Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 29th November

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Il Padrino tightens the reins on Alonso

2013/14 comparison

Maldonado to be announced today

Bahrain F1 night race

Mercedes, ‘best 2014 engine”, really?

Mandatory 2 pit stop races

Engineering musical chairs

Lewis de-tooned

Grosjean and Maldonado confirmed by Lotus


Il Padrino tightens the reins on Alonso

As TJ13 has frequently reported, all is not well in the land of Ferrari. There is a power struggle going on at Maranello which has already seen Fernando having his ear clipped by Il Padrino, on his birthday of all days. The news that Di Montezemolo has now banned Alonso from twitter, one of the most active Formula One drivers on the social network, will be a disappointment to many.

Following a continued war of words and criticism of the 2013 Ferrari, the Spaniard has been banned from tweeting about all matters Ferrari. In an interview with RAI Uno, Il Padrino stated, “We will prohibit him from Twitter. Although Alonso, like anyone else, can write on Twitter what he wants, everything concerning Ferrari will be communicated by Ferrari.”

Alonso has used his interest in Samurai wisdom to tweet on a wide range of matters – his duel with Vettel, the Newey factor and the lack of development of his car.

Whether this ban is intended as an assertion of authority and control over the previously undisputed team no.1, or it is a desperate effort to try to regain the respect from the Spaniard – we can only speculate.. One thing is for certain, if Il Padrino can enforce this it will be a very effective way of cutting out Alonso’s tongue and restricting him from publicly criticising the team during the off-season.

In this most interesting game of chess it is now Alonso’s move, but surely if he remains true to his Japanese philosophy – A samurai cannot be intimidated. In the words of Miyamoto Musaschi, “In battle, if you you make your opponent flinch, you have already won.” 

Today all we have from the Spaniard on twitter is, “Good morning! Getting ready for a “cold” bicycle ride this morning and simulator in the afternoon! Happy Friday!”

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2013/14 comparison

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Maldonado to be announced today

At times, the teams will brief selected F1 news outlets in advance of a story for a variety of reasons. Lotus have been briefing this week that today is the day for a Pastor Maldonado announcement.

The problem is “next week” has almost become a defining value for the Enstone based team. Fernando has had the same problem with Ferrari’s in season car development programme. The concept of “mañana” appears to define both fairly well.

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Bahrain F1 night race

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Since the draft F1 calendar has been released, there have been mutterings that the Bahrain F1 race will be re-scheduled and become either a twilight or night race.

This week the WEC will conclude it’s season racing at the BIC. The race will begin at 15:00 and finish at 21:00 under the new lighting system which has been installed at the race venue.

Today, track boss Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al-Khalifa announces, “We are delighted to be able to trial the first phase of our lighting project at the WEC, a major milestone in this hugely ambitious project for the BIC, which is scheduled for completion in February, This is by far the biggest development project we have ever undertaken at the BIC since the circuit was first built. I believe that there can be no better way for us to mark our 10th anniversary in F1 by demonstrating our long term commitment to the sport through this significant investment.” 

The F1 race will be a night race like Singapore, leaving Abu Dhabi for now as the only twilight race on the F1 calendar.

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Mercedes, ‘best 2014 engine”, really?

There seems to be a common consensus amongst people I speak to who know a bit about F1 engineering that Mercedes will produce the best of the new Turbo V6 F1 engines. This idea is has been promoted to a certain degree within the F1 media too and it begs the question, why do people think this?

Renault clearly won the V8 era winning 40% of the races during that time and there is no reason they cannot repeat this feat.

I thought it may be interesting to do a bit of a straw poll as to why people believe Mercedes will produce a dominant powertrain and the responses were interesting. Firstly, in my opinion, nobody produced a shred of evidence or even a reasonable convincing argument.

Underlying this belief appeared to be the historic fact that when the V8’s were first introduced into F1, Mercedes then delivered the best and most powerful engine. They cite the reason for the engine freeze and the FIA’s sympathetic approach to allowing Renault a catch up opportunity during that time.

Martin Whitmarsh is not so sure and when speaking to Speedweek he admitted, “Will we have a competitive powertrain? I don’t know. There are many people in the paddock who seem to know, but I don’t know where they could have got that information from..

