Just days left for HRT, Post race bits, TV ratings, In depth analysis called for by Luca, Bernie’s days numbered, Vettel and the yellow light

Following a slightly different type of race review – I did feel I little etherial when writing it – here’s a few bits and pieces of post race stuff to tidy up.

Post race bits and pieces

Alonso: I allude in the ‘epitaph’ in the race review my disappointment with both title contenders for their points scoring efforts after the race. Alonso,  “With a car that is slower than the others we can win a championship, with a car that is the same as the others we can win the championship with some races to go and with a car that is a lot slower than the others we fought until the last race”. If’s, buts and maybe’s don’t cut the mustard and it is not worthy of you Fernando to give us this spiel.

I just listened to that interview again and Alonso actually says, “With a kart that is…”, not quite the Prost reference to a ‘truck’ but not far away.

Vettel: “People tried everything, inside the lines and outside the lines, to beat us,” Vettel insists but refused to be drawn further, “Sorry but I think I’ve mentioned everything I have to mention,” he said. He does continue though, “I think it’s clear but it’s not for us to rate … we have to focus on what we have, what is in our hands and getting excited about what others are doing, what’s the point?” added Vettel.

Vettel does gloat somewhat given the on and off track struggles in 2012, admitting victory in the end was particularly sweet. “It is always important that you are happy with what you see in the mirror,” said Vettel. “There is no point in being a fake or trying to cheat.

I suppose the engine mapping, adjustable suspension holes, rumours of Ferrari departures and gear box changes all weigh heavily with Sebastian. He is World Champion and quite rightly somewhat emotional as he enters the exclusive club of Fangio and Schumacher and is the youngest of the 3 to achieve the 3 consecutive titles feat. Yet I found his insinuations about ‘dirty tricks’ completely unnecessary but it does show the pressure he has been under.

When issues like that are still on your mind after making history – it means they are ingrained deep.

Vettel and the yellow flag drama: For those of you not watching on SKY I’m not sure how much of this drama you heard post race. An eagle-eyed technician spotted that Vettel had overtaken Kobayashi whilst passing a yellow light. Speculation was rife he could be given a 20s penalty and demoted to eighth giving Alonso the title.

I’ve studied the footage and this is what I know. Vettel caught Kamui at a point on the track where there was a red and yellow light – signifying oil on the track (or a slippery surface – no way?). A few metres behind it was a yellow flashing light signifying no overtaking and Vettel remained behind the japanese driver for another corner. There is then a full green light above the armco barrier to his right.

Yet by the time the German driver was alongside Kobayashi we see another yellow light and he completes the pass after that light. Several more of these lights are visible as you follow Vettel’s on board for the rest of the lap. To compound the issue, Kamui pits immediately and so Vettel cannot give back the position if he has made an illegal move.

Pat Fry discusses the matter, but only refers to the red and yellow light, I don’t think he sees what followed. The lights following the green light were indeed those used to warn drivers of yellow flagged areas of the track, but I noticed they were solid and not flashing.

I do not know what a solid yellow light means. Slow flashing is yellow flags, quick flashing is double waved yellows – but I’m not sure what solid, unblinking lights represent. Any ideas?

Alonso said Jenson had told him about the possibility Vettel had passed illegally, but commented to Italian TV “There was some kind of hope when he told me there is some yellow flag problem but then I think it was not true,” he admitted.

And that is all we know.

Lewis: I’ve been critical of Hamitlon at times, it doesn’t mean I don’t know how fantastic a driver he is. I also know there are those senior in McLaren who lost patience with the pantomime that was Lewis’ life. Yet the standing ovation he got from the race crew – both sides of the garage – was very telling of how those who spend most of their time with Hamilton feel about him. Maybe it would be good to see him back in the future, a little more mature and with the imbibed understanding of how fortunate he has been.

