Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 21st March 2014

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Jordan believes Red Bull appeal will ultimately fail

Jordan master of winning FIA appeals GMT 16:01

Melbourne GP stalwart Ron Walker steps down (GMM)

Rivals think Mercedes has big advantage (GMM)

Teams will regret the demise of FOTA

Battle of the Mercedes drivers

How did Melbourne race pace compare?

Race 2 for the USA

Misleading medical reports about Schumi

Red Bull appeal date set


Jordan believes Red Bull appeal will ultimately fail

The Irish brogue has finally been released on to the Formula One public for the first time this season. Eddie Jordan, the outspoken BBC F1 presenter and former team boss of Jordan, has weighed in with his opinion of the Red Bull appeal.

Jordan has developed a reputation as the jester for BBC F1 and is often ridiculed by his co-presenters Suzi Perry and David Coulthard. Yet his ‘insider knowledge’ was seen to great effect with his stating that Lewis Hamilton had signed for Mercedes in Monza 2012; although most people only credit the signing to the Singapore event when Hamilton failed to finish.

Speaking to the German ‘T-online’ – Germany’s biggest internet service provider – Jordan felt it unlikely that the International Court of Appeal would overturn the penalty and that Red Bull were “quite arrogant” in their decision: “They say the (fuel flow) sensor was unreliable but rules are rules.”

Alberto Antonini – the highly respected correspondent for Italy’s Autosprint publication also noted the appeal could well take some time. “With two races in sequence, Malaysia and Bahrain, it would be ideal to get a ruling before the end of next week. But the timing may not allow it.”

Tobias Gruner of Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport concurs. “When the case will be held is not known, depending on the complexity of the information that is submitted, it could take weeks. It will probably not be before the third race in Bahrain.”

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Jordan master of winning FIA appeals

Eddie Jordan is a past master at appealing to the FIA and getting a DQ overturned.

Jarno Trulli and Jordan had their fourth place in the 2001 USGP at Indianapolis reinstated following an appeal to the FIA. Two weeks after the chequered flag came down on the 2001 Formula One World Championship at Suzuka in Japan, Jordan were handed fifth place in the Constructors Championship by the FIA following a successful appeal over the disqualification of Italian driver Jarno Trulli back in September.

Trulli finished the race in fourth place behind winner Mika Hakkinen, Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard but was disqualified after the race when the wooden skid plank underneath his Jordan-Honda EJ11 was found to have worn beyond the legal limit. An appeal was immediately lodged and after hearing the case at FIA headquarters in Paris, the three man Court of Appeal headed by Dutchman Jan van Rosmalen, decreed that due to a stewards error in hearing Jordan’s original appeal in Indianapolis, the disqualification should not be allowed to stand.

In a press release, the FIA stated:

“The International Court of Appeal met in Paris on 26th October 2001 in order to examine the appeal brought by the Royal Irish Automobile Club on behalf of Jordan Grand Prix against stewards’ decision set out in document number 31 of the 2001 SAP United States Grand Prix (exclusion of car number 11 – Jarno Trulli – for non-conformity of skid block dimensions).

Having listened to the explanations of the parties and examined the various documents and other evidence the International Court of Appeal has allowed the appeal of Jordan Grand Prix on the grounds that a steward was absent during the hearing of the team at the United States Grand Prix.

The Court found that this was a breach of article 134 of the International Sporting Code (which provides that all decisions by the College of Stewards should be taken collectively) and thus a breach of the right of defence.

The International Court of Appeal has therefore pronounced the above-mentioned stewards’ decision null and void; the original classification of the event is, as a consequence, confirmed.

The International Court of Appeal was presided over by Mr Jan van Rosmalen (Holland) and was composed of Messrs Vassilis Koussis (Greece) and Philippe Roberti de Winghe (Belgium)”.

So what might Red Bull have up their collective sleeve?

Melbourne GP stalwart Ron Walker steps down

The long-serving chairman of Australia’s grand prix in Melbourne is stepping down.

