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Previously on TJ13:
On This Day in #F1: 30th April – Roland Ratzenberger
Giancarlo Minardi remembers Ayrton Senna
“After he had won his fifth World Title, Ayrton wanted to drive for the Scuderia Minardi. Unfortunately fate decided differently” Milton da Silva – Ayrton Senna’s father – revealed recently.
It is well known that Senna’s hero was the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio and his ambition was to equal but not surpass his record five titles. He once said of the Argentinian: “Even if I or someone else can equal or beat Fangio’s record, it still will not compare with his achievement. What he did in his time is something that was an example of professionalism, of courage, of style and as a man, a human being. Every year there is a winner of the championship, but not necessarily a world champion. I think Fangio is the example of a true world champion.”
TJ13 reported on Monday about Senna’s Ferrari agreements and his wish to drive for Minardi for one season before his retirement. Giancarlo Minardi has further expanded on this fascinating story in an interview.
Minardi: “If it had not been his father telling the story, it would certainly not have come from me. It would be like the betrayal of a friend.”
In 1982 Senna was competing in the British and European Formula Ford 2000 championships. The European series supported several of the european Grand Prix and Formula Two races. He had been taken under the wing of Emerson Fittipaldi, a fellow ‘Paulista’, who introduced him to several F1 bosses.
M: “I first met him as Hockenheim in 1982 when I was running a Formula 2 team. Paolo Barilla had seen him racing karts and invited the young Brazilian to dinner at the hotel. I offered him money to come and run with us but Ayrton politely refused. He already had clear ideas on his route to F1”
Senna had also refused a contract offered to him by Mclaren for a full paid season in the 1983 British F3 championship.
M: “He thanked me very kindly as I was the first to offer him some money to run rather than ask him for it. Since that day, whenever a FF2000 race supported a F2 event he came back to our motorhome to eat.”
This was something that Senna would continue throughout his career. He would take refuge with his family in the Faenza team’s motorhome to enjoy a good plate of Romagna pasta.
M: “Ayrton and I would often exchange ideas inside and outside the paddock. I received calls from Brazil and we talked for hours on the phone. During the GP weekends we would get together for secret dinners and talk. At the beginning of 1993, he had become tired of being at Mclaren and further talks led to the famous $1 million dollars a race contract – that year developed into his finest season.
Our last exchange of ideas took place at Aida, fifteen days before Imola, when he asked my advice on several things that were shaping his life in and out of the paddock.”
“Ultimately it’s all if’s and but’s, the words mean nothing. Certainly with Ayrton Senna in the team, our relationships with various technical partners would have changed. And with his charisma and experience there is no telling how the team would have evolved, but the mere thought of remembering his desire to join us fills my heart with pride.”
What an epitaph that would have been for a team that was universally liked in the paddock.
Company to help F1 turn up V6 volume – report (GMM)
Formula one is pushing ahead with efforts to make its new V6 engines louder. After decades of screaming, naturally-aspirated V12s, V10s and V8s, the markedly lower volume of this year’s energy-recovering turbo ‘power units’ was a shock.
“I did not find it exciting,” said former F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya, as he explained to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport why he watched only the first five laps of the recent Chinese grand prix on television. “And I missed the noise,” the Colombian added. “At least on TV. I don’t know how the engines sound in reality, but I think it is definitely not close to the screams of the high-revving V10s from my time.”
Also unhappy is F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, who recently said Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault will work on making the 1.6 litre ‘power units’ sound better. The first meeting to discuss potential solutions was in Shanghai, and Italy’s Autosprint reports that more meetings are taking place away from the paddock this week. “We’re at the beginning of a consultative process,” confirmed Renault’s Rob White. “I think we need to be realistic about the scope of any action that we might take but of course we’re sensitive to the subject and we’ll certainly participate in any of the studies that might lead to actions being taken,” he added.
Given the fundamental infrastructure of the new engines, with the turbo collecting energy that would otherwise be heard as noise, it has been suggested one of the only things that can be done is a change to the exhaust pipe design. Autosprint correspondent Alberto Antonini said an Italian company is on the verge of being commissioned to look into possible solutions.
