Daily #F1 news and Comment: Tuesday 3rd December 2013

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Massa’s wife had wanted him to retire

Jake Humphrey – BT Sport is F1’s future

Whitmarsh chases Alonso

Brawn and Honda to reunite

Secret engine tests

F1 cars minimum weight under discussion again

Sauber desperation

Pirelli publish their stats

Comment of the Month

Hulkenberg signs for Force India

Massa’s wife had wanted him to retire

The popular 32 year-old Brazilian has admitted his wife had wanted him to retire when he found out he would be leaving Ferrari. Following 8 years at Ferrari, Massa is said to be looking forward to the new challenge that joining the Grove based team will bring.

Speaking to Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo, he said, “But she also knows that I am not happy just to be at home – my happiness is to race, and she also wants the best for me. I’ve even talked about continuing to compete in another category when I leave Formula One.”

As many have speculated, if Massa can thrive in the Williams environment where he is treated equally, it could be long while yet before wife, Anna Raffaela Bassi, gets her wish.


Jake Humphrey – BT Sport is F1’s future

The former F1 presenter, loved by many, has seen BT Sport start from nothing this year and emerge as a genuine contender to the long time dominant broadcaster BSkyB. The 35 year-old believes F1 coverage should be added to the new channel’s portfolio.

In an interview with The Mirror, Humphrey said, “I would absolutely love to see F1 on BT Sport.” He continued, “I think if Formula 1 want to be in a place where the best sport is they really have to look seriously at joining BT Sport and being part of this revolution, because if you’re elsewhere then you’re just going to be left behind.”

Strong words from a man who has been working for his new employers for a very short time. The phrase ‘learn to walk before you run’ comes to mind.


Whitmarsh chases Alonso

TJ13 has been charting Alonso’s battles with Ferrari since before the ‘twittergate’ threats from the Spaniard directed at Fry and Dominecali in India 2012. The root problem is Ferrari have not delivered a car worthy of winning an F1 drivers’ title since signing Alonso 4 years ago.

Of course the red team were close in 2010, but in most people’s analysis (including their own) the team screwed it up over strategy during the final race in Abu Dhabi. The 3 point deficit Alonso suffered at the end of 2012 to Sebastian Vettel, was less about a car that was worthy, than Alonso’s abilities to deliver in a ‘truck’ what few other driver’s could.

So then since July this year we’ve had the signing of Kimi, the PR war waged on Fernando from Maranello, the sudden realisation by Il Padrino that Raikkonen may not be as good as they first thought when they signed him.

So we now see Maranello seeking to embrace Alonso given any opportunity, and even creating a few silly ones too. Love letters from Stefano – in English – and a host Ferrari.com self justification which suggests in fact Ferrari delivered 2 decent cars in 4 years.

Fernando desperately tried to get a drive at Red Bull, and though Horner was frantic to recruit him – the impotency of the Red Bull ‘team boss’ was laid bare AGAIN – just as it was over multi-21 in Malaysia. Marko won the day and Ricciardo gets Webber’s seat.

The Richter 9 scale activity of Raikkonen returning to Maranello must have got Fernando thinking. Could his bitter dispute with McLaren be resolved and he return to Woking once again? This was an even bigger ask than for Kimi and Ferrari to forgive and forget because when Raikkonen had been dumped by Maranello, it was without rancour and he was paid well for keeping quiet.

Alonso’s split with McLaren was a whole different affair. The Spaniard had become so paranoid that the team were working against him, he had demanded an FIA observer be posted in the team’s garage for the final race of the 2007 season, to ensure he and his car weren’t ‘disadvantaged’.

There was a fleeting period around the time of the Singapore GP when it seemed possible Alonso may return to McLaren, yet fairly quickly Whitmarsh began saying ‘never say never’ – but insisting 2015 would be the earliest chance for a reconciliation between the two.

Fernando currently has an exhibition entitled “The Fernando Alonso Collection” which began in Madrid yesterday which is a celebration of his racing career. There are 270 items on display which chart the experience of the boy who came from nowhere in Asturias but believed the impossible that one day he could be the F1 world champion.

These include items like the first racing suit Alonso ever wore which was hand stitched by his mother – through to loaned exhibits like the MP4-22 which saw the bitter struggle between Hamilton and Alonso in 2007.

On Sunday evening, Autosport presented an award for some kind of lifetime achievement celebrating 50 years in F1 to McLaren last weekend. It was notable that Martin Whitmarsh was not present to receive this trophy to a half century of achievement. Instead it was left to Jonathan Neale to collect the only silverware McLaren have seen for quite some time.


