Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 9th July 2013

This page will be updated throughout the day GMT 09:53 10:05 10:24 10:32 11:08 11:22 (Updated – Red Bull #2…) 13:15 14:05 14:34

FIA finalised regulations for 2014

Many F1 fans don’t realise the big differences in the regulations for he 2014 design cars. V6 1.6l turbo engines have so far grabbed all the headlines, but the  FIA regulations for car design have some significant differences.

The full FIA regulations can be found here. Below is a summary of the main criteria.

  • Front wing reduced front 1800mm to 1650mm wide
  • Nose tip centered at 185mm high
  • Front Bulkhead maximum height 525
  • Chassis height maximum 625mm
  • Vanity panels still allowed
  • Engines now 1.6l V6 turbo, Direct injection, fuel flow limited, 15k max RPM
  • Energy Recovery systems to add +150hp from Kinetic and Turbo harvesting, giving around 33 seconds a lap of boost
  • Race Fuel limited to 100kg
  • Gearboxes to have 8 forward ratios, those ratios are fixed for the season
  • Single central exhaust pipe exiting 17-18.5cm behind rear axle line and 300-525mm high
  • Last 150mm of tail pipe must point 5 degrees upwards
  • No bodywork behind the tail pipe axis
  • No lower beam wing
  • Space still allowed for Y75 winglet (monkey seat)
  • Top rear wing a little shallower
  • Minimum weight 690Kg

untitledIt appears the FIA don’t believe the teams are heeding their message on front end structures. This is another attempt to lower the front end of the car and the combination of the bulkhead and the nosetip heights will see the nose tips far lower than they are now. The cars will look more like they did on 2007 with narrower front wings (reducing contact with other cars and punctures) and noses.

 

Also buried away in there is an interesting little over-rider, “2014 Tyres: The FIA may decide to change the specification during the Championship season for safety reasons without notice or delay”

Lewis on the downslope

I’m not sure I’m happy with this roller coaster analogy for Lewis’ day-to-day feelings. Being on the down phase of a roller coaster is quite exhilarating, not depressing. Anyway, Lewis has gone from believing he can win the WDC and chase down Vettel after his pole on Saturday to thinking he won’t even win a race this year.

Hamilton bemoans the complexity of Formula 1 and longs for simpler times. He looks at Andy Murray as being the master of his own destiny and observes, “It is just him and the racket. So many elements come into motor racing. There is the electronics performing, the suspension, the frickin’ tyres, things that are out of my control.” 

Lewis is worried about the new tyres now telling DPA, “We just have to hope and pray that they work on our car. It would be good to get a win at some stage but at the moment it really doesn’t feel like it’s going to happen.”

Mmm. Isn’t that the way motor racing has always been? A team sport? Anyway, chin up Lewis, at least you haven’t got mini Kole’s or Lewi’s hanging off your ankles whilst you trying to do some deep universal felt angst.

Thai keen curry?

First it was Bankok, then the residents found out and got a law passed banning racing in the historic district. Next up F1 fans were to get a free scuba diving lesson with their GA ticket in Phuket and now now the mayor of Pattaya – Itthiphol Khunpluem – says his fiefdom “is an ideal place to host a Formula One race”. Pattaya is around 150km south of Bankok and is a city popular with tourists and has a population of around 300,000 people.

Itthiphol said Pattaya would be a good choice because it is a world-renowned resort town which hosts many well-known motorsport events every year. “We are interested in hosting the F1. We have enough accommodation. It is not far from Bangkok. It is near the sea so it would be convenient for transportation of equipment. We plan to submit our letter of intention to the Tourism and Sports Ministry by July 12.” 

It appears the Thai nation are very, very keen to please Mr. E and offer him many possibilities as the Bangkok posts mentions that Phetchaburi – which is a whole province, not just a city – is also keen to host ‘the Formula One’.

Marussia on the loose

Here’s a fan’s eye view of Bianchi’s runaway car.

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James Allison

At the weekend, a senior Ferrari representative was asked – off the record – whether they were close to recruiting James Allison, and the response TJ13 received was a smiling – “watch this space”. It is clear there has been an attempt from McLaren to recruit James, but reading the tea leaves I’d have to say at the moment, I’d give Ferrari the nod.

Update: Another TJ13 source is suggesting today, Ferrari and Allison are close to agreement though a few contractual matters are not yet agreed.

Ferrari would be crazy to let Allison go by forcing some of the alleged ‘riders’ into his contract they have believed to have insisted upon in the past.

