Daily #F1 News and Comment: Wednesday 4th December 2013

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Donuts permanently on the menu now?

Lotus fails to pay salaries – again

Gary Anderson on Red Bull and Pirelli

F1 2014 calendar

Di Resta’s week gets worse

Sochi better late than never

Don’t quit your day job?

Esteban’s options

Final F1 calendar 2014 – honest

FIA Formula E calendar

Putting the F1 driver in his place

Quick pic comp


Donuts permanently on the menu now?

When he performed donuts on the start-finish straight after winning the Indian GP, which sealed the 2013 drivers title, Sebastian Vettel helped himself to a reprimand and Red Bull had to pay a 25.000 dollar fine. The ruling of the race stewards, who unlike the fans did not quite appreciate the smokey gesture, said that the punishment came due to failure of returning the car to the parc fermé.

Applying a spot of logic, Vettel concluded that as long as the car ends up in parc fermé donuts shall be fine if done in a safe place and thankfully with all the huge tarmac run-off areas these days there’s enough space for that. And while the German’s application of logic would make a Vulcan proud, he seemed to be somewhat surprised that he got away with it, so he sought confirmation from a kohlinar master… excuse me… FIA president.

Autosport.com reports that Jean Todt himself made it clear that performing donuts is not a punishable offense. The India reprimand was solely down to the fact that the car was left parked on the track, not where it was supposed to be parked – in parc fermé. This means that most likely the donuts are here to stay, but so is the battle of wills with Rocky over the undue strain on the car’s brittle gearbox.

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Lotus fails to pay salaries – again

According to Motorsport Total Lotus has failed to pay the salaries of their employees at the end of November. Managing Director Patrick Louis had informed the workforce about a possible delay in payment, but assured them that in a ‘worst case scenario’ the money would be paid at the end of the month.

Was that a snort with a Finnish accent, I heard? Kimi would have probably told them how serious they can take such assurances as the money did not come at the end of the month and the workforce is understandably confused. Matters were not helped by the fact that Eric Boullier and the rest of the upper management was absent on Monday.

While the signing of Pastor Maldonado is expected to bring an infusion of something between 20 and 35 million currency units, it is unlikely to solve Lotus’s problem. First of all PDVSA, the Venezolan oil company that backs Maldonado, has made it clear that the money is not to be used to clear old debts, so it is to be expected that the south american company will keep an eye on what their dough is used for. Secondly, the workforce at Enstone are not the only ones waiting for their due payments. There’s Kimi and a whole host of suppliers, who have not yet been paid as well.

Just like it happened with the first – and as some say only real – incarnation of the team Lotus, they seem to be in dire straights again. With the Quantum deal all but officially called off, the future does indeed not look well. Most thought that Maldonado’s signing again blocked the way for Nico Hülkenberg, but as the German reveals, the option of going Lotus was scratched off his list weeks before Maldonado even became a topic. The financial situation of Lotus convinced him early that going there was not an option.

So far Lotus is the only team that has not yet officially named an engine supplier for 2014. While most expect Renault to supply their power-trains, they are not a charitable organization, so they shall expect to be paid for them. That’s somewhat tricky whit Team Lotus.

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Gary Anderson on Red Bull and Pirelli

Former F1 designer turned BBC pundit, Gary Anderson, rubbished the theory that Red Bull’s fourth constructors title and Vettel’s drivers title are solely down to the mid-season return to the 2012 tyre construction, which saw the softer compounds remain, but the steel belt went out in favour of a kevlar belt – as used in the 2012 construction.

While Anderson agrees that the change helped the Austrian team to fully exploit the tremendous downforce generated by their chassis, he points out that Vettel was in a comfortable lead even before Pirelli’s hand was forced by the debacle at Silverstone, when several tyres disintegrated at high speed. After the first eight races, the tally was 4:2:2, four wins for Vettel and two each for Alonso and Rosberg. Anderson insists, that the tyre change was not a Lex Red Bull, but absolutely neccessary for safety reasons after Silverstone.

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F1 2014 calendar

Ecclestone!.. “Maestro, genius.. he made F1 what it is… its all because of Bernie… no one else could have…”, is the cry of adulation from the paddock sycophantic club of millionaires.

Utter rubbish. F1 is a disorganised shambles of dog eat dog short termism which in fact makes everyone less wealthy except the International Corporate Gamblers.

It was clear back in May when TJ13’s man on the ground went to look at the state of play in New Jersey that it would be a big ask to turn this desolate Hudson River quayside into “the Monaco of the America’s”. It was an even bigger ask considering everyone was claiming not a dime of public money would be used.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that when Ecclestone was asked about the race this week, he replied, “We are not satisfied it’s going to happen in time, What we’re aiming for is 2015.” The detailed reason for the failure of Ecclestone an his cohorts to give us the race we all want was succinct, it is not happening “for lots and lots and lots of reasons.”

Race promoter, Leo Hindery, is apparently not returning anyone’s calls.

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The FIA will publish the so called ‘final’ calendar for 2014 on Wednesday – though as we know Germany this year was only ‘finalised’ 6 weeks before the event took place with the result that the hosting fee was dropped – which will see New Jersey missing along with India and Mexico as Ecclestone has admitted.

Most F1 observers believe South Korea will be dropped for next year, however TJ13 believes Mr. E and FOM recently hardened their stance with the South Jelloa government and intended to extract another $50m of their tax payers funds for one more F1 party weekend in the city of sailors and whores.

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Sneak peek at a potential 2014 Red Bull

Craig Scarborough is well know for his tech insights into F1. He illustrates for the likes of Autosport amongst others and this is his latest render for Bild. What do we think?

RB

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Di Resta’s week gets worse

It appears that F1 is taking over the High Court in London as one floor above the Constantin  v Ecclestone/CVC/et al v hearing the Hamitlon v Di Resta case. In the week where the somewhat dour Scottish driver hears Force India have signed his former team mate to replace him, he is now facing a claim from Anthony Hamilton – father of Mercedes driver Lewis – for wrongful termination of contract and loss of earnings.

Anthony Hamitlon was Di Resta’s manager until he was dismissed in 2012 when DI Resta claimed he had been misled over a multi million pound deal with drinks company ‘Go Fast’. At the time the Scot alleged he agreed to the deal set up in 2011 by Jordan Wise which was worth €5.5 million (£4.3 million) less commission, to his former manager.

Hamilton allegedly claimed it would be beneficial to buy Di Resta’s sports drink rights from Force India so that they could proceed with the deal, telling the 26 year-old they were worth €2 million (£1.56 million).

