Daily #F1 News and Comment: Wednesday 16th April 2014

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Previously on TheJudge13

#F1 History: Chinese Grand Prix – 7th October 2007


Smaller teams say FIA in breach of EU law

F1 moves towards a specification series, by stealth

Marko slams ‘aggressive’ Mercedes after appeal(GMM)

Ricciardo ‘surprised’ by Lotus’ Renault struggle(GMM)

The King is dead….. Long live…

Force India Title sponsor absent

Max Mosley offers more insight to the new era of F1

Haas may yet “reinvent the F1 wheel”


Smaller teams say FIA in breach of EU law

The F1 strategy group was always likely to increase the power of the teams with big bucks and decrease the say in how the sport should be run for the rest. It was a convenient vehicle to bring Ferrari and Red Bull back into the fold following their decision to exit from the teams’ association, FOTA.

The downside was only six teams got to join the party, and the mechanism devised to decide who they should be surprisingly excludes the smaller teams, Force India, Sauber, Marussia, Caterham and Toro Rosso.

The reality of the strategy group in fact diminished the power of the all teams, who previously could negotiate en bloc with either the FIA or Ecclestone and FOM. They are now locked into a tri-partite body where their vote is just one third of the collective.

This move infuriated the smaller F1 outfits, who have regularly complained about the injustice of their exclusion from decision making on regulatory and sporting matters with which they must comply.

Jean Todt had set out his stall to ensure some kind of cost control would be implemented for 2015, though it became apparent following the Bahrain GP, the teams had refused to these demands. The strategy group dropped plans to find a way to cap spend – and it seems reduce cost, for the indefinite future.

It transpires following the last F1 strategy group meeting where this was agreed, Force India, Sauber, Caterham and Marussia have communicated their dismay to the president of the FIA and suggest there will be a doomsday scenario if the cost control programme is deferred or dropped.

The result may be that Todt has now invited the teams to attend a meeting in paris on May 1st.

The letter from the disenfranchised teams sets out the fact they are not prepared to accept any longer the situation where the six teams appointed to the F1 strategy group decide the regulations of the sport.

They argue the current arrangements are neither democratic or transparent and are in fact in breach of European Law in that they are an abuse of a dominant position. These teams accuse the FIA of allowing the sport to edge towards a ‘financial disaster’, which will see teams leaving the sport imminently.

It is the FIA who would be culpable should there be any breach of European competition legislation.

F1 as usual fiddles whilst it own house burns, and will express surprise when once again there is a mass exodus of teams due to the cost of competition. Whether Haas and a.n. other manage to get their outfits off the ground is irrelevant, because they will face the same difficulties that Caterham and Marussia have discovered, with the former’s owner having ploughed in over $220m to date – and for what?

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F1 moves towards a specification series, by stealth

Having abandoned the cost cap initiative, the F1 strategy group claims it will attempt to reduce costs in other ways. One proposal is to allow active suspension back into F1.

Interestingly, Williams dropped their opposition to the cost cap, and they were the team to master active suspension in days of F1 yore. Apparently, the current mechanical suspension systems are so complicated that they require consistent adjustment in the search for the perfect setup at each race weekend. Active ride would reduce the time spent on set-up and then cost.

However, should this be agreed, it will not be implemented before 2017, when a move to 18 inch tyre rims is also being considered.

Yet there are other proposals on the table to standardise and simplify certain components on the cars which currently are a huge expense.  These include the fuel system, front wing design, crash structures, brake ducts and inter-connected front and rear suspension.

It’s interesting that Haas philosophy to start his F1 team is to buy in significant parts of the car until his team builds up the expertise to ‘become a constructor’. If this is the way F1 is heading, will he ever need to make the transition?

Yet, is this the way F1 should be heading? Further, is this approach a better solution than greater design freedom which is limited by spend?

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Marko slams ‘aggressive’ Mercedes after appeal (GMM)

Dr Helmut Marko has hit back at Mercedes, after the German squad this week called on the court of appeal to come down hard on Red Bull. As Red Bull appealed Daniel Ricciardo’s Melbourne disqualification in Paris on Monday, a lawyer for rival Mercedes argued at length that the FIA should in fact impose “a further sanction”, due to the “flagrant and deliberate” rules breach.

