Marussia heading for Ferrari engine deal – Symonds

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Marussia technical director Pat Symonds says the team are likely to use Ferrari engines next year.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Marussia likely to use Ferrari turbo engines in 2014 (James Allen)

Symonds: “There will be only three suppliers next year – Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari – and while we have spoken to all of them, I think we are rapidly heading in the direction of Ferrari. We need to head in a direction rapidly because we really need to sign a supply agreement with someone quite soon – and Ferrari, at the moment, are top of that list.”

F1 teams in fresh penalty points talks (Autosport)

“[FIA race director Charlie] Whiting said earlier this year that one of the key issues that needed resolving was that any hefty punishments handed out as a result of penalty points being accrued were deemed worthy.”

‘Di Resta can be an F1 champion’ (BBC)

Allan McNish: “If someone puts him in the right car, he can fight for the world title.”

On Marussia (Joe Saward)

“The F1 team continues to build the Marussia brand, even if there are no products available at the moment.”

Wolff pushing Williams for proper F1 test (Reuters)

“For me the next logical step is to do the young drivers test, and do it well, and then see what the next step is after that.”

Ferrari’s foot-operated DRS (F1)

“Most teams’ systems are operated by hand, via a steering wheel control. Ferrari’s is different.”

Adam Parr Q&A (Sky)

Video interview with former Williams chairman Adam Parr.

The Williams F1 Team and TAK Group announce new partnership agreement (Williams)

“The Williams F1 Team is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement with Kazakhstani investment business TAK Group that will see the Kazakhstani capital, Astana, promoted as part of the arrangement with the team.”

Sergio Perez Q&A (McLaren)

“Q. And finally…. why the nickname ‘Checo’?
Checo: It’s not really that complicated or interesting. In Mexico, where I come from, all Sergios are automatically given the nickname ‘Checo’. Sorry, there’s no story behind it!”

David Brabham at Imola, 1994 (MotorSport)

“And then ‘Brabs’ crashed on his 28th lap. He has his reasons to refuse to confirm if a steering failure caused it: ‘A puncture was the official line.'”


Comment of the day

@YellowSapphire does not believe a “Vettel effect” has caused a drop in ticket sales at Silverstone:

If that truly is the case, why did Silverstone “have the biggest crowd of the season last year, with a record race day attendance of 127,000” off the back of a season completely dominated by Vettel?

If this is truly the ‘Vettel effect’, I would have thought you would have noticed an effect in 2012, after his complete and utter dominance of the 2011 season. Instead, according to the article, Silverstone got record race-day attendance.

This has nothing to do with Vettel, and everything to do with Silverstone’s pricing and the organisational disaster that was last year. They’re not going to admit that, though, as that’s classed as ‘bad PR’.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to J.Danzig!

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

Boy Hayje turns 64 today. The Dutch driver enjoyed more success in tin-top racing and sportscars but did make a handful of Grand Prix appearances in the seventies. These included driving a Penske at his home race in 1976 and six entries for RAM the following year, four of which resulted in non-qualifications.

Image © Marussia

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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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93 comments on “Marussia heading for Ferrari engine deal – Symonds”

  1. Damn, Marussia-Mercedes sounded much better!

    1. Yeah, but you’d totally date a girl named Marussia Ferrari ;)

      1. @hwkii I already have!

        1. Also called Hand, Right .

  2. So that’s it, no more Cossie’s on the grid. Did they have the resources to develop a turbo engine?

    1. As far as I’m aware, they have simply chosen not to do it. Marussia would have been their only customer.

    2. @scuderiavincero They didn’t in the ’80s..doubt they have so now..

      1. @prisoner-monkeys @wsrgo True, economics aren’t there.

  3. Can everybody please stop taking (and journos stop asking) about Di Resta being a future world champion or not. It’s becoming quite tedious. Most true F1 fans don’t necessarily believe it at all, and if he one day proves us all wrong: good on him! We’ll talk about it then.

    1. If the likes of Villeneuve and Button can win the WDC I can’t see any reason why Di Resta couldn’t do the same if given a good enough car.

