Daily F1 News and Comment: Wednesday 29th May 2013

This page will be updated throughout the day

Michelin are active

Michelin have been re-tweeting selected posts in the twittersphere over the past 24 hours. One was “We’ve created a poll.. let’s see if the f1 fans agree”. There was a link to a facebook poll asking “Would you want to see Michelin in F1 again?”

When asked why they were doing this @MichelinTyres replied, “It’s always interesting to hear what F1 fans think about something as critical as tyres”.

They were then asked whether they were considering an F1 comeback. @MichelinTyres said, “We’re completely open minded on this but it would depend on the tyre regulations”, adding, “They would need to incorporate sustainability – using fewer tyres. The sizes should also be more like road tyres”.

@MichelinTyres last comment on any possible return to the sport was, “It would be up to our management and motorsport department, and F1’s bosses to agree on the regulations first”.

This could be a setup, Michelin mischief making or a genuine bid to replace or supplement Pirelli. Pirelli wish to be sole supplier to F1, so a return to multiple manufacturers is unlikely. Michelin always claimed they wished not be the sole supplier.

As I suggested in my last article, Todt was in favour of the French manufacturer last time the contract was awarded. What is clear, were Michelin to return to F1, their intentions on tyre creation are completely opposite to those of Pirelli.

Do we want racing defined by tyres as it was in 2006, 05, 04, 03… back again?

@MichelinTyres concluded, “We won the championship in 06 with #Renault so no reason why we couldn’t do it now. And that was when other brands competed”.

Teams have been switching rear tyres

Adam Cooper has reported today that the effect of Pirelli reverting to the Kevlar base tyre as provided in 2012 will prevent certain teams from gaining an advantage that they have discovered in 2013.

The steel based 2013 rear tyres are ‘handed’ by Pirelli – ie designated for the right or the left of the car. Certain teams have discovered that by switching them to the opposite side of the car from which they were designated has made them run better. This is not against the rules.

However, tyres manufactured with the Kevlar base are not ‘handed’ and this practice will serve no purpose from Montreal onwards.

Mercedes confirm they have been doing this since Melbourne.

This change of belt or base is a clear change in the specification of the tyre and should not happen under the sporting regulations unless all the teams agree.

This gives the El Presidente Todt a conundrum to consider. If, as suggested in my last article, he decides to throw the book at Mercedes for ‘unintentionally’ breaching the sporting regulations – what will they do with Pirelli? Who may it be suing who?

I did predict F1 was about to descend into chaos on the Saturday of the Spanish GP. Yet this was not one of the anarchical scenarios I had considered. The others are still brewing.

Marko Watch

Never let it be said that Marko is half hearted in anything he does or says. I can see it now, embarrassed he knew nothing about the ‘development test’ until after dinner the night of qualifying in Monaco; he orders his minions to bring his trusty rule book and pours over the detail late into the night.

untitledHis conclusion as dawn is breaking over the picturesue harbour setting for the race, “Why seek justice when thermo nuclear war is an option” – he thinks.

Marko is calling on the FIA to throw the book at Mercedes as Bilde report he believes the International tribunal will be called upon to adjudicate. “There will be a hearing, although I do not know when and where”. This is similar to the spy scandal of 2007 between McLaren and Ferrari”, Marko suggests.

In 2007 the FIA considered banning McLaren from F1, but ultimately excluded the British team from the constructors’ championship and issued a record $100 million fine – later reduced to $50m – and allowed by HMC&A as a tax deductible expense.

Sebastien Saves Sebastian’s bacon

The Red Bull car looked no where on Thursday and according to Marko on ServisTV the secret to Vettel almost clinching pole position 2 days later was the teams reserve driver, Sebstian Buemi.

He pounded out more than 400 laps of the Monaco circuit on the simulator to discover the problem. Allegedly, the factory then created 2 new front wings, and Buemi took them to Monaco in time for Saturday qualifying (AMuS).

“On Saturday we were on the pace,” said Marko. “After the initial problems, we are more than happy with the result — we have been able to extend our lead in both championships,” he smiled with satisfaction.

Are Lotus in disarray?

The number of stories and rumours emanating from Enstone is beginning to be of concern. I heard in February that a number of redundancies had taken place, though this was believed to be the in-house marketing team and was around the time of the NBC announcement.

