Daily #F1 New and Comment: Monday 15th July 2013

This page will be updated throughout the day GMT 10:28 12:04 12:23 13:44 (update – Sauber saved) 13:57 14:24 14:32 14:48 14:55 (update – Sauber saved) 17:18 17:55 18:24 18:52 19:27 (Update – Is the Sauber deal a fraud)

Sauber saved

The following statement was issued today by the team.

“We are pleased to announce a partnership between the Investment Corporation International Fund, the State Fund of Development of North-West Russian Federation and the National Institute of Aviation Technologies with Sauber Motorsport AG, incorporating the promotion of the sport Formula 1 in Russia and jointly developing high-technological solutions.” 

“With the National Institute of Aviation Technologies, one of the leading scientific research institutions in Russia, the Sauber F1 team will benefit from the advanced know-how of the front-end Russian scientists and engineers. The objective of the partnership is to open up new perspectives and revenue streams by commercialising jointly developed technologies.”

Marrusia were apparently chasing a deal with the same parties but it is being suggested Ferrari had a big hand in the negotiations behind the scenes.

“The partnership includes further activities for the promotion of the inaugural Formula 1 Grand Prix in Sochi in 2014 and attracting the talented young Russian generation towards motorsport. In particular, a development programme will be set up for the Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin to prepare him as a racing driver for the team in 2014.

The background and aims of the 3 parties involved are as follows

The Investment Cooperation International Fund (ICIF) was established with the support of the Administration of the President, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Ministry of Regional Development of the Russian Federation. The Fund contributes to the development of specific technology programs and technical upgrades of the industry. In addition, it invests in Russian regions and the development and modernisation of industrial enterprises.

The State Fund of Development of the North-West is a not for profit organisation established to finance programs, projects and activities supporting the economic, scientific and cultural heritage of the North-West region of the Russian Federation.

NIAT is one of the leading scientific institutes in Russia. With nearly 1000 employees, NIAT greatly contributes to the development of technologies as well as the aviation industry.

This extensive co-operation will showcase Russian innovation at the pinnacle of motorsport. At the same time, the Sauber F1 Team will have a solid foundation to increase its competitiveness on a long-term basis”.

What is surprising is that there is no mention of the Russian SMP bank together with the denial from Sauber that shares have been sold. Monisha Kaltenborn tells German media, ” the team has not been sold. We are at the beginning of a comprehensive, long-term partnership.”

However, the name of a certain influential Russian business man who is close to Putin – Boris Rotenberg – is still rumoured to be in the mix somewhere. He’s an avid race fan, races and invests substantially in Gran Turismo series. Boris races in the Ferrari Challenge Europe with team Ferrari Moscow and  in the Blancpain Series where SMP Racing has 4 Ferrari 458 GT3’s running.

TJ13 believes the bones of the deal will emerge soon and whilst the team has not been sold – 135m euro’s has been suggested to be the total investment. Interestingly monsieur Todt jr’s name is still being mentioned behind the scenes.

Wolff gets to drive

Williams have announced their driver lineup for this weeks testing in Silverstoine. Susie Wolff will drive on Friday and she is jubilant as she explains, “Most of my work is based in the simulator which is why this day is so important for me. It will give me a better understanding of what the car is like on track and how that correlates to the simulator which will also help further develop the work I can do there.”

 

Interestingly, Williams are switching to Mercedes engines in 2014 and Mercedes DTM driver Daniel Juncadella will also drive for the team during the test.

Juncadella said, “I had my first taste of Formula One as a prize for winning the 2012 Formula Three Euro Series title, but it was a 2009 car so I therefore see this as being the real deal, having the chance to drive a current car in a full test. I’ve spent a couple of days at the factory getting to know the team and I felt at home. Looking at the history of the team is also amazing and so to get this chance with Williams, a team so many great drivers have raced for, makes it even more special.”

So we will be able to gain some comparison on how fast Susie’s really is with someone driving the same car on the same tyres…. most interesting indeed.

Pastor Maldonado will do 1 days work on the Pirelli tyres on offer with a hope to gaining a better understanding of what the tyres will be like for the Hungarian GP.

Bianchi in line

Rumours in Italy are still rife surrounding Felipe Massa’s future. The big Ferrari family love in with Il Padrino, Felipe and all the Maranello brothers and sisters appears to have fooled no one. Clearly it is in the interests of the team to keep Massa focused as they face a a real challenge in the constructor’s championship this year from both Mercedes and Lotus. Ferrari coming 4th would be a disaster.

