Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 7th August 2014


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Previously on TJ13:

#F1 Features: ‘Two out of three ain’t bad’

TJ13 Comments protocol:

OTD Lite: 1983 – The segmented viewing of the German GP

TJ13 Competition Winner in the Flesh

Fat Hippo’s Das Deutschlandlied rewritten 2014

Ferrari indifferent to Alonso demands

Ferrari could learn from Williams experience – Massa (GMM)

Rookie Kvyat hits back at F1 ‘wimps’ criticism (GMM)

Shifting sands for McLaren F1

Kaltenborn to Ferrari, ‘Let’s stay together’

Strange but true

Good bye to another F1 classic

TJ13 Comments protocol:

Okay, TJ13 has recently seen the comments section expand quickly. When there were 30-40 a day under the DN&C, it was manageable but now we need to change the way we work to provide clarity to others and ensure our responses are targeted properly.

The other night, I replied by accident to either the wrong commentator or under a thread, which left my response open to being interpreted as to more than one other commentator under the thread started by the person I was in fact responding to – with me so far?

Can we start responses @[commentator handle]. So if responding to me, you would begin by typing…. @thejudge13

Further, regardless of how long or short the comment to which you are replying, next copy and paste the words of the sentiment from the commentator to which you are responding, and place them inside speech marks “……..”.



“Mercedes deny they have ever operated team orders, merely agreed strategy protocols”

[Your response]

Then proceed with your reply.

Should you wish to respond to multiple sentiments made within one comment then cut and paste the first point to which you wish to respond and place it in inverted comments.



“Mercedes deny they have ever operated team orders, merely agreed strategy protocols”

[Your response]

“Toto Wolff said he is happy to share Suzie with anyone whom she fancies”

[Your response]

Etc…etc… etc

Thank you


OTD Lite: 1983 – The segmented viewing of the German GP

To anyone who refuses to pay for SKY F1 coverage- and it seems that millions across Europe are voting with their feet – let me explain why in Englander-land the BBC highlights remain good enough. Apart from of course the benefit of yellow and red flag periods which the highlights miss…

If you are a newbie to the noisy cars over the last 10 years, TV coverage has been excellent. Go back a little further and we had ITV pretending to enjoy the sport yet putting adverts in stupid places, like Alonso v Schumacher at Imola in 2005… But to the older generation, brought up on men driving fire breathing monsters, TV was a luxury.

On this day, the youngling Jackal sat watching Sunday Grandstand, and the 1983 German Grand Prix. The Ferraris had dominated qualifying and started from the front with Tambay ahead and… I’d like to say what happened next but coverage stopped and we had horse riding/ badminton/ cricket/ snooker… take your pick.

30 minutes later we had the race again for five minutes with Arnoux leading and Murray Walker explaining that Tambay’s engine had expired, before heading off again to some swimming competition and throwing sticks around. No not javelin, caber tossing..

Around 5.40pm the viewers might be gifted the last few laps and today was one of those days with Arnoux leading the Alfa Romeo of De Cesaris across the line… although on many occasions events over-ran and there was no ending at all. So the highlights programme around midnight was essential.

Mamma Jackal didn’t approve but Papa Jackal nodded sagely and kept the peace.

The Jackal


TJ13 Competition Winner in the Flesh

TJ13 ran a competition between the British and German Grand Pix for one lucky TJ13 jury member to win a Formula 1 team shirt of their choice.

Step forward Mr Dave Pyett, a lifetime McLaren fan!

Dave PyettI’ve been an avid fan of F1 from the very first race I watched on the TV back in the late eighties and instantly found myself drawn to McLaren. Have been a big fan ever since (even though they haven’t made it easy over the last couple of seasons!).

I’m really looking forward (and praying) that bringing back the old McLaren Honda partnership will see a big swing and move us back to the top where we belong. I’d even love to see Jensen get at least 1 more year with them.


Fat Hippo’s Das Deutschlandlied rewritten 2014

With newspaper headlines outraged at a German court allowing Bernie Ecclestone to bribe the officials to waive his bribery charge, the overwhelming sentiment amongst many fans is disillusionment at the authorities.

The Das Deutschlandlied melody was originally written by Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) and the 3 verse lyrics added by August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben (1798-1874). The fourth verse was written by Albert Matthäi during the French occupation of the Ruhr region in 1923 but since 1952 only the third verse has been officially used.

