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Previously on TheJudge13:
OTD Lite 2000 – Jenson Button’s debut announced
Back in the late 80’s, when the Jackal was still a tousle-haired young seedling I used to frequent the bars and clubs attempting to emulate the exploits of the future AJH and Hippo!
One evening on my return home, around three in the morning, I switched on the TV whilst eating a greasy kebab and watched some go-karting on the TV. The category was Kadets and was for drivers aged between 8 and 11. Of course names meant little back in 1989 but one stood out over all the others – Jenson Button.
The name was so unusual that I had a premonition that I should visit the bookies and place a bet on him becoming a Grand Prix winner. The fact he was leading was a good sign too.
Fast forward eleven short years and on this day Jenson Button was confirmed as a Williams-BMW driver. Who would have believed that this fresh faced cherub would still be competing so long after and with a WDC to boot!
As to the bet? Well, it was never placed, the inebriated mind conveniently forgetting it by the morning. Only when I saw his name in a Formula Ford round did it strike a nerve….
The Grumpy Jackal.
Renault chases German horsepower
The Head of Renault Sport F1, Cyril Abiteboul, was speaking to Canal+ about the upcoming season and the work the French manufacturer has been conducting ahead of the 2015 season.
“We estimate that at the end of last season we had a 60bhp deficit to the Mercedes engine. The aim is to halve that by the start of the season and unlike Mercedes we will be in Melbourne with our 2015 engine.”
“Of the 32 tokens we have used around 2/3rds so far and the engine is an evolution of last years rather than revolutionary. Despite the layout of the Mercedes engine we have left the turbo and compressor in their original positions as we feel it’s a better solution for us.”
“We now have 24 test benches at Viry which in terms of computing power is equal to the rest of the Renault Group combined. New additions are engineers from Porsche and Ferrari but we could not entice anyone from Mercedes to join us.”
After the problems suffered in winter testing last season, the hope is that engine guru Mario Ilien will be able to develop solutions which provide a step forward. ” Lat season, the main problem we face concerned the internal combustion engine’s heat and the direct injection turbo.”
“As you know, we wanted to work with Ilmor and entrusted the engineers to Ilien in relation to the ICE. This way our ideas and their solutions will eliminate the least effective components.”
Vive le France
Vettel will be punching table within 4 races – Berger
Gerhard Berger had what many would agree was a good F1 career. He was not considered as one of the greats of his era, but he was respected for his speed – not least when he out-qualified Brazilian legend Ayrton Senna on occasion.
His career path from his 1984 F1 debut with ATS through to his final season with Benetton in 1997 included periods at both Mclaren and, perhaps most significantly, Ferrari.
He was not away long from F1 when he returned as BMW’s Competitions Director until 2003 before buying 50% of Toro Rosso with his friend and long time backer Dietrich Mateschitz three years later.
He would run the Italian-Austrian concern until he resigned his position in 2008 but in that time he worked with a young Sebastien Vettel and hence knows the German well. Seb went on to dominate the 2008 Italian Grand Prix and Berger is on record at the time stating he would be World Champion.
Next week Vettel is expected to begin his Ferrari career in earnest as he undertakes the first two days of running in the new challenger form Maranello. But Berger suggests that Seb will be anything but light-hearted once the season begins.
With Marchionne suggesting Ferrari will be competitive for the last 5 or 6 races of the season, Berger paints a very different picture of the man from Heppenheim.
“I know Sebastian and he will be beating his fists on the table after four races because he will not be willing to wait until 2016 to win races.”
It’s well known that Vettel’s hero is Michael Schumacher and it seems that their work methods are surprisingly the same. Schumi also used to voice his displeasure in private with the team but never to the outside world. Seemingly quite a change from an Asturian who tweeted the world about his angst.
Chilton to ‘help’ Carlin in Indy Lights
With the collapse of Marussia and the few remianing seats having been snapped up it seems that the money from Chilton senior will not be furnishing any paddock clubs this year.
Max Chilton hardly set the world alight during his two year F1 career yet managed to set a record for most consecutive finishes for a rookie.
Of course, with the cars being easier to drive these day and reliability so strong – allied to a talent that is a few per cent less than his contemporaries – he was hardly likely to be in huge demand for the 2015 season.
It appears that the pretty one will be heading stateside to assist Carlin – his former team – set up an Indy Lights team this year with an eye on a 2016 IndyCar seat.
“I’m very excited to be assisting Carlin in the USA,” Chilton said. “While I’m still considering my options for 2015, the IndyCar package presents an interesting challenge and by assisting with the development of the Indy Lights team I’m keeping my options open for an IndyCar programme in 2016 based on a strong foundation of knowledge and experience. Hopefully I can also help the guys at Carlin get as much as possible out of their first season in the USA.”
The Usher’s Caption Competition
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