Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 7th March 2014


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The month of March

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New era ‘completely overshadows’ drivers (GMM)

Long Beach postpones F1 decision (GMM)

Son of Kimi

Concorde Agreement era is over (GMM)

Wife Fabiana ‘wants a baby’ (GMM)

Williams Martini Racing revival celebrated (GMM)

Why India and F1 are finished

Ranking the teams:The Happy factor

What a difference a [period of time] makes

Schumacher no longer on respirator – report (GMM) + TJ13 comment

Williams to Run the 20th Anniversary Ayrton Senna Logo on the FW36

Pirelli in season testing schedule

The month of March

Adrian Newey’s first design project was the March 82G in 1982. The 82G and its evolution the March 83G won two IMSA GTP titles in a row.



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Final reminder to join the TJ13 Castrol Predictor League if you have not done so already. Next week this time the first two practice sessions for 2014 would have finished and we would hopefully have an idea who will be walking away with the winners trophy on Sunday.. we can hope.

prizes-playstation4-main2The Game and the Competition to win Prizes is currently open to residents of United Kingdom (“UK”) (excluding Northern Ireland the Republic of Ireland), South Africa, United States of America (“USA”), and Australia, Netherlands, Germany and Spain. Scoring the most points in the next race of the 2014 Formula 1 season could win you a Sony PlayStation 4 with five games and a PlayStation camera.

You have to be in it to win it!

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Unique code to join this league: 6a70171018802287a2ef60e04396f1a0


New era ‘completely overshadows’ drivers (GMM)

Jean Alesi - Canada 1995 © FerrariA week before F1’s brave new era begins in earnest, not everyone is excited. At the Geneva motor show, former F1 driver Jean Alesi admitted he is no fan of the ‘greener’ era of energy-recovery boosted cars.

The driver is being completely overshadowed by the new technology,” said the Frenchman.

It is a challenge for the engineer but not the driver. We have entered an era in which only the tools count,” added Alesi, who raced more than 200 times until 2001. Now a driver cannot trust his instinct to attack his opponent because he is just one small element of the machine.”

Alesi said it is no surprise Mercedes looks set to dominate early in 2014.

That has not happened by chance,” said the French-Sicilian. “As (Ferrari boss) Stefano Domenicali has said, Mercedes is a giant who did an extreme preparation for this championship.

Also not overjoyed at F1’s new era is Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, who said the changes for 2014 have been “very expensive for teams but changing little for the viewer“.

But FIA president Jean Todt insists formula one had to change.

If you go to the Geneva motor show,” he told Italy’s La Stampa, “you see that cars are different now. There are hybrid and smaller engines, fewer cylinders.

The automotive world has changed, and F1 must be a laboratory of technologies rather than a showcase of aerodynamics,” Todt said.

He is even unapologetic about F1 losing its iconic engine ‘scream’.

The sound of the turbo has its own charm,” Todt insisted, “but in addition we have powerful cars that consume much less fuel — it was an inevitable revolution. And if Honda has decided to come back, it means the revolution is working.

At the same time, Todt said, Formula One must reduce its costs. “It is absurd,” he said, “that half of the drivers in the maximum category of automobile racing are paying to drive. I know of no other sport in the world where that happens.

The apparent solution is a mandatory cost cap, and the details are being discussed now. Not supportive at all is McLaren’s returning supremo, Ron Dennis.

If you can’t afford to be in F1,” he said on Thursday, “don’t be in F1.

Dennis also accused the FIA of being hypocritical about costs, having imposed the “most expensive engine in the history of motor sport” on the teams. The same people who took us down this path are now going down another path, saying we need to reduce costs. How contrary to logic is that?” he asked.


Long Beach postpones F1 decision (GMM)

F1 will have to wait to know if it can return to Long Beach. It emerged that at a city council meeting this week, the issue of opening up the street race lease to bidders – including F1 – would be on the agenda.

We just want a fair process where qualified people can bid on it,” confirmed Chris Pook, F1’s original Long Beach pioneer who is reportedly now working closely with Bernie Ecclestone.

But German-language Speed Week reports that while the issue was indeed discussed by the Californian city’s council this week, a judgement was postponed. The correspondent said that while some want Long Beach to keep Indycar on the streets, others would welcome the return of Formula One.

So the council decided that more information should be obtained in order to get a clearer picture.

One councilman confirmed: “While the current (Indycar) Long Beach Grand Prix is a successful event for all parties, the question is whether or not there is an opportunity to do even better with a Formula One option.


