Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 13th Feburary 2014

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Mature is the way forward

Formula rEject

F1 drivers surprised by V6 torque (GMM)

More Renault trouble for Toro Rosso at Misano (GMM)

Alonso didn’t use simulator in 2013 – Massa (GMM)

Ferrari get with the programme

Stig joins Formula E

Mature is the way forward

The 9 on the Richter scale that was reported by TJ13 raised many eyebrows within Formula One. How could fire and ice function together in a team that has such a rich tradition of number 1 drivers – and does not usually shy away from this truth (I refer to Ferrari) as some teams do. *ahem Red Bull*

Mark Webber was on the receiving end of such treatment during his tenure behind the wheel of the Red Bull. Whether Kimi Raikkonen will be subjected to such favouritism, or lack of, remains to be seen. However, Stefano Domenicali believes the pair can function well for the Maranello squad.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Domenicali said, “I’ve found him more mature, like all of us, more experienced, very close to the team.” So 4 years away from the Ferrari appear to have done Kimi some good then.

He continued, “Our decisions are taken in a rational way, not emotionally. We have considered the need to pair Fernando with a driver with extra strong motivation and an experience that allows him to manage such a difficult season as this year.” So it’s not all about Kimi’s ability and was he hired because of the need to have someone there who can offer a genuine challenge to Alonso?

“A driver that knows how to manage the pressure of teaming up with Alonso and racing with Ferrari, which is always under the spotlight and if it ends up second it’s a tragedy.” And there the truth is outed – “the pressure of teaming up with Alonso“.

Those who question whether Massa was viewed as a genuine competitor or just a puppet have their answer.  He was never able to maintain his form as he did before his Hungaroring accident in 2009.  The public ear clipping Alonso received was for much the same reason David Beckham was made to leave Manchester United, the individual was starting to believe he was more powerful than the institution.

Kimi Raikkonen, a driver who in the words of Domenicali “is conscious of his capabilities“, will have the mental strength to go head to head with the samurai Alonso and not worry about mind games or a slight dip in form.  This is arguably the reason why Nico Hulkenberg was never realistically in the running for a seat at Maranello.  If anything, he was only being used to lower the price the main target would cost.

In this most interesting game of chess, the next move is Alonso’s.  Whether he can melt the ice man and reassert his dominance over the team remains to be seen.  Will it be Alonso of 2007 that rises to the surface and throws his toys out the pram or have 7 years more experience strengthened the Spaniard’s resolve?

Mark Webber did the sensible thing getting out Red Bull when he did.  It was only ever going to be downhill from here as the goalposts change this year, not being afraid to step down.  At least now Massa has the chance to lead a team which he so rightfully deserves, even if it is a year or two too late.  Furthermore, Alonso has the chance to further prove his credentials and put to bed the claims he only wins in a team where he is preferred.  The book Samurai Chess combines the seven samurai principles and teaches the reader how to apply them to their gameplay.  I wonder if Fernando has read it?


Formula rEject

Embracing the future and welcoming change with open arms has not always been something the FIA has done well, but with Formula E a little over a year from its inaugural season, there is much interest around the new tier due to the different tangent of racing it will bring.

Nobody wants to see it become another A1GP given the way that came to end, but is announcing a ‘Drivers’ Club really the way forward? The thought of watching a driver, like Sebastian Buemi, for many will not be a huge draw to the series. A pilot who has had his chance to prove himself but did not manage to make an impact doesn’t carry huge weight.

The ‘Drivers’ Club seems more like a list of drivers who have not been fortunate enough/not had the funds to secure a race seat – sounding more like a Formula One reject list. Whatever your opinion of somebody like Jaime Alguersuari, having not driven since 2011 he will be at best rusty. That, combined with learning a new car type on a new street circuit doesn’t seem like the best way to market the new series. Why limit the club to only experienced drivers?

