Daily #F1 News and Comments: Thursday 13th June 2013

This page will be updated throughout the day GMT 09:57 10:51 12:18 13:35 15:16

Keep calm and carry on – F1

The F1 frenzy is reaching boiling point at present. Today Bild are claiming Brawn and Mercedes in addition to possible infringements of the sporting regulations have broken a “Gentleman’s agreement”. This phrase was coined by Horner when he referred to this previously unknown document during the Canadian GP to describe the apparent concord.

We may as well start the day with a smile on our lips. Here is one definition of a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ I found.

“A gentlemen’s agreement is an informal agreement between two or more parties. It is typically oral, though it may be written, or simply understood as part of an unspoken agreement by convention or through mutually beneficial etiquette. The essence of a gentlemen’s agreement is that it relies upon the honour of the parties for its fulfillment, rather than being in any way enforceable. It is, therefore, distinct from a legal agreement or contract, which can be enforced if necessary”.

I think no such thing has ever existed in Formula 1, other than maybe between drivers in the era when death visited the F1 house on a regular basis.

Bild has published a copy of the signed ‘Testing Agreement 2013’, featuring the signature of every team boss, including the under-fire Ross Brawn. The document shows that F1’s eleven teams agreed that in the event Pirelli wanted to run development testing for 2014, any test would have to be jointly approved by the testing committee – the teams – and the FIA.

“The document raises massive questions about Mercedes’ credibility,” said Sport Bild.

Stop uw verontwaardiging mijn Duitse vrienden – Ik lach te hard 🙂

(and for the purist Germanic speakers) Deutsche Freunde, Stop Ihre Empörung, Ich lache zu hart 🙂

Red Bull surprised by the Vettel contract announcement

It appears that Herr Marko was not the only one to be surprised by the announcement on Tuesday of Sebastian Vettel’s decision to take up the 1 year option for a contract extension. A significant number of the Red Bull family only heard about this in the media, which is not the Red Bull way.

TJ13 is still investigating the reasons for what is now obviously a surprise move by the triple world champion, however answers at present are thin on the ground.

There has been much speculation over who will drive with Vettel in 2014 and popular paddock opinion  has been that Webber will leave as reported by the Sun. “KIMI RAIKKONEN would be the ideal team-mate for Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull next year, according to ex-Formula One ace Johnny Herbert. Along with just about everyone else in the F1 paddock, the Sky TV pundit is convinced Mark Webber will no longer be with the pace-setting Milton Keynes squad in 2014” (9th May 2013).

Yet if a week is a long time in politics, then 6 months in F1 is a lifetime. Memories of Sepang have faded, and now the dust has settled what matters for 2013 is the Malayan GP resulted in 1-2 finish for Red Bull who are beginning to dominate once again.

Horner argued around the time of the ‘multi21’ furore that, “Our driver pairing is one of the most successful in formula one history,” and who can argue with that statement? Today GMM are reporting that Horner has moved to quell speculation on the 2014 Red Bull line up stating, “We stand behind this team and will be having a conversation with Mark later in the summer.”

Of course there is still room for manoeuvre in those sentiments, yet this is the strongest comment from Horner on the matter this year, and should Ferrari have already decided to retain Massa for 2014 then Webber has accumulated 50% more points than the number two driver at Ferrari.

The reasoning Dominicali gave for sticking with the 2013 line up is that there are so many changes coming in 2014, a new driver simply adds another variable for the team to consider and manage.

However, Mark Webber is 37 this year and he may decide it is time to hang up his boots. Then again, most F1 racing drivers in the modern era will admit they would have continued for longer given the option, and most of them were not driving a championship winning car.

So our Johnny may once again be proven wrong, as he was following his call for Grosjean to be ‘thrown out of the sport’ in Spa 2012.

Infiniti Red Bull Infiniti???

This story has been around for some time, so here’s a quick review.

Infiniti began its relationship with Red Bull following the teams first title wins in 2010. In 2011 they signed an extension to that agreement and speculation grew that the Renault engines run by the Milton Keynes team would be rebranded as Infiniti.

