Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 12th June 2014


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OTD Lite – Schumacher wins 1994 Canadian Grand Prix

Doubts surface over CaterhamF1 future participation

Mercedes in 2014 re-think after ‘wake-up call’ (GMM)

Living the American dream

News in Brief

F1 braking system explained

F1 braking system explained


OTD Lite – Schumacher wins 1994 Canadian Grand Prix

94cdn14Michael Schumacher continued his domination of the 1994 Formula One season when he triumphed in the Canadian Grand Prix for his fifth victory of the season. After his brilliant drive to secure second place in the preceding race at Barcelona – where he was stuck in fifth gear – his drive at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was a straight forward affair. He was trailed to the flag by the Williams of Damon Hill – 40 seconds behind.

“The car performed fantastic. I had all the gears this time and I could do what I wanted. I think it would be good for Formula One if Nigel Mansell returned. It would bring more competition and I would like that.”



Doubts surface over CaterhamF1 future participation

In 2012 the Caterham Group, in a deal with Renault, bought a 50% share in Alpine and the joint venture was named “Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham” It’s intention, simply, to resurrect the legendary Alpine name but most likely there would have been further deals in place that secured Renault engines for the Formula One concern.

In recent weeks, senior Renault figures have suggested to the press that not all payments for their power units were up to date which led many to believe that Lotus may be the guilty party but on Tuesday 10th June – press releases confirmed that Renault had bought back the shares holding from the Caterham Group and would takeover the design and production of Alpine themselves.

Barely a day later and reports are emerging from the German publication – Speedweek – of the possibility that CaterhamF1 may not be lining up on the grid for the next race in Austria in less than two weeks time and although less obvious – on the wider scale of motor-sport activity – are rumours that the Caterham Moto2 team will not be present in Barcelona this weekend.

We reported on May 26, 2014 that Tony Fernandes was looking to sell the Caterham Group for £350 million which encouraged the Malaysian tycoon to release statements the following day that the Group was not for sale but was looking for investment.

TJ13 speculated at the time that no mention was made of the F1 team being safe specifically considering – that back in January – Fernandes had encouraged the team by declaring that this could be their final year in F1 unless results improved. Marussia’s points haul in Monaco may have proved to be the final straw and in Canada representatives of the new F1 entry from the Romanian team – Forza Rossa – were clearly being entertained by Caterham due to their interest in acquiring the F1 team..

The core problems for Fernandes Empire is cash flow and Air Asia’s  claim to be the fastest growing airline is at the heart of this. Rapidly expanding airlines suck in vast sums of cash.

Fernandes partner Kamarudin Meranun declared in October that “We have ordered 500 new Airbus A320 and would receive a new one every two weeks.”

At $85 million a piece, and the arrival of 25 aircraft a year over a 20 years period the cost is $4.25 billion and many industry observers believe that such a rapid expansion may prove fatal in the long term.

With Caterham Bike Ltd never having the funding for the development and production of the much lauded e-bike, the Brutus 750, and the carbon e-bike, the Renault-Alpine connection being re-sold back to the French manufacturer and the non-budget Caterham Air business failing to literally get off the ground, it appears that the monstrous green cars could soon become a mere statistic in the history pages.


Mercedes in 2014 re-think after ‘wake-up call’ (GMM)

Canada was a spanner in the works in Mercedes’ otherwise flawless 2014 campaign. Until both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton struck technical trouble aboard their silver W05s in Montreal, they had shared a total clean-sweep of victories this year.

“You quickly get used to winning,” team boss Toto Wolff told Spanish reporters at the team’s Brackley headquarters this week. “I never thought, unless there was a collision, that we could not finish a race even with one driver. But in Montreal it was about to happen,” he is quoted by EFE news agency. “It was a good wake-up call.”

The most immediate problem for Mercedes is getting to the bottom of the technical glitch. Germany’s Bild newspaper reports that the issue can basically be traced to the energy recovery systems, which overheated. Wolff said: “In Montreal, we were trying a new cooling system for the first time. The new software went crazy.” Team chairman Niki Lauda added: “It is a wake-up call. We need to check every detail on the car.” Wolff continued: “We have started new processes of quality control to make the car more reliable.

But another issue to consider is the intense driver rivalry between Hamilton and Rosberg, who until now have appeared to have no external competitors for the 2014 crown. Wolff was asked this week if, given his Canada DNF, the new ‘double points’ innovation for the 2014 season finale might be Hamilton’s saving grace. “It might,” the Austrian is quoted by Italy’s Tuttosport, “but I have no doubt that, first of all, we must be careful to keep our gap to our rivals. Red Bull scored a lot of points in Canada,” Wolff added.

As their personal battle waged in the most recent weeks, Mercedes’ drivers have been told repeatedly that the Brackley team’s main goal is actually the constructors’ title. But until now, Mercedes has let Rosberg and Hamilton wage their war almost unfettered, despite the risk of a crash.

“The team management is handling the situation very well,” Hamilton told Germany’s Sport Bild this week. “You have to realise that their ultimate goal is the constructors’ title. That’s what brings in the money. The team is number one,” the Briton insisted. “Only after that do Nico and I have our personal battle.”

At Monaco, however, that appeared not to be the case, as Hamilton had what many described as a ‘tantrum’, siding with those who believed Rosberg had committed a deliberate act of sabotage in qualifying. Hamilton says now: “I called Nico, we talked about Monaco and the situation is resolved. It was really important for both of us to show the team that we can continue to work well together.” For Hamilton in particular, given his now 22-point deficit to Rosberg, the obvious fear is that Mercedes will end the ‘free fight’ between the drivers in the wake of the escalating driver battle and, now, reliability fears.

Recalling his situation in 1998, David Coulthard this week recalled that McLaren managed its position of early-season dominance by slowing down the drivers with strict team orders. Wolff, however, rejected the theory that the reliability problems last week in Canada were caused by Hamilton and Rosberg pushing their cars too hard in battle. “The damage would have occurred even if they had slowed down,” he insists.

