Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 25th July 2014

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Previously on TJ13:

#F1 Circuit Profile: Hungaroring – Hungary 2014 – Round 12

The #F1 Bar Exam: 24 July 2014


TJ13 consults the readers

OTD Lite: 1982 – Arnoux leads home a Renault 1 – 2

Capelli elected to be sacrificial lamb for Ecclestone

Alonso ‘really’ values Raikkonen’s contribution

Rosberg not worried about ‘Hamilton track’ Hungary (GMM)

Vettel refuses to stamp out Mercedes rumours (GMM)

Hungary 2014: FP1 Report

Hungary 2014: FP2 Report

BREMBO find no clear evidence for Hamilton’s failure


TJ13 consults the readers

As TJ’s long term objective is to be a site ‘of the fans, for the fans’ we want to consult you on something important for the ever nearing new web presence being developed.

TJ always believed the life of the site would become evident through the comments from the community and it is important we make this better and more easily accessible for readers.

We understand the mobile issues and will deal with them as best we can.

At present we plan for the comments section on the page to be a lot wider and allow for easier nesting of 7-10 comments down from the primary comment.

However, the Daily News and comment will be a set of single stories in an index, each with its own page to click on – no need to scroll down – but we are concerned if we just put a comments section at the bottom of each, there will be a diaspora.

We may be able to have just one comments section for the day – but features, competitions and historical articles will have their own.

Whilst it is fantastic we have recently been scoring regularly over 100 comments a day, it has begun to feel more like a forum – and this may be good or bad.

So in a manner truly the antithesis of the FIA and FOM, its over to you to help us think through these issues.

PS, If you missed the comments section yesterday, it was a classic, so check it out.

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OTD Lite: 1982 – Arnoux leads home a Renault 1 – 2

The first indications of Alain Prost’s driven personality appeared after the 1982 French Grand Prix. Up to this point he had appeared as a genteel quietly spoken man with his political machinations discreetly hidden within the Renault teams motorhome.

The Renaults had dominated qualifying but withe Brabhams prepared to stop to re-fuel, they fell back to third and fourth. After the Brabham retired due to mechanical problems, Arnoux once again led from Prost and they continued in these placings until the end.

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Prost was livid because he felt he should have been allowed through due to a better placing in the championship – he also claimed they had made a pre-race agreement something that Arnoux always refuted. In the remaining races of the season, Arnoux would win again and finish second, taking his points tally to 28. Prost secured a second and a fourth, thus finishing with 34 points. With Arnoux having suffered ten retirements against Prost’s seven, the differences were too small to argue.

Seven years later, as a double World Champion, Prost was still displaying petulant behaviour in regards not receiving preferential treatment when he insinuated that Honda were not supplying him with equal engines to Senna. Except this time he had the power of the corrupt President Balestre to manipulate the rules as they saw fit. Vive le France…

On this day in 1993, Prost took his 53rd and final victory and sine then there have been just two French drivers to win an F1 GP.

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Capelli elected to be sacrificial lamb for Ecclestone

Ivan Capelli is another of those seemingly mercurial Italians that won titles on their ascent to Formula One but seemed over-whelmed once they actually arrived.

A well liked figure in the F1 paddock he was recently voted in by the SIAS as the new president of A.C.I Milan. The SIAS controls the Autodromo di Monza and Capelli has stepped into the shoes of Carlo Valli, a former president of Monza’s Chamber of Commerce.

Bernie Ecclestone has recently threatened Monza will be removed from the calendar when their current contract expires in 2016 and it is Capelli’s task to open talks with Mr E in Hungary. The problem is that however ‘nice’ Capelli is, Mr E has reduced may a good man to tears with lost empires and this decision by the Italian authorities has left observers under-whelmed.

Ferrari has remained surprisingly silent since the little man’s outburst against the Italian circuit. Luca de Montezemolo is well aware of the games Bernie plays, and at the time the Monza authorities were clear they understood the game as well.

Which makes the appointment of Capelli a fascinating one. With Bernie in trial and supposedly with his powers being drained, CVC looking for ways to get out of the sport, the landscape is changing, Canada, Spa, the German circuits – they are all signing deals that are far less lucrative for Bernie and his high powered legally trained gangster friends as the government backed Grand Prixs in the ‘new world’ have started collapsing like a pack of cards.

Cpelli had a short career in F1, he raced for a variety of teams from his debut in 1985 to his retirement, two races atter joining the Jordan team in 1993. Many thought of him as a future champion but a season at Ferrari in 1992 appeared to destroy his spirit.

Then again for any driver to refer to another in such nauseating terms as “the great Mr Prost” after finishing second to the Frenchman in Portugal 1988, for many demonstrates there is little steel to their core. Ivan left Formula One a broken man and eventually turned up as an F1 commentator for Rai 1 in Italy.

Has Monza capitulated with their choice going forwards or is this an inspired move in the changing sands of Formula One…

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Alonso ‘really’ values Raikkonen’s contribution

The Spanish Samurai has long been considered one of the more cerebral drivers on the grid. He has made good use of the media to get his views across to the teams by whom his employed, whether it was ‘feeling alone’ at Renault or being marginalised at Mclaren throughout a fraught 2007 campaign.

In recent years, increasing frustration with the Ferrari situation has resulted in even greater use of the media – both social and television – messages seemingly coated in sugar but laced with acid for those at whom the are directed.

Unlike Hamilton who seems genuinely caught out by off the cuff questions, Alonso is too street smart and savvy to fall for those tricks. Any answer he gives is fully measured for impact, as was the case with this recent nugget:

“Definitely Kimi and I work together a lot and all the meetings are quite long this year because we have a lot of things to sort out after the races. We’ve been constantly making our suggestions and comments from what we see on the track and try to help the engineers to transfer that to Maranello and translate those comments into ideas for the car. It’s not a big change compared to the work I did with Felipe or other team mates.”

Yet in other interviews he has suggested his driving level this year is similar to his 2012 performances. “Last year was also good, but like 2012 I think this year was a step above. Also compared to my teammate, who has the same car, I have rarely felt better, with the new rules I have been almost every day in the simulator, also working with Pedro (de la Rosa). I’ve spent more time in Italy, with the team, than ever before. As to Kimi? I don’t know what problems he has.”

So Luca. Your man Fred did tell you last year that Massa was as quick as any team-mate he’d ever had -and to date – Kimi has proven frankly out-classed and out-witted by the whirling of the scarlet matador’s cape.. The Iceman has proven anything but cool, and most unusually when interviewed following the Spanish GP when the team appeared to mess his race strategy up, Kimi was angry enough to walk away from the camera and questions.

In the meantime Alonso is being feted as the greatest driver on the grid, though as he remarked recently – Fred would rather have more titles than everybody’s respect for his driving qualities.

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Rosberg not worried about ‘Hamilton track’ Hungary (GMM)

Championship leader Nico Rosberg insists he is not worried about racing on ‘a Hamilton track’ this weekend in Hungary. Determined to hit back at his teammate after a mixed weekend in Hockenheim, Lewis Hamilton has won no fewer than four times on the Hungaroring, and another victory on Sunday will be a year-on-year hat-trick. “It’s a great circuit,” said the Briton, who after his qualifying crash in Germany and fight through the field to third, lies 14 points behind German Rosberg. “Maybe it suits my driving style more than perhaps some other circuits, or maybe it’s luck, I don’t know. Let’s see this weekend.”

