Daily #F1 News and Comment: Sunday 9th February 2014

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Lotus social media team crushed: A commentary on the F1 media battle

Ecclestone thinks he won’t stand trial

Ecclestone’s plan for budget cap

 Lotus social media team crushed: A commentary on the F1 media battle

Whatever the problems Lotus have as a team, they have embraced social media platform twitter more so than any of their competitors.

Their self deprecating and irreverent style and content at times has created a Marmite style response. People either find it funny and clever, or offensive and base. But hey, it’s not usually boring or bland…

Unfortunately, yesterday, the inevitable happened. Those running the Twitter marketing were sanctioned from on high.

They had tweeted the following..


This was a controversial comment on Russia’s laws regarding homosexuality. Within a few hours the tweet was removed and an apology issued.


This is clearly the end of the ‘free spirit’ Lotus PR has displayed outside of the official media channels.  All further comment will have to be cleared by management, and seeing as there is a political struggle raging between Lopez and Ruhan, it may mean Lotus fans hear little from them on twitter in the future (as happened for a brief stint before Christmas).

As part of my ‘State of the Nation’ address yesterday (as its been described by some of you) on F1 and the authorised media, I couldn’t have made it more clear that institutional control dominates what can be written and said by those who control the  sources of cash.

Is it a co-incidence this tweet which is critical of a nations’ persecution of a small number of peoples sexual preferences follows a recent 10 per cent stake acquisition  of the Enstone team by Yota Devices. This is a Russian subsidiary of the company Yota Phone which we will see on the E22’s front-wing end plates.

I know for many of our readers Twitter is a place of abomination and desolation. The predominant view I’ve heard expressed by anti-twitterites is that ‘why do we need to hear from Lewis that he has just visited the bathroom and had a Shirtlifter approved bagel for breakfast?’ If that was all twitter represented I couldn’t agree more.

Twitter is in fact a media platform that has empowered the average Joe to have their say and refuse to be dictated to by any establishment. Traditionally the media has been controlled by the few, who spoke to the many and the many had little or no right of public reply to the audience of the few.

We have seen the awesome power of Twitter as the tool of communication used to organise and execute some of the successful uprisings of the ‘Arab Spring’. People found a method outside of the officially approved communication channels by the national authorities to coordinate and communicate with each other without interception from the state.

The average Joe could now speak to ‘the many’.

Since regional and national media were established in bygone centuries, they have represented the voice of ‘the one (or the few)’ – speaking their message to the many. The many had no opportunity to be heard by the same audience, unless they wrote a letter to the Times which was approved for publication.

TJ13 was established in September 2012, and the day I said hello to the world, I saw on Twitter that the legend F1 doctor Sid Watkins had died – 9pm in the evening (see our About page). The following morning I was reading the tweets of some of the waking BBC F1 presenters, and it was clear they had just heard the sad news – 10 hours later than me.

F1 fans are frequently ahead of the F1 pundits and writers in knowing the latest F1 stories and rumours, and this is a challenge for the established media within the sport. It is even more of a challenge for us here at TJ13 with far fewer resources.  Daniel Ricciardo being confirmed as Mark Webber’s replacement is a prime example, as the official release was done during the premiere to Rush in the UK, catching a large proportion of the media circus out.

Of course there is the odd hoax which travels the twittersphere like wildfire and even cons the established media. A certain well known pithy F1 Twitter source who posts links for news recently created a false invoice from Ferrari to Red Bull, asking for several thousand dollars for the taxi ride Alonso gave to Webber. It was picked up by a huge German publication who reported it as originating from Ferrari.

Yet as with all media sources, people quickly learn who is credible and who is not. I tweeted early on the final day of the test in Jerez that Red Bull were packing up and going home. Autosport confirmed this nearly 3 hours later. My twitter timeline following my post was immediately full of people – who don’t follow me but had seen my post in the #F1 timeline – asking could this information be confirmed.

TJ13 twitter followers, who know our record, replied en masse that we were a credible source. That day @thejudge13 picked up over 500 new followers and we saw an unprecedented 15,000 visits to http://www.thejudge13.com

Yet twitter is a dangerous place as I recently discovered, poking fun at someone who didn’t know me but was getting intense over the sovereignty of Gibraltar. I tweeted I had signed over Gibraltar to a Spanish citizen – clearly a fatuous idea. Yet I was lectured on the Gibraltan residents’ right to independence for quite some time.

This kind of misunderstanding is something all you TJ13 commentators and writers know when penning a contribution that may require more than a factual read of its content. Sarcasm, whimsical humour and plays on words require an additional prompt for other readers to understand what is intended. We saw this today when I referred to Lewis being under the ‘Shirtlifter’ regime (a play on Scherzinger and her penchant for pole dancing type submissive female rhetoric in her songs) and some readers thought I was suggesting Hamilton was gay.

Social media and Twitter et al are powerful tools for an individual’s ability to be heard. Today Mrs. Judge tried to spend a Gibraltan £10 note in Tesco – which is legal tender in the UK. She was told it was not legal tender in the UK and Tesco could not accept it.

She then went to the Tesco travel bureau and asked to exchange it for a Bank of England £10 as they are of the same value. The lady behind the counter told her they could not exchange UK legal notes for other legal notes, DERR!!!

