Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 4th August 2014

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Previously on TJ13:

Voice of the #F1 Fans – 50 Shades of Silver


OTD lite: 1957 German GP, arguably greatest F1 race ever

F1 to ‘welcome’ Ecclestone court settlement – Lauda (GMM)

Marmorini moves to Renault after Ferrari exit (GMM)

Indycar driver pushing to join F1

Hamilton considers switching helmet?


OTD lite: 1957 German GP, arguably greatest F1 race ever

On this day in 1957, the thousands gracing the NUrburgring circuit witnessed one of the greatest victories in history when Juan Fangio won the German Grand Prix.

The genesis of this victory occurred before the race started. Fangio noticed the Ferrari’s tyre and fuel levels suggested they would be running a full race distance. He opted for softer tyres and a half tank which would necessitate a pit-stop.

On the 13th lap, 30 seconds ahead he made his stop and the Maserati mechanics went through their comedy routine as the executed the work. He left the pits 48 seconds behind the second place car and with 10 laps remaining broke the lap record nine times in his chase of them.

His first lap out of the pits he took 15.5 seconds off of the leading duo and continued in that manner. On the 21st lap he took the lead and completed a stunning drive having broken his pole position time by eight seconds. With the success he also took the World Title for the fifth time.

“I have never driven that quickly before in my life and I don’t think I will ever be able to do it again. The Nürburgring was my favourite track. I fell totally in love with it and I believe that on that day in 1957 I finally managed to master it. It was as if I had screwed all the secrets out of it and got to know it once and for all. . . For two days I couldn’t sleep, still making those leaps in the dark on those curves where I had never before had the courage to push things so far”

Carlo Carluccio

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(From GMM news source – includes closing TJ13 comment)

F1 to ‘welcome’ Ecclestone court settlement – Lauda (GMM)

Niki Lauda says F1 should “welcome” the news that Bernie Ecclestone looks to have settled the high-profile corruption case that threatened his role at the top of the sport. Suddeutsche Zeitung has reported that the 83-year-old Briton has agreed with prosecutors and the Munich court that a $100 million compensation payment will see serious criminal charges – which could have left him in jail – dropped.

“On behalf of formula one, Mercedes and all the other teams, I would only welcome it if Bernie can concentrate on formula one and together with the teams solve the existing problems,” the newspaper quoted Lauda as saying. “If Bernie stops, it would have been a disaster for formula one,” the triple world champion and Mercedes team chairman added.

He has built everything up over three decades and is the only one who knows everything — the business, the details of the teams. Everything is in his head,” said Lauda.

A guilty verdict would have seen Ecclestone, F1’s chief executive and long-time ‘supremo’, almost certainly ousted from his position by CVC chief Donald Mackenzie.

“If all the allegations are gone from the table, then Bernie has done everything right,” Lauda insisted. “Then all the speculation ends. Continuity is very important at the top of formula one for the future,” he added.

TJ13 comment: The sickening drips of corruption within F1 are threatening to become a trickle, then a flood before the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.

For years Lauda has won respect for his forthright views and willingness to speak the truth but it would seem that such is Ecclestone’s power now that this wisest of ex-world champions knows how to kiss ass. This was a man who when he negotiated with Ecclestone for the Brabham drive demanded $1million at which Mr E baulked and refused to play ball. 

Lauda called Parmalat – his personal cap sponsor – and asked if they were going to continue with him or with Brabham because it looked likely it wouldn’t be both. At this point Niki passed the phone to Bernie who’s blood drained from his face and he nodded his understanding. Niki signed on his terms…

Mr E knowing all the details of Formula One, something that supposedly he couldn’t rely on in his civil court case in London is another way of saying he has covered his paper trail and it just remains that Lauda suggesting ‘Bernie done everything right’ in breaking the law then using every legal loophole to get off says more about the true state of Formula One than him possibly being incarcerated.

