We have 2 new recruits for the TJ13 team who will be bringing you ‘On this day’ once a week each. I am working with Samora Michael from Keyna and Kevin Russell – who I’m sorry I don’t have his global location yet (and he is currently enjoying a holiday) – on how to do the research and present us with our multi media review of F1 history.
Anyone who wishes to try their hand at this, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The team getting a reputation for being somewhat dithery and making 11th hour decisions is back at the top of TJ13’s news roundup. It was announced today that Adrian Sutil will drive the force India car Tue-Thur in Barcelona with Jules Bianchi taking the wheel on Friday.
This will be the first time Adrian steps into an F1 car since his criminal conviction for assaulting one of the Lotus team members. The German was given a suspended 18-month sentence and fined 200,000 euros ($267,000) last year for a post-Chinese Grand Prix incident in a Shanghai nightclub in April 2011 that left a Renault team executive nursing cuts from a champagne glass.
Bob – builder of cars Fearnley – having defended the financial health of the team recently was not called upon to make a statement, instead a ‘spokesperson’ for the team said this. “No, it’s not a shoot-out, it’s just two drivers helping the team with this week’s test. I don’t think it should be perceived as such, that’s not the intention.”
The topic of Force India’s driver line up has become as tortuous an affair as Bernie’s many about turns on the 2013 F1 calendar. There has to be a fairly significant reason why this decision has not been made. Available drivers and the funding they will bring has been known now for weeks and the team is hardly under pressure from a big external sponsor exerting influence on this matter.
Final speculation for the delay is over to you the TJ13 readers
Bahrain sell out
I have friends who know I’m a big F1 fan who don’t follow the sport. During the Bahrain weekend in 2012 the number of texts and comments I received from them after catching the main news bulletins was stunning. Their impression was that F1 was in the middle of the Arab uprising and thought it was crazy F1 had decided to go there.
Rightly or wrongly that was the impression given by the media and F1 was indeed damaged by the footage shown. This was compounded by the petty and stupid decisions by Mr. E and FOM TV to exclude Force India cars from any coverage in the qualifying sessions – all because they chose to not run in FP2 and ensure they had safe passage to their hotel.
Today, one of the 50 or so strong Al Khalifa brethren, Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa who runs the Sakhir circuit, popped his head above the parapet today to begin the promotion of this years Bahrain GP which is now just 60 days away.
Having promoted the 2012 fiasco under the political slogans ‘UniF1ed’ and ‘Back on track’, Salman revealed the inspirational marketing concept that will set the backdrop for this years event – ‘Imagine your moment’.
He explains the thinking, “There is always a special moment or two for whoever attends the Bahrain Grand Prix, be it on the track or off of it, and we would like all the fans to ‘Imagine Your Moment’ and feel the excitement of our upcoming Grand Prix,”
Despite TV evidence that suggested otherwise, Isa bin Salman claimed the 2012 attracted ‘up to 70,000 people’ and believes the, “BIC hopes to come close to matching its biggest-ever turnout to the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend of 100,000 fans in 2010.”
Other’s cited attendance for the 3 days under 30,000.
I’ve been following the events in Bahrain closely since the 2012 F1 weekend and nearer the time we’ll discuss it further. Suffice to say the Al Khalifa gang have jailed many apparent professional people for very long sentences, accusing them of being Iranian insurgents.
Last week, The Telegraph reported a 16-year-old boy was shot dead by Bahrain security forces during clashes that marked the second anniversary of a Shia-led uprising against the kingdom’s Sunni rulers. Demonstrations, mostly staged in Shia villages, turned violent when police fired shotguns and tear gas to disperse the crowds.
Protesters chanted “Down Hamad” in reference to the king and threw petrol bombs at the security forces.
Today it was announced that Mons Hall at Sandhurst – the elite college for trainee British Army officers – which was named after the 1914 battle that saw thousands killed, will be renamed the King Hamad Hall after he gave £3 million towards its refurbishment.
Jeremy Corbyn, member of parliament said on Sunday: “There’s something deeply ironic in renaming a hall that was in memory of soldiers who died in a tragic battle in the First World War in honour of a king who is routinely committing human rights abuses, including the shooting of demonstrators. I’m appalled.
“We should not be accepting money from such people. It’s simply wrong. They are in effect trying to buy our silence.”
My reading of the post F1 event analysis was that the majority Shia protesting population were pretty poorly organised in their opposition of the minority ‘Sunni’ ruling family. Fortunately, just one person was killed, though internet pictures of his dead body lying on a roof were quite shocking.
Sometimes in life, it is pertinent to take care when making accusations. Should this year there be an influx of Shia insurgents from Iran then the pictures we saw in 2012 may appear tame in comparison of what may be yet to come.
SKYF1 UK see’s partial sense
I watched a recording of the Friday SKY UK’s offering of the F1 show (UK) today (shows how eagerly I anticipated their first of the new season). It appears SKY have partially come to their senses and ditched a presenter that was never going to be popular with F1 fans. Georgie Thompson has been axed.
For those of you not privileged to certain aspects of the SKY TV glossy image, SKY sports news is a kind of Fox TV ‘babe and dude’ offering and this is from where Georgie Thompson came. I could never see F1 fans being as drunk or shallow as Premier League Football fans to put up with this attempt to make the landscape a little more attractive.
The F1 broadcasting blog noted, “The SKY website has removed mentions of her being the host of the F1 show along with her profile from their sub-site.” At the end of the 2012 season Georgie tweeted “So tonight is mine and Ted Kravitz’s final show”. Her twitter profile still mentions her being the Sky Sports F1 presenter.
Natalie Pinkham who was trusted by Ron Dennis to be the Master of ceremonies at the launch of the MP4-28 has taken her role.
I suggest SKY have ‘partially come to their senses’ because it appears the red faced Father Christmas-esque – amiable but bumbling – Johnny Herbet is still firmly ensconced in his role of professional pundit.
I wouldn’t mind if he made the occasional observation that was anything other than the obvious. Moreover, his apoplectic rant about how the race stewards should throw Romain Grosjean from F1 with immediate effect and revoke his super license in the aftermath of the first corner pile up in Spa – was utterly absurd and ridiculous.
Daimler Benz shareholders unhappy
The arrival of Lewis Hamilton has been seen by most as a matter of optimism for the results shy Mercedes AMG F1 team. Yet behind the scenes all is not well as investment funds Union Investment and DWS have called for the board in Stuttgart to withdraw the Silver Arrows from Formula 1.
They argue the expense and lack of results is affecting shareholder interests in the global car manufacturer. Sounds like this is a job for Lauda – to knock some heads together and crush the dissent.