The lawyer in Mrs. J immediately demanded to know their complaints procedure, and after 30 minutes a duty manager appeared, giving her a form to complete and send to their  HQ.

I tweeted this farce and included the @Tesco twitter address. Within 30 minutes they had contacted me on twitter in an attempt to resolve the problem and improve management training were I to reveal the location of their store.

To cut a long story short, eventually Tesco explained to me their policy was to accept Scottish and Northern Irish notes, but not those from the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Gibraltar. It appears this is breaking the law.

The point of this missive is not to persuade you all to join Twitter, though recently our own opinionated ‘Fat Hippo’ – who referred to this social medium as ‘twatter’ – appeared on my morning Twitter timeline to my great surprise…Who knew leopards could change their spots?

Lotus suppression today of their PR people who have been attempting to create a ‘joie de vive’ image of the team is merely an example of the establishment asserting its control over all information flows from within their establishment.

Yet the media revolution will be unstoppable. The average ‘Joe’ and ‘the many’ have been lectured and restricted to information and force fed the propaganda which ‘the few’ – the media writers and their overloads – decided should be disseminated for our consumption. Now we just like ‘the few’ have access FOR FREE to a global audience, just as do they.

The outrageous practice of charging ‘the many’ to read these people’s published content will soon be over. ‘The many’ are beginning to realise that a dedicated ‘average Joe’ and other part time professionals are globally accessible to them because the barriers to entry have collapsed.

Like him or loathe him, Justin Bieber’s circumvention of the approval system of the music industry demonstrated this, by putting it out to the world on the internet and gaining a few million YouTube followers costing him almost nothing. This then made him gold dust for a music producer.

There are a new breed of writers and commentators in all walks of life emerging who write intelligently and with substance and post their endeavours for love onto the interweb for all to enjoy. Contrast this with the jaded overpaid professional media guru’s whose only right to be heard was because they had control of reader circulation.

The established media will have to fight for their place in the information dissemination market of the future. F1 writing should be read on a qualitative basis rather than a position of privilege and they will eventually be forced to stop charging people for the right to consume their often inane scribblings.

As I state in our objectives, part of the TJ13 project is to eventually prove the power of social media is in the hands of organised and passionate, but ordinary F1 fans. Through this joint venture we will achieve fundamental change in our sport; something which bizarrely is recognised by most of F1 participants as desperately required, but nobody believes they have the power to bring it to pass.


(If you are on Twitter PLEASE retweet with the #F1 tag our headline grabbers which have the links to the TJ13 site).

Further, TJ13 has exploded onto the F1 media world growing an audience by the use of social media. We have in 16 months achieved a circulation which other F1 sites have taken years to develop.

Much of this exposure has been through Twitter using #F1, but equally by posting comments on other sites with links to relevant TJ13 articles which add value to the topic under discussion. Readers from over there come and see what’s happening here, some then become part of our community.

So, for example, if you live in Austin, Texas, post a comment on a story they run on ‘The Statesman’ and an link to the appropriate TJ13 story. The same applies for forums you may regularly visit, the BBC comments, James Allen site etc. – but only do this when appropriate and occasionally, maybe no more than once a week.

Yesterday we had an unprecedented number of visitors from Croatia. We welcomed readers from http://www.gp1.hr. They were discussing the Ferrari engine amongst he commentators, and someone posted a link to TJ13’s Ferrari article… (translated from Croatian)


This saw the biggest ever day for readers from Croatia – a 600% plus growth – so hello to any new readers who are popping in again today from Croatia. I have to say one of my favourite sporting interviews was with your man – Goran the tennis player – and when he revealed in jest he may be schizophrenic, ‘The good Goran and the bad Goran’. #Legend

I know some of TJ13 readers are concerned that being bigger will mean we have commentators who are not of our culture, eg fanboys. However, due to the TJ13 Jerez scoops, our readership doubled in January and has continued to see daily reads at record levels.

Whilst we have seen in the past few days many new names in the comments section, our daily conversations have not descended into the fatuous debates and abusive arguments that many other sites endure.

Be part of the F1 media revolution. ‘The many’ now have a voice.

PS… Rightly or wrongly, knowing there would be some GMM reports available for the TJ13 Daily News today – which will tell us who did what, who said what to whom, about something or indeed importantly something else – gave me the freedom to stay up late last night and write this comment piece knowing I wouldn’t have to scramble around in the morning for what may or may not be some news.


Ecclestone thinks he won’t stand trial

I don’t know where to begin on this. The problem is that Mr E  his has demonstrated the accusations by Il Padrino – that he is loosing his faculties – are in fact true. The comical failure by Bernie to find his way out of a revolving door appears to be blue chip evidence of the fact.

Ecclestone’s pronouncements on New Jersey have vacillated from ‘its defo on’ to ‘its defo off’ and he proposed a 22 race calendar for 2014 that was never going to happen.

Bernie said during a charity event he attended yesterday of the Munich trial set for April, “Bet you it doesn’t happen… things happen in life and you have to get on with it,” What the hell does that actually mean?

Acting as second in Mr. E’s fight corner is the one and only Christian Horner – minion of Vettel and Marko, his considered view is that “Formula 1 needs him more than ever at the moment, so he’s absolutely the right man,” But even this opinion is given on the back of the bromance between the Red Bull puppet boss and the diminutive man from Suffolk – who bigged up Newey’s minder by suggesting Horner could replace him and run F1.