Teams, title sponsors and engine suppliers usually follow the following format when registering the team with the FIA. Vodafone, McLaren, Mercedes, so we waited with baited breath to see if the 2012 entrant was registered Red Bull Infiniti – it was not.

F1 teams running with rebranded engines is not a new concept. McLaren ran Porsche engines labelled TAG, Sauber have used Peteronas badged Ferrari engines, Cosworth units have been supplied under the Ford name and Mercedes engines were in fact originally manufactured by Ilmor.

So the concept of a Renault engine, badged as Infiniti is hardly shiny and new. The speculation once again grew that the 2013 team from Milton Keynes would be known as Red Bull Infiniti, it is in fact Infiniti Red Bull

In November 2012 Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn told Autosport, “No. We don’t want any confusion at the level of the alliance between who does what. Renault changed and adapted its strategy in 2008 where most of the [manufacturer] teams went out of F1 and Renault stayed.

Instead of being a one-team player we wanted to be a multi-team player by being at the heart of the competition – which is an engine. Having Renault supplying today one third of all the cars running, and being for the third year in a row champion with Red Bull, is a validation of the strategy we have taken.”

Ghosn went on to observe that the Renault car manufacturer maybe missing a marketing trick. “The only point that is missing now is the link between what Renault is doing in F1 and the cars we are putting on the markets. This link will be through three particular points that we want to emphasise and you are going to see through the efforts of Renault marketing cars – technological innovation, fuel efficiency and reliability.

These are the three points that everyone can see in F1, that we are selling and trying to market in different markets.

Infiniti, as a premium car producer and marketer, associating its name to Red Bull-Renault, through thorough and sophisticated marketing efforts, brings the awareness of the Infiniti brand higher and reaches a level that we were targeting.”

Ok, thank you Mr. Renault. But matters become as clear as mud when we realise Ghosn is also Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance which is a strategic partnership overseeing the two companies through a unique cross-shareholding agreement.

Whichever hat he’s wearing it appears Carlos is pretty adamant Infiniti badged Red Bull Renault engines will not happen, yet the story won’t go away.

AMuS ran a story during the Monaco GP to which purported, Next year, Infiniti is paying the Renault engine bill and wants advertising in return”. Alain Prost at that time revealed the Renault engine spend was 150m euro a year, shared amongst 4 teams, and this increased speculation of Infiniti’s involvement in funding.

Despite various denials, AMuS is persisting with the story today claiming, “The Renault V6 in the 2014 Red Bull will not only be called Infiniti but “Infiniti’s technology will also be in the package. The Japanese want to participate in the development of the hybrid elements.”

Other aspects to the AMuS story include the speculation that with the new Infiniti branding at Red Bull, Renault would pick another F1 team as its ‘premium powered by Renault’ partner. They suggest Williams were favourite however of course they have now joined the Mercedes fold.

During the Montreal GP weekend, Auto123 reported Andreas Sigl, Global Director, Infiniti Formula One dismissing out of hand the rumour of Infiniti branded Red Bull Renault engines.

“We have no intentions of rebranding the Renault V6 turbo engines next year. When we came into the sport, some people expected us to rebadge the current V8 Renault engine. We refused to do it because the fans and the public in general are no fools and we didn’t want to create confusion with a simple rebrand. 

We certainly didn’t want to put decals on the cam covers and tell the world ‘this is an Infiniti engine. Additionally, being the title sponsor of the Red Bull team has been highly profitable [as] it is a very good return on the investment”.

Sigl concludes, “When we started in F1 in 2011, very few people outside of North America knew what Infiniti was; that it was a performance and premium brand, making luxury cars. 
his awareness has grown tremendously thanks to our partnership with Red Bull Racing”,

So who knows what will happen. The famous words of someone I refuse to recall are bouncing around in my head now…. “To Infinity and beyond” – and maybe that is exactly the point or not.

My guess is AMuS just don’t know when to let a good story die.

