Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 11th July 2013

This page will be updated throughout the day GMT 11:31 13:00 15:27 15:49 (Update ‘Sauber vultures circle’)

The Ferrari Family

At times I wish I was Italian, I love the way my Italian friends back home eat, drink and do life together. Italian culture, unlike other westernised societies, has retained a real sense of family and values which bind those related by blood together in community. The young respect and look after their elders, and those well endowed care for those who are less fortunate.

The Ferrari name is of course a family name, and the Maranello team want us all to know they are indeed one big happy family. They published this little insight for us to all understand the Ferrari family values.

“Family is important, the real one and the one at work. It’s something Felipe Massa is well aware of, knowing he can count on both. There’s the one he has created with his wife Raffaela and little Felipinho, the one that brought him into the world and followed him every step of the way in his life and his racing, namely his father Luiz Antonio and mother Ana Elena, along with his brother Dudù and sister Fernanda”.

But of course the work family has an Il Padrino too….

“Then there’s the one for whom he flies the flag at race tracks all around the world, Ferrari and its President Luca di Montezemolo, Stefano Domenicali and all the men and women in red. It’s when times are tough that you find the support and energy you need to react from your family”.

Il Padrino wishes to reassure us all that young Felipe, despite his recent traumas and love in’s with crash barriers, “is fully aware he can count on our total confidence in him. ‘I hope he will soon secure the results that will show his talent to the full, such as the great starts he pulled off at the last two Grands Prix. The future? We will talk about that further down the line as there’s no hurry.”

That is indeed a vote of confidence for young Felipe and he dutifully and respectfully responds to his elders accordingly. “I was here in Maranello for a day at the simulator, as is the norm during the season and I was very pleased to meet the President: his passion and his will to win are always contagious and stimulating!”

I am always amused when someone receives a ‘vote of confidence’, as in historically in English tribal war (aka football) this is a euphemism meaning the exact opposite of what it says.

Still we need look no further than Italian culture for a similar concept, indeed one that emerged from the Italian Renaissance diplomat Nihcolas Machiavelli. Machiavellianism is, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, “the employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft or in general conduct”.

Then again the image of Il Padrino embracing little Felipe on the steps to the Ferrari country villa is a powerful one, and I wonder whether Fernando is regretting telling “them” all to sort his car out pronto.

By God, do I love Ferrari!!!

Honda factory on Red Bull’s doorstep

Honda have announced they will be building a factory for the production of their V6 Turbo power trains in Milton Keynes. The R&D for the engine will done at Honda’s HQ back in Tochigi in Japan, but for logistical reasons they need a UK base for when they are fully operational.

Yasuhisa Arai, Honda’s chief officer of motorsports, said: “With the confirmation of a new F1 operation base in U.K., our preparation to join F1 has become more specific and concrete. To meet and exceed the expectations of our fans, we will accelerate our development to bring back the unique Honda engine sound onto the track.”

The facility will be functional and fully staffed by July 2014 and maybe a few Red Bull employees are happily anticipating new local competitive employment opportunities.

Facility overview
Address Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Within the facility of MUGEN EURO Co., Ltd.
Office operations F1 European frontline operations including rebuilding and maintenance of power units, and trackside support. Engineer office for WTCC activities.

Sauber: Vultures circle

There appears to be a daily flow of information about the perilous state of Sauber tripping across the European media both business and sporting. Swiss publication ‘Business Magazine’ reports the team owe 1.2m Swiss francs (CHF) to 30 suppliers, some of whom are not happy. The ‘Economic Journal’ is reporting creditor’s have found the teams attitude both ‘arrogant’ and ‘uncooperative’.  Some are now talking to debt recovery agencies and considering taking legal recourse.

Another Swiss publication, ‘Tages-Anzeiger’, claims they have discovered there is a 30m (CHF) hole in the Hinwil based teams 2013 operations budget to see them through to the end of the year. This is in contradiction to assurances given by Monisha Kaltenborn who has been adamant that the cash is in place for the rest of the season.

