#F1 Daily News and Comment: Wednesday 22nd October 2014


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Previously on The Judge 13:

#F1 Features: Make or Break for Hamilton

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

OTD Lite: 1989 – Prost drives into Senna

BREAKING NEWS (Updated as stories come in)

Mclaren partners prepare to go to war

Villeneuve – Mclaren wronged Alonso in 2007

Weber says Vettel ‘too sensitive’

Caterham Adminstrator gets tough

OTD Lite: 1989 – Prost drives into Senna

Alain Prost had declared his intention before the race weekend had even begun. If Ayrton Senna attempted to pass him, he would not back out of a potential collision as he had previously. The Professor had the advantage of leading the title race by 16 points and did not need to win either of the remaining two races. Senna did.

On the 47th lap, six from the end, Senna took the inside line into the chicane and Prost turned into him.

Of course as a Senna fan, I would see it that way, but aerial footage of the collision (impossible to find it seems) shows that Prost turned in far too early to have made the apex – a similar trait that his son Nicolas displayed admirably when he collided with Nick Heidfeld in the inaugural Formula E race. Immovable object meets irresistible force.

Senna received a push start as his car was still on the race track – something that was allowed – and went on to win the race passing  Alessandro Nannini in a similar manouvre. But it was now that Jean Marie Balestre – the French President of the FIA – came bearing his power over the sport. Senna was excluded from the race, effectively securing the title for Prost.

It was this that Max Mosley found to be utterly disturbing and would lead to his running for Presidency against what he believed was a manipulative regime and for once the British publications voiced their opinions in favour of the Brazilian and against the French collusion.

The Jackal



Sam Michael leaves McLaren to return to Australia


Mclaren partners prepare to go to war

In recent weeks TJ13 has been reporting that things do not look rosy for the Mclaren group currently. With another lacklustre year almost over, the return of Honda is causing huge media interest for the coming season.

Speculation continues as to the stage that the Japanese manufacturer is currently at – with its engine – and talks with Fernando Alonso are daily in the rumour mill yet get no closer to finalisation. The latest news is that the Spaniard is waiting on ‘developments at Woking’, before inking the offered contract to join.

The TJ13 DN&C yesterday reported the a major shake-up and culling of staff within the McLaren motorsport division, following the whisper that the relationship between the founding partners of Mclaren International had collapsed.

d08brn789Italy’s Autosprint reveals today, that there is a serious division between Mansour Ojjeh and Ron Dennis, who joined forces in 1981 to establish the team. Ojjeh has always been a close friend’s of Ron’s and funded the Porsche designed Tag-Turbo engine that dominated F1 for three years. But recently, Mansour underwent a double lung transplant, and whilst during his recuperation – the Ronster was making it known he was looking for funding, to buy our his partners.completely.

Ojjeh is currently in talks with billionaire Lawrence Stroll, over acquiring a controlling interest in the Mclaren Group from the Mumtalakat holding company. Were this to happen, , Ron Dennis would most likely be ousted from the Woking team – ironically in much the same fashion that Martin Whitmarsh was removed.

With the investors sensing blood, Big Ron is currently preparing a financial report to be released to the shareholders at the end of November. The subsequent meeting may prove to be pivotal in deciding whether – as did Ferrari with Il Padrino – the days of the McLaren godfather have now passed.


Villeneuve – Mclaren wronged Alonso in 2007

1640.2Americans’ often harbour a certain disdain toward their Canadian neighbours,  in a similar manner to the one which exists between England and Scotland. However, the abrasive character of Jacques Villeneuve at times appears to make ‘Muricans’ of us all..

The 1997 World Champion has almost become a caricature of himself and most comments he makes to the press appear to be met from the readers with ridicule and scorn. With the backdrop of Alonso’s uncertain future, Jacques Villeneuve decided that it was appropriate to revisit the 2007 season and discuss how Mclaren gifted Ferrari the title.

