Ecclestone doesn’t want a tyre war

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone isn’t interested in having tyre manufacturers competing with each other in F1.


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We have a contract with Pirelli, says Ecclestone (Fox)

“Intriguingly Bernie said he does not support the idea of Michelin competing with Pirelli: ‘Because they will want to pick the teams that they think will win, and they’ll pay them a lot more money to take them as opposed to somebody else. We have a deal with Pirelli, anyway.'”

Interview – Ferrari’s Stefano Domenicali (F1)

“Up to Canada the car was good. Then we had to face two issues: one was that with the modifications that we brought to improve the car, we’ve slowed it down. That meant that we’ve made a step back. The second issue had to do with the change of specification of the tyres – that is a fact, but I don’t want to comment on that. It’s a fact. Having said that, it meant that we could not bring the performance back that we at least had during the race.”

No major McLaren Monza updates (Sky)

“I think the next sort of high downforce track and the next big raft of updates people will be looking at bringing will be Singapore, so Monza will be a sort of intermediate race.”

Kovalainen holds firm on pay stance (Autosport)

“The fact is that I will not bring money, everyone knows that, and if that’s going to be an obstacle again then it’s out of my hands.”

Melbourne to lose F1 Grand Prix? (Sportal)

Victoria tourism minister Louise Asher: “Generally the driver of all government activity on this will be we will only sign a new contract if it represents good value for money.”

Spa-tacular (ESPN)

“You can see all the Red Bull crew hanging out of the pit wall and supporting Vettel, but with Alonso in second he has no support at all.”

A conversation with Ron Howard

Niki Lauda and some other drivers who read the script gave us some help. Alistair Caldwell [James Hunt’s McLaren team manager in 1976] was a technical consultant, and there were a couple of journalists too who were around the movie to get that perspective.”


Comment of the day

@Roald snapped this video at Spa-Francorchamps:

I filmed the moment Vettel overtook Hamilton as well, I think it’s a bit closer to the track:


From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Jelle Van Der Meer, Metrium, F199Player and Stefano!

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

Having scored his first ever win in Hungary two weeks earlier, Damon Hill made it two-in-a-row with victory in the Belgian Grand Prix on this day 20 years ago.

Michael Schumacher split the two Williams drivers, Alain Prost finishing third to put the championship within his grasp.

Ayrton Senna finished fourth, here he is scrapping with Schumacher earlier in the race:

Author information

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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116 comments on “Ecclestone doesn’t want a tyre war”

  1. I know Lewis Hamilton followed his first win (Canada) up by winning the next race (USA Indianapolis) back in 2007, pretty cool that fellow Brit, Damon Hill did the same with his first couple of wins at Hungary and Spa.

    So, the question is – who else also won the race after their first ever win?

    1. @calum Only Mika Hakkinen also started with three in a row: Europe ’97, Australia ’98 and Brazil ’98.

      Others who started with two in a row were Alberto Ascari: Germany and Italy ’51; Peter Collins: Belgium and France ’56; Bruce McLaren: USA ’59 and South Africa ’60; Rene Arnoux: Brazil and South Africa ’80; Nigel Mansell: Europe and South Africa ’85; and Lewis Hamilton: Canada and USA ’07.

      1. There needs to be a rating feature for comments so I can rate such knowledge up!

        1. @cornflakes Dude come on, @keithcollantine simply goes on his big book of stats and looks it up. No need to start a fan club just yet… geez…

          1. Yeh but he still found the fact, which I appreciated and would have shown my pleasure of reading such a statistic with a rating up, the equivalent of an internet high-five

        2. I’d rate your comment about rating comments up ;)

        3. cool idea! +1

        4. I’d rather have a free exchange of ideas instead of popularity contest in the comment section. Comment rating is completely unnecessary, and would mostly be used by two groups of people: fanboys and haters. I think it’s far better to express your approval or disapproval with a comment of your own, instead of just clicking “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”.

      2. Damon Hill made it 3 iin a row with a win at Monza

        1. @clk-gtr As I said, only Hakkinen also started with three in a row, in addition to Hill.

      3. Cool, cheers!

  2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    29th August 2013, 0:20

    I’m glad that nowadays we don’t have the top cars being 30 seconds behind the leaders within 8 laps. There’s an awful lot of hype about that era I think.

    1. Maybe you should think about the leaders being 30 seconds ahead and how they achieved it.

      1. You mean, how superior some teams were over others back then?

        No matter how good Senna, Prost, Mansell and the rest were, you can’t deny having a 1988 McLaren or a 1992 Williams really helped them in getting a major lead.

        1. @npf1, Indeed, that is why F1 has a “Constructors Championship” unlike GP2, formula Ford, formula V etc. F1 should never be a “one design” series, there are already plenty of those.

