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Previously on TJ13:
OTD Lite: 1982 – Didier Pironi wins his final Grand Prix
On this day – thirty two year ago, Didier Pironi triumphed at the Dutch Grand Prix held at the classic Zandvoort circuit. In what was proving a disturbing season for the Frenchman, Pironi must have felt relieved to take the chequered flag, once again, to secure his championship challenge.
That year every major incident had a connection with the young Parisian and to the weaker minded – could well have limited their desire to compete.
In pre-season testing, he had survived a huge testing accident that saw his car somersault and land in a spectator area. At Imola, he overtook Gilles Villeneuve and the French-Canadian’s car somersaulted causing fatal injuries at the following race meeting.
A month later, in Canada, Pironi’s stalled car was smashed into by Ricardo Paletti who succumbed to fatal injuries and in the three week break between races, Pironi suffered another huge accident similar in manner to his previous flight and that of his late team-mate. In Germany – during qualifying – he hit the rear of Alain Prost’s Renault in blinding rain.
It can only be imagined what goes through the mind as an accident begins to form, but having survived two horrific accidents, it’s likely he believed “here we go again” as his car took off over the slow moving car at Hockenheim that year.
FIA Press Schedule
Today, the start of the British GP weekend, we will see the drivers’ press conference and this will be attended by Valtteri Bottas, Jenson Button, (Super) Max Chilton, Lewis Hamilton, Daniil Kvyat and Felipe Massa. Two Wiliams drivers in the press conference? They must be doing something right!
Tomorrow afternoon will see the Team Principal’s press conference with Gerry Hughes, James Key, Jonathan Neale, Adrian Newey, Pat Symonds and Rob White in attendance. This is more like a technical press conference but it is good to see Gerry up there. Let’s see if we will be able to gain a better idea of who the new investors in Caterham are…
British GP Race Stewards
DR GERD ENNSER
MEMBER OF THE DMSB’S EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FOR AUTOMOBILE SPORT, FORMULA ONE AND DTM STEWARD
Dr Gerd Ennser has successfully combined his formal education in law with his passion for motor racing. While still active as a racing driver he began helping out with the management of his local motor sport club and since 2006 has been a permanent steward at every round of Germany’s DTM championship. Since 2010 he has also been a Formula One steward. Dr Ennser, who has worked as a judge, a prosecutor and in the legal department of an automotive-industry company, has also acted as a member of the steering committee of German motor sport body, the DMSB, since spring 2010, where he is responsible for automobile sport. In addition, Dr Ennser is a board member of the South Bavaria Section of ADAC, Germany’s biggest auto club.
FIA DEPUTY DELEGATE TO THE USA, FIA STEWARD
As the son of former McLaren team principal Teddy Mayer, Tim Mayer grew up around motor sport. He organised IndyCar races internationally from 1992-98, aided the construction of several circuits, and produced international TV for multiple series. In 1998 he became CART’s Senior VP for Racing Operations. He also became VP of ACCUS, the US ASN. In 2003, Mayer became COO of IMSA, operating multiple series at all levels, and also took on the role of COO and Race Director of the American Le Mans Series. He was elected an independent Director of ACCUS and FIA US Alternate Delegate, responsible for US World Championship events.
1992 FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPION, 1993 CART CHAMPION
From 187 grand prix starts Mansell took 32 pole positions, 31 victories and 28 other podium finishes. He raced for Team Lotus, Williams, Ferrari and McLaren, winning the FIA Formula One World Champion in 1992 with Williams. The following season Mansell took a sabbatical from F1, racing in the CART championship. He become the first rookie to win that title and the only man to hold the Formula One and CART titles simultaneously. Mansell is a four-times winner of the British Grand Prix, with three of those victories coming at Silverstone.
Monza replies to Ecclestone threat
In recent days, as is his want, Bernie Ecclestone has threatened the Monza circuit with the loss of the Italian Grand Prix when their current contract runs out in 2016. Ferrari have not commented on the outburst yet and there is some speculation that this would allow them to put forward their own Mugello circuit as a replacement venue.
With a rumoured cost of EUR 8 million a year for Monza’s hosting fee, this is reflected in the weekend ticket passes that generally work out to around half of the UK’s price for the equivalent British Grand Prix. The cynic may also add, that if the Monza authorities were to charge substantially more, the public would ‘find’ other ways of getting into the circuit as this writer has witnessed himself.
With Canada having negotiated a deal for 10 million per annum and the Nurburgring having avoided paying any hosting fee last year, it seems that this is the first salvo as a desperate Mr E struggles to retain control of a series that seems to be tiring of his bullying tactics.
