Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 6th August 2013

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News Roundup 21:49

More money troubles at Lotus 13:11

Petrov to drive for (a) Mercedes Team 12:00

The challenges of a Russian F1 race 12:00

The challenges of a Russian F1 race Mark II 12:00

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News Roundup

Alex Wurz believes Austrian GP will thrill on 2014 F1 return (Autosport)

Alexander Wurz have come out in support of the Austrian Grand Prix saying, “There’s always a debate about whether or not this track is super-sexy or not,

However, for the racing itself, even in the years where overtaking was almost impossible, every year this was the racetrack with the highest amount of overtaking and for that reason it was a cool race for spectators and drivers.

Red Bull billionaire boss Dietrich Mateschitz will stump up the cash for the hosting fee himself.

Nothing like a bit of patriotism…

Hulkenberg: 2013 not a write-off (Eurosport)

Mid way last year Sauber had amassed 80, lying sixth in the championship just behind Mercedes. This year however things are much tougher and the 7 points the team has scored were all by Hulkenberg… who has not been paid yet.

The future may look uncertain at Sauber but Hulkenberg is optimistic about the second half of the season saying, “The team will still work on this year’s car after the summer break” The development will be funded with the Russian investment.

Must be in a better position as Lotus F1 then… watch out Kimi, Hulkenberg is coming for you… From Russia with Love.

Formula One would be ‘unimaginable’ without Bernie Ecclestone (Telegraph)

Love is in the air….

Christian Horner has come out in support of our leader Mr E. “Bernie is a unique individual who has run Formula One tremendously successfully for the last 40 or 45 years. The business, as it is today, is because of the way he has run it and operated it. It is unimaginable for him not to be there.

So would that mean teams are going bankrupt because of him or they (Red Bull) are making money because of him? Or is it actually making it into the Global Sport that it is today … with giant antipodean rodents eating cables. (Sorry, could not help myself…)

Horner goes on,”I hope he goes on for a long time to come.

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More money troubles at Lotus

It is not news that Lotus F1 team has been having money problems. In fact, this has been known since last year and Raikkonen’s performance based contract is not helping them either.

According to a report in Motorsport-Total, the team is in debt to around 120m Euro and with Raikkonen not paid some of his money (again) you can understand why he would be looking to go elsewhere.

Although his move could be motivated by money (likely) there is also a concern around the development of the car. According to Alan Permane there is no more developments planned for 2013, “What was planned has already been developed and will be used [in the second part of the season]”.

They could be focusing on their 2014 car however reports suggest Lotus technical staff and suppliers have not been paid either. This does not bode well for Raikkonen’s championship challenge for this year.

The reported investment by Infinity Racing into the Lotus F1 team has yet to materialise. In a similar situation to the Sauber investment it appears that Infinity Racing has yet to pay Lotus any money as part of their investment. Having said that, the “investment” was never about a monetary investment per se, but rather a ‘technical partnership’.

Bleak times ahead for Formula 1… do we have any other Russian investors interested in Formula 1?

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Petrov to drive for (a) Mercedes Team

What a weekend can do for you. Yesterday TJ13 reported that we may have not one but two Russian drivers in 2014. Vitaly Petrov has been making noises about possible backing from Mercedes and we know about Sergey Sirotkin and Sauber.

Petrov was seen at the DTM race in Moscow sporting a Mercedes branded jacket and when asked about sponsorship he said, “If something happens, it would be just great because Mercedes have a big market in Russia and a big support,”.

Is it unthinkable that he may be in line for a drive with DTM rather than Formula 1?

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The challenges of a Russian F1 race

Last week TJ13 reported that the Russian Automobile Association (RAS) has not filed their application to host the 2014 Russian Grand Prix at Sochi due to a disagreement between itself and Omega Center.

It now appears they have come to an agreement (of some sorts). In an interview with Russian daily Sport Express, Deputy General Director for Omega Center Oleg Zabara said, “We are really interested in a good partnership with the RAF for years.

