Title battle may be a damp squib – Webber

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Mark Webber warns the season finale may not live up to the hype.

F1 arrives at the Circuit of the Americas

Formula One freight pictured at the Circuit of the Americas yesterday:


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Webber still plans to be a key player (WA Today)

“They may not even see each other on-track – that’s the way it turns out sometimes. It’s a bit like an FA Cup final or the rugby league grand final – sometimes it doesn’t live up to the hype.”

Chelsea set to announce new sponsor (ESPN)

“Having announced a profit of 1.4 million for the year ending June 2012, the Blues are set to bolster their income with a new sponsor for both Chelsea and the Sauber F1 team.”

Bianchi ‘ready for race seat’ (Sky Sports)

“I feel I have grown up a lot with this experience and I am now ready to be a race driver in Formula One. I hope I find an official seat for next year as this is definitely my dream. I feel I had a good season in [Formula Renault 3.5] and did a good job with Force India as well, so I feel ready and think I deserve a seat in F1.”

Whitmarsh: US will love new-style F1 (Autosport)

“Things like DRS, which the purists would never have accepted in yesteryear, was a right and appropriate concession to be made to the spectacle.”

Andretti: F1 should be more like IndyCar to win US fans (The Globe and Mail)

“Although [Mario] Andretti feels the track will help US fans reacquaint themselves with F1 racing, he also thinks the series might want to change the way it does things a bit to appeal to American fans. He pointed to IndyCar as a good model for F1 to follow when it comes to fan access to drivers and the inner workings of the paddock.”

Premier League chief Scudamore in frame if Ecclestone walks away from F1 (Daily Mail)

“CVC say they are not yet looking for a replacement for Ecclestone but have drawn up a list of those they would approach if Ecclestone is forced to stand down or decided to do so – and Scudamore is said to be one of them.”

From McLaren to MC Lewis (The Sun)

“Rising R’n’B star Angel is the latest artist to join the McLaren F1 ace in the studio. That’s some effort to go through considering his material will never be aired in public. Lewis insists music is purely a hobby at the 1,500-a-day studio.”

US Grand Prix raises concerns over human trafficking (YNN)

“Economic activity is expected to spike during this weekend’s Formula 1 race, but so is crime.”

Image is everything (ESPN)

Peter Windsor: “As tumultuous as the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix proved to be, I felt that it lost a good deal of its lustre on the podium. The use of the ‘F’ and ‘S’ words on live, global TV is totally unacceptable and should be jumped-upon immediately by the FIA. $50,000 fines would be about right.”


Comment of the day

This comment from @Sumedhvidwans provoked an interesting discussion with several readers voicing support:

I want F1 to race at least on one oval track every year.

F1 is a championship must have a variety of race tracks, we have Japan – which is a figure of eight circuit, we have Monaco, which is a street race, we have Singapore, which is F1’s endurance race and always lasts two hours, we have Abu Dhabi, which races in the evening, we have semi-permanent tracks like Melbourne and Montreal, we have Monza, which is F1???s sprint race and usually the shortest race, we have Spa, which is run in the mountains.

The only thing we lack is an oval track. Seeing cars going on seventh gear, full throttle for one hour straight – yes, I want to see that.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Sridhar!

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

Sebastian Vettel began his reign as drivers’ champion two years ago today. He clinched the 2010 title in extraordinary circumstances in Abu Dhabi having gone into the race third in the points.

Will he extend his reign as champion for another year?

Images © Red Bull/Getty images, COTA

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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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100 comments on “Title battle may be a damp squib – Webber”

  1. And there I was thinking Webber was going to have a real chance to win the title this year about halfway through the season. How painful for him if Vettel grabs his third succesive title…

    1. And there I was thinking Webber was going to have a real chance to win the title this year about halfway through the season.

      Please. Red Bull would never let Webber win the title so long as one of “their” drivers is in the same team.

      You have to wonder about the nature of Webber’s contracts. He keeps re-signing with the team, but the minute he does so, his performance nose-dives. I suspect there might be something in his contract that will give Red Bull the power to limit what he does when he leaves, kind of like Raikkonen going rallying when he left Ferrari. At Webber’s age, he can’t really afford to take a year off and try to come back.

