#F1 Daily News and Comment: Friday 24th October 2014

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Previously on The Judge 13:

#TJ13 #F1 Courtroom Podcast: Yes!!! Man DID land on the moon….

#F1 Feature: “Dear Sir”… Don’t apologise for doing your job properly


OTD Lite: 2004 – Red Bull emerges from the Cat’s claws

Haas believes small teams not properly put together

Horner believes Mercedes too selfish

Honda execs to take punishment for hybrid errors

Every youngster and his dog can drive F1 now

F1 comeback bid ended Barrichello commentary – report (GMM)


OTD Lite: 2004 – Red Bull emerges from the Cat’s claws

On this day, Jaguar Racing ran it’s last grand prix before being sold by the Ford Motor Company to Red Bull for the symbolic amount of $1. Ford also agreed to invest the sum of £400M over the following three seasons and provided the Cosworth powerplant to the team.

jaguar_shang_2004_470313

Jaguar had started life in 2000 after Jackie Stewart had sold his Grand Prix team to the American company. Ford’s arrogance led them to believing that a marque that historically was linked to Le Mans could transfer across their fans allegiance to make them F1’s Green Ferrari.

Two podiums over the next five seasons proved a poor return for the Detroit paymasters who questioned why Eddie Irvine was Ford’s highest paid employee and they began looking at ways of off-loading this money pit. Mark Webber secured some stunning placings in qualifying but his poor starts and the car’s propensity for destroying it’s rubber led to massive underachievement.

As Juan Pablo Montoya raced to a rare Williams victory at Interlagos, the Jaguar team found its two cars colliding as they closed this sad chapter in their history – their tail between their legs.

The Jackal

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Haas believes small teams not properly put together

Following the struggles of HRT, Marussia and Caterham in recent seasons, Gene Haas is under no illusions  about the mountain his team has to climb in order to be creditable in F1. The Haas F1 Team will make its debut in 2016 after agreeing a technical deal to receive support and power units from Ferrari.

Speaking to CNN he said, “I think in the first five years it’s just surviving, I don’t have any expectations of grandeur that we are going to go out there and win championships. If we could even win one race in five years, I think that would be a tremendous success.”

“I’m not expecting to beat anybody, just maybe beat the guys at the back. I think the biggest problem they had is that in trying to get to the grid so fast they wound up having to take on partnerships that maybe weren’t thoroughly thought out and wound up making a lot of mistakes. Inevitably they didn’t have the resources or the cars weren’t properly put together because they’d rushed things.

It would seem Gene is being somewhat naive in his views on the three backmarkers mentioned. The three teams came into the sport believing the briefing that was given to them by Max Mosley of $40M budgets a season.

There again, having witnessed the relationship between Mosley and Ecclestone over the decades – they are both capable of playing the long game to serve their purposes. With Mosley facing revolt in 2009, Mr E would have lost his closest ally – that controlled the FIA – and questionable TV rights that depended on cars being present on the grid..

In retrospect, whilst Tony Fernandes may have been duped, people like John Booth, Graham Lowden and Mike Gascoyne are seasoned racing individuals who have competed in the highest echelons of F1 and European motorsport. To even suggest that their cars were not put together properly is scandalous – although recent developments with the Caterham team, at least, suggest otherwise.

To this day, TJ13 has speculated on the reasons why Ferrari wants to join forces with the NASCAR team boss. In much the same way that Mattiacci’s recruitment was not to simply fill the role of Team Principal – it seems particularly rib-tickling that the Italian giant would search out an association with the owner of an American Nascar team..

Haas’ reply almost confirms his team’s status with Ferrari: “Surprisingly, Ferrari wanted to go beyond being just an engine supplier and they were going to actually help us with a lot of the basic structures of the car. We would be very proud to be a Ferrari ‘B-team’ because that would certainly teach us how to run in Formula One. We quite frankly will take all the help they can give us, because you can’t get any better than Ferrari.”

No doubt, Mercedes, Red Bull, Williams and, on the odd occasion Mclaren, would probably say otherwise.

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Horner believes Mercedes too selfish

Christian Horner is assuredly the most hypocritical team principal in Formula One. In a recent interview he has offered his team’s point of view as to why Mercedes isn’t playing fair and that if they don’t let others play in their sand pit, then he will take his ball away too.

