#F1 Daily News and Comment: Tuesday 11th November 2014

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McLaren now deciding who will partner Alonso

McLaren and Mercedes play down three car teams 

Crowd Funding of Caterham stalls

Safety car lapped car rule change rejected

Red Bull Racing costs Mateschitz just £13m

Is the pressure now off Lewis ?


McLaren now deciding who will partner Alonso (GMM)

Spain’s El Mundo Deportivo claims that after a deal between the Spaniard and McLaren was finally struck in Brazil, he is set to travel to the team’s British headquarters on Wednesday to sign what is probably the most lucrative contract in F1 history.

Flavio Briatore, involved in Alonso’s management throughout his F1 career, hinted at the McLaren move in an interview with Italian radio Rai.

“Fernando wants to go to a team where there is the possibility to win in the future, even if it is not immediately,” said the Italian.

Briatore suggested Alonso’s patience with Ferrari had slowly faded over five championship-less seasons.

“Ferrari will always remain in Alonso’s heart, it is a team he loves, even though every year it was always spoken about the next one and nothing happened.

“There was also a little disappointment in not seeing an aggressive recruitment of engineers and staff that could raise the bar of the team,” Briatore added.

The decision

It is believed the only obstacle to a McLaren-Honda announcement being made now is the collaboration’s decision on who will be Alonso’s teammate.

On the face of it, and judging by his comments and body language in Brazil last week, Jenson Button looks set to be ousted, leaving the young Dane Kevin Magnussen as Alonso’s teammate.

But Alonso is said to prefer to have Button on his side, as the former world champions’ combined experience will push along the development of the new Honda V6 engine.

“I hope he (Button) stays (in F1),” France’s Le Figaro quotes Alonso as having said at Interlagos.

“He is a very talented driver and a good person. People like him are good for our sport.”

Button, however, is not so sure Alonso will have the power to influence the decision.

“It’s a tricky one. Who knows what’s going on inside Fernando’s head?” Button is quoted by British newspapers after the Brazilian Grand Prix.

In the end, McLaren’s decision could be a financial one, with Button costing the team multiple millions per year more than the rookie Magnussen.

Button, however, has hinted that he might be prepared to take a pay-cut.

“I still want to earn money from it,” he said, “but I’m not a driver who takes the mick and I will race somewhere even if I’m not getting the big bucks, unlike a few drivers who are out there.”

Part of the family

If he does go, it will be a sad farewell for F1’s long-serving Button, who might be forgiven for sounding disappointed in McLaren for not going him more notice after an illustrious 15-year career.

“It’s like if your parents were to turn round and say ‘We’re not sure we want you at Christmas this year. But your brother can come, he’s great’,” Button said.

“Feeling part of a family is more important than money.”

Former McLaren driver David Coulthard agrees that McLaren has treated Button disrespectfully, having accusing the Woking team of seeing drivers as “light bulbs”.

“Maybe it (that comment) has had some reaction from the team, but I stand by my view,” the Scot told the Telegraph newspaper.

“The right thing is to treat people well. To have him (Button) hanging on like this is unfair. Going into the last race should be a celebration – if it is to be his last – but we may not know.

“He deserves better,” Coulthard added.

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McLaren and Mercedes play down three car teams (GMM)

Angry small teams departed Brazil believing the sport’s establishment is trying to push them out, leaving five powerful teams supplying cars to customers.

Outspoken former F1 team boss Flavio Briatore agrees that something needs to change.

“Either opt for four or five teams with three or four cars each, or drastically change the Formula One we see today,” he told Italian radio Rai.

“If you look at the audience and what is happening to the teams, this is not a great time,” he insisted. “The economic model is broken.”

Briatore argued that it is not F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone’s fault.

“His power is not so big anymore so his guilt is minimal,” he said. “I would say it is the teams’ fault.”

It is believed Red Bull and Ferrari are prepared to run third cars next year, but that may not be enough willingness to see the initiative get up and running.

Spain’s Marca, for instance, reports that McLaren and Mercedes are not so keen.

“I do not think it’s possible,” said McLaren’s Eric Boullier.

“I think next year, with nine teams, you can make a good championship. In 2016 we have the American team (Haas), so I think we need to think a lot before doing something as radical as three cars.”

Mercedes’ Toto Wolff agrees: “The first thing is you need the infrastructure to do it, then you need the rules.

“Who has it? Who drives it? What points will it score? There is so much that I do not see it as feasible,” he added.

Finally, Sauber’s new signing Felipe Nasr suggests he only decided to put pen to paper for 2015 after the issue of three cars for 2015 became clear.

“We starting working on 2015 very early but I had all this waiting to see if there would be three cars,” he told Brazil’s Estado.

“And then came the information that it is not coming,” Nasr revealed, “so we came to Sauber, who had the best possible package on offer.”

