Massa replacement talk “twaddle”, says Ferrari

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Ferrari’s anonymous Horse Whisperer rejects claims Felipe Massa could be replaced.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

The Horse Whisperer – The silly season (Ferrari)

“The list of candidates scheduled to replace Felipe is by now a long one, but 2011 has seen some new names appear in the charts. First there was Nico Rosberg and now we can add that of Jenson Button. It goes without saying that, yet again, this is just a load of twaddle, to use a polite word for what I really mean to say.”

Button set for new McLaren deal (Autosport)

“Button is currently only under option at McLaren for next year, with the activation clause on the team’s side. That situation means that even if Button had tempting offers from elsewhere, he would be unable to move if McLaren wanted him to stay.”

Michael Schumacher finally finds his form (BBC)

Ross Brawn: “I wouldn’t say (it’s) a breakthrough because that’s too strong a word. but there have always been some niggling reasons why Michael’s not had the best opportunities to demonstrate what he can do.”

Bernie Ecclestone in a bind after cuts force BBC to consider giving up TV rights (The Times, subscription required)

“With audiences breaking records ? more than eight million viewers watched the Canadian Grand Prix last week ? executives are wavering and Ecclestone will push to convince them to renew their ??200 million deal to keep the sport on the BBC.”

Alarm bells in F1 corridors (Joe Saward)

“The loss of the BBC would be a heavy blow, but when one looks at the reasons behind the apparent decision, one can see that it makes sense outside the cosseted F1 environment where some people think that there is always money to burn.”

Silverstone on track to pay ??20m annual F1 fee (The Independent)

“Under the deal, Silverstone agreed to pay ??11.6m, its highest-ever fee for hosting the race. The key concession is that this fee escalates by 5 per cent annually instead of the 10 per cent which is applied to most other F1 circuits.”

Good first step, but hurdles remain (Austin-American Statesman)

“Formula One has taken a big step by agreeing to move forward with the project without using $4 million from Austin taxpayers. If the council OKs the new proposal, Formula One promoters would put up the city’s $4 million share each year for the duration of the 10-year contract.”

Indian GP allays ticketing fears (Reuters)

Ashish Hemrajani, founder and chief executive officer of Bigtree Entertainment, holding company for the race’s official ticketing partner Bookmyshow.com: “We are used to handling it. Our system works seamlessly.”

Andy Gray on Twitter

“For those asking about F1 2011 footage: The first Developer Diary should hit the net by the end of the week. I’ll confirm where and when once concrete.”

It’s just not cricket… (The Times of India)

“Parents wanted their children to be the next Tendulkars, Gangulys and Dravids. Any thoughts of playing football, lawn tennis, badminton, etc, were nipped in the bud. But not anymore. The current change in trend can be attributed to the rise of stars from other sports. Saina Nehwal, Sania Mirza, Vijender Singh, Narain Karthikeyan, to name a few, have contributed towards shifting the focus from cricket to other sports.”

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Comment of the day

Jean Todt’s record took a bit of a kicking in yesterday’s Approval Rating – but do we really want his predecessor back? Craig-o does:

Believe it or not, I actually now think Max Mosley was a better president than Jean Todt. Call me crazy, but Mosley wasn’t afraid to say what he needed to say, sometimes his views were wrong (in my opinion) and I see Todt not actually doing much other than send people (not necessarily the right ones also) out to places to do his dirty work for him.

Mosley was able to work a lot better with Bernie Ecclestone than Todt, which is a major thing required if you are going to run Formula 1, GP2, GP3, GP2 Asia, and whatever series he runs/co-runs. Not to mention the safety restrictions put in place after the events of Imola 1994, and going to Roland Ratzenberger’s funeral too. He done a lot of good during his time in Formula 1, and was a great successor to Balestre.
Craig-o

From the forum

An interesting fact on Paul Pietsch from Paulgilb.

Senna Day

Here in Britain today the film “Senna” opens in a range of additional cinemas. If you’ve not had a chance to see it yet have a look at the updated list of cinemas that are showing it on the film’s official Facebook page here:

Find all of F1 Fanatic’s coverage of Senna here:

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Gilles Villeneuve scored his last and possibly greatest win in the Spanish Grand Prix on this day in 1981.