Son of Kimi

One of the things we crave in modern F1 is a character; someone different from the PR clones who at times dominate our screens with their mumbo jumbo.

To that end many liked Mark Webber’s no nonsense from the heart kind of attitude and Kimi is adored by millions across the world for his minimalist use of alphabetic letters and monosyllabic tone.

Kimi of course has carefully cultivated a reputation which sees him as the bad boy bunking off when nobody else is around. He dutifully does his POR work and drives the car (even without being paid – mostly). Then, when the journo’s have retired to their press bar to discuss how it was in the old days when they were invited into a smoke filled room and given a scoop, Kimi is off clubbing it.

He starts the evening with a fashionable brand of beer bottle in his hand and always a couple of pretty girls on each arm, then as the carousing progresses, its onto the hard stuff and a regular fag outside the back door.

Nico Rosberg – a couple of years ago – revealed one of the F1 drivers ‘smoked’ and this of course was against the back drop of the likes of Alonso tweeting 5 times a day every time he racks up another 20km on his bike. #HORROR, a smoking F1 driver???

Anyway, as do all good role models, Kimi realises he will not be around forever to continue the tradition of Hill (Snr), Hunt et al.., so he is training an apprentice.

It was a bad night for Jules Bianchi on Wednesday in Paris. After attending the “Grand Journal” on the set of Canal + sport, Le Parisien reports he “was brutally attacked and robbed by unknown assailants near the Champs-Elysées”.

Richard Mille Tourbillon G-Sensor RM 036 Jean TodtThe raiders tripped him, pinned him to the ground and they snatched his 70,000 Euro Swiss Richard Mille watch from him.

Now for those of you wondering what Kimi has to do with this, he did not leap from his balcony 5 floors above, float down on his smoking jacket to assist young Jules.

Neither was Jules inspired by Kimi’s do or die attitude which would have seen the Frenchman leap to his feet and in a blur of ‘Matrix’ style moves, kill his assailants with his bare hands.

Yet the spirit of Kimi was indeed at this gathering.

It was getting on towards midnight, when the likes of Fred and Jenson would be long asleep anticipating their 5am call to exercise. Ro Gro was settling his baby down after the first of its 3 nightly feeds, and Lewis was fast asleep with his 2 (or is it 3?) dogs.

Jules was enjoying himself, he was drinking expensive long drinks mixed expertly by the ex-New York bar tender. There were some of Paris finest looking totty knocking about, and Jules popped outside for a – wait for it – an evil and wicked….CIGARETTE!!!

I submit this is sufficient evidence for the court to conclude, Jules is indeed the son of Kimi Raikkonen. Feeling a little tipsy form the alcohol and heady from his media fame, Jules  offers to light a cigarette for a couple of strangers – and gets his head bashed in!!!

Of course the most important thing is that Jules is fine, though even had matters been worse, a slash scar doesn’t do any harm with the girls.

Don’t worry Jules, with your driving skills you’ve plenty of years ahead of you to get smashed, womanise and race the occasional F1 event – just as all the greats did!


Concorde Agreement era is over (GMM)

The era of the Concorde Agreement is at its end, according to Bernie Ecclestone. Difficult and protracted negotiations over the sport’s highly secretive document, binding F1’s commercial rights holders with its teams and the governing FIA, are notorious.

The long saga over the newest seven-year Concorde is only just at its end, but according to F1 chief executive Ecclestone, there may be no need for another. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, F1 business journalist Christian Sylt said technical and sporting matters are now decided at the new Strategy Group, comprising Ecclestone, the FIA and six top teams.

As for the Concorde, “I think everyone has forgotten about it to be honest,” Ecclestone said, “because with the agreement we currently have with this Strategy Group, we don’t really need it.

The 83-year-old said it is not even true that a new Concorde was necessary so that F1 can be floated on the stock exchange.

It was a peace treaty when it was signed. We have moved on and the whole structure has moved on,” said Ecclestone.


Wife Fabiana ‘wants a baby’ (GMM)

Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that his new wife Fabiana, 37, wants a baby.

I would hope that it would be possible,” the F1 chief executive, who is almost half a century older than the Brazilian spouse he married in 2012, told Germany’s Bild newspaper.

Fabiana would like so much to have a baby. But I’m 83, so it wouldn’t be fair on the child,” said Ecclestone.

Imagine, the child is six, goes to school, and then its 90-year-old father comes to pick it up. You can’t do that to a child,” he insisted.

Ecclestone also claimed that, although worth billions and bankrolling the extravagant lifestyles of his daughters Tamara and Petra, making money is not his main motivation.

