#F1 Daily News and Comment: Tuesday, 12th May 2015

DNandC

A Daily Round up of Formula One news, inside whispers, opinion and comment. Today,

Toto Wolff: My wife has reached a crossroads

Barcelona in-season test lineups

FIA to introduce an accident database

Ricciardo in no rush to re-sign for Red Bull

A lesson in history – Porno-Ralle and Hard-Cora

Kimster and Finger Boy feat. Dave Greenwood

Toto Wolff: My wife has reached a crossroads

Williams test driver Susie Wolff has completed the first of two planned appearances in free practice last Friday. Unlike the Judge the team was quite satisfied with the performance of the first Scottish girl in F1 since a lady named Jackie won a few races back in the early seventies.

The Oban born finished the practice in 14th position, nearly 0.9 of a second slower than team mate Felipe Massa in 8th position. Unlike the Brasilian, however, she drove a Bahrain spec car without the aerodynamic upgrades to compare the impact of the new parts. And a good portion of that gap she blames squarely on herself. “I had a bit of a moment, when I nearly lost the rear into turn three. I lost three and a half tenths there. That’s quite frustrating.”

Wolff admitted that the appearance was a difficult balancing act between her own ambition to show her mettle and keeping in mind that she was driving a borrowed car. “I had to think of Valtteri. That means I had to push for my own interests, but had to make sure I wouldn’t risk an accident. Damaging the car would have compromised his weekend. That means I couldn’t go as hard as I would have liked as bringing the car home in one piece had priority.”

It’s a constant for all of her few official appearances, that Susie was often running programs that didn’t allow her to go for a fast lap time and a cynic might say that Williams does not have too much of an interest in making her look too good. Else the signing of Adrian Sutil might make them look a bit daft. I hope that’s only my cynic self speaking though.

Her solid showings notwithstanding, her husband and Mercedes motorsports manager Toto Wolff agrees with the general opinion that currently his wife is quite a long way from getting a serious shot at a race seat. Mercedes customer team Force India would be an option, but the winter tests and the lineup for the upcoming 2-day test make it obvious that the Germans prefer to place their own prodigy Pascal Wehrlein in that seat. The young DTM pilot was in Barcelona and commented the second free practice for Sky Germany.

An opening at Lotus is unlikely as long as Pastor keeps causing less damage than he brings money, and Susie Wolff isn’t quite desperate enough to consider a seat at the woefully uncompetitive Manor squad.

“She has to decide if she wants to continue warming the bench in F1 or if she wants to race,” Toto confirms, but there aren’t too many options, at least within the Mercedes family, with which Wolff was already associated before she met her husband. The 2015 DTM lineup is complete and joining the GT program would be a little late, at least if she wanted to participate in the prestigious races, like the 24h of Nürburgring.

Realistically, if Susie really wants to show her worth as a racer, WEC or DTM 2016 look like the best option. She could for instance take over Wehrleins cockpit should Mercedes decide to install the 20 year old at Force India. Unless Mercedes want to apply for an exemption, the young German would lose his super license if he doesn’t start at least 5 GP this year.

An outside chance could be Indycars. Danica Patrick, Sarah Fisher and Simona di Silvestro have proven that women tend to get a fair shot and decent material in the highest tier of American openwheel racing.

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Barcelona in-season test lineups


image4There’ll be test drivers galore at the first in-season test that kicks off today at the Circuit the Catalunya. Like in the winter tests, Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein (pictured) will be on double duty, for Force India on Tuesday and for the mother ship on Wednesday. Several regular drivers will be missing and both Force India and Ferrari rely completely on their backup brigade.

TJ13’s Fat Hippo will cover the two testing days live today and tomorrow.

