Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 7th April 2014


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On This Day in #F1: 7th April
#F1 Race Review: Hamilton makes it two in a row!
#F1 Polls: 2014 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX – Driver of the Weekend
#F1 Document Dump Bahrain Edition

Kimi’s tyre secret

Order of the day

Sweep it under the carpet

Should we thank Pastor?

Vergne – I was hospitalised

Montezemolo disgusted by Ferrari

Kimi’s tyre secret

It all makes so much sense now... Credit to 'Going on prime tyres in Q1 with Marussia' Facebook page

It all makes so much sense now…
[Credit to ‘Going on prime tyres in Q1 with Marussia’ Facebook page]


Order of the day

Some things it seems are guaranteed to happen in an F1 race at the moment whether it be in Melbourne, Malaysia or Bahrain. Under the darkness of the desert illuminated by brand new floodlights, Sebastian Vettel was told to let his Aussie teammate through in order to benefit the team.

Rocky, Vettel’s engineer uttered, “Sebastian, let Daniel go through please. Daniel is quicker than you. Let him by please.” A most helpful Vettel obliged and gave indication of where on the lap he would let Ricciardo past. For all the hankering they received from the years previously with team orders, they appear to have finally learnt their lesson.

So while it may come as little solace to Mark Webber as he watches the GPs from somewhere less busy than the F1 paddock, he can take heart in the fact he did make a difference to the Milton Keynes team. Seeing so many teammates racing each other was refreshing, not least the battle of the Mercedes pair for first place. The Force India cars were allowed to go wheel to wheel as they fought hammer and tong for 3rd place.

Predictably, no team orders were issued from Williams after the team u-turned from their post-race interviews in Malaysia and apologised to both drivers for issuing them; when they had primarily stated they were not orders at all. Bottas and Massa were free to race until the end, with Massa just edging it.

However, there are those who still believe the somewhat cryptic message Paddy Lowe gave over the team radio to both the drivers was in fact a team order. When interviewed by Simon Lazenby of SKYF1, he inferred that it was not an order but then said, “they didn’t listen anyway.

Whether he was saying they didn’t listen and still raced without caution, or if this was a slip of the tongue is unclear. Truth be told, there would be very little point in team orders as the chances of the title going anywhere else but Brackley this year are extremely slim. What do you the readership think? Team orders or just a poor choice of words from the technical director?


Sweep it under the carpet

When the political unrest first started in Bahrain during the Arab Spring in 2011, the race was cancelled on the fear of safety grounds. It then controversially returned in 2012 subject to much criticism from the worldwide media, as we raced in a place with such a poor human rights record. Every year since it has become a less contentious issue, with such little fuss being made this year, if you were new to Formula One you could still be gleefully innocent as to the troubles of times gone by.

However, does this mean that problems have resolved themselves or that the Bahrain police have learnt how to deal with the protesters to keep them away from the public eye? Of course not, it would wonderfully naive to think such when there has been no significant change to the regimes in the Middle East. With this being the case, one has to consider then whether F1 going to these countries helps or in fact hinders their cause?

On Sunday evening in the Bahraini capital of Manama, a car bomb exploded with no report as to any injuries or loss of life. Although, this was not picked up by any mainstream media, only New Strait Times reported the bomb in an area where many foreigners live. So with a only a march which was highly controlled by police and a demonstration of burning tyres on Sunday morning the Kingdom of Bahrain has escaped any kind of political punishment or condemnation for another year.

What used to be used as political weekend for many, to highlight the troubles the Shia population it is now so similar to any other weekend. The problems are swept under the carpet as the F1 ship sails in and out of town without even glancing either side to see what is going on around it; some things just don’t change.


Should we thank Pastor?

For weeks now the question everyone has been dying to have answered is just how fast are the Mercedes cars? Again, it was Paddy Lowe who let it slip that they were holding back in previous races, which only fueled the fire for people who speculated how fast they could truly go.

As many jumped on the bandwagon to criticise the hot-headed Venezuelan, who has built up a reputation for himself during his 2 and a bit seasons in an F1 car, for the way he caused the incident which lead to the safety car. Whether people would have reacted in the same way if it hadn’t sent Gutierrez into a tumble and merely stopped his running will always be a mystery, but there were some positives from the incident.

Bringing out the safety car set us up for a final 10 lap showdown that even the most imaginative of script writers would not have thought of. The Mercedes drivers were forced to show their pace advantage over the field as the driver duo battled it out until the line. The 3 second advantage they held on some laps was impressive to say the least.

So as nobody was hurt and Maldonado was punished is it an incident which we can actually thankful for? After all, without this, we would have been robbed to one of the best finishes to an F1 race (in terms of wheel to wheel racing) in recent years. In fact, maybe we should be thanking Pastor instead?


Vergne – I was hospitalised

While nobody can deny the importance of Formula One testing drivers, given the fact it is the pinnacle of motorsport, at what point do we say enough is enough. Jean-Eric Vernge revealed in Bahrain that it was he who had been hospitalised following the Australian GP 3 weeks ago.

Vergne stated it was a direct result of his dieting which caused him need attention, caused by the ludicrously low weight limit for driver and car this year. “I did a diet this winter but you get to certain limits that the body can no longer take,” said Vergne speaking to the Daily Mail. “I was in hospital between the grands prix in Australia and Malaysia because of a lack of water and a little bit of lack of everything. I was very weak.

