Daily #F1 News and Comment: Sunday 16th March 2014


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Mercedes breached fuel flow rules in Melbourne – report (GMM)

‘Monster’ Mercedes producing 900hp – report (GMM)

My ‘servant’ days are over – Massa (GMM)

Ecclestone doubts Susie Wolff will race in F1 (GMM)

Mercedes breached fuel flow rules in Melbourne – report (GMM)

Is this the ‘trickery’ referred to just days ago by Luca di Montezemolo?

In an open letter, the Ferrari president warned the FIA to be ready for team “trickery” in the area of “fuel, software” and “consumption” as a result of “grey areas” opened up by the new regulations.

Germany’s Auto Bild reports that Mercedes, already dominating the new turbo V6 era with its powerful new engine, has triggered the FIA’s attention in Australia in the area of the sport’s new fuel consumption limits. As well as being limited to just 100kg of fuel per race, each car is limited in 2014 to a maximum fuel rate of 100 kilograms per hour, enforced by a fuel flow sensor. Auto Bild claims that at least one team, believed to be Mercedes, went over the fuel flow limit in practice at Albert Park.

It is believed the FIA also warned Ferrari on the same subject during winter testing.

The Auto Bild report said that in Melbourne, the FIA has now reacted not by penalising Mercedes but by easing the tolerance by which rules breaches are measured, particularly in the wake of pre-season problems with the sensor. Boss Toto Wolff denies that the FIA tweak has anything to do with Mercedes. “We actually voluntarily reduced our fuel flow rate,” he insisted. “Had we not done that, we would have been five tenths faster yesterday.”


‘Monster’ Mercedes producing 900hp – report (GMM)

Mercedes’ new field-leading turbo V6 engine could be producing much more horse power than was earlier believed.

Before travelling to Melbourne, team chairman Niki Lauda revealed that the basic 1.6 litre Mercedes unit is producing “about 580hp.” As it is known that the sophisticated energy-recovery or ‘ERS’ side adds 160hp to the equation, then Mercedes’ 2014 ‘power unit’ equates to about 740hp at present.

However, the German newspaper Bild reports that Mercedes’ competition believes the ‘monster’ Mercedes unit is actually producing “up to 900 horse power” when operating at full tilt. Asked about the 740 versus 900 figures, Renault-powered Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko said: “For sure the engine has more power than they are saying.”

The Austrian was speaking on Saturday, where despite Daniel Ricciardo’s surprising feat of splitting the two Mercedes on the grid, world champion Sebastian Vettel failed even to make the top ten.

“We tried some new software but it did not work,” said Marko. “Mercedes is having no problems with the engine and has power in excess. They are able to do a strategic race.”


My ‘servant’ days are over – Massa (GMM)

Felipe Massa has kicked off the next phase of his formula one career with two thumbs up.

One thumb is for his move to Williams, where despite the British team finishing the 2013 season deeply uncompetitive, he has found himself powered by the plum Mercedes engine.

“I am happy, that’s true,” the Brazilian, who lost his Ferrari seat after eight years to Kimi Raikkonen, told the German newspaper Bild. “I’m glad I went this way. It could have been a stroke of luck. The car feels good,” said Massa. “The fact that Williams changed to the Mercedes engines is the first step to success,” he insisted. “I feel that the car is strong and I’m hungry to finally win again.”

Massa’s other skywards-facing thumb is for the end of the Ferrari era, where despite intense highs and the almost title-winning 2008 season, the 32-year-old has also experienced some deep lows.

Asked by correspondent Nicola Pohl to describe what four years as Fernando Alonso’s ‘water-carrier’ feels like, he answered: “I’ll tell you one thing. The time as a servant is over! Williams wants me to take a leadership role in the team. In a team you sometimes have to do things that you don’t understand in the moment. But you’re not a racing driver if you cannot win,” Massa insisted.


Ecclestone doubts Susie Wolff will race in F1 (GMM)

Bernie Ecclestone does not think Susie Wolff will ever realise her dream of lining up on the F1 grid. Briton Wolff, whose Austrian husband Toto is the Mercedes chief and Williams co-owner, will need a full race super license in 2014 as she appears on the Friday mornings at Silverstone and Hockenheim at the wheel of the Mercedes-powered Williams.

