#F1 Daily News and Comment: Tuesday 3rd March 2015


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Force India Criticism Continues

Bad press for Lotus’… err… Development Driver

Less testing and no “South Korea Trick”

Honda Homologation

Forever, not together

Formula One’s most hopeful female driver

Alonso out for Melbourne

Force India Criticism Continues

As if their cash problems aren’t enough Force India’s desperation is still hurting them in public as they loose more and more support from other teams. Bob Fernley’s assurances that Force India’s veto against Manor’s return was just an unfortunate side-effect of the session protocol and that other teams would have voted no had his team not done so were soon contradicted by public support for the former Marussia squad by Williams, Ferrari and Red Bull.
Now Mercedes, who have so far remained silent on the issue, have gone even further and criticise their customer team for their Strategy Group antics.

Formula One is a pool of sharks where even the small teams prey on other small teams, Toto Wolff tells Motorsport Total. If one goes away, more [of the money] remains for the survivors. That is feirly annoying as behind the teams are people and their jobs that many families reply upon. We need safe jobs, everything else is secondary.”

Hm, Mr. Wolff, how about a more equitable distribution of the money then?


Bad press for Lotus’… err… Development Driver

Many in the paddock and outside of it, including most media outfits, share the opinion that the signing of Carmen Jorda by Lotus as a ‘development driver’ has set back the cause of bringing a serious female entrant to F1 by many years. The fact of the matter is that the results of Ms. Jorda, or rather the woeful lack of it, does not warrant a place in F1. The sheer ineptitude of the young lady is highlighted by the fact that she was sacked by her GP3 team Koiranen GP two weekends before the end of the season, because she had failed to score a single point. The man, who took her car – Dean Stoneman – scored two wins in those two remaining races. Ouch!

Rob Cregan, her 2012 GP3 team mate puts it like that: Carmen Jorda couldn’t develop a roll of film, let alone a hybrid F1 car. The clearly somewhat dellusional Jorda counters that Cregan is just jealous of her achievement to make it to F1 through hard work and determination.

Where exactly that ‘hard work’ is supposed to have taken place remains a mystery as, if her results are anything to go by, the track was no such place. In best Lotus-Development-Driver tradition, no real racing program has been established yet for her. Except for some simulator rides and the use as eyecandy on the track and for select sponsor events, Lotus have no real plan for the 26 year old.


Less testing and no “South Korea Trick”

Along with the ‘open to interpretation’ regulation on helmet design restrictions, the FIA sought to tidy up a couple of loopholes in other existing rules yesterday.

Back in December a new version of the proposed 2015 F1 calendar began circulating which included the Korean GP.

As though the revival of the bankrupt race in Mokpo wasn’t surprising enough, the fact it was scheduled the week before the Spanish GP clearly revealed the ulterior motive behind this race inclusion.

Prior to this there had been much disagreement over the ‘freeze’ on engines and concerns expressed by some of the engine manufacturers that the proposed reduction from five to four engines per car for 2015 was too punishing.

With Mexico joining the circus this year, this meant before Bernie proposed adding South Korea to the calendar – there were now 20 races scheduled.

The addition of South Korea opened up the clause to allow an extra engine per car in 2015 because more than 20 races were now listed on the ‘proposed schedule’.

The FIA have changed this regulation and will only allow the extra engine per car should there be more than 20 races listed ‘at the time of the first GP of the year’.

Further, teams had requested that the regulation for 2016 reducing winter testing from 12 to 8 days be delayed. The FIA has confirmed there will be just 8 days of pre-season testing in 2016 – and these can be run in a block of up to 4 days.

TJ13 has learned that one team is still proposing there be three separate tests. This would see the ‘shake down’ test in Jerez reduced to three days scheduled from February 1 to February 3 – which is the earliest the teams are allowed cars on track in the new year – and a further two tests in Barcelona of 3 days and then a 2 more days a week later.

Another team is agitating to return to Bahrain for winter testing, though the costs of this to the smaller teams proved to be prohibitive in 2014. Force India didn’t even make Jerez due to the £500,000 price tag this year.

A reduction in the number of pre-season testing days will serve to level the playing field somewhat, as clearly the teams with the greater resources can do more with each additional day their cars are on track.


Honda Homologation

Well the die is cast – at least somewhat. Honda has presented to the FIA a homologated engine, yet the other engine manufacturers have another week before they declare their hands.