At this point, where taller drivers like Adrian Sutil are being forced to race without a water bottle in a desperate attempt to shave even the smallest amount of weight away from the car, some form of regulation needs to change. Even adding 10kg to the car and driver limit (as is set to happen from 2015 onward) will not necessarily aid the cause of the taller drivers who will still be forced to keep weight to a minimum to aid performance by allowing weight ballasts to be placed strategically in the car.

One solution would be to introduce a minimum weight for the driver based on their height with a separate weight for the car being taken as well. This would ensure each driver is given a fair chance, leveling the playing field for taller drivers like Ericsson, Hulkenberg and Sutil. What do readers think?

And finally, at what point does Formula One have a moral obligation to the drivers. Of course, sportsmen can push themselves; but at what cost to their future health? With the Formula One field still being all male, there is no warning sign of ‘burning out’ as there is with females, which carries great dangers. Could we hear stories in 20/30/40 years time of drivers who suffer as a result from the regulations that are currently in place?

Sense must prevail soon.


Montezemolo disgusted by Ferrari

“Aerodynamics are for people who do not know how to build engines”

Without question, one of the most famous quotes from Enzo Ferrari; and fans of the Prancing Horse can only imagine what his response would be right now considering it’s irony. The Old Man famously never attended a race after the death of his son, and any appearances at Monza or Imola would be arranged during qualifying. He had lieutenants who would sugar-coat disappointing results and keep the truths from him, safe in the knowledge that he was in Maranello.

This no longer applies. It is rare to see Luca di Montezemolo at any circuit outside Italy but he was in attendance this weekend in Bahrain to meet with FIA President – Jean Todt and F1 ring-master – Bernie Ecclestone.

LdM – the President of Ferrari – runs the team with a far more measured approach than his predecessor – no less passionate just less dramatic. He left the Sakir circuit around ten laps before the chequered flag was waved – disgusted by what he had witnessed and you didn’t have to be a student of body language to understand that Maranello will not be a pleasant place today.

Sakir confirmed that the Italian power unit was trailing not only Mercedes but Renault too and after being humbled by Red Bull’s RB10, no doubt has been left that the F14-T is also in need of urgent development.

“Seeing Ferrari so slow on the straights gives me great pain. It would be necessary to have an additional gear. This week we have several different things to try and the engineers at home have to make a big leap in quality. I dislike seeing Ferrari like this.

I’m going away – there isn’t much to see. We are too slow on the straights because there is a lack of power. I wasn’t expecting much from this race but certainly more than this. We’ll see…”

Unsurprisingly, Ferrari’s technical team had their responses ready.

Stefano Domenicali: “This race was the culmination of a difficult weekend exactly how we imagined before arriving in Bahrain, a circuit particularly difficult for our cars. Now before us is an important test, where I expect to see a first leap.”

Pat Fry: “In Maranello, we are working on solutions that will guarantee a better power delivery and better drivability. Also we are working to improve the aerodynamic efficiency of the car. The data from this race will be used as a reference for the test which will be held here in Sakir over the next few days.”

Ferrari’s history stretches back over seven decades and within that time span there has been periods of poor performances and needing to push the cavalry forwards but 2014 marks the sixth season in a row that the design group has fallen behind the other teams.

Aldo Costa was ‘released’ amid suggestions his designs were too conservative because the pressure of the  Ferrari name made it impossible for an Italian to push design boundaries.. Yet his design is currently dominating Formula One in a manner that hasn’t been witnessed since 1988.

Fernando Alonso, unquestionably one of the greatest drivers of this generation has almost carried the team to two titles – 2010 and 2012. If his luck had been a little kinder, he could have been a four-time champion but Ferrari have consistently produced poor designs.

Rumours of wind-tunnel calibration issues began in 2010 and countless updates failed to produce expected on-track results but the despair of losing the title in Abu Dhabi brushed the issue under the carpet. With Red Bull dominating in 2011 and Ferrari only winning – at Silverstone that year – when exhaust blowing was outlawed for one race – they carried on with their 2012 design and re-wrote the rule book on insanity.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Einstein.

With the same tools, wind tunnel calibration issues and the same group of designers the 2012 car proved a continuation of the downward cycle. Only truly inspired driving kept the Spaniard anywhere near a title challenge.

So last year, Ferrari closed down their wind-tunnel and had it re-calibrated. By all accounts this has been proven to be working and under the stewardship of highly rated James Allison Ferrari seem to have turned a corner… and yet the pace-setting teams have introduced up-dates at every race this year. It appears endemic within Ferrari to have the reactions of a sloth.

Has Il Padrino moved his eye off the ball in recent years with the incredible success of the Ferrari brand and his continued interest in following a political career. It’s entirely possible that his rebuke of Alonso last season was as a reaction because he was out of touch with the team.

Quite possibly then, LdM walking away disgusted will bring focus to Ferrari once more but there is no doubt – the pressure in Italy has just been ramped up…


77 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 7th April 2014

  1. I hope we can thank Crashtor soon as well, for getting rid of those damn-UGLY and damn-Dangerous Dildo-nose’s of the cars. Those Ugly ugly things are a abdomination.