As has been evidenced with all the latest additions to the championship, the Indian, South Korean and Turkish governments (amongst others) are not looking to invest in his business model anymore and are voting by withdrawing backing for their respective events.
Surprisingly the Italian associations have responded publicly with a passive statement – although to believe they will capitulate so easily is to misunderstand the game that is currently being conducted.
The president of the Automobile Club d’Italia, Angelo Sticchi Damiani stated earlier: “Ecclestone is right when he speaks of the disastrous commercial consequences of the contract and here I have to admit that Enrico Ferrari has worked wonders in securing such an advantageous deal.
However these privileged conditions don’t apply anymore and we have to open the purse strings to also invest in the circuit both in terms of technical and sporting development. This would only be possible with a joint effort between the ACI and the institution. Monza has a great ally in Jean Todt and the FIA president knows that Monza has great value.”
Monza’s circuit chief Frederico Bendinelli, agrees and is set to deal with Mr E on behalf of the S.I.A.S. “I know Ecclestone and his tactics. The problem with Monza is that the contract was signed some years ago and is less profitable for him.
This explains his words, but we will not under-estimate his threat. Just think of Spa, a track amongst the most prestigious yet for some years was excluded from the calendar. Still we have a number of favourable advantages, we are still the biggest contributor to the FIA and thanks to Ferrari we have a specific historic value.”
Bernie has known for decades that Ferrari is central to Formula One and whenever there has been negotiations in regards to the Concorde Agreement, or the threat of a breakaway series, he has always employed the same tactics. Divide and conquer and keep the Maranello squad happy come what may… let the shenanigans begin.
Minardi reveals some staggering driver movement possibilities
In the UK we have got used to listening to the ramblings of a certain Eddie Jordan, whereas in Italy they have the pleasure of listening to the equally baffling musings from the former team owner Giancarlo Minardi.
As Formula One returns to the historic Northamptonshire circuit, Minardi reminisced about his cars finishing in 5th and 6th positions in 1990 a result which would he believes is comparable to a podium finish these days.
As to the 2014 championship fight: “Rosberg will have to defend against a good driver who will have home support but the other Mercedes PU users will not want to stand idly by as watching the fight. Sadly the Ferrari and Renault teams are experiencing very few heady days but something may happen. Such as the weather which is changeable in England and as we know can change the result.”
As ever after rambling on about things that everyone knows about he offered an insight into possible moves within what is traditionally called the silly season.
“On the driver front, this summer could prove explosive. At Red Bull, we have Sebastian Vettel who is possibly being lined up to be ejected from the team to be replaced with the new young stars like Kyvat and Sainz Jr. Ultimately for a company that thrives on it’s marketing it is also understandable the passing of the baton.
Don’t be surprised if there are moves within the Mercedes team. Hamilton is not happy with the situation and Toto Wollf is still a shareholder at Williams and manages Valtteri Bottas. The Finn is demonstrating his speed and technical abilities in his driving and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Rosberg – Botta partnership at Mercedes.
This would also suit the Mclaren-Honda combination which wants a top driver to line up alongside Magnussen. This summer could well suffocate the headlines with the possibilities surrounding Button-Vettel-Hamilton-Bottas.”
Renault not to blame for Vettel’s Austria problem (GMM)
Renault was not solely to blame for Sebastian Vettel’s problems in Austria last time out. The reigning world champion suffered a momentary loss of drive in the opening stages of the race at the Red Bull Ring, later retiring to save “mileage” Team boss Christian Horner said it was an “engine electrical issue, which we are yet to understand what caused it”. But when speaking with reporters immediately after the race, he made clear where his finger was pointing, saying engine supplier Renault’s service in 2014 has been “unacceptable”.
According to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, however, Horner was wrong to blame Renault for Vettel’s problem in Austria. Renault engine boss Rob White confirmed that when the German pressed the “overtake button”, the “standard electronics” failed to properly interpret the message. The ‘standard electronics’ in all F1 cars is supplied by McLaren subsidiary MES.
The Italian correspondent for Autosprint, Alberto Antonini, explained: “When Sebastian pressed the ‘OT’ button for more power, the system entered a kind of self-protection (mode).” He said the Ferraris had an “eerily similar” problem in the opening stages of the Australian grand prix.