Of course there year 32 development tokens available this year to be used almost as the engine designers wish to change the architecture and build of their V6 turbo power units. Depending on how many the 2014 engine manufacturers’ use for Melbourne will determine how many Honda are allowed to use for the rest of the season.

With Renault threatening Red Bull they will defer the majority use of their tokens to later in the year, it could be that the average of the unused tokens by the 2014 suppliers is between 10-15. Honda will then have this many tokens to deploy this season.

“We do not know what tokens we will have, because we do not know yet what the others have used,” said Honda chief Yasuhisa Arai yesterday.

Remi Taffin surmised in Barcelona, “Most likely, Mercedes and Ferrari will have a similar approach. I cannot imagine that they have used up all the tokens in two months.”

Despite the trials of testing, Honda’s Arai remains positive and describes the base of their 2015 power unit as ‘good’. Further, “We have solved many things and it is fully homologated.”


Forever, not together

Fans of the British F1 world champion could have been forgiven for thinking the latest breakup between their hero and pop pole dancer, Nicole Shertzinger, was just another of their spats – and soon, they would be back together. This after all is the fourth time they have publically declared a separation.

Yet something is different this time. Nicole decided to jet off to Venice last weekend, “enjoying a quick getaway with a few of her close friends,” according to Hello magazine.

The Sun reports “The split has been devastating for Nicole. She feels the only way she can move on is by putting distance between her and Lewis.”

And as ‘hell hath no fury…’, Nicole has done just that. Not only did she release a selection of the private snaps from her Venice sojourn with her close friends, but she ‘unfollowed’ Lewis on twitter.

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With 2,640,321 other followers, Lewis’ fans will be hoping he hasn’t noticed – and also missed the well thought out snaps of his ex in the weekend publications.

Clearly, Shertzinger’s teenage girl ‘emo’ antics should be seen for what they are by Hamilton, and he must not let himself be distracted. Lewis has a golden opportunity to join an exclusive club this year and become a triple world champion by the end of 2015.

There will always be, ‘plenty more fish in the Pacific Sea’.


Formula One’s most hopeful female driver

After the disappearance of Simona de Silvestre back to the USA, Suzie Wolff remains the only realistic chance of seeing a woman drive an F1 car in the near future.

untitledIt was unfortunate that a rather reckless Felipe Nasr took out Suzie Wolff during the recent Barcelona test because she was about to perform some low fuel runs which would have given us some relative comparison of her pace.

British and Spanish fans are to get to see Suzie drive in FP1 at their home Grand Prix this year and Suzie is playing her part to move the Williams team forward. “Our focus this year is to build on the success of 2014 – I’ve been training hard all winter and I am physically in the best shape I’ve ever been, so I am ready for the season ahead,” said Wolff.

“As official test driver I will have additional time in the FW37 and by correlating this with my work in the simulator, the team can ensure we are getting the best from the car and check how updates are performing. All of us drivers on the Williams roster have been working closely together on this and we are ready to give everything we can to the 2015 season.”

Suzie made her F1 debut at the F1 weekend in Silverstone last year and also drove a practice session in Germany.

untitledWhether the latest pretty recruit to the F1 circus will get to drive an F1 car is unclear, but Carmen Jorda apparently believes she will pilot the E23 at some point this year. She is set for imminent ‘work in the simulator but, “first I must understand how the team works,” Jorda insists. “This cannot be compared with GP3.”

There have been a number of those from the racing fraternity who have publicly denounced the recruitment of Jorda by Lotus as nothing more than a publicity stunt.

Jorda has hit back at the sarcastic comments made by her former GP3 team mate on twitter.

The Lotus development driver dismisses Cregan as being jealous. Bild reports her stating, “Formula one is full of jealousy. There are only a few seats available, so only a few can make it. Rob is obviously jealous that I’m here and he is not”.

Jordan adds, “I wish him all the best, that’s all I can say,”


Alonso out for Melbourne

Here is a statement just issued by McLaren F1.

“Having performed an exhaustive series of tests and scans – some of them as recently as yesterday evening – McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso’s doctors have informed him that they find him asymptomatic of any medical issue; that they see no evidence whatsoever of any injury; and that they therefore describe him as entirely healthy from neurological and cardiac perspectives alike.

However, Fernando’s doctors have recommended to him that, following the concussion he sustained in a testing accident at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on February 22nd, for the time being he should seek to limit as far as is possible any environmental risk factors that could potentially result in his sustaining another concussion so soon after his previous one, so as to minimise the chances of second impact syndrome, as is normal medical procedure when treating athletes after concussions.