Ron Walker, a stalwart of the almost twenty-year-old Albert Park race and a close friend and political ally of Bernie Ecclestone, will retire after the 2015 event. “I’m 75 this year and it’s good governance to let someone fresh take the reins,” he told News Limited publications in Australia.

Walker, a former Melbourne lord mayor and a multimillionaire businessman, selected his own replacement, current cricket world cup chairman John Harnden. “It’s not public knowledge,” said Walker. “We haven’t made the announcements, because we wanted to continue to do what we do without any fanfare.”

The fact that Harnden will only take over for the 2016 race is a clear sign that Melbourne wants to keep the grand prix beyond its 2015 contract. Walker, who was recently battling lung cancer, revealed last week that he has negotiated a basic new deal with Ecclestone.

“I think the foreplay is over so to speak and it’s now a case of talking to the government about whether it is worth it or not,” he is quoted by the AFP news agency. “I think everyone in the government wants the race. The assessment is going to be made over the price,” Walker added. He told News Limited: “We are asking for three extra years. We are not like the Arab states and some other countries — we have to be very careful the way we spend taxpayers’ money.”

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Rivals think Mercedes has big advantage

Mercedes’ advantage over its 2014 rivals might be bigger than is currently thought.

Nico Rosberg won the Melbourne race with a half-minute advantage, but Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was quoted afterwards by Auto Motor und Sport as suspecting the German was “playing with us” on the roads around Albert Park. Indeed, Rosberg’s best lap of the race was set on lap 19, with a still relatively high fuel load, while most of his rivals had their best pace in the last 20 laps, with lighter tanks.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner suspects: “I think Mercedes were simply maintaining a pace without pushing hard. Probably they have some more tricks up their sleeve, so we have a lot of work to do,” he is quoted by Italy’s Tuttosport.

Horner said he thinks Red Bull is currently in a group behind Mercedes that also includes McLaren and Ferrari. And he thinks Williams has the edge on that group. “I’m sure they did not give their best and that they are at least second best at the moment.” It is clear that Red Bull’s biggest handicap is with its Renault powertrain. “90 per cent of the problems are associated with the software and how the ERS and the engine work together,” Horner is quoted by Germany’s Sport1.

Daniel Ricciardo, although disqualified, finished second behind Rosberg in Australia, but Horner doubts Red Bull is ready to challenge for outright wins. “The break after Australia is just too short (to win in Malaysia),” he said.

Worse still for Mercedes’ rivals is that the Brackley based team is not resting on its laurels. The team took an updated front wing to Melbourne but decided not to use it. “We only had two, and we didn’t want to risk damaging one and then running one car with the new wing and one with the old wing,” said Mercedes designer Aldo Costa. The other issue is that the new, radically-short nose that goes with the new wing design reportedly failed the mandatory FIA crash test.

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Teams will regret the demise of FOTA

The former secretary to the recently disbanded FOTA, the Formula One Team’s Association, has given a revealing interview to sportconnecty, published today. “I think there is a genuine need for the teams to work together in this environment because they are very easily picked off and communicating collectively is in their benefit.”

His overarching message is that the inability of the teams to function as a collective is one they will come to regret.

“There is no doubt a crisis around the corner whether it is on a commercial side, whether it’s on the track or whether it’s in the governance area.”

In December 2011, Ferrari and Red Bull decided they would leave FOTA, and unsurprisingly Toro Rosso and the Ferrari powered Sauber team followed ‘tout suite’. “I had a significantly reduced budget which had been forecast due to the resignation of Ferrari, Red Bull and the sister team to Red Bull and the engine customer from Ferrari,” said Weingarten. “But the positives were until March 2014 we managed to continue with FOTA.”

Oliver Weingarten had joined the association back in September 2011 as general secretary and recalls, “When I joined they were in the middle of heated debate and discussion about cost control. And I think there was a lot of procrastination on behalf of my former chairman [Martin Whitmarsh] that may have antagonised some of the other members. I couldn’t do anything about that – as I say I joined, that was all going on and that very quickly came to a head – and thereafter the teams resigned and went off and did their commercial bilaterals with the commercial rights holder.