The reason for this is reported by the Daily Mail who claim, Whitmarsh was indeed on his way to Madrid to lend support to Fernando’s exhibition. He was photographed there with Alonso and it is claimed he is “keen to develop a channel of communication to Alonso with an eye on bringing in the Spaniard for the 2015 season”.

Of course Whitmarsh recently admitted, “Yes, I would welcome Fernando here. He is a very talented driver.”  Signing Fernando for 2015 some believe would bolster his position as team leader following the team’s 2nd worst ever year in F1.

Yet this is unlikely to be the reason for Whitmarsh actions. Were it to be the case Ross Brawn is coming to Woking in 2015, then the die is cast regardless.

More significantly, Whitmarsh snubbing the Autosport awards to be in Madrid suggests the recruitment of Fernando is not a Whitmarsh crusade, but one agreed within the bowels of Woking – and with the approval of Big Ron too.

Alonso’s manager recently rebuffed the idea that the Spaniard has some kind of contract with McLaren for 2015. Speaking to Spanish broadcaster, Marca, he said, “You cannot have two signed contracts, as when you sign one, you must notify the body that controls it. So it is technically impossible and an unsigned agreement is not an agreement.” Mmm. Tell that to Ferrari!


Brawn and Honda to reunite

There has been much speculation over what Ross Brawn will do next. The options appeared simple – retire, take a position with the FIA or for a reunion with Honda when they return to F1 in 2015.

During the Japanese GP, Brawn made it clear retirement was unlikely when speaking to SKY Sports F1. TJ13 has argued Ross’s competitive and no-nonsense approach would hardly see him lining up alongside Todt et al in ‘bureaucracy city’ which left a position with another F1 team at some point in the future.

TJ13 reported yesterday that Niki Lauda was convinced Ross had given him his word – and to 700 Mercedes employees – that he was not about to jump ship immediately to another team.

Speaking to the International Business Times, Brawn has now reveals of his next step, “I’ve no idea. I really genuinely will see how things pan out in the next six, 12 months and make a decision.

I’ll take some time off now and reflect on things and see if the juices start flowing again and next summer make a decision on if there’s any opportunities and things I want to do, or people offer me things to do.”

Ross is known to be a keen fisherman, and ‘some say’ during a conversation with modern day Japanese expert, Fernando Alonso, he learned that during the Edo Period, Samurai warriors were not allowed to practice martial arts and sword fighting. So instead they took to Tenkara fishing.

This was one of the earliest forms of fly fishing where the flies were disguised using pieces of cloth. The act of fishing was said to be a good substitute for the Samurais’ regular training with the rod being a substitute to the sword, and walking on the rocks of a small stream good leg and balance training.

Nowadays, these rods along with the fishing flies, are considered to be a traditional local craft of the Kaga region – some 250 miles from Tokyo.

No matter. Brawn to Ferrari looks to be less likely, and a Brawn, McLaren, Honda link up in 2015 is now very much on the cards.


Secret engine tests

If we are to judge who will deliver the best V6 Turbo engine by which F1 powertrain manufacturer is the smartest – we may be in for more of the finger and Red Bull records.

Italy’s Omnicorse is reporting that Renault too have been testing their new turbo entry for F1 in 2014. F1 Regulations prohibit engine testing with an F1 car, so apparently the ‘secret’ Renault test took place at Magny Cours and featured an adapted single seater chassis from the Formula Renault 3.5 series.

Unlike Ferrari – Renault appear to have ensured there was no casual video footage of this.


F1 cars minimum weight under discussion again

The weight limit for the driver and the car in 2013 was set at 642kg but with new, heavier 1.6-litre V6 turbo engines and energy recovery systems being introduced in 2014, the minimum weight has been raised to 690kg.

As F1 fans know, this has already created much discussion around whether Nico Hulkneberg in particular will be disadvantaged in 2014. However, it is not just Hulkenberg who will find being on the larger side a disadvantage as a recently bearded and slightly more gaunt Daniel Ricciardo has been shedding the kilos in recent times to ensure he will get the best out of Newey’s next design.

Speaking earlier in the week to TotalRace, the Australian admits, “Compared to where I am now, I need to lose a couple more kilos. That’s my goal”. With the usual Aussie candor Ricciardio muses, “It’s not a problem. I like watching UFC (ultimate fighting championship) and those guys lose eight kilos in a week or something when it gets close to the fight. Two kilos in four months will be easy.”