Rosberg, however, said Hamilton’s Hungary record does not faze him. “I don’t care about statistics,” he is quoted by Finland’s Turun Sanomat in Budapest. “I know that if I am able to bring out my best performance, I can win the race. I assume that I can extend my lead here,” Rosberg added. There is also a slight question-mark about Hamilton’s physical condition in Hungary, mere days after his 30G crash and resulting knee, neck and back pain. “I’m not 100 per cent fit,” he admitted to Speed Week, “but I’m not far from it.”

Meanwhile, after boss Toto Wolff joked that one Mercedes driver this year will require “psychological treatment” should they lose the WDC title due to the double points in Abu Dhabi, Rosberg admitted he too is no fan of Bernie Ecclestone’s Abu Dhabi finale. “The (double points) concept is really artificial, I don’t like it and that is a pity,” he said in his Daily Mail column. On the other hand, “winning is winning, and obviously I will be happy if I win this year’s championship whatever the circumstances”.

On this, we have a rare moment of agreement between the Mercedes pair as Hamilton has also stated, “I’m not going to get to the end of the season, and if I won it that way, say I didn’t want to win it that way. I just want to win the world championship.”

TJ13 Comment: Bear in mind that Canada was also recognised as a Hamilton speciality track – yet Rosberg claimed pole and was leading throughout. Many observers said if he didn’t dominate there, he would struggle mentally – will Hungary be the same.

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Vettel refuses to stamp out Mercedes rumours (GMM)

The big paddock rumour in Hungary is that Mercedes has made a move to sign Sebastian Vettel. The speculation was even pushed along by Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko, who suggested rivals like McLaren and Mercedes have indeed made big-money approaches to the German.

“I don’t know which sources Helmut has, or doesn’t have, but they seem to vary, let’s say,” Vettel smiled on Thursday. But at the same time, the 27-year-old did not issue a categorical denial. In an interview with F1’s official website, he agreed that “sometimes a change can work miracles“. And then Vettel issued a classic diversionary answer. “I am focused and busy with what we do here,” he said in Budapest, “because it is not so easy to make progress.”

Like Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, Vettel is firmly under contract for 2015, but that doesn’t mean offers and approaches are not flying about among the sport’s top teams and drivers. “I think any offer has to be considered,” Vettel admitted to reporters, “but nothing has changed. I don’t talk about these things. I am very satisfied in my current team,” he is quoted by Der Spiegel. “At the moment, it’s not a question.”

But, still, an outright denial that he could be seeking a change of scene sounds different. Vettel was asked, for example, if he thinks the Mercedes star is “sexy”. “At the moment no,” he is quoted by Bild newspaper, “because it is constantly in front of us. But if stars mean titles, then stars are something great, as a sportsmen should always have the goal to be as high as possible,” Vettel added. He even failed to deny that talks with paddock figures like Mercedes’ Toto Wolff or Niki Lauda might be beginning.

“Today, there are many ways to make contact with someone. We all know each other and it’s not as though I have an unfamiliar face,” said Vettel. “There’s lots of ways to contact someone without everyone knowing,” he added.

TJ13 Comment: Is Vettel being completely honest? Of course it goes without saying these guys want the best deal possible for themselves, but it is also common knowledge that drivers use other teams interest to push through improvement to their contracts, earnings and less commitments because of what team a offered.

Lauda amusingly tells Marko today, “We’ve never talked to Vettel about driving for us. There is no demand for new drivers at Mercedes.”

So maybe Sebastian is playing games with Hamilton’s head in pay back for comment he made two season ago suggesting he didn’t rate his ability or his success because it was all down to the design of the car. Rosberg told Vettel in Monaco last year about the ‘secret’ test Mercedes ran in Barcelona, so maybe they are / were friends and Vettel wants to help his fellow German out.

Either way, rumours of Hamilton’s impending contract renewal seem a trifle premature..

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Hungary 2014: FP1 Report

Just 5 minutes and 15 seconds following the chequered flag, here’s TJ13’s free practice report

It was a glorious morning in Budapest, cloudless skies and temperatures rising when the cars took to the Hungaroring to begin the weekend of the 29th Hungarian GP.

TJ13 commented before Germany, that the loss of FRIC would be less important in Hockenheim, but more so here due to the bumpy, stop/start nature of the circuit. Would that be the case?

Alan McNish suggested recently, his analysis was that Ferrari and McLaren looked last weekend to have been more affected in Germany by the loss of the Front and Rear Linked Suspension (FRIC), with Mercedes, Red Bull and Williams less so.

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6 seconds after the pit lane lights went green, it was an eager Valtteri Bottas who took to the circuit with a new high down force rear wing on display. Massa will gain less benefit from this upgrade than Bottas because he is forced to use the same floor which was damaged in his barrel roll through turn one in Hockenheim.

Prior to the session, a coy Bottas was playing down Williams chances. Hungary might be tough for Williams, as the strong point of their car is efficiency rather than total downforce, and most are expecting Red Bull to be closest to Mercedes this weekend”.

Having completed just the installation lap, Chilton’s Marussia, freshly fitted with a shiny new chassi, came steaming down the pit lane (literally) as Chilton’s car, exuding plumes of smoke, pulling up short of his garage area as flames licked around the gear box. Max would be subsequently be given unscheduled leave from driving this morning, to go strut his stuff in the paddock and radiate his beauty to all the chicks.

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Mercedes broke with ‘big team’ tradition and most helpfully joined in with the track cleaning for the first half hour, as Rosberg and Hamilton traded early lap after lap, searching for any incremental information they could glean in their private duel for supremacy.

The Ferrari F14T looked flaky at the rear on the prime tyre, though Alonso always finds a way of flattering to deceive by the end of FP1. However, today Fernando was less than optimistic prior to the session. The circuit layout is not particularly good for us. It is a traction-demanding circuit. On the other hand, some circuits we have thought to be more competitive and were less and vice versa”.

Niki Lauda was observed inside the Ferrari garage, apparently welcome. Most strange,…. but it would be uncharitable to assume Ferrari don’t really care who catches sight of their secrets, because there is little of worth to be learned from their 2014 F1 design.

If all else fails, the Ferrari mechanics can always console themselves with the fact the Maranello Red paint job looked tremendous in the morning sunlight.

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A disconsolate sounding Vettel complained of a dodgy steering wheel, Laptime doesn’t work, I don’t get anything on the dash.” That said, Seb needn’t have worried too much, because after 30 minutes his RB10 was over 2 seconds slower than the lap time set by Rosberg.

Interestingly, the angle of rake on the RB10 appeared more pronounced than ever, presumably because the straights at the Hungaroring are the length of a school sports day egg and spoon race. Thus increased drag from an elevated rear end hurts top speed less.