      1. Just because he hasn’t beaten one of “their” drivers, doesn’t mean he isn’t allowed to.

        1. Please. If the title came down to a fight between Vettel and Webber, and Red Bull were allowed to choose who won, who do you think would become champion?

          Here’s a hint: it won’t be Mark Webber.

          1. “IF” There’s the rub. Webber needs to get it to that point and he’s had ample opportunity. Folks always want it both ways with Webber — either he’s this great and straight talking driver or he can’t win in a car a monkey (no offense :) can win a WDC in and is being secretly muzzled by RBR.

            Occam’s razor would suggest more the former. But conspiracy theories abound. (And for sure in Abu Dhabi, I can’t imagine under what scenario RBR would not have wanted Webber to win or at least finish ahead of Alonso, yet he muffs the start yet again–imagine the career he’d have if he could consistently get decent starts).

          2. You can’t blame Red Bull for that though.
            Vettel is thr product of the RBR young driver development programme; they’ve invested millions and millions of euros into his career, and they want something to show for it. @prisoner-monkeys

          3. @prisoner-monkeys – The team doesn’t choose though, making your hypothetical completely useless. The driver’s ability chooses.

          4. Abu Dhabi 2010 : where were the “webber 2010 World Champion” t-shirts? They had Vettel “2010 Champion” t-shirts at the track ready to celebrate.

          5. And how do you explain the way Webber’s form suddenly drops off mid-season (and doesn’t come back until after Vettel wins the title)?

          6. @prisoner-monkeys – Because Webber’s form compared to Vettel is usually overrated anyway.

            In 2010, would Webber have even led the championship if Vettel had the car reliability of Webber? How many times did Webber actually beat Vettel in a race this season?

            Answers: “No”, and “three-four times all year”.

          7. @MDJ : Actually, when they opened the t-shirt boxes after the race, they picked the wrong one, and gave a couple of “Webber World Champion” t-shirts before they relised their mistake.

      2. Webber must be utterly stupid then to keep signing for them. I can’t believe he fell for it again, the idiot, good spot! Maybe you should become his manager and tell him to go to Ferrari, where he’ll definitely get equal treatment… oh wait.

        What an nonsense. Webber will get preferential treatment when he earns it. In 2010 he had the chance to win the WDC, and he totally binned it. If he hadn’t, I’m sure the team would made sure he would’ve won; except he never got himself into that position, and Vettel pounced on it. I’d love to see Webber win a WDC, he seems like a great guy, but my feeling tells me that’s not going to happen. He’s a really good driver, but doesn’t have that extra bit that some other drivers do have.

        1. That is my opinion as well. If Webber was as good as Vettel and believed that Red Bull hindered him, then he would have gone to McLaren or Ferrari by now. It is believed that the latter even actively tried to hire Mark for 2013 but he said no.

          It might be true that Red Bull love Vettel more and that their relationship with Webber is not as warm but that doesn’t mean they give him a worse car, deliberately spoil his strategies or ask Webber to simulate bad starts.

          I think that this “number one policy” exists at some teams to some extent but it’s not like Massa and Webber are not allowed to win championships if they’re good enough to do it. Proof: At the beginning of the 2011 season, Massa finished right ahead of Alonso twice (6th vs 7th and 5th vs 6th). At Sepang, he was only a few tenths ahead at the finish line, yet the team didn’t ask him to move over for Alonso. As long as both Ferrari drivers have a realistic chance to fight for the title, they’re allowed to do that and the same goes for Red Bull.

        2. 2010 was webber’s chance and he fluffed it at korea. sometimes a driver gets only one chance to be WDC and they don’t take it – that is the nature of sport: you must overcome the bad luck, put in enough good performances as insurance for the time you stack it, or circumstances beyond your control play against you.

          you could argue that but for the hand of fate moss (58), von trips (61), peterson (78), warwick/villeneuve/pironi (82), alboreto (85), coulthard/frentzen/irvine (99), massa (08), webber (10) could all easily be world champions. but notice that all those years are quite spread out, interspersed between years in which the title was fought between world champions or world champions to be.

          the point is that every WDC is truly earned and webber (through his mistakes) did not do enough to earn one.

