Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 18th March 2014

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The month of March

Bouillier denies Dennis already interfering (GMM)

Ricciardo hopes to win back Melbourne podium (GMM)

Sauber patient amid slow-moving Russian deal (GMM)

Ecclestone to puh for louder F1 engines (GMM)

A Fuzz about nothing? UPDATE – reader poll added 19:18 GMT

Hamilton still on track to beat Rosberg – Lauda (GMM)

Why restrict fuel flow?

For Malaysian folk, F1 will take a back seat

UK Australian GP viewing figures

Formula E goes free to air


The month of March

After the successful 6-wheel Tyrell, several teams – Williams and Ferrari among them – experimented with six-wheelers. March created the experimental 2-4-0 in late 1976 and tested it in 1977with Jody Sheckter.

800px-March_2-4-0

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Bouillier denies Dennis already interfering (GMM)

Eric Boullier insists McLaren ‘supremo’ Ron Dennis is letting him get on with his new job.

Boullier, previously in charge at Lotus, was drafted in to replace the ousted Martin Whitmarsh after McLaren’s disastrous 2013 season. The Frenchman’s first race in charge was in Melbourne, but lurking nearby was the McLaren supremo Dennis, who has returned to the formula one paddock on a mission to rescue his beloved team that “lost its way” last year.

66-year-old Dennis will not wear a team uniform at the races and, during the pre-season, he insisted “he is not going to be on the pitwall”, according to the Daily Mail. But “What’s the betting he will be (on the pitwall) before the season is over?” said correspondent Jonathan McEvoy.

Indeed, in Melbourne, Dennis was spotted walking to the pitwall, apparently to tell Boullier what to do. “He was not (telling me what to do),” Boullier insisted to the Telegraph. “He came to visit a couple of times.”

Dennis said he is just an observer at the races this year. “I’m a racer, so the thought of not understanding and contributing doesn’t come across my mind,” he said. “When you observe things it’s good to say ‘why not this?’ or ‘why not that?'”

The bigger McLaren-themed story after Melbourne was the surprisingly good debut performance by rookie Kevin Magnussen.

But another F1 rookie, Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, also caught the attention of the experts, like triple world champion Niki Lauda. “These guys are, first of all, huge talents,” he said. The old guard is impressed at how the youngsters are arriving on the grid with almost no track testing and performing at the highest level. Lauda says it’s a generational thing. “It’s like my kids, who are four and a half and already better at computer games than me. They are made quite differently than in my day,” he smiled.

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Ricciardo hopes to win back Melbourne podium(GMM)

Daniel Ricciardo thinks he has a good chance at winning back his Melbourne podium. Red Bull has vowed to appeal the stewards’ decision to throw out the Australian’s popular home race result due to irregularities with fuel flow into his Renault engine.

Early on Monday, having learned the bad news only at midnight after Sunday’s race, the 24-year-old told the local Herald Sun: “I’m not really in a place … not in the mindset to talk about it right now.”

But after jetting from Melbourne to his native Perth for a few days of training before Malaysia, Ricciardo told the West Australian newspaper that he is confident Red Bull will prevail. “Otherwise they wouldn’t (appeal). It’s a lot of time for them and some money as well so they have confidence that we can turn it around, but it’s going to take a while until we know,” he said.

F1’s other two engine suppliers, however, are siding with the FIA, despite Red Bull team boss Christian Horner insisting all three manufacturers had trouble with the mandatory fuel flow sensor in Australia. But Ferrari’s Stefano Domenicali said: “We need to rely on the fact that it is a situation that is well managed by the FIA.” And Mercedes’ Toto Wolff was also quoted by the Guardian newspaper: “The FIA is obviously controlling fuel flow and checking with all the teams, and it is a question of learning by doing it between the FIA and the teams.”

But Ricciardo said he thinks Red Bull has solid grounds to be unhappy with the Melbourne ruling. “They feel that it’s not black or white, it’s a little bit shaded, so that’s why they’re going to fight it and we’ll see how they go,” he said. It could take some time before the FIA schedules the actual appeal hearing.

But Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko thinks the matter needs to be at least clarified urgently. “The device that measures the flow rate has weaknesses,” he told Kleine Zeitung newspaper. “In our opinion we were within the regulations.”This has to be clarified by the next race, because at the moment there is not a reliable measurement,” Marko insisted.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, meanwhile, thinks the entire rule limiting the flow of fuel into the engine should be scrapped. “The whole regulation, to me, seems a bit of a joke,” he told the Mirror. Ecclestone said he thinks the rule limiting each car to just 100 kilograms of fuel per race is enough.

“If you use too much you are going to run out of fuel. It seems to be that simple and if it isn’t, it should be,” he said.

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Sauber patient amid slow-moving Russian deal (GMM)

Sauber insists its Russian rescue deal remains on track.

