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: 1994 – Jos the Boss begins his slow decline
A race report from a Formula Opel Lotus round at Zolder heralded the arrival of a young star named Jos Verstappen – he dominated the event winning by close to twenty seconds. In Formula Three he dominated the German championship and won prestigious races before signing for Benetton. With an injured Lehto out, and teamed up with the mercurial Michael Schumacher, the rookie had little hope of representing himself fairly.
On this day at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Verstappen stood on the podium for the first time and the dutch fans celebrated into the night. At the next event he once again took a podium and F1 prepared for the emergence of a new star but it had happened too soon and his decline began. For the last two races of 1994, Herbert replaced him in a bid to get points for the constructors title and the writing was on the wall.
Simtek followed Benetton, and Footwork, Arrows, Tyrrell and Stewart also employed him but his star had waned. A difficult character and arrogant in his dealings within F1, it is now his son who is being rushed through the junior ranks so it appears that Jos learnt nothing from his previous experience of the world of F1.
Formula E all set
Formula E has completed two full event simulations ahead of the inaugural race in Beijing, on September 13th. In the same spirit that they have always had with Formula E, the refreshing honesty was clear from Alejandro Agag, the series’ CEO, as he did not try to pull the wool over any journalist eyes or dodge any problematic matters.
He said, “Putting on a major sporting event in the heart of cities around the world is a massive undertaking and requires careful preparation.” This is all true, yet with the new electric series it appears to have been arranged with distinct ease considering the scale of the undertaking.
He continued, “We want the Formula E Beijing ePrix to be a fantastic spectacle, which is why we’re leaving nothing to chance by rigorously testing all the systems beforehand. Overall we’re very pleased with how things went.” The troubles the series has encountered have been negotiated with apparent success if we believe everything the Spaniard wants us to.
The race at Long Beach will be free for fans to attend and will, in theory, promote racing of this nature. However, while all the incentives are in place for a race promoter to take on the final race slot in February, it still sits blank in the calendar.
At this point the structure for the racing event sees everything completed in one day. The trouble of setting up for an event is somewhat extreme for such a short time, which would go a long way to explain the lack of uptake for the final race slot. The current ePrix calendar is below, so where do TJ13 readers want to see the series go to that it is not currently set to?
FIA Formula E Championship 2014/15
September 13 – Beijing, China
November 22 – Putrajaya, Malaysia
December 13 – Punta del Este, Uruguay
January 10 – Buenos Aires, Argentina
February 14 – TBA
March 14 – Miami, USA
April 4 – Long Beach, USA
May 9 – Monaco, Monte Carlo
May 30 – Berlin, Germany
June 27 – London, UK
A record for Ferrari
While everything may not be ‘smelling of roses’ as far as on-track Formula One is concerned, there is at least some positive news for Ferrari today as a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta Coupe goes on sale at a motor auction later today. Experts Hagerty Insurance are predicting the car could fetch a staggering $75 million USD.
The current record for a car sale is held by its sister car, the 1963 model, which garnered $52 million USD in a private sale in October 2013 (Bloomberg). So while the wheels of motion are churning as the Ferrari backroom struggle goes on, they can take solace in the fact that the brand is still performing outstandingly well.
The soon to be outgoing Luca di Montezemolo is known to be of the old-school way of thinking seeing little importance in the need for promoting the brand for profit. If the car fetches the estimated amount it will show once and for all that this way of thinking is a fading manner. When their opposition is considered, Red Bull and Mercedes are in racing for the marketing use the series provides demonstrating just how important promotion is.
Monza embracing it’s historic past in spite of FOM
In the UK, a “listed building” is a structure that has been placed on the ‘Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest’. In total there are around half a million but the term building covers more than just somewhere that people reside in.
Bridges, monuments, war memorials and sculptures are also covered under the rigid rules and even the pedestrian crossing that is shown on the iconic cover of the Beatle’s Abbey Road album is protected by this law. In Italy, the closest terminology to this is known as a vincolato which carries certain requirements within the regions law makers as to what can be done to a period property.
