#F1 Daily News and Comment: Thursday, 25th September 2014


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OTD Lite: 2005 – Alonso wins first World Championship

Eddie Irvine back at Ferrari

Cosworth’s new chapter about to begin in F1

Cost issue could end ‘freeze’ relaxation talks

Vettel admits he’s struggling

Ecclestone’s plan to reduce race ticket prices.

Spain tells Alonso to leave

Lightening Lewis

Not enough time for 3 car teams

Rosberg used retirement as a learning experience

OTD Lite: 2005 – Alonso wins first World Championship

“I won the championship with maybe not the best car, so I am proud of what I did. The fact that I have taken over the title from Michael Schumacher is a bonus. I came from a country with no tradition in F1. I had to fight my way alone. I have only had the help of two or three people in my career, no more.” So said Fernando Alonso in a message that has often been repeated throughout his career – he carries the car.

d05bra1309It seems scarcely believable that today is the ninth anniversary of Fred’s first ever World title. His drive to third place at the Brazilian Grand Prix secured him the spoils and confirmed him as the youngest ever winner – beaten of course by Sebastian Vettel in 2010. He followed this up with his second championship the following year and has since endured barren years for the ultimate prize.

Of course, without his public disintegration during 2007 – he could have been a three time champion. With that secured it would have been likely that he would have remained at Mclaren for 2008 and been the youngest ever four time champion. As a new challenge he may have accepted the drive at Ferrari and with a sound strategy call would have emulated Fangio’s five titles by the end of 2010. A little less misfortune in 2012 would have meant he only trailed Schumacher in the ultimate winners list by one crown and at a mere 31 years of age would have had some years to ply his brilliance for further success.

As with any “what if” the realities are somewhat different. This year marks the eight season since his last title, and throughout the history of the F1 drivers championship only Niki Lauda has a comparable break between honours having won in 1977 then again in 1984 – albeit with a sabbatical from 1979 to 1982 in between.

The Jackal


Eddie Irvine back at Ferrari

41973_eddie-irvine-torna-a-marenello-dopo-15-anniEddie Irvine was back in Maranello for a visit recently for the first time since he left the team in 1999. An outspoken and opinionated Irishman – some of his comments would have made Eddie Jordan blush and yet he seemed on his best behaviour, “It’s fantastic to be here after such a long time and it’s really surprising to see how much things have changed since I was last here.”

“I saw a lot changes everywhere, such as the work on the historic cars, which is a passion of mine, that’s really incredible, as is the level of technology now used in the production areas. I’ve got nothing but nice memories of the four years I spent here, even if in the beginning it was a disaster because of all the problems we had with the car. Ferrari was an incredible opportunity and a great honour, that any driver would want to experience at least once in his life.

When Irv the swerve was asked his opinion about the latest chapter in the sport – he spared nothing: “I always watch the races, even if I’m not particularly keen on the new things like the boost button and the DRS, the fact the noise has gone and having races in countries with no motor sport tradition.”

An unlikely Ferrari driver but perhaps the perfect foil for the workaholic Schumi, he enjoyed a healthy wage at Ferrari for allowing himself “to be beaten over the head with a cricket stump every two weeks” – as to next year, “Ferrari needs to take a step forward and I’m sure they will – next year will be even more interesting”


Cosworth’s new chapter about to begin in F1

TJ13 reported some months ago that Cosworth was looking at re-entering Formula One once more. Sources from within Brackley confirmed that approaches had been made by two companies to entice the Mercedes engineers away.

One would have meant relocating to a country where opera, food and wine are a daily pleasure whereas the other would have meant a detour on the Northamptonshire traffic system of just eight miles.

As ever, differing views on the news emerged in the comments sections with sceptics needing written proof signed in blood and DNA samples acquired before accepting an element of truth.

In Northampton, a new factory is being built at the cost of $12 million to be called the ‘Advanced Manufacturing Centre’. This will be used to design high performance engines and associated electronics for Cosworth.

This is all part of an expansion by Cosworth to design and build a new innovative F1 power unit to the current F1 rules. The relaunch of the company will likely be funded in part by the British Government due to the company expecting to create an additional 70 new jobs.

The idea is to produce a low-cost power unit that could be supplied to the smaller teams or even replace an existing engine manufacturer should one decide to leave the sport. Rumours persist that Bernie Ecclestone is the guiding force behind the brands return as teams struggle in the current hostile economic environment.

Cosworth has already built a prototype with which to attract the funding but is now head-hunting engineers to join the ranks


(sourced from GMM with TJ13 comment)

Cost issue could end ‘freeze’ relaxation talks

Toto Wolff says F1’s struggling teams would be the victims if a push to relax the engine development ‘freeze’ is successful. As Mercedes continues to utterly dominate in the first season of the turbo V6 era, behind-the-scenes discussions have turned to allowing struggling rivals Ferrari and Renault to catch up.

“If we look at this year’s season we’re seeing that there’s such a big disparity between the different engines,” said Monisha Kaltenborn, whose Sauber outfit is using Ferrari power and having the “worst season in the history of the team”.

For cost-cutting purposes, F1 operates under strict engine homologation rules, more commonly referred to as a ‘freeze’ that severely limits performance development. Under the existing rules, engine makers will be able to change up to 48 per cent of their 2014 ‘power unit’ design ahead of the next pre-2015 homologation.
But Mercedes’ rivals, notably Ferrari, are pushing hard behind the scenes for even more freedom.

The current ‘freeze’ operates on the basis of allowing engine makers to exchange a certain number of FIA ‘tokens’ for performance-related design improvements. Ferrari is arguing for at least eight more tokens to be available to teams for a mid-season design tweak. Predictably, field-leading Mercedes is not happy with the idea.

