#F1 Daily News and Comment: Friday 17th October 2014

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Previously on The Judge 13:

The #F1 Bar Exam: 16th October 2014

#TJ13 #F1 Courtroom Podcast: Craig – “The Worst Thing I’ve Ever Heard”


OTD Lite: 1999 – When is a centimetre not a centimetre…

Drivers want better wet tyre after Bianchi crash

Coulthard & Villeneuve: Vettel wrecked Alonso’s plans

Something only Kimi gets away with


OTD Lite: 1999 – When is a centimetre not a centimetre…

The punchline, of course is… when it is measured with the Italian metric system.

It’s astonishing to think that Ferrari had any type of defence when it came to its cars being disqualified after the 1999 Malaysian Grand Prix that was run on this day. Ross Brawn stood in front of the world’s media and explained why the stewards had found the winning cars barge boards guilty of an infringement.

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By 1cm – to all intents and purposes a fairly sizeable amount when it comes to F1 tolerances. Against this dimension clanger, every piece of an F1 car is machined to tolerances that measure in the 1,000ths of an inch. Most casual followers of the sport would be astounded to know that an F1 engine is seized when it is cold. The units dimensions so fine that it requires hot water and oil to expand the chambers to start.

Yet even after admitting their blunder, Ferrari took their expensive lawyers to Paris and had the ruling overturned because it was proven that the FIA stewards had measured it incorrectly…

The Jackal

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Drivers want better wet tyre after Bianchi crash

Top F1 drivers are calling on the sport’s sole tyre supplier to improve its wet-weather product. The now critically injured Jules Bianchi lost control of his Marussia in worsening rain conditions at Suzuka recently when raining on worn ‘intermediate’ tyres.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton said drivers often prefer to run on that tyre when it is wet, because the ‘full wet’ Pirelli is so much slower. “It is no secret that they are not the greatest wet tyres that I have known,” said the Mercedes driver. “The slick will always be improved, but I guess not so much focus gets put on the wet,” he is quoted by the Daily Mail. “You want a tyre that clears the water and does not force us to go to the intermediate when it is so much quicker, and when it is probably not safe enough to do so,” Hamilton added.

Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel admits the drivers’ concerns have been passed on to Pirelli.

“It’s definitely something we’ve passed on already, not just after Japan,” he said, reportedly having raised the issue in the pre-race briefing last week in Russia.

“As soon as you’ve got rid of most of the water (with the full wet tyre), you try to put the intermediate on, taking a lot of risk into account, just because it’s the quicker tyre,” the Red Bull driver added. “That’s something we need to work on,” said Vettel.

TJ13 comment: This is dangerous ground that F1 is treading in. In their desire to find a cause of blame, the whole circus is attributing different factors… Now it is the turn of the tyre manufacturer. Of course the intermediate is the quicker tyre, it works when there is less water on track. The extreme wet is only used when conditions aren’t bad enough that they would need a safety car. It was the same in Bridgestones era.

Let’s not forget, when the safety car came out, Vettel and Button changed tyres, one chose intermediates , the other wets…

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Coulthard & Villeneuve: Vettel wrecked Alonso’s plans

For years Fernando Alonso had to watch his main rival snatch titles that the Asturian considered his rightful inheritance. And the Spaniard wasn’t shy to tell everyone who listened (or could be forced to listen) that the man who beat him was in fact not one to see eye to eye with his magnificence.

Even a man of Fernando’s arrogance knows that an office temp with a bad temper doesn’t win four titles in a row, so the smack talk had one major reason – he wanted to unsettle his opponent. Oh the irony. It looks like said opponent managed to do just that by announcing his exit towards the Scuderia. He has yet to say so, but everybody with half a brain knows that Vettel is wearing red next year or is out of F1 for good.

It looks as if Fernando has been outmaneuvered,¨ former Red Bull chauffeur David Coulthard theorizes. ¨He had himself released from a contract with nowhere to go. That will have an impact on his negotiations no matter how much McLaren want him to join them.¨ The rationale behind it is clear. Honda will now tell Alonso how much he’s going to earn, because for lack of alternatives, he’s out of F1 if he doesn’t accept.

