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Drivers Rating for the season thus far 21:48
The McLaren boys are back in town 14:01
Sauber’s Russian investment (the lack thereof) 12:00
Ferrari considering switch development to 2014 12:00
Drivers Rating for the season thus far (James Allen)
Italian sports paper Gazzetta dello Sport has today published its rankings of the F1 drivers for the season so far.
In first position with 10 points is championship leader Sebastian Vettel. Gazzetta says “This year he seems like Alain Prost, when it seems the right moment to settle, he does so without trying to win at all costs. He’s running away with it and it’s hard to imagine him not getting a fourth title.” James remarks dryly that it is an interesting view as in Malaysia Vettel could not stop himself going for the win.
Bottom of the table are the newcomer trio of Gutierrez, Van der Garde and Chilton.
What are your thoughts on the driver of the season thus far and if you had to score them out of ten, would you agree with the ratings from Gazzetta?
7 Hamilton, Rosberg
6.5 Grosjean, Button, Di Resta
6 Hulkenberg, Webber, Bianchi
5.5 Ricciardo, Maldonado, Bottas, Sutil, Perez
5 Massa, Vergne, Pic
4 Gutierrez, Van der Garde, Chilton
The McLaren boys are back in town
From Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ Facebook page, “Rested, refuelled and back from the summer shutdown, great to have the boys back in the race bays. Bring on Belgium“.
Think we will see them on the podium this season?
Sauber’s Russian investment (the lack thereof)
TJ13 reported last week that Sauber claimed to have received an initial payment from their Russian investors and have paid their drivers. It was also mentioned that suppliers like Ferrari have not been paid yet and according to Bild, Pirelli is also looking for their money.
To compound problems, it now appears that the National Institute of Aviation Technologies (NIAT) deal has met further delays.Their board of directors have voted against the investment.
“The Russian sponsor rescue could fail. According to our information, the NIAT board has voted by large majority against the EUR 400 million investment,” reports Bild.
Ecclestone is less forgiving saying if Sauber wanted to he can sell the team…
Ferrari considering switch development to 2014
Felipe Massa said Ferrari will use the next couple of races to determine when they should shift full focus to their 2014 challenger. In an interview with Brazil’s newspaper ‘Totalrace’ Massa said, “We are already thinking about next season,”
Massa went on to confirm what we already know, they have been working on the 2014 car for some time (TJ13 reported earlier this year that Rory Bryne was drafted in to start the design on the 2014 car).
One can only hope that Ferrari
have sorted will have sorted their wind tunnel by the time the car gets aero tested…
It makes sense for Ferrari to switch development, really. Alonso can only hope for 3rd-6th place as-is, and MB at least will continue to develop their car.
I am torn with the ‘financial crisis’ in Formula 1 teams. I know Sauber (and Lotus and FI and… and ..) are struggling but surely they should work within their means or am I being naive.
However, Bernie saying Sauber should sell his team is akin to asking a father to sell his son. May be ok for Bernie (he only has daughters :P) but Peter Sauber is a proud man and I cannot see him doing that willingly.
Maybe the answer is for Mr E to share more of the spoils of F1 and the FIA to find a way to cap budgets. Stick it at £100m for all. There is enough money in F1 to ensure all teams can get that. If a team spends more than that they need to get sponsors and if they run into financial troubles then fine them similar to what is happening in football with relegation.
I can’t imagine for one moment that Bernie means he could come up with an offer that would be acceptable… I’m sure ANY of us could make such a claim…
Supposedly Colin Kolles is waiting in the wings with a financial rescue package for Sauber. However, his deal will require Herr Sauber and Monisha to give up equity in the team (and likely appoint the Romanian dentist Team Principal or other senior position). Bearing in mind the alleged blackmail of Toto, it seems unlikely anyone in F1 would be keen to do business with Kolles. I sincerely hope the Hinwil team finds the dosh to go racing at Spa and for many more grands prix to come. — Parallel to this, I sense that Infinity Racing will come up with the cash or payment in kind to secure their 35% stake in Lotus. Would not be surprised if Kimi contract is a reason for delay.
I saw that there were rumours about Colin being interested but as you say, that will most likely be an equity deal and also who would trust Kolles. That said, something of something is better than nothing of … well nothing 🙂
Re Lotus – as far as I know it is a technology partnership and it may just be that they take on some of the investors’ loans (aka debts).
Technology partnership v taking on investors loans doesn’t sit well.
On the other hand their very name Infinity implies how long is apiece of string.
John, do we know any details on what kind of technology Infinity Racing may have to offer the Enstone team?
Unfortunately not yet David. All we know is what Lopez said when the deal was announced.
Lopez said “Infinity Racing’s principals have exceptional expertise and a proven strong track record in developing and delivering high quality technologies. This partnership will enable us [Lotus] to increase Lotus F1 Team’s competitive advantage related to KERS technology as it becomes more central to Formula 1’s push for environmentally sound racing, while also making Lotus F1 Team more marketable as a brand, opening up additional major sponsorship opportunities”.
It strikes me as odd that they will be developing technologies related to KERS. The 2014 power train includes ERS so should be provided by Renault. What else can they supply that is ERS related? Batteries?
I just came across an interesting article from 26th July, by Karun Chandhok, talking about the new regulations for next year onwards.
It seems strategy on when to harvest and use ERS is going to be very important during the race, and the “backroom boys” are going to be more important than ever for the team, deciding on what he calls “power scheduling”.
I found the article while I was trying to ascertain how long the teams have to develop their engines before there is a ban on changing them. And, how long the ban on changing them lasts. It seems to me that an engine supplier who waits a couple of years before joining Formula 1 will have a huge advantage over existing teams. Or is there a ban on new engine suppliers too? As I said in a previous comment here, what if a team finds it has a “dog” of an engine, it cant alter it, it will have to change to a new supplier. So we could end up with only one or two engine suppliers, which cant be good for the sport.
OK, I found the regulations covering it.
Appendix 4 Page 86
It seems they have 5 years from 2015 to 2020 to upgrade the engines. With each passing year a smaller percentage can be changed. After 2020 its not clear what happens.
I guess it would still be important for manufacturers to come in sooner rather than later. On the other hand, guys like Honda are probably doing all they can now, while not being bound by any regulations, to get their engine up to spec and more.
What it does do though is pose a barrier to entry for the likes of Volkswagen/Audi etc. should or shall I rather say if they decide to join the fold.
@mikecloud54. first time respondant here. I lucked upon this site a few months ago and have been following ever since. my new fav F1 site of many I browse!!! I been hooked on F1 since 1962 and saw my first of a number of F1 races at the first Canadian GP @ Mosport in ’67. racing has changed so much over the decades, but you are seemingly soooo right in your assessment that the backroom computer geeks will play an even more important role than evern today for 2014 and beyond racing… I am not agreeing in a derogatory manner. while I may lust for many of the former glory days of driver heros and radical-thinking engineers, this is just something else to be embraced by all for the full enjoyment of our chosen sport in todays’ World of F1 and much more… I cannot wait for Spa N Monza, NASCAR @ Michigan, Nationwide @ Mid Ohio, IndyCar @ Sonoma, etc., etc., etc…
I agree this is an excellent site. I joined after finding it by chance too.
I dont know what is best for motor racing. Is it the designer of the car aerodynamics, is it the engine, is it the driver or is it the computer guys? It is a team sport and everyone makes their contribution count. But, I really want the driver to be in charge of the driving, with the rest of the team’s assistance, and not have him being told what to do by someone sitting at a computer.
Bianchi has impressed the most, spell at Lotus then Ferrari maybe.