#F1 Daily News and Comment: Tuesday 4th November 2014


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Previously on The Judge 13:

#TJ13 #F1 Courtroom Podcast: “Do you have a problem with that?”

OTD Lite: 1990 – One of the most legendary interviews ever

Alonso’s McLaren deal appears done – reports(GMM)

Mercedes close to agreeing engine ‘unfreeze’(GMM)

OTD Lite: 1990 – One of the most legendary interviews ever

At the final race meeting of the 1990 season in Australia, Jackie Stewart leads Ayrton Senna into one of the most famous and quoted lines in motor-sport history.

“If you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver”

Of course this head to head followed just two weeks after the collision between Senna’s Mclaren and Prost’s Ferrari – arguably the most heinous piece of driving ever committed on track.

As determined in front of the camera as he was in every aspect of his career Senna argued his point forcibly with another motor-sport legend – Stewart. At times disrespectfully calling him ‘Stewart’ and others when he had regained his composure ‘Jackie’.

Victory is reserved for those who are willing to pay it’s price. – Sun Tzu

The Samurai Jackal


Alonso’s McLaren deal appears done – reports(GMM)

After a frantic period of mystery and speculation, the course of Fernando Alonso’s future is now beginning to clear. Multiple authoritative sources are reporting that the Spaniard is definitely headed to McLaren-Honda, on an initial two-year deal to be Danish youngster Kevin Magnussen’s teammate.

“Could be,” team boss Eric Boullier told Spain’s Antena 3 when asked about Alonso’s future in connection with McLaren, where he drove with Mercedes power in 2007. “He is one of the drivers we have spoken to,” the Frenchman admitted. “He is one of the options. I hope that we have decided before Abu Dhabi, I want it to be done by then, but until now we have not decided.”

If the Alonso reports are true, the news is expected to end Jenson Button’s F1 career, amid suggestions he could be headed to Le Mans with Porsche.

Boullier continued: “One of the reasons it is taking us so long is that we have to make the right decision with someone who fits the team’s strategy for the coming years. I apologise to the fans, but it is something very important. Undoubtedly the most important decision in a long time.”

F1 legend Emerson Fittipaldi, a former champion for McLaren, thinks Alonso and the British team are the right fit for 2015. “Honda will want to return with guarantees,” he told Spain’s Marca, “and Fernando is one of the best drivers to develop a new project. I think it can be very successful.”

The Swiss newspaper Blick believes Alonso and McLaren actually agreed terms a few weeks ago in Russia, but for now the news remains unofficial.

It looks like he is going there (to McLaren),” said another F1 legend, Mario Andretti, “but it’s not clear. I spoke (in Austin) with Ron Dennis about it but he quickly changed the subject,” Andretti smiled to Spain’s AS sports daily.

Also waiting is Ferrari, but the Italian team undoubtedly has its announcement of Sebastian Vettel’s impending arrival all ready to publish. Boullier, meanwhile, dismissed speculation Honda will make its return to F1 next year only after a troubled period of development. “It is curious that all the rumours about the engine being wrong or not being on time are coming from Italy,” he said. “Don’t worry. We will be ready.”


Mercedes close to agreeing engine ‘unfreeze’(GMM)

Talks over a touted engine ‘unfreeze’ for the 2015 season appear to have taken a dramatic turn. On Monday, media reports in Italy suggested Ferrari, Red Bull and Renault may have pulled off a political masterstroke over the US GP weekend by convincing F1’s dominant force Mercedes to agree to the relaxing of the engine homologation rules. That is despite Mercedes chiefs Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda respectively describing the proposals as “nonsense” and “irrational”, as it drives up costs and unfairly attacks the German squad for performing best under the new rules.

But now Italy’s La Repubblica is also reporting that Mercedes “has agreed to a compromise” over the engine freeze, which currently dictates that manufacturers may modify 48 per cent of the engine but have it re-frozen before the start of the 2015 season.

Finally,” read the report, “thanks to pressure from (Bernie) Ecclestone and the FIA, the Germans gave in.”

La Repubblica cautioned that the compromise, while agreed by the Brackley team, will now have to be approved by Mercedes’ paymasters in Stuttgart.