Originally set to feature the teen Sergey Sirotkin on the 2014 grid, talk of the Swiss team’s Russian buy-in has now quietened in the F1 paddock. Asked if the deal is still on track, team boss and co-owner Monisha Kaltenborn insisted: “Yes. We are continuing to move in that direction.” She told the Russian website f1news.ru that “active negotiations” are currently taking place with Russian companies.

“The lesson we have learned in recent months is that when you are dealing with organisations such as this, you have to understand their notions of time. We also need to understand that in these negotiations, sometimes other circumstances that are maybe more important to these companies than formula one will interfere,” Kaltenborn added.

So while an earlier priority was to quickly get Sirotkin a super license and push him onto the grid, Kaltenborn said the 18-year-old is now more focused on the Formula Renault 3.5 series. “At the moment, everything is going according to plan,” she said. “He has a seat with Fortec, I am sure he can get great results, and then we’ll think about the next step.”

A more immediate priority for Sauber is to improve its 2014 car, after the Ferrari-powered machine struggled badly on the straights at Albert Park. Switzerland’s Blick newspaper said the car is significantly overweight and underpowered.

“Last year we managed to turn the corner,” Kaltenborn said, “and we will do it again.”

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Ecclestone to push for louder F1 engines (GMM)

Bernie Ecclestone has vowed to get to work on making Formula One loud again. The F1 chief executive said he is “horrified” by the purring tones of the new turbo V6 era, arguing it will drive race promoters and spectators away.

Ecclestone was critical of the new engine formula long before the first 1.6 litre ‘power unit’ was fired up, but his latest comments follow Melbourne race organisers’ claim the low volume may even be a breach of contract.

“It’s not what we paid for. It’s going to change,” Australian Grand Prix chairman Ron Walker told Melbourne’s Age newspaper. Walker said he has spoken to his friend Ecclestone already, while Ecclestone admitted he has been on the phone to FIA president Jean Todt.

“What I’ve said is that we need to see whether there is some way of making them sound like racing cars,” the 83-year-old Briton told the Telegraph. “I don’t know whether it’s possible but we should investigate I think let’s get the first few races out of the way and then maybe look to do something. We can’t wait all season. It could be too late by then,” said Ecclestone.

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A Fuzz about nothing?

Having heard the cars on track, the noise was most surprising when watching back the TV footage of the race this weekend. Many fans who attended the Melbourne race have commented on various forums that whilst the noise of the new V6 turbos is different, it was not disappointing. One fan suggested his seat vibrated during the downshift – and was pleased with this unexpected effect.

Jenny Gow told BBC radio 5 live today that there was indeed a large difference in the pitlane, as for the first time she was able to hold a conversation – something impossible when the V8’s were running.

Yet the TV coverage appears to have significantly failed to represent the sound fans were actually hearing on track. Whether there is some mischief afoot with the Ecclestone owned FOM TV only time will tell, A source I know engaged in outside sports broadcasting believes the mix between the volume of the commentators and the track microphones was simply incorrect.

Yet this factor is surely controlled by the broadcaster and not FOM.

Of course the frequency of the V6 is different from the V8, and there is always the possibility that FOM TV requires different/improved sound recording equipment to properly convey to the TV audience the sound being heard live at a race.

However, the Bernie Ecclestone and Ron Walker stand up double act is fairly amusing. Bernie is sneering “ya boo – I warned you all” whilst his old buddie threatens him with legal action for a “breach of contract”.

When asked whether Walker had a point, Ecclestone responded, “I don’t know whether he has. Let’s assume he hasn’t got a point as far as the legal side is going. Then you have to look at it from a moral side. If you went into the supermarket today and bought some strawberry jam and you got peanut butter you’d probably be a bit pissed off.

It’s good quality peanut butter, but he’s saying it isn’t what he bought,” Ecclestone adds though, “whether the contract describes what he’d bought, the strawberry jam with so many strawberries, I don’t know. I doubt it. I think he bought the FIA Formula One world championship. Which is what he’s got.”

Clearly it is a nonense to suggest any Formula 1 hosting contract would have sound level and pitch clauses as part of the service standard agreed. Further, Walker is merely being disingenuous as when he signed up the current deal for the Aussie GP in 2010, the plan was for 4 cylinder engines, restricted to a mere 12,000 rpm – which would have been even quieter.

There are questions as to whether the Australian GP will survive past 2015. Ecclestone wants them to move to a night race and Walker is resisting because of the cost of installing lighting. The local government is not enamoured with paying F1 the amount it does at present, and each year has received complaints from resident’s miles from the circuit about the noise of the cars.

Yet with the new engines and reduced noise pollution, maybe the government would agree to running a night race in Melbourne. How very F1 – divide and conquer. That idea would pitch Ron and Bernie on opposite sides of the fence.

