Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 20th September 2013

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Hamilton the fashion icon (08:00)

Massa will be valuable to a [competitive] team in 2014 (09:10)

Singapore FP1 (12:59)

Singapore FP2 (16:22)

Pirelli Friday Practice Report (17:20)

Caterham Cars, easy does it (17:40)

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Hamilton the fashion icon

Some light hearted news first. According to Hamilton most of the team kits are designed by someone who has no sense of fashion with the result that some drivers look like bums. In a Q&A session with Formula1.com Hamilton said “If you look at the team kits you think that there is somebody in the background making decisions without a sense of fashion. I am interested in fashion – probably that’s what shows. I wear my own jeans, my own trainers – and my own new cap.

So what does the Jury think? In the picture below Hamilton is sporting his own jeans, trainers and cap (one that he did not want to wear until he gave his fashionable input into designing it).

Hamilton and Rosberg

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Massa will be valuable to a [competitive] team in 2014

Speaking to Brazil’s O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper Massa said he will be able to bring investment to a team that he would drive for in 2014. He did say he will not pay for a drive and want’s to be paid to race as he is a professional driver therefore if there is no money to pay him he won’t be interested.

Massa says he has great relationships and can use them “to find a company that wants to be part of a global marketing project, and there are many in Brazil.” Santander has been linked as a potential sponsor however what makes Massa so confident he has the relationships to get funding for a team? Surely Bruno Senna and Luiz Razia must have knocked on the same doors?

Massa said he will consider driving in DTM but not Indycars… did Barrichello not say this as well? Anyway, with Massa’s stance on not wanting to be a pay driver, rather being paid to drive, it completely rules out the back of the grid leaving only… well who does it leave?

Was Lotus, Sauber and Force India (talking Hulk here) not supposed to be paying their drivers as well?

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Singapore FP1

With FP1 completed it appears the Mercedes have found their pace again with Hamilton leading the Red Bull duo. Rosberg slotted in 4th while the soon to be be (again) Ferrari driver Raikkonen lead his team mate home in 5th.

Alonso could only drag his Ferrari to 7th 1.3s off the pace of Hamilton. Perez, Vergne and Gutierrez made up the top ten, and all three of them bettering their much lauded team mates.

Early days on a green track but Alonso must hope something goes wrong with the Red Bulls as they (read Vettel) can only extend their lead in the World Championship.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’47.055 20
2 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’47.420 0.365 20
3 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’47.885 0.83 19
4 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’48.239 1.184 23
5 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’48.354 1.299 18
6 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’48.355 1.3 12
7 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’48.362 1.307 21
8 6 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’49.267 2.212 20
9 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’49.348 2.293 23
10 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’49.355 2.3 21
11 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’49.481 2.426 20
12 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’49.493 2.438 16
13 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’49.510 2.455 21
14 5 Jenson Button McLaren 1’49.608 2.553 20
15 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’49.887 2.832 18
16 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’50.092 3.037 20
17 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’50.222 3.167 17
18 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’50.757 3.702 16
19 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1’52.359 5.304 16
20 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’52.673 5.618 15
21 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’52.920 5.865 24
22 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1’53.647 6.592 23

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Singapore FP2

With FP2 coming to an end the writing is pretty much on the wall for this weekend. Red Bull will run away with victory unless their gearboxes pack up. Alonso will be doing rain dances, practically any dance to bring him some luck (and speed) to get up to challenging Vettel but the signs are ominous.

Vettel, as can be expected, is leading the pack with Webber 0.6s behind. Rosberg seem to have found his mojo (in FP anyway) and is leading Hamilton by 0.11s. In 5th Grosjean managed to get his Lotus out of the garage after being confined to look at timing screens for most of the session managing 18 laps compared to Raikkonen’s 32.

Alonso is in 6th followed by Button.  Worryingly for Alonso he is 1.44s down on Vettel. Raikkonen, Sutil and Perez rounds out the top 10 with Ricciardo in 11th followed very closely by Vergne.