Wolff told Auto Motor und Sport: “It would be stupid of us to argue that we have the best engine and so nothing else interests us. On the other hand, we must raise the question of costs. Eight tokens would cost tens of millions of euros,” said the Austrian. “Who should pay, if not the customer?

It is here that relaxing the engine ‘freeze’ will meet considerable objection. The cost of renting engines from Mercedes, Ferrari or Renault for customer teams – some of whom are struggling merely for survival – has already gone up considerably in 2014 compared with the old V8 regime. “We’re paying about 20 million pounds for our engine in a period when we’re trying to control costs in formula one,” said Mercedes customer Williams’ deputy chief Claire Williams.

Even Kaltenborn, whose struggling Sauber team would benefit from a stronger Ferrari engine, is not keen on the idea of a ‘freeze’ relaxation if it means her bills are higher. “We do support the idea that development of an engine is allowed within certain given parameters,” she said, “but it not necessarily leads to the fact that we, as customers, should actually bear the costs for that.”

TJ13 comment: Dis-information is a thriving parameter of the business world. As Claire Williams suggests, it costs the Williams team £20 million annually. As it would Force India and Mclaren too. Part of the reason Lotus is moving to a supply of Mercedes engines is not only are they a better unit than the Renault – they are far cheaper too.

Mercedes reputedly spent in the region of 500 million to develop their engine – which some reports suggest is double the others spend. Yet they have not passed this cost on to their customers. What Ferrari and Renault are asking is for an FIA to actually show some common sense and allow the manufacturers freedom to develop their designs until there is parity – much like the V8 era – then introduce a freeze.

As ever under the Todt regime, F1 stumbles headless- and ball less – into another situation that they could have avoided. The introduction of a series of new technologies which could only be tested on track for twelve days before the season began, restrictive homologation rules which came in at the end of the February – it’s actually a miracle that there have been so few failures. 


Vettel admits he’s struggling

Quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel admits he is struggling to get to grips with the RB10. “Every time I want to push or make something happen, it just doesn’t,” explained Vettel. I think it is a characteristic of this year’s car in combination with the downforce we have, with the tyres. It just maybe doesn’t give me yet what I want in a certain area of the corner”.

Clearly, the RB9 drove like it was on rails, with a little help from some counter intertuitive driving techniques, yet Vettel is candid. “That is not an excuse, because in the end I have to get the best out of the car. We’ve done a lot of progress but there is a lot we can do better.”

Less down force and a huge increase in torque means Vettel is feeling a steed under him that is significantly less predictable than previous Newey designs, so Seb has had to adjust his driving style which he admits is “tricky”.

“Obviously you drive the way you think is quickest, whether that means you have to hold back or you have to push, it depends on the situation. It is not that straightforward this year and it is not always consistent, so that is the tricky bit”.

The 2015 Red Bull car is the last of the Newey full time designs and the big question will be,  whether before Ade sails off into the America’s cup sunset, will the final Bull he produces endeavour to assist Vettel more, or is Ricciardo the future?


Ecclestone’s plan to reduce race ticket prices.

The only income a race promoter has left from hosting a GP is now the ticket receipts, programmes and maybe some income from concession stall rents.

Promoters pay Ecclestone hosting fee’s for the privilege of being part of the F1 circus which range from $8m (Monza) to $60m (Korea) and of course Monaco pay sweet eff all.

There are other costs which the promoter suffers around the health and safety piece along with any track upgrades required by Charlie Whiting. These however pale into insignificance when compared to the hosintg fee.

So, the maths is simple. Ticket prices are set as they are most significantly to take account of the hosting fee.

Toto Wolff revealed in Monza that the teams had raised the issue of ticket prices with Ecclestone, though there was no indication of how the discussion had gone. Toto did state, “I guess it is pretty clear what needs to be done to fill the grandstands in the traditional races such as Hockenheim and Monza.”

Ecclestone has countered Wolff’s assertion. “Has he told you how? You should tell him about reducing what they want for racing, and then we can reduce the fees.

That is the problem. We collect money for the teams – the teams get 70 per cent of the revenue that comes from the promoters.”

Ecclestone is not convinced the lack of spectators at certain events is due to high ticket prices. “With sport, there is so much of it – and only so much time – that everything has lost a little bit,” adding, “it’s the same thing with the promoters.”

There we go then, problem solved.

Then again, why didn’t Ecclestone throw his weight and the commercial rights holders’ 6 votes behind the 6 votes from the FIA on cost capping at the strategy group?

Further, the smaller teams are struggling to build a car and bring a handful of developments to it throught the season on the funds they have. A fairer distribution of money is also required, which will tighten up the field and enthrall the crowds even more.

Is someone speaking with forked tongue?


Spain tells Alonso to leave

Spanish National publication Marca has run a poll. The question was simple. Should Alonso leave Ferrari?

So far with over 16,000 votes cast, over 84% respond yes, and the comments beneath section is fairly amusing. ‘Arrogant’ and ‘Pathetic’ are used to describe the great Ferrari brand, and the consensus is Alonso has given them his best, now it’s time for him to get the car he deserves.

The Spanish fans have clearly lost faith in Ferrari, and it wouldn’t take much reading between the lines from Mattiacci’s recent comments, to believe that 2016/17 is the earliest he believes the Scuderia may enjoy a resurgence.

TJ13 has been informed there will be an announcement over Alonso’s future in Japoan.

In the meantime, Italian bookmaker Tuttosport has Alonso around 2 to 1 to leave Ferrari this year, at 1.9.