      1. I rate Button about Di Resta and Villeneuve…

        1. Oh, poor JB…

        2. (@celeste) (@beneboy) Am I the only person who finds Button underrated? No he’s not Kimi/Alonso/Hamilton, but he’s often up there – my main criticism I’d level at him is that he’s ridiculously sensetive to car setup. But to me, his ability to perform with the right car is actually pretty strong and consistent.

          1. This is the silly nature of the Button haters argument. It seems to me that had Button thrashed Hamilton some would only concede that Button was as good as him. Having merely matched him for results isn’t enough for them to say he’s as good. You see, spectacular driving style and aggression (Ham/Sen) wins the hearts and minds of people more easily than Professorial Technique (Prost/But) but it doesn’t paint a true picture as the results allude to. Super fast for part of the race and then having to calm down (a lot usually in Hamiltons case) is usually only equally as fast as maintaining a consistent, slightly sub optimal lap time for the entire race and shock horror, sometimes its slower.

          2. @coefficient I don’t think that was a very representative statistic the points scored by Hamilton and Button during their partnership.

            Hamilton was the only one still in contention for the driver’s championship at the final round in 2010. 2011 is best forgotten as that was a truly appalling show from Hamilton for a large part of the season, quite why I’m still not sure. 2012 should’ve been a championship for Hamilton realistically had his car and team not failed him on so many occasions from such strong positions.

            Absolutely Button is a great driver, but he’s not on the level of Haamilton in terms of consistent speed – a bit like Webber.

          3. @sgt-pepper

            Am I the only person who finds Button underrated? No he’s not Kimi/Alonso/Hamilton, but he’s often up there

            That would be my estimation of him too; he’s not a top class driver, he’s probably one of the best from the second tier of current drivers but he’s not up there with the best of them often enough and, in my opinion, is the sort of driver who can only do well when everything is going his way.

            I’m not a Button hater, I think he’s one of the nicest blokes in the sport, I just don’t think he’s one of the best drivers.

      2. You’re right. Which goes to show that even mediocre drivers in phenomenal cars can win championships. Button being the classic example.

        So I dont know why people keep harping on about Paul being a champion, when literally over half the grid could be champion in the right machinery

        1. (@coefficient)

          You see, spectacular driving style and aggression (Ham/Sen) wins the hearts and minds of people more easily than Professorial Technique (Prost/But)


        2. @todfod and seeing as DiResta is one of the drivers on the grid never to beat his teammate over a whole season, he arguably sits in the other half.

    2. Its called the “di Resta Effect”, it means you talk about stuff you can achieve but never actually do, but you could’ve.

      1. @spinmastermic Don’t forget that him and Vettel raced prior to F1 where Di Resta often beat him. Obviously, this means its a certainty he will win multiple wotld championships.

        1. The PdR PR machine will never let us forget that….

    3. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      3rd May 2013, 1:36

      “OmarR-pepper: Gutierrez can be a F1 champion”
      Of course! He (as well as the rest of non-champions on the grid) can, in theory, be champions – That’s why the group of 20 races is called “F1 World Championship”.
      Every single driver we see in every race CAN be a champion, but reality is another whole different thing.

      1. Very much the point of the WDC, I agree.

  4. MotoGP brought in their own penalty points system this season for all three classes. Any rider reaching four points starts the next race from the back of the grid, seven points lead to a pitlane start and 10 points a race ban.

    Race Direction can penalise a rider with a number of penalty points between one and 10 instead of or in addition to any other penalty. Once a rider reaches 10 points and gets a ban they’re reset to zero and points aren’t carried over to the following season.

    It’s still too early to see what effect this is going to have (we’re only 2 races into the season) but I think it’s a good idea, especially as they’ve brought in a similar system to F1 where an experienced GP rider is one of the officials working with Race Direction to decide what penalty is appropriate.