Ultimately, the five judges upheld Ricciardo’s disqualification, but did not add to Red Bull’s penalty.

“We are obviously bitterly disappointed,” the always-blunt Red Bull director Marko said after digesting the court’s decision. “We cannot say any more until we get the detailed reasons for the judgement, but what amazed us even more was the language and aggressiveness that our competitor Mercedes used to argue against us,” he is quoted by Austria’s Kleine Zeitung newspaper.

Less publicly angry is the affable Australian Ricciardo himself, who although having sprayed the champagne on his home-race podium, is in fact yet to officially bank a F1 trophy. “It’s disappointing not to get the 18 points from Australia,” he said on Wednesday, “but if anything it gives me more motivation to get back on the podium as soon as possible. As I said that week, I’d rather have a great race, finish on the podium and then be excluded than to have had a rubbish race and then retire with a car problem half way through.”

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Ricciardo ‘surprised’ by Lotus’ Renault struggle (GMM)

Daniel Ricciardo has admitted he is “surprised” Lotus is still struggling so much with its Renault engine. Following the post-Bahrain test last week, Lotus’ Romain Grosjean slammed the situation as “not acceptable”, after both himself and teammate Pastor Maldonado struggled simply to run the E22 amid ‘power unit-related’ issues.

The similarly Renault-powered Red Bull’s Ricciardo, however, said he is “surprised” to hear the extent of Lotus’ ongoing troubles. “It is not very reassuring to see another Renault powered team encountering such difficulties,” the Australian is quoted by the French-language F1i. “We also had a few problems with the V6 turbo in the tests, but nothing too serious,” Ricciardo added. “While we can make further progress on reliability, I am surprised that they (Lotus) are still facing so many problems.”

Indeed, Renault’s Remi Taffin said ahead of the Chinese grand prix that the French marque, after a difficult opening few months of 2014, is now beginning to “hit our stride. While we know that the others are still ahead, we have made some good progress in the last two races,” he explained. “At the test in Bahrain we tested several new software modes that will see us closer to the limits of the power unit than before.”

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The King is dead….. Long live…

Unsurprisingly, there has been some criticism in Italy over the choice of the new boss of the Scuderia racing team. It would be not be fair to suggests in Il Padrino’s family that the circle of life should be described as… Long live the king (knife drawn) the King is dead – Long live the king (knife….

Yet some of those F1 media voices who question the appointment of Marco Mattiacci, had been baying for blood since the realisation dawned, that the F14T could at very best be 2nd again in both drivers’ and constructors’ championships this year.

Clearly Mattiacci is not a racing man per se, yet he evidently is a remarkable man; able to build and motivate structures of people across continents which are not his own. The role of team boss is one of project and personnel manager. If Mattiacci is as good as the rest of the Automotive industry believe him to be, he will quickly know who to trust and who is ducking and diving

Luca di Montezemolo has attempted to diffuse the situation by praising the honourable act of Stefano Domenicali falling on his sword. “Resignations in Italy are rare,” said Il Padrino, “Despite having won several world titles in 23 years, Domenicali had the strength to step down because of missed results.” reports the Ferrari mouthpiece – La Stampa.

If the spectre of Stefano being pushed can be banished, LdM knows full well his replacement will have a far easier ride with the Italian media and the tifosi.

So far, the boss of the prancing horses has been accused by the Italian press of having ‘a knee jerk reaction’, panic and of making Domenicali a scapegoat following just 3 races of the new F1 era.

One of the most widely read sports publications, La Gazzetta dello Sport, writes that Marco’s appointment has been met with “skepticism”. “He must overcome this and assert himself in his new role.” La Gazzetta also observes that Mattiacci’s only racing experience is in Grand-AM sports cars.

TJ13 refrained from jumping on the ‘Bob Bell to Ferrari‘ bandwagon, because those tea leaves still point elsewhere. However, Il Padrino’s comments banish the notion that Mattaccia is a short term appointment until Whitmarsh, Bell, Brawn or whoever deigns to take up residence in Maranello.

