Daily News and F1 Comment: Monday 27th May 2013

Pirelli told to modify tyres regardless of team agreement

Bernie Ecclestone has told AMuS that “I did it like in the old days. I told the teams that they should be united and Pirelli will modify its tyres as planned.”

The lack of Concorde agreement appears to once again playing into the hands of anarchy. This will be a clear breach of the sporting regulations, but who can do anything about it.

Pirelli must be feeling invincible at present because despite the drama over the development tyre test with Mercedes and the current impass between the teams over the modification of the 2013 tyres, they are now close to being appointed official F1 tyre supplier for 2014 and beyond.

Pirelli president Marco Tronchetti Provera met with Bernie Ecclestone this weekend according to Spain’s AS publication. “We are now close to agreeing the conditions [to sign],” said Provera. “so we’ll see. The fact is that Bernie is happy with us and also our company is still interested in the F1 project, so I hope we can get to an agreement soon and all will be well.”

Provera believes Pirelli have been fundamental to improving F1. “We were asked to add more ‘show’ to the races, and I think the races are better now than before our arrival, so I think in that sense we have succeeded.”

Lotus record biggest losses in F1 history

The Telegraph is reporting that Lotus F1’s accounts for 2012 show a loss of close to £57m. “No other F1 team filing publicly available accounts has ever lost as much money,” said Christian Sylt.

Much of this is attributed to Lotus Cars ceasing to sponsor the team even though it continues to bear their name. Revenues fell by around 20% to just over £90m for the year.

Much of the loss was covered by a loan from Proton to the team of around £35m which is secured on the Enstone facility. Genii also advanced a loan understood to be about £42m. Lotus now has debts of approaching £80m

The next biggest publically recorded F1 team loss was from Marrusia with a 2011 loss of £46.3m.

Times are clearly tough in F1 for a number of the teams and Ecclestone’s commented this weekend to Sporting Life, “The amount of money I’ve said the teams receive is enough to run a successful business.

It’s impossible for the teams to go out of this sport because of finance because the amount of money we pay them is more than enough for them to run their teams properly.

We can’t stop them spending money. It’s impossible. The money is there and they spend it, and they don’t bother to find out where it’s going. There’s nothing much we can do about it.

I’ve been in the sport an awful long time, and I ran a team for 18 years, so I know a little bit about it. Many of these people are the same and nothing has changed”.

Sanguine sensibility one may think and Bernie’s comments have an air of plausibility until you consider 2 matters.

Firstly, the last team receives in prize money less than 1/10th of the amount of Ferrari, who were paid the most in 2012 even though they failed to win the constructor’s championship. This disparity is ridiculous and not replicated in any other global sport. Yet CVC boss, Donald McKenzie, told the paddock club press, “But that’s how it is. It’s a championship where you get paid more if you do well”.

The second reason Ecclestone’s comments are nonsensical is because as a former team boss he should know the teams are already committing to 2014 spend now, without the certainty of what income they will receive. Planning for continuity and budgeting given those constraints is almost impossible.

In Ecclestone’s days budgets for midfield teams were less than £5m and the teams had maybe as few as 30 employees. No sensible comparison can be made of F1 finance from then and to now.

As to James Allison’s departure…?

Perez growing in stature

Sergio Perez © McLaren F1Kimi was fuming on the car radio following his coming together with Sergio Perez, calling him an “idiot”. Of course the two have previous from their skirmish in China.

Kimi told reporters, “It was a really disappointing day. Because of one stupid move from Sergio we’ve lost a lot of points to Sebastian [Vettel] in the Championship and you can’t afford to lose ground like that.

He hit me from behind and that’s about all there is to it. If he thinks it’s my fault that he came into the corner too fast then he obviously has no idea what he’s talking about. It’s not the first time he’s hit someone in the race; he seems to expect people to be always looking at what he might do, then move over or go straight on if he comes into the corner too quick and isn’t going to make it without running into someone.”

The Iceman forgot to manage his precious ‘cool’ image for a moment, because when speaking to German TV channel RTL he suggested of Perez, “Maybe it’s better to hit him in the face and maybe he’ll understand.”

Perez saw things differently “I’d had a great race – I’d been overtaking cars through the afternoon – but in my opinion Kimi didn’t leave me enough room when I tried to pass him as we exited the tunnel, and as a result I got squeezed into the wall on the entry to the Harbour Chicane.

That was a real shame – I’d overtaken both Jenson and Fernando there, and Jenson had overtaken me there too, but I couldn’t have avoided the crash with Kimi. Of course, any passing manoeuvre at Monaco is risky, but, at the end of the day, you have to leave each other a little room.”

Even Jenson who’d reported his fellow McLaren driver for cutting the chicane early in the race had begrudging praise for Sergio. Speaking in the press pen after the race he said, “There have been some good moves out there by a lot of people. Checo did a really good job with overtaking apart from the last one.

He made a good move he overtook me, so fair play to him. At the start of the race he went over the chicane, and it doesn’t matter who it is – if they go straight on you’re going to radio it in. It was the same with Fernando and Checo. Checo made a good move on Fernando, Fernando went straight and he had to let him pass.”

Perez stature is growing within the McLaren team since Martin Whitmarsh told him before Bahrain to ‘get his elbows out’. Whitmarsh was pleased with his driver’s performance in Monaco and felt Raikkonen was nit picking.

“I don’t think we should have too much to complain about there, that is what happens in Monaco occasionally. I am happy with his spirit and his challenge,” Whitmarsh said to SKY TV.

He continued, “You can over push sometimes but I think he did some great overtakes. I have got to be pleased that he is there, he is committed and racing”.