        2. To be fair, the exact same could be said of the f2002, f2004, or the last four red bull cars. That’s the great thing about f1, its about man as much as its about machine. The engineering is just as important as who you put behind the wheel. Id like to see a ‘pre season’ for f1, where a non f1 manufacturr builds one spec car and all f1 drivers compete in say 5 races. Would give a great insight into rookie talent and how all drivers compare with each other.

          1. @fangio85, once upon a time F1 drivers drove in other categories which made comparison easier, pity they now spend all their time being massaged and coached.

      2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        29th August 2013, 1:26

        I have done, I just think that too much difference in car performance is detrimental to the racing.

    2. Indeed. I saw some commentators shaking their heads in astonishment at Vettel’s recently winning Spa by a supposedly colossal 17 seconds. Senna won at Spa (from pole) in 1988 by more than thirty seconds over Prost in the other McLaren, and by seventy-six seconds over the first non-McLaren driver. People forget (or in some cases, never knew) how close and competitive modern F1 is compared to what it often was in the “Golden Age”.

      1. I loved that era. I remember not enjoying that particular year as a Senna fan, but there were some memorable racing, specially during rain, where the electronic mumbo Jumbo of the Williams wasn’t working. This Schumacher vs Senna battle would never happen today with DRS and Kers. Schumacher would just fly through at Eau Rouge. Heck, the layout is much easier over there nowadays. Lets not forget these guys were racing in real Driver circuits, not in the Tilke designed “safe” hairpin, chicane, long straight designs.

      2. Agree – back then we saw some epic battles but they were rare compared to what we see today. There are a few flaws with modern F1 especially how DRS is used and the tire philosophy, but all in all it’s been the most competitive era I can remember. This year we had race wins from 4 different teams last year 6 different teams – without looking it up somewhere I can’t remember if and when this happened before.

        1. Rare or not, we haven’t seen battles like Villenueve vs Arnoux (’76 at Dijon) with DRS. I love all the passing that goes on today, but most of them just seem “too easy”.

    3. There’s a lot of false nostalgia. Yes, the late 80’s and early 90’s produced some great races, but whenever I hear somebody complain about Vettel winning from pole, I suppose they would much rather see Senna winning a minute infront of everybody else.

      1. You also get battles at the back of the grid now. In “the good old days” you were lucky if half the field completed the race or even lasted the warm up lap! In focussing on the spectacular memories people tend to forget just how much disappointment there was as one or more of the contenders ground to a halt or something fell off.

        1. I’m so glad to see that I’m not the only one that has these opinions. F1 is pretty good in its current state in comparison with that era however, DRS is a major downfall of our current times IMO.

          1. I think it is difficult to compare different eras when things in F1 have changed as much as they have over the years, particularly how qualifying works and the fact that in the past teams could use special quali engines, trannies etc and then simply swap them out for the race.

            I think tracks used to be more difficult on average, and took more nerve because they were more dangerous, and therefore there was a different mindset…racing played differently on different drivers minds.

            I remain steadfast that DRS and over dependance on aero is to F1’s detriment and DRS particularly, that makes passing look easy and the one being passed defenceless, has no place in F1, especially since it hasn’t prevented someone such as SV from making it look like a cakewalk. Why have DRS and gadgety tires if very few meaningful passes result from racing with these elements in F1?

            Oh well….more changes yet again to come next year, so let’s see what that brings. I have a feeling they will still need to reduce aero dependance way more for actual driver vs. driver comparisons.

          2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
            29th August 2013, 15:51

            If we got rid of DRS things would be much better. F1 was turning a corner in 2010 with far more on-track overtaking due to the refuelling ban but they made an awful move with DRS.

          3. I totally agree with you both and yes, we can’t draw direct comparisons between different eras. Whilst the danger factor was much greater back then, we have to take into account the significant strides in safety that has been made in the past two decades in particular. We don’t see as many great overtakes any more, and although I’m contradicting myself – the quantity shouldn’t matter. By this I mean that drivers just “slingshot” ahead with the current DRS configuration and real quality-daring moves are becoming more rare. For instance, drivers purposely staying behind at the activation point and then DRS gives them an easy pass.

            The initial aim of DRS was to bring the driver behind “alongside” the one who was ahead at the DRS activation point, but we know how it usually turns out. I do admit that it’s hard to govern how long the distance should be to get each DRS user to be alongside the car in front as each car is different (i.e. aero & engines). But surely it’d be better to have the car behind get closer to and at most, alongside the car in front producing overtakes with better quality and of greater value to both drivers and spectators alike.

            I assume DRS is staying despite the regulation changes next year?

