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Di Resta vs Perez: I posted a video a couple of days ago that showed Paul talking about various things F1 at the Autosport show (LINK). A number of other sites and print media wrote up his comments yesterday, but I was busy with my ‘Da Vinci Code’ story, buried in pages of Italian newsprint and blogs.
Anyway, here’s a few of the highlights. Di Resta revealed he held talks with McLaren over replacing Lewis. “I’m not going to give away too much, but yes, there were discussions,” Di Resta said. “Unfortunately in this sport now there’s a little bit more to it. There’s a commercial side and money’s tight. Perez has some good backing.”
Martin Whitmarsh has maintained all along that cash from Telmex owned by one of the world’s richest men – Carlos Slim – was absolutely nothing to do with the team’s decision when recruiting the young Mexican to replace Hamilton.
Remembering the politics, Paul reverts to, “I’ve got a great relationship with McLaren. Martin Whitmarsh was actually the key person who put my name forward for Force India, and also I’ve been part of Mercedes-Benz for a lot of years,” referring to his time in DTM.
Yet it appears the Scottish driver can’t restrain himself and jibes mischievously at McLaren and Sergio, “Our paths may cross. It may be in a car that’s beating them and I’ll have the last laugh. But if I’ve got to work with them, they’re professional people and they win races, and that’s what I’m in the sport to do.”
Last night Señor Perez appeared to react to the media blanket covering of Paul’s comments, and appeared to taunt the Scott with the following tweet. “El dinero te podrá comprar un asiento pero nunca los resultados ! Digo x aquellos que todavía dudan! Saludos y buenas noches vamos muy bien!”. Roughly translated, “The money can buy you a seat but never the results! Here’s a x to those who still doubt! Greetings and good night going very well!”.
Autosport 2013: Go on then. I’ll put Sir Jack’s contribution to last weekend up after having my arm twisted. Unsurprisingly, of all the clips I have of the Autosport show 2013 – Sir Jack’s is the longest. Pay attention now please!
Let’s play – F1 Calendar Merry-go-round: I thought we’d put this to bed last week. Bernie telephoned Stuart Codling at Reuters and it was reported that the location of the German Grand Prix “should be the Nurburgring and we are trying to make it happen,” said Ecclestone. He added, “I’m talking with them today.”
The slant of the Reuters piece was that a deal with the circuit could be agreed imminently but Ecclestone says that was optimistic.
Today we have Mr. E giving a different story to ESPN and claiming Reuters misrepresented his views (sounds familiar). “I said to Reuters that I was talking to them about trying to do something. I don’t know what is going to happen with Nurburgring. That’s what we are trying to sort out.”
“We have got a German Grand Prix but we don’t know where it is going to be,” Ecclestone authoritatively states, “We have got the race pencilled in. It’s on the calendar. We can decide it once the season has started.” WHAT!!!! – YOU MUST BE JOKING (More Florence, music and oil required urgently for TJ13).
When asked whether it looks like the race will take place at the Nurburgring Ecclestone now decides after making the effort to call Reuters last week and give them one story, he now believes, “No. The trouble is that the people who used to be there have gone. They haven’t got enough money. So we will see.”
Yet Hockenheim have been more than catagoric they cannot afford to pay for an F1 race this year. 20-19-20-19-20-19-20-19-20-19-20-19-20-19 (this is Bernie’s mind by the way) 20-19-20-19-20-19-20-19 interuptus…. -18 (unless you don’t charge Germany) -19-18-19-18-19-18-19-18-19-18-17 (If it kicks off in Bahrain).
Ecclestone believes there will be 19 races this year after the proposed Grand Prix of America in New Jersey missed payment deadlines. Austria and Turkey were mooted as possible replacements but Ecclestone reveals that “the race replacing New Jersey was going to be France. I think there is going to be 19 races this year”.
If I could be bothered I’d dig out the “It’s Turkey or nowhere” Bernie quote. I could also fish out the earlier quotes about the 20th race definitely being in France (which prior to the recent moving of the date would’ve meant a French GP would’ve clashed the same day with Le Mans) – but the old fool aint for changing or listening so why bother.