Over the Raikkonen incident, Whitmarsh suggests Raikkonen may be partially to blame. “You can argue it different ways: Checo will feel he wasn’t given the space and he was crowded by Kimi, which I can understand.

Kimi will say that he can defend his line and Checo was coming perhaps a bit too aggressively.

It was certainly a charging attempt, but in motor racing you have to take a little bit of risk sometimes. If it comes off you are a hero and if it doesn’t you are disappointed.

After that, Checo obviously damaged his front wing, which was difficult enough, but he also had debris in the brake ducts, so therefore they overheated and he lost his brakes.”

So a tale of 2 young F1 drivers runs in parallel. One is told to ‘wake up’ by his boss, the other is warmly defended by his mentor – who when doing so practically glowed with pride.

Massa crashes not his fault

Felipe Massa tweeted a thumbs up from his apartment adding the words, “all good!!!!”.


It appears Ferrari are suggesting Massa’s first crash on Saturday was due to hitting a bump, but Pat Fry said last night to SKY, “It seems that (Sunday’s) incident can be attributed to a problem on the left front corner of the car.”

Dominicalli commented last night he thought Massa would be fit to drive in Canada.

20 responses to “Daily News and F1 Comment: Monday 27th May 2013

  1. How someone can see Perez’s antics at Monaco as a good thing is beyond me. The guy was driving as if he didn’t know that the transparent bit of the helmet goes to the front. And Monaco is the last place to thrash around like your hair’s on fire.
    Sutil provided a lesson on how it can be done, Perez showed how it shouldn’t be done.

    • Haha. Thought Sutil looked superb. I’ve felt a bit sorry for his ‘luck’ so far this year – even though he refuses to say he’s been unlucky – which makes him even more likeable.

      Check out the waves Jackie Stewart made when becoming team mate to Graham Hill. Young guns have to do that – they either make it or become history.

      And today they have even less time to make an impression. Look how many years J Herbert was trundling round in an F1 car – wouldn’t happen today.

      • HA, you really don’t like Herbert do you? You should have a new tagline:

        thejudge13: “Mark Mesmeriser , Herbert Hater”

        (PS1 Despite only one of them being true, obviously
        PS2 Couldn’t think of a word beginning with W, otherwise would have done Webber …, Herbert Hater, but you get what I mean)

    • More drivers should be like Perez. In my mind Kimi was his only real judgement error and he was naive to think it will work again. Sutil did well with overtaking and so did Kimi on his recovery drive.

      A bit more patience and we have a wdc in Perez me thinks.

      • Agreed, but he was braking to back out – had Raikkonen given him room – he would have retained the position and both would not have been damaged.

        Stewards issued no penalty…

        • The problem I had with his driving is, that he ‘blackmailed’ others into being overtaken. Take his lunge at Alonso for instance. He put Alonso into a situation where he had to leave the track to avoid a collision. And to add insult to injury, he was awarded a free pass for it.
          If nothing else, he’s made himself a few more enemies and if reports in the German media are to be believed, his on-track antics have already been a topic in the drivers briefings. The day is already in the calendar that one of his blackmailing lunges will end with an armco imprint on his helmet.

          • Danilo, did you follow Senna or do you think he was one of the greatest?

            If I recall correctly he did exactly the same, gave other drivers the “choice” if they wanted to crash or not. He is applauded for it. I wonder if Senna would have had the same following if he raced today.

  2. McLaren will not do anything against Perez. For one thing he was given instructions by the team to be more “aggressive”. So they can hardly complain if he does what he is told. But I think the main reason is that they need to keep him for the sponsorship he will bring from Telmex.
    I did think that if Button retires in the next year or so that McLaren would favour a Japanese driver. Is Kobayashi still looking for a drive? Are there any up and coming new Japanese drivers?
    Lotus may have a driver leaving F1 soon, Grosjean. Was it Eddie Jordan who said the driver is on 3 race contracts? Yes he is quick, but reckless it seems aswell. (Grosjean that is, not Eddie Jordan). Who would the team replace him with I wonder.

      • Always felt KK got the short end of the strategy stick quite often at Sauber. Would be nice for him to get some redemption in a faster car.

        • Hi mattpt55… surely any driver can do better in a faster car… Isn’t the real point to get yourself noticed, regardless of the car. KK, and Heiki, and many others over the years, have had several years each to show their true mettle, and none of them looked like future champions… It doesn’t surprise me when a team just drops them – I would probably do the same. Many, many years ago, as a teenage paperboy, my newsagent taught me: “There’s no sentiment in business…!”

          • Maybe there isn’t any sentiment in business, but looking at the driver selections lately, there isn’t any common sense in it either. Timo Glock was dropped for Max Chilton, who’s biggest achievement so far is an unsuccessful attempt to kill Pastor Maldonado. And Kamui was dropped for Esteban Gutierrez, who’s very good at inventing new ways to be utterly crap at his job every second weekend. Money is more important than talent in F1 these days, else people like Chilton, Gutierrez, van der Garde, Maldonado or Perez for that matter would never have been given the time of day.

          • Danilo – Was Chilton not already in the car before the Glock agreement – it was supposed to be Glock and Chiton at Marussia (Pic had already been confirmed for Caterham), then Glock left and was replaced by Razia (for about a day), then Bianchi.

            Plus, Esteban techinaclly replaced Perez, since he wouldn’t be there if Perez was not at Mclaren, and still at Sauber, because they still needed the Mexican link – so really Gutierrez replaced Perez, and the Hulk replaced Kamui.

      • Koba drove a 2010 F10 around Fiorano, he’s participating in the Moscow City Racing event, this was just to refresh his memory.
        At least, that’s what Ferrari says, they also said he adapted to the car very quickly and they were amazed by his laptimes…….
        Alonso san waiting the arrival of his brother Samurai?

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