Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 8th October 2013

This page will be updated throughout the day.

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Vettel refuses to join social media (10:33)

McLaren begins super car production (11:14)

Sauber humour Barrichello (11:23)

Williams expect a tough time in Japan (12:30)

Marketing F1: Old Style (12:42)

Where does all the F1 cash go? (13:10)

Hulk’s bulk is of no consideration (14:02)

Red Bull’s KERS traction secret (15:35)

Lewis Twitter U-Turn is a Vettel ‘love in’ (15:26)

Red Bull’s KERS traction secret (15:35)

Hembery fears doom in 2014 (16:40)

Incognito Alonso (17:26)

The F1 blame game (17:47)

Todt’s manifesto (18:07)

The wit of Martin Brundle (20:20)

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Vettel refuses to join social media

We appear to indeed have auspicious readers. TJ13 during the 3 part examination of all things booing suggested Vettel on twitter would be a real hit and help to demonstrate his wit, intelligence, and humour.

Like Kimi, Vettel has shunned social media be it Facebook, Twitter, or any of the other platforms. Yet, for those of us who revel in the prospect of young Sebastian engaging directly with us, it appears we are all to be disappointed.

Sebastian tells Brazil’s Total-race, “I have no interest in sharing everything I do in my life. Maybe I am too boring.”

I’ve heard this comment made scores of times from people who shun social media and particularly Twitter. It’s an easy criticism of the platform, as there are many who merely spit out a commentary of the mundane aspects of their lives.

Tweet 1: Just woke up

Tweet 2: Finding it hard to get out of bed

Tweet~: Need the toilet

Tweet 4: Off downstairs………..

To be fair, this kind of drivel should be of little interest to anyone unless they need medical attention from the men in white coats. Yet, social media and twitter is far more than this.

Of course, sports stars can brag to their myriad of fans that they have been in the gym and brag about how large their pe…dals are. However, social media is so much more than this, and when cleverly used, it can in fact be used to ‘create’ a particular image.

For this very reason Vettel could use Twitter to improve his public persona. No longer would we merely perceive an obsessive Germanic individual who wears white sock with flip flops, and who would rather study binary and hexadecimal coded data than ‘hang his balls’ somewhere more interesting.

Sebastian could further champion a historic source of wisdom like Fred’s samurai text book. I’m not sure which particular source of inspiration he would choose – I guess that’s one for the TJ13 commentators to discuss.

So for now Vettel will stay in his bunker, and continue to defeat all who rally against him and occasionally say stupid things for which he will be lambasted and maybe booed.

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McLaren begins super car production

The much-awaited production of McLaren’s latest supercar design has now begun. A total of 375 P1 McLarens will be built with prices beginning at a cool £866,000.

The majority of purchased cars  are expected to be customised bz McLaren’s Special Operations division, and will cost significantly more than this.

Once production hits full speed, one new McLaren P1 will be rolling off the line each day.

All cars destined for the Asia Pacific and Middle East have been sold, and but a few remain for Europe.

The P1 is the British companies’ rival to the Porsche 918 Spyder and LaFerrari.

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Sauber humour Barichello

TJ13 reported last week that Monisha Kaltenborn confirmed that Rubens Barichello was under consideration for a drive in the 2014 Sauber car. This, however, was merely to humor him, and he never was serously considered.

Speaking to Sky Sports Online, Sauber’s Team Principal says, “I respect Rubens so much for the great career he’s had, for the great driver he is and person he is and I’ve had such nice talks with him, where we talk about young drivers, how they develop and what the challenges are”.

However, this is apparently all the pair chatted about, as Kaltenborn confirms now, “We never, ever discussed a race seat. Obviously I know he’s looking for a seat and I’ve never encouraged that in any way. If someone tells me, I take note of it and say, ‘Fine’. If there’s anything, then I’ll get back to them and that’s it.”

Kaltenborn may now realize that following Barichello’s declared intent to return to F1, her previous loose comments may now be construed as condescending. She adds, “I feel a bit bad for him now because the story has got its own development and taken off on a tangent.”

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Williams expect a tough time in Japan

On the podium, Sebastian Vettel claimed that Suzuka is his favorite race of the year; the circuit is ‘old style’, and the figure-eight layout is unique on the F1 calendar.

The track sees an above-average level of overtaking, and it provides the drivers with a stiff challenge. In sector 1, downforce is critical, whereas in sector 3 the cars need to be as aerodynamically slick as possible. This all bodes very well for the Red Bull RB9.

Chief Race Engineer for Williams, Xevi Pujolar, is expecting the race will be tough. “The layout leads to high average corner speeds, second only to Silverstone, as well as high average overall speed and power sensitivity. This also leads to high-energy input into the tyres, which along with the circuit roughness can lead to tyre wear problems”.

