Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 20 August 2013

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Red Bull – No driver announcement at Spa – So what now? 21:50

The return of the Spanish Samurai Updated 17:10

Pirelli confirms 2014 tyre size will remain the same 12:00


Red Bull – No driver announcement at Spa – So what now?

On Sunday TJ13 reported that there will be a driver announcement at Spa. A TJ13 source confirmed this was to announce Ricciardo as Webber’s replacement however today Red Bull backtracked.

Speaking to SID news agency today Marko said, “We will express ourselves when the time comes, and that will definitely not be at Spa“. He went on to say, “What we will do will be the best for the team, in the medium term“.

The interesting bit is “in the medium term“. Let us not forget, Alonso instigated the meeting with Red Bull. He knew the effect it would have at Maranello but maybe he made a mistake. Last year he was rebuked by Montezemolo who would decide who should drive along side him.

Alonso got his way and Massa was retained for 2013. yet this year he has tried calling the shots again and the result appears to be quite different.

Alonso thought he had a good hand, a Flush. He decided to raise Montezemolo, put more chips on the table. Montezemolo called him, show me what you have… after all, he had a Royal Flush, he signed Kimi. What now for our Spanish warrior?

Going back to Lotus, yes, it could be an option but why? McLaren, there is history there, bad history, but they need a #1 driver. Then there is Red Bull. Alonso thought the door was closed, deal done, Kimi is off to Red Bull and Massa will stay.

When Steve Robertson announced talks with Red Bull had broken down Alonso was worried. Red Bull, having heard nothing of Alonso, and with Marko pushing, decided to go for Daniel Ricciardo… until a furious Alonso made contact again. Vettel chose to sign a 1 year extension with Red Bull and they must be worried.

Back to Marko’s comment, “What we will do will be the best for the team, in the medium term“. Yes, Alonso may struggle with the car initially in 2014, but that would give Vettel a chance to get an early season lead over him. What they know with Alonso is that he will score, similar to Mark Webber, if he starts in 10th due to a ‘bad’ qualifying, he will come through the field and score well. He will drag the car by the scruff of the neck and pull every last bit of performance out of it.

And if he does not struggle, if he does give Vettel a run for his money. Well then we have a great 2014 season ahead of us. Horner cannot control Vettel, we saw that in Sepang. It is highly unlikely he will be able to control Alonso either. Could this be the beginning of the end for the Milton Keynes team boss?

Strangely Horner’s saving grace could be that Marko is determined to prove the Red Bull young driver programme can produce F1 drivers. The fact that Marko is talking of a delay… and the medium term… could equally be a sign he is pushing Ricciardo – yet when Alonso comes knocking with serious intent – any F1 team has to listen.

The expectation amongst the workforce in Milton Keynes today is still that they will be trading one antipodean for another, So those who took a punt when Ricciardo was 12/1 to replace Webber – the day of his retirement announcement – are looking to be sat pretty.

Oh and to the mistake… the mistake is, never think you are bigger than Ferrari “many great drivers want to drive for Ferrari”.


The return of the Spanish Samurai

Our much loved Spanish Samurai has returned of holidays and is now talking of braveness and higher goals.

So what is Alonso saying? Is he admitting that he insulted LdM and the latter used the ‘sword’ (aka brought Kimi in). But Alonso gives us comfort, “[the] brave man does not flinch, because he has higher goals“.

Please share those goals brave warrior, we are intrigued.

Update: (17:10)

Today, Leo Turrini, an Italian blogger, who is considered the unofficial voice of Ferrari, (and good friend of Domenicali and Di Montezemolo and a big Kimi fan) had lunch with Stefano Domenicali, which they often do. Below is an extract from their lunch today as told by Turrini.

The Dom, Kimi and the safety of a great second hand

Turrini:I like a great second hand, you like a great second hand, he likes a great second hand, where’s the problem?

Domenicali:There is no problem.” smiling while saying this

Turrini:Except for the fact that I can stop this blog, after having experienced the greatest satisfaction of my life (the return of Kimi).”

Domenicali:You don’t stop anything! This is not the beginning of the end, but the end of certain principles and new beginning.”

Turrini:Right, how do you think Fernando will react to this news?