  3. ESPN reading drama where there is none.
    Alonso getting no support from a team built entirely around him? Pull the other one!

  4. Whether or not Kovalainen brings money is irrelevant, his career as a professional racing driver is stagnating with Caterham. He benefits the team with his input on his token FP1 appearances, giving their younger drivers a benchmark and testing out new bits of the car, but at the end of the day, he’s scored as many points for Caterham as “lowly pay drivers” like Van der Garde, Pic and even his teammate from last year, Petrov.

    He’ll be 32 in October and he carries no sponsorship. It may be time for Heikki to find another discipline of racing to go to, because I see no opportunity for him to move up the grid, and it does him no good to stay tethered to a backmarker team as long as he’s been.

    1. Yeah I barracked for Heikki a lot the first and second years of Lotus Racing but now, ‘don’t bring money’ should read ‘_can’t_ bring money’ and while he keeps hanging around Caterham they’ll keep using him. He should head to WRC or sportscars.

  5. “The fact is that I will not bring money, everyone knows that, and if that’s going to be an obstacle again then it’s out of my hands.”

    I like Heikki as a driver, but this entire reasoning of ‘take it or leave it, but when they leave it, it is not my fault’ would probably not last very long in even a high school debating club.. No shame in taking a stand, but don’t dress it up like someone else’s fault.

    1. @npf1, I agree, and I also think he should just go ahead and find sponsorship. There’s nothing dishonorable in that. I could sympathize with a female driver not wanting to do bikini shoots to get a drive, but for Heikki there is no excuse.

    2. I think it’s rather pragmatic thinking. Sponsorship money is mostly a short-term solution, it rarely guarantees a long F1 career. So I guess Kovalainen just doesn’t want to prolong his F1 career by one or two years by begging for sponsorship that would give him a short-term deal with some midfield team or even a backmarker.

      @AdrianMorse On the other hand, doing sexy shoots to get a drive is not a bad idea :)

      1. WHAT is that?

  6. I have to agree with Bernie here. At least a single supplier can manage the tyres as they or the FIA wants or needs. But better than that, why not doing what Firestone does in IndyCar, and work more closely with the drivers rather than with the governing body? Then many of the silly complains everybody has would stop.

    1. endurance is open for tyre manufacturers and work good with fast and good tyres ..
      new challenge for F1 is to make a tyre who resist all the GP and run fast as now …
      F1 is top of the race and as to remain it .. not a understanding challenge of tyre .. it’s a sport championship not a show
      is it realistic to propose a product who stay on track 10 laps ? .. my is that it is just a ******* bad way ..
      Mr E appreciation of what is a bid in an open market is just .. soo funny .. that’s bad and if I was FiA president in charge of the bid i will do my best to cut the grass under Charle Bernie shoes ..

    2. So do I. I’m happy with current situation.

      1. I’d actually like to see a tyre-war again.
        Many other categories have multiple tyre suppliers & the racing is better for it.

        F1 having a spec tyre is ridiculous, As the pinnacle of racing it should allow competition & allow tyre suppliers to test there technologies.

        Look at Michelin, In categories where they have competition (WEC for example) they are coming up with new tyre technology, new construction techniques etc…
        This year they have debuted there groove-less intermediate tyre, Thats an exceptionally soft compound & absorbed water to create grip.

        How can F1 call itself the top category, let alone the pinnacle of racing when they run a spec tyre thats designed to fall to bits after a few laps. Its Pathetic!

        1. Formula 1 had it and I don’t miss it. It can be good in other categories, but it doesn’t mean it will be good for F1 too.

          We are all well aware of F1 being the “crème de la crème” but it should not be all down to the most advanced tech, tyre war has the potencial to add unnecessary disturb to the sport. I’m ok with the fact that the future of tyre technology is not dependent on experiences made tyre manufacturers with Formula 1 cars.

    3. Make each team run tyres by both manufacturers during a race and scrap the option/prime rule.

      I like the idea of having a tyre war, but rather than making making the teams run both the option and the prime, make them run at least one tyre by each manufacturer. It would be up to the manufacturer to make and bring the best tyre for each race. Their relative use in the race and choice in qualifying would make it unambiguously clear who brought the better tyre. Actual competition, without harming the teams.

      This way rather than asking the tyre developers to make intentionally bad tyres, they could limit the materials that can be used. Within a context of ecological durability and cost – something actually relevant outside of racing – they would still push for the quickest and most durable tyre.

      Then they would have a legitimate reason to keep tyre rules in place, while promoting actual competition and harder racing. I posted this on the forum at some point, but it seems to be relevant again. Besides, if Mr Ecclestone proclaims he doesn’t want a tyre war, that probably means he’s negotiating with Michelin tomorrow. :)

      1. That’s a much better idea than “tyre war” @bs but I’d still stick with one supplier.

      2. @bs great idea.

