Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 6th February 2014

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McLaren Honda it is

RB10 dilemma

Dare we trust them?

GP3 vs IndyCar

Raikkonen manager Robertson dies (GMM)

Ecclestone’s predictions

Frijns says, “It’s not fair” (GMM)

A steering wheel from the future?

Renault teams to attend Lotus filming days?

Perhaps the reason for Todt’s silence on F1 matters? (GMM)

Usher’s Ledger: Exclusive – Renault seen preparing for Bahrain test with revised engine

Fiat spin off Ferrari

Q3 to be extended

McLaren Honda it is

TJ13 reported over the festive period that McLaren would not be unveiling a sponsor when the MP4-29 was revealed to the world and that from 2015 the team would be Mclaren Honda.

The reasoning suggested was that Renault have consistently complained about the lack of exposure they receive from their relationship with Red Bull when compared to Infiniti. This was no better evidenced when I stood in the pit lane in Jerez for the unveiling of Newey’s latest creation, and lo and behold where did the team’s French engine manufacturer feature?


TJ13 also revealed that it was probable that Honda would be contributing more than just free engines, and would as a minimum replace in total the Vodafone contributions in 2015 by providing further cash supplements for the incremental profile they will receive by not playing second fiddle to a title sponsor.

Today Michael Schmidt, eminent German F1 writer, reveals Honda will be investing an eye watering 100 million euros a year into McLaren in free engines, cash and 50% of the drivers’ salaries…. and he states, “the money is already flowing this season.”

Regardless of what has been widely reported, TJ13 has learned there is no competition between Lotus and McLaren for a big bucks signing from Sony to promote their latest video games platform. In fact, should Sony decide to partner with McLaren, they will be far less prominent on the MP4-29 than if they were to accept the inducements from the Enstone team.

More significantly is the news that Sony today announced a $1bn loss and the cull of 5,000 jobs worldwide. Their shares were downgraded recently by credit agency Moody to ‘junk status’.


RB10 dilemma

Funny how perspective differs. I was in Seville Sunday night and when I mentioned I was returning from Gibraltar to the UK, a local inhabitant got pretty animated over the ownership of the British protectorate that is ‘the rock in the sun’.

In an attempt to lighten the situation I offered to sign over the ownership of Gibraltar to our Spanish friend and this act of fatuous generosity – sealed by the judges signature on a beer mat -appeared to mollify the ‘Senior’ greatly. So much so that he bought me a drink 😉

Yet in F1 land there are times when similarly intense and singularly focused opinions cause an equally obtuse divide. Silly shaped noses and new engine noises have segregated father and son, brother and sister… and Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

The gripes about the ‘puny lawn mower engines’ commissioned by the FIA persist, yet the reality is that the V6 turbos are here to stay whether Ecclestone or anyone else likes it or not. Throughout the generations, F1 has been represented by a variety of engine sounds, and this is merely the latest iteration of that journey.

The new noses have created an equally ginormous storm in a tea cup of opinion with some fans so disgusted with the look of the 2014 cars they’ve threatened never to watch F1 again. Yet the FIA are not about to enforce a change in their design despite Newey’s earnest expressions of concern that this years pointy front ends are less safe than previously.

The bad news for those for whom the phallic appendages are repulsive is that their hope that Guru Newey’s quasi bollock design nose will be the one to which all others gravitate – appears to be foundering on the rocks. It was amusing around mid-morning day one Jerez, when I heard that the bollock theme was continuing with the team from Milton Keynes having fitted a rear spring incorrectly. This meant little running for Sebastian except a couple of laps at the death of the sassion.

It appears that Newey and Horner’s admitted comments about being behind schedule on the 2014 design were in fact true. As a result Red Bull kept developing their 2013 car, leading to an unprecedented domination of the second half of the season, other teams quietly got on with the job for 2014.

The result is, that the RB10 whilst aerodynamically efficient became something of a rush job. The cars when sent to Jerez are significantly completed before they are shipped, yet Auto Bild motorsport claims that the RB10 was actually assembled from scratch in the garage at Jerez in an all-nighter before the presentation. While these claims have been neither confirmed nor denied by the team, the fact that a team with such an obsessive attention to detail would botch up the mounting of a rear suspension spring, which prevented any running of note on the first day of the test, would lend some credibility to it.

In a rather understated manner, the good doctor Marko surmises to Auto Bild, “We need to redesign certain things. It’s annoying, but I keep remembering that in 2010 we also did not test in the first week”

In reality, the RB10 is right now undergoing a fundamental redesign as Adrian Newey fiercely scribbles on his artists easel with old fashioned graphite H2 pencil. Whilst the pert little rear end and svelte cooling inlets are his primary focus, it appears the ‘keel nose’ too is under review. The Red Bull car that appears on track in Bahrain will have some notable alterations, though version 3 for Bahrain 2 will be significantly different again.

An ex-F1 world champion of yesteryear who has known Mr. Newey since he joined F1 as an understudy to the enigmatic Postlethwaite recently told TJ13 that Postlethwaite himself made it clear his young understudy needed to be strictly controlled, otherwise he could become obsessed and disappear down a rabbit hole of his own making.

Christian Horner appears to have been able to keep Adrian on the relative straight and narrow for the past few years – ironically whilst failing miserably to control a certain Mr. Vettel.

