New Jersey Grand Prix postponed again – Ecclestone

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David Coulthard, Red Bull, New Jersey, 2012In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone says the planned New Jersey Grand Prix is being postponed for another year.


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

Formula One Head: New Jersey F1 Race Won’t Happen in 2014 (Wall Street Journal)

Bernie Ecclestone: “We are not satisfied it’s going to happen in time. What we’re aiming for is 2015.”

Newey: weight limit rule must change (Autosport)

“Efforts to bring forward a 10kg rise in the weight limit to 700kg, which has been agreed for 2015, have so far been thwarted by opposition from one team – believed to be Mercedes – because unanimous support is required to make the change now.”

F1’s 2014 rule changes (BBC)

“The V8 engines produced about 780bhp. The new turbo engines will on their own produce in the region of 620bhp or more, but the electrical energy will increase that back up to at least the same as before. Some insiders have even said total power could be as high as 840bhp at the start of 2014.”

Rookie diary – Williams? Valtteri Bottas (F1)

“The low points of my rookie season? I think a few of the times that we dropped out of qualifying. Also during midseason when we tried many new things on the car and never really managed to improve it – that was pretty tough as well.”

Open article Plans for Russian GP progress (Crash)

“The promoter of the Russian Grand Prix inked an agreement with the Russian Automobile Federation today. Under the agreement the RAF will become the Russian Grand Prix sporting organiser ahead of the inaugural event in Sochi next October.”

It’s complicated (Sky)

Martin Brundle: “I think 19 races is plenty; I think it’s too many almost. 22 would have been a nightmare, frankly.”


Comment of the day

Nico Hulkenberg has missed out on a drive with a ‘top team’ but @Hotbottoms thinks he might be better off in the long-term:

I’d happily see Hulkenberg in a top team as he is one of my favourite drivers, but does he really “deserve” a top seat over someone else?

I mean, in my opinion the top teams are Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren, whose drivers next season are Vettel, Ricciardo, Rosberg, Hamilton, Alonso, Raikkonen, Button and Magnussen. Sure, you could argue that Hulkenberg deserves a McLaren seat more than a rookie or that Button and Raikkonen should retire already.

But as far as I know, none of these eight drivers has any sponsorship that has ensured their seat. These four teams just happened to believe that their picks are better than Hulkenberg would be. So what are we to judge them? Hulkenberg couldn?t get himself a seat over other drivers with no meaningful sponsorship, so I don?t think he ??deserved?? it any more than they did. Perhaps he?ll have better luck next year.

I excluded Lotus from the top teams on purpose. Their financial situation is alarming and they?ve lost many of their key personnel. I don?t think they?ll have a bright future. Joining “a top team” that turns out to be a midfield team or worse can be a career killing move ?ǣ just ask Perez. I think it?s very likely that Hulkenberg will be happy within a couple of seasons that he didn?t get the Lotus seat.

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88 comments on “New Jersey Grand Prix postponed again – Ecclestone”

  1. No surprise here in regards to the New Jersey Grand Prix. I live about 2 miles from the proposed site and drive through it everyday on my commute to and from work. The main problem is the two large apartment complexes being constructed adjacent to the track. Until these are completed, there is no chance that any progress on the track (at least along the water) can be made.

    I am happy to hear though that it is “delayed” and not scrapped altogether. I ride my bike along the track frequently, and there is no doubt in my mind an F1 race here would be epic!

    1. Did they build the pits and grandstands or is this just going to be temporary stuff?

      1. No grandstands, but what will be the pit structure was completed about a month ago. It is large parking complex for people who are using the nearby ferry system into New York City. That building is quite nice and should be more than adequate.

  2. Commenting on the COTD, you need to remember what the situation is with the four “top” teams. RB has Torro Rosso for their development drivers, so not using one of the driver’s there to fill Webber’s seat completely negates the point of the program. With Mercedes they had (in my option) the best and most consistent driver line up this year. Rosburg has proven he’s not JUST a pretty good number 2, and Hamilton is Hamilton so he’s not going anywhere. This leaves Ferrari and McLaren. In reality there were three potential seats open, so how did Nico lose the opportunity to drive for a top team? Simple; his weight and the new F1 cars . There already has been a discussion about this, but Whitemarsh has already said they didn’t replace him with Perez because of his weight. So don’t blame Nico, blame the FIA and narrow minded thinking that brought us to this point.