Ferrari boss Marco Mattiacci said: “At the meeting on Saturday, Mercedes said it was willing to compromise. But I do not feel like saying the matter is closed now, because Mercedes had already declared its willingness before and then changed its mind.”

However, Mattiacci thanked Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda for at least “putting everyone around a table to discuss” the issue.

Other reports suggest the ‘unfreeze’ will now mean that manufacturers’ 2015 designs will not be locked in until July next year. Christian Horner, the boss of Renault’s works team Red Bull, confirmed: “Mercedes have accepted that they need to provide a window of opportunity to the others to introduce competition. They participated in a discussion, so they haven’t actually agreed to anything as yet, but there was a very constructive discussion which hopefully will see a solution in place in the very near future,” he added.


68 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Tuesday 4th November 2014

  1. Is this the news that would stop the world from turning? Alonso joins mclaren? I’m sorry Fernando but that’s not half as exciting as you made us believe it was…

  2. I thought Fred looked a bit …errr…old when Smiley passed him on Sunday. Old or complacent or something. It was a pretty bold move and Dan was lucky not to run up Bottas’ rear, but I just instantly thought Fred was busted not paying attention and seemed annoyed with Dan’s audacity (or maybe at his dancing donkey).
    McLaren better keep Kevin or it’ll be Dad’s Army there at Woking.

    • Alonso old? RBR is in another world slow corner/traction wise compared to Ferrari. If you would reverse the roles in that particular moment Alonso would have run in to the back of Bottas because of lack of grip. Remember Vettel in Spain? He actually did multiple similar moves like it.

      • “Old” figuratively speaking. Nothing to do with corner speed or traction. Caught having a nap under braking. Didn’t cover (or even half cover) the inside line. Just an instant impression.

  3. McLaren’s treatment of Jenson Button is disgraceful. Having given him a totally uncompetitive car for the past few seasons they’re now dumping him in favour of a driver that’s a mere one year younger. If I was him I’d feel pretty damn annoyed.

    That apart for the sport to lose Button is not good news. He is one of if not the most professional of drivers and a great ambassador for the the sport.

    • I think McLaren has treated Jenson well. Button won more races driving for McLaren than with all other teams he’s been at previously. He was treated at least equally with Hamilton, which means something. The McLaren cars of 2013 and 2014 were comically bad, but that was not something done against Button personally.

      At the end of day, Alonso has two titles, and three others have slipped from his hands on the last race of championship. Button won only one championship, and never got close again, though he had a very good season with McLaren in 2011.

      • Not to mention paying him quite a lot of money.

        While I will be sad to see him go, as seems likely, I think ‘disgraceful’ is a bit over the top.

        • Well that’s not necessarily true. In 2011 he had the chance to do so and in 2012 he had probably, actually I’ll say the best car on the grid that year.

          • Are you serious?!? 2011 was done and dusted after the first six races! It was a total Vettel walkover that year. Button did well, but really there was no title pressure at all.

            As for 2012, again are you serious? The McLaren was a fast car, fastest at times during the season. But its reliability, or shall I say the lack of it, usually went hand-in-hand in those times when it was fast. It’s no use having a fast car if it doesn’t finish. Button and Hamilton gave up 4 and 6 race finishes each in that car. You can’t do that in the current scoring system (i.e. all results count) and hope to challenge.

          • Indeed, in 2012 the McLaren car was very good, and could compete with RBR. As shown by Hamilton’s results. The problem was not the speed, but reliability, pit crew mistakes, and bad strategy calls. Otherwise, Hamilton could have been in the title chase until the season end. Button looked pretty anonymous compared to his teammate.

        • @Dick Winchester, well that’s not necessarily true…Shoot me down by all means, the same could be said of Ferrari and Fred’s mount.
          I know who I’d rather support…..

    • A great ambassador and professional he may be, but the teams are ultimately looking for a driver with that ability to perform CONSISTENTLY whatever the conditions and whatever the car that is given to them. Unfortunately, Jenson doesn’t fare well when it comes to getting the max out of a car that doesn’t perform to his liking.

      He had the car to perform in 2012, but got totally fazed mid season. He’s very good in conditions such as the wet, but that speed and consistency is just not there in him.

      • Yeah, that period after China 2012 to Germany 2012 was quite horrendous. He got lapped by Lewis in Canada, where he had no incident to justify such a poor showing.