Nigel Mansell, never known for his svelte like silhouette, has described the new weight limits as “Disgraceful, it’s discrimination against the medium-sized large driver”.

Mansell reminds us of an era when this kind of regulation would have clearly been ridiculous, “In years gone by, we didn’t have traction control or power steering – you had to be a strong driver and there were a lot of strong drivers. If you had this weight limit, they wouldn’t have been able to drive cars many years ago – or they would have driven with great difficulty”.

The master of producing a balanced car, Adrian Newey, has also been critical of the new regulations, knowing full well this will restrict the teams’ ability to deploy ballast in different parts of the car at different circuits.

The minimum weight limit is already set to rise to 700 kilos in 2015, but moves afoot argue this needs to happen immediately such that the Formula 1 strategy group will consider this at the next meeting of the Quango.

Newey tells Autosport, “I think it should be changed Unfortunately, the powertrains are very heavy and I do not see how the teams with heavy drivers will make it down to the minimum weight.”

Newey believes a regulation that dictates the minimum weight of the car in terms of the vehicle plus the driver will always punish heavier drivers.

“It’s wrong”, concludes Mansell. “They [the drivers] are not jockeys,” 


Sauber desperation

Swiss F1 fans are becoming increasingly desperate for information about how the Sauber team is set for 2014. Never before has the 1st December arrived and the team has not named at least 1 driver.

Leading F1 Swiss reporter, Roger Neoit, is asking all kinds of questions, “Will you sign Sutil? Are you keeping Gutierrez? Who will be the team’s sponsor next year?” But he states that the lights are not on in the media office in Hinwil.

There have been rumours of a merger between Sauber and Marussia, though the result of this would not be a merger, it would see one team cease to exist.

Max Chilton and Giedo Van der Garde have some $30m of sponsorship between them, and a move to Sauber would normally be perceived as a promotion up the grid from the teams they currently drive for.

But the silence from Kaltenborn et al is not golden – but deathly……


Pirelli publish their stats

Paul Hembery prefaced this press release as follows. “Each year, we publish the numbers that tell the story of our Formula One season. This year, we wanted to talk about all the numbers from the three-year period between 2011 and 2013, as one era closes and another one opens.

Personally speaking, even I have been astonished by the statistics our engineers have calculated relating to our initial Formula contract: more than 110,000 tyres supplied, 3000 pit stops, and an average of 56 overtaking manoeuvres per race.

These three years have also been characterised by unstinting dedication from all our people, both on the track and in our Research and Development facilities, in order to meet the needs of teams and drivers through state-of-the-art technical solutions – as all the key players themselves have acknowledged.

Throughout the three-year period, the tyre specification has completely changed year on year, as well as being evolved throughout the season: an effort that has never been seen before under a single tyre supplier regime in Formula One. We were presented with a challenging task and we met it: as the teams, drivers and championship organisers have pointed out on several occasions. And it’s in that same spirit that we are now working towards 2014.”

Tyres (From 2011 To 2013)

Total number of tyres supplied from 2011 to 2013: 112,200. Of these, 93,600 have been for races and 18,600 for testing. Of the 93,600 race tyres, 68,800 were slicks and 24,800 were rain tyres. In 2013, the total number of tyres supplied was 33,200.

Total number of tyres actually used in races: 72,200: of which 65,800 were slicks and 7,400 were rain tyres. In 2013, the total number of slick tyres used was 23,300 and the total number of rain tyres used was 2,400.

Total number of tyres that were recycled: all 112,200.

Pit Stops (From 2011 To 2013)

Total number of pit stops: 3,019 (of these, 58 were drive-through penalties and nine were stop and go penalties). In 2013 there were 951 pit stops: an average of 50.05 per race and 2.3 per driver.

Highest number of pit stops in one race: 88 in the 2011 Hungarian Grand Prix (three of which were drive-through penalties).

Lowest number of pit stops in one race: 24 in the 2012 United States Grand Prix and 2013 Italian Grand Prix.

Fastest pit stop: 1.923s (Red Bull/Mark Webber in the 2013 United States Grand Prix)

Overtaking (From 2011 To 2013)

Total number of overtaking manoeuvres: 3,274 (an average of 56 per race). In 2013 there were 985 overtaking manoeuvres.

Highest number of overtaking manoeuvres in a dry race: 126 in the 2011 Turkish Grand Prix.

Highest number of overtaking manoeuvres in a wet race: 147 in the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Lowest number of overtaking manoeuvres in a dry race: 12 in the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix.