In the last week or so, Twitter and websites have been left dumbfounded at the gravel bed beyond the Parabolica corner at Monza being given the 21st century ‘Charlie Whiting’ treatment and has been covered with a layer of tarmac in the ridiculous insistence that it is safer for the drivers.
With the exception of Jochen Rindt’s fatal accident which occurred under braking for the corner, there have been no serious accidents on this stretch of tarmac in the circuits history. In fact, although Rindt’s car finished in the gravel trap, his fatal wounds were caused by submarining underneath a poorly fitted guardrail.
With Mr E threatening the end of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza – unless contract talks are reached in his favour – and with the insistence of the FOM’s lawyers to upgrade the paddock to their required standards and remove all vestiges of historic significance – the Italians have answered back in their usual inimitable style and have invested funds in to repaving the high speed oval that hasn’t been used in competition since the 1961 Grand Prix.
The renovation of the 4.25 km oval has been awarded to a company that specialises in asphalt and compounds that will seal the numerous cracks that have been created by the circuit’s derelict state after decades of non use. They will also replace all guttering and guard-rails that surround the lip around the top of the banked circuit. Whilst it is no longer approved for racing, it is still used for non competitive events such as the Monza Rally show.
Local ecologists have been asking for its dismantling since the mid 90’s but the board running the Monza facility have always refused due to their desire in maintaining the legendary circuit’s unique configuration.
Monza is known as the spiritual home of motor-racing and has the oldest history of all the tracks in F1 having run it’s first Grand Prix in September 1922 – only Monaco is close to comparable having run it’s first event in 1929 – and any first time visitor to the Royal Park of Monza will make the pilgrimage to stand at the top of the banking.
Montezemolo rewrites Ferrari history
Luca di Montezemolo commented on Enzo Ferrari as the Italian team remembered their founder on the anniversary of his death, “I spent many years alongside him, and in 1991, when I returned to the helm of the company, I applied many of his principles: consistently innovating, never settling for second best and making decisions quickly. I’m sure Enzo would be happy to see how we have grown: we are present in 62 countries, investing heavily in the product and in technical innovation, always putting our people first, because it is thanks to their abilities that again, in 2014, we will end the year with record financial results. Behind an outstanding product there has always been the support of these exceptional men and women. On the subject of our range of models, this year too, after the incredible success of LaFerrari, we have some amazing surprises for our customers.”
In recent days, TJ13 has reported on the words that have escaped from the little man who runs the Mercedes technical department – Paddy Lowe. His re-writing of recent history is dumb-founding to anyone who has a modicum of understanding about the sport of F1, but it seems to be a habit that extends to the continent too.
Il Padrino was appointed by Fiat to run the Ferrari team between 1974 and 1976. In that time, he, Niki Lauda and Mauro Forghieri forged a working relationship that delivered victories and world titles. As any up and coming protege, he left to pursue his career in other disciplines only to become the ‘prodigal’ son when he returned to Maranello in 1991.
In the intervening years, he recruited Jean Todt to take over and make Ferrari winners again and he devoted his time to turning around the manufacturing plant and building cars that the public actually wanted to buy for their engineering rather than their badge.
His success with the production of road cars has seen year on year record profits from a total build of around 7,000 cars annually. But after the record breaking F1 quartet was disbanded Ferrari’s Formula One presence has fallen to unacceptable levels.
What’s perhaps most disheartening is the fact that LdM tries to portray an Enzo Ferrari that frankly never existed. The Old Man was only interest in his racing team and the Ferrari’s principle’s that LdM mentions – of innovation, the desire to win and the speed of thought were applied to the Scuderia at race tracks never the cars that rolled off the production line. Which is somewhat ironic when something that Mattiacci has empowered the race team with is a faster process of communication!
Enzo began building road cars in 1947 to fund his entries into the endurance championship and the Formula One circus and by 1963 he was speaking to Ford about selling his company to them – all the while to encourage a deal with Fiat. In the end Fiat bought 50% of Ferrari in 1969 and he focused on his only love – the race track. The road cars were incidental and held no appeal whatsoever. It would serve LdM – well as his Ferrari era draws to a close – to revise the founder’s history once again.