Red Bull #2 driver

Further gossip and rumour. The word at Red Bull is that Ricciardo – barring disaster – will get the Vacant seat left by Mark Webber and that this will be announced in Spa. Johnny Herbert appears to believe he has a source who is suggesting it will be Kimi. Yet TJ13 believes the team think Kimi too much of a maverick, and Red Bull will follow the Ferrari model and now admit to having an outright number 1 driver in Vettel.

Kimi had problems during his 2002-06 tenure at McLaren and his biggest problem was Ron Dennis. Dennis wanted to change him the same way he changed Mika, but it Kimi resisted. When allowed Kimi would arrive at the F1 destination, drives the car and then goe home. Speculation was high when Dennis retired from his day-to-day F1 duties that Kimi would return, but Ron still held a veto on who drives for McLaren and who does not and there was no way Kimi was to be allowed a second chance.

Raikkonen similarly had problems with the hierarchy during his time at Ferrari. He had signed an extension to drive with the team until 2010 as reported by FOM, “Ferrari have announced an extension to Kimi Raikkonen’s contract for a further two seasons, keeping the world champion with the Italian team until the end of 2010. With Raikkonen’s team mate Felipe Massa also under contract for that period, it means Ferrari’s race line-up will remain unchanged until at least the start of their 2011 campaign”.

Yet by the end of 2009, Kimi was mysteriously gone and Fernando had been recruited. Kimi said to the BBC at the time, “I am very sad to be leaving a team with whom I have spent three fantastic years. I have always felt at home with everyone here, and I will have many happy memories of my time with the team.” Clearly someone in the team felt otherwise.

It’s a shame Kimi is not going to Red Bull because it would be interesting to see how Vettel measures up to another world-class driver. Of course other comparisons also become possible as following Hamilton’s move to Mercedes, many Schumacher critics now admit his second career looks rather better now than he was given credit for when driving against Rosberg. Kimi verses Vettel could also vindicate Webber similarly from those who think he is a choker.

I’m fairly sure this is no Samurai wisdom, but it may be some consolation to Kimi that at times it’s better ‘to be a big fish in a small pond’.

Mercedes Conspiracy

For those of you sensitive Red Bull souls who object to the continual theories propounding the sabotage of Mark Webber, Mercedes had their own conspiracists this weekend. Speedweek is reporting, ‘well informed sources close to Mercedes’ saying that it is preferable for the team if Lewis were to win rather than Rosberg. This is given as the explanation for the team failing to get Rosberg out at the end of Q2 resulting in him starting 11th.

If this were to be the case – which is ridiculous – the team were rather silly, because simple analysis would have shown Lewis would have to pit around laps 5-7 and in all likelyhood he would end up near his team-mate on track – who would be starting on the harder rubber. This in fact was the case.

Analysis of the lap charts reveal had he not been held up by Rosberg following his first stop – prior to pitting he was 2.5s behind Vettel and was 6 seconds further back by the time he cleared Rosberg on lap 14 and had been. So during and after the safety car Hamilton would have been closer to Alonso. Seeing as his lap times for the final 10 laps were equal to Vettel’s – this would have given him a realistic chance of taking 4th.

Lotus negotiations under way with Kimi

The Lotus team twitter account pout this out this morning

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On a more serious note, ESPN are reporting today that Lopez when asked what he felt the team’s chances were of keeping Raikkonen on board, replied: “I would say high. He’s been treated well like we would treat any driver, I think this team has a culture that is quite human and somebody told me that for the human-being Kimi this is the best team and for the racer he has to decide.”

Raikkonen knows the perils of being in a team when the development direction of the car is not flowing your way (cf. Ferrari front suspension 2008 & Michael Schumacher’s input) so Lopez plays on what he knows Kimi to understand as fundamentally important. “He knows the technical side of things and we developed the car to the point last year that the delta between us and Red Bull was the same at the second race as it was at the two last races. So I don’t think that is much of an issue.

People keep talking about budget, and while we have a lower budget than a lot of teams, we seem to do quite well with it. There is a certain culture about this team that does things right and that’s the culture that Kimi likes. If we had huge time constraints on him I don’t think he would enjoy it, and as a matter of fact he hasn’t enjoyed it at other teams before.”

However, despite an announcement from the team last month, the new shareholders – ‘Infinity racing’ – are apparently not yet signed up. “That is progressing onwards, but it also sits with us,” Lopez comments. “We issued a statement because we have to as our group is a well-known group and we can’t just wait for things to come out. It’s progressing and it’s partly up to us to push that forward.”

