FIA election ‘confusion’ shows it’s ‘unfit for purpose’

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: FIA election contender David Ward says the governing body’s changes to its election rules ahead of the vote for a new president shows its systems are flawed.


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FIA could face ‘huge embarrassment’ (BBC)

David Ward: “My point all along has been that the FIA’s governance is not fit for purpose. This is a fantastic example of that.”

FIA admits ‘confusion’ over election as Senate President claims electing Sport Vice Presidents democratically is “not practical” (David Ward and Team)

“The FIA has been forced to admit that ‘confusion’ has overtaken their 2013 presidential election rules. In a letter to clubs the FIA has explained that an amendment to the election rules is now required at the General Assembly on 6th December. The confusion concerns the election system for vice presidents for sport and inconsistency between the rules of the FIA Statutes and the internal regulations.”

F1 figures question Strategy Group (Autosport)

Monisha Kaltenborn: “The danger in the whole system is that the way it is now, because of representation, we could have five teams against it, but we could not stop it.”

Kevin Magnussen: ‘I’m as ready for F1 as you can get’ (McLaren)

“Now the aim is for Formula 1 next year. That’s what I’ve been aiming at for a long time. The time is now – I’m as ready as you can get.”

Lloyds gave 10m loan to F1’s worst performer (The Telegraph)

“Taxpayer-owned Lloyds Banking Group gave a 10m loan to Formula One’s worst-performing team, Marussia, before selling its stake, according to recently released documents.”

Indian Grand Prixview (Toro Rosso)

“From a sporting point of view, it would be a great shame if the Indian sub-continent was not represented on the F1 calendar, as the track is definitely one of the best and, despite a complete absence of trees (and rain for that matter) it has been compared in parts to Spa-Francorchamps.”

Why are two key allies of Adrian Newey leaving Red Bull? (James Allen on F1)

“For [Peter] Prodromou to want to leave, there must be more than simply money at stake. McLaren is working to build up its capabilities now that Honda is coming back in 2015 and Prodromou is a key signing. But Prodromou must be looking further down the road than next year or the year after. Perhaps he feels that Newey is coming to the end of the road and it’s time for him to stake his own claim.”

Retro F1 Liveries (Escape Artist via Facebook)

Examples of modern cars with classic liveries. Find some more which were published previously here:


Comment of the day

Would gravel run-offs be better than tarmac? PeterG doesn’t think so:

I remember Hungary 2002 where Juan Pablo Montoya got forced onto the grass by Kimi and suffered aero damage that ruined his race and took a contender out of the running which made the race more boring for fans.

At Austria in 1998 Michael Schumacher makes a tiny mistake and runs wide and rips his car apart which turned a thrilling race into a boring one as we had a great scrap for the win going on between he and Hakkinen.

Grass and gravel is also far more dangerous. Ricardo Zonta’s flip at Eau Rouge in 1999 was caused by gravel. He flipped over the barriers in a 2000 Silverstone test because of gravel.

Luciano Burti’s big crash at Spa in 2001 was made worse by gravel damaging his front suspension and taking away his brakes and Allan McNish’s Suzuka 2002 crash was made worse by the grass/gravel launching his car a little.

Look at Le Mans, they have gravel and often when one car goes off and spreads gravel all over the track we see a load of punctures over the next few laps caused by the gravel.

Cars stuck in gravel takes contenders out the race, means prolonged yellow flags which hinders racing.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Three different drivers won the world championship on this day in F1 history.

Denny Hulme did in Mexico in 1967, Alain Prost won the 1989 crown after colliding with team mate Ayrton Senna at Suzuka and Michael Schumacher took his second championship title at the TI Aida circuit in 1995.

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42 comments on “FIA election ‘confusion’ shows it’s ‘unfit for purpose’”

  1. Buddh International Circuit “compared in parts to Spa-Francorchamps” – I’m sorry, let me pick myself up from the floor and stop laughing!

    1. To be fair, just like Spa they do have tarmac.

    2. It’s exactly like Spa. It goes in a clockwise direction…

      1. The middle sector in Buddh is pretty epic, actually, only problem is that a good drivers circuit will often result in boring racing, whereas a good racing circuit is often not very challenging (eg. Shanghai).

    3. It’s like when we found out Imola was finally getting the chop. Huge sigh of relief. FINALLY.

      It is the worst circuit on the calendar, right up there with Fuji and Indy.

    4. Budh Circuit = Poor man’s Spa.

    5. there are turns too, just like in Spa!

