The #TJ13 #F1 Daily News and Comment: Wednesday, 24th June 2015

DNandC

Little running for Susie and illegal wing on her car

Algersuari’s racing license suspended

Little running for Susie and illegal wing on her car

Susie Wolff completed her third testing day for Williams this season, and like in Barcelona she will drive the first practice in the upcoming British Grand Prix. She has been exposed to a level of criticism, concerning the fact that her lap times are often lagging behind her team mates, regular drivers Felipe Massa and Valteri Bottas. What people forget is, that she’s the development driver and is therefore used for development. Surprise.

“We had a good day today,” says test engineer Rod Nelson and was quite happy with Susie’s work. “She’s done a great job all day, and it is a pity she didn’t get a chance to show her full pace.” Unlike others Wolff never got to use the faster supersoft tires and spent her 37 laps on aerodynamic runs, 18 of which were driven on a wet track.

The car however raised some eyebrows, because it was obviously illegal. The Williams had a winglet mounted right in front of the rear wheels in an area where such structures are forbidden.

Most likely this was done to test the effect for some clever solution, perhaps on the 2016 cars. Currently there are rumours that Williams might bow out of the development race early to concentrate on next year’s car.

This and more will be discussed on the TJ13 courtroom podcast tonight at 8pm. Use the ‘Podcast Live’ link on the left side of the homepage to watch it live.

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Algersuari’s racing license suspended

Formula E and former Toro Rosso driver Jaime Algersuari’s racing license has been suspended for health reasons. After the Moscow ePrix, the Spaniard had passed out from exhaustion and so far no definite explanation has been found. Although Algersuari insists that he has no health problems, his license was suspended as a precautionary measure.

Manor-Marussia test pilot Fabio Leimer will driver Algersuari’s Virgin Racing car in the Formula E season finale, the double-header at London. Also making a Formula E debut at London, will be Simona de Silvestro for Andretti Autosport.

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44 responses to “The #TJ13 #F1 Daily News and Comment: Wednesday, 24th June 2015

  1. I thought I was losing it when I saw the Williams and recognized it was an illegal solution and then realized other sites were reporting this magic “solution” without noticing… it says a lot of how much these reporters know they job.

  2. Hmm, Williams using a aero device that is so obviously illegal, that they didn’t even bother to make it out of Carbon Fiber.

    I seem to recall hearing tales of yore, where Williams would intentionally cover non-crucial parts of their car in order to draw attention away from the real innovation they were working on.

    Are old tricks in fact the best tricks?

    And how is it that Susie is continuing to get seat time in practice, yet Sutil, whom is their “official” back-up driver, has never driven the car?

    i have nothing against Susie, but at what point is Williams taking a bigger risk, by letting her drive a car in practice that we all know she will never get to drive in a race?

    • It’s speculation, but Susie might be better at giving feedback – that was the image she had in DTM where she was believed to be the best at car setup in the whole Mercedes cam – including the works drivers. Sutil was hired as someone to step in if a regular driver gets injured or falls ill. Car development is Susie’s job.

      • I am not doubting Susie’s abilities, she may be the best development driver ever.
        I am questioning whether it is wise to have an emergency back-up driver that has never driven the car? Not even once?
        What if Bottas has a back spasm right before qualifying?
        Sure any driver could theoretically jump into any car and drive it after a proper seat fitment, and yes I am sure he has plenty of time in the simulator. But I cannot believe that Sutil would be as effective having zero seat time, as opposed to at least one practice session. It has taken other drivers months to come to terms with these cars. Drivers much better than Sutil I might add.
        Are Williams prepared to throw away points to let Susie drive another session?

        • It makes no sense to waste a test for giving Sutil seat time. If they deem that necessary, they can give him an FP1 run. This is the last of only two in-season test. Testing time is therefore even more at a premium than last year, so it makes sense to run Susie in those tests. She took part in all test periods and gets two FP1 runs which make sense from a testing and PR perspective. Sutil has a whole year of experience with turbo cars, I have no doubt he can step in without much trouble.

        • Tourdog – Fair questions.

          If you go to Williams “People” page, you’ll find:
          Adrian Sutil’s title is “Reserve Driver”
          Susie Wolff’s title is “Test Driver”
          Alex Lynn’s title is “Development Driver”

          Williams’ page for Adrian Sutil says:
          “In this role he will spend time in the team’s race simulator to ensure he is fully accustomed to the Williams Mercedes FW37 controls and procedures should he be required to step into the cockpit at any time during the current season. He will also spend time integrating himself into the team to ensure he is fully prepared to join Williams Martini Racing at any event should the need arise.”

          Adrian Sutil’s experience is noteworthy. He has been racing cars for 12 seasons, 7 of them in F1 cars.
          http://www.williamsf1.com/racing/about/our-people/adrian-sutil

      • A few other examples being Rossiter and Yelloly in the Force India (simulator synchronisation) and Turvey in the McLaren (test driver with degree in aerodynamics). Doesn’t look like Magnussen is driving that car again this year.

  3. Hippo and Susie, sitting in a tree…

    Kay Eye Double Ess Eye En Gee.

    First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a mini hippette sitting in a Martini-Williams-Mercedes carriage.

    *Kicks dirt on Hippo’s feet. Runs.*

    • You seem to forget who Susie is married to… Small hippettes need to come from somewhere else, I guess.