Perrenial motor-mouth Jacques Villeneuve has no doubts in Fernando’s skills: ¨He has shown for years that the car was not quite as good as the driver. I think he even won in terms of image. But Vettel’s announcement torpedoed his plans.¨

For Vettel however, the Canadian predicts a good future. ¨He can start anew without pressure. He already has four titles and still quite some time. He could succeed. It remains to be seen if Ferrari can build him a good car.¨

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Something only Kimi gets away with

If you thought “Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing” was epic, you never witnessed what happened when Kimi tried his hand at NASCAR racing. When Ferrari paid him a truck load of money to make way for a Samurai, Kimi buggered off and tried his hand at crashing cars into trees – otherwise known as Rallying.

Beside that he also tried our America’s premier motorized ox-cart series – NASCAR. Nascar basically is a series for Silhouette cars powered by engines that went out of style when the Romans abandoned Hadrian’s wall. Since these cars are averse to corners, they are mainly driven on ovals.

So Kimi tried his hand at it and after a podium in one of the junior series, he started in the Nationwide Series – Nascar’s GP2. But it was not to be. Having qualified a rather anonymous 22nd, he was lying 14th halfway into the race when his car decided to have a sh*t setup from now on and wouldn’t turn in anymore. As a result Kimi repainted the walls and lost several laps, at which point he decided to swear like a lumberjack and called the team all kinds of names.

Listen to this half hour of Kimi pit radio epiciness:

btw: If you think F1 drivers are coached via radio – Listen to Kimi being nannied by his spotter and growing sick of it… And trust me, you never heard Kimi talk this much…

For those, who don’t want to listen to the whole thing – here’s the best of Kimi:

“I don’t understand how this car can be so hot. My ass is even burning in here!”

“Why you shouting on the f*@*&%g radio?”

“I am out of the drink again. It’s so small. Mark has to make sure it’s completely full, because it is too small.”

“We’re so f*****g shit, it’s unbelievable.”

“Did you see how f_____g bad it is? I cannot even turn the car into the corner. ..And remember, I need water.”

“I need my drinking water. Hey!! Give me my drinking water!!!”

“You just have to do what you have to do to get fast laps.”

“The car is just so f^^^^^^g bad (mumble mumble).”

“The car is shit because I cannot get it turned! It is so frustrating! I cannot get the f!!!!!!g car turned!”

“Don’t talk about other things on the radio”

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96 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Friday 17th October 2014

  1. I suggested weeks ago that the Pirreli wet weather tyre wasn’t up to much (I appreciate they cant test so not really thier fault) and everyone kinda implied this was a foolish notion.

  2. Birthday wishes to Kimi. He turns 35 today. Contract extension as a Birthday gift. Hopefully he ll have a better 2015 and 2016. Btw Judge, I think Alonso is still holding out for a Merc drive in 2015. Considering Toto’s “warning” to Lewis and Nico, and if something goes wrong in the next three races, he may stand a chance.

  3. “Since these cars are averse to corners, they are mainly driven on ovals.” – which are basically one continuous corner 😀

    Please don’t edit that line – I like the implied wink at Nascar logical thinking 🙂

    • Well, the ovals are all left turns with the sharpness or lack of it being the difference. Them cars are actually configured asymetrically, so they turn left by themselves and you have to work with the steering to make them go in a straight line. The ‘phenomenon’ that a car’s setup suddenly turns crap in a race is not as uncommon as one might think. I suspect Kimi was caught unprepared for that.

      • Yep. Long ago I was friends with a Canadian who had driven Indy more than once; he said when the car was set up right it turned itself and was pretty easy to drive – when it wasn’t to was sh*t. They use tire stagger (one side bigger than the other), camber, etc, etc. to make the car turn left.

        • ….Odd they don’t occasionally ‘go right’ – just to mix it up a bit….

          Reminds me of a rather boring old faded glory wooden roller coaster I encountered a number of years ago – they reversed the carriages so you rode backwards – and boy did it make a difference…

          • There is an annual road race or two, in amongst the 43 or however many events are run each year. I think Watkins Glen or Sonoma are the usual tracks, perhaps even Road America.

          • There are occasional road races, yes. Montoya won a Nationwide race at Mexico City, and a sprint cup race at The Glen, IIRC.
            Neat little fact is that several Nascar teams hire different drivers for the two or three road races of the year – road course specialists called ‘road course ringers’. Notable ones are Mark Donohue, Scott Pruett, Boris Said, Max Papis, Alex Tagliani, Dan Gurney and others.

          • @f1esty NASCAR and Indy both run road races as well as ovals.

            http://www.epi-eng.com/piston_engine_technology/comparison_of_cup_to_f1.htm

            Granted both sets of regs are outdated now, still interesting comparison and NASCAR doesn’t just roll over which seems to be the assumption of most F1 fans.

