Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 24th January 2014

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Renault: Missing Jerez will be setback for Lotus (09:00)

Andy Green ‘fesses up (09:00)

Vandoorne becomes McLaren tester (09:00)

Last minute chance to attend Jerez test

Eric Boullier jumps ship (11:15)

Today from the Usher’s Ledger (12:00)

McLaren reveals all (12:00)

Lotus not to be outdone (12:30)

TheJudge13 goes live in Germany (14:30)

wtf1.co.uk win the internet (15:00)

Renault: Missing Jerez will be setback for Lotus


When Lotus announced that they would not be attending the Jerez test, they claimed that they won’t suffer much from it as they will happily profit from the work done and data gathered by the other Renault teams Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Caterham. Renault has now rubbished these claims and expresses what every observer with half a brain knows – it’s a huge disadvantage to skip the test.

Not counting that the sheer thought of Red Bull voluntarily sharing their data with the only team that troubled them last year is quite preposterous an idea, Renault’s Rob White explains why the Lotus folk were wrong, again.

“The fundamental power unit is identical, but each installation is unique,” says White. “The objectives for the first test are to fully validate the power unit in its environment. It is the first time that you can bring the whole thing together and turn it on – you haven’t got the chassis combined at the factory.

We do a great deal to simulate as much as we can, but ahead of the fire-up we haven’t ever brought together every single piece of sub-system and system in the exact configuration that it will be, in that car.

So the stuff that is, if you like, shareable and shared between the teams is the stuff that pertains direct to the power unit, not the stuff that pertains to its particular environment.

Clearly anybody that isn’t able to run at Jerez will be a little bit behind and that includes the power unit side of the equation.

So, in essence Lotus can now decide whether Renault exposed them as pathological liars or blithering idiots. Somehow neither prospect does sound very promising to me. But at least Renault does talk about Lotus, so at least it looks as if the team and the French manufacturer have come to an understanding and the three office temps at Lotus that haven’t yet been poached by other teams may not have to push the cars around the track.


Andy Green ‘fesses up

Force India got one up on their competition when they did a surprise reveal of their 2014 challenger two days ago. The 3D rendering showed off their new, more aggressive livery, but other than that it was as revealing as an Amish edition of the Playboy magazine. Carefully showing only the side profile of the car, it was even tilted at a slight angle to hide the car’s exposed gentleman sausage.

In an interview with Auto, Motor & Sport Technical Director Andrew Green admits that their car is an anteater, too. “Thin like the nose of an anteater,” he describes the car’s facial features. He readily admits that the solution is unsightly and that a flattened nose, like featured on the 2012 McLaren would be the more aesthetic approach, but the ‘trunk solution’ is aerodynamically preferable.

“More air would go over the car than under it, but we want as much air to pass below the car to feed the diffuser. We will always build what yields the best lap time and barely satisfies the safety regulations, no matter what it looks like.”

But not all noses will look the same, according to Green, who knows of three or four different solutions and describes the ‘anteater nose’ as ‘conservative’. “It’s one that does allow us to pass the crash tests without problems, so that we can tackle the early tests without having to fear that we completely mess up.”

So those of you, who thought that the bollock-nose described by his honour yesterday was a cruel joke should be warned that we haven’t seen the worst of it yet.


Vandoorne becomes McLaren tester

One thing is clear – the parents of Stoffel Vandoorne did not speak German, as Stoffel in several German dialects means simpleton. Thankfully his driving is the exact opposite of what his name in lower saxon suggests. Replacing 2012 champion Robin Frijns in the WSR, he finished runner-up to his new team mate Kevin Magnussen in 2013. Like former Steward GP driver Jan Magnussen’s son, he joins the McLaren lineup. He’ll be filling the role of reserve and test driver and one can only hope that like his colleagues van der Gaarde at Sauber and Frijns at Caterham, he’ll get enough track time to prove his mettle.


Last minute chance to attend Jerez test

The Fat Hippo was scheduled to be at Jerez for the first winter test however is now unable to attend due to work commitments. The result is there will be a smart hotel room in Jerez de la Frontera with no Hippo in it. The hotel is just minutes from the track and there are several of the teams staying there as well.

The cost for the room, which is booked from January 26th to February 1st, would amount to 500 Euros. If you’re spontaneous enough to pick up the booking with just 2 day’s notice, please use the Contact Form to let us know.


