Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 18th October 2013

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A little help from your friend – New Jersey (13:27)

Maldonado to leave Williams (13:27)

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A little help from your friend – New Jersey

We know Valencia is canned and it appears Mr E is growing rather soft in his older age… well almost. Spanish newspaper Marca reports Ecclestone has agreed to terminate the Valencia contract without implementing his normal termination fees, which for Valencia is a reported 50 million euros.

However… not be be seen as too kind (it would ruin his reputation) Mr E has decided that all the equipment that was used to make Valencia a safe street circuit should be shipped across the pond. For recycling I hear you ask? Not quite…

The rusty structures of Valencia’s street circuit will make it’s way into the Manhattan skyline when Formula 1 graces it’s shores in 2014. More than 10km of barriers, worth an estimated 6 million euros, will be reused for the Gran Prix of America.

Here at TJ13 we like to be positive and we love the global sport that is F1. The more people that follow the sport the better however, what sort of a start is this to a Gran Prix in the land of many opportunities?

Any ideas what India may throw into the kitty for New Jersey?

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Maldonado to leave Williams

Yesterday TJ13 reported Claire Williams had made a trip to Venezuela to discuss the future of the sponsorship deal PDVSA has with Williams F1 team.

Things seem to be going from bad to worse with a full scale civil war about to break out at the team. Maldonado is very unhappy because he feels he is not being given a car to win races something which team manager Dickie Stanford admits. Speaking to AMuS he said, “I’ve never seen a racing car that reacts so little to modifications“.

But the team is not taking all the blame saying Maldonado is still making too many mistakes.

Now Nicholas Todt who manages both Maldonado and Massa is working hard to get Maldonado lined up for the Lotus drive and then fill the vacant seat at Williams with Massa, who has a reported kitty of 6 million euros.

The silliest silly season in how long?

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31 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 18th October 2013

  1. Personally, I think this is a sensible idea…. if all that gear is sat in a wharehouse in Spain, doing absolutely nothing, and never will do again either, then why shouldnt it be used again for New Jersey…. especially if NJ is struggling to make ends meet as it is.

    Common sense if you ask me…. something which has been lacking ALOT in recent F1 times

    G

    • From the photos TJ put on earlier it looks like the stuff is just lying in a yard so def better to reuse it.. but more significant… what about the fact that Ecclestone waived the penalty fee? Surely he could have taken the fee and then buy NJ all the stuff they need with the 50million… jeeze, there will be some money left for a massive party as well! 🙂

      • Forget 1 isn’t going there…why is the circuit not used for any other tier of motorsport? maybe even bikes…

      • Sounds like Ecclestone cut a deal with them, which suits both parties. He gets the equipment, which Valencia would never use again and is blocking their port, which they need to get going again after spending so much to bring Americas cup and F1 there (shame, 2012 race was great!). He can then use this to try and get NJ going, just ship it in and set it up, no hassle for organising (sounds like the NJ operation needs any help it can get, esp. if time needs to be taken to secure the race bureaucratically/monetarily), and an added bargaining chip. Ecclestone wants the race to happen, as it’ll be huge for F1, and is maybe prepared to not be as ruthless if it makes it happen. Other places might not have been given more chances to pay up after his deadlines, but it’s all smoke and mirrors with Bernie, and if it leads to the race happening, it’ll all be worth it.

  2. “The silliest silly season in how long?”
    At a rough guess I’d say… oh… about 63 years…

    • The only rumour missing is the one about a new American Team led by, say, David Richard and Colin Kolles.

    • Right. So Nicolas Todt is manager of both Maldonado and Massa. Since Williams let public that Maldonado “still makes too many mistakes”, that bridge can now be seen as burning, and Williams is shopping for / planning on a replacement.

      Despite the negative comments from Williams, Maldonado is not slow, and he carries large petrol-dollars. To go up from Williams would land him at one of four open seats… STR (probably not, but possible), Force India (a team that prides itself on NOT taking paying drivers), Sauber (fast and dirt poor, as Russian money can grow new strings, and travel slower than promised), and McLaren.

      Meanwhile, Sauber is actively talking up Gutierrez’ abilities… (Hmmm!)

      • Oops! So the 5th seat, which I forgot, would of course be Lotus. Lotus may be more desperate than Sauber. Their Infinity / Quantum money is much talk, but no action. An interesting fiscal soap opera there that is mostly hidden from our eyes, but it’s never encouraging for a simple deal to drag on for too many months.

        PDVSA colors on Lotus next year?

        • I am struggling with Maldonado/Lotus…

          As long as Grosjean is there with Total I don’t see PDVSA with Lotus unless there is a strategic move from either oil parties?

