#F1 Daily News and Comment: Thursday 9th October 2014

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Previously on The Judge 13:

#F1 Victims of Circumstance: Suzuka 2014 – #Japanese GP

#F1 Features: Respect for life requires FIA action

#F1 Circuit Profile: 2014 – Russia, Sochi, Sochi International Circuit – Round 16


OTD Lite: 2005 – If Carlsberg made over-taking moves..

Mclaren aren’t good enough to win with equal engines – Dennis

F1 withholding video ‘to protect Bianchi’ – report (GMM)

FIA blaming Bianchi

Marussia 2nd car in doubt

Tribute to Bianchi


OTD Lite: 2005 – If Carlsberg made over-taking moves..

After a wet practice at the Japanese Grand Prix, arguably the three best drivers lined up for the start towards the rear of the grid. The race evolved into a classic which Raikkonen went on to win with a pass on Giancarlo Fisichella at the start of the last lap.

Without doubt though, the over-taking move of the race, and arguably this century, went to the newly crowned World Champion Fernando Alonso in the Renault. He had been trailing the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher when he began his manoeuvre on the exit of Spoon.

Heading down to the daunting 130R Alonso was on the outside with Schumi protecting the inside line for the flat out corner. Two of the greatest talents squared up to a game of chicken and the elder statesman baulked first.

The Renault telemetry showed Fred’s entry speed as 208mph and he swept past the scarlet machine in a breath-taking move. Stunned onlookers spoke afterwards that a mistake would have meant an accident of aircraft proportions as several others there attested to over the years.

The Jackal

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Mclaren aren’t good enough to win with equal engines – Dennis (GMM)

Ron Dennis believed it would have been impossible to fight for the world championships if Mclaren had remained a Mercedes customer.

“The one thing that jumps at you if you look at all the qualifications that we’ve had this year is the difference between the Mercedes works team and the other teams. By and large it’s always a second. What that means, in my opinion – an opinion held by many people in our organisation – is you have no chance of winning a world championship if you are not receiving the best engines from whoever is manufacturing your engine.

“A modern grand prix engine at this moment in time is not just about sheer power; it’s about how you harvest the energy and store the energy effectively; if you don’t have control of that process – meaning access to source code – then you are not going to be able to stabilise your car in the entry to corners, for instance, and you lose lots of lap time.”

The boss is infamous for speaking in Ron-speak. To anybody who speaks English this in itself means why use ten words when there is the possibility to hear your own voice speaking for hours…

Essentially what the boss and his squad back in Woking are saying is that we cannot build a car that can take on Mercedes, Williams or Force India with the same engine – so therefore we need a bigger advantage than them…

With the heap that is labelled Renault in the back of the Red Bull – it is unlikely that Ade Newey has bounced in to work this year full of anticipation of using genius to overcome physics.

Having said that, it goes without saying that the Red Bull master would have welcomed the opportunity to prove his design ability was greater than the works team..

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F1 withholding video ‘to protect Bianchi’ – report

Mere days after the Suzuka race, F1 authorities are continuing to withhold official video footage of Jules Bianchi’s horror crash. So far, despite widespread reports that the sport’s commercial rights holder FOM did film the incident with its high definition trackside cameras, the footage has not been released.

Even the now widely-circulated amateur footage of the crash has been repeatedly removed from social media sites at the request of FOM, ostensibly for reasons of copyright. But it has also been suggested that F1 and the governing FIA are reluctant for the official footage to be seen because it might implicate the sport’s authorities amid the controversial circumstances surrounding Bianchi’s crash.

Questions are being asked about the rain conditions, the fading light, the pre-race discussions about re-scheduling to avoid typhoon Phanfone, the waving of green flags near the crash site, and whether Charlie Whiting should have deployed the safety car when Adrian Sutil’s incident brought out the recovery vehicle.

But Michael Schmidt, the highly respected correspondent for Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, claims the reason the FOM footage is not being released is for one reason only: “Consideration for the victims of the accident.” Schmidt is referring not only to the seriously injured French driver, but particularly his parents and family as they cling to hope Bianchi, 25, will pull through.

Schmidt claims the official footage shows that the Marussia driver lost control of his car after “driving too fast under yellow flags. F1 is not protecting itself, but Jules Bianchi himself. The footage of the accident and the telemetry data may prove that it was the driver to blame,” he added. Schmidt quoted an F1 official as saying: “It (releasing the information) would be unfair to Bianchi, because he cannot defend himself at the moment.”

Separate to the circumstances of the crash, however, is a discussion about arguably the last remaining true vulnerability when it comes to F1 cars — the drivers’ exposed heads. After Felipe Massa’s 2009 crash, and again in 2012 when Mario de Villota crashed during a Marussia test, F1 and the FIA looked deeply into the possibility of enclosing the cockpits with a forward roll-cage or canopy.

But Germany’s Bild newspaper reports this week that Red Bull and Mercedes were the most opposed to the idea, with Red Bull boss Christian Horner saying the proposed solutions were “shockingly ugly”. The issue was then sidelined completely when Bernie Ecclestone argued that closed cockpits were contrary to the basic idea of F1, Bild claims.

“Try telling that to the Bianchi family, though,” correspondent Oliver Brown wrote in the Telegraph. “The sanctity of no sport is worth protecting so ferociously that it compromises the sanctity of human life.”

On the other side, there are those who insist F1 should not overreact after Bianchi’s crash. One of them is Mika Hakkinen, even though his life-threatening crash in 1995 preceded F1’s move to raise cockpit sides to better protect the drivers’ heads.

After this (Bianchi’s) accident, there will certainly be a comprehensive analysis,” the Finn, who went on to win two titles after returning in 1996, said. “But we also should remember that there have been no deaths in formula one races for more than 20 years,” he said in an interview with his sponsor Hermes. “That’s a long time.”

TJ13 comment: Some years ago, between 2000-07, a close acquaintance was employed by FOM as part of the crew that transported, set-up and filmed the F1 races. When there were breaks in the calendar or over the winter period they would work on projects at FOM’s ‘real’ headquarters in Biggin Hill.

Some of these would involve development of new cameras and equipment to be used in the forthcoming season, a considerable amount on updating the transport that carried this all over Europe and other work involved archiving all the footage recorded by FOM.

This was a huge library which stretched back to the early 80’s, from when FOM actually took over the filming of F1 races. Images that have never seen daylight are locked in vaults and cover absolutely every camera that captures any footage at a Grand Prix. FOM owns the copyright to the world feed but the race is an FIA fixture which means that amateur footage is not subject to Mr E’s control. This is also why pre FOM F1 is freely available on youtube and the like.

