Start, Montreal, 2010

Ecclestone wants changes to Canadian GP venue

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Start, Montreal, 2010In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone wants the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to expand its paddock.


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Future of Canadian Grand Prix under threat (Metro)

“Ecclestone is especially keen for changes to the pit area and paddock, where floating platforms are used to extend the area. The enlarged paddock area, together with other repairs, would cost around ??10 million.”

Pirelli to stop tyre upgrades after Canadian Grand Prix practice runs (The Guardian)

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery: “Ideally we’d like to change the harder compound to give us more guarantees of being under three stops. But that sort of change needs the agreement of all 11 teams.”

Button downbeat on McLaren’s Canada chances (The Guardian)

“Overall, Canada has been a pretty good circuit for McLaren. We’ve won there the last three races, but this time around we’re not going to set the world alight simply because we are going to Canada.”

Sam Michael Q&A: ??Hard racing? Perez has McLaren support (F1)

“We?re developing the car – the car is getting better, though not as fast as we would hope. We?re not returning to form as quickly as we?d like, but we are moving in the right direction. We?ve got some tests to do which we have to fit in around the new tyre test on Friday – the only thing that could throw a curveball for all the teams this weekend is the weather.”

Bridgestone rules out F1 return (Autosport)

“Since our participation in F1, Bridgestone has achieved a significant improvement in brand awareness in Europe and in other areas all over the world.”

Horner defends Ferrari tyre test (ESPN)

“What do we expect from the FIA after our complaint? That the matter be analysed quickly and fairly.”

Awkward questions over Alonso’s title challenger (BBC)

“An ex-F1 driver I know believes he can see the beginnings of decline in Alonso. ‘Of course he is still phenomenal,’ this driver says. ‘But there are just the odd signs, little things here and there, perhaps a slight dimming of commitment, stuff like that

10 Reasons To Follow Formula One (Forbes)

“International appeal of the audience. In Monaco during race weekend I heard French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Arabic, English, Japanese and any number of Eastern European dialects. The ability to spend time in such close proximity with others from abroad is valuable to anybody who wants to better understand the world.”


Comment of the day

@GeeMac asks if it’s been too long since we saw a new lap record:

While I have no desire to go back to the kind of racing that we had in 2004 and while I do completely understand and agree with the various changes which have been (and which will be) made to the technical regulations since 2004, it really does leave a bad taste in my mouth when I read pre-race build up articles like this and see that the lap record was set in 2004.

I know that lap records mean absolutely diddly squat in the grand scheme of things, but knowing that this years cars have no chance of beating that lap record makes me sad.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

The first Detroit Grand Prix was held on this day in 1982 and saw John Watson score a remarkable win from 17th on the grid. Read about the race here:

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  • 47 comments on “Ecclestone wants changes to Canadian GP venue”

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      6th June 2013, 0:26

      Each year passes and Ecclestone wants changes to the pit buildings at Montreal. To be fair they’re 30 years old. Hopefully the circuit doesn’t get dropped over this.

    2. Completely agree with @GeeMac . Of course I don’t want 2004’s boring races to return, but the fact that today’s cars are slower has done nothing to increase excitement. In fact, I’d say quite the opposite; especially traction control levels out the field a bit more because it takes a bit of the driver’s skill out of the equation and gives everyone comparable traction coming out of corners. What has made the racing closer is the refueling ban, the engine freeze and the reduction of dirty air by narrowing the rear wing and getting rid of all the aerodynamic bits of bodywork.

      We need the return of ground effect. It’s 2013 now and unlike 30 years ago it should be much safer now, allowing much closer racing. Overall reduction of downforce levels, allowing more than one ideal line through corners. Compensate for this by giving the cars more than the current 750bhp, which is just much too low, these cars look like they’re on rails because the torque is so low.

      As for the engines, it’s a pretty difficult topic because all the engines are pretty much the same thus giving us more exciting racing. However, how about the following? Allow manufacturers to build any engine they like. Renault can go inline 4 while Ferrari can go V12. We can easily level the field by setting a fixed max amount of horsepower these engines may produce, something like 850-900 would be ideal. Manufacturers can still develop their engines by making them more fuel-efficient and cars with more efficient engines are lighter. I’d maintain a minimum car weight to balance the weight and fuel-usage of the different engines using a formula, because of course a V12 will use more fuel than a V6 turbo. All in all, manufacturers willbe attracted to Formula 1 because they can develop whatever engine they want and they can develop them the modern way, by making them greener.

      That’s what I was thinking of!

