Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 29th April 2014

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The enduring legacy from the Formula One’s ‘Black’ weekend

Mercedes loses another important team member from the design group

F1 goes back to its roots – or does it?

Jenson just fine

Mercedes Reserve Drivers

Secret problems affecting Raikkonen in Maranello


The enduring legacy from the Formula One’s ‘Black weekend

It’s not difficult to quantify Senna’s legacy. As we reach the twentieth anniversary of the Imola tragedy his 41 race victories, 65 pole positions, his three titles and all his quotes still remain emblazoned as part of the fabric of the sport.

He also left a legacy which to date has enabled over 11 million of the poorest children in Brazil to have access to schooling, sports and education that they may never have been fortunate enough to receive otherwise.

Max Mosley spoke recently to Reuters about taking the blame for the quiet Formula One that we are experiencing but he also spoke of the lasting legacy that Senna’s death has had on thousands of people throughout the world.

It goes without saying that safety in motor-sport has changed completely in the last two decades but perhaps of greater significance is the effect that research has provided for road safety.

“That Imola weekend was the catalyst for change on the roads that has literally, without question, saved tens of thousands of lives. It is true that without the accident we would never have gone to Brussels, or developed the Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) standard, conducted crash testing or been able to get the legislation through the European Commission. All this has increased the standards of safety.”

“You know, thousands of people that are walking around, happy, alive and uninjured would have been killed if it were not for the work that has been done. All of that started with Ayrton’s accident and that to me is the thing that really matters.”

After Imola, the FIA gathered together a group of experts to scientifically assess how to make racing safer. Crash tests would become far more encompassing and there has been a continuous push to reduce outright speeds. Helmets became regulated, barriers improved and circuit designs modified to embrace the move to the future. Around this time the FIA began it’s push for greater road safety through changes in government and European Institutions.

“When we had the Senna accident we even had politicians saying Formula One should be banned. The whole of F1 was in turmoil and it went beyond the confines of Formula One. If you say ‘What has Formula One given society?’ the truth is F1, Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton have allowed a change in road safety. This has affected the lives of thousands. Not maybe, it’s certain.”

Mosley concluded,” The road safety would have happened, but it would probably have taken another 15 or 20 years.”

Max Mosley went to Ratzenberger’s funeral because he had become the forgotten man of the whole weekend. It is of course easy to understand – Senna was a high profile champion at the peak of his career, known throughout the world and perished on our screens.

But maybe the legacy belongs to both men equally. If only one or the other had died, it would have been passed off as a freak accident- something that happens in motor-racing on occasion. For both to perish, the clamour that followed around the world was too insistent on change.

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Mercedes loses another important team member from the design group

TJ13 reported recently that Niki Lauda had deemed the workforce at Mercedes in need of culling with redundancies in the pipeline.

With news of Bob Bell having left the team last December – destination unknown – and with the resignation of Ross Brawn coinciding with the end of the season, Mercedes is a fundamentally different structure to the group that pieced together the dominant Silver Arrow which Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have won all four races of the current season.

With the historic grandees Ferrari and Mclaren both restructuring it seems a short-sighted decision from the senior management figures Lauda, Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe. One of the victims of this process has been signed by James Key to take over as the concept designer at Toro Rosso.

Phil Arnaboldi is a 47year old Englishman who has been the Head of Car Concept at Mercedes and previously Brawn/Honda since 2008. He trained as a model maker with the Ministry of Defence before joining Mclaren in 1989 as a CNC programmer. After working through different departments he became a designer in 1995.

In 2000 he joined the Sauber team as their Concept designer before returning to England in 2007as senior designer for M-Sport who were responsible for the Ford WRC cars. In 2008 he joined Honda as Head of Car Concept where he has remained till his recruitment by the Faenza team.