On the issue of tyres, Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport Director says: “we’ll be taking the P-Zero orange hard, and P-Zero white medium tyres to Japan, [as they are] well-suited to the unique track layout: it contains a wide variety of corners, most of which are fast, but there are also some heavy braking areas and tighter corners.

Suzuka is a circuit that demands much of the tyres when it comes to lateral energy, but asks relatively little in terms of traction, because the track is very flowing, with one corner [segueing] into another.

Strategy is set to play an important role – this was a three-stop race last year, when we nominated the hard and soft compounds – and Suzuka is a circuit that all the drivers enjoy because of the high speeds.

Like Korea, Japan is often prone to bad weather at this time of year, so this is another factor that the teams will have to consider when planning their tyre strategy”.

There is the threat of further tropical stormy weather, since storm DANAS is presently on course to hit the coastline of Japan over the next few days. In 2012, new water drainage systems were installed around the newly-surfaced part of the track, which may come in handy this year, although at present it looks as if Friday practice sessions will be most at risk.

Nevertheless, the course and timing of these storms can be unpredictable, and in 2010 qualifying was suspended until Sunday morning. The Saturday was such a washout that we were treated to the iconic images of paper boats – designed and built by bored engineers – racing down the rivers that had formed in the pitlane.

As the rain continued to worsen, and the inevitable postponement loomed, Martin Brundle mused on the BBC about the dangers of racing here in the wet. Racing for McLaren in 1994, Brundle lost control at the fearsome 130R corner.

Brundle said: “I saw this little tractor thing coming at me out of the corner of my eye, and I thought: ‘I’m going to die.’ I somehow missed that and then I saw a marshal. I hit him. I saw his face come across the front of my cockpit and then the car carried on spinning for hundreds of metres.

“When I finally stopped, I ran back to see how the marshal was and his leg bone was sticking out of his overalls. I felt really bad for him. Then I got called up to the stewards and cautioned for ignoring the yellow flags. I remember being really annoyed about that because in those conditions you can’t even see your front wheels – you are driving on the engine note of the car in front.”

Looking forward to this years Japanese Grand Prix, Rémi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 Head of Track Operations comments: Suzuka is one of the favorite tracks for drivers, and it’s easy to see why. We see every type of corner there: high speed sections and radial turns, Esses, hairpins and gradient changes. Engines therefore need to deliver across the entire power spectrum without sacrificing drivability and responsiveness. The high speed corners such as the Esses also subject the internals of the engine and lubricant systems to high lateral G-forces – it’s a very thorough workout for the RS27 so Williams will be using fresh engines here”.

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Marketing F1: Old Style

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Where does all the F1 cash go?

Christian Sylt is often spoken of by those in the know – quietly and behind the back of the hand – as Bernie’s long-lost love child. His articles are frequently pro-FOM and pro-Ecclestone in the face of universal criticism from elsewhere.

He writes today that the F1 teams have received a record amount of prize money in 202 – $752m – yet, he questions why some teams are still in trouble.

Sylt also reveals the reinstating of the GP of Bahrain and the inaugural race in Austin brought in additional revenues from hosting fees to the amount of $66 million

Formula Money records in addition, “despite the continued effects of the [global economic] downturn, growth was noted in a number of the [F1] Group’s income streams. Underpinning the performance were the calendar change effect which saw strong incremental revenues generated from the events in the USA and Bahrain.”

FOM is comprised of a number of companies that are related in a complex manner. However, Delta 2’s revenue, which is derived from fees paid to host and televise F1 races, hit $1.4 billion in 2012. The company had an operating profit of $1.18 billion, and 63 percent of this is shared between the top 10 F1 teams as prize money.

The rise in payments to the teams during 2012 was in fact 8%, which is more than 100% higher than the corresponding funding delivered in 2008.

Ferrari, McLaren, and Red Bull Racing share a dedicated annual prize fund of at least $100 million. This is because they are what is known as Constructors’ Championship Bonus (CCB) teams, which comprises the top three teams based on races won in the four seasons prior to 2012.

As the only team which has been in F1 since the series was born in 1950, Ferrari also gets its own further annual prize payment of at least $62.2 million.

The rest of the teams have received an average of $28m in 2012, although Sylt echoes Ecclestone’s criticisms that this is not the reason why teams like HRT go bust.

“Most companies want to make a profit first and foremost, but not F1 teams. They are generally run to simply break-even with neither a profit nor loss. This involves the team bosses spending whatever is available and they do it in pursuit of victory.

The theory is that it is better to win on track and make no profit rather than make money and finish low down the standings. Spending all the money available to them means that it is hard for teams to build up cash reserves, and it also makes it tough for them to scale-back during an economic downturn”.