Money doesn’t talk to me, it doesn’t make me laugh,” he said.

I’m just lucky that I have enough that I don’t have to worry about making it,” Ecclestone explained. “But I’m not trying to accumulate more and more. If I make a good deal, I am satisfied,” he added.


Williams Martini Racing revival celebrated (GMM)

If Williams is a force in 2014, almost the entire paddock will celebrate the return of an F1 great. The newly Mercedes-powered team, having once dominated the sport but not won a title since 1997, has looked a dark horse contender for 2014 during pre-season testing.

Former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, now wearing the iconic Martini stripes of Williams’ new title sponsor, set the fastest time during the eight test days in Bahrain.

Nobody has a bad word to say about Felipe or Williams,” former team driver David Coulthard told the Daily Mail.

“It’s great for Formula One,” he said. “Massa is a very popular driver across the world, and Frank Williams has formed a popular team.

The newly F1-retired Mark Webber was lured to Williams in 2005 off the back of its “deep roots”, but his two-year tenure was at the start of the slump. The Australian said he would be delighted if Williams’ pre-season form was replicated at the grands prix this year.

It would be brilliant for them to be reliable and strong,” he told the Telegraph.

It would be good, really good, for Frank and everyone, they’ve been through a tough time but they are a good team,” added Webber.

Some of F1’s big hitters, notably Red Bull, are not happy that the regulations have changed so greatly. Williams, however, is thrilled.

Regulation changes of this magnitude often disrupt the order and create opportunities for teams to make a leap forward,” Sir Frank Williams said on Thursday as the new Martini-livery was unveiled in London, according to La Presse.

But his daughter Claire, the deputy team boss, is not expecting world champions Red Bull to be down for long.

I would be gobsmacked if Red Bull did not (catch up),” she is quoted by the BBC. “We go to Australia in a good position but we really have to take advantage of the first few races,” Claire Williams added.


Why India and F1 are finished

TJ13 wrote yesterday, it was highly unlikely that we would see the Indian GP return and today the Times of India reports the race promoters, Jaypee Sports International Limited (JPSI) and the Indian motorsports federation express a similar view.

Apart from the race hosting fees to be paid to the Formula One Management (FOM), which is in excess of $40 million, JPSI have been asked to cough up $1.6m each year for the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF). On top of that JPSI pay half the customs duty on behalf of the FOM who ship the equipment in and out of the country for the teams.

Then the organisers are taxed an entertainment fee of 25% of the revenues they receive from those attending.

World Superbikes were supposed to race at the BIC last year, but the race was cancelled because JPSI refused to pay the $1.6m to the NSDF which is required as part of the process of getting permission from the sports ministry for hosting the race.

To cap it all, the Indian motorsports governing body FMSCI is not recognized as a national sports federation by the government.

“We have already submitted the necessary paperwork required to gain recognition from the sports ministry. But we can’t start any dialogue with them till the general elections are over and the new government comes to power,” revealed Akbar Ebrahim, chairman of the FMSCI.

Ebrahim is frustrated because as a national federation they can only try and explain to the Indian government the importance of F1.

“We can’t influence the sporting policies of the country. We can only tell the sports ministry that F1 is an iconic event and having a race in the country is a huge boost for motorsports right from the grassroots level. The ministry has to understand that motorsports is not only about F1 but also includes other events like biking, off-roading etc. Also while motorsports may be entertainment, it is also a sport like cricket as we also have drivers competing for trophies,”

untitledF1 is an irrelevance to many Indian politicians, and with policies and attitudes as they are, there is no chance of seeing the big top of the F1 circus in this fabulous country with its rich culture and heritage for the foreseeable future.

There is one iconic F1 moment from the Indian GP I will never forget. I felt the hairs on my neck stand up involuntarily, and for once I was strangely emotional and warmed towards Sebastian Vettel. The few seconds watching Vettel slowly climb from his car amidst the natural smog and the smoke from his exuberant tyre melting donughts… in front of the BIC grandstand….. felt like I was watching live the conclusion of an epic Hollywood blockbuster.

Vettel knelt before the car and abandoned his remarkable Newey machine in a moment of spontaneity and defiance to the authorities – not something often associated with the often automatronic German superstar.

Thank you India


The Happy factor

Many families having watched ‘Despicable Me II’ will have parents plagued by the ‘happy song’ day and night. This tune by Pharrell Williams has topped the charts in 15 countries including the USA and the UK with amusing ideas like happiness is defined as “a room without a roof”.

