Follow thejudge13: Why not follow thejudge13 by email. Click on the button at the top right of the page to receive an email when (and only when) a new article hits the interweb.
I have now put 2 RSS feeds at the bottom of the right hand bar for those of you who know how to use them for updates.
Certina and Sauber: Certina, the Swiss sports watchmaker are to extend their existing sponsorship of the Sauber F1 team. Apparently they will be gifting one of their precision time pieces to each member of the race team – not exactly sure what that means but it may be unlucky if you design widgets back at base maybe. Their logo will be on the drivers visors, the sidepods and wind deflectors.
“Certina has always been strongly committed to cutting-edge technology,” says Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO of the Sauber F1 Team, “and that’s an ideology we share. Since 2005, we have also been united by an enduring partnership that embraces common values such as innovation and efficiency. These are key factors behind the upturn in the Sauber F1 Team to which Certina has made a definitive contribution.”
Adrian Bosshard, President von Certina, corroborates this: “After an eight-year partnership with the Sauber F1 Team, we are delighted to be continuing to make use of this dynamic and innovative Formula One platform. The Team’s professional work ethic and typical Swiss mindset are the perfect match for our brand.” (Sauber Press Release)
English Summers: For those of you non-UK TJ13 reader’s, I know you’re only used to seeing the home of the first ever F1 GP – looking radiant in July and bathed in….rain. Well here it is in the snow.
Winter hitting the home of F1: Another iconic place in the modern world of F1 has been dusted by Jack Frost too.
Wolff on driver management: Having guided Valtteri Bottas through the ranks to become an F1 driver, Toto Wolff his manager says he won’t be looking to repeat the act. He tells Switzerland’s Motorsport Aktuell that 22 year old Finn Bottas is more an exception than the rule.
“If you now need 100,000 for a national karting season, and 250,000 Euros for international, then eventually the level (of the drivers) will drop. Despite this Toto believes it is still possible for drivers with little money but big talent to still be able to rise through the ranks in future.” Valtteri was different, “He never had much money, but he always had support, just because he was good.”
Wolff goes on to explains why driver management is a “thankless job”. “If the target fails, everything’s the fault of the manager. If everything goes smoothly, you never know what happens, some drivers are champions of short memory.” He concludes, “If you have to put two million on the table for GP2, then driver management makes little sense.”
Now there’s an idea: Anyone see something in this circuit design? Not sure how happy some will be about the kart track.
Courosy of WTF1
Bianchi winning 1st time out: Every new year, Felipe hosts a star studded Kart championship for charity in his native Brazil. Bianchi won the first round of the two-heat competition, coming home ahead of former F1 stars Lucas Di Grassi and Vitantonio Liuzzi. Jules lined up eighth in the second race with a reverse grid format and battled through to fourth place. The combined results were enough to see Jules crowned as the champion for the weekend.
“It was a lot of fun and I’m very pleased to take my first win of the year,” said Jules after the event. “I was here last year and won before I was disqualified for a technical issue with my kart. So it feels satisfying to get the win for real this time. There were some very competitive drivers and the crowd helped make a great atmosphere. I want to thank Felipe and his family for putting on a super event once again. I hope I can come back again next year.”
A few F1 pundits have made something of the fact Jules is wearing Force India overalls – well he was their reserve driver in 2012 – I guess that is enough to get you some fire proof branded driver protection kit.
Courtosy of Fernando Alonso
The farcical debate over stewarding just got worse: Here at TJ13 both I and you know how to express passionately our feelings. My least favourite SKY F1 pundit Johnny (Father Christmas) Herbert has been responding to the criticism leveled by Sir Jack at the method of steward selection. Jackie particularly identified as problematic the continual rotation policy that means no single steward sits in judgement at every race during the season.
Here is the state of the art race control room
The erstwhile Mr. Herbert is considered by some as a sage and respected source on such matters due to his annual appointment to 1 or 2 GP’s as the ex-driver representative on the stewarding panel. He sat in judgement during the season opener in Australia and in Malaysia in 2012, yet I suspect his enlarged role as SKY presenter may keep him away from the ‘judgement seat’ in 2013.