TJ13 comment: It is nice to see the Colombian, Montoya, is now watching Grand Prix. It would seem a little hypocritical if he was still in the ‘I haven’t watched any Grand Prix’s since I left’ state. As to the Italian company looking at possible solutions, may we suggest a visit to La Scala in Milan.
Circuit designer contacts TJ13
Following the TJ13 news article on the new track in Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina, we had a brief communication from the Italian designer, Jarno Zaffelli.
He informs us that the circuit design was carefully planned to incorporate the current requirements of F1 ‘perfectly’, with a simulated lap time of around 1 minute 15 seconds.
The tweaks we referred to which would yet require attention prior to the venue being approved for an F1 event, are some modifications to the pit lane buildings, however Jarno was not responsible for their design – “at least not yet”, he adds.
We hope to bring you a feature in the future from Jarno himself which explains the considerations he undertook, to ensure the track was fully compliant with FIA/FOM standards. The thoughts of a track designer would indeed be a unique opportunity for F1 fans to understand what goes on behind the scenes when a new venue for F1 is contemplated.
F1 of yesteryear
The Ferrari team arrives at at Zandvoort for the 1960 Dutch GP. On board are the cars and Hill, Von Trips and Ginther
After claiming pole for the 1970 British GP, Jochen Rindt joins the masses for a Brands lunch.
source: Peter Windsor, twitter
5 jailed for alleged Bahrain F1 bomb plot
The Youth Society for Human Rights, allege that 2 people were detained close to the circuit as they protested. They claim they were later tortured by police and have been sentenced to five years for allegedly attempting to plant a bomb.
The Bahraini authorities claim the supposed plot was discovered when a policewoman searched a woman and discovered she was using a pillow to appear pregnant as a means to conceal the explosives. The plan was to plant the bomb on the race day.
Malaysia ready to re-negotiate
TJ13 reported in the run up to the Malaysian GP, that the organisers had begun sabre rattling over the impending contract negotiations to take F1 beyond the current agreed term which finishes in 2015.
Crash.net report, Razlan Razali – chief executive officer of the Sepang International Circuit – has been given the green light by the national government to open negotiations with FOM, but he warns this will not be straight forward.
“We have been given the green light from the government to begin negotiation with F1 management, so we are doing that right now. We have a big meeting coming up in Barcelona to discuss this.
Of course there are a lot of factors involved: Price is one, other ongoing issues are important for us, such as where F1 is heading in the next five years. Then we have the impending issues on the sound, the technicalities, because there are lot of calls for F1 to be a spectacle and to bring back the noise. So we have all these factors to consider if we want to extend beyond 2015.”
This is clearly the Malaysians setting out their negotiating stance and without doubt looking for a ‘better deal’ than they’ve had previously.
Ecclestone has faced a number of challenges in recent years over the price FOM charges each venue as a host fee. China, Nurburgring, and Spa have all received cut priced deals, whilst Korea and India’s big bucks are now gone from FOM’s coffers.
As we’ve written many times before, the current model which leaves race promoters little or zero profit from an F1 event, nearly all of which are reliant on public sector financial subsidies is creaking at the seams.
Further, having signed many media contracts well into the future, FOM has restricted itself from exploiting the new media via the internet as a mainstream source of funding for some years to come.
Renault 100% for Canada
Head of Track Operations Rémi Taffin has admitted that by the race weekend in Canada they should be close to getting “100%” from their powertrain. In a TJ13 exclusive at the start of the Jerez test, we claimed the Renault problems were a 15-20 week fix. Without wishing to be pedantic, the Friday of the event in Montreal will be 18 weeks and 2 days from when we broke the Renault engine horror story.
Taffin is bullish as he believes the next 2 races in Barcelona and Monaco will be less dependent on engine performance that the last two rounds in China and Bahrain. Further, Taffin reveals, “We are probably the engine supplier which has adopted the most new components to date. But we need not only the performance, we also need to race to the end. Our focus is to finish all the races at the finish.”
By focusing on development first and then delivering only the latest iteration of engines to their customer Red Bull, Renault have managed what was a disastrous situation very well. However, the only real insight into the margin of the Mercedes dominance has been Bahrain, where Hamilton and Rosberg were clearly dukin it out to the max in their battle for supremacy lap after lap.
From that race alone, it is questionable whether Renault will be at the level of Mercedes performance by the time we reach Canada.