Daily #F1 News & Comment: Saturday January 4th 2014

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

A lot of head scratching at Mercedes (00:15)

Il Padrino backs up the big mouthed one (00:15)

French Police seizes Schumacher’s helmet cam (00:15)

TJ13 expands in 2014 (01:30)

Adam Parr joins Cosworth board of directors (12:15)

A lot of head scratching at Mercedes

Those, who have paid attention to the sparse news coming from the three engine manufacturers of the 2014 season, know that the magic word this year is ‘management’. Fuel management, torque management, temperature management – you name it, it has to be managed.

Many see that as a good thing, which may give a slight advantage to the more experienced drivers that prefer to ‘read the race’ and apply race intelligence before raw speed, like Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg or Sebastian Vettel. Others however fear that 2014 will turn into an even more dreary sequence of horrid eco-runs than the early 2013 season.


Mercedes’s smooth-talking Toto Wolff and his motor-mouth companion Andreas Nikolaus Lauda meanwhile reveal to Auto Motor & Sport that the manufacturers are mainly concerned about getting engine parameters ‘in the correct window’. Does that sound familiar? Yep, it’s 2012 all over again, when in the first half of the season the races were won by whoever happened to have the luck of being the one to hit the sweet spot on tyre temperatures that weekend.

Lauda admits that the Mercedes AMG engine gurus at Brixworth are far from fully understanding their 2014 power plant. “We learn new things every day,” the Austrian admits and explains that controlling oil pressure, intercooling, oil and water temperatures and other engine parameters is like walking on a tight rope. “If you go just a few degrees to high with any of them, the whole thing blows up,” he says. Due to that conundrum, Lauda sees a massive advantage for the factory teams (Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull) as none of the customer teams have even remotely comparable dyno’s.

While Mercedes spends a massive effort on testing their engines in an original chassis, their customers (McLaren, Force India, Williams) have to design their car based on informations handed down to them by their supplier. Lauda, however, also sees that as a chance. “Four teams are four sources of information. I will make sure that all the informations will be collected at a single point in our team. That way we can learn and react quicker.

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Il Padrino backs up the big mouthed one

On December the 10th 2013 the Fat Hippo ranted about the uselessness of cost capping attempts, which was countered by a swift rebuttal by the gavel wielding host. The obese amphibian mammal now got unexpected backup, going by the name of Luca di Montezemolo, who even uses the same argument to explain why, unless FIA comes up with a better idea, enforcing a cost cap will fail due to the teams’ willingness to cheat.

“For the first time it has been said that we have to define a cost cap,” the Scuderia chief explains in an interview with Autosport. “You know why I have doubts about the cap – because it is very easy to cheat – particularly for manufacturer teams. And Ferrari could be one. I could go to Chrysler in Detroit and ask them to ‘do something for us’ and Mercedes could ask their company.”

Unlike the the resident ill-tempered river-dweller, di Montezemolo acknowledges however that some sort of cost cutting has to be implemented and for want of own ideas, relies on FIA to come up with a solution. “We have to find something that is credible but the cost is the problem number one. If we look at the teams today, in my whole career of F1, I have never seen teams survive with the money of the drivers. This year all the movements of the drivers has been basically based – except for [Kimi] Raikkonen to Ferrari – based on what money drivers can give to the teams. This is for Force India, for Sauber, for Lotus and for Williams. It is not healthy…

“The only way to approach this is to say to the FIA that all the teams are unanimous in agreement to cut the costs. Do whatever you want – come back to us with a proposal that for sure can decrease the costs in a heavy, heavy way. Then we adjust ourselves. We have to achieve a goal to decrease in a heavy way the costs.”

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French Police seizes Schumacher’s helmet cam

According to French newspaper Le Dauphiné Libére Michael Schumacher’s helmet was equipped with a helmet cam at the time of his accident and both the destroyed helmet and the cam were now seized by French police as part of the investigation of French authorities. At this moment however there is no information available if the camera was recording at the time of the accident and if it did, whether or not the pictures are salvageable. The authorities pointed out that any information would first be disclosed to the family, before the press is informed.

Schumacher’s son Mick and a friend were questioned by French police as both were eye-witnesses of the accident. During the last two days there had been differing accounts about possible causes of the accident. While Schumachers spokeswoman Sabine Kehm claimed that the accident happened at relatively low speed during an attempt to help a friend, who had crashed, the authorities were doubtful about the accuracy of that testimony, especially since the doctors speculated that the injuries would hint at a high-speed impact.