Circuits And Races In 2013

Circuits that subject the tyre to the most energy per kilometre (lateral, braking, traction, etc.): Barcelona, Suzuka..

Circuits that subject the tyre to the most energy per kilometre (lateral, braking, traction, etc.): Monza, Montreal.

Longest race of the year: Monaco, two hours, 17 minutes, 52.056 seconds.

Shortest race of the year: Italy, 1 hour, 18 minutes, 33.352 seconds.

Highest number of laps on each Pirelli compound: Hard – Rosberg (689); Medium -Hamilton (1,420); Soft – Hulkenberg (308); Supersoft – Rosberg (292); Intermediate – Webber (178); Wet – Gutierezz (66).

Highest speed reached by a P Zero Formula One tyre in 2013: 341.1 kph (Gutierrez at the Italian Grand Prix).

Highest number of fastest laps: Sebastian Vettel (seven in races and seven in qualifying).

Highest total number of laps on Pirelli tyres: 684 (Sebastian Vettel)

Number of races in which the pole position record was broken: three (Lewis Hamilton at the British Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel at the Singapore Grand Prix and Indian Grand Prix).

Number of races in which the fastest race lap record was broken: one (Sebastian Vette at the Singapore Grand Prix).

Pirelli And Its Formula One Team In 2013

Number of people who travel to each race: 55

Number of different nationalities within the Pirelli Formula One team: 10

Total number of different languages spoken by the Pirelli Formula One team: 14

Total number of Pirelli notebooks distributed within the paddock: 1,125

Total number of Pirelli podium caps sold: 16,000

Pirelli Hospitality In 2013

Total number of meals served in Pirelli’s hospitality (including testing): 12,500

Litres of water drunk in Pirelli’s hospitality: 5,000

Kilograms of pasta cooked by Pirelli’s chef: 900

Number of pizzas cooked by Pirelli’s chef: 240

Number of different dessert recipes made in Pirelli’s hospitality: 40

Number of desserts eaten in Pirelli’s hospitality: 6,000

Pirelli In Formula One (Since 1950)

Races: 261

Victories: 102

Pole positions: 105

Podiums: 313

Fastest laps: 109

Other Interesting Statistics

Total number of drivers who have driven on the Pirelli Formula One compounds since 2010: 81 (including third drivers and young drivers).

Total kilometres covered by all the P Zero compounds in 2013 (races and tests): 358,784. By compound: Hard – 96,596; Medium – 177,838; Soft – 34,139; Supersoft – 23,678; Intermediate – 21,350; Wet – 5,183.

Lowest track temperature in which the Pirelli tyres have raced: 17 degrees centigrade at the British Grand Prix. The lowest track temperature seen all season was at the pre-season Jerez test: six degrees centigrade.

Highest track temperature in which the Pirelli tyres have raced: 54 degrees centigrade at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Lowest ambient temperature in which the Pirelli tyres have raced: 14 degrees centigrade at the United States Grand Prix. The lowest ambient temperature seen all season was at the pre-season Jerez test: four degrees centigrade.

Highest ambient temperature in which the Pirelli tyres have raced: 36 degrees centigrade at the Bahrain Grand Prix.


Comment of the Month

This highly prized award presented monthly has seen a record number of votes in November. You can vote/show approval for a comment by clicking on the thumbs up next to a comment in the section below each post.

November’s winning comment was made on the very last day of the month and received a monumental 63 votes at the last count.

Having posted a spy video of the Ferrari mule at Fiorino testing their new F1 V6 Turbo engine, out own Danilo Schoeneberg remarked of the sound, “To me that stuff sounds like an asthmatic in a brothel. God that’s awful…”.

A mere 9 minutes later, a seemingly inspired enzomaiorca quipped in reply, “Obviously you’ve had the chance to compare them…..”.

This appeared to tickle rather a lot of TJ13ers – a lot 🙂

Here is the link to the exchange


Hulkenberg signs for Force India

So Vijay has been forced to look assertive at last. Just a couple of weeks ago he claimed there would be no driver announcement from the team until after the Christmas party. This could be some sentimental ritual developed by the Indian ex-billionaire to allow out going F1 drivers to get some Christmas joy before being ditched – who knows?

Anyway, Hulkenberg will return to his former team just 12 months after he jumped ship for ‘greener pastures’. The team announce in a statement this will be a multi-year deal’ and that “the already strong working relationship will ensure a smooth transition as the team moves into the new era of Formula One”. For ‘already strong working relationship’ can we read the Hulk has been paid the $1m plus outstanding from his previous tenure with the team?