Wolff told Sport Bild: “We told the drivers how to manage it by changing the brake balance and braking more carefully. Both of them did it exactly to our specifications. That what happened to Lewis did not also happen to Nico was just pure luck.” Nonetheless, Wolff admitted that Mercedes’ situation in mid-June is giving the team pause to “question whether we can let them continue to race so freely”.

He is quoted by the Spanish daily AS: “We will continue to let them compete and fight as long as it does not undermine Mercedes. We are a F1 team, not a team of two F1 drivers,” Wolff insisted. “We are all rowing in the same direction and share the same goal, which is simply to win the title. At the moment they continue to race freely, although the situation may change at any time. This is an ongoing, dynamic process,” he added.


Living the American dream

Editor’s note: It’s not often TJ13 re-prints entire stories from other publications; however, Mr. Haas is proving to be a ‘headline grabber’ with some longevity, so we thought his interview with Formula1.com should speak for itself…….

!Marussia joined F1 racing at the start of 2010 on the back of considerable success in junior single-seater series. Four years on and they have only just scored their first world championship points. Fellow ‘newcomers’ Caterham are still waiting.

So how does American entrepreneur and NASCAR team owner Gene Haas plan to make an impact with his new US-based squad? We talk to Haas about Danica, Dallara, and his planned 2016 debut…

Q: Gene, you are a major player in the all-American NASCAR series and suddenly you have decided to come into Formula One racing, a form of motorsport still somewhat alien to many US race fans. Why is that?
Gene Haas: Ha, I don’t think that it is that alien. Formula One has been working in the American mind-set for decades. I would even go so far as saying that Americans like Formula One racing. I remember back to 1975 and the Long Beach Grand Prix – that was quite something. I’ve been a fan since then – and I was pretty young back then.

Q: You are a successful race team entrepreneur and now you will be effectively starting from the bottom again. What’s the appeal in that? And where do you see the upside for you?
GH: Well, we’ve used NASCAR to help sell our Haas Automation products in America – we sell CNC machine tools – and racing in NASCAR has been very good at that. So the idea was to join Formula One and take our brand and raise awareness of it – by taking it to the premier brand of motorsport. Formula One is a premium brand in the rest of the world and associating ourselves with that will help sell our products throughout the world.

Q: What about Gene Haas the person? Is petrol in your DNA?
GH: To be honest, I like to build new companies. I have a machine tool company that is very successful, we have a wind tunnel, and Stewart Haas Racing is a very successful business venture – and I am convinced that the F1 business will be a successful business venture, too.

Q: So are you more an entrepreneur than a racer?
GH: Good question. When looking back I was involved in racing before I became an entrepreneur. But I was never a driver – I worked in shops that produced parts for race cars. So I know about racing teams – and the needs they have. Right now I would not be surprised if many of the parts that are produced for Formula One cars are done on our machines. We sell a lot of machine tools in England.

Q: It’s no secret that Formula One racing is expensive. What is your business plan? And is it bad news for you that no F1 budget cap has materialised?
GH: Our experience in NASCAR has taught us to efficiently deploy assets and we will do the same thing in Formula One. Our plan is not to spend hundreds of millions to be successful. I think we can show people that you don’t have to go on such a spending spree to be successful. No spending to the moon! (laughs)

Q: In the F1 paddock there are teams with 600-plus people on the payroll and others with 200 employees. Where will your team settle?
GH: I think when you have 600-plus people nobody really knows what everybody is doing. I think in racing you need a small group of core people who know what they are doing – in that way you get a lot more accomplished than with a huge organisation. That’s how we raced in the US and that’s our goal in F1. Our plan is not to make every single part for F1 ourselves – we want to buy as much technology as we can from a partner and we only make what we have to. We will be a fairly lean organisation. And my experience is that racing loves lean organisation. You’ve got to be quick and fast – you’ve got to be lean!

Q: But right now it’s still the big teams that make up the frontrunners, perhaps with the exception of Force India. What does that tell you? Are you prepared to start at the back again?
GH: We have to learn. It will take time, because of course you don’t come in here and beat those guys straightaway. My guess is that you have to spend three, four or five years at the back – learning the ropes – and that will be our job: to learn to make this thing work. I cannot promise that we can do it, but at the same time the way we do things might change the way other people do them. I think we can do it economically and be successful in doing it. I wouldn’t do it if I thought I might fail.

Q: Your plans to base your team in the US have raised a lot of eyebrows, especially after Kenny Anderson and Peter Windsor’s ill-fated project of a few years back. Can you make that work?
GH: I think in this age of communication so much can be done on the Internet. Our base will always be Kannapolis, North Carolina. We plan to run a small shop in Europe where the cars come in and are refurbished and worked on, but the main facilities for building and design will be Kannapolis.

Q: F1 racing is probably more about talent than location. Where do you get the talent that you need? It’s already difficult to lure talent outside of the UK, unless you’re Ferrari…
GH: America has tremendous resources. Americans are very creative – some of the best – so we are not planning to just take European resources. This will be an American team, and it will have American people at the top, but of course we will also take on people from other countries with F1 experience.

Q: You said that you want to ‘buy’ as many components for your car as possible. What components do you already have in your shopping bag?
GH: The biggest part is the power train, and that’s the majority of the back of the car, so if we can wrap up a deal with Ferrari – in fact right now there are only three engine manufacturers – that would almost mean half the car! So we will have to be responsible to build the front half of it.

Q: You have decided to postpone your debut from 2015 to 2016. Why is that?
GH: Actually we never postponed it. We’ve been given the option to join in 2015 or 2016. The whole process of getting the licence and all that, everything was taking a bit longer. And then there were the simple administrative things with accounting that you need when having people work in many different countries. And then we suddenly noticed, wow, in six months we have to have a car done, so we decided to go for 2016. Racing in 2015 would have meant throwing everything on it, so 2016 made more sense.

Q: Are there already sponsors interested in joining?
GH: The sponsor matter is a bit like chicken and egg – what comes first? We are of course talking to sponsors, but sponsors aren’t going to come until they see a car. Saying that our intention is to go racing will not do – nobody will sign on that prospect. And my intention is to prove that we can do it – and then we will go and ask partners for money. I don’t feel comfortable promising that we will deliver whatever – I want to show first that we can. We can do F1 with or without sponsors.