Peter Sauber has spoken of rescue plans A,B and C. Plan A is Peter Sauber’s preferred route to safety, but it is proving difficult. This requires sponsors to stump up cash for the privilege of partnering the Swiss F1 team and these partners are believed to be hard nosed Eastern European’s.

Plan B is to sell some of the shares in the team owned by Peter and Monisha. There is now apparently interest from an Asian car manufacturer who are keen to pursue this path, though who they are – is unknown. Plan C would be to sell the team, and Peter Sauber appears confident this option is possible because he says, “closure is not an option”.

The last team to shut up shop mid-season was Orange Arrows and of the 11 teams which contested the 2002 season, Sauber are one of just four who still remain. Names which have come and gone are Jordan, BAR, Renault, Jaguar, Arrows, Minardi, Toyota, Honda, BMW-Sauber, Midland, Super Aguri, Spyker, Brawn and Virgin.

Of course Jaguar, Renault, Honda and Jordan since 2002 have morphed into new teams currently competing in F1, but the sport’s history demonstrates the carnage of those who’ve tried and failed. Whilst much loved, romance and nostalgia will not save Sauber – they need cold, hard cash.

UPDATE: Rumours have reached TJ13 from Italy that Nicholas Todt is prepared to provide 10m euro’s of funding for a stake in the Sauber team. The conditions are that he replaces Monisha Kaltenborn as team principal with immediate effect.

Further speculation suggests Todt as manager of Felipe Massa has orchestrated a swap with Ferrari which would see Hulkenberg driving alongside Alonso and Massa leading the line for Sauber. Somehow the Russian SMP bank is involved.

TJ13 comment: These driver arrangements would surely only happen – if at all – in 2014. Further, there must be more to a possible deal with Todt than him merely delivering bank credit of 10 million euro’s – otherwise this truly is a vulture circling and awaiting to feed on the carrion.

Formula e city line up complete.

Today Formula e have completed their search for 10 cities to each host an E-Preix in 2014. A spokesperson said, “We’re announcing today that the Berlin E-Prix will take place at Tempelhof. The Formula E car will shortly be driving though the streets of Berlin under police escort…electric police cars of course!”.

Apparently Templehof is a cool district full of artists, 90’s 90s alternative bands and one Motor publication described it as the Peckham of Germany. Does it have trotters and a spring I ask?

So the full line up of E-Prix host venues is, London, Rome, Los Angeles, Miami, Beijing, Putrajaya, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Bangkok and Berlin.

McLaren and Michelin are involved, as is Tag Heur and Spark Technology Racing are at present building the 42 cars which will be raced during the series.

Maverick mayor of London, Boris Johnson has said, “Zero emission world class motor racing is a scintillating concept and I am hugely keen that London be involved in the birth of Formula E. It has the potential to
highlight the impressive strides being made in the manufacture of electric vehicles and hosting a street race could also be of considerable economic benefit to our city.”

Yet as far as I know, there is still only 1 team signed to race next year. Drayson Racing, but I’m sure that is a small matter for the FIA to resolve when they’ve finished creating emergency regulations.

German GP – selected pit radio

Some of you enjoyed the excerpts we provided from the pit to car radio during the British GP. Here’s a selection from Germany.

Formation Lap

Bonnington to Lewis: RS modes cancel. A reminder of engine cooling wherever you can, so high-speed, high gear. And working the tyres front and rear and working the brakes as well. Rear brakes are cold at the moment.

Bonnington to Lewis: We’re going to boost to 40 around this lap where you can. We’re going to do two burn-outs out of turn seven.

Bonnington to Lewis: Weaving and engine cooling where you can. And remember to back up the grid, they will string out again so back up where you can. Bite point seven.

Bonnington to Lewis: Brakes are hot enough now, easy into 13. Get your brake balance set for turn one. Harvest mode four.

