#F1 Daily News and Comment: Friday 7th November 2014

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Previously on The Judge 13:

#TJ13 #F1 Courtroom Podcast – F1: Death by Committee

Castrol #F1 GP Predictor Summary – Austin 2014

The #F1 Bar Exam: 06th November 2014


Editor’s Note: A word about pictures

Mercedes MGU-K and the FIA regulations

Vettel: No recriminations

Lewis Hamilton pleads Jenson Button’s case

Ecclestone avoids another legal judgement

Symonds says Alonso not right for Williams GMM

Lotus set to announce Grosjean for 2015 GMM

Interlagos up close and personal

Secret Sauber test

Brazil, Free Practice 1


Editor’s Note: A word about pictures

In recent months there has been a growing tendency of some people to post links to memes and other pictures in comments, often to gloat, mock or provocate. Sometimes ‘normal pictures’ are posted, too.

Memes will go right to the trashcan and repeat offenders risk being put on moderated posting. If you don’t trust your written communication skills enough, so that you have to communicate in ‘funny’ pictures, we are afraid 4chan or 9gag are more suitable places for you.

The real problem with hot-linked pictures is of legal nature though. First of all, we have no way of knowing, if you linked that picture with the owner’s consent or not and the moment a picture shows up on our site, because you hot-linked it without permission from it’s original author, the site owner of TJ13 comes under threat of being charged with copyright violation.

The second problem is a social one. If you link a picture that is hosted on a different site, it generates network traffic on someone else’s server when someone visits our site. Like fuel, network traffic is a chargeable resource and it is not infinite. Many servers have a traffic limit and if that is exceeded, their website gets blocked or they’re charged substantial extra-fees. So by posting links to pictures on other sites, you may incur costs or even outages for people who have nothing to do with TJ13.

A third problem is, that we have no control over what happens to content of external sites. If they delete the pictures, we end up with a bunch of broken links.

If you think your comment absolutely needs a picture to make sense, please link it, add a source information to it and we’ll edit the comment to load it from our site’s media library. Direct links to pictures from other sites will be removed from now on.

TJ13 Chief Editor AHJ, Fat Hippo

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Mercedes MGU-K and the FIA regulations

Back in Silverstone, in Free Practice 2 , Lewis Hamilton suffered an engine failure. This, in and of itself was not an unusual thing. Though in general, Mercedes’ engines have been remarkably reliable this season, F1 engines are delicate beasties at best and for them to occasionally decide to have a diva fit and quit working was to be expected, particularly in the first year of the new engine design. In this case, the failure was in the MGU-K driveshaft, fortunately for the Mercs a part that is allowed to be replaced under Article 5.22 and Appendix 2.

What happened next, however, offers a little insight into the off camera action that surrounds much of F1, and offers a glimpse of an FIA process working exactly as intended, to ensure that the championship battle is decided on track, not by reliability issues.

After a teardown of Hamilton’s engine back in Brackley, it was discovered by Mercedes’ engineers that there was a flaw in the design of the MGU-K driveshaft, one that had the potential for the failure suffered by Lewis to affect all the Mercedes engines. Under the Sporting Regulations Appendix 4, they (and all manufacturers) are allowed to upgrade parts for reliability.

The process is simple, and, according to Bradley Lord, the very helpful head of Mercedes Communications, robust and frequently used by all the manufacturers. Basically, the manufacturer first applies to the FIA, the request is then sent round to all manufacturers for comment and then the FIA renders its decision.

In this instance, and despite the impression that many have of the FIA, the process worked swiftly and by the German Grand Prix, Mercedes were allowed to replace the MGU-K driveline with the updated part for reliability in all Mercedes engined cars, Mercedes AMG, Williams, McLaren and Force India, a fact first noted in the regular “#TechF1 Race Weekend in Official FIA Documents” for the German GP.

For most of the runners it was ICE #3 that received the immediate attention, but for Hamilton it was also ICE #2 as both engines were to see running that weekend. According to Lord, it was a process that would continue as new engines came online throughout the season, with the latest iteration being just prior to Austin.

With all the squealing about FIA regs currently on order, it is interesting to note that the basic nuts and bolts of the process appear to be working just fine to keep the cars on track and out of the garages during the race.

Kindly contributed by Mattpt55

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Vettel: No recriminations

Sebastian Vettel may be listening to a track from Oasis as his annus horribilis draws to a close. The four times world champion believes in fact he could have won races this year, given proper support from his team.

Yet Seb is still positive about the upcoming Brazilian GP and this in fact be Vettel’s best chance of winning his first race for nearly a year. “I think there’s always a chance to win no matter the race. But it seems that, somehow, in Brazil we have more things can happen. I think the weather forecast looks quite interesting as well”.

The fall from grace couldn’t have been harder for the German driver, as the close of his fourth consecutive F1 title winning season in 2013, saw him smash record after record – and win the most consecutive races ever by an F1 driver.

“I think there’s people that haven’t won for a longer time and I think it’s part of Formula 1 as well sometimes,” Vettel reflects. ‘I think I had races where if things had gone a little bit different this year I could have won. But equally it has been like this in the past and it probably will be like that in the future.”

