Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 10th September 2013

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Monza according to Pirelli (10:00)

The return of Heikki (10:00)

Massa cops a fine (10:00)

Red Bull to test 2014 tyres (10:00)

Ferrari driver negotiations (10:00)

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Monza according to Pirelli

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The return of Heikki

As one Finn dominates the spotlight, with an impending move to Ferrari set to be made public in the not too distant future, it has been left to another to try to steal it away. Heikki Kovalainen has been in a bullish mood over his chances of a 2014 race seat.

In an interview with Sky Sports UK the Finn said, “This year I don’t know, but next year definitely.” For a man who has only made 4 FP1 practice appearances (Bahrain, Spain, Belgium and Italy) this year he is mighty confident. The resurgent form of Giedo van der Garde and the relative consistency of Charles Pic means he would have to go way above and beyond to get a race.

Kovalainen did later concede the possibility of seeing him the 2014 grid was not beyond doubt saying, “It is not 100%, but I’d say I have a good chance. Of course if a sponsor wants to give me a lot of money I don’t mind, but I am not going after money.

As TJ13 reported at the start of the year, one of the reasons Heikki lost his race seat previously was due to his unwillingness to leave the golf course for corporate duties. Not going after money surely means his place on the grid is purely wishful thinking; especially given Caterham only yesterday said they may not be able to pay their drivers in 2014.

Either the Finn has a trick up his sleeve or he is being strung along.

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Massa cops a fine

During the drive to the circuit on Sunday, Felipe Massa was pulled over by the police and given a fine according to a report in Gazzetta dello Sport. Italy’s autostrade have a standard speed limit of 130 km/h (81 mph) for cars, like the silver Ferrari 458 Massa was driving.

It just goes to show, you cannot talk your way out of a fine in Italy, even if you are a Ferrari driver on your way to Monza. 6 points on your licence will be an annoyance, but the fine of €162 will be of little significance. Then again, given the fact his P45 (UK document of employment termination) will be in the post, Felipe will soon need to be looking after every cent he has.

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Red Bull to test 2014 tyres

The news broke that the pot was indeed calling the kettle black when Red Bull confirmed that they would be testing the 2014 tyres, using a 2011 car. After Helmut Marko made the comment of learning something anytime you go out on a set of tyres, it seems somewhat hypocritical to only months later be about to do exactly that same thing.

Team principal, Christian Horner said, “Pirelli approached all of the teams to see if they would be prepared to supply a 2011 car to conduct some 2014 tyre testing. So we’ve made a car available to Pirelli,” while speaking to Reuters.

Sébastien Buemi and Daniel Ricciardo are set to complete the test, which will be “an opportunity just for him to familiarise himself more with the team.‘ So the Young Drivers’ Test and multiple trips to the factory in Milton Keynes have not been enough then Christian?

Furthermore, the tests are not meant to help a driver or team in any way. Moral high ground conclusively lost then?

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Ferrari driver negotiations

With the imminent announcement of the arrival of Raikkonen at Ferrari TJ13 brings you “behind the scenes” footage…

Phone Call Two

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55 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 10th September 2013

  1. TJ, if you know anything about Italy, you would know a Ferrari driver would never get a ticket from any policeman. That’s the clearest confirmation that he’s been dismissed, 😉

  2. Erm, your honour might wish to revisit the news archives of the time after Monaco and you’ll find that RB and Horner himself never complained about the Ferrari test – on the contrary – Horner himself stood up for them when suddenly Ferrari’s Bahrain test was included in the FIA investigation for a time, stating that Ferrari did nothing wrong, because they used an old car.
    But that wouldn’t have fit the intended purpose then, would it…
    Marko’s ‘you learn something everytime’ comment was made to rebuke Brawns claim that they had learned nothing at all from the Barcelona test.

      • Spite? Selfishness? Inability to see the big picture? Internal politics? Probably a bit of each. They were unhappy with the tyres and I don’t think they were willing to do Pirelli any favors, not realizing the upside for their own team.

        Now, of course, not only will this dilute the advantage Merc had by risking the initial test, it’s a huge bonus for getting Ricciardo more seat time before next season.

          • Yes. Very little difference. The tests are for 2014.

            With the bulls using Ric they are doing pretty much what merc did on the driver front.

            A clever wind up for merc too.

            Wonder will they mind if merc organised another test themselves?

            The bulls are most definitely the wind up merchants of the pack. They’re out Ferrariing Ferrari!!

          • Yes, actually, I’m pretty sure I do. And Colin has pretty neatly summed up my response, particularly if you bolt on a bunch of 2013 parts to your 2011 car, ala Ferrari. And especially if you have a prototype 2014 steering wheel for your test drivers to use. And if you think otherwise, I would invite you to go find the learned comment by Vortex Motio, in which he discussed how a proper tyre test is run (which is why there was so much whinging by the teams who gave up part of their YDT to run for Pirelli).

            But the real coup for Merc was to have provided the only other data for Pirelli for the 2014 tyres, that ‘s why they took the risk. Now that advantage has been diluted, and even made worse by the torpedoing of wider rears to cope with the higher torque of the turbo in the upper gears, potentially neutering one of the Merc’s biggest advantages next year. In fact, the only real advantage you could properly say they gained at this point would be giving Lewis a bunch of extra seat time when he clearly needed it. Not that it’s insignificant, BTW, but certainly not much compared to the hue and cry raised by their opponents. 😉

        • Pretty much my view on it Matt.