Interestingly, if the sport’s profits decrease, the CCB teams — Ferrari, McLaren, and Red Bull Racing — have the right to quit the sport if operating profits fall below $715 million. However, this is unlikely, as the profits in 2012 were some $400m above this threshhold

The fact that the FIA sold the commercial rights that generate all this income on a  100-year lease, but received a mere $300m back in 2002, clearly seems like a ridiculous decision when considering that even after paying out all the above the commercial rights owners have recently paid dividends to themselves to the amount of almost $900m.

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Hulk’s bulk is of no consideration

Nico Hulkenberg’s star is again in the ascendancy following his near perfect drive in Korea last weekend. Nico told SKY that whilst delighted with the fourth place he attained, this in itself shouldn’t influence any team’s decision to hire him, because he believes he has constantly demonstrated his abilities when driving for both Williams and Force India.

Hulkenberg and Massa are the two names linked with the vacant seat at Lotus for 2014, and [Eric] Boullier has previously hinted that Hulkenberg may be the, albeit slight, favorite. There have been paddock rumors that Whitmarsh’ outright denial that the McLaren team has had any contact with Hulkenberg is because they believe his vast 75 kilo weight may be prejudicial to the 2014 cars.

For obvious reasons, the teams target delivering a car and driver at the minimum weight prescribed by the regulations. This weight limit has been raised from the current 642kg to 690kg, which includes both driver and car.

Teams actually prefer the combined weight of car and driver under this limit, because this means that they can add ballast in order to bring the car up the the minimum required weight. At each circuit, these lead weights can be placed strategically in different places, in order to improve the balance of the car, depending on the nature of the track.

However, the engines appear to be coming in heavier than expected, and so having this margin for ballast deployment may for some teams not be an available option they have available in 2014. A driver like Nico Hulkenberg, who weighs 10 kg more than Sergio Perez, may compound this problem.

Yet, Eric Boullier admits to the BBC that whilst height and weight are of course taken into consideration when evaluating a potential driver, “[…] but just for the sake of a couple of kilos, let’s say, you would prefer to gamble on a fast and talented driver than not”. Boullier adds, “For me he is not overweight. He is at the limit, but not overweight.”

Whilst Lotus appears to be a step forward from Sauber for Nico, no one can predict whether their car in 2014 will be competitive. Speaking to Formula One’s official [website], Boullier brushes this issue aside and states, “We have confidence in our development team to be able to produce a car for the 2014 regulations [that] should be competitive in the hands of any driver we consider for next year”.

Further, having suffered from ‘non payment’ for driving services rendered at both Force India and Sauber, the bulk of the Hulk must surely hope a similar fate will not befall him when he finds himself in the black and gold colors in 2014, .

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Lewis Twitter U-Turn is a Vettel ‘love in’

As we were discussing in the comments section, I like the ‘new Lewis’. Whatever the particular brand of religious drub he has imbibed has improved Hamilton’s public image for the better.

Gone are the petulant days where he rages against the machine and sought solace in the fact that his steward penalties were racially motivated. We now have a new Lewis, who is still candid with his thoughts. A Lewis without the baggage of a demanding girlfriend. A Lewis like the one who entered F1, convincingly exuberant with delight when he wins.

This Lewis stands in stark contrast to the terrible public perception of the youngest ever three-time world champion. Vettel is accused of being arrogant, hypocritical, boring, and he consistently refuses to embrace the 21st-century media and engage with the fans.

Lewis suggested last weekend that the current racing in F1 is as good a tonic for insomnia as it was in the days of Michael Schumacher. He further stated he wouldn’t like to be as dominant a winner as Seb currently is, whilst inferring that Seb’s machinery is a substantial part of this.

This provoked a host of headlines in the printed media, which on the whole were unrepresentative.

Yet ‘new’ Lewis is sorry for any offence the Germanic driving machine may have taken from his remarks. Further, he wants to tell the world how good young Sebastian really is.

Taking to twitter, @LewisHamilton says, “Seb is great champion!! Not only that, he is a great human being who is funny and humble. Deserves all the success he is having.

I admire his dedication & ability to consistently perform without mistakes. This is the mark of a true champion,”

Who needs Simon Fuller when you’ve got Lewis in full flow! And he doesn’t stop there. For the record, he insists that, “regardless of what you & I may think about his car, at the end of the day he’s doing the perfect job. I’m just grateful I get to drive in an era with so many great drivers like him.”

And we all join in Raa raa raa. – or should that be Hallelujah… brother Lewis?

Of course, this sounds a little sugar coated, but hey … the much vilified ‘evil’ pantomime villain – Sebastian – needs all the help he can get at present.

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Red Bull’s KERS traction secret

In the wake of the Singapore Grand Prix, utterly dominated by the Red Bull RB9 of Sebastian Vettel, questions have been raised about whether the car is using traction control.

This is highly unlikely and it is probable that those suggesting that the RB9 runs TC lack understanding of how such systems work, especially considering that all cars run identical TAG 320 ECU’s.

However, the latest issue of Racecar Engineering raises an alternative, legal, and highly innovative solution for the RB9′s mid corner performance, which could also explain many of Red Bull’s reliability issues.