Reading the tea leaves, the German prosecutors appear to have taken their time before declaring their intentions to bring Ecclestone to trial. Hence, its difficult to believe the determined and considered wheels of the German justice system has been caught napping by some left field play and gazumped by an 11th hour manoeuvre of Ecclestone’s genius.

Still, this is what Bernie is saying today


Ecclestone’s plan for budget cap

In 2011, when new teams, HRT, Virgin Racing (Marussia) and Team Lotus (Caterham) joined the F1 circus, they joined on the promise of Mr E that budgets will be controlled and the total sum of $50million was touted as a budget that would allow you to be a midfield contender. As history has proved with the demise of HRT and Virgin Racing selling out to Marussia, Formula 1 racing is not cheap and to be ‘competitive’ one probably needs closer to $100m than $50m.

For next season, there will be a $200m budget cap as announced by the FIA in December which, if you can believe Mr E, teams have agreed on. Although agreed it is recognised there is still much work to be done to understand exactly how it will be implemented and enforced.

We have agreed on the budget cap. Everybody has agreed on $200 million, what’s not agreed on is what falls within that $200 million, and until it will include everything, I’m sure the teams will find ways to circumvent this, it will be very difficult to check.

Smaller teams are worried though as they believe it will be difficult for the FIA to monitor the spending of the big car manufactures in Formula 1 but fear not, Mr E has a master plan!

… the plan is to give $1 million to the team that can provide us with accurate information that one or more of the other teams is/are cheating, the teams best 3 results for the next (!) season will be cancelled.” He continues, “let’s see if anyone still wants to cheat.

So now we turn the whole of F1 into an even bigger circus? Why will Toro Rosso give up Red Bull or Sauber give up Ferrari? Will it not be easier for the smaller teams to go to the larger teams and ask them for money not to ‘spill the beans’? Is it really that hard to lock a team’s budget down and will a limit at $200m really change anything?


90 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Sunday 9th February 2014

  1. Re the Tesco thing. None of the following are legal tender in England: Scottish, Northern Irish, Gibraltar, IoM or Channel Island notes (or coins for the last three). Most shops will take the first two as they are the same currency, but Gibraltar, IoM and CI all technically have their own currencies. Tesco are correct and legally entitled to refuse them.

  2. When you’re sage, you’re sage… Why bother with soppy news stories when you can write like this…?

    • Seems a weight has been lifted off you, and your writing juices are flowing, m’lud. You are even using the spellchecker, most of the time. 😛 This site just gets better and better. 🙂

  3. Could the reason old Bernie’s so confident of avoiding the court case be because he’s been being a bit bribey again??!!

    • is settling the matter before a judgement is made a bribe?

      he can decide to settle all his legal problems and still come out with a billion or 2 in change.

  4. Hard to believe you’re still mentioning the Bernie revolving door thing as though it were evidence of his senility. Truly the puppet master finds it easy to make the naive & gullible dance on his strings!

    Bernie’s chosen defence – that he “can’t remember” requires exactly the perception you’re happy to promulgate for him, so you tell me how deliberate his slapstick floorshow routine was? He can even be heard saying to the photographers that he would have to repeat it as half of them missed it. No doubt Bernie will escape a conviction, but not because he’s “losing his faculties” but precisely because his faculties are so far ahead of the average journo, punter or even judge….

    • Yes, I agree with Shari.

      One of the tools in Bernie’s big bag of tricks is to use the press to redirect the winds of public opinion to his advantage.

      One unique way of doing so is to boldly play a fool before the press, in order to quickly promulgate an idea may suit his interests.

      • Thinking about the budget cap story, for example, it’s interesting that he says everyone agrees on $200m, but not on what part of the budget that would include.

        The proposed enforcement idea is dystopian and absurd, as you point out. I suppose the audience for this idea is the teams.

        Perhaps Bernie is trying to step on the toes of the teams so that they move forward on an agreement.

        Or, perhaps he doesn’t want an agreement at all, and is trying to sink this particularly boat…

    • I’m also inclined to agree – I made this comment at the time, but there was no reaction here…

  5. Morning Judge, I have to don my ‘feminist’ hat again, I do object to Nicole being referred to as ‘Shirtlifter’ (was amused to see you almost hoist by your own petard on that one lol) and a pole dancer, yes, she is a member of the glossy, shiny celebrity brigade, but she is also a very credible, talented artist which you will see if you take a few minutes to watch the clip I have posted (I hope) . . .


    also, great article on Twitter, one of the greatest illustrations of the power of Twitter in my opinion was the day after the London riots, when groups of people were co-ordinating ‘clean-up’ gangs to go and help affected business’s and residents, showed me the good in the world at a very emotional time.

    • Thanks for that SF.

      Mrs J would assure you I am in no way a chauvinist and my comment was not anti-female.

      We’ll have to agree to disagree on the artistic contribution Nicole has added to the panacea of music.

      A number of her songs in fact have lyrics which place women or herself in a subjugated sexual setting there to be subservient to a man – hence the pole/lap dancer reference and the tabloid Page 3 girl lifting her shirt to reveal her breasts for men to see.

