Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 22nd April 2014

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Previously on TheJudge13

F1 GP Predictor Summary – Shanghai 2014


Ron Dennis hauling Mclaren back into line – slowly

The Iceman under attack from passionate Italians

Cesare Fiorio offers solace to Domenicali

Magnussen prefers Button to Alonso – Mclaren-Honda not ready for Alonso

Lewis Hamilton gets ‘money can’t buy’ gift from Lauda

Vettel suffering “the pressure effect”

Mercedes Dominance not seen for 22 years


Ron Dennis hauling Mclaren back into line – slowly

It would appear that Ron Dennis’ intervention and subsequent takeover at Mclaren was desperately required. The podium that Kevin Magnussen scored on his debut was ultimately a case of ‘flattering to deceive.’ The MP4/29 was designed by Tim Goss but after it’s stellar debut, has proven to be not only the fouth best of the Mercedes powered cars but has also fallen behind the Ferrari, Red Bull and Toro Rosso teams.

The race in Shanghai confirmed that Mclaren are currently the seventh best outfit and this is of some concern to Honda who will be entering into an exclusive arrangement with the Woking team next season.

Honda have already funded Mclaren with €100 million as the team continue struggling to find title sponsorship. Italian reports suggest that Honda would be willing to buy out Alonso ‘s contract and insert him beside Magnussen in a co-ordinated deal with Spanish sponsor Movistar so as to have an established top line driver, but Alonso is waiting to see how the situation develops at Maranello as Mclaren is not in a position of strength either.

What has surprised Dennis is just how much F1 has changed in just five years. Mclaren may have secured the services of former Red Bull aerodynamicist Peter Prodromou who is currently on gardening leave, but his colleague Dan Fallows changed his mind and returned to Red Bull. Dennis may pursue this through the courts but as in everything F1, it will come down to compensation. It begs the question as to why bludgeon a potential employee when he clearly doesn’t want to move.

Omnicorse explains: There is a significant re-organisation being undertaken at Mclaren as the Technology Centre is not producing the results that were expected. The original plans were to entice University graduates to the team to grow within the Mclaren group and then replace the engineers that were head-hunted by other teams but the one glaring problem was that all the graduates were inexperienced in F1. This infrastructure will also inevitably take some time to correct.

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The Iceman under attack from passionate Italians

The Italian press is ramping up the pressure on the ‘Iceman’. Considering one of the most fascinating aspects of this season was to be the inter-team fight between Fernando Alonso and the incoming Kimi Raikkonen the results so far have been somewhat .underwhelming.

Stefano Domenicali signed Kimi Raikkonen against the wishes of the team – in response to the dominant position Alonso had created around himself in Maranello. Whatever people feel in regards Alonso’s personal qualities, he is undoubtedly a brilliant racer and now with the resignation of the much-liked SD, Kimi is suddenly in a much weaker position, especially as new-comer Marco Mattiacci has backed FA as number one.

Leo Turrini has written in his blog about the delicate situation that Kimi is caught up in. As a Kimi fan he is ‘suffering the torments of hell’ and yet explains in an honest appraisal this isn’t a team sport like cycling where the team shares the baton.

The calls for the lynching of Raikkonen have increased but Mattiacci has confirmed that Ferrari does not share this view. It’s interesting in itself that Turrini feels the need to mention this in his blog in defence of the one he calls “Blond.”

Perhaps more damning of Kimi is the use of the nickname – “The Holy Drinker”

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Cesare Fiorio offers solace to Domenicali

Cesare Fiorio ran the Lancia competition department in the 1970’s and 1980’s and as head of the sporting activities for Fiat was assigned the Squadra Corse Alfa Romeo. In 1989 he was appointed sporting director for Ferrari but an extraordinarily successful career was brought to a dramatic end when he was sacked before the start of the 1991 season. He returned with Ligier in 1994 before moving to Forti, Prost and Minardi before leaving the sport and becoming a commentator on RAI.

In a recent interview after the Chinese Grand Prix he offered some interesting angles.

“It’s a real shame that Domenicali has been aggressively blamed by the very people who adopted the same approach with Costa at the time of his removal. It is a classically simplistic view that spectators offer without knowing the real reasons for successes and failures. These convictions can be spectacularly wrong.

As to how Marco Mattiacci will manage the team without F1 knowledge, the truth is 80% of all management decisions are common whatever the business. The remaining 20% is specific knowledge and experience which is not learnt in a month or even a year.

A good manager will surround himself with reliable and experienced people who can help him make the right decision – he will delegate authority and empower them so we have to give Mattecci a chance to express himself.

Ultimately, 2014 is not going to be a year to fight Mercedes but one area where the newly appointed manager will direct his attention is to give back to Maranello political weight within the sports institutions.”

