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This statement was issued last evening
“We trust that the changes made to the tyres will have the desired results and that similar problems will not occur during the German GP weekend. We are ready to drive our cars to the limit, as we always do, and as it is expected by our teams, sponsors and fans.
However, the drivers have decided that, if similar problems should manifest themselves during the German GP, we shall immediately withdraw from the event, as this avoidable problem with the tyres endangers again the lives of drivers, marshals and fans.”
The 3 headed monster just morphed. What is this all about? I have to say I’m incredulous.
Firstly, the problems we saw in Silverstone are unlikely to occur in Germany even were the same tyres to be used. This is due to the nature of the track being significantly different in terms of the stress the tyres will experience.
Yet Pirelli have pandered to everyone’s hype and drama, and are introducing the tyres they offered for testing in Canada. The problem is that these sets of rubber, due to poor weather on the Friday of the Canadian GP and together with indifference from some teams and drivers – have not been properly tested.
Are Pirelli confident in the untested tyres they have offered for the Nurburgring? Who knows? Pirelli are confident in the tyres used at Silverstone were they to be operated in the parameters they recommend. Hence, would not be inappropriate in light of this bizarre statement from the drivers for the Italian manufacturer to force the teams to now use the regular 2013 tyres this weekend?
This threat does not demand that the drivers’ own teams behave responsibly, and operate whatever tyres they are provided with within the recommended pressure and camber parameters Pirelli recommend.
Further, what will be the trigger for their withdrawal? A single delamination or puncture? Maybe they will wait for a second or third problem. Prior to the race at Silverstone we saw just one problem for Sergio Perez.
So the race is where the extreme stress occurs and should this be the point where failures begin again, how will the drivers decide to withdraw? Will they all get together during the race on pit radio and say, ‘everybody out’?’
It would now not be unreasonable for Pirelli to demand all the fast corner kerbs be chamfered down to prevent a repeat of what occurred in Silverstone – or refuse to supply any rubber at all.
This is surely political maneuvering, based on the assumption there will be no problems. Yet, some of the drivers are not part of the GPDA, so if the rest go on strike will we see a Caterham score 25 points?
You could easily forgive the main board of Pirelli calling it a day with F1, because the organisation is a shambles and looks like a cowboy outfit at war with itself.
Of all the ridiculous scenarios we have observed in the past weeks, the drivers have now topped it all.
One off sponsor
In the drive to raise extra cash it may be that teams increasingly seek one-off sponsors relevant to the country in which they race.
Red Bull will run this weekend with the logo of the supermarket chain Kaufland. This will be displayed as a red K on a white background emblazoned on both the front wings of the cars and on the overalls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.
Audi criticise F1
The FIA new engine regulations were designed to attract new road car manufacturers into F1. Yet the half a billion dollars spent by Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes on the new powertrains is creating little interest with anyone other than Honda.
Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, questions the value of F1, “We ask ourselves, especially at present, whether it could ever be worth considering joining Formula 1. 90% of the discussions are not about the manufacturer but are about the driver. Also there is a lot of talk about the tyres. Occasionally the manufacturer is at the forefront and even then not always in a positive light.”
The VW brand will compete in 2014 under 2 brands, Audi and Porsche. Further, it is true the driver is less prominent in WES and the manufacturer has pride of place which is something else for F1 to consider, though I guess its well down the list.
Allison off to Ferrari
You could be forgiven for forgetting about James Allison after the week there has been in the world of Formula One. After stepping down as technical director at Lotus GP, his next port of call had not been confirmed until now.
Manuel Franco, of the Spanish daily sports paper reports, “AS is certain that Allison has signed for Ferrari.” And the award for the worst kept secret goes to…..
What is strange though is that Ferrari are not cutting a deal with Lotus to reduce the period of ‘gardening leave’ that Allison will have to serve; similar to that of Paddy Lowe between Mercedes GP and McLaren. Ferrari look to be in desperate time in terms of development, so paying a bit more for his services would hardly seem too much of an imposition if he were to ensure they gain places in the WCC.
A different approach from Red Bull
In a somewhat amazing move, the team has turned to the fans to ask for guidance as to the replacement driver for the vacant seat next year. When questioned on it, Kimi was his normal non-fussed self as he said, “It’s four days ago since you probably asked last time, and nothing has changed.”
Aussie, Ricciardo, responded in a different light, “It’s nice to hear some positive things,” he said. “It would be a great position to be in but I’ve still got a bit of work ahead of me.”
Another great PR stunt from the RB team, as they try and regain some of their fun and interacting image they seem to have lost this year. For any who were at Silverstone this year, it was clear to see the anti-RB sentiments creeping in, similar to those during the early 2000s, during the Ferrari dominance.