It’s hardly surprising the with-holding of the official footage has been done to ‘save Bianchi’s family’. A family that has a rich history of motor-sport which includes injury and death and have a deeper understanding of the risks involved than most.

What’s perhaps most astonishing is that this respected journalist states they have avoided showing it because he was driving too fast under yellows… which implies he has seen it. As to the Hakkinen’s statement, like many others it could be pulled apart so easily. F1 has an arrogance about it that is simply shocking in it’s naivety.

But for the grace of God there has been no driver fatality in F1 for twenty years, but marshals have been killed, drivers have died in other open-wheeled championships and top level motor-sport. With accidents like Hakkinen in 1995, Luciano Burti in 2001, Felipe Massa in 2009 it has been luck that no driver has been killed in F1 since Senna. Yet in Indycars, there have been fatalities with cars built by the same technology used within F1.

If Jules Bianchi survives this accident, in whatever state he may find himself, will the chorus from F1 shortly be “there have had been no fatalities in twenty five years?”

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FIA blaming Bianchi

It was only to be expected that the FIA and Formula One are beginning to draw the curtains around t information and data surrounding the Jules Bianchi incident. What is hypocritical beyond belief is the wicked and insidious ‘leaks’ being spread abroad, implying without a shred of proper evidence being presented, that Jules Bianchi was driving too quickly and therefore culpable in some way for the horrific incident in Suzuka.

The driver steward, Mika Salo was the first to reveal that the FIA had data confirming Bianchi was driving too quickly, and now the accredited F1 press are adding credence to this line.

Yesterday it was rumoured that FOM TV had no footage of the incident, whereas today respected German F1 writer Michael Schmidt claims the FIA are not releasing footage out of respect for the family, THEN in the next sentence he states this footage shows Bianchi was “driving too fast under yellow flags”.

Schmidt plows on making a value judgement and provides credence to the FIA’s position stating, “F1 is not protecting itself, but Jules Bianchi himself. The footage of the accident and the telemetry data may prove that it was the driver to blame.”

With friends like Schmidt – nobody needs enemies.

The bizarre intellectual gymnastics required to juxtapose these two statements is beyond belief, and as the Urban dictionary defines, must emanate from those best described as ‘Numnuts’.

Yes there are other issues such as marshal safety that musty be considered as part of future improvements in track caution protocols – however, we must not allow the FIA to get off the hook for allowing these recovery vehicles to be ‘in play’ under race conditions.

As yesterdays article “Respect for life requires FIA action” reveals, Charlie Whiting has bastardised and made impotent the spirit of the universal motor racing notion of double waved yellow flags. “SLOW DOWN AND BE PREPARED TO STOP” since Whiting’s directive in March 2014 now means go 0.5 seconds slower through a sector of the track under ‘extreme caution’. The ludicrous nature of this is difficult to miss

Yellow flag sections now require a 0.2 seconds pace reduction. Double waved yellow flags are now in effect “Yellow flag Plus”.

Men speak with forked tongue state they will reveal no footage of Jules accident in Suzuka out of respect for Jules and his family, but release verbally telemetry data and state it demonstrates Jules was speeding???

It was ironic that Alex Wurz was elected as chairman of the GPDA last week, as he and his father have been working tirelessly in the arena of road safety and safety in motorsport.

We must trust that Alex will not allow this typical FIA trial by kangaroo court to continue and insist that all the evidence is laid bare for independent and proper scrutiny, and it may be he is cleverly organising his troops already as Sergio Perez has spoken out in Sochi over the matter.

“We will make sure they [FIA] will hear us because what happened on Sunday is totally unacceptable, We will go through every single detail – or at least myself, I’m sure many drivers will support this idea – but we want to go into full detail on what happened. We’ve got to be together, we are together.”

The FIA launching its own investigation is like asking someone charged with murder to collate, examine and present the evidence to the court that will convict them of the alleged crime.

THERE MUST BE AN INDEPENDENT ENQUIRY.

Whilst the Japanese Police were impounding Jules mangled car, FOM TV were hurriedly packing up and shipping out with their ‘non-existent’ footage, which may now never see the light of day.

Let us hope at least some of those in the F1 media, maybe ex-F1 drivers will understand the leaks of information from Salo and the FIA are prejudicial at the very least to getting to the bottom of the matter.

Hopefully the voices of Brundle et al will refuse to allow the broadcasters to perpetuate this lie, that Bianchi’s speed may have contributed to his current plight.

Posted by: A Very Angry Judge

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Marussia 2nd car in doubt

As TJ13 reported yesterday, the entry list for those drivers scheduled to participate in the Russian GP includes for Marussia, Alexander Rossi.

Sergey Sirotkin and Roberto Mehi will drive in FP1 for Sauber and Caterham respectively.


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However the team has not confirmed it will run a second car this weekend and an announcement will be made tomorrow.

TJ13 has been informed that the team are not sure if they have ‘sufficient resource’ to enter a second car, which of course could have implications on their license to race.

The bilateral agreement between FOM/Ecclestone and each of the teams requires them to attend every event and field 2 cars. There are penalties for failing to do this and as Marussia stand to lose $54.5m should they breach their FOM obligations, latitude to run just one car may be hard to come by.

Further, were Marussia to be struck from the 2014 season for such a breach, FOM would not be obliged to cascade the position prize monies down to the teams below them.

Just another example of stacking the deck in F1 land.

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Tribute to Bianchi

JEV may be about to leave Formula 1, but he demonstrated the extent of his empathy for others when he brought to Sochi rolls of printed sticker tributes for his co-drivers.

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All the drivers will wear thise either on their helmets, overalls or their car and some have begun placing them already.

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120 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Thursday 9th October 2014

  1. “yet in Indycars, there have been fatalities with cars built by the same technology used within F1.”

    Thats mainly because of cheese grates (fencing) and ovals (example: Greg Moore) in general, right?
    And you say its luck that nobody has been killed in the past 20 years; I say it is bad luck for anybody to get killed (as shown last sunday), especially in the current era.

  2. Re the footage of the accident. Being slightly controvertial here but F1 is entertainment. The risk of crashing is part of what makes it such good entertainment. Now, I understand about not wanting to encourage bad taste but who on here really would not want to see what actually happened?

    If Jules and his family didn’t want the world to see what happened to him in an F1 car then he shouldn’t have been racing.

