Alguesuari to get nod from Force India, Renault: Renault blame RB over fuel, Nicole up’s the pressure on Lewis, India voted 2nd worst race of the year

FIA to stamp out bad language: La Stampa reports the FIA are looking at sanctions for this behaviour. This follows the podium misdemeanours on Sunday and the revelations that teams use bad language in radio transmissions to prevent FOM TV transmitting them – thus keeping them secret.

The paper doesn’t tell us what is proposed, but its likely to be fines rather than grid penalties or points deductions.

Bahrain strips opposition of nationality: The Bahraini authorities today stripped 31 opposition figures of their Bahraini nationality in a move described by Amnesty International as “frightening and chilling”.

A Ministry of Interior statement indicated that the group, including politicians, activists and religious figures, had their nationality revoked because they had caused “damage to state security”.

The ruling means that those members of the group who only held Bahraini nationality are now stateless.

“The authorities have provided the vaguest of reasons for the deprivation of nationality, which appears to have been taken on the basis of the victims’ political views,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“Most worryingly, the authorities are making some in the group stateless. This, as well as any arbitrary deprivation of nationality, is prohibited under international law.

“We urgently call on the Bahraini authorities to rescind this frightening and chilling decision.”

The Ministry of Interior statement referred to Bahrain’s Citizenship Law, which “permits the revocation of nationality” by order of the King if a citizen “causes damage to state security”.

Among the 31 people sentenced are Jawad and Jalal Fairouz, who were previously arrested for allegedly participating in anti-government protests in 2011, and Ali Hassan Mshaima – the son of opposition activist and prisoner of conscience Hassan Mshaima. (Amnesty International)

Not good news for the F1 fraternity. Having spoken to a number of influential team figures since this years race, I believe they have been given what we call ‘a 3 line whip’ in British politics – sounds funny when typing. This means it is a non-negotiable from Bernie to question place of the race on the on the 2013 calender.

However, some of the main brand sponsors have privately expressed concern about a repeat of 2012 – where top of the news bulletins around the world were reports of a death, shooting and pictures of protests, riots and at times what appeared to be an over reaction and an aggressive state response.

This was followed by the cars covered with the sponsors logos and names associated with the story, something they feel is not good for them. It could be they insist teams run without their logo’s if there is a repeat of the scenes in 2013 and I know many F1 personnel who do not want to go until the problems have been resolved fully.

F1 and the USA: Texas Motor Speedway officials shot down the notion that the European-based circuit racing could impact tickets sales this weekend or in the future. “We’ve checked, and about 10 people we know are going to it,” said Bruton Smith, chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., which operates TMS. “We’re not really concerned. Formula One has never worked in this country”. (hispanicbusiness.com)

“They had a race in this country years ago at Phoenix, and there was an ostrich race that weekend [in 1991] that drew more people.” TMS president Eddie Gossage said that was a strange but “true” fact. He goes on to deride the fact that F1 has never been able to gain any traction in the USA

F1 2012 is very different proposition from when it was last at Indy (2000-7), a period when races were dull and Ferrari won everything. Also debacles like the 6 car race where politics was allowed to overshadow the show for the fans would not happen in 2012. I’m not sure who Bruton Smith and Eddie Gossage are, so US fans help me out – but it does appear F1 hasn’t a prayer of satisfying them with the kind of spectacle they want from their motorsport.

Smith said he feels NASCAR drivers have lost their mean streaks, which has taken away from the drama. He would like to see more drivers confront each other on pit road after questionable racing tactics. “Maybe some driver at the end of the race gets out of the car and hits somebody,” Smith said. “We used to have a lot of that. A.J. Foyt, going way back, was probably the start of all that. A.J. used to win the race, and then he’d get in the pit area and whip you again.

He continues, “We need some more. I call it drama, but a little fisticuffs or whatever. Let them express themselves,” and on the matter of helmets, “Have a little bit more free-handed stuff that creates a lot of drama…. The helmet throwing. We need more helmet throwing.”

