#F1 Polls: 2014 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX – Driver of the Weekend

•September 22, 2014 • 3 Comments

Sebastian Vettel - Singapore GP

The race has been and with time to reflect who was your driver of the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix weekend? This takes into account not just the race but all the activities leading up to the race. Please use the comments to let us know why you voted the way you did.

#F1 Race Review: As one Silver Arrow falters the other takes the win

•September 21, 2014 • 18 Comments

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Mattpt55

 

2014 Singapore Grand Prix

 

 

The Singapore GP opened to light raining down through the dank, humid, tropical night air from 1500 fixtures, its vivid artificiality bouncing off the gleaming surfaces and creating hyper-realistic colors, emphasizing the surreal nature of the F1 circus amidst the swirl and swarm of the start line. Rumors abounded in the paddock of Alonso’s denouement with Ferrari coming in Suzuka, geographic location being destiny in their telling. All was forgotten as the more immediate drama of Rosberg’s electrics issues stole focus and saw him receive a new wheel and system reset before the formation lap. Mercedes was unable to get him off the line and it was no doubt a somewhat a surprised Hamilton who pulled up to the grid with an empty slot to his left with Rosberg consigned to a pit lane start. But it wasn’t just Mercedes, Caterham, too, lost a driver and sadly it was the ever so much quicker Kobayashi who parked his ride on the formation lap, due to oil pressure issues.

The result of the night had to be Vergne, passing Hulkenberg, Raikkonen and Bottas in the last laps to stay clear of his stop and go penalty and claim 6th.  Vettel would give him a run for his money, stretching a pair of soft tyres to their utter limit to claim 2nd and extract a measure of satisfaction, finally  ahead of the ever smiling Colgate Kid in 3rd. Alonso finished in 4th, also a victim of old tyres and unable to make a pass on Ricciardo at the end. Bottas was the big loser as a nagging steering issue and dead tyres sent him sliding 5 positions down and out of the points on the very last lap. Despite the handful of drama at the end and a frisson of excitement as Hamilton ran the Merc full on for a handful of laps post safety-car, it was not a particularly exciting affair. An excruciating period behind the safety car and Rosberg’s early retirement put paid to much of the fun and it may well be time for Safety Car arrangements to be rethought, as well as procedures for clearing debris from the track.

 

Prelude

Early drama as Rosberg suffered an electrics complaint that saw his car swarmed by Mercedes engineers with less than 20 minutes giving him a new wheel and resetting the system, all to no avail. AS he sat and attempted to roll away executing a complex manual start procedure, the rest of the field poured round him leaving the camera lingering on a lonely shot of him waiting for the mechanics to wheel him off to the pit lane. Further up the road Kobayashi in the Caterham became the first abandon as his oil pressure decided to have a nap, forcing him to bail. With the field rolling back onto the grid, shots of a desperate Rosberg accepting a new wheel at the end of pit lane graced the screen. Across the radio he was told he had no clutch but the shifters worked and he would have no other info on the display.

As the lights turned red, one by one, all eyes shifted to the empty slot at the front of the grid, wondering whether a blazing start from a Ferrari or Vettel would see Hamilton with unexpected company through Turn 1.

 

Act I

Lewis made it a good start, but it was Alonso who provided the fireworks through the first turn, flying up the outside but hopelessly missing his braking and going fully off after claiming the apex of Turn 1 from Vettel who went in side by side with Ricciardo. Having taken full advantage of the run off area he emerged well ahead of Vettel, though he was quickish to yield the spot when Sebastian caught him up a turn or two later, though his charity stopped there and he showed no signs of yielding to Ricciardo and the stewards agreed. Further back Button and Magnussen had already gotten into it, with both smoking tyres into every turn and Button swinging wide to avoid the rear end of his teammate into Turn 7. Not so lucky were the Force Indias, both of whom reported contact.

The next lap saw Alonso officially cleared of naughtiness as Hamilton continued building a lead on Vettel and Alonso. Further back, commentators faced an unusual situation as they reported on Rosberg lining Chilton up for a pass. Nico’s car appeared to be ailing as instead of catching up to Ericsson who was next up the road, the Caterham actually started to gain ground. It turned out his car was stuck in harvesting mode so a recovery drive ala Hungary was looking less and less likely with every passing lap.

The start replay made Alonso look very, very guilty of being sneaky, though it was much less so at full speed. Ricciardo seemed again not to have the best start, seemingly an Aussie trademark. Back to real time and Daniel was on the radio being warned of high rear brake temps and being told to avoid the tow if possible. Was this coaching? Legal? Who knows, certainly Whiting appeared to have no clue.

Lap 4 saw the leaders settle into steady gaps with the only chance of racing being in P9-11 with Magnussen and Kvyat being trailed by a rather impatient Vergne, on a different strategy to his teammate and in a hurry to get on with it as his chances of scoring a ride for next year were diminishing with each passing lap. Told to hold station and give Kvyat 2 laps to get past he was dutiful. Once Danii was unable to get it done Vergne was past him and on his way. Otherwise there wasn’t much drama on track as runners circulated trying to optimize position and fuel for the coming stops.

In the pits it was a different matter as by the seventh lap, Williams was vacillating heavily between Plan A and Plan B as tyre degradation due to the green track at the start was playing hob with their predictions.

 

Act II

Sutil kicked off the pit stops somewhat early on lap 9, as an unusually slow Kvyat was ordered to get out of the way and let the racy Frenchman by. Hulkenberg boxed and emerged behind a Marussia the following lap as Rosberg’s engineer gave him his pit stop procedure since he would have no pit limiter and would have to stall the car in order to get the stop accomplished. Massa and Kvyat boxed Lap 11 with Massa back out on the option tyre. Shots of the stop included urgent conversations at Mercedes’ pit box as the preparations for Nico’s stop continued.  Rosberg was duly informed he would be changing wheels as well as tyres and would be dropped from the jacks as he had no clutch. Button was target plus one as everyone waited to see if the stricken Mercedes could make it into and out of the pits.

Two laps later, Vettel went for the undercut on Lewis with a fantastic stop marred only by his getting a little boggy on the way back out. Still, he emerged ahead of Alonso who trailed him into the pits. Raikkonen, who had come in the previous lap, continued to track Massa as they both passed Gutierrez. Hamilton received his call to come in as the Merc wisely decided to hold off bringing Rosberg in till after Hamilton was done. No dramas for Lewis and as he emerged intact in what was not the surprise of the century, Vettel was told the undercut had failed and he should save tyres and fuel for the end. Magnussen also pitted and emerged on the Soft tyre. Kvyat executed a smart move on Perez, seemingly happier with his new set of tyres.

Rosberg came into the pits at the end of his lap, achingly slow into his box. The car was expertly stalled and up it went, the new wheel being handed over as the tyres were replaced. The car dropped and went nowhere. Like doctors at a code blue, the mechanics worked frantically but it quickly became clear that the patient was beyond saving and despite Nico’s entreaties, the plug was pulled and he was wheeled into the garage.

Back on track the dramas were few and far between, with Vergne being investigated for track limits violation but otherwise it was racing for position at the end as the drivers got down to it inside their own little bubbles. Shots of Wolff apologizing to Rosberg were interspersed with the call of Vergne getting a 5 second stop and go. Ricciardo set fast lap on their 17th trip round, just to give the announcers something to do as Hamilton was 8 seconds up the road on Vettel and coasting. The thoughts of the crowd no doubt turned to the possibility of a safety car to enliven the spectacle as the commentators were already comparing fuel levels so as to have something meaningful to discuss.

Vergne meanwhile was getting on it and his capture of Button promised some action. Chilton picked up a slow puncture which did his race no favors and Gutierrez chucked it in on lap 21. Vettel was told to ignore the upshift tones and drive into the revs as Alonso had begun to close in on him and the fuel saving mode was not helping his lap times at all. Hamilton helpfully picked up some track litter with his front which bothered his engineer but didn’t seem to put him off that much

Act III

The next round of stops was led by Massa on the 23rd lap as Gutierrez turned out to be unable to recharge his batteries. Alonso has crept into Vettel’s DRS, but he was not really close enough to make a move. Ricciardo hung back, either saving for the end or just enjoying the show.  Bottas came in and Raikkonen stayed out to try a few fast laps.

Alonso came in the next lap and Maldonado livened things up by having an unsafe release. Vettel stayed out the extra lap and he was put back out on the Soft tyre, coming out behind Alonso who had stayed on the Super Softs. Bottas turned up the wick with a fast lap as Hamilton came in on lap 27, with a worried Lowe looking on, no doubt concerned about the effect of his development program on the reliability of the Mercs. 4.7 seconds for Lewis, which included a complimentary front wing cleaning and he was back out behind Ricciardo who was moving very slowly on his aging set of tyres, which problem he solved by pitting on the next lap. He was kicked out on the Softs as well, he and Vettel having satisfied the tyre regulation.

Lewis wasted no time going fast, turning into the 1:51’s and setting a new fast lap. Grosjean and Perez had a bit of a dice and while they were busy playing Kvyat snuck up and dispatched Perez, who responded by pitting 2 laps later on lap 31.

Sergio emerged behind Sutil and quelle surprise, lost his front wing in spectacular fashion after contact, bringing out the safety car. Hamilton stayed out and complained of not being warned quickly enough to watch for debris, but Alonso took advantage, along with Button and Raikkonen. Vergne had a strange lockup as he did his best to get in front of Kimi on pit out.

Ricciardo confirmed his car wasn’t 100%, complaining of power loss and being told to avoid kerbs on exit, another apparently overlooked radio indiscretion.

8 laps later the Safety Car came in, with the end of the race looking to be Father Time rather than 61 laps. Mercedes were under pressure as Lewis had yet to run the Prime tyre and with a pit stop delta of 27-29 seconds it was not clear if he could run up the gap before he ran out of tyre. Being Lewis, however, he was going to give it a good go. Pulling out 3 seconds over the first lap, he was clear of 6 by the end of the second. He would continue to knock 3-4 seconds a lap off until his tyres disappeared a lap or two before he was brought in, when he was back to gaining  just a second or so a lap.

