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Previously on TJ13:
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”
(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..
(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.
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.
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”
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.