#F1 Daily News and Comment: Friday 30th January 2015


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Previously on TheJudge13:

TJ13 Go-Karting Event on 28th March 2015 – Not Quite #F1 But Will Be Fun!

An open invitation to all members of the TJ13 community – “What do YOU want to know about our podcast crew?
Please use the comments section to ask an opening question for our podcast regulars to answer. Remember, the best answers are often given if the opening question is not F1 related. (Ed’s Note: What have we started!)

OTD Lite 1901 – Caracciola: The original Regenmeister

Neale – Mclaren-Honda have long way to go

Red Bull concerned over RB11 failing first crash test

Mercedes strut their car to the world on filming day

The Usher’s Caption Competition

Sauber launches new car and new sponsor

Force India deny financial troubles

OTD Lite 1901 – Caracciola: The original Regenmeister

Besides the legendary Tazio Nuvolari – few drivers are afforded the respect their achievements deserve and yet today marks the birth-date of Rudolf Caracciola – one of the greatest of the pre-war drivers.

From 1935, the record books show Caracciola as a three time championship winner who won nine races from twenty one starts. Over the same period, Nuvolari secured two race wins from eighteen starts.

There is no doubt that the Mercedes factory produced cars that were technically superior to anything fielded by their rivals, but equally, there is no doubt that they required drivers of outstanding skill to temper them.

Caracciola was unquestionably the greatest of the Mercedes drivers. A man who possessed an artisan’s sensitivity when it came to driving; he never over-strained the car and rarely shredded its tyres.

These qualities were never more apparent than when the skies decided to saturate the circuits and the Regenmeister’s fingertips conducted the violence of the Silver Arrow.


The Grumpy Jackal.


Neale – Mclaren-Honda have long way to go

With the launch yesterday of the new Mclaren-Honda MP4/30 the team has faced up to questions from different factions out their ambitions in regards to the 2015 season.

Following what can only be described as a lacklustre couple of seasons – Woking is in no doubt that they have a huge amount of work ahead of them to close the gap to the leading teams.

Following a poor Abu Dhabi test Jonathan Neale, Mclaren’s chief operating officer downplayed many fans expectations of this historic partnership: “In terms of 2015 our ambitions are that we continue the momentum in chassis development that we showed in 2014 – we still have some way to go to get back to the front of the grid there.”

“Certainly we need to stabilise the very complex technology we have developed with Honda in the first half of the season and once we have got the platform running and reliable we can start to look at where we are at compared to the rest of the grid and accelerate at that point.”

“We have modest aims for the first test, which is to shakedown the technology, make sure both drivers are comfortable in the car and make sure all the systems work properly.”

“Both McLaren and Honda have huge ambitions for their Formula One programme. Honda haven’t returned with anything other than ambitions to be at the front and win races and championships – that’s why we make such good partners. But we have to be realistic about the process of getting to that.”


Red Bull concerned over RB11 failing first crash test

Yesterday, TJ13 revealed that the RB11 crash tests were still not complete for the RB11. The news from the crash test performed yesterday is that the latest RB11 nose failed its test.

More noses each with incremental strength are lined up for testing imminently.

TJ13 believes that the new Red Bull nose is relatively short compared to others revealed to date and has a small bulb which helps manage the airflow wake. It is area of the nose which is failing at present.

Rob Marshall has seemingly been held responsible. He also carried the can for both cars being disqualified following qualifying in Abu Dhabi – due to rubber control systems in the front wing which allowed them to deflect illegally under load.

In years gone by – before parc ferme rules came into force – mechanics regularly worked what was known as ‘all-nighters’. This of course is now forbidden during race weekends due to new regulations.

However, the midnight oil will be burning this weekend in Milton Keynes as the team are under pressure to produce components for testing n Jerez.


Mercedes strut their car to the world on filming day

When a team has finished a season as World Champions with an advantage that is measured with the long evening shadows as opposed to stopwatches, it’s maybe an act of defiance when they run their new car in full view of the competition before even unveiling it to the F1 media.



Mercedes appear to be so confident, they have even released a video and photos of their ‘filming’ day at Silverstone.

Nico Rosberg ran a total of 18 laps in between rain and hail and although it was merely a day for promotional work – following the ‘secret’ test that Mercedes conducted in Barcelona in 2013 – any-time an F1 car runs it is widely accepted that the team learns a great deal more than they often admitted to.