Ferrari did a nice piece on how well Bianchi is progressing as part of their young driver programme on Ferrari.com at the weekend, but it finished intriguingly with the following. “For Jules, there is of course the one dream still waiting to be realised. ‘Yes, it’s always there and there’s no point talking about it…. Everyone can imagine exactly what it is!”.

The most influential Italian publications – La Gazzetta dello Sport and Autosprint – have made it a matter of record that they and the Tifosi want to see a new driver alongside Alonso in 2014. The rumours about Massa leaving the team are augmented as Livio Oricchio, a well informed Brazilkian F1 correspondent, states in  O Estado de S.Paulo that he believes Massa’s manager – Nicolas Todt – has opened talks with teams like Lotus and Force India about the Brazilian driver’s future.

Sergey Sirotkin to drive in 2013

Following Sauber’s announcement of their new partners, Nikolay Vetrov – the manager of the 17 year old Russian driver – has revealed that he expects his driver to be in an F1 car this year. “Our target is simple, we want to be sure we do everything possible to make him ready for his debut in Formula 1 in 2014. We are preparing a package of measures – and in particular I can confirm that we will see Sergey in some Friday free practices.”

Sirotkin is the son of Oleg Sirotkin, who unsurprisingly is the CEO at the National Institute of Aviation Technologies – one of Sauber’s 3 new backers.

Sergey faces the same problem as Susie Wolff, unless he has an F1 driver’s super license he cannot drive in Friday free practice. To get his license he must satisfy certain criteria. One route is to win one of the ‘recognised’ F1 feeder series but he is unlikely to win the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 championship as he is presently 8th in the drivers standings.

Vetrov adds, “I have known Sergey since he was 10, and I’m absolutely sure that he is far ahead of boys who are the same age in terms of self-development: both physically and mentally. That makes me believe he can manage the task in front of him. For us it was not an easy decision, but we have weighed up all the pros and cons – and we understood that someone had to make this step. So we decided to do it ourselves.”

Of course Bernie wants a Russian driver ready to compete in the 2014 inaugural Russian GP in Sochi, but it is the FIA who decide whether a driver’s license is granted. One solution would be for him to drive the required 300km during the YTD at Silverstone this week, but there has been no announcement of this and it would be surprising were that to happen.

Vetrov’s statement is one of absolute certainty, “in particular I can confirm that we will see Sergey in some Friday free practices”, yet how this will happen at present is a mystery.

Gerard Lopez bullish

Lopez reveals to Motorsport-Total that should Romain Grosjean continue where he left off at the Nurburgring, he will have a new contract. He also appears bullish about Raikkonen staying with the team, though whether he is aware that Daniel Riccardio tested for Red Bull yesterday in Idiada near Barcelona – who knows?

It will be interesting to see who lines up for the Milton Keynes team at Silverstone this week, and whether the cat will then be fully out of the bag – so to speak 🙂

Henri Julien dies

The Frenchman Henri Julien, founder of the former Formula 1 team AGS has died age 84. After a short racing career in 1969 he founded the team AGS (Automobiles Gonfaronnaises Sportive), which took part in various race series. In 1986, Julien entered a team into Formula 1, but they only scored 2 points finishes over the 5 years until 1991 when they withdrew. The team became a kind of academy for young/new F1 drivers such as Yvan Capelli, Roberto Moreno and Gabriele Tarquini.

Honda deny testing

James Allison may be lying low whilst the ink on his Ferrari contract is drying, however the rumours about a Honda test car being built for them to run their 2015 engine still abound. Honda head of Motorsport, Yasuhisa Arai, denies this is the case and states “We will not build such a vehicle. The first track use [of our F1 engine] will happen during the winter testing ahead of the season 2015. “

Honda revealed over the weekend, they will bench test this autumn and actually fire up the first iteration of their F1 engine design which will debut on the McLaren car in winter testing 2015. Arai states, “The test benches are now so well developed that we see no reason to build a chassis to test the engines. 

