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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,”
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)
Pole positions: 105
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.