            Given how sh*t Kimi was, its funny to see NASCAR get knocked so badly, given they have overtaking, aero isn’t a problem still V8 etc it sounds a bit like an F1 fans dream TBH, and they do run over 300kph to boot. Inches away from each other.

            Driving in NASCAR isn’t open wheeling but it would be a mistake to think no skill is involved, both in the engineering and driving dept.

  4. Alonso’s in the sh!t, looks like he may have to stick it out with macca for more than one year seeing as I can’t see Hamilton leaving after 2015 if all goes well. Alonso’s arrogance is there for all to see, and this just may be his biggest undoing, thereby wasting his talent and best years. No good being regarded as the best driver in the field if he only ends up with 2 titles.

    • And is that the arrogance Mercedes want within their team?…..

      His sense of entitlement looks like it maybe his undoing. He tried to get Webber’s seat when the Bulls were the car to have and now he’s trying to do the same with the Mercs.

    • Don’t forget about Rosberg… It’s going downhill for him fast at this point. This season’s championship is already lost if Hamilton doesnt break down at Abu Dhabi. He must be getting a bad feeling about next year aswell if he doesnt get the title. Is he going to settle for some wins left over by Hamilton if (when) Mercedes is still the car to beat next year?

      • Well it depends on what’s written in his contract. This seasons not over, so I’m not calling anyone champion just yet. But if lewis does go on and secure the WDC, Nico will have to respond in 2015 and if he doesn’t, then and maybe then will his place within the team will be questioned.

      • Rosberg knew he wouldn’t win the title when he agreed to chuck the race at Monza. He could still do so accidentally if Lewis’ car breaks at Abu Double, but under normal circumstances…

        • Still on the conspiracy theory I see. Seems like that’s your thing for this season, first at RB now it’s happening at Mercedes…..

          Mmmm ok

          • …… It’s Bernie’s global “show” – what do you expect?….

            Surely not aA level playing field and proper competition???

            😉

          • He thought it was perfectly level 4 yrs ago and the show still went on…..

            Given his need to buy the sport back, I thought he more than anyone else would be cheering for a continued Merc dominance, drive the price well down and buy on the cheap.

          • @thejudge13 @Fat Hippo Never attribute to conspiracy and cunning what you can attribute to incompetence. These jokers are like politicians, I think your ideas are far more creative, subtle, and devious that these butt holes are capable of. If I really thought they were that cunning a crafty, I’d be genuinely worried. 🙂

        • That was 3 points. It was the DNF in Singapore that derailed him significantly.

          Even still he hovers at the magical 14 point line. If he’s within 14 points at last race we have a one race championship, assuming a Merc 1-2, usually a safe one.

          Which would likely be decided by one or both cars not starting, the way things have gone recently.

          Be interesting to see what happens in COTA now that Merc have said that the gloves are off. Curious to see if they actually mean it this time and won’t try and stage manage.

          • I suspect the damage has already been done, and Lewis has his mojo back in proper order. But even if Nico loses the title to Lewis in 2014 and 2015 I can’t see Mercedes having a problem with that. At the end of the day they’re in this to win races not provide entertainment.

      • Perhaps things are going downhill for Rosberg, but I can see him settling in his Mercedes seat anyways. Where else can he go anyways? RedBull and Ferrari seem already packed. McLaren? Personally, I am not convinced McLaren will be stronger than Mercedes next season.

      • And why should they? When the T&C were being drawn up for this season, I’m sure Ferrari and Renault were present and signed on the dotted line this agreeing, so why now that they’ve done a piss poor job, it should be changed so as to level the playing field?

        When they screamed and shout to get engine parity with the Mercs, was that for the betterment of the sport or was it for RB’s own?

        Would you have wanted Renault to agree to it, had they been the one with the best engine, thus continuing Seb’s run of WDC titles?

        Sour grapes my good man, sour grapes.

        • No. The disparity is damaging to the sport. It will do the same that the RB dominated years or the Fezza juggernaut of the early noughts did. It drives viewer numbers into the basement

          • That’s what I said about the other teams last year and I got quite ridiculed for insinuating something like that. I feel vindicated.

          • We the two concepts are both true, its damaging for the sport, but the others should have done a better job. What we need is a strong governing body who… I’ll just stop here I think.

          • The problem is, that for the sake of ‘cost cutting’ the differences are cemented. Theoretically last year the other teams had ways to catch up to RB aerodynamically. With the engine freeze, the status quo in a way is cast in stone and Merc will stay ahead until new engine regs come. That can’t be the purpose of the exercise, can it?