What is the role of the Head of Concept? As Phil explained on the Mercedes-brawnteamf1 blog:

“I am responsible for the layout and packaging of the car. Most of my time involves working with CAD (Computer Aided Design) software to come up with designs which enable our car performance targets to be met. I work closely with all of our design groups to juggle the factors that allow the car design to evolve.

The mass, weight distribution, fuel volume, wheelbase, functionality and the FIA technical regulations are all taken into account as well as fitting the various systems and components within the constantly changing bodywork surfaces that the aerodynamicists find in the wind tunnel.

A typical day can vary from fitting the driver into a mock-up of the car to check that he physically has enough room to drive, to negotiating with our aero guys about how we can move the package of the car around to allow them to introduce the latest aero tweak or surface shape.

All of this has to be drawn and checked on CAD to see the effect that any changes may have on the car layout and I have a small group of very experienced guys that work on this constantly.”

When Brawn sold the team to Mercedes, Arnaboldi remained at the team over-seeing the gestation of the W05 with particular attention paid to the installation of the electrical systems. It would seem quite a significant part of the team’s direction may have left the building…

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F1 goes back to its roots – or does it?

The FOM news briefs regarding the future of the F1 calendar have seen a remarkable shift over the past few years. Brand new venues were the flavour of the future, such as India, Austin, Sochi, Thailand (various) New York along with one or two more far fetched ideas.

Yet in recent times the emphasis has shifted. This year we see the return of the historic Austrian GP and TJ13 reported last week that the reconstruction of the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico city was imminent and hopeful of participating in the F1 series as early as 2015.

South Africa and France have been mooted by Ecclestone in off the cuff comments, though the former via the Cape Town authorities have told Mr. E he can shove his GP and the exhorbitant fees associated.

Over the past 24 hours, voices inside FOM have been suggesting that the next realistic addition to the F1 calendar will be the re-introduction of Argentina. The Autódromo Juan y Oscar Gálvez last hosted the world’s premier racing series from 1953 to 1998, though the configuration of the circuit was altered a number of times.

Yet should F1 return to Argentina, it will not be to the track which has delivered many great F1 moments, but to a new circuit to the international stage which saw MotoGP debut at last weekend, at the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo.

The local town has a mere 30,000 residents, however it is located just 60 miles from Argentina’s fifth largest city, Santiago del Estero.

Whilst there was a track in Termas de Rio Hondo previously, the redesign which was completed in 2013, was in effect a complete overhaul – delivered not by the infamous Mr.Tilke, but Italian circuit designer Jarno Zaffelli.

In December 2011, a three-year deal was announced for the Termas de Río Hondo circuit to host an Argentinian MotoGP from 2013. However on June 20th, 2012, the Spanish government advised against travel to Argentina for any teams or riders sponsored by Repsol due to “safety reasons”, following a dispute between the company and the Argentinean government.

What had actually happened was that a local subsidiary of Repsol had been commandeered by the Argentineans and nationalised.

Matters were resolved and the inaugural international motorcycle race eventually took place in April 2014 and saw world champion Marc Marquez maintained his unbeaten start to the season with victory at the Argentina MotoGP.

TJ13 has been informed that in its current state, the circuit would not be ‘fit’ for Formula 1 to race there. Yet the local management believes that the adjustments required to meet the FIA’s standards are in fact tweaks, rather than big money spend.

A new facility, good to go, is surely a thing of beauty for Mr. E to contemplate, following the trauma’s of New York and the failure of any other obsequious governments to rock up with $600m on offer for a new racetrack facility and a 6-7 year contract.

If this briefing from FOM isn’t some game to get the historic host of the F1 Argentian GP – Autódromo Juan y Oscar Gálvez – to up its game and bid for an F1 return, then Formula 1 may be going to Argentina next year. Though with the country in economic crisis, who will pay the whopping F1 hosting fee, is unclear at present.

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Jenson just fine

Certain media outlets have been reporting that Jenson Button was injured last weekend whilst participating in a triathlon in Fuerteventura. The McLaren lead driver had apparently completed a  2km swim and the 90 km bike ride without trouble, but began suffering muscle problems during the half marathon third leg of the event.