James Allison has since left and over the weekend the 2012 financials were released and look pretty woeful with the debt position of the team at around $100m. Nearly nearly half of that figure is a loan from Proton who are holding the Enstone factory as security until repayment is made later this year.

The team was hoping to sign a major sponsor in Honeywell as a title sponsor for 2013 and leaked this to a number of sources, but the deal fell through.

Yet Lotus couldn’t have had a much better start on track to the year with Kimi winning in Australia and the team in second place in the constructors’ championship following the fly away races. 2 races later they are over 50 points behind Red Bull and in danger of being relegated to 4th place with a resurgent Mercedes just 3 points adrift.

Grosjean had made a good start to the year, picking up valuable points without getting into too much bother and could easily be better placed having started 6th and Barcelona but suffering a suspension failure.

To compound matters, it appears that had Lotus not retired Grosjean when they did on Sunday, he would have received a drive through or stop go penalty instead of the 10 place grid drop he will face in Canada.

Even after a disastrous weekend in Monaco he sits 9th in the driver standings, ahead of Button and just behind Di Resta, with all the drivers ahead of him having behind them more consistent F1 experience.

However, it could be that with the apparent turmoil around the team Eric Boullier is losing his nerve. When questioned by Sporting Life as to whether he was considering replacing Grosjean with reserve driver and last years GP2 champion, Davide Valsecchi, Boullier responded, “Not yet”.

Adam Cooper who was clearly at the same interview doesn’t mention Valsecchi but reports Eric Boullier more positively stating, “I think we just need to cool him down and have a proper discussion when we are back in the factory.

It’s not a worry, he did a great job over the winter and fixed all the problems he had last year, so I think there’s some frustration sometime when he knows he can be fast and he just needs to build himself.

He is fast and he can deliver some big results. He did it in Bahrain and he was on his way to do it in Barcelona so it’s just using the momentum and making sure he’s back on track with the real expectations.”

Even so, to even countenance the Valsecchi suggestion is hardly a vote of confidence for Grosjean, and would switching drivers be really what Lotus needs right now?

Time for a steady hand on the tiller Eric, methinks.

Pit Radio cut

If you’ve never seen the pit radio channel offered by some TV stations, here it is. There is 30 minutes of radio transmissions from the teams and you may be surprised at some of the things the drivers are being told.

We hear Jenson grassing up his team mate – 3 times, Vettel being told not to overtake, Webber being told to slow down and Kimi threatening young defenceless Sergio. Chilton’s engineer appears to think there is a Williams driver called ‘Botox’.

Click on the link and then enter the password ‘thatidiot’. http://vimeo.com/67115320

For those of you who didn’t have time to watch, Rocky tells Vettel, “Ok Sebastian, 3 laps to go – bring it home”. On the next lap having seen Vettel do the fastest first sector of the race, Rocky is a little more surly, “Sebastian. you know the score. Don’t take any risks”.

Vettel continues and puts in the fastest lap of the race only to hear Rocky again instruct him, ” Ok. That’s enough. You’re not getting any more points for that”. Vettel replies, “But satisfaction…” then Vettel’s voice breaks up but it sounds as though he’s suggesting he’s not happy at being told to drive slow for 77 laps (maybe you can get the exact wording better).

Rocky then refuses to relent saying, “Yep. There’s no satisfaction for us in that one though”. He adds, “You might enjoy yourself, but we don’t like it”.

Vettel then has the last word saying, “Let’s discuss this after the race”.

Ooh err. Did Vettel disobey a team order?

On refelection, what was a shame was Webber had thrown the dice and had pitted 5 laps before the safety car – clearly going for a two stop strategy. Unfortunately, Massa’s untimely Ferrari failure brought out the safety car at the perfect time for those who were going longer on stint 1.

So we’ll never know what a charging Webber after his final stop could have achieved. We do have Raikkonen’s example to know there could well have been overtaking.

Though this upsets many of you I know, but for me racing in Monaco is track limited FIRST… the rest is a lottery – unless you are on pole position.

Quick quiz: 6 racs in F1 history have been red flagged. 2 of them in the past 3 years at Monaco. Can anyone name the other 4 and for what reason?