    • Did anyone notice that each time she appeared in X Factor she looked like she had an issue with some kind of substance, she constantly looked dopped up and struggled to string a sentence together on occasion. Now I’ve never spent much time studying the girl so unless she is like that anyway I would say she needs to see someone, also her live performance on XFactor with one of her team sounded just awful, like she was trying to out-sing her contestant but clearly didn’t have the voice for it. It’s amazing what a bit of auto-tune in a studio can do for a voice. Lets face it, Pussy Cat Dolls where more about ‘sex sells’ than outright vocal talent. I so hope Lewis looses interest in his older woman (pests face it, it’s all young men’s fantasy to have a crack at a hot older lady) and doesn’t get caught in the fantasy for too much longer and ccertainly doesn’t give I to the biological clock. Surely if you are a race driver in the top tier of motorsport, the only thing that matters is driving and winning, women will come and go, Championship wins stick with you forever. Having a top bird does not automatically make you a top driver, just look at Adrian Sutil, arguably he has one of, if not the most attractive girl in the paddock, but he will never be WDC.

    • Bravo Well said. I am an avowed F1 follower and read this blog everyday. However the comments using the word shirtlifter are disrespectful as she is an artist of some repute, and has sung at the Royal Variety Performances in front of HM. I am also sure that the judge knows perfectly well that the word shirtlifter is used in an entirely different context, ie ,usually in a derogatory fashion to describe a male of a certain inclination, so I find it difficult to connect this successful artist with that description.
      If a large proportion of F1 drivers could succeed in their chosen profession as she has in hers we would surely have a new world champion

    • Living in the boondocks as I do this was the first time I’d ever seen Nicole, other than the odd comments on this site, and didn’t even know her full name – which is why I found the comments odd…
      So… thanks for the opportunity to witness a 2nd-rate singer give a 3rd-rate performance, in a 2-dimensional body… (apart from the upper ‘additions’ 😉 )
      Anybody with half a voice can ‘do’ Argentina and get an emotional response.
      Give me Amy Winehouse any day – and I only came across her just two weeks ago…
      ‘Must get out more…’ ‘Must get out more…’ ‘Must get out more…’ ‘Must get out more…’ ‘Must get out more…’ ‘Must get out more…’ 😉

      • We don’t all have to like the same things do we guys? but don’t have to be judgemental or offensive either, and one good artist does not negate another . . . Right, back to F1 then . . .

        • SF 😉

          I’m entitled to my opinion that the lovely – to some – though fast ageing Miss Nicole could well be wanting Lewis to have babies with her for reasons other than love……

          …also that the word ‘artist’ is subjective and each writer is entitled to challenge the context of its use…

          …I have been more captivated by objects under the ocean waves than anything Shirtsinger has ever performed.

  6. I’m glad there are websites who make tweets available and even provide extra context. I’m too lineair for the medium, I think.
    Or too old.

  7. Judge,
    I have spotted else where that Mr E is saying the budget cap will be set at €200 million and that anyone with substantiate evidence of cheating will get a reward of €1 million. Also if a team is found to be cheating then they will loose their best 3 points results for the following season.

    I don’t like the site I read it in much so was wondering if you or the team have any further details.

    I don’t use Twitter myself as I don’t really get how it works, all that #tag stuff…..once I find someone who cam physical show me I will give it a go. I expect it will be my 15year old son or one of his friends, how embarrassing is that, make me feel like a dinosaur. I have a facebook account but who wants to hear everyones moaning and complaining and I don’t give a toss if my my sister can’t decide between a doughnut or a sausage role in Greggs for her lunch, or someone took a dump so big it took 3 flushes to get rid of it, I mean, people think that crap is interesting? Those kind of people need to get a grip, if they took all the time they spent posting comments about the inane things that make up their lives, think what could be achieved.
    Social Media…….bar-humbug!

    • I became a fan of twitter when I found that by following all the F1 teams and various commentators that you could “watch” what was going on in F1 practice and testing by what was being tweeted. I think it’s amazing that in the middle of the night in Australia I’m getting live information and pictures from the other side of the world where just a few years ago it would have taken hours or days (or maybe we would never know because it wasn’t considered interesting enough!)

  8. Love this website but you are wrong about the money.

    Only English notes are ‘legal tender’. All the other notes are classed as ‘ acceptable tender’. It’s clearly laid out in the bank of England website. Sorry.
    Other notes may be accepted or refused. 1p coins over 20 pence also cease to come legal tender and can be refused.

  9. Just popping in to say hi and commend the Judge on his post about twitter, as many know I owe my own (relatively small) rise to the medium of twitter. I have established some exceptional contacts from what started out as something that I could pass a few minutes of my day doing to being an integral part of my life. I tend to chuckle at some of the inane things that are mentioned on twitter, however I do use it as a serious platform to engage and promote my work. I thoroughly recommend it’s use (looking at you Clear View 😉 ) as although it’s not to everyone’s tastes once you tailor it’s use to your liking it can be a great tool.

    • And you do an exceptional job too Matt.

      Both you and TJ are the go to F1 sites on the interwebasphere.

  10. Protection and even a reward for a whistleblower could work. If you’re working in the finance dept of Ferrari for 60k 1 million is a lot of money – for doing the honest thing.

    • No, it can’t work. You’re breeding a bunch of guys who snitch on each other for money. We had that in East Germany in abundance. It didn’t work. It was just abominable.