Of course this review from Villeneuve is superficial at best. There is no recognition of the ‘secret information’ which Mclaren had in their possession; information of such a sensitive nature that a interpreter was engaged, to convey the Fred the precise meaning of what was being said.

Never one to demonstrate his cerebral prowess, Villeneuve merely waxes lyrical – on what Woking did wrong.

“When Fernando stepped in the Mclaren, he faced more or less the same situation I had with the arrival of Jenson Button at Bar-Honda. Basically, they said “Lewis is our future, you’re just the World Champion, so shut up. They used Alonso as a teacher for Hamilton so that the Briton would learn as much as possible in his first season. It was also the main reason he caused the team to implode.”

“It wasn’t necessary to focus on a rookie winning the title immediately. Lewis would have soon made it to the top. They could have been patient. Fernando was the World Champion – that they recruited from Renault. It was basically Mclaren that made the mistake. Fernando only did what he could do.”

Or in English parlance, the pseudo Samurai thought first of himself, as always..


Weber says Vettel ‘too sensitive’

On the few occasions this year that we’ve seen mark Webber at an F1 weekend, he has been remarkably gracious in his defence of his former team mates inability to master the Newey 2014 Bull as he is regularly out performed by Webber’s “son and heir”.

Yet now, in a surprising attack….. Oh….. hang on…..Errm…

Will Weber, Michael Schumacher’s former manager who brokered the mega remuneration deals with Ferrari for Michael – then took his 20% – has decided it’s time for 5 last minutes of fame.

With the world expecting Ferrari to imminently confirm their new driver as Sebastian Vettel, Weber says that Vettel will never emulate his former client – because he is “too sensitive”.

 “If something is not working well, the pressure at Ferrari is greater than it is anywhere else. It is not always ‘peace, joy and pancakes’, but a lot of politics.

I think if a Fernando Alonso cannot deal with it, then no one can,” Weber said. “Sebastian is much more sensitive than Michael.”

The man in Formula 1 who always looks on the bright side of life, Helmut Marko, reckons Weber is right.

“Michael benefitted in his time from an unlimited number of test kilometres and close cooperation with the tyre partner Bridgestone,” Marko observes. That said, four dominant years at Red Bull, would suggest that with a level playing field for all – this didn’t and shouldn’t hinder Seb.

It may be that Sebastian indeed has his work cut our for him should he arrive in Maranello. The latest car for 2015 is not good, so much so that already the ‘spoken only behind closed doors’ working title for the project is codename “666”

The 2015 F1 offering from Ferrari will be the first designed from scratch by James Allison

That said, this year in Ferrari-land has felt like a re run of the Great Italian Wars, such has been the general carnage, in fighting and blood-letting.

Schumacher arrived at Ferrari when the Tifosi had been beaten into submission year on year, such that the expectation of wining much was none existant.

The Schumacher years in the minds of the Red Team fans are still fresh, and expectation high.

However, should Vettel deliver, then surely his contribution would rank ahead of Fernando’s and even greater than Michael Schumacher’s, when considering the lowest of low ebbs Ferrari find themselves at right now.

Remember Seb’s got 4 fingers up and some time to go. Michael finished on 7.


Caterham Adminstrator gets tough

As reported by TJ13, the Caterham cars returned from a short vacation in Germany following the Russian GP. The plan was to spruce up the livery, add some windscreen wash and oil, then send them on their way to Austin.

However, the Administrator appointed to manage the affairs of the Caterham F1 debacle has scuppered this plan. Finbarr O’Connell now says, “My legal advice is that I own the cars and won’t be allowing the cars out of the factory until I reach an acceptable agreement,” said Finbarr O’Connell

Further, last week TJ13 received reports that a factory in Banbury was being prepared as a contingent should the team be forced from its current base in Leafield. This may now be necessary fairly soon, as O’Connell is insistent,  “We are allowing 1MRT (the team) to use our facility while we negotiate a settlement. They need to reach an agreement with us.”

All the alleged fuss and bother about who owns what, appears to have been resolved already as the administrator is flexing his muscle to ensure assets (cars) are not about to head to the land of Disney anytime soon.

