Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 20th December 2013

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Is Newey flustered?

TJ13 reader review

God help us

Mercedes raids Red Bull

Räikkönen only #2 at Ferrari?

The Landgrave’s Rant: LdM lashes out

Is Suzi Perry safe?

Is Newey flustered?

Adrian Newey tells Autosport he is frustrated at the increasing regulations on F1 car design and suggests the sport may be stagnating because of this.

I’d have some sympathy here were it the case that Newey and Red Bull accept the cards they are dealt and crack on. But no – they lobby for Pirelli to change the tyres because the aerodynamics didn’t work on the RB9.

Back in 2009, it was bottom lips dragging along the floor in Milton Keynes as they vehemently protested the double diffuser loophole found by Brawn and others. By the end of that year their car was developing far quicker than anyone else and had they quit moaning early season and developed their own double diffuser quicker, the title count for Vettel and the Bulls may now be 5.

It’s still amusing to many that the mighty Red Bull operation were beaten in 2009 by a team with no money or sponsors and a hand me down car from Honda.

On the one hand Newey claims he accepts the frequent intervention of the regulators, I think it’s part of the game and I don’t mind investing and being knocked back. We were all of the view the f-duct was probably going to get banned at the end of the season and it seemed likely the double diffuser was going to get banned at the end of the subsequent season as well.

You make a decision as to whether you want to invest heavily in pursuing that technology knowing it could be banned fairly quickly or whether you concentrate on other areas that will last longer.”

Yet deep down it appears Ade may be a little flustered over the 2014 regulation changes.

“I think what’s more of a shame is that most of these things when they’re banned – the exhaust being a very good example – it’s actually just further restrictions. That’s a shame and a danger that if the regulations continue to become ever more restrictive we’ll eventually get the point where the car’s more or less designed by the rulebook”.

What complete nonsense. Newey has exploited exhaust gas blowing for several years now and mastered it better than anyone else – with a huge budget to boot. It’s time to put that technology which benefits no one to bed.

Ade, those days are over… and its time to move on

Newey argues, “One of the big things that differentiates Formula 1 from almost all other sports, with perhaps the exception of the Americas Cup, is that combination of man and machine. You can have a great car with an average driver and you won’t win, a great driver with an average car you won’t win. It’s about both”.

Indeed most genius designer – so go design the next generation of F1 cars to beat the rest under the new regulations.

But Ade appears to be longing for yesteryear. He concludes his position on the ‘great driver and great car’ philosophy by stating, “If you judge this season and indeed last season the blend seems to be about right.”

In the purest sense, why do we need any regulations at all? Yes, there is merit to this argument, were the playing field somewhat more level in terms of resource.

However for arguments sake, given infinite resource, what stops a team building a car that can be guaranteed to qualify on pole and then create such a dirty wash of air from the rear that even another car with 100 BHP advantage can’t get by.

That is merely one example of how unlimited spend and no design regulations would return us to watching Schumacher and his bitches trailing around in P1-2 week after week and sending all the little Lewis’ of the world back to sleep.

Do we detect an air of panic in Newey’s rhetoric? The America’s Cup gets another mention too. Is project Red Bull Racing F1 beginning to lose their desire and edge? Has the momentum been lost and will it all begin to unravel?

Bring on 2014!!!! Then we’ll see whether the Newey tears are genuine or just as manipulative as they were over double diffusers and Pirelli 2013 tyres.


TJ13 reader review

TJ13 tries to cater for everyone, and during the festive season when there’s little going on – namely any money coming to Lotus from Quantum – those of you who wish to indulge in a nostalgic review of the year and maybe even previous years too.

Anything goes (God help us) share your favourite moments from F1 or even any motorsport event as we settle in around the fire and under the lights of the Christmas tree.

So what was the overtake of the year? I know this is not F1 – and for God’s sake nobody send the link to Ecclestone, the FIA or FOM and give them ideas – but here’s one which if you think about it, must have scared the hell out of those involved.

This is not technically an overtake by Grosjean, though the others trundling by are clearly safe and sound and most amused.

Then we had Santander this year bringing us an anthem we could all sing along to. #Forza Ferrar. Here’s a version remixed by Dan Bull but please…. if you are reading from Abi Dhabi – hear ‘Rose Water’ and not ‘Champagne’.


God help us

Having given Eddie Irvine some stick for refusing to watch F1 ever again, I have slightly more sympathy today of his irritation for the ridiculous.

The outpouring of concern, abuse and hatred towards Pirelli for Nico Rosberg’s tyre failure is completely beyond the pale.

