Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 22nd October 2013

This page will be updated throughout the day.

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The greatest F1 driver (00:01)

Toro Rosso unmasked (00:20)

Overtaking Grosjean explained (06:50)

FIA change the rules mid-election (11:50)

Fuel flow regulators for 2014 inaccurate (12:02)

In or out? Porsche (13:09)

Marko watch (13:29)

Considerations for the Indian GP (14:52)

Fernando’s new Helmet (15:01)

Russia F1 breeding programme (15:03)

How the mighty have fallen (15:04)

Classic Liveries on 2013 cars (15:24)

Indian GP FIA Press Conferences (16:26)

Lotus no Quantum deal (16:54)

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The greatest F1 driver

The Telegraph have been running a poll on whether Sebastian Vettel is the greatest driver ever in Formula The candidates include, Moss, Clark, Brabham, Piquet, Alonso, Stewart, Lauda, Fangio, Prost Senna, Schumacher and Vettel.

Mmm. No Graham Hill says a lot about the newspaper’s F1 writers’ understanding of F1.

A number of the F1 glitterati have been recruited to comment on the greats of F1.

David Coultahrd: “Sebastian is a great driver in a great car, in the same way that Fernando Alonso is a great driver in a not-so-great car and Lewis Hamilton is a great driver in a sometimes great car.

This debate is endless – and pointless. The fact is Sebastian has found a way of getting the best out of his machinery on a consistent basis. You cannot knock him. And for those who say it is only the car, I would remind them of his win for Toro Rosso, formerly Minardi, on a wet track in Monza in 2008. He is a great. No doubt about it.”

Sir Sterling Moss: “For a man to be that much ahead every time, every race, whatever the circuit, whatever the conditions… he is just in a class of his own, as was (Juan Manuel) Fangio really. As was (Ayrton) Senna. I didn’t have a problem with what Sebastian did in Malaysia (defying team orders to pass his team mate).

“He’s a racer, what’s wrong with that? You’re either a racer or you’re a driver and there’s a big bloody difference. Drivers are easy to find and racers aren’t.”

The results so far are staggering. In reverse order the votes for the top 5 are…

Fangio 3.99%

Vettel 6.63%

Schumacher 13.88%

Senna 22.92%

Alonso 46.34%

Clearly Sebastian is not popular in the UK.

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Toro Rosso unmasked

For years we’ve believed the Marko line that Toro Rosso is the Red Bull sister team to promote the best of the Red Bull young driver programme into F1. This is clearly no longer the case.

The appointment of Daniil Kvyat is a shock to most in the F1 world.

BBC expert on F1, Jonathan Legard, tweeted, “Not been their modus operandi previously [of Toro Rosso] but things may be changing.”

Adam Cooper, long standing independent F1 reporter, observes, “I’m sure Kvyat has potential but am not convinced that 2014 is the year to be running a teenager who hasn’t even raced Renault 3.5. It also blows Marko’s junior programme wide open if success in FR 3.5, the traditional step to F1, is now regarded as superfluous.”

“Just making point that both teams have same complete rear end and there will be a lot of data sharing as they prepare for 2014”, adds veteran Cooper.

Yet really given the context of F1, it shouldn’t be really. Ecclestone has been struggling to deliver the 20 plus races demanded by his masters who deliver the super profits to CVC and their cohorts.

Russia must be a sustainable success, and regardless of how much cash the country has to promote a grand prix, interest clearly wanes when there is no driver on the grid representing the country involved. Ecclestone has been pestering for 18 months about an Indian driver, and lo and behold, following a year where there is none – the Indian GP is taking ‘a break’.

The topic of Russian drivers has been one Ecclestone has returned to time and again, so surprise, surprise – we now have 2 Russian drivers lined up for 2014 – the inaugural year of the Russian GP.

Co-incidence? Make up you r own mind.

Neither Sorotkin nor Kvyat would be in most educated F1 people’s top ten, meriting a drive in F1 from the junior series. So how did this happen?

CVC and FOM have very deep pockets and the contract in hosting fee’s alone from Russia is worth several $100m. $15m for a team to take a Russian driver is but a drop in the ocean, particularly if it means a multi year contract is secured for FOM.

Methinks the pay-to-drive philosophy is more deep rooted than ever thought before.

Overtaking Grosjean explained

Many observers of the Japanese Grand Prix where left wondering why Sebastian Vettel seemingly cruised past the Lotus of Romain Grosjean on fresh prime tyres while Mark Webber needed six laps to do the same despite being on relatively fresh option tyres later in the race. Auto Motor und Sport have analysed and explained the difference in a recent article.

In lap 40 Mark Webber was leading by 15.1 seconds when Vettel closed in on Grosjean shortly after his final pit stop. The situation was a clear one: He had to get past Grosjean sooner rather than later, else his advantage of fresher prime tyres would have been neutralized and Webber would have time to open a bigger gap.

Vettel knew that Webber had to do another stop, but he also knew that Webber would get the softer, faster option tyres and only had to run less than 10 laps on them, so tyre preservation would not be required for Mark’s final stint. With newer, softer tyres and a setup geared towards higher top speed Mark could have become a danger late in the race.