      3. @prisoner-monkeys

        Looking at top teams, I’d pick Alonso over Massa, Hamilton over Button and Vettel over Webber.

        Red Bull seems to favour Vettel and their operational scheme is quite disgusting for that but I don’t think Vettel is favoured because he’s prettier, it’s because like Ferrari they like to have a #1 driver and they picked the one they believe is better.

        Disclaimer: I don’t like #1 driver policy.

      4. @prisoner-monkeys – the primary reason Webber hasn’t beaten Vettel is because Webber isn’t as good as Vettel. Red Bull don’t employ team orders unless there is a valid reason to do so, such as in Abu Dhabi where Webber was told “not to hold up Vettel”; that was because Vettel was faster and it would hinder his efforts of getting up the order on a different strategy to Webber.

        The reason Webber’s form nose-dives is because he is far too track specific and his form tends to weaken in comparison to Vettel as the season progresses, when Vettel has refined his set-up and becomes utterly dominant.

  2. I’d be interested to know who most people are tipping for the other Force India seat – Bianchi, Sutil, Alguersuari or someone else?

    1. I sort of hope Kobayashi is in the mix considering the chat from Slim. But I heard it was more than likely between Sutil or Alguersauri? Far too many potentially good drivers being put out last couple of years.

      1. Heikki Kovalainen reportedly looked at moving to Force India, but was told he needed sponsors. If that is true, then it is unlikely that Kobayashi could go there, because he needs sponsors to keep his Sauber seat. I don’t see why Force India would tell Kovalainen that he needs sponsors, but not Kobayashi.

        Besides, there hasn’t been anything concrete to link Kobayashi to the second Force India seat aside from people who don’t want to see him leave the sport.

        1. Hence my use of the word “hope”

    2. I think Alguersuari has the best shot at the FI seat. I hope he gets it – does he have sponsorship?

      Does anyone else feel that Sutil was over-rated, and probably shouldn’t deserve another shot at F1 after a year on the couch? Especially after that whole ‘stabbing a CEO in a nightclub’ incident – it doesn’t look good on the CV.

  3. For a moment there I thought they had shipped a Ligier JS17 by mistake!

    1. Looked like Lotus 79 to my eyes. Didn’t Andretti do a few laps round the circuit in that a few days/weeks ago?

  4. I was all ready to jump down Marios throat but decided to break with tradition and read the article first, I have to agree with the very limited points Mario makes that he sees Indycar doing right, essentially he is looking for better value and more local interest for the fans. Spare me the endless safety cars, spare me the one-design cars, but by all means make attendance less costly and more involving and like many successful series allow a local “wildcard” driver to compete . It only requires the will to do it by the concerned parties.

    1. Yep, those are the bits that Indycar does get right.

  5. F1 needs to consider an Oval race, Keith did an excellent piece on this in 2009 and here is one with 2013 considerations included. http://wp.me/p2HWOP-ny (if you want the detail)

    The main reason advanced is simple, to be accepted in the USA F1 has to build a huge bridge to their audience which will require more than when they put new races on in Asia.

    Mario Andretti said today in the article above that F1 needs to ‘be more like Indycar’ to appeal to the American audience. What would it hurt F1 to race an Oval or Oval type circuit in the USA once race a year?

    No new track is required (saves money) and the intrigue as to how the teams would cope setting up the cars would be fascinating for us die hard F1 fans.

    Of course a unique set of tyres would probably be required for the weekend but other than that – what’s the problem?

    1. Low downforce 360kph, no runoff area, imagine a mid-pack engine seizure launching following cars into the air. Ovals are proven to be not safe for “open” cars with F1 power and speed.
      I would however be in favour of a “parabolica” banked curve being incorporated into a modern circuit.

