Double points “totally and utterly wrong” – Surtees

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: John Surtees joins the criticism of F1’s plan to offer double points at the season finale.


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

Interview with John Surtees (MotorSportsTalk)

“[Double points at the last race] must be purely a commercial gimmick. I think it’s totally and utterly wrong. This means of trying to artificially change the results of championships or races is something which is not in the true spirit of what we should be trying to achieve.”

Lotus boss expects more teams to miss first F1 test (Reuters)

Eric Boullier: “Everything is fine here. Lotus will be on the grid this year and for a long time. You will see, we will not be the only team not being in Jerez. I know this for a fact already.”

Jev the Mountain Lion (Toro Rosso)

“I will have a new Race Engineer, Francisco Javier Pujolar, because my previous one, Phil Charles is switching to the role of Chief Engineer this year.”

Eddie Irvine sentenced to six months for Milan club brawl (Irish Times)

“Witnesses in court have claimed the reason for the fight between the two was a text message sent by Mr Irvine to an ex-girlfriend of Mr Moratti.”

Caterham eyeing experience (Sky)

Caterham spokesperson: “We are very, very close to be being able to make an announcement and it will be soon. We have a couple of weeks but we are aiming not to use all of them.”

F1 drivers will need new race approach (Autosport)

James Allison: “During practice, the car will have more electrical power (available) and the car can run at the limit of fuel flow [which is 100kg per hour]. In the race it is going to be different.”

Honda’s 2015 arrival double edged (ESPN)

Renault’s head of track operations, Remi Taffin: “One could argue it’s a good advantage and one could argue it’s not. You have one more year to study your engine and maybe you could end up with a 2015 engine that is much more developed, but at the same time we are going to be developing the engine for 2015 – we are already working on 2015 – and it’s very similar.”

Import policy for racing and motorsport events tweaked (Autocar India)

“With Formula One and [the] World Superbike championship giving India a miss this year – we will have to wait and watch when this new exemption will be exercised.”

Infiniti clear winner of visibility race in Formula One 2013 season (Repucom, PDF)

“The luxury car maker, which entered F1 in 2011, is now the number one most exposed team partner in the sport, measured by calculating the amount of on-screen branding of the official qualifying and race broadcasts.”

Five questions which will decide Bernie Ecclestone’s fate (Autoweek)

“The Ernst & Young report valued F1 at $5.9 billion – and this fuelled Constantin’s claim that the stake was undervalued. However, CVC co-founder Donald Mackenzie told the court that in fact, at that time F1 was worth $3 billion.”

Why did Red Bull's Mark Webber never win the world title? (BBC)

“So why did he never win the world championship? Well firstly, he came up against one of the greats of the sport – Vettel.”


Comment of the day

Chris on Felipe Massa’s Crashgate comments:

Whilst this strikes me as a bit like having a go at someone whilst walking away from them, I must admit that I admire Massa for at least talking about it openly and person-ably, rather than spewing the same old F1 driver/PR robot nonsense.

And for that I respect Massa. Same situation when Vettel criticised the double points rule. I gained a lot of respect for Sebastian at that moment, as he was the only one to actually speak his mind.
Chris (@Tophercheese21)

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77 comments on “Double points “totally and utterly wrong” – Surtees”

  1. So Pujolar will be JEV’s race engineer? I expected him to have a more senior role at Toro Rosso.

    1. @Enigma As I understand, there are now two Pujolars at Toro Rosso. Francisco Javier Pujolar, a former race engineer at HRT, will work with Vergne, while Xevi Pujolar, Maldonado’s former race engineer, will have a more senior role at the team.

      1. @girts Xevi could be short for Javier. And I think it’s the same person that used to be at HRT, recently at Williams and now JEV’s engineer. Autosport reports so as well.

        1. @Enigma You’re 100% right. One learns something new every day!

  2. Infiniti get great publicity out of their RedBull deal.

    I can’t be the only one who had never heard of them before they started advertising on Newey’s Renault powered creations.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      10th January 2014, 0:06

      Most people outside of North America haven’t.

