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Brawn may retire – Bull (01:10)
Red Bull seek to acquire (07:20)
Red Bull test the RB10 (11:05)
Williams Double Dutch (13:32)
Vettel’s cunning Ichiban (15:43)
Red Bull ‘brain drain’ grows (17:18)
Catastrophic Ticket Sales in India
It appears the Indians lose interest in Formula One – and they lose it fast. The first race on the Buddh International Circuit in 2011 sold a meager 95.000 tickets. Last year the sales fell to 65.000 and this year with just 2 weeks to go sales stand at a catastrophic 20.000.
The organizers are still hopeful that sales will pickup and that the prospect of no Indian GP next year will bring in more people. They better not pin their hopes on variety as India is the last place where one would expect the Vettel dominance to be broken. He ‘christened’ the thing in the inaugural event 2 years ago with a squeaky clean Grand Chelem and only Jenson Buttons fastest lap on the very last lap of the 2012 race prevented the German from repeating this feat. No driver except Vettel has ever led the Indian GP.
It’s not looking good for the track owners or the Red Bull competition…
However, every cloud has a silver lining as the crowing of Prince Vettel – 4 times world champion – is less likely to be booed if no one attends the race.
Lewis, Lauda and a hotel room in Singapore
After suggesting that nothing much would have changed at Mercedes if Schumacher had extended his contract beyond 2012, Lauda revealed to Motorsport Total, how he poached Lewis Hamilton from McLaren.
He describes how he initiated the Hamilton courtship at Singapore in 2012.
Before the race I was invited to take part in a board meeting in England before the race. Norbert Haugg was there and almost the whole board of directors, too. At the end of the meeting I asked them, who the drivers would be for next year and they said ‘Rosberg and Schumacher’.
I asked them if they were sure that Schumacher would continue in 2013,
‘We have offered him a contract that he has to accept until October,’ they told me. I asked them : ‘And what will you do if he doesn’t accept?’
‘Well have to look for someone else,’ they answered.
‘Who exactly are you hoping to get as late as October?’ I asked back and they all just shrugged, That’s when I knew that this team had a management problem. I offered them to take care of this problem.
I immediately had Lewis in mind as he was the only top driver without a contract for 2013 at the time. With that perspective I flew to Singapore and talked to Lewis on the Friday before the race. That was a first for me – going up to another guy’s hotel room at 2am in the night.
He looked at me and asked why he should exchange his winning McLaren for a struggling Mercedes. I had no answer for that, but I reminded him that he had driven for McLaren since he was a kid and that to ímprove as a driver, he would have to take risks. If things would come together at Mercedes and he becomes world champion with them, he’d be up there with the Schumachers and the Fangios. That’s when he began to see my point.
Of course it helped that his car broke while he was leading the race, so I continued nagging him. Shortly after we signed him.
Well played, Niki… Respect brother…
The most useless F1 driver in history
On Oct. 8th the Red Bull media battalion had a very special guest – one of the all the greatest Formula One pay drivers, Mr. Takachiho “Taki” Inoue. The self declared “worst driver in the history of F1” spoke to redbull.com about his bizarre career.
As he is not exactly known for his driving prowess, his career is probably best known for his two off the wall accidents in the Footwork. While his stricken car was towed back after free practice in Monaco, the pace car piled into him and Taki’s car ended up upside-down.
At the Hungaroring, with his smoking car at the side of a track, he snatched a fire extinguisher from a phlegmatic marshal and was promptly run over by a marshal’s car.
Despite evidence to the contrary in the form of the farcical career of Jean-Deniz Deletraz, Taki insist that he is the most useless driver ever: “Of course I was the worst. I only made 18 starts and never scored a point. In qualifying I was always between two and five seconds slower than my team mate. I have never overtaken a car in F1. I must be the most useless driver.”
Despite having a contract to drive for Minardi in 1996, the man from Kobe never drove for them as shortly before the season one of his sponsors withdrew. So after 18 starts Taki left F1 to be useless in the Japanese GT series.
In the past two years Taki has become somewhat of a cult figure among fans for his hilarious and sometimes downright peculiar tweets, with which he offers unsolicited advise for the F1 teams, talks about his fire extinguisher fetish an other things the world doesn’t need to know.
Brawn may retire – Bull
This just goes to show that even specialist F1 media hasn’t got a clue at times. Apparently according to the Mirror, promoted in F1Fanatics.com round-up of the day, Ross Brawn could be about to retire.
“Grand Prix legend Ross Brawn could retire at the end of the season” is the Mirrors lead. Their grasp on Brawn’s F1 career appears delusional as they state, “Brawn is one of the most prolific F1 designers of the current era”.