      1. David not Coulthard (@)
        6th June 2013, 4:53

        We can easily level the field by setting a fixed max amount of horsepower these engines may produce, something like 850-900 would be ideal

        I think it would be better if we say “There is this box that must be put into all the cars on the grid. The engines and fuel tanks must fit in there” (or, a bit more to the point, the volume of both the engines and fuel tanks are limited by the FIA. Produce as much HPs you’d like, but make the engines and fuel tanks smaller than the maximum volume).

      2. Hear hear!
        But I would also love it if there would be no ground effect. Just way more horse power than grip.
        And engines to me can also be electric, nuclear or whatever. Innovation really would pay off then!

      3. @roald

        I think the best ways to performance balance engines in the coming years, is by restricting the fuel flow. In the end horsepower is determined by fuel consumption, more fuel burnt = more hp. Whoever gets the most out their fuel are the winners.

        This would make a great incentive for making efficient engines and not just gas-guzzling V12’s. And honestly I dont think F1 engineers would have any problems developing incredible HP numbers, but it isnt really a big challenge. Engineers are capable of making V6 turbo engines, that are both powerful and extremely efficient, so why not push them in a direction that might actually be relevant to the time we live in, instead of believing petrol will be around forever?

        To be honest I think that people dont quite understand what excites and challenges an engineer. It is not doing whatever you want, let me give you an example:

        You are given a task to build a bridge. You have an unlimited budget, unlimited time, nothing is impossible! Whatever you do IT WILL WORK.
        This wouldn’t be a challenge, and it wouldn’t be fun.

        Engineering ingenuity does not come from not being limited, it comes from thinking outside the box that rulemakers and budgets are building around you. Why would anyone have ever invented a double diffuser if you could have just changed the rear wing for a bigger one? Why would Mercedes have come up with interlinked hydraulic suspension, if active magnetic suspension had been allowed?

        Its about being cleverer than the other guys, not about who can put together the most expensive and outrageous machine in the world.

    3. Very true COTD.
      Regarding the BBC article: I’m no fan of Alonso, but one poor race doesn’t indicate the start of a decline (he’s won two races so far). Benson should be answering awkward questions over silly articles like this and expressing his biased views through the BBC.
      It would be a great shame if F1 loses Canada. It was saddening when they dropped it in 2009.

    4. I wonder who Benson’s ex-driver is. Karthikeyan? I’d agree that Alonso has been relatively ‘poor’ by his standards so far this season, but he’s had weaker spells before (early 2010 sticks out for me). Also, let’s remember that we’re talking about a guy who has won two races in great style and has finished second on another occasion so far this year. No, I think Alonso is just fine.

      1. Yeah, he did great as always. Just seems to have been less lucky. It was going to be pretty much impossible to be as lucky as he was in the beginning of 2012.

      2. @victor what I think he’s suggesting isn’t too far off the mark: Alonso is at his peak now and as time progresses can really only go down. So what is being implied is that he needs to maximise his potential now before the fall inevitably comes, as Hamilton and in particular Vettel will only be getting better.

    5. Its amazing Andrew Benson still has a job….Beeb appears to be scrapping the bottom of the barrel with Benson, in all my years of reading his articles, I havent seen anything of note.

      His story on Alonso is nonesense. Who is this “un-named ex-driver”, fragment of Benson’s imagination. For somebody to publish that on the BBC is an embarrassment. Benson changes his mind faster than Paris Hilton changes clothes, one day Alonso is the greatest and the next day he is on the wane!

      Sack the bugger! He is rubbish..always has been and always will be. Its hard to imagine that they cant get proper F1 journo in the UK!

      1. Traverse (@)
        6th June 2013, 14:46

        Maybe Keith should send his CV to the BBC…

    6. Bernie will get the headlines for been the one asking for the changes, However if you went & spoke to the people who use the pit/paddock you would not be many (If any) people who would not welcome the Montreal pit/paddock facilities getting an upgrade.

      There are also a few other areas around the place which could do with a bit of an update.

      1. Who cares if it needs upgrades! It is still one of the best tracks in the current F1 era, and it draws a huge crowd every year. It is one of most exciting tracks and the drivers all like it, so who cares about the paddock.

    7. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      6th June 2013, 2:13

      i always hear that a driver is at his peak at 32, yet Schum had his final championship at 35. Probably he was “one of a kind” but that doesn’t mean Alonso can’t become champion this or next year. Of course, I don’t want it to happen :P but honestly, if he gets a championship that would spice things up. It would make a spectacular battle next year if Alonso champions this time. Both Seb and Alonso would fight for their fourth WDC. And I’m not dismissing the rest of drivers of course, just focusing my wonderings on this particular issue.