Bonnington to Lewis: We’re going to do a bite point check, RS modes and steering straight. Remember your brake balance for the first corner. Bite point eight.

Rennie to Webber: Just a reminder from Gav: When we get running we’re currently C-thumbwheel-two. If you want more diff at high-speed, C-thumbwheel-one, if you want more support from the diff in the high-speed, OK? Just after your comments about it being a bit twitchy in the turn 11. We will do a start to grid, it will be torque one and it will be clutch one for the start. And we’ll do pit limiter on.

Rennie to Webber: At the start if you get wheel slip hold the throttle.

Rocky to Vettel: We need a good job on engine to turn 11. All other systems are good. Remember no part-throttle.

Slade to Kimi: Remember to pull the clutch in and slow down to your position in first, gear please.

Robson to Button: Jenson the only medium runners behind us are Hulkenberg and Rosberg and both the Williams. All others are on softs.

Lap 1

Rocky to Vettel: Red switch down when you can.

Lap 3

Grosjean to Komatsu: One less turn front wing

Komatsu to Grosjean: Copy that, one turn down for the next stop.

Lambiase to PdR: How are the tyres please Paul?

PdR to Lambiase: Not bad

Lap 4

Massa to Smedley: After spinning into turn 1 – The gears were not going down. The engine went off in fifth.

Lap 5

Komatsu to Grosjean: How is the tyre Romain?

Grosjean to Komatsu: Starting to grain a little on the front left

Komatsu to Grosjean: Copy that. At the moment the medium looks slow.

Lap 6 – the gap between Kimi and Romain from the start has been under 1 second

Grosjean to Komatsu: I’m much quicker than Kimi

Komatsu to Grosjean: Ok, copy that

Lap 9 – Webber sends a 30lb tyre hurtling down the pit lane and does an impression of a Reliant Robin pulliing away from his box

Rennie to Webber: Switch off the engine please

Rennie to Webber: Stay in the car Mark

Slade to Kimi: Romain is boxing so we’re racing him

Komatsu to Grosjean: Keep pushing Romain, tyres still good

He stays out another 4 laps.

Lapp 11 – After retrieving Webber and fitting a set of wheels securely they send him out.

Rennie to Webber: Remember to use KERS.

Lap 12

Lewis to Bonnington: Nico is not in the same race

Ross to Rosberg: Nico you are on a different strategy to Lewis, don’t hold him up.

Komatsu to Gorsjean: Can we get one more timed lap after this?

Grosjean to Komatsu: Yes

Komatsu to Grosjean: Ok, copy that, stay out, just keep pushing OK?

Lap 13

Rennie to Webber: Press the air bottle again.

Lap 14

Rosberg to Ross: Do I let him by?

Ross to Rosberg: Affirm Nico, he’s on a different strategy, but remember Raikkonen is immediately behind him.

Lap 15 – Grosjean overtakes Button on his return to the track

Komatsu to Grosjean: Good job, excellent job Romain so let’s get after Vettel now

Rocky to Vettel: Grosjean stayed out on his set of softs, he’s now P2. You’re plus 4 Grosjean. He’s on new mediums now

Lap 16

Komatsu to Grosjean: Pace is good. You are 8 tenths quicker than the car in front. Vettel is on medium much older rubber than you, OK?

Lap 18 – Grosjean is closing Vettel down

Rocky to Vettel: We need a bit in sector 2

Lewis to Bonnington: I’ve no grip man. These tyres are not holding together very well

Bonnington to Lewis: Copy that message Lewis

Lap 19

Lewis to Bonningotn: These guys are on different tyres to me man.

Bonnington to Lewis: Copy that Lewis, you’re on your target lap. Lap 19 currently

Lap 20

Ross to Rosberg: Rear temps still 15.5. Good

Lewis to Bonnington: Is Nico having the same problems?

Bonnington to Lewis: Affirm Lewis. Nico suffering the same issues. We’re just needing to clear some traffic, keep doing what you’re doing, try and get that traffic out of the way. Suggest half a turn rearwards on brake balance.