Offical Anthem:

für das deutsche Vaterland!
For the German Fatherland
Danach lasst uns alle streben
Let us all strive for that
Brüderlich mit Herz und Hand!
In brotherhood with heart and hand!
Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit
Unity and law and freedom
Sind des Glückes Unterpfand;
Are the foundation for happiness
Blüh’ im Glanze dieses Glückes,
Bloom in the glow of happiness
Blühe, deutsches Vaterland.
Bloom, German Fatherland.

Our very own Hippo has taken some time out from ranting to propose a new chapter in Germany’s national anthem. The translation is not literal, merely to work in line with the music.

Dreistigkeit und Recht heisst Freiheit,
Presumptiousness and money sets you free,
hier im deutschen Vaterland,
this is our fatherland,
Kauf dich los und Du wirst frei sein,
Buy out your crime and we will set you free,
Niemand hat Dich je erkannt.
No one ever saw a thing.
Dreistigkeit und Geld heisst Freiheit,
Presumptiousness and money sets you free,
auch wenn Du die Welt bescheißt.
even if you cheat the World,
Sieh das Ganze, gib die Scheine,
See the whole thing, give the cash to us,
Warum ehrlich, wenn’s auch einfach geht,
Why be honest if you’re rich and old.
Sieh das Ganze, gib die Scheine,
See the whole thing, give the cash to us,
Warum ehrlich, wenn’s auch einfach geht
Why be honest if you’re rich and old.


Ferrari indifferent to Alonso demands

TJ13 reported yesterday that Alonso was willing to extend his contract with the Scuderia until 2019 but for 35 million euro’s ($46million) per annum. With the team rebuilding currently, it is unlikely they will be pace-setters for two or three years but whatever remuneration Alonso and his management team succeed in agreeing with the Italians, there will no doubt be more beneficial get-out clauses in place to allow Alonso to leave.

In recent days, word has emerged that Honda had placed a deadline for enticing Alonso to Mclaren of the 20th August. Speculation in the Italian media suggests Alonso’s contractual demands are in effect an attempt to be released from his contract..

Mattiacci has been on record that Ferrari have a watertight contract and would not be releasing Alonso. To date MArco’s actions would suggest he would rather prove a point by side-lining Alonso with a sabbatical than to allow them to dictate terms.

Ferrari has cautioned the media in Italy through its usual channels, about rumours of contract demands from Alonso. It appears they are suggesting that keeping Alonso is not a priority, despite his undeniable abilities, there are questions over his social skills within the new team environment.

Mattiacci realises that when Ferrari deliver a car capable of contending for championships, the need for a driving genius is diminished.

Dominant teams have proven throughout the years that the rule of incremental performance added by drivers fits the 80:20 rule of thumb. 80% is the capabilities of the car and 20% is derived from the driver’s skill. Brilliant drivers make more of a difference when the car is poor.

Should Ferrari accede to Alonso’s demands for $46million a year – presumably Ferrari’s sponsor Santander would be cover this – then the Spaniard would climb into the top 10 highest paid sporting stars in the world. Currently Lewis Hamilton is the highest paid motor-sport star on $32million a year, and he only ranks 19th on the Forbes top earnings list.

Whilst making the top ten, Alonso would trail behind sports stars from the world of boxing, football, basketball, golf and tennis. Floyd Mayweather is the highest earner on $105million with Christiano Ronaldo on a trifling $80mill…

Some of the Tifosi are aghast at the figure Alonso is demanding, yet inside the upper echelons of the team there is an acceptance that Fernando’s title challenges in 2010 and 2012 – together with multiple race victories – have been, simply priceless.


(From GMM news source – includes closing TJ13 comment)

Ferrari could learn from Williams experience – Massa

Ferrari could learn from Williams’ recovery from the doldrums of the British team’s past few seasons. That is the claim of Felipe Massa, Williams’ new driver who moved to Grove for 2014 after a long Ferrari career. Undoubtedly aided by the dominant Mercedes engine, Williams has been arguably the surprise team of 2014, having finished a woeful ninth in the 2013 constructors’ table to now trail only the top three teams and proving a regular front row and podium challenger.