Anyway, so Bernie says he’s been on the blower to Jean Todt? And Todt replied, “What’s all the fuzz about?”

Seriously, does Ecclestone really believe Jean and the FIA will regulate to enforce the cars should bolt on some sub-woofers and produce a fake sound like the BMW M5?

The fact is the engines are now smaller, the combustion is also smaller and the turbo flattens out the sound waves creating a smoother and less pitchy sound wave – and that is the way it is. “Noise is unused energy” – said Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (head of Audi Motorsport).

One apparently well informed fan believes that the sound could be enhanced, “An ICE sound is mainly composed of the fundamental frequency and its harmonics, plus the formant (resonance frequency). Formant is the frequency at the exhaust resonate the most, and the sound energy becomes the maximum. There is also anti-resonance frequency. It is the frequency component that weakens the sound energy extremely.

The volume could be altered at specific frequencies by modifying the formant, thus modifying the amplitude of the soundwave”,

All this can apparently be done by modifying the exhaust. Maybe this will be done, when the concerns over reliability are diminished and/or if Mr. E throws some cash in the direction of the teams.

What do you think? Should the noise of the current cars be altered – or is this all just a fuzz about nothing?

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Hamilton still on track to beat Rosberg – Lauda(GMM)

Lewis Hamilton is still in the hunt for the world championship despite failing even to finish in Australia. That is the view of Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda, who revealed he consoled the Melbourne pole-sitter by harking back to his own F1 history.

After Hamilton retired at Albert Park only to see his German teammate Nico Rosberg go on to win, Lauda said: “I hugged him (Hamilton) and said ‘This was only the first race. “‘In 1984 I also failed in the first race but I was world champion in the end’,” Lauda recalled telling Briton Hamilton. Indeed, while Lauda retired in the pits at Jacarepagua in Brazil, his McLaren teammate Alain Prost won the race. But Lauda went on to win the 1984 title by half a point.

Asked how Mercedes has managed to get off to such a strong start in 2014, Lauda told the Osterreich newspaper: “Because we have been best with the new engine regulations. “Also last summer, when Red Bull was still focusing on the 2013 season, we were already developing our new car,” he added. Italy’s La Repubblica declared after Sunday’s Australian grand prix: “The F1 revolution has its leader.”

But Mercedes chief Toto Wolff expects Red Bull to catch up. “With these new cars,” he told Kleine Zeitung newspaper, “the development curve is much steeper than usual.” He said the reigning world champions had already “caught up massively” between the winter season and Melbourne.And Red Bull’s increasingly confident Dr Helmut Marko said: “We know what is still to come in our car and the (Renault) engine. “On the engine we are still nowhere near the maximum,” he insisted.

McLaren’s Jenson Button, however, thinks that at the moment, F1 has a clear leader. He said: “Right now we seem to be able to fight against everyone — except one.”

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Why restrict fuel flow?

It appears for now at least, Red Bull have seized the F1 news agenda, and we must all comply and discuss fuel sensors and fuel flow; this being the case, then let’s explore the issues.

It has been suggested that for 2014 the FIA should have merely prescribed a 100kg of fuel for each race and let the teams do what they want with it. This is an appealing and simple solution, However, F1 technical regulations are often highly complex and it is they which provide they grey areas where teams have for time and memorial exploited cutting edge technology.

If simplicity was they objective, then a spec series like Indycar is the ultimate solution.

So why did the FIA include fuel flow limits as part of the regulations?

Firstly, it is important to recognise it was not Ms. Jean or even Charlie W who in a orgy of red wine and escargot dreamed up some silly ideas. The FIA technical working group – made up of F1 people, mechanical engineers, car designers etc… explored the issues and delivered the final regulations for rubber stamping in Paris

Ex-Williams engineer, Mark Gillan, was part of that working group and he explains why fuel flow limits were introduced. “in order to ensure that a significant emphasis was placed on both improved whole vehicle efficiency and on reduced fuel consumption. These limits, coupled with the move to the downsized 1.6L v6 engine, would ensure that suitable R+D resource was put into the new ERS which, with the addition of the MGU-H, are at the forefront of a potential technology revolution for new highly efficient down-sized road car and commercial vehicle power units”.

So the FIA want to emphasise the ERS systems for boosting performance, and not resort to the engine mapping and fuel manipulation of recent times.

The regulation on fuel flow limits was passed without objection.

Articles 5.1.5 and 5.1.5 prescribe a maximum fuel mass flow rate of 100kg/h at, and above, 10500rpm with this maximum reducing as the rpm decreases in line with the formula outlined in 5.1.5. These are maximum values and there is no margin for error if one exceeds these values.

In actuality the fuel flow limit improves reliability, as it prevents teams from running engine maps which in a high pressure injection system as part of a turbo unit could literally explode given enough juice – this is something we often saw in the 1980’s.