      1. I have been informed today that Indycar top speeds are higher each year than F1 cars – I believe the test case is Indianapolis vs top speeds on any F1 circuit. Not checked it out so can’t be sure.

        There are examples in F1 history similar to your suggestion, like the simple F1 tracks of by-gone years like Reims and even Avus.

        Whether F1 can take the risk and build one of these immediately is debatable, hence the idea of using an Oval in the interim.

        1. But a banked curve incorporated in a F1 track would be entered and thus exited at lower speeds than the continuous top speed buildup of an oval track.

        2. F1 car never set up for oval racing, hence the reason of Indycar have higher top speed. God know what is the top speed of F1 car if they run in oval with suitable setup and modification.

    2. The biggest problem for me is that F1 drivers have absolutely zero experience of driving on ovals, I know they’re the best drivers in the world but I think that has the potential to be very dangerous; particularly when you have characters like Grosjean and Maldonado in the sport. And even the best drivers Hamilton, Vettel etc. have been very aggressive towards anyone trying to come past them, or when overtaking themselves as regards making contact with other cars in the past. The only problem in oval racing is if you do this you risk a massive airplane crash at over 200 mph. I don’t want to see that.

    3. F1 doesn’t need ovals at all, they have been and gone for good reason, road circuits are infinitely better for racing on, infinitely more entertaining to watch and offer much greater safety. There are other series that deal with ovals, leave them to it.

      1. @bernard

        road circuits are infinitely better for racing on, infinitely more entertaining to watch

        I disagree. Watching IndyCar this year the oval races were usually much better than the road and street courses races – and better than a lot of F1 races, too.

        1. I love all sorts of racing; I love F1, WEC, GT, IndyCar, NASCAR, rallying, and so on. Each discipline comes complete with its own unique challenges and idiosyncrasies. But I don’t think there’s really an argument for F1 to have an oval race, merely because there isn’t one already on the calendar. An F1 oval race wouldn’t be as good as an IndyCar oval race, for a number of reasons. F1 doesn’t have an offroad race, but I don’t see that there’s any call for that either. An F1 car is a very specialised piece of machinery which is extremely good at doing what it’s designed to do, but spectacularly bad at pretty much everything else.

          And anyway, Tilke would just put chicanes all over the damn circuit…

  6. Things like DRS, which the purists would never have accepted in yesteryear,

    The purists don’t accept it now…

    1. I’m a purist and I’ve accepted DRS.
      Most of us have.

      1. Sorry @mattynotwo, you have just been dsq.

      2. Definition of a purist: someone who doesn’t accept DRS or the SC as part of racing.

        1. Definition of a purist: someone who doesn’t accept DRS or the SC as part of racing.

          F1 wasn’t “pure” in 1973?

          1. Obviously not! And hell! What is this full face helmet thing?

          2. FlyingLobster27
            14th November 2012, 8:27

            Me, I think that these rear-engined cars look plain awful.

        2. Lewisham Milton
          14th November 2012, 8:49

          It’s the engines I can’t stand.

          Bring back horses!

      3. @mattynotwo

        I’m a purist and I’ve accepted DRS.

        Purism is an insistence on the traditionally correct way of doing things. Purist is a person who insists on adherence to traditional rules or structures. If you accept DRS then by definition you are not a purist… and there is nothing wrong with that. One can be a dedicated F1 fan without being a strict traditionalist.

      4. I think ‘most’ a bit too sweeping (as was my original comment). At least in its current format, I believe that the majority are against DRS.

        1. At least in its current format, I believe that the majority are against DRS.

          The polling done on this website & others around the web shows this.

          Opinion on DRS itself tends to be split fairly evenly (Was 55/45 against last poll I saw) but opinion on the way DRS is used tends to be that the majority dislike that element of it.

  7. I disagree with a few sentiments in the COTD. A ‘variety of race’ isn’t really affected by whether a track has a figure of 8, or takes place in the evening rather the day or night (the Abu Dhabi circuit is just about the least interesting in the calender, regardless of the time). And I’m not sure if I’m concerned about an oval race- it’s such a vastly different discipline that it may be a danger to have a grid of complete or near-complete novices once a year, as well as the lower-budget teams bringing cars which are poorly adapted for use on an oval.