There’s no point in denying that Red Bull and Ferrari leaving FOTA didn’t significantly impact upon it,” adds Weingarten, “and people in the paddock may have perceived that FOTA wasn’t as relevant as it was when it was originally set up.

But actually FOTA continued to conduct a number of activities not just on behalf of its members but on behalf of all the teams including those who had recently resigned.

Whether that was auditing the Resource Restriction Agreement submissions, conducting a carbon emissions sustainability report across Formula One, doing fan forums and events, and a large amount of fan engagement in which teams who resigned still participated, and even the circuits agreements for all the teams to go testing was conducted by FOTA. And actually more recently the Pirelli agreement addendum and tyre blanket branding was done by FOTA once again.”

To be fair, Oliver’s efforts to co-ordinate the teams to act as one was doomed from the start as attitudes to FOTA were in general dismissive. “People in the paddock used to say to me ‘I’m surprised you’re still around’. But actually I had a former chairman, Martin Whitmarsh, who used to be at McLaren, who was a very strong ally of FOTA. And he managed to persuade a lot of the teams, along with myself, that actually there were good reasons for the team to work together.

“They needed a forum around which they could coalesce, in which they could discuss issues without the commercial rights holder or the FIA being present. And also if FOTA wasn’t around – and there’s a big question mark now – who will do the fan engagement? Who will be the single point of contact to deal with the promoters to help them in respect of sales of their tickets or getting show cars to promote their grands prix? Who will look, on behalf of the teams, at the costs being imposed upon them annually across the world at each grand prix?

“So I think the teams recognised that there’s definitely a role for FOTA and that’s why the remaining teams stayed in it.”

There are a number of threats the teams face and the failure to agree a Concorde agreement does not improve their position of strength. Weingarten states, “Teams had resigned, were arguing over cost control, the Geneva office was being closed down, and most significantly teams struck individual deals with the Commercial Rights Holder (CRH), meaning that the idea of collectively bargaining to achieve a better commercial position, was made redundant

Were CVC able to exit from their F1 commercial rights shareholding, who knows what arrangements someone like John Malone may wish to instigate. Even the great Ferrari may be marginalised and as a new F1 rights owner could seek to remove their exclusive and privileged 2.5% annual payment from the revenues.

Were the shift of F1 from free-to air to subscription TV be completed, this will almost definitely reduce the rack rates the teams can charge sponsors for painting their logo’s on the cars. Weingarten revealed earlier to the F1 broadcasting blog, “I believe sponsorship deals are not conducted anymore in F1 just on the basis of the amount of exposure on free to air. Sponsors are becoming a lot more sophisticated and understanding of the business model”.

The historic inability of the teams to act in Unison will further see them marginalised in the F1 strategy group from time to time.

Oliver concludes, “My biggest regret is not achieving what I was hired to achieve, or at least provide assistance to achieve. The perception of FOTA became negative, and whilst there were a lot of positives, these were never championed loudly, and sometimes not even publicly.

Prior to taking up his role with FOTA, Weingarten had worked for the English Premier League, where he was General Counsel responsible for commercial and IP issues for 7 years.

“A lot of ideas I had from my previous role, were therefore never utilised. The teams recognise that whilst there is so much competitiveness and self-interest across the paddock, it makes it difficult for FOTA to operate on contentious issues, particularly when the structure of the CRH is as it currently is”.

There are big events looming on the F1 horizon, and who knows which way the wind will blow. Instead of standing together and insisting on reclaiming their birthright, the teams would rather squabble and argue over millions, when in fact billions are at stake.

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Battle of the Mercedes drivers

TJ13 asked you the readers back on March 10th, which driver from the silver arrows would best his team mate by the end of 2014.

Surprisingly, 63% of you voted for Nico Rosberg and just 37% for Lewis Hamilton

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How did Melbourne race pace compare?

Most accept that Nico Rosbergs race winning time was significantly longer than was possible had the Mercedes been pushed harder.

Here are the race wining times form the past 5 years.

