Earthquake leads Ferrari to suspend work

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Ferrari factoryA second earthquake in the vicinity of Ferrari’s factory led the team to send their staff home yesterday.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Ferrari via Twitter

“After the earthquake, working activity has been suspended for today. All the workers and employees have been allowed to join their families.”

Raikkonen trying Lotus’ patience (Sky)

“It’s now down to Raikkonen either to more fully explain what he needs, to spend time with the engineers, immerse himself in solving the problem – or to just live with it and buckle down to adapting himself. Shrugging his shoulders and saying, “No, that’s no good,” and walking away after the team had worked endless hours trying to give him what he’s asked for, really did not go down well at all.”

Why Kimi is the world’s fastest man (sometimes) (Autocar)

“A friend inside McLaren confirms: ‘During his time with us, you could be absolutely certain by ten o?clock on a Friday morning in the pit lane whether he would deliver a magical performance in the race, or whether we should pack up the car in the transporter and take it straight back to the factory.'”

Teams praise F1’s unpredictability (Autosport)

Christian Horner: “I think it is remarkable that there have been so many winners. The tyres are a factor and the fact that there are so many strong drivers as well is also a crucial factor.”

Speculation starts early over Hamilton’s future (BBC)

“Horner has always sounded lukewarm about taking on Hamilton, pointing out that it would raise the tension in the team as he and Vettel went toe to toe. But ultimately it’s not his decision – it’s that of Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz, and the marketing value of pitting Hamilton against Vettel would be enormous.”

Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal could be target for disruption (Montreal Gazette)

“The AFEA-UQAM suggests that the C.L.A.S.S.E. (the student federation the faculty belongs to) organize a weekend of disruptions in order to cancel the Formula 1 Grand Prix and its jet-set events of June 8-10 which represent sexist, anti-environmental, elitist and economic values that must be abolished.”

Thanks to Maciek for the tip!

Anonymous warns over another F1 computer attack (Tech Radar)

“We would like to remind anyone considering attending this abominable race, that last time Anonymous found all the spectators’ personal data, including credit card numbers – unencrypted on F1 servers.”

Register for the Manhattan, New York FOTA Fans’ Forum (FOTA)

Register for the FOTA Manhattan Fans? Forum on June 11th.

2012 Monaco F1 Jean Eric Vergne Toro Rosso wing (eBay)

A part from Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso for sale on eBay.

F1 Owner Snubs Sovereign Funds (Sky)

“People close to the process tell me that among those being courted as potential cornerstone investors in Formula 1 plc are Eton Park Capital Management, Fidelity Investments, Newton Investment Management, Och-Ziff Capital Management, Soros Fund Management and Tiger Management.”

Exor decided Formula One investment too pricey (Reuters)

“‘We looked at the investment opportunity in Formula One, but we didn’t move forward with it, because the price ahead of the flotation was too high,’ said [chairman and CEO John] Elkann at a shareholders meeting on Tuesday.”

Dario Franchitti’s gain has been F1’s loss (Daily Express)

Jackie Stewart: “What Dario has done is great for British motorsport and Scotland. He is one of the great British drivers and I fear we lost a man from F1 who would have been right up there.”

Can you achieve aerodynamic efficiency with a map? (The Write Formula)

“For example, you could be required to brake at the end of a long straight (low downforce, low drag) into a tight corner (higher downforce) and lift off the throttle, applying the brakes, but the ECU maintains the engine power output. The resultant effect of this is that the aerodynamic configuration now has to work under completely different conditions as the energy output from the exhaust gases are vastly different and far hotter, playing an altered role in the aerodynamic performance of the cars set up.”

The Inside Line – on Caterham?s Vitaly Petrov (F1)

“I never thought I?d become a Formula One racing driver. When I was learning to be a racer, I was just concentrating on improving every day and then, when someone showed me F1, I knew that?s what I wanted to do. I?m obviously happy I am where I wanted to get to, but there?s a lot more to come.”

Comment of the day

TimG on whether the path to F1 for junior drivers can be simplified:

The quality of drivers in British, European and Japanese F3 is generally much higher than in F2, despite F2 being a superficially more senior series. There?s a place for an-F2 style championship (low budget, reasonably quick cars, etc), but it?s not in the tier immediately below F1.

Formula Renault 2.0 is intended as a first slicks and wings series and the jump to the much bigger, more powerful Formula Renault 3.5 is probably too big for many to make which is why so many come via F3 or GP3.

There is a good case for rationalising the junior championships into a less dispersed staircase to F1, but it needs to combine a degree of affordability and technical variety (there are currently too many single make championships ?ǣ Formula Ford, Formula Renault and Formula 3000 all used to be multi-chassis series) to provide a decent variety of experience for potential F1 drivers.

Sadly, without a decent selection of high quality customer racing car manufacturers (and Lola having just gone into administration), that?s going to get increasingly difficult.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Fation Losha, Remco H, Ted Tofield and Wesley!

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

Alberto Ascari’s attempt to win the Indianapolis 500 60 years ago today ended on the 41st lap when he suffered a broken wheel hub and spun.

The race counted towards the world championship then and Ferrari had sent Ascari, the only non-American in the race.

Troy Ruttman won ahead of Jim Rathmann and Sam Hanks.

