#F1 Daily News and Comment: Wednesday 4th March 2015



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TJ13 Karting Event

Force India: No Wehrlein – no testing

Fat Hippo’s Rant Lite: When Silence Is Golden

A memo from Mr E

The Ultimate F1 circuit

Pirelli tyre choice for first four races

TJ13 Karting Event

Hello everyone, Spanners here. (I’m from the podcast). As you may know I’ve organised a karting event for The Judge 13 @ RYE HOUSE KART RACEWAY at 2pm on March the 28th. There are still places free so please call and book your place today.

Everyone is welcome to come and join us on track for a 60 minute session. That’s 15 minutes qualifying and then grid straight up for 40 minutes of 65mph karting action for the discount price of £68 (Normally £89). You’re competing for the Judge’s Gavel.

I will be there along with John, Craig, The Grumpy Jackal, Hippo and some TJ13 readers and listeners. Come along and share an afternoon racing with some fellow F1 fans. Share a pint afterwards as well. Rye House is near Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire. (North of that there London)

Call RYE HOUSE on 01992 460 895
Quote the ref; TJ13 2pm march 28th.

If you have any questions then please comment here or ask me on twitter @spannersready.
You could even ask me in the chatroom of the livestream where we record the podcast at 8pm on Wednesdays. https://www.ustream.tv/channel/13337992


Force India: No Wehrlein – no testing

Force India have confirmed that the decision to run Pascal Wehrlein in the first Barcelone period of winter testing was not a mere act of friendship, but a business decision.

z1424340611 The German, who in the absence of Max Chilton takes the role of dedicated “good lookin’ F1 driver guy” and (if you squint your eyes a bit) resembles ever so slightly our very own SpannersReady before his hair started going AWOL, was slated to run for two days in the VJM07 in exchange for Mercedes paying the bills.

“Mercedes wanted him to have some time in the car and it suited us in terms of being able to run the car,” Robert Fernley explains to Autosport, implying that this was the condition for some financial help from their PU supplier. Having learned from previous, less successful PR campaign, he adds the prerequisite pleasantries.

“It was a pleasure for us to do it. It was obviously financially worthwhile and also allowed us to get Nico and Sergio back up to speed before the third test – so it was win-win.”

While it is good to see that Mercedes help out their customers the cynical faction (internally codenamed ‘The Hippo’ among TJ13 staff) cannot help but think that Merc takes advantage of FI’s financial problems and makes them their subservient pawns.

With testing so highly restricted these days – it was a free pass for Mercedes to get on of their young drivers behind the wheel of a Formula One car – well not free, at a cost of around £250,000.


Fat Hippo’s Rant Lite: When Silence Is Golden

Hippo Rant Lite articles are comments made by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the TJ13 staff as a whole

Dear Mr. Dennis,

I take it, it is not too hazardous a stretch of the imagination that you have grown fairly displeased with the amount of disagreeable media coverage about recent events that involve your McLaren F1 outfit. While I may sympathize with your dismay about this seemingly outrageous injustice, I feel compelled to point out that, with all due respect of course, it appears that nobody else but yourself is to blame for this promotional misadventure.

When your most revered Iberian employee Fernando Alonso suffered what looked to be a most bizarre automotive accident and medical personal rushed to the scene in what looked to be more than the usual urgency in such cases, the audience was of course worried about the fate of your most prominent member of the work force. This sensation of concern was amplified when he was airlifted to the hospital, usually considered a measure of highest urgency.

I wish not to deceive you. Therefore I admit that I found your explanation for the calamity thoroughly lacking in both detail and credibility. I take it that there are reasons for you to keep the true nature of the accident to yourself, but may I humbly suggest that you do not improvidently underestimate the intellect of the public in such case?

The presented theory of wind influence is unfortunately debunked by the mere application of simple logic. Had gusts been prevalent that are strong enough to send a 600kg car in the opposite direction to which the centrifugal forces were pulling it – and subsequently into a violent accident, the climatic conditions would have exceeded the medical helicopter’s flight envelope. Therefore, according to the regulations, all on-track activity would have been stopped at this point. It is therefore extremely difficult to consider your explanation a statement of truth.

