Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 24th March 2014

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‘Submarine’ risk with new noses realised – report (GMM)

FIA open to making F1 louder, less fuel-efficient – Todt (GMM)

Todt urges Domenicali to ignore criticism (GMM)

Montoya admits Schumacher is the Greatest?

Where’s Nico?

Invisible F1

Indian GP promoters call for new government support

Did Ferrari force out grieving relatives from luxury hotel?

The 7 day weather forecast summary for Sepang Circuit

Red Bull risk exclusion from 1st 3 races

Hamilton gets a title

Marussia for sale

The only way is Essex

Silverstone writes to David Cameron – funding for Circuit of Wales

Mercedes saves Hamilton’s Melbourne Power Unit


‘Submarine’ risk with new noses realised – report (GMM)

Adrian Newey’s pre-season fears about ‘submarining’ formula one cars may have been realised. Red Bull’s criticism of F1’s all-new era had to be heard amid the depth of the reigning world champions’ winter crisis after four consecutive seasons of dominance.

Designer Newey, however, had expressed alarm about the new, low front noses, arguing not only that they are ugly, but they might also be dangerous. The reduced height minimised the risk of cars being launched into the air, but “I am concerned the opposite may now happen, that cars now (will) submarine effectively,” the Briton had said.

Indeed, an alarming image of the crash involving Kamui Kobayashi and Felipe Massa at the first corner in Melbourne has now emerged.

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The photograph depicts precisely what Newey had feared — the low front of Kobayashi’s Caterham ‘submarining’ under the diffuser of Massa’s Williams, which is lifted perhaps a foot off the Albert Park tarmac. A similar incident at a higher speed could foreseeably result in contact between the elevated rear-end and the head of the ‘submarining’ driver.

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FIA open to making F1 louder, less fuel-efficient – Todt (GMM)

The FIA is not closed-minded about making its brave new engines louder and less fuel-efficient, president Jean Todt has revealed.

The low-profile Frenchman made the comments to the Italian broadcaster RAI following fierce criticism of the sport’s new ‘power unit’ era in the wake of the 2014 opener in Australia.

“There should be calm before reaction,” Todt is quoted as saying. However, he indicated that he agrees with those who think the amount of fuel-saving necessary to get to the end of grands prix this year is excessive. “I do not want formula one ‘economy runs’,” said the former Ferrari team boss. “The permitted amount of fuel, 100 kilograms, was proposed by the teams. For me it is not a problem if they want it to be 100kg.”

But Todt said fuel-saving had nothing to do with the lack of overtaking in Melbourne. “Instead it is the aerodynamics of the cars and the circuit in Melbourne, for example, has never been very good for overtaking. I am convinced that very soon we will see a lot of overtaking,” he added. “So let’s wait before making judgements.”

Todt also indicated he is alert to the shrill criticism of F1’s new turbo V6 ‘power units’, which trackside at Albert Park were recently likened to ‘sewing machines on wheels’ “The noise is obviously different now, and if there is a problem with it then if the teams agree we can look at a way to make it noisier,” he said, adding that he personally finds the tones of the new F1 era “fascinating”.

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Todt urges Domenicali to ignore criticism (GMM)

Jean Todt has urged his Ferrari successor to buck the criticism and keep pushing Ferrari to the front in formula one.

Before Todt – currently the FIA president – handed over Maranello’s reigns to Stefano Domenicali, he guided the Italian team to six drivers’ titles; five with Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen’s in 2007. Since then, in Domenicali’s reign, Ferrari has failed to win a title and the new turbo V6 era has got off to a shaky start with a mere fourth for Fernando Alonso in Melbourne.

But Todt urged Domenicali, 48, to ignore the criticism. “I was always criticised,” Frenchman Todt said, “even when we won a lot. “They criticised us for winning too much and making the championship boring,” he reportedly told the Italian broadcaster Rai.

Todt said Ferrari has usually been competitive during the Domenicali years. “In the past years Ferrari was always one of the protagonists even if they did not win a championship, but I am sure they will again. All I would say to Domenicali is that he should keep his feet on the ground and his focus on the real problems, not on what others are saying,” he added.

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Montoya admits Schumacher is the Greatest?

Many years ago, a son of Monza – Vittorio Brambilla – was re-christened by the Formula One fraternity “The Monza Gorilla”. He gained this moniker from his often overly aggressive driving style and sense of machismo.

There are no records that Brambilla ever raced in Colombia but his neanderthal reputation is well and truly alive in Juan Pablo Montoya.

In a recent interview the fiery Montoya proved once again that controversy is never far from his gurning frown. The German news agency DPA quotes Montoya on the current situation with Ferrari – and his conclusion?

“The only time Ferrari did well was when Michael Schumacher was there.”

Obviously this wizened, foul-mouthed South American hasn’t added intelligence to his considerable driving talent whilst driving round in circles. He conveniently dismissed the talents of designers, the technical director and the team boss that all played their part in the legendary German’s Ferrari career.

The Mercedes team did not escape his scrutiny or bitter words either. The talented group of engineers that have been assembled at Mercedes under the stewardship of Ross Brawn were similarly at fault for Schumacher’s poor results on his return.

“He didn’t just forget how to drive. It’s how it’s always been on Formula One.”

Of course the fact that Nico Rosberg was the quicker driver over their three seasons together was fortuitous but the Colombian wouldn’t have known this nugget of information because he added without the slightest sense of irony,

“it is difficult to comment on the current state of the sport, as for seven years I have not watched Formula One.”

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Where’s Nico?

The winner of the Australian GP tweets, “I did a showrun at the Petronas towers in KL. What you think for the race? Another good result possible?”

 

One amusing response to this posted elsewhere states. “Really can’t condone the exercise in gratuitous noise and air-polluting that = Rosberg’s run of the W03 in KL during this new age of environmentally & socially-responsible, transparently-governed and fan-responsive 2014 Formula 1™.