The races in Canada and Hungary are clearly the ones to which Sebastian is referring. In line with TJ13 writer, Fat Hippo’s line of reasoning, Vettel believes he has been let down by his team occasionally.

“Performance-wise, I think we got very close to win in Canada. If I’d pitted a lap later it’s a different story,” muses the four time world champion. “In terms of pace we looked very strong in Singapore as well and in Hungary. But obviously where I was when the Safety Car came out in Hungary, it didn’t really favour me”.

Sebastian doesn’t appear bitter, as he admits, “There were other races where I struggled more than Daniel. If you take Belgium, for instance”, he recalls, philospically observing, “So pretty much up and down. But it has been like that for the whole season.”

Having been outed by his team unceremoniously when he informed them he was leaving, Vettel has been in limbo as Ferrari and Alonso continue their rather petty game of who is going to blink first.

However, Sebastian is confident of his future. “I know what I’m doing [next year], so that’s clear. I’m obviously hoping that I will be able to announce very soon.”

Finger boy, as he was known to many of his detractors in previous F1 seasons, has on the whole been remarkable humble this year. Yes there’s been the occasional outburst describing the new F1 engine regulations as “shit” – but no matter, people respect forthrightness.

There is now a fascination amongst the F1 fans who are not avid driver/team supporters, to see what Vettel will deliver when he goes to Ferrari. Maranello are busting the back at present as they begin a programme of revolution, and as sure as eggs are eggs, money spent wins F1 championships.

Though one important ingredient for a team with ambitions of winning titles will always include a top class driver, and so long as Vettel leaves recriminations behind him and stays focused, he has every chance of dragging Ferrari forward into the second decade of the twenty first century.

Slip inside the eye of your mind
Don’t you know you might find
A better place to play
You said that you’d never been
But all the things that you’ve seen
Will slowly fade away

Take me to the place where you go
Where nobody knows if it’s night or day
But please don’t put your life in the hands
Of a Rock n Roll band
Who’ll throw it all away

So I start a revolution from my bed
‘Cos you said the brains I had went to my head.
Step outside, summertime’s in bloom
Stand up beside the fireplace
Take that look from off your face
You ain’t ever gonna burn my heart out

And so Sally can wait, she knows it’s too late
as we’re walking on by
Her soul slides away, but don’t look back in anger
I heard you say.

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Songwriter: GALLAGHER, NOEL
Don’t Look Back In Anger lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

The Judge

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Lewis Hamilton pleads Jenson Button’s case

With the never ending and undignified dancing-around-each-other of McLaren and Fernando Alonso, this leaves both Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button in limbo. Neither driver knows whether or not they will have a job for next year.

The spectre of Button’s departure leaves the possibility that on next year’s grid for the Australian GP, Fernando Alonso or Felipe Massa may be the most experienced F1 driver left competing. Yet Massa may have a clear run at the title of ‘oldest F1 driver’ still competing should the Spanish Samurai overplay his poker hand and be forced to take a sabbatical.

Formula One’s current Methuselah however looks likely to suffer the same fate as his 2009 Brawn team mate Rubens Barrichello and be kicked out of F1 ina a rather unceremonious manner and before he is ready to hang up his helmet for good. These days, where the size of your sponsor package is more important than talent or experience, the Brit faces little demand for his services from other teams and might be forced to seek shelter in the traditional F1 rejects heaven – sports cars.

Jenson’s talents however have a prominent advocate in current championship leader Lewis Hamilton, who insists in an interview with The Guardian that McLaren does not need a faster driver, but rather a faster car. Lewis also claims that, were he the owner of a team, he would want Jenson on it, which is remarkable, considering that Jenson is so far the only man to outscore Lewis over a season. So is this just a case of Lewis talking Jenson up? I think not. If Honda, especially with their self-imposed restriction to one team and the resulting disadvantage in data acquisition, need one thing – it’s lots of experience behind the volant.

Seeing the writing on the wall, Jenson has admitted that his eyes are opening to other possibilities. The view from the waterhole appears to reveal there are several options for Mr. Button. He could follow Mark Webber into the WEC and try his hand at winning one of the other crown jewels of international motorsport – the Le Mans 24h.

Another option could be Indycars. Since Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell and Emmerson Fittipaldi in 1994, there hasn’t been a Formula One champion on the starting grid of the Indy 500.

Maybe even if offered a drive for 2015, Jenson should tell McLaren to ‘shove it’, and demonstrate that – classless behaviour be-gets its own appropriate response.

Fat Hippo

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Ecclestone avoids another legal judgement

Bluewaters Communications Holdings LLC v. Ecclestone, New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, No. 13436.

Bluewater have brought a case against Bernie Ecclestone claiming that he sold the F1 commercial rights – not to the highest bidder – but to CVC who had guaranteed to retain his services as CEO of Formula One Commercial.

