This page will be updated throughout the day.
Please if you are on Twitter press the tweet button below. If you re-write and tweet individual story headlines don’t forget to include #F1.
You may not realise how hugely important this is and has helped grow our community significantly.
F1 race in Sochi becoming inconceivable
David Cameron, UK Prime Minister says the G8 summit will not take place in Sochi this year.
Speaking in the Netherlands, Mr Cameron said it was “absolutely clear” the planned June meeting of world leaders in the Russian resort of Sochi would not happen owing to events in Ukraine.
The EU and US have imposed sanctions on Russian officials after Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
Moscow has also been warned of further action if it does not change course.
The announcement that the Sochi meeting had been effectively cancelled came after Russian troops seized control of the last major military base in Crimea.
Russia has notably been excluded from the current meeting in the Hague, and Cameron stated, “We should be clear there’s not going to be a G8 summit in Russia. It’s absolutely clear. We’ll be meeting tonight, the seven other countries of the G8 that are going to determine the way forward. But frankly it is Russia that needs to change course.”
In what has been described as the worst stand off between Russia and the West since 1997 when the former Soviet Union republic was invited to join the G8, western nations, Europe and the USA are clearly isolating Russia from the ‘rich nations’ club.
TJ13 contacted the Prime Minister’s office yesterday to request what the UK government’s position is regarding the planned inaugural Russian Formula 1 GP, though as yet there has been no response.
However, TJ13 has held the view from the first incursions into Crimea by Russian forces that it is inconceivable should matters continue to escalate, that the UK government will not sanction UK companies from giving President Putin the international recognition and the publicity, holding an F1 race would provide.
Red Bull, Pariah or Patron?
We can chew the cud over how things were done in yesteryear F1 land – until the cows come home. However, the fact is that the way teams agree to behave has supposedly changed in recent times.
Ferrari were despised by many for a time, mostly for a range of alleged shenanigans and charges of cheating. Yet such was the favour shown to them by the FIA, various forms of acronym were devised where the ‘F’ in FIA represented ‘Ferrari’.
But times have changed.
No longer do we have the spectre of race results being regularly challenged, then altered sometimes weeks and months later, or even final championship standings being retrospectively affected.
Graham Lowden explains how the teams now operate a code of conduct to prevent continual court hearings and disputed race results. “We have this system where the FIA give their opinion. It happens on things all the time. We seek Charlie Whiting’s opinion on a lot of things and he gives it and I think there’s a general view that it’s good for the teams to follow that advice, even though it might not necessarily constitute a part of the Technical Regulations as such, but I think some things should be reasonably straightforward”.
The consequence of ignoring this agreed code of operating within F1, Lowden says is stark. “It is an opinion and if we were just to ignore all of those opinions and constantly test them in a court then the sport would just stutter along endlessly”.
It is for this particular reason that the Red Bull/Ferrari furore over the Mercedes ‘tyre-gate’ test in 2013 resulted in nothing more than a slap on the wrist for the team from Brackley. Ross Brawn explained to the International tribunal that he had checked with Charlie Whiting whether the test was legal and had been given the green light from the FIA delegate.
With regard to the fuel flow sensors, Graham Lowden is yet another from the paddock to confirm the problems have affected many of the teams. “From what I understand, a number of teams were given advice by the FIA on what they should do with regard to fuel consumption and I think most of them followed it. It really is going to be difficult for the sport to operate races in a way that the fans are really going to understand if the advice is simply ignored because you can make a car go quicker.
If Red Bull chose to ignore the guideline from the FIA then they will have only done that to make their car go quicker – there’s no reason why they would have done anything other than that”.
Following the stewards disqualification of Ricciardo, TJ13 took the position that Red Bull would be best served not appealing the decision, despite the romance of Ricciardo’s second place in the race. This is simply a pragmatic view based upon where F1 is at with some of the new technology not working properly.
It may be that the whizz kids from Milton Keynes they can prove from their measurements that fuel was not delivered at more than 100kg of fuel per hour, but so what? Mercedes have indicated it was the same for them, yet they chose to comply as did others not in such a dominant position.
