Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 17th February 2014

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Dark clouds form over Maranello

Where is Il Padrino going?

The Taming of Kimi Räikkönen

Ferrari engine stops spark to save fuel (GMM)

FOTA set to collapse (GMM)

Ecclestone no longer in race for Nurburgring (GMM)

Red Bull and Renault marches on to Infinity… (GMM)

Rosberg feeling bullish in his Mercedes (GMM)

From the Usher – Mark Webber reacts to TJ13 not posting a story on him

Bahrain testing drivers schedule

Dark clouds form over Maranello

Whenever there is a state of all being well, one should take the opportunity to enjoy and take in the positive vibe that is all around before, inevitably, the harsh reality of life kicks in and the moment is lost. Perhaps this where the saying comes from, Nothing lasts forever, so live for the moment!

In light of the comments made last week by a certain Brazilian who has moved to Williams for 2014, it would seem the moment where all was well has passed for Fernando Alonso. Whilst he hardly spent any time in Maranello on the sim tirelessly plugging away learning new tracks, he actually did just this but in his home in Oviedo, Spain, instead.

In years gone by where the Spaniard was clearly the undisputed no.1 there was no need to embrace the Ferrari family sentiment as he was unchallenged and for all intents and purposes, untouchable. The man who twice had come within a whisker of claiming the title for the Scuderia, only for a team error to cost him in 2010 and lady luck to intervene in 2012 – (although I know there will be a few who disagree with the 2012 assessment).

Why all this matters I hear you ask? Kimi is hardly known for being the ‘friendly’ sort of team player who will ask ‘How high?’ every time the team says ‘Jump.’ TheJudge13 sources say that the Kimi that has returned is almost unrecognisable from the Kimi that left in 2009. Putting the hard hours into his simulator work both days of the weekend is a far cry from what would be expected normally from the Finn.

Furthermore, he spent Wednesday at the factory meeting up with ‘old friends’ and trying to persuade Luca to let him test the LaFerrari on the Fiorano track, only stopped in this pursuit by the fading light. Kimi had another seat fitting as he was unhappy with his previous ride position, demonstrating the perfectionist the Finn has become.

Kimi Ferrari

There must be something in the air at Maranello

Not being reported elsewhere, but this is the third time Kimi has been to Marnello since resigning for the red team. Reportedly, he is welcomed back like a long lost son at every visit. If this is the case, then wouldn’t that now make Alonso the prodigal son?

Any avid football fans will remember how Jose Mourinho returned to Chelsea during his stint with Inter Milan. That day he proved that actions do genuinely speak louder than words, seeking the custard cream distributor and munching away. He showed he still know that place like the back of his hand, exactly as Kimi is doing right now in Maranello.

So the man who journalists would have you believe ‘doesn’t do politics’ is putting in the hard hours to, once again, be the favoured one within the Ferrari family. No war of words is required with Alonso, leaving his Samurai quotes null and void. Kimi is not wasting his energy with multiple blows, just a few sharp ones – which is hurting Alonso. Dark clouds are forming over Maranello as the war begins.


Where is Il Padrino going?

It seems that when it rains it truly does pour, with news that is, from Scuderia Ferrari. Politics and Ferrari go hand in hand; and could become even closer very soon.

Friday saw the resignation of Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, after just a year in the post. This has paved the way for Matteo Renzi to take the task of forming a new government. Luca Cordero di Montezemolo has strongly been linked to become one of the ministers, having already turned down the chance to be part of Mario Monti’s government back in 2011.

Rumours say that Il Padrino will take the job leaving question marks over whether his tenure as Ferrari President will come to an end. This seems likely, leaving Ferrari hunting for a new leader. The possible outcomes ahead could be devastating, especially during a team mate battle like no other in recent times.


The Taming of Kimi Räikkönen

As the gavel wielding one has written a few paragraphs north from here, Kimi 2.0 has become quite a perfectionist. And although he is still capable of pulling memorable moments, like the “leave me alone” comment over team radio, he’s a far cry from the wild boy, who was filmed falling off a boat in a drunken stupor. He was even caught a few times on camera actually talking to journalists last year.

