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 TheJudge13:
COTA strikes first – sort of
The impending return of the Mexican Grand Prix is being celebrated by almost all Formula One fans as the return to the legendary circuit conjours up memories of years gone by, as well as taking racing to Latin America, which must be seen as an essential area for expanding the sport in.
One group that will not be celebrating the return will be those at COTA (Circuit of the Americas) in Texas, with the races scheduled to be back to back races. When TJ13 reporter Adam Macdonald attended the 2013 edition of the Austin race, he told of the high proportion of Latin Americans that made up the crowd at the track, most crossing the border from Mexico to see their heroes Checo and Esteban.
With this in mind, the organisers of the USGP are facing a dilemma as they need to counter a potential reduced crowd in Texas. Mario Andretti, ambassador for the race, was sent along to play the promo card appearing on television donning a cowboy hat with drivers and other celebrities. The proof will be in the pudding whether the promotion will work over the next couple of months before the 2014 race. As of yet, the race is hardly an established part of the calendar, which could spell trouble when the Mexico City race returns in 2015.
The only issue here is that they really should have seen it coming. When Adam went along to the Mexico City circuit back in June, the circuit owners were already reporting of the race returning with a confident grin across their face. Expect an almighty PR battle over the next 12 months as the two circuits wrestle for media attention before they ultimately go head to head next year.
Strike 1 for this goes to COTA who have spread the word of the fact race goers will be able to purchase tickets for Sunday’s Grand Prix race starting at $139 per person. COTA Chief Marketing officer Dominic Iacono said, “Single-day tickets are a great way to experience the exhilaration and unique atmosphere of a Formula One race day, while three-day passes are still the best value for those who want to immerse themselves in the entire weekend.”
Given the extortionate price of 1 day grandstand tickets last year, this will surely be the most appealing thing for those with only a passing interest in the sport. However, if attendances continue to fall it will spell the beginning of the end for Austin.
Caterham common sense
As the musical chairs at Caterham continues, one would be forgiven for assuming that Kamui Kobayashi will be given the chance to drive in front of his adoring Japanese fans once more. The last time he drove at Suzuka, he took a memorable 3rd place as he held off Jenson Button eventually finishing just half a second ahead of the Brit at his home race.
Having just seen a Spanish driver jump into a green machine for FP1, rumours are now circulating that it could be the turn of an Italian next. Roberto Merhi drove at Monza, but Andrea Cladarelli could be next in line. The driver who is currently competing in Japanese Super GT could take the race seat of Kobayashi for the Japanese weekend.
The irony comes in the form that Caldarelli comes with significant Japanese backing as he looks to race at Suzuka. The one saving grace for Kobayashi is that Caldarelli does not currently hold his superlicence, so special permission would be required for Caldarelli.
While it would seem an illogical choice to replace Kobayashi at his home race, it shows that common sense is having to be applied in order to simply remain on-track for the Leafield team. Times are tough for the green team, with this news just being another reminder.
Juncadella’s big decision
It would seem that Dani Juncadella’s short lived run in Formula One will only be seen for the 2014 season as he looks to secure a permanent seat in motorsport next year. With both seats seemingly tied up for 2015, his options would appear extremely limited.
Speaking to AUTOSPORT he said, “Honestly I think it’s useful to have a year as a reserve driver, but I have to say I wouldn’t do another one.” With Hulkenberg’s seat largely dependent on whether Perez can bring the funds required, the waiting game is very much resting on the Mexican for the Spaniard’s future.
He continued, “When you do a year as a reserve it’s a good preparation for being an official driver, so my goal for next year is to get a seat. Another year in a reserve role would make no sense.” Nico Hulkenberg sat out a year as a reserve driver for the team in 2011, even taking a job in the factory, before gaining the full-time race seat the year after. Should the race seat become available though, Juncadella will be ready to take it.
He stated, “We will see; it’s still early. The positive things are that I have some experience with the car and my long-term sponsor is willing to keep helping me. At the moment I’m racing in DTM and it’s a championship that I love. I would keep going; I’m not really going crazy about F1.” Hardly much of an advert for the sport if he is not itching to get a race seat.
“I have people who are really willing to help me towards the goal, and if there’s a free seat I will probably go for it, but in any case I’m not thinking too much about Formula 1. If there’s no chance I won’t worry too much. DTM is a great championship and Mercedes is happy with me.” If anything this sounds like a driver who has already admitted defeat, as one pay driver is out sponsored by another.
Mercedes to correct gear ratio flaw for Singapore (GMM)
Mercedes’ rivals are in for some bad news — the dominant German team looks set to pull even further ahead in Singapore and beyond. Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport reports that the Brackley team will correct its flawed gear ratio selection ahead of the night race in the Asian city-state next weekend.
The rules dictate that the gear ratios chosen by each competitor at the start of 2014 are then frozen for the entire year — with the exception of one “joker”.
Mercedes has now decided to make that “joker” ratio change for the rest of the season, beginning in Singapore. Auto Motor und Sport reports that it was on the long straights at Monza last weekend that Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg used eighth gear for the very first time.
“It (eighth gear) was too long for all the other circuits,” admitted designer Aldo Costa.
Mercedes’ miscalculation will now be corrected with a shorter eighth gear for Singapore and the subsequent decisive rounds of the world championship. Curiously, the German marque’s customer, the surprisingly competitive Williams, got its gear ratio calculation right from the very beginning in 2014.
But technical boss Pat Symonds admits: “We were a little nervous at first because we thought they (Mercedes) would know their engine inside out. After a few races I was reassured,” he added.
Symonds said that even though the eighth gear was introduced this year especially for the new turbo V6 rules, in the end it was unnecessary.
“The engines have so much torque that we could make do with a five speed gearbox,” he said. “It would save a lot of weight and space. Unfortunately, the regulations prescribe the eighth gear — otherwise we would have never had it.”