Mallya on cash hunt, Storms now set for Interlagos decider, Austin 2013 now a double clash, Cash machines answer to Korea GP losses, Coca-Cola & Lotus for 2013

Editor’s note: Many sites run driver polls after each race and we have done a couple. I’m not sure if it’s what thejudge13 readers want though. Let me know your thoughts. I am going to run 3 driver of the year polls – I’m thinking of splitting it into 1 poll for the bottom 4, 1 for the middle 4 and 1 for the top 4 teams.

Further, the end of season is swiftly upon us, and it may be there are not articles every day from thejudge13 after next week. So to save you from visiting the site unnecessarily – why not sign up for email notification (right hand side bar – top) and you will get an email when a new article is uploaded. I have no access to the email addresses submitted as in the software there is a ‘widget’ handles this.

Just in 17:18 GMT: Red Bull maybe using some fancy rear wing end plates, that have a ruffle sticking out of the back plate. Could be a defensive aero part to create dirty air behind the car making overtaking more difficult for the car behind.

This wouldn’t be an aero compromise because the cars normally in Interlagos run a lot of wing due to the altitude and thin air. Usually at sea level this would create more drag and affect the performance of the RB car too.

Sauber to name 2nd driver in Brazil: Monisha Kaltenborn has said today, “We have always said it will be ‘in the season. So it will be before Brazil, in Brazil or a few hours after the race.” But definately in Brazil, Common then who do you think? Surely it has to be Estaban but I have to say Kamui looked very relaxed in Austin. I’ll go with the ….. er ….. Tachos muncher!

Coca-Cola:have just announced they will be sponsoring Lotus in 2013. It will be their energy drink ‘burn’ that will be carried on the teams livery. Coca Cola says of its new partner; “the creativity of teams and the passion for speed and energy that fuel the sport of Formula 1, make a partnership with this iconic sporting property a compelling proposition for the burn brand.

The Lotus team is the number one emerging challenger in the sport and has demonstrated exceptional creativity in their approach to Formula 1. We indeed to foster that creativity by incorporating art and music in a way that will break the conventions of traditional F1 sponsorship”.

The love in continues, “We are proud that The Coca-Cola Company [via burn] has chosen Lotus F1 Team as the best vehicle to represent the burn brand in its most high profile partnership,” said Eric Boullier, Team Principal, Lotus F1 Team. “We are excited to partner with burn to build a new and innovative model for sponsorships that will combine experiences, content creation and social media.”

The only other connection with motorsport Coca Cola have is the NASCAR race in Charlotte, which at 600m in length is the longest on the calendar. Hopefully the 493 team members can now be paid.

Ironic that in recent memory the only burning F1 cars I can think of have been branded Lotus.

The of course there was Heikki in 2010

Mallya to find some cash: Regular readers will know we have been tracking the Vijay Mallya/Kingfisher airlines story for some weeks. Today Mallya says, “We’ve scored more points than in any previous season and every year we’ve demonstrated that we’ve gone up the ladder”.

“We’ve taken fairly significant steps, not just baby steps. Given the tools that we have, which are mostly of the Jordan era, we have done exceptionally well”. The Silverstone based team is set to receive a boost in the region of £50m.

“We had a board meeting in India after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the board has approved a £50 million capital investment programme for the team. We are going to invest heavily in new technology and give more tools to our design team to try and move further up the grid”.

The Diageo deal will not be done for quite soe time and much of it will raise cash for the business by increasing the shares in issue by 10%. Mallya was downgraded by Forbes to an $800 millionaire last month so $81m would represent 6.25% of his entire wealth, most of which is not in liquid assets.

Sahara own 42.5% of the F1 team, but we are unsure as to whether they have complied with Indian authorities and return $4bn +15% interest to small investors as instructed. The team was acquired for $90m from Spyker, so this is indeed a big capital injection to propose.

Brazil 2003: This race will be remembered for the enormous crash Alonso had following Webber’s mistake which resulting in him hitting the wall on the pit straight at around 150 mph.

The race was stopped and the podium was a strange affair because there were only 2 drivers present. Alonso who was 3rd was being attended to in the medical centre and Kimi Raikkonen was awarded the winner’s spoils.

The decision was later reversed as the stewards decided it was in fact Fisichella who had won the race and Kimi was actually second.

FIA pull out all the stops: Well here we have it, the schedule for the final FIA press conferences of the year. i’m seriously looking forward to these match ups.

