Daily #F1 News and Comment: Saturday 15th June 2013

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A repeat of last year

Not everyone is happy with Pirellis conservative tyre choice (surprise). On Thursday Pirelli confirmed their conservative tyre choices for the British, German and Hungarian Grand Prix. The tyres for Silverstone will be hard/medium, for the Nurburgring the medium & soft and for Hungary it will be hard/medium.

Having been one of the teams opposed to compound changes for 2013 Lotus now have to deal with the hard tyre at both Silverstone and Hungary, and they are not happy. While Hembery said,  “The tyres are more aggressive this year. They’ve all got the same – get on with it.” one has to feel for Lotus. They’ve built a car that is very gentle on its tyres yet the conservative approach is now counting against them.

Lotus is particularly upset about the choice for Hungary. Lotus’ Alan Permane said it is “unusual to take the same tyres to Hungary as to Bharain and Silverstone“. He went on to say, “We didn’t have those tyres last year. We had medium and soft last year and people did two stops. So it absolutely doesn’t make sense – they’re too hard for that track.

Is this the return to the trend we saw last year where Pirelli went conservative in tyre choices, at about the time the teams started to figure out the tyres? Shall we just crown Vettel WDC now with Red Bull taking the Constructors championship again?

Horner receives and OBE

Yesterday Christian Horner became the proud recipient of an OBE for services to motorsport. Back in the day when I was sharpening my quill at law school it was a real achievement to be recognised by Her Majesty the Queen. Let us have a look at some of the recipients of OBEs and knighthoods in motorsport.

Sir Jack Brabham – The first driver in history to be knighted for his services to motorsport. The triple world champion is the only Formula One driver to have won a world title in a car of his own construction – the BT19 – which he drove to victory in 1966.

Sir Jackie Stewart OBE – The “Flying Scot” competed in Formula One between 1965 and 1973, winning three World Drivers’ Championships. Between 1997 and 1999, in partnership with his son, Paul, he was team principal of the Stewart Grand Prix Formula One racing team. “If I have any legacy to leave the sport I hope it will be seen to be an area of safety because when I arrived in Grand Prix, racing so-called precautions and safety measures were diabolical.” Stewart’s legacy as a safety advocate in motor racing is as great as his legacy as a race winner.

Sir Stirling Moss – His success in a variety of categories placed him among the world’s elite—he is often called “the greatest driver never to win the World Championship“. In the New Year Honours 2000 list, Moss was made a Knight Bachelor for services to Motor Racing and in 2006, Moss was awarded the FIA gold medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to motorsport.

John Surtees OBE – 500cc motorcycle World Champion in 1956 and 1958–60, Formula One World Champion in 1964, and remains the only person to have won World Championships on both two and four wheels. He founded the Surtees Racing Organisation team that competed as a constructor in Formula One, Formula 2 and Formula 5000 from 1970 to 1978. He is also the ambassador of the Racing Steps Foundation.

Adrian Newey OBE – He has won more (nine) Constructors’ Championships than any other designer and is the only designer to have won Constructors’ Championships with three different Formula One teams.

Christian Horner OBE – Racing driver and team principle. Youngest team principal in Formula 1 and oversaw Red Bull’s six championship wins (WDC and WCC).

Ron Dennis has a CBE and Ross Brawn an OBE. Sir Frank Williams is a Knight of the Realm, but Patrick Head has yet to be honoured.

Are we starting to lose perspective of what it really means to be awarded for services to motorsport and are we perhaps diluting the value of awards such as an OBE?

One thing is certain though, John Surtees’ knighthood is overdue! The only person to be world champion in the premier 2 and 4 wheel motorsport classes.

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