#F1 Daily News and Comment: Friday 28th November 2014

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Previously on The Judge 13:

#TJ13 #F1 Courtroom Podcast: We will fight them on the beaches


OTD Lite – Hamilton starts his ascent

Ferrari and Red Bull veto change in the F1 Commission

Vettel ready to wait

Red Bull suggests it was a “silly mistake”

Williams poaches sponsor from struggling Lotus

Hulkenberg goes “old school’ by contesting LeMans 2015


OTD Lite – Hamilton starts his ascent

Unlike the British press, I am not about to go falling over myself to write lyrically about our divine champion Lewis. Ultimately, I’m Italian and for my penance I have to suffer season after miserable season after miserable season – you get the picture – of Ferrari mediocrity. Oh to have a German driver join the team again… what’s that you say?

I like Hammy. Shock, horror, really I do. But in la la land, where I live, anybody driving for Mclaren is automatically the enemy so until he joined Mercedes he was quite simply despicable.

On this day eight years ago, Lewis parked his derriere in the moulded seat of the Mclaren MP4/21 and began his final ascent to the pinnacle of the sport.

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The Grumpy Jackal

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Ferrari and Red Bull veto change in the F1 Commission

Details are beginning to emerge of the machinations which took place in Geneva on Tuesday this week. There was a meeting of the F1 strategy group and one for the F1 commission.

The former includes 6 delegates from the FIA, 6 delegates from FOM and a delegate from each of the teams, Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren, Williams and Lotus.

Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren in effect between them created a filibuster, to the effect that a mere 6 of the 29 items up for discussion were addressed.

It was agreed that double points would go and that there would be no standing starts following a safety car period.

What is not clear is what has been agreed over the pit to car radio transmissions. TJ13 sources do not agree whether there will be a return to the rules as at the beginning of the 2014 season – or whether the current restrictions will remain.

Despite the agreement by all team principals which form part of the strategy group at the FIA press conference on Friday, that the smaller teams could run 2014 specification engines, an important change occurred.

Marco Mattiacci’s place at the table had been taken by Sergio Marchionne – and despite the former Ferrari man’s public assent to this cost reduction action, Marchionne said that Ferrari would veto this course of action, and so the matter stays out in the cold.

There were discussions over a more equitable distribution of income amongst all the F1 participants. Once again Ferrari vetoed this along with Red Bull, whilst Mercedes, Williams and McLaren were open to this course of action.

To the topic which is not a topic but a propaganda exercise – the ‘unfreeze’ of the engine regulations for 2015.

Let’s be clear, there is no freeze on changes in engine design, just a restriction that only 47% of the engine’s architecture can be altered.

All three engine manufacturers have been working on their new designs for 2015 for months, the issue is whether the engines for 2015 versions of the new V6 turbo PU’s should once again become a free for all in design – a spend as much as you like project again – and a back to the drawing board exercise. This is unsurprisingly the view of Red Bull and Ferrari.

Renault have been cautious in their comment on this matter, because funding for a massive engine change would be provided by Red Bull. To this end the very existence of Renault’s F1 engine manufacturing base, Viry-Châtillon may be under threat.

As the EU commission delves into the legalities of how Cartel’s in Formula One may be operating and whether the FIA and FOM are in contravention of a previous ruling the Commission made over the sport’s illegal governance, the “Fat Cats” of the world of Formula One, squabble and scratch at each other – not even capable of fiddling whilst the fires of destruction lick around their heels.

The F1 Strategy Group and the F1 Commission, to the outsider, appear to have thrown F1 governance into chaos. Even a return to the regulatory dominion of the FIA under Jean Todt appears at present to be a Nirvana; a veritable oasis of tranquility and order, when compared to the self-destructive anarchy portrayed to the world at large by the F1 players current performances.