Once the rest of the field picked their jaws up off the floor they set to racing amongst themselves. Button took on Bottas and got past and by lap 43 there was a 3 way for 6th-8th between Bottas, Button and Raikkonen. Two laps later Vergne caught up to Perez and Alonso tracked down Ricciardo to start applying pressure. Hamilton’s lead increased, but by lap 47 Alonso was still in his pit window. Button remained trapped by Bottas, getting ever closer but not close enough to get by. Perez pulled a cheeky move on Vergne in their fight, using Ericsson as a pick to get by. Amidst all the action, Sutil had quietly retired lap 41, another double for Sauber

By lap 51 Hamilton was slowing significantly with Alonso right on the bubble. Mercedes encouraged him to hang in but he was clearly nervous about his tyres, reporting an odd stripe developing on his rears. In he came next lap for a 2.9 second stop, out on brand new Softs ahead of Ricciardo but behind Vettel, who was looking at completing his first lap in the lead all season. It was not to be as Hamilton ruthlessly tracked him down and Vettel, looking at the long game, just gave Lewis a little squeeze as he came past. 2 laps later the Mercedes was comfortably up the road and it was all eyes on the Alonso, Ricciardo, and Vettel group as they were all in DRS for the race to second.

They weren’t the only game in town as the Safety Car had thoroughly booted Williams’ strategy. Complaining of Power steering issues, Bottas in 6th was going slower and slower and developing quite the train, collecting Raikkonen, Hulkenberg and Vergne behind him.  There was cruel disappointment for Button as he was forced to park his car on lap 54 with a total loss of power

Magnussen continued to dish out the pain as he kicked Maldonado out of the points on replay during lap 56 and word filtered down that Vergne was facing another 5 second penalty for track limits. Raikkonen was stuck as Bottas straight line speed was too much, but an aggressive and increasingly desperate Vergne decided to force the issue on lap 59 as the trio at the front were unable to make any headway.  First picking off Hulkenberg for 8th, Vergne then made short work of both Raikkonen and Bottas as it dawned on Kimi that it might be possible to actually pass the cars in front of him. Vergne disappeared up the road and both Hulkenberg and Raikkonen decided to make Bottas’ life worse as the lap count disappeared and the race officially switched to the 2 hour limit.

AS Hamilton made his way past the start line for the last time, Perez caught up to Hulkenberg and did him in, Nico’s tyres being in no real shape for a fight. With the three of them breathing down his neck on the last lap, Bottas tyres lost their last ounce of grip and as he plowed straight on, he lost 5 places and Williams their rather sizeable strategy bet. With no change at the front the race finished Hamilton, Vettel, and Ricciardo for the podium, Alonso and Massa rounding out the top 5. Just behind were Vergne, incredibly keeping his 6th despite the penalty, Perez and Raikkonen with Hulkenberg and Magnussen filling out the positions through 10th. Bottas limped home 11th, no doubt to be consoled after the race for his heroic efforts, doomed to failure though they were.

 

Vettel gets a much needed restorative, Vergne finally gets the good result the WDC needle swings back to Hamilton and Bernie will get his much desired championship race. Rosberg’s woes will doubtless bring out the conspiracy theorists and with Mercedes ham-handed efforts thus far it’s no wonder. Surprises on and off track no doubt await at Suzuka, along with a massive pot of coffee for those on the wrong side of the world

Final Results:

# Driver Ctry Team Time Gap Pits
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:54.140 2
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:55.569 13.500 2
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:55.448 14.2 2
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:56.016 15.2 2
5 Felipe Massa Williams 1:57.987 41.9 2
6 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:59.330 56.5 2
7 Sergio Perez Force India 1:57.022 58.7 3
8 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:59.192 60.3 3
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:58.814 61.3 3
10 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:58.076 61.8 2
11 Valtteri Bottas Williams 2:04.055 64.6 2
12 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:58.570 66.3 4
13 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:58.822 67.3 3
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:59.752 71.2 2
15 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:58.224 93.3 2
16 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:57.511 93.6 2
17 Max Chilton Marussia 1:58.617 1 lap 2
R Nico Rosberg Mercedes RETIRED 2
R Jenson Button McLaren RETIRED 2
R Adrian Sutil Sauber RETIRED 3
R Esteban Gutierrez Sauber RETIRED 2
R Kamui Kobayashi Caterham RETIRED 1

World Drivers Championship

2014 Drivers' Championship Graph Singapore

World Constructors Championship

2014 Constructors' Championship Graph Singapore-1

#F1 Poll: How would you rate the 2014 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX?

•September 21, 2014 • 48 Comments

2014 Singapore Grand Prix

With one of the main protagonist not making the formation lap the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix was depending on other drivers to spice up the race. Hamilton made easy work of staying ahead and although a safety car almost robbed him of a win he managed to do enough to make his last stop for fresh rubber with 10 laps to go and take the win.

How would you rate the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix? Please let us know why you voted the way you did by commenting below.

#F1 Radio Special – #SingaporeGP

•September 21, 2014 • 91 Comments

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Mattpt55 - a special look at the mind behind the ban on radio traffic

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darknes of this world, against spirituall wickednes in high places - 1611 King James Bible

There is some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.” – Warren Buffet

Detail, Press Briefing Charlie Whiting Saturday 20.09.14

Charlie Sez:

11CW1

If it’s quite straightforward, then why the controversy. Oh wait, it’s OK to tell them to change settings, but then it’s not OK if it’s just one part of the track. How could that possibly cause confusion

Charlie Sez:

11CW2

You mean after the Team Principals finished shredding what was left of your intellectual dignity. The teams have been evolving the engineer-driver symbiosis for almost a decade and suddenly it’s too much and has to be changed immediately. And then you couldn’t possibly predict that it wouldn’t be fair *before* you released this directive?!!

Charlie Sez:

11CW3

 

“Things have to be done”?!!! Do we all notice the passive voice here? Again I repeat, this has been evolving for a long time and the FIA demand these insanely complex machines for their own purposes and suddenly the teams are no longer allowed to run them in an optimum way, because, whim? More to the point, by refusing to allow software to automate this process in the name of the very same regulation and demanding the drivers punch the buttons themselves, YOU have created this very situation. If you claim to want what you say you do, then why oh why, for F#$%#’s sake did you just not ban all this explicitly starting with ABS and traction control.

Charlie Sez:

11CW4

This not being a court of law I’ll take that for a yes.

Charlie Sez:

11CW5

Way to kick the can down the road and absolve yourself of all resposibility. Plus, couldn’t you at least have some idea of the actual penalties available to stewards on hand before the briefing? And we all can’t wait until it takes 2 hours to go through the radio traffic to decide if the winner actually won. Way to improve the F@#$@ing show!

Charlie Sez:

11CW6

“It’s going to be very hard to make it simpler” sounds like the perfect motto for you and your band of fools. Also sounds as if you wouldn’t know a coded message if it slapped you in the face. Here’s a hint, Colonel Mustard in the Library with a Candlestick. Simplicity is easy to achieve unless you have the intellectual capacity of a sackful of hammers. It also helps to understand the actual subject at hand. Just WTF do you do all day? Sit around and drink cocktails while laughing in a self-congratulatory manner at all the people who actually have to be good at what they do? Jesus, Someone call Boullier quick. Even he’s better at this kind of dodge.

Charlie Sez:

11

 

It’s recorded so it’s OK if we can’t do our jobs because we can go back and fix it after TV points it out. I’m out of words for the stunning combination of arrogance stupidity and privilege currently being displayed.

And BTW you can run parts that would get you tossed for the rest of the season in FP and that’s OK but if you tell your driver to try a different setting or line that’s cheating and they’ll be penalized???!!!! Holy lack of consistency Batman, skipped the logic courses in college did you?

Charlie Sez:

11CW7

Ummm… World Feed including radio is FOM Broadcast.  So not really a matter of chance, is it? Do you really know this little about how F1 runs or do you really think we are all that stupid? Either way, not good. Fullness of time good for the lulz though.

Charlie Sez:

11CW8

So no longer tacit, an admission that you can’t possibly write a coherent set of regulations. “Capture anything not listed”???!!! You might as well have written I will punish you for violating unwritten rules that only I know, but can’t tell you. For the love of all that’s holy, how can you expect the teams to comply with this utter farce of a ruling. It’s not a catch-all, its a carte-blanche to do whatever you want whenever you feel like it. the utter frivolity of your words makes a mockery of all those whose hard work enables your parasitic lifestyle. May the curse of a thousand leeches be visited upon you and your kin for ten-fold generations.

Charlie Sez:

11CW11

The utter debasement of the sport is completely exposed. So you can’t really catch coded messages, you don’t have a real plan, and almost everything you want to ban is available to drivers contextually. You’re seriously going to have to have a meeting to decide if “Hammer TIme” is really a coded message? The answer to this epic fail is another meeting? How clueless are you really? Does someone tie your shoes for you? Is there anything left that you might actually do for yourself? Or have you been reduced to such an utter state of symbiosis that such acts are beyond you. Smile, wave, push a few buttons and talk authoritatively, even if you know longer understand the words wheezing past your dry, papery lips. Do as you’re told, ask no questions and count on the walls of the paddock to protect you until you are released from service.

