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11:10 13:31 14:12 14:53 16:21 16:33
A Ferrari spokespersons has told Bild that they are disappointed with Mercedes’ defence. “It was unfortunate that we became the object of their defence in this way.”
At the outset of this debacle, it was repeatedly referred to as a ‘secret’ test and the lack of Mercedes openess over the test was derided and claimed to be fraudulent. Yet since the International Tribunal sat, many details are now emerging which would never have been known otherwise.
Ferrari tested in 2012 and in 2013, and now it is emerging they didn’t just use a test driver because Felipe Massa drove the car too.
Red Bull rebellion
The Times is reporting that Red Bull have leaked that they intend to skip the young driver test next month and run their own private test instead.
Following the ruling of the IT, the FIA said it will strengthen the restrictions on testing and too this end it is unlikely Red Bull will act as suggested.
Michelin refuse to rule out F1
Speedweek are reporting that were Pirelli not to be given a new contract, Michelin racing chief, Pascal Couasnon, is refusing to rule out a return to F1.
However, they will refuse to produce the kind of tyres as requested by the FIA and Ecclestone of Pirelli. “A tyre which lasts just 7 laps hardly connects with the idea of being green”, says Couasnon.
Michelin would suggest other changes too. “For example, change the tyre dimension in Formula 1. Today in GP racing 13-inch wheels are used. That does not interest us. 18 inches wheels, that’s a whole different matter. It would be great to see a single-seater running on 18-inch wheels. Perhaps we will see it too someday.”
Niki Lauda says that he tried to ensure the testgate matter could be resolved without resorting to a court hearing. He tells Motorsport-total, “Red Bull have been very aggressive since this story broke, and they only wished to interpret the facts in one particular way“.
Lauda reflects philosophically, “But this is F1. It is a snake pit where rumour and intrigue run wild in the paddock. But the decision made is all the matters”.
Lauda had the bones of a deal outlined which may have satisfied all parties, had there not been a formal protest made by Red Bull and Ferrari and Maranello had agreed to withdraw their protest.
Brawn makes it clear, the persistent criticism and comment and demands for big punishments – which came primarily from Red Bull – had pushed matters too far for a negotiated solution to be found. It is clear Ross was personally determined to allay the mis-information over ‘secret’ test accusations, suggestions Mercedes alone had used race drivers and other titbits which had created a ‘partial story’.
He says, “There were all sorts of views propounded on the incident… and it was critical for me personally… [being seen to] act in good faith was a very important point for me. I was keen that we actually presented the facts in front of the independent tribunal in order to establish what had happened and a judgement could be made.”
Whether his job was on the line we may never know, but Brawn surprisingly stuck out his neck in Canada insisting the decision to go testing was his alone. Since the verdict Brawn’s explanation to shoulder the responsibility and somewhat go it alone was because he had been personally affected by the inbound accusations of deliberate fraud and cheating.
Brawn told Craig Slater of Sky News, it had been for him “an emotional time, when a lot has been said about the why’s and wherefores of what went on. I’m just glad the Tribunal saw I and the team acted in good faith”.
Marko refutes British Media
Helmut Marko has spoken this afternoon to refute accusations in the Times that Red Bull plan to skip the driver test and run their own. He says, “We will not of course break he rules”.
He continues to state he does not believe that the penalty reflects the crime because of “what Mercedes achieved in the private test before the Monaco GP”.
Marko appears to believe the information the teams get from the young driver test is minimal. “You can’t really try anything in the young drivers test, the drivers at the wheel are just learning about formula one, while Mercedes had three days with their regular drivers.”
Lowe gets to wear a Petronas rain jacket
Paddy Lowe will appear in Silverstone in the colours of Mercedes for the first time. The team say that Lowe’s role is to work closely with team boss Ross Brawn and motorsport boss Toto Wolff. Previously, there had been repeated speculation that Lowe could sooner or later replace Brawn as team boss, following the International Tribunal verdict that will be unlikely in 2013.