Including hot prospects for the future would get people talking as well as raising the driver’s profile. Surely seeing fresh and upcoming talent is a more mouth-watering prospect than seeing a driver who is trying to relaunch his career.


F1 drivers surprised by V6 torque (GMM)

For those trackside, the biggest obvious change since the end of the 2013 season has been F1’s new, milder engine note.

For the drivers, however, the major talking point is ‘torque’. The V8 engines of last year, and the radical new generation of ERS-bolstered turbo V6s, are actually producing similar overall power.

But the torque of the 2014 ‘power unit’ is significantly higher.

“When I went out of the garage for the first time, I thought ‘Wow!'” Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is quoted by Germany’s Sport Bild.

Sauber’s Adrian Sutil had an even starker experience, “When I accelerated out of the corner, I was surprised,” said the German, recalling his first moments with the Ferrari V6. I changed from third to fourth gear, lost the rear and I spun.”

Works Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg agrees: “The driveability with the turbo is a little bit of an adventure!”


More Renault trouble for Toro Rosso at Misano (GMM)

It seems Renault is yet to solve all its troubles with the new turbo V6 ‘power unit’.

After a disastrous Jerez test for the French engine supplier and its partners – notably world champions Red Bull – Renault appeared to have taken a step forward when it emerged the new Lotus had run almost trouble-free during its more recent track debut. But another Renault-powered car, the 2014 Toro Rosso, has been back in action even since the Lotus debut for a similar ‘filming’ day, allowed under the regulations for promotional purposes with non-competitive Pirelli tyres.

However, there are reports the STR9 managed only 70 kilometres at the Misano circuit in Italy, littered with “repeated” stoppages for battery and software faults.


Alonso didn’t use simulator in 2013 – Massa (GMM)

Felipe Massa claims he was the only Ferrari driver in 2013 to work in the new driver simulator at Maranello. Dropped by Ferrari after an eight-year career wearing red, the Brazilian has moved to Williams over the winter and claims he is completely happy.

“To be honest, I feel that I needed this change, and maybe it’s the same for Ferrari,” said Massa, speaking to Portuguese-language publications this week in Sao Paulo. “When time passes and the situation is the same, you end up losing motivation,” he admitted.

“I’m very happy,” said the 32-year-old, “especially the way I was received by Williams. Since the first day I arrived at the factory, everyone helped me a lot, embracing me 100 per cent and believing in my potential.

“In Williams I am being heard,” Massa continued, “but that doesn’t mean Ferrari didn’t hear me. They listened to me very well. Last year I worked on the development of the car, and in the simulator I was practically the only driver, because Alonso wasn’t there.”

Massa, however, said Ferrari’s biggest problem last year was the wind tunnel.

“Many times we saw that it didn’t work as it should have,” he explained. “At most grands prix we had new parts, but they didn’t work on the car. We began with a competitive car and ended with an uncompetitive one, which was the opposite of Red Bull.”


Ferrari get with the programme

I must write this several times a year. But I love Ferrari… not because I want them to win, but the team from Maranello represents a swagger, a devil may care attitude and at times display a complete disregard for anything that fails to add to the glory that is Ferrari.

This belief is steadfast even through eras where Ferrari are woefully lacking in F1 results. There’s a kind of homage to the old ways of the sport, almost to the point that even winning appears a dirty word and is secondary to ‘doing things the Ferrari way’ which basks in the heritage of the prancing horse.

Yet change is afoot. Fernando has been tweeting away for a couple of years, of course this was only recently brought to Il Padrino’s attention and this surprisingly resulted in merely some half hearted effort by Luca to restrict Fernando’s activities.

Ferrari appear to be are getting with the times. They may have built a fine and championship winning car, which certainly would make a change, but more interesting is a new attitude in Maranello toward social media and the voice of the fans.

This cultural shift is becoming stark when contrasted with the days when an edict was issued via La Stampa – stating the position of the red team – which no one should question. Some evidence of this was the recent social media poll run where the fans got to name Maranello’s 2014 F1 entry.

