Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Hungaroring, 2012

Lotus intend to spend more time developing E20

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Lotus technical director James Allison says the team will put more effort into its current car instead of next year’s in the second half of the season


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

James Allison on the F1 Development Race (Lotus via YouTube)

Tom Cotter, President of the Group Bringing Formula One to New Jersey, Resigns (The New York Times)

“The race’s promoters insist that sanctioning and licensing payments to Bernie Ecclestone, the president of the series, are current, and that the race would follow the Montreal Grand Prix on the 2013 calendar, as intended.”

Button: Set-up blind alley caused slump (Autosport)

“The worst races for me were Monaco and Canada. That was difficult, but when you’ve been racing for as long as I have, you know there are reasons for you not being on the pace, and I think we’ve solved a lot of those issues.”

Why business is the real engine which powers F1 (Yahoo)

“Since the signing of the first Concorde Agreement, F1?s rights-holders have committed to keeping Grands Prix on free-to-air television: this has been a master-stroke, driving the sport’s average TV audience up to 515 million – making it the most-watched sporting event in the world over the course of a year. Coming full circle, F1 has established such a dominant position that it is now doing deals with subscription channels such as Sky Sports in the UK and Sky Italia in Italy. Despite having a seemingly unconquerable position, F1 has retained some degree of free-to-air coverage in these markets.”

Holidays and motor racing… (Joe Saward)

“The US automotive giant General Motors (GM) has announced a major new sponsorship, which should serve to wake Formula 1 up to the fact that it may not be doing everything right. GM is looking to turn Chevrolet into a global player. With new engines coming into F1 in 2014, it should have been an obvious decision to use the sport to do this, but GM has chosen to pay Manchester United $220 million over six years as its shirt sponsor from 2015.”

9.63s ?ǣ a numbers game (McLaren)

“55,372 – Number of full race simulations carried out in 9.63 seconds by James and his strategy team ahead of each Grand Prix.”

Jody Scheckter (The Mighty Arms of Atlas)

“We parked in the paddock and made our way on to the pits roof top viewing area, and from there we could see Jody Scheckter having his first ever drive in a Formula One car. Later that year Jody made his Formula One race debut driving for McLaren in the American Grand Prix.”


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Comment of the day

@Bosyber doesn’t think the return of engine development will necessarily lead to one team dominating:

If Renault are the best in 2014, the are quite willing to supply more than four teams, so it would be the top eight battle, and a group behind. But I doubt Ferrari would be that far behind and aero still counts.

Though if Ferrari is the very best engine, that?s a problem, unless Sauber really steps up, as we can?t expect Toro Rosso to do it; hoping for Ferrari to again be not-on-top with aerodynamics would be in line with recent history a bit I suppose, but you?d think they have learned the lessen by 2014.

Mercedes best? Well, if McLaren can still get that engine too, we?d have them and Mercedes (finally with a really competitive package for the whole year?), then Force India perhaps.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Master firelee!

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

One year ago today the FIA confirmed drivers would be banned from using DRS at Eau Rouge on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit:

Does Spa need a DRS zone? What about the other tracks on the F1 calendar? Have your say here:

Image ?? Lotus F1 Team/LAT

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  • 75 comments on “Lotus intend to spend more time developing E20”

    1. Can’t wait!!!

    2. Spa does NOT need a DRS zone on the kemmel straight.have it on the start/finish straight so cars can close up. or maybe after blanchimont (?) as a short zone.

      1. In fact it does not need it at all. It’s a track phenomenal enough to handle and provide overtaking opportunities on its own, because it’s design is excellent unlike many of the 2000s newly-standardised tracks.

        So few classic tracks remained in the calendar, retaining their original character (thus excluding the Hockenheimring): Monte-Carlo, Silverstone, Spa, Monza, Suzuka and Interlagos. They are all from before 1970, when track layouts were not used as a tool to increase safety, like they did after 1970.

        1. @sato113 @atticus-2 Frankly I don’t care if they turn up at Spa and no-one overtakes anyone all weekend. It’s a superb track, one of the few remaining greats on the calendar, and it’s just a joy to still be able to watch F1 cars racing there.

          Don’t expect another 7km track composed mainly of mid-to-high speed corners to appear on the calendar any time soon… or possibly ever.

          1. Don’t expect another 7km track composed mainly of mid-to-high speed corners to appear on the calendar any time soon… or possibly ever.

