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Pastor not looking so safe (07:30)
Gutierrez has more to offer (07:30)
Ferrari back Massa (07:30)
Da Costa to be confirmed (07:30)
Red Bull scrutiny increases (10:23)
The Hulk of the Hulk (11:36) updated with Webber quote (18:37)
Did Kimi move for money? (12:18)
Ferrari lacklustre (16:31)
Caterham – Alpine Collaboration (16:35)
TJ13 Comment of the month (17:42)
Pastor not looking so safe
As the news circulates today about the Venezuela government going into turmoil, one has to wonder how long Pastor will be sitting pretty in his race seat at Williams GP. Given the inflation rates rising rapidly, political support is wavy and shortages are present all across the country can the national oil company really justify paying the $46 million to get him in a race seat; especially given the woeful results this year.
Given just 1 point this year, the money paid is hardly a worthwhile investment at a time when propaganda within Venezuela is being used constantly. Nicolás Maduro has only been in power for 5 months but already been challenged in his position routinely.
Gutierrez has more to offer
After reaching Q3 for the first time in his career, Esteban Gutierrez feels he can build on this and go on for future success this season. Another driver who must be feeling very much under pressure given the arrival of a certain Russian teenager next year. With Carlos Slim’s telecoms money being directed to McLaren instead, Gutierrez is not all that safe in his seat following being outperformed by his team mate this year.
“It was a very powerful feeling, because you can use it for the future,” said the 22 year old Mexican. The Sauber cars had not been expected to be competitive at the Singapore GP, but were pleasantly surprised with the pace they had in hand on Saturday and Sunday.
What do the members of the jury think? Would you retain Esteban Gutierrez even if his sponsorship money is cut? He has shown much potential recently, but has also been thoroughly beaten by his teammate over the year. A former GP3 Champion surely deserves more time…
Ferrari back Massa
Even after his very public rebellion against the team before the Singapore GP, saying he would not help the Alonso in his title bid, Ferrari have still backed the soon to be team-less Brazilian. Ferrari deputy chief designer Simone Resta expressed how he felt Massa would be an asset to any F1 team.
He stated, “He is quite an experienced guy. He has been driving at a high level for us since 2007 so has a lot of experience.” Clearly believing the 11 times he has won a grand prix could be of use to someone.
He went on to iterate ,”Felipe has been a great team player.” Being a team player is great but it doesn’t get you in any kind of record books. I wonder if Felipe will look back on his career with any kind of regret?
Da Costa to be confirmed
Livio Oricchio has claimed that Toro Rosso are set to confirm Antonia Felix Da Costa for a race seat in 2014, following the vacancy after Ricciardo’s promotion to the senior team. Da costa, who drives for Arden Caterham team, refused to confirm it when questioned but the deal is believed to be all but officially announced.
The 22 year old Portuguese driver said, “I think Marko will be very happy for me to drive in F1. But the contract we signed last year says that he can put me wherever he wants.”
Da Costa is currently behind Magnussen and Vandoorne in the standing, with Magnussen looking likely to take the 2013 title. The Dane, who is a part McLaren young driver program, must be wondering how close he is to a race seat, given the Woking based team still haven’t confirmed their drivers for 2014.
Red Bull scrutiny increases
Yesterday, Giancarlo Minardi questioned the legality of Vettel’s Red Bull. He suggested that Vettel’s Renault engine “sounded similar to past seasons when traction control went into action”. TJ13 does not subscribe to this assessment as the ECU management system should prevent this from occurring.
Today, Autospirint have published a video (I can’t get it at present) which demonstrates the difference in sound mid-corner between Vettel’s engine note and the other cars. Unlike traction control where the note of the engine is at the upper range of the power, this noise is more transient and is clearly a development in the cars ability to blow exhaust gases effectively into the diffuser.
It is rare in modern F1 to see a car over 2 seconds a lap quicker than the field, and so of course this has raised questions over where Red Bull have suddenly discovered this pace.
In Hungary, Mercedes were the quickest car where like Singapore there were a number of sub 130 kph corners. 4 races later, Mercedes have been blown away.
