Daily #F1 News and Comment: Wednesday 2nd July 2014


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OTD Lite: 1972 – Tragic anniversary for Helmut Marko

Ferrari confirms the return of in-season testing for themselves

Red Bull knew about Renault’s problem in 2012

McLaren ‘needs a change’ with Honda – Button (GMM)

Vettel could chase ‘fast car’ to Ferrari – Ecclestone (GMM)

Viry not for sale

TJ13 F1 innovation team(s)

Lotus F1 PR rediscover their mojo

Forza Rossa no more?

Mild victory for Ecclestone’s defence

McLaren wrong about Perez

Sahara gone missing

Haas appears confused

The not big surprise – Kolles is Caterham F1 Team boss

OTD Lite: 1972 – Tragic anniversary for Helmut Marko

On this day in 1972, Helmut Marko, the tough Austrian bull that speaks out in brusque fashion over anything that is not in Red Bull’s favour, ended his racing career after a stone was flicked up off of Emerson Fittipaldi’s tyre and pierced his visor during the French Grand Prix, leaving him permanently blinded.

He went to school with Jochen Rindt who would become the only posthumous World Champion in 1970 and competed in several international championships including 10 Grand Prix.

In 1971, he was part of the Martini-Porsche team that won the Le Mans 24 hours race and set a distance record that would remain unbeaten until 2010. In 1972 driving for Alfa Romeo, he set a lap record as he chased Arturo Merzario at the Targa Florio,covering the 72km lap in 33m 41 secs.

His initial grounding in modern F1 was as a manager for Gerhard Berger and Karl Wendlinger; before he set up RSM Marko, a team competing in F3 and F3000 under the title Red Bull Junior team. It was during this time that he took over responsibility of the Red Bull driver training programme which he continues to dominate to this day.


Also David Coulthard diced with Michael Schumacher and beat him to the chequered flag in the French GP in 2000.



Also on this day in 1961, another French GP was contested




Ferrari confirms the return of in-season testing for themselves

Considering the constant updates and layout changes of the Silverstone circuit over the last quarter of a century, this once abandoned airfield is considered by most drivers as one of the great circuits. It’s mixture of high speed corners test both the car and drivers to the limit and although the original circuit has been emasculated somewhat, the circuit remains a challenge that the current generation of drivers love.

On Ferrari’s website this week the team previewed the upcoming British Grand Prix with previous winner Kimi Raikkonen speaking warmly of a previous generation of circuit. “I like coming to this track, even if I preferred the old layout, I especially enjoy what used to be the first corner, Copse.”

Fernando Alonso also a previous winner here stated: “I think Silverstone is a very challenging circuit, very demanding with its high speed corners and the whole track is tough on the car and for the driver too,” says Alonso. “There’s a great sense of tradition here, so all the drivers want to do well at this event in front of the English fans. Not only are they very passionate about the sport, they also know their Formula 1.” Whilst the drivers give the circuit a big thumbs up, Ferrari is in the midst of a quandary. Do they give up the 2014 car and focus on next year’s car, or do they continue development of the F14-T?

Ferrari: “Clearly, the Scuderia has not given up on this year. For this reason, technical development of the F14 T continues apace. The truth is the team is working flat out to improve the performance level of the F14 T to be more competitive in the second half of the year. winning as many points as possible for the Constructors’ championship in which the current standings are quite close among those chasing the leaders.

Cars built to the current technical regulations are still very much in their infancy, which means the learning curve for all the teams is very steep. Therefore, while the eleven remaining races represent eleven more chances to get good results and points, they also represent 33 more days of learning valuable lessons on track from Friday through Sunday, that can be applied in the future. Backing off now on the development front would be counter-productive.”

They say every cloud has a silver-lining and it will prove to be a priceless moment when a reporter is brave enough to ask Alonso how it feels to be a test driver again. Enzo would have been so proud of how his team has fallen prey to internal politics again.


Red Bull knew about Renault’s problem in 2012

TJ13 was the first to announce that Renault were experiencing huge problems at the pre-season Jerez test. Information received in January suggested a twenty week turnaround of the manufacturers fortunes and by Renault’s own admission their current engine design reached it’s zenith in Canada with 100% of its potential realised. The victory by Ricciardo was somewhat fortunate with both Mercedes experiencing problems during the race but he was well-placed when it counted. Of more concern to Red Bull was the subsequent race in Austria which highlighted the gulf between the Renault power-plant and it’s rivals.

Towards the end of last year, Sebastian Vettel seemed to be more reflective in each of his victories thanking the guys on the pit-wall and stating to them to make the most of it and enjoy it because it could all change so quickly. After a drubbing of the opposition over the previous four years, it raised eyebrows as to what was the true meaning behind the words. Also of some confusion was that the Red Bull team was working flat out to win every race after the summer break, almost like an addict chasing their next fix – knowing that it was all going to end in rehab shortly.

It would seem Christian Horner knew sometime before this season that they would be struggling – “We sat down with Renault to express our concerns about the direction it was going in Autumn 2012.

We’ve had some discussion with Renault and they fully accept the situation they’re in is not where we should be. Their doing whatever they can and applying the resources they have to try and improve that situation. Obviously, the difficulty we have within the regulations as they currently are is that it’s very difficult to make significant changes.

“Renault is very aware of our position. All we can do is try to help and support them with the resources we have to try and improve things. I think fuel is going to be a key area of development – Total is working very hard on that as well. They’ve got some stuff in the pipeline that looks encouraging, but we’re behind where the Mercedes teams are because of all the running they’ve done on-track and on the dyno; Renault is only just starting to catch up to where Mercedes were six months ago.”

