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Sauber humour Barrichello (11:23)
Marketing F1: Old Style (12:42)
Where does all the F1 cash go? (13:10)
Red Bull’s KERS traction secret (15:35)
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)
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.
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.
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.”
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”.
Marketing F1: Old Style
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.
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, .
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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 😉