Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 2 September 2013

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Formula 1 needs a shakeup 07:57

Alonso’s Tweet 13:00 (Updated 13:15)

Monza, a damp race beckons 13:20

Ron Dennis the father figure 19:48

Ricciardo to Red Bull – Official 21:55

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Formula 1 needs a shakeup

As the election for the FIA presidency draws near the first salvos of the battle has been fired. Ex FIA president Max Mosley blames ‘The Silent One’ for the team’s financial difficulties because “was never a friend of cost limits“.

Gerhard Berger has now joined in with his two pence worth. Speaking to Bild the Austrian made it clear that Ecclestone and Mosley worked together whereas the Ecclestone and Todt combination is not working.

In Formula One, the old adage ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ is more and more true. Previously, Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone worked as a unit. But today we have in Jean Todt and Ecclestone two chefs who have different tastes and different spices. This leads us to something that is expensive and also difficult for many of the fans to understand.

Berger goes on to say the rule changes are making the sport hard to understand for fans and is introducing extra costs to the sport, one which small teams cannot afford. He is also critical of ‘artificial’ racing such as DRS. “I don’t like these ways to artificially improve the show. And I honestly believe that it’s the same for the fans as well. They want a real sport.

While his view on Todt is not flattering he is supporting Ecclestone though. “He has led this sport for decades with perfection, vision, cunning and hard work to great success, for which we all have to thank him.

Oh dear… Was Mosley and Ecclestone not friends, or shall we say Mosley jumped when Ecclestone told him to, hence why their relationship worked so well? Also was it not Mr E who wanted to introduce ‘fake rain’ and gave Pirelli the instructions to produce tyres that will give a similar racing spectacle to Canada 2010? That gives us pure racing Mr Berger does it? Are you perhaps forgetting how mundane races were and yet.

Is Mr Berger lining himself up for a job with Formula 1 in the near future?

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Alonso’s Tweet

Late last night Alonso set Twitter alight with a tweet saying “I have important news coming these days … Stay tuned here on Twitter and on the Web.. !!!” TJ13 reader cavallinorampantef1 duly posted this on yesterday’s which drew a few comments speculating what this could mean.

Today various news sources are reporting Alonso is buying Spanish World-Tour cycling team Euskaltel Euskadi. The team currently has star rider Samuel Sanchez, a former Olympic champion, as their lead rider and the team will be built around him.

Those who follow Alonso closely will recall Alonso’s friendship with Tour De France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España winner Alberto Contador. The original plan was to set up a team with Contador at it’s centre however when Contador signed with Saxo Tinkoff and that was the end of that.

Nigel Mansell also has a cycling team in the UK called Team UK Youth… are we going to see ex Formula 1 drivers become cycling team owners?

TJ13 Update: It has now been confirmed that Alonso has bought the team and according to a statement on Alonso’s website, “As of today we will start to work against the clock, with maximum effort and humility, and transferring the best of our professional experience, in order to be capable of starting the first races of the 2014 season with a new team, full of desire and with a fighting spirit.” The team will be a transparent and clean team according to the Spaniard.

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Monza, a damp race beckons

According to the weather forecast for Monza this weekend we may just see another race with rain. The rain should be intermittent and should be around for the start of the race.

It is very early in the week so this may still change but if it is wet, can anyone beat Vettel (the scene of his first pole and win in F1)?

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Ron Dennis the father figure?

Today Ron Dennis said he did not actively stop Lewis Hamilton from leaving the team. “Last year I didn’t seriously seek to prevent his efforts to explore new pastures with the Mercedes AMG F1 team – perhaps it was a necessary part of his maturation.

Dennis continues, “I’ll always remember his time with us very fondly, just as I’m very proud of having been McLaren’s CEO and team principal when he became world champion with us in 2008.

I recently read a very nice quote from Lewis in which he said that, unlike other drivers who had joined McLaren once they’d already raced in F1, his apprenticeship with the team in his youth meant that he was a seed that had grown within McLaren, which I thought was an extremely eloquent way of putting it.”

It sounds like the words from a loving father does it not? Time heals they say and so it must be. Last year TJ13 reported Lewis was pushed rather than leaving McLaren willingly. At the time Dennis told Sky TV in Canada “…some people get the wrong idea…when I last looked at the contract – I was paying him. It’s a question of whether we employ him, not the other way around”.

