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You may not realise how hugely important this is and has helped grow our community significantly
Here at TJ13 our goal is to build the ‘go to’ community for F1 fans. We believe our writers who are just F1 fans bring reports of historic F1 to you – which are second to none. Further, the comment on the news and our inside reveals are par excellence as evidenced by the recent world exclusive expose which predicted before the first V6 turbo engine was fired up in Jerez that Renault had instructed their customers to restrict the running of their new powertrain.
Yet as we build our team of news writers, we feel the demand for the breadth of news is beyond our capabilities as present. This has affected the quality of the comment on each of the day’s news items we can provide at present as we are stretched too thin.
Of course we continue to look for new writers who we can help develop and can assist us with the daily 24/7 news desk, but this takes time.
So, in the meantime we propose to take news feeds from a F1 news agency by the name of GMM. They have the infrastructure to bring you the ‘who said what’ across a wide range of stories more quickly than we can at present. This will mean you have a panacea of daily F1 topics for you all to debate and chew the cud over.
GMM reports are on the whole fairly objective, concise and without opinion, however it may be that if GMM articles express an opinion, TJ13 is not in agreement with this. We see this not as a problem but in fact a way of broadening the daily topics we all care about regarding F1.
We will be trialing this for 3 months to see how it goes, and of course value your feedback on the change.
This is merely part of our ongoing efforts to deliver the first class F1 community we believe is possible and we must attempt change to see whether we can improve or not.
The smoking remains of a plethora of F1 cars will have barely been removed from the Melbourne circuit, before a monumental occasion in F1 history will begin. The criminal trial of Bernie Ecclestone has been set to start on the 24th April
Ecclestone’s lawyers for the past 18 months have filed a rain forest of paper work with the Munich court in an attempt to defer or ultimately have the case removed from the docket.
Yet the persistence of the Munich prosecutors has been dogged. The trial will begin and it has been schedule for an initial 26 days. Yet such is the power of F1’s supremo, he has managed to negotiate that the hearings will take place only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to allow him to continue with his busy F1 duties.
This apparent pandering to Mr. E is not in fact a legal jurisdiction paying homage to Ecclestone. The Judge and the prospectors by allowing such unprecedented exemptions are ensuring there are no grounds being created for Ecclestone to make an appeal.
The Judge is the same one who convicted Ecclestone’s cohort, Gribkowsky, to 8 some years and in his summing up of the German bankers case stated that clearly he believed “Ecclstone was the driving force” behind the corruption”,
This will be Ecclestone’s sternest challenge yet in his long career in F1.
Production company News2Use has completed production of a 26 minute documentary about the career of 26 year old 4-times world champion Sebastian Vettel, called Sebastian Vettel: On Road and Track. The finished product is now available for purchase by interested TV broadcasters.
The documentary focuses on Vettel’s early career and his preparation for the 2014 F1 season. A short 2 Minute Trailer is available on the Internet.
Mercedes non-executive Chairman, Niki Lauda believes his team are well placed for the new season based on the (somewhat) unimportant first test results in Jerez last week. Never one to miss out on self promotion, the former triple world champion took great pleasure in emphasising how strong the position the Brackley based team find themselves.
Speaking to the newspaper Osterreich he said, “This (Jerez) was purely an engine test, so the teams had the chance to try the new engines. We drove three and a half Grand Prix distances and I am very satisfied.”
He continued, “At the moment it looks as though we have the edge, but that could change very quickly.”
While it remains to be seen whether the Renault running teams will continue to struggle in Bahrain, Mercedes look set to go from strength-to-strength…that is if you believe everything the Austrian would have you believe.
Ericsson avoiding the burgers
With the new regulations dictating a much stricter weight allowance (690kg driver and car combined) than in years previously, the taller drivers on the grid are set to struggle as they fight the constant battle of weight. It has been well documented how Nico Hulkneberg will find it difficult being 184cm tall, but other drivers seem to have missed this tag until recently.
Caterham newbie, Marcus Ericsson, has reportedly been told by engineers to trim slightly before the season opener in March. The Kumla born Swedish national stands only 4cm shorter than Hulkenberg, so will face similar problems to those the Force India man will encounter.
The 2014 rookie said, “They haven’t said I need to be any particular weight, but I’ll go down as much as I can, ensuring I can still race for two hours. We will work closely making sure I am at the right level,” he said, “as you still need the highest concentration for two hours.”
He raises a very interesting point. How far is too far in the pursuit of losing weight? Formula One has always favoured those who don’t tower over the rest, but could the new regulations see drivers going to extreme limits in order to achieve incremental weight losses? At what point could this become a danger to the drivers?
He continued, “It is extremely hot and with high G-forces, so it’s impossible to be a skeleton. I won’t be eating burgers for lunch and dinner but I still need to eat, because I train hard every day.”
Considering Eurosport lists him as weighing 69kg, a full 5kg lighter than Nico Hulkenberg’s official website lists the German as, how light exactly is he intending to go?
“It’s a shame the FIA and Formula 1 can’t just make a decision and increase the weight by 10kg,” he stated. “Then it wouldn’t be a big deal and everyone would have the same opportunities.