When Vettel planned his attack on Grosjean, his tyres were only four laps old, those of Grosjean had already served twelve. The Germany planned to make his attack where his grip advantage would be most pronounced – in the final chicane:

I tricked Romain into defending the inner line on approach to the chicane, but made sure I was still in the DRS zone. That meant he automatically had the worse line upon exit of the chicane, as I could take the wider line entering it and could therefore could accelerate earlier. On top of that, my tyres were fresher than his and I had saved up about 20% of KERS charge for the final acceleration onto the start-finish straight. When I could open the DRS flap I almost didn’t need it any more as I was practically alongside already.

Webber meanwhile had on paper all the tools to make even quicker work of the Frenchman, but couldn’t make the move stick until both got stuck in lapped traffic. Grosjean’s tyres were even older then and he had a fresh set of options and even higher top speed than Vettel. The difference was the last chicane. As Grosjean managed to take it as well as any of the two Red Bull, Mark failed to make full use of the DRS, because he didn’t manage to force Grosjean to take an unfavourable line through it. On top of that he blew at least one chance by pressing the DRS button too early, team boss Horner explains. This resulted in the flap not opening at all.

One question remains though. If Vettel knew exactly how to get past the Lotus, so did the team. How come nobody could be bothered to tell that to Mark? Sure they could invest more time on inventing code-speak for that. Instead of thinking up codes like “Multi21”, which are about as useless as a one-legged man at an arse-kicking contest, how about “T15 left wide, Kers 20”?

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FIA change the rules mid-election

The FIA is as described by David Ward, ‘a farce’ and ‘not fit for purpose’. Just 6 weeks before the election of the next president, the rules of the election have been altered.

In a letter to the FIA membership, Damien Clermont (head of admin) admits that confusion has stemmed from the conflicts between Articles 9.4 of the Statutes and 6 of the Internal Regulations.

The FIA presidential election rules require a candidate to present a ‘cabinet’ of 17 members standing in support of his campaign, from both the sporting and mobility branches of the organisation. Yet changes to how the mobility vice-presidents are now appointed have resulted in the FIA now issuing a clarification which states that the election rules will be changed and an amendment to Article 6 of the Internal Regulations will be formally proposed at the next meeting of the FIA General Assembly.

The presidential list will now consist of just 11 names, headed by the presidential candidate himself. Also on the list are nominations for the President of the Senate, a Deputy President for Automobile Mobility and Tourism, a Deputy President for Sport and seven vice-presidents of the FIA for Sport from among the candidates for the World Motor Sport Council.

David Ward has responded suggesting this is exactly the kind of mismanagement he is campaigning to end. “My point all along has been that the FIA’s governance is not fit for purpose. This is a fantastic example of that. They’ve launched an election and then realised they’ve screwed up the rules in the middle of an election,” Ward added.

Ward proposes all vice-presidents should also be directly elected, but the Todt campaign has rejected this idea as “not practical.” These positions will continue to be grace and favour appointments made by el president himself.

“It seems to work perfectly well in electing Vice Presidents for Mobility so why not in the Sport as well?” Ward states in a media release on Monday. “This would follow the precedent already used for the vice-presidents for Mobility who are elected by their regions independently. This approach is both much simpler, more democratic and accountable.”

Ward also picked notes that the current president of the Senate Nick Craw has signed these explanatory notes about the rules discrepancy were despite Clermont’s previous assurances that no one standing as a candidate on a presidential list for the 2013 election would allowed to take part in the process of changing the rules.

It’s one big mess. Couldn’t run a bath….. springs to mind….

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Fuel flow regulators for 2014 inaccurate

British company, Gill HySpeed, has been tasked with designing and producing  fuel flow rate sensors for 2014 that will police the 100 litre race fuel limit and the rate of flow of the fuel to the engine – regulations with which the teams must comply. These sensors were tested earlier this year at the Silverstone young drivers and are supposed to be accurate to within +-0.5%. They were not.

The sensors when checked against the actual amount of fuel used were in error to a margin 3 times greater than specified.

Whilst Gill HySpeed have been working on a fix for the problem, as yet the revised sensors have not been tested and bench testing alone is insufficient.

Should the solution prove to be inadequate, then the FIA would be forced to rely on information from the engine manufacturers which will open the door to the usual and obvious allegations of cheating.

It is hoped the sensors can be tested on one of the remaining Friday practice sessions and supplied fit for purpose a few weeks before winter testing begins.

Yet time is short.

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In or out? Porsche

In last month’s employee magazine it was revealed that as a result of F1 deciding to develop turbo engines, Porsche engineers had contacted specifically Hans Mezger – the designer of the McLaren title winning TAG-Porsche engines in the 80s.

Porsche have continued to deny any plans to return to F1.

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Marko watch

The public perception of the good doktor is not one of a man who likes to have fun and jests heartily over a stein beer with his close friends. Yet Helmut is attempting to change all this.

Following the shock news that Toro Rosso will be appointing the young Russian driver Kwjat, Marko explains the decision. “He made a very good impression at the young driver test at Silverstone, so we wanted to take the risk to move up a GP3 driver in Formula 1 No. risk, no fun!”

Fun! Excellent. Are we about to see the good doktor don the dirndl, leap into lederhosen and a loden… then cap it all off with a Tyrolean adornment of the pate?