Is up down? Right,wrong? Maybe black is really white

Adam Cooper today reports Mr. E’s views on Tyregate. “Wait until the tribunal, they’ve got all the facts. If you offer me stolen goods, it’s up to me to decide whether I want to accept them or not. It’s not up to anyone to tell me what I should do. I should know what I should do”.

Ecclestone of course is not best inclined towards Mercedes yet even so this is an interesting choice of analogy. He of course is accused of bribing a German banking official – who is now serving time based on evidence he received money from Ecclestone.

Bernie’s defence has been that ‘the bribe’ – defined as existing in German case law because Gibrowsky is now in prison – was in fact not a bribe but a payment to silence the German banker from blabbing to the UK tax authorities about alleged tax evasion by Ecclestone.

Well I suppose the world is indeed now run by the rules of moral relativism, unless you are Bild or the Sun newspapers of course.

Apparently in Bernie’s world whilst he sees Mercedes as receiving an illegal opportunity, miraculously he continues saying “Pirelli were doing the right thing, obviously. They couldn’t get out of a tyre problem, if there had been proper testing, which there should be, they wouldn’t be in this problem. It’s only because there’s no proper testing that they’re in this problem. As people have been complaining, the obvious thing to do was to get out of it by testing. And they asked.”

So Bernie knows the FIA were involved – somehow via someone. Cooper then asks him, had Pirelli in his view done anything wrong, Ecclestone replies, “Not at all.”

Adam suggests FOM’s support of Pirelli may be because they have a significant commercial deal with for trackside advertising of the Italian Tyre manufacturer’s brand. Bernie says, “I don’t care. It makes no difference to me. What is right is right, you know. The one thing an unmarried girl has got is the right to say ‘no.’ You would have to reckon that Mercedes were in that position…”

I presume Mr. E may not know that the law in the UK has changed and a married woman too has the right to say NO – since a ruling in 1991 from my friends in the House of Lords

When asked about whether his adversary Jean Todt is lining up Michelin to replace Pirelli for 2014, Bernie purports to have “No idea. I haven’t got a clue. I haven’t spoken to anyone. We have a long-term contract with Pirelli, as the FIA do. And I think most of the teams have – I think they’ve done a deal with all the teams they want to do a deal with.”

Fair enough…. Sorry………… WHAT was that? Who has a long term contract with Pirelli? And what is about that about ‘the teams they want to deal with’? Are Red Bull going to have to find their own tyres or run on the rims???

It’s always a pleasant break with reality when chatting to Bernie – and we’ll miss him when he’s gone.

Pirelli confirm tyres for June and July

Pirelli have issued a statement saying, The tyre construction will remain unchanged, contrary to Pirelli’s initial plans. This decision is due to the fact that the new tyres, which were brought to the Friday free practice sessions in Canada, could not be tested sufficiently due to rain – and that the teams failed to agree unanimously about introducing the changes. Instead a change in the tyre production process should now ensure that the delamination issue has been addressed”.

The tyres for Silverstone will be hard/medium, for the Nurburgring the medium & soft and for Hungary it will be hard/medium as for the British GP.

In 2012 the Silverstone selection was Silverstone – hard/soft, the German GP was at a different circuit and Hungary had the medium/soft compounds. This then represents a conservative approach to the tyre selection for both 2013 races, however the tyres are softer this year anyway.

Inside tip

One F1 team will be crash testing their 2014 car monocoque chassis in the near future.

Silverstone ticket sales not going well.

Just over 14 days from now the cars will take to the track at the home of Formula 1 – Silverstone. The British Grand Prix tends to attract the biggest crowds of the year but following the monsoon type weather of 2012 and the general economic downturn in Europe, 2013 sales are lagging behind where the race organisers would hope them to be.

Only the Copse grandstand is completely sold out and tickets can still be obtained for the International pit straight opposite the new Silverstone wing.