With former Caterham boss Cyril Abiteboul believed to be returning to Renault and Lotus moving to take over Mclaren’s Mercedes engine deal for 2015, it is of no surprise that the focus of the French giant will move to its ‘works’ team and designing the engine package around one car specifically – like the other engine manufacturers have done.

“When you look at the engine Ferrari have made and the customers have had to adapt their car accordingly, Mercedes likewise, whereas Renault have tried to keep all of their customers happy, which is an admirable thing to do. But it’s not the best way to be competitive.”

“The thing about a team like Red Bull is we always have options, and I’m not going to disclose what they are here,” Horner said. “We want to run at the front, we want to be competitive, and in order to be competitive we have to have a sensible power unit.”

Obviously humility is not an over-abundant sentiment down Milton Keynes way, as a quick look at the tables shows Red Bull in second behind Mercedes in the Constructors and Ricciardo lying third in the title hunt with a race victory to his name. If Ferrari have a sense of entitlement to victory due to historically being the most successful, then Horner and his band of merry men have learnt this character trait remarkable quickly.


McLaren ‘needs a change’ with Honda – Button (GMM)

Jenson Button insists he is “looking forward to” McLaren’s new Honda era. That is despite team supremo Ron Dennis’ warning that the most experienced driver in the paddock actually might not get a new contract beyond 2014.

“Do I want him to try harder?” Dennis told British television Sky. “Of course I do.” But 34-year-old Briton Button, who will wear a pink helmet this weekend in memory of his late father John’s ever-present pink shirt, thinks the arrival of Honda for 2015 is what McLaren needs as it emerges from a two-season slump.

“Everyone is looking forward to it,” he told Germany’s DPA news agency. “A lot is already going on. Ron is again in charge, Eric (Boullier) is on board now. In the past, a lot of things were working well, but sometimes you need a change. I feel we are on the right track,” added Button.

Dennis said the arrival this year of rookie Kevin Magnussen had given Button a “wake-up call“, and even the British driver admits the young Dane has been impressive. “Kevin is learning very quickly, he did not have much experience when he arrived, but within six months he has made up for a lot of that. We are not best friends,” Button reveals. “I have never been great friends with a teammate — I have my own friends. But he’s a good guy and I like working with him.”

However, Button insists Magnussen is not the biggest challenge of his career, instead nominating Lewis Hamilton as his fastest-ever F1 teammate. “On pace, yes. He (Hamilton) is very fast, but I expected that when I came to the team. If you have beaten Lewis, you know you’ve had a good day,” he said.

TJ13 comment: Hmmm, sayonara Jenson.


Vettel could chase ‘fast car’ to Ferrari – Ecclestone (GMM)

Switching to Ferrari could be a way for Sebastian Vettel to kick-start his F1 career, according to Bernie Ecclestone. After winning four consecutive world championships, the German has stumbled in 2014. And it’s not just Red Bull’s fault, as Vettel has struggled even to keep up with his new teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who has stunned the entire world of F1 with his form. But F1 chief executive Ecclestone, famously close to Vettel, thinks that while the 26-year-old has lost none of his talent, he must be casting his eyes around for a better car.

“With the right car Vettel won everything in the past four years,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “And when he has the right car again, he will win more world titles. He is faster than everyone else,” added 83-year-old Ecclestone. Asked if a change of scene could be what Vettel needs, Ecclestone admitted: “If Ferrari can make a fast car again, Maranello would be the place to go. He needs to go where the best car is,” he added.

Undoubtedly in 2014, the best car is the Mercedes, where Lewis Hamilton must close a 29-point gap to Nico Rosberg for the title. Ecclestone said Rosberg is indeed the 2014 championship favourite at the wheel of the Silver Arrow, “Because he speaks German”. But Red Bull team boss Christian Horner is not so sure. “That (29-point) gap is one race win,” he told reporters at Milton Keynes on Tuesday. “One DNF for Nico puts him (Hamilton) right back in it so the gap is almost irrelevant at this stage of the season.”

TJ13 comment: As TJ13 commented yesterday, the 29 points deficit that Hamilton has to Rosberg is merely a race win and as Horner knows so well from personal experience in the 2010 and 2012 championship campaigns, it is far too early to be throwing in the towel. As to the contribution of Mr E, the sooner his grubby claws are removed from the Formula One circus the sooner it will move forward again. Rosberg may well speak German, but most of the team are English – even so it would be impossible not to believe there isn’t an agenda behind the words, including carrying favour in Germany.

As to the suggestion that Vettel should go to a fast Ferrari – OK, lets suspend belief for a moment and accept that the Maranello concern could in fact re-learn how to be winners once more – why on earth would they choose a driver that has been humbled by his new team-mate who has ‘stunned’ the F1 world. A driver that as Bernie ironically has pointed out “With the right car Vettel won everything in the past four years. He needs to go where the best car is”. Enough said…


Viry not for sale

The very first time I heard the whisper that Renault F1 sport’s engine production facility at Viry in France was up for sale, my instinctive response was to smile. I penned as much here the day following the Austrian GP.

Nothing is new under the sun, and beside some fancy hybrid systems and whiz bang technology, not a lot is new in the world of F1 politics.

As previously explained here, the V8 engine designs were frozen for 2007, yet due to crafty ‘replacements’ for ‘improved reliability’ – Ferrari and Mercedes stole a quiet march on their French counterparts.

Renault lobbied the FIA and gained permission to initiate a programme of ‘equalisation’ where they could modify their V8 design to catch up the horse power deficit they had to the competition.

Leaking the fact that Renault may be pulling out of F1 and selling its engine facility at Viry will most definitely have woken a certain Frenchman from his daily slumbers in the Place de Concorde.

Discussions on some kind of equalisation programme will most likely already be under way for the final engine designs for 2015.

