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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