I’ve heard of these rumors, but we have no such plans. Our debut will only be in 2015 and not 2014 already which gives us plenty of time for design and development”. He adds interestingly, “And of course we will also closely follow the challenges other manufacturers have to face. “

McLaren use only their test drivers at Silverstone

Having had a terrible start to the year, it appears McLaren have made a decision to use the Silverstone test to primarily develop their car. Neither Jenson Button or Sergio Perez will be present leaving Paffett, Turvey and Magnussen will share the driving responsibilies. This does not mean the Woking team will not do any work with Pirelli on prototype tyres, though it appears the majority of the test will be used to bring new parts and setup to the ailing MP4-28.

More News from Russia

Oleg Sirotkin, the father of 17 year old Russian driver Sergey, has given an interview with F1news.ru that sheds some light to the deal being done between the tripartite group of Russian organisations – including his own – and Sauber.

“We all consider this as a joint investment project. Sponsorship – is quite another thing: you are given the money and set up some sort of advertising. For us it [sponsorship] is not so interesting, because we have our own problems, and the Sauber team has its challenges. The investment project is more interesting, and we know how to attract money. We have two strong foundations, who know how to do this better than others: the money invested in the development will make a profit for both us and the team.

This is a very large investment project and a new form of cooperation, which is very important. It’s a very good idea and we supported it, although we were not its originators”.

This would appear to suggest whilst the team has not been sold, the Russians are taking an equity investment within the team. Oleg was then asked how his son would actually progress into becoming an F1 driver for Sauber. He replied, “the normal route. There will be a number of preliminary tests, and if these tests prove him to be competitive, then will talk about him joining the team. If he needs extra training then there will be some additional preparatory period.

But we believe that Sergey, though young, has already come a long way. He has competed in Formula Abarth, in F3, in AutoGP, and this year is entered in the World Series Renault racing class. So he has been through all the steps. Kimi Raikkonen entered Formula 1 from the Renault 2.0 racing series, and everything was fine. If a guy has a flair and talent, it is not necessary to sit for 10 years in each series”.

There’s no room in Oleg’s sentiments for the possibility young Sergey may not be good enough. It’s a matter of when and how much effort is required.

The ‘originator’ of the idea, as Oleg expresses it, is thought to be Nicholas Todt and the Russians are insisting that Todt jr. has a key position in the organisation. It is apparently yet to be decided what his role in Sauber will be and careful consideration is being given to how to handle having the President of the FIA’s son as team principal – and how this will appear.

Lowe defends the Mercedes hierarchy

There has been much written about the number of chiefs down in Brackley and suggestions they may all be stepping on each others toes. The top level management has Wolf, Lauda and Brawn and under them Aldo Costa, Bob Bell and Geoff Willis.

Paddy Lowe reveals he believes this is in fact a strength of the Mercedes AMG F1 team. “If people think that there are too many technical directors in Mercedes, then all you can say is that it seems to be working for them. Mercedes have made fantastic progress in the last 12 months, so what is wrong with that?

The other thing is that it is not as though there are a whole bunch of cooks trying to do the same job. There is always a huge amount of work to do in this business if you want to be successful. Within two days of starting in my job here, I could already not find the hours in the day to do what I could see needed doing. That is how it should be, that is the nature of F1.”

Lowe argues the roles are well-defined and this kind of division of labour may in fact be delivering the progress Mercedes have seen. “Even though we have a very wide and deep range of senior people at Mercedes, we are all gainfully employed and we all respect each other’s talents. 

That plays to our strengths and helps us work together. There is a very good division of effort between the different players. And that is what I am fitting in to. It works really well. You need that strength in depth to put the attention on different things.”

It could be that Paddy’s old team McLaren could learn a thing or two from this approach, having said that Red Bull car concept and development is believed to be driven predominantly by just Adrian Newey. This was the approach used by Gordan Murray when he joined McLaren and built their multiple championship winning cars.

Is the Sauber deal a fraud?

Peter Gysling who works as a Russian correspondent for Swiss television in Moscow has poured scorn on Sauber’s big announcement today. He claims it sounds like a fraudulent promise from an eclectic and mysterious group of disparate foundations and funds.

Gysler mocks the ‘pompous’ sounding names of the institutions involved and the new ‘technology development partnership’ with the Hinwil based outfit. He questions why a North West regional state fund is  involved in promoting an event which is to take place in Russia’s south.

