Daily #F1 News and Comment: Wednesday 2nd October 2013

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TJ13 Apology

Marko slams accusers (10:23)

The Vettel; ‘Boo pandemic’: Part III (Posted late last night in case you missed it)

A New FIA Sporting code (10:34)

David Ward calls the elections a ‘fix’ (10:52)

Korea typhoon (11:38)

Did the Singapore stewards get it right? (13:30)

FIA Press Conferences (14:21)

Korean Crowds to swell (14:50)

Korean Stewards (15:30)

Beckham is now a ‘homie’ (15:33)

What no race sponsor?


TJ13 Apology

It has now been altered, but I asked someone to transcribe the comments of the month for me yesterday and a mistake was made. One of our more recent friends Auq – whose contributions I really appreciate – was attributed with a negative statement incorrectly.

In fact Auq received the most votes (thumbs up) in September for his defence of the TJ13 community. Thanks Auq and sorry…

Marko slams accusers

Having done some research on the theatrical history of jeering and booing, you’ll have to forgive me because I’m seeing “Bernie’s Show” through a prism of drama.

In the medieval courtroom, there were various forms of entertainment under the guise of ‘Masque’ which is similar to pantomime. The court jester was like the circus ringmaster the linch pin to join up the various entertainment components. However, if the Jester got it wrong, he would be baited ruthlessly – even losing his job or his life.

Minardi et al appear to have baited Marko and Red Bull, and the good Austrian doctor comes out fighting.

“Utter nonsense!” he barks at Bild reporter when questioned over the accusations that Sebastian and Red Bull have cheated in any manner.

The FIA were asked for comment, and guess what? – Silence.

Meanwhile, Paul Hembery attempts to help Sebastian improve his popularity. The Pirelli commercial director believes much of Vettel’s unpopularity is because of his dominance. “Sebastian will only popular when he starts to lose!”

Hembery argues the mark of a great sportsperson is demonstrated in how they handle defeat. “He must stand up in defeat, still laugh and be humble. The way he deals with failure will determine how people view him. Nobody likes a bad loser,” said Hembery. 

Whether this view is rather simplistic or not, Hembery should be applauded for not taking matters too seriously and being able to poke fun at the situation. He offers to assist Vettel’s climb up the popularity ladder. “If we just give him three tires, then maybe he’ll start losing”.

I wouldn’t be so certain Paul, even on 3 wheels man and machine look indefatigable at present.


A New FIA Sporting code

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) has announced a complete overhaul of the International Sporting Code. An application was made to overhaul the code at the last meeting of the FIA ​​World Council and it was adopted unanimously. The new version of the “International Sporting Code” is the first Come into force in January 2014.


David Ward calls the FIA elections a ‘fix’

I have the original of this letter as a PDF, but am awaiting technical assistance as to how we post that kind of document. In the meantime here it is verbatim and it is fairly self explanatory.

1st October 2013

To all FIA Member Clubs

Dear President

Re: FIA 2013 Election Procedures and Vice Presidents for Sport

In March this year at an FIA meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay, Jean Todt obtained a support agreement from member clubs for a further term as President. Among the signatories were eleven of the twelve national sporting associations and national automobile associations (ASNs and ACNs) from North America.

In order to be eligible to stand in the FIA presidential election in 2013 a candidate must propose a Vice President for Sport from each of seven regions including North America. The written commitments of support that Jean Todt obtained from ASNs and ACNs prior to the beginning of the election process leave only one club in the North American region that is not already formally committed. That club is from El Salvador (see list below).

The absurd situation in which just one club in North America may determine whether or not there can be a challenger to Jean Todt risks turning the FIA election into a farce. It shows clearly the detrimental effect that the Montevideo support agreement is having on the 2013 election.

If any of the signatories decide to provide a Vice President to a rival candidate they have no alternative but to face the embarrassment of breaking a commitment of support for Jean Todt that they made in his presence at the Montevideo meeting – an agreement which was then subject to a photo-call and a press announcement. This is why I am asking for the support letters to be recognised as a clear breach of the FIA’s rules and revoked in my complaint to the Ethics Committee.

