Daily #F1 News and Comment: Wednesday 4th June 2014

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Previously on TheJudge13:

On This Day in #F1: 4th June 1967


Tosh and more tosh

Alonso shares the love with his Maranello ‘family’

Marussia looking forward to Montreal

Witness supports Ecclestone’s blackmail defence (GMM)

Canada GP future still in doubt(GMM)

Give a dog a bad name

Renault finally out of ‘recovery mode’

Vettel claims he’s suffering from ‘the Schumacher syndrome”

The Punch and Judy show

Damp squib


Tosh and more tosh

Formula 1 has many problems, and for UK based F1 fans the media is one of them. For some reason the general consensus in TV ‘lovey land’ – whether it be pay per view SKY or the Beeb – is that ex-Formual 1 drivers should be recruited en masse and rammed down our throats relentlessly as the voices of experience and wisdom.

Many of these blokes wander around the paddock – week after week, contributing little other than the ability to state the obvious. They have little or no journalistic training and when granted the opportunity to do the ‘killer interview’ lack the skill to pin down their victims and offer them questions with given multiple-choice answers that completely miss the point.

Then of course there are ex-Formula 1 drivers who have vested interests, like David Coulthard. He is still on the Red Bull payroll as an ambassador for the brand. Today speaking at an Infiniti Red Bull brand experience day to AOL Cars, Coulthard claims there is widespread unhappiness amongst the drivers this year because “the driving experience is not as pure as it was”.

Really, David? TJ13 is not so sure this is exactly true. Let’s examine THE FACTS!

Nico and Lewis are clearly experiencing stratospheric levels of happiness with their new F1 cars as they week in and week out murder the rest of the competition – using 70% power. Lewis has been observed giggling like a kid with a secret at the drivers pre-race weekend briefings when Toto tells him and Nico they can turn their engines up another 3% to offset any development Red Bull may have managed.

If anyone thinks or suggests Daniel Ricciardo is unhappy, then the men in white coats really need to pay them a visit. With that deck of pearly whites, Danny was born happy.

So who thinks Nico Hulkenberg is unhappy?  TJ13 reported yesterday Nico Hulkenberg saying he is delighted this year with his best run in F1, Plus Vijay told him when he joined for this year he would pay him double this time – for 2012 and for 2014. Psss, nobody tell Nico double nothing is nothing please. .

Sergio is probably quite happy because he isn’t at McLaren anymore and doesn’t have his weekly mentoring session with Grand-Pappy Jenson on how to respect your elders and betters.

Magnussen is fairly happy, as should any rookie plucked from Formula 3.5 and offered a seat in F1. Also, unlike Sergio, Magnussen has a secret defence to prevent the propaganda from Jenson infiltrating his soul. His dad bought him ear plugs for Christmas…. from the McLaren shop of course.

And behind the visage of pain and misery, Jenson is secretly happy because no one has realised after all these years that he isn’t very good and yet he still hasn’t been kicked out of F1.

The Ferrari pair may not be happy, but then Fred has not been happy for 5 years having realised the promises from Il Padrino were in fact from Satan incarnate. “Come to Ferrari Fernando”, called the siren voice. “We will make you an F1 Ferrari legend” – Fred still heard this in his dreams.

Fred’s therapist has given him a coping mechanism to rebut the negativity – when feeling down he is to count the millions Santander euro’s stashed under his bed… and remember they have all been stolen from his fellow countrymen who are property owners. Ba Fernando – who needs racing immortality with the tifosi.

Kimi is never happy – but Kimi is neither ever sad. Some say Kimi would be sad if the supply or ice cream in the world ran dry, but all we know is… that we’ll never know.

Felipe Massa is well happy because since he has left Ferrari, he can now sit comfortably in his car without his bottom hurting. Bottas is delighted, because he is beating Felipe and he thinks he has a chance with the foxy Claire… who has been caught a number of times peering out from behind her dark glasses in the direction of Bottas muscular Greek Adonis like torso.

Esteban Gutierrez is beside himself with joy, as the telecom dollars flood in to market a car and driver who are both lost causes – who says billionaires are smart?. Adrian Sutil isn’t very happy, because he keeps telling us he isn’t allowed to eat food anymore and his NASA supplied food pastes cost as much as a new Sauber front wing; but other than that he’s relatively content because he knows Lewis is praying for him.

Pastor Maldonado is very angry, mostly because that is just the way he was made. Yet his tortured soul is devastated even further because his once adoring Williams team, kicked him out when they realised their love was unrequited and he was slagging them off behind their back. To make matters worse, Williams now looks hot in new sexy kit they never bothered to wear when Pastor was at home and Maldonado’s current chick called Lotus is being rather dreary.

Romain is “happy… happy… happy…. Like a room without a roof”, yes he’s “happy…. Happy … happy … cos happiness is the truth”, and that’s just how Romain is now. Seriously, after causing utter carnage in Spa.. Romain’s world view has changed…now… every new day really is a massive bonus…

Tony Fernandes is not happy, but Caterham are – the lads at Caterham are on a massive high, similar to a permanent ecstasy trip. They cannot believe the surreal nature of their existence; that they are entrusted with designing and building an F1 car… but they know they haven’t got a frickin clue what they’re doing.

It has been whispered, some of Caterham’s engineers actually have college degrees in Bob Marley studies. They merely pretended at interview to be engineers for a laugh – yet it appears Tony hasn’t spotted this yet… and keeps pumping in the millions. Bloody Uni pranksters huh?

Ericsson is happy for the same reasons as Magnussen, and Kamui hasn’t realised yet he’s not driving a racing green liveried Lotus – so he’s happy.

Marussia and Jules Bianchi are utterly ecstatic having managed to build a point scoring Formula one car from $10.50 and a rummage around the local scrap yard and Max is always happy because daddy keeps paying for the hairspray and the girls keep smiling at him.

Mmm…. Missed someone??? Mercedes…. Ferrari….  Williams… Red Bull ….. Ricciardo…

Oh yes. Sebastian Vettel.

He is very unhappy. Seb is unhappy with the FIA for changing the rules which meant Uncle Ade can no longer build ‘bosting’ cars. He’s unhappy with Uncle Bernie for failing to stop these new engines which have made his car develop a slidey bottom. Seb is unhappy with Christian for not pumping too much fuel into Daniel’s car again and again to ensure he never gets a podium this year…

…And off the record, Sebastian has told David the cars are no fun to drive anymore. Apparently you can no longer just press the pedal on the right and then steer round and round and round and round…..

Mr. Coulthard – now the voice of the fans – also suggests, “I heard Monaco was 20 per cent down this year [on attendance]. We have a responsibility to the fans. The fans will speak out and they know what they want.”

Mmm. Nice to see the voice of F1 for the BBC is in touch with reality. Fan numbers have been falling at circuits for years as ticket prices escalate at percentage rates higher than a third world country suffering hyper inflation.

Further, not only is Monaco is a rip off, but unless you get a privileged seat these days, you haven’t got a Scooby doo what’s going on… cos Uncle Bernie cancelled FanVision.

So actually – Yes – crowds around the world are indeed falling Dave – but NO – the drivers are not widely unhappy – AT ALL.

Alonso shares the love with his Maranello ‘family’

Following a few days working on the simulator in Maranello – Fernando Alonso is preparing for the Canadian GP with renewed vigour. Kimi Raikkonen was on promotional duties racing journalists with go-karts whilst the Spaniard returned to the Maranello facility.