For those adopting a wait and see on how the weather will pan out, the 14 day forecast is unhelpful. Monday to the Sunday of the race is described as follows, “A mixed week is expected. In southern regions some showers or longer spells of rain are likely at times, but there should also be some fine and pleasantly warm weather. In the north and west there is likely to be more emphasis on unsettled weather, with a greater risk of rain. Temperatures close to average in the north, but possibly on the warm side at times further south”.

68 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comments: Thursday 13th June 2013

  1. ‘Stop uw verontwaardiging mijn Duitse vrienden – Ik lach te hard’ – TJ, that’s perfectly understandable for me being native Dutch-speaking, but not sure any of our German friends will understand it…:-)

  2. Gosh, Bild is going to explode, first Vettel breaking a gentleman’s agreement and now Merc. My word, that country is in disarray!

    • Maybe we should question his honour’s choice of sources. Quoting Bild is like trawling The Sun for political expertise.

      • Further, it was Horner who coined the phrase, ‘gentleman’s agreement’ about this specific matter – when interviewed during the Montreal weekend

        • Ha, the only place these sorts of agreements exist in F1 is on the track, and these days it’s an earned privilege, not one gained by merely climbing into a car.

        • Ahem…Red Bull weren’t able to adhere to the “Gentleman’s Agreement” of the RAA – even though it was written down and signed by all the teams! I think we can write off any talk of a Gentleman’s Agreement as being fairly incompatible with F1, as you have pointed out.

  3. Given the mental wargame that is still going on, Herr Marko for sure would have preferred that the announcement of Vettel’s extra year would follow or co-incide with a similar announcement for Horner and especially Newey rather than precede it…

  4. … ex-Formula One ace Johnny Herbert…

    Since when has Johnny Herbert ever added anything of use to a debate? I always fast-forward the SKY coverage when I seem him speaking. Martin Brundle may not be universally respected, but he did predict the unfortunate death of the marshall this weekend.

    Anyway, back on topic, Vettel’s contract extension is curious…

      • Vettel/Red Bull – 2015
        Alonso/Ferrari – 2016
        but
        Ham/Mercedes – 2015

        The only thing worse than Webber continuing at Red Bull next year is Vergne or Ricciardo getting the seat. Hope Kimi gets it and Vettel should get more respect also for beating Kimi as I expect will happen.

        • “Hope Kimi gets it and Vettel should get more respect also for beating Kimi…”

          Will he though (get more respect)? People kept doubting Rosberg when he beat Schuey for 3 years running. But now that he’s pushing Hamilton, people have stood up to notice.
          For Vettel to get massive respect, he has to move to a new team and/or battle it out with Lewis or Alonso.

          • Agree he will get a lot more respect by moving to a new team but that isn’t on the agenda anymore. Comparing to beating Webber again or an inexperienced and unproven talent in STR drivers I think he get’s a lot more credit for beating Kimi.

            Not sure Kimi is as good as he used to be and that’s why thinking Vettel will have a clear edge.

            As for Rosberg he beat Schumi easy first year and it was close the 2nd but the 3rd if look into it Schumi would have been easily ahead if not for horrendous unreliability.

            The problem is the cars Mercedes have given their drivers the past couple of years made Rosberg and Schumacher look bad. Now if Hamilton doesn’t get a win people will say he’s lost focus and all the rubbish when the car is the problem.

  5. ” I think they’ve done a deal with all the teams they want to do a deal with.”

    Ooh, the return of two tyre manufacturers in the near future? Michelin were never afraid to take on the status quo (Goodyear in the 80s, Bridgestone in the 00s).

    • What do the rules say on tyre suppliers? Can anyone come in? I got the impression it was an exclusive contract.

      Actually, do teams even have contracts with Pirelli in that case? If they are the only supplier, surely part of the agreement would have been a stipulation that they must supply all teams?

    • I did a double take on that as well, but I’m guessing Bernie is referring to the teams which told Pirelli that they’re interested in testing for them. What are the underlying implications for Red Bull in that statement?

      Preceding that statement, Bernie said, “We have a long-term contract with Pirelli, as the FIA do.”

