Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 24th July 2014

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Previously on TJ13:

#F1 Circuit Profile: The #MexicanGP on-track report

#F1 Features: The Engine Corrected Grid – #AustrianGP + #GermanGP 2014

#F1 Features: The folly of F1 going racing in Russia


OTD Lite: Dick Seaman wins 1938 German GP

Formula E rubs Ecclestone’s nose in it

Classic Kyalami to be auctioned (Updated)

Mercedes have concluded double points unfair now

F1 more ‘lego’ than ‘extreme sport’ – Villeneuve (GMM)

Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez meets ‘Mac the knife’

Pirelli tyre choice

Massa questions the stewards judgement

When the safety car isn’t so safe

Confusion over Hamilton contract talks


OTD Lite: Dick Seaman wins 1938 German GP

Richard Seaman – a young British aristocrat won the 1938 German GP at the Nurburgring leading home his team-mate Rudolf Caracciola. After the event he saluted by giving the Nazi salute and he remained one of Hitler’s favourite drivers.

300px-Seaman_podium_allemagne_1938

Less than a year later he was killed when he lost control at Spa Francorchamps and his car erupted in flames – evetually succumbing to his burns in hospital.

A controversial figure – he had been gifted a country estate for his 20th birthday, had the best education money could buy but he wished to race cars. He won races in his MG car and further events in an ERA which caught the attention of Alfred Neubauer who invited him to test for Mercedes.

Against his mother’s wishes – “Don’t want you racing for the Nazi’s” he signed for Mercedes and when in December 1938 he married the daughter of the director of BMW his mother turned her back on her son in disgust.

It’s easy now with our cultures of diversity, open-mindedness and tolerance to forget the bravery of his convictions – however misguided. With the British King having abdicated a mere two years before and Europe seemingly heading into war – to leave a privileged background and forge your own destiny was practically unheard of at the time and to drive for the enemy and marry a German too…

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Formula E rubs Ecclestone’s nose in it

Formula E is the brainchild of the FIA and Jean Todt in particular. Interestingly the promoter of the sport selected by the FIA is Alejandro Agag, ex partner in crime with Mr. Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore  in their English Premier League venture into club ownership with Queens Park Rangers.

Ecclestone has treated the project with disdain. “For them [the organizers], it’s a commercial thing. One or two of them are going to make a few quid and that will be the end of it,” adding, “I can’t see it ever working. I know how much it costs to put a street race together,”

Of course Formula E is in no way direct competition for Formula 1, though the racing series is intended to be the highest class of competition for single seater electrically powered cars.

The venues selected by Formula E are street circuits in their entirety and will be hosted by some of the most evocative cities of the world. Hosts are not required to pay a hosting fee of tens of million dollars – as in F1, but merely to deliver the infrastructure for the race to take place.

Today Formula E announces it will race in Long Beach California for round six of the inaugural Formula E series this year.

The Long Beach Grand Prix is the longest running major “street” race held on the North American continent. It began in 1975 as a Formula 5000 race on the streets of downtown LA, and became an iconic F1 event in 1976. F1 decided to walk away from long Beach in 1983.

Since then, the Long Beach GP has hosted the premier class of US singe seater racing and attracts one of the largest crowds of the calendar, in excess of 200,000 fans each year.

Having failed miserably to entice a promoter to spend some $100m dollars to bring F1 to New York, Ecclestone turned his attention to Long Beach, believing his long time crony Chris Pook, founder of the LA Grand Prix, would be able to persuade the authorities that F1 should replace the IndyCar event.

Mr. E failed again. IndyCar have were given a limited extension to their contract whilst the guardians of the city take time to consider the ‘alternatives’ in a more considered manner.

Out of the blue, Agag has pulled a coup d’état against his old buddy, and landed a deal for Formula E to race at this historic venue.

Admission to the Long Beach E Prix will not cost fans several hundred dollars as for a Formula 1 race, but will be free for those who wish to attend the weekend event.

“We’re delighted that Formula E has selected Long Beach as the site for its first  E Prix on the U.S. West Coast,” said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association. “And the free admission will afford everyone the opportunity to come out and witness this historic and unique event.”

