Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 28th June 2013

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Marko Watch

The big news this weekend is of course the now imminent departure from the sport of Mark Webber.  Helmut Marko has confirmed this morning that Sebastian Vettel will get a say over who partners him next year in the other Red Bull car.  Speaking to Bild newspaper, he said, “This is a team, and so we need to ensure the greatest possible harmony.”

This is a very different stance from what we have seen from Marko in months gone by.  He continued, “The best decision is one that is made in agreement on all sides. This includes Sebastian.”  If it wasn’t clear before, it is now even more obvious who rules the roost at Milton Keynes.

Matt Morris to depart

The Sauber Chief designer, Matt Morris will be leaving the Swiss team on 1st July.  The Head of concept design Eric Gandelin will take over the role at the start of next month.  Following James Key’s exit to Toro Rosso at the end of 2012 after an overachieving season, this leaves the Swiss outfit with a hole in their design department.  Willem Toet, the current Head of Aerodynamics, will be handed increased responsibility according to reports.

There is no word as of yet where he will be heading but McLaren looks like the sensible option for Morris. Previously, he worked for Williams from 2003-11, first as senior systems engineer and then as head of transmission design.

Barcelona not sorry

The organisers of the Spanish Grand Prix have remained unapologetic over their selling of tickets for the 2014, already.  Valencia this week expressed surprise that tickets for a F1 race at the Circuit de Catalunya have gone on sale.  Valencia vice president Jose Ciscar cited ‘a verbal agreement’ between themselves and Barcelona to alternate a single Spanish F1 race, starting with Valencia in 2014, is now ‘in force’.

Circuit president for Barcelona, Vicenc Aguilera told Spain’s Marca sports newspaper: “We have a contract until 2016 and we will organise (a race) every year until then.”  Fireworks are set to ensue, but as has been reported previously on TJ13, the Valencia street circuit has fallen into disrepair.  Where the money will come from for these renovations is unknown; which could be the deciding factor as to where the GP will remain for the foreseeable future.

Hamilton issues the challenge to Vettel

The tennis match of compliments between Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton has not been suspended due to the rain at Silverstone.  Once again Lewis Hamilton heralds the car the German drives.  Hamilton said Vettel, ‘is an absolutely fantastic driver, but “he really does have an awesome car.’  More of the mind games that Christian Horner referred to following the Brazilian GP last year.  He was referring to the rumours that were spread by Ferrari, of Vettel having an agreement in place for 2014 with the Maranello outfit.  This has now been proven wrong by the announcement this week, of the man from Heppenheim signing a new contract with Red Bull.

A solution to the rain at Silverstone

Will Buxton has come up with a novel idea for solving the lack of running in FP1 at Silverstone.  Paul Di Resta has summed up the problem with the British weather, stating, “He had never run on slicks during Friday practice of a British GP.”

will buxton tweet

Another person who will be cursing the wet weather is James Rossiter, who was robbed of the chance for some free practice running in the Force India.  He had been set to replace Adrian Sutil for FP1.

The Jenson Button Trust Triathlon

Sunday 14th July at the Luton Hoo estate in Bedfordshire will see a whole host of celebrities and sports people compete in Button’s own triathlon.  It is all in aid of Help for Heroes, with the top prize being £7,000.  With 500 places, if you want to sign up you had better be fast.


Da Costa to Toro Rosso

Following the announcement yesterday that Mark Webber will be moving to drive for Porsche at Le Mans in 2014, there has been all sorts of speculation about the possible permutations of driver combinations for 2014.  There have been several reports saying Da Costa has a Toro Rosso race seat confirmed for next year.  This would mean that either Jean-Eric Vergne or Daniel Ricciardo will be moving on, to presumably the senior team.  However, Christian Horner has stated he wants ‘the fastest driver’ on the other side of the garage to Vettel in 2014.  A further power struggle to ensue in Milton Keynes.

Red Bull have confirmed that Red Bull Junior Team drivers Antonio Felix da Costa and Carlos Sainz Junior will be taking part in the Formula One young driver test set for July 17-19 at Silverstone in the UK.  Lisbon born Da Costa will be drive for the first two days of the test, with Sainz finishing the team’s running at the Northamptonshire circuit on day three.

Chilton lacking support

Max Chilton revealed this morning during a soggy first practice that only his family and girlfriend are present the race this weekend.  In an interview with Natalie Pinkham the Reigate pilot said his mates were away for a 21st birthday party this weekend, whilst many of his family were away watching his brother in the touring cars championships.

Horner wanted 162 points

In an interview with auto, motor und sport Christian Horner revealed he had wanted the punishment for the Silver Arrows to be 162 points.  The figure was reportedly subject to close analysis whilst working with chief engineer Paul Monaghan.  Even if you take the 37 points Mercedes scored at Monaco, the 25 they scored at Montreal and the potential 43 points on offer at Silverstone and the Nurburgring, it still only comes to 148 points.  Clearly the Red Bull added premium is included in the RB estimate for the points penalty.

Panis sees the potential of Pic

Charles Pic’s manager, former Formula 1 driver from 1994 to 2004 Olivier Panis, believes that people are yet to see the true potential of the young Frenchman.  Panis stated, “I never had any doubts about the speed of Charles I know that it can be quickly both on a fast lap in qualifying and in the race he was in training in Bahrain the upper hand against Heikki Kovalainen and was over half a second faster, which says a lot, I think.”

I wonder if the rest of the paddock saw the potential of the Caterham protégé whilst he was marooned in the gravel at turn 18, towards the end of FP1.