FIA should immediately introduce regulations to ban forevermore the running of outdated, wasteful, inefficient & obsolete F1 cars like the V8-powered Mercedes F1 W03. We have a planet to save, and desperate, malevolent corps. to dupe…”

Invisible F1

Just 4 days before the cars with the most revolutionary changes in living F1 memory hit the Sepang circuit, you would expect F1 to be on everyone’s lips in Malaysia. We are regularly reminded by FOM that F1 is the 3rd largest global sport behind the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament.

We have seen the expansion of the F1 calendar into Asia and the Far East over the past decade or so, but is F1 as important as those of us within the sport like to think?

It’s understandable that in Malaysia the media focus at present is on the mystery surrounding the tragedy of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. However, this does not diminish the column inches in the sports section of the local news services.

There are many articles about the English Premier League, the result of last night’s El Classico and Marc Marques victory following a thrilling duel with ‘the doctor’ in the season MotoGP opener held last night in Qatar. There is nothing about F1.

Even Australia’s hockey team get a story, along with various US sports. Even the Welwyn Hatfield Times

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of Welwyn Garden City has a story about Lewis bouncing back this weekend, but as yet the Malaysian Press appear to have forgotten F1 is in town.

It has been reported to TJ13 that ticket sales are down this year, and substantial discounts are available to entice locals to attend and fill the stands.

Should the crowds not appear this weekend, then we will hear all the usual the mantra about engine noises being disappointing from Ecclestone et al. Yet F1 at the circuits has in many places being dying a slow death.

The Spanish GP, for example, has seen attendances collapse over recent years as prices for tickets soar and Europe has been suffering a ‘once in a generation’ recession.

Trackside commentary was cancelled by Ecclestone from the end of the 2012 season, as he kicked out FanVision from the sport.

If F1 coming to town can’t get a single column inch in the local dailys – 4 days before the cars hit the track – there is a problem Houston!!! And it’s time all involved in the sport woke up and smelled the roses.

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Indian GP promoters call for new government support

Sameer Gaur, CEO of Indian Grand Prix promoters Jaypee Sports International, says Formula 1’s proposed return to the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in 2015 will depend on how the next central government treats the sport.

Gaur told Indo Asian News Service (IANS) on Sunday that he will meet F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone next month in his bid to get the race back next year after it was dropped from the 2014 calendar owing to bureaucratic and tax issues faced by the stakeholders.

Ecclestone told IANS earlier in the month that he wanted financial guarantees from Jaypee Group for the race to see out the remainder of its five-year contract. Gaur explains however, that a lot of Eccelestone’s demands depend on the next union government that is likely to take office by end of May.

“I will be meeting with Mr. Ecclestone in April and we will talk about all the issues which ensure F1 comes back to India. Having said that, a lot will also depend on the support of the next government at the centre. Hopefully, the government will make things easier for us,” said Gaur ahead of the April-May general elections”.

Gaur was confident that he would convince Ecclestone for a round next year, but in the long run the government support to the event was a must.

“We made this facility for F1 and we will try everything for the race to stay here. The government needs to realise F1’s potential and embrace the sport,” Gaur stressed.

“Most F1 races around the world are backed by government funds which contributes huge sums to the Formula One Management as hosting fees. Jaypee, as a private entity, pays around $40 million annually to host the race”.

Though is India really ready for F1?

India has the second lowest GDP per head of all the countries F1 visits. The tickets are relatively expensive as the promoters seek to inspire a middle class of F1 fans – which just doesn’t exist.

The attendances halved over the first 3 years of the F1 event and why should the government in a country with hardly any motorsport heritage support an elitist activity such as F1. Surely they have a long list of far more pressing matters to consider.

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Did Ferrari force out grieving relatives from luxury hotel?

Reports began emerging over the weekend – from different sources – that the grieving relatives of the passengers who were on the missing Malaysian airliner MH370 had to change hotels due to the Formula One circus arriving in town for this weekends Grand Prix.

The Ferrari team arrived at the 5-star Cyberview Resort and were reportedly told their rooms were occupied. As ever, certain newspapers report with fervent gusto – using selective words that portray aggressive actions. The grieving families have been ‘forced’ or ‘kicked out’, they have had to ‘make way’ and any quotes from hotel officials are gained on condition of anonymity.

One of the more balanced reports is from the German newspaper Die Welt and yet the publication chooses to use the cliched caricature of Italians to re-enforce it’s story with credibility.

“When the first Ferrari employees wanted to check in, they were told that their rooms were occupied – after heated discussions, the Italians prevailed.”

It is disappointing that the newspapers would use an event as tragic as a missing airliner to attack Formula One but there are some particulars that need to be remembered.

Both the Cyberview and the other hotel – the Sama Sama – are five star luxury establishments. They are used by the teams and sponsors – it would not be only Ferrari at the resorts – it would be all the teams, personnel, drivers and the Formula One media too.

Bear in mind the logistics of transporting tonnes of equipment and getting all the relevant team members around the world; these are not arranged via your local Thomas Cook travel agent. These are arrangements that are made months, if not years, in advance and with the Malaysian Grand Prix being the country’s biggest sporting occasion – none of the hotels or Malaysian Airline staff would have been in any doubt of the approaching race.

The hotel managers would have known they were fully booked for the Grand Prix week but what no-one could have predicted was that three weeks on – the authorities would still be trying to locate the missing airliner.

There is little doubt that the hotels and the airline would have moved the Chinese families to new accommodation – days before the Formula One people arrived.

A hotel spokeswoman confirmed: “It is true that the Chinese families were here, but they are already gone as we are fully booked because of the Formula One race.”

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The 7 day weather forecast summary for Sepang Circuit

For Sepang Circuit in the coming week the average daytime maximum temperature will be around 36°C, with a high for the week of 37°C expected on the afternoon of Tuesday 25th. The mean minimum temperature will be 23°C, dipping to its lowest on the morning of Monday 24th at 23°C. The week will have some days seeing a little precipitation and some days with rain. Current predictions suggest Saturday 24th will have the most precipitation with an accumulation of around 8.0mm. On the whole winds are likely to be light. (Weather2).

