Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 20 August 2013
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The return of the Spanish Samurai Updated 17:10
Red Bull – No driver announcement at Spa – So what now?
On Sunday TJ13 reported that there will be a driver announcement at Spa. A TJ13 source confirmed this was to announce Ricciardo as Webber’s replacement however today Red Bull backtracked.
Speaking to SID news agency today Marko said, “We will express ourselves when the time comes, and that will definitely not be at Spa“. He went on to say, “What we will do will be the best for the team, in the medium term“.
The interesting bit is “in the medium term“. Let us not forget, Alonso instigated the meeting with Red Bull. He knew the effect it would have at Maranello but maybe he made a mistake. Last year he was rebuked by Montezemolo who would decide who should drive along side him.
Alonso got his way and Massa was retained for 2013. yet this year he has tried calling the shots again and the result appears to be quite different.
Alonso thought he had a good hand, a Flush. He decided to raise Montezemolo, put more chips on the table. Montezemolo called him, show me what you have… after all, he had a Royal Flush, he signed Kimi. What now for our Spanish warrior?
Going back to Lotus, yes, it could be an option but why? McLaren, there is history there, bad history, but they need a #1 driver. Then there is Red Bull. Alonso thought the door was closed, deal done, Kimi is off to Red Bull and Massa will stay.
When Steve Robertson announced talks with Red Bull had broken down Alonso was worried. Red Bull, having heard nothing of Alonso, and with Marko pushing, decided to go for Daniel Ricciardo… until a furious Alonso made contact again. Vettel chose to sign a 1 year extension with Red Bull and they must be worried.
Back to Marko’s comment, “What we will do will be the best for the team, in the medium term“. Yes, Alonso may struggle with the car initially in 2014, but that would give Vettel a chance to get an early season lead over him. What they know with Alonso is that he will score, similar to Mark Webber, if he starts in 10th due to a ‘bad’ qualifying, he will come through the field and score well. He will drag the car by the scruff of the neck and pull every last bit of performance out of it.
And if he does not struggle, if he does give Vettel a run for his money. Well then we have a great 2014 season ahead of us. Horner cannot control Vettel, we saw that in Sepang. It is highly unlikely he will be able to control Alonso either. Could this be the beginning of the end for the Milton Keynes team boss?
Strangely Horner’s saving grace could be that Marko is determined to prove the Red Bull young driver programme can produce F1 drivers. The fact that Marko is talking of a delay… and the medium term… could equally be a sign he is pushing Ricciardo – yet when Alonso comes knocking with serious intent – any F1 team has to listen.
The expectation amongst the workforce in Milton Keynes today is still that they will be trading one antipodean for another, So those who took a punt when Ricciardo was 12/1 to replace Webber – the day of his retirement announcement – are looking to be sat pretty.
Oh and to the mistake… the mistake is, never think you are bigger than Ferrari “many great drivers want to drive for Ferrari”.
The return of the Spanish Samurai
Our much loved Spanish Samurai has returned of holidays and is now talking of braveness and higher goals.
The Warrior that uses the sword when is insulted can not be considered brave, brave man does not flinch, because he has higher goals..
— Fernando Alonso (@alo_oficial) August 19, 2013
So what is Alonso saying? Is he admitting that he insulted LdM and the latter used the ‘sword’ (aka brought Kimi in). But Alonso gives us comfort, “[the] brave man does not flinch, because he has higher goals“.
Please share those goals brave warrior, we are intrigued.
Today, Leo Turrini, an Italian blogger, who is considered the unofficial voice of Ferrari, (and good friend of Domenicali and Di Montezemolo and a big Kimi fan) had lunch with Stefano Domenicali, which they often do. Below is an extract from their lunch today as told by Turrini.
‘The Dom, Kimi and the safety of a great second hand‘
Turrini: “I like a great second hand, you like a great second hand, he likes a great second hand, where’s the problem?”
Domenicali: “There is no problem.” smiling while saying this
Turrini: “Except for the fact that I can stop this blog, after having experienced the greatest satisfaction of my life (the return of Kimi).”
Domenicali: “You don’t stop anything! This is not the beginning of the end, but the end of certain principles and new beginning.”
Turrini: “Right, how do you think Fernando will react to this news?”
Domenicali: “I have no idea…” (doing his best Kimi impersonation from the Renault commercial)
So dear members of the TJ13 jury, your thoughts on this?
Pirelli confirms 2014 tyre size will remain the same
AMuS reports that Pirelli has now confirmed the 2014 tyre size will not change as they had hoped it would. Hembery is quoted saying, “The data of one engine manufacturer is alarming“.
Last Thursday TJ13 reported that the Mercedes unit could produce up to 100hp more than their rivals, Renault and Ferrari will. As mentioned yesterday, by keeping the tyres the same the FIA is effectively limiting the power advantage Mercedes will have.
Hembery however said “… as the cars of next year will make very different demands of the tyres, we have proposed that the regulations be amended so that the teams may use different compounds front and rear, should it be necessary,” so there may be some room for Mercedes to exploit their power.
Maybe Hembery was wrong about one thing for next year. Earlier in the year when TJ13 joined in a teleconference with Pirelli and TJ asked Hembery about the tyres for next year he implied they will be bullet proof. Well it now appears it may not be that bullet proof…