    1. rosberg number two? really? he destroyed schumacher three years straight! this season he won two races, hamilton just one!

      1. It says ‘not’.

        1. He also said “JUST”

      2. Read the sentence again. This season Hamilton out-qualified and out-scored Rosberg…

      3. the British GP probably would have gone to Hamilton had it not been for the tire failure to make it 2-1 wins in Hamilton’s Favor.

    2. Good point and nice comment. And this weight story is quite annoying. They should fix a weight driver + seat fixed for everyone and limiting the impact of a driver weght …
      If that was imposed, I would be glad to see them struggle to reach the minimum weight limit (for which Mercedes thinks they have an edge apparently), as that gives different aspect to gain advantage.

    3. petebaldwin (@)
      4th December 2013, 12:30

      @somethingwittyer – so in theory, with the change in the regs regarding the minimum weight for 2015, he might be in with a shout.

      Personally, I think he’ll end up at Ferrari once Raikkonen calls it a day (probabaly in time for the 2016 season). Hulk’s 8 years younger than Kimi so still has loads of time left to make his mark in F1.

  3. The CotD makes a lot of sense. McLaren or Ferrari were the obvious potential seats, with Mercedes’ lineup probably locked in for the next few years and Red Bull looking for a #2 replacement.

    I think after the disaster that Massa has been for the last few seasons Ferrari wanted a known entity to score solidly in the constructors’ championship. Whether hiring someone they paid to leave four years ago was a wise move I wouldn’t like to guess.

    McLaren is the real curveball. They’re obviously looking for the new Hamilton, but why they decided to give him a seat at the big team rather than doing a Red Bull and paying for a mid-grid slot I dont understand. I think that might backfire on them again next season. Hulkenberg would have been the smart choice in my opinion, allow him to take over as team leader (a la Vettel), then bring Magnussen in when Button retires – if he’s good enough.

    1. McLaren is the real curveball. They’re obviously looking for the new Hamilton, but why they decided to give him a seat at the big team rather than doing a Red Bull and paying for a mid-grid slot I dont understand.

      Reason they put him straght into there team rather than a Mid-field team is simple, They truly believe he’s an exceptional talent & want to get him used to the McLaren environment as soon as possible with the view of him leading the team into the future.

      Plus its likely that there will be some behind the scenes work between Mclaren & Honda through 2014 in preparation for Honda coming onboard for 2015, They will want Kevin to be involved in all of that.

      With everyone at McLaren seriously believing Magnussen is exceptionally good there was never any chance for Hulkenberg unless Jenson decided to leave & they found themselfs needing an experienced guy to put alongside Kevin.
      I know many fans tend to be down on Jenson but everyone at McLaren loves him & they seriously want to hold onto him as long as they can.

      1. Also, Martin Whitmarsh confirmed that they tried to get Magnussen a seat with another team, but they could not come to an agreement with anyone.

    2. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
      4th December 2013, 1:00

      @gt-racer & @george – They did try to get Magnussen a mid-field seat, but the team principal backed out.

      1. And got Hülkenberg…;-)

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          4th December 2013, 12:49

          @verstappen – Frankly, Force India are better for having Hulkenberg than they would be with a new driver. It will take Magnussen time to get up to speed and at which time, he’d be shipped off to McLaren anyway.

          Unless they offered a lot of money (ie more than they’d gain through the extra points Hulk will score for them), it’s not worth it.

          I’m sure Force India were up for the idea for a while but as soon as it became apparent that Hulk was available, they changed their mind fairly quickly!

  4. I think COTD made sense top teams made decision with lots of information and I do think all of the drivers that are there deserve to be there.

    Hulkenberg is a good driver but something must be turning off the top teams from taking him.