Eddie then turns his attention to the US Camping World Truck Series”, When I see a truck, I always think it ought to be hauling something,” Smith said. “Maybe we put a 200-pound hog in the back. That would be exciting for fans and crew members.”

And we think Mr. Ecclestone is incredible at times.      😎

Raikkenon criticsed over alcohol: Kimi has received some criticism for posing for Lotus’ post-victory photograph in Abu Dhabi with a bottle of beer in his hand. At Formula 1’s Arab races including Bahrain, drivers spray non-alcoholic drinks on the podium, for cultural reasons. “To publicly celebrate in a Muslim country with an alcoholic beverage is not very appropriate,” said the Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo. Below is the video of Kimi celebrating with the team and a beer.

 

So F1 has really upset the Abu Dhabi people. Public swearing with a possible prison penalty and boozing in public. Bernie will be most cross.

Alguesuari to Force India: Around the time of the Italian GP, Jaime was über confident he would be getting a seat in F1 soon. He told James Allen of the BBC – with whom he has commentated for their radio 5 live programme all year – that he would not be available for the Singapore, Japan and Korean GP’s for radio work as he was going into intensive training. This raised the spectacle of him possibly driving before the end of the year.

At the time Massa’s contract was not signed and he was struggling so speculation was rife he could finish the season out of the Ferrari. Anyway that matter resolved itself with strong performances from Massa over the first of the Autumn flyaway races.

We noted then that Alguesuari had just started following Force India (pic) and they are still the only F1 twitter account Jaime has on his list right now. https://twitter.com/AlguersuariJA/following. Further, Jaime was making quite a bit of noise on twitter last week about how valuable the thousands of miles of testing he has done for Pirelli this year. He was clearly offering his little black book of secrets to a team suggesting they would have a head start when evaluating the 2013 tyres.

Whether this is as good a tip as the one over Red Bull’s fuel problem I had on Saturday – I don’t know – but I believe the choice is made by Force India and Sutil, Buemi and Senna are left in the cold. Anyway an announcement is due this afternoon.

Why teams wait until as close to the end of the season to announce driver changes: If you notice, the driver announcements made so far include, Lewis to Mercedes, Perez to replace him at McLaren, Hulkenberg to replace Perez at Suber. Yet Force India, who I believe to be announcing Alguesauri today, traditionally like the other mid-table and small teams tend to wait to the end of the season before making announcements of this nature. Teams do this because they don’t want drivers who are demotivated if they know they’ve lost their seat for the following year.

This year we have a number of close battles for the constructor’s final positions. Lotus 30 points behind McLAren, Sauber just 12 points behind Mercedes, Williams 22 points behind Force India and of course Marrusia ahead of Caterham on the silly highest finish rule for non-points scores. Even for Marrusia and Caterham the difference between 11th and 12th is around $20m in prize money.

Force India can make their announcement earlier than usual as Di Resta is staying and they have a vacant seat on offer. Interestingly, I believe Lotus were about to confirm Grosjean this week and unfortunately for him Kimi won the race and closed the gap on McLaren by 13 points to a tantalising difference of 30 points. Had Lewis not DNF’d and won this would be nearly 40 points, an improbable gap to catch.

Alonso will play dirty: David Coulthard, the former McLaren and Red Bull driver, warned Vettel to be wary of the wily Alonso. “Fernando is a teak-tough competitor and I have a feeling these last two races could get a bit dirty,” he wrote in the Telegraph. “Fernando wants to go to war, wants this to become a battle of wits as much as machines. He is trying to unsettle Seb, while at the same time exuding confidence and serenity”.

Okay, please help me on this one thejudge13 readers. What exactly could Fernando do? I’m not sure.

Illegal Red Bull car? Never!: Auto.it, an Italian publication and not biased at all is claiming the Red Bull car is breaking the flexibility rules. They have published some video evidence to prove this. (I have extracted it from their site to make it easier for you to see – site link is www.auto.it) First video (LINK) shows the tip of the nose cone bending significantly when they change it following Vettel’s collision with the DRS board on Sunday. Second Video (LINK) is trying to demonstrate excessive wing flexibility movement.