Agag responded, “Jim and his team have a proven track record in operating one of the most famous street races in the US, so they were an obvious choice to help facilitate our Long Beach ePrix and we’re looking forward to working with Jim and his team to make this a fantastic spectacle for the people of Southern California”.

The US is a key market for Formula E due to its burgeoning electric vehicle infrastructure, and the only country to have two races. Not to mention live TV coverage provided via FOX Sports, a founding partner in technology giant Qualcomm and Wyc Grousbeck, lead owner of NBA basketball team the Boston Celtics, as one of the series’ investors.”

Formula 1 is desperate to crack the US market, yet it appears the sport’s business model which costs its hosts tens of millions of dollars is untenable and clearly Bernie Ecclestone’s old crony network is not the source of bounty it once used to be.

California is heavily into promoting automotive efficient technologies, and even the new F1 just doesn’t fit the bill when compared to Formula E.

CVC are desperate to sell F1 as its image and value is plummeting. They, more than anyone else, have realised the income from the current Formula 1 business model has reached a high water mark. And the promoters and fans of Formula E in Long Beach are now gazillions in pocket when compared to hosting and attending an F1 event.

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Classic Kyalami to be auctioned

The South African Kyalami track is to go under the hammer today as it is auctioned off. Joff van Reenan, the auctioneer of The High St Auction Co announced the sale – “It will be the largest auction in the history of South Africa. We have had several calls from America, Europe and London.If you have always wanted to be an owner of a circuit, be sure to participate in the sale.”

The auction will take place at Summer Place in Sandton, Johannesburg at 12pm local time and the minimum price for the sale has been set at 200 million rand, amounting to 14 million euro. ‘If a builder will buy it, will change the nature of Kyalami, then there may be no more than one track, however, some buyers were thinking about the possibility of keeping the track intact, while trying to implement a development plan around it.

The circuit was originally built in 1961and first hosted Formula One in 1967. It remained a popular fixture for many years with both drivers and fans, it would be the location of the last victory by Jim Clark and Jack Brabham whilst furnishing Mario Andretti and Carlos Reutemann with their first ever victories in 1971 and 1974 respectively. It would also be remembered for possibly the most gruesome fatality ever witnessed at a Formula One event when Tom Pryce hit a marshall who was crossing the track.

By 1985, apartheid had reached the global public conscience and Formula One’s governing body forbade the teams from returning until the political situation within the country was resolved. On a severely changed track, F1 returned for a further two years in 1992-3 but the bankruptcy of the event sponsors signalled the end of the race.

KyalamiCircuit-1960s

The original circuit no longer exists as the site around the current circuit has been redeveloped as part of Johannesburg’s suburbs. The city centre being a mere 24 miles away and the current circuit was last used for international motor-sport when the World Superbikes raced there between 1998-2002 and 2009-10.

Will this prove a tragic end to one of the great tracks or will a wealthy benefactor come in and save the facility. The original circuit had a distinct feel about it, run at altitude and with a straight that punished the cars it was a classic but by the 90’s it had been rebuilt in what may well have been a blue print for Tilke dromes.

Update:

Kyalami has been sold for R205 million ($19.4), but fear not, the buyer is Toby Venter, MD of Porsche South Africa. Porsche South Africa spokesperson Christo Kruger told South African Wheels24 “Yes, Toby Venter’s Porsche South Africa has bought Kyalami.

Speaking to the man himself it appears the circuit is safe for the near future. Speaking to Wheels24 Venter said “Kyalami is saved and that was the main reason I bought it, and yes for SA Motorsport too. It would have been a tragedy if the racetrack was lost. We all have a role to play and every single motorsport enthusiast needs to know the track is saved.

We’ll be integrating some of Porsche SA’s business units with the racetrack, but other manufacturers are most welcome too.

We have Mexico back on the map Mr E… how about heading down south?

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Mercedes have concluded double points unfair now

Somewhere in a darkened corner of Stuttgart and a corresponding room in Brackley, the key players have finally come to a corporate decision which won’t harm their vested interests.

Niki Lauda is still tucked away in his chamber and will only appear when a TV camera crew is prepared or Eddie Jordan is spouting his typical nonsense.. but despite Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe needing to instil team-orders – Lauda still rules the roost on that.

No, the great and the good of Mercedes Benz have decided that actually the awarding of double points at the final race is actually a mistake.

