Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 18th August 2014

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Previously on TJ13:

#F1 Features: The Generation Game – Challenges for the Future

Voice of the #F1 fans: Lewis Hamilton – The Pioneer – Part II

The TJ13 #F1 Podcast: Episode 1 – 17th August 2014

The Top-20 #F1 Constructors who Failed to win a Championship – 10th Shadow


OTD Lite: 1985 – De Crasheris crashes out in huge crash in Austrian race!!!

Paddy Lowe attacks Ross Brawn again

Marmorini’s lack of class in attacking Ferrari

Di Resta ‘determined’ to return to F1


OTD Lite: 1985 – De Crasheris crashes out in huge crash in Austrian race!!!

Andrea De Cesaris has the unwelcome distinction of having served the longest Formula One career – with no victories – of any driver in history. His 208 Grand Prix starts were largely thanks to his own personal sponsor, Marlboro, who first paid for his seat with the Alfa Romeo team in 1980 and the 1981 Ron Dennis run Mclaren team.

At the Dutch Grand Prix that year, Mclaren withdrew his car after he qualified 13th due to the fear of him wrecking another car. It is generally accepted that a Formula One driver will have between 1 and 3 accidents a year.

Yet it was around this time that he gained his new nickname – Andrea De Crasheris – as he had his EIGHTEENTH crash of the season, putting his long suffering mechanics through another tortuous routine of repairing his accident damage, or for all the number crunchers out there, the total time spent repairing his cars was around 120 hours or 5 working days..

His most celebrated accident is probably his somersaulting Ligier at the Osterreichring which occurred on this day. Following this event, the boss Guy Ligier dismissed him from the team citing that “he couldn’t afford to repair his accident damage”; which considering all his sponsorship was French government backed seemed a slight exaggeration…

In this ‘find’ we have a racing legend narrating the race and at 2m 30s, in a masterpiece of deliberate understatement remarks that De Cesaris has caused ‘just slight damage‘ to the car. What’s probably more sobering is the back of the driver. Down from his neck and across his left shoulder is the remnants of contact with the earth…

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Paddy Lowe attacks Ross Brawn again

Paddy the Enforcer has spoken out against the whole wide world as he defends his kingdom against the naysayers of the international press and fans. As has become more evident over recent weeks – this study into an individual with ‘short man syndrome’ has been enlightening to say the least.

Teamed with two shareholders of the Mercedes AMG F1 squad, he has felt the necessity to diminish Ross Brawn’s input into the current dominant team in F1 by stating that he has recognised weak areas within the organisation that needed his input as they were lacking direction before. And that anything that had been laid down before December was in fact history now. Of course the December date carries some significance as that was when his predecessor, Brawn, left the squad.

Only last week, he felt it necessary to point out how much of an excuse Ferrari and Renault were making with “short term issues that they need to learn to manage“. Of course in Paddy’s world, the increasingly fragile Mercedes is still the best package and it’s their collective efforts that have secured their continued success despite the chink in the Silver Arrows armour widening with pressure from the “fizzy drink makers” – as Lewis once christened them…

In another selected swipe at Brawn he has now expressed that the Mercedes team was surprised by the expectation that it would employ team orders between its two drivers.

“People at the beginning of this season were surprised we weren’t running any team orders, and there was a bit of criticism against us as if we were idiots for not imposing them. By Bahrain, it was like ‘you’re going to have to stop it now, look what they got up to.'”

This way of thinking was clearly instilled in the Formula One community by none other than “Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari era in the 2000’s where Schumacher had undisputed number one status in the team. Before that no one had ever thought of that.”

Of course, mention of the dominant Ferrari-Schumacher era is, by association, a guilty verdict against Jean Todt and Ross Brawn himself and in itself demonstrates how effective the media have been at making Ferrari appear to have always favoured a number one driver policy – when “before no one had ever thought of that”…

Yet the Enforcer would do well to remember that it was in Bahrain that he instructed both Mercedes drivers over the radio to think of the finish when they were fighting after the late safety car period. Yet unlike in Malaysia 2013, when Ross Brawn’s authoritative voice demonstrably received the full respect of his drivers – Lowe has been ridiculed for his efforts.

It has also been reported by several journalists and news agencies that both Lowe and Toto Wolff want to instigate team-orders whereas the ex triple Champion, Niki Lauda, wants to see gloves off racing.

