Daily #F1 News and Comment: Wednesday 16th October 2013

This page will be updated throughout the day.

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Catastrophic Ticket Sales in India (00:01)

Lewis, Lauda and a hotel room in Singapore (00:01)

The most useless F1 driver in history (00:01)

Brawn may retire – Bull (01:10)

Red Bull seek to acquire (07:20)

Red Bull test the RB10 (11:05)

Webber heavily handicapped in Japan (11:51)

Williams Double Dutch (13:32)

Kindly suggestions of what to do with a P Zero (14:53)

Vettel’s cunning Ichiban (15:43)

Red Bull ‘brain drain’ grows (17:18)

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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……..

 

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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…

untitledIt appears working for Red Bull requires an active finger

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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…..

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102 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Wednesday 16th October 2013

  1. 1) What the hell is Taki grabbing in that picture?

    2) I love the fact that all these new circuits that Ecclestone has introduced so quickly are losing interest with F1. Maybe at last someone will get the idea that not all countries have the fan base, infrastructure or history required to host F1.

    F1 was and is a European based championship in the sense all teams are based in Europe and throughout racing history most have been based here. Even Mclaren and Brabham built their organisations in the Uk.

    The teams may travel further afield for races but to this day, night time races, late starts into dusk and the general timetables are run for European audiences.
    This has proven money grabbing to the extreme and with Korea and India both struggling for attendance and interest, how soon before these white elephants get left behind, a symbol of corruption over the little guys?

    In the same way that people are starting to wake up to the fact that banks and governments are amongst the most corrupt organisations in the world, maybe we can all flourish with new ideas.

    Rock on India, 1.2 billion cricket lovers can’t be wrong!

      • Pardon me Judge, but I had to google Sachin.

        I have absolutely no interest in willow on leather at all.

        It still gives me nightmares when I think back to the early eighties when they would interrupt F1 on Sunday Grandstand to show us 6 hours of unspeakable cricket with Geoffrey Boycott doing nothing!

        AAAAAAAAaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

  2. Never have cottoned to the idea of F1 taking place in countries where they worship cows.

    • Strange they are not buying into the idea of F1, given the Bovine winners at the track for the past two years. Red Bull should be God-like out there…

      • ” … should be God-like out there … ”

        They are too busy worshiping Lingam and Yoni, a free and pleasurable activity, to have any time – let alone money – for expensive F1.

  3. I’m afraid that Taki is very much mistaken. The absolute worst driver ever in F1 was our Malaysian friend Yoong.

    Poor Alex makes Taki almost Sennaesque by comparison.

  4. Wait, 95,000 tickets sold for the inaugural race is “meager”?

    Will this be the last year for F1 at Buddh?

    • in theory no;
      in practice…..who knows.
      Judge, are there any other races recently that have disappeared with the promise of a return that has not come to fruition? I can only think of Valencia, with 2012 being the last edition.

  5. Just a thought,

    Lauda speaks a load of shit!

    Reason? Oh right. Wasn’t it in Monza that Eddie Jordan announced that Lewis had signed for Mercedes and there followed denials?

  6. This may be off-topic to published articles so far here, but I noticed something interesting from the Japanese GP, and I’ve not yet seen it mentioned.

    On Saturday afternoon at Suzuka, the Race Stewards fined Sauber €20,000 for an incident in the Saturday AM practice session.

    The race director (Whiting) reported to the Stewards that Car 11 (Hulkenberg) appeared to impede car 23 (Chilton) at the exit to turn 9 (the 2nd Degner).”

    Per the Steward’s document #31, “The team (Sauber) of car 11 (Hulkenberg) advised him by radio that car 23 (Chilton) was on a “cool down” lap. Car 11 was preparing for a fast lap when the driver realised car 23 was immediately behind him and tried his best to give car 23 the apex. The team of car 23 (the Formula Cosworth team of Marussia) does not believe the incident amounted to illegitimately impeding.”

    “However, whilst the driver of car 11 is not found to be in breach of Article 16.1(g), we determine the team to be responsible for the incident, which was potentially dangerous, by issuing an incorrect message.”