“It’s too out of kilter when you have five Mercedes cars in the top five, the immaturity of this technology is still quite raw and Mercedes shouldn’t be afraid of competition. They’re doing a super job, but I think it’s healthy for Formula One that Ferrari, Honda and Renault have the ability to close that gap. Otherwise we are going to end up in a very stagnant position.”

Something that didn’t unduly concern the Red Bull squad over the previous four seasons. With apparently questionable designs on their cars, electronics that demanded counter-intuitive driving despite regulation changes to neutralize the advantage and traction-control like systems which as Vettel stated the others would never understand how they worked – it could be suggested that Red Bull were quite content in their stagnant pond.

“It’s a bigger issue than just what is right for the teams, it’s about what’s right for the sport and the fans. It’s easy to take a self-interest position, but when you look at what the right thing is for Formula One, it’s to have competition. The rules are the rules as they are at the moment, but I think we need to be big enough to say let’s open it a little bit, be responsible on costs so that there is no impact for the customer teams, but have that competition.”

It seems scarcely believable that a high level employee of RBR is uttering these words and so therefore we would like to offer a translation – Yes, please ignore the historic articles about which we bleated continuously at the FIA, at journalists and at Pirelli last winter when they provided tyres that were unsuitable for the RB9 design. Of course we wanted harder sidewalls because we designed our car for our requirements and not to take into account what Pirelli gave us. We don’t care about competing fairly with Lotus, Ferrari and Force India who designed cars with light usage of their tyres and we will continue to badger you all until you do as we say.

Of course, RBR would have issued these opinions only on the word of Dieter Mateschitz who only a few months ago was threatening that Red Bull could pull out of F1 if the regulations stayed the same…

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Honda execs to take punishment for hybrid errors

Reports reached TJ13 from Japan late last night that Honda’s president and 12 other senior execs would take an unprecedented, quality-related pay cut. “We have inconvenienced Mclaren and we are deeply sorry” announced Honda spokeswoman Akemi Ando.

For the past few months it seems that Honda have been struggling with reliability, fuel consumption and the Italian sites believed that they were at least six months behind schedule. Woking produced an updated MP4/29 especially for the Abu Dhabi test but it seems as Honda sources suggested a few weeks back that the engine will run for the first time in the 2015 Jerez tests.

(Update)

And now – especially for Mclaren78…. apologies if we caused any spitting of coffee

2015-honda-fit-hybrid-front-three-quarters2

Honda has recalled over 400,000 of its Fit Hybrid for the fifth time in a year. Currently Honda is facing lawsuits due to accidents involving airbags supplied by the Takata Corp which has been attributed to four deaths. This naturally has led to product recalls by many of the car manufacturers throughout the world that use these airbag systems.

Shares in Honda ended 1.4% down after underperforming on the Nikkei average and although the recall will cost about 5.7 billion yen ($53 million), the impact on earnings is minimal. The overall cost of the five recalls involving the Fit hybrid now stands at 16.5 billion yen.

We have inconvenienced many customers, and we’re deeply sorry,” Honda spokeswoman Akemi Ando told reporters after announcing the latest recall. Honda have also appointed Senior Managing Officer Koichi Fukuo to oversee quality improvements across the Honda organisation. Honda was founded in 1946 and such is their reliability that this is the first time they have had to create this role.

Because the recall highlighted quality concerns, the company said that over the next three months, Chief Executive Takanobu Ito will take a 20 percent pay cut while other senior executives including Chairman Fumihiko Ike and Executive Vice President Tetsuo Iwamura will give up 10 percent of their pay.

As yet, there is no truth to any rumours that Akai, Honda’s motor-sport boss has had to cut back on the sushi and rice but the hybrid unit he is responsible for hasn’t been run in anger yet..

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Every youngster and his dog can drive F1 now

Chinese Adderly Fong and Israeli Roy Nissany have both completed 99 laps at the Valencia Circuit Ricardo Tormo this week in a 2012 Sauber C31.