One man who is very happy to still be in a job, Stefano Domenicalli, yesterday spoke out to calm the dissenters questioning the direction and concluded with a call to modernity.

“In this situation, it’s best not to rush to draw any conclusions, and play into the hands of those scaremongers, as a propensity for self-destruction serves no purpose. Every time there are changes, there are discussions, which is natural. We have only had one test so far when there were never more than four or five cars on track at the same time. Let’s wait until we see all 22 together before saying that everything’s gone wrong”.

In this statement, Il Padrino’s ‘caporegime’ is taking on the mighty rival family of F1 supremo, Mr. E and his CVC brothers, who described the new engine regulations as a ‘farce’ and ‘completely unnecessary’.

Stefano continues, “Once a path has been chosen, one has to move forward in a constructive manner. If after a certain period of time we see that an element of excitement is really missing, such as engine noise, then we can see how best to react. Personally, I don’t think this aspect will keep people away from the racetracks”.

To be honest having stood 3 feet from the 2014 cars accelerating away from me in Jerez, yes the sound is different, but its exciting and resonates thought throughout your bones. As I reported from southern Spain, even the clips and sound recordings I posted here and on twitter were of engines hitting a max of 10-12,000 RPM. Engine sound is not a problem for F1.

One of the many and real problems faced by Formula 1, is that the fans are ageing. Here at TJ13 many commentators refer to events of more than a decade ago fairly regularly and our core readership demographics are between 30-50 years of age.

Formula 1 must attract new blood, or it will indeed die. The money folk realise this and propose double points, exploding charges on the run off areas and creating artificial rain conditions should a race get too boring.

More interestingly, Stefano is on message too. “We should be more concerned with the Grand Prix event as a whole and we need to find a strategy to attract youngsters to our sport”

Say what??? Ferrari are looking to the future of the sport without any personal gain? The majority of Ferrari road car customers are unlikely to be from the under 35 age group, yet we are hearing Domenicali calling F1 to arms on recruiting fans who are the ‘young ones’.

F1 will be inevitably be infected affected by the ways of the young as a young rookies of the 21st century begin to find their way as drivers in the sport. I saw in our Jerez Hotel the rookies and reserve drivers hanging out, hoodies up, thumbing away frantically on mobile phones – and passing the occasional comment to each other.

So what’s the deal with Ferrari and the youth of today? Will there be a new chill out zone in Maranello sometime soon?

The Ferrari brand is the most recognizable in the world at present, so why the concern?

Maybe its because the kids of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s saw beautiful and fast cars as something to be worshipped, adored and lusted after. Most lads of my age had some kind of car poster on their wall and we played card games like top trumps to see whose car trumped all the others.,

Kids today are just not engaged by cars in the same way. So, unless Ferrari attract a whole new world of young boys and girls to do the equivalent of pinning posters on their walls and fantasise about one day owning a prancing horse, the inevitable slide of the brand’s status will begin as cheese wedge shape hover car era dawns.

This is clearly in the mind of those at the head of the Ferrari family, as Stefano makes clear adding. “We need to get back to having the car seen as an inspirational theme and not just as a means of transport, which adds nothing to our existence”.

Selling La Ferrari’s to a few hundred of the world’s elite gazillionaires will not ultimately keep the Ferrari brand where it is and this week the Ferrari brand is clearly a hot topic for discussion as we discovered the company shifted its brand related assets off shore to avoid Italian tax.

So the obvious and obtuse motif of Domenical’s speech is a shot across Ecclestone’s bows, but there is a subtext far more interesting, a discussion of the future taking place behind the red velvet drapes.

What’s certain is that should Ferrari get fully on message regarding the youth of today, then there is a chance they will lead the others along a path that revitalises young people’s interest in racing cars, the heroics of their drivers the intricacies of technology and a passion for speed.

These kids are after all the customers of Ferrari’s future.

