Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 7th November 2013

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Kimi return to Sauber

Hulkenberg not concerned Lotus will pay him

Pirelli to get 2013 car to test 2014 tyres

Force India accuse Red Bull again

Alonso still silent

Newey says 2014 car compromised

Sauber Sirotkin deal shattered

Bernie’s F1 historic starting grid

Lewis has time off

‘Spygate’ convict speaks up for the first time

Alonso cryptic message

Senna’s last victory

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Kimi return to Sauber

Some times ex-F1 drivers should stay in exile and leave us with the fantastic memories we have of their career. Recently Mika Hakkinen argued that Kimi had to defend against Grosjean in the Indian GP because he was taking the quickest line through the corner to preserve his tyre performance. Uuurrmm… Mika…. tosh!

Well another Mika – Mr. Salo – is making some bold claims today following Kimi’s threat to withdraw his services from Lotus for the Austin and Interlagos GP’s. Raikkonen stated unless the team kept their side of the bargain – ie paid him some cash before Austin – he would not turn up.

“Let’s see if Kimi is in Austin,” Salo commented to Finnish broadcaster MTV3, adding intriguingly, “and in what car. It’s probably the most anticipated thing about the whole American Grand Prix weekend. There have been rumours Kimi will drive at Sauber instead of a Lotus.”

This kind of speculation is clearly driven from the fact that Hulkenberg has been released from his contract earlier in the year by Sauber and is Boullier’s preferred replacement for Kimi. So, were Raikkonen to strike in Austin, it would make sense to give Nico a run in the Lotus.

The Finns appear to be sticking together in support of Kimi and this could merely be Salo stirring the water on behalf of his countryman. Salo continues, “For now it’s just a rumour, Kimi loves to drive, but the atmosphere at Lotus is no more good for him. Sauber is also short of money and has not paid Nico Hulkenberg.”

So why would Kimi drive for Sauber instead of Lotus – out of spite? The Iceman’s reputation and brand is taking something of a hit following his blazing row in the hospitality suite following the Indian GP and further failing to fulfil his side of the contractual commitments with the press in Abu Dhabi last Thursday. Lotus will either pay Raikkonen – or there will be a legal battle – and Kimi is doing himself no favours losing his cool and getting involved in brinkmanship games. He should stay above the fray.

Salo concludes, “If Kimi is in Austin, he will definitely be on it. Our Finnish mentality is that no matter what is going on it doesn’t affect our performance. We sit in the car and drive it as hard as we can.”

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Hulkenberg not concerned Lotus will pay him

Hulkenberg has to be the consider pretty unlucky in the failure to be remunerated stakes. Force India still owe him money, Sauber haven’t paid him and he’s favourite to go to Lotus’ who have have been criticised by their lead driver for not paying him ‘a single euro this year’.

Yetr Nico is not concerned this would happen to him were he to drive for the Enstone team. He explains why to GP Week, “I think Kimi has a very different salary to mine. That is the first point, it is a lot larger. You know, I think, it will be a different case. Things change and I’m not super worried about that. I think you have three or four big teams which are financially quite stable. Everybody else is struggling a little bit in terms of finance so it’s difficult. “

TJ13 reported last month that Hulkenberg had stated he would not sign for the Lotus team until they had completed their deal with Quantum Motorsports. His position appears to have softened now. “Yes, you do want [financial security]. Of course that’s an important point nowadays in Formula One, just for a team to be able to keep the development up, to keep going, to keep being competitive. It is an expensive sport to run if you’ve noticed; it’s no secret. I think for the team, for themselves, for Lotus, I think it is important to find that deal and finalise it and have the security and stability.”

TJ13 believes there have been high level talks with Genii and Renault during the week between the Indian GP and Abu Dhabi. This is a last ditch attempt to secure long term funding on more preferential terms to Lotus than Quantum are offering.

