Austin City Council approves F1 race plan

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Today is the FOTA Fan’s Forum at the McLaren Technology Centre. I’ll be there so if you’ve got a place do come over and say hello!

Here’s today’s round-up:


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

City Council endorses F1, agrees to environmental deal (Austin-American Statesman)

“The endorsement would make the project eligible for up to $25 million a year in state subsidies, which the state comptroller still must approve. According to the terms of the environmental deal, F1 will pay up to $15,000 for carbon offsets, such as planting trees, and invest $5 million for on-site research into green technology, among other things.”

Rights race: Channel 4 in F1 talks (London Evening Standard)

“Channel 4 has opened preliminary talks with motor-racing bosses about buying the broadcast rights to Formula 1 when the BBC’s deal expires.”

Diffuser ban to cost Red Bull 0.5s (Autosport)

Helmut Marko: “We expect to lose approximately 0.5 seconds per lap without the blown diffuse. However, we made preparations to equalise this in terms of set-up and aero measures. We are optimistic that we will keep our performance level.”

John Surtees in Maranello, from the past to the present (Ferrari)

“Looking into Fernando [Alonso]’s eyes, I could see the same determination I had when I was racing. Time passes, but passion for racing is something that never changes across the centuries and if you have it in you, you see it in others.”

Valencia Analysis: Paul’s race (Force India)

Paul di Resta: “We had two very good stints, the second and third. But we were compromised a bit on strategy to help Adrian’s side.”

Manish Pandey on Twitter

“It’s official! At 2.683m, Senna is now the most successful UK doc in UK history. Heartfelt thanks to UK fans from Asif Kapaida, James [Gay-Rees] and me.”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Button eyes Silverstone podium (The Independent)

“It’s going to be a weird race for everyone, given the change in the regulations with the blown diffuser. We have to be wary of that because there will be quite a big difference for all of us.”

F1 down in the docks (Grand Prix)

“Word is that [Bernie Ecclestone]’s talking to Valencia about extending our stay. That’ll be for financial reasons, then. Certainly not for what the track brings to F1. Now we know for sure that the Valencia circuit is rubbish, that should be the end of it.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Journeyer doesn’t agree with Bernie Eccestone’s take on Sebastian Vettel:

No doubt this is Bernie pandering to the German TV audience, but let’s look at his point anyway.

It’s true to the extent of a single season – he’s won six of eight, finishing second in the other two races against a very good set of drivers. Not a lot of people has done this well at the start of the season.

But in terms of the bigger picture, it’s barely noteworthy. Remember, Schumacher won five [titles] in a row. Vettel’s just about to win two in a row. In addition, Schumacher did it with a team, Ferrari, who was barely winning any races when he joined. In contrast, Vettel started winning off the bat with Red Bull. While it’s true that Red Bull weren’t winning before Vettel arrived, one could also argue that Vettel had all the tools he needed to start winning (think Newey).

In my opinion, the best way for his success to become truly noteworthy is for Vettel to move to a new team and be successful there as well (ideally without Newey).

From the forum

Sato113 thinks Lewis Hamilton has a poor relationship with his race engineer.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Rhys!

On this day in F1

Yesterday we looked back on the 1997 French Grand Prix which Michael Schumacher won easily.

it didn’t go so well for him at the same race 15 years ago today: his Ferrari gave up before the race had even started:

Image © Pirelli

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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67 comments on “Austin City Council approves F1 race plan”

  1. F1 on Channel 4? I hope that is some sort of sick joke. Their programming schedule is horrendous. Best to leave them with cricket, golf, horse racing or whatever low audience sports they have.

    Tomorrow we’ll be hearing that Channel 5 are interested…

    1. They don’t even have that cricket anymore, that’s on Sky Sports now.

      I could live with Channel 4 (not that I have much choice otherwise).

      1. id pick channel 4 over sky any day!

      2. I suppose having it on free to air would be better than Sky, but since returning to the BBC, I dont think the fans could even consider it being hosted elsewhere, such has been the quality of television.

        1. oh i agree that the BBC has done an epic job of hosting the F1 and i dont want to see it anywhere else, but if they decide to discontinue then i think C4 is the lesser of two evils

          1. I think CBBC should host it YEEAAHHH!!!!

      3. I don’t live the UK but a get BBC coverage via Dstv/Multichoice (a South African sat TV distributor throughout Africa) But I’d bet that whoever gets the rights held by BBC now, it will hire at least half of BBC F1 dedicated personnel, commentators included.

    2. Best to leave them with cricket, golf, horse racing or whatever low audience sports they have.

      People mock the sound of Channel 4 covering sports but remember back to 2005. Their fantastic free to air coverage was an integral part of an Ashes series that captivated the nation, you may not like cricket but millions tuned in that summer and the coverage was absolutely top quality.

      I’d prefer to see BBC continue to cover F1 so we can be spared the return of adverts, but don’t dismiss Channel 4’s ability to cover the sport out of hand.