Okay, in the middle of summer somewhere in the Mediterranean, this is a pleasant notion. Looking up at the stars, sipping an iced long drink and feeling the wash of the gentle evening breeze soothing the sun scorched skin… I get it.

The there’s the philosophical angle of a ‘room without a roof’. The boundary has been removed. A limitation or restriction is taken away. “No line on the horizon”….

Nice…yeah…. it’s all good and happy….. Pharrell has clearly not visited Somerset, England, during our recently developed monsoon season.

Anyway, TJ13 believes the ‘happy factor’ is a great pre-season analysis tool for F1 fans. In fact the Usher and his cronies are at present attempting to create a happiness algorithm which can be applied to anything F1 and reveal the true state of where an F1 person really believes their car to be.

We shall today explore the Usher’s work to date, and attempt to apply certain scientific principles he believes should be applied.

In one of the articles above, Fred is clearly not happy. Alonso grumbles that the new engine projects have been “very expensive for teams but changing little for the viewer”.

Now a casual observer may suggest on the happiness scale of 1 – 10 where 10 is happy, this is a bit of a gripe – and therefore scores a 5.

Yet as an expert in rating happiness, I can reveal to you all this view and kind of score would be very wide of the mark. I put it to you this is most unhappy, extremely miserable if not verging on suicidal. It scores a 1 or even a 1.5 at best.

Ferrari have gazzilions in their budget and unlike Red Bull are in control of their own destiny engine wise. The engine regulation changes and the vast nature of their cost should play nicely for a mult-billion iconic brand like Ferrari.

Apparently not.

The happiness algorithm like all good scientific and mathematical tools, should look for corroborating evidence to support what otherwise maybe a skewed sample. An example of this maybe that Fred is grumpy and overstating his lack of happiness because he is at present broody, but Mrs. Fred to be is refusing to bloat her CFD designed, wind tunnel aero tested stomach…. by sticking ‘a bun in the over’.

This is clearly not the case, as we have another member of the Ferrari family whose happiness quotient is not maxing out either. The at times much maligned Stafano Dominecali recently grudgingly conceded, “Mercedes is a giant who did an extreme preparation for this championship.”

Oh dear me….. not much FORZA FERRARI being felt there either.

By casting Mercedes in the role of the gargantuan philistine warrior who single headedly faced off against the Israelite army in the Valley of Elah, Stefano is clearly feeling somewhat intimidated, and most unhappy.

Another 1 scored there then.

Williams have been the team on everyone’s lips as the dark horse who may surprise us all, yet the happy factor analysis reveals there is another team rather bullkish about their chances in Melbourne and for the season.

Dr Mallya, similarly couches his team in the David role when he states the preparations for the 2014 have been “a massive challenge, especially for a smaller team like ours. That was why we put so many plans in place early last year to be ready for what has become a very different Formula One. All the hard work has paid off, but it has been a very steep learning curve and a huge undertaking to get where we are today”.

Aha. He we find another component of our analytical tool… the ability to be happy and at the same time make jibes at those who are clearly less so.

Christian so wishes that Guru Newey hadn’t been obsessive in his relentless eeking out every last gram of performance from the RB9 huh? Seb’s string of record breaking drives post the 2013 summer break, looks very costly now.

A confident 7.5, I feel should be awarded to our Indian friend for his first happiness expression.

Yesterday we heard Big Ron ridicule the level of spending he suggests the FIA forced upon the engine manufacturers, a sentiment shared by Fred and others.

However, the esteemed Dr. Mallya sees the same issue more from a ‘happy max’ perspective and creating “a new Formula 1” and “a new direction for the sport. It’s the first time for many years that Formula One has been properly aligned with the automotive industry. The prospect of Formula One driving forward technical advances for road cars is a very exciting one.

Yes Vijay. So true. We have an RB10 that rockets around the outside of others during a corner, because its aero design is indeed wicked. But wait…. Its not all about aero anymore, the combustion engine is once again near the top of the pecking order in “matters important to an F1 car”.

A clear 8.7 for that one Vijay.

Of course, “reasons to be cheerful” for the Silverstone team include the fact that they completed the second highest number of laps of all the teams in the most recent Bahrain test.

We now discover another element of the happiness algorithm, which clearly states, that a view point at the opposite end of the happiness scale from one already scored, is clear evidence by definition of its opposite quotient.

Unlike Fred, Vijay believes the viewers will see a monumental difference when they flick on their screens to watch proceedings down under.