In order to limit those environmental risk factors, specifically, his doctors have advised that he should not compete in the imminent Australian Grand Prix meeting, which will take place on March 13th, 14th and 15th.

Fernando has understood and accepted that advice, and the two McLaren-Honda cars will therefore be driven in Australia by Fernando’s team-mate Jenson Button and the team’s test and reserve driver Kevin Magnussen.   

Fernando’s doctors acknowledge that he feels fit and well, and that he regards himself as ready to race, and, that being the case, they are comfortable with the fact that he has already recommenced physical training, with a view to preparing for a return to the cockpit of his McLaren-Honda car for the Malaysian Grand Prix meeting on March 27th, 28th and 29th. Indeed, his doctors are supportive of that ambition, satisfied as they are that he sustained no damage whatsoever during his testing accident on February 22nd.

All at McLaren-Honda fully support Fernando’s decision in respect of his doctors’ advice”.

This will be the first time since the USA GP in 2005, when Alonso will not be part of a Formula One race.

McLaren have been dogged by bad publicity since Fernando crashed during the second winter test. Questions were asked about the ‘strange’ nature of the incident and now Spanish publication El Mundo is reporting that in fact Fernando may have refused to drive the MP4-30 until the FIA investigation has taken place into the incident.

Concussion has in recent years been treated far more seriously by the medical profession, and as was discussed on last week’s TJ13 podcast, this turn of events is no surprise. Podcast Episode 27 here

Fernando Alonso expressed his elation at having the chance to attack his third world title in a "Properly professionally run organization"

Fernando Alonso expressed his elation at having the chance to attack his third world title in a “Properly professionally run organization”


107 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Tuesday 3rd March 2015

  1. Well are there any plans to move those 8 days to a meaningful venue(s)?
    Neither of the Spanish tracks seem particularly useful for anything, than, at the particular time of the year chosen, throwing money, which seemingly is short, away.

    • Bahrain was good but costs even more money. Barca is the best compromise I guess, else they’d go to Paul Ricard, which is set up for safety..

      Going to Bahrain last year almost put Marussia under before Melbourne!

  2. Please dont ruin Carmen Jorda for us by pointing out her obvious lack of talent.

    But seriously if you were a very attractive blonde with no hope of getting into F1 wouldn’t you accept the deal she has. Get paid to be pretty and drive this simulator? No pressure to perform.. glamorous locations… some press attention. .
    As long as she realises what’s happening.

    • “Please dont ruin Carmen Jorda for us…”

      Oops! I found the typo…

      “Please dont ruin Team Lotus for us by pointing out they look incredibly foolish and tactless for hiring a talentless driver to function as a marketing hostess for the season…”

      Fixed! You’re welcome! 😉

      • Gravity Sport Management signing I’ve just discovered from researching this comment.
        Thanks Iestyn, that was interesting, don’t see any connection to Team Willy? Guessing he was placed there by his Supercup team?

        • It’s interesting on a couple of levels. Stanaway is one of those talents trying to get by with whatever he can get.. he battled Lynn for the GP3 title in a worse car last year. Lynn is now the Williams test driver – so why is Stanaway in the sim?

          He also beat all comers in iRacing in the 2009 Williams F1 car, while recovering from his Spa FR3.5 back injury. Maybe they took notice? Bottas drove LFS as a junior driver, so can match up.

          Stanaway, Vandoorne, Bottas… these guys with real talent are also practically unbeatable in sim-racing, as well as real life. Jorda, ultra pay drivers etc. I could beat, probably in the real car as well.

          On that note, iRacing just signed the McLaren-Honda F1 car. Maybe we could race a top driver on relatively equal footing after all.. C’mon Lewis, you don’t have a gf at the mo, reactivate your iRacing account!

          • TL; DR: If it wasn’t for money, Ocon would be test driver with Stanaway getting a look in/still on the Lotus F1 junior team.

            Hopefully he can land GP2 with Status, he was impressive on his sole test day in his debut in the car, beating Haryanto, who’s been in GP2 for ages. He’d probably be at a Minardi-like team instead of Stevens, if this was 2002, like Webber..

          • Given the ongoing financial crisis that the sport seems to be permanently in, I wonder if pay drivers are going to significantly shape the sport in the years to come. As in: top level drivers vying for the championship become less like scrappy, tough, focused bastards, and more like soft, privileged, accessible, good-looking models. Kids start aspiring less towards working hard and more towards looking good.