      1. I’d say Infiniti is new to Europe, where I was used to live until 2007. But it’s popular in North America, Mid-East, parts of Asia and here in Africa.

        Actually the first time I’ve seen an Infiniti in Europe was last August at Spa and it was being used as Reb Bull shuttle car.

    2. Well yeah, I’d never heard of them before, but they’d been a sponsor for about 2 years before I even found out what kind of company they were. Just sponsoring is great, but you’ve got to engage people.

      1. W (@yesyesyesandyesagain)
        10th January 2014, 0:48

        I’ve seen numerous videos of Vettel driving Infinitis; I think they do a pretty good job of getting their money’s worth out of the deal. I don’t know how many of these promos air on TV but there are tons of videos on youtube.

    3. Actually, I can’t believe that there are people who are into motorsport but haven’t heard of Infiniti.

    4. It’s worth mentioning that even if you don’t read many car mags, Infiniti must have had a somewhat increased profile having appeared in Gran Turismo 4 (albeit with boring cars). Looking back, I think that despite having heard of both companies before, it possibly took Gran Turismo to actually show me that Acura and Infiniti were just rebadged Japanese cars (initially, Infiniti subsequently becoming more stand-alone).

      1. Yes, it’s a Japanese thing isn’t it? Infiniti is like a luxury Nissan while Lexis is a luxury Toyota.

        1. When Infiniti started I don’t know if the cars were actually extra luxury, or if they just picked the better Nissans and rebadged them to give the impression of a more luxurious brand. Both Infiniti and Lexus seem to have becomes more independent. I don’t know if either sells a single rebadged car any more without at least changing the looks.

    5. I find it strange that in Europe the Infiniti brand is not that well known, here in northern Mexico there’s been lots of imported Infinitis since I can remember, and now with F1 being more prominent thanks to Pérez you can really see they’re using Vettel for their marketing purposes, magazines, tv adverts, even visiting their site the first thing you see is a giant picture of him. They’re certainly getting their money’s worth here.

      1. When it was introduced, it was meant primarily for the US markets because Nissan wanted the same as Lexus did for Toyota (Honda tried the same with Acura) – get away from the association with boring commuter cars to break into the luxury markets @mantresx

        In Europe that Nissan was better known while at the same time there is a far bigger market for smaller cars than over in the US, and on the other hand as soon as Nissan and Renault started their cooperation, the group was not all that interested in having Infinity there to compete with the Renault top models.

    6. I knew about Infinit because I’m a massive car nerd, but it’s quite interesting I know the world is bigger than the UK, but Infinit was one of the worst selling car brands in the UK last year. I think they only sold a couple of hundred.

    7. Infiti has been getting pretty big in Asia over the years…but its right up there with Lexus in terms of brand recognition…thanks no less to their advertising campaign.

      Basically, they got in at the right time.

  3. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    10th January 2014, 0:06

    Witnesses in court have claimed the reason for the fight between the two was a text message sent by Mr Irvine to an ex-girlfriend of Mr Moratti.

    That sounds very plausible!

  4. Michael Brown (@)
    10th January 2014, 0:09

    The FIA has banned enough of Red Bull’s tricks so they introduced double points as a way to make the season more exciting.

  5. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    10th January 2014, 0:13

    Why did Mark Webber never win the world championship?

    Uuh, because he binned it at Korea in 2010?

    1. Pretty much.

      1. Driving the last four races with a fracture in his shoulder didn’t help matters much either.

    2. Because he complained about team equality which put RedBull in an awkward position towards the end of 2010.

  6. Re: COTD…I still disagree as I did in the Massa article by Keith. Well, I do agree that it is like having a go at someone while walking away. But I don’t think this is ‘open’ nor ‘personable’ since it is water under the bridge and comes off as spewing whininess and sour grapes. I think FM has only done himself a disservice trying to claim only now that he is away from FA and Ferrari that this one incident cost him the WDC in 08.

    And SV, who stands to lose the most with the double points for the final race given his 4 year run, is one among millions who disagree with it, so I see nothing there that adds to his respectfulness.