Lowden also believes Red Bull should have obeyed the instructions from the FIA technical delegate during the race, otherwise the result would be chaos. “If that was the approach that every single team took then without any question every single result would always be decided in the International Court of Appeal, and that’s not really what it’s meant for and it wouldn’t be good for the fans and, you’d argue, it wouldn’t be good for the sport.”
Unfortunately, Horner et al have proven in times past they are not interested in the good of F1 as a whole, just what gives them any kind of advantage. This is the way F1 used to be, however things have changed.
Red Bull’s insistence on this matter could force other teams to act in a similar manner, consistently testing the technical regulations, which clearly would result in disaster. As such, Lowden concludes, “obviously the International Court of Appeal is the final arbiter on these things, so there is a process which is well laid out. My own view is, and it’s purely a personal view, that it would open the floodgates to all sorts of things if this appeal were to be successful”.
It should be hoped that indeed times have changed and F1 does not wish to return to the days of continual protests and appeals with the resulting constant legal battles.
To that end it’s time for the F1 world champions to demonstrate they are not just thoroughbred winners, but that they can act with some class and respect for their competitors and for the sport in general. After all, other teams want to win just as much as Red Bull does, but on this particular issue the rest have chosen to act as patrons of the sport and to look to its greater good – not one of a pariah who merely has to win at all costs.
Fernandes hoists the white flag
In January, Tony Fernandes gave a ‘do or die’ speech to the workers in Leafield. TJ13 was informed that many were shocked and dismayed by the edict their leader had issued.
“My message to the 250 people here [at the factory] is we have to go for it this year. This is it – the final chance. We’ve given you the best infrastructure, the best potential drivers but it is now down to all of you to go and do it.
If we’re at the back I don’t think I’m going to carry on. Nothing is set in stone but after five years with no points there is a limit to one’s patience, money, motivation, etc, so it’s an important year.
I need to feel like we’re going somewhere. If I feel we can compete, then great but if we’re not competing then we have to seriously examine ourselves and ask ‘does this make sense?’ If we’re not competing, two seconds behind everybody else, then we haven’t made any progress”.
At times Fernandes talks a lot, but appears to be ill informed. To suggest that Caterham F1 have the best infrastructure and drivers is just one example of this. They may be the best Tony can afford, but clearly that isn’t good enough.
Fernandes is not the first wannabe F1 magnate to bite off more than can be chewed. Yet to be fair when he agreed to set up an F1 team in 2010 he was promised by former FIA president Max Mosley a competition where there would be a £40m ($60m) cost cap on teams. The reality is in F1 there is now a gulf of hundreds of millions between those at the front and those at the back of the grid.
A few days after the January rant, Fernandes parted company with Riad Asmat – former Chief Executive Officer of the Caterham Group – after five years with the team.
Asmat was originally appointed CEO of Caterham’s F1 team (then Lotus Racing) ahead of its debut in the sport in 2010. He then rose through the ranks to be Group CEO, responsible for the F1 team, GP2 and Caterham Cars among other areas.
The next debacle for Fernandes racing group saw Caterham announce an LMP2 entry for the Le Mans series this year on February 13th, only to withdraw just 24 hours later.
TJ13 reported from Jerez that we had been informed the sports car collaboration with Renault was also under threat. Reuters now confirms this, despite Renault’s refusal to comment..
“The French automaker will brief unions on Wednesday about the unwinding of its nine-month-old joint venture with Caterham but continue solo development of a roadster to revive its own Alpine brand”.
Renault and Caterham had signed an agreement in November 2012 to use their F1 brands to produce affordable performance cars for the European and Asian markets.
Fernandes is currently at the centre of another sporting storm. Fans of his English Football League team – Queens Park Rangers – believe manager Harry Redknapp has been ordered to ensure the team do not gain promotion to the English Premier League this year.
The reason being, Fernandes reportedly blew some £100m on players and wages during the year the club was relegated from the Premier League. The new UEFA financial fair play rules which come into existence for the next football season restricts spending in these areas to a proportion of revenue. QPR’s spend was astronomical in contrast to their income.