Initially, Williams seemed merely to be benefiting from superior horsepower in 2014, but now the FW36 is proving competitive even at twisty circuits like Hungary. “Now we are competitive in the other areas too,” confirmed Brazilian Massa in an interview with the latest edition of Italy’s Autosprint magazine. “It took a while but we did it. And there is still so much to improve,” he added.

Personally, however, 33-year-old Massa is enduring a rough patch alongside the on-form Valtteri Bottas but he argues that his struggle is simply for a turn of luck. “The important thing is that we have a competitive car,” Massa insisted, “and that I am competitive myself. That’s what I care about.”

So when asked if he would have any advice to offer Ferrari if he was ever called back to race for his struggling former employer, Massa answered in the affirmative. “Yes, but I won’t say,” he insisted. “I don’t know if it will happen, but if one day I had to change teams again, I would take all of the experience that I have from Williams.”

Indeed, with Ferrari notably struggling in 2014, Italy’s influential La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that new boss Marco Mattiacci has headed into the summer break having identified the four major areas Maranello must focus on. They are the V6 power unit, speeding up development response times, coordination between the engine and chassis, and better balancing reliability versus performance.

TJ13 comment: Hats off to Massa in his replies to leading questions about advice he could offer Ferrari. Rob Smedley earlier this season made comments about parts working instantly on the Williams as opposed to what Ferrari’s procedure was. Massa proved in Brazil 2008 that he was sporting man and bore no anymosity to anyone for failing to win the title. He still has class about him now unlike Smedley who appear to still harbour resentment at something within Ferrari.

As to Mattiacci’s four point plan. Anyone with sense could tell these were areas that Ferrari lacked but it beggars the question what was Stefano Domenicali, Luca Marmorini and Pat Fry turning their attention to previously. With two out of three ‘departed’ it surely is only a matter of time before Fry joins the others as a bitter-sweet memory at Ferrari.


(From GMM news source – includes closing TJ13 comment)

Rookie Kvyat hits back at F1 ‘wimps’ criticism

Daniil Kvyat, the youngest rookie in formula one, has hit back at suggestions formula one drivers lack the hero status of the sport’s past stars. Amid the sport’s struggle to fill grandstands and boost television ratings in 2014, many have pointed the finger at the drivers for failing to compete in the charisma and courage stakes with greats like Villeneuve, Senna and Mansell. F1 legend Michael Schumacher’s manager Willi Weber, for example, this week hit out at the “wimps” that today fill the grand prix grid.

20-year-old Russian rookie Kvyat, however, thinks it is wrong to suggest that today’s F1 drivers lack courage. “In my opinion F1 remains one of the sports in which courage is most relevant,” he told Italy’s  Omnicorse. “I don’t like to hear that the modern driver is no longer a knight of risk — that compared with the 80s we are not real men,” the Toro Rosso driver insisted. “That’s all bullsh*t,” said Kvyat. “All that separates us from 340kph and the wall is our brakes and a hundred metres of asphalt,” he exclaimed. “Risk in formula one cannot be erased, but it is right that we do everything possible to improve the safety of the tracks and the cars.”

Another criticism made by Weber this week, and echoed by many others, is that greats like Schumacher, Senna and Villeneuve gave “their answer on the track” rather than to their engineers on the radio. But Kvyat argues: “With the new regulations, the role of the engineer is essential — the management of electrical energy cannot be controlled only by the driver. Let’s clarify another thing,” he added. “If there is the possibility to overtake, the driver must always try it. There is never the situation when the engineer tells you to forget it, to wait. But at the same time we need to adapt to the situation of fuel consumption and the wear of the tyres.”

As for the suggestion that the grands prix today are boring, Kvyat also argues his case. “I don’t know what people are expecting,” he said. “I have looked at the grands prix and I have to say that the show is not bad at all. Sure, some races are more exciting than others, but if we go back to the races in the 2000s they were dominated by one driver — what was so spectacular about that? Maybe the public has not understood the rule changes we have done, but I am sure we have taken the right path,” Kvyat continued. “It took courage to change to experimental solutions in order to progress normal road cars.”

Finally, when asked what rule change he would instigate immediately to improve F1, Kvyat answered: “I would wait a little longer. It seems to me that the package we have now is not so bad.”

TJ13 comment: Mr ’20 per cent’ Willi Weber made mahogany varnish jealous due to his non-human colouring. A shrewd and cunning negotiator – he made millions for Schumacher and himself by getting Ferrari’s permission to put their shield on MSC branded products.

