Janes Hunt, McLaren, Watkins Glen, 1976

“We could do with another James Hunt” – Ecclestone

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Janes Hunt, McLaren, Watkins Glen, 1976In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone on James Hunt.


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

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone sounds off in revealing interview (AutoWeek)

“We could do with another James Hunt. I was pretty close to James and I have lots of great memories of him.”

German GP ?ǣ A step into the unknown (Ferrari)

“Obviously, this test will be carried out with the actual race drivers, as there would be no sense in trying something new with youngsters at the wheel, who do not have the necessary experience to provide the required feedback.”

Pirelli insists its tires are “completely safe” (NBC)

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery: “Even though the 2013 high-performance steel-belted version is completely safe when used correctly, the Kevlar-belted version is easier to manage and as long as there is no system in place which allows us to enforce tyre related specifications, like tyre pressures or camber, the incorrect use of which were contributing factors of the tyre failures in Silverstone, we prefer to bring a less sophisticated tyre.”

Mercedes welcomes Pirelli clarity (Autosport)

Toto Wolff: “I don’t think you could expect any tyre supplier in the world to come out and say their tyres are not safe.”

Lewis Hamilton satisfied with Pirelli action to stop tyre blowouts (The Guardian)

“We don’t have experience on these tyres. We ran them in Montreal, if I’m not mistaken [during practice], so it’s going to be a bit of a learning process. But it doesn’t matter which tyres we use because we have a very quick car in general so I am confident we can stay where we are, more or less.”

Lowe: No need for revolution at Mercedes (F1)

“Ross is team principal at the moment. We don’t know how long he will want to remain as team principal – those plans aren’t made.”

Brawn planning to stay at Mercedes (BBC)

“We’re in good shape for next year. I wouldn’t want to miss the fun.”

Tweaks to tilt title? (Sky)

Mark Hughes: “If the Kevlar-belted tyre that Pirelli wished to introduce from Canada but was prevented from doing, is now introduced, it will have the side effect of reducing rear temperatures by around 10C. This will be of enormous help to Mercedes, giving it a much better chance of maintaining its dazzling qualifying form into the races – possibly to such an extent that we may see one or both of the Mercedes drivers coming back at Vettel in the championship.”

Emmo testa carro da Lotus-Renault na Franca (Tazio, Portuguese)

Pictures of Emerson Fittipaldi driving a Renault R30 (in a Lotus livery) earlier this week.

Hunt And Lauda At The Green Hell (F1 Speedwriter)

Niki Lauda: “Some of [the other drivers] wanted to seem brave. others were simply too stupid to know what they were doing. I steeled myself to drive that fast lap in 1975, although my brain kept telling me it was sheer stupidity. The antithesis between the modern-day racing car and the Stone Age circuit was such that I knew every driver was taking his life in his hands to the most ludicrous degree.”


Comment of the day

Are F1 cars getting too slow compared to other racing cars? Thatscienceguy is armed to the teeth with stats:

Let?s look at some facts. For as close to all-out speed, let?s use qualifying laps:

2012 LMP1 Pole ?ǣ 1’48.273 (Alexander Wurz, Toyota)
2012 F1 Pole ?ǣ 1’35.121 (Nico Rosberg, Mercedes)

2012 LMP1 Pole ?ǣ 1’45.814 (Allan McNish, Audi)
2012 F1 Pole ?ǣ 1’32.422 (Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull)

Sao Paulo
LMP1 ?ǣ 1’22.363 (Alexander Wurz, Toyota)
F1 ?ǣ 1’12.458 (Lewis Hamilton, McLaren)

LMP1 ?ǣ 1’43.663 (Benoit Treluyer, Audi)
F1 ?ǣ 1’51.746 (Fernando Alonso, Ferrari)

It?s pretty consistently about 12 seconds difference. Even when it?s very wet for F1 and dry for LMP1 (Silverstone), F1 is barely slower than the LMP1.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Mclarenfanjamm!