Vettel looked far more ragged through the slower corners, than the smoother Ricciardo, whose driving style mean he was getting the power down earlier on the corner exits.

As the option tyres were fitted, it was as though the F14T had finally digested its early day double espresso. Kimi was suddenly third quickest and purple in sector one, with Fernando popping up fourth, but 0.4s back.

Was this the glimpse of the dawning of a new ice age?

This appeared to irk Fernando, who for some reason began a conversation with his engineer in Italian over the radio. He was visibly unhappy at the end of the session as he sat in the car, shaking his head, almost refusing to get out until matters were righted.

“I just don’t have rear grip, not at all, especially in low-speed corners,” complained Jenson after a rather disconcerting mid corner snap. Though with 30 minutes to go, McLaren were the 4th best team just behind Red Bull.

Max was recalled from his paddock soiree with 15 minutes of the session to go, because the Marussia boys had worked wonders and repaired his singed Marussia. After being waved out of the garage three times, without success, Chilton entertainingly revved his Ferrari engine to the limit, and then crept out onto the concrete apron and off down the pit lane.

JEV had a happier session than his Russian team mate, who complained several times about the lack of rear grip. Toro Rosso were consistently ahead of Williams throughout the morning, behind an incrementally resurgent McLaren.

At the back of the mid-field, Force India, Sauber and Lotus were all fairly anonymous in terms of radio chat and more importantly lap times.

And in the war of the minnows, Caterham appeared to be having a better day than in recent times, as they hauled themselves ahead of Marussia in the final standings,

Hamilton topped the times, just over a tenth ahead of his team mate with the Mercedes gap to Ferrari a mere four tenths of a second. This is a circuit the Hamfosi have targeted as a ‘Lewis’ track, and with good reason. Yet the margin he edged out over Rosberg was hardly a sign of domination and Lewis will have to get it together in Q3, or there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth on the morrow.

Despite getting his coded lunch order in early, Alonso failed to get ahead of Kimi who finished ahead by four tenths of a second.

Vettel found half a second on Ricciardo, despite his rally cross style driving, whilst Magnussen again provided Jenson Button with a reason to colour code match his cheeks and his most pink helmet.

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FP1 Results:

# Driver Ctry Team Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:25.814 27
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:25.997 0.183 31
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:26.421 0.607 29
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:26.872 1.058 23
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:27.220 1.406 28
6 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:27.357 1.543 28
7 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:27.683 1.869 30
8 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:27.782 1.968 16
9 Jenson Button McLaren 1:27.804 1.990 27
10 Felipe Massa Williams 1:27.960 2.146 24
11 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:27.967 2.153 25
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:28.101 2.287 28
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:28.208 2.394 32
14 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:28.266 2.452 28
15 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:28.330 2.516 21
16 Sergio Perez Force India 1:28.376 2.562 24
17 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:28.593 2.779 24
18 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:29.025 3.211 23
19 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:30.363 4.549 30
20 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:30.892 5.078 24
21 Max Chilton Marussia 1:31.004 5.190 5
22 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:31.248 5.434 20

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Hungary 2014: Free Practice 2 Report

A record breaking 3 minutes and 15 seconds following the end of FP2, here is our report

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FP1 in Hungary always feels somewhat disjointed, as drivers fiddle around with setup more than usual as they configure the car to the stop start nature of the circuit. So FP2 should provide a better insight as to where the teams behind Mercedes are really at this weekend.

The big question was, would McLaren continue to lead Williams? Jenson Button said this morning that the upgrades introduced in Germany were “definitely a step forward and it should help us around here – the downforce package we had on the car was more of a Hungary-type package so it should benefit us here more than in Hockenheim”.

Maybe Woking forgot which way round the races were?

Lewis Hamilton had a floor change between the morning and afternoon session.

With a track temperature topping 54 degrees, the pit lane light went green.

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After a morning spent socialising in the sun drenched paddock, whilst the team fixed his Marussia, Max Chilton is keen to go, He sets the first time, though its somewhat off the pace at 1:34:239

8 minutes in, team mate Kevin Magnussen did some off-roading down at Turn Six, out-braking himself and running through the gravel before rejoining the track. Not an ideal start to FP2. Maybe the new shark teeth style serrated rear wing wasn’t doing its job properly, and took a bite out of Magnussen when he didn’t expect it.

At the 180 degree penultimate corner, Nico Hulkenberg was carrying good speed on entry, while Alonso was struggling with a Ferrari which looks as though it hasn’t woken up from a long lunch. The Spaniard was sawing away on the steering wheel – as though trying to shake the F14T into life.

Vettel was taking this corner in one smooth sweep, whilst Ricciardo appeared to have less confidence in his car, lifting and applying the throttle 2 or 3 times mid bend.

20 minutes in and Lewis blasted to the top of the timesheets, with a 1:26:161, with Rosberg 0.6s behind having been balked by an RB10. Over 2.4s covered the top ten at this stage.

Then, Pastor Maldonado sends his Lotus spinning off the sticky stuff, but the Lotus mechanics breathed a sigh of relief as there were no broken bits to fix. Kobayashi spun at turn 8 and Ericson had a big moment at turn 11 running well wide.

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Kvyat then clipped the kerbs at the chicane, sending his Toro Rosso airborne.

It was noticeable that all the cars appeared to be scruffy, sliding around all over the place as the F1 cars resemble go-karts. Clearly this circuit is no Hockenheim and the Fric-less machines are being affected.

Romain Grosjean, is told, “Box Romain, box, we’ve still got the leak, sorry.” He did, jumped out of the car and stomped out of the back of the garage.

Half way through the session, the Bulls topped the timesheets after bolting on the option tyres, and as Lewis set off from the garage with his own fresh rubber, he was told, “In terms of braking you were on the limit with that prime tyre.”

On a fresh set of soft tyres, Nico Rosberg then blew the Bulls away, going 4 tenths quicker than Vettel. Hamilton on the same lap had a huge lockup into turn 2, gave up on the corner, running wide.

Massa continued the catalogue of driver errors, had a huge spin at the chicane after locking up on entry. Gravel spewed everywhere. The Williams car then skulked sheepishly out of the kitty litter and trundled off back to the pits.

Rob Smedley rather strangely was then seen grappling heartily with Massa’s left rear wheel inside the garage, as though he was an entrant in the Commonwealth Games Judo competition.

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With 40 minutes to go, Raikkonen pulled one out of the bag and jumped into 4th place, a second behind Rosberg, who himself had now been unseated from the top spot by a flying Hamilton.

It wasn’t long before proper order returned to the Ferrari team, as Alonso hooked one up, pushing his team mate down a place by just over a tenth of a second.

Jenson has a new race engineer this weekend, Tom Stallard, ex-Olympic rowing silver medallist. This appears a rather panic reaction from McLaren, as surely changing race engineer between back to back races is not ideal – unless there’s torrential rain maybe?

An hour gone, soft tyre runs complete, and it was 4 different teams in the top five with Hamilton top then, Rosberg, Vettel, Alonso and Magnussen – all covered by 1.1s

Team mate splits after those runs were

Hamilton to Rosberg, -0.238s
Vettel to Ricciardo, -0.827s
Alonso to Raikkonen, -0.293s
Magnussen to Button, 0.654s
Bottas to Massa, -0.401s

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The long run simulations then began. On a set of the harder medium tyres, Massa didn’t look happy and pitted after just 7 laps.

