Renault extend deadline for Robert Kubica

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In today’s round-up: Eric Boullier has extended the deadline for Robert Kubica’s return to F1 until mid-November, saying "they are very confident that Robert will be back".


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Renault set to extend deadline for Kubica F1 return (Autosport)

"Renault team principal Eric Boullier is willing to give Robert Kubica more time to prove his fitness for a possible Formula 1 return next season."

HRT fined for unsafe release of Daniel Ricciardo in Korea (Autosport)

"The HRT team has been fined 5,000 Euros for the unsafe release of Daniel Ricciardo during the Korean Grand Prix."

Red Bull cast doubt on future of FOTA (Reuters)

"Formula One world champions Red Bull cast doubt on the future of the teams’ association FOTA on Sunday after a meeting at the Korean Grand Prix to discuss two key agreements. ‘I think that FOTA has reached the crossroads where it needs to deal with some of the key issues moving forward or we’ll stop. It’s as simple as that,’ team principal Christian Horner told Reuters before the race."

Pirelli to meet FOTA Sporting Regulations Working Group to discuss 2012 tyre rule tweaks (Autosport)

"Pirelli has been invited to meet Formula 1 sporting directors at the Indian Grand Prix in a bid to forge an agreement on tyre regulation tweaks for 2012. Following recent controversy about teams electing not to run in Q3 in a bid to save tyres plus the implication of unused rubber and a testing plan going forwards, the teams and Pirelli have had varied opinions about a way forward that satisfies both them and the fans."

Korean Grand Prix from the pit lane with Ted Kravitz (BBC F1)

"BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz with the behind-the-scenes gossip from the Korean Grand Prix, where Sebastian Vettel’s victory helped Red Bull wrap up a second consecutive constructors’ championship."

Infiniti and Red Bull deepen relationship (Joe Saward)

"The partnership between Red Bull and Infiniti is to be expanded in 2012. The cars next year will feature more prominent branding on the cars, drivers, team staff and equipment. In addition the two companies will increase the global and market leverage of their alliance. There will also be more involvement between Infiniti/Nissan R&D engineers and the team."

Lewis Hamilton Q&A: I am not ecstatic, but I’m happy (

"I have always felt confident in myself, regardless of how much negative talk there was around the world. I still rise above it. And that is key. Every sportsman around the world has tough times – in fact every human being. And even if I finished one place down from the win, which makes me first of the losers, it’s a better position to be in than finishing anywhere else. I have to say that my fans always supported me – on facebook, on twitter and so on – and I this helped a lot and felt really special.

Heikki Kovalainen on Twitter

"In Tokyo again, flew with [Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, David Coulthard and Jenson Button], now off to hotel, good night sleep then off to fitness/golf week in Thailand! Can’t wait"

Vijay Mallya on Twitter

"Next Formula One race is the highlight of the season. The Indian GP -finally…a truly proud and emotional moment coming up."

Formula One title race could be blown wide open by diffuser ban in 2012, says Red Bull’s Adrian Newey (The Telegraph)

"Red Bull wrapped up their second consecutive constructors’ title in Korea on Sunday where Sebastian Vettel claimed his 10th win of the season just a week after sealing back-to-back drivers’ titles. But Newey, who was not in Korea after returning to Milton Keynes to work on next year’s machine, says the perception that the current status quo will be maintained could well be misguided."

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Comment of the day

Vitaly Petrov was handed a five-place grid penalty for the next race following his collision with Michael Schumacher yesterday. Steph said:

I like Petrov but it’s hardly surprising. He ruined Schumacher’s race in a completely avoidable accident. I wonder though now, given some incidents whether penalties are given because of the amount of damage someone inflicts rather than it being avoidable given Hamilton and Massa. But then again, Hamilton didn’t get a penalty for what happened with Kobayashi (I don’t mean to pick on Lewis it’s just his incidents are by far easier to remember) or maybe it’s because of how daft the incident is and Petrov’s was easily the stupidest.

Actually, I’ve realised I have no idea what the stewards think the majority of the time and would love to be a fly on the wall or see the footage they get to see. It won’t be great if the stewards gave more of an insight into their decisions rather than just giving out a verdict as then it would be easier to judge especially when it comes to consistency.

From the forum

Hamilton vs Vettel in 2005

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

Nelson Piquet won his first world championship 30 years ago today.

He did so by finishing fifth for Brabham in the Las Vegas Grand Prix at the Caeser’s Palace circuit. Principle championship rival Carlos Reutemann slumped to eighth in his Williams in a mysteriously off-colour performance.

Bernie Ecclestone, who was the Brabham team owner when Piquet won the championship, recently made some frank admissions about how the team operated:

Back then, at the times of Brabham, I had a significant advantage. We were the masters of cheating and never got caught. That’s not possible nowadays!

42 comments on “Renault extend deadline for Robert Kubica”

  1. Think BBC summed it up best with their ‘Hamilton on road to redemption’ headline – a couple of podiums and a win in the final 3 races and the media will have moved on to something else to gossip about for sure.

