Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 20th March 2014

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Briatore, Rossi dislike ‘new’ F1 era (GMM)

Whinging and Scheming (14:40)

Red Bull appeal is lodged UPDATED GMT 12:40, 13:26

Rivals begin chase to catch Mercedes (GMM)

New F1 to struggle in Malaysian heat (GMM)

Vettel’s hissy fits

F1 cannot just turn up the volume – Lauda (GMM)

Williams thanks Maldonado for his contributions to their FW36


Briatore, Rossi dislike ‘new’ F1 era (GMM)

Former team boss Flavio Briatore has slammed the new face of formula one.

The 63-year-old Italian, absent from F1 in the wake of the ‘crashgate’ scandal, said he watched the Melbourne race last weekend and thought it was “disrespectful” to the spectators and television audience. “They (the spectators) do not understand why the drivers do not attack, why and how they’re saving fuel, and why champion drivers refuse even to defend their position. This was a strange spectacle, leaving behind the most beautiful sport in the world,” Briatore told Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport.

He said it was wrong to let the car manufacturers succeed in their push for the all-new regulations, featuring ‘greener’ engines that use less fuel.

“They delegated the writing of rules to engineers who do not care about the fans or entertainment,” said Briatore. “The result is terrible. Of course it is true that the principles of the rules are correct, but we must not forget that formula one must be about the competition between drivers. Obliging them to drive slowly is contrary to common sense. It’s like introducing a rule that means Ronaldo can only touch the ball ten times in a match. Now we have the stars (drivers) forced to behave on the track like accountants.”

“If formula one does not change again in the near future, then the audience will be lost. Look at the comments on the internet, in blogs, on Twitter — they did not like the Australian grand prix. It was an indecipherable and depressing show. This new F1 came too fast with too little testing, so at the very beginning Vettel and Hamilton were missing from the fight. This is unacceptable and now we have chaos.”

Also unhappy with the ‘new’ F1 is the flamboyant MotoGP veteran Valentino Rossi.

“I was expecting something different from the new formula one rules, instead I just found it boring,” the Italian is quoted by Tuttosport. “I think motorcycles and cars should race with the fuel they need, but what is happening now is just an exercise for the engineers,” added Rossi.

Whinging and Scheming

I’m not sure if its because I’m getting older and less tolerant, or in fact the level of asinine comments broadcast and published has increased in recent times due to 24/7 news and the internet. Probably the most disrespectful, conniving and corrupt manipulation of the fans in recent years was orchestrated by our blonde haired Italian ex-F1 team boss in Singapore. Though, Briatore’s decision to join those who appear hell bent on putting F1 down is no surprise.

People have short memories. F1 was on the brink following the manufacturer withdrawal’s of Toyota, BMW and Honda. Whether we like it or not, F1 needs Automotive manufacturer’s, even if this diminishes Ecclestone’s power base somewhat. Honda’s decision to return to F1 alone vindicates the move to the new V6 turbo era.

Then we have the naysayers talking down the noise of the new cars. The choir is lead by Bernie with his Ya Boo, “I told you so…” stance. If Ecclestone believes whinging about the new noise of F1 will reopen the V8/V6 debate, he is deluded and another of Il Padrino’s prophecies is true.. He should realise we the fans are not so easily conned these days, due to the power of the internet and social media which connects lovers of F1 across the globe.

Fan numbers attending F1 races have been falling for some years due to the high price the organisers are forced to charge to pay FOM’s exorbitant fees. Further, FanVision was cancelled by Ecclestone last year, which substantive anecdotal evidence I gathered in 2013 proves this has deterred fans from attending races.

Ecclestone is no friend of the F1 fan who wants to attend a Formula 1 event, and his intervention now on our behalf is laughable.

Here is some footage I recorded on an Iphone and a 4 thirds Olympus M1 camera (using the video HD recording function)

Here’s some YouTube footage produced of the race in Melbourne. How does it compare?

The positioning of the in car microphone could produce an earth shattering sound if it was so desired and the microphones around the track are also clearly not positioned properly, or require upgrading.

Fans have been reporting that they noticed a significant difference in the engine sounds from Friday to Saturday. The sound of the engines was significantly more impressive prior to whatever intervention FOM TV made before broadcasting the qualifying session and then the race.