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Magnussen prefers Button to Alonso – Mclaren-Honda not ready for Alonso

In what would appear to be one of the least surprising admissions made by a Formula One driver, Kevin Magnussen admitted he would prefer Jenson Button to Fernando Alonso as a team-mate.

The 21 year old Dane remarked, “I’m happy now. I think having someone like Jenson – easygoing, speaks very good English, knows how to explain things and very experienced and fast is ideal. I couldn’t ask for a better teammate.”

With such ‘qualities’ available to Mclaren and Honda, it is perhaps inevitable that speculation about Alonso’s future is increasing.

Whilst the promise of a Mclaren-Honda may sound like a dream to a man who has confessed he wanted three titles like his idol – Senna – he would temper this with the fact that Mclaren are in similar shape dynamically to Ferrari.

With the return of Ron Dennis – Mclaren are also undergoing a restructuring after years in the doldrums and rebuilding a design team that had been depleted in recent years as engineers moved elsewhere.

The recruitment of high profile chassis engineers is always tempered by the fact that they will not be able to start work for a period of time as they enjoy tending their petunias and vegetable patch. The full effect of their employment would not be felt until 2016.

There would also be a question mark against Honda. They dominated from late 1985 to mid 1991 with ground-breaking chassis design and two ‘pedallers’ called Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna but..

..Renault arrived with their V10 powerhouse which dominated for the next few years. By the early 00’s Ferrari, BMW and Mercedes had moved the technology forwards again – and Toyota and a returning Renault also proved competitive – but throughout this period Honda never once looked likely to emulate their previous success.

Even the rumoured spend of $1billion dollars on the 2009 chassis would likely have been wasted as the engine was overweight and thirsty. One of Ross Brawn’s most fortunate days was buying the team for £1. His next having Mercedes provide Brawn with a cutting edge power unit.

If Alonso chooses to stay at Ferrari he would be working once again with a man who contributed to his two World Titles, James Allison.

It won’t have escaped Alonso’s notice that this man designed a car that allowed Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean to challenge for race victories throughout 2012 and 2013.

If he moves, he goes up against Ron Dennis once more…

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Lewis Hamilton gets ‘money can’t buy’ gift from Lauda

According to reports in the German tabloid – Bild, Niki Lauda gave Lewis Hamilton a ‘money can’t buy’ reward for winning his first ever F1 hat-trick – drum roll please….

A ride on his own private jet.

“I told him ‘If you win, I’ll fly you back’ to Europe. Otherwise Lewis would have been on a regular flight.”

By all accounts, Lauda was true to his word and flew the pair back on his Bombadier Global 5000. No mention was made of Nico Rosberg but it may have explained his demeanour on the podium.

Other than the fact that this has been published on a tabloids website, it also misses the point that Hamilton has his own $30million private jet

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Vettel suffering “the pressure effect”

The cold hard facts are clear. Daniel Ricciardo has out-qualified his 4 times world champion team mate 3-1 this season. Further, TJ13 has asserted the Red Bull Racing decision to ignore the Fuel Flow Rate as measured by the FIA sensors in Australia, was a pre-medicated calculated call. Had Newey and Horner complied with the instructions of the FIA during the race, Ricciardo would have finished 4th or 5th – giving him a further 10-12 points.

This would mean that the drivers’ championship after the flyaway races would look very different. Daniel Ricciardo would be ahead of Vettel by between 1 and 3 points.

Whilst here at TJ13 we enjoy at times in speculating on the reasons behind ‘strange’ decisions and actions taking by the F1 players, nobody is suggesting that the Ricciardo DQ was orchestrated to favour Vettel.

Analysing the race in China, it seems there is an argument that Daniel was given a slightly too conservative strategy during the last phase of the race together with Vettel compromising the Australian’s alternative pit stop strategy before finally relenting and ‘letting him through’. The fact both cars ended up during the manoeuvre off line and on the dirty part of the track suggests Vettel wasn’t really playing ball. This certainly cost Ricciardo the opportunity to overtake Alonso and claim his first rightful podium of his career.

On the flip side of the coin, Vettel was disadvantaged this weekend in China by his team’s decision to pit him early for a 3 stop strategy, which was then reversed later to just 2 stops. Yet the reason for this was based upon the incremental tyre degradation Vettel had suffered during the opening stint. At present, Sebastian is not getting the same life from the 2014 Pirelli’s as Ricciardo.

Red Bull may yet rue the points lost in Melbourne and China as Ferrari may well be getting their act together and if Kimi does get into the mix, the target of Maranello to be the best of the rest looks possible.

However, despite all the ‘if’s and buts’ it is clear that given the equipment Newey has produced for his drivers in 2014, Ricciardo appears to have the slight edge over his 4 times world champion team mate.