            That’s unfortuante. The rules allow for anything between 3.5km and 7.5km, but most of the current generation of circuits weigh in at 5.5km in length. I think the series really need a little bit more diversity in its circuit lengths – particularly if we’re going to keep getting circuits with upwards of twenty corners.

          2. I agree. I recently delved into F1 history once again, this time aided by a liberal amount of YouTube videos, to discover these types of classic tracks, like the Glen, Brands Hatch, Zandvoort, Kyalami, and so on. (My interest previously was constrained to the historical races and championships.)

            I also dug deeper into American racing to get to know the American classics like Laguna Seca, Road America, Riverside, Sears Point, Road Atlanta, Mid-Ohio and Lime Rock.

            Speaking of Sears Point, I suppose F1F will duly follow this weekend’s IndyCar race from Sonoma as usual. It will be great.

            1. @atticus-2

              I suppose F1F will duly follow this weekend’s IndyCar race from Sonoma as usual.

              Absolutely, F1 Fanatic Live on Sunday. We may kick things off early with the World Endurance Championship at Silverstone if enough people are interested.

          3. davidnotcoulthard
            22nd August 2012, 11:58


            “Don’t expect another 7km track composed…”

            Here’s a suggestion: Spa,counter-clockwise, with the old bus stop.

            1. People would break their necks.

      2. @sato113 Agreed, it doesn’t need DRS in the race. There are two very good places for overtaking, and we saw last year drivers were alongside by the DRS activation point already. No need for DRS.

    3. James Allison’s mouth looks like Batman’s when he speaks!

    4. Valtteri Bottas reckons Williams is faster than their championship position suggests.

      I disagree comepletely. As Jenson Button said in the past, you’re only as good as your last race. So it doesn’t matter how fast the FW34 is – Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna are proving to be very useless. It could have the potential to dominate the grid the way the Red Bull RB7 did, but it isn’t, because the drivers aren’t doing anything with that potential.

      1. Yup, glad it is now proven that the two pay-driver approach doesn’t work. You can spend all the money you like, making your car as quick as you like, at the end of the day you need competent drivers to bring it home.

        1. davidnotcoulthard
          22nd August 2012, 12:07

          But then without the cash the FW34 probably wouldn’t be that fast in the first place!

          ..But the fact that Bruno was given the 2012 seat instead of Rubens is just…beyond me. I mean, surely he would have been the 2nd best pay-driver ever (The best pay-driver, great enough to make us forget about it, being Alonso, ask Kimi), a driver who’s good enough not to need to be a pay driver that actually brings some cash, or in other words “The best of both wolds”.

          1. davidnotcoulthard
            22nd August 2012, 12:10

            sorry, it was @necrodethmortem

      2. Wouldn’t that assessment of the drivers not making good enough use of the potential of the car actually support what Bottas is saying? The only difference is Bottas calls it unlucky, you (we) call it the drivers messing up (I don’t think its fair to expect him to say it outright though, the team would surely object to that being publishee).

      3. Bottas is saying the same thing as PM only using different words. I dont see a disagreement.

        1. Yep, I think it just goes to prove Bottas is ready : he already knows how to talk down the competition without crossing the red line. You have to love some of the expressions teams and drivers love to use just so they can avoid to say “He isn’t good enough” :

          “X knows what needs to be fixed and is working on it”,
          “I believe the team trusts X to do what is necessary for him to do”,
          “For sure, he is having a rough patch, but we know he can up his game and show us his true self”
          “He has been unlucky at times and that has put him in a difficult position, but he is in a good place now and we can’t wait for the next race to prove us wrong”
          “We have a good working relationship, we work together for the team. I believe the team is happy with his input and I am sure he will soon be contributing to our championship challenge.”

          1. Enough of the Massa quotes! :-)

            1. @tdog

              Enough of the Massa quotes! :-)

              For sure, no.

    5. Poor old Bernie, only gets paid a lousy $5 million a year, what is not mentioned is that the debt that so much of F1s revenue is used to pay off is the couple of Billion CVC borrowed to pay Bernie for the right to own F1.

      1. the debt that so much of F1s revenue is used to pay off is the couple of Billion CVC borrowed to pay Bernie

        I believe it was actually closer to $100 million.

        It appears that we are seeing Bernie’s endgame this year. He and CVC control the sport. Bernie shapes the future of the sport, by expanding it out to include Asia and the Americas, while CVC make money off it. Once the new Concorde Agreement comes about – which it will next year – CVC sell off their share in the sport, and Bernie offers the teams a stake in it.

