Daily #F1 News & Comment: Saturday, 7th December 2013

This page will be updated throughout the day.

Please if you are on Twitter press the tweet button below. If you re-write and tweet individual story headlines don’t forget to include #F1.

You may not realise how hugely important this is and has helped grow our community significantly

Judgeless Court (07:00)

FIA approves Pirelli tyre test (07:00)

Quo Vadis, Lotus? (07:00)

Da Costa joins BMW DTM squad (07:30)

Ferrari wins something at last (12:00)

Judgeless Court

As you might have noticed, in contrast to Thursday, yesterday’s news list was somewhat sparsely populated and less grumpy than usual. Well, first and foremost you can’t really write a grumpy piece of comment on a day when one of the most inspiring persons in history has left us. Secondly, as the F1 circus is now on its short hiatus until winter testing commences at Jerez de la Frontera, news are generally harder to come by. And the third reason is that the Judge’s office is currently deserted.

In contrast to popular belief, his Honour wasn’t sent down to us by the gods in a glowing ball of shimmering light – he was actually born the natural way. To celebrate the anniversary of that event, he’s off for a few nights of debauchery, mostly getting hogwashly bladdered probably. Meanwhile the rest of us will try to hold the fort until his Honour is back.

(back to top)

FIA approves Pirelli tyre test

After they were done confirming Napoleon of France for another term, the FIA delegates of the world council found the time to do something uncharacteristically useful and issued a permit for Pirelli to conduct a three day tyre test using 2013 cars at Bahrain from Dec. 17th to Dec. 19th. Albeit forbidden by the regulations, with FIA’s blessing this test can now be conducted without anyone having to fear that they’ll accidentally miss a young drivers test later on.

Which teams will be present to run the cars has not yet been finally decided, although it is mostly believed that Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren will provide personell and machinery. To make sure that the additional running is not used for other purposes than to help out Pirelli, the other teams will be permitted to send observers and all gathered data will be shared among all teams.

(back to top)

Quo Vadis, Lotus?

It’s nearing that time of the year, when most of us will have to start staggering through the city aimlessly in search of some shiny trinkets to buy for family and other relatives. If you’ve met a ragged group of street singers with an Oxfordshire accent in your local town lately, it may have been the Lotus management trying to earn a few quid to pay their workforce.

At least partly they seem to have succeeded as the majority of unpaid wages has been handed over to the team members with the rest to follow, probably when the “Eric singers” have tormented the unsuspecting visitors of another shopping mall. Word from Enstone is that yesterday was the final deadline for Quantum to come up with the dough they promised as early as mid-season. Those who expect to be visited by a fat guy in late December, who roars into town on a non-IATA-approved airborne sleigh, might join Genii boss Gerard Lopez in believing that this will actually happen, but most of us without a habit of licking windows at night have long abandoned any hope of that actually happening.

That means the only realistic option for Boullier, Lopez & Co. is to find another investor in a darn hurry or they’ll repeat Lotus history and go bust, like the original team did after the 1994 season.

(back to top)

Da Costa joins BMW DTM squad

When it came to selecting a replacement for Daniel Ricciardo at Toro Rosso, Antonio Felix da Costa lost out to Daniil Kvyat of Russia. He will be retained as Red Bull’s test driver, but as the case of Davide Valsecchi proved quite unmistakably, such a role is even more ceremonial only than being President of Germany.

In a bid to find track time, Da Costa attended a DTM test with BMW earlier this week and his results were so convincing that he was offered the seat of touring car veteran Andy Priaulx immediately. Priaulx, who’s success in DTM has been less than flattering in the last two years will change to BMW’s american sportscar project, making way for Da Costa to drive the new 2014 BMW M4 DTM next year.

This move continues a peculiar history of Red Bull youngsters in BMW service. A certain Sebastian Vettel, part of the Red Bull junior program since age 11 served as BMW’s F1 test driver and made his F1 debut with the Munich outfit, before he returned to the mother ship in a Toro Rosso overall.