Now, those of a naive disposition will conclude that Kimi has matured over the years, but they are deluding themselves. Men are and always will be oversized children. If you want to test the theory, lock several guys in a room with a model train set or a scalextric kit. The only difference to a group of small boys will be, that men will get hogwashly bladdered in the process as they’ll drink beer instead of soda. Give them BMX bikes in the summer or sleighs and a hill in the winter and you’ll witness an impromptu session of “jackass”.

What you just saw flying out of the window was the maturity theory. The only one, who can make a grown male of the species resemble something like a responsible adult is a woman, usually referred to as “the right one”, which means that not every woman has that effect on a man. Which would mean that Jenni Dahlman, former miss Scandinavia and wife to Kimi Räikkönen for eight years was not the one to achieve that.

The one, who seems to have pulled off the miracle goes by the name Minttu Virtanen and if the Finnish yellow press is to be believed she did not only tame Kimi into Kimi 2.0, she’s also working on a completely new one. Since the pair is one of the main interest of the Finnish rags, they are usually well informed about them and if that latest bit of news proves correct, Kimi will join Sebastian Vettel, Romain Grosjean, Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado in the club of those, who in recent years submitted their genetic make-up for long-time storage.

Maybe Bernie should invest in a Kindergarten, rather than the Nürburgring.


Ferrari engine stops spark to save fuel (GMM)

Ferrari looks to have come up with another of the big innovations of the 2014 season. It emerged last week that the new F14-T features an unique cooling system that allows the red single seater to have very small sidepods, notwithstanding the high demands of the all-new ‘power unit’ rules.

Now, Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Ferrari’s new V6 engine is also highly innovative. The report said the engine features a ‘cut-off’ system that works with the direct injection to keep engine temperatures low and save crucial fuel.

The system means that, at times, the flow of fuel into the combustion chamber is stopped altogether and the engine is not ‘sparked’.

Meanwhile, Mercedes’ Paddy Lowe has admitted he hopes the new rule limiting each driver to just 100 kilos of fuel per race does not dominate the 2014 season. “Sometimes it is very frustrating, but fuel and tyre wear have been factors in formula one for years,” he is quoted by Finland’s MTV3, adding that the fuel factor will be greatly “exaggerated” in 2014.

I hope it does not detract from the racing,” added Lowe.

It has also emerged that Renault may not be prevented from fixing its obvious technical problems once the development ‘freeze’ deadline passes in just over a week. “There is a ‘fair and equitable’ rule which gives us the opportunity to change any of the components if we have reliability problems,” said Renault Sport’s Remi Taffin.

I have to say, however, that we do not have big problems with the parts, as we have done successful tests on the dynamometer. We just have to make them all work together.


FOTA set to collapse (GMM)

The F1 teams group FOTA, once a powerful and influential alliance, is on the verge of collapse. That is the claim of the Telegraph newspaper, revealing that with membership fees already going unpaid, the absence of FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh could now be the final straw.

Not only that, deputy FOTA chairman Eric Boullier, who has moved from Lotus to McLaren over the winter, “is expected to step back from any prominent role” with the association, correspondent Daniel Johnson claimed. A source told Johnson that FOTA, now with just 7 of the 11 teams on its books, is also facing “substantial” financial problems, as members baulk at paying up due to disputes about the group’s purpose.

Bob Fernley, the deputy team boss at Force India, said losing Red Bull and Ferrari was a key moment for FOTA. “I don’t think there’s any question about that one,” he admitted, “but we can’t undo where we are today.”


Ecclestone no longer in race for Nurburgring (GMM)

Bernie Ecclestone is no longer a serious candidate to buy the embattled Nurburgring. The F1 chief executive revealed last month that he has made a bid for the fabled German grand prix venue, amid its financial problems.

We want to make sure there is a formula one race in Germany every year in the future,” said Ecclestone.