May I also point out, that the inconsistency in your statements hint at the fact that there is an unfortunate lack of coordination among your employees as to which tale of male bovine excrement to present to the public? On the day after the accident you disclosed that the honourable Mr. Alonso Diaz had been retained in the medical facility for precautionary reasons because of a concussion, the existence of which you ferociously denied only days later during a press conference. Yet yesterday it was disclosed that your employee was advised not to return to work yet, because of a concussion.

As you will hopefully agree, this contradiction of fact would be obvious to even the most unsuccessfully educated members of the public. I would therefore wish to remind you of a saying by the ancient Roman philosopher Hippopotamus Decitonnus:

Tell us the truth Ron, or shut the fuck up!

Sincerely, the weight-disadvantaged Hippo.


A memo from Mr E

The Usher found a little Gem posted on Twitter from @varnnesports this morning. It appears the antithesis of modern metro sent Caterham a little reminder on who he thinks a grid pass should be given out to.



The Ultimate F1 circuit

As a promotional activity, Scalextric has built one of its biggest ever tracks, the Ultimate F1 2015 Circuit, designed b Sky Sports commentator Martin Brundle.



“The team challenged me to design my dream circuit using sections from the 20 F1 races in 2015,” Brundle reveals. “I immediately wanted a figure of ‘8’ like our beloved Suzuka, and could only dream of driving a series of corners such as scaling the mountain up to turn one in Austin before falling through the ‘Senna S’ of Brazil and towards Silverstone’s fearsome Copse corner. And that’s just a small section. Now amazingly, we’ve built a model and so I will revert to my childhood for many laps. It’s going to get competitive.”


Brundle includes the Ascari Chicane from Monza, Monaco and the Casino Square, the infamous Canadian ‘Wall of Champions’, Silverstone Copse along with the Abu Dhabi circuit Marina Complex

The track also includes miniature sized landmarks from the F1 calendar, such as the Monaco swimming pool, the Singapore Flyer, the Silverstone wing and more.

Scalextric will be selling this in the near future for around £1,000 along with other iconic F1 circuits.

Come to think about it – it seems strange Scalextric haven’t better tapped into F1 previously.

Which circuit would you like to have in Scalextric form?


Pirelli tyre choice for first four races

Pirelli have chosen the same compounds as in 2014 for the first for races of the season. Soft and Medium for Australia, China and Bahrain and medium/hard for Malaysia where higher temperatures and an abrasive track require firmer rubber.

Pirelli say they have developed a stronger construction to ensure the rear tyres are less of a limiting factor this season, though they admit as yet the supersoft tyre is a bit of an unknown quantity.


34 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Wednesday 4th March 2015

    • That’s taken from the El Mundo article that went out yesterday. It also says the Honda unit only has 3 safety systems to prevent electric shock, whereas Ferrari, Renault and Merc have five.

      It should be noted however that Ralf Bach – the journo behind f1-insider is working for Bild, Germanies counterpart of The Sun. And that the El Mundo article was described as ‘highly speculative’ by most other media.

      • i know. ralf bach also wrote some pretty questionable f1 articles for spiegel online in the past. i just thought it was funny, given the abysmal performance of mclaren this winter, and the apparent revival of ferrari.

  1. There you go.

    Dear Ferrari Team Principal,

    Do not protest. Convert all male mechanics into female and give them sexy dresses. You need not worry about protesting and watching from the stands.

    Sincerely, A disadvantaged male

  2. Ha Ha Hippo, you are probably many things Sir, but boring is never one! I can be ambivalent about your writing and opinions (you not actual ambivalence, and not apathety which most people mean when they say ambivalent), but certainly today you struck a piece of gold, made me laugh out loud at work. Top effort, and keep it up, even the bits I don’t agree with or like at least make me think!

  3. Re Scalextric……

    The Carousel at the Nordschleife.

    The WTCC will running at the Nordschleife this season, doing only 2-3 laps

    • Mind you – 3 laps means over 60 kilometers and more than 30mins. I would say the cars are quite knackered after that. I once chewed through a brand new set of break discs on a Golf GTI over the course of two laps and those are made to last a hell of a lot longer than that.