Clearly Her Marko is indeed embibing something which helps him express his frivolous side as he describes young Kwjat as “a mix between Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. The boy has exceptional speed and is an extremely meticulous worker. Doing so, he is very quiet and has good nerves.”

Even more surprisingly Bild reveals that Franz Tost has said that when examining the credentials of Felix da Costa, Carlos Sainz Jr and Kwjat, they came to the conclusion, “of our three young drivers Daniil was by far the best.”

So Franz has been consuming whatever potion of fun and frivolity Herr Marko has proffered. No pressure on the likely to be often mispronounced ‘Kwjat’ then…..

Shame Webber’s leaving F1 😉

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Considerations for the Indian GP

TJ13 was critical of Pirelli over their conservative tyre choices for the last 6 races of the 2012 season. The compounds selected for India this year are the medium and soft which contrasts with last season’s hard and soft compounds.

Paul Hembery explains, “as a result, just like the last race in Japan, we’re not expecting to see a particularly big variation in lap times between the two compounds. Consequently, the strategy made a very big difference in Japan and this should be the same in India. We only had one pit stop per car in India last year, but this year we would expect two – which also provides the drivers and teams with more opportunities to make up places”.

It is in fact likely that the teams employing a split strategy will opt for 2 and 3 stops as in Japan and the temperatures in India will definitely be higher than last time out meaning thermal degradation will be more of an an issue. The first ever Indian safety car would possibly favour the 2 stop strategy depending on the timing of any deployment.

The dust in India can be an issue and Renault’s Remi Taffin explains. “To deal with this we will moderate the driver torque maps to give greater driveability and less wheelspin on the entrance and exit of corners to try to extend tyre life.”

Alan Permain from Lotus is confident; “It’s a circuit where we expect the E21 to work well. Although we saw in Suzuka that we can compete on the harder tyres, our car generally favours the softer compounds making this a race where we’re very much looking forward to continuing our run of strong recent performances”. 

The soft tyre should perform better for Lotus in the higher temperatures as it is prone to graining when it struggles for heat.

Lotus should learn from Japan and manage well the number of tyres Grosjean uses during qualification. Whilst the car runs better on the softer compound, the Frenchman was forced to run soft-hard-hard in the Japananes GP. Further, if Kimi can haul his backside up the grid, they may have the opportunity to challenge Red Bull better by splitting strategies (2 and 3 stop) between their drivers too.

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Fernando’s new Helmet

Having scored more points in F1 than anyone else, Alonso is celbrating this on his helmet for the Indian GP. Will he have to change this everytime he scores now?

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Russia F1 breeding programme

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How the mighty have fallen

Winning multiple races a year, title contenders etc etc. McLaren’s chance of a double podium is no better than Marussia’s or Caterham’s according to paddypower bookmakers.

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Gotta be worth a pound for a McLaren fan though 😉

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Classic Liveries on 2013 cars

Following yesterday’s discussions in the comments section, I thought you’d like this

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Indian GP FIA Press Conferences

Thursday (time TBC)

Max Chilton, Giedo van der Garde, Kimi Raikkonen, Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Rosberg, Mark Webber

Friday (time TBC)

Eric Boullier, Ross Brawn, Stefano Domenicali, Christian Horner, Monisha Kaltenborn, Vijay Mallya

Looks as though the latter will be more interesting.

Q: “Stefano, how’s the civil war panning out and when did you last speak with Fernando?”

Q: “Ross. Having contemplated the new role Lauda is offering – director of salmon procurement – how are you feeling and where will you be in F1 in 2014?”

Q: “Eric. Quantum Motorsports promised an announcement on Tuesday at 10:00am. Will a deal between Lotus and them ever actually get signed?”

Any other questions from the floor ladies and gentlemen?

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Lotus no Quantum deal

Could it still go ‘pear shaped’ for Lotus and Genii? They made a big announcement back in June entitled, “To Infinity and beyond”. To coin another cheesy saying, Lotus’ “going boldy where none had gone” declared on their website the following on 18th June 2013.

“Lotus F1 Team has new part-owners as of today, with Infinity Racing Partners Limited (Infinity Racing) – an investment consortium comprised of private investors – acquiring a 35% minority stake in the team.

Lotus F1 Team was previously 100% owned by an investment vehicle of Genii Capital – a global investment management and financial advisory firm headquartered in Luxembourg – which retains a controlling stake of 65% in the team and remains as committed as ever to driving the team forwards in its quest for glory.

Gerard Lopez, co-founder of Genii Capital, will remain Chairman of Lotus F1 Team withEric Lux, CEO of Genii Capital, continuing in his role on the team’s Board of Directors. Infinity Racing will be represented at board level by Mansoor Ijaz, Chairman, and Suhail Al Dhaheri, Vice-Chairman of Infinity Racing.

This fresh investment will not only help consolidate the financial status of the team, but will also aid the Enstone outfit in maintaining development objectives as it bids for World Championship success.

Although the ownership structure may have changed, it will be business as usual for the team from a personnel point of view; the factory’s 500 employees continuing their excellent work in pursuit of victory with drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean spearheading the attack under the unchanged Lotus F1 Team banner”.