  5. There really aren’t any other countries as so damn patriotic as the Scottish.

    1. American, checking in.

      1. France has just checked in, and believes it has before America, whatever the facts show :D

        1. I thought I was reading Reddit for a moment there.

    2. Abdurahman (@)
      3rd May 2013, 3:25

      No kidding. Even equating DiResta with the Stewart. Nice one McNish.
      I thought it was pathetic that PDR didn’t make any attempt to get that podium finish. Yes, I know, I know, had to conserve his tires they must’ve been gone.

      1. I thought it was pathetic that PDR didn’t make any attempt to get that podium finish.

        I know right? To me, he seems to lack the fight of a true champion. Someone like Hamilton would’ve made his car as wide as a bus.

        1. Abdurahman (@)
          3rd May 2013, 3:45

          Yah, even if just for a lap or two. There was only five laps left when he moved to fourth. He had already had a 4th place finish before right? So if you had the opportunity for your first podium wouldn’t you almost be willing to bin it instead of just basically moving over?
          I guess it was the “intelligent” thing to do.
          BUT, it is just dawning on me on how much PDR is a carbon of Coulthard. Yes, he will win some races, but will NEVER be a champion.

    3. @mouse_nightshirt well I don’t think some of us are that bad: I personally acknowledge the fact that our football team is terrible, our rugby team is too inconsistent and Di Resta isn’t exactly a megastar. It just appears that we’re incredibly patriotic because often we make a point of saying we’re Scottish so we aren’t referred to as British, which many Scot’s interpret as being tarred with the same brush as the English. That’s really the patriotic element – Scotland’s long-standing feud with England!

  6. well that DRS video on the F1 website is a nice addition, actually makes that site worth having a look at, errr not like I would go their often Keith. I’m just saying, on hummm ahhh awkward.

  7. I find myself liking some of the things the Marussia are doing. It started with bringing Bianchi on board. Now Ferrari power? That just sounds good. Of course, no one really knows what to expect from the 2014 engines yet, but heritage and tradition cannot hurt. I’m really hoping to see Bianchi score some points this season. We would need a race with some unusual circumstances, rain or something, but you never know. Maybe Marussia is my new underdog.

    1. I find myself liking some of the things the Marussia are doing.

      uh, the Marussia team…

  8. Oh McNish, I hope you read F1fanatic

    You penalised a driver at Monaco for trying an overtake, thus now when anyone try’s to overtake the driver in front can shut the door and the driver behind get’s a penaltie as you set the bench mark. Kind of ruinned Monaco, but ok….

    …then in Le Mans 24h not long after, you caused a massive crash in which I am still surprised no one died as a wheel ricocheted round the photographers. But it wasn’t a last lap all of nothing move was it? It was in the first Hour of a 24 hour race… and it was on your own team mate.

    Due to those two bad decisions, I don’t think highly of mcNish and what he has to say.

    1. @josephrobert

      You penalised a driver at Monaco for trying an overtake

      Who? What? When? How?

      1. He was the steward for monaco 2011. Paul di resta tried an overtake which went wrong and got penalised. Which lead to every other overtake attempt getting blocked and penalties to the attacking driver. I think that this will hurt the racing at monaco.

        1. @josephrobert Didn’t Hamilton get a similar penalty for doing something similar to Massa? That very race?

    2. Blaming McNish for the crash is one thing, but blaming him for the surprisingly poor safety at that corner is a bit ridiculous.

      1. The safety set up at that corner was ridiculous in comparison to F1, so it was an even worse idea to try that computer game style dive.

    3. I don’t remember the Monaco case, but how about him accusing Vettel of passing Kobayashi under yellow in Brazil last year and creating the sh*t storm? He wasn’t fully aware how electronic flag system worked.

  9. That will mean two red, Ferrari powered cars book ending the grid next year.

    1. Sauber are going to paint their car red next year?

  10. I think the Marussia/Ferrari deal was more or less done when they signed Bianchi and TR switching to Renault. Interestingly Renault will have 5 customers and quite a money advantage for development – but we’ll see March 2014 if that makes a difference.