Further, fuel flow limits restricts excessive engine mapping. Without a fuel flow limit a team could design a PU scheme to run in qualy where they deliver a huge increase in input boost pressure – battery-boosting the MGU-H, increasing amount of air, pumping in vast quantities of fuel, battery-boosting MGU-K output… which would drain the entire battery bank in an ‘do or die’ single lap.

Now this may be interesting for those with an engineering eye amongst us, but it flies in the face of what the FIA intend which is greater reliability, long term cost reduction and efficiency.

A number of teams had conversations with the FIA’s technical delegate over the Melbourne weekend, and all were concluded in a satisfactory manner. Red Bull chose to go it alone. It is true that teams have been having problems during testing with the sensor readings, however the end is apparently nigh.

Gill sensors now claim that 52% of their sensors are accurate to 0.1%, 92% of their sensors are accurate to 0.25%.

Gerald Durnbeck writes that Mercedes would have preferred there to be no fuel flow restrictions as this plays against a specific strength of their engine. However, Toto Wolf admits during practice, the sensors fitted to their car were showing “excessive peaks”. He adds, “We voluntarily turned down the flow and as a consequence gave away a couple of tenths in qualifying”.

This makes Red Bull’s decision to repeatedly ignore instructions to turn down their fuel flow appear even more bizarre. Were the penalty to Ricciardo similar to that suffered by Mercedes, he would still have finished 4th ahead of Bottas.

The FIA technical delegate, Jo Baur, believes this weekend has revealed significant information on how to deliver higher and improved levels of accuracy for Malaysia. Whiting claims the sensors will now be most accurate or completely broken – and the latter will never deliver a reading.

TJ13 believes the Red Bull appeal will be in around 4-5 weeks time, during which we will no doubt be hearing a lot about the pointlessness of fuel flow measurements and why they should be scrapped.

We don’t all agree about the future of F1 engines and the FIA’s efficiency drive, yet I suspect even the less technically minded of F1 fans will soon understand much more than they could ever have imagined about the role of fuel and its delivery mechanisms in an F1 car – and for that reason, a limited period of debate and controversy may be good.

PS Mister Baur. Next time you get chance, take the section of the fuel delivery system through which the sensor is taking readings on the RB10 – and test its composition 😉

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For Malaysian folk, F1 will take a back seat

F1 arrives to each host country in a media blitz style cavalcade. Melbourne of course benefits from being the first race of the season, and publications which don’t particularly cover F1 in detail rock up to cover the off in what is now a mega marathon annual race calendar.

Next up is Sepang, Malaysia, though the usual media frenzy may be less intense than usual.

The global news has been recently dominated by the crisis in Crimea and the missing Malaysain airliner. Razian Razali, CEO of the Sepang ciruit states, “Whatever happens, the race and the post race concert will go ahead as schedule”.

He does though admit, “The [Malaysian] people are not in the mood for an event like this. The radio, television, newspapers and social media are all dominated by the search for the flight MH370 and its 239 missing passengers”.

The other big news item involving Russia may yet have an impact on F1. Sochi is a long way off, and last weekend saw the conclusion of the Paralympics in the city. Western diplomats would not have wished to compromise the conclusion of this event, so little so far has been said about any possible sporting sanctions Russia may yet face.

Yet with Putin on the brink of annexing the Crimea to the Russian Federation, and the Ukraine mobilising troops today, there must be serious doubts as to whether F1 will take place in Sochi this year.

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UK Australian GP viewing figures

BBC’s highlights programme on BBC One on Sunday afternoon averaged 2.88m (25.4%), unofficial overnight viewing figures show. This figure is up on 2012 which averaged 2.73m, however, is down on the 3.05m that the programme averaged last season. Its not a major drop, but a drop nonetheless. I think the F1 has been lost in the shuffle this weekend on the BBC, due to the Six Nations taking up the majority of BBC One on Saturday. It meant that less people watched Qualifying with the broadcaster than normal, thus potentially affecting Sunday’s rating too.

Interestingly, and the first time I have said this in a long time, Sky’s coverage was up year-on-year. From 05:00 to 08:30, Sky Sports F1 averaged 594k (21.1%), peaking with 945k (21.5%) at 07:35. This compares with 517k (20.9%) in 2013 and 621k (26.8%) in 2012. The ‘split show’ appears to have worked if the intention was to bring in more viewers, although I think it will only have a bigger influence for the early morning rounds, where more people are bound to record the action.

This brings us to a combined average of 3.47m, down on 3.57m. The issue here is that, yes, a Sky gain of 73k is great for them, but if BBC loses nearly 200k, it eradicates whatever gain Sky is made. Due to the audience levels, if BBC lose or gain, it will flip flop massively either way, which is unlikely to happen with Sky. An issue with the BBC overnight ratings for the past few years is that the Scottish Cup final has meant that the F1 has been displaced to BBC Two.