      • Agree completely on that Danilo, I have no respect for snitches whatsoever, disgusting!
        As is Bernie’s plan, he’s building a rat ship.

      • I think there’s a big difference between snitches and whistleblowers. In the Netherlands we have special laws to protect whistleblowers: people who put their ass on the line to make foul play – by a corporation or the government for example – public.

        Probably the UK Has them as well, but Italy I don’t know.

        So I think it’s fine to compensate someone for his inevitable job loss. And since some people earn a lot, I think 1 million is a good number.

        • But this is not whistleblowing is it? I honestly think this is just a way for Mr E to divide the teams again. And what is more, as the TJ13 said, what’s the use of a $200m budget? Who has a budget like that, Ferrari and Red Bull with McLaren close but that’s it. I don’t think anyone else if close with $100-$150m probably the norm.

          • Lotus tried it, but are now cutting back and shedding staff – gaining a few million in prize money was not worth the extra tens of millions they spent for the budget. Losing $17.5m from 2nd to 4th in WCC also hurt them a lot..

  11. RE budget cap policing:

    It would clearly cost close to or more than $1m to “hire” the corporate spies required to “mistakenly deposit into a mailbox” the necessary hard proof of budget cap cheating.

    Otherwise, each team would be have interpol MI5, FBI or whomever up their ass with all kinds of legal trouble, costing millions more to recover from.

    The interesting thing for me is: was this just a clear example of age acting upon the workings of the brain, or perhaps this is insight into the default type of dealings and corporate maneuvering is what Mr. E is used to?

    • I think it’s just Ecclestone being taken to the night by senility. The inane blather he excreted all week about many topics make it obvious that he’s loosing his marbles.

    • Ha ha! AJ, that was my thoughts exactly! And, if you know team x ratted you out to herr Ecclestone and Todt imagine what it will be like when the strategy group meets. The teams there will always oppose each other which means Ecclestone and Todt have an advantage before negotiation starts!

  12. Regarding Twitter your Honour, I would dearly love it if you started using a hashtag, #TJ13 being my suggestion, that would make it easier for those of us on this side of the pond to keep up with your and other commenters’ on this site twitter comments, and follow conversations, since #F1 is so crowded and if you follow enough folks, timelines can get kind of crowded.

    Also, talking about doing things right on social media, I just finished watching Bathurst 12 hours, which was live streamed for free (some ads) on the internets. Not only did the finish come down to .4 of a second, and something like 30 seconds between the top 4, but there was a cracking drive put in by Shane van Gisbergen in a McLaren MP4-12C.

    Unfortunately I passed out with about an hour left in the race, but when I went to see the results this morning I found that the ENTIRE RACE was still on the site and I could actually cue it up right where I left off and finish watching. In addition, you could comment on the race while you watched if you felt like it.

    So if Bathurst 12 hours can pull this off, why the bloody !%$^@%^$%#$%# can’t F1 with all if its vaunted technologicall know how? I’d really like to know because, TBH, it was fantastic being able to watch racing like that, and even better to be able to see it again the next day.

    • Cheers again Matt for the heads up.

      If anyone is interested here’s one of the feeds that’s still up.

      It’s the entire 12 hour race – and can be scrolled through from the beginning.

      It’s from the Motorsports TV Australia site if anyone wants to watch it – and the stream is HD too –


      I stayed up till 0715 am this morning to watch it to the finish. As Matt said – brilliant race – although I thought Maxi Buhk’s drive in the SLS the best.

      As Matt said – how come they can do this in what is still a small but growing event ( 26,000 spectators for the race ) and we have to suffer the shite offered by BBC or Sky and other national broadcasters etc. ?

      • I forgot to add – the stream was scrollable even when live. I missed the beginning – but rewound to see the start and jumped through the timeline till I caught up with the LIVE feed.

        And they also had live tweets on the page – and this showed it was obviously being watch all over Europe & America etc. not just in Asia.

      • Because they don’t have a vertically challenged dinosaur that does not understand technology.

        It would also mean FOM would have to work for their money and they will probably make less. Could it be that having CVC run the show all FOM is interested in is milking the cash cow for their masters?

      • Any time, glad someone else got to enjoy it as well. And that was a good drive by the Buhk but those brake pads, aggghhhh!! Van Gisbergen had fast lap though (and record, faster than F3000 car FWIW), and that early dice with the Erebrus was far beyond the cars ability IMO. And how about seeing cars in gravel traps again, or the fact that they chose not to penalise Salo for his little off track excursion to get round a lapped car.

        I may have to go watch it again, LOL!

    • Because F1 actually does not actually have the technical or creative know-how to do what Bathurst 12 did.

      Current F1 controllers seem to have developed an unchecked ego where they probably tell each other behind closed doors that anything they do is the best thing ever, e.g. living under a rock. IMO, the F1 broadcast is terrible and about 5-7 years behind the innovation curve. F1 is not a leader in this department at all, but merely a follower that is way behind the times. Quality, interactive content tailored to true fans is non-existent.

      Don’t worry though, the free market will dictate their fate sooner or later. Although, philosophically sadly, at this corporate level even when you lose, you still win.

      • ” Because F1 actually does not actually have the technical or creative know-how to do what Bathurst 12 did. ”


        All Bathurst did was stream the TV camera’s pictures …..