    1. I don’t really see why SV is likely to lose the most from double points, because over the last 5 years he’s won the last race of the season more times than not (plus a 2nd and a 6th or whatever it was in 2012)

      1. True, but he has also won the WDC a few times with up to what, 5 races left in the season? Not sure if I’m right there but certainly with 3 races left and/or seasons where his odds were very high, and that is what BE is aiming to change. He wants to manipulate points to try to ensure each season comes down to the last race. BE doesn’t care so much who wins the last race, as long as there is the potential for more than one driver to win the title going into the last race.

        I think most people would agree that having the season be decided in the last race is always best, but obviously with the vast majority of people against the idea of double points, we don’t want it to be by manipulation.

  7. Well this is a bit encouraging:

    For some races 100kg [of fuel] is more than enough, but for other races you need to be careful to manage the fuel on each lap.

    So I guess Monaco is the race with the lowest fuel consumption, but which other ones could be raced flat out?

    1. Hungary maybe.

    2. @mantresx Singapore should be hell for the teams, but a 100% safety car record should help

    3. monaco is not even full 300km distance, so it’ll be flat out all the time probably. Unless tires are like 2013 in which case everyone will be going round at snails pace.

    4. Only the ones where the team radio doesn’t work.

    5. I actually wondered how big a deal the fuel saving will be over the season. I’ve seen sources suggesting fuel load for Australia was 150kg for example. I’ve also read that the turbos plus increased energy recovery could increase fuel efficiency by 30%-40%. That implies that the fuel requirement for that race could be 90kg-105kg, only 5% above the 100kg allowed at the upper end.

      Keith wrote an article last year on fuel strategy which stated “Reports suggest some cars have gone to the grid this year with as much as 10% less fuel than they need to do the race flat-out”. That difference in fueling means that potentially the level of fuel saving may be no more than we are already used to at many venues. Granted the high fuel consumption tracks are going to have a bigger difference.

      I would also point out that the fuel flow limit is not simply, as stated in that article, 100kg per hour. It is a maximum of 100kg per hour over 10,500rpm so whenever engines are below that range the fuel flow limit is less than 100kg per hour.

      1. Williams provided fuel consumption estimates in the previews of each race – for Australia, their public figure of 2.5kg/lap would equate to 145kg over a full race distance. Typical fuel loads, if the teams were to run flat out, would be about 145-155kg on average.

        In reality, though, most teams tend to run with lower fuel loads – fuel loads of about 135-145kg have been suggested – because the teams worked out very quickly that it was quicker over a full race distance to deliberately run slightly slower and save fuel than to drive flat out but burn significantly more fuel.
        It’s a tactic that started back in 2010 (it’s worth remembering that, when refuelling was first banned, a lot of people complained about fuel saving ruining races because drivers were ordered to slow down rather than risk running dry), although I suspect that teams will be more cautious to begin with under the new engine format given that they won’t have anything like as much information about fuel consumption as they did in the past.

        mantresx, since you’re asking about which races might be flat out, one possible race would be, perhaps counter intuitively, Monza. Because most of the lap is spent on full throttle – and the current engines were optimised to full engine load conditions – the fuel consumption rate was actually fairly low and Monza falls towards the lower end for fuel consumption (using the figures Williams quote, the fuel consumption would be about 138kg for Monza versus the 145kg figure for Melbourne, for example).

  8. • Surtees – “I think it’s totally and utterly wrong.” (re:Double points)
    – Is there anybody credible who thinks it’s right?

    • “The luxury car maker, which entered F1 in 2011, is now the number one most exposed team partner in the sport…
    – Still seems a weak advertising link to me. A loose connection via Nissan via Renault registers with the average consumer like a dim bulb if at all. Glad they are spending money in F1 though.

    • F1 drivers will need new race approach (Autosport)
    James Allison: “During practice, the car will have more electrical power (available) and the car can run at the limit of fuel flow [which is 100kg per hour]. In the race it is going to be different.”
    – It could be interesting. When to burn fuel and pass and when to conserve. When to use ERS to pass or stay ahead. Watch out for that torque! Hope it’s more driver skill than just wheezing around the track praying to make the finish line with enough fuel.