(I bid thee all farewell as I now embark on a road trip of some length form the flooded plains and storm torn lands of Britain to the respite offered by continental Europe – specifically, the ski slopes of Italy. The TJ13 team will be here to serve the needs of the courtroom and I shall hopefully pop in from time to time whilst partaking in an aperitivo and Vin Brule.

Be pleasant to them and each other… and no riotous behaviour please… This is an establishment not paid for by public funds) 🙄


Stig joins Formula E

This morning the German based Formula E team have announced their drivers for the inaugural season. “Its Exactly 7 months (212 days) until @Daniel_Abt & @LucasdiGrassi line-up on grid for @abt_formula_e for #FEGPBeijing


The remaining drivers to sign up to Formula E’s new Drivers’ Club have also today been revealed with Jaime Alguersuari, Nicolas Minassian, Alex Brundle, Robert Doornbos, Christian Klien, Conor Daly, Katherine Legge and Ben Collins all joining a club – which is more of a beauty pageant.

“Unveiled last month, the new scheme features a pool of top, international names that all officially endorse the new FIA Formula E Championship and have expressed a willingness to race in the future. Today’s drivers join those previously announced bringing the total to 24. In addition, the Formula E Drivers’ Club will allow each member to experience the new fully-electric Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E car”. (Formula E)

Of the eight new names – seven are male and one female – Austrian Christian Klien, Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari and Dutchman Robert Doornbos have all raced in Formula One whilst American Conor Daly has tested for Force India. Frenchman Nicolas Minassian is a former Peugeot factory driver and Le Mans 24Hours podium finisher whilst Brit Alex Brundle – son of former F1 racer Martin – has raced in F3, F2 and sportscars, with fellow Brit Katherine Legge previously racing in IndyCar and DTM.

Meanwhile, British racer Ben Collins is a current stunt driver but is best known as the former ‘Stig’ from the BBC’s Top Gear programme keeping 500 million viewers worldwide guessing over his identity for eight years.

Jaime Alguersuari said: “I’m very pleased to be joining the Formula E Drivers’ Club. I think Formula E provides a new concept in motorsport and will be a great challenge to the drivers, especially having to learn new tracks in just one day and to race in city-centres like London and Beijing.”

This scores a 6.5 from thejudge13. Lacking in passion and not as believable as statements from other drivers

Robert Doornbos said: “I am really proud and happy to become part of the Formula E Drivers’ Club. I believe that Formula E cars are the future of motor racing and I look forward to racing again after a successful career in F1 and Champ/IndyCar. I’m positive that it will attract a lot of attention worldwide and sponsors will get to experience autosport on a new level.”

From Formula E judges this probably gets a 9 for saying this is ‘the future’ of motor racing. TJ13 says, rubbish – a 3.

Alex Brundle said: “I am delighted to be included in the Formula E Drivers’ Club and to be part of a new age of motorsport competition. The development of the car represents a new challenge in a forum which is innovative, sustainable and exciting.”

Clearly an 8 from me – as young Alex’s eloquence exceeds by far that of his alleged father.

Ben Collins added: “I’m thrilled to have been selected to join the Drivers’ Club and to be a part of the development team that will shape the future of racing.”

Sorry Ben, for ratting out your previous ‘non de plume’ persona for personal gain, you are disqualified….

Final driver signings for the inaugural Formula E season will remain up to the individual teams.