        It wasn’t rocket science …… F1 could have done that for the last few years !

        They could easy do it at the Bahrain test …

          • I disagree – I think they do have the ability – but they choose not to do so.

            Why ?

            Money ……

          • that may be true. I think there is a threshold where the desperation for chasing the black ink becomes delusional and actually distracts from seeing the proverbial iceberg in the night. I think we are at or just past that threshold.

    • Shane is also on iRacing a lot, where he is as fast as in real life. Him and Richie Stanaway, along with some americans usually lead the Professional drivers in the annual Pro-sim race.

      On the TV front, I know that at least FOM are going to add some new info, such as the charging and discharging, possibly fuel amounts etc. and possibly overhaul the TV information screens.

    • Matt, what would be the impact of using dual-hashtags: #F1 and #TJ13 (which I like, or even #TJ13F1!! lol)?

      “Regarding Twitter your Honour, I would dearly love it if you started using a hashtag, #TJ13 being my suggestion, that would make it easier for those of us on this side of the pond to keep up with your and other commenters’ on this site twitter comments, and follow conversations, since #F1 is so crowded and if you follow enough folks, timelines can get kind of crowded.”

      • Hmmm…. I’ve sat down twice to try and come up with a quick answer and failed miserably each time. this is my third attempt. Using both should bring more readers to the website and make it easier for them to find #TJ13 content, since it will be less crowded than #F1. They might see it first on #F1, but then search twitter for #TJ13 afterwards if they liked what they saw (which most likely they would) since it would be easier to find that way.

        Ok, not perfect and I think there could be other important benefits (including trending) but aside from the personal convenience of being able to keep up with my #TJ13 friends on twitter it would be very helpful in building a central place on twitter for folks to look for F1 content and analysis. If I were a trendy marketing type no doubt I would be talking about brand identity etc but really, it’s mostly about giving people a non random way to find content when they want it once they’ve discovered the site, and an easy way to talk about it when they’re on twitter.

        Of course, nothing to say we can’t just start using it ourselves, but it would probably be more widely adopted if it was encouraged from on high.

  13. In general, I’d say I’m 99.9% supportive of the reasoned decisions made by His Honor in this Court, but in the case of the following I want to defend the practice of proper professional journalism.

    “Yet the media revolution will be unstoppable…The outrageous practice of charging ‘the many’ to read these people’s published content will soon be over. ‘The many’ are beginning to realise that a dedicated ‘average Joe’ and other part time professionals are globally accessible to them because the barriers to entry have collapsed.”

    I do agree that the barriers to entry have been obliterated and a lot of fossilized media that weren’t producing real value that they could add to the lives of their readers (since their “customers” are the advertisers, and the readers just the commodity they sell them), and this is especially true in the case of F1 coverage – just look at that rant Joe Seward posted recently raging against ‘amateurs’ who are making it difficult for him to earn a living (and he lumped TheJudge13 in as a ‘bad guy’…).

    However, there is both a need, and a willingness, in sophisticated segments of the population for paid, professional, investigative journalism that is not beholden to the Establishment and which challenges the very structures (And strictures) of power that His Honor rails against here today.

    Perfect example of this is Glenn Greenwald, who, in my personal opinion, has done a tremendous service to the World by vigorously reporting the results of Snowden’s NSA whistleblowing, but this comes after almost 10 YEARS of civil-liberties-focused, public-interest blogging and reporting. Greenwald, a lawyer by training and profession, actually started writing as a blogger himself during the reign of Bush2 in USA…and he’s built a second career out of reporting on Serious Issues℠ that most mainstream media will not touch b/c of the orthodoxies alluded to by His Honor.

    However, Greenwald needs to get paid in order to be able to write full-time, and why shouldn’t he? He’s staking on the full power of the State and the Establishment Media℠.

    • Thanks Joe

      My comments were predominantly set in the context of the F1 media…

      Of course there will be paid pro’s… But the old school tie or inside contacts will not be as influential in getting these roles…

      Bieber got noticed then became paid…

      • The Artic Monkeys would be another good example of the power of social media site, and its users, to push forward and promote what they like and want. Like most forms on communication and dissemination, it can be used for and by the people but is quickly and easily adapted by those with mony and influence, to tell the people what they want, but the broader and easier these forms of media become, the more I sincerely hope, ‘they’ find it harder to use in this fashion, and it remains a place where people voices can be heard. I’d also say blogs, or more specifically, free wuality blog provbiders such as wordpress have become a major influence, alowing anyone to start their own site with very little effort, and with the correct promotion, and good content, reach a wide audence from almost anywhere.

  14. Also – the Bathurst circuit had just been totally resurfaced in just a couple of months.

    It’s now really smooth – has more grip than before – and produced significantly less wear ( abrasion ) than before, so there were no marbles even after 12 hours of racing.

    Now these are public roads when not being used for race events ( like Le Mans ) and the resurfacing was carried out by the local Bathurst Town Council …..

    So how come they ( a local council ) can get this so right – when builders of Tilkedromes get it so wrong ?

    • I remember reading about how the FIA specifications regarding the layers of asphalt aggregate for COTA were very specific, expensive, and somewhat “foreign” (no pun intended). all of which supposedly had to pass inspection. I do not remember the source and do not know the voracity of the published thread.
      But, interesting to think a Town Council and their contractors can get it right while the FIA and the big P sometimes struggle…

      • @ titanracer69

        for info –

        Bathurst is an FIA approved circuit ….

