F1 Fanatic round-up: 20/7/2010

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Thanks to Cari for taking care of yesterday’s round-up. I’m back at the helm today…


Button and Petrov burn around Kremlin (Youtube)

While Robert Kubica appeared in Poland his team mate Vitaly Petrov also appeared before his home crowd, with Jenson Button in attendance in Russia too.

Teams hopeful of logo-dispute solution (Autosport)

Martin Whitmarsh: “I think that the majority of these trucks are designed to have tractor units. The tractor units are pretty smart and look pretty impressive lined up. I also think it adds commercial value to some of those people supplying those units. So I said to Bernie – 1) go down there and look because personally I think it looks a lot worse without it, and 2) particularly for the small teams, they will find themselves having to pay a lot more for tractor units in the future if they cannot have them on display in an impressive way in the paddock.”

Silverstone’s F1 revival places it among Britain’s sporting cathedrals (The Guardian)

“Britain has long been at the forefront of motor sport, whether it be in the form of drivers and riders, teams or manufacturers. We also lead the world when it comes to the knowledge and passion for the sport of the crowds who make these events worthwhile. Now we also have a world-class grand prix circuit to sit alongside the other sporting cathedrals with which this country is blessed.”

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh on why – and when – he swooped for Jenson Button (Daily Mirror)

“What did it for me was Jenson’s race in Brazil. He was up against it, fighting for the championship and what, at the time, was maybe the only chance he would get of winning a title. He faced all that pressure and yet he raced solidly, was assertive in his overtaking and brave at the wheel. “I thought, ‘Bloody good job’. I was super impressed.”

Comment of the day

Butler258 points out how much progress Renault have made with their front wing development in a short space of time:


Renault’s front wing in Bahrain practice. Its come on a hell of a long way looking at the GB pictures. Renaults development at the moment seems to be rivalling McLaren’s last year in terms of the speed and turn around of the team and developments. I thought with the partial take over and top management changing they would lurk around the back of the mid-pack if I’m honest.


It’s even funnier if you look at the front wing from Brazil last year.

From the forum

Prisoner Monkeys is wondering if we’re going to see another influx of races at new venues.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Steve and K!

On this day in F1

It’s the 25th anniversary of Keke Rosberg’s famous 160mph lap of Silverstone and there’ll be an article looking back at that moment on the site later today.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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53 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 20/7/2010”

  1. Much respect for Withmarsh if they didn’t want to pay more then Mercedes because their relationship!

    Great to see Renault doing so much F1 promotion all over the world? Many teams should take a note!

    1. It seems Button really has a Fan in his Boss, as some suspected!
      Great for Withmarsh to give this insight, surely Button impressed a lot of people with his drive in Brazil, but now we know it really worked out greatly.

      1. Signing Button has been a great move for the team and for Jenson.

        He clearly made the right choice leaving Mercedes. It was a brave move. I’m not sure I would have been brave enough to do it.

        1. We all said he was crazy. But the fact is, the lad’s got sense.

    2. Søren Kaae
      20th July 2010, 22:26

      Try looking at Red Bull?

  2. About Prisoner Monkeys’ question, I think the main goal of such talk is to entice current venue to keep up the (good?!) job they are doing. So everybody is alert for possible replacement.
    Anyway, Bernie doenst seem to reject neither the idea of a 20+ races season nor the influx of new money… I mean, venues.
    On the other side, it is somehow laudable BErnie’s work on spreading out the audience of F1. Going East – Russia, Korea, China, India… – brings new money – maybe money really not available in the West – Europe, Brazil – and brings new audience. New audiences and new money aren’t usually aware of how much they can demand from F1 and Bernie.

    1. The annoying thing is, where Bernie knows there is demand for F1, he’ll put the prices up. Circuits like Spa, Silverstone, Monaco and Monza will nearly always attract capacity audiences on race day (and more often than not qualifying and practice too), but then in the so called “new markets” such as Turkey (desite it’s brilliant track), Malayasia and China, the fans are not half as interested or motivated to attend a GP. In the latter two examples, the Governments offer cheaper seats to students, even free in some cases, just to give the illusion of a sell out crowd!