Eric Boullier jumps ship

Lotus team boss Eric Boullier has jumped ship and is rumoured to take the place of Martin Whitmarsh at McLaren. The vacated post will be taken by Gerard Lopez, who is quick to ensure – comical Ali style – that Lotus never stood still and looks forward to an exciting season with an innovative car (that is so innovative it doesn’t need to be tested at Jerez) and a new management sturucture, comprised of all three people, who remain at Enstone. It will be interesting to see, which species the fornicating animals on Lotus’s twitter account will be this time. I hope it’s not Hippos…


Today from the Usher’s Ledger

Force India reveal their drivers in team kit.

FI 2014 drivers


McLaren reveals all

McLaren has bared it all today. In a launch held at the MTC at 12:00 the team from Woking gave the world the first real look of what 2014 could bring. Following hot on the heals of the William F1 FW26 launch yesterday this is what McLaren will look like:

Probably the most striking, bar the front of the car, is the lack of sponsors on the car and the drivers. Yes, Mobil1, Pirelli and SAP are there but what about Glaxo Smith Kline’s brands?

On their website the latter’s brands are still mentioned as partners… not updated your site or are we in for a different livery?

McLaren F1 Partners

And for those of you who would like to listen to Sam Michael


Lotus not to be outdone

It becomes clear that Lotus have to …err… compensate as they nailed not one, but two male genitalia to the face of their car. They seriously had the gall to call it ‘a beauty’ on their Twitter page. Yeah, right chaps…

It appears as if the teams compete to build the first car that’ll be bleeped out by the BBC.


TheJudge13 goes live in Germany

As of today the content of TheJudge13 will also be available for the German speaking community. As our current server doesn’t provide the infrastructure for seamless integration of multi-language content, the German variant will be temporarily published in the GTRP Motorsports Forum and will be migrated, once we’ve relocated to a new server.


wtf1.co.uk win the internet



62 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 24th January 2014

  1. Is there any truth in the rumours that Boullier will take over from Whitmarsh? I think I’m not the only one who will think that would be a disaster for McLaren.

    • Brawn or Boullier – not a difficult choice in my book. If it does transpire that Boullier is in, then maybe that will indicate that Brawn has decided to continue with his fishing for a good while yet.

  2. Some interesting news about McLaren. They have this week changed their Law Firm of choice from Baker & McKenzie to Norton Rose (http://ow.ly/sU6rz). The implications are significant. They were with their previous lawyers since the 1980s. As with their commercial relationships, McLaren are usually all about the long – term view. This will actually be a considerable expense for them, as their new lawyers will have to get up to speed regarding the workings of the whole McLaren Group, and will inevitably build the increased time that they will be spending in completing tasks for McLaren into their charges. Given the revolving door at the MTC at present, they will certainly be busy producing watertight employment contracts, not to mention the possibility of a fairly comprehensive Compromise Agreement for a certain Mr Whitmarsh, which means that if he is moved, either sideways or out of the picture altogether, we will most likely never know the full reasons, or the machinations, that led to Ron’s comeback speech last week. There is also the possibility of Norton Rose appearing as a sponsor, or for the organisations to work together on a Corporate Social Responsibility Scheme.

    Its certainly all change at Woking in 2014….

    • Peter: here was the actual PR for that…


      Press Release: Norton Rose Fulbright has entered into an innovative corporate partnership with the McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team and has been appointed as the global legal advisor to the McLaren Group.

      In over 50 years at the pinnacle of global motorsport, McLaren has developed a world beating culture of excellence and innovation. This has enabled the McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team to win 182 grand prix races, achieve 155 pole positions, claim 12 drivers’ World Championships and eight Constructors’ Championships.

      Under its partnership with McLaren Mercedes, Norton Rose Fulbright will have unique access into the heart of one of the world’s most successful sports teams and most innovative companies, which will provide invaluable insight into high performance teamwork and instilling a winning mentality.

      As global legal advisor, Norton Rose Fulbright will work closely with McLaren Group’s in-house legal team, providing a range of services including corporate and M&A, contractual and intellectual property, real estate and employment law.

      Peter Martyr, global chief executive, Norton Rose Fulbright said: “This is an exciting partnership. McLaren Mercedes is a leading brand, as is Norton Rose Fulbright.

      “By becoming a corporate partner and providing worldwide legal services to McLaren Group, we aim to reinforce the importance that we place on our people’s commitment to teamwork and excellence. We have already committed to developing a joint CSR project.”