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Marmorini’s lack of class in attacking Ferrari

There are times in life that a person shows so much class that any witness remains in awe. Irrespective of anyone’s view of the man, Felipe Massa showed what a classy individual he was when he accepted his huge disappointment of losing the 2008 title to Lewis Hamilton. Stood crying on top of the podium that day, he expressed his emotion to the crowd and afterwards congratulated the new champion.

Ferrari replaced him for Kimi Raikkonen this year, but even at the time of the announcement were gracious enough to allow him to inform the world. Just a few months later, Stefano Domenicali resigned/ was made scapegoat (eliminate as per your beliefs) but has demonstrated pure class in his lack of attacking the team he led for so long. Even when asked about other jobs in F1 he returned the statement that he could never do that because his heart would be with Ferrari.

In recent weeks, rumours in Italy had been intensifying that Luca Marmorini would be ousted under the new Marco Mattiacci regime which was confirmed a few weeks back.

Unlike some of his predecessors – including the engaging Aldo Costa who spoke with no malice just a resigned air in regards his dismissal from a Ferrari that was being badly managed by Luca di Montezemolo – Marmorini had no compunction in telling his ‘friend’ Turrini what really happened in Maranello.

I do not speak out for myself but there are people at Maranello who like to apportion blame when it would be best they remained quiet – basically I am defending myself.

“These people are stating that all the problems of the F14 T are due to the power unit. Get serious, a company with the history of Ferrari does not forget how to make engines! I’ll accept any accusations but not that Maranello doesn’t know how to design engines, turbos, etc..”

Let’s set the record straight. With my colleagues we built a power unit to fit a certain size blue print. It is smaller than the Mercedes and Renault designs because we were asked by the car’s project manager Mr Tombazis.”

“They asked for a small PU, with small radiators. The main purpose was although it would have less power they guaranteed an advantage with its aerodynamic solutions over the competition. It transpired exactly like that, except when we ran against the competition there was no aerodynamic advantage either.”

“I don’t want to accuse anybody, but it has to be pointed out that Ferrari has entrusted its plans to an inexperienced, unskilled person who has blind faith in others who have achieved nothing – Pat Fry and James Allison.

“Marco Mattiacci was put in place of Domenicali but in three months I exchanged just a few words. Our initial greeting when we met for the first time and when he gave me my letter of dismissal.

“Ferrari is also demoralising several key engineers who have been the foundations of the many successes the team has had. I remain calm, I have now left but I’m sorry for the engineers who are still there.”

A bitter man – no doubt. An insightful individual – only time will tell. The politics of Ferrari are only beginning to be played out, but this disingenuous individual has possibly given away within his words why Mattiacci felt he was not the right man for the task.

To blame Fry and Tombazis is probably reasonable as they have been at the helm and directing the design of the red cars for a few years but to bring in to the equation the name of Allison who has been a title winner with Ferrari between 2000-2004 and with Renault in 2005/6 is remarkable – especially considering that Allison only rejoined Ferrari on the 1st September and would have no input in this season’s design..

A popular saying in Italy is “Don’t spit on the plate that you ate from” (don’t bite the hand that feeds you) – in effect with non-disclosure agreements you tend to be less attractive to other employers. Far better to have the class of a Costa and prove your value elsewhere..

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(sourced from GMM and with TJ13 comment)

Di Resta ‘determined’ to return to F1

Former Force India driver Paul di Resta is not ready to give up on his formula one career. The 28-year-old Scot lost his seat with the Silverstone based team at the end of last year and returned to the German touring car series DTM with Mercedes.

He was linked with a potential F1 reserve role with the German marque’s Brackley based team this year, but for now he is committed to improving in DTM. “When I came back (to DTM), I thought I might be able to get to the front straight away, but that clearly hasn’t happened and we are not where we want to be just now,” said the former series champion.

“It’s too early to say what my plans are for 2015 and my thoughts are completely devoted to chasing better results in DTM and helping Mercedes in any way I can,” he told Scotland’s Herald newspaper. “But I am positive I can gain another drive in F1 and, if anything, I am even more determined than I was. The decision isn’t up to me, but I delivered good, steady performances and I have no doubt I can build on that,” di Resta added.

TJ13 comment: Paul Di Resta has proven to be a dour, cheerless individual. He had a tendency to attack the team if he felt hard done by and in a short Grand Prix career proved good and steady as he pointed out himself.

Except ‘good and steady’ in a world that is watching Daniil Kyvat, Kevin Magnussen and Valtteri Bottas highlight the talent coming through into Formula One just doesn’t cut it any longer. Although if the BBC F1 team continues to employ more Scottish staff – he may have a new position alongside his main supporters club!