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Red Bull risk exclusion from 1st 3 races

As announced at the weekend, the FIA will hear Red Bull Racing’s appeal against their exclusion from the Melbourne GP on April 14th. It was hoped this could have been resolved prior to this weekend’s event in Malaysia, however, due to the technical issues involved and the data to be analysed, the FIA will not be ready prior to the date now set.

The row over the fuel flow rates incited by the team from Milton Keynes threatens to envelope the sport for some time instead of allowing the world to focusing on the dawn of F1’s new ‘eco-friendly’ era.

The problem facing Red Bull now is what to do this weekend. Do they continue to claim the FIA approved fuel flow sensors are faulty and insist upon using their own measurements? Mercedes have confirmed they too were instructed to reduce their fuel flow and complied immediately.

Should they choose to persist in defiance of the FIA’s directives and be found in breach of the regulations on April 14th, the world champion F1` team risks being disqualified from each of the first 3 races of the season.

On the other hand, if Red Bull back down and accept the FIA homologated fuel flow sensor for the next 2 races, it raises the question as to why they failed to accept this course of action in Australia.

Dietrich Mateschitz challenges the FIA’s stance over the fuel flow metres stating, “The fact is that the federation’s sensor has given inaccurate values since the beginning of the (winter) tests. We can prove that we were within the limits” he informed Vienna daily Kurier.

In a repeat of a previous warning that his energy drinks company Red Bull, is not necessarily committed to Formula One long term, Mateschitz adds. “The question is not so much about whether it makes economic sense, but more to do with the sporting value, political influence and the like. We have had it all but on these things from our perspective there is a clear limit to what we can accept.

“Formula one should be again what it always has been: the ultimate disciplineIt is not there to set new records in fuel consumption, or so you can talk at a whisper during a race and the greatest thrill is the squealing of the tyres. I consider it equally absurd that we are going a second slower than last year and that the junior series GP2 is almost as fast as formula one with a fraction of the budget,”

In actuality, GP2 is some way away from the speeds of the current F1 cars, and this gap will dramatically increase during this season.

Whether Mateschitz is sabre rattling or has something more serious in mind, he apparently finds little joy the current incarnation of F1.

Ferrari have in the past threatened to walk away from Formula 1, though the historic nature of the Italian marque is seen to carry far more weight than the Red Bull team. The Milton Keynes team was born n in 1997 then morphed from Stewart to Jaguar only to be ultimately acquired by the Austrian billionaire – who has since lavished untold spending upon them in a relentless pursuit of winning.

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Hamilton gets a title

untitledAlthough not looking particularly enamoured, Lewis Hamilton has been honoured by the Mercedes team title sponsor with the title of ‘Technical Performance Consultant’.

It’s not clear whether any ‘spreadsheeting’ is involved, however XIX are delighted they have been able to facilitate this technical partnership.

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Marussia for sale

Italian publication Omnicourse claims that the Marussia team owner’s interest is waning in F1. Nikolay Fomenko is apparently considering selling the team due to the financial pressures of the more expensive 2014 version of F1.

It could be that a deal can be done to sell Marussia to Zoran Stefanovich, who attempted to join F1 in 2010 with a team using the defunct Toyata F1’s assets. Serbian born Stefanovich was believed to have submitted an application under the FIA’s current process to identify potential entrants to F1 for 2015.

During the Australian GP, Brazil’s Globo publication was linking a return to F1 for Rubens Barichello with sponsorship for a new Stefanovich backed venture.

The only way is Essex

Apologies to TJ13 readers not from the UK. However, I’m sure the Usher will help you understand the reputation lads and ladettes from the English county of Essex have gained for themselves in recent times.

Anyway, the beautiful Max Chilton just revealed his real roots when tweeting, “Just drank a glass of orange cordial in the Emirates lounge thinking it was a strong orange juice. Won’t be doing that again in a hurry!”

Mmm – A WHOLE glass before you realised. GO MAX!

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Silverstone writes to David Cameron – funding for Circuit of Wales

Richard Phillips, Silverstone’s managing director has written to the British Prime Minister – David Cameron – to prevent an investment of £50million in the Circuit of Wales project.

“An injection of funds by the Welsh and/or UK governments to the Circuit of Wales project would amount to a transfer of state resources, which gives Circuit of Wales an economic and selective advantage over other circuits. As such, it could amount to illegal state aid.”

Back in July 2013 – Welsh councillors gave unanimous approval to plans for a £280m race track near Ebbw Vale amid claims it would make Blaenau Gwent a “go to destination” for up to 750,000 motor-sport fans. It was projected to create 4,000-6,000 new jobs and boost the local economy by £50million.

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Michael Carrick, chief executive of developers – Heads of the Valleys Development Company, pledged to “deliver a truly innovative and sustainable business, helping to deliver long term economic and social benefits for the region.”

“It is a hugely important development, not just for the regeneration of Blaenau Gwent but also for the UK economy, and will enable significant private capital to be mobilised. This is a showcase for a new type of investment model, a partnership between private investment and government to deliver a transformational business to the region.”

The reminder of the £150million needed would be borrowed from banks and institutional investors such as pension funds. These would all become part-owners of the track and if this sounds familiar there are similarities to another investment opportunity in the Midlands five years ago.

Simon Gillett – Donington Park’s chief executive – failed in his ambitious plans to redevelop the circuit and it’s facilities to host the 2010 British Grand Prix. The original plan was to raise the funding using a debenture scheme but this was replaced with attempts to get a £135million bond issue in October 2009.

Donington Ventures Leisure Limited lost a 17 year contract to stage the Grand Prix and went into administration in November 2009.

Silverstone, itself, attempted to get government funding to upgrade the track on a number of occasions when the fixture was placed under threat by Bernie Ecclestone. The fixture is seen as an important event in the British sporting calendar and the motor-racing industry contributes billions to the British economy.