TJ13 comment: Christian Horner has also

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Crowd Funding of Caterham stalls

Having rocketed to over £1m in around 3 days, the Caterham crowd funding project to ensure the team can depart for Abu Dhabi this weekend, appears to be stalling.

With just over three and a half days left, the project as of 11:35 GMT today has raised £1,187,532 from 3200 backers.

However, there are just 3 days and a little over 12 hours left before the deadline which requires a total funding of £2,350,000

It’s unclear as to whether this sum requires the additional amount from pay-drivers, or whether their contribution will be the balance of the deficit.

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Safety car lapped car rule change rejected

You know a sport is in crisis when common sense and agreement becomes impossible over the simplest of decisions.

One of the many items on the agenda for the teams to discuss over the Brazilian GP weekend was a matter which would minimise the delay in race restarts.

TJ13 amongst many others has consistently lamented the practice of allowing the lapped cars to leave ‘the snake’, pass the safety car and unlap themselves re-joining at the back of the field.

This takes place when the circuit is clear from the aftermath of whatever caused the safety car to be deployed. The problem is, this can take 2 or even 3 laps to complete depending on the circuit and the timing of the lapped cars release.

A simple solution would see these cars in order drop to the rear of the snake behind the safety car. This could be completed by all lapped cars driving through the pits on the first lap after the full ‘snakes’ has formed – and joining the rear of the safety car trail when it has passed the pit exit.

Unsurprisingly, agreement could not be reached on how the new protocol should work.

The current protocol actually moves the cars forward one lap, so those a lap down return to racing on the current lap of the leaders.

The debate in Brazil appeared to centre on how this 1 lap credit could be maintained. Simply adding a lap to these cars according to Whiting, would cause big problems for the timing data and risked causing confusion on the detailed lap chart analysis provided by FOM’s new data application.

One of the team principals from a larger team raised the additional issue that because the cars are limited to 100kg of fuel for the race, crediting the lapped cars with one lap which they do not run then gives them a lap of ‘free’ fuel.

The concern was that this would ‘significantly’ disadvantage cars on the lead lap and potentially lead to artificial results.

Ahem…

Why not just send the lapped cars to the back of the snake and leave them lapped? And isn’t it artificial to allow them to unlap themselves?

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Red Bull Racing costs Mateschitz just £13m

The ludicrous situation in which Formula One finds itself in is perfectly highlighted by the recent company accounts published by Red Bull Racing, detailling the company’s spending of money.

Further, remember Red Bull like Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes are capable of off balance sheet accounting for spending items, not listed as part of their accounts.

The Independent reports that in the recently published accounts for the Milton Keynes racing team, the budget for 2014 was set at £196m. Over the past five years whilst cost control has been on the agenda, this spend has grown and is now £64m higher than in 2010.

Formula One teams derive their income primarily from prize money, sponsorship and ‘owner payments’.

Due to the ‘improved’ deals under the bi-lateral agreements replacing Concorde together with increased Infiniti payments, Dietrich Mateschitz and his fizzy drinks company have been able to reduce the contribution to Red Bull Racing from £64m pa to just £13m.

Compare this to Force India’s accounts TJ13 reported yesterday, which have shown two consecutive annual deficits of between £32-38m and this after Orange India – the Silverstone team owners’ funding vehicle – had put in around £17m.

The myth that the mid-field and smaller teams just ‘spend too much’ as propagated by Ecclestone has been blown wide open by Gerrard Lopez over the past week or so.

To merely pay for their engines, build a car and travel to each of the F1 events, the level of funding required is now around £75m. This is before any costs associated with in season development of the car.

Red Bull Racing’s biggest cost in the latest set of accounts is revealed to be £83m and staff numbers rose by 17% to 675 – which doesn’t account for at least 100 full time staff working in Milton Keynes who are forced to remain self-employed.

Truly the have’s are getting more and more – whilst the have not’s are driven out of existence.

This is no oversight by Ecclestone and the larger teams and Fernley’s claim that there is an agenda to drive the smaller teams out of Formula One becomes more credible with each passing day.

Still, it’s a bargain for Mr. Mateschitz and most probably Ferrari who are spending minimalistic amounts above the receipts they get from the sport of Formula One – for a global marketing platform.

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Is the pressure now off Lewis ?

Following Sundays battle between title protagonist Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, former Redbull and Mclaren driver David Coulthard feels that the pressure is now off his fellow Brit, Lewis Hamilton with only one race to go.

Writing in his column in The Telegraph, DC is of the view that coupled with being in the fastest car on the grid and given Lewis’ speed, finishing 2nd should not be that difficult a task to accomplish. However fellow BBC commentator Alan McNish does offer a different opinion and feels that the Brit is still under intense pressure to secure the result that he requires.

DC argues, “Even Michael Schumacher, statistically the most successful driver in the sport, won less than a third of the time. Logic dictates, therefore, that it is harder to win, which is what Nico Rosberg has to do.