          • It’s probably inevitable.. how many driver’s sons do we have on the grid? Rosberg, Magnussen, Sainz, Verstappen… it could be said Vettel is Schumi’s protege also.. one more and that’s 1/3 of the grid! That’s probably likely to increase as the barriers to entry do. Mick Jr is starting German F4 this year..

  3. “Now Mercedes, who have so far remained silent on the issue, have gone even further and criticise their customer team for their Strategy Group antics.

    Formula One is a pool of sharks where even the small teams prey on other small teams, Toto Wolff tells Motorsport Total. If one goes away, more [of the money] remains for the survivors. That is feirly annoying as behind the teams are people and their jobs that many families reply upon. We need safe jobs, everything else is secondary.”

    ok, where did merc mention force india in there? or referring that force india did what it did to gain more money? another silly dig taken against a team which is down right now.

    and apart from williams which is itself a customer team is it really correct to assume that ferrari and red bull are not lying? they’ve not been saints in the past anyways

    • “and apart from williams which is itself a customer team is it really correct to assume that ferrari and red bull are not lying?”

      cj, That thought did cross my mind. Force India gave everyone a big ‘out’ there.

        • New boy on the block in lieu of Lotus and somewhat over eager to make their mark. They did….

    • I think if you’d seen the comment made in its original context, the connection would be clearer.

  4. In the Sunday afternoon testing live report, it was said that, “Pat Symonds of Williams saying Merc suffered strong tyre degradation today that reminded him of 2012.”

    I can not find any sign of that interview. Has anyone seen it?

      • While Pat Symonds has much better data than we do, yesterday I scanned for some Mercedes long run times, and came across Hamilton’s race sim and it showed the least tire deg that I saw in the tests.

        But that was earlier during this test (Saturday). Pat’s comments were reported late Sunday afternoon via AMuS. But AMuS aren’t 100% reliable (witness the misreporting the Alonso’s speed when he lost control, for one example). Hard to say if Pat actually said any such thing…

  5. Is this site about F1 or are you guys also trying to emulate the gossip columns as well?

    • “…according to Hello magazine.”

      “The Sun reports…”

      Oh, deary, deary me 😐

      Japanese-porn-inspired, edgy-&-astute, trying-something-new text commentary on pre-season testing one day, … and … well … the extreme depths of tawdriness barely two days later.

      James Cameron didn’t sink so low when he dropped into Challenger Deep, ffs.

      In a similar manner to the oft-invoked emperor’s clothes, I think it’s plain to everyone at the parade that the judge’s comment-bait is showing. smh

      • We’ve always added the one or the other piss take once in a while, especially on that ridiculous will-they-won’t-they between Lewis and that girl. Not every article is meant entirely serious 😉

        • I’d humbly suggest the site can do better than repackaging the tripe peddled by gutter-crawling tabloids though.

          Banging off shots at the same old fish in the same old barrel – “meh” doesn’t cover it, for mine.

          • We try, but we can’t always produce a winner.

            For instance last night at midnight we learned that our news editor would not be able to prepare the news, which means I had to cut back on my sleep and get up at 4am on short notice to prepare some news – not too easy on a day where news are hard to come by.

            What people forget is, we are all volunteers. We get up at 4, do the news, then go to work, add some headlines in the lunch break if there are any. After work we go home and prepare or record a podcast.

            It’s easy to pump out a good article on a weekend when you have all day. In the week we sometimes have an off-day, especially when things go wrong last-minute and news are slow on top of it. Sorry ’bout that.

          • I really do appreciate the collective efforts of the TJ13 crew and similarly, I well and truly understand the pressures that come with operational deadlines.

            Regardless, when I reckon you’ve published genuine crap I’m going to tell you. It’s just my opinion and you don’t have to agree or even respond – your prerogative.

            I just reckon that the ratio of winning stories will immediately increase if the tabloids are left well alone and any mention of WAGS is cursory at most.

          • But its funny – The pole dancer (ex) goes to Venice to ‘get some distance from Lewis’ and does a photo shoot – made up to the eyeballs – to make him jealous.

        • On that note.. no wonder Nicole is so broody. Pascal Wehrlein is probably what would result from such a union.. half-German, half-British, a clone of Lewis in the car, yet more like Nico Rosberg out of the car!

  6. I’m sorry, i just dont see what is wrong Lotus’s new test driver. I’ve googled her lots and she’s looks pretty good from where i’m sat, then again i didn’t read any articles, just looked at the pictures.

