Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 20th January 2014

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McLaren crash test failure normative

Fat Hippo’s Rant: Don’t drink during pregnancy, dammit!

No Orange livery for McLaren

New Lotus partner

Lauda Watch: Time for a new hat

New F1 teams

Caterham decide

McLaren P1 eclipses the Porsche 918 spyder

Ecclestone faces 10 years

Williams ahead of schedule


McLaren crash test failure normative

Reports have been circulating over the weekend that McLaren have failed to pass all its mandatory crash tests and speculation has grown that they will not make the Jerez test.

McLaren say, “It is normal at this time of the year for teams to push to the limit to achieve maximum performance, It’s no different when it comes to the crash tests,” There are further tests scheduled for the MP4-29 this week.

Eric Boullier’s said he knew for a ‘fact’ that Lotus would not be the only team missing the Jerez test and this appears to have fueled speculation that McLaren will be the missing team to which Boullier refers..

However, this is the same individual who uttered repeated assurances at each GP that during the ‘next week’ the phantom Quantum monies would arrive. He also assured lotus fans that the team had done proper due diligence on Quantum and this deal was no repeat of the failed Honeywell saga.

Grandpappy Judge used to tell me a the tale of the little boy ‘who cried wolf’ in an attempt to impress upon me the importance of credibility, Clearly Eric’s schooling or family tradition had no such fable to impress upon him the importance of this truth.

untitledMTC 08:30 this morning

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Fat Hippo’s Rant: Don’t drink during pregnancy, dammit!

It appears that Mr. Agag, the Spanish lunatic that someone lets play promoter for Formula E is trying to kill it, before before it even starts. He might not be a career criminal like his F1 counterpart, but if his ideas are anything to go by, he does the same illegal drugs.

I really like the idea of Formula E. The part that appeals to me the most is, that while all teams start out with a spec chassis and powertrain, they will be allowed to bring own solutions for the second season and beyond. Today’s electric cars are as useless as a one-legged man in an arse-kicking contest. They are expensive and don’t manage any more that 5 yards before needing to be recharged with nuclear powered ‘green electricity’ for the next 3 weeks before you can tackle the next 5 yards. But give a bunch of ultra-competitive motorsport teams 5 years and they’ll have cars that run to the moon and back on an AA battery.

Audi already has registered a team. With Andretti Autosport another motorsport heavyweight has signed up, so the contestants aren’t a bunch of lentil eating ecomentalists, there’s some major motoring history involved. There are people, who truly believe in the concept of the electrically powered motor vehicle. It’s not too much a stretch of the imagination to predict that sooner or later Tesla Motors will become involved, either as a team or as a partner to Andretti.

The problem is that Mr. Agag is trying his utmost to make sure that Formula E never sees a second season. If you think that Bernies double-points idea is stark raving mad, you’ll like Agag’s brain fart called ‘fan boost’. The idea is that fans can go on a Twatter or a Faceborg and have a jolly voting on which 5 drivers get an extra-boost.

*deep breath* 3… 2… 1…

What’s wrong with you people?? Are ye nuckin’ futs?? There you are with a series that could provide a great alternative to a Formula One that’s trying hard to kill itself by introducing brain-dead gimmicks that nobody wants and not to be outdone you introduce gimmicks that are so ridiculous, they make the double-points idea look like the work of Sokrates. If you happen to knock up your wife and she goes on a friggin’ bender each weekend, believe me, the result (if there is one) after nine months will not be what you expected or hoped for. Oh and it doesn’t end with the ‘Faceborg Kers’ either. Due to the limited range of today’s battery solutions, drivers will have to switch cars halfway into the race. That’s not ideal, but a necessary evil, at least for the first few seasons. I expect five years in some teams will have batteries that can make a whole race distance. But to make this limitation of Formula E cars just a little bit more obvious, Mr. Agag wants the two cars parked 100 metres apart with the driver having to sprint from one car to the other.

The only way you can make up something like that is being high as a kite on synthetic drugs. Nobody wants to see a scrawny guy run about, who looks like a power ranger that fell into a box of company logo stickers. have the second car parked in the garage. Driver comes into the pits, gets out, gets into the second car and drives off. Where’s the bloody problem?