Forza Ferrari video

Mmm. I wonder if Ferrari are looking to indoctrinate the revellers on the beaches and clubs of the Eurozone with this anthemesque number.

F1 TV viewing figures soar

Whilst in the the homeland of F1, the UK and Europe, TV viewing figures have been tumbling, the US is experiencing a renaissance in viewership. NBC have replaced SPEED in broadcasting F1 in the states and the Monaco GP was watched more than any other F1 race since the Canadian GP which was broadcast live in 2007 (1.494m).

This was the first live broadcast on US TV of the Monaco GP and 1.456m tuned in between 07:59-10:30 a.m. ET/04:59-7:30 a.m. PT. Fox TV broadcast 4 live races in 2012 and their average was 1.038m viewers.

The next race in Canada will also be broadcast live in the US at 14:00 ET/11:00 PT. This more sociable time could attract even more fans than did the race in Monaco.

NASCAR is always the ‘King’ of US motor racing and the FOX primetime show had an average of 7m viewers. As yet no figures have been released for the Indy500.

Uk audiences improved in 2013. The BBC highlights show had an audience of 3.11m viewers and was aired between 17:35-19:05 whilst SKY’s live audience was 855,000 according to ITV’s Media’s Top 10. The true figure subject to adjustment may be more like 750,000 which will be reported by BARB next week.

SKY improved from last years average audience of 565,000 and this despite the weather during the UK Bank holiday weekend being excellent. In 2012 the race was of course shown live on the BBC so this improvement for SKY was to be expected.

This gives a combined average UK audience of 3.96m up from that in 2012 of 3.77m. However when the race was free to air exclusively on the BBC last in 2011 the viewing audience was 5.15m. This has to be disappointing for advertisers and sponsors.

I believe that FOM are currently looking in detail at streaming F1 on the internet and therefore any new TV contracts would not including internet exclusivity for that region.

Six and O

In American speak, only 3 drivers have out qualified their team mates by this margin this year. Vettel, Raikkonen and Hulkenberg.

One driver has a five and O – do you know who?

Indy 500

The race last weekend over 500 laps was the fastest ever at Indianapolis with the average speed being over 300kph.

Mercedes Marketing

This has apparently been posted in newspapers across the world today. Looks like Stuttgart are making the most of their investment.


Pirelli not now changing tyres for Canada

Breaking News: GMT 11:55

Rumours are emerging that following the protests by Red Bull and Ferrari, Pirelli will not introduce the adapted 2013 tyres in Canada. A Pirelli spokesperson has said, “We’ll be bringing two sets per team for Friday practice with a view to implementing the new rear tyres in Silverstone. The regulations allow for this and for reasons of sporting equity, we think that this is the best way forward”.

This does not mean the tyres WILL be introduced for Silverstone. The regulations Pirelli refer to allow for the teams to have them for Friday practice.

Eric Boullier welcomes this decision by Pirelli and comments, “We are excited to test the modified tires in free practice in Canada, but we must race with the original 2013 tyre specifications. I see no need to rush this, but we can not compete in Canada with new tires, without having tested them before.”

The mind boggles. The clear losers here must be Red Bull, because Ferrari, Lotus and Force India are quire comfortable on the current tyre compounds. Is this a Pirelli re-action to Red Bull’s protest?

The threat of the International Tribunal sitting and judging ‘the development test’ and possible breaches of the sporting regulations has surely affected Pirelli. So for the new compounds to be raced upon, it will require the unanimous agreement of the teams, and of course Mercedes can no longer be deemed to have an advantage having tested the adjusted compounds in Barcelona.

Red Bull may now have to wait for ‘justice’ from the International Tribunal until after the German GP and will now not get to race the new rubber compounds they crave.

Pirelli may be doing Mercedes a favour, as they claimed they were already getting on top of the 2013 compounds without the ‘development’ test and this will give them the chance to demonstrate this.

Conspiracists will now have a field day and Mattpt55 and I need to do some work. Oh the possibilities are truly wonderous!!!! 🙂

UPDATE: GMT1830 Paul Hembery has told journalists he would like to switch his phone off for 2 weeks and not talk tyres. Mmm. Commercial director for a global tyre company… is it not part of the job?