    They flip cars pretty easily, and it pretty dangerous. so Pretty-pretty please.

    thank you Crashtor!

    • Apparently, although I’m yet to see video confirmation, it wasn’t the nose that flipped the car. It’s when Crashtor’s tire came in contact with the car that it got propelled in the air.

      • Ohw, ok. I thought to have seen the nose comming against the Sauber sidepod and WHoop-Whoop he flew upsde down. I will have to rewatch that crash to be sure… I thought I saw the nose his the sidepod……

          • It looks like the nose does go under and start to lift Gutierrez’s car but ultimately it was the tyres touching that caused the flip.
            It’s a shame Lotus are so poor as I was hoping we would see the back of Maldonado. You trust all the other drivers to be fair in wheel to wheel action but not him. It’s just as well the Lotus is a skip this season as I hate seeing him race higher up the grid. It just seems he doesn’t have the right mentality to be a Formula 1 driver.
            He lets his emotions get in the way too much of his driving.

    • The nose DID NOT make contact and flip the car, GUT’s rear wheel climbed and launched over MAL’s front tyre. SKYF1 have a virtual tool to show exactly happened. I like you thought it was the tusks that flipped the little mexica, but it was the contact of the rear drive wheel and locked by braking, front tyre of the other car.

      • Thanks for that CV.
        I cannot bear this stupid whine, along with all the other whines that have been running this year.
        Prior to the ‘high-nose’ era we had decades of very low, very pointed noses which were far more potentially dangerous and yet were not renowned for ‘submarining’…
        Let’s all enjoy the racing and stop all the childish whining. Please. 😉

        • Nice 1 BJF, I think yesterday’s race was as good as any I have seen over the years, it had it all. People are starting to compair this season with 1988, people seem to forget that even in 1988 the drivers had to take care of their machinery, work the tyres in the correct way and manage their fuel, I know it won’t, but yesterday should have hushed the neigh-sayers who want to bash this new era after just 3 events. I would like the front runners a bit closer but hey, it’s come along way in a short time and

  2. “However, there are those who still believe the somewhat cryptic message Paddy Lowe gave over the team radio to both the drivers was in fact a team order. When interviewed by Simon Lazenby of SKYF1, he inferred that it was not an order but then said, “they didn’t listen anyway.“”

    From what I saw, this was a team order… to play nicely and avoid a crash (NOT to hold positions). Paddy Lowe is no Ross Brawn; his authority is not “absolute”, but more like paternal. I heard his radio message as an appeal to reason: drive, attack and defend cleanly (i.e. avoid the recklessness of a Vettel on Webber). They avoided crashing into each other or putting each other in the wall, but only just, hence the “they didn’t listen anyway.”

    • Well, to me it sounded like a team order along the lines of ‘Hold positions!’. But as you said, Lowe is not Brawn, they just couldn’t care less. And I’m glad they didn’t, best race in years.

      But with the Merc drivers racing freely, it starts to resemble the ’88/’89 seasons. It’s a credit to Merc for allowing them to race, pity Ferrari didn’t do the same in their dominant years and RBR too.

      Just a final note, this and the last race showed why I always believed Hamilton to be the best driver on the grid along with Alonso.

        • And Schumi would have still won his titles, even if Rubens got a few more wins. The position changing at Austria (when Schumi was miles clear already, and this time for the win) really brought a lot of negative attention to Ferrari – it’s still mentioned to this day.

          There is definitely something called “winning with style”, and it’s arguable that Mercedes are doing just that right now.

      • If it were that kind of team order, why would they have given it to Hamilton first ?
        I think it was just a “don’t crash like idiots” kind of order.

      • And looking at the various Mercedes tweets during the race, they were clearly enjoying it almost as much as we did.

    • Of course, Landroni, you’re right. Many teams have given this self same instruction in recent years. This is just the media (and a few others) trying to make a story where none exists…! Boring. The best race for years and all some people want to do is stir the pot. Grow up…!

        • How charming… Did you have to think about which keys to press… or does it come automatically…?

          • I have to search them out….
            Not aimed at you Blackie – there’s a plethora all across the web of the same drivel being debated, shame it has to iterate here.

  3. “One solution would be to introduce a minimum weight for the driver based on their height with a separate weight for the car being taken as well. This would ensure each driver is given a fair chance, leveling the playing field for taller drivers like Ericsson, Hulkenberg and Sutil. What do readers think?”

    Absolutely! Have a:
    * minimum weight for the car without the driver
    * minimum weight for the driver estimated from their height (i.e. BMI-indexed)

    This way we may actually end up with some drivers needing to take a Big Mac before a GP.

    • That’s a terrible idea, because it’d imply different weight limits for different drivers. It thereby *only* solves the BMI problem, and ignores the fact that tall drivers will be slower because they (have to) weigh more.

      • Make the smaller drivers wear a ‘fat-suit’ to bring everyone up to the same weight, based on the BMI of that season’s heaviest driver – simples!

        • Or, as another commenter suggested, put ballast around the driver to simulate weight.

          • That’d be equivalent to simply raising the overall weight limit, which is the sensible thing to do. I don’t see why car and driver would need to be separated 😉

        • If they just weigh the heaviest driver and his seat as a combination and then all the others have to match that by adding ballast to the seat in the form of lead weights. I dont think it would be too difficult to make the seats easily removable for checking.
          Could be done at prior to FP1 of the GP weekend and again after qualifying and the race to ensure compliance.
          That way no driver could have an advantage over another except in physical size and strength.

