Daily News and Comment: Wednesday 10th April 2013

This page will definitely be updated during the day

FIA Press Conference Participants

Thursday, April 11 1500 hrs
Romain Grosjean (Lotus)
Nico Hulkenberg (Sauber)
Sergio Perez (McLaren)
Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
Adrian Sutil (Force India)
Mark Webber (Red Bull)
Friday, April 12 1600 hrs
John Booth (Marussia)
Ross Brawn (Mercedes)
Christian Horner (Red Bull)
Franz Tost (Toro Rosso)
Claire Williams (Williams)

Hey. Good effort by Bernie and Jean’s manservant to get Webber in on the drivers’ conference. Nico is there as the previous year’s winner and the rest will probably have little of interest to say unless someone asks ‘big foot’ whether they’ve cut some holes in the carbon fibre to fit his toes in the foot well yet.

The team principal’s conference is always the one I prefer, and to be honest if you l;isten carefully to what they say there’s always something coded going on. Debut (I think) for Claire will possibly steaql the limelight, though after Marko and Lauda’s ischief making we have Brawn and Horner to smile at each other and make gruff but pleasant noises.

GMT times are: Drivers 08:00 and Principals 09:00

Stewards for the weekend


untitledGarry Connelly has been involved in motor sport since the late 1960s. A long-time rally competitor, Connelly was instrumental in bringing the World Rally Championship to Australia in 1988 and served as Chairman of the Organising Committee, Board member and Clerk of Course of Rally Australia until December 2002. He has been an FIA Steward and FIA Observer since 1989, covering the FIA’s World Rally Championship, World Touring Car Championship and Formula One Championship. He is a director of the Australian Institute of Motor Sport Safety and a member of the FIA World Motor Sport Council.


untitledSteven Chopping began participating in motorsports in the 1960’s. He competed as a driver in various karting, Formula Ford, Australian Formula 2, Sports and Production Car competitions from the early seventies until 1990. Chopping was a steward at the Australian Rally Championship from 1997-2004 and Chairman of the Stewards at the Australian Production Car Rally Championship from 2001-2004.  He has been a permanent steward at the V8 Supercar Championship in Australia since 2004, national steward at the Australian Grand Prix from 2005 and marked his debut as an international FIA F1 steward at the Belgium Grand Prix of 2012.


untitledMark Blundell raced for McLaren, Tyrrell, Ligier and Brabham in an F1 career that encompassed 61 grands prix between 1991 and 1995 and included three podium finishes. He is a three-time winner in IndyCars and won the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race in 1992, driving for Peugeot.
While still occassionally seen behind the wheel of a racing car in endurance events, the 21st Century has seen Blundell forge a second career as a TV commentator and analyst. He first appeared as a driver steward in F1 at the Spanish Grand Prix of 2011.

Mark first sat as a Steward at the Spanish GP in 2011 where he had to issue reprimands to Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Mark Webber and Jaime Alguersuari who all set fastest sector times during the race under yellow flag conditions. Interestingly Blundell had this to say on the Stewards’ decisions to only issue reprimands.

At the end of the day I don’t think there was a scenario where it was going to have something that was going to change the result of a Grand Prix, because it didn’t warrant that, but there was something there which was quite evident and I think the outcome was probably the right outcome. 

At the end of all of it, there’s so many variables that go on. I think what you’ve got to understand in this day and age, especially with the (new) tyres, is that the tyre is so powerful in terms of the lap time now.

You can be on an old tyre and be two and a half to three seconds a lap slower; at that stage you go into a lap and it’s not possible to drive the car 100 percent lap in, lap out because the tyre grip is degrading significantly. At the same time, when the tyre grip is there, you can roll into a corner and still maybe pick up a fastest sector time by the end of it”.

There are times we forget how far we have come in F1, and it is likely were we to see these misdemeanours in 2013 that different penalties would be awarded and a different commentary to the transgression would also be proffered.

Williams announce  Dom Reilly partnership

Dom Reilly Limited has today become an Official Supplier of the Williams F1 team.  The partnership will see a range of Dom Reilly luggage and luxury accessories used by all race team personnel as they travel the world.