        The end result is that Formula 1 has a worldwide reach, is very stable, and is worth a lot more now than it was when CVC bought a stake in it. Therefore, it is much more profitable to the teams than it was several years ago. I would wager that this was Bernie’s plan all along.

        1. Then what happens to the massive debt the the franchise will have to pay off?
          F1 actually looks less healthy when in the sales market, but as a running operation, it is reminiscent of a pyramid scheme.

          1. Then what happens to the massive debt the the franchise will have to pay off?

            That is being paid off, too. $100 million dollars was borrowed. With races costing $20-$30 million, the $100 million could be paid off very quickly. But only a portion of those race sanctioning fees goes to paying off the debt, and there is also the interest to consider. Given the amount of income the sport generates, plus the length of time that CVC has been involved in the sport, I’d say most – if not all – of the debt has been paid off.

            Why else would CVC be selling off their stake in the sport if there was no more money to be earned from it?

            1. CVC wants to sell because they have used F1 as a cash cow. Got it into massive debt and want to pass on the burden to someone else. The standard corporate raiders business practice. The FIA sold the rights for 100years at about 1million a year. How did F1 suddenly become worth 10Billion, with no visible assets apart from rights and licenses, if bogus companies didn’t buy the rights and pass it on to other bogus companies, and then incur expenses for activities unrelated to F1 yet including it as part of the franchise cost.
              If the world economy tanks, a new owner will be unable to service the debts and what then will be the outcome, as the business model is only viable so long as people are willing to pay the increasingly higher fees.

        2. @prisonermonkeys, Bernies daughters have each purchased SECOND homes for about the $100 mil. you “believe” Bernie was paid for selling out F1, do you think they earned this money themselves ?

          Why do you continue to defend Bernie with totally untrue assertations,? you must know that these are untruths since I have previously directed you the CVC website and the sale is a matter of public record easily researchable.

          1. @hohum

            Bernies daughters have each purchased SECOND homes for about the $100 mil. you “believe” Bernie was paid for selling out F1, do you think they earned this money themselves ?

            You do realise that Formula 1 is not Bernie’s only source of income, right?

            You said it yourself – he only gets paid $5 million per year. At that rate, it would take forty years for him to save enough money for both his daughters to buy those houses.

            In addition to having interests outside Formula 1 – like QPR – Bernie’s money is obviously invested.

            1. @prisonermonkeys, your continued posting of this ** has forced me to spend 2 minutes with google to determine the fact courtesy of Forbes.

              IN 2005 B.Ecclestone sold the rights to F1 to CVC for the sum of $2.5 BILLION.

            2. @prisoner-monkeys when you write

              You said it yourself – he only gets paid $5 million per year. At that rate, it would take forty years for him to save enough money for both his daughters to buy those houses.

              you comfortable ignore the point of what @hohum wrote and funny enough, you really confirm his point, that Bernie (and his family trust) received a big amount of money when CVC bought the FOM gig from him and a couple of banks. And those billions are exactly what is now flowing out of the sport and into the coffers of CVC, and its bankers because they used the revenue of FOM to borrow money to pay for buying it.

              Bernie does not have “other sources of income” apart from what he earns from investing the money he received in that sale and the 5 million from FOM+expenses. He does not really even need more.

            3. your continued posting of this ** has forced me to spend 2 minutes with google to determine the fact courtesy of Forbes

              Do you mean to tell me that you’re only just doing this research now?

              IN 2005 B.Ecclestone sold the rights to F1 to CVC for the sum of $2.5 BILLION.

              And it is now 2012. Assuming that every race on the calendar paid $20 million per year (which I know to be untrue; some paid as little as $13 million, while others paid up to $35 million – $20 million seems to be the average), and every single dollar from that went to CVC, then Formula 1 would have paid off the debt at the 2011 Korean Grand Prix.

              Of course, that assumes that everything is equal, and does not take into account interest, but my point is still sound: with the negotiation of the 2013 Concorde Agreement and CVC’s sale of up to 40% of its stake in the sport, Formula 1 has reached the point where it is almost debt-free. In the time since taking out the loan, Ecclestone has single-handedly expanded the sport out to Asia and the Americas at a rapid and consistent rate to the point where the sport is stronger today than it ever has been.

              Or do you think it is simply coincidence that just as the debt is about to be cleared, Bernie is offering teams a stake in the sport with the new Concorde Agreement?

            4. Ehm, @prisoner-monkeys, if you look up reports from FOM itself, you will notice that apart from paying off the loans taken to give CVC back what they invested, FOM also pays interest on the sum borrowed.
              And the reason CVC is now looking at refinancing/a stock issue is exactly because they would either sell part of it or take new loans to pay themselves a big dividend, again burdening down the sport with new loans to pay for it.