    Here comes the surprise…. While going through the other documents released by the Stewards of the meeting, I came across another document, #42, which was published on Sunday morning at 11:56AM, on this same issue. It reads:

    “The Stewards, having received a request from Sauber F1 Team for a review under Article 179bis of the FIA International Sporting Code, of the Stewards decision document No 31, and having heard from a team representative, examined video/audio evidence, have considered the matter and decide the following.”

    “Decision: No “new element” was discovered”
    “Reason: Sauber argued that there were new elements:
    1) That Car 23 had braked later than usual on the lap concerned. Telemetry indicated the contrary.
    2) That the team had reasonable basis to believe Car 23 was on a “cool down” lap according to its first 2 sector times on that lap. However the incorrect radio call was made before Car 23 reached
    the end of Sector 2, so was based on the Sector 1 time where the delta was only 0.14 seconds slower compared to the previous fast lap.
    3) That a radio system is not obligatory. The Stewards accept this however if the system is used, it is the responsibility of the team to ensure the information conveyed is correct.”

    “The Stewards note that document 31 contained reference to “Turn 9”. It should have been “Turn 16.” (This makes more sense, as T16 is the first turn of the chicane.)

    So I was surprised that Sauber went through the motions with the appeal. Is it because they’re poor?

    • Hi VortexM – interesting saga… but only adds to the nonsense of over-regulation the world is in.
      So Sauber made a little error… Wow, 60,000…! You don’t have to be poor to appeal such heavy-handed decisions. Reminds me of a trial in ‘Midnight Express’…

      • (Chuckling at the Midnight Express trial reference…)

        It’s actually only €20,000 (~£16,900 or ~$27,000).

        Given the lessor amount of money involved, I’m wondering what is the point of Sauber’s exercise on Sunday AM? It appears the Stewards had the important facts correct the first time (excepting the turn #), and were clear on which reg was broken, and why they fined the team versus the driver.

        Sauber return to the Stewards with what they claim is new information, but the Stewards find that Sauber were wrong on every point by either fact or concept.

        I confess, I’m a long time fan of Sauber. I’m a little bit perplexed by their Sunday AM actions.

        • “The team of car 23 (the Formula Cosworth team of Marussia) does not believe the incident amounted to illegitimately impeding”

          It is time for the FIA to change the regulations in such a manner that future F1 jurisdiction will align with what most people would describe as justice…

  7. Much like in Korea, I’ve always felt that the location for the Indian GP was all wrong. Noida is the wrong location. They should’ve found some location either in the south, somewhere near Bangalore or near Mumbai. I dare say that there are more people interested in F1 in those regions than near the circuit. Although I don’t blame the circuit folks since unlike the 30’s or 40s in Europe start for current F1 circuits and hence their favourable locations, not to mention better connectivity, you can’t get prime real estate close to major cities. The cost is prohibitive. So they have to be quite far from the city. Prime example is the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai.

    Another thing is the ticket pricing. Min tickets cost Rs 1500. To put it in perspective IPL tickets start at Rs 4/600 and they’re played in the closest city near you. Trains take too long to get to Delhi and flying is 3 times as expensive as a single ticket if you fly from the East or the South. Heck even from Mumbai, they’re expensive to get to Delhi.

    I can’t believe there are people in this day and age who post xenophobic filth like that comment above about people worshipping cows. Come on Judge. F1 viewership in India is close to 27m. That is almost on par with UK numbers.

    Continuing with numbers and race timing – The biggest cause for fall in Chinese viewership was race timing and no live coverage for a few races. To enable european audiences to have a mid-morning viewing chinese race timings were late in the evening apparently, thus causing viewers to choose other programming. Like you said in your comment on another post, Bernie isn’t really concerned with who watches where as long as he gets his cut. And that is a right shame isn’t it.