    • I agree with everyone sentiment that she is clearyl pointless and not going ot do much, and that it is probably a cynical move by Lotus. Sadly I think you are also all right that this will set back women in F1, but how tragic is that? Does that not say a lot about the ridiculous situation we are in with regard to gender politics, where one ‘crap’ women driver (would probably still hammer most of us) may put everyone off ‘women racing drivers’, as a whole, as if somehow Taki Inoue being sh*t made Ayrton Senna a bit sh*tter too…

      • It’s just a symptom of the state of F1. Roughly speaking: Jorda = Gonzalez. Wolff = Chilton. de Silvestro? = Kobayashi. Has the talent but not the money. Ergo out of F1.

      • “I agree with everyone sentiment that she is clearyl pointless and not going ot do much, and that it is probably a cynical move by Lotus. Sadly I think you are also all right that this will set back women in F1, but how tragic is that? Does that not say a lot about the ridiculous situation we are in with regard to gender politics, where one ‘crap’ women driver (would probably still hammer most of us) may put everyone off ‘women racing drivers’, as a whole, as if somehow Taki Inoue being sh*t made Ayrton Senna a bit sh*tter too…”

        exactly, quite a few men have been employed as racing drivers in f1 for other reasons than talent. Why is it a problem if it happens with a woman. Besides, the whole job of test driver is currently pointless in f1, so they might as well hire someone that at least fulfills some marketing objectives.

  7. This Alonso stuff stinks to high heaven. First up we’ve got an odd accident, followed by a very extensive lay off for the driver, whilst McLaren keep claiming in ‘Comical Ali’ style that everything is ok, and now? Now rumours Alonso doesn’t want to drive the car until the FIA have investigated the accident.

    Oh dear, things aren’t looking good for McLaren Ronda !

  8. Love the McLaren comment regarding Alonso. At the beginning they say Fred suffered a concussion. Then a lot of blah, blah, blah. They then close with a statement that “he sustained no damage whatsoever during testing.” Then why say he had a concussion? Why did Alonso spend three days in the ICU? No wonder the car is crap.

    • Exactly.

      The real problem at McLaren is probably Ron Dennis, and this shows why.

      Immediately after the crash, at the hospital, Boullier said Alonso had a concussion.

      But at the same time says Alonso is not injured. As if a concussion (which is a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, or MTBI), is not an injury.

      Then Ron has his bizarro press conference last Friday at lunch, repeating over and over that Alonso is not injured.

      It’s only Ron Dennis’ warped little world that a concussion is not an injury.

  9. Re : Alonso

    I predicted that he will miss the Aus GP last week due to the accident. But i feel he ll be back only by Spanish GP. Very sad to be missing one of the fiercest competitors . The GP circus won’t be the same without him. Hopefully all this is good for him and he will come back stronger.

  10. Autosport’s headlines read “Alonso pulls out of Aus GP”. This is being announced by a Mclaren statement. Something is amiss here. Are we to expect a similar news a week before Malaysia that Fred’s doctors advise him not to race until Spain?.

    • Although the El Mundo article is called ‘speculative’ by media outfits, I would hazard a guess that the timing is decided by when Macca can be arsed to admit that the accident was caused by car failure not a driver cock-up

      • Or by the mysterious wind that blew a car weighing 600+ kg and travelling at 90 mph into a wall that record a 15g+ impact.

          • I knew from the get go that McLaren’s story was nothing but BS!…

            As for Ron’s claim that Alonso suffered ‘whiplash like trauma’, i found that to be rubbish as well. The HANS device is there to protect them from incidents like that.

            We’ve witnessed Webber performing acrobatics with a F1 car and didn’t even suffer so much as tweaked nipple, Kubica decimating his BMW in Canada and suffered a mere sprained ankle, all incidents a lot worse that Alonso’s and he’s going to miss the first race of the season?

            Lets hope the FIA investigation uncovers the real cause of what happened, but saying that, this is the FIA…….

          • @Fortis96 I hear what you say about the HANS device, but I don’t think it as effective left to right as it is front to back, as one of its primary functions is to not only stop the damage to the neck but also to stop the drivers head hitting the steering wheel. While it does reduce the effect of the left to right movement, I believe there is more travel than front to back.
            Maybe there is room to improve the left right support of the HANS device, not being an engineer I don’t know the practicality or implications of my suggestion, but I’m sure there is scope in the regs to possibly do something to reduce the physical impact of a similar accident.

        • It’s important to note that Alonso’s speed when he lost control was 134mph (215km/h).