In complete contrast to the FIA, there were six candidates in the recent election for the Presidency of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC provides ‘Directions’ to their members on the election process including Article 11 which states, “As the voting is secret, IOC members are prohibited individually or collectively, from announcing in any form whatsoever their intention to vote or from any public invitation to vote for a candidate”.

It is regrettable that the FIA does not apply a similar rule which would prevent support agreements entirely. The FIA’s Mobility clubs are subject to a different system because the six current Vice Presidents for Mobility are independently elected by their regions. This is far more democratic and avoids the bizarre situation now facing the ACNs and ASNs in North America.

The solution is for all the Vice Presidents for both sport and mobility to be elected by their own geographical areas. They could then be removed entirely from all proposed presidential lists and enjoy their own independent mandate and accountability to the region that elected them.

Another important reform is to substantially reduce the number of clubs required to nominate a presidential candidate from the current level of 26. This very high threshold, being used for the first time in the 2013 election, favours the incumbent and makes it almost impossible for the FIA to have multiple candidates as the IOC had in their election this year. Unfortunately the FIA’s system is geared towards having no rival candidates and no choice.

In standing as a candidate in the 2013 election my purpose has been to encourage debate about the need for further reforms in the FIA. I believe there are serious flaws in the FIA’s governance system. In this letter I have highlighted major deficiencies in the presidential election process.

There are other equally serious problems, for example, regarding the transparency and adequacy of the FIA’s financial accounts, and with the Senate’s supervisory role which is not being carried out as envisaged by the FIA Statutes.

The FIA deserves better than this. The FIA membership should not turn a blind eye to abuse of the FIA election system or tolerate deficient governance provisions in the sport that are not accepted in the mobility pillar. The FIA is a family of clubs from sport and mobility that should be subject to the same rules and standards of governance.

Regardless of who you support in the election, I respectfully propose that your club now calls for reforms to the FIA governance system to ensure that it is fit for purpose. Jean Todt has not yet published any manifesto, so clubs can still encourage him to adopt the reforms I have proposed.

Today regrettably the FIA is falling below best practice in standards of governance and that should be a serious concern to your club. This year’s election is an opportunity for change to build a better FIA.

Yours sincerely

David Ward

Candidate in the 2013 FIA Presidential Election


The letter then lists the FIA Member ACN or ASN from North America entitled to support a Vice President for Sport. With the exception of El Salvador, all have committed to support Jean Todt under the Montevideo Agreement they were asked to sign on 4/3/13.

Barbados Motoring Federation Inc (ACN)

Autorite Sportive Nationale du Canada (ASN)

Automovil Club de Costa Rica (ACN)

Federacion Dominicana de Automovilismo Inc (ASN)

Automovil Club de El Salvador (ACN)

Automovil Club de Guatemala (ASN)

Organizacion Mexicana del Deporte Automovilistico Internacional (ASN)

Automovil Club de Nicaragura (ACN)

Asociacion Automovilistica de Touring y Deportes de Panama (ACN)

Primera Federation de Automovilismo de Puerto Rico-FIA Inc (ACN)

Trinidad and Tobago Autombile Sports Association (ASN)

Automobile Competition Committee for the United States (ASN)


Korea typhoon

The Korea Meteorological Administration is forecasting typhoon ‘Fitow’ will strike the southern region of the country on Sunday. If it passes through the Korea straight it is expected to bring a lot of rain and high winds gusting to 70 kph.

There is still a 40% chance that the typhoon will veer off towards Japan and that the Korean GP will be completely unaffected.

However, if Fitow wreaks its vengeance on Mokpo then we may see the race start delayed and difficult conditions for the drivers to negotiate, as happened in 2010.


Did the Singapore stewards get it right?

Of all the people in F1, I’ve a lot of time for Derrick Warwick. He is a man of integrity and he is willing to answer questions when operating as a steward to explain to the fans the reasons behind decisions that are taken. Oh that we heard from the stewards more often.

