This page will be updated throughout the day GMT
12:02 12:47 14:22 14:37 14:52 17:46
If you use twitter please press the twitter button at the bottom of the post and re-tweet
Spin, spin and more spin.. than a spinny top
Ross Brawn has made it clear he elected to face the International Tribunal to put to bed some of the spin and misinformation being spread abroad in certain quarters. TJ13 reported Marko’s response to the Tribunal’s ban on Mercedes attending the YDT as “hardly a penalty at all. 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 (in Barcelona) with their regular drivers.”
A frustrated Brawn hits back and tells the Telegraph, “To downgrade the [YDT] test and to make out it is not significant is not correct, and just an attempt by teams concerned to distort the facts. I think we have a very tangible loss”.
Brawn argues missing the YTD is ‘significant’ and that to suggest testing unknown prototype tyres with no opportunity to try out new components on the car is somehow better than attending a YTD is ridiculous. “It is a different league [the YDT] quite frankly to have a three-day test, over 1500 kilometres, with new parts, with race tyres that are those we race. It is unfortunate the spin that some teams are putting on the punishment that it is not significant.”
McLaren CEO agrees with Brawn and stated yesterday, “With the paucity of track testing that we have at the moment, missing the young driver test is obviously problematic,” he told reporters in a Vodafone teleconference. “They (Mercedes) will be sorry to miss it.”
Unfortunately we have heard nothing directly from Ferrari senior personnel or Red Bull (except from Marko), so the questions and debates over testgate will roll on for a few more days yet… probably until we begin ranting about tyregate #77…. when 4 teams don’t try to set a time in Q3.
It is about time Red Bull and Marko shut up. They asked for $100m fine and 150 points deduction for Mercedes, the tribunal in effect poured scorn on this suggestion with its verdict and the team from Milton Keynes now continue to make themselves look plain silly and petulant.
F1 is facing a spending calamity as we all know. The RRA is dead, we are on the verge of in season and possibly unrestricted testing arrangements being agreed and the world economy has been in melt down for some years now – forcing teams to reduce rack rates to attract sponsors.
Yet TJ13 has been suggesting there is another bell tolling – its message also one of doom and gloom. Cash in. What happened to the long line of countries and race promoters standing patiently in line with their truck loads of cash to give to Ecclestone, for the privilege of hosting an F1 race?
We have been of the view from the day it was announced, a race in Bangkok central was a joke and now Formula E are signed up to that venue. Korea is doomed, India is in big trouble, New Jersey has a contract but still no money (unless Bernie/FOM stump up), Cape Town told Bernie where to shove his host fee, Sochi is now the subject of a multi billion dollar scam, China negotiated a reduced fee last year as did Singapore, Australia are balking at the renewed contract terms as are Canada, Monza is committing Hari Kari, Spa had a bail out, Monaco is too poor to contribute anything to the F1 coffers…. anyone I missed?
Oh yes. TJ13 reported around the time of the Australian GP that Nurburgring was in trouble. In fact Ecclestone admitted the final calendar would only be agreed after the season commenced. The contract with the previous Nurburgring promoters had expired due to their insolvent status, and there was no way the regional government already owed 330m euro were going to pay
Bild is reporting, Ecclestone was forced to waive the hosting fee for the 2013 German GP. Hockenheim refused to step into the breach. The fee paid by Germany is 14m euro, which is on the less expensive side when compared to some of the new Asian hosts.
The Nurburgring’s insolvency administrator Jens Lieser added: “With his commitment to the Nurburgring, Mr Ecclestone did German formula one fans a big favour.”
Here’s the 3rd instalment on our Silverstone celebration (1st 2 in previous mon & tue news)
It’s been a long time since Jenson Button stood on a Silverstone podium. In fact it was when he won R15 of British F3 in 1999. Don’t hold your breath Jenson for that to change anytime soon.
Too much testing says Brawn
Ross Brawn gives his views on testing to Autosport today. “The FIA are now looking at the whole issue, and not just this particular issue. Teams have been doing filming days at Idiada – can you explain that one to me?
“The whole issue of testing has slipped over the years and now needs correcting, and we all need to have a clear picture for the benefit of everyone. The FIA will take this opportunity to rebase all the testing and other activities that teams do, although next year will be a little easier than at the moment as it is anticipated there will be organised full test days.”
However, Brawn is in favour of assisting the F1 tyre supplier in developing the product they need for racing. He told Sky Sports News, “In terms of developing the team and developing the car for sure the Young Driver Test is much more valuable. It’s three days of proper testing with race tyres that you know, testing whatever parts you want and in our experience it takes you forward. I think do 1000km of tyre testing for Pirelli it’s a different league.
