Daily #F1 News and Comment: Wednesday 21 August 2013

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Winning will be a challenge for McLaren in 2013 22:55

Lauda turns councillor.. 22:41

Tyre Supplier change still a possibility 18:15

Sirotkin to do a demonstration run at Sochi 12:35

Roscoe not well 12:21

Ferrari focusing on championship, not 2014 drivers 12:00

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Winning will be a challenge for McLaren in 2013 (BBC)

McLaren CEO Jonathan Neal believes it will be a challenge for McLaren to win races this year and double points finishes are their best chance.

Both drivers are capable of scoring points and we have seen some double figure points scores, which is always pleasing.

He added that the team is now focussing on their 2014 challenger “The areas that we’re working on this car are areas that, either directly or indirectly, are relevant to our 2014 campaign“.

So if you are a McLaren fan, get a bottle of Johnnie Walker whiskey and enjoy it. It could be the most enjoyment you will have this season that is McLaren related…

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Lauda turns councillor.. (Telegraph)

If it is not enough for Niki Lauda to be telling everyone in Formula 1 how to do things he has now turned his attention to women who undergo plastic surgery.

It means they can’t stand whoever they are. I’ve had a lot of incidents in the past where people were wondering how I looked,

He added, “You have to have enough personality to overcome this beauty bull—- and find the strength to love yourself the way you are“.

If you say so Niki…

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Tyre supplier change still a possibility

Amongst the F1 silly season chatter of which seats will be filled by which drivers comes the reminder that the 2014 tyre supplier to Formula One is still not decided. With no sign of a new contract for Pirelli to be announced, it is a difficult time for all parties involved.

The Italian manufacturer cannot properly prepare for next year, whilst the FIA would find it very difficult to convince another supplier to take over the tyre responsibilities of the sport given that the trackside advertising for 2014 is already signed to Pirelli. Furthermore, the teams cannot begin to adapt to any changes to the boots they run in.

McLaren’s managing director, Jonathan Neale, has said the British team is “assuming” Pirelli will get an eleventh-hour extension to its contract. However, there was also the admission of a possible ‘curveball.’

Neale applauded Pirelli’s reaction to the tyre-exploding crisis of the British Grand Prix. However, he did express concern about this weekend’s high-speed circuit at Spa-Francorchamps. The high loads that the tyres experience will be the closest simulation for the new tyres, to that of Silverstone.

It seems with the low levels of activity at Woking at the moment, the focus has well and truly been turned on to the 2014 car. An earlier admission of there being only a slim chance of getting on the podium this year shows just how bleak this year has been for the team.

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Sirotkin to do a demonstration run at Sochi

Speed Week is reporting that Sirotkin will have his debut in a Formula 1 car on the 27th September. The demonstration was requested by Sauber’s new investors and will form part of the International Investment Forum held at Sochi.

As to the relevance of Formula 1, Sauber Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn said, “The demonstration run is part of the International Investment Forum in Sochi, during which the there is also a motorsport part,” It will be the first time a Formula 1 car will be driven in Sochi.

The young Russian already had his seat fitting and is meeting with the team physiotherapist today (Wednesday) for an assessment. The team is also looking at getting him some time in a simulator (possibly Ferrari’s) to familiarise himself with the controls as Sirotkin rightly points out, “It is not easy to get used to the many functions on the steering wheel. In the Renault World Series, we can [only] adjust the brake balance. In Formula 1, there are dozens of functions“.

So technically, Sirotkin could be driving a Ferrari before he drives a Sauber… Not a bad start to your F1 career.

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Roscoe not well

Hopefully this does not affect Hamilton badly at this coming weekend’s Grand Prix. This morning Hamilton posted a picture of his dog saying he has been at the vet for the past four days with pneumonia.

Roscoe

#getwellsoonroscoe

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Ferrari focusing on championship, not 2014 drivers

There is much talk outside the company regarding the future [of 2014 drivers], but we must concentrate only on the present, on the fight for the championship“. These are the words of Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali.

In an interview with Motorsport Total he carried on saying, “The words of our president before the summer break must serve as a stimulus, because they were meant as the words of a good family father, who, first and foremost really roots for our team. Keep those words in mind and let’s all pull together, starting in Spa“.

Again Ferrari is not denying anything, Domenicali rather issues a call to arms to the team, to pull together starting in Spa. So whatever is set to happen, do everything you can now for the team, for the family.