Fong said after his Wednesday test: “I am very happy that I had the opportunity to test the Sauber C31. I have achieved my objective to complete 300 km without making any mistakes and at a good speed. The car was fantastic to drive, it is a brilliant piece of machinery.”

After a similar drive yesterday, Nissany himself said: “It was an amazing day. It was my first time driving a Formula 1 car, and it felt great. I was quite excited at the beginning, and I think I feel more experienced now.”

No lap times were issued by the Sauber team but neither was there any accidents or notable spins. Whilst Max Verstappen may or may not have the driving ability of a God he still finished the season third in the championship behind Esteban Ocon and Tom Blomqvist.

Ocon was also present in Spain this week completing over 650 kilometres in a two-year old Lotus E20 as reward for winning the Formula 3 title. Alan Permane – Trackside Operations Director of the Lotus F1 Team – was impressed by Ocon’s test, and believes it will not be too long until the Frenchman is back in an F1 car.

“Esteban drove exceptionally well over the course of the last two days, completing every task we asked of him. It’s clear he has a lot of talent as he was quickly up to speed and looked comfortable in the car. His feedback and aptitude were very promising. I’m sure we will see him in an F1 car again before too long.”

Ocon himself admitted he felt comfortable behind the wheel of the E20 almost immediately, and hopes the test in Valencia leads to more time behind the wheel of an F1 car in the not too distant future.

“The test driving the Lotus F1 Team E20 went really well, I had to adapt to the car quite rapidly which I did very well. I felt comfortable with the team straight away and the same with the E20. The word I’d use to describe the feeling of driving an F1 car is that it is just quicker. The car was easy to drive, stable and very enjoyable; it is a great car. I’m really happy with this two-day test and I hope to the get the opportunity to jump into the F1 car again soon.”

Have Formula One cars become too easy to drive? Many who have followed Formula One for years before technology took over would say yes, whilst others who embrace the technological revolution will accept that what constitutes F1 – has changed.

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(sourced from GMM with TJ13 comment)

F1 comeback bid ended Barrichello commentary – report

Rubens Barrichello’s desire to return to the F1 grid appears to have ended his days as a roving commentator.
We reported on Thursday that the most experienced driver in the history of the sport had “concluded” his commentary contract with Brazil’s TV Globo. Brazil’s UOL Esporte is now claiming Barrichello, 42, fell out with the broadcaster due to “relationship and contract” problems, and also because he allegedly used his role to “offer his services to F1 teams“.

The report said the former Williams and Ferrari driver had trouble following some instructions, like calling Red Bull ‘RBR’ instead of the name of the energy drink, for commercial reasons. But the real trouble may have begun in Singapore last month, when Barrichello reportedly told Mercedes’ Toto Wolff he was “ready and fit” to become the dominant team’s reserve driver.

Barrichello reportedly also lobbied last year to make his return to F1 with Sauber. “According to insiders,” UOL claimed, “Barrichello never accepted that he is a former formula one driver. Coincidence or not, that (Singapore) was his last outing as a broadcaster.

The final straw may have been when Barrichello appeared as an online presenter, breaching the conditions of his exclusive contract with Globo. “UOL Esporte contacted Rubens Barrichello but received no response,” said the report. Barrichello’s co-pundit and friend Luciano Burti also declined to comment. Globo denied that its relationship with Barrichello had broken down, insisting the contract was concluded “amicably“.

TJ13 comment: There is nothing quite as sad as seeing former athletes clutching at straws to maintain a fantasy in their minds that they are still relevant. Many is the time that drivers out-stay their welcome and become caricatured has-beens when even at their peak they were not of particular note.

Michael Schumacher’s return in 2010 was driven by his own desires but also Mercedes understood the value of his name. But having passed his 40th birthday at the time – it was never to build a new legacy after his first career it was to enjoy a few years at the pinnacle of the sport.

It allowed the public to see a more circumspect Michael, a little more humble and his comparative performances to Rosberg showed just what an amazing driver he still was. Barrichello was never on the same continent, never mind league in comparison during their Ferrari years; although on occasion he competed with the German.

Barrichello has always played the “Ayrton was my friend” card throughout his career but there were two things that would have displeased the legendary Brazilian to the core. Brundle made the observation once that Senna would have continued until he recognised in himself that he didn’t have that last tenth that made him the driver he was. He would have retired immediately and moved on to other things.