Q: If Anderson and Windsor’s bid to launch a US-based team failed, why do you think you can do better?
GH: I think they tried to do too much in too short a time – and suddenly they found out that they were running out of time. For us now that would be the worst thing in the world. We are going to be more cautious. We clearly say here is what we can do and here is the time frame that we’ve got. We’re going to be more organised in what we do – to get the results that we want.

Q: When did the idea first strike you that going F1 racing could be an option for you?
GH: Actually Kenny Anderson spoke to me about an F1 team five or six years ago and he kind of introduced me a little bit to it. As I said before, I knew about Formula One racing back in the seventies – when I was a mechanic at a Formula 5000 team the year before Formula One went to Long Beach – but Kenny introduced me more to it. But back then, when I decided to go racing with a team, NASCAR was the venue as it was entrenched in the United States – it was the leading racing sport – and we’ve built a heck of a following in NASCAR with my machine tools. Then the opportunity came along with USF1, which wasn’t successful, but then we started to talk to Gunther Steiner (former Red Bull and Jaguar Racing technical director) and he said, ‘Hey, would you be interested?’ There was always that low level interest from my side and suddenly it came to a point that the question came: ‘Do you want to do it?’ And the answer was yes! The beauty of a project for me is putting a business together – and combining it with my machine tools, which is really important for me. And no doubt, machine tools and racing really fit well. It’s a good marketing thing. It’s about brand association – I think our brand can really take off.

Q: Of course one inevitable question that arises when somebody sets out to build an F1 team is drivers. Who do you have in mind? Who would be your dream driver?
GH: Danica Patrick in one of our cars would be the dream driver…

Q: But when you hopefully hit the grid in 2016 she will be 34 – about the time many F1 drivers retire…
GH: The question was about the dream driver! But she surely fits the bill. She is a woman in a man’s sport – that would attract a lot of attention. She weighs about 50 kilos – which these day sounds fantastic – so indeed she’s got a lot of attributes that would be good to have.

Q: So you definitely could look for a woman for one of your seats?
GH: Definitely. But realistically the first driver is going to be a current F1 driver who knows the ins and outs of the sport, to help us sort out what we have to do and who can give a lot of feedback. In that mould would be driver number one. Driver number two would be American.

Q: What is your timeline from now until the 2016 season?
GH: We work backwards: we know that the car has to be ready in December 2015. I can imagine the car actually being built sometime in July next year.

Q: Will Dallara build your chassis – or hasn’t that been decided yet?
GH: Dallara will probably be a subcontractor. Nothing has been decided yet so I don’t want to read anywhere that Dallara would be anything other than maybe a supplier of parts.

Q: When you take a quiet moment and contemplate what’s coming your way in the next few months, do you still think it was a good idea to set your sights on F1 racing?
GH: Yes, because I think it’s a great opportunity. We will meet all kinds of nice people, it’s a racing environment, it’s competitive, and it helps build business.

Q: The paddock is sometimes referred to as a ‘shark pond’ – are you prepared to jump into that?
GH: Ha, I have not seen any sharks (laughs). They are racers. And with the right feeding and habitat you will do fine!.


News in Brief

Ferrari’s world domination plan:

Corriere dello Sport is reporting today that Lewis Hamilton had a secret meeting in Maranello this week.

They further speculate there is a plan within Ferrari to do what they did with Benetton in the late 90’s on Mercedes; a blitz recruitment of Mercedes top people.

It appears Lewis may have engaged a body double or someone is telling porkies – as his management say he was in Canada yesterday…. Conceniently this picture was posted on Lewis twitter account 9am GMT yesterday stating, “Dinner with friends in Montreal”


Along with this one and the accompanying text, “”Powerful beyond measure”- with compass centrepiece


Red Bull believe again

Christian Horner is not giving up the on the prospect of Red Bull retaining one or both of their world titles.“We’ve taken 40 points out of [the Canadian Grand Prix], so we’ve taken 22 points out of them,” Horner said. “It’s the first time we’ve outscored them all year, it’s the first time we’ve beaten a Mercedes this year and we’ve managed to get a victory.

We’re realists, we know we’ve got a massive challenge ahead of us, but there’s still a long way to go in this championship. We’re not even at the halfway point, we just take things one race at a time. We try to get the best out of each race and then the points tend to take care of themselves.”

Late again Lotus

Today, Lotus reveals their delayed LMP1 entrant to the WEC series in Le Mans. The car is not ready to hit the race track and will in fact join the series in September at the 4th round of the year in Austin.

The ca has in fact been designed and built by the German-based Kodewa Racing team, though will race under the Lotus name. At the launch are the team’s 3 drivers Christijan Albers, Pierre Kaffer and Christophe Bouchut.

Team manager Boris Bermes said, “It is a brand-new car, there is nothing carried over from the last car. It is a V6 turbo engine from AER and the car is built by combination of F1 and sportscar manufacturers and it is designed internally by the team. We are going to use the long time to Austin to embark on an intensive testing programme.”

The F1 funded Lotus entry was late to the track this year having missed the first winter test in Jerez.

untitledThe DNF stats

Having yesterday examined the probability of the ‘luck’ evening out over a season between the Mercedes drivers, it is worth noting, the only time an F1 world champion didn’t suffer a DNF since 2000 was in 2002.

So does this make it more likely 2014 will follow suit, or buck the trend 😉

Newey says engine regs mean danger ahead

Adrian Newey is concerned that the current F1 engine regulations mean ‘grave danger’ ahead for the sport.

Speaking to Autosport, Red Bull’s design guru states, “The current set of regulations are engine orientated. At some point in the coming years presumably that will settle down.

There is grave danger, with the freeze happening progressively over the next 18 months, because it’s not apparent if one manufacturer ends up with an advantage as to what happens at that point.

Is that advantage maintained for ever more, in which case the rest of us give up?