TJ13 comment: This is not ‘NEW’ information, here at TJ13 towers we published this last Thursday under the “FIA software causes problems again” tab. Once again, where TJ13 leads…
Hamilton claims more ‘ability’ than Rosberg (GMM)
Lewis Hamilton has stepped up the off-track battle ahead of his home grand prix, declaring he has “the edge” on teammate Nico Rosberg on sheer “ability“. It is the latest barb in the psychological war between the Mercedes drivers, as Hamilton faces the task of closing down German Rosberg’s 29-point championship lead over the remaining eleven grands prix.
According to the Daily Star newspaper, Hamilton suggested much of his points deficit is due simply to his two technical retirements in 2014. He doubts Rosberg will strike the same trouble. “That would mean in the next 11 races Nico would need to have two he does not finish, and I do not think that is going to happen,” said the 2008 world champion. “I cannot rely on that, I just have to focus on doing better than him, which I am capable of. The edge I have is in my ability. That is the gift I have and I have to utilise it this year more than ever,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton is expounding a common theory in the F1 paddock — that he has the slight edge on Rosberg in terms of sheer pace. But another equally-common tale is that Rosberg often makes up for any deficit with a more calculating approach. “Nico Rosberg is fast when he needs to be fast,” agreed quadruple world champion Alain Prost, whose style of winning his four world championships earned him the nickname ‘The Professor’.
“Above all he is very clever,” Prost told Germany’s Auto Bild Motorsport. “Even when he had problems with the car in Canada, he kept his cool and brought the car home. That’s the difference. It may be that Lewis Hamilton is just a bit faster, but Nico has the better overall package,” he said.
Also well-placed to comment is Felipe Massa, who went head-to-head with Hamilton in 2008, and came tantalisingly close to depriving the Briton of his sole title. “Lewis was a driver that maybe lost under the pressure when he was fighting for the championship in 2007 and 2008, but maybe he has a little bit more experience now,” the Brazilian told the Daily Mail. “I don’t know if that will help or not, but for sure he has more pressure now than Nico.”
TJ13 comment: Young man…. don’t believe the hype!
It is perhaps surprising that the newspapers haven’t sought out comments from a driver that couldn’t compete with him on sheer speed but practically matched him pound for pound over three point scoring seasons.
Jenson Button had better reliability over the same period but as suggested before, maybe Hamilton’s rhythm of driving actually pushes his car beyond it’s natural level of reliability – but we are digressing – Rosberg ultimately is a faster driver than Jenson Button – period. In Canada – one of Hamilton’s favourite tracks, he out-qualified him and continued the process of unbalancing Hamilton.
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 us section.
Renault Sport F1 confirms Abiteboul
Today Renault Sport F1 confirmed the departure of their President and Managing Director Mr. Jean-Michel Jalinier who is retiring due to ‘personal reasons’.
He is replaced by Jérôme Stoll who will take on the role in addition to his current responsibilities as Chief Performance Officer and Group Sales and Marketing Director. Ex Caterham Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul has been appointed to fill a newly-created position of Managing Director of Renault Sport F1, reporting to Jérôme Stoll.
Abiteboul graduated from the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble. He joined Renault in 2001 and was named Development Director of Renault F1 Team in 2007, before becoming Executive Director in 2010. In September 2012, Cyril Abiteboul moved to the Formula 1 team Caterham as General Manager.
We now wait with baited breath to see what influence Abiteboul will have on the engine for 2015.
Button feeling the heat?
After hearing the rather stern words of McLaren boss Dennis and that K-Mag has given him a “wake-up call“, Button appears to be feeling the heat and felt it necessary to defend himself in an interview with UK publication Daily Mail.
Speaking at the launch of McLaren sponsor Santander’s Student Account Button made the point that he is giving it all and that the whole team needs to deliver to win. “I think everyone has to try harder, the whole team, we all need to try harder.
“If we want to get back to the front, if we want to win races, then we have got to try harder. We are doing an OK job right now. We are working hard, but to get back to the front, from the management down, we all have to try harder and get the best out of ourselves so that is hopefully what every one is doing and I definitely am.”
When asked if the criticism was fair a ‘confident’ Button replied, “For me, the important thing is I have true belief in myself and I am giving it my all.
“Believing in yourself and believing in the team, that is the most important thing. When I come out of a tough weekend with the team, I sit down with them, we discuss what happened, we more forward and we try and find a way out of it and try and improve ourselves and that is they way we are going to win races. That is the way we are going to win races; all working as one to get better.”
There you have it Ron, he is working harder and so should you… work as a team that is, so stop attacking him?
F1’s successor(s) when CVC leaves town?