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Vettel ready to wait

Patience indeed is a virtue afforded to, seemingly, only the chosen ones in life.  Gone are the days of waiting for something, as we have entered an age of technological advancement and capability whereby anything and everything is possible – and NOW.

Formula One is no different with many drivers expecting success in an instant. The answer to a problem is often to launch oodles of moula at a project and hope it works and works quickly.

So to hear from a driver that he is prepared to wait for success to come is, is at the very least, refreshing.

The soon to be Ferrari driver, Sebastian Vettel says. “We don’t have to pretend that we can match Mercedes next year. I am aware that we face a big task at Ferrari which requires some time, especially at a time in which Mercedes have a huge competitive edge.”

Whether merely to soften the blow of another poor year or to ease his way into Maranello, this is a truly different start to that of Fernando Alonso at the Italian team, who went in with all guns blazing.

First of all I want to prove that it was the right step – for Ferrari and for myself. That will take a while. I don’t expect the people to be fired up from the outset. You have to work for it.”  A poignant statement, as he withdraws himself from the marque slightly, almost as if to say to the people working for the team – you are lucky to have me, so get to work.

Of course, the cynic may believe that Sebastian does not wish for the Red Team to build a super car for 2015, as it would do little to enhance his reputation.  However, going up against Kimi, who has a legacy with Ferrari and a years head start, be a challenge in itself.

It has been suggested that Vettel is hoping to emulate the feats of his countryman – seven time World Champion Michael Schumacher – who ‘built’ the team up from ashes.

Yet the Ferrari establishment of the late 1990’s is a far cry from the current Maranello entity. Ferrari has a new chairman and third team principal in 8 months and the company looks likely to be sold by FCA to ‘who knows whom’ at present.

Also, the hope of alluring Ross Brawn back for one final hurrah appears now to have completely failed.

Yet Sebastian has on numerous occasions talked about how to drive for Ferrari was a childhood dream, emphasizing that Ferrari, “lives and has a soul.

So for Seb, perhaps waiting a few years for success is not so tough, when you’ve waited a lifetime to climb into the cockpit of the famous Maranello racing machines

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Red Bull suggests it was a “silly mistake”

In the dictionary, ‘silly‘ is defined as: having or showing a lack of common sense or judgement; absurd and foolish; while a ‘mistake‘ is defined as: an act or judgement that is misguided or wrong.

Speaking to Adam Cooper, the Red Bull hands-on consultant/boss said, “It was a silly mistake from our side. I would say it was a naïve interpretation of the regulations. We thought it was within the regulations.

It is not unreasonable to conclude, that when something is repeated for days, months and even years, it no longer classified as a mistake – but the accepted norm. Therefore, to hear Dr Helmut Marko describe the flex in the Red Bull front wing as a ‘silly mistake’ – when it could flex to a far greater degree than an international guru yoga instructor – is amusing to say the least.

To have designed something so sophisticated, that the FIA were unable to spot it for the majority of a season – is anything but silly.

Interestingly the word is that the FIA only became aware of this due to the sacking of a certain senior mechanic.

The irony of Morko#s use of the term ‘naïve’ is seemingly lost on the Austrian, who blasted Mercedes for illegally testing tyres in Barcelona, back in 2013.

It was naïve of Mercedes to not have clarified the situation beyond the word of Charlie Whiting, it was naïve to use unmarked helmets – which Ross Brawn freely admitted after the debacle.  The confusion from Helmut Marko comes as perhaps he feels Red Bull will be forgiven for this poor decision, if it is merely passed off as naïve.

Horner is complicit too. He gave a rhetorical performance at the Monaco GP in 2013, hosing down Mercedes in absolute terms. “What annoys me is that it was so underhand, and it makes a mockery of the rules.

Vijay Mallya observed the mockery of the situation in Abu Dhabi when he tweeted how it was ‘ridiculous’ that a team receiving one of the largest pots of cash from the sport – found it necessary to cheat to stay ahead of the midfield teams like Force India.

