#F1 Daily News and Comment: Tuesday 14th October 2014

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Previously on The Judge 13:

Castrol #F1 GP Predictor Summary – Sochi 2014

#TJ13 #F1 Courtroom Podcast: Episode 8 – Waiting for the Window Cleaner


OTD Lite: 2001 – Mika Hakkinen’s last race

Caterham staff forced to give up contractual rights UPDATE 13:20 GMT

Alex Zanardi is the true ‘Ironman’

Bling makes Hamilton ‘a bit different’ – Lauda (GMM)

Mercedes recognise Ross Brawn

Give the kids a chance… no the other one


OTD Lite: 2001 – Mika Hakkinen’s last race

hakkinenOh how cheated David Coulthard must have felt. Sidelined by ‘big’ Ron throughout his Mclaren career in favour of the Flying Finn, the Scot had given up two Grand Prix wins at the tail end of 1997 and the beginning of 1998 to seemingly the bridesmaid of F1 – Mika Hakkinen.

The Finn then romped home to two consecutive titles flicking crumbs in the direction of young David. Following what proved to be a lacklustre championship in 2001, Hakkinen trailed home at Suzuka in fourth position gifting the final podium place to his team-mate. A fierce competitor of Michael Schumacher at his peak, his career petered out as he announced he was taking a sabbatical for the following season.

Following yesterday’s OTD Lite, a little research has uncovered surprising stats of both Newey empowered World Champions. Hill won 22 Grand Prix from 115 starts. took pole on 20 occasions and stood on the podium 42 times. Hakkinen started 161 races, winning just 20 of them, qualified fastest on 26 occasions and stood on the podium 51 times. Of course, Mika has two title to Damon’s one but if Hill hadn’t been sacked in 1996 and had won in 1997.. would he be considered a great like the Finn?

The Jackal

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Caterham staff forced to give up contractual rights

TJ13 has led the way on reporting the shenanigans going on in Leafield since Colin Kolles took over the operational management of the team back in the summer. The article “The Caterham Scam” was published on 7th October 2014 and yesterday we learned as TJ13 had predicted, the cars and race equipment have found their way to Kolles base in Germany, following the Russian GP.

Staff received a letter late September headed, “Notice of change of employer”. It continued,

“Following our recent communication, I am writing to confirm that with effect from the 8th October 2014 your new employer will be 1 Malaysia Racing Sdn Bhd.

All other terms and conditions will stay the same

Please sign and return the acknowledgement below no later than 10th October 2014″.

Signed: Ian Phillips, Commerical Director Caterham Sports Ltd”

Following the High Court writs for seizure of assets issued against Caterham Sports Ltd last month, which were followed up by a winding up petition to be heard 11th November 2014, this would appear on the face of it good news for the staff.

The TJ13 article above revealed Manfredi Ravetto’s nigh on apoplectic assertions that he and Colin would protect the precious racing license held by 1MRT, because this was an asset of value.

However, in the same article TJ13 reported that the revenue streams which came as part of the transfer of the business from Fernandes were not merely being used to fund (sparsely) the current race team and produce a minimal level of vital parts for the 2014 cars, but also in the development of a car for 2015.

There is a tub already built for a 2015 F1 car and significant aero work done – some outsourced to Kolles facility in Germany –  for a 2015 formula 1 chassis. This surely means there are long term plans in place for next year and the staff must have a bright future.

As the article 7th October revealed, Colin Kolles already has approval for an entry for 2015 in the F1 championship under the name Forza Rossa. The base? In Germany at his facility.

Current revenues from Caterham are being used to develop a car which which will run for Kolles and Forza Rossa.

This being the case, there will be no Caterham F1 car or company in 2015. 1MRT, where the staffs employment has been transferred to, will also be wound up – as will Caterham Sports Ltd. Though having transferred their employment rights to a foreign national company, the Caterham staff may not have the protection of UK employment law and rights – as they had under their terms and conditions when employed by Caterham Sports Ltd.

Caterham Sports Ltd had a change of director listed on 9th July 2014. Manfredi Ravetto resigned from his responsibility as company director and Colin Kolles father – who lives in the Monte Carlo tax haven – was instated as the replacement director.

Why would Kolles install his father who is far from the reach of the arm of British Corporate Jurisprudence as a director of Caterham?

