This page will be updated throughout the day.
Please if you are on Twitter press the tweet button below. If you re-write and tweet individual story headlines don’t forget to include #F1.
You may not realise how hugely important this is and has helped grow our community significantly
Previously on TJ13:
OTD Lite: 1999 – The most selfless act in Formula One history
With the current bru-ha-ha surrounding the Mercedes team and it’s drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, many fans have come to believe that all drivers are selfish and focused purely on themselves, not their employers. Yet fifteen years ago…
You have been presented with an opportunity at the highest level. All those failed ambitions with the minnows of motor-sport have led to a chance with the most famous team in the world. You are substituting for a global superstar who broke his leg several weeks before. There is no contract talks of replacing either driver for the following season despite Eddie Irvine having signed to join the Jaguar squad for 2000.
You are leading the race and the world’s attention is on you. You anticipate the silence to be interrupted by a team instruction to make way for your team-mate who lies in second place but is chasing Championship honours – do you:
a) Take the race victory – you haven’t got a drive for next season anyway.
b) Take the victory and claim the radio was not working, your eyesight was affected by the sun as you passed the pits and couldn’t see the team pit board,
or do you
c) move aside to help the team otherwise you would be dismissed. The bonus being all those team principals will remember your sacrifice and come running because of how honourable you were?
On this day, Mika Salo played the team game and gave up what was likely to have been his only ever F1 victory to support Irvines cause – Irvine presented him with the winners trophy. The calls from other teams never really materialised just a season with Sauber and then Toyota followed before his retirement from F1 but he has continued racing with the Maserati and Ferrari concerns in GT and sportscar racing. Was it the correct decison in Germany that day?
Also, today in 1976 saw the last Formula One race at the Nordschleife, remembered for ever for this.
(From GMM news source – includes closing TJ13 comment)
McLaren rumours ‘natural’ for on-form Bottas – Hakkinen (GMM)
Mika Hakkinen has acknowledged rumours linking his protege Valtteri Bottas with McLaren. The fellow Finn and double world champion has been a key to Bottas’ formula one foray so far, culminating in the 24-year-old’s debut at Williams last year after a season on the testing and Friday practice bench. But it is in 2014 that Bottas, with a hat-trick of podiums in June and July and a regular top-three qualifier, has hit the kind of form that now has him linked with a bright F1 future.
“At the moment the two hot names in F1 are Bottas and Ricciardo,” Hakkinen, who has been involved in Bottas’ management, said in his latest interview with sponsor Hermes. When Hakkinen retired, he famously advised McLaren that if the British team wanted to continue to win, “get the Finn” — referring to Kimi Raikkonen. Now, the 45-year-old has similar advice.
Hakkinen admits that he has heard speculation linking McLaren, who are openly seeking the best possible drivers to spearhead the new works Honda foray, with Bottas. “This is quite natural,” he said. “The first thing is that Valtteri is still a young driver who has been in formula one only for a short time. But Valtteri is interesting not only because of his speed. He can also motivate others in the team and is able to create an atmosphere that is necessary for success,” he added. “There is interest,” Hakkinen confirmed, “and that’s good. What happens in the future remains to be seen.”
Also impressed by Bottas this year is Hakkinen’s old long-time McLaren teammate David Coulthard. “He (Bottas) has had three podiums and is outperforming a very able Felipe Massa,” Coulthard, now a television commentator, told the Telegraph newspaper. “Valtteri seems a bit like Mika: totally unemotional, which helps in the heat of F1. Mika does not work with many people, so that says something in itself,” Coulthard added. “He (Bottas) is clearly someone to watch for the future, but you only find out if people can deal with the pressure of a championship fight until it happens.”
TJ13 comment: It was bound to happen. Initially they chased Alonso, then Hamilton was mentioned, next on big Ron’s bucket list was a young German, but so far this year he has been on the wrong end of a good spanking, from the Colgate kid. Now Big R and his side kick Eric are looking at chisel jawed Bottas as the most obvious replacement for Button.