        • Yes, there’s no doubt there’s some sour grapes there. And yes, Renault and Ferrari should have done a better job. You’re right – no sarcasm there.
          But just because you are right doesn’t mean the disparity shouldn’t be addressed. The lack of competition for Mercedes is a genuine problem for a sport that is already struggling for popularity.
          Perhaps the MB marketing department  is working on a new campaign “We were so good, we destroyed the sport”. Errr… not sure that’s so good.
          I’d suggest a more useful line would be “We were just too good for them all, so we had to let them catch up”

          • Ok, go ahead and let them catchup and then they end up getting spacked by everyone, what will the bosses at Stuttgart have to say about that? Could that not see them potentially pull out of sport?

          • So it’s either suffocate the sport or MB pulls out? Is the choice really that stark? Do you really have so little faith in every other aspect of their team / car?

          • No sir, I’ve got complete faith in the car, because I’ve always looked at it as just the PU.

            Other teams have made the same threat before, wasn’t it just Renault who threatened to leave the sport if they didn’t change the engine regs despite dominating for 4 years? They thought that they’d be ahead of the game with the change and now that they realise that, Mercedes should be punished for that?

            This is not any easy decision to make and I doubt either RB or ferrari would’ve looked to give up their advantage.

          • Au contraire, mon frère. The choice is simple if you are a fan of the sport over and above driver / team allegiances. Give them rough engine parity and then let them compete in areas of car design that aren’t so regulated.

          • 5 items in the PU are frozen for next year. Each Item is given a weight (points) and its 8% by weight. The rest of the PU is up for grabs, with the caveat that total modified items can’t exceed 48%. Given LdL comment that chassis integration is a big part of Merc advantage, given Honda effectively has no freeze going into Jerez, perhaps we should wait and see before throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

            After all, much easier for them to just copy Merc solution if freeze goes away. But then we won’t get ace seasons with different solutions like 2012 where McLaren with their low ride height managed to be faster than RB with their rake, depending on track (and minus the leprecorns disastrous presence).

            Methinks they doth protest too much ATM for political reasons. That said, should the Merc continue to abide unabated, a rethink would be in order.

          • Well for us supporters, that’s how we’d all like it to be, but unfortunately we are talking about a sport with teams that won’t even agree that something as simple as 1+1=2.

          • The teams ain’t the problem. It’s the regulations. Often poorly thought through, poorly written, poorly applied, poorly enforced – like this PU freeze thing.

          • @roger….

            But aren’t the teams also involved in agreeing what the regulations should be?

            Surely Ferrari and Renault could’ve called for the freeze not to be implemented at such an early stage. So the fact that they agreed to it then, makes them look really silly now. Everyone had the same brief and timescale in which to get it done and they didn’t.

            I read an article on James Allen’ website, in which he said the reason both Renault and Ferrari are ramping up the pressure, is because of the rumour that next seasons engine, will be a lot better than this seasons, something which LdL has commented on in his tech report.

          • Agree with Matt – unfreezing next season is kneejerk & unnecessary.

            Another season of Merc dominance, and I’ll change my mind.

          • I’d say unfreezing would be correcting an error (Renault’s & Ferrari’s error lols) – MB’s power advantage is undeniable and bad for the sport. Restricting the others from developing there way to parity is rather silly. Surely the currently locked in power advantage is an unintended consequence of what was supposed to be a cost saving measure. The usual response to such situations is to correct it.
            You’re right, it’s not necessary at all. I think it’s preferable though.

          • @roger……

            Your opening salvo is exactly why I think it should not be allowed….

            Ferrari and Renault made an error, so they should be made to pay for it and not allowed to fix it at the expense of Mercedes.

          • @Fortis …The teams should certainly be able to make their views on regulations known. Then the regulator says “That’s nice. Well done you…But here’s what’s going to happen”.
            Yes, Renault and Ferrari agreed to the freeze and have now changed their mind having c*cked up royally. Yes they look silly. But them ain’t reasons to keep the freeze.
            I think you are trying to say that thawing the freeze is unfair to MB. It’s not. But so what? The idea here is to put on a show, as much as it pains some around here to admit it. Watching the silver buggies win at a canter at pretty much every race they manage to finish is boring. At least when Seb was winning there was nothing stopping any other team from developing the same areas of the car that the RB cars were best at.
            The only interest now is if Lewis and Nico are going to crash into one another in the process of proving a point or whatever.