    (Interesting to see what response I get here…)

  3. 1 death in 20 years is 1 death every 90,640hrs of track time (20 years x 20 races (I know it’s not 20 but it’s easier maths) x 5 sessions per track (FP1, FP2, FP3, Quali, Race) x 2hrs for each session x 22 cars+ 12 test days x 10 hrs per day x 22 cars).

    Compare that to something industrially dangerous like mining which in the US in 2011 had a fatality rate of 0.0114 per 200,000hrs worked.

    Or to put them on the same basis the fatality rate per 1,000,000hrs “worked” (or track time in F1 terms) is:

    F1 – 11.0 fatalities per million hours
    Mining – 0.06 fatalities per million hours

    Any mining company in the western world with that sort of fatality rate per million man hours would have been shut down a long time ago.

    • Your analogy is ridiculous. Go find out the deaths in mining over the last 20 years and compare apples with apples, not 20 years of one type of data compared with 1 years of another extrapolated out to 20 years.

      • No dramas.

        Five seconds on the internet provides 9 years of data for the US.

        http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/UserFiles/statistics/12g09aaa.svg

        The graph is measured in fatalities per 100,000 FTE (Full Time Employees) who are considered to have worked 2,000hrs a year or effectively per 200 million man hours per year.

        So converting back to my original fatalities per million man hours you end up with:

        2003 – 0.109 fatalities per million man hours
        2004 – 0.102
        2005 – 0.099
        2006 – 0.121
        2007 – 0.110
        2008 – 0.084
        2009 – 0.064
        2010 – 0.127
        2011 – 0.062
        2012 – 0.059

        Want more?

        • Which indicates there has never been a year without a fatality – even extending the F1 stats to any death at an F1 event there are plenty of years in the last 20 with zero fatalities.

          Also, should your figures for F1 not include pit crew, marshals, even photographers and TV crew? They are all at risk – indeed aren’t the majority of F1 injuries and fatalities in recent times not drivers but other people around the F1 circus?

          • Well obviously the total man hours in mining are much larger, so getting zero fatalities is not going to happen. Comparing absolute numbers rather than rates is a major logical fallacy in your argument, sorry… +1 for @ciculorum.

          • the logical fallacy is the assumption that the only “hours worked” for an F1 driver are the hrs. spent on-track sessions.

        • I’d like to see more. Run it solely for Indy/Champ car. Should be interesting.

    • The difference is mining is a means of earning a living, of course fatalities are unacceptable.
      Most professional racing drivers would race as a hobby if they didn’t make a cent from it.
      They get in the cars knowing they could be injured or worse.
      Bikers still race at the Isle of Man TT where is common. But again it’s a choice

  4. RE Dennis quote

    I read this is a slightly different way. I read this as him taking a dig at Merc and not providing them with the necessary information to get the best out of them. And of course this is because it’s their last year and Merc are afraid that such knowledge will be passed on to Honda. In other words, Merc have 100% of the knowledge, Williams and FI maybe 70% and McLaren…30%? Which would also be in line with rumours of earlier in the year that Merc gives them the engine on Thursday before the race weekend and takes it back on Monday!

    • Me too.

      what the boss and his squad back in Woking are saying is that we cannot build a car that can take on Mercedes, Williams or Force India with the same engine

      Should actually read “…McLaren, Williams and Force India can’t take on Mercedes with an inferior engine.”

      Logic rarely trumps prejudice in F1.

    • Tbh given that engineers from Mercedes engine department appear to be moving to other manufacturers and teams, that knowledge has probably already leaked anyway. I guess the key to Mercedes current success is how it’s managed to produce the most horse power from it’s power unit design and how it’s integrated that into it’s car design to deliver peak performance on track. I guess the nightmare for Mercedes is perhaps not McLaren divulging secrets to Honda. It might be Williams or Force India figuring out how to package the Mercedes Power train in a more efficient manner with it’s own aerodynamic designs closing the gap somewhat.

      Honda will either be competitive right out of the box or it might be like Ferrari or worst case like Renault. The McLaren fan in me is excited/nervous about the pre season testing in ’15.

    • I’m certain there’s regs to prevent that.

      What should be more worrying is that’s it’s not due to design in 2014 that Mclaren have struggled. Last year with a known engine and set of rules they didn’t trouble the podium

  5. I know there’s a lot of complaining doing the rounds about FIA withholding footage of Bianchi’s accident. However, it might be worth to have an open-minded article with the pros and cons of releasing this footage. Look at it from FIA’s perspective, the fans, the drivers, the teams, even the sponsors.

    PS I’m not volunteering here, I’m incapable of writing an unbiased, interesting article.

    • I see your point, but as the Judge put it:
      Why is it OK to show a potentially horrifying incident at Spa, in each and every gory detail, which almost resulted in Fred getting beheaded? But NOT to show a horrifying incident at Suzuka under dubious safety protocols, at all, which almost resulted in Bianchi getting beheaded?

      Was it out of respect for Fred’s family that they showed all the gory aspects?

      • I’ve watched footage on my TV for the last 3 nights during the 6 pm national news sports broadcast……Dare say a few million others in country have seen the same.

  6. It is unsettling that they claim the footage is being withheld to protect Bianchi yet in the same statement claim that Bianchi was at fault.
    God help anyone they wish harm on.

  7. “But for the grace of God there has been no fatality in F1 for twenty years”

    Oh, I most definitely take issue with that, Judge!

    Was the Canadian marshal killed a couple of years ago NOT an F1 fatality? He got killed while recovering a stricken F1 car, during an F1 race, using F1 recovery equipment, under F1 safety protocols. Few would dispute—I hope—that the marshal killed in Kyalami was an F1 fatality. And whether a marshal gets hit by an F1 car at full speed or gets crushed by a tractor used by the FIA to recover an F1 car, in each case we are talking about a person who died in an F1 incident.

    Just because the Canadian marshal didn’t have the catchy name and public popularity of Jules Bianchi, it doesn’t mean that fatality isn’t on F1’s conscience.

    • Paolo Ghilimberti.

      He was the fire marshal at Monza in 2000 who was hit by a flying wheel. He didn’t live to tell the tale.

      That’s an F1 fatality right there.

      • Don’t forget that there was a marshall killed in Australia 2001 when Villeneuve took off over the rear of Ralf Schumacher’s car.
        A wheel went through the gap in fencing.. horrifying

    • The problem is that F1 likes to publicise that fact there have been no fatalities. In 1994, they said there had been none in 12 years and they had got complacent… no-one thought to remember Elio De Angelis who died whilst testing in 1986.
      I find it quite disgusting how it’s only regarded as an F1 death if it during a race weekend.