2014:   1:32:58

2013:   1:30:03

2012:   1:34:09

2011:   1:29:30

2010:   1:39:20

With the exception of 2010, all were dry races,

The winner this year was over 3 seconds a lap slower than in 2012. Given the concerns over reliability and the subsequent caution of Rosberg who asked on the radio, “is there nothing  anything else I can do for reliability” on lap 42, analysts believe Mercedes were capable of running over a second a lap more quickly.

Add into the equation the more conservative Pirelli tyres for 2014, and the comparison to 2013 is not as unfavourable as many predicted.

Many of the myths around the new Formula 1 are slowly be de-bunked. Only 7 cars retired in Melbourne – not more than 50% as some had predicted.

The cars are not in fact falling into the clutches of their GP2 rivals in terms of lap pace, and with the steep development curve expected this year, we may see the class of 2014 F1 machines just below or on a par with their 2013 predecessors by the end of the season.

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Race 2 for the USA

Here at TJ13 we have mourned the lamentable efforts of the New Jersey promoters to get their race off the ground. Much has been written about a New York grand prix and surely all F1 fans would love to see such an event come to pass.

Yet the credibility of the organisers in both their comment and action has left a lot to be desired. This together with the lack of $100m required to get the event up and running and the hosting fee paid to FOM.

Bernie shipped in his buddie Chris Pook to spur matters along, though as yet there is zip in terms of tangable progress to report.

Chris Pook of course is the promoter who took Formula One to Long Beach, California back in the 70’s before the Indycar series took over in 1984. The Indycar license to race in Long Beach expires in 2015, and the local authorities have been considering bringing back Formula 1 instead.

Pook this week presented F1’s case to a group of local businessmen, in particular to allay fears with regard to cost. He claimed jus it will cost just over $9m to upgrade the current circuit to F1 class A standards, and assures the local authority this sum that will be met by the promoter.

“People have been saying it would cost 100 million (US) dollars (£60million), and that number has just stuck in people’s minds. It’s not even close to that,” says Pook. He also claims the city will not be charged a penny to hold the race, and the promoter will meet all the expenses.

Chris Pook claims F1 has delivered a net tax gain for Austin (2013) was $4.9 million and the net gain for Texas was $17.2 million. “The value of F1 is that it provides new money. F1 racing draws a worldwide audience. You would be tapping into new consumers.”

It appears F1 is not really at base one with this proposal as with local council officials due to meet and make decision on the tender in the next few weeks, Pook is pleading, “We just want the opportunity to state our case, to be considered. We just want them to take a look at what we bring to the table. That’s all we’re asking.”

Here we go again. Promises of a race that cost the public purse zip with untold fortunes of revenue for the region… Wonder where we heard that before…

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Misleading medical reports about Schumi

Italy’s respected daily sports paper La Gazetta dello Sport and the German daily tabloid Bild-Zeitung have both been reporting that Michael Schumacher now weighs just 55 kilos – meaning he has lost over twenty-five percent of his original body weight from when he crashed on the ski slopes at Meribel.

In this never-ending ‘tragedia’ it would appear that the lack of official notification from Schumacher’s family, and his manager Sabine Kehm, is creating a demand for up to date information that is encouraging medical experts to offer conjecture as to his condition.

It goes without saying that his family and close friends have not given up on the hope of a full recovery but after almost twelve weeks in a medically induced coma – fears amongst some medical professionals have been reported by the more sensationalistic vultures of the press.

Professor Dr Curt Diehm, of the Karlsbad Teaching Hospital in Germany said he was alarmed by reports Michael Schumacher has lost a quarter of his bodyweight whilst laying comatose in France.

“While a weight loss in coma patients is normal, 20 kilos is a lot for people with a normal body weight. One must assume that his muscles have degraded greatly due to the immobility,” he surmised.

This summation is hardly a shock or surprise as any lay-person would know that – without proper nutrition to support the body – it will lose weight and with someone as physically fit as Schumacher it would be lost from the muscle mass.

Yet the press project the story as relevant information. Irrespective of people views on the ex-F1 Doctor Gary Harstein – he is as frustrated by this journalistic behaviour as any fans of Schumacher.