“I decided to appoint a young manager in whom I have a great deal of confidence and someone from the Ferrari family, rather than going around the world looking for some mercenary,” (Thought-flash: Wonder how James Allison feels about being a mercenary?)

Ferrari may not be winning, but they have the proudest of traditions. “We are full of talent with quality and capability and we are full of technical people from whom I now expect an immediate reaction. (Mattiacci’s) appointment, above all, was made in full agreement with (FIAT CEO Sergio) Marchionne,” adds LdM.

The rhetoric now gets emotional, and most unusual. “I will help him, like I have done in the past I will be closer to F1, I will spend more time there. Let’s look ahead, everyone must do everything they can to return us to competitiveness.”

This impassioned offer of physical assistance from Il Padrino is touching indeed and the thought of him rolling up his sleeves and doing anything other than being the figurehead of Ferrari is quite sensational.

However, there has been some criticism of Luca in recent times. There are those within ‘the family’ who believe he has taken his eye off the ball, as he aspires to political greatness.

So the whole ‘keep it in the family’ appointment – and avoiding mercenaries…. together with Luca’s defence of Mattiacci’s lack of engineering background by stating,  “we are all Ferrari engineers” – is a rousing call in the Ferrari team for unity. Unity around Il Padrino’s leadership or course; and this is all a stauesque demonstration of LdM’s commitment ‘absolute’ to the task in hand.

However, in a bizarre twist of fate, should Marco Mattiacci succeed, he would instantly become the heir apparent in the eyes of the FIAT executives to replace Il Padrino.

James Allen argues Montezemolo’s rhetoric indicates he believes the ‘big beasts are returning to the jungle, sensing a change in the natural order’. He cites the second coming of Ron Dennis as further evidence of this.

There may be some mileage in this train of thought, because should Ecclestone go down in Munich, the FIA snatch back the commercial rights from CVC et al… there would be a feast of pie to be had – like no other feast ever seen in Formula 1.

So Mattiacci is here to stay – a permenent fixture?

Well, there could just be one who may return as part of the ‘family’ – which would see Mattiacci fulfill only a temporary role. However, unless Ross Brawn is brushing up his Italian with an online tutor, polishing up his bruschetta recipe and quaffing large quantities of Riocca Grand Reserva…. away from the public gaze…. Then the King is dead….. Long live Marco Mattiacci.

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Force India title sponsor absent

An eagle eyed TJ13 contributor spotted this today

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Lorenzo de Luca on twitter noted, “Force India without Sahara sponsor”

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Max Mosley offers more insight to the new era of F1

TJ13 reported on Monday the shock revelations that a 74 year old man needs hearing aids. Two days later sitting with a fine cognac and cigar – Max Mosley continued offering his opinion on the current state of Formula One and its governance.

“I’d do pretty much what Jean Todt is doing, which is take no notice,” he smiled. “Or pay lip service to the discussion – ‘Oh, that’s interesting, Bernie’ – but in the end take no notice because there’s nothing anybody can do, the regulations are fixed, nobody can change anything. If you try to change them, Mercedes will stop you and your own rules stop you. So there’s nothing to discuss until 2015 and arguably not even then because of the notice periods. So Jean can just very gently take the Mickey.”

As Mosley stated previously, the changes brought in for this season were his brain child and have made Formula One more relevant to the current world climate where the target is to extract the maximum performance from a limited amount of fuel.

“It’s a really interesting technology and it’s change. In the end, If you don’t have change, you just disappear,” said Mosley. “Those cars were becoming dinosaurs and then the sponsors all have to answer to some sort of board about their green credentials. It’s a slight problem that Mercedes seem to have got the jump on everyone else but that’s because they’ve done a better job. The others have just got to work harder.”

With Mercedes emerging as the dominant power, unsurprisingly Ferrari and Renault have been talking down the new direction. With Ferrari conducting a questionable survey and the current Champion declaring the sound as ‘shit’ many observers have been voicing concerns that F1 politicking is talking itself down.