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Pirelli to get 2013 car to test 2014 tyres

During the Abu Dhabi weekend, Niki Lauda called a meeting of team bosses to discuss the Pirelli 2014 tyre testing issues. Lauda told the gathering, “We need to help Pirelli, if we want to avoid the drama of this year. It is just stupid to moralise when there is a crisis and it is in all our interests to provide Pirelli with 2013 cars for testing”.

The problem is that unless Pirelli get agreement from all the teams for this kind of testing in December and January – prior to Jerez – the rule makers will not change the regulations. Pirelli say it is absurd to be testing 2014 tyres on a 2011 car, and even this will not be possible from January 2014 as the 2011 cars are deemed as ‘current’.

Some teams are reticent to agree as they can’t afford to go testing and feel they would be disadvantaged were those who can do so with prototype 2014 rubber. One options discussed was that Free Practice on Friday at Interlagos be replaced with a day of 2014 tyre testing.

Pirelli have been holding out for a 5 year deal starting 2014, though the FIA object to this as they claim EU law requires them to appoint such suppliers in the future by tender. It appears a compromise is close to being agreed.

Italy’s La Gazzetta reportsPirelli chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera now reveals, “We have asked for an exclusive agreement for three years”, and that, “We are in the final stages now. There is no pressure, but we have a very close collaboration with the federation, because the tyres are used according to our instructions.”

On the topic of testing 2014 tyres Provera adds, “We expect it to be formalised that tests will be done with a 2013 car”, and also that further “tests may take place during the season.” Leading the way, Lauda states, “We will have a 2013 car ready for Pirelli when they want it, and the others should do the same,”

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Force India accuse Red Bull again

TJ13 informed readers that certain F1 teams do not shut down during the summer break, only to receive some criticism for suggesting rules may be flagrantly broken.

It has been noted in certain F1 quarters that the Red Bull team appears to return from holiday with a much improved car, and it has been their post August break performance which clinched both 2012 and 2013 titles.

The evidence presented to the FIA has been sufficiently persuasive for them to act. The teams have been contacted by Paris informing them that the FIA intend to monitor compliance with the summer break rules beginning in 2014.

Interestingly, the resistance to such measures has been primarily noted to be from Milton Keynes. One of the controls suggested by the FIA was to monitor the activity of the team’s suppliers. Red Bull have successfully argues there is no legal basis for this, according to a source from the FIA.

Publically, Red Bull are dismissing the allegations that they develop the car over the Summer break. Herr Marko said on Servus TV, “We are better after the summer break, because we’ve been on holiday, though the factory shutdown does not stop us thinking”.

Marko adds, “Sebastian is particular good in September because he is always more motivated when he comes back, while the others appear to be feeling the weight of pressure of the season”.

Vettel believes, “We understand out car better after the summer, the development comes quicker and I can squeeze more from the car”. Yet some of Red Bull’s opponents believe there is more than thinking going on during the break in August.

Force India recently requested the FIA perform tests on the floor of the RB9 to ensure it is compliant and now believe Red Bull are using their filming days for more than just advertising and promotion.

TJ13 claimed in October that Red Bull have already run the new ‘ugly’ nose in Idiada, and now Force India believe the same to be true. They have requested that an observer be sent to Rockingham for the next Red Bull ‘filming day’.

Apparently they find it hard to believe that this venue is sexy enough for promotional work, and believe that more than 100km in the day is being driven as regulated by article 6 of the test regulations.

Red Bull took 24 hours to reply, but under the testing regulations have agreed to the Force India observer.

I’l  say it again, F1 away from the track is predominantly policed by agreement to abide within the rules, and teams regular break the agreements and rules – such as the testing and filming day regulations.

The most ridiculous part of all this is that it is the responsibility of the FIA to regulate, at least with an observer, all sessions where F1 cars are being run. It should not be the job of some bloke from Force India with his Nikon camera and long lens.