Today McLaren deny this to be the case and state that Jenson actually withdrew from the entire event prior to it commencing.

“Jenson decided not to complete the Canary Islands triathlon, but he is fit and well and has, contrary to a few rogue media reports, no injuries of any kind,” claims a McLaren spokesman. “Indeed, he is driving in our simulator today and is looking forward to participating in the forthcoming Spanish Grand Prix.”

Jenson will be competing in his 15th Spanish GP next week, though has only stood on the top step of the podium once and that during his championship winning year with Brawn.

Sometimes, it’s interesting to look back a year and reflect. The new Formula 1 has had its critics in 2014, but remember what Jenson had to say following the 2013 event in Barcelona.

“When we’re going round [during the race] doing laps three seconds slower than a GP2 car did in qualifying, and only six seconds quicker than a GP3 car did in the race, there’s something wrong. This is the pinnacle of motor sport. We shouldn’t be driving round so slowly to look after the tyres.”

What a difference a year makes.

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Mercedes Reserve Drivers

Mercedes are one of the few teams to have announced a reserve or test driver in 2014. Okay, many of these roles are filled in the smaller teams by drivers who bring money to the budget, in exchange for a few test sessions and the odd FP1 outing each year. Clearly Mercedes do not need the cash.

Paul di Resta was doing the media rounds during the closed season making it very clear he would be happy to be the team’s test driver this year whilst competing in DTM.

During the opening weekend of the 2014 F1 season, the Herald (Scotland) reported, “Controversially dumped by Force India at the end of last season as they opted to take the multi-million pound sponsorship cheque waved by Mexican Sergio Perez, Paul Di Resta is closing in on a test and reserve driver role at Mercedes GP.

The role, expected to be confirmed within four weeks, will further consolidate the Scot’s long relationship with Mercedes-Benz. It is 10 years since he joined the Mercedes Young Driver Development Programme, and this year he returned to lead the car giant’s all-out assault on the German Touring Car (DTM) Championship”.

Yet no announcement has been forthcoming.

In direct contrast with the Mercedes F1 team’s philosophy of having no reserve drivers this year, one of McLaren’s test drivers, Gary Paffett is competing in the same series as Di Resta,

Finland’s Ilta Sanomat is reporting that Heikki Kovalainen who was dropped by Caterham for the 2013 season, is on the brink of signing a contract to be a Mercedes test driver.

Kovaleinen lost his role as reserve driver for Caterham following his dismal results during the last two races of 2013 when he stepped into the vacant Lotus seat left by kimi Raikkonen.

Ilta Sanomat adds that the contract offer to Kovalainen has been on the table for some time and that now the detail has been resolved contracts will be signed imminently.

It would be a huge smack in the face for Di Resta were Mercedes to sign Kovaleinen, yet it could be the case that the Scot has learned to keep shtum and he too will be once again part of the F1 fold of the World Championship leaders.

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Secret problems affecting Raikkonen in Maranello

Mika Hakkinen insists that Kimi Raikkonen must quickly get on terms with Fernando Alonso. “Kimi has problems but they must be resolved. At the moment Alonso is utterly dominating him and the difference is not small.

After four races he should have settled in by now. His car is not so catastrophically bad that he can’t do anything about Alonso. He needs to do something and do it soon.”

Various reports have suggested problems with the pull-rod suspension, the rear brakes which harvest energy in a way that Kimi is struggling with, a new chassis has been provided as the old one caused problems, different compounds of tyres that are harder to heat up, a driving style that is not suited to the car…

The list is endless and is of concern to any fan of the Iceman. His biggest ally was Stefano Domenicali and with him removed the cloaks are fluttering as the blades become unsheathed.