Yet the monumental technical changes in F1 for 2014 meant poor old Christian had little grasp on what his technical expert was up too. Adrian was running free with the leprechauns.

Evolution – not revolution, has been Newey’s mantra for years, however he candidly admits to Auto Bild that he has “no idea” whether he can completely resolve all the issues on the RB10 to his high standards of satisfaction.

Despite their apparent bottomless war chest of cash, Red Bull F1 are seriously up against it and expectations within the team are minimal at present for Australia. Production times for fundamental components such as the gearbox are measured in a matter of weeks not days, and everything about the RB10 design is being re-examined.

Newey commented yesterday, “At least during the early part of the season, we will be discussing an ‘engine formula’. Reliability, power, fuel consumption — they will be decisive factors, The aerodynamics will only really count once these new V6s have matured”.

Good idea Ade… deflect the attention to Renault. Yet it is clear Newey has overstepped the mark. Better the fat ugly side pods of Caterham which allows the engine to run for at least 20 laps before overheating than a fabulous sleek racing machine Newey designed which can’t yet make it to pit stop 1.

Red Bull’s woes are worse than people understand. In the build up to Jerez we had Christian Horner was spouting his views to the world that many of the teams would fail to finish the Aussie race due to fuel issues, But Toto Wolff commented on day 3 of the test, they believed their fuel consumption in Melbourne would be “no problem”.

Funny how dynasties rise and fall – and the crowing from Renault of how they won the V8 era just weeks ago now appears nigh on comical. Of far greater interest will be whether Newey, as was done in days of yore, introduces an brand new car in time for Canada or the British Grand Prix.


Dare we trust them?

Following half a season of false promises and darn right lies from a certain businessman claiming to be the saviour of Lotus F1 team, there is a new latest promise which has been spread far and wide onto the twittersphere. This time the team are keeping their cards closer to their chest, maintaining the mystery.

They tweeted last night saying, “Meet you back here on Friday at 17:00 CET to find out what our #F1 mechanic Chris is complaining about.” The 20+ team who run the Lotus twitter account appear to be back to their old time best after a spell of keeping quiet which was most out of character. They now appear ready to enlighten us all and play devil’s advocate where necessary.

Anybody care to speculate what “the most ridiculous thing” could be?


GP3 vs IndyCar

You don’t need to be a genius to know that raising funds to go racing is no easy task. The struggles that young drivers face to gain a place in the lower formulas is well documented, so a seat in Formula One is nigh a pipeline dream for most, than a believed future reality. That is unless, say, your father sits on the board at AON insurance and convinces the company to back you to the tune of £10 million. These kind of stories are few and far between, so Max Chilton can count himself as extremely lucky.

When TJ13’s Adam Macdonald caught up with Conor Daly in Austin back in November, the young American talked of the struggle to make it into GP2 from GP3, let alone further to the ultimate goal, F1. His latest tweet appears to be the towel being thrown in as he tries so desperately to progress in the motor racing world. And before it is raised, we are aware he drove for Hilmer Motorsport in GP2, although only for 2 races. (He actually took part in a straight line aero test for Force India in May 2012 as well)

Conor Daly tweet 06-02-14

A fairly successful season saw Conor, son of former Formula One driver Derek Daly, finish 3rd for ART Grand Prix, which seems unlikely to be enough to secure him a promotion to GP2. With Daly now set to move to IndyCar and away from the Euro based series into America instead, it sits as an uncomfortable reminder of just how far GP2 and GP3 have fallen in stature and value for money. Martin Whitmarsh alluded to this fact last year as Magnussen was announced as Perez’s replacement, being sourced from World Series by Renault instead.

Granted, Daniil Kvyat has been awarded the Toro Rosso drive for 2014 after Daniel Ricciardo vacated his seat there, but 2014 will be the second year in a row where the GP2 champion from the year before has failed to secure a drive for the following F1 season.

Given that success in America is dependent on gaining popularity among fans stateside, having a homegrown driver is of paramount importance! Alex Rossi being the only other realistic American hope of making into F1 anytime soon, the pressure is now firmly on him to break through – although Marcus Ericsson has proven the value of a fat wallet by passing straight into the Caterham 2014 race seat.

Formula One could learn a thing or two from IndyCar as the lower budgets make it more accessible to young drivers. Another bright talent who (as history would show) will probably be forced out of the Euro racing series’ due to cost, being lost to IndyCar – in truth, a better value series. Surely something has to change here!


Raikkonen manager Robertson dies (GMM)

One of Kimi Raikkonen’s managers, David Robertson, has died.

It emerged late last year that the 70-year-old, who teamed with his son Steve to bring drivers like Finn Raikkonen and Jenson Button into F1, was in hospital in the US with cancer.

Very sad to hear that David Robertson, who helped me reach my dream of racing in formula one, has passed away,” McLaren driver Button, who no longer worked with the Robertson duo, said on Twitter.

The Finnish broadcaster MTV3 reported that Robertson had suffered from cancer of the larynx.

It emerged a week ago that Raikkonen, who switched from Lotus to Ferrari over the winter, was now working with former F1 driver Mark Blundell’s management company MB Partners.

I have known Kimi’s management and advisors for a very long time,” said Blundell, “and as such, we are working closely together on behalf of Kimi.

