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Previously on The Judge 13:
OTD Lite: 2009 – Raikkonen – History about to repeat itself?
On this day confirmation arrived that Kimi Raikkonen had decided to take a sabbatical from Formula One. He was being replaced at Ferrari by Spaniard Fernando Alonso who also brought his personal bank to offer funds to the sport’s richest team.
After having secured his World Title in 2007, the Iceman’s subsequent form showcased the talent of journeyman Felipe Massa who challenged for the 2008 title and was leading his illustrious team-mate before his season ending accident in Hungary in 2009.
Of course Mr “stop talking I know what I’m doing” went on to win in Belgium 2009 and all his fans decried that if Ferrari had followed his direction earlier they would have witnessed more success – except Mr Magnum Lollies is hardly the most demonstrative character in motor-sport.
So off he toddled to World Rallying before his journey returned him full circle to Maranello and another frankly disappointing season. Will Alonso leave the Scuderia or will he force Kimi out once again after Fred’s recent unsavoury contract negotiations with Mclaren-Honda. Either way, as when Schumacher retired in Brazil 2006, Kimi is unlikely to give a s**t…
The Grumpy Jackal
Haas F1 expands in preparation for 2016
In 2011 – Ford ‘persuaded’ the Ferrari team to withdraw the name of F150 which they had christened their F1 challenger that year. It, of course, should be stated for the record that although this Ford truck and the Ferrari F1 cars could be mistaken for their colour, their individual architecture is unlikely to confuse even the hillbillys of the deep south.
Of course this is all old history except that Ferrari’s B team – otherwise known as Haas F1 – has appointed an engineer to oversee their entry into the pinnacle of international motor-sport whilst combining his duties running the Haas truck racing team, otherwise known as Nascar.
Matt Borland has assumed the position of vice president overseeing the technology transfer between the Formula One team and their sister team, the Stewart-Haas Nascar team. Using their combined technology base to enhance both factions competitiveness.
Having built himself an excellent reputation within the Indycar and Nascar worlds he is equally excited about the new challenges ahead, “I love being an engineer and building things. This way I have the best of both worlds. I contribute to Stewart-Haas’ increasing competitiveness and to also build an F1 team. There are method s we can apply to the Haas F1 team which will strengthen ot and I am proud to be able to handle this”
Of course no mention was made of similar bold statements emanating from a certain BAR team back in the late 90’s. Their brave rhetoric was that Reynard, their constructor, had won every time on their debut race – it was almost inviting failure.
Renault appear to be in trouble heading towards 2015
Was Sebastien Vettel pre-warned about the state of play at Viry Chatillon? Red Bull has been pushing and lobbying the FIA to relax the engine freezing parameters to allow some in season development. It appears that Renault engineers are no happier with their 2015 engine design than they have been with this seasons lacklustre effort.
With Christian Horner claiming a horrific 75bhp deficit to the Mercedes engines – reports from Caterham suggest that all is not well in Milton Keynes land. Caterham is desperately attempting to finish the season and prepare for the 2015 season – although no mention is mentioned of the Romanians who wanted to fund an entry.
The real prospect of running a 2014 chassis for next year is negated by the fact that the engine fixings between the 2014 and 2015 power units are fundamentally different. In fact so much so that the FIA has been asked if they could run the engine in the old configuration otherwise Caterham would not be competing to which the FIA as ever chased the snails around trying to find answers from this most secretive of clubs.
(sourced from GMM with TJ13 comment)
Webber not surprised at Vettel switch
Mark Webber has backed his former Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel’s move to Ferrari. The duo shared a famously tense relationship whilst paired together, but Australian Webber has hailed quadruple world champion Vettel’s talent since retiring from F1.
Asked by Austria’s Salzburger Nachrichten if Vettel’s expected switch from Red Bull to struggling Ferrari was a surprise, Webber answered: “No.
“I’ve always expected him to eventually go where we all now expect him to go now. His next team will be his last in F1,” 38-year-old Webber predicts. “He was frustrated, he wants results, but he also knows better than anyone that he will need to be patient. Perhaps the decision is really correct,” Webber continued. “When Lewis (Hamilton) left McLaren, everyone said he was crazy. Look at him now.”
TJ13 Comment: It’s been on the cards for some years that Vettel had a Ferrari arrangement in place with Stefano Domenicali. After his resignation back in April, Seb was one of the few who called him which SD alluded to cryptically in an interview.
Beyond that the wunderkid always wanted to emulate his hero, Michael Schumacher, and Ferrari was always on the horizon. Of perhaps more interest is the fact Webber believes Ferrari to be his last team. Does this mean he looks at this as a ten year project or would he be looking to retire in a handful of years, barely into his thirties?
(sourced from GMM with TJ13 comment)
Correspondent slams underperforming F1 drivers
A journalist for a leading British newspaper has dealt a heavy critique of some of F1’s so-called ‘pay drivers’. As he ranked the performance of the field of 2014, Telegraph correspondent Daniel Johnson said Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado deserved to be dead last.
“How many Friday practice sessions passed without Maldonado crashing?” he wondered. “Around $43 million of sponsorship money ensures he’ll be there next year.”
Next in the firing line was Swedish rookie Marcus Ericsson, who according to Johnson “was so poor that an F1 novice (Andre Lotterer) came in for one race in Belgium and was around a second a lap quicker. Explain that,” he said.
The correspondent said Ericsson is now switching from Caterham to Sauber “due to money, with his credentials slim at best”. The driver Ericsson is replacing at Sauber is Esteban Gutierrez, who according to Johnson was “utterly anonymous all season”.
Another well-backed driver struggling to find an alternate seat for 2015 is Marussia’s Max Chilton, who while “solid and likeable” is “not quick enough for formula one” according to Johnson.
Also critiqued in his 2014 ranking was the outgoing world champion Sebastian Vettel, who was listed as just the 13th best driver of the year. “Has this been the worst title defence ever?” he asked. “Unreliability has not helped, but he’s failed to quickly adapt to the new cars.”
TJ13 comment: The man is hardly a genius in his rating system – he really should contact BlackJack;sBriefs to obtain a more rounded calculator. After all we have been ridiculing Crashtor throughout this season in race reports, FP1, FP2 and FP3 sessions, erm, qualifying, DN&C articles…
As to Ericsson, look above at Maldonado comment…. and repeat.
But what we find completely reprehensible is that beautiful Max has been lined up for an attack…