Lap 21

Slade to Kimi: Radio only works turn 12 to turn 1

Lap 22

Bonningont to Lewis: Big push Lewis

Lewis to Bonnington: I’m pushing man, I’m pushing

Lap 24

Davison to Bianchi: Get out, Jules. Fire the fire extinguisher, get out quickly.

Rocky to Vettel: Safety car, box box box. Torque map 1 and box

Lap 25

Lewis to Bonnington: Really struggling out here guys there doesn’t seem to be any grip

Bonnington to Lewis: Copy that. We’re seeing some reasonable high tyre temperatures. Keep that delta positive.

Rocky to Vettel: Don’t forget to drink, it’s hot out there. Now’s a good time.

Bonnington to Lewis: You’ve got 3 cars out there ahead of us that started on the medium tyre so this could come back to us.

Lap 26

Lewis to Bonnington: How far am I off the pace compared to the guys in front.

Bonninton to Lewis: We’re 1.1 to Vettel and he’s the fastest car.

Lewis to Bonnington: Is that the same for the other guys as well?

Bonnington to Lewis: It looks like Alonso struggling a little, Grosjean not too bad on pace.

Lap 27

Bonnington to Lewis: OK Lewis so if we could just start…

Lewis to Bonnington: Just sliding around. Feels very, very similar to Barcelona.

Bonnington to Lewis: Don’t move off-line and no weaving.

Lap 28 – Webber has been allowed to pass the safety car

Rennie to Webber: Save 60% KERS for the restart. Only use 40 KERS this lap. The trail car is in turn 11 now. The Safety Car is staying out this lap, you will catch the pack easily.

Rennie to Webber: Nice job. Think about diff settings, we saw you went to diff four. Safety Car is in this lap. Your tyres will be in a better position than others for the restart.

Lap 29 – 4 messages from Rocky to Vettel

You’re doing a good job on fuel, keep doing that, but we need a lap easy on the brakes.

Rehearse the start in your mind. No overtaking before Safety Car line one. Make sure you let the Safety Car go away. KERS twelve and mix five. Think about diff and brake bias for the restart.

Remember let the lights go out, let the Safety Car go away. Remember diff and brake bias.

Use a little bit of KERS.

Lap 34

Lambiase to PdR: We have a 22kph advantage in a straight line so set yourself up for turn one. (Ricciardo is ahead)

Vettel has a KERS failure

Rocky to Vettel: Fail one-four, three clicks rearwards.

Lap 35

Wright to Pic: Box this lap, box. Pit confirm. Toggle up

Pic to Wright: Why?

Wright to Pic: We had a slow puncture rear-left, Charles.

Lap 37 – Vettel’s KERS problem resolves itself and he eeks out a gap over the 2 Lotus’

Rocky to Vettel: Good job, Sebastan, keep fighting. Come on.

Lap 40

Rocky to Vettel: Grosjean lost the DRS, come on. He’s too far back now, come on. Keep that up.

Grosjean to Komatsu: It’s really difficult to overtake.

Komatsu to Grosjean: Copy that

Bonnington to Lewis: Last lap you were two-tenths fast than Button. Vettel two-tenths faster than you.

Komatsu to Grosjean: Box Romain, box. Clutch eight.

Grosjean to Komatsu: Box

Lap 41

Komatsu to Grosjean: You can use KERS, we need to be pushing these laps, you’ll be close to Perez. Plan A, you are going to the end, we need you to keep pushing this lap.

Bonnington to Lewis: You’re doing a good job, we’re pushing cars out of our pit stop window so we’re going to extend the stint. Target plus four.

Rocky to Vettel: Watch your speed hit your marks (he is pitting)

Lap 42

Rocky to Vettel: Watch your speed and white line. You’ll come out close to Grosjean, use KERS. You need to keep pushing, Raikkonen ahead is pushing. Need to cover Raikkonen, mate.