    Last but not least, an interesting comparison – Eden Gardens had a 100,000 spectator capacity before its recent renovation. And Ind vs Pak match would fill it up to the rafters and similar numbers are a big deal for an F1 race even in europe 🙂

    • Hi Iceman, I like the points you add to the ‘attendance figures’ / ‘ticket prices’ discussion…
      But… “xenophobic filth”…?? Bit OTT I think…

    • If it is only 20000 tickets that have been sold until now for indian GP(And it may increase a little more in the next 10 days),I wouldn’t want to imagine how much tickets will be sold in 2015,when Indian GP returns to the April-May season,which unfortunately coincides with the IPL.. 🙁 🙁

      • Let’s not forget that with the most rapidly expanding economy in the world, a lot can change in 2 years. F1 is gaining viewing popularity in India; just not in race attendance.
        Who knows, the Force India ‘One in a Billion’ search may even start to unearth some previously undiscovered talent by then!

        • I think there’s some rapid imploding going on too… Don’t even get me started on the price of onions!

      • It gets pretty hot too (mid thirties) from April onwards. Marked difference from Nov and clearer skies compared to the foggy/smoggy Octobers.

  8. On the Premier League Red Bull story – they would surely look to do what they have done with Red Bull racing and Toro Rosso…buy and improve them; then look to sell them in the future for an immense profit?

    Imagine the ‘Liverpool Red Bulls’ coming up against Tony Fernandes’ lowly QPR!

    • Money isn’t everything, especially in Football. When Red Bull bought the SSV Markranstädt and renamed the club RB Leipzig, they were playing in the 5th tier NOFV Overliga Süd and utterly dominated it in their first year, winning promotion immediately. But then it already took them 3 seasons to win promotion to 3rd tier league despite playing the 4th league with a team that mainly consisted of players they had poached from 2. Bundesliga and the top-level Bundesliga.

      Money doesn’t automatically buys success – ask Toyota.

      • Well, the did rather well with Salzburg in Austria though…
        But, there’s a big difference buying one of the top 3-4 clubs in the country and a lowly team in some lower tier league. But in any case, it was Newey that saved them in F1 and they would need a Mourinho-like manager plus fat money to make it work in football. And even then, it won’t work akways…ask Chelsea, Real Madrid, Man City…the list goes on.

        • INdeed… and there are several hundred light years of difference between Austrian league football and the premier league. Ask the business genius Tony Fernandes….

      • Well, there is always the “MK Dons”… Yes, their heritage is, erm, questionable (c.f. the ‘relocation’ of Wimbledon FC to Milton Keynes) but the foundations and infrastructure is there for RB to build – similar to what they did with Stewart GP/Jaguar. Including a new-ish stadium with plenty of capacity to grow.

    • It’s what I’ve been always saying, once Newey retires, the Red Bull Racing ‘project’ will be over. And they all got on poor Lewis’ back when he described as a ‘drinks company’ with no long-term future in F1. Look how Merc, Ferrari and McLaren keep recruiting senior personnel and preparing for the new era. RBR do nothing! Case in point.

      • You shouldn’t let your irrational hatred for the team that has the audacity to beat your team cloud your judgement. Red Bull has been a major F1 sponsor for close to 20 years now. All their football club projects are close to their 10th anniversary. Tell me one project that has been abandoned by Red Bull (the company).
        They have been longer in the sport as a team than Jaguar, Stewart, BAR, Honda, Toyota, BMW (as works teams). And only because they don’t buy off all the personell from other teams, doesn’t mean they don’t work for the future. They consistently perform the best pitstops, so why hire a new chief mechanic? They have the best designer, so why should they hire a new one?

        • Indeed DS – and they don’t need to.

          Having invested 100’s of millions in R&D, they have successfully mastered the cloning process and when Newey departs soon – a ‘newey’ will take his place…..

          • Isn’t the Torro Rosso TD James Key more or less a disciple of Newey? I’m pretty sure they would draft him in, should Newey decide to retire. After all, why should they use STR only to bring in young drivers. It would make more sense to ‘develop’ technical personell as well.

            Raising their own personell seems to be the long-term MO in Red Bull projects. Looking at RB Leipzig for instance. They have 5 out of 35 players that are not German. Most other teams have more foreigners in the starting eleven. There have been instances of teams starting a Bundesliga game with eleven foreign players.
            RB Leipzig II – the football equivalent of Toro Rosso is the only major developmen team of any professional club in Germany, that hasn’t got a single foreign player in it.

            I wouldn’t be surprised that Prodomou, who is said to be courted by McLaren, would be succeeded by one of his apprentices or his counterpart at STR.

