The #TJ13 #F1 Daily News and Comment: Wednesday, 17th June 2015


Critical words about Canadian track-side marshals

Involuntary record for Checo Perez

Fernando Alonso: We should concentrate on 2016

Manor to become McLaren B-Team?

Critical words about Canadian track-side marshals

The Canadian track-side marshal’s are facing criticism for what some in F1 consider sloppy work. When Lewis Hamilton’s car was craned away after his practice crash it started swinging so badly, its rear hit the crane and suffered additional damage. “They are the worst marshals on the calendar,” said a Mercedes team manager, who didn’t want to be named.

British photographer Darren Heath reports witnessing an equally poor display when Button’s McLaren was retrieved. “In my twenty-seven years in F1, I have rarely seen such clumsy marshals,” the Brit explains.


Involuntary record for Checo Perez

48849_la-force-india-vjm08-arriver-a-barcellona-venerdDuring last week’s F1 Courtroom Podcast, the Hippo remarked that Checo Perez has earned the honour of having put more mileage on his first ICE than anyone else, because the team doesn’t have the funds to pay for a new one, but the true explanation is even more surprising. Mercedes’ engine factory in Brixworth wasn’t able to produce eight new power units in time. As a result only Mercedes, Lotus and Williams were outfitted with the second unit this year, while Checo was left to fend for himself with the worn-out old one. His team mate, Le Mans winner Nico Hülkenberg, has already been using the second unit since Barcelona after suffering the dubious honour of having detonated the only Mercedes unit so far.

Looking at the wear pattern, Checo’s unit was found to be the most likely to survive another GP and Force India will have access to shiny new Mercedes units in time for the Austrian GP. Toto Wolff explained the delay in manufacturing with injection problems that needed to be sorted before nailing together the second generation Mercs.

The next Courtroom Podcast takes place later today, at 8 pm UK time and you can watch the recording live, by clicking the link on the left side of the Homepage. If you haven’t done yet, please read Tourdog’s excellent #F1 FORENSICS: A MORE DETAILED LOOK AT MERCEDES AND FORCE INDIA PU AND GEARBOX USAGE for more detailed info on Checo’s late engine change.


Fernando Alonso: We should concentrate on 2016

Before the first tests make it clear that the Honda unit is a veritable disaster, the renewed marriage of the former winning combination was making sounds about scoring first wins. That was quickly corrected to wishes for getting near the podium towards the end of the year, when it became obvious that even finishing a race was quite an optimistic expectation.

Fernando Alonso, who could no longer hide his frustration with the asthmatic unit in the back of his car now says the team should write off this season and get an early start on next season’s challenger and wouldn’t mind to start from the pitlane in every race if it helped improving the car. Since both cars are already close to of over the 4 unit limit, that will happen anyway, but due to the absence of any rule changes, his team mate Jenson Button, who took delivery of his 5th unit and the accompanying penalties in Montreal, has a different opinion.

“You can’t simply write off the whole season,” the Brit explains, insisting that with many problems on the 2015 car unsolved, they would simply be taken as additional baggage into the next season.


Manor to become McLaren B-Team?

Already early into the season we reported about the technical cooperation between the Manor GP team and McLaren, which sees the small squad use the wind tunnel of the Woking based team. TJ13 has more than once said that the concentration on a single team hampers Honda’s data acquisition and development. There are now renewed rumours of a switch to Honda for 2016 for the men around John Booth and Graeme Lowdon.

Lowdon told that although they have a good relationship with Ferrari, the decision for 2016 has not yet been made and all options are seriously considered. Like the combination Ferrari/Haas, Red Bull/Toro Rosso, the team cooperation McLaren/Manor has come under scrutiny because insiders suspect that it could be used by the bigger teams to side-step the 20h/week limit on wind-tunnel time.

Especially Ferrari has been suspected to use the fact that Haas is not yet bound by that limit. After inquiries from Mercedes and Red Bull the FIA inspected Ferrari’s wind-tunnel use, but found nothing that would indicate a breach of the rules.


21 responses to “The #TJ13 #F1 Daily News and Comment: Wednesday, 17th June 2015

  1. Half-serious: Have the FIA fund professional marshalling. The money collected from team entry fees could certainly help with it. Or is marshalling and subsequent track safety something else in which they are helpless by incompetence or omission?

    • This was a request that I made in the run up to Canada. Train a core team of marshals to travel to all the races and work with volunteers to ensure a minimum level of safety both for marshals and drivers. Anything less is ridiculous.

      • Yep. Especially since marshals are not paid and generally cover their expenses for a race weekend. Give them some respect. More marshals than drivers have been killed in the last X years; sorry, don’t feel like researching the actual numbers, but many examples come to mind. these people are volunteers, for god’s sake, and deserve better.

