#F1 Daily News and Comment: Saturday 6th September 2014


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Previously on TheJudge13:

Note from the Editor in Chief: I know many of you prefer to lurk out there and not enter the battlefield of the comments section, but the podcast requires a serious amount of effort. We value your opinions, both positive and otherwise. Please comment and give your opinion.

TJ13 #F1 Courtroom Podcast: Episode 3 – 5th September 2014

#F1 History – The original Autodromo Nazionale di Monza

#F1 Circuit Profile – 2014: Autodromo Nazionale Monza – Round 13

OTD Lite: 1970 – Regazzoni wins his first Grand Prix

Formula E will improve F1

The face of the past?

Mercedes open to rival engine supppliers being allowed to catch up

OTD Lite: 1970 – Regazzoni wins his first Grand Prix

As ever in Formula One, the race carries on. For many generations the driver would be dying trackside and his compatriots would continue to circulate at racing speeds whilst the rescue crews went about their task. After the tragedy of the previous afternoon, at least the drivers had had an opportunity to recover from the loss of Rindt and remember that they chose this sport for equally selfish reason – pushing their skills to the limit.

On this day, in only his fifth race start, Clay Regazzoni won the Italian Grand Prix driving one of the most stunning cars to ever grace the tarmac – the Ferrari 312B. The glorious flat 12 engine singing its melody as it caressed the kerbs of the Autodromo. His team-mate, Jacky Ickx was Rindt’s closest challenger and his car retired after 25 laps with the clutch gone.

These days seeing fans celebrating a victory when there has been a serious injury or fatality is abhorrent but as recently as 1982, after Gilles VIlleneuve had lost his life the previous afternoon, the winning drivers sprayed champagne gleefully. In 1970 drivers were killed annually and it was accepted as part of the sport. Regazzoni would go on to win a further four races in his career and remained hugely popular throughout jis life.

The Jackal


Formula E will improve F1

Sleeping Beauty has truly awaken, and this time he speaks through his own mouth and not that of Ari Vatanen. Jean Todt insists that Formula E which kicks off next weekend in Beijing will contribute to all forms of motorsport including F1.

“We can expect development in batteries, motor technology and security issues that can be transferred with other series such as F1, WEC etc,” Todt tells the official Formula E website. “You always learn from one championship to another one. For example, what generates a lot of cost is aerodynamic development and in Formula E it’s quite limited, which I think is a good thing because sometime you see how complicated aerodynamics are on a car.

You take Formula 1 now with all the little winglets that require so much wind tunnel testing. So I would say let’s try to develop as much that can be transferred to a city car.”

This is Todt’s vision, though we will have to see whether we start to get big businesses investing in Formula E R&D. The current format is of a spec series which costs about $3-4m a year to run a team.

The face of the past?



Mercedes open to rival engine supppliers being allowed to catch up

I was being whimsical when I made the “David and Goliath” comment. I’m bigger and harder than the collective ‘Hamfosi’ 😉

Further in Spa I published a piece which I don’t think we saw elsewhere – asking the question re: defensive driving. It created debate.

Within 24 hours, a reader sent us a counter argument. We spent time tidying up the writing and put it straight out.

Both Ferrari and Renault have opened the debate about relaxing the engine regulations for 2015, which would allow them to ‘catch up’ on Mercedes.

Toto Wolff claims he and Mercedes are not opposed to the idea in principle. “It’s about defining what we want to do. Obviously we have a competitive advantage but we would take the challenge [of greater competition] on”.

Unanimous agreement between the 3 current engine manufacturer’s, along with Honda, would be required for the FIA to change the regulations which allow the teams to change up to around 46% of the components in the current engines.

“Is it the time to change the rules? Maybe,” says a reasonable sounding Wolff. “The discussions we’ve had so far were pretty open.”

Having taken a fair degree of ‘incoming’ for not regulating on the cost of the new powertrains, Todt and the boys in the Place de Concorde are highly unlikely to agree to another round of exorbitant spending.

Clearly this message is understood by the engine suppliers, as Toto continues, “There are various concepts on the table and if we decide to go completely in the opposite direction and open it up completely, this will increase costs quite dramatically. I’m not sure we could deliver all the same specification of engines to everybody – logistically it’s not feasible – so the devil lies in the detail.”

The devil may be more than in the detail because although we have heard from Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault on the matter – thus far Honda are silent.

25 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Saturday 6th September 2014

  1. OK, so I listened to the podcast last night and was pleasantly surprised. It all sounded very “natural” and not forced, which would have been my biggest concern. I found Danilo and john’s voices/accents to be quite similar!? Took me half a sentence to figure out who was speaking. Hippo speaks much more personably than he writes 😉
    I will listen to more, but free time is the limiting factor for me, so I won’t be able to listen to all.

  2. Some observations:

    1: Top speeds no where near what some (not me) expected. There was zero threat to the early-mid 2000’s speeds of 260-270 kmph. Top speed is not just a function of the math behind a final gear ratio.

    2: The FRIC-less effect on the cars was not really “apparent”. I did anticipate a much bigger effect. Yes they were “loose” due to low aero in the fast stuff, they still were pretty well sorted and stable under braking, and into and out of the slow stuff, which is FRIC territory.

    3: Vettel debunked the myth of him apparently being unable to drive a loose car, or more specifically, that’s the reason given why Ricciardo is outpacing Vettel this year. Yet, with the loosest of car configurations, he outpaced my favourite Aussie by 3 tenths. I think Vettel and his car issues this year are more complex than, “no blown floor – can’t drive an F1 car”.

    4: Mercedes engined cars are position 1-6. Surprise, surprise.

    Looking forward to turn 1!