It doesn’t seem to me to be a particularly satisfactory situation at the moment. The regulations need more of a fundamental rethink in my opinion.”

Magney Cours close to return

Bouyed by the bargain basement 10 year deal Canada just negotiated with Mr. E, Magney Cours boss, Serge Saulnier, says negotiations are on trsack for a 2015 race.

We have recently travelled this path to no avail because in Barcelona Saulnier was quoted as saying, “If the will of a number of people is confirmed in the coming weeks, we are very close (to returning).”

This was repudiated in Monaco by Ecclestone when asked whether Magney Cours was close to agreeing a return to the F1 calendar, he replied bluntly, “No,” adding “They are knocking at the door but I don’t think we can do anything,”

Speaking to Motorpassionf1 yesterday, Serge Saulnier insists, “we are discussing with the FOM the guarantees we must give,”

Against the background of repeated reports of F1 TV audiences across the world being in significant decline in 2014 is Saulnier’s pitch that F1 needs France.

“France is a market of 65 million people, which is very important for the TV rights,” he says.

In a somewhat convoluted argument, Saulnier is adamant, “In any case, France should soon reappear on the calendar”. This is apparently because the head of the FIA is French, the FIA headquarters are in France, Renault are French and there are 3 French drivers in the field of 22.

Well it’s as good as the rationale for keeping Canada – “this is the most historic none European race” – isn’t it?

Ferrari deny Newey approach

The Italian media have in recent days been reporting the unbounded riches Il Padrino offered to Adrian Newey in an attempt to lure him to Maranello. Unbounded technical freedom, a supercar project and the chance to design a Ferrari LMP1 challenger for the 24 Hours of Le Mans were spread before Ade, like the nations of the world – but to no avail.

Marco Mattiacci may be damaging his credibility with the media and F1 fans as he denies today that Ferrari ever approached Adrian Newey with an offer to work with Ferrari. When asked whether it was a setback for his future plans, Mattiacci responded, “Why dissapointing? As I said in Monte Carlo we never contacted Adrian. It’s good that he continues to work with Red Bull.”

Mmm, Is it really good for Ferrari if Newey were to continue designing Red Bull cars year in year out Marco?

Understanding Mr. E

We’ve recently heard that Bernie believes this recent social media fad will die out – facebook.. the internet – and that people will “go back to watching TV”.

Well we must remember how people communicated back around the time Bernie was born. Here’s an extract from The Times personal column….. I bet that told Celia!!!



Cause of Loic Duval’s crash still unknown



 Note the ‘i’ beams similar to those in Monaco. These have mostly been phased out in F1 and replaced by thinner beams with a greater flex – spaced wider apart.

Yesterday’s practice session for the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours was red flagged on Wednesday after a serious crash involving the No 1 Audi of Loic Duval, leaving his R18 E-Tron Quattro heavily damaged after leaving the circuit and slamming inot the debris fencing at the final right hander of the Porsche Curves.

Duval was part of the race-winning team last year when he secured his first win around the Circuit de la Sarthe alongside Kristensen and Scot Allan McNish. Kristensen remains the most successful driver ever to compete at Le Mans having won nine times since his debut in 1997.

The crash will undoubtedly bring back memories of the 2013 race, when a tragic accident on the Mulsanne straight claimed the life of Aston Martin driver Allan Simonsen.

The circuit raced at the 24 hour Le Mans event is the oldest active sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since 1923. The 13.63km track is a mix of closed public roads and specialist motor racing circuit.

Formula 1 abandoned racing on circuits of such length due to the inability to create sufficient safety standards for both racers and the viewing public.

It appears the audi flew above the concrete safety wall and into the debris fencing. This FIA-spec fencing was seriously damaged by the Audi was not replaced after Duval’s accident for the remainder of practice and then qualifying.

Vencent Beaumesnil, sporting director of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s who organise the race explained that the fencing was not mandatory at this point of the circuit because its primary purpose was to protect the public. Duval is presumably most happy the fence was there.

Some race pundits are already asking whether the FIA should have a universal set of safety standards for all approved racing events.


Audi Sport’s reserve driver Marc Gene has been recalled from a loan to the LMP2 team JOTA Sport and McLaren’s Oliver Turvey then got a surprise call from the British JOTA team to replace Gene. Loic Duval has been forbidden to race again this weekend by the FIA medical doctor.

Mugello in the pipeline

F1today.net is reporting that Il Padrino is saying there may soon be an F1 race in Mugello.

Following the bargain basement deal for the Canadaian GP hosting fee for the next 10 years, could it be Ecclestone is realising he can no longer raise such large fees from single races and is trying to sign up 5-6 more GP venues to compensate?

The way it was

James Hunt was well known for taking his fitness training seriously

untitledHome or away?

Oh dear. Whatever next? It appears football fever has invaded Brackley….

untitledWebruary not long now

Mrs. Judge would like you all to know she is thinking of you and sent a little snap for your perusal – particularly the Vettel fans



3 months today… 

Formula E will race around the streets of Beijing, on the 13th September

Le Mans

In other Le Mans news, Aston Martin have been reduced to a single LM GTE Pro entry for this years race. Craft-Bamboo Racing have been forced to withdraw its V8 Vantage following damage sustained in a qualifying crash.

Fernando Rees was at the wheel of the car when it crashed at Porsche Curves, causing significant damage to that cannot be fixed before the race gets underway this weekend.


105 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 12th June 2014

  1. Interesting! Lauda has fessed up to what I suspected all along and it was a software glitch that caused their problems. I could see no other reason for both cars failing at almost exactly the same time.

    • In that case it must have been a pretty stupid bug only a buffer or numerical overflow in a time-based sensor data processing would make software fail at the same time, unless Merc has illegally sent data to the cars and they had a bad packet in them.

      • Interesting that they either couldn’t reset it or knew a reset wouldn’t cure it so didn’t try (during the pit stop).

        I once made a similar error in a piece of code – this was on an 8-bit processor. I decided I needed to increase the range so went from using a byte to a word. Forgot to update one routine and failed to do enough checking before releasing the code in to the wild… I’d missed another variable that also needed changing so once the sensor reading passed a certain value the software suffered an overflow and gave out an incorrect signal.