Discussing this giant leap forward, James Allen observes, “The key to this is that Red Bull has done a lot of work on traction out of low speed corners. On average, across all the tracks in the F1 championship, 25% of the lap time is spent below 130km/h on corner exits. It is the most significant single area to focus on. So if you can make a significant gain in that area, you can get effectively a 25% improvement, which will show in your lap time”.
Mark Gillan also suggests that Milton Keyenes have done a huge amount of work on high speed yaw – the amount of lean of the car in the corner. This provides the car with not just high downforce, but mid-corner stability. Gillan suggests this has been delivered from aerodynamic work in the wind tunnel.
On this point, I’m not so sure Gillan has the full story. TJ13 has suggested for sometime that the suspension system Newey was developing and first tested in Austin 2012, allows the car an element of active ride due to a heat induced flexibility in certain components fundamental to the rigidity of the suspension.
Of course Pirelli have played their part as Red Bull have now won 3 of the 4 races since the change of 2013 tyre specification.
Red Bull have mastered the lower speed corners package, whilst developing a low downforce package for Spa and Monza that was almost as dominant. The championships are over, and the arguments are now between Ferrari Mercedes and Possibly Lotus.
Roll on 2014 – diffuser blowing will be finished.
The Hulk of the Hulk
There are times where I find myself debating the age old philosophical matter of, ‘how many angels can dance on the head of a pin’. This is usually a counter productive exercise into the unknown and Mark Hughes of SKY puts me here once again.
Apparently, the logical conclusion from his piece, “What now for Nico Hulkenberg?” is that all new F1 drivers will be of a horse jocky-esque kind of statue. Hughes argues, “Although the minimum weight of the 2014 cars has been increased, the early indications are that the extra weight of the turbo and ERS systems and associated cooling is going to more than account for the extra 43kg allowed by the regulations.
Because the total weight includes the driver, in theory he should not be disadvantaged by his weight, but if the driver/car combined weight is under the minimum, then the car can be brought up to the limit with ballast – and this gives the advantage of allowing that weight to be placed where it is most advantageous to the car’s centre of gravity and front/rear weight distribution.
This can be varied from track to track, giving extra flexibility to the car’s set up. But if the driver’s weight is such that combined with that of the car, less (or no) ballast can be used, then it’s an obvious disadvantage. The current generation of cars can generally be built light enough that even the heavier drivers can use ballast, but that may not be the case next year”.
Apparently lack of cash and being big boned means Nico appears doomed for 2014.
No more will we see the lion heart of a determined British bulldog like Mansell hauling his burger bun shaped frame around in an F1 car. Neither will a Mark Webber be able to compete so closely with a younger lighter driver who is the master of counter intuitive, blown diffuser driving styles.
Hughes tweeted, “Minimum weight of car/driver needs to be increased further in order to stop gifted drivers being weighed out of F1”, Webber replied, “Tell me about it. Haven’t eaten for last 5 years!. Min weight been to low since for ages. Perfect driver now weight 60/65kg”.
Clearly the future of F1 is in the Aldous Huxley style of brave new world where we breed in test tubes, “Alpha’s”, who are genetically engineered to become F1 drivers and will only grow to a height of less than 5 foot 2 and have no neck to speak of.
Then again, maybe Roger Hargreaves has the answer.
Did Kimi move for money?
There have been various opinions on this matter and indeed Kimi himself appeared to infer it was a factor in his decision to leave Lotus.
When Kimi signed his first contract with Ferrari, this agreement entered the history books as one of the most expensive sports deals in history, across all sports.
Kimi was signed to the Enstone team on a €3m a year salary and he was offered a bonus of €50.000 per point. Lotus clearly underestimated the success of the combination of their car and the Finnish world champion.
So far in 2013, Kimi has scored 149 points , which is a bonus of €7,450,000. In 2012 Kimi scored 207 points which would have cost the team €10,350,000 in addition to his 3€ million a year salary. Lotus will probably end up paying Kimi for his two years endeavours around €24 million.
