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: 1998 Hungarian GP – Schumacher’s greatest victory
Is sixteen years too recent to call an event historic? Or is it the fact that MIchael Schumacher retired just two years ago the defining factor behind what constitutes a historic event? To the Jackal’s mind, this is unquestionably THE greatest victory in Schumacher’s career. There was no need for the lottery of rain which amplifies certains drivers abilities whilst punishing others – there was no fuel or tyre conservation being applied – just a driver taking his car to the absolute limit to beat a formidable foe.
1998 was a Mclaren dominated season, and after qualifying third behind them in Hungary, it looked like another 1-2 would follow except Ross Brawn had different ideas. He called Schumacher in early for his second stop, and told him to fly. By the time Mclaren’s rigid pit-stop plan was put in to action the Ferrari had emerged in front but with another stop still to complete.
“19 seconds in 19 laps” was the instruction from the pit wall and Schumacher’s speed was staggering, even running off the road in the last corner on one occasion didn’t affect him. “It didn’t work at the start and I had to push like hell when Ross decided to go for the three stops. When he told me what I had to do, I said ‘thanks very much.”
“Thanks to them for helping me and making this one of my most special wins.”
Red Bull to wait?
With 2 wins from the 11 races we have seen so far this season, one would be forgiven for thinking that Christian Horner would be happy with what his team has achieved so far – especially considering they could barely complete a lap at Jerez and the first Bahrain test.
With a Renault engine that is still lacking in power – something in the region of 65 horsepower depending on who you listen to – the team are not overly optimistic for the next two races in Belgium and Italy. Horner said, “You never know, it might be wet in Spa and for Monza they might put a load of corners in – but Singapore has to be the next golden opportunity for us in reality.”
So all at Milton Keynes will be doing their collective rain dances over the next 2 weeks in the hope they can salvage something from the high speed circuits we have coming up. He continued, “It will be damage limitation in the next two races, because Force India will suddenly reappear, Williams will be quick, McLaren will be quick and obviously Mercedes will be quick. We have to take what we can out of the next two races, and then for the flyaways really try to turn things up.”
According to that statement, Force India will pull a rabbit out of the hat with summer development to bring them back to fighting for podiums, McLaren’s car which lacks downforce will be strong and the Red Bulls will be seemingly nowhere. However, if we cast our minds back 12 months this was not the case.
Red Bull turned up at Spa and Monza with a specially designed skinny rear wing for those races which, presuming they do the same this year, will compensate for their high downforce design. Furthermore, the altitude of the Spa circuit means the
engine powertrain output is reduced, which makes the Renault disadvantage less here than at other circuits. Of course, the long Kemmel straight will hand an advantage to Mercedes powered cars, but there will be the opportunity to balance this out somewhat.
So it may not be all doom and gloom for the Milton Keynes team as they look to build on the success from Hungary. Instead though, Horner is continuing to bang on the ‘blame Renault drum’ even as the teams relax before the flyaway events from the end of September. The politicking attempt from the RB frontman mounts the pressure from the team who showed they clearly have the chassis to be a front running team in Hungary.
The message is clear here to Remi Taffin and the whole of Renault F1 – spend big on the development for next year or the public shame will be big. With 48% of the powertrain able to be redesigned, 2015 cannot come soon enough for Renault as they once again take a hosing down from their headline squad.
Gone, but not forgotten
One Grand Prix that will most probably not be missed in the back end of the season this year is the Indian GP after being cut in favour of a proposed change of time for the race. Of course, beneath this mirage of saying the correct thing and diverting the attention of the media, the debate over whether the series is a sport or entertainment rumbles on in India. This has high importance as to how the entourage is taxed upon entry into the country.
So while the race is absent from the roster but does at least, for the moment have an absence sick note for this year, how is the circuit being used and paying for itself? It did after all only feature 3 races from 2011-2013 which will hardly come close to paying for the race track complex.
Once a week there is a club which meets to drive around the circuit to test their luxurious cars around the state of the art Buddh International Circuit. Described by Indian newspaper The Hindu as “the niche world of Chennai’s hyper-car owners the circuit plays host to the group which features 30 different cars. ‘The Madras Exotic Car Club’ was founded by Manoj Lulla in 2012, as he sought after a solution to the ‘problem’ that many supercar owners face in the region of not being able to fully experience the true potential of these machines.
The club includes, “the finest examples of Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Bentley, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz AMG, Audi and BMW M-series. He continued, “It often starts around 5.30 a.m., when we hit ECR or GST Road. We conscientiously follow rules. These cars can be enjoyed without driving them fast. We cruise. While enjoying driving our own, we enjoy looking at others.”
So this is what the dream of Formula One can be reduced to after just 4 years – a rich man’s playground – as the race promoters still continue to work with the Indian government on a new deal on tax, and FOM on a new place on the calendar. Still, it could be worse; you could have been left with a white elephant in the middle of nowhere like Mokpo, South Korea. At just 30 minutes drive from Delhi there is hope yet for the complex and a revival at some point of the Indian GP – unlike S. Korea.
Nasr to Sauber?
As the silver team who improved so drastically last year continue to occupy 10th place in the Contructors’ Championship, the linking of drivers to their race seats next year continues. This time it is the turn of GP2 driver Felipa Nasr to be thrown into the mix for a race seat next year.
The Brazilian is enjoying a successful season so far in the Formula One support series as he hunts down Jolyon Palmer, who currently leads the standings. With a significant budget packet coming with the Brazilian, he would come as a welcome relief to the team who would lose over $10 million should they fail to reclaim 9th place ahead of Marussia.
Having tested with Williams earlier in the season, Nasr impressed there, but is left with no race seat in 2015 available as Massa and Bottas look to have those locked out. “It’s hard to get a place at Williams because the two drivers have done a good job and the team will not want to change that. I will keep up with all of the teams and see what happens. Williams has given me a very good background on what to expect in F1. I participate in all of the meetings and I’m always on the team radio,” he said in an interview with the Brazilian SporTV.
With the Mexican GP set to return in 2015, it would seem that Gutierrez will retain his seat for next year as Sauber will also be keen to keep the money coming into them from Carlos Slim’s back pocket. This then would leave Adrian Sutil battling to keep his place on the grid facing competition from Nasr, Simona de Silvestro, Giedo van der Garde, Sergey Sirotkin, Jules Bianchi (if Ferrari flex their control muscles) and any other grid hopefuls. In the end, the sad truth could see it come down to who has the biggest bank account as Sauber are severely lacking funds. Silly season is well and truly underway…