Nico says, “I am happy to come back to Sahara Force India. The team is aiming high for next year and I believe that the experience I have gained over the years will help us achieve those goals. I genuinely believe we can have a competitive package in 2014. I’ve heard a lot of positive things about the Mercedes engine as well, so I think there is a lot to be excited about for next year. I know this team and I can see their determination; it’s a great bunch of people and we all share the same hunger for success.”

Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta live in hope as the Christmas party is not yet done, though it is expected that Sergio Perez will be joining Hulkenberg for 2014 and Sutil may yet to drive for Sauber.

Di Resta’s time in F1 seems to be over and a seat in IndyCar awaits him should he so choose.

Bob – builder of fast cars – Fernley is looking forward to winter testing without being pestered each day as to the Silverstone team’s driver line up for the Australian grid.

The problem for Nico Hulkenberg is that for 3 years now his F1 career is just treading water. Force India – Sauber – Force India……

Both teams are much of a muchness, in terms of performance though Sauber’s predicament may well be more tricky in 2014. Yet for a driver who is much respected in F1 circles and a recognised talent, he is not driving for a team likely to be in the top 5 in 2014 and that has to be a disappointment.


78 responses to “Daily #F1 news and Comment: Tuesday 3rd December 2013

    • In this context, JJ, not a lot, I wouldn’t think… I still would have to go read the original interview to understand the background but it sounds like it could just’ve been Jake shilling for BT Sport, talkin’ ’em up as part of his responsibility to the company…

      I wanna go on record though in saying that Jake was integral to the success (for me) of BBC’s recent F1 coverage and his departure and replacement by the hapless and loathsome (as a presenter) Suzi Perry is why I haven’t watched any BBC pre or post-F1 coverage this year…

    • BT is British Telekoms and they started a new sports channel this year, the driver being getting more people to subscribe to their services (super fast Fiber being one of them). If you are subscribed to their broadband you get BT Sport for free, simple as…

      What they’ve done is bought out football (soccer for you and me) rights here in the UK (football followers help me out here) and basically stole the march on BSkyB. In the UK football is a religion so whoever has the rights to show it wins.

      Recently they also confirmed that they will show the MotoGP from next year onwards, previously on BBC for free.

      Bottom line is they are building a vast package of sport and hope this will give them more subscribers to other services… Which it will.

  1. They are the first contender to BSkyB that look to have a genuine chance of breaking the dominance Rupert Murdoch has enjoyed. ESPN, Setanta and ITV digital all tried and failed, but BT Sport look like they will be a force to be reckoned with.

    • I’m sure if Murdoch is still in control at BSkyB (he might not be after they fractured it after the News of the World debacle), he’ll work out a way to do to BT Sport what he did to ITV Digital… whose info was leaked by a Murdoch company to give anyone the chance to make free pirate cards for it…

  2. Just had one more observation about the new 2014 engine & other rules changes and how they’re supposed to be for the long-term benefit of the sport and make F1 more attractive and more sustainable.

    I was just catching up on James Allen’s pod-casts, and In September the podcast featured commentary from alleged preeminent F1 sponsor finder Zak Brown who said the new eco friendly, “green” engine regs and fuel consumption limits and other “green” changes had no perceptible impact on the sport’s viability or attractiveness to potential sponsors!

    He said that companies considering backing F1 were doing so b/c of the new markets F1 was continuing to pursue and enter (like Russia) and that the only immediate value of the new regulations from a “green” perspective would be that they would allow F1 to better defend itself against charges that it was eco-not-friendly or irrelevant to production car development…

    Not to direct traffic off-site, but here’s an excerpt of what was in James’ summary for that episode:

    “And we have insight from two of our regular luminaries – former Williams chief operations engineer Mark Gillan runs the rule over the Ricciardo move and looks at how the teams are gearing up for the challenge of all new technology in 2014, while Zak Brown founder of Just Marketing International, F1’s pre-eminent sponsor finder and business expert, explains why there aren’t enough sponsors to go around all the teams and what impact Russia is having on the business side of F1.”


    • Having had a listen – Mark Gillan basically said nothing.

      The point made by Zak Brown about sponsors not really being interested in the new ” green ” regulations doesn’t surprise me.

      All they’re interested in is their return on the cost of advertising.

      However, as all the other global motorsport categories have moved to more ” green ” regulations, F1 really had to, so it could continue with the deception that it is the pinnacle of motorsports ……

      Plus, I’m sure the FIA / FOM really hoped it would attract major manufacturers into the sport. Oops !