The 83-year-old Briton said at the time that there are “one or two other interested parties“, and the Rhein newspaper now claims they are entities from Dusseldorf and the US, and a private equity firm. Correspondent Dietmar Bruck said the parties all have until Monday to submit their final proposals, with Ecclestone apparently no longer in the running.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Guardian newspaper claims the newly-retired former Mercedes boss Ross Brawn was approached to take over from Ecclestone, should the F1 chief executive lose his job amid the corruption affair. Adding that F1 owners CVC refused to comment, correspondent Richard Williams said the approach to Brawn had been “unsuccessful“.


Red Bull and Renault marches on to Infinity… (GMM)

Red Bull and Renault have denied rumours the reigning world champions could split.

Together, after Sebastian Vettel won the last nine grands prix of 2013, Red Bull and Renault are now embroiled in a technical crisis after the new V6 ‘power unit’ struggled to merely run in the rear of Adrian Newey’s RB10.

It has triggered rumours Red Bull is on the lookout for a new engine supplier.

Reports have emerged that Cosworth, without a customer for the 2014 season, has nonetheless completed its turbo V6 design that will not be raced this year. The wilder rumours indicate Red Bull could take over the project and run its own engines for 2015.

When asked about the split rumours, Renault Sport’s Remi Taffin told Sport Bild: “I know nothing about that.

We are currently working very closely with Red Bull, and several teams of (Red Bull) engineers are even at our base in Viry and working on the integration of the power unit and chassis.

Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko also told the German publication: “We have a long term contract with Renault, which is of course linked with our results on the track. Nevertheless, we are not going to panic and are making a joint effort to solve the problems.

World champion Vettel also sounded calm about the current situation, whilst admitting he hopes to finally get up to speed this week in Bahrain.

Of course the Jerez test did not go the way we wanted,” he said. “Other teams did a lot more kilometres and that was important because we are talking about completely new technology.

But it’s better to have the problems in testing than at the races. Hopefully the situation in Bahrain will already be better, and I’ll have a car not only that goes around the track, but that I can use at full throttle.


Rosberg feeling bullish in his Mercedes (GMM)

In a rare show of brash confidence, Nico Rosberg has admitted he is expecting to win “a lot” of races in 2014. Bernie Ecclestone said recently that with Mercedes emerging from Jerez testing as the early season favourite, German Rosberg was his pick for the title.

That’s a cool statement from him,” Rosberg told the Berliner Kurier newspaper on Monday at a sponsor event.

We are in a good mood that this season we can win a lot of races,” he added.

For the calculated 28-year-old Rosberg, and the corporately cautious Mercedes, it is a surprising statement. But the silver camp has reason to be confident.

The first test went really well,” said Rosberg. “We are doing well. My new car was very reliable from the beginning, but how we are as compared to the competition, we don’t know yet.

Unfortunately it’s still a bit early to talk about the title,” he continued. “But on reliability it (Jerez) was a strong performance by the team. I did lap after lap when we have so much to learn, which is a nice feeling when you see that the others couldn’t drive very much.

The main ‘others’, of course, are Red Bull, led by the reigning quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel. Rosberg insisted: “There is no joy in seeing that they can’t drive much; I’m happy if we are in a position to win. But it’s obvious that Red Bull and Renault have problems with the new powertrain.

We have done our homework better. But the important thing is to see where we are on the grid in Melbourne — I would love to be able to fight against Sebastian,” Rosberg added.


From the Usher – Mark Webber reacts to TJ13 not posting a story on him

We like to think TJ13 takes reader comments seriously and today the Usher was set a task to go forth and discover some #Webberary news for the day after reading Bruznic’s comment. No news was found and the man himself was not impressed.


Bahrain testing drivers schedule

The first teams have announced their driver line-ups for the second preseason test in Bahrain starting Wednesday.

For Red Bull, Vettel will be in the car Wednesday and Thursday, hoping he can manager a few laps more than he did in Jerez. Ricciardo will pick up testing duties on Friday and Saturday.