DATE TIME GUEST
Thursday, November 22 1100 hrs Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
Michael Schumacher (Mercedes)
Bruno Senna (Williams)
Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
Friday, November 23 1600 hrs Eric Boullier (Lotus)
Ross Brawn (Mercedes)
Stefano Domenicali (Ferrari)
Christian Horner (Red Bull)
Monisha Kaltenborn (Sauber)
Martin Whitmarsh (McLaren)

McLaren most wins: Since they began racing in 1966, with their win in Austin, McLaren are the most successful team in F1. 181 victories (Ferrari in same period 180) in 721 races.

Tyres and stops: Pirelli have chosen the medium and hard tyres this year for Interlagos – last year it was the medium and soft. This continues Pirelli’s conservative approach to tyres since Korea.

The loss of time for a pit stop is around 15s as the pit lane is very short. Last year the race was won with a 3 stop strategy but with harder tyres it looks more like a 2 stopper for this year.

7 out of the last 10 races have seen a safety car deployed, though with new car park run off areas this may be mitigated slightly before weather considerations.

2013 tyres: The teams will get their first look at the tyres for 2013 and be able to run them in FP1 and FP2. Pirelli say they will affect the aero performance of the car and that teams will have to take this into account when finalising their designs over the winter.

“With no testing until February otherwise, this will be an extremely valuable opportunity for them to see what our new tyres are like as they finalise their 2013 cars – so let’s hope that it doesn’t rain on Friday,” Pirelli’s Paul Hembery said.

“Both the compounds and construction will be different, which means that the characteristics of the new tyres will be altered, with a wider working range and some compounds that are slightly more aggressive.”

This has to be a huge distraction for Ferrari and Red Bull who will want to spend as much time getting the set up right on their cars for the final race of 2012. Yet to ignore this chance to try out the 2013 tyres could be costly in the early part of 2013.

I like Paul Hembery of Pirelli and in a recent interview he sagely observed “In a world dominated by competition nobody wins because of the tires, but if someone loses, then the tires are to blame.”

Weather: The forecast for the weekend is for a fairly violent weather system to pass through. Since yesterday the predicted front forming over Argentina has begun, but is moving more slowly than originally thought. This means qualifying may just about avoid rain completely.

Previously, the storm conditions were predicted for Saturday but the fun now begins on Saturday evening, with showers crossing the region overnight and into Sunday morning. Race day will start off overcast with some light showers around, but throughout the day these will intensify, with the worst of any rainfall now set for Sunday afternoon.

Rainfall totals on Sunday range from one to two inches and the race is looking set to be wet, with some particularly heavy bursts at times. Air temperature will drop considerably to a maximum of 25 degrees Celsius.

So, the worst of the rain is now predicted between midday and midnight local time on Sunday. Ferrari fans will of course continue rain dancing all over the world in the hope that Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel don’t get an easy ride on a dry circuit.

Altitude: The biggest challenge of the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace is the altitude. “Due to the lower oxygen content in the air of the RS27 when compared to a race at sea level loses about eight percent of its maximum power. So in Brazil we use engines that previously have done two races to and have already covered quite a lot of kilometres. Because it is not the absolute top performance is at the forefront, “says Remi Taffin, Renault F1.

The altitude of the Interlagos race track also brings benefits. “The fuel consumption is much lower than for races that take place at sea level. Moreover, air resistance is lower, because the air is simply thinner. Therefore the teams set up their cars with comparatively steep wings for the race. The output generated corresponds to an aerodynamic setup with medium downforce, “said the Renault engineer.

The thinner air may well make cooling generally difficult – it partly depends on the ambient temperature. So there is a scenario where incremental heat needs to be absorbed by engines, gearboxes and alternators. Red Bull have run well here in the past 2 years finishing each race with a 1-2. Last year Vettel had gearbox problems allowing Webber to take his first win of the season.

Caterham v Marrusia: Of course rain would not only spice up the spectacle for the drivers’ title race, but the race for 10th  could be thrown wide open. Marussia currently hold this spot courtesy of the highest place finish rule. Were there to be a war of attrition with several retirements due to difficult driving conditions it is easily conceivable that either of these teams could secure a 12th place or even better.

And on that note, it is not beyond imagination that even HRT could benefit from a freak result where many other cars are eliminated and they pull off a miracle – which for them could be the saving of the team.