The gap between the soft and the medium looked to be as much as 1.6 seconds, which if proven to the case will mean more… rather than less pit stops… will be the way to go if the rain stays away on Sunday.

The Mercedes pair churned out lap after lap, and were consistently separated by just a tenth of a second. Then pit radio created the drama of the session.

Rosberg was instructed, “Nico, we need a lower gear in Turn 1 – engine damage”.

“Did you ask me to take fourth gear for Turn 1?” Rosberg enquired.

“Yes, we wanted a longer gear but it’s too much for the engine,” came the reply.

Rosberg had been told previously to use a lower gear for turn 1, to conserve fuel. This apparently began to damage the engine, as the torque from fourth gear and the new hybrid engine in an 80mph turn was massive.

With cars running race simulations over the final 30 minutes, the earlier driver errors abated. So it’s time to crunch the long run lap times and try to work out some kind of pecking order for Sunday.

Gut feeling would suggest, Red Bull are Mercedes closest challengers, followed by Alonso and Force India. That said, Williams were nowhere 2 weeks ago on the Friday, but certainly came good for qualifying and the race.

FP2 Results

# Driver Ctry Team Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:24.482 38
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:24.720 0.238 38
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:25.111 0.629 33
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:25.437 0.955 26
5 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:25.580 1.098 34
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:25.730 1.248 30
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:25.983 1.501 29
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:25.999 1.517 37
9 Jenson Button McLaren 1:26.234 1.752 33
10 Felipe Massa Williams 1:26.402 1.920 18
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:26.689 2.207 42
12 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:26.703 2.221 37
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:26.789 2.307 39
14 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:26.919 2.437 41
15 Sergio Perez Force India 1:27.013 2.531 39
16 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:27.019 2.537 40
17 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:27.021 2.539 14
18 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:27.480 2.998 32
19 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:28.370 3.888 35
20 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:28.469 3.987 26
21 Max Chilton Marussia 1:28.586 4.104 35
22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:29.036 4.554 34

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BREMBO find no clear evidence for Hamilton’s failure

Today BREMBO issued a press release stating that “no clear evidence of a single cause of failure” was found and they are “continuing rigorous analysis will take into account multiple factors which could have contributed to the incident.

Of course once the results of this technical analysis is available it will be communicated. The did however state that “Formula One is a domain of advanced development where technologies are pushed to their limits and in which strong partnerships are crucially important.

And to this end Mercedes will continue to use BREMBO products and work closely with the supplier.

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120 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 25th July 2014

    • I’d say that Bernie and CVC have legally stolen money from F1 for years… Considering it was underhand negotiations that have allowed him to take control of a sport.
      Consider also the fact that he and Mosley arranged a 100 year TV rights deal for a pittance compared to what football rights are worth annually 😫

      • Which makes me think that there is less to the religious assumption of profit maximization than meets the eye. Welcome stakeholder theory!

        • My favorite quote from researching the Malone article was in regards to the early cable landscape. It was something along the lines of “We had to change the law so we could sell people things they were used to getting for free”. Like TV.

      • On the assumption that the trial doesn’t go his way, I’m looking forward to a slight rewording of those digitally inserted banners in the race broadcasts.
        Bernie says: Think before you bribe

  1. “TJ13 Comment: Bear in mind that Canada was also recognised as a Hamilton speciality track – yet Rosberg claimed pole and was leading throughout. Many observers said if he didn’t dominate there, he would struggle mentally – Hungary could well be the same.”

    Agreed. But Canada was in a FRIC-ky Merc, and in bumpy Montreal that may have been of some help. Hungary will be in a FRIC-less Merc, and from Germany we still don’t know how well Rosberg fares vs Hamilton in a FRIC-less car. A juicy weekend if you asked me.. (Assuming that this time Lewis’ brakes hold their own..)

    • Also, Lewis reeled Nico in twice, and got past him during the pit stops, so no he didn’t dominate, but remove the brake issue and I think Lewis would have beaten him at ‘his’ circuit.

    • Lewis two tenths faster on average here it seems.. so his ‘advantage’ has doubled.. be it track preference or a car with no FRIC-ing problems..

  2. “we are concerned if we just put a comments section at the bottom of each, there will be a diaspora.”

    I agree. This would break down the community. And this would decrease the chance of the comments going AWOL on tangential topics, one of the charms of this website.
    Keeping one thread of comments for one Daily N&C, grouping all the indexed individual stories, seems like the way to go.

    • Does TJ have any info on the breakdown of how people access the site, i.e. PC’s vs tablets vs mobiles?

      • ….We don’t I’m afraid. We se the search engine referrals which differentiate between say google mobile and google – but those referrals are less than 5% per day….

          • ….we’ll do that – though the new site which is apparently about 4 weeks away is far better for mobile – particularly phone users

          • Sounds promising 🙂
            Can I put in a vote to keep the white text and black background if changes are afoot, easier to read in my opinion.

        • There’s no user agent in your logs?

          Greets, TJ, how be the road?

      • If the forum takes away the, let’s say, “driver focused praise/criticism” from the daily news, absolutely yes.

      • Forum sounds like a good idea as the comment section often gets cluttered with a myriad of different topics, while in a forum they are neatly sorted. Hippo likes neatly sorted things.

        • Indeed, I suggested a forum would be good a while back, so I’m all in favour. Perhaps if there was a way to limit the numbers of characters in a comment it would help, it doesn’t have to be tiny of course, but it would encourage a forum post for longer discussions, and there would be nothing to stop someone putting a link to the forum in the comments, and saying ‘ addressed this at length here’. type of thing.

          • You could easily create a forum post for each news item automatically with a ‘to discuss this item click here’ link at the end.

            It’s a tricky one in some ways – I find the comments section seems very vibrant, more so than some forums I know of, but replies can get lost if a ‘thread’ above expands.

    • Yup.
      (Nice you’re aware off the mobile issue – maybe shop around on some wordpress fora for a nice responsive theme which doesn’t have these problems – it’s annoying, but my only complaint)

          • DN&C said “However, the Daily News and comment will be a set of single stories in an index, each with its own page to click on – no need to scroll down – but we are concerned if we just put a comments section at the bottom of each, there will be a diaspora……” “Forum……..”

            For desktop/tablet viewing: Don’t like that at all. Surely it would be better to have one page per day, with all the comments underneath. Top and bottom of page links to the previous days items and news. Scrolling is fine. Clicking to each news item seems wrong. James Allen new site is awful. Change to look flashy is a mistake, content should rule. Putting comments at the bottom of each item on a separate page might mean that you only have a couple of comments, and that would not give a fair impression of this site.

            It would not be confusing to read comments, if people used common conventions, like re subject or @commenter + edited quote. The current general format idea is fine, but the theme/style sheet could be improved. A forum – do you really have time to moderate all the junk that comes with a forum? The current concept seems to be good balance between a pure news site and the anarchy of a forum. Do we really need x^∞ of “+1 Hi. I agree/disagree” Most current posts that start with I agree/disagree, add something to the discussion. I think that would change. I was told that advertisers don’t really like forums.