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

This might feel a bit familiar if you read yesterday’s round-up: 20 years ago today, Alain Prost won the French Grand Prix.

It was Prost’s sixth win in his home race which at the time was more than any other driver had achieved. It’s since been surpassed by Michael Schumacher won won at home on nine occasions, he usually had the benefit of racing at home twice per season, something Prost rarely had.

Prost’s team mate Damon Hill led the early stages but was passed by Prost when they made their sole pit stop. Schumacher finished third for Benetton. Here’s the start of the race:

Image ?? Ford

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  • 57 comments on ““We could do with another James Hunt” – Ecclestone”

    1. Looking at the COTD is proof that f1 is still the pinnacle of racing.

      1. LMP1 cars are more than 250 kg heavier than F1 cars and have to be able to last several F1 GP race distances so it’s difficult to make a direct comparison.
        Personally I thought that what I saw watching Le Mans the other week was far closer to being the pinnacle of racing than what I’ve seen in the last few season’s of F1: no DRS, tires that are designed to go as fast as possible for as long as possible and drivers visibly pushing their cars and themselves to the edge for prolonged periods at very high speed. An F1 car would undoubtedly lap Le Mans faster than an LMP1 car over a single lap but the F1 car would be lucky to last half of the 24 hour race before falling apart or requiring a full rebuild and it would only last that long if you had a driver who could race it at night without any lights.

        1. I would very much like to see the lap times a current IndyCar or GP2 car would acheive on those circuits. I can’t help but feel they would be a couple seconds ahead of the LMP1 cars.

          1. Last weekend J Lancaster managed a best race lap of Silverstone of 1.43.047 in his GP2 in the race. Practice best was Ericsson in 1.40.716.
            So three seconds faster than an LMP1 (in practice).
            I think there’s an error in ThatScienceGuys figures as F1 at Silverstone is shown as 1.51.7 which is 8 seconds slower than the LMP1. Last week’s pole time for F1 was of course 1.29.6 from Hamilton.
            Please correct me if I have misread ScienceGuy’s figures.

            1. . . . but don’t correct me for messing up the bold!

            2. Those are figures from 2012, I presume.

            3. Since everyone is comparing LMP and F1 here is a comparison of pole laps at Monza (because the track has remained relatively unchanged):

              1992 500 Km of Monza – Peugeot 905 – 1:26
              1992 Italian Grand Prix – Williams FW14B – 1:22
              2002 Italian Grand Prix – Williams FW24 – 1:20
              2008 1000 Km of Monza – Peugeot 908 – 1:31
              2010 Italian Grand Prix – Ferrari F10 – 1:21

              Conclusion: on a low downforce track F1 is 10 sec faster than LMPs but only 5 than Group C (ground effect).

            4. thatscienceguy
              4th July 2013, 10:39

              Yeah i do say in the last para that silverstone last year for F1 was wet, hence the relatively slow lap.

        2. thatscienceguy
          4th July 2013, 3:27

          Completely agree, there are many factors when comparing different categories of racing (esp open wheel to sports cars), as the approach is entirely different.

          The COTD post was a direct reply to someone claiming that LMPs were within 1 second of F1, which is patently not true.

          It is also worth comparing F1 and WEC given that F1 is the (un)official feeder series for WEC.

          But the overriding point still stands, F1 is significantly faster than every other category of racing.

          I love sports car racing, as much or possibly more than F1, but F1 is still without peer when it comes to outright speed, never mind what the knockers claim.

          At the end of the day F1 can’t win, people say they want more power and less downforce to bring the cars together, and when the regs provide exactly that, people (and i’m not going to rule out that there some are the same people) complain that the cars are getting slower. At the end of the day the speed of the cars actually doesn’t really matter, i think everyone/most people want to see good quality racing.

          1. But surprisingly MotoGP bikes have higher top speeds!

            1. Why is that surprising? They have excellent power-to-weight ratio and much lower drag. They lose some of time in corners (with virtually no downforce), but I’m not surprised at all by their straight line speed.