        So the local council obviously have met FIA specifications.

        Maybe the very specific, expensive, and somewhat ” foreign ” component that COTA required was ….

        Kangaroos ?

  15. On the Lotus tweet. There is a difference between being irreverent and being stupid, and the Lotus tweet was stupid. I suspect that the decision to delete the tweet likely came from Renault. A significant portion of the world doesn’t agree with what was explicitly implied in the tweet. Renault being a global company would have realized that and the effect it could have on them. In fact the tweet was essentially corporate social advocacy aimed at a foreign audience. And that is something any smart company doesn’t want to get involved in.

    • @cavalino. no disrespect nor argument intended! your point is hopefully being taken on an intellectual level by the TJ13 community.

      I think the point was in the “perceived fewer walls” afforded by social media posts…

      I am not so certain the tweet was stupid. I think it was risky, tongue-in-cheek (oops:) and prolly over the top for an incredibly Globally insignificant Corporate entity such as Lotus F1. who??

      As merely a contracted parts vendor who hopes to get paid on a timely basis, I have to question whether Renault stepped in. But I have zero clue as to the Renault “culture”…

      After all, Merc aired the funny video where Lewis and Nico acted less-than-competent and even dis-respectful regarding the new rules. Trust me – there are way more than you can imagine who now believe Merc is out of their mind – just go to some other lesser sites and read the fanboy junk being posted…

      That Merc video would likely get immediate League fines and Sponsor sanctions in MANY other sporting series as damaging to their Sporting and Corporate image!!

      This socio-political “theme” is being bandied about by a number of first World Countries (am now seeing it every day in the USA), many of the very Largest Worldwide Corporations, and even a bit in the religious community.

      Right or wrong, time will tell all. thanx for the comment! Enjoy the greatest ever F1 site!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • Good to see you Cav… Despite all the compliments readers may write, the fact you lurk and occasionally comment assures me more than anything of how compelling TJ13 is 🙄

      Renault are French, and unlikely to give a flying ‘moment of sexual intimacy’ (whatever the genders involved) what the Russians think.

      The Russians who own 10% of the team however…. Mmm…

      • We agree to disagree. I don’t see any corporate benefit in potentially alienating foreign customers, and I don’t believe the French, in spite of your colourful description of them, do either. Maybe you should ask Vodafone why they had McLaren remove their logo’s in Bahrain.

        As for your site I’ve always believed it was one of the better ones. That’s not the reason why I don’t regularly post or make any other contributions, and it has nothing to do with the Richter scale.But I think you know why I don’t.

        • I might be getting my wires crossed, but if it’s to do with Ferrari.. I’m secretly hoping that Ferrari win the WDC in 2014. Alonso vs. Kimi would be great (but perhaps Kimi will play second fiddle, as his salary is half of Alonso’s 20m), and I would like them to have a battle for taking one more title. Mercedes can have 2015, once the weight limit they vetoed comes in (which is ironic, now that their car is overweight). Mercedes vs. McLaren-Honda in 2015 would also be an interesting battle (Hamilton vs. Button one last time).

        • “Maybe you should ask Vodafone why they had McLaren remove their logo’s in Bahrain.”

          Hold on – are you suggesting that Vodafone didn’t run its logos in Bahrain b/c they didn’t want to offend the authoritarian gov’t that was engaged in systematic violations of civil liberties and human rights?

          Or b/c they didn’t want to offend most of the politically-active and/or socially-conscious Western World (including public and media) by being seen to support and legitimize (via participation in the GP) an authoritarian gov’t that was engaged in systematic violations of civil liberties and human rights?

          If you don’t think there’s “any corporate benefit” to challenging discrimination, bigotry, violence and other human rights violations, b/c it could involve “potentially alienating foreign customers”, then that would mean you don’t buy into the notion that sometimes corporations practice “social responsibility” (whether done genuinely or cynically) because they realize that large segments of their customers who are in markets other than those where the gross abuses are taking place may take their business elsewhere if the firm is seen to support something that most rational secularists reject (discrimination, in this case)?

          • …. exactly… and what most people don’t know is that the year after the Bahrain race was cancelled, hardly any of the teams’ sponsors invited anyone to attend or even ran hospitality…

            “Back on track” and “UniF1ed” were vilified by most as the promoters political slogans for the F1 event.

            This was a political statement by the Al Khalifa’s and Todt unlike his predecessors failed to enforce sanctions under article 1 of the FIA’s constitution forbidding this kind of politicisation of F1.

            So most sponsors realised that the “bigotry, violence and other human rights violations” would not be palatable for their customers, clients or for their brand – and avoided the event.

            But hey, we should cut murderous and inhumane regimes 30 years of slack as some normative process for them to realise what they are doing is wrong?

    • In fact the tweet was essentially corporate social advocacy aimed at a foreign audience. And that is something any smart company doesn’t want to get involved in.

      Not sure that’s at all true. I seem to remember Benetton making a decent return out of it a few decades back…

      Lotus’ real mistake was not considering the less than liberal sensibilities of their sponsors/paymasters.