Of course, there have since been a couple of huge cock-ups. The team have lost their star driver, and Nissan-Renault threatened to sue the investment company unless they changed their name. They are now known as Quantum Motorsports.

Sometimes better to say nothing and look foolish than make a big announcement and remove all doubt. Anyway, Boldly – AGAIN – Quantum trailed a big announcement for today at GMT 10:00.

Still nothing.

Apparently fluids of some description have prevented this from happening and the announcement has been delayed at least another week.

Genii already understand the roller coaster nature of F1’s Monte Carlo or bust existence, yet they are in danger of losing Nico Hulkenberg unless they can persuade their apparently cautious partners to stop dithering and sign on the dotted line.

In physics, a quantum is the minimum amount of any physical entity involved in an interaction. Behind this, one finds the fundamental notion that a physical property may be “quantized”. This means that the magnitude can take on only certain discrete values.

The current discrete value of Quantum Motorsports appears to be $000,000,000.00

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90 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 22nd October 2013

  1. Proves one thing TJ, the public don’t know a fig about history. Senna has half the vote of Alonso?
    As for DC, he’s a Red Bull man through and through, bloody idiot, Vettel was driving the same car as him at Monza, it wasn’t a Minardi! Only difference was the Ferrari engine!
    Problem with all these surveys is none of merit knows the history of anything. I have little doubt that ask these same bunch of plebs who the greatest band in history was, 1durection and westlife would score higher than the Beatles!

    • Why not have a fair(er) debate about who is the best driver in F1 then? Driving back in Fangio’s day had a different set of requirements from the driver

    • On the ‘where is Senna in the ranking’ topic: a Telegraph-like pole will never impress me, but I do take a lot more authority from Murray Walker who in a recent and must see/listen 1-hour interview most eloquently explained why he always rated Prost above Senna.

  2. The signing of Kvyat shows that Bernie is still pretty much in charge of things as I’m pretty sure that as a next step we will see that the much less talented Sorotkin is denied his superlicense as a result of which Sauber will be able to sign Felipe Massa who by accident is a Brazilian and wasn’t Bernie hoping to have at least one Brazilian in F1 especially now that we will have Sao Paolo on the calender for a couple more years?

    • Fools and their money are soon parted regardless of what month of the year it is. We all (and the sport) suffer as a result, unfortunately.

      Come to think of it, separating fools from their money is pretty much the business plan preferred by CVC & Uncle Bernie.

      In (bad) latin: “Lac tunc desero”

  3. I know that Bernie has roots as a true racer, but I really do believe that for some considerable time he is at the root of almost everything that is wrong with F1 in the big picture – not stuff like DRS and tyre silliness, but the actual model, make-up and business of the sport as a whole. This driver situation is just another in a far too long line of examples.

    Everyone should be considered innocent until proven guilty (especially here, your honour) but if he DOES have to cease running F1 for any reason in the soonish future, I shall not be in the least bit disappointed. Surely the devil we don’t know can’t be worse…

  4. I’m going to ask the stupid question here, just so that I’m clear on what is implicated by the “Toro Rosso unmasked” article…

    “$15m for a team to take a Russian driver is but a drop in the ocean…”

    Am I reading this correctly that the implication is that Bernie is providing $15m to STR for the Russian driver?

    Would the $15m be provided as a reduction in whatever fees are owed to FOM (or conversely, an increase in whatever fees are owed by FOM to STR)?

    • Wanted to ask the same.
      Is this also how Massa STR was conceived as an idea? By Bernie offering money?

      • Because there were serious talks between the parties and Massa appears to have a significant financial backing….

        Further, no one else was reporting the Massa/TR conversation so I thought we should….

        • I’m still interested in the involvement of FOM / Bernie, with both Massa and Kyvat. Can you elaborate on that? And especially on the 15 million?

          • Ecclestone has repeatedly been banging the drum for Russian and a Brazilian drivers. We did a piece on this a few weeks ago in the daily news.

            Further, much as it disappoints me, Bernie appears to have been right about there needing to be an Indian driver for the continued success of the sport in that country.

            I can’t elaborate on the $15m, however, the point is that F1 needs to be an immediate success in Russia and then sustain this interest. Local drivers – even down the grid – deliver substantial incremental interest within a countries viewing numbers.

            Was it co-incidental or even contributory that the Japanese GP had no race sponsor for the first time ever and no Japanese driver this year?

  5. Re: Best driver – ‘we’ all ‘know’ this is an impossible task. Why do they bother…? especially as Murray already did this last year…!
    A few years back (5-10) another British paper (I think) compiled a Top-100 Films Ever list. If I remember correctly about 80% had been made in the previous twenty years – out of a century of film-making…
    Apart from the difficulty (at least) of making comparisons it was also determined that the average age of those voters was below 30… and that very few (about 10%) movie-goers have seen a film that is older than they are.
    I am more amazed that Fangio even reached 5th… and how did Alonso come first – in the British press…? 😉

    • The problem here is down to numbers polled. In IMDB’s Top 250 films the minimum number of votes/rankings is 25,000. And in this there are several films dating back pre-WW2. Only 2 of top 10 are post 2000.
      These sort of numbers will never happen in a newspaper straw poll

      • They do not say how many have voted, however, looking at the metrics on this article’s facebook likes and re-tweets – this will be easily more than 10,000 respondents.