“After Monaco, I noticed a nice atmosphere at Maranello, everyone is very motivated and hungry for good results. However we are realists, we know where we are at the moment, but from now on we want to be able to get good results and enjoy a little more the race weekend.”

“It is important to spend time with the engineers, the mechanics and the rest of the staff even away from the race weekend, because there are always new ideas to be tested or they can jump out of the helpful insights for the job “- says Fernando -“Maybe as long as you are eating all together we can think of something to try at the next Grand Prix or on the simulator. This is why I like to spend time here in this unique family environment.

For Canada we have aerodynamic improvements for the F14-T’s floor which we have tested on the simulator. We have done a lot of work as our goal is to have a better car. It’s difficult to make predictions in retain to the others but our ambition is to close the gap as much as possible.

Canada is a unique track, it really has only six or seven corners but they all have something special and carry certain problems but if you have the set-up correct you can gain a lot of time. In Montreal, there is no margin for error as the walls are very close but it’s a great weekend as the passion spills over from the city and infects everybodyI have won here before and have great memories of the track but a few years back . we had a long wait due to a big storm. Results have been erratic here, sometimes good, sometimes bad – hopefully this is a good year.”

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Marussia looking forward to Montreal

Following the fantastic performance in Monaco, the Marussia team head to Canada with a definite spring in their step. It goes without saying that they are unlikely to be troubling the points finishing positions as they did in Monaco but those two points gained are a huge step forward from where the team has languished in recent seasons.

John Booth – Team Principal
“As you might imagine, we head to Canada with a definite spring in our step after achieving our first points finish in Monaco. It was an important milestone for everyone in the team and provides an important affirmation, internally and externally, of the positive trajectory we are taking in pursuit of our longer term ambitions.”

Mattia Binotto – Scuderia Ferrari Engine & Electronics Deputy Director
“After the splendid results of Monaco there is a great desire to get to Montreal to see further confirmation of the progress shown in the last races, in terms of competitiveness and, finally, the results. The Canadian Grand Prix is traditionally quite challenging with regard to the use of the engine and it will be even more so this year, given the complexity of the power unit. Another delicate point is the fuel consumption, given that this track is one of the most demanding from this point of view.”

Jules Bianchi
“I’m very excited for this weekend. The car seems so good at the moment that it feels we can go to every race feeling optimistic for a positive outcome. It has been such a fantastic week or so since Monaco and it has been nice to celebrate with the Team after all the hard work it has taken to get this far.”

Marvellous Max
I’m really excited about the Canadian Grand Prix – I can’t wait to get back down to the racing.”

Despite his unusual rookie record of having finished every Grand Prix, racing is most certainly not in the blood of this young whipper-snapper. It will be fascinating to see if now that Marussia have almost confirmed a top 10 finish in the championship, whether the access to the TV income changes their inclusion of the coiffured Goldilocks in their “race” team.

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Witness supports Ecclestone’s blackmail defence (GMM)

Bernie Ecclestone’s claim that he was blackmailed by Gerhard Gribkowsky got a boost in court this week. Gribkowsky has already been jailed in Germany for accepting the F1 supremo’s alleged $44 million bribe, but 83-year-old Ecclestone claims he was being ‘shaken down’ by the former banker. Ecclestone, who could also be jailed if found guilty of bribing a public official, got a boost this week when a witness – who like Gribkowsky worked on the F1 account for public bank BayernLB – testified in Munich.

Initially, Briton Ecclestone was seen shaking his head when the witness agreed with suggestions the F1 chief executive wanted to “get rid of” BayernLB as a shareholder of the sport.

“From my point of view, our departure was in his interest,” the former bank employee said, according to Austria’s Kleine Zeitung newspaper. “Banks as shareholders were not wanted, in his view,” the witness explained. “I’m quite sure he wanted us to sell.”

The witness revealed they became less and less involved in the F1 account as Gribkowsky and Ecclestone worked more closely together. “It (the witness’ involvement) became less and less and eventually it stopped altogether,” the witness said.

The prosecutors claim that others were excluded from Ecclestone and Gribkowsky’s talks due to the negotiations about the controversial $44m payment. But Ecclestone claims he only paid up after Gribkowsky threatened to divulge false information about his family’s tax affairs to the British authorities.

The witness on Tuesday supported Ecclestone’s version. The former BayernLB employee recalled a letter, containing claims that Ecclestone was still in charge of the Bambino family trust, that Gribkowsky once placed on Ecclestone’s desk. The witness said that when Gribkowsky was rebuked for leaving the letter for Ecclestone, “He (Gribkowsky) just laughed“.

However, it is reported that the very same witness also testified in Gribkowsky’s trial, and the very same judge ultimately issued a guilty verdict. Kleine Zeitung said three more BayernLB-connected witnesses will testify on Wednesday.

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Canada GP future still in doubt (GMM)

As the F1 world gathers in Montreal, the future of the popular Canadian grand prix remains in doubt. Two months ago, race promoter Francois Dumontier said it was “urgent” that a new deal beyond 2014 be agreed before this year’s grand prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. He said negotiations with Bernie Ecclestone for a new ten-year contract are taking place, but there are “still no signatures”.

According to the French-language newspaper La Presse, all parties need to agree, including Dumontier, Ecclestone and the various levels of government who help the fund the race. “Negotiations are going very well,” said a spokesperson for Dominique Vien, the new tourism minister of Quebec. “The change of government has not had a negative impact. We will announce it when everyone is ready.”

Denis Coderre, the mayor of Montreal, also commented: “I am keen to resolve the issue for the next ten years. Things are going well. In time, we’ll make announcements,” he said. “But everyone is talking and things are progressing very well. We must let time take its course.”

It is reported that F1 chief executive Ecclestone is demanding improvements to the ageing circuit and facilities, and a mandatory 4 per cent annual indexation of the new 10-year race fee. Promoter Dumontier said on Tuesday: “All parties are continuing the discussions and I would like to think that an announcement will be made soon.”

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Give a dog a bad name

Red Bull Racing clearly had a torrid time during Winter testing this year. They managed a mere 182 laps in 12 days on track, just 55 more than bottom team Lotus who missed the entire first test in Jerez.

Of course Red Bull have made a lot of noise about Renault being the culprit for their woes in 2014, yet the 3 other Renault customers all managed more laps per day they were on track than the world champions. The RB10 indeed had some serious problems of its own.

The Red Bull design was not one of Newey’s best – indeed he admitted himself to the Red Bull in house magazine, Red Bulletin, “Looking back it would have been smarter to concentrate full power on the new car earlier on.”

Seriously, given the testing data, no one was certain whether we would even see a Red Bull car make it to Q3 at the first event in Melbourne.

However, the transformation in those few short days from the end of the second Bahrain test and the performance of the RB10’s in Melbourne did indeed shock many. Daniel Ricciardo managed to split the 2 Mercedes in Q3, beating Nico Rosberg by 5/100ths of a second to claim a front row start in the race.

Of course the RB10 romped to 3rd place – and even had Ricciardo’s masters played it straight and complied with the legal fuel flow regulations – Danny boy was good for a 4th, and at worst 5th,  place finish.

A quite remarkable turnaround.