Well here’s a message for you, we, the fans, can see the pathetic shadow behind the curtain. And since I have not a hope in hell of ever being accredited I feel I can speak a certain brand of truth that my spiritual brethren chained by golden handcuffs to the paddock cannot. Even if such a ban were a good idea in the middle of a season (it’s not), the ham handed implementation of said stupid idea ought to have you thrown into a locked cell to be beaten with rubber truncheons and have your toes gnawed on by massively poisonous gila monsters. In truth, there is no punishment that can atone for the atrocity you have committed here. In a single stroke, you have cost the teams untold buckets of cash, made it impossible for them to run their teams optimally and robbed the fans of technical knowledge that they cannot unknow. Your time, like that of the dinosaurs, has passed and the sooner your wizened visage no longer darkens the screen of our TV’s the better. If there really was any justice, this latest embarrassment should be the nail in your thoroughly unremarkable career. The excuse “Bernie told me to do it” will no longer wash in this day and age and it is time to clear your desk and have security escort you to the lobby. Good luck in your future career and make sure you leave the stapler.

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

•September 21, 2014 • 3 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

 

THURSDAY

Tech

From the Dept of the Future

AThursEvent1

they promised us jet sweepers and finally they delivered

From the Dept of Consistent Consisitency

AThursEvent2

Well that ‘s good to know. Imagine if they didn’t

From the Dept of Things We Now Know

AThursEvent3

First, that’s not a lot of time to get ready for quali, even if it is a Porsche. Second, FFS, what are they using, baby monitors? The smartest people in the room and you use motion detectors that can be set off by fans. Oh dear, it’s even worse than I thought.

From the Dept of Counting All The Things

AThursTech1

Kvyat broke his duck but who’s going to be next?

From the Dept of FIA upgrades

AThursTech2

AThursTech3

Whole lotta Merc drivelines on that list

From the Dept of 

AThursTech4

AThursTech5

New ratios for the Mercs. Maybe we’ll finally get to see 8th gear make a appearance. LOL.

Presser

From the Dept of Totally Obvious Questions

AThursPresser1

And there you have the full panoply of human emotion. Try not to get too excited. I’m sure they didn’t prep for that.

From the Dept of Freudian Envy

AThursPresser2

It’s not the size of the wheel but how you use it that counts.

From the Dept of Corrections

AThursPresser4

For “I hope” it should read “No”. That is all.

From the Dept of Hopes and Dreams

AThursPresser5

Between Whitmarsh and Lowe you’ve actually got a shot.

From the Dept of Pushing Hard

AThursPresser6

Remember Marcus, use the word push as much as possible.

From the Dept of Intellectual Voids

AThursPresser7

The one question from the floor. F1 journamalism FTW.

FRIDAY

Tech

From the Dept of ReCounting All the Things

BFriTech1

BFriTech2

BFriTech3

Not really sure why ALO doesn’t get a penalty for this. Perhaps typo.

Presser

From the Dept of Zombie Lies

BFriPresser1

LOL Tost is RB tool but he’s also absolutely right. MK toeing company line, not what I expected. Fans didn’t ask for this, it was FOM’s evildoing all the way.

From the Dept of Wishful Thinking

BFriPresser2

Assuming there is a Sochi, of course.

From the Dept of Artful Dodging

BFriPresser3

Or he’d had enough and go while the getting was good.

From the Dept of I Think There’s a Sentence there Somewhere

BFriPresser5

Well you are in the deep and stinky stuff if you don’t even know when testing for next year starts.

From the Dept of 

BFriPresser6

So it’s OK as long as you don’t have to pay for it. Got it.

From the Dept of De Nile is more than a River

BFriPresser8

So it’s not your fault and you didn’t do anything wrong. K then. I’m sure the courts will agree with you completely.

From the Dept of Peculiar Business

BFriPresser9

So to recap: Russian money but your still getting it despite sanctions, or so you claim. And a completely “business driven” club that will make money in F1 but seeks no glory. I call shenanigans on the lot of you.

Naughty Step

From the Dept of 

BFriNaughtyStep1

Foreshadowing Quali.

SATURDAY

Tech

From the Dept of Still more Counting

CSatTech1

CSatTech2

Things continue to look up for Seb.

From the Dept of SoftWarez

CSatTech6

Better get the Hippo

Presser

From the Dept of Arrested Development

CSatPresser1

The Leprecorn is starting to stamp his authority on Merc. Even Lauda has noticed the job he’s doing.

From the Dept of New Catch Phrases

CSatPresser2

Because seven thousandths. I like it

From the Dept of It’s Danny Time

CSatPresser3

There may yet be hope for the youngs

From the Dept of Surprise

CSatPresser4

But I thought you had worked with Paddy before?

From the Dept of Definitely Some Hope

CSatPresser5

Wait till it’s your turn to sit in Seb’s chair. Then we’ll see what you’re made of. So far I approve.

From the Dept of Well, At Least They Agree On Something

CSatPresser6

Can’t wait…….

#F1 Qualifying Review: Shining Silver at the Singapore Grand Prix

•September 20, 2014 • 21 Comments

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor John Myburgh

2014 SingaporeGP - Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton claimed his sixth pole of the season, only one behind his team mate Nico Rosberg. Mercedes yet again locked out the front row with Rosberg claiming second and Ricciardo rounding out the top three beating Vettel yet again.

Qualifying was a bit of a tame affair though with the only real drama, if it can be called that, being that pole looked to have new contenders in Ferrari with the Red Bull of Ricciardo also looking good enough to take the battle to the Mercedes cars, but it was not to be. Elsewhere Button got knocked out in Q2 while Magnussen made it through to Q1, things not looking good for the Frome Flyer.

Q1

As the lights went green most cars stormed out onto the track, bar the Red Bulls, with their two drivers not even in the car yet. They were not alone though as Erricson was standing around, waiting to get into his green monster.

As Max Chilton emerged on the track Rosberg started his first flying lap of the session. Similar to Monza and Monaco, Rosberg, who started the session with new brakes, locked up and ran wide and into an escape road apparently struggling with brake temperatures.

Vergne was the first one to set a flying lap, crossing the line in 1m49.279 however this was quickly beaten by Bottas with a 1m47.743. Magnussen slotted his McLaren into second but Rosberg managed to get his car round for a timed lap and pushed Magnussen down to third.

With ten minutes to go, first Raikkonen and then Alonso went fastest. However Hamilton had yet to set a timed lap and when he did it demoted the Ferrari cars to second and third, crossing the line in 1m47.847. From somewhere Gutierrez in the Sauber, on Super Softs, found speed and crossed the line only 0.123 slower than Hamilton.

Red Bull had yet to have any of their drivers set a time with only six minutes to go. When the cars did go out they had super softs on, trying for that one lap that will take them to Q2 using as little engine millage as possible. Vettel’s lap was spoiled, first by Erricson and then by Kvyat, both on the racing line.

Ricciardo though had not problems though and sailed through to take P1 in 1m47.488. Nico Hulkenberg made sure that the Australian did not stay on top for too long with a time of 1m47.370. It was clear that even the top teams needed to use their Super Softs to be safe in Q1.

Raikkonen went fastest with three minutes of the session left, Button slotted into second but was demoted by Alonso, a Ferrari 1-2 with two minutes to go of Q1.

While Bottas was sitting pretty in P5 Massa was on the bubble in P16. The little Brazillian though pulled it out of the bag on his last lap, just, and crossed to claim P11.

Q1 claimed the scalps of the usual suspects; Sutil, Maldonado, Bianchi, Kobayashi, Chilton and Erricson. Interestingly, Rosberg was told he was on his race tyres so need to take care of them on the way back to the pits.

Q2

Q2 was slow to get going and a very understated affair. Perez headed out on track almost immediately wasting no time to after a dismal Q1. He posted a time 1m47.597 but this was soon eclipsed by Raikkonen and then Alonso with a 1m46.328. Hamilton then crossed the line in 1m46.287, just managing to beat Alonso’s time by a mere 0.041s. It is clear this weekend will not be plain sailing for the Mercedes cars with even Ferrari now sniffing at the heels of the Silver Arrows.

Five minutes left of Q2 and all but Massa, Bottas and Perez were in the pits getting ready for the final part of the session. Hulkenberg then joined the party on track closely followed by Gutierrez.

All but the four fastest joined the trakc to have another go at making it, or securing, into Q1. Massa crossed the line to take fourth, pushing Ricciardo down to fifth and Rosberg to sixth. As the flag dropped the cars rushed over the line, Button missed the cut while Magnussed made it to ninth.

Rosberg felt his sixth place was not enough and completed another flyer, crossing the line in 1m45.825, almost half a second faster than Hamilton’s best giving him P1. At the expense of a new set of tyres this was really a hollow lap for Rosberg.

Q2 came to an end with Rosberg setting the fastest time and Hamilton in P2 while Alonso had to settle for third. Those who did not make it into Q1 were Button, Vergne, Hulkenberg, Gutierrez, Perez and Grosjean. For Button, without a contract for next year it was not what he was looking for.

Q1

Going into Q1 the question was who would take pole but also, where would Ferrari end up, top three perhaps? As the light went green Massa was the first to emerge followed by Kvyat and Magnussen. Rosberg followed them on a pair of scrubbed super softs, his team mate Hamilton opting for a scrubbed pair as well.

Massa crossed the line in 1m46.007 and was followed by Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Bottas. Alonso demoted Raikkonen taking third. The shock came though when Rosberg crossed the line, in sixth only! Things were not better for Hamilton who pushed Rosberg down to seventh.

Five minutes to go with all the cars in the pits again and the question was still who would be on pole. Would we see Massa with a second pole for the season or…

A dream for Ferrari it was not to be though. As the cars headed out for one last attempt at getting the best possible place, Raikkonen grinding to a halt complaining of no power.

Riccardo got first blood, provisional pole in 1m45.845, to much delight of the crowd. Rosberg then crossed the line to take P1 from Ricciardo in 1m45.688 but sweet it was not as Hamilton managed to find extra speed, a whole 0.007s, to take pole in 1m.45.681, much to the appreciation and cheers of the crowd. Hamilton’s time was remarkable considering he locked up into turn 1 on his flyer. Ricciardo’s time was good enough for third.

Vettel claimed fourth in front of Alonso, the Ferrari challenge fizzling out yet again. Massa finsihed in sixth with Raikkonen, Bottas, Magnussen and Kvyat rounding out the top ten.