That final statement is a little strange and would suggest that the terms on offer to Genii are not yet favourable or acceptable.

Boullier meanwhile speaking to L’Equipe was asked had there been a problem with Kimi’s salaray. He replied, “Yes, it was paid late, but it was paid”.

FIA note sent to the teams

It appears the FIA are struggling with their stationary suppliers this year. We had typed sheet of paper affixed to the board in Monaco from the FIA saying they were unhappy with Pirelli and now the teams have received a note instructing them on how the YTD will be conducted. It states,

1)  The young driver training test will remain a three day test from 17-19 July.

2)  One specification of tyre will be available for the test. The 2012 construction will be used but with the hard, medium and soft 2013 compounds.

3)  Pirelli will be authorised to provide each team with five extra sets of tyres for this test, bringing the annual total to 105 sets. All of these sets may be used.

4)  Any driver who has competed in more than two F1 World Championship races may take part in this test, provided that the purpose of him doing so is to test tyres for the appointed tyre supplier. In order to meet this requirement, all teams shall, in particular, ensure that any changes made to a car at these times are exclusively related to the tyre tests set out in the run plan provided by Pirelli. An FIA observer will be appointed to ensure the regulations are being followed.

Mmm. So if the car is fitted with a new part in the morning, but isn’t changed then the race driver can still drive the car.

There is no word on whether Mercedes will be allowed in, though Brawn’s suggestion of their being a 4th day which would allow them to participate appears to be now dashed.

 

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26 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 9th July 2013

  1. I defo welcome the smaller wings, that will help racing and do away with all the overtaking aids…well, to a certain extent.
    The fact that gear rations will be fixed for the whole season will also be a challenge as teams won’t be able to adjust these per race track.

    Judge, would it be possible to do a comparative table for current regs and the new ones? That would help us identify the regs that might have a bigger impact.

    PS that 07/08 McLaren was a piece of engineering beauty!

      • Well, that shows you what the best two teams in F1 can produce if they work together, and then they go punish Macca for their innovative approach 😉

    • If someone would like to take that on as a research project – good idea. I’m afraid I’ve not got the time to provide the line by line comparison.

      I just highlighted the major differences, from a reading of the new regs

      • I got a £1 says you cut and pasted from scarbs site, lol

        Looking forward to the new regs, aught to be good. I’m also hopefull we get Ricciardo in the RB, just because, frankly, I like the lad

    • I assume the driver will be able to play tunes on the eight ratios in the gearbox, so not all all be used on a single track. It could be as simple as the top 6 or more for Silverstone and Spa and the bottom 5 for Monaco for eg? They may be able to miss out intermediate ratios so it could be perm any 5 or 6 from 8!? I wonder if they will require a drive lock of some sort when the car is left in neutral after an incident, which can be instantly released by marshals, after the Bianchi – “whoops I forgot my handbrake” incident?

  2. Wouldn’t it have been easier for the FIA to state that there is no provision for raised noses? Just a flat bottom from the nose tip to the diffuser behind the rear axle line?
    The teams, drivers and commentators all mention how a car’s aerodynamics wash out when following another car. This has been true ever since high noses came into force with Tyrrell’s anhedral wings in 1991.

    To my mind the most beautiful cars of the last 25 odd years were the 1988 Mclaren MP4/4, Leyton House CG901, 1991 Ferrari 641, Jordan 191 and the 1995 Ferrari 412T2.

    Go back to this specification, you would have less efficient front wings, no underbody aerodynamics and splitters, safer crash structures which wouldn’t pierce another car and beautiful cars once more.

    Hey TJ, has there been any further word on what Allison is doing?

  3. Driver marry-go-round:
    Kimi stays at Lotus. He’s meeting with the team this week and my feeling is that they’ll convince him to stay coupled with RBR opting for Ricciardo.
    Bianchi goes to Ferrari I can’t see Hulk or Di Resta going there as they won’t be compliant no 2s for Alonso. Bianchi is really young and he’ll be happy to second fiddle for now. Not sure what will happen when Vettel arrives though.
    Hulk to…who knows! Lotus need Grosjean’s sponsor money, so I can’t see Hulk going there. It’s a pity for such a telented driver to be spending his days in middle-field teams.
    Maldonado going somehere wlese? I believe his 2013 contract was just for this year. Could he replace Grosjean? He’s got much more sponsor money. Will that also be a reason for Kimi staying? Could he go somewhere else? Force India?