The other? His complete and utter capitulation to the demands of the Schumacher-centric team dynamic within Ferrari between 2000 and 2005.

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83 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Friday 24th October 2014

  1. Completely unrelated to today’s news, but I just want to voice my concern for McLaren.
    There seems to be a power struggle at the moment with Dennis in one corner and Mansour-Honda-Alonso on the other. For the second time in his career, Alonso is causing trouble withotu even putting pen to paper this time!
    And if Dennis is ousted, I really believe that this will be a big mistake. Maybe it’s best for McLaren if Alonso takes a sabbatical or retire and join Webber at WEC.

    • If Dennis gets ousted, it would then become Alonso’s team and like always, he gets preferential treatment, whilst his teammate carries his jock strap for him.

      • Sorry Fortis, you’re looking at this as a Hammy fan.

        At no stage has he asked for any status within the team. He will fight his corner and then once the tables suggest no 1 and 2 positions he expects the team to back him. That is no different to any other team.

        Lets not get carried away, Lewis asked the same of Kovalainen in 2008 and 2009, once he was in a position to be fighting for the title he demanded it. As Hockenheim 08, Heikki was told Lewis is faster than you…

        Hang on, Hockenheim… 2 years before Ferrari said it to Massa? But, but… where was the British press attacking the Woking team…

        Lewis left Mclaren becuase Whitmarsh and Button were a mutual appreciation society yet Lewis was the superstar. But in a similar manner, when Alonso joined, he was a double world champion, Lewis was a rookie and he had been ‘honeymooned’ by Ron Dennis as DC once said.
        Alonso wanted the team backing because it may have been promised or he recognised the threat of a rejuvenated Kimi. Either way, will make a fascinating book one day.

        As to Ron, he is a piece of work. He was a nasty bar steward to Lauda at the end of 1984 and even worse when the Austrian announced his retirement in 1985. He favoured Prost over Lauda, Rosberg and Johansson. Tried playing hardball with Senna with contracts and when Mika was his favoured son, DC picked up nothing. It continued with Kimi and JPM and Lewis & ALonso.
        He doesn’t want Alonso there now, he is a vindictive character and I can only imagine how a friend of 30 odd years feels to be shafted whilst in hospital with a serious operation..

        • I don’t disagree with your sentiments on Dennis, he’s not a nice person, but then again who is in F1’s circus. F1 is a dog-eat-god world and a team like McLaren does need a bulldog in their ranks.

          As for Alonso, don’t delude yourself. He does ask for no 1 status whether this is directly, indirectly or setting it up as an expectation. He just never expected Lewis to be as competitive as he was and when he requested to cut off teh budding youngster’s ambitions from the ‘off’ he met with Dennis’ denial. SImple as that. You put 2 egomanians in a team (Dennis and Alonso) and soon they’ll clash.

          • Yeah Alonso definitely would ask for no.1 status in a team. Most times he wouldn’t need to, he would just let the table do the talking. But he’s not afraid to ask for it even if the standings eouldn’t suggest it. Case in point is Lewis’ first win in Canada ’07, dubbed “lucky” by Alonso after the race, though most would see it as an assured win, having to deal with his lead being cut 4x by SC’s. After Montreal, the standings read HAM 48, ALO 40, MAS 33, RAI 27. Alonso then proceeded to ask the McLaren pitwall to order Hamilton to cede the lead to him in the US GP a week later! Thankfully, Dennis refused.

        • @Carlo

          No Carlo, i was not looking at it from a ‘Hammy fan’ point of view, i wasn’t even thinking about 2007 or even Hamilton. I merely made the comment based on history and what happened at Ferrari whilst Massa was there.

          Not every comment i make has some underlying tone that relates to Lewis.

          • @the Hippo…..

            Not sure what you’re talking about, but i only try and make comments about Hamilton, if there’s an article or comment that’s made about him, that i feel like commenting on. Now i have not made or implied anything of the sort today, but somehow, i’m accused of such.

        • It would be great if someone from TJ13 objectively analysed and broke down the 2007 season and give us a feature. We have read so many articles on that season from British press accusing Alonso and Spanish press accusing Mclaren/Ron/Hamilton.