Jennie Gow of the BBC tweeted, “Yes a tyre failed today in Bahrain but surely, that is the whole point of a tyre test…Why such anger out there in #F1 land?”

This solicited the following responses, because it puts drivers at risk.. They shouldn’t be blowing out at 200mph”. Another respondent said, “maybe because F1 drivers should not be guinea pigs? Poor safety is ok at a test? They were lucky today”.

Who are these people? Do they not realise something like 7 people died minding their own business cycling in London last month.

I’m with DS who commented today that, modern society is breeding the ridiculous.


Mercedes raids Red Bull

Having failed to beat them on the track, the opposition seems hell-bent on raiding Red Bull on the personell front. They lost aerodynamicist Peter Podromou to Mclaren, and now Mercedes has thrown money at two more high profile RB engineers. Mark Ellis, chief engineer of vehicle dynamics and Giles Wood, chief engineer for simulation and analysis will both work for Mercedes next year, which already employ most of all engineers and managers in F1. Red Bull has now lost three key figures of its engineering team and that will neatly show how much of the car is really down to Adrian Newey.


Räikkönen only #2 at Ferrari?

It appears that Ferrari is ready to throw their last world champion under the bus. At the traditional Ferrari christmas dinner, Luca di Montezemolo made it clear that he won’t accept another defeat. “I’m fed up coming second,” he is quoted by German paper Sport Bild. With the opening of the (hopefully) repaired and recalibrated windtunnel and the recruitment of new personell, things should be set for the Scuderia to return to the top. But if LdM’s words are any indication, Kimi won’t like it.

“We signed Kimi, because we need a fast and experienced driver. He knows that he is in the second half of his career. He is strong in the race an can take points off Fernando’s opponents. Kimi’s presence will be important, so that Fernando is not left alone in his fight for top positions and important points.”

Welcome to Felipe’s dressing room, Kimi.


The Landgrave’s Rant: LdM lashes out

It looks like Luca di Montezemolo was in a jolly good mood at the Ferrari Christmas dinner as relegating Kimi to Felipe 2.0 was not the only thing the nobleman had to say.

Strike 1: He doesn’t want Vettel – not before 2016. “Vettel is very quick, focused, wants to win. I like his approach: no manager, no politics. That’s a good approach.” the Scuderias boss acknowledges, but rules out a signing for the time being. “I have a lot of problems, but my #1 driver is not one of them. I like Vettel a lot as a person, but we are currently not planning with him. We can talk about that in two years.”
Well, crickey, Vettel’s contract runs out in two years…

Strike 2: Fernando shall take a page out of Michael Schumacher’s book. That’s Luca’s way of telling Fernando to look up the term ‘team player’ on a Wikipedia. “Fernando knows that he is not driving for himself, but for Ferrari. His biggest achievement was to come in second in a car that wasn’t (even) second best in the second half of the season. From time to time he was frustrated because of that. I understand that. But it is important to acknowledge that you not only win together but lose together, too. Michael has shown how it is done between 1996 and 1999.”
The Landgrave is unphased by rumours about Fernando’s return to McLaren. “Unfortunately I cannot debate with my friend Ron Dennis. That would be good for the press, but Fernando has a contract until 2016. My only concern is to give him a better car.”
Since Fernando will be ‘in the second half of his career’ in 2016, the time you start considering Vettel, will ‘nando be asked to ‘take points of Sebs opponents’? Hm Luca?

Strike 3: Kimi is #2 – see previous news item

Strike 4: Mercedes cheated! Repeatedly di Montezemolo lambasts Mercedes’ illegal tyre test and ridicules the ‘punishment’. “I didn’t like that one team was allowed to do a tyre test. The FIA didn’t react appropriately. It’s their job to investigate and act if someone cheats.”
Recap: Although Ferrari ran ‘secret’ tyre tests themselves at Bahrain and Barcelona, they used 2011 cars as allowed by the rules, while Mercedes illegally used current 2013 cars. The Ferrari tests in fact weren’t even run by the Scuderia itself, but by Corse Clienti, Ferrari’s subsidy responsible for running older cars for rich gits. The Scuderia merely let CC borrow test driver Pedro de la Rosa.

Strike 5: Luca doesn’t like the double-points FIA brain fart. “I’m not a friend of the double points idea. That’s too artificial. I wouldn’t be surprised if that rule is abolished again very soon.
Hm, Luca, so why does Dr. Marko claim that your squad and Mercedes voted ‘Aye’ in the strategy group meeting?

Strike 6: Luca doesn’t like losing. I’m fed up coming second. We have improved our windtunnel and have better personell now. We have everything we need.”
Vettel will disagree – at least until 2016…


Is Suzi Perry safe?