Yet It now appears that there may be an explanation for this. A leak from AVL suggests that an RB10 fitted with its Renault power train spent 6 days at AVL’s facility in Graz – between Bahrain and Melbourne.

Further, that that car was flown on to Melbourne, and was the car used by Ricciardo at the Australian GP weekend.

According to their website, “AVL is the world’s largest independent company for the development of powertrain systems with internal combustion engines as well as instrumentation and test systems. AVL is acting in the following scopes of business:

Development of Powertrain Systems: AVL develops and improves all kinds of powertrain systems and is a competent partner to the engine and automotive industry.

Simulation: In addition AVL develops and markets the simulation methods which are necessary for the development work.

Engine Instrumentation and Test Systems: The products of this business area comprise all the instruments and systems required for engine and vehicle testing”.

AVL have a high speed rolling road facility, which can also be utilised to replicate a 1:1 wind tunnel – which of course banned by F1.

During the week commencing 5th March, Antonio Felix de Costa – test river for Red Bull Racing – confirmed he was Austria bound for something more than a promo event. “Off we go again, this time 5 day trip to Austria! # redbull, he tweeted.

At this time there is no hard evidence to substantiate this rumour from an AVL insider, however, the full gambit of interpretations of the idiom, “give a dog a bad name”  feels more than appropriate at this juncture.

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Renault finally out of ‘recovery mode’

TJ13 reported during the Jerez test that the Renault F1 engine problems were ‘most serious’ and would take 15-20 weeks to resolve. Many were sceptical of this claim

However, almost 18 weeks to the day, Remi Taffin has this to say. “In the last four races we’ve introduced several new upgrades and we will complete the process in Montreal, effectively giving us the first full opportunity to see where we are versus the competition”.

To be fair to Renault, they have almost delivered a miracle. A large number of components which were ‘faulty’ have had to be redesigned and replaced – which is allowed under the homologation rules.

Taffin confirms this has been on ongoing battle, “We have several new parts to debut here, primarily designed to give us greater reliability”. In addition Renault have again been hard at work on the software which manages the engine. “As in previous races we have more upgrades to software to further enhance driveability and energy management. Additionally we have investigated the reasons for the failures in Monaco and have taken measures to ensure they do not reoccur”

However, even if the fire fighting is now done, Canada may well highlight the gulf between the design of the Renault V6 and that of the Mercedes in terms of top speed. Taffin abserves, “With very few corners energy recovery via the MGU-K will however be pretty difficult as the cars do not slow frequently over the lap. As a result the emphasis will be on the MGU-H to recover energy through the exhaust gasses – we’ll need as much energy as we can as we’ll be right on the limit with the fuel consumption here. Having said that, we will also monitor the right balance between traditional and electrical energy to decide the most effective way to use the fuel in the race”.

However, even during the V8 era, the Red Bull cars were frequently lower than 15th fastest through the speed gun in Montreal, making up for this via the driveability of the chassis and engine through the corners.

In 2013, Sebastian Vettel finally broke his duck in Canada claiming pole from Hamilton and going on to win the race by a comfortable margin.

FP1 on Friday will be fascinating, and even though this track will evolve rapidly throughout the weekend, Vettel will not be expecting a repeat of last year as the gaps between Mercedes and Red Bull are expected to remain fairly substantial.

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Vettel claims he’s suffering from ‘the Schumacher syndrome”

Sebastian Vettel should be licking his wounds and working out how he can get his s$%t together, to beat his team mate.

However, in a very friendly interview with RTL – who didn’t mention Ricciardo once – it appears Sebastian has not fully come to terms with the nature of his plight.

Vettel claims the problem is that he has not had enough time driving the RB10 to get to grips with it – citing that he has had just one race in 6 without a problem.

Sebastian feels he is suffering a little of the Michael Schumacher ‘come back’ syndrome. He argues the Mercedes car was not “up to par” for Schumacher and not designed to his liking –  as had been the cars at Ferrari.

Vettel is comforted by the fact that there were those who believed Schumacher could only win in a Ferrari, and believes some of the criticism levelled at himself is similarly motivated. He describes Sebastian is clearly irritated by the critical pieces which have been written about him and describes the authors of these articles as from “the kindergarten”.

The problem Sebastian is overlooking is that Michael won 2 world championships for Benetton before he went to Ferrari. It was then 4 long years before his next in 2000, even though he’d been with Ferrari since 1996.

It must be difficult at present for Sebastian, who interestingly has been seen less this year at Milton Keynes than usual. However, the reality is that Mercedes are better than Red Bull this year, and may well be again next year.

Even though one of his company directors is spitting out dummies and threatening to ditch their engine supplier, Vettel needs to learn that even at 26, achieving another 3 F1 world titles is a tough ask, and may take him 10 more years.

Sebastian is a very talented driver, but he has also had it very good. It may be pertinent if Vettel prepares himself for the fact that from hereon it will be a lot tougher for him to win and be as dominant as he’s been for the past 4 years.

The world has turned….

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The Punch and Judy show

There’s a distinct impression being formed that Mercedes is becoming a team with two talking heads. Ross Brawn was clearly aware of this danger when he spoke publically at the 2013 Japanese GP.

“We have quite a heavy senior management team and we have to understand what we will all be doing. Any successful F1 team has to have a senior reference and that’s the big question. We need to make sure if I’m to remain here that I’m the reference.”

More damaging is the perception being formed, that the two Mercedes high profile shareholders, Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff, may each favour one of the team’s drivers.

Prior to the Barcelona GP, Lauda described Hamilton as ‘unbeatable’. Following Lewis’ threat in Monaco to resolve matters between himself and Nico as did Prost and Senna, Toto Wolff quickly marked Hamilton’s card stating “that will never happen”.

First up in front of the microphones this week is Wolff and again he is laying down the law over any potential on track incidents between Mercedes’ two drivers. “If it really came to the ugly situation where it is clear that it is the fault of one of them, then this would mean our system has failed; our system of letting them manage themselves and letting them race has failed. This would mean we would have to intervene in a way to make the whole thing more boring, which would mean team orders.”

Canada is widely recognised to be one of Lewis favoured tracks, though his record here suggests he is either a hero or a zero. Winning or having an accident and scoring a DNF (except for his P2 to Vettel last year).

Wolff is maybe recalling the race of 2011, where a frustrated Hamilton found himself behind his team mate Jenson, and inexplicably drove into him during the infamous rain affected race.

“You have two possibilities”, Toto continues. “Either you do it the way we do, which one day could end up in tears and people saying ‘How stupid were they’. But we are lucky because we have quite a gap to everybody else, which is why we can keep that philosophy, but it would be impossible if we had a close championship [with other teams].”.

The other possibility is that you implement team orders and that would freeze the rankings halfway through the race, we would have said ‘Stop racing now’, but is that something we really want to do?”

There appears to be some concern in the mind of Wolff that at times the focus on his drivers on beating each other means they lose sight of the bigger picture. He refers to the team informing Hamilton during the Monaco race that his biggest rival at the time was Ricciardo.

“I think you need to do it. When you have someone who is really behind you, which we didn’t because at one stage we had 14 seconds to Ricciardo, but he [Hamilton] had something in his eye, he lost five or six seconds and the tyre dropped out of the window and here you go, you have him – we need to analyse this lesson for the future because we cannot be as arrogant as saying we want to see them racing, because you can be caught out by surprise.”