          • Our current view is that there will be a single comments section for all DN&C stories. Features – as now – will have their own individual sections

          • So would comments supplemented by a forum not work better. Some people like to comment many times a day, which is fine, does this not make the comments section harder to follow?

          • thejudge13 said: “So would comments supplemented by a forum not work better. Some people like to comment many times a day, which is fine, does this not make the comments section harder to follow?”

            With the ‘new design’, which I assume takes into consideration wide screen format, then it could be made easy for people to follow comments by topic. By that, I would suggest that the “Leave a reply” box section, should have a comment title box. You could easily have a drop down menu with the days news items headings, plus new topic or something they said etc. You would also have the current ‘reply’ link with each post, and that would maintain the sub post links ability. In this way you combine the best of what you have now, with any advantages of a forum layout. A hybrid. This would allow people to address particular comment and have the subject title. With a pure forum, it gives people the opportunity to skip items, and I think they would lose out. The site would then become a sprawling nightmare to navigate. Which section would you choose to place your thoughts? Comments or Forum. Split discussions. Isn’t it great that people like to comment many times! Site stickiness! The only reason that it becomes hard to follow is that people don’t give edited quotes in their reply, or give a subject. You have to read most of the comment. That could be a good thing.

          • Ian:R8,

            I’ve resurrected some very very rough code for “renesting” comments, in expansion. I.e. child comments are hidden, but the “column” of comments realigns left to allow nesting. Another bit allows logged in users to “attach” a direct PM to a reply, post it note style. However this is code that is broken on current latest browsers, relied on a lot of of hacks, basically was barely proof of concept // demo, and was using a separate in process table store. Basically not even alpha and with some fundamental issues. But thinking about this now, it could in theory be made to work with mobile swipe gestures, swipe right to left to expand, other way about to contract, and refocus the box on the screen. On mobile browsers, though, there is not by any means general support for word wrap reflow, so this was one of the bugs, and I needed to add a formatting engine theta took inout from the laoyout and viewports, and did line byline formatting. That became a distraction, because Donald Knuth wrote the definitive line formatting algorithm, for Tex, that to my view alone, when incorporated into InDesign, saved Adobe’s butt and squashed Quark. Being a nut for such things, I got side tracked heavily…

            In short, I was working on much more forum like qualities within the wordpress theme etch itself. Not only because forums present a whole other learning curve, detract further from content (how many sites have forum links form articles, but when separate never get any comments?) but because even forums do not have the kind of features I wanted for composing replies.

            Just me pointing out things, ideas and possible problem areas is not very helpful, though. I’m not super fast writing code, never have been, but the thing with this area is the whole, must learn the rap innards of wordpress and theme hassle, before you can do much at all. It’s almost conceivable that writing a CMS form scratch would not be that much harder. But, wordpress, the one word that seems to get customers listening… and because wordpress designers can, not without reason completely, bill themselves as developers, there’s too much voice out there to start debunking it all on a pitch for work…

            I’ve not touched on the hybrid features I sketched out, simply because i’d get frustrated since i’d be jumping the gun on work I’m embarking on now, and can’t discuss these things if only because it’s be just more hand waving, when I need to face nose to nose with the implementation before I feel I can speak properly. But hybrid is what is wanted, not only here. Not a small market, potentially, so I’m quite full on about these things.

          • I’m going to need to see it to know if I like it.

            If the content is still there I’ll keep coming back, as I have done pretty much since you started the blog.

            I’m normally like Danilo from the structure perspective, but quite enjoy the eclectic chaos of the comments section so I hope it keeps its charm.

            Most people will adopt.

          • Along those lines maybe you could automate the @Username function so if you are replying to someone it is automatically appended. Likewise, maybe you could make using blockquotes an option if you choose to reply.

          • John ( other John ) snip…..Another bit allows logged in users to “attach” a direct PM to a reply, post it note style……..

            Oh Oh panic attack! Surely that would change the whole nature of the site.

            reply to Iain:R8 as usual my ruthless editing wiped out some of the meaning in the earlier post. By using the reply topic heading drop down list, it would automatically invoke a sort function and group the topic general replies together. The judge questioned whether the current format made it difficult to read. It’s only difficult because there is no way of dropping in a ‘non reply to a commenter’ about a news item, in the same area, because it’s a time-line.

      • @verstappen, think they’re moving to Drupal IIRC. Should be a significant improvement in load times and resource management.

  3. Interesting to hear Bruno Senna’s comments on the first lap incident in Germany. He’s laid the blame firmly at Massa’s door. Think Felipe needs to stop his crying! He is now the official “first lap nutcase.”

      • The commentating on the practice is probably the best of the weekend though in my opinion.
        It’s interesting to hear the views of current race drivers, ie. Bruno Senna and Ant Davidson, who’s opinions are relevant to the current Formula.
        As good as Martin Brundle is as co-commentator, it’s always refreshing to hear the view of drivers who have actually driven recently, compared to most of the commentators on the telly during the weekend haven’t driven an F1 car competitively since most of the current drivers were born!
        The cars Damon Hill and Johnny Herbert drove were light years behind compared to where the sport is now.

  4. Ferrari and Mclaren were the most affected by the loss of FRIC?

    Did you mean to say Mclaren? Ferrari stayed about where they were relative to the field as well..

    • ….there is some analysis to show (McNish) – looking at time behind the winning car, the had fallen back from sau Austria, by some margin…. though after this session – that would now not look to be giving the full picture

      • ok, yeah maybe need to wait and see, Magnussen qualified 4th but then had a 1st lap incident in Germany so can’t really look at time behind winning car?

  5. Lewis saying that both he and Merc want to sit down and continue is sooo similar to the same quotes the year before he left McLaren. There’s no smoke without fire. Merc wanted to create the uber-German team from the beginning, hence 2 Germans (Schuey and Nico) in a German team. Why wouldn’t they want to do the same again? And don’t start telling me Merc is an English team, based in England, English engineers, blah, blah, blah, blah! Lay people will only see the name Merc winning titles and the names Rosberg and Vettel driving their cars.

    • If they really want that shouldn’t they go for vettel and hulk. 2 real german fellows…

    • Maybe Toto does, but I fail to see how Vettel will help them with their marketing abroad.

      Though Lauda claims the credit, I have long suspected that LH went to Merc in large part because of Brawn. If Brawn fetches up on some scarlet red shores, I might not be surprised to see LH there. Would be the only way he would get in the door tho.

      • I thought LH went to MB for comic relief 🙂

        I figure that MB will work *extremely* hard to get Seb in silver for 2016. Then their team outlook will resemble something like the line they pitch for their road cars – drama-free high performance. Some would say drama-free means ‘boring’ but that wouldn’t phase the MB marketing crowd – people who say that wouldn’t buy one anyway.

        MB’s involvement in F1 is a massive ‘trust’ ad campaign aimed at linking their brand with winning / high performance. Ferrari’s made the same link for decades, though not so successfully recently. It sells a lot of cars.