But F1 chief executive Ecclestone, who once notoriously admitted he hopes the 31-year-old is “as quick in a car as she looks good out of it”, doubts Wolff will ever actually race in grands prix. “Susie Wolff is good,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald, “but will she ever be in a position to show how good she is? I doubt it.”

“The big problem with a woman, even if she’s good enough, is having the opportunity to show that,” 83-year-old Ecclestone explained.“Because a team won’t take a woman driver unless they bring them massive sponsorship. So you could have a very, very good woman driver and she would not get what she deserves,” he added.

A greater matter on Ecclestone’s mind at present is the sport’s all-new turbo V6 era.

Fiercely critical of the move to quieter engines, the diminutive Briton will have heard with alarm the criticism in Melbourne of the ‘sewing machines on wheels’. “I think at the beginning when all this started we thought this would attract a lot of manufacturers who manufacture the size of engine that we are using in 2014,” he said.

“Formula one is entertainment,” Ecclestone insisted. “The trouble is that sometimes we forget that. These are the people who buy the tickets, turn on the TV and produce the money so that the sport can grow.”

FIA president Jean Todt, however, is just as fiercely dismissive of Ecclestone’s and the fans’ concerns, insisting the matter will be all forgotten “after a few laps in Melbourne”. The Frenchman is taking criticism of the highly-controversial ‘double points’ idea for the season finale much more seriously.

As far as he is concerned, the tweak to keep interest in the championship until the end is merely “a little change”, and far less significant than the important “revolution” to modernise F1’s engine regulations.

But Todt also admitted the FIA is prepared to drop the ‘double points’ idea. “If it doesn’t work, it is easy to get rid of for next year,” he told the Daily Mail. “We will see if there is more interest at the end of the championship. If not, I would be the first to say let’s go back to the way it was.”


18 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Sunday 16th March 2014

  1. I can’t imagine I’m the only one who hopes that Felipe Massa scores a very, very sympathetic GP-win for Williams (and himself) sometime this season!?

  2. Enough of this GMM out of date rubbish. Is there a link behind the scenes between your honour and GMM I wonder? I ask this as there have been a few very similar references to a few of the same people since the hook up with GMM along with a decline with the quality of posts here…..

    • I just want to say that I personally don’t find the rude criticism of his Honour and insinuations of inappropriate “behind the scenes” links to “GMM” to be very gentlemanly or interesting.

      It takes a particular kind of conceit to come to someone else’s blog and slag-off their content, when they don’t charge you and instead are writing about F1 for free, b/c they’re passionate about the sport and choose to share that passion w/ others via their writing.

      I don’t like that GMM stories appear more frequently, and that there’s less original insight and analysis from his Honour, but wtf is the guy supposed to do? He has a full-time job (and this isn’t it!) and a family to support and other responsibilities!

      It’s not like the Judge is tone-deaf and thinks people prefer to read less of what’s made thejudge13.com great, and more cookie-cutter stories… So why keep harping on it if you’re not going to do anything to help?

      • Hi Joe, one observation does not constitute a ‘harping on about it’
        You seem to know his Honour and his personal life quite well, I however do not and wouldn’t bring it into any comment even if I did. I would also consider this to be quite a bit more than a ‘blog’. This is a fine site that will be improved even more by constructive criticism and opinions such as mine and not petty, childish,’ I’m the judges buddy immature ones’.

        • We take on board all comments and glad for feedback. Weekends are generally family time for TJ himself so writing is often sporadic during these periods and news is most certainly out for now. Previous weekends GMM doesn’t always feature solely & hopefully one day soon we’ll have writers available more regularly.

        • Hi Joe, one observation does not constitute a ‘harping on about it’

          Sorry then, Dave, if that was your first post complaining about the “GMM out of date rubbish” – the inclusion of which was discussed here exhaustively, with almost no support or desire for such a change…

          I must’ve confused you with one of the other visitors to the site who’s complained repeatedly about GMM after it could already be inferred that the Judge was only including this externally-sourced “news” because insufficient resources and the inefficient volunteer-nature of the reporting and analysis and production processes seemed likely inhibit publishing unique, independent content at the same frequency as before.