              But I completely fail to see anything but calculated self interest from Bernie and FOM, expansion into Asia was done more to get people to pay more for a race than developing the sport as such. And certainly its not as if either FOM or Bernie personally invested anything back into the sport at least since that sale.

        3. @prisoner-monkeys so how long do you reckon it’ll be until Bernie had paid back the debt?

          1. @sato113 – Probably some time this year, if he hasn’t done so already. We know he is offering teams a share in the sport under the terms of the new Concorde Agreement. I can’t imagine that they would accept those terms if there was still a debt owed. I think that this has been Bernie’s plan all along.

      2. I did wonder what the purpose of the article is, it does carefully steer around saying just how much is going to pay off the loans and rather does not point out these loans were only taken because that is how a buy can end up costing the buyer nothing at all, instead putting the burden on the subject being bought (FOM). Otherwise its reads a bit as a pre-stock emission propaganda material, highlighting all the revenues.

    6. Nelson Piquet Jnr. has opened his mouth just long enough to take one foot out and put the other one in, criticising Lotus for their driver line-up this year by describing Grosjean as “lucky” and Raikkonen as “weak”. He also claims Grosjean is “no phenomenon” who “timed it [his return] just right”.

      Pardon my cycnicism, but I get the sense that Piquet has some pent-up animosity or the man who replaced him in 2009. The unspoken insinuation is that anyone could do what Grosjean is doing, provided that they are sufficiently cashed up to buy a drive.

      1. Villenuve said the same thing a couple of months ago and they do have a valid point. To me it just seems a bit far fetched that one man who was thrashed by Alonso and another who was being beaten by or closely matched by Massa when he left F1 are suddenly these two top 5 drivers. Place any of genuine top 5 drivers in that Lotus and they would be clearly leading the championship.

        I’m not saying Raikkenon isn’t a great driver, I’m just saying he hasn’t been since 2007 and unless he starts dominating the over hyped although likeable Grosjean I don’t see it happen.

        1. I do think comprehensive 2011 GP2 champion and maturing Grosjean is a different opponent than slender green talent 2009 Grosjean. And that’s not even starting with car quality and practice time.

        2. @snowman

          “starts” dominating? He’s finished ahead of Grosjean in 9 of the 11 races so far this year. That’s a better record than Hamilton has against Button, or Vettel has against Webber, or Rosberg against Schumacher. It’s only qualifying that he needs to improve.

          1. The head to head stats for Raikkonen and Grosjean are in qualifying Kimi is 4-7 down on Grosjean and in the race where both cars finished Kimi is 5-2 ahead of Grosjean.

            People can slate Piquet Jr and Villeneuve when they say this stuff but it makes more sense what they are saying than believing all the hype the media puts out about how good a driver Grosjean has now suddenly become and how fast Kimi is looking alongside him. I do however think Kimi is starting to show more of his old pace of late so should start to keep the upper hand on Grosjean and if it is dry at Spa it is hard to see anyone else winning.

            As for the Senna comments these are obviously more to do with his father’s relationship with Senna than any type of reasonable view point.

            1. Hmm IMO, even though Raikkonen has been ahead of Grosjean in terms of race finishes/points, the frenchman has most certainly impressed, with some pretty raw pace (especially in quali, where he edges over Raikkonen). All he needs is just some minor improvements in racecraft, to avoid DNFs (even though these incidents mainly wasn’t his fault), something that he can learn from his teammate perhaps.

              Anyways these comments from Piquet Jr. plainly makes him look like a whining sod, since he thinks he can do a better job than the current lineup Lotus has, why hasn’t he returned to replace them? It’s not like he’s in a good position to criticize too, with only one recent win at only the NASCAR Truck Series. If he has nothing good to say, then he should just keep his mouth sealed up.

            2. Okay, so 4-7 in quali is better than 5-2(9-2 to be fair) in race? This mean …that if you are faster in quali you are a better driver, and if you are faster in race is pure luck?(LOL) The reason why Grosjean is faster in quali and slower in race than Raikkonen is because Raikkonen uses less tyres in quali than Grosjean. And by the way, Grosjean was Pirelli test driver last year, so he know more than every driver how this tyres work, in comparison with Raikkonen where he tested…rally tyres, last couple of years. Anyway, in my oppinion, the 40 points which Alonso has, is nothing in 9 races.