From what I know about Mercedes’ resources and organisation, I am assuming that they have done a good job,” adding that after such a miserable season, “I believe that we will be competitive”.

One of the reasons the Renault engine became so dominant was due to their engineers ability to understand what kind of power and exhaust fumes were required and when, and this has been delivered primarily via the dark art of ‘engine mapping’.

With the turbo engines delivering more torque than is imaginable at present and the fact that fuel efficiency will be crucial to the new powertrains, Mercedes ability to produce more grunt than the others will most likely be irrelevant. Creating engine maps which make the car more driveable will be crucial to getting the power down efficiently and only when required, and Renault have proved to be the masters of this.

Further, Ross Brawn notably made reference twice in the past 5 days to the fact that there will be an advantage for the engine manufacturers ‘works teams’ who have had longer to consider the harmonisation of the powertrain and the chassis. – Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull.

If this is the case, and no one engine dominates the others, then Whitmarsh’s assertion that McLaren will be more competitive next year may be more in hope than actuality.

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Mandatory 2 pit stop races

Less than 2 calendar months to go before the 2014 cars roll out of the garages in Jerez and Pirelli still have no steer on what kind of tyres people want for the year,

Pirelli commercial director, Paul Hembery, stated recently, “People have maybe forgotten what we were asked to do. That has got lost somewhere in the passage of time, and that is the important thing that we want to make sure is resolved. Somebody needs to tell us what they want to do.”

The kind of tyres Pirelli design, will affect the number of pit stops that are on average required in each race. Their previous brief was for races where teams were forced to stop 2-3 times.

As often is the case in F1, instead of grasping the nettle and addressing the issue, a fix is designed to treat the symptom which in fact fails to address the problem. To this end it has recently been suggested that there be a change in the sporting regulations to force teams into making a mandatory 2 tyre changes during a race.

Autosport is reporting this idea will be discussed in December’s at the next meeting of the F1 Strategy Group.

Specifically, no car will be allowed to use the prime tyre for more than 50% of the race and also that the option tyre also be restricted be 30% of the racing laps. This will almost certainly remove the necessity for a driver to ‘manage’ their tyres and teams designing cars which are kinder on tyres will gain no advantage.

Further, Pirelli have requested one of the pre-season test days be designated as a wet session, with Pirelli paying for the soaking of the nominated circuit.

There are those who a pro the mandatory stop idea but many believe simply the nettle should be grasped and Pirelli given a single and coherent directive on tyre dsesign.

Andrew Benson of the BBC comments, “For what it’s worth, think this idea for maximum stint lengths and at least two pit stops is a really bad one”.

Yet as Will Buxton points out, “We’ve had mandatory stops in GP2 for years and it’s never dulled down the show. A 2 stop minimum in F1 is a good idea”.

The problem is that without s proper steer, Pirelli just make tyres which are bullet proof and Buxton adds, “Think about it. Increased torque in 2014 means Pirelli will be conservative with tyres. Mandatory 2 stops eradicates 1 stop snoozefests”.

Though the limit on stint lengths could lead to most cars adopting similar strategies and 2 stop ‘snoozefests’ are just as bad as 1 stop ‘snoozefests’ and the danger is each race becomes a carbon copy of the others.

The joys of well thought out and planned F1 decisions huh?

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Engineering musical chairs

Chief race engineer Xevi Pujolar is to leave the Williams team and join Toro Rosso. He previously worked with Helmut Marko at the Red Bull-backed RSM F3000 team back in 2000.

Pujolar joined Williams in 2003 as a performance engineer in 2003 and was promoted to race engineer in 2004 assigned to work with Juan Pablo Montoya. After a spell with the defunct HRT team, the Spaniard returned to Williams in 2011 and was the voice of calm heard throughout the 2012 Spanish GP coaching Maldonado to his 1st and only GP victory.

This season Pujolar was promoted to the role of chief race engineer.

This leaves the door open for the arrival of Rob Smedley to the Grove based outfit, most probably as director of trackside operations and responsibility for both Massa and Bottas. Unfortunately this could mean there is less of the popular banter during the race between Smedley and Massa that has provided fans with great amusement at times.