Lap 43

Komatsu to Grosjean:  Concentrate on four, five, six you’re upshifting too early.

Vettel is behind Hamilton and 15s behind Kimi

Rocky to Vettel: Sebastian you’re racing against Raikkonen at distance. You need to match his times, you need to go through this traffic as quickly as you can. You need to push, mate, that’s all I can tell you.

Lap 44

Rocky to Vettel: You’re currently slightly ahead on the road, Sebastian, so be careful with overtaking. Be wise.

Bonnington to Lewis: Don’t lose any time holding these guys up and update your wear switch please.

Lewis to Bonnington: Did you say to let them past?

Bonnington to Lewis: Just don’t lose any time holding them up.

Lewis to Bonnington: So you don’t need to let them by but we want quick laps.

Lap 45

Matassa to Ricciardo: Push the oil button, Daniel.

Webber makes final pit stop

Webber to Rennie: What’s the score on the stops ahead, mate?

Rennie to Webber: At the moment, Mark, people who’ve stopped ahead of you, you would cover them up to P7. Some cars in that train that you were following have stopped, anybody who stops will come out behind us.

Lap 47

Slade to Kimi: Kimi you must only talk after turn 12. We cannot hear you anywhere else.

Slade to Kimi: Vettel and Grosjean in traffic behind Button. You are quicker than everyone at the moment. 14 laps to go.

Slade to Kimi: We understood that tyres are not bad.

Slade to Kimi: Alonso will stop for softs.

Raikkonen replies but it is unintelligible

Slade to Kimi: Radio no good. Wait ’til turn 12.

Slade to Kimi: Can you go to the end, Kimi? Sorry, radio is poor.

Kimi to Slade: I told you already!

Lap 50

Rocky to Vettel: Raikkonen in the pits.

Komatsu to Grosjean: Going to be close to Kimi there.. You’re ahead.

Komatsu to Grosjean: Kimi behind is on soft tyres.

Lap 52

Rocky to Vettel: Traffic ahead, three cars: Pic, Chilton Van der Garde. They’re fighting for position, they’ve been warned.

Komatsu to Grosjean: Kimi on the [soft] tyre behind you is coming up very quickly, do not hold him up. You’ve got ten laps to go including this one.

Grosjean to Komatsu: I don’t understand…

Komatsu to Grosjean: Kimi behind is on [soft] tyre and he’s very fast so do not hold him up.

Bonnington to Hamilton: Currently P7, fighting for P5.

Lap 55

Button to Robson: What lap times is Lewis doing?

Robson to Button: Lewis last lap 1’34.5. He’s still eight-and-a-half seconds behind. Traffic in front is Chilton.

Komatsu to Grosjean: Mix five. Kimi behind is on the soft tyre, do not hold him up.

Grosjean to Komatsu: Does that mean he’s faster than me?

Komatsu to Grosjean: Yes, confirm, yes

Lap 57

Komatsu to Grosjean: You are racing Fernando behind. Fernando is on the [soft]. Four laps to go.

Lap 58

Button to Robson: Traffic, Caterhams, I’ve got to get these guys out of the way.

Wright to Pic: Blue flag, Button.

Lap 59

Temple to Perez: Webber three seconds behind now.

Bonnington to Lewis: Two laps remaining, Jenson’s really fallen off this tyre.

Lap 60

Rennie to Webber: You have one lap of KERS overtake.

Rocky to Vettel: Last lap. Empty the tank. Come on!

Victory Lap

Vettel to the world: Woohoo! Yes, yes, ya! Yeah baby! Woohoo! Thank you boys. That was a tough one. Oh man, they gave me a run for the money. Yes, yes, yes and yes again!

Brawn to Lewis: Super effort, Lewis, super effort. We obviously didn’t have the tyres under control for the first half of the race but that’s what we’ve got to work on.  effort today, well done.

Bonnington to Lewis: Good fight back there. P5 in the end. Final result: Vettel won, Raikkonen second, Grosjean third, Alonso fourth, then Lewis, then Button, Webber – he had a bad pit stop – then Perez, Nico ninth and Hulkenberg tenth.