The CEO of Santander made his thoughts clear about the marketing value of middle aged Jenson Button. If Honda want Button out, this surprises some, as he has been dating for some time a Japanese supermodel. Jenson and Jessica could be the “Posh and Becks” of F1 and then why wouldn’t Honda wish to retain Button’s services, because the couple should appeal to the older generation, whose faculties are on the wane, but buy Honda cars by the truckload.
Vijay granted bail by Indian Supreme Court
In stark contrast to his pal, Rubrata Roy, Vijay’s troubles have been sidelined for most of this year. Yes, hundreds of Kingfisher employees have not been paid for months of work done, whilst Mallya travels the world 1st class – regular that is, as his private plane has been impounded by the Indian authorities..
Further, Mallya’s team are doing exceedingly well this year, and are set to take Lotus’ seat around the table when the F1 strategy group meet.
Vijay was also nominated to play with the big boys recently. Having been offered a place at the F1 school of bright ideas along with Bernie, Toto, Marco and Horner.
The meeting of the F1 popularity steering group was in fact cancelled yesterday, however, Mallya would not have been in attendance and deputy Bob, builder of Fast cars – from Yorkshire, was set to take his place.
The woes of Mallya’s troubled Kingfisher empire, have been regularly reported here at TJ13. Yet they are not as significant as his chum, boss of Sahara Rubrata Roy, who has been sweating it out during the New Delhi summer whilst detained at the Maharajah’s pleasure.
The Indian Tax Authorities are not very happy with Vijay and they are chasing him for a big pile of millions ($64m, according to the Times of India). The ex-Indian billionaire is accused of deducting taxes from his employees and never paying them over to the government over a period of many years.
Jeevan J Neeralagi, counsel for the Tax Authorities, contended Mallya’s offences were not bailable and, given the conduct of the accused, the bail plea should be rejected.
“The complainant department is yet to record his (Mallya) statement under section 131 of the IT Act, 1961, for which his presence is required. If he is released on bail, he is not likely to co-operate in any proceedings and he will dispose of all personal assets, putting the recovery proceedings in jeopardy. He is a non-resident Indian and frequently travels abroad. There’s a likelihood of his not co-operating in the proceedings,” argued Neeralagi.
Yet Vijay, dressed from head to toe in radiant white as some kind of Indian version of Flavio – received the bail he had requested.
Rubrata Roy, in stark contrast, is attempting to raise $1,7bn, before he will see the light of day again. He remains in Delhi’s Tihar jail, though has been granted access to the internet, a telephone and a conference room – where he negotiates the sale of assets such as Grosvenor House and the New York Plaza Hotel.
TJ13 received reports that during the one day shut down at the Silverstone team’s factory over the bank holiday weekend in May, Sombrero’s were seen hanging neatly from the executive coat stand. Also, empty bottles of Tequila were unguardedly left in the trash and discovered by returning workers the next day.
It may be that Mallya can get permission to visit Rubrata Roy whilst he is on his Indian sojourn, with a view to finally agreeing the terms for the sale of the Sahara shares in the Force India team.
As well as taking the game to some of the most corrupt national administrations on planet earth, Formula 1 also loves to play ball with many of the biggest corporate vagabonds from across the globe…… Now why would that be?
Lotus on the Brink
Lotus is owned by a private equity company Genii (aka corporate gamblers), which is registered for corporate administrative and tax purposes in the low tax haven of Luxenbourg.
However, the investment behind the team is in effect a pool of funds provided by many smaller investors, topped up by a few bigger players.
The Enstone team made it across the start line in 2014, due to a ‘final call’ on the investors to fund the team’s 2014 project, together with almost $40m in prize money for finishing fourth in the 2013 F1 constructor’s table.
Yet the team has still seen some 100 redundancies and a brain drain over the past year, as the financial crisis deepened as Mansoor Ijaz failed to deliver his mountains of mula from his mysterious investors.
Luxembourg publication Tageblatt reveals the company which runs the Lotus F1 team has huge financial difficulties.
Despite the fact that the 2011 accounts should have been filed by September 2012, Lotus have just filed the accounts for years ending 2011 and 2012.
The total indebtedness of the team is 185 million euros and 2012 saw the team overspend by 53 million.
