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Nurburgring: My favourite subject, the 2013 F1 calendar. It’s a week for lifelines, first HRT and now Nurburgring. To cut a long story short, in February the operators of the circuit, NAG, were given an eviction notice for non-payment of rent. Today Motorsport are reporting this matter is now ‘settled’ – how or by whom we don’t know.
2 weeks ago a spokesman for NAG said, “Formula 1 is no more at the Nurburgring”, discussions with Ecclestone were cancelled and all the other 2013 events were at risk.
Today, “Now we have to make progress in the talks with the Bernie Ecclestone toward a contract”, said Thomas Schmidt of NAG. I presume the operating company had been declared insolvent or bankrupt and the original contract is therefore no longer in force. Anyway, good luck lads – Bernie’s feeling a little down and unwanted at the moment, you may catch him in a rare moment of weakness.
2013 French GP: May as well get all the 2013 calendar matters out of the way together. L’Equipe reports there will be no French GP next year. There had been moves afoot to revive the country’s defunct Grand Prix, at either Paul Ricard or Magny Cours.
But L’Equipe said the French sanctioning body FFSA had not, by Tuesday’s deadline, received a request to apply to be added to the FIA’s 2013 schedule. The deadline was in place ahead of the forthcoming World Motor Sport Council meeting in early December, which is the last chance to make changes to the provisional 2013 race calendar.
Allegedly – until the rules are changed to suit – sorry that’s the old sceptic in me pooping out again.
Italian & Spanish media: Not wishing to cast aspertions, but AutoSprint have just caught onto the Vettel yellow flag story – 20:00 tue 27th GMT. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. Will there be an uproar? The video I posted yesterday covered more than the Kamui example as apparently there were 3 yellow flag incidents involving Vettel. Racecar Engineering have already given their view that one of them was indeed a yellow flag pass (not the KK one).
If you missed it yesterday, below is the yellow flag footage. For me, the KK pass is fine as is the HRT pass, but there is absolutely no doubt that Vettel’s pass on the Torro Rosso is under a yellow flag and no action was taken.
We have the most advanced prototype racing series on the planet, where the cars are spitting out 1,000’s of bits of telemetry a minute to the teams, but we can’t see when a car is breaking the race rules. RACE MANAGEMENT – AGAIN. It has to improve.
All that is required is a transponder that tells Race Management a car has passed under a yellow flag. We can see Vettel’s dashboard is saying the conditions are yellow flagged, why can the relative position of the cars not be tracked by computer and an illegal overtake be spotted automatically.
The ironic aspect of all this, is that the more money FOM takes from the media, the more access they want – which then in turn exposes the shocking ability of the FIA to manage a race properly.
UPDATE GMT 10:21 28/11/12: Corrier dello Sport is now reporting that Ferrari have until 30th November to protest the result of the Brazilian GP – but at this time do not intend to do so. The Spanish press have too picked up the story last night – Marca.com, though to be fair they argue that appeals at this stage are only usually for matters of dishonesty and cheating.
In Spain as.com gets all legal on us. They cite article 179 on Ferrari’s right of review:
“On the evidence of a FIA Championship, where they discovered a new element, the stewards, whether they had been they who had made the decision or not, or, if not possible, other designated effect by the FIA, shall meet on the date agreed by themselves, summoning the party or parties concerned, to receive such explanations are useful, and judged in the light of the facts and of the exposed elements.
The right to appeal the new decision is reserved to the party or parties concerned, in accordance with the last paragraph of Article 180 and following of the Code. In case the first decision had already been the subject of an appeal to the National Court of Appeal or to the International Court of Appeal, or successively to both jurisdictions, they shall be entitled as of right to review its earlier decision eventually. The International Court of Appeal may take judicial notice of the review of a case that she has tried or take charge of a petition for review filed by the President of the FIA, or by a party involved and / or directly affected by its previous decision .
The deadline for filing a petition for review expires on November 30 of each year during which the decision was rendered susceptible to revision, if this decision is likely to have an influence on the outcome of the championship”.