Team Tuesday Wednesday
Mercedes AMG Germany Nico Rosberg Germany Pascal Wehrlein
Ferrari Italy Raffaele Marciello Mexico Esteban Gutierrez
Red Bull Russia Daniil Kwjat France Pierre Gasly
Williams Brazil Felipe Massa Great Britain Alex Lynn
McLaren Great Britain Oliver Turvey Great Britain Jenson Button
Lotus Venezuela Pastor Maldonado Great Britain Jolyon Palmer
Force India Germany Pascal Wehrlein Great Britain Nick Yelloly
Toro Rosso France Pierre Gasly Spain Carlos Sainz jr.
Sauber Sweden Marcus Ericsson Italy Raffaele Marciello
Marussia-Manor does not participate

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FIA to introduce an accident database

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Most in the Judge’s courtroom were very critical of how the FIA handled the aftermath of Jules Bianchi’s horrific shunt, especially the shambolic “investigation” that was little more than a thinly veiled attempt at exonerating themselves.

But it looks as if the top motorsports authority is now willing to implement measures to improve the safety of racing tracks around the world. The FIA plans to create an accident database, similar to the one available to all air travel authorities around the world. All national motorsports authorities will have access to the database, hopefully enabling them to react to accidents in a way to avoid similar incidents on tracks under their jurisdiction.

Here’s a few pre-emptive suggestions the FIA can instruct their members are no-no’s

#1 Don’t start races when the eye of a tropical storm is about to pass across the circuit

#2 Don’t allow the cars to hurtle around the track whilst people are working on stricken cars 15 metres from the asphalt

#3 If there are rules in place to ensure hospital transfer times must be respected – don’t flaunt them just to take the race sponsors mula.

#4 Tell the race series commercial rights holder to f%^k off if he tries to insist on a race being run when the conditions are blatantly unsafe.

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Ricciardo in no rush to re-sign for Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo is hedging his bets and refusing to sign for Red Bull Racing for 2016. Dietrich Mateschitz has threatened to leave F1 and is demanding either a Renault resurgence or an Audi replacement for the French power unit.

Understandable, this will be somewhat unsettling for the Aussie, who was the only non-Mercedes driver to win a race in 2014.

As to the contract itself, “We’re talking about it,” Ricciardo told Sky Italia, “but it depends on how things go this year”.

Over the weekend, Helmut Marko criticised the Red Bull Racing drivers, stating their Toro Rosso counterparts were “doing a better job.” Hardly conducive to contract extension talks.

Ricciardo knows he could get a drive elsewhere and it is his point scoring alone that has kept Red Bull racing from sitting 8th in the championship – behind Sauber, Toro Rosso and Force India too.

Daniel reveals his future at Red Bull is dependent on how the team progress from hereon in. “We will have to see what happens over the next few months and work hard to make sure we have better performance,” Daniel reveals.

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A lesson in history – Porno-Ralle and Hard-Cora

pornoralle-hardcoraMore and more news has come to the fore regarding Lewis Hamilton’s illustrious life style. The champion traverses the paddock wearing impressive gold chains that make Mr. T look like someone who’s dependent on food stamps. Today Lewis has been kicking a sheep’s bladder with people from something called ‘Arsenal’ in London and recently visited a brawl in Las Vegas while – on the side – is regularly writing music songs and occasionally in his busy schedule winning F1 races.

Toto Wolff has confronted the press, saying that Mercedes will not interfere with Lewis’s activities as long as they have no detrimental effect on his performance on track and does not clash with the interests of his employer and its sponsors.

The champ is obviously not too concerned about how divisive his conduct may be among F1 fans, but Lewis can be under no illusion that his plentiful ‘spare time’ activities are not subject to public scrutiny. That’s the trade-off that comes with being paid obscene amounts of money for the privilege of driving a car really fast 19 times a year.

Ten years ago, Ralf Schumacher, younger brother to Michael, and his wife Cora learned the hard way that ‘private’ transactions away from the main business of Formula One can make you the butt of other people’s jokes quite quickly.

Late in 2004 the German F1 driver decided to invest in Beate Uhse AG, a company specialising in sex toys, lingerie and pornographic movie productions. The business was created by World War II Nazi pilot Beate Uhse.