        • Having met Ron a couple of times, I found him to be quite pleasant. Make no mistake he is a tough cookie, and demands the best, to the point of obsession. Of course F1 is not for wimps, just like tj13.com

    • Wonder if Alonso can raise enough capital to get his name on the car, Alonso-Honda, now there is something we thought we wouldn’t see in the modern age, a driver, drivering a car he owns.

          • I am talking about logos and designs on the cars, you know, like the ugly one Honda had a few years ago or like those you see every race weekend on the cars…….

          • Little Samurai swords will pop out to burst the tyres of his team mate and competitors while a little middle finger pops out every time he passes the Ferrari Garage.

          • I never understood why anyone would call Fred a ” samurai ” ?

            He’s the antithesis ….

            More like a NINJA

            *

            One of the major differences between the samurai and the ninja is who they exactly are. Samurais were warriors that belonged to the noble classes of ancient Japanese society.

            On the other hand, ninjas were often mercenaries, and as such they would often belong to the lower classes of ancient Japanese society.

            For instance, samurais find it more honorable to fight face to face.

            Ninjas specialize in ambush, espionage, sabotage, infiltration and assassination.

            *

            So Fred ?

            Honorable – or – a lying deceitful selfish mercenary ?

            Hmmm

          • Here in belgium samurai is a sauce that people like to eat on their deep fried snacks…

  2. I realised a while ago i don’t actually dislike SV, he can be a bit of a spoilt brat, but he himself probably realises he lucked a bit into those four titles by having the best car and down trodden team mate, and is showing some humility now hes had his bottom kicked across the F1 calendar.

    But its Red Bull i dislike, they cheat, they moan, and complain till the get there own way, like a petulant teenager, and Horner comes across less trust worthy than politician. Maybe that’s why he is seen as a natural successor to Bernie.

    • I remember once poster once shared a video that epitomizes Red Bull, with two idiotic teenagers going insane about each other’s tattoos. Can’t find the video, though…

  3. “Christian Horner is assuredly the most hypocritical team principal in Formula One.”…….

    That line covers all that needs to be said about Horner and his continuous complaining about fairness. He did it with V8’s and he’s doing it now. But correct me if i’m wrong please, but from memory, the only time that the first 5-6 positions were occupied by Merc powered cars, was at Monza and Sochi

    What was it that Seb said last year…..”Whilst our people are working hard at the factory, the others were dipping their balls in the pool”……. oh what a difference a year makes.

    • IIRC the judge implied this in an article that suggested that the FIA should run audits on the contractors being used which Christian, Ade and co raised arms in annoyance.

      What Vettel meant was that whilst all the others were in pools on holiday, RBR were still hard at work…

      • Hence why he’s the biggest hypocrite of them all.

        And whilst all the others (RB-Ferrari) were in pools on holiday, Mercedes were still hard at work for 3 years….

        • I beg to differ. RB obviously did their job. Their chassis is good enough to beat all other Merc powered teams, even with a moulinex engine in the back. It’s Renault, who got hogwashly bladdered on Burgundy instead of doing what they are supposed to. Until summer this year RB was a normal Renault customer team. Only after Lotus defected to Merc they were promoted to “works team”, so however you spin it – RB did their homework, Renault didn’t

          • Which one of their chasis, they’ve got 4?….. 😉 😉

          • haha….. And who says hippo’s don’t have a sense of humor?….haha

          • Redbull did such a superior job with there chasis, it unusual to see the challenged and beaten by the budget sister team. Think its time for redbull to stop pedalling the myth that they have the best chasis. I don’t doubt the renualt is a bit weak, but no more so than the ferarri. Which in Alonso hands often seems a match for the Redbull

          • Sorry, but when has TR consistently challenged the mother ship? RB runs a high-downforce config, RB an extremely low-downforce one, so TR is closer to the top on tracks that demand low downforce, while on high downforce tracks they are absolutely nowhere.

          • Is hippo baiting a sport 😉 my point is TR should be no where near RB if chassis is as superior as Horner claims, and the Ferrari engine seems more of donkey than a prancing horse and like I said in Alonsos hand often seems a match for the fabled RB chasis, but then again I think in Alonsos hands my humble vectra probably would be too.