Not much can be read into these times and we will need to wait for Dr Beck’s analysis to see who the fast cars are, other than Red Bull…

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’44.249 34
2 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’44.853 0.604 30
3 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’45.258 1.009 34
4 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’45.368 1.119 33
5 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’45.411 1.162 18
6 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’45.691 1.442 32
7 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’45.754 1.505 30
8 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’45.778 1.529 32
9 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’46.002 1.753 27
10 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1’46.025 1.776 31
11 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’46.406 2.157 34
12 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’46.429 2.18 33
13 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’46.606 2.357 33
14 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’46.808 2.559 36
15 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’46.870 2.621 33
16 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’47.287 3.038 29
17 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’47.434 3.185 33
18 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’47.761 3.512 25
19 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’49.434 5.185 34
20 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1’49.526 5.277 34
21 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’49.619 5.37 33
22 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1’49.731 5.482 30

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Pirelli Friday Practice Report

The final street circuit of the season showcased Pirelli’s P Zero Red supersoft tyres and P Zero White medium during the opening two free practice sessions. Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel went fastest in the second session, with a time of 1m44.249s on the supersoft.

As expected, humidity was close to 75% at the Marina Bay circuit, which hosts Formula One’s only night race. This is just one of the factors that makes Singapore such a physically demanding race, so the two free practice sessions were essential for the teams to capture data that will allow them to maximise their opportunities during the race. After the flat-out straights of Monza, the teams revert to a high-downforce set-up for Singapore, which is the second-slowest lap of the year after Monaco.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said:It’s absolutely fantastic for us to be back in Singapore where the atmosphere is as spectacular as ever. Because it is such a different race to anywhere else, the work done in free practice is vital to assimilate information with different fuel loads, set-ups and compounds.

This data forms the backbone of each team’s strategy, but with the high probability of a safety car, the strategies have to be as flexible as possible. Normally we’d be looking at two pit stops here, but it depends so much on how the race pans out or even if it runs to its full allocation of scheduled laps, which wasn’t the case last year. Singapore is also a massive contrast to the two races that have preceded it, so seeing how the high-downforce set-ups work with the tyres in these conditions was another priority.

We’ve got more data to look at but what we can say for now is that wear is low and there is a significant performance gap of approximately two seconds between the two compounds which really opens up the opportunities for strategy. We’d expect most people to qualify on the supersoft, as it’s the closest we get to an actual qualifying tyre, but then what they do in the race is completely open.

FP1: FP2:
1.Hamilton  1m47.055s  Medium Used 1.Vettel  1m44.249s  Supersoft New
2.Webber  1m47.420s  Medium Used 2.Webber  1m44.853s  Supersoft New
3.Vettel  1m47.885s  Medium Used 3.Rosberg  1m44.258s  Supersoft New

Tyre statistics of the day:

 Supersoft  Medium Intermediate Wet
kms driven *  1,445  3,961 N/A N/A
sets used overall **  22  44 N/A N/A
highest number of laps **  24  26 N/A N/A

* The above number gives the total amount of kilometres driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined.
** Per compound, all drivers combined.

May the Force be with you:

-Max. g-force braking (longitudinal force):  -4.53 @ T7
-Max. g-force cornering (lateral force):  4.15 @ T22

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Caterham Cars, easy does it

Cast your memory back to 2010 when Lotus Racing entered Formula 1 and you will remember the reason why Tony Fernandes got involved with Lotus was in the hope of joining a car manufacturing venture. The Lotus deal did not go as planned and he bought Caterham. Slowly he is realising his dream, from the original Caterham 7 they present the AeroSeven, a new performance concept road car.

A Frontal View
caterham-aero-seven-front-three-quarters

A Rear(ish) View
caterham-aero-seven-rear-three-quarters

Before you get a fright, it will be powered by a 237bhp Ford Duratec-based engine which will propel the AeroSeven Concept to 100kph in under 4… wait a minute… Where is Renault in this?

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30 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 20th September 2013

  1. Lewis, how about leaving the fashion for the nightclub, and turning up to work looking like you represent one of the most prestigious company’s in the world !!

  2. that hat and those jeans look like they should help him beat vettel in the next couple of races 😀

  3. hamilton is right though. f1 has a huge following, yet unless you visit a race, you rarely see peope wearing merchendise. while i don’t particularly like the new hat, there are certain trends and brands that formula 1 could do deals with in order to design and produce their hats and it would almost immeadiately boost sells. mitchell and ness and new era are companies that produce hats for american baseball, basketball and football teams. people wear those hats because of the brand and the design, not just because of the team. so if they were to produce hats with famous automotive brands like ferrari or mercedes benz on them, i’m pretty sure they would sell.

  4. Off topic, TJ what do make of the Daily Mails story that Alonso could return to Mclaren, is that a possibility?

    • Hi Breezy, good to have you here.

      IS there any truth in it? Well, on Tuesday TJ13 reported Ferrari is saying everything is humming along nicely at HQ. For a team where the driver is called names behind his back this is hard to believe.

