This page will be updated throughout the day.
Please if you are on Twitter press the press the tweet button below. If you re-write and tweet individual story headlines (tweeted) with links, please make sure you use #F1.
Vettel boo pandemic: part II (in case you missed it)
Kimi crocked? (14:51)
Pirelli learn from 2012 mistakes (16:41)
Red Bull using illegal technology?
Gian Carlo Minardi has questioned the legitimacy of Sebastian Vettel’s RB9. Minardi, who sold his team in 2001 which in turn subsequently became Toro Rosso, was trackside in Singapore.
GMM report, “It’s not my intention to devalue Sebastian Vettel, who always manages his Red Bull in the best way. I just want to tell what I personally saw and heard during the three day event.”
Referring to the first chicane Minardi claims Vettel appeared to have a far superior handling car and negotiated the corners, “without making any corrections, unlike all his rivals and also his teammate. His laptime was also remarkable in T3, which is the track’s sector with the highest concentration of corners. On the same stretch, Sebastian was able to speed up 50 metres before any other driver, Webber included.”
Minardi then explains what he observed. “The thing that surprised me the most was the engine’s sound. It sounded like none of the other Renault engines on track, including Mark’s. It sounded similar to the engines in past seasons when traction control went into action. Furthermore, that sound was only heard when Vettel chalked up his excellent performances. For example, after the safety car went in. In those moments it was more powerful [in sound] than any other engines — Renault and the other brands”.
The 66 year olds conclusion is that, “I would like to have some answers,” he continued. “I don’t want to blame anyone, I just want to get to the bottom of it.”
Lotus and Caterham to drop the Renault logo
Before anyone asks, you will not see the traditional Renault logo on the Lotus and Caterham cars in Korea. There has been no fall out or dispute, merely that Renault wish to run the Renault Samsung Motors (RSM) brand logo to promote the business the undertake in Korea.
Renault Sport marketing director, Olivier Gillet states, “F1 is a global sport, but it is also a perfect way for markets to deal with their local media and customers. This name change is part of a full 360-degree marketing campaign in South Korea., The change is a precedent for us, but Korea is a unique market.”
The normal logo’s will return for the Japanese GP.
Last week TJ13 reported sources had suggested Kimi may require a back operation prior to the conclusion of the 2013 season. Subsequently Mark Arnall stated that the Finn would indeed be fit for the weekend in Korea.
Yet Raikkonen is not 100% certain about how things will be as he explains, “It’s better than it was on Saturday in Singapore which is when it didn’t feel too good. The important thing was that I was able to race and we did a pretty good job with the podium finish. It’s not the first time I’ve had a problem, as there have been some issues with my back for a long time. For sure, we will have to see how it is when I get out on track on Friday in Korea.”
Erci Boulier has suggested that the team is in no rush to name Kimi’s successor, and hints that it is unlikely to be an experienced driver like Massa who they recruit.
“When it comes to drivers, we are not simply looking for a short-term replacement for Kimi. We are looking at where we are going to be in the next five years.” Eric adds, “We can afford to be patient — to ask the candidates to wait as we formulate our strategy for the coming years.”
It would appear that Nico Hulkenberg is in prime position for the Lotus’ drive in 2014 and beyond, let’s hope he gets paid in full unlike in his time at Force India and currently at Sauber.
Ward scathing of Todt and the FIA’s handling of Bahrain
David Ward is clearly running on a mandate popular with the fans – ‘to clean up the FIA’ – but it is yet to be seen whether this will find resonance with the 183 motoring organisations from around the globe who have the power to decide upon the Federations next president.
Speaking to the BBC, Ward is openly critical of the FIA’s handling of the Bahrain issue. Following the cancelation of the 2011 race, Ward suggests that the manner in which the FIA attempted to establish whether the 2012 race should be re-instated was an example of “poor decision-making”.
The head of the Spanish Motoring Federation was sent to the Kingdom by Jean Toodt as an FIA envoy in an attempt to understand the state of the nations civil unrest. Ward does not blame Carlos Gracia and states that, “I think he was rather badly served in that mission. I felt sorry for him, actually.”
David Ward states, “The reasons I’m running is I can see failures going on in terms of governance that I think are quite serious”. One clear example of this was, “Bahrain had all the hallmarks of decision-making on the hoof right up to 24 hours before the race”.
Clearly the FIA allowed the promoters to breach article one of the Federation’s own constitution when the did not impose sanctions for the politicising of the 2012 event with the slogans, “UniF1ed” and “Back on track”. Ecclestone at the time meekly suggested, “we did ask them to take it down”.
There were many people within the sport who felt the race should not have been re-instated in 2012 and Ward accuses the FIA of having, “crossed over a line”, by facilitlating the politicising of the race. Further he believes, “If it looks like the situation is deteriorating or not improving, what there should be – because this could happen tomorrow in another part of the world – is a standard process to handle this, that is immune from suggestions that one place is being treated differently from another,”
To examine the situation properly, David Ward says he would send again to Bahrain “someone with expertise in the area.” Someone of the standing of Edwin Glasgow QC, who chaired the Bloody Sunday inquiry Ward believes would add professionalism and credibility to the investigation.
Ward a former supporter of Max Mosley supported Jean Todt’s subsequent election, indeed he wrote his manifesto for election. However, he is now highly critical of Todt and the FIA whoch he describes as “not fit for purpose”.
Part of David’s manifesto is to appoint a paid chief executive to the FIA and a special commissioner to deal with F1 exclusively. He describes the current arrangements as, “amateur, antiquated and rather archaic”.
This is something TJ13 has suggested for sometime. When the big issues are boiling over in the sport, where has Jean Todt been? Who is commenting on behalf of the regulatory body of F1? Nowhere and nobody are the answers to both questions.
In the light of Ecclestones imminent trial, David Ward wants to see the FIA “strengthen its provisions” on corruption and bribery, by ensuring the sporting code “would be clear about the requirements we would have in terms of partners”.
He expects it is “very likely” Ecclestone would falls foul of that code if he were to be convicted in Germany.
The more we hear from David Ward, the more TJ13 backs his candidacy for the upcoming elections in December. Of course words are one thing, finding a way of cutting through the bureaucratic processes embedded in the FIA may take more than some popularist speeches.
Pirelli learn from 2012 mistakes
The tyres selected for Korean 2013 by Pirelli are the medium and the supersoft. Last year we saw a fairly processional race as the tyre supplier selected the soft and supersoft. However, the incremental step between the compounds for 2013 should provide for a more interesting race.
Paul Hembery explains, “We would expect there to be a significant difference in lap time between the two compounds we have selected, as was the case in Singapore, and that should help the teams to put together some interesting strategies.
Korea is an interesting mix: you get some fast corners as well as some slower ones but actually it has the highest lateral energy demand of all the circuits where the supersoft is used, so tyre management is going to be important once more. In particular, the work done in free practice when it comes to assessing the wear and degradation levels on each compound with different fuel loads is going to be especially important, as that will hold the key to the correct strategy.
We saw the difference that having the right strategy could make in Singapore, and although there is a lower probability of a safety car in Korea, this is still something that the teams will be paying a lot of attention to in the build-up to the Grand Prix, as the championship enters its final phase.”
It’s good to see that Pirelli have learned from 2012, when their tyre selections for the closing races appeared too conservative. This is one reason why F1 requires continuity of a supplier to refine over time the supply of tyres.