Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 3rd January 2014

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Schumacher birthday

Red Bull Ring permit granted

Lewis and Nicole reunited?

Works team advantage in 2014

Double points here to stay

Da Costa better than Kvyat

Schumacher birthday

With the teams hunkered down in their factories, beavering away on the 2014 cars, not much is happening in the world of F1. However, today of course is the birthday of 7 times world champion, Michael Schumacher who is 45 years of age.

The usual scrum of paparazzi awaited the arrival Michael’s wife Corinna at the hospital, maybe some are beginning to realise she looks the same today as she did yesterday. There is no change in Michael’s situation.


However, Professor Uwe Kehler – a respected German neurosurgeon – has been outlining some timelines for severe trauma cases in his home media.

“In a severe craniocerebral trauma, the first hours and days are crucial to see if the pressure and swelling continues to increase. Especially critical are the first three to four days. When patients get through those first few days, everyone can breathe a little. But no statement can be made yet about the patient’s survival or the outcome”.

Clearly we have passed this period and yet it could be quite some time before the extent of Michael’s injuries are actually known. “Generally, it takes two to three weeks until a patient with such a severe trauma can be woken up,” Kehler adds. Though, “After a severe traumatic brain injury, if three weeks passes and there are no signs of awakening, then from a prognostic point of view it is very bad.”

Ferrari fans are expected to hold a silent vigil outside the Grenoble hospital today in a show of solidarity and support for the most successful Maranello driver of all time. The Scuderia team posted on their website, “Today there is double reason to wish him all the best. Forza Michael,”

untitledFerrari fans today outside the hospital


Red Bull Ring permit granted

The promoters of the Austrian GP believed the event was never in doubt and sold 100,000 tickets in just 2 days towards the end of 2013. However, only today has the permit for the event been granted as confirmed by Harald Schnedl of the District of Mur Authority.


Karl Arbesser, a regional omburdsman, has been at the forefront in protesting against the race being sanctioned. He has not yet indicated whether there will be a formal protest or not.

The permit has upped the limit of 40,000 spectators’ per day to a total of 225,000 for the weekend of the Grand Prix of Austria. Work is still under way to deliver the infrastructure required for the circuit to host this number of spectator’s though the organisers are confident they will be ready for the race.

Noise and pollution levels from an F1 weekend would contravene regional and national regulations, however, the Austrians have passed a new ‘events law’ which can approve 1 off events – without appeal.


Lewis and Nicole reunited?

It appears that whilst neither party has told their twitter followers, Lewis and Nicole attended the same New Year’s party in Colarado where they previously shared a house together.

Lewis announced,”I had the best New Years with my brother @therealswizzz & his lovely wife @aliciakeys & the Hamilton crew”.

Whilst Nicole posted this picture.


Sherzinger had previously written on twitter. “What better way to kick off 2014 in God’s Country! Praying and snow mobiling!”


Similarly, Hamilton revealed, “Great way to enter the year….snowmobiling with Gods view. Truly am blessed to have a great family with me. #OneLove”.


Mmm, now there’s a coincidence!!!

Of course – “we’re just good friends” could be the standard line we soon hear trotted out, though Nicole seems to believe she is beginning something new.

“2014! Here’s to new beginnings, a new road, new path, to a #NEW year! #NeverGiveUp on what ur dreams & what ur meant to do & be!” She adds, “Looks like heaven is just beyond those trees! #TheRays! Philippians 4:13”


The Biblical reference she makes is to the verse written by the apostle Paul when facing extreme trouble. “I can do all this through him who gives me strength”.

Most F1 fans haven’t got a clue what Sebastian Vettel’s girlfriend looks like, however, Lewis has pursued a public celebrity lifestyle which has previously affected his racing.

Hamilton supporters must hope he can stay focused on his driving in 2014, and not be distracted by the biological clock of his girlfriend – which she has admitted publicly is ticking – and was previously the significant cause of disputes between the two of them.


Works team advantage in 2014

James Allison believes that the works teams, Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull will have a significant head start at the beginning of 2014. “One of the massive advantages that this team has is that it has the engine and chassis under one roof. That is an advantage in any year. But in one like this one, where you are packaging such a different power unit as has been necessary in a year like this – that advantage I think becomes quite large.”