  4. “So while it may come as little solace to Mark Webber as he watches the GPs from somewhere less busy than the F1 paddock, he can take heart in the fact he did make a difference to the Milton Keynes team.” – His excellency the Judge.

    Scud Mac Response, “Ahahhahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahaha… *breath* Ahahhahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahaha….”

    Webber made no difference at RBR in the respect in which you talk about. If it were Webber behind Vettel in Bahrain, Rocky wouldn’t have even asked. Vettel would have driven Webber off the road and visa versa.

    It’s not an altered Vettel that let Ricciardo through, it’s the same one that responds to fair play and respect and logic. At his core Vettel is a team player, but he didn’t let Webbo’s hipocracy manifest. He doesn’t respond to two faced bastards with amazing superman style hair.

  5. Dear Judge,

    Einstein never said that. And neither did Benny Franklin. Thid quote is traced to Rita Mae Brown‘s 1983 book Sudden Death, but it’s almost certainly older than that. Also, for the record, that’s not the definition of insanity anyway.

    It’s one of the biggest misquotes and accepted lies in our modern history. If there is one thing you can trust me about, it’s this.

    • And even if it had been Einstein, he would have been wrong.
      He never did come around to accepting quantum physics…

      • It’s not that he didn’t accept it, it’s that the fullest conclusion leads one to suicidal apathy on life itself. Almost all of us can not understand the implications is quantum physics, therefore we can easily accept the premise. Despite this being build on the blocks provided by Albert, he was terrified by it more than didn’t accept it. As am I.

        Quantum physics at its core describes a universe that is profoundly mysterious. Einstein struggled greatly with quantum theory. This groundbreaking new perspective, ironically triggered by his own early work (irony?), simply didn’t fit his views on physical reality. Would quantum theory not have been as successful as it was, Einstein could have brushed it aside. But from the early days, the theory was immensely successful. And no one around him seemed to have any problems with it. Einstein must have felt lonely at times, but he was convinced enough in the power of his own reasoning to persist in his skepticism towards quantum physics.

        Einstein was wrong. Still, understanding Einstein’s struggles is a prerequisite for grasping the profound weirdness of quantum physics. I would argue that to successfully embrace quantum theory, you have to go yourself through Einstein’s struggles, and… leave them behind. Einstein never succeeded at that, but we can! We are dumb enough to accept it. Did that make sense?

        We can because we also have the advantage of living in later years. Would Einstein have lived just ten more years, he may have defeated his fear and liberated himself from the shackles that bounded him to classical physics. A stupefying new insight derived by the UK physicist John Bell would probably have given him the shock of his life, but it would have helped him taking the mental hurdle to accept quantum physics as our deepest view on reality. Einstein would probably have felt his famous physics intuition had lost contact with reality, and he would certainly happily have admitted that Feynman’s claim “nobody understands quantum physics” makes no exception for him. I would love to hear the words that the most quotable physicist would have uttered at the occasion. Probably something along the lines “Magical is the Lord, magical in subtle and deceitful ways bordering on maliciousness”.

        Alas, all of this was not meant to be. Einstein lived till 1955. John Bell was working on his PhD in nuclear physics at that time, and not yet involved in what is now referred to as Bell’s theorem. As a result, Einstein died as the last of the great classical physicists, unaware of the insights into quantum magic that would soon unfold.

        So what was it that this great mind struggled with, and what insights were obtained after his dead?

        Lay persons interested in quantum mysteries are invariably presented a dumbed-down version of the arguments against quantum theory put forward by Einstein. They learn about Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle and the probabilistic nature of quantum measurements, and are subsequently presented with Einstein’s quote “God doesn’t play dice”. This presents you with no more than a caricature of Einstein’s position on quantum mechanics. Einstein’s concerns ran much deeper and addressed the question what constitutes reality in an entangled quantum world. Einstein talked about God and dice, but is also quoted to have asked the question “Do you really believe the moon is there only when you look at it?”. And that quote brings us much closer to Einstein’s skepticism towards quantum theory.

        A story of magical socks:

        Once upon a time in a small university town, a natural philosopher called Albert filled his days contemplating life, the universe and everything. Like many of his colleagues, Albert struggled each morning to equip his feet with a matching pair of socks. Would you spot Albert on a number of days, chances are you would occasionally observe his shoes filled with a red left foot and a green right foot or any other combination of colors.

        Although his absent-mindedness was strong enough to serve as explanation for any ill-fitting garments, Albert did have a valid excuse for his poor choice of outfit. His Danish housekeeper, Niela Bohr, kept his socks in a chest of drawers. Three rows, each consisting of three drawers, made up this piece of furniture. Whenever Albert pulled open a drawer in search for socks to wear, he would be presented either a pair of matching socks or a single sock. Every subsequent drawer he opened, would reveal socks of a color different from those in the drawers already opened. To make things worse, each drawer opened would block from opening all drawers not in the same row and all drawers not in the same column. This effectively limited Albert each morning to the opening of three drawers configured in a horizontal row or in a vertical column.