          • Not wishing to be argumentative… Purple Bulls…. Kimi to Ferrari …. now cloning Newey – trust me!

            Seriously, yes TR have been growing their own technical talent, but there is a substantial programme of ‘sharing’/training which sees TR personnel in MK most frequently.

            However, RB will very much miss Podromou – he is highly influential on the design process and in many ways Marshall works for him – facilitates his work would be a better way of expressing the relationship.

            So back in 2006, McLaren hatched the plot to educate their brightest and best talent by sending him of to Mount κόκκινος ταύρος and learn the wisdom of the gods, he is now loyally returning to the Woking fold to conquer the F1 world. He was heard to comment recently – “Its grim up North” – for the geographically challenged Woking is in Sunny Surry

          • How would James Key be a disciple of Newey? Before his short stint at Sauber and his current STR job he worked for the Jordan/Midland/Spyker/Force India team so he has never been working together with Newey? Being responsible for the 2013 Torro Rosso – i.e. the RB9 sister car – seems to be his only link with Newey, but that would hardly make him a disciple?

        • When I say RBR ‘project’ I mean a full team with an engine manufacturer that considers you their factory team. RB can be involved in F1 in many different guises in the future, but I’d be surprised if they stay as they are for more than 5-10 years after Newey retires and success doesn’t follow.

      • RBR don’t have to…

        The problem is that the smaller signings just don’t get the press.
        I think back to Ferrari’s dominant years, 2000 to 2004. Everyone knows it was run by Todt, Brawn and Byrne with Schumi driving.

        I hadn’t realised till he rejoined them again, that Allison had been there between 2000 to 2004. Aldo Costa also was there under Byrne

        Newey is the tech director and I’m certain he has a say in the direction the design goes, but he is not the principal designer, Rob Marshall is. Peter Podromou is the head of aero, but he was a Mclaren man responsible for aero and CFD from around 1991 when he left university until 2006 when he followed Newey to RBR.

        • I beg to differ Carlo – however this may be considered my specialist subject 😉

          Rob Marshall whilst having the title ‘chief designer’ is on a par with Podromou under Newey.

          He ‘designs’ the mechanical and manufacturing solutions for Podromou’s aero designs. Rob keeps Peter’s feet on the ground by explaining what in fact can be manufactured and what would end up flapping around and looking silly.

          • Why don’t your honour write an article “Inside the Red Bull Empire”? You seem to have quite an insight into the inner workings of the team and many people around here have properly never seen, what a massive operation an F1 team is.
            It could also stop the silly myth that it is all about Adrian Newey only. 🙂

          • You’re right DS – it is a huge operation, around 600 employees and countless contractors (this helps with the defunct RRA resource headcount)

            But it is indeed all about Newey. The day begins in the sanctuary erected by Mateschitz known as ‘Kapelle der Glatzenbildung eine’ – where repentance for sins (leaking information etc) is requested.. and absolution granted…

            Then there is a brief Quaker like silence, where all offer prayers to the spirit of ‘Taurine’ – they believe to still be residing somewhere deep in the jungles of Thailand

            This is all rounded off with a hearty song of worship and adoration to Newey – and as they file past his shrine the workers are presented with large gently warmed mugs of Red Bull to fire their productivity levels as they begin the day’s toil in hand…

  9. I think I remember Red Bull Salzburg playing in the Europa League at some point (and appearing in Champions League qualifying, as it turns out), but I think unless the UEFA coefficient of Austria’s clubs improves, I don’t think they’ll be automatically qualifying for the Champions League any time soon. More importantly though, when they compete in UEFA competitions they do have to alter their name and club crest in order to follow their regulations regarding sponsorship, which I’m sure is a tad annoying for the Red Bull people.

    I think they should be looking at other continents: their US club looks alright (overall top of the league as well as their conference, but I guess we’ll see what happens in the playoffs) and will gain a lot more publicity with the New York derby match between the Red Bulls (in New Jersey) and the newly formed New York City FC, a joint venture between Manchester City and the New York Yankees who will start playing at some point in the future.

