Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 17th September 2013

This page will be updated throughout the day.

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2014 Power Unit Durability (02:00)

IOC upgrades FIA (10:25)

FIA Director of communications resigns (10:27)

Ferrari United? (12:05)

Eureka!!! Vettel’s problem is solved (12:52)

Seb’s on his way (13:03)

Why the teams can’t be trusted (15:20)

Irony of irony’s (15:38)

Pirelli’s tyre nominations for Korea, Japan and India (16:07)

New Jersey promoter believes 2014 is doable (16:44)

Leaks at Lotus (16:50)

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2014 Power Unit Durability

Engineers are scratching their heads. Renault Sport F1 Deputy Managing Director (Technical) Rob White says the 2014 power units presents “the greatest technical challenge of all time“. The much anticipated [cough] power units for 2014 appear to be less reliable and more thirsty than initially thought.

AMuS correspondent Michael Schmidt reports that Ferrari had already lobbied the Technical Working Group to increase fuel allowance from 100kg to 110kg as they fear their engine is too thirsty. Add to this that none of the engines have completed more than 3000km on the dynos…

According to White even a cracked exhaust could have a devastating effect on the turbo while Lauda adds that the batteries are “a highly complicated topic, as they consist of 170 cells which, if not fitted with millimeter accuracy, the same thing happens as in the Boeing Dreamliner, which either causes a fire, or you have no power.

The 2014 power units will consist of the basic 1.6l engine, turbocharger, ERS-k & ERS-h generators, batteries and power electronics. Each driver will be allocated 5 units per season with the components interchangeable but no more than five of each component can be used. There are now fears that we could see the latter part of the 2014 season with drivers having to replace components on the power units in excess of their 5 allowed and for each component they will be penalised 5 places.

So will we see the Mercedes’ feared 900+hp in qualifying? Not if we can believe Niki Lauda. Speaking to AMuS Lauda said he does not expect such a massive difference between qualifying and racing trim as “it is better to drive the motor at a constant effort…

Add to this the cooling issues the engineers will have… for those of you who were hoping for a less Adrian Newey era you may just be lucky. According to White each degree the power unit runs to warm it will shorten the life of the unit.

Will we see more tactical driving next year? Either get out in front or stay far enough behind so your car does not overheat?

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IOC upgrades FIA

Following a two year period of provisional recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the FIA’s status has been upgraded to full recognition in accordance with the sporting and governance standards of the Olympic Charter. The decision was taken by a meeting of the IOC Executive Board in Buenos Aires on 7-10 September 2013.

The IOC decision confirms that the statutes, practice and activities of the FIA are in full conformity with the Olympic Charter, including the adoption and implementation of the World Anti-Doping Code.  The announcement is a final step in the integration of the FIA into the international sports community.

IA President Jean Todt said: “The IOC’s full recognition of the FIA’s leading role in the promotion and governance of motorsport is acknowledgement of the important reforms we have undertaken over recent years to meet the best international sporting, governance and ethical standards.”

This is important news for the 130 National Sporting Authorities the FIA represents. Through their membership of the FIA, they now have the backing of the IOC to engage fully in the work carried out by their local Olympic committee. This will raise the visibility and status of motorsport in their country, and should help inspire more people to get involved.” (FIA)

Clearly there is no mention of this at present, but could motorsport – of some description – become an Olympic competition? Is that desirable or just pointless?

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FIA Director of communications resigns

David Ward is clearly making in roads into the the cozy cozy ways of the FIA. Adam Cooper reports that Pirerre Regent who was recently appointed to the role of FIA Director of Communications Pierre Regent has resigned to concentrate on managing the re-election campaign of Jean Todt.

Regent was the press and communications officer for the former French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and was appointed personally by Todt in June 2013. He replaced Norman Howell – who had completed his education  – and took a role representing the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Ward recently referred a number of Todt and the FIA’s activities to the FIA ethics committee (not run by Mosley) and he also wrote to the FIA stating, “I note also that the Election Guidelines requires the FIA Administration to maintain ‘a strict duty of neutrality and equality at all times’ and that they should limit ‘their relations with the candidates strictly to the content of their mission.’”

Regent told Cooper his resignation was not in response to Ward’s comments, but that “I was doing my duty as director of communications until the end of mobility conference week last week, and as of this week, I am working on the campaign. It was planned well before that because we always knew that we needed to have a different campaign team.”