  6. Was it sir Jackie Stewart who said that if Kimi Räikkönen would live like a sportsman, no one could catch him…

  7. re overtaking grosjean, what are the chances of vettel working out for himself how to make the pass. i recall monaco 2005 where heidfeld pas.b sed a tyre crippled alonso relatively cleanly while webber appeared to make a bit of a meal of a meal of getting pass the renault.

  8. Those best driver polls are rubbish anyway. Ask the same question in Germany and Vettel will win. Ask the same question in Brazil and Senna will win. Ask the same question in Spain and Alonso will win. Ask the same question in Holland and… well… the best will win, since we’ve only had shitty drivers 😉

    • Ha ha! But what if we ask the TJ13 community? We seem like a bunch of open minded individuals?

      Guess the challenge will be getting the criteria right because every era is different and the best drivers are the ones that adapt to their circumstances the best.

      • “…the best drivers are the ones that adapt to their circumstances the best.”

        If you use that criterium I think you have to choose Vettel, since he’s a very young driver that wasted little time to score four titles in a row. And getting the best car is part of adapting to the circumstances.

        I think I would use the criterium of “overall impact” and choose for Senna because of his impact on Brazil, the fans and even the other drivers. The fact that his nemesis was there at his funeral says quite a lot. He used the sport to accomplish things that were bigger than the sport – in my eyes that’s about as good as a driver can get.

        • …’Greatest driver’… has to be far more more than ‘adapting’… the ‘greatest’ sports person surely must transcend their sport and maybe even sport itself.

          ..hence why I’ve been at lengths to point out Vettel is not ‘a great’. He’s a kid who does silly fake frog noises and is OCD about his gesticulations along with others’ testiculations.. (it rhymes so be quiet!!!)

          over to DS 😉

          • Exactly my thoughts Judge!…and to the point, how many rate Piquet as a great for example? And let’s not forget he’s a 3-time world champion!

          • If you take personality on and off the track into the mix, you’d end up realizing that the last ‘great’ was Sir Stirling Moss. Most of the great champions had a rotten or at least annoying personality. Prost was a conniving bitch playing political games, Piquet a downright psychological terrorist, Senna a ruthless jerk, who had no qualms running his opponents off the track if it served his interests – as was Schumacher.
            I’m not convinced you can even define ‘a great’, but you can define ‘great drives’. It’s a much less subjective idea.

        • Maybe but is it the driver or the person we are looking at? The complete package – driver, person, respect etc. all those things or just the driver, can he win races.

          Good points to ponder 🙂

    • Well speaking as a Brit…

      Fangio.
      No question.

      Statistically, right at the top in terms of wins/starts.
      Didn’t even begin in F1 until he was at an age many other champions were already retired.
      Lived to tell the tale in an era many didn’t (the next two – three if you include Bill Vukovich – in the wins/starts list didn’t).

      Oh, and beat the best Brit of his era…

  9. Completely off-topic, but does someone here know around what time the (pre)sale of Monza 2014 starts?

  10. I don’t really understand the functions of the feeder series’ now if they can simply be by-pased. I strongly believe only 4 super-licences a year should be issued by the FIA and only provisional for 2 years as if I driver is sat on the side lines too long the loose a bit of edge, 2 years would allow 2 year as 3rdl/sim/test driver with a team, if they are not handed a race seat after that they surely aren’t making the grade. The 4 licences issued should go to winner and runner up of GP2 and WSR (World Series by Renault) if you win GP3 all very nice but GP2 must be next step. I also feel the rule about GP2 champ can’t enter the series the next year should be changed so that if the winner doesn’t take up his/her super-licence option as they don’t have an F1 team to go to then they should be allowed to compete again. Only when you take up the super-licence option should you be excluded from the feeder. This will allow the drivers to stay fresh if they don’t immediately find a home in F1. I don’t know the rules for WSR but that too should have the same rule I have just outlined for GP2.

    We will have a death in F1 before much longer and not from the cars being too quick or the tracks being dangerous but because of totally inexperienced drivers being let loose in the most powerful open wheel series. That Serotkin lad was quotes somewhere as saying “I’m not afraid of the task, nothing scares me” he aint been 3 abreast through Eau Rouge flat with a full tank or been squeezed off the track on the 1st Degner. Even Vettel admitted to shitting himself a bit when he 1st unleashed to power of an F1 car, it’s not a step up, it’s a blind leap across a chasm that is boarded-line too wide! Big headed young guns are dangerous, period. They should take a leaf from young Jules Bianchi (shit spelling, I know) and be humble and let your driving talk for you. Problem is Bernie is desensitized to driver deaths and complacent as its been near 20 years since the last.

    • The “feeder” series are too often seen as the only true path to F1. There have been enough drivers from IRL, WEC (group C), DTM to demonstrate that there alternative ways into F1.
      If drivers bypass the GP2, so be it.

      • +1
        The only criteria should be lots of wins in a lower formula, which seems to fit Kyvat.