“Sebastian’s having a tough time at the moment because he hasn’t got that feeling from the car he’s looking for,” believes his team principal, Christian Horner.

“He’s tremendously sensitive to certain aspects of the set-up, he’s not getting the feeback from the car that he wants. The compound effect of that is he’s damaging the tyre more – which is very unusual for Seb since Pirellis were introduced. It’s highly unusual for him to be going through the tyre life quicker than the average”.

Mr. H would have us remember that form is temporary, but class is permanent. “That’s just a culmination of the issues that he’s currently got and as soon as we work those out I’m sure he’ll be back with a bang.”

Adrian Newey went on record over the winter stating that of all the drivers he has ever worked with, Vettel is in a league of his own when it comes to aptitude – the ability to learn and adapt.

So the explanation for the current performance differential between the two Red Bull drivers appears to be simple. Daniel is stepping into a car which is giving him incremental performance and Sebastian feels he is in a car which does not deliver the performance he was used to in the RB9. The confidence factor between the two based upon this alone must me large.

If Newey is correct, then Vettel will be working night and day in the simulator and studying his teammate’s data, learning to correct his driving style to adapt the current machinery.

This improvement in the German’s performance should become apparent over the next couple of races, but if it does not… then we may need to look at other explanations as to why Vettel is not dominating his team mate – or even delivering performances of parity.

The politics of the Renault-Red Bull bust up pre-season and the subsequent blame game over the RB10’s powertrain’s performance may well have affected Sebastian Vettel’s approach to his driving. Instead of maxing his efforts at 100%, hissy fit or not, it would be easy for Vettel to think ‘why bother’ because the problems with the Renault engine were outside of his control – and it may be this which is the difference between the German and Australian bull riders.

Felipe Massa believes there is even more to the current lack of performance from Vettel and calls it “the pressure effect”. 

The Brazilian driver explains. “When he [Vettel] had a team that was all working for him, for all the years when he was with Webber, life was much simpler, easier. But now he is under a little more pressure and that changes the situation — the pressure effect,

I am not knocking Vettel’s talent, the driver that he is, because everything he did deserves the recognition. But this is a situation that now he has to overcome. Without doubt it shows that Ricciardo is a good driver, fast and with the talent to be there. He has arrived at a great team and so far he shows he can do a great job,”

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Mercedes Dominance not seen for 22 years

The last time we saw an opening of the season where a single team dominated the lead of the first 4 races was back in 1992. Of the 224 laps to date in 2014, Lewis has lead for 164 and Nico for the remaining 60.

In 1992 it was Nigel Mansell and Riccardo Patrese who for Williams shared the lead for the first 442 laps of the season until in the sixth race of the year in Monaco, Ayrton Senna managed to lead between laps 71 and 78.

Toto Wolf is cautious of Mercedes dominance, “I think you cannot go into a season with these new regulations and think we’re going to make four wins in a row. And I guess that also in a couple of years we’ll look back at the statistics and say, wow, that was a run”.

The reality of the situation is that having made 2 mistakes on his Q3 qualifying laps and starting 4th, Nico Rosberg drove the race in China with no telelemetry and easily regained second place behind his team mate, who drove flawlessly and without any apparent mechanical issues.

By the end of the next 2 races in Barcelona and Monaco, we’ll know whether Mercedes is likely to emulate the Williams 1992 performance which saw one of their drivers 1st or 2nd in every race of the season bar Canada and Australia – when neither cars from Grove finished the race.

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66 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 22nd April 2014

  1. The word fight between Dennis and Horner irt the legal procedures that may be needed to settle the Fallows case are interesting. Is McLaren looking for a financial compensation, or do they want to reach an agreement with RBR about an earlier release of Prodromou? Not sure that RBR would be willing to give in on any of these things though…

    • It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. McLaren does not need money (we hope). All they can stand to gain is for Peter to start working earlier.

      But, listening to Horner in the pitlane on Sunday it appears he is putting the responsibility squarely on Paul’s shoulders so if there is a lawsuit who will it be on, RBR or Paul?

      Dennis is no fool. He’d not want Paul to work there if he does not want to so at worst we may see Paul spending the British Summer in the garden…

      • But, listening to Horner in the pitlane on Sunday it appears he is putting the responsibility squarely on Paul’s shoulders so if there is a lawsuit who will it be on, RBR or Paul[sic]?

        Well yes, Horner really doesn’t have any choice but to “blame” it on Dan, right?