      • “I find it quite disgusting how it’s only regarded as an F1 death if it during a race weekend.”

        correction: a driver killed during a race weekend.

      • That’s the complacent nature of F1, unless it happens in the glare of a worldwide tv audience then things tend to be swept under a carpet. At least with wheels they’ve reduced the risk of them flying around into stands or into marshal posts by using a tether system (not 100% foolproof i know).

        I think it’s time the FIA took a long and sober look at how the flag system and safety car operates. The frustrating thing is the FIA have changed things in other classes of motorsport but for whatever reason it seems impotent to do anything in F1 and it’s feeder series.
        Too often F1 overlooks the safety of the marshals, who are the real heroes of the sport for me. Without those men and women, we’d not have races or drivers being pulled to safety after they’ve spun off or marshals helping the FIA medical teams to extract drivers from cars after a serious crash.

        • Those men and women who volunteer to marshal events are heroes.
          I raced years ago, something my mother was most unhappy about. What if I had an accident etc..
          It took no thought to answer… If I have an accident on a track, people are there to help or give medical attention pretty much immediately.
          If I had an accident on a country lane I’d have to pray for luck someone would pass by who could help, and if I needed medical attention the chances were even less likely of surviving. So yes, everyone is a hero

  8. Watching the drivers press conference and Massa looks like he’s close to tears. Very somber mood from all the drivers present, this is the last place they’d want to be right now.

  9. The very angry judge should have counted to ten before writing that, because I think his Honour is a wee bit prejudiced in the matter. That Jules Bianchi was to fast is a fact. If you lose control of your vehicle without it suffering a catastrophic failure you are too fast by definition (or you are Pastor Maldonado).
    If you lose your car under double waved yellows, you DEFINITELY were too fast, Whitings directive or not. The sheer violence of the shunt is prove enough that Bianchi was way too fast.

    A shunt is rarely the result of a single event and we need to find all contributing factors, but saying that Bianchi’s disregard for the flags wasn’t a major contributing factor is ludicrous.

      • Because that would have been the ‘get out of jail card’ for FIA. They would have told us about it as you couldn’t really blame them for anything if he crashed because of a car failure.

        And even then. Only a ‘stuck throttle’ would have increased the spead, for most other failures the fact that remains is that for whatever reason at the time of loss of control, he was already too fast. Else the impact couldn’t have been that violent.

    • Agreed, it wasn’t the sole thing that went wrong in those moments leading up to the carsh, but it was DEFINITELY a contributing factor, had he been at a crawl and lost the car for whatever reason, the impact with the tractor may still have occurred, but with far less violence and energy involved.
      There are 2 issues I believe that need to be looked at with clear and pragmatic thoughts, they are 1) procedure under double waved yellows and 2) heavy machinery trackside of the barriers while the cars are not neutralize sufficiently. The lessons are there to be learned.

    • We as yet do not know the full details of how and why Jules Bianchi left the track at the speed he did. Until the full facts are known, all it’s going to do is cause a lot of ranker amongst fans etc and will probably in the long run upset the Bianchi family more. If the FIA and FOM are trying to pin all of the blame onto Jules for his crash without looking at the wider issues then that might indicate they care more about the show than the safety of drivers, marshals and fans at the tracks.

      It’s imperative that the evidence is presented in an unbiased format, so lessons can be learned properly and not in a knee jerk way. Finally the drivers may well force the FIA hands on the matter, it’s their necks on the line ultimately if something goes wrong. How many near misses have the drivers had with those recovery trucks in the past ? It’s a legitimate question to be asking the FIA.

      As for ignoring the flags ? That’s a problem that’s developed over a long period of time and is something that needs to be addressed in a measured way.

    • …Mmm. Never one to mitigate your position eh Hippo?

      The fact is drivers and cars hit barriers at far higher speeds than Bianchi was travelling – the cars and barriers are designed accordingly – the piss poor effort to provide safe recovery vehicles is now plain for all to see – or to properly nullify the circuit whilst these shoddy vehicles are operating… Either way – FIA responsibility.

      If Jules breached the 8% speed reduction required by Whiting’s new stupid double yellow regs, by say 2%, does that mean we attribute the event to speed???

      Or would it had saved him had he been travelling a few Kph slower??? I think not.

      He could have collided with the vehicle at significantly lower speeds and the outcome would have been similar had he submarined as he did.

      FURTHER, the FIA will love it if the debate is about speed as it will mitigate their responsibility.

      Never had as an establishment clone Hippo.

      • It is eminently possible that a few kph slower could have been worse for him. His speed pushed the car beyond the digger, slower he might have ended up with it on his head.

        The real trouble is that without seeing the footage this is all pure speculation. The film we have seen gives absolutely no context, just the devastating ending.

    • I’ve heard that Ericsson and Chilton went through Dunlop faster than Bianchi on that lap, and Massa bested his sector from the previous lap (pre-Sutil crash)… so it’s fair to say that Bianchi aquaplaned on the same river as Sutil had just behind him the lap before, hence ending up in the same barrier.

      Thus, the situation is more like Brazil 2003, Nurburgring 2007 etc. rather than a simple driver error.

      • “Ericsson and Chilton went through Dunlop faster than Bianchi on that lap”

        There could have been others, too, there probably were. I only saw the data for Ericsson and Chilton.

    • I am disappointed in you Hippo.
      “That Jules Bianchi was too fast is a fact.”
      That is not a fact, not even close. That is complete speculation on your part.
      We do not know how fast Jules was driving.
      We do not know if he had a mechanical failure.
      We do not know what the actual track conditions were.
      We do not know what safety signals were being shone.

      WE KNOW NOTHING FOR SURE…

      Because FIA/FOM has refused to give out any information.
      The only information we currently have is from a a fan video that FOM has done its best to suppress.

      If it was Vettel that slid off would you be so quick to judge?
      Or would you be calling for every marshal and FIA official to be hung from the highest yardarm.

      As the judge has stated, the rules for driver speed through a yellow zone are not remotely clear, nor safe.
      formerf1doc said in his recent article that the drivers are asking at every race about speed through yellow zones. The reason the question keeps getting asked is because there has been no acceptable answer. This is the drivers fault? Then, Charlie has done nothing to enforce this new interpretation of the rule since he announced it.

      If your argument is that he was driving “too fast for the conditions” then you need to indict every driver on the track, and Sutil should be the first person you publicly hang.