      1. Um, simple economics dictates the prices will go up. There can only ever be a set number of races in the year. Even if you have 52 Grands Prix, there will only be 52 places on the calendar. The teams would never agree to that, so between 20 and 25 seems to be the maximum we can get. Now, if all but one of those places are filled, then the final place will go to whoever can out-bid it. If it came down to Russia and South Africa – neither country having a Grade-1 circuit of their own – the question is who would you pick? The answer is simple: whoever can afford to invest the most in the sport. So it doesn’t matter who is running the commercial side of things – you, me, Bernie or Lidsay Lohan – because economics will always dictate the price of an event. While fifty million dollars might seem like a lot, remember that one million dollars doesn’t go nearly as far as it did a decade ago.

        1. Simple economics dictates…: I agree, but new venues put pressure for stakes rises.
          between 20 and 25…: I agree. Bernie must be careful, 5 more races like B(o)rhain would kill F1.
          Grade-1 circuit…: I am not sure if a Grade-1 circuit is necessary to receive a F1 race, see Valencia, Yas marina. A tilkedrome is enough.
          Russia and SA…: I think there is a cue here, and South Africa has to wait yet. And Russia could be scheculed to november or february… If a race with rain gains in thrill, a snow race should be spetacular…

          p.s.:Lindsay Lohan…: Have you join the “DONT free lohan” campaing…
          p.p.s.: one million dollars…: When I was a kid, rich people are called milionnaires. Now, Forbes is counting billionaries.

          1. A Grade-1 circuit is mandatory if you want to hold a Formula 1 race. The FIA will not receive anything less. Every circuit on the calendar – from Monaco to Yas Marina – has Grade-1 certification.

            And I seriously doubt there would be a snow race.

  3. Wow, that’s really impressive looking back at the Renault wings from early season and late last year compared with what they’re running and testing these days. There’s a lot more going on.

  4. how the hell does f1 do so well with bernie so hostile towards it? anyone left standing is obviously well vetted, but i think he pushes too far. he is relentlessly hostile towards teams, tracks, fans, anyone. how much longer can f1 continue with a parasitic 3rd party bleeding them dry? if the teams would set up a series under their own ownership i would jump on that bandwagon instantly.

    interesting that whitmarsh didn’t argue the tractors were needed for the operation of the trailers, for power or whatever.

    1. It would be interesting to know what kind of profits FOM makes annually, and how much of that actually goes back into the sport for the fans. Is FOM barely breaking even and that’s why Bernie demands more money and why we still have no HD? Or is Bernie making giant piles of cash that he simply hoards, while we all sit watching low quality feeds of the world’s premier motor sport?

      1. FOM apparently has a lot of debt.

      2. About exactly 50% of the revenue goes to the teams (i am sure the teams watch out for getting a penny less and Bernie not giving a penny in ecces).
        Some info on the revenues last year is here http://www.thepaddockmagazine.com/articles/features/f1-s-record-revenues (Sylt does a lot of research into revenues side of F1 and Motorsport).
        Bernie made more money last year again. His taxable result is negative off course, no reason to give anything to any government!

        1. for 2009, about $550 million was paid to the top ten teams. bernie’s formula for payment includes length of continuous participation, constructor’s championship standings, constructor’s points, and who knows what else.

          “we don’t know what bernie will pay us until the check arrives.”
          -frank williams

  5. Jarred Walmsley
    20th July 2010, 2:32

    I think for 2012 all F1 cars need to be three seaters, and to make it more interesting the middle driver has the wheel the left driver has the brakes and the right driver has the acclerator. That ought to impress Bernie and make the show more interesting!

    1. HRT is already planning a three seater, with ride-along during the actual race going to the highest eBay bidders.

      1. I thought you were going to say that HRT needs a three seater, so all of their drivers get a seat at every race!

      2. Excellent point. Long ago, back in the early days at HRT, Chandhok probably raised some serious cash taking on a passenger thus:
        Apparently not enough for a full season.

      3. They are not going to win any races by going fast, so they might as well do that.

        Or they can get Klein in the backseat to help Yamamoto drive around faster, but that would give space for only 1 passenger.

        1. Renault kindly bought a three seater to Moscow for their event this last weekend, although I dread to think how much people paid for a ride in it! Whilst it was good to see Jenson throwing a MacLaren around the streets of Moscow, I have to say that the last two years events were much better, and one word of warning about a Russian GP – it will be very, very expensive to watch. I bought a ticket for a seat at the end of the circuit on Sunday (not the best seat in the world) and it cost me 4’150 Roubles – approx £90! Who knows how much a ticket for a race weekend would be, but Hotels are extremely pricy and a flight from the UK will cost somewhere in the region of £300. But it would still make a cracking venue and would willingly come back here to watch (might have to sell the kids to pay for it though!)