If this is as a result of interference from Ecclestone, who appears hell bent on making a point about the new V6 engine note, then once again F1 is plunged into the murky depths of lies and deceit. Not that we the fans should be surprised.

The once ‘F1 supremo’ has for some time been behaving like a tardy rip off merchant who knows his days are numbered. If Ecclestone did intervene over broadcast sound levels, he is clearly operating a scorched earth policy in some vain attempt to ensure that we’ll remember the F1 halcyon days when he had total control.

Mr. E this week mourned the passing of entrepreneurial era of F1 and expressed his dismay at the creeping ‘corporatism’ he believes to be enveloping the sport. Yet it would be difficult to argue with F1 fans opinions that the sport couldn’t be much less ‘for them’ or ‘about them’ than it is under Ecclestone’s present governance. Many would concur with the view that Ecclestone should be dismissed summarily, even if it is ‘Uncle Tom Cobbly’ who takes his place.

UPDATE: 13:16 GMT Contribution from TJ13 reader av2290 – a professional sound engineer.

“In F1 they are using standard hyper cardioid directional mics attached to the camera on screen. There is also a general “ambience” track of the venue mixed in low and on the whole time.
FOM need to hire a better sound crew to design a system that captures the ambience of the immediate area by combining hyper cardioid and omni directional mics at each camera station. if this already exists, then they need to improved the levels mix.

Ambience and reverb are key elements that create a sense of loudness and excitement to the listener, and that needs to be dealt with carefully.
I don’t know where the onboard mic is but it sounds like some cars have it closer to the turbo, which is incredibly annoying to me because you get this dentist drill sound (which is a sound I’m sure everyone hates). The onboard mic should be set near in the exhaust area and be omnidirectional”.

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Red Bull appeal is lodged

Today was D-Day for Newey and the gang in Milton Keynes. They had to either submit an appeal against the DQ of Daniel Ricciardo from the Australian GP, or issue a statement explaining why they were not pursuing this course of action.

There has been some surprise in Milton Keynes at the backlash from the FIA’s technical delegate and Charlie Whiting himself, together with the cold indifference of other F1 competitors to Red Bull’s complaints about the sensors.

Eric Boullier is the latest to speak out on the matter of inaccurate sensors. “It’s clear that this was raised in the winter that there were maybe some accuracy issues between the two sensors. We have been working closely with the FIA since early January to understand and improve the system.

All the teams are currently working together. In the end the FIA took a position at the second test that their fuel sensor would be the reference and it had to be used. We knew we had to be careful with the fuel flow.

Amusingly, Boullier is hardly coded in his distancing himself and McLaren from Red Bull. “We have been fully compliant during the race and for the whole weekend…. so have most of teams”.

And for now, “This is a matter between the Red Bull and the FIA and we don’t want to comment,” Eric indeed commented.

Red Bull have lodged their appeal GMT 13:00, and should the appeal be upheld, you can be sure the ‘no comment’ position of McLaren and the rest will quickly be reversed.

Yet the Formula 1 world champions should consider the negative PR this appeal will bring. There was initial outrage from fans directed at the FIA following the stewards’ DQ decision late Sunday night in Melbourne, However, since then the other teams have revealed that they too were suffering from similar sensor fluctuations – just as were Red Bull – however they chose to comply with the regulations.

TJ13 wrote on Monday, there may be much more at stake than 18 points and a podium for Ricciardo, and a successful Red Bull appeal may go some way to solving some of the Renault engine’s performance problems.

The risk is that the team from Milton Keynes will start the year considered somewhat pariahs in the eyes of the F1 world… to put it kindly, for ‘trying it on’ – or as Il Padrino predicted.. “trickery”.

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Rivals begin chase to catch Mercedes (GMM)

Given Mercedes’ dominance in Australia, the German marque’s rivals have now begun their chase. Second on the road in Melbourne was the later-disqualified Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.

“When you think about where they were three weeks ago,” said Mercedes’ Toto Wolff, “then we need to be really aware of what they are capable of. “We are yet to see a reliable Vettel, and when that happens he’ll be really fast,” the German told Finland’s Turun Sanomat newspaper.