It is – theoretically – easy to modulate the output torque and charging input torque to an electric motor/generator by using capacitors, batteries, inductors, and a feedback signal. Changes in torque are instant, and control is both easy and legal.

If torque were to be modulated in response to the normal force that the tires exert on the track (in response to shock pressure, for example) significant unused traction potential could be recovered during high-pressure phases (the upside of bumps) and initiation of full wheel spin during low pressure phases (the downside of bumps) could be delayed, which yields better acceleration on the exit of a turn, higher cornering speeds, and increases stability, especially on bumpy tracks like Singapore.

In the new issue of Raccear Engineering magazine, this concept is fully explored, and Adrian Newey also comments on the issue. – Read the full story along with a full discussion of the RB9′s design below.

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Hembery fears doom in 2014

In Korea, the tyres were, once again, an issue that we all hoped to have put behind us. Fernando Alonso said they were not fit for purpose and Mark Webber sarcastically stated, “I get a Pirelli puncture from a Pirelli tyre?”

Webber suffered this misfortune after running over the debris from Sergio Perez’s delamination, and the Mexican too questioned the viability of the rubber provided by the Italian tyre manufacturer.

Paul Hembery points out the farcical nature of the Pirelli predicament. Speaking to Reuters he states, “We’re running around in a 2010 car, developing tyres for the 2014 car, which nobody really knows what it’s going to look like. Yet every time we even ask to test with a 2011 car we come up against opposition”.

He is of course referring to the objections raised against the planned Pirelli/McLaren test, to be held in Austin.

Pirelli have been all but screaming for the opportunity to properly test the 2014 tyres ever since, in Monaco, it became apparent that they had performed secret tests with Mercedes and Ferrari. Yet, Todt and the FIA appear to be consumed by their own political machinations over the upcoming presidential elections.

This all feeds David Ward’s idea of an executive appointment within the federation whose sole responsibility is to deal with matters pertaining to F1.

“Going forward, to do what we need to do, we need to have the ability to test and help everybody – drivers and teams,” Hembery argues. “Whilst nobody wants to think they’re going to get an advantage in testing, you can’t carry on going round in circles and decide to do nothing. Something has to change.”

One of the developments Pirelli wants to bring is a construction that reduces the amount of ‘marbles’ that the current tyres produce, which during the course of a race reduce the effective width of the track and make overtaking even more difficult.

Austin was identified as a circuit that would help them understand this issue better, but Force India objected due to the fact this was a circuit yet to be raced on this year, suggesting that therefore McLaren would gain an advantage.

This season, the first 10 races were dominated by issues with the tyres. Yet, Hembery warns that the problems at the start of 2014 could be far greater. At least Pirelli understood the power output and torque forces of the current V8 engines when they designed the tyres for 2013. For 2014, even now they are all but blind on these issues.

Hembery suggests a solution to mitigate another tyre disaster in 2014. “Ideally at the end of the season we’d like to see some use of these (2013) cars because they’re the best and the quickest we’ve got at the moment .It would make sense to use them because for the majority of the teams they’ll be of little relevance anyway.”

Asked whether Formula One which has previously have banned in season testing to save money was reaping the whirlwind, Hembery smiles wryly and says, “To an extent, yes,”

The cars will take to the track in Jerez in some 16 weeks and it is absurd that, as Hembery sighs, “We’re still talking about trying to sort testing out and we’re in October. I just hope the engine manufacturers for next year have been able to do their work, and as they desire.

Otherwise the conversations we’ll be having… might be with them next year – I hope not, for their sake.”

2014 ‘tyregate II’ – the sequel – may well be looming faster and larger than its predecessor.

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Incognito Alonso

Fernando is having fun despite his titles hopes being dashed to smithereens. He tweets today, “Llegando a un evento en Tokio…de “incógnito”…;)) Arriving at an event in Tokyo… “unnoticed”…;))

A quick word if I may Fred. ‘Incognito’ in fact works better in English than ‘unnoticed’ – and a 😉 to you too sir!

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The F1 blame game

There was a time when Formula 1 cars were driven by men; men who were chivalrous or even ‘a dandy’; men who tried to respect the limits of the machinery they were provided, knowing its improper use may kill either them or a colleague; men who could accept when they were wrong.

The Paul di Resta bug appears to be spreading. The Scot has made himself unpopular with the team this year for a number of incidents where, instead of taking personal responsibility for the situation, he has blamed the team.

Sergio Perez has arrived in Jakarta for a PR event with [McLaren] sponsor Johnie Walker, which some may say is a drink for men.

Sergio tweets today, “Shame that the tyre ruin[ed] our weekend , we were doing a good job till that point”.