Here’s a documentary about that year’s race:

Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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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107 comments on “Earthquake leads Ferrari to suspend work”

  1. I can understand Kimi’s attitude towards the media, but the attitude towards his team… completely unnacceptable and selfish. Whether you regard him as one of the best drivers in the world or not, his apparent lack of appreciation for his team’s efforts is ungrateful and selfish at best. I’m sure there’s plenty of drivers out there who, may not be necessarily faster than Kimi, but will certainly try and help drive the team forwards.

    1. I’d take this article with a bucket of salt.

      1. @maroonjack I don’t know which one you’re referring to, but the Alan Henry story about his time at McLaren is something I’d heard before. Not sure I’ve seen it written anywhere before (which is why I included it).

        1. @keithcollantine I’m talking about the Sky Sports article portraying Kimi as ungrateful, selfish and lacking appreciation for the team. I think that’s what @ninjenius was referring to. Reading the article I got the impression that Hughes’ source was some frustrated mechanic within Lotus, but I doubt it’s an opinion of the team as a whole.

          1. @maroonjack I heard the Lotus team pit radio at the start of FP1 where they were questioning the wisdom of changing the steering during the session rather than between FP1 and FP2.

            Both sides are understandable: I can see why Raikkonen wouldn’t want to drive around Monaco with steering he wasn’t 100% happy with, and I can see why the team wouldn’t want to miss out on the chance to practice, especially given how challenging the tyres are this year.

            The consequence of the latter was clearly borne out in the race – Raikkonen was the first driver to hit big trouble on the tyres. With the extra practice and set-up time in the dry on Thursday, that could have been avoided.

            I think Hughes’ article demonstrates great technical insight and a deep understanding of the team and its driver. I do not believe he is making it all up or exaggerating a quote from a one-off malcontent at Lotus, just to write something negative about Raikkonen.

            And I think we need to be careful about making a mountain out of a molehill. Maybe Raikkonen didn’t get this call right. Does this mean he’s “ungrateful, selfish and lacking appreciation for the team”? Not necessarily. And nor does the article make him out to be that – as Hughes points out in many ways Raikkonen is a good fit at Lotus.

          2. @keithcollantine I certainly don’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill and I agree that the article itself doesn’t say that Kimi is ungrateful. These phrases were taken directly from Ninjenius’ comment, which I was responding to earlier. Still, I think that the article has a certain undertone which puts Raikkonen in a negative light.
            Kimi said that the car with new steering was underivable. For me “underivable” means more than just “not 100% perfect”. It means “dangerous”, it means that there was a real possibility of crashing. It also means that data gathered from such “underivable” car wouldn’t be very reliable. I don’t think we can unequivocally say that it was a bad call.

          3. I do not believe he is making it all up or exaggerating a quote from a one-off malcontent at Lotus, just to write something negative about Raikkonen.

            @keithcollantine I’m just curious about why you believe that. I think it’s pretty hard to tell which parts of that article are things people at Lotus actually told Hughes and which parts he came up with on his own on the basis of what he knows about how the team operates. And, as someone who doesn’t know much about Hughes, I’m not inclined to automatically take everything he says about how Lotus thinks and operates as absolute fact.

          4. @maroonjack @aka_robyn Let’s cut to the nub of the matter:

            Fans don’t like being told negative things about drivers, even drivers they aren’t necessarily huge fans of.

            Team members will basically never go on the record saying anything critical of their drivers, because it’s bad PR.

            Journalists occupy the ground in between the two – finding out what a driver did and how the team responded to it.

            If it’s negative, it’s basically always going to be off-the-record. And that offers an easy way for anyone who doesn’t like what they’re being told to shoot it down.

            Would Hughes get the access he’s got if he went around making up stories and writing hatchet jobs on drivers? No chance.

            Of course if someone chooses to reject every word he writes this reasoning will mean nothing to them. But anyone who holds that view is already so cynical they might as well not bother reading any journalism.

            Two other points on Hughes specifically: he’s responded to criticism of work in the past, which is a plus point in my view, and his book on Hamilton is very good.

          5. @keithcollantine Although I suppose I might have given that impression, I’m not trying to shoot anything down because I don’t like what I’m being told. I just think it was a sloppily written article. If he had even bothered to say, “The following is based on a conversation I had with a senior member of the Lotus engineering staff, who wishes to remain off the record” or “…with several members of the Lotus technical staff, who wish to remain off the record” (and the difference there would be worth mentioning), I’d have less of a problem with it. Instead, the only time he says explicitly that he spoke to someone was when he quoted one word about Raikkonen’s qualifying performance.

            It might sound like I’m being picky, and maybe I am — but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want journalists to cite their sources, even if the sources have to remain anonymous. Otherwise, it’s like saying to readers, “Eh, just trust me! I know what I’m talking about.”

          6. @aka_robyn Don’t worry I wasn’t accusing you specifically of trying to shoot anything down!

          7. @keithcollantine I think it’s a fair summary and personally I have nothing against Hughes. The article gave us some insight into the inner workings of Lotus F1 team and I appreciate that, although I still maintain that it felt very one sided.

    2. xeroxpt (@)
      31st May 2012, 1:29

      Do you know everyone? Do you know Raikkonen? just because you “try” to read something from someone, you base an opinion about it and it becomes truth for you when its not, the only thing certain here is that all of the Enstone team is frustrated, frustrated because they hope they can do more.