Vettel               1.5

Hamilton           3.5

Button              3.75

Hulkenberg      10

Massa              200

And for Alonso to arrive at McLaren, the odds are 1.5

Lightening Lewis

In track and high level field and field events where motion sensors are built into the starting blocks, should an athlete move before 0.10 seconds has expire – following the firing of the gun – this is deemed a false start.

This figure is based on tests that show the human brain cannot hear and process the information from the start sound in under 0.10 seconds.

In Monza despite Lewis Hamilton’s start mode failing it transpires he started his launch process before he knew the lights had gone out.

Charlie Whiting reveals that his reaction time to the lights was 0.05 seconds. When asked what the limit was to define a false start in F1, Charlie Whiting replied, “There is no minimum time. You’re allowed to gamble & risk a penalty.”

That said, when the FIA stewards completely miss a car lining up to start the race, way beyond its grid mark – and require another team to point this out – you can never be quite certain about what ‘Charlie says’.

Here’s a new one and some relief from the Hollywood/Britney debate. Do the TJ13 members of the court believe F1 should have a minimum reaction time allowed at the start of a Formula 1 race? If so why?


Not enough time for 3 car teams

Following the tweet from Adam Parr during the Monza GP, Eric Boullier was asked about F1 teams running three cars, and appeared surprised by the question.

“I think he’s being a bit provocative. We all know anyway that Formula 1 is going through a transition time; with the car manufacturers in the last decade, budgets have literally gone through the roof and now we are in a different economic situation and there is some transition. So there is potentially a couple of teams which may suffer [because] of this and I don’t know if they will still be on the grid”

Eric’s opinion was, “But I don’t think we’ll go to eight teams and three cars per team next year and definitely not in such a short-term notice. I think everybody is aware of this and I think F1 is aware of that as well.”

Having had some time to be brought up to speed by Ron over the discussions occurring within the Strategy Group, Eric feels a little better prepared now. “I think the driver is the easiest to get on board, you know? And the chassis and third car logistics and people around – we would need at least six months’ notice.”

Of course there is only, 5 months and days before lights are out in Australia 2015.

Yet there was always a clause in the Concorde Agreement, which meant the teams could be asked to run 3 cars, should the grid fall below 20 cars.

Eric believes, “I think at the end if one day we are called and asked to help F1 and run three cars we have to.”

Well that’s not quite true.

Of course the teams now have bi-lateral agreements with Ecclestone/FOM s the Concorde Agreement was never re-signed. The clause there states the teams are obliged to run a third car, but only if they can afford to.

Toto Wolff revealed at the weekend, the cost of a third car is in the region of $35m.

The saving Ecclestone would make from losing 3 teams would be in the region of $130m, and for the grid to be once again no less than 20 cars, this would require 4 teams to put up their hands and volunteer.

Of course, Ecclestone would gladly use the savings to fund these 4 extra cars, because should the grid fall below 20 cars, the FIA would cancel the 99 year long commercial agreement, and CVC and Bernie would be out of F1. 3 teams failing = 6 cars out, 4 cars funded by Bernie/CVC.

So it was hardly surprising at the weekend, that Ecclestone had this to say. “I think we should do it anyway. I would rather see Ferrari with three cars or any of the other top teams with three cars than having teams that are struggling.”

Of course Ferrari have a sweet deal under Ecclestone’s premiership, which no other teams have. They are paid 2.5% of the revenue received by F1, for in effect being historic.

If four teams to go under, Bernie could be in serious trouble.


Rosberg used retirement as a learning experience

During the Belgium GP, Lewis Hamilton realised his car was damaged such that he would not be able to drive to a points finishing position. Yet the team kept him out from the first time Hamilton suggested calling it a day over the car radio for some 20 odd further laps.

The team finally made the call to retire the car.

In Singapore following his pit lane start, Rosberg ploughed on to his first pit stop, on the off chance that a change of steering wheel would resolve his problem. It didn’t.

Following the race, Wolff declared, “we decided to retire the car”. Yet the on-board footage from Nico’s car clearly shows Rosberg waving his hands in a cutting motion to the attending mechanics, calling off their efforts.

The pit stop crew are all able to hear the team radio clearly, and the instruction given to retire the car would have been heard by them. It appears strange had this decision been made by the team and communicated across the radio, that Nico would bother to wave as he did.

Of course Rosberg and the pit wall team may have decided fairly simultaneously the game was up, then again with Mercedes, you just don’t know what is true any more.

Nico revealed having climbed from the car, “I just decided rather than going home I’m going to try and see if I can pick up anything that might become useful in the next couple of races,” according to Adam Cooper. “Did I learn anything? Of course. I’ve never watched the other car live in a race, I’ve never watched the pit wall work together during a race this year, there are a lot of insights that I got.”

The mind boggles, we’ll leave it to the courtroom to speculate as to what Rosberg learned.


93 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Thursday, 25th September 2014

  1. The Jackel, that’s a very interesting OTD today. The line of thinking is entirely plausible. I will extend it, if I may…

    I suppose that line of thinking is what makes me admire Michael Schumacher even more. He made the majority of his “what if” opportunities result in world drivers titles and countless wins the car had no right to win. So continuing on with your line of thought, with a twist of fate in 1997, 1998 and a no engine blow out at Japan in 2006, he’d actually be a 10 time world champion. That’s mega, isn’t it? Also, imagine a tiny stone not being in his brakes at Silverstone in 1999?! Maybe 11 titles considering what Eddie managed…

    So from his 10 chances, he converted 7 “what if’s” and in my opinion 94/95/00/03 were not with the outright best car against the Williams and McLaren of those days. And in 97/98 certainly not, as he shouldn’t have even been close…

    So that makes, in my opinion, 01/02/04 hard to begrudge because 1: he (helped) build, and therefore earned, the right to those cars and, 2: he delivered with them, week in, week out, flawlessly.