        Each night Niela prepared the chest of drawers for the next morning. To Albert’s frustration, he couldn’t figure out what procedure Niela followed. Each morning when opening a line of three drawers, the outcome came to him as a compete surprise. Albert labeled the drawer rows A, B and C, and the columns X, Y and Z, and started recording his observations. Each morning he wrote down a line like B121, indicating the opening of the drawers in row B containing 1, 2, and 1 socks respectively.

        Following a few weeks of observations, Albert has recorded the following set of data:

        C112 B222 X212 Y111
        A211 Z111 Y221 B121
        Y221 X122 A112 A222
        B112 C211 Z212 X221
        Z122 Y212 Y122 Z221
        A121 C112 C121 B211

        When questioning Niela about the way she filled the chest of drawers each day, she responded that she didn’t fill the drawers, rather she prepared them according to the laws of quantum physics. “What do you mean you don’t fill the chest of drawers?” Albert asked, “surely you fill it as I have never encountered an empty drawer.” Niela hesitated. “Sir, this is a quantum chest. There is no reality associated with the contents for each drawer.” Albert looked puzzled. “You mean the unopened drawers don’t contain any socks?” Albert focused at her face. Was she making a joke? She seemed perfectly serious. “Sir, an observation not made is a non-existent observation. Now if sir would please excuse me, I need to wash sir’s socks for tomorrow and prepare sir’s chest of drawers.” And off she went.

        Albert thought about Niela’s puzzling remarks. It all didn’t make sense. He knew about this weird quantum theory. A statistical theory that he was sure, could not represent the deepest truth of nature. He knew for a fact that each time all drawers are filled. If that was not the case, surely he would on occasions have hit an empty triplet of drawers. There must be some explanation. Probably she was playing a game with him, and filling the drawers according to some secret allocation algorithm.

        Months go by, the list of drawer observations kept growing, but Albert didn’t manage to work out the algorithm. One day, he explains the issue to his colleague, Jim Bell. Jim was a practical guy and an expert on quantum theory. “Can I have a look at the data?”, he asked. Albert handed over a sheet of paper. It took Jim only a few seconds to remark “This is interesting, a horizontal line of drawers always contains an even number of socks, while a vertical line always contains an odd number of socks”. He handed back the paper to Albert, who once more inspected the data. His mouth opened. With his eyes wide open and still fixed on the paper, he uttered “But this is impossible”. Jim smiled, “Well, the results are puzzling indeed. But those are your own observations. If you doubt them, you have to redo them.”

        Albert was still staring at the paper, and didn’t look up. “This really is impossible. If at any given morning I would open three rows, I would end up with an even number of socks. But would I open three columns I would end up with an odd number of socks. Yet in both cases I would have opened the same nine drawers. This is absolutely impossible.”

        “Right. Albert, can I remind you that you started by telling me that chest of yours contains quantum drawers and that on each given day you can open only one row or one column of drawers at a time?”
        “Yes, but let’s assume, just for sake of argument, that we can open all drawers.”
        “Albert, you have to make up your mind. Can you, or can you not open all drawers? If not, then you should realize it is not that you don’t know the facts about the contents of the drawers that can not be opened, there simply aren’t any such facts.”

        Hours later, back at home Albert was staring at his spooky drawers. He had checked the data many times. There was no doubt, Jim’s observation on even and odd sock counts was correct. Jim had tried to convince him it is meaningless to discuss the contents of drawers that can not be opened. But still, a-priori there is no drawer that can not be opened. Each morning he can decide to open any of the nine drawers, it is just that already opened drawers limit the opening of subsequent drawers. So each drawer must contain either one or two socks. Or not? This quantum stuff was really driving him crazy.

        Could it be that the chest contained a hidden mechanism that played tricks on him? Maybe the socks could move from one drawer into the other based on the drawers that he opened. The next few mornings Albert checked the drawers that he pulled open and inspected them for any hidden mechanics or other tricks. Nothing of that. There was no way for the socks to move from one drawer to the other.

        Could it be that Niela knows in advance if he was going to select a row or a column of drawers? No, this is a crazy thought. Precognition is pseudoscientific nonsense. But physical reality not allowing him to talk about the contents of unopened drawers seemed even crazier. So what the heck. Albert took a die and marked it with the symbols A, B, C, X, Y and Z. Henceforth, each morning he threw the die and opened the row or column of the cupboard corresponding to the symbol on the die.

        Basing the choice of the drawers to be opened on the throw of a die didn’t change anything to the outcomes. Rows continued to come up with even numbers of socks, and columns with odd numbers of socks. Albert looked again at the chest of drawers. What a spooky device! A spooky and revealing cupboard that was telling him something deep about the nature of physical reality. His observations on drawer contents did not leave room for any other explanation than what Jim was telling him all along: we are living in an utterly strange quantum universe. A universe in which what could have happened but didn’t has no bearing.

        What is one to make of all this? Is it possible to prepare the chest of drawers in such a way that even rows and odd columns result? Like it or not, according to quantum theory, the answer is yes. Albert’s chest of drawers can in principle be constructed. And what’s more: similar such devices have recently been created and operated. This is done not with drawers filled with socks, but rather with entangled microscopic systems such as photons in quantum optical experiments. The principle is all the same.