Avoiding a true verdict is not the same as being found not guilty, although even that is questionable. And when defendants pay huge sums of money it’s normally seen as an admission of guilt. Michael Jackson paying multiple millions to Jordy Chandler? OJ Simpson, infamously, was found ‘not guilty’ by the American judicial system in 1995, of murdering his wife and her new partner in a worldwide televised trial – despite all evidence proving otherwise. Conjecture? Two years later in a civil court the defendants families won damages of $33.5million after he was found guilty of their ‘wrongful deaths’.

It would seem that curse of money and celebrity in America has filtered across to Europe – what with litigation for buying peanuts that actually contain nuts (!) to Halloween – who asked for that over here?

Thank you Niki, all the good favour you carried with fans has been flushed down the crapper.. 

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(From GMM news source – includes closing TJ13 comment)

Marmorini moves to Renault after Ferrari exit (GMM)

Mere days after officially leaving Ferrari, Luca Marmorini looks set to take another high-profile job in formula one. The 53-year-old’s departure was interpreted as the latest rolling head at Ferrari amid the fabled Italian team’s poor start to the new turbo V6 era.

Marmorini, formerly Ferrari’s engine and electronics chief, could now take some of his closest colleagues at Maranello with him to another struggling F1 engine supplier, Renault Sport F1. That is the claim of the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, reporting that Marmorini’s arrival is part of a restructuring at Renault after also erring with its first turbo V6 prominently supplied to reigning world champions Red Bull.

The newspaper said the news could be announced officially within days. And although the period of summer ‘shutdown’ is now beginning, there are also prominent developments elsewhere in formula one.

Italy’s Autosprint reports that the well-known Toro Rosso engineer Laurent Mekies is on the move. Reportedly arriving at the Faenza based team, meanwhile, is Jody Eggington, Caterham’s technical boss who was among 40 staff controversially axed by new advisor Colin Kolles.

TJ13 comment: This could go one of two ways. Either Marmorini disappears within the corporate world that is Renault working quietly on new projects or he could be driven to embarrass Ferrari – in similar fashion to Mercedes chief designer Aldo Costa – except it’s doubtful Red Bull are celebrating yet.

Marmorini started with Ferrari in 1990 and left in 1999 to join Toyota. Ten years later he rejoined Ferrari and took over the engine department. Whilst originally at Ferrari he worked under the stewardship of Paolo Martinelli who now works within the FIAT power train technologies group.

Any fans of RBR should maybe bear in mind that whilst reliability of the Toyota engines he designed was never questioned, their performance always was. Similarly, with Ferrari, engine failures are exceptionally rare but they do not lead the field in either efficiency or power.

It would be easy to suggest he is a scapegoat for Mattiacci but the fact the chassis designers had the authority to dictate the power unit requirements to him and he was ineffectual at fighting his corner were the real reasons he was released.

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Indycar driver pushing to join F1

F1 rumours from across the pond, don’t often gain much traction in the European heartland of the sport. However, it is August and ‘Racer’ magazine is suggesting we may see and Indycar driver Simon Pagenaud soon in Formula 1.

Pagenaud has the second most race wins in the North American series this year and is currently 64 points behind the championship leader in 4th spot.

So what’s the connection? Pagenaud races for Schimdt Pearson, who are powered by Honda.

When asked whether Honda would be fighting his corner for an F1 test drive, Pagenaud replied, “I hope they would … why wouldn’t they? I’ve been in touch with some people, some promising things are happening, so we’ll see.”

There are more ‘unknown persons’ and ‘ifs, buts and maybes’ here than In the usual 30 seconds from Johnnie Herbert….

Yet smoke without fire?

Of course Simona de Silvestro was the last driver to leave Indycar and come to try out for F1 with Sauber, though in recent times, that path is not well trodden.

Back in the day, the transition was common and there have been over 100 Champ Car drivers had some involvement in Formula 1. Though the last one to get a full drive, wasn’t too successful – remember who?

We have to go back to the nineties, for the last success to travel east across the pond, one Jaques Viilleneuve. Whatever people think, he won a WDC, but was then directed to some reading during the off season, “How to make friends and influence people”.

Hamilton considers switching helmet?

Lewis may deservedly believe ‘the F1 gods’ are against him this year. He has lost more points due to car related issues than in his first year with the Mercedes team.

