#F1 Daily News and Comment: Monday 12th January 2015


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Previously on TheJudge13:

The #TJ13 #F1 Courtroom Podcast: “The Counselling HAS Helped”

Voice of the #F1 Fans: Formula One Off-season Entertainment

OTD Lite 1975 – Argentinian GP kicks off perfect start to year

Christian Horner, honest as ever: TJ13 exclusive (from 11-1-15)

K-Mag possibly destined to race State-side

Mcnish wants to make Formula One harder to drive

Stoneman question’s Verstappen’s ascendancy to F1

OTD Lite 1975 – Argentinian GP kicks off perfect start to year

Is it just me that feels the winter break is too long? We pore over scraps of news and rumours rebounding the internet whilst waiting for the short pre-season tests that are weeks away and the start of the season in Australia in March.

During the summer, the three week break is obviously welcomed by the whole of the F1 circus but for the fans once again it is fighting for scraps of news. Maybe it was easier in teh past without the all seeing eye of the web, 24 hour news service and social media.

Or maybe, as on this day in history, the season started in January and finished nearer Christmas. None of the massive car launches we endure these days, none of the bullish rhetoric from consummate professionals – just pure bred racing machines stretching their raucous noise for the benefits of the public.

The point – you’d think I’d have one – is that back in 1975, F1 started the season in Argentina. As they say, back in my day…


The Grumpy Jackal


Christian Horner, honest as ever: TJ13 exclusive (from 11-1-15)

Christian-Horner-and-Geri-HalliwellAs the F1 world anticipated Christian Horner’s first child in celebratory fashion during the autumn of 2013, the team principal of the Red Bull team was already having an affair with ex-spice girl Geri Halliwell.

Within weeks of his baby daughter Olivia being born, Christian left the family home to pursue his new relationship.

Geri-Halliwell-And-Partner-Leaving-Tonteria-NightclubThe information disseminated to workers in Milton Keynes was that Christian had been experiencing a torrid time at home with his partner Beverley’s son – from a previous marriage.

article-2182034-145293CA000005DC-690_634x748Horner’s adopted son was apparently behaving like a renegade, in particular using drugs, which Christian was concerned – should this become public knowledge – would compromise his position in Formula One.

Geri-Halliwell-and-Duncan-JamesOf course the timescales are neatly presented, however, the bottom line is Horner accepted the congratulations of the media and F1 colleagues and associates on the birth of his first child, whilst he was conducting a relationship with another women.

Geri Halliwell with Russell BrandThis is of course no crime, but merely adds to the already prevalent perception that Horner is ‘situationalist’ – an all things to all men kind of guy – but with self-interest at the core – to his approach in dealing with whatever kind of situation, in which he finds himself.

Geri-Halliwell-Union-Jack-dressHalliwell, who began her adult life as an exotic dancer in clubs in Majorca is clearly delighted with the impending marriage between her and Horner following a string of failed relationships.

Geri is another example of the modern cult of celebrity and professional marketing as her solo career following her time with the Spice Girls has been a failure by musical and artistic critical and popular standards.

Apparently Christian has been working hard behind the scenes to deliver a financial settlement that ensures his ex-partner will not go public with the dirty details of the last two years goings on.

David-Walliams-and-Geri-HalliwellThe Daily Mirror reports that, Sources say he [Horner] hopes the agreement between the pair will help to convince his parents he has ‘done the right thing’ so they will accept Geri into the family”.

Despite this, one of Horner’s angry relatives has stated, “You can say that his parents are absolutely devastated. We won’t be going to the wedding.”

All this will not alter the opinions of Formula One fans, who have come to know Horner from his regular pronouncements – for who he really is.


K-Mag possibly destined to race State-side

With Kevin Magnussen sidelined by the return of Fernando Alonso – his options for 2015 are limited. As the official third driver for the Mclaren concern he knows that he won’t get any time in the new Honda powered car in testing or FP1 sessions.

But it has emerged that he may be signed to race in the American IndyCar series with Team Andretti whose cars are powered by Honda engines. The team is looking to run 5 cars throughout the year and the Dane would be a part-time runner for the team.