The Usher’s Caption Competition

for an alternative view on F1, follow TJ13’s Usher




Sauber launches new car and new sponsor

With F1 teams struggling to find title sponsors these days, it seems that Sauber have attempted to diversify into the economically priced, minimalist home furniture consumer. Perhaps copying Ferrari a little too much this year and following their lead into subtle Phillip Morris style advertising?



Force India deny financial troubles

First, the Silverstone team were to test in Jerez with a 2014 car and the Mercedes 2015 engine. Then the news came through that Force India were going to miss the first test in Jerez.

Speculation is growing that the team are in fact in financial difficulties and supplier bills are outstanding. However, Chief Operating Officer Otmar Szafnauer denies this when he told F1i.com “There was little use going to Jerez with an obsolete car.

“Skipping the first test session will actually allow us to save £500,000. Both the engine and transmission are being tested by Mercedes, so we’d rather focus our resources on fine-tuning the chassis. We are 90% certain we can introduce it in Barcelona for the second test.

This is a far cry from the claim by Ecclestone, that the F1 teams have ‘more money than God’.

“We currently employ 380 people and all salaries have been paid”, added Szafnauer “Same with our suppliers. We’ve just announced new sponsors in Mexico, so everything is looking good. I can confirm that things are going as planned and that we are on target to achieve our working programme.”

However, even for a team like Force India, £500,000 is less than 1% of their annual operating costs. Add to this the high value team’s place on being able to test, and something doesn’t stack up.

Red Bull would have us to believe they are behind schedule and TJ13 predicts the car we will see in Jerez will look very much like the RB10 – once the dazzle of the livery is filtered out.

Should Force India fail to arrive in Barcelona, regardless of Otmar’s claims, the cash position of the team will be laid bare for all to see.

83 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Friday 30th January 2015

  1. Slight correction judge….

    The W06 was driven by both Lewis and Nico yesterday….

    Also noticed that they’ve removed the 2 extra ducts that were on either sides of the role hoop of last years car. I guess that they’ve got their cooling issues sorted. They also ran their 2015 PU the PU106B.

    Even though it was a shakedown, to do 18 laps straight out the gate, that’s impressive.

      • Hippo, do one mate!!!!

        If you’re going to report the news, then bloody do so correctly! If he had said it was Lewis alone who drove, I would have stilled pointed out the error.

        But hey, let’s just focus on that part of my comment and ignore everything else……

          • Was a pretty big miss, no? Next thing you know there’d be a follow-up wondering why Lewis wasn’t tapped to drive on the filming day, ohh the disrespect, etc.

            I hear that Seb and Kimi are alternating days at the first test.

          • What does my nationality have to do with it? And I’m a guy, not guys. I might stand beside myself sometimes, but last time i checked, I was only one individual. Although I think Lewis is a spoilt brat, that isn’t the topic here.I merely mocked the fact that some people are so hung up on this guy that they see it as a ‘problem’ that he isn’t mentioned. Rosberg did 18 laps in the car as reported and in comes the Hamilton brigade – ‘B-but B-but lewis drove too!!!’
            It’s ridiculous.

        • He just bores the shit out of me. It’s not the fact that he mentions Lewis. It’s not like he’s been deprived of having his hero mentioned lately. He complained about Hamilton NOT being mentioned, despite the fact that there was nothing to mention in the first place. This is an F1 site, not the Lewis Hamilton fan-wank society. There are enough news items in which he is discussed.

          • I merely pointed out and omission in the article simple as that and one i would have pointed out had it omitted Nico as well. You however felt the need to come stampeding through the door with your usual bullish manner.

            I also went on to say a lot more after that, but i guess that was of no importance.

          • Bores you? I think it’s the opposite, he excites you to no end.

            Reggie Jackson’s famous quote was that you could love him, you could hate him, but it was impossible to ignore him.

          • The article says Nico Rosberg ran 18 laps. Did he or did he not? What omission was there?
            BTW. 18 laps of Silverstone is just about the 100km limit allowed for a filming day, so if Lewis ran as well, Merc broke the rules.