      3. @bs

        Make each team run tyres by both manufacturers during a race and scrap the option/prime rule.

        I think that’s both undesirable and unrealistic.

        It’s bad enough drivers are already forced to use two different types of tyre. But the differences in construction between tyres made by different manufacturers would be so fundamental that we’d see huge swings in performance when teams make their mandatory switched between types of tyre. We’d almost certainly see drivers running extremely short stints on whichever was the least competitive tyre.

        And I can’t imagine any tyre manufacturers being happy for their product containing their intellectual property being used in a racing environment in this way, side-by-side with a rival product in a dozen or so professional racing teams, with huge potential for their rival manufacturers to discover vital information about their technology. It’s a complete non-starter.

      4. Scrap the prime/option rule and let them run the best tire for the duration of the race. Having to run both tires is like having to throw dice as a factor in the race.

  7. I’m honored you like my video @keithcollantine !

    I don’t want a tyre war either, not like it used to be anyway. I wouldn’t mind multiple suppliers as long as every team can choose their own supplier and as long as the costs are the same for everyone.

    1. Beautifull catch that video @roald.

    2. Good video mate @roald .
      I was there too but despite all my calculations I failed to get a good spot at top of Kemmel straight to properly snap some photos. However, I enjoyed my first race at Spa. What a great track and beautiful small town around it.

      Next year I’d love to either attend NJ/NY race or fly to Italy for GP at Monza.

    3. Which pixel is Vettel, that rhymes well!
      Anyway, thanks for the vid, great view from Kemmel man. I love Spa, been there 4 times (3 for FR 3.5, 1 for F1, GP2/3), I’m sure @roald you enjoyed a great race weekend, the atmosphere is outstanding in and off the track.

  8. I have to agree at least partially with Bernie about tyres . As the tyres are not designed or made by the teams I believe their influence on the results should be minimal, and unless there was some mechanism to allow all teams to test and use whichever tyre was available for each race a control tyre will have the least effect on the relative performance of the cars.

    1. I agree with that as well. Having tyre differences – and especially if they are just with one or 2 teams could really upset all efforts by the others, making it all but irrelevant what they do with their car and drivers.

  9. The fact that Bernie and 10 teams have already a contract with Pirelli means nextyear we could see the cars running on Michelins but with Pirelli banners and logos on the track and driver’s overalls.

    That’s the worst case scenario of course, but probably Pirelli will stay and nothing will happen until 2015.

    1. I don’t think they’ll wear pirelli logos… Look at Rolex is the official ‘timepiece’ yet teams and drivers wear Richard Mille, TW Steel, Hublot, TAG, etc. patches and stickers.

  10. “You can see all the Red Bull crew hanging out of the pit wall and supporting Vettel, but with Alonso in second he has no support at all.”

    In the wise words of Gary Anderson:”if you’re going to win the world title, you need everyone around you. Every member of the team needs to be pulling for you and really be on your side.”

    1. alonso come 2nd and they needed to win. would look a bit foolish if they made a song and dance about it

      1. 2nd was a really good result on the day. Yes, a win was preferable obviously but it’s moved him up the rankings and they did maximise the points so one would think that reason to celebrate, no?

      2. would look a bit foolish if they made a song and dance about it

        Exactly. Ferrari have won over 200 grands prix, I think it’s unrealistic to expect them to feign excitement at coming second and losing more points to their biggest rivals.

        Anyone who thinks Alonso doesn’t have Ferrari’s unhesitating support, even to the extent of compromising their other driver, should remind themselves of the events of Hockenheim 2010, or Austin in 2012.

        1. @keithcollantine very good points as always. It did seem a bit flat though – it really wasn’t all that bad!

      3. Ninth to second was a fine drive, good enough to win him DOTW here it seems.

        Of course Alonso has the unstinting support of Ferrari management. That’s not the same thing as having the emotional backing of the rank-and-file Ferrari team member.

    2. @jonsan +1

      Ferrari is not, with all due respect, a Force India.

    3. Do you really think mechanics cheering on the pit wall has anything to do with supporting the driver?

    4. @jonsan Obviously Everybody forgot how he celebrated in China this year . He or his team are not particularly upbeat as they are used to winning more . It would have lifted their spirits , however , one can’t expect them to be ecstatic over it .

      1. * Neither him nor his team

      2. He or his team are not particularly upbeat as they are used to winning more

        Are they really used to that? In the last two-and-a-half seasons (50 GP’s) Alonso has six race wins. Massa, of course, has none. They need to start seeing themselves as the plucky underdogs and take satisfaction in every degree of success, no matter how small. Not only would that more accurately reflect their actual situation, it would be more conducive to improving their performance than the mentality of “We just expect to win every race”.