On the whole Red Bull seem to have been forgiven for their ‘mistake’ over their fuel flow irregularities in Melbourne, which saw second place finisher Daniel Ricciardo disqualified.

As common wisdom states in many different ways, ‘Once is a mistake. Twice is a choice. Three times develops the habit.

Two strikes in from the FIA in one season, for breach of design regulations, is dangerous territory for a front running team’s reputation – and it is will be interesting to see whether the Red Bull ‘leaf spring’ arrangement will be reported by the race stewards to the FIA for consideration of further action.

Winning may be addictive, but when achieving this repeatedly becomes more difficult; then winning at all costs may be seen as expedient.

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A major backer of the Lotus team has switched allegiances within the F1 pitlane. Earlier this year, amid the Enstone team’s slump from fourth in 2012 and 2013 to just eighth in the 2014 constructors’ standings, rumours emerged that the Anglo-Dutch multinational Unilever could switch from Lotus to McLaren.

Unilever has advertised its brands Rexona and Clear on the most recent Lotus cars. It has emerged that Williams is the actual beneficiary of the Unilever switch. In total contrast to Lotus, the Grove team emerged from the depths of ninth place in the 2013 standings to become one of dominant Mercedes’ only competitors this season.

The team announced in a statement: “The Rexona logo will appear on the sidepod, front wing and front wishbones of the (2015) Williams-Mercedes FW37, as well as the team environment and apparel.” Deputy boss Claire Williams said earlier this week that, given their resources, the British team can be directly compared with the similarly-sized Lotus.

“It is obvious,” she is quoted by France’s L’Equipe, “because like them, we get results with a budget half the size of the big teams. Lotus does have a different financial and operational structure to us. We are an independent team and we are also the only publicly listed one. It gives us a lot of transparency and it is a great asset because it reassures our partners.”

She also said that for a team like Williams, sporting and commercial success are “inextricably” linked.

“It (the interest of sponsors) really is picking up,” Williams told Reuters. “People want to be a part of it. We’ve got lots of really positive conversations going on in the pipeline. Success breeds success, doesn’t it?”

(GMM)

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Hulkenberg goes “old school’ by contesting LeMans 2015

Nico Hulkenberg will contest next year’s Le Mans 24 hour race. It was announced in a statement that the full-time Force India driver will spearhead a third prototype entrant for the German manufacturer Porsche in the fabled sports car endurance race. Le Mans next year takes place on the vacant weekend between June’s Canadian and Austrian grands prix.

Porsche said German Hulkenberg, 27, will also contest the six-hour Spa race in May. “I am very pleased the 2015 formula one calendar allows for it,” said Hulkenberg, “and I’m grateful to Force India’s generosity to let me go for it. Now it’s up to me to work hard to satisfy both commitments,” he added.

Meanwhile, Hulkenberg told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport that he arrived at the tail end of the 2014 season in an unusual situation — knowing that his F1 career is secure. “I was confirmed early for the following season for the first time in my career,” he said, “which is a nice feeling.”

He said he is optimistic Force India can have a strong 2015. “We definitely have the right power unit (Mercedes) in the rear,” said Hulkenberg. “Now it’s up to us to build a decent race car around it.”

(GMM)

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69 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Friday 28th November 2014

  1. Power to you Nico – racing whenever the opportunity exists – no matter what genre.
    So much like the good old days when you could see your heros contest a saloon car race and a sportscar race as well as F1 – all in the same afternoon.
    I have some historical articles in mind on this very subject.

  2. So it was only a few weeks ago, Mr Horner was telling anyone who would listen, that the other engine manufacturers should be allowed to catch up with the Mercs, ‘because it’s for the good of the sport’.

    So isn’t a more equitable distribution of funds amongst the teams, also ‘for the good of the sport’ given that 2 teams went bust even before the season was finished. I guess it’s only for the ‘good of the sport’ when it favours RedBull.