      1. Very true. I also think the statistic that no one bar Lauda has had as big a gap between championships (if Alonso were to win this year) is somewhat irrelevant/unfair considering that when Alonso won his first two championships he was by far the youngest champion in the history of the sport. Vettel of course was younger still. He could lose this year and not win another championship for a decade and he’d be the same age Schumacher was when he won his final championship. It’s all relative. That said, at some point it’s inevitable Alonso will lose his edge, and the fact that that will probably happen while Hamilton and Vettel are still on the upward curve of their talents must worry him. It’s not going to get any easier for him to beat those two.

        1. I seriously hope that Fernando wins at least one more championship, and I think it will happen this year. Vettel and Hamilton are on an upward curve, while Alonso has pretty much peaked and is now in the absolute prime of his career, and he needs to make the most of this; him losing 2010 was mostly his own fault, but 2012 was a brilliant year came to a very unfortunate ending.

          Then again, Schumacher won a very competitive season in 2003 at the age of 34, so Alonso definitely has time on his hands, but he needs the car.

          1. I agree that Alonso still has time if he’s good enough. He has the best car in the field and really it’s his title to lose this season.

            I don’t believe he’s declined. Vettel is simply better. The Ferrari last year had solid race pace from Barcelona onwards. It was a rocket off the line, had bulletproof reliability, Alonso had a lot of good luck. Alonso is a relatively poor qualifier (only 22 poles from 204 races) compared to Vettel and Hamilton, so when people saw the Ferrari starting 5th then challenging for the podium due to strong race pace (overtaking is a non-issue with DRS) they thought it was a heroic performance. No, he simply under-performed in qualifying.

      2. Alonso is definitely at his peak now and he’s running out of chances to win the title I reckon: this may even be his last one (he has a competitive car and he’s still driving well). Of Hamilton and Vettel the latter in particular I think will continue to improve and refine their driving so Alonso will start to dip soon whilst they are still getting better.

        What we need now I think is a brilliant young driver to spice things up: we’ve had the Alonso/Vettel/Hamilton clan since 2010 really so perhaps Magnussen or Da Costa could make the jump to spice things up a bit?

    8. Horner defends Ferrari tyre test (ESPN)

      Horner defends Ferrari? 0_O

      1. Horner defends Ferrari? 0_O

        @kingshark I think I came across a comment on that article in ESPN, which read something like ‘CH is defending because he is vying for a spot in Ferrari team’ :P

    9. “Someone once said to me a driver on today’s tyres is a bit like asking Usain Bolt to run the 100m in high-heeled shoes. In reality, if everybody has to wear the same high-heeled shoes then the competition changes and you use what you have available, not what you don’t have available.” Hembery

      If Pirelli came out and said – sorry guys we screwed up – then I could accept that. After all, people make mistakes and I never doubted that Pirelli just wants to put up a good show. But statements like the one I quoted are ignorant, arrogant and just a slap in the face.

      1. But statements like the one I quoted are ignorant, arrogant and just a slap in the face.

        But when you tie their hands what else can they do @tmf42? I mean it is very clear that it is impossible that all the teams to agree for a change in tyres. So literally the competition has changed already, hasn’t it?

        1. @seahorse as I said if they came out and said what happened I would have no problem and the blame would shift entirely to the teams blocking improvements – but Hembery only knows how to deny and how to patronize.

          1. @tmf42 IMO Pirelli is like a stick with both ends on fire. They need to satisfy FIA, Bernie, All the teams, Media and The fans. It is quite impossible to satisfy all and in such a scenario they are just trying to save their face I guess.

      2. I think that quote just raises the question, would we actually want to see Usain Bolt running in high heels, even if everyone else was? Is it dismissing from the spectacle to knowingly restrain a car and driver within their true limitations?

        I think a better situation would be akin to the LZR swimsuits we had back in 2008: they were super efficient like the bridgestones of the tyre war but weren’t even for all and made beating lap records etc. almost too easy. What we should do is what Fina did and ban these, making the competition slower but more even and hence more exciting. So really, Pirelli should just make tyres that won’t last the whole race but aren’t like mozzarella balls either.

        I realise there are some flaws with the analogy but I hope you can see what I’m getting at!