This ‘confused ownership’ nonsense has been perpetrated since Ravetto attempted a smoke and mirrors charade prior to the Japanese GP, with another of his “Hi know nothing” Fawlty Towers soliloquies.

The fact is, if 1MRT have been paying or appropriate fees to Caterham Sports Ltd who were contracted to supply and maintain the F1 cars, then the assets – the cars and race equipment and factory fixtures and fittings – still belong to the company now under the control of the administrator.

Manfredi and his buddies are left with little and stand Gollum like clutching the precious racing license signed by the FIA.

It is unbelievable that anyone still buys the ‘Swiss based Arab investor’ nonsense. Even were these ghosts of the night real, and refusing to pay debt left undisclosed by Fernandes, they should know how much it costs to run even a shoestring version of operations at Caterham.

It appears the Administrator may have struck a fatal blow to the Kolles master plan of syphoning away cash provided from the pay drivers to develop his Forza Rosso car on the QT – whilst barely maintaining a skeleton effort to run the Caterham 2014 cars until Abu Dhabi.

So then, 20 cars for Austin? Yes, unless a real world oil backed cheque of some significance, lands on the Administrators desk and arrives with the precision of the historic reputation of the Swiss based clockmakers.

82 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Wednesday 22nd October 2014

  1. RE: Villeneuve – Who the blo*dy hell is asking this guy these questions and keeps giving him the time of day to spew his crap?

      • No idea, but he’s reminiscent of that elderly family member you have who has ridiculous opinions and cannot keep it to themselves so have to make sure the world and his wife knows about it.

        • I actually agree somewhat with JV on this one.. McLaren should at least have secured the title in 2007, even with Alonso, if it meant a hush-up over the secret info, and then him still leaving for 2008, to make Hamilton number one driver.

          If you can’t handle two roosters in the hen-house, then best to only have one… and 2008 proves that. They could have ran Hamilton-Paffett to achieve the same end, and saved a lot of money..

          • And they would’ve achieved it had they not gotten brain fade and left lewis out on tires that were down to its bare carcass.

          • That was possibly one of the strangest decisions I’ve ever seen…. when Raikkonen passed him, they’d lost a whole pit stop and more…

          • Truly ridiculous decision, and wholly unnecessary. Even if they put on new inters, and then needed to pit again for slicks, they still would’ve finished 4th at worst. That would’ve eliminated Kimi, leaving Alonso needing to win in Brazil to have any chance. Seeing how well the Ferrari’s fared in Brazil that year, it would’ve been a remote chance.

            I’ve said it before, but I think Ron wanted to win it in China in style, with a win, instead of playing the percentage game. Blew up in their face big time.

          • If so, Ron should have learned from Prost that a win is a win… even if done in the boardroom! Lewis had 4 wins by then… and titles are won with a lack of mistakes.. Rosberg is proving that by still being in the title hunt, despite many less wins.

            In 07, 4th is a bad result for McLaren/Ferrari… yet two 4ths would have done them nicely.

        • I’m reminded of that quote of Dr. Evil, recounting his youth:

          “My father would womanize; he would drink; he would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes, he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.”

          As for JV, it’s just more of him saying he invented the question mark.


    • ….one thing I will say, Senna did Rosberg Spa it a bit. Came from too far back, inevitable collision. Prost would’ve been looking in his mirror and defended that line if he really thought Senna would’ve lunged. Would Prost really of ‘rolled the dice’ thinking that he would come out on top on the randomness of a collision? Holy shit Senna made an errorfrom the looks of it.

      Of course, I’m a little too young to understand the politics and what was said by who and whatever… prior to the race. I bow to the old man Jackal on that front.

      • Or Prost did a Hamilton. Lost sight of his pursuer – “Oops! I’ll turn in now anyway because he wouldn’t dare, would he?… Bugger!”