        Placing blame on Dan may limit McLaren’s complaint to one turning on simple employment law (breach of contract), whereas if McLaren believes that RBR knowingly encouraged Fallows to break his contract, it could be a more serious matter of fraudulently or tortiously interfering to induce breach of contract (which may also permit remedies that aren’t necessarily accessible to the Court in simple matters of contract law – such as punitive damages).

        But please note: I write all this as an American who hasn’t trained in or studied the British courts!

        Still tho, very serious claims by Dennis, and a weak defense by Horner imo. But, hopefully it can be sorted semi-transparently (yeah right!).

  2. ” … Considering one of the most fascinating aspects of this season was to be the inter-team fight between Fernando Alonso and the incoming Kimi Raikkonen the results so far have been somewhat .underwhelming. .. ”

    Some didn’t believe in the hype about any inter-team fight there:
    http://thejudge13.com/2013/11/21/daily-f1-news-and-comment-thursday-21st-november-2013/#comment-31445

    ” …. In 2014, I think Ferrari are going to regret massively having ditched Massa for Kimi. …. “

    • ….Bravo…..

      I’ve also questioned many times whether Kimi will be able to beat Alonso….

      If you remember when we broke the Richter scale 9 story just after Hungary, our information was that this was a stop gap measure because Ferrari weren’t sure whether Alonso would be walking….

      Further, it was in direct opposition to Il Padrino’s ‘two roosters’ analogy…

      The reason for recruiting Kimi is still valid becuse should the various rumours about Alonso’s contract being bought out from 2015 onwards be true, then the team would switch its focus to develop the car more around Kimi….

    • Last year Massa was 8th compared to Alonso’s 2nd place. I know Kimi’s start hasn’t been the best, but I still expect he is going to do relatively better than that. I assume Alonso is only fighting for 3rd, so 8th or above would be better than Massa’s result and it’s an early part of the season still.

    • And our bet is still on! Can’t say I feel super confident right now, but there’s plenty of season to go yet 😉

  3. This is one thing that has confused me greatly about Honda returning. Everyone is assuming they are going to deliver an amazing engine that blows the competition away, but where is the evidence of this?
    A bit of blind optimism to say the least. If they really knew what they were doing surely there would have been no need to withdraw their engines from the sport in 2008, as their would have been plenty of customers still wanting to use them, and therefore making a profit.
    It seems McLaren have had their day and are going the way of Williams now.

    • Honda fans are always a bit cocky about honda. Nothing can beat em. I’m a bit more sceptical, just like you. Last time around all a Honda did, was laying a trail of thick fog in the track with their spectacular blow outs. People seem to forget that because they had a good engine some 25 years ago…

    • Don’t forget it’s new rules now where the engine plays a bigger role than aero. Honda failed in the 2000s because they simply didn’t know how to build a car plus aero was king. Now we go back to the 80s in a way. Hence the sense of optimism. As a McLaren fan I can only be hopeful for the future, what else remains…?

  4. Seriously what a riot Magnussen is “speaks English very well”!!!??? That’s got to be the funniest thing I’ve read all day.

    Translated from Danish I think it means “give me a few more races and I will be beating his ass like a gong” LOL!

    • I hope he meant it that way, I suspect he did, as I have a number of Danish and Norwegian friends and, despite the nordic poker face the present it with, they often deliver some amazing put downs and one liners.

  5. “Mercedes Dominance not seen for 22 years”

    The fundamental difference to today and to Williams then was teams had no restrictions on developing the technology that Williams had.

    The constructors WC is over. Except for Rosberg and Hamilton, the drivers WC is over. Barring mechanical failures or accidents for both drivers in a race they’ll win ever race this year. And with the narrow development allowed on the engines, unless Honda have something special, they’ll do the same thing next year. M-B’s real performance advantage is (as I don’t believe they are running the cars at max) is 50 – 60 seconds a race. Even if M-B completely stopped development no one is going to gain anywhere near that amount of time. Todt and the FIA can delude themselves that all is well because the cars are now “relevant” to the motor industry.

    The sponsors, broadcasters and race organizers must be delighted.

    • …. so what’s different? Red Bull dominating for 4 years – As you suggests Mercedes may do so for 2 years….

      If we get several races a year like Bahrain, no one will care any less than when Vettel won 4 consecutive titles….

      Problem is, Barcelona and Monaco are the next 2. Often very predictable races following the start…

      • In 2010 and 2012 the drivers WC was decided at the last race between drivers from different teams. While Vettel won in 2010 and 2012 he didn’t dominate.

        • …indeed, but its hardly a surprise 1 manufacturer would emerge dominant in 2014 – we’ve been predicting that would happen for over a year……..

      • “If we get several races a year like Bahrain,”

        That sounds like NASCAR and their policy of “competitive yellows” where they brought out the safety car simply to erase an advantage that one team had. The fans quickly realized that it looked like NASCAR were stage managing the results.