Yet his assumption that the current generation are wimps is completely wrong. The average age of the drivers is  younger than they have ever been, but not one is in fear of competition. Alonso and Kimi both raced Schumi at his peak, Button was on track also, but with incremental transmission of radio conversations, it is easy to draw the inference that the current crop of drivers are ‘whiners’, whilst they are in fact utilising the medium to send a message to ‘Charlie’.

The question is, would Senna, Schumacher or even Villeneuve at Imola 82 have been screaming into the radio in similar fashion? What is clear is that the best drivers of yesteryear used every advantage in their quest for glory. The legendary Jack Brabham had a trick which saw him drive partially off the edge of a circuit, to shower a following driver with dust and/or stones.

It is hard to describe the Vettel and Alonso fight through the Curva Grande, two years on the trot, as wimpish. All that at 180mph.


Shifting sands for McLaren F1

Eric the believable is earning his coin for Big Ron this year.

Prior to the commencement of this season, Ron Dennis said, “Our cars will not feature a title sponsor at the first event, but it will definitely feature a title sponsor in the next few events.”

Since then Ron’s new lackey has been wheeled out to face the music whenever the media raise the issue of McLaren’s lack of a title sponsor.

In April, Eric confirmed in relation to the McLaren title sponsor, “The plan Ron discussed is happening.”

Most recently following the Silverstone race (round 9), Eric was asked why McLaren had not announced their 2014 title sponsor, he told reporters, “We will announce it when we sign it and obviously it’s because we haven’t finalised it”.

TJ13 revealed in January that McLaren would choose not to run with a title sponsor for 2014 (story here).


Eric has been consistently thrown to the wolves to bolster a position which was never true. Maybe this was a test from Ron to evaluate the Frenchman’s fortitude.

This is not the only matter on which Boullier has had to represent a McLaren policy in ‘shifting sand’.

Not giving up on this year’s MP4-29 challenge has been a mantra for most of the season thus far.

Following the first 4 flyaway races, McLaren believed their car was the second quickest behind Mercedes. They claimed the double retirement in Bahrain and the zero points scored in China were not a reflection of the car’s true performance capabilities.

Prior to the Spanish GP, Eric told Formula1.com, “What we have seen on the track has been one thing, but back in the factory we know what is going to happen in the next three or four races”.

The implication was clear. It was full steam ahead on the development of the MP4-29, whilst at the same time next year’s car development would be unaffected.

In the same pre-Spain interview Boullier stated that for 2015, “It will be a completely new car. We’ve already been through the pain from last year to this year, so 50 percent is already done. At least we are prepared for the pain”.

7 races on, the team from Woking languishes in 6th position in the F1 constructors’ table, behind all the other Mercedes powered teams and the Renault powered Red Bulls.

The factory clearly got it wrong. The push for this year didn’t work and so now Eric has been forced to change his tune.

Speaking to Speedweek yesterday, Boullier now reveals. “We see this year’s car as a rolling laboratory for the coming season. What we do this year has great relevance, because according to the rules the mounting points of the engine and transmission are the same next year, even if you change engine partner.

So most of our improvements this year will have a direct impact on the design of the next McLaren.”

Around the turn of the year, Big Ron captivated the Woking troops with a rousing speech following his ousting of Whitmarsh and return to executive power. The team’s compass would be “returned to true North”, was Dennis’ fundamental claim.

“True North” alludes to the direction and the goals, which is a function of leadership. Yet this year Eric Boullier, Team Principal Sporting Director, on a range of issues and at various times faced all points of the compass –  with the frequency of a spinning top

Further, for McLaren ‘True North’ will be tricky to discover, until their claim is staked upon solid ground, and not the sands which are relentlessly shifting.


Kaltenborn to Ferrari, ‘Let’s stay together’

F1 engine customer teams have become emboldened during 2014. Red Bull racing led the way with constant bitching, complaining and threats directed at Renault.

The French manufacturer was honest, stating following winter test 1, it would take 6 months to eradicate their design flaws which were leading to unreliability. Quietly and concurrently, Red Bull have also been developing out the design flaws inherent in the RB10 which arrived in Jerez.

Lowly Sauber have also come out, making comments about their partner Ferrari and their 2014 engine.

