Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 22 August 2013

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Kimi misses Thursday’s track walk due to “illness” 21:10

Ricciardo believes he will get equal status should he join Red Bull 21:00

Alonso relationship with Montezemolo is just great 17:25

The saga continues – Kimi admits having signed for Ferrari Updated: 10:11

Kovalainen to take part in Friday practice for Caterham 09:50

New aero package will bring victory 09:40

Marko Watch 03:00

How much for the F1 number plate? 02:00

Spa Driver and Team Principal Press Conference Schedule 00:10

Spa Race Stewards 00:10


Kimi misses Thursday’s track walk due to “illness” (Telegraph)

Raikkonen did not show up at the Spa-Francorchamps on Thursday and according to Lotus it was “due to illness“. They have however confirmed he will be at the track for Friday’s two practice sessions.

Very convenient seeing as the whole F1 world wants to know #whereiskimi… (going next year)

whereiskimi © Lotus F1


Ricciardo believes he will get equal status should he join Red Bull (BBC)

Ricciardo believes he will be able to race on equal terms with Vettel. “I’m sure if I was in a position to win a race in the future, I’d be allowed to.

I’m sure if it was to all go forward and in my favour and if I was to get the shot there, I’d be given the same car and the same opportunity to show my skills, I guess. It wouldn’t be a concern at all“.

If Ricciardo is Red Bull’s succession plan for Vettel’s departure (some time in the future) it may be good to treat him fully equal. Time will tell.


Alonso relationship with Montezemolo is just great

Our relationship is better than ever. We talked almost every day of the summer, not only about F1, but about holidays, family, Madrid, Juventus“. Those are the words of our Spanish Samurai Alonso as quoted by Spanish sports newspaper AS.

Alonso insists his relationship with Montezemolo is great and he [Montezemolo], “is a great motivator, he is the father of the Ferrari family and he knows how to keep the environment in the team good. There are zero problems“. Alonso claims his words were taken out of context by the media to create stories over the summer break. This may be true but as TJ13 reported in July, Alonso could hardly stop smiling when he was asked about his manager meeting Red Bull.

Are we now seeing Alonso backtracking? Is he trying to gain favour with Il Padrino to save his seat for next year or is this part of his master plan to exit Ferrari?


The saga continues – Kimi admits having signed for Ferrari

Whoever invented Budweiser…We love you! According to German publication Sport Bild, Kimi admitted having signed for Ferrari. In a party with friends in Helsinki, having had one or two too many, admitted to friends that he signed a deal worth €11m per year as well as bonuses and sponsorship for his motocross team.

Why Robertson has called the meeting with Red Bull this weekend is yet to be understood.

Completely off topic, would Steve Robertson not be a great replacement for Bernie should he go to jail leave? Over the last three weeks this man has been playing everyone off against each other and one can only think what would happen should he negotiate with circuits and potential sponsors.

Rumours are growing that Nico Hulkenberg is also in talks with Ferrari, for Massa’s seat. The move to Sauber was seen as an intermediate step before joining a top team and Ferrari being the logical connection.

Die Weld reports that it is a fight between Hulkenberg and Kimi for Massa’s seat however with Kimi almost confirmed (officially) does this mean the talks is off or will we see two new drivers at Ferrari in 2014?


Kovalainen to take part in Friday practice for Caterham

German publication Speed Week reports Heiki Kovalainen is set to return to Caterham during the Friday practice. This is to help the team with development as they currently lie behind Marussia in the Constructors Championship. With 10th being worth $10million the team need all the help they can get.

In Spa Kovalainen will replace Charles Pic and in Monza Giedo van der Garde.

Is this the price you pay for having inexperienced drivers? One also have to wonder what will happen next year, where teams have inexperienced drivers yet they have to deal with the largest set of technical changes since 1996 when F1 went to the 3lt V10 engine (even that was small compared to what the teams face now).


New aero package will bring victory

Mercedes is hoping to continue where it left off before the summer break. Ross Brawn said the team has developed a new aerodynamic package for Spa that they hope will bring them victory.