    1. The COTD about SPA in the mountains reminded me of this movie :)

  8. Scudamore is an interesting suggestion, but whether CVC would accept a model as advanced by the Premier League where more than 90% of the revenue ends up in the hands of the competitors may be as remote a possibility as holding an F1 race on the moon.

    1. CVC has been steadily selling off parts of its ownership. This has slowed down since the IPO was postponed, but they control significantly less of the sport than they did at the start of the year – I think they may have sold up to 40% of their stake. It’s quite clear that they are gradually relinquishing control over the sport, now that the debt has mostly been paid off (if it has not happened yet).

      1. CVC announced last month a roll over on the debt (or significant parts of it) to 2015 and a further proposed another ‘dividend re-capitalisation’ (mortgage on future F1 revenues following the signing of a new Concorde agreement).

        The value of the stakes they have sold reflect the fact that the stock in its entireity receives about 50% of all F1 revenues. New owners of shares will not wish to receive any less as a proprtion of the price they’ve paid – plus Concorde will enshrine this 50% cash exit from the sport for another 8 years.

      2. Well, the owner doesn’t matter if the company keeps on ‘refinancing’…
        FOM is laden with debt – to run their operation and pay out dividends (to CVC for example).

  9. James Bilsland
    14th November 2012, 0:58

    F1 cars are not designed to hit a concrete wall at 250mph… There will not be an F1 oval race…

    1. Being slightly pedantic here but, since it would be an F1 race, it would have to meet F1 safety regulations, so it wouldn’t be a concrete wall, but the stuff used right now. Highly effective, saved Perez at Monaco last year, and Rosberg the other week!

      1. Or they might build on oval with no outside walls and just a white circle of paint as the track boundary.

    2. Wikipedia says of Valencia with concrete walls, “It is estimated that the track has a top speed of around 323 kilometres per hour (201 mph)”, and it appears on TV the curves there are not as gentle as those on an Oval also Valencia is without the huge infield area in which to bounce back onto.

    3. Just shows the current state of safety and actual racing. It will be soon considered outrageous to do race starts outside simulators that are followed by rolling start, after all the penalties have been given.

      I would love to see F1 car work on Michigan Speedway!!!!! What a sight it would be!!

      1. It would be silly. It’s like how amazing go karts would be on a rally track.

        Different yes, a fantastic idea?

    4. Ehm, you DO know that the high tech safety barriers that were used in some places in F1 where there is not much room for runoff (the stuff @timi refers to) was actually developed from the special SAFER barriers at oval races, do you?

      It not so much the concrete walls, but the danger of getting airborne at the great speeds that makes it very dangerous. And its simply not true that F1 cars cannot stand such crashes, be it they are not as sturdy as Indycars to survive hitting each other without much damage.

      1. @bascb I didn’t know that actually, but thanks for enlightening me in such a non-patronising way.. haha

        Eitherway, my point wasn’t how or where it was developed from, more that the walls that crumple are safer than a concrete one.

        And I completely agree with regards to your points on the cars getting airborne

        1. Yeah, I got your point in that respect @timi. But the corners at most oval tracks have been covered (at Indy in 2005 already) with these SAFER barriers to make them deform and take the energy out of the car, making it quite a big difference compared to a concrete wall.

  10. Regarding “be more like Indy”:

    I don’t really think F1 should do ovals, it’s not what the F1 brand is about. It should try to be the best road racing in the world, which means having tracks designs that promote the kind of “dogfighting” action that you don’t see in a monodirectional track layout.

    Although there is a history to it, I never really liked having F1 at Indy. I feel like Indy is Indy, and it’s better that F1 is going to new tracks and different areas of the country like COTA and the New York thing. Don’t try to show up in the same exact track as Indy, or at Daytona for that matter.

    For American fans though, I think the stuff about fan access etc. is definitely important. Americans are used to having a lot of freedom. I think F1 sometimes has a bit of an elitist attitude that could turn people off. Of course it doesn’t help not having US drivers or teams, but the brands are mostly well known.

