#F1 Daily News and Comment: Thursday, 21st May 2015


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

A Lesson in making sense

Fourth heavy shunt in Indianapolis

Don’t talk to me when we’ve messed up a race

Five place grid penalty for Romain Grosjean

Monaco Bits and Pieces

Make your voice heard

A Lesson in making sense

In 2014 the ITR (Germany), GTA (Japan), and IMSA had a meeting and – note to Strategy Group – they came back with a complete concept of aligning their rules to a joint technical regulation for ITR’s DTM, GTA’s Super GT and the yet to create American series currently codenamed “DTM USA”.

DTM and the Japanese Super GT currently have three major manufacturers each, which means after aligning the rules, each series has six potential entrants and will also host joint races. The first race to feature both DTM and SuperGT cars is scheduled for the 2017 season in Japan.

On Monday, there was another meeting of the touring cars ‘Strategy Group’. And guess what, they came back with a result yet again. Namely they defined the final engine specification – two litre turbos with 600 horses – and the final to-do list for the aerodynamic regulations. Of course F1 has nobody to align its rules with, it is supposed to be unique, but the case of the three governing bodies shows that committees can work, if they have the right people in them. A vote on Christmas can yield a quick and sensible result, if you keep the turkeys out of it.


Fourth heavy shunt in Indianapolis

Two years ago the Indycar powers that be decided that the series must move away from its near spec series image. To facilitate that, both engine suppliers Chevrolet and Honda are allowed to supply their customers with aerokits for the Dallara DW12 base chassis, which can then be further developed by the teams themselves.

The result is a disaster. To paraphrase the great philosopher Jeremias Clarksonius: If you want to have a picnic, you want the Germans to make the hamper, so the handles don’t fall off, and you want the Italians to prepare the food. But in the case of Indy areo kits the Germans have done ze food.

After three heavy accidents involving Chevrolet cars getting airborne, the legendary oval has now claimed the first Honda powered victim – Canadian James Hinchcliffe. He will miss the race and his car, qualified in 24th position will be driven by Australian Ryan Briscoe. Hinchcliffe has suffered leg injuries and has already undergone surgery.


Don’t talk to me when we’ve messed up a race

tostJos ‘the Boss’ Verstappen is present at all races and the Dutchman learned a valuable lesson last week. The two Toro Rosso drivers had qualified fifth and sixth, but went backwards in the race, finishing 9th and 11th. Shortly after the race, the cameras caught team principal Franz Tost and young Max’s dad in a heated debate.

“It wasn’t an argument,” Tost tells Formulaspy.com. “I was upset about the race result because I expected more. If I expect more, and we don’t get the result, I’m not the person you should talk to after the race. I was simply not in a good mood.”

A lesson that Jos will surely have learned. On the other hand the man has some experience with ‘heated arguments’.


Five place grid penalty for Romain Grosjean

During the Spanish Grand Prix Romain Grosjean was told several time to skip fourth gear lest he detonates his Mercedes engine. He made it home. After the race Alan Permane was adamant that the defect is superficial and can be repaired in time for the Monaco GP. He was wrong. The team has to change the gearbox and he will have to accept a five place grid penalty, which is especially crippling in Monaco.


Monaco Bits and Pieces

  1. For the second time this year the driver steward will be someone, who never drove an F1 race. This weekend the role will be served by nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen of Denmark.
  2. Unlike during normal race weekends, there will be no activity on Friday. The first and second free practices will be run today.
  3. Nico Rosberg could become the fourth driver to win Monaco three times in a row, while Lewis will seek to prevent that. Graham Hill and Alain Prost both won the race three times in a row. Senna did so five times between 1989 and 1993
  4. The Monaco GP is the only race on the calendar that is shorter than 300 kilometres.
  5. Six of the current drivers on the grid are previous Monaco winners: Räikkönen, Button, Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton and Rosberg.
  6. The first F1 race in Monaco in Monaco was won by Juan Manuel Fangio in an Alfa-Romeo on Pirelli tyres. With Pirelli, Englebert, Dunlop, Goodyear, Firestone, Michelin and Bridgestone seven different tyre brands have a Monaco win to their name.


Make your voice heard

We as the fans of Formula One frequently complain that nobody listens to our views. Well, ironically, there are to be two global surveys of F1 fans opinions on all matters F1.

The first to be published is by Haymarket Publications who own autosport.com, and the link is here.

Yes, we all have our qualms with Autosport.com, but TJ13 highly recommends that true fans of F1 complete this survey.

We all know how these things can be manipulated to suit various agendas, but to abdicate from the process is to capitulate to the fait accompli with which we are already faced.

Nothing ventured – nothing gained.

Even the sheer number of responses may inch the F1 establishment towards considering how the fans of F1 think.

The GPDA will be presenting their own fan survey on Friday, which we should also complete.

