Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 8th August 2013

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Button feeling lucky 13:00

Bianchi hopeful of a Ferrari seat 08:00

Dealing with the Russians… in their time 08:00

Not one bus, not two buses but three! 08:00


Button feeling lucky (Autosport)

Autosport reports McLaren’s Jenson Button is feeling confident about Spa saying, “Seventh doesn’t look exciting, last race we were fighting for a fifth, but I still think we’ve made a step forward, because the Mercedes looked quicker compared to the opposition,” Button said of his Hungarian Grand Prix result.

“I think we’ve done a good job, and I think we’ll really show that at Spa. It’s a different type of circuit, and a circuit that should suit what we put on the car for this race”.

Will we have two Mercedes teams chasing down the Red Bulls from Spa onwards?


Bianchi hopeful of a Ferrari seat

When Luca di Montezemolo made comments about Felipe Massa’s future earlier this week it was inevitable that other drivers will start looking at his seat. Since Massa’s accident and his lackluster performances his seat has been under threat. The challenge Ferrari has though is that they need a willing number 2 driver… if Alonso stays.

In an interview with French newspaper Nice-Matin, Bianchi, a driver part of the Ferrari Development Programme, asked if he will be racing in the red cars next year replied, “Frankly, it’s too early to talk about it.
“We will analyse the possibilities after the season,

He continues, “I do not forget that with Marussia I was given the chance to make my Grand Prix debut. If I stay in this team next year, it will be in good faith — that’s all I can say.“. Loyal to Marussia?

Ferrari tends to lean towards getting experienced drivers into their cars and if Bianchi has the required experience remains to be seen as there are other drivers with more experience. And, as we’ve seen, it is sometimes easier to excel in a team where there is no pressure to perform…


Dealing with the Russians… in their time

Three weeks ago, when Sauber announced their deal with Russian investors, TJ13 said that it seemed the announcement was made in a hurry and there were many obstacles to this deal actually going through, similar to the Lotus/Infinity Racing deal. TJ did say at the time that it was done to keep creditors away from the doors and it seemed to have worked… until now.

It now appears that there is still no formal agreement for the Russian ‘investment’ and timescales of when money will become available are not clear either. In an interview with Welt Kaltenborn said the deal is being delayed because of, “bureaucratic obstacles and complex questions of detail“.

The deal hinges on the signature of Mr Putin and as he is flying around Moscow in his private jet has important business to tend to has not been able to sign. According to German publication Bild-Zeitung Sauber and Kaltenborn are spending their summer break in Russia to “sign contracts with potential sponsors“. Money they need because Ferrari has yet to be paid for their engines and their ultimatum runs out at the end of August.

As Sauber is finding out the hard way, when you do business with the Russians you do it on their terms. Good thing Kaltenborn born said their survival was never in question despite their debts…


Not one bus, not two buses but three!

On Monday TJ13 reported that Vitaly Petrov is working on backing to get back into Formula 1. Together with the much anticipated arrival of Sergey Sirotkin, having Petrov, who was managed by Oksana Kosachenko, on board would have given us two drivers on the grid.

It now appears there are more names linked to F1. TJ13 reported yesterday that there was partnership between Williams F1 and Russian Time GP2 team. Artem Markelov, another 18 year old Russian whose father has links to the Russian Time team, has now been linked to a possible Williams drive by Italiaracing.

With so many years of no Russian involvement in Formula 1, why are they so interested in getting a driver on the grid, especially an unproven one…

Anyway, we bump into Kosachenko again. She has reportedly started working with a new Russian hopeful, Nikolay Martsenko, who currently competes in the World Series by Renault. When asked about this by Russian newspaper Championat she played down his chances of an Formula 1 drive saying, “We are discussing Nikolay seriously, but I met with his father just recently and we have a clear conviction that he needs a third season in the Renault world series,“.

… so that is four buses Russians now.

Looking at their racing careers thus far:
Vitaly Petrov

Season Series Team Races Wins Poles F/Laps Podiums Points Position
2001 Lada Cup Russia  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? 1st
2002 Lada Cup Russia SK OOO Favorit 5 5 5 5 5 500 1st
VW Polo Cup  ? 1 1  ?  ? 1  ?  ?
Formula RUS 10 Duimov 2 2  ?  ? 2 41 10th
2003 Formula Renault 2.0 UK Winter Series Eurotek Motorsport  ? 1 0 0 1 44 4th
Formula Renault 2000 UK 2 0 0 0 0 23 28th
Formula Renault 2000 Italia Euronova Junior Team 12 0 0 0 0 12 19th
Formula Renault 2000 Masters Euronova Racing 6 0 0 0 0 0 NC
Euro Formula 3000 1 0 0 0 0 0 22nd
2004 Formula Renault 2000 Italia Euronova Junior Team 4 0 0 0 0 2 28th
Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup 4 0 0 0 0 0 NC
Euro Formula 3000 Euronova Racing 1 0 0 0 0 0 NC
Lada Revolution Russia Elex Polyus 4 1 4  ? 4 43 2nd
2005 Russian Formula 1600 ArtLine ProTeam 6 5 1  ? 9 85 1st
Lada Revolution Russia Maxmotor-Ulianovsk 14 10 5 6 9  ? 1st
2006 Euroseries 3000 Euronova 17 4 0 2 9 72 3rd
GP2 Series DPR 8 0 0 0 0 0 28th
F3000 International Masters Charouz Racing System 2 0 1 0 0 0 29th
2007 GP2 Series Campos Grand Prix 21 1 0 0 1 21 13th
2008 GP2 Series Barwa International Campos Team 20 1 0 1 3 39 7th
GP2 Asia Series 10 1 1 0 4 33 3rd
2008–09 GP2 Asia Series Barwa International Campos Team 11 1 0 0 3 28 5th
2009 GP2 Series Barwa Addax Team 20 2 2 1 7 75 2nd
2010 Formula One Renault F1 Team 19 0 0 1 0 27 13th
2011 Formula One Lotus Renault GP 19 0 0 0 1 37 10th
2012 Formula One Caterham F1 Team 20 0 0 0 0 0 19th