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Alonso still silent

Maybe Fernando is taking a holiday with his girlfriend, renovating an old 1960’s Ferrari or just taking a long walk. Yet the stark fact is, even when partaking in such endeavours, the most avid user of twitter amongst the current F1 drivers usually keeps us informed on what he is up to.

Fernando has now been silent for 48 hours, since telling us he was to undergo further medical tests from his injury in Abu Dhabi.. something most unusual.

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Sauber Sirotkin deal shattered

Information is sketchy, and no reasons are given, but Swiss publication Blick is suggesting that the Sirotkin deal between Sauber and the Russian investors is ‘shattered’. The inference is that the Russians have lawyers now in Geneva looking at how they can sue the Sauber team.

Further, there is a suggestion Sirotkin’s backers are being replaced by a large investment sourced in Dubai.

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Newey says 2014 car compromised

Red Bull were back home and settled yesterday for the first time since winning their F1 titles in India, and it was a day they dedicated to media work. Interestingly a number of one on one interviews were given and so the stories emerging may well have a different emphasis and be on a range of topics unlike during an F1 weekend, where mass media pack interviews are more the norm.

ESPN discussed with Newey the state of readiness of their 2014 programme. Newey had this to offer, “I guess in terms of development this year, we felt we were being pushed quite hard by our rivals, Ferrari very much at the start [of the season] – Fernando can never be forgotten – and then Mercedes started to look very strong in the mid season.

We had to keep pushing and we put a lot of work into developing this year’s car, which in truth meant some compromise to the development of next year’s car, but we felt we needed to do that.

You could argue with 20:20 hindsight that we could have backed off earlier than we did and put more of our resources into next year, but if we’d done that too early and not got the championship we’d be feeling pretty sick at the moment.”

Worryingly for those who believe aero is too big a part of the sport, Newey believes, “Some of what we have learnt [in recent months] will transfer to next year as well because the underlying aerodynamics are still similar. Other bits, unfortunately, have met their natural evolution and can’t be applied to next year’s regulations.”

Of course all the aero work around the diffuser will become redundant, however, Red Bull have been working on suspension developments and wake management – and in this area they do feel as though they are at least on target if not ahead of the game.

Of course there is the possibility that one engine manufacturer will develop an all round best package which will optimise the balance between power and fuel efficiency better than the others.

Stefano Domenicali underlined this thought process when he said last week, “The first races will be the most important next year. Whoever has the most wins at an early stage of the season will succeed in the end. I am convinced.”

At least Stefano isn’t politicking and trying to stretch his ‘last chance saloon’ year for too long. There will be no reason if Ferrari are way off the pace by Barcelona, that heads shouldn’t roll in Maranello.

Nico Rosberg is confident that Mercedes will deliver in 2014. “Earlier this season, without the regulation change, we were sometimes the fastest car. We did an amazing job last winter and I am confident we can do it again. Ok, this year we’ve had some weaknesses but we’ve learned from it. I am very sure we can have a good season.”

Yet it would be foolish to overlook Renault. There were at times noises of complaint coming from the French manufacturer earlier in the year over the 2014 powertrain programme, however, it may be that the engine mapping systems which control the torque and manage the ERS will be the dominant technology for next year. If so, Renault have proven in conjunction with Newey to be masterful in this area of powertrain development.

On the 28th of January, expect to see a number of the engine manufacturer’s representatives, stood just off the pit lane exit at turn 1 in Jerez, recording the sounds of their competitor engines.

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Bernie’s F1 historic starting grid

Bernie’s current trial is expected to last several weeks – even possibly into the New Year. When this trial has finished, one awaits him in New York, maybe one in Munich and another in Switzerland. Suffice to say, he will have a lot of time on his hands.

Besides having to work out when to step out of a revolving door, Bernie has dreamed up his dream historic F1 starting grid and interestingly places Nigel Mansell on pole position.