One feels there will be a few twists and turns – thrusts and counter thrusts may be a better analogy… though more remote in a direct sense – before the election which is scheduled following the conclusion of the F1 season.

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Ferrari United?

I have not had time to write up a piece that’s been brewing in my mind since the formal announcement of Kimi’s Maranello return. The premise of my analysis is that Ferrari have been offering Alonso an olive branch – if not an entire hillside orchard of olive trees, ripe and ready for harvest. The ructions of the past few months between the Spanish driver and the Italian team have been monumental, but Ferrari now want to move on.

There have been daily stories in the Italian F1 media and blogs which present the Ferrari view of a happy and respected Fernando post the Kimi announcement. These tales have been cleverly crafted to further create the impression there is really a big Kimi/Nando love in going on right now.

Expressions of undying love are not rare in Ferrariland. Montezemolo made a huge deal earlier this year of how Felipe is loved – not just by his mother, wife and/or kids – but as dearly by the worldwide Ferrari family.

Ferrari love to be seen to be spreading the Ferrari love – particularly just before or after an internal civil war.

One of the love and harmony tales comes from Italian Ferrari expert, Leo Turini. He claims that a ‘secret’ pact has been agreed between Fernando and Kimi. This pact has 5 heads of agreement.

1) Fernando and Kimi both get the same treatment from the team.

It is noted that Raikkonen is a previous Ferrari world champion and has raced two great seasons at Lotus.

2) Ferrari always comes first

According to Turrini, this is to prevent Fernando and Kimi acting as Button/Perez have done on track this year. Both drivers therefore agreed that they would never hurt the interest of the team by getting “physical” on track. A Maranello source is quoted as saying, “all drivers are human beings, but not all drivers have the experience of Fernando and Kimi, it would be absurd if they would behave like a bunch of schoolgirls trying to get attention.”

3) If either Kimi of Fernando from halfway through the season is in a better position for the WDC, in that case the lower placed driver has to drive in support of the other

This is to prevent either driver from claiming a “first lady” status from the team and was fundamental to the negotiations, and was accepted by both drivers.

4) Full cooperation will be maintained across the garage.

There will be no “walls” within the team, both drivers have to share every bit of technical info, and work together without holding back, Andrea Stella, who had special relation with Kimi during his last stint with Ferrari has build a strong relation with Fernando over the past 4 years and is likely to be the “liaison officer” between Kimi and Fernando.

5) I’m not really sure what is meant by the 5th point Turrini suggests exists.

Luck will be shared.

Apparently Ferrari, like everyone in life, need some luck as they try to combine Alpha (not Romeo) and Omega (not the watch).

I’m sorry Leo, but all that is a load of tosh. Firstly, how is the pact ‘secret’ when it’s all over a Ferrari expert sources blog? It’s defined as ‘secret’ so if Ferrari choose to break it, then it didn’t exist.

Then, are we seriously meant to believe that a an actual pact has been brokered between Kimi and Fernando? Well if the above is the actual content of some arrangement then it appears more of a dictat which marks Alonso’s card rather than Kimi’s.

Number 1 is to re-assure Kimi he will not be a Massa, Irvine Barichello et al…. and to inform Alonso not to dare to ask for such favours.

Number 2 is fairly equally directed, but it still feels as though Alonso is being warned as he has the more volatile temperament.

Number 3 Kimi has done before when he helped Massa in 2008. Alonso has not.

Number 4 Kimi doesn’t give a monkeys about politics and wouldn’t hide anything technical (even if he could be bothered to read and understand it).

Number 5. God only knows what that’s about….. sounds like an exemption clause of some kind awaiting to be invoked.

At least Il Padrino (LdM) brings some measure of sanity to all the Mills and Boon style F1 prose that’s been circulating the past week in Italy. Today he has spoken to La Gazetta dello Sport. He compares the rehiring of Kimi to that of Niki Lauda who also returned to F1 after a career break.

“Raikkonen’s case is almost identical to Lauda, Also Niki at a certain point said ‘enough’ because he couldn’t do it any more. I’m speaking of the twin brother of Kimi, because the driver who we had racing for us wasn’t the one we hired.