The deal was never done and several months later Di Resta allegedly questioned the team over the situation at the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix. He claims he was informed that the rights were worth only €1 million (£800,000).

At this point, Di Resta decided to terminate his contract with Hamilton.

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Sochi better late than never

Today the promoter of the Russian Grand Prix signed an agreement with the Russian Automobile Federation (RAF) which states that the RAF will become the Russian Grand Prix sporting organiser for the inaugural event in Sochi next October.

Now the promoter is agreed, the application can be made to the FIA.

This deal resolves a long standing dispute between the both parties over who would be responsible for what when the F1 circus comes to town. Much of the detail was over marshalling.

Oleg Zabara, deputy chief of the Russian GP’s organising committee is proud to announce, “We have signed a contract with the Russian Automobile Federation which reflects the interests of both parties. Sporting organisation is one of key factors for hosting successfully the F1 Russian Grand Prix. Properly trained specialists should participate in the organisation of international motorsport events. We have already created the staff schedule for the Grand Prix.

As the promoter we will provide the full technical support whenever any part of organisation needs it. RAF will provide qualified marshals and together with the FIA they will be responsible for the sporting management of the F1 Russian Grand Prix”.

As always with these things, the other side must present their statement too. Sergey Ivanov, CEO of RAF added: “We all are expecting to have complicated and hard work to prepare for the first F1 Russian Grand Prix in history. As a result of the agreements concluded with the Promoter, RAF will be able to ensure qualified staff at the Event and organise a Grand Prix of a high level.

“Foreign specialists will help us as consultants and trainers; however the majority of the members of the sporting personnel will be Russians.

This will allow us to invite solely Russian marshals in the future for national rounds of the F1 World Championship. I have no doubts that together we will achieve success”.

The application though 4 months late will probably be fine because Jean Todt has been pretty busy recently. TJ13 recommends a pre-dated application, say 1st Aug 2013,  – hand delivered with no dated postmark – as this will most likely slip through the regulatory net designed to bring order and timeliness to proceedings.

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Don’t quit your day job?

It looks as if Sebastian Vettel is preparing for the time when he will get bored by endlessly winning everything by trying to lay the foundations for a career as a standup comedian. Jean Todt and Red Bull consultant Dr. Helmut Marko join the list of now four people (Kimi and Mansell were the first), who have publically been impersonated by him. A video can be found in the comment section, but unfortunately it is missing the best bit – a 10 second mocking of Jean Todt with Vettel ‘recalling’ in an exaggerated French accent: It’s a stupid thing to do. It’s not good because it was good for the sport, but…. The rest was drowned out by laughter and cheers from the audience. He also recalls an almighty bollocking he received from Dr. Marko after narrowly missing the pole position at the Hungarian GP. Adopting the Austrian’s gramatically atrocious accent he recalls the comments, which have several bleeps in them for foul language. Looks like the good Doctor is not one to mince words.

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Esteban’s options

Esteban Gutierrez did not have had a stellar debut year in F1 scoring just 6 points when compared to Hulkenberg’s 51 and many believe he was in a Sauber seat merely for the cash his sponsors were prepared to pay.

The Mexican’s racing CV does not paint the picture of a driver who was destined for F1 either. He did win the inaugural GP3 championship in 2010 but could only manage 13th and then 3rd in the subsequent years’ GP2 series.

Yet Esteban’s performances in 2013 probably demonstrate that in today’s world of restricted F1 testing, giving any driver who is not an absolute rising star just one a year in F1 is pointless. Gutierrez performances improved towards the end of the year only to demonstrate it takes time to adjust to the world’s premier class prototype racing cars.

However, despite his financial backing and the probability that the young Russian Sirotkin will now be racing in Renault Formula 3.5, Esteban’s future at Sauber appears to be in doubt.

Clearly Telmex were bankrolling Gutierrez as Carlos Slim Jnr stated last November, “We will have talks with the [Sauber] team in the upcoming weeks, but I have no doubt that we will have two Mexican drivers in F1 next year. Should this not be the case, we would have to rethink our F1 involvement.”

So what’s changed? Why has Sauber not confirmed their Mexican driver for 2014? Gutierrez is now familiar with all the circuits and used to driving an F1 car so he should be in a position to deliver improved results on those of 2013.

The answer is – nobody knows – though the possibilities are most likely just 2. Either Telmex have withdrawn financial support for their driver or from Sauber. It appears it may be the latter as Gutierrez has held talks with Cyril Abiteboul this week.

Since the sacking of Kovalainen, Caterham have blatantly recruited pay drivers and the loss of the $14m for 10th place to Marussia means this is unlikely to change. Guido van der Garde and Charles Pic are thought to bring in around $10m each in terms of sponsorship, so if the Mexican is to get a drive in a green goddess in 2014, Telmex will need to up the stakes.

As for Sauber, they have a couple of other Mexican sponsors in Cuervo Tequila and Interprotection Insurance – the Claro brand is part of the Slim investment. It is unlikely these organisations will remain as partners for the Swiss F1 team should Gutierrez leave the team.

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Final F1 calendar 2014 – honest

Date Race Circuit
16-Mar Australia Melbourne
30-Mar Malaysia Sepang
06-Apr Bahrain Sakhir
20-Apr China Shanghai International Circuit
11-May Spain Barcelona
25-May Monaco onaco
08-Jun Canada ontreal
22-Jun Austria Red Bull Ring
06-Jul Britain Silverstone
20-Jul Germany Hockenheim
27-Jul Hungary Hungaroring
24-Aug Belgium Spa Francorchamps
07-Sep Italy onza
21-Sep Singapore Marina Bay
05-Oct Japan Suzuka
12-Oct Russia Sochi
02-Nov United States Austin
09-Nov Brazil Interlagos
23-Nov Abu Dhabi Yas Marina

So Korea has in fact been dropped, and that together with the Indian GP ‘sabbatical’ demonstrates F1’s recent failure to deliver stable new venues in the East. Maybe Malaysia, SIngapore, Japan and China are sufficient for the region and fit Ecclestone’s philosophy of keeping F1 a rarer or more exclusive commodity.

Sochi makes it even though their application is winging its way to Paris today.

British fans will again see their Grand Prix compete with one of tennis’ Grand Slam final events – Wimbledon.

As expected New Jersey is absent and the organisers of the Grand Prix of America say that they are “working on restructured financial arrangements for a 2015 race”.