Formula One teams aren’t known for their unanimous decision making for the benefit of the sport, and yet they all agreed to the contrived finale to the season. Whilst it was seen as beneficial to anyone taking on the Red Bull team, to artificially keep interest up, Red Bull agreed because they knew Renault was not going to be dominating early on and expected they would need the additional help except, Mercedes are so dominant that Wolff now believes it’s unfair.

“I don’t think it is fair and I don’t think we should have done it,” Wolff admitted. “I would be very surprised if it didn’t come down to double points. Even if you are 30 points behind you can turn it around in Abu Dhabi if the leading guy retires. Maybe Bernie [Ecclestone] was right in having double points if it’s going to keep the championship open until the last race?”

“The last race could be the decisive one, and I would be very surprised if the audiences weren’t larger than they would normally be. I think the driver who loses the title because of double points will need some psychological treatment, but we are not there yet, the racing between the two is so close; retirements are going to play a crucial role.”

And Mercedes thought it so funny before the season started…

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F1 more ‘lego’ than ‘extreme sport’ – Villeneuve (GMM)

Jacques Villeneuve has lamented the lack of “heroes” on today’s formula one grid. But the outspoken 1997 world champion says it is not just the drivers’ fault, as the F1 of today does not bring out the “wild animal” in them.

“The rules are too restrictive,” French Canadian Villeneuve told Schwetzinger Zeitung newspaper. “I have always regarded formula one as an extreme sport, but not really anymore, the sport is no longer pure enough, because of the rules. Everything has become much too artificial,” the 43-year-old insisted.

That, Villeneuve says, means an easier time for the drivers.

“The drivers no longer have to make a real effort,” said the former Williams and Honda driver. “You used to come into formula one maybe still as a 20-year-old, but you would already be a man. Now you get the impression they think racing is like playing with lego.

And Villeneuve said the latest rules overhaul has proved the final straw for many departing viewers and spectators. “It is boring, we’re losing fans,” said the winner of 11 grands prix, who now attends the races as a television pundit. “You can feel that something is missing.”

Meanwhile, Villeneuve tipped former champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel to leave their current teams. “Lewis Hamilton will not be at Mercedes for long,” he told Sport Bild. “Everyone in the German team wants a German to be world champion. Lewis was only brought in to make Nico (Rosberg) even better.

As for quadruple title winner Vettel, Villeneuve said: “Sebastian has to leave Red Bull. The public is already changing its opinion of him, as in a middle class car, he is starting to look like a middle-class driver.”

TJ13 comment: First we had the brusque Lauda offering advice, followed up in a smoother manner by Minardi and now we have the consistently grunge act known as Villeneuve trying to be cool with his controversial views…man!!

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Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez meets ‘Mac the knife’

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The way it was

 

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 Post ‘Tilkering’

An eagle eyed TJ13, Anil, commented yesterday that there were moves afoot to alter the last corner (Peraltada) at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

The bad news for F1 fans of the historic circuit is that it appears practically every corner with be butchered ‘Tilkered’, with the classic Peraltada final bend cut from its Monza-esque parabolic layout to run through an infield section making use of the baseball stadium grandstands.

Here’s the fearsome Peraltda curve, with Ayrton attempting to tae it in sixth gear

Since F1 left town, the defunct Champ Car series and A1 GP raced on the old circuit layout, though a chicane was put in to slow the cars through the Peraltada bend.

Of course, all of this is under the banner of modern safety standards and will see the sweeping turn three tightened, along with turns four, five and six providing room for the required Wallmart style car parking run off areas.

The extended hairpin ecton at the bottom of the circui (as it was pic) will be removed altogether and the classic Esses will also fall under the influence of Mac the knife, though Mr. Tilke assures us they will still be ‘pretty fast’.

Oh well, for those of you missing Korea, the revised circuit appears to have taken the worst of the Korea International Circuit and bred it with the dullest parts of Abu Dhabi. Another F1 success story then.

Here is the link to a promotional YouTube video, which unfortunately has had the embed function disabled… Mmm.

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 Pirelli tyre choice

The Hungaroring is not a favourite of mine, it resembles a bigger version of a go-kart track and in years gone by has delivered many a snorefest F1 race.