The return of testing becomes official

The FIA today confirmed that testing will be legal from January 2014 onwards.

A statement on the FIA’s website reads: “Four two-day track tests will be allowed in season in place of the current eight one-day promotional days and the three-day young driver test. These will take place at tracks in Europe on the Tuesday and Wednesday after a race in order to ensure minimal additional resources are necessary.

“Track testing will now also be permitted in January 2014 in order to allow earlier testing of the new power units.”

The end of blown diffusers

Auto Motor und Sport have reported that the FIA has dictated that the turbo V6s only have one exhaust outlet, and that it must exit beyond the diffuser.  Any exhaust blowing or ‘Coanda effect’ will now be impossible.  Auto Motor und Sport added, ” the area behind the exhaust pipe is a forbidden zone.”  The effectiveness of the RB and Lotus packages will be lessened, with the Newey factor being reduced.

Matt Morris update

McLaren confirm the arrival of the chief designer from Sauber, where he will take up a new role of Head of Engineering.  This goes against the usual policy of promoting within the team.  Somewhat of a power struggle could ensue with the number of high end designers McLaren are now boasting, according to David Croft of SKY UK.

Williams F1 and ShoreTel announce a new technical partnership

The new agreement will see ShoreTel become an official technical supplier of the team, integrating communications within Williams’ on-track activities at Grand Prix venues around the world.  All at the Grove based team will be hoping it can change the fortunes of the team, who are yet to score a point in 2013.  Adrian Hipkiss, ShoreTel’s EMEA vice president and managing director, said; “This exciting new partnership with the Williams F1 Team positions ShoreTel at the cutting edge of technology in an increasingly relevant international market.”

15 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 28th June 2013

  1. According to the part of the AM&S article that wasn’t mentioned. The 162 points are not a number they pulled out of their arse (to borrow a phrase that has recently become en vogue among Irish bankers). What they attempted was to calculate the number of points that Mercedes would score MORE due to the gains from the test over the complete rest of the season (not just the next 3 races).
    Basically the rather lengthy RB report passed on to the tribunal mentions that Mercedes gained better understanding of the tyres – hence wouldn’t drop back in the race as dramatically anymore as they did in Bahrain and Barcelona and that they’ve gained an plus on reliability, which they factored in with the odd point, too. Basically they come up with roundabout a dozen points that Merc would score more every race.

    That’s wrong in two places. Basically they seem to have left out the tyre selections of Pirelli, which aren’t known yet for many races anyway. They also conveniently forgot that had Merc not done the test and had therefore not been excluded from YDT, they could have made similar gains at the YDT, so unless the YDT is a wash-out, RB’s calculation with wrong for any race after Hungary by default.

    Well, one doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to know why they did that. They exaggerated the crime to raise the punishment. That’s what every team has done in the past if they saw the chance to get rid of a rival. What I find interesting however is, that the article doesn’t mention any 100M $ fine being demanded as opposed to the reports of rather ill-reputed rags earlier this week.

    • Welcome back danilo! I don’t know if you know, but an increasingly bitter, myopic, Christian Horner loving troll had hacked your account and has been posting here for the last two weeks… We like having objective Danilo back 🙂

  2. Watching FP2 Will Buxton just reported 4 in season tests, Tuesday Wednesday after Spain, Silverstone, Hungary and Monza. Also, filming days for teams will be limited to 2, down from 8.

    2nd pre season test will take place at either Abu Dhabi or Bahrain.

    • Hopefully not only after Monza but also at Monza, a test at Mugello could mean the race might also move to the Tuscan circuit

      • Yes, Monza would be infinitely preferable. Aside from keeping the GP at Monza (which is one of my favorite tracks), the teams will have reams more data on Monza than Mugello it will also be cheaper to leave the equipment in place and the track will have evolved to its optimum.

        It seems the plan is for the tests to take place at the tracks after the races. But after listening again, Will doesn’t state it in his report. Teams are set to approve it this afternoon. He used the term “rubberstamp” when referring to it, so we should have complete details later today.

  3. I’d be willing to bet a substantial amount of money that the exhaust trick will just create another Newey effect. The RB might suffer again, as it did after the EBD was nixed, but the man will find something else.

    • I would not have thought there will be much energy left in the exiting exhaust gases after they have been used and maybe re-used for the new KERS energy recovery system? Although as Don_Quixote says – Adrian is probably working on it now!

      • It’s less about that and more about the fact that there will be no bodywork near/behind the exhaust to blow…

  4. HaHa, QOTD is Hulkenberg “even with DRS I can’t pass Marussia”. Sauber circling the talent drain at the moment. Makes me wonder about their financing and /or team leadership.

  5. I think FIA should add points for pole as well as fastest lap. It could certainly add for some interest in the latter stages of a race. Vettel wouldn’t be able to resist. Maybe even a few surprises when an unexpected driver/team grabs the pole or fastest lap.

    • I personally think that being on pole is reward enough without extra points, as for fast lap I would rather see battles for track position only… with fast lap points drivers might back off for a lap or two to cool the tires, obtain a clean track, not what I want to see during a grand prix.

      • Not with DRS though, especially when there are 2 zones where you are basically a sitting duck if you don’t have the 1-second window with the next car in the line.

        • There won’t always be someone right behind. And I’m glad you mentioned DRS, the silly one second rule will make fast lap points even more inane: it will come down to who has a teammate nearby/backmarker to lap.

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