Mosley offered: “They are all, of course, pushing their own particular agenda, the truth of the matter is I think that the public don’t take the slightest notice. I don’t think anyone is going to say ‘Ooh, Vettel says the engines are rubbish so I’m not going to turn the television on Sunday’. It just doesn’t happen. People might turn it off if it’s a boring race, but everyone will turn it on.”

“The people who don’t like it have got this thing about the noise. I think that’s complete nonsense. People will get used to the noise and then they won’t all end up deaf like me. These cars are still very fast… my bet is that by this time next year, people will have forgotten all about the sound. They’ll be fascinated by the cars, by what’s happening.”

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Haas may yet “reinvent the F1 wheel”

TJ13 has not been critical of Gene Haas since his extended press conference earlier this week, simply because for someone to ‘boldy go, where none has gone before’ requires a certain amount of admiration.

Further, it is not as though Haas is blind to this ambitious step, as he commented, “There is obviously scepticism in anything that anybody’s trying to do that hasn’t been done before, The only way I can allay that is to go out there and do it.

I think we have the flexibility. When things don’t go right, we go in a different direction, and we do whatever it takes to get things done. I can’t tell you about the other people that fail [in F1]. I don’t know why they fail.

Maybe where they failed, I can figure out how not to. But I firmly believe that we have the right tools to go forward on this and be successful at it.

I’ve been pretty successful at taking on projects that other people say you can’t do.”

Bold assertions indeed!

Former F1 driver and straight talking Juan Pablo Montoya reckons Haas is “mad” in his plans to start an F1 team.

“If he wants to build [the team] here in the States I think it’s completely mad,” adding, “You can’t even call it mad because it makes no sense. You are not going to get people from England to move to Charlotte.”

It has been suggested that Haas has been courted to enter an American based F1 team, in the drive to improve the profile of Formula 1 in the states.

Montoya is not so sure about the global ambitions of F1. “I think Formula 1 has to be careful not to discard Europe too much. That is where the original fans are, where the car fans are. You don’t want to keep driving away from Europe”.

The Columbian adds, “I know other places will give them more money to go but if you take the British GP, or the Spanish GP away, imagine that? There are a lot of big races and you don’t want to screw that.”

It was interesting that during his press conference, Haas repeatedly asserted, “Our job is not to reinvent the wheel”, and whilst this caused some amusement to observers, it appears Haas in fact is doing exactly that.

The American entrepreneur continues to state he will be buying in a chassis from Dallara and an engine from Ferrari or Mercedes. Details at present are scant, but the inference is that Haas will be producing very little on his first F1 car, and hope to “assemble and disassemble the cars at a European base”.

TJ13 reported yesterday, the F1 Strategy Group is at present discussing standardising certain components on the cars to reduce cost, so is it the case Haas has wind of this new Formula, and in fact is ahead of some of the rest?

It’s still a big ask to sub-contract the vast majority of the components of an F1 car for manufacture and then to be able to piece them together with precision and optimise their interaction.

Yet the concept of customer cars will not go away and was the subject of discussion again at the last F1 strategy group meeting.

With the 6 privileged teams on the F1 strategy Group refusing to contemplate a budget cap, yet all paying lip service to reduced costs. Will this will be the new Formula 1? If so it appears it will arrive by stealth – rather than revolution.

Haas may not in fact be just be reinventing the wheel, but part of the reinvention of Formula 1.

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55 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Wednesday 16th April 2014

  1. The change to bigger rims with smaller profile tires is something I would like to see actually. Same spec as the lmp1… Michelin back in the game. A tire war means faster cars… and active suspension isn’t something that slows em down either. So bring it on

    • Not just Michelin …

      Bridgestone, Dunlop, Hankook, etc. are all producing low profile racing tyres these days.

      • Yes indeed but it was Michelin who specifically stated that they would return if f1 went to lmp1 specs for the tires. Maybe the others have plans as well (wich I would only celebrate) but i never heard or read anything about them. Therefore I gave the Michelin example.. For me the tire war is something that is necessary for f1. Monopoly is never good, especially in a sport, except for those who are the top of the monopoly game… and i wonder how an f1 car would look like, cuz that is something that has never been done (correct me if I’m wrong)

        • … and Michelin will be already supplying Formula E with that kind of tyres very soon. Clearly the way is being prepared for them to return to F1.

