#F1 Daily News and Comment: Thursday 5th February 2015


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Previously on TheJudge13:

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

#TJ13 #F1 Courtroom Podcast: I thought that was gonna be funnier

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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 – 2001: Alonso confirmed at Minardi

Raikkonen believes Ferrari have a good base to work from

Massa reveals the worlds worst kept secret – Mercs to dominate again

The Usher’s Caption Competition

OTD Lite – 2001: Alonso confirmed at Minardi

Is it really fourteen years since Fernando Alono was announced as the new driver for the Minardi team. Under the stewardship of everyone’s pantomime villain – Flavio Briatore – the Spaniard had been placed in the Paul Stoddard run team for the forthcoming season.

Winning a Spanish championship in his first season out of karts, he would compete in F3000 and secure victory before the end of the season whereupon he was promoted to the Minardi seat through his contacts with Briatore.


Some giant killing performance in his rookie year signaled him as somebody to watch and would spend the 2002 season testing for Benetton-Renault. With the boss replacing Button with the fiery young Spaniard – the British press instantly took a dislike to him and in many ways they have carried an antipathy towards him ever since.

The problem being that Alonso has done nothing in the intervening years to prove that he is anything but a driven person with an almost win-at-all-costs mindset. In itself a quality that many athletes would love to have but no doubt they enjoy sleeping a restful night.

A falling out with Renault in 2005 when he felt alone, winning his second title despite having signed for Mclaren over a year before, blackmailing Ron Dennis when their relationship disintegrated, a notorious race win in Singapore in 2008 and a far from happy time at Ferrari make the Spanish Samurai an enigmatic if flawed human being.

But what an incredible talent.

The Grumpy Jackal


Raikkonen believes Ferrari have a good base to work from

After what proved a numbing 2014, Kimi Raikkonen would have preferred any car to the ‘heap’ that Maranello provided last year.

With significant direction from the James Allison led design team – it was always likely that the new Ferrari would have traits that allowed the drivers to access its performance like his previous designs for Lotus.

With the Iceman topping the times again, making it four days that a Ferrari powered car held the foremost position it was inevitable that the car would be an improvement.

“For sure it’s much better than what we had last year,” Raikkonen said. “I think the whole package is better all-round; the engine and the car itself, everything has improved. Obviously we still have a lot of hard work to try and improve things but it’s a good starting point.”

With the morning starting wet and drying out as the day went on Kimi was pleased with how the car handled in both conditions: “We didn’t do so many laps but it felt pretty nice compared to last year, and it’s the same for the dry, the car is behaving well.”

“We’ve got a good amount of laps and things are working, we’re not really having many issues. That’s the main thing plus the feeling is pretty fine, so that’s good. We do our own stuff, we don’t know what the others are doing. Yesterday I said we had a good starting point and the team has done a good job over the winter to prepare this car. We have something to work with now.”


Massa reveals the worlds worst kept secret – Mercs to dominate again

Yesterday Nico Rosberg offered his opinion on who he believed had had a good start to the 2015 campaign and his most likeliest rivals for the forthcoming season. Today Felipe Massa put into words what the rest of the paddock actually believes.

“It’s always difficult to give a good answer at the end of the first week of tests. There’s still a lot to understand, not just from us but from others as well. It’s still clear that Mercedes has an amazing car. Ferrari maybe made a step forward but I’m still convinced that we can be there fighting again.”

“I think it was similar. I still have a good feeling on the car. At the beginning I think it was very positive because we did not have any reliability problems, which is quite good. I think it was a good start and we need to prepare everything we can now to go to Barcelona in a more prepared way. We need to test everything we need thinking about Australia. It was a good start and I’m still happy like I was yesterday.”


The Usher’s Caption Competition

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34 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Thursday 5th February 2015

  1. what a cute pet … dogs know how to melt even the coldest heart

    that’s why I like cats more than dogs, they’re more self assured, composed, and they don’t play with their owner’s heart

    • I always got confused trying to work out the difference between his ‘confused’ and ‘wistful’ faces, but now it seems so obvious! Thanks for the clarification..

    • Dont they all mean ‘I was taking a shit!’?

      …..except for the one labelled ‘drunk’ which seems to translate as ‘standing too close to the pitwall as Vettel came past.’

  2. Presumably that’s Coco with Lulu and the appropriate caption involves the owner reminiscing of happier days and includes the words “b*tch”, “harness”, “exercise”, “bark” and “howl”.


    Formula 1 chiefs are to discuss plans to fast-track a revolutionary overhaul of grand prix cars at a Strategy Group meeting in Paris on Thursday.

    The gathering of top teams with Bernie Ecclestone and FIA president Jean Todt will push on with talks over creating more spectacular and faster F1 machinery – potentially with 1000bhp engines – for the 2016 and ’17 seasons.

