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Red Bull hands out Donuts (13:00)
Quantum is no more (17:11)
Jenson feigns surprise (17:43)
Alonso tetchy (18:10)
Ainslie sets sail for Abu Dhabi (18:15)
Mateschitz: Ongoing RB9 Development is an advatage for 2014
While many teams gave up on their 2013 challengers relatively early in the season, Red Bull continued to update the RB9 with new parts, which played a part in the team’s utter domination after the summer break. But while many expect (or hope) that Red Bull will therefore be late to the party with their 2014 vehicle, owner Dietrich Mateschitz believes that the continued work on this year’s steed is actually an advantage.
“I don’t think it [the continued development] is only an investment for 2013. Despite the different technical framework in 2014, we expect that fifty percent – give or take a few – of the recent development work will directly translate to 2014. The rest maybe wrong or useless, but we have a good base to work with.”
Fat Hippo’s Rant: Bernie do something!
In recent seasons we’ve seen endless attempts to tamper with “the show” of F1. The cars were massively uglyfied by mucking up their dimensions through narrow rear wings and snow-plow style front wings, KERS was (re-)introduced, DRS was implemented for insta-overtakes that need no skill whatsoever and Pirelli was told to build shyte tyres, something they succeeded spectacularily in achieving. But instead of turning F1 into a remote controlled car race, how about not trying to turn ‘old F1’ into a spectacle, but creating an F1 that actually is a spectacle? Hm? Bernie? Makes too much sense, I suppose…
Instead of loitering about in places that nobody cares about and visiting one Tilke-drome after the other, F1 should go to places that people actually would want to see. Why does F1 speculate on the New Jersey course actually getting built, when with Road America, Portland, Mid-Ohio, Laguna Seca, Sebring, Sears Point and Watkins Glen there are myriads of circuits to choose from that have truck loads more character than another new gimmicky track with huge tarmac run-off areas?
And why do all the races have to be the same old tedium? Instead of bloating the season to NASCRAP-esque proportions with 30 races, how about keeping it at 18, but making some of them a bit more special? Races at historic Venues, for instance Silverstone, Monza and Spa should be the “Triple Crown”. These three races could be scored by the current points scheme, while all other races return to the less Waldorff-style 10-6-4-3-2-1 system. That would make these established races much more important.
And what about re-introducing the Indy 500 into F1? The Indycars are spec cars and can be bought for peanuts by F1 standards. Instead of having a 4 week break in summer, when people actually have the most time to watch F1, due to vacations, how about sending the teams over to Americaland for the month of May? And if that doesn’t seem suitable, how about running an own Superspeedway race? We have one bang smack in the middle of Europe – it’s called the Eurospeedway.
Not every season can go down to the last race, but why not make the last race of the season a bit more special in that case? Take the standings after the penultimate race and reverse it. That means Max Chilton gets Seb’s car, while the Weltmeister will have to slog around in a Marussia as Team mate to Fernando Alonso, who as the 2nd placed driver will have to switch cars with the 2nd-to-last, which for the sake of argument is assumed to be Chilton’s team mate Bianchi. Now that’s something that I would get up in the middle of the night for.
I’m a veritable fountain of good advice Bernie and it’s available for free. Just give me call. The GHCQ and the NSA already have my number and adress and shoe size and … *click*
Baptism of Fire and egg on Gary’s face
Like former Minardi team boss Giancarlo Minardi, former Jordan TD turned TV pundit Gary Anderson found himself with a bit of unborn chicken on his face after his moveable undertray theory went bust as the FIA literally turned up the heat on the RB9.
Anderson had noted that due to the cars’ rake the ‘tea tray’ of both the Red Bull and the Mercedes challenger would normally scrape on the surface, which would be detrimental to both performance and reliability. He therefor concluded that RB must be using a heat-sensitive material, otherwise known as metal, to raise or deform the ‘tea tray’. When the FIA heated up the device to over 300° centigrade, however, the thing didn’t move or deform even slightly and Anderson’s theory went the way of the Dodo.
Mind you, this is not a private crusade of Anderson against Red Bull or Mercedes. It is a tradition as old as F1 itself. If you can’t beat ’em, have ’em declared illegal. There are two traditional ways, how this ritual war is fought. The first weapon of choice is the protest. If a team thinks a competitor has a dodgy solution or part, they lodge a protest and if they succeed, the competitor’s machine will be deemed illegal. It’s a great way to try and modify unfavourable race results.
The much more sneaky and elegant approach is to ask for clarification. A team asks for clarification on another team’s solution and in either case the result will be favourable. If the part is against the rules, it will be deemed illegal, like RB’s holed floor at Monaco. If not, the FIA has to write up a detailled technical analysis, why the solution is legal and therefore delivers a perfect HOWTO-tutorial on how to copy it. A prominent example was Brawn’s double diffuser in 2009.