Lotus will “officially” debut their E22 challenger with Romain Grosjean driving Wednesday and Thursday, while Pastor Maldonado will take over for Friday and Saturday. This may be an inspired decision by the team should they need more parts.

For the team from Woking, McLaren, rookie Kevin Magnussen will be exploring Bahrain International Circuit on Wednesday and Thursday while Jenson Button will take his chance on Friday and Saturday.

Marussia has decided to split Jules Bianchi’s running to run the first and last day of testing, Wednesday and Saturday. Max Chilton will two days back to back, Thursday and Friday. hmmm…

For the green team, Caterham, test driver Robin Frijns will test on Wednesday and returning Japanese driver, Kamui Kobayashi will test on Thursday and Saturday. Rookie Marcus Ericsson only gets one day, Friday.

Force India will field Nico Hulkenberg on Wednesday and Thursday while Sergio Perez picks up duties on Friday and Saturday.

It is not clear yet how much of an improvement Renault have really made sorting out their engine so we may see their teams running a limited number of laps again. What is certain is that this second test will show up any flaws engine manufacturers may still have and give us a real indication of who will have a competitive early season.

The weather does not look too warm at the moment, maybe a saving grace…
Bahrain Temp


69 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 17th February 2014

  1. Interesting to see how Alonso will respond over the coming weeks.
    I’ll take exception to your Vettel comment, he deserved the 2012 title fair and square. If anyone other than him, then it should have gone to Hamilton.

    • Kimi was reported saying to a famous Italian sports journalist on several occasions :” are you ready for the next one?”, so no questions about Kimi’s intentions 😉

      • Is it really inevitable tho that Kimi and Alonso would have to develop an adversarial relationship that’s destructive to their individual aspirations?

        Maybe they do end-up at war with each other (and not knowing either personally, I can’t speak authoritatively here), but they both seem like reasonably evolved professionals who are neither naive nor overly-cynical. And it’s absolutely in Ferrari’s interests to provide them both with the best support and most-useful resources to maximize their aggregate performance.

        OK, it’s inevitable that one will finish ahead of the other, but I choose to believe that they think they can win without having to try to sabotage the relationship of ‘the other’ w/ the Scuderia.

        Maybe that is naive of ME, but I’m tired of politicking, ‘drama’ and manufactured/media-driven scandal. I want to see two guys who will race hard – to the limit – but without degrading themselves or embarrassing the team by being less than consummate-professionals.

        • Oh they will race hard, that’s for sure, but let’s wait what happens when the season progresses and one of them has a good chance of winning the WDC.
          I can’t imagine Ferrari then sacrificing the WDC and focus entirely on the WCC, when that moment arrives, let’s wait who will draw first blood.

          • More interesting for me is what happens when, after say a dozen races, the two Ferrari drivers are still pretty equal… but with one or two other drivers (perhaps Lewis & Seb…) leading the championship chase…?
            If that happens then Ferrari will probably be fairly safe for the WCC… in which case I would presume Ferrari will let them fight it out…
            And then… my money would be on Kimi not to collapse… 😉

    • The problem is that Alonso in 2012 had clearly worse car than Vettel and yet he almost won the title. It’s amazing when some people are stating that he didn’t deserve title that year.

      • Vettel had more non-points finishes and Alonso was fortunate in his Malaysia and Valencia victory that year.

        • Vettel had 3 non-points (2 ret because of car and one colision in Sepang) finishes and Alonso had two (mistake Suzuka and Spa because of Grosjean). For the rest of the season, Vettel had clearly the fastest car and in the last races difference was huge. I would rather prefer a lot faster car which could cause retirement two times than slower car with no reabilty problems. And Alonso was fortunate only in Valencia, in Malaysia he was great – where he was fortunate in Malaysia? And he was voted the best driver by team bossess that year.

          • Bit harsh to say someone who came from 11th on the grid to win the race is “lucky.” I think both drivers could have been satisfied they’d deserved the title whoever ended up being the victor in 2012. Don’t think we’ll see a season that enthralling for a very long time to be honest.