Comedian Stefan Raab coined the nicknames “Porno-Ralle” and “Hard-Cora” for the Schumacher pair and even produced T-Shirts bearing the names. Even though Schumacher terminated his ill-advised investment and even won a lawsuit against Raab, this nickname still sticks with him to the present day.

Lewis should think on. His music career is something he takes pretty seriously, but if it results in him attracting the satirist attentions, we may be remembering the champ for more than his F1 exploits.

‘Piff Hammy’, ’50-Points’, ‘Eazy-44’ or ‘Merc-Slim’ are not so insulting, but would not be too interesting a legacy for one who wishes to emulate the great Ayrton Senna.

While Lewis is familiarising himself with a bladder other than his own, his biggest rival was preparing to collect valuable track mileage during today’s first Barcelona test day. As Spice Boy Horner famously said, “when you run an F1 car, your always learning something”.

There’s still time to hit the studio when his time in F1 is over, or at least do it like the two chaps below…

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Kimster and Finger Boy feat. Dave Greenwood

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37 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Tuesday, 12th May 2015

  1. I’m jazzed to see Pascal Wehrlein running both days.

    Will Pirelli do as they did last season, and designate a team each day to be their test mule?

  2. ‘Lewis should think on. His music career is something he takes pretty seriously, but if it results in him attracting the satirist attentions, we may be remembering the champ for more than his F1 exploits.’

    This does not even appear thought out or researched in any way – the whole idea of building a brand is ‘notoriety’ – history tells us that a star with talent can do prty much anything and will be remembered in awe
    I am sure I dont have to remind any true sports fan here of the countless examples of the biggest stars doing things like wife beating, murder, drunk driving, street brawls who are not remembered for those but you still hope Lewis will be remebered only for some silly songs haha
    Even Villeneuve and his pop career are forgotten except by the biggest bigots with an axe to grind
    Th point you had to explain and remind us of Ralph Schumachers ‘defining moment’ kinda pooh poohs your own point lol. As if Ralph is in the same league as Lewis. No matter what h does and how silly it seems to the usual suspects, dont kid yourself that it will be what he is remembered by – so he should really take care if he is to emulate his hero Senna who is sometimes remembered by crashing into Prost by not doing silly things off track.


    The remainder of this post has been moderated. Personal comments aimed at others in TJ13 are unacceptable.

    • There’s literally no point in hitting back at this sort of stuff being written about lewis now as it is only encouraging them create more click bait articles aimed at hamilton fans as they know this is what creates a storm amongst the us. Now that this site is gaining momentum, stories are being churned up left, right and center without any real thought. No doubt this comment will be moderated as they dont even like people expressing their views any more. I’d recommend Motorsport magazine as they do great articles based on facts and not ill-advised ones attacking drivers because they choose different ways to spend their own free time and dont conform to their idea of what they should be wearing and how they should act.

        • Did you even read it? I said there is no point in hitting back – ie making a counter argument as it only encourages you lot. My comment was not a counter argument.

    • OJ – The glove and that pursuit!
      Tiger – The Porn addict, getting thrown out by his Mrs, sleeping with whores and his career nosediving.
      Tyson – Rapist and biting Holyfield’s ear.

      That’s surely what most people will remember these people for?

      • I don’t think making music in your spare time is the equivalent of rape or murder though. The only that comes close to is the potential damage to people’s ears…

  3. Gee guys, I mean if the recent posts about Lewis’s spare time messing around are true, and he has two world titles, and a decent shot at a third, I mean, that makes you wonder what the hell Senna, Prost, and Seb and them were doing spending all their time racing and getting only three or four…. at least Schumi seems to have capitalised properly. What the hell is Rosberg doing, step it up man, your imminent fatherhood is not going to help this situation!

    • Hell yeah!
      Such is life. You have only one life – with public and private (ahem) parts.

