Kamui tweets ‘another season’, Bottas Sponsor speaks out, Rolex replace Hublot, Ferrari Cartoon, Alonso the Samurai, How much f1 drivers earn, McLaren 2012 profits set to decline, Brawn – staff jigsaw complete

Bottas Sponsor believes he’s getting value for money : The topic of pay drivers appears to be one I hear discussed all too regularly and maybe part of the reason for this is we are seeing F1 drivers come and go more quickly than in days gone by. I think there are only 11 drivers confirmed for 2013 that started the 2011 season.

But at times its hard to understand why the sponsors behind the drivers are prepared to pay millions of dollars to get their protoges an F1 seat. The man behind the Grove teams latest young star driver is Anders Antti Aarnio-Wihuri, chaiman and majority shareholder of WinPak Ltd.

WinPak area highly succesful international business, established in 1975 and they manufacture and distribute packaging materials and related packaging machines primarily for the packaging of perishable foods, beverages, and for use in health care applications.

In an interview with Finnish newspaper ‘Turun Sanomat’ Wihuri explains he and Sir Frank go back a long way and that the plan to get Bottas into F1 was first conceived 10 years ago. Yet even though Bottas is bringing sponsorship to the team the packaging company owner explains, “we are talking about significant sums, but not tens of millions, as other drivers have brought.”

Reading between the lines, this is presumably a reference to Maldonado and his $30-40m a year PDSVA sposnorship, which I believe is probably the largest amount a driver has brought directly from a single sponsor per year in the history of F1. Combine this with statements made by Toto Wolff last week and it is likely Bottas is bringing similar sums to Senna, around $10-15m a year.

Wilhuri has a history of motor racing himself in lower formulae and in the 1970’s owned a sports car racing team. Even so his view on the money he is spending on the Bottas project is remarkably grounded and he suggests that the notion of pay driver’s is a little overstated by stating, “Sir Frank would only have a talented driver, and the monthly standing order is obviously a bonus”.

Looking at the return on investment, the Winpak owner tells us, “Next year, we will have large area of advertising on the car” and  further Winpak will be doing significant TV promotion and internet marketing in the European and Americas where they have a manufacturing and operational presence.

WinPak’s value as a business has increased by 25% this year, and for such a global business, the hospitality and marketing opportunities F1 provide are pretty good value at around $10-15m.

Here is the corporate logo,

which may be difficult for designers to blend into the Williams team colours. Here is the first of the livery runours, that Williams may drop its retro livery of the past 2 seasons and have colours that include the WinPak shades of green – I guess it could be sold to us as British racing green?

Caterham already have a green livery, which is based on the Lotus 1968 colours which were based on the first ever F1 livery sponsor, Gold Leaf.

Alonso the Samurai: Fernando took to twitter like a duck to water mid way through the 2012 season. He became known for sending out mysterious etherial messages based upon the writings of a great Samuri warrior. Following his unfortunate demise in Japan we had, “If your enemy expects you in the mountains fight him at sea, if he expects you at sea, fight him in the mountains”.

Since Flag-gate, Alosno has been gettting a good kicking in the German press for allegedly driving Ferrari into writing the letter to the FIA. He responds to the German criticism today in La Gazzetta saying, “”What the Germans say, I’m not interested in. I’m interested in the people who approach me on the street and call me gladiator or samurai. It was right that we demanded an explanation for what Vettel had done, out of respect for our fans. ”

Ferrari Cartoon: Rather pointedly, this declaration of gladitorial values is followed by this Ferrari cartoon for their fans. (I mistakenly thought it was something to do with the wind tunnel 🙂 ) (Link).

Rolex F1 time keeper: Rolex are replacing Hublot as the official time keeper/watchmaker for F1. “This is an exciting step for us at Rolex as the fit between Formula 1 and our brand feels very natural and, like all great partnerships, needs little explanation,” said Gian Riccardo Marini, Chief Executive Officer of Rolex SA.

“In our respective fields, Rolex and Formula One embody the spirit of adventure, superlative engineering and a strong desire to push the limits of technology. These aspirations are enormously appealing to younger generations.”

Bernie Ecclestone says that Rolex is “the partner of choice for a world class sporting series like Formula 1″. Bit of a kick in the nads for your outgoing partner of choice of many years. Still, in Bernie’s world – time and tide wait for no man.

McLaren Profitablility: thejudge13 reported last week that McLaren’s 2011 figures were very rosy showing profits of around 28m euro’s for the year. Figures published by Business Book GP show that McLaren’s numbers for 2012 are likely to be significantly worse.

Apparently, in 2011 Lewis and Jenson were paid equally 10m euro’s, a rise of 1m for Jenson but a fall of 6m for Lewis on 2010 remuneration. This is apparently based upon performance criteria in the year Jenson scored more points than the teams established driver Hamilton.