    1. Red Bull, Lotus, Williams, Caterham —> That’s only four teams with Renault power.

      1. Dan (@esquilax)
        3rd May 2013, 9:06

        “and TR switching to Renault”. That’s 5

        1. That has yet to be made official, until that time it remains a desire for STR. Renault themselves have said 4 is the maximum for them, so I am not so sure they will get those engines.

    2. @tmf42

      Renault will have 5 customers and quite a money advantage for development

      They would have if engine development was allowed in F1; they may get a short term advantage at first but within months (if not weeks) the FIA will have introduced measures to level out the performance of all of the engines and we’ll go back to the current situation where innovation is banned and development frozen.

  11. Only three engine suppliers will be a serious problem for F1. Ten years ago we had seven or eight. What if one more drops out? It doesn’t say much for the pinnacle of motorsport if the overwhelming majority of the automotive industry simply isn’t interested.

    Really, this shows why the original proposals for the 2014 engines (rather than the pitiful watered-down version that was eventually accepted) might have been the right way to go. Their increased road relevance might have brought some new or returning marques to the sport. F1 needs that to stay relevant.

    1. Feels all too close to DTM a couple of years back when BMW and then Opel dropped out, leaving Mercedes and Audi to supply the grid. Certainly not a good thing.

    2. Through the 70s most of the grid were running Cosworth engine’s with Ferrari & Matra the only other 2 suppliers & it didn’t do F1 any harm.

      Also don’t forget that there is a lot of talk of Honda returning to F1 within the next few years so its not as if there’s no interest from manufacturer’s.

  12. COTD? I mean seriously?

    In 2012, Silverstone did record its highest crowd but it wasn’t on the back of 2011 as being mentioned in COTD. It was because the season had already saw 7 different drivers win the first 8 races and Vettel won only one of them.

    By ‘Vettel-effect’, they meant the current performance of Vettel where he has won 2/4 races and finished in the top 4 in others and is unfortunately (again!!) leading the championship.

    This is how I interpret.

    1. @neelv27 People don’t wait for the start of the new season before they start buying tickets for the British Grand Prix. Silverstone usually sell out their ‘early bird’ ticket allocation well before then. The results of the first races will have an effect but they’re far from being the only deciding factor.

      1. True. I feel though that the first races of 2012 were a significant factor in deciding that. Factor in the 2013 races, it’s obvious.

    2. Have you thought that may be this is down to how the British drivers and teams are performing?
      Neither Hamilton or Button have a car capable of winning races. Mclaren looks out of sorts. Paul Di Resta is also not making huge strides over his team mate and has a mid-field car.

      Not everything is Vettel’s fault you know!

      1. To the extent I believe, British love their motorsport and performances of British drivers would not really put them off!!

  13. The text accompanying the video on Ferrari’s DRS: “The rear wing Drag Reduction System, or DRS, has come to play an important role in Formula One racing, increasing overtaking opportunities without making the competition artificial.”

    I’d say that’s a matter of some debate.

    1. (@puffy) +1.

      Di Resta potentially could’ve scored a podium if;

      a) DRS didn’t make defending impossible
      b) penalties were slightly more lenient, they seem to have gotten ridiculously strict nowadays.

    2. Thanks for pointing that out, immediately after reading I had wanted to note that. I would say

      that’s a matter of some debate

      is almost an understatement there @puffy

  14. It will be interesting to see how Astana blue would work with Williams blue :-) I hope it doesn’t clash to much LOL

    1. @force-maike – Multiple shades of blue could work very well. However, I wouldn’t expect anything dramatic. I have no idea what the SIS vane is, but the article says that the Astana logo will be placed on the SIS vane and outer nose struts of the FW35. If the SIS vane is anything like the outer nose struts, then the TAK Group have probably going to cover an area the size of a psotage stamp. You’ll have to squint to see the logo.

      Also, I remember predicting that TAK would sponsor a team through the Astana name a few months ago (but I can’t seem to find the relevant post, since the search fucntion only searches articles, not comments). But I was predicting that they would back HRT, not Williams.