Whilst Toto’s grasp of English grammar doesn’t make this last sentiment particularly clear, it appears he is suggesting the team may have already decided to become more interventionist during the races following “the lesson” from the Hamilton/Ricciardo situation in Monaco. Then again, that paragraph is full of interesting possible interpretations – thank you Toto.

Next up… Mr. Punch (aka Niki). We all surely await with baited breath for his observations on the current state of play.

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Damp squib

Following TJ13’s Richter scale 9 revelation, F1 fans were almost beside themselves with excitement as to how the battle between the iceman and the matador at Ferrari would pan out this year.

Well 6 races in, and Alonso has 61 points to Kimi’s 17. This time last year Felipe Massa had 45 points to Fernando’s 78. Mmm.

The pair of Ferrari’s – barring a few laps in Monaco, have hardly been in the same TV shot. Fernando has finished ahead of Kimi now 6 races out of 6.

Anyway, there is apparently a highly complex and technical reason as to why Kimi has been performing so in 2014 and James Allison reveals all. “He’s just going a little slower than Fernando at the moment, but that gap is closing as the year progresses.”

Aha… didn’t see that one coming. Quick question James…. Is it the case that Kimi is struggling with anything in particular when compared to Fernando?

“I’m not sure it’s entirely fair to say he is struggling more than Fernando. They both have similar feedback with the car, and there are aspects of this year’s rules that make the cars across the pitlane a far from easy aspect for the driver. There is a lot more torque from the engine, a lot less aerodynamic grip, and the tyres are deliberately less aggressive than last year.

All that means they are quite a handful to drive, not too breezy for anyone, be that at the front or back of the grid. The problems Kimi has with the car under braking, downshifting, are the same as Fernando, and pretty much the same as being experienced by other drivers at other teams”.

So there we have it. The answer to the $64m question…who is better?

Simples…. according to James Allison – it is Fernando.

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116 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Wednesday 4th June 2014

  1. I loved the first piece. Made me laugh very hard and is almost completely true. Except for the fact that sutil isn’t very happy. I’ve watched the two last races on german telly. And in his interviews he said some things that sound happy but his body language was quite the opposite.

  2. Pharell you better watch out now, the Judge is on his way to knock you off the R&B charts….lol

    That opening article was a treat to read, had me cracking up…… 👍👍👍

  3. I blame Brundle, he came in as a prolific ‘also ran’, but made such a good transition to commentator, with the job of relaying driver and team based info to the public, that they all latched onto that idea. Even Brundle I feel likes the smell of his own shit too much these days. In typical skye fashion, they will now try to employ every ex-driver they can in the interests of ‘quality’.

    Coulthard has all the charisma of an egg and cress sandwich, and a weird sense of humour to boot, coupled with Suzi perry, and EJ they make a very weird team. Someone somewhere forgot that chemistry between individuals matters more than their individual talents.

    • ….he wasn’t a very good ‘lead’ commentator though during the 2011 season – and the combination of him and Coulthard that year was most painful at times.

      • Absolutely, thats part of the problem, they think that an ex-driver can be plugged into the major roles: lead commentator, presenter, analyst, or whatever. Clearly this isn’t the case. James Allen is the only one of the BBC/Skye commentator teams that I think is any cop at it lead commentary, though I don’t hate ‘crofty’, but him an Brundle often grab the wrong end of the stick during on track events. Ben Edwards makes me cringe. A commentary team needs to work well together, but actually complement each other in the true sense of the word, i.e correct each other, and pick up where the others understanding fails, and there are too many synergies in most the commentary teams.

        • …I know he made a few mistakes – but I liked Jonathan Legard as lead commentator.

          Crofty gets apoplectic with fake excitement at times – as though he knows this clip and his comments will be shown plenty over the next 20 years.

          • Yes well, it’s all very fun to listen to you lot natter on about poor broadcasting etc., but you should really be forced to come watch some Stateside coverage before complaining.

            Most of us cousins would give various portions of our anatomy to have your “problems” 😀

          • I agree with matt. I chose British broadcasting over belgian, german, dutch and french anytime, anywhere… you guys don’t have it that bad.

          • Call off the search! We’ve finally found the Legard fan 🙂

          • Is the Judge a closet volleyball fan? 🙂 Crofty’s puppy dog enthusiasm is probably more palatable to the Sky marketing men. Everyone loves a puppy… until it craps on the carpet 🙂 My vote goes to Mr Buxton.

  4. AVL – Red Bull have issued a statement that they did not conduct the test mentioned.

  5. Does the BBC still cut-away to horse-racing during a live F1 race?

    • The BBC lost the rights to horse racing years ago Cav ….

      Instead they’ve concentrated on those well known spectator sports like

      knitting, gardening and baking etc.

      ;(

      • Frustratingly, the BBC don’t really seem interested in taking on the more minority sports. A bit OT but they were massively surprised by how popular Ice Hockey was during the winter olympics but there is no sign of them taking up the TV rights.

        Similarly, rallying is, well, I’m sure it’s on TV somewhere but I have no idea where….

        • Relatives of mine play Ice Hockey in South Wales…. I think the BBC are picking up anything they can get on the cheap. There’s been a big push for Women’s Football, which must be very cheap and also bangs the drum for equality. I think the FA should bend over backwards for it, considering they pushed it back decades in the mid-20th Century, personally.

          I’m watching the French Open tennis on ITV4, which is where I think a lot of sports end up now, as will Formula E. I saw some British F3 last night on Channel 4…

          • What was your reaction to only seeing 3 teams in the British F3 series?

          • “Thank God it’s still alive.. at least we have 9 cars!”

            See below for full response.. at least we had Kirchhofer and Orudzhev showing the field what could have been if it was still a healthy series.

        • I have to despair that Athletics is pushed off BBC Three onto Red Button (which I can’t access on my TV), for whatever tripe they are playing instead. If they are reducing channels (BBC3 online, BBC4 will probably follow), they can at least cut out copycat shows (The Voice) and show factual and sports programmes on BBC2 once more…

          • While they’re at it, they could also cut the licensing fees as well.

          • Iestyn

            can’t you get BBC red button channels 200 or 301 / 302 on your TV ?

          • Probably BBC can’t afford to show the sports live anymore. Sports is some of the most expensive programming around.

          • Looks like I forgot about manually inputting the Red Button channel numbers.. True that live sport is expensive, hence now plumping for cheaper ones that fulfil equality criteria.

    • I remember those days cav, and cricket, snooker, golf, horse trials… which would only make sense if they were guilty ala Godfather…. I’m sure one race they retuned to watching bowls for around an hour, popped back to the GP for a quick lap and update and then back…

  6. ” … where a frustrated Hamilton found himself behind his team mate Jenson, and inexplicably drove into him during the infamous rain affected race. … ”

    Can we see the evidence for your judgement, Judge?

    • It was almost entirely Lewis’s fault in 2011. Just look at any youtube clip of the incident. But saying he “drove into him” might be a bit out of context

    • I humbly submit that it was in fact the case that Hamilton inexplicably drove into Webber on the first corner despite being provided with ample racing room by the Affable Australian™.
      Jenson merely slammed the door shut in Lewis’ face later in the race – “Soz, guv, I didn’t see you there what with the rain ‘n’ all”.
      The prosecution rests.