    • Just a small addition after reading:

      “As ever, differing views on the news emerged in the comments sections with sceptics needing written proof signed in blood and DNA samples acquired before accepting an element of truth.”

      I doubt even that would be enough, frankly. You would be naive, I think, to believe that those who conducted said DNA tests wouldn’t have their impartiality and analysis abilities called into question. I would ‘lol’ and ‘winky face’ here normally, but it’s true.


      • The problem sometimes though is that a lot of TJ13 predictions are very veiled, and oblique. Coming from an anonymous source, through an anonymous source, that is a bit unnecessary, unless the information itself is inconclusive. This isn’t everything, and yes the judge does have a good track record, but sometimes I get the feeling that even he doesn’t have the full picture. The Kimi to Ferrari story was one such, all we got was ‘Richter scale blah’, the Lewis and Monza thing was similar.

        I am a published academic, so I deal in rigorous argument, and often here it’s a bit more mystic meg, and if you are unspecific enough you are bound to hit a few home runs. That’s not to say the judge doesn’t get some scoops, he certainly does and I appreciate them and his efforts, but I for one will factor everything as rumour with varying levels of credibility, until its proven otherwise. So please forgive some skepticism.

        On another note, if Schumi was a 10-11 time WC, would he have been booted out, or left to carry on driving in 2007-8, and given the Ferrari those years, gone on to be a 12-13 times WC? What ifs indeed, but you are absolutely right in that when it comes to maximising his chances, Schumacher was indeed about as efficient as it comes!

        • … It’s a bit different than going to a library and finding a quote for publication 😉

          Some information is so specific just a couple of people can know it – therefore to protect them you must understand this…

          We still revealed Kimi to Ferrari a couple of days after the Richter scale revelation – a long time before the rest of the English speaking media (3 plus weeks)

          Further, there are other sources who know stuff, but not the detail. Hence the Mexican’s appearing Bank Holiday Monday in Silverstone on the May Bank Holiday when the factory was shut for the workers.

          Why mainstream media did not report the Caterham employees being fed by other teams this weekend, I don’t know. Maybe they just ran out of gas…..

          • I appreciate that judge, and trust me, if you think you can walk into a library and find a quote for a publication in the subjects I deal in, I suggest you steer clear, its no better I promise!

            I do take consideration of that, and apologies if that comment came off as overly critical. We speak plain where I am from, and it can be construed as blunt, when it holds no emotion for me. As I’m sure you know, I have been here from the start, and whilst I may not like everything, or always agree, with you and your writers, In the grand scheme, consider myself to be on ‘your side’.

            I was merely pointing out, that if we disagree, or don’t take everything you say as gospel, its not simply refusal to believe out of bloody mindedness. Whilst on one hand you may have to consider what you can release, we can’t know where the line between your interpretation, or assumptions, (or prejudice even) and what you are unable to tell us, lies, so we have to moderate our response. There have been as many ‘I knew it, its all truth’ comments, as ‘I refuse to believe a word’ in the past few months, and how much is what you can’t say, and how much is something else, is not quantifiable.

          • …That’s fair enough, plus we always try to build the argument anyway.

            As has been written, Mercedes announcing to the world ‘secret discipline’ for a racing incident – which has happened scores of times between team mates and not resulted in ‘discipline’…..

            ….always meant something untoward was likely being done behind the scenes, which they could not tell us about.

    • So now nobody will earn his title? Because they don’t build (help)? Don’t forget schumi tested more than ever done before. Something that’s impossible now. I dont buy all that simulation crap. I can simulate something a 1000 times on my machine without an error of some kind. Yet if I start milling there are things in the real world that a computer doesn’t account for… If they wouldn’t have banned testing the way they did it might be that an other was now close to securing his 7th titel who knows. It’s all relative.

      • Fair enough… point taken bruznic.

        Just to clarify, my point on ‘earning it’ was just specific to Schumi and those three seasons he has the best car. It was hard for anyone really to begrudge it, based on his previous years slog and also delivering on the quality of the car, week in, week out. It’s just my opinion. I enjoyed Carlo’s logic on the OTD, and it inspired my thoughts on Michael’s potential career too.



        • Let’s not fool ourselves. Schumi had the best car from 1999 till 2004, 6 seasons in a row during his Ferrari years. Whether that was a dominant car or a bit better than the others, that’s different.
          BUT he is a legend and a great not only because of these dominant years, but more because of what he was achieving in second and third rate Ferrari cars. He proved himself when he didn’t have the best or better car, much like Alonso and Hamilton have done in this era. For Vettel, we’re still waiting.

          • Let’s not forget that BITD Schumacher ran thousands and thousands of kilometers of testing mileage during the season; that helps.

          • @McLaren78

            I disagree that Michael had the best car in 1999, where the McLaren was devastatingly super quick. But despite that, with the broken leg, it’s a mute point because Michael didn’t for the title that year anyway. In relation to 2003, the McLaren was once again devastatingly quick but unreliable, and the Williams was also very quick. Barrichello, as a barometer, show’s this.

            Also, I think that in 2000, the Ferrari F1-2000 began below the McLaren speed wise, with Schumacher taking the initial 3 wins on McLaren stuffing up. That year showed a big race-by-race chassis and engine development push from both teams. Ferrari caught up and as the season wore on the cars were eerily equal, with variations depending on track preference. The Mclaren was certainly more aerodynamically gifted and it showed, whilst the Ferrari has great mechanical grip. That year, Barrichello came 5th.