          • If the engines are unfrozen MB gets to make gains too. They would probably still be dominant.

          • True however maybe Mercedes are as close to perfection as possible so gains will be marginal whereas other manufacturers have more gain to make.

            Even if the can get to within 5-10% of the Merc it would be better than now.

            But, if by some miracle another manufacturer can get their stuff working next year and stronger than Merc… imagine what would happen if they want freeze lifted 😛

  5. I think Vettel’s anouncement will only cost Alonso perhaps 5% of his requested renumeration. If Honda wanted to get him out of Ferrari and were prepared to buy out his contract, then if he suddenly becomes available, they will let him go on vacation?
    When they can simply pay just his salary and save on any buy out fund?
    Honda want to win, they are not in the market for a bargain driver or they’d have simply stuck to Button who is a reliable pair of hands on the steering wheel.

    • I don’t think the issue is the money, it’s the term of the contract and what clauses Fred wants at the end of the first and second year. Honda are in for the long run and look at this as a 3-year project at minimum before they start challenging for the title seriously. Fred wants a title now! Not in 3 years. My feeling is that the decline has already started, in 3 years’ time he’ll be a ‘great’ of the past.

  6. Considering some of the recent observations on this site that contracts are not worth the paper they are written on, and the manner in which at least these two players have found themselves, surely the term of any contract is not as important as the exit clauses?

    And to then ignore what I just said 🙂 – maybe a one-year term would also suit Macca to see if they really can handle/be bothered with Fred???

    • No idea. Everybody and his dog seems to know, yet nobody says it. It’s a complete mystery. I’d be gutted if he really ends up at McLaren, because that’s the one team I cannot bring myself to support. I still hope that Ferrari just mucked up on the PR side and he’ll run in red next year

    • Maybe it was a condition of letting Fred out early that he gets to announce first? Also, something in the German press today that said Alsonso’s contract is with Honda for 35m euro per year for 3 years. McLaren chooses and pays for driver #2 (BUT or MAG). Further, talk about Honda buying out Ron Dennis and installing Berger as the new head. Coordination with other investors blah, blah, blah.

      The points you made above are good. ALO has caused problems with all three teams he has driven for since McLaren 2007 and he doesn’t seem to have learned. Time will be called on his career in the next few years

      • All that would tie in with some recent statements. Button’s manager talking about the endurance series and an offer by Porsche (a la Webber), Kimi talking about an extra year (i.e. retiring at end of 2016), Toto wanting to keep Lewis (allegedly). So the stage set for the next 3 years then, Lewis and Nico at Merc, Alonso at Macca (not happy!), Vettel and Kimi at Ferrari, Ricciardo at a declining RBR, Hulk wasted just like Heidfeld, Bottas to replace Rosberg or Hamilton at some point, Grosjean…who knows!?

      • He didn’t leave Renault on good terms in 2006 either, having signed for macca the season before..
        Strange isn’t it, the most political drivers never leave on good terms

        • Let’s hope MM didn’t play ‘Public Enemy’s… Don’t believe the hype’ when he gave him is marching orders.

    • I expect Mattiacci wants to control the news. Ferrari will announce when they intended to announce and not be pushed into it because RBR management decided to blab.

      • Which is fine, but I was expecting the announcement after LdM’s resignation, Merchionne taking over and the stock exchange float, which have all happened!

      • Libel Laws in the UK are pretty tough most tabloid rags try and avoid libel proceedings where possible. Don’t think Bernie wouldn’t use UK Libel Laws to bury something he doesn’t want in public view.

        There are three important things for me at the moment –
        1. Jules survives and has some kind of recovery.
        2. The causes of the accident are fully investigated, by independent experts outside of the FIA.
        3. Any necessary changes to improve the safety for drivers and marshals are made as soon as is feasible.

        I’m not hopeful for any of those happening.
        Until Bernie is out of the picture, F1 will not modernise itself. Adam Parr probably had the right analysis of what F1 needs to do, but of course that is counter to Bernie’s “Bleed the sport dry” mantra. Thus Parr got the chop.

    • The look on their faces.

      I hope Jules wins this one. I agree with the demand on this site for an independent investigation. But it won’t happen. However, if they introduce a speedlimiter, I think a major dangerous situation is solved.

    • …that was predictable – looks like pulled out the file on Interlargos and went – “Ok, medium hard it was – medium hard it is”

  7. Twitter is alive with Alonso to McLaren in three year deal. Not what he wanted I expect.

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