          The correct speed was reported last Friday evening by Andrew Benson on the BBC site.

          The GPS data is available to all the teams, which is how Andrew Benson was able to learn this.

          AMuS appears to have mixed up their units of speed measurements, since they had reported the illogical speed of 135 km/h (84 mph).

          The BBC’s story corresponds to Alonso’s speed seen in the fan’s video from the T1 grandstands.

          • 135kph! Vettel said they were doing about 150kph. I thinks it’s more likely he misjudged by 15kph, but not by 65!

          • Since we haven’t seen them and both refer to the GPS data but haven’t published them, One of them must be wrong. And the AMuS claim is closer to the only eyewitness account. Take your pick.

          • So he crashed at that speed and all 4 wheels were still attached to the car? Furthermore the front right suspension is still intact.

          • @TJ13 Here is what Vettel said, “I’m not sure what happened. I was right behind but didn’t really see. I was a bit too late and couldn’t see how the accident started. I only saw the last bit when he was hitting the wall, but what happened before I can’t judge whether he lost the car with the wind or not.”

            What Vettel says corresponds to the fan’s video.

          • The GPS data “…indicates the Spaniard attempted the Barcelona track’s Turn Three faster than on his previous lap, which was his fastest of the day.

            “It looks like he simply went into Turn Three quicker and ran wide,” said (a senior insider)…

            If one goes to youtube, that video is available in 1080p, and clearly shows it was very gusty, and that Alonso was carrying good speed going in to T3.

          • @VM…

            And are we certain that the accident happened after the fan lost sight of him entering T3 in that video? For all we know, that video could’ve been filmed 10 laps before the accident ouccured

          • Yes, this was the video from a reliable source that was all over twitter at that time, and was previously seen here at TJ13 as well.

            It was used by Matt Somersfield in his famous blog post.

            Check it out at 1080P on youtube, and you can see the wind gusts beating the hell out of the fans there in the stands, heavy jackets beating in the wind, etc.

          • @VM…

            Not disagreeing that they are damaged, my argument is…

            Hitting the wall at a 134mph would’ve done far more than that. You’d expect the wheels and all the suspension arms to be ripped off from the front bodywork. From the pics, that’s not the case. From what can be seen in the pics, the most significant damaged seemed to have been on the front wing.

            At that speed, this is more what I’d expect to see happen and even in the clip, I doubt Hamilton was doing 130+ mph


          • He didn’t hit the wall at 134mph.

            He lost control at 134mph, and then scrubbed off speed before he hit the wall.

            The other problem is he hit a naked concrete wall.

            If it had been some type of energy absorbing barrier, such as those tires that Lewis hit in that video, the G forces would’ve been much much lower and Alonso would be racing at Melbourne.

          • As Vortex says, both statements can be right, he lost control at 215 km/h and hit the wall at around 150 km/h.

        • Fortis96 said, “…a 15g+ impact.”

          One thing that was great about Michael Schmidt’s article in AMuS last Friday was that he shared detailed G force info that I had not seen elsewhere.

          The initial hit by the front wheel was 31G to the car, and 16G to the accelerometer in Alonso’s earpiece.

          The second hit by the rear wheel was 18G to the car and 8G inside Alonso’s helmet.

          This is yet another example of a significant Ron Dennis error. He chose not to share the specifics of these G forces, but instead said, “The G figures of the accident were… less than half of the accelerometers in his ears.” If we try to overlook the horrible Ron-speak, it appears he wanted to say Alonso absorbed less than half of the G’s that the car took.

          But math indicates this:
          Front wheel hit => car 31G, Alonso’s head 16G.
          Alonso took 52% of the G’s

          Rear wheel hit => car 18G, Alonso’s head 8G.
          Alonso took 44% of the G’s



          Ron may have his strengths, but he significantly damages his own team’s public relations…

          • Well sir, it depends on how you look at it… Lies, damn lies and statistics…

            Alonso did suffer less than half the Gs the car did. Total Gs by car was 49. Total Gs by Alonso was 24. 24/49=0.489×100 and we have 49%

            #creativemaths 😉

      • Somehow i do not understand whats between him and Mclaren. Was he not destined to race for the team or is Ron paying back something for 2007? Clearly something is fishy. Why the hell those who are responsible for this accept the truth? What could be downside : Loss of markets, stock price falls and a PR disaster. But the upside is measures could be taken to ensure safety of drivers in the event of recurrence of such impacts in future and increased safety standards. I cannot believe a gust of wind has caused a car (that passed the FIA crash tests and has so much of downforce) to crash sideways like this.