    But most importantly, if they want to gain publicity in new markets, they should go to new markets – I mean, if they pumped a serious amount of money into Middle Eastern football, the improvements made from that would give them a serious amount of credit and their football a certain amount of credibility if they view it as a long term thing.

    • Excellent idea – or indeed European Sumo wrestling I feel is under publicised…..

      Still the annual Ferrari dust up keeps as all entertained aplenty….

      • Maybe, but I think Red Bull are more into extreme sports; maybe they can get a second wave of publicity into extreme ironing?

        ‘Annual’ Ferrari dust up? These days it seems more like every week or so! There’s too much Ferrari stuff going on behind the scenes to be honest, this is why I have to follow this website… I know it seems selfish, but why can’t they just deal with this stuff out in the open? More fun for us…

  10. Interesting about Webber’s chassis, I did note there was a mention if weight but 22kg is massive in F1 terms, especially when you hear talk if drivers who are only 8-10kg heavier being overweight! So if you took the 0.4sec off Webber’s pole time and give Seb his kers (apparently worth 0.4s/lap) Webber would still have been in pole, in theory. Although do you think that is why he ran less aero, because the aero he took if was worth about 22kg of downforce? Of topic a little, I hear engineers etc taking about points (pts) of downforce, can your honour or any of other commentaters enlighten me as to how may kg 1pt of downforce is please. Just curious as have hear reference to a new part adding 6pts of downforce but it means nothing if you don’t know how much “real” weight that equates to.

    Ref- Brawn to the Red team, he mentioned in an interview recently he was not keen on leaveing the UK again as his daughters have given him sine wonderful grandchildren and he really didn’t want to miss out on them growing up, plus I believe his wife was especially against a move. I still think the McLaren connection holds water still for me at this point. I genuinely believe Lewis is going to be incredibly annoyed and feeling misled if Brawn goes after just the 1st year of his contract, as I distinctly recall him saying the chance to work with the legend that is Ross Brawn was one of the key reasons he went to Mercedes along with the promise of a string power plant. If Brawn did go to McLaren, I think that they would retain Button till end 2015, get Alonso for the start of ’15 and in ’16 have the Lewis/Fernando partnership rekindled under the watchfull eye if Ross Brawn who Lewis will already have a working relationship with from this year and Alonso will have had a the ’15 season to get to know him. So both drivers will trust him to make sure equal status and machinery are assure for both. I really don’t think this idea is too ‘out there’ and would provide ,McLaren with a real dream team, especially with the recuitment of that RedBull guy (funny name and can’t spell it lol) who would most likely start for the ’15 season too, Brawn won’t be able to work for anyone until June next year (that 6month thing) if he leaves his current position at the end of this year.
    So to sum it up:-
    Brawn to McLaren – June ’14
    Alonso & RedBull guy to McLaren – Jan ’15 (along with Honda)
    Hamilton to McLaren – Jan ’16
    McLaren could be THE force from ’16 onwards.
    Can’t wait to find out!

    • You are absolutely right about the chassis weight. There is no way a chassis gains 22 kg from composite repairs. A new chassis probably weighs on the order of 22kg (or less). I’m an ex-aircraft composite guy, both tooling and manufacture engineering, with hands on experience of layup, etc. These structures are very strong and very light; if you were adding 22kg from repairs it would be a disaster and you would just scrap it.

    • I really do feel like Brawn is the reason Hamilton went to Merc. I have no actual evidence to back it up, just seems to make sense. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lewis follow Brawn at all. Particularly if Merc can’t give him a winning car.

      • How about the testing ban, your honour? Unless it is a straight-line test only it would be verboten…

          • And why go to Barcelona for that ?? Aren’t those things normally conducted at airfields in her majesty’s Empire, like Duxford?

          • TJ13 reported Ricciardo performing a straight line test there the week before the Silverstone YDT. This of course preceded him being announced to drive for Red Bull in the YDT.

            It’s a very private facility…..