“Having said that I think the testing for Pirelli was essential. So if you look at the overall picture I think the Pirelli tyre test was an absolutely vital thing to do because they need the information to give Formula One the tyres we need in the future. So from an individual team perspective the Young Driver Test would be much more attractive, but from a Formula One perspective the teams have to help support the tyre supplier in Formula One more to enable it to do a better job.”
Webber deal on paper
TJ13 reported recently that Mark Webber and Felipe Massa would most probably be staying at their present teams for 2014. Bild reported Webber saying regarding his drive for 2014, “the ball is pretty firmly in my court.” Previous rumours had Kimi – Seb’s best mate – as the most likely driver to partner Vettel in 2014.
Further, the lack of support and direct criticism of Webber from Helmut Marko lead many to believe the Aussie would just walk away, saying ‘enough is enough’.
Yet Webber has always had a strong relationship with the billionaire team owner, Mateschitz saying, “I’ll continue to be in touch with him on where my thinking is at, where my energy levels are, and where my motivation is for still operating at this level”.
Die Welt newspaper now reports today that Mateschitz has “personally presented the Australian with an offer to extend his contract”. The article continues to add that Webber will consider the offer until August, when Red Bull’s bosses Marko and Christian Horner have said consistently they will turn their attention to the team’s 2014 driver lineup.
Who is in charge of Red Bull?
Force India won’t be held to ransom
There have been some rumblings at the Silverstone based team in the past few weeks. Di Resta twice has been publicly critical of the team for their tyre strategy selection that has seen him fail to qualify well in the past 2 races. This despite the fact the Van de Garde in Monaco made the call to run the dry tyre at the end of Q1, whilst Di Resta and the team failed between them to grasp this opportunity.
There were then reports of brawling between Di Resta’s physio and another pit employee of Force India during the Canadian GP, so all is not sweetness and light for the Silverstone outfit despite having their best start to a season. TJ13 has learned there has been ongoing friction within the team over this matter.
Today Bob Fernly tells Sky, “Paul is contracted to us anyway for next season, so the question is whether somebody else comes in, so it won’t be our decision. Whether Paul has to be released, or whatever, that can only come from him. But we wouldn’t stand in his way. That’s not our policy. If a driver feels he is better somewhere else, what would be the point in keeping him?
We proved that at the end of last year with Nico Hulkenberg (who left the team for Sauber). Did we want to lose Nico? Not at all. He was a great member of our team, but we didn’t get in the way of that particular move. We then proved by bringing in Adrian (Sutil) we are capable of recovering from such a situation and carrying on as normal”.
Unable to resist, Fernly observes, “Maybe Nico is asking a few questions himself today, although last year it didn’t look such a bad option”.
This kind of comment is normal at this time of year when drivers begin to look at where the next progression or option to drive in F1 may be. Yet statements, from Dominicali infer Massa is going no where in 2014, Webber appears to have the option to stay at Red Bull and McLaren and Mercedes line ups are not likely to alter next year.
Whether this has been provoked by Di Resta or not, who knows, but at present he is in the best seat available to him for 2014, so talk of moving elsewhere is a little strange.
Williams new sponsor
The Williams team will mark its 600th Grand Prix next weekend in the UK by unveiling a new sponsor. This is Dom Perignon, a maker of elite champagne. The partnership will be officially recognised with a champagne tasting on Saturday evening at Silverstone.
Other drivers may well hope that Pastor Maldonado is not invited.
ARD radio to drop F1 from 2014
This may not mean much to many TJ13 readers, however the broadcaster founded in West Germany in 1950 has grown to be the world’s second largest public broadcaster after the BBC. It has a budget of €6.3 billion and 23,000 employees. ARD in fact broadcast to 9 European countries, however the reason they cite for the decision was financial.
Force India ‘lifestyle partner’
Force India and the Argentine-Spanish fashion label Varlion have signed a multi-year contract. Varlion is now the official “lifestyle partner” of the Silverstone based racing team. The agreement provides that Varlion will manufacture a range of specialized products. Force India, will then sells the team on his website. In addition, the fashion company will design a new team collection for 2014, which will celebrate its Formula 1 debut. Then Varlion will also be featured with their logo on the Force India cars, as well as on the overalls of the teams.
“It’s great that we can welcome a young and exciting brand in our team,” said team boss Vijay Mallya. “The relationship with our team underscores the ambitions of Varlion to expand into international markets and to leave its mark on the sports world.” Felix Regalia, Managing Director at Varlion, adds: “We are excited about the long-term partnership is our mission to make Force India for best dressed team in the pit lane..”