        We already lost Jules and do not know when he ll be back in an f1 cockpit? Now Fred?

        • Jules won’t race again, I’ll be surprised if he ever wakes up tbh. No enjoying that, but does it does anger me that unless something amazing happens, he is basically dead, but F1 can still wave around its not deaths since ’94 flag… even though there have been, in many ways.

          • Thats what I meant by ‘there have been’, marshalls have been killed and marshals and spectators injured, and but by luck there would have been some marshalls killed at Jules accident too.

          • Is it not possible to fit airbags, similar to those in normal road cars, to protect against sideways movement of the head, and even one fitted within the steering wheel too??

          • Airbags will be required to open at such speed that would create more damage to the driver.

        • The answer is very simple. Honda is about to present the NSX hybrid in Geneva. Do they really need news that their other hybrid engine tried to kill their F1 star driver?
          And no matter how often McLaren say otherwise. They have a long history of blatant lies – I still think we are talking electric shock or fumes here. Crashing on the inside of the corner without doing a 180 beforehand is illogical, especially so violently. It’s hard to imagine any case reslistic enough where such could have happened without the driver being incapacitated BEFORE impact.

          • Yes. As are other reasons. steering failure, break failure, battery fumes etc. And what they all have in common is, that they are much more realistic than “the wind did it” or “the best driver of his generation fucked up at a pedestrian 90mph”

          • While it’s true that McLaren under Ron Dennis have lied, and apparently continue to do so, it’s important to note that logically when a car oversteers it tightens it’s radius and will then go toward the inside.

            Understeer to the outside, understeer to the inside.

            The car hit the inside wall with the front wheel, then the rear wheel… because it was oversteering.

            #RacingPhysics #Logic

          • In that corner, oversteer would have meant the backend steps out to the outside. Swinging to the inside could only be cause by massive power-on oversteer or snap-oversteer after partial grip loss. The astroturf was too far from the wall for that to work though. He would have had all the time in the world to correct or just stomp the breaks.

          • @VM…

            So why was the front right wheel and suspension still intact if he hit at the 134 mph you mentioned above? Surely any impact at that speed would’ve ripped the whole thing off.

          • Mr. Hippo – Right, you’re getting closer!

            Jordi Vidal’s photo of Alonso in T3 immediately prior to him losing control show Alonso a few cm’s from the turf.

            As you say, he would’ve had “snap-oversteer after partial grip loss” at 215 km/h, and tried to save it as it drifted toward the inside of the track. Hence why the car hit the front wheel on the wall, then the rear wall.

            Oversteer to inside, understeer to the outside.

          • or just stomp the breaks

            and that is exactly what he did – the evidence is in the picture.

            It PROVES that he was concious and totally in control of at least his left leg right up to contact with the wall.

            It requires at least 40Kg pressure on the brake pedal to lock a wheel and also is a medical fact that a body relaxes when the brain looses conciousness.

          • @The Engineer – Exactly! The skid mark shows threshold braking all the way into the wall, (which wouldn’t be possible if unconscious).

            This, and other pictures of this skid mark, and the marks on the wall of the initial hit show the skid mark is from the unloaded inside rear tire. The inside rear tire was operating at a high angle (oversteer) with heavy threshold braking.

            Understeer to the outside, oversteer to the inside.

            Basic car control dynamics 101.

          • So he pressed the best brakes known to man and still whacked into the wall at 105kph. And there is only one skidmark. Last time I checked the average car had two front wheels

          • So we have snap oversteer then heavy braking drifting to the right!

            What causes snap oversteer?

            Snap oversteer occurs when a lose of traction is followed by an instantaneous dramatic increase in traction.

            What is the predominant source of tractive pressure in a F1 car?

            Aerodynamic downforce!

            What generates and determines the magnitude of downforce?

            The speed of the airflow across the aero components.

            What would cause a dramatic increase in downforce?

            A gust of headwind would definitively cause an increase – a gust with an incident angle up to at least ±45° would also cause a significant increase.

            The video taken by the ‘father and son’ of the crashed car before the safety vehicles have arrived, show very strong gusting wind from the left (ie: headwind).

          • With this scenario there are still several anomalies that are unexplained.

            I have had a personal experience that could explain these, but it depended on the steering moving in an unusual way. Surprisingly a comment below states that just such a movement was observed!