The Founder and CEO, Dominic Reilly, spent many years as part of the Williams F1 Team.  During that period of travelling the world, the idea for the Dom Reilly brand was born.  The brand combines the highest standards of traditional quality with the leading-edge design capabilities of a Formula One team.  The Dom Reilly logo will be present on the team’s media notepaper, trucks and transporters, motorhome and garage wallboards.

untitledDominic commented; “One of the first tasks the Dom Reilly brand undertook was to create a range of luggage and leather accessories for the iconic Williams F1 Team, and the result has been a unique collaboration of bold and innovative products for the race team to use.  There is no better proving ground for a range of travel accessories than on the road with a Formula One team so I’m delighted that Williams have chosen to use my new range and very much look forward to working closely with them this season.”

Sir Frank Williams, Team Principal of the Williams F1 Team, added; “We are delighted to have Dominic supplying the team this year with luggage and accessories, an important piece of equipment for the team. My co-founder, Patrick Head, is also involved in Dominic’s company so you can be sure that all the products will have great attention to detail.”

Mmm. There’s lots of these ‘partnerships’ knocking around in F1 at present, but they seem to be of fairly low level value and probably little or no cash.

DRS in China

This weekends Grand Prix will see the Shanghai circuit feature two DRS zones for the first time. As in Malaysia they will have separate detection points. As part of the DRS regulation changes that saw the restriction of its use in FP1,2,3 and qualifying to the designated zones a commitment to having 2 zones per circuit was given.


The previous DRS zone on Shanghai’s long back straight remains unchanged from previous years, with the activation point 752m before the turn 14 hairpin and the detection point in turn 12.

The new DRS zone will be on the start/finish straight with a detection point before the final corner and activation beginning 98m after it.

How do you think this will affect the race? This circuit has been accused in the past of delivering too many easy DRS passes on the long back straight and now with another are we in for just DRS pass after DRS pass? Do you think this penalises Red Bull? Should DRS be a rigid 2 zones at each circuit? So many questions – so over to you TJ13 readers…

And then there were 18

The situation with North Korea is worsening rapidly. Today Japan has moved missile interceptor systems into the centre of Tokyo in the past few hours. South Korea has raised its state of alert to ‘Vital Threat’ today amide fears of a missile launch from their Northern brethren.

Whilst the general view amongst Western analysts that the threat of all out war is minimal, however the rhetoric in the North Korean media is high. “The situation on the Korean peninsula is inching close to a thermonuclear war due to the evermore undisguised hostile actions of the United States and the South Korean puppet warmongers”.

untitledThe regime in the North has close the border with China and is asking all foreigners to leave the country immediately.

UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon has suggested that this is a “very dangerous” situation is not handled correctly, it could become “uncontrollable”. The US so far is holding firm and the embassy in Soul states that it “has not changed its security posture and we have not recommended that citizens of the USA who reside in, or plan to visit, the republic of Korea take special security precautions at this time.”

I suppose the fillip for Mr. E is that it will make Bahrain in comparison look like handbags at dawn. Add to this the fact that nobody in F1 wants to endure the several hundred kilometre trek from Soul to the south of the country and the God forsaken town that is Topko – full of sailors and whores and hotels with stained sheets.

Rush Trailer

I know this has been around for about 24 hours, but we had problems getting up onto TJ13 TV. Anyway, here it is if you’ve not seen it.

Todt encouraging cost control

Our glorious leader has spoken today and we should all take dutiful note. “We need to reduce costs in order to keep everyone on board,” said little Jean. “It is important to find a compromise. The FIA ​​has to come to an agreement with the owners of the commercial rights and the teams”.

Apparently the FIA ​​president believes a decrease in budgets by 30 percent would be an adequate enough reduction to prevent the smaller teams going bust – or in his words, ‘in order to keep everyone on board’.

untitledAs per usual, instead of leading F1 and setting the agenda, little Jean is responding to Christian Horner’s call this week for the RRA to be torn up, However, in FIA fanatsylandia Jean believes, “It is the duty of us all to participate in it. I’ve never heard someone say that they are against a reduction in costs. I’m sure if we make reasonable suggestions, everyone will be happy.” (this is a translation from German publication Spox).