1 Nigel Mansell

2 Ayrton Senna

3 Michael Schumacher

4 Sebastian Vettel

5 Jochen Rindt

6 Ronnie Peterson

7 Alain Prost

8 Alan Jones

9 Jackie Stewart

10th Niki Lauda

11th James Hunt

12th Graham Hill

13th Juan Manuel Fangio

14th Nelson Piquet

Interestingly there are only 14 drivers on Ecclestone’s ideal list. This of course means he has less to pay out in prize money

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Lewis has time off

Nope, not burning the midnight oil in the simulator, or visiting the Pirelli factory and not studying his team mates telelmetry. Lewis has been trying to get vidoe online for a couple of days now. He hs finally mastered the technical wizardry involved and can tweet links to his you tube account. Here’s todays offering.

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‘Spygate’ convict speaks up for the first time

Interesting on a news day like today, a figure at the centre of the ‘spygate’ scandal rears his head. Former Ferrari engineer, Nigel Stepney, was eventually sentenced to a year and 8 months in prison by the Italian courts for his part in the affair.

Spy-gate” saw Stepney – former head of development at Ferrari – pass a 780-page technical document to former McLaren chief designer Mike Coughlan in the scandal. He was also accused of sabotaging Kimi Raikkonen’s car at the Monaco GP.

Ferrari claimed Stepney put white powder in the fuel tanks of the Ferrari F1 cars that were due to go to the Monaco Grand Prix on May 27. Stepney denied this and said he was being framed.

The story began back in 2006 when Ferrari made Mike Coughlan an offer to join the team in Maranello. Coughlin had just agreed a new deal with McLaren to run from 2007 to 2009. Later it became clear that Coughlin was at the same time talking to Toyota, and of course senior staff in possession of another team’s highly confidential data can be a useful bargaining tool.

Around the same time, Nigel Stepney was becoming very disaffected at Ferrari, as he was not happy with the new management structure since Ross Brawn’s decision to leave the Italian team.

In his first ‘tell all’ to Racecar Engineering, Stepney today accuses his former employer of breaching the regulations. He claims for the season opener in Australia, Ferrari fielded a car with an illegal flexible component on the splitter as well as a rear wing which also breached regulations.

This ‘flexible floor’ concept is similar to the theory Gary Anderson devised recently about the RB9.

Coughlin passed on this information to Ron Dennis, who interestingly rather than challenge the result of the Ferrari win in Melbourne, asked for clarification on the matter with the FIA.

Stepney claims he was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with what he was being asked to do by Ferrari, and that they were acting beyond acceptable limits.

He subsequently passed a dossier to Coughlin and Ferrari got wind of this. They gained a legal injunction which meant the subsequent search found the file at the home of Coughlin.

The rest is history.

Stepney interestingly now claims the FIA tried to recruit him as a poacher turned gamekeeper, but he refused. “I have the letter with the job offer from the FIA…but I refused”.

The ultimate rule to which teams adhere, is the rule that in fact is framed as a question. “Will what we do pass FIA scrutineering tests?”

This is why TJ13 campaigns from time to time for infinitely better resources to be provided by the FIA for regulation enforcement. The current scrutineering is amateur and laughable… a la the bloke from Force India with his Nikon and long lens.

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Alonso cryptic message

Fernando has broken his silence and tweeted a cryptic picture message with a wink

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Walker, Texas Ranger is an American television action crime drama series inspired by the film Lone Wolf McQuade starring Chuck Norris.

Norris is a member of the Texas Ranger Division and the show developed a huge following, running for 8 full seasons and broadcast in over 100 countries.

The show was known for its moral values. For example, the characters refrained from the use of drugs, and they participated in community service. Martial arts were displayed prominently as the primary tool of law enforcement and occasionally as a tool for Walker and company to reach out to the community. The show has since become one of the most popular action shows in television history and has gained a cult following for its camp appeal (Wiki).

Time for some TJ13 reader input. What does Alonso mean?