      1. HHm blockquotes in the wrong place, but you know how it was meant to look

      2. I must admit I let out a slight chuckle when I saw him referring to cricket as a “low audience sport”. :P

        1. Relatively speaking, it is in the UK.

          1. Because it’s on Sky.

    3. Channel 4 do produce a lot of drivel, but are also capable of producing some absolutely top quality programming when they want to, so I wouldn’t dismiss their ability to do F1 out of hand.

      Given the praise that the BBC coverage has gained, they’d have a lot to live up to, so hopefully would put the effort in to ensure they got it right.

      The thing is though, do C4 have the cash to make a successful bid? I was under the impression they were struggling financially.

      In any case, I’d much rather have F1 on C4 than on Sky. In fact, I’d even take the ITV coverage over Sky (I never thought ITV were that bad personally).

    4. Channel 4 have produced some fantastically comprehensive, entertaining and innovative coverage of sport, especially “low audience”, which F1 should consider itself to be, that is precisely why it is looking to be dropped.

      From the good old days of American Football, back when C4 meant something, everyone remembers their Ashes coverage, the NBA programs they used to produce with Mark Webster were superb. They have enough multi channel presence with More4 and E4 and various +1 to accommodate the coverage, and 4OD presents a reasonably robust internet platform.

      Ditch Jake Humphrey and rope in Gary Imlach from their superlative month-long Tour De France coverage, the “low audience” sporting highlight of the year. See what a genuinely personable and switched-on TV sports anchor looks like, hey, now we’re cooking … I’ve talked myself into it, ditch the BBC, and upgrade to C4.

  2. How much better do the Ferrari’s look with the black wings. It might have been an absolute dog, but that Ferrari looked awesome.

    1. Nice to see that one with the raised nose, copied from Benneton!

  3. Big congratulations to the guys behind Senna, brilliant film!

    I agree with the last bit of the COTD. I don’t think it’s fair to criticise Vettel just because he’s not getting any real competition but success at another team would certainly make people think twice.

    1. I absolute love that film…

      Excepting that I haven’t actually seen in, nor have found any dates for it coming to Australia…

      Seeing as you have made so much on it Pandey, any chance you could risk showing for us lowly Australians?

      … I pity the New Zealander who wants to see it…

      1. You can watch it online or download it.

      2. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
        30th June 2011, 2:09

        Thats me :(

    2. I think Vettel is a very good driver. I don’t think he needs to move to another team show anything, eventually get a world champion on the sister car and go against him will help to ease things.

      Hamilton faced Alonso and Button as team mates while Vettel has shared team with Bourdais and Webber…

      1. Hewis Lamilton
        30th June 2011, 16:00

        Using that logic for Vettel, for Hamilton to be considered a great champion then he would also need to move to another team and be successful. Preferrably to a team without Newey as this is the criteria for Vettel.

        1. Hewis Lamilton
          30th June 2011, 16:01

          Apologies JCost, I didn’t mean to place that post as a reply to you.

  4. $15,000 for carbon offsets, such as planting trees, and invest $5 million for on-site research into green technology, among other things.”

    Including an onsite “community garden.” A community garden.

    Just let that sink in for a minute.

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      30th June 2011, 1:05

      A bit of food grown locally rather than being flown across the country. Don’t see what’s to think about really.

      1. More about planting trees..but i sure hope they plan on having this race at night or we will see many tire changes …

        1. A nite race so that the european audience can stay up till four in the morning. I highly doubt the troll will let that happen.

    2. Honestly the site might be great for that. Offering the high tech office boffins and nerds some garden outside is a good move in any case.

      1. I love the fact that they are planting some 800 trees, putting in a garden and purchasing carbon offsets. With this Austin race, F1 has its greatest opportunity this decade, ahead of it.

        F1 has a chance to promote itself as an environmentally friendly, sustainable sport of the future, in the largest market, in the most powerful country in the world. I can understand those who have doubts or worries over whether this is possible, but I do not understand the naysayers and the pessimists.

        This can be F1’s golden ticket, it’s happy reunion with the U.S. We can’t forget that the 2000 US Grand Prix at Indianapolis had the highest attendance of any race in decades.

        I am proud of F1 for taking the chance, proud of Austin for taking the chance and I am thrilled to see how it turns out.

        Just one thing, change that race date to October or November! We just had our 3rd hottest June on record here in Texas and I don’t want to have to melt in 105 F to see those glorious machines!

  5. That 1996 Ferrari, high nose or low nose, is absolutely disgustingly beautiful

    1. It really was both wasn’t it! Ugly sidepods, chunky, yet somehow it worked.

    2. Christian: It’s the unloved V10 son of the 1995 Ferrari. :D

      Icthyes: Well, Schumacher made it work, anyway. Irvine, not so much.

  6. Haha Murray walker ‘in the extremely powerful Mercedes Bengine’! (2.52 in video)

    1. He was going to say “Benz” but aborted… the result was nice though!

  7. Interesting that CotA have been asked to move their event to a cooler time of year. Where could it reasonably go? The teams will oppose having it as a stand-alone event, because that means they would have to go to the Americas three times. And it can’t really go with Brazil because there’s no time. Nor can it be held at the start of the year because the circuit won’t be completed then. The only way I can see that request being granted is if CotA becomes the penultimate event of 2012, with every event from Valencia to Abu Dhabi being moved forward. Which is only really possible because the current 2012 calendar is provisional.