Interlagos circuit changes: I reported a few weeks ago the new ‘car park’ which has been planted outside the Senna curves to make it easier sorry safer for the drivers through turns 1 and 2. There is also a new high kerb towards the end of the lap to discourage the drivers from using a line that cuts across the pit lane entry.

A new tier has been added to the main straight grandstands to provide better corporate hospitality. Look how narrow the track is compared to Austin (pic)

Novo escape do S do Sena (Foto: Marcos Guerra/Globoesporte.com)

Turn 1: Where there used to be grass there is now asphelt.

Ecclestone: In an interview with Bilde, Bernie is asked whether it is time for him to move over and let someone else take the F1 reigns.  “I think that at the moment I still have everything under control. Formula 1 is my baby. I look like still got it, but sooner or later I need a babysitter”, Ecclestone notes.

The translation babysitter is accurate by the way – so where is Bernie going?

Known to be close to Vettel, Bernie suggests he is now one of the great drivers “but it lacks a little charisma. These guys like Hunt, Rindt, Lauda, ​​Senna were characters. Drivers today don’t develop like thy did because they are ‘molly coddled’ by the team bosses too much and get muzzled by the Fia. They may even soon show no emotions”.

On Schumacher Ecclestone remarks, ” “He has been even better for F1 on his return than the during his first career. He is Formula 1. We will miss him. “.

Strong sentiments indeed Mr. E.

HRT goodbye? In what sounds very much like a farewell speech, Pedro de la Rosa reflects, “Brazil is the last GP of the season, a long season, interesting and in which, in at HRT we have tried to build an F1 team from virtually zero. We have done it from Spain, with modesty, humility and few resources, but above all very enthusiasm and professionalism.”

“I want to thank all my team that dedication and love for the work they have shown. Without them this project would not have been possible.We’re Going to stay focused until the end to finish the season with a good result, a decent result It’s the least we can do for our fans, ” Pedro concludes.

I thank you all – and goodbye!

More just in: The Spanish newspapers are reporting nobody is left in the Madrid factory. De la Rosa said the lack of information made the situation even worse for HRT employees.

“It’s not easy for anybody, especially for the mechanics and engineers who from now on have to fight for their future because we don’t know what will happen,” de la Rosa told reporters in Brazil.

“None of us know what will happen, but we have to assume that the team will continue and that we still have to do the best possible job and forget about all this. It’s easy to say but difficult to do, but people are being very professional.

“All I know is that we are here and everyone that is here has not received anything. We are here and we are working until the end. What happens afterwards is unknown, but unknown to everyone. It’s not that I know more, or that someone knows about it. I don’t think anyone knows at the moment.”

Sao Paulo Chief of Police quits: The head of the Sao Paulo state police quit Wednesday amid a surge of deadly violence in South America’s largest city. Antonio Ferreira Pinto is leaving the role and will be replaced by former state Attorney General Fernando Grella Vieira.

“This wave of violence is a major problem and we will have to work hard to reverse this situation,” Vieira told the G1 news website. Officials said 10 people were killed and 13 wounded in violence between late Tuesday and early Wednesday in Sao Paulo city.

Killings in the city began sharply increasing in September, a month in which 144 people were killed, according to the state Public Safety Department’s website. On Wednesday, officials said 150 homicides occurred in October, a 92 percent jump from a year earlier.

Nearly 1,000 murders have been commited in Sao Paulo in 2012, 94 of them police officers – many off duty.

Why Kovaleinan gets passed by for a top drive: Its interesting at this stage of the season (19/20th’s complete) to look at how drivers have performed across a variety of benchmarks. A few weeks ago there were calls for Heikki to get a seat in a decent car, and I have to say I was probably one of those voices.

Yet when you look at his performacne relative to his team mate – who to be honest not many people rate, it makes interesting reading.

Average Qualifying position: HK – 18.42     VP – 19

Average finishing position (this excludes DNF’s): HK – 16.61     VP – 16.56

Best and worst finishing place: HK – 13/23     VP – 13/19

Classified finishes: HK – 18/19     VP – 16/19

Heikki has out qualified Vitaly 13 times to 6

Heikki’s average qualifying time ahead of his team mate: 0.224s

Vitaly has finished ahead of Heikki 9 times to 7

Mmm. If we think the qualifying difference between the Caterham team mates is in fact quite a lot then consider this

Alonso who has not had a great year qualifying averaging just p 6.05 has an average qualifying time better than Massa of 0.360s.

Jenson is further away from Lewis than vitaly is from Heikki on average 0.286 slower in qualifying.