    Draft ideas for changes that can be made – both in the short and longer term – have been prepared over recent weeks, and team bosses will be asked to evaluate what direction is best for the sport.

    Changes that will be considered – potentially as early as next season – include making cars wider, and adding more downforce and better performing tyres.

    The plan for 2017 involves an overhaul of the engine rules to create a major step up in power. There is some disagreement, however, about how this should be achieved.

    Despite an eagerness to make changes that would attract fans at a time when F1 is questioning why audience numbers are falling, there are also concerns about the cost implications.

    McLaren chief Ron Dennis said at this week’s first F1 pre-season test that while an overhaul of grand prix racing was welcome; it must not serve also to escalate costs.

    “If we are going to change F1, we should change it dramatically,” he said. “Therefore we should change it dramatically for 2017 and then it will be affordable.

    “If we dramatically try to change F1 for 2016, then the cost implications will be huge – because we also trying to save money.”

    Tighter cost control is expected to be a major talking point at the meeting too, with the FIA having set up a research panel in recent weeks to investigate potential rule changes that could help bring budgets down.

    Williams chief technical officer Pat Symonds is one who believes that securing the future of the grid is the most important priority.

    “I like the idea of 1000 bhp engines, I like the idea of spectacular cars,” he said.

    “But I also like the idea of having a lot more cars on the grid and that’s what I think should be our prime concern at the moment: to have a good business and something that the spectators also want to watch.”

    There is a clear desire by the FIA to make changes, with a framework having been set up so rule tweaks can be ratified before a March 1 deadline with only majority support needed.

    Technical and sporting working group meetings have been called for later this month, with a meeting of the F1 Commission that must approve rule changes tabled for February 18.

    The Strategy Group meeting will also likely discuss the fate of the Marussia team, and whether it is possible for the team to get approval to start the campaign with a 2014 car.

    Discussions may also happen over the future of the German Grand Prix.


    • It might be nice to have wider cars again… they are looking a bit long and thin, and have done since 1998. But I’d say go with whatever best helps non-DRS passing..

    • Well at least Pat Symonds is talking sense.

      If they want to address the falling viewership, then they should have a word with Mr E and ask why is he charging the race promoters so much for a race weekend? Address the issue of pay vs free to view tv. Also better marketing of the sport would probably go along way in trying to increase the fan base.

      I’m not sure if it was you who mentioned how Nissian chose to reveal their LMP1 car to world, during the Super Bowl half time break. That was a masterstroke by Nissian.

      Also, so what if they go up to the 1000bhp power band along with all their other proposed ideas and one team still comes out and dominates and the racing remains the same as it is now, then what will they think of doing next?

    • They will kill it all. I can’t believe anyone bothering if it’s 850 or 1000 or 1200 horse’s in a wider car (wtf? What Does it matter???) if the racing is shit. And DRS is still needed. And teams can’t survive.
      What I can’t understand is red Bull. You would think that such a marketing machine knows something about creating thrilling experiences – anyone ever wondered how much horsepower those jumping motorbikes have?

      Utter stupid, old farts. You make my beloved sport die.

  4. Apparently the stupid eunuch dwarf in Paris did it again. Since he is so afraid of leading somebody else decided that Marussia won’t race this season. Can’t wait for the good day the dwarf falls dead.

    • AUTOSPORT understands that during a meeting of F1’s Strategy Group in Paris on Thursday, Marussia did not receive the unanimous support from rival teams required to be allowed to run an older car.

      The decision means the team’s participation is unlikely in 2015, for which it is too late for Marussia to build a bespoke car to the new nose and updated safety regulations.

      The big teams had previously suggested they would be willing to consider allowing the team dispensation to run last year’s car if it helps it back into F1.

      But on the back of a fight for more revenue, smaller outfits were not so happy with the plan that would make them miss out on receiving a share of Marussia’s commercial rights income.

      It emerged earlier this week that operating team Manor had paid its 2015 entry fee and revealed plans to exit administration later this month.

      Administrators had revealed that a long term plan to rescue the outfit is progressing well enough for it to enter a Company Voluntary Arrangement on February 19.

      Earlier today it was announced that the assets of Caterham, which joined the championship as Lotus in 2010 alongside Marussia (then Virgin), had been put up for sale.

      • Well, there you have it. Smaller teams are driven to desperate measures. Sauber was so deep in the brown stuff, Kaltenborn acted like a coniving bitch, devoid of any business manners, when she deliberately broke the contracts of Sutil and Gutierrez to land two new pay drivers and this time I bet it is Force India, who can’t wait to loot Marussia’s corpse.

        Update: It was indeed the sole opposing vote of Force India, which blocked it. May they rot in hell! I now strongly want Force India to fail to make it to Melbourne. Wasn’t it that fat Indian toad, who said F1 needs the smaller teams? He just killed one – double-faced arsehole!

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