Yet the government refused to approve any funding for a sport that is recognised for it’s obscene wealth; despite how much income is generated by the expertise within these shores. Silverstone had to raise the £30million funds for the upgrades themselves – which secured the circuit a 17 year contract.

Jonathan Palmer, chairman of AMRCO which represents 17 UK race tracks, said: “The UK circuit industry welcomes innovation and investment, however history and experience suggest that an investment of this magnitude in a motor racing circuit will never produce a return for investors.”

“It is a real concern that this will turn into a white elephant at the expense of much needed public funds, and we hope this project will now be subject to careful scrutiny by Welsh government inspectors and the Wales Audit Office.”

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Mercedes saves Hamilton’s Melbourne Power Unit

Lewis Hamilton’s title challenge is, it seems, back on target; at least if the information coming from Mercedes is correct.

The Mercedes’ engineers instructions to pit immediately would appear to have saved the V6 Power Unit and, according to Hamilton, will be used in the up-coming Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend.

Hamilton had problems with his power unit from the moment he left the pits in Australia to assemble on the grid. He was instructed to retire after the second lap of the Grand Prix

“I didn’t want to stop,” he admitted in Australia. “The car was going but not very fast. I am keeping my fingers crossed and I think it (the engine) is going to be usable. There was nothing we could do to avoid it. The fortunate thing is that we did stop when we did.”

In Kuala Lumpar, Hamilton explained, “We had to play safe and save the engine as something went wrong with the wiring. I’ve been talking to my engineers quite a lot over the last few days and they are still investigating but they have found that something went wrong with the wiring to the engine just as I left the garage.”

Amongst the many changes to the Formula One regulations this year is the allocation of Power Units. The teams are all restricted to five units for the 19 race season and a failure in the first race could have had severe consequences as the season reached its finale; with what many observers believe will be his main rival – his own team-mate, Nico Rosberg.

Now all that is required of Lewis is to recover the twenty-five point lead that Nico has after the first round.

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90 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 24th March 2014

  1. Isn’t this just a case of saying something enough times, however untrue it may be, and people will start to believe it.
    Maybe I missed it, but I don’t remember reading about any complaints about the accuracy of the fuel flow sensors until Red Bull ignored warnings by the FIA at Melbourne. I thought the sensors are accurate to + or – 1%, and that all the teams are using the same units. No other team seems to have been much affected by this.
    But the rules don’t appear to apply to Red Bull, so they are acting like a spoilt child and threatening to pull out of the sport unless they have their way. Let them go then! The sport doesn’t need people who want to cheat or threaten their way to the top.

  2. No team is bigger than F1 and, despite their many decades in the sport, I include Ferrari in that.
    If Ferrari left tomorrow it would be a great, great loss… but F1 would not stop.
    If Red Bull leave tomorrow it will be a bit of a shame, but ultimately F1 will not miss an energy drinks company – nor the extreme arrogance of this press release.
    If any individual team doesn’t like any aspect of the regs., change them from within, and stop whining to the media to drum up support. Or get out.
    This is the most arrogant and self-righeous response to guilt, and possibly cheating, I have seen.
    This is a disgrace to F1 and should result in at least a 3-race ban.
    Whatever happens to them next month as far as I’m concerned they no longer exist – nor their drinks…!

    • ….to the commentator who was complaining of my anti Red Bull stance – I merely wrote last week there would be a back lash from fans…. and here it is.

      I also wrote if guilty, RB should receive a 3 race suspended ban – for wasting time and bringing the sport into disrepute.

      • This is more a response to Dietrich Mateschitz opening his mouth and jumping in with both feet. How arrogant of the man! By threatening to leave the sport if he doesn’t get his own way he makes it look even more like Red Bull have been guilty of cheating.

        • If it was Ferrari, threatening to leave the sport would be heard with open ears by all at FIA, for any other team this is just an empty threat that would make FIA more and more p*ssed off with their antics and arrogance.
          For me, he’s just looking for excuses to leave the sport now that he sees it is possible not to win another title for the next 5 years, he prepares the ground just in case he doesn’t win again.

      • Wow! I’m thinking some of this backlash is self-righteous #butthurt channelled as overblown, exhibitionist concern for the integrity of our sport. Gimmee a break!
        I’m thinking that Mateschitz was pretty close to being verballed n this story by the scribbler intertwining only vaguely related conversation threads to give the impression that RBR are walking if their appeal is dismissed.
        Personally I’m reserving my opinion on the whole thing until some facts emerge surrounding the grounds of RBR’s appeal. Jacobs said that the whole fuel flow sensor situation seems to be an FIA-created clusterfk and someone’s nuts oughta be in a vice.
        What *should* have happened is that our good friends in the silver pyjamas, having won the race, should have said “Yeah, we won, but these fuel sensors just not good enough.

        • ….BTW – Will Buxton writes, “Strong words from Mr Mateschitz. Almost sounds like a quit threat if they don’t win their appeal. Guess we’ll see if the FIA has a backbone”.

          • Buxton. Meh. He plays the tough guy occasionally but most of what he writes would be most at home in one of them free airline magazines. Also, he’s a proper one of them journalist types and as such is prone to hyperbole powered by forensically analysed and then carefully divided loyalties.
            When the revolution comes, journo’s won’t be the first against the wall, but they best be nervous…

          • That’s what Mercedes did, just before thier hearing last year and look how that turned out!

            People do have short memories.

          • I’d not be surprised if Mr Mateschitz attempts to buy F1 from CVC and co. Why own a team when you can own the commercial rights and thus have more influence over the direction of the sport i.e. make it more Red Bull Extreme Sports Brand Image Friendly.

          • Assuming he were to buy the commercial rights of F1, he’d have to sell both teams to avoid a conflict of interest. However I don’t think it’s likely to happen, but who knows with F1.

          • Rencken reckoned last year that Red Bull’s most likely move would be sell the team(s) w/in 3 years and become title sponsor or somehow sponsoring-owner of F1 series itself.