The US based Communications Company claimed they had offered a higher price than CVC but had refused to guarantee Ecclestone a future role in the sport of F1. They also allege that a bribe paid by Ecclestone to German Banker –Gerhard Gribkowsky – guided his employers who held the commercial rights to the sport at the time – to sell to CVC and not to Bluewater.

The New York courts dismissed the case in January, for the reason it was being contested in the wrong jurisdiction. Yesterday, the decision was upheld.

The appeal court in Manhattan on Thursday stated that the claim could not be heard in a New York court because the case had no ties to the state. It would be more appropriate to issue proceedings in either Germany, England or the Jersey tax haven where the FOM companies are registered.

“This case stems from the failure of a Jersey company to acquire the shares of another Jersey company from a German bank, allegedly because an Englishman bribed a German,” the court concluded. “New York’s interest is minimal.”

Ecclestone recently paid $100m to a Bavarian court to ensure the charges of bribery were dropped. At the same time the person he bribed has been convicted and is serving 7 years for corruption and bribery.

In January, Judge Newey of the London High Court, dismissed a lawsuit from the owner of the commercial rights which were sold by proxy by the German bank who employed Gribkowsky.

He did however brand Ecclestone as “an unreliable witness” – rhetoric which in coded legal parlance – means a “liar”.

Kent Yalowitz, representing Bluewaters, said he was ‘disappointed’ with the New York decision but is expected to file a suit in a jurisdiction more appropriate to adjudicate on the matter.

AHJ

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Symonds says Alonso not right for Williams (GMM)

Williams is not ready to welcome a driver of Fernando Alonso’s stature. That is the claim of Pat Symonds, a veteran engineer who has led the British team’s technical progress in 2014 to an impressive third spot in the constructors’ championship.

As Alonso considers his next move after his apparent relationship breakdown with Ferrari, Williams has often been named as a potential dark horse destination — perhaps as a Mercedes-powered stepping stone to a full works seat in 2016. But Williams has already announced that Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa are staying put.

Symonds, who worked with Alonso when he won his world titles at Renault, argues that Williams should not yet be thinking about accommodating a driver like him.

Our process of creating a winning team is not yet complete,” he told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.

We have a few areas that we still need to work on.

For me, Fernando is the best driver in the sport,” Symonds agreed, “but he also needs a team around him that can handle him.

With Alonso’s expectations, the pressure would rise at Williams to an unhealthy level that would disturb the progress the team is making,” he added.

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Lotus set to announce Grosjean for 2015 (GMM)

Lotus is set to announce that Romain Grosjean is staying with the Enstone team in 2015. Just a week ago, the Frenchman was saying he had the power to step out of his contract and move to a bigger team.

But a lot – albeit all apparently behind the scenes – has changed in the intervening days, including reports that Fernando Alonso is definitely heading to McLaren-Honda.

Asked where he will be in 2015, Grosjean smiled his famous smile to France’s RMC as he answered: “I will have a different engine!

You should know more about my future very soon, maybe even as early as this weekend,” he added in the Interlagos paddock.

Grosjean denied, however, that the Alonso situation had made his own plans certain.

I do not think it has something to do with it,” he said. “In fact, now it is not easy to find a place at all in formula one — it is a difficult situation for the drivers with two teams (Caterham and Marussia) going away, but for me everything is going well.

We are very close. I’m in a good position in the team,” he added.

Elsewhere, Force India and Sergio Perez are on the verge of prolonging their marriage, while Jean-Eric Vergne is set to get one more year at Toro Rosso. Another open secret is that Sebastian Vettel is going to Ferrari to replace Alonso.

When the cameras are on,” the German smiled on Thursday, “it is difficult to say anything, but when they turn off, everyone seems to know what is going on.

Vettel took his Red Bull crew out for a farewell dinner in downtown Sao Paulo on Wednesday night, but he admitted to reporters that he will not be sad when the curtain comes down on his difficult 2014 campaign.

As for 2015, “I know what I’m doing, that’s for sure,” Vettel insisted. “And I know who my teammate will be.

It appears likely he is referring to his friend Kimi Raikkonen, but the Finn’s high-profile struggles in 2014 have produced a cloud of speculation. “Everyone has his own opinion,” Raikkonen told the Finnish broadcaster MTV3. “Many times we have seen that they are wrong.

It is the way it is here (in F1),” he said. “It is probably the saddest thing about Formula One.

The main thing is that you know yourself how things are and to trust in what you are doing,” said Raikkonen.

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Interlagos up close and personal

The first of a two phase development of the Interlagos circuit has been completed this year. TJ13 has followed the work from time to time which has been focused on track improvements and resurfacing.

The first thing to note is the change of configuration to the pitlane exit, seen here behind the Lotus lads off on a track walk. This is predominantly a safety reconfiguration.

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The enitre track has been resurfaced, and around much of the circuit, rain grooves have been cut into the asphalt. In places small amounts of camber have been added to assist drainage too.

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Pirelli are not unhappy should most of the running be in wet conditions this weekend, so long as they get a dry 30 minute period to asses tyre wear due to the grooves.