        Stupid bug yes, but one easy to make when under time pressure. I’d hope that Merc could have better software engineers and quality processes in place to catch this sort of thing though – my excuse is that I’m primarily a hardware engineer who does software because he has to.

    • No software glitch, just plain overheat safety shutdown (the new cooling obviously was inadequate)!

      “We had a failure of the engine control systems on the ERS, on the MGU-K,” said Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff. “We had a peak in temperatures. They had exactly the same power units and they were racing at exactly the same pace and had exactly the same temperatures. In that particular part of the MGU-K we saw temperatures which were higher than expected, but we weren’t aware that they could have such a detrimental effect. The MGU-K just shut down, and we couldn’t reset it.

      I suspect by MGU-K he actually means the ERS control unit(s) – lucky that the MGU-H and turbo were not affected, or do they have a separate control units?

  2. Our experience in NASCAR has taught us to efficiently deploy assets and we will do the same thing in Formula One. Our plan is not to spend hundreds of millions to be successful. I think we can show people that you don’t have to go on such a spending spree to be successful.

    This man is in for a shock! Has he learned nothing from seeing how 1st RedBull and now Mercedes-Benz have out-spent the rest of the field to achieve success. Unless he is happy to be an “also ran” he needs to open the coffers and let the money flow!.

      • Yes, and he says rather clearly that he plans to spend 3-4 years at the back learning, which Marussia have proved you can do for less than hundreds of millions. Particularly if regulations change to allow some form of customer cars, or at least greater technology sales between teams.

        I will also note without gloating that he mentions a certain person as his dream driver. She will absolutely test. If she doesn’t want the drive I could see Simona getting that spot if She doesn’t land a Sauber drive.

        Ultimately it would appear he’s looking to copy FI’s model. Here’s hoping he can make it work.

        • …..agreed… but will Haas really suffer 4 years of being last or second last and scoring ZERO points – if that were how it went?

          • 4 years at the outside, see my reply to Cav below.

            BTW, entirely sensible of him to be managing expectations thus. He will get huge publicity at first, if he can convert that into a bigger budget sponsor then he will be able to buy some results. If not then he won’t stick around forever.

          • Haas can’t be as naive as he seems; to design and build a competitive F1 car from scratch is a truly difficult task. A look at the cross sectioned Sauber gives one pause as the packaging is so complex and interdependent component to component; to jump in and produce something like that even if you use Dallara or whoever …….

            So all the speculation about customer cars seems to be right. There is something going on here and we probably will see rule changes soon. I’m not convinced allowing customer cars will be good for
            F1; teams like Sauber et al will suffer from that and go under, which will be a sad thing. The real solution is, of course, a cost cap but the big teams aren’t going to allow that.

            Another question is how long will Red Bull, Toro Rosso, and Mercedes stay in the game? After Mercedes win a couple of championships I could see them pulling out, mission accomplished. Red Bull could go at any time. Interesting times ahead.

          • @SteveH
            “The real solution is, of course, a cost cap but the big teams aren’t going to allow that.”

            As was mentioned on TJ13 and Autosport in the past, the cost cap and cost reductions are somewhat of a red herring. The core of the issue is the hugely inequitable revenue distribution among the teams (I’m wondering what the Gini coefficient would look like for F1), and the solution would be a fairer sharing of the sport’s income (e.g., let the delta between a Ferrari and a Caterham be to the tunes of ~$20m, not ~$80m as it is now). THAT coupled with cost reduction measures would indeed help.


          • That’s only 6 and a half more seasons judge, not what I call long term when you look at Ferrari, McLaren, Sauber and Williams. Although teams like Force India, Toro Rosso, RedBul and even Mercedes have all existed for quite some time just under different ownerships and team names, so really it’s about who will step in when others pull out?

          • @ landroni. You, sir, are absolutely correct. The problem is the differential of FOM funds distribution between the haves and the have nots. The 11th place team will get nothing, the 10th something on the order of $10 million, and Ferrari will get almost as much as Mercedes even if they (Ferrari) are third or fourth (I’m prepared for a bunch of comments explaining the exact monies involved; I’m simply throwing numbers up here). FOM needs to understand that the series needs teams (and fans). Joe says this stuff really well.

        • “which Marussia have proved you can do for less than hundreds of millions.”

          Marussia’s budget is largely smoke and mirrors. They state their annual budget is around $70M, then loss another $40M. So is their real budget $70M or $110M? I doubt Haas can absorb losses like that for more than a couple of years.

          • I agree, in fact he himself references that same timeline. If he’s not able to convert the initial publicity into sponsors and a larger budget he will either look to get out or fold it up.

            This is also, BTW, why I’m convinced that DP will at the least test and possibly be a reserve driver. Love her or hate her, Americans can’t seem to look away and she brings lots of column inches. Kinda like Lewis in the UK.

          • Sadly to millions of cheeto stained ‘Muricans, she is already quite hooked up. Though I would say, it would be a plot twist that generated lots of headlines. And she is older. He does seem to have a thing for the “mature” ladies…

            There was a long form piece on her a while back that was interesting and offered some enlightenment into what it’s like when you attain that level of celebrity. If I can find the link I’ll post it

          • “Sadly to millions of cheeto stained ‘Muricans, she is already quite hooked up”

            – they say everyone has a price 😉

          • “This is also, BTW, why I’m convinced that DP will at the least test..”

            I suppose Hass can get anyone to test, but if his stated goal is to sell his CNC machines around the world and Patrick’s brand is so strong – why then is Patrick is sponsored by Go-Daddy and not Haas Automation? The real reason I suspect is that Patrick is essentially nothing more than a pay driver. Even Go-Daddy is reducing their sponsorship of her because as far as they are concerned her PR value is rapidly declining. She honestly doesn’t have the talent to be competitive in F1 and I suspect what Haas sees as PR, she could easily become a bad joke in the cut-throat world of F1.