Domenicali:I have no idea…” (doing his best Kimi impersonation from the Renault commercial)

So dear members of the TJ13 jury, your thoughts on this?


Pirelli confirms 2014 tyre size will remain the same

AMuS reports that Pirelli has now confirmed the 2014 tyre size will not change as they had hoped it would. Hembery is quoted saying, “The data of one engine manufacturer is alarming“.

Last Thursday TJ13 reported that the Mercedes unit could produce up to 100hp more than their rivals, Renault and Ferrari will. As mentioned yesterday, by keeping the tyres the same the FIA is effectively limiting the power advantage Mercedes will have.

Hembery however said “… as the cars of next year will make very different demands of the tyres, we have proposed that the regulations be amended so that the teams may use different compounds front and rear, should it be necessary,” so there may be some room for Mercedes to exploit their power.

Maybe Hembery was wrong about one thing for next year. Earlier in the year when TJ13 joined in a teleconference with Pirelli and TJ asked Hembery about the tyres for next year he implied they will be bullet proof. Well it now appears it may not be that bullet proof…


39 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 20 August 2013

  1. As a Ferrari fan, I relish the prospect of them fielding two genuine chargers. Must be the first time since Mansell/Prost 1990 and Prost/Alesi 1991, although we know how those seasons ended!!

    • Cav, I saw that. Am just out but there is more to this than Kimi. RB made that statement to counter the signing of Kimi.

      This is bigger I believe. This involves Alonso. Kimi’s manager said talks broke with Red Bull, this gave Alonso what he wanted and he is now gunning for the seat.

      I’ll update a story on that after 8pm UK time.

      • Marko thought the Ricciardo deal was done now that Raikkonen has signed for Ferrari – he anticipated the developments by assuming his pupil would land the seat, and was called back because Mateschitz is now anxiously trying to hire Alonso.

        I’m guessing that’s more or less what’s going on. Tell us more John 😉

        • Word from both German and finnish media is that the signs for Kimi’s return to Ferrari are increasing. I still can’t see Alonso to Red Bull. He couldn’t cope wih a competitive team mate in 2007. At Red Bull he’d go up against a team mate, who has a 5-year experience headstart in the team. I can’t see that working, unless Vettel also joins Ferrari or goes to McLaren.

          • He has few other options and is very much fed up at Ferrari. Back to Lotus seems unlikely too, as does McLaren or Mercedes. And I think a straight swap between Vettel and Alonso isn’t out of the question either.

          • The difference is everyone will be in new cars next year. So there will not be such a big disadvantage joing an established team mate. Plus, Alonso seems able to get the best out of anything he drives. He has just been unlucky that Ferrari have provided such a “dog” of a car the last few years.
            I am so looking forward to the new driver line ups. It could be Alonso teamed with Raikkonen, or Vettel teamed with either Raikkonen or Alonso. How entertaining will that be?

          • Won’t be entertaining at all as the only top-driver pairing likely to happen is Vettel/Räikkönen. Alonso must be window-licking mad to re-enact 2007 or so full of himself that he thinks he can beat everybody now.
            BTW, it isn’t a given that he could get the best out of a Red Bull. Newey’s cars are usually tricky to drive, because they are said to require counter-intuitive driving and Alonso is so good because he drives by instinct and intuition. That won’t change for the 2014 cars, it could even be worse, which would give Vettel an even bigger advantage.

          • Alonso will struggle to get out of his Ferrari contract. They are shifting their focus to the World Constructors Championship.

            Alonso had his chance to be #1, now he gets a fast team mate. Next year will be an amazing year!

        • Why is Mateschitz more interested in Alonso,than in Kimi??When Kimi to RBR talks were on,it was believed only Horner was for Kimi,and Marko and Mateschitz wanted a young driver…
          Now that Kimi to Ferrari rumours are gathering pace, Mateschitz is suddenly interested in Alonso rather than Ricciardo??
          And what about Horner??Does he want Alonso,if Kimi is not moving to RBR??

  2. I am not sure why Alonso is comparing himself to a warrior and what has a samurai go to do with him? I wish they replace Alonso with Kimi. Alonso had his chance at Ferrari. May be his goals are to go to Red Bull. If Ferrari takes Kimi, then that clearly shows that Alonso has no say in choosing their drivers and he has lost credibility.