    1. @celeste Is Ricciardo better than Hulkenberg so he deserves to be there? He’s a product of their junior program to be sure, but failing that he has much more weaknesses in his armour, especially changeable conditions, low grip scenario when he always lost to JEV

      Now, let’s turn to Mclaren. you say that “something must turn on the top teams from signing him”. Out of the top 4 teams only Mclaren could’ve realistically signed him this year as Ferrari are never ones to sign potential greats over the experienced proven greats as Kimi. But how is the Mclaren signing record? Very patchy IMO. They’d made a huge mistake just last year over signing Perez over a certain German we’re discussing here. See how that turned out
      Magnussen’s also a junior driver(=Ricciardo) but just on the basis of their junior careers he was nowhere near as impressive as the Hulk
      Button, is IMO is nowhere near as fast as the Hulk. Experienced yes but the Hulk is the safer long term bet than him

      And this might be controversial but I don’t think Rosberg is no match for Hulkenberg speed-wise. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve his place only that he’s not as good as the Hulk

      1. And yet nobody choose Hulkenberg… This is his 3rd chance of team (Williams to Force India, Force India to Sauber, Sauber to Force India) do you really think that any top team will choose him after that? One of the things that was pointed out in an article posted here a couple of days ago was that Hulkenberg fell from grace with Sauber by having seat fit with Lotus and talks with Force India. Maybe is his lack of loyalty what´s turning team off.

        1. @celeste Yes I have no doubt a top team will choose him after that

          I’d already explained above why no top team chose him this year(not counting Lotus who did but needed that stupid bag of dictator petrodollars).

          Ferrari would choose him easily but not above a WDC like Kimi. In fact a contract for him was ready

          Red Bull have their young driver program

          Mercedes have Hamilton and Rosberg on multi-year deals and I don’t advocate breaking a deal with Rosberg to take Hulk. The Hulk is only slightly better and it’s not worth it

          That leaves Mclaren only. See, not any team, but Mclaren only see something in him that they don’t like, and didn’t sign him twice. I believe Mclaren are stupid not to. And given their patchy record under Whitmarsh in signing driver(actually screw that, Mclaren’s patchy record under Whitmarsh in everything), i’m not suprised they acted stupidly

          Also the Hulk’s lack of loyalty is a myth. He was shown the door by Williams for an inferior and stupid driver in 2010 despite wanting to stay for Stupidado’s 30mil/year $. He left Force India in 2012 for Sauber and yet they took him back this year, which shows they don’t have any bad feelings against him at all. And did you expect him sit and do nothing, talk to no one etc. when his team hadn’t paid him whole year? But, Kimi did that right? Oh wait…

          1. Wanna bet on it?

        2. @celeste As a matter of fact I do. What kind of bet do you propose? :)

          1. @montreal95 Don´t know was thinking money, but with this economy… It could be a penalty…

            The rule will be:
            Nico Hulk has to be pick up by a top team (RBR, Ferrari, Mercedes or McLaren) by the championship of the year 2015, or I win the bet.

          2. @celeste hh yeah with the current conditions just bragging rights will suffice. Deal, with two conditions:

            1) As long as there’s an opening in any of those teams. If not the bet continues until there is an opening

            2) As long as Lotus finishes in the top 4 of the WCC beating one of the teams above they’re considered a top team as well and so qualify for the condition. If they finish 5th then not

            So, what do you say?

          3. @montreal95 ok then, deal… it has to be in any of the top 4 teams.

          4. @celeste Yep, but only if Lotus finish 5th then you win the bet, cause if Ferrari or Mclaren have a bad season and finish 5th they’re still a top team

            Had to make that clear for legal reasons. It’s the piranha club here after all ;)

        3. @celeste Sign a multi-year contract with a driver and he won’t leave after one year, it’s as simple as that. Williams, FI and Sauber gave him a one year contract and he stayed one year, what’s the problem?

  5. Wheres the last Webber comment pic? No. 39?

    1. @d3v0 I was about to ask the same ! @keithcollantine

  6. What are current power estimates? About 750 bhp? In which case it’s nice to see total power increase, but the predicted 840 bhp next year won’t always be available because of the 30 second limit to ERS anyway, right?

    1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      4th December 2013, 2:18

      I’m not sure if this has been picked up on this site yet, but I stumbled across this rather encouraging video of what appears to be a 2014 Ferrari F1 engine being run in a LaFerrari mule.

      I was initially quite worried about how the new turbo engines would sound, but I honestly think that sounds absolutely majestic.

      1. The LaFerrari was nothing more but a first try on the new F1 eletric systems and the McLaren P1 as well. It really shows how long these teams have been thinking in 2014.

      2. Yeah, it’s in the forum.

      3. From the BBC article:

        Normally a turbo has something called a waste-gate on the exhaust side, which releases excess energy if the pressure gets too high.
        Instead of a waste-gate, the motor will convert that excess energy into electricity by preventing the turbo from over-speeding.