      • Here are my pieces of evidence for the Judge to look at and reconsider whether his judgement that Lewis “inexplicably” drove in to Jenson was impartial :

        [1]. Hamilton:
        Hamilton said: “It was tricky conditions, I was doing the best I could to keep the car on-track.

        “I had pretty good pace and plus I fell back behind Jenson and he made a mistake into the last corner.

        “So I got the run on him and I was on, I guess, the outside. I haven’t seen the footage but I felt I was halfway up the outside of him and he just kept moving across, whether or not he saw me or not, and I was in the wall”.

        He added he was unhappy at being told to retire with damage when he felt he could have continued.

        Hamilton said: “It was only the tyre that was busted.

        “I tried to drive it back to the garage and the team told me to retire. I thought the suspension was gone, that’s what they said, and it turned out it wasn’t”.

        [2]. Jenson:
        “Lewis is in the headlines a lot, and a lot of it is because he is bloody good,” Button said. “He’s a racer, a fighter. For me that is the reason why I wanted to be here, against and with a driver that is super-talented, one of the best drivers Formula One has ever seen.

        “It’s good challenging him on the circuit. We have a lot of respect for each other, we’ve raced each other a lot this year and last year, and we’ve never touched. We’ve always given each other room. For me that’s a great position to be in.

        “I think his driving style is aggressive and he always goes for gaps. Sometimes he’s right, sometimes he’s not, but it’s the same for all of us. He just finds himself in that situation more often than others.”

        Button revealed he cleared the air with Hamilton after the race and that there is no animosity between them. “Obviously I’m very sorry I collided with Lewis,” Button said. “We spoke about it, and it’s one of those things. I didn’t know he was there. He went for a move, we collided, which is sad for both of us.

        “Initially it played on my mind because you never want to crash with your team-mate. It’s the worst thing to do. But we spoke about it, and he was very good actually. He was one of the first people to congratulate me after the race, which was really nice to see.”

        [3]. Race Stewards:
        ” The Stewards have reviewed the Incident involving Car 3 (L. Hamilton) and Car 4 (J. Button) on their 7th lap of the race. The Stewards reviewed the lines of several cars, including the two cars involved, using multiple angles of video evidence over several laps, the speed traces of both drivers, the GPS tracking data from the cars and have heard the drivers and team representatives.
        The Stewards concluded that:

        1) Exiting Turn 13 there was a legitimate overtaking opportunity for Lewis Hamilton as his speed was greater than Jensen Button’s.

        2) Both drivers took lines substantially similar to many of the other drivers, and did not move as far to the left as the preceding driver, Michael Schumacher. At the moment afte Hamilton moved to the left to pass, Button looked into his mirror. It appears from the position of Hamilton at that moment [and is confirmed by the drivers] that Button was unlikely to have seen Hamilton.

        3) At the point of contact Button had not yet moved as far to the left of the track as he had on the previous lap, or that Schumacher had on that lap.

        The Stewards have concluded that it was reasonable for Hamilton to believe that Button would have seen him and that he could have made the passing manoeuvre. Further, the Stewards have concluded that it is reasonable to believe that Button was not aware of Hamilton’s position to his left. Therefore, the Stewards decide that this was a racing incident and have taken no further action. “

        • p.s. Headlines in a popular F1 blog after the race:

          “Button escapes penalties for Hamilton and Alonso crashes”

          Escapes! I’ll say that again: Escapes!

          • OK – battle of the headlines….. I see your headline and raise you…

            “‘He is completely mad’: Lewis Hamilton slammed after crashing into Mark Webber and teammate Jenson Button”

        • Bloody Hell – the article was about Punch and Judy…. one sentence… and all this ???

          Anyway if you insist, A certain Niki Lauda had a rather different view following the race in Canada. Not just a headline, but an entire article 😉

          Former world champion Niki Lauda believes the formula one authorities need to do something about Lewis Hamilton after the British driver crashed out of the Canadian Grand Prix.
          Hamilton collided with McLaren teammate and fellow Briton Jenson Button on the eighth lap in Montreal, shortly after sending Australian Mark Webber into a spin.
          Button went on to win the race, which stretched over four hours because of a two-hour rain suspension.
          The incidents came after Hamilton’s actions at the Monaco GP drew criticism and Lauda said it was time for action to be taken against the aggressive-driving former world champion.
          “What Hamilton did there goes beyond all boundaries,” Lauda told RTL television.
          “He is completely mad. If the FIA does not punish him, I do not understand the world any more.
          “At some point there has to be an end to all the jokes. You cannot drive like this – as it will result in someone getting killed.”
          Hamilton came off worst when he tried – and failed – to get past Button, leaving his teammate fuming over the team radio.
          “What’s he doing?” Button said after the crash to his team back on the pitwall.
          “Jenson made a mistake into the corner and I got the run on him,” Hamilton told the BBC.
          “I felt I was halfway up the outside, but he kept moving across. Whether or not he saw me I don’t know, but then I was in the wall.”
          Hamilton tried to nurse his damaged car round the track to the pits, but he was told to pull up, park and retire.
          He added: “The team said I had a broken suspension and so I pulled over, but when I got out that wasn’t the case. It was only the tyre that was busted – I thought.”
          The team later confirmed the damage to his car was more serious than Hamilton believed”.

          Interesting Lewis again appears paranoid over the teams instructions. The TV footage shows him getting out of the car, walking to the front and rear – pulling at the suspension rods – to see if they’re broken – after strangely dumping the car in the middle of turn 5 was it?

    • Hamilton and Button simply had a racing accident. Button couldnt see in his mirrors, Hamilton did a legitimate move on the straight and it got an unfortunate ending.
      Hamilton and Webber was Lewis’ fault simply because he took a huge risk and Mark payed the price. There is little room in the 1st corner, even when its dry.

    • Re : Mad Max –

      there’s an English bloke in Moto GP called Bradley Smith who, for those of you that don’t follow motorcycle racing was often described in a very similar vein to Max.

      He rides for the Tech 3 Yamaha team – basically Yamaha’s ” junior ” team.

      So these are the things that have been said about him over the last few years as he’s progressed through the championship classes

      ***

      He only got his rides coz his family paid for them.

      He’s never won any championship of any kind.

      He’s a bit strange ……

      He doesn’t deserve to be in Moto GP.

      Etc., etc.

      In other words – like Max but without the charisma or talent ….

      ***

      Last year 2013 was Bradley’s first in the top class – a learning year.

      His new team mate is a factory rider Pol Espargaro. Seen as many as Valentino Rossi’s replacement at Yamaha.

      Pol was last years 2013 Moto 2 World Champion.

      So 2014 …. what happens ?

      Firstly – due to rule changes the field is much closer together than previously, and the factory teams advantage diminished in terms of performance.

      So Bradley as with all the other Yamaha satellite teams have a chance of podiums, maybe even wins this year.

      Secondly – Bradley is constantly out performing his superstar team mate.

      ***

      So who’s to say how good Max really is unless you put him in a really good car and see what he can do ?

      An argument that can easily be applied to other back markers too …

      • Well Smith has been beaten twice in a row by Pol Espargero now.
        Pol finished P4 and P5 respectively. While Smith crashed in Mugello and in Qatar. Pol seems to learning quicker than Bradley did last year.

        • True – but overall – free practice / quali / races Bradley has been ahead of Pol.