The three main seats are taken by Ryan Hunter-Reay, the 2012 IndyCar champion, Marco Andretti and Carlos Munoz. Also being considered for the other seats are Justin Wilson and Jean-Eric Vergne.

Of course possibly the biggest stumbling block could be the team owner, Michael Andretti who raced for the Woking concern in 1993. He was dropped by Ron Dennis’s team three races from the end of the season and by all accounts the parting was not amicable.

Of course, if K-Mag ends up in an Andretti car, it will be Honda pulling the strings in the same manner that they pushed for the Spanish Samurai in the Mclaren.


Mcnish wants to make Formula One harder to drive

Allan Mcnish was speaking at this weekend’s Autosport International show about the current Formula One and his desire for it to showcase the greatest drivers in the world properly.

Asked about the possibility of having 1,000 bhp engines in the future, he remarked, “I think a modern F1 car possesses quite an extensive performance window. The reason is, if you look at the Silverstone test last year, there were three or four rookies from the lower categories who were all immediately fast.”

“Of course, there will always be the Kimi Raikkonen’s coming from Formula Renault or Max Verstappen’s from F3 but there should not be three or four at the same time. Therefore I think the cars should be a bit more difficult to drive.”

“They’re talking about 1,000 horse power for 2017 but these cars should require a greater effort to drive because currently they are too easy. Just remember back to the difficulties someone like Nigel Mansell had in controlling the car which no longer proves a problem. We have to decide whether to peruse efficiency or strategy and always we have to bear in mind the spectators at the track, since it is they that create an atmosphere.”


Stoneman question’s Verstappen’s ascendancy to F1

2010 Formula Two champion, Dean Stoneman, has added his voice to the current arguments in support of the FIA’s more stringent Superlicence criteria.

Following time away from the sport to recover from testicular cancer, Stoneman resumed racing in 2013 in GP3 and finished runner-up last season. He will need a further season below F1 to meet the new regulations but remans skeptical of Max Verstappen’s debut.

As a prize for winning the F2 championship, he ran in a Williams F1 car at the 2010 Abu Dhabi young driver test and set fifth best time of the week but talking to someone last year he was told: “F1 is a dream and the chances of getting there are a million to one. But look at Verstappen, he has not shown anything. Okay, he’s fast but is still relatively unknown in the higher categories. It’s not unjust, he’s obviously good but to skip so many levels in a single time is not right.”

“Of course he should keep his contract in F1 but should be made to drive in GP3 or GP2 for a couple of season to gain promotion. I think you should give young drivers the chance to follow a path X,Y and Z instead of jumping directly from F3 to F1.”


31 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Monday 12th January 2015

    • Horner’s private life – why does anyone care? Picking up and running this sh*t dignifies and legitimizes the tawdry muckraking that the tabloid press rely on to turn a buck. It’s not harmless, salacious gossip – it’s pathetic. Poor form. Slow news days are hardly an excuse.

      McNish is just another grumpy old man with rose-tinted glasses on pining for the good old days when men were men and the sheep were nervous. “Hey, lets make the cars in the Pinnacle of Motorsport™ actually WORSE to drive – that’ll bring back the punters!”. Boring. The real problem is that the formulas below F1 are too fast and there’s a log jam of performance metrics because motorsport has not been managed as a whole (Hello there, FIA!). Thus the lower formulae (and tin tops) have been allowed to get faster and faster and now challenge the pace of F1. If F1 is to remain the Pinnacle of Motorsport™, then the cars can’t be made any slower but I’d suggest that for them to get significantly faster is asking for trouble – it’ll all be fun and games until people start getting hurt (bad for ratings that).

      Stoneman is just p*ssed that he hasn’t been tapped on the shoulder and invited to have a crack at the big show yet. So in the name of extreme self-interest he’s now yet another boring old man (even though he’s not that old).

      “… he has not shown anything. Okay, he’s fast…” – err, good one. You’ve convinced me :/

    • Mcnish and Stoneman’s opinions have an aspect that is a bit contradictory…

      “Of course, there will always be the Kimi Raikkonen’s coming from Formula Renault or Max Verstappen’s from F3 but there should not be three or four at the same time. Therefore I think the cars should be a bit more difficult to drive.”