The financial fair play fines in the English Premier League are substantially higher than for the current division where QPR are competing. So, should QPR be promoted to England’s top flight football division and fall foul of the new financial fair play rules, the fine for the clubs breach of financial fair play has been estimated as high as £50m.
The English media have been sympathetic at times to Fernandes, suggesting he has been badly advised. Mike Gascoigne claimed in the second year of the Formula 1 team, that Caterham would upset some established names that season. This was never going to happen.
On football matters, Fernandes’ various managers squandered 10’s of millions on players worth a fraction of the value for which they were bought.
Yet Tony Fernandes is a big boy who has a lot to say, sometimes about issues he is clearly not well informed upon; and he must stand and fall by his own decisions.
To crown it all, TJ13 has been informed; Fernandes has appointed M&A financial advisors to find buyers for his entire automotive interests. Maybe as we reported yesterday, Zoran Stefanovich will finally get his Stefan GP outfit off the ground for 2015. But now, he could have a choice between acquiring Caterham or Marrusia.
With Lotus and Sauber’s finances precarious for 2014, once again, the profligate waste of money in F1 is bringing the sport to the brink.
Whether Tony is quitting whilst he is ahead is dubious, but the white flag appears well and truly raised.
Ferrari – Melbourne ERS issues caused by FIA software systems
Whilst it is unlikely Fernando Alonso had the pace in Melbourne to challenge the Mercedes he would probably have been contesting a place on the podium. The Ferrari F14-T is not the most competitive car or engine currently but issues have emerged from Australia that some of the FIA systems severely handicapped the Ferrari engined teams.
With flow-gate and the ensuing appeal dominating the headlines – Ferrari has maintained a dignified silence after what was a poor outing for the scarlet machines in Melbourne. Fernando Alonso salvaged fifth after a race long struggle in his Ferrari but it transpires that there may have been other issues limiting the car’s true speed.
On live Italian television – viewers were told that Ferrari had a problem with releasing the electrical power in the F14-T. Assumptions were made it was an inherent fault in the Ferrari power unit as it affected all Ferrari powered cars but it seems to have been caused by a ‘bug’ in the FIA launch control systems.
In the same way that KERS was not available until the cars had passed 100km/h from the starting grid, the 2014 regulations forbids the deployment of energy from the MGU-K system before reaching this magical figure. The ‘flag’ that restricts this is controlled by the FIA and once the 100km/h is superseded the full power of the system can be released.
In Melbourne, all the Ferrari powered cars experienced the same problem – they remained in the starting mode which prevented their respective drivers being able to release the MGU-K’s power at any point, not only after passing the 100km/h marker after the start.
The activation of the MGU-K systems should have restarted themselves but the units had entered ‘safety mode’ and would need to be over-ridden with certain procedures from the drivers and teams. Alonso, for example, struggled through 36 laps without the 120kW power boost and it was only after the pit-stop that the car began to run properly.
Raikkonen was further penalised with a malfunctioning DRS system. He had more than one opportunity to use the system to pass an opponent but it’s failure stymied his progress. The FIA has since announced they will be introducing changes to the electronic control system for the rear wing in Sepang to ensure the problem does not happen again.
So, nearly one third of the gird were handicapped by systems that were the responsibility of the governing body. Ferrari has made no comment on these matters and the FIA has not offered apologises to the teams affected. Direction should come from the top in any organisation and it seems that Jean Todt’s softly-softly approach has filtered through to the remainder of the FIA’s infrastructure..
It does not bear thinking about the outcome; if the same problems that affected the Maranello team had handicapped the Red Bull team. In the same way they use the media to highlight shortcomings with FIA provided flow-meters, or they are critical of tyres they do not want, the campaign would have been rousing journalists from their slumber to once again sing from the corporate hymn sheet.
Currently Formula One has bigger problems than inaccurate fuel meters which the team from Milton Keynes is shouting about.