Interestingly, Pirelli had considered the grooved surface, which is why they initially intended to bring the harder compound tyres. However, following Sochi they could not risk being accused AGAIN of being too conservative in their tyre compound selection.

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The banking through turn 1, is in fact epic. And the new pitlane ‘in’ configuration, looks interesting.

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Secret Sauber test

To prevent him from trampling the furniture to pieces in the Judge’s office again, the gavel wielding one sent the Hippo on a random errand to Switzerland, where the heavy one discovered a secret test clandestinely conducted by Sauber in an abandoned industrial estate near Hinwil, adorned by cheeky mechanics with signs reading ‘Circuit de la Up Yours’. TJ13 is now convinced to know why Monisha Kaltenborn has been handing out Sauber contracts to so many drivers at the same time.

minardi-double-seater-f1

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Brazil, Free Practice 1

It’s a warm, dry but cloudy FP1 at Interlagos, Brazil and the new track surface is the talk of the town. The surface is allegedly 20% smoother, though the rain grooves are an unknown in terms of the impact on tyre degradation.

Pirelli are saying at the outset, @pirellisport: “Objective for FP1 will be to run the medium tyre and find out more about what the new asphalt is like.”

The altitude here, 800m above sea level, means that the turbo element of the new Power Unit will be spinning much harder to force the thinner air through the engine, so reliability of that component may become an issue.

The cars used to lose 40-50 HP when running the normally aspirated engines here in Sao Paulo, so the uphill drive at the end of the lap will feel most different for the drivers.

Felipe Nasr, who has been announced as a Sauber driver for 2015 gets Valtteri Bottas’ Williams seat for FP1, and Max Vertstappen is borrowing Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso. Daniel Juncadella makes his third first practice appearance of the year, stepping in to Sergio Perez’s Force India.

Jenson’s weekend starts badly as on his installation lap, he hits the pit lane speed limiter and “Everything’s just shut off – everything’s just switched off. All the power, everything’s gone.”

Jenson gets out of the car, helmet off, car up on the jacks and the floor is being removed. This will be no less than a 45-60 minute fix.

McLaren are claiming they will be bringing a ‘large update’ to the final race of the season, and K-Mag’s car is a mobile test rig.

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16 minutes gone and Verstappen is the first to complete a lap in 1m19.999s.

The ‘Laranjinha’ right-hander is causing a few problems, as on consecutive laps, Verstappen and then Adrian Sutil run wide as the grip appears to be low.

Double points being awarded for the final race next in Abu Dhabi and its impact is becoming a stark reality.

Normally, Lewis would only Hamilton would need to score only one more point than Rosberg this weekend to become F1 driver champion for 2014. Lewis is philosophical, ‘What is fair? It’s the same for everyone. this whole double things has always been a question. It is the way it is. I don’t really know what to say about it.”

25 minutes have gone and we have Hamilton and Rosberg 1&2 at the top of the time sheets. Rosberg is complaining, “Generally too much understeer.” Both Mercedes drivers go quicker as the green track begins to rubber in, but Rosberg now jumps ahead of his team mate by 0.171s with a lap time of 1m14.001s.

It looks clear that the times for FP1 will be much quicker than in 2013, so the trend which began in Austin is set to continue.

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As the first 30 minutes comes to an end, and the drivers prepare to hand back the set of tyres they have been running, Hamilton regains top spot with a 1:13:468 and the top 10 look like this.

1 Rosberg 1:12:764 – (Pole position 2013 from Vettel 1:12:458)
2 Hamilton
3 Kvyat
4 Alonso
5 Vettel
6 Ricciardo
7 Verstappen
8 Grosjean
9 Raikkonen
10 Nasr
11 Massa
12 Hulkenberg
13 Maldonado
14 Sutil
15 Juncadella

Button, Gutierrez and Magnussen have failed to set times.

Alan McNish comments, “The right front tyre of all of the cars looks as though its taking a real beating.”

@MercedesAMGF1: “@LewisHamilton commenting on how smooth this new surface is. The traditional Interlagos bumps seemingly now less severe”

First out after the break is K-Mag. He’s told, “You’ve got clear track – we’re going to be doing five timed laps.” The car is being run very low and @McLarenF1 say, “Kev’s been testing titanium skid blocks during this morning’s session – hence the sparks!”

 

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With 57 minutes gone here in Brazil, the administrator of Manor GP has announced the firm will formally cease trading and the employees will now be made redundant. This is not the end as now the creditors will be forced to reconsider previous demands, though if staff begin to leave, it will be hard to come back.

“It goes without saying that it’s deeply regrettable that a business with such a great following in Britain and worldwide has had to cease trading and close its doors,” says Geoff Rowley of FRP Advisory who were appointed as Marussia’s administrators.

With an hour gone, Nico Rosberg goes quickest 1:12:764 and Max Verstappen is third quickest. The order is

1 Rosberg
2 Hamilton
3 Verstappen
4 Maldonado
5 Raikkonen
6 Magnussen
7 Kvyat
8 Ricciardo
9 Sutil
10 Hulkenberg
11 Alonso
12 Vettel
13 Grosjean
14 Nasr
15 Massa
16 Juncadella
No time: Button, Gutierrez

With 61 minutes gone,  Daniel Juncadella puts the car of Sergio Perez hard into the wall at turn 6. Perez looks concerned – then again – given events in Austin – “doeth the Lord give and take away – Sergio”?