        No one just buys a car because the manufacturer takes home the choccies after a race weekend, but (in MB’s case this year) the seemingly endless dominant displays of the team are nigh on priceless for the brand.

        I’d suggest the drama that LH brings to the team would be very unwelcome. For a high-end brand like MB, not all attention is good attention. I think Toto has had is posterior kicked recently about managing the English chap a bit better than he has . LH’s random outbursts are taking attention away from MB rubbing everyone else’s nose in it.

        • Let me put another way because the way you present it, it sounds a bit derogatory to Hamilton. Merc simply want to be the star (excuse the pun), not one of their drivers. Vettel won 4 titles but the real star was the car and/or Newey. With no Newey-like figure now that Brawn is gone, they only need to get rid of Lewis and then the limelight will be all theirs, all of it!

          • Well, yes. RogerD’s comment was a bit derogatory to Hamilton. Then your comment was very derogatory to a driver with a better record. Anyway, Twitter is talking today of Vettel going not to Merc in 2016, but to McLaren in 2015 at the cost of 45mil Euro per year. Seems Vettel has a car performance out at the end of 2014. So it is said…

          • Wait, so where does he go, McLaren or Merc? And 45m per year? That is absolutely crazy.

            PS I wasn’t derogatory to Vettel, I was merely sharing the perception that most fans have, whether that is fair or not.

          • The perception that most fans have, in your opinion.

          • @McLaren78 Not all fans are Brits. I am an American and have different views. @TJ13 the amount I read was in euros. But it is silly season time and top drivers love to have stories run their price tag up.

            Hamilton is very good but brings too much drama for me. Alonso very fast but too much politics. Come on lads, just race.

        • Has the president of the Hamilfosi fan club, I spoke to Lewis after FP2 about the rumours that Mercedes will be working really hard to get Seb for 2016 to replace him, due to the constant “drama” he brings with him, his response was…..

          Good luck!

          I also spoke to his teammate Nico about having Seb as a teammate, to which he replied,

          “Which year are we talking about 2018?”

          Looks like Mercedes will have to really pull out the stops to get Seb, might have to pay him the reported £45m per year that’s doing the rounds on twitter.

        • @Roger D said: “I’d suggest the drama that LH brings to the team would be very unwelcome. For a high-end brand like MB, not all attention is good attention.”

          Do you remember the short-lived Mercedes TV advert with a pseudo rapper/gangsta escape theme, just after Lewis joined them?

  6. I have to say Horner comes across as the most disingenuous person I’ve ever heard, I heard him blaming Renault completely for the difference in performance between them and merc, what utter bollox. There isn’t a straight worth it’s name there.

    Kinda like a know it all teenager, who thinks he’s right all the time.

    • … Indeed. I’ve said it before – if it was all Renault’s fault, how come of all the Renault customer team’s the RB10, did far less running per day on track during winter testing than any of the others?

    • “I have to say Horner comes across as the most disingenuous person I’ve ever heard”

      I put it to you that you’ve never heard Ron Dennis speak if that’s the case! Although Christian is right up there, and so’s Toto.

  7. Azerbaijan has been confirmed for a street-circuit race in 2016. Amusingly it will be the ‘European’ race of the season, in the same fashion as in football and Eurovision. Can someone dig up a map and a few geography textbooks? The last time I checked, Europe stops at Urals and the Bosphorus strait.

    • Well, Europe is really more of a political term, so the boundary between Europe and Asia can be quite arbitrary.

      And by the way, note that the Urals do not end at the Bosphorus. Geographers have searched for some time for a natural physical boundary between Europe and Asia. My understanding, there exist two versions of dealing with the Europe’s relation to Caucasus (Azerbaijan is in South Caucasus). One version of the boundary goes along the North Caucasus mountain range. According to this version, Georgia and Azerbaijan are in Asia, but they border with Europe, while Armenia is completely in Asia. The second version of Europe’s map includes the entire South Caucasus by following the Aras river. According to this version Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan are European, but Armenia and Azerbaijan lie at the border with Asia.

      In my opinion, historically and culturally speaking Azerbaijan is not Europe. Azeris descend from various Turkish speaking tribes, Persians, and local and are nominally Shia muslim. They share a long border with Iran. However, due to 200 year interaction with Russians, Azerbaijan is somewhat westernized. So what? Uzbeks and Kazakhs share a lot of these traits too. No one says the later are European.

  8. Just in case it’s all actually “true” and not one of Bernie’s usual negotiating tactics, I think it needs to be said:

    Losing Monza and signing a deal with Azerbaijan? What the fuck is wrong with him???

    • I guess the Tilkerer (also known as the Butcher from Olpe) is rubbing his hands now.

      If Monza goes off-line for some years and they bring it back later on, the FIA will of course find safety issues to be addressed, and here cometh the cleaver. The Tilkerer will take a good look at the track and decide to chop off half of Parabolica, and install slowish Abu Dhabi-style 90 degree corners on every straight in order to achieve a “modern track” (aka parking-style stop/go circuits). And here goes the temple of speed down the drain..

      As TJ mentioned, that would be yet another modern success story for F1.

  9. A bit too quick with the FP2 report or else you would’ve included that rather entertaining radio message from Nico and his engineer…

    “Any advice please?”…

    “On traffic?”

    “No driving”…..

    Yikes!! 😱😱😱

    • I’ve heard Nico say this before. I think it’s his default way of asking where Lewis is faster and if he should be in a different gear etc. For Lewis he says something like “where do I need to improve”.

      Still it’s kinda funny to hear an F1 driver asking for advice on driving, even if we do all know that the data driven nature of F1 means the engineers are all doing it.

  10. Both Mercs looking amazingly consistent on their long runs – clearly way ahead of everyone else (shock horror…..). Think it should be close between Red Bull and Ferrari. McLaren not looking that great with some inconsistent times.

    GP Predictor this week will be a tricky one.

      • I think Lewis will take a pretty simple win this weekend. He likes a pointy car, and pointy cars = fast cars on this track, I’m not sure Nico would like such an oversteery car. Note the Caterham had crazy oversteer though, they need to dial that back a bit, if they leave it like that the drivers will either a.) crash or b.) finish last.

  11. Sigh, no FP2 in sight as the TdF has displaced F1 here in the states. Sounded modeslty entertaining though I must say the FP2 times have not been nearly as helpful as in the past. Not sure if it’s down to sandbagging or teams just trying to get on top of the new formula.

    • … the latter – a number of teams are doing a lot of analysis Friday night and making what would have been thought of as ‘gamble’ changes to the car on Saturday…..

  12. Lewis fastest in FP1 and FP2 ? We all heard that before, that’ll be Nico on pole tomorrow then, and probably the brakes will fail again for Lewis, maybe in Q2 this time.

  13. Re: Brembo Statement

    “…multiple factors which could have contributed to the incident.”

    I wonder if but one of those factors could indeed be Lewis himself? Noooo, of course not. Perish the thought. 😉

    I do find the release of that statement by Brembo quite interesting and cannily worded. The braking plot thickens.