Boullier and Lopez have both admitted that they owe Kimi a lot of money, but because the bonus is based on a points system, they say they intended to pay this at the end of the year. The telegraph suggests Raikkonen’s management is about to issue legal proceedings for the payment of €12.5m
When Kimi signed for Ferrari in 2007, the deal entered the history books as one of the most expensive sports contracts with a participant ever.
Today, nearly 7 years later, TJ13 believes that Ferrari have offered Kimi a deal valued in total at $153 million (€113m) over 3 years (2+1). This would be the 5th most lucrative contract awarded to a sports person in history. Only Alex Rodriguez (twice, once with the Yankees and once with the Rangers), Floyd Mayweather and Albert Pujols have been awarded deals reputed to be bigger in financial terms than this.
Messi and Ronaldo now earn less than Kimi, and of course notably his team mate – Fernando Alonso.
The fine print of the Ferrari deal is still leaking it’s way out, but if it was ‘all about the money’ for Kimi then notably Red Bull’s puny €15m offer was trumped by a margin greater than Vettel could dream of pulling out on the rest of the field.
No wonder Vettel wants to drive for Ferrari in 2015, which may be the beginning of the end for the F1 newbie dream team, because Newey also wants out to fulfil a life long ambition and design a British winning America’s Cup entry.
Yet following the announcement that Raikkonen’s had signed for Ferrari something strange was noticed in Finland.
Kaskisaari is an island in an archipelago about 300 mtrs. offshore from Helsinki. It is connected by just 2 roads, the Kasakisaarentie and the Kaskaiuranpolku, while the latter is no more than a ring shaped driveway, the first is a artery which divides the island into two halves.
Until 30 years ago the two halves were owned by two families, that of the rich pharmacist Idman and that of the famous business man, landowner and big game hunter Schuster.
Today, Kaskiaari represents the pinnacle of Finnish real estate. The 30 houses built on the island are all surrounded by tall fences, have impeccable gardens and cost a fortune. Helsinki, just 20 miles away, is now the ninth most expensive city in Europe. This is the Bel Air neighbourhood of Finland where the owners are afforded great privacy which is 24/7 and managed via thousands of electronic eyes and sensors.
It is here where Kimi resides from time to time. He has, 526 square meters, facing the ocean. 8 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a marina and a teak wood terrace on the fjord make this the most expensive house in Finland at €17.8 million.
In the garage, which is itself the size of a large house, there is a Ferrari Enzo, a BMW M3, two Mercedes’ and a Fiat 500. (RTR Sports)
Mysteriously, the house has been placed on the market for sale…..
Did Kimi move for money – YOU BET! And it appears Il Padrino has once again slapped Alonso in the face with a wet fish ready for cooking on the BBQ to be held for Kimi’s ‘welcome home’ celebration..
Today, Ferrari publish their usual pre-race weekend preview, and unlike earlier in the season it all sounds a bit down beat and lacklustre.
Scuderia Ferrari Engineering Director Pat Fry muses, “We’ve still got some developments coming through for the next few races and we will be running and testing them to continue to try and improve the car,” says Fry. “For 2014, because of the much larger changes to the cars on the engine side and also the aero aspect, it’s naturally much harder to test components now, but there will be some small development bits we can run during this year’s remaining free practice, looking more on the reliability front than anything else, which means we have busy Fridays planned for the next six races.”
An equally sanguine Nikolas Tombazis, Scuderia’s Chief Designer, states the teams bold objectives to be, “our efforts will be partly aimed at continuing to understand better the tyres and tyre management, which might see some improvement compared to our competitors,And we are bringing small aero updates. One should not expect these to dramatically affect the final result but we feel they will bring some improvement.”
The article drowns on and on, not blaming – but blaming the tyres and other uneventuful stuff. So I won’t bore you with any more of it.
Bla, bla, bla. Where’s the Italian passion??? The fighting talk with Red Bull??? Challenge the Newey design guys. Red Bull must be cheating the whipping they’re handing out to the Prancing Horse brigade at present……..
You can’t see Alonso working himself up into an apoplectic fit of rage over failing to meet these bold expectations.