        True story from when I had just started racing FF. As a novice I had to work corners as a license requirement; A turn worker at one of the corners came up to me and asked what class I was racing. Formula Ford I answered. Would you like to learn something about racing FF in the rain? Sure, I replied. Okay, stand in a cold shower and tear up $100 bills. Pretty funny and true. Turn workers deserve way more respect and thanks than they get.

        Of course, there are other stories. I was in first practice at Westwood, B.C. Canada when a brake fitting came loose and I lost brakes into turn 2 at high speed. No option to take the escape road, as I would have hit a rather large boulder at the end of the road, so, options quickly diminishing, I tried to take the corner as fast as it had ever been done. Not going to happen, and off the road, take out a couple of small trees and come to a stop. A turn worker ran over and I told him everything was okay, that the electrics were off, and to calm down. He freaked and pulled my fire bottle handle and emptied a bottle of halon into the car. Cost me an extra $150.00. Thanks mate, you owe me.

        • Hahha that shower joke was the best joke I heard all day, granted the day just started but it’s something.

        • Well said gomer, imagine if f1 actually had to pay for track safety?. What those guys and gals do on the edge of the ribbon is amazing and frankly if the car got a little damaged because it was moved out of harms way then…fine, if its in the barriers its probably bent anyway.

  2. If anyone should be happy for a team to write of a challenge mid season and focus on the next one it should be Jenson. If it wasn’t for this fact he would have never become world champion, since honda did the exact same thing in 2008. And that head start meant the sold the best chassis of 2009 to brawn for almost nothing. And that’s the only mistake the should not repeat for 2016. Develop something extraordinary and sell it for not believing in it.

  3. I would hope Honda would pay Manor to run thier engines, if Mclaren cant get out Q1, what hope in hell have manor got of going forward, suppose it’ll save them some money as they’re unlikely to make the 107% rule and wont have the cost of racing.

  4. Seems like the McLaren boys are no longer reading from the same script. I wonder if Jenson is having a slight dig at the ‘greatest driver of his generation’ given he’s already on the board points wise…..

    Hmmmm interesting I thinks.

    • I think Alonso is referring to just writing this season off on track and using the rest of it to develop next year’s car. Essentially just 12 weekend test sessions. Just in full view of the world. In the full interview he alluded to not minding having to start in the pitlane in every race if it means truly developing the engine.

  5. Button v Alonso

    Well, we definitely know that what Jense is saying in the McLaren official line, Fred has already started distancing himself…as usual.

    • And Jense definitely has a point here. All the problems they don’t solve this year will have to be solved next year. With no major rule changes the 16 challenger almost inevitably has to be an evolution of this year’s car.

      • Unless, that is, your Team Principal goes by the name of Martin Whitmarsh, and your Technical Director by the name of Paddy Lowe… The revolutionary 2013 McLaren must have been the biggest cock-up in F1 history.

  6. It must be fun down in Woking. An engine that’s rubbish, a chassis that could be as bad and a whinging Fred stirring the excrement. I can’t understand why McLaren signed Fred to drive an unproven car, when they knew the first year (or 3) could be difficult. He’s only interested in winning and isn’t a team player. McLaren would have saved a fortune and a lot of stress, by signing up a capable driver from midfield or lower.
    I can’t say I’ve any sympathy for McLaren, the vast majority of their problems have been self inflicted in the last 10 years. It’s unlikely they will regain their former prominence for some years to come. Especially as they’re hemorrhaging money left, right and centre, with no major sponsor and less dosh coming from Dwarfland in coming seasons. I can see Ron Dennis getting his P45 by the end of this season.

    • I agree signing Alonso was unnecessary as it turns out, but it was a good signal of intent from a team who are least trying something different in order to get a chance of winning again. It’s all doom and gloom at McLaren at the moment but give it a year and see where they are from now. A competitive McLaren is something F1 definitely needs at the moment.

    • Regarding the chassis, Monaco proved that is at least the fourth best in the field, with the upgrades in Austria, the chassis could be one of the best in the field.

    • ” I can’t understand why McLaren signed Fred to drive an unproven car, when they knew the first year (or 3) could be difficult.”
      maybe his signing was payback for 2007. he cost them 100.000.000. dollars, now they ruin his career 😉

      • Are you sure he didn’t ‘ruin’ his own career?

        Like Franz Tost said recently:

        “he won’t win another title because he has made too many bad decisions”

      • @anijs

        Wow. If you would be prepared to spend all the money it’s costing McLaren for this season with Fred, just for revenge – remind me never to cross you. Which mafia family do you belong to? 🙂

  7. …said Jenson Button, who, just months ago witnessed what he thought was the sun setting on his F1 driver career.

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