          • @Hippo

            “even with a moulinex engine in the back”

            LOL Ours seized. No difference there!

    • And just a reminder of what Renault Sport F1 deputy MD Bob White said last year…

      “A multi-year specification freeze is not really where we think the balance should be.”

      “But equally, it shouldn’t be a development free-for-all that would make the necessary investment unaffordable. We’re heading towards year-on-year tightening restrictions and we think that’s a prudent and responsible approach.”

      Mercedes should stick to their guns… ‘for the good of the sport’, forsooth.

      • So, one manufacturer being guaranteed to win until the end of time is good for the sport? With the engine freeze there’s almost no chance for Renault, Ferrari and possibly Honda to catch up. Yes, they brought that problem on themselves by not spending half a billion like Merc did and employing only 250 people instead of 500, but if the status quo is cemented for years ahead, it will become a problem for the sport.
        I guarantee you, if Lewis ever changes to a non-Merc team, all those who are now telling the engines should remain frozen, will call for an unfreeze. Mark my words.

        • Funny that, I don’t ever remember you saying that aero should have been culled during RBR’s and Newey’s dominant years. That would have been for the good of the sport, wouldn’t it.

          Let’s make it clear. RBR outspent everyone else, had a genius in their design team, and they dominated. Merc have outspent everyone for the past 3 years trying to build a dominant team and now they are reaping the rewards.

          Despite being a Hamilton fan (and McLaren of course), I agree that it is not good for the sport for one to dominate. But if Ferrari and RBR were never penalised for their dominant years, I can’t see how it’s right for Merc to be penalised now.

          You see the irony in all this conundrum? It starts becoming an almost ethical question.

          • There was no need to cull aero. Everybody had the chance to catch up, because aero development wasn’t frozen. In those years the others weren’t ABLE to catch up, now they aren’t ALLOWED.

            And for your info. RB were only #2/#3 in spending. Ferrari spent the most with RB and McLaren fairly equal about 20M less than Fezza.

          • Yeah, well, on the spending part we agree to disagree. I think that RBR’s accounts were as ‘innovative’ and ‘flexible’ as their aero.

          • No less creative than those, who added the costs of running Toro Rosso and building parts for Caterham to the spending of the main team. And success doesn’t just come from throwing currency at something. Ask Toyota. It becomes relevant though if the spending is 2:1 as in the case of Merc vs Renault.

        • With the engine freeze there’s almost no chance for Renault, Ferrari and possibly Honda to catch up.

          Is that really the case ?
          8% of the powerplant is ‘frozen’ for 2015, and of the rest, manufacturers can change around half (components of their choice).

          What is certain is that costs will spiral if Ferrari and Renault get their way – and there’s no guarantee that Merc won’t continue to dominate anyway.

          • You echo my thoughts very well, which is let’s see how this all works out, before making changes. The sport has survived extended periods of dominance before by various teams and there is a good midfield battle and some excellent racing produced so far. And it’s important not to overlook the Leprecorn effect at Merc.

            Frankly I think it surprising in the highly competitive world of F1 the top teams would be willing to voice such a surrender monkey mentality, but there you go, learn something new every day.

          • Yes. Catching up is not done, because the one having the advatage is doing less development. Teams catch up because they develop MORE than the one having the advatage. Now however the amounbt of development you can do is capped, so at best the other manufacturers can develop AS MUCH as Merc, so unless Merc says ‘we don’t want to improve’ or hits theoretical perfection, it’s practically impossible to catch them.

          • @ Hippo: I disagree, development is not capped – changes are capped. Renault & Ferrari can spend all year developing their engine if they like (in fact, isn’t that part of Ferrari’s argument that cost won’t increase significantly if there is an “unfreeze”?). They can the pick the components/tokens to change which give them the greatest advances.

            It must be that Merc are closer to the practical maximum that these PU’s will deliver and, therefore, have less room for improvement: this would lead to all PU’s closing up over time as potential for improvement declines – not just because the number of tokens reduces, but because all manufacturers necessarily get closer to maximum output.