Engine Sounds: A few days ago Mercedes revealed to a select group of individuals, the sound of their 2014 engine. I have begged for a copy of the audio, but they won’t release any audio yet as it could give rivals a clue to their top-secret…. secret stuff. Oh well, here’s something that looks at the differing engine sounds over the past 20 or so years.
Perez asks McLaren to recruit De La Rosa: SPANISH news source El Mundo, reports the Pedro has not given up hope of playing a role within F1 following the collapse of HRT. “De la Rosa is now in talks with several teams to resume his testing role, including Williams, Mercedes and even Ferrari.”
The Spanish writer continues, “But the option to return to [McLaren] is not closed, in fact Sergio Perez has asked for de la Rosa’s return. The Mexican has requested the presence of a Latin face to help in his adaptation to the team.” I believe there are people at McLaren who were not happy when Pedro defected from his role within the Woking team to Sauber in 2010
This of course may merely be ‘Tapas’ chatter, but I find it strange that Perez would intervene on De la Rosa’s behalf so early in his career with McLaren. Particularly inferring he is not settled and needs a friendly face and his retort to Di Resta last night appears to demonstrate a confident young man.
Of course it could merely be that Sergio is struggling with the more technical aspects of English and De La Rosa would assist in translation.
Adam Parr: I have to say, I like his style. He wrote the story if his 5 years in F1 in a comic book. If you took the words out and they had to stand on their own, they look like a few notes – very clever Adam – no details like grammar have to be sweated over and there is no need to find adjectives and expressions to create the picture for the narrative.
Anyway, it may be Adam has stepped it up a gear. He is running a competition for on his site where fans can create their favourite F1 moments in comic strip, and presumably they will be published in a book if he gets enough content. http://www.adamparr.net/competition.html
All you need to do is sketch out and script a scene from Formula One history, scan it in and enter below by 14th January 2013. This must be a sequence of three boxes with a drawing or description of the scene and any dialogue. Files must be no more than 1MB. Please include your name and a postal address when entering this competition.
For now the promised prize is more moderate. “We will take the best five (in our view) and we will produce a comic strip from them. The winners will have their comic strips shown on this website and a high quality print sent to them. Entry is free and requires no purchase of the book. We reserve the right to cancel or change the terms of the competition at any time.”
And here is the real life footage of those events.
The cartoon omits Dennis’ reaction. Love it. Passionate racing man
Ascanelli to return to F1: For those of you who don’t know who Gorgio is, here’s a potted history.
Ascanelli was born in Ferrara, Italy and is one of the most experienced Formula One engineers, but he is also a great strategist, and if anyone has seen it all in Formula One, it must be Ascanelli. He started his career in 1985 with Ferrari where he worked as a calculation engineer. He soon moved up the ladder and became Gerhard Berger’s race engineer, when Berger left Ferrari Ascanelli moved to Benetton and became Nelson Piquet’s race engineer.
At the request of Berger he then moved to McLaren and later became a legend working with Ayrton Senna, who was a good friend of Berger. When Senna left McLaren Ascanelli moved back to Ferrari in 1995, but when he was sidelined after Ross Brawn joined Ferrari, he left Formula One in 1998 and moved to another legendary Italian sportscar marque, Maserati, where he set up a very successful sportscar racing programme.
Again at the request of Berger who was the co-owner of Toro Rosso at the time, Ascanelli was appointed Technical Director in 2007. Ascanelli of course also worked with now two-times World Champion Sebastian Vettel, and he even compared him with Senna.
“I am very lucky. Twice in my life I have experienced perfection; once with Senna, again with Vettel. In one respect Michael [Schumacher] was different because he had to work harder for his success than did Senna and Vettel. With those two it was something else,” Ascanelli said in 2011. (Berthold Bourman)
Older members of the F1 press corps have told me of Gorgio’s legendary wit and repartee. He was given the nickname ‘Pav’ by the McLaren crew, short for Pavarotti because of his not insignificant physical presence and resemblance to the famous opera singer.
