This page will be updated throughout the day.
Please if you are on Twitter press the tweet button below. If you re-write and tweet individual story headlines don’t forget to include #F1.
You may not realise how hugely important this is and has helped grow our community significantly
Previously on The Judge 13:
OTD Lite 2005 – Villeneuve heads into the twilight zone
Jacques Villeneuve. Over-rated or misunderstood? A son of a legend that crashed alot, privately educated and with his former teacher, Craig Pollock, managing his career descended from the pinnacle of a dominant Williams to a bit part player with BMW Sauber before being replaced by Robert Kubica in 2006.
On this day, nine years ago he was unveiled as a 2006 driver for the Swiss-German team with boss Mario Thiessen claiming: “We are in no doubt that having Jacques in 2006 will make the BMW-Sauber team stronger.”
After some great drives for the WIlliams team his career became a parody and the opinionated maverick became less and less competitive with stints at BAR and Sauber paving his legacy. A sometimes rude, brusque man he made no apologies for his anti-establishment views but his unpredictability became so predictable that he has become merely a figure of mirth
The Grumpy Jackal
Kubica reflects on Alonso/ Vettel moves
Robert Kubica was talking after the weekends Monza Rally Show were he had won the event from MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi. Asked about the movements within the F1 circue and who had gained the most he joked: “Who has gained the most between Fernando and Vettel? I don’t know either of their contracts therefore it would be impossible to say who has earnt the most.”
“Joking aside, Formula is a highly competitive sport and far more complex than what it appears on TV. In the last few years Ferrari has had many difficulties and it’s for this reason that Alonso made his choice to leave. He’s not going to a top team but there is a new engine constructor coming in.”
“We will see who has made the better choice but it will be difficult recovering the gap to Mercedes. But I repeat, F1 is very difficult to follow from outside the paddock – even if you have raced for years and it’s impossible to predict the future.”
“Alonso’s choice is interesting as he has grown considerably as a driver and a person. His experience with Ron Dennis in 2007 will help him in difficult situations this year. As for Sebastien, driving a Ferrari is a dream for many and with four titles behind him, he is about to write a new part to his legacy.”
Roman Mattitacci descended from Ceaser’s enemies
A speech from Marco Mattiacci was recently transmitted on Spanish TV by La Sexta. The production team had been following the Spanish Samurai for the final two weeks of his Ferrari tenure, it also recorded MM confirming to the team within the garage possibly the worst kept secret of the last few months.
“For me it is extremely important to acknowledge this great champion and for everything he has done for Ferrari, keeping us ahead in difficult moments and not allowing to fall embarrassingly behind. Therefore I want to applaud from the heart ..”
Fred countered with his own gushing praise, “I will be brief. I thank you all it has been a fantastic experience. We didn’t win but we have made things interesting over the last few years.”
Of course, it was known back in the summer that Alonso had been approached by Honda but was reluctant to commit and mentioned his penalty clause as a reason he was staying with Ferrari. Except Marco and the overlord Sergio Marchionne made it clear that Fernando would not have to worry about trivialities.
With the unceremonious removal of Il Padrino, all of the Austurian’s allies had gone and Ferrari’s Roman Team Principal made it clear to his young charger that he was not wanted at Ferrari – during an explosive exchange.
Iron fist within a velvet glove or the blade perched deep into the back, to the Romans the meaning was the same.
Sebastien Vettel’s first day in a Ferrari F1 car
Fernando Alonso? Who is he was the message from the local stores. The Spaniard is a fading memory, all everyone is talking about is the debut of the new wunderkid – Sebastien Vettel. Even celebrated writer, Leo Turrini, speaks about young Seb bringing a similar disposition to the legendary Michael Schumacher when he first arrived in Maranello in 1995.
Like his idol, the four time champions arrived with sponsorless overalls and began his day at 9.30 as he took a Ferrari 458 Speciale around the Firoano circuit with Marc Gene beside him. By 10am he was ensconced in the Ferrari F2012; that had pushed the Red Bull team so hard that year when he secured his third title. He continued to drive until late afternoon – making no mistakes in over 300kms of testing and gathering information at which point he then transferred across to the simulator to continue his education.
Welcome to the fishbowl..
Welcome to the fishbowl..
Hamilton wants Mercedes talks ‘before Christmas’
Lewis Hamilton now says says he would like to sit down with Mercedes to discuss an extension to his 3 year contract which expires at the end of 2015; “I hope we can sit down and talk about it before Christmas,”
Unlike Alonso and now Sebastian Vettel, the British double world champion clearly states he is in no mood for an imminent switch of teams.
“I’ve never had this dream of Ferrari,” Hamilton insists. “The red car looks great but I can always buy a Mercedes in red,” quipped the winner of the F1 drivers’ title for 2014 season.
Hamilton has a contract with Mercedes for 2015, but team management had scheduled immediate talks to discuss an extension for 2016 and beyond.
Of course, it’s not a complete surprise to hear a driver in negotiations to extend his current contract with his team decry the possibility of driving for Ferrrari. Lewis in fact made similar statements when he told the world, he could never foresee any reason for him to leave Mclaren – because it was the team he had dreamed of when he was a child.
Alonso made similar comments to the press early in his career- that he never wanted to drive for the Maranello concern because his hero, Ayrton Senna, had won three titles for the Woking based outfit. Yet if one were to believe the Spaniard, his time at Ferrari was a love like none he has ever known… then again…
Ultimately, any professional sportsman is interested in winning. It matters not the name above the team gates as long as they have the opportunity for glory. Supporters of a team be it F1, football or any sport of choice have invested a life-time of emotions and passions into the team and they expect the teams highest profile employees to be there for the same love.
For the same reason, Sebastian has joined Ferrari because of a childhood dream, but if over the next three years there is little or no progress – will the fans understand his leaving for pastures new?
There’s been some excitement this morning on social media regarding the McLaren announcement of their drivers – which many expected today.
However, the team from Woking did state in Abu Dhabi that, “We have decided to defer our final deliberations relating to our 2015 driver line up until a date no earlier than Monday December 1.”
The word is, in fact it will be later in the week at the earliest when Big Ron and Honda declare their intentions to the world and that Dennis has been in Denmark discussing sponsorship for the team with 3 companies, including Saxo Bank and Lego.
The options are clear. Firstly, Fernando is insisting on a certain number two driver or even the kind of experience the second McLaren driver must have. His evasive behaviour in the recent drivers’ FIA Press Conference when asked would he choose Jenson as his 2015, has led many to conclude his opinion on this matter is clear.
Yet McLaren are now in a better bargaining position with Fernando, since he has been ‘ousted’ by Ferrari and his choices for a Formula One drive in 2015 are severely limited.
McLaren should also consider, the promise of the fine young Danish driver was at its zenith during the first race of the 2014 season – and Magnusson’s results then deteriorated over the year.
Such that without Jenson’s 126 point haul, the team from Woking would have been a distant 6th way behind Force India rather than 5th and hunting down Ferrari.
Opinion is still divided on whom the axe will fall upon from McLaren’s 2014 driver line up.
However, it would be no surprise to see Ron Dennis pull a rabbit out of the hat, despite their new signing’s apparent leanings.