Leo Hindery released this statement. “Our entire management team and our supporters in New Jersey, New York and throughout the Formula One community obviously want to see the inaugural Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial take place as soon as possible. Bringing a world-class race to the world’s largest media market is a huge undertaking that has required balancing construction of our road course, without tapping any public money, with the Sport’s own timing demands.

I want to thank Formula One Management, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Mayors Richard Turner and Felix Roque, Roseland Property Company and the other local property owners involved for their patience while we’ve worked to get this right so that we can finally go racing in 2015″.

Ecclestone wheeled out the founder of the Long Beach Grand Prix, Chris Pook, earlier this year to assist with hurrying matters in New York along. He failed to deliver, but reasons, “This is a very complicated circuit and incredibly important to the overall Formula One program in North America. To get it right in New York will greatly increase awareness of Formula One and motor racing across the continent. I remain very confident about this event.”

Aha. Someone finally agrees with the TJ13 analysis from May regarding the complexity which surrounds the layout of the proposed New Jersey venue.

Bernie is however as bullshit bullish as ever, asserting with authority, “There is great demand for a race in New Jersey and I have no doubt we’ll be racing at Port Imperial in 2015. New races can take many years to get started, but there is significant momentum and we are close to realising a New York City F1 race.”

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FIA Formula E calendar

Its been a busy old day for the FIA delegates in Paris. No time for lunch even, as they rattle through proosed world championship calendars and sign them all off.

Here is the 2014/2015 FIA Formula E Championship calendar

13/09/2014 CHN Beijing
18/10/2014 MYS Putrajaya
15/11/2014 BRA Rio de Janeiro
13/12/2014 URG Punta del Este
10/01/2015 ARG Buenos Aires
14/02/2015 USA Los Angeles
14/03/2015 USA Miami
09/05/2015 MCO Monaco
30/05/2015 DEU Berlin
27/06/2015 GBR London

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Putting the F1 driver in his place

Many a team boss would admit to at times wishing their driver had a smaller ego and would just do as they’re told. Christian Horner, for instance, would not look like some impotent figurehead puppet who moves and speaks when Herr Helmut’s hands are up his….. were this the case.

In fact, the team management in general couldn’t care less about the blue ribbon trophy that is the drivers’ annual F1 title, for them the team championship is what really matters.

After playing pin the tail on the donkey pin the F1 race date on the country whilst blindfold and drinking copious amounts of vintage red, the FIA delegates had some black coffee and got serious about a number of other matters today.

Whilst TJ13 largely ignores the world of rallying, one rule change for 2014 caught the eye. In order to allow greater flexibility to contract different drivers, manufacturers will no longer be required to nominate one permanent driver for the season. Instead, manufacturers will be obliged to nominate one driver for a minimum of 10 Championship events”.

This may see the return of ‘specialist drivers’ to rallying – a debate rally lovers will chew the cud on just as F1 lovers will over whether Pirelli should be shot or sanctified.

However, this provokes an interesting thought. Whilst an F1 race seat is a highly scarce commodity, the price a pay driver can deliver could be manipulated and by increasing the availability of seats, teams short of cash could in fact employ 3 or 4 pay drivers a year in rotation and generate total larger revenues.

Further, when Ferrari are hacked off with Fernando, the normative nature of substitute drivers would be less of an insult than at present – so he could be ‘stood down’ until he confesses his sins to Il Padrino and promises to change his ways.

Mmm. Up the team boss revolution?

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Quick pic comp

Who, what, where?

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96 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Wednesday 4th December 2013

  1. I think gary is an absolute positive factor in the bbc coverage. He always talks with actual knowledge. Unlike some other people on the telly who seem to talk much because they like the sound of their voice.

  2. Easy to be an F1 pundit these days it seems: Anderson is almost literally repeating what Adrian Newey said during an interview with BBC – an interview that Anderson attended: the return to the 2012 tyres did help a lot for RBR’s return to dominating form. As a matter a fact, I can be even a bit more specific in quoting Newey: it was the 2013 front tyres that couldn’t deal with the load generated by the RB9’s downforce.

    • That’s not his honour’s fault, but mine… oops. Funnily I mocked him for the same mistake yesterday. Shame on me. Working night shifts hasn’t done much to improve my inner clock, it appears…

      • No, wait – it WAS his honours fault – I did not have a day in the original post. Goody, I can continue mocking him :mrgreen:

        • It wasn’t me – I posted the news without a day name. Someone added it and took the wrong one. Most likely. the one who thought yesterday was Monday 😉

  3. I think the donuts are a smart move from Vettel / Red Bull, PR wise. I think donuts are stupid and overrated, but everybody seems to like m.
    According to Joe Saward, he performed nice at the autosport gala, but I still have to look at the video.
    Maybe they looked back after the season and realized what made RedBull RedBull originally and saw Lotus was stealing that (with the t-shirts and the rabbit tweet, not the quantum thingy).

    • Here’s the Autosport speech. Pretty hillarious at times and quite a bit of bleeped out language 😉

      • At the 5.30 mins point, Vettel is asked about the donuts. It seems to me that part of his reply has been edited out.

        Both http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/111719
        and http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/extraordinary-people/
        refer to Vettel’s chat with Todt, and Saward describes it as ” … He brought the house down with his impersonation of Jean Todt telling him off for doing doughnuts after his wins in recent months. … ”

        The youtube clip seems to be missing that portion.

        p.s. Saward also has a dig ” .. When it comes to honours and awards, of course, there are always some undeserving folk who sneak their way to recognition. The most appalling example this year is a supposed F1 journalist who is up for a national award, despite not even having been able to earn a credential to attend an F1 event. That is like being a war reporter on a couch in suburbia… … ”

        I wonder who he had in mind?

        • Problem with Saward is, like Ferrari being too busy being Ferrari, he is too busy being an important F1 reporter/business analyst etc etc.

          I used to love reading his stuff and was even considering doing a course in Motorsport he lectures on but his continuous digs at everyone who does not have accreditation is really poor.

          And he does not get the internet and how Twitter and the rest of social media works.

          • Thanks for those Danilo, great to watch them again. Hadn’t realised the SOH’s were so lively in your part of the world 🙂

        • I’m going to break one of my normal rules around decorum and state, here and now, that my personal opinion is that Mr Saward is one of the most unpleasant individuals operating in F1.

          If he doesn’t get his way, or if things are not going how he wants them too, my opinion is that he becomes totally unprofessional and petty minded.

          He is not a patch on Alan Henry, Peter Windsor or any of his peers when it comes to balance and lack of hysteria \ paranoia.