It would be fair to say that the lovely Suzi Perry did not have the best of years in her new role as BBC F1 anchor. The wardrobe department began the year by changing her cool leather biker chic image to one found in the Miss Marple sets.

Even by the end of the year, Suzi was still struggling in Brazil to listen to voices in her head ear, ear hold a sensible conversation with anyone whilst avoiding fork lift trucks and being blasted away when engines were fired up.

Is Suzi safe for another year? No one knows. Yet unlike those brutal Italians who sack people before Christmas, the BBC has a more genteel tradition and would wait until after New Year.

In an extensive announcement today which waxes lyrical on how wonderful the BBC coverage is, Ben Gallop, BBC head of F1, said: “It has been another great year for F1 on the BBC.

We’re now very much looking forward to 2014 and feel we have a strong package for our TV coverage. This format of both live and highlights is attracting a wide range of viewers and we hope to see even more people tuning in next year to experience the magic of Formula 1.”

No idea who will be delivering the strong package then yet Ben?

The races the BBC will cover live are:-

30 March: Malaysia

11 May: Spain

8 June: Canada

6 July: Britain

24 August: Belgium

7 September: Italy

5 October: Japan

12 October: Russia

23 November: Abu Dhabi


95 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 20th December 2013

  1. “Who are these people? Do they not realise something like 7 people died minding their own business cycling in London last month…I’m with DS who commented today that, modern society is breeding the ridiculous.”
    This. One of the things I really like about our F1 community here is the lack of crazy talk and vitriol. Not sure if it’s always been like that, but it makes for a genuinely refreshing change.

    Keep up the good work everyone!

  2. the worst accident of recent times has to be that of Webber in Valencia 2010. He had no complaints after, just saying that every driver is aware of the dangers when you enter the car. Exactly the no nonsense attitude we came to expect from him.

  3. Is Newey flustered?

    Newey argues, “One of the big things that differentiates Formula 1 from almost all other sports, with perhaps the exception of the Americas Cup, is that combination of man and machine. You can have a great car with an average driver and you won’t win, a great driver with an average car you won’t win. It’s about both”.

    Or talking total bullshit ?

    I guess living in F1 la la land – he forgot about all the other motorsports where this is also true, such as motorcycling, rallying, WEC, WTC, etc., etc., etc.

    And the last time I looked, an Americas Cup boat was crewed by more than one person …..

    • Moto GP has far fewer changes year on year than F1.

      Formula One is one of the most technologically advanced sports. Also, I think it’s had to say the input of 1 person goes into an F1 car. Driver as well as engineer, mechanics, factory workers, etc

    • Despite his engineering brilliance, I find myself wondering about some of Newey’s comments in the recent past. I wonder if he is taking a cue or two from Bernie’s skills..

  4. Re: Newey’s Regs. comment.
    It occurs to me Newey might have been saying: When a regulation causes a ‘problem’ the FIA introduces a new / second regulation to remove the problem rather than going back and removing / amending the original reg. – it’s always ‘an addition to’… which invariably simply raises a new, different problem… and often introduces more loop-holes… which result in yet more regs…

  5. On reactions to the Pirelli tyre test failure: My frustration with this and almost every other ‘thing’ on the internets is the almost-uniformly boneheaded binary responses. Everything is either “Meh. No big deal. Nothing to see here. Who gives a f*ck!” or its all like “OMFG! FMG! WTF! Worst. Thing. Ever.” Any response with a touch of subtlety, nuance and depth which requires more than a few brain cells to absorb is completely drowned in an avalanche of bullshit.
    Pirelli’s tyre failure in Bahrain was / is a big deal. It wasn’t just one of those things. It wasn’t the end of the road for Pirelli. It was a serious failure that will no doubt be thoroughly investigated. Nico shouldn’t have been surprised that there was a failure of some kind given the nature of the exercise, but I’m sure the scale / speed got his attention. Maybe next time round he’ll swap his fancy silver, flameproof pyjamas in for something made from brown corduroy.

    • I think the problem here is, that it blew on a straight. In Silverstone the tyres exploded right after a corner, which was later determined to be caused by a curb. But a tyre blowing up, where it should theoretically be subjected to the least strain – a straight – is quite a big deal.

      • Seriously… Isn’t this the point of the tyre test? To see which tyres are any good and which are not?

        Having a blowout in the middle of 17 empty Wallmart car parks, with the entire Arabian desert – sand hills and all – as a run off area… Gees!

