This page will be updated throughout the day.
Please if you are on Twitter press the tweet button below. If you re-write and tweet individual story headlines don’t forget to include #F1.
You may not realise how significant this is and has helped grow our community significantly in the past couple of months – thank you.
Magnussen set to replace Perez? (10:00)
Prost says Hamilton must change (12:15)
Raikkonen penalty wrong (14:23)
Alonso injury and conjecture (17:01)
Lewis congratulates Sebastian (17:14)
Caption Competition (17:26)
self righteous (17:58)
Lotus investor wrangling continues
TJ13 reported back in June the dubious history of Mansoor Ijaz, yet it appears Formula 1 in the form of Lotus is about to embrace another influential character of disrepute. Ijaz seized the opportunity presented to him in Abu Dhabi when Kimi went public with his “I’ve not been paid a euro” sob story. He claimed to have smoothed troubled waters with Kimi and his manager – amazing seeing as Quantum are nothing to do with the team yet.
For smoothing troubled waters, read, made some promises that may of may not be fulfilled depending on whether Ijaz get Genii to bow to their demands.
Comfortable on his new F1 platform, Ijaz assured all Lotus fans, “We as incoming owners and shareholders have made it very clear what our preference is. I wish the transition had been smoother between Kimi and the next driver, who we believe will be Nico Hulkenberg, but sometimes in life things don’t happen so clearly and as nicely as you would like them to.”
So Lotus are about to receive unfathomable riches from the depths of the Sultan of Brunei’s treasure chest, and yet they’ve been talking to Pastor Maldonado – who we all know would only be preferred to Hulkenberg if his stash of oil dollars were necessary.
Genii are not comfortable with Quantum’s proposal, and Mansoor Ijaz has demonstrated this weekend exactly why Gerard Lopez has to date been cautious in pursuing their offers.
Magnussen set to replace Perez?
Whatever happens to Nico Hulkenberg, his response to an asinine question asked following the Korean GP rings true above all the nonsense talked about drivers doing their chances no harm for next year. Hulkenberg held of a bevy of world champions in Mokpo to finish 4th and the universal paddock acclaim was predictable.
Yet Nico stated that this drive wouldn’t affect those looking to recruit his services for the future, but in fact their decisions would be based on his drives from earlier this year and also in previous years when he did well for Force India and Williams.
Checo managed P5 in India, and the paddock drivel begins again – ‘that won’t do you any harm in McLaren’s thinking for next year, will it Sergio?’.
Martin Whitmarsh has for some time been talking up the imminent F1 fortunes of McLaren young driver, Kevin Magnussen. He won this years Formula Renault 3.5 which Whitmarsh described as, “a much higher quality championship than GP2”. When you consider some of the competitors in this series, Stoffel Vandoorne, Antonio Felix da Costa, Sergey Sirotkin and Carlos Sainz Jr, Whitmarsh point is more than fair.
Magnussen has been scheduled for quite some time to to test for GP2 team DAMS today in Abu Dhabi, though his management pulled him at the last moment. This will cost DAMS some 20,000 euros for failing to field 2 cars. No explanation has been offered for Magnussen’s
One has to question the reason for this 11th hour change of plans for Magnussen. Could it be Kevin would be in a car he doesn’t know, on Pirelli tyres he has not used, running against competitors who have been driving GP2 all year? He would hardly look competitive after merely 1 day in the car.
Were a certain F1 team then to sign him for 2014, they would be open to criticism that other GP2 drivers had out performed Magnussen during the Abu Dhabi tests.
Whether it’s McLaren, Force India or Marussia, Magnussen is indeed knocking on the door of F1. By comparison, for the winner of this years GP2 series, Formula 1 is – “as far away from Leimer as the moon” – according his fellow compatriot, Swiss F1 journalist, Roger Benoit,
Magnussen was heard to comment in Abu Dhabi, “For me, if I can get a competitive seat in the first year I would prefer that. It’s true there is a bigger risk in going to a top team because if you don’t perform then you’re out of Formula One. But for me, if I get to a top team and don’t perform then it means I’m not good enough,”
Mmm…. Are these words both a summary of Perez’s 2013 experience and a prophecy of who Magnussen’s future employer will be?
Prost says Hamilton must change
TJ13 penned an article yesterday suggesting Lewis may need to look at his driving style and technique if he wants to compete for race wins and world titles. Hamilton is described by some as a ‘pure racer’ and by that they infer he prefers to drive the car to (and beyond) its limits – for as much of a race as possible.
The man they called ‘the Professor’, who duelled on track with one of F1’s greatest drivers, was wheeled out by Renault to explain some of the finer points of change we are likely to see in 2014 with the new engines.