  2. Anonymous are disgusting. In what way are people wanting to watch a race in Canada worthy of attack? Or even F1 itself? I can understand the students wanted to disrupt the event to gain attention and generally annoy authorities, but attacking individuals’ credit card details is something else entirely.

    1. Should of read it properly- they’re protesting the clamping down on protests and issuing of fines around the GP. Still wrong to target punters rather than the event. Very wrong.

      1. At no point does the article indicate that Anonymous are targeting punters. What the article states is that they are disrupting the F1 weekend because Amnesty International and other human rights organisations believe that Quebec are violating humans rights issues (generally related to freedom of speech).

        What they have also said, as a warning to F1 customers, is that the last time they hacked the F1 servers (Bahrain) they discovered that personal and credit card information was stored in plain text (i.e. not encrypted), and so they are advising people don’t buy tickets or merchandise because their ccards details will be a high risk.

        At no point have Anonymous said that they are going to hack the F1 website so that they can steal ccard information.

        1. I suppose you can read it in two ways. To me it certainly sounds like more of a threat than a warning.

          1. No you can’t. It pretty clear and what you said is wrong.

      2. Anonymous is not an organized group. Anonymous is a concept. Most people who act as anonymous don’t know each other, but most of them fight for the right causes. Their actions generally don’t cause harm and are aimed at raising awareness. I see nothing wrong with that.

        1. The causes are right, however, I wish they wouldn’t just jump on any bandwagon as soon as something hits the media and then act like they’re a saviour.
          The troubles in Bahrain last for quite some time now and everybody knew about it. But just when the media picks up the story of F1, suddenly Anon wants to do something. And they do it by cracking Bernie’s computers…

          I’d be happy if they would actually gp and do something, like enabling Bahraini people to speak free over the internet instead of going the hippster way of blaming F1 for all that’s bad in the world.

          The issue of non encrypted customer data is a completely different story, though.

          1. Anons are individuals. Many disagree with Commander X (the guy behind the “Operation Quebec”). I know that human nature forces us to lump people together if they share some kind of label, but that’s just fallacious thinking. We should avoid it, especially when it comes to concepts such as Anonymous.

          2. Yeah, you don’t have to repeat that over and over.
            Matter of fact is some people hide behind that curtain and use it for whatever they think is ‘cool’ at the moment.
            And especially that Bahrain attack was shooting at the wrong receiver.

    2. Matt (@agentmulder)
      30th May 2012, 0:22

      No, you misunderstand! Everyone who wants to see the Canadian GP should be attacked! They are evil, evil men who kill kittens and do other unspeakable things. God forbid wealthy parents have to pay more for their kids to go to university. That has absolutely nothing to do with Formula 1, but who cares? We are script kiddies on a mission. You may not be from Canada, have anything to do with Canada, and you might even be an average middle-class citizen going on their one vacation to see the sport they love. Doesn’t matter, we have your credit card. lolzlolzlolz

      Sometimes I despise my own generation…

    3. I can never make up my mind about Anonymous. I wouldn’t worrytoo much about your details, as they don’t pass on that kind of information. They’re too… honourable? I know that’s not the right word, but it’s just to say their intentions aren’t as bad as the other 99% of hackers.

      Still doesn’t excuse what they’re doing though.

      1. I can imagine them getting a misguided idea that they are doing something right for the good of the masses though. Sometimes I like to see them acting- something harmless like taking down the F1 website around the time of Bahrain I actually approved of- it was the only protest method which that could actually be seen. This is not one of those times. Tbh, they can take down the F1 site again for all I care, but threatening anything personal is a step too far.

        1. Yeah, there’s a definite line in the sand for what is and isn’t generally accepted. As long as the vast majority of people aren’t adversely affected then it’ll be tolerated (if not acceptable).

          It seems that for every valid cause they fight for, there’s another protest for the sake of protest case. It’s a shame, really.

      2. What alarms me is that apparently F1 doesn’t encrypt spectators personal data. Including such sensitive information as credit card data. That’s inconceivable in this day and age… I sincerely hope they learned from it.

        1. I love the way we’ve been discussing hacking ethics, while forgetting the bigger issue…

          1. Exactly. Here we have a government that says to it’s people that is illegal to protest. Protest is the basic of freedom of speech and democracy.
            Even the most accused Bahrain didn’t make protests illegal.
            That’s a law right out there from the Nazi book and yet Anonymous way of doing things is the problem?
            People who have a problem with Anonymous instead of the actual problem are the ones that should be ashamed of themselves mister Matt.

      3. I can never make up my mind about Anonymous. I wouldn’t worrytoo much about your details, as they don’t pass on that kind of information.

        While Anonymous do have a certain sense of honour about them, all it takes is one person claiming to act on their behalf and it could get very messy, very quickly. They’ve posted a warning that credit card details are floating around unsecured – but if the wrong person sees that, they may take it as an open invitation.

        The situation in Canada hasn’t received that much media coverage down here, so I admit that my knowledge of it is only fairly generalised. Maybe it’s ignorance or naivety on my part, but there is a big difference between what is happening in Canada and what is happening in Bahrain. So while I can understand Anonymous’ response to the Bahrain Grand Prix, I think that delivering the same response to the Canadian Grand Prix is wrong. The Canadian government isn’t killing, torturing or detaining people without charge, and nor are they using the race as a political tool to say “everything is okay here”.