Say what? That tyre that was expected to run for 21 laps, as suggested by Pirelli, was on its 28th lap when you misjudged your braking into turn one and stamped on the pedal in panic. This locked the tyre for as long as I’ve seen for ages, burning all the rubber away and causing the inevitable explosion. Them tyres!!!

What is it with a growing number of the current F1 drivers’ generation? We don’t expect them to be perfect, but we do want honesty, and for them to man up, stop whining and blaming others, and to take responsibility for things that are their own fault.

No wonder the likes of Graham Hill et. al. are consistently cited as the greatest F1 drivers ever, even by generations who never saw them drive.

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Todt’s manifesto

This is too long for re-printing here, so I’ve provided the link to Jean Todt’s visionary manifesto, which will guide the motorsport’s global governing body for another five years.

If you want the short version, we suffer eight pages reflecting on the huge achievements Jean has delivered in the past years, and then we get this:

“From continuing to structure the FIA so that it can help realize the ambitions and aspirations of clubs worldwide, to the development of safe, sustainable and successful motor sport from grass roots to world championship level and on to reinforcing the FIA’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility in the interests of road safety and sustainable mobility,

Jean Todt and his team are determined to continue the FIA’s progress through further modernisation, diversification of resources and even greater integration of the regions. 

Shortly, Jean Todt and his team will reveal more details of their plans for the future.

The path to renewal has been navigated, now it’s time to move forward”.

OMG. I wouldn’t have elected the president of my old University’s ‘tiddlywinks’ club based on those ideals and promises.

WE’RE ALL DOOMED – to coin a phrase from the eternal optimistic Scot, Private James Frazer

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The wit of Martin Brundle

There’s nothing like digging a hole and then, when you realise all may not be well, digging it deeper.

Martin Brundle must have read the articles and comments that were amused at his self-appointed position of ‘respect policeman’ for Sebastian Vettel, and then engaged the services of a JCB digger.

I can’t get the video clip, but he did a little piece for SKY UK viewers as a follow-up to his sanctimonious podium  sermon.

The scene begins with Brundle sitting on a bench in the paddock, top gun sung glasses on, reading a book.

(Feigned surprise – and a slightly pitchy voice) “Oh… hello there… I’m Martin Brundle. You just caught me reading my latest book – “How to win and keep friends in the paddock”.

I’d like to tell you a little story. (Now homie style). I’d like to tell you a little story… you may not believe this… not everyone is as chilled and happy as me….

No… some people have a rough time of it. My friend Seb, for example.

He’s done everything he’s meant to (clip of Vettel and chequered flag)… but he get’s this (clip of booing and Brundle lecturing fans – “please don’t do that – it’s not correct”)

(More fake high voice surprise) I know….. UNBELIEVABLE… do you enjoy that Seb?

(Clip of Seb saying, “I don’t consider myself to be the bad guy)

Do you feel you’re not getting the respect you deserve?

(Clip of Seb saying – “its not going to happen….so”)

But don’t worry. You won’t see the difference over night… or even through the weekend.

But one day, you’ll look back and know that it’s the best thing you ever did. (now very shrill voice) KEEP WINNING…… KEEP WINNING.

They may boo, but soon all they’ll remember are your wining results. Just ask our satisfied customers…

(God knows what this is about – clips of Schumacher, Hill and Lauda all post race saying stuff like, “It’s fantastic”, “there’s no words to describe it”)

So what do you think now Seb?

(Clip of Vettel standing on car with finger prominent and voice over from pit radio with Vettel saying… “Yes, yes, yes, and yes again”)

(Father like from Brundle) That’s my boy…

(More voice over pit radio from Seb. “Yes baby… yes baby…. UNBELIEVABLE”)

So there you have it. Winning – the secret of champions. In the record books your success will be remembered – the boos won’t.

…..(inanely) There you have it….

This made my ten-year-old daughters’ end-of-year play look professional…. anyway Seb, with an apologist like Brundle in your camp – who needs enemies 😉

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47 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 8th October 2013

  1. And the Baby McLaren to rival the 911 will be coming out soon. I’m so glad Ron has really put an effort into all this and make McLaren a more financially independent company fashioned in the same mould as Ferrari. Hopefully we’ll be able to avoid more Perez’es in the future 😉

    • He really is a tremendous individual. I have the height of respect for the man. He should be knighted for services to motorsport and industry. One of Britains best entrepreneurs, and massively underrated for his achievements.

      I would dearly love to read his autobiography, it would be fascinating.

    • And yet , if I have read the correct information, Mclaren Automotive is half owned by a middle Eastern concern?

      The biggest hurdle to their success is the markets. Ferrari is recognised worldwide in spite of F1, not because of it and it is this which Mclaren have to replicate.