          I do recall Nigel Roebuck being a little catty on occasion, his bias towards Prost against Senna being one occasion which readily springs to mind, but he didn’t have a go at individuals in the public or any of his peers in print (that I can recall).

          Its no problem to Joe though.

          Personally, I find him an unpleasant individual who consistently gives me fresh reasons to not alter my low opinion of him.

  4. The Redbull’s nose looks like the shriveled, deformed and blackened frostbitten nose of an unfortunate mountainclimber.

    • Everyone seems to be missing the fact that the front wing will be narrower. In the drawing the end plates are as wide as the tyres but this is not correct.

      Looks rubbish but hey, if it wins it will be a stunner 😛

    • It’s a pretty shoddy bit of artwork methinks ….

      I agree with Don_Q about the front wing but – what about the rear ?

      Rear wing has to be mounted on a centrally mounted pillar, lower beam wing banned, and I think monkey seats are banned too, as are the dummy cameras on top of the airbox (?).

      Does Craig Scarborough actually get paid for producing this rubbish ?

      Has he even read the new 2014 regs ?

      • In the picture the front wing HAS been narrowed by 75mm each end. The difference is subtle and Williams even tested a 2014 front wing with no one noticing. The rear wing DOES NOT have to be mounted on a pillar, thats aerodynamically inefficient. its better to mount it on the diffuser by the endplates, ala the Red Bull RB5. The lower beam wing IS removed in the pic. Monkey seats are NOT banned, in fact they can be 5cm wider next year. Cameras on the airbox are NOT banned either, only mounting the front ones low down on the front wing.
        I DO get paid for this, exactly because I READ and understand the rules. Do you?

      • In response to the criticism of Craig’s illustration I’ll make several ‘technical’ remarks. The Front Wing has been drawn with the reduced width or the left hand side (as you look at the picture) would see the edge of the footplate on the same axis as the tyre and the Endplate 50mm further in. This of course is not the case, perspective my friends is playing a trick, the first time I drew a 2014 car I had to recheck the dimensions several times as visually it didn’t look right.
        In regards to the centrally mounted pillar @Manky, it would actually have to be a twin pillar as the exhaust runs along the centreline, this also brings up how you think the Y75 winglet is banned seeing as the mounting pillars would occupy the same dimensional space 😉
        Craig hasn’t drawn the support pillars as it’s widely believed not all teams will run them this time around but simply affix the Endplates more securely at their base, to the floor.
        Lastly in regard to the dummy camera’s they are still in the correct position only the forward nose cameras have now got an allocated box in which they can sit.

    • Why don’t they just ‘cut off’ the sneaky appendage, giving us a look not unlike the 2010 Ferrari? This has to be the best solution, if they cannot close the loopholes that do not give us a 2005 McLaren type nose (as I guess they were aiming for in the rule changes).

  5. NJ GP. I live in NYC and know that the supposed “team garage / media center” building is actually a open wall parking garage for the adjacent ferry to manhattan. And the ground level floor will be permanent retail shops. I know a lawyer that works for the development.

    Face it, Leo just used the illusion of a GP on the streets of Weehawken to scam a bunch of people out of $.

    • Yeah, thanks for the on site report. Anyone looking at pictures of the area knew the construction wasn’t for an F1 ‘track’; I could see permanent light standards and curbing being built that would have to be torn out for a ‘track’ – it’s been obvious for almost a year that nothing was going to happen there. Did Bernie get any money from all this?

      Joe Saward seems convinced that Long Beach is going to become an F1 race, but I seriously doubt that will happen. FOM certainly doesn’t know how to promote F1 in the US of A.

    • AJ – there’s more chance of the Giants v Jets in this years Superbowl than the NJ GP ever taking place …..

      😉

  6. I haven’t been checking up on F1 Blog/Tweet-Sphere very long.
    Have been left a bit nonplussed by the Saward comment.
    Is this person an independent journalist?

    A bit frustrated that I am unaware of this individual; and unaware of the effects on the news/editorial opinions I read.

    Anyone got the cojones to just say who it is?

    • He is a bit of a Dick, I got banned as I picked a big hole in an article he posted that was poor journalism at best. Always seems to have a very sour outlook on things and recently very self promoting for financial gains

      • …come on guys.. let’s leave Joe alone. He’s from Yorkshire – you should expect surliness as a trait….

        Plus, he’ll take offence when he reads your remarks as he pops by here daily to stay abreast of matters 😉

        • Born in London just 6 days after me. Not sure which hospital but we could have shared a ward -if by chance he was born in Kings College too 😉

    • Well Aiden to answer your questions why don’t you try searching for yourself? Not too hard is it? Plenty of reading out there for enlightenment.

      • Thanks Colin.

        Was wondering who this was reffering too.

        “When it comes to honours and awards, of course, there are always some undeserving folk who sneak their way to recognition. The most appalling example this year is a supposed F1 journalist who is up for a national award, despite not even having been able to earn a credential to attend an F1 event. That is like being a war reporter on a couch in suburbia…” – Joe Saward. [http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/extraordinary-people/]

    • Presumably this is to allow the Teams to combat any issues after the first race under new powertrain configuration.

      • … I think we posted simultaneously as that’s the only plausible explanation…

        .. even so, each car will have completed the equivalent of several GP’s during winter testing… so what they’ll not know about whatever that 58 laps of Albert Park will reveal is hard to imagine….

        .. I suppose what they will learn is how far ahead and behind of the others they are….

        • Do you not think a genuine race will have a different toll, as opposed to tests of race distances?

          • …I don’t. In fact last year I seem to remember one driver doing the mileage of something like 1.5-2 GP’s in one day.

            .. also with the race fuel restrictions, the cars will probably be pushed far harder in testing when they can just fill the tank up again….

    • …err…. because the lunatics have taken over the asylum/Place de la Concorde?

      Maybe there is a concern with all the changes – only 3 cars will actually make it to the chequered flag in Melbourne – so they’ll need an extra week to sort their s$%t out….

      …other than that – God only knows.. then again… he’s only omniscient – not insane.

      • RE: Testing Mileage.

        I can agree on the scope of their testing, I suppose it is a hope of mine that being in ‘race trim’ will cause a level of mistakes/incidents to happen.

        Shoddy gear changes, over revs, damaged bodywork etc.

        Anything to shake up that field!

    • So the FIA can change the rules in the weekend in between if the Australian GP was not exciting enough?

  7. My biggest issue with Modern F1 is the turbulent air falling onto the car behind.

    Attach to this to extremely defensive driving up and down the field, and it is no surprise SebVet is running away into the distance.