“This year there are so many more unknowns than usual. I think we can arrive in Melbourne feeling happy about the work we’ve done over the winter. How that will translate to a race weekend is hard to say, but I think it’s important that an element of unpredictability has returned. There is plenty of interest around Formula One at the moment and that’s a good thing”.

For an instant, there’s a hush in the studio. The we hear…

“Doctor Mallya…..you….just….scored an incredible 9.9 on the happyometer!!!!”

(Rapturous and spontaneous applause from the guest show audience).

Indeed it is the very fact that none of us have a Scooby – a clue, despite all the millions of words that have been written… regardless of the opinions of the good and great from F1’s past and present… what will actually happen next weekend…

And THIS…… is fantabulous………., and a….. remarka-wonderfull mystery….

And THAT………. is bloody great! 

Our conclusion is that, Force India are light years ahead of Ferrari in their pre-season preparations by quite some margin as proven by the “happyness factor”. As part of this scientific study, TJ13 welcomes readers who have the ability to develop and apply the “happyness factor” algorithm to other teams and confirm their ranking.


What a difference a [period of time] makes

It appears Friday is having an effect here at TJ13, as there is a song in our hearts, as we drift into the weekend – which by the way will reveal the final two parts of BJF’s much acclaimed, “Top 20 drivers never to win the world championship”.


“What a difference a day makes….24 little hours…”

Adrian Newey was dismissive when the whole idea of double points surfaced. “To me it just seems very artificial that third place [in Abu Dhabi] will now be worth more than first place at Monaco or another race.

“It’s a shame that in the drive to try to keep the championship alive to the very last race you take this artificial route to it. [It] just seems to me to be cheapening the sport. It makes it just a little bit WWF to me.”

“Brought the sun and the flowers….Where there used to be rain”.

Marko didn’t express much of an opinion at the time, merely stating in December, “We were against it, but our team boss Christian Horner was overruled”. He added as if to claim some kind of victory, “At first the plan was to award double points for the last four races.”

Clearly, more than a day that has passed since then, though in terms of the total number of laps achieved by Red Bull over the past weeks, in actuality… around a day would have sufficed.

No matter, I digress. It appears that turning negatives into positives is something the good doktor has quite an aptitude for.

“My yesterday was blue, dear… Today I’m a part of you, dear”

Speaking on Servus TV, Marko reveals that during the recent round of discussions at the F1 Strategy Group, “Merecedes were suddenly against extending the proposal” of double points to the final three races.

“My lonely nights are through, dear….Since you said you were mine”.

Whereas in fact, “We were now suddenly on fire for double points in the last three races”, Marko.admits.

“What a difference a day made…. And Helmut……. the difference is you…”


Schumacher no longer on respirator – report (GMM)

Michael Schumacher is breathing without the help of a respirator, the authoritative Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport claimed on Friday.

It is a significant possible development in the seven time world champion’s situation, more than nine weeks into his coma following a skiing fall in late December.

The F1 legend’s manager Sabine Kehm issued an official statement on Friday, warning that any unofficial information about Schumacher’s condition is “not valid”.

“Michael is still in the wake up phase,” the official statement added.  “The situation has not changed.”

But the Gazzetta article was penned by the highly respected correspondent Pino Allievi, and at the Geneva motor show, Kehm indicated that Schumacher’s overall situation has improved.

“Michael is out of danger,” she reportedly said, “but the condition is still serious and so it is difficult to say all the risks are gone.

“But it is clear that his condition is no longer as sensitive as at first.”

Allievi, meanwhile, wrote that while Schumacher’s children have now returned to school, Schumacher’s close friends such as Jean Todt and Ross Brawn are alternating at his bedside and speaking to the great German in English, as they did during their ultra-successful Ferrari days.

The report said that during these visits, at which recordings of pit radio conversations and F1 engine sounds are played in order to stimulate his memories, the expression on Schumacher’s face sometimes changes.

And when the doctors are in the room, Schumacher reportedly often grimaces, or his arms move.


TJ13 comment:

The Gazetta headline states that Michael is now breathing unassisted and listening to the voices of his friends. Yet this is simply speculation and cannot be corroborated.

This is surely the good news Michael’s family would want to officially reveal to his fans and therefore has to be taken with a pinch of salt.

The medical consultant Allievi cites in his piece is a retired orthopaedist, with no experience of practising neurosurgery or treating severe trauma.

The article refers to there being signs of neurological activity via certain body part movements. Yet as Gary Hartstein observes, “Twitches of any part of the body, unless purposeful & reproducible mean essentially nothing”.