Intrigue is never far away from the Maranello concern and whispers are reaching the ears of a distinguished journalist who as an unofficial Ferrari source is famous for offering riddles in place of answers. Luca Colajanni was subtle with his words as ‘The Horse Whisperer’ but Leo Turrini moves his prose to a different level.

Leo Turrini is both a journalist and an author that has written a number of books about F1, cycling, skiing and music. His most recent publication was a book of Ayrton Senna, a man who Turrini called a friend. He has close acquaintances within the Ferrari network and because of his close friendship with Domenicali, it was Turrini who broke news of his resignation from Ferrari.

Last week he spoke about a fable, which by all accounts, he swears is true and it is the secret behind Kimi Raikkonen’s poor form.

[..He was in Fatima, Portugal to honour a promise he made twenty years ago to a friend who is no longer here. Someone had taken the opportunity to print a photo of Turrini and Raikkonen outside the Montana restaurant on to the T-shirt he was wearing. Could this be the birthplace of The Holy Drinker as LT has affectionately christened him?

Whilst in Fatima he is approached by a big guy that he has never met, around the same age and after asking finds out he is a Finnish man. The man asks Turrini if he was there to understand the fourth secret as well…

Four secrets? There was only three and they are all known. No, the man insists, there are four and the last one is and he points at Turrini’s shirt. ‘Ok, I didn’t know that, if you tell me I’ll write an article…’

The big man states, the fourth secret is the real reason why the guy pictured on your stomach is trailing his team-mate. He added no more.]

The friend he honours is Ayrton Senna but beyond that the characters of the story could be anyone. The Alonso v Raikkonen story was always going to be one to watch for this season but it seems that the behind-the-scenes machinations may be skewing the picture somewhat..

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56 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Tuesday 29th April 2014

  1. Mercedes loses another important team member from the design group

    Guess he wasn’t that important if they kicked him to the curb!

    Actually (and I’ll admit I’m not up to speed on latest Merc mgmt dramas) but if Merc decided to non-renew Arniboldi, it’s hardly as if the “lost” him either.

    So my question: is the headline based on some internal drama at Merc that we don’t really know about, but which isn’t reflected in their letting go staff deemed non-essential?

    • Interesting view. Whether it’s Lauda cutting the numbers under directive from Stuttgart or if it’s Paddy Lowe flexing muscle, either way, Brawn valued him from the Honda days and as a tech director/ team prinicipal I have a little more respect for Brawn than these chiefs that remain.

      It was interesting that in malaysia when interviewed after the race, Lowe gave full credit to Brawn for the W05.

      • Cheers, Carlo.

        btw: I didn’t see Lowe’s
        post-race interview, so nice to read that he gave Brawn credit.

        I don’t know how anyone could claim w/ a straight face that Ross wasn’t de facto responsible for the W05 anyway, but it would still have been nice to see him “officially” enjoying these successes that he facilitated..

        Btw: something that marked for me that Lewis had upped his game and was approaching 2014 season w/ a renewed sense of confidence (and perhaps ‘destiny’) was the public tranquility he manifested after Brawn’s ouster.

        I would’ve expected a bit more drama from Lewis, but he seemed unflappable and just supremely focused such that even the forced-departure (more or less) of a giant like Brawn wasn’t going to keep him from his mission of winning the 2014 WDC and helping Merc take the Constructor’s crown.

    • My guess is that they recruited heavily and became top heavy trying to lead 2014 from the start. Mission accomplished. Next step is to cut down on some of the resources since they probably think they don’t need that many to maintain a leading/competitive form.

      Let me put it another (silly) way. When you first build a house you need many people and resources. Once you’ve got the best house, you don’t need that many people to keep trying keeping it the best.

      The only concern here is that all these people will go to your competition. But here again you’d think that Merc would let the least able personnel to go and not their high performers, or at least not the ones in the crucial positions to keep you ahead of the competition.

      • here again you’d think that Merc would let the least able personnel to go and not their high performers, or at least not the ones in the crucial positions to keep you ahead of the competition.