Lewis was pretty gracious, “I wish the team all the best for next year and the future” and yet you can’t help feeling the Hulk taking him out kinda summed Lewis’ season up. If you haven’t seen the replays, it was the downshift from 3rd to 2nd by the Force India driver that caused him to lose the back end. For me the sight of the Caterham prompted him to do this a touch earlier than optimum and he presto – we know the result. I think the penalty was harsh.

Jenson: was of course delighted to win claiming it to be the “craziest race I’ve ever been in”. Just as Webber did last year, it will be a good springboard for him mentally going into 2013. I believe Jenson’s repeated comments about wishing Lewis was not leaving over the past couple of weeks may be the outflow of him realising the pressure is now all on his shoulders to get the results. Whatever Checko brings, will be a bonus.

Strangely having 1 senior driver may make McLaren’s job easier next year as clearly Jenson and Lewis drive the cars completely differently as do Vettel and Webber, Massa and Alonso. I suspect the car will have 1 primary direction of development.

According to Jenson, he had a very big moment the lap before Di Resta hit the wall and it couold easily have been him crashing out and the race would then have been immediately put under a safety car – giving Alonso the title.

McLaren: The McLaren animation series ‘Tooned’ finished in true British Dr. Who style. After a problem in the ‘Emulator’ at Woking, Jenson’s avitar emerges in tact but Lewis has been lost in the digitisation process – out comes a silhouette figure – “Ola bro..” – to be continued. (Link)

A 1/2 or 1/3 would have given them second place in the constructors title – about $15m Nico please?

Ferrari: Unusually no media interviews given in English by Stefano (that I could find), I can’t believe he’s up for the chop but with Ferrari you never know.

Today though we get a bit of a missive from Ferrari.com. “Certainly not winning the title is the cause for great sorrow and great regret, because we always want to win and we came close,” said the President. “ I am proud of the work done by the team in having produced the most reliable car, for never having got the strategy wrong and for making no mistakes at the pit stops. Right to the end, the team did its duty.

Even if we are the team that scored the most points in the last five races, even if I was pleased to see our two drivers on the podium yesterday, we lacked a car quick enough to get us to the front of the grid and that was the main problem we had all season.”

“As to the reasons why we did not always have a quick car, Montezemolo was very clear: “What happened this year stems what happened the previous year. On this topic, I will be asking for an in-depth analysis and an improvement in the organization and work methods, because next year, we want to have a winning car right from the first race, which has not been the case these last two years.” It’s been longer than that Luca.

Hulkenberg: As i said in my race review, I don’t attribute fault to Nico, for me it was just one of those things. he didn’t brake particularly late and it was the shift of gears a fraction early that caught him out.

The Hulk became the 13th different driver to lead a lap this year, the same number that did so in 2009. The record is 15, set in 1954, 1956, 1957 and 1960 – all seasons which included the Indianapolis 500 – as well as 1975 and 2008.

Caterham: Timo Glock was flying and Maussia believe he would have cruised in ahead of Caterham – JEV hit him and Petrov took advantage. That’s a $15-20m mistake. As I alluded to in the review, it appears that Ecclestone only wants 10 teams in F1 – less money to hand out. There is agreement for a 13th team, though no one has yet decided to take the plunge and start one from scratch since 2010. This is the main reason HRT are doomed – lack of interest in back of the field F1 teams in tough economic times.

Boullier is not amused: (Link)

Kimi again, “I know what I was doing”: Kimi Raikkonen says he knew where he was going when he took to an escape road at Interlagos – the only problem was the gate was closed. Contending with the ever-changing conditions, Raikkonen ran off the track on lap 52 and attempted to return via an escape road.

The Lotus driver headed down, following the road only to find the gate was closed. A quick U-turn sent him back the other way and onto the track where he raced to 10th place at the Brazilian GP. “I went off at the last corner on lap fifty-two as I couldn’t see well with my visor being dirty and fogged up,” said Raikkonen.

“Where I went off you can get back on the track by going through the support race pit lane, but you have to go through a gate. “I know this as I did the same thing in 2001 and the gate was open that year. Somebody closed it this time. “Next year I’ll make sure it’s open again.” Why not just stay on the track next time Kimi?