        In the same way, I can understand people demanding that Formula 1 take a moral or ethical stand over Bahrain, even if I don’t necessarily agree with it or the resons for those beliefs. However, I haven’t seen anyone demanding a boycott of Canada, and I don’t think the situation there puts the sport in a position where it has to take a side. Unlike Bahrain, the Canadian Grand Prix can easily go ahead without endorsing either side of the conflict.

        So while I think that Anonymous have a point in protesting against Bill 78, I don’t think that protesting the Grand Prix is the right way to go about it. The government does fund the Canadian Grand Prix, but the connection between them, the race and the outside world is not as defiend as it was in Bahrain.

    4. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom-fighter – and vice versa.

    5. Eleanore (@leucocrystal)
      30th May 2012, 5:41

      I have to laugh at that article, frankly. I’ve grown tired of Anonymous of late, and this is just another nail in that coffin. I find this threat on the Canadian GP weekend laughable though, because as far as I can recall from the Bahrain weekend, all they succeeded in actually accomplishing, after all their heavy-handed threats, was taking down for about 20 minutes, maybe. That was it. What a joke.

      1. @leucocrystal Maybe this is just me, but ever since then I can’t get onto the first time I try, I have to refresh and then it appears.

        1. Eleanore (@leucocrystal)
          30th May 2012, 8:17

          @Keith Collantine Really? That is pretty strange… I haven’t run into that myself, but maybe others out there have?

          Come to think of it, I do remember that the official live timing also wasn’t working properly during Bahrain weekend, which could very well have been another casualty of Anonymous. That said, it also wasn’t working for me (and several others I heard from on Twitter) during the following race after the longish break, so maybe not. Who knows?

        2. @keithcollantine

          During the race the page would only partially load for me, but after that is has gone back to normal. Cookie problem, maybe?

      2. They took down the F1 website for 20 mins. Did anyone notice? If they wanted to make an impact take down F1 Fanatic. Actually, forget I said that.

        1. What you mean is they should transfer every click of to f1fanatic’s sponsors…

    6. Anonymous Spokesperson?
      I thought they only declare things via their site or twitter.

    7. I hate they way some media outlets portrait those self-proclaimed activists (or hackvists) who are nothing but thugs. They put at risk entire nations with their irresponsible actions and are still being treated like heroes.

      1. Lol put at risk entire nations? That’s ridiculous.

        And i continue to be shocked that the individuals here are more shocked by some group messing with a few sites instead of the fact that a supposed democratic state votes a law right out from the most crazy fascist handbook.

    8. Its just like Bahrain.

  3. Matt (@agentmulder)
    30th May 2012, 0:18

    Reading the article on Kimi, it reads as if a Lotus engineer wrote it after they were told the steering setup was ****.

    If anything, Lotus are the ones testing Kimi’s patience. While they are building a winning car, they can’t get their strategy right. The decision in China to run the tires that long was baffling, and probably cost Raikkonen a podium. Not pitting to cover Vettel cost a chance for a win in Bahrain. Worst of all, running that extra soft stint in Spain surely cost another win. Raikkonen should be leading the WDC, but isn’t thanks to the team.

    I also think the article is over-exaggerating the steering complaints. Sure, Kimi has complained about the steering feel since the beginning, but only once has he declared the car undriveable, and refused to go out until it was changed. It just so happens that this was in Monaco, a track where the slightest mistake means a destroyed car, and a track where steering feedback is critical. I think Raikkonen should be commended for putting his foot down. He knows better than anyone else what he needs from the steering wheel. And when you have a calm and collected driver suddenly go into Alonso-style theatrics, you know something is wrong.

    It would be like blaming Hamilton or Button for complaining about their car’s performance. While the piece does give a good view of the inner dynamics of the team, I think it greatly missed the mark. Lotus are costing themselves points and positions through strategy errors. At least Raikkonen didn’t spin out before the first turn in Monaco.

    1. + 1OOO
      Well said! I hope someone at Enstone reads this and they can get their act together. Kimi is still a legitimate WDC contender if the team doesn’t throw his chance away.

    2. I agree with your comment @agentmulder

      Without a doubt, Lotus need to get their act together. They clearly have a car that is capable of winning, but they havent managed their races well. No use Kimi’s attitude as an excuse is not valid, they knew what Kimi was going to be like before he signed on, so they should have been prepared for this. Kimi is the talent, the Team management need to figure out a way to extract the most from their driver.

    3. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
      30th May 2012, 3:18

      @agentmulder – Your post is 100% on point.

      I read the article and it had a very resentful overtone to it.

    4. @agentmulder – Would it realy hurt Raikkonen to give his race engineers a little bit more feedback? Sure, they’re letting him down on the strategy front … but when the only thing he has to say is “No, that’s no good,” all the can do is guess what he might want. Why is it no good, Kimi? How could they make it better? What can they do so that when they do get the strategy right, you’re in a prime position to capitalise on it?

      1. I posted a comment that was basically a slightly longer version of this on the Sky site. The Raikkonen fans didn’t like it at all, because heaven forbid he should have to do some work to succeed.

        1. is it about work = success Prisoner Monkeys? I mean you might be right about more feedback to his engineers would be helpful. But then again you could very well be wrong.