          • Danilo – At this time of year a trip to Barcelona, would be much more enjoyable than to trip to Oxford 😉

          • …plus they take their regular detour in the Red Bull Skyliner and bombard Maranello with white noise and huge electromagnetic pulses designed to knacker wind tunnels……

          • I doubt they need to knacker Ferrari’s wind tunnel, looks like they’ve done a good enough job of it themselves over the last two years :mrgreen:

          • Only weeks ago we were hearing that the team personnel are fed up with all the foreign travel, away from their families… so, go to Duxford or stop whining…!
            [That’s RB, Judge, not yourself… 😉 ]

    • stephengreen – that’s not quite true. Yes, he probably didn’t go over the minimum weight, but that’s 22 kg less he can use to balance the car.

      Mark is 14kg heavier than Seb, with the additional 22kg that makes 36 kg less ballast weight. That’s no small change. Seb has 36 kilos more that he can put whereever he wants to lower the CoG and to balance the car better.

      The judge makes it sound as if Mark was running overweight to make his favourite driver look better than he really was, but 36 kilos less ballast is a serious disadvantage in balancing the car.

      • They can only move around 1% of the cars total weight, which I think is 6.42kg. Any more has to be placed in designated positions along the center line I believe, not 100% sure, think I saw a feature on ballast a fair few years ago now but I doubt it’s changed much, I am however dead certain on the 1% is all that can be moved around.

        • Strike that last comment I can’t now find any evidence to back it up, they can put the ballast where ever that like, low down and usually.
          God only knows where that little nugget of crap came from! I’ve got a pretty solid memory in general. I need a holiday!

        • Think you refer to art. 4.2 of the Technical Regulations: it says that out of total minimum weight of 642kg at least 292kg has to be applied on front wheels and at least 343kg has to be applied on rear wheels, meaning that teams have effectively 7kg to play around with. Art 4.2 only applies to qualifying though, given all the things that can still be done under parc ferme the weight distribution in the race will be quite different (fuel of course, but also change of batteries, etc).

  11. So we could get
    Williams: VDG MAL
    Force India: FRI ???
    (Robin Frijns, because of connection with Michiel Mol, co owner at Force India (and beerlover).
    And Max storming to WDC WSR 2.0!

    If only…

  12. let’s hope some teamboss has the guts to put Frijns in one of they’re machines, … could very well mean the End of Vettels winning streak in 2014. HA!

  13. In the UK on November 5th we celebrate ‘Bonfire Night (so called because we light fires and set off fireworks at night) in remembrance of ‘Guy Forks’ Who, for reasons that are still very much apparent today, tried to blow up the ‘Houses Of Parliament’ and in turn the Government with them in what is known as the ‘Gun Powder Plot’. Hence the fires and fireworks, but strangely we place an life size effigy of a man (made from old clothes sewn together and stuffed with straw to fill the cloths out and a face on it, similar to scarecrow) on the top of our massive fires and burn that too. I don’t know if it’s to show its a bad thing to try and remove the entire government in 1 go, or if it’s a to show how much we admire him for having the balls to try it. I know which one u prefer……

    Anyway…….. The point of my post is that if to save myself and a few friends spending the next 2 rounding up all the scrap wood we can lay our hands on, to build the village bonfire. We could just get Pirelli to have the used tyres from the Japanese Grandprix shipped directly to us and we can dispose of the free of charge. It won’t do much for F1’s ‘Greener’ credentials, but we all know if there is enough money to be saved, then blind eyes are often turned.

    (Fixed it CV 😉 )

    • I beleive the name was Guy Fawkes and he was part of a plot to reinstate a catholic king in place of James I…sorry to be a kill joy.

      Have to admit though, the reply to your own post has made me giggle, genius!

      • The post of “nice 1” is because I sent an unfinished post 1st so I completed it and put a note at the top to the Mod’s asking for the unfinished 1 to be removed. Does look quite funny though hadn’t look at like that. Lol

        The point about the reason for removal of government was that they were obviously not that popular in some circles then as someone tried to blow em up, and they still are unpopular as ever with certain circles in this era.

        But I did drop a bollock on the how to spell Guy Fawkes, it wasn’t in my spell checker oddly! lol.

        • You’re right about the government things, some say he was the last honest person to enter parliament, lol

  14. re: Itchiban

    When Vettel was shouting Itchiban over the team radio, someone in the motorsportforums posted:

    “Vettel has an itchy bum?”