His counterpart at Lotus, Alan Parmane, is most famous for his radio communication to Raikkonen during this year’s Indian GP. Taking over from kimi’s race engineer, Parmane came on the radio demanding Kimi, “move out of the ****ing way”.

Smedley is unlikely to adopt this approach.

The restructuring of the Williams personnel continues under the guiding hand of of Pat Symonds and today they announce Jenson Button’s former race engineer Jakob Andreasen, will be joining the team for 2014.

He has performed the chief race engineer role for Force India’s, thoug originally hailoed from McLaren where he was Lewis Hamilton’s data engineer before becoming Button’s race engineer in 2010.

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Lewis de-tooned

McLaren have been running their second season of the carton ‘Tooned’ during the latter half of 2013. There were only 8 episodes in 2013 whereas last year there were 12.

The series was entitles ‘Tooned 50’ to coincide with the celebrations of McLaren’s 50 years in F1. We being with the arrival of an ‘old guy’ known as ‘the mechanic with no name’ who remembers it all from back in the day when Bruce McLaren was alive.

The series plays tribute to the drivers who became F1 world championsip winners whilst driving a McLaren car.  Fittipaldi, Hunt, Prost, Senna and Hakkinen all have an episode each. Even Niki Lauda makes an obscure appearance as Laudfinger who kidnaps James in Monaco.

Conspicuous by his absence is Lewis Hamilton, except for a most brief appearance in a bubble, held by the professor.

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Grosjean and Maldonado confirmed by Lotus

Lotus have finally announced that Pastor Maldonado will drive for them in 2014 alongside Romain Grosjean. Many F1 commentators now assume the Quantum deal is off, though TJ13 reported earlier this week that PDVSA had attached some conditions to their sponsorship.

The Venezuelan’s were rightly concerned that the Enstone team would merely use their cash injection to pay current debts and not for the 2014 season.

Quantum’s acquisition may well be a dead duck, however, Lotus will have been required to provide evidence of their ability to conduct the 2014 campaign in full prior to the monies from PDVSA being deposited in their accounts. A deal whereby PDVSA in fact make stage payments throughout the year may satisfy their concerns.

There may be more Lotus finance stories emerging before Jerez. Anyway, here’s what everyone had to say.

Eric Boullier, Team Principal: “It is with great pleasure that we can formally confirm that Romain Grosjean will continue with Lotus F1 Team next season. He has really made the most of his tremendous talent over the latter part of the 2013 season and will be a fantastic asset to our 2014 challenge.

Romain will be joined by Pastor Maldonado; a driver I have known since he drove for me at DAMS in the 2005 World Series by Renault season. It is clear that Pastor has pace and potential – demonstrated by his 2010 GP2 Series title success and then through strong races throughout his career at Williams F1 Team – and we are convinced that we will be able to provide the correct environment to enable him to flourish regularly on track.

We have been working on our new car in alignment with the new regulations for over two years and we are confident that we have a very good solution to all the challenges ahead. With Romain and Pastor I believe Lotus F1 Team will be able to cause quite a few surprises next year.”

Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 Team Driver: “I am very happy to have official confirmation that I will be continuing to drive for Lotus F1 Team next season. This past year has been tremendously satisfying for me. We have worked well together, and I know everyone at Enstone is motivated to continue the fight for every last point available. I am very excited about next year’s car and I cannot wait to get out on track for pre-season testing before heading to Australia for the first race of the season.”

Pastor Maldonado, 2014 Lotus F1 Team Driver: “It is a fantastic opportunity for me to join Lotus F1 Team for 2014. It’s no secret that I have wanted a change of scene to help push on with my Formula 1 career and Lotus F1 Team offered the very best opportunity for me to be competitive next season. The regulations and cars will change significantly so it is a very good time for a fresh start. I can’t wait to be racing in black and gold.”