Clearly the proximity of the engine manufacturing site to that of the one building the car is an important consideration as Claire Williams observes about their new relationship with Mercedes. “The easiest thing for us in the whole thing is that they are just down the road, which makes it easier when you are trying to work with them. Going over to France is a long trip and not necessarily conducive. But our engineers can dash to Mercedes countless times and they come to us. We are really pleased.”

Specific problems Mercedes have been experiencing are outlined by Niki Lauda.”We are constantly learning new things. Suddenly you have to take care of things like water pressure or intercooling. Oil and water must be in a precise temperature window. If it goes beyond just a few degrees above a certain limit, it tears up everything.”

Of course for the customer teams issues such as this become even more difficult to manage as Lauda observes, “They must hope their cooling is functioning on the basis of information provided by the engine partner.”

Toto Wolff plays down the rumours that the Mercedes engine will trump the other two in 2014. “We do not know [this], they are just rumors and speculation. Everyone can give their opinion, but I do not think there will be an engine that will have a large advantage over the others.

Christian Horner believes, “Reliability is the number one challenge,” for 2014 and the world champions are not feeling complacent because testing may be something even they have little time to do as Christian explains. “Adrian Newey does not have a reputation for having a car ready ahead of time, so I am sure there will be several sleepless nights before the car is in running order.”

Whilst we will see drivers being given delta times to drive to a various points in the race, 2014 is sure to be a fascinating year as they will have to manage reliability, fuel, tyres and decide when to push the car and when to be conservative – sounds like the pre- Michael Schumacher era all over again… 🙂


Double points here to stay

One issue which has incensed many fans of F1, is the rule to award double points for the season’s finale in Abu Dhabi. There were those in the F1 strategy group who advocated this be applied to the final 4 races of the season, but were forced to concede ground.

untitledWell it looks as though the rule is here to stay, as the mouthpiece of Bernie Ecclestone and FOM states. “Whether the championship is on the line or not, there’s no doubt that added significance has been given to the final round of the 2014 title race in Abu Dhabi thanks to a new rule which will award drivers and teams double points for that Grand Prix, and that Grand Prix alone. Whether you love or loathe the idea, it’s impossible to believe that there won’t be an additional intensity to the racing at Yas Marina and that can only be a good thing”. (Formula1.com)

This is apparently not the end of the matter.

TJ13 has learned that should the titles in 2014 be settled well in advance of the final race, then the matter will be raised again and the proposal that double points be awarded for the final 4 races of the season is likely to be pushed through by FOM and the FIA against the teams’ wishes.


Da Costa better than Kvyat

This time last year, Luis Razia was hoping to make his F1 debut with Marussia – though the lack of dollars coming from his sponsors eventually thwarted him and saw Jules Bianchi grasp the nettle.

untitledHowever, Razia has spoken out suggesting the Red Bull regime have made a mistake in signing the GP3 Russian driver Daniil Kvyat ahead of Felix da Costa who competed last year in the Renault World Series along with Kevin Magnussen. “I think he was much stronger in pace,” Razia told Total-Race.

Despite early season troubles, Felix da Costa won a third of all the races in which he competed and came 3rd in the series final driver standings.

Of course 2014 will see the inaugural Russian GP, and Red Bull and Ecclestone at times appear to operate as a tag team. Razia claims, “Toro Rosso has difficulties like everyone else, so there was a situation where everything fell into place.

It is very clear that next year there is a race in Russia and F1 needs a Russian. [F1] is a category with a lot of politics and [Kvyat] is sponsored by a Russian bank, which also helped.”

Felix da Costa has been retained by the Red Bull driver programme for 2014 in a test and development capacity, and will race in the DTM. However, one has to feel his chance in F1 may just have passed him by.


49 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 3rd January 2014

  1. Hi,

    I know that this question is irrelevant to the actual post your originally posted but have a few questions:

    1) Do you know anything about this posted on twitter by (@F1Agent):
    “Developments in the red bull camp. According to my sources, this will be red bull’s final year with both Newey and Vettel” ?

    2) Has Rod Nelson left Lotus to join Williams ?


  2. Nice that they are together, but – yuk – all those biblical references make me puke. Like there’s a god who wanted them to be rich and famous while letting children die.