Formula E on paper is a fantastic prospect. Unlike F1 they don’t race on god-forsaken Tilke-dromes in the middle of nowhere. Instead you’ll get to see them in place like Berlin’s legendary Tempelhof airfield, bang smack in the city center. With the rules allowing extensive R&D it will do more to advance e-vehicles than all car manufacturers put together. The problem is, whoever is trying to carry this brainchild to terms has a problem with alcohol, or more specifically without it by the looks of things.

For those who read German… click here

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No Orange livery for McLaren

Italian sources are suggesting this morning that there will be no return to the Orange livery favoured by Martin Whitmarsh. When asked about the historic colours during the Japanese GP, Whitmarsh revealed, “I really like the idea. If we’re lucky enough to find a sponsor who likes orange, you could see that colour again in Formula One,” 

untitledMcLaren MP4-21

TJ13 reported over the Christmas break that McLaren were not necessarily going to sign a title sponsor for 2014 as Honda would fulfil that role in 2015. On that basis the MP4-29 would not look dissimilar to its predecessor with big livery changes awaiting the return of the Woking team’s engine partner’s from the east in 2015.

There has been quite a response to Big Ron’s 20 minute speech to the troops at the MTC last week. Dennis promised change and that “we will win again” and received a standing ovation. Whitmarsh was not present at the event.

Claire Martin who is a race and test co-ordinator tweeted, “It’s safe to say today’s news was received well!” and team design engineer Giovanni Banzola added: “So inspired by Ron’s speech yesterday!”

However, the return of Big Ron is unlikely to solve McLaren’s woes overnight, but TJ13 has learned that the disaster of 2013 led many within the McLaren family to begin the debate (all be it behind closed doors) about the need for some kind of change.

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New Lotus partner

Today cash strapped Lotus unveil a new F1 partner, Saxo Bank. The Danish online investment bank is interestingly one of the new breed of gambling entities that have sprung up over the past decade. For those who feel as though they missed their vocation in life as a finance broker, Saxo offers platforms for placing ‘bet’s’ on movements in Foreign Exchange rates, CFD’s, ETF’s, stocks and futures.

untitledJust like the major bookmakers, you can play on your mobile or tablet and the platform has been adopted by around 100 other institutions who use the ‘white’ label’ (brand the page up with their own logo, but Saxo’s software sits behind the transactions).

Founded in 1992, Saxo’s headquarters are in Copenhagen, though they have offices in 25 countries throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and Australia. Saxo Bank is privately owned with co-founders Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen holding majority stakes.

Saxo entered into a sponsorship arrangement with Riis Cycling A/S because they believed the team “has the international reach and name recognition that means we will be able to get our message our to most of our client groups around the globe. We love the sport, and believe that together we will be winners.”

untitledThey entered the Tour de France that year as Team CSC Saxo Bank and won with rider Carlos Sastre. The team signed Andy Schlek won the Tour again in 2010.

The exact nature of financial arrangement between Lotus and Saxo Bank has not been disclosed, though this looks like a Genii type deal where partners join the club to gain access to other partners.

The banks co-founders have this to say, “Saxo Bank is excited to have the opportunity to diversify its sporting partnerships, which now forge close ties to two of the world’s most popular sports.The philosophy and ambitions of Saxo Bank resonate closely with those of Lotus F1 Team, a team which has emerged as a genuine challenger in a sport which is dominated by bigger and more established players.We look forward to being a key partner of Lotus F1 Team as they embark on the new season and will be supporting them trackside over the coming year.”

untitledGenii wheeled out the willing Eric Boullier who sang from the corporate hymn sheet whilst privately hoping there is some actual money involved in this deal.  “We are delighted to begin a relationship with Saxo Bank, a fast-growing online trading and investment specialist who have demonstrated strong support in sport through sponsorships in the world of cycling at the highest level with Team Tinkoff-Saxo. Saxo Bank is taking an exciting and proactive approach to this new partnership with Lotus F1 Team and we are looking forward to enjoying a long and fruitful relationship.”

Marco Sorensen will be named as Davide Valsecchi’s replacement as team PR gopher for 2014. Though if Saxo are contributing some actual cash, then Eric may have to agree to Marco getting some FP1 drives and testing outings.

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Lauda Watch: Time for a new hat

TJ13 has alluded to the fable of the Emperor’s New Clothes when previously discussing the fantasy certain race promoters have been promised if they would spend hundreds of millions building a circuit and then paying Ecclestone et al a few hundred million more.

However this story is about a very famous and real piece of clothing. The Lauda hat.