The BBC One overnights in this piece include Scotland viewers, so if the Scottish Cup final was lower profile than last year, that may have had an affect too. Also, whilst a combined average of 3.47m is ‘okay’ versus 2012 (which averaged 3.35m), it is a far cry from the BBC exclusive figures from 2009 to 2011, which I feel is important to remember.

Source: The F1 Broadcasting Blog

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Formula E goes free to air

All 10 rounds of the 2014/2015 FIA Formula E Championship will be televised live and free-to-air in the UK after series organisers today (17 March) confirmed a broadcast deal with leading UK network ITV.

Brokered by international media company MP & Silva, the ITV agreement adds to existing deals with FOX Sports and Japan’s TV Asahi. Live coverage will be screened on ITV4 and ITV4 HD, alongside coverage on www.itv.com. The programme will also be available via the on-demand ITV Player service.

All programmes will feature comprehensive coverage of each live race together with pre-race build-up – including highlights from the day’s earlier practice and qualifying sessions – podium celebrations and post-race interviews.

ITV4 is one of the UK’s leading channels for motorsport coverage already screening extensive coverage of the British Touring Car Championship, along with British Superbikes and the World Rally Championship.

Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Formula E, said: “We’re delighted to be announcing this partnership with ITV today and to be securing live, free-to-air coverage of all Formula E races for our UK fans – of which we’re confident there will be many. The UK is widely considered the home of motorsport and a very important market for Formula E. As such, with its unrivalled commitment to motorsport, ITV provides the perfect platform to showcase our new fully-electric series – which will also be racing in London in June 2015 – and to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans.”

Niall Sloane, ITV’s Director of Sport said: “I’m delighted ITV4 will be able to bring viewers the opportunity to see this innovative new series – which promises top-level open-wheel racing with the iconic backdrops of some of the world’s most famous cities. The coverage of this series adds another new dimension to ITV4’s motorsport portfolio.”

ITV joins previously announced broadcasters FOX Sports and TV Asahi who have all committed to showing live coverage of Formula E races. The FOX Sports deal alone covers 88 territories around the world and a potential global audience of 180million households, whilst TV Asahi boasts a household reach of 51.4million.

All Formula E events take place across a single day (Saturday) with races beginning at 16:00 local time. Further TV deals will be announced in the coming weeks.

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53 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 18th March 2014

      • Nope, that meeting is a week later, and a week earlier there is the Hollow Earth society meeting, see you there.

  1. Re. Lauda telling Lewis he can catch Rosberg. Assuming the Mercs retain their advantage for the next five races, and that Lewis and Rosberg both do have DNF’s, and finish 1st and 2nd as their car’s superiority dictates, then Rosberg can afford to finish 2nd to Lewis’s 1st in all those races and still be equal on points (125 points each).

    A DNF in a race where your cool-headed competitor for the WDC gets 1st place creates a massive deficit that a hot-headed driver has to overhaul.

    I think it is game over for Lewis, so is it too much to hope that perhaps Lewis detractors will now relax and ease the Lewis-bashing.

    • Sorry, but it is utterly absurd to suggest someone has no hope of winning the championship because of a DNF in the first race. Especially this season.

      • I did qualify my prediction, including saying that it was taking in to account that Lewis is reputed to be an “emotional” character against who is not the “sharpest tool in the box”, especially compared to his opposite number Rosberg – who is clearly as cool as a cucumber and is nearly as sharp as Alonso and Vettel.

        • You need to use some other justification.

          I use the GMM model. I stop reading when I pick up the magic 3 letters 🙂

  2. so, what explains why the previous turbo engines, despite almost the same cylinder layout, were louder then ?

    blame it on the exhaust pipes without Heimholtz or expansion chamber, the single turbine unit, the MGU between the the hot and cold parts of the turbine, broader rev band back then, or the firing order, probably they used “screamer” back then and now they’re using x plane crank, “big bang”, to take advantage of smooth hp delivery, saving tyres and offer better grip ?
    I don’t know

  3. “The Month of March”
    Is there something wrong with those tyres – they look a trifle soft…

    Re: Kenny & Kvyat
    – this is what should be expected from new ‘whiz-kids’, not trundling round the back for a couple of years before disappearing. Aren’t we better off with these two, for example, than, for example, di Resta and Kovalainen…?

    • Surely Formula One cars should require some kind of apprenticeship. Isn’t the fact that these guys step in to an F1 car when the most powerful car they have driven before is probably a road car take something away from the difficulty that Formula One should be?

      Maybe I’m an old fuddy duddy at 45 but were has the challenge gone.

      I agree re di Resta and Kovi, but I hanker for the days of men, not kids.