    10. The Benson and Forbes stories are rubbish. Not going to comment too much on the headline-grabber.

      I like how one of the “10 reasons to follow F1” is ‘parties’ – never been invited to a Formula 1 party in my life, so no idea why I should follow F1 because of ‘parties’. I also like how ‘strategy’ refers to the point scoring system. But my favorite of all reasons is ‘impress your friends’ – i.e. in the United States, Formula 1 is for people who need an excuse to brag about something. F1 fans are just a bunch of boasters. Thanks Forbs. Now, please write about stuff you do understand.

      1. Isn’t Benson’s article a blog post, not a news item? People give Benson a lot of stick for that, when they actually seem to be confusing his blog posts with his news articles..

        1. But… it’s just so incredibly pointless!!

          1. Definitely a blog post then ;-)

      2. I think Benson’s article, which is really rather an opinion piece, contains some useful analysis. The suggestion that Alonso might be losing it is really very speculative as one cannot draw such a conclusion just because Massa outqualified him in a few races and Alonso made a mistake at Sepang and had an unimpressive race at Monaco. Every driver has their ups and downs and Alonso’s performance last season, particularly in the first half of it, was something very exceptional. But it’s true that Ferrari need to stop wasting their chances if they want to stay in the 2013 title fight.

      3. That Forbes article really is an oddity, isn’t it? It’s written from a rather parochial US perspective, but this bit about hearing foreigh languages helps one to understand the world is decidedly weird. Hasn’t the author ever been to New York or San Francisco?
        Actually, I think the point is that the trip to Monaco might have been the author’s first trip outside the US – mild culture shock.

        1. @timothykatz
          That really is a terrible article. Why would people start watching F1 because of “Young male drivers”? And what is this fascination with a points scoring system. Yes F1 has unique points scoring system… Just like every other sporting league / series in the world!

          1. Well, we don’t know the age, sex and orientation of the author of course. But if I wanted to watch boys, I’d head for the gymnastics.
            The fascination with the points does seem very strange as you say. Perhaps the author *is* a refugee from Nascar – but no, the points system and ‘The Chase’ is even more arcane there.

    11. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      6th June 2013, 10:12

      Bernie, please, listen to your fans, the people that essentially made you the billionaire you are, the people that put the fuel in your private jet, heat your outdoor pool and gets you married to a 20 something year old of whose undulations are comparable to your much hated Spa. The following races are “h a l l o w e d” (look it up in a dictionary, Bernie), and therefore not to be tampered with…

      Sao Paulo

      As long as those are on the calendar, we will happily keep funding your playboy, or playpensioner, lifestyle. But hang on! Notice the inclusion of Montreal? Bernie, that may just suggest that F1 fans would much rather see F1 cars dance through the tree-lined chicanes of a track that nearly always serves up a great race to seeing grumpy drivers bumping over mountainous kerbs at pedestrian speeds on one of the many car-park tracks you have lined up. Get rid of Montreal, and there’s no Lamborghini Aventador for you (On a completely separate note, Lambo please make a GT version of the Aventador, the old Murcielago R-SV GT1 looked soooo cool). However Bernie, if you do feel compelled to scrap a race, feel free to omit any of the snore-fests listed below…

      South Korea (no explanation needed…although I like the track, so maybe it could be dug up and put somewhere like Jamaica?)
      Barcelona (revert to original layout or drop it, the choice is yours)
      Hockenheim (why do we go to this tedious track, when there is a great German track with dust balls on it?)
      Abu Dhabi (the most majestic car-park of them all)
      Hungaroring (a race that has really run out of stream, and one that I simply don’t look forward to)
      Singapore (shorten or scrap)

      I think that’s everything covered Bernie, and I look forward to you completely ignoring that and giving us a race somewhere like Mongolia or Iran, all the while insisting “This is great for F1, we are rewarding a country that has economically succeeded”…with an awful race!!!!!!!! Rant over.

      1. @william-brierty

        Notice the inclusion of Montreal? Bernie, that may just suggest that F1 fans would much rather see F1 cars dance through the tree-lined chicanes of a track that nearly always serves up a great race to seeing grumpy drivers bumping over mountainous kerbs at pedestrian speeds on one of the many car-park tracks you have lined up.

        I suggest you go back and read the article and see what Bernie is actually asking Montreal to do. He’s not asking them to rebuild pit lane with architecture that would look ridiculous even for a James Bond villain. He’s asking them to give the pit and paddock a major upgrade so that they can actually accomodate Formula 1.

        The Montreal circuit is built on an artificial island that was constructed as part of the rowing basing for the 1976 Summer Olympics. And in the time since it was built, it has not received a single upgrade. The circuit has been resurfaced and a few sections have been reprofiled, but the pits and paddock are exactly the same as they were thirty years ago.