          • He was fortunate with the way it panned out at the beginning, then that Perez slid off the track just as he was getting close.

        • Vettel had a pretty poor 2012. Malaysia DNF, nowhere in Monaco quali and race, couldn’t even beat Alonso in Silverstone whereas Mark could, in Germany he made that stupid mistake overtaking Button and it was only until the Singapore updates to the diffuser came that he actually found some form. In fact, in both Silverstone and Germany, RB posted faster sectors times than Ferr/Alonso but in both cases Seb made mistakes on his fast lap.

          Alonso lucky in malaysia and Valencia? His overtakes in Valencia were stunning (see his move on Grosjean for 2nd) and in Malaysia his stints times were phenomonal (look at that first stint; incredible despite the tyre issues).

          Seb was also outscored by Alonso in the last 3 races of 2012, despite having a significantly faster car.

    • So let me see if I’ve got this right…….Kimi has re-signed with Ferrari and Alonso resigned to finishing second to him. Sounds good to me 🙂

  2. I’ve said from the beginning that kimi will get out on top. Highly unpopular seeing that there are so many alonso fans, but i still believe he will…

      • I think Aloso may have lost his edge a bit. Last year he was a mere shadow of himself in comparison to his 2012 heroics. I think he may have cracked a bit, losing the title 4 times.

        • I think he may have cracked a bit, losing the title 4 times.

          This is a good point…after all, just look what happened to Ullrich when he became trapped in the cycle of always finishing 2nd or 3rd in the Tour and not winning again…

          I’m really hoping that Alonso responds positively to Kimi by raising his own game (not sure that’s possible tho, as Alonso has been great year after year as it is!).

          The one good thing is that it’s not like Kimi is a young kid at beginning of his career. He and Alonso are at the same place in their careers, more or less, so maybe he will not feel “threatened” or like he’s being replaced by Kimi, but rather, that Ferrari thinks they’re the two best drivers, and to win the WCC they need to consistent points scorers, and the icing on the cake is when one of them wins the WDC (inevitably, I hope).?

          • I think Jan had some challenges in the team, and he was not as focussed as Lance. Weight yoyoed, and was on the batter quite a bit. And wasn’t dealing with the other Ferrari too.

            He was my favourite cyclist of that generation.

            A pure animal who probably could have dominated if he had the manic focus of lance.

            Time trailing up L’alpe duez!!!

  3. From what I know, it was Domenicali who pushed for Kimi, while Alonso strongly opposed to that. It was rumored that between Stefano and Fernando there was no relationship at all. A relationship definitely broken after Alo’s words after Hungarian Gp ( “I want other’s car as gift for my birthday”).

    Obviously, if he’ll leave, this depends on how things will evolve on track. Both drivers needs the confidence of the team ( as we saw in 2008/9 for Kimi, and in 2007 for Alonso ).

    • That’s correct Luca, in fact Fernando’s relation with the whole team was below zero.
      Domenicali was indeed the force behind re hiring Kimi, for two reasons, the first being that Ferrari feels they have a very good shot at the WCC, they felt Red Bull was somewhat weaker on that front with newcomer Ricciardo.
      The second is that Ferrari was far from sure that Alonso would stay after the civil war that had been going on behind the scenes (and sometimes in front).
      They wanted to make sure that if Fernando would leave, they’d still have a champion in one of their cars, last time a champion driver “stepped down” fromFerrari, they where left with Gianni Morbidelli.

      • I always wondered why, on that occasion, Ferrari seemed unable to find anybody who wanted to drive an F1 Ferrari, than Gianni…

        • Morbidelli was Ferrari’s test driver at the time, and there was only the final race of the season left.
          With McLaren and Williams dominating the season and Ferrari without a chance of winning the WCC or WDC, I think there was no need to look for a top driver.