In other sad news, it has been confirmed that GP2 boss Igor Mazepa, who headed the 2013 title-winning Russian Time outfit, has died at the age of 40.

According to media reports, it is believed the Ukrainian died after a blood clot.


Ecclestone’s predictions

Bernie Ecclestone seems quite chatty lately and lately he is poaching in Nostradamus’s area of expertise as the short stuff from Suffolk predicts that while we’ll get a new champion, it will again be a German.

“Anything can happen under the new regulations. So I would not want to comment much on what could happen this season. The way things worked out at Jerez, Mercedes seem best prepared to succeed with Rosberg winning the title,” Ecclestone told the Indian news agency IANS.

Just last week the very same man, who is ‘unsure’ what will happen, yet predicts the world champion, slammed the proceedings at Jerez, calling it a farce. Asked whether the expected lottery during early races could enable Force India to reach the podium that eluded them since Giancarlo Fisichella’s spectacular drive in the 2009 Belgian Grandprix, he Nostradamus’ed: “Why a podium? I would love to see them win a race. And I am confident they can achieve that. They might not be as strong as the Mercedes but as their customers, Force India should progress farther up the grid.”

Now if someone would just give that car a nose job…


Frijns says, “It’s not fair”

The 22-year-old Dutchman, arguably the hottest young talent not yet on the F1 grid, has seen his rise thwarted by his lack of personal backing.

Last year, Frijns combined the Sauber reserve role with an on-again, off-again GP2 campaign, but ultimately he lost both seats due to the money issue.

For 2014, he has been signed by Caterham and will appear in the green car at grands prix on some Friday mornings, but he will not combine the seat with GP2 because the grid of the support series is now dominated by ‘pay drivers’.

And Frijns said F1 is heading the same way.

Referring to his situation in 2013, he admitted: “I thought it was not fair, as I had worked so hard for years, winning championships, going to the limit in every race — but for what?

“This world is not fair — it’s about money. It’s like you pay $20 million to the Barcelona (football) team and they put you on the field.

“It’s the same here,” Frijns told Spain’s El Confidencial. “I’m not saying they’re bad drivers,” he added hastily.

“It has always been about money, but not as much as now. The crisis began four years ago and the teams are really suffering. And with the changes with the V6 this year, it’s costing even more.”

Explaining how his Sauber adventure ended mid-season, Frijns said: “At the end of the year the car was very good, but in the middle the team had financial problems that everybody knows about.

“Then came the story with Sirotkin … I couldn’t be in the car. But I don’t regret the experience with Sauber, I know what the circumstances were and I can’t blame them for anything,” he insisted.

Now, he has started a new adventure with Caterham, and he has already tested the 2014 car at Jerez, albeit amid Renault’s technical crisis.

“I changed my manager and I got this opportunity with Caterham,” he said.

I am more involved in the team than I was (at Sauber) last year, I have more time on the track, which is quite rare these days.

“I feel that they believe in me, and that is very important,” added Frijns.


A steering wheel from the future?

Here’s a close up scroll through the demonstrator displays of the new McLaren Electronics PCU-8D F1 screen. Considering the cutting edge nature of F1, it looks a little dated already to me.

Sebastian Vettel believes it may be worth syncing it with Netflix for when his RB10 is stationary.


Renault teams to attend Lotus filming days?

It is safe to say that Renault is far behind their opponents from Ferrari and Mercedes, as was evident with the extremely low mileage for Renault powered cars at the first winter test in Jerez last week. How convenient that Lotus will hit the track on Friday and Saturday with their E22 challenger.

According to reports from several media outfits the team booked the track at Jerez for two days to stage their allotted filming days, including a maximum of 100 kilometres of track running.

We plan a few PR activities, but there is nothing more to say about the topic,” the team acknowledged after an inquiry of Motorsport-Total.

There are unsourced rumours that Renault has invited selected engineers from its other customers to be present in Jerez as “spectators”. This is would enable them to observe the activities of Lotus and start an exchange of information to help with solving the current problems with the Renault power train.

In last week’s test the Renault teams managed a measly 151 laps, half of what the AMG Mercedes team managed on their own.


Perhaps the reason for Todt’s silence on F1 matters? (GMM)

FIA president Jean Todt remains an almost ever-present figure in Grenoble.

It is there, almost 600 kilometres from Todt’s Paris office, that the great Michael Schumacher – one of the former Ferrari boss’ closest friends – lies grievously injured after a late December skiing fall.

Ever since Schumacher’s coma began just after Christmas, the diminutive 67-year-old Todt has fought through the crowds of reporters in order to be with the German. He is one of very few Schumacher friends that has been welcomed to Grenoble by the sorrowful family.

Indeed, the mutual admiration is obvious on the wall of Todt’s office, where only one photo is present — featuring his wife Michelle Yeoh, his son Nicolas, and seven time world champion Schumacher.

Now more than a week ago, doctors began to try to wake the 45-year-old from his long coma.

Michael and his family are very close friends of mine,” Todt told the German newspaper Die Welt.

He is an important part of my life. And now he is seriously injured.

Frenchman Todt said he has tried to give the Schumacher family “every conceivable type of assistance” during these most trying of weeks.

Often that is just to be there for them,” he explained.