            It was from a column in October 2013 i think, the one lamenting how the strategy group has teams in it who are least committed long-term to F1…

  3. Where do you think Ecclestone and his cronies will be putting the money? In their back pockets, or in promoting F1 events? I think we have our answer.

    • But mikecloud54, dontcha know promoting is the responsibility of the grubby event organizer, not the golden and august presence of F1 😀

      • I am sure you are correct. But, it is short sighted of Ecclestone and his band of cronies. They are in danger of killing the goose that lays the golden egg. If revenues are falling and prospective candidates for new circuits becoming more canny about the financial benefits, or lack thereof, then it is becoming a downward spiral.
        Is there any site where one can find out the revenues raised “on the gate”, the amount received for advertising, the tv rights payments, the money paid to Ecclestone, and all the rest of the finances, for each circuit?

  4. Current F1 marketing is the equivalent of fiddling while Rome burns. They appear to be unaware of why people are losing interest in the sport and utterly clueless when it comes to reversing the trend. The fact that their star has been hitched to the petrodollars of Middle East sheikhs has let them conveniently ignore getting their hands dirty with the hoi polloi, but that attitude is coming back to bite them at the worst possible time, when the sport itself is already quite vulnerable due to the shenanigans of its leader.

  5. Submarining F1 cars with low noses was quite predictable. As any biker that has been drafting knows too well, the cause of a following car launching in the air is caused by front wheel to back wheel contact. It is made slightly less likely in F1 because of the larger diameter rear, at least initially, but much worse as soon as the contact develops.

    It is very disturbing that rules like this are developed without better research and investigation. Very poor F1.

    • I thought it was interesting that the latest and greatest new FIA open- category – Formula E – don’t seem to have a mandatory low-nose design. I guess “low” is a relative term, but first glance at the published pics made me wonder.

      • GP 2 noses aren’t that low either and some of the drivers there are fairly kamacarsi with their driving. Doesn’t make sense!

    • Are there any quotes showing Adrian’s (or any other designer’s) concerns about submarining when the regs were published? Or, in fact, at any time before it became clear that the RB wasn’t going to be immediately competitive?

      I’m not saying it’s not a genuine concern, but the timing (as always) is interesting.

        • Without wishing to ridicule Mr Newey… is it not true that, before the recent trend to high noses all single-seater racing cars (ever since the radiators were taken out of the nose) have had low, pointed noses, to get the air up and over (or around) the car.
          Then the noses went up, to allow air to pass underneath.
          Now the noses have dropped down again and… guess what – after decades of doing this, it’s suddenly dangerous…
          What changed between the old low noses and the new low noses…?

          • In a similar vein, it annoyed me when Senna said over the 1994 winter that F1 would be lucky to get through the year without a major accident.

            The new generation of cars had had a huge amount of their electronics removed, something he had pleaded with Max Mosley for years for, and yet it worried him.

            Traction control, active suspension had been part of the scene for a handful of years against the best part of a century using the previous incarnation of car design!

          • Reading about it yesterday, it seems that the active cars were set up to exploit the electronics to the max. So, in early 1994 the cars were very ‘on the edge’ in terms of car setup, as the electronics could always handle it. It was also said that mechanical grip being reduced in 1993 didn’t help matters (rear tyre size reduction), and I guess they moved back towards the pre-electronics style or just developed their way out of it (more downforce etc.). But, some of the crashes were in response to the hasty FIA rule changes (Lamy/Lotus rear wing failure) after Imola.

            I still think the 2010 noses would have been a good compromise.. The Ferrari one always springs to mind for me.

          • Judge, I think you missed my point…
            Why are the new ‘low’ noses prone to submarining when, for decades, the old ones were not, apparently, considered to be a problem…

      • I read that Newey was on the Technical Working Group and the day those regs were officially put in the rules, he didn’t even bother turning up. So it’s a bit rich for him to complain.

  6. A little voice in me says that it might be better if RB scores only DNFs until after the appeal. That way we know the result when the race is over.
    Stupid mess.

  7. Open wheel – and open cockpit – cars are inherently actively and passively unsafe. The only sensible solution is to update the regulations to close off the wheels and cockpits. Sorry Luddites.

  8. What is wrong with some of you people. Are y’all so bumhurt over the last 4 years that you need to lose yourself in hate-orgies over RB? I cannot remember such an outpouring of hate over Mercedes’ constant whinging over the tyres last year – I only ever hear that only RB complained. Nobody bats an eye that Merc blatantly broke the testing ban last year and got away with a laughable slap on the wrist. McLaren has been caught up in more sporting scandals than Don King – from blatantly lying to stewards to stealing other teams’ documents. Lotus!wasRenault was busted for race fixing and that doesn’t even take into account how often other teams have been disqualified for blatant breaches of technical regulations – yet RB is called arrogant. If it wasn’t so ridiculous, I’d be cackling all day in me waterhole.

    RB is hardly the first team to say that they could leave the sport if they don’t get their way. There were times when Ferrari threatened the same on a regular basis.

    The issue I see hear is that some feel a burning sensation in a nether orifice, because they had hoped for RB to not only be beaten, but properly humiliated only for them to show up and challenging for a podium at a race they weren’t even expected to finish. All this talk about sportsmanship and whatnot is ridiculous. Sportsmanship and F1 have ceased to be mentionable in the same sentence many moons ago and it certainly isn’t RB’s fault.

    • A predictable response.
      So your argument is that because other teams have done bad things, broken the rules, lied and cheated in the past, that we should all ignore Red Bull doing the same?

      • I think FatHippo is just asking folks to calm down. RBR did not lie or deny what they did. Let the appeal go forth and let’s see what their reasoning is and what the judgement then is.

        RBR has been guilty of being more clever than most. Flexi wings that were tested and found to be non-flexing, clever engine maps that had to be later changed, the traction control that wasn’t there, and so on. No need to get charged up now.

        • …..agreed which is why Il Padrino called his team to get ‘closer to the line’ in terms of pushing the regulations….

          … but we all like a villain of the piece – and I predict a most entertaining Ferrari meltdown/come civil war coming not long after Barcelona…..