      Lewis Does it all in the spotlight and Seb in private, Jenson in between. No problem. Even if it ‘costs’ him a third title… So what? We all know Hamilton is topclass. And no, I’m no Hamilfosi, although I like him more every year, because of his flaws…

  4. Loved the article but it did get me thinking..if f1 stopped now,what would the drivers do for employment?..Maldonado could become a spokesman for a claim company,’had a trip or fall? Suffered an accident that wasn’t your own? Then call pastorclaims..we put the cash into crash!’…then we could have the young Max,i see a good line of driving schools for the under 20’s..passmax the driving wizard..any more suggestions ??😁

  5. I never saw Lewis as Mr.T but it’s obvious that’s who his real hero is and he is looking like him more and more each year. 2 more titles and a haircut and they’ll be identical!!
    Rosberg is lucky to be at Mercedes as he hasn’t really pushed Lewis at all in the last seasons and I’m sure there are at least 3-4 drivers who would be giving Lewis a bigger run for his money. No, Button is not one of them, not even close!

  6. Didn’t JV try the music thing a while back? – must see how that went for him… One can only assume Hammy asked him for advise on how to juggle both F1 & the commitments of the muso industry…

  7. Lewis isn’t out drinking, gambling, whoring or anything illegal like beating his girlfriend like some NFL worthies. All hes doing is what he appears to like. Whether he genuinely likes doing all that or whether its a carefully PR thing (what a disaster that would be!) is immaterial. Let him indulge in what he wants. This tabloidish exaggerated pillorying of this musical pursuits (barf!) and other things like wearing gold jewellery is childish imo. All this coming from staid stiff upper lip brits who [Mod] Clap for a boundary and have Andrew Strauss running their cricket right now is hilarious and stupid to the outsider.

    • … Some may see it as satirical… which we do a fair bit of here at TJ13… just like in yesterday’s ‘Alonso Sorrows’ piece.

      Fair comment though on the Andrew Strauss issue… 😉

      • But the satire gets boring when it’s being published almost everyday. If I’m not mistaken, this is about the 4th Lewis Hamilton related article since Sunday.

        • To be fair, Lewis is the most prominent driver in the sport nowadays. He’s posting things on social media about what he’s up to etc. It’s natural given that, and the fact he’s the WDC (and leading this year), that there will be more about him than pretty much anyone else.

      • Oh it falls short of satire judge. And to me it seems like making fun of someone who isn’t the usual Britt stereotypical person. I’m not calling it racist cos that’s stupid but perhaps it’s a lack of understanding of the culture he wants to identify with?

        But if that’s the intent, well go on.

        • “Oh it falls short of satire judge” – in your opinion. Stereotypes are a fundamental part of satire. What should Lewis’ stereotype then be for a satirist?

          I dont’t see you complaining about
          Spice Boy Horner
          Alonso the home wrecker
          Crashtor
          Jenson the silent assassin
          Ron Dennis speak
          Eric the believable
          Doing an ‘Ijaz’
          Bob the turncoat
          Todt the invisible
          Charlie the incompetent
          Max the lovely
          Spanky….

          The list goes on. Your agenda is most obvious

  8. “While Lewis is familiarising himself with a bladder other than his own, his biggest rival was preparing to collect valuable track mileage during today’s first Barcelona test day. As Spice Boy Horner famously said, “when you run an F1 car, your always learning something”….

    I’d assume by that statement that you think he’s missing the test by choice.

  9. I’d like to think that if I was a mega buck paid F1 driver that I could do what I wanted off track, and if that was making music, so be it. It’s not by the way, I’ve got a couple of guitars but I’m crap with them.

    RE: Susie Wolff, maybe she should team up with Ralf enterprises, I’m sure there’d be a market for any content released, after all she’s got quite a good figure there..

  10. Interesting things today:
    1) Three different F1 TV folks write about how to fix F1 in anticipation of the strat group meeting on Thursday, (Brundle, DC, and Will Buxton).