More on that to follow in an article 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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93 comments on “Massa replacement talk “twaddle”, says Ferrari”

  1. Total fail from the Horse Whisperer. Their team just tried to replace Massa with Button. Forget 1984, doublethink is alive and well at Ferrari! ;)

    1. Why would they replace Massa? He’s not troubling Fernando too much (sorry to all the Massa fans, I like him too, but it’s the sad truth :( ) and he’s scoring points more often than not. I know if I were Ferrari I’d sign him for at least another season.

      1. If I was Ferrari, I’d look at this:
        1 VETTEL Sebastian 417
        2 WEBBER Mark 336
        3 HAMILTON Lewis 325
        4 ALONSO Fernando 321
        5 BUTTON Jenson 315
        6 MASSA Felipe 176
        7 ROSBERG Nico 168

        1. Why would they look at a list of fabricated numbers?

        2. You must be right with numbers like that… No one could possibly misuse stats.

          Ferrari, I call on thee to listen to Chris. Drop Alonso for Webber.

        3. Thats the total points they have accumulated from 2010 up till now I believe.

      2. Agreed. Ferrari have Massa where they want him.

      3. I dont know why Ferrari are denying looking out for a new driver. Ferrari need a driver who can be a championship contender, and along with Alonso can push for wins and podium finishes. Sure, Fernando might be happy with a sub par teammate, but even he realises that a teammate that cannot take points off his championship rivals is absolutely useless. IMHO, Felipe is amongst the poorest drivers on the grid right now, and I do not know why Ferrari are denying replacing him.

        1. Douglas 62500
          21st June 2011, 8:43

          I guess we may not go as far as saying he’s the poorest, as a top team like Ferrari must be keeping him for some reason (remember 2008 season ?), and most likely thing I guess, is because Alonso is just too rapid. Remeber his 2009 season ? His Renault R29 is not so good, and had minimal upgrades throughout the season, yet unlike his teammates he often finish well, ahead of most of the midfield or even the podium.

          1. Its kind of hard to believe that this is the same Felipe of the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Both those years he was fighting for wins against the the three top drivers on the grid at the time(Alonso, Hamilton, Kimi). I think Felipe ended up taking more pole positions than anyone else in 2007 and 08 combined.

            I guess it could be either of 2 things that have led to his poor form – It could be the accident in 2009, or, it could be that Felipe is just not a strong competitor when his car isn’t absolutely perfect. It would be a sorry affair if it was the accident that led to his dip in form, but either ways, its obvious that Felipe isn’t up to Ferrari’s driver standards since last season.

          2. I guess now that Felipe cant qualify with 4 laps less fuel, he’s not as fast as everyone blindly thought he was.

            Then of course, the rules make the racing/teams closer and then the full tank of fuel…I guess he can’t handle it.

        2. IMHO, Felipe is amongst the poorest drivers on the grid right now, and I do not know why Ferrari are denying replacing him.

          Ouch! He’s losing a lot of fans, unfortunately. I’m not giving up on him yet! He won my heart in Brazil 2008 and I still want to see him triumph.

          1. Remember 2010? He qualified second, ahead of Alonso, and finished second in Bahrain. That was a great start after his crash in 2009! Then he finished third in Australia and IIRC after Malaysia he led the championship.
            And then I saw he was aggressive at the start of 2010, so I know he can still win races, but something’s holding him back. At mid-season if Alonso is ahead in the standings Massa has no chance to win in the second half, so he should win in the first half, but the 150° Italia wasn’t up to the job.
            Keep going, Felipe :)

        3. IMHO, Felipe is amongst the poorest drivers on the grid right now

          OMG, please tell me this is a joke…. Oh, you wrote “IMHO”… I guess everyone is entitled to have their own opinions.

      4. They are obviously trying to put pressure on Massa. They say they’re considering Button and then they say Massa will remain if he stays competitive, so Felipe has to get good results, but I doubt this cliffhanger situation will do good to him.

      5. Well, let us suppose that Button replaced Massa. Not going to happen now, but let’s say he did. Ferrari build a competitive car once more. From last year, it would be perfectly reasonable to think that Button would come second to Alonso (and take a further 3 or points off of Alonso’s title rivals, if Alonso is on the podium) more times than he’d finish ahead of him (and take 7/3/2 points off of him). Crucially, if Alonso failed to finish, Button would also be there to pick up the pieces and minimise the damage to Alonso’s championship chances.