      Let’s be honest, in spite of it’s performance, the F1 was not a sales success and as the article suggests, there are still cars available to buy. Ferrari has the problem of deciding which of their applicants orders to fulfill.
      Even Porsche, with an established Motorsport history and recognised brand hasn’t shifted all their production either.
      I admire Ron, respect his achievements too but there are times his arrogance is altogether asphyxiating

      • What does everyone compare McLaren Automotive to Ferrari? It’s futile doing that. McLaren cars should be compared to Koenigsegg, Ascari Cars, etc. That’s the volumes it’s going to shift to start with. Later, who knows…

        • I believe it’s because Ron himself insinuated with the F1 that that Mclarens goal. Both Ron and the main designer, Gordon Murray were disparaging of Ferrari at the time.
          To this day , the cars are designed to take on Ferrari, nobody else

    • I get’s hugely busy over race weekends. GMM pumped out over 30 stories to their accredited sites during the Korean GP.

      At times we play catchup the following week. Even with comment and analysis of people who appear on the SKY F1 Show on Friday…

      We are F1 fans and volunteers and I am frequently very busy on a race weekend – hence our continual request for helpers at the news desk

  2. I don’t get it. Everyone talks about Lewis’ u-turn. Yet I don’t see it. He just says Vettel is a great driver. He didn’t say he now enjoys the show and F1 is not boring. He didn’t say he now wants to dominate. He didn’t say previously Vettel is crap. And he still says ” despite what you and I may think of the car”. So I see no u-turn.

    • He faced quite some backlash after his first tweet and especially the ‘we are of higher calibre than fighting for fifth’ quip. He had forgotten that people make it a hobby these days to get upset about each and everything. We wanted to correct the accusation that he yet again tried to attribute all the success of Vettel to the car.

      It’s exactly inane ramblings like that, which convince me that Vettel is quite clever in staying away from the likes of Twatter or Faceborg. But then, he just plants his foot firmly in his mouth on live TV 😉

  3. Before I read any further, after getting to the piece with Hembery’s utterings, I have to say I’m so over this knob-jockey! Today’s issue, Paul, is a non-issue surely. You were aware of the rules when you started. STFU and bulid some decent tyres!

    • For the life of me, I can’t work out why Hembrey represents Pirelli. An Italian corporation with a Brit frontman? Che?
      Also, if they had an Italian spokesperson, he could make out he doesn’t speak English and half the problems are solved. Even the tyres wouldn’t get the same flak, “Italian build quality, hey guys?”

  4. Hey TJ, I was having same thoughts – re: blame game – as I was writing an OTD for 12th. I hope you don’t feel I was plagiarising your work your honour.

    • …not at all…. this is an irritating theme in modern F1…

      I can only assume building uber safe cars and supermarket car park-esque run of areas means the drivers feel as though they are playing a video game….

      …ooops screwed that corner off – reset the game – try again….

      …and behave like the teenagers who pay them…

      • Oddly enough, when I was racing FF in the west coast of the States, I ran into a driver who did exactly that. We were in Deer Park, north of Spokane, Washington (just below Canada) which was his home track. The course was an old airfield with LOTS of runoff. This guy told me that when testing at the track in a couple of corners he just went faster and faster until he came off the track. No big deal, since there was plenty of runoff. Actually, a good way to learn the limits.

        • To judge and everyone,

          Just a funny little note. At home I have the ps 3 with a decent wheel and pedals.

          Anyway the other half pays mys for me to have a go in a formula ford car. Sit in the thing, wheels and pedal feel exactly like my ps3 (Christ is was a bugger to pull away in) the only difference being it had 3 pedals.

          Anyway followed the pace car for a few laps, then I’m off like a shot, flying down the straight, hit the brake, FUCK !! Nothing happening, it only felt so much like the ps3 rather than a car, I had tried to brake with my left foot and tried to brake with the clutch.

          Took about 3 laps an new set of underwear for my brain to treat it as a car.

          • Jamie – love it…

            Yet if you drove an F1 car for a living – the process would reverse, and it would become natural and more like the PS3….

          • I have driven a friends set up with racing games and F12012 with wheel and pedals and it’s fun.

            I also had the opportunity to have a go in the Ferrari F1 simulator earlier this year and that was freaky because you could feel downforce, braking forces and the stand out for me was the force required to change gear, this was the main difference between a wheel set up for a game and an F1 car.

            I was disappointed by the graphics, they were no improvement on a Codemasters game and considering this was a multi million pound tool..

            The biggest thing for me was the motion sickness, within a lap I had to get out, I understand why Kimi hates them. It’s not the real thing and your brain knows. Essentially the wrap around screen was disturbing.

            I have raced in FF and whatever improvements they make to console games, they will never match real life. It’s a bit like watching the replays, amazing as they are, they just don’t look like a real race.

            Problem is, we live in a digital world but I prefer my racing a lot more analog.
            It’s like Star Wars. Pt IV – VI or Pt I – III?