Williams is currently regarded as the second-fastest team behind Mercedes, but technical boss Pat Symonds is expecting a tough fight in 2014. “Look at how quickly Renault has caught up,” he told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport. “Three weeks ago they were nowhere, suddenly they have a car that can be second.”

Indeed, a lot of the responsibility for Red Bull’s issues is in engine supplier Renault’s court.

“It is obvious that we are slower on the straights than Mercedes,” the French marque’s Remi Taffin is quoted by Italiaracing. “I don’t know if it’s a second, and it’s definitely more than a tenth, but there are no unsolvable problems,” he insisted.

Also chasing Mercedes hard are McLaren and Ferrari. “We believe that their (Mercedes’) advantage is between five tenths and three quarters of a second,” McLaren team boss Eric Boullier is quoted by France’s Auto Hebdo. “From our side we wanted above all to develop a reliable car, as we think it is essential to win a lot of points early in the season.

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New F1 to struggle in Malaysian heat (GMM)

‘Cooling’ will be the buzzword in Malaysia, according to Mercedes.

The German marque dominated in Melbourne, but Sepang is always among the very hottest destinations on the F1 calendar — and the new ‘power unit’ rules for 2014 are posing much greater cooling problems for the teams.

“New GP, new problems,” Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda told Osterreich newspaper. He also told German broadcaster RTL: “Malaysia will be more difficult (than Melbourne). In Sepang actually we are starting from scratch because of the high humidity and temperature — I doubt it will be below 35C. In such circumstances, effective cooling of the power unit would indeed be a problem. We will have to make changes to the car to resolve the issue.”

Lauda’s Mercedes colleague Toto Wolff agrees: “I think all the teams are seeking to create the most efficient cooling system. Every test or race weekend has been more difficult than we expected, so it will be difficult to cope with the heat in Malaysia,” he admitted.

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Vettel’s hissy fits

The more I engage with social media, the more impressive the apparent power of the medium becomes. In days of yore we were told what select individuals wanted us to hear, and our opinions were formed by another select view of commentators.

Now, a story can take on a life of its own despite the protestations of those who wish to control our beliefs.

Andrew Benson wrote following the test in Jerez. “One of the best rumours of the winter is about Sebastian Vettel. At the first test in Jerez, it is said anecdotally, midway through the second day, after a fractured and massively truncated programme of kangaroo-hopping around laps as a result of the chronic problems of the Renault engine, the world champion got out of his car and said something along the lines of: ‘This is pointless; I’m not driving that again until it’s sorted out.’ And left”.

The expected torrent of Vettel and Red Bull related comment ensued on the F1 sites, forums and in newsprint. Though even it’s author stated that It was an uncorroborated story.

Unlike Premier League Football in the UK, Formula 1 has traditionally been reported by the more serious and reverent kind of writer, with occasional juicy interventions from the tabloids. This has protected the stars of the F1 circus somewhat from stereotyping and the kind of soap opera drama kind of representation of events.

Just a few years ago, should the Vettel unhappy with his car story have broken, it would have been reported something like this. “The four times world champion was today rather irked with his Newey designed RB10. The car repeatedly stuttered and refused to run properly as he tried to get some pre-season laps completed,

Eventually, Sebastian Vettel decided enough was enough. He climbed from the cockpit and requested the mechanics sort out the problems before asking him to drive again”.

What actually happened was that within a few seconds, someone had posted Benson’s comments on a forum and the label given to Vettel’s outburst was “hissy fit” This then was posted repeatedly around the internet, and the description of Vettel’s state of mind was established in the common consciousness.

So, did Sebastian actually say what Andrew Benson claims? We don’t know.

Yet even if Vettel was quoted verbatim, “This is pointless; I’m not driving that again until it’s sorted out”, is it fair top describe that as a ‘hissy fit?

What is certain, is that Sebastian would have been very unhappy on day 4 of Jerez, and it is inconceivable Vettel would not express his opinions frankly within the confines of the garage.

Sebastian has had the privilege of being at the top of the F1 heap for some 5 years, which is a very long time in absolute terms. He expects to have the best car, he expects to win races and relatively it was nearly 20% of his life ago he wasn’t in that position.