            True Schumacher and Ferrari tested a lot… that was the Formula we had back then. It would be disingenuous to think McLaren or Williams BMW didnt test in a similar fashion, with two or three cars, week in, week out. They did. So yes, it helps, but it’s hardly different to any other top team.

          • Well, we agree to disagree. In ’99 Irvine almost won the title! And in ’00, Ferrari was better by the end of the season. In ’03 and ’05 McLaren was better, but reliability cost Kimi the titles these years to Schumi and Alonso. McLaren was fast and unreliable, hence, Ferrari was still a better car as a whole.

            But in any case, I gather that your’e a big fan of Schumi, Vettel, Rosberg. Irrespective of whether Schumi had the best car for 6 consecutive years or not, he proved himself before then, already a great!

          • Oh yes, I am a Michael fan. Very much so. My twitter account would show that. Incidentally I am / was a Hakkinen fan too, so very conflicting times in 2000 for me – haha. Those are probably the last two drivers I can say I was genuinely in awe of, as a fan.

            But no I’m not a Vettel fan, at all. I don’t mind the boy though. He’s quick and fuss free. As to Rosberg, I’m not a fan of his either. My respect for him has increased this season not as a driver, but more as a competitior. I am pretty neutral to Rosberg overall though.

            I am growing to like Ricciardo’s style. Not because of the Aussie connection, because frankly I couldn’t stand Webber, but for his approach. If I was a fan of anyone, I’d say it was Kimi. But the term ‘fan’ is loose in that regard too.

          • @SiS. Yes, everyone tested, but IIRC Michael didn’t pass the job on to a number 2 or a test driver, he did most of it himself. I remember reading something about the mileage he personally put in and it was an astonishing number. That kind of commitment was what drove Ferrari forward; I think Michael played a very major role in Ferrari coming around.

          • @Gomer

            Badoer put in an awful lot of miles too. I recall the testing miles calculated into graphs from back then, badoer would top them near always. But yes, Michael would always be top of the actual competing drivers. But again, that was the formula available back then… Anyway, it been nice recalling his career.

  2. Re : Engine Freeze

    I completely agree. Engine freeze should be lifted till parity is achieved coz as fans we have to endure more and more seasons where one team is ahead of others by a mile. Atleast the saving grace this year is the fact that Nico is matching Lewis and keeping the battle interesting. Otherwise it would 2011 and 2013 all over again. Except the engine every other part of an F1 car is being allowed to be developed throughout the year (withstanding the restrictions on CFD and wind tunnel times) but the motor is freezed. So if a team missed the bus in the winter they have to wait till the next winter to get it right. This pathtic situation should change. If the costs are not controllable, let the Prize fund be distributed appropriately. If not let the FIA/Bernie lend money (interest free or at minimal interest) to the struggling teams to compete and recover the loans once the teams have surplus (or) from their prize money.

    • Engine parity didn’t prevent us from having to endure four seasons of RBR smothering F1.

      Mercedes earned the advantage they have by following the same rules as the other engine manufacturers, investing huge sums of money and human capital to produce the best solution.

      It’s horrifying to suggest that the engine manufacturers that didn’t do as good a job now should receive special dispensation and be allowed to develop beyond the FIA %/token schedule to facilitate false parity. Parity is NOT mandated or even guaranteed – nor should it be!

      Plus, it’s not just “one team” that benefits from Mercedes’ awesome engine, is it?

      The sour grapes of those F1 “fans” who want to upend the sporting and technical governance regimes just to invalidate the hard-won advantage Merc slaved for years – at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars – to give its teams is annoying, to say the least.

  3. It would be just great to see Cosworth back in F1 if they could replicate the success of the trusty DFV supplying an affordable engine that in a decent chassis can be nicely competitive, maybe not winning every week but enough to steal the odd podium and upset the Apple cart from time to time.

    • Freeze came about as cost saving measure, IIRC. Point was not to throw untold millions at development driving price of engines higher, but allow periods where engines can be caught up. Perhaps they should have included a parity clause so that in a situation like this Renault and Ferrari have more freedom to develop than Merc does for 2015

  4. According to Mark Hughes at Sky, all the talk is about whether Alonso and Vettel swap seats or one of them moving to McLaren. No talk of Hamilton. It seems they think he’ll be at Merc.

  5. Re: Cosworth

    Having four engine suppliers is certainly better than three. Cosworth may also capitalize on the Ferrari and Renault V6 engines’ deficiencies.

  6. re: vettel

    Wasn’t it Vettel who dismissed the new engine formula and instead wanted to drive “beasts”? It would seem he ultimately got what he wished for, what with more torque and less downforce.

    • …Good spot headrush

      “I would prefer a V10 or V12 with 1000 horse power – lots of power. I would like to drive cars that are as fast as they can be – I need to feel as though I am taming a dragon or a beast”.

        • I know he says that, but would he have, really? Webber always said that he had Vettel beat through high-speed corners (in Webber’s words, in anything requiring “huge balls”).

          The hp will increase year-to-year on these cars, as will the downforce. If active suspension comes back in (2017, was it?), they’ll be going even faster. If the advance in the ERS tech allows a weight reduction, then faster again.

          • True, but there were less of them ten years ago, from less downforce and thus slower cornering speeds. But Vettel at the same time seems to be at his best when the car he is driving has more downforce, so I’m not sure exactly what suits him best. I see these current cars as more like the pre-2009 cars, probably going in the 2011/13 direction if downforce dominates, or back to 2004 if ERS does instead.

          • Lack of downforce is only a part of Vettel’s problem. The biggest problem for him is that he was extremely precise on the brakes, especially at the corner entry and the new-fangled computer brakes don’t allow such precision anymore as the driver doesn’t get the same feedback anymore. He prefereed to control the car through the corner right on the edge of grip and the new breed has none.

