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Previously on The Judge 13:
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.
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..
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?”
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
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.
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.
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.
All the drivers will wear thise either on their helmets, overalls or their car and some have begun placing them already.