Robson to Button: Great job, JB. Shame about that last lap but nice job, really good weekend. P6, yellow G3 please and normal in-lap procedures.

Button to Robson: Yeah the Caterhams absolutely screwed us. Absolutely screwed us. I’m glad they fought well for their 19th position. Very impressive. Apart from that guys, yeah, great race. To be fighting up here with these guys… Great performance. I actually don’t think we were helped either by the Safety Car. Great job and hopefully we can just improve from here.

Robson to Button: Absolutely you’re right, Jenson, both the Caterhams and the Safety Car didn’t help. High gear please and nice and slowly bring her home. I think P6 it’s not bad, it’s the best we’ve had for a while and it’s a good reward for a great job all weekend. Can I have default-X-two-zero please.

Komatsu to Grosjean: Excellent Romain, excellent job. Nice one.

Grosjean to Komatsu: Good job, guys. I think we should have won. Very well done, good job with the car.

Slade to Kimi: We hear nothing from you on the radio, sorry. Great drive.

Rennie to Webber: Excellent job catching Perez. We finished P7 after all that.

Temple to Perez: Finish P8. Really tough just losing out to Webber at the end but that was a fantastic drive all the way through the race, fantastic effort. From P13 to P8. Brilliant tyre management and pace.

Perez to Temple: It was not better to go for Plan B?

Temple to Perez: No Checo for us the right thing was Plan B. We had good tyre management and tyre life and we took advantage of that.

Red Bull revise pit stop procedures

An investigation has been carried out by the Milton Keynes team following their failed pit stop for Webber at the German GP which saw a rampaging wheel careering down the pit lane Thecar was released  prematurely because a ‘go’ signal was sent accidentally by the right rear wheel man.

The report has been sent to all the teams and to the FIA and it reveals that the nut cross-threaded as the right rear wheel was positioned. The mechanic then removed the nut to replace it, the gun slipped in his hand and he accidentally depressed a trigger that sent a ‘go’ signal to the man on the front jack.

The car was then cleared to leave the pits even though the rear wheel was unattached.

Red Bull say they will revise the design of the wheel gun to ensure that it cannot accidentally send the ‘go’ signal again. The front jack man has also been instructed to hold the car, in the event of any problem, until receiving a clear signal that all wheels had been changed.

The devil is clearly in the detail and if the front jack man is to be an extra visual check, good luck to him with 20 people crowded around the car.

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13 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 11th July 2013

  1. i don’t understand the recent criticism of felipe massa. he is performing well and his crashes were mainly due to car failures. neither monaco nor silverstone can be blamed on him, and in germany his gearbox reportedly got stuck and caused the spin. the repeated votes of confidence do seem to suggest that he might be replaced, but i really don’t see a reason why.

    • He made a comment on Monday that the team couldn’t find the problem – ie sticking gearbox. But he is still positive. Let’s hope he gets some good results

  2. It is entertaining reading others views on Alonso. He has always been a vocal individual, Ferrari signed him after the Kimi experiment went wrong.
    Maybe someone like a Lauda or a Schumacher can guide Ferrari with teutonic sensibilities, but I’d hazard a guess Ferrari prefer the passion that Alonso brings to the team.
    If he was so out of favour, surely all his support of keeping Massa would fall on deaf ears.
    Ultimately, LdM said before Schumacher joined, and then more recently, when Alonso joined; if Ferrari can’t win with these drivers aboard, it’s not the driver who should be called in to question.

    Personally, I love this angst. Even when he displayed this with Renault, stating how lonely he felt, it was manna from heaven to hear a driver voice a non PR buffed response.

    • …and yet when Hamilton voices his concern, everyone jumps on the bandwagon of the big British moaner, while everyone loves it when Kimi comes out with his stuff. Go figure!

