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Previously on TheJudge13:
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!)
Manor Racing opportunity still open
Despite being shafted by Force India at the previous strategy group meeting, the phoenix from the ashes of Marussia – Manor Racing – is still pursuing a place on the Formula One grid this year.
The team had gained agreement from the strategy group in December to run a modified 2014 car in 2015, until their new car was ready. Manor Racing has fulfilled the requirements set out in a letter to them from the strategy group dated 5th January.
However, for some inexplicable reason, a vote was forced at the strategy group which in effect overturned its previous ruling and the conditions set for Manor racing to be compliant. Force India were clearly not happy that a team was being allowed to run a 2014 given the expense they had incurred developing their VJM08.
The FIA have indicated yesterday they will keep the Manor Racing team’s application as part of the 2015 proposed entrants list as long as possible, until they publish the final list of participants before the Australian GP.
The team has paid its entrance fee, though if they are forced to produced a compliant 2015 car and forbidden to race with the 2014 car – they have until Bahrain to do so.
Should the Manor Racing team make the fourth race of the campaign then Force India and the other teams will not receive their £45m prize money from 2014.
se means Manor Racing will then be eligible for
This would of course see Force India and the other teams
Manor’s hopes of making it onto the 2015 Formula 1 grid have been boosted by the FIA making clear it will keep the entry list open as long as possible. The FIA have been given details for the teams new backers who have allegedly demonstrated they are capable of funding an entire F1 campaign for this season.
Marussia will come out of administration on February 19th and then be renamed Manor Racing.
There are potential legal pitfalls ahead for the FIA and Manor Racing due to the fact that the team will be changing its name, and Force India and others could challenge this with a view to preventing Manor from in effect taking Marussia’s place.
However, given the backlash from fans since Force India vetoed Manor Racing running a 2014 car this year at the last meeting of the strategy group – despite this being agreed by the group’s constituent members prior to Force India joining on January 1st – it may be that legal wrangling can be avoided for the greater good of the sport.
Improving Formula One
Formula One engineers will always exploit the areas of greatest freedom in the regulations to gain the biggest advantage they can find. Aerodynamics has been the area in modern history where the focus and much of the spend has gone.
Despite the new FIA regulations aimed at reducing the impact of aerodynamics, TJ13 learned from a Mercedes senior official, that aerodynamics is still the biggest area for potential gain and cost.
This is why we have DRS systems, to compensate quicker cars with the huge disadvantage they face when catching a much slower car but whose rear aerodynamics create such a dirty wash of air flow, that the quicker car cannot pass them.
Formula One fans debate continuously how the sport could be better served with different regulations and Gary Anderson writing for Autosport reveals how he would do things differently.
“As far as the cars are concerned, I would reduce the aerodynamics by at least 50 per cent, increase the tyre size (especially the rears) and increase the potential power output by removing the fuel flow valve.
Anderson suggests running more than one race each weekend. Following the qualifying session on Saturday he believes there should be a shorter sprint race, with reduced points awarded, with the grid set from from the qualifying session. During this race Gary suggests allowing just 6 people to service the car in the pitlane, to increase the possibilities of upsetting the applecart.
“On Sunday I would have a 250-kilometre race,” says Anderson, “but with the grid set by the drivers’ championship in reverse order. Same points as currently distributed (25 for a win etc).
The technical regulation changes would ensure the cars are harder to drive and that at a race like Monaco, following qualifying, the weekend is not a foregone conclusion.
“Add it all together and I am positive that with a bit of sorting it would be much more exciting and give spectators two days of real action,” Anderson concludes.
Verstappen the real deal
The hype surrounding Formula One’s newest and youngest driver continues. At just 17 and with a mere 12 months of single seater racing, Max Verstappen is the talk of the F1 world.
Both Red Bull and Mercedes attention was pricked when around the middle of the European F1 season, young Max had one six races in a row. Though Mercedes may have believed there was more time in hand to sign up the young Dutchman as Verstappen reveals.
“Of course, when I was driving in F3 there was Mercedes. I was driving Volkswagen engines and we were competing against the Mercedes engines, so we got a bit in contact. We had good conversations with Toto [Wolff] and Niki [Lauda] and they were very open and honest, so we just had some conversations but no more than that.”
However, Red Bull pounced and signed the driver for their Toro Rosso F1 team for 2015. It was this which convinced Verstappen that the mighty bulls were the immediate future for him.
“Of course an F1 contract helps, but also the feeling with Red Bull was very positive. In the end that made my decision.”
TJ13 sources reveal that Max Verstappen is outstripping all expectations in the pre-season simulation tests. He is apparently ‘wiping the floor’ with Daniel Kvyat and the Russian’s future in the big bull brother car is already looking shaky.
With Red Bull having stronger challengers in 2015 and probably facing a 3 way fight for second in the WCC, a string of 7,8,9 qualifying results – followed by just 1,2 or 4 points in the race, could see Kvyat under pressure before the year is out – should Verstappen meet current expectations.
If Red Bull Racing find themselves under pressure following the summer break in the constructors’ championship, the word is Kvyat could lose his seat and be replaced by the Dutch ‘wunderkind’ before the year is out. The concern is that the ‘Russian Rocket’ may have something of a ‘Kimi streak’ away from the circuit.