The break has done him good, he has returned to greatness, he’s won races, he’s finished lots of races. I wanted a driver who would make me look back on Massa with regret and I’ve got one. From Raikkonen I am demanding victories, consistency, podiums. Alonso will be the main beneficiary. Returning to Lauda, when he came back remember he beat Prost [his McLaren team mate] to the world championship.”

Maybe the ‘spread the love’ campaign hasn’t been working behind the scenes, and Fernando isn’t playing ball.

How much public humiliation will Fernando take? This statement feels like more corporal public punishment from Maranello. Last time it was the ‘tweak of the ear’ lobe from Il Padrino – is this time a good spanking of the Spanish botty from the Godfather’s cane?

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Eureka!!! Vettel’s problem is solved

Mark Webber confesses that he has been struggling with his F1 programme since he lost the title to Vettel in the final race of 2010. “I’ve been on the edge with F1, motivation-wise, for the past couple of years,” he told F1 Racing magazine.

“You have to be driven. You turn yourself around each winter and the fire in the belly is not quite what it was when you were 24. I remember hearing something about sportsmen and women years ago. They were saying that as long as they could keep their motivation, they would keep going. I could never work out what that meant. How could you lose your motivation? But questions keep coming to me more and more often that were never there in the past.

It’s not about driving or racing, it’s about keeping my own F1 programme going for 11 months of the year. And it’s just got to the point where it’s like, well, I’ve achieved a lot of things.

Webber identifies the issues as, “Travel and hotels and probably the repetitive nature of the job. A bit of media. Lots and lots of small things that you’re happy to deal with when you’re bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. But it does, in the end, force you to ask yourself the question: ‘Do I have to be here, doing this?’ And when Porsche came along, I could look myself in the eye and say: ‘Well, you know what, I probably don’t have to do some of those things any more.”

Yet most remarkably, today we stare at a new phenomina in F1. Young Sebastian, his cheeks coursing with rivers of crocodile tears pouring from his agitated nasolacrimal ducts. “You can say what you want about our relationship,” sobs the triple world champion to Sportwoche, “but in the end we pushed each other very hard. I will miss that.”

Yes, yes yes….

RRRRRRRRRiinnnnnnnnggggggggaaaaadddddiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggggdddddiinnnnnnggg.

Or maybe for some – Eureka!!!

YOU DID IT SEBASTIAN!!!

As suggested here on TJ13 some while ago. In this moment of generosity and graciousness – all can now forgiven.

We embrace you Sebastian. We salute your skills and choice of car designer. We can now appreciate your wit and humour without wearing the eye glasses of cynicism. Truly you can be now loved by all at TJ13……………

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Seb’s on his way 

Yesterday, a wax figure of Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany was holding a sign highlighting the distance of the impending trip it was about to undertake from from Berlin to the Madame Tussauds attraction in London. The figure of the three-time Formula One champion has been on display in Berlin.

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Security has been stepped up at the famous London attraction, following recent  and repeated public outbursts from large public gatherings expressing utter dislike and anger toward the triple world champion. All matchsticks and cigarette lighters and ex-military grade flame throwers of any description will be confiscated from visitors at the door, as fears of a melt down grow.

Even kindling sticks as used by boy scouts to start camp fires will be verboten for the duration the figure is being exhibited. To add realism, there will be  hidden speakers on the stand where the figure is displayed playing repeated Crazy Frog themes together with a voice faking surprise and joy recorded by the recently honoured Christian Horner MBE.

Madamme Tussauds refused to break with tradition and allow the model to have an animated section. It had been suggested the famous finger be allowed to move naturally. This request was met with a vigorous and most animated double digit response from the famous venue’s curator of 50 years, Mr. Blackstock.

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Why the teams can’t be trusted

I have in the past advocated F1 be run primarily by the teams. There was a laudable ideal sitting behind this that presumed should the teams be allowed to retain more of the sport’s income, they would behave better and have an equitable approach to redistribution of the income.

This would see some kind of franchise system with 12 equal members, a representative constitution, a design rules committee and sporting body which governed regulations that would all flow from this democratic forum.

I may as well have dreamed about flying pink elephants or polka dot ducks.

The teams have been meeting privately to discuss testing for 2014. 8 incremental days over and beyond the current tests have been agreed in principle with the FIA.