    Felt like I watched the same race many times over this year.

    I’d echo Brundles opinion of there being ‘2 races’ each Sunday.

    I’d like to see a comparison of timing gaps through the fields over the past few decades, would probably convince me to take off these ‘rose tinted glasses’.

    • Haha. I can remember pole being almost 2 seconds faster than 2nd place – and that was the pole sitters’ sister car… anyone know who and when?

        • Good effort..but

          Mansell did qualified pole in Spa but Senna was second more than 2 seconds slower and his team mate Patrase was 3 seconds slower in 4th.

          • You are right, it was Senna in second. And in Silverstone that same year the gap was less than two seconds to Patrese, which means I don’t know the answer.

        • Never going to forget that race – Schumacher’s first win. Germany was going apeshit over it. And I missed it, because I was doing service in the armed forces at the time…

      • I liked Il Leone TJ, but a Mansell vs Patrese battle doesn’t even come close to Senna’s 1.5 seconds ahead of his team-mate in Monaco 1988.
        A Monaco winner in 84,85 & 86 no less, so no slouch.

        I also remember Patrese handing his car over to Schumacher at the 1993 British GP and Schumacher qualifying it 1.8 seconds quicker…

  8. RALLYING

    There has always been ‘ specialist drivers ‘ entered in rallying.

    For example – Seb Loeb the 9 times consecutive world champion was only entered in 4 events in the 2013 WRC for manufacturers points, as he obviously was never going to win the drivers championship.

    It’s more likely that instead of having to enter an extra car for these specialists, as they currently do, the manufacturers can simply replace one driver for another – thus reducing costs.

    • …I thank you… that explains the quote I posted, “…no longer be required to nominate one permanent driver for the season. Instead, manufacturers will be obliged to nominate one driver for a minimum of 10 Championship events”.

      • Unlike F1 – the WRC are genuinely committed to reducing costs to encourage more manufacturers into the sport.

        As a result – Hyundai are now entering a works team in 2014.

  9. A couple of thoughts…

    Firstly, re. this:

    “The application though 4 months late will probably be fine because Jean Todt has been pretty busy recently. TJ13 recommends a pre-dated application, say 1st Aug 2013, – hand delivered with no dated postmark – as this will most likely slip through the regulatory net designed to bring order and timeliness to proceedings.”

    Does anyone remember the old Saturday Night Live skit for “Jiffy Express” that parodied FedEx, in the form of a commercial for a logistics/shipping company that you could call in an emergency when you’d failed to mail/ship something on time? They would deliver the package for you in a messed-up state and take all the heat and the blame for things being late. It was hilarious.

    **Jiffy Express – When you forgot your package had to be at its destination yesterday, Jiffy says “We’ll take the package… AND the blame” by back-dating packages and simulating shipping delays.

    They must’ve pulled all of the clips of the commercial from the major video sites, but here’s a transcript:

    http://snltranscripts.jt.org/92/92djiffy.phtml

    Jiffy Express

    Delivery Boy…..Rob Schneider
    Mrs. Collier…..Julia Sweeney
    Secretary…..Melianie Hutsell
    Upset Recipient…..Kevin Nealon

    Delivery Boy: Package for Mrs. Collier. [ hands her package ]

    Mrs. Collier: [ reading box ] “Happy Birthday, from Larry.” My birthday was three weeks ago. Well, that’s my brother.

    Delivery Boy: Ma’am, I think you might want to check the shipping date on that.

    Mrs. Collier: [ checks ] October 3rd? He did mail it on time!

    Delivery Boy: That’s right. It’s not your brother’s fault, ma’am. It’s ours.

    Mrs. Collier: [ appalled ] That is unacceptable! He went through a lot of trouble, and you guys just sat on the package for a month!

    Delivery Boy: You’re absolutely right, Ma’am. It is unacceptable. [ hangs his head in faux shame ]

    Mrs. Collier: [ sighs disgustedly, slams the door ]

    [ Delivery Boy faces the camera ]

    Delivery Boy: At Jiffy Express, we know how important it is to be on time. And we also know that sometimes you just can’t make it. That’s when you call Jiffy. We’ll take the package – and the blame.

    [ cut to a secretary handing the Delivery Boy a package ]

    Secretary: This was due in Cleveland last month. I could be fired. Can you help me?

    Delivery Boy: No problem, Ma’am. You can count on us. [ grabs the package and walks off to begin his mission ]

    Voiceover: When it has to be there overnight, call the other guys. When it had to be there three weeks ago, call Jiffy. First, we’ll backdate the receipt. Then our technicians will age the package, according to your specifications. We can stain it, soil it, recreate delivery mishap and trauma.. even simulate international misrouting.

    [ cut to Delivery Boy explaining the tardiness to an Upset Recipient ]

    Delivery Boy: And after it got to Hong Kong, well.. we just lost track of it. Luckily, it turned up in our warehouse.

    Upset Recipient: [ grabbing package ] You guys are pathetic! People get fired over this kind of thing! [ slams his door ]

    Delivery Boy: [ to the camera ] I know.

    Voiceover: Jiffy Express. When you’ve got no one else to blame – call us.

    LOL!!!

    • this was the second thing I wanted to say, in regards to:

      “Ecclestone!.. “Maestro, genius.. he made F1 what it is… its all because of Bernie… no one else could have…”, is the cry of adulation from the paddock sycophantic club of millionaires.

      Utter rubbish. F1 is a disorganised shambles of dog eat dog short termism which in fact makes everyone less wealthy except the International Corporate Gamblers.”

      ***I agree 100% and am glad the Judge has made his ruling on Bernie! Now if only you could pronounce a fair & just sentence!

  10. I didn’t see any comments on Pole trophy for 2014 and I didn’t wait for the FIA to have my own :
    Word driver qualifying championship :

    • Interesting.. clearly shows why Hulkenberg should be in a top car, and why RB picked Ricciardo. Perez beaten by Button, and Di Resta ahead of Sutil, even with various qualifying gaffes. Bottas ahead of Gutierrez with a slower car, as well as Maldonado. If Hulk beat McLaren with a 0.25 sec slower car, imagine where he’d be if he was there instead of Perez.. probably taking it to Massa and Grosjean.

    • Also, Hulk will trounce Perez next year, or Di Resta, or Sutil, or probably even beat Button over a season… Q ahead of all of them in the same car, and stay ahead on race pace/defensive driving. With Ricciardo, we’ll have to see if he can do the same to Vettel’s rivals next year, although his bad starts (akin to Webber) means he’ll probably have to repass them just as Webber did.