      • On apprenticeship… these guys are so well prepared at 19-21 that Brundle noticed he, Senna and Herbert etc. were at 25, from learning themselves as they went.

        Kvyat has done double seasons in each year as a Red Bull junior, so has double the experience, or is like a driver aged 23 e.g. Ericsson. Magnussen has been prepped by McLaren, who brought in Hamilton so well, but this time had a lot less testing mileage to play with (but at least it’s a fresh sheet for all drivers).

        Sim work will replace extensive testing now, and can also be used to drill the drivers in the steering wheel (which looks like a computer game). Added complexity also benefits the ‘computer game age’ – Vandoorne showed himself to be one of the best in online sim-racing by doing so well in a FSR appearance (on his YouTube channel).

        That said, there is still room for smart drivers – Button’s safety car brake, stop and turn into the pits with confirmation was inspired. That got him to the same place as K-Mag, even if K-Mag had better reflexes for Q.

      • The GP2 cars are I think around 600ish bhp and GP3 are around the 3-400bhp (in too lazy to look it up) plus GP2 and WSR cars have a reasonable bit of downforce, obviously not even close to F1, but enough to know it’s there. Why shouldn’t they get competitive machinery from the start, if the people who build the car have faith in these young lads, then why should we question them. It’s great for F1 that young hopeful drivers can still get in without having to have millions of € to smooth their path.

    • I think Di Resta ourdrove Sutil last year, so would have him in F1 over Sutil, but as it turns out, Sutil + sponsors are needed more at the current time. I think Di Resta would have been a good ‘stopgap’ for McLaren as well, but they also needed Perez + $5m to cover their loss of Mercedes engine subsidies, until Honda fill the breach.

      When even McLaren need to cover themselves for cash (and gain nothing more by taking Di Resta), then it’s a relief that so many good rookies can still come into F1 – Magnussen, Kvyat and Ericsson all have 2 junior ladder titles each to their credit, while Frijns with 3, and Vandoorne and Nasr with 2 each are the next three rookies lined up, while Juncadella and Marciello are not much farther off, who are both FIA F3 champions.

      As I always mention, the only driver on the grid with no junior titles to his name is Max Chilton, whose number 4 represents the highest he has finished in a single seater championship season. But with his sponsorship, he’s in the Sutil/Maldonado position, just without the junior titles to boot.

  4. so, what explains why the previous turbo engines, despite almost the same cylinder layout, were louder then ?

    blame it on the exhaust pipes without Heimholtz or expansion chamber, the single turbine unit, the MGU between the the hot and cold parts of the turbine, broader rev band, or the firing order was “screamer” back then and now they’re using x plane crank, “big bang”, to take advantage of smooth hp delivery, saving tyres and offering better grip ?
    I don’t know

  5. Can anyone show a contract clause that actually specifies the engine’s volume level…? Just curious. 😉

  6. Re: The Month of March – “March created the experimental 2-4-0 in late 1976 and tested it in 1977with Jody Sheckter”. Seriously guys, firstly you cannot even spell his name correctly (Scheckter) and then you confuse him with his brother Ian! In 1977, Jody was driving for Walter Wolf Racing in the WR20 in which he won the first event it entered (Argentina) and it was Ian, who had a race-to-race contract with March for 1977, that tested the 6 wheeler. Here is a link to a photo of the test on the web: http://www.asag.sk/n/ischeck/ischeck05_Ian_Scheckter_March740.jpg

  7. Most of all let them find ways to get more and more horsepower and use less and less feul. This new technology will find its way to road cars. Who of use would like to have a 1.6t with 600 bhp that uses less than my ford focus does now…

    • Somewhere I read a lurid rumor that the Merc might be capable of 900 bhp. 0_o.

      As far as road cars, the new A45 develops 355 bhp with 2.0l and a fuel efficiency of 6,9 litres per 100 km (40.9mpg in old money) and 332 lb-ft torque.

      Not to sound too much like a commercial but I tend to think that this tech has already arrived. Can’t wait to see what AMG throw into the C-class.,

    • My rough calculation is that 100 kg gasoline/300 km race = 5 miles/gallon (US). I hope your Focus gets better mileage than that!

  8. What’s with the comment about the fuel section there? Are the Bull Boys running something hooky?

  9. The reason Ron Walker (Melbourne GP organiser) and Bernie are such mates is they’re both as crooked as the other: Anything he says should be taken as verbatim from the short toads mouth.

    Dare I say the breach of contract might relate more to the deliberate conflagration of attendance figures than any purported loss of sound pressure levels. But, such an argument wins no favours with the already hostile and increasingly frugal Government of the day.

  10. I hope Bernie and the FIA will do something to make these Dildo-Nosed vaccum cleaners more sound like they should. This is a disgrace.