Meanwhile there were no news about Schumachers condition, which is therefore believed to be “critical but stable” as announced on Jan. 2nd. On Schumacher’s 45th birthday yesterday more than 100 Ferrari fans assembled in front of the Grenoble hospital to show their support for the Scuderia’s most successful driver. Ferrari had initiated this and provided busses.

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TJ13 expands in 2014

Following the success of 2013, which saw a substantial number of new regular visitors and contributors, TheJudge13 will strive to improve their portfolio in 2014. We will start by providing foreign language translations of some of the articles and, depending on reader interest, even complete service in other languages. The languages that are currently considered are German, Russian and Spanish. Please use the comment section to tell us what you think about that idea or if you want to help with providing service in one of these or a different language.

Angesichts des grossen Erfolgs im Jahre 2013, in dem die Zahl der Stammbesucher und Gastautoren deutlich angewachsen ist, will TheJudge13 sein Angebot erweitern. Wir beginnen damit, ausgewählte Beiträge in anderen Sprachen anzubieten und – Leserinteresse vorausgesetzt – vielleicht auch das komplette Angebot. Die Sprachen, die derzeit angedacht sind, sind Deutsch Russisch und Spanisch. Wir möchten Euch bitten, uns per Kommentar wissen zu lassen, was Ihr von der Idee haltet oder ob ihr bei der Bereitstellung von Inhalten in einer der genannten oder einer anderen Sprache helfen möchtet.

Смотря на успех сайта в прошлом году, в котором у нас прибыли многие новые читатели и авторы, мы решили расширить асортимент текстов сайта TheJudge13. Начинаем с немецкими, русскими и испанскими переводами нескольких текстов. Пожалуиста прокомментировайте, если вам интересно прочитать TheJudge13 по-русский и если вы хотели бы помогать нам переводить.

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Adam Parr joins Cosworth board of directors

Former Williams man Adam Parr, who was bullied out of F1 by the toad from Suffolk through blackmail in March 2012, has joined struggling engine manufacturer Cosworth. The English engine builders, responsible for the legendary DFV engines of the 60s and 70s have been chased away by the new engine rules and have been posting losses this year.

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83 responses to “Daily #F1 News & Comment: Saturday January 4th 2014

    • If you want to invest the time, sure 🙂 India was #2 of non-English speaking countries after the Netherlands and ahead of Germany yesterday. The strongest non-English audiences usually come from the Netherlands, Germany, France and Finnland. Russia is relatively underrepresented, but that’s because most Russians don’t speak English very well. They are however hugely interested in F1, which is why a Russian service might reach quite a big potential audience.

  1. I think the multi-language thing is great. I presume the English-language articles will be translated into these other languages, and, hopefully foreign articles will be translated here for the rest of us…
    But… what happens to the ‘comments’…?
    One of the great things about this site (over all the others I’ve tried) is the wealth of intelligent, educated comments that has helped to further the Judge’s original objective… so, for me at least, the foreign comments will be equally interesting…
    I don’t have a clue how on earth you could hope to achieve this… but I wish you luck.

    • The multi-language idea is still relatively new, so we’ll probably start with a few translated articles to gauge interest. The comments of course will be a problem as they will be in the foreign language as well.
      The best way I could think off would be to do a ‘weekly comment roundup’ in which the best foreign language comments are translated, but I suppose the most comments will still be in english anyway.

      • Not sure if it could be implemented here, but Facebook has the ability to translate comments as you go through them. It would be great to hear opinions from all over the world, as long as it doesn’t increase the number of trolls. I’m just worried that reading the comments will take up most of my day!

      • Looks like the comments will be a lot of work for somebody… and as Simon says, there could easily be a rise in trolls… so probably best to see how the rest pans out first…

      • Been there, done that (i.e implementing “multi” language support for another site in completely different matter)
        I shall not write down bits and pieces of this looooong experience but rather 2 key findings:
        – First and most important one – If you have enough translations you will split existing community into micro-communities. Basically ending up with different site for each and every language. If it doesn’t happen basically it means you dont have enogh translations and everybody still use main site. What’s the point to waste resources on translations?
        Also translations speed and other factors contribute to this splitting factor but first of all you need to consider – if splitting this community to smaller ones with STRONG language borders (considering English language barrier as soft one!) – is this really you want to happen?
        Actually I don’t think so.
        – Second finding from my experience – overall quality dropped in all languages, especially when goal was translate really everything.