James Allen amusingly yet unwittingly reveals the problem. “Being bold is the key to doing well [a the Hungaroring] , as Lewis Hamilton proved with some overtakes in unusual places last year or as Michael Schumacher and Ferrari proved in 1998 with a brave strategy change mid-race, which led to one of his most exciting victories”.

Even more surprising then that Pirelli decided to go conservative with the soft ad medium tyres for this weekend, though they are concerned that track temperatures will be very high.

The BBC weather forcast for Budapest is interesting

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So it is somewhat of a surprise to see Pirelli announce the tyres for Spa will also be the soft and medium’s, given that Spa is an infinitely more demanding prospect than the  Hungaroring.

Here’s the tyre choices so far his year

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Massa questions the stewards judgement

Mild Mannered and all round likeable Felip Massa has his dander up following the stewards behaviour at the German GP.

Following his coming together with Kevin Magnussen at turn 1, the stewards investigated the matter. On the live commentary, Sky UK’s Ted Kravitz said he feared Magnussen would be getting a drive through penalty.

That said, opinion is split on who was in fact at fault. Peter Windsor commented on the SKY F1 midweek show, that he felt Massa should have known better than to dive into the corner.

In fact the stewards at the time only investigated the incident from the perspective that Massa may have been responsible for causing the incident.

Felipe is most miffed. “So you see there is a lot to improve even in the FIA,” said Massa. “If the stewards are thinking like that I don’t know who they are taking to be stewards to be honest.”

In a rather strange admission, Massa continues, ““Now I understand also that you need to drive not only for yourself but you need to think about what the others will do as well”.

Had this been Pastor Maldonado making such a statement, there would be a party in F1-land to celebrate the Venezuelan’s “seeing the light”. Yet Felipe is in his 12th year as a Formula 1 driver, which begs the question, how has he survived this long?

Kevn Magnussen is pragmatic about the situation.“It happened and it’s good that no-one got hurt, especially him because he was on his roof and it looked bad, so the most important thing is that he’s alright. Whoever’s fault it was is not really something I get in to. It’s up to the stewards to judge and he was reported to the stewards and I wasn’t. From their view I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Asked whether it was something he would speak to Felipe about, Magnussen replied,“No, I think it’s done”

The TJ13 stewards brought the matter before the bench on Monday, and the judgement made was that neither driver was particularly to blame because they were both alongside and sandwiching Bottas, so they couldn’t see each other.

As they braked to allow Bottas through, both Massa and Magnussen had begun their turn in to the first corner.

Anyway, Massa is not one for bearing a grudge. “But anyway, I don’t think we need to go to the past and live in the past. We need to live the future and we need to live the present. We need to concentrate to do a good job here. That’s all I care about. To be honest, what is in the past will not change so we just need to concentrate now.”

Too right Felipe! A top qualifying lap in Hungary could see his Williams lead the race for the first few laps, and then anything is possible.

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When the safety car isn’t so safe

Here’s a little topical one (in more ways ta one) pic for the jury…

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Confusion over Hamilton contract talks

Red Bull racing rather cheekily revealed the other day, that both McLaren and Mercedes have shown interest in signing Sebastian Vettel to drive for them in 2016.

Following the recent announcement of Rosberg’s “multi year deal”, this led to the assumptions that Lewis may be out in the cold when his current contract with the German team expires at the end of 2015.

To quash the rumours, Toto Wolff then inferred that Mercedes WERE sitting down with Lewis – he then promptly fell of his bike and broke some bones.

Lewis was asked today about the Vettel to Mercedes whispers. “I’m not worried about it,” he insisted. “Another German driver, I don’t know if that’s something Mercedes would like, but at the moment I’m here until the end of next year. So it’s not going to be any time soon. But that’s normal – Mercedes is the best and so everyone’s going to want to drive a Mercedes.”

Why Mercedes wouldn’t want 2 German drivers is not immediately apparent, unless of course the they wanted to run a 1-2 policy…Ferrari style…  putting all their resource behind one driver.

Asked whether his management company had opened I dialogue with Mercedes, Hamilton revealed, “My representatives haven’t, but we’ve both shown interest in sitting down and talking”.

Not quite what Wolff inferred, and as TJ13 commented, should this matter not be resolved before the return following the summer break, the Hamfosi should have cause for concern.