The race is tomorrow but today Hamilton delivered, will it be a 1-2 for Mercedes again tomorrow?

Qualifying Results:

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

#F1 Daily News And Comment: Friday 19th September 2014

•September 19, 2014 • 51 Comments

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This page will be updated throughout the day.

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Previously on TheJudge 13:

#F1 Daily News and Comment: Thursday 18th September 2014

The #F1 Bar Exam: 18th September 2014

The #F1 Courtroom Podcast: Colin the Racing Car


Mallya’s fraudulent funding of Force India

8 teams 3 cars imminent says Ecclestone

Massa scathing over team radio ban

Things F1 really needed…

Late night bomb alarm in Singapore

Magnussen unrepentant

FIA latest attempt at a definitive list of banned radio messages

Singapore Grand Prix FP1 Report

Formula E to use revised Monaco Circuit

Singapore Grand Prix FP2 Report


Mallya’s fraudulent funding of Force India

TJ13 has reported the Vijay Mallya/Kingfisher airlines debacle for nearly two years. The last update saw Rubrata Roy, co-owner in Force India banged up for fraud in a New Dehli jail. Further, Mallya has been cited as a wilful defaulter’, a legal status which means he can no longer be a director of an Indian company or raise funds from Indian banks.

The steady road to justice in India continues to expose Mallya’s illegal dealings as a summons for tax fraud is already outstanding. Vijay’s family home has been repossessed by the banks who loaned him the money for Kingfisher Airlines and other assets are in the throes of being sold to repay creditors.

The latest news is that Mallya’s creditors are now investigating the funding of Force India. Loans made to Mallya for his airline have allegedly found their way into the Silverstone based F1 team. If proven, this is a serious criminal offence for which Mallya would serve jail time.

Vijay continues to behave as though none of this is happening, most recently seen reclining his large frame in the Force India motor home in Monza… staff ran to the click of his finger, whilst he entertained Lewis’ dad, Anthony Hamilton.

Force India have suffered since the first third of the season was over, due to a lack of cash which Mallya has failed to provide. In winter testing and early season racing, they had a good package, though clearly the lack of funds has badly hurt their development.

The good news for the team is that Sergio Perez said today he was close to agreeing a deal to stay at Force India for 2015, though the once frequent sightings of Mexican in suits, have been non existant at the Silverstone factory for some time.

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8 teams 3 cars imminent says Ecclestone

Adam Parr ex CEO of Williams F1 racing, tweeted during the Monza race that “This is the last year of F1 as we know it. In 2015 eight teams will contest the championship, with several teams entering three cars”.

Parr crossed Ecclestone by daring to suggest the current F1 financial model was bust, and Ecclestone was missing the boat on new revenue opportunities. He was exited swiftly by Williams, who later in their accounts revealed a one off payment of £25m from FOM.

Today Ecclestone confirms Parr’s revelation that 8 teams with 3 cars is his goal. “It has always been on the cards if we lose up to three teams the others will run three cars”.

The teams permanently in financial turmoil are Sauber, Lotus, Marrusia and Caterham though of course Haas F1 has been approved to enter the sport when they are ready.

Ecclestone ups the anti when he adds, “I think we should do it anyway. I would rather see Ferrari with three cars, or any of the other top teams with three cars, than having teams that are struggling.”

Clearly Parr’s assertion this could be as soon as next season is a view emanating from Ecclestone. “We’ll know after the next two or three races [whether these teams will make it to 2015], but it is being looked at.”

TJ13 has been reporting the plight of Caterham and suggested they have funds up to and only for the Singapore GP and Mr. E confirms this. “The trouble with the teams – which is all normal – they think of themselves short term. You ask about next year, but they’re worried about the next race, which is the problem.”

Ecclestone’s survive or die model has presided over many a team coming and going from F1, and he is unrepentant about this. “I’ve been around – most people would say too long – but long enough to know there are always people at the back of the grid,” remarked the 83-year-old.

When asked about double points for the final race of the season, Ecclestone was remarkably open.

Another issue for Ecclestone to resolve is whether to continue with the controversial double-points system for the final race of a year. “I wanted it (double points) to be for the last three races. Then people would believe it still possible somebody else could win, but everyone said I was mad, so we won’t do it.

Formula fans may grasp a glimmer of hope that the weigting of races toward the end of the season may be scrapped for next year. “As for keeping it for the last race, I don’t know. Probably not. We can’t yet see whether it has worked, it depends.

“It just seemed to me the right way to keep the championship open, otherwise for the last three or four races people are running in non-championship races.”

This is not as catagoric response from Ecclestone that most of the F1 press is reporting. “Double points to go”.

Reading between the lines, Mr. E still could easily be hedging his bets to get double points for the last 3 races of 2015 and so there will be no double points for just the last race of the season. A cliff hanger in Abu Dhabi may clinch it.

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Massa scathing over team radio ban

The error of youth is to believe that intelligence is a substitute for experience, while the error of age is to believe experience is a substitute for intelligence. – Hemingway.

In an era where we are seeing, protégé drivers signed to Formula 1 teams aged 13, the prospect of drivers still being within the sport beyond aged 30 diminishes by the month. Felipe Massa(aged 33)  has in his 13 years in the sport, accumulated a fortune and duked it out on the last lap of the season for a drivers’ world title – he knows a thing or two.

Unlike the young submissive clones who fear for their seats, Massa just like Webber is comfortable enough to speak his mind.

According to Bernie, all the drivers are in favour of his missive on pit radio.

Well not one, at least. Felipe Massa criticises the FIA for acting in a hasty and presumptuous manner. “It’s something they could have done more professionally, not just speak too much with the old drivers. They always believe that now it’s too complicated and too easy for us, but they’ve never driven the car. If you want to go back [to the past] then just bring the car from that time and we’ll race them. It’s not a problem.”

Of all the drivers in Formula 1, Massa knows what a coded message is all about. “Felipe, Fernando is faster than you…” and is hence most qualified to speak on the matter.

He observes, “You have a lot of codes that you guys don’t know about. Whatever you invent, maybe the driver will understand and change that and nobody will know. Maybe they penalise a car because of something they heard, but what he said you cannot prove what is a code or not. It’s not good.”

Mmm. Some possible coded messages

For Kimi: “Fried artichokes cook faster than Kale ravioli”

For Nico: “Lovely hams are more royally baked because that’s why they taste better”

For Lewis: “Noodles Romanov, 10% better the third night”

For Ericsson: “Marcus, the peddle on the right… push it to the floor”

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Things F1 really needed…

It was announced on Thursday that Johnny Walker is now the “official whisky of Formula One”, which is an important contribution to road safety, one might think. The rolex deal brought huge watches to the paddock, and one tends to think that the mob of journos has now an ‘official’ way to get hogwashly bladdered.

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Late night bomb alarm in Singapore

Caterham, Marussia and Toro Rosso had to evacuate their Motorhomes and hospitality areas, after police came in to investigate a bomb alarm. After no explosives were found, each team member was searched individually and later allowed to return.

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Magnussen unrepentant

Everybody needs a hobby. Some people collect stamps, others collect dead beetles. Kevin Magnussen of McLaren fame collects time – penalty seconds to be precise and he scored an impressive cumulative twenty-five of them in the last two rounds at Spa and Monza. Talk about paying proper homage to F1’s few remaining historical venues.

But just as his competitors send a sigh of relief towards the heavens, their hopes are flattened, as the Dane announces he will not change his aggressive style. “I try to make the best of what we have at the moment and that means I have to drive hard”. Admittedly, now and then the young Viking drives as if the team forgot to tell him, that the transparent bit of the helmet actually goes to the front, but then, people don’t watch F1 in hope of finding the next Alain Prost.

Magnussen acknowledged that he was in the wrong at Spa, but still insists that his harsh maneuvre against fellow Scandinavian Valtteri Bottas was not a punishable offense.

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FIA latest attempt at a definitive list of banned radio messages

After being alomost pecked to death in the chicken coup yesterday, Charlie dutifully returned this morning with a revised set of banned radio messages. As TJ13 suggested yesterday, Whiting has been most compliant in his latest scribblings, restricting his veto on transmissions to broadly driver coaching.

The updated messages banned from radio or pit board are:-

- Driving lines on the circuit.
– Contact with kerbs.
– Car set up parameters for specific corners.
– Comparative or absolute sector time detail of another driver.
– Speeds in corners compared to another driver.
– Gear selection compared with another driver.
– Gear selection in general.
– Braking points.
– Rate of braking compared to another driver.
– Rate of braking or application of brakes in general.
– Car stability under braking.
– Throttle application compared to another driver.
– Throttle application in general.
– Use of DRS compared with another driver.
– Use of any overtake button.
– Driving technique in general.

The arguments which held sway were that

1) Drivers are not capable of delivering the sophisticated balancing act of managing the brake input into the hybrid system, overheat and or destroy very very expensive kit, and this was just unreasonable.

2) Balancing the SOC (battery charge) and the appropriate brake by wire settings were alos deemed nigh on impossible for the drivers to manage properly

3) Fuel consumption has also escaped the butcher’s knife, though Sebastian Vettel isn’t sure why. “The main difficulty is not necessarily stuff like the fuel because it’s simple to put up a certain target to follow [on the car's dash]. But in terms of managing the components, and the way they work with each other, it will be very difficult for us,”

Massa adds, “We don’t know what the temperature is for the battery, we cannot see. We don’t know that. There’s a very complicated power unit in the car which is not related to the driver. If you’re not using the right settings, forget it. You’ll not do two laps.”

This botch job designed by Ecclestone to make us F1 fans fall to our knees in wonder and admiration at the skills of the drivers, has in fact re-emphasised the critical nature of the task in hand for the FIA, and it may be too late for them to act for 2015.

The controls on these cars must be simplified – or the components dropped.