On his first day back in F1 at Toro Rosso Ascanelli joked to reporters, “Already this morning, I was lying under the car in the garage and you know what? The floor still doesn’t fit.” The he was asked what was the biggest change he had noticed in F1 since his last appearance in the paddock almost a decade ago. He replied, “the motorhomes are bigger,” (F1Technical)
In 2012 tensions were growing between Gorgio and team boss Franz Tost over the poor performance of the team. The seeds of this were sown when Tost rubber stamped the decision to replace both Buemi and Alguersuari simultaneously. The wealth of Ascanelli’s experience knew the folly of this action.
Things came to a head when Ascanelli was absent for a scheduled press conference at Hockenheim. Tost stood in and when asked the obvious question fueled suspicion with his lack of tact. “I can only tell you that Giorgio Ascanelli is on holiday and there’s confidentiality between the two parties. That’s all that I can say to this,” said the Austrian.
After quite a long ‘holiday’ in September it was announced Gorgio had ‘resigned’ and I remember an interview with a thin-lipped Tost where he just about muttered the usual platitudes. “Over a period of almost five years, Giorgio has contributed positively to the development of our team. We would like to thank him for his efforts and wish him all the best for the future.”
Many believed Gorgio would make a swift return to Ferrari, “Ascanelli is an Italian, has worked for Ferrari before and knows the team inside-out, is a very talented engineer and is a good friend of Pat Fry. Ferrari need all the help they can get to maintain Fernando Alonso’s advantage in the Drivers’ Championship, and it could well be Ascanelli will turn up in the Ferrari garage at Spa-Francorchamps next month.” (Berthold Bourman)
Of course the Red Bull family made sure this didn’t happen with a stiff armed gagging order and enforced garden leave.
Autosprint today reports Gorgio is about to return to F1 claiming he and Fry recently met but stating strangely “But he will not go [back] to Ferrari,” says reporter Alberto Antonini. “Ascanelli is about to return to F1 but the team’s name is not yet known,” he added.
Yet back on that first day for Toro Rosso Gorgio was reported to self deprecatingly declare, “You know, when I left Ferrari for the second time back in ’89, I thought I had made a change for life. That’s the trouble, I always seem to make changes that I think are for life but then I change my mind!”.
F1 is a better place when it has at its heart those like Gorgio Anscelli.
On this day in F1, Jan 15th
1978 : Mario Andretti took his tenth career pole in the Lotus Ford in the season-opener in Argentina and went on to win by more than half a minute from world champion Niki Lauda. “I was just stonking it, man,” Andretti said. “The car was beautiful and never missed a beat. I was never worried.” Local hero Carlos Reutemann briefly looked like a challenger before a wheel change dropped him back down the field – he finished seventh – while John Watson’s pursuit of Andretti, which had seen him in second for three-quarters of the afternoon, ended in engine failure. It was the first of six wins that year for Andretti on his way to the drivers’ championship.
1996 : Max is early in his reformation of F1 phase at this time. He made an announcement that was critical to the existence of F1 that there would be now written tests for drivers before they were allowed to compete in races. “There have been one or two cases of drivers doing things they ought not to do because they didn’t know the rules,” he said. “On two occasions at least, drivers have been before the world council because they broke the rules. One admitted he did not know what they were. We will only test on things where there is a specific rule, such as whether a black flag with an orange disc means `Your car is on fire’ or `Come in now for a cup of tea’.”
So why test their writing Max? 😉
2003 : A busy day for Max Jan 15th obviously. Moseley announced a ban on a number of drivers aids including traction control and launch control, as well as all telemetry and radio communication between the team and drivers during races. “There is nothing wrong with the technical development in Formula One,” said Bernie Ecclestone, “it’s just a case that some teams cannot afford to compete at the current level.” However, not for the first time, the changes were rushed and within a week Mosley had been forced to back down on some of them.