    PS Sadly Button will stay at Macca. He’s been good for the team, but I’d like another young driver to come in for 2014, gel with the team and Checo in what will be the last year with Merc. And then both young drivers start working with Honda from 2015 onwards to build a championship-winning car.

    • No way Ferrari will put a young and inexperienced driver like Bianchi in one of their cars.
      Hulkenberg or Di Resta both have a good chance, and will be very happy to play second fiddle in a (potentially) race and championship winning car.

      • Bianchi, Hulk and Di Resta could do better than Massa. The question would be whether Hulk or Di Resta can play the compliant no 2 driver. They seem quite ambitious to me to sit and play second fiddle…then again…

        • That of course depends on your belief that Alonso is ungifted.
          Apart from a Mclaren supported Lewis in 2007, no team mate has consistently challenged FA.

          • I think FA is the best driver out there probably along with LH, but to be honest, apart from LH he never had a team-mate that could really challenge him. And it’s not about believing whether he’s talented or not, it’s about causing a shift in the balance of the team.

        • Why are people assuming Bianchi will be compliant. He may be for a season, then realise his own potential…

    • Surely McLaren need to keep Jenson until at least the end of 2015 otherwise they are really going to struggle getting the car sorted with a change of regs one year and a change of engine supplier the next.

      Really think the Hulk made a bad, bad choice to leave FI last year. Must admit the money problems seemed more likely there but they seem to be managing OK. Not really any other option for him – no money to ease his way in to a better seat. The bottom teams have shown they can’t support the one good driver and one pay driver model so….

      Only option I can see is that if Bottas doesn’t pick up his game a bit Williams may decided to go for experience, I’m quite surprised by Bottas actually, he was hailed at the next big thing but… Either he’s showing how good Maldonado can be when he bring his A game, or he isn’t as good as people thought.

  4. “No bodywork behind the tail pipe axis”
    Am I misreading this…? I am assuming the tail pipe axis is longitudinal, to the car… Or should it read: ‘tail pipe exit’…?

    • I’ve checked the 5-8 Regs… and find the details a little complex – I’m a visual person – I need diagrams… 😉

    • I think the exact wording is:

      “5.8.5 There must be no bodywork lying within a right circular cylinder which :
      a) Shares a common axis with that of the last 150mm of the tailpipe.
      b) Has a diameter 30mm greater than the tailpipe.
      c) Starts at the exit of the tailpipe and extends rearwards as far as a point 600mm behind the rear wheel centre line.”

  5. I’d much rather see Hulk @ RBR than Ricciardo. I understand that they want the the “young driver program” to mean something, but this is F1… put the best 2 options in the car and get on with it.

    • Well, you dont really know how good they all are. The cars make a heck of a difference and sometimes a bad car can somehow flatter a driver. I like Ricciardo but he seems a bit soft to go up against Vettel. Vettel is made of steel I am sure, clinical and precise.

  6. Rosberg – 2 car failures in the race, Pole chance destroyed with radio failure in Canada qualifying which was a disaster with the wet session, Malaysia team orders made no sense, insane decision to not send him out end of Q2.
    Hamilton – No problems apart from a tyre blow out which was Pirelli’s fault.

    Schumacher 2012 – 8 retirements including gearbox failure, wheel not fitted at pitstop, DRS stuck open, fuel pick up failure etc
    Qualifying DRS failure, missed 2nd run because wrong time calculated.
    Rosberg 2012 – hardly any problems.

    Don’t think there’s any conspiracy, Mercedes just have a couple of incompetent slackers working on one side of the garage every year and Nico seems to have got the short straw like Michael did last year.

    Good info Judge on the driver movements. Could be all wrong but anyone who takes the opposite of Herbert’s view I imagine will be proved correct. Could be like the the Hamilton move who Sky had wrong and BBC had right.

    • Perhaps Merc should just have one car.. seems that’s about the limit their multitude of engineering directors can manage. Maybe if they get another 4 they should have 4 per car and that should about sort all the problems 😛

  7. I think Hulkenberg will go to Ferrari if only to give Fernando a push. He seems to do better when challenged by a fast team mate, like when he was paired with Fisichella at Renault. DiResta will stay at FI only because he doesn’t have a bucket of money to buy a better seat. Sauber will go the way of the Dodo unfortunately. Why don’t they hit up Carlos Slim for title sponsorship? They already have Gutierrez, recruit another Mexican driver and rename the team Telmex Sauber-Ferrari!

    • The other driver should be Perez! Swap him with the Hulk! But McLaren need the sponsorship dosh also…

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