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Senna’s last victory

20 years ago today was Senna’s last victory…..

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58 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 7th November 2013

  1. Maybe Kimi doesn’t want to be involved in court battle,which might take years and years to resolve..If he will be quiet now,Lotus will be relaxed until brazil GP,and then start to look into the issue,by the time which his contract would have expired..

    Last year also, he got the salary at the end..But he was their driver for the next season, and knew that they would definitely pay him when he has to drive for them the coming year..But this year,his contract expires,and he will be off to Maranello before new year…So he has doubts whether Lotus will pay him completely,and when they will do..Court hearing is very long process, and it may be resolved after he has retired or something…

    But still,he has to complete the 2 races this season,just to have more strength for his case,and be in a more comfortable position..Else,Lotus can also argue about his non-appearance..This is,if the case goes to court…

    He is exerting more pressure so that all disputes will be settled by the end of this year…

        • Hopefully it shall be, Lotus should have thought more of the consequences when they publicly insinuate that Raikkonen isn’t a team player, airing their laundry in public such as they did was only ever going to illicit a public response, and they got one, if you poke a sleeping dog enough times it will bite back.

      • Maybe yes..But the issue took a turn after the events of Indian GP…
        He doesn’t want to tell it,and even skips media sessions in the hope that they wont ask him..But the media never leaves these issues..

        Kimi talks straight,and not something in front and something at the back..Sometimes this may lead to problems,as it has done now…

        • My support of Kimi is unambiguous. He’s absolutely right to worry about not being paid and the prospect of the team’s shafting him if he waits until post-season to put pressure on them is very real. While it may be distasteful and not enjoyable to read about, Lotus team is 100% responsible for any negativity – they could simply have paid their driver and none of this would’ve happened.

          • Ok. I bow to the unswerving support from the courtroom opinion for Kimi…

            Though personally, I would have done it differently…

          • fair point. there’s more than one way to skin a cat. wouldn’t it be funny (not really) if Lotus couldn’t come up w/ the cash to pay off Kimi and had to offer him an ownership stake instead? Or if he demanded one, just to spite them? Sigh. In other news, Max Mosley won his lawsuit against Google in France.

      • Your honor… you say above, “Lotus will either pay Raikkonen – or there will be a legal battle – and Kimi is doing himself no favors… getting involved in brinkmanship games.” And then you say, “Excellent points… however he doesn’t need to do this in public…”

        You’ve not provided a reason for your opinion.

        Please share with us the disadvantage of Kimi pressing Genii as he is doing now.

        • Lotus have a lot of fans.. who are Lotus fans… therefore there will be some diminishing of the Kimi brand at least with them…. as they question his behaviour…

          Ferrari shafted him when they kicked him out last time and he said nothing…

          • Thank you for sharing those reasons.

            Your assumption is that the emotional feelings of Lotus fans are of concern to Kimi.

            Kimi has consistently said that he is in F1 to win, and that secondarily he’d like to leave F1 with some money in his pocket to better enable his other interests after F1.

            Why should the emotional feelings of Lotus fans concern Kimi?

            And how could Kimi have been less public about this whole matter?

          • Sorry VM – I was cut short on my previous reply….

            Further.. Kimi’s been racing for nothing all year… this was not news… Boullier has admitted it on more than one occasion.. explained this is the way they handled Kimi’s payment last year…. assured us Kimi will be paid ‘as normal’….

            The Iceman has a blazing row in the Lotus hospitality with Permane after the race in India – so 16 races he attends without saying a word….

            Then four days later [after the row] he chooses to make this a public issue from his perspective….

            I’m just saying whatever Kimi says, it appears that the Indian confrontation tipped him into action…. something he denied….

          • thejudge13: “I’m just saying whatever Kimi says, it appears that the Indian confrontation tipped him into action…. something he denied….”