    • Wouldn’t a tyre war also make for infinite confusion? Would the teams bring the same mix of tyres to a race, or even if they did would a Pirelli ‘soft’ have the same balance of durability and grip as say a Michelin ‘soft”? You thought it was complicated keeping track of who’s on which strategies now…? 🙂

      • I have to say, I’m not in favour of multiple tyre suppliers. If we accept the commonly quoted stat, “the car is 80%, the driver 20%… What % does an inferior set of tyres attract? Maybe 20%?

        At present we have the added big differential between engines, which of course is beyond the control of anyone but the works teams…. Of course this will settle down over the next year or two…

        But at present if a team had an inferior tyre and an inferior engine, customer teams have little chance.

        The driver is recruited by the team, so the bigger % control the team has over reform acne, the more accurate the reward for their endeavours.

        • I do see your point, judge. But you can’t disregard the fact that an ongoing tire war is something that is a factor wich brings the racing to a higher level.even if it’s only for the factory teams and not for the smaller ones. And since the testing isn’t as big of a factor as it used to be in the schumi/ferrari/Bridgestone era I think it’d be less likely that a team has tires specially build for their car. Wich would lead to total world domination.. and after all isn’t f1 about a team that has domination for a certain amount of years(with usually one or two teams that challenges them) and than an other team takes over. And the circle of life continues.

        • Agree. Different tires for different teams, even within the Bridgestone teams, ruined racing for years.

          I believe that the only reason anyone watched F1 between 1999 and 2004 is that few people knew that Ferrari was getting a custom developed tire not available to other teams.

          In this day and age there is no way that information would have stayed compartmentalized away from the fans for long.

        • Agreed that a tire war sounds like a bad idea.

          Tire warmers, however? Well, F1 needs those!

          lol – i keeel me! i keeel!

  2. A lot of money nowadays is spent in wind tunnels and designing and redesigning aero. I would love aero to be less significant and would not mind a common aero-base that would not go against cars passing each others.

    But, call me a cynic, I believe that if a team wants to spend the money to be successful, they will find an area in which to spend, no matter what areas are regulated / normalized.

    After all, they cut down in season testing because it was “too expensive” and they are spending more than ever without it.

    • Would be fascinating to see if the top (or bottom) teams’ view of a cost cap changed if F1 were swapped around so the higher you finished in the constructor’s championship, the LESS money you received. After all, that’s how horse-racing is kept competitive (where winnng gets you handicapped by weight) or indeed American football (where doing well gets you worse draft picks). Whereas F1 is more like the UK Premier League where the top 4 clubs coin it in the Champions’ League which means you tend to get a self-perpetuating elite.

      • It would be overwhelming – like waking up on another planet – to learn that FIA, FOM + teams were considering adopting such a forward-thinking approach to ensuring F1’s sustainability and long-term viability as both a commercial and sporting property.

  3. Montezemolo insisted: …….

    ” But we are all Ferrari engineers ”

    Is that a euphemism for –

    headless chickens ?

  4. (Thought-flash: Wonder how James Allison feels about being a mercenary?)

    – Hilarious!

    • Don’t they pay the ‘members of the Ferrari family’ then ?

      Or is it that they don’t expect them to fight?
      🙂

  5. Wow, whole lotta stuff going on. F1 should not be a spec series, but given the death of FOTA there was no one to police the RRA, as that was one of their briefs. Therein lies a tale no doubt, but the venerable Hippo himself had the solution to the problem, and in essence it is not the restriction of money, but rather the taxing of money spent above a certain level, with the taxes going to the smaller teams, not the organizations around the teams.

    Most high end sports cars feature all sorts of active suspension and aero, it would be reasonable to allow some in. JT is being clever in coming at the cost problem from regulatory side, but I do not want F1 to turn into Indy Car. Standardise too many parts and that’s what you would have.