Pirelli have requested that for one or two of these days, the teams dedicate themselves to testing new tyres. Red Bull and Ferrari are refusing to play ball.

Mmm. Remind me; who were the loudest voices complaining about the original 2013 rubber design and arguing for a safety first approach to tyre supply?

Sauber and Force India have declared they cannot afford to run 8 additional test days, and requested they be allowed the pro-rata time to use in the wind tunnel with the full size car.

Red Bull have apparently objected because this would allegedly deliver incremental knowledge over and above what can be learned in the same time on a track.

Who was it who said, “every time you drive an F1 car you are learning something”, and kicked off big time over the Mercedes/Pirelli test? We were led to believe nothing was as valuable as track time. Apparently not now.

Then we have the representation on the proposed new F1 strategy group. Ecclestone wants 6 votes for himself/FOM, 6 for the FIA and 6 for the teams. The larger teams are all demanding a seat on at this table which would mean 5 teams would remain unrepresented.

Fools. Michael Schmidt astutely suggests this situation is reminiscent of taking time to appreciate the intricacies of the melody played by the orchestra on Titanic’s deck.

Who wants a world championship with 6 or less teams?

Who wants to see, 2nd and 3rd rate Ferrari’s being sold to wealthy self-publicists to race against the latest works team – who inevitably will whip them out of sight.

Maybe we’ll end up with a MotoGP scenario, where either a works Honda, or a works Yamaha win nearly everything.

The up coming presidential elections and the near future actions of the FIA are appearing more and more vital for the survival of F1 in any vaguely recognisable form.

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Irony of irony’s

We haven’t reported this yet so here we go. The Italian Grand Prix marked the first race where Cashper, the first and only short-term cash loan provider in Europe with a full banking licence owned by Novum Bank Limited (Malta), joined Caterham F1 Team as an official partner.

Cashper offers an easy accessible and convenient service for everyone with occasional short-term cash flow needs. Consumers can apply online for a quick cash loan from €100 up to €600 for a period of 15 or 30 days, or 100 zł up to 2000 zł for 15, 30 or 60 days. Cash advances are mostly used to cover unexpected expenses, close a temporary gap in between salaries or just for a little personal treat.

Renier Lemmens, Chairman of the Board, Novum Bank Ltd: “Our partnership with Caterham F1 Team and Giedo van der Garde symbolises exactly what we stand for. Cashper’s identity is “the Fast & Friendly Financer” and that mirrors perfectly Giedo’s image, both of us constantly striving to maximize top speed and serve the public.

As an Official Partner of Caterham F1 Team we are immediately creating a strong global presence for Cashper which provides short-term cash loans as a simple tool for consumers to meet and manage their smaller financial needs. Customers can count on almost instant cash and applying for a quick cash loan takes only five minutes. After approval we can deposit money within even an hour – It can be that fast!”

Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal, Caterham F1 Team: “We are pleased to welcome Cashper into our team and happy to have another Official Partner who has identified the clear brand and business benefits of a partnership with us in Formula One. Cashper’s logos were first seen on our racecars in Italy and Cashper consumers across Europe will soon see much more evidence of how our partnership is going to create exciting opportunities for them with Giedo and our team.”

Over the coming months Cashper will instigate a large promotional campaign to support their partnership with Caterham F1 Team. Every customer will be automatically entered into a monthly draw to win t-shirts and caps, personally signed by Caterham F1 Team driver Giedo van der Garde and a grand prize will be offered, giving the winner a full VIP trip to the Caterham F1 Team factory in Leafield, UK.

Currently Cashper’s online service is available in the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland and Spain and in future Cashper will introduce their wide range of flexible short-term cash loans in more European countries. (CaterhamF1).

It’s just surprising that Vijay didn’t get there first and sign them for Force India.

Now there’s an idea. When you’re making 17,000% interest, you can afford to buy and F1 team. Vijay has his exit and we present to you the Silverstone based team now called “Wonga”.

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Pirelli’s tyre nominations for Korea, Japan and India

For Korea, the medium and supersoft tyres will be used. The surface tends to be slippery, with a wide variety of corners and some heavy braking areas. Pirelii state, “The medium tyre copes well with the wide-ranging demands of the circuit, while the supersoft is capable of generating the highest possible levels of traction on the slippery surface”.