Unsurprisingly many, many days – in fact nearly a couple of weeks – after the rumour surfaced, Rob White of Renault F1 Sport denies Viry-Chattilon is for sale.  Speaking to Auto Motor und Sport, White asserts, “At this time there is no intention to sell the engine department at Viry. It’s still very much a subsidiary of Renault.

As TJ13 has repeatedly observed, White confirms that Red Bull cannot simply buy the Renault engine production facility and start from scratch with a new engine design.

“It’s not possible to stick a different name on the cylinder head and/or start from scratch. Even Honda can’t do exactly as they want”.

Red Bull has in recent months upped its presence in Viry, sending people to support and assist Renault. There has been some irritation from the UK based Red Bull staff at the restricted hours Renault staff are working.

Red Bull are insisting on a restructure of the facility and part this is part of the reason Caterham’s ex-boss, Cyril Abiteboul is returning to Viry.

Much to Lotus disappointment and their ambitions to become the Renault ‘works team’, this appears to be the beginning of a programme which will see the Renault engine design and configurations focus on being tailor made for one particular chassis – the Red Bull car.

Red Bull will invest heavily into Viry – but will also extract their pound of flesh.

With Lotus expected to fill McLaren’s slot as a Mercedes customer for 2015 and Caterham’s future viability becoming more questionable by the day, Red Bull/Toro Rosso and Renault will in effect form an even closer alliance – akin to a ‘works team’ relationship – though they will still require some latitude from the FIA to revise some fundamental flaws in their engine design.


TJ13 F1 innovation team(s)

Tata Communications have announced the first F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize challenge is now LIVE!

Challenge 1 invites you to demonstrate new and insightful information that can be derived from the live data feeds supplied by Formula One Management, calling upon entrants to create a new visual package to add suspense and excitement to the audience experience.

TJ13 is considering entering a team(s) and attempting to connect people via Google hangout to debate the challenge and solutions.

Clearly challenge 1 will affect what we as TV viewers see during races – and it would be good to draw on experience from people across the global TJ13 community on how their national broadcasters deal with such information for their national racing series.

If you are interested please contact us via the contact section in the menu above….


Lotus F1 PR rediscover their mojo

After being savaged for posting a tweet critical of Russia’s stance on homosexuality during the winter Olympics, the grim reaper stalked the PR department in Enstone.


Gone were the riske and self deprecating offerings, and Lotus resorted to the banal “lovely day here in Enstone” type postings – which most people who don’t understand social media think is its purpose.

Well today we have this from Lotus… it may be a little more erudite than copulating hare’s, With Lotus marketing manager, Stephane Samson sacked for his pro-gay tweet, there has clearly been a change of human resource behind the keyboard…


On a similar theme, it appears XIX may be making some effort to earn the exhorbitant fees they charge Lewis Hamilton. His twiiter account just issued the following…

#ThingsTimHowardCouldSave – of course referring to the fact that Tim Howard for the USA made more saves in their match against Belgium than any other keeper in World Cup Tournament History…


Forza Rossa no more?

The FIA have approved 2 new teams to join F1. The self publicist Gene Haas is widely reported to be the owner of one and intending to build a base in the USA. The second was to be led by the ex-Force India/HRT boss Colin Kolles and believed to be named Forza Rossa

However, German and Dutch puclications are claiming today that Colin Kolles is set to become the new boss at Caterham, backed by a consortium of Swiss Arabs who will remain anonymous.

The deal will see Caterham’s 20m euro debt wiped out and presumably a few euros extra for Tony Fernandes troubles.

Further, Kolles is reportedly bringing in former Minardi driver and Dutchman Christian Albers as CEO for the team, with the focus on securing 10th place in the 2014 championship and “the associated monies from Ecclestone’s prize pot”

It is unclear as yet whether the team will remain as Caterham in the long term, though some kind of announcement is expected before the race in Silverstone.


Mild victory for Ecclestone’s defence

Why did Mr. E pay the F1 investment advisor of the BayernLB bank – Herr Gribkowsky –  $44m dollars – is the $44m dollar question?

Ecclestone’s legal team crossed off one possibility yesterday when a former legal advisor to  BayernLB gave evidence that there was no question the bank wished to depose Mr. E directly from his CEO role in the sport.

The unidentified witness told the Munich court, “I don’t think the question of deposing Ecclestone arose. Further, I’m not sure it would have been possible,”

There are still the claims to be considered from American based Bluewater Communications Holdings, that they wished to buy the F1 shares from BayernLB for more than CVC paid and that they would have indeed replaced Ecclestone.


McLaren wrong about Perez

Bob Fernley, straight talking leader of the Federation, who are at war with the empire, believes McLaren made a mistake letting Sergio Perez go after just one season.

Speaking to Autosport he says, “I think they did [make a mistake], perhaps they should have given him another year, based on his second half of last year, which is what we judged when we looked to sign him, I think he did a wonderful job.

I wasn’t overly impressed about the first six months, but I thought the second part was wonderful and that’s what convinced us he was right.”

Of course this cost McLaren a several million from Perez’s Mexican telecoms sponsor, though the team is resourced well enough to run for a year with no title sponsor until Honda arrives in 2015.


Sahara gone missing

Force India will once again be relegating the Sahara name from its prominent place on the side pods for the British GP. Funds from the team’s title sponsor have been conspicuous by their absence this year as the boss of Sahara sweats it out in a New Dehli jail cell.

The extravagant Roy duped millions of Indians out of over $4bn in a property scam and has been accordingly detained by the Supreme Court of India since March 4th this year for failing to meet their repayment schedules.

Roy’s latest offer was to pay the $1.7bn bail required – in instalments – however, the court unsurprisingly rejected this proposal due to his previous absconding from a contempt hearing in February.