  2. I really hope Magnussen gets a drive.

    1. For 2014, or beyond? If it’s 2014 then the thing is where would he fit in? There’s so much competition for every vacant seat, it’s unreal! Then again you could ask why are McLaren running a story with that kind of headline unless they have something lined up…unless I’m being too conspiratorial! I’m guessing of all the teams next season he could end up in Marussia due to the ties McLaren have with them.

      1. We need more seats, speaking of which, the FIA screwed up with the new teams. We were supposed to have four, but one failed to make the grid in 2010 (USF1), and another lasted just 3 years before pulling out (HRT).

        1. @david-a – No, the teams screwed up. They had the opportunity to stop costs spiralling out of control, and they didn’t take it.

          When the FIA chose those teams, they did so on the strength of their applications. HRT was originally Campos Meta, a team started by Adrian Campos, whose Campos Racing was one of the strongest GP2 teams at the time. And USF1 was run by Peter Windsor and Ken Anderson, both of whom had experience in team management and design. On paper, they were easily the two strongest teams – Manor was a mildly successful Formula 3 team for whom Formula 1 was considered something of a vanity project. And Lotus/Caterham was originally known as 1Malaysia, and condemned as a government advertising strategy.

        2. Yes absolutely. I’d love the sport to be less expensive to enter, letting more teams compete and fill up the grid. Hell, I’d love to see pre-qualifying come back! It would be one of the massive benefits to the sport if costs could ever be effectively controlled.

    2. What would ideally happen is the teams were allowed to spend so much in each department, the rule book opened up slightly and go do what you can.

      Things like engines should be a separate entity to prevent manufacturers from gaining an advantage with “free” engines of course, and facility updates should also be classed differently. Driver salaries should also be separate, to discourage pay drivers as well as staffing salaries. Then the usual transport, tyres, fuel and garage equipment is also speerate.

      Then you have say €50m a year for R&D and part manufacture. Do what you can to make the fastest car.

      That way, Red Bull’s, Mercedes’ and Ferrari’s stratospheric budgets should be a thing of the past and hopefully pay drivers would be far less common as a result. Everybody wins as far as I’m concerned.

  3. Daniil Kvyat? Why did Red Bull choosen him instead of Antonio Félix da Costa? This means that we’ll probably have 2 russian drivers next year?

    1. I’d say it’s because da Costa has been under-performing this year. He’s had some really average races when he should have been fighting with Magnussen.

    2. With Russian GP coming, giving the drive to Kvyatt is not a surprise, its a marketing decision, with driving capability being somewhat relevant…

    3. Because Felix Da Costa didn´t do a good job this year…

    4. Why did Red Bull choosen him instead of Antonio Félix da Costa?

      Because, next year Red Bull gets their brand name sold into Russia, a massive (and very smart) marketing boost if you ask me.

      1. Well Didi has always been a mkt genious

  4. I remember Hungary 2002 where Juan Pablo Montoya got forced onto the grass by Kimi and suffered aero damage that ruined his race and took a contender out of the running which made the race more boring for fans.

    At Austria in 1998 Michael Schumacher makes a tiny mistake and runs wide and rips his car apart which turned a thrilling race into a boring one as we had a great scrap for the win going on between he and Hakkinen.

    The other half of the comment is okay and debatable, but this bit… I don’t see anything wrong with that. A tiny mistake at Monaco punishes you hard too.

    That’s the risk of things. Push it too hard, you get a “penalty”… I rather see that than tarmac run off, and people going off and recovering like nothing. Afterall, Mika didn’t do a single mistake and won. Can’t be any more valid than that…

    1. He also forgot all the times a runaway leader has made a mistake, beached it, and turned a potentially boring race into a last-minute thriller.

      The gate swings both ways on this.

      1. We wouldn’t have had Hakkinen crying in the woods if it wasn’t for gravel traps.

  5. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    22nd October 2013, 3:11

    That Rosberg helmet is really expensive, but he should just let it go. It’s a shame, but it’s a warning to teams to be more carefull after the race.

    1. At this point the guy deserves kudos for getting away with it! To have your pic from a CCTV camera distributed around the world by your famous and pissed-off int’l sportsman victim, and still not get caught…for you, Sir, it’s Miller Time!