Pirelli have in the past 2 years taken the soft and supersoft tyres to Yeongam.

At the Suzuka circuit in Japan, one of the most popular and historic tracks on the whole calendar, the P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White medium tyres have been chosen. “These are designed to soak up the high-energy demands of rapid corners such as 130R and Spoon, which characterise the famous Japanese circuit,” according to Pirelli.

The tyres selected for Suzuka in 2012 were the hard and soft compounds.

In India, which was new to the Formula One schedule in 2011, the P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft tyres are nominated. Pirelli explain, “This combination has been selected to provide the best possible compromise between performance and durability at the Buddh International circuit, which is well-known for its big elevation changes and technically demanding corners”.

For the 2012 Indian round of the calendar, Pirelli selected the hard and soft compounds.

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New Jersey promoter believes 2014 is doable

In an interview with the Press Association, Leo Hindery Jr explains why the New Jersey race was missing from the draft calendar circulating in Monza.

“We never had any expectation of being on a preliminary schedule. But it took on a life of its own because so many of us are aspiring to be on the calendar that haven’t been there before – ourselves, Russia, Mexico, and with Austria also returning.

In our particular case we were told not to do anything but stick to the date of the 20th, which we intend to do. Bernie told us if we stayed consistent with the rules and applications then he would expect there to be a New Jersey race.

Time-wise, we have done everything we have been told to do, and when to do it”.

Leo Hindery Jr’s explains that a sanctioning fee owed to the national sporting authority, has not been paid, and is not due until this Friday.

The draft calendar had no slot for the New Jersey race and the date mentioned above – the 20th – can only be the 20th of July. This at present is designated for Hockenheim.

The most sensible solution would be for the race to be held the weekend after Montreal on the 15th June, however this is the weekend of Le Mans and the FIA has regulated an F1 clash with this premier world event.

A range of options are possible including upsetting the Monaco organisers and back to backing their race with the Spanish GP. This would allow New Jersey race to be organised the week before Canada and prevent an extra excursion across the Atlantic.

The New Jersey promoter, a partner in private equity firm InterMedia Partners, admits at times he wasn’t sure if he could pull it all off.

“I underestimated the challenges of doing this in the midst of a worldwide financial crisis. I committed us early on to no state, municipal or public financing whatsoever, which is something we believe in and are committed to.

Others haven’t had that conviction, which has made it tougher. Were it not for some great partners and some folks in the sport who want us to succeed then it would have been abandoned. I wouldn’t have been able to have pulled it off.

But hands down this has been the toughest challenge of my career.

HIndery goes on to state the construction is all “in hand” but cautions, that “the calendar decision will be made later this month, and although I can’t guarantee anything, we fully expect to be on it.”

We know that USB has created a $100m facility for the race promoters, but as yet have little other details as to where the exact funding for the race will be derived.

Any early business plan appeared to suggest ticket and hot dog sales would be sufficient to cover the costs of the race and pay the hosting fee.

However, many F1 fans won’t care about the nature of the funding but just hope to see a dream realised which sees a Formula 1 race set against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline.

Draft 2014 calendar

16 March: Australia (Melbourne)

23 March: Malaysia (Sepang)

6 April: China (Shanghai)

13 April: Korea (Korea International Circuit)*

27 April: Bahrain (Sakhir)

11 May: Spain (Barcelona)

25 May: Monaco (Monaco)

8 June: Canada (Montreal)

22 June: Austria (Red Bull Ring)

6 July: Britain (Silverstone)

20 July: Germany (Hockenheim)

27 July: Hungary (Budapest)

24 August: Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)

7 September: Italy (Monza)

21 September: Singapore (Marina Bay)

5 October: Japan (Suzuka)

19 October: Russia (Sochi)*

26 October: Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)

9 November: Mexico (Mexico City)*

16 November: USA (Austin)

30 November: Brazil (Interlagos)

It’s like one of those puzzles where you have to move pieces into the blank spoace to shuffle the others around. How do you see the calendar should New Jersey make it’s debut in 2014.

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Leaks at Lotus

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22 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 17th September 2013

  1. Fingers crossed we have a decent amount of retirements during the season – something like the Monaco race that Derek Daly almost won would be excellent (can’t remember exact year and don’t have time to check).

    Considering how close to the envelope Mr Newey tends to go with his designs I’d be betting against a fifth for Seb!