        1. @jonsan …great points also!

        2. @jonsan good point there, however you can’t argue when your boss politely gives you knives to kill yourself. I think LDM actually piles more pressure onto everyone than helping them overcome problems.

          1. Yes, because the first thing the team members would have thought is where best to stick it, rather than thinking it’s just Luca being melodramatic.

  11. IMO Kovalainen should just swallow his pride. Yes, he’s a capable driver who has brought the Lotus/Caterham near the top 10 on quite a number of occasions when it should have only been ahead of the Marussias and HRTs but he is not the best out there. Heck, after initially getting thrashed Petrov turned the tables on him in the last 1/3 of the 2012 season and it was him, the supposedly ‘talentless pay driver’, who obtained the crucial result Caterham needed to finish ahead of Marussia. Reality check Kovalainen :/

    1. I agree. These days, lots of drivers bring sponsorship or engine subsidies to their teams. Only a handful have no such obligations – like Alonso and Hamilton and Vettel and Raikkonen. And they all have one thing in common: they ate all drivers of the highest calibre. If Kovalainen thinks he deserves a seat based on his talent and his contributions to the team alone, then he’s going to be sorely disappointed. He’s just not good enough.

      1. Isn’t Alonso the biggest paydriver with Santander even paying other drivers to leave the sport to make room for him?

        1. That is very true. Alonso brings an awful amount of money to the table.

          As far as I know the following are all salaried without bringing sponsorship back to the team.

          RAI, BUT, PDR (Maybe: Aberdeen Asset Management may bring money to the team), HAM, ROS, PER (Maybe, we all know about Perez), HUL, MAS (Maybe)

          All of the others can be seen to bring sponsorship just from a good old google search, with a big surprise being just how much Adrian Sutil brings to the table, with the Force India/Medion tie up being entirely dependent on Sutil being in that team.

          1. Actually I am pretty sure that Rosberg brings sponsorship from Thomas Sabo and I think Hamilton has a big part in the Blackberry tie-up

        2. with Santander even paying other drivers to leave the sport to make room for him?

          What are you on about?

          Aside from all of this, this pay driver debate is becoming nonsense. Even Lauda when he started out had taken out loans and created quite a lot of debt for himself, yes Vettel had Red Bulls help, but in lower categories they paved the way for him with money, same for Hamilton and McLaren, Mercedes helped Schumacher get the seat at Jordan, and so forth.

    2. That is easily said. But when you do not have the sponsors willing to bring 12-20 million EUR to the table just to get you a seat, its not really an option.

      1. @bascb
        No, it’s not that he can’t get sponsors, it’s more of him not wanting to get them because he feels they are beneath him. So yes, my point is that he should swallow his pride, he won’t get a seat like this and he’s not exactly a Vettel/Alonso/Hamilton/Raikkonen in the first place.

        1. Look at the market. How many drivers from european countries are able to bring that kind of money?

          Max Chilton is the only one that comes to mind there. Lets be real, no such sponsors are behind Heikki, so he knows he will have to rely on anyone taking him for the driving skills primarily (no doubt will he bring some smaller sponsors with him to support his salary). Its not about pride.

          1. @BasCB That’s true, even if Kovalainen wanted to actively look for sponsors, there is no guarantee that he would find them. It’s true that a world champion will always find a seat but drivers, such as Kovalainen, Glock, Sutil, Hulkenberg or Alguersuari have to be in the right place at the right time to get a race seat, even though they all deserve to be in F1 on merit.

          2. @bascb
            No you don’t get my point. It is about pride. I mean, Kobayashi at least TRIED to raise money yo secure an F1 2013 seat but Kovalainen doesn’t even bother because he feels that it’s beneath him. Whether or not he succeeds is another story, but the fact that he doesn’t even bother trying shows that it is about pride.

          3. sure, @woshidavid95 – prove to us that Heikki is NOT actively searching for sponsors if you think he finds it to low to go there.

            FAct is, you either need to be a in a RB program (or similar), be an established winner/world champion or have 10 million or more in funds to bring to a team one way or another to find any job in F1 currently. And then its likely the choice would still be between Caterham and Marussia, because FI can get better, Sauber needs the money too bad, Williams has Maldonado and Bottas and Grosjean has Total backing for his seat.
            Tell me, where would a spot open up for Heikki if he would just get off his high horse and find a million or 3 in sponsorship? Not even Senna succeeded and he was reported to have about 8-10 million to bring to a team. That is the kind of money teams are looking at.

      2. @bascb Did you actually read the article? As quoted from Kovalainen: “The fact is that I will not bring money, everyone knows that, and if that’s going to be an obstacle again then it’s out of my hands.”