    Instead, firmly draw parameters. Rather than spec front wings, why not limit overall straight line downforce. The real challenge is in yaw, but if you choose the right amount I bet you’d get some pretty interesting and close solutions without dictating all the cars look the same. And it should still reduce cost.

  6. “because they (HAAS) will face the same difficulties that Caterham and Marussia have discovered, with the former’s owner having ploughed in over $220m to date – and for what?”

    While I can sympathize with the small teams over spending, the fact of the matter is, large budgets are not a guarantee of success either, as Honda, Toyota, BMW, Jaguar (Ford) and many others have discovered over the years. The owners of Caterham, Marussia, Force India all entered F1 with their eyes open. While there was talk of cost reductions, there was never any guarantee they would actually be implemented.

    The “for what” question is far more interesting. Are they merely looking to turn a profit on their operations, or is something else the motivation? Ferrari, M-B, Red Bull aren’t involved in F1 to produce a profit, even though Ferrari does. Ferrari and M-B see F1 as a branding and technology transfer endeavour, while Red Bull as a global marketing opportunity. As McLaren have developed into a car manufacturer they will increasing view their F1 operation more like Ferrari and M-B. Even Williams sees F1 as an avenue for technology transfer. Caterham, Marussia, Force India’s owners strike me as rich guys who wanted to join an elite club to satisfy their ego’s but who had no real understanding of what they were getting into. And now their money is running out.

    While I have little use for Todt, his hands were tied by Ecclestone and Mosley over money for the teams. Until that is undone F1 will continue to decline. Asking teams to reduce budgets while Ecclestone / CVC don’t isn’t going to save F1, it will merely lengthen the time before it collapses.

    • ….Indeed Cav, however Fernandes is clearly asking “for what?” as he beasted his troops in January threatening this would be the last year if they carried on trailing around at the back – so it ain’t improving the bottom line for Air Asia

      • Well I wouldn’t be surprised if he sells the team before the end of the season. You need to have the kind of resources (cash) that Red Bull has and the ability to attract the best talent and then use them properly (it’s gone slightly pearshaped given Newey hates the new regulations and Renault falling asleep on the dyno). Ferrari could learn a thing or two from Red Bull in terms of using their resources properly towards producing cars that can win titles.

  7. Would Dallara only be able to sell their chassis to 1 team? This Haas team are customers of a chassis manufacturer, just not one that already races in F1. So why is it so bad to have customer cars? Teams don’t HAVE to buy them if they think they can make a better solution. As long as there are limits on how many can be supplied I think this seems a fairly good way to lower team costs. I know there will be job losses, but then the supplier teams may need extra staff for the extra cars. In a perfect world the revenue would be distributed more to the teams and more equal to each one, but that’s not likely.

    • Well I would assume Dallara and other interested parties could offer the basic tub of an F1 car and then customize it according to the teams designs and budgetary needs. Customer cars are probably the way forward for making F1 more cost effective for new teams on tight budgets. Though of course if the F1 teams got a bigger share of the profits Bernie and CVC make then they’d be in a more stable position, aside from teams that spend money like it’s water and then find the taps have run dry and crash out of the sport.

      Tbh nothing is going to change until Bernie is gone from F1 entirely. We shouldn’t forget he’s made the sport what it is, but his model for F1 has run it’s course. The internet has a whole new set of challenges for F1, not least how the sport is broadcast in the future.

        • I just want to see F1 properly engage with social media and be following Vince McMahon’s gamble with the WWE Network (scoff if you like but Vince has been very successful and made a lot of money) to see if it pays off and how they could adapt that sort of broadcasting model to fit within F1’s needs. It won’t happen while Bernie is around because he’s welded tight to ever bigger tv deals and expensive deals for countries to host Grand Prix’s.

          Broadcasting is going to move over to the internet eventually (as technology and speeds improve), so it’s best to be ahead of the curve than behind it.

          • Yes, the balkanized nature of the TV contracts makes it very difficult to effect the kind of sea change necessary to attract new fans to the sport. One reason so much is being made of Haas is that FOM hopes having a recognizably American team will attract more viewers to the sport and that will then help make up for viewer losses in the more established markets.

