Daily News and F1 Comment: Friday 9th October, 2015

News updated 12:10

Alonso handed 25 grid penalty



Russian GP maybe boring, but Vettel makes it look good




Manor respond to Alonso Manor performance comments

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Alonso assures everyone he is in for the Long Haul

Fernando Alonso was “100%” sure he will be staying at Mclaren for the next two years when confronted about it at the Thursday Press Conference in Sochi.

“I have a contract for another two years and as I always say on the subject of rumours and to ensure calm, what I want is to continue for the necessary years.”

“Let’s see if that can happen, but for the next two years at least, there is no problem.”

Whoops, sorry folks. Those were Fernando’s words on Sept 2, 2014 on Ferrari’s official website, (since deleted).

Here are Fernando’s words in 2015:

100 per cent you’ll be with McLaren, 2016 on the grid?
FA: And ’17.

And 17
FA: Yes.

Once again Fernando’s future is in question, and the last time he was so adamant that he was staying, well, we all know what happened.

David Couthard told Marca.com that he “thinks it might happen” in regards to Alonso walking away. If true it is no wonder Mclaren was so suddenly motivated to sign Button for 2016.

lotus sochi

Will Lotus miss the next 3 races?

The loss of several teams at the end of the 2014 season gave us a small peak into the secret contracts the teams have with Bernie Ecclestone. We learned that as part of the bi-latteral agreements, a team is allowed to miss up to 3 races without breaking their contract. This of course didn’t help Manor or Caterham, but it might help put Lotus in a slightly stronger negotiating position.

There are 5 races left in the 2016 season. The next is Russia, which is controlled by Bernie’s favourite global despot, who regards the Sochi F1 race as a merit badge he wears on his lapel.

There is no chance Lotus will miss this race because Bernie controls the shipping company that the teams use to get to and from races. So everyone will make it for inspection by Putin on Sunday.

None-payment for freight…? Mr E will just withhold anything Lotus owes him from the winnings they are still being paid from 2014 – month by month.

The rouble may have collapsed since the West ostracised Russia for their lapse into a Soveit style land grab of Crimea, whivh makes it even more important that Russian’s get paid their dues.

So Lotus were locked out of their hospitality unit again in Sochi. Yet this was for just a few hours on Wednesday, as it wouldn’t be great PR if the paddock talk all weekend was about Lotus’ money problems.

So Bernie will get his full grid on Sunday, but this gives no succour to Lotus fans who are concerned over their long term future.

However, the remaining flyaway races will be expensive for a team with no cash. Even beyond shipping costs and hospitality, there are the team members travel expenses, flights, hotels, work visas, local transportations, Per Diems, which all adds up fast, and immigration in the US doesn’t take IOU’s.

From a financial perspective, it makes no sense for Lotus to go to all the remaining overseas races. The possibility of Romain continuing his points streak could see Lotus overtake Force India in the constructors standing, but FI is about to finally bring complete their b-spec car to bear. So the odds of Lotus catching F1 are decreasing.

If Lotus do not run in three of the remaining races, it is also likely that Toro Rosso will overtake them in the constructors standings, but if the current Enstone owners really are looking to sell, then the extra few million doesn’t really matter to them, because they may never see it.

Were Lotus to miss races, it would be the next three given the travel schedule. USA, Mexico and Brazil.

They would then have to rock up in the desert for the Abu Dhabi GP for their contract to race in F1 to remain valid. It could be that if Genii threaten to boycott this race too – it may just hurry up the sale to Renault.

F1 not really for sale


“I said there are three people that are interested in buying. They have been talking a little bit, but now they are a lot more interested. If the shareholders want to sell, they will sell. I am not selling. That is what the problem is. Mr McKenzie, who is the controlling shareholder, also doesn’t want to sell. If someone wants to buy and someone doesn’t want to sell it is difficult.”

“Anyone that does follow F1 will know we have been here a million times.”

“I don’t need to leave it at the moment. But the three people who are interested in buying it asked me to sign a contract to make sure I stay with them.”

So Bernie doesn’t want to sell, but he has signed a contract with the 3 potential buyers already to keep running the sport? How does that work?