French GP: Former French Formula 1 driver Patrick Tambay told RMC Sport that commentators “must be wary” of the wily 82 year old’s comments about a race at Magny Cours. He said Ecclestone could merely be using Magny Cours’ name to put pressure on Paul Ricard amid the negotiations. Magny Cours chief Serge Saulnier declined to comment. But a source close to the circuit, which last hosted the French Grand Prix in 2008, said Magny Cours’ bid to host Formula 1 again is still alive.

Why HRT should not be allowed to race: An interesting argument from Ben Sweeny’s blog  (LINK). I know I’m getting old though when I read this, because I remember the days in F1 when the pole sitter could be 1.2s ahead of the car No.2 on the grid – and that was his team mate. In the 70’s hardly ever half the cars finished the race and the slower cars might be 10-15 seconds a lap slower. Still times have changed, and even though HRT are stressing parts beyond their normal life because of budget issues, F1 is very safe these days – too safe some might say.

McLaren win Carbon Award again: McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “As an environmentally conscious group of companies we are extremely proud to have retained the Carbon Trust Standard, in turn becoming the first Formula 1 team ever to do so. “The process has enabled us to identify new areas to increase carbon efficiency, bringing significant energy savings to all of our operations.

“It is especially satisfying to obtain re-certification during a period of considerable growth across the Group, particularly within McLaren Automotive. This demonstrates our commitment to pioneering future technologies, developing new methodologies and relentlessly innovating to improve carbon efficiency.

“While this achievement is an important marker for us, it is crucial that we recognise that the Carbon Trust Standard is an ongoing process. Reducing our carbon emissions and improving our energy efficiency represents a constantly moving target – and one that our whole company is committed to pursuing.”

Now let’s build a race car that doesn’t break down lads!

Lewis an ambassador?: This is from an article the Huffington post (link). Here are some extracts, “Normally the winter months are focused on one thing – racing. The schedule is punishing and my life is absorbed by ongoing training and preparation. But this month, I decided to take a couple of days out to go deep into the heart of India to find out what life was like for children and their families who are struggling to survive day in, day out because they don’t have enough to eat”.

“As a sportsman in the public eye, I know I have a role to play in helping to tell the stories of the world’s most vulnerable children and I jumped at the chance to be able to do that again after a visit to Manila with UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation, earlier this year. Straight after the Grand Prix I was on a tiny plane to a small town called Shivpuri in the state of Madhya Pradesh; only a 50-minute flight away from India’s capital, Delhi, life could not have been more different.”

“I was to learn that for some children that the devastating effect of hunger can take a hold before they are even born. If their mother doesn’t have enough to eat whilst she is pregnant and is malnourished herself, it can leave her new-born baby dangerously small and fighting for its life”.

Lewis concludes, “Like everyone I have seen the criticism about a country like India receiving foreign aid when they can afford to host a Grand Prix. But my visit to the new born care unit has left me in no doubt that partnerships between organisations like UNICEF and the government, really are saving children’s lives, day in, day out.

Whatever we think of Lewis agent’s XIX, they took a petulant David Beckham from the disgrace of being sent off for England during the summer world cup and created a more statesman-esque figure. Plastic, cardboard, manufactured – whatever you may call it….it is a hell of a lot better than what existed before. It looks like Lewis is on the same journey. UNICEF appears to be a good choice of charity as it is accepted globally as a force for good unlike some others where the politics can sometime outshine the work they do.

Renault blame a robot for Vettel’s underfueling: Apparently a piece of equipment called the ‘robot’ used in the fueling process was at fault. Renault’s head of trackside operations Remi Taffin said that he was awaiting a final report from Red Bull, but the likelihood is the fuelling equipment under-delivered on what it claimed had been put in the car.