        I would still put Button alongside Alonso though, and keep Magnussen as a reserve driver, for one more year. Of course, McLaren have Vandoorne that they will likely have to make room for in the next 2-3 years.

        As Button has said, we shouldn’t feel sorry for him, as he’s had a good run. He’s had 5 seasons at McLaren, and after the final race this season will have raced in as many GP’s for McLaren as Ayrton Senna (96). Only four others have had more races with Macca (Coulthard, Hakkinen, Hamilton and Prost).

        He’s certainly better than almost two-thirds of the grid, but there are only 8 seats that are able to pay the salary he would be looking for, and only 1 seat of those (his) is left.

        • The seat I would think he has a legitimate shout at would be the second Ferrari, instead of Raikkonen, but as Ferrari signed him on a multiple year deal, they are stuck with him, unless they repeat their previous ‘pay-off’….

        • McLaren/Honda should really have a junior team as well to run Magnussen/Vandoorne, and keep Alonso/Button in the main team. But if they can’t afford that… then we have the compromise Alonso/Button.

          Vandoorne will have to try and find a seat at somewhere like Force India or Marussia, in exchange for McLaren development payments (does anyone still buy that after the last two McLarens?), or stay McLaren reserve for another year.. how can he break into F1 if Magnussen has the ‘youngster’ seat? Unless Alonso retires soon..

        • But his teammate is a rookie, so it’s only natural that he should out perform him, irrespective of how good or bad the car is.

          Do you have any idea how damaging it would’ve been for him had he been soundly beaten by Kevin?

          • And he has been beaten by Kevin in qualifying.. so once Kevin has a rookie year under his belt, he should do better next year (knowing all the tracks) and cut out mistakes to bring home a similar points haul to Button this year.

        • That’s ridiculous to say the least. Button is a seasoned veteran versus Magnussen who is a rookie. We are supposed to be awed because Button performed better than a rookie ? The rookie is actually faster over one-lap and his race craft will only improve from now on.

          Who’s fault is it in the first place that since Hamilton left, the McLaren has been turned to mid-table rubbish ? That very same Button, who Whitmarsh was all too happy to sleep with. Now that he has had his years at a top-team, we all confirmed what was already out there : Button has no talent for driving car development. My thought and McLaren’s top management are probably the same at this point : good riddance.

    • “Having given him a totally uncompetitive car for the past few seasons they’re now dumping him”

      Just like Fred at Ferrari for the past 5 years, Jense must bear his part of responsibility for the dog cars that McLaren has sported these past two years. Coincidence or not, immediately after Lewis left McLaren slumped, with Jense leading development. Add in that Jense has more than a patchy record in steering car development, with the obvious highlight of the Honda years, and it quickly becomes clear that from McLaren’s perspective it’s “good riddance”.

      Now the trouble for the old lads and lasses at McLaren Honda is that they’re swapping one technically inept driver for another technically challenged one. Expect next year’s McLaren Honda to qualify 5th in the hands of Fred and finish 3rd from time to time. While K Man shall have the predilection to taste the glory of Fred-centered bricks that any normal driver can only bring home to 8th position…

    • It would have been nice to see how Jenson fared against yet another World Champion. He may have his faults – don’t we all – but he’s better than K-Mag and, in a year where Macca are unlikely to be chasing any championships, would have given better feedback (esp considering his previous with Honda) and scored more points, i.e. higher position in the Constructors’ Championship, and more money to spend in 2016. Then dumped him for a genuine young buck for 2016.

    • Come on you can’t really believe jenson is as good as Fernando. Or let me say it this way, if he hadn’t been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time (Brawn gp) he’d be long gone by now…

      • Exactly.
        Why his previous association with Honda power keeps getting pushed beats me too; they were hardly stellar together.

  4. “after the collision between Senna’s Mclaren and Prost’s Ferrari – arguably the most heinous piece of driving ever committed on track.”


    In my books vying for the most heinous trophy is still the 1989 Japanese Grand Prix when Prost purposely drove into Senna to stop him passing at the Suzuka chicane. For me the 1990 Suzuka T1 incident doesn’t go beyond racing incident, where both drivers refused to yield…

    • Hmm, I think 1994 was pretty bad. Schumi knew his car was finished, and then squeezed Hill. It all happened so fast, but Hill didn’t need to try to get around him right then and there. Once they were around the corner, Schumi would’ve needed to pull over, and then Hill would’ve sailed through.