          • Okay, yes that makes more sense. Braking is where you find the most time and thus the best at it, like Hamilton and Vettel, thrive there. ‘Corner entry’ makes me think of trailing the brakes in.. what Jackie Stewart called the hardest, and final, thing to learn in a racing car.

    • Ahh but how many maps are truely flat out nowadays? The odd one in qualifying, but virtually none in the race thanks to tyre life, engine concerns and of course fuel worries.

      Don’t get me wrong, car management is a driver skill and should be measured in F1, but sometimes like in Singapore we see nearly the whole field driving slowly to conserve tyres etc. That’s not too entertaining.

  7. About those reaction times: It would be interesting to test times for various sports, but why hasn’t this been done in F1?

    • I’m sure they have tested reaction times of drivers in the past. I recall Coulthard talking about it, when discussing Schumacher, saying that he was actually lower down in the reaction times lists, but that he compensated for it in other ways.

      Re: the article, it’s “lightning”, not “lightening”.

      Also another typo I saw was in the Aussies-want-team-orders-for-Ricciardo piece … there’s 258 pts still on the table for the WCC, not 215.

      It’s possible that the WCC could be decided in Japan (a Merc 1-2, with RBR scoring less than 3 pts), but highly unlikely.

  8. “Charlie Whiting reveals that his reaction time to the lights was 0.5 seconds.”

    I believe that would be 0.05 seconds.

    Re: Alonso

    I understand the Spanish fans because Ferrari does act entitled (arrogant). While they simply have been 1 step behind for the past 5 years and they employed (arguably) the best driver of the current generation. Alonso is either staying at Ferrari or is on his way to Mclaren (forget Merc and RBR). At his point I’d say its 30/70. Before the seismic shifts within Ferrari that would have been 80/20 for me.

    And Hamilton would be nuts to leave Mercedes. He just needs to look at RBR under the previous regulations; its highly likely the same will happen under the current regs (like Lorenzo expects).

    • “Here’s a new one and some relief from the Hollywood/Britney debate. Do the TJ13 members of the court believe F1 should have a minimum reaction time allowed at the start of a Formula 1 race?”

      That would be a no btw. If someone would employ this tactic 20 times a year he is bound to jumpstart at least 5 times i’d say (if not 50/50). Good luck on those drive throughs. Hamilton got off very lucky at Monza.

      • Yeah, I can’t see a reason to have a minimum reaction time set. Impressive stuff from Lewis assuming that the data is correct. And that Charlie is correct.

  9. RE: reaction Time – jesus f-ing christ. no need to complicate the rules EVEN MORE. the current track rules cant be enforced anyways.

    If the car moves before the lights change its a jump start.

    If the driver was so “in the zone” the he actually had a sixth sense for when the lights were going out and/or gambled to be the fastest off the line then so be it.

    • My views exactly. The moment the lights go off is not fixed, so a driver is entitled to gamble and try his luck in getting it just right with a bit of luck. Lewis just happened to be lucky with regards to the lights going off at Monza but then his start was so bad, it didn’t matter anyway.

      If the jump start is obvious though and the driver earns multiple places as a result of that jump start, then I guess you need to punish the driver with a drive-through or whatever is appropriate. Drivers are ultimately human and the start is one of the most tense moments in the race so I think there should not be any random time-limit beyond which a driver is considered to have jump-started. As a driver you’re just itching to release the car and just go.

      The regulation as it stands is fine. Any punishment should be given by accounting for the context. Any glaring jump start should obviously be punished but even if you do, if you don’t gain any places over other cars on the grid then there is no need (I feel) to penalize a driver over it. Policing such a rule would be an absolute nightmare and only results in chaos.

  10. “Were four teams to go under, Bernie could be in serious trouble.”

    This is why I believe Bernie is the secret owner of Caterham.
    It is his insurance policy. If bernie gets his 3 car teams, and Lotus, Marussia, and Sauber all drop out, then Caterham would be the last two cars on the grid.
    Merc, RB, Mclaren, Ferrari x3 = 12
    FI, Williams, Toro Rosso x2 = 6

    Caterham would be the last 2 car team, making 20 cars, and keeping bernies deal intact.
    So even if it cost bernie $100 million to run the team next year out of pocket,
    it would keep the billion dollar contract intact for 2015.
    Of course, it would probably cost him much less than that. He could slash budgets (even more), sell the seats to the highest bidders, etc. It would not matter if they always came in last place, or didn’t even finish. As long as the letter of the contract is met, be it that they simply show up, or have to make it to the starting grid, once that clause is met, the contract is safe.

    In 2016 Haas is scheduled to come in, when bernie could just disband Caterham and sell it off for scrap.

    I said it before, I know bernie is somehow involved in this Caterham mess.
    There are no real secrets in F1, the fact that we still know nothing about the owners of this team can only mean they are being protected from the highest levels. There is no one better at protecting himself than bernie.

    • …. Can’t argue with your reasoning.

      However, it’s not as attractive to the 4 teams you mention though to run a third car, because – as it stands – this car isn’t points scoring – though positions are retained…..

      Plus every team would like to see Bernie gone, bar Red Bull and Ferrari – so the rest may not co-operate…

      Interesting Boullier has put a marker down suggesting 6 months lead time minimum…. Big Ron knows the score.

      • Respectfully your Honor..

        It may not be attractive on the surface, but we have no idea what the true agreement is between bernie and the top 4 teams. They may each have set a deal with him agreeing to 3 cars, as long as he ponied up some more cash.