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66 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 29th November

  1. Just thinking out loud…
    On the old Speed Channel there were a plethora of ratbag posters, who nonetheless came up with some very interesting stuff from time to time.
    One of the notables, a relatively late arrival but full of it, going by the initials of RTTE had rather intimate knowledge of inside workings of one of the teams. Allegedly. His sudden demise tho’ coincided with the edict handed down by ‘that’ team on use of computers for email and internet, rather then one on one direct contact. Twitter ban, interesting……

    Thanks for sharing that vid Judge. You’ve given me hope yet. Crossing my fingers now that when the 2014 sound hits the tracks, that sound will be a whole lot better then what all the doomsayers would have us believe.
    That car depicted by the vid is very sexy and nothing like the doom and gloomers indicated.
    Which shows all along that the platypus nose style of 2012 did NOT have to be but rather demonstrated the lack of intellect on the path taken by the various designers. Even after ‘modesty panels’ were written into the 2013 ledger, the lack of creative thinking continued to be highlighted by the Caterham outfit although I guess that’s not so surprising given their naming background……
    (On the other hand they could have been safeguarding their bankroll ahead of actually coming LAST in 2013 season. I guess.)

    • 2013 isn’t the season that matters for Caterham.. they lost ‘just’ $4m this year to Marussia, but that can really be put down the Jules Bianchi’s form at the start of the year, before they brought their main 2013 car update.

      2014 is the critical year for Caterham – for if they lose 10th place again (for the second time in three seasons), then they will lose $30m to Marussia – now that’s why they’ve been prioritising for 2014 for so long!

  2. I have high hopes that the 2014 noses will look good. However I also think that there is a huge loophole that will allow for incredibly ugly solutions that will be more aerodynamically efficient.

    Why can’t the FIA Technical delegation think of a way to word the rules so that ugly noses are eliminated? Perhaps there should be legality template gauges like NASCAR uses to make sure the shape of cars are legal. Or maybe that would be too low-brow for F1 🙂 ?

    • What they really are trying to get to is something along the lines of “body work between X at XX height, and X at XX height, must be one continuous arc, with no steps or deviations”.

      because what they want rid of are steps in noses, and the double profile type hook noses Scarbs and Somers have suggested, but the FIA seems incapable of actually just admitting that.

  3. Your honour

    I don’t get it, Alonso maybe outspoken, but i honestly don’t believe any other driver could of flattered that shitbox as much as Alonso. In general i think it’s plain to see that the Ferrari is the 3rd or 4th fastest car on the grid, that means there are at least 6 faster cars on grid and yet he’s still second.

    I’d say he saved their pride far more often than he dents it.

    As good as Kimi is, he’s struggled to keep Romain in check, I think Alonso will dismantle him, and that really will dent some high up egos, and leave them without any way to put Alonso in his place.
    .

    • What about Alonso’s exit strategy then? Not gonna look good for Ferrari if he romps past Raikkonen then leaves…

    • Not sure if Ferrari are really the 4th fastest car, WCC points say one story and they heavily depend on your no 2 too. Nevertheless, Alonso has been punching above that car’s weight consistently for years now. Definitely the benchmark for his generation.

    • Did you see how well the Ferrari did in Brazil? Was there any problem with the car? Was it slow? When did a Ferrari last have mechanical failure? You call it a sh**box? There was no problem with the car at any stage. The drivers couldn’t get the maximum out of the car either on Saturdays or Sundays. That was the problem.

  4. With regard for 2014: What I found interesting is that Red Bull will be supplying all of the other teams the side pod radiator intakes. Does this mean that they’re dictating a standard shape/profile for the intake looking at the car from the front? If yes, surely this could be an advantage for RB over other teams?

  5. That vid is really good, but I kept wondering of a comparison between the ’07/’08 cars and next year’s cars. In a way, it seems we go backwards in terms of regs. I might be wrong.

  6. So the fun and games have started, even before Kimi arrives! LOL. I think Alonso is one of the two top drivers in F1 at the moment, with Hamilton. But he does tend to talk himself up by talking the car down. I watch with interest!

    • Regarding Alonso talking himself up by talking the car down, all drivers do that.

      It’s not clear what change, if any, we can expect to see from Alonso’s tweets. And if push comes to shove, what is Ferrari going to do? Fire Alonso mid-season?

      To my non-tifosi eyes LdM’s leadership abilities appear particularly ineffectual when he directly patronizes… oops, I mean addresses the tifosi. I wonder how his statements are received by Italian Ferrari fans?

      • …He is not universally popular with the tifosi…

        ..funny though, there are few calls for his head….

        ….its a Ferrari thing…. the tifosi are pretty divided on many things – but they all stand behind – Forza Ferrari…

        they display far less of a fanbouy type attitudes than other teams/drivers attract…. and are very philosophic when not winning.