    • There were discussions over a more equitable distribution of income amongst all the F1 participants. Once again Ferrari vetoed this along with Red Bull, whilst Mercedes, Williams and McLaren were open to this course of action.

      Ferrari, “lives and has a soul.”

      A similar soul to that of Red Bull, it appears…

      • Sorry to put it that bluntly, but I think you’re being hypocritical here. If your employer offered you more pay than your colleague, even if you did the same job, you wouldn’t decline. Let’s not get holier than thou here…

        • Hippos point is valid, its greed and selfishness, and we all do and are capable of it. It doesn’t make it good though, and certainly not in this instance, but I appreciate where is coming from, folks do get holier than thou about this sort of thing, and ‘tax evasion’ etc.

          • F1 is supposed to be a sports competition. Sport competitions are organized as a contest for the purpose of determining a winner by fair and ethical means. What is fair or ethical about some competitors receiving being paid more than others regardless of performance or that a team can veto any rules that is does not like? Favoritism in the workplace is the right of the employer. None of these teams are employed by the FIA or FOM. They are competitors in a sport; they are their own corporate entities.

            By the way “we” are all not greedy and selfish.

          • You’ve not been following F1 for a long time yet, have you? F1 is a business, not a sport. You have to thank Bernie for that.

          • Since when is sport fair and equal? Is it fair that real Madrid and Barcelona can spend billions they don’t have? Is it fair that they use our tax money to buy the most expensive players of all time? Life isn’t fair…

          • You are mixing comprehension of human behaviour, and theoretical ethics of sports, and the realities of modern sports business a lot here. We can ‘t keep switching between them.

            1) Yes, you are right, sports should be fair, ethical, equal etc in theory, no argument.
            2) In reality they are not, they are businesses
            3) yes all people are selfish and greedy to an extent, its a healthy and normal practice, without it we’d not be here. Its become a poison word because of the excessive greed of a few, but a desire look after ourselves and promote our own and get ahead is a sensible behaviour and not to be scowled upon regardless.

            and before you ask, yes I am left leaning from the UK, so this is not an attack on an opposing point of view, just a acknowledgment of the realities of the human condition.

          • Good post Adam.

            The basis of sport does not change. The businesses/players involved may behave in an unfair, greedy or unethical manner but that doesn’t change the intent. Ethics are not theoretical. One is either ethical or not.

            Greed and selfishness may be part of the “human condition” but they are controllable and many do. If the standard of the condition is set to the lowest level, putting a roof over our heads and food on the table, then yes we are all selfish, but have you never met anyone who puts others needs above their own? I certainly have. Efforts have to be made to look out for those that can’t fulfill their needs. We should be our brothers keeper if needed. “Getting ahead” implies selfishness. What is it we need to get ahead of? Greed and selfishness are poison, not just poison words. They may have been important. for survival, at the beginning of human history but they have been a burden for thousands of years. Putting ones own needs above, rather than on equal footing, to others is not sensible behavior it’s selfish behaviour. Why are my own more important than yours?

            The rules that make F1 a sport are still there the FIA is just failing to enforce them. Somehow they have forgotten they are in charge not Ecclestone or the teams.

          • The FIA has been a toothless tiger for many years now. It’s been the cockroach from Suffolk who’s been calling the shots for close to a quarter of a century now and – let’s a face it – the only way to change that is that someone kills the prick, because the grim reaper somehow forgot what his bloody job was. He’s been blowing money up the arses of Ferrari since forever, Red Bull for the last few years and Merc will be the next he buys. And all of them will gladly accept the ‘donations’. You can’t really expect mother Theresa-like generosity from entities that define themselves solely by revenue and profit.

        • I guess not. It’s only been 47 years since I went to my first race. I’m sure you have been following F1 a lot longer than that.

          • Wow!!!