Clearly the 2014 Caterham race cars and equipment are not returning to the UK prior to the season finale in Abu Dhabi, and it is likely they will then find their way to Germany where the phoenix will rise from the ashes. All on the cheap.

The legality of all this is questionable, though by the time the creditors have their day in court and the employees realise the truth, extradition of disputed assets from another country to ensure proper payments are made – may well become highly costly and therefore not worth the effort.

What is true, is that the Fawlty Towers dumb waiter act Manfredi Ravetto is playing – “Hi know nothing”, may appear convincing, but is not genuine. He may claim not to know the ‘new investors’ with a straight face, because he knows they don’t exist.

Neither is Kolles “fighting all the way” to save Caterham, as one well known accredited F1 media individual asserted with the full authority of his personal experience on Radio 5 live at the weekend.

We must remember these peoples’ deeds when they return to Formula 1, fresh faced and innocent. Because they are not what they claim, and are not doing what they say.

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UPDATE: In a counter move to the winding up order lodged by a creditor, set for hearing 11th November, Caterham Sports Ltd have now listed a petition with the High Court to be placed into Administration.

The plea will be heard on the 20th October 2014, in advance of the winding up hearing.

This may allow some preferential treatment for the employees who refused to sign the new employment agreements with 1MRT – under the Adminstrator’s protocols for the distribution of assets. Employees are paid first along with the Administrator’s fees.

However, this raises the question whether having persuaded certain employees to be employed by 1MRT whether they will get anything at all when 1MRT ceases to exist. The racing cars and equipment squirrelled away in Germany are assets of Caterham Sports Ltd.

Dell have applied for an order in Leeds County Court for the retrieval of their computers systems from Leaqfield, without which it is believed the team will not be capable of running cars on track.

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Alex Zanardi is the true ‘Ironman’

Iron-Man-4Robert Downey Jr revealed recently that he is unlikely to star in another superhero film as it is becoming a jaded and congested sector of the movie industry. As so often witnessed in Hollywood – a great franchise encourages everyone to jump on the bandwagon to make millions and often leaves movie goers numb with the dross that follows.

Maybe next time Hollywood wants to inspire and earn millions they will cast their eyes over the world of motor-sport and make a film about the exploits of our very own super hero – the vital difference being this film can be tagged ‘Based on a True Story’

Alessandro Zanardi is a name known throughout the motor-sport family. His successes and near fatal accident all too well known to dwell on here but as with his Olympic medals, Alex has continued to push himself as he proves to be a greater inspiration through the adversity he suffered than for any cup that he was given as a reward for his driving endeavours.

Most recently this man completed his first-ever triathlon – the famous Kailua-Kona event in Hawaii. He finished 272nd out of 2,187 finishers. The event consisted of a 2.4 mile swim which he completed using a wet vest to keep his body afloat, before switching to a self-developed hand cycle for the 112 mile bike ride and finished in an Olympic wheelchair for the 26.2 mile marathon. His finishing time was 9 hours, 47 minutes and 14 seconds.

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“It is fantastic and I will treasure this day in my heart for the rest of my life, the last 300 meters were worth everything, they were worth being here for. I don’t know if everybody got cheered the same way, but when I passed down that narrow lane, I have never experienced anything like that. It was amazing. I was always close to crying. I am not an emotional guy for these types of things, but this was very special.”

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(sourced from GMM with TJ13 comment)

Bling makes Hamilton ‘a bit different’ – Lauda

According to the Kolner Express tabloid, F1 legend Niki Lauda raised an eyebrow in Russia when he spotted Lewis Hamilton’s latest accessory — an enormous gold chain. The championship leader reportedly told his Mercedes boss: “It’s all gold and weighs a kilogram!” The Express claims the jewellery cost Hamilton EUR 45,000.

Lauda said: “We have one normal driver, and one who is a bit different.

Elsewhere in the F1 press early this week, a Finnish journalist has hit back at Spanish reports that claim Kimi Raikkonen ran amok after drinking too much during his flight from Tokyo to Moscow after the recent Japanese grand prix.

But Oskari Saari, a commentator for Finland’s MTV3, said the Spanish newspaper did not even get the details of the flight correct, as Raikkonen had actually travelled from Nagoya to Helsinki following the Japanese GP. Saari said he knows because he too was on that aeroplane.