    • I have to say I rate Hamilton as 4th best behind Vettel, Alonso and Raikkonen at the moment, and possibly even with Hulkenberg ahead of him at this current moment. Rosberg and Grosjean are on his tail. Hamilton this year has had his yo-yos between super-competitive and a little off the pace (and beaten by Rosberg). However, this is probably from just learning a new car not developed with his input and trying to get it dialled in.

      But that said – if Mercedes develop the 2014 car around Hamilton, and the package is competitive, I can see Lewis coming alive like at McLaren – and possibly contesting the title with Vettel. Alonso and Raikkonen are evenly matched and will constantly score points off each other all season long, so Ferrari better have the best package by quite a way or they are open to do a McLaren 2007 and lose both titles from the jaws of victory.

      The other possibility is, if the tyres aren’t rocks, that Rosberg being easier on them may hand him an advantage (along with him thinking his way around the lap and the 33 seconds of ERS, etc.), along with smooth guys like Button, Raikkonen etc.

  7. Lucas’s paranoia is really having a destabilising influence on the team. As is Fernando’s stubbornness.

    The thing Luca doesn’t seem to realise is he has more to lose.

    Fernando knows he’ll be finished with Ferrari in the short to medium term. Luca is defined by his role in Ferrari. Lose it and he looses massive influence in Italy. Influence far in excess of what he should have.

    He’d better
    A) be careful Sergio doesn’t loose patience with him,
    B) start winning, and
    C) stop cheesing off Bernard while he still has his hands on the reigns.

    Bernard is no fool, he knows the game is up. He may have turned a blind eye to some of Luca’s outbursts, but it suited him to do so. He needed Ferrari to divide and conquer.

    He never needed Luca, just Ferrari.

    Lucas’s biggest mistake is he acts like Enzo. He’s not. He’s just an employee, like Alonso, and can be treated like one.

    If Bernard wants to ‘soften a few coughs’ I’d expect Luca to be near the top of the list.

    • Your implication that Bernie can do to LdM what he did to Adam Parr is provocative.

      While I do think that folks, particular this blog and some of its commentators, underestimate Bernie, I’d be surprised if Bernie could successfully engineer LdM’s removal from Ferrari’s leadership.

      But Bernie’s comment about Horner as a good replacement was probably a feisty, fun-loving elbow to the ribs of Ferrari. And LdM’s reminder of Ferrari’s veto power and Horner’s inappropriateness as a FOM leader was a quick punch to the shoulder in reply. But it’s likely that any leader of Ferrari would veto Horner as FOM leader…

      Perhaps I’m missing the real issue that you’re alluding to regarding LdM and Bernie, however. I imagine that Bernie’s Horner comment is more about a “Strategy Group” issue than about Bernie’s replacement…

      • Its not about the Horner leadership issue, its historical spats that the two alpha males have had. There have been many ‘run ins’ over the years. Luca, invariably, is the one making derogatory comments about Bernard, how he runs F1 and how he carrys himself. He has asked for his removal through the press by stating his time should be over pretty recently.

        Luca is a fool.

        Bernard could have dealt with him pretty quickly, if he wanted to. To take Lucas’s power away all he had to do was refuse to deal with him, but he’d prefer to deal with someone he finds easy to predict.

        Be under no illusion, F1 does not need Ferrari as much as Ferrari needs F1. Its entire allure is tied into F1 history. It is THE core part of its brand and what differentiates it from the Porsche and Lamborghini’s of the market place. Its what is used to market its hypercars also, the La Ferrari being the most recent example.

        It also directly, and indirectly, generates huge money for Ferrari annually. Not to mention prize money plus ‘top ups’.

        The bottom line is the company would lose out massively if it were not part of the F1 circus.

        Sports cars would not be high profile, or exclusive enough. American single seaters is a dead duck.

        What’s left?

        Its suited Bernard to do deals with Ferrari to keep them sweet. But if he really wanted to remove Luca from F1 he could do so.

        It wouldn’t be easy, but it could be done.

        Ferrari survived after the death of Enzo. It will easily survive Luca.

        Sergio and the Agnelli’s also know this.