Clearly Pirelli have made the decision not to run the new tyres in Canada to avoid the race being run again under sporting regulation protests and Craig Slater of Sky News reports, “they say it is only because they couldn’t get the unanimous support from all the teams to run the tyre over the full course of the weekend.”

Williams part company with CEO – quickly!

A statement from Williams today reads as follows.

Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC (Ticker: WGF1) has announced that Mike O’Driscoll will become Group CEO with effect from today.

O’Driscoll, formerly Managing Director of Jaguar Cars (2007 – 2011) and ex-President of Aston Martin Jaguar Land Rover in North America (2001 – 2007), has been appointed Group CEO to guide the long term future of Williams. The newly created role will see the Williams F1 Team and Williams Advanced Engineering united under one management structure and will enable Mike to provide support to Sir Frank Williams, founder and Team Principal and to work in partnership with Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal.

Mike will lead the Executive Committee who will report to him and in turn he will report to Sir Frank Williams and the Williams Grand Prix Holdings board.

Alex Burns, previously Chief Executive Officer of Williams Grand Prix Holdings PLC, will leave the company with immediate effect. Williams thanks him for the significant contribution he has made to the business and wishes him well in his future endeavours.

Whatever anyone says, TJ13 identified Williams along with Caterham as two teams where morale and certainty of the future was problematic over the winter period.

Williams has been one big revolving door for over a year now. March 2012, Alan Parr exits swiftly, Williams get a cheque for £25m a week later – up pops Toto Wolff to steady the ship. Mark Gillan, Chief op’s engineer (integral in 2012 Barcelona win)  leaves at a days notice  in December – why? “To spend more time with his family (right) “.

Toto and Burns almost recruit Paddy Lowe, then Toto bails out and grabs Paddy to join him at Brackley. Claire Williams becomes Depty Principal and and now this!

63 responses to “Daily F1 News and Comment: Wednesday 29th May 2013

  1. According to an ESPN presser yesterday, the Indy500 pulled in 3.7 rating (approx. 5.7 million viewers) – well down on last year’s 4.3 rating, but closer to the figure from two years ago. It ranked as one of the lowest TV audiences for Indy since live broadcasts began in 1986.
    As for NASCAR, the 4.1 for the Coca Cola 600 continues a worrying trend of downward viewing figures in the US.

      • Technically yes, but it was broadcast on Network on Memorial Sunday. Given the nature of the holiday, there is a far higher chance of there being an at home audience.

        A better comparison world be Sky vs NBC Sports viewership, at which US numbers tend to be around the 200,000-250,000 number. Although IndyCar generally pips F1 on US TV when on same day broadcast on NBC Sports (IndyCar generally hits the 250,000 mark on NBC Sports), IndyCar races take place at more favourable time slots.

        However, it must also be noted the error margin which is approximately 100,000 viewers (bearing in mind the US population is over 314 million people), which kind of scuppers any proper analysis.

      • Leigh is right. To make things clear, the NBC broadcast was a network broadcast; F1 is usually shown on the NBC cable sports channel and has way lower ratings. This just shows that F1 should not be relegated to an obscure extra cost cable channel, but should be network broadcast. I don’t understand the mindset of FOM; do they really want to increase US viewership? Nah, they just want money.

          • There’s no such thing as “free to air“ in the way we consider it, but NBC would – I suppose – be the Channel 4 of the UAS, whereas NBC Sports would be the equivalent of a Sky Sports minor channel on subscription (I believe).

          • Technically Yes, but the US went to HD OTA transmission which means everyone’s old rabbit ears don’t work anymore, and you had to go get a converter box to continue watching OTA channels. Most people will spring for basic cable, which would include NBC, but not their sports channel, so your analogy is sound

            To make it more fun, which channels get included with what tiers changes constantly between different providers, and whenever it’s time to divvy up profits, there are always boycotts and missed games/sporting events. And each provider generally enjoys what amounts to a geographic monopoly, so fans have no choice. Once sports get smart enough to start streaming directly to fans, most folks would have no reason to subscribe to cable TV for any reason whatsoever. They would just need broadband and life would be grand.

            I could rant on and on about this, but it’s pointless and not likely to change anytime soon, sadly enough.