Following his career defining accident in 1976, Lauda was left permanently disfigured and took to wearing a cap pretty much most of the time to hide the worst of the scaring. Having left motor racing, Lauda realised he could earn a nice pension by getting sponsors for his famed head gear.

untitled

F1 fans will have most recently seen the red Lauda cap adorned with Aabar, who are a middle eastern sovereign fund. TJ13 reported 4th January 2013, “Following their disastrous exit from owning 9% of Daimler Benz shares and around 40% of the F1 AMG team, Aabar will be withdrawing from their relationship with Niki Lauda at the end of 2013.

Aabar entered into an arrangement following the 2011 Italian GP on September 9th where Niki Lauda was announced as their brand ambassador around the world. Aabar announced, ”With this partnership, Aabar highlights its commitment to Formula One. Since 2009, Aabar has been a major shareholder in Mercedes Grand Prix, the Formula One team of Daimler AG. Aabar is also a shareholder in Daimler AG, holding a 9% share”.

untitledHaving gambled incorrectly on the movement of Daimler Benz share price, a punt which cost billions of dollars, Aabar realised drilling oil and other activities was a lot simpler than playing the international game of futures

Lauda now commands 500,000 euro’s a year for a sponsor to have the privilege of being emblazoned across his head – and they have to pay for the caps too.

Yet for Niki all has not gone well with cap sponsors, he was conned by an Ijaz Mansoor kind of character who owned a Liechtenstein based firm called the Money Service Group. The Austrian was persuaded to ditch his famous red cap in favour of a blue one in the company’s corporate colours for 2011.

untitledNot only did the 500,000 never arrive, but Lauda was persuaded to invest in a Money Service Group fund 500,000 euro’s of his own cash. The fund was supposedly backed by fine wines, cigars and precious works of art.

It turned out to be a few crates of Liebfraumilch, 25 sleeves of B&H and a scribbling of a burglar with a bag of swag on his back penned apparently by the child Ecclestone.

Having failed to aid Rush to win diddly squat with his appearance at the Golden Globes, Niki is never a man to let an opportunity pass him buy. He proudly wore his latest version of the red cap, emblazoned with his new sponsors logo.

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New F1 teams

1+1=2, 2+2=4 …………….. and in F1 land 4+4=1,234,587.

Since the FIA announced a process to allow new teams to express an interest in joining Formul 1, TJ13 has expressed scepticism.

Firstly, the time scales were ridiculously short, giving the impression the FIA wished to abridge the process for some unknown reason.

Secondly, the announcement of Haas application, the idea of a team starting from scratch in the USA appears more fantastical as each day passes. This is not low budget NASCAR/Indycar, but the world’s leading prototype racing series.

untitled

There’s a reason why silicon valley exists and for that same reason the home counties of England have become the place to be if you want to run a Formula 1 team – with a couple of notable exceptions.

Then there is the name of a certain HRT player being muttered about. Colin Kolles. Who of course was born in Romania which must mean that Dacia – a Romanian car manufacturer much loved by Top Gear’s James May – will be entering F1.

Dacia is in fact owned by Renault which makes the proposition even more ludicrous, and today a wide eyed and bewildered spokesperson from the company was forced to admit, “We know nothing about these rumours. There has been no mention of interest, and time is much too short.”

I’m sure TJ13 readers are capable of devising more rational potential F1 entrants and their collaborators… so off you go….

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Caterham decide

It appears that Caterham have decided to remove the team’s partner McGregor from their website – who co-incidentally is Giedo Van der Garde’s main sponsor.

Not looking good for the Dutchman.

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McLaren P1 eclipses the Porsche 918 spyder

Being just one of a handful of people to have driven both cars, Autocar’s Steve Sutcliffe delivers his verdict in notation form.

1) The P1 is faster than the 918. Everywhere. On paper it looks close enough for there not to be much difference in the real world. But in that real world the McLaren feels of-another-solar-system quicker the Porsche. It feels as fast as anything I’ve ever driven to be honest, including Honda’s 2007 F1 car, whereas the 918 feels merely very fast indeed.

2) The P1 generates so much downforce in third gear and beyond when it’s in Race mode that the 918 driver will not see which way it’s gone around a circuit. They, McLaren, reckon the P1 generates as much as 5g of cornering force around corners like Blanchimont (at Spa) and Copse (at Silverstone), and having driven it around Bahrain, I believe them. The 918, on the other hand, doesn’t even get close to that sort of grip.

untitled3) The driving position in the P1 is every bit as right and pure and perfect as the 918’s – and the 918’s is pretty much as good as it gets.

