#F1 Daily News and Comment: Saturday 29th November 2014


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Previously on The Judge 13:

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

The #F1 Bar Exam: 27th November 2014

“Tough times” for Max

Sainz in, Lynn on the sidelines

Brackley avoidance

Alonso keeps busy in cognito

“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?


“Brackley avoidance

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.


41 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Saturday 29th November 2014

  1. You may want to correct the word Andalusian by Asturian in the piece about Alonso.

    Sure, it proves that the man likes racing. 24 hours of karting surely is a test for the back of such an oldie as Alonso. BTW, I saw some pictures of him with Andrea Stella on twitter and it also seems like the two enjoy hanging out together.

    • I think Stella is moving with Alonso, I’m sure someone on the Sky team mentioned they had asked him if he was moving with Alonso, and he said “I’m sticking with Fernando” so read into that what you will.

  2. I feel obliged to point out that, while I’ve read that Alonso is both Catalan and Andalusian during the last few weeks, he’s neither – actually, he is Asturian, from Oviedo!

  3. 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…

    That is an interesting idea.

    Granted F1 requires serious structural reform in any event, but assuming more rational governance, the concept of two (or even three) regional F1 championships, with (say) the top three teams (or, more interestingly, the top six drivers ?) from each region going on to compete for the world crown could be a compelling one.

    It would mean a shorter and much less expensive season for the lower ranked teams – lowering the financial barrier to entry.
    It could well boost TV revenues, guaranteeing interest in the outcome until late in the year.
    And if the top three teams had to field the top six drivers in their division, it might transform the debate about the world champion relying entirely on the best car…

    • Forgive me while I smirk at the thought of Wwoollff calling BS on anyone. Now that’s funny. I just pmsroflol’ing 🙂

      Then again. Maybe he practices on himself in the mirror each morning.

    • “Mercedes says engine manufacturers won’t exit F1”

      LOL. I remember a certain Andreas Nikolaus Lauda saying: “If ze V8s come back, ve are out.” just two weeks ago.

      • I dont want v8 back to be honest. Cars are faster now… so let it be. (Let it be) this is the first year and though it has been a little less exciting than it could be due to the mercedes dominance, it showed alot of promise. But then again I never was apposed to the turbo change. But if you are honest, without the mercedes issue or the sound problem do you really stayed bored all year? (Don’t count Russia in the equation 😉 )

        • I dont want v8 back to be honest.

          Me neither…

          I understand that the cost of the new power units is bank-breaking for the now bankrupted small teams and the midfield runners still alive, but I like the new engine formula. Just disappointed that neither FIA nor FOM effectively publicized how amazing they are. They generated zero good PR around the engines (despite the tech marvel and efficiency and reduced noise pollution). So it’s interesting to find someone else who actually likes them.

          • As I said I was one of the few who wasn’t contra when the idea came out the first time. I believe change is the biggest part of f1. And even though I agree that the money ist split fair and all that, those small teams know what f1 cost… and they committed to it. And anyone who has been watching f1 for more than one year knows that it’s expensive and that the fia makes it more expensive due to (sometimes stupid) rules changes… and i agree that this one might be the biggest ever. But if you look at the past this isn’t the first time one or two teams went belly up in a season. Nor will it be the last. Might it be that some are just in it over their head?

  4. I was in the audience for the F1 show last night, and I must say, Max Chilton’s hair is as beautiful and well kept like many has said before, now I know why they call Ricciardo the ‘honey badger’. Johnny Herbert could talk for England.

    It was a nice experience, met the kids from Colossus F1 and Jolyn Palmer before the show and asked about what’s next for him, to which he stated he wasn’t sure what’s going to happen, because his chances of getting into a seat next year, is pretty much nonexistent, he looked pretty bummed out about it as well. All in all, it was a fun night.

