to deceive by the end of FP1. However, today Fernando was less than optimistic prior to the session. The circuit layout is not particularly good for us. It is a traction-demanding circuit. On the other hand, some circuits we have thought to be more competitive and were less and vice versa”.

Niki Lauda was observed inside the Ferrari garage, apparently welcome. Most strange,…. but it would be uncharitable to assume Ferrari don’t really care who catches sight of their secrets, because there is little of worth to be learned from their 2014 F1 design.

If all else fails, the Ferrari mechanics can always console themselves with the fact the Maranello Red paint job looked tremendous in the morning sunlight.


A disconsolate sounding Vettel complained of a dodgy steering wheel, Laptime doesn’t work, I don’t get anything on the dash.” That said, Seb needn’t have worried too much, because after 30 minutes his RB10 was over 2 seconds slower than the lap time set by Rosberg.

Interestingly, the angle of rake on the RB10 appeared more pronounced than ever, presumably because the straights at the Hungaroring are the length of a school sports day egg and spoon race. Thus increased drag from an elevated rear end hurts top speed less.

Vettel looked far more ragged through the slower corners, than the smoother Ricciardo, whose driving style mean he was getting the power down earlier on the corner exits.

As the option tyres were fitted, it was as though the F14T had finally digested its early day double espresso. Kimi was suddenly third quickest and purple in sector one, with Fernando popping up fourth, but 0.4s back.

Was this the glimpse of the dawning of a new ice age?

This appeared to irk Fernando, who for some reason began a conversation with his engineer in Italian over the radio. He was visibly unhappy at the end of the session as he sat in the car, shaking his head, almost refusing to get out until matters were righted.

“I just don’t have rear grip, not at all, especially in low-speed corners,” complained Jenson after a rather disconcerting mid corner snap. Though with 30 minutes to go, McLaren were the 4th best team just behind Red Bull.

Max was recalled from his paddock soiree with 15 minutes of the session to go, because the Marussia boys had worked wonders and repaired his singed Marussia. After being waved out of the garage three times, without success, Chilton entertainingly revved his Ferrari engine to the limit, and then crept out onto the concrete apron and off down the pit lane.

JEV had a happier session than his Russian team mate, who complained several times about the lack of rear grip. Toro Rosso were consistently ahead of Williams throughout the morning, behind an incrementally resurgent McLaren.

At the back of the mid-field, Force India, Sauber and Lotus were all fairly anonymous in terms of radio chat and more importantly lap times.

And in the war of the minnows, Caterham appeared to be having a better day than in recent times, as they hauled themselves ahead of Marussia in the final standings,

Hamilton topped the times, just over a tenth ahead of his team mate with the Mercedes gap to Ferrari a mere four tenths of a second. This is a circuit the Hamfosi have targeted as a ‘Lewis’ track, and with good reason. Yet the margin he edged out over Rosberg was hardly a sign of domination and Lewis will have to get it together in Q3, or there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth on the morrow.

Despite getting his coded lunch order in early, Alonso failed to get ahead of Kimi who finished ahead by four tenths of a second.

Vettel found half a second on Ricciardo, despite his rally cross style driving, whilst Magnussen again provided Jenson Button with a reason to colour code match his cheeks and his most pink helmet.


FP1 Results:

# Driver Ctry Team Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:25.814 27
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:25.997 0.183 31
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:26.421 0.607 29
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:26.872 1.058 23
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:27.220 1.406 28
6 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:27.357 1.543 28
7 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:27.683 1.869 30
8 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:27.782 1.968 16
9 Jenson Button McLaren 1:27.804 1.990 27
10 Felipe Massa Williams 1:27.960 2.146 24
11 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:27.967 2.153 25
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:28.101 2.287 28
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:28.208 2.394 32
14 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:28.266 2.452 28
15 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:28.330 2.516 21
16 Sergio Perez Force India 1:28.376 2.562 24
17 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:28.593 2.779 24
18 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:29.025 3.211 23
19 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:30.363 4.549 30
20 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:30.892 5.078 24
21 Max Chilton Marussia 1:31.004 5.190 5
22 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:31.248 5.434 20


Hungary 2014: Free Practice 2 Report

A record breaking 3 minutes and 15 seconds following the end of FP2, here is our report


FP1 in Hungary always feels somewhat disjointed, as drivers fiddle around with setup more than usual as they configure the car to the stop start nature of the circuit. So FP2 should provide a better insight as to where the teams behind Mercedes are really at this weekend.

The big question was, would McLaren continue to lead Williams? Jenson Button said this morning that the upgrades introduced in Germany were “definitely a step forward and it should help us around here – the downforce package we had on the car was more of a Hungary-type package so it should benefit us here more than in Hockenheim”.

Maybe Woking forgot which way round the races were?

Lewis Hamilton had a floor change between the morning and afternoon session.

With a track temperature topping 54 degrees, the pit lane light went green.


After a morning spent socialising in the sun drenched paddock, whilst the team fixed his Marussia, Max Chilton is keen to go, He sets the first time, though its somewhat off the pace at 1:34:239

8 minutes in, team mate Kevin Magnussen did some off-roading down at Turn Six, out-braking himself and running through the gravel before rejoining the track. Not an ideal start to FP2. Maybe the new shark teeth style serrated rear wing wasn’t doing its job properly, and took a bite out of Magnussen when he didn’t expect it.