This is part 2 of a blame game. Horner et al made it look like Renault were culpable at the weekend, particularly in light that it was a Renault who issued the command to stop the car – when we now know it could have returned to parc ferme and would not have been tested for fuel

thejudge13 noted in the Abu Dhabi post race review that Red Bull and Renault have a unique fueling process not used by any other team. Renault calculate what is required and the team simply put the stated amount of fuel into the car. Problem is Red Bull make the ‘robot’ that performs the action. So everything is much clearer now as to why the car was stopped and not allowed on its merry way.

With Renault convinced at the time there was enough petrol in the tank – because they had correctly calculated what was required and instructed Red Bull accordingly – Taffin said they suspected a fuel system failure – which is why it ordered Red Bull to stop the car because it did not want to risk damaging the engine. “We were sure at that point that we had the required level [of fuel], so we did not understand why we had this drop in collector level,” he said. (Reuters)

So in tennis terms 15:15 and the ball is back in the court of Red Bull for the point to decide who is at fault – more to come I’m sure. Wonder if fuel robot looks like this (PIC)

New circuits, bad races: One of the most comprehensive polls operated on ‘rate the race’ that has been going for a number of years is on F1Fanatic. The polls have just closed for India, and they and Korea are well bottom of this years league of exciting races. Here is the table for 2012 so far – each voter marks the each race 1 to 10. The marks are the average to 3 decimal places.

2012 European Grand Prix 8.784
2012 Chinese Grand Prix 8.648
2012 Malaysian Grand Prix 8.542
2012 Spanish Grand Prix 8.274
2012 Canadian Grand Prix 8.197
2012 Australian Grand Prix 7.662
2012 Italian Grand Prix 7.640
2012 Belgian Grand Prix 7.467
2012 German Grand Prix 7.055
2012 British Grand Prix 7.048
2012 Bahrain Grand Prix 6.904
2012 Japanese Grand Prix 6.381
2012 Singapore Grand Prix 5.998
2012 Hungarian Grand Prix 5.975
2012 Monaco Grand Prix 5.436
2012 Indian Grand Prix 5.194
2012 Korean Grand Prix 5.157

On this day in F1 – 7th November 1993: Ayrton Senna ended his six-year association with McLaren with victory at the Australian Grand Prix, his fifth of the season and as it turned out the last of his career. For Alain Prost, who had already secured his fourth championship, it was his final grands prix. “It was difficult,” he said, “thinking it’s the last time you will put your helmet on, put on your gloves, get into the car and think about the start.”

Senna at least showed signs of trying rapprochement with his estranged former team-mate on the podium but Prost warned: “I don’t think now is the right moment to talk about peace. I think it’s important to make peace when you are driving, but the last time I tried to do that, one month later he crashed into my car at 170mph deliberately. I am not a hypocrite. For me, it’s too late now.”

Nicole turning up the pressure: thejudge13 reported on Monday that Nicole was speaking publically about Lewis and marriage – suggesting she won’t wait forever – hates long distance relationships and he needs to get his skates on. To be honest I thought it was one of those throw away stories and concluded some think cynically that a mega rich racing driver needed to be careful. Being chased by a trash TV much less rich pole dancing pop star may be good for the ego, but long term less good for the pocket. They’ve only been back together less than a year.

Today the story continues. Nicole aged 34 rather adoring is now terribly understanding about Lewis’ job for the next 10-12 years. She offers to have her eggs frozen so in 5 years she can have children. We also reported here that Nicole was recently pictured getting up close and personal in a private club to rapper Chris Brown — who beat up then-girlfriend Rihanna three years ago. But Nicole won’t apologise for her friendship with the controversial star. She said defiantly: “I’ve known Chris since he started in the business. He’s like a little brother. He’s one of the most talented people in the industry.” (theSun)

My mother used to say, if you want to know what a possible wife will be like in 25 years, check her mother out. Well Nicole is more than 25% older than Lewis, not quite enough to be his mother, but all this plastered across the UK tabloids looks highly manipulative to me. Beware Mr. H.