        Correct me if I’m wrong but I think I’m hearing a wastegate on that video, also it’s not revving too high so the sound could be very different in the end, but so far so good.

        1. I haven’t heard the video so I could be wrong, but what most people think of as ‘wastegate noise’ is actually compressor surge. If you’re talking about a little hiss or giggle noise when shifting gears or coming off the throttle. Normally you don’t actually hear the wastegate on a regular roadcar, because the wastegate vents via the exhaust. On a race application or a high performance (or tuned) road car, the wastegate will vent straight to atmosphere or via a short unsilenced pipe. The noise you’ll hear from this is a high pitched whistle or like a sort of roaring, ripping noise, and this will happen at full throttle while under load.

          Sorry if I’m telling you something you already know. As I say, there is a common confusion between compressor surge and wastegate noise.

          1. @mazdachris did you see the video? at 1:34 there’s a high pitched whistle which seems to be a wastegate noise which comes when the driver comes off the trrottle from top gear to brake for a corner. The situaition is consistent with compressor surge, while the noise sounds like a wastegate to me. So i’m confused

          2. @montreal95 just sounds like some kind of blow-off valve to me. A blow off valve/dump valve/recirculating valve vents the turbo pressure when the driver lifts off, to prevent compressor surge; the high pressure air that the turbo has forced into the inlet rushing back out via the compressor when the exhaust stops spinning it, which can damage the turbo.

            I’d be interested to see a video of a ‘normal’ LaFerrari. I’m not convinced this isn’t just, like, what it’s meant to sound like.

            Still, does usefully highlight the fact that multi-cylinder turbocharged cars can sound absolutely great.

          3. @mazdachris here’s the LaFerrari sound:

            It’s a naturally aspirated 6.3l V12 in best Ferrari traditions, but outfiitted with ERS. Sounds nowhere near that test mule. I am now convinced that this is indeed the 2014 F1 turbo. From what you’d said and also because a “normal” test mule for the LaFerrari even looks different. Notice the large airbox on the roof, which is not dissimilar to what you have on an F1 car

      4. @jackisthestig It was posted in the forum a few days ago:

        As far as I’m aware there’s no proof yet it is what it’s claimed to be.

        1. Id say having modified the laferrari to have an air box on top and moving the side inlets forward- probably not a cheap task is probably proof enough.
          What do you expect? A ferrari announcement?

        2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
          4th December 2013, 12:53

          Yeah sorry, I got all excited when I saw the video and commented straight away.

    2. @matt90 The article by BBC says 780-820hp in total from the power unit(I assume for 33sec/lap only?). But what interests me are the actual laptimes not the true output which we won’t know anyway. Most commentators say between 3-5 sec slower at the start of 2014, but there’s one who even went as far as 10 sec. Which I refuse to believe that F1 cars will be slower than GP2. and surely no one(definitely not me) would watch that farce

      1. Truth be told, nobody really knows what the situation is going to be like.

        A number of observers seem to think that they’ll be a few seconds a lap slower, but Remi Taffin, the head of Renault SportF1, has an entirely different opinion.
        He is of the opinion that the 2014 cars will only be about a second a lap slower at the start of the 2014 season and will be faster than the current cars by the middle of 2014 – quite the contrast to the doom and gloom headlines of 3-5s a lap slower.

        Overall, I don’t think that the cars will be that much slower in reality – the aero regulations are not changing drastically and the increase in weight is partially offset by the potential for increased power over at least part of the lap.

      2. @montreal95, I understand what you are saying, but please for the sake of F1s future don’t be to intolerant of lower lap times, it is the aero that makes those incredible lap times but it is also the aero that ruins wheel to wheel racing and causes DRS and clowntyres to be used. Better racing, even if slightly slower, will be more entertaining and a greater challenge to win, having said that 10% seems highly unlikely an increase in lap times.

        1. Sorry, HIGHER lap times (lower average speed)

        2. @hohum We don’t disagree. I wasn’t even bothered by the 3-5 sec slower lap-times. But there’s a limit beyond which it’s pathetic. No F1 at all. And the aero and stupid DRS aren’t going anywhere next season. They had the opportunity to implement ground effect which would’ve eliminated the wake problem while keeping the speed but it’s not happening. F1 ,must be both the pinnacle of motorsport and entertaining. Low power, heavy, high grip car that’s barely making it to 300kph, and can’t follow the car ahead is not F1 for me. I sincerely hope that’s not gonna be the case but if it is then I will stop watching after 20 years. Simple as that

          1. @montreal95, I see, we definitely agree.