      Now, the FIA “insiders” are publicly condemning Jules in front of the world because he was driving too fast, but they can’t prove it to us with video and hard data out of “respect”?
      What!?
      Max Mosley was on another continent, when the checkered flag had barely dropped. He immediately condemned Jules, yet there was no telemetry data available, no video, nothing. The only shots that had been on TV were aftermath shots of the car behind the digger. How did Mosely know what Jules speed was? That was hours if not a full day before the fan video came out. And, If its true, the cat is now out of the bag, there would be no reason to suppress the data.

      I am not saying that Jules was without fault,
      but can you please wait to pass judgement until we have seen some real data?

      • As for Jules being too fast. That fact is easy to establish, is it not? If you spin out you were too fast, no matter if it is sunny or if it rains. You spin, you were to fast.

        Every man with a bit of sense for self preservation would have slowed to a crawl:

        1. Double waved yellow – that’s the highest warning step before red flag
        2. It’s getting dark
        3. It’s pouring
        4. Your car is shod on old, worn intermediates.

        Sorry, but if someone goes fast enough to have such a violent crash under all the circumstances listed above, you can’t say it was just unfortunate. It’s tragic that the recovery vehicle was were it was in that exact minute, but if someone passed the site of recovery work, with marshals running about at such a speed, I would at least blame anyone who goes past there at such speed of disregarding the safety of the track-side marshals.

        • @FH

          ,,.. Grandpappy Judge once told me a story….

          His sister had a son called Jimmy.
          Jimmy wasn’t the most coordinated of lads
          Jimmy joined the army
          His mother went to see his passing out ceremony where Jimmy and 999 others were marching on parade.
          Jimmy’s mother was heard to comment, “Why is Jimmy the only one marching in time???”

          🙂

        • “If you spin out you were too fast, no matter if it is sunny or if it rains.”

          This is not correct. In standing water conditions, in a car that relies on downforce to improve its adhesion, going too slow is nearly as likely to send you off the road as going too fast. What if another car had dropped oil on the track? Would Jules be responsible for going too fast then? Even if he was diving 30% under his previous time?

          Would it not be equally dangerous for Jules to slow down too much? thus having a car behind him come up too fast, unable to see him in the dark and the rain? since no speed has been set for yellow conditions, this seems equally likely.

          Would a “safe speed” for Jules in a Marussia be slower or faster than a “safe speed” for a Caterham or a Mercedes? Who determines that?
          If a Merc is covering the same section of track .6 seconds faster than a Marussia, both under green, and the Merc slows to cut .5 seconds off the time for a yellow, he is still going faster than the Marussia through the same sector. But by the rules if this happened, and Jules didn’t slow down, he would be at fault and the Merc would not, even though the MArussia was actually traveling slower through the yellow…..
          This makes sense to you?
          In fact, we are inviting drivers to take advantage of yellow sectors to cut the distance to the cars in front of them.

        • “You spin, you were to fast.”

          We don’t even know that he spun!! In the video that we have the collision is head-on, and apparently at much higher speed than simple spinning.

        • “Every man with a bit of sense for self preservation would have slowed to a crawl:”

          Well that rules out all the F1 drivers, then.

        • Maybe he was actually driving too slowly? A bit faster he’d have had more aerodynamic downforce and the car may not have been affected by the water so much?

          Without seeing the video we can’t know but the above at least shows that speed isn’t necessarily the only issue. We’ve even seen drivers spin off on the warm up lap in the wet.

          • Nothing against you personally, but that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Aerodynamics on an F1 car are and extra. They have more mechanical grip than a sportscar without the wings. Don’t pretend that these things become undriveable at slow speeds. That’s completely idiotic.

          • I never suggested they become undriveable at slow speeds. I was pointing out that there is a speed range in which there is not enough downforce to push the car through any standing water to grip the tarmac. That range is quite large I’d imagine, and you could aquaplane at quite a low speed.

            At a lower speed you’d have a better chance of regaining control I will grant you that. However, it is widely talked about that there are many situations where keeping up a certain speed brings the aero in to play and you can have more grip than seems logical.

            As for the speed of impact, wet grass on a downhill slope isn’t exactly the best medium for stopping any car, never mind a car with minimal tread on the tyres.

  10. Yes, FIA/FOM doing themselves no favors as having not completed the sector under control, violation of double yellows cannot be assessed.

    So they will blame him, instead of the highly inappropriate vehicle on track, despite a number of near misses along the way that should have seen them working to prevent collisions such as this.

    And the accredited press will play along to a great degree, because they are being treated to inside information that also maligns the reputation of man gravely injured, incapable of defending himself.

    Disgusting doesn’t really begin to cover it.

    • I’m sure there are several things that played a role in that, but just because Jules is still fighting for his life doesn’t mean he was without fault. He smashed into that crane and actually lifted it. You don’t need to be a physician or have access to telemetry that the Marussia was not travelling at a speed appropriate for passing the site of a prior accident with marshals at the scene, especially under the conditions. He was way too fast. It’s not the only factor leading to the accident, but one of them and the injuries do not mean that it should be swept under the rug.

      • @FatHippo
        It’s a physicist who knows about the laws of physics, a physician will treat your ailments but won’t know a thing about the forces involved in an F1 accident.

        I’m with you completely on this Bianchi thing.

      • @FatHippo

        i am with you in that point, however – double waved yellows in F1 TERMS currently means a reduction of 0.5 in the relevant sector, other than in other forms of motorsport where it means ‘slow down massively and be prepared to stop. the fault lies within the fia regulations, and you cant blame a driver for going to the limits of whats allowed – cause thats what all of them constantly do.

        • I mentioned this the other day that I think Charlie was way off the mark when he dreamed up that 0.5 of a second off best was slow enough for it to be safe for not just the drivers, but for marshals and chuffing great tractors to be on the live side of the barriers. Jules Bianchi may have been going at 0.5 off his best which would absolve him of breaking the rules, but nobody made him only slow that much, he could have slowed more and been a little more cautious.
          For making that call, Charlie Whiting should be removed from his post, he obviously has no longer got his finger on the pulse from a safety point of view.
          The pit lane speed limit is there to protect the guys who work on the cars whilst the cars are traveling down the pit lane, so why are the marshals not afforded the same luxury when they are having to work on the live track?
          The recovery equipment is a whole other argument again. I expect an answer from the FIA/FOM

          • I suppose Charlie is in Sochi? No chance that he’s unavoidably elsewhere – maybe sorting Bernie’s teev footage collection…..