Buses come in threes – and it never rains unless it pours…

Click here to complete the survey


32 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Thursday, 21st May 2015

  1. I am in no way criticizing the coverage regarding the “Mayor of Hinchtown” and his accident during practice for the Indy 500. I applaud that mention did in fact take place. what I suspect, is that most here are not aware of just how close the racing community came to losing an accomplished racer with one of the biggest personalities and highly loved by many. an Indycar tub is significantly more beefed up than any F1 car/FIA standards has ever been. but the perfect storm of shit can and will happen. due to a mechanical failure at roughly 360 Km/hr, “Hinch” smacked a “safer barrier” with nearly 2 feet of deflection at a g force of 125 g. I can only guess that may have been around 200 + g against a solid barrier! EVERY safety feature worn by the driver, employed by the race track and mandated by the car did it’s job EXCEPT that a front suspension rod penetrated the re-inforced carbon fiber/Zylon/Kevlar tub it made it’s way into Hinches leg and pelvis.
    Indycar has more than it’s share of idiocy, but thank gawd for their safety crews which make F1 look like 5 year old kiddies playing doctor… according to multiple reports, Hinch had almost bled out within a minute of the contact. but the incredible safety staff and the ambulance personnel stabilized him so the trauma surgeon could state it was “touch and go” most of the way, but Hinch is now stable and has been moved from ICU!!!
    one can go to various sites to read about this very near tragety in more detail.
    I can only imagine the firestorm of an accident like this at far less inertia taking place in F1, WEC, WRC, MotoGP, etc…
    our racing community escaped a disaster by mere heartbeats thanx to the professionalism and dedication of just a very few individuals!

    • Great post. I would just like to add..
      according to the racer article, the right upper control arm, which was a SOLID STEEL SHAFT, pierced the tub, went completely through his right leg, then pierced his left leg and ended up in his pelvis. And yes, I agree 100%, the medical staff at indy made the F1 track staff look like the keystone cops.

      I do find it strange that the control arms are still made of steel. One would have to assume that they know what they are doing, and the forces involved require the steel shafts, but I fear the reason may actually be cost. Lets hope not.

      In any event, I think the indy accidents should be used as fair warning to F1. Sure, they can increase power to “over 1000”, and they can reduce the amount of aero, etc, but eventually they will reach the limit of grip the tires are capable of, and this is what will happen. Unfortunately, F1 doesn’t learn anything from anyone, they can’t even learn from their own mistakes, let alone someone else’s.

      • [mod] Yes the doctors did well in this incident in Indycar, but at least the powers that be in F1 don’t allow drivers to race around an oval track where they are at full throttle 100% of the time, at 230mph with concrete walls milimetres away from the drivers.
        The point is that F1 hasn’t needed doctors who can pretty much perform life saving surgery trackside because the sport is so much safer.
        Jules Bianchi aside before anyone picks me up on it. That accident was the result of the complacency of having a sport that is much safer on the whole these days.
        They could increase the power of the engines to over 2000bhp and I don’t think in F1 and they wouldn’t have as many dangerous accidents as in that Indy 500.

      • That arm extends back to close proximity to the cockpit, hence the damage to Hinch. F1 does not have that same closeness. Often looked at Indycar on-boards and mistaken that arm for a second mirror support, then realised my mistake.

  2. I think it’s now established that Hinch’s crash was caused by mechanical failure of a suspension part that had been redesigned and beefed up a couple of seasons back, yet somehow the mod never made it to this set of wheels. Aero wasn’t a factor.
    The whole aero concept they’ve adopted though is just as big a clusterfuck as F1 manages in so many areas, so neither is unique, exempt or immune…….

    • Those aero kits are hideous to boot. I applaud the added safety by protecting the rear tyres, but it looks so unnatural.

      I think Indy must look a bit to NASCAR regarding aero safety. NASCAR had a problem a few years back, because no one had really considered what happened aerodynamically when cars went sideways and backwards at 200mph. This is mostly cured after adding some mandated bits to disrupt the air and reducing the lift.

  3. I predict Lewis will not do very well this weekend, as the papers are running a story about Nicole being in Monaco this weekend, coincidence ?

  4. A question to hippo..

    Why does practice takes place here on a thursday? Is it a tactic to have guests for an extra day here to get more revenues to the hotels or a real reason behind it?

    • The reason is pretty practical. It allows the city to open the streets for the public on the Friday. Many people who work in Monaco come from France, stay the week and go home on Friday.

        • Well, the practice is still very obviously on Thursday. If they still open the streets – I don’t know. It is a historical tradition because initially the race was held on the weekend of ascension day.

          • Just had a look at the schedule, the roads open at 2pm tomorrow (shut from 6am) so I guess that helps people escape in the afternoon.

    • Let’s go ahead and settle the “driver of the WE” poll right here, right now even before our Dutch friends show up, shall we? Driver of the WE? Max of course. And not to worry, this will be the case even if Sainz Jr finishes ahead of him all WE long. Again.

      • All weekend long is impossible as I mentioned max was second. And ahead of him Lewis. ..

      • The prewhining is starting already.

        We can also just be happy that Monaco will reduce the impact of the PU’s, so good drivers in cars with a bad engine can still shine. Whether that will include Max is something we will see, although free practice was promising, of course.

  5. The first thing I thought of seeing the Hinchcliffe crash was just how similar it looked to Senna’s… It’s a rare sight to see a car suddenly straight-line in a high speed turn with no discernible attempt at steering correction from the driver. And just to top it off he was then pierced by a suspension column…

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