He (Raikkonen) sat down and went to sleep, and I don’t remember him waking up even once,” he insisted.

TJ13 comment: If you were writing a novel or a screen play and you chose to make your main character a simile of Lauda – any serious producer/ publisher would ask you to go away and re-write whole sections. Even if he was to play the abrasive part – meant to be hated – it is just too far fetched..

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Mercedes recognise Ross Brawn

Following what some have described as a drunken and debaucherous frenzied orgy of triumph back at Brackley, someone awoke from the factory floor, wearing lederhosen… taken  from who knows whom – and muttered the name, “Ross Brawn”.

Yet like the dawn of Spring in Narnia, there was magic in the air. (No Nico, not the Sochi track this time).

The expected sirens and searchlights were not automatically deployed; the Lauda led ex-Bulgarian ‘Service 7’ operatives did not appear umbrellas in hand and neither were the doors and shutters on auto lock down.

Was this a new dawn? A new beginning? Had Deutschland Discipline been renounced?

The murmered words were taken up by another recovering Brackley employee, who spoke them this time above the level of a whisper – “Ross Brawn,” then less cautiously he repeated again, “Ross Brawn”

Soon the collective were conjoined in a new confident sense of tangible belonging and group security. Together they began the slow chant – “Ross Brawn, Ross Brawn Ross Brawn Ross Brawn”.

The much oversized twinkle toes, Toto Wolff, was in his quarters being dressed today – to the left – by his valet. He heard the rising crescendo of the chants,

In a moment Tot was overcome with much fear. He had heard sounds similar to this as a child growing up in the small Austrian village called Fritzl.

Instantly, Wolff lurched toward his Pininfarina styled desk, snatched up the Beryllium plated pen – he’d stolen from Ross’s ‘clean out desk box’ minutes before his departure – and began to scribble furiously.

Re: Ross Brawn

“…..so fundamental to the team….. he built the foundation of the team…… .. this is his trophy, too……… He laid down the basis of the team……… some of the decisions that were taken many years ago proved to be the right ones”

As if some transcendental spirit communicated peace across the human consciousness, the employees chants began to die. Moist eyes were the norm as they all shared their happy anecdotes of their days before the Austrain Empire invaded, and the bear ruled the roost.

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Give the kids a chance… no the other one

FIA Formula 3 European Championship - Winner Esteban OconOver this past weekend eighteen year-old Frenchman and Lotus F1 Team Junior driver Esteban Ocon took an unassailable lead in theFormula 3 Championship standings this past weekend in Imola meaning the title is his with three races yet to run. This means the youngster won the championship in his rookie season beating the other 26 racers which includes none other than Toro Rosso and Red Bull Protege Max Verstappen.

For his efforts Ocon, who has been part of the Lotus F1 Team Junior programme since 2010, will test a two-year old Lotus F1 Team E20 as part of his ongoing development programme.

Over the course of his season to date with Italian squad Prema Powerteam, Ocon has achieved nine wins and twenty-one podiums. He currently has 454 points with nearest rival, Max Verstappen, on 368. Ocon has also secured the Rookie title, currently with 558 points to Verstappen’s 448.

Ocon will drive the Lotus F1 Team E20 – as used by Kimi Räikkönen to win the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – over the course of two days at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo on October 22-23. Ahead of his test, he will be conducting a simulator programme at Lotus F1 Team’s Enstone base.

Gushing with a father’s pride Gerard Lopez, Chairman and Team Principal of Lotus F1 Team said: “Esteban is a tremendous talent for the future. He has shown himself to be a superb driver as part of our Lotus F1 Team Junior programme, we are proud of him and he truly deserves to be given every opportunity to take his career to the next level.

“To that end he will start testing in the Lotus F1 Team simulator at Enstone this week ahead of driving the E20 at Valencia later this month.

Ocon is in dreamland, as one would imagine, saying, “I would like to thank Lotus F1 Team and Gravity Management for this superb opportunity. The support and back-up I have been given since 2011 has enabled me to win the FIA Formula 3 Championship against some strong competition and I can’t wait to get started on the next step of my training.

“To drive a Formula 1 car has always been a dream of mine, so I can’t wait to get started.