Speaking to Italia Racing, Monisha Kaltenborn accepts, “It is too easy to say something is the fault of others.” Sauber are without a single point this year and Kaltenborn believes, “the engine is one of the major factors, especially from the point of view of driveability”

Sauber are believed to have been bailed out by Ferrari during the past twelve months, when the team was on the point of collapse. It is then no surprise Monisha isn’t searching for a new partner and declares, “I’m quite sure that if I’m sad or unhappy, my colleagues at Ferrari are twice as sad and unhappy”.

We have a long relationship with Ferrari and we have had our ups and downs over the years, but let’s stay together and we will come out together,”

Cue Al Green….

I’m… I’m so in love with you
Whatever you want to do
Is all right with me…
‘Cause you… make me feel… so brand new.
And I… want to spend my life with you…

Let me say that since, baby
Since we’ve been together
Ooo… Loving you forever
Is what I… nee…ee…ee…eeeeed…
Let me… be the one you come running to…
I’ll… never be untrue…

Ooo baby…
Let’s, let’s stay together
Loving you whether, whether
Times are good or bad, happy or sad
Ooooo… Oooo… Yeah.
Whether times are good or bad, happy or sad


Strange but true

A zoo in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea has welcomed its latest arrival – a calf born as the result of a lonesome zebra getting intimate with a donkey.


Russian zoo-keeper, Oleg Zubkov, Is proud of the zoo’s new arrival.

However, an indignant Anna Kachurovskaya from the motherland Moscow zoo is dismissive.

“Such things don’t happen in civilised zoos, but can occur at private zoos or on farms. This sort of marketing is not justified or scientific … zoos are for preserving wild species, that is one of their most important goals.”

Oleg, is a huge Formula 1 fan, and is thrilled by the recent joint efforts of Crimea’s new head of state (Vladimir Putin) in conjunction with Formula 1 supremo (Bernie Ecclestone), which has resulted in the up-coming inaugural Russian GP.

Such is Oleg’s delight in the opportunity to go and watch his favourite sport, he is considering celebrating the partners who made this possible  by naming the beast… ‘Vladistone’.


Good bye to another F1 classic

untitledThe Italian motorsport fans were outraged at the suggestion Ecclestone may cancel the annual festival of Formula 1 racing in Monza. And it is with sadness, they now wave goodbye to one of the all time classic corners in Formula 1 history. The Parabolica.

“If there is a racetrack in the world where the ghosts walk among the trees, it is motorsport’s “cathedral of speed, Monza The circuit’s signature corner, the Parabolica, is an increasing radius, long right-hand turn, the final corner before the start-finish line and Monza’s legendary main straight.

Perfect execution with maximum exit speed is thus vital for a quick lap. The corner lasts an astounding 7.6s at race speeds of close to 200kph (150mph), with drivers getting on to the power as early as possible, drifting the cars to the very outside of the tarmac at the exit”. (Formula 1: Art and Genius)


One lonesome member of the Tifosi, was seen staring forlornly at Charlie Whiting’s latest act of sadistic vandalism.

An employee of the Autodromo claims to have heard faint strains of a lament whistled by the distressed member of the Tifosi. His choice of requiem from modern music composer, Amy Grant…. “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot”.



67 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 7th August 2014

  1. Kvyat – apparently a sensible chap as well as a good driver.


    “Toto Wolff said he is happy to share Suzie with anyone whom she fancies”

    But surely she’s contracted to Williams ?

    • @ nigel.“Toto Wolff said he is happy to share Suzie with anyone whom she fancies”

      But surely she’s contracted to Williams ?

      I think the judge means it in an orgy kind of way 😀

  2. Mr Kvyat has just gained another fan – not only is he a talented, quick racer but eloquent as well – he thinks before he speaks, and talks sense – wish the headline seeking media would do the same.

  3. I agree with @cassius42 comment above.

    The Willi Webber story could have been reported a lot more concisely….. BONG! Old luddite has nothing positive to say about the sport that made him his fortune in desparate attempt to seem relevant still!

    Surely these people, who you would assume are fairly intelligent people, should be able to realise that in a sport that is the cutting edge in motorsport technology, that with this technology, the aerodynamics are going to make the cars a lot easier to driver than the old tractors of the past! This doesn’t detract from the racing, just other ways have to found to make it as exciting, which is why DRS is a must in this day and age I’m afraid.

