Daily F1 News and Comment: Saturday 18th May 2013

This page will be updated throughout the day

Nurburgring goes up for Sale

The iconic motor racing circuit has been put up for sale. The Eiffel regional government which owns the facility is expecting to receive about £100m for the Formula 1 venue, the Nordschleife and associated facilities. The debts to be written of prior to the sale are £338m

Constructed for the 1927 the circuit had 174 corners (prior to 1971 changes), and averaged 8 to 9 metres in width. The fastest time ever around the full Gesamtstrecke was by Louis Chiron, at an average speed of 112.31 km/h (72 mph) in his Bugatti.

During practice for the 1961 German Grand Prix, Phil Hill became the first person to complete a lap of the Nordschleife in under 9 minutes, with a lap of 8 minutes 55.2 seconds (153.4 km/h or 95.3 mph) in the Ferrari 156 “Sharknose” Formula One car.

Over half a century later, the highest-performing road cars have difficulty breaking 8 minutes without a professional race driver or one very familiar with the track. A professional German lady driver attempted to complete a circuit of the track in a diesel van and just failed to beat 9 minutes for top gear.

The ‘Green Hell’ fell into bankruptcy last July and the track has been in need of a buyer since then. The new owner will take over 300 employees and 12.8 miles of tarmac famed for its danger and risk.

Commentator’s confused by Spanish GP

This chart may suggest plenty of people knew what was going on throughout the race. I know I for one did.


The paradox

Whilst discussing Ecclestone’s possible fate yesterday, I threw out a conundrum/paradox for you to peruse. There were some interesting attempts and to be fair it was not easy. Here was the story.

The Judge informs a convicted criminal that they will be hanged at noon on a weekday during the following week. He adds though that the execution will be a surprise to the prisoner. Until the executioner knocks on the door at midday, he will not know the day of the hanging.

Having reflected on his sentence, the prisoner draws the conclusion that he will escape from the hanging (1). His reasoning is in several parts. He begins by concluding that the “surprise hanging” can’t be on Friday, as if he hasn’t been hanged by Thursday, there is only one day left – and so it won’t be a surprise if he’s hanged on Friday. Since the judge’s sentence stipulated that the hanging would be a surprise to him, he concludes it cannot occur on Friday.

He then reasons that the surprise hanging cannot be on Thursday either, because Friday has already been eliminated and if he hasn’t been hanged by Wednesday night, the hanging must occur on Thursday, making a Thursday hanging not a surprise either. By similar reasoning he concludes that the hanging can also not occur on Wednesday, Tuesday or Monday. Joyfully he retires to his cell confident that the hanging will not occur at all.

So what happened?

Well before we get to that, the tale can be interestingly spun a little differently. If we stop the question at (1) and create in our prisoner had an extreme case of paranoia, then he could be certain in his mind that on Monday at midday that the executioner would arrive.  The same would occur on Tuesday, Wednesday and so on.

This ensures that every day Mr. E is not hanged really is a “surprise” to him, but that the day of his hanging he was indeed expecting to be hanged and therefore he wasn’t.

The actual answer to the version of the tale I set is as follows.

The next week, the executioner knocks on the prisoner’s door at noon on Wednesday — which, despite all Mr. E’s reasoning, was an utter surprise to him. Everything the judge said came true.

Today’s task is to apply this logical school of thinking to some of the current issues in F1…

The perfect lap

This was something we posted just after Barcelona testing. It kind of explains why Alonso had no choice but to 4 stop and there are some interesting predictions of how the tyres will fare during the up coming races. The Perfect Lap

9 responses to “Daily F1 News and Comment: Saturday 18th May 2013

  1. Back to tyres, and FIA have announced changes can only be for safety. So any tweaks will be on rear tyres and will be minor. I rarely agree with Ferrari International Assistance and the Pirelli tyres are woeful, but this is the absolute right decision.

    Merc are screwed

  2. Ok, just returned from playing a Puccini Mass, and to honor the Italians, I find that Bernie E. is now talking about buying the NJ Grand Prix that apparently might be. Or is he just trolling for potential investors on behalf of the new executives? Would love your opinion when you return from the weekend. http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130518/f1/130519830.

    • Hi Matt

      There’s not really much more there other than I’ve already reported.

      I think our last piece included FOM/BE paying off the promoters debt.

      The context about Ecclestone being a race promoter too is useful for those who don’t remember. But Istanbul is the reason Ecclestone doesn’t do this.

      If NJ were to get a 10 year contract, the associated costs would be close to $1bn based upon cost of FOM fee, plus capital investment in infrastructure, plus annual cost of setting up street circuit to Class 1 FIA grade circuit.

      Without tax payer funds I can’t see why FOM would do this, based on the current funding model.

      Further, the events/decisions of the next few weeks may overtake NJ all together.

      • Thanks much Your Honor. I wonder why he is pushing so hard for an East Coast race in the US (or is this always how it goes).

        I don’t know if you have done any writing on a post Bernie world, but I am beginning to sense large shadowy forces creaking around behind the scenes, forces that are even more powerful than Bernie. Or maybe my imagination is getting the better of me. The curse of interesting times I suppose.

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