4) The V8 engine in the P1 sounds not just sweeter but also more refined that of the 918, despite it being turbocharged (unlike the Porsche’s).

5) The P1 will, says McLaren, make money for the company – whereas, if pushed, Porsche bosses will admit that the 918 is a loss leader, a halo car that has cost the company money in the short term, even if they do manage to sell all nine hundred and eighteen 918 Spyders that are due to be built.

untitled6) The P1 spits bright blue flames out of its tail pipes if you give it full beans in a lowish gear. The 918 is far too sensible for that.

7) The Porsche is just not as exciting to drive as the P1 generally, judging from my albeit fairly brief experience of both. You feel like you are right out there on the edge when driving the P1, especially in Race mode, with great big tail slides happening at the merest twitch of your right foot, even with the traction control system switched on. I never quite got that from the 918.

Now the boys and girls in Woking just need to build a world beating F1 car.

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Ecclestone faces 10 years

When summing up at the Gribkowsky trial, the judge made a comment which appeared to suggest it was nailed on Ecclestone would be found guilty if the Munich prosecutors could field the forests of paperwork objections submitted by Mr. E’s lawyers – prior to his ultimate passing on to the F1 land in the sky.

I’ve been looking for those quotes on and off for the past week in vain, but today German publications have provided us with a couple of extracts. Amongst all the froth about the maximum term of 10 years Ecclestone would serve if found guilty is the fact that Justice  Peter Noll who presided over the Gribkowsky trial will preside over Mr. E’s hearing too.

Sifting the evidence at the conclusion of the Gribkowsky trial, Judge Noll explained whilst summing up that it clearly demonstrated that Mr. Ecclestone was the “driving force” behind the corruption and not Mr. Grobkowsky.

So what, you ask? Well, Ecclestone’s team will have to do more than throw up smoke and mirrors, and present a senile Mr. E who can’t remember what he signed 2 days ago – as they did in the Constantin trial. There is evidence previously brought before the court, which persuaded Judge Noll to express his opinion prior to sentencing Gribkowsky that Ecclestone was more than complicit.

Following Gribkowsky’s conviction in the summer of 2012, Mr. E was nonchalant. “There’s nothing to worry about,” he said, shrugging after breaking off from a game of backgammon. “I’m not worried. I’m aggravated with the nonsense I’m being put through for all this. I sold the bloody shares for the bank. It was something they couldn’t sell. They had six people look at it and wouldn’t buy. I got them out of trouble and now I’m in trouble. Life is like that sometimes.”

There are those who believe that the German establishment is determined to gain a conviction against Ecclestone, to send a clear message that bribing a German official will not be tolerated.

Mercedes too will be interesting to watch, as it was widely reported that their anti-corruption governance would force them to withdraw from F1 entirely given certain sets of circumstances surrounding a prosecution and conviction of Ecclestone. Though innocent at present, Ecclestone has been forced to resign from the FOM executive and whispers abound this was the result of a deal between Mercedes and CVC given the scenario currently playing out.

Outbursts of Bernie nostalgia have been spreading since the announcement that he will face criminal proceedings in Munich. Yet, for every winner in lifethere is a loser, and Bernie has done his fair share of crushing people who stand in his way, along with his apparent corrupt and criminal behaviour in transacting other peoples property in a whimsical fashion for his own personal gain.

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Williams ahead of schedule

Having been culprits in the past of rocking up to Jerez with the previous years car and realising during the season it was not the best iodea, Williams report they fired up the FW36 for the first time 2 days ago.

The team confirms on twitter they will be raring to go on day 1 in Jerez and Valtteri Bottas will drive on days 1&2, with Felipe Massa taking the wheel on the final two days.

The FW36 car will apparently have a front end similar to this.

untitled

Teams to declare whether they will make the shakedown in Jerez are Marussia, Sauber and Force India.

That said, Graham Lowden said last week he expects Marussia to make winter test 1 and today Force India tweeted, “Morning @clubforce fans! Not long till testing!!! Who’s excited….?”