        • Yeah that’s the version I’d go with. Difference being that Hamilton always assumes Rosberg wouldn’t dare, and Prost had decided to stop being a doormat for Senna’s ambitious dives.

          • If anything, surely this resembles Rosberg in Spa. Both said pre-race they wouldn’t move aside for their team mate any longer, both subsequently hit said team-mate in the race.

          • Well Prost said that he didn’t see Senna as he was looking toward the corner and Senna came from so far back. Hamilton also stated that he couldn’t see Rosberg. So there’s kind of a comparison there.

      • I don’t think you understand the level of control that top line drivers have… and the helicopter shot clearly shows it. Hunt mentioned the possibility only a lap or so before of Prost taking them out, then said ‘but surely he wouldn’t do that..’ while Brundle knew instantly that Schumi had mistimed his hit on Villeneuve in 1997, attempting to repeat 1994 on Hill.

        But the FIA is culpable for this – by showing in 1989 that they wouldn’t penalise taking out an opponent to win the title, it subsequently happened in four times in eight years, until Schumacher was finally DQ’d.

  2. Strange how I was thinking that it will be Alonso who’ll be the next Villeneuve (media wise, after his career). And then saw the feature comparing Villeneuve and Hamilton.

  3. @ Carlo Carluccio

    “Prost turned in far too early to have made the apex” — He must have picked that trick up from you .. Turn 2 at Rye House Kart track last Saturday the oh so nice oh so wise Jackel thought it fit to smash me off the track in qually at turn 2. Shut the door while we were side by side.

    It’s PODCAST recording day… I’m coming for you Jackel.

  4. There is talk of Sam Michael leaving McLaren according to one british journalist. any news/infos/opinions ?

  5. Those F1 expenses clearly getting to Merc…

    This should keep them going for another year or so:

    FRANKFURT, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Daimler AG on
    Tuesday said it would book a $780 million windfall from selling
    its 4 percent stake in rival electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc

    In a statement, Daimler Chief Financial Officer Bodo Uebber
    said, “We are extremely satisfied with the development of our
    investment in Tesla, but it is not necessary for our partnership
    and cooperation. For this reason, we have decided to divest of
    our shares….

    • 4% of Tesla is worth 3/4 of a billion bucks? Holy priceless collection of Etruscan snoods! Really? Not bad for a purveyor of MX-5 knock-offs that run on AA batteries.
      Also, Tesla is a “rival” to MB – a big call, but based on the market cap maybe, I suppose.

      • Roger, I immediately thought the same thing. I thought “those numbers sound wrong”…

        Checking it, it’s correct. Totally ridiculous… Finance is a funny thing. Markets are manic.

      • In a decade’s time, most vehicles will be electric; with no legacy to defend, Tesla is pretty well placed.
        Could all go wrong, of course – but that applies to the rest of the auto makers…

        • Indeed… it’s not for nothing that Elon Musk was the inspiration for Iron Man. From Paypal to Tesla.. he’s built up multiple billion dollar businesses with his own money… His next venture is a reusable rocket… so where is that heading? Readiness for when we decide to move out into space…

          PS. I can remember the launch of the Hyperloop Alpha design.. I haven’t been that excited about engineering for some time. Puts HS2 firmly in the dark ages.

  6. Another day, another re-hashed bash at Alonso, is that all the “daily comment” you have to offer?

    By the way, you reported the Caterhams arrived at Leafield, were turned around and despatched from Leafield over the weekend, which now looks incorrect. If you’re running a blog supposedly based on insider knowledge you should get your facts sorted.

    • Bobert …said they would “presumably be dispatched” – it was the plan as our source was instructed. Clearly things changed.

      And the internet means we “SELECT” what information we consume. People can always not bother reading TJ13 😉

      Plus if someone doesn’t like Alosno’s treatment – say so, but they should commend the stuff they like – this would explain why a person keeps returning despite Alonso’s ‘unfair’ treatment – otherwise we might think them irrational or a TROLL from another place.