        This is reflective of my assumptions, Macca78: that Merc wouldn’t voluntarily separate from their top, integral talent (unless there’s more to the story, but it didn’t sound like it). Cheers

  2. Just googled that Argentina you mention and YES, thank GOD it’s not a Tilke track! No mickey-mouse layout, instead it’s got really corners with lots of curvature. Get it on the calendar Bernie!

    That said, they announced another new F1 track in Argentina back in 2011 and it was supposed to be developed by the guys that did Silverstone. It looked VERY high speed in nature (maybe another Monza?) but I haven’t heard about it since…Judge, do you know what happened to it?

    http://thisisf1.com/2011/06/17/argentina-planning-for-f1-grade-1-circuit/

    • …no money was forthcoming. This circuit is the only realistic hope of F1 returning to Argentina any time soon… but as I said, you never know with FOM whether their agenda is to spur Autódromo Oscar Alfredo Gálvez on to pull its collective finger out…

      • I know that Argentina is lacking money (their economy is going down the pan, hence bringing up the Falklands debate every year), but Joe Saward says the president is no Hillary. But it would be nice to re-engage with F1’s long time fanbases in Mexico and Argentina.. I doubt South Africa can come up with the cash or a modern circuit now (Kyalami? East London, heh).

        France I consider to be served by Spa and Monaco. All the European races are dotted nicely around France as well, so no wonder they don’t feel the need to fork out cash for a GP – draw a line from Silverstone, through Spa, Nurburgring, Hockenheim, Monza, Monaco, Barcelona…

        But if the number of races decline then we could bring back the European GP and place it at/rotate between Imola, Magny Cours or Paul Ricard, or new venues in Portugal if Estoril is now too old.. now, if we had to keep only one track from Spa, Imola, Magny Cours, Paul Ricard, Estoril.. I’d throw my vote at Spa all day. If only we could have pre-chicane Imola back to rotate with France..

        • And here’s my ‘classic F1 calendar’… strangely looks like the one found roughly at the turn of the millennium.

          Melbourne, Buenos Aires, Interlagos, Imola, Catalunya, Monaco, Osterreichring, Magny Cours, Silverstone, Nurb/Hock, Hungary, Spa, Monza, Montreal, Indy/Watkins Glen (now Austin), Mexico, Sepang, Suzuka.

          I’d say this visits all the F1 long-term fanbases and Malaysia is the only nod to the tilke-dromes to come (as it was the first one). If races were to be cut down then I’d take out Magny Cours and place Montreal after Monaco. Imola would be the European GP.

          Although for long-term planning, it’s probably better to include China instead of a European GP, and place Malaysia next to Melbourne to include it with Suzuka – Australia, Malaysia; Argentina, Brazil; Spain, Monaco; Montreal, France/European; Britain, Germany; Austria, Hungary; Belgium, Italy; USA, Mexico; China, Japan.

          But this also ignores the cash flow from the Middle East..

        • I never understood why the Imola authorities didn’t bring the whole Tamburello corner closer to the pit straight.
          I accept that there is a corner behind the existing wall, leave that as it is but if they shortened they replace the turn in for the chicane section and followed the same trajectory as the original Tamburello, they would have an extra 100metres of run off but with the corner which always made for good overtaking.

          Same thing for the Villeneuve corner and we have another high speed track again. One with heritage and a history that rivals the oldest tracks.

          • That’s a good point Carlo, one I hadn’t thought about.. it makes a lot of sense.

            F1 could now run at old Imola safely, but the problem now is that smaller series like bikes or lower formulae aren’t as safe and if anything could now have the dangerous accidents when there is a lack of run-off.

          • And they took out Variante Bassa in rebuilding the pit complex, coming inside of the old track line. If anything, that chicane and Variante Alta are the better ones, and Aqua Minerale was taken out by extending the run off there. I think I would prefer to keep Variante Alta and have Variante Bassa as an alternate layout (definitely for bikes), if not having no chicanes at all.