  15. Totally agree with COTD. If people are refusing to shell out for tickets to the British GP, it’s because it’s spectacularly bad value for money. You’re paying hundreds of pounds for the privilege of sitting in an uncomfortable, cramped little plastic seat on top of some rickety old scaffolding, trying to make out what’s happening on one of the tiny screens you can just about see in the distance, if you’re even lucky enough to have a screen in your line of sight in the first place. While in front of you, on the other side of the track, is a beautiful new building, shining and plush, built exclusively for the enjoyment of those few lucky enough to be able to afford paddock club membership. The sort who are more interested in quaffing champagne and being seen in their designer outfits than watching the race itself.

    The single saving grace for the British GP is the enduring spirit of the plucky British F1 fans, who bring a great atmosphere to the event. Even still, this is a poor trade off for the dreadful facilities, hours of sitting in traffic (while the aforementioned privileged few drive past you in their special rich people lanes, of course), and the prices which, despite us being in a recession thanks to an ongoing and deepening global financial crisis, have continued to rise to stratospheric proportions.

    I can drive to France, have a week camping in the grounds of a beautiful chateau with my wife, get a week’s access to the Le Mans circuit including all of the practice and qually sessions, including my own numbered seat in a permanent concrete grandstand, and enjoy a paddock area where the teams and sponsors actually want to engage with the crowd and put on entertainment for them, rather than simply go about their business ignoring the crowds. I can do all of this, and still spend less money than it would cost me to go to camp at the British GP for a weekend. Which is close enough that I can hear the race from my house when the wind is blowing the right direction. Not to mention in France I get to enjoy listening to John Hindhaugh on the excellent Radio Le Mans throughout.

    So there’s your answer. It’s nothing to do with Vettel, and everything to do with the horrendously bad value for money that the average fan gets from their ticket purchase, especially compared to the enormous effort which is clearly made to accommodate the super rich. I’d love to go to the British GP, but in order to do so I’d have to cancel my holiday to Le Mans. And I know which I’d rather be doing.

    1. I went to Silverstone last year and I am very much in agreement with you. I was quite early on friday and saturday and I still had to park in the mud, about 300 metres from the entrance. The stands are a joke, very little protection from wind and rain, with long walks through more mud to get to them. I was smart enough to take a pair of wellies and a cape, but my friend had to throw his shoes away after the weekend.
      Great point about screens too. If you want to keep track of what’s happening on the track you have to get one of those fanvision devices, it’s the only way, really. Cell reception is so bad even timing is not accessible. ..
      This year i’m watching it from home.

      1. (@mazdachris) (@njoydesign) (@ajokay)

        This really doesn’t sound promising, considering I was hoping to go to my first ever grand prix this year to celebrate finishing my degree. Would you all honestly recommend just not going?

        1. I think if you can afford it, and can put the cost out of your mind, you’ll have a really good time. But you won’t get a ‘premium’ experience, in the way you might expect when you’re paying over £300 for a ticket. There are lots of vantage points, but the facilities are very basic, with no permanent grandstand structures. Fine if it’s nice and sunny, but if it’s at all nippy make sure you really wrap up warm as it gets freezing in the grandstands with no protection from the wind.

          There are definitely better value motorsports events to go to, and I suspect there are probably F1 circuits with much better facilities than Silverstone. But put the cost out of your mind and enjoy the atmosphere and the sight and sound of F1 cars at full tilt. You’ll have a good time I’m sure.

        2. Honestly, depends on the weather. After all, it is still a great experience, especially if you get a good seat. Personally, I think turn 3 is a nice spot, you are close to the cars and if it rains you are likely to see some drivers spinning (like Kobayashi in FP3 last time) there, which can result in a nice shot)) Turn 11 seemed a nice place too, but high fences and their support poles really stand in the way of taking clean pictures. 16-17-18 are great too, but the stands have no shelter, so if it rains you’re in trouble. I didn’t like T8, it’s too windy on the stands, which gets pretty bad if combined with rain. And not much action is actually happening through 6-7-8.