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98 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 24th July 2014

  1. Villeneuve spouting his mouth off again….surprise surprise. “The drivers no longer have to make a real effort” – is this guy on meth? With the new rules and demands of the cars, it requires even more driver effort….

    • I totally agree…and if they do, why does anyone bother to read it? I’ve never read the nonsense he’s spouting off

    • just because your little sissy boy gets the treatment he deserves once more ? oh cmon.

      • And villeneuve was the best driver out there who didn’t have anything to thank to the car?

        • Don’t feed the troll bruznic. He hasn’t ever provided anything to a debate. He only comes here to flamebait, so just ignore him

          • Oh but my dear hippo. I had some time to spare. So i was looking for a pointless discussion 😂

    • Not sure that “wash-out” is a fair description of JV; I think you may be remembering his later career, rather than his earlier days.

      Cart champion in 1995; Indy 500 winner 1995; second in his first F1 race (and only missed out on winning as the result of an oil leak); second in the championship the same year (1996); F1 champion 1997… Most drivers with that type of record are regarded pretty highly – rightly so, in my opinion.

      He certainly failed to live up to that in later years and he has always been, ahem, “outspoken” – but then don’t we long for that rather than the PR-automatons that many drivers are? We can’t have it both ways, surely. (I also suspect that his salary depends, to some degree, on him providing blunt opinions on F1.)

      • ….agreed – Lauda, Marko, JV, Dennis, Lewis, Fred (when he’s not had his ears clipped) should give daily briefings on their opinions 😉

  2. Hmmm… slow news day….

    So since we’ve passed the half way mark of the season I went dredging into the relatively recent past of this very blog to see what our esteemed readers predicted for the 2014 WDC between the two winter tests on 17 Feb.

    http://thejudge13.com/2014/02/17/f1-pre-season-poll-who-will-be-2014-world-driver-champion/

    Biggest mover (prediction vs now) is Ricciardo who no one voted for at all (it seems there was about 400 votes cast in total).

    Kimi is the biggest disappointment.

    The head-to-head driver odds by the bookies were closer to the mark.

    The readers seemed to play favourites rather than make a genuine prediction – wishful thinking.

    Who were all those people who thought that RBR would get their act together and give the defending WDC a decent car after their disastrous first couple of weeks of testing?

    Looking back, it’s obvious that the characters in the silver onesies were already ominously good in that first test event.

  3. Alas, the return of the Mexican GP has resulted in the butchering of an old, classic race track. I just hope some of the revamped corners in S1 are at least mid-speed, particularly turns 3-5 and 6. It’s also worth noting that we don’t have a mickey mouse hairpin-straight-hairpin zone..hurrah!

    • Let’s not rejoice just yet, because if it’s Mr Tilker that’s doing the renovation work, he might just remove the smiles from everyone’s face.

    • It’s a shame that they can’t use the 1967 layout but with the changed first and last corners. Old hairpin + SAFER barriers would provide another passing zone, along with the first two sections – additional DRS after T3, if needed, to make possible passing/repassing until the old start of the esses.

      Despite wanting Peraltada + SAFER barriers, I can understand why the stadium is used.. more grandstand seating, safety, lap length, ease of creating overtaking on the main straight etc.

      But, I fear the mid-lap will be butchered to suit modern F1 cars. I would draw a line from the old T7 to old T10, as shown on the modern projection, creating a fast entry for the esses, and leave it at that. A 4th re-passing zone, after a fast kink from the old hairpin acceleration zone, if anyone is brave enough!

        • ..and if the old ’67 piece of tarmac can be retained from T7 to T10, then it could be used to ‘enforce’ a penalty, i.e. instead of a drive-through, a ‘drive-through’ part of the track.. instead of a 5 second delay.. a longer penalty lap.. although that might be less popular 😀 as the opposite of BE’s ‘shortcuts’! I can imagine Alonso hustling it and then ‘chopping’ his rivals when he comes back on track… 😛

          On a more serious note, perhaps I should draw that mock-up and send it in to Tilke…

        • Familiarity with the track helps, but I imagine a designer coming without that could compromise to it if allowed.. I imagine old hairpin is firmly off-limits now sadly.