FIA Formula E Championship – Drivers’ Club line-up (total = 24):

Daniel Abt (GER)
Christijan Albers (NLD)
Jaime Alguersuari (ESP)
Marco Andretti (USA)
Sébastien Bourdais (FRA)
Alex Brundle (GBR)
Sebastien Buemi (CHE)
Karun Chandhok (IND)
Ben Collins (GBR)
Conor Daly (USA)
Robert Doornbos (NLD)
Lucas di Grassi (BRA)
John R. Hildebrand Jr. (USA)
Ma Qing Hua (CHN)
Narain Karthikeyan (IND)
Christian Klien (AUT)
Katherine Legge (GBR)
Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA)
Nicolas Minassian (FRA)
Franck Montagny (FRA)
Takuma Sato (JPN)
Bruno Senna (BRA)
Oriol Servia (ESP)
Adrien Tambay (FRA)


62 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 13th Feburary 2014

  1. Upon closer inspection, you’ll find that Adrian Sutil has a Ferrari engine nailed to the back of his car 😉

    • Sounds more like a GPL67 BRM! First timers on the sim usually do what Sutil did there with it.. Jackie Stewart said its harder than real life (from physics/modelling limitations of 15 years ago).. Reviews trashed it as too hard and not “on rails” like GP2.

  2. Mark Webber was on the receiving end of such treatment during his tenure behind the wheel of the Red Bull. Whether Kimi Raikkonen will be subjected to such favouritism, or lack of, remains to be seen.

    If there’s one team I simply could not imagine where the principal whines meekly over the radio, “This is silly,” as one of his drivers disobeys a directive and undermines the leader’s authority, it’s Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro!

      • Rationally, Alonso is getting 20m, Kimi 10m; they know Kimi is professional enough to be 2nd driver if required/pushed to do so (2008), and this time ‘his motivation is extra-strong’….

        • Iestyn Davies, i’m actually really, really looking forward to the Scuderia’s campaign this year. I think it could be both epic *and* historic!

          Of course there have been other sensational #F1 driver pairings: Prost & Senna comes to mind, as does Alonso + Hamilton, and Hamilton + Kovalainen (no?). But I genuinely believe this Ferrari duo is special, and they will treat us to a compelling show of clinical brutality and surgical smothering of their racing rivals (assuming the F14T “FIAT” proves adequate), the likes of which leaves even disgruntled Webber fans smiling with glee!

          Mind you, I have not performed a meta-analysis, nor conducted a focused, wide-ranging yet targeted and comprehensive review of the relevant metrics, but my “gut” tells me there’s something “different”/unique/’special’ about Alonso + Räikkönen – and it’s not just because this is the first time a Spanish driver with first name “Fernando” has been paired with a Finn whose second name is “Matias” (although this has never happened before). In 2008, Räikkönen and Alonso were the only two Formula One drivers included in Forbes magazine’s The Celebrity 100 list, so it’s not surprising they’re reunited in 2014 at Ferrari.

          One thing is for certain, however: there’s no guarantee that hot-blooded Latin Samurai beats frigid Finnish Iceman – with or without Antonio Spagnolo to drone in the background, “Fernando eez-a faster than-a you. Ok?”

    • If the new red bull really is a dog, I am very curious to see how relationships will develop in the team. Vettel has a history of not being very good at handling defeat and management has not reigned him in when he shiwed signs of feeling more important than the team. I see a huge meltdown in the making…

      • Ricciardo maybe surprises us. The pressure is on Vettel to prove it’s him rather than the car and Mark Webber being not of the same league.

        • Conspiracy theorists will have a field day. If Ricciardo has poor starts, then it is proof that Red Bull penalise the No2 driver. If he has good starts as compared with Vettel, then it is proof that Webber’s starts were “sabotaged”. 🙂

          • True, while both were regularly the worst starters in 2013. Remember DR at Bahrain? I think Mark is accurate though in saying DR should match Vettel more in Q. He should know if anyone does ATM.

      • Two things will put Vettel under pressure if the Red Bull is miles behind the rest. 1. Can he drag performances out of a bad car like Alonso can 2. How he handles defeat in terms of not winning the drivers title. Vettel under pressure is always infinitely better to watch than Vettel strolling to a race victory. I do like Vettel, I just want to see him pushed to his limits by Alonso and co in cars that are as fast or faster than the Red Bull. Tis the only way to see just how good Vettel is.