There are issues with the electronics which have affected six cars – in regards power delivery. Issues with DRS deployment are significant enough to warrant updated software immediately and a self imposed draconian fuel limit has been imposed that makes following the race practically impossible as to when drivers are actually pushing.
Though as one well known FIA official commented recently to TJ13, the majority of the TV audience have never understood the detail of F1. They just see ‘cars in a line or cars overtaking’. Yet for some of the die hard fans they feel the sport is becoming irrelevant – irrespective of how cutting edge the technology is.
Lauda hits back at F1’s ‘new era’ critics (GMM)
Niki Lauda has hit back at the critics who are slamming the revolutionary new face of Formula One.
Ron Walker, the Australian grand prix chief who is a key Bernie Ecclestone ally, is leading the charge by threatening to sue the sport and switch to Indycar racing after hearing the sound of the new turbo V6 engines. “It would be a drastic change to switch to Indycar but we cannot go on like this,” he told F1 business journalist Christian Sylt in the Independent.
Walker blames the FIA for presiding over the changes in spite of F1 chief executive Ecclestone’s opposition. “We did a survey of the fans and they don’t really care about saving fuel, they want to go and see gladiatorial drivers fighting each other and not worry about the fuel that they use.”
But the loss of the normally-aspirated engine scream, Walker argues, is the main problem. “It is hard enough to sell tickets now but this is arrogance at the worst from Jean Todt,” he said.
Whilst admitting that the engine noise lacks the drama of the past, however, F1 legend Lauda’s view about the all-new F1 era could not be starker. And, he insists, his approval has “nothing to do” with Mercedes’ dominance in Melbourne.
“It was a demonstration of a modern, contemporary Formula One,” he said of the Albert Park event “I just cannot understand and I find it absurd that there are people who are upset about this new formula one after this very good race,” Lauda told the German newspaper Welt.
“This is now a racing category that is totally in tune with the technology trends,” he insisted “We now have a new age; new road transport needs, environmental initiatives, the development of hybrid cars and thinking about the quality of life of people in a highly technological world with all of its challenges.
The old eight-cylinder engines were no longer appropriate,” said Lauda. “The turbo technology gives us more power with less fuel and less noise and less environmental impact, with reduced carbon emissions. For this reason Honda is coming into formula one next year with Renault, Ferrari-Fiat and Mercedes, and perhaps other manufacturers will follow as well. So I see only advantages,”
As for the opponents like Ecclestone, Lauda countered: “I have to clearly contradict Bernie. The Formula One attraction is not defined by the noise.It is defined by the sporting action and as exciting a competition as possible with highly demanding and contemporary technologies and drivers who know how to handle these cars at the highest level.
“Just talking about the noise is absurd and incomprehensible to me,” he insisted. “We forget that these cars – because of their technology – are faster (on the straights) than the outdated eight-cylinders. What noise the exhaust makes has nothing to do with it, and this supposedly important emotional aspect, I cannot see it,” said Lauda. “The idea to make these cars now artificially loud is the wrong direction and bizarre.
“Formula One is completely on the right track,” he added, “and as is the law in Formula One we must go as fast as possible forwards, not backwards. Everything else makes no sense to me.”
Designer doubts Mercedes to dominate (GMM)
Mercedes designer Aldo Costa says he doubts his W05 will dominate the entire 2014 season.
Lewis Hamilton took pole with the new silver single seater and Nico Rosberg dominated the season-opening race in Melbourne, with many observers believing the German driver had hidden performance to spare on the Albert Park roads But Italian Costa, who joined Mercedes from Ferrari and led the design of the new W05, does not think the German marque will dominate throughout 2014.
“No, I don’t think we can talk about dominance,” he told the Italian magazine Autosprint. “We have seen the progress that Red Bull made between the Bahrain test and the first race — they were much more competitive than they were in winter testing. This gives an indication of how fast progress and the resolution of problems is in formula one,” said Costa. “And it may well be that in a few grands prix many other teams will be at a good level,”.