The Silverstone team have been in dispute with Roy for some time, as Mallya wants to sell on the Sahara boss’ shares in Force India to a new investor thought to be of Mexican origin.

Sahara’s breach of contract over funding may open the possibility for the Mallya to use Roy’s shares as collateral and sell them on to raise the missing funds.


Haas appears confused

Don’t get me wrong, any F1 fan would surely love to see a start up team come and show the mega spending prima donnas how its done – or at least not be too far behind the field.

Gene Haas is making some of the right noises, though his racing experience in NASCAR is world’s apart from Formula 1.

He is still insisting that he will have a manufacturing base in Charlotte, though now he admits it will be less of an assembly operation and more of a ‘design and build your own’ type facility.

Speaking to Motorsport.com Hass explains, “Ultimately the goal is to build and design our own chassis and rely on the back end from our engine supplier and use Dallara or others as sub-contractors. Still, the intellectual property would be ours and would be done in Charlotte (N.C.). That’s what we’re working on now.

If we had selected 2015, we would have been a lot more dependent on someone like Dallara to supply us a complete rolling chassis. A lot of teams have done that. There’s nothing really wrong with that but now we have a little more time.

Ok so now to the real important stuff Gene….

“The logistics are going to be ours – and that’s one thing we’ve been working on a lot just trying to get to all these races and we’re based out of Charlotte and how we’re going to do that,” said Haas..

“We’ve been a little bit confused because we’re new at it but we went to Montreal to ask people, ‘Who is the shipper? How do we get these things here? How do we do this?’ So we’re working on the basics so when it comes to race time we’ll be prepared.

We’ve been working on the logistics of where to put the building (overseas) for the last couple of weeks because wherever we put it, obviously it’s going to be there for a while and we want to make sure we do it right.”

Mmm. Planes trains and automobiles springs to mind….  Oh well its all part of the fabulous Formula 1.


The not big surprise – Kolles is Caterham F1 Team boss

Colin KollesSince last Friday speculation was rife about the future of Caterham F1 after Tony Fernandes’ mysterious tweet.

An announcement was expected to be made by Monday as to who the new owners were but this was postponed to today. Catherham has put out a statement saying they are “pleased to announce Fernandes and Co have sold the team to a consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors,” who are advised by Colin Kolles.

The team will remain based in Leafield and race as Caterham F1 “for the foreseeable future“.

The press release continues to say former Dutch F1 driver Christijan Albers will be assisted by Manfredi Ravetto (ex HRT business boss), will take over the day-to-day running of the team, “reporting directly to the board and replacing Cyril Abiteboul who will leave the team to pursue new challenges.

Albers is aware of the challenges they face, especially as they which to secure tenth place in the 2014 Championship. “We are aware of the huge challenge ahead of us given the fight at the bottom end of the Championship and our target now is to aim for tenth place in the 2014 Championship. We are very committed to the future of the team and we will ensure that the team has the necessary resources to develop and grow and achieve everything it is capable of.

Not much new in this that we have not already covered since Monday here at TJ13. They will remain Caterham F1 for the ‘foreseeable’ future…. until maybe the end of this year when the Swiss/Middle Eastern investors can come clean….


119 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Wednesday 2nd July 2014

  1. While I admire the bulls achievements they really are a classless bunch.

    Renault should tell them to get bent. Along with Perelli.

    Its always someone else’s fault. What horrible partners they make. Add in the redicilous court case last year, and their fuel debacle earlier this year, plus the grand formage bull saying he’d leave if they weren’t winning and you’ve quite a dislikeable team.

    I’d love to see them get mullered this year.

    • The hate is strong with that one…

      What ridiculous court case are you referring to? I only remember one against Mercedes and that one was called by FIA, so unless we missed something…?

      I also don’t remember RB threatening to leave if the results weren’t to their liking. You might have mixed that up with LdM and he worked for Ferrari the last time I checked.

      • “I also don’t remember RB threatening to leave if the results weren’t to their liking.”

        They did. Maybe not using these words exactly, but they did.

        • Mateschitz on Red Bull’s participation in F1…. following the FIA DQ of Daniel Ricciardo in Melbourne

          “The question is not so much whether it makes economic sense but the reasons would be to do with sportsmanship, political influence, and so on. In these issues there is a clear limit to what we can accept.”

          • Wasn’t this immediately *prior* “the FIA DQ of Daniel Ricciardo in Melbourne”? I vaguely recall that this was a veiled threat in case the FIA intended to go through with the disqualification..

          • Indeed (and what I had in mind, but got confused). After the DQ, but prior to the upholding of the DQ in the appeal.

      • You might want to go back over some old TJ posts Danilo. The Judge layed it all out, on all issues, at the time.

        But I know you know that my friend 😉

        • Sorry Colin, but the judge is about as impartial as myself. While I think that Red Bull is often criticized unfairly, the judge has an axe to grind with them as he refuses to accept that his golden boy was just mediocre at adapting to the EBD cars and blames it on the team.

          Now it’s Vettels time to be crap at adapting and you can tell by the number of features full of Schadenfreude 😉

          • He did have the hots for Webber, I’ll give you that.

            Have to admit he was my fav too 😉

  2. Can’t help but feel the Ferrari engine is worse than the Renault, they look like struggle in a drag race out of the corner with any car, Im beginning to think they didn’t realise their engine is supposed to have a turbo too.

    Why would Vettel want to go against alonso, unless he’s planning on getting humiliated and then retiring.

    • “Why would Vettel want to go against alonso, unless he’s planning on getting humiliated and then retiring.”

      As another poster pointed out, why does it happen that any driver that partners Alonso immediately starts to look like he’s almost done and retiring? Judge?