        As for DR I think he’ll do better than most people expect, he just needs to sort out his starts and he should do fine. If the Red Bull is a poor car ? I don’t think it will effect DR too much given he’s been trundling around in the midfield. Might be a different story for Vettel, who is used to winning on a consistent basis over the last 4 seasons.

      • Doesn’t exempt him from checking what he’s posting. It took 5 seconds to find the error in the picture.

        • The GMM feed has two advantages that we’ve seen this past week:

          1) Provides the Judge the liberty of time to write the high quality articles that attracts many folks to this site.

          2) Provides some of the daily news tidbits that he would otherwise have to write himself to satisfy those who use this site as their primary (some say as their only), source of F1 news.

          Given the excellent quality of the articles that the Judge has written in the past week, I’d say it’s been a success.

          While GMM’s editing has never been one of their strong points, their emphasis on non-English stories translated to English meshes nicely with the Judge’s goals for this site.

  3. A rich tradition of number 1 drivers?

    If we’re going to re-write Ferrari’s history pre 1996, I will be forced into making every OTD feature a Ferrari one where I’ll explain to the world why Ferrari was never about 1 & 2 drivers. Enzo Ferrari hated any driver becoming bigger than the team.
    I feel for Schumacher currently but one lasting legacy from his time at the squad is this belief that they always embraced this policy.
    An article I’ve written already may change a few minds… We’ll see

    • Parole sante Carlo!
      Lauda/Regazzoni, Reutemann/Villeneuve, Scheckter/Villeneuve, Pironi/Villeneuve en Prost/Mansell.
      The nr.1 driver thingy, started only when Schumacher joined Ferrari.

      • I’ll admit I thought Pironi was number 2 and that Gilles did so at Monza 1979, but I’m learning all the time and didn’t see it live.

        • Gilles followed team orders at Monza to secure title for Scheckter.
          People mistakenly believe if he’d have overtaken he’d have won WDC but the truth is he would have had to win in canada and Watkins glen as well. So Ferrari orders were secure title earliest opportunity.
          Pironi was equal number one but if a time arose where one could win title the other would support

          • OK that sounds reasonable. I can agree that that was the modes operandi pre-Schumi (who got it from Senna?). Was Gilles unlucky with having one or two more retirements than Jody in 1979? Else it appears it’d have been very close at season end.

          • Tyre and transmission failures, so yes just unlucky I think.
            But with Jones on a winning streak, the title for either one of the Ferrari drivers was uncertain ’till the end.

          • I was only 11 years old at the time, but I do remember very well how the whole family in Italy called those “damn garagistas” names, (for winning 4 or 5 in a row) that you’re not supposed to hear at that age 😉

        • 1) the 1979 season was split effectively into two and the best four scores from each half made up your championship total, As enzo says, Williams was coming on very strong and they couldn’t afford to leave it till the end.
          2) Senna never asked for number one position in any team, inc Lotus. he refused Warwick joining because he knew lotus didn’t have the resources for two no 1 cars.
          Despite what the British media says, Senna joined Mclaren with Prost there already and destroyed him.

          Regards Schumacher, I think his time at Benetton with Briatore showed him the number 1 route was the best way to go.

          • ” Despite what the British media says, Senna joined Mclaren with Prost there already and destroyed him. ”

            REALLY ?

            1988 – Prost 105 points
            Senna 94 points

            1989 – Prost 81 points
            Senna 60 points

            That’s a funny way of ” destroying ” someone ?

            By LOSING to them …….

          • Yes, I thought someone would mention that statistic, yet the scoring system made Senna WDC in 1988. Also there was some poor races for Senna in 1989 and a Balestre that disqualifed him from the Japanese GP despite all evidence proving cutting a chicane hadn’t been punishable before the Frenchman needed outside assistance to win.
            If Senna had spun round in the face of traffic and rejoined he would have been penalised for that also. Some you can’t win..