  7. With regards to COTD-

    These four teams just happened to believe that their picks are better than Hulkenberg would be.

    True & for different reasons.

    Mercedes believe they have the best line-up on the grid & had both drivers locked up for 2015 anyway.

    Ferrari are desperate to do better than they have recently & win a championship, They went with Kimi because he’s a known quantity to them & that will help both them & Kimi.

    Red Bull went with Ricciardo because they wanted a Red Bull backed driver & the fact Daniel impressed them in the test made things perfect for them.

    McLaren wanted to keep Jenson & seriously believe Magnussen if seriously good so they wanted him in the Mclaren environment with the plan that he will lead them into the future as a Championship contender.

    Hulkenberg may very well be just as fast, If not faster than the drivers those 4 teams picked instead, But he doesn’t have the ties to these teams which helped the drivers they picked get the seat instead.

    If Lotus had stronger finances they woudl have grabbed him the instant they knew he was available, Eric was desperate to sign him but ultimately had to do what was best to secure the teams future financially.
    Had Grosjean not improved as much as he did they likely woudl have gone with Hulkenberg/Maldonado but they felt they couldn’t ditch Romain off the back of the season he had.

    1. Regarding Jenson, I think Mr. Smooth may have a very good season in the world of fuel economy for the same reasons he was good in the 1st Pirelli season before he had trouble getting enough heat into the tyres.

  8. Good technical articles despite some measurements apparently transposed, if the regulations for the engine powertrain/weight distribution weren’t so comprehensive a good chunk of the 10kg Newey is looking for could be found by using titanium rather iron in the ICE, sure it is expensive but it is 100% re-cycleable. Does anyone else suspect that Newey might be more concerned with being able to use ballast than he is with using taller drivers? and back to the motor/generator driven by the turbo, surely a shaft can be used to get it away from the heat of the turbine!

    1. I do think that at least the other team(s) suspecting that that is what Newey is after was reason enough to veto it, yeah @hohum.

      Apart from that the cars are getting a lot heavier already. There is a minimum weight for the engine as such too and a lot of limits on what materials can be used where. On the other hand, what if we increase minimum weight now to fit in the drivers, but after the first year all the teams will have lowered the weight of their packages to allow for more ballast anyway?

      Oh, and I wouldn’t even be surprised to find next year that Mercedes voted against only because they are sure their package/car will have no trouble meeting the minimum weight and just wanted to cement one advantage they have been working on in the last months.

      1. @bascb, it’s an unfortunate fact of life that a small driver + Ballast will always have an advantage over a bigger driver without ballast, unless the ballast is regulated to be placed in a fixed location which is higher than the center of gravity of the car+driver.

        1. indeed. Weighing cars with the drivers was already a step in the right direction here.

    2. I like the idea of adding weight to the seat, so you have – say – 90kgs for driver + seat.
      Of course, the extra weight needed for some drivers should be spread through the whole seat.

      1. @verstappen, depends where in the seat, unless it is placed high (see above) it will still favour lighter drivers.

  9. Was it Toyota or Honda where the announcement was made and the Japanese manager was in tears while making it clear the team were withdrawing from F1?

    Either way, I find it sad when manufacturers withdraw, but it was quite poignant to see one of the corporate figureheads show his sadness/disappointment at the decision.

    1. Probably Honda.

      Toyota’s withdrawal was calculated and predictable – everyone pretty much saw it coming.

      1. It was Toyota.

        They were so ashamed about spending so much money with so little success. I always loved Toyota – my current car is Toyota. After this moment i love them even more.