      What “long-term contract” does the FIA have w/Pirelli? Is BE referring only to the current contract, or have Pirelli and FIA signed another for next season and beyond?

    • M78, Michelin first entered F1 in 1977 with the Renault team. They then became suppliers to Ferrari from 1978 until 1981 and fielded tyres with Renault, Brabham and Mclaren.
      They won WDC’s with Scheckter (79), Piquet (83) and Lauda (84)and WCC with Ferrari (79) and Mclaren (84).
      They returned to F1 in 2001.

      I still remember as a 14 year old, watching the Ferrari’s lead away from the 1983 British GP grid in 1st and 2nd, only to fall backwards. Even the TV coverage that evening didn’t explain properly.
      Grand Prix International ( remember that publication?) explained that Goodyear were crossplies whereas Michelin were radials. In the heat of the 1983 summer, the Goodyear simply melted away.

      And people still continue to bore everyone stupid with talk of tyres being too important now. Whereas the old timers know that it was always thus..

  6. Just a final comment on Vettel’s contract extension.

    The guy simply keeps his options open. By end of 2015 it will be clear which powertrain will be the best (Ferrari, Merc or Renault) and it’s also the earliest point at which a top driver’s contract ends at a top team. If for example Lewis’ contract was to end in 2017, I bet you that Vettel would have extended till 2016, i.e. when Alonso’s contract becomes the earliest point. So if Merc are successful and the relationship with Lewis is strong, I won’t be surprised if Vettel extends to 2016 and them move to Ferrari.

    But in any case, I struggle to find a rationale whereby Vettel would move to Merc. If Merc’s car is not the best, then he would probably move to Ferrari. Ferrari’s name is more powerful in F1 than Merc’s. If Merc has the best car, then Lewis will be successful and he’ll want to stay there. The only way I can see Vettel going to Merc, is if Rosberg beats Lewis over these 3 years and Merc has the best car.

    • As you pointed out there is something lacking in the theory that Vettel’s contract is lined up with Merc and Ferrari’s number one drivers.

      I think it has more to do with Vettel protecting his own number one status within Red Bull, he’s already gone defensive saying that he and kimi aren’t the best of friends the media portrays them to be. If Kimi moves in and gives Vettel a serious run for his money it would definitely tarnish his 3 WDC legacy and make just raise more questions over whether its the car or Vettel that won them.

      • Vettel has always said that he’d welcome a move by Kimi. They get along well. The only thing he denied is media reports by German channel RTL, who painted them as if he and Kimi are bestest buddies, who spend all their free time together and stand best man at each others wedding. That doesn’t mean they cannot go along well and while Vettel will probably not be seen faceplanting a boat pissed out his skull, he an Kimi have a lot in common. And why would it tarnish Vettel’s 3 WDC’s if another world champion ‘gives him a run for his money’? Isn’t it a given that any world champion can give another one a good fight?
        Seriously folks, I’m so sick of this ‘Vettel only won because of the car’ malarkey. When was it that people abandoned basic respect for other people’s achievements? And if the car is so bloody good, how come Mark Webber hasn’t ’nuff anything to show for it?

    • “Ferrari’s name is more powerful in F1 than Merc’s.”

      You’ll find that Ferrari’s name/ brand is more powerful than any company in the world, not just F1

        • I believe it has been acknowledged in the last 12 months, that the number 1 recognised brand in the world is Ferrari. But I have never understood how they get these statistics.
          A lot of surveys use global revenue or profits for their data which then places Ferrari at the base of the Top100.
          Whereas others use image.

          Apple, Mcdonalds, Coca Cola, Microsoft, Pepsi, VW, Google, they are all massive public corporations, so I don’t know how they achieve these particular set of results!

          • Perhaps it is in the passion these products evoke. A Ferrari will turn most people’s heads and make both men and women go weak at the knees and say “I want one!” Apple, it’s great (I have a MacBook Pro, iPone) but I’d rather be in that exclusive club that can own and drive a Ferrari.

            Nothing comes close to being in a powerful car accelerating hard out of a corner and then breaking hard for the next corner … ooo!!!!