  11. Judge,

    Just looking at scorched landscape of F1 finances, Lotus have turned their workforce into charity workers, working for free, Monisha seems to of taken up busking on streets of Russia to fund Sauber, and Mallya seems to rely on printing his own money.

    Is there a real chance by the end of next year we could be down to 7 or 8 teams?

    At least Marussia and Caterham wont have to worry about not being in the top 10.

      • Regarding 3 car teams, since this analysis is normally hidden behind paywall, thought Id share it here but if that’s not kosher, Your Honor, I’ll understand if these two recent comments disappear – but hope they dont!

        Three-car teams back on F1’s agenda

        As teams resist a push for customer cars, could a grid of eight three-car squads be the solution? DIETER RENCKEN reveals the new proposal being considered

        Has Formula 1’s Strategy Group, which met just once on October 21 and has its second get-together on November 29 immediately ahead of the first and only Formula One Commission meeting of the year, shelved plans for the so-called Customer Car Concept (CCC)?
        According to sources, a straw poll was taken during a Friday lunchtime meeting at Austin last week. The vote went against the ‘CCC’, a proposal whereby five major teams would supply five ‘B’ teams with two cars each, plus, of course, associated technology and support to deliver 20-car grids.
        This column broke the news back in March and little wonder there was enormous opposition, for not only does the customer car idea go totally against F1’s DNA, but its implementation would result in one team disappearing and five others being forced to totally downgrade their facilities to little more than repair shops.
        In the process they would be obliged to close windtunnels, CFD departments and production/fabrication divisions, collectively laying off thousands of highly qualified engineers and other professionals.
        Not only is such drastic action utterly immoral, but certainly no way to treat loyal and dedicated staff members, many of whom sacrificed personal lives to serve the sport they love.
        The reasons advanced for the customer car plan are manifold, ranging from sustainability and affordability, on the basis that development and manufacturing costs can be spread over two teams rather than a single entity, to suggestions that the quality of grids would increase by featuring four frontrunning cars rather than, say, two Red Bulls and two Caterhams.
        The pro faction overlooks, of course, that an exit by any major team would immediately reduce the grid by four cars, leading to dangers of a one-two-three-four by a single design, while ‘B’ teams fear they would be reduced to tyre-testing and rookie-filled lackeys dictated by their suppliers. “Do as we say, or no deal for our SuperDuper F1 chassis/engine…” is how one team boss described the danger.
        Toro Rosso began life as effectively a customer offshoot of Red Bull
        Toro Rosso began life as effectively a customer offshoot of Red Bull © XPB
        Finally, customer teams are concerned they would have no unique selling point for sponsors through being relegated to little more than customers – factories are a major sponsor draw – compounded by scoring no constructors’ championship points to brag of.
        Plus, of course, some or other customer team would be forced to accept the fifth-best car, for each major would supply only one customer…
        Thus the customer proposal faces much opposition across the board including, allegedly, tacit threats that complaints could be registered with the EU Commission for abuse of monopolistic power.
        So an alternative has been sought, with ‘CCC’ replaced by ‘Eight-3’, an equally radical concept that sees F1’s entry list culled to eight teams, each entering three cars.
        The real reason F1 tsar Bernie Ecclestone and his Strategy Group pushed so hard for the customer-car plan is none other than money. His pet majors would enjoy additional income streams, while the pesky independents would have lower operating costs (plus be easier to replace, should one or more disappear, due to lowered costs of entry), with racing (in theory) being closer due to reduced performance spread.
        This would, in turn, allow commercial rights holder Formula One Management – headed by Ecclestone and a subsidiary of CVC Capital Partners, the venture fund which acquired majority shares in 2005 under a contentious transaction – to reduce payouts to teams, bolstering the fund’s profits even further.
        To put that in perspective, for the 2012 financial year CVC banked over £550 million, money that should have remained within the sport, for the sport. Against that background it’s little wonder that an entity such as CVC, which restructures companies on a regular basis, may care little for heads lost in the process.
        HRT showed how hard it is for small teams to progress in F1
        HRT showed how hard it is for small teams to progress in F1 © LAT
        However, with the CCC idea now effectively endangered, if not already dead in the water, CVC needs an alternative strategy if it’s to keep voracious shareholders sweet.
        By the nature of such transactions – structured on a quick in, quick out basis – every passing year sees the initial investment lose gloss, particularly as F1’s planned IPO on Singapore’s stock exchange has, as predicted, been aborted due to the controversies surrounding F1, not least a raft of legal actions against Ecclestone and others on both sides of the Atlantic.
        Thus Ecclestone sought an alternative concept to keep his taskmasters happy while simultaneously keeping the major teams onside and the cash flowing (even if, by sane thinking, in the wrong direction), and thus dusted off Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo’s 2011 concept of each team running three cars.
        But there exists a slight difference: where the aristocratic Italian pushed for majors only to enter third cars, the revised concept has eight teams running three each, thus providing 24-car grids – two more than at present and the sort of levels F1 has long aimed for.
        The Eight-3 concept holds numerous advantages over CCC in that all teams have equal chances – whereas under the previous proposal customers would have little possibility of winning races – while any hegemony would be restricted to three cars maximum, as opposed to four.
        Then, teams could continue designing, developing and constructing cars in their existing facilities, in turn spreading the cost over a 50 per cent larger base, while sponsors could be offered space on up to three cars, each conceivably running different sponsors within the same overall team livery.
        David Hobbs races the Yardley McLaren at Monza in 1974
        David Hobbs races the Yardley McLaren at Monza in 1974 © LAT
        There are other suggestions, including third cars being reserved for bona fide rookies or wildcard entries, running unique colours much as McLaren did in 1974, when the team found itself in a sticky situation by virtue of having two title sponsors (Marlboro and Yardley), so ran two cars disguised as a fag packet and one under the cosmetics company’s livery.
        However, for the concept to work three outfits would need to disappear, whether by attrition (two team owners are said to be considering their involvements) or hook and crook, with rumours abounding of Marussia and Caterham, neither of which scored a single point in F1 since joining the fray four years ago under circumstances initially proposed by ex-FIA president Max Mosley, being forced into merger talks with larger teams.
        One of the four teams attracted by Mosley’s budget concept was stillborn (USF1), another (HRT)staggered before folding, while Caterham and Marussia have yet to finish in the top 10 after a combined 300 starts, so, frankly, one wonders why they continue against the odds under a system stacked against them, and possibly Eight-3 will allow them to merge with dignity while saving their owners further fortunes…
        The rumour mill links Marussia to Williams, while Caterham is believed to have held merger discussions with Lotus plus AN Other (or even two), and a source suggests the first announcement could be made as early as next week.
        Two (potentially) down; one to go, and here Toro Rosso is the prime candidate, for the team was acquired by Red Bull as technical and sporting nursery for its main operation, and under the three-car system costs are spread over a larger base while enabling teams to accommodate rookies. Thus no real need for STR.
        Considerably fewer heads would be lost in the process of implementing Eight-3 than CCC; the demise of one team would result in the loss of three cars out of 24 rather than four in 20; teams would have 50 per cent more real estate to sell on cars; and wildcard/rookie entries could attract driver-specific sponsors, enabling teams to attract experienced drivers and train rookies.
        Caterham has been tipped for a merger with Lotus
        Caterham has been tipped for a merger with Lotus © XPB
        True, the ideal situation would see F1 populated by 12 or even 13 fully-funded teams, each entering two cars of their own design, but that is dreamland, particularly given the current global economic situation and CVC’s exploitation of a sport it simply does not understand, nor care much for save for its proceeds.
        Ironically, in the British High Court this week, while testifying in favour of Ecclestone and the deal that saw the fund acquire the sport’s commercial rights, CVC head honcho Donald Mackenzie implied its intervention had saved the sport from itself.
        Well, sir, never before have matters been more perilous – as you would be in a position to judge first-hand were you in the paddock more regularly, rather than popping in and out of the Monaco Grand Prix…
        Ecclestone is believed to now be pushing for Eight-3, for FOM would save considerable sums through paying out its ‘Bernie Money’ to eight rather than 10 teams, while freight and air travel subsidies and contributions paid by the commercial rights holder to cover teams’ flyaway race costs could be reduced by around 30 per cent – again to the overall benefit of CVC.