The pressure is off Lewis. All he has to do is go and drive. Even if he approaches it with a hint more conservatism, he should still qualify on the front row, finish second and take the title, so dominant is his car. They have won every ‘normal’ race this year, ie when there has not been a technical issue with the car, or when the two team-mates have not collided.”

“Approaching a race needing a certain result can do strange things to some drivers. If you start making conscious decisions on top of driving the car, you open the window for mistakes. Your concentration can falter. Yet Lewis is not that sort of driver. He is an instinctive, complete driver”

“Lewis deserves the championship. Most fans, other drivers, journalists and team principals, would agree, principally because he has won more races.”

However deserving he may think he is of the title, things don’t always go the way they should. Lewis has been in this position before and on both occasion he almost walked away empty handed, will that be the case come the seasons end?  Will the misfortune of 2007 play on his mind or will he demonstrate that he has conquered those demons?

From TJ13 reporter: Fortis96

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67 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Tuesday 11th November 2014

  1. let’s just hope that Honda and McLaren retains Button, he still got it, his iamge is very good for F1 and for those who like Alonso, he surely will help

  2. let’s just hope that Honda and McLaren retains Button, he still got it, his image is very good for F1 and for those who like Alonso, he surely will help

    post edit
    totally irrelevant, but, at the Johnnie Walker event, he was well rceived by the audience, people like him, and his co host, the beautiful and lovely brazilian actress model Debora Nascimento melted in complments about him around the social webs after the event

    haha

    _cuts the gossip moment

    • Button is a relatively safe if unexciting pair of hands behind the driving wheels. But Mclaren want Alonso relentlessness which Button is totally lacking in. The 2012 season exposed Button for not being able to out think a car with some handling issues, and for a driver being paid a very huge retainer, it is not a good bargain. Mclaren is not Ferrari that can afford to spend grotesque amounts on Kimi and not get value.
      Unfortunately also for Button, he doesn’t have the Withmarsh PR machine singing his praise and waxing albums for every odd point scored. Speaking of which, When Whitmarsh got sacked during a management change, Button did welcome Mclaren’s change. It is now ironic now that Button doesn’t welcome a driver change.

      • What Honda need are two experienced drivers, especially as they tied their own hands in terms of data acquisition by having only one team. Magnussen’s only selling point is his overboarding agressiveness. I doubt that is much help in developing the engine. They’d be stark raving mad to let Button go, but then Honda abandoned a winners car after 2008 and sold it to Brawn for a pound, so you never know…

        • You’ve also got to wonder, when McLaren signed Lewis to partner Alonso he was pushing him hard from the start. K-Mag has done OK this year but he’s not got on terms with Jenson yet and that may well show that he’s no more than a ‘good’ driver.

          McLaren might be better keeping Jenson for one year to push development and then get one of their younger drivers to partner Alonso in 2016….

      • I aggree wtih you about Button and a bad handling car, but to say he isn’t relentess isn’t correct, his race pace has always been his strong point, even if his qually pace is a bit ropey at times

      • I find myself agreeing with FH again (shock…).

        In any event, Button seems to have dropped his asking price:
        “I still want to earn money from it,” he said, “but I’m not a driver who takes the mick and I will race somewhere even if I’m not getting the big bucks, unlike a few drivers who are out there.

        Snap up the bargain while it’s there, McLaren.
        (And the extra points he’ll score over KMag make it more so.)

      • I reckon Button is in largely the same space as he’s been in his whole career – good not great. A few standout drives and a WDC enabled by a killer innovation – not the stuff of legends, but a damn fine career nonetheless.
        Even though I like Kev, Macca should keep Jenson for a farewell year that will likely be one of transition for the team anyway. He’ll be good tailgunner for Fred, if nothing else.

      • Unfortunately also for Button, he doesn’t have the Withmarsh PR machine singing his praise and waxing albums for every odd point scored.

        The seriousness and legitimacy of a comment like this attacking Button is inversely proportional to the # of references to conspiracy theories that the incredibly talented former TP Martin Whitmarsh (who one would be truly blessed to have as a boss and mentor) conspired to deceive the World about Button’s supposed lack of talent (apparently succeeding, according to your logic), but even when # ≥ “1” it’s still indicative of a joke. i.e., total fail.

        No doubt you have a theory also on how Whitmarsh actually succeeded in winning Button’s WDC for him in 2009, too, yes?!

      • Button out-scored Perez and Magnussen in dog-shit cars, wouldn’t that be expected of a driver who has been in F1 since 14 years versus drivers who can be considered rookies ? He was the lead driver of McLaren these last 2 years and has none of the ability of Alonso (who is also not quite the great lead driver McLaren and Honda need) has to just bloody drive the hell out of a car. there’s no reason to keep him around.