Apparently all three institutes are connected in some way to the national government, but Gysler suggests they are just fronts as there are few identifiable activities. Peter Gysler is scathing of the “so-called Institute of Aircraft for example, only apparent output has been to development fire-safe seats for trolley buses. This is also no national research institute, but a private limited company, which ironically belongs to the father of the 17-year-old future Formula 1 driver – Sergey Sirotkin”.

Gysler believes all this is merely oligarch cash sloshing around behind some facade of technology development and exchange and he warns Peter Sauber to be careful. It is obvious Sauber has already had some unproven 17 year old kid forced upon him and Gysler foresees this deal is not yet done and could yet end up ‘a dead end’.

TJ13 comment: It has been a strange day, and it feels as though this news has been hurriedly announced, coming out in dribs and drabs from various sources as the above chronological daily news post represents. Usually these things are better managed and then we have the fact that the detail on the ‘technology sharing’ is also sparse and lacking.

When asked about the specific return’s on investment, Oleg Sirotkin  – CEO of the grand sounding National Institute of Aviation Technologies which is in fact a privately owned company – says, “I speak of a cooperation on scientific and technical areas, I speak of training and development, I am also speaking of close cooperation with the Russian motor sport federation. This opens up a wide and highly interesting field of possibilities. The representatives of the racing team have made their proposals, we have examined in them detail and then consulted with the representatives of the two funds (“Investment Cooperation International Fund” and the State Fund for the Development of North-Western Russia, MB ). We then traveled together to Hinwil to check the technical level of the teams”.

It could the team have been forced to make a premature announcement to calm the litigious creditors before the ink is even on a contract. Yet Gysler is right to question the ultimate source of the cash because Chelsea fans will tell you – a Russian oligarch is used to power, absolute power and unquestioned control.

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33 responses to “Daily #F1 New and Comment: Monday 15th July 2013

  1. Really good news there. I’m a bit surprised that the Russians haven’t invested more in Marussia, but saving Sauber is a good thing, too.

    People still look at Russian business operations with suspicion, but I think that’s unwarranted. I’ve spent several years in Russia myself and I know that in business matters, the Russians work very seriously.

    • Re Marussia, these were my thoughts too, but I guess Fomenko doesn’t need the investment…well, for now.

      Could we see Petrov replacing Guttierez for next year? I can’t see an 18-yr old driving in races.

      • They could probably use any investment they could get, but considering they are in a technological partnership with McLaren, I guess they gravitate more towards western partners, despite being a Russian team.

      • Frankly, I could see Petrov replace Gutierrez THIS year. Gutierrez really is woefully out of his depths. He’s probably the best case for why young drivers need more track time before you send them out in Grand Prix’s

        • Totally agree and hence my disdain in thinking that an 18-yr old could be driving an F1 car next year. It could well kill his racing career off for good.
          The last one that came in that young straight from the Renault 3.5 series was Alguersuari and he didn’t deliver the goods. He hasn’t raced anywhere since the end of ’11.

          • On the other hand a certain Seb Vettel came also straight from FR3.5 and wasn’t really much older. He sort of delivered. Kimi came in with exactly 25 openwheel races under his belt – he sort of delivered. The difference is that both Kimi and Seb had driven thousands of test kilometers in an F1 car, while Gutierrez and Algersuari hadn’t barely had any track time due to the ridiculous testing ban.

          • So glad you mentioned all the testing Kimi and Vettel were able to do…I could see this going down another argument over Vettel’s greatness…;-)

  2. So does that mean that Carlos Slim is going to run with McLaren and ditch Sauber altogether? I thought that Guterriez came with funds from Carlos, I guess just not enough.

    • I think Gutierrez came into Sauber the same time as Perez. Given that Claro will be one of McLaren’s sponsors next year, Mr Slim has probably diverted most of his funds over to Macca, leaving Sauber looking for roubles.

      • Probably, just happened to be on the TelCel site last week and every time I logged on there was Estaban’s face, staring out at me. Guess Carlos is getting the most out of his investment whiule he can.

        I wonder, too, if this deal has been in the works for a while and that’s why Mr E. refused to sign a commercial agreement with Marussia.