This year we have developed a special aerodynamics package for the special requirements of the track at Spa. We have completed the first half of the season in Hungary with a feeling of success and have set ourselves a similarly strong second-half goal

Only time will tell but Vettel may have to consider more than who his next team mate will be. Hamilton and Rosberg will be race win contenders and with little incentive for Webber to support his team mate it will be a lonely championship battle for Vettel this year.


Marko Watch

It may not fit the bill exactly of being F1 news, but I saw this a few days ago and it struck me that sometimes F1 would make a great kids TV show. Make of this what you will; conspiracy theory lovers will have a field day.

Marko Scooby Doo

[For those who are not aware, the above picture is a spoof of the kids TV show, Scooby Doo]


How much for the F1 number plate?

With £440,000 there are few people who would buy strip of plastic, however, this is no ordinary strip of plastic. Bought 5 years ago for the mentioned sum of money, businessman Afzal Khan first turned down £5 million for the number plate in 2010, and has recently been reported to have turned down a whopping £6 million.

His reason for turning down the incredible offer was the belief that it was worth ‘significantly more.’ A spokesman for his Bradford based company, A Kahn Design, said ,’Mr Kahn has no interest in selling F1, which is his favourite plate.’

Whilst understandable, his lack of willing to sell the much desired plate does make you wonder at what point it would be worth selling. The spokesman also stated, ‘Cherished number plates, unlike property or other investments tend not to fluctuate in value, they only go up.’

The staggering part is that the plate is around 1/6 of the Marussia team budget for the year! (estimated to be $65 million) That’s enough to buy a race seat in modern F1; which would make Khan a plate driver, not a pay driver…


Spa Driver and Team Principal Press Conference Schedule

The FIA has confirmed the drivers and Team Principals for the press conferences this weekend.

Thursday – Drivers:
Jules Bianchi (Marussia)
Giedo van der Garde (Caterham)
Romain Grosjean (Lotus)
Charles Pic (Caterham)
Jean – Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso)
Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)

Friday – Team Principals:
Nick Chester (Lotus)
Andrew Green (Force India)
Jean – Michel Jalinier (Renault Sport)
James Key (Toro Rosso)
Tom McCullough (Sauber)
Pat Symonds (Williams)

So out of all the talk of drivers and teams (Kimi/Ferrari and Red Bull) all we get is Vettel and Nick Chester. Bad call FIA. We want Alonso, Kimi, Ricciardo and Vettel for the drivers press conference and Domenicali, Horner and Boullier for the Team Principal press conference.


Spa Race Stewards


Lars Österlind is a highly experienced FIA steward who has officiated at more than 100 grands prix and a similar number of World Rally Championship rounds. A social sciences graduate and lifelong motor sport enthusiast, Österlind was President of the Swedish Rally Commission from 1978-1982, then President of the Swedish Automobile Sport Federation from 1982-1996.

He became Honorary President in 1996 and has been a member of the FIA World Council since 1984. Outside motorsport Österlind has specialised in management, working as a consultant and pursuing his own business interests. He is also experienced in local government at city council level.


Farhan Vohra, an economics graduate from Loyola College, Chennai, and a member of the FMSCI, India’s national motor sport authority, is best known to the F1 paddock for his work at Buddh International Circuit, home of the Indian Grand Prix. Last year his work at Buddh was recognised when he was won the Best Clerk of the Course award at the FIA Gala.

Vohra is one of the FMSCI’s senior stewards and alongside his duties at several grands prix for the FIA has also been a steward for FIM, motorcycling’s governing body. A long-time competitor, involved in motor sport since the mid-1990s, Vohra started officiating in 2006 after taking a break from active competition. He has since been the Clerk of the Course for all Indian national championships, both racing and karting.


Derek Warwick raced in 146 grands prix from 1981 to 1993, appearing for Toleman, Renault, Brabham, Arrows and Lotus. He scored 71 points and achieved four podium finishes, with two fastest laps. He was World Sportscar Champion in 1992, driving for Peugeot. He also won Le Mans in the same year. He raced Jaguar sportscars in 1986 and 1991 and competed in the British Touring Car Championship between 1995 and 1998, as well as a futher appearance at the Le Mans in 1996, driving for the Courage Competition team. Warwick is a frequent FIA driver steward and is President of the British Racing Drivers’ Club.