    • Alonso now has a big Japanese-style tattoo of a samurai warrior on his back, so apparently he thinks that makes him into one. #sadcase

  3. Pingback: Robertson: Red Bull talks ended | Kimi Räikkönen Space·

  4. The best outcome for RBR would be Kimi joigning Ferrari. If this was happening then benefits would clearly be for both title for 2013 because Lotus would be somewhat demotivated about him. While for 2014, Ferrari will probably turn out into a vipers nest with Fernando and Kimi and LDM.

    • Turn out to be? You mean it is not already? The politics in Ferrari has been going on for a number of years and only getting worse.

      Jean Todt (aka the silent assassin) did his bit as well.

      All I know if next year will be awesome. Turbo engines, engine failures, two world champs in the same team (Scarlet).

  5. “Alonso had his chance to be #1, now he gets a fast team mate.”

    Alonso isn’t number 1 at Ferrari? And all this Kimi, Kimi, Kimi crap is getting quite tiring. I like Raikkonen but other than 2007 when he lucked into the WC he hasn’t lived up to his alleged ability. He’s never had a truly competitive , hungry team mate until he joined Ferrari, and had Massa not been injured, Massa would have beaten him 2 out of 3 seasons. Raikkonen is a good driver not a great driver. Ferrari would be far better off with a younger driver, like Hulkenberg, who’s quick and do what he’s told.

    • Fair shout…

      It would be good if a team like Ferrari pushed the boat out and sign Hulkenberg or Bianchi for that matter. But, they want experienced drivers (Although they signed Massa when he was relatively inexperienced).

      Let us see how good Kimi is when he is put against Alonso 🙂

    • I’m not quite with you on that one, cav. If I was a team boss, I’d chose Kimi over Alonso every time. First of all, Kimi doesn’t trash talk. There’s no samurai claptrap and no psycho-games with other drivers, he just gets on with the hob. And while ‘nando performed an unnecessary front-wing-ectomy at Malaysia and delivered the most lackluster performance in recorded history in Monaco, Kimi just shuts up and always ends up in the points. For all his brilliance last year, Fernando has been shockingly mediocre for most of this season, so if it comes to achievement, Kimi easily has the upper hand this year.
      Btw. The fact that Kimi had to yield to Felipe in 2008 was more down to the fact that he had the majority of mechanical failures. It had nothing to do with his race craft.

      • “Btw. The fact that Kimi had to yield to Felipe in 2008 was more down to the fact that he had the majority of mechanical failures.”

        Raikkonen had 2 engine failures in 2008, the same number as Massa. He spun off twice and once was run into by Hamilton (Canada). All the rest of the races Raikkonen finished. He was out driven by Massa. Simple as that.

        • Get your facts right, cav. He could only qualify 15th in Australia because of mech failure in qualifying, therefore lost the race before it even began. Lost 2nd place in Monaco due to drive-through given for a team infraction then lost control on a wet patch after the tunnel and cluttered into Sutil. Exhaust failure in France handing the lead to Massa. Tactical fail by team in Silverstone – wrong tyres, lost lead and ended up 4th. Had to wait behind Massa in the pits during safety car at Germany, Had to queue behind Massa again after crash-gate induced safety car at Singapore. Nerfed off by Hamílton at Suzuka while in the lead. Had to let Massa through at China.

          Massa was never in the same league, but Kimi’s 2008 campaign makes Webber look like the luckiest person on earth.

          • It was obvious after the first ~six races in 2008 that Ferrari shifted their attention from Raikkonen to their commercially more preferable driver.

    • I guess you have never seen 2003,2005 seasons and Kimi has always extracted the best out of all the cars he has driven. Its not his problem if the cars aren’t reliable enough to finish the races like in 2005.

  6. Lost 2nd place in Monaco due to drive-through
    Tactical fail by team in Silverstone
    Had to wait behind Massa in the pits
    Had to queue behind Massa

    Are those considered “mechanical failures” ?

    • Don’t fudge the issue. In addition to the engine failures, he had exhaust failures in Francde and tech fail in Australia (+2 mech fails) and a myriad of team f*ck ups. Kimi was NOT out-driven as you suggest, he simply bore the brunt of Ferrari’s botch-ups.
      I don’t know what beef you have with Kimi or if you’re simply fan-fapping over Alonso, but what you said about Kimi was factually untrue. Period.