Here is the footage in case you’ve not seen it.
(OKAY – the FIA have taken it down, but here’s a link to one SKY are running today. http://www1.skysports.com/formula1/video/12870/8293449
However, an eagle eyed thejudge13 reader Danilo Shoeneberg (and David too) has spotted a photo that shows a green flag being waved which may override the yellow light (pic).
Brabham another reader observes of the green flag picture, “The green flag marshall is from lap 3, while Vettel overtook Vergne on lap 4. It was under yellow flag, and in any case, Vettel wouldn’t be able to see the man at the pit lane exit, while he could see the yellow lights on his steering wheel perfectly well. A 20 second penalty would give the title to Alonso”.
Danilo Schoeneberg responds. “Three things:
1. If the straight was green-flagged in lap3. Why should it be yellow-flagged in lap 4 – there wasn’t any incident on that straight in lap 3.
2. http://www.fia.com/en-GB/sport/championships/f1/2012/brazil/Pages/lap_chart.aspx <- This is the official lap chart showing that Vettel is already ahead of Vergne at the start of lap 4
3. The indicators in the cockpit are only supplemental, they can only be triggered when passing light posts. The track status however is determined by the marshal flags, not by the track-side lights nor by the cockpit indicators.
It pains me to see that we’re three days past the GP and still people come up with false claims, trying to win the title by a stewards decision, because they couldn’t on the track. Whatever happened to gracefully accepting defeat?”
thejudge13 – I’ve heard today Ferrari will not be contesting this matter.
Kamui Support: Kobayashi is bouncing along at around $200,000 a day. His total on the support-kamaui website has risen 20m yen overnight to 82,167,063 yen. This is $1,002,438. This would be an amazing story if the Kamui fans of the world all chuck in and get him a drive.
Sepang on the brink: Razlan Razali, the promoter of the Malaysian Grand Prix, has admitted that 2015 could be the Sepang circuit’s last Formula One race. He told Isportconnect it is “too early to even think” about whether the existing contract will be extended.
“I think for the event to be successful and to even consider the event going beyond 2015, and paying lots of money to Formula One, FOM must help the circuit to try and allow us to do as much as possible to get spectators to come to the circuit,” said Razali. He said another issue is the race’s late start time.
“Put it this way,” said Razali, “in the event that we decide to go beyond 2015, there are various key points that we insist upon changing before we even talk about (it), including the starting time.”
So the usual promtor posturing – Australia have been complaining for 2-3 years now. The problem is Ecclestone has indicated the circuit is geting a little tired and needs attention. This usually means he wants $10’s o millions to be spent.
I can’t comment on whether Sepang is in need of refurbishment or not, but Malaysian readers can tell me if this is the case.
Senna has a ‘plan B’: Bruno Senna tells Estado.comn.br, he has alternatives if the team decide to replace him with Valtteri Bottas. Bruno finished the season with 31 points and 16th in the drivers’ championship, just behind teammate Maldonado with 45 points. The Finn Bottas, participated a number of times in free practice 1 for Williams this year and his trump card is that he is managed directly by Toto Wolff, shareholder and CEO of Williams F1.
Senna observes, “We are in the same battle. We knew quickly Bottas had great potential and the battle is strong inside the team. I knew I needed a plan B because you can not wait until the end (of the year) to see whether or not you will be sucessful (in getting a drive at Williams). Ideally, I would like to continue at Williams because I believe that continuity is important. But if you do not have to be there, it’ll be somewhere else, “said the Brazilian.
Having been asled about the possibility of driving in the Indycar series if F1 had not place for him, Senna rather touchingly replied to the effect that he wouldn’t consider this because of his family history. He knows his family would not approve, especially his mother Viviane Senna, who sees the oval racing as very fast and dangerous.
Update: Senna needs plan B: The Williams F1 Team is pleased to announce that Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas will be the team’s race drivers for the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship season.