    • The logic that SkyF1 applied to the lower than expected top speeds was that due to loosing some downforce from last year means the teams have to run slightly more wing to compensate for the loss elsewhere, causing the cars to be slightly more draggy that was expected.

      I think top speed recorded was 353km/h if I remember the graphic correctly. Which is 15-20km/h lower than was predicted earlier in the season.

      • Cheers for that Clear View, and yeah 350km/h is nothing to cry about. Still epic quick, no doubt.

        But 400 clicks was never on the table. At those speeds, aero and power is the biggest factor, not gear ratios. The fact that they have 8 now is irrelevant. It means diddly squat.

        It was the 19,500+ rpm, V10, 850hp+ quali HP screamers, and super-duper-sticky, big, grooved tyres and 605kg w’ driver cars, allowing for the cars to run super crazy low aero that combined to let them hit near 375kmph a decade ago. The extra eight gog means nothing.

        Frankly, I wondered why ppl made such a deal about it.

      • @Ki Nam Too simple; SiS is likely correct. At this point in the season it appears that Vettel still has his excellent qualy pace and it is problems other than lack of a blown floor with the RB10 that have caused his results to suffer. Dan is better thus far at preserving his tires and his race pace has been superior. Vettel was putting cars where they shouldn’t be long before Dan came along.

        Just look forward to seeing how this plays out.

    • Just a general comment on Monza: the only thing that makes the race watchable is that the long straights plus DRS mean there’s always passing going on and it can be a bit tactical.
      Qualifying there is just boring.
      As for the race, I’m hoping the silver crew can put on a show for at least a few laps before they take each other out.
      Bottas for his maiden win ala Ricciardo / Bradbury 🙂

      • I always find Monza quali quite enjoyable and illuminating. As the lowest aero of the year, the cars are loosey goosey and you can see the drivers well on the edge, working the steering, the brakes and the entry points. Lines can differ too, which is interesting. Traction is low too, so it’s interesting to see sector two in particular as they try to squeeze a inch or two extra.

        I sure as he’ll prefer that to watching qualifying at Catalunya. High aero, everyone’s done tons of laps, lines merge to one solution, no mistakes, little hard braking, front limited. (This year was a touch different, but I am talking Catalunya in the main, over the past few decades. I’m sure it will revert to form next year as the regs mature).

    • And don’t forget that after tomorrow we go to, mainly, vettel territories. It’s always interesting to see how a driver behaves under bad conditions at his favorite track(s). Just like kimi at spa for example.

  3. Re- relaxing of engine freeze
    With Honda remaining silent over the idea, could it be that if they were at this stage to accept the relaxation, would it be like announcing to the world their engine is not class leading and they will take all the opportunities they can get to continue improving their product.

    This leads me on to why Honda and McLaren are not testing together in Abu Dhabi as they don’t want to look unprepared and people will compare lap times between the McLaren/Mercedes, especially drivers and they still want to sign a top dog, if they look a bit rubbish in Abu Dhabi they won’t lure anyone let alone at top shelf driver.

    • I wrote earlier that if I were Alonso, I would want to see some dyno read outs.
      From Honda that was. Since then lots of speculation and unspeculation Has gone on, so I don’t know who – if anyone except Vergne – will be leaving and who will change seats.
      But if it was me, I would want some hard facts.

  4. Off topic but those in the UK, between 6pm and 7pm today on ITV4 is a 1hour Formula E special, talking about the tracks, the drivers and the other entertainment available during 1day race meetings.

  5. Re- relaxing of engine freeze – Toto comment.

    “……..this will increase costs quite dramatically. I’m not sure we could deliver all the same specification of engines to everybody – logistically it’s not feasible …..”

    Oh really! Does that mean that Mercedes customers will get a lesser version? ‘Sorry customer, we just found an extra 20hp but you can’t have it, because because because….’ How convenient for Mercedes, to NOT have their customers challenge the works team. Will the B spec version be cheaper? Of course the same thinking applies to Ferrari and Renault/RB. Another chance for the top teams to gain advantage, and to restore the rightful order! Time for an inlet restrictor.

    • The rules state the EVERY engine/PU supplied, be it customer or manufacturer must all be of identical spec across the board, they are not allowed to supply lesser units that the ones the works team are using. Hence why McLaren get the same as the rest, the only thing Mercedes can do is take the engines away the minute they are removed to prevent prying eyes, but as far as supplying different species engines from 1 manufacturer, it’s a big no no, but I’m not sure if you could realistically police it 100% the units are so complex unless the FIA oversaw the stripping down of every unit by someone who knows what they are looking at, but this is F1 and people go to all sorts of lengths to gain any kind of advantage.

      • I am quite aware what the rules state now, but I was addressing Toto’s remarks about the future, and the result of the required rule change that he implies.

        FYI. Before the season started, the engine manufacturers delivered a complete PU to the FIA, along with a complete set of written parts specifications, and a copy of local control software. During the season, engines will be stripped and checked. Jo Bauer and his team are more than capable of inspecting the various elements.

  6. i really dont understand why our open cockpit racing prototype series (aka F1 and now also FE) are always asked to be more “road relevant”. Thats why we have WEC, BTCC, WRC, DTM, etc. Leave F1 out of it dammit!

    • It’s to help justify the investment needed to run an F1 team, particularly if you are Mercedes-Benz and you have to convince a board to part will cash amounts that would clear a small 3rd world countries debts per season. If there is no incentive to gain knowledge and technology what is the point. McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes all make cars and if just a little of the R&D money can be gleaned back, then you can justify the expenditure. The smaller teams just exist to race but they are not really at the sharp end of the grid.

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