        Enough proof for you? >_>

        1. @bascb And as for the rest of your post, they may be true and all but I never said anything on the contrary, all I’m saying is that Kovalainen will need to swallow his pride and stop viewing the ‘pay-driver’ label with disdain if he wants to find an F1 race seat. He doesn’t have to embrace the label but he should at least put up with it if he hopes to secure an F1 race seat in the future.

          1. Of course, I’m not saying that finding sponsorship alone will guarantee him an F1 drive, but it will at least boost his chances no matter how small. At this rate he has nothing to lose anyway seeing that he’s already out of an F1 race seat so if he really wants to find a race seat, I’d swallow my pride and start searching high and low for sponsors if I were him.

        2. To me that line shows that Heikki is realistic that he will not be able to bring the kind of money on the table to buy a drive anyway, so then the only option is for him to convince a team to take him on merit @woshidavid95.
          Nothing about saying he doesn’t want to go that path, just that it won!’t happen.

          1. @bascb
            I’d think otherwise, Kobayashi at least tried to raise money by soliciting donations but Kovalainen isn’t doing anything about and it’s most probably because – like I’ve said before – he thinks it will make people think less of him. Yes, it won’t happen, but that’s because he doesn’t want it to happen, and that’s the whole problem, unless you have the caliber of Vettel/Alonso/Hamilton/Raikkonen, it’s not likely you’ll get a seat on merit alone nowadays. If Kovalainen thinks otherwise then he’s grossly mistaken but if he can prove me wrong then be my guest.

          2. @bascb
            Besides, if you’ve read the whole article, from the tone it’s pretty obvious that he doesn’t WANT sponsors (E.g: Kovalainen is eager to get back into a race seat, but said his 2013 situation had not altered his determination not to seek personal sponsorship and become a ‘pay driver’.) for the reasons I’ve already stated several times. Yes, sure, he may not succeed in finding sponsors and even if he does it may not be enough but what does he have to lose? Nothing but his pride, looking for sponsorship should boost his chances of finding a race seat no matter how small, so I see no reason for him NOT to at least seek sponsors other than pride.

          3. @bascb, correct, Heiki is not the top driver in a country desperate for local heroes, he is overshadowed by a string of past and present Finnish drivers who have won the world championship.

    3. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      29th August 2013, 10:31

      Quite a suicidal stance for a fairly average modern day F1 driver to take.

      In fairness to Timo Glock I don’t recall him whinging when he was similarly dropped from Marussia at the start of this season. He understood the team’s circumstances, found himself a drive in DTM and he is still making a good living as a professional racing driver, fair play to him.

      Any experienced F1 driver at a lower level than Nico Rosberg cannot really expect a secure long-term career in F1 without bringing money to the table.

    4. I like Kovalainen, but I think he is a spent force in F1, like Kobayashi. And with no sponsorship money, he can expect no progress. I think Pic and van der Garde are doing a decent job anyway.

  12. Good old large cones for corner markers. Quite a contrast to the complex electronics in the cars :P

  13. I wouldn’t read too much into the comments about Melbourne. Australia is in the midst of a pretty messy election campaign, with economic credentials being a major battleground for the major parties. The Age is owned by the Murdochs, who are major supporters of the current opposition and have engaged in some of the dirtiest and most shameful tactics the country has ever seen. Mostly because the incumbent government tried to go after the ability of individuals to directly influence public opinion through media ownership simply because they have more money than others.

    1. I see it in the light of what was discussed as being the problem for NJ – to actually get the race going Bernie needs to get some kind of guarantee that the money will come.

      And if you add up 10 years of race fees, that is a whole big amount of money which will be added to the government debt in most “western” countries (as they have some form of adhering to bookkeeping rules). So Its only normal that someone who is up for election would not want to do that right now, as you mention its part of the treadmill to say this

      1. @bascb – The money for the race is controlled by the state government, which is fairly secure. But they belong to the same party that is trying to get elected at the federal level, and the federal party’s strategy has been to do or say whatever it takes to get elected. They’ve been using the state governments to back this up, leaning heavily on them to block major changes to the public education system, among other things. So the politicians in Melbourne are literally toeing the party line on this one, trying to promote their party as responsible economic managers.

        1. typical pre-election behaviour it seems!

    2. thatscienceguy
      29th August 2013, 10:13

      The Age is a Fairfax paper. You’re thinking of the Herald Sun, which is News Corp (Murdoch) and is a Liberal/conservative mouthpiece. Fairfax is more left-leaning than News will ever be.

      Fairfax is 15% owned by Rinehart, but she seemingly doesn’t/can’t influence editorial direction as much as what happens at News.