          1. HRT is in fact consulting FIA about using a pilot change during the race, like in endurance races.

  6. HRT needs a three seater, so all of their drivers get a seat at every race!

    That too…

    1. Whoops. Got that in the wrong spot. Hey Keith, is there any plan to be able to edit and/or delete comments in the future?

      1. Only if you pay.

  7. Looking at that video, a Russian Grand Prix in Moscow could be quite good. The roads are nice and wide, so corners would be much, much faster than they look.

    1. And if Government or Mayor support it, it’s hardly going to get put down by protest from interest groups like the Jersey city proposal got.
      But as PeteL states, it will be something for 60.000 rich people (like Abu Dhabi) paying a fortune to be there. Now i think of it, this sounds exactly like the deals Bernie likes.

      1. Sorry, forgot to add that a visa costs in the region of £110 as well, so for a weekend it will cost:
        Flight: £300
        Visa: £110
        Hotel: £100-£300 per night (or more if so inclined)
        Ticket: I dread to think
        Then theres getting to the City (both airports some distance – Taxi will cost in region of 5000 Roubles (£100) each way, or the cheaper option of the train at about £5 each way – but you will need to know where you are going!

      2. True, Moscow is the world’s most expensive city, but the balance of wealth isn’t spread out so that only a few control the vast majority of the wealth. I know that’s true worldwide, but places like Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia stand out because 99.5% of the wealth is literally held by just a handful of people. Yes, there are the oil oligarchs, but the wealth is spread across a far greater range of people. There might be 60,000 rich people in Moscow, but that hardly means that only 60,000 people will be able to attend the race.

        1. I agree, I think a lot of people will come to Moscow if a Race is held here, it’s a fantastic city and after so many years of watching it on the TV a GP is the perfect excuse. I am, just warning people that it will be expensive – probably more so than any other European GP when you add everything up. Also consider the requirement for a visa, not unsurmountable I know, but it is an extra thing to worry about when planning your visit. I count myself very fortunate to be able to afford to go to the occasional GP (one a year if I’m lucky), and I am fortunate enough to know Moscow and have enough contacts here so that I could do it relatively cheaply, but, knowing the way that Moscovites charge for things, I think that the Moscow GP will be far to expensive for many, and most definately your average Russian.

  8. The story about the track ad company wanting teams to blank their truck sponsors is ridiculous and could affect the sport if it is not sorted soon.. Independent teams like Williams depend on major sponsors to generate income for the team in return for ad space both on the car and on the team trucks. If the sponsors aren’t getting the publicity they paid for; ie sponsor name in huge lettering across trucks in paddock, then they are less likely to come back and renew their sponsor deals. This would be extremely hurtfull on smaller independant teams.

    1. agreed – and it’s not like there’s extensive TV footage from that part of the paddock either really, so it’s not like “we” will notice any difference, so let them keep the sponsors logos.. it’s part of the sport, i don’t care who’s paying.

    2. When i read it, i had a vision of Allsport pushing through with their view, that ALL advertising at the track be only their own.

      The Trucks are the start, the garages will have even the technical equipment stickered over, there will be serious discussions about the motor homes to have to show only official advertisements.
      And in the End the teams can only run cars in team colours not associated with any of their sponsors, needless to say any sponsor names will be bannned, except for those paying extra to Allsport.

      Only after all teams lose most of their sponsors, who have to pay to Allsport instead, Bernie offers to pay the teams up to 67% of all FOM and related companies income, which will be still getting him a bigger share of the total money coming in than now. That will be THE END

    3. As the Autosport article suggests I think the row over sponsors logos in the paddock is more to do with getting the best bargaining position for the new Concorde Agreement.

      I can’t think of any other reason why this has suddenly become an issue, as I don’t recall hearing anything about the teams doing anything different with their transporters this season.

    4. Bernie probably doesn’t want to see the logos removed, he just wants them to come under track advertising so he can get a cut for FOM.

      FOM are trying really hard to suck more revenue out of F1 because they know that the good days are almost over. CVC have made a packet out of their investment, but the days of 50/50 are almost over so they need to make back what they will lose to the teams in other areas.

      More races, more pressure on the races who don’t pay as much and more pressure on the teams.