Prost on the new Turbo engines
TJ13 has been treated to an excellent series on the Turbo engines and F1 from James Parker, and here are Alain Prost thoughts on matters, issued by Renault F1.
Asked whether the drivers will have to adapt thir driving style, Prost replies, “First of all, there will be a tiny lag, in terms of response time. I imagine it’ll probably be very small next year, but the drivers will nonetheless have to get used to it. But it’s not just a question of the turbocharger: the interaction between the combustion engine and the electric motors will also be very complex.
The combustion engine generates around 600bhp and the electric motors around 160bhp, so power management will be much more of an issue than with the normally-aspirated engines used currently. The engines, and all the resulting energy use strategies, will be utilised by the engineers and the drivers in a variety of ways. In fact, it’s a return to an era when the driver will need to be strategic and very calculating in how he used his racing car. Being quick will no longer be enough on its own ; you’ll need to be quick and sensitive”.
Prost explains why the majority of F1 design in recent years has been on aerodynamics. “As soon as you freeze engine development, the chassis and aerodynamics become more important again. In 2014, the situation will be rebalanced.
There’ll be a very interesting technical side to the sport, where greater emphasis will be again placed on engines. Whoever manages to get the various parts to gel most effectively will benefit the most and innovation will stem from good working relationships between the chassis and engine departments.
And then the engines, and all the resulting energy use strategies, will be utilised by the engineers and the drivers in a variety of ways. In short, there will be new strategies that will increase the importance of the engines. On paper, it sounds perfect !
Many people watching F1 are disappointed with the racing and the fact there are restrictions this year, even if they are subjective, and the engines are all more or less the same.
In the 1980s, you have to say that the turbo engine years generated interest in F1 : everyone was interested in this new technical challenge. It was also a bit of an emotional journey, insofar as huge developments were expected at each race.”
On the matter of engine noise, Alain suggests, “I know that it’s an argument against them for some people, but I don’t think it makes sense. You need noise, of course, but there’ll be plenty of it. It’s true that we have had V8s, V10s and V12 engines which have made a terrific racket ; you could even tell the engine just from the noise it made, without having to turn around. Personally speaking, I really like the noise of the turbo engines – they’re not diesel engines, that’s for sure ! There will always be people who say that it was better before, but the noise levels should be perfectly acceptable”.
Comment of the week
For those of you new to TJ13, the comments section allows each reader to give a comment a ‘thumbs up’ if they particularly like or agree with what is said.
On the right hand side of the page, you will see the top comments for the day, week and of all time listed should you have missed a day or two visiting the site.
In a meteoric week for F1, CavallinoRampanteF1 has your vote thus far, saying
“The Tribunal commented that had Ferrari adopted the same approach as Mercedes when testing in 2012 and 2013, “It would appear to be equally unsatisfactory that this consent was also given by Charlie Whiting”.
As Ferrari were not the ones “on trial” the statement is irrelevant and outside the scope of the IT mandate, and should not have been made.
“Maybe there is a sigh of relief in Maranello tonight.”
Today’s Horse Whisperer column, which as I previously mentioned, would certainly have been approved at the highest levels of Ferrari, doesn’t indicate the least amount of relief that the IT decision has been made as it has. Ferrari clearly believe that Mercedes got away with an illegal test and to put that belief into writing indicates the matter is far from over.
What I believe actually happened was it was made crystal clear to the FIA and the IT that any serious penalties would result in Mercedes withdrawing from F1. The big winner today is Ferrari and probably Renault, who can make it quite clear, that if they are brought before the IT, and receive a sanction they don’t like will withdraw from the sport. The decision today renders Ferrari untouchable.
Silverstone build up
Here’s something you may enjoy and I love the comment from Sir Stirling about driver camaraderie. “We used to go shopping together.. chase crumpet together…”
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