      • …Yeah if F1 was in Hippo land and the rules were, “drive a few KPH too fast and you die” – maybe drivers would take more care.

        BUT THEY WOULD BE ADAPTING TO THE RULES – just as happens now.

        • Or you are just to po’ed to think straight. The original rule says “slow down and prepare to stop at any time.”

          That rule hasn’t been stricken from the books, it’s still intact. The 05 per mini sector rule is merely a measure to prove it. If you don’t slow down by at least that much, you’ll get punished. But, if you slow down by 0.8 which is more than required, you can still break the rule as you don’t fulfill the second requirement – being able to stop at short notice. Unless the rule has been taken out of the books, he still violated the double yellow proceedings.

          • …That ‘slow down and be prepared to stop’ rule has been defined specifically….. by Charlie Whiting’s March 2014 direction…… read the article from yesterday….

            This is why the drivers were flying round the final bend in Germany (also in the article Hippo) because it is allowed.

            Now then Mr. H – which driver is going to trundle along for 3-400 metres at 60-80 kph – being ‘prepared to stop’, when all his rivals are doing a legal 200 kph???

            And its the drivers’ fault????????????????????

            What was that about thinking straight?

          • Let give you an easy example. The “Rule 60” was invented for the Nürburgring. Double waved yellow means slow to 60kph maximum.

            That doesn’t mean I can do “legally” 60. If the conditions are such that I cannot stop safely for a marshal on the trackside or the track itself I have to reduce my speed further. It doesn’t matter if the others do 60. I have the responsibility for MY car and MY driving to protect my own life and that of the marshals.

            If anything you should be raving about all the other drivers who were just merely lucky to get away with that lunacy. If I was running F1, the whole bloody field would be slapped with a penalty.

          • …No I shouldn’t because then I would be inconsistent…

            …I am being consistent – same as following Germany – calling for Whiting to do his job properly – no change here…

            He should stop f%^&king about with the rules – and make track sectors under caution safe – SAME MESSAGE HIPPO.

          • No need to shout at me. You should lay off the chicken as you seem rather allergic to differing opinions.

            I’m not absolving Whiting or FIA as a whole from any blame. Their muckin’ about was definitely a factor, but in the same sense the drivers are to blame just as well as they obviously operate with complete disregard to the safety of track-side personnel.
            I merely object to your statement that saying Bianchi was too fast is a lie. It’s obvious that he was too fast – what has to be found out is: why was he too fast? Was it all down to Whitings effing up the rule or was it because the drivers try to get away with what they can,

            I bet we’d be discussing this with a lot more critical view on Bianchi if he had walked away unharmed, but a marshal would now be fighting for his life.,

          • @Hippo….

            you are fiddling in the minutia whilst the FIA are beginning a propaganda war to absolve them of responsibility…

            I did post this was from a very angry Judge. Angry Judges may shout 😉

            We were all prepared to accept that possibly this was a mistakes/shit happens situation – now the FIA have changed the game to one of blame.

            Trumpeting the FIA’s party line does no good. F1 Fans need to focus on the matter in hand and begin making some noise if this becomes a Grassy Knoll.

      • @FatHippo, show me where BIA is significantly faster than the rest of the field that lap and location. Otherwise, he should remain blameless.

        If you are saying he went too fast, then so did every other driver through that corner. Repeatedly. I didn’t hear that tune being sung by FIA/FOM.

        Finally given a history of near misses dating back at least to ’94, it’s not inconceivable that the FIA could and should have taken steps that would (and could in the future) prevent this type of accident, regardless of driver error. Such as homologating JCB for track use or requiring moveable barriers to shield recovery ops, as has already been suggested.

        That fact alone mitigates any significant blame being apportioned to BIA, IMO.

    • Which race was it where the car rolled backwards down the track? Wasn’t there some hanky panky with a tractor driving along the track?

  11. Not showing the accident is simply part of the practice of many motorsports organizations to simply sweep their dead under the rug. Fortunately, Bianchi didn’t die, but Charlie Whiting was prepared to play it this way.

  12. Re: FIA blaming Bianchi…

    I know it’s a tough situation at present, but who else can be blamed for this accident? Surely it cannot be the FIA? They carried out their standard protocol by issuing double waved yellows, to wish each driver should adhere to.

    What happened was a freak set of circumstances that culminated in what occurred. Even though he’s presently in a critical situation, his role in what happened cannot be overlooked due to his injuries.

    If he had avoided hitting the tractor, would anyone be so upset and questioning why a 10 tonne + vehicle was on a live race track? If that’s the case, then why was something not done decades ago when they first came into use? We’ve seen tractors on the circuit on numerous occasions to retrieve broken vehicles without any incident, so why now are we questioning their use?

    I do agree that a full independent investigation should be carried out, so as to fully understand what caused him to go off in a zone that was protected by cautionary flags.

    • …By having inappropriate and unsafe protocols!!!

      Bad health and safety practices at work – do not provide immunity from culpability.

      • Hence why I agree with your call for a full independent investigation, because there are a lot of questions that need to be asked and answered by both the driver and the FIA.

      • Exactly.
        Question is then who is going to enforce culpability?
        Might be appropriate given the European nature of the players, for the EC to awaken and run the thumbscrews over the whole operation of F1 racing.

    • @Fortis
      But it isn’t as you (and others) have said “a freak set of circumstances” is it? How many times have we seen those tractors “in play” on a circuit and drivers in wet conditions skating towards them? It’s an expected piece of Brundle commentary in wet races, where he relays his Dunlop experience.
      Given that some type of tractor is used for this at most tracks, and that in a wet race with changing levels of rainfall, it’s actually more likely for cars to go off in the same place… so I’d argue it’s an expected set of circumstances. No?

      • @Mr A….

        The only time I can recall seeing a car skating towards a tractor in wet conditions, was Germany 07.

        We’ve seen the tractors used in other wet races at orher circuits and nothing like this happened and no reference was made to them being on a live circuit. Let’s not forget, we saw those very same tractors used in FP. I know Brundle dislike them and he has all right to, but that’s a separate story.

        They’re only a talking point now, because of what happened. Are they the right equipment to use at the circuits? No I don’t think so. The FIA needs to look at better alternatives.

  13. Re: Angry Judge.
    It’s always like this in dictatorships, any facts that don’t fit with their “truth” simply get airbrushed out of the picture. Only proven methods to overthrow dictatorships are
    a) lots of bombs
    b) social media
    So let’s go with option b.

