Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 25 July 2013

This page will be updated throughout the day.

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Mateschitz impressed by Ricciardo… and Vergne (17:46)
No more side impact crash tests (13:21)
Pirelli announces tyres for Spa, Monza and Singapore (11:45)
Hungary the last race for Hulkenberg (11:45)
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Mateschitz impressed by Ricciardo… and Vergne

Things are looking good for Daniel Ricciardo’s future with Red Bull. Mateschitz has come out in what could be seen as support for Ricciardo saying that although the team are still looking at options he [Ricciardo], “did an excellent job at Silverstone and Jean-Eric Vergne was good too“.

Nothing said about Kimi and we know Mateschitz likes to get involved with his drivers. Perhaps Mark (and Marko) has said a good word for Ricciardo…

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No more side impact crash tests

Standardisation saves the day… It may appear the FIA is losing the plot regarding safety. Knee jerk reactions when tyres bounce down the pitlane yet to keep costs down they are abolishing crash tests.

According to AuMS reporter Daniel Schmidt the FIA, in conjunction with Red Bull technologies have come up with a standard side impact crash structure that all cars have to fit from 2014 onwards. Teams therefore do not have to submit cars and designs for side impact testing and the structures can be reused, saving money.

The new structure will have two pillars extending 35 cm above and below the chassis and, when viewed from the top, are slightly curved – that is, they are wider near the chassis than further away from it. Layout and material are both dictated [by the FIA], which makes cheating impossible.

New crash structure will not break off in case of an accident similar to Zanardi’s

FIA race director Charlie Whiting explains, “The shape [of the pillars] should guarantee that the pins will not break under collision angle that are not exactly ninety degrees“. This was the collision scenario between Alessandro Zanardi and Alex Tagliani at the Lausitzring, in 2001, which had such gruesome consequences.

Great for safety but is Formula 1 starting to move to a spec series now?

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Pirelli announces tyres for Spa, Monza and Singapore

At Spa, the longest and one of the fastest circuits of the year, Pirelli will bring the P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White medium. Spa is the circuit that puts the highest vertical load on the front tyres all season, mainly due to Eau Rouge corner. Consequently, the two hardest tyres from Pirelli’s Formula One range are the most suitable.

For Pirelli’s home race at Monza, the hard and the medium compounds will be used once more. Whereas Spa is characterized by a lot of fast corners, Monza is all about high-speed straights. Here, the tyres are subjected to very high longitudinal forces and blistering can be an issue due to the stress put on the tyres under braking. Therefore, the two hardest compounds are also the ideal choice at this race.

Singapore, by contrast, will be run with the P Zero White medium and P Zero Red supersoft (with the softest tyre in the range making its first appearance since Canada). Singapore is a street circuit run at night, which places unique demands on the tyres. The tight and twisty corners make the supersoft the ideal tyre to generate traction and grip, while the medium tyre adds extra durability into the strategy mix.

All the tyres will be in the same specification as used from Hungary: with the 2012 construction matched to the 2013 compounds. The Cinturato Green intermediate and Cinturato blue full wet will also be brought to every race as usual.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery commented: “The second half of the season starts off with two of the fastest and most demanding races for tyres of the year, in Belgium and Italy. Singapore is a completely different challenge: the final street race of the season, which is ideal territory for the supersoft tyres.

As always, our selections have concentrated on providing the best opportunities for strategy as well as the most effective race tyres.

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Hungary the last race for Hulkenberg

It appears Hulkenberg may be racing in his last race of the 2013 season for Sauber this year. The young German, who has not been paid since May terminating his contract with the team, is rumoured to be replaced by Sauber reserve driver Robin Frijns. The latter lost his GP2 seat despite winning the Spanish feature race as he could not fund it anymore.

At the moment there are no news on where Hulkenberg may end up should he leave Sauber and he may find himself on the sidelines for the rest of the season. One has to wonder if this is the right move for Sauber.

Effectively having two rookies in a struggling team cannot be beneficial, ask Caterham.

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25 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 25 July 2013

  1. I’m in two minds about this, I rate Hulkenburg and it seems his career is doomed just by bad luck, but Frijins seem to have a special bit of speed too, i’d love to see him do well.

  2. So is Sirotkin going to Frijins GP2 seat now for some experience in a higher formula, then frijins warming sirotkins seat at sauber, and saving sauber some cash in the mean time… Is this whats going on here, as its ll getting a bit hard to see whats going on in the bigger picture.

    I hope the Hulk lands a good seat for next year, I have a lot of time for him.

    • Might be Frijns and Sirotkin next year, especially if Frijns is fast the rest of the season and the Russians bring all the money promised next year.

  3. Hmmm…. Guess those rubles haven’t shown up in Hinwil just yet. It does seem the Hulk is doomed to awful career Karma, wonder where he might land next year, particularly if Frijns impresses.

  4. Secret Ferrari test with Hulk in one of the red cars? Maybe Di Resta will be invited too…

      • Don’t forget Bianchi though, he’s also a Ferrari driver. And Kobayashi. He showed very clearly in Russia he would be more than adequate to replace Massa LOL. 😀

        • Crash boom bang! Would be good to have both Banchi and Hulkenberg test for a competitive team… Both look talented but Hulkenberg has proven (IMHO) is is quick.

          F1 resembles musical chairs at the moment. You need your bum glued to a seat… Or have very good lawyers 🙂

          • I think they may give bianchi another year at marussia, or elsewhere if he can before he gets a seat in the big red one… Esp with ferrari engines at marussia next year, they’ll be able to keep an even closer eye on him, perhaps we’ll see hulk and bianchi in the ferraris together 2016 when fernandos contract is up?

          • The only way you’ll see both Bianchi and Hulk at Ferrari is for Vettel to not go there (i.e. Ferrari not having the fastest car).

          • Also depends on how fast the hulk and bianchi prove to be too i guess, particularly the former.

  5. Well, Hulk has just come out to say that these rumours are ‘rubbish’ and he’ll drive till the end of the season. Frijns may have to wait a little longer.

    • Clever ploy by Sauber to keep Hulk in the cockpit without paying him? Can’t wait to find out.

      • Thats what I was thinking. Hulk is willing to drive for free… afterall, a drive is better than no drive at all.. paid or not

  6. Mateschitz timely public praise of Ricciardo appears to serve two purposes. One, of support for the young Aussie, and two, to motivate Kimi and the Robertson’s to a contract negotiation end game. RBR likely wish to have Webber’s replacement confirmed by Spa. Once the announcement is made, driver musical chairs will go into overdrive. It will be particularly interesting to watch the goings on in Maranello. Can Massa possibly survive? His cause is certainly not harmed by the following figures obtained from Fiatgroupworld.com- Fiat sold 71,333 cars in Brazil last month with the Strada model the 5th best selling car in the whole country. Hulk and DiResta may offer greater performance potential to the Scuderia, but it’s unlikely they will help sell more Fiat’s in Germany or Scotland.

    • I saw that and wanted to make a comment but then again, TJ13 broke the news so long ago I would have had to dust down the archives 😉

  7. Hard and medium for Spa and Monza, hmm… Well, hopefully it’s still of any use to Mercedes then 🙂

    But I expect Red Bull to really obliterate the field now. FP1 and FP2 showed that Red Bull have it fully under control. Mercedes look 1s off the pace to Red Bull in race-trim, Ferrari and Lotus will probably be in the middle.

    • Last time RBs scored 1-2 in both practice sessions was in Brazil 2010…and you now what year comes after 2010…

      Second half of the year will be a repeat of 2011.

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