      • What would be interesting to know, is if LCDM agreed with Domenicali in re hiring Kimi (and thus against Alonso being the boss in the box) , or if LCDM consider this as the last chance to Domenicali as team principal

        • In the summer of 2012 Kimi himself wanted to move to Ferrari, knowing that Massa’s seat was almost vacant.
          Di Montezemolo considered this to early, Massa got another chance.
          Domenicali always kept in touch with Kimi, even during his rally years, and made his move early summer 2013.
          During the summer of 2013 it looked like Kimi would move to Red Bull, but Ferrari knew better, they already had an agreement with the Finn.
          During the weekend of the Hungarian GP, the deal was closed, Di Montezemolo signed all the contracts shortly after.
          Alonso was informed just before the Hungarian Gp that Kimi would be his new teammate.

  4. Wow Judge !! 6 news articles already today,and only 1 article yesterday(and “top-20 drivers who didn’t become WC” article)…

    I remember the FOTA news was all over the news yesterday..Why not get it from GMM yesterday itself?? Or did GMM publish it today??Or is it Judge more active in the court today ?? 🙂 🙂

    • The judge is currently on a very limited schedule as is the Hippo. That leaves Adam and John to shoulder most of the work. Please remember that none of us is doing this professionally. We all have day jobs to put bread on the table and pay the bills.
      Just to give you an example, I got up at 4am this morning so that I can write at least one news item before having to leave for work. I’m using my 10am and lunch breaks to check things, answer comments and look if something new has come up. Same goes for the judge and the others. We simply can’t be around 24/7. Sorry ’bout that.

      • btw, Hippo: I wanted to acknowledge your suggestion, made earlier this month, about my contributing. (didn’t want to respond to a super-old/dead thread now)

        Firstly, I’m flattered – thanks. Secondly, I’ll have to think it over but definitely appreciate the interest.

          • these very kind words from you and adam & [any] others = most appreciated.

            maybe what could work would be is if, when they’re relevant, topical and timely, some of my comments that I would normally self-publish in the comments section, i instead expanded, refined or at least edited (lol), and then self-published as an inline news analysis, op/ed or F1_commentary (however it would most effectively be referred to…), either inline w/ the day’s news, or as a separate short post, or … whatever really.

            like i said, i appreciate the interest, and it probably wouldn’t be that hard for me to transform a long comment into an opinion/commentary blurb; a bit more work would be required for stand-alone content. Just so it’s super low-key and expectations are kept very, very low w/r/t frequency of contribution.

            It’s an interesting question for the Court to consider what would be more useful: publishing whatever i came up w/ w/in an already-existing daily news post (which would probably have some connection to, or be the source of what i would comment on/write about) or if putting it up as a standalone decontextualized post (that might or might not draw traffic)…idk.

            a possible/logical standalone post i could do would be to discuss and explain the nexus of doping, motorsports/F1, and anti-doping, since even though there’s very little doping likely in F1 (especially in comparison to cycling), F1 (through FIA) still has to comply w/ all of the same anti-doping rules as big dope-centric sports like pro cycling and x-country skiing, such that the Iceman and I literally are both responsible to the same anti-doping code and we’re both subjected to the same controls and have the same responsibilities w/r/t complying w/ anti-doping efforts.

            idk…it’s a relatively unknown/unseen aspect of F1 (save for when drivers tweet about getting controlled! lol) and yet it might be interesting if presented calmly and w/o sensationalizing it (wouldn’t want to be accused of suggesting F1 had some serious doping problem! … just want to point out the similar professional responsibilities and liabilities we face as sportsmen).

            Anyway, that’s all for right now. Hope someone sees this! lol…

          • I love the idea of the doping article, I think something stand alone like that would be brilliant… basically, anything helps, even if it was to be just a one off. I think this little discourse needs to be emailed to TJ, John, Danillio et al so long as you don’t feel cornered into it hahaha 🙂

      • As far as non-professional posts go, splendid job. I first heard of TJ13 in a heated debate around Renault PUs on the Autosport forums, and decided to give it a go. And so far I’m impressed. Naturally I take some reports with a loadful of salt, but others are impressively spot-on. It seems to me that compared to Autosport+, TJ13 isn’t too worried about losing official access to the F1 players, so allows itself to hit more sensitive and touchy points than Autosport+ would ever dare.