          It was my first time to see an F1 race too, and while there are many problems with the circuit and organisation, it was still a great experience despite all of that. I don’t think you will regret going. I may criticise them, but I don’t regret.

          advice – come in advance on friday and explore all the parking options. There is a very good free parking by the entrance, and on saturday it was half-empty because they were routing all the traffic through the field first…

    2. @mazdachris
      I’ve been saying similar things for years mate; I can take the family to the Isle of Man for a fortnight, including transport, accommodation, food and everything else for the price of a decent ticket for Silverstone and at the Isle of Man I get to meet almost all of the riders, engineers, team managers, journalists and most of them are happy to meet you and talk to you about the sport (and almost anything else), sign autographs, pose for pictures etc…

    3. We have been to the British GP half a dozen times or more, camping at Whittlebury, and buying one of the top priced grandstand tickets, we normally do Thursday through to Monday. I find the grandstands to be perfectly adequate, and if you have any sense and book early you can pick some seats which are opposite a big screen (if that’s what you want). There is NO FANVISION / KANGAROO TV in F1 this year :( The all up cost for our trip is about £600 per person including food and beer etc.

      We have also done Le Mans with Travel Destinations (Porsche Curves campsite), sometimes Tuesday Through to Monday and sometimes Wednesday through to Monday.
      The grandstand seats are no more comfortable than anywhere else, and you still need to make sure you book seats opposite a big screen!

      Access to the paddock and pit lane at Le Mans is superb, and the drivers are way more accessible, and the Friday drivers parade in Le Mans town centre is a great laugh.

      The all up cost for our Le Mans admission tickets, grandstand tickets, camping, fuel, ferries, food, beer etc is about £600 per person… so it costs us the same.

      They are both excellent motor racing events, but everyone should make the trip to Le Mans at least once!

      If you are looking for some real value motor racing, I would recommend the World Endurance Championship.
      We have done this event (or the equivalent Le Mans Series event) for the last 7 years.
      At £35 for a weekend roving grandstand ticket at Silverstone WEC, and plenty of cheap hotels nearby, you can do the whole weekend for around £200 including food & beer!

    4. Agreed. I’ve been to 2 British GP’s now, the first in 2003. Camping and General Admission for the weekend for £100. It was my first time, it was certainly an enjoyable experience and £100 wasn’t bad. The Thursday evening traffic wasn’t too bad, and getting out on Sunday evening didn’t take too long either.

      I then went again in 2010 with my dad. Just for Sunday, just for the race, pit-straight grandstand seats at £250 a-piece. 2 hours to get in, 3 hours to get out, 2.5 of which were stuck within the same 100m stretch of a field. Giant scaffolding grandstand (Silverstone is the country’s largest and most-used circuit and has been around for decades… how are the grandstands still made of scaffolding!?) and, uncomfortable seats, no elbow room, no chance to go anywhere else or do or see anything. Not that there was anything to see. Missed the support races as it took so long to get in.

      The F1 really just isn’t value for money. At all. I’d nbever go again unless I did win some crazy VIP tickes and arrived in a helicopter or something. It just isn’t worth it.

      £50 for an entire weekend of racing and camping for the WEC at Silverstone though, with a race of 6 and a support race of 3 hours. Complete access to the paddock all weekend, a pit lane walk, being able to talk to the mechanics, chat to the drivers if you’re lucky enough to catch them (which you would be)? yes please!

      On top of all of that, there’s plenty of room wherever you fancy sitting, because the attendance was only 35,000 on race day. Which may seem low but was up on 2012 and rather high for such an event, I’m fine with that.

      As you say @mazdachris, it’s just infinitely better in every way, and in the next few years I plan to get to Le Mans for a week of great motorsport atmosphere.

    5. Interesting… I live c. An hour from Le Mans, so it has definitely crossed my mind to go (problem is more finding someone amongst my friends to go with me). I don’t follow anything except F1, but I’ve heard great things about the atmosphere.