          Raikkonen seems to be on some untroubled secret journey. And it just might work. I mean will those same engineers still be upset with Raikkonen or will they have learned their lesson if things go their way? My point is that Raikkonen makes everything appear much more grey – as if he might be right even when he’s probably wrong.

          1. I mean you might be right about more feedback to his engineers would be helpful. But then again you could very well be wrong.

            The possible interpretations of this sentence are as follows:

            1) That giving the engineers less feedback is more helpful than giving them more feedback.


            2) That giving the engineers more feedback actually does more harm than good.

            Neither of these sentences makes any sense. The more feedback you give an engineer, the more useful it is. This feedback is used to fine-tune the car setup, which makes the car’s behavior more to the driver’s liking. If the driver is more comfortable with the behavior of the car, he has more confidence in it. If he has more confidence in it, he can drive faster. If he can drive faster, he can get a better position.

            How is any of that a bad thing?

    5. Not Even Massa is complaining anymore, wait ALL drivers complain about their car, except Vettel last year.

  4. Anonymous needs to grow up, I understood their feelings towards the race in Bahrain (though I do not agree with their hacking), but to referring to the Canadian Grand Prix as “Abominable” is some rather ridiculous hyperbole. No one has died, and no one is being tortured; it’s just a bunch of ****** off students and anarchists (though I suppose this is what Anonymous is) who are ticked off. And now they are trying to get some press by trying to disrupt the race; perhaps if they paid attention in ECON 101 they would realize they are doing more harm that good.

    Now if there are any entities that are limiting their rights to free speech and peaceable assembly then that is egregious, but Canada has a Constitution and a Supreme Court that can hash these issues without the need to attack a third party with cyber attacks. I have a feeling that Canada will not turn into a police state over a $1700 tuition increase.

    1. What’s annoying is even with the tuition hike, Quebec still has the lowest tuition rates in Canada. That’s irrelevant though, I don’t understand why Anonymous are targeting people for watching the sport they love. This is different from Bahrain in that no-one is being tortured here.

      1. And their way to get lower tuition costs is to disrupt “Montreal’s most profitable weekend”? The government gets less revenue than it normally does but that somehow causes them to have more money available for students.

        Not to mention that the small businesses in the area have had a 20% revenue drop due to protests. They have nothing to do with University’s (they could even have student discounts at their stores) yet their livelihood is being damaged more than the cost increase the students have to deal with.

        Affordable education is really important but if their way of protesting does more damage than good then they’re kind of missing the point.

        1. Agreed.

        2. That’s how a protest like that works. Start causing economical damage, perhaps the government realises they’re off lowering fees than risking long-term economical harm. It never works of course, but I don’t mind the idea behind it- showing the government that the citizens being screwed over won’t lie down and actually have some power. Of course you’re right that local businesses are unfortunate to get caught up in it.

          1. *economic
            *they’re better off
            I shouldn’t be allowed to type.

    2. @marspeed8 God I hate hipsters and arts students, and especially hipster arts students that want to stop one of the best GPs of the year.

      1. I wouldn’t blame the students. I don’t care who they are if they’re protesting against tuition fees then they have my vote, as long as protesting is all they’re doing.

        1. Except that they are preventing other students from going to their classes, throwing smoke bombs into the transit system, smashing windows, etc. Bill 78 requires that the protesters tell the police where they plan on marching and prevents pickets in front of schools. Is that so unreasonable?

          1. Yes it is unreasonable. You people should stop talking if you have no knowledge.
            Anonymus didn’t talk about the fees you people don’t even know what you are talking about.
            That’s a different matter than Bill 78.
            What you have is a government taking advantage of a protest situation that displeased many citizens to pass undemocratic laws with no resistance that can be used in a lot different circumstances than the current ones.
            I am amazed by the naivety of people.

  5. There seems to be quite a lot of bad feeling towards F1 right now. In the past you either liked the sport or didn’t care, but there are a whole new generation who despise everything it stands for. This group in Canada are the latest, and I do sympathise for them.

    Is F1 eliteist? Absolutely — even going to a race costs an arm and a leg. Someone posted that tickets to the Indy 500 started at around $50, which is amazing value for one of the jewels of motorsport. Le Mans is also respectable value, and NASCAR’s paddock is virtually gaping compared to F1. If you want to watch the race from anything other than an ankle-deep pool of mud you’re going to pay for it, and through the nose at that.

    At a time when household budgets are being squeezed, and the gap between rich and poor appears to be getting wider all the time, it’s not rocket science to see how a sport which costs so much inspires resentment.

    And why do they do it? Because they can. As long as people, even 1% of them, are willing to pay, the costs will remain absurdly high. Maybe it’ll take major disruption to an event to make the powers that be sit up and take notice of what the general public feel. Or maybe they’ll follow the world leaders and blame it all on “extremeists”.

    1. I agree @lin1876, the problem is that having paid Bernie Billions for the rights CVC have to squeeze every drop of blood,sorry, money, out of the sport to keep their shareholders happy, they are now hoping to make a big capital gain by “going public”, this means that F1 is now all business and no sport. To make matters worse Bernie and his family are the archetypical loathsome billionaires justifying their need for $100 million second homes by claiming they are clever and industrious 20 somethings.
      When Bernie sold F1 he sold out the sport he aspired to but could not be competitive in.