        I also wonder what’s going to happen to the incredible Hulk, as I’m beginning to suspect that Monisha took him on a little ride in order to be able to ditch him. By cancelling his contract she is now free to replace him, either with a Russian (Petrov) or, since I happen to note that a certain Mr Bianchi is represented by Nicholas Todt, perhaps Jules if Ferrari retain Massa. Just speculating, of course. 😉

        • Monisha didn’t cancel his contract – Hulkenberg canceled it himself, when he didn’t receive payment of his salary. But you’re correct Sauber could theoretically give his seat to someone else.

          • Perhaps I was being obtuse, but I was speculating that perhaps Monisha created the conditions that led to Hulk canceling his contract because she knew that would give her more flexibility with the new investors coming in. That way, unlike Ferrari and Kimi, there’s no money owed on next years salary if they go a different direction.

  3. Since tests with old cars are allowed, couldn’t we see Sauber peeling an old car out of mothballs? Or maybe Sirotkin could pay a visit to Fiorano and old Buddies Ferrari let him have a go with Corse Clienti? That could satisfy the criteria.

  4. I’m going off topic here, but talking about Vettel’s Toro Rosso days, got me thinking about this year’s younger drivers.

    Gutierrez has been outqualified 9-0 by the more experienced Hulkenberg.
    Chilton has been brushed aside by Biancchi and the same is true for Vergne and Ricciardo respectively.
    Bottas has impressed against the more experienced Maldonado and Pic has bettered van de Garde so far.

    So, are Gutierrez and Chilton F1 material? Are Biancchi and Bottas quite special and future champions? What about Ricciardo and Pic?

    In other words, does Chilton for example make Biancchi look much better that he is?

    • I think it is hard to rate Bianchi on his performances as his benchmark is Chilton which to be honest probably isn’t too good. It’s like the old saying any fighter can look like a champ when he’s hitting the punching bag.
      My feeling is Bianchi is good as he is just so much faster than Chilton and how bad can Chilton be? Also Bianchi was way faster than Perez at I think at Perez’s last Ferrari driver academy test which was apparently the reason Ferrari over looked Perez to replace Massa this year.
      Bottas I think is the most likely to be a future world champion. In his rookie year he is out qualifying Maldanado 6-3 so far. For people who forget, Maldanado stacked up better alongside Barrichello in his rookie year than the more likeable Hulkenberg did in his rookie year apart from the pole in Brazil.

  5. To me, this shows a few things:

    Sauber needed a Mexican driver this year to continue Mexican sponsorship, hint why Gutierrez is there. We assume Mexican sponsorship will move to McLaren next year, meaning no need for Mexican driver in Sauber, to be replaced by a Russian, now we know of this deal mentioned in the article.

    As for Hulkenberg, he is likely to be pleased now – as to whether he is at Sauber next year I think will likely depend on the seats above him, primarily who replaces Webber, and the knock on effect of that. If he fails to get a better seat next year, then he would, I think, be more positive about the prospect of staying at Sauber for another year, given the news from Russia.

  6. Did someone notice the name of the NIAT CEO? Oleg Sirotkin – now there’s a surprize 😉

    • Goodness – F1 and The Archers in the same week, or maybe F1 fans do not listen to the Archers where Matt Crawford is off to Russia at the behest of property tycoons in the hope of making some money, hope Peter Sauber et al are more wary!

  7. In regards to the Super License, both Sirotkin and Wolff are unqualified for the license. But there are ways to get one. Taken from Wikipedia:

    “These requirements state that the driver must be either the reigning champion in a lower category of motor sport, for example Formula 3 (British, Italian or Japanese championship, or Euro Series), Formula 2, or GP2 Series (formerly known as Formula 3000), or must have consistently finished well in these categories. For example, a driver finishing in the first three positions five times within the last two years in GP2 will be eligible for a Super Licence.

    Additionally………..(here’s the kicker)……. Under exceptional circumstances Appendix L also allows the FIA to award a Super Licence to a driver who does not meet the normal criteria if a vote reveals unanimous agreement by the members, and provided that the driver has completed 300 kilometers of testing at racing speeds in a current car.”

    So, 300 kilometers at speed in a current car, a little bribe money or pressure, and you’re in.

    • Apologies if I didn’t make that clear (hence my ref to the YDT) – and money is of course no object.

      But if the 300km is not offered at the YDT I can’t see when they can get it in.

      Pirelli won’t pay for a ‘private’ tyre test with a 17 year old kid – and Danilo’s suggestion of an older F1 car doesn’t count as far as I understand.

      Unless the Russian’s don’t understand this – and when they find out they may be mightily hacked off.