  11. Hi

    Can someone explain this to me, thanks

    PS Mister Baur. Next time you get chance, take the section of the fuel delivery system through which the sensor is taking readings on the RB10 – and test its composition

  12. ” … Yet with Putin on the brink of annexing the Crimea to the Russian Federation, and the Ukraine mobilising troops today, there must be serious doubts as to whether F1 will take place in Sochi this year. …”

    No chance that Sochi will be cancelled.

    Having listened to Putin’s speech to the Russian Parliament this morning, it is the “West” that needs to worry. He was in a fiery mood – “Reuters reports that Putin says Western attempts to frighten Russia with sanctions over its takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea region would be viewed as an act of aggression, and that Moscow would retaliate.”

    He won’t back down, the “West” will.

  13. RE fuel flow – I disagree with the opening sentiment that 100kg limit alone equates to being a spec series. It is backwards to me since more regulation equals “spec series” and less regulation equals “more room for innovation”. with just 100kg amount limit the teams and engine manufacturers have carte Blanche on the best way to use that amount and not be told by the FIA how instead.

      • Just read a short interview with Mark Gillan who was part of the TWG. There was no objection to the limit when it was proposed and the point was to force development of MGU-H and MGU-K rather than exotic engine quali maps etc.Which yr Honour has duly mentioned above.

        Still trying to sort out the composition clue tho. Very Intriguing…

      • I’m guessing the Judge is winking towards the fuel’s chemical composition not being what it should be ?

        I sort of expected Red Bull to pull a stunt to distract people from the RB10’s and Renault Power Train flaws. They did not disappoint (said in a sarcastic voice). Anyway I’m guessing as the reliability improves they’ll be cranking the power trains performance upwards.
        Fuel flow rates in terms of efficiency are a good idea and the flow flow rate sensors are cutting edge technology, which is what F1 should be about, call me old fashioned but I love the engineering challenges these new power trains have caused the teams. However if the FIA were to get rid of the flow rates, it may not help Red Bull in the slightest, if the Mercedes is as powerful as the rumours indicate. Next they’ll be demanding only Red Bull can race on 4 wheels, the rest will have to use 2 etc I like Newey, I dislike the Red Bull PR machine.

        • I think F1 should be about being the fastest open cockpit prototype race cars to go around a circuit, not a series on how to navigate FIA imposed technical barricades.

          I believe the road car technological development path has entirely separated from race car development probably in the early 2000’s. For me its rather silly to think F1 is providing some sort of road relevant tech at this point. Yes Mercedes, Ferrari et al will develop some sort of technology that they may license down to other “cheaper” car makers, but then again we already have development in those areas far ahead of F1.

          • The power trains contain prototype technology and with the energy recovery systems + Turbo means power wise they are comparable to the V8’s. They will get quicker as the teams understand the power trains more and the manufacturers tweak the reliability. I’m not that bothered about the sound levels of the power trains as it’s very early days. We will see the cars get faster as the season progresses and perhaps the noise levels will increase as the power trains recover more energy. F1 is always a prototype series, for the last few years it’s been about Aerodynamics and using exhaust gasses to seal diffusers to increase downforce. F1 is rediscovering it’s pioneering spirit with the new power trains. The FIA technical regulations are part of the challenge of F1. You either find clever loopholes or spot something in the rules other teams do not. Newey is a master at that aspect of the sport. Or you protest a rule until you get your way and the rules are changed aka F1 politics. Which Red Bull has been good at in the last couple of seasons.

            F1 has a very fast rate of development in the pursuit of speed, you’ll probably find that the technology in the ERS and other areas will catch up with what’s already out there and probably discover new solutions to problems out there today (batteries spring to mind). I doubt that Honda and Mercedes boards would approve high level spending on F1 unless it has tangible benefits beyond simple PR. Efficiency is the name of the game in the motor industry, F1 either adapts to that or it dies. Ferrari is a bit behind (last time I looked) on fuel efficiency coupled with energy recovery systems front for it’s road cars. So while Monty may attack the new regulations for the lack of noise, he’ll be happy that Ferrari is catching up with it’s rivals in the super car markets on the technology front. Also a lot of technology developed in F1 does get spun off into other areas. Look into what McLaren Applied Technologies get up to http://www.mclarenelectronics.com/Technology

  14. Re: Sauber – I guess there is no rush needed there now on that deal. They have already lined up Van der Garde and an attempt with de Silvestro to find sponsorship if need be. Sirotkin waiting until 2015 for a 3rd driver year, before attempting to drive in 2016, seems the most likely thing to happen now. 5 into 3 for next year is promising for Sauber at least, should they lose Sutil or Gutierrez and their sponsorships.