        Conclusion in my experience was – to shut down all this multi-kulti activites and keep the original one to have one, single, strong community and content quality

        My recommendation is to AVOID translations. Also keep in mind that google translator get better and better every day, especially with and between bigger languages like mentioned in original idea…

        • Just to be clear – I’m representing one of very small languages and English is my fourth language. So – i’m still against translation idea 🙂

        • While you make some very good points, I believe this could be worth trying. Worst case scenario, this doesn’t work and TJ13 goes back to its former system.

          Personally, I would be extremely happy to see TJ13 articles translated to Spanish. I follow many F1-related websites and blogs and I can tell you that there is an abysmal difference between websites written in English and Spanish. I don’t know any reliable source of information regarding F1 in Spanish, not even [both generalistic and sport] newspapers. All F1 websites I have ever found just copy stuff from other places and/or try to make up rumours when they want to have something original.

          Someone has to be the first to offer some insight in Spanish, right? There is a niche to be filled and it could be a rather rewarding experiment.

          Oh, and I’m talking about Spanish because that is my mother tongue and, as such, it used to be my first choice when looking for F1-related material. I cannot tell if this happens with other languages but I would expect most languages to have the same issues.

    • I concur with BJF’s sentiments, I think it would be good for TJ13 to go multi-lingual. Given that English is my primary language, I suppose I’m not the vote you’re looking for, but there it is.

      I have a question and a comment, though.

      First, one of the things that is attractive about this site is multi-lingual folks like Danilo and others. I highly appreciate learning something new about motorsports that was written by a journalist in another language, or was broadcast in another language. In addition the perspectives of others on F1 can be educational, too.

      I’m curious about the Spanish language market. Is it driven by viewership from Spain? Or is it driven by viewership from some of my neighbors here in the Western Hemisphere?

      Finally, let me encourage the translation of good journalism from other languages to English here, as we’ve seen in the past.

      • I agree – over the past year there have been some very informative comments from around the world but some of those guys seem not to have maintained their input – which is a loss for all of us…

      • I concede that translations FROM german, russian, spanish (and maybe some more?) can improve information qulity and have added value through different viewpoints. But such translations are tricky ones due to usual word-play writers have in native language and there will be definetly “lost in translation” things and definetly also things misunderstood and incorrectly translated.

      • I think offering translations from articles in other languages (anyone got Finnish?) would be excellent. I would suggest heeding @Padres experience regarding splitting the site into different languages however. Perhaps offering translation links only from the main site and only comments on the main site?

        Don’t know but I’m a big fan of the “if it’s not broken” philosophy so would suggest a proper think about implementation so as to avoid damaging the rather excellent community that has grown up here.

  2. Hi! I’m not kwown around here since I’m a lurker – hardly ever do I comment anything, as I have had too many bad experiences with pointless arguments. However, I have been reading this blog for several months already and I would be delighted to contribute! I can give you a hand with translating anything to my native Spanish if you need it.

    Greetings from Gran Canaria!

    • Welcome David. Always good to lure a lurker out of the undergrowth 😉 We’ll surely come back to you once the first Spanish articles are about to go live. Thanks for the offer.

  3. “Il Padrino backs up the big mouthed one”
    I’m impressed that TJ13’s mid-December debate on implementing a cost-cap has given us all a pretty good insight into the debate happening now between the teams, FIA & FOM.

    While LdM does mention the possibility of cheating, in the context of his asking that a cap be implemented, one could surmise that his point is that enforcement must be robust. And robust enforcement was the essence of the argument of the gaveled one. In any case, well done, TJ13 to anticipate this debate as well as you did.

    The essence of LdM’s message in this interview is just give us a lump sum cost cap, and don’t waste time trying to break down how much to spend here or there on particular resources. There is a lot of wisdom to that argument in the initial view of it.

  4. “French Police seizes Schumacher’s helmet cam”
    What exactly are the French law enforcement folks investigating?