        Einstein considered quantum theory as nothing more than what in our current terminology would be called an emergent theory. An approximate theory that resulted from an underlying more fundamental truth. That fundamental truth, Einstein felt, must honor the existence of physical reality independent of the measurements one executes. Einstein was convinced that things one cannot know anything about (such as the number of socks in a drawer that can not be opened) do exist all the same.

        Most of Einstein’s contemporaries considered Einstein’s thoughts about the existence of an objective reality as philosophical musings without any practical consequences. Wolfgang Pauli was very clear on this when he wrote: “One should no more rack one’s brain about the problem of whether something one cannot know anything about exists all the same, than about the ancient question of how many angels are able to sit on the point of a needle. But it seems to me that Einstein’s questions are ultimately always of this kind.”

        Bell’s theorem published in 1964 by John Bell, and particularly its extension published a few years later by Simon Kochen and Ernst Specker, establish that Einstein and Pauli were both wrong. The question if something one can not observe does exist, is not a meaningless philosophical musing, but a question that can be answered experimentally. And when these experiments are performed, that is: when devices like Albert’s chest of drawers are build and operated, quantum entanglement effects as displayed by Albert’s socks come to the fore. These spooky effects force us to answer the question ‘does something exist if we can not know anything about it?’ with a resounding ‘no’. What can not be observed does not exist. This is not a crazy philosophical thought, but a hard experimental fact.

        The inevitable conclusion is that if there is a more fundamental truth from which the known laws of quantum physics are emergent, this more fundamental truth must be at least as weird as quantum theory. More in particular, a classical physics theory capable of explaining all of quantum physics – Einstein’s hope – can not exist. Any wish for a classical foundation of physics is death, and so is the last great physicist who believed in it. Each scientist is the product of a generation. Einstein’s thoughts ran deep, but even he could not stay ahead of developments when a next generation of physicists started to unravel the spookiness of our quantum universe.

          • You are right, it is a shame you skipped it.

            This was just a random tangent that begun based on the Judge’s propagation of the oft ill used and totally false Albert E quote (still as yet not taken down by the Judge).

            Yet it amazes me where some tangents lead…

          • I think I just want that false quote gone. But the story of his socks, mid way into the comment, always intrigues me. When AE is confounded by 9 drawers and socks, one sits up and takes notice.

        • Ugh! That post started as a large tangential waste of space and then grew into a massive landfill of irrelevance.

          Frankly, if The Judge were to bow to whatever little issue has upset your tea-kettle, I’d be upset with The Judge for doing so.

    • Actually, a variant of this quote (“insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results”) first appeared in the Basic Text of Narcotics Anonymous in 1981.
      My guess is that Rita Mae was paraphrasing exactly that.

      So, there you go, not Einstein, not Franklin, not Brown, but a fellowship trying to get people off drugs.

  6. Lets not forget Crashtor ghas seriously hurt someone before… when he was banned for life from Monaco..

    “Racing in the Renault World Series in 2005, the 27-year-old ignored yellow flags before striking and severely injuring a marshal.
    Organisers of the Monaco grand prix reacted by banning Maldonado from the street circuit for life.
    Germany’s Bild revealed that Maldonado’s wealthy father intervened, promising to pay for the marshal’s recovery and rehabilitation from a broken back.”

    He is an utter cretin.

    • I strongly object to Crashtor™-bashing.

      F1_fanatic_uk’s comment section is bursting w/ vitriol and irrational, illogical anti-Maldonado posts. That’s definitely the place to go if you hate Maldonado and want to abuse him remotely.

      Otherwise, I, for one, would appreciate sober analysis and reflection on the incident in question and do not support talking-shit on Maldonado beyond criticizing his role in the crash (to which Gutierrez contributed as well).

      • I have to agree with you re both are responsible for the crash. GUT did close the door as if there was no one there. The problem for Maldonado is that he gets involved with incidents like this too often and when, like this instance, both are at fault he gets all the blame.

        • The problem is that Maldonado should not constantly be getting into these situations. In the long ago I ran several rental FF cars and had a race shop selling parts and fixing cars. There was a young guy who bought a Swift FF; almost every race he was involved in some incident but it was never ‘his’ fault. His girlfriend, smarter then him, came to me and asked if he had a problem – yes he did; if you are constantly hitting other people and it’s always someone else’s fault then the reality is it’s your fault. Things don’t just randomly happen more often to one person than another. If you are constantly crashing and always blaming the other driver then, more likely than not, it’s really and truly your fault; otherwise, why does it keep on happening to you? Maldonado needs to grow up or stop racing.

        • Don_Quixote-san,

          You raise a good point… Pastor claims the door was open for him.

          But we should note that the four F1 race stewards reviewed it and did not apportion blame upon Gutierrez.

          However, some have been wondering why Maldonado’s penalty was not more severe. Gutierrez’ line into the corner may be the reason why Maldonado did not receive a stronger penalty.

          We should also note that the penalty chosen by the stewards was fairly strong.

          To penalize Pastor during the Bahrain GP, the sporting regs include the following choices:
          a) A 5 second penalty – worth exactly 5 secs
          b) A drive through penalty – worth ~20 secs
          c) Exclusion from the event

          The stewards chose a 10 second drive through which is worth ~30 secs.

          But they then added a 5 grid spot drop for his next race. So fairly extensive pain in this race, plus extending the pain to the next race.