Are we seeing Dennis possibly paving the way for a Hamilton return to McLaren or is this another veiled attempt to tell him he needs to ‘mature’ more?

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Ricciardo to Red Bull – Official

The big Red Bull “non-surprise” confirmation has been made. Daniel Ricciardo will join Sebastian Vettel in 2014 as an Infinity Red Bull Racing driver. Ricciardo signed a multi-year deal with the team so at least having Vettel there with Ricciardo takes care of the medium term at Red Bull.

Horner said, “It’s fantastic to confirm Daniel as the team’s race driver for 2014. He’s a very talented youngster, he’s committed, he’s got a great attitude and in the end it was a very logical choice for us to choose Daniel. He’s got all the attributes that are required to drive for our team: he’s got a great natural ability, he’s a good personality and a great guy to work with.

Daniel knows what the team expects from him; he’ll learn quickly and it’s very much a medium-to-long term view that we’re taking in developing him.”

We knew he was signed before Spa so why the delay Mr Horner?

For those who missed it – TJ13 contributor Adam Macdonald wrote a piece on Daniel Ricciardo here.

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32 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 2 September 2013

    • Spanish sources reporting @alo_oficial’s “important” news from yesterday is he’s bought cycling team @EuskaltelEuskad who were going to fold

    • You never know… I’ve had my doubts ever since that case broke. “Fuentes’s full client list, which is believed to include athletes from football, track and field, boxing and tennis, has never been revealed.”

      I’ve no idea what the FIA test during anti doping tests but if they just ask for a urine monster… As Armstrong has shown, there are many ways to cheat the system and a visit to Fuentes, well no one will be taking blood samples 😉

    • Surprised a tennis player, and a few big football clubs aren’t part of the financiers also….

  1. “Max Mosley blames ‘The Silent One’ for the team’s financial difficulties because “was never a friend of cost limits“.”

    Of course Max “Spanky” Mosley selling the FIA’s TV rights to Ecclestone for the $300M over 100 years, when Ecclestone generates $450m a year from them can only be viewed as the result of the financial and business acumen of Mosley. And the other commercial rights that Mosley essentially gave away to Ecclestone aren’t included. Had that revenue been distributed fairly to the teams we wouldn’t have the financial crisis we now have in F1.

  2. “I have important news coming these days … Stay tuned here on Twitter and on the Web.. !!!

    As I don’t follow cycling maybe that is a 9 on the Richter scale there but I doubt anywhere else. Four days until the start of practice at Monza and the ground remins calm………

    • He is so clearly toying with the media and hype etc, ie not the sort of thing a man on the move might be going to do. Guess that leaves potential richter scale events down to Kimi coming back for me… buuut, we’ll see.

      • I owe you an apology Adam. You were correct in a previous post regarding the decorum of one of our community.

        I’ve kept my council for a while since then to see how things developed, and i now fully understand your frustrations.

        I hope you can accept my apology.

        Sincerely,

        Colin

        • Of course Colin, perfectly understandable and admirable you would want to discourage bullying, no hard feelings. I have no problems with difference of opinion or disagreement, I work in academia its a given, but generally, I would prefer it to be done in a civilised manner. In this instance it was the manner of communication, not the message I took issue with, and have no compunction about calling out when I feel this is the case. If there is no response, given the nature of the medium we have little recourse but to moderate our behaviour towards the individuals displaying that behaviour going forward.
          All the best.
          Adam

  3. So James Calado becomes Force India third driver. On the Richter scale that’s not even a tremor.

    • Seriously Cav, I’ve got no idea what your fixation with one single news item is. You’ve been so worked up over it, you mixed up Spa and Monza already. Even if it would turn out to be a non-issue that would be one story that TJ got wrong among dozens, which turned out to be true. And besides, Kimi going back to Ferrari is big news, even if Ferrari aren’t announcing it at Monza. They still might though.

        • My mother gave me a first name for a reason. I don’t know how things are handled where you come from, but in most of Europe such a form of address is considered rude.

          • “but in most of Europe such a form of address is considered rude.”

            Too bad. I’m not a European, don’t live there and have no plans to ever live there.

          • Must be about due to retract all those nice warm fuzzies you had for Cav the other day? 🙂

          • Not sure I’d call it ‘warm fuzzies’. I merely defended him against personal attack. I came to regret it, especially as I have learned he’s known for trolling other sites, too.

          • “Oh yes indeed I can vouch for that. Has a couple of personas.”