    Contrary to one of the recent articles I met a few guys in Austin who were very into motorsports. But they were into racing their own cheap sports cars. Very hands on, less inclined to be impressed by some foreigners showing up.

  11. The last thing Formula One needs is an oval. After the Indy 500 was taken away from the Formula One World Championship, the last oval, I think was the Monza Ring, which claimed the life of Count Wolfgang von Trips in 1961.
    Formula One has always been something of a buffer between Le Mans and Indy 500, as it tests both endurance and speed. But what differentiates Formula One from Indycar is the wings, which help in creating downforce. An oval would not only be dangerous, but very obsolete as well, and would not be in the true spirit of F1 as it has been since 1961.

    1. @chicanef1

      After the Indy 500 was taken away from the Formula One World Championship, the last oval, I think was the Monza Ring, which claimed the life of Count Wolfgang von Trips in 1961.

      That accident happened on the entry to Parabolica, which is still used on the current circuit, so the fact that a lap of the track incorporated an oval really made no difference.

      The fact that the spectators were separated from the track by nothing more than a small bank and a flimsy barrier was the reason for the loss of life, it was nothing to do with the oval:

      1961 Italian Grand Prix flashback: F1′s worst tragedy at Monza

      1. @keithcollantine Thanks for that, although the banking was taken away in 1962, and it has remained that way sine, and this was probably done in the aftermath of von Trips’s death.
        So Curva Parabolica has claimed the lives of two individuals-von Trips and Jochen Rindt. The former lost the championship, while the latter became the only posthumous champion till date. I wonder what the curve is still doing on the calendar? Maybe they’ve changed the off-track and all, but have they changed the turn config.? I don’ think so…

    2. davidnotcoulthard
      14th November 2012, 15:23

      After the Indy 500 was taken away from the Formula One World Championship

      1. What the hell are you talking about? From 1950 to 1960, Indy 500 was a part of the Formula One World Championship! I do not understand what you are trying to say…

        1. @chicanef1 He’s pointing out that although those were part of the world championship they were not run to F1 rules.

          1. @keithcollantine OK. Thanks for clarifying.
            @davidnotcoulthard sorry for the ‘wth’.

  12. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
    14th November 2012, 4:52

    An interesting statement from Webber, and it could very well prove to be prophetic. There are plenty of ways this championship could be decided, and Vettel racing Alonso directly, head-to-head on track (the option fans probably want to see the most) is only one of them.

    There are so many variables to consider – McLaren seem to be hovering around 2nd or 3rd fastest in terms of pace, and, along with Webber, could prove a wildcard obstacle for Alonso. You have the possibility of rain this weekend, which as we’ve seen, is the great equalizer of cars, yielding conditions that Alonso and the F2012 seem to be at home in. Lotus could suddenly be back on pace in the heat of the Texan sun and prove another obstacle for both championship contenders. Ultimately, we could either see a 2008-style finale, or a 2010-style finale.

    Unpredictability is the name of the game. Can’t wait for this weekend.

  13. I wonder if the swearing on the podium is a consequence of the amount of cussing the team encourages over the radio to avoid messages getting broadcast?

    1. I think it’s just Kimi showing how ‘cool’ he is and Vettel playing along and trying to show he is just as ‘cool’.
      I don’t think the emotion caught them at all- they really are just showing off.

      1. With Kimi, I think it is part of speaking English as a second language. He has used “the S word” a couple of times in interviews (in Finnish) this year and no one even notices it, it’s just part of the culture here. Also, the narrowness of his vocabulary pops up from time to time (though that can be said about most of the field these days with their PR ready phrases…).

  14. Wow, that article on Webber is so full of mistakes. Really 40 points for grabs with two races to go (how does that fit 25 points for the win). And stating that

    Webber survived a collision with Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado, but was eliminated by crash-prone Frenchman Romain Grosjean in the aftermath of a melee ahead of them.

    when it was Webber hitting Maldonado, failing to mention he could have been out after doing the same to Massa and hinting at some kind of responsibility from Grosjean in him not finishing the race when both Webber and Grosjean were both cought up by Perez and Di Resta messing it up, that is bending it a bit too far for me.