        This is what Massa used to be, the perfect second driver who would push for the championship in his own right and lead the team’s hopes if the first driver was having a bad year. It’s what Massa isn’t anymore – but Button still is. The last two races race were a perfect example of that.

        The only way Ferrari can really afford to keep Massa is if they have the best car again and that doesn’t seem likely for a while yet.

        1. Tend to agree, despite the current driver love in at Mclaren it is clear that Hamilton believes he is the better driver and therefore No1 and part of the problem is that Button has been so good in the last few races LH is cracking up a bit as he refuses to accept that someone can actually stand up against him, Alonso did but Mclaren backed Hamilton, Button has put this arrogant upstart in his place and could clearly cope with Alonso, by going to Ferrari he would show Mclaren that they underestimated him and that with a bit more backing and support he could have delivered a championship, his gamble against all that was said to join Mclaren has paid off so joining Ferrari would clearly work for him.
          on another point, does anyone else believe Hamilton will screw Buttons race somehow this weekend, dont know how or why but just feel that if he cant win he will make sure Button doesnt and will see it as paybeack in some way for Canada and the fact that Buttons was heralded worldwide for his drive while Hamoltons reputation once again got bashed.

    2. But as ever, I had a wry grin on my face as I read the famed Horse Whisperer column. ;)

      1. I cant resist to guess who is The Horse Whisperer. Maybe Luca Colajjani? Luca said almost the same thing about Massa’s rumors in the F1 forum weeks ago.

        1. *Colajanni
          I think it’s Montezemolo.

    3. So because a News of the World ‘anonymous source’ said that Ferrari were pursuing Button, you believed that?

      1. No, I tend to believe James Allen, the BBC and Autosport.

        1. Who all quoted News of the World as the source of the story.

          1. I’d like to see some evidence of that, seeing as none of the ones I’ve seen have done so by name. There’s also clear indication of original reporting, for example this from James Allen:

            Although Ferrari have not given any public indication of interest in him, on a recent visit to Maranello, I got the impression that Button was the kind of driver they need at Ferrari alongside Fernando Alonso.

  2. Regarding the COTD, what did Max Mosley do so wrong apart from that scandal? Everyone seems to bash him, but was he really that bad? Don’t get me wrong; I’m not defending him, but I wasn’t as much of a fanatic as I am now to have a proper opinion of his leadership when he was president.

    1. Think his main problem was not knowing when to shut up! I would gladly have him back as Todt is a complete disaster.

      1. Todt is a complete disaster.

        Have you thought that all along, or is it only since this latest poll has gone up that you’ve voted that way?

      2. Are you serious? Can anyone really want Mad Max back after considering all his great feats of the last stint as president of the FIA?

        He had everyone nervously watching what they were saying for fear of suddenly being penalized on track. The stewarding was an almost intentional hit there miss everywhere. Not to mention often “helping” to keep the scoring more even.

        His great idea to bring in the new teams and have the 2 rules set cost saving would have absolutely ruined the sport.
        And the way he was involved in the Tyre debacle at Indy surely helped kill off F1 there. Doing nothing to solve the situation, rather worsen it.

        His politics of power were appaling, and I do not for a minute doubt, that he would have gone along with Bahrain, maybe would have bullied the teams into having to go there as well.

        Max back, no way.

        1. Thanks for explaining. I wasn’t aware how much he had to do with all of those situations.

        2. And the breakaway series threat in ’09.

        3. I disagree the two-tier rules would have ruined the sport. The benefits the budget cap teams would have received would not have been enough to overhaul the performance deficit they had to the top teams. And though having two sets of rules seems silly, sportscar racing manages with it all the time and their gimmicky nature would probably have not been received any worse than the DRS has.

          The problem was the way he imposed his policy and the vast and drastic cut in spending it demanded. I am quite annoyed at how the RRA apparently does not take factory jobs into account and the budget cap would have been even worse.

