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Previously on TheJudge13:
OTD Lite: 1967 – Jim Clark’s greatest drive
Jim Clark. A name that conjures up visions of driving genius. Idolised by his contemporaries and by Formula One fans throughout the ages. His death, at just 32, brought to an end a career that was strangely unfulfilled. Of course a double World Champion and a record 25 victories was a staggering record but everybody expected further trophies. His death left motor-sport numb, if it could happen to the best..
On this day, Clark ran what many consider his greatest drive yet he only finished third and retired. With Jack Brabham and John Surtees fighting up to the line, the annals of history have forgotten his race, but on this day Jim Clark blessed the Italian track with fairy dust.
He started in pole position and fought with Dan Gurney from the start but disaster struck on lap 12 when he picked up a puncture and by the time the car had pitted and was race worthy, he was over a lap behind. Monza in the late sixties was famous for slipstreaming battles, but Clark unlapped himself and pulled away from the leaders. By lap 60 he had caught the leaders again and he was through into an incredible first position. On lap 67 his car coughed as the fuel pump failed and he ended up finishing in third place.
One lap was all that was needed for his performance to have been placed beside Nuvolari’s 1935 German victory, or Fangio’s 1957 German win. But fate decreed otherwise. Black and white pages give little away but the aficionados know..
Bernie waltzes in to rescue Sauber – surely not
It would appear that in the two days since we received news that Lawrence Stroll was looking to purchase Sauber – talks have broken down between the Candian billionaire and the Swiss team.
Sauber are facing financial collapse but their insistence on a value of 55 million Euro has been adjudged to be exorbitant. The founder of the Tommy Hilfiger brand has tired with the Swiss because it seems that every time they sit down to discuss the purchase of the team, the debt has further increased.
Stroll is a huge motor-sport fan who owns the Mont Tremblant circuit in Canada as well as some highly collectible Ferraris including the legendary 330/P4 as pictured on Monday. His initial talks with Mr E. were in relation to buying CVC shares but his sights have turned to Sauber in a quest to build a Ferrari Junior team in a similar manner to Red Bull’s Toro Rosso
Ferrari has now intervened in the hope of resurrecting the deal and would have the organisation run by Luca Baldisserri who would in turn accommodate the Ferrari Driver Academy. Jules Bianchi it appears has outgrown the Marussia team and Ferrari wants him in a team that has the facilities to aim higher than the equally strapped Marussia team.
The added benefit for Stroll is that his 15 years old son, Lance, is also part of Ferrari’s Academy and a seat with Sauber would be assured with his father’s investment.
Sauber’s valuation is in part due to the money that Sergey Sirotkin’s Russian backers had promised the team. It seems that Sauber, and other financially desperate teams, have been taken in by promises of non-existant sponsorship which is rapidly evaporating from the F1 circus.
Ultimately, although Stroll has a large liquid disposable income, he did not earn his wealth by being a fool. So with the negotiations currently stalled, it is left to Bernie to see if he can salvage the sale. Although with the payments that FOM make to the different teams – maybe it was always Bernie’s intention to stifle the weaker operations out and have 8 teams with 3 cars each.
(sourced from GMM with TJ13 comment)
Schumacher stopped Ferrari move – Montoya
Juan Pablo Montoya says F1 legend Michael Schumacher blocked his potential move to Ferrari a decade ago. The Colombian, now 38 and having switched to Indycars at the end of a long stint in Nascar, was back in the formula one paddock last weekend at Monza.
It was a rare visit to a grand prix for Montoya, but he said he has nothing against the sport he left suddenly in 2006. “I have seen so many friends here,” he is quoted by Italy’s Autosprint as having said at Monza. “It’s not like when I had to work,” Montoya smiled.
He was also asked about rumours that, when his F1 career transitioned from Williams to McLaren in the middle of last decade, he also toyed with a switch to Ferrari. “It was never possible,” Montoya explained. “Michael Schumacher was there and he hated me. But I’m really sorry about how he is now — I just hope he continues to recover.”
Montoya said he doesn’t have a strong opinion about today’s F1 compared to the V10 monsters he drove to 7 grand prix wins between 2001 and 2006. “They still seem difficult to drive, challenging,” he said. “They’re slower, but that’s because of the tyres.”
TJ13 comment: Stop Press! Stop Press! Montoya reveals mighty secret after suffering its weight all these years. Tell us something we didn’t know. Whether it was Montoya, Hakkinen, Villeneuve or eventually Raikkonen – one of the mot disappointing factors of Schumacher’s career was his refusal to share a team with a competitive team-mate.
From his time at Benetton where he had a contract clause that allowed his release if Senna ever signed to the team, through to his first retirement from F1 at the end of 2006 because Il Padrino had tired of the Todt/ Schumi double act.
In much the same way that his questionable driving ethics split opinions amongst fans, so too did his refusal to allow competition. The saddest thing is that this would have cemented his brilliance even further. After witnessing the laboured efforts of Raikkonen in 2007 and Massa in 2008, there could be no neutral observer who doesn’t believe those years would have been his 8th and 9th titles.