      (Bar Hamilton, of course, who showed Alonso the finger in his rookie year, and we all remember how Alonso reacted when things weren’t going his way..)

      • …”why does it happen that any driver that partners Alonso immediately starts to look like he’s almost done and retiring? Judge?”

        ….probably because Fernando is a reasonably decent F1 racing car driver…. in a pig of a car 😉

        • Sure, but this query goes a bit deeper than that.

          We all know Alonso’s political clout in “his” teams (bar Mclaren, of course, for which he rewarded them with a $100m bill), and consequently the heavy impact that he is having on the car development/philosophy. So is it conceivable/probable that Alonso is a master in the art of developing pig-cars, that he and only he is capable of driving to a decent position?

          (We all know that Button is capable of developing dog-cars that no one can drive, so maybe Alonso has a similar super-power. Maybe the steering wheel responds only to his DNA..)

          As other posters have pointed out, it is inconceivable that Raikkonen would fare so badly vs Alonso in anything resembling normal circumstances (read: decently behaving car). Last year he was one of the few who managed to challenge Red Bull during Vettel’s onslaught..

          • And Alonso gives 200% in every race,you know.. Maybe he takes out 100% from himself,+100% from his co-driver and uses it in races..

            Or the second seat in Ferrari(while Alonso is there) is cursed?? 🙂

          • “for which he rewarded them with a $100m bill)”

            Oh do tell how how Alonso was responsible for Spygate.

          • “Oh do tell how how Alonso was responsible for Spygate.”

            Trying to extort absolute and undisputed Nr 1 status, he blackmailed Dennis with incriminating e-mails. Then in the heat of things tweeted them away to the FIA. At the time I never thought his reputation would recover after the incident, but he just drives too damn fast and consistently.

            “The other much-discussed issue was Fernando Alonso, ‘supergrass’. When the FIA said that it had ‘new evidence’ to consider, speculation mounted that Alonso had sold McLaren down the river and would be about as popular with the team as Tommaso Buscetta was with the mafia.”

            “Fernando Alonso’s resentment at not receiving preferential treatment over Lewis Hamilton in 2007 culminated in the Spaniard threatening to use information relevant to the spy case in which the team was immersed as blackmail.”

            “I still find it scarcely believable that a driver, in an attempt to better his own position, could blatantly try to blackmail his own team owner [..]”

            “But I was very happy to help the FIA discover everything.”

          • Of course a McLaren engineering employee who actually had possession of stolen Ferrari IP had nothing to do with it.

  3. Bernie stirring the pot again and probably working on a money-making recipe behind the scenes.

    I’m probably completely wrong, but this is how I read his comments.

    “I don’t want a Merc domination with a German driver. I’ll engineer a move for Vettel to Ferrari and with changes to the regs I’ll push for Ferrari to have a winning a car…as in the Schuey years!”

    I’m almost convinced that Alonso will go, if not at the end of this year, then definitely at the end of next. I won’t be surprised at all if I see Alonso at McLaren next year and Vettel at Ferrari. Maybe even Alonso partnering Hamilton at McLaren again in Alonso’s last year in F1.

    PS As I said before, with only Lewis and Nico fighting it out, speculation and an early silly season keeps me sane.

    • It’s same old, same old with Bernie anymore. I think his 84 years are rapidly catching up with him. Old people seem to run the same recording over and over and Bernie has gotten to that point; threats and threats again, the old Bernie double play. Does anyone believe this guy anymore? In the end he can’t really let Monza go; despite what he says he knows he can’t rip out the heart of F1. Bernie is the one who needs to go, it’s way past time.

      Watching and listening to Bernie on the grid pre-race is cringe worthy; time to give it up Bernie. You’ll die with billions, so you win. Please accept your victory gracefully and go away; let us enjoy our sport in peace.

  4. Judge….

    It looks like your theory of Redbull producing their own engines, may actually be true. After all, why would Horner say, “they’ve got options for engine supply in 2016.”

    Can’t see a Merc, Honda or a Ferrari engine in the back of their chasis. So it’s either they’ve already started work on building their own or is it possible they could hand Cosworth a blank cheque.

    • …You may be mistaking me with another poster….I never believed they’d make their own – I think they are were stuck with Renault… and that Renault would do as they did last time – get some ‘equalisation’ permission from the FIA..

      I don’t think its widely understood the time scales these things have taken to develop…

      Honda were at it 9-12 months before they announced their partnership with McLaren

      Red Bull can’t ‘build’ their own engine. Even the VW group would struggle to deliver something competitive for 2016 starting now – regardless of resource……

      • Apologises for the misunderstanding…,

        My comment was meant to be in reference to the piece you did a few weeks ago, in relation to the possibility of them buying Renault F1 engine division.

          • Glad to see you’ve now put up the info for the Tata Communications competition, hopefully you guys will put a good team together and do a good job representing the TJ13 community.

            I’m not from the country where the World Cup is, but I think you’ll figure it out now.

    • I think it might a bot of both. Cosworth has contracts with Nissan (read Infinity there) and there were rumours that RBR has bought a Cosworth engine and with Infinity’s help with rebrand it as their own. Of course for this rumour to have legs Cosworth must have built an engine that noone wanted…up until now!

  5. “leaving him permanently blinded.”

    should read:
    “leaving him [Helmut Marko] permanently blinded on the left eye.”

  6. 2015: Red Bull Racing – Renault
    2016: Red Bull Racing – Honda

    Just making sure everyone knows I called it.

    RBR won’t build their own “powertrains”. It’s total bullshit.

      • And why not Renault off-loading Viry to Red Bull, if not in 2015 then in 2016? This sounds like a real option given all the recent events.