Whatever, ‘the force’ may be, Hamilton clearly has some philosophical view of the world where there may be external forces to be wooed or appeased. His reference to praying for divine intervention on behalf of his one time friend Adrian Sutil was one of the first indications Lewis gave that he had some kind of religious beliefs.

untitled

It was noticeable on the track parade in Hungary that Hamilton was sporting a double set of fairly obvious rosary beads and of course he ‘thanked the Lord’ for intervening in some manner, following Lewis’ remarkable drive from pit lane to podium.

Lewis is currently running a twitter poll.

He asked fans in the past hour, “Half way through the season and I’ve used the same race helmet..which do you prefer this seasons or last?” Lewis then posted pictures of the two helmet designs.

The latest on the Hamilton fan survey was posted moments ago. “It seems really 50/50 at the moment…RT for this seasons helmet, Favourite for last seasons”

untitledMaybe the answer to Lewis’s bad luck is to switch back last season’s helmet from Spa onwards.

If this were not to work, there are other spiritual rituals available to Lewis from religious history by which he can attempt to banish the evil of bad luck.

These include, public baptism and a confession of faith, paying the Shaman, offering a sacrifice of the burnt remains of animals, a pile of unionised sea salt to ward off negative energy (though not good in the fuel tank), incantation, invocation and the donning of sack cloth and ashes – to name but a few.

But time is running out……..

Nico in the mean time has been quiet on the twittersphere since his video produced after the race in Hungary. Rosberg is believed to be re-charging his batteries in an eye wateringly expensive holiday destination.

 

81 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 4th August 2014

    • Do you think that Lauda really believes what he’s said? It’s more that they don’t have enough, to take Bernie down. If you’re going to lunge at the King, you’d better be sure you can finish the job. We know they can be pretty vindictive. When Bernie and the Brabham Boys’ (good 60’s band name there) time is done, there will be changes.

      • Of course he doesn’t believe his own bullcrap story, which is why I consider Lauda a two-faced SOB. Even Marko’s incoherent babbling is more believable than Lauda’s praising of Bernie. His nose couldn’t be farther up Bernies arse if he was a sniffer-hound for hemorrhoids.

  1. I disagree with the Micheal jackson part. But that will be a discussion til eternity, I geuss..

  2. As of 4th August this year, Forbes estimates Bernie Ecclestone & Family are worth $4.2 billion. According to the Oxford Dictionary a billion is 1,000,000,000, so that equates to £2,496,693,360.00. If he receives just 1% return on that wealth, he gains £24,966,933.60 every year. I am sure a financial manipulator like him gets much more than that. However, it puts his fine into perspective and shows it to be a mere drop in the ocean to him.
    100 million euros equals £79,782,726.86
    $100 million equals £59,422,473.00

    • So basically, he is being fined one year’s investment returns, on either a poor investment rate or nice interest rate. In layman’s terms.. I got fined for being too slow/lazy to pay my car tax.. relatively speaking, the fines are not too dis-similar! If anything, I’m being hit harder than Bernie….

  3. I generally like the articles and respect opinions from TJ13, but the Jackson and Simpson comparisons were totally off the mark.
    Ecclestone is paying a settlement to the bank through negotiations with the prosecutors.
    Simpson was found not guilty, the why, though mind boggling, is irrelevant.
    Jackson settled directly with the family who then refused to press charges or provide evidence. This is not an American problem, this is the same the world over.
    Surly, with a wee bit of effort you could have found some actual examples of the wealthy buying their way out of court.

  4. Fangios fastest time was aroung 9:17!
    Last week i saw a report of an 8:20 from Range Rover.
    Hard to believe, how things can improve, escecially as the power of those cars is in the same range, so the improvement comes from tyres and suspension

    • Not quite the same track, though.

      From Wikipedia:
      “In accordance with the demands of the F1 drivers the Nordschleife was reconstructed by taking out some bumps, smoothing out some sudden jumps (particularly at Brünnchen), and installing Armco safety barriers. The track was made straighter, following the race line, which reduced the number of corners. The German GP could be hosted at the Nürburgring again, and was for another six years from 1971 to 1976.