As current Formula One supremo Mr E is battling the Germans in Munich rumours are rive that CVC has had enough and are looking to cash in on their very lucrative tenure in the sport.
Step forward our protagonists, rumoured to be the teams (if they can find the money), Red Bull, Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll (Tommy Hilfiger) who apparently has Ferrari on board, a group led by Gerard Lopez and John Malone, US cable billionaire.
The most likely candidate is reportedly Malone but who is he?
John Malone, international man of mystery and potential owner of F1 is also an international man of history. Back in 1996, he ran one of the largest cable companies in America (as he still does), which he had grown by buying up small rural companies running them ruthlessly (or efficiently if you prefer bloodless corporate speak) and effectively. Rupert Murdoch, fresh from terrorising the British press, needed more, and had set his sights firmly on the colonies as being ripe for the plucking. So he hired Roger Ailes, fresh from his ouster at NBC, to create a News show that would compete with the likes of CNN and MSNBC. They would call it “Fox News”
The main difficulty they encountered was nobody wanted it. There was already a CNN and an MSNBC and the cable companies were paying them for content, which was (and remains to a large extent) the business model on which they operated. So content producers like ESPN were able to extract large quantities of cash (as they still are) from cable operators because their programming guaranteed viewers in a very reliable way.
As with many of his endeavours, Murdoch solved his problem with lots and lots of money, rumoured to be in the neighbourhood of $200 million dollars. This was the amount reputedly paid to Malone to air Fox News on his cable networks. And it became successful far beyond their wildest imaginings, influencing events including presidential elections.
Recent reports are that Malone has launched a $4 billion bid to buy almost half the F1 business from CVC. Could we see a repeat of the partnership that changed the broadcasting face of America? Malone believes strongly in competition, but is perfectly happy to cooperate if it makes him more money and his history with Murdoch could see them together again in the racing business. Will he and Murdoch form a partnership and bring affordable streaming and 21st century technology to F1 if Malone succeeds in his bid? It’s impossible to know, but if he does it won’t be because he believes the fans should have greater access to the sport, it will be because it makes money for John Malone.
Ferrari really trying hard to rebuild (GMM)
Ferrari has set its million-dollar sights on luring Ross Brawn back to Formula One. That is the claim on Thursday of the Milan daily Corriere della Sera, reporting that the 59-year-old has been offered EUR 5 million per season if he comes back to the sport with a prominent role at the famous Italian team.
Brawn stepped back from F1 at the end of last season, having led the Mercedes team to the cusp of its current dominance. Before that, he was team boss at Honda, and after the Japanese carmaker withdrew he took over the Brackley outfit and won the 2009 title as ‘Brawn GP’.
The burly Briton is, however, perhaps best known for being technical director at Ferrari during the ultra-successful Michael Schumacher era until 2006.
Speculation he might abandon retirement with a new prominent role at Maranello surfaced in May, when he was spotted at Ferrari’s headquarters. But he insisted he was only there “with a group of friends as part of a tour of Italy — no more than that!”
TJ13 Comment: How much truth can be behind this offer? Newey was rumoured to be offered £20m by Ferrari to join them and it’s not like Brawn needs the money so Ferrari should perhaps dig a bit deeper.
Haas joins F1 much sooner expected… as a sponsor
This afternoon Haas Automation officially joined F1 as a sponsor of Ferrari. The company’s logos will adorn the red Ferrari cars of Alonso and Raikkonen until the end of 2015 on the eve of 2016 when Haas is expected to enter his own team under the Haas banner.
Speaking of the deal Mattiacci said, “We are pleased to welcome Haas Automation as our newest Official Supplier. This agreement strengthens our existing connections with the USA, an important market not only for our company, but also for Scuderia Ferrari, as it is one where the team already benefits from several important partnerships.
“Over the past few months, we have been exploring with Haas a number of potential areas of collaboration, and this agreement is an immediate opportunity that we are pursuing, which proves Haas’ interest in Formula One. This collaboration will enable Haas Automation to reinforce its brand awareness and promote its products and services around the world, thanks to the appeal of Scuderia Ferrari and the global reach of Formula One.
“We are therefore delighted to make this announcement, which sees another premium brand join our portfolio of partners. In parallel, but as a separate project, Haas is committed to entering Formula One with its own team, a testimony to the growing appeal of our sport in the USA and on this front, technical discussions are ongoing between us.”
Well now, Caterham goes for sale yet Haas is not interested, rather, he’d sponsor Ferrari… Perhaps the maths do not stack up 100% after all..