            @McMaster

            1968 – Graham Hill wins for Team Lotus and Sir Jock for Matra-Ford was second – both using the legendary Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 litre V8

            48 different drivers competed that year and 23 teams (counting Lotus Gold Leaf as separate from Team Lotus)

            The again that may be 48 years depending on counting skills

            “A Hippo’s life is typically 40-50 years”, Kingdon, J. (1988). East African Mammals: An Atlas of Evolution in Africa, Volume 3, Part B: Large Mammals. University Of Chicago Press. pp. 256–77. ISBN 0-226-43722-1.

          • Hey. In the words of Jonny Logan… “What’s another year” 😉

            And what’s fascinating about that era, as I mentioned before. The Cosworth-Ford engine dominated for a decade

        • Hippo, are you aware of the FIA statutes. I haven’t been following F1 for a long time yet, but in my unaware thinking they may apply to events the FIA sanction.

          FIA Statutes, Article 1, 3) Promoting the development of motor sport,
          improving safety in motor sport, enacting, interpreting
          and enforcing common rules applicable to the
          organisation and the fair and equitable running of motor
          sport events.

          Maybe you could show me when and where in the “late eighties”, it’s written, that it stopped being a sport? You know…just so I won’t sound stupid.

        • The problem with the fat old men running the FIA is they can’t see their balls so they have forget they have them. Todt having to tape up his finger nails, so he wouldn’t chew them off, when he was running Ferrari was a pretty good indication of the mans willpower.

      • Correct me if I’m wrong, but does the FIA not have 6votes at the strategy group, so 6 for FIA and Williams, McLaren and Merc, that means there is a majority in favour of cost control, that’s before FOM use any of their votes, so if FIA put in 6, FOM put 6 and 3 teams, then surely 16 to 2 in favour must go through, or am I missing something?

      • Hypocrite is an employment requirement if you want to work in F1. RB have still some catching up to do until they ever reach the level of two-facedness at Woking, Maranello or Grove.

    • With Horner, when ever “good for” comes out of his mouth just substitute “us” for what ever comes next. There is a reason Horner’s name is bandied about as a possible heir to the throne of the Troll.

    • In another place (see here: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/116964 ) CH says that if the engine rules are left as they are it will probably drive Renault “and one or two others” away.

      So, let’s ignore that Renault helped frame these rules – ALL of these rules, including the restrictions on upgrades (and then just did a crap job).

      But let’s see…there are three manufacturers in F1, soon to be four. “Renault and one or two others”…er…that must mean at least one of Ferrari and Honda. Ferrari will never leave; Honda aren’t even IN yet.

      Horner, you are an arse. Your “threats” are so transparent, they can only be laughed at.

      • F1 shouldn’t fear Mercedes withdrawal, but it should fear Redbulls?

        Someone should just ask CH…

        “Tell me what ya want, what ya really really want”

        • Ha! He wants to change the engine rules “for the good of the sport (or “Red Bull”)” to stop a fictitious engine manufacturer exodus, but votes against changing financial distribution “for the good of the sport” to stop highly likely team exodus.

          Go figure.

    • To be honest, I am all for the engine regulations being relaxed. Aerodynamic advantage can be pegged back by any team on the grid relatively easily, due to them being able to test aero parts all year long without any restrictions.

      Only Red Bull’s genius (Newey) kept them one step ahead during their “dominant” years with his intuitive solutions. Any other team could have attempted to have copied them very easily.. and did, just not to the same degree.

      That is why it is going to be a lot harder to cut Mercedes advantage. Even though teams can improve their aero up to Merc’s point (like Red Bull) unless you have the Merc donkey in the back you will never be on par. With a diminishing return on engine tokens up to 2018, Mercedes will be able to stay in their 2 second a lap advantage window fairly easily. After all they will not be standing still either.

      So by opening up the regulations to allow more than 47% of the engine to be changed, I think that is the only way to stop Mercedes being a dominant procession for the next 4-5 years.