Sergey Sirotkin

Season Series Team Races Wins Poles F/Laps Podiums Points Position
2010 Formula Abarth Jenzer Motorsport 6 0 0 0 0 12 18th
2011 Formula Abarth European Series Jenzer Motorsport 14 5 1 3 10 175 1st
Euronova Racing by Fortec
Formula Abarth Italian Series Jenzer Motorsport 14 2 1 1 9 136 2nd
Euronova Racing by Fortec
2012 Auto GP World Series Euronova Racing 14 2 1 5 9 175 3rd
Italian Formula Three European Series Euronova Racing by Fortec 24 2 0 1 6 166 5th
Italian Formula Three Italian Series 18 0 0 0 5 116 6th
Formula Renault 3.5 Series BVM Target 2 0 0 0 0 0 35th

Artem Markelov

2013 16 races. 0 wins. 14 podiums. 0 pole positions. 2 fastest race laps.
2012 27 races. 2 wins. 3 podiums. 0 pole positions. 1 fastest race lap.
2011 26 races. 1 win. 11 podiums. 0 pole positions. 4 fastest race laps.
2009 Karting. Race statistics not covered by Driver Database.

Nikolay Martsenko

Season Series Team Races Wins Poles F/Laps Podiums Points Position
2008 Lada Cup Krasnoyarsk Ilan-MotorSport 12 1 0  ? 3 62 4th
2009 Formula 3 Finland Max Travin Racing Team 10 1 0 3 6 134 4th
North European Zone Formula 3 Cup 4 1 0 0 2 59 5th
German Formula Three – Trophy Jenichen Motorsport 4 0 0 0 1 16 7th
2010 German Formula Three Max Travin Racing Team 18 0 0 0 0 1 18th
2011 German Formula Three Max Travin Racing Team 18 0 0 0 0 9 12th
2012 Formula Renault 3.5 Series BVM Target 17 0 0 0 0 13 20th


17 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 8th August 2013

  1. …’much anticipated’ arrival of Sergey Sirotkin. Hehehe. On another note, with all of the financial uncertainties surrounding Lotus, Sauber, and Force India (to like F1), I’m starting to become more interested in Il Padrino’s suggestion to run 8 teams with 3 cars each. Any line-up suggestions? How about Red Bull – Vettel/Sutil/Ricciardo, Mercedes – Hamilton/Rosberg/Hulkenberg, Ferrari – Alonso/Raikkonen/Bianchi, McLaren – Button/Perez/DiResta,…..

  2. Formula 1 was always about money, but I think it’s spiralling out of control now, you have the Chiltons and Guttierezes and now you might end up with a bunch of unproven Russians too. What a joke!

    • There were always some form of “pay” drivers hanging round the sport, but I would have to guess that it’s the lack of testing they get that’s causing the real problems, teams can’t sort them out without giving them a seat, which leads to the Chiltons and Guterriez etc. we currently see.

      Frankly, having read an account of driving one of these cars for the first time by Alex Lloyd , who tested with Lewis Hamilton for McLaren back in the day, I would be utterly terrified to see some of these kids let loose on track without significantly more experience.

      • And that Matt, that is the problem. The cars are so complicated/challenging to drive you NEED to spend time in them.

        It’s ok for the teams with Sims I guess as their drivers can practice without bashing a car up but drivers like Chilton and Guetirez have no chance to get the necessary experience in an F1 car. They only drive the car every two weeks…

        That said, F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport, it’s supposed to be hard to get in and STAY there.

        • The Russians are not that bad per se. I’ve seen Markelov in F3 at Eurospeedway 6 weeks ago and he was dang fast. The fact that he hasn’t won this year is that Marvin Kirchhöffer won most races so far.

          As has been said before. The ‘unproven Russians’ is a bit of a misleading term. Kimi came to F1 with no experience whatsoever. But in contrast to the Gutierrezes and Chiltons he had the chance to run a bazillion miles of testing before they let him lose in a race.

      • Well, it was admittedly the early-mid 2000s car they were testing. Now I reckon, 10 years on, it is much easier to drive – it almost looks point and squirt now, with so much less suspension movement/lack of traction from over powerful engines and grooved tyres. I think we would struggle with fitness issues and tire after a lap or two. With some sim racing background, I was the fastest first timed lap from a standing start when Jenson Button visited Manchester with the McLaren 😀 but some other kid had a second go and beat me with his second time to win the signed merch – unfair!

        • *In the McLaren/sponsor sim that they bring to these events, which uses an old chassis cockpit, steering wheel, brake etc. but the sim itself probably isn’t their actual one, it looked quite a lot like rfactor. The brake was surprisingly hard to push, but I even don’t have a load cell at home.

  3. Happy birthday Nigel Mansell!
    Crowned worldchampion in Budapest 1992, at the age of 39
    Tanti auguri vecchio Leone!

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