          • I was listening to Ricky Gervais the other week, and he was saying broadcasters in general should be worried – with direct streaming opportunities growing as broadband services improve

            One of the points he made was there are decent sized budget internet only shows now being commissioned and the whole ‘common consciousness’ idea of 1 episode a week that everyone discusses at work/school is becoming a thing of the past.

            We’ll all be watching F1 via thejudge13 one day soon and creating our own viewing and community experience.

          • Well, yes the sooner the better as far as I’m concerned, a finer crowd of commenter’s I have yet to find. And don’t forget Netflix, which already has one original show, and has just restarted another critically acclaimed show here in the States.

          • So I was watching a crappy pirated Internet feed when I could have just turned on NBC instead?! Oops!
            What other races are supposed to be on NBC?

          • NBC GRANDS PRIX: NBC will provide F1 with unprecedented exposure this year as it airs four races in 2013. In addition to Monaco, races scheduled to air on NBC are the Canadian Grand Prix (Montreal) on Sunday, June 9, the United States Grand Prix (Austin, Texas) on Sunday, November 17, and the final race of the season, the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday, Nov 24.


          • BBC – home of motorsport – only have 9. If they keep getting good ratings maybe they’ll show more next year?

          • One can only hope, though the rest are on the Sports channel which is bundled with the standard HD tier in my neck of the woods. I look at the decline of boxing (vs the rise of MMA) as what can happen to a sport when it moves to an exclusive PPV model. Long term, you are killing the sport to make more profit now. If F1 is too exclusive, they may be creating huge headaches for themselves in the future. Although creating problems for themselves does seem to be a bit of a specialty. Now I really do have to go to work LOL.

  2. Regarding Grosjean and his future at the Enstone outfit, the Lotus Twitter-people sent me this yesterday after asking:

    @Lotus_F1Team Who will replace Grosjean in Canada? 😉

    @awsmcmndo A fantastic driver; talented, fast and with a bright future… his name is Romain Grosjean

    I couldn’t help myself:
    @Lotus_F1Team He’s super fast. That’s correct.

    • Hi AC

      Good to hear from you – first time isn’t it. That’s why your comment didn’t go straight on – 1st comments are moderated 🙂

      Like your response to them though

      • I’ve been posting as GM Grand but felt the world was ready for another ridiculus alias 🙂

          • Grosjean is definitely fast, but unfortunately involved in too many collisions made of his own doing.

            Watching him in the wet for Q1 on Saturday was one of the highlights of my weekend. Looking at the amount of work required on his car at the start of the session, I was pretty convinced that he wouldn’t get out in time. Then when he did enter the track he had 1 out lap and 1 q lap to get himself out of the drop zone. He went faster than everyone on track who had used 3/4/5/6 laps each to build up their pace. That really stood out for me as an exceptional bit of driving.

            If he could drive with that brilliance all season…

          • I called him to be a top 5 driver this year in the WDC – maybe I was wrong, but he is very quick.

            I hope he gathers himself and does himself justice for the rest of the year, because ‘failure’ he can’t afford.

            And there is the difference between F1 now and 10-20 years ago. Herbert and Brundle get years to trundle round boring us to death and their seats were unchallenged – but now a driver gets 1 maybe 2 seasons.

  3. Darn, my timing sucks. I was finalizing my first draft of F1 weekm when the article was posted and you ‘stole’ some of the topics I covered 😉

    Good writing as ever. I’ll try to decipher or find a transcription of the end of Vettel’s spat with Rocky. I think I saw it somewhere already

  4. If the court pleases (and in the interest of full disclosure), it would probably please @F1PitRadio to get credit for the wonderful 30 minutes of pit radio traffic you posted a link to.

    If I’m not mistaken he or she does this after every race and is also nice enough to live tweet during the weekend.

    • Apologies – we do credit all venerable sources (and some dubious ones to when we occasionaly allow hearesay). I thought the link went to their video site? Does it not say there who they are?

    • Great.Thanks for that. So Vettel said, “But satisfaction rather than going slow for 77 laps”.

      If you listen on the clip I give, the tone of voice during the exchange between Rocky and Seb is not banter though.

      • Nope he was deeply frustrated. Never seen a driver, who had just extended the championship lead from 4 to 21 points so po’ed.