To some extent, given those circumstances, it’s not difficult to rise above the fray. Knowing today’s problem will result in next week’s race victory would have been of great comfort to Vettel, whatever the trials of the moment.

So for the first time for many a year, Sebastian is facing the stark reality he may not win a race for some time. He has already been overtaken by a Caterham – look at Lewis disbelief when it was a Williams.

It is likely this year we will see a different – and until now private – face of Seb, as I wrote in my pre-season musings.

One of the benefits of the current sound recordings FOM TV are providing is that we can hear the Pit to car radio messages even more clearly than before – voice crackles and all.

During Seb’s rather short outing in Melbourne, we heard a desperate sounding appeal to the team. “OK, is it normal that I have no power?”

This was either bemusement at how he should be operating the car, or sarcasm. What is not normal is seeing Vettel starting outside the top 10 and going in rapid reverse down the  race order from there.

As the end drew near, we heard, “Engine is not running smoothly. I will get passed, so you are aware……Do something! I have no power, less IC than normal and no ‘K’! No ‘K’!…..That’s ridiculous guys!”

We are hearing a fairly stressed out and desperate Sebastian. “Do something!!!”

All but to no avail.

Even these outbursts are probably not deserving of the label, ‘hissy fit’, though one mainstream broadcaster commented on Vettel’s distress as follows. “And Vettel’s mood gets worse a few laps later, as he throws toys out of his turbo-engined pram when realising retirement is probably imminent in his stuttering Red Bull”.

To be fair to Vettel, he is 4 times world champion because he is obsessive down to the finest detail about how to win – and maybe Lewis could learn from this. Yet this year we will see very much in public how Sebastian handles big disappointments like he’s never experienced before – and this is newsworthy and of interest.

Should Vettel have a poor outing in Malaysia – where the temperatures will rocket and the RB10 is not best known for its heat management – we’ll hear more desperation from Sebastian both over pit radio and in front of the microphone as he cranks up the pressure on his team.

We may even get an actual full blown ‘hissy fit’. So who was that person who coined the phrase?…  because it is sticking.

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F1 cannot just turn up the volume – Lauda (GMM)

It is “absurd” to suggest formula one should urgently turn up the volume of the new turbo V6 engines.

That is the view of Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda, who days ago in Melbourne admitted the sound of the 22 cars charging to the first corner left him underwhelmed. Williams technical boss Pat Symonds agrees: “For me the start is the most exciting part of the race, and I loved it when the 22 drivers revved up their engines. I don’t generally complain about the sound, but at the start (in Melbourne) it did seem a bit quiet,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.

Lauda, however, said: “The debate about the engine noise is absurd — you can’t change that now. It was decided by all parties five years ago that they wanted turbo engines, and so we put in a turbocharger before the exhaust. It has a different sound, any child knows that,” the great Austrian told Osterreich newspaper. “If you take the turbo away, you don’t have hybrid engines anymore. As for the duller sound, “We have to get used to it,” Lauda insisted.

With a slightly more open attitude, however, is Lauda’s Mercedes colleague Toto Wolff.

“I’m not much of an engineer,” he told Finland’s Turun Sanomat newspaper. “These things will be looked at. If it is decided that something must be done, then we would have to think about it carefully. I would think that it is possible, but whether it is right, I don’t know.

“The V8 engines sounded fantastic, but I saw this race (Melbourne) up close and I can assure you that F1 is still the top of motor sports, it’s not GP2. This (move to V6) was the right step,” Wolff insisted.

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Williams thanks Maldonado for his contributions to their FW36

The general consensus within Formula One currently is that the Williams FW36 is the second best car after Mercedes. After years of under-performance and the poor results of the last few seasons, Williams have returned to the front in style.

With title sponsorship from the iconic Martini brand, the inspired change of engine manufacturer to the Mercedes power unit and a new technical director – Pat Symonds – Williams seems to have finally turned the corner.

Williams served notice of intent throughout winter testing but struggled throughout the wet conditions of qualifying last weekend.

