#F1 Daily News and Comment: Sunday, 17th May 2015


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

ART considers Formula One entry

Pirelli unhappy about free tyre choice

Nürburgring 24h goes down to the wire between Audi and BMW

ART considers Formula One entry

In the late eighties and early nineties the Formula 3000, GP2’s predecessor, did not only feed drivers to Formula One, but occasionally also teams. Jordan, Pacific, Coloni, Forti – granted that’s not exactly a list of championship winning teams, but it happened. That was then, but if reports of Speedweek.de are any indication, the ART team is considering the step up to the top-tier of openwheel racing, following that traditional path to F1.

French team ART, led by Frederic Vasseur, is well-connected in the world of motorsports. They run one of the Mercedes teams in DTM, Esteban Ocon drives for them in GP3 and with Stoffel Vandoorne they are runaway leaders in GP2. While speedweek.de suggests that this decision comes on the back of the currently discussed return of customer cars to F1, team shareholder Nicolas Todt says that the team would also consider entering as a classic constructor if they are able to forge a technological cooperation with a bigger team.


Pirelli unhappy about free tyre choice

paul-hemberyPirelli’s Paul Hembery is not too happy about the Strategy Group decision that from 2016 the teams will be able to decide freely which two out of four tyre compounds they will use over a Grand Prix weekend, insisting that the top teams will likely choose what the Italian manufacturer would have chosen anyway, while smaller teams might gamble and end up with downright dangerous tyres on tracks they are not suited for.

The average fan, who is in possession of common sense would counter that Pirelli may just build tyres that can at least do five or six laps on the harshest circuits like Sepang, and experts believe that will be the result. The Italians will simply build harder compounds to avoid tyre blowups a la 2013 when the initial construction was unfit for the purpose.

Personally, I like the idea. It adds a true strategical element instead of useless gimmicks like DRS and we might end up seeing one-stoppers and three-stoppers in the same race. Pirelli’s misgivings are most likely of an economic nature anyway. So far they could plan manufacturing and logistic well ahead. The new idea will raise costs for the Italians and F1 will no longer be the marketing freebie it has been so far.


Nürburgring 24h goes down to the wire between Audi and BMW

1369141819Two Belgian teams in German cars will most likely decide the 24h of Nürburgring among themselves. WRT-Audi and Marc-VDS BMW are separated by one minute with five hours to go. Many manufacturers in the top class, among them Bentley, Aston-Martin, Mercedes, Porsche and Glickenhaus have been thrown far back or been completely wiped out in a crash-ridden night.

VLN-2009-Sabine-Schmitz-Frikadelli-Racing-Porsche-997-729x486-c807e223b79d1dcdDifferent fates befell the fan favourites. While the thirty-year-old foxtail Opel Manta is currently lying 54th and leading the SP3 class, another favourite of the crowd, Sabine Schmitz is out of the race after one of her team mates crashed the Frikadelli Porsche GT3-R in the Karoussell shortly before midnight. Forty-six yearl old Schmitz had become the first woman to score a WTCC point yesterday, finishing 10th in the first of two races on the Nordschleife. She has won the 24h race previously with Schubert Racing, but both her former and current team are now out of the race already.

The closing hours of the race are live-streamed by Vodafone free of charge. http://vod.af/N24h


23 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Sunday, 17th May 2015

  1. That stress monitor in the 24 hour race is a cool idea. I’d love to see that in F1

      • Had a heart rate monitor and a bar that filled up as the driver’s stress level increased. You could see the stress bar filling up to the top as the driver got near another car. It was smart

  2. “The closing hours of the race are live-streamed by Vodafone free of charge. http://vod.af/N24h

    Thanks a lot for sharing this. The Ring is simply stunning.

    What does it take to get the chance to ride it for real? Is it expensive?

  3. “ART considers Formula One entry”

    Welcome to the spec era of F1. Since its founding, ART has always operated in spec series. Now all of a sudden they are considering F1. What has changed? F1 is on its way to becoming spec…

    (ART did have an aborted attempt to enter F1 around 2010, but not as a fully independent outfit. Not unlike Haas right now.)

    • Guessing a partnership with McLaren-Honda, as they now run their colours in GP2.. A B-team to run Vandoorne and Magnussen? 4 Honda cars to get data off? Force India showed you can buy in the back end and just do the chassis yourself. It might get a bit easier under these new rules.

    • Did you note the information “team shareholder Nicolas Todt” ? Maybe Toad Senior has had a word in his ear ?

  4. Crushed Sabine out. Suggest after last night they rename it the yellow hell.
    Also of note all commentators unanimous VSC is the way forward. Apparently will be used in Le Mans this year.

  5. Pirelli
    “…we might end up seeing one-stoppers and three-stoppers in the same race.”
    Hippo, I normally don’t disagree with you, but I do here.
    The tyre allocation is not going to increase, so to have three stoppers they are either going to be running on used tyres or sacrificing practice/qualifying.
    Also, I thought the final outcome of tyre-gate 2013 was that teams were mis-mounting the tryes (rights on left, lefts on right) to get further life after already running them on the correct side. Were not some teams’ troubles down to excessive camber? Prior to that there were teams having problems because they were not running the correct pressures.

    • A number of factors were at play. Pirelli changing the design of the tyre construction from Kevlar to steel was one. But the big one was the teams ignoring Pirelli’s recommendations on how to use the tyres. Instead the teams swapped the tyres around, ran the tyre pressures too low and had cambers that were out of Pirelli’s recommended operating range. It just sped up the inevitable tyre construction failure. We are lucky no drivers or marshals or indeed the crowd were injured by that. The Governance or lack thereof is the crux of the problem, the FIA needs to be in sole charge of the regulations. Red Bull getting the tyres changed to ones that suited it’s car was not one of F1’s better moments.

      I do like the idea of teams being able to choose tyres from the pirelli selection, the sets of tyres won’t change but that’s a good thing. If anything I’d make the teams run the set of tyres they want to race on the practise sessions to see how they hold up and has happens now, hand the tyres back afterwards. I would make it so those sets of tyres have to be run at a specific time during a practise session, unless the mechanics are repairing the cars etc.

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