This page will be updated throughout the day.
Please if you are on Twitter press the tweet button below. If you re-write and tweet individual story headlines don’t forget to include #F1.
You may not realise how hugely important this is and has helped grow our community significantly.
Previously on TheJudge13:
OTD Lite: 1985 – Alboreto wins Canadian GP
The late Michele Alboreto took his penultimate Grand Prix victory driving the number 27 car at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Having started behind both Elio De Angelis and Ayrton Senna in their JPS Lotus – incidentally the last time the team dominated the front row – Alboreto took what he described as an ‘easy victory’ from team-mate Stefan Johansson.
In Monaco, Alboreto had been the fastest competitor throughout the race and only a puncture prevented him from winning the event finishing a close second to title rival Alain Prost. In between these two Grand Prix had been the Belgian Grand Prix – which due to the track surface breaking up was cancelled and re-run in September – somewhat unfortunate as Ferrari had the strongest car during the original running of the event.
A further victory that season at the Nurburgring followed but mechanical unreliability at the last five events of the season cost him the chance to fight for the Championship.
Samuel L. Jackson doubts Jenson Button’s authenticity
The Graham Norton Show is a BBC British comedy chat show where in the normal format, guests turn up when they have products to advertise. Apologies, to all the non sell-outs…
Last Friday, Jenson Button was scheduled to appear but was injured whilst training on his bike. Graham Norton called Jenson at home where he explained what had happened, suffice to say that Twitter has claimed it the lamest excuse ever…
Austrian Grand Prix – Osterreichring vs Red Bull Ring – Discuss
The Osterreichring was originally built in 1969. Situated in the Styrian mountains it was a spectacular high speed circuit, with the surrounding natural landscape always proving a delight to the travelling circus. Following a fatal accident in 1975, the first corner was reformed as a high speed chicane, but otherwise the remaining corners were fast sweepers that tested cars and drivers to the limit.
The circuit was redesigned by a certain Hermann Tilke with those sweeping corners replaced by three straights and tight corners to create over-taking opportunities. We should possibly be grateful that this ‘FIA approved architect’ was not involved in the redesign of the Spa circuit back in the late 70’s.
Austria’s A1-ring re-entered the F1 calendar from 1997 until 2003 and is sadly better remembered for the team-orders controversy of 2002 than for any brilliant racing heritage.
Which makes Sebastian Vettel’s recent words about the upcoming race even more poignant. “The circuit is nice and it’s located in the middle of a beautiful landscape. It’s a short track with just a few turns but it’s very challenging. The inclines too add to the circuit and the fans will have a great view no matter where they are seated.”
It’s inevitable that the current drivers in Formula One have a belief that racing didn’t exist before they donned helmet and gloves but Vettel has an unusual appreciation of the history of the sport. To put this into context, when Michael Schumacher won the 1998 French GP, with team-mate Eddie Irvine in second place, it had been Ferrari’s first one-two for eight years. In the press conference after the race he merely stated, “I’m not sure if Ferrari have ever had a 1-2 but….”
In the ever-increasing quest for car and circuit safety, have we reached the point that drivers, fans and media have to speak of challenges where none exist? For anybody who witnessed 1,400bhp cars average nearly 160 mph around the old track, it is derisory to suggest that this track with “a few turns” is a challenge.
With the plethora of Tilke designed or adjusted circuits – F1 has become a product for easy viewing, yet what the sport needs is the return of the old tracks. Why is it that with all these “interesting” new circuit designs, the best races happen at the classic tracks. Spa, Monza, Suzuka, Interlagos, Silverstone and Montreal…
Fashion and design has embraced retro as cool for decades. Car manufacturers have resurrected classic timeless models and reinvented them for the 21st century maybe it’s time F1 returned to it’s roots.
Ferrari wants meeting amid F1 ‘worries’ (GMM)
Hot on the heels of Ferrari’s latest quit threat, Luca di Montezemolo has called for a meeting to discuss the future of formula one. Last Friday, the iconic Italian team’s president told the Wall Street Journal that because F1 “isn’t working”, Ferrari could turn instead to Le Mans by 2020. “Of course,” Montezemolo said, “we cannot do sports car racing and formula one. It’s not possible.”
Ferrari quickly backtracked, posting a statement on its official website that said suggesting the team is going to quit F1 for Le Mans “takes his (Montezemolo’s) words to extremes”. Without doubt, however, Ferrari is giving the impression of being successfully wooed by Le Mans, where manufacturers Audi, Porsche, Toyota and Nissan already race. The weekend’s 24 hour race was flagged off by Fernando Alonso, who said: “I often speak with president Montezemolo and, while the priority remains winning again in formula one, an interesting format like Le Mans is worth keeping an eye on too.”