    • Please, no more religious arguments. I’ll just say that it’s a shame that Lewis and Nicole feel they have to hide themselves being in the same place, due to media pressure. They should just be allowed to get on with it, it’s between them two and nobody else.

    • I grew up in an area that contained a small but vocal minority of folks who were very vocally Christian. Those who were most vocal were usually also the least Christian once you scratched the surface. Yeeesh! Public statements like that still grate like nails on a chalkboard.

      • It must have been fun to prod them with “Why?” questions in response to whatever they had to say about things like praying..

        • LOL mostly tried to stay as far away as possible. Not my crowd. But they were generally not the sharpest of tools in the shed, and watching them trying to process diametrically opposed scripture was always an entertainment when provoked.

      • Agreed, I personally have strong christian beliefs so feel I can add something on this subject.

        My faith is personal to me, I find strength in dark times and day to day I try to live the good life, but fail pretty much everyday, that is because non of us are perfect. I do not try to convert my friends (most of them have no religious preferences) and do not quote biblical text to say something I’m perfectly capable of saying in my own words. I agree with mattpt55 that often those who shout about it most are the those with shallow faith. I won’t go into detail by farther was a prime example of this. I’m not saying this is a rule of thumb but just a majority of cases. Only the individual know how strong their beliefs are but I don’t feel the need to let all and sundry know about it every waking moment, I am comfortable with my faith. I hope Lewis and Nicole’s faith is genuine and deep rooted and this over expresion is is because they are full of God’s love.

        • By the way I’m a civil engineer so o think the lack of IQ people seem to associate with religion is not always so. Lol

          Just to clarify for you I know the bible is not chronologicaly correct and the world is certainly not only 4000years old. Remember it was written 2millennia ago and is an interpretation for events.

        • Mmm. We’ve had a lot of conversation re: religion recently…

          May I suggest any belief system including atheism is neither proven or disproven.

          Most of the important things in life are subjective. Prove love….

          A bunch of flowers once a week? Vows of lifelong commitment…

          Those who study astronomy and the
          Universe(s) realise how minuscule we and our grand world really is…

          All we can do is present our beliefs and opinions and reasoning and then allow others to interact with us…

          Thank you CV for the way you present your comments and thoughts – it’s very much appreciated…

          • No problem your Honour. I firmly believe that you can object to someone’s opinion without insulting them in the process and I feel it is a 2 way street. This is the main reason that this is my ‘go to’ site as I’m general the comments section is lively, in depth and enjoyable. I only pitch in if I feel I have something to bring to the party. Be it observation, personal opinion or question.

            Life is hard enough without making it harder…….

        • I have to agree.. at the end of the day, this is a personal issue. If something personal gives you strength, who is anyone else to say that it is wrong? And on the literalness of it, I guess you could say the bible is more like a teaching device than a historical record. We have history books for that!

  3. Know I really musty be sad but just picked up that the rental snowmobile that LH and NS has posted photos of themselves on, is in fact the same machine (rental unit no 163). Seems they shared more than just being in the same resort for New Year….

  4. Am I the only one who believes that Lewis H is gay? He acts gay; he looks gay….to me. Think, Vincent Minelli. Just a thought.

    • Just you 😛

      I don’t think he is gay but then it does not matter. He drives the wheels of a car (sometimes) and that is what matters. I think what he is though is confused with life itself and his purpose in it. He acts like someone who needs to prove himself to himself… imho 🙂

      • I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it to come off as an indictment. If he is, he is. Nothing against being gay. I’ve noticed that in his manner and dress, he acts much more like gay guys I know than of straight guys I know.
        Should not be a consideration of his driving ability. He’s a talented driver, a bit hard of tires and as you say, confused. It was either Dennis or Whitmarsh who described him as “fragile and distracted.”
        I have wondered if he can’t “come out” because its such a macho sport.

      • Non, je suis hétéro, mais j’ai beaucoup d’amis qui sont homosexuels. Il ya des subtilités dans la façon dont ils agissent comme Lewis affiche également.
        Aucun acte d’accusation de lui. C’est la vie.
        S’il vous plaît pardonnez mon français.