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Singapore GP: FP1 Report

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It’s been an interesting two weeks since Monza. As TJ13 wrote on 5th August, Luca Cordera de Montezemolo would be forced out of Maranello – the surprise was the brutality of the kill.

The FIA and Charlie Whiting have once again given the impression they are desperately seeking ‘new ideas’ at the cost of proper consideration of the matters in hand. Charlie this morning returned cap in hand to the mob of angry team bosses with a much diluted list of banned radio messages.

What is most unusual about the Singapore F1 event is that the entire F1 circus remains on European Time. This means going to bed when everyone else is getting up and getting up for afternoon tea – mine’s a Lapsang Souchong please.

Popular consent is that this is a Lewis Hamilton circuit, then again, Nico Rosberg has surprised us this year at previous track favourites of Hamilton’s, so FP1 will be most illuminating (sorry about the pun).

Rosberg was 3 tenths quicker in qualifying here last year, so he’ll be no pushover.

untitledNico Rosberg has been commenting on the effect of the radio ban. “It is the right way for the sport to go because it makes the racing pure,” says Rosberg. “For example, earlier this season when I was trying to overtake Lewis.

But whenever I went to increase my electronic boost power, which I can only do for a couple of corners, Lewis’s engineer did a great job, spotted it and told him to do the same.

Every time I adjusted my settings, Lewis would replicate that, so there was not a difference in performance in our respective cars which never gave me the opportunity to surprise him. But with the new rules that should be over now.”

Even this morning’s castrated radio regulations revision, will now ban this kind of information transfer.

The high downforce aero requirements would suggest Red Bull will mount a fightback against the Williams teams, and Sebastian Vettel has another shiny new chassis.

There are thunderstorms expected, though their random nature makes it difficult to predict when they will arrive. One or two of the paddock folk have already been caught in a short torrential downpour.

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So to the circuit; This is the 7th Singapore GP, the 1600 lights are ablaze ask dusk settles across Singapore night sky, and we’re ready to go for FP1. Twenty Three corners face the drivers – the most for any circuit on the current calendar.

First out is Max Chilton, but within 1 minute of the green light, we see Bianchi, Grosjean, Button, Ericsson, Alonso, Magnussen. Bottas, Gutierrez, Maldonado, Vergne, Raikkonen and Kvyat all out on track.

Here we go. 5 minutes in and Jenson is told by his engineer, “190kph, 5th gear.”

Hey Charlie…. Charlie….. did you hear that? (Whiting eating a pastry and drinking coffee).

Nico Rosberg suffers another full on cockpit attack. This time it’s his own wing mirror attempting to interfere with his driving – so the German tears from it’s mounting and lobs the offending $5,000 component away into the Armco.

Will that be 7 years of bad luck?

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Pirelli have stated, they expect the teams to just use the soft tyre in FP1, with the supersoft making its debut in the next session.

It’s Ferrari Friday. 22 minutes in Alonso goes quickest. He loves Singapore having been on the podium each time but once when he was 4th. It appears Ferrari fuel their cars light on Friday’s as they never carry the same pace into Saturday.

Mechanical issues for Rosberg on 24 minutes. “Problem on the upshift up to Turn Five. Big problem on the upshift.” At 9/1, Danny Ricciardo looks a good bet if the two Merc’s DNF.

Rumour has it, Sebastian Vettel has taken the unprecedented step of naming this new chassis ‘Colin’. Whatever, he blasts into the top spot with a 1:50:411 at around the 27 minute mark.

And as the 30 minute mark arrives, all the cars head for the pits to hand back their extra set of Pirelli’s.

Nico Rosberg admonishes his team, “You forgot to adjust the mirror. This is very importat for the next run. Try to remember”.

1 Vettel 1m50.411s
2 Alonso 1m50.678s
3 Rosberg 1m51.031s
4 Raikkonen 1m51.269s
5 Ricciardo 1m51.506s
6 Hamilton 1m51.934s
7 Perez 1m52.320s
8 Hulkenberg 1m52.385s
9 Magnussen 1m52.401s
10 Massa 1m52.645s

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And Rosberg is first out after the break on a new set of soft tyres, immediately setting the fastest time, 1.2 seconds ahead of Vettel and Colin. Lewis is out too and goes P5.

“You’re 1.2 seconds faster, Nico.”……… “I don’t want to know, thank you.”

7 seconds now covers Nico Rosberg down to the Caterham in 20th. The gaps will be much bigger here than in Monza due to the length of the circuit and disproportionate aero packages.

Sebastian’s chassis, is getting some angle grinding attention in the garage, looks painful for the faithful Colin.

42 minutes gone Hamilton takes the fastest lap and is 2700ths ahead of Rosberg. He was 0.128s up after the second split, but lost time in the final sector.

Lewis questions how the tyres are holding up for ‘other drivers’. The careful reply is “We’ll just carry on with our programme and discuss it in the garage.”  This is close to the mark of what is allowed, even under Whiting’s subdued dictat.

Renault tweet, “With just 2 straights, the pits and down Raffles Boulevard between T5 and 7, the ICE and turbo are given an easy time here. The Energy Store and MGU-K are really put through their paces. Each braking event is long and hard, particularly around the ‘hotel’ section”.

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It’s very uncomfortable here as Mercedes AMG F1 tweet, “Not that anything needs warming up here @F1NightRace – it’s sweatier than a sweaty thing in a sweaty room… #F1 #SingaporeGP

At the half way point of the session, there is a flurry of activity on track, with Hulkenberg, Magnussen, Vettel and Ricciardo all improving, and Jenson sets his first timed lap of the day with just 37 minutes of the session remaining.

Crashtor has a big moment as he crosses the Anderson bridge between turns 12 and 13 – huge amounts of oversteer, but he saves it and the pre-prepared chilled perspiration towels are handed out in the Lotus garage. Maldonado improves to 14th.

The Lotus still looks pretty ugly to drive, both drivers struggling with the brake by wire systems as the cars buck and weave when slowed into the corners.

untitledJust short of the hour, Sebastian puts in a lap and is now 0.696s off Hamilton’s fastest time whilst Ricciardo is 1.492s back. The Ferraris are next in line behind the Red Bulls.

Sebastian forces Colin to kiss the barrier at turn 21, informs the team of his mistake and dives into the pits for a quick reccie.

Ferrari Friday continues as Fernando goes fastest in sector 1, then continues to the surprise of many to pull out a lap quicker than Hamilton’s best by 0.122.

The Williams cars are languishing in 13th and 15th, whilst they were not expecting a result like Monza, this is clearly disappointing from the body language inside the garage.

Charlie Whiting will be briefing the press later on the penalties likely to be awarded for breaches of the new radio protocols. These will presumably be those prescribed under breaches in article 20.1. This ranges from a reprimand to exclusion from the event and a race ban.

With 25 minutes to go, Jenson Button hauls himself up to 8th position. McLaren have made a ride height change since his first run because Jenson was complaining about the bumps. Bruised heels are not uncommon for drivers here in Singapore.

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All is not obviously resolved though as Jenson reports, “The car’s hitting the ground a lot under braking and still a big problem with oscillation,” adding a little later, “The ride’s a lot worse than I remember it around here.”

Remember the taxi ride Alonso gave to Webber here last year? How time flies.

Alonso is having a rear wing change for comparative purposes before the session ends.

Most cars are high fuel runs now with 15 minutes to go. It’s unlikely the order at the top will change, though Lewis is always up for a last ditch challenge.

The once infamous triple apex Singapore Sling turn has been modified since last year, and Rosberg locks up and runs wide at the revised Turn 10.

Oh dear. The most blatant breach yet. JEV asks, “Is anyone improving after the first timed lap?”. A knowing response follows, “Just keep pushing.”

Mechanics from different teams are running down the pit lane with 10 minutes to go. Have 2 cars crashed into each other? Fire extinguishers at the ready…. It appears there has been an incident between a Williams and JEV. Both Williams are now on track but JEV is out of the session.

JEV requests ‘medicine’ over his radio, as he is pushed back down the pit lane.

Ok, so it appears both Williams were stuck overheating behind a JEV who had a steaming and failing ERS. They were too close to pass. Williams were not  happy.

An amusing tweet sent in to Sky reads, “This team radio sounds like teachers not trying to give their student the answer.”

5 minutes to go and Kvyat is not happy. “Hulkenberg is blocking me…..stupid,”

untitledSmoke billows from the Ferrari pit box. Kimi’s brakes look as though they are on fire. The team are cooling the area of the car, nervous of getting too near. It could be Kimi’s suspension has melted too.

It must have been hot in their as the brakes operate at over 1,000 degrees.

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So the flag falls, Lewis is not top. Ferrari Friday it truly is, as Fernando is top of the pile.

WOW. Sebastian pulls up on track just past the start finish line reporting an engine failure. Vettel is on his fifth ICE. Of course this may be an older engine, getting towards the end of it’s life, so its not necessarily the case

However, an engine change between FP1 and FP2 will be a challenge for the Red Bull mechanics.

FP 1 Result:

# Driver Ctry Team Time Gap Laps
1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:49.056 16
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:49.178 0.122 23
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:49.205 0.149 24
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:49.874 0.818 27
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:50.122 1.066 21
6 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:50.539 1.483 11
7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:50.783 1.727 19
8 Jenson Button McLaren 1:50.922 1.866 21
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:50.990 1.934 26
10 Sergio Perez Force India 1:51.131 2.075 23
11 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:51.217 2.161 24
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:51.604 2.548 23
13 Felipe Massa Williams 1:51.953 2.897 20
14 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:52.125 3.069 25
15 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:52.146 3.090 19
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:52.171 3.115 15
17 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:52.237 3.181 22
18 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:52.906 3.850 26
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:54.113 5.057 15
20 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:54.475 5.419 26
21 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:54.607 5.551 21
22 Max Chilton Marussia 1:55.170 6.114 17

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Formula E to use revised Monaco Circuit

The Grey is the F1 circuit and the Black the circuit to be used by Formua E

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Singapore GP: FP2 Report – F1 Ying and Yang

Brought to you by Adam Macdonald (@adamac39)

The second free practice session seemed to be over before it had even begun for Sebastian Vettel as mechanics continued to work on his ailing Red Bull. The German enjoyed some relaxation time at the motorhome as the rest of the field put the hard work in on track, now under the floodlights.