(This page will be updated today as more news develops – check back later)

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13 responses to “Alguesuari to get nod from Force India, Renault: Renault blame RB over fuel, Nicole up’s the pressure on Lewis, India voted 2nd worst race of the year

  1. Q. “Okay, please help me on this one thejudge13 readers. What exactly could Fernando do? I’m not sure.”

    A1. Singapore 2008 – Remember Alonso and Piquet?

    A2. Singapore 2011 – Smedley to Massa “Hold Hamilton as much as we can. Destroy his race as much as we can. Come on, boy!”

    If Vettel comes out of the pits or is behind Massa at any time in the race, Vettel will have to be even more careful than Lewis Hamilton has had to when passing Massa.

    🙂

    • lol. All depends on qualifying. If the current form is continued, Massa will be no where near Vettel and Ferrari will be on row 3/4 of the grid – but a Massa/Vettel incident would be….I’m speechless 😀

      • Vettel was lucky in Abu Dhabi that he didnt have to pass Massa on the track or that might just have happened.

  2. Alonso was under pressure and very much frustrated in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. He tried to get Weber and Grosjean penalised during qualifying. Didn’t work. Had Vettel collided with Massa instead of Weber on Sunday, Vettel would have got a penalty.

    I can remember one race weekend several years ago, probably it was on a Friday or Saturday free practice and there was a red flag and all the cars were returning to the pits. Schumi was behind Alonso and then Alonso suddenly braked on purpose and that made Schumi overtake or overshoot him. Ultimately Schumi was penalised for overtaking under red flags. This is a good example of the dirty side of Alonso.

    • So all you conspiracists – nice not to be me for a change. We’re looking at an Prost/Senna or Schumacher/Hill or Schumacher/Villeneuve scenario but with Massa the bad boy. I’m rubbing my hands in glee.

      • Yeah, good one … one tangle and then Alonso can get all his points wiped out. But me a consipiracist? … Never …! I know you don’t like Red Bull that much but sorry about that.

        • It was the excitement I was rubbing my hands at. I think Alonso has had a pretty hard time from me recently.

          So not fair re: Red Bull observation really, I have friends who work there and have been lucky enough to be in the energy station a couple of times this year.

          Newey is a genius and F1 is car plus driver and Vettel is clearly one of the best 3 drivers in f1 at the moment – and I think he will win this year and deserves it.

    • All this Alonso stuff reminds me of Fisi slashing Schumi’s tyre in Brazil 06 after Alonso beforehand saying he was concerned about Ferrari dirty tricks.

      Ferrari did hire Fisi for a few races in place of Massa so maybe it wasn’t intentional but makes a good story.

      • Ha! The NASCAR guy I mentioned who wants to spice up motor sport would I guess be in favour of Ben Hur style blades protruding from the wheel hubs to slash the competitors cars I guess

      • If ever I wondered what the ramblings of a redneck sounded like I guess listening to him would be it.

        Should get him to do the podium interviews and if Vettel pours champagne on him like Coulthard I imagine he will take a swing at him.

        • Very funny madmax. He seems to have a ‘hog’ obsession, so there maybe wild, stocky short horned beasts wandering around the podium too. Guess he’d find it funny if the drivers had to wrestle their way out.

  3. Hi judge,

    Don’t you think that Lotus, Force India or even Sauber will be benefited by signing Heikki Kovalainen? He will easily transform a decent package (car+team) into strong points. I don’t understand why he’s not in midfield team’s radar. Any insight?

    Cheers,

    • Good call Diago-P. Sauber need carlos Slim’s $30-40m and will bring in the next mexican protoge – young Estaban.

      Lotus I believe will stay commited to Grosjean as he is clearly very quick and a young driver.

      I think Force India is a good shout – for both parties, but unfortunately Heikki appears to have a damaged goods perception from what I hear – mostly due to a somewhat unsuccessful time at McLaren

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