      3. So you would rather have back a person who wanted to force through voluntary budget cap despite the teams not wanting it, and almost letting FOTA from a breakaway series as they were so annoyed about the rules? Max Mosley’s legacy as FIA president was so close to being the guy who let one of the best racing series split in two! Is that really who you want back?

        Jean Todt will have to do a lot to repair his image in the coming months. However, I would not want Max back.

        1. Damon, on saying Todt being total disaster was expecting good things from him at the start but gradually my opinion has changed to now just wanting to see the back of him.

          Various reasons for this but the main ones are
          – Bahrain mess
          – pushing the green engines when him and fellow French company Renault are only ones in favour of it now
          -Overly cautious approach with wet races. It is no coincidence that started when Todt took over. Senna Donington 92 was massive in the history of the sport and Todt seems to want to prevent a driver the chance to shine like that again if another ever can!
          – Failing to address the qualifying spectacle being ruined by the tyres situation were conserving them is more important now than position and could easily be rectified.
          – As much as I want Red Bull not to run away with the championship, banning the diffuser mid season is unfair when previous innovations from Brawn and McLaren were not until the end.
          – Everything he does now seems like he is more interested in pleasing anybody and everybody but the real fans.

          The thing though that go me most even more than Bahrain cause he wasn’t the only one involved their was nearly banning Hamilton for 6 races for a heat of the moment joke when Ferrari last year got no punishment when they broke the rules and then went on to treat the fans and media like they would believe anything afterward with their excuses. And the thing is I don’t even like Hamilton!

  3. I hope Brawn’s right about Schumacher and that he will get back on form… I want to see him on the podium again, I think after missing out in Canada he’ll want to get it aswell..

    And lets face it, Michael Schumacher – 100 GP wins does have a nice ring to it…

  4. With regards to the COTD

    Anf going to Roland Ratzenberger’s funeral too

    I always highly respected, and still do, max Mosley just for this reason. I think it was only him and one other person of power in F1 that went to the funeral. Everyone else’s was at Senna’s.
    Two men died that weekend.. Not one..

    1. I think it was only him and one other person of power in F1 that went to the funeral.

      I like to think this is something Senna would have approved of.

      1. Pretty sure he would’ve. Supposedly when Senna was pulled from the car after his crash, they found a folded up Austrian flag in the cockpit that he had intended to wave after the race win to dedicate the win to his good friend Roland Ratzenberger.

    2. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
      21st June 2011, 6:48

      Yep, that is the reason I respect Max as well, I don’t particularly like him but I do respect him for doing that.

  5. I love the way “The Horse Whisperer” presents what everyone already knew as being a stunning revelation, and upbraids everyone for beliving it. It’s like they’re trying to be condescending.

    1. I’d say the main point of the article is not to be condescending, but to support, motivate and inspire a feeling of confidence and security in Massa as well as all the Ferrari staff.

      Felipe Massa is at the centre of it all… Each year he is due to be replaced, even if the season is only two races old, yet year after year, he is still holding down his job. The list of candidates scheduled to replace Felipe is by now a long one, but 2011 has seen some new names appear in the charts. First there was Nico Rosberg and now we can add that of Jenson Button. It goes without saying that, yet again, this is just a load of twaddle,

      The only condescending thing i can see is your comment.
      But eh its all a matter of comprehension, if you look for something in a body of text, odds are you’ll find it.
      You did. I did. Someone else will.
      big whoop

      1. I’d say the main point of the article is not to be condescending, but to support, motivate and inspire a feeling of confidence and security in Massa as well as all the Ferrari staff.

        Then why not tell Massa that directly? “The Horse Whisperer” is Ferrari’s way of saying things that they themselves cannot be seen as saying. They used it a lot last year to attack the new teams when such comments from the likes of Stefano Domenicalli and Luca di Montezemolo would have been political suicide. If Ferrari really wanted to show support for Massa, they’d have a team member come out and publicly say “We’re very happy with Felipe and his position with us is safe”. But they haven’t done that – instead, they’ve gone through their own back channels.

        1. Prisoner Monkey, shame on you.such naivety. When an official spokesman says ” We are etc. etc. it’s time to write that letter of resignation, because the axe is surely poised to fall, just ask any disgraced politician.