    • It’s no more bovine excrement than your constant claims of a Honda in their car. Don’t worry – we won’t forget that you called it, because a) you remind us of it every second day and b) we need that bit of information when we all laugh at you at the start of the 2016 season :p

      • lol, oh my abrasive German fellow, you do make me smile. I’ve mentioned it twice, hehe. Nice try though. Better luck next time.

        Who says stereotypes are not real…

        • How can you know they haven’t done so already. The way they unloaded on Renault at Spielberg makes it plainly obvious that they must have an alternative already that they are very sure of, else you wouldn’t have a dig at a partner that could pull the plug at any moment.

          My working theory is that they already have a very viable plan b – either their own motor or the Cozza.

          • “The way they unloaded on Renault at Spielberg makes it plainly obvious that they must have an alternative already that they are very sure of”

            I’m wondering if that’s been their strategy from the beginning of the season: push Renault into a corner until it is prepared to delegate the building of the power-unit to Red Bull’s whiz-engineers.. using the Viry facilities. I’m still inclined to think that Renault is on its way out, if not simply because this is what Red Bull is aggressively pushing for.

          • @landroni hippo

            Alternatively it could be a prearranged joint RB & Renault PR move to force equalisation, and/or get more leeway for the “reliability updates”. I’m most surprised that we haven’t had some turbo disintegration events so that they could replace the current version. Chuck a bolt in the intake and watch the wheel go bang.

          • At least for me “prearranged joint RB & Renault PR move” sounds just about wrong. Renault is getting a PR drumming, partly/mostly at the hands of Red Bull, and I can’t see Renault having agreed to any such condescending and disparaging treatment. My best guess is that Red Bull is bullying until the absolute limits of what Renault can endure, and some more..

      • @FH but did you know that Mercedes and Nissan-Infiniti are building a plant together in Mexico? Apparently to co-produce compact luxury cars for both brands….. Not that it’s anything to do directly with F1 but I’m wondering how that will all work out branding and advertising wise.

        • @ Matt

          it will make no difference to the branding

          just look at VW – they produce the same cars that are visually different – and branded and advertised differently – whether they be VW or Audi or SEAT or Skoda

          underneath they share a common platform and powertrains

          Mercedes / Nissan will be no different.

        • @matt.

          Mercedes and Renault-Nissan have been working together on projects for a few years. They already have an engine plant in Decherd Tennessee, which is going to build Mercedes designed Turbo 4 cyl engines petrol(gas) for the 2015 C Class and Infinity Q50 in European markets. These engines are not currently for domestic USA.

  7. Yes the Americans are lucky that Howard had his best match ever yesterday. Or we’d won with double numéros.

      • No need. Messi never scored against courtois. And they played each other nine times noW, i believe. And kompany neutralised him when barca played city. So i have high hopes 😉

    • or you’re fortunate that for the most part the ‘Muricans preferred hitting the stands to the back of the net, or else it would have been PK’s. 😉

      Tho I would say that Howard has played that well through the whole tournament, he was just let down by the rest of the team.

      • That works two ways, my friend. The belgians missed some shots in the same way that could end the match after 90 min. And it’s not that his team let him down. It’s just that our team (finally) played like they can. 😉

        • Yeah, but they played under what they were capable of, witness their play in extra time. Howard was always top shelf through the whole game. Though they did play in Manaus which had been a bit of a killer for the teams.

          Truthfully though, and this is something that puzzles me greatly, for the most part our players are just marginally worse than other countries. Especially when it comes to ball control and passing. It’s not very much really, but when you add it up over the course of a match it’s the difference between winning and losing.

          What’s puzzling is the fact that the game itself is huge through college and very competitive, yet somehow the skills don’t reach the same level over here. Not quite sure why.

          • @ Matt

            ” Truthfully though, and this is something that puzzles me greatly, for the most part our players are just marginally worse than other countries. ”

            But significantly better than Scotland.

            A team so devoid of talent that if they played again 11 oil drums – they would lose !

          • LOL, Yes but at least you’d have the satisfaction of eating fried Mars Bars during the entire event whereas my favorite watering hole was closed inexplicably during the entire game yesterday.

          • Matt

            in Scotland – pubs serve alcohol – not food

            You need to go to the chippie to get a deep fried Mars Bar.

            BTW – that is actually a reasonably ” healthy ” choice …..

            Unlike the deep fried pizza …..

            or worse –

            the battered deep fried pizza !

          • No grub in the pub? sad, but made up for by the mere thought of battered deep fried pizza. My dreams will be haunted tonight. 🙂

  8. Judge , is there a possibility that,if indeed Lotus switch to Mercedes PU from 2015,Merecedes putting in their-backed driver(Driving in other categories for Mercedes – Sam Bird maybe) in a Lotus seat , in return for a less payment(a couple of millions maybe) from Lotus for their PU?? Seeing Lotus’s position,they can hardly remove Pastor and continue to run the team.. So is there a chance that Grosjean may not have a seat in Lotus for 2015??

        • There was a mumble by JS about the new Mercedes engine taker having to pay $1.5m to Petronas to run Jazeman Jaafar in some FP1s.. so I assume that will fall to Lotus. But even with that, Mercedes is still the cheapest engine, under $30m.

      • I’d love to see grosjean at mclaren. As jenson says, the team needs a change and I think it’s time he hung up his helmet.
        Grosjean would probably jump at the chance of jumping off the rocky lotus ship and link up with up old eric again.
        Fingers crossed honda do a good job for next year and things might look up for mclaren.

        • I would take Grosjean every day of the week rather than Alonso! The boy is good. Really like him!

      • After McLaren’s endless (and boring) references to the “Britishness” of their team when Lewis shared the garage with Jenson not even a couple of years ago, the prospect of a Danish / French driver combo must be hard to take. Or was that just the old Pre-Ron-Resurrection team.