  8. Re- Merc Engines

    I was widely reported that when Pirelli asked for some engine data, they were provided with figures from all 3 manufacturers and it is said they were alarmed by the data they got from Merc, hence the request to make the rear tyres bigger in both diameter and width, allowing the power to be put down better. Because this idea was shelved (due to having to change gearbox and suspension geometry) any big advantage would be negated some what as they will be restricted on how much powe can be put down by the contact patch.I believe this is why people think Merc’s engine is more mighty. I think it may have been a propegender exercise to worry the competition or Merc genuinely thought wider tyres would benefit them and so provided slightly inflated data to sway the decision makers.

    • I think you’re right, and i’m pretty sure is was reported on here. Maybe the judge has to much brandy in his mince pies 🙂

      • … “to much brandy in his mince pies” – not yet afraid – soon though….

        This idea was circulating prior to Pirelli’s comments…

        even so, it was not confirmed to be a Mercedes – and whilst Pirelli were ‘alarmed’ by the data, it was German correspondent discussing German engineering that speculated it may be 100bhp more powerful than others….

        • Mercedes were in favor of the larger rear tyres so to me that says that no team does anything without looking at the advantage to them and them alone, so if they expected to have more power it would help with a bigger contact patch. It was also reported that Renault and Ferrari didn’t think bigger tyres were necessary. The question is, was this vetoe on the tyres down to the chassis department not wanting to go the work required on the geometry of the gearbox and suspension due to the larger diameters of the tyres changing the ride hight by 10mm at this late stage, or the engine guys not wanting to give away any extra advantage by being able to put power down better because they felt their engines didn’t need this and that tells them instantly that Merc must have more power as they were advocating the change.
          I don’t know where the 100bhp came from, but even 40bhp would be significant over a whole lap I believe.

          • ….. “40bhp would be significant over a whole lap I believe”.

            I beg to disagree… 😉

            efficiency, reliability and the ability to control the torque should rank higher than outright bhp….

          • Spot on, your honor! Torque wins races!

            I appreciate the insight here today on that weird 100hp story that was circulating weeks ago.

            At the same time, given Brawn’s comments, one must think that it would be highly enticing for him to help mate the 2015 Honda power unit to the McLaren chassis… I imagine we won’t have to wait long to hear of Brawn’s plans for 2014.

    • Yes absolutely correct as I have also commented below. The evidence is there and it surprises me that people forget it.

  9. On the new engines. I believe that ferrari is going to struggle the most. Not with the power or torque but with its consumption. And as for renault, you say why couldn’t they be the better one in the turbo era. Well cosworth is the most successful engine in the history of f1 and the last years they weren’t even worth mentioning. Succes in the past isn’t something that can reassure you to have succes in the “now”

  10. Mandatory 2 pit stop races

    ” Specifically, no car will be allowed to use the prime tyre for more than 50% of the race and also that the option tyre also be restricted be 30% of the racing laps. ”

    And what are they supposed to do for the other 20% of the laps ?

    • The politics of “The Strategy Group” are interesting. I wondered who proposed this very silly rule, as it was not made clear in the Autosport story.

      But a moment’s reflection, and I realize there is only one who has consistently proposed the silliest rules. It’s always Bernie!

      He sometimes proposes silly things like this to get dead negotiations moving. But sometimes he proposes silly ideas and they become rules (for example, wasn’t grooved tires his idea?).

  11. Re Mandatory pit stops

    Okay..If they really bring the 2 stops rule,then they should abandon the rule of using both prime and option tyres during race… Sometimes we see that some teams are better suited for a specific tyre during a race weekend..It will help them to make their own choices,whether to use both types or only a single type,whichever is beneficial to them for that particular race..

    What say,your honour?? 🙂

    • not a fan of this at all…

      Its not pit stops people want to see… its the strategy behind tyre usage that makes the stops interesting

      The fact this is even on the agenda means Pirelli will be making very durable tyres….

      …the idea behind degrading tyres is that they are a leveler so that higher downforce cars are penalised with higher tyre degradation….

      • Their problem is this. If people see that powerful engines are limited by tyres, they’ll go ballistic. Hence the answer of durable tyres. But if they don’t introduce 2 pit stops, then the less powerful engines with clever aero would stop only once or not at all in circuits like Monaco.
        What I say, is give them good tyres, reduce aero even further, and let them go nuts.