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37 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 20th January 2014

  1. New sponsor for Lotus; Saxo Bank having press conference at 11am CET today, with Romain present – Marco Sørensen rumored to get a test role

  2. You seem to forget that it was made to reach a new audience. The facebook audience, those who like to tweet. And vote for X Factor. So it is a logical solution. They can make extra money and the youth think they are involved. Now I’m not saying that i like the idea. But from the start they said they wanted to reach the new, online, generation… and so they are really trying to do that…

    • As a member of the new online youth generation, I can say that this idea is bull crap. The people who vote on X-Factor are in no way the same demographic who will be hardcore watchers of Formula E.

      • ….I know….

        They’d be better developing some gaming software that allowed you to enter the same race as the drivers in real time in a virtual manner…..

        • They were actually playing around with the idea that the next F1 game should have the ability to race real time, using real timing and track data, you would be one lap or so behind the real race, which is quite interesting.

        • They’re actually developing something like that. That’s the one of Agag’s ideas that doesn’t (lame pun alert) make me gag. The cars are equipped with GPS transponders and gamers will be able to take part in the race.
          As a second stage to this plan, they actually plan to invite the best game kiddies to the season ending GP that will be run virtually. No shit, they really plan to sit down the drivers in simulators and pit them against the most successful gamers and the whole thing will be a points-paying event!! It does pay half points only, though. I think Damon Hill somehow managed to sneak into the planning commitee…

      • I think the idea of forcing the drives to locomotate over 100m to switch cars should be rejected b/c of the safety and comfort issues related to running in a full-face helmet w/ HANS-device, but I quite like the idea of our getting to vote via social media to give a performance-boost to a few competitors during the race.

        I hardly imagine it would be enough to skew the result or invalidate sporting merits, and it would be a neat to facilitate such direct fan-influence.

        I’m IN! Just hope it doesn’t cost 90p to vote?

    • My thoughts exactly. The thing that irritates me about just about everyone writing about Formula-E is that they must compare it to F1, or other serious motorsports. From the start Alejandro Agag has stated that it is not his intention to compete with F1 or even target the same audience. Formula E is a motorsport with gimmicks like the fan boost and other rules to make it a show that appeals to other people than the traditional motorsport fans so stop writing from the point of view of a traditional motorsport fan. If you have to compare it with another motorsport than compare it to NASCAR (or Indycar if you like), Race of Champions or even X Games RallyX championships because those motorsports have already lost most of the rules that make that sport differ from an ordinary variety show. Formula E wants to target people who like the ordinary variety shows so treat Formula E as if it is one instead of elevating it to serious motorsport level… 😉

        • They won’t care really so long as there is a fat pay cheque and they say they have a ‘safe’ race seat…… Let’s face it they all missed their ultimate goals in motorsports so I reckon they know, it’s gimmicks or nothing!

        • It’s their own fault. The drivers are the ones that agree to drive for one of those teams and in one of those cars so they have to accept the rules and by doing so they must have realized that these rules are far more similar to those of X-Factor, So you think you can dance, …. (fill in random country name) Got Talent, etc. than any other motorsport. I know most drivers do not have the same education level as the guys preparing their cars but they aren’t as stupid as not to realize that (I hope ;-)). Sure they still have to know how to drive fast but they are the ones that have chosen to enter a competition where driving fast and smart isn’t the most important thing they have to do…

          (and for the record I believe Formula E is about the personalities and brands they represent first and driving second)

          • .. don’t diss the drivers intelligence… someone was recently telling me Lewis is studying astrophysics…

            …then again I’d had a few… maybe it was astrology….

      • Yeah, it can’t possibly be proper racing if you are not combusting a fuel made from the extractions of decomposed prehistoric organisms. Folks were like this when cars first started to take over from horses, and probably when someone first proffered a wheel up as an alternative to walking.

        Seriously though, gimmicks? Like KERS, DRS, Tyres made of play dough… now double points, I heard a rumour in 2015 we’ll have dick dastardly nail deployment capsules, which the drivers will be able to pick up around the circuit. Be very afraid I say.

        I enjoyed the HIppos rant, and fully agree. I’ll be watching it and keeping my fingers crossed. I do think you are right they are about representing brands and glamour, with a ‘concience friendly’ twist, so the folks who waste money on ecover washing up liquid and biodegradable washing bags can indulge whilst maintaining a straight face about their carbon foot print (*sigh*). I do hope, however, that a serious sport emerges from it, with some interesting alternative technologies, racing in some interesting venues, which I am very interested in. I hope as a result, FE has a rethink about this fan boost nonsense, its just what it doesn’t need.