  11. Greatest driver of all time is impossible to do. The way I was always looking at it, was greatest drivers of their era, as in:

    Fangio and Moss
    Clark, Hill and Stewart
    Lauda, Fittipaldi and Villeneuve
    Prost, Mansell and Senna (yes, I leave Piquet out in purpose!)
    Schumacher and Hakkinen
    Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton

    Of course After you look at it this way, you can then rank people according to your liking, e.g. Senna-Clark-Fangio-Prost-Alonso-Moss-Schumacher-Stewart-Hamilton-Villeneuve

    • your list of F1 “great” drivers can hardly be faulted. for me to call a driver as an all time great, they have to win in multiple high profile venues such as, but not limited to WEC, IndyCar, and Nascar.
      with more and more races in each category, restrictive contracts, conflicting sponsor technicalities and the such, it would appear, we are forever locked into judging the best robot playing a one string guitar…

        • Or the astonishingly eyebrow endowed brummie?

          Btw, its Senna for me. Streets ahead of everyone else. Michael would have won far less championships he Senna had survived at Williams between 94 and 97.

          And Fernando? What are they smoking? He doesn’t even make the top 10 in my book, even though i think he’s pretty much on a par with Seb as the best we have today.

          We are not in a golden age of drivers currently, we’re in a golden age of PR bullshite around peoples abilities.

          Of all the current crop the only one who has the potential to be a great is Seb.

        • Graham won WDC’s, Indy500, and LeMans plus FIVE Monaco GP. damned right he is one of the all time greats!!! anybody else remember the Shell Oil’s Graham Hill Race Driver booklet?? it was something very similar to the above… would so luv if someone could scan and send me all the pages of that piece! that booklet taught me how to “drive really fast” in Dad’s ’62 Olds Super 88 – an amazing high performance family sedan back in the day… 🙂

  12. I’m a bernie fan. Some people here say that in the best driver election people dont look back enough in the past. Well the same counts for bernie. Dont forget all the good things he’s done. Befor bernie there where only 3 cameras on the whole track. Before bernie f1 was a big racing class. Since bernie it’s the biggest…

    • Sorry… but there were FAR more than three TV cameras around the circuits before Bernie even took over the Brabham team…
      I would also have thought that F1 was always the biggest racing class, at least outside America… Didn’t Bernie just make it more commercial…?
      But perhaps you were joking… after all, you did say you’re a bernie-fan,,, 🙂

      • Bernie is given credit for a lot of things which any one given the opportunity would have also done.

        The problem is his business model methodology may prove to be unsustainable long term. It already is used to ‘buy’ support for his position on a number of issues.

        We have already seen the fall off in race attendance in places like Barcelona, TV viewing figures of live races have collapsed in the UK when the BBC does not carry the event. SKY struggle to get 15% of the BBC’s live audience.

        Financial instability within the teams and the disproportionate share of the commercial revenue is a big issue.

        And as to the the example given yesterday of the Champions League prize distribution, this is not the primary funding for any of the competitors who derive their bread and butter from their domestic leagues.

        • Are you forgetting the teams sponsorship deals my good friend?

          Or their diversification into other business areas like consulting, cars, engineering solutions, marketing of their brand with car companies, selling merchandise, theme parks…etc

          They don’t just get their money from Bernard. So my CL argument might be back on the table?

          I don’t have much sympathy for the teams. If they want to spend more money, make more money.

          Why should Bernard hand over what he has built up with his own intelligence, and risk taking?

          I keep alluding to emotion in my posts, and the fact that there is too much of it clouding judgements and statements.

          There’s also too much begrudgery in F1. The main players have more money than most of up can comprehend, yet they still act as he its their divine right to have more. Bollox!! They build cars. End of. They can choose to stop he they’re not happy. But none of then will, because they make so much from the sport and are intoxicated by their own self importance.

  13. Maybe I went OTT to stress my point, but I really feel the mandate for a super-licence should possibly be tightened up. I know this young lad had won more than a fair share of races he has entered, but not doing GP2 or WSR3.5 they start to get an understanding of what ‘real’ downforce is like, DTM do too to a certain extent. Also get a better feel for the higher power and even sharper reactions required. I don’t think that going from Renault 2.0 or something similar, directly into a 320kph, 700bhp+ super-car, wich produces enough downforce to stick you to the ceiling, is too big of a step to make in 1 move. I fear we either get a Romaine “1st lap butter” Grosjean, or Sergio “that gap’s big enough” Perez and e eventually we end up with more than 1 or 2 on the grid at 1 time. Have you seen some of even the GP2 driving standards? Its carnage, on more occasions than is acceptable to be honest. I forgot to mention Pastor Maldonardo’s early habbit of using his car to teach those who upset him a lesson. It’s not fair on the more Professional guys, the field should only have 2 or 3 rookies in it at any 1 time. I mean Jules Bianchi has done a fine job and will be one to watch for the future, but these guys don’t come along very often and these are the ones who should come through, the onez who are the whole package, a great personality does not automatically equate to a great driver.
    Finally I’d just like to add that a possible age limit of 21 for a super-licence should be enforced and then these rookies would of had that bit extra time to improve racecraft and skills, if you got what it takes it doesn’t just leave you.

    • I agree, to a degree, with what you are saying about the risks involved in giving someone who is not ready something which they don’t deserve.