      47% might sound a lot for engine development, but when you consider you are allowed to adjust 100% of the aero potential of the car, the actual amount you can change within that limit is rather small in comparison.

      Yes Red Bull won 4 championships on the trot, but 2 of them were won in the last race of the season, and their advantage was never more than 3/4 to 1 second per lap at their MOST dominant in 2011.

      What we could see over the next 4-5 years is exclusively a Mercedes winning every race bar when they run into trouble, and certainly no danger of being taken to the last race by enough driver/team…and that certainly won’t be good for the sport in the long run other than for Merc fans.

      If another team was close to Mercedes this year, they would have never let their drivers race wheel to wheel like they did. It was only the incredible advantage over the rest of the field and in the championship that allowed them to give their drivers the license to do it.

      But that’s just my view on it..

      • But it wasn’t just Newey’s genuis that kept them one step ahead, are we forgetting their clever engine mapping and EBD?

        • Who do you think devised and designed that hot exhaust blown diffuser on the RB cars? It was Adrian Newey, who was the first to utilise the blowing effect to it’s full potential by getting Sebastian to change his driving style and then combine that with the torque maps of the Renault engine.

          Both Mercedes and Ferrari could have quite easily recreated the same blowing effect with their maps, all then it would need would be the cars sidepod and exhaust position to be designed to best optimise that. It was something they simply didn’t think of doing, but was well within reach given the technical freedom. Let’s not forget, by 2012 literally all cars on the grid were blowing in some way or another through the diffuser. Red Bull’s was simply the best solution.

          This situation is different in 2014, there is no technical freedom. whereas teams were allowed to develop and change their aero/diffuser/exhaust layout to their hearts content, with the current engine regulations, manufacturers are simply just not allowed to change however much they want within the engine and therefore their hands are tied to a degree.

        • I think EBD, although the idea has been around since the late 80’s, was one of Mr Newey’s concepts that he took to th Nth degree, especially to take it as far as they did to also combine the engine maps that would cut the cylinders required to improve the defuser performance on the side that was being lifted by body role through the corner, to keep the low pressure airflow sealed from high pressure leaking in, making the car far more stable, allowing much earlier throttle application. Obviously Newey didn’t produce the engine maps himself, but he did give instructions on how he wanted the exhaust plumes produced, from which bank of cylinders and when, that would probably have been a collaboration between software engineers from RedBull and Renault.

          • Definitely, I believe that Renault (works team) were big advocates of the EBD technology on their turbo cars during the 80’s, placing the exhausts either side of the engine cover on top of the diffuser?? I think newey first flirted with EBD’s during his Leyton house\March days in the late 80’s early 90’s.

            I think towards the end of the v8 era, red bull had an. Incredible relationship with Renault. Remember it was not only advanced “on throttle” engine maps Renault were developing, but the torque maps that were subsequently banned in Germany too. Limiting torque through the lower gears up to a certified speed (think it was 100mph??) it almost acted like a passive traction control. Amazing.

      • Some great points made James P

        However, unrestricted engine development without some kind of support for incremental costs to the smaller teams will just not happen.

        Also, the law of diminishing returns would suggest Mercedes should not be dominant for ‘years’

        • Well that is obviously where the equality of income comes into play and smaller teams should be given an equal share. I don’t think engine costs would rise throughout the years too much for teams.. even with the increase of development from manufacturers Judge?

          I agree to an extent, but that can be the same said the other way. With Mercedes over 2 seconds per lap faster than anything on the grid at the moment, it could be argued that the law of diminishing returns means that Renault, Honda and Ferrari have less and less chance each year to close that gap, meaning the advantage simply stagnates and stabilises rather than decreases.

