German TV audience stablises
As TJ13 reported in yesterday’s DN&C, Lewis Hamilton’s dominance does not appear to be delivering the wow factor for British TV viewers. The ratings for the past 3 races for the BBC have been down between 13-25% year on year and for sky between 25-40%.
Yet in Germany there is a different scenario being played out.
Having suffered some early drop in year on year viewer ratings early in the season, RTL’s share of the German audience has held stable over the past 3 GP’s. However, this was still one of the four lowest audiences for RTL this year. For the race in Sochi RTL captured 29.1% share of the audience with some 4.18m viewers turning on to see the budding bromance between Vlad and Lewis.
Why this is no one is exactly sure, however there will be some competition for F1 in Germany for the upcoming races in the America’s as the evening schedules in Europe may see people choose between soccer and Formula One.
Fall out from Kaltenborn driver signings rumbles on
The soap opera that is F1 started 2015 with a bang. Episode One, lawsuits from the players.
Monisha Kaltenborn faced down the threat of imprisonment and Sauber cars were about to be impounded by a furious Aussie judge, when the gentleman Dutchman – Giedo van der Garde – decided not to pursue any longer a legal reinstatement of his contract. Given that the dust has settled, its worthy of note that Monisha never actually admitted she’d been a very silly girl having signed more drivers than she had seats available to race for Sauber in 2015.
Well now Sauber are facing the climax of a less public but equally damaging legal action by another driver who was contracted for 2015 – Adrian Sutil. Presumably the outcome will be similar – and Sauber will have to cough up more valuable pennies.
Recently Sauber joined forces with Force India to complain to the European Commission about F1’s governance and restrictive and anti-competitive activities, something Bernie Ecclestone will be watching with interest.
Meanwhile, Bernie’s take on the matter is reported De Telegraaf. “I understand that they were in a financially difficult situation, but that does not mean they can do anything,” said Ecclestone. “Should you rob a bank in order to survive? No, you do not.”
Ecclestone concluded, “If anyone comes to me later and offers me more money, I would say: ‘We are sorry, but I already have a deal.’ Sauber committed silly mistakes, “
It’s just a matter of time before we known how much Monisha’s ‘silly mistakes’ will cost Sauber in payments to Adrian Sutil.
Red Bull say its all or nothing
The Red Bullies are finding out what its like to be the new kids on the block in Formula One. Having dominated the sport for 4 years and secured a Renault ‘works’ engine arrangement, suddenly the fizzy drinks family is in crisis. Nobody wants to supply them with what they call a ‘competitive’ engine.
The latest and only offer on the table is from Ferrari who have offered to supply Toro Rosso for 2016 with a power unit, but it will not be the latest specification that the Maranello team run. We’ve been hearing the weekly lament from the Red Bull hierarchy that their car is ‘so fantastic’ that no one wants to supply them with an engine, and Helmut Marko in the German media repeats this mantra.
“The reasons why no one wants to give us an engines is obvious,” says the Red Bull ‘consultant’. “We are just too strong.”
Then again, maybe the real reason is because for almost two years, Red Bull have abused Renault in the most public and humiliating fashion.
The farcical nature of Red Bull’s position cannot be lost on anyone. Even if Mercedes or Ferrari are badgered by Ecclestone or the FIA to supply the Red Bullies, they will receive an iteration of the engine just a specification behind that of the works team.
Having secured an engine for Toro Rosso, Franz Tost was obviously delighted during the Sochi weekend. However, last night, Helmut Marko revealed that there will be no engine solution which does not cover both teams. He accuses Tost of being “out of touch” with the Red Bull family policy, which is “a wholistic engine solution” for both teams.
When it suited Red Bull, Toro Rosso ran a different engine – so there is precedent for the teams not having a ‘wholistic solution’. And to the casual Formula One fan this is just another tantrum and threat from folk who want to take their ball home if they can’t win all the time.
Mateschitz assures employees jobs post F1
In a bizarre extension of the brinksmanship Dietrich Mateschitz is playing with Formula One, he promises some 1200 workers at Toro Rosso and RBR that their jobs are safe even if they withdraw from F1 in 2016.
It could be since their preliminary deal with VW to provide an F1 engine has gone up in smoke, the Milton Keynes and Faenza centres could be used to re-programme dodgy VW diesel cars’ engine management systems. After all there are rather a lot to get through. The Telegraph
Team orders set for Ferrai
Given the sate of play in the drivers’ F1 championship, Raikkonen is resigned to the fact he will have to play second fiddle to Sebastian Vettel as the German battles for P2 with Nico Rosberg. ESPNF1
Bernie Ecclestone’s demand for more noise could see a return to exhaust blowing in 2016
The new secondary exhaust agreed for 2016, which is designed to deliver more noise direct from the engine housing, could well see a return to exhaust blowing aerodynamics and engine mapping trickery given the lack of regulations regarding its positioning.
This could tickle a certain Adrian Newey’s fancy, so long as Red Bull Racing have an engine supplier for 2016. F1.com
Senna’s Lotus to make a return
The Camel Lotus 99T, which Senna drove across the line to second place in Adelade (1987) – before being controversially disqualified – is set for a return to the track. ABC
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“I had to drive with only one eye open as the camera was blocking my other eye, quite tricky” di Grassi