          • …she could feature in 12 pictures for each month of the Haas annual wall calendar sent to the shop floor of all those buying machines from him 😉

          • Yes, well it’s no surprise re Go Daddy as they have extracted quite a lot of value from her over the years and they are busy filing for an IPO so it makes sense they would re jigger their balance sheets somewhat in anticipation of that.

            As far as Haas Automation, well she drives for Stewart-Haas does she not? Seems to imply a certain level of commitment to her as a driver, regardless of results.

            But as to why I also see her testing and maybe reserve and not racing.

            This article by Alex Lloyd pretty much sums it up.


          • “are you suggesting Lewis should ditch Shitzinger and get with Danica”

            He seems to like older woman.

          • “she could feature in 12 pictures”

            I actually saw her several years ago at the Indy Car in Toronto, and I can say she is no beauty – lots of PhotoShop work.

          • Dang it cav, you are one disgruntled fella.
            Danica isn’t as bad as you make it sound and if you practically say she’s ugly, you must have quite the missus at home.

            The problem with Patrick is, she’s got the wrong advisors. Just as she finally started to put in front-running drives in Indycar, she switched to racing motorized ox-carts, despite numerous examples that no openhweel driver since Mario Andretti has made a serious impression in those rustbuckets. She’s an openwheel racer and I bet she’d put in much better drives in F1 than she does in NASCRAP. Her weight (or lack thereof) alone would be a huge advantage.

          • @ cav haas cnc machines are shit… being a cnc Miller I’d rather have an other brand. (Or two)

          • The 2014 weight limits are probably the best chance Danica would ever have of being competitive in F1.. she did OK in Formula Fords so I wonder if her build works against her in the more powerful/heavy cars. That also goes well with Lloyd’s analysis of her smooth and momentum based driving style, which fits with less powerful cars.

          • http://www.atlasf1.com/2000/aus/okeefe.html An interesting article from the year Danica came 2nd at the Formula Ford Festival to Anthony Davidson.. the best year being 1998 with Button and Wheldon.. but this bit in particular caught my eye:

            Danica’s long-suffering parents have also received a letter of encouragement from Bernie Ecclestone approving of her competing in Formula Ford this year. Writes Bernie: “This is by far the best way to gain the experience for her future. Tell her not to give up, she will just have to mix with the boys and fight harder for her position. I hope everything works out for her.”

            Our Bernie definitely works differently behind the scenes, to how he directs the media… i.e. ‘kitchen appliances in white’ haha

        • I agree.. if you look at the best pound for pound car on the grid this year, you could say it is the Force India. They buy in the rear end from Mercedes/McLaren then beat McLaren (who have at least double the budget) on the chassis side. In 2012 it was also arguably Sauber, who do the same with Ferrari. Looks like Haas wants to replicate the 2012 Sauber, perhaps with a pairing like Kobayashi/Rossi (Patrick, Daly).

    • “how 1st RedBull and now Mercedes-Benz have out-spent the rest of the field”

      In terms of spending by the M-B F1 team they rank third behind Red Bull and Ferrari. If you add in the cost of developing the new engines, which are done by company’s that are as far as the FIA is concerned separate from the F1 team, then Ferrari and M-B are spending similar levels.

      • Yes but they have still had to spend a bucket load not just picket change, so along those lines Hass needs to spend a fair bit more than he is expecting to.

        Plus, these new cars have been built over a 2-3 year period which slightly blurs just how much has been spent. I did read somewhere that the Merc car has cost around half a billion dollars all in all and the development of the power-train cost around the same, I dont know how accurate these numbers are but that is still a LOT of money even if you knock of 25% to account for journalistic in accuracy.

      • I would bet a sizeable sum that in preparation for this seasons MB outspent everyone as you have to add all the money they blew on buying a bazillion of engineers out of their contracts with other teams.

  3. I guess any Ferrari news sells papers, irrespective how far fetched they are.

    Not sure how to take this article about Ferrari trying to get Hamilton and co over from Merc. Merc are not Benetton, they’re a behemoth, same as Ferrari, why would they let their best people go? Probably they would let Hamilton go, but not their engineers. And just Hamilton at Ferrari, it will not work.

  4. A Mugello race would be exciting. It is a really cool driver’s circuit and there’s sooooo much grass & gravel. I believe only 1 or 2 turns have a tarmac run-off area. Maybe overtaking would be too difficult though….

    • …..it is a circuit I know quite well… its very narrow in places – so the main straight would be the main overtaking opportunity and into turn 1. The last section of the track behind the main grandstand would be nigh on impossible.

      Though Mrs. Judge will have you known, Mark Webber said 14 laps here was preferable to 1000 laps in Abu Dhabi.

      • Oooh I remember him saying that, now that you mention it. I nearly forgot how beautiful the photographs from last year’s testing session were.

        • …err it was in 2012 🙂 For circuit connoisseurs – regardless of whether there are cars or bikes hurtling around them – I reckon this is the most picturesque race track setting – of any in the world…..

          • Picturesque?

            Phillip Island? The sea literally enveloping power sliding bikes… It’s breath taking.

          • I had started to type an excuse about how I drink too much when I sit down to watch a grand prix but…. 🙂 let me go ahead and assume that I was not, in fact, on the bottle when I viewed those testing pics at work

    • I can’t see the ‘need’ for the French GP.. if you draw a line of all the other western European races, they draw a backwards ‘C’ around France.. and I’m sure many fans would prefer to go to Spa over Magny Cours.

      Silverstone-Spa-Nurb/Hock-Monza-Monaco-Barcelona! Perhaps they could replace the Red Bull Ring in time.. or New Jersey if that never gets off the ground.. A rotating European GP could also include Imola, Mugello etc. though.

  5. It seems to me that le mans is banning footage of any crashes that happen. Nothing of the audi nor the porsche nor the Aston Martin was shown on tv. Not even replays.

    • I did see a pic of it on twitter this AM. manky said the footage was not going to be released until after the incident was investigated.

      • Yes I too saw that photo. And i heard that rumour also just like the one that the cameras weren’t ready at the time.. but the Aston and porsche crash was during the first night quali.. and no images either…

        • Yes, one of the commentators mentioned that cameras weren’t installed throughout the whole circuit until the public roads were closed for the actual race.

