The #TJ13 #F1 Daily News and Comment: Saturday, 30th May 2015


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

FIA acquits Ferrari of wrongdoing

Germany could lose free-to-air F1 coverage

Schumacher media strategy explained

FIA acquits Ferrari of wrongdoing

According to Finnish paper Turun Sanomat Ferrari got a surprise visit from FIA’s aerodynamics expert Marcin Budkowski, who was assigned the task to go through the wind-tunnel logs at Maranello to check if Ferrari had extended their wind-tunnel time by using time booked by customer Haas F1. Championship leaders Mercedes had complained to FIA that Ferrari’s large Barcelona upgrade would not have been possible within the current limitations of wind-tunnel use. McLaren and Red Bull joined that protest.

After reviewing Budkowski’s findings, FIA have explained that there were no abnormal findings that would hint at any breach of current rules regarding wind-tunnel use.


Germany could lose free-to-air F1 coverage

1297632426You know F1 is in bad shape, when a broadcaster reduces its coverage in the 24th year of its contract to fit in an additional reality-TV show to make up for the diminishing advertising revenue. The scenario is not hypothetical, but the grim reality for German viewers of RTL, who have been showing F1 live in free TV since 1991. Their current contract runs out at the end of this year and according to German media reports the broadcaster will not seek an extension of the contract if Bernard Ecclestone does not compromise on the costs. Since 1991 RTL has paid more than 1.1 Billion Euros for the privilege.

It is however highly unlikely that Ecclestone will even think about that, as he has currently discovered that he hates Germans, calling Germany a “terrible market for F1” and blasting Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg for not being Hollywood enough to promote F1 better. He later even stooped as low as telling Nico Rosberg to his face that he was bad for his business during a joint interview in Monaco.

What that shows is, that Mr. E might know how to scam people out of their money, but he doesn’t know the first bit about Germans. We are stereotyped as humourless for a reason. We laugh as much as the next guy, but we do so in the sanctity of our homes, preferably hidden from view in the basement. Leading the extroverted life-style of a Lewis Hamilton or the incessant unasked-for supply of Samurai wisdom of a Fernando Alonso is a sure way of becoming unpopular in Germany. And the reason for that is simple. The majority of Germans, even the young generation, thinks that someone, who needs to make a clown of himself in public has something to make up for. It might be a bit 1950, but that’s how many of us are – hard-working, but not inclined to let the public know about that constantly. We like to keep our lives to ourselves, and that includes most of our sport stars. Deal with it, Bernie.

RTL meanwhile has put more effort into acquiring rights to show more football. Sky Germany has already signalled that they would be all too happy to strike an exclusive deal should the RTL contract not be extended.


Schumacher media strategy explained

SkehmSabine Kehm has been spokeswoman for Michael Schumacher since 2001 and took over his complete management upon his return to F1 in 2010. Since the near-fatal accident of the seven-times world champion Kehm has been the press-liaison between the Schumacher family and the public. In addition she’s also the manager of Schumacher’s son Mick.

In an interview with Spiegel Online, the 50-year old has now vented her frustration about the ongoing harassment of the Schumacher family by Paparazzi. Some media have in the past criticized the lack of updates on Schumacher’s condition, but Kehm explains that the parameters which decide the media strategy are the same they’ve ever been. The same rules apply that she once worked out with Michael. “Michael had strict rules,” Kehm explains. “He has always strictly distinguished between private time and his job, and he never broke those rules. There has never been a home-story and no journalist has ever been given his mobile phone number.”

Schumacher is currently undergoing rehabilitation treatment at his home in Gland, Switzerland, strictly shielded from the public, but Kehm notes that this sadly does not stop some of the more obnoxious elements from trying to get pictures of Schumacher. According to Kehm, Paparazzi hide in the woods around the Schumacher estate or use low flying helicopters to try and photograph the ailing star in his home. She explains that every move that requires taking him outside his home has to be planned meticulously to avoid exposing him to the lenses of the stalkers. “It is never easy. In fact it is permanent stress.”


46 responses to “The #TJ13 #F1 Daily News and Comment: Saturday, 30th May 2015

  1. RE: Schumacher

    The bloke is totally destroyed. That’s it. He isn’t getting better anytime soon, or frankly, at all. It’s over. Now it’s just a matter of enjoying small, minuscule moments of enjoyment, like the sunshine outside, whilst his family try to get on with it.

    Not sure what some media outlets and/or people still want? To see pictures of him in the state he’s in now? Would that be enough, even if they got them? Doubt it. Highly, doubt it. It would be never ending, so might as well draw the line at private life, as he always has. Doesn’t matter where said line is drawn, the ‘cunty’ element always will want more.

    Helicopters and hiding journo’s? Hope his children don’t get an overdeveloped sense of hatred for the media. Though they probably will, and it’s not entirely undeserved. But for their sake hopefully Kehm schools them well in terms of the value of the media, and how to control them. Most are just savage, and not that bright. So they are easily controlled, Bernie does a great job at it – which makes me giggle constantly. Yes, Australian males giggle…

    Anyhow, on another note, looking forward to the Italian GP at Mugello. Valeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! Woop, woop!