Raikkonen’s P10 meant he was the only driver this season to finish every grand prix, 19 of which he scored in to secure third in the Drivers’ Championship. I thought Kimi was on presentation avoidance duties, but unlucky Kimi its a dickie bow and dinner suit for you and off to the awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi.

Di Resta: Finishes on 46 points and the Hulk on 60, some 25% more. Paul has been soundly beaten by his new team mate this year, and for me has lost his mojo since being rookie of the year in 2011. Every driver can have a bad year, Lewis lost out to Jenson in 2011, so we’ll know next year how good Di Resta really is when we see who he is racing and how he fares using the same equipment. I fear he’s an also ran.

HRT have until Sunday coming: El confidential tells us all hope is gone of the Spanish team continuing. The article reveals the very folly of why HRT has failed and is in effect worthless. Apparently the lauded aspirations of the project were to inspire and produce Spanish engineers and drivers by being based in Spain. If the Carabante’s had consulted anyone with the vaguest knowledge of F1, they would have kept their historic family money firmly under the bed.

Why is there no F1 team based in Germany? Is it because there are no decent German F1 engineers? Is it becasue Germany doesn’t care about developing F1 drivers? Of course not. In certain highly specialised ventures, birds of a feather flock together – silicon valley in the early days. This is particularly true when the most highly prized resource other than $$$ is people.

TV ratings: Nothing like a home world champion to drive in the punters. A massive 13.7 million viewers watched yesterdays race on Germany’s RTL channel. I believe th BBC had 7m (not confirmed yet).

Bernie’s days may be numbered: if reports by Germany’s Suddeutsche newspaper and the SID news agency are to be believed. This is the paper that I have been following closely for information on the Munich prosecutors decision whether to indict Ecclestone as an accomplice in the bribery case of BayernLB’s ex-risk director Gribowsky.

“Formula one could soon have a new ruler,” said the SID wire report. The Suddeutsche Zeitung said there are “detailed preparations” being made to potentially replace the 82 year old Briton, if Munich prosecutors decide to charge him with corruption over the Gerhard Gribkowsky bribery scandal.

The report said Delta Topco, the Formula One Group’s majority CVC Capital Partners owned holding company, is considering stepping Ecclestone down and replacing him with an interim Chief Executive if “as expected” he is charged in the coming weeks.

Apparently a majority of the CVC board are in agreement over replacing Ecclestone.

Goodbye Michael: Not a lot to say really, all the gushing tributes have been made. Schumacher finished his last race in the same place as his first grid position for Jordan in 1991 – 7th.

In his first full season driving for Benetton in 1992, Michael came 3rd in the WDC, winning just one race in Belgium where he’d made his debut 1 year earlier.

Like the other 84% of thejudge13 readers in the poll – I wish he wasn’t going. Look how close he is in the following tribute short video to the walls in Monaco this year when taking pole in qualifying. He still has it.

On this day in F1, Nov 26th

Desire Wilson was born in Johannesburg and she remains the only woman to have won an F1 race of any kind when she was victorious at Brands Hatch in the short-lived British Aurora F1 series in 1980. The daughter of a South African motorbike champion, she drove once in the Formula One World Championship, failing to qualify at the 1980 British Grand Prix.

On what she recalled was “most disappointing weekend of my life” she was given a dreadful car to drive, describing the whole event as a “a con”. A year later she drove a Tyrell in the South African Grand Prix climbing through the field from last off the grid to ninth before she spun off. Although this was deemed a championship race at the time, a few weeks later it was downgraded because of the political situation in the country.