            3. Well frankly, in the end of the day, the points are awarded for Sunday, not Saturday. So even though Raikkonen could’ve used some extra qualifying edge for scoring potential victories (like Bahrain, Spain, Hungary), he still has done a fantastic job to race and finish well, where it’s relevant, by taking advantage of the Lotus’ kindness to its Pirellis.

              @sorin The excuse for ‘saving tyres’ only counts when Raikkonen isn’t in Q3 (like Bahrain), where he didn’t need to use extra tyres for another flying lap in Q3.

              One thing’s for sure though(which i agree with you), it’s going to be a tight race for the driver’s championship, especially since Alonso’s lead is nothing compared to the points up for grabs for the next 9 races. It’s only halfway through, many things can still happen.

        3. :)), Snowy man, did you drive the Lotus this year? How do you know how fast it is?? I think it was like that: you saw Raikkonen from p11 to p2 in a Lotus and you said: “anybody can do that” :))). I don’t know how can somebody listen what NP jr. is saying. Who is NP jr. ? Someone who crashed his car to win his team mate… (LOL). Anyway, Grosjean is dominating Raikkonen with 2 races at…..9??? You wasted my time…

      2. It does read a bit like sour grapes, doesn’t it? Although to be fair to Piquet jr. he was probably asked to say something about it and just answered the question.

        But I must say I agree with what he says about Alonso being a tougher teammate to beat than Kimi is after returning to the sport, and I think it really is quite possible that Alonso on the form he is in now could be leading the championship in that Lotus, because the car surely was a better package in the first few races than the Ferrari

      3. Piquet has now gone even further around the bend, claiming that Senna – the actual Senna, not the Senna-lite trundling around in a Williams – would not be able to cut it in today’s incarnation of Formula 1, saying “he was very fast but he had no talent in terms of the technical and mechanical”.

        1. No doubt he has it from his father, a longtime friend of Senna! Not.

          Its hard to tell how good Senna would do nowadays. But I would be surprised if his will to win would not have made him learn things he maybe did not need at the time. Not that I am all that sure he was no good at these thins, but it seems Piquet Sr. is and told his son about it.

          1. I’m not sure why people suddenly care so much about Piquet’s opinions that they give him an interview. I’m just re-posting what has been said because it’s moronic, but not once since he left the sport have I heard anyone say “You know what? Let’s go and see what Nelson Piquet thinks about this.”

            1. @prisoner-monkeys I never thought I’d say this, but even Helmut Marko seems more pleasant than Nelsinho.

            2. Isn’t he a current favoured mouthpiece now he’s managed to win something in a contemporary racing series?

            3. @prisoner-monkeys He is probably spamming the media to have something published that they decided to do so and trying to stop the tendency in the same way ^^
              Anyway he is not the best placed to critics other drivers … And from all the talking about next year seats, I heard no-one speaking of Piquet for a return in F1 and would be a huge surprise to me

            4. Didn’t he recently win some races in the NASCAR 2nd tier series? That and summertime lack of real news might do this to us.

        2. Judging by how the old Senna was determined to stay with his engineers for feedback on the car (as from what I seen in documentaries), I don’t see how this would be a major problem for him.

      4. It does seem to me as if press tired to get some comments from Piquet Jnr that could be publicised and interpreted as “sour grapes”. From what I can tell, they got what they wanted.

        The argument he presents is one that I’d personally not take too seriously. I don’t even see a consistent narrative between how he led to evidence he was seen and allowed himself to be utilised as a number two driver to the point of unsportsmanlike behaviour and how he’s now suggesting he simply had a hard time because Alonso was “such a good driver”.

        From what I could see, both Grosjean and Piquet apparently weren’t ready to compete at the top level in Formula 1 when they joined. There’s no shame in that. To me, it’s what you do as a driver when you realise that’s your situation that will define how people will see and value your work.

        Piquet took different actions in that situation than Grosjean did, which led Grosjean to a position where he could at least attempt to rebuild his career, regain a good reputation. I’d rather see that as realistic modesty and dedication than luck. It also isn’t based on chance that the team’s current leadership pursues the strategy of wanting two about equally competitive drivers. It’s a sound strategy if one wants a team doing well in the Constructors’ championship. It was their judgement call to assess Grosjean’s progress over the last two to three years (and the circumstances of it).

      5. hahahahahahahaha. What a tool.

    7. An F1 car at Monza is only a bit more than 9 times faster than Usain Bolt (from the McLaren thing)? Is that right? That seems incredible.