        • With Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault, Honda, I think we have enough engine manufacturers (3 per team if we had 12 teams, else maybe just two for Honda) in F1. This allows there to be cheap engines available for the smaller teams, but not bespoke engines for each team/junior team (and the higher costs that entails). There should also be a little variation in how well each engine does, but not too much. Hopefully this just ends up as suiting specific tracks for various engines, giving everyone a chance at glory.

  3. I’m really pulling for Massa and hope he can demonstrate that his natural athletic class and ability hasn’t been lost after the accident and then his willing subservience to Fernando (even if that’s what he was paid to do, to make himself Alonso’s batman!)…

    Is anyone rooting for Felipe to fail? I hope not…

    • I don’t know about Felipe. If he really wanted to win so badly why has he stayed at Ferrari all this time? Even Webber knocked them back when they came calling because he doesn’t play second fiddle. Sure, he didn’t do much better staying at RB but at least it was because he was out-classed rather than being told to roll over. Felipe’s been content to play the second son first to Michael then Alonso. Some say he held his own against Kimi, but most of us now know why that was. I don’t bear him any ill will, and hope he does well at Williams – I just don’t think he has the mindset/ruthlessness to succeed in this sport. I think it will be very interesting to see how Bottas goes against him next year.

      • Did Massa take a wrong turn somewhere in his career? Probably. Felipe should have packed his bags in the summer of 2009, before the accident, when he was still capable of making good decisions, because after, his recovery had priority.

        In 2006 Felipe partners up with the mythical Michael Schumacher, that Ferrari choose Raikkonen after Der Kaiser retires is something Felipe fully understood, with just one year Ferrari under his belt.
        And three great years followed, with 1 drivers title, 1 lost in the last corner and 2 constructors titles.

        Until Ferrari inform him, in the spring of 2009 that they have hired a new first driver, by the name of Fernando Alonso.
        And at this moment Felipe makes a decision that greatly affects his career, at this moment he probably should’ve said :”thank you and goodbye!”
        If you (Ferrari) still feel the need to hire a new first driver after my performances alongside and against Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen, you can stick that red car where the sun don’t shine (or words to that effect).

        That’s what a proud Felipe should’ve done, and he more than likely would’ve found a good seat.
        From here on his career goes in a downward spiral, sad but true, i always liked Felipe, a true Ferrarista that gave us great emotions.
        I wish him all the best at Williams.

        • I’ve always been a big fan of Massa. In the Schumi days he was as quick but not as consistent. He then started becoming more consistent and we had three great years.

          Problem with him is he is too nice. Vettel, Schumi et al would have walked out had Alonso signed and so would Alonso… as he did when he had a super competitive teammate.

          I too hope he will be very successful at Williams.

      • Not true. Webber stayed at red bull cuz they stayed loyal to him after his biking accident. He said that to the bbc in brazil. He wanted to repay them with his loyalty.

  4. NO NO NO NO NO!
    Shut up Jake! How much freakin money do these people want us to spend during a recession for God’s sake…..

    If money gets any tighter I will cancel my Sky TV and phone, will just have broadband. So I damn sure I’m not coughing up more to have BT TV connected and I suspect an extra charge for the F1coverage, plus there is no fiber-optic in my village as its in the back of beyond. Why should I be punished just because where I live or have to pay Sky a shit load of money to stream BT sport to me when I bloody hate all sports with a passion, but motor racing…….. I don’t want to see 11 idiots kicking a pig’s bladder, or 15 blokes with a ‘ball’ that’s not even round. As for the Olympics, well big waist of time if you ask me. But when it comes to motorsport, I will watch anything with a engine in it so long as its close racing!

    Rant over…..for today

    • just want to throw it out there that if you take up BT broadband then the sport part is free. i.e. it could work out cheaper than sky!

      • For now – I’m sure I saw a report recently that BT were going to have to start charging in the near future and giving it away free to existing customers was just a short-term sweetener to build market share.

      • In my village we don’t have fibre optic, my neighbor signed up and it looks like watching a YouTube filmed on a mobile phone as the connection is so slow. That the main problem for me, I live in a village of 25 houses over 10miles from nearest town, they ain’t gonna put fibre optic in just for us. There are currently no plans in the pipeline either.

        • CV – how bad is the speed ?

          I also live in a small village, and like you there is no plans for fibre optic, but the bog standard copper broadband is really good.

          Maybe the problem with your neighbor is not the connection, but BT’s servers ?

