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 1975 – Funeral for F1 legend
On this day thirty nine years ago, over 2,000 people attended the service to celebrate the life of Graham Hill who had been killed just a week before. Outside St. Albans Abbey another 2,000 gathered to pay their respects as the double World Champion was laid to rest.
He and five other members of the Hill racing team had been killed in an aircraft crash as they returned from testing at the Paul Ricard circuit in heavy fog. Hill, who was piloting the aircraft, mistook the lights of the A1 trunk road for the landing lights at the nearby Elstree airfield and they perished.
From his debut in 1958 to his retirement in 1975, Hill won the title twice, fourteen Grand Prix victories which included five at Monaco and also claimed victory at Le Mans and at the Indianapolis 500. A popular man with both fans and fellow drivers, he defined an era that will never be seen again.
The Mourning Jackal
More changes within top level at Ferrari
Sources from Italy are suggesting that Ferrari’s lead designer – Nikolas Tombazis – may be frozen out from his position and be replaced by his second-in-command Simone Resta.
Tombazis rejoined Ferrari back in 2006 and has overseen the design of their cars since Aldo Costa was dismissed in 2011; after another conservative design failed to challenge for outright honours.
As the team has been systematically dismantled this year, only the position of the Greek designer has remained relatively stable and this is in part to the contract he signed when he returned to the Italian giants. It would prove very complicated to dismiss him – hence the freeze of his ‘talents’.
With Stefano Domenicali being the first victim of the senior staff cull, followed by engine designer Luca Marmorini – the Gestione Sportiva continued blood letting as they ruthlessly dismissed Luca de Montezemolo and later Marco Mattiacci.
James Allison and Pat Fry for now are considered untouchable within the infrastructure and although Allison and Nikolas know each other from their time together in Maranello back in the late 90’s – it appears that senior management within the team want to promote Resta to chief designer.
Resta graduated from the University of Bologna and worked at Minardi under Gabriele Tardozi before joining Ferrari in 2001 and working his way up through the ranks. Resta has also been involved in the detail design of the new 666 chassis and it appears that the first chassis has already been manufactured.
With Ferrari having bolstered their staff continually over the preceding months, recent additions to the team include David Greenwood (Marussia), Riccardo Adami (Toro Rosso), simulation expert Ben Ferrey (Red Bull) and James Tortora (Mclaren).
One fascinating rumour that is being touted in Italy is the possibility that Red Bull chief designer, Rob Marshall, may possibly be Maranello bound. Dietrich Mateschitz, by all accounts was not happy that Red Bull were found guilty in Abu Dhabi and has visited the factory for answers.
Could it be that Sebastian Vettel is following his heroes example of building his own team within Ferrari?
Force India to use Toyota windtunnel for 2015
Toyota spent a staggering amount of money as they chased Formula One glory back in the early years of the 21st century. Their facilities in Cologne were considered equal to any other racing department and even now some five years after their withdrawal from the sport – their facilities are still in demand by a number of F1 teams.
Force India has nominated the German facility as their windtunnel for the coming season following a rule change for 2015 that a team can only make use of one wind-tunnel.
Millionaire owner Vijay Mallya, in rather predictable fashion stated. “The decision to use Toyota’s facility in Cologne is indicative of our ambitions to continue as a competitive force in Formula 1. It’s one of the most significant decisions in our history and gives us access to what is regarded as one of the finest windtunnels in the world.”
Of course, when Ferrari were having problems with their own tunnel in Italy, they made use of the German facilities. In 2013 Mclaren also followed suit.
With the recent performances of these two racing giants proving so poor – Mclaren securing just two podiums in the last two years and Ferrari being carried by a brilliant Spaniard for even longer – maybe it’s wise for any Force India fans to cross their fingers now.
The fake race gains credibility – or not
Despite the fact that a May date for a 2015 race in South Korea breaches the principle of the latest FIA recommendations over rainy seasons to themselves, the fantasy of a return to Mokpo was clearly exposed yesterday.
The Shanghai Daily reports an official from the race organising committee stating, “We were given no prior notice. The FIA just announced it, although we’ve already conveyed our position about the difficulties of hosting a race next year.”
Since its inception, the Korean GP has lost almost $200m and the same unidentified official claimed the promoters were almost “broke” due to the fact that there is little hope of further financial support coming from the South Jelloa provincial government. “We also have to consider the negative views many people in the province have over the cost of the event,” he added.
Bernie ‘the now forgetful’ Ecclestone also stated in 2013, “I don’t want to go back there” and the announcement from the FIA was apparently a complete surprise as the circuit official from Yeongyam revealed, “We were given no prior notice. The FIA just announced it, although we’ve already conveyed our position about the difficulties of hosting a race next year”.
Negotiations have been held on revising the contract in an attempt to reduce the financial burden, but they have been unsuccessful so far,” the official added.
The French news agency, AFP reports that in fact the South Korean GP may in fact be held on a street circuit in Soul.
So, returning from Fantasy-landia.
The Korean GP is scheduled 7 days prior to the race in Barcelona, it is now to be held in a month with 3 times more average rainfall than its original calendar position, it clashes with the 6 hour race of Spa to which Nico Hulkneberg is committed and now the Koreans appear to know little – or nothing about it.
But hey… this is 21st century Formula One.
Today, McLaren state they will not be announcing their 2015 driver line up before next week
So, nothing confirmed again?
Maybe this isn’t the case.
It’s not rocket science to decide on who is the best driver line-up based upon a trade-off between driving ability and the cash provided by a drivers’ financial backers.
Despite the reports that Big Ron has been chasing around Denmark to secure sponsors, these calculations will have been largely done and dusted for quite some time.
McLaren have ‘confirmed’ that there is a huge power struggle going on inside the team, and that the failure to agree and announce a driver line-up for next season reflects this most evidently.
The question is – whether a third head is about to roll from the F1 line of long standing servants. LdM is no more – Ecclestone is down and nearly out – and is Big Ron is fighting for his life?
Lewis being British
Over the past week there have been two articles written about Lewis and his patriotic claims to be British. The first questioned his right to this claim, because Hamilton has chosen to become a ‘tax fugitive’ and live in Monaco.
Oliver Brown, who had written a congratulatory piece on Hamilton winning his second world title decided he should reflect in a second article the views of a substantive and vocal number of Brits who had responded to his ‘Well done Lewis piece’.
He concluded. “Hamilton’s flag-waving is all very well, but back in his Riviera apartment he ought to reflect that patriotism in its truest form is a two-way street”.
Brown’s article is here
Mark Gallagher, a former F1 correspondent, marketing manager for Jordan and Red Bull and then business unit manager for Cosworth responded.
He concluded, “People ought to take in a more complete picture of what Hamilton’s achievement has done for a country whose passport – and flag – he carries with pride”.
Gallagher’s article is here
So what do you the TJ13 readers think? Please avoid personal attacks on other commentators – these will not be tolerated and moderated fully.