            The most telling statistic was in 1988 and 1989, both years having 16 events, Senna was on pole for 13 races each year. Prost just two both seasons and he left the team.
            In his final season he manipulated it that both Mansell – who left for Indycars – and Senna weren’t in comparable equipment; truly the mark of a sportsman.

          • You forgot to mention in 1989 Senna cheated in that race by punting Prost off the track …..

            Plus the fact that even if Senna hadn’t been disqualified he wouldn’t have won the championship anyway.

            And pole positions aren’t ” telling statistics ” – championship points are !

            You don’t get points for pole position, you don’t win championships by having the most poles, all you get is better track position – FACT !

            And Prost didn’t leave McLaren because he only got two pole positions each year – total and utter hogwash !

            Sorry Carlo – I love your writings and comments – but you’re just talking bullshit to try and justify something that isn’t true re Senna.

            Here’s the truth – Prost BEAT Senna both years at McLaren.

            And all the rose tinted glasses and fanaticism in the world won’t change that.

            As Richard Dawkins said – zealots never let facts get in the way of a belief system ……….

          • Fair points Manky but I’ve just realised a point I was making was very poorly expressed. Of course Prost didn’t leave because he only got two pole positions, there was a number of other factors. But it’s fair you pull me up on that.

      • I was eleven that year too and I know what you mean about Italian language in heated situations.
        I have written an OTD for the 18th which puts across a different view of team orders which may be of interest..

        • I’m curious… Is it that historically Scuderia Ferrari have allowed their drivers’ performances in the early part of the season to determine who is lead driver?

          And historically, has Scuderia Ferrari focused more upon the WDC instead of the WCC?

          • That’s exactly what Ferrari allowed. In 1974 for example, Regazzoni had the better season and finished runner up to Fittipaldi. The following seasons Lauda asserted himself. James Hunt won the title in 1976 but Ferrari took the constructors.

            I think also when you look back at the evolution of the championships, the Constructors was only introduced in 1958 whereas there had always been a drivers championship, both pre and post war.
            Although the constructors earns the money now, the drivers still carries the prestige. For example everyone knows Schumacher won the 1994 and 1995 WDC but Benetton only secured the constructors in 1995.

            Maybe more relevant is the statistic that Ferrari had been 21 years without a title. What most people forget is that the title mentioned is the drivers title. Ferrari won the 1982 and 1983 WCC and again in 1999 so actually the gap was 16 years.

          • Knowing a team’s primary seasonal goal provides the context to better understand both historical F1 and today’s F1.

            When the primary goal is to win the WDC, it means the team will operate differently than if the primary goal was the WCC. The differences are not merely seen in one Sunday afternoon’s race strategy and tactics, but also in the car development and engineering at the factory.

        • I can only agree with your statements. The 18th OTD will be interesting to see.. Some teams have won more WCC than WDC, and the opposite way round for others. But Ferrari is already a winning brand, so the focus for all the people following the sport can be on the prestige of the WDC.

      • Great call. Richie Ginther was also one of the Ferrari drivers that year and Von Trips actually crashed to his death chasing the title at Monza; so definitely no favoritism then

  4. -Force India’s Adrian Sutil had an even starker experience, “When I accelerated out of the corner, I was surprised,” said the German, recalling his first moments with the Mercedes-Benz V6. I changed from third to fourth gear, lost the rear and I spun.”-

    GMM is hardly am excuse Judge. Don’t you still cast a quick eye over the reports? This, and missing Di Resta’s long time girl friend Laura Jordan (thus making his manager closer than girlfreind/wife comment entirely relevant) is a little sloppy. Even for gutter / street fans like me. 😉

      • Rubbish! Seriously, Stevie Wonder would have seen that mix-up. Why is something with such a blatant snafu posted?

        • So far the GMM reports have been a bit….’meh’.
          I think i preferred it when we had news reports as and when the news was breaking,as opposed to the current ‘news for the sake of it’ format………which i can find on any number of F1(filler) sites.