26 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 22 August 2013

  1. I think the official formula 1 website should have voting buttons that allows us to choose who we want in the press conference, as in the nicest possible I couldn’t give a toss about those drivers. And some voting buttons for which subjects we would like the questions to be about.

      • You could easily allow a vote for 2 drivers from the current top 3 teams, 2 drivers from the current mid 3, and 2 drivers from the bottom 4. Tthat way the top 6 which are more in demand get slightly more seats, but the bottom teams still get 2 drivers pooled each conference.

    • The obvious reason is that they always pick the drivers whose home GP it is. Since there are no Dutch and French GPs, per the FIA policy the press conference has to feature Van der Garde, Bianchi, Grosjean, Pic and Vergne. Unfortunately, that only leaves one spare spot.

  2. Judge.
    Any news on why Rbr have put back the announcement they were making on the second seat for next year. (as predictable as it was being ricciardo)
    Is it a late push to get Kimi. Or nando in the seat. (i say nando on the basis of if Kimi rejoins Ferrari. It could be a out for nando.) or even fillipe as a solid number 2 in a different atmosphere.

    Im stumped on this one. Any news.

    • Red Bull will look silly if they don’t explore all options. There is a political battle going on at Red Bull as well. Marko vs Horner and with Riccardo earmarked for seat Horner lost. As the Kimi discussions have been dragging on Horner must have thought he still has a chance. It could be more to do with Alonso trying to get out of his Ferrari contract though….

  3. i’m pretty sure we will see two new drivers at ferrari next year. alonso cannot be happy with this, and history has shown that fernando not being happy will result in a meltdown. history has also shown that he isn’t able to handle a faster team mate and you don’t sign a driver like raikonnen as a no.2. plus, with kimi telling his race engineer to leave him alone when he is talking too much, imagine what his reaction would be to being told that fernando is faster than him, or that they need to switch his gearbox so alonso can gain a few places.

  4. Looks like Ferrari’s in the catbird seat with regard to drivers. Sign Kimi now for Massa’s seat and the Hulk as reserve/Alonso replacement for 2014. Good result for them to be sure.

    Red Bull biggest loser for 2014 in driver’s sweepstakes for sure. 😉

  5. Funny that Kimi blurted the news himself… It would have been so much funnier had he gotten drunk drinking Red Bull :p

    More seriously, if this is true, then I think Alonso is getting in a tight situation. Kimi and himself as team-mates will be an explosive cocktail, and if Hamilton-Alonso is anything to go by, this will be far worse for him, and far more entertaining for us. The signing of Kimi is basically LdM putting Alonso in check, one move away from check-mate. Alonso can choose between having a super-fast team-mate or running away.

    The question is : which teams are there to run away to ? Lotus will probably regress and most likely can’t afford him. McLaren have Button and Perez and if the last few seasons are anything to go by : Alonso will be getting frustrated with the car at the first GP. Mercedes are most likely happy enough with having both Hamilton and Rosberg. So… it’s all on Alonso if we want the nine-pointer on Richter’s scale in terms of EQs in F1 🙂

  6. The story about Kimi admitting at a party is made up. Sport Bild does not contain thr story. Somewhere is refferred to Die Welt and RTL. RTL does not carry it. Die Welt carries it, but refers to Finnish newspapers. No Finnish newspaper or F1 blog carries it.

  7. Apparently Massa has been given 2 races to prove his worth. Hulk wants to have his future resolved by end of September. These two almost fit like a glove to a hand…which would mean that Kimi potentially replaces Alonso.

    Could Ferrari put Alonso on a garden leave? Or send him off to RBR and cause mayhem?

    • I see him going back to mclaren… They’re struggling for speed without a real racer, and development is clearly going nowhere with the two drivers they have…

      • No no no, don’t want him back there, I’ll cancel my membership if he goes back! Although the truth be told, McLaren badly need a driver of his calibre, that’s for sure.