    1. I’m not sure that quote is the best example to prove your point. Yes, it doesn’t tell the full story. However, it is true that 1) Maldonado and Webber had a collision; 2) the ultimate reason for Webber’s retirement was damage after being hit by Grosjean.

      1. No, Webber was not hit by Grosjean. He did crash out after a collision with Grosjeans car, after Grosjean got hit by Perez.

  15. While I am not completely convinced about the swearwords on the podium being that bad, I guess Windsor is better fit to judge on the acceptance of that on US TV, after all he’s been there and worked with Speed while I have never been there.

    But he is perfectly spot on that F1 should do a lot more to be seen. Just look at what can be done on a shoestring budget with his own The Flying lap and think about the load of empty time on Sky filled with only reruns (and Di Resta in a helicopter). Sure its nice that McLaren brought the Tooned thing out. But that is only a couple of minutes per GP weekend.
    Seriously if Windsor can people to give him time for the webcast, why on earth isn’t Sky able to have a visit of some plants 2-3 times a week to show the regulars there, even if it ends up looking a bit like the Enstone tyre change ad. And a video interview with some team members of all kinds of teams, each day would surely draw in people too and add value to the program. Its not as if Murdoch does not have other places he could then use the same footage at (Australia, ESPN etc.)

    1. @bascb

      While I am not completely convinced about the swearwords on the podium being that bad, I guess Windsor is better fit to judge on the acceptance of that on US TV, after all he’s been there and worked with Speed while I have never been there.

      It’s the watershed, which dictates a) what makes a programme “for mature audiences”, and b) when those programmes can be shown. For instance, the BBFC (which doesn’t actually dictate the watershed – Ofcom does that – but this is the only example I know) says that a film may contain one instance of swearing and still retain a PG rating. Any more than that, and it gets bumped up to a 12 or 15 depending on the content.

      The watershed in the UK is 9pm for free-to-air television, and 8pm for pay-per-view. And while some races might finish later than that, the FIA is understandably eager to quash drivers swearing on camera lest they do it in the middle of prime-time viewing hours, like on the podium at Silverstone.

  16. I find Windsor’s nanny attitude far more offensive than words I hear every day of my life. But then he always was full of it…

    1. It’s not a nanny attitude.

      Swearing is just a sign of a poor vocabulary.

      1. Vettel’s vocabulary is anything but poor. But basically I agree with you @prisoner-monkeys.

      2. That comment reminded me of this. And I hasten to add I’m not implying anything by posting it here, they aren’t my words after all.

      3. Tweet that comment to Stephen Fry :]

  17. “Having announced a profit of £1.4 million for the year ending June 2012, the Blues are set to bolster their income with a new sponsor for both Chelsea and the Sauber F1 team.”

    I wonder how this might affect the driver situation at Sauber. The mystery sponsor reportedly approached both Sauber and Chelsea at the same time, seeking to involve themselves with both equally and simultaneously, so it’s probably not a small deal.

    When Sergio Perez was announced as McLaren’s newest recruit Sauber said that they would continue to have a partnership with Telmex regardless of whether or not they fielded a Mexican driver. Nevertheless, a lot of people have come to the conclusion that Sauber will take Esteban Gutierrez to please the Slims, even if they don’t need a Mexican driver to keep the funding.

    But at the same time, Kamui Kobayashi has been told that he needs to find a sponsor if he wants to keep his seat. Would this new sponsor be enough for the team to overlook Kobayashi’s shortcomings if he cannot find a sponsor of his own? Or is this some kind of monster that he has inadvertently created, attracting a sponsor to Sauber that has seen the relationship with Chelsea and decided to sponsor both? And if so, does this put more pressure on Kobayashi to perform, or take the pressure off?

