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Previously on The Judge 13:
“Tough times” for Max
Max Chilton appeared on the F1 show, on SKYF1 UK, talking of the tough times for all involved in the Marussia outfit. The team were a reported 12 minutes away from making it to Abu Dhabi, only let down by funding which later came through. Eventually, the decision was taken that it was simply too late to have sent the team.
Super Max later revealed that the team knew they would be “lucky to make it to Australia” after the Bahrain test, he then continued to say he “treated every race like my last.” The eternal optimism that burnt through is something that endeared the hearts of so many F1 fans, as well as explaining some of the decisions taken throughout the season.
The Briton continued to delve deeper into the emotion of racing in Russia knowing it was the last time he would be racing in 2014.
Pondering on the matters of the year gone by, we consider the mistrust and lies that have occurred behind the scenes of the sport we all love, one striking part of it all resounded – nobody believed them, but they were telling the truth. Marussia and Caterham had talked about the extra cost of testing in the Middle East; they had no vested interest apart from staying afloat.
With hindsight, we can see the extreme strain that was put on these outfits and how unfair it was. The fear of missing out on “crucial” running almost compounded these teams to their demise before the red lights even went out in Melbourne. Not only were they tasked with building a completely new style of car, given the most complex and expensive to run powertrains ever and sent on the longest journey of any F1 season – but the season was also extended outside of Europe into the pre-season.
In this respect, Formula One could learn from GP2 where the series learnt from its over zealous approach to setting up an Asian wing of the Championship, and subsequently retreated back to the stronghold of the Formula – Europe.
While Red Bull recovered and Mercedes steamed ahead of the chasing pack, those at the two backmarkers teams were left with a headache – one which they never recovered from.
It is with great pleasure that we received the news of the testing not leaving Europe once more, but was this really too little too late?
Whether the team(s) do re-emerge like a phoenix from the ashes, into a fully functioning outfit remains to be seen as both futures lay in the balance. While new teams will fill the void left by Marussia and Caterham, this episode in the history of the sport will leave scars for a long time that will not easily be healed. Tough times for all of those involved in both teams as those at the top must learn quickly to avoid such a fundamental error.
Sainz in, Lynn on the sidelines
Late yesterday, the confirmation was given that Carlos Sainz Jr. will become the second Toro Rosso driver for 2015, ruling out any hope of Alex Lynn taking the place.
Speaking publicly on the appointment, Sainz said, “‘I am really happy to have landed the drive with Scuderia Toro Rosso. Ever since I have been part of Red Bull’s Young Driver Programme, this has been my aim and I want to thank Red Bull for putting their faith in me.”
Fresh from the Formula One test in Abu Dhabi, where he drove the RB10, the Madrid born pilot continued, “‘I have had a very successful season in World Series by Renault this year and now I am looking forward to taking the step up to Formula 1. I tested for a day with Toro Rosso last year and I liked the atmosphere in the team. In the next few months I will be working hard on my preparation, ready to get in the cockpit in Jerez for the first test of next year. It will be nice to make my ‘official’ debut as a Formula 1 driver in my home country!
Expect a media scrum around the youngster in Jerez and Barcelona as the Spanish fans will have a new hero to cheer on next year. One thing we would all love to know though is how long has he known he would be given the drive for next year? Given it was over 3 months ago that Max Verstappen found out he would break records next year, does this give Max the advantage in preparation after competing in Friday sessions already?
In “slightly disappointing” news, in the mayor of Brackley Elaine Wiltshire’s words, neither Lewis Hamilton nor Nico Rosberg will be in attendance of their own street demo to celebrate the Mercedes achievement this year.
In years previously, Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel have put on displays for the local Milton Keynes community around the streets of the ‘town of roundabouts.’ Due to take place on Tuesday 2nd December, the event is still slightly unknown in the size of the event which will mark the triumphant year.
The Silver Arrows managed 11 1-2 finishes this year, becoming arguably the most successful constructor in a single year, ever.
“Alonso keeps busy in cognito
While others may be off enjoying the off-season and taking some time to withdraw themselves from the stress and strains of modern Formula One, there is one driver who is keeping his attention firmly on racing. With little over two months break until the drivers and cars will head to Jerez to test their 2015 challengers, Fernando Alonso has been competing in the Dubai Kartdrome 24 hours.
In the final round of the 2014 Endurance Challenge driven by Mini, the double World Champion entered a team by the name of Puntonas, along with his ex-Ferrari engineer Andrea Stella and McLaren rookie and test pilot Stoffel Vandoorne as teammates.
Vandoorne qualified in 14th place, which was noble effort given the limited time the team were afforded prior to the race, then to find himself riding as high as 6th after just an hour.
Ryan Trutch, the circuit manager at Kartdrome said, “We are privileged to have a driver of Fernando Alonso’s stature compete in our race, along with his team which includes the highly talented Stoffel Vandoorne. They have done remarkably well to cope with the challenges, given that they had never driven before at the Kartdrome.”
It appears the Asturian driver has utilised his time where he is not contractually binded to try his hand at something new. Whether this is a form of racing we will see him enter in the future remains to be seen, although according to Trutch he “has asked for, and received, no special treatment, endearing himself to the other drivers and teams with his passion and dedication to the cause – namely doing well out on track.”
While Lewis is swamped by any and every media outlet that can find space for an interview, Max Chilton cries foul at the state of the sport on the F1 show and Nico Rosberg parties away his sorrows, the Spaniard has retreated and blown off some steam in a different way. Ah well, this must prove they are all human then…but only one is the Samurai.