            I don’t know how true this is, but I’d say it’s just as likely as your argument that they’ll never catch up.

        • if Lewis ever changes to a non-Merc team, all those who are now telling the engines should remain frozen, will call for an unfreeze. Mark my words.

          You’re obsessing again.
          As far as I’m concerned, this has nothing to do with Hamilton.
          If Ferrari and Renault really can’t get anywhere near Mercedes next season, I’ll revisit my opinion, but for now I’m deeply unconvinced by their arguments.

        • @fat hippo……

          “Neither do our articles, yet you claim so every time”….

          Remember that comment hippo? Now who’s making comments about Lewis, even when the articles has nothing to do with him?

          • Well, it’s obvious that most of those who say that the engine freeze is a good thing, are members of the Hamilton crowd. They don’t want their boy to lose his dominant car. Funny how just a year ago they ridiculed another driver for having an almost insurmountable technological advantage.
            I’ve said it before and I say it again. In the past the other teams/manufacturers had the chance to catch up. The V8 engine freeze wasn’t finalized until there was relative parity. What we have now is, that Merc has an almost guaranteed title win every year and it’ll be only a matter of time until Renault, Fezza and Honda will bugger off, because they grew sick of being beaten day in and day out with no realistic chance to close the gap.
            So, yes, the Hamilton fans will rejoice while he says there and Alonso will probably be desperate enough to pay for a drive in a Merc in 2016, so that’s two fanbases being mollified, but in the long run the sport will suffer much more than in the Schumacher years or the RB domination. What people forget – despite RB’s dominant position, we still had 4 to 7 drivers winning races over the season from three up to 6 different teams (2012). Unless RB somehow remember that they are supposed to run two cars, we’ll end this season with 3 drivers from only two teams winning. The rest is relegated to the status of also-rans. This year has been 1988 revisited.

          • And those who are crying for it to be lifted are Seb and Alonso fans, so……booo hooo

          • You are making my point. If your boy ever finds himself out of the Merc, you’ll be the loudest shouting for an unfreeze.

          • Well he’s still in a Merc, so until then, its still……booo hoooo

          • @FH, I think it’s fair for Merc to block the unfreeze for 2015, as we just don’t know what step Renault or Ferrari will make, nor where Honda will start. The last time Horner complained like this was Monza 2009, right before RBR went on their run. When refuelling was banned, the Renault V8 gained an advantage b/c of its fuel efficiency. That was never “equalized” for.

            Seeing as Merc forwent the second half of 2013, and basically ceded the last 9 wins to the RBR/Vettel combo, it’s a bit rich to now complain when Merc only just recouped its “losses” in that regard, in the 2nd half of this season.

          • That’s the strangest reasoning I’ve read in a while. So, just because Merc couldn’t be bothered to compete last year they’re now right to cling to an anti-competitive rule? Just to make it clear. RB’s run of nine wins last year was mainly down to Ferrari, Merc & Co hoisting the white flag, not some witchcraft on behalf of RB. And I still think the engine freeze is wrong. It’s one thing if the other teams can’t catch up because they’re lazy or inept. A rule that caps/hinders development and therefore serves to cement the status quo is wrong.

          • Nay Nay dear Hippo, ’twas also down to the paranoic rate of development that RB opted for over the second half of the season, which not only ensured their utter dominance, but their fairly entertaining run at Jerez as well. Though, to be fair, Renault did give them a mighty assist. 😉

          • @FH, there is no “freeze” per se. As others have said, development has continued since last year’s homologation. So let’s see how big a step Renault and Ferrari (and Mercedes) make when the window opens again after the season. I would assume that Renault and Ferrari will make a bigger step than Mercedes, b/c of diminishing returns.

            Then the “unfreeze” will pass for 2016, so no worries.

            If RBR want it b/c Renault is late in their development, then whose fault is that?!? They’ve only had all year to know where they have to be!!!

        • The fact is Mercedes did the better job out of the 3 manufacturers coupled with it’s works team designing a chassis that exploits the power train effectively. Red Bull meanwhile designed a chassis as usual but appear to have not taken enough interest on where Renault was with it’s power train development or how it fitted in with it’s chassis design (drilling holes in testing with dentists drills to cool the power train down etc). It says something when Red Bull sent it’s own engineers to France to sort out the software issues. As far as Vettel goes ? I think he knew this season was going to be rubbish (though probably not how rubbish it actually turned out to be) and planned his exit from Red Bull accordingly.

