A Daily Round up of Formula One news, inside whispers, opinion and comment. Today,
Sauber’s legal defence is ridiculous
The court in Australia will rule on Wednesday, if Sauber shall be forced to honour Guido van der Gaarde’s contract and the injunction he won before a court in Switzerland.
Having already defended their position and been ruled against by Swiss jurisdiction, Sauber decided to argue the Swiss decision cannot be honoured. A lawyer for Sauber insisted that putting van der Gaarde into the car on such short notice would be “reckless and dangerous” and could result “in an unacceptable risk of physical harm or even death”
Force India have damaged their image this year by vetoing the Manor/Marussia return to Formula One; now Sauber now appears to be following suit. This defence is clearly a nonesense.
On June 10th 2011, after the first free practice for the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix, Sergio Perez complained of being unwell, having just returned after his Monaco accident. On extremely short notice his car was taken over by McLaren reserve driver Pedro de la Rosa. The switch happened on such short notice, the Spaniard contested the second free practice wearing McLaren branded overalls.
The car he had jumped into was a Sauber C30.
That wouldn’t have happened with a lawyer as the team principal… oh wait…
Red Bull Solution for McLaren-Honda
Calling McLaren’s winter tests shambolic would be quite the understatement. Only 1.751 kilometers is the laughable distance covered by the team over the 12 days of winter testing. To put it into perspective: Force India did the same with an untested car in two and a half days.
The only highlight was the 10th day of testing when Jenson Button managed 101 laps around the Circuit de Catalunya with minimal ERS input. At 59 laps the second best day was barely above half of that. Stubborn electronics problems, sealgate and a myriad of leakages meant that on 9 out of 12 days the team had to pack in early or was hindered by lengthy breaks.
Auto Motor und Sport report that McLaren have now opted to choose the Red Bull way of solving the dilemma as the Woking squad has taken responsibility for the programming of the engine and energy management systems. Red Bull’s in-housing of this part of R&D was key to last years miracle cure of the engine problems that had hampered them in the winter tests. Melbourne will therefore be an indication if the Austrians or the Brits have the better programmers.
During the few times that the Honda PU actually worked, it wasn’t hard to see that it has potential and both Button and Magnussen praise the driveability of the Japanese product. Not all may be lost yet for the once mighty combo McLaren-Honda.
We would like to thank you all for the feedback you have given on the new site.
We have already returned the mobile site to a rolling blog type style and made an interim font change for readability. There are a number of other ways were are looking to improve both the clarity of the look and functionality.
However, one benefit from a revised layout – demonstrated by the back end information the site provides – is that the 3-400 new readers who find us by various means every day engaged much more with the site yesterday, because other content rather than just the post they landed on was more easily identifiable.
We are currently working on making
1) The latest post very easily identifiable
2) The chronological list of posts easily identifiable
A number of other changes are in the pipeline too
Keep the ideas coming
Bianchi’s father: “Someone should pay”
It’s been five months since the terrible events at the Suzuka circuit. Jules Bianchi is still in a coma, but the world of Formula One moves relentlessly on.
The FIA have investigated, reported on their examination of the circumstances at the 2014 Japanese GP with the conclusion that no-one – other than possibly Jules himself – can be held accountable for what happened.
Speaking to Gazzetta, Jules father Philippe describes the uncertainty as ‘unbearable’.
“Jules is not giving up and neither do we,” says Philippe. “We try to be as tough as him, but it is certainly not easy. As long as he is in this state, they [the doctors] cannot say anything. Jules could wake up or not, but he is definitely fighting on”.
Jules father is however adamant. “This was not a normal racing incident. If there is someone who is responsible for this, they will pay, without question,” says Bianchi senior.
Yet Jules father is not sure of the next move, adding, “We are still unsure how we will handle this.”
Formula E sells equity
Liberty Global who were linked with buying a controlling stake in F1 last year have become stakeholders in Formula E. One third of the equity in electric racing series has been sold to two companies, Formula E announced with one of them being John Malone’s media empire.
“It is a significant step forward for Formula E to receive the backing of two major global media companies when we are barely halfway through our first season,” said Formula E chief executive Alejandro Agag.
“The experience and knowhow they bring will provide a significant boost to Formula E.”
