This page will be updated throughout the day.
Please if you are on Twitter press the tweet button below. If you re-write and tweet individual story headlines don’t forget to include #F1.
You may not realise how hugely important this is and has helped grow our community significantly
Things not to worry about (09:30)
8 months to go (09:30)
Formula E looking good (09:30)
Mercedes comedy (10:00)
Two new teams for 2015? (13:00)
Newey present revised car (13:10)
Things not to worry about
When I started TJ13 it was because I met someone who had made their way in twitter land and had some 18,000 F1 followers. This person’s interest in F1 fascinated me. They appeared to be not particularly well informed though survived on pithy 120 character comments and tweeting links of foreign media F1 stories which the English speaking media had not yet got.
I was already hacked off with most of the F1 daily reporting, and held the same opinion as that of senior member of the FIA who commented to me that “80% of what Autosport write is bollocks”.
In fact, my opinion of the world’s largest F1 media machine is that their features are unfairly described as excrement; and at times they are most informative. However, the daily news spiel appears to being written by a posse of media students whose daddy is paying for their internships.
Haymarket Publications are a serious player and Autosport is a blue chip division of their revenue portfolio. However, in my humble opinion restricting people to 20 reads per month of their daily news was a poor and ill considered move. Then again it does us all a favour in another way I guess.
My problem with the F1 writers who are employed by established publications is that they appear to be living in the days of yore. Before the internet and social media, we the fans had no choice but to listen to the pronouncements of the “one too many” who were privileged and ‘in the know’.
Further, to get their exclusives these people could not upset the establishment which included the FIA, Ecclestone, team principals and prima donna drivers because expressing a critical view of any of these people may result in a loss of press access privileges. At best no one would tell you anything again.
In days gone by of course we would read stories dictated in smokey rooms behind closed doors, and paddock access was a license to deliver exclusive scoops. Yet over the past 10 years, the F1 established writers are now fed information that the establishment wants to out.
I’m frequently amused at GP weekends when the written press are herded into a room and sit around a table with Jenson or whoever. Each have their recording machines thrust as close to his lips as they can, and the result unsurprisingly is a plethora of stories across various publications which all pretty much say the same thing.
Having scooped Gutierrez flying off the track in Jerez on day 2 when no other photographer was within 500 metres, I have the technology to Bluetooth the pics from camera to smartphone and had it up on twitter in a flash. Autosport appeared to pinch it and add it to their live text feed. Hey, imitation and flattery….
Many F1 fans may see the life of an F1 approved media person as the most glamorous job in the world. Yet since Bernie’s global expansion of the sport, the older generation find it less scintillating than when F1 was predominantly in Europe.
These people travel the world, talk to Ade, Christian, Seb and Bernie – what could be a more fabulous life? Get these guys unguarded and they’ll tell you the travel alone has become arduous, even the Times correspondent Kevin Eason tweeted if the season went to 23 races it would force him to consider quitting.
Then there’s the issue of output. Unlike English Premier League football writers who have to churn out several thousand words a week, the F1 writers have done their duty if they put out a couple of decent stories every seven days.
A few of them blog, but I was amazed at the decisions of some of the independent writers not to attend Jerez this year and post merely the times for the days running as their daily contribution. They all either receive a nice wage and expenses or have cultivated syndicate arrangements for their odd articles with the likes of the New York Times et al.
All things F1 are now elitist including the approved press and media and few who get involved survive the institutionalisation of the grace and favour culture that prevails in the sport.
The abuse TJ13 gets at times for being ‘nom de plume’ is ridiculous. It is for this very reason I can report things no prominent media writer will ever hear. The rank and file in the teams know the difference between the reality they face every day and the corporate propaganda which is published through the media. They speak to someone who cannot identify them, but can reveal the truth of the reality behind the corporate façade.
So worry not. TJ13 is not going away. Our USP is very strong, and all the comments over the past 2 days have encouraged me that we are doing exactly what I set out to do.
I hear all your complaints over GMM and unlike the gnome in Concorde or the vertically challenged citizen of Suffolk facing criminal charges – I’m listening.
TJ13 was designed to be everything that I have described above. Yet I have an agenda. To rally people to our cause that we force the powers that be in F1 to listen to the fans. The FIA, FOM and the teams are represented on the strategy group, but not the people, who are supposed to buy tickets at the track or to subscribe to pay TV channels to watch the races on telly. Its time our voices were heard.