    It’s just common sense, have they not driven a road car in the same amount of time and had the same epiphany.

    I appreciate everyone’s allowed their own opinion but if it’s not the same as mine it’s obviously wrong!!! 🙂

    • The court ordered him to. §153a means the trial was ended under conditions. The conditions are:
      a) $100M payment within a week – 99M to the state of bavaria, 1M to a charity chosen by the court
      b) 25M € payment to Bayern LB within the week

      It was hardly an act of altruism, but a court order

  4. RE: Alonso / Ferrari contract negotiations.

    Perhaps a sliding scale, in arrears, type remuneration is worth investigating. For example, if at 1/3 season Ferrari are 1st in the constructors then Alonso is paid for that 1/3 season at a €20m annualised rate. This might be acceptable to Alonso as all he wants is a top car with an adequate reflective salary.

    Alternatively if the team sits 3rd in the constructors at 1/3 season, the scale rises to €30m. Meaning Alonso gets paid in arrears at the annualised rate of €30m for that 1/3 season. In this scenario he is remunerated for yet another year that is just not quite there, but certainly not terrible. He at least gets some compensation for ‘career time wastage’.

    A final alternative to this scale would be if Ferrari were 5th or worse in the constructors at 1/3 a season. Alonso would get paid at the rate of the full €40m annualised. Clearly the team produced a totally crap car to be that low and the season is aborted. But at least Alonso is very, very well compensated. Then at least Alonso also knows the teams bottom line is hurting as much as him wasting precious time in his career hurts him. Just a bit more of am equalisation in the motivation for a turn around.

    The numbers, time frames and currency are not relevant to the comment. The sliding scale type remuneration based of WCC performance is. I think a compromise could easily be reached.

    • It’s a nice idea, but I’m not sure paying someone more to score fewer points is going to fly.

  5. I’m sorry judge, but this new way of comments is even worse on the phone… I do agree with the @judge part. But by pasting the thING you want to comment on and then giving your comment to that part, it becomes to long, to much to scroll. And it kinda misses the point you want. If you comment directly with the reply button and you use @ judge you’d be able to know what I’m talking about if you read my comment. Or am I alone in this opinion?

      • Of course if I’m the only one who feels this way I’d be happy to play along. I dont know how many phone users there are here.

        • @bruznic Cut and paste is a real ball ache on my phone too. No problem starting a reply to someone with the @blah blah but the rest takes too much time to do, especially if you are having a sneaky look in while at work.

      • Judge,
        I think the full

        “Slightly indecent comment about Susie, which is spelled with an ‘s’, by the way, as Suzie is Vettel’s latest lover.”

        is appropriate only selectively, when the threads become convoluted and there is a long way between the commenter and commentee. It seems to me that most of the times hitting reply and putting a @Nickname suffices, bar in cases where where the threads become too long and thus both @Nickname and quote are useful. In such cases commenters should apply their best judgment.

        • I totally agree and would go even further. Do away with @name and the comments altogether. Keep it as before. Only when threads become too long, people are encouraged to implement the suggested practices. Just my two cents…eh, pence

          • Copy & paste is a hit and miss a fair on any touchscreen. Best not to mandate it.

            Is there not a plugin to indicate to whom the reply is made? And a flat view option then is quite helpful. Browsers are broadly no longer wrapping text to fit the width of the window, which makes me pull hairs, but so much is really retrograde lately on the web.

            I’d rather just say Hi, to whomever I’m replying to, or call them out, as in, “What McLaren78 said, I was thinking…”

            I find the AT YOUTHERE shout of @_whoeveritbe a bit too gaudy.

            No need for the formalities to be strict. Just a bit of contextual common sense. And easier access to the wealth of front page material.

            I believe what may be happening, is that difficulty with the front page volume and interface is inclining visitors to congregate around discussions that seem active, because otherwise the push of new material and length of it, physically scrolling back on a touch screen to comment, after ingesting quite a bit, is a pain, and there is a feeling of being lost. Does the hassle lead tempers to be a little hotter? I wouldn’t say so, but I do find navigating the site frustrating, and one starts with a very low bar indeed of blogs in general. Usability on the web broadly seems to be in a slump.