          • Super slow, I ran the BBC iPlayer speed test and it came out at less than 3, I think that’s MB/sec, plus there was a message on screen saying that wasn’t enough to stream hi-quality content. Another of my neighbors uses Talk Talk and has speed issues too. I’ve lived here 6 years and its always Bern the same, I have complained to SKY but they told me nothing they can do about it.

    • …or you can just rely on BBC, yes, half the races live, the other half on repeat, but hey, your pockets won’t be bleeding,.

      • BBC will not renew the F1 contract at the end of current contract.

        It may even ditch it earlier if suitable terms can be negotiated to pull out early.

        You read it here first.

        • Doesn’t sound hard to believe. So will this lead to a sky monopoly on F1 and the end of the current “free” status of Sky Sports F1 for those who already subscribe to sky’s HD pack? Not hard to imagine a small shift to a £16/month premium if you want to watch sky sports F1 due to it being bundled into one of the sports packs.

          • Not just hard to believe – it is government policy. They want the BBC to concentrate on sports that commercial channels don’t want. If that means we get Ice Hockey on the BBC then great, but I suspect it will push the BBC to minority status.

            Being a public service broadcaster shouldn’t mean ignoring what the public want to see…

        • Too bad but honestly, since Suzi Perry joined after Jake left, I haven’t watched a full GP on BBC. I really, really liked BBC w/ Jake, EJ and DC, and I hate Lazenby at SKY, but Suzi Perry is worse. NBC here in USA is worse still, so…lol.

          • Agree that Lazenby is the weakest link on sky coverage. The test of the team is pretty good to be fair. Lazenby comes across as a bit slimy and up himself.

      • I know you get me Danilo, if ya gonna watch highlights you may as well not bother! Especially with the very poor quality the BBC is producing currently.

        • One advantage the BBC seems to have over Sky (it may be that I just can’t find it on Sky Go) is that you can watch the highlights or race repeat at any time on the iPlayer. Well, once they get around to putting it up anyway, which can take a while sometimes.

          If you are away for the weekend then often you end up missing the highlights as well. It’s nice to be able to watch on demand rather than waiting for a repeat.

  5. So, Alonso / Brawn at Macca for 2015? And if Merc don’t deliver, could we also see Lewis back at McLaren?

    The only problem for McLaren, is that these regulations will stay for a few years and by the time Honda come in to play, they’ll be 1 year behind. Of course they can develop their car and be title contenders after a while, but this is as long as we don’t get another team doing a Ferrari/Schuey or a RBR/Vettel.

  6. “So then since July this year we’ve had the signing of Kimi, the PR war waged on Fernando from Maranello, the sudden realisation by Il Padrino that Raikkonen may not be as good as they first thought when they signed him”…..

    What is the reason for Luca to believe Kimi is not ‘as’ good as when they signed him in September,Judge???

    • … we believe there was some surprise at the apparent severity of Kimi’s back problems…

      ..further Raikkonen’s performances since the summer break were indifferent – scoring just 4 points more than Massa in the same 7 races – in a far superior car.

      • So,they think that the back pain,aggreviated in Singapore,has made Kimi ‘less’ challenging than the 1st of the season??Or are they linking to their famous ‘motivation’ theory???

        Anyway,if Alonso joins Mclaren in 2015,who will Ferrari be left with??Hulk maybe will have 2-year contract at FI,and Vettel/Hamilton is not available until end of 2015(and I doubt those two will break their contract to come to Ferrari)..

        • Well, what Ferrari can do is this:
          2014 – Kimi / Alonso
          2015 – Kimi / Hulk
          2016 – Vettel / Hulk

          Kimi retires after 2 years, Alonso off to Macca, Hulk gets more than a year’s worth of contract, Vettel and Ferrari unite in the hope of repeating the 2000s days and Bob’s your uncle 😉

        • Hulkenberg has said his interest is a one year contract. I doubt he would sign two years with FI.

          • And as soon as I opened my mouth FI confirms Hulkenberg in multi-year agreement.

          • So,it is a multi-year deal for Hulk and Ferrari have no backup plan for 2015,if Alonso leaves the team…It may be a chance for Bianchi though…

          • Should be one year with an option year. Option year probably depends on them paying him for this year in full first. By signing this year’s contract he had a clause saying, first they pay him for 2012! They owed him this in full ($1.3m). It was either this upfront, or a little bit of this year’s salary also upfront…

            Perez and Hulk at McLaren and Sauber were also meant to be ‘multi-year’..