    The real problem as I see it is the tractors. Drivers will always go fast, it’s their job. Aqua planing will always be more likely when there are rivers on the track, regardless of speed. So putting a solid metal box in the line of fire was only ever going to result in one outcome. That it hasn’t happened sooner is a miracle.

    So what to do about recovering stricken cars? Degner has a massive crane, but Suzuka’s layout lends itself well to this and the cost to do this at all the other tracks would be high. Just spitballing so please tear these down…
    a) moveable sections of tech pro barrier to put in front of the beached car.
    b) mandated towing points at the base of the cars, both sides, front and rear, to winch the car out.
    c) redesign the tractors with a deformable crash structure down to the ground.

    • Agreed Mr A

      option c) must happen.

      Tough shit if its expensive – Ecclestone is a multi-billionaire from F1 revenues. Spend some cash on proper recovery vehicles.

      • You got the bit between your teeth today Judge!
        To be honest both you and hippo have very valuable points. There is no silver bullet, but a group of issues, inter-related, that all need addressing to ensure this type of avoidable accident never darkens our screens again.

  14. Hopefully most of you already know my view on the incident.

    I just had to add some light to the future. Call it emergency room black humour, but anyway, here is a true kangaroo court (We start on the left, Bernie et al the right)

    http://youtu.be/wwXINuTp1vg

    • I also need to point out that closed cockpits will do NOTHING to prevent the type of decelerations that will cause a DAI.

      Absolutely. Nothing.

      • Agreed 100%.
        And in a Bianchi type incident, a closed cockpit might aggravate the injury by causing an impalement from debris from the enclosure.
        The only enclosure that could withstand that sort of force would have to be to made to the same standard as the safety cell chassis.

  15. Ok, I am admittedly not good with numbers, but as has been mentioned here early yesterday: if double yellow requires a driver to be 0.5s than there best time for that sector, isn’t it likely that JB was within the “rule” considering he was on shot tires, in the rain and with a low fuel load? if so, then what, does that imply that the FOM is at fault for not having a more conservative rule in place?

      • Q. “why is the driver steward and Michael Schmidt reporting Bianchi was travelling too quickly?”
        A. Perhaps that would be true IF Bianchi’s incident was caused by aquaplaning – because then he WAS travelling too quickly for the conditions of the track and state of tyres and HIS car’s designed ability to handle wet conditions.

        • The thing is, “too fast” is completely subjective. No one will ever be able to replicate the exact condition of the accident (i.e. a Marussia in that corner with that exact amount of light and water on the track, tyre situation etc etc). So, who’s get to define “too fast”? Salo because he *knows* (insert sarcasm here) he would have driven more slowly in those conditions? Bernie because he would have driven even more slowly? You see where I’m going with this. Peter Windsor also mentioned above that Alonso spun his car due to aquaplaning once under safety car”. Would one make the case that he was driving “too fast” there too? or was the safety car going too fast?

    • In my view, it is for the driver to judge and team to advise when the tyres need changing, and for the driver to decide what speed HIS car can safely do in the conditions. Other teams found that their cars could handle the rain on shot tyres, or needed new inters, or needed new full wets.
      Eg. Jenson Button, the King in the Rain, on the radio immediately before Sutil’s crash:

      42 Tom Stallard Jenson Button Is this the right tyre?

      42 Jenson Button Tom Stallard For now, yes. For now, yes.

      42 Xevi Pujolar Jean-Eric Vergne Track condition at the moment?

      42 Jean-Eric Vergne Xevi Pujolar Still OK.

      43 Tom Stallard Jenson Button Kevin is on full wet tyres.

      43 Jenson Button Tom Stallard Shortly after saying he was happy on intermediate tyres, Button decides it’s time to switch to full wets.
      OK let’s pit for wets, pit for wets.

      43 Marco Schupbach Adrian Sutil Sutil crashed at Dunlop Curve.
      Are you OK, Adrian?

      43 Adrian Sutil Marco Schupbach Yes I am OK.

    • Merc is trying to protect their advantage which is understandable. Their argument on increased cost is bogus as the improvements to the engine will happen at some point in time anyway, in season or after. Costs will likely increase anyway. Really want to see thing develop during the season and not one team dominating all the way like this year.

      • But couldn’t the lifting of the freeze be advantageous to Mercedes as well?

        My memory is a little shoddy at the moment, but I recall in one of Lorenzo’s tech debriefing, he stated that Mercedes have found an additional 70bhp for next season. Now if they can do that with the current freeze, then what can they do if its lifted?

        • Merc gets to do that in the normal improvement plan over the winter. 48 coins or some such. The question is how often the engine teams can improve going forward. The @cavallinorampantef1 post below point to the absurdity of their argument.

    • It was M-B who were also the main proponents of the change to these new hybrid engines – going so far as to threaten they would leave F1 if the new spec wasn’t adopted. The sensible way to have approached engine upgrades would have been to allow unlimited development the first and maybe second year – with restrictions coming in after that. Collectively it’s reported that the three current engine manufacturers plus Honda have spent will over $1B and the teams are paying around $15M more a year for the new engines. So much for the FIA and it’s crusade to reduce costs.

      • Are you sure it wasn’t Renault who threatened to walk if they didn’t change the engine regs?

        Also there was an interview done with Martin Whitmarsh this season in which he stated that Ferrari too requested they moved to a 1.6 litre rather than the proposed 2 litre engines.

        • Renault may have as well. But I’ve read in numerous places that M-B were clear that they would go if the FIA didn’t move to the new spec. And losing M-B would be a much bigger PR lose to F1 than Renault leaving.

      • It was Renault who demanded the change to hybrid power units. The initial design was for a FOUR cylinder turbo. It was Ferrari that demanded the engines be at least a 6 cylinder. Once these rule changes were announced, Honda decided to get back in. I am not sure that Mercedes ever formed a public opinion on the rule. They seemed to be in no matter what engine was used.

      • Doesn’t really matter that it was Renault….the gist of Cav’s post is far too sensible.

  16. Hi Guys

    What is clear is that Charlie’s FIA directive about double yellow waved flags could make the F1 stewards culpable for any mistake made under those conditions. The sporting code (appendix H) has this to say about double waved yellows:

    Double waved: Reduce your speed significantly, do not overtake, and be prepared to change direction or stop. There is a hazard wholly or partly blocking the track and/or marshals working on or beside the track.

    This is the unilateral FIA mandate for double waved yellow marshaling, the directive issued by Charlie undermines this and raises Formula Ones status beyond that of all of series (Bear in mind that the appendix already has several caveat statements within it that deal with F1, WEC & WTCC) calls into question whether the stewards have the right to make that change without a change to the sporting code / unaminous agreement from the WMSC (it may have, but I haven’t seen the directive).