          And what’s with the curves this year? Seem to be claiming all sorts of victims. Wondering if they changed them. Off to the FIA website to find out

          • ooof yes, and not just them, it was a regular demolition derby. I saw a mention that they enlarged the radius of the last turn and added run off so it’s now a much higher speed through there, but when I went to the FIA there was literally nothing up for lemans.

            Normally for an F1 race, they’d have Stewards decisions, press conferences communications to the teams. Nothing is there but the entry list. I checked some of the races that have already finished, absolutely nothing on the FIA website except entry lists and classifications.

  6. RE: Mugello. Yes yes yes yes!
    Hope and pray for a Mugello F1 race. I wouldn’t want it to replace Monza, but maybe as a rotating European GP with other euro tracks.

    Personally, Mugello is a bucket list item of mine. A track day at Mugello, preferably on a bike, but whatever is fine. Throttle, Brake, tyres. That’s all I need.

  7. Poor Gene, he hasn’t a (H)aases roar in hells chance of achieving anything.

    May as well pile up the money and set it alight. Do you know if he’s partial to a bit of Max Factor (no reference to Spanky intended).

    Indeed, reading above, if he does dabble does with a little mascara, he may have some form here. Also, the characters nickname most definatly suits.

    The Dark Knight – The Joker – Everything Burns – …: http://youtu.be/qMkkfuSizc4

    • We need to compile a list of all the commenters who say Haas won’t be able to field a car that makes it within the 107% rule in 2016.

      The way I see it is if HRT could do it with a Dallara car and a Cosworth then anyone should be able to.

      AND if the rules change slightly and they can combine what Toro Rosso used to do, buy old RBR chassis, and what FI does, buy a bunch of Merc and McLaren parts why couldn’t they field a decent lower midfield car?

      • Mainly because he thinks that he can do do without a few UK spanner monkeys.

        Its not impossible, but why make it harder than it needs to be. JFKs speach about the moon doesn’t apply btw 😉

        Hrt is a good example btw. He’ll ultimately end up going the same way. The dentist kept things together for them, while he was there. Underrated in the organisational skills department too, so he is. Our new Romanian cav rampantes will do well with him at the tiller.

  8. Judge, you may be onto something with regards to FOM/MrE taking on more races to make up for the lower hosting fees that are currently being negotiated. I’d love a 25 round championship. I’d be happy with a race every week (i know logistically it’s near impossible, but a man can dream, like Gene Hass lol). I’m not sure how happy the teams will be but I would guess the drivers would love as much time driving these beasts as possible so happy days for them.

    • …it’s not impossible. Many of the European races can be back to backed… as could Australia and China (this year’s schedule for the season start was a joke)

    • It’s possible IF a big bunch of them were on the same continent. At least 10 say in Europe alone. Then they can quite easily back-to-back a few races.

      So the calendar could expand to 25 easily if we see additions of Magny, Mugello, Austria, Turkey, Nurburg, (Le Man) GP circuit, Brno etc all on/back on.

      25 different races, spread in different continents/countries. That’d require teams to have two functioning race teams.

      • Fun thought:

        My ideal F1 Calendar of 20 races:

        (Only thinking about the nature if the track itself. All must be current tracks being used today. Not restricted to F1 tracks only.)

        Rd2: Phillip Island (fuck Albert park. Would be epic)
        Rd2: Suzuka (Yeeeehaaa!)
        Rd3: Sepang (I like it)
        Rd4: Interlagos (return to front of Cal)
        Rd5: Mugello (Blood leaving my brain)
        Rd6: Monaco (gotta be there)
        Rd7: Silverstone (love it)
        Rd8: Paul Ricard (trust me)
        Rd9: Brno (TRUST ME!!!)
        Rd10: Monza (good race)
        Rd11: Spa Francorchamps
        Rd12: Assen (Ka Ching)
        Rd13: Istanbul (makes a race)
        Rd14: Montreal Street Circuit
        Rd15: Indy Oval Race ( bespoke Tyres and aero)
        Rd16: COTA
        Rd17: Singapore Street Circuit
        Rd18: Macau (Yep!)
        Rd19: Shanghai
        Rd20: San Marino (end it all back in Europe. Iconic. Big party. Senna can watch)

        • Switch Brno for Eurospeedway and the Oval pack can be used twice in addition to thew fact that inside that bowl, even this years engines would sound good.

          • Good point. Euro speedway it is. Two ovals would add a cool old school flavour to F1 I think. But I’d rather switch Istanbul than Brno. Brno would be epic for F1. Top 5 favourite circuits for me.

        • @ Still

          only a couple of disagreements – otherwise love it 🙂

          Rd 4 – Termas de Rio Hondo – much better than the swamp pond ….

          Rd 15 – Elkhart Lake Road America – much better than an oval

          • 🙂

            Rd4: Point taken

            Rd15: Road America, how could I forget! YES! But I like the idea of Indy too, a bespoke oval race with out F1 boys. Swap COTA for Road America. Perfect!

          • I would find a spot for Bathurst, I saw a clip of jenson driving a McLaren F1 car round there and the on-board was awesome even on a show run, the barriers up and over the hill just seem to come at you in every direction. They race V8 super-cars round their. And all that way to Oz just for 1 race, bit if a waisted journey for just 1 lol

          • Bathurst?!

            Fortis you kick ass sonofabitch you have redeemed yourself for even knowing that circuit.

            Yes it is said god himself made that circuit. But the thing is, in my exp, there are circuits that really work with open wheelers or bikes and there are circuits that really work with Touring Cars.

            I considered Bathurst. But I don’t think an F1 car there would be challenged either by the extreme nature of a street circuit or the open nature of being at full flight and breathing openly around a Phillip Island or Spa or Mugello.

            I love Bathurst. But I think it’s great because of its stretches Touring Cars. I don’t think it would stretch and F1, conrod straight excluded.

            Just my opinion. But top marks for suggesting it.