  6. I have a rudimentary knowledge of F1 economics and what and what isnt appropriate…but does anyone else get the feeling that Bernie charges way, WAY too much for race/licensing fees? And it seems like that causes a lot of problems with circuit organizers and now, the BBC.

    The world economy has not recovered yet, Bernie.

    1. Bernie has no choice but to charge those prices. Fifteen million dollars to host a race might sound like a lot, but bear in mind that fifteen million dollars won’t buy you as much today as it would a decade ago.

      If you understand simple economics, then you understand the cocnept of supply and demand. Bernie controls the supply of a high-value commodity – calendar places – of which there are a finite number. Even without Bernie, they can only be 52 races in a year. Allowing two weeks between each race, that means there are 26 available positions. And when you give the teams time to develop their cars for next season, and to give everyoen a break a tthe end of the year, you’re really looking at 20-22 races as being the maximum possible.

      So you’ve got a finite supply, and massive demand. In addition to Russia, America and India joining the calendar, you’ve got Croatia, the Ukraine, Vietnam, South Africa, Mexico, Argentina, France, Venezuela and Thailand who have all expressed an interest of some kind or another in hosting a race. In such a case, where there is limited supply and increased demand, the price naturally skyrockets. And to his credit (and to the best of my knowledge), Bernie has never cancelled a Grand Prix in the middle of a contract simply because he got a better offer from someone else. If he has, it was because that circuit failed to pay the sancitioning fees.

      It’s a myth that the money from circuit licencing ees goes straight into Bernie’s back posket. He takes his cut, of course, but most of the money goes back into the sport or pays off the debt to CVC. As for the money from the television rights, none of that goes to Bernie – it gets put into the pot that gets paid out to the teams at the end of the year.

      1. Highest race hosting fee this year is 50 million not 15 million. This site reported that last year circuit fees totaled 568 million dollars or an average of 28.4 million per. The contracts stipulate an increase 10% year over the duration of the contract. Depending on how it’s calculated, by year 10 the price has doubled to 56.8 million per.

        As to your comment about him taking his cut, his daughter just baught 105M $ house so yeah, I’d say he’s definitely getting his.

        1. I just used fifteen million as an example. The Turkish Grand Prix paid just $13-15 million for their race this year. It’s a standard entry-level contract payment.

      2. I’d imagine he gets some sort of cut as a minor shareholder.

      3. Pays of the debt to CVC ? I understood that the money from CVC went straight into Bernies bank account, so how is paying of the debt to CVC not going straight to Bernies back pocket. I wish we could get a real accounting of how much income goes to the teams for all their expenses and how much goes to Bernie for selling a product that is in more demand than it can supply.

    2. I agree with you on this Sam. The fees for hosting the race are high and the yearly top up makes it unfeasable.

      I can understand it running with Inflation, but that is about 2% per year, not 5-10%.

      1. Agreed. The hikes in price should match the rise in inflation, or at least more closely resemble those increases. The way it works now is almost more like a Ponzi scheme, it’s not a sustainable business model. Eventually promoters will just get fed up and say enough’s enough. Unfortunately some of the most important races on the calendar like Spa may be the first to go. Hopefully Todt stands his ground in the new Concord Agreement and takes some more control for the FIA so that a bit more of the pie can go back into the sport.

        1. I know right? 10 percent raise every year? That seems insanely high…at what point do the race organizers throw up their hands and decide that it’s just not worth it?
          I think Bernie believes he has no shortage of suitors to replace such an eventuality, but I suspect that’s rapidly changing.
          Governments now look for responsible spending, and plonking 30 mil on a one-time event every year that barely breaks even in the best of scenarios hardly seems like a smart business model.

          1. The way it works now is almost more like a Ponzi scheme, it’s not a sustainable business model.

            Actually, it’s nothing like a Ponzi scheme at all. Under a Ponzi scheme, investors are paid a return on their investment either with their own money or with money from subsequent investors.

            Under Bernie’s business model, organisers pay a lump sum to host an event each year, the amount of which increases from year to year. They also pay FOM 10% of any profit they turn. Its nothing like a Ponzi scheme.

            Hopefully Todt stands his ground in the new Concord Agreement and takes some more control for the FIA so that a bit more of the pie can go back into the sport.