            I think he said it quite clearly. Paraphrasing: “I have been accused of not being a team player, yet I’ve been driving without pay the whole year. That is not nice to hear”.

          • Except for the “Kimi, get out of the f%^&ing way” outburst…the team were quick to apologise…. its a bit of a leap to suggest this one outburst is accusing Kimi of not being a team player.

            What was said in the hospitality suite irked Kimi and this is why some believe he replied publicly…

            Yet Kimi had plenty to say on that occasion and it was he who pursued the ‘debate’.

            Further, Lotus are not Genii, and Boullier has made it clear ‘the shareholders’ provide the funds for his remuneration… Kimi made no differentiation between who his beef is really with and the team..

            Which only goes to show – its not black and white and maybe he would have been better served just keeping his head down and being adored by his fans…

          • OK. For clarity, let me know if I’m understanding your argument well:

            “The Iceman’s reputation and brand is taking something of a hit…”

            So to resolve this, he should gamble (hope, pray?) that Genii will pay him late as they did last season. If they don’t then Kimi should hire a bunch of lawyers and take Genii / Lotus F1 to court.

            But he should not do his current brinkmanship because “the Iceman’s reputation and brand is taking something of a hit…” because it’s too public.

            Is that an accurate summary?

            I’ve looked for information on this “… blazing row in the hospitality suite following the Indian GP” that you mention, and I can’t find it. Is that a public story that we can view now?

    • Court proceedings may take years, but a claimant is able to get an injunction for attachment of property, meaning that certain valuable assets could not be used by Lotus, like their tv-money receivable . Kimi doesn’t need to drive the remaining races “to strenghten his case”. If Lotus has defaulted on their payments, as Gerard Lopez has confirmed they have done, Kimi has a right to rescind the contract based on the breach of Lotus. Kimi can claim all outstanding monies and even a calculated bonus addition on the two races he didn’t drive due to the breach of Lotus. Court proceedings are allways a last resort, but don’t count out the possibility.

      Räikkönen noted in some interview rather rhetorically: Do you think I would have signed the contract if I knew that Lotus would not pay?

      Lotus still has a possibility to strenghten its position in the constructors championship standings, which they will not do if Valsechi drives (nothing against Valsechi, but a rookie will not take podiums). Now is the natural pressure point from Räikkönens point of view. The possibilty of getting more prize money only exists if Räikkönen drives.

      Why would publicity be excluded from Räikkönen, when Lotus uses it all the time?

      • Can Kimi claim compensation,excluding salary,from Lotus for not paying his salary on time and damaging his reputation by accusations??

      • Calculating a bonus on what may have happened could well open a big can of worms! Could he claim that if Lotus hadn’t provided a car that failed scrutineering at the last race he would have scored points? Or could they counter-claim that mistakes he made cost them positions in the WCC at the end of the season?

        • You are confusing two different issues.

          The calculated bonuses would be based on the assumption that if Lotus would not have breached its duty and Kimi would have raced, he would (statistically) have won points, and would have a right to receive bonuses. Calculating a contractual damages compensation is based on what would in all likelihood have happened if the other party didn’t breach the contract.

          Remeber that Kimi has travel and accomodation costs for each race, which he has paid. Regardless of whether Lotus is liable to compensate these in full, part or not at all, he has costs to fullfil his part of the deal, to drive at the races. Lotus cannot expect that he will be filling his part of the deal while Lopez brags in the media that not paying him, i.e. contractual breach, is “cash management”.

          The other issue you mention is whether there has occured a contractual breech of Lotuses duties, relating to providing the equipment. Not having read the contract I don’t want to speculate on this. However, this is a totally different issue than how to calculate contractual damages resulting from a clear breach.

    • Still one detail more on “court proceedings”:

      The drivers contracts all have arbitration clauses and arbitration is not public, so we do not know whether proceedings already have been initiated. Only if Kimi (his lawyers) want to get an injunction, they have to go to open court to get one.