        Magnussen is a safer bet for the future and chances are he should improve with time and help McLaren with the WCC and presumably will play the role of Alonso’s sidekick, can’t say the same of Button as he’s driving ok now but who says he will remain any good next season. Now if Button is prepared to play second-fiddle to Alonso both as a driver and as an employee (i.e. being on a much lower salary), then perhaps McLaren don’t have much to lose by keeping him around.

        Honda need a star driver but most importantly a driver who can lead car development in the right direction (competitiveness), something Button has failed to do in his entire career. If teams go with 3 cars next season, then I guess there could be room for Button although that place could easily be filled with Grosjean or Hulkenberg instead.

  3. RE: Red Bull Racing costs Mateschitz just £13m.

    I always new with the new payment agreement, Redbull and Ferrari were essentially being subsidized by the other teams.
    Even with winning the constructors’ this year, Mercedes will still get paid a whole lot less than will Redbull and Ferrari. Would probably have been better if it was just made winner takes all and the losers sort themselves out. It is ridiculous and I can’t blame Mercedes if they don’t want to loosen the engine regulations.

    • Even with winning the constructors’ this year, Mercedes will still get paid a whole lot less than will Redbull and Ferrari.

      Is that true ?
      Don’t forget the published accounts presumably include the Constructors’ Championship bonus payment – which Mercedes will get this time around.

      More or less true for Ferrari, though, and your point about the teams at the top effectively being subsidised by those at the bottom is right.

      • Not quite accurate. The bottom teams are short-shifted in favour of the big teams by CVC and the midget. Bernie is the only one who can change that. The big teams make a lot of noise about not accepting it, but why doesn’t he just tell them where to shove it? Does he really think they would walk out? Imagine the desastrous PR for Ferrari or Merc if they buggered off because they don’t get more money blown up their arse. It would be a train wreck – for them. Customers would run screaming.

        • The reason why Marrusia didn’t get a good deal with Bernie is the same reason why Mercedes wont get paid more than Redbull. The prize money is also based on your last 3 year’s performance. Redbull would still have won more races than Mercedes between 2012 and 2014. So they get to keep that bonus, then we get the actual construstors champions fund and we add that to Bernies sign on fee of which I think Redbull gets more than Mercedes and we have Redbull getting paid more than Mercedes.

          • Well, Mercedes won’t bitch about it, will they? considering they outspent everybody else by a factor of two to make a mockery of any attempt to cap costs by the engine freeze. The ‘last three years’ rule is not so bad, because that prevents a team falling off badly because of a single bad year, ´like Williams in 2013.

          • The reason why Marrusia didn’t get a good deal with Bernie is the same reason…

            Dude, the reason that Marussia didn’t get “a good deal” is because Ecclestone and CVC were attempting to drive them OUT OF THE SPORT, and they capitalized on the expiration of the proper Concorde Agreement to execute bilateral deals of varying richness (or exploitative stinginess) with 10 of the 11 teams

            Marussia didn’t even HAVE an offer of a commercial deal, let alone an equitable one, DESPITE the fact that FOM were ALREADY using Marussia’s IP by broadcasting coverage of them during GP weekends (while at the same time trying to drive them out of the sport – how nice). This then necessitated “a bit of sabre-rattling – for which read threats of a European Commission anti-trust complaint – [which] is said to have worked wonders. In fact, according to a…report in Sport Business International, the EU is already investigating certain clauses contained in the race, team and broadcaster agreements held by FOG.” (to quote Rencken)

            Where Formula 1’s Concorde Agreement initially referred to a bilateral arrangement between teams and and governing body defining ownership of television rights and revenue distribution, before mutating into an all-encompassing tripartite agreement between FIA, FOG and teams covering finances and governance, the historic term is now taken to refer to what is in real terms a cosy commercial deal between FIA and FOG – with a revised governance bolted onto the back that fundamentally excluded the sport’s largest player group and disenfranchised half the grid.

            Unfortunately, as Rencken reminds us, “For [this] the teams have only themselves to blame, after they, in their greed, allowed Ecclestone to pick them off one by one.”

            Marussia is gone because Ecclestone and CVC wanted them gone, and craven, cynical, greedy men like Horner, Luca di Montezemolo, and Ron Dennis (to name but three) are so myopic in their greed and servility to power and money that they gladly facilitated the destruction of FOTA from within.

            Please take some time to actually learn about what’s been going on for six years in F1…

            Could F1’s Concorde row reach the EU? | http://bbs.hupu.com/4755188.html

            Adam Parr turns the page | http://bbs.hupu.com/4990736.html

            The hidden discord of F1’s new Concorde | http://bbs.hupu.com/6534090.html

            Formula 1’s biggest scandal | http://bbs.hupu.com/6679126.html

      • When it comes to inheritance… When you die… It’s best to give equal amounts to all kids. It builds resentment if one kid gets more then another kid. Furthermore they will rely on each other if they know it was equal.