    • Yes, ‘notorious’ would have been fairer, given that there will never be agreement over that one.

      (I never understood why Prost, having got in front and started to move across, moved back again to open that gap for Senna …)

      • He wasn’t opening the gap, he was setting his car up for the first turn. He knew Senna would not be able to pass into that corner from where he was and so concentrated on getting his line right. And he was right – Senna wasn’t able to pass. What Prost didn’t know was that Senna had no intention of passing, he deliberately rammed Prost off the track in a fit of rage (only finally admitting to it a year later). That’s why it’s the most heinous: in 89 they were contesting a pass into a chicane. In 90 Senna wasn’t trying to pass at all.

        • ” in 89 they were contesting a pass into a chicane.”

          I think this bit is more than debatable. In ’89 Prost had no intention to make the chicane. He deliberately rammed into Senna right before getting at the chicane, squeezing him onto the edge of the track, since he knew that once in the chicane Senna had the inside line and would complete the pass. THAT piece of heinous driving only got surpassed by Prost Jr in Formula E’s first GP… Like father, like son.

          • Well firstly I disagree. I think Prost was trying to make the chicane while moving early to block Senna. He did so clumsily, I admit, but that’s what he was trying to do.

            Secondly, even if you were right (which to recap: you’re not) but even if you were, in no way can a gentle collision at slow speed in the entrance to the chicane be more heinous than the high speed ramming Senna delivered at the flat out first turn a year later. Somebody could have been killed in that crash.

          • First it’s important to remember the winners write history and since Senna is dead, Prost and the pro-sport F1 media are the winners. Now for Mark Jones to attempt to say Prost’s was attempting a pass and did so “clumsily” is to say, “I’m down with the winners, truth be damned.”

            Alain Prost wasn’t nicknamed “The Professor” for nothing. His EVERY move was calculated, both on and off the track. Prost openly lied about the condition of his car after the 1989 crash with Senna — “But ze wheel, it was pointing zis way (motioning to his left)” to which Jo Ramirez (Fernandez) said to him, “Yes Alain but so was the other tire.”

            And Prost ran straight to his daddy, Bellestre, when he saw that Senna had the cojones to get a push and drive off into the sunset.

            Daddy took car of his boy and TOTALLY incorrectly disqualified Senna even after Ron Dennis outed Bellestre for lying through his teeth about returning to the track through the barriers being “illegal.”

            Prost as clumsy. Goodness, people will say anything when they think they can get away with it… being that Senna isn’t here to defend himself and his nephew is now little more than a Sky F1 media lackey “Maybe Ayrton push too hard.” Whatever Bruno.

          • @Mark Jones

            At the beginning I was as skeptical of Carlo’s assessment that Prost was fully to blame in the ’89 Suzuka incident, which was not helped by most videos of the accident being mostly inconclusive. It really is hard to find a frame that displays the egregious piece of driving from Prost. But this one does:

            [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXuikMaqvtY?list=PL2C4BE6E3DC2A6BC1&w=560&h=315%5D

            Go to Part 5 video, scroll to minute 4.

            From the aerial footage it is bindingly obvious that Prost never intended for either car to make the chicane, and that from at least 10-15m prior to the corner. The line that Prost takes while preparing to take the corner is eons away from the racing line.

            The lateral cam shows that well prior to arriving into the corner Senna was 3/4 of the car alongside Prost and on the inside, entitling him to the racing line and to the apex into the chicane (see http://f1metrics.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/the-rules-of-racing/ Section 5). Any contact that would have happened with Senna in the corner would have been Prost’s fault, but the actual contact happened *before* the corner, which points to badwill from Prost. (Cf Prost Jr in Formula E.)

            And the onboard cam from Prost’s car clearly shows that the turn-in began so early that he would have barely made the beginning of the kerbs (and most likely taking onto the grass), let alone hit the apex (to which he was not entitled). That car was never intended to make the corner in one piece!