Derrick explained well the 10 place grid penalty was not imposed by the stewards, but was a result of the totting up process where a driver receiving his 3rd reprimand automatically suffers this sanction.

Further, TJ13 believes this new reprimand is good for F1, because past accusations have been made suggesting that the better drivers receive less harsh penalties for similar infringements committed by those drivers further down the grid.

Something has bothered me since Korea. Warwick claimed the stewards tried to be lenient with Webber and Alonso and having studied the FOM TV footage were ‘about to leave the room’ without issuing sanctions. Warwick claimed to SKY TV it was the production of the CCTV footage which forced the stewards to think again.

Yet Webber was actually punished for a breach of article 30.9 of the sporting regulations which states, “During the period commencing fifteen minutes prior to and ending five minutes after every practice session and the period between the commencement of the formation lap which immediately precedes the race and the time when the last car enters the parc ferme, no one is allowed on the track, the pit entry or the pit exit with the exception of […] drivers when driving or on foot, having first received permission to do so from a marshal.”

So why did the CCTV footage affect this decision?

Alonso, however was punished for stopping on the racing line as it was deemed dangerous; but how was Fernando’s actions deemed more dangerous following the revelation of the CCTV footage when previously the stewards would have studied the on-board footage from Lewis and Nico’s cars.

Warwick later commented, “”It is not health and safety gone mad, A driver could easily have been hurt. I hope we’re not seen as killjoys”.

It might not be ‘health and safety gone mad’, but the reasoning behind the decision to punish Webber existed before the CCTV footage was revealed, as was the entire incident from the vantage point of Lewis and Nico.


FIA Press Conferences

Drivers: Thursday 15:00 local time

Jules Bianchi (Marussia), Paul di Resta (Force India), Romain Grosjean (Lotus), Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Felipe Massa (Ferrari)

Team Personnel: Friday 16:00 local time

Ron Meadows (Mercedes), Dickie Stanford (Williams), Andy Stevenson (Force India), Massimo Rivola (Ferrari), Graham Watson (Caterham) and Beat Zehnder (Sauber).

Not sure I’ll turn over from the 8am news on Friday…..


Korean Crowds to swell

Built at a cost of 250bn won ($264m), The Korean International Circuit is apparently about to host record crowds since the inaugural race in 2010.

The race promoter tells the Korean Times that they expect to sell about 200,000 tickets for the event this year, for a venue which has a capacity of 135,000. We must assume this estimation of ticket sales is over the entire weekend.

Apparently this will be an increase from 165,000 sold in 2012, though this will not stem the haemorrhaging of cash this event causes. Losses from 2010-2012 are estimated at 180bn won ($160m).

When asked to explain the huge losses of the event, Secretary-General of the F1 Korean Grand Prix Organizing Committee Park Jong-moon said “Having worked in the sports industry for more than 30 years, I learned that operating a big sports event at a loss is inevitable. 

Even the 1988 Seoul Olympics was a money-losing event … it is worthwhile, considering other effects that were far greater than profit.”

Park added that residents have shown a fervent passion for hosting the Korean Grand Prix and believes it will eventually become a hub of motor sports in Asia. He further claims he has managed to negotiate away a 10% annual escalator on the annual hosting fee, levied by Ecclestone’s FOM.

Well done sir. This just stops the cash drain growing exponentially.

Ticket sales have been heavily discounted, yet whether this will mitigate the 8 hour return journey from Soul to Mokpo, who knows. The infrastructure of the area struggles to provide decent accommodation for the travelling F1 circus, never mind 135,000 fans the night before of after the race.