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20 minutes to go and the Force India has been removed and the green light is go.

Verstappen in third place reports the car is handling better, “It’s much easier to save the rear tyres”. The youngster then has a big lock up into turn one and careers toward an exit road and part of the old circuit. Its a save and Verstappen negotiates a route back to the track from behind the barriers – Kimi-esque.

Alonso has a moment at the same point where Juncadella left the circuit, but saves it.

With 6 minutes to go, Nasr is just over 0.3s behind the sister Williams of Massa in 9th.

Jenson gets into the car – just 3 minutes to go though. Gutierrez also managed to get out following problems – delivering 6 installation laps.

Kimi is struggling, but spins at the end of the middle sector – having made a mistake and put the wheel on the grass.

Chequered flag is out.

# Driver Ctry Team Time Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:12.764 29
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:12.985 0.221 31
3 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:13.723 0.959 38
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:13.742 0.978 30
5 Felipe Massa Williams 1:13.811 1.047 27
6 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:13.827 1.063 26
7 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:14.034 1.270 30
8 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:14.114 1.350 30
9 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:14.136 1.372 29
10 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:14.197 1.433 26
11 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:14.434 1.670 30
12 Felipe Nasr Williams 1:14.522 1.758 21
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:14.678 1.914 32
14 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:14.902 2.138 23
15 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:15.109 2.345 22
16 Daniel Juncadella Force India 1:16.030 3.266 17
Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 6
Jenson Button McLaren 1

Jenson failed to get out and the virtual safety car is being tested again. In Austin the drivers were receiving delta times for every 50m. This apparently was difficult to manage, so the sector has been extended to 200m.

Sebastian Vettel has another troubled session and Max Verstappen was just over 0.1s slower than Daniel Kvyat. If JEV gets another year at Toro Rosso, he may well find he has another super fast partner to test him.

Felipe Junior’s effort was not so competitive, as he was almost three quarters of a second slower than Felipe senior.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

64 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Friday 7th November 2014

  1. Overal I think, for a whole new formula on the engines, there are little engine failures.

  2. Formula 1 considers safety car unlapping rule changes for 2015
    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/116657

    “Sources have suggested that one idea that will be looked at is that rather than the lapped cars unlapping themselves, they simply drop back to the rear of the field instead.

    They will then be credited with an extra lap so they are not put at a disadvantage.”

    Judge, if there was a more opportune time to flex your muscles, this is it. Someone has to make those certified FIA professionals understand that the safest way for cars to drop down the order is to have them pass through the pitlane…

    • “FIA professionals understand that the safest way for cars to drop down the order is to have them pass through the pitlane…

      Martin Brundle has been singing that tune for almost 2 years now. Like he said, it’s dangerous and waste too much time, given that they’ll probably be lapped again.

    • “We noticed this suggested on TJ13, so will look at it” – the main thing I’m wondering is how that affects the fuel usage? Also, do these people really have a clue or not, heh.

      • Delta times every 50m is why I ask that question… hence the drivers saying they were constantly looking at the steering wheel and not the track….

      • As to fuel usage, I thought that if the FIA artificially annuls one lap deficit, they can also lower the fuel limit by the average estimated amount used per lap by that team. This way they can’t just dial up the engines to pass others if they physically do one lap less…

        • in most cases Isn’t it inherent in being a lap down that there’s a pretty serious performance deficit that is unlikely to be overcome by the saving of one lapped lap of fuel?

          • In most cases yes, but when this happens to a Force India by Perez or a Torro Rosso by JEV, getting unlapped by a SC (optionally after you caused it yourself, like in Singapore 2014), can give you a genuine shot at the points. And having in addition a performance benefit compared to those who performed better in the race thus is not that very nice…

  3. “McLaren does not need a faster driver, but rather a faster car. Lewis also claims that, were he the owner of a team, he would want Jenson on it, which is remarkable, considering that Jenson is so far the only man to outscore Lewis over a season. So is this just a case of Lewis talking Jenson up? I think not. If Honda, especially with their self-imposed restriction to one team and the resulting disadvantage in data acquisition, need one thing – it’s lots of experience behind the volant.”

    The trouble is that historically Jense has never been helpful to his teams in steering development towards a “faster car”. His Honda years were disastrous, his 2nd part of the Brawn year has seen the team coalesce around Barichello’s development drive, and his 2 years at McLaren once Lewis left were, well, better not mention them at all. From what I see, Jense is a supremely fast driver once the car has been developed for him (enter Anthony Davidson or Lewis Hamilton) and set up.

    Only then can Jense optimize the set-up using his very sensitive bumometer, and annihilate the opposition, including one consistently fast Lewis Hamilton. Unfortunately, though, that same very sensitive bumometer is rather useless in terms of sane car development and engineer feedback… And that’s why Big Ron wants to see the back of Jense.