        Right now the big kids are Red Bull and Ferrari getting too much and everyone knows.

  4. I notice on JA Bernie is saying what a good champion Lewis would be.

    Sounds like someone is being told what the result needs to be at the next race?

    • What everyone has conveniently missed out in reporting, is that he also said that it would be better for Formula One to have a world champ who can speak several languages – Nico. Before the season even began, Bernie was already waving the flag for Nico, yet no one said anything about how he shouldn’t be doing that then….

      Typical, at a time where Lewis is looking more likely to win the championship, there is the media stirring things up and fans alike trying to put a negative spin on it.

      • What he also said was, “that having Nico as champion would be better for Mercedes”

        It was later he said Lewis would be a better fit, because he’s known all over the world, whereas no one knows who Nico is. I think the hippo has even said that he’s not really that popular in Germany, so I’m not sure how it would be better for Mercedes.

        Furthermore, Mercedes is already a major cooperation that needs no help marketing itself, so I’m confused as to why he’s more interested in building Mercedes as a brand rather than build the sport that he’s in control of.

        F1 has not had a title sponsor for sometime now and like Andy Wiengarten said in the podcast, “F1 needs to open up more revenue streams.” Now wouldn’t it be easier to market the sport as a package if the champion is the most popular driver on the grid?

        For all Nico’s supposed intellect and smarts, he’s not really a marketing gem is he?

  5. “which doesn’t account for at least 100 full time staff working in Milton Keynes who are forced to remain self-employed.”

    With all due respect, but who wrote that? It is a completely normal procedure for companies to jire external employees and I doubt these people are ‘forced’ to remain self-employed, else I’ve been a coercion victim for 10 years now.
    Did it ever occur to the author that some people consciously decide to remain self-employed? As an employee of my current employer, I would earn about 30 euro’s per hour, as a self-employed external contractor I earn four times as much. For the both employer and me it is a win-win scenario. I earn serious bucks and in return the employer is not roped into the whole dismissal payment crap or paying me wages when I’m on hollidays. If they don’t need me anymore, they tell me so and I look for a new project. In return for that flexibility they pay me much more. Doesn’t sound like ‘being forced’ to me.

    • Perhaps things are different over here, but often workers are kept below full time or hired free lance so companies can dodge tax payments and not be required to provide employee benefits for personnel who are full time in all but name only.

      In this instance, calling them self employed allowed RB to make their budget look far more reasonable than it likely is, as well as denying security to those who want it. And I would wager it’s not just RB that use that trick.

      In the US there are fairly stringent rules about who can and can’t earn freelance wages and for years they were taken advantage of. As the IRS has gotten more strict with enforcement, this has dropped tremendously, mostly to the benefit of the workers.

      Since neither you nor I know any of the people personally, chances are some of them deserve full time employment and some don’t, however I think it likely that Red Bull is getting the better of the arrangement on the whole, to the detriment of the employee.

      • I applied for a contractor’s job at RB four years ago and the conditions were rather sweet to say the least – and that was for a database admin, not even a high-profile engineering job. The employer ‘buys’ the absence of ’employee’s rights’ by higher pay. Meanwhile I have to pay all the taxes, travel, accomodation etc from what I’m paid. If it is lucrative for me and the employer gets rid of the tax and social security payments – both win,
        It’s not like I live on the knife’s edge. My hourly demand includes everything, so at 80-120 Euro an hour (depending on distance from home) it sounds like an awfull lot, but from that I have to pay everything and I’m properly insured. The only difference is – I pay the premiums myself. In the end I still have more left than a normal employee, so it’s not like the article implies, that self-employed people are ‘slaves’ or something. Many, like I, do it because you just earn more. You have a bit more risk any may have to wait two or three months for the next gig, but at least I don’t have to pinch pennies, which is more than can be said for many ‘normal employees’.

    • @FatHippo
      I suggest you read Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs regulation IR35 – I can assure you these people do not meet the contractor criteria – they are employees – without the employee benefits

      As TJ13 has reported previously, this is a hangover from the RRA days – where voluntary declaration of resource was applied.

      It was designed as a cover up and is now a convenient cost saving measure – but it is illegal.

      What does the employee do? Blow the whistle – lose their job?

      • Well, battle-hardened from ten years as a freelancer, I’d say that if you can’t find another job after working in F1, you might not be as good as you think. VW, Audi, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Bosch, Metro Group, IBM, Hewlett Packard – that’s the companies I’ve worked for over the past 10 years. People read my CV and say – if he was good enough for them, he’s good enough for us. It’s a seldf-propelling process. And how much more endorsement can you get than having worked for Red Bull Racing? Are you seriously trying to tell me those people wouldn’t find another job if they walked away from those all so god-awful conditions? Sorry, not buying that. Contrary to popular opinion, the economy is a meritocracy. I don’t look anything like a banker. I’m not turning up in the office in a suit and a tie with 2 tons of hair product applied and clean shaven, but rather a casual shirt, jeans, a ginourmous beer belly and a beard. Yet they still employ me, because I’m better than the clean-shaven hippster next to me. If you’ve got the qualification – you find a job, simple as that. If those jobs were as awful as you make it sound, I would have to question the people’s judgement, who cling on to such a gig.