Regularly, Todt has made the almost 600 kilometre journey to Grenoble, just to be with his unconscious friend and his family.

I think he would do it for me, if I had an accident like that,” he said. “I am sure Michael would be here for me.


Usher’s Ledger: Exclusive – Renault seen preparing for Bahrain test with revised engine

The Usher has been doing some investigation and found Renault…

Renault 2014 prep


Fiat spin off Ferrari

In what’s known as an ‘Double Irish Arrangement’, FIAT is re-organising its affairs. This move is a tax avoidance strategy used by multinational companies to lower the amount they have to pay to various governments. The fact that Italy is classed as one of the European economic ‘PIGS’ means this will hardly go down well with the Italian finance minister.

Payments are made between related corporate structures to shift income from countries where the tax rates are high to those where they are lower. Certain countries like the USA use transfer pricing rules in an attempt to prevent this. Apple pioneered this kind of activity in the 1980’s when they took advantage of the fact the Irish tax law doesn’t levy charges on subsidiary companies which are beyond its physical borders

The intangible assets of the FIAT group (and their future income) are being shifted out of Italy and the Ferrari brand asstes will be placed into a ‘newco’, away from the automotive business.

untitledIn 2013 the Ferrari logo alone generated over a 100 million euros and newco will now control the licensing and sale of accessories as well as the control over the logo and the brand name.

Of course the official line is that this is being done to create greater value from the both automotive and the brand/ logo separately. Both are significantly diverse activities in nature and of course require a different management. The skill set to develop the brand/logo must not be present in the whole of Italy…

Recently the Ferrari brand was deemed the most powerful and recognizable in the world, more so than Google, Coca Cola, PWC and Hermes.

The enormity of the brand of the prancing horse is clear in the numbers. There are 64 license agreements worldwide and 28 franchises (on 5 continents). These will deliver in 2013 some 92.5 million of turnover, with a net profit of 50.8 million euro. These are respectful numbers when set against the Ferrari Group as a whole which in 2012 had a turnover of 2.43 billion with a net profit of 244 million.


Q3 to be extended

Its hard to complain that the FIA are doing their frequent ‘nothing’ as a recent flurry of meetings have proven. The teams and Charlie Whiting will be sitting down in Bahrain to discuss changes to the qualifying process.

Charlie is keen to extend the Q3 session by 5 minutes, because at certain circuits it’s tight for teams to get their drivers in and out twice and complete 2 flying laps.

Other moves are afoot to force drivers to run in the Q3 session. Pirelli have designed a qualifying tyre which could be provided for Saturday running only. Another idea would be to force the Q3 runners to start the race on the tyre they completed their fastest lap on in Q2.

For any of these rules to take force this year, it requires the unanimous agreement of the teams and the FIA and the rubber stamp from the World Motorsport Council all in under 5 weeks.

The FIA are once again the story. Truncated new entrant processes, 5 second penalty regulations not yet finalised and now this. Why do we find ourselves in the last minute saloon again when Q3 non-runners have been an issue for years.

81 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 6th February 2014

  1. Morning m’lud, any updates in the court case between Anthony Hamilton and “happy” Paul? You mentioned a while ago it was in progress, but nothing since then (unless I missed something?). Could it be the judge has refused to proceed further with the hearing until DiResta cheers up a bit?!

  2. It seems that the Lotus mechanic is doing something to the rear suspension.. Is he complaining of having to modify the rear end to a “McLaren” style mushroom suspension..?

    • Good thinking in that Alexis… Could we see all the top cars run like that this year?

      We know rear downforce is paramount and with the turbo units it is even more important.

  3. Nostradamus, or does he know something we don’t?
    Munich state court sentence – Mercedes WDC/WCC = acquittal ?

    • Maybe he’s sucking up to the Germans, who knows. #
      Have to admit though that I can see his point. These new tyres, electronic braking system, conserving fuel, thinking out how the race will pan out, these are all traits that go against drivers like Lewis and would work miracles for drivers who prepare meticulously the whole weekend, like Rosberg or Vettel. I so hope I’m proven wrong though and can see Lewis and Kimi challenging for wins and the title.

      • I think that Nico could well have the upper hand over Lewis on sundays. Lewis certainly has the raw speed, but he was consistently outperformed by Nico in terms of tyre preservation. This year it’ll be fuel saving instead. I always got the impression that Lewis is a natural born racer, but not really good at going slower than he can and he’ll have to do that a lot this year.

        • I tend to agree. nothing against Lewis. he has his certain greatness along with his flaws, just as we do and every driver ever has. IMHO, Lewis was mostly responsible for upping the “game” of F1 drivers when he first hit the scene. he was able to pull off bonzai moves that made the entire grid give up on protecting. everyone then learned how to up their performance on both protecting and attacking, and Lewis then lost a bunch of his natural advantages to his students!
          precious few are capable of driving the wheels off anything, anywhere, anytime – I see Jimmy, Graham, John, Jackie, AJ, Dan, PJ, Mario, ur choice of Unser and a lot more… but NOBODY from the last 3+ decades from F1 remotely comes close.

        • Only to gauge the ambient temperature. By carefully sensing the pool’s water temperature, he extrapolates the most likely influence of the specific angle of the sun over the horizon on average track temperature development, which allows him to conserve his tyres better.