    • Ok Jenson’s record at developing a car is not that great, but it’s not like Alonso is any better himself. Have anyone ever considered that it was Massa who did most of the development work whilst he was there?

      Personally, I don’t think a pairing of Fred and Kmag is a good idea, given that this is a new partnership with Honda, and having Mclaren as the only team that will be supplied with a Honda PU, they’ll need all the data they can get, so what better way to do that, than with the pairing of the 2 most experienced men on the grid.

      Mclaren also need to decide whether this is for the betterment of the team or is it full fill Alonso’s need for a 3rd title. If it’s the layer of the 2, then a Fred-Kmag pairing makes sense, but if it’s for the team and its ambition of winning the constructors title as well, then Alonso/Button is the way to go.

      Kmag is still relatively young, place him a GP2 seat for a year or even move him over to the 3rd driver role, whilst they develop their package to be more competitive.

      • “Ok Jenson’s record at developing a car is not that great, but it’s not like Alonso is any better himself. Have anyone ever considered that it was Massa who did most of the development work whilst he was there?”

        My point, exactly. I’ve been harking on and on about this lately. Fred never got into the Marranello simulator, ever, and simply turned up on race weekends and qualified 5th. And McLaren Honda is in the danger of swapping one technically inept WDC for another technically challenged WDC.

        “Personally, I don’t think a pairing of Fred and Kmag is a good idea”

        I disagree. K Man has the pedigree. Next year K Man runs the risk of doing a Bottas, and wowing all those around with his speed and daring (I’m not saying he will, but the signs are there). Putting him in GP2 now would be a mistake, and a waste of talent and potential.

        But more interestingly, when McLaren recruited K Man one of the first things that they would brag about (esp. when compared to the outgoing Checo) was the accurate and relevant technical feedback coming from Magnussen. Double WDC with a big mouth or not, Fred runs the risk of being put on the spot next year by yet another McLaren youngster, esp. if the team starts coalescing around K Man’s development drive, and if Fred exhibits the same team player skills of… always.

        • “And McLaren Honda is in the danger of swapping one technically inept WDC for another technically challenged WDC.”

          BUT, importantly, whereas Buttons swamps together with the car, Alonso makes his samurai prayer and flies with the wind… Covering any and all car defects, where possible.

        • The risk Mclaren runs with an Alonso/Kmag pairing, is that Alonso could come in and dominate the team and Kmag would be pushed into the background, that could potentially end his career.

          Like I said, they’ve got to decide if it’s the team first or is it Alonso’s need to win a 3rd title that he thinks he’s entitled to, that is of more importance.

          • It’s never the team first at McLaren, but the drivers… so Alonso will be number 1, and Kevin number 2. How many WCCs could McLaren have gotten if they controlled the drivers?

  4. This should fuel some debate. Hippo may feel bad that his driver is not included.

    Mark Webber’s dream team in F1

    Drivers : Fernando Alonso , Mitch evans
    TP : Roger Penske
    Manager : Davide Tardozzi
    Chief Designer : Adrain Newey
    Race Engineers : Pat Symonds, Ciaron Pilbeam, Simon Rennie
    Racing Era : late 80s and early 90s
    Engine : BMW V10 2003

    • late 80s and early 90s

      What are the rules for selecting this ‘dream team’ ?

      How do you put a 2003 engine in a car from the early 90s and remain in that racing era ? (Imagining a current driver in the cars of 25 years ago makes much more sense conceptually.)

      And with all due respect to Mitch Evans, is he partnering Alonso because Mark doesn’t want to contemplate a re-run of 2007 ?
      🙂

      • “And with all due respect to Mitch Evans, is he partnering Alonso because Mark doesn’t want to contemplate a re-run of 2007?”

        Unmentioned is the fact that Webber is the manager of Evans. And remember too that Mark and Fred have been good friends for over a decade.

      • On the contrary Nigel, Evans is one of the best youngsters out there, he’s still very young and at the sharp end of GP2.

        • I wasn’t suggesting he’s not good, but ‘dream team’ good ?

          Personally, I’d pick Clark and Moss in the William FW11B… which would be interesting.

          • True, although perhaps indeed a ‘dream-team’ can be the best available with the best non-F1 youngster, ready to become the best in time. And maybe this would give reliable 1-2s with no 2007 bust-ups.. oh wait!

            Good point… I guess any of the top, top drivers would make the best dream teams. I wish we saw Surtees and Clark duke it out in the mid-60s Loti, which was very close to happening, but Surtees backed out so as to not put Ireland out of a drive, 3 cars going down to 2..

            Surtees drove very well in 64 and 66, and oft forgotten 62. Clark was Vettel-esque in 63, 65, 67, and was set for 68, before Stewart ‘the protege’ would have taken over and battled Rindt for a while..

            PS. Rindt/Andretti would have been a great Lotus team in that era, before Rindt made way for Peterson.

  5. Judge, any inside rumours how Ferrari and Alonso or Hamilton and Mercedes are negotiating?
    I mean, are Ferrari threatening Alonso with 3rd car, simulator Duty or … ?
    Or are we in fact waiting for Lewis going back home to McLaren?