        • All such references are to be classed under “failed Whitmarsh initiatives”. Nice chap but he lacked the utter ruthlessness and sheer competitive instinct of Ron Dennis that has allowed McLaren to bounce back into, oh hang on, what place are we in now, 6th? Well at least that’s better than last year. Wait What? It’s not. Tell you what luv, put a period after Ron Dennis and send it out to everyone immediately marked from the desk of Ron Dennis. No, not just the MTC. No not just the drivers, too. Everyone! I’ve been away from this bloody place too long.

        • @ RodgerD

          ” … the prospect of a Danish / French driver combo …… ”


          Bacon baguettes 😉

  9. “a consortium of Swiss Arabs”

    Really? What does that even mean? Are they talking about some Swiss who emigrated to an Arab country, or Arabs who emigrated to Switzerland? Utterly confused whether I should picture sand or cheese..

  10. Albers stayed loyal to the dentist, even after he was ousted. His girlfriend wrote a ‘fictional’ or indeed fictional book about F1.
    Should’ve bought it when it was dumped. Maybe it would’ve provided me with some insights about this strange relation between Christijan and Colin…

  11. Late breaking news….

    15:13 – Tony Fernandes and his partners have sold the Caterham F1 Team to a consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors, advised by former F1 Team Principal Colin Kolles, it has been confirmed.

    • “Investors” = “Numpties”
      Has any “investor” ever turned a profit in any sense in F1? Besides the inimitable Mr E, of course.
      Good luck to our new Swiss-Arab friends though (they’re going to need it).

      • Depends what you define as investors. Eddie Jordan and Briatore made fortunes investing in F1. And I could cite a lot more who have.

  12. Perez is very fast, but only when he also has faster tyres. With Button as a yardstick, he was simply mediocre or okay or good and unfortunately not good enough for a team ambitious as McLaren.

  13. Haas appears confused

    DHL have a contract with FOM for logistics and shipping ?

    A fact that most fans know – as it’s widely advertised …..

    yet the boss of a new F1 team doesn’t ?

    What planet does Haas live on ?

    Or has he just been drinking too much moonshine ?

  14. Amusing to read the poster “landroni” attempt to whitewash Alonso as the sole reason why McLaren received a $100M fine for Spygate. Revisionist history at it’s best.

      • First you claim Alonso was responsible for McLaren getting hit with a $100M fine, now you’ve changed your story.

        • All teams possess confidential information of other teams originating from disgruntled ex-employees of other teams, and McLaren (or ex-Renault, for the matter) is no different.

          – It was an employee of McLaren (Alonso), who in breach of professional ethic (and some laws, I’d wager), attempted to blackmail his boss (Dennis) into getting privileged treatment
          – When the blackmail attempt failed, the employee (Alonso) ratted out his boss (Dennis) and organization (McLaren) to the regulator (the FIA). Bear in mind that *any* disgruntled current employee of an F1 team could start ratting out such secrets at any given moment, but few do; Alonso did.

          Then the fact that the ultimate fine was exactly $100m has little to do with Alonso himself, but he *did* initiate the whole affair by trying to extort undisputed Nr 1 status from McLaren, and then delivering on his blackmail threats. This is no different from my previous post. You need to learn to read, though.

          • Ferrari had already launched a criminal case against McLaren before any of this happened. The emails that Couglan send to DeLaRosa, which DeLaRosa forwarded to Alonso (which is how Alonso knew what was going on) would have been found anyway during the discovery period of a criminal trial. And there is absolutely no doubt a criminal trial would have happened.

            Whitmarsh after McLaren were fined, admitted that several people in the McLaren engineering group, knew of and had seen the Ferrari IP. Whatever Alonso did or didn’t do is peripheral to Mclaren receiving stolen property, using that stolen property to do simulation tests, and then lying to the FIA about any McLaren employee having that stolen IP.

          • And this has never, ever, happened in F1 before Cav.

            Come on man, try a little harder.

            The 100 mill was a stich up, and anyone with even the slightest sliver of intelligence knows that.

            Ron wasn’t liked. Ron got 100 mill fine. Ron left the sport. Spanky got caught, eh, spanking in his daddies uniform. Spanky exists stage left.

            What about Toyota and Renault, to name but too IP related incidents. Or Caterham and FI.

            IP theft goes on all the time. Every time an employee leaves an orgaisation for another it happens. Drivers, designers, engineers. They all do it.

            Macca made 2 mistakes. 1. They got caught (when the Samurai decided he didn’t like being equal no 1), and
            2) Ron pissed an awful lot of people off, for a number of reasons you well know.

            The counch is yours…..

          • Cite an example where a team had the complete drawings of a competitors current car which had been stolen. Over to you Paddy.

          • Ah, name calling. The last refuge of the scoundrel, when the IQ cant stretch to sarcasm….

            Read the post again cranky pants (hey, this name calling feels good) and you’ll get your response.

            Hint, point 1.

            Now shew, shew, off with you. I’m sure you’ve others on your ‘black list of happiness’ to attack for having the temerity to not be you.

            Btw, what happened to your self imposed threat of exile made around 6 months ago; I think your fury that day was directed at his Judgeness due to the quality of the reporting (although I suspected it was the 9 on the Richter scale actually coming through, which you mercilessly rubbished which cause your untimely journalistic demise).

            Did you miss us?

          • It would be very interesting to know what was in the contract that Alonso signed in late 2005 to join McLaren in 2007. Surely he must have known about Hamilton, then dominant in F3, their long time junior driver.. former Karting top level driver just like himself. There would also have been the issue of Kimi, Montoya there at the time and who his team-mate would have been, etc.