        • ….not sure of your line of thought – clearly the excitement [lack of] from China cf. Bahrain demonstrates no one is managing anything…..

          …the engine reg’s were demanded by manufacturers, shaped and formed by them… and the results of those decisions [reduced noise, possible dominance…] was known years ago – what’s that got to do with the FIA?

          • The issue isn’t the engine regs / specs but the banning of engine development during the season. If Renault or Ferrari have found a way to increase HP, while still remaining within the regs / specs they are forbidden to implement those changes until next year. All M-B have to do is make sure they can cover what Renault or Ferrari have done.

          • The 2006 engine spec wasn’t frozen until 2007, so teams had a year to fix any deficiencies the engine had and the FIA did allow limited development during the 07/08 seasons.

            I don’t have any issue with M-B having the most powerful engine – what I do have an issue with is the FIA essentially banning the ability of anyone to catch up. With F1 interest in decline, having one team completely dominate for the next 2 or 3 seasons could end it.

          • I think that the positioning of everything is set (so Merc will retain the layout advantage), but ‘reliability’ is still able to be upgraded? So when Renault get on top of it, their engine and Ferrari will still be 5-10kph down on Mercedes on the China straight, but Ferrari will now be driveable and Renault able to operate on full power all the time.

            That’s not too bad a situation to occur, considering Mercedes were innovative in their layout.. I agree though that Honda can try and match them for 2015 (e.g. layout innovation), giving 2 better and 2 worse engines. When RB get going on full chat they could match Mercedes, so we’d move from 1992 to 1998-99-00 gradually. In this analogy, Ferrari is Jordan..

          • But it sets the scene for an epic HAM-VET battle over the next few years.. perhaps HAM can win a few titles to get 3 or 4 and match Vettel. Alonso or Raikkonen may feature in one year or simply do well to get in the top 5 standings. Ros and Ric now have to prove they can be more than a Patrese or Berger type, and be DC or Irvine in 01/99 given the chance. Frentzen also managed to challenge in 99.. Alonso seems to be replicating that at the moment.

          • Eddie can be LdM or whoever is in charge at the current moment.. Stefano would have been a good analogy as he similarly appeared a lot on the TV.

        • Cav why are you always so negative? Do you just like to complain, or are you a persecuted Ferrari supporter who cracked and can’t handle their failure to win?

  6. Re the Pressure Effect… at the risk of waking the hippo, is it possible that DR might just be better than SV? (potentially making MW look very ordinary, sorry Judge!)

    • Don’t worry about Hippo, Coulthard is doing a pretty good job defending Vettel. Not that all he says is wrong, but it’s a bit too much.

      After 4 races though those Alonso words keep ringing in my ears:

      “Time will tell us, but I think when he will have a car like the others, if he wins he will have a great recognition and he will be one of the legends of Formula One. When one day he has the car like the others and he is fourth, fifth or seventh then these four titles will be bad news for him because people will take these four days even in a worse manner than what they are doing now. So there are interesting times for Sebastian coming.”

      • direct link: http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/formula1/25035783

        Fernando Alonso on frustration at Ferrari, Vettel and the future

        By Andrew Benson
        Chief F1 writer

        …The question touches a raw nerve, but Fernando Alonso does not flinch. Does it hurt to be regarded as a great racing driver but not to be able to convert that standing into more than his two titles?

        “A little bit, yes,” the Ferrari team leader says. “I still believe that I have many years in front of me to recover some of the championships that I could have won probably, like 2010 and 2012. They are clearly examples.

        “Inside, I am still thinking that when I retire I will have more than two. I don’t know how many, but I will have more than two.

        “If I cannot achieve that it will be a shame, it will be sad, because I had so many opportunities – but at the moment I am thinking we will have more opportunities and the next ones we will not lose any more.”

        He knows full well that, but for a couple of agonising twists of fate, it would be him with four world titles and Vettel on ‘only’ two, rather than the other way around.

        Instead, it is Vettel who has this year entered an exclusive club of four-time champions, alongside only Juan Manuel Fangio, Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost. Does Alonso himself consider the Red Bull driver as a great driver to rank alongside such names?

        “Time will tell us,” he says. “There are many years [to go in his career].

        “He is 26 years old, so when he will have a car like the others, if he wins, he will have a great recognition and be one of the legends in F1. When one day he has a car like the others and he is fourth, fifth, seventh, these four titles will be bad news for him because people will take these four titles even in a worse manner than they are doing now.

        “So there are interesting times for Sebastian coming.”

        The barb – that Vettel has been able to dominate only because his car is on another level from the rest – is implied, but unmistakable.