      This has become more of an issue eve to testing being restricted.

      The young Russian should not get a license, in my opinion. He hasn’t shown enough to deserve it. However, the other chap in the mini bull should. He has shown a level of competence in his results to date.

      I’m very uneasy with Saubers young lad.

      • I’ll take that as a satisfactory conclusion. I do understand that each case is unique and should be judged on its own set of circumstances. So totally agree with what ‘we’ have thrashed out lol. The sauber boy scares me without any exaggeration. Some of his comments are a little too confident if you know what mean as all driver need a degree of confidence.

        • He really worries me too.

          I know Kimi didn’t have much experience prior to his debut but he was considered pretty special by many. Peter S took a gamble and the rest is history.

          However, i do recall quite an amount of punters in F1, and in the press, saying that this was a potential serious problem for safety.

          I wasn’t worried then. But i am now.

          Maybe I’m over reacting. He can’t be as bad as Taki or Alex, and nobody was injured then.

          Maybe I’m getting more risk averse the older I’m getting!

    • so true! it is a great mental exercise to dream that a newbie can be the next bestest racer until reality settles in. for certain, some had what it takes, but the stars never quite aligned. let me go back to Chris Amon as an example…

    • The best way to get used to the amount of down force is by driving a F1 car, back in the time when in season testing was allowed, a rookie did do enough km to get used to an F1 car. So rookies should get more test opportunities.
      When it comes to driving, thus position, you should learn that in the lower classes. Seeing the driving skills from the ex GP2 drivers, you wonder whether drivers learn something over there.
      I agree that a driver should have enough experience, but seeing the amount of money that is needed for a GP2 seat, you might want to have a less expensive way into F1. GP2 has paydrivers and there are talented drivers without the money to enter GP2.
      Raising the minimum age to 21 is not needed, Vettel started when he was 19, Alonso was 20. So if drivers could ride an F1 when they drove V8 and V10, then it will totally not be a problem with the V6. Also why waste time and money in expensive classes if you can directly go to F1?

      • I get all this – and have some sympathy. However, the money will follow the driver – were the number of new driver entrants each year into F1 restricted.

        Like in sports where there is relegation and promotion, teams get better sponsors and more cash the higher they progress through the ‘talent’ divisions of competition and they progress based upon results….

        A proper feeder programme where the results of a driver make him available for F1 selection would still attract sponsors and cash for teams that require funding in this way…

        I await the deluge of abuse 😉 … just saying…. this is a Bernie principle… exclusivity commands higher amounts of cash….

        • Like it x1000 everyone would be sure there was a minimum level of talent and skill required to qualify for an F1 opportunity.

          Peek level drivers in the very best pure bred racing machines.

          Surely we can ALL agree on that principle????

        • Perhaps they should copy the *gasp* Indy Car model for drivers, where the winner of the SBRS Indy Car Academy gets a ride in the USF2000, the winner of that gets a ride in the Pro Mazda series, the winner of that gets a ride in Indy Lights, and the winner of Indy lights gets a big chunk of cash for Indy Car. Enough to give them a shot.

          It’s called the Mazda road to Indy and it lets anyone, regardless of anything besides talent, earn a top ride.

          Article here, http://goo.gl/UWbvTI, if you’re interested in the details.

          • Also gives the cash a structure to follow the talent in. Mazda is the title sponsor, imagine the bidding for that if a similar ladder existed to F1. And best of all, entrance to the series lowest rung can be had by anyone with about $6200 US and gobs of talent.

            Fun fact Conor Daly was ProMazda champ in 2010, and Matthew Brabham was USF2000 champ in 2012, ProMazda Champ in 2013.

            Also fun, totally unrelated fact. Simona di Silvestra had a podium finish at Houston, her first, coming second in the Saturday race two weeks ago.

          • I agree that this SEEMS to be a very good business model. but low and behold. IndyCar/OWR in the States has been in the dumper for many a year. CART back in the day was badass compared to F1 but the team owners F^^^^D the pooch and Tony George was and is a nut case. so, we get a low powered FF spec series to yawn about…

          • Yes, compared to the glory days of Andretti & Co., Indy Car today has many problems (including the chicane in Baltimore, but that race is gone so I guess not so much) and I still recall the horror of watching the greedheads implode the sport for the sake of their own egos, but for a driver with less than 10 large to have a chance to work themselves up to a top series is pretty great. And that is the issue I was speaking to, giving sponsors and drivers a sensible way to find each other. The company sponsors the winner and the winner gets a drive. Less risk for the sponsor, and more reward for the talent.

  14. LOL, Fernando must be really clutching at straws if he celebrates a record that basically means nothing. The man he ‘dethroned’ collected 1.500 points at a time before F1 turned into Waldorff school where everybody gets points just for showing up and not falling over. Jeez, ‘nando, how desperate can you get?

    • Interesting … I’ve been meditating on whether a points system like in V8 Supercars would make F1 more interesting to me … I’m undecided over it, but I do quite like the way that works, and it makes the Championship so much more interesting, because otoh a catastrophic race can have big WDC implications, but otoh there are possibilities for a rescue job.