The figures paid to the drivers in 2012 is 16m euro’s each, an incremental cost of 12m euros – add this to the loss of 2nd place prize money 8m euros and the McLaren profit of 2011 is significantly reduced 2012. Factor’s that may yet mitigate will be payments by Vodafone and any ‘bonus’ for signing Concorde early – we reported yesterday Williams received 30m euro’s for doing so.

Driver’s remuneration: As published by Business Book GP

Here is a summary of earnings (in millions of euros) over the past four seasons:

2,012 2,011 2,010 2,009
1. Fernando Alonso 30 30 30 15
2. Lewis Hamilton 16 10 16 18
Jenson Button 16 10 9 5
4. Felipe Massa 10 10 14 8
Sebastian Vettel 10 8 2 6
Mark Webber 10 8 4.2 5.5
Nico Rosberg  10 8 8 8.5
8.  Michael Schumacher 8 8 8 absent
9. Kimi Raikkonen  5 absent 16 16
10. Heikki Kovalainen 4 3 3 3.5
11. Timo Glock 3 2 1 2
12. Kamui Kobayashi  1 1 0.5 absent
Romain Grosjean 1 absent absent absent
14. Vitaly Petrov 0.5 0.5 0.4 absent
Nico Hulkenberg 0.5 absent 0.7 absent
Sergio Perez 0.5 0.2 absent absent
Pedro de la Rosa 0.5 absent absent absent
18. Daniel Ricciardo 0.4 absent absent absent
 Jean-Eric Vergne 0.4 absent absent absent
Pastor Maldonado  0.4 0.2 absent absent
21. Bruno Senna 0.25 absent 0.15 absent
Narain Karthikeyan 0.25 0.25 absent absent
23. Paul di Resta 0.2 0.2 absent absent
24. Pic 0.15 absent absent absent

2009-10 figures are not from Business Book GP and as such I cannot comment on their reliability. Either way I believe Vettel does have a private arrangement with the billionaire owner of the Red Bull brand.

Kamui Support: The website reports today 161,035,784 yen has been raised ($1,964,636). The rate of growth appears to be slowing – just $64,000 added since yesterday. Kamui must be still some way short of persuading Caterham or Marussia of providing him with a seat.

UPDATE 13:29 GMT: KK has just tweeted ‘Yan 焼き芋 another season!’. No further news as yet though. After 15 mins it has been retweeted 217 times.

UPDATE: 14:04 GMT: Sorry folks. Apparently, the proper translation says, “its already the season of Yakiimo”, the traditional Japanese baked sweet potato. So much Internet translation tools!

1/3 Germans support Alonso: MotorSport today reports that it conducted a poll where more than 13,000 of its readers voted and even though Sebastian Vettel was crowned champion in the dramatic season finale in Sao Paulo and became the youngest triple world champion in Formula 1 history, yet still a substantial number of fans in German speaking countries feel Alonso had deserved the title. 34.65 percent voted for Alonso, 59.51 percent voted for Vettel and mysteriously 5.44 percent were of the opinion that “another driver” deserved to win.

 Brawn believes Mercedes will win in 2013 : “Twelve months ago we realized that we need to strengthen the organization”, Ross says, “So we recruited Geoff Willis and some other people too. We have also updated and improved the wind tunnel. All this has been going for quite a while,” said the Former Ferrari boss.

Willis was the Technical Director of Red Bull racing from 2007-09. He worked with Newey for Williams in the 90’s and following his time at Red Bull went to HRT for a year. He is ‘Technology director’ at Mercedes GP, one of the many ‘art directors’ refered to by Herr Marko.

The key area of change has been in the aerodynamics team. Brawn reveals, “We made the decision to restructure the aero group (last year) and following any restructuring it takes always a bit of time until the team starts to deliver”. The car from mid-2012 did not have a good balance and was loosing its previous top speed advantage.

There was a gap between Loic Bigois, who previously led the aero group leaving the team in April this year and Mike Elliott joining from Lotus and Brawn admits they struggled during that time. During that period they upgraded the wind tunnel from the 50% model testing device to one that will operate on models 60% the size of an actual car and Brawn admits that transition too could have been managed better.

Elliott is the final piece in the jigsaw for Mercedes, a PHD from Imperial College London, which is a celebrated training ground for F1 engineers. He joined McLaren in 1999 and stayed until 2008 when he was recruited by Renault to be a senior aerodynamicist, under Bell’s guidance. Much of Lotus aero gains in 2012 are down to the ideas developed by Elliot.