(back to top)

Ferrari wins something at last

When it came to be driven on the track this year’s Ferrari challenger didn’t really set the world on fire, but whenever it became stationary, things looked much better. Sky Sports F1 handed over a pitstop award to the Scuderia, who was the most consistent team when it came to servicing its cars. While their rivals in the Red Bull box snatched the record time at Austin, nobody came close to Ferrari’s level of consistency. 53 times out of 90 they serviced their cars in under 2.5 seconds and only 11 stops all season took longer than 3 seconds. Of those eleven, several were repair or emergency stops, like Alonso’s DRS failure at Bahrain or Massa’s blown tyres at Bahrain and Silverstone.

The average service time for Alonso’s car was 2.44 seconds, that of Massa’s just 0.05 slower at 2.49, both below the magical 2.5 mark, which separates a good from a great stop.

(back to top)

42 responses to “Daily #F1 News & Comment: Saturday, 7th December 2013

    • Wouldn’t that be great (if he enjoyed some real DTM success)?? I always feel bad for the drivers who don’t make it into F1 despite great promise, even though we know only a few can progress, so if they can continue in another series/spec, and be successful, well…that’d be nice. Good luck to him!

  1. First of all, Happy Birthday Judge!!
    Second Danilo, after working basically all night (analyzing pipe line footage) i was woken, after just an hour of sleep, by my youngest son who changed his mind and would really like me, instead of his mother, to take him to judo practice.

    But your hilarious piece of writing made me laugh so hard, the energy started flowing again (and a few esprsso’s of course), so thanks for that Danilo, great stuff!

  2. What does the sentence: “most of us without a habit of licking windows at night” mean? I’ve never heard that before. And as one with english not as his native tongue I’m a bit confused about that. Please elaborate.

      • Danilo, do you think that Lopez 1) has been naive/stupid; or 2) willfully deceiving himself b/c he can’t handle psychologically the reality that their F1 project is going to fall apart; or 3) has he been lying about the investors’ reliability (lying publicly and privately) (despite knowing Quantumm was fantasy) in hopes of both motivating and confounding other potential sponsors or investors and getting them to commit real dollars?


        Which of the three?

        • I think it is a mixture of all of these factors. Lotus hasn’t really had much luck with potential sponsors. Ever wondered about all those bright red bits of the Lotus livery? They were meant for Honeywell, which wanted to become a major sponsor. That deal fell through as well.
          I think they were getting increasingly desperate as any business man with half a brain would have given up on that shady deal a long time ago.

        • “Word from Enstone is that yesterday was the final deadline for Quantum…”

          Yesterday, Friday December 6th was 6 months (exactly 26 weeks) since Lotus’ official announcement that Genii sold 35% of Lotus to Quantum / Infinity (Friday, June 18th).

          It helps to remember that Lotus announced Infinity’s ownership status as a fait accompli. The lead sentence of Lotus’ press release was, “Lotus… has new part-owners as of today, with Infinity Racing… acquiring a 35% minority stake in the team.” That verb tense is important… it was not announced as future tense, (such as Infinity will acquire…), but as present tense (as of today).

          We can speculate that Eric Lux (the bar-fighting CEO of Genii) legally agreed to give partial ownership of Lotus F1 to Quantum without receiving any money.

          Genii’s stated long-term goal with Lotus F1 is to build value in the Enstone team, and then sale it for a profit.

          If there is another buyer interested in Lotus F1, they would be wise to wait until the Quantum issue is resolved before they start negotiating to purchase the team. It’s hard to negotiate the purchase of an entity if it’s not known who actually owns it.

          It’s worth noting that there is not a press release from Genii, nor Lotus F1 about the window closing for Genii to complete their purchase. That leads one to speculate that there may be a pending legal battle between Genii and Quantum…

          Joe – Regarding your series of questions to Danilo, it appears that Genii (Eric Lutz and Gerard Lopez), at best, was unwise in how they structured their agreement with Infinity / Quantum.

          • “Joe – Regarding your series of questions to Danilo, it appears that Genii (Eric Lutz and Gerard Lopez), at best, was unwise in how they structured their agreement with Infinity / Quantum.”

            thanks Vortex. And very interesting observation regarding the precise language of the initial press release, the lack of a “closing window” follow-up press release, and what that might mean for a pending legal battle. The subtleties of language are fascinating!

        • With all due respect, but that sounds like PC malarkey to me. I’ve encountered this phrase in spoken and written English and it was never used in a derogatory context. It was always used to describe someone, who does something obviously stupid, more precisely, someone, who should’ve known better.