  5. So, we all know now how Kimi has changed. It’s good for Ferrari, good for F1 and good for excitement.

    Now think for a second how it all looks from Alonso’s perspective. In the last 4 years Alonso had the fastest car in only in few races, a few from about 80. In the races when Ferrari was not the fastest car, they were usually more than half a second slower. Despite this, Alonso could won the title in 2010 and in 2012. It was close. And despite this, In 2010, 2011, 2012 he never criticized the team, he was only stating that the car is slower than RB which was obvious. In 2013, Alonso first time criticized the team a little bit more (after being a good driver and good man in 2010 – half a 2013 period) and as a result he has now Kimi as a teammate.

    This is something to think about.

    • Very interesting observation. I will have to take your word that Alonso has not criticized Ferrari once in four years until summer 2013, but that’s certainly looking at things from a more sympathetic perspective. Cheers.

  6. The story about Kimi Räikkönen and Minttu Virtanen getting a baby is a canard. The weekly celebrity rag Seiska (www.seiska.fi) has apparently speculated in this vein, and then some international media writes about a baby on its way. The Finnish daily yellow press has not joined the speculation.

    http://www.suomif1.com has commented the false news http://www.suomif1.com/2014/02/kansainvalinen-media-veti-mutkia-suoraksi-kimi-raikkosesta-tulossa-isa/
    (use translator)

    suomif1.com is usually well informed of Kimi. They have scooped both Kimi’s Ferrari contracts.

    Do we really need speculative news concerning Lewis Hamilton’s, Kimi Räikkönen’s or whatever F1 drivers girlfriends on this site?

    • We know that the news may turn out to be false, but this isn’t a pure news list. We offer news, comments and speculation with our comments about them. The main talking point of the item is Kimi’s change of approach and what we think might be the reason for it.

  7. Oh dear! GMM have failed you judge……those stories were out on Saturday. Although it looks like you have news, you really don’t. News is just that, NEW, otherwise it would be called ‘OLDS’.

    Please please please don’t let the standard of the site slip. This is the best F1 site I’ve ever found, every other site has total tossers arguing over half facts they have twisted to their own ends. TJ13 is better than that. I feel some of the poor commenting on other sites is partly due to the poor reporting and general journalistic quality. I would rather have just had the top 3 stories.

  8. Hi Judge,

    What are your thoughts around the potential intra-team dynamics at Mercedes this year, should Rosberg & Hamilton start the season with the quickest package?

    Whilst the fireworks at Ferrari are almost a forgone conclusion, what happens if two long-time friends are fighting over P1 and P2? I cannot see that either man will want to acquiesce to the other.

    I would love to read a story on the history between them from the karting days until know. Personally,I am not even sure who I would prefer to see be triumphant – I have admired both at times, but look forward to seeing how 6 & 44 handle the pressure.


    • Agreed.
      How will Lewis (the star signing) cope if Nico did happen the get the better of him. Will we hear the line “well he has been with the team 5seasons to my 1” or will Lewis implode with self-punishment and criticism? Nico seems much more easy going, but that maybe because he has had to build his career to get into competitive equipment, 3years as second fiddle Shumi may have given him a more philosophical outlook than Lewis has after being thrust into the limelight from the get go. Lewis seems to crave acceptance, where as Nico seems so much more grounded. I know Nico has been exposed to F1 since a very very young age given his Father, this maybe why he hasn’t been so star struck and craving the showbiz lifestyle. Who knows, but for me I would be pleased if either man took the title, or Kimi or Alonso. I feel all 4 are worthy of the title. Even Vettel but I want him to work hard for it…..