In one year, Lotus’ indebtedness rose by 130 million euros, from 55 milion to 185 million euros. Equity debt is now at 126 million euros.
2013’s numbers are due to be filed imminently, yet whether the owner’s of Enstone have managed stem the annual losses is uncertain.
Lotus currently lie 8th in the WDC this year, which would see them receive around $20m less in prize money than in 2013. That said, to the rescue came Pastor Maldonado who rode into town with a bag full of Venezuelan petro-chemical dollars to offset this amount.
However, private equity firms charge punitive rates of interest on their investments, and the investors in Lotus have already seen the repayment of their capital rescheduled at least once.
It is likely when the 2013 accounts are published, the team’s indebtedness will rise further, as the shareholders were forced to respond to an emergency funding call late last year, following the discovery that Mansoor Ijaz’s cheque, was written in invisible ink.
F1 will become GP1 says Newey
Despite the pin from Red Bull Racing, Newey’s career designing F1 cars is finished. To paraphrase, the genius designer believes the challenge in creating a new Formula 1 car is now boring.
Newey’s has been peerless, with the exception of Rory Byrne, in his tenure as an F1 car designer. With 10 cars delivered to win 10 driver championships,
TJ13 reported last October when Newey’s right hand man Peter Pedromou resigned from Red Bull, that there were rumours emerging to the effect that Newey was on his way out of the sport.
Newey explains to Motorsport Magazine, “There have been a whole host of factors playing their parts in my decision to leave F1, and a lot of mixed emotions. I felt it was time to challenge myself in something different and that’s certainly a factor. But at the same time I do think the regs have become too restrictive. We’re in danger, chassis-wise, of becoming GP1. Everybody’s converging on cars that look more and more similar. We’re back to ‘paint the cars white and it’s difficult to spot the difference’ – especially next year when we even lose the different noses.”
Newey has pushed the boundaries of human understanding forward, in his quest to understand how he can propel man objects ever more efficiently through nature’s primal force – the wind.
Almost to a man, F1 designers have followed the search for the aero efficient Utopia, such that Formula 1 teams as a whole now employ more aerodynamicists, than the combined military and civil aviation global industry.
Unable to replace Byrne effectively, Ferrari have been languishing in Newey’s wake for the best part of a decade, and their president has persistently complained that aero micro engineering is not relevant for his famous red road cars.
The dominance of aero efficiency has had unfortunate consequences. In the search for ever more down force, but lower drag co-efficient, the wake of a Formula 1 began to affect the racing in a serious manner.
The airflow from the rear of F1 cars became ever more disturbed and created something akin to the wash of an ocean going liner at full steam ahead. The car behind was battered by this airflow and even were it to approach from afar, closing the distance by 2 seconds a lap, the chase would be checked once the distance had been reduced to a couple of seconds.
Overtaking became highly difficult if not impossible at times.
In stepped the F1 regulators. The drag reduction system (DRS) was born, and teams were allowed to design a movable rear wing, which could dump drag in bucket loads to compensate for the dirty airflow from the car in front.
This surely was the sign aero had gone too far.
2014 has seen not juts new engines, but a serious attempt to reduce the dirty air produced by F1 cars which interferes with the car behind. Smaller wings have predominantly done the job, and the number of none DRS passes has risen.
It maybe Nico Huilkenberg’s pass up the inside of Magnussen into Monaco’s Portier turn, which best demonstrates a new found belief in the chasing drivers, that they can go where they’d never gone before.
The 2015 regulations agreed by the team technical directors are expected to tighten aero effect further and there is the spectre of standardised components on the F1 horizon.
Newey is unimpressed. “My fellow F1 technical directors have been like turkeys voting for Christmas.”
That said, the genius of Newey has created the demand for the ‘Turkey’s’. His dominant Red Bull machines have created the call for something new from all those unable to match Adrian’s exotic designs.
Though there are those who will not miss Newey, those who believe F1 should be rooted in more traditional automotive engineering parameters.
Further, others question whether the design of a car and the mapping of its engine should require a driving technique enormously counter intuitive to that which has defined the act of driving for over a century. Is this really what Formula 1 racing drivers should be doing at all?