        • Yeah, 10 tons was a wee bit over the max takeoff weight. But I did manage to get it airborne at Flugplatz and before Schwalbenschwanz 😀

          • Our ‘dedicated ring toy’ has a Koni semi-racing kit nailed to it. That’s meant to hake a few hits. A normal suspension wouldn’t survive the jump at Flugplatz.

  4. The small matter of 15000 km or so is going to keep me from the TJ13 kart event. Yeah, I know, I’m soft :/

    I look forward to the quali & race reports.

    It’d be extra cool if someone could strap their phone to their head to allow for the posting of some helmet-cam action (or maybe some brave soul will risk their GoPro).

  5. OMG, i want that scalectrix set, i can kick my son out, and set it up in his room, he’s 16 and old enough to fend for himself.

    Judge on a different note, we know the Honda engine doesn’t go very far, but do they think fundemently they’ve got a good/powerful engine, just if they can keep it running.

      • I think Honda’s plan has been to make the power unit as fast as they can and work on reliability as the season progresses as that’s one of the area’s that is not as restricted. Might be interesting to compare how Honda and Renault fare with their power units over the course of the season. If Honda fix all the problems and the power unit is as fast as they think it is and Renault are still struggling then I guess we might see Red Bull building it’s own power units, wouldn’t surprise me if they hadn’t at least started exploring the options on that front already.

  6. Dear Mr. Hippo. Apparently you do not know how the wind could have caused this accident, because it is not the wind blowing the car inwards, but outwards onto the astroturf which could explain the loss of control, which sent the car into the inner wall, as Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus went into the inner wall last year, during the Grand Prix.

  7. Yesterday there was much jabbering in comments about the various speculations around Alonso’s crash. I contributed heavily to that obviously, but my general aim was to bring some data to light that would be helpful.

    In particular I noted Andrew Benson’s overlooked BBC article which said the GPS data had Alonso traveling at 215 km/h when he lost control.

    After all that noise yesterday, something interesting happened earlier today.

    The AMuS reporter Michael Schmidt had an article published on Friday Feb 27 which said Alonso lost control at a speed of 135 km/h. Michael’s story was startlingly different from Mr. Benson’s BBC story published on the same day which said it was 134 mph when Alonso lost control.

    On the AMuS story, there were four different readers who on that same day had asked Michael / AMuS about the weird contrast between these two speeds (135 km/h vs BBC’s 134 mph) in the comments below the article. Earlier today, Michael responded to one of these queries, (5 days later! ).

    But Michael’s response was strange… He said the FIA accident data recorder measures speeds in km/h.

    The reason that response is strange is because Andrew Benson’s article for the BBC made very clear that his two sources were the GPS data provided to all the teams, and a senior member of one of the teams. In addition, to be clear on the speed, he declared the speed in both mph and km/h (134 and 215 respectively). Mr. Benson did not have access to FIA accident recorder data, (or didn’t use it for the article if he did).

    So the FIA accident recorder is one of the primary differences between the two reports.

    In any case, the speeds reported in the BBC story make much more sense.

    Michael has failed to explain why there such a significant difference in speeds between his work and Andrew Benson’s work.

    • You are, indeed correct – the response is strange and erroneous.

      Data recorders always record the data in the units that the relevant system is using. This is to prevent errors being introduced by any conversion routine and also to reduce any real time processing by the recording system.

      Control systems such as those in F1 cars never work in per hour units – to use such units would require the variables to be stored using floating point, which reduces accuracy.

      The units used are metres per second – these are also the units in which GPS receivers report their data to the system.

      When a data recorder is interrogated, the data is processed by the offline analysis program and displayed on the screen in the units that have been selected by the user (or the previous user if the current user doesn’t realise!) eg: kph or mph.

      Basically from Michael’s response you are certain the he cannot reliably state the true speed.

    • Long time since I’ve had to convert km/h to mph. On the conversion I learned at school so, so, long ago, the 215k figure translates to 134mph (133.62336 actually). So for the most part the reporters are fudging and as fuzzy as Fred was, on the actual. Before during and after.

  8. re the Scalexctric track – I’d wager Agag was agog until he realised his cars wouldn’t have enough battery to barely last one lap…….

  9. This new layout is a dog’s breakfast. Also a white background is terrible for browsing on the phone at night.

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