  6. Wow, Mark Hughes really has his finger on the pulse of Lotus F1! He must have had quite the heart-to-heart with the guys on the team to have gotten so much insight into their feelings, right down to the Trulli flashbacks. I mean, I guess his extreme insider powers are so well known to all readers that he has no need of mentioning exactly how he came to have this information. If you want anything more specific than a one-word direct quote from a “senior team engineer,” then you obviously don’t know whose column your reading!

    1. …whose column you’re reading. aaaargh

    2. For more than this, we would have to wait for LotusF1/Enstone sacking a few of them. Only then might they talk relatively openly (although that would then mean they also have to quit F1, as other teams would not want to take them on.) @aka_robyn, a shame about how enclosed a society it is, but that really is how it is.

      1. @bascb It isn’t so much the use of anonymous sources that bothers me (although I’m not a big fan of it); it’s more the lack of mentioning any sources at all for most of that article. See my blathering in the first thread on this post for more, er, blathering about my issues with this. ;-) I mean, if F1 society is so closed that he can’t even say that *someone* on the team told him these things, that’s even worse than the standard for White House reporting!

        1. horrible, isn’t it!

  7. While the articles on Kimi by autocar and on Dario Franchitti by express are short, they have a great ring of truth to them.

    It is frustrating that Franchitti never got a chance in F1, but I am more than happy to watch him in Indycar, as he continues to not only be the class of the field, but a class act as well.

    It’s even more frustrating to look at all of Kimi’s missed opportunities in F1. He has given us some of the top drives of the past decade, and a WDC, but he could have so much more. He probably has the most natural talent of the whole field and I hope Lotus can take that next step so we can see what he can do.

  8. On any given day, it is assumed a great Indy driver would be a great F1 driver. While it is indeed possible, it is however still an assumption.

  9. “The AFEA-UQAM suggests that the C.L.A.S.S.E. (the student federation the faculty belongs to) organize a weekend of disruptions in order to cancel the Formula 1 Grand Prix and its jet-set events of June 8-10 which represent sexist, anti-environmental, elitist and economic values that must be abolished.”

    Just because there are no women in the sport, that doesn’t mean it is sexist. There are currently no female racing drivers who are talented enough for Formula 1. It would be sexist to put one of them in a Formula 1 car when they cannot compete smiply so that the sport can say it has a woman in the car.

    As for ani-envionrmentalism, what? Okay, it’s motorsport. It burns fossil fuels. At face value, it is bad for the environment – but Formula 1 is also developing green technologies that will eventually trickle down to road cars. I fully expect road cars to feature KERS in the next few years. Because Formula 1 is a competitive environment where every tenth of a second counts, these technologies get developed faster than if manufacturers did it on their own.

    Elitism? Only in countries where spectators cannot afford tickets.

    Economic values that must be abolished? The Grand Prix is estimated to inject $80 million into the local economy. Even if Monteal was as expensive as Abu Dhabi at $50 million, that’s an extra $30 million that is going back into the city.

    So I don’t think this is about trying to stamp out values. This is just a case of CLASSE using the race to get attention.

    1. To clarify, CLASSE is the bigger agglomeration of student associations; it’s the a students’ organization at one faculty of one university that has issued this particular statement.

      I’m pretty sure the ‘sexist’ part has more to do with the ‘pit-babes’ or ‘grid-girls’ or whatever the term is, and on that point I have to say I agree. Personally, I find seeing the podium finishers pass through hallways lined with applauding girls more than just a little cringe-worthy.

      1. I certainly agree about the podium finishers. It’s creepy. Grid girls in general though- I don’t see the harm. Until women are completely desexualised in the media (impossible), and as long as F1 has a predominantly male viewership, F1 isn’t doing anything particularly different or wrong to any other major event.

  10. I have a feeling that Kimi is a little ticked off that because Boullier didn’t allow him to go rallying

    1. @todfod – Do you really think he is that petty?

      It does raise an interesting idea, though. I wonder if Lotus could experience a replay of the Alonso-Hamilton fiacso that McLaren endured a few years ago. If Hughes’ recount is correct, Raikkonen isn’t giving the team anything to work with. If he keeps it up, they’ll start focusing on Grosjean more and more. I can’t imagine that going over too well with Raikkonen.

      1. I hope that isn’t the reason, but I find it odd that just a few days after he was denied permission to go rallying he has his first tiff with his team.

        1. @todfod – The article makes it pretty clear that the dispute was centred on Raikkonen asking the team to spend three weeks building a better steering system, then asking that they take it off the car after one lap and losing an entire practice session because of it. They changed their entire development schedule to accomodate his request, and then he binned the parts without a second thought. That’s pretty thoughtless of him, especially since the team could have changed the steering after the first session and have the car ready for FP2. Sure, he might have wrestled his way through FP1, but at least he would have gotten some mileage in.

          It makes no sense for Raikkonen to ask that they take it off as payback for refusing to allow him to go rallying, simply because it hurt his race weekend so much. If he really wanted to get back at them, there are easier ways to do it that don’t involve compromising his Grand Prix. And if he was happy with the steering, but asked the team to take it off the car out of spite, the team would be well within their rights to fire him.

  11. “As we did in Bahrain – Anonymous intends to wreck Mr Eccelstone’s little party,” explained an Anonymous spokesperson.