        Look at the extract that Keith provided, particularly this sentence:

        “Ecclestone is especially keen for changes to the pit area and paddock, where floating platforms are used to extend the area.”

        How is that an unreasonable expectation on Ecclestone’s part? He wants them to expand the pits and the paddock so that they can actually accomodate Formula 1.

        1. ferrox glideh
          6th June 2013, 14:23

          Just a fussy technical note: Ile Notre Dame was built for Expo 67 (A true display of Bond villian architecture). From 1978 to 1988 the pits were located near the northern hairpin and were moved south 25 years ago to their current location.

        2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          7th June 2013, 9:34

          @prisoner-monkeys – I think you have rather missed the point. It was a tongue-in-cheek comment posted based on an inference that the article gave me and Bernie’s reputation. In future, please note that said “tongue-in-cheek” comments don’t require exhaustive and meticulous correction…

      2. I doubt Lamborghini will make a GT version- when they did, there were two separate GT classes. Now that there’s only one, most manufacturers prefer to use their lesser cars.

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          7th June 2013, 9:29

          @matt90 You’ve just poured cold water on my dreams. Ratel needs to get his act together, life simply isn’t worth living without GT1 spec racing cars. GT desperately needs a return to glory days of 2010-11, and I think it’d be great for motorsport if the many great GT chasis painstakingly made by countless manufacturers go unused. What’s happened to the GT-R GT1? Matech Ford GT1? MC12 GT1? 458 GT? R8 LMS Ultra? They’re all either gathering dust or romping around seldom used tracks in what is now a minor race series. Ratel, you are just as bad as Bernie, so scrap this rubbish series we have this year and get proper racing drivers and great manufacterers like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Mercedes, Maserati and Audi tearing their GT cars around the numerous great tracks of Europe. In fact, do a deal with Bernie, and get European Super GT as the best support series of F1 ever…

          1. I find it sad too. I used to love the two classes of GT cars at Le Mans. Now they’re essentially all the same, mainly differentiated by whether the drivers are professional or amateur.

    12. I fully agree with @GeeMac ‘s COTD. I have been reviewing the 2004 F1 season lately and one has to be mad or a diehard Schumacher / Ferrari fan to call it a great season but I miss some aspects of it today, including the quick lap times. If only it was possible to have more testing, more technical freedom and a tyre war without all the destroying side effects…

      1. @girts I don’t think a tyre war is a good idea however we look at it but by all means encourage a single tyre supplier to make faster tyres that are more durable!

    13. The other side of the GP’s ‘economic benefits’ for Montreal
      (Google translate link to article in French)
      In short: the GP weekend is annually the biggest spike in prostitution, especially underage prostitution. As in like 14 year old homeless girls. I doubt Montreal is the lone place on the calendar that this happens. So next time somebody asks you why Formula 1 ought to promote a healthier image of gender roles, you can say: so that maybe guys with no conscience develop one. And if you don’t see the connection, it’s just as likely you never will.

      1. Sad but true, thanks for sharing @maciek

    14. On what @geemac pointed out I pointed out this thing a few days back in my tweet, Ho there has been no new lap records on the old circuits with unchanged layouts : here

      Lap Records on #F1 circuits & year AUS-2004, MAS-’04, CHI-’04, BAH-’05,MON-’04, CDN-’04,GER(Nur)-’04,HUN-’04,ITA-’04, JPN(Suz)-’05,BRA-’04— Vaibhav (Nimba) (@NimbaSpeaks) June 3, 2013

    15. and here :

      Almost all the lap records on current #F1 circuits which have been hosting races for some time now, were set in 2004. those were speedy days— Vaibhav (Nimba) (@NimbaSpeaks) June 3, 2013

      This clearly shows how the engine regulations and tyres have degraded the sport of #F1 from racing cars to managing cars #FiA— Vaibhav (Nimba) (@NimbaSpeaks) June 3, 2013

    16. As is reflected in the tweets above, I am of the opinion that F1 evolved into a sport which focuses even more towards strategic racing than real power-based racing. Obviously teams have to go as per the regulations and rules which decide the engine capacities, revs, weights , aero and everything else from testing to budgets so they are not to blame here, neither are the drivers who got to adapt to whatever racing cars they are provided and (not always though) whatever they are asked to do from the pit-wall. The recent event of Vettel recording the fastest lap at Monaco during the final laps, for Satisfaction, despite the team asking him to control the pace is something that reflects not only the urge of the fans, but also of the drivers to go full-on racing at every moment they get. After-all there are only 19 races to do in the whole year.

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