      In 1973 the entrance into the dangerous and bumpy Kallenhard corner was made slower by adding another left-hand corner after the fast Metzgesfeld sweeping corner. Safety was improved again later on, e.g. by removing the jumps on the long main straight and widening it, and taking away the bushes right next to the track at the main straight, which made that section of the Nürburgring dangerously narrow….”

      • Don’t forget that the circuit length has changed alos. The original one that Fangio raced om was 14.1 miles. The fastest ever lap there being Lauda’s 1975 pole in just under seven minutes.

        The current circuit was built on where the original had its start line and the current layout was thereby reduced to 13 miles.

        Whats impressive, the outright record there was set by a Porsche 956 driven by Bellof, in 6mins 31, so the 8m 20 should be measured against that

        • I was wondering how Bellof’s 6:11 on the current layout matches with Lauda’s 6:58.. I thought they would be quite close considering that’s a 47 second gap to run the whole s/f section, with the long sweeping turns 1/2 before coming back past the pits.

          • I always wondered how Bellof would have done, with the ‘career trajectory’ of Johansson (who seemed to get ‘1 year ahead’ of him somehow, after a good Monza 1984 race, when Bellof was on the sidelines after Tyrrell’s DSQ), by going to Ferrari post-Arnoux sacking, then McLaren… before ending up back in poor cars. 12 podiums, but no win…

            Did Bellof best Johansson in their 3 races as team-mates? Austria seems inconclusive, but maybe Bellof was a tenth or two clear overall.. it seems very much like Hamilton/Rosberg actually…

          • And Monza 1984 was his ‘one shot’, standing in for a Senna who the team were angry with for signing for Lotus instead.. at the time, de Angelis/Senna must have looked great, as Elio was up there with Piquet and Prost in the Q stakes speed-wise. Mansell was yet to develop alongside Rosberg..

    • the power of those cars is in the same range, so the improvement comes from tyres and suspension

      The 250 probably had a better power/weight ratio (270bhp / 1477lbs).

      Tyres, suspension and brakes (the single biggest improvement ?).

  5. RE: OTD – Fangio

    Fangio = GOAT.

    RE: Lauda

    “For years Lauda has won respect for his forthright views and willingness to speak the truth…”

    Is it possible that Lauda is actually forthright and speaking the truth, at least from his perspective, which is all we can ask anyone. Is it possible he isn’t ‘kissing arse’ and that’s simply his real op?

    RE: Marmorini to Renault

    I wonder if Mercedes made a bid for him? I doubt it. Frankly, I can’t see how Ferrari can be more embarrassed by LM than they already are from their on track results and performance.

  6. “Getting away with a crime is not the same as being found not guilty, although even that is questionable. And when defendants pay huge sums of money it’s normally seen as an admission of guilt.”

    Feel free to add Strauss-Kahn to the list. Charges were dropped in his criminal case, but he then settled (through the nose, I suspect) in the civil case.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strauss-Kahn#New_York_v._Strauss-Kahn_and_later_allegations

    • I doubt Ferrari can defend the Ferrari engine at the moment… it’s the one geared on all teams for the lowest top speeds..

  7. “If Bernie stops, it would have been a disaster for formula one,” the triple world champion and Mercedes team chairman added.

    “He has built everything up over three decades and is the only one who knows everything — the business, the details of the teams. Everything is in his head,”

    This seems to be a bizarre delusion shared by many in F1 (both participants and fans).
    Irrespective of Mr Ecclestone’s personal qualities (I’m not a fan), common sense would suggest that an octogenarian being indispensable to your business means that said business is in trouble.

  8. If the rumours are true that Red Bull want to buy Max Verstappen out of the contract he supposedly signed at Mercedes in Germany, and put him in a Torro Rosso seat next year, then it looks like Mercedes are in need of a junior team.
    If Red Bull are poaching the best young talent, as they can put them on probation at the junior team and keep the driver happy by giving them a race seat, it looks like Mercedes will always have to pay big bucks for their superstars.
    I think you’ll be able to gauge how long they’ll be committed to F1 by how they develop their driving accademy. If they aren’t that interested maybe they’ll pull out after 2020, with a few of constructor wins again.