The most revealing comments are from Michael’s manager as she repeats again, “Michael is out of danger, but the condition is still serious and so it is difficult to say all the risks are gone. But it is clear that his condition is no longer as sensitive as at first.”

This is unfortunately not a report of any change or improvement since the last statement.

Ferrari are continuing with their #FORZA MICHAEL tributes which has been running daily now for several weeks. It has the unfortunate feel of mourners filing past a coffin sharing their memories of their departed loved one.

Still, cultural differences exist and Ferrari are demonstrating their continued support for Michael and his family in the way they feel is best.


untitledSince the tragic death of Ayrton Senna at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, Williams has placed the iconic Senna double S logo on its racing cars as a mark of respect. To commemorate 20 years since his passing and to celebrate his legacy, the Williams Mercedes FW36 will be adorned with the new 20th anniversary Senna logo for the 2014 season.

Traditionally placed on the front wing struts of each Williams car, the new logo will be placed on the left hand side of the FW36’s nose cone and feature a picture of Ayrton alongside the words “Ayrton Senna Always”. Designed by the Ayrton Senna Foundation, the logo will be present at a number of events organised by the Foundation this year to honour the life, legacy and values of the three times Formula One World Champion.

untitledSpeaking about the updated logo, Williams Founder and Team Principal Sir Frank Williams said: “I was very close to Ayrton and the iconic double S logo has been a mainstay on our cars since his death 20 years ago. This new logo is our way of celebrating his achievements as a racing driver, and also the sterling work of his Foundation which is doing so much to promote educational opportunities in Brazil.” (WillaimsF1)


Esquire to Appear on FW36 in Unique Williams Partnership 

It appears Williams are recovering from their dismal recent past both in terms of their car’s performance and an influx of sponsorship.

It’s not that long ago, TJ13 article, “Ecclestone, Parr and the “Night of the long knives” reported Bernie Ecclestone’s cutting remarks about Adam Parr and the lack of sponsorship on the Williams FW-34. “Adam is a genius the way he runs his team – there’s no room on that car for any more sponsors is there?”

Following the big Martini Racing reveal yesterday, Williams are again announcing a new partner, which they claim to be a “unique campaign”.

untitledEsquire likes to consider itself, “the UK’s most stylish and sophisticated men’s magazine brand” and is published by Hearst Magazines.

“The one year ground-breaking partnership comes at the start of an exciting new chapter in the history of Williams, with Esquire handing over its iconic logo to add an element of sartorial style to the brand new Williams Mercedes FW36 car. Throughout the entire Formula One season the Esquire brand will be featured on the rear wing endplate of both Williams’ cars.

Additional partnership activity will include the creation of curated content supplemented across Esquire’s multiple platforms, including print, tablet (Esquire Weekly), online (www.esquire.co.uk) and via social media including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram”.

untitledThe May issue of Esquire, bizarrely on sale April 3rd (???), will dedicate a double page spread to the technical excellence and design elegance of the new Williams car. In addition, over the season there will be in-depth diaries from both team drivers, Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, following their progress over the 19 Grand Prix races which kicks off in Australia on 16 March, and includes races in the UK, Monaco, Brazil, China, Russia and the US.

Esquire Editor Alex Bilmes says, “Esquire has always championed British brands that contribute to and inspire our rich cultural landscape, which is why we’re delighted to partner with Williams, an iconic brand that has produced some of motor racing’s greatest ever drivers.”

untitledSir Frank Williams, added, “Esquire is a premium brand with global reach and a strong history of excellence. This new partnership is very exciting for Williams as it will give us the opportunity to showcase our story in some of the world’s leading publications and work with Hearst Magazines UK’s respective editorial teams on exciting content for readers. For Hearst UK, Formula One is an ideal global marketing platform and we are looking forward to helping the Esquire brand reach new audiences this season.”


Pirelli in season testing schedule

Pirelli has confirmed the tyre testing schedule for the three in-season tests. The rules require each team to devote one of its six precious days to working for the Italian company.

The significance of the timing is that in theory when a team is tyre testing it is not working on developing its car.

In addition there is a test in Abu Dhabi at the end of the year when all teams will run the 2015 tyres.