  8. That video kind of ties in with Jarno Trullis comments of recent days – oh how I miss uncertainty.

      1. Although I guess some drivers like Webber and Button don’t.

    1. Poor Schumy! And Irvine started from the last row – a bad day for Ferrari.

      1. I think it was Jean Todt who later said that this was Ferrari’s worst day ever.

    2. “And Hakkinen moves into third with his powerful Mercedes Bengine!”

      Murray’s got so little time to talk he’s fusing words together :)

  9. The one & only reason why Bernie is up for Valencia is just for Alonso,I doubt it will be that long that he change his mind & switch to Germany all over again.

  10. 1996 French GP
    Damon took full advantage of that Schumacher DNS, he won the race ahead of team mate Jacques Villenueve for a Williams-Renault 1-2. Benetton followed home in formation, and the two Mclaren-Mercedes completed the points ‘line astern.’

  11. Happy birthday Rhys, haven’t seen you much on here lately, but I hope you are fine and enjoying your birthday today!

  12. Magny Cours 1996. I remember that very well. Not the Scuderia’s finest hour with one car out before the start and the other one dead last; hence Jean Todt looking as though he wanted to bite someone – hard!
    Murray’s “Mercedes Bengine” is just classic.

  13. Keith,

    If I was at the FOTA forum, I’d ask:

    What about saving three slots for no regular GP in the calendar every year, i.e., we should have tracks without long term contracts to add new tracks every years. Is it executable??


    1. Bernie wouldn’t like that at all – it would only encourage countries to join up for one race and get an instant profile boost.

  14. Wow, my first COTD! Not bad for an old hand around these parts. ;) Thanks, Keith! :)

    1. congratulations Journeyer. So tell us how you feel after all these years of hard work, you have finally achieved this high goal?

      1. I’m absolutely delighted. YIPPEE!

        *sticks finger out* :D

    2. Congratulations Journeyer! A very good comment! :)

  15. Hey guys, I don’t know where to post this but I live in Perth, Australia, and according to our news, Karthikeyan has been fired and Ricciardo (from Perth) will replace him! Hopefully its not a romour, as it was on our television news!

    1. *rumour (not romour!)

      I’ll keep looking over twitter and the web for a link and confirmation.

      1. I’ll wait for a story with direct quotes from those involved.

        1. Yeah, sorry, normally I’d wait for official confirmation, but it is rather exciting!

          1. Exciting, maybe. But my first reaction was “Oh, God no!” because all we’re going to get is The Morons on OneHD nattering on about him. After last week’s Assen episode – where Casey Stoner was “rapidly catching” Ben Spies in the final stages of the race when in reality, Spies was steadily pulling away – I expect nothing less than hype and embellishment from them.

          2. Yeah PM, you really don’t like the OneHD commentators do you? (Shut up, Greg Rust!) Oh well, just try to ignore them and remember we get F1 live in HD, which is a miracle in itself!

          3. Can’t stand them. Though to be honest, I did actually want them to do all the commentary in Valencia, because then I would have at least felt some kind of emotion, even if it was anger and frustration.

          4. PM, here’s your article with quotes from Ricciardo:

  16. Rule changes mid-season is nothing new to F1, Red Bull should be thankful it’s just the blown difuser that’s been changed.

    Go back to 1992, Williams was dominating the races, then the FIA made a drastic rule change, insisting that all cars were to now use everyday pump fuel, rather than exotic fuel they’d been used too. Now that’s what I call a whinging moment. Red Bull grow up, stop sulking!!!!

    Just think how bored Vettel is getting leading the races with no challengers around to give him the chance to show how good a World Champ he is.

  17. I saw TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON today. And I would just like to say a very big thank-you to Michael Bay who has successfulyl demonstrated that giant alien robots (who can transform into vehicles) punching each other for two and a half hours – which should be the most awesome thing, ever – can in fact be more boring than the European Grand Prix in Valencia.

    Congratulations, Mr. Bay. You’ve out-done yourself.

    1. LOL.
      Somehow I get the slight impression that the film did not appeal to your prodigious intellect and discerning apetite.
      Come on mate, you read the title, what did you expect from the film – Jean Paul Satre?

  18. does anyone have a video link to demonstrate what a 1.6 V6 engine might sound like?

  19. for the Italian people out there, i just saw ‘Senna’ in an electronics store sold for €14.90. This means that sadly we can’t enjoy the sound of those machines with a proper 5.1 dolby surround…

  20. I’m amazed FI allowed DiResta to put in that quote about strategy and “Adrian’s side”. Really puts the boot in pretty clearly that Sutil is relying on the team crippling Paul in order to beat him.

    Whether it’s true or not is debatable, but still. Signs that the team have little or no interest in anything Sutil has to offer them anymore?

    I for one wouldn’t be sorry to see him go.

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