Daily News and F1 Comment: Monday 27th May 2013
Pirelli told to modify tyres regardless of team agreement
Bernie Ecclestone has told AMuS that “I did it like in the old days. I told the teams that they should be united and Pirelli will modify its tyres as planned.”
The lack of Concorde agreement appears to once again playing into the hands of anarchy. This will be a clear breach of the sporting regulations, but who can do anything about it.
Pirelli must be feeling invincible at present because despite the drama over the development tyre test with Mercedes and the current impass between the teams over the modification of the 2013 tyres, they are now close to being appointed official F1 tyre supplier for 2014 and beyond.
Pirelli president Marco Tronchetti Provera met with Bernie Ecclestone this weekend according to Spain’s AS publication. “We are now close to agreeing the conditions [to sign],” said Provera. “so we’ll see. The fact is that Bernie is happy with us and also our company is still interested in the F1 project, so I hope we can get to an agreement soon and all will be well.”
Provera believes Pirelli have been fundamental to improving F1. “We were asked to add more ‘show’ to the races, and I think the races are better now than before our arrival, so I think in that sense we have succeeded.”
Lotus record biggest losses in F1 history
The Telegraph is reporting that Lotus F1’s accounts for 2012 show a loss of close to £57m. “No other F1 team filing publicly available accounts has ever lost as much money,” said Christian Sylt.
Much of this is attributed to Lotus Cars ceasing to sponsor the team even though it continues to bear their name. Revenues fell by around 20% to just over £90m for the year.
Much of the loss was covered by a loan from Proton to the team of around £35m which is secured on the Enstone facility. Genii also advanced a loan understood to be about £42m. Lotus now has debts of approaching £80m
The next biggest publically recorded F1 team loss was from Marrusia with a 2011 loss of £46.3m.
Times are clearly tough in F1 for a number of the teams and Ecclestone’s commented this weekend to Sporting Life, “The amount of money I’ve said the teams receive is enough to run a successful business.
It’s impossible for the teams to go out of this sport because of finance because the amount of money we pay them is more than enough for them to run their teams properly.
We can’t stop them spending money. It’s impossible. The money is there and they spend it, and they don’t bother to find out where it’s going. There’s nothing much we can do about it.
I’ve been in the sport an awful long time, and I ran a team for 18 years, so I know a little bit about it. Many of these people are the same and nothing has changed”.
Sanguine sensibility one may think and Bernie’s comments have an air of plausibility until you consider 2 matters.
Firstly, the last team receives in prize money less than 1/10th of the amount of Ferrari, who were paid the most in 2012 even though they failed to win the constructor’s championship. This disparity is ridiculous and not replicated in any other global sport. Yet CVC boss, Donald McKenzie, told the paddock club press, “But that’s how it is. It’s a championship where you get paid more if you do well”.
The second reason Ecclestone’s comments are nonsensical is because as a former team boss he should know the teams are already committing to 2014 spend now, without the certainty of what income they will receive. Planning for continuity and budgeting given those constraints is almost impossible.
In Ecclestone’s days budgets for midfield teams were less than £5m and the teams had maybe as few as 30 employees. No sensible comparison can be made of F1 finance from then and to now.
As to James Allison’s departure…?
Perez growing in stature
Kimi told reporters, “It was a really disappointing day. Because of one stupid move from Sergio we’ve lost a lot of points to Sebastian [Vettel] in the Championship and you can’t afford to lose ground like that.
He hit me from behind and that’s about all there is to it. If he thinks it’s my fault that he came into the corner too fast then he obviously has no idea what he’s talking about. It’s not the first time he’s hit someone in the race; he seems to expect people to be always looking at what he might do, then move over or go straight on if he comes into the corner too quick and isn’t going to make it without running into someone.”
The Iceman forgot to manage his precious ‘cool’ image for a moment, because when speaking to German TV channel RTL he suggested of Perez, “Maybe it’s better to hit him in the face and maybe he’ll understand.”
Perez saw things differently “I’d had a great race – I’d been overtaking cars through the afternoon – but in my opinion Kimi didn’t leave me enough room when I tried to pass him as we exited the tunnel, and as a result I got squeezed into the wall on the entry to the Harbour Chicane.
That was a real shame – I’d overtaken both Jenson and Fernando there, and Jenson had overtaken me there too, but I couldn’t have avoided the crash with Kimi. Of course, any passing manoeuvre at Monaco is risky, but, at the end of the day, you have to leave each other a little room.”
Even Jenson who’d reported his fellow McLaren driver for cutting the chicane early in the race had begrudging praise for Sergio. Speaking in the press pen after the race he said, “There have been some good moves out there by a lot of people. Checo did a really good job with overtaking apart from the last one.
He made a good move he overtook me, so fair play to him. At the start of the race he went over the chicane, and it doesn’t matter who it is – if they go straight on you’re going to radio it in. It was the same with Fernando and Checo. Checo made a good move on Fernando, Fernando went straight and he had to let him pass.”
Perez stature is growing within the McLaren team since Martin Whitmarsh told him before Bahrain to ‘get his elbows out’. Whitmarsh was pleased with his driver’s performance in Monaco and felt Raikkonen was nit picking.
“I don’t think we should have too much to complain about there, that is what happens in Monaco occasionally. I am happy with his spirit and his challenge,” Whitmarsh said to SKY TV.
He continued, “You can over push sometimes but I think he did some great overtakes. I have got to be pleased that he is there, he is committed and racing”.
Over the Raikkonen incident, Whitmarsh suggests Raikkonen may be partially to blame. “You can argue it different ways: Checo will feel he wasn’t given the space and he was crowded by Kimi, which I can understand.
Kimi will say that he can defend his line and Checo was coming perhaps a bit too aggressively.
It was certainly a charging attempt, but in motor racing you have to take a little bit of risk sometimes. If it comes off you are a hero and if it doesn’t you are disappointed.
After that, Checo obviously damaged his front wing, which was difficult enough, but he also had debris in the brake ducts, so therefore they overheated and he lost his brakes.”
So a tale of 2 young F1 drivers runs in parallel. One is told to ‘wake up’ by his boss, the other is warmly defended by his mentor – who when doing so practically glowed with pride.
Massa crashes not his fault
Felipe Massa tweeted a thumbs up from his apartment adding the words, “all good!!!!”.
It appears Ferrari are suggesting Massa’s first crash on Saturday was due to hitting a bump, but Pat Fry said last night to SKY, “It seems that (Sunday’s) incident can be attributed to a problem on the left front corner of the car.”
Dominicalli commented last night he thought Massa would be fit to drive in Canada.