Sir Frank Williams said; ‘’In Pastor and Valtteri we have two of the most exciting talents in motor racing and I am especially excited about what 2013 can bring for Williams. Pastor has always demonstrated remarkable pace and this year has seen him mature as a racing driver. Valtteri is quite simply one of the most talented young racing drivers I have come across and we expect great things from him in the future. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our departing driver Bruno Senna for his hard work over the past year and wish him the best of luck going forward.’’
Williams have been profligate this year as they have had a very quick car and not made the most of it. Let’s hope Maldonado can be more consistent and that the CEO’s protoge Bottas is there for the right reasons. 2012 I feel is an “if only…Reubens”, particularly as they’ve now dismissed Senna – what was the point except for his cash.
Vettel RB contract extended then not: Red Bull have been messed with by Ferrari this year by their persistant rumourmongering about Vettel leaving the Austrian team in 2014. The Austrian tabloid newspaper ‘the Osterreich’ cites billionaire team owner Dietrich Mateschitz saying Vettel has been convinced to extend his current deal with a huge pay rise.
The report said Vettel’s current retainer of 11 m euros per season will increase to a whopping 28 million, adding that the contracts of chiefs Christian Horner and Adrian Newey have also been extended.
Helmut Marko responds in Bilde today saying, “Total nonsense!. I don’t even know the journalists who wrote it, or the news portal. Vettel’s contract is to 2014, full stop.”
Ooh Err. Helmut appears a little touchy about this. Maybe they’re hoping Hamilton will have such a bad year at Mercedes, the lure of a Newey designed car will entice him the way of the Bull in 2014. Maybe even it was them spreading the Vettel Ferrari runours….Oh no – here we go again – isn’t F1 fantastic!!!
Q&A with Sir Frank: (Link)
Polica called to HRT: Oh dear, the British football hoodlum’s habits have now spread to British F1 mechanics. El Mundo reports today that 8 British HRT mechanics who had been drinking on the 12 hour journey from Brazil to Madrid.
They arrived with 40 or so others to receive their redundancy payments but began “threatening, pushing, hitting and the situation became violent enough for us to call the police “, said one of the team managers. The same sources indicated the liquidation of the team is proceeding even though, “Today we speak with two groups and have an answer next week, but until then we fulfill our obligation and paying contracts to everyone”.
UPDATE 14:19 GMT – Joe Seward has just reported there is another side to this story. “I am told that this was not the case at all and that the team members became irate when they were not allowed to leave the premises until they agreed to sign a contract termination document; and that personal effects, such as car keys, were withheld”.
The power of sterotypes. Tell me a fellow Brit has got drunk and was brawling and I won’t even question you.
Aussie GP promoter threatens to quit: Ron Walker, a long time friend of Mr. E, has today promised to step down if Bernie is no longer in charge of Formula One. Embroiled in the ever deepening Gerhard Gribkowsky corruption scandal, Ecclestone warned last week that his demise could cost the sport several key races.
“A few (race promoters) said to me, ‘if you’re not there, we’re not there’,” the Mr. Big of F1 cl;aimed in Brazil. Walker appears to be the first to back this up saying “When Bernie retires, then I will retire as well, and a number of other long standing promoters that have been friends of Bernie’s will do also,” he told Autoweek.
Walker clarified that the promoter exodus would not mean those countries necessarily lose their Grands Prix. But he added: “When Bernie goes, Formula One will change. You won’t recognise the sport after Bernie goes because he has done it in his own way as unique as he can.” All I can say to that is – Thanks for that remarkable insight Ron – but we all know that.
Bernie’s way and time is over. Maybe the new breed of race promoters will put sensible business plans together instead of relying on backhanders, brown paper envelopes and state subsidies.
Interlagos to be improved: The incoming mayor of Sao Paulo wants to keep Formula One at Interlagos. Ecclestone has warned that without substantial upgrades to the ageing Brazilian venue, he might not extend the city’s race contract.