          • The main problem I can see with having a fully open engine development program, forgetting the cost implications, is, that each driver is only allowed 4 engines next year. Now those engines must complete a pre-prescribed distance without being re-conditioned, in which case, if say engine ‘A’ does races 1, 2, 3 and 4 but is then kept back for a track that is easy on engines for its final use, for arguments sake lest say they use it for race 9, then if an update come fitted to engine ‘B’ for race 5, 6, 7 and 8, for race 9 they are going to want to have the same update as they had on engine ‘B’ on engine ‘A’, but if that meant stripping the engine down to fit the upgrade, that would mean the engine will have had a full internal service and you wouldn’t put worn parts back in when you rebuild, especially if you see a part that is starting to show signs of failing, which in turn will boost up the power of what should be an engine on its last race weekend. I mean, if a manufacturer bought an upgrade on the PU to every race, it would be like starting with a new PU every race because I have no doubt that if the could find an excuse to strip all components of the PU between every race, they would, I’m sure the would find something very minor as a change, eg. Swithch a Allen Key bolt for a one rich requires a spanner, or the shape of a mounting bracket (you get the idea) they could just switch back and forth from race to race, giving them a reason to strip all elements.
            Which then makes a bit of a mockery about limiting the number of PU’s because if you fully service them when upgrades are fitted internally, then you will no doubt prolong the engines life cycle.

            Then there is the problem Thayer the rules state that a manufacturer must supply identical components to all it’s engine customers, including the works team, this is to stop the works team having upgrades the rest of the customer teams don’t. That then bounces back onto my point I made above, as all teams will have different cycles for their PU usage, as we all know, drivers don’t all take a newer engine at the same events, so keeping all the engines updated whilst trying to keep up with each customer teams engine rotation would be a logistical, manufacturing and servicing nightmare. Again it will artificially increase the lives of the PU’s, which as I pointed out, destroys the whole concept of engines being required to cover multiple race weekends without being rebuilt or reconditioned.

            Of course then we come to cost, all of the above will cost a flaming fortune to implement. The manufacturers will want to recoup some of the extra cost they incur above what they had budgeted for with the in-season freeze and the gradual reduction of change tokens are in place. Renault even came out this year saying that teams paying late for their PU’s was hurting their cash flow and ability to invest in on going development work for 2015, so they will most definitely want to recover as much of the extra spend as possible, the same will go for Ferrari and most likely Honda, Mercedes are really the only ones in a position to soak up the extra cost if they so wished, but if Merc were doing the best engine the cheapest, you would eventually end up with rest just packing up and going home, leaving a spec engine for the series, maybe with the exception of Ferrari who would at least always supply their own cars with engines. So let’s say, Merc do as the other and pump up price too, then the smallest 3 teams and going to be virtually crippled, what’s the point of have a clever engine if you got no money left to build and develop a decent chassis to run it in.

            I would like to see Ferrari and Renault given the extra tokens they have asked for this winter, then starting at the 2015 homologation date, revert back to the original plan. Mercedes must also get the same number of extra tokens and next winter Honda should be afforded the same number of extra tokens that they others had this winter.

      • @James P re what we could see over the next 4 or 5 years…..
        So what?
        Big difference between the Ferrari domination with that German driver who achieved so much with the full favour of the controlling body of the sport behind them and the Mercedes of today doing it almost, but for the lack of foresight by that same controlling body and the other teams, unaided.

        • @Peter Your obviously a big fan of either Mercs drivers or the merc itself then, as from a neutrals perspective a Mercedes stream roller would be a horrible turn off for the majority of f1 fans.. Especially if they maintain their massive lap time advantage.

          The merc car took the record for most wins in an f1 season recently at Abu Dhabi, and when you think about it, the car could have achieved a perfect season had it not been for reliability reasons. The manner they won these races was a mockery towards other teams.

          In 1988 Mclaren dominated because they decided to stick with turbo engines for one final year, before the 89 n/a regs came into force.. It was only 1 year of total domination … Same with 92/93 with Williams, and in 2003, and 2005 the FIA changed the regs extensively to limit ferraris speed. People seem to forget Williams had the fastest car in 2003 and 2002 to some degree, only problem was that the BMW engine couldn’t last a race without blowing up!