      • Yeah, not bad. But the real issue is the already-destroyed Peralta, and having the cars negotiate around what’s left of it. I remember watching the Champ-car race there, and it was all the commentators could talk about. I know it’s the last thing Tilke would do, but maybe if he could go around the stadium entirely and build a kind of fast multiple-apex Turkey-type corner, that might be something worth having for the future, rather than just painting bright colours over a ghost of the past.

    • Visions of Mansell vs Berger 1990.

      New track won’t offer a sequel. Seems bland now without a signature corner. And some of those stands look like they are more than the length of a football pitch away from the track! Those folks will be quite disappointed.

  4. Some interesting news, if Max Verstappen has chosen Mercedes over Red Bull. At Red Bull, he could slot in with Gasly as the next ‘set’ of drivers, after Kvyat & Sainz/Lynn. But he’s obviously aiming straight at F1, if the reports of GP2 in 2015 are to be believed. He would then have two chances (2016, 2017) to be the youngest F1 driver ever?

    Mercedes focus their juniors on DTM.. only Juncadella has FP1 run-outs with Force India, while Merhi has switched to DTM testing and FR3.5. Where will Verstappen fit in? If he can end up at Force India and then Mercedes, then that’s not a bad career path, similar to Toro Rosso/Red Bull.

    Just recently, I was saying that there’s a space on the Mercedes F1 roster for Robin Frijns to be signed up…. well, it looks like they might be putting their eggs in the Verstappen basket instead… Hamilton and Rosberg will probably be retirement age once Verstappen has had a few years at Force India… who to partner him? Hulkenberg? That would be quite a line up..

    • Hulk will be past his peak by then, I doubt it. Poor guy is wasting his best years in midfield teams, really unfair.

      • Indeed.. his only hope is his reputation gets him in to a top car (post-Alonso, Raikkonen, Button, Massa) before he loses too much speed, and that he can have a period as best package overall (post-Hamilton, Rosberg, Vettel).. before the ‘young guns’ like Verstappen moving up to a fast car become too strong..

      • Ferrari is to blame here. Instead of kimi they should have gone for hulk. He wouldn’t done worse than kimi now. And he’d got to know the team and when the time was right he’d take over alonso s throne.

          • …you’d think after the last time Raikkonen was with Ferrari and struggled for half a season with similar issues, the Maranello engineers would understand the kind of front end he likes… 10 races in and…..

          • …and if their car needs were incompatible.. why place them together? LdM.. maybe he just picked them as the best drivers of late 2012/early 2013… i.e. when the contracts were being sorted out..

        • Indeed, they are my ‘top 2’ of the year so far on F1F… better to look for the future, than into the past… ^

    • Don’t know but Gary Paffet springs to mind…
      Programmes are tricky things. But if you behave like a Total Checo you can escape them – but don’t forget to change your behaviour when you’re in a top team.

      • True, although I imagine Perez used Ferrari rather than the other way around, for once. Was it not Slim’s backing that propelled him up the formulae?

        I’m sure Verstappen will do more than Paffett.. in this case the Paffett role will sadly fall to Robin Frijns or possibly Stoffel Vandoorne (he’s also at McLaren, and stuck behind another McLaren protege, that’s younger than him…).

        He could be the youngest ever F1 driver.. the question is more ‘where will Mercedes place him’? My first bet is on Force India, but Williams as suggested below is also a good shout.

    • Supposedly Verstappen will be testing 2012 Merc sometime soon. Could see him at Williams w/Bottas once Massa goes.

      • Interesting.. but I reckon they’ll go Nasr and keep the Brazilian money flowing. If Bottas moves up to Mercedes, Verstappen would be a good placement for both sides though.. that could save Mercedes the £70m they’d be paying Lewis!

        But if they pay him that, they must really feel his marketing helps them in the English speaking world… and Rosberg back at home..

        • Yes, don’t know about your neck of the woods, but over here the Mercs are becoming increasingly popular with the affluent African-American community (that’s my impression, anyway). That’s why I think Merc will be more than happy to retain Lewis as long as he cares to stay. Who’s better? Fred? Vettel? Maybe, but neither one is going to do squat for crossover marketing in the US, though Infiniti is trying with Vettel.