The story rambles on about Schumacher and the championships won and Brawn’s pedigree. yet it fails to recognise “the bear’s” response this weekend when questioned whether if he quit Mercedes he would also quit F1. Brawn responded, “Not necessarily walk away from the sport”, with a knowing grin.
GMM are the purveyors of this nonesense story too. Yet just 2 days ago, they reported these very Brawn comments as defiant and an indication he would stay in F1 whatever.
So why is TJ13 reporting this non-news news? Firstly, there is a small minority of our site commentators who consistently pick at the smallest details and challenge the stories we produce. .Do we care? Not really… but at times it is worthy of note.
In fact challenges to opinion pieces are not just welcome, but encouraged. One of TJ13’s objectives is to create the forum where the best and highest quality F1 debates occur. We value our commentators as priceless and wish to encourage new participants.
F1Fanatic is a well established F1 site, however, their daily news is merely a string of links to other media stories – which is fine. But at TJ13 we work to bring you the news, written by us with original comment and opinion.
We highly appreciate our readers, but occasionally think it is worth pointing out what else is going on out there – and that our facts are predominantly spot on.
Red Bull seek to acquire
The news circulated on Saturday that deep within the Austrian drinks making organisation there is a desire for further sporting publicity, expanding into markets they still are yet to venture into. They already own clubs in Brazil, Ghana, Germany and the USA, but the next target is said to be a club in the English Premier League.
Why this is Formula One news I hear you ask? Well, this could suggest the team are not happy with the current level of exposure that F1, Ice Hockey, some relatively minor football clubs and extreme sports is offering them. Is this another sign that F1 marketing is just not what it used to be?
With the EPL now the most viewed football league in the world, especially picking up in the Middle East over recent years, it is an extremely attractive marketing tool. An insider is reported to have said, “Bull want a team to take into the Champions League. It is the only market they have not reached yet.”
This is very true, with the Champions League as popular as the EPL in terms of international broadcasting. It would be unlike Christian Horner not to get a word in a topic, and this is what he had to say on the matter in a BBC interview on Sunday, “They have got their own team in Salzburg, they have another one in Germany, so I am not sure they would want to take another one on at the moment. But with Red Bull, you never know.”
Sewing the seeds of doubt, but then ending with the possibility of it happening; we would expect nothing less from the Red Bull principal. So if and when the calendar does reduce from 22 races to 19 next year, (and possibly the Red Bull/Renault combination not being so dominant) can we expect Red Bull to focus their attention somewhere else?
The report suggests it would most likely be a London club, with Everton and Liverpool also being considered.
Given that the value of Premier League clubs will increase over the next 2 years due to the new TV deal, which started this season, it probably will not happen overnight (as the takeover of Chelsea FC, by Abramovich seemed to), but the idea remains on the back burner of the Red Bull management’s ‘to do list’. It may become more pressing were Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s domination of the sport might not continue for much longer.
Red Bull test the RB10
If you live near Barcelona and own a long lens, you may want to get down to Idiada over the next few days. Red Bull will be testing their aero design for the RB10 – hook nose and all.
The car is of course not the complete RB10 as it will be when launched. For a start it will be using the current V8 Renault engine which itself requires a very different attachment system to the chassis than will the new V6.
This test will be a very technical test, and will examine closely the wake created by the new aero design that is the front of the car. Managing the wake is key to all other aero design, and is where McLaren got is so wrong this year.
Webber heavily handicapped in Japan
TJ13 has come to learn that Mark Webber was in fact significantly handicapped for the Japanese GP weekend – and this time it was neither by design or intention from the team. Following the inferno and fire truck debacle in Korea, Mark’s chassis was impossible to refurbish before the he had to be back on track just a few days later.
Factor’s such as time, logistics and merely that we are in the twilight of this year’s racing season prevented Red Bull from providing their Aussie driver with a new chassis. Red Bull did confirm that the chassis Mark would use was heavier than the one Sebastian would be using for the Japanese weekend.
What wasn’t revealed was how much heavier the old chassis weighed in at. TJ13 believes it was at just over 22kg heavier than the one Vettel was using and the reasons for this are simple.
Firstly it was an older iteration of design from earlier this year. Then, when a chassis gets damaged throughout the year, running repairs are done that usually render the chassis ‘not optimum’ and heavier. A chassis may be repaired a number of times a year and this process each time adds weight which in turn can affect rigidity slightly which also alters the handling characteristics.