    Meaning it’s not about the money for Alonso, but the car!

    • And why would Lewis want to leave such a dominant car and go back to Mclaren, who could have a worse season than they’ve had this past 2 years? It’s not like the move away from them has damaged his career.

    • ….The info from Merc was that Lewis had a rocky period in his relationship with ‘the team’ over the summer… he’s returned more focused on his driving after the August break…

      Add into the mix that XIX have been binned – just as in his time at McLaren, during contract negotiations XIX played hardball in the summer with Stuttgart – and as much as they are a third party – this reflects on their client – which also was affecting Lewis’ relationship with senior personnel in the team.

      Hamilton’s contract negotiations were put on hold – awaiting the outcome of the drivers’ title battle with Nico and himself… He obviously has better leverage if he wins this year.

      Yet it appears there is still a significant possibility that he will return to McLaren in 2016… or that is what XIX were telling Mercedes (bargaining position).

      Alonso’s attempts to sign for Macca for only 1 year are obvious. If Lewis leaves Mercedes in 2015 – Fred wants in.

          • Well if there’s one man who knows to be abrasive, then its Nikki. That should make negotiations easier.

            I read recently Lewis saying, that both Seb and Nico negotiated their own deals, so he doesn’t see why he can’t do the same, but he hasn’t decided if he will or he’ll seek new management.

          • So if Lewis binned XIX as his management team, wouldn’t that indicate that he wants to stay for at least next year ? XIX are like Beberstone, they just care about money and I think you reported earlier this year that they were making some pretty crazy salary demands for their client. If Hamilton is serious about winning titles, it’s not unrealistic to see him take a “lower” salary and the championship wins.

            Besides, Alonso’s political side is well-documented and if the trio of Lauda-Lowe-Wolff cannot handle Hamsberg, how can we expect them to handle Alosberg ? Wouldn’t that relegate Rosberg to de-facto #2 ? If Hamilton were to leave, surely Rosberg would want to become de-facto #1 and therefore block Alonso from coming and instead have Bottas or Hulkenberg come over (provided he has some influence in that, obviously) ?

          • Also Mercedes have such a big advantage over the other teams that they don’t really need Hamilton – if Hamilton wasn’t there Rosberg would still have easily secured the championship. With Mercedes advantage likely to continue in the near future that must factor into negotiations over how much more Hamilton is being paid over Rosberg.

      • @the judge……

        Just to add…..

        If Lewis were to leave (which I don’t think he will), wouldn’t the next person in line be Bottas, given his relationship with Toto? He’s just as fast and consistent and would be a heck of lot cheaper and won’t come with the same kind of baggage as Alonso.

        • and would be a heck of lot cheaper

          Which might well be the decisive factor in choosing between Button and KMag ?

          • Yes, with no title sponsor, McLaren can’t shell out on drivers – they risk being stuck as a midfield team if they don’t improve their car/engine package. Honda will try and do the engine and take care of paying the lead driver they desire.

  6. The only one with a rather comfortable position in all this silly season malarkey is Vettel. No matter if he ends up at McLaren or Ferrari, he’s in a tean where immediate success is not expected, but with enough potential to be rebuilt into a force to be reckoned with. Should the unexpected happen and he pops up in a Merc next year, a 5th title is not too unlikely.
    ALO’s haggling meanwhile smacks of desperation. If he gets the Macca ride, they’ll give him a contract that firmly nails him to that seat for at least two years and the clock doesn’t stop ticking for him. Frankly, the best he can do is taking a sabattical, trying to get a shot at Indy or Le Mans next year and try to negotiate a Merc seat in 2016. I can’t see him come anywhere near another title again if he isn’t in a Merc by 2016 at the latest.

    • Arguably the best driver in the field will end up with only his 2 WDCs to show, because he wanted to leave Ferrari one year too early. I think Mercedes arent desperate for him.

  7. Someone should tell Rosberg to stop trying to be funny, it’s very painful to watch

    ….. Even the hippo does a better job than him…. 🙂 ;-)….

    Just joking my good man….good job on the podcast lastnight. Are you going to translate that bit of Russian for us?

  8. Pole in 2011 was a 1:11:918 for Seb, 2012 was 1:12:458……

    In the first 30 mins times are already in the 1:13 for the Mercs on the medium tyres. If qualifying so happens to be dry, which it doesn’t look like it will be, I think we could’ve seen times in the 1:10 or lower, which would match Massa’s pole time from 2006.

    • Judge,

      We are already into 1.12.7s… and this is FP1. But how much of it is due to the new surface? and how much is due the cars?

      • They were saying on the BBC that the electrical systems helps the cars performance quite significantly when it comes to accelerate up that steep hill. I’d be interested in seeing a comparison between sector times between now and 2011/2012, not just overall lap time.

  9. Re: Lewis Hamilton pleads Jenson Button’s case….

    Aren’t those pictures in the wrong place?