      • And he was yelling that he would not let his son make the same mistake. But now he’s yelling that he will do everything to take an opportunity if it comes along.

        • True.. although it’s so expensive in the junior series, so if you can move up, you might as well. Although, the less time spent in GP2 the better… that’s the real luxury series. Which ironically needs a lot of time (read: cash) to have a title shot… Vandoorne coming 3rd shows he is ready for F1. Marciello vs. Verstappen would be a great prospect for 2015.

          • More track time for less money there, although it’s a bit like older F1 i.e. Aero-dominated impossible to pass. GP2 is Pirelli-spec F1. All the monied drivers are moving to GP2 thus for that reason, with guys like Dillmann and Marussia-backed Ellinas just picking up a free ride whenever they can.

        • That’s the other part of Jos’ failure: his temper. But I think Max is not such an angry man.

          But why would you go to Post-Newey Red Bull?

      • After two years of GP2 (learning year if needed, then a title shot), he would still be the youngest F1 driver I think (a young 19), although I hope that 2 years of GP2 don’t ingrain imperfections into his driving style, like it did for Ericsson.

    • It’s a tough one… there’s space for him at Red Bull – him and Gasly would be the next two after Kvyat/Sainz Jr, unless he jumps both. Frijns turned it down and now is struggling to drive an F1 car – whereas he could have been in Kvyat’s seat by now (which was originally headed for Felix da Costa, who replaced Frijns after he said ‘No x2’). If Vettel moves on, that’s when to move up to Red Bull.

      With Mercedes however, if they continue to be a top team, Verstappen will be almost free to graduate to Mercedes once Rosberg or Hamilton start slowing down in their early 30s…. in the mean-time he could have the Force India FP1 job currently held by Juncadella, before replacing Hulkenberg when he inevitably moves up to a top team. It’s just about picking the right one now..

      • But Sam bird was the protégé of mercedes in lower classes. And he doesn’t have an f1 drive ( and won’t have one) you can’t really say there is a right way in to f1.

        • I wouldn’t say protege.. more of a hanger-on.. hence his not even being given a DTM role, more of a WEC/GT one. Bird was only ever going to be a test driver at best, a bit like what happened to Paffett or Turvey. Calado was better, and only got FP1s from Force India.

          He’s probably one of the junior drivers that didn’t need the help of a manufacturer to make it up the levels, but had the connections to make it happen I imagine.

  9. ^

    I was fortunate enough to be taken to that German GP of 1957 by my late father and, sixty years on, I still recall it well. I wouldn’t, myself, describe it as the greatest F1 race ever – I’ve seen others better – but I certainly regard it as the greatest F1 drive ever.

    Bear in mind that Juan Manuel Fangio was 46 years old, the race distance was 312 miles, it lasted over three and a half hours and he lowered the lap record (his own, from the previous year – which race he also won) by 24.2 seconds!

    We only got to see them come by 22 times and what I remember most of all is the atmosphere of the crowd that day: we all realised that we were witnessing something truly astounding.

    After the race, my father bought me my first stein of German bier. I remember that, too!

    Sadly, Peter Collins was killed there the following year but Mike Hawthorn then went on to win the Drivers World Championship.

    Most of the greatest drivers of the past proved it on the Nürburgring.

    Anyone who’s never driven the Nordschleife should put it on their Bucket List and discover why.

    • That’s why ickx is one of the best… If you refer to the ring in the rain as your favorite track, you must be a bit mental. And to go out there and own the field… (qualifying 3rd in a f 2 car who where only there to fill out the f1 grid…)

  10. Summer break, not many news, so let’s conspire away!

    Horner describes Kvyat ‘sensational’. RBR try to sign Max Verstappen for a seat at Toro Rosso. And Lauda rubbishes reports off going to Merc. McLaren are interested in Vettel.
    So, if we connect the dots, then yo have Vettel out of RBR, Kvyat in and Max taking his place at TR!