The schedule is as follows:

Bahrain test (8-9 April)

Barcelona test (13-14 May)

Silverstone test (8-9 July)

Mmm. Wonder if RB had any input into when they would be required. They may have a car that works by Silverstone 😉


43 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 7th March 2014

  1. Whine whine whine whine whine. That is all everyone in F1 seems to be doing right now. Porsche is racing a 4 cylinder(!!!) engine in Le Mans. They took one look at the F1 regs and said eh, forget it, we’ll go race in WEC instead. Dennis might have built a great company but McLaren didn’t win squat in over a decade under his leadership. Was he awake during 2008? This isn’t the 80s or 90s or even early 2000s. No company has the kind of money like the tobacco companies had to throw around to fund F1 teams. I wonder how he’d have made mclaren what it is today without marlboro funds! It was the engine manufacturers who wanted changed regs for more road relevance. Seriously!

      • He wasn’t great shakes at managing talent either. Prost and Senna blew up under his watch (gross over simplification of that problem, yes but still), Lewis and Nando was just sad to watch. His supposed straightjacketing of Newey and not to mention trying to get a grip on someone like Kimi, who just up and left when Ferrari welcomed him. Remember Monaco 2006 Ron? 🙂 Mika was his last golden boy.

    • There are two aspects of running an F1 team, the business side and the performance side.

      It’s easy to argue that Ron Dennis’ latter seasons as a team principle were unsuccessful on the performance side.

      In contrast, he has been successful as a business man in recent years.

      Reflecting upon Ron’s comments in the last few hours, it appears that McLaren has reached a turning point on the business side… He has said:

      1) There is no title sponsor

      2) The response from potential sponsors is that McLaren has overpriced themselves

      3) His F1 team may expect lay-offs

      It will be interesting to watch…

  2. Top marks to whoever wrote the Kimi/Bianchi story:) It’s what makes this site so good – no one else can write news like it! When I got to the line that talked about Kimi’s “minimalistic use of alphabetic letters” I knew at once it wasn’t GMM news. Just perfect…

      • Right, and good for you. I still think you should drop the GMM content; it doesn’t help the blog IMHO. Your and other contributors’ content is way better and more trusted.

        • I think the GMM is one of the good, remarkable points of this page, not everybody have time, patience or means to go after GMM content, let alone translate them properly
          so, keep the GMM news and TJ comments, they’re good

    • So we – at least – have 3 smokers now: Kobayashi, Räikkönen and Bianchi. Martini’s back and so are turbo’s.
      If only for DRS and double points this season is gonna be EPIC!
      About 8 h (is that the correct unit?)

      • Maybe should elaborate: it’s about political correctness vs real people and an earth car vs a paying liqour sponsor. And turbo’s are cool.

  3. I quite liked the layout of the BIC track and from what I heard the drivers liked it too. Shame about the politics, the story of F1’s life it seems.
    With regard to hairs standing up on the back of the neck, for me it was seeing Vettel kneel before his stead and worship it as if it were a deity. That is an iconic image that I should imagine will stay with me for ever.

  4. India’s politics always seemed to me very populist, almost socialist leaning. I thought that things were changing for better, but I was mistaken. India should reevaluate its place in the world economy and try to learn from China’s successes and failures IMHO.

    On the bright side, the disappearance of Indian GP makes it less likely that some of the classic European GPs will be removed from the calendar. Moreover, to be honest, I almost fell asleep watching the last Indian GP. I don’t know if it was because of time of day or because it was so boring. Anyways, not a big loss for fans IMHO.

    • It needed to be a mix of socialist and capitalist formula to bring the country forward. At the time of independence, a country that had been thoroughly raped by the British was trying to get its bearings. Primary of the list of things to do was to feed it’s giant population that had been reduced to poverty through systematic economic leaching and breaking down of tons of social and economic structures existing prior to British colonisation. This, apart from having to recover party’s of the country from other colonial powers, gotta for example from the Portuguese had to be taken over militarily later on, meant that they had an unenviable task. So free market enterprise, letting other come in and set up companies was just not on (that is how the colonial powers got in in the first place) was way down the list. Education, health and food primarily were the goals. However in a country as large and diverse and in such a pathetic state naturally the corrupt came to the fore, didn’t do much, the economy never got going because the politicians thought files to a hungry public got them votes rather than doing anything substantially constructive for the long term. Until things came to a head in 91 when there was no other go but to modernize and liberals the economy and then the country got a decent govt and the growth rate rocketed. Then the govt changed and the dole based schemes came back and the economy predicted allowed down. A change in govt is expected to move things along like before. Let’s see. But exhortations by westerners to India to open up its markets and be more like them is gross oversight of the substantial challenges facing the govt. People who haven’t seen or experienced poverty first hand have no idea about the wretchedness of it, caveats apply of course. So please don’t slate socialist policies without understanding the reasoning.