  2. Ferrari are doing something correct if all of their primary competitors speculate that they may be cheating. Congrats! Haha!

    To be more serious, it appears their competitors see the possibility of Ferrari taking advantage of Haas’ use of their windtunnel, and have shown they want the FIA to perform their regulatory duties on the issue. Early warning shot across the bow!

    TJ13 are ahead of other English language sources on this issue, I believe.

    • We’ve been ahead on the issue of backroom wind-tunnel deals to most sources. Interestingly enough, not only Ferrari have been implicated in potential Wind-tunnel skulduggery, but also McLaren and Red Bull as well – two of the three team who complained. Pot, Kettle, black…

    • One of Haas’ claim to fame is that they have their own full scale rolling wind tunnel. Wouldn’t it be suspicious if they were spending time and money to travel to another wind tunnel?

  3. So RTL is reducing their coverage of F1 for a reality show?

    Since F1 is a remarkable reality show already, I assume this is ratings driven.

    Or is this primarily a per-emptive bargaining maneuver against the enterprises of the beloved Mr. Ecclestone?

    In any case, bad news for Mr. E?

    • Bad news for me too. When the BBC isn’t showing f1 I go to RTL. But if that won’t be possible anymore I’d have to pay for the Belgian pay per view. And I hate that idea because we might have the worst f1 covering team in history. And all it would do is make me agry and resent the fact that I payed so much money for a product that bad…

      • @Bruznic
        Bad one. I’m also struggling with the visuals. Maybe you may have to bite the bullet re: the Belgian footage, but if you can get hold of BBC 5 live’s audio it’s the best thing out there for commentary, as I rediscovered at the last grand prix.

        • The thing is Internet radio has a small delay. Now I don’t know if that is the case when compared to the telly so I might try it. Do they have a pré and after show?

        • Glad you mentioned the BBC 5 Live audio being good. I suspected that might be the case, because I find their Checkered Flag podcast to be fairly good, (not as good as TJ13’s, but not bad 🙂 ).

          I’ve tried to get BBC 5 Live race broadcast but it’s blocked in my country. Tried the vpn thing on my hot rod android phone and failed. So I’m just jealous! 🙂

          • 5 live is the audio commentary on the app, gentleman and if you wish to view the race live the internet has ways to make that happen. Not that I personally endorse such things but there are sites that stream Sky coverage. the picture quality is not hi def and there is the random drop and delay, but it’s not bad all things being equal, better than the commercials run on US TV in any event.
            Feel free to email me if teh Google is not helpful enough

      • We have the worst coverage. So I watch TV on mute, with iPhone in my hand and headphones in my ears – BBC audio coverage with live timing on F1 app,

  4. Fortunately we still have free to air coverage in Canada. It is the FOM feed via BBC with BBC commentary and sometimes the contents are about replays that we don’t see. Still better than having to pay through the noise.

      • But the BBC team do cover all the races live – some countries that take their feed get to show them all, it is just us mugs in the UK that only get half. You can sometimes find a download of the full race with BBC commentary before the highlights are shown – well you used to be able to, not been bothering to look this year.

        • Hehe, us mugs, it’s apt. But that makes sense, when you hear the highlights packages it does sound like live broadcasting that has been edited down, rather than a fresh post-race chop and record job in time for the highlights. I wonder if anyone streams all of the BBC feeds live..

      • All races are shown live in Canada with BBC feed (although if I remember rightly, we sometimes get US/NBC feed for the USGP).

        On the downside, coverage only starts 5 minutes before the race (when the FOM/F1 rainbow swooshing thing appears) and usually stops immediately after the podium interviews at the latest.

  5. a deal with sky would be catastrophic for f1 coverage in germany, unless it’s bundled together with soccer in a reasonable priced sports package. f1 is simply not popular enough to get people to pay 30 euros a month to watch it. a move to pay per view would significantly lower the audience, which in turn means that sooner or later the funds in f1 will have to be redistributed, because sponsors will be harder to come by and they won’t be willing to shell out the amount of money required to keep a team running.

  6. As far as Michael Schumacher, I’m glad Sabine Kehm has followed the same policy as he recovers from his injuries. The only things those media types want is pictures of Michael in a hospital bed or in a wheelchair in his home. They want to get an indication of the severity of injuries as of today because that’s what sells newspapers, magazines, etc. I think that’s sick and twisted. Leave Michael, Corrina, Mick, and Gina alone to help Michael in his recovery in peace and quiet. Sebastian Vettel also conducts himself much like Michael as does Nico Rosberg. I’m sad that Germans won’t have as much Formula 1 coverage but if it means less money in Bernie’s pockets, then German F1 fans will find other ways to watch the GPs.