          Finally, they also dinged him with not 1, not 2, but 3 points on his super license. That lasts 12 months.

          It didn’t help Pastor that there was at the same time an unusually high amount of very professional side by side racing up and down the field from green flag to checkers. If everyone else was instead crashing each other out, then perhaps Pastor’s penalty might not have been so strong.

          While I often agree with you, in this case I do agree with the stewards.

          The one small oddity is that often on close calls, stewards will speak with drivers and team engineers afterwards to gain greater perspective. According to their report, the stewards did not do that for this incident.

        • I really don’t appreciate being misquoted, Peter, nor having my words misrepresented. Unlike the vast majority of commenters, I always post under my own name b/c I’m not afraid to stand by what I say – but I expect what I say to be considered accurately.

          My exact comment re. Dennis was in response to Carlo’s article in which he wrote:

          “…With the Mclaren MP4/2 proving practically unbeatable – the title would always be fought out between Prost and Lauda. The drivers liked and respected one another but the real problems seemed to come from Ron Dennis who turned the whole team against Lauda. (Where have we seen this behaviour since?!)

          By mid-season Dennis was offering Lauda a contract for 1985 but at half the price of 1984 because with Prost and an unbeatable car he could play hardball. Lauda spoke to Renault but the talks amounted to nothing. Lauda refused to sign anything before the season had finished and yet Dennis demanded a signature otherwise he would take Rosberg. By September – Marlboro stepped in and assured Lauda two thirds of his fee and he signed the contract.

          In Portugal Ron Dennis increased the psychological warfare against the Austrian. He knew a victory for Lauda would become part of the legend whereas a victory for Prost would be a Mclaren championship.”

          My comment was, “Interesting. Dennis was always a jerk, then?”

          An interrogative, not a declarative statement, and not even close “bashing” someone, which is what occurs when people write irrational, vitriolic, hate-screeds against Maldonado. Someone waging “psychological warfare” against one of his own athletes, and turning “the whole team” against them would seem quite clearly to be engaging in jerkish behavior: contemptible and obnoxious, at least seen from the perspective of the victim of those machinations. Though perhaps cynical or Machiavellian would’ve been hyper-accurate words to choose before “jerk”, but my focus is on the contemptible and obnoxious aspect of a leader in a position of power undermining the performance of one of his subordinates, which is what Carlo wrote about.

          In fact, the response of the author of the piece to my comment affirms this:

          There’s enough history to suggest he was..
          Two things spring to mind initially, one was his attitude to the press in 1988. He arrived late for a press conference and quite openly told them – “Sorry we are late but we are making history, you are merely reporting it!”

          The other thing is Ron Dennis has a hatred of where he comes from. He hates being reminded of being a lowly mechanic for Jack Brabham back in the 60′s.

          I would have thought it would have made him proud of what he has achieved, and yet you also hear stories of how he looks after his employees. He values work ethic and pays for all their development as individuals when working for him – even in the road car assembly division.

          A complex man no doubt

          So FFS yourself, Peter.

          Please don’t misrepresent what Ive written elsewhere on this site, as I’m brutally honest in my comments and reliably consistent. If you’re a particular fan of Ron Dennis, or you really hate Pastor, then by all means enlighten me as to Dennis’s good qualities, to counter the portrayal published under Carlo’s byline, or explain why insulting or ranting against Maldonado is worth the incivility.

          But I expect my contributions here to be considered fairly, as I would like to be able to extend you the same courtesy.

  7. Dear LdM

    “Wanting to change the rules are for people who do not know how to build engines or implement aerodynamics!”

    • Last year, RedBull, this year, Ferrari have joined them.

      “Our car is great, but we need a regulation change to fully exploit it!”

      What a crock of…….

      • Well, it seems like LdM is being a little more magnanimous than that… So far… Or at least until the end of 2014.

  8. I came here today for my daily fix. What did I get, mis-quotes of Einstein and Paddy Lowe and a ridiculous plagiarizing of Johannes Koelman in response. To give a correct quote, Lauda,”bullshit”

    • …and yet, you will still come back tomorrow, because this is simply the best F1 site you can find!

    • For me, it worked: got my fix and learnt something I didn’t know. And thanks to you, I got another name to Google when I’m bored.

      Yup: best F1 site it is.

      Apart from the top content – the original content that is – no moderation (at least to me it doen’t exist, because I never observed it) is one of the major attractions of this site. Although I do get fed up with some of the battles between certain Vettel/Webber lovers…

  9. With this being the case, one has to consider then whether F1 going to these countries helps or in fact hinders their cause?

    No. NO NO NO NO NO!

    W/ regards to political unrest in Bahrain and having to consider whether or not F1 has helped or hindered the cause…errrr, NO we don’t have to nor should we consider that for a second.

    The purpose of F1 and sport in general is to entertain – it’s not to encourage political or economic reform.

    Hope this isn’t representative of a shift in the editorial line here to Guardian-style writing on the issue?

    • Good remark Joe. Still, once the question of the race going on is no longer a political issue I would like someone involved with the sport to make a stand and help the people struggling in this country.

      Don’t get involved in other’s fights, but don’t remain indifferent either.

      • Fair enough, Denis. I certainly respect your desire to see “someone involved with the sport to make a stand and help the people struggling in this country”, though I’m not sure I would feel the same.