Despite Felipe Massa’s early retirement – his Finnish team-mate, Valtteri Bottas, once again proved his natural ability with two storming drives through the field – the second after hitting the wall and destroying his wheel. Symonds said afterwards that Bottas should be thankful to his former team-mate due to his destructive race-craft in his tenure at the team.

Speaking to Auto Motor undo Sport Symonds commented: “Our suspension is very strong, Pastor pushed the limits very often in the past and that probably had an influence on the design.” It would seem that the Venezuelan benefitted the Williams outfit with more than the huge petro dollars he brought to secure his race seat…

Symonds said that if Massa and Bottas had had clean races, they would have set their sights on the podium. This is a view that’s shared amongst the other teams and the media – as former driver Mika Salo told the Finnish broadcaster MTV3: “Williams’ car is the second fastest after Mercedes.”

Asked if Williams can now challenge every single team except Mercedes, Symonds insisted: “I want to beat Mercedes as well. Our view is that Mercedes is at the front, and then there is a group of cars and we feel that in optimal conditions, we are narrowly at the front of that group.”

Pastor Maldonado was unavailable for comment.

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72 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 20th March 2014

  1. Re- Engine noise

    Judge, I too noticed that the engine noise from the race was unrepresentative on tv. I have not heard them in person, but if you look at the FP1 & FP2 coverage, the engine sound was very very clear, you could hear the difference between the cars, even the ones running the same engine. I don’t know what happened for FP3, qually and race, the Merc sounded like a Fiesta ST, yet in the earlier coverage it sounded mint, you could hear the whoosh of the turbo and a very metallic sound on corner entry with the throaty raw when the pover was applied.

    My conclusion is that Bernie and Co. were playing silly buggers with the world feed, as even the on-board footage sounded dumbed down compared to the Friday parctice sessions (i use skyF1 race control to choose what’s on screen and can cut the commentary) I guess Bernie is trying to rock the boat 1 last time. I hope these regs are hear to stay, it’s early days, who knows what the clever boffins wil come up with, but as with any big change its going to take a little time. I think an it’s too soon to declare the racing a disaster, but I think FOM fiddled with the sound equipment. Anyone who sky+ the FP1&2 sessions, have a look and compare to race sound on Sunday you will see what I mean. (i deleted it all from sky+ apart from the race, it takes up too much space to keep it all)

    • “My conclusion is that Bernie and Co. were playing silly buggers with the world feed,”

      FOM can set the levels anywhere they want, but It’s the broadcasters who set the audio levels that you hear at home. The spec used is ITU-1770. If you understand audio it will explain exactly what they are doing.

      • Exactly. They soften it. I think it’s for the commentary. They do the same with football matches.

        • That standard is for equalizing loudness across programs. It was developed in response to complaints about commercials being too loud relative to programs. It has no effect on the quality of what you year. If the background noise drowns out the commentator, then your audio engineer has either fallen asleep, or hates them. Possibly both, LOL.

          • ITU-1770 wasn’t developed in response to ads levels being raised, the US Calm Act was, and was based on the DialNorm standard developed by Dolby. ITU-1770 was developed because their is a mix of mono, stereo and multi-channel audio and broadcasters need a way to create uniformity regardless of what format is used.

          • Yes, but it’s a *loudness* standard. It defines how loud a program’s audio is considered to be, not the quality or relative levels in the mix.

      • I understand that, but if FOM ‘fiddle’ with the sound before it goes to the broadcaster, then surely the broadcaster can’t replace the sounds that are missing. As I said above, there was a distinct difference in the depth of sound, even in qually and race the tyre noise was also much less audible compared to the FP sessions on the Friday.

    • In Latinamerica we basically couldn’t hear any sound from the engine, only the turbo’s whistle and tyre squeal, a lot of tyre squeal. Commentators weren’t happy with the sound neither.
      I couldn’t watch FPs however since I was travelling and the hotel didn’t have the channel broadcasting them. Interesting to know that there was a difference.

  2. “The positioning of the in car microphone could produce an earth shattering sound if it was so desired. The microphones around the track are also clearly not positioned properly, or require upgrading (IMHO).”

    Not true. The audio levels for a TV broadcast are set using the ITU-1770 standard, which uses an LKFS formula ( Loudness K-Weighed, relative to Full Scale), which essentially means you are using an time-based average to calculate acceptable loudness.