          • You didn’t say it concerned the 18 laps. You merely complained that Lewis’ driving was not mentioned. Ans why don’t you post the link right from the start? It could have spared us a lot of discussion.
            I can tell you why. You just love to complain that thejudge13 is not pro-Lewis enough. The site is pro-nobody. Everybody gets his fair share around here. And since Lewis lamed to title in a ridiculously superior car, he’s flavour of the month, much like Vettel was in 2011 and 2013. Deal with it.

          • Hippo, i really didn’t think forti96’s comment was anything that warranted that kinda response. Especially from someone whom goes off on one should anyone say anything negative about redbull/vettel.

            The stuff you do for the website is good, but you sometimes come accross a bit “joe sawardish” at times 🙂

            People spot this and Hippo bating may become a full time sport 😉

  2. Caption Comp

    Man on left:- Now, you’re certain no-one will recognise me, Yes? I mean, a photo with Enrique Englasis is rather embarrassing after all…….

    • the guy at the middle is a brazilian actor, Caio Castro, coincidentally he’s a friend of my neighbour, and he’s quite famous here

    • “Striking” is a helluva creative way to say “butt ugly”. While the Williams still has the Rindspimmel up front, Sauber went the full mile and added the nut sack as well.

    • LOL I actually like it… makes a change from the sea of silver / grey / white we often see.
      I don’t even mind the shape.. I noticed last year that when watching the racing I tend to focus more on the centre of the car… barely noticed the ugly noses until they did a slow-mo shot.

    • The front looks a little less pornographic than some of the competitors and the front is actually a bit reminiscent of the gorgeous 412T1, so it’ll probably be the best looking of the lot, but dead slow – in best Ferrari tradition 😀

    • ooh, quite a bit of black on this car…by the way, doesn’t it look as if Seb ordered the wrong size in his overalls?

      • I think that’s Marchione’s idea to cross-promote the other FIAT brands . It might also be an hommage to the fact that Ferrari started as an offshoot of Alfa-Romeo.

    • Hmmm… Alfa Romeo, eh? Does that mean it’s gonna:

      – be fun to drive but slow?
      – look gorgeous but leak like a sieve?
      – inspire great devotion but rust like a bastard?
      – sound totally awesome but break down incessantly?

      I expect the Prince of Darkness to be a electrical technology exchange partner before the year is out 🙂

      Actually do Lucas even exist any more? I think I still have one of those ‘genuine’ jars of Replacement Wiring Harness Smoke somewhere in the garage that my dad gave me many moons ago. Still get’s a laugh from my son’s mates 😀

      • Obviously not always, as they were competitors in the early days of F1 (1950-). They were only fully under the same Fiat umbrella after Enzo’s death in 1988.

      • Enzo Ferrari raced and then managed the Alfa Romeo team in the 20’s and 30’s. He left and would eventually set up Ferrari in the late 40’s. Previous to this Alfa’s had carried the Ferrari prancing horse badge from 1923 as the team was run by Enzo.

        Ferrari entered F1 against the works Alfa team and has become the giant they are today although the Scuderia was bought by Fiat in 1969. Alfa Romeo were never a competitor for them after the 50’s and became part of the Fiat group in 1989, having been bought from the Italian government for 1 lire.

        The only cross platform work carried out with the FIAT group was Maserati were developed by Ferrari and Alfa have made use of Maserati technology in recent years.

        The only identification as to the alliance over the years were Ferrari carrying Fiat badges but never Alfa and this may have historical links back to Enzo’s time with the squad.

        Don’t forget that Tazio Nuvolari’s Alfa victories were in Ferrari run cars so the history is both long and convoluted.

    • Can’t see it for this year, as they would of course have to change PUs, and doing that now just ain’t feasible. Would get both Merc and Renault powering 3 teams each.

      • No chance for this year. I’d say they’ll fold sooner rather than later and Renault picks up the pieces to rebuild for 2016. They’ve always complained about not getting enough exposure. It would make sense to come back as a full-fledged works team.

          • VW is not interested. I think if Renault goes through with it, RB will bring back Cosworth. People tend to forget that Cosworth already has a prototype.

          • RB could also pile a huge amount of resources at it, to make sure it is up to spec, before introducing it at a level equal to Mercedes/maybe Honda.

          • Don’t forget that RedBull people have Bern all over Viry in the last year, so I’m sure they picked up on more than just how to write the software….