          This happens each year – and the cross hairs move around during the season….

      • My argument is that people lose all sense of perspective when talking about RB. If people were to bash Ferrari the way RB is being bashed, we’d have scarlet clad people up in arms, yet evrybody and his dog thinks it is ok to bash ahead at RB because it seems the flavour of the month.

        RB as a team have run 166 GP and Ricciardo was the first ever RB driver to be disqualified, yet they are called perennial cheaters. They do not have any scandal in their history that would even mildly compare to crash-gate, lie-gate, spy-gate or test-gate, yet they are called perennial liars and arrogant.

        It’s the double-standard that irks me.

        • …see Hippo you believe the RB propaganda – there was no “test-gate”, it was much ado about nothing according to the IT…. even Horner admitted the punishment issued to Mercedes was insignificant…

        • Of course, much ado about nothing. If that had been RB, you would’ve gone on a 3-week whinging bender demanding that Horner and Marko be shot in the face publicly in front of their families. Propaganda or not – in contrast to the established opposition, RB’s vest is fairly white – no race fixing, no clandestine theft of design documents, no illegal tyre tests and exactly one DSQ in 8 years. I’d say that’s not exactly a record that deserves the vitriol directed at them. Their only offense is to win without being an established name.

          • Just on the off-chance you are partially referring to me in your rant may I say I have never been a hater of the Red Bull team, nor it’s drivers, engineers, designers or wheel-changers. Nor any other team, per se… although I have had some antagonism towards one or two team principles in the past.
            My comment was levelled squarely at the arrogant, and uncalled for (IMO), press release from Mateschitz – which went largely ignored as you vented your spleen on red herrings.
            It seems a shame in such exchanges that it is often difficult to see the rat for the hippo… 😉

        • I have to say, I’m on Fat Hippo’s side on this one. On the tyres last year, I was not in favour of changing – and I think Brawn exploited the FIA’s ability to shoot itself in the foot brilliantly as well.

          At the end of the day, what we want to see right now is all these new cars giving it 100% to compete in the race the best they can. This new variable, of how ‘fudged’ the fuel sensor in each car is, is really irritating me – it’s like revealing the emperor has no clothes, or that WWE is not ‘real’ wrestling. That it was attempted to hide this from the fans also irks me – not that most fans would probably be concerned about it at all – which is probably why they wanted no fuss if it’s not entirely needed/detracts from the show.

          It’s about the fairness of competition – which is why hate is usually directed at the dominant teams. For RB, it’s outspending/bending the rules, for Ferrari it was the tyre war/outspending, Renault abysmal race fixing (which lost us the Renault team) and McLaren overstepping the line on some occasions (and being slapped hard to step in line). Whitmarsh knew the importance of FOTA at least, but he has now been moved aside.

          In this case, the judge highlighted early on that the fuel sensors were dodgy, whether from the technology itself or their own internal issues/strife/lack of development over IP and the suing going on over this. But, if RB’s method can guarantee 100kg/hr, I think the FIA should just use that one until the sensor works – I just want to see the cars all running on 100kg/hr! Even if this leads to Merc winning by 2 minutes each time (but they won’t to try and save the engines)!

          The current situation is unclear (no information on screen, even showing the fastest laps were giving FOM difficulty), and basically amounts to a ‘behind the scenes’ call from the FIA/whiting to turn up or down whichever car based on dodgy readings – which leads to the suspicion that they can artificially alter the race on a whim.

    • Are you so bumhurt over Mateschitz’s comments that he might walk out that you need to lose yourself in a disparaging outburst over the bloggers’ comments?

    • It’s one thing to insult me with ‘fan-boy’ but… ‘bum-boy’…!
      You go too far, Sir…!

    • “The issue I see hear is that some feel a burning sensation in a nether orifice, because they had hoped for RB to not only be beaten, but properly humiliated only for them to show up and challenging for a podium at a race they weren’t even expected to finish. All this talk about sportsmanship and whatnot is ridiculous. Sportsmanship and F1 have ceased to be mentionable in the same sentence many moons ago and it certainly isn’t RB’s fault.”

      I rated FH post up purely for this paragraph ^

      I am sure disappointment motivates a lot of the hate talk lately 😉

    • I’m with you today Danilo, Merc came out and said the same last year, something along the lines of having strong beliefs about corruption and unethical behavior, and that if the F1 team was found guilty of breaking the rules, the board would have to consider wether they would need to distance themselves (pull out) from team and the sport to comply with their anti-corruption policies.

      I’m pretty sure if any F1 team thinks they can gain an advantage from flirting with the very limits of the regulations, they will, and if they can do it, without anyone finding out then they will almost certainly start to take it even further until someone notices (mass dampers, extra fuel tank, slots in the floor, aero-plasticity and elasticity, option 13 (benton), ground effect, gurney flaps, the list goes on) .

      I agree with the Hippo, that there are far more hardend rule ‘interpreters’ in the F1 paddock that RedBull. Let’s face it RedBull have been under the microscope these last 3 or 4 years and had great innovation stifled by regulation ‘tweeks’ designed to slow them down (Full-EBD, flexible wings etc), if this was Ferrari or Mercedes, people would be say stuff like “they’re an engine manufacturer so they know their PU’s fuel consumption” and “why would such a prestigious global car brand want to be seen cheating in F1”. You get the idea.

      The thought that RedBull may get DSQ from the 1st three races may be wide of the mark. What if the rest of the teams ignore the FIA fuel sensors and use their own models to calculate fuel flow for the next 2 races because it’s allows them to run a bit more aggressively and still be ‘legal’ according to their own calculations.

      That would be interesting.

  9. Enlighten me please! How is an F1 driver supposed to make fuel more efficient and better? Unless they send Nico off back to uni for a PhD to complement his engineering degree and then get him on board later.

    Usual PR/marketing nonsense.

    • Nico does not have an engineering degree. He was accepted into an engineering program but chose to race instead. But your point still stands.