          • @dwil

            “Daddy took car of his boy and TOTALLY incorrectly disqualified Senna even after Ron Dennis outed Bellestre for lying through his teeth about returning to the track through the barriers being “illegal.”

            Yup, so indeed. Possibly the blackest spot on Ballestre’s career, not that he cares about it too much.

            “Goodness, people will say anything when they think they can get away with it… ”

            That’s my life-long observation on the morality of the Sapiens. *It* is OK if you get away with it.

            For example, stealing a 1 dollar loaf of bread is bad, so very bad! “Goodness, what kind of a monster would do something like that?!” But stealing a 15 dollar DVD via streaming at home, 5 times during a weekend, is perfectly fine. “Why would you even imply that this is stealing? Really?” But do this in a shop… “No way! What are you implying, that I’m a common criminal?!”

            My understanding is that as long as people expect (or hope) to get away with it, any deviation from accepted rules is acceptable. I learned with shock how people are actually driving on the highway in the US (but not only!): I was driving at barely below the speed limit at 65 mph, and sometimes just above so as to avoid being a slow-moving vehicle for the oncoming traffic, and all cars were hurtling by at at least 75-80 mph. And it was all fine. Why? Because drivers have a reasonable expectation of getting away with it and not getting any punishment.

            Now look what such expectations—of getting away with it—by one sick dude are doing to the poor lads and lasses at Caterham!

  5. So this long drawn out saga is finally coming to an end. So who are the humble pie, Fed or Ron? Did Ron really want him back in the team or was his hands forced by Honda’s need to have a big name driver associated with their big return to the sport? What happens if the McHonda package is not successful, will Alonso continue with his ‘diva’ attitude and blame the team for failing him and praise himself on the odd moments they achieve any success? Many more questions to be asked and answered.

    Whilst standing in the middle of the Ron vs Alonso show, will be a certain young Danish driver, how will all this political game of chess affect him?…..

    F1 2015 should be a cracker! Popcorns at the ready everyone.

    • This has echos of Ron being ‘encouraged’ by Marlboro to sign Mansell in 1995. Reluctantly he did, and the outcome wasn’t spectacular.

      Replace Marlboro for Honda, and Mansell for Alonso, and you are in 2014.

      This move doesn’t have the hallmarks of something long lasting.

      Although Alonso probably won’t be walking away from a uncompetive car, I can’t see him staying after year one if he doesn’t get consistant podiums.

      • At that point, the team can rebuild with Magnussen/Vandoorne, having cut out a $10m+ salary (or is that $35m for Alonso) to put it on car/engine development.

    • “What happens if the McHonda package is not successful”

      alonso will retire with less titles than his talent deserves

      “Whilst standing in the middle of the Ron vs Alonso show, will be a certain young Danish driver, how will all this political game of chess affect him?”

      whether or not mclaren retain him, his career is finished. if he is let go, he will probably be out of f1, if they keep him, he will be demoted to subserviant no. 2 and out of f1 in a couple of seasons. the only positive for him is that nobody at mclaren will ask him to crash his car on purpose.

      • [mod] picture removed. This isn’t 9gag or 4chan

        why is my comment awaiting moderation?

        [mod] Our chief editor AJ has put you on moderated posting because of repeated baiting of other commenters

        • i don’t remember baiting anyone other than the hippo to be honest, and that was once. i would apologize, but with him being by far the most aggressive poster on here, now that sis has disappeared, i don’t feel particularly sorry.

          i’m not quite sure why posting pictures is now considered an offence, but it’s better than the anarchy we had here not too long ago i guess (i’d post a funny shrugging picture, but will restrain myself).

          • You baited me more than once. If you got AJ to put you on moderation, it was certainly more than once. And just for your information, i’ve been on moderated posting myself, so it’s not like some are ‘more equal than others’. Just tone it down and you’ll get your status back.

  6. Having watched that interview again, I have to say that the impression I had in 1990 hasn’t changed all that much in 25 years – Senna was something very close to a total nutcase – a perfect study of the notional marriage of genius & insanity.

    His level of commitment to pretty much everything he did (on & off track) was massively impressive, but also genuinely frightening. There was also a level of entitlement to his racing that made him dangerous as well (Prost saw me coming. He knows what I’m like. He shouldn’t have closed the door).