      • You missed that the wishbone was changed for the one they’d hidden from the bailiffs Judge……

      • Don’t worry fella I won’t be granting you any more visits in the future. Also matey, tweeting the Sheriff’s Office when Caterham’s cars arrived back at Leafield was pathetic, not classy, very troll like and resulted in an unfollow from me. Toodle pip, peace and love.

        [mod] Cry us a river…

    • Maybe alonso deserves to be bashed. You’re probably only reading here for two days… everyone in the circus gets their bashing if and when they deserve it.

  7. I think that if Dennis goes it will be a mistake. Ferrari have a long-term association with Fiat and Il Padrino giong may not have such an impact as one would have thought. Fiat is just taking over and moving from teh back seat onto the driver’s seat. Frank Williams is still involved with the team through his daughter, so there is some continuity too. But at McLaren, where will the continuity be? At Honda who will just join? At Mansour with his health issues and bringing in another investor? And what about all the restructuring that Dennis is carrying on with? Will that start over again?

    If Dennis stays, I can believe that McLaren can get to the top within 3 years’ time let’s say. If he goes, it will probably take much much longer.

    • Yeah, my thoughts, too. Dennis is the life-blood of McLaren. His initial succession plan fell flat on its face, with Whitmarsh getting ousted. Right now with Dennis out there would be no one to take the reins, and we’d likely see the end of McLaren soon enough…

      • But regularly competing for wins and titles. Look at Williams since 2000 as a comparison. Wouldn’t want to see McLaren get to the stage Williams have gotten to and one day become a constructor’s team lackey. Williams will always come second to Merc!

        • At least McLaren have diversified slightly, they can make cheap tubs on site and thus make a good profit from the road car division.

          But I agree – post-Whitmarsh, it’s looking like someone new will have to be found for post-Dennis, be it by him or someone new coming in to own the team.

          And on the titles point, their ‘fair play’ has shot themselves in the foot many times (2007), along with engine unreliability (2003, 2005, 2012).

    • When he arrived at Williams, they were certainly on the decline. By the time he left they were rock bottom…

      What occurred when he arrived at McLaren? 😉

      • He’s an interesting case study…

        There’s little doubting his capacity to work very hard, even by F1 standards, from what I’ve picked up over the years, but he really doesn’t have a great record in delivering. Even before Williams.

        He’s straight talking, hard ass but well liked – but ultimately doesn’t seem to deliver.

        I assume he’ll have a gig in a V8 Supercar team here in OZ.

  8. “It appears the Administrator may have struck a fatal blow to the Kolles master plan of syphoning away cash provided from the pay drivers to develop his Forza Rosso car on the QT – whilst barely maintaining a skeleton effort to run the Caterham 2014 cars until Abu Dhabi.”

    That’s not how Autosport present Dr Kolles: “F1’s tail-end troubleshooter”.

    Read their piece and you almost want to start to cry. Oh how the brave and well-meaning dentist reaches for his cape and dons his beret, then flies to the rescue of F1 teams in trouble… For this sycophantic PR piece alone (and thanks to the TJ13 impeccable coverage of the Leafield tragedy) I shall not renew my Autosport subscription.


    “So to the point: what is going on at Caterham?

    “You have to imagine this team is like a clinically dead patient,” says Kolles seriously. “We are the intensive care specialists trying to revitalise it.”

    • “You have to imagine this team is like a clinically dead patient,” says Kolles seriously. “We are the intensive care specialists trying to revitalise it.”