      I am doing the Belgian GP this year though, Eau Rouge, hugely excited but also a bit nervous from various online comments I’ve seen about seating, organisation etc. given the tickets alone were 800€.

    6. My brother tried to buy me tickets for F1, said no thanks, lets go Lemans!

      And we did, and it was great.

  16. Wow another COTD defending or praising Vettel in some way, makes a change.

    1. @sgt-pepper I chose it as Comment of the Day because it’s a well-informed response to what I thought was a rather transparent piece of PR and an attempt to deflect attention from the obvious problems Silverstone had last year.

      Comments with reasoning, intelligence, information or humour win Comment of the Day. Whinges about someone not criticising a driver you dislike do not.

      1. Ah, guess I’m the only person to notice the pattern then.

      2. @keithcollantine

        Whinges about someone not criticising a driver you dislike do not.

        Ouch… That one hurt! ;) I know I was a bit over the top with the whole SV effect, it´s just that some things really get to me. I´ll try and turn it down a few notches next time!

  17. The thing that really annoys me is that you pay all that money for your pit-straight grandstand ticket (now well over £300) and you can’t even see the sodding podium because they’ve put it on the end of the building!

    It just highlights how completely out of touch F1 has become with the real world. And I don’t just mean the likes of CVC, I mean the teams too, who seem determined to spend as much money as humanly possible, thus necessitating a huge hosting fee. And then they won’t even engage with the fans, some of whom will have spent over a month’s wages just to sit on some scaffolding for two hours.

    I went to the WEC 6 hour a few weeks ago and while it wasn’t a bad price, Silverstone is still not a great place to be. Very empty, very little going on other than the race, nothing to look at around the track other than food concessions and places to buy overpriced racing merchandise. It’s not a great place to spend a day. Obviously there’s less there when you’re going to have a <50,000 strong crowd, compared to the 250odd thousand over the GP weekend, but still, other than around the main pit building you feel like you may as well be standing on a bit of industrial wasteland. Hardly befitting of the premiere motorsport venue in the country which invented motorsport. But of course, the rich folk don't bother wandering far from the pit complex, so why should they bother spending money just to cater for us plebs?

    1. Sorry that was meant to be in reply to my previous comments…

      1. The podium is positioned with the plans for the new grandstands which are to be built in mind, Its the same reason you can’t see the final few garages from parts of the current grandstand.

        While I must admit I’ve not been to Silverstone since the new pit buildings were built, I’ve heard from people who have that have been less than complementary about the quality of the new buildings.
        I hear that parts of the new buildings leak just as badly as the old pit buildings did & that parts of it still look unfinished with lights flickering & wi-fi dropping out in the media center.

        The biggest problem with Silverstone has always been that big chunks of the British motoring media have always defended it to the point of basically ignoring all its faults.

        Bernie got hammered for daring to criticize Silverstone yet when you take a step back you actually realize that pretty much everything he was complaining about was actually correct.
        You also only had to spend a few minutes around the BRDC hierarchy to see why he got so frustrated with dealing with them.

        He asked them in 1997 to do something about the pit buildings & improve the media facilities & they promised they would, Yet for 1998 they instead decided to build themselfs a new clubhouse & then told Bernie they had no money to make any upgrades to the circuit or facilities & would have to go to the government to try & get more cash. They then spent the next 2 years doing nothing but dragging there feet & going on about how great Silverstone was until they were hit by the mess of 2000 (BTW Bernie has asked them to look at fixing a lot of what made the 2000 race weekend so difficult yet they built themselfs the BRDC clubhouse instead).

        Silverstone as a circuit is one of the best in the world, Won’t find many drivers that disagree but as a facility its miles off & the people who run it often seem clueless to its faults & much of the british motoring media refuse to call them on it.

        1. Just to add something more.

          The fact that the new pit buildings were built in a way that you can’t see some pit garages & can’t see the podium from the current grandstands with the new grandstands not been built for another few years shows just how poorly thought out & managed things tend to be.

          1. I guess the gaffe for the BRDC when last year the MotoGP people decided to go back to the old bit buildings should have rocked some seats as well about bad planning!