    I’m not much of a fan of Prost but the guy deserves some credit for going toe-to-toe with a fruitbat like Ayrton.They were both lucky their miscellaneous on-track incidents weren’t at more critical sections of track.

    Even Jackie deserves kudos for having the cojones to stick it to Ayrton in that interview. And Ayrton pushed right back as well :). Interviews like that would simply never happen these days.

    • The PR managers wouldve stepped in and pulled the plug…..

      “I’m sorry, but we’re going to stop the interview now, those weren’t the set of questions we agreed on”

    • Prost saw me coming. He knows what I’m like. He shouldn’t have closed the door

      Actually what Senna said is that Prost should not have first opened the door and then closed it.
      FWIW, in this case, I agree with him.
      I’m emphatically not a Senna fan (though I don’t have the antipathy I had for him 30 years ago), but looking at the footage, I can’t escape the conclusion that Prost invited the move (wittingly or unwittingly).

      Prost got the drop at the start, began to move over in front of Senna to cover the corner (and could easily have done so had he continued across the track), and then moved back from in front of Senna to open a gap.

      In those circumstances, a lot of today’s drivers would have gone for that gap, too.

      As for Jackie’s comments about “all previous champions” and the number of their collisions, that seems to be something he just made up on the spot. I can think of a few examples…

      • Yh, I can see what you mean – Prost throws a bit of a Scandinavian flick that tempts Senna.

        Insofar as Senna’s sense of entitlement goes “He knows what I’m like” is the key phrase. Expecting people to make allowances above the norm because of who you are and how you’ve acted in the past is crazy.

        It’s an attitude that’s bound to end in tears eventually – largely because people generally don’t act consistently and do actually change opinions / desires / intents sometimes, randomly, for no good reason.

        They are a long way from being the same situation, but IMO this year’s clash at Spa arose from this same all-too-human tendency to change attitude on the fly. Hamilton’s probably reasonable expectation that Nico would back out of the corner with the application of a gentle squeeze was confounded by Nico’s newfound desire to “prove a point”. Comedy ensued…

  7. [mod] deleted for blatant flame-bait. Nobody begrudges you feeling happy about Lewis, but walking through the comment section with the verbal equivalent of the L-salute is not the way to go about it. Tone it down or you’ll find yourself on moderated posting

  8. Has anyone seen the Mario Andretti interview today regarding the potential “boycott” in austin?

    “Only very small-minded people would think in these terms. I really have a problem with it. Look what Michelin did to F1 in Indy in 2005. Teams or people who do this should be banned from the sport forever. There is no place for it. It’s so destructive. ”

    He spent 40 years building a reputation in motorsport, and has successfully destroyed it all in 6 sentences.

    I cannot possibly fathom how he can hold Michelin responsible for being “desctructive”, when the choice made was by the teams for the safety of the drivers. The FIA was responsible for that fiasco and there is no argument otherwise.

    It is obvious that Mario is bernie’s stooge. I have lost all respect for him.

    • I don’t think you can blame the FIA for Michelin bringing tyres made out of foam instead of rubber!!
      Before you mention the FIA could have changed the track, they couldn’t in such a short space of time. Changing the track without taking the proper safety investigations etc first would have made the insurance for the track void.
      If changes were made and an accident happened the suing the FIA would have received, this was America after all, would have probably put them out of business. So in this instance the FIA’s hands were well and truly tied.
      Thus blame is hung well and truly at Michelin’s door.

      • I agree that Michelin brought a sub standard tire.
        As far as the FIA’s “hands being tied” I beg to differ. The FIA are ultimately responsible for every aspect of the race. We have learned just in the last few weeks that the FIA can take any action they choose under the auspices of safety.
        I will not be so arrogant as to claim to have a solution to the 2005 situation. None of us have all the facts, we can only speculate based on the little info that the FIA released.
        But we can all agree on one thing, the way the FIA handled it was a disaster on multiple levels. It will forever be a black mark on the sport that can only be blamed on the ones who made the rules which “tied there own hands”

        • And on the auspices of safety…..while cars were disturbing astro-turf at Austin, did anyone pick up the commentators with their ‘well the FIA will be on to it. They have cameras everywhere with amazing coverage so it will be smartly sorted’ (or words to that effect).

          Thing is those amazing cameras didn’t seem to be much help in Japan – before, during or after?