      “F1 is a dream and the chances of getting there are a million to one. But look at Verstappen, he has not shown anything. Okay, he’s fast but is still relatively unknown in the higher categories. It’s not unjust, he’s obviously good but to skip so many levels in a single time is not right.”

      It seems to me that Mcnish sees Verstappen as the rare talent that maybe should be fast tracked while some of the young drivers at the Silverstone test should not be given a super license.

      In my eyes Coulthard said it well when he said that the super license rules are a step in the right direction but there should be room for the rare talents that should be given a super license to enter F1 despite not conforming to the minimum requirements. And the amount of points allocated to the various championships must be reconsidered because now it’s all a matter of having FIA in the name of the championship.

      • Hi Robin,
        Your thoughts / observations echo my central concern with the points for license system: that exceptionalism is not permitted, and there are ways to slip through the net whilst being proven consistent.

        DC has a point, but the problem is that “steps in the right direction”, when made by rules, in committee, become politicized, and slow to react, whilst there needs to be accommodation both for much faster rising talent as well as swift curbs for unduly promoted talent. I would have been inclined to set a lower minimum, but biases for age and rate of wins, so e.g. a rookie taking a championship can be plucked for F1, a full year and his result being enough, but not necessarily his championship automatically qualifying him.

        • The rules that are proposed are not bad but some of the details are lacking or require a rethink (the point allocations for the different championships are ridiculous). I would have prefered if besides the points, age, experience and valid driver license requirements there is also a commission of former drivers who must approve a drivers application for a super license. This commission can show leniency if some requirements are not met but the commission must also be able to demand extra requirements. This is if for instance a very fast but prone to crash kind of driver meets all requirements but everyone can see that he’s going to be a danger for the other drivers (e.g. Maldonado was known to be caught in accidents a lot in GP2 too). This commission must also be responsible for handing out temporary licenses for test or FP1 outings. And temporary licenses can only become real licenses if the normal requirements are met. This way talented drivers can be given a taste of F1 while not meeting all the requirements.

  1. Interesting chance for K-Mag there, I guess Honda don’t want to be Deen to have killed his career after just 1 season in F1. I hope JEV gets one of the extra Andretti seats, he put in a very good account of himself in Formula-E on Saturday (despite several rear suspension failures that all looked alike) and gave a very good account for himself in the previous E-Prix until his car died from second place. I just have a feeling that over the next decade Formula-E is going to give F1 a run for its money, I say this purely on the face, if they have 5 years open development on the power trains, then they are going to need a lot more downforce and slick tyres possibly wider too, just so the extra power can be harnessed safely. Especially if the FiA cannot regain full control of rule making for F1, they could just leave F1 to choke on it’s own vomit and give full comment and backing to Formula-E. The noise thing will always be an issue with some people, but as time progresses and electric cars become more and more of an everyday item rather than a minority, people will get used to the sound of electric drive, it will pail into insignificance after a few years.

      • @Clear View

        Just guessing. Read the second line of your post. (Deen), an Arabic term (دين) meaning “religion”. Couple that with the word killed, and woo hoo! you are now on the Homeland Security watch list. 🙂 Maybe a quick trip to Cuba, and orange is the new black.

    • It’ll be interesting if K-Mag pips JEV to Indycar, but JEV does have Formula E. It was suspension failure for JEV in Uruguay, so so far, it seems that the cars give up quicker than the batteries!

    • ‘Interesting chance for K-Mag there’.

      If it even exists.
      Only thing lacking in that piece was the magic GMM.

  2. I’m not sure what this article has to do with Formula One, it seems to me to be more about your own deep dislike for Miss Haliwell.

    Come on, 5 of the 7 photos are showing her with partners from her past, only one with Mr Horner and I can just imagine how long and hard you must have searched for the photo where she is showing her underwear, to ram your (real) point home. It’s also noteworthy however, that you didn’t show Mr Horner the same high levels of pictorial disrespect!

    IMHO this is NOT F1 Daily News or Comment.

    • Mr Horner certainly has a lot of influence in the direction of F1 these days. Also what is very interesting being one of the reasons cited for his breakup namely his former partner’s son’s activities. The two are clearly linked and Mr H is thinking about his future reputation in the sport. Clearly an F1 story.

