Drivers of 2012 results, Austria for 2013, F2 finished? or to be born again, Bernie’s replacement, Michael Schumacher – just perfect, Aston require another £500m

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F1 calendar affects Goodwood: “Given that the Festival of Speed is the only event in the world outside of a World Championship Grand Prix where you can get a close up view of the latest F1 cars and drivers in action, we will now have to change the Festival’s date in order to avoid this conflict with the amended Grand Prix calendar,” the organisers said today in a statement. “Goodwood is now reviewing the 2013 Festival of Speed dates and will confirm these very soon. We apologise for any inconvenience this change may cause, but sadly this is outside of Goodwood’s control.”

The Festival which attracts about 180,000 visitors was originally scheduled for the 5-7th July, Between the British and German GP’s. The latest attempt by the FIA/FOM at a calendar moved the German GP to this weekend to make room for an ‘unspecified’ other European race.

The reason FOM are desperate for another race is to replace the delayed New Jersey GP which will now not happen until at least 2014. Why not just have 19 races? FOM is claiming to investors that it is on a continual march forward and more races means more money and more profit. To take a step backwards would affect investor confidence.

It appears the Turkish government is playing hardball and refusing to pay $13.5m of the hosting fee – and in normal circumstances this would kill the event dead in the water. Yet the alternatives to fill this vacant slot are now threadbare. A French GP was mentioned, but Mr. E suggested a date that clashed with Le Mans (a non-starter in France) and Alain Prost admits the organisers have no money.

The only realistic alternative could be the refurbished Austrian A1-ring, now the Red Bull Ring. Eurosport today report that, “On 8 January this year Formula One Licensing registered a pan-European trademark for the title ‘Grosser Preis von Österreich’ which means ‘Grand Prix of Austria’ in the country’s native language of German. This is a crucial step in the process of bringing a race to the F1 calendar and the trademark application covers three key classes including sports events, radio and television and printed products, such as race programmes”.

But I have heard today from a source in RB, they do not believe an Austrian GP for 2013 is credible and were Dietrich Mateschitz ever to fund such an event, he would not want it perceived as either a stop-gap or last-minute replacement idea that diminishes its value. The registration of the trade mark is like buying an internet domain name you don’t want someone else to have so you spend $20 to own it – even if your plans are not yet to use it.

This puts negotiating power back in the hands of the Turkish government. A race with no net gain (from hosting fees) for FOM is better than no race at all – I suggest.

F2 retrenches: thejudge13 yesterday heard that GP2 was not going to run as a series in 2013 and this has since been confirmed. “MotorSport Vision (MSV), the operators of the FIA Formula 2 Championship, have agreed with the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) not to continue to run the series in 2013 for what would have been the fifth and final year of its contract with the FIA.

MSV Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer explained the reasons: “Despite launching the FIA Formula 2 Championship in 2009 at the start of this major global recession it has performed well with good grids and very competitive racing over the past four years.

“As the FIA intended, F2 has always provided outstanding value and equality for its competitors. However, it has become progressively clear that the single operating team concept that enables these benefits has compromises that have, overall, reduced its appeal to drivers. We and the FIA are in agreement that any future F2 should operate on a more conventional, multi-team basis”.

Remember at the heart of most motor racing is people wanting to make money. Over the years there are a number of single seater series that have provided drivers a route into F1. Formula 3000, Formlua 3, Formula Renault, World Series by Renault and more laterly GP3 and GP2.

A series usually begins as a low cost entry into single seater racing, and then as it grows in popularity it becomes more expensive and the organisers make more profit from entrance fee’s and parts supply until you have like GP2 today (owned by CVC/BE) a pretty expensive way of racing costing drivers about $2m plus a year.

Formula 2 was re-born in 2009 as a low cost, spec series for good young drivers to compete in but has lost ground to the other series and the recent upgrades in power for GP2 et al make it less attractive. The hope is F2 will return in 2014 stronger and better and Joe Seward sums it up pretty well saying, “the challenge for a new Formula 2 is to create a TV package that can stand on its own two feet.