    • …Mmm… So why when I change channel is the sound significantly quieter or louder at times?

      I sense this is a Red Herring though….

      • Because, like any system, advertisers know how to game it. And you are right, it is not the root cause. The workflow for audio goes something like this

        1 Mic placement/ level. Get it wrong you get crap sound

        2 Filters/FX on the individual channel. Say engines are channel 3. You can apply a host of FX and EQ before that sound is mixed with the other sounds on the mixing board. Again, get it wrong you get crap sound

        3 Mix level and pan. Choose how loud you want the sound to be relative to other sounds, and where in space the sound comes from. Want the engines not to be heard, easy, turn down channel 3 in the mix.

        4. Apply EQ and FX to the final mix. Again, a chance to alter what the viewer will hear. At this point, if your output is going to be broadcast, you would apply that standard to equalize volume across shows.

        5. In the case of FOM, however, that feed will go to the audio of broadcasters whose commentary will be mixed in first, and then when output to broadcast will have to meet the national standard for their home country.

        However, if you have properly recorded sound, a home system like manky’s and a family that will tolerate you turning the volume up to 11, you should be able to get the earth shattering noise you desire

        Trust your ears, yr honour. You’ve heard the engines IRL, recorded with crappy phone mics, and with expensive state of the art equipment for broadcast. The only one that sounds bad is the last, so your choices are incompetence (possible) or shenanigans (also possible). If the sound is better at Malaysia then you have your answer. If not, then shenanigans it is. 😉

  3. Ha Ha! Given the times I watched I was never going to hear what the engines sounded like. But agree re sound. Either they are hopelessly incompetent or purposefully manipulating the sound to gin up a controversy.

  4. Was also my first thought when I tuned in for qualy (didn’t get a chance to watch the FP sessions but they’re still on the sky box so will check later), why is it so much quieter than the pre-season testing? Quite enjoyed the new sounds from Bahrain 1&2 with the depth and turbo etc.
    Came to the same conclusion that some foul play was afoot.

    • If you watch the FP you will see the difference, the Merc sounded incredible. I even posted about it on hear, but qually and race sound is not as deep and complex as I heard on the Friday, it’s especially noticeable with the onboard footage.

  5. Last time I was at a grand prix in Abu Dhabi 2013 – the V8 era – everyone in the grandstand had headphones or earplugs.
    As a former F1 photographer (nineties) I never used earplugs I am a F1 noise junkie and even for me after 15 minutes I got some tissue and stuffed into the old ears. Go figure…

  6. I couldn’t give less of a shit about the noise, and I’ll reserve judgement on the ‘new F1’ until we are halfway through the season, but I enjoyed the Melbourne race, and if there rest are like that or better, then we are doing fine. DRS seemed to be less effective, and passing in other places seemed to be possible too.

  7. I am a professional music engineer with 14 years experience working with major American artists. I understand how sound makes you FEEL a certain way. In F1 they are using standard hyper cardioid directional mics attached to the camera on screen. There is also a general “ambience” track of the venue mixed in low and on the whole time.
    FOM need to hire a better sound crew to design a system that captures the ambience of the immediate area by combining hyper cardioid and omni directional mics at each camera station. if this already exists, then they need to improved the levels mix. Ambience and reverb are key elements that create a sense of loudness and excitement to the listener, and that needs to be dealt with carefully.
    I don’t know where the onboard mic is but it sounds like some cars have it closer to the turbo, which is incredibly annoying to me because you get this dentist drill sound (which is a sound I’m sure everyone hates). The onboard mic should be set near in the exhaust area and be omnidirectional.
    By the way, NBC here in the US is ruining the audio by turning it down a ton so these commentators can incessantly talk over every possible moment of the broadcast about the dumbest crap. They even talked right over when Hamilton went to pit wall after his retirement. I could hear in the background the camera was getting that audio! Would have loved to hear what was said! Shut up for a damn second!

    • …. Thank av2290 you for a most enlightening post…

      I had a chat with an outside broadcaster’s sound engineer post Melbourne – and amongst the technical jargon – much of which was a mystery to me – he was making similar observations – which is why I have been championing the issue this week….