    That may seem like a silly question, but I’m in the US. The local law enforcement here might be involved in an investigation of some incident like this if it appeared that the law had been violated.

    Are the French law enforcement agencies involved because of a criminal investigation?

    • Someone was nearly fatally injured in an area that is frquented by hundreds of people. A criminal investigation is pretty normal in such cases in Europe.

        • For thay matter if there is a crash in a race even the police come to investigate it. We once crashed very hard during the 24 hours of spa and i think the investigation was asked by the insurance company. I’ve never seen it before but if some of the parties who are in some way involved want a case they can order it. When i asked why they involved the police i got the answer that it may be a race track but it still falls under some laws as it is a motorway.

  5. It’s funny, I was thinking a few days ago how the page would do if offered to spanish speaking countries in our own language. I probably won’t have the time to translate all daily news but I would like to help with some articles if you are interested. Spanish is my native language and I have translated before.

  6. Oh please no spanish!! Danilo,i have had enough of spanish in motoGP,all riders,teams and sponsors in motoGP are spanish.got really tired of spanish in the world of motorbikes.no spanish in ” judge13″.
    I really doubt the spanish like f1,ofcourse the have historic and beautiful tracks,but there are too much into motoGP than in F1,ofcourse alonso and deLaRosa come from spain.

      • Colin is correct, a little of both, but also lacking in the ability to understand his/her own words or their consequences. Samraj, we’ve asked nicely before: Please just go away.

        • Yes, but he’s so very bad at it it’s almost funny. On a site I used to frequent with far more trolls, they used to post recipes in response to such provocations. Some of them were rather good, too. 😉

    • After Alonso and de la Rosa, there’s actually a point there. Who will follow? Juncadella? Regalia? Regalia was racing for Argentina until recently. Dani Clos?

      • I forget Sainz Jr of course, most likely to be the next Spanish F1 driver should next year go well.

      • The language choices don’t come from how many drivers there are in F1. It is based on languages we can provide. As of now that’s English, German, Russian and Spanish. Others might come if we find volunteers to help with translations. The secon criteria is where do our visitors come from. The Top6 visiting countries today, which don’t have English as their first language are

        The Netherlands

        With a lot of Spanish speakers in the southern US of A, Mexico and except for Brasil, all the rest of South and Central America, I’d hazard a guess that there is quite a potential audience.

        • How many regular visitors do you have right now from Central and South America? America is not like Europe, here most people only speaks Spanish. Padre is right, there is a risk of creating micro-communities inside the page, but there is also the possibility of getting a lot of new readers from these geographical areas. Both options deserve some serious thought.

        • Hi Danilo,
          Coming from your list of vistitors you´ll see that for
          The Netherlands
          quite more than half of the population has English as their first forgein language in school and is able to read and understand the articles and comments here.
          From my point of view and my experiences in multi-cultural work enviroments it is better to choose one common language than to split up.
          If it is really needed there will be other ways like translations of articles in the comment section.

    • Now now @samraj, we all know you are fully aware that your sweeping comments about country/beliefs/intelligence etc can and do cause offence. It’s fine to make public yout dislike of Spanish because you are all spanished out in MotoGP, but I think the part about doubting the Spanish like F1 is rather ill placed and unnecessary. It is easy to voice dislikes and opposed opinions in a way so as to make your point but not insult anyone. This approch would also help people take your opinions seriously.

  7. Happy Newyear Danilo, batteries fully charged? Hippo – like – skin again?
    Great, game on! 😉

    • Yep. Feeling quite refreshed. Batteries charged, ready to rant 😉 And a happy new year right back at you 🙂

      • interesting about translation it can be to literal : I remember when Vettel was berated for saying ”I give it back to you” when he was complimented on his race ,I think by Hamilton. which would be correct German grammar but what he meant in English was I return the compliment.

        I was reminded now because Danilo said ”And a happy new year right back at you. ”
        same problem,and shows the danger of unintentional misunderstanding. and possible bad feeling.

        By the way Danilo how should you pronounce Vettel

  8. Great idea on translation.

    Is it possible to have sub sites in the different languages? Being honest, I wouldn’t be too interested in scrolling down through articles to find the English. Same goes for comments.

    I can speak a little French and Italian, but that won’t be of any use to you, yet.

      • We have to see what sort of flexibility the site allows, I have some ideas about how to do that, but we should discuss that by mail rather than publically.