Costa, 52, agrees that the performance of the ‘power unit’ is particularly important in F1’s new era, but he doubts that Mercedes is as far ahead of Ferrari and Renault as some currently believe.
Asked if rumours of a 50 horse power advantage for Mercedes make sense, he answered: “No, I don’t think they do. Let me explain: as teams, we have GPS data, so I think everyone can see that, when it’s running at full power, the Renault engine has remarkable performance. So probably their deficit at this time is that they cannot maintain this level of performance throughout a race because of temperature, or fatigue.”
“But I think that this is a problem that will gradually be solved,” Costa added.
F1 pay per view grows
The past few months has seen a flurry of activity between FOM and TV networks across the world.
Yesterday, Spanish agency Mediapro has acquired rights across Central and Latin America and the Caribbean for the Formula One world championship.
The exclusive deal, which excludes Brazil, will run for five years, from 2015 to 2019. Under the agreement, Mediapro will produce a dedicated channel, TV Formula One, which will show the coverage. The deal includes the F1 rights across all media platforms.
Mediapro is entering a regional sports pay-TV broadcasting market that Sportcal media analyst Catherine Davies said is “dominated” by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox and ESPN. Davies added that Fox Sports has “owned Formula One rights for Latin America for the last decade. It will make people sit up and take notice of Mediapro, which has largely flown under the radar until now”
Bloomberg reveal their sources indicated that the “multi-year deal will involve a payment” of more than €100M ($138M), which could “mean the removal of a giant like Fox, which had dominated the broadcasts there until now.” The contract “will reach 90 million homes, equivalent to 250-300 million viewers.”
Also yesterday, Polish pay-television operator Polsat acquired the media rights for the Formula One motor-racing world championship. This is a one year deal with extension options. Marian Kmita, the director of sport at Polsat, said that the deal had been agreed after “long and heavy negotiations.”
In February, Maltese telecommunications company ‘Go’ agreed a three-year extension to its broadcast rights deal for the F1 championship. Formula 1 is available to all those who subscribe to the silver or gold television packages for an extra €7.99 ($11) per month.
Further, the Setanta Sports Eurasia arm of international sports broadcaster Setanta Sports has agreed a two-year rights deal with FOM for the 2014/15 F1 seasons.
Under the terms of the deal, the Setanta Sports Eurasia channel will broadcast F1 in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
Engine noise survey
TJ13 ran a quick poll of readers last week to see whether you thought the engines should be made to sound more noisey – YES/NO. The results ended exactly 50/50.
Today, we’ll attempt something with a touch more gradient of opinion.
Ecclestone negotiating stance weakened
It wasn’t that long ago that attempting to discover the detail of a race promoters contractual arrangements with Bernie Ecclestone and FOM was nigh on impossible. A range of threats and gagging clauses forced the promoters to keep schtum!
Yet a number of factors have seen this confidentiality breached in recent years. This is partly due to the information dissemination required by the offer documents required for the failed Singapore floatation; partly because the likes of the Chinese nor the Koreans cared not about Ecclestone’s hidden threats; and partly because it’s not difficult to see through the façade which was designed to give the impression that there is always an endless supply of host nations desperate to take an F1 race.
It wasn’t long ago Ecclestone was sabre rattling with Melbourne, demanding a night race and suggesting they were foolish not to have built a dedicated race circuit many years ago.
Yet it appears Bernie got his fingers burned when the detail of the new Australian GP contract was negotiated with his mate Ron Walker. Melbourne have enjoyed certain privileges most other race promoters are not afforded.
Ecclestone attempted to get the Melbourne race promoters to sign up to a new “global contract’’ with standardised conditions in line with other F1 races throughout the world. Ron Walker considered this a “deal-breaker’’ and according to the Herald Sun flatly refused to sign on the dotted line..
Melbourne’s contract has allowed them to use unique “Melbourne’’ branding around the circuit and the profits from corporate and VIP areas are retained by the promoter.
Walker claims there is a revised offer from FOM now being considered by the State Government, which he believes to be a “very fair and reasonable offer for the taxpayer’’.