Horner’s argument is that the rules should be kept stable and therefore the costs for teams would all eventually fall as they reach the limits of what the rules allow. This in effect would turn F1 into a specification series.

Following Christians comments this week it has been suggested his position on properly enforced stable design rules and specs would actually need to be negotiable. This would allow for when Red Bull’s young driver refused to accept the rules and agreements and began adding bits of foil to – and painting go-faster stripes down – the side of his car.

Sagely Jean observes the result of the current financing problems to be, “It is not normal that half of the drivers need to pay to drive. Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motor sport and I think it’s not right that drivers need to raise money so they can drive”.

TJ13 says: Had F1’s supremo shared out the commercial revenue a little more fairly/evenly, we may have seen far less pay to drive employees. However, the cat is out of the bag and this revenue for the teams will now always be a top slice they know they can access. It will not go away.

Caption Competition: Vettel in Shanghai


Vettel Speaks for the first time (not ever)

Read TJ13’s Daily News and Comment: Tuesday 26th March 2013 – 2 days after the race…3rd article down… I think we predicted what is coming next.

Well in a video interview with sponsor Infiniti, Vettel speaks publically today in Shanghai for the first time since leaving Malaysia and he says, “I apologised to the team straight after for putting myself above the team, which I didn’t mean to do. But there is not much more to say, really. I don’t apologise for winning, that is why people employed me in the first place and why I’m here. I love racing and that’s what I did.”

Who says there isn’t an agreed party line 🙂

What is TJ13

Apparently TJ13 has been criticised by amateur commentators on another well known site this week for apparently ‘strange and highly propagandist muttering emanate from that site”. Also, ‘opinion and analysis articles from that blog are not impartial and are dubious at best’. Further, ‘Mark Webber is adored over there. The writer has expressed this frequently in past articles’.

Don’t worry, I’m not mortally wounded by the observations, but it does allow me to re-iterate that new readers to TJ13 should read the ‘Home’ page and the ‘Project’ article on the ‘About’ page. Formula 1 reporting – particularly in the English language – is too cautious and often has the commentator sitting on the fence for fear of being accused of being impartial.

There is almost a false pride in being independently objective when the situation cries out for a strong opinion one way or another, eg Bahrain 2012. However, for the record, we are not Mark Webber lovers – should he lie to the media and F1 fans and break his word to his team mate and refuse to carry out his duty as instructed by his employers – he too would be duly castigated in court and sentenced accordingly… probably more so than Vettel because unlike some other nationalities (and I include my own) we expect Aussies not to bull shit us.

untitledWhat TJ13 does not do is propaganda. Nobody tells us what to say or to think. The gavel of justice and criticism will fall on whoever merits its attention from Saint Frank through to Diablo Bernie.

Further, I reject that the analysis being brought on this sight is anything other than the best. Such that one UK national newspaper reworded and published paragraph by paragraph a breaking story we first published in 2012.l We have some fantastic analysis coming for you this weekend from someone I will introduce later – he is a real life rocket scientist and we are hoping to collaborate further with TJ13 TV when we solve some technical and operational problems later this year.

Most importantly, if you read the ‘About’ page. TJ13 is for everyone. It is an opportunity to get closer to F1 and do something. Since Christmas 15 people are now regularly involved in writing, tweeting, research, YouTube searches with TJ13 who had never done anything like this before.

Contact me at thejudge13@hotmail.co.uk if you want to do something, write, research help with TJ13 TV…

15 responses to “Daily News and Comment: Wednesday 10th April 2013

  1. Great post, particularly press conference and steward background/analysis. Everything I need to know about te weekend is here.

  2. Good article with interesting insight pre GP.

    Cost control in F1 is necessary if the field is not to be reduced, but how you do it without unduly restricting the “prototype” format I don’t know? Look at MotoGP – the Moto2 field is huge and incredibly competitive, but with very restrictive rules, whereas MotoGP is so expensive they ended up having to admit a “production” class to give us a decent number of bikes on the starting grid! I believe the real expense comes with unrestricted research, especially into aerodynamics. Restrictions of aero parts and a ban or severe curtailment of wind tunnel time, materials control on mechanical and electronic parts and a ban on real time telemetry could control personnel and associated material costs.