Special Edition Cars named after Drivers
Drivers, who’s team is involved with a major car manufacturer sometimes get their own special edition car. Here are some special editions from the past:
Built by Alfa-Romeo, this car celebrated the heroics of the Austrian champion for their sister company Ferrari.
After his two back-to-back titles in the american Chapcar series, Honda sold 50 special editions through their premium brand Acura. One of them belongs to Zanardi himself.
Strangely there is no Senna edition of the NSX, despite the fact that the suspension of the first NSX’s in the early 90s was setup by Senna himself. Unfortunately though Honda had to change it after the first production batch. The car handled brilliantly, but it ate through tyres at an alarming rate.
A special edition of a very rare special edition. Only 30 FXX’s were built and one of them belongs to Schumacher himself
Nissan’s premium brand created this tuned SUV based on their F50. The body work has been tampered with by Red Bull and the suspension was setup by the man himself.
A special edition to celebrate Tommi Mäkkinens fourth championship title with the marque.
This special version of the otherwise not exactly hot Fiat 600 was given a makeover by FIAT’s house tuner Abarth and adorned with the iconic Schumacher logo.
Red Bull hands out Donuts
Inspired by their young 4 times world champion Red Bull Racing has decided to hand out more donuts…
Ferrari desperate to win something
Since edging out both Brawn and Schumacher, the proud team from Maranello have had thin pickings in winning titles. Interestingly at the FIA drivers’ press conference nobody appeared to have the balls to ask Alonso either how he feels he will fare against Kimi in 2014, or mention the fact that Kimi is actually Ferrari’s last world champion.
Instead we got a rather insipid question about what Fernando thought of Kimi as a man and a driver. He predictably replied, “Personally, I cannot say anything because I do not know him enough to speak about him personally. As a driver, he’s a great champion, great talent, very very fast. He likes what he’s doing. That’s the best thing”
However, Ferrari are squabbling behind the scenes in an attempt to claim some kind of historic glory from what may yet be a miserable year and a 4th place finish in the constructors championship. They claim they did a pit stop in Japan of just 1.95 seconds.
Yet Mercedes were credited with the fastest pit stop ever, stopping the clock at 2.02 seconds – 0.04 seconds faster than the previous record.
Mercedes team manager, Ron Meadows explains the discrepancy. “It’s always a question of what you measure, and how you measure it.” Ferrari have a device which records their stops from a gantry above the pit box, yet Mercedes’ time is awarded by the British broadcaster Sky. SAKY clocked the pitstop Ferrari claim to be sub 2 seconds at 2.11s.
Oh well lads from Maranello… something else slips through the red teams fingers. Though if Ferrari really want a prize, they can console themselves with the fact that they are the leading red car in the constructors…. I guess.
Quantum is no more
Infinity Racing bizarrely lasted a couple of months only. Mmm
Quantum physics is a branch of science that deals with discrete, invisible and indivisible units of energy called quanta. TJ13 is hearing that as suggested here previously, Quantum Motorsports’ is now an indivisible unit of inertia, invisible and has slipped away quietly into the night.
So no deal for Lotus and Maldonado should he have any money will become favourite for Kimi’s vacant seat. Though if I were Genii, I’d make sure the dollars are in the bank before announcing the Venezuelan – lest they find themselves with a Razia-esque scenario.
The team is suffering too much embarrassment from a financial management front and it needs to stop.
More as we get it.
Jenson feigns surprise
Over the years, one of the things Jenson has become a master of is the quizzical look of feigned surprise. When questioned in the Spa paddock last year over Lewis’ indiscretion in the twittersphere – he gave a master class performance – conveying at first ignorance to the event and then a whimsical ‘this makes no sense’ response thus avoiding being critical of Lewis’ or making any serious comment. Of course later his position changed to one of wonderment, which of course played also to his advantage.
Speaking in Abu DHabi today, Jenson gave a similar cameo of feigned surprise. Almost as though the words he was speaking were thoughts he had not considered previously. Asked about Brawn leaving Mercedes Jenson replied, “It would be a loss to the team that he was working for I think, it’s not a loss to the rest of us – it’s actually a good thing,”
Jenson has previously been on record expressing admiration for Brawn and again today he stated, “Ross is a great team leader, he’s very strong and he’s a very confident individual. I think everyone needs someone like Ross in their team. So surprised to see that he’s leaving. There are obviously some reasons for that, but difficult to know what they are.”
Indeed Jenson, “everyone needs someone like Ross in their team” and McLaren do not have one do they?
Lewis’, since struck by the lightening bolt from heaven and receiving divine love in abundance though has done a U-Turn on the Ross Brawn matter. Lewis has admitted his move to Mercedes was influenced by the opportunity to work with Brawn. In Bahrain when all the Paddy Lowe to oust Brawn speculation was flitting about, Lewis made it clear, “I signed with Ross being here, and I’m very happy working with him”.