        Ultimately Eight-3 is a compromise, but it’s a far superior solution to the issue of endangered teams and dwindling grids than CCC was, even if it needs finetuning.
        Its major advantage is that the majority of teams are in favour – resulting in quicker resolution – while fans would see eight designs contest the championship, rather than five. Plus, there is every chance the sharp end will feature six cars of similar performance rather than four.
        Will Eight-3 come to pass? It is about the only realistic solution facing F1 at present, and thus has a greater chance than CCC, for which the entire sport should be truly thankful…

    • Speaking of F1’s shambolic business practice and the raping of the sport by CVC…

      Why F1 chiefs are running out of time

      There are massive issues facing F1, but for now just getting its new Commission and Strategy Groups properly formed and meeting is a challenge, one that DIETER RENCKEN tries to unravel

      Nothing better illustrates the utter mess Formula 1 presently finds itself in than the current debacle surrounding the sport’s governance.
      Last Friday marked D-Day for one last round of final discussions about the 2014 technical and sporting regulations plus a raft of items crucial to F1’s future, yet one by one the scheduled Strategy Group (morning) and Formula 1 Commission (afternoon) sessions were postponed to December 9.
      The decision to postpone only the second meeting of the Strategy Group since its inception in October was taken on Sunday morning at last month’s Brazilian Grand Prix after it became clear there were numerous outstanding discussion points, despite the issues having been obvious for over a month. Meanwhile, the Commission, which debates and approves points escalated by the Strategy Group, was somewhat logically postponed last Tuesday, after team bosses returned to Europe.
      There is no doubt, though, that both the Strategy Group and Commission need to meet PDQ. Crucial times lie ahead, with 2014’s ‘eco-friendly’ regulations being top of both agendas and items such as increased overall weights (by 10 kilograms, to compensate for heavier drivers), a pole position trophy and permanent numbers – as exclusively revealed by AUTOSPORT – and revisions to F1’s Superlicence procedure enjoying cameo billings.
      HOW IT WORKS
      The sport’s (currently contentious) governance structure calls for the Strategy Group, consisting of four Constructors’ Championship Bonus teams (Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull, Mercedes), Williams (on the basis of its heritage) and Lotus (aka Team Enstone, as best-placed ‘other’ team in the previous season) to set the agenda for the Formula 1 Commission, working in conjunction with commercial-rights holder Formula One Management and governing body FIA. (See footnote)
      Each group has six votes, with decisions taken by a simple majority and decisions escalated to the F1 Commission, an executive body made up of FOM, FIA, all team owners, eight circuit owners appointed by FOM (half from Europe, half from outside), a tyre-supplier representative, an engine party and two sponsor figures.
      Williams has enhanced political status due to its heritage in the sport
      Williams has enhanced political status due to its heritage in the sport © XPB
      The Strategy Group replaces the previous Technical/Sporting Working Groups, which were superseded by non-executive sporting/technical committees after the expiry of the 2009-12 Concorde Agreement, the covenant that outlines the mutual commercial, technical, sporting and regulatory obligations of the FIA, rights-holder and teams, and has yet to be fully replaced. FOM (now), though, holds individual agreements with F1’s 11 teams.
      However, to further muddy the waters, there are moves afoot to incorporate the TWG/SWG structures into the formal framework, with group meetings called as previously and chaired by the FIA. Where, though, the groups formerly fed motions (accepted by 70 per cent majority for future years, and unanimity for current seasons) to the F1 Commission, the groups will in future meet to discuss proposals, then prepare draft regulations for Strategy Group review.
      Following on from that, the Commission debates issues and matters arising and puts these to the vote, with 70 per cent majority required to forward motions to the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council for ratification and subsequent implementation.
      STUMBLING BLOCKS
      So far so good, except that the WMSC sits on December 5 as part of the FIA’s Presidential Election/Annual General Assembly week running from December 2-6 in Paris. Clearly, then, the Council cannot ratify those matters on December 5 if information is received four days later. Crucially, such matters include final 2014 technical and sporting regulations, which are absolutely vital to F1’s future given the swingeing technical changes facing the sport from March.
      McLaren and Mercedes have expressed concerns about F1’s new structure
      McLaren and Mercedes have expressed concerns about F1’s new structure © XPB
      Thus the WMSC faces four choices: ratify regulations escalated to it, despite these not having passed through the proper channels, leaving the FIA open to legal challenge; refuse to consider them (with dire consequences for the new engine formula); reconvene after December 9; or vote via fax, a mechanism introduced by ex-FIA president Max Mosley.
      But there are no guarantees matters will at all progress to WMSC level – even had the Strategy Group/F1 Commission meetings been held as planned – for the Strategy Group’s legality is disputed. According to sources, during the inaugural meeting on October 21, McLaren voiced concerns in this sense, while Mercedes questioned the structure of the F1 Commission, which varies from that outlined in certain commercial agreements and further differs from that agreed by all teams during an October 2013 meeting hosted by the FIA in Paris.
      Said commercial agreements – known in F1-speak as bi-laterals, being individually agreed between teams and the commercial-rights holder and setting out (inequitable) commercial termsfor participation by each team – specify that the six Strategy Group teams are represented on the F1 Commission, while the meeting in Paris agreed that commission composition and structure would include all teams as per the 2009-12 Concorde Agreement (in the continued absence of any substitute covenant).
      ALTERED STATES
      The 2009 document provided for the commercial-rights holder to appoint just six circuit owners (three from Europe, three outside) and the teams two – with such as Monza voting in favour of teams for obvious reasons, but now dropped. Teams could also nominate two sponsor representatives, both of whom must have been active and visible in F1 for at least five years.