        Boullier just started the negotiations with bernie. The number they agreed to years ago, before the new PU’s came in, is probably no where near what they really need.

        On the plus side for the teams, they get 50% more data, 50% more advertising space, the possibility to lock out the podium, etc. There are as many positives for them as negatives.

        Yes, Ferrari and RB would probably drive over a cliff if bernie was leading. Mclaren and Mercedes are less likely, but sometimes the enemy you know is still better than the enemy you don’t.
        Loosing bernie could mean a complete recut of the money pie. Right now Merc and Mclaren are still getting a larger slice.

        Williams, FI and TR would just be told to shut up and deal with it.
        As their deal wouldn’t change, just their odds. Bernie technically wouldn’t have to do anything with them, I don’t think, but again, we don’t know what the deals really are, or if the concorde agreement was even signed, or who signed it, etc.

        Just playing devils advocate Judge, i like the debate.

        • Fair points again – I did suggest Boullier putting down a marker (negotiation)

          However, it’s not as attractive as you think for the big teams – more big team cars to compete with and someone has to lose.

          Could be better Bernie gone, more cash for smaller teams who are no threat…

          • I actually agree with you Judge.

            It would be better for everyone if bernie was gone, and I don’t think the big teams want to run 3 cars.

            I will circle back to my initial statements, and say that this is bernie’s insurance policy.

            IF we loose Lotus, and Marussia, and Sauber, this would be bernies way to maintain control.
            Whether bernie really wants 3 car teams, or it is simply a threat, is still up for debate in my mind. As much as I hate him, I cannot deny that he is one shrewd SOB.

      • I’m a little confused about the 6 months thing because, as I understood it, the big teams bring spare chassis and parts and so forth to race weekends anyway so they can build a 3rd car overnight if one of the main ones gets set of fire or something – which has happened this year already. So is the 6 months just for logistics?

        • How much staff expansion would there be for a team to run a third car? would production staff increase? race team (mechs/engineers)? logistics folks? etc.

        • Doesn’t matter too much really….
          Over on Adam Coopers site there’s a suggestion of 3rd car by regulation….What fcuking regulation can there possibly be that says ‘you must run a 3rd car’?
          Total Bull$hit!

          There’s a great opportunity here which will probably never come to pass, of the teams all, finally, agreeing on something.

          Never mind what has been posted here by the Judge on default terms; pray for at least 4/5 teams to fall over people (and there are that many shaky if you care to consider) ’cause that scenario, along with existing incumbents finally getting an agreeable $hit together, will trigger an end to the Suffolk Wayne Kerr……

          But only if John Toad grows some testicles.

  11. Re- minimum reaction time.

    No way, that’s just silly, if a driver takes a risk on the start, so be it, we are not in a sport where it is man on man it’s team on team, the old addage about a fine line between hero and zero is never more true than in motorsport

  12. “Did I learn anything? Of course. I’ve never watched the other car live in a race, I’ve never watched the pit wall work together during a race this year, there are a lot of insights that I got.”

    The mind boggles, we’ll leave it to the courtroom to speculate as to what Rosberg learned.”

    That’s even more Merc PR speak. Just like when Woof or Leprechaun are talking, it makes little sense and is a cockhanded attempt to spin a catastrophe into positive light.

    After his retirement in Singapore for the first time this season I saw Nico lose his bordering-on-smugness grin. I think he had a Webber-esque realization that with few races remaining, his cocoon comfortable lead was wiped clean like on an etch-a-sketch.

    • Also begs the question, what was he doing after his Silverstone retirement?

      Rosberg hasn’t had his Webber-in-Korea’10 moment yet. We’ll see if he does. It’s easier to be calm and collected behind the wheel when you have a decent points lead. Even then, he had some pretty desperate races in Hungary and Spa.

      I’m not sure how many people out there would bet on Rosberg beating Hamilton on the track, fighting fairly. For me, I think the way he wins is through either another car reliability issue for Lewis, or s’more controversy, or both.

  13. “If four teams to go under, Bernie could be in serious trouble.”

    If we go for the dreaded 8 x 3, and we have the Red Bullies supplying 6 cars on the grid.. Well, when Mateschitz decides he’s had enough of it and packs up his sugary drinks and drives off in his motorhome, well, then F1 is in for some fun time. The exodus of the manufacturers in ~2008 will seem child’s play in comparison.. Maybe then we’ll finally see the back of the damned Bernard.

  14. The 3 car per team talk is very interesting both for its possibilities, and negatives. I’m going to throw this out and propose this for discussion.

    It has been suggested somewhere that the 3rd car be for a young up and coming driver, a junior driver that is a rookie or with less than 3 years of experience or something like that. If they went down this path, couldn’t we have a young driver’s championship similar to the White Jersey competition in the Tour De France? That would be very interesting to me as a fan to see as well.

  15. With regard to the halfhearted Lewis piece above, its not clear if the writer understands that light is many orders of magnitude faster than sound?
    If the author was able to think clearly before engaging his intellect he would be sure to realise that the distance from the lights to the driver + experience of 100 starts means that it is likely that when a driver who does not have a history of gambling on starts and messing up reacts in 0.05 then its time to say the physical research about reaction times may not be the whole story instead of taking the cop out and easy route of assuming it was a ‘lucky gamble’ made by ‘bozzo’ or ‘bongo’ or whatever the latest wit explosion from an increasingly tired and repetitive and narrow minded pretend intellect can ‘amaze’ us with

      • Not saying Louise is necessarily a genius, but this sums up the problem neatly, “As each participant became more comfortable with the task, the average time became quicker”.