            For one thing, after taking a unscheduled break from participating in any comments on any blog, catching up properly with the output here took me a multi week part time marathon! Indexing desperately desired! Very enjoyable it was 😉

          • ….Hi JOJ

            The new site will fix most of this – the comments section will be a lot wider, thus reducing the length of scrolling when there are 150 comments – as there have been recently….

          • Cool, TJ, great to hear!

            I’ve been in a odyssey deep in the guts of wordpress for a few months now, often heavily diverted into narrow pieces of interest. My partner and I started with some needs of our own, which were beyond any search fu or theme hacking was going to provide, and I get my daily dose of WTF from what goes on in the wordpress “ecosystem” in general. We got faced with a question whether we should “fix” wordpress (“fix” meant to gloss over some things just shy of forking the thing) or forget it altogether, even roll a CMS from scratch, or wander over to Drupal, and whether the only sane approach was to look at commercializing the what we wanted to achieve. Expect we’ll have some plugins in a few months from now. Some things we’re doing are just plain nuts though. Bob just loves dbase, which he generously admits is nostalgia for some great consulting years, back when, can’t say I hate it either… cue we start writing a dbase language like scripting engine… oh, the *fun*.. but I guess a analogy is possibly JavaScript libraries to fix the various browser document object models, as a target. // must stop rant on WP//

            Will there be, or has there been, a feature request thread or poll?

          • @JOJ

            “For one thing, after taking a unscheduled break from participating in any comments on any blog, catching up properly with the output here took me a multi week part time marathon! Indexing desperately desired! Very enjoyable it was”

            I know the feeling – I was away 19th-26th July (missing 2, yes 2! races live). I did not want to visit TJ13 until I had watched said races, meaning I didn’t visit until the 29th, meaning I had 10/11 days worth of TJ13 coverage to catch up on – not an easy thing to do as you said!

            As you can see, today is the 12th, this is the news on the 7th, meaning I’ve nearly caught up [admittedly, the bitching between certain forum members over a certain Merc driver the past few weeks means it’s taken far too long to read the comments sections – luckily that has stopped, because I was getting bored of the bitching].

            I am looking forward to eventually being at the same point as everyone else, should be before the end of the week.

        • …fair enough. Though when I’m on the move, I comment from within WordPress and can’t see the original comment which starts the thread and the subsequent indentations….

          • Having over the years picked up jobs around heavy wordpress users but not handling it directly, or constrained to very narrow aspects of it. I’m amazed how backward it is. If I were the late cherubic reviewer, Robert Ebert, I would say “I hate hate hate hate this Movie!”. Then again, looking about, I feel like it is 1980 again, and *everyone* is writing a text editor or wordprocessor. A terribly minimal wordprocessor was the first thing I wrote solo. Especially for iPhone or other mobile users, admins really don’t seem well catered for. A coconspirator and I dumped so much time into these things, meaning the conspiracy of mental cruelty to anyone with a sense of programmatic decency which is wordpress, lately, we had to step back and wonder if there was a market, or else swear off going near any of it. And we’re still wary, getting close to the point of no return with B movie procession.

      • I’ll probably forget….

        Arse!! @TJ13 I’ll probably forget

        Still got it wrong!

        Thank Zeus I’m so good looking…..I’d be banjaxed if just relying on the aul grey matter.

        When the big man was handing out brains I was doing a headstand….

          • There is a ganglion, think that is the right word, of nerve endings, around the solar plexus, and increasingly the gut is considered a important “second brain”, in influence over emotion and much else.

            I say only because gout is usually associate with overindulgence of food and drink.

            Podagra, gout associated with the big toe, however, might be a more common addiction around some F1 quarters. I presume nobody here missed Paddy Lowe’s crowing he’s taken MB to a new level, since Ross got the heave ho. I’ve no words, but I’m sure one of the Punch and Judy fans here, will have..

  6. On McLaren and Boullier’s “mounting points of the engine and transmission are the same next year”

    Oh really Eric? So can you explain why are McLaren not the 2nd best team on the grid but rather the worst of the Merc-powered teams? Does it have to do with:
    (i) Merc giving you the engine only for the race weekend?
    (ii) Merc not providing you with additional data on the integration of chassis and engine (as they do for Williams)?
    (iii) Merc not providing you with additional data on getting a bit more out of the powertrain?

    Because that would tell me that your ‘rolling laboratory’ can only ‘experiment’ on a few aero bits and bobs. Not buying this…
    …as a McLaren fan I have to be optimistic and hope that Honda have given them certain specifications to work on and that’s what they’re doing.