The other thing that is clearly forgotten amongst all this is that Montoya’s team-mate from 2001 to 2004 was a certain Ralf Schumacher – so the chances are high that Michael would have had inside information of how this volatile man operated.
(sourced from GMM with TJ13 comment)
‘Luck’ helped Hamilton win in Monza – Rosberg
“Luck” helped Lewis Hamilton to win Sunday’s Italian grand prix. That is the view of his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, even if the championship leader didn’t initially want his arch title nemesis to hear it. At Monza, with the controversy surrounding their Spa crash still raging and Rosberg having been internally punished, the German made two mistakes whilst leading in Italy that allowed Hamilton to pass and go on to win.
These errors combined with an odd caption of Toto Wolff smiling in the pits, triggered the conspiracy theory that Rosberg made the ‘mistakes’ on purpose to right the wrongs and hand some points back to Hamilton. Wolff has called the theorists “paranoid” and denied that Rosberg’s mysterious penalty involved handing back an ill-gotten win to Hamilton. “It definitely wasn’t any kind of punishment that affects the sporting side,” the Austrian told Kleine Zeitung newspaper.
Still, not everyone is convinced. Safety car driver Bernd Maylander admitted what Rosberg did on Sunday was “not normal. They were braking there at 360kph,” he told Austrian Servus TV, “so you can easily make a mistake and go into the emergency exit. But two mistakes in the same place? It’s not normal,” Maylander admitted.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, an outside shot to take on the warring Rosberg and Hamilton for the title, agrees. “It is definitely one of the hardest braking zones throughout the season,” said the Australian. “We have very little downforce as well so it’s really difficult. Then you add the pressure from Lewis Hamilton in the heat of battle, a mistake can happen. One mistake, for sure it’s actually pretty normal. The fact that it happened twice, I found interesting,” Ricciardo smiled.
Arguably, the Mercedes duo’s off-track battle is even more interesting than their wheel-to-wheel encounters. On Friday, during a tense pre-weekend press conference at Monza involving Hamilton, Rosberg admitted that the psychological war “Of course in sport plays a part”. Hamilton has been obviously playing that game recently, but Rosberg’s combative skills have been arguably more covertly deployed in 2014.
After the Monza ‘mistake’ and Hamilton’s win, Rosberg switched into Italian to discuss the pivotal moment of the race with Mercedes’ electronics chief Evan Short — who is Canadian. Commentators speculated that Rosberg chose to speak in Italian not only to Short but also Brazilian Felipe Massa in order to exclude the exclusively English-speaking Hamilton. Germany’s Bild newspaper has revealed that Rosberg, whose conversation was clearly audible on television, said to Short: “He (Hamilton) was so damn lucky — how is that even possible?”
TJ13 comment: With Hamilton having being christened recently as ‘Hollywood’ it would seem that Monsieur Rosberg wants to take his part in similar fashion. But his acting would only win a Rotten Tomato award.
Of course it’s fired up people with varying views on what happened at Monza, but it is just possible “Woof” (Wolff) could have been smiling whilst contemplating world domination, he could have been smiling at the fact that Mercedes were writing the sports headlines once more, he could have been smiling and committing the cardinal sin of finding himself amusing.
What a difference a year makes
Santander boss dies, what now for Ferrari and Alonso?
Santander chairman Emilio Botin, who was the man behind Santanders entrance into F1 sponsorship, has died. Aged 79.
Under Botin’s leadership the bank has grown by acquisition from a national player to one which is global with almost 250,000 employees and more funds than the British National Debt, just over £1.1 trillion.
Emilio forged a relationship with Fernando Alonso, promising to back him to the hilt. This saw Santander also sponsor McLaren, Ferrari and become the Title Sponsor for a number of Formula 1 race events.
Ferrari have commented on twitter, “Sad day today. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the chairman Emilio Botin.”
Further, Botin was a popular man in the paddock and Ron Dennis adds, “Passionate and charming, he was firm but always fair. I feel privileged to have known him, and proud to be able to call him a friend. He adored motor racing – there was no one more enthusiastic in the McLaren garage than he was when a race win was in the offing. The world has lost a great man.”
It is believed Alonso’s 32 million euro a year salary is funded by Santander, and there may be concerns that the post Botin Santander board, may decide to become detatched from Formula 1.
The Scuderia are about to face a whole new world in terms of finance. Budgets will be introduced and enforced and the Ferrari brand royalties, previously used as a slush fund for the racing team, have already been stripped out from Maranello and moved elsewhere in the FIAT/Chrysler group.
Most likely, Botin will have provided from his personal fortune of over $1bn, for Fernando, however, Ecclestone and the ‘uncles’ in Ferrari land may not be penned in any will.
Formula one is already facing an unprecedented time in recent memory, in that around half the races have no title sponsors. A handful of years back this was just the usual Monaco and one other.
Santander sponsored the British and German GP this year, though whether there is a long term is uncertain as Santander have at times been perceived as whimsical, particularly with the sponsorship of the Spanish GP.