“Mr Ecclestone wanted to create a new global contract for everybody, wanted it standardised,’’ explains Walker. “We’ve enjoyed privileges that nobody else has in the 19 years we’ve had the contract.
He wanted to adjust those in accordance with what he charges everybody else, which was a deal-breaker as far as we were concerned.’’
Grand Prix chief Andrew Westacott elaborates further, “The ability for us to sell corporate hospitality is a right that Victoria’s Grand Prix has that not many other circuits have. In all the European circuits the revenues for the Paddock Club go to Formula One but in Melbourne they go to us and therefore jobs for Victorian companies, and those are the rights that we want to retain.’’
This should be the final nail in the coffin for Ecclestone, who is perceived to handle negotiations with an iron grip on behalf of his masters. If the Aussies are sticking 2 fingers up at him and he is capitulating, meekly agreeing their terms – then how long before others wake up and smell the roses.
Well in fact this has been the case for some time. The Chinese, the German’s, the Belgians and the Italians have all refused incremental fee’s or agreed reduced payments to host their F1 GP’s in recent times.
Ferrari confirm lean design of engine
After a winter of gamesmanship and limited performance running – seasoned observers felt that Ferrari were the only team that, seemingly, had not shown it’s true potential.
After the poor showing in Australia many media outlets have attempted to discover the reasons behind their performance. Factor in that the Ferrari ‘customer’ teams also suffered similar performance problems and the common denominator would be – the engine was at fault.
In an industry where information is king and the news outlets are posting twenty four hours a day it was inevitable that some mis-information would leak through.
There have been a number of conflicting views in regards the portliness of the Ferrari 059/3 engine – a claim that has been refuted by the Maranello squad. In a statement to counter claims in the German media that their Power Unit is not as lean as the competitions – Ferrari have quite categorically stated they were the only team that opposed the proposed increase of the weight limit.
The other teams raised concerns that the 691kgs threshold for the combined driver and car combination would have required their drivers committing to an unhealthy weight-loss programme- something that the Italian squad would not need from their incumbents.
The team mentioned, once again, that they had found more innovative solutions in the design of the power plant; which included a turbo charger shield that has been protested by both Mercedes and Renault.
This 3kg saving over the solutions their competition are using has been put forward as requiring regulatory clarification but although speculation has been made that this would be changed the ‘Reparto Corse’ was assured by the FIA that the concept has been approved.
Of more importance to the Ferrari squad is that they can finally get a true idea of the inherent speed of the car in Malaysia – after the software issues caused by the FIA systems have been resolved. As yet they do not expect to be competing against the Mercedes cars but they estimate they should be closer to their current true potential.
Allied to this is news that there have been changes in the factory personnel responsible for the design of the Energy Recovery Systems. Luca Marmorini still heads up the engine department but there have been promotions of senior engineers to support the Formula One programme.
Rumours reached TJ13 some weeks ago that several ERS experts at Brixworth had received offers to relocate to the sunnier climes of Italy – maybe the exodus has begun..
The Iceman’s Glass is ‘half full’
Kimi Raikkonen is adored by his fans for his honest no nonsense language. Famously – when asked by Martin Brundle, on live British TV, if he had seen the ceremony they had given to Michael Schumacher – for his final race before retiring the first time (2006) – he replied -“No I was having a s***!”
In the UK we call his optimistic attitude a ‘glass half full’ as opposed to ‘glass half empty’ and maybe – with the explosive personality of Alonso beside him – Ferrari appreciate his measured candour.
After the Australian Grand Prix Kimi reflected on the situation facing Ferrari at the moment: “It takes time to fix things, but we can only get better we know more or less what we want to do, but some things do not happen in a matter one night. It takes time to produce certain parts or to be able to address the situation in a certain way. Nor can we promise that everything will settle soon as we have what we want. I found myself in these conditions in the past, sometimes it takes a bit of time. Well, was not the goal we wanted to achieve, but it could have been worse.’m sure that from now on we can only get better.”