    Also, I’ve seen where Toto mentioned customer cars and NFL franchises. NFL franchises are never really healthy financially and they like to move to different cities in the middle of the night. Customer cars would send F1 down the same road as IndyCar went and the results haven’t been good. I think the only reason Ron Dennis is supporting the idea is McLaren-Honda needs a second team. I think that customer cars would create problems, water down the product, and lead to standardized cars which will be the death of Formula 1. Don’t get in bed with Bernie Toto. You’ll get used, burned, and discarded after he has no use for you. Mercedes, Ferrari, and Renault need to find a way to push Bernie out before it’s too late and thin the regs down to only safety regs. The show will improve. The fat reg book is choking Formula 1. I have lots of other ideas to improve the product/show on and off the track too. Bernie’s quiz only looked at way to improve his bank account while making the show accessible to a smaller group of people than it is now.

    • While I agree that the steps the media are taking are just way OTT, it would be nice to have just a little information as to his condition and prognosis. We’ve had absolutely nothing and the human mind is nothing if not curious. Contrast their stance with the family of Jules Bianchi who have no news to give but at least let the fans know in very simple terms what is happening. Granted this crosses the line Schumi set between personal and private but the situation is a bit different to normal.

        • The point is that the media are going to the lengths they are partly because there is no information forthcoming. There would probably still be some media interest even if there was but I doubt it would be at the same level. Millions want to know what the situation is and the media – when it boils down to it – want to give them answers.

          • When you want something, but someone has no obligation or desire to give it to you, you get to show your morality. Do you respect the refusal or take it without permission.

            The media may to make their readers happy, but that is a thin justification for unethical behavior.

          • What right do we have to gawk at a Michael Schumacher? He was injured during a private endeavour. What right do we have to be informed about his private life or does he not have the right of a private life?

          • FH – Unfortunately public figures do have some responsibilties to their fans. They may not like it and may prefer to stay as private as possible but when it comes down to it, he was an inspiration to millions. Is it really too much to ask for a brief summary as to how his recovery is doing? I’m sure there will even be some fans who are encountering ‘issues’ due to worry over his state and not being able to celebrate his recovery or grieve.

            I’m not suggesting letting a TV crew in to interview him and put in on the 6pm news, just enough information for the fans to understand the situation.

      • “Public figures have responsibilities to the fans…… Some fans have ‘issues’ ”

        In this case he owes us nothing. We already know all we need to know at this time. Issues the fans might have pale in comparison to what he and his family are going through. True fans and admirers will let him live his life in peace and quiet without the extra burden and stress of the media.

    • NFL also get huge tax breaks/incentives from local governments and have been granted specdial privileges by Congress. It doesn’t get much better than that.

  7. So what was wrong with my comment this time? I merely attached a link to an article to supports Vortex’ argument that ART could enter as McLaren’s junior team.

    • The site is on permanent moderation and you in particular as you tend to spam the comment section getting into each and every argument. Even being moderated you’re still dominating the comment section having twice as many comments as the 4th placed person on the list and that’s the judge himself. And before you get silly ideas – no – I’m number six.

      • What the hell are you talking about?? Vortex said he thinks ART could submit an entry as McLaren’s junior team and I merely post a link to an article which gives more insight into his theory. What was so wrong with that?

        What argument did I get into with anyone for you to delete my comment? I have not engaged in an argument with anyone, so let’s not go there. I am sure if that was the case, none of my recent post would’ve made it pass moderation, so clearly your comment doesn’t hold any truth.

        • Fortis, we are not talking about today. We are talking about long-term conduct. I allowed your comment, but will most likely get a ticking off for it again. Don’t make me regret that. You might wanna pace yourself.

          • Hippo you keep harking back to things that happened weeks and months ago, I’m talking about today.

            There was nothing wrong with my comment this morning, absolutely nothing. I did not target anyone, I did not berate anyone, I did not bait anyone, I did absolutely nothing other than shared a link to further information which supports another commentators theory.

            So for you to now come at me with this is just petty. Furthermore if anyone should find my comments inappropriate and pull me up for it, that should be either the judge himself or AHJ, not you.

            So there was no reason to delete my comment.

          • I didn’t delete your comment, it was someone else, and that someone’s now going to be pissed off with me for re-allowing it. But you just need to look how you had a go at me, starting yet another argument and you know why you’re at the receiving end of special treatment. dammit, for all that’s holy, pace yourself, man!

          • To rephrase FH, if I understand you correctly, you are saying Fortis should a) pace himself, and b) find a life outside/in addition to commenting here.

          • The amazing thing is how controlled Fortis is now compared to when he started posting here. Good job Fortis, but Sam is right. The sun is shining (as least here), the birds are chirping and I’m heading to the mountains; the rocks cry out for company! Take a day off and see the world.

  8. Fortis and the Hipp: Any chance that your debate could be taken to email ? It’s chewing through the column inches here and I’m sure not very many of us are benefitting from the exchange. And I’m asking in a nice, friendly, conciliatory manner 😉

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