      • Interesting to hear about the supposed change in valuation of Kimi from Maranello. While the reasons given, Kimi’s back, and his performance in the Lotus lwb car appear to be somewhat objective… Those are more subjective reasons. Ferrari knows Kimi well. That is why they hired him.

        This supposed devaluation is likely related to the changing status of Alonso’s relationship within Ferrari.

        Both Kimi and Fernando know 2014 will be a very challenging year. If the Ferrari is good, they’ll be fighting each other from within the same team for the WDC. Both of these guys know how hard it is to earn a WDC, and that they won’t likely have many more chances. Any advantage will be crucial.

        2014 will be a long season at Maranello.

    • As usual a good article by Anderson. Especially interesting is the statement that the ERS will not be in the direct control of the driver, unlike the KERS systems now and will require the car to be driven to order once the engineers program the system to match the driving style and characteristics. This is why I back Vettel for a continuation of his success as he seems to be a driver who can tailor his style to suit the needs of the car.

      • Hi, but there is less for the driver to do behind the wheel, harder tyres too, so they can just concentrate on driving, sounds like it might play into someone else’s hands too.

    • The bit that really jumped out at me was

      “The engineers will map the engine to fit the driver’s style and as long as he drives consistently then he will stay within the fuel consumption that you need for the race distance.
      If the driver is erratic and every lap is a new experience that will lead to a bit of trouble”.

      Could be no 5…….

  7. Well well well, would you work like hell after not being paid ..? And still the employer gives you the f-word… and why Grosjean started to get better after Kimi/Ferrari -deal was announced… You will see that Kimi is faster than Fernando, mark my words.

    • Sorry buddy, disagree with you there.

      Fernando will be quicker overall. He might be out qualified a good few times, but he’ll finish higher in more races.

      Luca’s finally cottoned on to this, hence his recent poor reenactment of the thorn birds……..

    • Going by their records this year, it should be close between both of them, perhaps with both getting a few wins, same for Hamilton and Rosberg. Ferrari and Mercedes have to hope Ricciardo can take points off Vettel, and same with Magnussen (or perhaps Hulkenberg at Force India) with Button if McLaren don’t produce another dog (unlikely), else we could have another 2013 where Vettel ‘number 1’s’ his way to the title.

  8. It would be easier to read if you had more contrast in your colours. If black background, PLEASE use white text. Better would be a dark gray background. My eyes are old and tired and sick and stupid. Please don’t make me strain to read your excellence posts. Thank you.

    • i agree. I love this site, read and comment many times per week, but the graphic design is challenging, at best. At least put in some rotating F1 banners (i can whip up a bunch!) and go w/ an easy-to-read color palette!!

  9. Gentlemen… Mr. Räikkönen has nearly double fastest laps more than Alonso. Kimi has F-1 speed record with McLaren and last but not least Ferrari World Driver Championship in his very first season with italians. So, well see, be patient ; )

  10. Re- Hulk to Force India

    I know it may seem to your honour that Nico is just “treading water”, but you have to look at Jenson’s career to see that it can just simply being in the right place at the right time, and that can strike at any point. Let’s face it, Jenson wasn’t really setting the world on fire for a fair while before the Brawn year and that then catapulted him to the big time. If Brawn hadn’t emerged from the ashes of Honda, Jenson was looking at a year out, with no certainty of getting back in. As it is he has done well with what he had, good spacial awareness and reading changing track conditions to find the grip the others can’t.

    I think if the Hulk can keep himself in the ‘upper mid-field’ doing what he has been, then it’s not “if” but “when” there is a space at Ferrari, he is a shoe in.

    • I hear what you’re saying CV but Force India do not have a 2014 car which benefits from some $1bn of Japanese car manufacturer R&D design…

      Also Brawn had no drivers and Button was out of F1 for 2009 following Honda’s withdrawal from the sport….

      And hence Jenson is a very very lucky boy….

      • I didn’t say the FI cars was gonnabe a Brawn but iI wimpy shows if you can keep us foot in the door, lucky can strike at any stage of your career.

  11. Want your weight problem solved, Mr. Newey? Behold, I give you the Bishop Rotary Valve. Specifically banned by the FIA in 2004, before it was ever used in competition, it reduced the weight of the V10 engine by 16 kg, with a real potential for crossover production use for several different, highly technical reasons. Don’t believe me, RTA. If you dare…..


    Scroll down to get to the article. 😉

      • Indeed, I could see a whole series entitled “Forbidden Fruit” about banned technology and where it might have led. Could be fun…

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