Korean Stewards

Having lambasted the efforts of the stewarding frequently, here is this weekend’s motley crew. Though one has to admire the forward thinking nature of the Spanish Automobile Federation

Gary Connelly

Deputy President FIA Institute; Director Australian Institute of Motor Sport Safety; F1 and WTCC steward; FIA World Motor Sport Council Member

untitledGarry Connelly has been involved in motor sport since the late 1960s. A long-time rally competitor, Connelly was instrumental in bringing the World Rally Championship to Australia in 1988 and served as Chairman of the Organising Committee, Board member and Clerk of Course of Rally Australia until December 2002. He has been an FIA Steward and FIA Observer since 1989, covering the FIA’s World Rally Championship, World Touring Car Championship and Formula One Championship. He is a director of the Australian Institute of Motor Sport Safety and a member of the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

Silvia Bellot

Member of the Royal Spanish Automobile Federation board of directors; FIA Women in Motor Sport Commision Member; F1, GP2, GP3 and WTCC Steward

untitledSilvia Bellot began marshalling in 2001, when she was 16. Despite her young age she has been a steward in a number of national and international series, including the, European F3 Open, GT Open, BMW Europe, Spanish Endurance Championship, DTM, World Series by Renault and the WRC. In 2009, she took part in the FIA trainee stewards’ program for GP2 and F1. She made her first appearance as an F1 steward at the 20011 Turkish GP and last year was awarded the FIA’s Outstanding Official prize. She is currently a steward in GP2, GP3, WTCC and F1. Away from the stewards’ room she is a member of the FIA’s Women in Motorsport Commission and also works closely with RACC, the Circuit de Catalunya and the Spanish federation in event organisation.

Emanuelle Pirro

Former F1 Driver and 5 times Le Mans Winner

untitledDuring a motor sport career spanning almost 40 years, Emanuele Pirro has achieved a huge amount of success, most notably in sportscar racing, with five Le Mans wins, victory at the Daytona 24 Hours and two wins at the Sebring 12 Hours. In addition, the Italian driver has won the German and Italian Touring Car championships (the latter twice) and has twice been American Le Mans Series Champion. Pirro, enjoyed a three-season F1 career from 1989 to 1991, firstly with Benetton and then for Scuderia Italia. His debut as an FIA Steward came at the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and this is his 7th appearance in the role.


Beckham is now a ‘homie’

Help me out folks. Is David Beckham actually a ‘homie’ and if so why???



There are just 2 races in 2013 without official sponsors for the event. The official sponsors are listed by FOM on Formula1.com as follows.


Japan has a rich history of sponsorship. From 1987-2009 it wa Fuji Television. The DHL took over for 2 years and finally Allianz took on the mantle for 2012.

The Japanese current contract to host an F1 race expired at the end of this year, and it was only on the 23rd August 5 weeks ago, that it was announced they had an extension granted to 2018. Yet the 2013 event has no sponsor.

Korea is also without a sponsor. In fact this is the 3rd of the 4 years since the event was launched where no organisation appears to wish to be associated with the event. In 2011, POSCO and SK Lubricants took the plunge but  last year an unnamed POSCO official issued this statement. “After reviewing our corporate image and alternatives, we decided not to take the main sponsor deal this year’” (The Korea Times).

Korea is not enjoyed by many in the F1 circus, the location is remote and the transport and accommodation is poor. With 3 years left on the contract, will Korea limp along blowing millions of dollars of tax payers money in the hope they will one day become popular?


23 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Wednesday 2nd October 2013

  1. I have seen Vettel lose before, and he cannot really handle it “humble” …. The child in him get’s lose when he is losing. And that’s what people do not like to much as well. Vettel is in a lose-lose situation, (hell, he’ll win this years title anyways most likely, so why would he care?).

  2. “Did the Singapore stewards get it right?”

    There’s two issues when adjudging a traffic violation (also in road traffic):

    a) The consideration (or lack of it) of the rules shown by the drivers/pedestrian; i.e. what does the behaviour show of the intent to follow the rules
    b) Whether there was an actual and present danger

    If a) shows a problem the adjudger may or may not issue a sanction. However, if b) also occurred, the adjudger is not anymore free to waive sanctions

    I believe that this was the reason why the lenience could not be extended after having seen the Chinese footage.

    I watched it and in my belief there were narrow misses…

    • I wondered why they didn’t have some of the visual info your honour cites too, but on Peter Windsors podcast; the racers edge, Derek was a guest, and in an interview he mentioned they were just watching the TV feed like everyone else when they dismissed it, which is why most the stuff you mentioned got missed, and it was only when they saw where Fernando stopped, and where Mark ran on, they looked in more detail.

