A Daily Round up of Formula One news, inside whispers, opinion and comment. Today,
Dr. Marko’s insider bet
Dr. Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s notorious mouth-piece has been running the Red Bull young driver’s program for many years and its alumni can be found in Formula 1, at Le Mans and in Formula E.
The most successful driver to graduate from the program is arguably four time world champion Sebastian Vettel and the good doctor does not seem to have lost the faith in his former protegé’s talent despite the spectacularly failed title-defence of the German. Before the Malaysian Grand Prix he bet on Sebastian Vettel to win and made a profit of 400 dollars on it.
During a recent interview in Germany he claimed that it wasn’t a lucky guess and blames Red Bulls RB10 for Vettel’s meagre showing, mainly the new-fangled brake-by-wire system. Marko is convinced that it works better in this year’s SF15-T than in Vettel’s last RB manufactured car.
“Our car simply didn’t suit him. It prevented him from using his unique little tricks that make him so fast,” the Austrian explains in reference to Vettel’s preference for stabilizing the car on corner entry using the brakes. “In this Ferrari he can use the full potential of his driving style again. But he had never forgotten how to drive. His results of this year prove it.”
While one can commend the good Doctor for finally admitting to a weakness of the team, even if only indirectly, it says a lot about the down-turn the team has taken since 2013, especially with the new RB11. Since Vettel was excluded from development when he activated his termination-clause last year, it casts some doubts on the development qualities of Danny Ricciardo, and the unexperienced Daniil Kvyat won’t be much help either.
Fat Hippo’s Rant Lite: The Old Elite and Virtual Media
“Every week Mr E seems to feed the media and his court jesters some new stories of ideas for the future of F1: three-wheelers, female Grands Prix (how sexist is that?), 1970s tyres, wet tee shirt grid girls, sprinkler systems in corners, reversed grids, meat-eating 1,000 engines, tintacks in Turn Three and blah-di-blah-di-blah. This gives the virtual F1 media the chance to fill space with worthless analysis of these smokescreens (“It looks like a cloud but perhaps there is something hidden behind it…”)”
This is an excerpt of a recent diatribe by Joe Saward and it shows that poor Joe is mortally frightened of the new media. It’s hardly the first go he’s had at people who don’t follow his footsteps of toeing the party line in fear of losing his pitpass.
The problem here is two-fold. If he were to ask the right questions, the answers would not be what the establishment likes and he could find that his precious ticket to the paddock could suddenly end up being invalid. On top of that Joe likes to plug his own magazine for money.
The same goes for autosport and other media, who want you to pay money for reading F1 news. How infuriating must it be for these people that a group of F1 fans, who run their own blog are sometimes beating them to the punch and completely for free on top of it.
Kimi to Ferrari, Martini as a title sponsor for Williams, the race fixing at Monza and the Camo-Bull in the winter tests are examples of stories that were part of our Daily News and Comments days, sometimes weeks, before the so-called ‘mainstream media’ – the Joe Sawards and Autosports even got the fax. Especially the Camo-Bull story had several main-stream media from Germany, Poland, Italy and France cite thejudge13.com as the source.
The result is, that we step on people’s toes. We threaten their business model because we have none. A group of people, who do the job for the love of the sport instead of trying to sell old news for three quid a week; that doesn’t compute in the world of people, who rely on being fed in the Mercedes motorhome in exchange for a sympathetic article.
Currently the TJ13 core team includes Brits, an Italian, a South African, a German, an American and with the addition of the delightful Vivian Bove – a lady from Honduras. Among these people we can monitor news in English, Afrikaans, Italian, German, Russian and Spanish. That’s a way bigger variety than any of the mainstream Journalists can keep track of. And it’s that versatility they fear.
This site isn’t about earning money. We worry about the state of the sport and we voice our grievances. And we don’t live in any delusion of exclusivity either. Anyone willing to put in the time is welcome to contribute. Here, a politically incorrect German can publish his rants, an Italian can confess his love for the Scuderia and in between we have the occasional exclusive story. And all that costs you little more than a click. No paywall will come up after twenty views and no magazine will be peddled in between. All of us do this in their spare time and purely for the love of the sport, although our own grumpy jackal found a rather strange way to put it in a recent podcast recording.
That is another side of our group. We can administer a good ribbing without resorting to nationalistic clichés. While a certain journalist resorted to cheap nationalistic populism (“Take that you beastly Germans”), our resident German met the crew in Blighty two weeks ago and I would go as far as saying that none of them perceived me as particularly beastly.
There is a saying in Germany: “Frightened dogs start to bark.”
Some dogs have barked quite loudly in recent weeks. The TJ13 philosophy works better than ever.
More delays for the VJM08
Since their team has failed to pilfer a share of Manor’s millions twice already, things at Force India are slowing down to a crawl and Checo Perez and Nico Hülkenberg will have to make do with the Frankenstein’ed VJM07.5 for a while longer.
The debut of the real VJM08 was first announced for Barcelona, then postponed to Monaco and is now expected to see the light at Austria as announced by Bob Fernley.
“Austria is a good place to do it because we’ve got a test after that so it is an opportunity to hone the car,” he says, but by the sound of things the faith in their own product is a wee bit lacking.
“I’m not saying it will take us ahead but hopefully it will put us back into the pack which is where we need to be.”
Although in defence of Mr. Fernley it should be said that if due to budget constraints your aerodynamic development amounts to a guy going out with a table fan and a pack of cigarettes, you can’t really expect a world-beater.