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2014 Calendar (09:03)
Vettel missing the party (09:15)
Kimi, Ferrari and 2014 (11:05)
Pirelli bolstering chances for 2014
Pirelli has agreements in place with all the teams for 2014 according to Paul Hembery.
“We have agreements from all the teams, we have agreements with the promoter.” In Spa all but one team have signed agreements with Pirelli.
“In two weeks’ time we are meant to be giving the data for next season’s tyres and the wind tunnel tyres in three weeks. We’ve had no indication that there’s any issues at all. The practicalities are that we’ve been working on 2014 and beyond for quite some time.”
Should Michelin still be interested in joining, and manage to secure a sole supplier contract, it will present a problem for teams designing their cars for next year. This season has shown us the aerodynamic effect the tyre construction had on performance and one can imagine how teams like Lotus and Force India, two of the few teams who got it right with the 2013 spec tyres, will object to the construction changing.
It should come as no surprise that Bernie Ecclestone has said they [FOM] did not release the calendar that was circulated to the media on Thursday. According to Ecclestone the calendar has not been produced yet and when asked who released it he told Sky that “it wasn’t us.”
Who was it then Mr Ecclestone? What we are seeing now is an example of how Mr E gets signatures. As TJ13 said on Thursday, there won’t be a New Jersey race until someone comes up with around $100m in cold hard cash.
It appears Ecclestone is reaching out with an olive branch (if you can call it that) saying, “We have a contract with New Jersey and I hope they can honour the contract.”
The calendar is yet to be approved by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council when they meet on September 26-28 so is this a ‘hurry-up’ message for New Jersey’s organisers to find something to sell with their hotdogs to fund the $100m?
Vettel missing the party
It appears Webber is getting under Vettel’s skin, if he admits it or not. Monza is the last European race of the F1 season and a number of people will attend this race rather than flying around the world. In order to share his farewell cake with as many of the F1 fraternity as possible, Webber had a farewell party in the Red Bull energy station last night.
German publication reports the party drew the likes of Ross Brawn, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. Even Frank Williams were carried up the stairs to join the party. Meanwhile Vettel sat downstairs playing on his phone. The lonely life of an F1 world champion you ask?
Not quite. When asked why he is not joining the party Vettel replied “We are no longer friends. But we respect each other.” Were they ever friends?
Is this one step too far or do we have to admire Vettel for being upfront and not two-faced? … or, did he even receive an invite to the party and that is why he is upset? 😉
Kimi, Ferrari and 2014
The shadow of Kimi is very much haunting the Ferrari camp this weekend. TJ13 sources say, “both drivers have asked Stefano Domenicali about their future at Ferrari, and he has told them both ‘let’s wait and see’“.
Leo Turini wrote a rather coded piece in Milan’s Il Gallo this week that he’s had dinner with Stefano, and he mischievously concluded by revealing they drank Vodka and the eagles were playing in the background, “I can’t tell you why” (1979).
Alonso’s demeanor in the Thursday press conference was remarkable. Gone was the arrogance as he answered question after question – often at length – and continually stumbling as he searched for the right English words in his replies. He appeared nervous, shifting his gaze continually – very unlike the relaxed, even nonchalant, Alonso we saw in Hungary.
It is getting more and more obvious that there is an almost irreparable breach of trust between Alonso and a number of influential figures in the Scuderia, Fernando and Stefano have been avoiding each other at Monza and have not once been seen together.
TJ13 reported that ordinary team members call him names behind his back. Ferrari will have to decide soon, because 3 does not go into 2.
So how will the Ferrari ménage a trios be resolved?
Fernando Alonso – The team has the utmost respect for Fernando as a driver, his work ethics and the results he brings home, but from a human point of view Domenicali is very disappointed in Alonso.
Felipe Massa – For Felipe it is exactly the other way around. He is by far the most loved of the two, but the focus is on Alonso and Felipe’s results are disappointing – although he has sacrificed his own drive testing revolutionary parts for the team in Monaco and Germany.
Kimi Raikkonen – Was ousted by Ferrari to make way for Alonso who Santander were demanding get the drive. Kimi was paid a years salary by Ferrari despite being out of F1. Domenicali has been the one pushing for the team to bring about Kimi’s return and warmed Il Padrino (LdM) to the idea.
It is becoming more difficult to see how Ferrari and Alonso can repair this breach of trust.
So it could yet be that Kimi will not be replacing Massa and Ferrari will know after this weekend – certainly following Singapore – whether Alonso has any chance of winning the title.
TJ13 reported in the daily news that Kimi had signed for Ferrari but insisted on a couple of clauses.
First, Kimi wanted to give Lotus the chance to show their good will and funding, that timeline has now run its course. Secondly, there was some debate over the contract which is for 2 years with a further 1 year option and it was Kimi who wished to control the right to the take up of the 3rd year.
Regardless of the Horse Whisperer’s meanderings earlier in the week, TJ13 believes the cat is out of the bag over Kimi and Ferrari will have to make an announcement soon.