          Add a little sour grapes that Merc didn’t get a real kicking at the hearing and you’ll come up with an, admittedly excellent, response.

          Don’t get angry, get even!

        • I think the seat time for Riciardo is the main reason. They can’t gain much knowledge from the car as it is the one with the trick diffusor, which is by now forbidden anyway.

  3. Well looks like 99.9% certain Kimi will be announced as Ferrari driver tomorrow at the motor show and it was reported here way way before anywhere else that seen so great work Judge. Just about 4 days out on the timing!

      • At bloody last , about 2 years too long!
        Re: Alonso, I suspect if he had decided to move on for 2014, Massa would have been retained.
        Can’t wait for the Byrne/ Allison/ Alonso/ Raikonen 2014 campaign.
        Well done Luca. The icing on this delicious cake? If Ross Brawn was returning… Then again I’m greedy!

          • Indeed, but to which ingredient are you referring to?
            I still believe the cancellation of the Wroom event is significant…

        • When I saw Dominicale’s face on the BBC interview after the race I thought: “I think he’s being kicked out also”. Anyone the same feeling?

          • To be honest, its not a bad idea. However i think the new man is the long term future of the team. How about a two year contract for Ross, as a consultant, to provide support to the team wherever James feels is necessary. Almost a part time gig like Rory?

            A couple of months off for fishing and he’d be happy out.

    • I know he was not bringing home the results he should have, but in a strange kind of way, i feel sad.
      Grazie Felipe, sei un vero Ferrarista!

      • I agree Enzo. I cannot say how gutted I was in 2008 when he just missed out on the championship. I always wonder what would have happened if he did win it. Will he have become a force full of confidence?

        So where will Rob Smedley go?

      • Me too Enzo.

        I like massa as a person, from what i know of him.

        I still think he could do a job for a big team, but its prob the right time to leave Ferrari.

        I would love to see him back at Sauber again. He’d be good for them, and could help the young Russian too.

        He’s been a gr8 servant to the team, and they have treated him well also (apart from the obvious threats every now and them).

        Its a mark of his quality that he partnered schuee, Kimi and Fernando and could hold his own against them if not beat them as often as they beat him.

        A class act, and a Ferrari great.

      • I also feel sori for Massa but think he could experience a new lease of life at a different team.

  4. On top of Luca’s to do list, explaining to Maurizio Landini and Sergio Marchionne why he pays a driver 20 million to drive for Ferrari, while a few years ago he paid him 20 million NOT to drive for Ferrari 😉

      • I’m afraid, that he has to answer to Sergio Marchionne and John Elkann from time to time 😉

        • I know Enzo, was just cracking a funny. Should have put in a wink to clarify! 😉

          Better late than never!

    • That’s an easy one, it was all a secret plan that has worked out exactly as LdM hoped.
      Nothing has been talked about more than Kimi’s return to Ferrari and from marketing point of view they are currently kicking the butt of both the Mark and Seb drama as well as the Lewis I’m a man now drama with the Kimi narrative. No one even cares about Bernie’s trial at the moment.

      It’s called long term strategic vision gentleman. 😀

  5. Heiki doesn’t seem to have learned much from Jaime’s experience on garnering a return gig?

  6. The cat isn’t completely out the bag yet, but I’m already sending my appreciation to TJ13. Great work scooping with the Kimi news, sticking to it when people (including me) doubted you and eventually getting it all right. And thank you for making this the most fun and exciting silly season thusfar!

    I’ll make sure to tell others about this great site. Great because of the scoops and the news, but also because of the atmosphere on the “forum”; nice to talk with other enthousiasts in a respectful manner instead of trolling on the bigger forums.

    Rudi / Netherlands

  7. I get the feeling that if the rumours are correct (Raikkonen to replace Massa and Hulkenberg to replace Raikkonen), then Fernando Alonso will probably leave at the end of the 2014 season. Obviously with such a great change in regulations, they need to keep one driver the same, but the comments that Alonso has made about the team in addition to his preference for Massa over anyone else as a teammate could lead to an uncomfortable new season; I’m sure that Ferrari – like the rest of us – rate Alonso’s talent very highly, but the things he is saying would have been a sackable offence in the past, and I don’t think they’ll forget that. Maybe Raikkonen and Bianchi driving for Ferrari in 2015?

    • I reckon a Hulk-Alonso swap deal after a year, as Renault pile more into Lotus, and Bianchi to replace Raikkonen once he retires after two years (if not Vettel!)

      • That’s a good idea actually – I thought that the door would shut on Hulkenberg if he moved to another team, but I did think that he would be the most convenient replacement for Alonso. That line up would be good to see though!

        • and to think he was booted out of F1 at the end of 2010. Thank goodness for Force India and 2nd chances.

          Nico gets a mention in ‘Victims of Circumstance’ tomorrow

          • Yep. It just shows how far Williams have fallen.

            They should never have let him go.

            Its pains me to see them struggle as they have been since BMW pulled out.
            I wonder if the diversification of business is THE main reason behind the decline of Williams and, to a lesser degree McLaren.

            Doesn’t look good for our Malaysian friends at the back of the grid (even if their business model is the other way around). I suppose you could add our Russian backmarkers into this mix too.

            A little nervous hearing that McLaren may help Honda with their next NSX also. Didn’t work out great for them with Merc, over the SLR. I believe that this was the catalyst for the breakdown in relations between the two companies and was a factor in McLaren building their own cars (which was the ultimate reason for the parting of the ways).

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