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Judges Chambers: Sorry if any of you were looking for the 2nd TJ13 feed yesterday, Craig is doing battle with them to allow us to have it how we want – Like Skywalker flying through the trench against the Empire.
I am excited to announce a further member of the TJ13. Adding a 3rd nationality to our merry band of folk – Cavallino Rampante will be running statistics for us this year. I’m hoping to set up a separate page where we can post these analytical wonders – when someone tells me how that’s done (see technical page if you think you can help).
Further, when not calculating the ave degradation per inch and temperature rise per millisecond, our lover of horses will be preparing 1 day a week, “on this Day”. [cue applause].
Any one else wanting to do 1 day a week, ‘On this day’ step up and mail firstname.lastname@example.org. I can give you the topics if you like, and you the just research and write…
2013 calendar: My keyboard screams as this combination of letters is sequentially typed out. Having not been the centre of F1 insanity for a few days, Bernie’s decided that Toto, Lauda and Brawn need some time together alone. Obligingly, he steps up to the plate.
The last we heard from Mr. Big on the calendar, was that it may not be settled until after the racing season has begun. So far there’s been Turkey, France and Austria all suggested as possible hosts for the 21st July slot and today we have a new contestant. Well the return of an old one in new clothes. Portugal.
However, those of you gasping with delight at the thoughts of a return to the famous but ageing Estoril facility – hold those thoughts – because this proposal is for a new purpose built circuit in Portimao on the Algarve. One of my iconic images of Estoril is the picture of Senna, his stricken Lotus parked neatly at the trackside with the rambling hills in the background – and him sat on the tarmac his back resting on the rear wheel and Senna is a picture of wistfulness…..
…back to Bernie who when asked by a reporter from the Austrian paper Saltzburgen Nachrichten will there be a race on 21st July he responded decisively, “To be honest, I don’t know. There is interest still in France, and now also in Portugal. They want to do it at the new Algarve track.”
Whether this is Bernie spin or not, but he claims “However, the teams do not seem to be in favour of this race. I doubt it will happen.”, but helpfully offers, “If someone wants to have the 20th race, it will happen, if the track is there and okay. We can help [with] organising [it].”
With the state of the Portuguese economy and the collapse of Ocean Racing, one has to question whether they can afford Bernie’s required brown paper bag donation.
Not quite Senna in a Willams FG1 car, but a peek at Portimao all the same.
It appears Mr. E has gone from fighting back F1 race weekend promoters, to fire fighting and looking a little silly over the vacant 20th slot. In an effort to re-assert the scarcity value of the F1 product, Ecclestone about turns saying, “Twenty [is] the maximum amount,” of races we will have a year.
What happened to 23 being agreed by the teams in the new Concorde arrangement you were insisting upon?
Lowe offered $1m a year: Bilde, my favourite German tabloid has been very quite over Christmas and the New Year. A little behind TJ13 they are reporting the Paddy Lowe story today, and suggesting that Mercedes have offered him 1m euro’s a year – double his current remuneration at McLaren.
Does that means Newey on 8m euro’s a year is 8 times more valuable?
Horner was in Maranello:
La Gazzetta is reporting there appears to be a valid reason why Christian Horner visited Maranello, he was there to coordinate a secret meeting between the big F1 teams and this meeting was held yesterday.
Present were, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo for Ferrari, Bernie Ecclestone for FOM, Christian Horner on behalf of Red Bull Racing, Martin Whitmarsh of McLaren and Niki Lauda for Mercedes.
Discussion points were, the future of Formula1, the economic uncertainties at the start of the new season, the absence of the Concorde agreement, which was a guarantee for the smaller teams, knowing they could start the season with contractual agreements, that enabled them to cope with the huge costs of a F1 championship.
Remarkably enough, there was no FIA representative present. Jean Todt has made it plain he wishes to be more involved in the signing of the Concorde agreement and wants some changes made in certain areas too. For example, the FIA want to replace the FOM run Gp2 and Gp3 series, with an FIA backed F2, F3 and F4 series instead. Todt claims it will be cheaper and a more accessible route for drivers to reach F1.
FOM would probably not be happy about this as they generated $44m profit from GP2 in the last financial year.
Yet it strikes me as strange the French General who preaches d’accord and unanimity wasn’t invited. Maybe he needs to wise up and recognise its elbows out time – more akin to Max Moseley’s presidential style.
Another matter for discussion were the 2014 V6 turbo engines, which it is alleged will shift the balance from aerodynamics towards mechanical. This may be music to the ears of car manufacturers off course, because of the direct link to their production cars. However, no one knows how much these will cost the customer teams and figures around 20m euro’s have been mooted.
One final matter for consideration was the current testing ban regulations. This restricts the engine manufacturers from firing up their engines for real on track. Apparently all teams agreed that a solution had to be found for this.
The pre-season testing this year is a mere 12 days, since the testing restrictions were introduced there have been 15 days a year testing. Last year we saw for the first time 3 days testing during the season just before the European leg of races began.
Is it not possible for these 3 days to be scheduled for a European test when all the engines are available to the teams.
(Sourced and translated by reader enzomaiorca. Ed TJ13)
More F1 stories to come in next post later………..