    Incidentally I really hope to see a real battle for pole to the end. No technical issues, no bad calls/judgments. Just a clean, lap for lap, pound for pound, fight for speed.

    • So what do you think? Lewis was the major factor? Merc conspiracy theory? Personally I think that it was just bad luck.

      RE pole, the fact Lewis hasn’t delivered, or found parked cars on his way, or had bad luck in the past 5 races, has made the championship more entertaining and the races too as he had to fight through the field. If from now we’ll have a straight fight in qualy my money is on Lewis, he out-qualified Nico 4-1 before his troubles started.

      • “So what do you think?”

        Does it really matter? Your op is set, your not really asking. I sense from your reply that your not really interested in what I think. Or Brembo for that matter.

        “Lewis was the major factor?”

        I didn’t say that.

        “Merc conspiracy theory?”

        Or that.

        “Personally I think that it was just bad luck.”

        Great. I wonder if that ‘bad luck’ will continue, and if so, will it continue to be referred to as ‘bad luck’ by you and your squad.

        “before his troubles started.”

        The biggest of which was with the grey matter between his diamond pierced ears. There isn’t much engineering available to fix that. It’s mainly self inflicted so far. Now the pressure is on, unlike the season start, and what can be lost is very visible. Certain people’s grey matter can’t cope with that.

        • “I sense from your reply that your not really interested in what I think.”
          Ooh, quite hurtful that remark actually. If I didn’t value your opinion I wouldn’t have read your posts nor bother spend my time replying.

          In your original post you were a bit sarcastic about Lewis being a factor himself (“Noooo, of course not. Perish the thought.”) and then you talked about Brembo’s “cannily worded” statement. Those two just generated my questions as I’m conspiracy-prone to an inference.

          Anyhoo, my bad, I stop now.

          • I apologise if any remark hurt. I didn’t intend that. I simply sensed that you genuinely were not interested in an answer. I was wrong it seems. So I will take your questions at face value.

            “So what do you think?”

            I think Lewis’s use of the brakes is magical. I really do. I also think his application and approach, that results in said magic, can cause more relative stress. That means, if there is any flaw in pads, calipers, discs, fluids, heat management, etc then Lewis will find it. And he will find it first and/or will be hit hardest by it in comparison to Nico. I think there is evidence but I won’t go into each thing I suspect.

            “Lewis was the major factor?”

            No I don’t think he was the major factor in Hockenheim’s case. But I do think he is A factor. And I think Brembo are alluding to that by saying that there isn’t one thing that failed, which is often the case. Implying that the brakes built to a failure point on the back of a lot of factors and that the brakes were pushed to their limits. *hint hint*

            “Merc conspiracy theory?”

            I don’t think Mercedes has any devious involvement in that failure.

            You sensed my sarcasm. Yes I was sarcastic. I tried to keep it minimal, however it was off the back of recent arguments of it being apparently impossible that Lewis could cause any if his own mechanical issues. It was tongue and cheek.

          • Paddy Lowe and Nikki also stated that Nico too suffered a brake failure using the same Brembo disc in Spain. However the difference with what happened in Germany, was that it was in FP.

            There has been 9 Brembo disc failure so far this season, only 2 occurred on a Mercedes car, Germany was the more high profile of those failures.

          • Thanks for that and I agree, Lewis’s aggressive approach can put strain into a system, it almost reminds me the arguments in mid-00s that Kimi breaks his engines…or rather used to, he lost that speed he used to have.

          • I think Kimi was breaking engines, or alleged to be breaking them, in a non-rev limited world. Early to mid 2000’s, V10’s were getting to near 20,000rpm in qualifying. There was as much engine development, race on race, as there was aero and tyre development. Engines then were truly prototypes.

            But rev limits kicked in, and then engine limits kicked in, and also engines got frozen and therefore we got super reliable and comfortably revving engines that could then be flogged without a care in the world. I think that’s what saved Kimi’s explosive record more than any loss of speed.

          • For still I surprise, yeah, the little telemetry that Lewis leaked looked very interesting on his brakes. I totally wish we would get more release of data, after a fair embargo. Of course this is sensitive, but just how so, with a year to go to the next time around? Or is a telemetry print really enough to extrapolate that much competitive information? Genuine Q. I so want data access to be shaken up and opened.

          • Hi JoJ,

            “Or is a telemetry print really enough to extrapolate that much competitive information?”

            Most definitely. This used to happen quite regularly with analysis done in team provided data for a specialist magazines. Usually you would get the traces for a pole lap and see team mate overlays (which is contextually critical) and would see things like brake, throttle, steering, speeds, time lost etc over a lap. With the right pictures and/or video overlay, it really brings the magic to life. You can ‘see’ what is happening. Where the drivers differ. Their respective qualities and weaknesses relative to their team mates.

            It used to happen quite a lot back in the day. I recall seeing this between Schumacher and Herbert at Silverstone. Also between Hill as Villeneuve at Catalunya. Also I recall an expose’ done on Alonso with Renault supplied data. A greater difference between team mates (Fisichella) there never was for the same car. Shame it doesn’t happen now as it only serves to really highlight quality drivers and educate the fans.

            I had to laugh at the Lewis insinuations re: next time we might see his data being around contract time.

  14. RE: TJ13 consults the readers

    I say leave this system alone. It keeps the “average joe” away. Only real F1 fans here! Makes it feel more special, almost like a secret society. This is by far my #1 source for F1 news and discussion.

    Yeah the comments get screwy on the mobile HTML site. But if you use the wordpress app its ok. You have to know how to use this site, kind of like getting and old car with some personality into first gear. For me, a little imperfection adds a lot to the personality of inanimate objects.

    If you are doing another more commercial venture do that separately. Keep TJ13 wordpress as-is!

    • I agree av2290 and I was going to proffer that view too. Don’t change for change sake. Yes, fix the mobile issue for those who utilise that portal, but fundamentally it works IMHO.

      I didn’t proffer this veiw in the end because I don’t quite have a real grasp on what TJ13 is really trying to achieve and also what he says he is trying to achieve. They might not be the same thing, but not by deliberate design, but simply because this site seems like a work in progress (which is charming) and the sites mission statement may change in time.

      But it looks like, gleening from TJ’s comments, that an updated new site is 4 weeks away, so unless I am mistaken this is a moot point.

    • TJ13 is not a commercial venture. We have been approached by sites far far bigger than we are….very, very keen to do a joint venture.

      Plans include to develop an international group of fans capable of writing for the site, and we in return will attempt to get press accredited to send them to their home GP – hopefully to represent the view of the fans at events like the FIA press conferences…..

      • sign me up! im going to austin this year already. sitting in the main grandstand on front straight closer to turn 1. would be more than happy to send in a report.

        • We have to demonstrate our writers are regular writers as part of the criteria…. Start tapping away av2290 🙂

          One other thing, it will be fairly difficult for us to produce much more content than we do at present. Most days we put out more words of copy than Autosport. We just want to make it a little easier to navigate and for people to reference historical articles….