      I would also be very surprised if Kimi’s lawyers wouldn’t have been engaded in correspondence with Lotus already for months.

  2. Sorry for the other website link but,in this article from Auto Motor und Sport

    http://www.auto-motor-und-sport.de/formel-1/macht-red-bull-illegale-sachen-force-india-spion-beim-red-bull-pr-tag-7889532.html

    there is a mention that RBR wanted to test something on filming day..Is it true??(The article is in German,and I dont understand it..And Google translate is a joke..Cannot understand what the article says..)Anyone knowing Germany can pls summarize it in English???

    • Force india says red bulls advantage after the summer brake was too big so they suspect the factory wasnt closed. And red bull has used all(allowed) 8 days to film promo material. But because they did it all on the same track they suspect that they did a test of some sort. Its a lot of suspecting and nothing that can be proved with facts actually

  3. Danilo is probably the man for the job but I’ll have a quick try ;).
    The first part of the article is about other teams getting suspicous because of RBs massive improvents after the summer break.
    Markos response in austrian TV was: “We’re shutting down our factory but not our brains” wheras Vettel added that they are just better at understanding their car.
    The second part is about FI allegedly wondereing why RB are holding all of their filming days at the pretty unexciting Rockingham track. To make sure that they weren’t putting a 2014 style nose on the car they wanted to send a observer to their Nov. 5./6. filiming day, which RB had to grant.

    • The reasons that Marko and Vettel give are just laughable. They should have better stayed silent and give a strictly PR answer of “We don’t comment on speculation, bla, bla, bla…”

        • Red Bull will eventually come a cropper with the FIA over something. Then you’ll have Horner and Herr Helmut whining about a conspiracy to stop a fizzy drinks team from winning.
          As for 2014 ? I think it will be less about aero and more about which manufacturer comes up with the best overall package. Though one can never underestimate Newey to find an advantage in the rule book and exploit it.
          As for Red Bull’s 2014 front nose it would not surprise me if they’ve had it attached to something that’s been slung around the Red Bull Ring track constantly. Where’s my tin foil hat gone……

      • That’s true. We’d all be in cuckoo land tho’ if we believed that the summer shut down meant exactly that. That the personnal went home, grabbed the wife and kids and buggered off to the beach, or sent the kids out to play with the traffic and vaselined the bedroom door knob. ‘Course work goes on. How bloody naieve do you think we are?

    • What are the rules for filmingdays again?
      – 100 km/h
      – special tyres
      – and?
      Isn’t it allowed within those rules to put new parts on?

      Also last year we had Buemi (?) complain about his neck after straight line testing. Which they did on a track with a fixed corner radius.

      Further, I heard RB have this truck with a little part-factory in it when they go racing. so probably production time isn’t much of an issue?

      Please add / correct if you know more.

    • Not other teams. Force india make all the accusations. But as long as one doesnt have prove it isn’t smart to point a finger. We have a saying that goes if you point a finger there are 3 pointing back at you.

      • While I agree that it’s dangerous to make unfounded accusations or ones that you lack proof to support, if RBR is cheating (which is how one would have to characterize their actions, if what is alleged is true), then Force India must be commended for having the balls to stand up to Red Bull and denounce their cheating. Otherwise, it would be business as usual then. I don’t agree that just b/c corruption is widespread we should be cynical about it and accept it. So if what Force India alleges is true, then as a fan, I appreciate their efforts to call attention to it.

        The FIA of course is a joke and no doubt will fail to take action assuming the fail to cover-up for Red Bull. F1 is a terribly corrupt sport, but that’s why we as fans have to demand better, more transparent governance!

        • All teams cheat, its the nature of the sport to try and get any advantage possible.

          The mottos of F1 are
          A) If you’re not cheating ur not trying, and
          B) Its only cheating if you get caught

          • Ha ha! You sound South African Colin, it ain’t a crime until you get caught 🙂

            I would say that breaking the rules are not correct however it is an engineer’s duty to look for loopholes (such as the double diffuser and EBD).