  9. So now theres an argument about the sponsors logos on the trucks and in the garages? This is getting too pathetic and ludicrous. How many racing transporters are there in the world not showing their sponsors and suppliers? Its the bread-and-butter of getting noticed on the highways and in the paddocks around the world, in any sport, let alone motorsport.
    Why does everybody not associated with the actual racing have to get a bigger slice of the pie every year? And you notice that the FIA are absent from the discussions, that its purely between FOM, FOTA and the advertisers? Where’s Todt’s helping hand in this? This is what the FIA should be helping with, isn’t it?
    And if the advertisers don’t like the sponsorship on the trucks, surely they don’t like the sponsorship on the cars too, since they don’t control that either……

  10. The Whitmarsh interview definitely explains the cheers when Button won that Australia GP, a clear indication of why he was the right choice for them :)

    And I think it also shows why Button is a good teammate for Hamilton: even if he is not in the best position, he will still fight for it. Something that Kovalainen didn’t manage very well while at McLaren, and what the team has been missing in its fight for the WDC, especially as Hamilton has been fast, but a bit too prone to crash until this year.

    1. Hamilton has been fast, but a bit too prone to crash until this year.

      When has Hamilton crashed out of a race this year, other than at Spain where he had wheel failure?

      1. I think that was meant to be

        … but until this year, he was prone to crash

        That makes sense, Hamilton had stopped crashing out, interestingly the same is true for Sutil, seems they are getting more mature.

    2. Too prone to crash? If anything, Hamilton has been super consistent even as a rookie. The only race he “crashed out” in 2007 was China. Last year he crashed in Monza because he had nothing to lose anyway and was pushing too hard.

      He crashes on average about once a year. How is that “crash prone”?

      Vettel for instances, crashes about 3 times per season. Now that’s what you might start consider to call “prone to crash”.

      On the extreme end, drivers like Piquet and Sutil crashed in a third or almost half the races. Although Sutil indeed doing better and is now “only” about as ‘prone to crash’ as Vettel.

    1. That would be pretty good news. But i find it very peculiar, that Hellmund has not yet shown the track layout an not even specified where it will be.

      1. Hellmund has not shown the circuit layout because he needs to get FIA approval first. It’s still a work in progress, albeit in the final stages of the draft. The presentation to the FIA is apparently due to take place some time in September.

        He has not specified the location of the circuit because he wants to keep it quiet. Under the Freedom of Information Act, pretty much any record that is not confidential has to be available publicly. Everything about the project has so far been kept under the names of holding companies to allow progress to continue uninterrupted – they don’t want contractors interfering with the construction by submitting bids that will never be received, but which Hellmund and his people would be obligated to consider, thus slowing down the process. Using holding companies is a perfectly legal way of doing things.

        1. Yes, but why the need to keep it quit in the first place?

          Only reason will be, that the land deals are not done, or they do not have all permissions to go ahead and fear complaints.

          That is not a good message to send out. Sure he has his investors lined up, so no need for too much publicity to bring in sponsors.

          But why be secretive about it, now the word got out by way of Bernie?

          1. Why keep it quiet?

            Because a project this size will attract attention from contractors. Lots of attention. It’s a guarnatee of almost a year’s work and there’s a lot of money involved. Every man and his dog will want a piece of the action. They’ll all submit bids to be a part of it, and while the vast majority of them will be too small, Hellmund and his people will be obligated to consider each and every bid they receive. All it will do is blow the project out and take longer to finish. It has nothing to do with a lack of permissions of fear of complaints – all of that has been resolved already. They’re just keeping it quiet until all of the contracts have been awarded.

  11. For anyone going to Hockenheim this weekend, I’d strongly advise taking a rain coat, in particular Friday: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/weather/ianfergusson/2010/07/formula-one-weather-forecast-g.shtml

    The rest of the weekend looks more likely to be affected by rain.

  12. The vid from Russia certainly shows the cars against a great backdrop, but it doesn’t look like there are many people there…

    1. According to their own website there were about 200.000 visitors (up from 100.000 last year), that sounds pretty good.

      1. Wow, well it’s looks like there’s even room for more given the spaces in the stands at 0.10 – 0.13 in the vid!

  13. Vettel was out driving a F1 car on public roads as well during the weekend (http://www.gpupdate.net/en/videos/376/gpupdate-tv-vettel-takes-to-streets-of-heppenheim/ ).
    He had a visit home in his company car!

    Look at the nice view of his new helmet design as well, a bit like the mettalic painted helmets Trulli and Glock used to have, looks good.

  14. Comment of the day! Sweet, i’ve been waiting for this day since the round up started at the start of this year :D

  15. Electrolite
    20th July 2010, 22:37

    Good GRIEF the R29 was ugly.

Comments are closed.