        The transscript is a really painful read with drivers being told to go a second slower and stuff like that and vettel being told to give up on overtaking just halfway into the race. It’s a sad stae of affairs 🙁

  5. Yes indeed! Doing a little poking about but I have a few ideas already percolating. Must work on my day job for the moment though.

    • There just positioning themselves as the antithesis of Pirelli – opportunistic stance.

      Yet from conversations I’ve had across a number of teams, Pirelli are widely supported. Ecclestone supports them even though he negotiates like a bandit.

      We are approaching the cut off for a new supplier to tool up a whole factory to deliver for 2014. Particularly if the teams do test in January 2014 as was voted to be allowed in Barcelona.

    • I’m waiting for a hardcore remix. That’s a bit pop music-esque.

      Have to say though I can see in my minds eye thousands of wasted holiday makers in bars and clubs – arms in the air – belting out – FORZA FERRARI.

  6. Well, with Pirelli providing tyres for testing in Montreal and then using them at Silverstone, the British GP will again show which manufacturer will win this year’s title. If I’m not mistaken only twice in the last 10-11 years the manufacturer that won the British GP did not win the driver’s and/or contructor’s title.
    In any case, I still think it’s between Vettel and Alonso again and Vettel will win it in the end. Monaco was just a bleep for Ferrari.

    • I’ll offer generous odds they’ll not be implemented for Silverstone…. Notice it wasn’t Hembery and the spokesperson said…’with a view to…’

      Classic case of ‘hide the fox’.

      This is a Pirelli shot across the bows – some teams are too stupid or arrogant to realise it and see the olive branch being offered.

  7. According to Pirelli the working temperature of the new tyres will be 5-10 degrees less than the current ones.

  8. All this Pirelli/Merc testing is just a storm in a teacup and all the rampaging conspiracies are entertaining and amusing, but shallow at best. What is really interesting is during the vote for allowing in-season testing who voted for and who against. I would assume Ross being Ross voted for. Ferrari always wanted in-season testing and owning couple of race-tracks, one in your back yard would make you want that. Red Bull I’m 50/50 about, but I think they voted for it. So we have 2 teams left. The obvious ones would be STR and Sauber, but STR doesn’t really care about performance, it is a team set-up with different purpose and are running on a tight budget, so I would say they are against it. Sauber on the other hand need performance, but are not in their best financial situation currently, on top of that I think their Hinwil wind-tunnel is the best in Formula 1 and only rivalled by Toyota’s. I don’t remember which one was able to accommodate full sized car and which one could take two cars simultaneously (probably Toyota’s), either way I don’t think Sauber would vote “for” in-season testing.

    So having two votes “for” left it is very important to find out who are those. Williams and McLaren need it desperately right now, however Williams now have obligations to the shareholders and can’t spend money willy-nilly (plus they don’t really have it) and McLaren are having some issues with money after the automotive division lost money. So Williams are a vote “against”, while I would say McLaren are a “soft” vote “against”. Lotus are obvious “against”, with 100 mil in the red and probably the best rolling-road setup at their factory they are in a position similar to Sauber. Force India are also a vote “against”, they do OK with their designs currently, they are also cash strapped and would actually see their advantage evaporate if in-season testing comes back.

    Of the two remaining “for”s I bet one is Marussia’s. Mother Russia has deep pockets and they need competitive team in Sochi in 2014. Caterham however do not have the resources to support in-season testing, hell, they don’t have the resources to employ proper racing drivers like Heikki. So my current count actually leaves 4 teams voting “for” and 7 “against” which is different from the 6-5 vote we witnessed. Witch McLaren having a “soft” vote “against”, but being both British and true gentlemen (if someone doesn’t know I’m a Ferrari fan, but most of all I love the technical aspect of the sport), I would assume they still voted “no”. Which probably leaves STR siding with the bigger brother.

    Here is my point, though. WIth all the Pirelli testing debacle, which team could be persuaded to switch sides and vote “for” in-season testing if the issue with the test is not dealt swiftly by FIA and teams decide to take matters into their own hands i.e. bring back in-season testing? I hope TJ13’s spies could both bring information about who actually voted “for” and “against” and what is the opinion on in-season testing shifting in the paddock.