As ever, the family and hospital maintain press silence.

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Red Bull appeal date set

It has finally been confirmed that the F.I.A will hear the case for Red Bull Racing’s appeal on Monday 14th April.

This date falls between the Bahrain and Chinese Grand Prix on the 6th and 20th April respectively.

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35 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 21st March 2014

  1. I cannot see what metrics RBR hope to present to support their appeal.

    To prove that a calibrated sensor is inaccurate, RBR have to provide alternate readings from another source using calibrated sensors.

    CH has stated that RBR used the flow rates from the 6 injectors to calculate fuel flow.

    Here RBR has a problem as the injectors are only checked against specified design parameters at manufacture time.

    In contrast to the FFM that is calibrated while installed in the field, there is no viable method to validate the calibration of even one, let alone six injectors in the field.

    If just one of the injectors was ‘lazy’ due to the engine running hotter than expected, its’ time response would be affected making any calculations invalid.

    There is also no accurate way of validating, while the ICE is running, how closely the injectors are operating to their design parameters, although an educated estimate could be made using a calibrated external flow sensor.

    Unfortunately RBR are arguing that the external calibrated flow sensor is inaccurate, so they could not use it to corroborate their injector based calculations!

    • Nice comment ‘the engineer’ I think you have the FIA case in a nutshell there, I also believe it’s going to be pretty watertight and RedBull will really struggle to prove that their actions were justified (especially when other teams complied)

    • Nice one The Engineer.

      In a nutshell, the FIA system with known errors, versus the RBR with unknown error bars.

      Me thinks though, that RBR is just trying to get the FFM declared unusable as it does not suit there engine. (Similar to last years tyre fiasco). Has any other teams jumped on there bandwagon yet?

    • @engineer.

      General thrust of your post is correct. But we need to remember that Christian is not really an engineer, or even a technician. So that using his comment about injectors as a hypothesis is dangerous. Whilst the Renault fuel system is probably not metering as accurately as the FIA unit, it will be within a margin of error that approaches it. Otherwise RB would not be lodging a protest. You might accuse them of many things, but outright stupidity is not one I would choose. Turbo engines at this level, when using direct injection, need a high level of timing and volume accuracy. There are many flow/volume measurements before fuel reaches the injector. The 10hz to 5hz reduction is a diversion without factual confirmation of its real purpose. Until we know for sure, then it is only speculation, whether it is a average at the stewards race control, or weighted averaged for the teams individual software engine control systems. What we do know is that the FFM system from Gill sensors, samples at 1Khz. Their video shows 2 transducers, so it is the sum of two. With a 6 cylinder engine at a max rpm of 15000, the sensor is usually sampling at the same as or greater than any reverse pulses coming back through the fuel system. Though there shouldn’t be any. That means they are discarding a huge amount of data, if they really are just looking at a 5hz update strategy. Luca di Montezemolo mentioned ‘grey areas’. He may have a point.

      • @Iain:R8

        I can assure you that there is no flow/volume measurement capability in the direct injection system following the delivery pump. The systems run at 500bar (approx 7000 psi) – it is difficult to source pipes that are reliable at that pressure, let alone any flow sensors.

        A further factor is that petrol/gasoline compresses by approx 4% at these pressures and also that the injectors pulse five times per combustion cycle, each pulse at an increasing cylinder pressure and consequently varying differential pressure across the injector.

        The challenge to calculate an accurate value is vast.

        It is precisely for this reason that the FFM was designed to reside in the fuel tanks and operate at transfer pressure.

        There is of course also the tiny problem that the tech. regs. only allow one flow sensor (para 5.10.4)!

        The facts concerning the 10Hz/5Hz change and how race control would handle the situation were detailed in a technical directive issued to all the teams.

        • @the engineer

          looks like we have different information! 5.10.4 only relates to the how many FIA FFM’s can be fitted. Last year a number of teams had systems that could measure at better than 1% accuracy over the race period. Anyway the ECU needs fuel pressure/flow measurements to enable it to work. Even a simple road car has this technology.

