Razia out of Marussia, Niki Lauda CEO AirItalia, Hamilton gets religion, Sutil gives Hamilton the cold shoulder, Pirelli on the brink of leaving F1

Some short stories tonight, as I’m working on something else that needs a little time. Anyone who has 1 hour a week to join TJ13 team we have stuff for you to do. Contact me thejudge13@hotmail.co.uk

Razia Gone before he began

The word on Luiz is that his mob in Brazil have been hunting for the illicit stash they buried in the jungle but appear to have forgotten where it is. So his ride for Russian team Marussia, is most likely going elsewhere.

Logic would suggest Senna has more mula than the rest to bring to the party however he has said he would not drive for Marussia as he would lose all credibility. This feels like a slightly arrogant and illogical attitude.

Marussia are looking good for this year in their battle with Caterham and surely an F1 seat against a rookie is an opportunity to shine? If you’re not in it, you can’t win it – so they say.

Interestingly a strange outside contender has allegedly been spotted in Banbury for a seat fitting. Heikki Kovaleinan. My advice to you Heikki should you get the drive is play less golf and do some sponsorship work.

Lauda Watch

Niki has been somewhat eclipsed in recent weeks by Toto, Ross and Paddy. Yet today he is being touted by fairly respectable Italian media as the favoured choice of Alitalia as their next chief executive. Clearly heads need knocking together in Italy to sort out some fairly big problems and Lauda as King of the head knockers is being targeted to take up the role.

Hamilton gets religion

My background has taught me to hear the butterfly flutter in an adjacent field whilst hurtling down a busy 8 lane highway. Lewis used some new rhetoric when he was asked today about his friend and team mate from Formula 3 days, Adrian Sutil.

Lewis had been buying the drinks on the fateful night Sutil and Eric Lux had an altercation back in 2011 in the ‘Shanghai’  nightclub. It may be that Lewis feels some responsibility for his friend and he was heard to say today.

“A while ago when I heard there was a potential that he would get the seat I said I would pray for him, that I really hoped he gets it, that he deserves it [and that] I hope to see him back in F1. I’ve emailed him several times.

And then I emailed him on the way here as soon as I found out [he was to drive the Force India car] and said congratulations, I’m really happy for him. I haven’t heard back from him but I’m sure at some stage we will get to talk. I’m looking forward to seeing him; I haven’t seen him for a while.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for him, I really wish him all the best for the year. I [left a message saying] ‘I hope you go out and prove to everyone that they made the right decision’.”

This gushing expression of love from Lewis may be too late. He refused to testify at the Sutil trial and Adrian had this to say. “We have no relationship at the moment. I never saw him, I never spoke to him. For sure I will meet up with him, but I don’t know what will happen.”

Unreturned emails is probably not a good indicator of what is to come.

So.. we say good-bye to a Brazilian pay driver – who didn’t pay – and hello to a ‘pray’ driver 😀

You couldn’t script this could you (how do you do a head scratching emotion?)

Testing Times

It was 9 degrees, wet and well…. testing. So I’m not publishing times (you can see them in the Rogues Gallery afternoon pics screenshot). But we’ve now had 9 different drivers top the times in 9 testing days – Webber being the latest.

Lotus optimistic way of seeing things thejudge13 facebook page

Time for Pirreli is running out

Whether this is a Bernie negotiating tactic, or just incompetence – who knows – but Paul Hembury Director of Pirelli is not known for melodrama and says today the window of opportunity for Pirelli to stay within F1 is closing soon.

The teams have been grumbling over the cost of tyres and so for once it’s not Mr. E’s age or disposition that is to blame for this silly state of affairs.

Pirelli have hundreds of people deployed on the F1 project and need to plan for their futures. They have indicated they are keen to stay in F1, but matters are not progressing quickly enough.

According to Paul, the partial disintegration of FOTA has complicated these matters when compared to the last Pirelli deal in 2011. (Read Ferrari throwing their weight around I suspect)

In a rather candid discussion, Hembury makes it plain he is balancing the interests of his masters with those in F1 and the longer the situation continues the more questions he is fielding from the Pirelli hierarchy as to the value of their involvement in the sport.

As with most things F1, Pirelli do not make money on this project. It is a brand awareness exercise, however, unlike in the days of Bridgestone’s bullet proof – run forever tyres – they provided for Ferrari, the brand value of the F1 relationship is not so simple in present times.

Pirelli are making tyres that degrade and in effect fall to pieces – this was not the impression people had of Bridgestone. So F1, Bernie and the teams need to grow up and not expect such a historic tyre maker to run at big losses whilst facilitating the new ‘Bernie F1 show’.

The FIA world council have to approve any deal agreed and they are next to meet in June. paul says this is ‘very late’ for them, ‘perhaps too late’.

The reason for this is Pirelli have some 400 skilled people working on the F1 project and Hembury tells us, “”We have big projects in Russia, Mexico and Asia. Certainly we have within the company a high demand for skilled workers. People would not be put on the street. But of course you can not expect people within two months to be forced to re-locate. You just can’t do that.”

So whilst we cut Bernie some slack a few paragraphs earlier, what this situation requires is for him and the Gallic el Presidente of the FIA to stop munching on caviar and drinking champagne and get this issue resolved.

One response to “Razia out of Marussia, Niki Lauda CEO AirItalia, Hamilton gets religion, Sutil gives Hamilton the cold shoulder, Pirelli on the brink of leaving F1

  1. As I’m sure you’re aware, Bianchi in for Razia. You saw my rant on the subject, but on the other hand, Marussia to have Ferrari engines in 2014? Not exactly the most logical explanation (that Ferrari want to give their test driver more kilometres) but the best one…

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