          Merc don’t need the FIA now, they have the money and the lap time advantage.. By a giant margin! So unless regulations are changed drastically (like they were in 05) we could see merc cars romping away to titles in an embarrassing manner up to year 2018/2020.. Unless your a merc fan.. How can that be good for the sport? Especially from a sporting spectacles point of view….

    • As I’ve made this point about RB right along with you, thank you fortis. As for Merc’s “aero” advantage being the primary issue —- well, that’s blatantly untrue; it’s down to WHY the error would continue to be made.

      The major reason Horner continues with his disingenuous stance is Merc’s separating the compressor from the turbocharger with a shaft directly through the core of the —- engine portion off the PU. The aero part of this with Merc was an offshoot of the quantum jump in engine design, NOT the other way around. ANY team that solely emulated Merc’s super-narrow rear would end up with a close to underivable car at F1 speeds… and Christian knows this all too well. And since Newey has proven he is confined to, basically, reiterating his enhancements from the ’80s, he’s proven himself to finally be no longer an innovator, and is, therefore, of no use to Newey except as a convenient RB p.r. tooling his new position as, “Professor Emeritus.”

      And it’s actually important for Horner/RB apologists to face what Christian Horner represents, which is everything wrong with our Western Culture-dominated world today. He is self-centered to a fault, utterly disingenuous and willing to lie without a hint of conscience, even when outed as a cheat. It is as if he was schooled by those who represent the upper strata – defenders and propagators of lies, managers of limited hangout and puppet masters controlling blowback – of intelligence agencies.

      If left to Horner and Red Bull, a corporation that demands people with Horner’s being be in positions to manipulate whatever sphere of influence they inhabit, F1 WILL be a a five-team yawnfest that is forced to sell myths of 21st century greatness to the public that have not a hint of truth, just to put butts in seats.

      Newly and his ilk ARE at the nucleus of the cancer cell that is corporate behavior; injecting him/itself into healthy cells called societies and their subsets – sport being one, tricking them into reproducing more cancer cells while thinking they are reproducing themselves, pre-cancrer inflicted.

      Christian Horner is the physical manifestation of F1 dying on the vine… and as long as dollars roll into RB’s corporate coffer and as long as he garners smiles and pats on the bank account, he could care less what happens to the “sport.”

  3. Re- Hulkenberg
    Great to see he is maximizing his options, he worked hard to get into F1 and because he worked in the Force India factory for over a year, he has a good base understanding of what it takes to actually build the cars. Would be good if he could win Le Mans, he deserves some success after being passed over at least once for a top drive.

    On a side note. What is the chance that Porsche is thinking about F1 and will be gleening as much info as possible from Nico.

    • To be honest the competition and technology in the WEC now has far surpassed Formula 1, it wouldn’t surprise me if more drivers followed Nico’s lead, the more popular it gets, the bigger the draw and the more talent that diverge.

      With Nissan joining LMP1 next year with their Nismo car, we could have 12-13 competitive LMP1 cars vying for the podium, with each team boasting a completely different engine/hybrid combination and fuel type (petrol/diesel).

  4. Article on merc’s domination and the chasing pack by Mark Hughes here – http://www1.skysports.com/f1/report/22058/9580314/why-catching-mercedes-will-be-a-tall-order-in-2015-for-f1s-distant-chasing-pack

    In the second paragraph, can anyone explain to me what he means by “a ‘brains trust’ structure that had been set up by Ross Brawn and Mercedes’ engine chief Andy Cowell.” ? Is that just a reference to empowering the heads of department to come up with solutions and not interfere too much?

  5. Rumour is … that Jos Verstappen will drive one of the Porches in Le Mans as well! Now wouldn’t THAT be great? WEEHOOO

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