Desire Wilson – Kyalami

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

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38 responses to “Just days left for HRT, Post race bits, TV ratings, In depth analysis called for by Luca, Bernie’s days numbered, Vettel and the yellow light

  1. i thought Lewis lost patience with McLaren, when he was loved he was ruthless, efficient & dominant. Then along came Jenson, charmer. Soon Lewis was expected to follow Jenson’s example. ‘Get stuffed!’ he finally tweeted McLaren at Spa. Mercedes knew Lewis was theirs following that tactical tweet

      • Has it been two or three years now that McLaren haven’t performed to Lewis’s standard (all the ridiculous inability to change tyres, put enough fuel in the car, show up at the pit stop etc.), so I can fully understand the guy wanting to race for someone with half decent management.
        And Ross Brawn is a lot more than half decent, whereas Whitmarsh seems pretty incapable without help from the big boys..

      • Is Ron Dennis the problem with all the top drivers who have walked away from McLaren over the years? Or just Lewis?

  2. Haug & Brawn know the score, they wont make the same mistake. Mercedes wont impose an ultra conservative system that runs the risk of isolating the final piece in the jigsaw. They’ll find the right balance

    • Agreed, but I thought Brawn looked uncomfortable when questioned on this at the team FIA press conference on Friday.

      He did come up with a form of words saying they had no intention of stifling Lewis, but free as a bird to do as he pleases Lewis won’t be.

  3. Haug knows Lewis very well, this won’t be acrimonoius. What is Lewis actually hired for? Yes he’ll be the face of Mercedes & he’ll be conditioned. The right balance will be found, easily

  4. But Lewis should be left to live his life. British press has made his life a living hell by portraying him in negative & scandalous light. All this free as a bird stuff is blown out of proportion, it suggests Lewis is an embarrassment

  5. Regarding the “yellow flag incident”:
    Signalling is covered in Section 2.4 of Appendix H to the FIA Sporting code (to be found at http://www.fia.com/sport/Regulations/f1regs.html).

    Subsection “lights operation” states, that any of the yellow/red/green/blue flags can be represented by a FLASHING light.

    Apparently a constant yellow light represented the yello-red/slippery track flag per Supplementary Regulations of the event, which subsection allows for.

    Now if Vettel really was aware of this distinction is a different matter but the footage clearly shows that he after they passed the flashing yellow lights there was a flashing green light followed by non-flashing yellow lights.

    I really enjoyed reading your blog, keep up the good work.

    Cheers from Germany!

  6. Couple of things. Viewing figures – Germany is a much bigger country than us (about 20m bigger population) so if you add the BBC and Sky figures together you’ll probably get a similar viewership per capita.

    Di Resta – yeah I agree with you, he’s been a bit disappointing this year. I really wanted to see another promising British driver – maybe he can persuade his cousin to drive over here instead of in Indycar 🙂
    Saying that, I remember I wasn’t that impressed with JB in his early F1 career, but he’s “blossomed” (for want of a better word) in his later years. Let’s see what Di Resta does next year…

    • Everyone can have a bad year and he was rookie of the year 2011. So let’s see IF Mallya comes up with the $80m Force India could be a force (pardon the pun) to be reckoned with 😀

  7. Vettel keeps going on about joining the likes of Fangio etc. whereas I doubt anyone sees him doing that.. he’s a fairly ok driver in a very fast car that has been engineered by a genius.
    Red Bull is the winner here, Vettel is hardly even mentioned in any expert analysis of F1 these days.. no one really seems to care who is driving the Adrian Newey masterpieces.
    I’m a Kimi supporter, so no hard feelings towards Vettel in general, the ‘joining the Greats’ talk just seems hilarious.. like a toddler convinced he is something special 🙂

    • To be fair to Vettel (and I like to be fair, even though I didn’t want him to win his 3rd championship this year, and was gutted yesterday when he won), he doesn’t keep going on about joining the likes of Fangio etc – the media does.

  8. Couple of things:

    1. Schumacher – I think it was quite fitting that the 7 times WC finished 7th in his last ever race. RE leaving… A) He was given a time period by Merc, but it expired, so Merc chased after Hamilton. B) It feels as if this time, he was happy with HIS decision to retire.