          • You have hit upon something I have been thinking of writing about.
            The short version is that the FOM controls the cameras, but the FIA uses those cameras to monitor the race.
            SO the FIA is at the mercy of FOM for the information they need to monitor things safely.
            If the FIA was truly there to do their job, they would either have a second set of cameras on site that were used exclusively for the race director..
            Or the FIA would have their own director in control of the cameramen, and FOM would have to use whatever shots the FIA called.
            In the current situation, the Broadcast signal is the priority.
            So much wrong with this….

        • “But we can all agree on one thing, the way the FIA handled it was a disaster on multiple levels.”

          But I don’t really see what else the FIA could have done. They offered to setup and police a “slow lane” through the banked corner for the Michelin runners, even I think setup some thermal cameras to help. Blame ultimately lies with Michelin and circumstance.

          • There are a lot of ifs, and many facts we do not know.
            For instance, perhaps the tyre manufacturers warned the FIA about the situation weeks earlier? That would change things significantly no?
            If I remember correctly, the problem was the load on the tyres because of the speed of the cars through the corner that was the high banked oval, and this was the only corner of it’s type on the whole calendar.

            I would say that due to the unique situation, the tyres should have been tested on high speed ovals months before the race.

            If there was any potential for failure found, the tires could have been changed by the manufacturers, or the FIA could have designed a chicane in somewhere in that sector to reduce the cars oval speed through it.

            Now, was it the tire manufacturers responsibility to test the tyres beforehand, or the FIA’s responsibility to foresee this situation?
            We could debate that issue for sure.

            It should never have gotten to the point it did, so again, I lay responsibility at the FIA’s feet.

          • “perhaps the tyre manufacturers warned the FIA about the situation weeks earlier? That would change things significantly no?”

            Is there evidence that that happened? Getting into the realm of pure speculation – particularly since the Bridgestones were fine.

          • No, I have no evidence of that, I just use it as an example of the possibilities. There is much we do not know, the lack of transparency if part of the problem.

        • Thanks Tourdog. Depending on ones POV there’s either collusion or a massive clash of interest here…..bit like Charlie’s role really.

        • What was the FIA to do in that difficult situation. I would be like saying if a car doesn’t pass the crash test then all the others must be forced to run slower so there is not risk to the car that failed the test. Michellin were told to have two specs of tyres with different constructs. They claimed they did but in reality it was a lie. The only solution was to find a way to penalise the those teams with inferior equipment without compromising those who came with the right equipment.

          • “Michellin were told to have two specs of tyres with different constructs.”
            Um, so if that is true, (and I have never heard that before, but I will take your word for it), doesn’t that lead us to conclude that the FIA WAS aware that there was a potential problem with the tires beforehand? In my eyes that makes the FIA 100% culpable for not testing prior to the race, regardless of whether or not Michelin brought two different tires….

    • Mario knows what he is talking about. Mario Andretti is old enough to have witnessed the idiotic schisms that tore apart the CART series in the 90s, and everyone involved ended up being a loser, teams, drivers, track owners, fans, etc.

      • So you agree with Mario?
        Then your opinion is that FI, Sauber, and Lotus should be immediately banned from F1 forever?
        If so, then Ferrari should be banned 1st. They have threatened to bail out on the sport more times than we can count.
        By your measure, Renault will need to be banned as well, as they threatened to pull out if the Engine specs were not changed.
        I honestly don’t know enough about the Cart/Indy situation to make a fair comparison, but I am not sure that banning a large chunk of the teams is going to stop them from breaking away and starting their own series. In fact, seems to me it is a guaranteed way to make that happen.

  9. Bernie could have tied the engine unfreeze to the issue of the individual contracts he has with the top teams. This was an opportunity to put even the top 5 teams on a level playing field in terms of payment from Bernie and then increase the payments paid to the other teams.

    • I think Bernie’s grip is loosening if Eddie Jordan’s report on the BBC F1 site that Donald MacKenzie of CVC (co founder, co chairman) stepped in directly to stop the boycott.

      If CVC wants to sell it’s shares in F1, then it’s going to want the sport in tip top condition to get the best possible price. Which means sorting out the money side of things for the teams. Interesting times ahead for Bernie.

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