        • So you are ok with them using drivers a guinea pigs? Even if we’ve been lucky and the last driver death was 20 years ago, doesn’t mean that a tyre company should be allowed to send drivers out on tyres that just blow up like that. At 320 kph, you can’t just pull the hand brake.

          • How else can they test the tyres correctly if not on the cars, on the track, driven by a racing driver? It has to be done, cause clearly no amount of simulated data is ever going to be a substitute for real on-track evaluation. Isn’t this the entire purpose of the test ?

            Someone has to be in the car, and surely its better that it’s the most qualified person for the job ie: the best drivers in the world, rather than the teams send out the mechanics or the caterer 😉

            Worse case scenario, there’s a crash – F1 of today is so safe compared to even Senna’s day that the likelyhood of a driver being killed is fairly remote. That’s not being “lucky”, luck has nothing to do with it. The cars and tracks have evolved from the rules to be this safe. F1 will always be dangerous but relative to the days of old, that level of danger is now fairly minimal, and inside an F1 car has proven to be safer than being inside an indycar for example, and also safer than being a trackside marshall.

          • Bullcrap. The tyre can be subjected to the same forces on a testing rig that it is subjected to on the track. A tyre test should be used to test how the tyre degrades and how it handles over a certain number of laps, not if it blows up or not. A tyre blowing up for no reason whatsoever is inexcusable and knowingly sending a driver out on such a thing borders on attempted manslaughter. The fact that Pirelli immediately scrapped the compound is telling enough. They were abusing the drivers as lab rats.

          • I’m with bender on this one. A test is there to test stuff. Things one cannot test in a workshop. The real life is always different from a simulation. This isn’t the first time something new got tested, that turned out to be a bit dangerous. Remember arrows’ x wing in monaco? And who says the tire blew up for no reason? You don’t know what happend. Maybe there was some pick up of debris. Who knows… They’ll research it.

          • Ah, so if I pay you 10M I have the right to risk your life? Sorry, mister, but whether or not a tyre can withstand the forces it is subjected to is something that should be tested on a testing rig. As soon as it is nailed to a car it should be clear that except for external influences (curbs, debris) it should cope with the strain. The test is meant to determine the charactericstics of the tyre, not if it works at all.

          • buznic,

            The thing is, Pirelli is NOT going to research it. This is what they said: “We tested several prototypes at Bahrain. These tyres were very innovative in terms of structure and construction. The goal was to find solutions best suited to 2014. After an elimination process at least one compound won’t be considered anymore.”

            That’s as cynical as it gets.

          • I’m going to back Danilo in this one. As an engineer, I test machinery and equipment, in the real world we go to jail if we kill somebody doing the kind of things Pirelli is doing, and we lose our jobs if we are caught doing unsafe tests even if nobody is hurt. Tests in real conditions -e.g. with people operating machinery- is only done after testing in controlled situations, in a testing rig, has been done and one can be sure that everything is safe. As Danilo points testing in real conditions is for finding performance levels and improving processes, never to find out if something works. There’s, of course, exceptions, where the risks are always there and can only be avoided up to certain point, as while testing military aircrafts, but tyres can be tested in testing rigs until they blowout. One can say that motor racing is implicitly risky but clearly Pirelli has shown incompetency since they started supplying tyres to Formula 1. E.g. one of the things that caught my attention was their decision to use soft wall tyres for 2013, a no-no for this level of motor racing -I discussed it somewhere around January 2013 and predicted blowouts in Silverstone or Spa, I was told by the majority I didn’t know what I was saying back then-.
            They are supposed to be testing next year’s tyres, a more conservative tyre, yet a tyre blewout, that opens the option to think that something is wrong with the basic design/construction of the tyres. One can expect tyres not having grip, degrading too much or too little, not reaching ideal temperature as expected, etc., all that has to do with performance, but the basic struture of the tyre is something that you calculate, using safety factors, then test in testing rigs and are absolutely sure that is OK before any tyre reach a track. Yes, an accident can happen every once in a while, but this is not an isolated event, it’s the norm with Pirelli. IndyCar also uses tyres that degrade a lot to force the teams to pit, but we don’t hear of constant problems with them.

            * * *

            Mmmhh… so Judge 13 isn’t Bernie but he is an insider… maybe Paul Hembery???? 🙂

          • My only issue with your comment is that it implies Pirelli didn’t test these tires prior to running them. Yet the fact of the matter is we (or at least I) don’t know if that is the case or not (and if you do know please fill us in) and that those who are slagging Pirelli in this instance, are doing so based their actions in stopping use of the compound that failed on Nico’s car, which is what any responsible party would do in that circumstance. As to the other decisions they have taken, well Pirelli have supplies tires for a variety of other Motorsport without issue (or at least none of which I’m aware) which seem to work fine. What I will point out is that unlike every other manufacturer discussed, Pirelli have had extremely limited opportunity to develop data based on current technology, which may account for the larger discrepancy between their test results and reality.