Earlier this month Caterham launched it’s racing academy aimed at providing a path for young motorsport talent from junior formulae right up to Formula 1.
The Caterham Racing Academy is an evolution of its driver development programme which started in 2010. It aims to provide a bespoke development plan for each driver that will cover every aspect of a modern day racing driver’s life.
The drivers will also receive financial support providing they meet their performance-based targets and will receive a contribution to a driving costs ranging from 10% in year one up to 50% in year five.
The drivers include American Rossi and his GP2 team-mate Sergio Canamasas of Spain. Others include, Britain’s Matt Parry, who competes in Formula Renault NEC – France’s Aurelien Panis, who races in the Formula Renault Eurocup – Malaysia’s Weiron Tan, who competes in the Formula Renault BARC and Singapore’s Daim Hishamuddin who races in European KF3 karting championship, complete the line-up.
Today the team that Will Stevens is the latest addition to their junior academy. The young Brit is currently running in the World Series by Renault. “I am pleased to join the Caterham Academy,” says Stevens. “I’m very excited and want to start as soon as possible with the program.”
Academy Chief Mia Sharizman says, “We have had Will on the radar since 2012. We are pleased that he is joining the Caterham Academy. He has progressed each year and this is a clear sign that he is a natural talent that can be involved at the top of the sport. We will help him get there. “
TJ13 reported last week in “Is this Monza’s final year” that our sources revealed there had been ‘secret’ meetings in Monaco between Ecclestone’s deputy and the Italian GP promoters from Monza. Ecclestone is not happy with the way they have been handling an investigation into fraudulent ticket sales which has resulted in the dismissal or suspension of 7 circuit officials, including his long standing friend Enrico Ferrari.
Today Ecclestone confirms to Italian weekly magazine ‘Panorama’ that, “The Formula 1 race calendar will undergo some changes in Europe, we could lose a few races.” He adds, “If we had to do without Monza – and no decision has yet been made – then it would be only for economic reasons.”
Speaking to Reuters today, Christian Horner gives his views on the penalty handed down to Red Bull from the International tribunal. “The problem with the penalty such as the one Mercedes have been given is that it is not a particularly strong deterrent to break the sporting regulations. I should think it was met with a huge sigh of relief at Brackley”
He queries the Tribunal’s judgement adding, “They’ve deemed it illegal to test but the sanction for doing that test doesn’t fit the crime. We need further clarity from the FIA to clear up what is and isn’t permitted.”
Responding to Brawn’s observation that the penalty is “pretty severe” Horner argues “Yes, it’s probably annoying for them to miss it, but it pales into insignificance compared to the benefit you would see from running your race drivers around a race track for 1,000 kilometres on a circuit that has been rubbered in two days after a grand prix weekend. You don’t test with young drivers over the winter for a reason. You have a limited amount of test mileage with your cars and you choose to put your race drivers in because they give you the most relevant feedback.”
TJ13 has questioned why Ferrari were so dominant in the Spanish GP and had a strategy from Friday that meant they would 4 stop in the race. Of course they too tested ‘privately’ with Pirelli prior to the event using a 2011 car and 2013 tyres. Horner agrees, “Ferrari, within the regulations, ran that car. But is it right for a competitor to be doing over 1,000 kilometres of testing on tyres you are potentially racing with in the heat of a championship battle?”
Horner stubbornly presses the issue that Mercedes obviously benefited from the test in helping them solve the problems they have been having with excessive tyre wear. “The very next grand prix (after the test) they had one of the lowest degradations. That might purely be coincidence, and I’m sure the circuit (Monaco) lends itself more to that. But in Montreal, they didn’t experience the tyre issues they previously experienced, so let’s see.”
Christian listen please! Schumacher, pole Monaco 2012. Rosberg P2 in the race. Further, Mercedes had 3 consecutive poles prior to Monaco, and clearly are fast over one lap. In Monaco passing is very difficult and Red Bull were fortunate not to suffer a Mercedes 1-2 in the race.
Montreal, is another stop-go circuit where the traction zones are much easier to manage and there are no fast high wear lateral corners.
When will this team give it up? Part of me hopes Mercedes wins Silverstone with a 1-2; then the fireworks will really go off in Milton Keynes; THEN possibly with some justification.
Force India test driver
The Silverstone team have confirmed James Rossiter will drive for them this weekend in FP1. Adrian Sutil will sit the session out.