        • Hippo, not everyone is as resilient and tough as you. You’re a freaking hippo, after all.

          The employees being described above aren’t being forced to work in one of Speer’s armaments factories against their will (or worse, in underground V2 production, or as slave labor in a chemical works under SS-control), but it’s very easy to imagine an employer like RBR exploiting people’s passion to work in F1 (or their youth, naivety, financial instability, fear of unemployment) and denying them the proper fringe benefits and legal protections they’d be entitled under correct full-time conditions.

          Try to empathize more, Hippo. Doing so is not a sign of weakness…

      • Yes, and this is exactly what I was referencing viz laws in the US. Regardless of convenience the employer dodges legal tax obligations and in the long run “employees’ have little recourse to change the situation.

        • The taxes are not evaded, Matt. To take my example: Unmarried Contractor. If they employed me, they would pay me – let’s say 2.500 Euros Netto. On top of that the employer would have to pay 2.300 in tax and social security. so I cost them 4.800 Euro a month.
          My current employer pays me around 8 to 12 thousand currency units (depending on how many hours I work, which I can decide on my own) from which I have to pay 3.600 in taxes and social and health insurances, another 2.000 for travel and accomodation. So unless I work very little hours or get sick, I still have more than the employee, the state doesn’t lose a penny. I see no loser in that scenario

          • …You can rationalise it as much as you wish. these employees have been there for years and they are not through an agency – they have to complete their own tax returns – this in clear breach of HMRC regulations on employment law.

            Its also convenient when – for example – in the news today we have RBR’s published figures – including head count… which is clearly not true.

          • Having had my fair taste of communism for 16 years, I merely say that the contractor model has its merits. In your case I think you are prejudiced, because you could have taken any team on the grid, but you chose Red Bull. You’ll find even more contractors at Mercedes. On the contrary, you’ll find a lot of real loan slaves there that have been sold off as externals to Mercedes while being normally employed by subcontractors on ridiculously low wages. I was offered a job at Merc (not the F1 team, the company itself) as a “Leiharbeiter” in 2012 on a laughable 68K per year (That’s before taxes, so 3.000 a month). In contrast to freelancers those guys *really* get the poop end of the stick. Merc has been the worst offender in that regard among German car manufacturers for decades, Interestingly enough, the best conditions for employees are at Volkswagen, who have payment and working hour conditions that BMW and Mercedes employees can only dream of.

    • I know a little about self-employment, the guys referred to at RedBull are most likely sub-contractors, as if you are plain self-employed and work for the same company for longer than 6 months without doing work for other firms, then the company is obliged to take them full time on the books as you can only be self-employed if you source your own work. HM Revenue&Customs has clamped down on the practice as companies used to kelp people in a self-employed basis to avoid having to pay holidays and also their accounts dept doesn’t need to calculate the tax , plus an employer must add some extra to the employee’s National Insurance if they are on the books. Therefore the 100 or so workers will most likely be sub-contactors working through an agency. Although the payments made either directly or to an agency are still going to be somewhere in the accounts as 100 skilled people’s wages isn’t going to be pocket change, the only benefit is less work for tax returns and less of a NI contribution for the company. Also the company can lay them off with little or no notice period.
      It’s is often skilled CNC machinists and specialist fabrication and assembly staff that work this way. I used to work at a place that built the Williams active suspension hydraulic valves and actuators, as well as the hydraulic systems for the AirBus A380 landing gear and the operated in a smilar way by using agencies to find their subbies.

      Clear as mud lol

  6. Judge,

    1) I think two days ago, right below each article the initials of the contributor were also publised. I thought that was nice since we know who has contributed that piece and from what standpoint they have contributed and also we can pose questions directly to them. Request (if possible) to continue that practice.

    2) I am tired of the deserving champion thing. From Texas last week the F1 fraternity including the BBC and SKY keep questioning the fact that Would nico be a worthy champion if he wins via double points generating a big debate across the media outlets. We know that championships are won by delivering consistent results. It does not matter whether you win 3 races to your opponent’s 12 or so. At the end of the day if you are ahead on points you are the champion. Further we all knew that the double points for the last race since December last year. So why moaning about it in November this year. I also do not understand why James Allen published Bernie’s deserving champion shit in his blog.

    To sum up, luck also plays a part in a championship and if Nico has to win a title by double points so be it. He is still a WDC and no one can question it. Further even if we look at the other way, Nico has endured four years of mediocre machinery and just this year has got a winning car. So how come people still say that he is not a deserving champion.