Speed Week reports that the demolition equipment will soon arrive at Interlagos to raze the old buildings to the ground and replace them with new ones to be built at an estimated cost of 60 million Euros. “The future mayor, Fernando Haddad, is confident that (Ecclestone’s) conditions will be fulfilled for an early renewal of the Brazilian Grand Prix contract”, says the publication.
Haddad himself says, “I will do everything so that the Grand Prix stays in our city. “In the coming weeks we want to sign the new contract until 2022.”
Vettel gets 3m euro bonus: Bilde reports this today. Don’t you love how all season the, “I couldn’t have done this without you – thanks guys – this is down to all the hard work back at the factory”. thejudge13 reported yesterday that the 657 employees of Red Bull were to get a bonus of £10k each and Vettel gets nearly £3m. Up the revolution 🙂
Apparently he turned up at the factory straight from Brazil with 4 days hair growth on his chin looking tired. Anyway, the whole company had a big celebration of hot dogs and champagne.
Petrov’s manager: I reported about 2 months ago that Oksana Kosachenko had pretty much publically thrown in the towel for finding Vitaly a drive for 2013. Not only have Renault been in the U-Turn business but so it appears is Oksana. She claims today that Vitaly’s results have been strong enough to warrant another season with Caterham, but final details regarding sponsorship need to be finalised before signing a contract.
Petrov, who joined Caterham after a two-year spell at Lotus, secured a lucrative tenth position in the Constructors’ standings by finishing 11th in Brazil, outdoing Timo Glock’s 12th place result achieved at the Singapore Grand Prix back in September.
She is of course referring to Petrov’s performance in the erratic rain affected race in Brazil where Vitaly’s 11th place secured 10th overall for Caterham in the WCC. But surely 1 rain affected result doesn’t mean Caterham are obliged to Vitaly.
Even stranger, Kosatchenko explains she is investigating 2 possible drives for her Russian driver, but “We are not in a position to announce something at the moment as we are still discussing all of the possibilities.” In the words of Michael Corleone, “Just when I thought I was out…..they pull me back in”.
This is the most confusing end of season driver rush for seats I can remember. Only 12 from 28 drivers who raced in a GP in 2011 have secured seats for 2013 – its getting like football managers.
Pirelli 2014 uncertainty: The future of Pirelli in Formula 1 is still unclear. The current contract for the Milan based tyre manufacturer runs to the end of 2013.Although there have been indications Pirelli will be asked to continue though apparently the negotiations are dragging for some reason.
Paul Hembery appears a little frustrated, “The deadline for a final decision is in June of next year, but we would have liked an earlier decision” This is understandable if 300 to 400 employees need redeploying. Hembery points out that in 2014 the regulations change significantly and a change in tyre supplier and direction of development may be too much for the teams to handle,
Sounds like the same old FOM, keep everyone hanging on to the last minute to create uncertainty and desperation.
BBC hunt: For those of you who watch on the BBC, the hunt is on for Jake Humphries replacement to present F1 in 2013. I am fishing around but getting a stoney silence so far. So each day between us, let’s come up with ideas to help them out. a thejudge13 P King made a comment to my article “BBC search begins for F1 anchor” suggesting Claire Balding – which to be fair has grown on me.
My idea of the day will divide you like Moses did the Red Sea. Chris Evans. He’s been doing some golf commentary and he definitely won’t be overawed by the great and good of F1 – he is renown for his sarcastic quips and risqué suggestions and lines of questioning.
He also paid $7m for a Ferrari California – so he can’t be considered as boring or sane.
One of the judge13 readers DWilD has produced a final 2013 table to demonstrate how consistent drivers are. It works like this,
24 points for 1st place
23 points for 2nd place
22 points for 3rd place
2 points for 23rd place
1 point for 24 place
0 points for RET,DNS,DNQ
If F1 was scored like that the tables would look like this (compared to current system, shown on right) [updated after vettel penalty in Germany]:
|Cosnistancy Table||Actual Table|
|De la Rosa||88||-303||Karthikeyan||0||-281|
|Karthikeyan||88||-333||De la Rosa||0||-281|
I know what I think about this analysis – how about you?