          • I follow the Aussie V8 series and that’s one of the races I make a point of duty not to miss.

            I remember couple years ago, I think it was 2012, JB did a demo run along with Whincup in his Holden and just thought, wouldn’t it be a fantastic sight watching 22 F1 cars at full pelt making the run down the mountain.

            They’d probably have to make it a short race or implement refuelling just for that race alone, because I doubt they’d be able to do 40+ laps with a 100kg of fuel.

          • I agree.some tracks are legendary but would. Not work for f1. Laguna seca comes to my mind. Corkscrew in an f1 car. Would that even be possible?

          • @ bruzic

            they’ve raced CART & ALMS there – so no probs for an F1 car

            but like you – I don’t think it would be a good F1 track

        • @ Still

          if you really want an oval race why not use TWIN RING MOTEGI

          Have an oval race on the Satuday

          and road race on the Sunday

          twofer ….

          quali Friday for oval race – grid for Sunday determined by finishing position on Saturdays race – like BTCC ?

          • @Manky, perhaps CVC should be looking to us to start running the show. Good idea.


            On another note, is Marquez going to win every race this season or what? That guy… wow.

            Seems like unless he stacks it, which can happen anytime with any rider, he won’t get beaten pound for pound. And his quali! That’s some serious bike control. The kid has serious talent.

            If I were Honda, I would not mess about. I’d put a 5 yr water tight contract in front of him now and pay him well straight off the bat. Ala Hamilton / McLaren 2008-2012 at $15m+ / yr or something.

          • never ever rule out Jorge ……

            if you saw the Mugello race – you’ll know what I mean

            and HRC have already extended Marquez’s contract till the end of 2016

  9. I like Gene Haas.

    All of the LMP cars are totally gorgeous. Hope the series can finally get some traction wrt publicity, broadcasting, etc.

  10. Was Newey complaining while the regulations were heavily biased towards aerodynamics and there were teams and manufacturers leaving the sport? Yeah, right…

    • I’ve learned to take what he says with a pinch of salt. However, on the engines, he raises a valid point – in the past there was an equalisation allowed for Renault, mostly by ‘improving reliability’ when it was frozen. I think Ferrari 2015 should be better once they stick a bigger turbo on it to remedy this year’s main problem. After that, they just need to improve the traction.

      • Fuck equalisation

        if you build a piece of shit ( Renault ) then tough …..

        you should have done a proper job in the first place

        • Haha true, but in this instance, it could lead to a Mercedes domination until the next new engines come in! No wonder they spent a bomb on the 2014 engine…

          • I don’t remember anyone except Ferrari complaining during the Cosworth DFV era of domination ?

          • Indeed it did end the efforts of others like BRM, the old Maserati engines, Honda pulled out after their fireball chassis ignited, Weslake fell by the wayside, Repco as well, but nowadays regulations wouldn’t allow all those different engines to start with.

            Ferrari also had some successful periods though, like 74-77 and 79 with Michelin radials once Fiat came onboard. But 1968 was good apart from reliability and Ickx as leader went well until 1973.

          • But the new regulations allow new engine suppliers to enter such as –


            and none are interested.

            I’m sure Cosworth would if they could find finance …

            So all we have is Honda joining the F1 party.

          • I think we’d only need BMW or Porsche if one of the current ones pull out. 4 suppliers is enough really.. Mercedes, Renault, Ferrari, Honda.. Cosworth, if they can get funding, can be first reserve to replace a manufacturer dropping out, if others don’t want to enter.

  11. I don’t really follow LeMans – but what would the budget be for a top team that competes in all rounds of the WEC?

    • Audi are rumoured to spend 100 million plus euro’s a year ?

      I’d bet Porsche will be similar to Audi – if not a bit higher due to start up costs

      It’s difficult to get definitive figures – but in F1 terms – they’d be up near the top in terms of budget after Ferrari, RBR & McLaren

      • I’d be interesting to see what the equivalent spends and advertising awareness come to.. for manufacturers in WEC/Le Mans vs. F1.

        • It’s well known that VW do NOT consider F1 value for money.

          Hence Porsche retuning to Le Mans in LMP1

          Plus there is far more relevance to road car technology in WEC.

          Audi pioneered LED lights – now they’re common on road cars.

          bruznic pointed out Audi are now using laser headlights. I bet we’ll see them on road car in the very near future as they’re twice as good as LED’s.

    • I forgot to mention – none of the top Le Mans / WEC teams have any primary / major sponsors to offset their costs – unlike Ferrari, RBR and McWhodis ?

        • yup – Audi, Porsche, Toyota and next year Nissan.

          But unlike F1 – none have ” title sponsors ” like –

          Ferrari has Santander / Philip Morris

          RBR has Infinity ( I wonder since Infinity is part of Nissan if they’ll switch their sponsorship away from RBR ? )

          Williams has Martini

          McLaren has some shit shaving product

          etc., etc.

          which is a large part of their budgets !

          so for WEC – it all comes out of the manufacturers bank accounts.

          Most of the other teams however are sponsored – like the Lotus the Judge posted today.


          This is why I don’t believe Ferrari will enter Le Mans / LMP 1

          Can they afford over 100 million + a year to compete ?

          Do they have the resources at Maranello ?

          They haven’t built a decent F1 car in years – why would LMP 1 be any different ?

          • Ferrari should have resources.. they have a massive F1 budget, and are trying to sell LESS luxury road cars to retain exclusivity – around 7,000 a year. I guess it is cost effective to just build a chassis and use the F1 engine/ERS.. being competitive – who knows.

            Perhaps they’ll do it in a few years, once their junior drivers step up, although that doesn’t stop them hiring Calado in a run-off to replace Kobayashi in the GT squad. So I guess they are happy just competing there for now. 4 big manufacturers is good to see! If only Rebellion could be helped more to get competitive..

  12. After watching LM qualifying coverage on a British Euro Sport feed I will try not to criticize the F1 TV commentators ever again…

  13. Just a funny. Google ‘idiot referee’ and every second hit says ‘Nichimura to referee world cup opener’ 😀 That man’s a star *LOL*

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