  10. “is F1 as important as those of us within the sport like to think?” Judge, that is one of the most important questions one can ask in this era. F1s ego is out of control and time is running out.

    It was hilarious when at the start of the Australian GP the announcers said “get ready for the start! turn up your volume!” and nothing but a gentle purr in background hahaha.

    F1 needs to do three things immediately to “turn the boat around”: 1- build the loudest most impressive and visceral open cockpit prototypes that make you go “whoa holy shit!” when they blast by at full unimpeded throttle. and 2- make attending races easily financially accessible to the average person. 3- improve the viewing experience on tv along with a modern inexpensive pay subscription service for viewing races online with full interactive features (I.e camera selection).

    But my guess is they won’t. they’ll just do things like telling the fans to suck their proverbial you know what by saying things like “get used to the sound” until they drive it into the ground.

    • “is F1 as important as those of us within the sport like to think?”
      Nope. F1 isn’t important at all. It’s merely a (sometimes) entertaining circus attraction, full of colour and movement, staged by our financial overlords for the sole purpose of comparative appendage measurement on their parts and to also increase the flow of coin from our collective pockets to theirs.
      A week or so ago I took a phone screenshot of the headlines on a local news service web site. Among other things:
      .
      “Ecclestone ‘horrified’ by lack of F1 noise”
      .
      “Detective ‘horrified’ St Ann’s abuse investigation shut down, inquiry hears” – a reference to an ongoing royal commission into institutionalised child abuse over recent decades.
      .
      So Bernie’s ‘horrified’ about his toy cars not being loud enough? I’m devo, dude…
      But, hey, I love the show as much as the next guy, but I don’t kid myself that it means anything beyond a few hours of light distraction a week. Nothing to get too worked up about.
      P.S. One way to measure the intrinsic value of things is to consider what would happen if there was no advertising / sponsorship / money involved. Would anyone still do it? Would anyone else care? If something isn’t primarily powered by passion / love then it ain’t worth much at all.
      F1? Surely the most money-hungry and insanely contrived sport on the planet. Important? Pfft! Hardly 🙂

  11. Seems like to me you’d be better off spending that money propping up the NHS than funding a new racetrack. Speaking as an American who has just had to pay no small amount of money for health care DESPITE having fairly good insurance, just saying……

  12. I wrote this comment late Saturday and posted it on Saturday’s news comments section. With Mateschitz comments about F1 should go back to being the pinnacle and the mention of political influence (i guess within the sport) I want to stir up a debate as to what is the real reason for their actions, nothing happens in F1 without good solid reasoning and of course a chance to gain an advantage over the others. So what is the advantage RedBull are aiming for?

    As for the team, I can only continue to ask myself WHY? What’s in it for them, what’s the bigger picture according to Infinity RedBull racing, where I’s this heading and what will be the repercussions through the paddock?

    I wish I was a fly on the wall in RedBull racing over the coming days and weeks.

    Here is some fireworks for you guys, I’m going in deep. If RedBull are made to adhere to the word of the rules as set down by the FIA, then they could argue that the FIA need to then look in-house at the rules they lay down to govern themselves. Perhaps emphasizing the possibly ‘corrupt’ selling of the commercial wrights to Formula 1. As we know Bernie is on his way out so no-one has to worry about upsetting him too much, he’s got his own battles. So if RedBull force the FIA to overturn the sale of the commercial wrights, the share value plumets, CVC want to get out quick, Bernie sells his shares too, RedBull buy it up cheap, simple as. They own 1 F1 track already so why not own the sport, buy up more tracks, no need to pay yourself hosting fees so all ticket, hospitalities and catering money is profit, also all track advertising is RedBull’s to do as they please with, the whole thing would be worth a freakin fortune, we all know how mut the RedBull head honcho is an out and out race fan, he could up the prize money, still make a fortune and not have to supplement the RedBull F1 team’s budget any more.

    • It’s an interesting theory… one that has been speculated for some time. Red Bull becoming F1 title sponsors.. but indeed ownership of the sport could be better.. following what Ecclestone did in going from team owner to commercial rights owner. CVC have put a lot of debt on F1, so buying it all up would put off profitability for a short while. If the FIA rescinded the original deal (unlikely looking at their usual modus operandi), everything would be up in the water.

      • Last fall Dieter Rencken reported on speculation (ha) of RB to sell team w/in 3 years and take over title sponsorship of the F1 world championship series. But he also made some cryptic reference to it being like how RB “owns” the other events they market through, and he named a few. I’ll ahve to try to find that article.

  13. “…and they are still investigating …”

    Not very reassuring this comment by Lewis on his engine problems. Hopefully he’ll get to finish the GP this time around. But what do you do, retire this engine, get the penalty and use a new engine? Or risk it with this engine? 50 points to Rosberg, or Lewis to get a win?

    On other marketing/PR news, Lewis will now also appear at Top Gear’s festival at Barbados. If only his on track pursuit was going as smoothly as his marketing efforts.

  14. Oh Mateschithead do us all a favour and pull your arrogant team out of Formula One. At least then we’ll be rid of that snake Christian Horner and the constant attempts at breaking the rules then proceeding to cover up their wrongdoings. Not saying other teams haven’t done this in the past, but it’s a recurring theme with Red Bull now and I don’t think there’s anything that team wouldn’t do to get back to winning and that includes bringing the sport into disrepute. It’s about time they get bringing down a peg or two.

    • So they do everything to win, really?

      Like for instance breaking as seal on the gearbox to shaft their second driver in favor of #1? Like, lets say, running an illegal second fuel tank, illegal barge boards, a second break pedal? How often did they give team-orders when they were still banned?
      How often again were Red Bull fined a million dollar fine for lying to the stewards, stealing documents or staging a deliberate crash to influence the race result? How often were they disqualified for technical infringments before the Melcourne GP? How often did they have to appear before the IT for conducting an illegal test? By your logic Lotus, McLaren and Ferrari and Merc would all have to withdraw from F1 for damaging the sport.