  2. If RB doesn’t do exactly what they did in Australia, their case is weakened. If then FIA doesn’t do exactly what…(etc)

    So if RB finish it will be DQ again, but will FIA need 5 hours after the race, or will they wave the black flag?

  3. Conspiracists rejoice. Turns out that all the Mercedes PU were running a different (older) version of ECU software than the rest of the field according to Petr Hlawiczka. All Merc teams ran with the older FIA Standard ECU system version (SR621+B610), everyone else with SR623 in Australia.

    I don’t think it matters at all, but have at it. 😉

    • Correct – documented in scrutineers report.

      There is however an interesting aspect of the ECU software wrt to the warnings issued to the teams and perhaps why DR was not black flagged.

      The FIA had intended the flow rate checks to be executed at a 10Hz rate, and a routine was programmed into the ECU software to automate the process and notify the teams directly.

      During testing it became apparent that at the 10Hz rate, spurious readings were occasionally observed.

      To prevent these spurious reading the FIA reduced the rate to 5Hz.

      There wasn’t time for the ECU software to be reprogrammed, so prior to the race the teams were informed that race control would monitor the sensor data streams being transmitted by the cars to race control for recording and would warn any team when they exceeding the allowable flow rate.

      Most teams took the appropriate action when they were warned!

      • I know the FFM samples at 1kHz. Is it the case then that the 5Hz period represents the time over which the samples are integrated and reported? I would think so, but perhaps not.

  4. regarding the GP promoters, it happens everywhere, here in Brazil the owner of the race rights is largest TV network and F 1 broadcaster, Globo, though they use a third party enterprise to promote it

    and they don’t spend a quid in Interlagos, it’s all taken from city public budget, it’s absurd, even considering the revenue and taxes it brings to São Paulo, it’s the same story …

    • It appears F1 is not really at base one with this proposal as with local council officials due to meet and make decision on the tender in the next few weeks, Pook is pleading, “We just want the opportunity to state our case, to be considered. We just want them to take a look at what we bring to the table. That’s all we’re asking.”

      Here we go again. Promises of a race that cost the public purse zip with untold fortunes of revenue for the region… Wonder where we heard that before…

      I think the anti-Ecclestone sentiment is infecting the impartiality of the coverage of this effort.

      If the promoters aren’t asking for gov’t funding, and are just asking for the chance to tender a proposal, why would any fan of F1 possibly object to that?

      And what the heck is going on with the insinuation that F1 races are incapable of generating positive net economic activity for a region if a promoter negotiates effectively and agrees a reasonable hosting fee w/ FOM/FOG?

      I completely understand the Ecclestone bloodlust, but have noticed several times this week how an anti-Ecclestone editorial position seems to be contributing to what’s possibly (ironically?) anti-F1 commentary!

      One doesn’t have to be an uncritical Establishmentarian F1 cheerleader like Sawardshistace, but suggesting a promoter here in the US is already engaged in a process of misleading gov’t officials by promising (incredibly modest) potential for economic gain resulting from an F1 race (Especially in comparison to that insane bullshit RBR paid to have the consultancy claim about the value of the infiniti sponsorship!!)…well, it’s disappointing to be perceiving that here.

      Apologies if I misread the implications of the post.

  5. Why does 63% for Nico surprise you…?
    My feeling is, regardless of which of them is the better driver (and we all know the better driver doesn’t always take the crown), Nico is much, much hungrier… and Lewis is much too concerned with other aspects of his life.
    I know, when Lewis gets in the car he is one of the hottest drivers around at the moment but… Nico is no slouch either…
    So, it didn’t surprise me.

    • I think that’s just not true. Do not let the gossip-hungry media cloud your judgement, Lewis is as hungry for the title as Nico, and he is the better driver no matter what the Lewis-haters will tell you. Hence the surprise.

      My impression is that people voted for Nico based on the new regs and the idea that these will favour the more cerebral drivers or because they’re simply not fond of Lewis.

      • ….I’m very fond of Lewis – he seems like he needs an arm round his shoulder…..