So either Petrov is better than we give him credit for being – or Heikki is really not that good.

Austin dates for 2013: Not only is the provisional date for the second F1 event in Austin again set to clash with the NASCAR final showdown, but now it is set for on a collision course with American football clash between the Longhorns and Oklahoma State on Sat Nov. 16 at Royal-Memorial Stadium. That conference showdown should draw more than 100,000 fans.

“It would not be a good thing for Austin,” said Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds, who previously had said that such a scheduling clash would be “a disaster.”

Korea’s losses continue: South Korean GP promoters report today they made a loss this year of only $36m. This is an improvement on the previous 2 years where losses were 2010: $67m and 2011:$56m. However, the promoters agreed a revised fee with Ecclestone so it could be most of the reduction is down to a smaller hosting fee.

“Just because of the loss has been reduced, we can not well speak of a success,” said Seo Dong-Wook, council member of the South Jeolla province, “We need to take basic steps to change things”.

I have to smile at this ‘basic steps’ comment because I read a couple of articles in the Korean Times following the race where the prime observations for change included putting more cash machines at the circuit. Methinks they will need to do more than that.

Lotus cash problems: Early this week, it was claimed Kimi Raikkonen’s place at the Enstone based team might actually be in doubt for 2013. Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport said there is an issue in terms of promised bonus money in the Finn’s 2012 contract, given his unexpectedly large points tally.

“I don’t know where this stuff comes from,” the 2007 World Champion’s spokesman Riku Kuvajan was quoted by the Finnish broadcaster MTV3. I can’t say anything about it”. That usually means someone knows more than they are letting on.

On this day in F1, 22nd Nov

1887
Pietro Bordino, who was born on this day in Turin, won the 1922 Italian Grand Prix, the first at Monza, and was described as the “finest road race driver in the world” by Henry Seagrave. His results never really matched his promise and he died in 1928 during practice for a race at Alessandria after he hit a dog, causing his car to overturn and land in a river, drowning him.

Pietro’s car in Alessandria

1999
An appeals court upheld the acquittals of the Williams technical director Patrick Head and former team designer Adrian Newey in the 1994 death of Formula One star Ayrton Senna. The prosecution had alleged that a poorly modified steering column broke as the Brazilian driver entered a curve, causing him to lose control and crash.

Newey, Head, team owner Frank Williams, and three race officials were originally cleared in December 1997. But prosecutors had renewed their request for one-year suspended sentences for Newey and Head, arguing the pair was to blame for the steering column.

The original verdict absolved the defendants by ruling they did not commit the crime with which they were charged. This new ruling changed the semantics by saying no crime took place. The court found that a series of factors contributed to Senna’s accident, including the speed at which the car was traveling, the wear on the tires, and the unevenness of the track.

(This page will update throughout the day – as stories arise)

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9 responses to “Mallya on cash hunt, Storms now set for Interlagos decider, Austin 2013 now a double clash, Cash machines answer to Korea GP losses, Coca-Cola & Lotus for 2013

  1. Er…you switch between pounds and dollars without conversion when doing your Vijay calculations – but we get the picture.

    I think the Brazilian GP would be amazing to go to but every year I read about the crime and that settles the decision. Pity.

    Your description of Pietro Bordino’s accident reminded me of an accident involving Stefan Johansson and a deer in the 1987 Austrian practise session. Fortunately for Stefan, his McLaren, while quite badly damaged, managed to keep him from harm. Not so fortunate for the deer.

  2. I totally agree that you can only do a driver of the year poll instead… we have way too many driver of the day polls everywhere

    On the weather, i would prefer a light rain race as a moderate or heavy rain will make either bring the boring safety car in or make a red flag to the race. I would prefer the championship decider to be run in fair manner

    Sad for Heiki he is a good and quick race driver…

    • It is a shame – I’ve had a beer with him and he’s a really decent bloke – but I believe that teams do look at these kind of metrics and then interpret them.

      Din’t know what the hell Mallya is thinking of though apparently Jacques Villeneuve is on the potential list of FI drivers for 2013.

      I suspect it is a very long list if that is the case.

  3. Does the signing of Coca Cola ( Burn ) with Lotus means the 493 blokes will be finally paid ?
    I’ve never tried Burn with Vodka but i’m sure the Kimster will enjoy it 🙂

  4. I’d say Heikki is suffering the same problem his previous teammate Trulli suffered. Severe lack of motivation going around in circles with nothing to show for it.

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