In Suzuka,this year, the cost in lap time for every extra 10kg of fuel was estimated by analysts to be around 0.4 seconds per lap.
This just gives a little more context to the quality of the drive the outgoing Red Bull Australian driver delivered on his way to an excellent 2nd place finish.
Williams Double Dutch
The Dutch publication that famously brought us the tale that young Robin Frijns had dissed Red Bull by suggesting they treated their young drivers like dogs, de Telegraph, reports that Giedo van der Garde’s future father-in-law is considering buying into the Williams team.
Marcel Boekhoorn, a seriously wealthy businessman apparently has expressed ‘serious interest’ in acquiring Toto Wolff’s 15% stake in the historic British team. Van der Garde’s manager – Jan Paul ten Hoopen – confirms that Wolff and Boekhoorn have spoken on the matter but refuses to be drawn on whether this will get Giedo a seat in a Williamscar; “buying shares and getting a race seat are separate matters”.
Rumours of a Kovalainen return to Caterham for 2014 have sparked speculation that van de Garde is actively hunting for a new F1 home for the coming season. Add to this that the Dutchman is sponsored by Dutch fashion label ‘McGregor’ – who have in the past been a partner of the Williams team – and the various links may be less tenuous.
Further, Williams is also 5% owned by Dutch billionaire John de Mol and ten Hoopen fans the speculative flames by stating, “Giedo would like to drive for a renowned team, and I think Williams knows what it is doing”.
Some would suggest otherwise following his rather nasty shunt in Japan, which Giedo reveals, “was a heavy crash – it was just above 20G. I am still a little bit stiff here and there. But tomorrow everything will be fine again.”
The stewards examined the incident and decided that neither Jules Bianchi or van de Garde were ‘wholly or predominately to blame’.
Going ‘Dutch’ in English is an idiom to suggest paying one’s fair share. Double Dutch however means that something spoken or written is such nonsense that it cannot be understood. Will Williams be going ‘Double Dutch’ with investors – or make it a treble by adding van de Garde?
Kindly suggestions of what to do with a P Zero
Pirelli have divided opinion like Marmite and Vettel. Some think they’re great, whilst others revile their existence. This has been true here in our little TJ13 community, and suggestions over what should be done with a Pirelli tyre… has at times been close to moderation.
Blackcircles.com have a suggestion. “Tyres may seem like an uninspiring object, however, for years talented artists have taken tyres which are past their prime and turned them into some extraordinary pieces of art.
For those who wish to use tyres as their medium and
canvass, there is never a short supply of material, with over 1 billion tyres manufactured each year all over the world.
Normally once a tyre has served its purpose they are recycled by specialist companies. However, it is nice to see that every now and then they are given a new lease of life in the art world”.
Here’s some inspired ideas – some even with an F1 connection……..
Vettel’s cunning Ichiban
Vettel does like to stretch the point at times, and the results are mixed. The ‘balls in the pool’ comment did not go down well with a number of those within the paddock never mind his army of hecklers. However, there were reports last week that Red Bull were looking at ways to improve their protoges PR and Sebastian dropping the widely disliked ‘finger’ salute was debated.
Vettel’s response was not just to ‘carry on being himself’ and give us all the finger upon winning. He made a point of emphasising the meaning behind the ‘finger salute’ as TV viewers heard a shrill Vettel yelping, “Ichiban, ichiban” on pit/car radio.. This is Japanese for ‘No. 1’ as designated visually by the aforementioned ‘finger salute’. My own straw poll of individuals considered this to be particularly amusing from Vettel and it is fantastic Vettel courts the controversy with such glee.
Ichiban has not been an obscure word to all outside of Japan. Apparently US readers may have tuned into something called the Ron and Fez radio show where Ron encourages the listeners to call in with what they would consider the number 1 news item of the day. After he says “Ichiban” a sound clip of people chanting “ICH-I-BAN..ICHIBAN!!” is heard before the caller is put on the air.
As in most languages, words can have nuances of meaning, and ichiban appears to be no different. ichiban is in fact a lipstick for men in Japan, whether Sebastian is aware of this – we are at present unsure..
Vettel will be well aware though that ichiban would be commonly used to convey the idea of one who has attained the highest state of superiority over others… to be at one with yourself and part of a select and elite group… who are quite ‘different’.
Very clever Seb. TJ13 thinks you are sooo Ichiban…
Red Bull ‘brain drain’ grows
TJ13 is hearing reports that Peter Prodromou will also be taking his No. 2 to McLaren when he leaves. If Rob Marshall decided to leave too, this would be an enormous problem for the Red Bull Racing team. Watch this space…..