Since Elliott has taken his post at Mercedes and the wind tunnel has been fully calibrated, the restructuring of the Mercedes-Aerodynamics is complete. This means that in the very early planning stages of the project for 2013 may not have been ideal, but in essence there should be no real excuses for a badly developed new car. Brawn recognises this when saying, “We know in the fourth year we must finally make a significant step forward”.

The final 2012 meeting of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) took place today, 5 December, in Istanbul: The following is noted.

FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: The date for the 2013 Grand Prix of Germany has been moved to 7 July, and 21 July has been reserved for another F1 European event, subject to the approval of the relevant ASNs.

judge13 note: Being pedantic, Istanbul Park is in the Asian part of the city??? Suspect Turkey just being treated as in Europe. Further, German GP now clashes with Goodwood Festival of Speed – big event in the UK attracting some 200,000 petrol heads over the weekend.

2013 F1 Technical Regulations:

More stringent front wing deflection tests have been introduced.

Minor changes have been made to the front roll structure design.

There is an increase in minimum weight to compensate for an increase in tyre weight for 2013.

Deletion of the ‘force majeure’ allowance when a car stops on the track in qualifying. The FIA will determine how much fuel the car would have used to get back to the pits and add it to the one litre sample minimum.

All chassis will now have higher static loads applied to them (formerly only one chassis was tested to the higher loads with subsequent chassis being tested to 20% lower proof loads).

2013 F1 Sporting Regulations

For safety reasons, use of the DRS during practice will now only be allowed in the place(s) it will be used on the track in the race.

The team personnel curfew will be extended from six to eight hours on Thursday night and only two exceptions will be allowed during a season (formerly four).

2014 F1 Technical Regulations

A new draft with numerous changes was discussed and agreed by the F1 Technical Working Group and Powertrain Working Group.

The requirement for cars to be driven exclusively under electric power in the pit lane has been postponed until 2017.

A number of changes have been made to the power unit regulations with the aim of limiting technology in some areas in order to reduce development costs.

Changes made to bodywork design, originally aimed at reducing downforce and drag for increased efficiency, have reverted to 2012 specification.

The minimum weight limit has been raised to compensate for additional power unit weight.

Win 2 hospitality passes to Silverstone 2013 and vote for thejudge13 at the Silverstone Media Awards: “Best F1 Blogger” category. Here’s where to vote, Facebook users www.facebook.com/SilverstoneCircuits. Non-Facebook users (Link). Voting closes 12:00 hrs on 11 December, 2012.

On this day in F1, 5th Dec

The winner of the closest blanket finish of all time – Peter Gethin – died after a long battle with illness. Gethin had enjoyed a successful Formula 5000 career before moving in to Formula One with McLaren. After moving to BRM during 1971 he won his second race with the team, triumphing at the Italian Grand Prix in a slipstreaming classic that saw him win by just 0.01s as the top five were covered by 0.6s. It turned out to be his only grand prix podium.

The funeral of former world champion Graham Hill was held at St Albans Abbey, Hertfordshire. Over 2000 people attended – another 2000 listened outside – and Jackie Stewart was among the pall bearers. “In an age which is short of joy, he brought happiness for millions, and in drawing out that happiness, he drew admiration for excellence and for character,” said the Bishop of St Albans.

Hill died a week earlier at the controls of a plane when it crash landed, in heavy fog, on a Hertfordshire golf course. He and five other members of the Embassy Hill team were returning from a test at the Paul Ricard circuit in France. There were no survivors. Sadly, at the time of his death Hill was uninsured – the families of the other victims sued his estate, the subsequent settlement all but wiping out Hill’s legacy.

(This page will be updated throught the day – as F1 news breaks)

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12 responses to “Kamui tweets ‘another season’, Bottas Sponsor speaks out, Rolex replace Hublot, Ferrari Cartoon, Alonso the Samurai, How much f1 drivers earn, McLaren 2012 profits set to decline, Brawn – staff jigsaw complete

  1. How reliable are those Business GP numbers? Vettels figures for one, look highly suspect. $6m in 2009, and only $2m in 2010?

    • Just checked the source – only 2011 and 2012 are Business Book GP. 2010 was from El Mundo and 2009 from a publication called Arabian business.

      I will put a health warning up thanks.

      • I believe both Vettel and Webber are on performance bonus plans. The 10mil is their retainer or base salary.

  2. Not that I’m reading anything into it, but there is a huge difference in the quality and effort of Mclaren’s tooned series and this Ferrari cartoon that looks like it was an arts student’s first year project. Plus the fact that every F1 fan will be thinking of the wind tunnel while watching it doesn’t help.

    • I don’t have direct access to it – but a reliable source I know does.

      Driver’s remuneration I’m afraid is always a little ‘finger in the air’

  3. What is Loic Bigois doing now? Seemed like he nailed it for the Brawn 2000 car and then disappeared into obscurity?

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