Max Chilton was first out onto the tight turns of the Singapore track, struggling with handling at first. The drop in temperatures had been expected to increase oversteer as well as lowering back end grip. This became evident when Kamui Kobayashi became the first to spin down into the right-hander turn 8. Many others soon followed out onto the track, with times tumbling by the minute as drivers ‘found their feet’ on tarmac.

The aero test continued for the McLaren boys, as Jenson switched front wings to continue their drive for more rear downforce. Their work back at Woking has clearly started to pay dividends as the pair topped the timesheets earlier in the early parts of the session. A testament to the challenge the drivers will face this weekend came as the car with the most downforce, the remaining Red Bull, was forced wide after the car started to step out on their young Aussie pilot.

Martin Brundle, on the SKYF1 coverage, commented on the “fantastic” sound of the cars as the sound reverberated off the barriers of the street circuit. If the grandstands could just be sorted out then Singapore could become a great place to watch the sport, where at the moment the lack of good viewing areas inhibits this.

With just under 25 minutes run into the session, Lewis Hamilton was struggling with car setup saying “something doesn’t feel right” as he trailed Rosberg by 1.064 seconds. As he was unable to fiddle with knobs and buttons to fix the problem, he retreated to the garage to fix the issue. A clear example of how this new rule will work came when Jenson Button came into his ‘box’ after giving clear instructions about changes to his front wing. He pitted, they adjusted, then he went on his way.

The two Mexican drivers were the first to go for flying laps on the supersoft tyre. Perez immediately went quickest by 0.422 seconds with a respectable 1:48.653. The delta between the two tyres was larger than expected which will bode well for split strategies come Sunday. One thing that did not surprise was the drop off of the red walled tyre after the first flying lap. Those who do not make Q3 on Saturday could have crucial role to play in the narrative of this year’s race given how difficult it is to overtake here.

With 53 minutes of the session still to run, Daniel Ricciardo went quickest with 1.47.790. Only the two Mercedes drivers and Fernando Alonso were yet to show their hand as Kimi Raikkonen slotted into second place, 2 tenths down. Pastor Maldonado continued to uphold his reputation as he played bumper cars with the wall of the exit of turn 10. He carried too much speed into the corner, making the impact inevitable meaning the red flag soon followed.

The Lotus wreckage interrupted Rosberg’s flying lap, robbing us of the chance to see a genuine lap comparison on a Silver Arrow. When Hamilton emerged to set his flying lap he did manage to go quickest, but looked ill at ease with his car reporting vibrations from his brakes. The Briton went 3 tenths quicker than Daniel Ricciardo, while Alonso went purple in the middle sector before losing time in sector 3 with an error. It would seem that it will be normal service for the Mercedes pair, but the wrestle for positions behind will be a closely fought battle.

Ricciardo was very quickly put to work on the long-run on the option tyre, being required to do the data collection for his teammate, as he could only watch from the garage. Vettel’s car was fired fired up as his hope of emerging this session improved, when there had seemingly been no hope earlier on.

The long-run pace of Daniil Kvyat was impressive as he diced with the Force India and Williams running. The general consensus was that they would be fighting the McLarens on Sunday, provided they can qualify well.

Unsurprisingly, it was the Mercedes package that looked the best on the long-run running with the most consistent time and managing to stretch the stint the longest on the supersoft tyre. Lewis appeared to have a bit of pace in hand over his teammate, although fuel loads were an unknown. Max Chilton became a fire starter with 9 minutes left of the session as the turbo was reported to be having issues.

The ying and yang of Formula One equalled out Chilton’s misfortune with a slice of luck for Vettel, as just 58 seconds later he emerged from the garage to put in a cameo appearance for the session. Out on the supersoft tyre, Vettel was able to put in a couple of qualifying laps leaving nothing on the table. He managed a total of 5 laps and fifth position on the timing sheets.

A lot of information to mull over for the engineers now, late into the night. It would seem Nico has some catching up to do, but how many time have we said that this year before he then took pole?

FP2 Result

# Driver Ctry Team Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:47.490 25
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:47.623 0.133 28
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:47.790 0.300 28
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:48.031 0.541 29
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:48.041 0.551 5
6 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:48.358 0.868 33
7 Jenson Button McLaren 1:48.435 0.945 30
8 Sergio Perez Force India 1:48.653 1.163 30
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:48.751 1.261 31
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:48.770 1.280 31
11 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:48.800 1.310 33
12 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:49.062 1.572 33
13 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:49.075 1.585 30
14 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:49.139 1.649 13
15 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:49.170 1.680 34
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:49.290 1.800 37
17 Felipe Massa Williams 1:49.361 1.871 29
18 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:49.971 2.481 28
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:50.612 3.122 24
20 Max Chilton Marussia 1:51.558 4.068 21
21 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:52.075 4.585 33
22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:52.936 5.446 31

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TJ13 #F1 Courtroom Podcast: Colin the Racing Car

•September 18, 2014 • 19 Comments

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Oops, they did it again…

Since His Gavel-Wieldingness still cannot be bothered to grace the courtroom podcast with a personal appearance, the job of reigning in this week’s ragtag band of panelists fell once again to the TJ13 Master of Ceremonies – revered leader Kim Jong Spann.

Returning to the Panel is Grumpy Smurf from Bella Italia – TJ13 Chief Historian and Editor Carlo Carluccio, who unwaveringly insists that these days everything is worse than it was in the olden days.

On the other end of the age-scale we have Monza pitlane mole and certified student slacker Adam, freshly back in Blighty after his trip to Monza.

Stomping in straight from the waterhole is TJ13 Chief Rantist, Fat Hippo, who unsurprisingly shares Carlo’s grumpiness about the ‘kids these days’ and reminisces about the virtues of Lawn Darts and their place in the natural selection.

The fourth panelist went AWOL (no, he wasn’t sat on by the Hippo) so we broke the glass and rolled out our all-purpose weapon from America-land – Matt from a place called New York or something…

Enjoy the show…

This week’s song is by Tamara Laurel and called “Sweet”. Like her on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TamaraLaurelMusic


To access the Podcast player Click Here (you can also download the file from here)

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Step 2: You will be prompted to click the “Quick Launch” icon.

Once you’ve done this it will add the podcast to your home screen where it will appear as an App.

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Step 4: Now go to the home screen of your Android phone and you should find your app installed there.

The Bar Exam: 18 September 2014

•September 18, 2014 • 1 Comment

Welcome to another week of TheJudge13 F1 Bar Exam.

Last week’s question(s): Can you name the driver, team, race and track where the photo was taken. Can you also name the car (type) and where the driver finished in the race?

The answer(s) I was looking for were: The picture shows Martin Brundle driving his Zakspeed 871 with its Zakspeed straight-4 turbocharged engine at the 1987 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Brundle qualified 17th but was non-classified after difficulties during the race with his brakes. He finished the race 11 laps behind winner Nigel Mansell driving his Williams-Honda.

brundle-zakspeed871- Silverstone 87“The expert knows more and more about less and less until he knows everything about nothing.”

~Mahatma Gandhi~

 

Chris Murphy, the designer of the Zakspeed 871, was most certainly not an expert. Predominately the designers of Formula One machinery are scholarly individuals, ensconced in a pristine, dust-free, air-conditioned office in front of their computer (or in the case of Adrian Newey, his drawing board), etching designs to be fabricated and then tested in the wind tunnel for their definitive aero-dynamic attributes.

Murphy had no degrees in engineering or aerodynamics. He had left school at the tender age of 16 and learned technical drawing on the job while designing shutter doors – not an obvious first step in introductory car design – though maybe some knowledge of aerodynamics was useful as the wind had to blow around them. However, he was keen on cars (how many young men say they are keen on windows?) and moved upwards and onwards taking a position as a mechanic at his local garage. This was closer to cars, but not very fast ones. He got a lot closer to fast cars in his next job which was race mechanic for the Formula 2 team Maurer Motorsport.

All the diverse skills he had acquired over the years came together in 1982 when he was offered a position as a draftsman at Maurer, working with designer Paul Brown. Brown and Murphy later left Maurer to carry out cutting edge research for a carbon-fibre manufacturer in Inverness, designing and making a variety of objects out of carbon fibre – the material that would soon become the mainstay of F1 monocoque construction.

Murphy’s first car creation was when Bob Fearnley invited him to design a CanAm car. This resulted in the RK-March 847 which was driven by Jim Crawford who achieved three race victories over the 1984 season and second place in the championship.

Paul Brown departed for Zakspeed to design their first F1 car, with Murphy joining him there shortly afterwards. When Brown left Zakspeed in 1986, Murphy was invited to design their 1987 car, the Zakspeed 871. Murphy later said, “I don’t think it was a particularly brilliant car. We were hamstrung by money in the initial design and committee decisions. We did our best with it and, I think we always got the best out of it. Fortunately we managed to get some points in one of the early races.”

The car made its debut at the San Marino Grand Prix where Martin Brundle was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time and benefited from multiple retirements in front of him. Despite having brake problems Brundle nursed the car to the finish and a 5th place which gave the exuberant team two prized points. There were considerable hopes for the car for the remainder of the season but unfortunately these were the sole points that Zakspeed would procure during their five year sojourn in Formula One.

At the British Grand Prix Brundle qualified 17th after enduring various issues with the car, the rear suspension failing on Friday morning which was then followed later that day by a major turbo failure. He again suffered with brake problems during the race and had to pit for repairs but was still running at the end, albeit eleven laps behind race winner Nigel Mansell.