      • Nice!…with half a sentence you have just killed what I tried to kick-start, rumours about big driver moves…ts ts ts!

          • It doesn’t matter! What are we going to do till F1 starts again?! Be sensible? Nooo! We need to Fleetwood Mac it…rumours!

        • What about the Merc seat that will be free after Lewis walks post losing WDC?

          Vett to Merc maybe? Beats the Berg, then we have the data we need to draw ‘the conclusion’ of the decade…

          • …mmm, that’s mroe wishful thinking on your part, isn’t it?

            What about Lewis staying at Merc after winning this year’s title and another 2-3? And Vettel finishing to Ricciardo 2 years running, then going to McLaren where Honda fail to deliver, and him disappearing in the mist?

            ‘If’s and ‘but’s and silly scenarios…admittedly though your wishful scenario is much more likely that my silly scenario.

          • Oh yeah, forgot about that, that would be awesome if it happens. Can’t wait for the fireworks between Ron and Honda!

          • You forgot the scenarion of Lewis walking away skulking towards Indycars, Alo to Merc, Vettel beating Ricciardo in 2015, then in 2016 Vet/RB obliterate the field with an own engine, because Ade’s supposed ‘exit’ from F1 was just a ruse by Marko to lull the others into a false sense of relief 😉

          • …and then all 3 of us are drafted in to script Star Wars Episode VIII 😉

          • Considering the viewership of Indycar in the tanker, and NASCAR prominent in the USA, surely Nicole would suggest a move there… :p

          • I wouldn’t mind Hamilton, Hamilton, Ricciardo, Hulk/Bianchi… although this scenario would require Ferrari to actually become a front-running team again in the next few years…

  11. And now it’s (almost) official: Jense is looking for a drive!

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/115283
    Jenson Button impressed by Williams F1 team’s revival
    “I think they’ve put a lot of effort into doing well this year. They’ve spent a lot of resources on getting a good team of people, especially aerodynamically,” Button said, when asked by AUTOSPORT if he was surprised Williams had been so competitive.

    “They’ve done a great job and I’m happy for Frank and Claire to see them competitive.”

    The quotes are slightly out of context, but even so they say it all, really..

    • I regard Jenson’s statments as a “just in case” backup, if he gets his place taken, of course he will also need to sit and make an agreement with the Williams family and Patrick, after those things that happened with his contract battle back then

      • He has no chance at Williams.. he’d need to bring some sponsorship, for which Massa has that seat, with Nasr as the back up to continue the Brazilian sponsorship into the future. Bottas is invaluable in the other seat, unless he was swapped for a driver + cash. Bottas to McLaren?

        • who knows … being his fan, I would like if Bottas went to Mercedes or McLaren, and Jenson inherited his place at Williams, just to conclude his career in a good fashion

          also, even being brazilian, I don’t believe much in Nasr, probably Williams will keep his position as it is, just to seal the sponsors, and, unless there’s a clause forcing his promotion to the drivrrs seat should Bottas leave, there’s not much, he’ll take the same path of Razia, the other brazilian who almost made it

          • Nasr is alright.. him, Vandoorne, Marciello and Evans I rate highly enough to try F1 from the current GP2 field. Nasr is a British F3 champion, where he beat Magnussen, before the championship lost its relevance.

            Razia was unlucky.. but I rate him higher than Max, so I would have preferred to see him drive the Marussia alongside Bianchi for a year or two. He also won a F3 Sudamerica title at least.

        • who knows … being his fan, I would like if Bottas went to Mercedes or McLaren, and Jenson inherited his place at Williams, just to conclude his career in a good fashion

          also, even being brazilian, I don’t believe much in Nasr, probably Williams will keep his position as it is, just to seal the sponsors, and, unless there’s a clause forcing his promotion to the drivers seat should Bottas leave, there’s not much, he’ll take the same path of Razia, the other brazilian who almost made it

    • It’s been downhill for Jense since 2011… if McLaren can see Magnussen is miles ahead of him on the tracks he knew before this year, then it’s inevitable that he would thrash him next year when he knows all tracks and cuts out the driver errors.