            Todt’s comments suggest he wants the FIA to play a bigger role in deciding where the calendar will expand to next. Right now, the sport goes where Bernie says it goes. Todt wants to get a bit more control of that process.

            I think Bernie believes he has no shortage of suitors to replace such an eventuality, but I suspect that’s rapidly changing.

            Did you not read my post where I listed a dozen countries that have all expressed interest in hosting a race this year alone? Granted, some of them are a little bit more serious than others (the Ukraine has a circuit design set in stone, whereas Thailand have just said they’d be interested), but this is the way Bernie has done business for over a decade. You would think that people would have gotten sick of it sooner.

            The reason why governments support the races is because it injects money into the local economy. The event itself might not break event, but if you look at all the money spent on food and accomodation and the like, it all adds up.

      2. I can understand it running with Inflation, but that is about 2% per year, not 5-10%.

        The rate of inflation differs depending on i) where you live and ii) what you measure. In the UK, for example, the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) was 4.5% in May 2011. The Retail Prices Index (RPI), however, puts it higher at 5.2%.

        But just looking at the headline rate of inflation in itself is likely to be misleading. The CPI and RPI are both measured by looking at the prices of defined baskets of goods and services consumed by households. Are those goods and services likely to be consumed in a similar way by running F1 as a sport? Probably not, so expecting prices to increase by household inflation rates is unrealistic.

        International exchange rates may also play a part here. Presumably, race hosting contracts require payments in a specified currency. If that currency increases in value compared to the currency used by the race host the result would be an effective price hike for the host.

        1. Thank you, I was just about to write up something similar.
          Still 10% is a very steep rise and I imagine it is quite difficult for track organizers to always keep up with it. Still, Bernie isn’t completely heart and brainless. I know at least two occasions on which he suspended the increase but warned that he wouldn’t do it a second time (germany and belgium).

          After all, F1 is a business and anyone getting in on it knows its a cruel one and whats the cost (metaphorically and financially).

  7. German Press is saying that the agressive engine maps is set to be reduced in Valencia.

    1. It wouldn’t surprise me if the teams do it pre-emptively. The ban comes into force from Silverstone, but by scaling back the engine maps, the teams get raw data on how their cars perform, which they can use to model new parts for Silverstone if they’re needed. After all, some of the teams – namely Red Bull – can afford to fail to score in Valencia. Even if Jenson Button wins in Spain and Sebastian Vettel gets a DNF, Vettel would still have a thirty-five point lead going to Silverstone.

      1. I fear the teams are not involved in this decision. It is FIA which is pressuring them to reduce the off throttle effect.

        The word is that they will have to run the same engine maps in Q3 and race.

        I bet this time Red Bull will be really affected. Their DRS is very dependent from the off throttle to equilibrate the car in curve.

        I hope McLaren and Ferrari couldn’t be affected in the same level.

        1. I fear the teams are not involved in this decision. It is FIA which is pressuring them to reduce the off throttle effect.

          It’s not the FIA. Why would the introduce a ban from Silverstone and then bring it forward by one race without telling anyone? If they had done that, we would have heard about it by now. The FIA might put pressure on teams to scale back their engine maps, but the teams still have the right to run whatever they want in Valencia, and there’s nothing the FIA can do about it.

          1. I could only see this happening as a move by FOTA, to allow all the teams to see how it would work for them, and agreed upon so that not suddenly one team easily beats the rest (well, one team other than Red Bull).

            But it seems more likely to me that teams would run part of the free practices with less of a map to test the effect.

          2. That’s what I was thinking. I wouldn’t actually be surprised if teams have parts of their diffuser in particular that generate move downforce in the corners, but are designed to minimise drag on the straight (thus giving them the best effect in the corners and on the straights, especially under DRS). Without the engine mapping and with exhaust gasses greatly reduced, the shape of such parts might needlessly create drag in the corners. I wouldn’t put it past Adrian Newey to come up with something like this.

        2. Now this article in Autosport is reporting the same as you saw in Germany.

          Seems it wants to cut back on the hot blowing early, they could have waited another race, right?
          Another back forth desicion :-(

          1. Reading that article, it’s strange that the FIA didn’t pick up on this sooner.

            But it makes sense. It’s not really banning anything, it’s just forcing teams to use the same engine maps in both qualifying and the race. It’s the same as when the FIA banned the use of specially-tuned engines in qualifying.