    2. Di Resta – As mentioned, he was clearly best rookie last year, had a best place of 4th at Singapore, and frst half of this year, he was better than Hulkenberg – although arguably, Hulkenberg was just getting used to full time driving again, hint why he suddenly emerged as the better of the two this last half of the season.

    PDR scored 27 points 2011, 46 points 2012. Maybe part of the reason was just the sudden emergence of his teammate overshadonwing him so recently, although I remember there has been some bad luck (with KERS at SPA? for example) that also contributed to his drop in form. As mentioned, all drivers have an off season/half season – just see what happens next year.

    I think if Hulk didn’t have the first part of the year essentially relearning, it could’ve be him in either a ferrari or mclaren seat next year.

    3. Consistency – http://forum.planet-f1.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3321

    This is a table I started since the German GP to find out the most consistent driver(s) of the year. Essentially, the end result is that Vettel, Alonso and Raikkonen were all TIED at the top, meaning that vettel was the most consistent (just) on countback.

    [I didn’t bother explaining the scoring system, you can follow the link to find out that. Also intend to do this in future years]

    • Wow. That’s amazing, So after Brazil there was a 3 way tie between Kimi, Alonso and Vettel.

      And Di Resta finishes ahead of Hulkenberg – but as you observe, the Hulk was getting back into F1 for several weekends.

      Heikki Well ahaead of Petrov, so there’s nhope for him yet – because if Caterham start battling for points a consistant driver would be what they needed.

      Love it, KK and Senna ahead of team mates and my gut feelings on Ricciardo in the driver poll were right too.

      Excellent piece of analysis. I got chucked off that site for putting links to here. I used to get hundreds of visits a day though before the mods evicted me 🙂

  9. If Button had crashed a few laps before the end, Alonso moves to 1st place giving him 7 more points for 285. Vettel moves to 5th place giving him 2 more points for 283. Alonso wins the WDC.

    But in this circumstance, I think the team would have asked Webber to park it. If he does (most probably about 1 metre before the line to inidicate his displeasure) then he doesn’t cross the line and doesn’t get any points. This moves Vettel to 4th place, giving him an additional 2 points, for a total of 285. Tied with Alonso, but Vettel takes the WDC on number of wins.

    So the championship would have been in Webber’s hands, and we know that he is good mates with Alonso, but at the same time, he’s a member of a team and a driver of that team next year. However, it’s the same team that didn’t back him in 2010 for the Championship.

    And of course, the 65 million dollar question – what would Webber have done?

    • I think when the race finishes under the safety car, the order is taken from the last time the race leader crossed the line prior to the SC – which is why I suggest with the race finishing in effect under the safety car, RB would not have time to shuffle the deck.

      We have a new and excellent addition to thejudge13 commentators, Boozie, who appears knowledgable on the finer points of the racing regulations. He may know the answer.

      • I was wondering if (in that situation) RB would have been able to somehow tamper with Webber’s car in Parc Ferme to get it disqualified? Or instructed Mark to miss the post-race weigh-in for the same reason? Or do you think the FIA would object to such obvious ways to manipulate the result?

        • Unlike at the end of qualifying, there is no reason I can conceive where the team would be granated access to the car immediately – particularly with this being the last race of the year – If Jenson is not exagerting and he had a ‘very big moment’ the more I think of it, the more the resulting wipe out would have given Alonso the title.

      • Just had a quick look through the regs and the only place I can find that rule is when the race is stopped early – red flag.

        • Somewhere deep in my head I’m sure I’ve read or heard from the moment the safety car is deployed the standings from the previous lap are counted should the race not recommence.- but don’t quote me.

  10. i see something very interesting in the latest McLaren production of Tooned. If i follow well the story board, Jenson and Lewis both enters the m-ulator ( simulator ) and at some moment the ‘no mobile/smartphone light’ came on but lewis continues to tweets…. and this blocks the so called m-ulator and results in the new guy checo coming in and saying ‘ola’

    Hummm is that related to the tweeting incident of Spa ?

    What you guys think ?