      • i’m not so sure. i’m also not sure this story is so interesting, it needs to be published two days in a row. i dislike christian horner, although i do not know him personally, but, as with anybody else in f1, i think his private life is his own business.

      • I think what the Horner/Haliwell story clearly shows is that Mr Horner is so similar to Bernie E in the way his mind works and the levels to such he will stoop to ensure that nothing can prevent him from reaching his goals now and for the future.

        On a personal note, I have been a step Dad for the last 16years but in name only, my step son now calls me Dad and I would walk to the ends of the earth for him the same as I would for my biological children, to me his is my son. It’s not been an easy road but I love his mother and therefore by default my love extends to him. For Horner to sight these reasons for abandoning a new baby and the a woman he claimed to care for makes me sick on human level, forget F1 for a moment, the world is never straight forward but they are some proper lame reasons. So not only is Horner’s Ex having to deal with a small baby on her own but she has a problem team too.

        Such a nice bloke……………..

        • I doubt it, but she is not constantly under the scrutiny of the media and public.

          I did point out it was my personal view, I would still hold the same view if it was one of my friends that had behaved that way to their partner. I think it tells us more about Horner’s personality and moral fibre than anything that has come before.

          • With respect, I think I’d be right in guessing that all you know about Horner’s situation is from the media reports. Which is say you don’t know anything really.

            I’m not making excuses for him (he may well be a first-class cad), but beyond the bald facts of the story, us public don’t know squat (as it should be). If a media outlet was so inclined, I’m sure it could connect the dots with quotes from “sources close to the family” that imply the ex-wife was a dragon and poor Christian was lucky to get out alive.

            It’s all cr*p. It’s all irrelevant. Unless Horner starts tweeting relationship updates and snide remarks about the ex, let’s move on.

          • @RodgerD no smoke without fire, the solid facts are mere months after a new life was born into a relationship Mr Horner bailed out, that is a low stroke no matter who you are. If you are serious enough with someone to decide that a pregnancy is going to be kept and seen through to fruition, it’s not a futile relationship, so in the space of just over a year (9months pregnancy and couple months after birth) he has decided that its not for him. For someone who has to make big decisions on a regular basis and obviously knows how to deliberate the pro’s and con’s of a situation, it’s a bit morally wrong footed to say the least.

          • There are too many ways in which even a tragic character can be made out to be a first rate bastard. These things often are solely opinion, and depend just on whose side you tale, or who you know. Not knowing anyone, I can’t see how to figure out the simile with Bernie, so readily. It’s a point, that Horner hasn’t endeared himself to anyone applying a straight rod to the moral back of the sport’s communication department, but then he’s hardly any PR guru, or any kind of guru, in my book. No matter I’ve no positive idea of the man, from where I stand, I doubt the reuse of this story is ether public interest or fair use, if you think about it, unless there is more successful satire which I missed. Ah, guff to it all. Another silly man in F1. But some would say you have to be vain and somewhat nutty to be so dedicated to win a tin chariot race for the price of current admission..

      • I beg your pardon, but that’s cr*p [1]

        The idea that the Daily Mirror is worthy of citing in any way, shape or form is beyond contempt.

        Repeating the dirge purveyed by this mob encourages and in some small way legitimizes their dismal, humanity-destroying undertaking.

        1. Complete and utter.

        • Here here, I always rely on what a old mate reveres as “The Bible”: The Daily Mail is where the Real stories are at 😁

        • I’m not really interested in what Horner gets upto in his personal life unless it has a direct impact on F1. Which in this case I don’t think it does, sounds like he’s merely desperate to avoid a scandal.

          Amongst all the trash tabloid rags usually report, there are stories that have a basis in fact and make the Horner stories pale into insignificance. If you want something juicy look at the Prince Andrew allegations, there might be some F1 relevance there depending on how the lawsuits in the US go and what information is divulged by the courts. Not saying the name, as libel laws and what not.

  3. Not sure what would be accomplished by having K-Mag swanning around in Indycar for awhile. Besides making up the numbers, don’t know why he’d want to expose himself to driving on high speed ovals in cars that prone to go airborne….

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