  15. ” … “Noise is unused energy” – said Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (head of Audi Motorsport). ”

    Actually – it was the Great Baretzky who said that ……

    😀

    • But that doesn’t mean we can’t like it. Just like sex, motorsport needs it’s noise! 😆

        • It’s a big part of the sensation. Sitting at pouhon. Hearing a car firing up in the pit. And realising it comes closer and closer. Up eau rouge. Really screaming it’s way down kemmel straight. Back firing for les combes. Half throttle down malmedy and rivage. Edging his way closer. No visual contact but you know it’s there. Cuz you hear it. You feel it. Than full throttle trough brussels and you see it. For the first time. And when it passes you in pouhon you feel the noise (cuz it’s so loud that even the beer in your can trembles) and for that very brief moment it’s along side of you you think I’ve never ever heard something like that! And it continues its way. Even though you can’t see it no more you know exactly where it is. And you enjoy the soundtrack it leaves behind. The first time I heard a v10 at spa my mind exploded. This was something so unusual. Nothing had prepared me for it. I watched races on tv before. But no tv set could make that noise! But live it wasn’t noise. It was a sensation. But now… its like they went to a motorhead concert and said, excuse me Mr lemmy. Could you turn your amp down from 11 to 3… its still good but the wow effect is gone. Imagine you’d be a six year old and your dad took you to your first f1 race. The last thing you’d talk about, at this moment, is the thing I talked the first about.

          • Fine – I can understand where you are coming from.

            But your comments have nothing to do with justifying why motorsport SHOULD be noisy !

            I think the Great Baretzky would disagree with you on that point.

            If you are at a circuit, as you said, it’s not just the audible noise, but the vibrations that contribute to the sensation.

            However – the vast majority of spectators – over 99% – are not at the circuit.

            They are at home watching a TV or PC, tablet, etc.

            What they hear is dictated by the broadcasters, and it is very localised to that part of the circuit where the camera is.

            Plus standard speakers are rubbish and unable to convey the full spectrum anyway.

            So your argument is moot.

            And if it’s too quiet – here’s a novel idea. Turn up the volume !

  16. TV cameras have never represented the speed of an F1 car or any race car for that matter. The high revving, screaming engines helped to convey a sense of something dramatic on TV speakers. So the TV coverage plus the new engine note made them sound like they had dropped a cylinder or cracked an exhaust. Or on a warm up lap.

    That said the first big race I attended was the mid 90’s Indy Car race in Toronto. The first cars I heard as I walked across the bridge were the Indy Lights and they were chest compressing loud. I think they were a V6 back then. The turbo Indy cars were really impressive too. I’m sure the new generation F1 cars are really impressive live although I remember talking to an Atlantic racer who was around F1 in the V10 era and he said they sounded like they were coming apart all the time.

    Better TV angles to better illustrate the speed would make a big difference to TV viewing regardless of the engine note.

    • From the videos of pre season testing going about on youtube they seemed dead loud. As mentioned the mic’s just need calibrating better.
      It makes me laugh at the amount of people who hate progression. They’re the same people I imagine that said they would stop watching f1 last season because Vettel kept winning. Change comes about and they’re upset about something else. I think some people just enjoy being angry, negative and joyless!

      • ” It makes me laugh at the amount of people who hate progression …. ”

        Well said Sir 😀

      • Hey don’t get me wrong. I love the new rules. I’ve been a fan the moment they said we’re going to do it different. Let’s go turbo. I believe that new rules is a big part of f1. Always has been, always will. But that’s because it seemed to get more and more impressive. And this time it isnt (and I’m only talking about the noise, all the other changes are good.)

  17. Judge, IMHO there is way too much GMM content now; why not just call yourself GMM? I really enjoy the articles written by you, FH, and others, but the GMM content just seems to be filler and detracts from your original musings. I can go anywhere for that pap; I come here for Da Judge!

  18. regarding braodcasting audio settings, in the FP 1 I wrote a tweet to the guy who comments on Sportv, cable network in charge of broadcasting th FP sessions in Brazil, asking him if he was able to contact their audio engineers to raise the FOM feed volume

  19. I admit that I did not understand every part of the argument in favor of the fuel flow sensors. Maybe it could be edited again for the complete technical idiots? Having said that, the parts that I got still don’t convince me that we really need those fuel flow sensors. For example, take the argument that limiting fuel flow will ensure engine reliability. Do we really need more of this? I mean reliability. Do you feel excited to always see all cars that never hit each other finish the race? And besides, why not leave it up to the teams to decide what’s dangerous for their engines, and what’s not? It seems kind of pointless to restrict the fuel flow if the team does know that the engine can wear out faster and even fail if the fuel flow is increased too much. And the next issue is the problem of variability in readings of these sensors. I am not convinced that these things are reliable.

    It seems to me that the FIA is trying to solve a non-problem here. Moreover, the fans overwhelmingly do not like the idea of using these sensors. And finally, Ricciardo’s disqualification is simply appalling. Is this the way we want to see the rest of season to go on?

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