    One thing that all three have in common is an aero fix to enable cars to follow each other closely enough so that DRS is no longer required. Buxton and Brundle include specific ideas on aero with some alignment on their ideas. DC doesn’t make specific proposals, but points to IndyCar’s oval config as a successful example solution.

    2) Alonso points to the large performance gap between Ferrari and Mercedes in the Spanish GP and says that is why I left, (mirroring LdM’s earlier ‘lucky’ comments).

    The root of the problem is that the top teams all brought big update packages to Spain in the hopes that they may gain on Mercedes. One could argue that Ferrari lost ground to Mercedes, (though Vettel said after the race, no). One could argue that McLaren took a step backwards on a driveability based on JB’s post race comments. But FA noted that team engineers believed he was on course for a points finish.

    By coincidence, this morning I read an interesting blog post an F1 engineer who consults for Ferrari. He noted the timeline for mid-season updates on bits and pieces. But he gave an interesting theorectical example of an aerodynamists coming up with a new idea for a part. After running the new part idea (in the example, new end plates) through CFD simulations, he notes the following:
    “If that works then the model makers will make a scale model of it which is put into the wind-tunnel and tested against the old endplates; depending on how good it looked in CFD, maybe a week or two.
    “If the wind tunnel agrees with CFD (which it never does)…”

    This was published March 31, 2015, so I thought it interesting that the wind tunnel model “never” agrees with the CFD sims, for a team with one of the largest budgets in F1. Ferrari have done a ton of work to improve the accuracy of their wind tunnel work. And they’re much happier with that accuracy now. This illustrates why the teams value testing days like we have currently, and are running all the rakes, and such measuring devices.

    • I should mention the engineer is Mark Catherall.

      His interesting blog post is catherallconsulting.com/f1-vs-academia-round-1-sharing-information

  11. As far as I’m concerned, what Lewis does off track is his business as long as it doesn’t cause harm to Mercedes-Benz, it’s brand, or Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 team. Everyone involved in Formula 1 are people and they should be allowed to have lives away from the office/track as long their activities don’t have a negative impact. They are a reflection of their employer.

    I hope that Lewis’s contact is signed by Monaco but, if it’s not, it’s not. I hope that he stays with Mercedes because I believe that it’s a win-win for both parties that would bring much success with it. If something happens and he ends up going to another team, there are other drivers who would be a good fit for Mercedes. I’d love to see Bottas or Riccardo in a Silver Arrow. The only driver that I wouldn’t want to see at Mercedes is Fernando Alonso. He’s a great driver but the drama that he causes outside of the car would destroy Mercedes and everything Ross Brawn, Toto Wolff, Paddy Lowe, and Niki Lauda have built piece by piece not to mention put the Mercedes-Benz brand in a negative light. There was drama when he was at McLaren and there was drama when he was at Ferrari. Mercedes doesn’t need Fernando Alonso type drama.

    Susie Wolff will find the right place to achieve her goals and excel at them. She needs to keep searching. She’s a woman in a man’s world. I know all too well what that’s like. I grew up in a woman’s in a man’s world and I’ve been been working on my goals for a while and the progress is slow. I grew up playing with the boys and I belong with the boys because they’ll push me hard to test my limits. It can be very difficult and discouraging but if she keeps at it; she get there and the outcome will be better because she had to work so hard for it.

    Also, there is an interview with Mark Webber at the Spanish GP that’s spot on. I’m not sure yet in Red Bull will end up leaving F1. I miss him in Formula 1 but he’s got an awesome ride with Porsche in WEC.

    • Thank you for your eloquent and considered contribution – and the time it took you to compose it.

      Its an example to TJ13 commentators – time is being called on the soundbite, inaccurate, ya-boo posts we’ve been seeing here for some time.

      Mrs judge is with you on the missing Mark Webber thing… but she got to meet him in the WEC paddock as a normal race attendee this year – something F1 would never afford an average spectator.

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