Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 26 August 2013

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Paul Hembery’s thoughts on the Belgian Grand Prix 16:04

Michelin confirms interest in returning to F1 16:04

Button forcing McLaren’s hand? 16:10

Don’t bite the hand Alonso 16:45

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Paul Hembery’s thoughts on the Belgian Grand Prix

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Michelin confirms interest in returning to F1

On Saturday TJ13 reported that rumours from the paddock suggested Michelin is seriously considering a return to Formula 1. “Our position is now known. If they [F1] are willing to talk, we are ready to do so.” Those are the words of Michelin’s competition boss Pascal Couasnon speaking to Le Figaro.

Couasnon warns though that a decision needs to be made soon as Michelin will need time to produce tyres. “…we still need the physical time to produce tyres. By the end of October, it may be too late.

He goes on to say that Michelin is not happy with the current high degrading tyres and should they replace Pirelli they will not just fill their place. “F1 is not about changing a tyre after a few laps, we offer a beautiful image of an important product for the automotive industry.”

It is funny how short memories are. A couple of years ago when Bridgestone was producing bullet proof tyres and racing was, at best, dull, Formula One leaders decided we should introduce tyres that degrade quickly ‘to spice up racing’. Since Pirelli built tyres to specified requirements one has to feel for them being made out as the evil ones.

There is little doubt this is part of a political battle and Todt working to get one over Ecclestone…

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Button forcing McLaren’s hand?

Prior to the Belgian GP Button was asked if he was willing to pledge his future to McLaren. Button replied “I need to be asked first. Where is Martin? He still hasn’t asked me“.

Button now says he was only saying it in jest. “I was only winding him [Whitmarsh] up. That was very unfair of me, but I was just stating a fact.” He continued “It’s obviously not going our way at the moment, but it will, and I’m very happy here, I feel good here, and I still feel we can achieve so much together.
‘I’ll be here for my future in Formula One
“.

Button is a very astute candidate. When he joined McLaren everyone thought he will struggle to go to Lewis’ team and be competitive however, Button galvanised the team around him in such a way that he became the McLaren golden boy.

Could it be that Button is worried about his future with all the speculation about top drivers becoming available and looking for competitive cars?

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Don’t bite the hand Alonso

More words of wisdom for Alonso to consider, this time from Hollywood star Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda. Luada was speaking to German TV RTL saying, “If you drive for Ferrari you sometimes have to expect that the car is not that great“.

He continues, “… his mechanics work day and night on a car that is not as good as a Red Bull at the moment and he complains. But you have to constantly motivate the people, the Italians are very sensitive“.

Almost a double stab there from Lauda, firstly, you drive Ferrari’s and have to except they are “not that great” and built by “sensitive Italians“… ooosh! I’d be careful when going to Monza if I was Lauda, TJ has had his fair share of horse heads delivered but I fear our equestrian friends may become even less in Italy.

Anyway, Lauda also said that Fernando needs to be careful as he is “… sometimes really not likeable. For me, as a package, he’s the best racer out there today. But if, compared to Vettel, Hamilton or Rosberg he was to lose his two tenths of ‘magic’, then we would have to see what is his reputation“. So that makes Spain a no-go area as well then…

One has to feel for Alonso. Few can question his determination since he joined Ferrari. Can anyone forget the face last year in Brazil when he realised he lost the Championship? Throughout his time at Ferrari, until recently, he has always pulled for the team but when is enough?

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14 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 26 August 2013

  1. Todt’s a little man, always was always will be , always the worst example of French. A wanna be Napoleon ring any bells? Crikey they have a natural sneer when they get powerful stuff into their heads…remember Balestre?

  2. My own thoughts on Spa are that it has confirmed my fears that F1 is turning into a procession. So I’m going to give up watching it for the rest of the year and we’ll see whether the new tech specs in 2015 can make it more interesting.

    • You seem woefully unfamiliar with the term ‘procession’. There were truck loads of overtaking maneuvers and good fights for every position, but the lead. Spa had more overtaking moves in the first 10 laps than the entire 2001 season. Why don’t you just call the child by its name – that the race merely had the wrong winner?

  3. About the Alonso – Ferrari relationship. Is it me, or yesterday, when Alonso made some great moves to rise up to 4th during the first laps, the mechanics were just sitting and looking at the monitors, without major cheers? And when Alo arrived 2nd, didn’t he moved to the opposite line of the main straight, putting as much distance as possible between him and the Ferrari pitwall? I would like to know if any of you have seen the same as me.

    • I had to watch a replay on that but yes, he did move away from his team… not the way a happy man drives…

      On another note… the Maldonado crash. I thought it was Maldonado’s fault at first but while watching replays it does look like Sutil cut across him taking his nose off. He should not have dived for the pits the way he did but Sutil should have had a penalty for causing a collision as well…

      • Don’t think so. Sutil had nowhere to go either. Actually, the whole chain of event was caused by Maldonado himself. He had a wobble as they came out of the last turn towards Blanchimand, which allowed Gutierrez to slot in beside him. Had Maldonado given way into the chicane, all would have gone well, but he decided to try negotiating the chicane in a bunch of 4 cars and basically left Sutil with nowhere to go, The move afterwards was just a monumental brain fart.

        • Hey Danilo, I assume you’re not a sutil fan in the same way you’re not a vettel fan…? Hehe, it’s ok.

    • Another thing that struck me as slightly odd was the scene in the room, where they collect the caps for the podium ceremony. Vettel and Hamilton chatting away happily, while Alonso stands at the side looking constipated. Could it be that the team isn’t the only group he’s at odds with?

  4. I disagree with the view on Alonso. Yes, he has every right to be fed up. He lost the 2010 WDC, which should have been his, because he got stuck behind a Russian paydriver in a clapped-out Clio and he lost a huge points lead in the second half last year, because they were out-developed by RB.
    But you do not criticize your team in public and besides, Schumacher had to endure FIVE years of scarlet misery before he hit paydirt. I cannot remember a single time that he criticized the team in public. That’s something to be done behind closed doors.

  5. I am NOT attempting to be-little anybody’s opinion here. nor am I proclaiming my opinion to be the right one. just gonna inject a personal note which is often VERY different from what one sees in comments over many sites and differing motorsports venues.
    while multiple “impossible” passing events can take one’s breath away and cause the unscripted fist pump and “woo hoo”, I have no issue rating a truly “processional” race as a 9 or 10, as I am also enamored with the brilliance of engineering genius, organizational perfection, strategic superiority – even event promotional innovation and great professional event operations – and the such. hell, it IS all part of what one invests their time and $$$ into – whether participating, attending or sitting on the couch in front of the tube…
    plenty of reasons to get into a hissy fit at most events. I get that. but also plenty of reasons to get all excited too! enjoy!!
    BTW, am sooo happy to have found tj13 and his commentors this year…

  6. I may be wrong (again), but the protracted negotiations between Pirelli and Mr. Todt smells like it is simply a money problem. Pirelli is paying FOM much money, but doesn’t want to pay much money to FIA.

    Mr. E and Mr. Mosley successfully neutered FIA’s F1 income stream, so I’m guessing Mr. Todt is trying to shake Pirelli down for more money to help enable him to increase the FIA’s influence over F1.

    The dogfight between Mr. E and Mr. Todt is bloody, but I’ll put my dollar on Mr. E…

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