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11:07 11:35 12:04 14.35 18:24GMT
Marshall Dies in Canada
F1 has suffered its first fatality in 12 years when a race marshal was run over by the recovery vehicle retrieving Gutierrez stricken Sauber. The FIA issued a statement saying, “The worker dropped his radio and attempted to pick it up. As he did this, he stumbled and was hit and run over by the recovery vehicle.”
The was rushed to hospital but he died shortly afterwards. Race promoter Francois Dumontier commented, “It’s terrible. It tarnishes the superb weekend that we had. I am devastated to learn this. I don’t have any other words.”
F1’s last fatality was in 2001 and also was that of a trackside marshal in Melbourne.
Apparently the unnamed marshal was steadying the Sauber, already aloft above his head, as it continued on its journey away from the site of the incident. Whilst it is too early to criticise, during the crash fest that was Indy in Detroit last week, many cars were removed by recovery trucks and it did not appear to require human labour to steady the cars once they were airborne and on the move.
Force India Smiles and fisticuffs
All’s well that ended well for Scotland’s Paul di Resta as he drove magnificently to claim 7th place in the Canadian GP after failing to reach Q2 on Saturday. Di Resta managed 56 laps on tyres which have been described by others this year as as fragile, yet he continued to increase his pace throughout the stint – each lap quicker than the previous.
The Scot also benefited from a mistake in the earlier laps which saw his team mate spin and lose several positions. This incident was the catalyst for others which saw Sutil receive a drive through penalty when running 8th in the closing laps. The German driver did manage to hold off McLaren’s Sergio Perez and finish 10th and score a point. He admitted to SKY TV the spin during the opening lap was his mistake.
Di Resta on the other hand has been critical of his team two race weekends in a row and this appears to have created predictable results. The Daily Mail reports following qualifying and Di Resta’s comments that, “His trainer is also understood to have been involved in a fracas with a Force India mechanic”.
The Telegraph report Force India, “admitted that a disagreement had occurred”, but claim is was unrelated to Di Resta’s criticisms.
In the meantime the Silverstone based outfit are no closer to resolving their issues over building a wind tunnel. The FT reports Vijay Mallya, “recently spent $1.8m on the eyeglasses and pocket watch once owned by Mahatma Gandhi, along with the plate and bowl from which the revered Indian leader is said to have eaten his final meal,” yet the estimated cost of the wind tunnel is around $75m and as yet TJ13 has been informed no cash has appeared.
A Silverstone based site has been identified, but as yet the proper planning consent is yet to be given. In a dispute including Caterham, Force India were ordered last year to pay $1.12 million owed to its former wind tunnel partner, Aerolab. This debt was already more than 12 months overdue.
The wind tunnel saga has been dragged out for over 2 years and is continues to trundle along conveniently at the pace of a trans-Indian locomotive.
McLaren in disarray
An almost speechless Jenson button spoke following the Canadian GP which saw the team lose their record of scoring points in the last 66 consecutive races. “I’ve never been so pleased to get out of a car. It was quite painful out there”.
Button identifies the scale of the problem the Woking team have with the MP4-28. “It is massive. We got lapped — easily lapped. It was like we were in a different category. It’s really difficult at the moment to know where to look. It’s a big gap.”
Having qualified woefully in 14th place, for a reason no one at McLaren has explained, the team analysts suggested Button should start the race on the super-soft tyre and not on the medium tyre. This decision can only have been based on information the team have from previous running prior to the weekend, as they had little data on tyre performance on the Canadian track due to the weekend’s changeable weather.
Having made this call, Button was then given delta times to drive to which left the tyres with plenty of life remaining at the end of the race. TJ13 has consistently called for the teams to race the rubber hard and then make the number of stops required. The analysts are ruling the world of F1 – and REGULARLY getting it wrong cf. Red Bull in Barcelona.
Di Resta clearly profited from starting on the medium tyre which proved to be the tyre of choice for the race. Yet questions must be asked as to who at McLaren made the decision to start on the super-soft. It appears the team are in a fog, making regular and silly mistakes to add the the problems they have with the new pull rod suspension system they’ve designed.
The decision to use a pull rod suspension system design on the MP4-28 is also questionable. TJ13 reported back in February that the time required to make track side tweaks is often twice as long as for push rod suspension systems due to the confined space in which the mechanics have to work. Why do this when you employ a lead driver who requires incremental levels of track side honing and fine tuning above most other drivers in the sport at present?
It is not too late for McLaren to challenge for third in the constructor’s table this year, but time is now fast running out. Then we have the spectre of 2014 and the huge changes coming. When will Big Ron call time on this year’s epic misadventure and demand the resources are ploughed into next years car.
Sergio Perez continues his run of form which see’s him out qualify Button in the last 3 races. Jenson does however retain a lead of 13 points over his team mate – yet this surely is of little comfort.
Stuck on tyres
Spanish publication El Pais is reporting a change in glue used for the tyres is the only solution which will solve the problem of the tyres delaminating. Joan Villadelprat views this as the only sensible solution which will not incur great costs to Pirelli. After, in his own words, an extensive revision of the rules, Villadelprat is convinced Mercedes GP and Brawn will be cleared of any wrong doing at the international tribunal.
When the court does sit, it will be the first time it has formed since the ruling was introduced in 2010. At the moment this is still a relatively unknown phenomenon, and therefore setting a fair precedent for the future will be extremely important.
FIA announces date of IT
The FIA has now confirmed the date which Pirelli and Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team will appear before a judging panel of the International Tribunal as the 20th June. The hearing is set to start at 09:30 (CEST) at the FIA Salle du Comité in Paris.
TJ13 will publish the decision of the IT as soon as possible after the hearing.