    1. Think the best thing for the boy now, (apart form a personal trainer of some sort to keep his chin up) will be to get out of the press.

  2. That Newey article is interesting. If what he’s saying is true, could Ferrari stand to gain the most (by losing the least) in 2012? Winter testing will be very interesting next year.

    1. They did win in Silverstone, the only race with EBD entirely banned, so they must be a bit behind in that area.

      1. That’s true, I hadn’t thought about Silverstone.

  3. I think the teams would be stupid to abandon FOTA. It was only 2 years ago that the teams being united allowed them to rebuff the over stringent demands of Mosely. That threat may be gone, but a united front is still important.

    1. Especially with the battle for a new Concorde Agreement coming up. It would play right into Bernie’s hands, which makes me almost wonder in conspiracy theorist fashion if he hasn’t had some hand in playing the teams against each other on RRA to destabilize FOTA.

      1. I think its quite enough to help getting stories into the media foccussing on the part of those statements about FOTA falling apart.

        The things teams have been actually saying are more along the lines of “Fota’s purpose is to get the RRA working and get us a good Concorde agreement deal” adding, that if it does not work towards that, it has no purpose. That is quite different from actually saying they want out.

  4. McLaren race report is digging in Alonso radio transmission:

    “Two brilliant racing drivers – who never give up:–who-never-give-up

    Fernando’s surrender:

    Something interesting in the race was a tweet from InsideFerrari, who seems to dig in Massa whenever he holds Alonso in the race:

    “This is the pace Fernando has with free track in front.”

    Everybody knows how Ferrari works, but Luca Colajani should ask the guy to be more careful while speak/write in the name of the team.

    1. Whoever runs that InsideFerrari Twitter should be ashamed of themselves. Just from that tweet, and the dig at Sean Kelly. Honestly if you’re involved in F1, Sean Kelly knows more than you about yourself. What a childish response.

      1. @Electrolite Particularly given that Sean had it right and they had it wrong:

  5. i’m thinking the only direction for the teams to grow in is to take ownership of the series. why keep kicking the profits to someone else that contributes nothing? better for the major teams to buy them out and hire the fia to officiate.

    1. That would be the smart thing to do, and exactly what Bernie fears.

    2. @F1Yankee That sounds like a great way forward but something tells me it just won’t be simple.

      1. Some sort of Premiership style argrement would obviously be best. FOM should be a corporation owned jointly by the teams with an executive that they hire.

        Be better than the prem as well as it wouldn’t be about withholding money from lower league teams.

    3. If teams could do that, they would have done it earlier dont u think. I dont think any team out there likes to share at least half of the money they create with FOM.

      They have to have an agreement with FOM because FOM holds the rights to the name F1 and has paid for it to FIA. So whether they like it or not they have to stick with FOM, the only alternative is breakaway series with a different name. Nobody wants F1 to split like IndyCar in the 90s.

  6. Spot on F1Yankee.

  7. That’s good for Renault & Robert as both will have time to breath now.I hope he make a quick recovery.

    1. #wasiF1 Yep, it it’s good news. I just hope that no one rushes into anything. He should only come back if he is absolutely spot on.

      1. It’s really sad, but I just have the feeling, that, like Massa, he probably won’t get it back. On the other hand, he’s not a confidence driver in the same way that Massa is so who knows.

        1. But looking at Massa the last two races, it seems Alonso not being in the championship hunt anymore has enabled him to get better again, at least in qualifying.
          Not always easy to tell why a driver is not on top of it.

        2. @Scribe I don’t think so on paper & on performance Kubica is better then Massa & I do believe that he will back if not in 2012 but when that will be he won’t lose any pace.

  8. Driving penalties for accidents should be given out in two situations:

    1) You have the intention of ruining someone else’s race through an illegal act; whether you are successful or not.

    2) As a result of negligence you contravene the regulations* and ruin someone else’s race.

    *Force someone off the road, cause an avoidable collision, etc.

    If an accident isn’t intentional, and the case for ‘negligence’ isn’t proven then it is a racing accident and no action should be taken.

    Petrov was clearly negligent in this instance, there have been accidents through the year though, where negligence wasn’t so clear but drivers have been penalised anyway.

  9. “Formula One world champions Red Bull cast doubt on the future of the teams’ association FOTA on Sunday after a meeting at the Korean Grand Prix to discuss two key agreements. ‘I think that FOTA has reached the crossroads where it needs to deal with some of the key issues moving forward or we’ll stop. It’s as simple as that,’ team principal Christian Horner told Reuters before the race.”

    If the teams are so worried about the future of FOTA, then maybe they should stop trying to get each other penalised for violating the RRA and start working together for once.

    But I bet that thought never occurred to them.

    1. I really can’t believe that teams like Mercedes and Ferrari wont use the massive resources available to their other divisions at no cost or massively discounted cost to achieve more whilst apparently staying within the budget. Adrian Neweys pronouncement just illustrates the impossibility of having a development series on a fixed budget.