        Alonso is regarded by many – including several rivals – as the greatest active driver in F1. Yet he won the second of his world titles way back in 2006, and this is the third time in four years he has been Vettel’s closest challenger only to lose out in the end. He has not troubled to hide that it has been difficult for him to go through it again.

        “There has,” he admits, “been a lot of frustration in the [Ferrari] team, no doubt. We were hoping every year to do well and to fight for the World Championship.

        “When Red Bull dominate the sport one year it is OK. They have great aerodynamics; they have a great team.

        “When it happens two years, frustration grows a little bit, [but] it can be because of the blowing exhaust or the double diffuser or something like that. When it is happening constantly every year there are more frustrations and the atmosphere in all the other teams is getting a little worse and a little more in a sad mood, let’s say.

        “So it is up to us; we cannot let things go down for us. It is time to deliver even more. It is time to work even harder. And we try to motivate each other.

        “But from outside it is normal that we receive only bad news and bad questions. Because we are Ferrari, we should deliver, win races, compete with the best. We are not doing so, so the bad questions or sad feeling from the outside and from our fans are understandable.”…

        Go to http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/formula1/25035783 to read full exchange. It’s worth it to review!

    • Even if MW was ordinary post-2011 (he did OK in the first half of 2012), usually when SV could extract more slow speed pace from the EBD, he was the wrong side of 30, and his peak years were probably spent at Jaguar.

  7. pre-medicated call

    Which one of the management team are you suggesting was off his/her meds ?

  8. “pre-medicated calculated call” ………. pretty funny; what was the medication? Oh, premeditated!!!!!

  9. ❝Scandal-Mongering F① media❞I

    The calls for the lynching of Raikkonen have increased but Mattiacci has confirmed that Ferrari does not share this view. It’s interesting in itself that Turrini feels the need to mention this in his blog in defence of the one he calls “Blond.”

    Perhaps more damning of Kimi is the use of the nickname – “The Holy Drinker

    ➲Rant-on ❙ This is “the media” at their disgusting worst: intentionally – cynically – stirring up shit and trying to create drama and negatively influence public opinion against, basically, “an innocent man”, just to be able to capitalize on increased traffic and attention resulting from the hysteria they seek to orchestrate (attention, btw, that the public sometimes inadvertently or unintentionally transfers to the journalist(s) and/or publication themselves, who can begin suffering ‘BS’ = “Big-head Syndrome” … and risk contaminating others! ☣ lol).

    To his credit, the Judge seems reasonably resistant to ‘BS’ – but not entirely immune (see the case of Crashtor™, who always comes in for a good kickin’ whenever his name is added to the docket). [note: lolz, Your Honour❣❣❣]

    IMO, if you want to better understand why public figures like Kimi might (note: conditional – I don’t claim infallibility or universal authority) be inclined to hate the media, look no further than this example of the press publishing demands that Kimi be lynched while at the same time printing derogatory nicknames like “The Holy Drinker” – and after only little more than a month of racing!

    Alas, this is hardly an issue unique to F① media, or coverage of sport in general! We see countless examples of so-called “journalists” who confusedly (egotistically…delusionally…annoyingly…) think they themselves are “the Story” or – even worse – that they’re bigger than the story, when in reality, they’re most decidedly not responsible for capturing the public’s interest and imagination! (no matter how much they wish otherwise…)

    Anyone who knows anything about me beyond just my posting here knows I’ve had extensive dealings w/ national and int’l media that continue to the present, and so I speak from authority (though I don’t speak on behalf of Kimi or anyone else in F1, of course).

    The only reporters I substantively interact w/ now are the ones who I trust and have had consistently positive, fair dealings with, I’ve been burned in the past, and so of course I’m quick to defend other athletes like Maldonado from coverage that can be unfair and worse. But as readers, I think it’s imperative for us to hold our media accountable and demand coverage that’s not only insightful, interesting and entertaining, but accurate and fair, but adversarial if/when necessary.

    Some of you might disagree with the general premise of my rant – and find the sensationalized, scandal-mongering “coverage” of F❶ (and sport in general) to be quite satisfying and commendable, which is your right. But those of you who don’t suffer from a lack of empathy can hopefully understand why it’s utterly ludicrous (not to mention patently offensive) for journalists or bloggers to call for the lynching of anyone – never mind an athlete like the Iceman ☃ who’s a former world champion and only a few races into a season that continues until late-November!

    ➲Rant-off ❙ So…I finished typing this up a few mins ago but went downstairs to play w/ my cat. I also fired up the espresso machine and had a caffè corretto, and as a result, am less perturbed by what Italian media says about the Snowman ☃☃☃ – who can take care of himself!

    Figured no harm tho in still posting my comment.

    Cheers!