  3. So fantastic to read all these radio messages. I love this feature here.

    Lewis to Bonnington: Did you say to let them past?
    (I’d love to see Lewis’ face saying that!)

    Slade to Kimi: Can you go to the end, Kimi? Sorry, radio is poor.
    Kimi to Slade: I told you already!
    (Absolute genius, quote of the day!)

    Grosjean to Komatsu: Does that mean he’s faster than me?
    (Well, poor Massa wouldn’t have to ask the question in the first place!)

  4. “At times I wish I was Italian, I love the way my Italian friends back home eat, drink and do life together. Italian culture, unlike other westernised societies, has retained a real sense of family and values which bind those related by blood together in community.” — the last year of my professional career I spent racing for an Italian team based in Tuscany, living in Montecatini Terme and also spending much time in Genoa w/ my friend and his family. Wonderful life experience and in the 7years since never found anything close to as amazing as that place was…

  5. Re: Red Bull’s new procedures.

    So let’s get this straight – they’ve replaced a “lollipop man” (someone whose job it was to check that all work was complete before releasing the car) with a high-tech lights-and-triggers system. Now that it appears that this system can fail, they give the front jack man the extra job of checking that all work is complete before releasing the car after the high-tech system has indicated it thinks things might be OK …

    While I can see that’s possibly a step forward in terms of there being one fewer in the pit crew, putting the burden of the safety of the release on someone who is already doing another job is going to really slow things down over having a dedicated “lollipop man”.

    Also, it’s not clear to me from looking at recent footage who decides in the Red Bull set up that the car is free to be released in terms of pit lane traffic. Perhaps that is already the front jack man, in which case he now needs to keep one eye on the pit lane as well as one on the work being carried out on the car.

    Finally, how will he indicate that the car can go? Presumably, he wants to drop the car and get out of the way as soon as the front end is complete, so that can’t be the signal to go. Which means he needs a button to press somewhere, which means it can also be accidentally pressed.

    Perhaps someone has some insight on what role each member of the RB pit crew will actually have now, but I just get this nagging feeling that if you’re going to have a final, human decision that will now override the lights system, then the lights are redundant and you may as well go back to a lollipop man who doesn’t have anything else to do.

    Perhaps it will all become clear in a couple of weeks time …

    • I thought your long-winded post was being ironic until you gave us the obvious conclusion! 🙂

    • I agree with you. It is all so pointless to change things. Accidents almost never happen in the pit lane. Because Todt is up for election and wants to be seen to be doing something sometime during the year we have this off the cuff remedy for something that doesn’t need fixing. I would imagine changing the system of car release during the season is more likely to result in accidents.

  6. Hang on: Peter S, on telly, apologizing for suppliers being late paid?

    Crikey, I have such a business crush on this guy, for playing his deals straight.

    Whatever the underlying reasons, I don’t think you speak out about late payments without knowing exactly where you stand. I have had to do so, on a couple of occasions, and if I thought I’d not make it, that would have been a different chat. Mind you, I have only a few critical suppliers, who I don’t have to say “Hi, John here” to since we know our voices and have done business a as long as any of us been around, but sure I’d tell those guys if we were in a fix, because I bet we’d work things out.

    What he’s saying is “no, we’re not juggling invoices payable”, not playing games.

    With the supply chain any F1 team has, that’s important: you do not want to be thought of as playing favorites when supply / parts are competition critical.

    Absolutely hope and wish the man a swift uptick in fortunes.

    This is who came back to F1 so as not to have his name besmirched. Basically out of honor. At no doubt considerable risk, and all too soon after he had exited with his head held high and well deserved money in the bank.

    I hope who Sauber F1 depend upon think not unlike me, and will support that team unless and until it is a stupid risk to take for their employees.

    Guys like Peter S, and lately I have a business crush on Monisha K too, are for me a integral part of why I am a F1 fan. That there is a level headed cool and collected team who can deliver and be constant, is vital to my appreciation that F1 is not just a petrol heads’ knocking shop.

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