  10. “Since Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell and Emmerson Fittipaldi in 1994, there hasn’t been a Formula One champion on the starting grid of the Indy 500.”
    Why, just last year we had JV himself on the grid, albeit towards the back…

  11. Well, now that Marussia folded and Lotus are set to confirm Grosjean, it’s official. Alonso will join Macca (sh!t)

  12. Nobody else seems brave enough, or perhaps nobody else is bothered, so I’ll stand up and be counted, even if you only get as far as ‘1’…
    The front wing designs, as shown by this latest Merc structure are just unbearably ugly, aesthetically and technically…! And, when one sees half a wing dropping off, or perhaps just an end-plate along with the odd horizontal bit, and yet lap times don’t drop it makes me wonder, as a designer, when these guys are going to get back to basic principles, and start again… and return F1 cars to the beauty of previous years.
    Apart from that I wish you all a fascinating weekend.

    • BJF.. the FIA effectively said all the teams have to run a Ferrari nose next year! I doubt the teams will ever be able to design beautiful cars again with the FIA setting the rules..

    • I disagree.
      While many of the front wings are unsightly (McLaren, for example), the Merc front wing is a complex and (IMO) beautiful structure – a piece of art, particularly viewed from above.

    • What’s even more impressive is that, according to verstappen.nl, he was using the low horsepower engine setting while Kvyat was using the high horsepower engine setting. If that’s true it means that young Max was even 2-3 tenths faster than his teammate.

      I wonder if he was still not going full throttle as he has been saying in most interviews (I guess not since he went off 2 times so he must have been pushing a lot more than the last 2 FP outings).

  13. The second problem is a social one. If you link a picture that is hosted on a different site, it generates network traffic on someone else’s server when someone visits our site. Like fuel, network traffic is a chargeable resource and it is not infinite. Many servers have a traffic limit and if that is exceeded, their website gets blocked or they’re charged substantial extra-fees. So by posting links to pictures on other sites, you may incur costs or even outages for people who have nothing to do with TJ13.

    SO TJ13 has suddenly become the White Knight to defend Imgur from generating too much traffic to its image-hosting servers?

    A site built and run by a company whose business is hosting images, so desirous of traffic that they provide 5-6 different link formats for each image so that they can be conveniently shared on blogs, via Twitter, on Reddit, etc.?

    Sounds like the Fat Hippo just has a personal preference against images in comments and so is banning them.

    • I don’t see any reason for images in the comment section, unless it proves a opinion about racing, but kangaroos with bottles ain’t cutting it.

      BTW, I have not seen any negative comments about national anthems and so fort for the Austin race, guess it’s only bad when the Big Bad Bear is involved.

    • “Sounds like the Fat Hippo just has a personal preference against images in comments and so is banning them.”

      Yup, that was my first intuition, too: someone’s personal preference being sold as a principled decision. Now I shall always be wary of adding an image, even when relevant to the discussion at hand… Not the best way to encourage contributing, is it…

      • Read the bloody thing again. There is a clear procedure to follow. Add the image, write where you got it from and it will stay in.

    • Really Joe, I had expected a bit more common sense from you. First of all, most of the pictures that have been modded out so far where NOT linked to imgur or whatever filehoster there is, but private homepages. Second, you obviously haven’t read the piece to the end. Each and every externally linked picture has the two major probs that we can’t check if you linked it legally and that it can disappear at any time, leaving us with a broken link.

      There are almost no pictures linked that are important for the understanding of a comment. Most of the things that are banned, are pictures of gophers with “Halle-Fuckin’-Lujah” written all over it or somesuch. And just to show the that your comment was meant for nothing else but getting a dig in at me, because even for you it should be visible that the Ed’s note was approved by the Chief Editor, and, that pictures are not banned completely. If you for instance link a tweet or something else without which your comment wouldn’t make sense, I expressly described the procedure to follow. Link it, write where you got it from and if we’re reasonably sure that you didn’t steal it, we will transfer it to our media library and change the link accordingly, so that the picture will be shown and the link stays intact in the archives.

      This is the final warning, Joe. You were one of the reasons I felt it neccessary to remind people that you can’t just link stuff willy-nilly. Just last week I had to moderate one of your comments, because you posted a link to pirated software. You don’t need to call other’s unflattering names to be banned from posting. Putting us in the line of fire of copyright issues does the trick just as well.

    • What are you guys even complaining about. If you can’t make your point without an image then so what, write more text and hope an interesting discussion starts. This sounds like complaining just because you guys have something against the FH. The management of this site has decided they don’t want it anymore so accept it, we are just guests on this site and being a good guest you comply with the rules. And if you can’t accept the rules then just leave but don’t be childish with these kind of accusations.

  14. Given the alleged buckets of money that are thrown at developing new front wings that gain sweet fcuk all advantage and often get wiped out, has the FIA ever either, considered a standard spec front wing, or homologation?
    Sort of – here’s your wing, now make your car work around it, or, following closure of pre season testing, design of wing is frozen?

    • I’d go along with the second idea, if you allow two wing designs for different types of circuit – or three, if they are pretty… 🙂

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