    • Someone needs to take the Fat Hippo’s place – lol:)

      I think it’s more complicated than it appears as I’m sure Leo Turrini is actually a big fan of Kimi’s – I have been reading translations of his blog since last year and he has always referred to Kimi as “the holy drinker” as a kind of nickname. He also has nicknames for lots of the other drivers…I think he was really pleased when Kimi went back to Ferrari and is just worried that the change in politics is going to cause him problems now.

      So I think Turrini is actually defending Kimi against the rest of the Italian media…

      When Kimi first went to Maranello last year Turrini was there as well and ate lunch with Kimi and the team.

      It’s also probably an example of how things can get lost in translation too…

      • think it’s more complicated than it appears as I’m sure Leo Turrini is actually a big fan of Kimi’s

        Fair enough, Jennie.

        While I used Kimi as the primary example of an athlete in F1 who is decidedly not enamored w/ the media, it may very well be that Turrini is his advocate. But he’d still be his advocate in the face of a seemingly overtly hostile general Italian sports press, based on what was reported here by the Judge, no?

        So while I’m not targeting Turrini – directly or otherwise – I AM raging at the same scandal-lusting media whose commentary and “reporting” compels Turrini to defend the Snowman ☃☃☃ in the first place.

        • Thanks Joe,

          You had some great points and I did agree with a lot of what you said, and you are right that the media would prefer a scandal to the “truth” and what you wrote was very thought provoking. It would also have taken me all week to write something as well thought out as what you wrote…

          So I should have also mentioned what I agreed with as well…I am so used to reading something and thinking “but what is the other side to this story” – lol:)

    • Were you… Wait for it… Papp smeared?

      Joking aside, erudite point. My pet peeve just now is on this same topic with the – here and elsewhere – “cracks in the rosberg-Hamilton relationship beginning to show” nonsense.

      • Were you… Wait for it… Papp smeared?

        The last kid who said something like that to me when we were still in school: they eventually unwired his jaw, but he never recovered from the traumatic brain injury.

    • Hmmmm… I invite you to consider this…. It’s not just the F1 media, and those reporters are most likely just trying to hang onto what’s left of their meal ticket too. Not that that makes it any less appalling, for I too have seen first hand how wrong reporters, well intentioned ones also, can get it wrong, never mind those who are lazy or just looking to gin up some controversy.

      But I think it goes further than the media, I’ve come to the conclusion (sadly) that much our attitudes towards everything outside our direct experience are shaped by all the unspoken assumptions in all the content we consume; books, TV, movies, etc. And that when most folks have an opinion, it’s not even really therir own, it’s simply regurgitated from some Hollywood B film that they are unaware had any impact on them at all, rather than a careful reflection on the facts.

      It seems to be intrinsic to the nature of our current existence, and it explains much about the peculiarities of our society. I would argue also that none of us really “know” Pastor or Lewis or Kimi and that at best most of what we think of them is simply a projection of our desires and fears, amplified and manipulated by the media we consume about them.

      I have found it difficult (though I have tried) to extricate and make myself aware of when I am having my own opinion and when I am simply repeating things I have heard my whole life. It takes a great deal of patience and self awareness to start clearing away the bull sh*t and trying to re-establish contact with reality.

      Frankly, I sometimes think our whole society is run on a wink-wink- nudge-nudge basis and that I foolishly believed all that I was taught about the way things work much to my detriment. But I have learned that drawing any categorical conclusions is inherently difficult and that each case needs to be considered carefully on its merits. There is wisdom in crowds, but also madness and it’s worth carefully considering before throwing your lot either direction.

      • I just had a thought when you commented on how wrong reporters can be – I work in A & E and it is always amusing to see a newspaper report about a patient I have personally looked after because there is usually very little relation to what really happened and I sometimes wonder if they just completely make it up! In fact, you’re often safer assuming the the truth is actually the complete opposite to what has been reported:)

        • Having had some involvement with the (TV) media I have to say, you are not wrong in your surmise.
          As for your A&E experiences I’m interested to know how often you have been personally (or your team) interviewed by reporters, or do they just check at reception (which perhaps doesn’t know as much, or might not be permitted to respond), on their way back to the bar – if the latter still happens… 😉

          • All inquires go to whoever is the administrator in charge of the hospital – we are not allowed to talk to anyone. Even if the police ring for information we have to take their number and ring them back to make sure they are who they say they are (though usually the police just come in person and then we know they are who they say they are!). I’ve always assumed there was some way of listening into ambulance control and they used what they heard there to make up their story…

        • Jennie, great to hear that your hospital has such a media policy in place. Obviously here in America it’s illegal to release ANY information about a patient – never mind to the media (!!!) – b/c of our HIPPA laws, but that doesn’t stop interested parties from trying to obtain that info, and from incompetent or malicious staff from releasing it.