          • oh man. I’m a music producer! I hire writers to write songs! haha. I’ll def give you a piece called “Austin according to Alonzo”. it will be a sensible socioeconomic expose on the realities of traveling from NYC to attend an F1 race. you can use anything from it freely.

          • Just to allay fears. There are sites way bigger than us, in terms of readers, who get 0,1,2 or 3 comments per story… So size of readership may not affect the participating community…..

      • I can imagine one of the guys/gala from here sitting next to Joe Saward at an FIA driver conference…

        TJ Rep: Oh, Hi Joe.
        Joe: Erm, hello. Who are you then?
        TJ Rep: I’m a fan and an online contributor to a website called TJ13.
        Joe: How ghastly… *tries to run the stink of ‘the fan’ off him.*

        For that exchange, and those potential exchanges alone, I fully support this site getting accreditation. Oh the possibilities are endless. 😀

        • Can’t remember CSJ asking too many questions at the events this year…. Which I find a shame.

          He is capable of not being bullied, as Horner tried to do to certain questioners today….

        • LOL, I get friendly (I think,lol) grief for letting on this place exists. No, Joe, another website’s existence is not a comment on your mum! 🙂

  15. You’ll never know why people stop visiting, but I believe that this site is messy and off-putting. Whatever you do should improve things. Other wordpress sites work okay. All websites should be easy to navigate for everyone, not just ‘secret squirrels” like av2290 believes. Stick individual comments sections under the relevant article – hiding them away makes no sense at all

    I consider the lack of comments as an indication of the number of visitors you get. You need to change things before no one bothers any more.

    • Part of the problem is the volume of content produced, way more than most WordPress sites, and the current WordPress theme is unhelpful

    • Having bit the bullet and dived in to wordpress core code since some three months now, wordpress just does not ever get any easier to understand. The development origins of the PHP “language” as a very basic common gateway script, inline with html, growing “organically”, leave still the mark. For example, see the argument that flared over whether the “Thesis theme” was GPL compliant or required to be. Well, there is a shed load of wordless core PHP copied into the theme. So before you start, you don’t know where wordpress ends, and themes and customization begin. All of this leads to what is to my impression, the fact that there exist some very pretty wordpress themes, but development falls down on incompatibilities and inconsistencies caused by inherently unmanageable code. And that’s my polite opinion. The comments system in particular, is a whole other kettle of fish, but not well separated from any other part of anything. So it is very hard to look at anything in isolation. The very “design” forces monolithic, system wide, reevaluation and rewriting, potentially debugging at a far lower level than you have the immediate ready skills for. I have found myself revisiting C and foreign function interfaces and low level things, besides relearning CSS at a processing level because that, consider CSS is another execution with it’s own order, wordpress core is doing the same, in its order, then the common gateway is doing the similar thing, fastCGI or whichever, then you have the webserver you use, whether light like nginx or heavy like ISS, no matter, webserver process in yet another order. This is even without touching any of the database side to provide other functionality, that might make sense, e.g. to run async to a widget, running calls to Lucene for text search…

      I haven’t even got around to cussing out the whole thing, I’m too traumatized!

      The comment to content // article ratio is something I talked about the other year. But the other day, I got lost in some spaghetti code mean tot extend the tagging interface of wordpress to better categories volume content.

      Sadly, or maybe not, depending if I crack this seemingly unending problem, I am contracted to solve a wordpress // ecommerce system that has to handle many hundreds of updates minimum per week, as articles. I’ve inherited it from someone who had pitched based on ecommerce being having a slideshow and a PayPal checkout, and about no planning beyond that. For a system that is specter to apply about fifty rules to each incoming referral, before customer rules are applied and pricing etc… actually, on finding the actual written even broad brush, original contract specs, I had to immediately renegotiate my deal, which now includes, well, a lot of heavy incentives, and I get to keep rights over my code and license back. That hard, and I never had to pitch it, just let the feasibility discovery I was doing sink in…

      Saying all websites should be easy to navigate for everyone is a truism, but some present real difficulties, both logically and technically, before you even think of UI or UX, and then it’s a very good design indeed that doesn’t require top down and bottom up thinking to get UX really neat. This website actually creates some unique problems, that are very nice to have. I’m burning out about every three days, but if TJ or JM drop me a line, i’ll throw any spare mental cycles that may have a chance at helping. Might need a bleep expletive filter, but hey… however it is.

      Anyhow, these are problems caused by success. I personally thought the layout issues would cramp a lot of things, a good while back, but it’s interesting to see how much feedback is now being provided. That’s a good sign the community will adapt and embrace the next effort. Such changes can be rocky with a live site, great to know there’s such a close engagement.

      • I think WordPress definitely reaches the end of its rope with a site like TJ13. The poor separation of code and templates often leads to errors in the generated HTML. It’s quite simply – badly programmed. Behind a proxy the comment box looks like something that was designed by a stutterer who sneezed into a file.

        I think it is ok for small communities like the ‘international procrastination society’, who post – well next time. But for a site as lively as this, a different, better solution is needed

      • Just a quick few bob’s worth…

        I mostly use a smartphone to read / comment and I stopped using the wordpress android app because it would regularly screw up the sequencing of the comment nesting and also skip random comments – a screaming pain in the posterior. So I just use the mobile site now with much more consistent results.
        Also earlier in the year, it came to light that the wordpress app seemed to only access linked objects (imbedded pictures / tables) at a reduced (i.e. unreadable) resolution – for me anyway and I’m no-one special. I compared PC and phone displays of the same content and there was a definite difference.
        Maybe the android app is just a badly ported iOS version? Maybe wordpress think they are doing mobile users a favour by cutting down the resolution of linked content for faster, less sizable downloads? Dunno.
        Forums vs nested comments? – depends on the volume of comments and the platform.
        Forums blow for small screen access, but they are mucho easier for following discussions. Forums also disperse the crowd, and so are way less interesting – it’s where the crowds interact that it’s worth reading.
        Nested comments work fine for desk and mobile access but if you read a couple of times a day, working out what you’ve seen and what you haven’t is difficult. More that 100 comments can be a stretch to follow as well.
        Good luck with it!

    • “Red Bull boss Christian Horner has blasted the media for focusing too much on the negativity surrounding Formula 1, rather than promoting its virtues.”

      “”When we sign up for the championship we put our faith and trust in the promoter…””

      Perhaps he misses the irony that the one person who has been focussed on negative aspects of F1, vintage 2014, since well before the season even started is…the promoter.

      (Ah, but now CH is talking about going to Sochi – which is something that BE wants to do. So now negativity is bad. Ok, understood…)

    • Hörner is an absolute massive prick when he wants to be, but I thought his response to that journalist’s question was spot-on. Obviously there are multiple sides to Hörner but on this specific topic I agree with what he says. F1 is not meant to be a political tool (but I’m sure there are a lot of political ramifications that come with holding an F1 race) and Bernie is the one who should be answering those questions, after all he’s the one who got the GP in the calendar in the first place.

      • I thought he was an arrogant tosser…

        Team bosses have to deal with sponsor issues all the time…

        Also team bosses discuss the in appropriateness of the calendar logistics regularly at the strategy group….

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