I think a good dose of the following is required [currently being translated into Finnish].
Caterham – Alpine Collaboration
The final designs of the new Caterham and Alpine co-developed sports car have now been agreed and signed off ahead of the launch in 2016.
The new car, referred to by Caterham as the C120, is the result of the joint-venture agreement signed between Caterham and Renault late last year. It is a two-seat sports car that will give both companies a stand-alone model, as well as relaunching the Alpine brand.
But the Caterham will not just be a rebadged Alpine. Both will have different bodies and interiors and will owe very little to each other visually. Renault design chief Laurens van den Acker said the two cars will give “completely different impressions” that will showcase “the best of the two companies”.
Engine tuning, handling characteristics and steering traits will also be different, with Caterham developing its own settings. And although both cars will have the same power and torque outputs, Caterham intends to launch new versions with different outputs after the first model.
That power output is likely to be about 250bhp, although Caterham sources indicate that the firm is keen to raise that figure to 300bhp. The engine, a Renault-supplied unit, will be new and is not yet in production. With a target kerb weight of 1100kg, thanks to an aluminium body, the car is likely to benefit from a power-to-weight ratio of about 270bhp per tonne.
With a target of 3000 cars a year, Caterham will be increasing sales by more than 500 per cent, so the firm is currently looking at expanding its dealer network to accommodate the new car. Both the Alpine and Caterham will be built at Renault’s Dieppe factory, which is now 50/50 owned by Caterham and Renault.
With Renault now working on the Alpine, van den Acker said he’d shelved his ambitions to launch an additional Renault sports car closely linked to his DeZir concept of 2010. “Since Alpine became serious, we can’t do both,” he said. “Even I’d admit that’s not necessary. I gladly defer DeZir in order to do an Alpine.” (Autocar)
Hamilton jumping on the band-waggon
We see the return of the infamous H.A.M. abbreviation. For those of you who don’t remember, Lewis emblazoned this on his helmet – allegedly inferring, “Hard [as] A Mother-F….r”.
Here it would not be unfair for LotusF1 to claim original thought, with their tweet the morning Ferrari announced Kimi was joining them.
Which of the two tweets has the biggest mammals – I’m not sure
TJ13 Comment of the month
On the day TJ13 first passed 100 comments on a single post (Monday 9th Sept), which was the day before Ferrari announced Kimi, the English media went berserk reporting the Vettel booing Monza the day before. We did a roundup of these publications views in the news, with some comment,
First to post a comment on this auspicious day was Elf who said, “I am so used to your bias towards Alonso tj13. What a pity! Get a life, great content I’ll agree but your opinions clearly come from site managers with the IQ of a banana eating ape”.
The comment with the most votes in September (19) was in reply to this from Auq. He said, “The discussions on this site usually shine by being devoid of comments of that level. This is completely out of place and you should be embarrassed”.
A fairly new reader (well certainly commentator) Graham Harris added, “Guess I must love bananas, anything that takes the spotlight off the little finger wagging Goldie Locks wannabe must be applauded! Keep it up Judge, we really do like it”.
My take on matters was, “F1 is the biggest and best global soap opera, and should be treated as such. Fabulous and Farcical in equal measures”, though admittedly this in good old Eurovision fashion got ‘nil points’.
The comment was most popular relating to something other than the TJ13 quality of content and debate was from Richard. His take on the story that Vettel failed to attend Webber’s big European farewell party in Monza was as follows.
“It shouldn’t matter what Vettel thought or felt, his people should have told him to show his face, smile, shake hands, work the room, press some flesh and leave discreetly after 20 minutes.
Here he looks like a moody teenager”.
One of my favourites for sheer passion and which conveys exactly what the auythor intended was,
“WE WANT FRIJNS !
WE WANT FRIJNS !
WEEE WAAAANT FRIIJJJJJJNNNSSSSS!” – from ViezeFrans
Already this week we have a strong contender for COM – October – Danilo again. Referring to the CCTV footage of Webber hitching a life he sagely suggests, “Watch the video, both got almost piled into by the Mercs. Alonso should have stopped in the run-off area”.
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