    • Totally agree. I only visit the site on my mobile and it is scrolling enough now. Sometimes it takes ages to find my comment to see if someone else commented back on it. If their will be comments in 5 different languages radom placed you wont see the forrest trough the trees. But i am positive about the idea. I dont believe there is a site with as much info as this one, with a very strong readership and very fine comments (not hatefull against this or that like most others). To make it multinational is a step up.

    • I actually think I disagree. Would think offering links at the top and bottom that jump from the main site would be a better choice. Otherwise, you split your traffic. Would also be concerned (as stated above) about damaging the community that has already been built by de facto language segregation.

    • samraj. Read the comments of the last few days. You’ve earned the reputation. Please stop provoking people. It seems you have a new pet hate everyday and today it seem to be the Spanish. How often do we have to ask you to tone down your comments before you finally understand?

    • I’m with Danilo mate, chill out a bit why don’t you? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Rather than just criticising why don’t you give us your point of view? How do you think we can make things better.

      I’m not saying you have to agree with everything on TJ13, in fact I like it when people don’t agree with each other because then we have the best debate on here, but just saying something is rubbish is not very constructive.

  9. I think I may have the extra motivation to learn German now. I’ll give the Spanish a miss.. it’s hard! And Russian, what did you say about Russian Danilo? I’ll be slobbering the whole way 🙂

    • The three paragraphs basically say the same. The Russian one is kept a little simpler so that Bulgarians, the Polish, the Czech and other east Europeans can get the gist of it, too, as their languages are closely related to Russian.

      Oh, btw. Learning Spanish is a lot easier than learning German. Our crazy arse grammar rules will kill you to death.

      • Hi Danilo, I am not sure how much Polish and Czech can benefit from Russian text – in both countries they use a Latin script. Don’t know about Bulgarians though. So, I guess Russian will mostly help to engage with former Soviet republics, like modern Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova etc.
        I am a Russian native speaker and should be able to help with translations of some articles to and from Russian. Just give me a shout when needed.
        I have been following thejudge13 nearly from the beginning and thoroughly enjoy it. Thanks to all of you guys!

        • Hi temnick. Even though they use latin script, my experience is that most polish and czech people still speak Russian better than English. Bulgarians and Serbs use cyrillic letters

          • Fair enough. Although from my experience the balance is rapidly shifting towards English these days 🙂

  10. Very interesting news about Parr joining Cosworth – I wonder what it means for their future. Can only be good for that company as AP is a great guy – very capable and of course well connected. That’s really cheered me up for today actually 🙂

  11. Maybe do a little survey before you start with other languages. I’m dutch and most over 16 understand english well enough. However, I know no dutch blog/newsoutlet where you can comment anonymous – at least none which publushes the comments direct like here. I guess it depends on the needs of your foreign visitor if it’s worth the effort.

    • Formule1.nl used to. But now they linked it to facebook. So you can only react if you got a fb. But the level of stupidity is extremely high… since i found the judge i never went back…

      • “But the level of stupidity is extremely high”
        As is the language used, incredible what the biggest Dutch site allows their members to write or comment, in terms of swearing.
        That is, if your comment appears at all.
        There are some well informed Italian sites, that i read regularly, but as Lewis would say ” The judge 13 rulezzz! Yeah boys!

  12. Does anyone know why the police are getting involved in the schumacher incident? Seems strange the police are involved after a skiing accident!

  13. Brilliant site. Long time lurker here.

    So good to be able to get away from
    a) fanboy comments on JA on F1
    b) over-sensitive tetchy Joe Saward, who only runs the blog to fan his ego

    This site is my first call when I wake up. Superb and I hope that is doesn’t morph into fanboyland.

    • I made the switch to TJ13 about 6months ago as I too was getting fed up reading so many, frankly ridiculous comments between to good ones. I haven’t looked back since. I find the commenting community really are in a league of their own when it come to knowledge, accuracy and general all round respect,

  14. Perhaps incorporate a translator box somewhere on the site were users could copy and paste what they want to have translated along with a drop down box to select language to translate article to. This also could be used for comments, were user could translate from native language into English then paste into the comment section proceeded by an auto message of ” this comment has been translated from XXX language. So us English speaking folk would be aware that the comment is translated so we would be aware of “lost in translation issues”

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