          If he stops crashing he’d be beating Pol in the races too.

          The point is – NO ONE predicted this before the start of the season.

          Bradley was seen as a loser – a pay rider – not worthy.

          Against the reigning Moro 2 World Champ – all the commentators said he was going to get annihilated !

          He’s not …

          So you have 2 options – either

          Pol is really shit

          or

          Bradley is a fuck of a lot better rider than anyone has ever given him credit for …..

        • @ Alex

          I too didn’t believe in Bradley

          I thought Scott Reading was a far better rider – he only just lost out to Pol in the Moto 2 Championship due to injury.

          And where is Scott in Moto GP now ?

          Hmmm ?

      • Pol isn’t a factory Yamaha rider. Rossi and Lorenzo are the factory Yamaha riders.

        But generally, I take your point. I think though Brad Smith has more native talent for his chosen sport than Max Chilton has for his. I am not sure it’s apples and apples. But close enough.

        • @ Still I surprise

          sorry mate – you’re wrong

          Pol IS a factory rider – his contract is with Yamaha – but riding in the Tech 3 team.

          Bradley has a contract with Tech 3 not Yamaha.

          It’s the same as Bradl and Bautista – they are HRC factory riders riding for satellite teams.

          • Contract or not, you are not a factory rider until you are a factory rider, which is to say its a long way until Espagro sits his rear end on a Yamaha factory bike, if ever.

            Put it another way, do you see Bianchi as a factory Ferrari driver? What about Perez before him whilst he was at Sauber under Ferrari contract. What a about Vergne being a factory Red Bull driver. They all have/had factory contracts. They are not factory drivers.

            Espagro is NOT a factory rider. He has nothing to to with the team that runs Jorge and Valentino except that there is a document that secures his services IF he is any good. Ala Perez / Ferrari back in the day, Binachi / Ferrari now and Vergne / Red Bull.

          • The contract rules are different – so you’re comparing apples and pears.

            Pol IS a factory rider – FACT.

            That is what he describes himself as, what Yamaha describe him as, what Tech 3 describe him as, what DORNA the officiating body describe him as, and ALL the journo’s and commentators and everyone else in the paddock – describe him as.

            Only YOU don’t ……

            ***

            One of MANY reports about his contract –

            Pol Espargaro has signed a two-year contract with Yamaha Factory Racing, replacing Cal Crutchlow at Tech 3.

            August 2013

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/motogp/23549400

            😀

          • @ Still I surprise

            please tell me how Yamaha Factory Racing has –

            ” …NOTHING to do with the team that runs Jorge and Valentino …. ”

            ??????

            I’d love to be enlightened !

          • @Manky.

            I can not believe I am even needing to explain this. The gulf of knowledge and logic here is immense.

            Are you saying that Sergio Perez was a Ferrari factory driver simply because he had a contract and was remunerated by Ferrari whilst driving for Sauber? The fact is he never sat his arse in a Ferrari factory drive and neither have heaps of factory paid drivers. At the end of his career, he won’t be able to say he was a Ferrari factory driver. And neither will Pol if he never rides a Factory Yamaha bike.

            One is only a factory driver/rider when they are driving/riding a factory car/bike. Everything else is commercial or hedging bets in case the drivers gets good.

            Often it’s not the case, which could quite possibly be the case for Pol. Yamaha Corp have him in the books, yes. He’s not a factory rider. He’s a satellite rider. Just like Bianchi is NOT a factory Ferrari driver. He’s a Ferrari powered Marussia driver on Ferrari’s books. The title of factory rider or driver is so previous, so desired, a contract doesn’t define it. Actually piloting the machine does.

            Put it this way, walk in any GP in the world. Ask 10 people, who are the Yamaha factory riders. Not one will mention a name with Smith in it.

            Is Pol remunerated by Yamaha Corp. Yes. At a stretch could he then be considered a factory employee? Sigh… A stupid stretch, perhaps. Is he a factory rider? No. NO.

            Neither was/is Sergio, Jules or Jean Eric. Or Marco Simoncelli (Satelitte Honda) or Andre Iannone etc etc.

          • @ Still I surprise

            ” One is only a factory driver/rider when they are driving/riding a factory car/bike. Everything else is commercial or hedging bets in case the drivers gets good. ”

            This is simply not true in Moto GP

            As I said – not only is Pol a factory rider –

            but both Bradl and Bautist are Honda factory riders but don’t ride for the works HRC team. They ride for satalite teams.

            They even get factory bikes.

            So how are they not factory riders ?

            A FACTORY CONTRACT RIDING A FACTORY BIKE – DOH !

            You are simply unwilling to accept facts.

            Your comments and arguments with regard to Formula 1 are correct.

            They are just totally and utterly wrong with regard to Moto GP.

          • Correction:

            I mean ” not one will mention a name with the word Pol in it. “

          • @ Manky.

            Yep you are right mate. Anyone riding a bike created by a factory manufacturer, (100% of the riders), are factory riders.

            Lol. All riders in MotoGP are factory riders.

            No problem.

            This was a lovely exchange.

            XD

      • Some great points manky but the last bit about Chilton is stretching the truth I feel.

        I just checked his wikipedia entry as to his career to date. I hadn’t realised his father owns the Carlin Motorsport team.

        Anyway, in three seasons of F3 he managed 1 win in his final season. In GP2, he won two races in his third season, so by this crazy-arsed logic, Chilton will win sometime next year…

        There are people who rave about Bianchi, but again his wins record in GP2 is very poor. Personally I believe it’s the Ferrari connection that makes people suggest he’s worthy of a front line seat, but if I was making the decision to recruit someone for the Red team, it would be Hulkenburg over Bianchi every time.

        Let’s not forget Perez was also a Ferrari academy driver and they said after a second place finish in Malaysia he wasn’t ready for a front-line seat to replace Massa. Mclaren thought otherwise…

        Fair play for his last Grand Prix, but I don’t feel Chilton is near enough to him to provide us an answer as to Bianchi’s ability.

        • Carlo

          I was just trying to point out that it’s easy to rubbish Max

          just as happened to Bradley.

          Max was far more successful in lower forms of motorsport as you pointed out.

          Max gets slagged off – yet he’s not done too badly against Bianchi.

          But as you say – how good is Bianchi really ?

          • Well, he might beat the Red Bull and Ferraris at least. Or be solidly mid-points at most events!

          • @ Judge

            I’d love to see what would happen ….

            remember how Nico was rubbished ….. and that Lewis was going to blow him away ….

            Hmmm – wasn’t there something like that said about Jenson when he joined McLaren too ?

            😉

          • In that respect, Chilton would actually get blown away. The other drivers all have multiple junior titles like Hamilton and Alonso, so it’s not surprising that they are all close/competitive.

        • Indeed.. Chilton is a slow adapter, so his pace will come out in Season 3. Bianchi is a fast adapter, some would say natural talent, so his pace was immediately apparent (first race). The next question is who can reach the highest peak performance. Hulkenberg might have Bianchi beat on this, so Hulk-Bianchi would be a good Ferrari line up, with Jules as the team’s faithful number 2.

          Perez was already on the verge of F1 when Ferrari picked him up to have a look at him I think. But McLaren chose him over Hulkenberg for the extra $5m.

          Bianchi-Kobayashi would be an interesting battle, along with Ericsson-Chilton in the same cars. Then we could say which ones were better than the others.