“But what can you do? I can’t chop off a leg. Three kilos is a tenth per lap in this game, and my teammate (Kamui Kobayashi) is 7 or 8kg lighter than me.” 2015 cannot come soon enough by the sounds of it, when the weight limit for car and driver will increased to 701kg. Until then though, the Swede will be forced to stick to the salad and keep training.
Making excuses and feeling the pressure are we already Mr Ericsson?
F1 not much quicker than GP2?
Jenson Button has weighed into the argument about the 2014 spec cars, stating “We’ll be quicker [than GP2], but not that much quicker.” The feeder series is set to be doing similar lap times if the first test times from Jerez are anything to go by.
The man from Frome continued, “Then again it was the first test with a very new package. They’ll be a lot closer on certain circuits. Last year, in terms of the regulations, things hardly changed at all so at the first test we were going to be quite quick, and you improve for the first race, but it wasn’t a massive chunk.”
The McLaren man has views that are similar to those of Adrian Newey, who feels it will be an engine formula for the first part of the season until the engine manufacturers all align as they gain understanding. Button summarised, “This year’s tyres, we think, are half a second slower. The cars are also heavier, about one to 1.2 seconds through weight, so that’s 1.6, 1.8 seconds already from those two changes. So this year we were always going to be slower.”
Aha, so all is not so bad then Jenson. In fact, considering the huge overhaul the regulations have undergone, the picture is actually a rather positive one. To put the raw times into perspective though, Kevin Magnussed, Button’s 2014 rookie partner set the fastest time of the 4 days in Jerez clocking a 1.23.276.
When this is compared to the fastest time of the Jerez 2013 test, a 1.17.879 set by Felipe Massa and the fastest GP2 time at the circuit, a 1.24.262 (2008) set by the returning F1 driver, Kamui Kobayashi, one can see why there was an initial cause for concern on the part of F1’s new elder statesman.
Food for thought – does having faster cars really make for better racing?
The mystery of Haas
When the FIA announced late last year they were opening up the opportunity for new teams to enter F1 it was evident to all there was more to this than meets the eye. The process was highly truncated, giving potential applicants a mere 5 weeks to cough up around $5,000 and have some kind of business plan in place.
When we consider Honda began commissioning their engine plant in Milton Keynes around 18 months before the Japanese engine manufacturer will see its V6 run in anger, the kind of timescales for a new start up in F1 – be it car or engine are clear. So why the rush?
It is highly unlikely any new team will be able to make the Winter tests and the grid in Melbourne for 2015 unless they are under way already. Specifying machines and tools which are often bespoke can take months, and the recruitment of a hundred or so specialised F1 folk will also take some time. Those currently employed will have contracts to at least the end of 2014 and the best talent beyond that.
Whilst Mr. E at times may appear deluded and confused, his comments that Haas is “most unlikely” to start an F1 team are rooted in a sensible analysis of the costs of F1. Haas is worth around $750m, though much of this is not liquid and Ecclestone added, “They (Haas) have been talking about it for three years. Somebody can have 10 billion in the bank but it doesn’t mean they are going to spend it.”
Yet Haas insists he will press onto stage 2 of his application to the FIA which must be complete by February 10th. This will cost him in the region of $100,000 and he will need to demonstrate he has a proper business plan for setup capital spend and a budget to compete in all the races for a year.
Apparently the Haas plan is to become a Ferrari engine customer and commission Dallara to design a chassis – though Autosprint’s insistence this combination will be brought together under the watchful eye of Gunther Steiner in time for 2015 cannot be based upon any realistic information.
In response to Ecclestone’s withering opinions of Haas application, the American is hardly brimming with confidence. “He doesn’t think we will get the license, so my chances probably aren’t that great of a shot.”
Yet there has to be some reason the FIA suddenly decided to open up this application process to new teams. The simplistic answer is that this is another bargaining tool to be traded in the eternal conflict between motorsport’s governing body and Ecclestone. If this is the case what does Haas have to gain from it?
There are of course a few here today gone tomorrow headlines and some publicity, but this will be followed by the legacy of Haas being branded as a failure with his F1 application.
There have been rumours in certain quarters that this is merely Haas lurking in the wings to snap up a Lotus or Marussia should they run out of funding. Yet, why bother do this? Should either team or indeed another be open to takeover, the FIA scrutiny on ownership is far less stringent than start up – Mansoor Ijaz is the evidence of that.
The devil will be in the detail of what is possible should Haas get the nod from the FIA. Will he be able to trade his right of entry to someone else who can equally prove their ability to deliver the business plan and budget. This sale would save face for Haas and provide anonymity for whoever is at present stalking F1 in the shadows… who may possibly now be at an advanced stage of car development and be good to go in 2015.
The Usher has been researching the possibility that Sochi might well be a target for terrorism in the coming season. Whilst looking into what the Russian government might do should the unthinkable happen and teams actually boycott a race (not just Force India this time!), he got his answer from Putin himself; “The show must go on!”.