    Whilst on the topic of double waved yellows I got berated for a piece I put up yesterday explaining another problem with the green flag being waved at the scene of the incident. Although marshal post 12 only changed from DBY’s to greens after the tractor seemingly cleared the marshal post an intervention marshal appears to still be in the line of fire. Granted this is not by any means the reason why Jules departed the track but IMO it’s still something that needs looking at in terms of the protocols of flag conditions. Especially if you’re making your own decisions on speed through double waved zones, surely then you must do more than necessary to retain the safety of the marshals etc.

    Comparing Jules to Max, (as you can’t really compare anyone but team mates) Max stopped 1 lap before Jules for their last set of Inters (Lap 23) meaning they’d completed 18/17 laps respectively before the accident. Comparing that to Sutil who is probably the closest reference point he only did 10 laps on the tyres he put on at lap 22 before deciding they were done. Tyre temperatures and pressures become much more of a factor in the wet and are critical to performance, more rain and more wear simply add upto less peformance. However looking at Jules lap times he was continuing to press and recording times that were similar to the last delta (bear in mind he was burning fuel too though, taking weight off).
    More wear of course means less tread block depth and so less capability to clear water, a prerequisite of those track conditions. Of course we could say, well why wasn’t Max struggling in the same way? but In terms of overall laptime Jules was of course much quicker than Max and so it would only be fair to assume that he had therefore also worn his tyres more than his counterpart.

    I have the onboard footage from Vettel’s car around the time of the incident and compared to that of the onboard of Lewis’ from earlier in the race you can see why fading light has been bought up too. The thing that becomes clear when watching the footage though is that Vettel is noticibly lifting through corners and having to adapt as oversteer becomes an issue on occasions. All this from a 4 time world champion (albeit not at his best this season) with probably the best chassis on the grid (albeit with not the best PU, delivering torque how he’d like) makes you consider the challenge for those drivers with less machinary at their disposal.

    I could go on all night here and sorry for the long winded message but the whole scenario has many facets to it. Using one excuse in isolation won’t cut it for me, this was an accident caused not only by things done incorrectly on the day (perhaps by both the driver, event organisers, FIA stewards etc) but by a cascade of decisions and protocol changes made ahead of the event.

    • …Thanks Somers – it was actually very concise.

      However, whilst you are correct regarding a plethora of factors contributing to the accident, the monumental outcome and utter tragedy for Jules Bianchi requires a step by step approach as to why the EXACT consequences were suffered.

      As argued, F1 cars can hit crash barriers at speeds in excess of that which Bianchi was travelling – cf Canada 2014 – and the cars are designed to deal with this – Perez and Massa walk away.

      F1 cars are NOT DESIGNED to cope with submarining under anything… EVER!, especially a 15 tonne moveable object.

      Great care is taken when circuits are awarded their Class 1 licenses to ensure this is not possible.

      Therefore, our minds must begin with why – when such care is taken over miles and miles of track to ensure this can never happen – has it actually happened?

      The answer is because an inappropriate object had encroached on the live racing circuit…. had it not been there, Bianchi would not be suffering as he is today.

      Why was it there?

      Given someone decided that it should be there, then under the safety principles applied for licensing a circuit, the track should have been neutralised.

      Once again we are back to the FIA – who are leaking that Bianchi was speeding…..

      • The best defence is offensive. I suspect that both the FIA and FOM are potentially facing criminal and civil suits over Bianchi’s accident if it can be found that they were in some way negligent. Lets not also forget that the promoter of the race and owner of the circuit is Honda – whom both the FIA and FOM see as playing a large future role in F1. It wouldn’t be very good PR for Honda to have been seen, in any way, as being in anyway associated with Bianchi’s accident.

        • Well they already are getting bad PR, because they were asked twice to move the start time of the race, to which they refused.

          But how can the FIA or FOM be liable for the accident? They operated within the same protocol that they’ve used for years. We’ve seen DWY flags and tractors being used as recently as the Germany GP. So it would be hard to prove negligence on their part, for all we know, his car should’ve suffered suspension failure or something else.

          At present we are all just making assumptions as to what happened.

        • @cavallinorampantef1

          “All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.”
          ― Friedrich Nietzsche

          Who has the controlling power over the data/video release? Hmm!

        • But then how would the ‘be prepared to change direction or’ be countered?
          Driver clearly wasn’t prepared it would seem…..

  17. Marussia simply have to run Rossi, as they are practically guaranteed the $54.5m for next year, if they can get two cars to the remaining races.

    Perhaps if the FIA don’t mess up Will Stevens’ paperwork (DHL strike, but why does paperwork have to be on-site in the digital age??), perhaps he can have a few FP1s, and between Rossi and Stevens’ backing (maybe sell some merch in Texas too) make it to the end of the season.

    • Could they do a single lap in Q1 slow enough to not be within the 107% and then call it a day? Call me twisted.

      • I would have thought so, but if Bernie has OK’d one car, then they can do that just to save costs/tribute. Parts may be at a premium too, from Russian customs not allowing F1 parts in.

  18. The FIA are wrong for even leaking out that they think that Bianchi was traveling too fast. There has to be an independent investigation into this, hopefully unbiased but I am sure the FIA and FOM will try to color the outcome of the investigation into “Bianchi was too fast”.

    FH is right about the DWY, it has always meant that you should prepare to stop but this is already something pretty subjective. The -0.5s directive is BS, but ultimately it’s Charlie’s directive so drivers abide by that. I am not aware that we have situations where Charlie’s directive proved to be complete bogus, or maybe Bianchi’s accident is the first one and the FIA are not prepared to face that eventuality.

    At this point, as many posters have said, we don’t know anything for sure. No one apart from the FIA have had access to telemetry and stuff. This should be a forensic investigation or whatever it’s called, because I cannot believe the FIA is going to be unbiased going about their investigation. Pinning the blame on Bianchi this early is distasteful at best, especially considering he’s still in hospital and no-one has seen the telemetry data (@FIA: if you are so clean and sure that Bianchi’s to blame, release the data unconditionally). Not that I expect Beber and his crew of money-hungry and PR-savvy mates to be better than this but just because he wants to open this can of worms : I think we should go all in and make sure the independent investigation happens and let the world see what really happened without any interference from the FIA and FOM. I think *this* would be what really means the most to Bianchi’s family and all people involved with motor-racing.

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