Now then, with Jaylon winning the GP2 series this year and feeling confident he can get into F1 next year what will happen to young Ocon? Will we see the young Frenchman in GP2 or GP3 next year in the hope he can make it to Formula 1?

Question: How many of the current F1 drivers took part in the European F1 Championships? Answers on a post card to TJ13 Towers please 😉

FIA Formula 3 European Championship - Runner Up Max Verstappen

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68 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Tuesday 14th October 2014

  1. Re: Caterham staff…

    So is there nothing the FIA can do to help protect these employees?

    This guy already has a dodgy past from his HRT/Hispania days, so why was he granted another licenses? Does the FIA not carry out fit and proper checks beforehand, given how expensive it is to run a new team?

      • Bernie needs 10 teams on the grid, as long as they’ve got the cash to enter F1 then he won’t care about what happens to Caterham staff left high and dry. Even if this latest Kolles venture goes belly up, Haas is waiting in the wings for 2016. And Bernie’s 3 cars per team idea probably won’t go away. It’s all about protecting the commercial rights nothing else on Bernie’s side of things.

    • I’m waiting for the end game. I still wonder about benefits / costs for keeping a team afloat while striping them for assets and use paydriver money for development. To me that scenario seems too complicated and expensive, so I’m inclined to think that keeping that Malaysian licence IS important (price money?).

  2. Nice to see this coming from Toto.

    “Ross was such a fundamental part of this year’s championship. This is his trophy.”

  3. Judge, there was a poll yesterday in Sky’s website about the greatest British F1 driver. I did vote for Lewis, just for fun really, but have to admit I was surprised to see the result was 50% for Lewis and then Jim Clark on 25%. Of course it reflects the different generations and the fact Lewis is on a high horse right now. It would be interesting if we were running a similar poll on this site. Hopefully the outcome would be a bit more measured.

    • 50% for Hamilton?! How on earth? The likes of Jacky Stewart, Stirling Moss, Nigel Mansell, Graham Hill all should be able to get 10% to 15% of the votes each atleast.

      • True, but the last time Britain had a big name in F1 (Mansell) was more than 20 years ago. Most were little kiddies when Mansell was racing and not born when Moss, Stewart and Clark were racing. Moreover, many our ‘casual’ F1 fans, not as dedicated as some of us here that try to go back and look at some of the other greats.
        Don’t get me wrong, Lewis will go down as one of the greats of his era as one of the greatest British F1 drivers. But 50%? That’s just nuts.

      • I think it’s a reflection of ‘historic’ versus ‘current’. If it was only Lewis and Clark (where did I hear that combination) it would probably be 50-50. But I guess some other historic figuren attract votes as well. So historic is scattered and current is not.

        • “(where did I hear that combination)”

          If thats an honest question:
          Lois and Clark – Superman?

        • It’s totally about ‘historic’ versus ‘current’. It’s the same as any “Best X Songs of All Time” radio marathons … songs less than 2-3 yrs old will feature more than they otherwise should. It’s just how we humans are.

    • No surprise – there will be many who barely know who Clark was.

      In any event, Hamilton’s career isn’t over yet…
      …though he might have to perform a miracle or two to finish on a level with Clark.

      • We don’t know if Lewis will be able to equal the great Clark, but one thing is for sure, he still hasn’t reached his peak. And when he and Vettel do, it’ll be awesome! Unfortunately Alonso reached his in 2012. But Ric and Bottas are coming up strong as well. Future’s bright!

          • There are plenty of people who love Raikkonen for it, including me.
            Dont forget about Grosjean and Hulkenberg (and Perez).

            And the biggest upcoming driver: Max Verstappen.

          • @bruznic….

            I wouldn’t call Kimi a typical Fin. Kimi doesn’t do PR speech or could give 2 toss about what people think about him.

            Could you ever picture Mika or Bottas telling his team to F-off and leave him alone?

          • And that’s why I’m concerned. Sure they’re fast and super talented drivers, but that’s where it stops. The sport needs characters and not some boring mondain PR driven individuals.

            We will miss the likes of Seb, Kimi, Fed and lewis when they all hang up their gloves not just for their driving skills, but for everything else they bring to the sport.