        • Wait for the team to hit a rock bottom price, Renault snap it up. Then work towards a 2016 entry.
          Cosworth has lacked the cash to really shine in recent times, so if Red Bull were to work with Cosworth or buy them then they’d get a real crack at producing something competitive. Anyway I think the signs are there for a Red Bull and Renault divorce.

          As for VW in F1 ? Will never happen while Bernie is still running the show.

          • That and Ferdinand Piëch (i think that’s the VW boss) does not like Bernie Ecclestone on a personal or professional level.

          • The VW Boss (CEO) is Martin Winterkorn. Piëch is the chairman of the board of directors. (Aufsichtsratsvorsitzender in German)

          • Well from what I remember Piëch is adamant VW will not enter F1 while Bernie is around. Boardroom politics at play etc

          • Piëch has been “disposed of” to the post of chairman of the BoD, but he is still very influential in VW’s politics. Nobody decides anything against his will.

          • Renault does not have a big budget for F1 and I doubt whether the Renault management will increase the budget to run a team.

  3. What I don’t get is how they make such awfull liveries with their budgets? I mean, I do graphics for a archaeology company, and trust me, I used to being given so e shite colour pallette and some awfull ideas by linear minded management type, and turning it into half decent stuff… So if us fools with marginal budgets manage, how are they missing it? Give me an airfix model of this car, some paint, and an hour and I could make it look better.

    Ovéralll this year, If looks are speed, then unless Red Bull do something amazing, then I reckon Williams and Ferrari might rob the cheeky wins off the mercs this year, and lotus might not be too shabby either. McLaren… What can I say… The paint job kills it most, but at least its not as ugly as the sauber.

  4. From the Ferrari launch video, has anyone noticed how gauntly and thin Seb looks compared to last year?

  5. So it looks like McLaren are the only team (so far) to dispense with the rear wing supports. Does anyone know how much aerodynamic effect these things have?

  6. Caption Competition: Not only is it easy to ship in it’s flat pack, it’s easy to assemble with the included tools!

    Oh wait, sorry, thought the Sauber was the caption competition. Totes my fault

  7. I’ve heard that the Force India pull out from Jerez was influenced by Sirotkin not managing to come up with the cash for a reserve/Jerez testing/FP1 role.. that’s the spot that Merhi should be aiming for ASAP. But Juncadella is probably the only one with enough cash to do so.

    Maybe Ocon, if Mercedes were pushing for a driver to match the new superlicence rules (which rules out Wehrlein.. what did the FIA say about exceptions for Schumacher?).

    • But Sirotkin probably wasn’t helped by roubles becoming as worthless as old ha’pennies and farthings upon decimalisation (halving in value in the last 6 months)..

    • Wehrlein was 2nd in F3 Euro Series 2012 (30 points) and 14th with only 3 races in 2013 (all of which he finished on the podium – 3,1,2). After that he went to DTM.
      I doubt FIA would deny him the license.

      • I agree, but read in Autosport that they wouldn’t give them to Wehrlein or Wolff in 2016. This is barmy, considering the potential that Wehrlein has – it would be like denying Schumi in 1991. Even for Wolff, it would be a huge positive PR day (unless she came last and it backfired).

        They previously said they would make exceptions (for Schumi’s 2010 return).. this is the acid test. Knowing the FIA, they would probably say ‘who is this youngster?’ when if it was Schumi on his return, they’d be down on bended knee.

        • The regs as currently written wouldn’t allow either driver a superlicense, however the FIA is already on record as allowing there may need to be some changes. If nothing else, Renault is rumoured to be pitching a fit and a half over the devaluation of their series.

          • True. The implications are already clear – every promising junior not already committed has suddenly upped ship for GP2. Eurocup is also gonna be butchered by the national F4s, of which there are now two in the UK. And no F3.. But more money for the FIA! This is reason enough not to listen to Renault..

          • Except Renault are French. And they still have their hooks in F1. And, oh yes, F2 still not a thing again.

            It was a nice idea, poorly implemented. Quelle Surprise!

          • True, which makes it odd that they wouldn’t work together. FR3.5 has ‘been F2’ for the last three years.. and Eurocup FR2.0 was basically F3 before they re-introduced that..

            Hmm, what’s money between friends? If Renault’s sport series are further shafted, then I can see them pulling the plug on F1. Unless maybe the FIA ask them to make F2 with a cheap car and engine.. But yes, no surprise!

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