        • Just spoke to Alonso, if big Ron is prepared to drop the “corporate haircut” he’ll come back!

      • That will never happen. Didn’t he try and balckmail the team last time he was there? I can’t see them having him back. However, stranger things have happened.
        Anyone know when Jenson’s contract runs out? Alonso couldn’t replace Perez, as Perez brings a lot of sponsorship money with him. I still think if Alonso leaves Ferrari that he will go to Red Bull, or maybe Lotus at a pinch, as long as he brings Santander’s money with him to Lotus.

      • Too late for that now, but if were sauberor lotus or anyone else considering him for next year, that would be my offer to him.

        Remember how well piquet drive in his final year in f1 for Benetton when he was on a points-mean-prizes paycheck? And kimi too now at lotus.

  8. Glad to see Hulkenberg move up to the top tier of drivers. With Webber and Massa retiring, we would have:

    Raikkonen, Alonso, Button, Hamilton, Rosberg, Vettel, Grosjean, Hulkenberg.

    Below this: Maldonado, Di Resta, Sutil, Ricciardo, Bianchi, Bottas, Perez, Vergne, Pic, Gutierrez, Chilton.

    VDG to get the boot, Felix da Costa to come in, a long line of drivers deserving a try but not with a big enough budget/backing: Wickens, Calado, Nasr, Coletti/Leimer/Bird, Rossi, Frijns, Magnussen, Vandoorne, Alguersuari, Evans/Marciello soon (Although Calado and Nasr/Magnussen look well placed to make a jump, with Mercedes probably pushing one of their youth, Juncadella, back to single seaters, and maybe adding Bird to DTM I would imagine).

    The only real addition of Wickens for Chilton is the only obvious speed boost I can see on the grid, Kovalainen to VDG aside. Pic generally has the pace to keep up.

    Ricciardo and Perez really have the chance to impress being in a top team so young (as Vettel, Hamilton, Raikkonen and Alonso did too, Button as well to some extent with Williams/BAR – pre-25). If they can’t establish themselves as top drivers then really they should swap places with Hulk/Di Resta/even Maldonado to gain more experience in the midfield. I have a feeling Bianchi in particular (Alonso type) and Bottas (Hamilton type) would do quite well in a top seat, with Vergne doing a Webber in races. But reality and what should happen are always two different things…

    • I’d bet that putting Frijns in Guiterrez’s seat would boost the Sauber performance quite a bit as well.

  9. I’m actually disgusted by you guys at tj13. Man have some respect before you mock a great driver like alonso, calling him a Spanish samurai with an obvious presence of devious sarcasm. I have noticed how one sided you’ll are with any news pertaining to alonso. It’s so sickening! ! As am open source portal your job is to provide us with straight forward info with out any pre comcieved bias notions. It’s as if you guys want to generate an air of drama around any news. What a pity, Coz I really liked tj13 at first.

    • Don’t worry “elf”, it just happens to be Alonso’s turn at the moment, because of speculation about different driver like-ups. Next week it will Hamilton or Vettel again, maybe.

    • Sorry Elf, disagree with you there.

      If Fernando wants to continuously quote samurai words of wisdom i think calling him the Spanish Samurai is quite tame.

      I like him myself, but he’s in danger of becoming known as an automotive Mr Miyagi.

      The one thing i like about this site that there are no favours granted to anyone – driver, team, team member etc. If anyone spouts a liberal dosage of claptrap they will be written about in the way they deserve, and not how they would like to be perceived.

      There are no brown noses on this site, and i wouldn’t have it any other way.

      Could i suggest a quick review of previous stories and you’ll see that Marko, Seb, Bernard, Nicki, Christian, Toto and many more have felt a ‘tap of the gavel’ quite recently.

      Seriously, Fernando has got off lightly!

  10. “…your job is to provide us with straight forward info with out any pre comcieved bias notions”

    Is it not a site owner’s prerogative to decide what his job is…? 😉

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