  15. Off topic:
    Please put ‘level of nested comments’ in wordpress to 1 or 2.
    Single letter wide comments make for endless scrolling on an iPhone :-/

    • oh what a shame your wankstain bit of technology – the iPish – doesn’t like it …..

      Aha ha ha ha ha


      • Dear sir… I also use the iPish (as you call it) tech and I love it 🙂 Been on Android and it’s not for me but that’s just me 🙂

        • @ Don

          I used to love Apple products – right up until the point where all they cared about was $$$$$

          Have you seen these programs on BBC ?

          The Men Who Made Us Spend – 3 episodes


          There’s an interview with one of the designers of the iPish 4 saying that the latest iPish 5S isn’t really much better.

          So why buy it ?

          But Apple have suckered people into wanting the ” latest thing ” …

          And I know – they aren’t the only guilty ones.

          I lost respect for Steve Jobs when he went from being an innovator – to being a cheap tacky salesman ….

          • I know the 5 is not much better than the 4, its a bit taller so you could argue you get more for your money 😛

            To be fair though, it does what I need it to do. I know the Galaxy has more features but I don’t use NFT, don’t want a phone that is too big (I cycle)… latter probably the main thing for me.

            Let’s face it, you don’t buy an apple for the features, you buy it because of the brand. (or I did/do anyway)

          • That’s due to proper marketing and product placement. Look at the ads they put out in comparison to their competitors? They make then the must have gadgets. It’s the same with the Beats by Dre headphones, they’re not the best, but by getting their marketing strategy right, they’ve actually corned that part of the market.

          • @ Fortis

            you are so right 🙂

            I remember when Beats came out – and as I DJ – I was interested in seeing if it was worth buying their headphones ?

            Guess what – on their website they had NO technical specs on their products …

            That’s like selling a pig in a poke – and loads of stupid people bought a rubbish product as stupid prices – and Dr Dre laughed all the way to the bank.

            In terms of quality – Beats make Amstrad look good

          • “In terms of quality – Beats make Amstrad look good”

            I’m more a fan of the Grado headphones myself.

          • @ landroni

            nice 🙂


            personally I find audiophile headphones are no use for mixing

          • Agree Fortis – Apple is a marketing company. Style above substance (as I said to Manky – I like the style).

            Jobs was the chief marketeer. Apple sells you the same phone/laptop/tablet as their competitors but they make you believe it’s the best in the world 🙂

          • @ Judge

            personally I really DON’T like ear bud type headphones – it’s too easy to damage your hearing with them

            and on a purely technical perspective – they can’t give the frequency range of normal open or closed headphones – so they also fail on that point.

            Having worked as a DJ and sound engineer – my hearing and it’s well being are very important to me.

            I’ve spoken to doctors about working in these conditions.

            Essentially – if you have a constant level of noise – your ear – brain actually – gets desensitised to that level – so if you use headphones you will have a tendency to increase the volume.

            This can cause permanent damage.

            This doesn’t happen with speakers as you are constantly hearing other sounds than the specific audio you are listening to. You set a level you are happy with, and unless there is outside interference from some other source, you leave it there.

            As for what are the best headphones ?

            The Grado’s that landroni mention have superb range – and maybe they are the best in the world ?

            But they also cost £1,700 …..

            For what I use them for – I have Pioneer’s and Sony’s

            other mates think the same – others prefer Sennheiser’s

            but if you are using them in a club or at a festival – your priorities are different from using them in your home.

            So what are the best ?

            Whatever suits your needs best – simples 🙂

          • P.S.

            I also forgot to mention

            has anyone ever been on a bus or a train or the tube

            and heard someone else’s headphones ?

            If you have – that’s because they are too loud – and the person wearing them is damaging their hearing and will probably go deaf at an earlier age than normal.

          • “But they also cost £1,700”

            Well, it depends which Grados you choose. 🙂 I’m not unhappy with the 200$ model, although I’m confident the £1,700 sound heavenly.

            “If you have – that’s because they are too loud ”

            Unless their headphones use a open-case design, in which case they spill out the sound even at low-ish levels. The Grados do that, and are utterly useless on bus, train or airplane. But are of very good use at home..

          • Amazing the price that Apple have bought Beats by Dre for… probably just to cement their place in the market..

          • Don – I don’t know where you live – but these BBC programs show the dubious practices employed by Apple in the production of their products – and the people fighting against them.

            If you can – well worth watching 🙂

            ” Let’s face it, you don’t buy an apple for the features, you buy it because of the brand. ”

            See – I used to buy Apple for the features – I don’t now because it’s all about the brand …..

          • Ha ha… Manky my friend.. I used to be very close to you. I know all about deep fried Scottish delicatessen 😉

            I’ll watch the vids.

    • So. My comment invites another single letter wide response.
      My guess was that it’s wordpress to blame, but according to others it’s about Apple rendering.
      Don’t know how it is, but do know that F1fanatic set another level and Joe Saward not.

      Maybe I shouldn’t complain, because I’m 90% lurker and 10% contributor.

      • mate – I was only jesting about your iPish

        the simple fact is that any phone’s screen really isn’t up to displaying properly – they are just too small

      • @verstappen

        If its any comfort the same thing happens with Windows Phone 8, and only on this site. Should add that it only happens if the phone is set to mobile site preference. Of course if set to full site, it takes a year to download, because of the right sidebar waiting for all that “stuff” div div div.

      • It’s probably WordPress… on PC the whole site takes up less than half of my screen in the middle, just so that all the old 15″ and less monitors can use the site without scroll bars.

      • It is the settings.

        However highly recommend Google Nexus. Fantastic for the outlay, best phone I’ve ever had.

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