          • Kimi is a bit extreme even for a Finn, Bottas is a new generation honed in PR skills, which is a requirement these days.
            Generally Finns don’t like using 100 words when 3 will do the job.

          • ….. nor a hundred rounds when 3 would do. Held off a vastly superior Soviet Army during WWII – a brave and resilient people, though in the North during a visit to Karasuvanto – I saw much Vodka drunk by many, most days

          • ….. nor a hundred rounds when 3 would do. Held off a vastly superior Soviet Army during WWII – a brave and resilient people, though in the North during a visit to Karasuvanto – I saw much Vodka drunk by many, most days

            FUCK YEAH!!!

      • Clark did not drive LeMans nearly as often as Hill and finished second in consecutive years, ’59 and ’60. In ’61 the car he partner-drove was a DNF. To my knowledge, that’s all of Clark’s LeMans experiences. Hill, on the there hand, was a dedicated LeMans participant, competing in 10 LeMans races and winning his last LeMans outing. We can’t assign the DNF to him, just as we can’t assign Hill’s LeMans 5 years in a row of DNF’s – ’58-’62 – just to Hill. With the cars and teams available to him, it’s not surprise Hill won at LeMans —- and at Indy, where he won in 1966 while leading only 10 laps throughout the entire race.

        Also at Indianapolis, races tend to ” fall your way” rather than a driver dominating the 500 miles. The 500 is more a battle of attrition and team strategy, combined with luck. LeMans can be the same but with 24 hours of racing at hand and with a dominant car you can build up such a lead that even a pit stop several minutes long can is not the end of the world.

        If we view Clark and Hill with other strictly F1 English drivers the call becomes much tougher. Despite the lore surrounding Jim Clark the fact is he won two F1 WC’s in nine years; Hill won only two in 18 years. In their eight years racing directly against – one with both at Lotus – Hill won one WC and Clark two (Hill did win the ’68 WC).

        However, what separates Clark from Hill is his insanely incredible wins to races ratio of 25 wins in just 73 races! Only Fangio was better with 24 wins in just 52 races.

        This season is Hamilton’s eighth. He has the wins and the poles to be considered among the best. If he wins the WC this season he must surely be viewed as level with the best English F1 drivers. But until he wins at least a 2nd championship he’ll be fighting to be third on the podium with Surtees and Mansell.

        The one feather Hamilton would have in his hat is that so far in his career his podium rate is 46% to Clark’s 43% in nearly twice as many races. With a higher percentage of podiums and equal WCs (providing he wins this season) in the same amount of time as Clark, the comparisons are closer. However, even if Hamilton ins a second and then a third WC, Clark’s wins to starts statistic alone will always allow him to be a viable consideration as England’s best.

  4. I feel incredibly sorry for the staff at Caterham, they have known their jobs were at risk right from before the start of the season when TF told them it’s now or never. When you have a family, uncertainty over your domestic financial situation makes things really difficult. I just hope that Forza Rosa take on some of the staff, but if I could I’d be jumping ship at the 1st opportunity.

    • ….We are informed that is not happening. There of course maybe the odd one or two. However, Kolles is disliked intensely, and dare not show his face in certain quarters of Leafield.

      Contrast this with C. Albers was universally liked and spoken of warmly.

      • I think all this was in the cooker for a while with Bernie being the arch-chef! Forza Rossa will replace Caterham for next year.

      • And I have a feeling that Albers left because he knew what Kolles was trying to do and could not live with it. Officially the reason he left was that he had private problems but unofficially he said to a Telegraaf (Dutch newspaper) reporter that he left because the investor did not plan to keep their promises. At first I thought it was about keeping their promises about investing in the team but now I’m starting to think it was the promise to keep Caterham alive as long as possible.