      • Team orders are disguised in many forms. Just because they didn’t do it explicitly, doesn’t mean they haven’t done it. There have been many cases of the car being illegal in races, yet the results still stood and were just told to change whatever it was before the next race. McLaren and Ferrari were brought down a few pegs in past years and it wouldn’t do any harm for the same to happen to Red Bull. The constant oh we have a right to win and arrogance displayed by the team in their dominant years is ridiculous. It’s time for them to face the reality as McLaren and Ferrari had to….

        • “Team orders are disguised in many forms. Just because they didn’t do it explicitly, doesn’t mean they haven’t done it.”

          Just because there was a theoretical way to still implement them, doesn’t mean that RB have done it. You have bot the shred of a proof to corroborate your insinuation.

          Ferrari got away with irregular barge boards in 1999. They were the ones, who invented flexi-wings. They were told to change them, but the race result stood. Even the result of the finangled crash-gate race was allowed to stand, likely costing Felipe Massa the 2008 title. McLaren were never punished for their 2nd brake pedal, they were merely told to change the setup and race results were allowed to stand. Benetton/Renault were never punished for their moveable weight. They were told to change their car, but the results were allowed to stand.
          Teams being told to change their cars after a protest or a request for clarification by the opposition has been normal business in F1 for ages. It’s hardly something that was introduced with RB’s appearance on the scene.
          Care to try another easily refutable excuse?

          • I love history.

            Ferrari’s barge boards were ‘proven’ to have been measured incorrectly. Ross Brawn proved this at the FIA appeals court and the measurement of tolerances was changed after that. The interesting thing about this whole charade was that Newey and the Mclaren team had spotted this infringement at the previous Grand Prx but because Ferrari didn’t finish in the points they didn’t say anything to the stewards. Who called F1 a sport?

            If they disqualified Alonso from the 2008 Singapore GP, Massa would have moved up to 12th in the classification so his WDC standing wouldn’t have changed.

            In regards the mass-damper that Renault were running in 2006, the FIA declared it a moveable aerodynamic design. How the hell I don’t know, but there you go. The problem with that was that Renault had been using it for 18 months previously and had designed their 2006 car around the system. When the other teams couldn’t get theirs to work properly, they complained and got it banned.

          • “If they disqualified Alonso from the 2008 Singapore GP, Massa would have moved up to 12th in the classification so his WDC standing wouldn’t have changed.”

            Massa was leading comfortably when Renault caused the faux safety car. Caught out unawares Ferrari decided to be idiots in the pit lane. Under normal circumstances, I doubt the race would have unfolded like that. Massa dropping out of the points was an indirect result of the chaos that was caused by the SC and teams being unsure whether or not the pitlane was open or not. Under normal circumstances the raced would have had to be neutralized, which would have costed HAM a somewhat lucky 3rd place and thus put him out of contention at the last race.
            FIA however decided to let a race result stand that was brought about by illicit means.

      • Fats, I find little fault with the majority of your logic. The rants you post are erudite and well presented but one thing I take issue with is the Ferrari breaking the gearbox seal on Massa’s car at the 2012 Austin GP.
        You are intelligent enough to understand their reasoning and ultimately it was not breaking the rules. If Massa had moved aside for Alonso in that race it would have been deemed ok because Ferrari were chasing the title.

        The fact that RBR have not been disqualified for any infringements is more to do with how pathetic the FIA has been rather than whiter than white RBR have been.

        A hole in the floor at Monaco was allowed and they changed it for the following race. They had engine maps that because of badly worded or rather cleverly argued counter points secured them the win and they changed it for the next race.

        Newey has always seeked the unfair advantage, much as Colin Chapman did before him, and it’s to be applauded but when a team attempts to change specific rules because it doesn’t suit their purpose then people start to get a little upset.

        From testing in 2013, Red Bull kept prattling on about the tyres not being good enough. Paul Hembrey remarked at the time that if the teams wanted tyres made a in 2012 then RBR would dominate again. Whether Ferrari, Lotus and Force India designed cars which worked on the new rubber or not, it is up to Red Bull to make their car work on the provided equipment.
        Pirelli screwed up with their specification exploding in races and hence the FIA stepped in to force a change on safety grounds but Red Bull could do with a little humility.

        I made a comment recently in reply to someone saying about ‘balls in the pool’. Does anybody seriously think Red Bull work harder than their competition? Maybe more efficiently and with better design thought processes but I doubt the other teams are sitting by idly!

        • The 2013 tyre issue is one that makes me go bonkers. Of course RB complained about the tyres. They targeted their specific strength – they hobbled cars with high downforce. Nobody said it aloud, but it was pretty obvious that bogging down RB was part of the consideration, the same way the tyre rules were abused to nerf Ferrari in 2005.
          What I take offense in however is that it is all blamed on RB. Mercedes wer just as vocal if not more about them. Those of you not watching F1 on RTL can count your blessings. I can sing Lauda’s slagging-off of Pirelli from memory, because he repeated it on every race weekend, even at Monaco, where they won.
          Ferrari, FI and Lotus did not design their cars for the tyres, they just lacked downforce in fast corners, which made for less lateral load. People seem to forget that RB was already in the lead when the tyres were changed, they would’ve won anyway, probably just not as dominantly. And in the end the tyres weren’t even changed because of RB.

      • I think you missed something there – can’t quite put my finger on it tho’……

    • We can’t allow Red Bull to leave F1 on safety grounds. What would we do in case of an accident without Dr. Marco available trackside?

      “Is there a doctor in the house?!?”

  15. Judge, let me assure you that Fat Hippo and me are not one and the same. If it pleases your honour, would you honour forthwith direct snipes in two pointed directions.

  16. as an aside, your Honour – I just watched the video of the Merc doing some circle work in Indo, and am brought near to tears listening to a 3.5 Litre V8 having the ‘ring flogged off it. I thought I liked the sound of some of the new V6 “power units” (gaackkk) – in particular the Ferrari – but now not so much…

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