          • Exactly! Here.. Mercedes is more an older person’s car, someone who did well and kids have left home now, same with Jaguar, then BMW for yuppie middle-management, VW golf/polo for those young just after 2000, and Audi for current young professionals.

          • I also just remembered Merc’s entire new “A” class, CLA and A45. Smaller, priced lower and with more bling. Just saying, seems more like Hamilton’s bag than Nico’s or Seb’s for that matter.

  5. Nice coup by Formula E.. by moving the date to match with the race accompanying Indycar. I thought the February date could run at Mexico – unlikely if it’s being overhauled for F1, however.

    • I would have thought Interlagos would be a good fit for that slot.. a track in the city, make it cheap and they’ll come in huge numbers.. and Sao Paolo has a bigger population than Rio anyway.

  6. “…Michael Schumacher and Ferrari proved in 1998 with a brave strategy change mid-race, which led to one of his most exciting victories.” – Judge

    Anyone who hasn’t seen this race, do yourself a favour and find it and sit back and enjoy it. Just try to live those laps of Schumacher, with Brawn in his ear, showing the unraveling of one of Michael’s greatest pure driving and sporting performances, in not the best car. I think it’s also one of modern F1’s greatest performances too. It’s one of those races you see the impossible become possible. Ferrari stole the win from McLaren that day. Michael drive that car that day like a God.

    Michael fan or not, that race transcends who you rooted for back then. Other races I’d include like that would be Senna and Donington (don’t even need the year, we should all know it of by heart), Schumacher and a rained out Spain in 1996, Suzuka 2000 (battle like no other), Monaco 1993 (battle like no other, as well). These races I mention for outstanding driving performances. A driver doing something that he shouldnt have been able to do given his car.

    There are many of course, but for those who haven’t seen those races, you should watch them.

        • Hah, yeah good point.

          Maybe add 2006 Hungary, for entertainment value, and we have a 1/5 (exciting race to bore fest) strike rate.

    • Good stuff! I fondly remember that race, jumping up and down on the couch in excitement watching MS take the fight to the McLarens, and do the impossible.

      • Hi Mark, not sure I remember you posting before – if so – apologies

        If not, welcome; to someone who is obviously an F1 fan

        Hope to hear from you regularly….

    • man i fking miss those v10s. also look: grass beyond the kerbs! how about that! No “over the white lines” confusion in that race!

      • Oh man, tell me about it.

        I miss those 19,000rpm V10’s like the desert misses the rain.

        I youtube those cars occasionally, as my own personal Motorsport pornography.

  7. “The bad news for F1 fans of the historic circuit is that it appears practically every corner with be butchered ‘Tilkered’, with the classic Peraltada final bend cut from its Monza-esque parabolic layout to run through an infield section making use of the baseball stadium grandstands.”

    Which makes me wonder:
    What would a Tilkered Monza look like? I’m certain he’ll manage to place several Abu Dhabi style slow 90 degree corners in the middle of each straight, and cut the Parabolica in half.

    Psst… Don’t tell the FIA or they’ll take into under consideration. They listen to the fans, you know.

    • … that section from turn 7 through the Esses now looks like a complete dogs dinner….. as was suggested earlier, a straight into the first Esses right hander would be better, and there is masses of run off available – would be a little like Copse in reverse….

      • Indeed.. a lot like modern Silverstone actually.. s/f straight, slow section, 2nd straight with slow stadium-like section, then accelerate through Copse, Becketts… leading to, instead of old Stowe and Club, modern Vale section and lap finished with accelerating through a fast bend..

  8. “In a rather strange admission, Massa continues, ““Now I understand also that you need to drive not only for yourself but you need to think about what the others will do as well”.

    Had this been Pastor Maldonado making such a statement, there would be a party in F1-land to celebrate the Venezuelan’s “seeing the light”. Yet Felipe is in his 12th year as a Formula 1 driver, which begs the question, how has he survived this long?”

    Hmm, I wonder if this would partly account for his crash-kid reputation from younger times..

    Although if you string together Korea 2013 (forgot that others would eventually turn in), Canada 2014 (failed to account for Perez not having any tires left), Germany 2014 (not considering that another car might be there in a 1st corner), and all the 2012 (I think) crash-parties with Hamilton and some other incidents that escape me, I’m left thinking that there is a Maldonado-like pattern emerging here.