    I’ve been snifing around, trying to get some inkling as to who this sponsor might be, but I can’t find anything. Both Formula 1 and Chelsea FC fan sites (though I admit I had no idea where to start with the latter) have got nothing, not even the meanest whisper from an unrelaible source. It’s frustrating, if only because I like knowing these things.

    But whatever the case, hopefully Sauber are getting a new sponsor with a major deal, if only so that they can change their livery for next year.

    1. The Chelsea link-up was designed as a cross-platform media deal. It was designed to attract sponsors wanting to tackle Foot-to-ball and motor racing at the same time.

      Fingers crossed the Chelsea Blue will mean a variant of that render someone did prior to this years car’s drab mess.

      1. Some argue its brand confuision.

        What is the result of mixing swiss precision and effeciency, with a profligate waste and a relative woeful lack of achievement ;)

  18. I……want……..that……t-shirt!!!!!!!!!

  19. Eexactly, what Webber just said.

    That’s why that battle between Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson in the dying stages of the NASCAR race in Texas won me over so badly. The wheel-to-wheel battle between head-to-head championship leaders for 1st position in the last laps in one of the last race.

    I think this makes F1 season finales really everlasting. And the fact that there is so few of them.

    And I can really blame no-one for that. It is simply rare, because so many things have to be at the right place at the right time.

    Besides, I really like the Alonso v. Vettel battle as well. It is captivating to watch if Alonso can pull off one of the greatest miracles in F1 by winning the WDC in a car which was never the quickest in the dry over the whole season so far.

    1. Or if Vettel can win the WDC in car that has been the quickest in just a few races, but that has a tendency to fall apart ;-)

  20. Do not forget to Australia. In Formula 1 racing calnedar, be sure to include the Bathurst Mount Panorama motor racing (full name) circuit, that I think is one of the most interesting in the world. Also, be sure to return to the calendar the legendary A1 ring, now Red Bull Ring in Austria, but in the long original configuration. Thanks.

  21. Whitmarsh: “Things like DRS, which the purists would never have accepted”

    Things like DRS, which purists still think is a horrible, artificial, Disneyesque contrivance to produce ‘overtaking’ although it fundamentally removes the whole point that to win a race you must be faster and more skilled – including in overtaking – than your opponents.

    1. DRS’ intention is to give back the driver the opportunity to pass as they lose downforce in the wake/dirty air that comes off cars infront.

  22. regarding how us fans will love the new style f1, according to polling done by speed channel over here in the us, most american viewers have a negative view of the way both drs & the tyres have affected the races since they were introduced.

    back in july speed did a poll & 84% said the tyres were making f1 racing too artificial & 79% said the drs was too much of a gimmick & made passing too easy.

    so based on that it seems that american fans do not love the new style f1.

    the thing to remember is that over here we already have nascar using artificial things to spice up races & those who don’t like the artificialness of nascar have always tended to look at either indycar or f1. as a result those who turned away from nascar for using artificial things will almost certainly not like f1 trying the same.

    1. just to add, if this weekends race featured tons of tyre degredation & a ton of easy drs highway passing it will hurt, not help f1 over here as american f1 fans tend not to like that sort of racing whic is why they don’t watch nascar or indycar oval races where there is a lot of easier passing done half way down straights.

    2. Interesting view Roger – have you got a link to that Speed poll? (I did a search for it but kept coming up with results for articles on F1 Fanatic!)

      1. can’t provide a link as it was only there for about 2 weeks & then replaced by the next poll.

        It was where the poll is now in there f1 section-

        1. Ah OK, thanks.

  23. I want that shirt!

  24. Things are sounding good for Sauber, it’s much healthier seeing their car with sponsors on it. With their principal change and driver change 2013 looks like it’ll be an exciting but testing season for them. I hope the can continue their progress made this year.

    Regarding oval racing for F1…I like it, but I don’t think it’s F1. The cars aren’t part of a spec series for a start so guranteeing close racing which ovals are famous for may prove to be too difficult. Also, why the obsession with going over the top to appeal to new fans? F1 should be able to win over fans on it’s own merit rather than having to step well outside its comfort zone. It’s the third most watched sport in the world so it must be doing something well already!

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