      Whether this is Bernie mischief, or another example of the world’s third most watched sport acting amateurishly, doesn’t really matter…..

    • I add the info from this comment to that of Mattp55 and my own amateur musician/recording experience. I think you’re all right. The right microphones, the right settings/fx/eq/compression etc.
      Ok.
      Personally, I’ve always wondered about the choices I would make fir the background/ambient. I’ve often sat in puzzlement with sounds which didn’t match the on track action, possibly because it was a long range shot where they felt the need to lower the level of the on track action…
      Hm shit.
      Try to be clearer: I think what you hear should match what you see and I think that principle should be followed.

  8. So… the Bully Boy, Briatore doesn’t like it… That makes me love it all the more. I’ll take all this new technical and aero malarkey, and quiet engines, and fuel nonsense, ANY time over CrashGate-style motor-sport…!!

      • My best laugh since I nearly chopped my big toe off last Sunday and spent the GP in A&E… 🙂

        • You need to do a write-up of your day – worst GP ever – having to miss it because you were in A&E…Actually, you probably just want to forget all about it! My son missed the moto GP final last year because he was in hospital with concussion after having his dirt bike land on his head. He was not impressed either, but at least the next morning I knew his memory was fine because he was able to discuss what he’d read about the race in great detail with me.

          Hope your toe is getting better quickly!

    • NO Usher NO. This is just Flav’s no make up for Cancer research picture #stunner #Pitlanenotbeach

  9. Re hissy fit, I think that just showed he is doing his job. With passion and commitment. People who lose and laugh about it are no winners.and I can’t imagine any of the greatest, in this sport or others, to be happy with defeat. Maybe he’ll have a ruf year, but that’s something he can only learn from. And become a better driver (and person) i completely agree that lewis could learn something from him in this situation. If he keeps talking about how God will help him and stuff he will never ever become champion again. (For the record, I think neither of them will finish in malasya). But the thing is nobody learns anything from doing good. You learn because you make mistakes.

  10. This red bull saga has left a sour taste in the mouth. The lack of class from supposedly the best team in f1 leaves a lot to be desired, along with the arrogance shown to the rules that everyone else has followed. If and hopefully when this appeal is thrown out I hope red bull are charged with the equivalent of bringing the sport into disrepute and punished accordingly.

    • Well said! Noone should really rejoice at a team’s or driver’s troubles, but both RBR and Vettel have been spoilt and really arrogant, especially with all these balls in the pool comments.
      Time to be taught some humility. It did Lewis and Alonso quite a lot of good in the recent past.

      • That is such a load of rubbish. Vettel has every right to expect a leading car and even more right to make those comments about balls in a pool. RB worked the hardest last summer and found the rewards soon after.

        • I find that quite insulting to be honest. Every team works ridiculously hard it’s just that RBR’s seems to benefit the development of the car whereas everyone else fails to find the same gains.

          I’d imagine with Red Bull unhappy about any summer break auditing of their suppliers there may be more to the ‘balls in the pool’ than is immediately obvious..

          • Fact of the matter is Red Bull were already looking ominous in Hungary 2013. They refined their tech over the summer and became the lead team by a country mile. How can people be so unhappy about this?

        • Errrrrrm……may I stop you there for a moment?
          RedBull didn’t work harder, the others stopped working on their cars. RedBull didn’t, so they pulled away from the rest of the pack performance wise.

  11. I sincerely hope this site isn’t going to become a platform for the anti Vettel/Redbull brigade, there’s enough of that juvenile shit to be found elsewhere.
    The sound quality (of the cars) was much better on Spanish TV than Sky so I think the broadcasters have something to do with the levels other than FOM. Concur with those that are saying the sound was superior on the Friday of Sky’s broadcasts.

    • I haven’t got an anti Red Bull / Vettel agenda milestone. I just think it’s poor form they think they’re above the law with this sensor malarky! What makes them think they don’t have to comply when everyone else does? As mentioned on the site in previous articles there’s obviously a lot more to this than meets the eye.
      I guess they’re hoping the pressure laid on pirelli last season will go their way again this season.
      Again poor form just because your car’s not working with the way f1 is going at the moment.

