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F1 braking system explained
OTD Lite – Schumacher wins 1994 Canadian Grand Prix
Michael 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”
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.
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
Oh dear. Whatever next? It appears football fever has invaded Brackley….
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
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.