      Timothy Murnane, group legal director, McLaren Group said: “McLaren Mercedes consistently challenges itself, embraces change and maintains clear focus on the only goal that matters – to win. We see Norton Rose Fulbright as one of the leading global legal practices, combining a lengthy history with an appetite for change and a pursuit of excellence which resonates with our own corporate ideals. Our unique partnership will bring together two highly respected global businesses with the potential to achieve great things together.”

      Today’s announcement comes as McLaren Mercedes gears up to be the first Formula 1 team to launch its 2014 car. McLaren Mercedes will hold a groundbreaking digital launch at 12 noon on Friday January 24.

      The Formula 1 Championship encompasses 19 races, which are held every two weeks over a nine month period across the world, including in Canada, US, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and India. The championship has 105 million television viewers in 140 countries.

      Norton Rose Fulbright’s appointment as global legal advisor to McLaren Group covers McLaren Racing and McLaren Applied Technologies but excludes McLaren Automotive.

    • BTW: if Whitmarsh doesn’t speak publicly about why he’s been deposed, do you really think it will be as a result of a switch in outside counsel that his silence is ensured, or is it more likely that Martin is simply not one to air dirty laundry in public, non-disclosure agreement or not?

      And are you suggesting that McLaren have not been executing effective employment contracts, non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements w/ their staff up to now? Really? Wow. That would be indicative of a serious failure of professional responsibility!

      Why don’t you get in touch w/ Tom Cassels at Baker & McKenzie and just ask him what happened? Tell him I sent you, but even then he might only talk on background off-the-record…

      tom dot cassels at bakermckenzie.com
      T + 44 20 7919 1925

  3. In other news, Caterham has announced the Jerez line-up.
    Days 1 & 2: Ericsson
    Day 3: Frijns
    Day 4: Kobayashi

    The first/second driver argument holds once again. Plus it’s good to see Frijns is getting track time so soon.

  4. Haven’t checked, but someone on a dutch forum noticed that Maldonado isn’t mentioned on the Lotus website.

    • Aside from 2013 race reports, there’s just one mention of Maldonado on the Lotus F1 site and that’s to say he’s part of the 2014 driver line up. No substance to the rumour it would seem.

  5. I would be completely shocked if Boullier was hired by McLaren. I really don’t see this happening. But you guys are usually awfully accurate with your predictions and rumours. So it very well might be true. But I don’t see this as a step in the right direction for McLaren.

  6. Poor old Grosjean… Guessing Boullier wont have much time for him in any management capacity.

    Being stuck in a garage with everyone grumbling about money, changing nappies for Crashtor and dealing with a screaming kid at night.

    2014 might not be the swansong he was hoping for.

  7. I’m no rocket scientist nor do I have a degree in aerodynamics. But I just do not see the benefit in these noses. Can someone tell me what the deal is?
    ..on another note, Boullier’s departure sure does say a lot about the status and health of Lotus. I am really starting to wonder if they are going to make it. Because right now things are definitely not looking good. RoGro deserves better.

    • Its to get past tech regs Adam. The nose needs to meet certain dimensions and hence they need to go all the way to the front. But the teams are trying to get the nose to go the whole way without interfering with aerodynamics.

      Say, on the Lotus… no SaxoBank? Another Quantum like deal? Maybe refinancing debt?

      • Thanks, I knew it was to appease the regs. Just after I read the changes when they were released I didn’t picture this sort of nose at all! I knew there would be a height difference. But did not forsee the “pointyness”

        • Isn’t it just that they still want plenty of air to pass ‘under’ the car – hence the ‘pointyness’…

    • To add to @Don’s comment, the problem the engineers have is the need as much air flow as possible to go under the car not over it as this air is what the diffuser uses to create the bulk of the rear downforcem the new regs say the nose must be considerably lower which impedes the flow to the under floor of the car, so the meet the regs in their literal sense the teams have used the minimum suface area they can get away with so the adverse effect on the underfloor aero and diffuser is reduced to its minimum.

      I hope that helps you understand things more clearly.

      • Thanks for explaining it a little more clearly. I suppose my confusion lies in me expecting something different then what has been presented so far. not sure exactly what I was expecting, but this definitely wasn’t it! Lol… thanks again for helping me understand the reasoning better.

        • As Force India’s Andy Green said. They’re always going to build what is fastest and just barey fits the rules, even if it looks like a bleeding dog’s bottom.

          • ….look – not everyone will have a penis nosed car – no one appears to believe this – even after my infallible pronouncement gowned and wigged this morning…..