This is obviously a bargaining tactic. If there really are potential buyers, the seller will always claim he doesn’t want to sell. The problem is that bernie and CVC may have to sell. The looming EU investigation could do major damage to the sport. A sale to new invetsors may be enough to supress an ongoing investigation, yet allow Bernie to continue to run things. At a certain point it becomes less about money and more about power. Bernie is a power junkie, staying in control until he dies is all that matters now.

Adam Cooper

Daniel Ricciardo looking for “redemption” by beating Sebastian Vettel at Race of Champions showdown

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“One of the main things I’m looking forward to when I return to London in November is beating Seb,” says Red Bull ace Ricciardo


Five More Years Together: Kaspersky Lab Extends Sponsorship of Scuderia Ferrari

Kaspersky Lab, one of the world’s fastest-growing cybersecurity companies, is pleased to announce the continuation of its sponsorship contract with the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One racing team. The new five-year contract will be valid from 2017 until 2021.

Read full press release

A year-old Ferrari engine would be better for Red Bull than Renault

Daniel Ricciardo believes a year-old Ferrari engine next year would put Red Bull in better shape than it is with its up-to-date Renault this season.


Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 07.09.40

6 responses to “Daily News and F1 Comment: Friday 9th October, 2015

  1. I know that F1 is a hard business, but imho it reflects pretty bad on Renault if Lotus pulls this trick. It will also cut into next year’s Renault budget if this happens. Something Renault does not have money for. Has Lotus done any work on the 2016 chassis? Apparently even for RBR and TR it is getting tight. Lotus have lost their Mercedes engine deal, so even they have to adjust a lot of stuff to go back to Renault engines. Basically Renault cannot afford to wait much longer. On the other hand, Renault does not appear to want to win anything anyway and they will be happy just to be the new Manor on the grid.

    • Renault will want to win, no point being in F1 otherwise. It’s the usual brinkmanship business dealings of the kind Bernie loves going on at the moment between the owners of Lotus and Renault with Red Bull in the background.

      Seems The Guardian has gathered evidence that Mercedes Benz, Honda and a few other manufacturers cars emit more pollution than in lab based tests – http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/09/mercedes-honda-mazda-mitsubishi-diesel-emissions-row
      Nothing to say that any of the manufacturers above have used the same tricks as VW at this stage. Might well be down to different driving styles producing different levels of pollution in real conditions vs a static lab test.

      • One think to remember the EU’s official lab-based regulatory test is just that ‘lab based’. It is not a road test. The problem with road test is repeatability, you need exactly the same barometric pressure, air temp, humidity not to mention the throttle position, tyres, etc. I believe the EU emissions rules are that the vehicles must pass the lab test. So in theory they don’t need to pass the test on the road! The problem VW have is that they are not an American company and have been found to ‘cheat’ their emissions rules. My belief is that as they are not an American company they will get the book thrown at them to discourage them from trading in the US and taking sales from US companies.

        I would be interested to see what US cars emit while on the road as opposed to the lab!!! My bet is they wouldn’t be that much different to VW in road tests.

        • I understand the science behind the lab tests (chemistry nerd). Lab tests are fine if you want to get an average measurement of how much pollutants an engine produces when it burns fuel but it tells you nothing about real world use as the variables are quite different (driving styles can make a big difference). The point is the motor industry as a whole sold Diesel as a cleaner and more economic fuel. When it’s clearly not and the technology to deal with the emissions of NOX and so on is not quite there yet.

          Either VW was a lone wolf and had software to detect lab tests or the entire industry has been doing similar things. If it’s just VW then I expect it will likely end up insolvent due to the fines in the US and class action lawsuits that will inevitably transpire in the US. I didn’t think VW would be dumb enough to attempt to run the risk of falling foul of US corporate law but guess I was wrong. Enron is perhaps a guide as to what might happen to VW, US justice system wise.

      • If Renault and Honda have fitted “defeat devices” to their engines, that would explain so much about this season… 🙂

  2. I think it’s about who blinks first. i.e. Bernie doesn’t want to give Renault any money if he can help it and Renault wont ‘buy’ Lotus until they have Bernie’s money. They both have deadlines and Bernie has to have enough cars on the grid in 2016, I think Nov is deadline for informing teams they have to have 3 cars.
    So they both have things to gain and to loose! Who will blink first?

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