            2. Road bikes ahve impressive top speed as well.

        3. FlyingLobster27
          4th July 2013, 8:53

          To me, LM being the current pinnacle of motorsport is due to the diversity of accepted technologies: petrol or diesel, turbo or normally aspirated, hybrids with different types of energy stockage, and hopefully full-electric soon if Nissan’s experiment next year is conclusive. Meanwhile, F1 teams have merely spent the last decade or so just tweaking the aero (yes, I do know there’s an engine freeze), and any major innovation (F-duct, EBD) is banned within a year. The potential for durable and more road-relevant novelties (Diesel engine efficiency, Audi’s variable-geometry turbo) is on a completely different level in Endurance racing compared to F1, and that’s where LM is superior to F1, despite the latter being, with IndyCars, the fastest form of competition on four wheels.
          For a point of comparison, take EBD. In F1, if you had it, you were competitive, and if you didn’t have it, you were out of the game, simple as that. On LMP1s, if you have it (Audi), yes you’re faster, but you’re burning more fuel which means you’re vulnerable to slightly slower cars that are capable of stretching their stints several laps further than you (Toyota) and that will therefore spend less time in the pits. In Endurance, what makes you go faster seldom comes for free in the long run, while it’s costless (apart from the money needed to develop the parts) and crippling to those who don’t have it.

          1. FlyingLobster27
            4th July 2013, 8:54

            *costless, and crippling to those who don’t have it in F1.

      2. I think its fitting that they’re both pretty close… they’re both the pinnacle of their respective fields of motorsport.

        Lets not forget that motorsport isn’t just single seat open wheelers…

        1. Look I know you can’t compare f1 to WEC or sports car racing each category is different. The reason why I said what I said is because I was just bored and I wanted to trol around a little bit, you know for fun. :)

      3. Well there’s that 24 hour thing including less revs, more engine capacity and saving the brakes, recently more kinectic energy “rewards”, and 600km on the same set of tyres but only 150km of fuel onboard, they are heavier and with less power and more importantly less constraints in the aero department, they are essentially more efficient than F1 cars regarding aero.
        The latest tweakes to LMP1 resulted in tops speeds of only 320 in the straights of La Sarthe whereas an F1 should hit 15 to 30 kph more. I’d say that in ideal conditions they should corner like F1 cars.

      4. I would state that F1 is failing F1 in that department. No that F1 isn’t progressing, but looking at the time-sheets, F1 is not going to be the quickest series in the world from next year onwards. I don’t believe that is going to be 2 or 3 seconds, it’s going be more because there are lots of aero changes as well. Race pace and quali pace should differ even more, and in my opinion that’s very unfortunate because F1 is sprint racing, hopefully the tyre supplier will bring no deg tyres.

      5. Is it all down to speed?

      6. Taking into consideration the slowest F1 cars on the grid, which sometimes lap about 5 seconds slower than the fastest cars (Max Chilton qualifying time of 1’35.858 at Silverstone last Saturday), and adding the 3 seconds expected for next year, we will have 1’38.858, which is only 1.858 seconds faster than GP2’s M. Ericsson pole lap of 1:40.716.
        Other examples during 2013 qualifying sessions:
        • Monaco:
        o F1: Esteban Gutierrez 1’26.917 (I know it was in wet conditions)
        o GP2 pole: M. Evans 1:21.157

        • Barcelona:
        o F1: Charles Pic 1’25.07 (+3 sec= 1’28.07)
        o GP2: M. Ericsson 1’28.706
        GP2 will be slower by 0.636 sec.

        • Bahrain:
        o F1: Max Chilton 1’36.476 (+3 sec= 1’39.476)
        o GP2: F. Leimer 1:39.427
        GP2 will be faster by 0.049 sec

        • Kuala Lampur:
        o F1: Giedo van der Garde 1’39.932 (+3 sec= 1’42.932)
        o GP2: S. Coletti 1:44.280
        GP2 will be slower by 1.348 sec.