This may appear delusional, yet in life I’ve learned if you don’t aim big, you end up small. Better to try… than to whinge or rant once sentry to no effect. Yet to be heard by those who are in power we need numbers and to increase our presence amongst the establishment.
I don’t need to ever make a penny from this venture, so ‘selling out’ can never be levied against me as a motive for trying to increase our circulation.
We would like to find sponsors, who can contribute to funding staff who at present are voluntary, but the numbers will dictate that in the end.
Rest assured, my time may be more limited over the next months, so my contributions have to be qualitatively targeted – hence the thinking behind using GMM for basic news.
Ultimately, TJ13 aims to demonstrate the power of the fans through social media to effect positive change in the sport we all love. Trust me, you getting involved will move you inextricably closer to F1.
8 months to go
With a little over 8 months to go until the inaugural Sochi GP, the country hosted the opening ceremony to one of the most controversial Olympic games of recent times. The ceremony happened without any major hitches which bodes well for the GP later in the year.
However, you would need to have been in an underground bunker to have missed the news coverage of the gay rights issues the country has. The major coverage of the games puts pay to any sinister action occurring as Russia is put onto the ‘world stage’ for the coming period of sport, however, where could this leave F1? A sport which, naturally, has a much lower global coverage than the Winter Olympics and therefore much less media weight behind it?
TJ13 examined (back in May) how there is no current ‘issue’ with being gay in Formula One. However, one has to ponder over the issue of whether Formula One, a sport dictated by $$$ and hierarchy, will stand up against such prejudice stances as the Olympics has.
Money has a funny habit of making controversy disappear from the media spotlight (Bahrain in 2012 being the perfect example), so will it do the same in Sochi?
Formula E looking good
There has been so much negativity in the press recently about how ‘ugly’ the new F1 cars are with the revised regulations. Here at TJ13 we are maintaining a glass half full perspective; at least the Formula E cars are looking fine.
The Mahindra racing Formula E car was released, with (almost) all at TJ13 HQ agreeing it looks good. A cause for optimism if ever there was one!
Pretty much at the same time when yesterday’s hillarious Lotus flick appeared on the interwebs, Mercedes presented a comedy video of their own with Lewis and Nico poking fun at Bernies rule changes for 2014. Enjoy.
Two new teams for 2015?
Summary of German article by Roman Wittemeier & Dieter Rencken of Motorsport Total. Translation and comment by Fat Hippo
Last December FIA offered an open slot for a new team to join F1 in 2015 or 2016. It didn’t take long for the tentative offer of Team Haas, currently running as Team Steward-Haas in NASCAR, to materialize, fuelling suspicions that the FIA offer was a token gesture with a team already decided beforehand. Shortly afterwards, however a Romanian offer rolled in (TJ13 reported on January 19th) headed by Colin Kolles.
Motorsport Total claims they have learned that not one, but both these entries are considered to be allowed into F1, which would bring the number of teams to 13, a field size not seen since the early 90s. Apparently the offers of both teams have been deemed viable and financially sound by FIA. There was a third offer by Zoran Stefanovic (Stefan GP), but the man from Serbia seems to have been dismissed again. He was also in the running, when the batch of new teams arrived in 2010.
Both entries have presented themselves most favourably and both come with an engine partner already agreed. Haas is almost certainly cooperating with Ferrari. Their base car will be designed by Dallara in Italy and Haas’ project director, Günther Steiner, an Italian from the German speaking part of Italy – South Tyrol – has excellent connections to both Ferrari and Dallara.
The time to submit offers ends on Monday. This will be followed by two weeks of review and deliberation by FIA. Most likely the development centres in Kannapolis (Haas) and Greding (Kodewa, Kolles) will be paid a visit to evaluate their suitability. A final decision is expected to be made on February 28th.
The initial tender was only for one team, but the final amount is still a matter of debate between perennial adversaries FIA and the short stuff from Suffolk. Ecclestone would prefer to reduce the number of team to eight and have all of them run with three cars, while FIA would prefer 13 teams to be more independent and less vulnerable to pressure from single teams. Most F1 tracks are designed for a capacity of 26 cars, which would prefer the FIA model.
Newey present revised car