      • I live in a world where marriage isn’t an unbreakable bond…

        …that being said, I’d place my money on the Hippo in an alpha male type fight against the Wolff for Susie’s affections. I mean, c’mon, the guy broke his arm after falling off a pedal bike; not to mention that I’d place my money on an East German raised Hippo against pretty much anyone, any day.

        I mean, sure, I’d place money on myself against him; but that’s only from a cunning “beware Greeks bearing gifts” sort of mentality forged in a resilient and competitive Australian-raised fire – not a head-on head butting type battle. Like Paris, I’d sneakily get Susie in a back door approach – literally and metaphorically.

        😀

          • It’s not legal; but you can have some if you like… though I fear a Hippo with the “munchies” may push the world into world hunger! 🙂

    • @WTF_F1: Toto might have something to say about that. I was disappointed that Susie didn’t get more track time. She has been with Mercedes quite a while and her attention to the small details when giving feedback are better than Sutil’s.

      • Hi Heidi,

        That last comment – about Susie having a greater technical feedback than Sutil on small details – is frankly surprising and difficult to believe given Sutil’s GP total and season-by-season experience.

        Who has claimed that? I’m not saying it’s untrue, I’ve just not seen that stated anywhere…

        Or is it perhaps “inside knowledge” that you have?

        • It was said by Mercedes Officials during her time in DTM where she was considered the best of all drivers at setting up a car and giving feedback.

          • …but a greater ability than Sutil on F1 based technical feedback? That’s what Heidi said…

          • Sutil might be one of the drivers, who are simply not good at it. Jean Alesi was famous for being completely and utterly useless at setting up a car or giving any useful feedback.

          • It’s certainly possible, and it’s true there is precedent where some experienced F1 drivers make poor test drivers.

            But again – and I do hate the labour the point – it doesn’t explain Heidi’s comment, which I still find surprising and which you haven’t shown who said it; only that her DTM set-up skills were lauded by Mercedes bosses, which is admirable, no doubt.

            Like I said, I’m not wanting to labour the point; I’m just curious as to the specificity of Heidi’s comment.

  4. I like Susie, I really do. She’s probably never going to get to race, but there are little girls now who at least have a role model to look towards and show that ‘yes Virginia, you too can drive fast.’ Someday we are going to see a female star that we’ll all be comparing to Ham or Alonso. Its not a question of IF but WHEN. And given how the sport is going, I sure hope we can find a talented female in karts and give her proper backing. Danica has done a heck of a lot to bring more women into the NASCAR audience, and has done tons to inspire more girls that racing isn’t just a domain of the boys, at least here in the States.

    No good reason we don’t have more women in F1.

    • Judging the state of my wife’s driving license I would say we have a contender right now,,she even had the nerve to say I was driving until I pointed out the front facing speed camera photo..I really don’t have long red hair and square sunglasses, she drives a little sports car like she stole it and even managed to get away with one set of points by flashing a smile and pleading total blond moment, anyone else caught doing a ton + while overtaking a traffic car would have been roasted so watch out Lewis, a nutter with striking red hair is poised to take your crown and all you will see is an Alfa in a cloud of dust and a driver with a phone strapped to her ear vanishing into the distance.

    • We need the best drivers in F1 (yes, I know there are pay-drivers, but think of this: their sponsors seem to think they are the best drivers/representatives for their products). Whether they are female, German, black, Japanese, Samoan, I don’t care, really. Suzy seems to be (part at least) a token for Williams. Maybe one day we’ll see a female driver who is worth enough to a sponsor.

  5. May I ask why this kind of wing is forbidden? Couldn’t this be an option to make the rear wing smaller, for less dirty air and more slip streaming? And still give the cars the same amount of downforce?

  6. Check financial times front cover today. Allegedly Bernie and CVC are selling their stake to Qatar and Miami Dolphins owner but Bernie will still be involved in some capacity. Aim is breakthrough in the US

    • Very interesting.. Bernie did say recently that the New Jersey GP still had a chance.. maybe the Miami Dolphins owner will make it happen and invest in F1 marketing as well.. No doubt the Qatari GP can also happen once they own the sport!

    • That’s a good point.. it’s been said that more underfloor aero is still not off the table for 2017.. it’s encouraging to see something actually being tested and evaluated..

  7. So do we know for sure it’s illegal? I was following Scarbs Twitter yesterday and it seemed that it was exploiting a potential loophole….

    • We should perhaps let Matt have a look at it, but as far as I understand, it violates article 3.4.8a of the technical regulations.

    • No. They extended yesterday’s test period until 8 pm. The extension to Thursday was discussed for the case that yesterday would have ended in a complete wash-out.

      • FH, is there any test coverage planned for today? Is there an information feed anywhere available to the public?

        • There is a lazily updated live commentary at f1today.net and good coverage on Motorsport-total, but that’s in German. We will publish a test report in the evening. According to access logs the viewer numbers were too low to warrant sitting in front of the computer for nine hours doing a live commentary.

          • Thanks. Not surprising on the numbers – I looked a few times early on but when it became obvious it was going to be stopped for a while I gave up and only found out later in the day that they’d restarted. Thanks for your efforts though!

  8. It makes sense for Williams to concentrate on 2016 early.. they have 3rd secured in the WCC and probably can’t catch Ferrari, so getting good development for next year will help them stay ahead of the resurgent RBR, McLaren etc.

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