Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 5th July 2013

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GPDA statement

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.

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12 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 5th July 2013

  1. I totally agree with you about the GPDA – what a sad and silly exercise on their part…
    A couple of days ago I posted my theory that, if the concrete lip at Turn-4 was the major problem, then it was caused by cars riding right across the curb, onto the flat (concrete) area beyond (painted green to differentiate it from the curb – and look like grass…) which could have caused the ‘cuts’ either as the tyre dropped into the small dip, or, when the car crossed over again, back onto the track.
    This would suggest the damage was most liable to be caused to the inside edge/wall of the tyre. Is there any video/photo evidence of the point of blowout that would indicate this fact…?
    Certainly the shots of Hamilton’s misfortune shows the shredded tyre on the outside of the rim. Apart from G-forces could this suggest the outer wall is relatively intact and it was the inside edge that was cut…?
    If my theory holds water then the drivers have to accept a major part of the blame for these occurrences which makes their press release even more worthless.

  2. Fernando Alonso (about Perez’ tyre explosion) :
    ” It was a dangerous situation, I was passing Sergio on the right, which was fortunate. If I would’ve passed him on the left, some pieces of rubber or debris might have hit my helmet. And the small pieces of metal traveling at 300 km/h are like bullets or small knives”.

    Then about the Siverstone testsession from july 17-19 :
    “I will not go there, i have absolutely no intention of going, I don’t work for Pirelli, i work for Ferrari. Testing the 2014 prototypes at Silverstone makes no sense after what happened there. Only if Ferrari obblige me, i will go, otherwise, absolutely not”.

    • “Every time you run a Formula 1 car you learn something, clearly Lewis and Nico gained some advantage….” – who said that?

      Mmm. Maybe Fernando knows his car is so bad and getting worse he wants to avoid being reminded of this and avoiding clinical depression.

      • No, just another Samurai trick up his sleeve.

        Nintai = PATIENT PERSISTENCE TO PERSEVERANCE
        “As stated above, when a samurai says he will perform an action, he continues resolutely, even stubbornly despite difficulties and hardships. The samurai doggedly continues until he perseveres or dies trying. The spirit of never giving up, to continue indefinitely, is spread thoughout the lives of the Japanese people. What may appear to be giving up may only be a patient endurance period”

        • Your posts inspired me to check out some Samurai wisdom – unfortunately for Fernando pretty much the first quote that I saw was : Tomorrow’s battle is won during today’s practice.

  3. I guess Ferrari will be solving this morning’s technical issues by talking to each other a lot more than usual!

    • An engineer send Luca Marmorini an email :” something wrong with the ECU we think Luca”. (1)
      Luca:”Engine or ECU?” (2)
      Engneer:” we’re not sure yet”.(3)

      And, that’s 3, end of discussion.

  4. Kimi and Hamilton are not part of the GPDA so if there are tyre explosions and the rest take a time out they can race each other and lap the Caterhams every so often.

    Ferrari need Niki Lauda, then they would get Alison quiker as Niki is the man that gets the deals done 🙂

  5. Hmmmm… browsing twitter this morning and saw an interview with Horner where he stated “we need Pirelli in the sport”?!? Explain that one, if you can.

    • Horner is either desperate that we don’t forget he’s still there… or is going off his rocker… 😉

  6. I see the FIA have sensibly insisted that teams observe a protocol as prepared by Pirelli with regard to tyre pressures, placement on the car and maximum suspension geometry settings. Years ago in Club and National hill climbs we used to put the uni-directional front tyres on the wrong way round. This was – apart from the fact that everybody did it, to try and warm the front tyres more quickly at the first braking point. No idea if it worked and I suspect a lot of F1 teams who meddled with tyre specific settings did not know why they did it either!

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