        • Carlo….

          Maybe you can provide some insight into this for me..

          I was watching British F3 recently and I noticed that there were only 3 teams in the championship, Carlin, Fortec and Double R. It was only a few years ago, that there was a full grid of cars. Given the amount of past and current F1 drivers who have participated in that category.

          What do you think has caused the demise of this championship?

          • I remember I saw Senna for the first time in F3. I watched Herbert winning with impunity, Hakkinen winning in 1990 and then famously turning up in Germany and beating a certain Schumacher. Barrichello and Coulthard fighting for the title in 1991 and the original Magnussen blitz the competition including Dario Franchitti.

            I haven’t watched F3 for some years but I’d imagine when the costs for what is essentially a national F3 championship are weighed up against racing in GP3, GP2 and FR3.5, it doesn’t make sense. Having said that, I find it staggering there are only nine drivers on the grid.

            A lot of the promising drivers are already on the radar within the development structure of the big teams. If you look at Hamilton and Rosberg’s careers, they competed in Euro F3. Vettel also took part for two seasons, Alonso never drove an F3 car and was in F1 within two years as was Raikkonen.

            When you consider the rich history of the British F3 championship, as well as the German and French titles, it’s a sign maybe that there are too many ladders which can lead to an F1 drive.

            In recent years, even a GP2 title doesn’t guarantee an F1 seat..

          • To be honest, British F3 was thriving alongside F3 Euro Series, until the FIA came in and took over Euro Series a few years ago, making it FIA F3. This has sucked everything in that direction.. Then the specifications were overhauled, with only Japanese F3 implementing them straight away, not even FIA F3 being able to do so.

            British F3 have now tried to cut costs and run the older cars, and the FIA are threatening to not allow these regulations to be called F3.. which would be the final nail in the coffin.. Indeed, the old Spanish F3 have already taken F3 out of their series name… Soon we’ll be left with FIA F3 and German F3 barely surviving.. yet GP3 is still opposite FIA F3..

      • With Max, we know already how good he is from his record in the junior ladder. It says that he will peak in his 3rd year in F1, so that’s when we’ll see his true pace. It’ll still be slower than Bianchi, but he’ll be closer to him than in Season 1 or Season 2. Max has at least refined himself to be ready for F1, by notching up some wins in GP2.

        His main strength was Q pace and holding on at the front.. he would fall down with racecraft, but would always bring the car home. This is still the same in F1. However, occasional brain fades have helped the team – e.g. taking out Maldonado (takes balls to put him in the wall), or Raikkonen to allow Bianchi to score points. Add in $10m a year through sponsorships and you have a package that keeps Marussia afloat.

        In MotoGP (good to hear it got more competitive), we have Crutchlow and Smith. If we see Cal as Lewis/Jenson… what happens when the next Cal is snubbed for the next Bradley? Was that Redding? The parallel here would be Calado, Rowland, Lynn etc. who are up to F1 level (and better than Chilton), but are not going to get a shot. In F1 there’s plenty of Brits now that will not make it in, yet are better than Chilton, who can pay his way in.. it’s something that’s happening more and more in the UK now as social mobility declines. Capital is pooling at the top of society.. which, from the point of inequality, is still rising.

        • Cal and Bradley were team mates 2013.

          Cal was out of contract and Yamaha signed Pol for 2014 and put him into Tech 3 to replace Cal.

          Bradley had a 2014 contract with Tech 3.

          Therefore Cal’s ONLY option was to sign for the Ducati Works team this year.

          But Bradley – unlike Max – isn’t a pay driver / rider.

          Bradley hasn’t been since his 125cc days – but the media – especially the British media were still saying these things about him. Unfairly as it’s now turning out.

          So does Max justify the criticism you make of him ?

          ( I’m asking – not arguing about this )

          🙂

          And as for Scott Reading – his Honda is a dog – totally uncompetitive.

          I’m a big fan of him – and would love to see what he can do on a factory bike.

          Maybe if Bautista continues a la Maldonado style – he’ll get that one 😉

          • Hmm, I wrote a response to this that provided the other side of the argument… but it looks like it was lost in the aether.. Since last night I’ve been typing in https:// to even access TJ13.

            But if we are realistic, excepting those who join the big F1 junior teams, only pay drivers will get in.. without Max, we’d be left with no British drivers once Lewis and Jenson retire.. and Paul di Resta won’t be able to make a comeback in all likelihoods..

            PS. Found the message:

            Talent over crashing is welcome, any day for sure. Maldonado can definitely be described as ‘a Diamond in the Rough’…

            Indeed, we can look at things another way… if only pay drivers will get the entry level seats (i.e. non-F1 junior team drivers.. mostly RB Juniors atm), then Chilton is our ‘representative’ in that respect – and without him we would have no British drivers once Jenson and Lewis retire, and Paul di Resta can’t make a come back….

  7. I’m a Kimi fan, and just because Allison says that Kimi has the same problems as Alfonso, doesn’t mean they’re at the same extent. For example, if Alfonso feels comfortable with the breaks 80% of the time, and Kimi just 10% , while its still the same problem it is very different. I think that in straight on races, without Kimi getting hit 3 times by Magnussen, 1 time by a Marussia car , no stupid team orders, he will beat Alfonso fair and square. The season is long and much will happen.

    • The judge is racist. Didn’t you know. Now he’s anti Finnish ppl as well as anti black.

      Seems the only anti he isn’t is Australia. Never a foul word to say re: Webber or Ricciardo.

      Clearly the judge never met Casey Stoner.

      • Superb. I never did understand all the willy waving for the miserable git! When he won his titles he had a Ducati shod with the better Bridgestones and then in 2011 – a revitalised Honda. But Pedrosa picked up his game in 2012 and easily had the measure of the Moaner.
        Could you imagine Marquez v Stoner. What staggers me is Rossi this year, conidering he’s the wrong side of 30 now and yet he still competes. He’s lost his essential qualifying speed but he’s still racing as well as ever.

          • I know Jack Miller personally. Nicest boy you’ll ever meet.

        • Carlo – I’m guessing you might be a Ducati fan too ?

          You love lost causes painted red …. 😉

          But Vale going to ride that piece of shit was the worst decision of his life.

          He should have stayed at Yamaha. He chose not to ….

          I think if he had – being on competitive machinery for the last 3 years – he would be even stronger this year. He even admitted – his confidence took a battering.

          And he and Jorge are getting along a lot better this time round 🙂

          As for Ducati – since Audi took them over and got rid of their ” Italian ” style of management – i.e. headless chicken – they look like they’re making good progress.

          Maybe Marco is Ferrari’s – GIGI ?

          • Cant argue with any of that. Although I don’t follow the footballing lost cause in Red – Man United 🙂

            I guess it all goes back to some glossy red lips many moons ago….

          • I don’t follow football either Carlo

            but surely the lost cause in red in that sport is

            ENGLAND ?

    • “Well 6 races in, and Alonso has 61 points to Kimi’s 17. This time last year Felipe Massa had 45 points to Fernando’s 78. Mmm.”

      It is so naive to compare current season to the previous one. So, basically MAS Is better than RAI but … ups, HAM is worse than BUT, if you sum up all the points, when they were together in mac 657 vs 672 (2010, 2011, 2012).