          • @TJ, yes back in April I won a prize on JAonF1 for shell competition.
            The guy running it was the man who programmed this 2009 chassis and is responsible for the set up of their simulator.
            This thing had Alonso’s settings and the brake was solid. Staggering bit of equipment but completely screwed my head!
            I have the write up and my winning entry if you’re interested 🙂

          • Yes, that would be great send it to our PM John at thejudge13@hotmail.co.uk.

            I’ve been in that thing more than once… it’s terrible at first and makes you feel very ill.

            It does get better with time.

            The simulators used by the teams, are infinitely more complex and the graphics are much better – yet the orientation sickness is still one that takes everyone some time to overcome.

            It is a mental perceptional/cognitive problem. Some suffer more than others, but they all get it when they first use kit like this.

            Drivers just don’t speak about it….

          • I was glad to see you win the competition Carlo and read your write up on JAonF1. Was it the guy who did Netkar Pro and now Assetto Corsa? I had a similar go on a McLaren/sponsor rig, in Manchester, which looked like rFactor Pro or something set to run with a chassis set up. I found the brakes hard the first time I pressed them (amount of force, I don’t run a loaded cell at home), and the steering hydraulic (using an actual wheel etc.), but really enjoyed it and seemingly only me and another kid could go fast in it. I think probably because we likely both sim race at home. So, I don’t get motion sickness in a simulator (not tried one with simulated G-forces), but do if say reading in the car… Is it just an age thing? Or being used to it/growing up with computers etc? This has always fascinated me. Also my CNS was in overdrive as I stepped out haha.

  5. Re: Pirelli

    I do feel a bit for them this season (not withstanding Hembrey’s silly comments last week about talking to the soon-to-be 4 times champion). The thing is, if their brief was to produce a durable tyre then they would, and I believe they would do it well (disclaimer: I use their P-Zero tyres on my reasonably-sporty day car and I am quite happy with them in terms of performance and wear vs cost compared to other tyres I’ve used).

    However, their brief is to produce a tyre that is durable up to a point and then has a predictable but relatively steep drop-off (and yet must remain “safe” at all times). All while not being able to test prototype tyres on representative machinery and trying to run a proper business in the meantime where the PR aspect of your product appearing inferior or just downright dangerous to the uninformed viewer could be devastating. In retrospect I think that overall they have done a quite impressive job on the rubber (and perhaps not so much on the PR).

    I applaud Hembrey’s suggestion regarding the “marbles” issue – as they artificially narrow the track it does restrict overtaking opportunities at times. We just need someone to champion installing gravel traps (or astroturf or modern equivalent) again too … a combination of the whole width of the track being usable for racing and the run-offs penalising those who take to them? Are we, as viewers, prepared for such innovation? 😉

    Re: Lewis

    Y’know, I just think he’s maturing a bit. We all know that the RBR cars VET has driven have been a bit special, but this is just HAM being a bit more grown up about his comments, I think. He’s right about the whole dominance issue making things a bit stale for anyone who isn’t a hardcore VET fan (and perhaps even for those who are – we rarely get to see him drive on TV these days ;)), but he is also acknowledging that VET is doing an appropriate and decent job with that machinery (and perhaps understanding that in VET’s position he would of course do exactly the same).

    But what would us fans prefer to see? An exceptional car being driven by a competent driver or a competent car being driven by an exceptional driver? Perhaps with RBR/VET we’re seeing an exceptional car and an exceptional driver and perhaps it’s that perfect storm that’s the problem. FWIW, I (and I suspect many other fans/viewers) would rather see the technology largely normalised (at whatever level) and have the driver input (skill, bravery, fast thinking, reactions) be the main differentiator. Hopefully the regulations reset for 2014 may help to achieve that for a short while.

    Re: Todt

    “Shortly, Jean Todt and his team will reveal more details […]”.

    Well, that’s just rude! It’s like saying “Gingerly, Tim Minchin sat down at the piano …”.

  6. Ah, tis a fickle world we live in filled with low attention thresholds.

    In a world of irons vs lightbulbs i fall into the iron category.

    I warmed gradually to Lewis, then gradually went off him. This was due to constant petulant behaviour. It’ll take more than a couple of home races this season for me to warm back up to him again.

    As time goes by, I’m actually starting to come around to Seb. Maybe that’s just a reflection on my contrary side.

    I do think we are in an age of lightbulbs though, where a few tweets can have a significant impact on perception shifts. Balls to that, i say.

    Substance over optics, every time.

    • The problem that both Hamilton and Vettel have is, that they both have been signed up to young driver programs since they where old enough not to soil their pants anymore (11 VET, 13 HAM). Both have been indoctrinated with PR speak lessons since early childhood. Now, left to their own devices, they haven’t got the slightest clue how to express their opinion without someone telling them what to say.
      It isn’t exactly a surprise that it is these two, who frequently find themselves with their foot in the mouth.

      • True.

        But would the application of some intelligence not solve the problem?

        Its not as if these chaps are stupid, I’d consider both to be bright sparks. Especially Seb.