  3. One of my biggest isssues with F-E is that it will highlight the problem faced by EV’s. During the feature race a driver will be required to jump from one car into another as the battery capability isn’t sufficient enough to go the full race distance… For a sport that is supposed to promote EV usage surely this just shows their greatest weakness…

    I will watch F-E and may even cover it but I think there is as much wrong with it’s implementation as there is right with it. I mean Fan Boost.?.? hows that ever gonna work…

    • Cities should invest in the same technology as proximity charging for mobiles etc. When F-E cars drive over these sections they are charged, similar to Mario Cart boosters. Then the cities can also show off their “green” credentials by having a fleet of electric busses (http://singularityhub.com/2013/08/25/korean-road-wirelessly-charges-new-electric-buses/) to take tourists around the circuit while the busses gets charged using the same power as the cars.

      I am more of a petrol head than a scalextric person but I can see some great opportunities for clever people with money.

      • These electric cars and buses are green, right? We will all be driving them soon? I just hope there is enough space to build all the extra power stations required to generate the electricity. Power stations that are either nuclear, coal or gas powered, of course. Wow, we are all going to be really saving the planet!!

    • As I wrote, if Agag’s braindamaged gimmicks don’t kill it off after only one season, the teams will be allowed to do their own development and it appears to be much less restricted than F1, so give it 2 or 3 years and you’ll see cars that make the complete race distance on a pair of AA’s.
      Motorsports has always done more to advance the motor vehicle than the producers of horrid family eco boxes, which is why I think a few seasons of F-E will advance electric locomotion far more than what the traditional manufacturers managed so far. That’s why I don’t want F-E killed off by stupid Faceborg gimmicks.

      • Yeah, I left a comment above, but I’d strongly second that, It just doesn’t need it, and I think left alone, in two or three years we’ll have a very interesting, and very exciting series, with some very cool technological innovations.

  4. We’ve been treated to a special Fat Hippo’s Rant today Danilo, thank you.

    Fully agree on the sprinting part between the cars. The more sensible part would be to make a minimum time for the switch over to happen to avoid dangerous or questionable practices.

    • ..seeing as we are in the 21st century, a robot could hoist the driver from the car whilest another removes the vehicle and a third slides the new one into place

      Jetsons style

      • Sounds more Wallis & Grommit to me…or maybe even like the machines to lift the pins at a bowling alley

  5. Some last words from this Silly Season, as it desperately tries to attach a few more seconds to its waning life: McGregor was removed from the Caterham website. If that’s anything to go by, it doesn’t look good for VDG.

  6. For some reason I’m not surprised the least that the P1 fairs much better than the 918. I would be more interested in seeing how it fairs against a supercar (e.g. Ferrari) although I know it would be a bit unfair as the P1 is in the sports car category.

  7. I think only two of the Uk based F1 teams, Mclaren and Red Bull are actually in the home counties, the others are all Oxfordshire or Northamptonshire are they not? All southern shandy drinker land I grant you but, still!

      • The Williams factory looks to be in a sensible spot, practically the middle of nowhere (well Grove is err nice) and just far enough away from the areas that flood to avoid being flooded directly.

    • The Williams Factory is not that far from Oxford, having been there twice for open days. Fascinating to see what goes into an F1 car, with no guarantees of success. Overall impression of Williams, a family at heart but an extremely professional and tough one when times get rough.

    • ooh, the controversial issue of defining the home counties. Some think part of Oxfordshire and even Cambridgeshire are included in the home counties. It depends if you define them as those adjacent to London, those within the M25 perimeter, or even better…where MPs and the rich folk have a second home 😉

      • Small sections of them are sometimes added in various offical documents, often erroniously. But I like to try and come to their defence and give them some seperation from the sarlac pit if at all possible. 😛

  8. “…the German establishment is determined to gain a conviction against Ecclestone, to send a clear message that bribing a German official will not be tolerated.”

    I don’t buy this! Given the recent accusations of Siemens and German military companies bribing officials in Greece, I sense this has to do more with Merc being in F1 and not seeing eye to eye with BE rather than bribery and ethics of the German officialdom.

  9. “Outbursts of Bernie nostalgia have been spreading since the announcement… ”

    Again confirming that you can fool some of the people all of the time…

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