    2. I think its rather the other way around. All teams know that letting FOTA fall apart is sheer folly.
      Therefore threathening with just that might seem to be a good idea by some to push others opposed to their stance into compromise on the RRA.

      And its always easy to put this out to the press, quite a different thing migh be what they say about it in private. We heard Mercedes breaking it, then Ross telling he wants a stricter RRA, not its end. Horner’s Red Bull talking of falling out, but at the same time telling us how the RRA and Concorde agreement are key issues for FOTA’s existence.

      Signs of intensive discussions and negotiations going on between them.

      1. You’re probably right. If there is one thing we know from experience, it’s that there is ALWAYS plenty of politicking and maneuvering going on behind the scenes in F1.

      2. I think its rather the other way around. All teams know that letting FOTA fall apart is sheer folly.

        The teams are quite happy with FOTA’s continued existence – provided it continues to exist on their terms.

  10. Was going to post on 2012 but Newey beat me to it! As we saw at Silverstone the blown diffuser has a big impact on performance and some more than others. Add in the lower nose and you aren’t just worried about the aerodynamics at the front and rear, you’ve got to rethink the whole aidflow over the car. Certainly it would seem that you can’t take this year’s McLaren without the blown diffuser and “tweak it a bit” to bring it to the front of this year’s grid, let alone next years. And then working like Newey once the you’ve settled on the shape you’ll have to redesign the internals to fit. Sounds like a blank sheet of paper job to me.

    1. Well actualy, lots of this things McLaren might do well next year. U-side pods, lots of space at the back to be opened up now there not designed it to put that crazy octopus EBD in.

      McLarens pace largley relied on their EBD, but so did everyones, I don’t think they’ll have to go comepletley to the drawing board, rather heavily evolve a basically sound concept with lots of development still in it.

  11. Wasn’t it just last week when Newey said the RB8 would amaze everyone? Now he’s saying the title race could be wide open. Hmm… What to believe. :)

  12. The situation around Kubica is getting slightly ridiculous. On October 13th, Dutch blog of Toyota released information that Kubica was already testing in Cologne. Here’s the cached information

    The info quickly disappeared from the Internet, while Boullier said Kubica did not perform any simulator testing yet and will not be able to for around a month. Sources in Poland remain silent, yet grow more and more suspicious of LRGP.

  13. It is interesting that it is Red Bull, a bigger team, talking about the end of FOTA rather than a smaller team, since it is the big teams that benefit most from its continued existence.

    FOTA has always been a way for the big teams to silence the small ones – before FOTA, you had team owners like Paul Stoddart and Eddie Jordan looking out for their own interests and therefore acting as a brake on some of the more ambitious aims of the overfunded manufacturer outfits, which were driving up costs and pricing privateer competitors out of the sport. Now that the teams function as a bloc this no longer happens, but FOTA overwhelmingly represents the interests of larger teams rather than smaller ones, and for this reason I’d have thought it’d be in Red Bull’s interests for the arrangement to continue.

  14. I reckon, in response to Steph COTD that it shows the FIA should really be thinking about a permanent panel of Stewards for everyrace, with prehaps one reperesentative from the home nation.

    1. You could still end up with a permanent set of prejudiced stewards like was the case towards the end of Mosley’s presidency, where a certain Don headed the stewards panel and was after a set of usual suspects.
      Racing is too dynamic and sometimes difficult to ignore what appears to be the obvious, and interprete unseen actions and instigators.

      The idea of purnishing genuine mistakes is what I find wrong with the sport.
      The new tyre rules also muddle things up a bit because a late braking manoeuvre that would otherwise be impossible on worn tyres becomes possible if the overtaking driver is the one with fresher tyres. But the defending driver could have placed his car in such a way that he causes an accident because his reference with respect to the car behind has changed.

      Likewise the concept of blocking has a wide range on interpretation that stretches over a kilometer.
      There are too many racing incidents that get punished for no reason. Also the fact there was no accident doesn’t mean a driver should get away with an investigation, like Vettel has so many times during the start of races.

    2. Hi @Scribe . It’s really good to see you back on here. I don’t mind the stewards not being fixed as it does eliminate the chances of bias but it does come with the downside of possible inconsistency. Perhaps there could be a compromise. I’d still love dearly to hear the reasoning behind all of the decisions though because that would give us the clear picture of whether each verdict was consistent.

  15. Couldn’t agree more with the COTD. I replied to that comment already, so I won’t do it again, but congratulations Steph. :)

    1. Thanks Damon! And more than anyone, thanks to Cari! :)

  16. If anything, the longer wait for Kubica’s verdict is a good sign. If you think about it that means that there is a chance he’ll come back next year. Rather than cutting short the possibility earlier. If it were up to Boullier he would have obviously said to everyone back in July ‘Yep he’s driving in 2012’ so it’s a sign he’s being patient and realistic.

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