            Unfortunately, motorsport viewership is falling period and as more non sports viewers cut the cable, overall revenues are dropping. Sports programming is very expensive and at the current rate not sustainable.

            The revolution is coming, but how it goes and whether it works for or against fans and consumers has yet to be determined.

          • I agree. But the decision makers in F1 for example see twitter as a mere, “I just did a poo poo” personal comment platform, and have no idea about how to be innovative in the social media markets…

            What chance have we of Internet broadcasts in the near future?

            Very little because the current national broadcasting deals have ceded the internet rights to TV companies. Some of those deals are another 4-7 years to run

          • Again F1 can learn from the WWE on the social media front and how it’s embraced social media to interact with fans directly.

            As far as tv broadcasting goes ? The WWE has been working on the WWE Network for several years, at first it was going to be a cable channel but they slowly evolved it into an internet based service. They timed the launch of the network just as most of it’s major tv deals come up for renewal.

            It’s not just the WWE that is moving over to broadcasting on the net, the BBC are moving towards it as well. They want to axe BBC Three as on air service to an internet based streaming channel via the iPlayer. Even though F1 is locked into tv deals for the next 5-7 years, they should be looking at what others are doing and plan accordingly. I guess the key question is how much will fans be willing to pay to watch F1 on the net. And how much income that would bring in vs a traditional tv deal. Which is basically what the WWE is facing at the moment. If it brings in more money then it’s another genius idea from Vince McMahon or it’ll be a turkey like his XFL idea lol

          • I would like the Judge13 to reinterpret or rewrite a version of the Rencken Dieter new-media-not-trending-in-F1 article published elsewhere, but make it slightly more current if possible.

      • @taperoo2k re: customer cars, way forward…

        Assuming that all the engines end up having approximately the same power. What car would you have tried to purchase in the last 4 years? If I built a technically advanced and vastly superior car, why would I sell it to anyone else? Why would I give away my technical know-how, and IP. Especially if active suspension and similar technology is reintroduced. Could you really see RB McLaren Ferrari selling their cars to a team that could challenge, or at least interfere with their championship aspirations. A customer car would end up being either last years spec, or you would need, a one or two year total freeze on development.

        Internal machinations of F1 folks not considered in this reply.

        ps How much is a 919?

        • ” A customer car would end up being either last years spec …. ”

          That is exactly the model MotoGP has run for several years.

          And surprise, surprise, the full factory bikes with all the latest updates are faster than the ” satellite ” factory bikes, which are basically, last years model.

          However, times are a changing.

          DORNA ( the commercial rights holder ) have forced through rule changes to try and re-balance the situation.

          Such as, spec ECU’s will be mandatory next year. Currently factory bikes can run their own, everyone else is using a spec Magnetti Marrelli ECU. Engines limited to 5 a year and no development for factories, 12 a year and development for non factory bikes, etc.

          Factory teams – Honda & Yamaha – must now provide bikes or engines to other teams / constructors.

          Honda offered a complete bike – supposedly a de-tuned full works bike, with things like seamless gearbox and pneumatic valves, etc. being unavailable.

          There was great hope from the teams that bought these that they could compete with the full factory teams ….

          Ha ha hah – the bike is a total and utter DOG ! You’d be better off entering a Superbike than using this piece of shit !

          Yamaha however, were only supposed to supply factory spec engines to other teams. Although they would still supply complete bikes to their satellite team Tech 3.

          As it turned out, they also supplied last years chassis as well as engines to NGM Racing.

          The result – NGM and Tech 3 are beating the full factory bikes !

          Is this a major cockup by Yamaha ?

          Or what DORNA wanted ?

          Maybe a glimpse of what’s to come 2015 ?

          As usual – if F1 goes down the customer car route – the devil will be in the detail of the regulations.

          And I’ve not seen the sort of leadership or vision from the FIA or the teams – that has been shown in MotoGP.

        • I agree, but should a specialised chassis manufacturer be capable of delivering a better piece of kit than Caterham, Marussia, Sauber and Lotus can deliver for less cost – then the door would truly be open

          • I’m with you on this Judge.