        If someone’s interested in what the Telegraaf had written about Albers his exit than put the following link in Google Translate

        http://www.telegraaf.nl/telesport/autosport/23052715/__Albers_nu_al_weg_bij_Caterham__.html

  5. This latest news may upset the hippo even more….

    “Meanwhile Dietrich Mateschitz has said that he won’t release Vettel to test for Ferrari at the Abu Dhabi test after the final race of the season, the Red Bull boss confirming that Vettel will be released on the 28th November, thus missing the two-day test on November 25th and 26th.
    “Five days after the last race, Sebastian will be free.” said Mateschitz who also revealed to Speedweek, a magazine owned by Red Bull, that Vettel will also not have the latest technical updates in the final three races.
    “But this won’t mean he will have worse equipment than Ricciardo” he added.
    The news means that Vettel’s first opportunity to drive for Ferrari will be at Jerez next February.
    “Sometimes you need to change. We wish him the best. It’s a mutual split and it’s the best thing for both sides,” added the Red Bull owner.”……

    • Why should it? It’s a normal thing. He’s changing teams to a direct competitor, so of course they keep him long enough to avoid that he can test at Abu Dhabi. It’s not like Webber, who switched to a different racing series.

      He won’t get up-to-date data, that’s also normal. He’ll also get crap strategy, like we saw in Sotchi. RB is safe in the WCC, so they can afford to muck him up.

      • Could he have known from last season, that he’d probably be out the door, hence his radio message last season, about remembering these moments?

        • That was just because they kept focussing on 2013, when it was obvious that everyone else was moving onto 2014 (once the tyres changed, giving RB a big advantage). It was also probably known by then that the Renault PU would not be very good… Lewis moved to Mercedes (in 2012) knowing the 2014 car would be WDC level.

          And it has just been said that Mercedes spent over $300m on the team this year, with $200m in the engine division (for all Mercedes teams), total $520m. Mercedes are now spending like a top team, RB, Ferrari, McLaren etc. and thus will be there for some time to come.

  6. So, any news on Alonso’s new job at Ferrari? What’s it gonna be? Team principal? ^^
    Or will he keep racing there anyway? And in what category? F1 or Le Mans?

  7. And I see Jackal is another brit tring to proove a point out of nothing. There are no if’s and buts in F1, there are just results. Usually the star driver does not get kicked out without a reason. 🙂

  8. “Oh how cheated David Coulthard must have felt. Sidelined by ‘big’ Ron throughout his Mclaren career…”

    Or maybe he was just happy to be there, given by his own admission he lacked Mika Häkkinen’s talent, consistency, killer-instinct, and pure, underlying speed.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSdoEMa8bkk

    ♛ DC: “I would say I was good, but not good enough.”

    ♛ DC: “Unquestionably there’ll be those who’ll say that in accepting team orders, you don’t have that strength of character to be a winner, to be a champion – and maybe they’re right.”

    ♛ DC: ” The folds of time have shown that Mika had an underlying qualifying pace that was better than mine, and that, ultimately, was the foundation of him going on to win Championships.”

    “The Jackal’s” shit-stirring for the sake of stirring shit grows wearisome, and it would be nice if you moved his mini-rants to a spot behind the daily news, so less-sophisticated fans of F1 aren’t duped by his biased click-bait by virtue of its being presented as the lede each day it appears.

    • There is enough genuine analysis here to go without a large bulk of the articles, and improve the impact of the site, and hold to the avowed intentions, as I understand, or understood, them to be.

      The simple suggestion to put such driver opinion debate into a different section, ought not be radical. I think it would be welcomed by most.

      I don’t care to criticise negatively. Merely, if I wished to make a impact in the F1 media world, I would narrow my focus, and edit edit edit. Sometimes I read a discussion thread here, or a article, and I am convinced the result is not what was aimed for.

      As maligned as I may even reasonably be, for verbosity, I feel downright Laconic, when it comes to some subjects, as they turn out, here.

      There should be no need for click-bait, if the intention is non advertising non-sponsored, quality word of mouth, to build up a authority in F1 media, of any kind or quality, or level.

      I would divert any and all discussion websites to start by addressing search functionality, and related features, to accomodate more busy, free flow debate. Almost none, including some huge (non F1) ones, seem to get a bare pass at search. Nothing is great off the shelf, out of the box, but I’ve been testing approaches, on and off, part of a project, with good results, applied to dumps of enormous discussion databases, with some tolerable results, for almost a year. Sometimes just the ability to navigate helps people feel there is not such a fever pitch in discussion. At least that is my theory.

    • p.s. i also thought DC was absolutely modest and gracious, not hacked off in any real way. He was a admirable driver, and got the respect he deserved, at least from those who i personally know and who met / talked with him. I can’t imagine him having a shoddy chip on the shoulder attitude.

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