        • “If people see that powerful engines are limited by tyres, they’ll go ballistic.”

          Wait, what?

          Powerful engines have always been limited by tires… No matter how powerful the engine, the car must still brake, accelerate, and turn. And the grip from the tires is always the ultimate limiting factor.

          How drivers manage these limited resources, starting with the limited grip (along w/ drivetrain, brakes, etc.), that differentiates the best drivers from the very good.

          These folks who go ballistic over tire limitations, are they hoping for a hovercraft race instead?

          • Lol!

            Really like your forensic analytical style. Logic and details tend to hold the answers to most questions.

            Although it needs to be parked on occasion with some of the F1 personalities. Many decisions \ actions defy logic and reason!

      • Judge, I respectfully disagree. To the layman its the possibility of something going wrong in a pitstop that is exciting. Also, its better if the tyres are strong enough to run at 100% effort for the entire stint and not have F1 cars tiptoeing around at target times for the sake of feeble tyres.

        • “its the possibility of something going wrong in a pitstop ”

          You forget… Webber’s retired… RB won’t make any more errors now. Ricciardo will be too slow to bother handicapping him…

          • Give the boy a chance. He wont lose 6 places at the start like webber did…

          • I agree. But, if by some chance he IS competitive, we will see the return of slow starts, poor pit stops and excessive amount of faulty parts for the No 2 driver.

          • Bruznic – nope, only 5! Ricciardo just happens to be not a great starter, like Webber. Remember Bahrain a couple of years ago? From 6th to like 18th on lap 1!

  12. With Pastor at Lotus, I guess it’s Hulk and Perez at FI. Possibly Sutil Guttierez at Sauber, which leaves Di Resta with no drive.

  13. I feel sorry for Mansoor Ijaz. Hope he doesn’t do something silly. But exactly what happened to the Quantum affair? The Indesit broke …?? … the shipment of Persil didn’t arrive on time …??

    • Joe Saward mentioned something about money turning up but then disappearing again in a ‘banking glitch’.. I actually had something like that happen once where I forgot to send the actual payment, but sent the screenshot of the details page prior to sending for verification… I never got asked for the money again!

  14. On the best engine for 2014, let’s say the Merc engine is the best. What is the guarantee that the car is going to be faster? What if their chassis doesn’t like the engine? What if the car doesn’t like the tyres? Look at how many Merc engine cars we had in 2013 or Renault engine cars we had and compare that with how many teams exactly did well using same engines.

    As His Worship already mentioned, there is no evidence the Merc will be the best next year. The only evidence we have is, it catches fire!!

    • Renault engines have not been the most powerful for several seasons in a row. That Red Bull car that has dominated the WDC and WCC for the last 4 years has not been at the top in speed traps (actually, quite the contrary, it is typically on the lower part of speed trap tables).

      • This is exactly my point. Merc could be powerful but that doesn’t mean they are going to dominate like some people believe.

  15. There is some solid evidence that the Merc engine is strong, and it comes from Pirelli. By all accounts Mercedes lobbied Pirelli and the FIA to increase both the diameter and the width of the rear tires for next year. Quite clearly, this is because with the experience they have with excessive temperature and rear traction, they wanted a very significant increase in rear contact patch to deal with the increased torque of the new engine. It is surely significant then, that both Renault and Ferrari did not and in fact lobbied for the tires to remain the same size, which the FIA agreed.
    Now, this indicates that Mercedes may have tire wear and traction issues afresh next year, but, while TC is banned, given that how the torque from the new KERS (MGU-K) is electronically managed then don’t be surprised if the Merc engined cars are quick once wheelspin isn’t an issue.
    Working back on the basis of the contact patch they were requesting, the level of torque was at least 10% higher, and it’s torque that breaks traction and accerleration, not peak power. Irespectivly, if torque is higher through the rev range peak power too will be higher, resulting in a higher top speed.

  16. All these Mercedes vs Renault engine talk about how each will be stronger than the other,no noise about Ferrari engines??Is it already the 3rd best engine out there???Or is there no info about how strong/weak it is..

  17. Pingback: Daily #F1 news and Comment: Monday 2nd December 2013 | thejudge13·

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