2:07-2:48 – footage of Martin Brundle and the Zakspeed pitwall celebrating his 5th place at the 1987 San Marino Grand Prix

Well done to Johnny, Taflach, Neil, Ken, Mike, Cassius42, Tony, Roberto and Milestone11!

This week’s question(s): Can you name the driver, team, race and track where the photo was taken. Can you also name the car (type) and where the driver finished in the race?

20140918_Bar_Exam

Please provide your answers in the field below:

#F1 Daily News and Comment: Thursday 18th September 2014

•September 18, 2014 • 68 Comments

DN&C_header_EXPRESS_4

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 TheJudge 13:

#F1 Circuit Profile: 2014 – Singapore, Marina Bay Street Circuit – Round 14


OTD Lite: 2006 – Panis retires from Formula One

Toto Wolff believes in the ‘heart on sleeve’ emotions UPDATE (11:50 GMT)

Caterham allow Kobayashi to play so all can laugh at Ericsson

Mclaren funded survey states ‘bleeding obvious!’

Billionaire now looking to buy Marussia – report

Drivers welcome FIA radio clampdown

Engine penalties imminent

Kimi in Press Conference

The FIA sleeps whilst Ecclestone usurps their authority

The FIA Hokey Cokey


OTD Lite: 2006 – Panis retires from Formula One

On this day Oliver Panis announced his retirement from Formula One. He was 40 years old, had not driven an F1 car since the year before and had won a single remarkable Monaco race in 1996. He had broken his legs in the 1997 Canadian GP and returned to the Prost team before stints with BAR and Toyota.

 

_38880145_driver_panis_416In 2000 he spent some time as the Mclaren test driver where with general consensus from the partisan British media he was generally acknowledged as the best test driver in the world…. What complete and utter poppycock!!

A year spent equaling the times set by Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard proved nothing except he was as quick, yet Ferrari trounced the Woking cars comprehensively. In fact after their Constructors title in 1998, Mclaren fell backwards year on year despite the genius of Adrian Newey and his right hand man Peter Podromou.

Ferrari’s test driver at the time was Luca Badoer and he never received the praise his work deserved – yet Ferrari got stronger and stronger.

The Jackal

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Toto Wolff believes in the ‘heart on sleeve’ emotions

For some F1 devotees, Toto Wolff is becoming more irritable than amusing. The daily missives from Toto HQ just smack of someone who has discovered karaoke and following the loss of his public performance virginity, just won’t share the microphone with anyone else.

Prior to Spa this season we’ve seen Toto the rational, Toto the herald for the Mercedes brand, Toto the voice of reason informing us all is under control, Toto the peacemaker revealing conciliation talks have resulted in harmony within the Mercedes camp and Toto the mysterious – who informs the world Mercedes F1 have taken the unprecedented action of disciplining a driver for a racing incident with his team mate – but refusing to state the punishment.

Now we are to see, Toto the ‘honest joe’. Opening his heart he claims, “It is so intense and we are breaking new ground in letting the boys race in the way we do. So we are bound to make mistakes I think that’s the way it should be. You can be a politician or you can express your frustration”.

As TJ13 has commented before, Toto the newbie appears to be out of his depth running a championship leading F1 team and his inexperience is laid bare for all to see.

Clearly Toto the historian has not much more than the last couple of years of Autosport magazines as a point of chronicled reference for F1 as his latest claim, “we are breaking new ground in letting the boys race”, is delusional. That T-Shirt has been bought, worn many times before and with greater class and integrity than the Austrian brings to Mercedes AMG F1.

Toto the confused also now appears. To be a politician or not to be a politician – THAT is the question. “I don’t know which one is right or wrong,” confesses Toto, “ but as a matter of fact it doesn’t matter because if we lose the two championships with the cars we have, we have failed. We would be a laughing stock – and rightly so.

And if we win, people are going to remember we had difficult situations and we managed them probably in the right way.”

Comme ci comme ca, eh Toto. His latest wheeze is to associate Mercedes culture with the stereotypical Hamilton ‘heart on the sleeve’ byline. “We wear our heart on our sleeves, as they often say about Lewis. Emotion is an integral part of the success of the team”.

Really? Well that explains a lot. Traditionally clear thinking and a sound strategy for all eventualities is a value which is highly desirable for an F1 team. Going ‘emo’ is Nicole’s job when she feels the biological clock is ticking and in turn gives Lewis a good ‘ticking off’..

In conclusion, Toto decides to spew more incomprehensible ‘mouth speak before brain engaged’  into the public domain.

“If you look at Lewis’s career – it is just thinking out loud – drama and glory were always very near each other,” says Wolff. “I don’t know why that is. But when you describe this year – drama and glory; very much beside each other.”

Lob in some ignominy – calling your team mate and bosses liars in Monaco – and maybe this then becomes the most accurate assessment Toto has yet constructed in the world which features – Toto the great.

Latest News: TJ13 has learned that Lewis and Nico have been told to curb it on twitter and other forms of social media. They only now have ‘freedom’ – allegedly on the track.

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Caterham allow Kobayashi to play so all can laugh at Ericsson

The troubled Caterham team has been auctioning it’s race seat off to the highest bidder since the Belgian Grand Prix in the attempt to keep the team afloat until an investor can save the Green beast. The Leafield team has confirmed that fan favourite, Kamui Kobayashi, will be in fact pedaling the sister car to the Swedish embarrassment that is Marcus Ericsson.

The team has recognized that to compete at the Singapore Grand Prix, it needs an experienced driver rather than a novice. With the possible attrition that a street circuit traditionally suffers the hopes remain that they can emulate Marussia in Monaco and score some points

“I can not wait to have another battle in Singapore, it will be interesting to see what we can do with the innovations that we brought. On a street circuit anything can happen and we must be sure to do our best. said Kobayashi.

Witnesses of what remains of the Caterham staff spoke of tears flowing and how they all held their sides in painful laughter as they listened to Sweden’s own Taki Inoue – Marcus Ericsson – “Singapore is one of my favourite cities and I can not wait to run my first night race in Formula 1 . It’s a circuit I know well enough, and have always finished on the podium every time I raced there in GP2 ), so I have some great memories.

Ericsoon continued whilst quizzically looking at his engineers. “The track is undulating and reminds me a lot Monaco, although the layout of Singapore is more physical and requires twice as much energy to make a turn compared to Monte Carlo. The heat and humidity contribute to make it a tough weekend, but I trained hard.

At the time of writing, it hadn’t been confirmed that the F1 Medical centre had run out of ventilators which the Caterham crew had commandeered as they fought for breath.

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Mclaren funded survey states ‘bleeding obvious!’

In further news from the delusional, Mclaren have commissioned a study into why they had failed to secure a podium in 2013. The research was led by the expert Dr Paolo Aversa, lecturer in strategy at London City University’s Cass Business School and his team of very impressive sounding doctors.

They statistically examined all the strategic factors influencing F1 races between 1981 and 2010. The conclusion was that when regulations change significantly, it is better to focus on smaller improvements in existing technology than trying to reinvent the tech. Which of course would make sense except 2013 was run under a stable set of rules and 2014 was the main change of hybrid technology allied to chassis demands.

Perhaps of more significance that Mclaren’s legal director Tim Murnane presented this report and went on to suggest that Mclaren were aiming to win races this year – despite running Force India close to being the last of the Mercedes powered teams….

Where’s Eric the believable when you need need him? He can always inject humour into a humourless diatribe..

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(sourced from GMM with TJ13 comment)

Billionaire now looking to buy Marussia – report

Lawrence Stroll may now have moved his attention from Sauber to Marussia. In the paddock at Monza recently, it was strongly rumoured that the Canadian fashion industry billionaire and racing enthusiast was in detailed negotiations to buy financially embattled Sauber.

Rumours quickly followed, however, that the deal had collapsed at the final hurdle. “Lawrence Stroll received a negative response from Peter Sauber and Monisha Kaltenborn regarding his offer to take over the Swiss team,” said a report by Italiaracing.

But Stroll may now be switching his attention from one embattled Ferrari customer to the next, the Italian report added. He has close links to the Maranello marque, with his son Lance also a member of Ferrari’s driver ‘academy’. Ferrari’s other ‘power unit’ customer in F1 is Marussia; another team grappling with obvious financial problems, and already housing ‘academy’ driver Jules Bianchi.

TJ13 comment: It is still astonishing that Sauber would rather face financial collapse than sell his team to an enthusiast that has deep pockets and very strong connections with Ferrari. It would seem even the negotiating power of a Suffolk toad couldn’t make the Swiss Clark Kent give up his team.. Stubborness may well see Sauber go the way of Tyrrell, Brabham, Lotus ( the real one ), Ligier – all teams that used to grace the grid – but now appear in a BJF article on TJ13.

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(sourced from GMM with TJ13 comment)

Drivers welcome FIA radio clampdown

Mercedes’ title-warring teammates are the first F1 drivers to welcome the FIA’s banning of “performance”-related radio communications. At a sponsor event in downtown Singapore, championship leader Rosberg said the clampdown was a major talking point ahead of its debut at the popular street race.

“All the fans were cheering so it looks like the right way to go,” the German told Britain’s Sky. “In my opinion it’s definitely a good thing, because it’s just more pure racing. Until now we did so much based on what they (engineers) told us to do on the radio. Now it’s up to us,” said Rosberg.

He tipped the strict new radio rules to make the challenge as drivers “totally different because we are just on our own and need to figure out our own way. I think it could make it a lot more interesting,” added Rosberg. “It’s going from 100 per cent communication to about 20pc, so it’s a massive change.”

Rosberg, with a 22-point advantage over teammate Lewis Hamilton, said he practiced driving the W05 without radio communications in Mercedes’ simulator this week, and had to “remember a lot more” details about the functionality of the car. “But everything is good,” he said. “It’s the right way.

Hamilton also welcomed the change, but he expressed some concerns about the steep learning curve for the drivers. “I quite like the idea,” he said. “In some ways it makes it harder, like engine strategy — how are we to know what strategy to use?”