            Viz other failures, I’m surprised no one has yet brought up the double rear suspension failure Sebastian Buemi suffered several years ago in the Toro Rosso. I believe the race was in China, but I didn’t see the entire circus jump all over TR for putting improperly tested/designed parts on their car (though SB did look pretty miffed of his way back to the paddock). And that was a failure that had a high likelihood for driver injury if ever I saw one.

          • DS had a long night and tried to get into bed in the wrong house… He’s grumpy today.

            Of course Pirelli haven’t just grabbed some rubber and melted it into a tyre with the power of the sun and a magnifying glass.

            Shit happens in F1. Better a tyre failure on a straight with 100,000 hectares of Tarmac around you, than a failure in San Marino – which cost a life…

        • This was the attitude people had before Senna died . The cars are sooo safe these days, nothing can happen. Two people died that weekend and Rubens was bloody lucky not to be the third.
          F1 is and always will be dangerous. That doesn’t mean we have to push our luck.

          • Brilliant! Are people really suggesting that Pirelli deliberately sent the drivers out on tyres that they knew/strongly suspected were going to fail? To what end? Only in-depth analysis of the data and debris will reveal the answers, but why wait for that? It’s going to be compound, construction, or damage picked-up elsewhere on track. File under: No more dangerous than testing KERS. Anyway, if one doesn’t think that drivers should be exposed to any kind of risk, why watch a sport based upon racing 22 mobile testing laboratories? I’m sure there’s an NCAP world championship somewhere out there, for the faint-of-heart.

          • Why then didn’t Pirelli wait for the ‘in-depth analysis of the data and debris’, but rather chose to scrap the compound right there and then? They knew they had pushed the envelope and a driver nearly had to pay for that. Where I come from that is considered utterly irresponsible.

          • Hey, Danilo, it’s Christmas… Chill a little… Repeating yourself until you get the last word doesn’t necessarily make you right… 😉

          • Danilo, I see your point and your stance was my first impression of this incident as well. Pirelli’s seemingly super-quick dumping of the failed compound seemed to suggest they were not surprised by the failure. I’m not suggesting they were expecting a failure but maybe they knew it was a dicey compound.
            But F1 is an extremely dangerous sport and the drivers participate knowing this. A tyre (or any type of…) failure has to be seen as a hazard of any professional race drivers day job.
            Did everyone angrily scream for wheel covers when Webber re-enacted his Le-Mans flip in an F1 car. I can’t remember if Kubica’s crash at Montreal was caused by a driver error or a part failure but a failure would really help my argument about now……

            Pirelli’s reaction seemed questionable, but the drivers know the risks when they sign the contract, and when they cash their pay-check.

  6. ” A tyre blowing up for no reason whatsoever is inexcusable and knowingly sending a driver out on such a thing borders on attempted manslaughter. The fact that Pirelli immediately scrapped the compound is telling enough. They were abusing the drivers as lab rats. ”
    Come on, Danilo. “No reason whatsoever”. So you’ve analysed all the data and come to the amazing conclusion that the tyre spontaneously failed? “Knowingly sending a driver out”. Again, to what end? An unofficial spot-check crash test? “The fact that Pirelli immediately scrapped the compound is telling enough”. All that it tells the casual observer, your good self included, is that Pirelli were responsible enough to immediately stop using a compound/construction that had just failed in a test situation. “They were abusing the drivers as lab rats”. Words fail me on this one.

    • Have you read my other comments? Even Pirelli didn’t bother to research the reasons of the failure, they immediately scrapped the compound. They ruled it out indefinitely, not just temporarily. What more do you need to be convinced that they were experimenting with borderline compounds at the expense of the drivers’ safety?

        • This morning Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes was fitted with one of these prototypes, a tyre which had only been tested in the laboratory and which will not be proposed again.

          Pirelli’s words. Doesn’t sound like hearsay to me.

          • That just tells me that they tested several tyres, and one of them failed so they’re not going to continue down that avenue. I’m sure that they have analysed the tyre further to better understand the nature of the failure as they need to know if it was a failure of design, damage, or a problem with the manufacturing process.

          • Danilo, are we 100% sure that Pirelli just peeled the tyre out of its mould, did 0 testing on any test rigs, then just sent it out on track on a hunch that it was going to be brilliant?