  4. Lotus are confident if they think they can use all 100km they are allowed for filming……if last week is anything to go by I would guess they won’t even get half of that in!

    Re-smart display
    Looks like a screen from just a clever phone not a smart phone. I know the display needs to be simplistic so the driver can get the information he needs in a single glance and not have to try and decipher things, but I would have expected something a little more stylish.

    Re-Newey redesign
    Let’s face it the bloke has made more shockers than winners, so it’s just the cycle of dominance doing it’s thing.

    • ? ! !
      Didn’t think about that, but what do the rules say about ‘broken engines’?
      Can Renault repair them at leisure, even prolonging filmingdays until the 100 km treshold?

  5. If this is the “new” news, I don’t hate it!

    Maybe Conor Daly can give Gene Haas a call and spend 2014 testing the Dallara…

    • …. #Relief 😳

      We’ll use GMM to supplement our news and comment. So today they sent us 2 stories we covered yesterday…

      To be honest, the death of Kimi’s ex-manager whilst sad and worthy of recognition, is something we don’t need to spend resources on when someone else covers it more than adequately.

      Equally, the Frijns story is mostly translated comments from Frijns – more time saved for us on other stuff…

  6. Re IndyCar, there is actually the “Mazda Road to Indy” a developmental series that leads to an Indy drive. The winner of each championship gets a hefty budget for securing a tide in the next rung up the ladder, ideally getting a drive in Indy. IIRC, if you go through one of the racing schools, theoretically you could make it to Indy on a budget of $5,000-$10,000, if yip win everything in sight.

    Also, re Indy, in researching my article, the only Indy driver ( now in NASCAR) that caused America to sit-up and take extra notice was a certain Ms. Danica Patrick. If she finished top 5, ratings for the following race were up around 24.5%. Otherwise, the nationality of the top drivers had no effect on ratings.

    Currently Ms. Patrick drives for Stewart-Haas racing. And yes, the same Haas who is currently pursuing an F1 team.

    • “If she finished top 5, ratings for the following race were up around 24.5%. Otherwise, the nationality of the top drivers had no effect on ratings”.

      ….Very interesting…..Bernie should be pushing the FIA to accept Haas applications, not belittling his efforts……

      • Of note in one of his press conferences was Haas stating that buying out an existing team would be more expensive that starting from scratch. That simply can’t be true, unless you are looking to buy RB. One thought I had is that he is actually negotiating to buy an interest in an existing team, and Haas is simply putting the pressure on by filing for his own license.

        The other would be that he is fronting for deeper pocketed investors. My initial thought would have been Ford, but I see he plans to use Ferrari engines, and, interestingly, not only have FIAT returned to our comely shores recently and purchased/merged with Chrysler (in a display of unrestrained corporate creativity be known here as Fiat Chrysler Group) but rumors persist that Alfa will be also washing up on this side of the pond sometime soon with vehicles that will have greater reliability (well, OK, similar) than a certain energy drinks team under the Spanish sun. Hmmm… Looks like Ferrari might get its customer team after all.

        Ooh, look at this, according to Google maps, Dallara’s Italian HQ is just an hours’ drive down the road from Maranello. Of course, Dallara will be supplying the chassis to Haas.

        Dots. Connect.

        • … FIAT returned to our comely shores recently and purchased/merged with Chrysler ….

          Remember Daimler’s merger / takeover ?

          That went well …… 😉


          • @Don

            you certainly need faith when –

            Nissan UK alone produces vastly more cars than the entire Italian car industry,

            and the UK car industry produces as many cars as FIAT Chrysler group ….

            and that’s even before we get to build quality ….. ha ha ha 😉

      • You would think so wouldn’t you Judge.
        I look forward to the day Bernie finally looses all his power over F1 (be it prison or death) as his extreme negativity against more teams, female drivers etc does the sport no favors. F1has stood still for too long and when changes do come they are often too little too late or knee jerk reactions that go over the top for the situation that prompted them.

        I don’t care what anyone says, someone who is in their 80’s is always going to less forward thinking views than someone in say their 40’s or 50’s. It’s just how it is, I hear older relitives complaining the grandchildren have tablet computors and asking me why my car doesn’t need a choke help start it. Well it’s clear that this is happening with Bernie too. The new engines are a great example, I’m 99% certain Bernie doesn’t realise the technology involved, to him an engine roars and spits flames and he can’t get it through his head why this change was needed, or so he says. The day’s of running big business by nods, winks and funny handshakes are gone, transparency is the buz word these days and the more transparent things become the frightened the Suffolk Toad becomes, it appears he cann accept that if you don’t progress you get left behind. I agree wholeheartedly that the formula needs a shake up every 5-8years to keep it relevant and stop it stagnating. Only someone stuck in the past who wished to capture F1 as a snapshot in time and keep it true to that would bring in the gimmicks such as shit tyres and DRS, instead of looking at the root cause of the issues and addressing them from the ground up, rather than placing a sticking plaster over the cracks and hope folk forget about them.


  7. I’m surprised by those Ferrari numbers. So net income for Ferrari is 2.4 billion (euros I assume)? I believe McLaren Group’s income for the same year was in the region of 2.3 billion pounds. Not a big difference there in terms of revenue then!