But after a number of disappointing years the Prancing Horse stable is still a cause for concern amongst the Tifosi. Are they about to be subjected to another fruitless campaign?
Ferrari’s Technical Director – James Allison – offered some insight to the current thinking in Maranello: “The reliability shown by the F14 T is gratifying, but it is clear that we have our work cut out to improve the car if we want to compete on equal terms with Mercedes. Various aspects of F14 T are working very well: the starts and cornering, especially those with high speed, are particular strengths while we need to work further on the braking stability and speed on the straights.”
Allison continued ” In Maranello work progresses unceasingly. All recent seasons in Formula 1 have been characterized by a fierce struggle with developments from March until November.”
“With all the new regulations in 2014, the opportunities for improving these cars are considerable and we can expect a race to developments among several teams still more intense than normal. Our competitiveness was not acceptable in Melbourne but we’re going to fight with every improvement that we will be able to introduce to scale the vertices of the grid. ”
7 days in the wind tunnel
Moves to shorten the race
Rumours are circulating the paddock at present that the next F1 strategy group meeting will discuss a proposal to reduce the race distance of the current F1 format – 2 hours/305km.
There has been dismay expressed by long standing F1 fans about a number of matters the strategy group has presided over in recent times, and the sardonic views expressed by commentators ask “what next?”
Well. Shorter races is next.
It’s as though this F1 new body has been empowered to decide things and the euphoria of making decisions is getting out of control.
There have been moves afoot previously in F1 to reduce the race distance, notably by a certain disgraced Italian with flowing blonde hair.
Flavio believed 2 races a weekend would be better entertainment than one. This is ironic when we consider Briatore by taking the law into his own hands in fact lengthened the time of a well known race – by instructing one of his cars to get ‘up close and personal’ with a wall – resulting in many slow laps behind the safety car.
No matter. The reasons behind the current proposal are quite different.
Apparently, the new computer generation of kids F1 is looking to attract, wouldn’t conceive of playing a game for the length of an F1 race without some kind of break – or end of level scenario.
Then there is the secondary matter of cars running short of fuel and being slightly fragile. The shorter race would mean the cars could be pushed harder as their endurance capabilities would be reduced.
So, if you thought ‘double points’ was lunacy, then I guess TJ13 readers will just now be looking for a dark room and a long lie down.
What a difference a tweet makes
The ‘devil may care’, ‘cool kids’, of F1 social media – who knew how to even do self deprecation pretty well – are indeed finished.
Following risqué tweets showing copulating mammals and kissing men (which may have possibly offended the entire Russian nation so much that they decided to take it out on Ukraine) the Lotus PR social machine is finished.
Since the Australian GP, they’ve issued just 10 tweets, all of which are most dull and uninteresting by comparison with days of yore.
And after a very long flight we’re back at HQ!
Morning everyone and how are we today? We’re up bright and early in #Enstone, here’s a view to start your day
Right, let’s have your suggestions for Friday tunes please… We’ll kick off with this one today 😉 http://youtu.be/yZqmarGShxg
“We are ready to fight!” Oh yes. Hear from our new Deputy in town ahead of the #MalaysianGP
Nice tour on the Burj Khalifa ! @fostelf@MyDowntownDubai#r8mainhttp://instagram.com/p/l6yjKjk-NF/
Morning all, how are we this fine Tuesday? Fancy a little bit of reading material to kick it off?
And that’s your lot. Methinks Grandpappy judge has been put in charge – then again…..
Still – I guess if Crashtor’s car will travel further than 20 laps and can harness more than 30% of the ERS Renault power, we may see some entertainment there.
TJ13 readers are most insightful
We ran a poll which closed before the start of the Melbourne weekend asking how many cars would finish in Australia. Of course we now know this exact form of question is slightly ambiguous. However, there were 14 cars running, though one was not classified.
Indeed 14 cars in the TJ13 readers poll received the highest number of votes, with 16% of the vote.
Now folks, for this weekends lottery, I would like you to select 6 from the following numbers please…. 😉
24 years ago today
This beauty won the Brazilian GP