Yesterday, in an interview with Chi magazine Luca Di Montezemolo said, “In Formula One you can never let your guard down and so we have already thought about the future, much like the possibility of a stable without Lauda, and hiring Reutemann.

It was very difficult to explain to Niki the choice we made, but the interests of the Ferrari, then as they are now, always come before those of the pilots, whoever they were, or are”.

Alonso’s body language will be interesting to watch at Spa…

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17 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Wednesday 21 August 2013

  1. Hi Richard, not at all. It is just all for now. This page will be updated throughout the day so if you come back later there should be more news.

  2. Though there is friction between Alonso and Ferrari, I don’t think he’ll be going anywhere else. If people have doubt about him partnering with Kimi, would he want to partner with Vettel? Schumacher’s relationship with LdM wasn’t smooth either but they made it work.

    If Kimi moves, I think it’ll be for Massa. He maybe a darling but his performances have been way below standard. Ferrari I think have lost patience with him.

    • That is what I am hearing as well. Massa to go and replaced by Kimi. Ferrari is shifting their focus from having a clear #1 to having two really competitive drivers to win the constructors championship.

      Ferrari dont want to let Alonso go and why would they. The reason Red Bull is winning the constructors and the drivers championship is because they have a driver pairing that is superior to other teams. Vettel normally wins/finish on the podium and Webber normally finishes on the podium or just off the podium regardless of where he starts.

      • Red Bull also have a pretty superior car as well, I feel compelled to point out. 🙂

      • Yep, and lets face it next year Mercedes will have Hamilton and Rosberg who are no slouches, and who will probably have a pretty nifty car, and Red Bull will still have Vettel, so Ferrari can’t afford to sit about with one strong driver… if this is a ‘new’ formula one focused a little more on engines again, and they get beaten into third place by Mercedes and Red Bull, it won’t go down well.

        I think it would be great news for Ferrari!

  3. Kimi to Ferrari and Alonso to RBR in ’15 or ’16. I think that is what the Markko quote of ‘medium term; stems from. Ricciardo will be a medium term solution. Then in ’15 or ’16 Vettel moves to Ferrari and Alonso is released from his contract.
    I believe the delays in the announcement by RBR are due to RBR coming back for Kimi rather than Alonso. Horner can’t manage Vettel let alone Alonso. Markko doesn’t want Alonso. Vettel doesn’t want Alonso. Can’ think of Mateschitz being so silly to upset everyone by employing Alonso now.

    • Next year loses Coanda and adds turbo plus an ERS that is push to pass/defend. Drivers with experience, who are good with lower downforce will be a very big plus for the teams that have them. Which is why Webber leaving is such a blow to RBR, think about how well he did when the diffusers were banned for the start of the 2012 season. Kimi is the obvious choice to replace him for that reason IMO, which may be why RB are having another bite at that apple, Marko notwithstanding. It would also be the reason I would take Vergne over Ricciardo, his driving in the wet has been stellar.

      The question becomes, are RB trying to sink Ferrari for next year by stealing Alonso, which would still leave Ferrari searching for a strong driver to partner Kimi (the Hulk would be my choice if that happens), or are they just causing trouble because they can. The only clear loser right now is Horner, who seems to be have been demoted to being in charge of packing the drivers’ lunches and doing their dirty laundry.

      • “…or are they just causing trouble because they can”

        Good point and it may well be, but why would they do this since it may be upsetting Vettel. Vettel’s not good on track when under pressure and can’t think of him being as comfy when there’s so much speculation on who would partner him next year.

        • Exactly so, and he will have an even thougher job at hand once he has joined Ferrari…

  4. I wonder if Alonso has any info to supply to the FIA which Maranello would greatly prefer to remain private? Use that as leverage to extricate himself from Ferrari contract. Reading between the lines of the Spaniard and Luca Di Montezemolo there appears to be serious friction which makes the last days of Kimi in red seem tame by comparison.

    • “I wonder if Alonso has any info to supply to the FIA which Maranello would greatly prefer to remain private?”

      Didn’t he try that in ’07 and backfired? If that would happen again he would be out of F1 within milliseconds.

  5. Looks like the chances of Kimi to Ferrari are remote. In the latest autosport report from very reliable Jonathan Noble.

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