  10. Bernie can’t decide as it is up to the FIA or WMSC to decide New Jersey if it it gets a red light or green light

    1. Bernie is the authority on the calendar. The FIA and WMSC will listen to him if he says it is not on.

      1. He (Bernie Ecclestone) says New Jersey, Mexico and India are all off for 2014 while Korea is still on the calendar despite reports of it being dropped

    2. Bernies puppets, Bernie generally gets what he wants, particularly when it affects FOMs income.

  11. COTD ..Really ? You have to understand that teams want some continuity . They retained Jenson because of his experience needed as a reference . Ferrari is desperate . RBR wanted their driver , so you can count Daniel as “backed” . Yes . that makes it 5 drivers :
    But again gauging talents by saying what ‘he’ deserves is a bad way to put it. For heaven’s sake we haven’t even seen this guy in a good car. How can you come up with such inconclusive statements.If you are still not convinced of what he ‘deserves’ , go check out his races in detail and study them , look at what the pundits say.I hope you don’t say he is “backed” by the pundits. In order to click your talents in f1 you have to be at the right place in the right time . That’s all .Even going by your logic , if Riccardo ‘deserves’ Red Bull , Magnussen Mclaren , then Hulkenberg deserves a top seat right now , no later .

    1. I don’t really understand your point. You haven’t really said that there’s any reason for Hulkenberg to be picked over the other drivers. But that’s what the COTD says and you seem to disagree with it somehow.

      1. @matt90 On the contrary the COTD says that all the eight drivers in the top teams were considered a better package than Hukenberg . Hence Hulkenberg is ‘undeserving’ of a Top drive by pure merit .

        so I don’t think he “deserved” it any more than they did

        I have just outlined the drivers above who are rated higher than Hulkenberg . But you cannot rate him in comparison with these drivers as he has not yet been in a top team yet . In other words , you cannot say he is ‘undeserving’ of a top drive .Note the missing names in the list .
        I firmly believe Hulkenberg could have gone to Red Bull or Mclaren.I very well know the reasons why he was not picked but ‘undeserving’ would be a strong word and makes it sound as if he could have done something else on his part to procure those drives .

        1. @hamilfan
          I didn’t say that Hülkenberg doesn’t deserve a top seat. I’m questioning the whole idea of drivers “deserving” or “not deserving” seats. The (top) teams should choose the drivers that they think are best for them and that’s it.

        2. petebaldwin (@)
          4th December 2013, 12:46

          @hamilfan – it depends how you interpret the meaning of “deserving” or “not deserving” a seat.

          In reality, no-one deserves a seat anywhere. The teams pick who they feel is the best driver for their needs (whether that be money (Maldonado), speed (Raikkonen), consistency (Button) or good PR (Riccardio and to an extent, Magnussen).

          Hulk doesn’t match any of those 5 drivers for the reasons they were picked. He didn’t have the money to get the Lotus seat, isn’t as quick as Raikkonen, didn’t come through Red Bull’s young driver programme and didn’t get a McLaren seat as they preferred a young fast driver to partner an experienced one.

          That’s all there is to it. Sure, he’s probably faster than Button, Magnussen, Maldonado and Riccardio but they weren’t picking their drivers based solely on speed – there were lots of other factors.

          Hulk needs to make sure that when the next position opens up that is based on how fast you can get from a to b (probably at Ferrari), he is in the right place at the right time and has proven that he is the fastest available. If that happens, he’ll have deserved his seat.

  12. It’s becoming more and more likely that the New Jersey race will probably never happen.

    1. Good, no more street circuits please.

      What about starting making “revolutionary” F1 tracks, so we dont have to squeeze the cars and come up with inventions to slow the cars down.

      1. Revolutionary is unlikely (I suspect due to safety and cost reasons).

      2. @Kimi4WDC
        I don’t think that the problems are with street circuit, they are related in my opinion with the regulations, so many aerodynamic dependency and a huge amount of downforce make driving on street circuit so easy and produce boring races as a result, i have been watching many GP’s back in the 80’s on youtube these days (bored with the F1 break) like the US gp the Monaco gp and Adelaide and the races were far from boring because cars with little downforce and huge power are very difficult to drive on street circuits ,this is maybe one reason why Ayrton was the King on those tracks

      3. There aren’t many anyway, and this one looked like one of the most interesting.

    2. It’s becoming more and more likely that the New Jersey race will probably never happen

      Sadly, I think you are right, @kingshark

      See this Pitpass artice about the practical impediments to just one part of the proposed circuit –

      A shame, I think it would be a great event if it happened.

  13. RE: Hulk, a random thought.

    Interesting to note that Hulk is wearing the team gear already. Sauber really couldn’t hold him until December 31.