    So whoever wins it is a deserving champion. For the other better luck next time. Simples. I trust that the media understands this and does not overblow if nico is WDC in Abu dhabi.

    • Both drivers has been consistent throughout the entire season, that should not be a surprise. The reason why those questions are being asked, is solely down to the double points.

      As we all know, without that, having a 17 points lead would pretty much guarantee that driver the championship, barring a DNF in the race.

      But to be fair to JA, this an old story, the interview was done between Bernie and Lewis in Austin and was only published by F1.com I think it was on Friday and was later picked up by mainstream media. Also I think the headline is misleading, because in the interview, he stared he wanted Nico to win, because he thought the new rules would favour him more and it would be better for Mercedes.

      • Nico winning would be disastrous for Mercedes, or at least Niki Lauda, as the communists on the board of directors would tar anfeather him for paying millions to Lewis when Nico gets the job done for a fraction of the money.

        Mercedes is the worst-paying car manufacturer in Germany and that’s why they are in constant clinch with the trade unions. Two trade union leaders are on the board of directors – they’d go nuts.

        • So are you saying they’d still question his wages if he loses the championship based on a DNF?

          Now that wouldn’t exactly mean he failed to deliver, because it’s clear to see, when the car is good, then it’s either he wins or finishes 2nd. So I think they can easily justify paying what he’s getting paid, because his machinery failed him, not him failing his machinery.

          But out of curiosity, what was Schuey being paid whilst he was there?

        • Are you kidding me, Nico winning for Merc would be the ideal situation – German driver winning for the German manufacturer. Peter Windsor even said that he was informed that Merc worked out some ridiculous odds that Nico winning would benefit the team much more than Lewis winning.

          Lewis has shown he’s well worth the money in the way of his performances over his career. And if it is true, then Vettel will be one of the highest paid, if not the highest paid driver on the grid in his deal with Ferrari. A 4 time world champ that has been beaten by Ricciardo this year – If anyone’s salary needs reviewing, it’s his.

          • But like the hippo has said before, the German public has not taken to either Seb or Nico….

            But how would it be ideal? Will it increase their fan base? Will it drive up revenue? Etc…So I’m not sure how having a driver that no one has really heard of until this season, be an ideal situation.

            Sure Nico has his qualities, but he doesn’t seem like the type of person who you can centre a worldwide marketing campaign around. Isn’t that what they’d like to do?

            As for those odds, i think they need to look at the team prior to Lewis joining to what it is now, I’m sure it would paint a completely different picture to the one they’ve envisioned with Nico.

          • Nico hasn’t got much marketable potential in Germany. If Merc wanted to profit from a German winning the title, they’d have to hire Hulk

        • Ok, so you’re betting on what? Nico’s engine blowing up within 10 laps? Underfuelled in qualifying, has to start from the back?

          Mercedes has trade union leaders on its board? Are they voting members of the board? That would seem to be a case of wearing two hats. I’m all for unions acting as partners alongside their companies, instead of the always adversarial approach, but that doesn’t seem right at all.

    • I will take on your 2nd point here. Consistent results are important, when those consistent results actually signify achievement. When Alonso podiumed everytime he finished, in the 2nd half of the 2012 season, in the car he had, up against the cars some of the others had, THAT signified achievement. Meanwhile, in the 2014 DWC, 2nd place finishes do not signify achievement for a Mercedes driver, but rather failure of some kind or other.

      Here’s a question: how many 2nd place finishes for Mercedes have been the team’s best result in a two-car finish? That’s right, ZERO. Why? Because barring reliability, contact, or controversy, the cars should be finishing 1-2 each and every time.

      Don’t be a slave to the Points Scoring System. It’s there to take the subjectivity out of determining who has been the best driver in any given season. Most seasons it does a reasonable job of this, but that doesn’t mean it makes sense each and every season.

      This season is much like 1988, when each race was a dead-cert McLaren 1-2 if both cars ran trouble free. Do you believe Prost should’ve been champion that year, as he had the more consistent results over the year (PRO 105-94 SEN in total points earned)? The win count between them though was 8-7 in Senna’s favour, Senna winning half the season’s races. In the end, that was the difference. Likewise that year, never was a 2nd place the best result for McLaren in a two-car finish. In two-car finishes in 1988, Senna finished ahead of Prost 7-5.

      The gap is even more stark this year … Hamilton has 10 wins to Nico’s 5, and it’s 9-4 for Hamilton in terms of being ahead in a two-car finish. If the 1988 scoring system (pro-rated) was in place this year, Hamilton would already be champion.

      It’s a paradox of the current points system this year that it might have the effect of rewarding failure over achievement, or more accurately a failure/luck pairing over achievement/misfortune.