CVC is not going to give up GP2 unless it is forced to do so. It is a nice little cash calf alongside F1. The situation is indicative of the problems facing all non-F1 motorsport these days. The answer, probably, is to bundle F2 with other major championships, such as the World Sports Car Championship and the WTCC.

This way getting crowds and better TV coverage becomes easier. To make it more attractive the new F2 will need to have the best of the best youngsters and to get them it will need to provide the right training for F1 and, at the same time, be sufficiently cheap to make it affordable. If that happens the lure of GP2 will weaken”.

Bernie’s replacement: If you follow F1 close enough and long enough you see the same stories coming around and around. I reported on this I think around the time of the Indian GP but here we are again. The backgound is that CVC have appointed an executive search firm to find a possible replacement for Mr. E as CEO of F1.

Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborn has denied reports she could eventually replace Bernie Ecclestone as Formula One Chief Executive. This year saw the completion of the journey for Indian born Kaltenborn from Sauber team lawyer, to member of the team board and in 2012 named is Chief Executive, and latterly was given a third ownership and in 2012 took over as team boss.

When asked about her possible appointment to the Emperor’s F1 throne she replied on German TV, “There is nothing to it. I wouldn’t want to do it. When I think that Bernie deals not only with one but with twelve teams, then I have plenty of goals I want to achieve with Sauber.”

So there we have it. 2 denials – how many represent 1 too many?

Drivers poll 2012: thejudge13 ran a poll for readers to decide which drivers were the best in their category. We split the poll into top, middle and bottom 4 teams – and assuming everyone voted once in each section, just over 500 people voted and here are your decisions.

Top four teams

Fernando Alonso 39%
Kimi Raikkonen 24%
Lewis Hamilton 21%
Sebastian Vettel 13%
Mark Webber 3%
Jenson Button 1%
Romain Grosjean 0%
Felipe Massa 0%

Middle 4 teams

Nico Hulkenberg 28%
Michael Schumacher 21%
Pastor Maldonado 18%
Sergio Perez 16%
Kamui Kobayashi 11%
Bruno Senna 4%
Nico Rosberg 2%
Paul Di Resta 1%

Bottom 4 teams

Daniel Ricciardo 44%
Heikki Kovalainen 21%
Pedro de la Rosa 9%
Timo Glock 7%
Charles Pic 6%
Jean-Eric Vergne 6%
Vitaly Petrov 5%
Narain Karthikeyan 1%

The final vote for Schumacher to retire Y/N was 84% No 16% Yes. nearly 750 votes cast.

Numerology: Okay folks, there is no F1, it’s winter and here we go. Wikipedia tells us that numerology is any study of the purported divine, mystical or other special relationship between a number and some coinciding observed (or perceived) events. It has many systems, traditions and beliefs. Today, numerology is often associated with the paranormal, astrology and similar divinatory arts.

In Biblical numerology, the number 7 is considered as the ‘number of perfection’. Amusingly German media Motorsport has performed some numerology on their favourite F1 hero, Michael Schumacher.

They begin “Seven, the “Magnificent Seven and “Seven Years in Tibet – not only in Hollywood, the is the number a myth but also in Formula 1. It has apparently had a magical effect on the career of Michael Schumacher. The 2012 season is a prime example of this mathematical conspiracy theory. The retired Mercedes driver is 43 years of age – the sum of these 2 digits is seven”.

But the mystery apparently doesn’t stop there. Schumacher has seven world titles, his first ever F1 qualification saw him 7th on the starting grid and he finished with 7×7=49 points this year. 49% (7×7) of them were scored from his 4 7th places. 7 (all but 1) of his point finishes were non-podium finishes. Michael also sadly faced 7 retirements before finishin 7th in Interlagos

Further, one of Schumacher’s records in 2004 was seven consecutive wins during a season – the most. He has the record for the most wins at a circuit – 7 in Montreal and also the most Grand Prix wins in a season without becoming world champion – surprisingly 7 in 2006. The author concludes by musing whether all this was “predestination of a spiritual self-realization or just creative mathematician now”.