  8. Pingback: Sergey Sirotkin, 17, lined up for Sauber Formula 1 drive | Sports trailer·

  9. This Peter Gysling fellow should count his blessings if the Russians don’t feed him some Polonium for what he’s saying. He appears to be the world’s most useless correspondent. His research, if there was any is completely wrong and some of the things he said border on libel.

    The NIAT, together with TsAGI (The Central Hydrodynamics and Aerodynamics Institute) was a major contributor to Russian Aviation and the Russian Space program. NIAT has existed since 1920. It was merely privatized after the fall of the soviet union. That’s a process that isn’t exactly unknown in western countries. Many of Europe’s research institutes (like the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany) are for-profit organizations instead of being run by the gouvernment.

    That there is a development fund from the Northwest is part of the deal starts to make sense, if you know the slightest thing about Russia, which Mr. Gysling obviously doesn’t. A souther Russia fund couldn’t be part of it, because there is no such thing. The Sotchi region is only second to Moscow, when it comes to being well developed. It is basically the Russian Riviera with the nearby mountain ranges providing winter resorts as well. Not many regions in the world have the luxury of being a summer and a winter holiday resort.
    The Northwest however is piss poor and barely developed. Most of the region was military ground in soviet times and barely any industry’s there to support the region. It is logical that the Russian would choose them for added exposure.

    As has been noted, the Russian state is part of this endeavour in one way and the other. Putin is a crook in many ways, but he doesn’t suffer fools lightly when it comes to economics and business. Just do a youtube search for ‘Putin Bitch Slaps Oleg Deripaska’ and you can witness first hand, what happened to an Oligarch, who didn’t pay his workforce on time. Many people reflexively say ‘ooooh oligarch’, when Russians invest on the big stage, but generalizing doesn’t work here. Not all Russian oligarchs are Roman Abramoviches. Especially in car and aviation related businesses, Russians are actually very reliable partners as these two industries are Putin’s pet projects.

    • Aha. so it is in fact a bastion of Russian aviation and space technology… What actually do they get from a handful of Swiss workers after they launch over 100m euro’s at them? – some may ask

    • What did Renault from having Williams build them a totally bonkers Espace with an F1 engine?

      Unless we get more details on the exact cooperation, it’s all speculative, but foulmouthing them based on their nationality or because their names ‘sound pompous’ is not something I’d expect from someone, who calls himself a correspondent. Obviously Mr. G. doesn’t speak Russian, else he would know that to western ears nearly all Russian Institutions sound pompous. That is mainly down to the cumbersome nature of Russian grammar and because overly long and pompous names are traditional in Russia (and were even more so in soviet times).

      Sauber has one of the most modern wind tunnels in F1, so I wouldn’t be surprized to see Lada Granta WTCC cars in it soon and NIAT having a hand in it, heck Sauber may even be employed more directly in development of Russian race technology. There are many possible options where both sides could profit from it. Unfortunately some people with no understanding of Russia chose to label them frauds right off the bat.

      • It’s refreshing to hear such an ‘independent’ view of Russia and Russian organisations.

        It reminds me of the days of the cold war when various satellite Soviet sympathetic nations (eg Cuba) would present the ‘reasonableness’ of matters from behind the iron curtain.

        This is not a criticism Danilo – because in fact you keep us honest with your views and comments. Keep it up…..

        • Hmmm, would this be the same Cold War that allowed Americans to install nuclear weapons close to Russian borders, but would have initiated WW3 because Russia installed several in Cuba to re-balance the situation?

          Or would this be the same “Capitalist” country that has become an over governed police state which treats its citizen with disdain?

          Or maybe people have forgotten that America armed Iraq and Saddam Hussein, when it suited their purposes against Iran back in the early 80’s.

          Maybe TJ, too many people have fallen into the trap of believing all the propaganda that the west has printed about the Soviet block.

          I once had an argument in college with a tutor about WW2. She was insistent on the “evilness” of the Nazi’s. Wouldn’t accept any debate on Stalin. He was “Uncle Joe”, a quite sickening use of language to connect him with Uncle Sam. Or maybe I’m being cynical.
          Stalin was responsible for at least 5 times as many deaths as Hitler, but because he fought with our troops, we turned a blind eye.

          Anyway, those Russian women are stunning! 🙂

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