          • …Mmm. A scientist friend of mine suggested to me once that to best understand the full and exact extent of the envelope… the envelope must be tested to destruction…

            Didn’t test pilots used to have to do that? Go beyond the envelope and at times bail out too?

          • Except that an F1 pilot doesn’t have an ejector seat. If it goes boom, bones crack or in the worst case you might die mildly. And test pilots do know that they risk their neck, they are paid for it. Nico is paid to drive a car really fast for Mercedes, not to die in a Pirelli experiment.

          • …well he didn’t and the fact the edge of that particular envelope has been found – it will reduce the likelehood of such an event during the season, or a busy winter testing session.

          • Hey!!! Here’s an idea.

            Just like the airforces of the world are saving lives by developing drones piloted remotely – why not do that with F1 cars – then no driver could ever die – other than from choking on a bratwurst with too much mustard while taking Eau Rouge flat out one handed…

          • take the piss all you like, lady, but I stand by my opinion. If you enter a race you know that you’re putting your life on the line, but that doesn’t mean drivers can be exposed to dangers, like ‘he could die tomorrow anyway’.
            I could die tomorrow of being hit by a car does that mean the electrical sockets in my house can remain unsecured, because I could die tomorrow anyway?
            Even in a dangerous job like F1 taking unneccessary risks is ridiculous, else people wouldn’t have gone to the lengths of developing ultra-safe monocoques. Doesn’t mean we need to test their effectiveness at the whim of an inept tyre supplier though.

          • …in some people’s opinion driving an F1 car is an unnecessary risk – better stop all together then no one will ever die.

            so who decides what level of risk is appropriate?

          • Driving an F1 car – that’s the risk the drivers signed up for, but going out on tyres that are border-line, that’s unneccessary. Making sure that a tyre can withstand any sort of force it’ll be subjected to is something that can be tested in a lab – has been working with aircraft wings for a century. No aircraft manufacturer would launch a prototype not knowinjg if the wings stay on. In fact they test their aircraft beyond what is reasonably expectable in service. Same should go for tyres that are expected to work on a vehicle that travels at 200mph. Simple as that.

          • you can’t replicate exactly in a lab what happens on track… Hembery repeatedly made this point during the season to the pint of boredom.

            Pirelli can easily build indestructible tyres – like indestructible wing analogy you use – but the grip levels would be useless for the V6 turbo engine torque.

            So they are trying to find the right balance between grip and wear. On that particular tyre they now know the durability is insufficient…

            no body died – or was even remotely likely to do so -no drama!!!

          • Tyre blowing at 320 kph. No matter how safe the cars are these days, getting away uninjured still is a matter of luck. Fcuk the grip level. If a driver has no grip, he can take the foot off the throttle, but if a fragile tyre blows up at top speed, he’s just a passenger.
            I would’ve expected them to start with no-grip undestructable tyres and then start working towards a grippier solution. You don’t try to find the limit from above. We are still talking about living persons here who are exposed to uneccessary risks.

          • “Tested in the laboratory”
            Which is precisely what you were suggesting they ought to have done.
            “Attempted manslaughter” – a novel legal idea. How does that work ?

          • That still doesn’t tell us the reason they decided not to take that design further. It may have been that leading up to the blow-out there were other things they noted that showed the tyre would not be an improvement over other designs.

            They will have lab tested the tyre to withstand forces greater than the 2013 cars could impart on it – why take them to the test if they didn’t pass these basic tests? Tests which can be done more easily in a lab then on the track.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if they come back in a week, a month, whatever, with the results of the investigation that show the reason for the blow-out, but they won’t know instantly that a design fault was the cause.

          • So why did they immediately dismiss the compound then? The pretty much instantly said, ‘we aint gonna use that thing again’.

          • using a living being to test if ‘it goes pop’ is quite cynical, isn’t it? That’s things you can test in a lab.

          • Oh I get it. The problem is that it was the racing driver who had this happen to him. If it was the test driver there was no problem. Cuz he does get payed to test. Problem —-> solution.

          • I know that you’ll run down Pirelli at every opportunity, Dan, and there’s no doubt that a tyre blowing at high speed is unfortunate, to say the least.

            But F1 is also all about prototype racing at every level – we’re just not so used to it leading to breakages as often as in the past. Mainly, I suspect, because all the teams and companies involved have such great engineers, understanding of their materials and sophisticated modelling.

            But failures happen. Front wings collapse, suspensions break and, yes, tyres burst. It happens. No-one is being unduly reckless, cavalier with safety or deserving of hyperbolic criticism. Calm the fuck down.