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48 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Monday 18th August 2014

  1. Re: Lowe

    “Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari era in the 2000’s where Schumacher had undisputed number one status in the team. Before that no one had ever thought of that.”

    What a load of bollocks. There is no doubt MS had enjoyed / earned No1 status in the late 1990’s – early 2000’s, which at the time was needed to drag Ferrari out of the stone ages and stop the 21 year Ferrari WDC black out. But to imply (infer?) that Brawn and Schumacher invented that tactic is ludicrous. In addition to that, Schumacher stated numerous times, and I believe it, that had Irvine or Barrichello been fast enough, often enough, to be the better title proposition, they’d have been supported as No1. This has been confirmed at times by Irvine and Barrichello.

    It must be remembered that Ferrari were desperate to win after 21 years. The huge resources needed to pay off. Perhaps, the mistakes of that era was that maybe that no1 / no2 strategy should have been cancelled come about 2002, after the team was back on top.

    But my personal view again is that it hardly mattered. Schu would still have won the races and titles anyway, bar 1 or 2. Though he did give away a win or two also (Sepang 99, USA 02) along the way.

    Lowe, in this sense, is talking out of the orifice where the sun doth not shine.

    • MB probably already feeling the absence of Ross in performance terms… hence the need to weed him out of their cultural perception, by distancing themselves, however ineptly, from his management skills, dissing his approach and so on. The danger is that they are not merely trying to minimize the impact of performance loss attributed to Brawn’s departure, but blaming him, in true Animal Farm fashion, for structural or strategic mistakes. It’s one thing to put distance between the current MB and Brawn’s influence, if you then accept that any problems are inherent to current management, another to sound off with ludicrous criticisms that sound like Lowe and co have no idea what they’re doing, or what they inherited. (and, to boot, making them sound as if they’ve very little grasp of reality, as per SIS, above)

      It’s depressing, because it inclines me to think they’ll be headed backwards by next year, which will be a total shame. Does Stuttgart not realize what a disaster that’ll be, given the way the team prattle already? Brawn’s emphatic bluntness that he’s firmly retired, is the only clue as to how badly he was treated, or the conditions of his exit. Not that visiting Maranello in person is necessary, but I am inclined to think the visit was more to respond to a incredulous “WTF happened, Ross?” that, even without saying anything, the reality of which only could be believed face to face.

    • Im starting to get impressed by how RBR was (and still is) a well oiled machine. Its like Mercedes dont know how to act now they are on top.

      It seems Mercedes needs a Brawn where RBR needs a Horner.

      • horner? you can’t be serious!

        as far as the nr 1 and nr 2 at ferrari goes, i don’t think ferrari truly wanted irvine to win the 1999 championship. it would have complicated matters in the following seasons, and they would have had a lot pf explaining to do why they paid micheal the crapload of money that he was earnin if the nr 2 was just as capable of winning a title. so no, i don’t believe anybody else had a chance at nr 1 support at ferrari at that time. schumacher, like alonso, was a driver who demanded a clear nr 2 and structured the team around him accordingly. that doesn’t diminish his accopmplishments, but we shouldn’t fall for attempts of whitewashing the past.

        • Please tell me whats wrong with Horner? The only thing I can come up with is that he seemed to lose control last year after the “multi-21” incident but he didnt.

        • I agree with the irvine part. It would have been a big Italian scandal. Once the party of being champion would have settled down.

        • …i don’t think ferrari truly wanted irvine to win the 1999 championship.

          How does one logically explain Michael’s performance at Sepang in 1999? Quite a big charade wouldn’t you say if indeed there was zero intention to push for Irvine’s cause?

  2. A few interesting snippets from Alonso today.

    When talking about the fastest team mate he ever had, “I remember Trulli, Trulli’s qualifying ability was the best I’ve ever come across among all my team-mates.”

    Ouch for Hamilton fans… Maybe the joint back scratching between Alonso and Hamilton has ended?

    Also of interest, when asked of all rivals he fought against for titles, who was the best, toughest etc… He named Michael Schumacher.

    Double ouch! I bet a tenner Lewis coincidentally come our with some similar quotes soon… And in said quotes, Alonso doesn’t figure. Perhaps Vettel’s about to get some Hamilton love?

    Ahh the F1 game of thrones… Gotta love it.