            I’m totally in favour of getting rid of the stupid ” you must manufacture your own chassis ” regulation.

            It was a bad rule introduced for bad reasons.

          • I don’t think a team DOES have to manufacture it themselves – but they have to own the design IP. So the difference is not having Dallara, or whomever, building the chassis for someone else…it’s Dallara building the same chassis for more than one team.

            Having said that, I genuinely can’t imagine that Dallara can build a better tub than Caterham or Marussia. They may, however, be able to build it CHEAPER (if they can share design costs across multiple customers).

        • You’ll get a bog standard F1 car ready to race and also ready for a team to redesign to fit within it’s design and budgetary needs. It works in other motorsports and there is no reason it won’t work in F1 (unless customer cars are nobbled). It’s no different to Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes offering engines/power trains to other teams.

        • Ken Tyrrell is the ONLY one to have success with a customer car.

          No one else has – as bruznic said …

          Winning the odd race here and there over many years – as Rob Walker did – is not success.

          Just ask Torro Rosso

          Winning a championship is.

          • “Ken Tyrrell is the ONLY one to have success with a customer car.”

            Not true. Matra international was a joint venture between Tyrrell and Matra.

          • Indeed. A race is nothing. And i think it’s even possible to look further than just f1 and you won’t see much winners either in the customer car category… I’m not saying there aren’t any but there are not many

          • Behind the scenes there are proposals that there is a 2 tier F1. A constructor category, and a customer car category…

            Constructors being allowed to run 3 cars….

          • @ Cav – WRONG

            Although a ” joint venture ” – that was a commercial venture – nothing to do with manufacturing.

            It WAS a customer car.

            Tyrrell DIDN’T design or build the car – Matra DID.

            As the next year – 1970 – they wouldn’t sell the MS80 to Tyrrell, and he had to use the March chassis before introducing his own.

            I think that not producing your own car and buying a car from someone else is the definition of a CUSTOMER !

          • @ Judge

            ” Behind the scenes there are proposals that there is a 2 tier F1. A constructor category, and a customer car category… ”

            This is what MotoGP had.

            It didn’t work !

            Hence the reasons they ( DORNA ) have changed the regulations.

            Even though it has seriously pissed off Honda !

            Who are like Ferrari in F1 – they think the sport can’t survive without them.

          • During the last turbo era there was a second-tier championship for constructors using normally-aspirated engines – called the Chapman Cup. Can anyone remember (without looking it up) who won any of these ‘ersatz’ championships…? Indeed, how many people even know (now) that this happened…?

          • I take it that’s a ‘No’… which is why such secondary championships are a nonsense.

  8. In December 2013 former Williams F1 CEO Adam Parr was already acknowledging the likelihood of F1’s governance dispute being elevated to the level of the EU Competition Commission:

    @joepabike It is self-evidently wrong to have a group of teams in a privileged position on future rules. It may be unlawful also.— Adam Parr (@adam_s_parr) December 3, 2013

  9. Clearly Mattiacci is not a racing man per se, yet he evidently is a remarkable man; able to build and motivate structures of people across continents which are not his own. The role of team boss is one of project and personnel manager. If Mattiacci is as good as the rest of the Automotive industry believe him to be, he will quickly know who to trust and who is ducking and diving

    As blunt as my critical comments were yesterday, I’m happy to praise the insightfulness and rational analysis conveyed above re. Mattiacci’s positive qualities/potential

  10. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to remember people being critical of Boullier because he had no motorsport experience (as far as I remember), but he seemed to turn (the team then known as) Renault around, and is now at McLaren, so just because the new Ferrari TP is not from motorsport, doesn’t mean he will do a crap job.

  11. RE spec series – I’ve been saying this whole time: give them an inch they take a mile. each time anything standard is introduced, f1 loses a part of its soul. I also don’t agree with 18 inch wheels. These are RACING cars with pedigree and hierarchy. As a amateur racer myself, I appreciate how the style of tyres form a link all the way back to karting, where everyone in F1 got their start.

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