FIA: The FIA tweeted last night that having launched their Facebook page at the start of this year they’ve got 40,000 fans. I don’t really use Facebook much, but I checked it out and they’ve had 40,000 likes. Is that good Facebookers?
Would love to know what they’re talking about: (pic) “Bloody kids today…don’t know they’re born” – other ideas?
Time up for Kingfisher Airlines: Restarting operations this winter has been ruled out for near-bankrupt Kingfisher Airlines that has not operated a single flight since October 1. Finally, Vijay met the aviation authorities yesterday for the first time since clinching a multi-structured deal with UK-based Diageo Plc to sell 53% stake in another Kingfisher group company United Spirits.
It was noted that because of the Diageo deal Mallya was upbeat at the meeting about restarting flying operations ‘soon’, but in actuality was given a reality check. “Even if Kingfisher gets fit enough to fly again, that can happen only next summer and not in the ongoing winter schedule. There are a number of issues that Mallya needs to resolve before the airline can operate again” said an unidentified source to the Economic Times.
Mallya’s close aides were trying to restart operation from December 18 as a ‘birthday’ gift to the troubled billionaire turned-millionaire. In fact, the troubles of Kingfisher are mounting by the day. Recently the Indian authorities have allowed takeovers and mergers between Indian and with foreign airlines. ‘Jet’, ‘SpiceJet’ and ‘IndiGo’ are all close to doing deals ‘GoAir’ is being eyed keenly by potential investors.
The writer concludes, “there is so far no word of any overseas airline looking at Kingfisher”. No investment there then – what about Force India’s $80m Vijay?
Alex Thompson, a world class solo sailer racer has been helping Mike prepare and he says of Gascoyne, “his first solo transatlantic crossing is not an easy undertaking for any sailor and a pretty serious step up in terms of the challenges he will face. It is good to see Mike realise one of his ambitions and I am delighted we are playing such an active role in helping him do so. On behalf of 5 West we want to wish Mike the best of luck and I look forward to speaking to him on his crossing while I am competing in the Vendee Globe, single-handed non-stop round the world race.
This is an enormous test of Mike’s skill and courage and knowing his penchant for a
glass bottle if wine or 2, I hope his boat has been searched and is dry 🙂
Here’s the 3800 mile route Mike is taking
Kimi: ‘Knows where he’s going’ as well as ‘what he’s doing’
Here’s the map of Kimi’s detour
On this day in F1, Nov 28th
History was made when the first race was staged in the USA. The Chicago Times-Herald Exhibition Run took place on a 55-mile course between Chicago and Evanston and back and was the brainchild of Chicago Times-Herald owner Herman H Kohlstaat. Only six of the 89 entrants made it to the start line and on the day of the race there was a heavy snowfall and a plough was needed to clear the start.
Even then the cars had to endure a hail of snowballs from onlookers as they got underway. Two electric vehicles soon ran out of power, and a home-built car driven by Frank and Charles Duryea eventually beat three imported Benzs, of which only one finished, more than 90 minutes behind the winners.
Each car carried an umpire and one of the umpires, assigned to Oscar Mueller’s Benz, ended up driving after Mueller, overcome by fatigue and excitement, passed out during the race. The Duryea’s winning time was 7hr 53min, an average speed of 7mph.
The start of lewis Hamiton’s F1 career began testing in Barcelona. Ironically it lasted just two laps before his McLaren broke down. Testing alongside David Coulthard and Anthony Davidson, Hamilton was given some words of warning by Coulthard who said he needed a season of testing before being thrown into the fray.
“I value David’s opinion,” Hamilton countered. “He is extremely experienced and I have always looked up to him. In some ways he could be right, but I’ve done all I need to do to get to F1. I have got plenty of time to do the testing pre-season and so we will have to wait and see. I am young, fresh and extremely determined to do well in this sport. I want to win.” As it was, Lewis came within one race of winning the title in his first season.
Wise old heads huh?
(This page will update throughout the day – as stories arise)
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