        • Lol… Its funny how people tend to forget what all problems kimi had in 2008 and trash talk about all the motivation shit. Who drivers a car for around 60 laps with their eyes buring from fuel spray in the pits?? Someone without any motivation?. Its a know fact Kimi is clearly in a league of his own and not even alonso is in the same league.

  7. really good banter vs all the possible moves. at almost 65, I am way beyond being a fanboy. yeah, I like Kimi for his anti-establishment ‘Tude while being an old-school kinda driver. have seen LM pull off amazing passes, have seen Seb both manhandle and finess the car thru a corner, have seen Alonso as the perverbial Pitt Bull.
    whatever happens, the rest of this year and all of the next few years will be amazing to watch… and yeah, I DO care about how Marussia and Catereham and a few others get on with their programs…

  8. It may be a sentimental,silly, or both but with JPM out of contract in NASCAR I wouldn’t mind seeing him make an F1 comeback. He’s got unfinished business. It will not happen, but imagine if it did! Juan is probably still quicker than half the drivers currently on the grid plus he is not an automaton.

  9. I have to remind you, that Kimi has 38 fastest laps in 187 GP,s, but Alonso only 20 after 208 GP,s. Even when Kimi had a couple years of rallying. Ok, nobody´s perfect, but it seems like Kimi is the fastest man on Formula 1. And he has the speed record with McLaren F1 in Monza 2005.

    • I remember thinking in France 2008, when the exhaust failed and an easy win was conceded, whether Kimi was still odds on for the 2008 title, as I had thought up to that point in the season. Turns out, as I worried, that Ferrari totally shifted direction towards Massa, believing they could let him win the championship and gain financially. Bar crash-gate, they would have been vindicated, beating a McLaren team that totally dedicated itself to winning the championship with number one driver Hamilton after letting it slip in 2007, when they had a dominant car. So much so, that McLaren and Ferrari were nowhere for the first half of 2009!

      When Massa was incapacitated, Kimi also magically ‘came back to life’ for Ferrari’s second half of the season, despite focus being on the 2010 Alonso car and Badoer/Fisichella unable to drive the other complex Ferrari. At that stage, constructors points were valuable and only Kimi could deliver it for them. I still think it’s a shame Schumacher didn’t return for the latter part of 2009, to see what could have happened had he faced Raikkonen in 2007.

  10. I think the most likely is Raikkönen ending up at Ferrari and Ricciardo ending up at Red Bull. Alonso will probably stick to Ferrari as Lotus will not be such an attractive proposition with James Allison having left and McLaren being 5th fastest and quite competently incompetent.

    Or Alonso could simply retire as LDM just doesn’t want him in red anymore :rollingeyes:
    That would probably register over 20.0 on the Richter scale :p

    While the U-turn from Helmut Marko was pretty surprising, I think eventually he will get his man Ricciardo to drive for RB and Kimi will get his return to Ferrari, but there are just a few unexpected twists as Alonso is indulging in some serious mischief.

    • Complete this with Hulkenberg to Lotus, alongside Grosjean, and Frijns in to Sauber for a year (before Sirotkin’s inevitable debut), else Bianchi to Sauber for a Ferrari £9m debt write-off and someone like Magnussen or Nasr in to Marussia alongside the inevitably returning Chilton. At least Ellinas will be getting a YDT day next year! Alongside hopefully a promotion to GP2.

      If Valsecchi and D’Ambrosio can’t get promoted to a Lotus drive when Kimi leaves, their time in F1 looks limited (to a reserve driver role if any). Valsecchi and Razia may have to pursue sports car options. Jerome does well as a GP2 commentator alongside Will Buxton.

      Massa has had a good career and a lucky escape from Hungary 2009, others who continued on have not been as lucky (Kubica). He’s still a top driver on his day, as shown by late 2012 and mid-2010. Personally, I think he’s been driving an experimental car for most of this year and possibly last. His suspension-braking failures concede this, the only other possible explanation could be brake bias adjustment being set wrong, but it still wouldn’t produce such a mechanical failure type crash, right?

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