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Black stuff for 2014 (09:30)
Ferrari wind tunnel fixed (09:30)
Lotus goes Filming (11:50)
Gone in 5s… (12:38)
Black stuff for 2014
Not an espresso. No, we are talking about the Pirelli’s for 2014. Last year Paul Hembery said 2014 will see people have big problems and tyres won’t be one of them.
It appears that Pirelli has indeed built more durable tyres for this season, which one would expect considering the higher demand the engines will place on the tyres and the bad publicity they received last year. Although Pirelli says it is too early to assess the performance of its 2014 tyres, considering the limited running and below par performance of cars, Lewis Hamilton feels there is an improvement.
Speaking to Sky Hamilton had this to say, “They’re more durable, so you can do maybe 30 laps and have a lot less wear on them.” He then went on to state the obvious, “But they still overheat, like any other tyre.” Hamilton’s confidence is not supported by Pirelli though. Speaking to media Hembery said we will see the tyres tested more thoroughly after teams had time to develop their cars and fix issues identified at Jerez.
As the Pirelli tyres never really suited Hamilton’s style, should they be more durable, could this be his year for WDC number two or will the suspected conservative driving style required for the V6 turbos be another achilles heel for him?
Wind tunnel fixed says Ferrari
Confidence is high in Maranello. In the last couple of years Ferrari has struggle to correlate their wind tunnel data with that gathered on track. The team was forced to shut their tunnel down and use Toyota’s facilities in Cologne, Germany which ironically was also the one used by McLaren while they were developing their new tunnel. Both the Ferrari and McLaren suffered with aerodynamic problems last year.
For this year however the Scuderia have their wind tunnel facility back on track with Domenicali stating they saw the expected results on track last week at Jerez.
It looks like our Spanish Samurai will have the necessary weapons to enter into battle now. Speaking to CNN Alonso said, “The car has some good signs and, let’s say, the philosophy that the car has been designed too is just what we are seeing now on the data. So there is nothing wrong, nothing to be pessimistic about, but a lot of work to do.”
A happy confident Alonso? Fireworks in Maranello when both Alonso and Kimi are in with a chance for the title?
Lotus goes Filming
TJ13 has learned that Lotus have packed their trucks and set off for Spain. Although a bit late for the first test, which wound up last Friday, Lotus has decided to use their 100km ‘filming’ day for some unofficial testing this coming Friday, 7th February.
While many may have been hoping the car Lotus showed us online was just a mock-up it appears this is really their challenger for the 2014 season.
With Lotus probably having the most radical design of all the cars to date could it be that they have another development up their sleeve that they did not want to show the rest of the F1 world just yet? We saw how Brawn GP stole a march on the competition winning 6 out of the first 7 races and by doing so secured enough of a margin to net themselves both Driver and Constructors Championship.
At this point in time it is still unclear who will take over the Team Principal role from Lopez but Lotus is said to be in discussions with four candidates including Whitmarsh. However, if they can afford the ex McLaren man remains to be seen.
Gone in 5s…
So, here we are on the brink of a new F1 season and behind the scenes feverous activity can be found in places other than just the nib of Newey’s 2H carbon scriber. Both the FIA and Bernie are pressing strongly for the last 3 races of the year to be awarded double points and the release this week of the F1 viewing figures for 2013 is a happy coincidence.
Previously we’ve been led to believe this is all Bernie’s (FOM) idea, but TJ13 can reveal this is not the case. A senior source from the world’s Motorsport’s governing body confirmed to me in Jerez they are certain that due to the voting count at the next F1 strategy meeting, double points will be awarded for the last 3 races of the year. It was even inferred a number of the teams did not object.
During the same conversation TJ13 was told, the new 5s penalty had been conceived of to ensure the bigger teams and drivers were more easily penalised without the threat of all manner of protests becoming normative.
Interestingly, the enforcement of such a penalty will be administered by the guilty team prior to any pit stop. The car will arrive at its own box, stop and no less than 5s must elapse before the mechanics touch the car.
I asked what would happen if the 5s “no contact with the car” was breached. “A further penalty will be awarded“. When I pressed what the secondary penalty would be, it became apparent this had not yet been finalised, though another 5s penalty ‘may be appropriate’.
I suggest the FIA tread carefully on this one if we are not to see this new penalty degenerate into farce. A trade of track position now for a later secondary time penalty may suit a driver at a particular point in the race.
Should the car being penalised make no further stops, the 5s will be added at the end of the race and if necessary positions and points lost.
Let’s hope the Lotus super computer has the latest adding up modules ready and good to go.