    That’s a quote from the Techradar link. What exactly did they wreck in Bahrain? At best they were an inconvenience. I accessed the official site a few times that weekend and other than a bit of lag everything was fine. What a pathetic bunch they are, believing they police the internet.

    1. +1

      I dont remember any F1 site being down during Bahrain

      Its going to take more than a few kids in their bedrooms and a few students with posters to bring F1’s juggernaught to a halt. Not even civilians being shot in Bahrain stopped it

      1. Pretty much. I think they did bring down the official site briefly but that’s really no ‘achievement’. I do think they underestimate just how much weight F1 carries.

        Besides, regardless of my political viewpoint I don’t somehow agree with criminal activity to help ‘balance the scales’. I suspect that their computers are built with parts manufactured in places with suspect human rights records, i.e China. Call me pedantic for pointing that out but if they want to be petty, so can I.

  12. “Anonymous Spokesperson” – wait, how is there a spokesperson? that goes against the very point of “anonymous”..

    These guys should just stick to raiding habbo hotel.. at least there’s a point to that

  13. Seeing the obvious speed of the Lotus (Renault) and the alleged lack of input from Raikkonen only makes me sadder still that Robert Kubica is not sitting in that car this year. Would we have seen Lotus win in 2012 by now? By guess is yes.

    1. @katederby – I don’t think so. Kubica’s presence would by no means be a guarantee of victory. In fact, I’d expect him to take a few races to re-acquaint himself with racing a Formula 1 car.

      1. As Kubica is sadly too badly injured to return last year or this, I was obviously imagining a scenario where Robert had never been injured at all. So with no break in racing I’m convinced in that case that he would have scored Lotus’ first win.

  14. cancel the Formula 1 Grand Prix and its jet-set events of June 8-10 which represent sexist, anti-environmental, elitist and economic values that must be abolished.

    Right now I’m listening to a song by Morten Harket where he sings: ‘I’ve always been the type to think before I speak…’ I suggest that those who say that F1 was ‘sexist, anti-environmental and elitist’ should do the same.

    The accusation of being ‘elitist’ is particularly nonsensical. When I became an F1 fan, I was a boy with approximately £5 income per month (the equivalent of my pocket money). While F1 might be the most expensive sport in the world, it doesn’t mean that it’s not available for people with low income.

    1. @girts Describing any professional sport ‘elitist’ as a term of criticism strikes me as rather dubious.

      Of course F1 is elitist. We want it to be elitist. We want to watch elite racing drivers and crack racing teams with the ultimate in racing cars battling it out on the track.

      Much as I expect people who watch all those lesser sports with bat and balls want to see the elite in those categories demonstrating how the games are played at the highest level.

      1. @KeithCollantine Exactly. In that sense, F1 is elitist and should be elitist, just like Champions League or NHL. If I wanted to see non-elitist racing, I’d be watching Amber Volga.

        For sure, as a high class sport, F1 is expensive if you want to get close to it. And it might be true that F1 should become more accessible, more open to the fans. But that doesn’t mean that relatively poor people don’t love / watch F1, too.

        1. @girts @keithcollantine I think the perception with F1 being elitist is probably exaggerated by the fact that it is not really a participative sport for Joe Average on the streets. It does come across as rather inaccessible. However, that’s to be expected really!

  15. I disagree with the Sky article. Lotus knew and know what they were getting to when they signed Kimi. Im sure that any top driver would like to have his car setup in a certain way. Not that I’m a great fan of him. Still this guy got you a second place finish and has been pretty consistent as well. If ‘Lotus’ patience is going to get tried 5 races into the season, well Kimi wont be the one having to adapt.

    1. @mahavirshah – How can Raikkonen expect the team to set the car up the way he wants when he doesn’t actually tell them what he wants to begin with?

      1. @prisoner-monkeys – According to the Sky article he did. Only later did he apparently not give any feedback regarding it, which would be wrong to do. Also none of us know whether Kimi did at some later point describe the problems with the steering and actually spoke to the engineers to rectify it.

  16. Why exactly a line-up Hamilton+Vettel would raise the tension at Red Bull? Is it because Hamilton cannot live with another WDC? I’m inclined to say that tensions in McLaren back in the days Alonso was there were not created by Hamilton.Plus, he gets along with Button very well, even though everybody is different I don’t see Hamilton disturbing the peace at Red Bull. Eventually, Vettel is the one who would cause some trouble and leave the team in discontent.

    P.S.: Despite all the mess so far this season, I think McLaren is best place for Lewis.

    1. Why exactly a line-up Hamilton+Vettel would raise the tension at Red Bull? Is it because Hamilton cannot live with another WDC?

      I’m guessing that if Hamilton started beating Vettel, Vettel would use his influence within the team to start getting more resources. This would create an imbalance where he weaker driver is getting more attention (when common sense dictates that you support the stronger driver, especially when a championship is on the line), leading to conflict – which would only increase if it costs Hamilton a championship.

  17. The Mexicans have just announced (it’s in Spanish) that they will revive the Mexican Grand Prix in 2013, holding it at Hermanos Rodriguez, which will be refurbished after the next election.

    However, I’m slightly sceptical, and as I don’t speak Spanish, I have to rely on a translated version. The race will take supposedly take place in June, twinned with Canada, which strikes me as odd, because New Jersey is with Canada; it would make much more sense to pair Mexico up with Austin.