        So, if F1 is getting slower with time, then my point is that soon we will see some other race cars lapping a certain circuit faster than at least “some” of the F1 cars on the grid.

      7. You know what?
        Formula One is always the pinnacle of motorsport since it’s inception in 1950 and it will always be the pinnacle of motorsport.

    2. Regarding

      From the forum

      Here’s who will be appearing in the press conferences this weekend – what would you ask them?

      …I know Pirelli have become absolutely intrinsic to the championship in an unprecedented way this year, hence the inclusion (or invitation) of Paul Hembrey, but wouldn’t it be good to hear from some of the other suppliers of F1? If they announced a line-up including Brembo, SKF, Hewland, Magnetti Marelli, Bilstein or Goetze (who apparently manufacture piston rings), I’d be quite happy. Is there anyone out there who would moan if Carbone Industries fielded a representative?

      1. cool thought… although they’re more to do with teams, it’d be interesting to hear from them. Perhaps if they were purely from the F1 side, we might hear from whoever does the timekeeping and communications, GPS and logistics perhaps? M.E.S and the like…

      2. @splittimes Absolutely!

    3. Circuit of the Americas
      2013 MotoGP — 2’03.021 (Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda)
      2013 DP — 2’00.179 (Jon Fogarty, GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing)
      2012 F1 — 1’35.657 (Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull)

      1. DPs are slower than LMP2 cars and far slower than LMP1 cars, they’re barely faster than GTE and GT3 cars. We’ll only get a direct comparison with the LMP1/LMP2 cars in September.

        1. DPs are slower than LMP2 cars and far slower than LMP1 cars, they’re barely faster than GTE and GT3 cars

          Hence why the GT class in Grand-Am is heavily restricted compared to GT cars elsewhere.

    4. JPQuesado (@joao-pedro-cq)
      4th July 2013, 2:18

      Speed does not always dictate which category is the pinnacle of motorsports. Of course it goes towards it, but if the car is not road-relevant then what’s the point of being so quick? What I mean with road-relevant is that currently in F1, manufacturers arent’t able to develop new technologies that are applicable to our road cars. You can argue KERS is on some road cars already, but then look at Le Mans and the WEC: they’ve taken KERS some big steps further. Their cars are much more road relevant, and new technology and solutions are allowed on the cars without being banned for the following year and eternity, and variety is encouraged. They haven’t a single, restricting formula for engines. They restrict aerodinamic development because they know that if they don’t, then it will happen like in Formula 1 and it will pass a point of no return where the aerodinamic development of the cars will no longer be relevant.

      And also, Le Mans doesn’t need any gimmicks like DRS or made-to-degrade tyres to spice up racing. It’s always exciting to watch the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Le Mans follows the natural rules of motorsports, it doesn’t try to contradict them.

      Dictating which is the pinaccle of motorsport is really difficult. It will depend from person to person. But speed cannot be the sole factor to dictate the F1 is the pinaccle of motorsport.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        4th July 2013, 2:41

        They haven’t a single, restricting formula for engines.

        That’s why this sport is called “a Formula”

        1. In 1950 engines on the grid were 1.5L supercharged or 4.5L NA.

          In 1960 engines on the grid were 1.5L Flat-4, 2.5L inline 4, 2.5L inline 6,
          2.4L v6, 2.2L inline 4, 1.5L inline 4.

          In 1970 engines on the grid were 3L V8, 3L V12, 3L Flat-12,

          In 1980 engines on the grid were 3L V12 NA, 3L V8 NA, 1.5L T.

          In 1990 engines on the grid were 3.5L V8, 3.5L V10, 3.5L V12, 3.5L W12.

          From 1998 onwards engines been built to a specific formula, but in many previous years there was variety on the grid.