    2. I think changing the rules mid-season is stupid and unfair.

      1. Why, because teams who come up with innovative ideas are forced to change them?

        The off-throttle blown diffuser forces the engine to keep rotating to increase the downforce over the diffuser. This is the very definition of a moveable aerodynamic part, which is banned under the rules (with the obvious exception of the DRS). So what is stupider and more unfair: forcing innovative teams to lose their advantage, or allowing them to retain that advantage and run illegal parts?

        1. The off-throttle blown diffuser forces the engine to keep rotating to increase the downforce over the diffuser. This is the very definition of a moveable aerodynamic part

          Makes no sense. The engine is always turning… lol.

          very definition

          er no!

          1. Makes no sense. The engine is always turning… lol.

            It keeps the engine turning as if the throttle were being fully applied even when the driver is braking and does not have his foot on the accelerator. This creates more exhaust gasses that are then directed over the diffuser.

            er no!

            Uh, yes. A moveable aerodynamic device is any device that uses moving parts to directly influence the aerodynamics of a car. In this case, it is using the moving parts of the engine to create more downforce when there would typically be less under normal conditions.

          2. I thought that too. Whiting’s justification is a little flawed, for 2011 at least.

          3. I thought that too. Whiting’s justification is a little flawed, for 2011 at least.

            How so? Under braking in normal conditions, the engine slows down. This creates less exhaust gas to pump over the diffuser, generating less downforce.

            However, underbraking with the current engine mapping, the engine continues to spin, creating more exhaust gas to pump over the diffuser, generating more downforce. This is clearly not a normal set of circumstances.

            So, how is this not a moveable aerodynamic device? It uses the moving parts of the engine to create more downforce than the car would normally have. That’s a moveable aerodynamic device.

          4. @PM, because the actual aero device (the diffuser) isn’t moving.

            By your logic the enigne is always a moveable aerodynamic device because it is always blowing gasses over the

          5. Comment fail.

            over the…diffuser. Or moving the car through the air faster as it speeds up, thus creating more downforce.

          6. @PM, because the actual aero device (the diffuser) isn’t moving.

            But the parts within the engine are moving. The diffuser itself does not simply generate downforce by itself. It requires air flowing over it, just as any other aerodynamic part does. The blown diffuser forces exhaust gasses over the diffuser to increase the amount of downforce. The off-throttle concept takes that one step further and maintains the same amount of exhaust gasses blowing over the diffuser regardless of the conditions. It’s a moveable aerodynamic device because it uses the moving parts of the engine to manipulate the vailable levels of downforce.

          7. BBT is correct, really the diffuser by no means makes the engine turn…that hardly makes any sense really when you put it that way PM. The engine is already and always turning it is the mapping system that the engine computers have that retard the system and still make the engine act or think it is in throttle, which allows a constant flow of gases and downforce even in braking. The way you explained it makes it sound as if the diffuser (itself a non-mechanical part) is forcing the engine to blow gas more so while braking or off the throttle. Engine Mapping systems and rear diffusers are two different things. As far as a moveable part you may be right on that, but a source would be better. Seeing as typically I recall moveable parts being part that are directly moved by either an engine or flexing materials/composites. All in all just saying.

          8. Also sorry for the double post but a diffuser does not need the exhaust gases flowing over it to function and creat downforce. If this was the case than smaller diffuser and bigger wouldn’t be used under modern sports cars today like they are, for the exhaust aren’t used to create better downforce the air around the car does this as it is driving. Thus it does work F1 just do it in a more efficient way. However, just because the engine is producing hot gases that flow over doesn’t mean it is a moveable part. The engine is always moving the gases always flow over the back or toward that region…It seems you’re trying to extend the reasoning too far out really.

          9. BBT is correct, really the diffuser by no means makes the engine turn…that hardly makes any sense really when you put it that way PM.

            I never said that. I said that the engine is creating more exhaust gasses under conditions when they would normally create less. These gasses are being used by the diffuser to generate more downforce.

          10. The diffuser itself does not simply generate downforce by itself. It requires air flowing over it, just as any other aerodynamic part does.