          If it had been the other way around Horner would be saying “No need to unfreeze things, it’ll cost too much”. Mercedes would be demanding an unfreeze etc

          There are parts of the power train that they can unfreeze without driving costs up too much i.e. open up the ERS to more development to increase the amount of energy recovered thus increasing speed. I think that’s one of the planned developments the FIA is going to allow at some point, it’s been a while since I read the technical regulations and FIA press releases on the matter.

          Another Audi to F1 story – http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/audi/89171/audi-to-join-f1-in-2016#.VEp0L4_v-Wl.twitter
          If it’s true they’ve probably had a lot of time to design their power train without F1 restrictions getting in the way. So if Audi has produced a beast of a Power Train, expect Totto to start crying Wolf…. My work here is done.

          • cheers for the Audi info 🙂

            Guess we’ll have to see if STR get sold – and to whom ?

          • First off take the story with a pinch of salt, unless the judge and co know something we don’t.
            That’s the thing though with this story, could Red Bull sell the main team to Audi (leaving Renault in the lurch), STR to somebody else and then buy the commercial rights to F1 ? I know that’s a far fetched theory, but for Red Bull owning F1’s commercial rights makes more sense, they can bask in the glory of the sport with minimal effort, other than the administrative tasks and broadcasting side of things. Though for some I would guess that would be far worse than Bernie being in charge…

            I’m thinking outside the box. The box might be slightly damp.

    • Yes hippo, and he’s had his arsch handed to him as to quote directly from his latest blurb,” I see no point in further comment on the matter ” so much for insider information…

      Then he declares that – ” If Ecclestone was to do this, the most likely person to get that job in this scenario would be… Colin Kolles.”

      If the sycophantic crap Autosport published earlier this week wasn’t sickening enough, now we have Starbuck’s Joe kissing Kolles and Bernie’s Arsches…

      • Kolles is hated with a passion by many.

        A common sentiment yesterday according to AHJ was that emotes said this is what was required to get their arses into action ‘to leave’. Also they Should have done it earlier…

      • ” I see no point in further comment on the matter ”

        Funny that he is going to stop talking about Caterham now.
        I guess there is no longer any point in writing fluff pieces for Kolles now that his free ad space is gone.

        • Caterham wil not be in Austin or Brazil

          Ecclestone has now granted Caterham a 2 race leave of absence, however, states they must arrive in Abu Dhabi

          • Who is Ecclestone to grant anything like that? If Marussia fields 1 car, then Todt could snatch back the commercial rights. But the question is: *would* Todt do that?

  4. Bloody Nora! No good news about Honda’s hybrid engines.
    Thanks Judge, coffee well and truly spat out… 🙂

  5. I was considering this exceeding trifling witling, considering ranting criticizing concerning adopting fitting wording being exhibiting transcending learning, was displaying, notwithstanding ridiculing, surpassing boasting swelling reasoning, respecting correcting erring writing, and touching detecting deceiving arguing during debating this news

    That might not make much sense but please thumbs up so that Craig has to read it on the Podcast as comment of the week.

  6. I am surprised by the Barrichello report. Is this serious? Why would anyone want to hire him, when they could hire Jacques Villeneuve instead?

  7. You’re strangely quiet Judge, with all the sh*t that’s going down re Marussia and Caterham, 18 cars in Austin and Brazil, etc.

      • The Judge has been on top of the Caterham debacle, then Marussia is a no show, accusations are flying between ‘management’ parties, the grid is down to 18 cars, etc. and TJ has been posting prolifically lately so…….just ‘wondering’. Don’t take the comment as criticism; I’ve worked four straight weeks at the winery without a day off, so know the feeling.

  8. I expect tending to a blog is time consuming and does not pay. I just hope the judge is okay.

    • Worry not, been a hectic time cracking the gavel. Lots of F1 judgements needed to be made. Retired to the Judge’s country estate… before frenetic times – the Texas rodeo looms large.

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