    • Maybe Alonso is negotiating and pushing for a Mercedes seat? Alternatively, maybe Alonso has been told to prepare for a partnership with Hamilton at Ferrari? I suspect the former.

      Either way… Alonso has started battle for some reason that we may find out soon.

    • Trulli’s era of quali was on the grooved tyres, a particular style of driving required to get the best out of them. Probably why he created his ‘train’ after the graining cycle was done in race conditions.

          • Agree, but I also think that Jarno didn’t have the mental ‘spare capacity’ that separates the good from the great.

            He was amazing in quali, one of the best I’ve seen, but there was less to concern yourself with as a driver then.

            Block out the ‘noise’ put the hammer down and get the time.

            During the race its a different problem as you’re having to manage more, for longer, with the longer bit being the important component.

            I think his concentration suffered during the races.

            I also think changes in the car during the race, mainly in balance, really affected him.

            He needed to have the car under him, and found it difficult to adopt to changes in the car as the race played out. Which I think is not just about driving style, but mental capacity to work around problems.

            Something that, of the current crop, Fred and Lewis are great at, with Fred pipping it because of his greater disapline.

            Jarnos win in Monaco was his best result as he managed himself stupendously well on the day. But it was a rare occurrence, IMO

          • Colin – Trulli was World Karting Champion, so definitely had the speed, as shown in qually on numerous occasions. I always wondered if it was fitness that made him slow down in races – Monaco is the least challenging race for outright stamina/G – and his only career victory? His time in F1 was also mostly the toughest era for race long Gs…

          • Trulli is actually on record in Peter Windsors flying lap (I think it was pre racers edge anyway) in an interview, saying he hated the grooved tyres and never could get the best out of them, particularly over a race distance. Single lap pace he cerainly had, but I think he compensated for the grooved tyres, rather than ‘liked’ them, which makes his pace even more surprising, but yes, does somewhat explain the Trulli train.

    • Ahh Alonso playing mind games? Never!

      Anyway I suspect it would hurt his pride a bit to say that Lewis was the best qualifier he had come across as he would be admitting that a rookie was faster than him 😉

    • How can Alonso not name Schumacher? MSC still is the best driver of all time (stats wise). Schumacher has been on top of his game nearly every season over a 20 year period while Hamilton has had a few mediocre seasons already. Not to forget MSC won 4 titles in a row and ALO was the one to beat him and stop his streak.

      For example Massa named Alonso his best teammate over Schumacher even though MAS and MSC seem to have a better bond/friendship than MAS and ALO.

      So I dont see the fuss in these particular comments.

  3. I bet Brawn’s glad he’s out to be fair! Everyone with a few brain cells know he should be the one taking the credit for the Merc this year. I bet Paddy would literally blow his own horn given the chance.

    In a non news related comment I was hoping for some advice off you kind fellows.
    I’m losing my Spa virginity this weekend and was wondering if anyone who has been before can recommend a good place to view from in the general admission area??

    • Pretty sure Brawn hates losing at anything, but he can definitely play the long game and I’m pretty sure he just checks his bank balance whenever he feels sad.

      I give Lowe about another season before the team is thoroughly wrecked. In fact, at his current rate of “development” Merc could wind up behind Williams next year, LOL.

      • Brussels. Highest place of the circuit, beautiful combination where you can see them disappearing in to pouhon. And if you’re up there rivage is also amazing. The place where you can get the closest to the cars when they are in action. And if you visit the f1 village with all the merchandising you can see them going up eau rouge. Wich is a bit of a must. And the greatest tip of all. On Sunday get up really early ( 6) gates open at 7 and if you want a got spot you have to be at the track when they allow you to.

        • Don’t waste your time on blanchimont, best combo of the track but live they go to fast to enjoy it really. And if your adventurous you can climb the mountain in the bus stop wich is a great spot but it’s always crowded there. And if just watched the wheater here and they are predicting heavy rain for Friday and Saturday. But (until now) none for Sunday. But i guess that will change. Knowing spa.

          • The sad part is that after pouhon the visibility is not really good for visitors. Until you get to the bus stop

    • turn 10 or Pouhon or anywhere between 11-13….These general admission areas are a good place to see the action, at great value for money. There are a few TV screens dotted around this area so that everybody has a chance to see what else is happening during the race.