  7. Bernie was ‘interviewed’ by the BBC on the grid at Montreal and he was, in my opinion, really showing his age. He was incoherent and didn’t seem able to follow a thought, let alone respond to a question. It’s long past time he was gone.

    In regards to your short item about crash testing a chassis, I don’t want to seem pedantic (but will): all the chassis ARE monocoques.

      • Surely the term is ‘monocoque chassis’ – as opposed, for example, to a space-frame chassis, or ladder-frame chassis. In this instance the word ‘monocoque’ has popularly become the noun, in the same way that ‘video’ was usually used instead of video-recorder… or ‘vacuum’ for vacuum-cleaner.
        I’m not sure about 4-legged elephants but can you define a spiral staircase without pictures, or using your hands…? 😉

    • Eddie Jordan’s grid walk for the BBC on Sunday was hilarious! No frantic, nervous scurrying about like DC, or even Brundlefly’s more measured pacing about for the next story. No, Eddie coolly sauntered up and down the grid as if he were milling about the local marketplace whilst on holiday with the wife, wandering wherever his eyes and his thoughts took him. True, there was no real direction or narrative, but my verdict is that one ex-team owner doing a grid walk trumps two ex-drivers. Certainly for entertainment value. And the ‘interview’ with Bernie was one of the most amusingly awkward moments I’ve seen in a while. Come to think of it, I don’t remember ever seeing Mr.E in an interview that wasn’t excruciating in one way or another. Seems he doesn’t do ‘comfortable’ like Kimi doesn’t do ‘animated’!

      • Although I didn’t see this interview (not shown in my location) I agree that BCE has never come across clearly in interview. I don’t believe the “he’s lost it” view – I think it’s all smokescreen and he is just as “on it” as he ever was – just likes muddying the waters by any means available. Even if it’s only for his own amusement!

          • I don’t really care what the drivers say 15 mins before the race anyway. It’s all the same….

            Let’s get through the first corner, try and make up some places, look out for Taffy behind me

          • Excellent – I didn’t see this at the weekend. That is one of the best grid walks ever…..

            Agreed a bit random…. but Jordan has found a great niche.

            This is what the BBC need to do to take some of the live pressure of Suzi while she gets used to the technology and can find her way around…

          • Lloyd – many many thanks for posting that – I also don’t get this stuff at ‘home’.
            Can I also say that 40% of the quality is down to the cameraman who you can see is also constantly on the ball, and not an easy thing to do.
            I would also like to ‘hear’ a slightly more sensitive microphone – without the picture you wouldn’t know you’re there…
            Thanks again.

      • @dobzizzle

        Agree with Jordan’s grid walk. Way better than DC and the trying to doorstep Kai Able or whatever his name is pure comedy.
        I get the feeling DC hates having to do the grid walks so hopefully they keep Eddie doing them.

      • I think the reason Eddies grid walks are better than 2 ex F1 drivers is that he doesn’t care too much about politeness. He just seems to bludgeon straight in, ask a question and then moves on.
        Ultimately, he was a boss, whereas they were employees and that shows.

        • Ex F1 drivers. Mmm. Used to think ex-F1 drivers gave us good insight. Over the past year, I’m not so sure.

          Of course my favourite is johnny H whose contribution is incomparable to anything else out there. Thank God JV is on Italian TV, Brundle is becoming irritating and issues the same polemics each week and he’s too deferential to Ecclestone and others – would have been better staying with the Beeb and doing highlights – his mystery would have remained. Coulthard is just boring and stiff. Hill’s eyebrows are entertaining and to be fair he is less prone to droning on and accepts modern F1 is different from his day. McNish is not too bad, but an occasional presence.

          I like a lot of the GP2 drivers who appear on the F1 show. they know he modern game and are pretty switched on and not so jaded. Rossi was quite excellent as was Colado. These guys just seem to have a cutting edge the old duffers have lost.