Maybe just Perfect.

Sniff Petrol: These people are pretty funny, you can follow them on twitter @sniffpetrol or at – be warned though, they can be very rude sometimes.

Today, the firm who invested £150m in Aston Martin have reported it’s been all spent as they look for another £500m to run the company. Sniff Petrol’s spoof report:

There was embarrassment for investment firm Investindustrial today as it confessed that the £150m it has just put into Aston Martin has already gone.

‘We thought 150 million would go a long way,’ admitted an Investindustrial source. ‘But when we decided to go for Aston Martin we knew we wanted the contrast stitching on the seats and a carbon fibre finish for the dash and then we realised you have to pay extra for a better stereo and parking sensors and, well it all adds up doesn’t it? Now there’s no money left. Sorry.’

Nonetheless, Aston Martin itself is confident that Investindustrial’s patronage will make it easier to raise the £500m it needs for the future. There are unconfirmed reports that this money will be used to hire ex-Lotus boss Dany Bahar and then cover his expenses for three months.

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 Non-Facebook users (Link). Voting closes 12:00 hrs on 11 December, 2012.

On this day in F1, 7th December

Poland’s first F1 driver – Robert Kubica – was born in Cracow. He took his first victory in the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix which made him the 99th driver to win a world championship race. At the same race in 2007 he suffered a massive accident which resulted in his car somersaulting and clipping the barriers at 186mph.

He suffered just a mild concussion and a sprained ankle. Although he sat out the following race at Indy, he was back in the car for the next round in France – he finished fourth.

Amazing the difference the tecpro barriers now make. Ironically and sadly racing in a nothing rally appears to have finished his potentially glittering F1 career.

Nano da Silva Ramos was born in France to a Brazilian father and French mother, he was considered a French driver by French journalists and a Brazilian by Brazilian journalists. Other journalists just treated him as Franco-Brazilian. After a handful of F1 races and a best of fifth at Monaco in 1955, he quit racing for the sake of his wife.

“Doctors told me that the best way to put an end to my wife’s breakdown – she had lost seven or eight kilos – was to divorce her or to put a definite end to my career,” he recalled. ” I chose the second option and I could not sleep for two years because of that decision.”

Comment from thejudge13: Mmm. And I’ve had 3 wives and no such decision to make – how times have changed. Mind you looking like that…

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

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8 responses to “Drivers of 2012 results, Austria for 2013, F2 finished? or to be born again, Bernie’s replacement, Michael Schumacher – just perfect, Aston require another £500m

  1. Considering Webber, Button, Massa and Grosjean received 4% of the total votes and Senna, Rosberg and Di Resta just 7% seems to suggest this has become a popularity poll rather than an indication of who was actually best – and perhaps also suggests you have more readers in Spain than in Germany… but of course statistics can be made to mean anything… Good try though.

    • Fair comment but, most UK sites I’ve seen have Hamilton far higher in their poles. We are still very small – 14 weeks old, but are more international than most. 65% non Uk readers

    • I think that’s an unfair comment. You can never say who is the best, popularity will always be a factor, in all sports, but at least it gives a direction towards how most fans view those F1 drivers. From this poll and elsewhere, it’s clear Alonso is usually 1st, followed by Lewis and Kimi (alternating between 2nd and 3rd) and then Vettel.

      • I entirely agree with you – except for your first sentence. This ‘judge13’ poll specifically states ‘best’… For me to light-heartedly suggest, in a different way, what you are also saying, hardly makes my comment unfair. It’s just a different way of seeing the same issue yet arriving at much the same conclusion…

    • Interesting the difference between Schumacher and Rosberg, when they essentially did the same job. Yes, popularity methinks.

    • Wishful thinking my friend 🙂 Its the widget I use, I just put in the date and time and it does the rest – wierd I know – still fools us into believeing the sound of F1 cars on the track is iminent

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