        …but whether he’s lost his edge – I’m not so sure…

        Anyway controversial TJ13 piece in the pipeline on that topic – at least we won’t be accused of being Red Bull and Vettel bashers then 😉

      • I think it is true. Lewis, even if he is one of the fastest people in the world, doesn’t seem to be focused 200% on becoming a world champion. Last year I voted him for champion. This year I didn’t. I’d rather have liked it if the hissy fit piece of yesterday was written about lewis. That would have showed me that he did everything in his power to get to where he’s supposed to be. The interviews I saw of him after the race gave me a nonchalant impression…

      • Hi McLaren78 – I don’t know who you mean by “the gossip-hungry media” because my ONLY source of F1 news is now only here. I also have many years of practice of avoiding having my judgement clouded by any media… including those for whom I have worked.
        My comment to some extent comes from recently studying the lives of drivers who didn’t quite make it… and it is surely an accepted part of human nature that most people, after reaching a certain level, in any pursuit, will tend to relax, allowing those hungrier people right beneath to overhaul them.
        It takes an extra dedication to repeat a previous success… and when ‘luck’ is also involved, it is not unusual for a favourite (even if he’s better) to be trumped.
        But you might be correct about ‘the others’… 😉

      • I’d like to think there were less fanboys here than on a Sky poll and more critical voters! I think I voted for Lewis on consistent pace, but I can see either of them winning the WDC. 63% for Nico doesn’t surprise me.. he could have 2 Grand Slams by now (Monaco 2013, Australia 2014) with a little more luck (or Vettel like concentration in the accumulation of stats, or insight of wanting to place in F1 history.. I think Lewis and Nico just care for race wins and WDC count above all else – but most do to be fair).

        • We have around 50,000 unique readers a month now, and concern was expressed as we grew we may get more like the fanbouy forums… so it’s good to see that’s not the case.

          BTW some great contributions from new reader comments

          • for I am part of those new around here, and putting aside that unthought and explosive remark about that guy calling Massa “an idiot”, I am trying my best to provide good points, like I did in a previous post regarding exhaust notes, don’t know if you read it, Judge

            anyway, thanks for the page, keep up with the great work

            cheers from Brazil

          • for sure I am part of those new around here, and putting aside that unthought and explosive remark about that guy calling Massa “an idiot”, for which later I sincerely apologised, I am trying my best to provide good points, like I did in a previous post regarding exhaust notes, don’t know if you read it, Judge

            anyway, thanks for the page, keep up with the great work

            cheers from Brazil

  6. It would be good for the world championship to have more races in the Americas. We could have 6 there, 8 in Europe and 8 in Asia, with some tests bringing us F1 running for half of the year (26 weekends), and some more events going back-to-back, like in the 20 race calendar, to fit it all in. If 22 is too many races, then some of the poorer events could end up sharing a slot to save on hosting fees.

    Europe: GBR – Silverstone, BEL – Spa, GER – Nurb/Hock, ITA – Monza, MON – Monaco, SPA – Barcelona, AUT – Red Bull Ring, HUN – Budapest.

    Asia: AUS – Melbourne, JAP – Suzuka, MAL – Sepang, CHI – Shanghai, BAH – Bahrain, UAE – Abu Dhabi, SIN – Singapore, RUS – Sochi.

    Americas: BRA – Sao Paolo, CAN – Montreal, TEX – Austin, MEX – Mexico, NYC – New Jersey, L.A. – Long Beach.

    That’s a Word Championship calendar I could be excited by!

    • I like it ID

      Just would have Monaco in a different format. 2 qualy’s with small points, and 2 shorter races…. Circuit has been outgrown by modern cars and would not be allowed as a new applicant circuit on the calendar today if it was in any other location…

      • I’d switch Spain for imola. Or am I the only one who really missed that circuit?

        • No bruznic, I loved it too, some brilliant races there in the pre-1995 configuration.

          Although having said that Alonso vs Schumacher in 2005 was brilliant.