    Sidenote: My personal opinion is that in-season testing should be allowed but restricted to certain extend. With FIA so big on safety, they seem to forget that introducing new components to cars seem to increase the risk to the drivers. No one wants to see suspensions failing or wheels flying away as this is extremely dangerous, and I say this as person who suffered accidents because of mechanical failures and have the scars to prove it, albeit with motorbikes and on a completely amateur level.

    • Prior to the meeting I was expecting RB, TR, Ferrari and Sauber. The surprise was there were 5 and it was Marussia.

      Sauber and Marussia are on Ferrari promises

  9. Hey judge, quick IT suggestion. Since you’re getting more and more popular and getting close to 40-50 comments per post sometimes, is it easy to include a function where we can rate comments? Much like the BCC. That way if someone visits a post the next day they can quickly read the 4-5 highest-rated comments along with the post.

    • Order made!!!

      Ralph (TJ13 techie) said yes – note: Unlike the FIA Ralph is clear in the specific conditions for this to remain. ‘That we’re good and use it’.

      He was hacked off because he did loads of tumblr and rating stuff for months and no-one ever clicked on them. (He said it was because the articles were rubbish – I said freedom of speech is a wonderful thing Ralph – then hit him with the gavel)

      Anyway, you should see the thumbs up/down above each comment.

      Further, Ralph has given us a box in the right hand vertical bar underneath all the other widgets which will hold the top 10 comments, by day, week etc.

      He will consider adjusting it if required – we can have multiples of 5 apparently.

      Have Fun

    • I was wondering where these came from all of a sudden, although I just assumed it was an expected update from Judge, and not a suggestion from a commenter – good suggestion.

      • We operate a court with swift appeals and justice. No 45 day wait here my friend.

        But then again, I’m not electioneering for the Afghanistan Motoring Association’s vote and advising them on our global road safety plan.

        • If only you were an actual Judge, our often pathetic judicial system would be much more efficient!

  10. Some words about the potential growth of Formula One in the US.

    My question for today is:
    “For Formula One to build a foundation for success in the US, does it need a strong localised series (IndyCar), or can growth be achieved alone, albeit with no American drivers or teams therein?”

    As always, any thoughts, opinions and comments are more than welcome.


  11. Just a question Judge, aren’t the Pirelli tyres designed to rotate in one direction? By swapping them they rotate in the opposite direction, could this have played a role in the delaminations? Or affect the tyre in any other way?

    • Judge baiting is a serious offence EM – though you do provide the court with amusement in our serious moments.

      Seriously, I suspect they haven’t done this with the treaded tyres (inter/wet) for obvious reasons

      • I would hazard a guess that even slick tyres could be directional. I’m sure some parts will be ‘wound’ rather than moulded and direction of rotation could possibly be a factor. I’d suspect Pirelli would have shouted loud and clear about this though if it was the case, to protect their image.

        • When I used to race bikes we had Dunlop 207GP’s as our control tyre. It had a tread running in stripes from front to back. One weekend at Snetterton I was was getting through a serious amount of tyres.

          My mechanic suggested we send them to the Dunlop truck and get them rotated on the rim to save some money.

          I said “Dunlop won’t allow that”… The lesson we learnt was that all Dunlops world super sport riders were putting fresh tyres on rotated as they got a few more laps performance out of them and the rules only stipulated tyre spec, not direction.

          The tread is designed to get heat in and clear water… But in this case had a strange side effect.

          • Not round? Sorry Judge, my friend Amerigo V. says different, or was it Chris C.? Anyway, Dead or Alive says hi!

          • He was Italian (well Florentine to be exact as Italy didn’t exist until recently) – and sold his soul to the Portuguese and then to the Spanish – and he is rumoured to have had relations with his cousin from Genoa… Simonetta Cattaneo de Candia Vespucci… who was renown for being of great beauty and a man killer too…

            Anyway he is dismissed as an unworthy witness…

        • I know we do it on the mountain bikes… put tyres the wrong way round. Decreases rolling resistance and provides ample grip.. but then.. it is a mountain bike 🙂

          • aha.. its just the same then….

            PMSL over this one DQ – really – still laughing over the example.

            You should be in comedy……..

    • I’m assuming that by switching them over between left and right, they don’t mean the wheels, but the tyre itself is mounted on to a wheel for the other side.

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