  14. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    29th August 2013, 5:26

    I don’t want a second tyre company to come into F1. Either Michelin or Pirelli, but not both.
    Having a sole tyre supplier is the one constant variable in Formula 1. It means we get to see how all the teams handle the same rubber.

    Personally I’d like to see Pirelli stay. They’ve been given an incredibly tough job, with almost no upside. And for the majority of the time have produced good racing.
    Plus, the Pirelli markings look good. It adds a bit more colour to Formula 1.

    1. @tophercheese21 completely with you on that – the last thing we need is another tyre war essentially negating any team’s attempts to make their own car competitive, especially with how constrictive the rules are these days. If one tyre was 5 tenths faster per lap then there would be almost no way for a team shod with the worse tyre to challenge for multiple race wins.

      1. Just a few random thoughts as I don’t know what the right answer is.

        I find it interesting that when it comes to rival tire makers it’s a ‘war’. Why don’t we talk about driver ‘wars’ or team ‘wars’ yet when it comes to tires, and having 2 makers, thats a ‘war’. I thought F1 was supposed to be about ‘competition.’ There will only be a few engine makers next year…I don’t hear anyone dreading ‘engine wars’.

        So to that point, I think tire rivalries got a bad rap in the MS/Ferrari era when everything was skewed toward MS/Ferrari, and with their resources (ie. their own track with a tire headquarters set up there) and unlimited testing before you knew it MS was able to have designer tires on his designer car bourne of massive effort along with Bridgi to the detriment of the other teams and of Michelin. But that was a different and unique era and imho should not have been allowed to begin with.

        I also find it interesting that prior to F1 mandating the types of tires the maker should make, Michelin said they WANTED competition in F1 so that we would talk about their tires. When one sole supplier makes stable tires that aren’t the story of the race, we don’t talk about tires and therefore there is little impact from a marketing standpoint for the maker to be in F1. It is ONLY because F1 now mandates what tires the maker MUST make that Pirelli (or any maker) would be happy being the sole supplier. It is ONLY because the tires are allowed to have so much influence on the racing that Pirelli is happy going it alone.

        I would like to see a tire rivalry in an atmosphere like today with much more restricted testing, and I suggest that the fear of makers picking teams or drivers to work with such as BE bemoans, would be much less than it has been in the past. But when F1 mandates that tires degrade quickly and have a cliff effect, there CAN’T be a competing tire maker, as before long the tires would get more and more durable and predictable and less cliffy and F1 would be taken away from the direction they want it to go. So I think that is a lot of the reason BE bemoans a ‘war’ as being unhealthy for F1 these days…it doesn’t, imho, have to be unhealthy for F1 nor a ‘war’ that is any different from any other faction of competition within F1 be it between teams, engines, or drivers, but it would be unhealthy for BE’s vision of how he wants F1 to be these days.

        Another thought…one tire supplier who blew their tires this year and needed a controversial in-season test did not negate a ‘war’ of a certain type. Teams warred over whether the tires should be changed or not mid-season. Pirelli ‘warred’ with F1 about their lack of testing that put them in a jam. Everyone ‘warred’ with Mercedes for doing a permitted and obviously necessary tire test. And Pirelli barely got a slap of the wrist for blowing their delaminaty/explody tires while Michelin got mega penalties for their tires not being able to handle one corner of one venue all season.

        I think F1 is convinced that what makes it the self-proclaimed pinnacle of racing is their aero dependancy and wind tunnel work. Until that goes away they now have resorted to gadgety tires and phony DRS to make up the ‘racing’ and take the ‘war’ out of it.

        1. That fair enough, but really I cannot see a circumstance in which all teams will be equal in a tyre “competition” as you word it yourself. That is my concern: F1 isn’t about the tyre manufacturers, it’s about the teams who build the cars (and to a extent the engines) to see who can build the faster car to the regulations.

          I really don’t want to see any teams disadvantaged solely because their tyres are worse than their rivals, not do I think it is economically viable to spend ridiculous amounts of money on tyre development which will inevitably come out of the team’s pockets at least partially.

        2. @robbie,@vettel1, The real problem with multiple tyre manufacturers is exclusivety .If teams could test all tyres and choose which tyre they want for each race that would be fine, except for being an adminastrative and budgetry nightmare.

          1. @hohum

            except for being an adminastrative and budgetry nightmare.

            I think that’s the nail in the coffin for realistically having a fair fight with mutiple tyre manufacturers in modern F1. I’d much prefer just one, which would also allow them to make the tyres for the best racing (I actually do like Pirelli’s approach of making less durable than possible tyres, just I wouldn’t have it at its current levels of influence and I also wouldn’t have DRS).