At the 180 degree penultimate corner, Nico Hulkenberg was carrying good speed on entry, while Alonso was struggling with a Ferrari which looks as though it hasn’t woken up from a long lunch. The Spaniard was sawing away on the steering wheel – as though trying to shake the F14T into life.

Vettel was taking this corner in one smooth sweep, whilst Ricciardo appeared to have less confidence in his car, lifting and applying the throttle 2 or 3 times mid bend.

20 minutes in and Lewis blasted to the top of the timesheets, with a 1:26:161, with Rosberg 0.6s behind having been balked by an RB10. Over 2.4s covered the top ten at this stage.

Then, Pastor Maldonado sends his Lotus spinning off the sticky stuff, but the Lotus mechanics breathed a sigh of relief as there were no broken bits to fix. Kobayashi spun at turn 8 and Ericson had a big moment at turn 11 running well wide.


Kvyat then clipped the kerbs at the chicane, sending his Toro Rosso airborne.

It was noticeable that all the cars appeared to be scruffy, sliding around all over the place as the F1 cars resemble go-karts. Clearly this circuit is no Hockenheim and the Fric-less machines are being affected.

Romain Grosjean, is told, “Box Romain, box, we’ve still got the leak, sorry.” He did, jumped out of the car and stomped out of the back of the garage.

Half way through the session, the Bulls topped the timesheets after bolting on the option tyres, and as Lewis set off from the garage with his own fresh rubber, he was told, “In terms of braking you were on the limit with that prime tyre.”

On a fresh set of soft tyres, Nico Rosberg then blew the Bulls away, going 4 tenths quicker than Vettel. Hamilton on the same lap had a huge lockup into turn 2, gave up on the corner, running wide.

Massa continued the catalogue of driver errors, had a huge spin at the chicane after locking up on entry. Gravel spewed everywhere. The Williams car then skulked sheepishly out of the kitty litter and trundled off back to the pits.

Rob Smedley rather strangely was then seen grappling heartily with Massa’s left rear wheel inside the garage, as though he was an entrant in the Commonwealth Games Judo competition.


With 40 minutes to go, Raikkonen pulled one out of the bag and jumped into 4th place, a second behind Rosberg, who himself had now been unseated from the top spot by a flying Hamilton.

It wasn’t long before proper order returned to the Ferrari team, as Alonso hooked one up, pushing his team mate down a place by just over a tenth of a second.

Jenson has a new race engineer this weekend, Tom Stallard, ex-Olympic rowing silver medallist. This appears a rather panic reaction from McLaren, as surely changing race engineer between back to back races is not ideal – unless there’s torrential rain maybe?

An hour gone, soft tyre runs complete, and it was 4 different teams in the top five with Hamilton top then, Rosberg, Vettel, Alonso and Magnussen – all covered by 1.1s

Team mate splits after those runs were

Hamilton to Rosberg, -0.238s
Vettel to Ricciardo, -0.827s
Alonso to Raikkonen, -0.293s
Magnussen to Button, 0.654s
Bottas to Massa, -0.401s


The long run simulations then began. On a set of the harder medium tyres, Massa didn’t look happy and pitted after just 7 laps.

The gap between the soft and the medium looked to be as much as 1.6 seconds, which if proven to the case will mean more… rather than less pit stops… will be the way to go if the rain stays away on Sunday.

The Mercedes pair churned out lap after lap, and were consistently separated by just a tenth of a second. Then pit radio created the drama of the session.

Rosberg was instructed, “Nico, we need a lower gear in Turn 1 – engine damage”.

“Did you ask me to take fourth gear for Turn 1?” Rosberg enquired.

“Yes, we wanted a longer gear but it’s too much for the engine,” came the reply.

Rosberg had been told previously to use a lower gear for turn 1, to conserve fuel. This apparently began to damage the engine, as the torque from fourth gear and the new hybrid engine in an 80mph turn was massive.

With cars running race simulations over the final 30 minutes, the earlier driver errors abated. So it’s time to crunch the long run lap times and try to work out some kind of pecking order for Sunday.

Gut feeling would suggest, Red Bull are Mercedes closest challengers, followed by Alonso and Force India. That said, Williams were nowhere 2 weeks ago on the Friday, but certainly came good for qualifying and the race.

FP2 Results

# Driver Ctry Team Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:24.482 38
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:24.720 0.238 38
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:25.111 0.629 33
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:25.437 0.955 26
5 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:25.580 1.098 34
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:25.730 1.248 30
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:25.983 1.501 29
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:25.999 1.517 37
9 Jenson Button McLaren 1:26.234 1.752 33
10 Felipe Massa Williams 1:26.402 1.920 18
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:26.689 2.207 42
12 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:26.703 2.221 37
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:26.789 2.307 39
14 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:26.919 2.437 41
15 Sergio Perez Force India 1:27.013 2.531 39
16 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:27.019 2.537 40
17 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:27.021 2.539 14
18 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:27.480 2.998 32
19 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:28.370 3.888 35
20 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:28.469 3.987 26
21 Max Chilton Marussia 1:28.586 4.104 35
22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:29.036 4.554 34


BREMBO find no clear evidence for Hamilton’s failure

Today BREMBO issued a press release stating that “no clear evidence of a single cause of failure” was found and they are “continuing rigorous analysis will take into account multiple factors which could have contributed to the incident.

Of course once the results of this technical analysis is available it will be communicated. The did however state that “Formula One is a domain of advanced development where technologies are pushed to their limits and in which strong partnerships are crucially important.

And to this end Mercedes will continue to use BREMBO products and work closely with the supplier.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 13,826 other followers