We’re set to sign an official contract with RAF this week before sending an application to stage the 2014 race to the F1’s ruling body, the FIA. We’ve already reached the agreement, which we now need to formalise.

RAS has yet to comment on this agreement however once the contract is signed they will claim force majeure and submit their application to host the 2014 Russian Grand Prix. Considering the 22 races for 2014 is now hovering around the 20 mark and could decrease it may be successful.

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The challenges of a Russian F1 race Mark II

Not only does the organisers of the Russian GP have to agree a contract and submit an application, they also have to deal with airspace issues if this weekend’s DTM race can be taken as an example.

The Daily Mail reports DTM’s Q4 had to be cancelled after the airspace above the Moscow race circuit was closed due to Russian President Vladimir Putin flying over in his private jet. This meant that the medical helicopter would not have been able to take off in the case of an emergency… put this into F1 terms though.

If the medical helicopter was not allowed to take off neither will the television helicopters be able to give us the great shots from above. One can only imagine what Mr E would say to that. Should the Russian GP go ahead next year Mr E and his CVC paymasters may have to consider some VIP treatment for Putin, including getting him to the track without the need of a plane and well in advance of any racing.

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14 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 6th August 2013

  1. I seem to recall that if the medical helicopter is unavailable then all F1 sessions are cancelled. Possibly from an interview with the late, great Prof. Sid Watkins.

    • yep… I assume that is why the Q4 was cancelled for DTM. Looking at F1… wonder how the organisers will get Mr Putin to leave his plane at home…

        • LOL… can you buy Mr Russia with his own money? Guess you have to be careful to say I’ll give you money to leave your plane.

          Putin: “What, you mean you have money I don’t know about?”
          Zabara: “Errr.. yes…???”
          Putin: “I’ll have that then… I’ll pick it up IN MY PLANE on my way to Sochi”

        • The whole airspace desaster at the DTM race was rather strange. The medevac copter used at the Moscow Raceway belonged to Zentrospas – a department of the MChs – the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations, so it was basically a gouvernment vehicle. Strangely, for Sunday it also had a special permit to start regardless of airspace status. So either Putin just “forgot” that there is a race going on in his backyard or he did it deliberately.

          This also shows a massive planning fail for the builders of the ring. They built it northwest of Moscow, that’s where all the Moscow airports are – Sheremetyevo, Vnukovo (Presidents homebase), Bykovo, Ostafyevo and Ramenskoye. Everyone with a bit of common sense would have built the thing near Tula or Saransk or even further south of Moscow, but they plopped it down right in one of the busiest airspaces in Europe… *doh*

      • Shouldn’t be a problem the given the volume of redundant fighter aircraft Russia had that have appeared around the world. Bernie could acquire snecretly a couple to defend the event against invading Presidents.

  2. Petrov driving for Merc makes a lot of sense. According to the Association for European Business Merc’s Russsian subsidiary is one of the top 3 German companies in Russia and one of the 100 largest companies in Russia period. Also, he wasn’t a bad driver by any stretch, though Alonso may have a very different opinion 😀

    • I think he’ll likely get a Merc gig in DTM or Merc try to install him into one of their customer teams, but the DTM drive is more likely. He drove one of the three race taxi’s at the Moscow Raceway, too.

  3. There probably isn’t much chance of Putin’s plane disrupting the Russian GP. A more likely problem will be trying to stop him climbing into a Red Bull with the intention of showing the drivers how it is done and trying to take Pole given his seeming prowess at other manly pursuits like fishing, shooting, horse riding etc

    • “…trying to take Pole…”
      Sorry, but that capital “P” threw me off, kind of went back to pre-WWII days 😉

  4. With all the problems Mallya’s having, could he be in at Force India with Russian backing.
    He wasn’t Top 3 in his time but in his rookie season he was being measured against Kubica and last year was equal to Kovalainen generally. I could see him keeping Di Resta or Sutil honest.

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