        • Ha,ha, well the gay friends i have, certainly have Lewis on P1, with Rosberg a very close second 🙂

          • Man, it must REALLY be a slow day for F1 news. I’m just waiting for Godwin’s Law to take effect.

          • @verstappen $100m retrospective fine for any team found guilty in absentia of leaking that video!

  5. Interesting that Razia says da Costa has the pace over Kyvet… Razia raises the spector of another F1 team saying the driver choice was made purely on performance when commercial considerations may have been the actual deciding factor.

    Da Costa impressed at Macao, having won it last year, and then this year finishing 2nd to a brilliant performance by the impressive Englishman Alex Lynn.

    Not sure who to believe candidly… Kvyat was mightily impressive this past season, particularly what he did in a few Euro F3 guest appearances. Yet da Costa was held in a similar position of high esteem by RB just one year ago too.

    • This one is more of a muddle indeed. This year, arguably Kvyat shaded it on overall pace and he did in GP3 against a strong field. For da Costa, he had an even tougher field and came 3rd, with some bad luck. But, crucially he was more impressive last year, where he could have won both titles with a little more luck (and FR3.5 races). If there was a seat going last year (if Webber retired say) then he would definitely have been put in. Kvyat would have then gotten another year possibly in FR3.5 next year before jumping up to F1.

      But, as happens, now the seat is available and Kvyat looks more like the one in the ascendancy. da Costa has more F1 experience, yet if Kvyat adapts quickly to more power (the only doubt, and COTA seemed to say this is possible), then he could very well be the better bet long term. The fact that he is Russian and his sponsorship can help out would probably only sweeten the deal. There’s no denying that the top 3 from last year’s FR3.5 series all deserve a seat on the F1 grid, while those that dominated the F3 levels (Kvyat, Marciello etc.) would ideally get one more prepatory year in FR3.5, although that can be skipped if need be. We can’t really call the dominant GP3 champion a pay driver, can we!

  6. Re-2015 engines.

    I’m worried by what I read here today regards the cooling window of the new powertrains. Is it me or is anyone else concerned the positions will be decided on Saturdays in qally and the only way to move up is if people drop out as if the cooling is that critical then they are not gonna wanna follow each other too closely at all. I’m concerned the excitement will be in the atrician as runners drop out and not the wheel to wheel racing.

    How did others take these comments by Lauda.

    • You mean everyone will try and do a RB, stick it on pole then run and hide? Hope not… but then, if you are clearly faster than the car in front maybe you can get past with a boost or two.

      To be honest, I think we will have to wait till Jerez to see what to expect this season. As Lauda said, they are still learning and only 25 days to go till the first test. Me thinks Jerez may be shrouded in blue smoke 😛

      • It’s goons be great Don, I’ve booked the day’s off work so o can watch (only 1st test) may have the very last test day off too. I’m loving the debate the speculation is generating as there is so many sinarios to go through, just really hope wheel to wheel racing features heavily!

    • CV – You raise a good point, but in a word, the answer is likely a qualified “no”, we should not be worried that folks will be prevented from running close together due to cooling issues.

      If a particular team gets their sums wrong on cooling during the design of the car, the worse case scenario is they may be need to run clear air tactics to survive a race or two (while being passed by those not saddled with that problem). But the more likely scenario is teams will all have their sums correct for cooling by the third race.

      On the other-hand, cooling set-ups are changed track-side and are part of the overall race-setups. So a team may make a track-side error in their cooling set-up, and then have to try to run clear air to just survive a race. We’ve seen that on occasion this past season. That borders upon a set-up error. The dividend to be reaped may be a few hundredths of a second in a critical sector but the car may run hot if it’s run close behind another car lap after lap.

      To counter your fear of race-long lack of passing, note that there is now a greater variability to the power delivery during a race. That will become a tool for clever race craft (driver) and strategy (pitwall). In addition, we are likely to see subtle style differences between drivers in how they work their rear tires thru the corner apex and accelerating thru the corner exits given the higher levels of torque they now have to work with. When combined with the subtle differences that we’ve seen already of driving styles in corner entry thru apex, then it may mean as much track passing, (if not more), in comparison to the last few years. That’s speculation from myself (who is just another spectator like yourself), but the potential conditions are there.

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