At the very same time, reports began to emerge that Montezemolo is inviting F1’s major stakeholders to a meeting at Maranello before the Italian grand prix in September.
Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper said the invitation was sent in writing to Bernie Ecclestone and CVC’s Donald Mackenzie, outlining his “worries” about the current face of F1.
Interestingly, with F1 appearing to resist the modern era of the internet, Montezemolo said Google and Apple should also be invited, as well as representatives of “new media” and “social networks”.
Confirming the letter, Ferrari said on its official website that it is “not an ultimatum nor a threat”, but rather a way to come up with “new ideas” so that F1 remains “the benchmark in motor sport”.
Team Haas is falling apart with the American dream
Italian Gunther Steiner is the project engineer behind the Team Haas F1 entry. He has been the individual behind the various negotiations with the Ferrari and Dallara concerns in putting together a feasible plan to have the team prepared for its F1 entry in 2015. Yet it was Gene Haas that took the decision to postpone their entry until 2016 despite insisting in Bahrain that he needed to know if he had an entry within the following two weeks otherwise the schedule would be moved to 2016.
Speculation in the Italian media has begun mounting that Haas and Steiner are in disagreement on a number of issues which is leading observers to speculate as to whether the team truly wants to be part of the F1 championship. With the seeming announcements of technical partnerships being postponed – the problems seem to be mounting as to the project’s future.
Most recently Haas has been championing the inclusion of Danica Patrick as a prospective driver in his new team: “The question was about the dream driver but she surely fits the bill.”
Patrick drives for the NASCAR team Stewart-Haas and explained, “I agree that anything is possible but nobody has said anything to me. I am happy where I am at at right now as far as racing goes, I am just starting to get the hang of sprint cup racing. Out of respect for Gene, if he came to me I would certainly listen but I am almost getting too old to start a third career.”
Steiner, himself, said that the American driver doesn’t feature in his plans for the entry to Formula One but this could be where the European insider knowledge runs into the American’s ignorance. After all, Haas was on the periphery of the failed USF1 team back in 2010. Of possible interest was that the USF1 team would have been based in Charlotte, North Carolina – just over 30 miles from where Haas is based now in Kannapolis, NC.
Steiner’s CV began as an engineer on the 1986 Mazda 323 4WD rally project before joining the Italian Jolly Club concern and over-seeing their 1992 Lancia HF Integrale programme that won 8 world rallies and took the manufacturers crown. He moved to the Subaru Prodrive concern in 1996 before being promoted to the technical director behind the Ford Focus WRC in 2000.
For 2001 Niki Lauda offered him the racing manager position at Jaguar Racing before a management reshuffle forced him into an Opel DTM team before he returned to F1 with the newly formed Red Bull Racing in 2005.
As witnessed in recent years, having a base in the UK and 100’s of millions in available budget does not secure points in Formula One – and recent musings within the TJ13 forums have answered no question as to the logic behind the entry of either a naive NASCAR team owner or a wealthy industrialist who would gain far greater exposure being a title sponsor of an existing points scoring team.
Mixed reaction to Monday’s Schumacher news (GMM)
News on Monday that Michael Schumacher is out of his coma and hospital met a mixed reaction.
Overwhelmingly, the response was positive, with figures like Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso tweeting that he is “So happy this is going in the good direction!” Niki Lauda told German television RTL: “I’m extremely happy. I always believed this news would come. Now I wish he gets through the rehab as quickly as possible and is back with us in formula one.”
Not everyone is as convinced.
Former F1 doctor Gary Hartstein said the announcement Schumacher is no longer a coma is “not news“, as his manager Sabine Kehm had said he was showing signs of consciousness and awakening many weeks ago. “I cannot help but think that this is a highly cynical use of language, using the truth to convey an impression that is almost certainly false,” he said on his blog. Hartstein said Monday’s media statement is telling the world “what we already know, and (we are) pretty much told to not ever expect further updates”.
Monday’s statement also said Schumacher had left the hospital in Grenoble, but a spokesman for another hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland, confirmed to the AFP news agency that the 45-year-old had been admitted there. “This means he is just over 30 kilometres from his home,” said the German daily Bild. The hospital spokesman told Bild: “As with any patient, we want to respect medical confidentiality.
But the newspaper claimed Schumacher’s periods of awakening have been getting longer and longer since the last official statement in early April. “Michael Schumacher can hear voices and respond to touch,” said Bild. “His eyes are open. He can communicate with his environment, especially his wife Corinna and his children. Schumacher’s condition is now considered stable enough that he no longer needs the help of the specialists in Grenoble.”
Hartstein, however, said he believes it is likely Schumacher is either only “minimally conscious” or in a “vegetative state”, with only “fluctuating signs of interaction with the environment. This all leaves a very bad taste in my mouth,” he admitted. “And a huge space of sadness for Michael’s family, and for you, his fans.”