      Alonso was furious when he found out Kimi was joining him and TJ13 sources close to Ferrari said he tried almost everything to get out of his contract, only Santander decided they will stay with Ferrari. This makes the “possible” McLaren move interesting as there would be no leaving Santander behind. That said he still has a contract till 2016 and this will have to be bought out. Considering he just bought a cycle team and it is rumoured that both Santander and Fiat will be sponsors it may influence his ultimate decision.

      But will an angry Alonso think of this?

      • returning to mclaren would also fit with his pattern of complaining about his team, joining another one, complaining there too, getting the boot and then re-joining with his previous team. while rumors say maclaren is trying to have a button-alonso pairing, i say they should keep perez, just in case they need a struggling latin american driver they can instruct to crash on purpose.

        • Ouch! But I agree, give Perez a chance. It took Hamilton a while to get the Merc working for him and he is very experienced compared to Perez.

          Give him another year and then let’s decide. They can give Button a boot :p

      • It’s interesting that the lack of agreement between McLaren and their current drivers is regarding ’15 and beyond.

        While the current car is a dog, McLaren remains one of four teams with the money to field a WDC / WCC winning car.

        Who would McLaren like to have in their seats in ’15 & ’16?

        Let’s count out who is not available first:
        Alonso is not; he says he’s happy with his 3 year contract
        Kimi is in a 2 year

        I’m not sure about the others ’15 & ’16 statuses, so need some help here:
        What is Hamilton’s ’15 & ’16 status?
        Rosberg?
        Vettel?
        di Resta?
        Hulkenberg?

        And what of the young guns whose performance is hidden under the shadows of poor machinery such as:
        Bottas
        Bianchi
        Chilton

        Is McLaren being creative behind the scenes?

  5. I’ve never in my life felt a desire to wear ‘branded’ clothing so I’m probably not the best one to answer this question…
    But… of the two in the photo Lewisham-Ilton looks the bigger pratt…

  6. Gotta laugh at Hamiltons fashion comments, we’ve all seen his GQ fashion statements, sadly they’re all in the red, negative equity in the fashion stakes, so yes Lewis, it does show, indeed it does, and its harmful to retinas the world over, as for the cap ? looks much the same as every other f1 cap, but then, so does his steering wheel, something else he apparently “redesigned”.
    Love the comment about Rosberg looking like he’s going to a Quo concert, perhaps there’s a lesson there for Lewis, sometimes the Status Quo just shouldn’t be interfered with.

  7. At least Hamilton’s jeans don’t clash with the Mercedes livery.

    But both drivers make Eddie Jordan look like Beau Brummel….

  8. Hamilton said “…. I am interested in fashion …..“

    But being “interested” in something – doesn’t make you talented at it 😉

    • I would dearly love to see Hammo do a “fashion” interview with Brüno (Sasha Baron Cohen).
      ***
      I love zee vay YOUR black peak cap iz almost exactly like every ozzer black peak cap, but itz not. Itz zaying “I’m just like every von else but much, much better. You can’t zee it, you just know”

  9. He is co-ordinate, definately the better of the two, I’ll give him that, his trainers even go with the car.

    Its funny how a lot of people can’t seperate someone interests and hobbies, or small statements they make about them, with their career. particularly comments and such on places like th eBBC and Skysports sites. Its as if their is a direct equation between Lewis mentioning his dog, clothes, or music, and his laptimes… “c’mon lewis, if you stopped fussing that dog you’d be 1 tenth quicker”. Some will argue its a distraction, but I’d say thats a very sepcific and personal thing. Numerous hobbies and distraction actually can make someone better at their main job. I would be one of those people, where music, art, games, and other such things help me mentally clear my mind, and keep me refreshed, for when I am at work, if I concentrate on one thing, and nothing else, I actually perform worse.

  10. As for the Caterham Aero7… I don’t much like the look of it and the high nose doesn’t help forward vision, especially as a road car. And the head-rest fairings would be better if they were connected to the head-rests AND the roll-bar… At the moment all three parts look like an after-thought…

    • The whole thing is an afterthought since all they have done is ‘reskin’ a Caterham CSR – it’s kinda like a more extreme Elfin Steamliner now. Like every attempt to remake the butt-ugly 1960’s looks of the CSR/Seven, it will either never get into production or fail when it does. Just like what happened to the Elfin Streamliner, which had a 5.7litre V8 and a very nervous disposition.

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