    • Please share. What particular trait did DR3 display that was so honey badger-esque?
      As crazy as it sounds, Palmer left his run too late. He’s an old man already, pushing 24 years of age. The current F1 youth focus may well be a fad and blow over in a few years, but it’s absolutely the reality at the moment :/

    • Just saw it on the morning viewing… wondering now if you got on the screen, heh. I’m sure Palmer must have been talking to Caterham or Marussia? Force India reserve would also be a result.

  5. So. Here we have McLaren waiting and waiting to announce their drivers and all of a sudden Alonso and Stoffel are BBF’s? Politics from him, to make sure he gets a rookie alongside him? Trying out his new teammate? Or?

    • Well, considering that Boullier denied it a couple of days ago, it’s probably going to be Vandoorne… 🙂

        • No different to the dismissive way Ron Dennis was towards Lewis Hamilton while he was being lured away from McLaren by Ross Brawn and co to Mercedes.

          Anyway if that was Jenson’s last race, he made the most of it. He deserves a better send off than this. But what do you expect when Big Ron is seemingly in charge of McLaren.

          • At least Jenson was pretty clear in his last pre-race SKY interview broadcast before Qualifying that he didn’t even want a big send off if it was to be his last race.

            I actually believe him…

            (McLaren really lost a lot of goodwill w/ how discourteously they’ve handled this imo, however)

    • That way it’s fifty fifty for us. You got max, I got vandoorne. Brilliant! 😉 both considered the biggest talents of the last 20 years. Bring Melbourne on…

    • “29.11.2014 – My first day at Ferrari” printed on the helmet – cute. Somehow you get the idea it is really a move he’s been dreaming of.

      I hope though he they’ll remove the Weichai sponsorship, as it is phonetically very similar to the German word “Weichei”, which means “pansy” or “gormless guy”

    • Oh what I’d give to know what Vettel thinks of that 2012 car after driving it…. Maybe along the lines of how the hell Fernando nearly beat him to the title with that dog in 2012 😉

  6. I’m so gutted for Marussia, they I felt, of all the back markers we’ve had really stood a chance of actually getting into the mid field. I can’t help but find Chilton likeable, despite the fact he’s a boy band southerner who’s not quite fast enough, he does at least seem to genuinely appreciate what he’s doing and convey that enthusiasm. Some of these guys you would think are being forced to be there some days.

    • I really share your sentiments with regards Marussia. I just couldn’t make myself like Caterham, I don’t know why, i tried I really did, but they were pretty shit and the whole outfit smacked of rich guys playing at racing cars. Where as Marussia had a team of hardened racers at its core, John Booth and Graham Lowdon really worked miracles on the budget they had and always struck my as guys who knew where they wanted to go with the car and the team, even with the budgetary constraints they had to operate under. I was made up when Bianchi scored their points, they really earned them.
      Just before anyone jumps on me about it, it isn’t the engineers and mechanics at Caterham that were a bit shit and unlikable, it was the management team I had the real issue with, I just couldn’t take them seriously..

    • Don’t count them out just yet. Because like Max said, they’ve still got a chance to make it to the grid next year, they’re only in administration and they’ve still got their licences, it’s only they go into liquidation, then there’s no coming back.

      • Was’t the auction of all of their stuff, including their corporate offices, just recently announced?

        I think they’re lamentably done.

        And Ecclestone should be tarred and feather by some vigilante fans next time he’s spotted in public since he was never properly humbled for expressing utter contempt for the team staff who would (and did) lose their jobs and the fans who lost the teams they supported. I loathe him and find his continued presence makes F1 toxic for me.

  7. Does anyone have the data for Mercedes’ win sunday sell monday numbers?

    Would like to see hard evidence of how F1 this season directly impacted auto sales since these power units are supposed to be there for road relevance.

  8. Naughty quote by Lewis. It certainly keeps the door open at…let’s say McLaren.

    “I can’t see myself anywhere else. I never had dreams of driving for Ferrari. Of course, the car looks nice in red. But I can buy red Mercedes cars, it’s no problem.”

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