          The quantum deal is supposed to be worth $200mil so the rumour mil says they are having trouble transferring the money.. Wonder where it is coming from?

          • Great point! Total is already parked in the petro-dollar spot at Lotus (if there will be a Lotus next season), so who could use petro-dollars?

            Starting with STR, they will be going to Renault power next season, so Total will likely be used (as with the RB).

            McLaren has a very big Mobil 1 deal.

            Sauber and Force India both lack petro-dollars. That makes it pretty simple for Maldonado and Nicolas Todt… Either FI, Sauber, or stay stuck Williams for one more season.

            In any case, if PDVSA is looking to save money in F1, moving out of their Williams contract would be the opportunity to do so.

            I hope Williams is able to extract decent money of PDVSA if they break their contract to go follow Maldonado around the paddock. That would’ve made for entertaining negotiations… “$50 mil to break contract, or PDVSA will see EJ Viso struggling around at the back of grid for all of 2014 while flying the Venezuelan colors for PDVSA!”

          • I thought Maldonado-Massa would be good for Williams, with Bottas proving himself against Di Resta at Force India (Sutil-Gutierrez at Sauber), but if there’s an oil mismatch it’s unlikely to happen.

            PDVSA could try and opt out but it could cost them, and then where else can Maldonado go in the paddock with reduced/no backing? Bottas has youth on his side, if less backing, and they’ve been pretty closely matched this year.

            Re: PDVSA – Surely it would be Johnny Ceccotto Jr coming up from GP2? If so, he’s the perfect Maldonado replacement! Things would be spicy on the grid next year!

            I wouldn’t be surprised at all with any outcome, as it is indeed likely to be the monetary factors that decide the 2014 silly season.

          • I might be able to help Lotus out, as I just got an email from Nigeria about $18.5 million I can get for impersonating a dead bank customers next of kin. Sweet.

  3. Why have people not considered the large sponsorship that JEV has from Total? Himself and Grosjean at Lotus/Renault could make a French super team…especially after there was talk of French GP return not that long ago

    • I think a Grosjean-Vergne line up at Lotus in 2015 would be great (and Hulk moving to Ferrari to replace Alonso, going to McLaren alongside Button! Vergne should have one year left at Toro Rosso in the meantime), and if Renault got back involved with the team, that would have to be their strongest French line-up. They’ll also have Pic at Caterham for good measure, in their sports car deal with Tony Fernandes (Caterham-Alpine).

  4. Let’s discuss that open 2014 McLaren seat…

    Whitmarsh told Jonathan Noble that they will continue to wait and watch Perez before deciding who fills that seat in 2014.

    Of the drivers available now to take Perez’ seat, Hulkenberg would seem to be the wisest choice. Nico is fast, calm, works well with a team, and doesn’t seem to accidentally say stupid things. But Nico indicated that he is not interested in waiting around for his 2014 deal. So McLaren apparently doesn’t have him in their radar. Interesting!

    So who else might be a driver that McLaren is evaluating against Perez?

    And is this whole exercise in waiting to decide merely a ploy to see how Perez responds under higher pressures? In other words, is it that McLaren have already decided to retain Perez for 2014? If yes, then why?

    I’d guess the answer would be money. The business side of F1 is Whitmarsh’s primary strength.

  5. Last night on Peter Windsor’s “The Racer’s Edge” show, he mentioned a recent rumor of Ron Dennis becoming involved in Force India… That’s the first I’ve heard of it, (although Scarborough seemed aware of it, too). PW didn’t put much credit to that happening, as RD would likely have to divest himself of McLaren.

    A weird rumor… Anyone know where that rumor came from?

    • Very interesting… Not heard it but… Anything is possible. Is that Ron exciting from McLaren then?

      If it is true it will be interesting to see how the team will do. Like him or not, Ron is a racer … Actually, that be awesome! Maybe Ross Brawn could join him there 😛

  6. Good Morning, all knowledgeable TJ13 regulars and Your Honour the judge.

    Question that I’ve been thinking about the silly season and especially related to Alonso. Can a driver change team in mid season and still win WDC with points collected driving for two ( or more) different teams?

    In Alonso’s case I could think he’d start at Ferrari, collects ok points but not happy with Kimi as a teammate. Maclaren shows to be readobably good car In the early season. So Alonso lets the agents and lawyers do the negotiations and quits Ferrari and joins maclaren half season. And starts collecting more points to the team and himself. And we could have WDC thanking two teams at the end of the season.

    Not saying anything like that is planned, but just wondering if that is even possible under F1 and FIA championship rules?

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