    • TJ13 is irreverent and the gavel falls on whoever is doing the, “we’ve lost touch with reality in our F1 bubble”. Previous defendants include Kimi, Lewis, mr E of course, Ferrari and domenicali & I’ll Padrino, Lauda and Marko regularly, Wolff, Crashtor, Lewis , Whitmarsh, Charlie W and the stewards several times a year, jonnie H, Fernando, tony F, ex billionaire vJ, I could go on.

      It comes and goes in seasons, and RB have decided to make themselves public enemy number one for now. Further, they bothered to respond in a rather elaborate fashion via the Red Bull spy to the gussy fit suggestions, lending it credibility…

      • I’m so glad you agree, for a moment or 2 after reading some comments above, I thought it was just me because I was so sleepy. The cars sounded like freakin rocket ships in practice, then in qually and race more like my family car!

  12. So, now that RBR has confirmed they’re appealing… Will they have the balls to run without the FIA-approved sensor until the appeal (assuming the appeal is after Malaysia)?

    • Appeal will be answered within 15 days, but special circumstances can bring that forward.

  13. Vettel has also has the stress of being a new father combined with his unusually unreliable car. Both of these at once could easily push him over the edge as those of us with children will surely remember…

  14. Incidentally … great way to give Danny Ricciardo’s spirit a good ol’ kick in the nuts – I mean, the guy was on a way, way too big of a high after the race, and it’s an excellent opportunity to put him back in his place behind the boy wonder …

  15. Sky have a truck with sound mixers in preparing the feed for broadcast in stereo and 5.1.
    I also am a sound engineer and comments about microphones are irrelevant. Point a decent mic at the cars if its dull add some top end if thin add some low end. More of the problem is dynamics, the v8s so loud the difference between car and no car was huge. Adjustment of their usual settings that they all got use to is all that is required. And as others pointed out, pulling the engine channel up a bit to give some atmosphere.

    • sorry but mic placement and choice is the most important part of the process. Any engineer of repute will agree. To just point it at anything and then start “fixing it in the mix” is the amateur and easy way out and results in mediocre sound. FOM has to re-design their sound and make better use of localized ambience mics along with the hypercardioid ones via a proper mixdown. A good example of very well produced motorsports sound is the NHRA here in the US. They do a great job of “bringing the feel into your living room”.

  16. Is that whistle as the cars enter the pits a person blowing a whistle to let people know the car are coming, or something else?

  17. LOL saw the headline about Maldonado and thought Williams was ‘fessing up to spending most of his money developing this year’s car. 😀

  18. Loved Williams thanking Maldonado for their strong suspension – classic:)

  19. Love the two comments above me. My first thought was actually on driver feedback!

    Also, dunno if it’s already been put here, but I found myself looking at a tabloid today, and it said Nicole and Lewis were engaged, at the 4th time of asking. The winter skiing trips (pointed out by the judge) were apparently part of a reconciliation, after the question was asked 3 times in a month before that. Don’t know if this is good or bad for Lewis’ championship hopes.. or even true. Hopefully we see a Williams podium soon though!

    • Haha. Accused of anti RB today. Got a Lewis post coming which will get a reaction. Best thing about being sceptical about everyone is if readers are blind fanbouys, they don’t stick around.

  20. I think there is a bit of a frog-in-the-well schadenfreude at Vettel’s ‘histrionics’. Some of it is warranted for someone who expects things to work. I mean, his ‘fits’ were nowhere near what Grosjean was spouting and he isn’t a 4 time WDC! All hail the new engines which enable us to listen to them over team radio 🙂

    Also, is it just me or the fan made videos that are on youtube of the cars in Jerez better sounding than broadcast video? I distinctly remember noticing that the Ferrari sounded really good and super silent on downshifts.

    • And what do Vettel and RoGro have in common (besides Renault engines that are currently crap)? That’s right, babies…. Can’t wait till they start teething, LOL

      • Maybe vettle will only go home for summer break, telling the wife he needs to ‘acclimatise’ at the race venues for at least a week before practice, to shake off jet lag. Could get a bit tricky fir the Austrian GP as that is where he lives I believe.

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