    • …not really and the P1 is meant to be very profitable. All have been sold ‘customised’ at over £1m due to a process which manufactures the chassis composite in a handful of hours – top secret – it used to be hundreds of hours for this kind of process.

      As Clarkson said, “We have never encountered anything quite like the P1… This is a car that can scare the bejesus out of a seasoned racing driver… This takes our perception of speed to a new level.”

      • There is a great YouTube documentary about inside McLaren road cars and it explains how the revolutionary process is used to mass produce the composite chassis’. Very interesting, it does focus on the MP4-12c but it still gives good insight and how Ron had a vision and made it so.

    • The brain fart moment here is, simply make setting a time within the 107% of the fastest in the current session compulsory, otherwise you start from the back of the grid.

      Yeah we might get a few ‘trundling round’ laps of some playing it strategically, but hell, I can live with that, as long as there are a couple running properly. I actually like the currently qualifying, think they finally got it right, I hope they don’t bollocks it up too much.

      • agree with qualli being pretty right, and I would be OK with either making everyone in Q3 start the race on the tyres they set their best time with in Q2 or Q3, or Adam’s idea.Which I think I like even better since it might create traffic.

        Also, this year especially I think giving up places to save tires will not be worth it, because every pass will take so much extra fuel it could leave you coastin over the finish line.

  8. I thought for a change, until the teams get a hang on the new engines/power units, the FIA would scrap the, -start the race with Q3 tyres-, as it further complicates what already is a strategy nightmare for the teams. Although, if Pirelli do make ultra-durable tyres, then it won’t make much difference.

    • I think we’ll have to wait until Bahrain to see what the tyres are like.

      I believe the tyres at Jerez were specifically for that test and will not be used again during 2014 season.

      Maybe TJ can confirm ?

      • Pirelli brought a special Winter Hard Tire so the teams could do longer stints to test reliability. Not sure aside from the wet weather tires what else they brought or what the teams ran.

      • ..not quite true. There were some ‘special Jerez tyres’ – They were very sticky – in fact they felt as though you could poke your finger through the shoulder.

        Pirelli took 250 sets – 1,000 tyres to Jerez.
        – supersoft tyres: 2 sets
        – soft tyres: 9 sets
        – medium tyres: 52 sets
        – hard tyres: 52 sets
        – ‘winter’ tyres: 69 sets
        – intermediate tyres: 36 sets
        – wet tyres: 30 sets

        Total amount of sets used: 99
        – supersoft tyres: 1 set
        – soft tyres: 2 sets
        – medium tyres: 23 sets
        – hard tyres: 11 sets
        – ‘winter’ tyres: 32 sets
        – intermediate tyres: 20 sets
        – wet tyres: 10 sets

        Longest run:
        10 laps on the supersoft compound
        9 laps of the soft compound
        17 laps on the medium compound
        24 laps on the hard compound
        23 laps on the ‘winter’ compound
        26 laps on the intermediate compound
        13 laps on the wet compound

        • – of which soft tyres: 2 sets.
          2 sets per team or just only 2 sets for one or two lucky team(s)?

        • Yep, correct, Pirelli have developed a special ‘winter’ version of the hard compound tyre, the Pirelli “invernale”.
          This was used for the Jerez test only and it was designed to work effectively even in cold conditions

      • I think there was one special Jerez hard tyre range in addition to the proposed mediums and softs. I just hope this year we don’t have a mid season change of compounds.

    • I’d have thought they could produce a lot more.

      There’s plenty of 2.0 litre road car engines like Evo’s etc. that have been tuned to around 1,000 bhp. And they don’t rev to 15,000 rpm. Nor are they a dedicated design – just a modded stock engine.

      As everyone knows revs means power …….

      • Yeah, revs means power except when the fuel flow rate is constant above 10,500 rpm, as it is in the new formula.

        • Hi Steve

          Why is it constant from 10,500 rpm ?

          I can’t find anything in the regulations …….

          And –

          If that’s the case – why would you rev an engine above 10.500 rpm if it doesn’t make anymore power ?

          Makes no sense ….. ?

          Do you have a link to this info ?


          • Cheers Adam

            great article 🙂

            so fuel flow is not the limiting factor then – and revs still mean power !

          • The most interesting part is the moving away from the stoichiometric mixture.

            In the 1970’s Honda campaigned against catalytic converters in roads cars which have to run richer than the optimal stoichiometric mixture to function.

            They believed that lean burn engines ( which they already had produced ) operating at ratios of 22 – 25 : 1 were better at solving the pollution problem, and obviously used a lot less fuel.

            Plus they have practical experience from Moto GP in combustion chamber design, as the regulations require a similar form of fuel efficiency as in F1.

            It’ll be interesting to see what they produce for 2015.

            And since this technology is over 40 years old – I’m sure all the other engine manufacturers are well versed in it too.

          • Please don’t misunderstand me, I wasn’t saying there would be no power increase above 10,500, just that with the limited fuel flow rate we won’t see engines running at the limit. The direct injection of petrol is the key to this, as the mixture can be locally rich. It looks like engines will be running in the 13,000 rpm area during the race.

            It used to be true that horsepower was the integral of torque over time, so rpm did mean horsepower; that’s changed a bit. Could be interesting.