        • I think the first crack for Seb was Turkey 2010 and the ‘crazy’ gesture, second reveal was the whole Malaysia being found out gambit. Up til then he had managed it perfectly – we thought he was like butter wouldn’t melt, with the skills and charm to match. But Malaysia showed ruthlessness over sportsmanship – something essential in a winner, but not necessarily liked, aka schumi.

          Lewis likewise was perfect with his dad behind him, making all the right noises, but once he was replaced with Nicole things went downhill. I thought he would get with someone like Leona Lewis, but I didn’t realise how strong a celeb/cool seeking side Lewis had! And I still relate best to Seb on the grid.

  7. If RB have really pulled off the KERS TC, that would be so epic. It would make the whole lot of other teams look like bleedin’ amateurs. 😀

    • 1) If, IF they have pulled off this system, then it has been discovered too early. Now the FIA can write rules that forbid this kind of questionable traction control for 2014.
      The FIA has in recent seasons rewritten rules for engine mapping, holes in floors, exhaust positions and flexing bodywork to rein in RBR, I doubt this won’t have the same effect or even a re-introduction of full TC to further eliminate the requirement for skills from a driver!
      This is where the RBR arrogance over-rides sense, they were so far ahead in the championships they could have curtailed it’s further use till next year.

      2) Ferrari ran a legal non traction control in early 2001. It was being re-introduced for the European season which began in Spain anyway, but they were the only team that felt that it was worth the expense for four races.
      It worked off of their gearbox system and iirc the change time was 160m/s and it was to do with the timing of the gear change that allowed pseudo TC.

      3) It shows the difference between a consummate team player, Schumacher, and a kid, Vettel.
      MSC never let any information slip in press conferences or interviews, but Vettel is like a kid with ADHD on a space hopper telling everyone how pleased he is and how the world will never find out how it was done.

      4) He may take all the records, but if this turns out to be true, it only confirms what Alonso, Hamilton and most of the public have thought about Vettel, he needs a car advantage.

      Again, every point is preceded by a great big IF, as I believe RBR and Vettel are playing up to the paranoia of the F1 teams and have thrown them a curve ball..

      • But surely Webber should have it as well? Or are we saying Webber cannot make his TC work?

        Vettel is skilled, he has mastered a highly complex car and Webber is no slouch… Vettel is just faster.

        • It depends on how counter intuitive this system really is doesn’t it. We know from 2011 that Vettel could make exhaust blowing work which Webber couldn’t.

          I don’t doubt Vettel is a great, but Webber is not in his league, nor I fear is Ricciardo.

        • Vettel’s of the PS3 generation….. Mark grew up with the sheep in Queenbeyan in the Southern Tablelands of south-eastern New South Wales.

          • An interesting thought…

            If your generation decides your adaptability to technology does it mean the older drivers will naturally struggle as technology advance and they cannot adapt as well as the younger drivers? So for someone like Alonso and Kimi, will they get slower, not because of the age but because if their inability to adapt?

            Would this also play into the hands of someone like Hamilton who just gets into a car and drives the living day lights out of it regardless of what there is on the car I.e. They constantly adapt their style to suit the car rather than wanting a car to suit them?

  8. Going back a year or so ago I think it was Craig Scarbs that showed images of Red BULL chassis, pointing out the locations where I believe he said they had place extra batteries that was being use to aid in boosting their starts off (a system Ferrari were also said to have.)

    If Red Bull have those batteries in place, could it be there are now also being used to aid in some form of TC via KERS?

    What F1 WEB site said on the uses of KERS:-
    Currently the regulations permit the systems to convey a maximum of 60kw (approximately 80bhp), while the storage capacity is limited to 400 kilojoules.
    This means that the 80bhp is available for anything up to 6.67s per laps, which can be released either all in one go, or at different points around the circuit.
    Lap time benefits range from approximately 0.1 to 0.4s.

    And if that is so, (TC via KERS) maybe this is how they have managed to escape others attention plus breaching the traction control reg’s.

    What the regulations said @ 9.3 on the uses of Traction control.
    No car may be equipped with a SYSTEM or DEVICE which is capable of preventing the driven wheels from spinning under power or of COMPENSATING for EXCESSIVE TORQUE DEMAND by the driver.
    Any device or system which notifies the driver of the onset of wheel spin is not permitted.

    So have they gotten away with breaching the TC regulations?

    A never question to ponder, if Red Bull are using a system that sub harvest and stored power, are they in breach of the 400 kilojoules limitations for storing and using that power?

  9. You know, i was going to call a new puppy Brundel nearly 15 years ago. I ended up calling the lovely woof another name.

    I’m glad about this now as I’d be embarrassed for the poor creature after reading that dross from microphone Martin.

    The dog is still in great health, thankfully, and enjoys her F1 to this day.

    I envy her 😉

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