      But the latest F1 Commission agenda shown to this column reflects Rolex – an FOM (not team) sponsor, and active only from this year – as one of two sponsor representatives, with the other being Philip Morris, which is hardly active or visible in F1 due to prevailing legislation.
      Rolex joined the F1 fray only this year
      Rolex joined the F1 fray only this year © XPB
      Quite how Rolex managed to manoeuvre itself into a position of such power and influence in a global sport so rapidly remained a mystery to most in the Sao Paulo paddock, for patently the watch company does not satisfy agreed criteria.
      So the teams have been short-changed on two counts totalling three (crucial) votes, while the demise of HRT (and potentially others) could further erode team influence when escalating decisions to the WMSC.
      At least one team boss is said to have made representations to FOM/FIA in this regard, partially explaining the postponement, while Pirelli is believed to have added testing (and other) discussion points.
      All in all, November 29 was not meant to be.
      WHAT NEXT?
      Simply put, the WMSC, which does not, of course, exist solely for the sake of F1, will meet as scheduled on December 5 to ratify existing resolutions, such as 2014’s F1 calendar, and matters pertaining to other championships and series, including world rallying, touring cars plus other sporting matters including the establishment of commissions.
      The future of the Korean GP is among the matters the WMSC should clarify this week
      The future of the Korean GP is among the matters the WMSC should clarify this week © XPB
      For example, an off-road safety commission is believed to be under discussion, because non-circuit events such as rallying, raids and hillclimbs have recently suffered numerous incidents.
      Outstanding Strategy Group/F1 Commission matters will then likely be subject of fax-vote ratification by the WMSC, meaning a variety of crucial points will hardly receive appropriate debate, for the chances of all 26 WMSC members being linked to discuss such items are the square root of zero…
      The other alternative is for an extraordinary WMSC meeting to be convened on December 10 given that most – if not all – delegates will have been in Europe for the General Assembly until at least Saturday December 7. But consider the cost, inconvenience, time wasted and overall inefficiency in these times of resource restriction…
      MATTERS ARISING
      While the resolution of pressing issues is vital for F1’s immediate future, the discussion points of October 21 as minuted and recorded provide pointers to F1’s longer-term strategic direction.
      According to documents shown to this column, moves are afoot to reduce the number of employees in teams to no more than 300-350. This will impact severely upon most operations, with the majors hit the most, for in discussions the six teams tabled their current manning levels as follows:
      Mercedes has ramped up its staff numbers, but will it now have to cut back?
      Mercedes has ramped up its staff numbers, but will it now have to cut back? © LAT
      Ferrari 700
      Red Bull 650
      McLaren 630
      Mercedes 600+ (NB team recently embarked on an intensive recruitment drive)
      Williams 600
      Lotus 500
      All this points to dire times ahead for F1 personnel, and is again indicative of the ravaging effects of the sport’s ownership structure, with venture-capital company CVC Capital Partners creaming off over £550m in direct profits in 2012, while F1’s Strategy Group considers reducing the sport’s *河蟹* levels by up to 50 per cent! F1 personnel (and fans) could hardly be blamed if they elected to boycott products manufactured and distributed by companies contained within CVC’s enormous portfolio.
      Interestingly, as predicted last week, minutes of the Strategy Group meeting as shared with this column indicate the ‘Customer Car Concept’ is now dead, with the ‘Eight-3’ suggestions (eight teams of three cars each) inching closer to fruition after confirmation of various talks of mergers, acquisitions and possible closures.
      First, though, F1 needs to sort its cost base, and here it appears Red Bull Racing is hardly doing its bit, for the minutes indicate the team is ‘vehemently’ opposed to any form of cost control in the belief that such restrictions are impractical and impossible to police. All good and well when you’re part of a billionaire-owned marketing group, but hardly of consolation to F1 personnel employed by teams unable to maintain the levels of spend committed by the Big Four.
      One of the alternatives discussed during the first Strategy Group meeting is to reduce the number of listed parts (those to which teams are required to own the intellectual property, as opposed to being proprietary parts), including such as radiators/heat exchangers, steering components and fuel cells and brake components. Titanic and rearranging of deck chairs spring vividly to mind.
      SUMMARY
      It seems F1 has not just left matters to the last possible minute, but by all accounts exceeded even its own lax standards by holding a series of crucial meetings after the very last WMSC meeting of the year, despite the introduction of the most sweeping technical and sporting regulations in many a decade being effectively two months hence.
      Testing of the new cars begins at the end of January at Jerez, and everything needs to be shipshape by then if the sport is not to be heavily embarrassed in front of fans, sponsors and media, whether electronic or print. For a sport in which timing accuracy is all, this state of affairs surely disregards the products of one its newest sponsors/F1 Commission members.

      Footnote: It seems criteria have been made up on the fly, for Ferrari has 16 constructors’ championships; Williams 10; Team Enstone (10) [made up Lotus (7)/Benetton (1)/Renault (2)]; McLaren 8; Red Bull 4; Mercedes (0) save for one each during previous incarnations as Tyrrell and Brawn. Yet Mercedes has a permanent place while Team Enstone does not…

  12. Maybe if people stopped thinking up and announcing banal, boring press releases that thank people for support of nothing, they might actually work out when New Jersey (if at all) is possible!

    Oh no sorry, I’m assuming F1 and common sense can actually be put into the same sentence …. oh well, maybe another day.

    Also, spot on Judge with this:

    “Utter rubbish. F1 is a disorganised shambles of dog eat dog short termism which in fact makes everyone less wealthy except the International Corporate Gamblers.”

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