            I think it’s quite likely that we’ll see other failures in pre-season testing and early races give the changes in specs for 2014. Some of those might well be dangerous too. No, those won’t be intentional or reckless either. I wonder what you’ll say…

  7. “Ah, so if I pay you 10M I have the right to risk your life? “. Danilo, Danilo, every member of the armed forces is paid considerably less than £10M, and whilst they trust that their employers won’t expose them to any undue risk there’s always the possibility that mistakes will be made from time to time.

    • dobsizzle, are you daft? Of course being in the army is potentially dangerous. You don’t need to tell me that. I was part of the first ever German extra-territorial mission after WWII – Somalia ’92. Americans will vividly remember how that ended. But the death in the army usually comes from an enemy bullet, not because your unit decides to test an unproved weapon on your expense! What kind of analogy is that?

      • I wasn’t attempting to trivialise a serious topic, but, collectively, the military is the biggest funder of test programmes worldwide and, in wartime, sometimes innovations are rolled out onto the battlefield before they’ve been thoroughly tested.

  8. Can’t believe LdM said that about Kimi! Aye caramba, the iceman will not be a happy bunny…and that Lotus twitpic spings to mind now…!

      • Well, I’m a bit surprised that he says that even before 2014 begins, so publicly.
        His other comments also show me he’s scared of Merc for 2014. It seems he sees them as the main competition.

        • Well italians are always more emotional. I dont think he said it to put kimi down. He wants to see 1 2 finishes. But, as by ferrari policy, his no1 should be first. And his no2 should be second. He just doesn’t quit know how to bring this political correct.

          • .. I disagree – Il Padrino knows very well how to infer something – and get everyone marching to his drum beat…

            Luca knows well the tradition where a mere raised eyebrow from the Godfather was the difference between life and death…

            Kimi is now on board and there’s nothing kimi can do…

          • Luca held a gun to his head, and he assured him that either his brains or his signature would be on the contract. That’s a true story.

          • See, I told you he was a tool.

            Does he ever listen to himself? He has demotivated every single driver under his care since he became le grande fromage on Enzos death.

            I hope Fernando or Kimi tells him to f*** himself on a live feed during the year.

            An arschloch of the highest order……

            Seriously, how do these sociopathic clowns get to the top in business. It can’t all be down to being a sycophant, can it?

    • I think that is the best analysis of the LdM words:

      “James Allen Reply:
      December 20th, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      Humouring Alonso, but also knowing Raikkonen doesn’t care what is said, he knows what he’s doing there and he will do his best”

  9. I can understand people having all kinds of emotions because of the tyre tests, but I think Pirelli is suffering right now from mass hysteria.
    I have no doubt that Pirelli is not the first make of tyre to have failed either during a race or a test for that matter. But the fact remains that, they are being judged because of the recent tyre debacle not necessarily on merit.

    A test is a more controlled environment, than a race. While there does exist a risk factor, it is however minimal as opposed to a race where you have multiple potential for catastrophe, such as, marshals, spectators, filming crew, pit crew, even fellow competitors.
    The concept of a test, especially one in which varying test models are uses, ie cars, is to ensure that as much representative working variables are factored into a tyre design, as opposed to a static test which may not feature various dynamic loads unique to each vehicle and or circuit, hence, driver and sensor feedback is then used to improve the design model.

    Pirelli came into F1 at a time when testing had been all but eliminated. Hence, whatever little testing time available, was used to improve the vehicles to the detriment of the tyres. As a result, whatever data Pirelli was getting back, usually lacked consistency, like a shifting goal post.
    Michellin and Bridgestone pulled out of F1, no one chased them away and they had unlimited opportunity to carry out tests to improve on their tyres, something which Pirelli doesn’t enjoy.

    Like it or not, tests have to be carried out for man to make progress, and there are sometimes associated risks and the risk was well reduced by testing on a modern circuit, than at say monaco or Montreal.
    So Rosberg had a failure at 200mph, no doubt frightening, but imagine if that tyre had passed all test loads in a laboratory and it was brought straight to a race in 2014

  10. Either Newey is sandbagging in terms of 2014, bemoaning restrictions and what not (not that he pays any attention to them until the FIA notice he’s pushed them over a cliff) or he’s struggling to adapt to the new engines and other regulation changes so much he might be afraid he’s produced a donkey and is coming up with excuses early. I’m not entirely sure the engine mapping Red Bull and Renault have been using recently will be much of use if it wastes fuel. So if Red Bull start demanding an increase to the fuel limit then you’ll have an idea of what they might be up to. Also I do wonder if Red Bull will lose an edge in terms of car development given Webber has swanned off.