            When a snap oversteer event occurs, there can be a massive ‘kick’ on the steering wheel. The steering then has a tendency to return to its’ neutral position (straight ahead), due to the resultant direction of motion.

            You can see from the skid mark that it would only have required a minor correction in the steering to avoid the impact.

            As FA was concious (he was operating the brakes), why did he not correct?

            I had a ‘pseudo’ oversteer event were I hit a patch of black ice. I steered into the skid but when the car hit clean asphalt, the steering ‘kicked’ so violently that it threw my hands off the wheel even though I was gripping it tightly. In doing so it caught and severely strained my right thumb.

            I suspect that the steering wheel was ripped from FA’s hands by a massive kick (unexpected steering wheel motion) and that the unusual downchange was a result on him trying to regain control of the wheel while being thrown around the cockpit.

            So if an uncontrolled steering wheel naturally returns to straight ahead, why did the car drift to the right?

            It is one of the quirks of tyres that on a surface of similar traction, a skidding wheel generates more retardation than one which is not skidding. So there would be a turning moment that would cause the car to drift to the right.

            If a gust caused such an increase in downforce, why did only three of the four wheel hold traction?

            As the car would have been aready in a ‘cross track’ aspect, the gust would have an incident angle from the left side. With this aspect the right side of the rear wing would be in the wake of the airbox and thus experience a diffuse airflow – hence less downforce.

            This is all obviously speculation, but I believe it contains credible explanations for all visible evidence.

            If correct the incident was totally unpredictable – a minor over steer event (FA was going faster than on the previous lap) degraded into an uncontrollable snap oversteer by a gust of headwind (ie. as engineers colloquially would say blown off the track).

            No mechanical or electrical failures and all technical facts as stated by McLaren – car damage exactly as expected from such an impact.

          • Still mentioning “fumes” despite someone clearly pointing out in the comments section previously that that wouldn’t be possible (assuming you meant battery)? It seems funny you’re talking about Ron bullshitting by saying it could have been due to it being windy (which is potentially could have been as it was actually windy at the time), yet you’re still suggesting it could have been fume-related (which it couldn’t have been due to the layout of the cars and the positioning of the cockpit, not to mention the fact that him braking and downshifting throughout the accident means he wasn’t unconscious).

            I don’t believe what Ron’s saying either, but the tendency for articles/comments on TJ13 to propagate myths with precious little backing them (or indeed facts stating otherwise) is getting as wearisome as the tabloid-esque posts. I became a follower of this site because it had a lot more depth and insight than other F1 sites, but that has rapidly diminished over the past season. This kind of thing doesn’t help that, and also doesn’t really reflect well on the site as a whole, especially judging on comments people make about TJ13 on other sites.

            I appreciate that you (as a collective) are taking the time to post on here and so on, but that doesn’t mean that I/other readers won’t form an opinion on what is being posted, and with the frequent push to get more comments it’s not too surprising that more people are piping up with their feelings on the content.

          • If that was directed at me – there’s a difference between saying that a top driver crashing in a pretty unusual way, going to hospital then having an extended time out from driving is “very strange” (as it clearly is) and then positing that he’d been knocked out – yet was able to brake and downshift – by battery fumes that would never have been able to reach him in the cockpit.

            I don’t think you’d find many people in the paddock/pundits/spectators/fans who wouldn’t describe it as “very strange”. Ron Dennis seemingly being a pathological liar/bullshitter just muddies the waters yet further.

    • I said some days ago that this was a bad way to re-start the relationship with Alonso and I received a negative comment or two. This is exactly what I was expecting. I guess McLaren jumped to tell their lies BEFORE consulting with Fernando.

  11. Lets be honest, that was a no brainer from Fred, all Australia will probably be is an erratic and disorganised testing session, with a high chance for injury and accident. If I were him, I’d write March off, and think about China, Bahrain, or even Spain where it is probably going to be approaching something they can work on.

  12. What a pity the crashgate pt. II. I suggest you to take a look at the sequence that exposes the marca site (www.marca.com) It’s in spanish, but is self-explanatory. They mention a very suspicious steering wheel position before and after the crash.

    I suppose that we’ll never know the truth about the accident, or at least while Alonso maintains legal bonds with McLaren-Honda.

  13. Ahhh. Commenting has slowed….guess we’ve all read Doctor H’s take on it then….

  14. Why specify the “Pacific”? There are plenty of nice girls along the “Atlantic”. Plenty of lasses in fact. I remember this one time while in the North Atlantic…………

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