    I’m sure you will not, but do not have concerns about petty criticism from other places, as far as I can see, if necessary we agree to disagree here!

    As for the RUSH video – oh puke!

    PS – have just read (and will re-read until I get my head round it) the technical explanation of the Merc FRIC system on SomersF1. Thanks for the prompt.

  3. Wouldn’t worry about the criticism judge as we all know your Webber’s number one fanboy.

    Kidding aside, I felt a bit of sympathy for Vettel over the team orders yet never noticed any undue favoritism to Webber in your posts.

    If people want to see favoritism they should read some of Andrew Benson’s Alonso stuff over at the BBC!

    • as long as you said ‘fanboy’ you’ll not be the 2nd only mod’d comment….

      I’m apoplectic with righteous indignation…. Propaganda!!! bias!!! inferior analysis!!!

      I intend to be dismissive and ridicule all F1 participants equally and to the fullest extent possible given the chance. Bianchi is going to get it soon if he carries on being so anemic and nice…

    • I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but Andrew Benson seems to have stopped tweeting since 28 March.

      Also, his usual articles have been replaced by ones written by Lawrence Barretto.

      Is Benson not well or has he moved on?

  4. Nice, a quick Google search brings up the tj13 critic very easily, although in context, I think that the majority of the people on that site appear to appreciate the different views that both websites bring to the table. Don’t worry about it too much (and certainly don’t worry about it enough to mention it in a news article, you might not be “mortally wounded” but there is no need to be bitter – personal experience would suggest you should joke about it, by having the tagline ‘Webber’s number one fans’ and then linking to the comments by TW/SMcL themselves). You never know, I might need to start saying ‘Views expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Alistair, no matter how correct they may be’ (actually, I’ll need to do that for the next circuit profile for Bahrain, due to obvious circumstances).

    And as for the important stuff, there should be two DRS zones at each circuit, just seems like the right thing to do. And the Korean Grand Prix; well, they’ve been there before, and the race is several months away – if nothing has happened by then, then F1 should be fine.

    • Thanks Alistair – it actually was a convenient tool to re-assert what TJ13 actually is – we get about 12,000 new readers every month and it reminded me to point them to the about page and invite them to join in 🙂

      Agreed on Korea, however, someone at the UN know was telling me yesterday that whilst their short term analysis is that everyone carry on as normal (a la US embassy advice) they do expect medium term ‘trouble’ which may well involve a change in that advice. Medium term being beyond 6 months.

      A key issue apparently was over US military flying patterns, and should the US not back down over these there is supposedly a significant possibility that Kim will take a pot shot to make his point., he said

      Let’s put it this way when I asked what the analyst’s felt the probability of normative travel to and from South Korea in 6 months be would, my friend said 60-70%.

  5. Any advertising is good advertising. Have you got a bunch of new sign-ups since the criticism?

    Seriously, the reason I stopped visiting the previous site I went to for my F1 ‘fix’ was because the comments were becoming more and more inane ‘fanboy’ rubbish. Sure, I could have simply read the article and skipped the comments, but then I only have one opinion. Commentry allows people to disagree or promote new or different ideas.

    It’s easy to criticise another’s work – even to slander – on the internet without providing any proof and get away with it. Those people generally invite criticism of themselves, to the point where you remember who they are and intentionally skip their comments to save yourself the headache. So half the other readers of that site probably didn’t see it, and the other half probably came over here to see what the fuss was about. And some of them will like what they see here and stay.

    Cheers, Judge – keep up the great work!

    • Good to hear from you Craig

      In case anyone thinks I was upset, I wasn’t. I enjoy the fact that a debate is being had and I have felt for a long time F1 is too serious and needs a sideswipe or 2 on a regular basis.

      It sets me up nicely for comments such as I’ve already made – when Webber nods off on the grid and forgets to engage the clutch – “not bad for an Aussie lover” 😀

      Plus might I add, the author of that site is a top F1 person (not just writer) who I like a lot and have huge respect for…

  6. About your criticasters, give them some time, they’re still in denial, you have pushed them out of their comfort zone, made them doubt everything they’ve ever believed in, everything the Reverend JA has taught them about right or wrong.
    The seed is planted, not long now before they start thinking for themselves, you should be proud Judge 😉

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