Alain Prost is a champion of the cerebral over brute force and ignorance, and was a defender of the Pirelli tyres Mark 1 earlier this year. He believes resource management has always been a part of the intelligent F1 driver’s tool kit and that the new regulations for 2014 will favour drivers like fellow four-time champion Sebastian Vettel over a driver like Lewis Hamilton.
“The way Sebastian works with people in the team, we know that he is doing little things different to the rest. That gives him an advantage and makes him more confident. On the other side, there is a guy like Lewis, who is more of a pure racing driver. I consider Lewis as one of the quickest drivers – maybe one of the best – but is he using his full potential? Maybe not.”
The Prof says Hamilton will need to change his approach to driving if he is to challenge Vettel who he believes will relish next season’s changes. “Maybe next year he [Hamilton] will find another motivation, but at the moment he is finding it very hard to beat Sebastian, and I think he should change a little bit. Before, you had the car in your hands, it was a raw package,
But now it is a package that will suit someone like Sebastian. Now you are not driving by yourself. You are going to have all this computerised equipment behind you and you might get a different reaction. Maybe when we meet in March, maybe we will say something different but, at the moment, I have to say that the new regulations will suit Vettel and not Hamilton”.
This of course assumes dear professor, that Renault deliver an engine capable of competing with Mercedes and Ferrari. Current reports are Renault refused to commit more than 250 bodies to the new Renault V6 Turbo – whereas in true Mercedes style – they have deployed more than 400 to the task.
Raikkonen penalty wrong
F1 throws up all kinds of weird and wonderful scenarios which keep us all on our toes guessing whether events were connected. Following Kimi’s militancy towards his team, it was strange his car should fail and FIA scrutineering test sending him to the back of the grid.
Of course Kimi then doesn’t make it past turn 2 in the race and some question whether he crashed out deliberately as an act of revenge on the team. Well for a man who stands to gain 50,000 euro’s per point this would appear a nonsensical argument. Yet who knows?
Maybe it was the divine retribution on the Finn from the F1 gods or simply the case that the iceman was not so cool calm and collected as we expect and he made a poor decision to stick the nose of his car in a gap that was always going to close.
Yet the team could have made the decision to start Raikkonen from the pit lane, as did Vettel in 2012. They could then have adjusted the gearing ratios and aerodynamics on the car making it an overtaking machine as was Sebastian’s RB8.
Boullier rejects this was a mistake by the team stating, “We don’t regret it. If you want to gamble a bit on an aggressive strategy you have to be on track. It was obvious for us to start on the track. The couple of seconds – perhaps as much as three to four – that you gain by doing so could be exactly the ones you need at the end of the race.”
Of course Eric it is indeed obvious, assuming that in the melee that is the back of the grid nobody crashes into your world champion driver – or he doesn’t have brain fade and think the track is wider than it is.
However, Lotus’ analysis of the car following Kimi’s on track qualifying incident which they claim damaged the car and caused it to fail the deflection test appears to conclusively prove the FIA was wrong to issue the penalty to Raikkonen.
Boullier is unhappy with the FIA and states, “You have the video footage and you have the data, and you can see that during his lap there is a peak of 21G and that the sensors stop so everything is destroyed below. So I am a bit personally not very happy with the rationale behind the decision. It was a normal incident.”
Kimi’s zero point weekend may prove costly to Lotus. Ferrari are now 26 points ahead of the Enstone team, yet Raikkonen starting from where he qualified would surely have delivered at worst a 5th place – mitigating the differential between the two teams by at least 12 points.
The difference between the prize money for finishing 3rd or 4th in the constructors’ championship may be similar to the amount Kimi will receive as his entire annual remuneration. There is therefore no sensible attributable motive that would see Lotus attempt to impede their Finnish driver’s opportunity in Abu Dhabi. It would therefore be also inconceivable that the F1 gods would be so capricious in their verdict of Lotus’ main man.
Kimi on the other hand… who knows?
Russian Police nothing to worry from F1 journo’s
At times the F1 travelling fraternity of journalists can be a little touchy, fragile and out of touch with reality. They are used to a fairly comfortable life, with access to the same old faces in the bubble that is the paddock on an F1 weekend.
It may be interesting to see how they feel about the treatment handed out by Russian police to Oystein Bogen and Aage Aunes, reporter and cameraman respectively of Norway’s TV2. They were visiting Sochi in advance of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games for the media outlet in Norway that will broadcast the event.
They report being detained and harassed, being stopped 6 times and arrested on 3 occasions – all in the space of 2 days by Russian police. They were interrogated over their work plans, sources, personal lives, educational backgrounds, and religious beliefs. One official threatened to jail Bogen.