  11. Does this means what i am thinking of ?
    The ‘do you want to continue’ question seems also interesting ….

    • The creative team behind Tooned have been given a pretty free reign to satirise almost anything that happens at McLaren. They did something on the “WTF” if you remember after twittergate in SPA.

  12. Well Judge, I believe I found out about this website via something you posted on Planet F1, so your short time on that website was not wasted.

    • Those mod#s avatars look real mean 🙁

      About 2 weeks after eviction a member of Planet F1 posted a link to my piece, “Korea, Ecclestone and the Emperor’s new clothes” and I had about 500 visits from there over the next 24 hours.

      Still I’m getting about 150-200 people find me each day at present from google searches alone – because I metatag my pages well (its a pain in the backside to do but it works)

      • Judge,

        are you also considering a content distribution like Cloudfare do? They link up to wordpress, through a plug-in, so all of that and the comments are accelerated also, and are really very good.

        Sadly I have problems I cannot use them because the nameserver has to be with them, and nobody is going to touch my MX records who I have not had longer experience with. I might be able to do a redirect from our dot com to dot net, though.

        Your site is fast, nice scheme, easy on the eyes, but there’s a edge to be had. For pocket money. And maybe real money.

        The Other Place, is stuck with a subdomain within wordpress. It’s such a mess doing proper redirects to move that, I think my friendly author is indeed stuck. In the new year, I shall be doing all this live for my business site, so if anything of interest, shout me. I am not full time any SEO, but follow their game with care. Purpose in asking is just informal, but you’d have my attention. I’m tired of lousy web “publishing” screwing the whole game.

        Link to the people mentioned: http://www.cloudflare.com/

        though there seem a few tricks you can manage with http://nginx.org/ also, just cannot yet decide on a colo, though my pal is well situated. I have silly fast for “consumer” broadband, getting 20Mb/s up, now, paid for no contention, will be more stable once new router in. So colo might not be necessary as I start my project.

        Cannot believe you were “evicted” from a place like Planet F1!

        • I haven’t read much in the way of comments on the other place – I assume you are referring to one that is based in France. I am aware of some of your comment contribution there but not from way back which explains matters to which you refer.

          I am about to follow the link you sent as I know nothing as yet about this.

          Thank you JTOJ


  13. Hey Judge!

    Think this place of yours is fulfilling the obsessive streak I have. You know my sworn loyalty is elsewhere, for entirely personal reasons anyone can find, if they look back. But you’re nailing it, man. For a junkie like me, this is the nearest thing to a Bloomberg screen, and the comments are definitely worth the look, also. Nice fresh angles.

    (anyone who has not sat on a trading floor, the Bloomberg terminal can shovel news stories at you so fast you think your eyes are going funny. It’s actually addictive. I have been so crazy as to set it so I get more than a few language feeds. Stories drive by so fast, you’ve no clue what is going on. Until you think you are that guy, in The Matrix, saying how he can see the people in the cascading green screen blips.)

    I rate your calls. This is your niche, and you found it. (In Mr Burns’ voice) Eeeecellent!

    I like to think of (you know who) as the Big Picture, but for sheer speed and quantity of real information, you got it.

    Just for a laugh, did you notice the not small publishing house guy on the Other Place? I think that was someone being worried, really, as much as friendly. Would kick some real butt to have your feed + Other Place syndicated together. Hmm, well, I don’t think that publishing house is so big, or influential, if anything about to loose their halo. But, well, I never rated them anyhow. They always got the rejects from where I started selling. . I think they’ve been hanging on for decades now, by patronage..

    Happy Holidays to all and everyone.

    all best,

    ~ joj

    p.s. I think it would be a nice and visually attractive thing to theme your site with a theme used for programming editors, a bit reminiscent of the B’berg term. Might give out a signal that is positive, as to your content and style. Just working on converting that, myself, for my company website, and will try to polish it with a long time wordpress dev I know. But would happily just send you the link, to what I mean. and it’s hardly difficult to do.

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