    • I agree with your comment, but Boullier is telling the truth; the mounting points are defined by regulation, as is c.g. of the engine. I think what he is saying is that the balance of the car weightwise (c.g.) will not be changing next year so anything they do with suspension or aero will still be applicable. I’ve always wondered why the teams agreed to a regulated front/rear weight; changing the c.g. of the car would seem to be useful in making the front or rear work better.

    • Not necessarily. If he went there he would get one for free 😉 The RB drivers are rather privileged, because they are not so contractually bound to certain cars. That was always well visible when Schumacher and Vettel won the Nationscup in the ROC – Schumacher was usually only allowed to drive the ROC buggies and KTM’s while Vettel could go out in everything that had four wheels – from a LMS Audi R8 to V8 NASCAR’s

    • @Fat hippo: I agree completely therefore I hope that the small piece of land between the track and the part of the gravel trap that has already been paved with tarmac is filled with astro turf or something else slippery. That way the challenge of driving at full speed through the parabolica remains and Charlie Whiting is happy because the gravel trap is asphalted.

      • It still looks a mess…. Paint the asphalt in the colours of the Italian flag which defines the circuit better for the viewer… Extra slippery paint…. Further, ending up in the gravel was most likely end of race….

  7. It’s not clear to me from the photos what is happening at the Parabolica – is it possible to give a bit more detail?

      • Thanks. I have two conflicting thoughts on this:

        1. So, the corner itself hasn’t changed at all… why is this an issue? (I presume some may think a nice tarmac runoff takes some of the challenge away, which is an argument that can be made. However, I’d ask what was there before the gravel trap, if anything, and did that change the corner?)

        2. Why the need to change? I presume it’s because tarmac runoffs are seen as being safer…? If that’s the argument, is there any evidence of the current gravel trap causing injury, a car to overturn, or similar?

        • We saw Massa flip on asphalt in Germany… Also the cars hit the barrier at higher speeds across asphalt than through gravel…. The main argument is that the roll structure section of the car above and behind the driver may dig in this reducing the ‘safe zone’ protecting the drivers head…

          • Well, in fairness, if it’s because of ‘Bike racing safety then it’s f#%^ all to do with Charlie.

            Shouldn’t we be careful to get our facts and accusations right? (if it is, indeed, to do with ‘bikes…)

          • @thejudge13 Fair comment, of course.

            So, on another tack entirely (and not because I’m argumentative, but because I care greatly about the real corners and circuits in F1, as many of us do) does providing a tarmac runoff area truly diminish the Parabolica? Obviously the runoff has already changed a great deal since Warwick’s accident, but did the corner become less of a challenge as a result? will it now? If so, why?

          • @Tim Burgess, how bout yes. All corners where there is tarmac instead of gravel are less exciting. You used to have bigger balls if you toke for example pouhon full throttle. Why? Because is something went wrong, your race/ quali/ whatever was over. Now you run a bit wide and continue. As b b King said it so many times, the thrill is gone.

      • This seems to me as though it could be dangerous. Gravel might end races b/c of a relatively slight mistake, but it’s best for reducing speed if someone locks it up and goes off straight-on into the wall. I really hope they know what they’re doing.

        Lastly, @judge13 … while your Autodromo employee referenced Amy Grant, the song in question – “Big Yellow Taxi” – was originally penned by Joni Mitchell in 1970. Sorry, had to set that straight, for the honour of Canadiana, or else next thing y’know people will think that “I Go Blind” was written by Hootie & the Blowfish!

  8. Jesus Christ. why do you need to touch Monza? what’s next, putting a chicane in the middle of eau rouge? how about replacing the Suzuka esses with slow 40mph hairpins? dammit!!!!

    • i take back my comment. didnt realize the corner is staying the same, just asphalt runoff added. lets hope this corner doesnt become a chronic “four wheels off” fiasco now. wish they would add just two meters of grass along the entire outside perimeter of the corner.

  9. Too much….i can’t take it. How one could weave The Great Al Green into commentary about F1 engine supply arrangements, followed by story about “Vladistone”………….Vladistone?! {ROTFLMAO} is beyond me and quite remarkable. This is point at which i say thank you once more for making my day that much better. Thnx.

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