      1. Even a top marathon runner can do 20 kph. Usain Bolt is not in marathons. And we’re talking about an order of magnitude difference between him and an F1 car. Do your math.

        1. What’s wrong with his maths ? I think he’d thought the F1 would be rather 15/20 times quicker… It FEELS that much quicker, not a mere 9 times.

          The “26 heartbeats in 9.63s” are even more incredible i find !

          1. @gwenouille

            The “26 heartbeats in 9.63s” are even more incredible i find !

            Yeah it hurts just to read that.

            1. @keithcollantine : i remember having seen a video shot from the helmet of a driver with the heartbeat as soundtrack. I think it was Klien, but, I can’t recall… Really impressive !
              It is something that is really really easy to overlook/forget. I mean the physiological aspect of driving a formula 1. 26/9seconds is 173/minute !

            2. I’m a her (don’t know where my avatar went). I did do the maths. And yes, I would have expected the F1 car to be more than 9 times faster, if I’d ever thought about it. Fior me, tt underlines how fast Usain Bolt is.

            3. The heart rate of a top driver can average over 180bpm for a race distance of 90 minutes or more


      2. No, they’re saying the McLaren will travel 909.5 metres down the front straight at Monza in the time it takes Usain Bolt to run one hundred metres when the car is moving at full acceleration. They are not saying that they will lap nine times faster than Bolt around the circuit, because they aren’t measuring him – of themselves – around the circuit. Just down the front straight for 9.63 seconds.

        1. Yes, I know, I just said “at Monza” for brevity

      3. Incredible in what sense, too much or too little? Bolt (and the others runners) do the 100m in less than 10s, which is approximately 36km/h. If you consider the first 10m of the run are the start-up and the rest they run at full speed they can achieve nearly 40km/h. 40 x 9 = 360km/h.

        1. Thanks, I didn’t know what the top speed of a sprinter was. Those 9.63 seconds were about the first and last time I paid attention to athletics in 4 years. :)

          1. In fact I think they even measured that Bolt did in fact go a tad faster than 40 kmh as his top speed in that run!

      4. you find that incredible? try this one:

        if you fold a piece of paper in half 100 times it will be 13.5 billion light years wide (the length/age of the universe).

        1. I found my avatar (i.e. realised I wasn’t logged in)! That is incredible.

          1. May I ask where you first name is from ? Mine is actually “Gwenael”, from Brittany and is supposed to mean “white angel” or so. I guess it is the same root ?

            1. Ah, Gwenael/grenouille – je vois! It’s not actually my real name, it’s a nickname I use with a few old school friends and the internet :)

    8. So the US Grand Prix would move to June/July time? Wasn’t there complaint about the temperatures at that time of year?

      That said, it’s all part of the challenge I guess!

      1. @andrewtanner – He’s talking about the Grand Prix of America, in New Jersey. That will be back-to-back with the Canadian Grand Prix. The United States Grand Prix, which will be held in Austin, will most likely be held late in the year.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys Ah…thanks for pointing that out!

    9. There are only three possible DRS zones in Spa.
      1. The one we had last year viz. stretching between Raidillon and Les Combes, all through the uphill Kemmel Straight. As we saw last year this makes racing farcical and totally destroyed a great race. An alternative could be to move up the DRS activation zone to “after” the small right kink after Raidillon, but I don’t think that would help matters either.
      2. The start-finish straight. Despite being elongated by 20% in 2006, it still remains one of the smallest and the only straight where drivers do not engage seventh gear even in dry conditions. Now I think keeping a DRS zone just for the sake of it is useless, although it may help in showing us some bold passes at Turn 1.
      3. The long run back(the school-road section) between the first Stavelot and the Bus Stop Chicane. Strictly speaking it is not a straight and there are some really fast corners which will cause more accidents and overtakes. Anyway, Vettel showed us last year that you can pass there sans DRS.
      It seems that DRS and Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps are not made for each other.

    10. About the COTD, I have the same trust in Mercedes as I have with Ferrari, Ferrari needs the money don’t think otherwise, they don’t need their own cars in front to sell their Ferraris, but Mercedes is perhaps another thing, if Mercedes wins the championship again they might used it as an advertising leverage for their own cars and sponsors whereas Ferrari would only get benefits from sponsors, but i don’t think Mercedes is going to last till 2014, their engines will but they’ll sell the team, like Renault did and nominate Mclaren their official team, in the end I think the balance between marketing and championship revenues will lead manufactures to focus more in producing better engines so they can keep their accounts above water.

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