            Exactly. All aero devices need air flowing over them, and it’s the engine pushing the car forwards which provides that airflow. So if you consider the engine to be a movable device in the case of the EBD, then all aero devices are movable because they only work while the engine is turning.

          11. Exactly. All aero devices need air flowing over them, and it’s the engine pushing the car forwards which provides that airflow. So if you consider the engine to be a movable device in the case of the EBD, then all aero devices are movable because they only work while the engine is turning.

            But the difference with a blown diffuser is that the engine only produces relative levels of downforce. It produces more when the accelerator is down, and less when the brakes are on. Engine mapping directly manipulates this to produce more exhaust gasses when it would not normally.

          12. Understand the basic point but using Whiting’s flawed logic the throttle peddle is a moveable aero device.
            I agree with Andrew and Mark.

        2. Except PM, its not the engine rotating to do this (that would mean they are not having any off throttle running).
          What they do is, they open the cylinders, have the air in but do not close them so the air flows through towards the exhausts when the cylinders are not being pushed.
          With the hot blowing they even inject the fuel, but the retarded ignition means it does not push down the cylinders but flows out as a hot air boost.
          The engine keeps moving (as it does when running in idle), but it has nothing to do with the effect being reached here.

          1. But once again: the teams are using movable parts within the engine to directly manipulate the engine into producing more downforce under conditions when it would not normally.

          2. Only if you call the fuel injection and the ignition “moving parts”.

          3. I’m struggling to keep up with all this! PM is reitterating the point I was making about the engine influencing aero as it is a moving device. He just went for the more wordy version!

            However, clearly this rule is not that clear cut as we have DRS, sanctioned by the FIA themselves.

          4. I understand the point being made by PM and Andrew about the potential for the innards of the engine to be construed as a “moveable aero device”.

            However, if the FIA agreed with this interpretation then they would have outlawed blown diffusers altogether, or at least outlawed hot-blowing (rather than limiting it to 10% throttle, as they have done).

            If the “moveable aero device” is taken to extremes then nothing moving on the car would be permitted. Exhaust gases will have some effect on the aerodynamics of the car wherever the exhausts, and whether on or off throttle. So interpreting the 8 pistons as moveable aerodynamic devices is plainly impractical.

        3. As I understand it engine rpm decrease but unburnt fuel ignites in the exhaust pipes to supply the high velocity gas. It is not a moving part but an adjustment to the spark either by retarding the spark till the exhaust valves open or possibly cutting the spark to some cylinders.Happy to hear from someone who actually knows.

    3. Interesting Becken. I do think in this case PM is right about the teams testing it for Valencia to see how much it affects their pace, possibly testing new parts as well.

      But it might be that will only be for FP.

    4. Autosport have it too: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/92494

      The new directive from the FIA means that any engine mapping setting used in qualifying has to now be used for the start of the race – with the first opportunity to change it now only possible at the first pitstop when a computer could in theory be plugged into the car.

  8. No mention of Karun in The Times of India?

    Poor Karun :(

    1. I was thinking the same thing :)

  9. Massa is beginning to impress me again this year. There were glimmers of hope in Canada and I think if we can see more moments like that then he deserves another year. If no improvement however, then it is indeed time to see what someone else would do in that seat. A Sauber driver perhaps?

    I finally saw Senna yesterday. Rather than rekindle this old flame I will say this here in relation to the Prost = villian debate.

    My girlfriend, who saw the film with me, hardly knew about Ayrton Senna and had never heard of Alain Prost. Halfway through the film, during a Prost interview, she whispered in my ear;

    “I really don’t like him!”

    Maybe we’ll have to wait until Prost the Movie until Senna becomes the bad guy ;)

    1. Oh, and might I add, great film! I’ve always wanted to learn more about man himself and I thoroughly enjoyed it. What a guy.

  10. OK, there is sufficient info out there abotut when Senna is being shown in the UK, US and a few other places, but what about the rest of the (F1 watching/race hosting) countries in the world!!

    1. It’ll be out on DVD in no time. Not the same experience though I guess…

  11. Wow… I actually can’t believe I got a COTD. I knew it would be controversial… Hehe

  12. Just read the Austin article, now I can see why Bernie likes dealing with dictators.

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