        • honestly, even before 94 I didn’t like Imola, that track has a sombre, dark, somewhat thick atmosphere, if I had to race there, certainly it would be uncomfortable

        • and regarding that list, for sure I would include Estoril in place of Bahrein, drop NJ and Mexico race and include other European race, probably Magny Cours, Paul Ricard or even Le Mans Bugatti circuit, I still think France deserves a race

          also, drop Hungary and China or Singapore too, change any of them for Brands Hatch, London or Rome street circuit, or even Adelaide

  7. Unless I’m mistaken, nico has never mounted a serious or been in the running for a WDC, so why now most are saying, the new rules favour him more? Isn’t it the same for everyone? What attributes has he shown for that to be so?

    Lewis has the experience of challenging for the championship, so he knows what’s needed, that’s not the case for nico.

    And why do people keep saying Lewis is not as focused as nico? It’s easy to single Lewis out, because he’s not your “typical” F1 driver. But he’s as focused and hungry as anyone else on the grid. So it’s time to drop the usual media stereotypical bull. It was fun and acceptable when you Kimi is Kimi or when JB was living his playboy lifestyle, but now Lewis gets criticise, because he’s got tattoos, likes rap music and has a popstar girlfriend. Give the guy a break.

  8. Re-fuel flow sensors

    Firstly I have to say I’m not well up on how ultrasonic flow sensors operate. But, surely, it would be more simple to say, have a pipe that delivers the fuel to the injectors(directly before the injection unit), that is of say 10mm, (that is just an example figure) then you find out at what pressure the fuel needs to be to travel through the pipe at 100kg/hour, then you just have to monotor the fuel pressure, not the flow. I am certain that measuring fuel pressure is a far less technical process and the only homologated parts would be the section of FIA calibrated pipe and a fairly simply pressure gauge (not unproven technology). Am I missing something that would prevent this idea from working?

    • Don’t believe the Red Bull hype that this technology is exceptionally unreliable, unsuitable, or otherwise ineffective. It might not be 100% accurate and 100% reliable in even the most extreme hypothetical scenario, but what RBR doesn’t want you to remember is that, in case of a fault, there’s a (not publicly-released/published) protocol for offsetting these third-party calibrated devices to ensure accuracy and adherence w/ the rules limits.

      RBR is doing a great disservice to the sport by persisting with this fraudulent appeal and the public disinformation campaign.

  9. @’thejudge13′

    With reference to your comment about TV coverage going to a pay TV model. Did you see that MotoGP coverage, supposedly an exclusive to BT Sport in the UK, is being opened up. ITV4 will have a highlights package in the following week. Not much, but better than nothing. I understand that this came about because of fan and/or commercial pressure on Dorna. Can you add anything more from your sources?

  10. I assume RB will use the same fuel flow arrangement as used in Australia for the next two GPs. They don’t want to lose the performance (like the other teams have) and believe they are not breaking ‘The Rules'(just the directives!)

    Therefore my interpretation is that either it will be proven RB are in the wrong and excluded from all THREE GPs. Or they are within ‘The Rules’ and all the other teams will have to copy RB from China GP onwards.

    What do you guys think?..

  11. Comment about Schumi :
    I wrote to GP247 because of their gross headline on Schumi, here is my mail and their response in bold! :

    Fuck off

    paul@grandprix247.com
    GrandPrix247.com
    Daily Formula 1 News

    On Sat, Mar 22, 2014, at 02:34 PM, jjpm wrote:
    > To:
    > Webmaster
    >
    > Name:
    > jjpm
    >
    > Email:
    > xxxxx@xxxxxxx.net
    >
    > Subject:
    > Schumacher
    >
    > Message:
    > Your making me sick with your abject relentness to use Schumacher’s
    > fight for life by making eye-catching headline not based on official
    > news!
    > This is not journalism!
    > Shame on you!
    >
    > Akismet Spam Check: passed
    > Sent from (ip address): 88.171.43.230
    > (bdv75-10-88-171-43-230.fbx.proxad.net)
    > Date/Time: 22 March, 2014 10:34 am
    > Coming from (referer): http://grandprix247.com/contact-feedback/
    > Using (user agent): Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.0; rv:29.0)
    > Gecko/20100101 Firefox/29.0
    >
    >

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