      That, or Jenson will have to take a massive pay cut to stay on board, a bit like Massa when he moved to Williams and brought some sponsors to the team. If so, I would say he should give Vandoorne some FP1s near the end of the year as well to bed him in as his replacement for 2016 (I doubt McLaren will snag another WDC on current form).

      • ” (I doubt McLaren will snag another WDC on current form)”

        Indeed. But a Grosjean, a Hulkenberg or, more distantly, a Bottas are emerging as possibilities, in my view. Much will depend on where Big Ron and Honda are willing to gamble..

  12. Re: Pagenaud.

    He’s slated to be fine-tuning the Honda engine. He’s Honda’s ‘secret weapon’ for testing and is considered an expert on fine-tuning engines after he did so with the Honda engines for Indycar. With Vandoorn Macca only has a rookie at hand.

    • -serious reply-

      Pag is 30. I can’t imagine why he’d start the process of making his way to F1 now.

      Secondly he doesn’t have any real jnr pedigree.

      Also he’s won 4 races and secured 1 pole, in about 50 starts in Indy Car. Hardly outstanding considering it’s essentially a spec series. A very tough series, but a spec chassis series more or less.

      The numbers don’t stack up here.

    • If he’s a good tester, then it’s a valid connection…. if McLaren are not relying on Button next year (or even if they are), then it makes sense to get Pagenaud (i.e. the best one you can get for the role) over to develop the Honda engine. Force India had Rossiter specifically for sim-development, Mercedes with Davidson for the same purpose.

      McLaren are rich in this area, with Paffett and Turvey as dedicated test drivers – the latter with an aero/engineering degree. Pagenaud adds the engine element. Maybe put Gary on sim set-up duties.. then you can chuck the car to the two young hotshots, who will definitely drag 10/10ths out of it…

    • I think he’s with Honda since 2005 or a bit after, when they set a team with De Ferran in ALMS, he helped to develop their car and also, I think they won the title of their class, so, his ties with Honda are quite good

  13. Sebastien Bourdais!!! 4 time Champ Car champion, and yet his F1 records were almost as good as Yuji Ide’s

    • Shame that story. I still think that bad luck is part of the sport. If we accept that drivers even in different cars still have their own driving style (Button tyrewhusperer, Hamilton needs Brembos etc) if we accept that then we should also accept that if you’re a rookie in a car which is the opposite of what you like, that F1 ditched and will ditch some very talented drivers.
      The poor Guy came to drive next to the crown prince.

      • That’s why wec is so interesting. You see many “failed” f1 drivers who suddenly rise to the top in this endurance racing world. And not only in lmp1. And for next season they announced a lmp 3 series. To give youngsters a bit more chance to grow and get the needed experience. Formula one could learn a lot from le mans series

  14. “Don’t cast aspersions on my Monkey Nuts”!
    Too funny……. too ridiculous.

  15. Well teflon Bernie looks to be home and dry.

    If he fell into a barrel of sh1t he’d come out wearing a new suit and smelling of roses.

    Some man, for one man.

    Wonder how animated the hysterical one will be over the coming days….. He’s used Bernard’s time on potential porraige to sow the boot in and infer change is required.

    Now it looks like he shot his bolt a bit early. As usual. At least he’s consistently embarrassing.

    The payback will be interesting…..might even be Lucas head in the future 🙂

  16. Appears all flights of Aeroflot subsidiary Dobrolet to Europe have been cancelled…. Companies refusing to service and refuel the airline….

    10,000 Russians may be stranded….

    But on we go to Sochi….

    • Two Russian tour operators, Labrint and Neva go bust due to deteriorating exchange rate of the rouble… Up to 27,000 Russians stranded abroad.

      Russian Oligarch’s Gulfstream jets grounded as pilots banned from using navigation systems and service of jets withdrawn…

      But on we go to Sochi…

      CVC may face a US asset freeze on certain international investments involving US banks.

      This may include a cancelation of the Austin GP as billionaire owner, McCombs of COTA faces possible US sanctions via US banks.

      Will Todt and Ecclestone be rendered impotent by those with infinitely more power than they exact over their personal fiefdoms?

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