Last week he said he was urging Brawn not to leave, but today Hamilton tries to do a Jenson and pull off ambivalence. “We have a lot of great people in the team so I’m sure the team will be strong either way and I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can do next year.
There were much bigger reasons why I joined the team and having him at the team was a bonus. I’ve learnt who everyone is in the team and we have some incredibly talented people here. He has a great approach, and helps create a great atmosphere, but I hope that’s the case with all bosses”.
Mmm. Lewis I suggest you get some acting lessons from Jenson….
The FIA press conference was fairly dull as usual but incredibly short. Clearly no one in the written media is that bothered about F1 now Vettel has won the WDC. We had Hamilton sat in front of Sutil and whilst both have been questioned on their relationship individually earlier in the year, we have never had this kind of opportunity.
Hamilton has previously inferred he would like to put matters right with Adrian and Sutil has said the door has been open but Hamilton’s never bothered. WHY oh WHY was an update of this situation not investigated?
I mean.. now Lewis is the mortal embodiment of divine love and forgiveness, this topic must and should have been pursued.
One bright moment in the otherwise tedious affair was when Alosnso was asked, “How has your relationship with the team evolved over the course of the year, particularly in terms of steering a course for the future?”
Fernando replied with a hint of sarcasm – whilst attempting ‘dead pan’. “It’s fantastic. Obviously, every weekend I repeat the same thing. So I guess in Austin on Thursday the first question in the press conference will be how is my relationship with the team”.
To be fair to the questioner, he checked Alonso and pointed out he had actually asked how the relationship had evolved? Which is a clever question,
Alonso retorted, “It was perfect, it’s perfect and it will be perfect”. Its a shame the questioner didn’t press Alonso further.
Hey Fernando – the reason you are continually asked is because your team are stabbing you in the back – Il Padrino tweaking your ear – team management calling you the ‘shit layer’ when you’re not present – telling the world you need baby sitting….. Oh great Samuri please forgive us for enquiring about what is perfectly obvious to the rest of the world.
Ainslie sets sail for Abu Dhabi
The America’s Cup is held every three to five years, with the winner choosing the next venue, date and type of boats. This year saw the cup contested in the bay of San Fransico and USA team Oracle drafted Britain’s Ben Ainslie as tactician. He helped them fight back from 8-1 down to beat team New Zealand 9-8 in a remarkable series.
Deatails of the where and when of the next America’s cup will be announced in the spring of 2014 and Ainslie is trying to put together a British bid to bring the event back to British waters for the first time in 160 years.
He recently said the coming weeks, up to Christmas, will be crucial in shaping the British line-up as they hunt for £80million in backing. It appears part of this funding drive will be a meeting between Ainslie and Adrian Newey this weekend at the Yas Marina Bay facility, according to the Mirror.
Ainslie comments, “Someone with his design and technical experience would be invaluable.”
So the clock may be ticking for Red Bull who have recently lost .Peter Prodromou – head of aerodynamics – and his number 2, Dan Fallows.
Raikkonen absent from his media duties
The paddock was rife with talk of Kimi’s absence from his usual media duties on the day before Friday practice. Many journalists tweeted the fact the Kimi was conspicuous in his absence and when questioned, a spokesperson for the team stoically stated what was obvious to all, “He’s not here – yet”.
Following Alan Permane’s public chastisement of Lotus’ departing Finnish maestro during the Indian GP across the team radio, stories have been circulating that the Iceman who has not been paid his dues by Genii, was about to fulfil his threat to ‘bugger off’.
Those fears were dispelled when news came through that Raikkonen had boarded a plane to Abu Dhabi this afternoon, yet it is understood that his decision to appear this weekend was following last minute peace talks between members of the Lotus hierarchy and the Finn.
The normally chirpy Lotus social media has been most subdued this weekend, and when question by TJ13 over this, no comment was the firm reply.
Sniff Petrol suggest Kimi’s late arrival could be for other reasons…
FIA releases engine usage list
This is up to and including India. Using more than 8 engines before the end the year will mean a 10 grid slot penalty for a driver.
Interestingly – all the Mercedes runners have used 8 engines to date.
Sebastian Vettel: 7
Mark Webber: 7
Fernando Alonso: 7
Felipe Massa: 7
Jenson Button: 8
Sergio Pérez: 8
Kimi Räikkönen: 7
Romain Grosjean: 7
Nico Rosberg: 8
Lewis Hamilton: 8
Nico Hülkenberg: 7
Esteban Gutiérrez: 7
Paul Di Resta: 8
Adrian Sutil: 8
Pastor Maldonado: 7
Valtteri Bottas: 7
Jean-Éric Vergne: 7
Daniel Ricciardo: 7
Charles Pic: 7
Giedo van der Garde: 7
Jules Bianchi: 7
Max Chilton: 7