            Such as?

          • I defended Cav from what i thought was unfair levels of criticism previously.

            I regret this now.

  4. Riccardo just confirmed by Marko to drive for Red Bull next year. Multi year deal. No surprise there.

    • So lets all act surprised at their announcement.. at least someone has confirmed a closed seat. Blimey it took long for RB to tell us what we all knew! Da Costa in at Toro Rosso now?

      Now it’s just Ferrari, Lotus, McLaren, Force India, Sauber, Williams, Toro Rosso, Caterham and Marussia left… oh the wait 🙂

  5. Ahhhh, don’t you just love it? Picking up a sport known for cheating…..’transparent and clean’…….Yeah. Right. Obviously wants to return to his glory days of Renault and Singapore. Wonder if he has Flabio at his right hand for this?

    • You’re making the same mistakenly assumption that many others do. Cycling isn’t any ‘dirtier’ than any other sport like track&field, football, baseball, cross country or biathlon. They merely clean the house better. They have the most frequent and strictest doping controls of any sport, which is why more cyclists are caught. Take the Fuentes case for instance. It is known that not only cyclists were on his customer list, yet we only got to know their names – the many footballists were protected for political and business reasons.
      A lot has been done to clean up the sport of cycling and investing now isn’t the worst of times as a new generation of cyclists emerge, who aren’t so rooted in the EPO culture of their predecessors.

      • Yes, blood passports are a good step forwards, although about Armstrong there was a bit of wilful blindness amongst the mass media, as individual journalists had been pointing out his doping for many a year.

        I sincerely hope Spain and Turkey don’t get the 2020 Olympics, though. Spain – a judge ordered the Fuentes evidence destroyed.. I mean, WTF. This would’ve exposed a shedload of doping, and helped lots of sports clean house. Doping wasn’t even illegal in Spain until this case broke. Turkey – Only behind Russia in current athletics doping scandals. Clearly, massive doping operations in activity in these countries, using the evidence of East Germany’s past and the BALCO evidence of the 2000s on how to dope.

        Tokyo, Japan will be a worthy winner. With a strong anti-doping culture (similar to the UK), they don’t win much, but are ultra high tech and need some stimulus, which investing in another Olympics would provide. And who wouldn’t want an Olympics in the most epic cityscape on the earth?!

        Istanbul can have an Olympics when the country is moving in the right direction again and has moved forwards, away from crude doping (to kids as young as 16, if I remember correctly).

        It’s good to see Alonso support a sport he and his country loves, and also a historic team not too far from his own home. But I did also think that it won’t help his squeaky clean image, given what’s happened in cycling in the past. I do enjoy the tactics in cycling, though. I think his team will try and get a Spanish rider to the top, Contador is past his best I feel (but who wouldn’t be after coming off the dope!).

        • Alonso is moving into dangerous territory, that’s for sure. Spain has the worst record in Europe when it comes to doping. People like Manolo Sainz have damaged the sport almost beyond repair.
          You can’t take Armstrong as an example though – he was shielded by the gouverning body itself. Hein Verdruggen and Pat McPaid themselves covered up positive doping tests of Armstrong.
          I think people like Alonso coming in, people, who haven’t grown up in the ‘everyone does it’ culture of the 1990s cycling peloton and invest out of a pure love for the sport may be just what the sport needs.
          Alonso is known to be close friends with Contador, so I guess we’ll see him at some time cruising into retirement on Alonso’s team. More likely than not Santander will be providing the Moulah and the team will concentrate on the next Spanish star, which has yet to be found. They say the team will be built around Samu Sanchez, but he hasn’t got an awful lot of years left in him, so this project is more likely aimed at being a retirement home for some of Alonso’s friends while looking for the next spanish star for the future.

  6. With regards the Ron Dennis quote, I read else where that he also said “lewis knows he wil always be a member of the McLaren family and like that seed, he has grown deep roots within the organisation” or something incredibly close to that.

    Once they have had the ‘get to know you’ period with Honda in 2015, I think if Lewis hasn’t had a title with Mercedes by then he will be back in the family home for 2016.

    Maybe wishful thinking but it’s nice to daydream!

    • Sounds to me like Ron is willing to admit that Lewis might have been better for development than Button currently is, extending the olive branch as it were while trying to save face.

      • There’s a shift in opinion at Team Principal needed though to get them past the chequer first.

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