          • There is always the option to skip over the GMM reports if you wish. That is the main reason for having the (GMM) tag next to their work.

    • @Judge,
      Oh well, that’s what you get for falling in love with Webber, (sing along with Lanie lane 😉 )

  5. Judge, hi i picked up on something in the autosport forum about what causing Redbull overheating issues, they were trying to redirect the heat from the exhaust to other part of the car, the guy seemed fairly knowledgeable, but he could been talking bollox, wonder if you knew anything about it?

      • This is indirectly related to JN’s question, but one challenge that was seen in Jerez was keeping the rear tires up to tempature.

        In recent seasons teams have taken advantage of the heat generated by the brake disks to keep the tires in the correct temp zone. But because the MGU-K can do much more of the rear braking this season, some teams found the rear disks were not generating enough heat to help keep the tires up to temp. In addition, there is no more radiant heat from engine exhaust down in that neighborhood.

        While Jerez was cooler than many of the tracks they’ll compete on, there will be races where ambient & track temps may also be low.

        It may be interesting to see the creative solutions teams use to maintain rear tire temps.

  6. OT, but I’m curious. Why doesn’t thejudge13.com show up when googling ‘F1 blog’? I went several pages deep; seems like you might want to get on the first page at least for a search like that.

  7. In your ruling about Doornbos’ comments, did you take into account him calling his F1 stint ‘succesful’?

    What an a-hole! Together with Albers they represent the black days of dutch F1.

  8. I’m surprised there’s no room for Valsecchi and Leimer, but these other experienced names are probably deemed more of a pull (and Brundle there from connections?) for crowds. They need driving legitimacy at the start. ‘To be on F1’s coat tails’ is where new series like this will always want to start from. GB’s roster isn’t too strong, so it’ll be interesting to see who Drayson picks.

  9. Has anybody read about the new NASCAR’a nonsense to decide its champion? I couldn’t care less about NASCAR, what worries me is that Bernie or Todt could be reading it too.

  10. “Kids today are just not engaged by cars in the same way. So, unless Ferrari attract a whole new world of young boys and girls to do the equivalent of pinning posters on their walls and fantasise about one day owning a prancing horse, the inevitable slide of the brand’s status will begin as cheese wedge shape hover car era dawns.”

    So with a daughter with a Ferrari poster on her wall (even though she’s not interested in F1) and a son with a McLaren poster on his, it looks like our family is doing its part in keeping the younger generation interested in fast cars and racing:)

    • That sounds familiar, my youngest son (8) is the biggest Hamilton fan you can imagine, the oldest (my favourite 😉 ) is even more die hard Ferrari then me.
      Even when visiting family in Italy he walks around in a Hamilton t-shirt, and on race day he keeps repeating the same words over and over again, “Il campione Anglo Caraibico, il campione Anglo Caraibico” like a frickin’ mantra 😉
      So any time you need some advice on how to handle an Anglo / Italo situation, just let me know 😉

    • Yes, well done, taflach!

      The Judge did well to highlight Domenicali’s statement, “We need to get back to having the car seen as an inspirational theme and not just as a means of transport, which adds nothing to our existence”.

      The concepts that Domenicali touches upon there, the joy of driving, the beauty of well engineered and designed vehicles, is the root stalk not only of Ferrari (and sports cars in general), but of F1 and motorsport.

      Excellent article and analysis, your Honour!

    • Yes, my daughter too is a big Ferrari fan, though I secretly suspect it’s Alonso’s swarthy looks more than any real passion for motorsport.

      She does want to go karting though, so hope still springs eternal…

  11. One positive about Formula E is that we may see talented drivers whose careers may have been stunted by not raising enough sponsorship.

    The series has good potential.

  12. As far as Formula rEject goes, I must take exception with the statement that Sebastian Buemi “did not manage to make an impact”. On the contrary, he made quite the impact in China when both wheels fell off his Toro Rosso at 300 kph near the end of the long straight right before the hairpin. 😀

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