        2. Actually what you say about the poor quality of the Wing is probably true; I did notice when I was there for the WEC 6 hours that there were quite a few pieces of the aluminium cladding missing from various bits of the building.

          The BRDC go on about the money they have invested, but from what I can see what they’ve spent money on amounts to little more than a track extension (which I’ll never get to drive on) and a new pit building (which 99% of race attendees will never set foot in), neither of which improve anything about the experience of going to see a race. The fact it has taken a few weeks’ worth of rain to cause a bit of a disaster there for them to even consider improving facilities for ‘normal’ spectators is appalling. They should count themselves lucky that the British fans are so enthusiastic about going to see races that they’ll still keep coming back, in spite of being treated so poorly by the race organisers.

  18. Hmmm that Marussia engine deal really caught me by surprise…. NOT!

    That Ferrari system is very clever! I wonder how quicker that is compared to the regular button on the steering wheel thing!

    1. @karter22 I don’t imagine it’d be any quicker to activate (in fact, maybe even fractionally slower) but it’s on re-attachment of airflow that it’s particurly interesting. The time it takes for the driver to move his foot onto the brake pedal is enough to initiate the rear wing returning to it’s normal position, which should help total downforce to return faster and in theory improve braking performance.

      I don’t think it’s something which could be easily implimented by all the teams (Red Bull in particular with how ridiculously small the cockpits are apparently!) but it might be an area worth looking in to – it might gain a few hundredths and I wouldn’t imagine would be that hard to impliment if the car was designed with that in mind.

  19. Why am I not surprised the prospective Marussia-Ferrari deal since Binachi’s arrival?!

    1. *surprised by the

  20. Just to prove not all of us are interested in Bahrain only when the race is around the corner – here’s an interesting read also featuring a short resume of what the race achieved for the country:

    A quick Google search of the international press coverage the day after Bahrain’s F1 showed more than half of the first 50 news hits included the words “protests” or “police clashes” or similar in the title. The race proved yet another PR blunder for the regime, which is keen to present itself as a largely stable ally for the U.S., U.K. and others. The coverage was no ad for tourism to Bahrain and showed the Kingdom’s reality all too well. This is presumably not the sort of exposure the Bahrain government had hoped would result from such an internationally popular event.

    1. Amnesty International are still including them on their regular e-mails to members too.

      The UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, said he was “deeply disappointed” after Bahrain postponed next month’s visit, citing delays in “ongoing national dialogue”. The Bahraini authorities also cancelled a visit by Juan Mendez in February 2012, claiming they were “still undergoing major reforms”.

      “This latest cancellation shows that Bahrain is clearly not serious about implementing human rights reforms. The authorities have used the buzzword of ‘reform’ as a smoke screen, when in reality they are not reforming,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director. “There are no reforms in Bahrain, but rather human rights abuses continuing unabated.”

      The postponement comes amid continued clashes between protesters and security forces, which increased in the run-up to last weekend’s controversial Formula One Grand Prix.

      “This is the second time my visit has been postponed at very short notice. The authorities seem to view my visit as an obstacle rather than a positive factor to the reform process,” said Mendez.
      The independent torture expert had previously urged Bahrain to honour commitments it made to the UN’s Universal Periodic Review process in September 2012. “Bahrain’s allies have been far too keen to rely on the facade of reform and to go on with business as usual. The cancellation of the visit means there is no pretending anymore.”

      At the last session of the UN Human Rights Council, 43 states criticized ongoing human rights violations in Bahrain.

  21. I’m sorry, but I found this quite funny on the Ferrari DRS article:

    The rear wing Drag Reduction System, or DRS, has come to play an important role in Formula One racing, increasing overtaking opportunities without making the competition artificial.


    1. As for the video though, it is actually an interesting concept. It should in theory prevent re-attachment issues so I wonder if the Ferrari would’ve been suited to a DDRS system. That’s irrelevant now though of course!

      What I did think though is that surely it’d be possible to accidentally hit the brake when activating the DRS?

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