  2. The best race in Valencia was when Vettel’s alternator failed… So welcome to overheating, failures and unreliability.

    Strange that I do like reliability in the mix, but hate artificial DRS overtakes.

  3. 900hp + from the Mercedes?

    I’m guessing there is some misinformation going on between the engine manufacturers at present. We have been hearing of worries over consumption and reliability for months now, and still Ferrari haven’t released any pictures, sound bites or specs for their engines.
    Marmorini was Toyota engine designer before going to Ferrari and his engines have always been reliable, so I don’t doubt that will continue but with Mercedes wanting wider rears and now expressing concerns over the technology, I’m not so certain they haven’t developed in the wrong direction..

    Regarding the 5 units per season, would it be cynical to think that a team would go for a new engine and take the 5 place grid penalty because the benefit of a more powerful unit would negate the places lost? At some circuits, the Ferraris launch makes up those places instantly.

    • Maybe cynical but completely expected, particularly if they do the math and set the gearing properly for DRS zone.

      What I suddenly wonder is how much power do you think they will lose by the end of their cycle? Most engines lose power with extended use, would very much like to know if it will be the same for these.

  4. was i the only person who thought luca’s tweaking of alonso’s ear message contained a description of raikkonen

  5. I’ll bring my usual high brow additions to the comments… That wax work is shit! I’d be impressed if someone who hated Vetel damaged it, simply because they knew it was him, and not some bizarre ‘Stars in their Eyes’ (sorry not uk folks) ‘look alike’, that is ‘look alike’ in the Peter Kay sense that they ‘look alike’ as they both have heads.

  6. RE’ the calander.
    I dont understand why apart from the European races, it seems so scatter gun in terms of when and wher they are…. I mean, Monaco, Canada, Austria?

    This would be more logical (not bothered with dates… have to leave work now!)

    Australia (Melbourne)
    Malaysia (Sepang)
    China (Shanghai)
    Korea (Korea International Circuit)*
    Japan (Suzuka)
    Singapore (Marina Bay)
    Bahrain (Sakhir)
    Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)
    Spain (Barcelona)
    Monaco (Monaco)
    Austria (Red Bull Ring)
    Britain (Silverstone)
    Germany (Hockenheim)
    Hungary (Budapest)
    Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)
    Italy (Monza)
    Russia (Sochi)*
    Canada (Montreal)
    Mexico (Mexico City)*
    USA (Austin)
    Brazil (Interlagos)

    • Hmmm… All good and well but I see one flaw in your logic… Well it is exactly that, since when did the FIA/Bernie do anything that is logical 🙂

      • A Definition: Logic is one of the essential standards of truth and correctness, — standards not derived from without, but deeply founded in the constitution of the human faculties. […]

        To understand the secret laws and relations of those high faculties of thought by which all beyond the merely perceptive knowledge for the world and of ourselves is attained and matured, is an object which does not stand in need of commendation to a rational mind.

      • True, True…..
        It was also banded around from a few years ago, just how much “the sport” and its organisers/owners/money bleeders and pawns (teams) were doing to cut travel costs and embedded carbon in the sport as a whole….. that the emissions from actual racing was camparitively small with that of travel, distribution and logistics, yet the races are scheduled like a 6year old has sat in front of an atlas, jabbing his finger, planning where he wants to go on holiday….. “I want to go there, and there, and there, and there and especially there….. :-l

        All this noise about making the cars more sustainable is very worthwhile and admirable, but the reality is that a great deal more could be acheived elsewhere… even thos its not as flashy as engines and batteries

  7. On the Kimi / Alonso situation – here’s what Sniff Petrol had to say …

    Raikkonen delighted to sign for ‘whichever team this is’

    Kimi Raikkonen today confirmed that he is leaving Lotus Renault Hashtag F1 and said he is delighted to be joining ‘whichever team this is’.

    ‘I am really pleased to be wherever this is,’ the Finnish driver added. ‘And I can’t wait for the first race of next season, wherever that is.’

    Raikkonen went on to say he was excited to drive for a team with ‘some history or something’ and that he was pleased to be team mates with ‘that guy over there’.

    ‘Oh for fuck’s sake,’ said Fernando Alonso later. ‘They promised it wouldn’t be someone good.’

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