Hamilton also said the clampdown could affect the intense title battle between himself and Rosberg. “It’s going to be really important that we’re on the same strategy always,” he said. “There’s been a couple of times when Nico has been on a different strategy to me that gives either more or less power and those things disadvantage you,” he explained. “So as long as you don’t have any problems there, the rest of it we’ll manage.”

In fact, Hamilton said that because the clampdown means F1 will now resemble the “old school days” of racing, he hopes to gain an advantage over his rivals. “I hope it’s a plus for me,” he said. “I remember way back in karts, we didn’t have any data, so nobody could ever see where I was quick, anything I did, any trick I had. So maybe it’s a bit of a step back in that direction. I quite like that we’re left to do it ourselves,” Hamilton added.

Elsewhere in Singapore, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo played down the clampdown with a joke, laughing that without engineers in their ears, F1 drivers will “all take a wrong turn and end up in the wall“. But Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport said the Australian should not be laughing too hard.

Most teams are using the big, sophisticated McLaren-supplied digital steering wheel display in 2014, providing plenty of data for the drivers. But some, like Red Bull, Williams and Lotus, are using older equipment. “That would be really hard,” Rosberg is quoted as saying. “But we still need to learn every procedure by heart, where before the engineer would be telling you which switch to put in what position.”

And, anyway, the FIA clampdown extends not only to the radio, but also instructions to drivers on the pit board or on the steering wheel display — whether coded or not. “There is not time anyway,” Rosberg said, “to pull up any instructions on the screen while you’re driving and read it.” He believes thinking drivers like himself could get an advantage, as he always tried to understand the reasons for the engineers’ instructions rather than “someone who just made the changes automatically”.

TJ13 comment: This subject has divided the courtroom. As we await the final verdict of the gavel wielding Judge, the minions argue amongst themselves and ponder on why this rule has been introduced in the run up to the title conclusion.

 

Interestingly, there may be a loophole in Charlie’s dictat re: third party messages. “Lewis, your dad says he can’t afford another engine”.

Hamilton may believe it will bring back his karting days, but many would welcome a complete ban on the radios full stop. Others like the interaction that allows us to listen to drivers in their least corporate protected bubble and yet you only have to listen to Button. He engages with his engineers to raise penalties against other drivers so as has been proven by others – these drivers are fairly aware of the use of radio anyway.

Of course it is FOM which selects the transmissions for broadcast to the viewers. One team sent and received over 300 messages in Monza, whilst FOM broadcast just 75 in total to the world feed during the entire race.

The likelehood is that under ‘mission make the drivers heroes’, we will hear less and less of what is truly representative and thus loose the emotional interaction we have had with the driver racing the car. Prior to pit/car radio broadcasts being transmitted, the viewer felt the emotion of the driver as they could see them manhandling angry beasts of awesome power around the track.

With the modern Sony Play station style F1 racing, the driver appears to not be under any physical duress. Appreciating their mental strain was an important factor in us understanding F1 was still tough in some manner. 

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Engine penalties imminent

ICE – Internal Combustion Engine
TC – Turbo Charger
MGU-K – Motor Generator Energy-Kinetic
MGU-H – Motor Generator Energy-Heat
ES – Energy Store
CE – Control Electronics

# Driver Team ICE TC MGU-K MGU-H ES CE
01 S. Vettel Red Bull 5 4 4 4 3 4
02 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 4 4 4 3 3 4
03 L. Hamilton Mercedes 4 4 4 4 3 3
04 N. Rosberg Mercedes 4 4 4 4 3 3
05 F. Alonso Ferrari 5 4 3 4 4 5
06 K. Raikkonen Ferrari 5 4 3 5 4 5
07 R. Grosjean Lotus 4 5 4 4 3 3
08 P. Maldonado Lotus 5 5 5 5 4 4
09 J. Button McLaren 4 4 4 4 3 3
10 K. Magnussen McLaren 4 4 4 4 4 4
11 N. Hulkenberg Force India 4 4 4 4 3 3
12 S. Perez Force India 4 4 4 4 3 3
13 A. Sutil Sauber 5 5 4 5 4 4
14 E. Gutierrez Sauber 4 4 4 4 3 5
15 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 4 4 5 4 3 3
16 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 6 4 5 4 3 3
17 F. Massa Williams 4 4 4 4 2 3
18 V. Bottas Williams 4 4 4 4 4 4
19 J. Bianchi Marussia 5 5 4 5 3 5
20 M. Chilton Marussia 5 5 4 5 3 4
21 K. Kobayashi Caterham 4 4 4 4 3 4
22 M. Ericsson Caterham 4 4 3 3 3 4

10 drivers are facing 10 place grid drops imminently.

Each driver is allowed to use 5 of each of the power unit components, however the sixth will trigger the penalty

For the title contenders matters are evenly balanced, though, both Lewis and Nico have at least one more spare component in all areas of the PU before hitting the precipice that is 5.

If this were a modified game of craps, then Crashtor would be looking good.

Vettel is facing a further handicap in his race with Aussie upstart Ricciardo as he has no more Internal Combustion Engines in hand.

Ferrari once again are not covering themselves in glory. Having opted for a more reliable engine over speed, Kimi and Fred have the same number of 5’s between them as the Lotus team.

All of the Mercedes teams have components in hand for each car, once again demonstrating the dominance of the efforts from Brixworth.

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Kimi in Press Conference

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Kimi managed to raise one eye lid long enough to answer a question on the radio ban.

“Obviously we don’t speak a lot in the radio in my case,” said the Ferrari number two driver, “usually when there is no issues. But obviously it might get quite complicated if there’s some problems with the car and they have to change certain things to try to finish the race so I don’t know how the rule goes on those times.

It makes it more complicated for us but it’s part of the game so it’s OK.”

Kimi clearly talks a lot more in his sleep than when awake.

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The FIA sleeps whilst Ecclestone usurps their authority

The FIA sleeps whilst Ecclestone usurps their authority

There will be a meeting today between the FIA and the teams to iron out any potential misunderstanding over the new team radio protocols.

F1 fans may be forgiven for believing that the regulatory side of the sport is the responsibility of the FIA, but apparently the “Sleeping Beauty-esque” reign of Jean Todt as President of the Federation, has seen this role passed to another.

The clamp down on article 20.1 and the subsequent banning of the majority of radio transmissions made between the car and the pits during the race was in fact driven though by A.N. Other. “I was the one who started it off, yes,” said Ecclestone while attending the PR event to celebrate a new sponsorship deal between Johnnie Walker and F1.

“I think none of the drivers want it (radio communications). They are all happy that it has gone,” asserts Mr. E. “They drive the cars, they should know what is wrong or right. They don’t need someone on the pit wall telling them what to do.”

TJ13 commented on the day John Noble of Autosport flew a kite for the idea of banning pit to car radio, that such a broad interpretation of article 20.1 would certainly lead to other carte blanche regulation changes via the back door.

This now appears to the case, as Ecclestone is now advocating a ban on live telemetry from the cars to the pits. “We have a regulation in force that drivers must drive the car unaided. They have been aided – and still are.

Even if we get rid of this ship to shore, as I call it, there are still a lot of aids that they should not have.”

Really Bernie?

The top Cock of the headless chicken coup has spoken – so watch out – Mr. Spock will now “make it so”.

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The FIA Hokey Cokey

“You put a radio ban on – a radio ban off – on – off – on – off – then shake it all about…”

Well not quite, yet the impression the FIA is giving to the fans of Formula 1 hardly breeds confidence and neither does it portray an image of even vague competence.

Having set out specifically what will and will not be allowed under the new and fantastical spin on article 20.1,

Certain restrictions were set to be deferred to Japan, in relation to tyres and brakes, however the following list was confirmed by the FIA to, “apply at all times the car is out of its garage during the Event.”

Messages not permitted from eirther radio or pit board

Sector time detail of a competitor and where a competitor is faster or slower.

Adjustment of power unit settings.

Adjustment of power unit setting to de-rate the systems.

Adjustment of gearbox settings.

Learning of gears of the gearbox (will only be enforced from the Japanese GP onwards).

Balancing the SOC ['State of charge', ie ERS battery charge level - AC] or adjusting for performance.

Information on fuel flow settings (except if requested to do so by race control).

Information on level of fuel saving needed.

Information on tyre pressures or temperatures (will only be enforced from the Japanese GP onwards).

Information on differential settings.

Start maps related to clutch position, for race start and pit stops.

Information on clutch maps or settings, eg bite point.

Burn-outs prior to race starts.

Information on brake balance or BBW settings.

Warning on brake wear or temperatures (will only be enforced from the Japanese GP onwards).

Selection of driver default settings (other than in the case of a clearly identified problem with the
car).

Answering a direct question from a driver, eg “Am I using the right torque map?”

Any message that appears to be coded.

 

Whilst the drivers deflected questions at a rather muted FIA press conference on the topic of the radio ban, the teams had demanded a meeting with the FIA, which lasted for nearly 4 hours. On leaving, one team principal commented, “there were more questions than answers”.

At times the debate became ‘most heated’ as angry team bosses bombarded Charlie Whiting with example after example of why the new ruling was either dangerous or unenforceable.

The result was that Whiting skulked away, tail between his legs with a promise to review the matter and deliver a final verdict by 10:00am Friday, Singapore time.

It was pointed out to Whiting that the change in interpretation at this time left certain teams highly disadvantaged, depending on what steering wheel they had opted to develop along with the car. Further, veiled threats were made that should this prejudicial position be maintained this would lead to the FIA becoming embroiled in legal wranglings.

So once again, Formula 1 is in a state of flux. Make a rule – renege on it,discuss it, review it… then God knows what. And all because Charlie Whiting is fighting to save his job and curry favour with Mr. E.

The most likely outcome will be that systems advice will be allowable, but driver coaching will be banned.

Lunatics running the asylum would do an infinitely better job.

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