          I can’t imagine ANY hospital would want to run the risk of another Jacintha Sadanha-situation (no matter how little or how much the call contributed directly to her death).

      • Mattp55, Great comment. Just curious – how old are you? Are you university educated? If so, in what discipline? Have you traveled much?

        Your writing has consistently given hints that its author is cultivating (or already has) a fairly sophisticated worldview (atypical) and is very sensitive in their ability to perceive and process. Would like to know a bit more about who you are.

        Anyway…

        It’s not just the F1 media…it goes further than the media, I’ve come to the conclusion (sadly) that much our attitudes towards everything outside our direct experience are shaped by all the unspoken assumptions in all the content we consume; books, TV, movies, etc. And that when most folks have an opinion, it’s not even really therir it’s simply regurgitated…

        Yup, you won’t get much argument from me here. Firstly, most people’s “direct experience” is incrediblylimited. It doesn’t mean they’re necessarily ignorant, but rather, that homogeneity and mass culture combine with a distinct lack of development of faculties of critical thinking to create and shape perspectives in folks that frequently prevent them from even knowing what it is that they don’t know!

        I would argue also that none of us really “know” Pastor or Lewis or Kimi and that at best most of what we think of them is simply a projection of our desires and fears, amplified and manipulated by the media we consume about them.

        Again, I agree here as well. And this is partly why I so despise the relentless attacks on Maldonado’s character, his values, what he means to his nation; and so object to people claiming to know what some superstar athlete is thinking or what his intentions are at any given moment.

        In almost every case, they’re just talking about a caricature of a person who they’ve never met and don’t know beyond how he’s portrayed by their preferred media.

        The rest of your comment I also pretty much agree with. One last thought tho:

        There is wisdom in crowds, but also madness and it’s worth carefully considering before throwing your lot either direction

        Emmm…most people are idiots – or at least “avg people” are not good sources of received wisdom. (Present company and those reading this site excluded, of course.) lol

        • What you said reminded me of this:)

          The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.
          —A. A. Milne

          • I love it too – I need to remember that the minority might not be right either:) Thinking is more important than either following the crowd or going against the crowd!

        • Hi Joe, since you ask so politely, yes to university, just shy of 50 (staggers me to write that but it’s true). Music and English, Conservatory with a fairly reasonable collection of science ( Bio and Anthro mostly as I didn’t want to spend the time on the math in chemistry).

          I’ve traveled a bit, America and Europe, I guess you could just call me a curious soul who thanks to the vicissitudes of our economy and a chance humorous comment sometimes has enough time left over to engage in this peculiar hobby and the good fortune to have found a supportive and interesting community.

          And thanks for the compliment, it means perhaps I’m finally losing the last vestiges of the academy and beginning to write in my own voice.

          As far as the rest goes, well, you know I used to race, but I also used to wrench and even deliver packages on a bike. Without a helmet in the mean streets of NYC no less. I’ve also tended bar, painted houses and even done some legal proofreading, though I eventually had a good long stretch freelancing in NY which continues to this day. Now I do a fair amount

          I appreciate the comments very much, and clearly we are on the same wavelength here, but as to the last on the one hand I always think of Men in Black and Tommy Lee Jones ” A person is smart. People are dumb panicky beasts” speech.

          But the flip side of that is a little book I read years ago called “the Health Hazards of not going nuclear”. It was a look at the safety of the nuclear energy vs coal, and from a strictly numbers point of view, it wasn’t even close. Mining and transporting coal kills far more people than does nuclear energy. Even in a worst case scenario, the potential damage caused by a conflagration of the oil tanks outside NYC (smoke plus an inversion layer if you’re interested) would likely kill more people than did Chernobyl (though the book was written before that happened).

          Cheery little tome, but at the end the author cautions that despite the fact that nuclear energy was a rational choice, there might very well be something important to the fact that so many people were resistant to it. So that’s kind of what I was getting at.

          BTW have you read the book “On Bullsh*t” Somehow, I think you might enjoy it.

          Cheers!

          • Thanks Matt for your reply to Joe, as I had been curious to read your answer:) I love reading what you write and it’s cool to have a bit of background about you…

            I can remember writing an essay for school arguing the benefits vs the risks of nuclear energy and coming down on the side of nuclear…then again, I always enjoy trying to argue against the majority:) That was 1982 so it was pre-Chernobyl though…Three-Mile Island was the major nuclear disaster of the time – and we were living in the US when that happened…

      • “… at best most of what we think…is simply a projection of our desires and fears, amplified and manipulated by the media we consume…”

        “The advertising apocalypse is simply that we experience our own emotions, and are no longer sold them.”

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