    I nearly shat me pants laughing 😀

  15. re: Ichiban…lipstick

    Judge, I don’t think that something like this exists, that was just a fictional product in Friends when Joey modelled it…a grey-coloured one if I remember correctly :-O

  16. Re- Vettel endoring men’s lipstick.

    Can’t rememder if it was at the end if the Korean or Japanese GP (those early weekend mornings, especially after watching all the practice sessions live too, play havoc with your brain), Rocky had a radio conversation with Seb saying something like ” Well done, great drive, P1, P-Zero, Mexican wave?” and Seb replies in an elongated shreek “Finnnngerrrrrrr”. Personally I found this freakin’ hillarious and just helped along my growing opinion that Sebastian Vettel is a very witty and personable young guy who is possibly stifled to an extent buy having to make sure he says the ‘right’ things when ever a member of the media is within 500m. I saw a clip of him on 1 of those American late night chat shows, J Leno or something like that. Anyway, he was very amusing and seemed far closer to his true self. I’d also seen the ‘kimi impression’ a while back and those combined with the odd flash of humour in pre/post race interviews (more the ‘pen’ than podium) in my opinion, have really started to make him more endearing. I think Lewis was the same to some extent at the beginning with McLaren and I think we will see Seb’s true personality pushing through more as he continues to find his voice over the corperate crap that has been forced on him for years. I believe he has been connected to RedBull for almost, if not as long, as Hamilton was to McLaren. It’s hard for these guys to gain confidence in what they say off the cuff after being coached for so long, but once they do, we get the beauty of comments like some of Webbers straight no bull answers, and Fernando’s request for “someone else’s car” as his perfect birhday gift (i thought that is one of the best answers a driver has even given to the bit of a dumb question of “what would be your ideal birthday present”). So as Vettel’s years in F1 progress, I can see a good chance he will win over many of his current detractors, especially if he has a roughish season or 2 and doesn’t take the title. You heard it here 1st, mark my words. I thought Hamilton was a gifted driver, who behaved like a spoiled brat when he 1st showed up, but as he has grown up and missed a few championships after being let down by the team a few times and disappointed after being promised a consistently great car and multiple titles by the boss etc. We have really seen the emontions within and as a result much more of the ‘real’ Lewis Hamilton. When Vettel finally changes teams, as a highly prized commodity on the drivers market, his new team will not want to upset him, so they will be less likely to try coach and tell him what to say so much, so he will have more freedom of expression and this is what will turn the tide.

    • ” … we get the beauty of comments like some of Webbers straight no bull answers … ”

      Webber, while talking up Grosjean today, is quoted saying ” … You know, we’re not here to blow smoke up his arse …. “

  17. Didn’t loom too close at the tyre art but I have to admit that the fish faced thing in the bottom right corner has a textured head similar to Herr Nikki Lauda without his cap.
    Also the palm tree top left looks like its from a slow-mo of an exploding tyre at Silverstone.

  18. 22) TRACK AND WIND TUNNEL TESTING
    22.1 Track testing shall be considered any track running time not part of an Event undertaken by a competitor entered in the Championship, using cars which conform substantially with the current Formula One Technical Regulations in addition to those from the previous or subsequent year, with the exception of promotional events carried out using tyres provided specifically for this purpose by the appointed supplier.

    Therefore 2014 parts/cars cannot be tested and carry the same penalty as if 12/13 parts/cars were being tested…

    • Ferrari said openly they would be testing 2014 parts during FP1 over the final races….

      “cars which conform substantially” is the key….

    • Further, there is clearly a problem with FIA enforcement of these rules, because the 2011 cars used by Ferrari and Red Bull at the Pirelli tests were not the exact cars of that year.

      Its like having a game and asking the players to referee the rules amongst themselves…..

      Maybe some of the extra cash the FIA is receiving will be invested in better scrutineering, which at present is akin to having a bloke who can build a Meccano F1 car being asked to understand the myriads of complex components and construction the top teams devise.

      Those who argue it would be impossible to control and enforce a budget cap are beyond deluded if they think that controlling the teams’ designs in line with the specified regulations is a simpler task.

      There are holes in this area the size of an imploding universe….

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