          • … and i was fascinated by the Merc and McLaren short shifting even on day 3 in Jerez when they’d clearly got some miles under their belts….

            Lewis was clearly doing this far more than Kevin through the quick turn 5 on Thursday afternoon…

          • Lewis did mention that in the hairpin instead of using 1st gear like last year – he was now using 3rd or 4th gear.

            So I guess they were short shifting due to the different torque / power characteristics of the new engines.

            Whereas last year your had to wring the neck of the V8 to get max performance.

            With so much torque – could it possibly be to stop wheel spin by short shifting ?

          • @Mandy. It’s more complex than that. The gearbox this year is 8 speeds, with the ratios fixed during the season (the teams have to declare what ratios they are using, and can’t change the ratios during the season (although they certainly can change the actual gears, as long as they are the same ratios)) except that they are allowed, this year only, to select new ratios at mid-season. So first, second, third, etc, gear will be the same at all tracks. Tthe car might use 3rd gear where last year they used 1st gear, as they (last year) could change the ratios for each track. So, the driver might only use 5 gears at a particular track, instead of all of them, because the car has to carry ratios for Monaco as well as Monza. Hope that’s clear.

    • I think Andy is being coy here.. If I understand it right he is asked a leading question basically, if the 1.5s from the past could produce 1400bhp with 200kg of fuel then would it be half that if the fuel flow is restricted to 100kg. To this Andy replies yes, you can expect that. I dont think he says Merc is producing 700bhp.

      If you recall, before December we had the big talk about having wider rear tyres due to Merc (and others) having had to submit their power figures to the FIA and Pirelli. Merc was the only team who was lobbying the FIA for this and after the initial rejection of it (and the subsequent review of data) even Pirelli wanted to have wider rear tyres.

      Safe to say this did not happen because you will then have the Mercs run away from everyone else so if my assumption is correct, the Mercs have been limited with tyres. That said though, if they could make so much power (rumoured to be close to or in excess of 900bhp with ERS) then they can probably run more efficient if the use less power and therefore run lighter with less fuel..

      I cannot wait for Australia!

      • On the point of running lighter with less fuel …

        Ted Kravits said that the 100 Kg limit was from the start of the race to the checkered flag.

        But this did not include the warm up / parade laps or the slowing down lap.

        So cars are likely to have more than 100 Kg on board to compensate for this.

        So I doubt – as teams are already talking about fuel saving during the race – that Mercedes would be able to run lighter as they’ll probably need every last gram …..

        Q. – Does anyone know what the penalty will be for exceeding this 100 Kg limit ?

        • …err a certain important FIA member told me they’d not decided yet…. I believe they now need 2 litres at the end of the race and must return to parc ferme….

          Another reason for my comments about the FIA making rules on the hoof…..

          • Judge

            is that 2 litres from their 100 Kg allowance ?

            Or just 2 litres left in the tank ?

            And don’t you just love the fact the FIA use two completely different methods of measurement for assessing fuel ….

            I guess it was too much to ask for the parc ferme fuel to be 1.5 Kg or thereabouts ?

          • They can use 100 kg during the race. The FIA will have flow sensors to confirm total fuel used and instantaneous flow rate (100 kg/hr maximum flow rate). The 2 liters for testing do not count in the 100 kg. The car can carry as much fuel as wanted, but can only use 100 kg.

          • Cheers Steve

            As the Judge mentioned – I thought this was just another half baked regulation dreamed up by the FIA without any details.

  9. Sony – don’t forget it has also announced (today I think) it has sold off the VAIO computing division.

  10. I’m increasingly beginning to believe that the proposed Haas entry is leading the way to a Ferrari B-team or customer car joining the grid. Domenicali seemed to pull the team’s development reins in a little bit in the last couple of seasons, which I had thought was to ensure there was sufficient money and resources left over for the new factory, wind tunnel renovation plus the 2014 car but perhaps it was also to provide for some other expansions within the Ferrari empire. And of course when Luca bangs on long enough about something, he usually ends up getting his way (e.g. in-season testing). I wonder what a Prancing Horse B-team would be called – Cantering Colt? Or maybe they’d do the reverse of Red Bull-Toro Rosso and go for, erm, Blacksmith? Perhaps not. On a serious note, it would make sense for Ferrari to get at least another engine customer in, given the lack of financial security at Sauber and Marussia. And sometimes good things can come from teaming up Italy and the US in the racing world – Mario Andretti anyone? 🙂

    • The Judge has however mentioned that the Haas entry may be a stalking horse and that the FIA are looking at another team entirely ?

      Why not McLaren Honda ?

      Honda more than any other engine manufacturer would benefit from having technical feedback from more than 2 cars.

      McLaren’s exclusivity deal with Honda would not be broken if you had a McLaren B team.

      Or you just badge the engines as Mugen.

      And they’ve got the money and resources …..

      Or could it be The Big Blue from Lower Saxony ?

      • True. It would be very strange for Honda to return to F1 and invest so much money in that venture and yet run with only a single team. And as you say, a B-team might get them round the exclusivity deal with McLaren.