      Having said that, in V8SC there is way more parity between the cars than will be in F1 anytime soon – I mean, even without safety cars, anyone from places 1-10 can go on and win the race (which is why I rate Jaime Whincup dominating V8SC higher than Seb dominating F1).

      Cheers, C.

    • it is what it is, but I never understood the reasoning that only 6 or 10 drivers/teams got points. it merely seems reasonable to me that last gets zero points, next to last gets 1 point, and then successive positions get points based upon how much the FIA feels should be skewed toward the Winner/second/third place, etc.. for that merit, Pole, leading a lap, leading the most laps, fastest lap and the such are all possible nuances to award points. not that I feel any of the above are necessary or desired, but I can envision the possibility…

      • Very simple. F1 isn’t the Kindergarten where every child gets a consolation prize for not shitting its pants. Scoring a point should be an achievement, not something you get for showing up and not falling on your face.

        • I get ur point of view, Danilo. I really do, except when it comes to business and sponsorships, and maybe even the viewpoint of millions of casual fans. as a sponsor or casual fan, I would feel better knowing that Max has maybe 10 points vs zero and not even remotely close to 1… just a perception thingy as part of a viable and sustainable business plan!

          • We’ve debated this before – not that this is a problem – and we’ll debate it again – happily.

            I would have more sympathy with the arguments DS puts forward had the number of entrants scoring points not already been tampered with – along with the total points for winning, 2nd etc.

            Personally I think the present system weights a race win too heavily… and hence dominant cars/engines produce title races over far too soon.

            With reliability so high, the race win weighting would be better reduced – IMHO.

            I don’t think people realise how much those in teams’ ‘inner sanctums’ fear a runaway title winning car in 2014 – that maybe would make 2011 look exciting

          • I’m with Titan on this.

            Its not about nappies, its about perception at the lower end also.

            I’d prefer the tenth place team to get it based on points, and not highest position outside the top 10.

            it would be nice for teams to actually be able to score points too. It must be deflating to burst a gut for no points based rewards, year after year.

      • in reality, something like 10 points is rediculous compared to say 300 points, but 10 vs 8 or 12 is HUGE and could be a great marketing tool for F1, promoters, sponsors, teams, and drivers!! I for one follow the backmarkers as closely as Seb, Fred, Hammi, etc – within the minimal constraints of piss poor media coverage…

        a little rant here: Caterham is pathetic and arguably only better than USGP 🙂 and what is their love affair with Kovi?? if Marussia belongs in F1 and Jules is so damned great, why are we hearing that Max is likely to get kicked to the curb? McLaren is a bunch of retards – if Mag is so damned good, kick out one of ur present drivers and deal with it. I do not care what Furucki does – I see them as a second to third place team forever. and DiResta, Sutil, Bottas, Maldo? great fluff & filler for wherever on personality let alone talent…

        I feel better now LOL

  15. I’m seeing stories that Venezuela has frozen all money being paid out to drivers due to $60 million in fraud. Wondering if anyone else has heard if it’s affecting Maldonado, or if I missed the story due to my rather lengthy tax and work enforced absence. Happy Speculating, gotta run.

    http://goo.gl/er7hiC

    • Well they’re going to India this week. Viso developed a sudden dose of the squits prior to the last Indy event that took him out….Delhi Belly, Maldonado?…..

      • Hear you need to watch out for the street vendors lol.

        Hoping that Claire remembered to cash that check last week though…

  16. Why do we need a limitation on fuel flow, when the cars are already limited to 100l of fuel (and 15k rpm, for that matter)? Why not let them burn as much as they want, when they want, and he who manages it best wins the race? If this article is anything to go by, it seems like its difficult to maintain and monitor that flowrate, so why have that extra complication, that’s potentially going to result in some hapless DQs?

      • Oh, I’d love one of them. Preferably with some form of rocket sound when its deployed and flames from the exhaust. Lots of flames!

        Jeremy Clarkson levels of childishness there….apologies.

      • But that’s what we want, isn’t it?! Isn’t that what ERS/DRS is for? And unlike ERS/DRS it comes at a cost… You will have to manage your fuel more wisely in the remaining laps. Win-win.

      • Has there been any development re fuel flow that overcomes the ambient temperature variation?

    • true!!! just more dumbificaction of the of the pinnacle of motorsports and it’s mantra of engineering excellence! pathetic…

  17. take this statement with a grain of salt as I have no valid info to back it up. but my gut feeling on the whole “green thingy” is that NO other racing/sports/entertainment series in the World comes within a factor of 10X+ of the usage of non-sustainable carbon-based fuel consumed by F1 for our entertainment. to save a few liters of fuel per car with the grandios spin of going “green” is F*****g ludicrous beyond comprehension of one with an IQ of 60+…

  18. damned! I LUV this site and everything it offers. the conceptual blogs to the awesome contributors is amazing.
    I certainly wish we could all have a get-together at least once a year!!!
    Austin, NJ, or Montreal would work best for me 🙂

  19. Good point well made. I don’t really have a counter comeback to that if I’m honest, as you got a very solid point. Ironically all the points made fore and against young rookies are baised in solid thinking. We are all right and all wrong! As if your goal in life is to drive in F1 then you won’t really care how you get there……

  20. “as useless as a one-legged man at an arse-kicking contest””

    The pictures in my head …

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