          1. Thank you @njack, you didn’t mention the BRM 3L H16 or its predecessor 1.5L flat8 that briefly ruled the roost, probably they were not in use at the turn of the decades.
            It is often forgotten that F1 was born out of F libre(free-unrestricted) in the financial austerity period after WW2 merely by limiting the displacement to avoid the excess of the 3rd.Reich supported Mercedes and Auto Unions with their huge V16 supercharged engines.
            As a ps. I remember the 1.5L NA cars as being very fast, just as superior to the Supercars of the day as todays F1 are faster than todays supercars.

        2. @omarr-pepper
          No, it’s not why it’s called “a formula”. The word doesn’t mean that the rules have to be strict, or that it should be a spec-series. It’s nothing more than a FIA-sanctioned moniker, a nomenclature adopted after WWII for most open-wheel series.

          And when we talk about F1 specifically, traditionally it has been an open formula, giving room for awesome technological advancements and allowing a lot of freedom in the design of chassis and engines.

          1. And that freedom of design allowed for a variety of performance characteristics that often achieved similar lap times in different ways, f’rinstance Enzo F. believed in having the most powerful engine with the highest top speeds, Lotus went for lightness to corner faster, Brabham went for a reliable all-rounder with good acceleration at low speeds, these differences are what created passing opportunities and great racing even when 1 driver was dominant.

      2. valid points ! I think I am going to follow WEC also from next year as webber goes there

        1. Why wait? :P WEC already has Kobayashi, Senna, Buemi and Davidson. I’m probably forgetting a couple of others.

          1. thatscienceguy
            4th July 2013, 11:15

            Wurz, McNish, Heidfeld, Fisichella, Sarrazin, Pizzonia, Nakano, Liuzzi, di Grassi, Gene, Beretta, Bruni and Lamy – all drivers who have raced in F1.

            Then there’s guys like Alex Rossi, Neel Jani, Nicolas Prost, Mike Conway, James Rossiter who have all had test driver/reserve driver roles with F1 teams.

            And then up and coming guys like Jan Mardenborough who I would not be surprised to see being linked with an F1 team in the future.

      3. +1.

        Bear in mind that road relevance is more important to road car constructors than to motorsport fans.

        However, plenty of technology used if F1 has not only road applicability but also is transferred onto other categories.

        The trouble is, F1 and FIA want to please car constructors and are now inclined to introduce more road relevant solutions, but they should find a balance between what fans want and what corporate wants.

        1. JPQuesado (@joao-pedro-cq)
          4th July 2013, 14:18

          And that balance will be pretty hard to find, I think.

    5. Francorchamps (@francorchamps17)
      4th July 2013, 2:24

      Monaco 2013
      Fastest GP2 lap : 1 minute 22.8 seconds
      Fastest lap of Charles Pic: 1 minute 22.7 seconds

      And it will be even worse next year. If F1 cars are really 2-3 seconds slower in 2014, the best GP2 driver will be faster than the 8 slowest F1.

      1. But is that because a) Monaco is very unique in that it is a particularly slow circit or b) Charles Pic is fairly useless?

        1. Yes

      2. I’m pretty sure there have been cases of the fastest F3000/F2 cars being faster than the slowest F1 cars before 1996 as well. People then blamed those F1 teams for doing a poor job.

        Besides, GP2 was supposed to get a new car next year, but that was postponed to 2015. I would not be surprised if they limit their engines and aero as well.

    6. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      4th July 2013, 2:38

      Hembery explanation sounds as if F1 teams were full of dummies who can’t manage their “sophisticated” tyres, and so that the tyres blow up for being neglected.
      He should… better to stop the comment

      1. Teams are always trying to find shortcuts for performance. By your logic, every team would always favor reliability over performance and we both know that it’s exactly opposite of that in F1. You can bet that each driver would accept the certain percent of risk of having a tire failure if he thought he will gain enough of a performance advantage, that the risk is worth taking. And they are the ones who’s life is at stake.

        I mean, F1 has always been about being fast but fragile. Every team can make a tank that will be 20 seconds of the pace, but will have every part 100% reliable and will have a driver completely safe.
        But they are not after that. They are all walking on the edge, searching for performance and flirting with failure.