Herbert explains, “One of the issues is that a lot of the stewards that go there don’t get paid and you’ve got to start paying people then to start being there and sacrificing jobs. I know some of the stewards have other businesses and would they have time to do that alongside 19 or 20 races in a Formula 1 season? I’m not so sure.”
Okay, so we have a global sport bringing in $1.5bn a year and the reason we can’t have a consistent panel of stewards is because they all have other jobs and can’t take the time off work. #InaneCommentOf2013
Johnny does admit having the same stewards at each F1 event, ” is probably the best way. [But] I’m not so sure that it is feasible with the situation they have at the moment. There may be ways around it but I’m not sure what they are.” PAY THEM JOHNNY. Make it a full time job.
The thoughtful and considered Mr. Herbert continues, “Consistency is always a good thing yes, but I think overall it has been pretty consistent personally. Yes, there are always going to be a few issues you don’t agree with personally but overall I think it has worked very well.”
On that I have to agree. Stewards are selected as a ‘grace and favour’ offer of gratitude for support and services rendered – and quite possibly in return for a large brown bag of cash, who knows? So considering this ‘jobs for the boys’ recruitment policy, the decisions are as Johnny well observes remarkably good. Florence…Nightingale (not the one with a machine)…was a volunteer but do we continue to expect nurses to do their present work ‘gratis’? No.
Grrrrrr. I need Johnny to return to the North Pole and for me a dark room, relaxing music and Florence (either one) with fragrent oil to relieve the pressure on my skull right now!
Senna spreads the net : Whilst taking part in Felipe Massa’s charity karting event back in Brazil, Senna spoke to local media source Totalrace. Regarding F1 and 2013 he candidly remarks, “2013 is still uncertain. We are in the fray with others, but it is not easy to know where I’ll end up. I imagine it will not take long to see where the pieces will fit together and I hope everything goes right this year. ”
“We are looking at all options, both inside and outside of Formula 1.” I hope Bruno gets either the Force India or Caterham drive. I would like to see for one complete season – without him missing 1/3 of the weekends practice to make way for a reserve driver – how well he can do. If not the questions will always remain over how good nephew of Ayrton really could have been.
Mercedes 2013: I’ve suggested a number of time over the festive period that Mercedes may be a dark horse for 2013. One area of ‘magic’ may come from their mechanical version of the now banned non-mechanical ‘active ride’ systems. Here is a great article on some other aspects where Mercedes may excel. F1Fanatic
On this day in F1, Jan 14
1973 : Giancarlo Fisichella was born on this day in Rome. Between his debut in 1996 and his last race in 2009, he took part in 231 grands prix with three wins – one for Jordan, two for Renault – and 19 podiums. His win on his debut for Renault at the 2005 Australian Grand Prix prompted many to announce he had finally arrived after a decade of promise, but it was to be a false dawn as he was repeatedly outclassed by team-mate Fernando Alonso, although he helped the team win the constructors’ title.
It was the same in 2006; an early win in Malaysia the highlight of a poor season. In 2008 he scored Force India’s first podium, but jumped at the chance to drive for Ferrari when the opportunity came near the end of 2009 following Felipe Massa’s accident. But only one top-ten finish came from five starts and in 2010 he was relegated to Ferrari’s reserve driver. Even that relationship ended at the end of the year. Fisi drove for Minardi, Jordan, Benetton, Sauber, Renault, Force India and Ferrari
Former world champion Nigel Mansell, 40, showed his adaptability in Indycar when he smashed the track record at the Phoenix International Raceway, a circuit where a year earlier he had crashed and injured his back. Testing a Newman-Haas Lola-Ford, he became the first driver to lap the world’s fastest one-mile oval in under 20 seconds, averaging around 180mph. “”It’s much better here than it was last year and it is not raining and it is not such a zoo,” he droned. “The car is fabulous. Very encouraging.”
I couldn’t find any 1994 testing footage, so here’s 8 minutes from the 1994 race in Phoenix.