      • ” If the 1988 scoring system (pro-rated) was in place this year … ”

        Cherry picking drivel

        SOP for KRB

        • So you don’t like the older points scoring systems, that tried to remove reliability as a factor in the Drivers’ Championship?

          SOP?

          Most would agree that the Merc’s are in a league of their own. So if you ran a series of two-car races, and one car came second a lot more than the other, naturally you would crown that one as champion?

          NASCAR has screwed up their method of determining a champion this year, but you can be damn sure that, heading into their 36th race, if one driver had won 19 of those races (i.e. over half) there would be no question as to the champion. Their fans wouldn’t stand for a sham result.

      • Actually that was the whole point. Technical failures, luck and all play a part (although small) in season. We all knew the double points rule since last year. I simply do not understand why Nico would not be a deserving champion as media portrays?

  7. I’ll say it again, allow the lapped cars to catch up in 1 lap by taking them off the deltas, which is safe as the incident has been cleaned up by then, or let them overtake from the start, so that SC picks up the cars in order: 1, 2, 3, etc. and lapped cars thus come around again to be picked up as 17, 18 etc., still driving under delta (but faster than SC speed).

    But the FIA didn’t even enforce an engine cost cap for small teams – letting them go bust – and then harping on about how everyone involved should try and help the small teams, so I don’t hold much hope.

  8. Well, if Ferrari did run 3 cars they could always grab Button to join Vettel and Kimi… That’d be fun to watch and maybe answer a few questions! 🙂

  9. …but no one has mentioned today’s crazy F1 news…that Christian Horner is going to marry Geri Halliwell!?!?!!
    I thought all was a bit too quiet in the WAG front…Schitsinger has been suspicious by her absence….but now this!
    Who would you like to see as the next ex-girl-band-member on the prowl in the paddock, and which driver would you like them to hook up with?
    Answers on a postcard, or below.

  10. @Fortis96 good little write up, I did comment on the news desk on whatsapp, personally I’m pretty confident about Lewis taking the title, simply because of the recovery drives both Mercs have had to on occasion this season, to go from a pit stop down up to 2nd has seemed somewhat easier for Nico & Lewis than most. In ’07 and ’08 Lewis was very keen to show Ron D and others that they had been right to put faith in his ability and also right to put a rookie in a race winning car, since then it’s been proven that he is a top 3 driver of the current field and his place in F1 has been assured so he is no longer needing to prove himself, he can just get on and enjoy it and now he has been provided with a race winning again he appears so much more calm and collected. Nico on the other hand is challenging for the WDC for the 1st time and I’m sure that even though he says there is no more pressure than normal on him, inside I bet he feels quite anxious and possibly knows this may be his best and possibly only shot to get the title, which I am sure is in the back of his mind.

    • Thank you, it’s my first time doing something like this and hopefully with the help of the tj13 team, I’ll be able to contribute more to the news desk.

      I too am confident that he’ll get the job done. However I do feel he needs a 2nd title, because already he has been criticised by many for failing to capitalise on the opportunities presented to him and I doubt he’ll ever be in a better situation to capitalise on that. So barring some major catastrophe, I can’t really see it not happening and like DC said, “when the cars are normal, they’re a lock to finish 1-2” And I’m sure Mercedes don’t want to see the title decided by a DNF.

      I did finish off the piece by asking about how Nico will deal with what he’s presented with, but the editors did not feel it tied into the article. We’ve already seen what happens when he’s desperate to regain some form of advantage (Sochi), he’s prone to making mistakes, something that he has done a lot of this season (no hippo, I’m not talking about Monaco 😉 )

    • What worries me is the “Nico’s been with us since day one” vibe I get. Did you see Nico and Matt Deane (chief mechanic) hugging it out after the race? I don’t think he’d be doing that with Lewis. I’m sure there’s some feelings for Nico from them, that he’s put in his time, and then here comes Lewis to steal away his chance. It’s the downside of an intra-team battle … there will always be some not 100% pleased with a Mercedes win. I’m sure it was the same way at Red Bull in 2009 when Webber was the established driver facing the new young stud.

      On the flipside of that is that most inside Mercedes AMG F1 would surely realize that Lewis is the better long-term bet for team success (and ergo their own personal success, aka future bonus payments), for when the peloton catches them up.

      Hopefully everyone’s desire to not become the story, and to stay professionally detached, means that Mercedes delivers on the promise of getting both cars to the finish line trouble free.

  11. Unlapping cars.
    It’s becoming obvious that no one with any sense is involved in F1. The Dwarf has driven them out, so we’re left with the likes of Woolf and Hardcock, who can only see as far as their next pay cheque. If/when F1 goes titsup, they will just move along to something else, having made themselves a fortune.
    This is yet another reason why F1 needs a cleanout of contracts, rules, owners, Whiting and the Dwarf. If RB, Mercedes and Ferrari run away, who cares – pigs can only wallow in mud for so long.

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