        Thus training invalidates raw reaction time. Musicians are an excellent example as they frequently perform at incredible levels of time. In Shostakovich concerto for piano and trumpet, the finale requires the trumpet to play 16ths at quarter note = 196. That boils down to a note every 0.0765 of a second. Clearly in the ball park for someone who’s practiced.

    • “the physical research about reaction times may not be the whole story”
      If “physical” is not the whole story then you must be talking metaphysics and so saying that Lewis has powers beyond those that can be verified empirically.
      Now that’s funny!
      It would explain the oh-so-tiresome religious fervour of a lot of his fans though.

      • lets not get hysterical dorothy, the processes involved in a standing start are first to receive the stimulus – see the light go out, then to perceive what you ‘saw’ – we actually ‘see’ things upside down until our perception turns it round – this process is not physical but chemical – i wont confuse you here but t this point the more experience one has the quicker this part – you trust yourself more etc – we are now possibly in the realms of ‘intuition’ – where one compares this to an existing mental ‘map’ for validation – again the clearer the map – the more confident the driver in his abilities the quicker – again this isnt physical -we can now talk about anticipation and situational awareness – i.e does everything look right? would charlie have a reason to delay longer than the norm over my 100 starts? – then we come to the physical – launch
        The reason ‘bozzo’ or ‘um Bongo’ or whatever subtle explosion of wit we are treated to got into karts was because of his exceptional reaction times on scalelectrix – now ofcourse you will scoff that scalelectrix has no bearing on F1 cars, but if you actually read what I wrote and understand maybe 25% of it then it may make sense
        In conclusion there are many factors at play – could even be that he was watching charlies relfection somehow and that was his trigger – that outlandish idea would have more use than the lazy assumption without evidence that ‘bunga bingo’ gambled on a penalty to gain 10 yards

          • thanks for taking the time to reply! nice cop out by the way, very innovative, original if a little dumb

        • @NAturallyAspiratedSix

          … then again maybe the Martians or God started his car for him….

          Grandpappy Judge used to say… better to keep quiet and let people think you are a fool – than open your mouth and remove all reasonable doubt…..

          • and Grandpa Six used to say ‘methinks the lady doth protest too much’
            i.e. if you thought you were conversing with a fool, would you continue to engage, not by burying the argument with intellect but by copping out by taking the ad hominem route
            (Martians? God? roflmaf)

            or would you know that it takes one to spot one?

            or would you understand that parleying with a fool makes you look a bigger fool

            or would you research the fact that to understand someone else, one needs to be within a few IQ points of said person

          • Maybe Charlie told Lauda how long the lights would be on for, before going out, then Lauda relayed that info onto Hamilton. Clearly it’s a conspiracy! 😀

        • “whatever subtle explosion of wit…” – Naturally Aspirated

          Q: What’s a ‘subtle explosion’? let’s investigate, shall we…

          -subtle [suht-l]
          adjective, subtler, subtlest.
          1. thin, tenuous, or rarefied, as a fluid or an odor.
          2. fine or delicate in meaning or intent; difficult to perceive or understand: “subtle irony.”

          -explosion [ik-sploh-zhuh n]
          1. an act or instance of exploding; a violent expansion or bursting with noise, as of gunpowder or a boiler (opposed to implosion ).
          2. the noise itself:
          The loud explosion woke them.

          Which leads me and my special brand of psychosis to:

          -oxymoron [ok-si-mawr-on, -mohr-]
          noun, plural oxymora [ok-si-mawr-uh, -mohr-uh] (Show IPA), oxymorons. Rhetoric
          1. a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in “cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly.”.

          Or “Subtle explosion”, which leads me to:

          -moron [mawr-on, mohr-]
          1. Informal. a person who is notably stupid or lacking in good judgment:
          I wonder why they elected that narrow-minded moron to Congress.
          2. Psychology. (no longer in technical use; now considered offensive) a person of borderline intelligence in a former and discarded classification of mental retardation, having an intelligence quotient of 50 to 69.

          Which takes me full circle to my original thought:


          I do so enjoy interwebery parley…


          • duh!, a subtle explosion is an irony
            the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.
            “‘Don’t go overboard with the gratitude,’ he rejoined with heavy irony”
            synonyms: sarcasm, sardonicism, dryness, causticity, sharpness, acerbity, acid, bitterness, trenchancy, mordancy, cynicism; More
            antonyms: sincerity
            a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often wryly amusing as a result.
            plural noun: ironies
            “the irony is that I thought he could help me”
            synonyms: paradox, paradoxical nature, incongruity, incongruousness, peculiarity
            “the irony of the situation hit her”
            a literary technique, originally used in Greek tragedy, by which the full significance of a character’s words or actions is clear to the audience or reader although unknown to the character.
            noun: dramatic irony; plural noun: tragic irony; adjective: dramatic

        • There’s no cop out. You’re talking a pile of low grade horse sh!t and you don’t even know it.
          How is it a cop out to refuse to argue with an orange?

  16. Please Judge writers, if you cannot spot your grammatical errors, have someone else proof your work.
    It is painful to read statements like “the maths is simple”.
    It truly takes away from the professional quality of the site.

    • @Bill McKidd

      Your comment wasn’t intended for me, I know. I hear what your saying Bill, and normally I’d agree but in my opinion – and this is not a dig at your comment – I give this site, and similar sites like these, a relatively free pass based on;

      1: The huge quantum of work being pumped out, daily, weekly, monthly.

      2: The time pressures of that work being relevant only for, at most, one day.

      3: It being free.

      Based on that, and my guess on the TJ13 resources, I’d personally prefer the high flow of content not be hindered on the back of striving for grammatical perfection. But that’s me. I just though these points worth considering. Also, i’d prefer not to pay…

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