      • What!!! … so they were just watching TV…

        Do they know the rules about drivers entering the track before the cars are all in parc ferme?

        How did they think Webber got onto the car – by Star Trek like transporter technology???

        Dear God. Just when you think the stewarding is improving…

        How did the CCTV footage make them remember there’s a rule about this?

        Drivers have not been giving others lifts frequently for years now!

        • Thats what he said on Peter Windsor, and I quote: “like most the people round the world, we were watching the world feed, we saw Mark Webber on the side of Alonsos car…… (edit)… then we get a report from race control to look at the following video” (starts at @33.31).

          You may find it laughable in this day and age, but all I know is, at least the carrier pigeon that brought the video was unharmed.

          • It’s time Whiting retired, and someone got a grip of this stewarding function.. Nice guy – but not cutting the mustard anymore…..

            Still if Todt gets re-elected CW will be on his way as Mad Max M gave Charlie another 5 years just prior to buggering off and Todt was not happy at all.

            Clouds and silver linings………..

      • Mika Salo has at least once been a steward in a GP race. He is this season a commentator during the races on Finnish MTV3. After this stewarding he explained during the next race, that the stewards have so many feeds on their disposal, + other information, that he now understands why he might have been wrong, when he earlier has disagreed with the stewards.

        It sounds very curious that the stewards would have been dependent only on the world feed…

    • … In that case then the stewards must not have considered the on-board footage particularly dangerous….

      Yet this is exactly what Lewis and Nico saw….

      • Someone still seems to be frothing at the mouth that someone dared to reprimand Mark 😉
        The thing is – on the world feed you could only see the end result (Mark sitting on the sidepod), not how he got there. Since Mark’s car was stranded in a huge arse run-off area, I suspect the Stewards operated on the assumption ‘in dubio pro reo’, meaning they thought ALO stopped in the run-off area to pick up his passenger and were prepared to let it go, until they saw the CCTV coverage. At that point they couldn’t let it go. There is no conspiracy against Mark here, just 3 stewards getting their job right for once.

        • I have no complaint over the penalty, Webber deserved it…

          It’s the beer swilling, SKY Sports watching stewards who should be doing a proper job…

          Not waiting for some bloke to wander in with CCTV footage. What if the man with the tape hasn’t arrived? 😉

          • Since there is only the world feed, what are they supposed to watch? As far as I know, no other live pictures are recorded, apart from CCTV cams.
            And btw, if the man with the tape hadn’t arrived, I’m pretty sure Merc would have lodged a protest, since both their drivers were forced into near misses.

          • Lol. There are over 25 camera’s and the room they sit in is like NASA mission control. I’ll post pics tomorrow.

            They have GPS along with other information they can call up for replay.

            Clearly their job does not end until all cars are in parc ferme.

          • Befor I forget, your honour. You should really try this steward business, before you lambast them. I did it last week and it wasn’t even a real race but a game console one and the races had only 16 cars to watch, not 22. You simply can’t see each and every situation.

          • As I said, you really have no idea how monstrous the Race Control room is. It cost the FIA millions and is clearly wasted money at present.

          • I did see that, and ironically it does represent the level of F1’s resource in certain areas.

            In reality Race Control is a state of the art facility with more information available to the stewards than most people could possibly manage.

            Yet, the pigeon would suffice when stewards have clocked off early and are having a beer…

  3. I am enjoying David ward’s contribution to the election so far. I have no doubt he is keeping close counsel with Mosley. Do you think ward is getting ready to lawyer up?

  4. Judge , what about the US grand prix??It also does not have a sponsor,according to the list above…

  5. re. “Beckham is now a ‘homie’ Help me out folks. Is David Beckham actually a ‘homie’ and if so why??? ”

    Assuming it is a real question, I think that in gangsta ghetto slang “homie” means a male friend from back home. However, you may choose any one of seven meanings given in the urbandictionary:


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