Jane Buchanan of Human Rights Watch says the International Olympic Committee should demand a full explanation from the Russian authorities about the “intimidation and harassment.” She adds, “Thousands of reporters will visit Sochi for the games and it is one of the central requirements of hosting the Olympics that they can report without interference and intimidation.”
Press freedom may be protected under the Olympic charter, yet the Russian authorities’ treatment of the journalists would suggest Moscow has no idea about its responsibilities and has contravened the Olympic commitment to protect freedom of the press.
Still, the F1 writing fraternity are hardly likely to ask questions which may get them into trouble as they dash from airport to 5 star hotel and back again. Either that or they’ll be penning reams that resound with undying support for a wonderful regime that rules a wonderful country, with wonderful organisation and a clean bill of health on all human rights issues.
Alonso injury and conjecture
Apparently Ferrari wish to minimise Fernando’s apparent injury and have suggested the impact was well below the 25G that Kimi encountered, due to faulty sensors. Alonso appeared for his regular media duties with the ‘reversed cap’ looking nonchalant, though drinking copious amounts of water.
We were told later by a Ferrari spokesperson that Fernando had gone for a medical check up as a mere ‘precaution’. Alonso actually was admitted to hospital, not the medical centre at the circuit.
Alonso’s manager, Luis Garcia Abad, then set the cat amongst the pigeons by tweeting a photo of the 32-year-old in hospital, attached to a spinal board and covered with a space blanket.
Ferrari later commented Fernando is “fine”.
Then yesterday Fernando appeared on twitter, “Hello! Thanks for all the support messages! The night was so so, I will do more tests this afternoon and try to be 100% as soon as possible!”
More tests eh? Not so fine then?
Following the additional tests on Fernando, a Ferrari spokesperson told the BBC, “He’s ok, just some pain and nothing more. The check up was fine,”
Abad then spiced matters up when asked whether Alonso would be fit for Austin. “We are not talking about Austin. We need to check everything’s ok. It is nothing more than normal control of the situation,”
Ooer… ‘the situation’???
‘How to create a monster of a storm which is easily avoidable’ – is a manual written by Ferrari.
What would have been wrong with, “Fernando has some bruising”, or, “X-Rays have shown no spinal damage”, or “Fernando has minor vertebrae misalignment”.
Thin lipped, curt explanations, devoid of insignificant and inconsequential detail is bound to lead to speculation and conjecture!!!
Alonso has not taken to the twittersphere at all today. The last time this didn’t happen when extensive global travel was not involved was 29 days ago….
Lewis congratulates Sebastian
Yesterdays was the best we ever had. It was indeed Mika in Australia – flying through the air.
So Here’s todays. Lewis tweeted this picture with the message, “Roscoe and Coco sleep on the bed next to me and this is them waking up first thing!”
Mercedes fans may well flinch when they realise this man is soon to replace Ross Brawn and become the voice of Mercedes AMG F1. Toto hasn’t realised yet that it is the job of the media to bait him and so he blurts out his honest opinion when at times discretion would be the best part of valour.
“Of course it’s not a good sign, drivers not being paid, or employees and suppliers not being paid,” says Wolff. “It’s not what we want to see. It’s a matter of how you manage your business, and for me it just seems strange. I’ve never had any similar situation in all my life, I’ve never seen any similar situation, and I just wonder why the hell people are not paying their staff. Is it true or is it not true, I don’t know. If it is true for me it’s just incomprehensible.”
Take note you reprehensible scum bags of Sauber and Lotus!!!
Amidst some slight repetition, the sermon according to Toto continues…
“On the specifics of a top team like Lotus struggling, of course it’s not nice to hear that a front running team isn’t able to pay the bills. But for me it’s a matter of how you manage your company. Without wanting to be too hard, because I have no knowledge about how the team is being run, you operate on the budgets you have available, and this is how any other normal company functions”.
Mr. Lopez beware! With Mr. Mansoon Ijaz on board, the lick of Toto’s self righteousness is likely to rise in intensity and come to lambast you even more over matters of integrity.
We need to pick out way carefully through Toto’s final comments on the matter.
“I think [there is] speaking too much about is F1 in bad shape or not, yes the whole world is in bad shape, the whole environment is in bad shape, and we have to all look about how we finance our operations. The same applies to us, you can’t overspend. It’s damaging for F1 to hear those stories, and it’s not good.”
Mmm. Imagine you get an opportunity once a week to say something worthwhile and have it reported across the F1 world…..
Lauda and Wolff huh? Take away Brawn – and it will be like opening all the locks on a canal simultaneously.