          The reason I think it’s ungentlemanly to complain about it, regardless of what the Usher has said about welcoming constructive feedback, is b/c it seems to me that the only plausible “positive” reaction one could hope to cause in a scenario where the content is produced voluntarily, “for free”, w/o charge to the reader or the support of a viable advertiser block, is to either embarrass or humiliate the site owner such that he divests himself of the site or transfers control to someone else.

          But that still doesn’t alter the fact that content creation is done voluntarily, and there’s no revenue to re-allocate to fund the creation of more of the content that everyone who’s enjoyed thejudge13.com previously would likely cite as their motivation for visiting.

          If you’ve not been a regular reader, then like I said initially, I apologize for singling out your complaint about GMM, but surely anyone who was here reading the site when the introduction of GMM was announced must understand why it happened and why complaining about it can’t change the sad reality that the volunteer-nature of fan-originated media makes it susceptible to vagaries in the staff/owner’s professional and personal life/lives outside of writing about F1, no?

      • Joe, surely if his Honour wishes to embrace the power of community, then criticism of out of date/inaccurate content is to be expected and a part of the process. My initial reaction to the GMM rule flow piece is that they’ve got the wrong team, after hearing of Ricciardo’s exclusion… or am I just adding two and two to produce an incorrect result?

        • Joe, surely if his Honour wishes to embrace the power of community, then criticism of out of date/inaccurate content is to be expected and a part of the process…

          As I said above, Mr A., I feel at this point criticism formed with such loaded terms as “rubbish” and delivered along with insinuations of corruption b/w His Honour and GMM isn’t really helpful.

          I can’t imagine that anyone is happy that a not insignificant % of the unique Judge13 content published here has been replaced with GMM “news”, but if the resources don’t exist w/in Court for the Judge to create as much content as he did previously (and this is incredibly frustrating, b/c the daily output here was amazing before, both in terms of quantity and quality), then how do we serve the Court as readers by complaining without offering any solution?

          Of course readers should be (and they are!) free to express whatever opinion of the content they want, but I do believe it’s unsympathetic, at best, to complain ongoing about an unfortunate situation that was nevertheless pretty clearly explained and no viable ‘immediate’ solution found for/proposed.

          But that’s just my opinion.

          PS. I also think there’s a difference b/w contesting the accuracy of a news item and/or offering a differing interpretation/analysis, vs. slagging-off all of the external content as “rubbish” (sorry, Dave) without acknowledging the reality of why it’s appearing in the first place.

    • The GMM content is total junk IMHO. Sensationalist nonsense worthy only of the Daily Mail.

  3. So after one full race weekend, what do you think about the exhaust note/engine sound of a full-grid, for those watching on tv?

    I have to say that personally, the aural experience was slightly lacking, but even V10s still only sound like V10’s heard through computer or TV speakers (point being that, in person, the V6s still might produce a satisfying sound en-masse?)…

    • One very interesting thing is how different they all sound. Each car now has it’s own voice. I would imagine you would be able to feel the sound in person, since it’s lower pitched, but that will never make it through the speakers.

      I would also agree with other commenters in the previous threads, that it makes radio much clearer, so we can hear the exact degree of frustration and sarcastic disbelief in Vettel’s tone as he radios in the utter failure of his engine to work properly. 🙂

      • ” I would imagine you would be able to feel the sound in person, since it’s lower pitched, but that will never make it through the speakers. ”

        That’s what sub woofers were invented for ……

      • I noticed that quite a few high profile F1 personalities including drivers like Button and team mgmt like Lauda were pretty clear in lamenting the “new sound” of F1.

        And the Australian GP organizers are now talking breach-of-contract b/c the new engine/exhaust note isn’t spectacular enough. That’s pretty intense, to publicly allege a contractual breach b/c of the sound of the cars.

        Maybe THAT explains why Bernie was publicly complaining a few mos ago about the sound of the new formula and really criticizing it – b/c he was already aware that important clients like Australian GP promoters were concerned enough to look into legal remedies b/c they believe the new engines are so less attractive aurally to fans??

        • If enough people say they sound rubbish everyone will believe they sound rubbish. It sounds different but there was some good racing. Maybe they can use some of that ERS power for a sub-woofer or two 😛

    • Joe – try listening to the V6’s through a 1,200 watt surround sound system.

      They sound well tasty ……. 😉

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