The fifth round of the inaugural Formula E championships will be held this Saturday in Miami.
Lauda scorns Hamilton to Ferrari notion
Niki Lauda has poured scorn on the idea that Ferrari will steal Lewis Hamilton from under their noses.
However, the former F1 world champion and chairman of Mercedes AMG F1 refused to be pressed on whether the contract would now be signed before Melbourne. Speaking to RTL he stated, “No, there is no timetable and we have no pressure because Lewis has a contract with Mercedes to the end of the year.”
Lauda asserted there would be a new contract signed and that Lewis Hamilton would be racing with Mercedes in 2016.
Oh well, so much for Toto’s deadline of ‘before Australia’ and then again will we soon hear – ‘Lewis is competing for a title, so we wouldn’t want to distract him’?
SKY F1 cover the news that matters
Haas builds 60% scale model of their 2016 car
Getting a start-up team to the grid in F1 is a substantial logistical and technical undertaking. Under the guiding hand of team principal Guenther Steiner, the Haas F1 Team is slowly putting the pieces together for them to arrive at winter testing in 2016.
HQ is in the United States – Kannapolis, in North Carolina, yet Haas recently purchased the ex-Marussia team’s facility in Banbury which is some 39,350 square-feet in total.
The order and manufacture of team equipment such as transporters, pit apparatus and much of what is required to set up an F1 team garage Haas says is underway.
Today the team announce they have recruited “key personnel, notably Dave O’Neill as team manager, Rob Taylor as chief designer and Ben Agathangelou as chief aerodynamicis”t.
O’Neill came to Haas F1 Team from Marussia F1 Team, joining what was originally Manor GP in 2009. O’Neill’s experience is quite valuable to Haas F1 Team, for his task upon joining Manor was to set up a Formula One team in six months. Recruitment of personnel, the purchase of equipment and infrastructure, oversight of car design and supplier selection were just a few of O’Neill’s many duties. O’Neill was the team manager for Jordan Grand Prix from 1998 through 2005 before joining A1GP, a racing series promoted as the “World Cup of Motorsport”. As the chief technical coordinator for A1GP, O’Neill set up the series and track testing of cars. During this time, he also served in the role of team manager for A1GP’s Team Ireland, winning the A1GP championship in the series’ fourth season (2008-2009).
Taylor also joined Haas F1 Team from Marussia, where he held the post of deputy chief designer. Prior to Marussia, Taylor was the senior design team leader at McLaren from April 2006 through December 2010. Before McLaren, Taylor was head of vehicle design for Red Bull Racing, Toro Rosso and Jaguar beginning in 2002. Senior design roles at Arrows (1997-2002) and Scuderia Ferrari (1992-1997) were achieved after stints at Cosworth (1987-1989) and Benetton (1989-1992). Taylor’s role with Haas F1 Team marks his 28th year in Formula One, a tenure that has provided a range of experience in all disciplines of Formula One design.
Agathangelou paired with Haas F1 Team from Scuderia Ferrari where he managed the upgrade of the team’s wind tunnel and testing systems in Maranello, Italy, in March 2012. Prior to that, Agathangelou was with Dallara, serving as an engineering consultant for a number of projects the Italian racecar manufacturer had dating back to 2009, which included the technical lead for the Campos F1 project, 2012 technical upgrades for GP2 and the World Series Renault, design and development of the DW12 Indycar chassis, and management of the Alfa Romeo 4C “low cost” sports road car project. Agathangelou has a wealth of Formula One experience, for he was the head of aerodynamics for Jaguar and later Red Bull Racing from 2002 through 2007. Agathangelou held the same role with Renault F1/Benetton from September 1999 to March 2002. Agathangelou began his Formula One career in 1994 with McLaren as an aerodynamics analyst, moved to Tyrrell in August 1997 as senior aerodynamicist and then joined Honda Racing Development in April 1998 as chief aerodynamicist to prepare Honda’s 2000 Formula One entry.
Agathangelou and Taylor have already designed the 60-percent scale model of the car Haas F1 Team will race in 2016. The duo has logged numerous hours in the wind tunnel it shares with Haas F1 Team technical partner Scuderia Ferrari. By working diligently to develop the scale model now, Haas F1 Team will be ready to go racing in 2016. (Haas F1)