      • your remarks were spot on, and I should add that it happen in every colonised country
        it is happening in Brazil, where the long estabilished “elite”, their media and the upper classes rant, lie and attack the mildly socialist, progressive leftist government for their social and racial inclusion programmes and their state backed or owned entreprises

        such policies helped to take 30 million people out of misery and another 23 million out of poor classes in just 10 years, and also helped the nation to withstand and cope reasonably with those financial crisis of 2008 and 2012

        that’s why I agree with your remarks about slating socialist policies without reason, most of the people with thus behaviour neither lived abroad, let alone experienced any form of social restraint

  5. So, Big Ron has said that Lewis could come back to McLaren one day (yayyy!!!) and when speaking about young K-Mag, he described him as an exceptional talent that will have a great career and that he doesn’t “think he’s going to whinge when he gets a few knocks”.

    I wonder to whom this dig was directed? Jenson or Lewis? Given that the next sentence was about keeping Jenson honest this season, it’s probably a comment for the former rather than the latter. It seems that with Whitmarsh out, Jenson has lost his best ally within the team. Let’s not forget how much more MW favoured Jenson over Lewis and it seems that Ron will favour K-Mag as he previously did with Lewis.

    • I don’t see Jenson driving after this season to be honest. I saw in an interview last year he stated when asked if he would hit 300 GP starts in his career, he was pretty adamant that it wouldn’t happen, so I think this season is either his last or his penultimate as any more would put him over 300 starts. If K-Mag can run him close and Rosberg wins WDC I can see a K-mag/Hamilton line up at McLaren for 2015, maybe, 2016, almost certain.

  6. really tasteful mentioning “What a difference a day made”, Jamie Cullum’s take of it being the best of them, in my honest opinion
    that’s why TJ is sovl relevant, class act and quality information

      • well, he’s around, a year or so he released an album full of RnB and Hip Hop cues, borderline shite, to maby of his fans, me included, also I thrashed the aforementioned album when posted something on his FB page about it

        talented, charismatic, but lost the plot since 2009 with this insistent idea of fusion between those different genres


  7. I think we should call a doctor 😐 Something’s wrong with the judge. He has written at least one news item that didn’t try to get a dig in at Red Bull. Something’s seriously wrong with the man…

    • ….don’t worry, eventually sympathy and nostalgia will kick in… everyone loved Schumacher when he returned to F1 and drove a crap car 🙄

    • …BTW – dunno if anyone else thinks this – you should get a better moniker – its funny when you click through, but you can’t see what it is in its normal small form..

      …maybe a gaping mouth??? 😮

      • …. Which is the reason we let GMM do the legwork on the “he said, she said” news. So I can not be diluted and write more quality pieces….

        It’s still important to cover those stories for reasons of debate in the comments…

  8. Interesting F1 site, some good stories too. BUT how about sorting out the bloody font sizes. They’re all but impossible to view on my 21 inch monitor, I reckon they drop to 7 or 8 at times and it’s nothing for them to get smaller in an article.

    Time to remember, we don’t all have 20/20 vision.

    • Have you tried pressing left or right control key on your keyboard and using the middle scroll button on your mouse to make it bigger or smaller?

      • He has a point. There’s a bug in the plugin that displays the tags. It ruins the comments and subsequent postings. I’ll have a look at it over the weekend.

        • FYI for the tech support…

          I’m NOT seeing this font changing (to 7 or 8) problem on my desktop system. I’m viewing through a mozilla browser (24.3), on X Windows. I’ve noticed nothing unusual, or different.


        • I’ve observed for many months that when going to the comments the font size decreases. I generally have to give two control + hits to make the text the same size. A minor issue, but still……………….. Also, how about having a comments connection at the end of the posting, instead of having to return to the top to get to the comments?

        • @ Danilo

          for info – actually I get the opposite effect – the font gets bigger when I select comments compared to the standard page.

          This is why I select to look at comments – as the articles are then in a larger font.

          This happens in IE 11, Avant, Maxthon, Dragon and Chrome browsers – running thru a 32″ monitor and 42″ HD TV.

          I’m happy with the bug 😀

  9. I don’t understand why the Senna logo is on only one side of the car… Didn’t the Foundation pay enough? 😉

    • on the saying itself, it would rather translate as ‘Ayrton Senna Forever’ than ‘Ayrton Senna Always’. just saying.

  10. don’t know if you guys read the Telegraph article about Schumi
    if they are spot on their information, it entirely contradicts Gazetta’s article, casting a quite sombre yet presumable prognostic about his situation

    read it and if suitable, post a lnk at today’s news clipping

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