        Just curious, would you want to see that help occur “officially”, like on behalf of F1 someone (or some group/team/whatever) uses the status of the event to draw attention to the protest movement (or whatever aspect of the situation – you know what I mean…), or are you thinking more along the lines of someone involved w/ F1 acting in an “unofficial” capacity?

        Like I said, I don’t think I would push for this, but I certainly respect your desire to see action and I appreciate your taking the time to express your view as a response to my comment. After all, in pro/intl/elite cycling there was actually a stage race called the “Peace Race” which was founded and run to promote understanding and better relations through sport b/w the NATO vs. Warsaw Pact countries in Europe.

        Check this:




        Fascinating stuff…

        • [blockquote]Just curious, would you want to see that help occur “officially”, like on behalf of F1 someone (or some group/team/whatever) uses the status of the event to draw attention to the protest movement (or whatever aspect of the situation – you know what I mean…), or are you thinking more along the lines of someone involved w/ F1 acting in an “unofficial” capacity?[/blockquote]
          The former would be better for F1’s reputation, but the latter is good too. I don’t care about the motivation behind it as long as it is effective 😉


    And finally, at what point does Formula One have a moral obligation to the drivers. Of course, sportsmen can push themselves; but at what cost to their future health? With the Formula One field still being all male, there is no warning sign of ‘burning out’ as there is with females, which carries great dangers. Could we hear stories in 20/30/40 years time of drivers who suffer as a result from the regulations that are currently in place?

    I think this is a bit melodramatic.

    I’m not sure that F1 has a “moral” responsibility to the drivers, or vice-versa, but there is a responsibility for the drivers to follow the World Anti-Doping Agency “Code” (WADA Code), and for the FIA to enforce the anti-doping provisions of the Code fairly, uniformly, consistently and transparently, so that the risk of self-harm due to doping is reduced.

    The weight limit issue is a potentially serious one, but I think the media is approaching it from the wrong angle. The fact that drivers are managing their diets to restrict calories is what cyclists have been doing forever, and, although very uncomfortable, it’s safe and ethical if done responsibly.

    What people should be talking about is the increased risk of driver’s doping in order to reduce body-mass below what’s possible through normal diet and aerobic exercise. And this is a very serious concern, both in terms of risks to the driver’s health and sporting fairness.

    I couldn’t think of a more obvious example of a disconnect b/w technical and anti-doping regulations, where the former actually increase the likelihood of a driver violating the latter.

    While it’s somewhat understandable that Felipe Massa doesn’t want to give up his low-weight advantage (Especially since his ability as a driver has degraded so much since 2009), even Ant Davidson said that Massa was being selfish and unreasonable in denying the fundamental unfairness of the rule as currently written.

    Of course the athletes (Drivers) will still train hard and manage their diets to maintain most advantageous body composition, but if the minimum weight is increased by a very modest amount, say 8-10kg (o.t.t.o.m.h. I don’t know the exact weight spread b/w the grid, from lightest to heaviest), FIA could reduce the incentive for F1 drivers to dope to reduce body-mass (to seek a viable competitive advantage)…being as lean as a pro cyclist wouldn’t convey as much of a competitive advantage b/c there’d be less gain to be had from ballasting the car (which is really what this is about: how much ballast you need/get to carry and where), no?

    • Joe said, “I’m not sure that F1 has a “moral” responsibility to the drivers…”

      Hello Joe! I can help you here!

      The answer is yes, F1 does have an ethical responsibility to the drivers.

      Seriously, let us go to the extremes of that argument… If F1 was too dangerous and we were watching people getting maimed or killed, we would be upset, disappointed, and likely to consider not watching anymore of it. (Maybe the haters would keep watching…) So that moral responsibility also is a good business practice, perhaps not coincidently.

      More importantly, let me move away from my mediocre amateur ethics symposium, and let us go back to the original problem. The simpler, wiser solution to the problem was mentioned in some comments above… that is to weigh all the drivers to find the weight of the heaviest driver on the grid. Then the other drivers are required to carry enough weight in their removable seat inserts to match that same weight.

      Problem solved!

      • Yup, putting ballast on is superior to the simple ‘min car weight + min driver weight given height’ suggested earlier.

        I would only NOT simply weigh the heaviest driver. Instead I would use BMI to estimate the expected weight of the tallest driver, and peg all the drivers to that weight. Let the Massa’s and Kvyat’s carry ballast in their seats, and thus allow for a genuinely level playing field for the drivers.

      • Hi VM –

        For purposes of my comment, I chose to draw a distinction b/w “moral” and “ethical” responsibilities.

        Both those competing in the sport and those “governing” it have ethical responsibility to follow the set and system of principles that are the technical and sporting rules and the anti-doping Code.

        I don’t think that the agents of the FIA have a moral responsibility to the drivers to protect them from legally risking – or even actually harming – their health (by following an extreme diet that compromises their immune system and results in the athlete’s getting sick, for example).

        You’re right, though – if it was the go-go days of the 60s and drivers were dying, claiming the sport was morally bankrupt b/c it tolerated the deaths would definitely resonate, given how morals are the beliefs held at individual level that influence how people conduct themselves in personal relationships and w/in society. And no fans w/ evolved sense of morals would find watching people die to be entertaining.


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