    Mixed bag of Live races for the BBC in 2014 – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/25458397

    As for the tests ? Testing a compound until it breaks is kind of the point of testing. Better a tyre explodes in testing rather than during a race where the chance of fatality’s is that much greater (either for drivers, marshals and spectators). The time to judge the tyres is during the season, and I’m sure some will be bemoaning the fuel limit if drivers have to pace themselves to save fuel to a greater extent than they do now. All part of a drivers skill set, managing the car and knowing when to put the hammer down. It’ll be interesting to see which drivers adapt quickly to the new engines and regulations and which ones struggle with the extra power.

    • I really enjoyed ALL the viewpoints regarding tire testing. while never being a Pirelli fan, the stupidity of the F1 circus clowns has almost entirely been the “root cause” of the tire issues/debate IMHO.
      keep in mind “we mortals” all PAY for the privilege of testing/buying a brand new vehicle in far less than ideal/safe conditions for years while likely enduring mere recall notices and multi-levels of bureaucracy
      in the best scenario.
      compare that to what our young, athletic, superstar heroes have going for them and their personal safety while getting paid with a real expectation of danger…
      knowingly placing one in danger is a far cry from testing and pushing the envelope.

      • Tyres explode all the time if they fall into the right circumstances for the tyres to go Kaboom. Happens in Motorsport and it happens on the roads.

        Anyway I suspect the F1 circus will find something else to get up in arms over once the testing of the 2014 cars get underway – first it’ll be the noses, then it’ll the power trains when one goes pop and so on.

  11. Pingback: 2014 Formula 1 Season Thread - Page 16·

    • Well, let me be controversial, he probably thought, oh well, let him to RBR, I don’t care, RBR will be pants from 2014 onwards. The only teams I’m afraid of are Merc and Macca. And when Macca came a-knocking, sucking up commenced.

      BUT…the truth probably is that there was a frosty relation, LdM thgouht “sod him, I’m getting Kimi”, and after a while they probably realised their best interests lie in carrying on together. Hence, the sucking up and Kimi is our no 2. At the end of the day, they both know the road ends in 2016 when Vettel joins and they both recognise this. Ferrari will get their wunder-kid and Alonso will look to move to Macca or Merc depending on who will have the best package…(unless Vettel goes to Merc and BOOM…musical chairs start exploding all over the place!)

  12. So the new Ferrari 2014 F1 engine didn’t fail apart, or at least have some pieces fall off, when it was unveiled yesterday – that must have disappointed a lot the thejudge13 readers.

  13. I guess Luca’s words were ment to their sponsor Santander and for McLaren… still he should have kept his mouth shut. Cause we’ll see the final humiliation of Alonso (0-0-0-0) + 0 by Kimi Räikkönen.

  14. Nothing against Suzi Perry, but as we’ve all been saying since early 2013, she’s not fit for F1 and especially not in her current role. She has GOT to go!

    Not like I pay a licence fee or anything in the first place, but Suzi’s arrival as Jake’s replacement was responsible for my departure from the ranks of those in the “scene” who preferred BBC coverage to that of SKYSportsF1HD (lolz).

    • Gary Anderson is now the only real reason to tune in to the BBC, along with some nice production values from the behind the cameras team. Lee McKenzie as anchor would save them cash, although the need to have ‘a big name’ is probably a root cause. Not that the BBC needs it, being taxpayer funded, and in the national interest and all, but there you go. We don’t need massive overpaid severance packages for cronies as well but we get that too, along with a £1bn new HQ (which looks better than the last at least). Thank god I don’t bother to pay a licence fee!

      At least there are some good races picked for next year! Shame it’s not Brazil instead of Abu Dhabi!

      • Why would they need a big name?
        In 2009 they had Jake ‘who the fuck are you?’ whatsisface,and it was the best coverage there had been (up until sky took over).

        • Hah, this is true, I think before that he was best known for presenting kids’ shows or something; anyway, that time they promoted from within and look how well that turned out! He became a ‘big name’ that got pinched by BT! This could be an allegory for our economy..

          • The lure of Premiership football and the fact his wife was having a baby is what probably lured him to BT. New Baby + F1 travel schedule = incompatible.
            Tbh I can see BT outbidding Sky for the live rights to F1 once the contract is up in 2018. The only reason why I watch Sky F1 is for Brundle’s grumbling on commentary and Ted in the Pits, otherwise I’d not bother. I think the BBC should have promoted Lee to Presenter, she knows the drivers and the sport inside out. She can handle the pressure. Suzi Perry just looks like she wants to be elsewhere.

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