    • Not sure I can help as when I attended I had grandstand seating, but I do advise you to get along to the pit walk on the Thursday (la source circuit entrance) and take your race tickets as they will check ’em. Show up at least an hour before the publicised time. Great access to the teams this way (most will bring the race drivers out to meet the fans) – smaller teams like marussia and cater ham give you the best chance of talking to a driver ad fewer people will crowd round these garages.

    • Re: Spa
      Is Eau Rouge still flat out with the new PU?
      Come to think of it: what IS flat out nowadays? Max throttle? Or Max throttle plus max ERS?

    • Nice spot is next to eau rouge, a bit above near the house, you can see cars coming down through eau rouge and climb again and dissappear on the kemmel straight. Spa is nice but for spectators it is a bit difficult because there are few places where you can oversee several corners

  4. and those rumours putting Lotterer in Caterham and Verstappen in the Toro Rosso, Felix da Costa and Buxton are tweeting something about

  5. @thejudge im seeing reports of the fact that Caterham might replace kamui with André lotterer in spa. Did you hear anything?

  6. AND WE HAVE A NEW BOSS IN TOWN, he only drove 365 days in RACE CARS and already has a F1 deal for 2015. MAX The Boss VERSTAPPEN IS COMING and beware, he could wipe a lot of Schumacher-records out of the history books in NO TIME!

    WEEEHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    • I’d temper the expectations for Max Verstappen. He’s got to learn how to race in F1 (may only take him a few races given his talent as with Lewis in 2007) but he’ll likely be hampered by the Renault Power Train, which may get closer to the Mercedes. Of course he could do a Vettel and win a race in the wet in a Torro Rosso.

    • @dirty Frans
      My nickname says it: dutch, fan of Jos and proud.

      But also: disappointed.

      When Jos arrived, he made such an impact that people thought he was the second coming of Senna. He had outright speed, master starts and overtakes – given the material he drove in.
      However his anger got to him. Still remember his haydays in A1GP, overtaking 12 cars in 3 corners, only to crash in the next one.

      But he made me a fan of the sport.

      Nowadays I’m Reading about Max’ measured approach to races and ability to adjust, so I’m hopeful.

      Good things come fast. Hopefully you’re right and we really witness greatness entering F1 next year being the youngest ever.

    • I’ve heard a lot of stories of this one will be the next one to be the greatest ever. But they hardly ever come true. I think they are moving to fast with the young boy. Just as they did with his dad. But then again he can prove me wrong. So let’s wait and see. I only recall that the dutch are always world champion before it starts and they aren’t when it’s over… but you got to love the enthusiasm 😉

  7. What is it with chucking kids into F1 drives nowadays? (Verstappen) I may be wrong and he may do a great job but straight from Formula 3 to F1? He’s gonna have an awful lot to learn including racecraft, this can only go horribly wrong or pretty well surely?

  8. What is GOOD comes FAST. Am only hoping the Apocalypse doesn’t ruin his 10 x F1 WDC title shot.

  9. My 14 year old son and I were at the 85 Austrian GP and watched that De Cesaris crash from close up – – – Thud, thud, whump, sounded like droping a big sack of potatoes. We were gladly surprised to see him get out and walk away, it was more nasty looking on film then it looked live. My son and I had the sad duty of closing down three GP circuits, Holland that year too and F1 at Watkins Glen in 1980. Only the Indy 500 has survived one of our visits.

  10. Re:Marmorini’s lack of class in attacking Ferrari.

    No. Just someone who wishes to set the record straight. From an engineering point of view, his explanation is quite plausible. The aero/chassis department seemingly thought that they would do as Red Bull have done over the last few years. In the last V8 years the Ferrari chassis was always the problem. It’s easy to imagine a scenario where they put the most emphasis on aero/chassis – compact engine, small rads, small intercooler, reduced flow turbo, and “hey we might have less power but we can screw Red Bull with our great aero/chassis”. Unfortunately in this new era, you need as much output as you can get from the MGU-H combo. RedBull/Renault are living proof. In the last few years Alonso was always complaining about the handling of the car and how much better the RB was in fast corners. So it looks as if he got his way after the alleged ‘shouting match’. I’ve never thought Alonso was up to much in engineering terms. This was shown to be the case when Massa had the fixed spec car at the end of 2012? season and proved to be faster when he had control over set up etc. Yet Alonso was getting all the new bits and going slower. We shouldn’t forget that Alonso brought in Pedro de la Rosa to help develop the car. So Luca is just collateral damage for the teams stupidity in following Alonso. The Ferrari 2014 engine has some very neat touches, which others will copy. But you can easily see where the compromises were made.

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