          2. I actually do like Pirelli’s approach of making less durable than possible tyres, just I wouldn’t have it at its current levels of influence and I also wouldn’t have DRS

            In general I agree totally about the amount of influence tires have these days, and I entirely agree with your view on DRS. But it isn’t ‘Pirelli’s’ approach to make less durable tires, it is F1’s approach and their mandate to Pirelli as to what they are to do in their role in F1.

            So we would both like less influential tires, yet if Pirelli made them we wouldn’t talk about tires as much and they would either want out of F1 for lack of marketing impact, or would beg for a competiting tire maker to come in so we would talk about tires again.

            At first blush I don’t really see ‘exclusivity’ as a problem as long as it is in an atmosphere where one team cannot do endless testing due to having bottomless pockets and their own personal test track and thus end up with designer tires and an unfair advantage. As long as all teams and all tire makers have equal testing I don’t see why a tire competition can’t work in F1. Does everyone run the same tires in Lemans?

            I get that with multiple tire makers you might have one maker making better tires and thus other teams can suffer being on ‘inferior’ tires, but so often, especially in these last 2 years we have heard that it is up to the teams to adapt and the ‘winner’ will be the team to react the best to the problematic Pirelli’s such that I don’t see why it should be any different with more than one maker. It is still up to the team to react to the tires they have and make the best use of them and so whose to say that one makers tires are inferior if the teams on the supposed inferior tires figure out how to make the best use of them on their chassis.

            Anyway I think that is a bit moot because with more than one maker the tires will be more durable and less cliffy and less the story and the odds of one team excelling due to being on superior tires is slim, again, assuming one teams doesn’t have hand over fist more opportunity to test said tires.

  15. News about Melbourne losing the Grand Prix? It’s not even March!

  16. You can see all the Red Bull crew hanging out of the pit wall and supporting Vettel, but with Alonso in second he has no support at all.

    Well done Red Bull crew – I do like the bonds they have within the team! :D

    1. Ferrari needed to win. Why would they celebrate finishing second?

      1. @raceprouk my comment was quite heavily aimed at appreciation of the Red Bull mechanics being fully behind and supporting Vettel, to clarify.

  17. Stefano Domenicali also answers a question about Ferrari’s 2014 driver line-up in that interview:

    My favourite choice would be, of course, to keep Felipe (Massa) because Felipe is a very good guy – very dedicated to the team – and when you look around there are not so many drivers out there that you swap and they immediately deliver. But, of course, we need good results from Felipe, so that’s why we will not rush as we have to make the right decision for the team.

    It’s hard to get the logic behind “We keep Felipe if he delivers results in the next 3-4 races”. A season is 19-20 races long so good performances in just 4 or even 8 races is obviously not enough, particularly for a team like Ferrari.

    The only explanation that I can think of is that Massa needs to be good enough to support Alonso in title bid, namely, he has to be close enough to the team’s number one to be of some use like at the end of the last year. It seems that Ferrari don’t really care who their number two driver is as long as he is better than Luca Badoer and ready to follow team orders.

    1. @girts I just genuinely think the guy’s delusional if I’m honest. Put simply, Ferrari cannot possibly justify retaining him beyond simply not caring (which is in itself highly dangerous tactics – he obviously is rarely ahead of Alonso’s rivals to take points away from them) and Massa’s talent doesn’t justify such a prized seat.

      Please for the love of god give the second seat to Hülkenberg. Please.

      1. As much as Massa is a likeable guy, I think every man and his dog wants to see them replace him now. With a talent such as Hulkenberg waiting in the wings, it’s just frustrating if they were to give Massa another year.

  18. I found the beginning of the Domenicali interview really strange:

    Q: Stefano, please can you analyse Ferrari’s season so far?
    Stefano Domenicali:
    Let me say one thing first – and you can write this: if people think that Formula One is the pinnacle of the world let me tell you this: it is not. Life is so much more than that. […]

    What is he going on about?

    1. @Mike-Dee That is probably one of the strangest quotes of the year, particularly because the interviewer didn’t ask Domenicali anything related to the meaning of life.

      1. I think Stefano is alluding to a work life balance. He has been under a lot of pressure – both publicly and privately; and this must be exerting an unbelievable amount of stress on him. He is saying there is more to life than F1. It is a veiled comment to all those who are putting him under pressure to succeed at any cost.

    2. Translated into everyday English, I think he said: “It’s not going too well and we’re frustrated”.

  19. Depending on the outcome of his trial, Bernie’s view may not be particularly relevant for much longer…

  20. What a lame tweet.

    1. @maksutov thanks for that enlightenment Williams – I thought you built the cars in James May’s shed and the factory was just for Maldonado to practice not crashing into things!

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