    • For the first time in many moons we agree on something 🙂 I think the Lotus tweet was hypocritical and stupid. Nobody would run a beef ad in India or advertise pork in a muslim country, yet everybody believes they can flaunt our views on gay rights at Russia and think they’ll enbrace them, because we mocked them with it. Oh how quickly they have forgotten their own history.
      This of course make me very hippo-critical and a the fat mammal is stomping this way with an opinion.

      • “think they’ll enbrace them,” —-

        I don’t think it’s at all a question of trying to convince Russian policymakers to abandon their homophobia and end discrimination.

        Rather, it’s an effort to establish the company’s credentials of social responsibility, tolerance and good citizenry, while they mock, humiliate and embarrass Russian policymakers (and the business oligarchs who fund & support them) on the global stage and undermine the “legitimacy” of a ‘regime’ (of law(s)) that so many enlightened folks find to be repellant (the discrimination, that is).

        One doesn’t have to endorse or advocate homosexuality in order to defend against discrimination based on sexual-identity/orientation.

        And just because it’s only been a relatively short period of time in the United States, for example, since same-sex partners started to receive equal protection and treatment under the law is absolutely NO reason not to fight discrimination and human rights violations related to sexual orientation in other parts of the world.

        Russia, unfortunately, is a very homophobic country where Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people face legal and social challenges to their basic human rights + discrimination not experienced by non-LGBT people.

      • “I think the Lotus tweet was hypocritical and stupid. Nobody would run a beef ad in India…”

        So State-sanctioned (and promoted) homophobia, discrimination and violations of the basic dignity and human rights of LGBT people in Russia should be treated reverentially, with the same (ridiculous, imo) respect that is afforded when (being politically correct and) trying not to offend a religious group like Hindus?

        B/c that’s pretty much the extension of your argument…that Westerners should respect Russians’ hatred of homosexuals (who they believe should be “liquidated”) b/c to do otherwise would be the equivalent of insulting Hinduism.

        • I do acknowledge though that the problem is that Russia is a profoundly gay-hostile place. How Western companies, sports teams, NGOs (oops! what ngos in russia?!), individuals, etc choose to address that…well, they’re still up against a tough crowd:

          “Public opinion in Russia tends to be among the most hostile toward homosexuality in the world—outside predominantly Muslim countries and some parts of Asia—and the level of intolerance has been rising. A 2013 survey found that 74% of Russians said homosexuality should not be accepted by society (up from 60% in 2002), compared to 16% who said that homosexuality should be accepted by society. In a 2007 survey, 68% of Russians said homosexuality is always wrong (54%) or almost always wrong (14%). In a 2005 poll, 44% of Russians were in favor of making homosexual acts between consenting adults a criminal act; at the same time, 43% of Russians supported a legal ban on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In 2013, 16% of Russians surveyed said that gay people should be isolated from society, 22% said they should be forced to undergo treatment, and 5% said homosexuals should be “liquidated”.”

          “Ликвидировать их!”

  16. Re.Bernie’s budget cap plan,
    Maybe some of you are familiar with the 36 stratagems, Bernie certainly is.
    I’ve copy pasted one:

    Replace the beams with rotten timbers.

    Destroy or damage the sustaining structures on which the enemy depends. Seek to replace these with systems which you control. When you have rebuilt their house, they are under your control, quite possibly without knowing this.
    Use ambassadors, double agents, spies and so on to get close to them and whisper in their ears. Convert, bribe and blackmail to get the same effect from their own people.
    Make them dependent and then pull the rug from beneath them at your convenience. Discredit their friends and advisors so they do not know who to trust.
    Turn their strengths into weaknesses. Disrupt enemy plans and actions. Act in unexpected ways. Break rules of engagement. Do things so they will not know what to do next and will be paralyzed into inaction or panicked into disarray.
    As well as using this stratagem to attack enemies, it also can help in turning allies into subordinates as you manipulate the situation to increase your power over them. A way of doing this is offer them increasing support, from advice to troops, until your people are largely in control.

    Sounds familiar?

    • This sounds so like Mr E and his homies… but especially Mr E. When I read through this the first person I thought of was Sir Frank Williams. Bernie always “looks” after him and so, Mr Parr got the boot when he became a threat for Mr E.

      And Dennis, who did not subscribe to the “looking after” got himself out of F1 for a while.

  17. While I didn’t propose paying opposing teams to rat-out cheating rivals, three weeks ago I did suggest super-harsh monetary and sporting penalties to serve as a budget cap deterrent-to-cheating:


    “@calum – I think you and those like you are determined to believe a budget cap can’t work, so you continue offering examples of how companies basically cheat against multi-regime accounting and tax standards, and you come up w/ some pretty sad examples of unethical behavior that you are convinced will be manifest in F1.

    However, if a budget cap is established, and the regulations governing it and the protocols applied are spelled out such that each team is required to submit the requested information – true, complete information, btw – in a standard format via a reporting system that’s standardized across the entire grid, then if teams decide to cheat and provide incomplete or false information, when they and their suppliers are spot-checked or audited, if the fraud is discovered…instant disqualification from WCC + $50 million fine.

    There’s your disincentive to the teams to cheat.

    If the teams respect a budget cap – it works. If they cheat against the budget cap, and are caught via audit or spot-check, then the penalty implied can be such that whatever gain they’d hoped to realize is wiped out, and then some…”

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