          • You are the prophet that no one listens to, your honour 😉 Deal with it. Greatness takes time to get aknowledged 😉

          • … I still loved the prophecy of the purple bull this time last year best


            Mrs. J spent about 20 hours knocking this together – under my creative direction of course 🙄

            If I remember rightly, the RB website went purple an hour before the car was revealed – this was out one week before…

            For new TJ13 readers, its worth a peek…..

            When we take over the FIA and FOM, F1 will be more fun 😈

          • Has to be said so far that the Lotus could be the female of the pack.. As shown on Twitter.. 3-1 to the males so far!

          • We published the news in German for the first time today and the car was immediately dubbed the ‘pussy nose’, with one user suggesting that it might start dating the McLaren to sate it’s carnal desires.

    • .. I can only assume the reference to mummy porn which no doubt tells tales of illicit relationships is some kind of slight on Eric buggering off somewhere else.

      After all, unlike another of our independent paddock writer friends – Mr. Cooper is pretty well informed….

      • I thought that, though if things continue to go badly for Lotus, the twitter will at least be successful in 2014.

        I’m edging towards Eric becoming TP at McLaren, it makes more sense than Brawn. As far as Brawn goes ? Guessing he’s watching and waiting before he makes a decision about what to do next. Ferrari might not be out of the question for Brawn, if he gets the job he wants there but was denied last time around.

        • Surely I can’t be the only one thinking – 50 shades of Grey – McLaren shades of grey????? Surely must be EB=TP

          • I know it’s technically more silver than grey, but could be interpreted as grey, so my point still stands.

    • I think it’s rather good. As another commenter mentions, it could be a reference to the grey team, but either way it’s politely insulting…

  8. can I suggest to those who believe these new cars look like certain parts of the human anatomy that they should get themselves to a suitable doctor pdq

    These cars are neither ugly or pretty, merely functional so let’s just get on with it shall we

    • If we put up with these abominations, they will continue building them. It’s time to put the foot down.

  9. First I thought it was an optical illusion, but not. The right… whatever it is, of the Lotus is longer than the left.
    Formula 1 will be X rated this year.

  10. Few things:

    1. Looking more and more likely that it was actually a good thing that Hulk didn’t to go to Lotus.

    2. At this rate, the only person left at Lotus from 2013 will be Grosjean!

    3. Al those predictions that the McLaren would be orange – couldn’t be more wrong(er). Looking more likely the “blast from the past” will be Williams-Martini.

      • Who knows – they also have Pat Symonds and Massa (and of course no Maldonado). This could also help

          • I’ll second that dream Don. I would absolutely love to see a Williams battling with the boys at the sharp end of the pack again. I really felt though that the lovely Claire is putting some much needed energy back into the team from the top down and it’s good to see, I’d like to see Sir Frank raise the constructors trophy at least 1 more time.

            Good times…….

  11. I rather like both the mclaren and the lotus – those noses will be forgotten about by round 2.
    Also, are you guys blind – mclaren’s new sponsor is mp4-29. I love their new stuff, and will probably get more of it this weekend, as I’m running low on it.

  12. You guys & gals can make of this what you like (just spare my blushes). I don’t feel in any way offended nor even mildly aroused ( 🙁 ) by the new ‘noses’ – BUT – my eye feels much insulted by the aesthetic mess on either side of the Merc nose, and painting it black makes it look like a wallflower at a dance-hall (‘disco’ for younger readers).
    I don’t actually *like* the new noses, but Hey, (to paraphrase) “Whatever floats your MOTE”… 😉
    Can’t wait to see how Jordan and Coulthard discuss this issue – and I don’t mean any ‘issue’ from a Merc/Lotus coming-together… 😉
    Oh-My-God – I’ll have to stop now.

  13. Your Honour,I wish you would send that ‘contact form’ to Lotus F1 team..They may be able to produce atleast 500 Euros,and stay at a hotel in Jerez,as they cannot afford to participate in it.Lopez/Pastor to sit in the grandstands and watch all other cars’ testing..

    • Haha. That room was booked before the testing dates were announced.

      They’ve sold out I’ve been told, but we’re charging 900 euros following the announcement of the dates for WT1

  14. I hate Sam Michael.

    Not as a person…but rather, as an F1 team figurehead. I’ve come to associate him directly with consistent failure across multiple teams and his presence seems to dovetail nicely w/ general perceived declines in performance.

    That said, I think I’d rather have him as a TP than Gerard Lopez.

    Oh Pastor… coño!!!

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