      Come to think about it, more like the coroner/surgeon trying to harvest organs for transplant…

    • “Caterham F1 Team” released a statement today, just noticed it on their website…

      Added: Wed 22 Oct, 2014
      On 29 June 2014, Caterham Enterprises Ltd, Caterham (UK) Ltd and Sheikh Mohamed Nasarudin (Seller) and their shareholders Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Bin Meranun entered into a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Engavest SA (Buyer) with regards to 1Malaysia Racing Team Sdn Bhd/Caterham F1 Team.
      Since the date of the Agreement, the Seller has refused to comply with its legal obligations to transfer their shares to the Buyer. The Buyer has been left in the invidious position of funding the team without having legal title to the team it had bought. This is in total contradiction to the Seller’s press release of 3 October 2014 which stated that Mr Fernandes and his Caterham Group had no longer any connection with the Caterham F1 Team.
      The administrators of Caterham Sports Limited have been appointed on behalf of Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Berhad (Exim), a creditor of Mr Fernandes and the Caterham Group. The Buyer has no connection with Exim. Caterham Sports Ltd was a supplier company to the Caterham F1 Team. Very regrettably, the administrators’ appointment has had devastating effects on the F1 Team’s activities. Since their appointment, the administrators have released various press statements which have been severely detrimental to the management of the Caterham F1 team.
      After three months of operating the Caterham F1 Team in good faith, the Buyer is now forced to explore all its options including the withdrawal of its management team. Lawyers have been instructed by the Buyer to bring all necessary claims against all parties, including Mr Fernandes who, as an owner, will run the F1 operation.

      • Yeah, I saw this on Autosport:
        Caterham F1 bosses could quit over frustrations with Tony Fernandes

        “After three months of operating the team in good faith, the buyer is now forced to explore all its options including the withdrawal of its management team.

        “Lawyers have been instructed by the buyer to bring all necessary claims against all parties, including Mr Fernandes who, as an owner, will run the F1 operation.”

        So basically until the cars were operational and the pay drivers were being milked, Caterham’s very own Dr Kolles didn’t give a rat’s ass about ownership. Now with their cars impounded and unable to fly away to the next GP, suddenly the ownership issue is so infuriating that the management team (notice that there’s no whisper of the Arab-Swiss investors!) would “withdraw” (read: run away). All of a sudden Mr Fernandes is responsible for the mess…

        It seems to me that Dr Kolles’ Caterham scam always included the exit move, which has now been activated. They’ll probably complete the transplant of the 2015 IP to Forza Rossa and then run away and hide behind their lawyers’ backs. Fortunately, though, both Germany and Romania are both in the EU, so the arms of the UK justice machine may reach sufficiently far. We’ll have fun reading for months to come…

        I’m shocked that Autosport willy-nilly plays along like a broken track. What better way to put your reputation on the line…

        • “They’ll probably complete the transplant of the 2015 IP to Forza Rossa and then run away and hide behind their lawyers’ backs.”

          A lot of development has been done on the 2015 car but if it is a still birth… who will know?

          And of course there is that racing license TheJudge has been talking about …

          • I feel the racing license was more than anything a decoy, something to give the press to talk about. The racing license was precioussss until it generated cash flows, but for nothing else. Forza Rossa probably already have their license tucked in one of Dr Kolles’ mattresses, waiting to be used next year…

        • I am not sure what to make of everything yet, but Tony Fernandes replied today on his twitter:

          “If you buy something you should pay for it. Quite simple”

          The company mentioned “Engavest SA” doesn’t exist anymore. It changed names to “CF1 Grand Prix Holdings” as of Sept 8, 2014.
          Sole Board Member of CF1 appears to be one:
          Stefan Gyseler
          of Gysler Holdings in Switzerland

          source: http://www.moneyhouse.ch/en/u/p/cf1_grand_prix_holdings_sa_CH-

          • There’s that Stefan word again….not connected to the Stefan of the previously attempted Stephan GP?

            This shake down is looking increasingly interesting…..

  9. “…most comments he makes to the press appear to be met from the readers with ridicule and scorn.”


    “Never one to demonstrate his cerebral prowess, Villeneuve merely waxes lyrical – on what Woking did wrong.”

    This low-brow, disrespectful and boorish writing where you blatantly insult the intelligence of and mock another human being (who happened to achieve the pinnacle result in the sport we’re all ostensibly fans of) is really off-putting.

    Surely there is a method to write critically about drivers like Villeneuve who the author obviously loathes without resorting to such unsophisticated gutter-talk…

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