        • Could do, but Buenos Aires is probably preferred for being the capital city (and a big one by population at that).

          • @ Iestyn

            so you have 2 choices ……

            1 – a brand new superb circuit that would most likely be a sell out because of the dearth of any other quality motorsport ( Brazil F1 excepted ) on the whole continent and the passion of the fans for more events

            or

            2 – a potential race on a non existent track that might never happen in a huge metropolitan capital ….. very much like the infamous New York F1 race

            Hmmmm ……. which option would you choose ?

            The fact that the MotoGP was sold out last weekend even though Termas is located in the arse end of nowhere surely shows there is a high demand for another South American venue.

            BTW – the facilities at Termas are far superior to those at Interlagos – and the track reminds me of parts of Donnington – which is no bad thing.

          • Fair enough, if they have invested in building a better venue, then it makes sense to hold it there. It’s like Austin – everyone travelled to it (across the continent even). I haven’t seen Termas yet but it sounds great!

    • I watched the MotoGP from Termas last weekend.

      It’s a brilliant circuit. And as you said Anil – NOT another Tilkedrome.

      The designer Jarno Zaffelli was interviewed on BT Sport for the event. He stated that they had designed not just the circuit but also the run off areas ( various mixtures of gravel traps and/or taramac ) using state of the art software which also gave the FIA / FIM safety inspectors details risk analysis calculations for them.

      So I believe getting full F1 approval would, as suggested be a matter of a few tweeks.

      The circuit has only 1 hairpin – a big wide open one – just before the end of the lap and finish line. There was lots of overtaking there on the bikes, and I’m sure because of the track width and radius would also happen with cars.

      ” The local town has a mere 30,000 residents, however it is located just 60 miles from Argentina’s fifth largest city, Santiago del Estero. ”

      And about as far away from Buenos Aires as Land’s End is from John O’ Groats ……

      Forget about Santiago del Estero – it’s not that big, and is a 2 hour drive from the circuit.

      The track is in the middle of nowhere ….. a bit like Aragon in Spain.

      So what about the spectators ?

      Not only were there Argentineans from all over the country as expected, but fans had also travelled from all over South America for this event as they haven’t had any motorcycle racing ( or much international motorsports ) there in decades.

      Brazil F1 GP is all there is.

      There was about 30,000 – 40,000 each day for practice and qualifying ( Friday & Saturday ) – and a sellout 70,000 for raceday Sunday.

      It was confirmed – even though Argentina’s economy is in the toilet – that all bills had been paid for this year and next. So it’s definitely going ahead next year – YAY !

      All the BT Sport commentators said there was a great carnival atmosphere – both at the circuit and in Termas – no trouble – lots of partying – and it reminded them of the 1970’s type of motorsport events. Less anal and more chilled out than today.

      There were a few cockups of course – like playing The Marseillaise for the Italian winner of the Moto 3 race ….

      but all in all they’ve clearly designed the circuit and facilities well.

      The paddock garages are so big you could fit double decker busses in them ….

      F1 should consider having a look at this venue. The fans are all total petrol heads – and I’m sure would love a Grand Prix there.

  3. The Leo Turrini stuff reads as pure gabage from someone that has wet dreams with Kimi.

      • Same here! Makes no sense whatsoever! We probably need to tell us that in Italian and then get a British-Italian to give us the right context.

        • I am British/ Italian and trust me it makes no more sense to me in either language. This guy doesn’t write anything without there being a meaning behind it but for the life of me I haven’t got a clue..

          He’s also got contacts within Ferrari so who knows.

          • The only thing I can make of it is that Alonso is ‘doing a Senna’ and has the whole team behind him. I.e. that Kimi is playing the role of Nakajima or Dumfries, which ties in with the accusations of salary being $20m for Alonso and $10m for Kimi. So even if they fixed all the car problems, Kimi would probably get a radio message if he was in front..