    1. It would make a lot of sense to hold it there:

      Why ‘Mexico’s Interlagos’ would be perfect for F1

      Hope it happens.

      1. It’s more than perfect – it’s the only feasible choice. With the race supposedly set to take place a year from now, Hermanos Rodriguez is the only circuit in the country that could be ready on time.

      2. I agree Keith and it’s potentially a great circuit, depending on what they need to do to it to bring it up to F1 specifications.

        A couple of ideas of my own

    2. It basically says the GP is to replace Valencia in 2013 and the deal is to be signed with Bernie after elections taking place on July 1. It adds that funding will not be a problem once Carlos Slim’s Telmex is behind the organization.

    3. @prisoner-monkeys Title should be “Mexico WANTS a Grand Prix”

      As in France’s case, it depends on who’s elected as president after the elections…

    4. Well also Argentine president announce one I guess Bernie will have them run every weekend. About the risk issue for Alesi is all be redefined after Barain !

    5. I think I have a hunch as to why this was brought up right now @prisoner-monkeys, sporting life put up some quotes from Bernie saying that the NJ race might not happen because they did not pay in time. I think we know Bernie well enough to interpret this as negotiations going on, so its in his best interest to have the Mexicans show they are interested and could take over.

      Then there is the supposedly Argentinian GP, as mentioned by some – which is suddenly in doubt as well. And off course Texas has still got some doubt due to the lawsuits between Bernie pall Tavo Hellmund and the other people in COTA. If Mexico can take over from Texas, that would possibly help Tavo get what he wants from COTA.

      But it might be that this race is really going to happen, in which case I agree with what @keithcollantine writes about the choice of track.

      1. @bascb – Right now, Bernie is turning all of his attentions to the Americas. He’s saturated Asia, and he knows it – after all, he’s done deals with Austin and New York, and how he’s courting Argentina and Mexico (or at least getting interest from them). I’ve heard rumours that the new Concorde Agreement allows for up to 24 races, depending on the agreement of the teams, though Bernie has denied it. There are currently 20 confirmed races for 2013, plus the extra deals Bernie is working on. So either a few races will have to go, or Bernie can expand the calendar further.

        The negotiations for the Seventh Concorde are very unique – Bernie is offering up a share in the sport to the teams, which is an unprecedented move, and goes against a lot of his established practices. I can’t imagine that he would be willing to do this without asking for something massive in return … like the ability to add four or five more races.

        At the same time, I don’t think Bernie wants this to be public knowledge just yet. He’d rather wait until he has everyone agreeing on the terms of the sport before he starts putting these new races in place. But someone may have tipped his hand sooner than he would like, hence the defensive denials. He obviously won’t want these new circuits to get too comfortable, because there is a chance that he won’t get an agreement to expand the calendar, and if that happens, he’s going to have to break a contract with an existing or a new circuit to keep the number of races at 20, which will not end well for anyone involved. So he puts pressure on these circuits to a) keep them from getting too comfortable, and b) deflect attention away from the finer points of the Concorde.

        And it goes without saying that Bernie has had his doubts about every race to join the calendar since 2009. So far, all of them have made it – and he has gone to some extraordinary lengths to see some of them join.

        1. Also, as near as I can tell, Bernie released this story through Pitpass, one of his favourite outlets for playing tactical politics. In another story he gave to Pitpass, he expresses his belief that the Williams’ pit fire in Barcelona was caused by a static discharge from Senna’s KERS unit igniting the fuel rig. Williams believe something else caused the fire, and the Spanish authorities are investigating what happened, but some are taking Bernie’s comments about the cause of the fire to be an attack on the 2014 engine regulations, which he has opposed since the start. If that’s the case, this could be another power play of some kind.

  18. First, come on Lotus you knew Kimi was like this, the man wants to win races without expending any effort or time. He wants to arrive at the track, get in the car, win and go home, that’s it.

    Second, that Torro Rosso wing will be pulled as soon as they find out, it’s still their property and selling it without permission is a very stupid move.

    1. So Button and Hamilton complain Whitmarsh should quit, kimi complains Boullier should kick him out, umm ..

    2. He wants to arrive at the track, get in the car, win and go home, that’s it.

      If he wants to do that, he needs to contribute. Nobody knows what Kimi Raikkonen wants more than Kimi Raikkonen, so common sense dictates that he should work with the engineers to make the car better. The Lotus E20 isn’t such a brilliant car that Raikkonen will win regardless of the setup. For some reason, Raikkonen fans have a lot of trouble seeing this.

  19. All this thing about Kimi and his steering makes me forgive Jarno Trulli for all the mocking he received last year with his power steering problems.

    I guess we were fooled by someone whose career was just dying so we didn’t read the whole story. Kimi, a truly stellar driver and a very popular among F1 fans, is having just the same problem. Maybe not the exact same technically speaking, but it’s the steering that’s troubling him.

    If a driver of such finesse complains about the steering, then the team should listen to him and try to fix it. It’s impossible to compare a driver with his team mate if one of them is uncomfortable with the car. Kimi’s point of view is completely understandable: what’s the point of running a whole session with a car I don’t feel confortable with? surely whatever they manage to understand from the car and the track would be pointless if they then change the car so vastly.

    And it’s even more pointless if it’s at a place like Monaco where a mistake is very costly. It was just unfortunate that it rained during FP2.

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