          If you really try, you can put just about any word in a derogatory context, but I think from the text it is obvious, what context the phrase is used in.

          • Hey Danilo, you do what you want. I’m not trying to be difficult or embarras you.

            I’ve given you the info. A quick Google search will confirm.

            The PC gone mad angle is not a valid defence here.

          • window licking can apparently also mean “window-shopping” per urban dictionary:


            But I wouldn’t take urban dictionary as a reliable source, given that I succeeded in getting “enviro fascist” defined there:


            Danilo, I think you’re fine and any objections to window-licking as being “derogatory” I would suspect as being based at least partly on political correctness, as even the wikipedia reference to window-licking is totally unsourced and not supported by any reliable third-party unbiased professional references:


          • Hi guys, I can’t comment on how “window licker” is interpreted in other countries but in the UK it is a highly derogatory term used to describe someone as stupid by likening them to someone who is disabled. It’s similar to terms like “retard” or “spaz”; you might hear it said in very informal situations, particularly in playgrounds by children teasing/insulting one another, but it would definitely not be acceptable to say it in more formal situations or in front of someone you don’t know all that well.

            P.S. I don’t normally comment on blogs but I really enjoy the contributions to TJ13, particularly the international perspectives, and so thought it best to warn others of phrases that might lead them to unwittingly cause offence if repeated elsewhere.

          • Hi Joe.

            Please take a look my first link, its from the BBC. There are many more examples also.

            My intention was the same as Lynn’s.

            No intent to embarrass anyone meant.

        • Hi Colin – thanks for circling back and suggesting I view the BBC page. To clarify, I hadn’t ascribed any malicious intent to your original comment objecting to window-licking, and thought you were simply trying to be helpful. Just like I was trying to contribute by sharing the perspective that “window licking” was not a term that I thought was personally offensive and that there were other uses/meanings for it. I think the Wikipedia says it best in explaining the difficulty w/ disability related terms that may have negative connotations (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_disability-related_terms_with_negative_connotations):

          “There is a great deal of disagreement as to what should be considered offensive. Views vary with geography and culture, over time, and among individuals. Many terms that some people view as offensive are not viewed as offensive by others, and even where some people are offended by certain terms, others may be offended by the replacement of such terms with what they consider to be euphemisms (e.g., “differently abled” or “special needs”). Some people believe that terms should be avoided if they might offend people; others hold the listener responsible for misinterpreting terms used with non-offensive intent.”

          So context is key, and by his own statements clearly the context in which Danilo used the term was not meant to offend, marginalize or malign the mentally handicapped or physically disabled. And at the same time, you (and Lynn) provided useful insight into this term and made us aware that – especially in UK – “window-licking” has negative connotations for segments of the population.

          What was VERY interesting from the BBC link you provided (http://www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/play/worst-words-vote.shtml) was this
          observation by Peter White, BBC Disability Affairs Correspondent in 2003 at the time of the post, that “that ‘Window-licker’, which was third in the poll, was actually the least offensive amongst disabled people.” (!!!) He wrote:

          “It’s interesting the extent to which some of the big differences are shown in the words lower down the vote – the fact that ‘Window-licker’, which was third in the poll, was actually the least offensive amongst disabled people. Looking at the results, it seems that disabled people are more forgiving if there’s an element of humour to the word – whereas non-disabled people aren’t. I’m always very sceptical when I get letters from people who aren’t disabled telling me that they’ve been offended by a particular word – because where does the offence come from if they haven’t been told what to be offended by? It must be a learned response.”

          • As I said already Joe, I’ve provided the info. All can do what they see fit to do with it.

            The term is used to slag mentally able people by referring to them as mentally disabled. Or in a derogatory way to describe mentally disabled people. It is not considered acceptable behaviour in the UK.

            For the last time, I wasn’t trying to have a go at Danilo. Context doesn’t really matter. What does matter is what happens after someone is informed. As previously stated, I used the term in the same way Danilo did until I was enlightened as to what it meant. I was embarrised initially, hence my statement that I wasn’t trying to embarriss Danilo, and that if I had a private email address for him I would have contacted him this way.

            So let’s not debate it any further. The term is offensive in the UK. Lynn put it far more elequently than myself so maybe read her post again. I believe that Danilo had zero intention in offending anyone.

            The info is out there now, we all have our own ethical and moral compass – everyone can choose to use the term or not.