          • The Fourth Secret of Fatima is allegedly either the pope is the devil or has sold his soul to the devil and while the church is powerful the pope ultimately destroys or tries to destroy it for his own benefit. Substitute Alonso for the pope and Ferrari for the church and I think you have the answer.

          • I thought more like
            1 = drinking
            2 = smoking
            3 = drugs
            4 = doping

            But Alonso as the devil makes sense. Or did Alonso again sold his soul to RonDevil?

          • I had always wondered if Turrini made more sense in Italian:) Literature analysis was never my strong point though…I think you’re on the right track though Cav…

          • Interesting interpretation Cav, thanks. I understood the “fourth secret” slightly differently, i.e. apostasy within the Church, starting right at the top. Playing devil’s advocate here (pardon the pun), that would mean Montezemolo or FIAT losing their faith in Ferrari and acting to serve their own interests. Quite what those interests would be (saving his role as Chairman, and therefore position of power = Monte? Sale of Ferrari = FIAT??), not sure. Also don’t see why that would manifest in a bad time for Kimi specifically.
            P.S. Somewhat comforting to know now that my frequent puzzlement over some of Turrini’s writings was not just down to my limited Italian!

  4. Hey, don’t blame us for Jenson’s injury, he was never here. He was in the grotty isle just north of us. Whilst I’m at it, how the hell am I supposed to read this white on black whilst enjoying a sangria in my garden during the afternoons.

    • I wonder if they would have picked Vandoorne out of GP2 to drive the race.. Part of me wishes they would give it to Gary Paffett for one race, while Vandoorne would be their race driver in the near future..

  5. Indeed a huge slap in the face if Paul was not picked for both teams he has driven for (McLaren and Mercedes).. I thought they would keep this role in house like they have for their driver program, but HK won’t be around for ever, so that chance could still be there for Paul in the next few years..

    • I think their third/test driver should be marketing based… Hamilton or rosberg WILL win the wdc if the other is unable to compete for some reason, and it would be very surprising if any team could catch them in the WCC even with only one driver scoring points (wins, in this case) for the races the other is out. So, why not try to get a better ROI from F1?

      • Interesting, that would rule out Kovalainen and Di Resta you would have thought, both of whom are as anti-PR as you can find now (in the sense that they don’t engage at all; even Kimi has a following from his disdain for it).

        Davidson could be quite handy in that respect, in that he works at the weekends on F1 analysis and does the sim-development work during the week. Can’t think who else – maybe one of the junior drivers like Wickens? Tap into the Canadian market..

        • I was thinking more like an Asian or American to help capitalize on those MB markets. At the very least a non-British and non-German European, since those bases are covered by the first two drivers.
          But that’s just me… And what I would do.

          • Actually, Jazeman Jaafar fits that profile perfectly for their sponsor Petronas and Malaysia. Currently in FR 3.5 and likely to take on that role in the next few years, he does the occasional promotion day for Mercedes driving their car in city locations like KL.

  6. I thought it was very nice of Mika to point out that Kimi needs to get onto terms with Fernan… I’m sure none of us, let alone Kimi, was aware of that…
    All Kimi needs now is for Villeneuve to offer advice – or Sir Jockey… 😉

  7. Did Senna call Turrini a friend?

    As for the fable… Some of this stuff makes even GMM look good.

  8. “The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate Me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres … churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.”

    The devil in this case is Santander. They have the money, they clearly do not want Kimi showing up their man. Ferrari is spilt between Kimi, who many in the team favor, and “the shit layer” who many Ferrari personnel despise. There is a big disruption at Ferrari I’m afraid, and politics are at the heart of it. Do they keep Kimi even though Santander does not want him there? Who calls the shots at Ferrari now? Luca or the devil Santander? Perhaps Domenicali left before the imminent team implosion.

  9. Thanks for the writeups. This time around we have another Brit writing who can’t spell Kovalainen right.

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