  4. Shows how much I know, I didn’t realise the summer break in F1 actually meant the factories shut down, but rather it was just a break for the travelling personnel.

    If you consider how dominant RB is after this break, at tracks sometimes vastly different in set-up configuration (think Singapore, Suzuka, Monza for example), i assumed that it was business-as-usual back at Milton Keyes during this break, burning the midnight oil to bring new developments.

    Having said that I also assumed the other teams were doing it too, just not doing as good a job.

  5. ‘Texas Ranger’…
    Maybe Alonso is just a pretentious pratt… Sad, really…
    He’s a good enough driver not to need all this silliness,

    • … indeed that could be true too….

      but as Norris said, “true patriots do not stay clear of discussing religion and politics”….

  6. Gp2 test update. Mclaren youngster stoffel vandoorne dominated today. Fastest in both sessions. In the art car in the morning and in the dams car in the afternoon. With the effect that he has made quite an impression. Plans of mclaren are to give him a learning year in gp2 next season…

    • Very interesting.. Quite the impression he’s made in his first GP2 test. Magnussen could have done this as well.. But this is a marker for next year.. Vandoorne could well place top 3 in 2014, laying a claim for an F1 seat in 2015.

  7. OK, I am totally confused and feel as tho I am being bated and suckered by the so-called ideal “Bernie’s top 14” grid list. maybe it is just because I can find no mention of this in a single other (of about 2 dozen F1 coverage sites I somewhat follow). or maybe it is because Your Honor trumps the rest with such a high “Bar” being set…

    but then again , I see no mention or any coverage here of the safety deficiencies recently sited by the Quebec CSST as the root cause of long-term marshall Mark Robinson’s death in Canada, either – and that is a disappointment…

    we obviously do not know the criteria used in this so-called “ideal grid list”. we can obviously discuss the validity of one driver being placed above or below another driver. we can also discuss why only 14 are included and many of us can certainly offer over another dozen or so names for highly worthy consideration…

    one should know from simple CHILDHOOD experiences that facts, statistics, and mathematics only go so far – they merely offer minimal support for OUR emotions and THEIR fan base and a general watered-down concensus point of view…

    having been polite and perhaps Gentlemanly, I now gotta cut loose on just how massively and hugely I am outraged and insenced I am at this particular list that does not include Jimmy Clark SOME F******WHERE!!!

    IF this is representative of what the Old Goat or CVS, pit lane, or fans feel, every pundit and so-called fan of F1 – me included – really and truly needs to quickly learn everything they can about golf, cricket, polo, ping pong, shuffleboard, or something… because unfortunately, this sport is doomed forever …

    • Thanks for sharing the link.

      In the long run, I think disclosures of this sort can only help the sport b/c they will force a more rational and transparent governance, if for no other reason that the stakeholders wanting to avoid future scandals (though they will no doubt still occur). But hopefully in a less-permissive environment.

      One can hope, right?

      • We should hope, and its certainly a scandal they could do without, as i said in an earlier comment its difficult to feel sympathetic towards a multi millionaire but the fact is Lotus offered him a contract, no-one held a gun to the head of Lopez and ordered him to do so, they have then reneged on that contract, not only financially but they have blatantly lied about reneging on it, which had implications for Raikkonens integrity, add that to the sly little games played in Abu Dhabi where they allocated timeslots for journo’s to intevriew Raikkonen knowing full well that he wouldn’t be attending those interviews, and the inferences that he’s not a team player and i suspect he reached a point where his only real defence was to go public and set the record straight.
        We should be absolutely clear, Lopez/Lotus kicked all this off, my understanding is that Lopez has this year broken several promises regarding Raikkonens salary, fool me once, etc etc etc.

    • Oh rats! I’ve just lost more respect for Boullier.

      Thanks for pointing out that story!

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