    1. Or was a member of the team when the photo was taken!

      1. He was presented to the media already dressed in team kit @hohum.

        1. @bascb, Mea culpa, I’m to much of a cynic I guess, I thought maybe the PR team at SFI may have just pulled an old photo out of the archives for the press release.

          1. Well, let me hand it to you that you could well have been right there @hohum, just not this time ;-)

    2. I think its more teams like the top 4 that bar their drivers from showing up in official team things with a new team anyway @journeyer, there really was no reason for Sauber to hold Hulk back after they were certain that he was not going to stay with the team anyway.

    3. Didn’t Hulkenberg terminate his Sauber contract early due to non/underpayment?

  14. Completely agree with COTD. The teams have a better information on Hulk than we do, and clearly they weren’t impressed enough with him to choose him over drivers they chose.

  15. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    4th December 2013, 8:24

    @Hotbottoms – You make an interesting point, because Hulkenberg’s on-track performances undeniably show him as a superstar plain and simple, but if you don’t constitute Lotus as a “top team” in 2014, which unfortunately, I think we can anticipate they won’t be with the huge advantage the richer “works” teams will hold (I also expect the Mercedes engined Force India to end up ahead of the Lotus), do his performances mean that he could supersede drivers who are in top teams.

    For me, in the case of both Ricciardo and Magnussen, I think the answer is an unequivocal “yes”. The teams in question here, McLaren and Red Bull, aren’t looking for cash, so Hulkenberg’s lack of sponsorship was no issue when the decision was taken to promote both of these drivers over Nico. So surely that decision was based soley on talent, which is strange, because I think everyone here would suggest that Hulkenberg would’ve done a better job than either Ricciardo or Magnussen. So why was Hulkenberg so overlooked for a Red Bull or a McLaren drive? Why was I probably the only person mentioning Hulkenberg with regards to the Red Bull seat?

    As you may have guessed, the answer is somewhat political. In essence, both teams had an obligation to justify the many millions of pounds spent on their respective young driver programmes. That is what robbed us of Vettel vs Raikkonen at Red Bull, and that subsequently robbed Hulkenberg of a Ferrari seat. If anything, these young driver programmes have been a handicap to top teams when they are making decisions about “big seats”, because the can’t simply choose the best driver on offer, like Mercedes and Ferrari have with Hamilton and Raikkonen, they are obliged to select the next driver in the pipeline. And it that obligation, coupled with F1’s current culture of using drivers as sources of income that has seen Hulkenberg nailed into the midfield yet again.

    Ah well, Raikkonen’s back can’t last forever…there’s a Ferrari seat with your name on it Hulkenberg, you may just have to wait a few years…

  16. @hotbottoms – thank you for laying down your thoughts so very well. I had been having similar doubts for so long!
    Fans do tend to overhype drivers they like. Kamui Kobayashi springs to my mind of one such example before.

    One thing I have seen is that team principals tend to use simulator and testing results to see if a driver is good or not. A lot of noise has been made about Kimi and was made of Lewis as well. And both of them showed their true prowess on the track as well. Sergio Perez has driven for Ferrari in some test or simulator before. May be that is why they decided to not go for him. Mclaren went for him and quickly found out that he doesn’t really have the speed.

    With Hulk, I have not heard anyone say that he was brilliant in the simulator or during testing. May be, that is why he is being passed over for the top-team drives.

  17. COTD: “I think it’s very likely that Hulkenberg will be happy within a couple of seasons that he didn’t get the Lotus seat”.
    I completely agree. Lotus was the worst option for him out of the three, in my opinion. Staying at Sauber would’ve showed stability in his career and opened up a 2015 move to McLaren or Ferrari. The Force India return allows him to have more than one season at one team, and also opens up a move in 2016, 2015 at a push. I think moving to Lotus would’ve made any step up difficult because he would be at yet another team, which would raise question about loyalty and stability, and having lost key personnel, I wouldn’t bet against the E22 being worse than the C33 and the VJM07.

    1. @deej92, @celeste, nobody expects GP drivers to hang around for the gold watch, it’s an outdated concept, no one begrudges a driver, designer or engineer or for that matter a CEO moving to a better position, of course if a driver was fired for not performing, not spending time helping the engineers, not doing PR and being fond of Vodka and icecream he would never get another drive again, or would he?

  18. Michael Brown (@)
    4th December 2013, 14:16

    I hope the New Jersey race happens, because it looks like the best street circuit since Monaco

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