      “The pair of Ferrari’s – barring a few laps in Monaco, have hardly been in the same TV shot. Fernando has finished ahead of Kimi now 6 races out of 6.”

      Well, definitely Honorable Judge has issues with objectivity, which is pretty normal in modern juridical system. Accused RAI had 3 races spoiled by other racers (Chilton, Magnussen, Kobayashi – 2 punctures and one hit from behind in Australia plus damage chassis in Bahrain) and one race spoiled by Ferrari strategy – probably deliberately (Spain). So how do Your Honor call such circumstances – bad luck … no, of course not.

      “So there we have it. The answer to the $64m question…who is better?” “Simples…. according to James Allison – it is Fernando.”

      Firstly, Allison did not said that.

      Secondly, maybe ALO is better than RAI. But maybe, it is because a specific of 2014 cars better suits aggressive drivers (HAM, ALO, MAG, RIC). And maybe ALO was the one who was developing F14T car and his feedback is involved in a F14T concept. ALO like understeering while RAI oversteering, so RAI needs time to change setup of the car.

      Hey, there is one interesting thing Allison previously said that RAI worked very hard with engineers and worked with both sides of the garage. Conclusions are waiting for you Judge.

      • … points excellently made dear TT…

        If the objective is to be quicker – then isn’t being inexplicably slower is not as good?

        If so… then would the quicker one be better?

        • Quicker, but also bringing it home and profiting from others’ mistakes. By my count, barring being hit by Magnussen, Chilton etc. Kimi would be 6th with 31 points, and Fernando 5th with 57 (behind the unlucky RB pair), so they are both doing well but being restrained by the car they have – giving 1 top 5 for Kimi (Monaco), and only Bahrain outside the top 6 for Alonso, where the car was a midfielder.

          Alonso is again picking up points with a cool head, like in many other seasons, to get higher in the WDC standings than his car would normally allow. Someone in a similar predicament is also Grosjean..

    • “without Kimi getting hit 3 times by Magnussen”

      Hold your horses on that! At least one incident (in China) was at best murky (even if Magnussen got penalized, the way I see the replay it is Raikkonen who turns in on Magnussen and clips his front wing), and in Monaco it is Raikkonen who decided to slide as if on a skateboard in front of Magnussen (ruining his race). I don’t remember the other incidents the two had this year.

      • Thank you! I almost thought nobody here saw that like I did, since there was no reaction to it. Now I’m not anti kimi. But if you play the blame game you got to give him his share too.

  8. your honour, without wanting to question the judgments from your chambers,
    ‘This time last year Felipe Massa had 45 points to Fernando’s 78.’
    I think a better comparison would be 2012, when at this stage Fernando had 72 (or somewhere close to that) and Felipe had 10 points
    (bow and respectfully retreating:-))

    • aha. are you suggesting that this is Kimi working up to being a better number 2 who will be closer to Alonso next year?

  9. say ‘aye’ to that. ferrari wanted someone to do better job than Felipe, despite Fernando saying ‘no one’ could do a better job. Last couple of races have seen them ‘very close’ when on same tyres.

  10. * To go Italian or not – that is the question *

    Just something to ruminate over as we’ve had a bit of a discussion about bikes and cars.

    Ducati were often hailed as motorcycling’s Ferrari.

    Expensive, exclusive, beautiful pieces of mechanical and motoring art.

    They had been successful in lower formulae of racing – dominating most of the superbike era.

    So in 2002 they decided to go and play with the ” big boys ” in Moto GP.

    It has – with the 1 exception of Casey Stoner’s 2007 World Championship it has been an unmitigated disaster. They have provided a bike that no one ( no. 27 excepted ) – not even the great Valentino Rossi could ride, far less win on.

    So in 2012 Ducati were acquired by Audi ( through Lamborghini ).

    Initially the old management was left in place to see what happened.

    Things just got worse – and last year Audi started clearing out the ” old guard ” and bringing in new blood.

    This year things are improving at a much faster pace than in the previous six.

    The old guard were wedded to ideas and design philosophies and refused to change.

    An example mentioned at one of the races this year was –

    that in the past Ducati would have 15 – 20 designers and engineers just looking at swing arms. And they had no idea of purpose or direction, came up with a myriad of designs and all of them worthless.

    Now they have only 2 or 3 people looking at swing arms – and are having success.

    I joked with Carlo above that the Italian Management Style resembled a bunch of headless chickens.

    But in Ducati’s case it was true.

    Is it still true in Maranello ?

    Their organisation has been streamlined and direction given to it by Audi putting Gigi Dall’Igna in charge.

    ***

    Spot some similarities.

    No success since 2007

    Both bring in a multiple world champion to drive / ride for you – creating a ” dream team ” with promises of glory …… and ……

    Both are painted RED

    ***

    Ferrari now has Marco Mattiacci as team principal.

    Maybe it’s time LdM was pensioned of ?

    Can Marco emulate Gigi ?

    Or should they start painting their cars a different colour ?

    • manky!! you sir are in danger of an equine bust being delivered to you. Paint them a different colour… madre de dio!

      Everything else is absolutely spot on.

      Regards Rossi, he spent two years on that shit and the team point blank refused to listen to his direction. It’s one thing dominating superbikes where the rules gifting the twin a performance advantage worked in their favour but MotoGP is a totally different ball game.

      The problem is be it Ferrari or Ducati, and in some ways in recent years Mclaren also, their arrogance leads them to believe that just being themselves will ensure victory.

      I do understand Alonso’s frustration, he is more than aware and happy to put the work in but he needs the rest of the organisation with that mindset. In many ways, Mattiacci coming from outside a F1 background may well work in his favour. After all, LdM was not involved in motor-sport before he took over at Ferrari in the early 70’s but he’s in his mid 60’s now and maybe a change is as good as a rest.

      • I completely agree. It’s like the boys in red always think we’re gonna win this year before anything starts. And they are so sure of it that they seem to not give a 110%. Wich we all know is required for becoming f1 champions. The only people who have this syndrome worse are the dutch when it involves football. And that is why alonso is so frustrated. He’s one to always give it 110%. Wich is even something ferrari admit (he gets more from the car, than the car should be giving)

      • Carlo

        good point about McLaren too

        all those teams have or are still suffering from hubris

      • @ Carlo

        what about the BLUE Ferrari of the late 1960’s / early 1970’s ?

        Enzo was willing to paint the car a different colour to achieve success ……

        😉

        • I remember the blue/white livery of the NART team and Ferrari actually used those when Surtees won his title in 1964. I’m not sure they were used in the late 60’s early 70’s though.

          • I was talking about Jackie Stewart driving for Ferrari – 1960’s / 70’s

            Jackie turned him down I believe, on more than one occasion.

            Supposedly, Enzo tried to sweeten the deal by offering to paint Jackie’s car Saltire Blue.

          • Also I think it was Stirling Moss who had just done a deal with Enzo to run a Ferrari in Rob Walker colours, before his terrible crash at Goodwood that ended his career.

  11. I read this in that opening brilliant piece: Some say Kimi would be sad if the supply or ice cream in the world ran dry, but all we know is… ” and I thought I was going to read “he’s call the Stig!!!”.

    Now that we know that The Judge is Mr. Clarkson’s alter ego (ahem, ahem), please tell me why you never invited Alonso to drive around Dunsfold Aerodrome.

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