Carlsberg don’t do interviews but if they did…
Following three seasons at Williams, “Nuvolari’s great grandson” Pastor Maldonado took his huge PDVSA backing to the Lotus team. Although Lotus is struggling this season and Williams are regular podium contenders – Maldonado claims he is happier with his new team.
Q:So how do you feel having left for a more competitive drive in F1?
“I was not feeling really bad at Williams, I felt good, especially in my first two years when I won and also when I first started with Rubens [Barrichello] as a team-mate. I learned a lot and I feel pleased to have been part of a big legend like Williams in Formula One.”
Q:Obviously by the end of last season, the team seemed to be in a celebratory mood when you decided to leave with your petro dollars for pastures new?
“I felt like it was the time to discover something else for myself. We were not getting progression in terms of development, but for sure I knew that this year would not be a repeat of 2013 [for Williams] because they got the Mercedes engine and they have a good car. The extra power is helping them quite a lot in my opinion.”
Q:So if I’m understanding your point, you knew that the Mercedes would be the engine of choice and the car would be an improvement and so you left?
“At Lotus, in the past, they used to have some of the best cars in Formula One, always really clean and good. This year maybe the package is not working together, but it’s not that the car is really bad because our numbers are quite good in terms of downforce and efficiency. Now maybe the biggest problem is the lack of power and the big difference between engines.”
Q:Uh huh… right, you are aware that the Lotus results that you have read on Wikipedia are a team based in Hethel..
“They are both very professional, both world champion teams, but both completely different. In different ways they can reach the same results, but for sure they have different philosophies to work and to build and design the cars.”
So finished an imagined interview between Maldonado and an intrepid reporter seeking the truth. Although all Maldonado’s words were genuine at the time of publication…
(Article from GMM source with TJ13 comment following)
Massa wants Williams to beat old team Ferrari
Felipe Massa says his new team Williams is locked in a battle with Ferrari, for whom he raced in formula one for eight years until his ousting last year. With Williams ending its slump this year but fabled Ferrari struggling in the first half-season of the new V6 era, Brazilian Massa thinks he left the Maranello marque at the right time.
“I think so,” he told Brazil’s Sportv. “It was very important for me. Sometimes a change does you good. I needed it even if some things did not all fit together yet. But it will (fit), and I think we can have a very positive future with this new team.”
Valtteri Bottas has been the real star of Williams’ 2014 resurgence, but teammate Massa says he is happy to be involved in the fight to displace Ferrari as a top-three force in the constructors’ world championship.
Williams lost its top-three place to the great Scuderia last time out in Hungary, but Massa insists: “Our fight now is with Ferrari. We were in front until the last race and Ferrari had a better race than Williams, but the chance to finish the year ahead of Ferrari is very large. That’s what we want. To be able to come up in one year into the top three, ahead of a big team like Ferrari, is very positive.”
TJ13 comment: When Briatore was found guilty of fixing a race result with Pat Symonds and Nelson Piquet Jr all knowing but the main beneficiary – Fernando Alonso – completely unaware Felipe Massa attacked his future team-mate in the press claiming he had lost him the 2008 World Championship. The gracious loser in Interlagos 2008 was seemingly a vengeful individual with a long memory.
Nothing much has changed with his move to Williams. Believing he left the Italian squad is lunacy beyond comprehension. As TJ13 reported – some weeks before the news was officially announced by Ferrari – the squad had already signed Raikkonen to replace Massa as they realised that to have any chance of competing in the constructors title they needed two regular points scorers and Massa was too inconsistent.
With Frank Williams stating after Austria that he had no idea that Massa was ‘that’ quick it wouldn’t be beyond reasoned thinking that Massa was taken on for sponsorship that he brought rather than any particular belief in his abilities.
With the release of driver salaries last week, there was always going to be a fall out from this. Given relative performance (excluding poor luck) we can now put a value to the performance of drivers throughout the grid. Of course, this is not the fairest of systems to analyse them, but it certainly makes for interesting reading.
Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas are by far the two ‘best value’ drivers on the grid, with Nico Rosberg not far behind them. Given Rosberg has signed a new contract (extension) his salary should be set to rise as of 2015, so expect Ricciardo and Bottas to follow suit given their impressive displays outperforming their more senior teammate.