            Can we just get back to F1??

    • Presumably the writer comes from a cold country – my brother-in-law is a doctor in Canada and treats a number of children each winter who learn the hard way that you should not lick the window in minus 20 temperatures, ouch!

      Hard to see how a tyre test with 2013 chassis and 2014 tyres is going to be really useful, unless they are allowed to alter the cars to simulate the new weight distribution and maybe re-map the engines and to produce the sort of torque v bhp that the 2014 “power train” is expected to deliver?

      • The 2013 cars have much more downforce than the 2011 ones, which were used for tyre testing so far, so they are able to put the highest possible load on the tyres. It’s of course not the ideal solution, but better than using hopelessly outdated designs for testing.

        • Thanks for that, but I thought the main problem as seen by Pirelli was the increased torque expected with the new engines – oops, sorry, power trains!

          • Pirelli have been clear in the last few weeks that they’re working at reducing marbles (tearing is their tire engineering word for it). They’re concerned because the easiest way to reduce marbles is to reduce grip. But they want to maintain grip, so they now have an excellent chemical engineering challenge.

            It will be interesting to see how the FIA regulate this test (if at all), beyond giving their (tacit) blessing.

            I’m curious why this list includes McLaren but not Mercedes.

            Pirelli previously indicated they were settled on the tire structure, and so this test will be a tire compounds test. It will be interesting to see how many compounds they actually test. It will also be interesting to see how the data is managed.

          • Pretty sure something is going to come off the tires, be it marbles or dust or strings and whatever that stuff is, it will reduce the grip of those travelling off line. Though if it’s dust, not so liable to clog up the expensive aero kit, so maybe that’s why..

          • Yes, you’re quite correct Mattpt55… it would be dust instead of marbles. And dust is the goal, as there is a much lower penalty for a racer to go off line when the tire residue is dust vs when tires throw off chunks or strips of rubber.

    • “Pretty obvious to me now why Lewis sacked his father….”

      — actually though, is it really obvious why Lewis specifically split from his father? I don’t think it is, b/c whilst it sounds terrible the way A.H. admits to being willing to manipulate others on behalf of his client (whilst refraining from committing fraudulent or illegal acts), and he should never have said that so explicitly on-the-record, the reality is he still secured very good deals all-around for Lewis whilst managing him.

      We know two dissatisfactions Lewis had w/ his McLaren deal were 1) that he was limited in how he could exploit his personality rights for commercial gain and 2) that he couldn’t keep his trophies. Ok, those are definitely not trivial points but it’s difficult to imagine that a different manager in Anthony’s position would’ve been able to resolve #2 when Lewis first signed w/ Macca, given that has been the team’s policy forever and supposedly not Senna, not Häkkinen, none of those guys got their original drivers’ trophies either. And I don’t know if a different agent/manager could’ve negotiated more latitude to exploit personality rights, given that Macca is also super-notorious for restricting their drivers’ abilities to do just that, but supposedly in exchange for more salary largesse.

      So why did Lewis sack his father? Please explain what you know that I don’t b/c I’m not as familiar w/ the story as many others. Is it b/c Anthony wouldve been willing to manipulate others to get the best deal for Lewis? Or did Anthony commit some crime on Lewis’s behalf? Or actually criminally-victimize/exploit his son?

      Please advise…

  3. “A TV station handed over a pitstop award to the Scuderia”…. Is mention of Sky Sports F1 banned for some reason?

  4. Time to start the competition for wildest off season speculation.

    Lotus sold to Brawn for $1, he brings in his favorite team and they show up at the winter tire test with the fastest car.

    Heard it here first LOL.

        • I enjoyed it a lot, Colin – thanks for sharing. And the comparison to “Climb Dance” is a good one. Funnily enough, I watched that film of Ari Vatanen for the first time earlier this year.

          I think that it’s very easy for amateur and professional “filmmakers” alike to succumb to “cheesiness” in their attempts to create ” artsy” or atmospheric, inspiring or dramatic motorsports shorts that mix incredible visuals w/ whatever the term is that describes the kind of music we hear in the background of this video, but in this case McLaren got it right!

          I’ll have to check my bookmarks to see if I have saved the link to another short that that I really liked that had a great moment of “build” in it. If I do have it, I’ll post the link here…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.