        • How about an article titled: “The top 20 drivers who will fail to win the championship THIS year”… 🙂

          • That could be a very provocative article to write BJF! Can you call a pay driver Top? I can think of at least one very consistent driver (rookie last year) that I don’t rate at all. I may eat my words this year though 🙂

          • Hi ClearView – I was subconsciously withholding one for DonQuixote’s rookie… 😉
            – – –
            Hi Don… in my statistics they’re all the same – pay drivers have existed in motor-racing as long as team orders… and maybe they are good for keeping some (perhaps more) talented drivers from getting too big-headed… 😉

  9. For the sake of it, I disagree with both your assessements of 2010 and 2012. Alonso’s erratic and poor first half of 2010 cost the title, not the team. And the only luck involved with 2012 was that Hamilton never caught a break.

  10. Btw. Brilliantly written Danilo!
    Just a question I urge you to help me out with my friend.
    My wife:” So, I’m not “the right one!?”
    Me:” uuuhh…”
    Please help Hippo 😉

    • Have you spawned? If so, was it volountary? If both answers check out ‘yes’, she’s the right one. If you still stage ‘jackass’ in the backyard, just means you’re a proper bloke 😉

      Remember, I said, only the ‘right one’ CAN change a bloke. I didn’t say she WILL. Some of us are just too manly to ever grow up :mrgreen:

      • 1 – Yes
        2 – Hell yes!!
        3 – I still have my Kuwahara ET.bmx bike
        4 – puts the children to bed early and pops open a nice Brunello di Montalcino, now, sweetheart…….where were we 😉
        5 – Hippo, you’re the man!!!

  11. GMM gibberish ……

    Ferrari engine stops spark to save fuel (GMM)

    ” Ferrari’s new V6 engine is also highly innovative. The report said the engine features a ‘cut-off’ system that works with the direct injection to keep engine temperatures low and save crucial fuel.

    The system means that, at times, the flow of fuel into the combustion chamber is stopped altogether and the engine is not ‘sparked’. ”

    ALL the F1 engines this year have direct injection and therefore – ” ,, a ‘cut-off’ system that works with the direct injection to keep engine temperatures low and save crucial fuel. ”

    This is not unique to Ferrari.

    It’s not new. It’s not innovative. And it’s not News either !

    This is the same principal that Audi used in it’s TSI engines way back in the 1990’s !

    And if you stop the spark in an engine – it never saves fuel.

    Does GMM stand for – Gelastic Mindless Morons ?

    They can’t even get basic facts right !

    I’ve been willing to give The Judge & GMM a chance – but I despair of this sort of garbage by GMM being published here on TJ13.

    TJ13 has always stood for quality – GMM is not quality it’s just quantity ……

    • I’ve been willing to give The Judge & GMM a chance – but I despair of this sort of garbage by GMM being published here on TJ13.
      TJ13 has always stood for quality – GMM is not quality it’s just quantity ……

      I’m just a reader, too, (albeit one who comments prolifically), and I completely understand the frustration w/ GMM. But I think at this point, the only worthwhile, legitimate response (besides leaving and going somewhere else for free news, commentary and analysis) – besides correcting factual inaccuracies (calling out obvious errors, I mean), is to contribute to solving the problem.

      This is all-volunteer effort, which means either to provide resources to help others produce content, or take the plunge and help produce the content yourself? That’s what I’m considering doing…

  12. What’s with Caterham’s incessant need to put their third driver on track at a time when their primary driver’s need should be priority, especially given the learning curve those two drivers have if they’re going to realistically compete? Dumb, the Team Owner, needs to talk to Dumber, his TP.

    • Peter – It’s Caterham… Who cares?

      They’ll drive around at the back of the grid for 19 races, and then Tony will sell or fold the team after this year anyway.

      There is probably still time for you, or I, or most anyone else to wave a big check at them, and then show up for at least a half day test drive during Bahrain 2…

  13. Well what do you know, today TJ reports about Di Montezemolo’s political aspirations, and just now I read in Italian media that the job they have in store for il Padrino is the “ministry of Made in Italy”, Luca’s job would be to promote the brand “Italia” abroad, the best way possible.
    Could we actually see the first Italian minister doing what he does best?

    About a possible replacement for Luca, I can be short, there’s only one way to go imho, and that’s John Elkann.

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