          Anthony Davidson is the one bright star on the horizon. Doesn’t get dogmatic and all…. ‘in my day we had 1 stop and that’s the way it was…’, he can analyse complex situations quickly and without prompting, gives us in cockpit insights on the zoom in magnfication others miss, understands the strategy and all this is done with a smile, clever humour and intelligence.

          Brundle is starting to look old…. and his matey matey style with David Croft (who needs to go to interview school) is downright boring.

          By the way, much as I love Suzi from days of yore – I keep having to say… ‘give it time’ – it really isn’t working for the Beeb.

        • And while we’re on the subject……..Ted Kravitz drives me nuts! Every time he starts his stupid droning, decreasing volume, boring little ‘stories’ I start yelling at the TV for him to STFU!!!!! My wife has even stopped asking what I yelling about.

          • haha Steve
            when you see Ted you may do what I do when see Herbert. Hit the mute button quick to stop being severely irritated.

          • Did Murray Walker not have any children to take over the mantle…? 😉

        • “he was a boss, whereas they were employees and that shows”

          Spot on.

          Pretty much agree with your thoughts Judge. Anthony replacing DC on beeb and commentating with Ben would be perfect and I bet BBC would be paying him a lot less than DC.

          It was worth the risk with Suzi but also not great so far but still early days and shes very far from Herbert and Pinkham who are just pure torture to listen too.

          • I think the Beeb have just made life hard for her. when Jake started the role was not as complex as it became.

            She appears to struggle with the technology of the pad and the instructions in her ear and at the same time steer the debate with DC and EJ.

            They should give her short live segments post race, and cut to Lee M and maybe AN Other every 3-4 minutes to give her less elongated periods of having to wing it.

            Bad planning from the producer I say.

          • Ya, guess good point at least until she is more relaxed and it all starts to flow more naturally for her.

          • At this rate, TJ, you’ll have to open a school for interviewers / producers… I could do with a new career… 😉

    • Given Bernie’s age and TV presence, it’s tempting to dismiss or underestimate him.

      I suspect that like many of his prior interviews, there are a few layers of meaning there. Given all the deals behind closed doors that he has going, some layers may be apparent to some, and obtuse to others.

      The timing of this interview is interesting… why did he not share these views previously?

      Why did he even share these views with the public at all?

      Has he learned something recently which makes this interview opportune for his purposes?

      • …or is he just ensuring the matter continues to be mentioned while we await ‘The Verdict’…?
        I can’t help feeling the verdict will either be a damp squib… or the beginning of the end of F1 as we know it…

  8. So here we go again, like in 2012. Pirelli starts the championship with one approach, gets criticized, deny it’s happening/say it’s good publicity, then by the time teams start to understand the tyres they change their approach and allocate harder compounds to races. I guess it’s not because they can’t handle more criticism since it’s such a good thing for them. Maybe in Pirelli’s world those crazy ideas of quality gurus such “Do it right the first time, every time (some add ‘safely’)” are unknown.

    • He’s off trolling motorsportforums.com today 😉 I think nobody really pays attention to the thumbs-down button anymore. I think it isn’t really needed, but its removal wouldn’t warrant a major effort either, so we’ll just keep ignoring it 🙂

      • It’s a standard feature in the sites software – It’s either on or off. We can’t have thumbs up without thumbs down

        • If you’re still running on WP.com then I don’t think you can customise the plugin. But if there is a section for custom CSS, we can easily hide it. Have a poke around in the Dashboard then send me an e-mail, I’ll send you the code.

      • Any wordpress programmers out there please? I think its PHP code….. we need thumbs down removing 🙂

        We want to live by the Monty Python philosophy and “Always look on the bright side of life”…….

        • Well, if it is PHP generated, it’s easy to remove. I’m off to the Eurospeedway in a few hours to visit the DTM race. I’ll get in touch with John on Monday. I think removing the thumbs-down is a matter of half an hour max.

    • Being bothered by a “thumbs down” is an ego thing, I never used the “thumbs down”, for me it’s the same as talking behind someones back, which i never do.
      If i don’t agree with something i just tell the person who wrote the comment.

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