    2. @omarr-pepper the now “ex future Toro Rosso driver” António Félix da Costa got has helmet robbed from his car earlier this year in Portugal and a similar social networks hunt took plave, I don’t know if he actually got it back and a feel Nico will not be getting his Helmet anytime soon, it’s a good thing he has spare helmets, in case he didn’t he could well wear Lewis helmet if doesn’t bother the brand (Lewis is from Arai and Nico’s from Schuberth) because they visually similar :)

    3. This is just a pr campaign, Rosberg did same kind of thing back in 2006 (?).

    4. @omarr-pepper how expensive is that with contracts with six zeros or more on it? :)

  6. It’s a real shocker that the teams that collectivelly spend far more, do far more and risk far more to make F1 the engineering challenge and racing spectacle that it is, and are the root generators of all the revenue so derived, can find themselves in the situation of having only a 33.3% voting representation on any commitee dealing with the future of F1. Being the FIAs and CVCs cash-cows is leading to a herd in decline, time for a new fighting bull to lead them back to greener pastures.

    1. The teams, the FIA and FOM are the three parties that have an interest in Formula 1. It stands to reason that giving all three parties an equal share in dictating the future if the sport.

      Given that the team’s can barely agree that rising costs are an issue that affects the sport – much less agree that costs need to be controlled or agree on a way to control them – giving them greater representation seems like a bad idea.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys, FOM bought its interest in F1 from the FIA for $3m. p.a. how can that possibly be compared to the investment of the teams to arrive at equal representation and what does that say about the fiscal wisdom of the FIA.

        1. @hohum – Using that logic, the teams should get representation based on their budgets, since that is how they have invested in the sport. Given that Red Bull spend $400 million a year and Marussia spend $40 million, how can they have fair representation?

          Until your predictions of a financial apocalypse come true, you haven’t got a leg to stand on.

          1. Regardless of how the teams earn their influence (budget does seem to correllate) the figures you quote illustrate the disparity between the total expenditure of the teams and FOM.

            You should not wait until you have been robbed before thinking about installing doorlocks, nor should you wait for your business to fail before you analyze your methods and their suitability for sustained success.

  7. So the FIA see Ward’s point and take steps to address his criticism … which, according to Ward, is the worst thing that they could have done. I am alone in thinking that makes no sense?

    Call me a cynic, but I have to wonder what Ward’s thoughts on the matter would be if the FIA didn’t address his criticisms and he won the election and made these changes. I have the uncomfortable feeling that he would be hailing them as one of the smartest decisions the FIA had ever made.

    It’s like he’s *trying* to lose the election on purpose.

    1. @prisoner-monkeys

      which, according to Ward, is the worst thing that they could have done

      He isn’t criticising them for changing the rules, he’s criticising them for having a faulty system in the first place.

    2. His website surely knows how to start a sentence; with the name of the person it’s about. I also don’t understand why the articles are so clearly written with a political angle; while Ward is talking about transparency and honesty. Does his team include anyone who helped in the GOP’s 2012 team?

      I liked the idea of Ward giving Todt a run for his money, but if your opponent corrects something you’ve criticized them on, then criticize them again, you’re not taking away any of their votes. Would he have preferred to run under the ‘messed up’ rules? There’s a lot of reactionary statements in both links, not a lot of practical ones.

  8. On the James Allen article of Prodromou leaving Red Bull, I do sometimes get the feeling that the only way the Vettel-Red Bull dominance is going to end is for the design team to fall apart. Of course, next year is a big rule change, but it would not surprise me much if by this time next year we will be hailing our new five-time world champion.

    1. @adrianmorse – I wonder if that isn’t part of the appeal in luring Prodromou away. He’s clearly a talented designer, but it also breaks up Red Bull’s design team. No doubt they will be able to find an excellent replacement for Prodromou, but if they had the choice, would they prefer to keep Prodromou? And if they would, how will that affect the team?

  9. TWO Russians next year! This is really exciting for all local fans. Especially since Kvyat seems to be really good.

  10. I believe the real incentive for Prodromou to leave Red Bull is to get out of the shadow of Newey.
    As long as you are working below him in a team he will inevitably be in the lime light and attributed the credit (for lack of a better word) for the overall car. After all it is an ‘Adrian Newey car’.
    I’m not sure that any other chief designer has this sort of recognition.
    So I think Prodromou leaving is purely to get recognition of his skill elsewhere.

    1. That’s what I think as well. I for one didn’t even know him!

    2. I was thinking on the same line. It is time for him to take credit. It must be hard working under such a competitive environment and not being known for what you have done.

    3. I’m not sure that any other chief designer has this sort of recognition.

      A lot of people have been saying Rory Byrne has returned to Ferrari as chief designer; but he is merely consulting and helping. However, unlike Newey’s dry spell, nobody is blaming Ferrari’s poor season on him.

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