    • I think it’s a little lost in translation, but I imagine Massa means that now he will try and leave others more room at all times, probably because the team pointed out to him that he’s costing them a shot at a high WCC finish…. here, even if Magnussen got by on the inside into T2, he could’ve re-passed him quite easily down the back straight.. and cruised home to a likely 4th place finish…. but yes, some might say this is 3 years too late..

        • True.. Massa was looking at his mirrors a lot at the start.. so K-Mag’s quick getaway must have put him in the sideways blind-spot all the way to T1.

        • Agree with you on your assessment of the crash. The overhead shot to me gave a much better perspective of what happened. It’s just that Massa seems to be having ago at everyone who comes in contact with his car, it’s like he’s forgetting that accidents do happen and he’s not being targeted.

  9. ^

    I really love your site. Immensely.

    But would you PLEASE try to grasp the difference in meaning between the word “Infer” and the word “imply”.

    Not least because, in effect, they mean the complete opposite of each other.

    You are perpetually writing “inferred” when it seems likely that what you actually mean is “implied” and this renders your pieces totally confusing.

    I’m not being a grammar pedant, I’m trying to understand just what it is you are trying to say.

    WIthout wishing to be patronising in any way (truly), this may help you:

    http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2011/10/imply-or-infer/

    We all need to be getting the same message from you!

    😉

    • Aside the grammatical errors or not, I feel that the word ‘infer’ describes best the situation here. Lewis and Merc have not sat down to negotiate a new contract. There’s the willingness, but nothing more. Wolff has inferred from that willingness that negotiations have started. The word ‘imply’ would apply in this case if negotiations had indeed started and Wolff had tried to let the audience know this through some indirect way.

    • So the recipient infers, the speaker implies…. 😉 Most enlightening…

      Anyway I bet you don’t have to suffer SKY F1 UK because Mr. J Herbert would drive you beyond distraction…

          • The sad thing about TBBT was that it was consistently excellent through and including season 3, and consistently sh^tty from season 4 and onwards. It had so much potential, but once the initial story line ended (end of season 3), they ran out of steam and TBBT became so much more.. relationshipy. What a waste..

          • I guess we can say they ‘sold-out’, or, put more simply, just ‘became mainstream’… but I agree that along with that, the show has dumbed down just a little as its audience has gotten bigger.

          • …. Got the chicks watching though… In fact I’ve heard it is a social experiment to educate girls that blokes with big muscles and good looks may not be the best catch…..

          • Why not both?

            Get them to buzz me on 1800buffnbrains

            Bazinga!!!

          • oh dear… your comments will never again be read by this community with the same gravitas – I presume you are OCD also 😉

          • What they need to do, is get to the part where Sheldon and Amy final partake in some ‘coidice’. that’s what people are waiting to see

          • That’s one of the reasons I watch the show only half-heartedly now, and that’s why some of my friends stopped watching TBBT altogether. What *I* want to see is geeky Star Wars & neutrino infested scenes, but all I see now is lots of “nether eh-ya” and “sh^t” here, there and everywhere. In other words, they mainstream now lots of below the belt humour, and that’s not funny.

        • Thank you Landroni – that explains matters perfectly. I was on mobile devices for the past 4 hours and they wouldn’t play the clip….

          Now we just need another to educate our scientist friends who believe observing and measuring things is an activity which is absolute and delivers ‘the truth’ to all humankind.

          Philosophy trumps science 😉

          • “Philosophy trumps science”

            Funny that you mention that..

            I’m more and more of the belief that what ultimately matters in science is scientists’ *belief*. Of course you have evidence, facts, theories, experimental data, statistical results, etc., etc., but at the end of the day a scientist is all too human and limited, and will be inclined to *believe* what they want given their own bias, prejudices, past experiences, etc., etc. Humans are all too good at spinning any bit of evidence into precisely what they want to hear.

            And when we’re talking belief, how far away is this from religion? Or, as you suggest, philosophy?

    • I inferred from the thejudge13 above that Toto Wolff fell off his bike and broke some bones, for wrongly implying that Mercedes WERE sitting down with Lewis – to discuss a contract extension.

    • So, basically whenever something German breaks, usually a Brit is at fault?

      IDK, these European politics are *so* complicated, LOL!

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