        Could the delay in announcing what’s happened to Martin Whitmarsh then be because he’s being offered a possible senior role in a McLaren B-team? It would get MW out of Ron’s way enough, and allow MW to stay involved with McLaren and Honda (and get the satisfaction of sticking one to Ron if the B-team were able to out perform the A-team at any point!)…

  11. “Another idea would be to force the Q3 runners to start the race on the tyre they completed their fastest lap on in Q2.”

    I’ve been shouting _that_ at my TV for several seasons now. The whole thing about sitting out Q3 and trading track position (which, for the first lap – and especially the first corner or two – on some tracks is essentially irrelevant) for choice of tyre to take you further into race before the first stop is what has promoted the lack of Q3 running IMHO.

  12. Re: ‘GMM’ – quality v. quantity
    At the risk of upsetting everyone… Three GMM stories that aren’t even stories. A man who was Kimi’s manager, but is no longer Kimi’s manager. And hasn’t been Jenson’s manager for even longer… What is so importantly ‘news-worthy’ here.
    Then Frijns declares it’s an unfair world… Newsworthy…? It’s not even earth-shattering.
    And the Toad wants us to know what a good guy he is…
    – – –
    As for the awful writing style… Check this…

    FIA president Jean Todt remains an ALMOST EVER-PRESENT figure in Grenoble.

    It is there, ALMOST 600 KILOMETRES FROM TODT’S PARIS OFFICE, that the GREAT Michael Schumacher – one of the former Ferrari boss’ CLOSEST friends – lies GRIEVOUSLY injured after a late December skiing fall.

    Ever since Schumacher’s coma began just after Christmas, the DIMINUTIVE 67-year-old Todt has FOUGHT THROUGH THE CROWDS of reporters in order to be with the German. He is one of VERY FEW Schumacher friends that has been WELCOMED to Grenoble by the SORROWFUL family.

    Indeed, the MUTUAL ADMIRATION is obvious on the wall of Todt’s office, where ONLY ONE photo is present — featuring his wife Michelle Yeoh, his son Nicolas, and seven time world champion Schumacher.

    Now MORE THAN a week ago, doctors began to try to wake the 45-year-old from his LONG coma.

    “Michael and his family are VERY CLOSE FRIENDS OF MINE,” Todt told the German newspaper Die Welt.

    “He is an IMPORTANT PART of my life. And now he is SERIOUSLY injured.“

    FRENCHMAN Todt said he has tried to give the Schumacher family “EVERY CONCEIVABLE TYPE OF ASSISTANCE” during these MOST TRYING of weeks.


    REGULARLY, Todt has made the ALMOST 600 KILOMETRE journey to Grenoble, just to be with his UNCONSCIOUS friend and his family.

    “I think he would do it for me, if I had an accident like that,” he said. “I am sure Michael would be here for me.“

    I am making no comment about the plight of Schumacher… but this writing style makes me vomit.
    Sorry – I’m not against ‘change’ – after all I stayed with this site from Day-1 purely because it was such a great change from all the others.

    • BJF appreciate your input as always…

      “As for the awful writing style… Check this…”

      …. then hopefully this will inspire some writers for TJ13’s news and current affairs… who see these news stories which are taken by scores of sites – and think, “I could do as well or better than that …

      .. and as someone who has begun writing about F1 more regularly since finding TJ13, you’ll know it feels intimidating to be scrutinised by so many readers at first..but then it gets easier and more natural.

      The news team here is small and all have full time duties elsewhere…. there are times when we all have days (the same day at times) where we have little or no time to write and we need to develop others who can pitch in a few times a week…

      The spectre of NO news on certain days is very real, and we feel obliged to provide the community at least with some content for everyone to discuss if TJ13 news writers are unavailable… otherwise its like turning up at your favourite bar where you daily meet your mates – and it’s closed…..

      We have German and Italian contacts/writers at present – It would be great if we had a Finnish and Spanish writer as there is often breaking news stories from those countries.

      I believe a certain ex-professional cyclist is part of our community and his coments and information he offers is excellent – we would love him to pen a tale or two each week 😛

  13. The “RB10 dilemma” article is provacative and excellent. Particularly enjoyed the 2nd hand insight from the late Dr. Postlethwaite saying a young Newey needed strict control.

    So ‘RB10 v2’ for Bahrain 1, then ‘RB10 v3’ for Bahrain 2 is alone a valuable takeaway from this article.

    This is an intersting quote from Mr. Newey, “At least during the early part of the season, we will be discussing an ‘engine formula’. Reliability, power, fuel consumption — they will be decisive factors, The aerodynamics will only really count once these new V6s have matured”.

    You’ve tongue in cheek suggest he’s taking focus from the engineering challenges of the RB10… Perhaps yes some truth there, but Mr. Newey is no dummy. Tthe way he said that, and the order in which he said it may indicate the simplified priority list for the RB10.

    First priority: (“Reliability”) – get that motor to survive inside the RB10…
    Second priority: (“power”) – Tuning the engine maps, electrical motor controllers, tranny, etc.
    Third priority: (“fuel consumption”) – Always reach the checkers…
    Fourth priority: (“aerodynamics”) – Haha! It’s amusing that Mr. Newey will need to wait…

    Two thoughts about that priority list… First, this could well be the priority list of everyone else on the grid.
    And second perhaps “fuel consumption” would actually be the 2nd priority, then power, then aero…

    It’s exciting that F1 now has a much better balance of engine and aero.

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