      2. He is right though. Any tyre is more prone to breaking if it is not pumped to the correct pressures.

      3. But he is also effectively saying that not only the teams were naïve in thinking they could do this, but also that Pirelli themselves didn’t connect it all to determine it was dangerous until last week’s Silverstone race @omarr-pepper, so if you see it as ‘dummies’ then everybody involved, including the FIA too, were dummies. Maybe, or perhaps they had all been lucky before to have been afforded that naivety!

    7. more like Bernie looking for a new financial rape victim

    8. wow Chris Hemsworth really looks like James Hunt

    9. PH : The tyres are perfectly safe

      fans : ??

      1. Montoya to Schumacher 2004(I guess): ‘You either gotta be blind or stupid.’
        F1 Fans to Pirelli: ‘You either gotta be blind or stupid.’

        How can I say to my non-viewers, non-likers friends that F1 is a great sport when tyres explode, drivers need DRS & KERS to overtake and so on… It’s like chinese language to them; and I’m afraid they will never like F1 based on the direction the sport’s going.

        1. And what’s the other extreme? 2011 springs to mind – Sebastian Vettel dominating the field by a second in qualifying, and the races effectively over at the first corner. I’d hardly call that a great sport, either.

          1. @prisoner-monkeys

            Sebastian Vettel dominating the field by a second in qualifying

            Their performance average was less than half that on average: 0.49% over the next quickest car, equivalent to 0.441s over a 90 second lap.

            Here’s how the RB7 stacked up against a car that really was dominant.

        2. I totally agree, my mates who have drifted away from F1 struggle to understand the concept of KERS and more so DRS (which I’m not wholly against). Pure racing is what we as spectators want to see not cars with gimmicks and restricted tyres. I’m not pointing the finger at Pirelli, but Pauls comments regarding pressure and camber are just an excuse for a failed product that they as a producer have been asked to provide.

    10. Traverse (@)
      4th July 2013, 10:34

      Comparing F1 to other racing categories isn’t the point. The gradual depletion of speed appears to be an F1 trend, and what’s worse is fans are happy to accept it with open arms. Speed is the main attribute of F1, It’s the selling point that earned it the top perch of motorsport – ‘Roll up, roll up! Come and see the best racing drivers on the planet thrash it out in the fastest motorcars ever built! Like a famous tiger once said, it’s grrrrreat!!’
      Unfortunately the current F1 cars aren’t the faster ever built and it would seem their destined to get slower still, this isn’t what I’d call progress.

      I can say with absolute certainty that Current MMA fighters (Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, GSP etc) are faster, smarter, more skilled, have better cardio and are more complete fighters than MMA combatants from a decade back, the latter wouldn’t stand a chance in a bout. Likewise current Tennis players are fitter, stronger and more athletic than ever, former tennis champs would get smashed off the court by the current best. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for F1, because decade old machinery would wipe the floor with modern, “State of the art”, DRS and KERS addled F1 cars. That is pathetic!

    11. It’s funny to see a symbiosis relation between MERC and Pirelli, almost look the same…

    12. Even though the 2013 high-performance steel-belted version is completely safe when used correctly

      If the problems seen with the 2013 tyres are caused the what Pirelli say they are, Why did they keep insisting all the failures seen earlier in the year were caused by debris?

      Surely if the failures were caused by the teams, Pirelli would have spotted this sooner when we 1st started seeing a series of failures (Not just on the rears either) from Sepang-Barcelona & not gone around blaming it all on debris.

      Also if its purely down to teams running high camber & low pressures, Why change the tyres at all?
      Why not just prevent teams going beyond there recommendations if there is no issue with the tyres when there used correctly?

      Pirelli went too aggressive with 2013 tyres, Thats why we saw extreme degredation & tyre conserve races.
      They know they made a mistake with the 2013 tyres & are now trying to shift blame.

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