    • “Why did Red Bull’s Mark Webber never win the world title?”
    – Didn’t score enough points.

    1. – Is there anybody credible who thinks it’s right?

      Niki and Toto, for some reason.

      1. What I really don’t like about the double points debacle besides all the usual arguments is the asterisk. Right now we have fairly easy to comprehend comparisons between seasons with different point structures. With the double points debacle that is pretty much out the window.

      2. Perez mentioned how he thinks its a good idea in the interview he did after being announced as a FI driver @beejis60

    2. @bullmello, A $billion worth of publicity for Renault was a total waste in the US at least they get some value from Infiniti.

      1. @hohum – It’s funny, nearly every Infiniti owner I know barely even knows what F1 is. And yet, it seems like every do it yourself modified, tweaked, noisy, wannabe hot rod is a Honda these days. And there is a whole lot of them too. Somehow I think Honda will get some mileage out of being back in F1. All these Honda hot-rod hackers already think they are in racing. lol

        1. Yes, it’s a total reversal of the old US adage ” ain’t no substitute for cubes” now Honda has tapped a group who think ” ain’t no substitute for revs” and use boost to maximise the value of those rpm. Honda really is the epitome of the slogan ” racing improves the breed” they always lead the rpm table in economy cars while still keeping a reputation for reliability, no doubt due to lessons learned building racing engines.

        2. Maybe they want to be known in Europe because their cars are common place in other parts of the globe, particularly US, Emirates, Asia and even parts of Africa. They’re now trading models branded as “Red Bull Edition”, funny because Renault too has its own “Red Bull Edition” models.

          Apparently their link to Red Bull is working. I wonder if other car makers will follow the same strategy and enter F1 as title sponsor in lieu of engine suppliers… like “Aston Martin Sauber F1 Team”

          1. Technically….Infniti is linked to Renault through Nissan..its essentually a part of the same company. So to compare a prospective “Aston Sauber” to Infiniti Red Bull is a bit harsh.

            Lotus is a classic example of it having nothing to with the real Lotus…it was just a sponsorship deal.

    3. As of late we see too often drivers being advised to save fuel and I don’t like that but not many decades ago many drivers did actually ran out of fuel while leading or in the points towards the end of the race, even though it adds more drama to the races I’d rather have them fight on top speed all the way to the end.

    4. It could be interesting. When to burn fuel and pass and when to conserve. When to use ERS to pass or stay ahead.

      I thought that there was no separate ERS control, the driver puts his foot down and it’s all handled by the ECU. I expect that there will be different engine modes available, and is there a separate boost control like in the “good old days”?

      1. Excellent point. Would like to better understand how ERS is supposed to work this season.

  9. “The luxury car maker, which entered F1 in 2011, is now the number one most exposed team partner in the sport, measured by calculating the amount of on-screen branding of the official qualifying and race broadcasts.”

    I’m yet to meet somebody who doesn’t find their link to F1 tenuous and cynical though. They have got some exposure with diehard F1 fans who perhaps aren’t so interested in road cars (thus missing the brand as it started more regionally), but it isn’t necessarily good exposure. If I see a car manufacturer’s name in motorsport, but only as a sponsor with no technical involvement, then to me they are doing motorsport wrong. This is partly why my opinion of Lotus (cars) has diminished a bit, as thanks to the wishes of their mad ex-chairman (or CEO or whatever Bahar was) they have their name plastered on a car for no reason whatsoever.

    1. @matt90, Nissan/Infiniti have a lot of credibility on the street with their turbocharged V6 engines and they and Renault are virtually a married couple so the connection is not that tenuous.

      1. Pretty tenuous to me. Renault making engines doesn’t equate to Nissan or Infiniti making engines. Most married couples couldn’t have one person piggy-back off their spouse.

        1. @matt90 Renault owns 43% of Nissan; Nissan owns 15% of Renault. Carlos Ghosn is the CEO of both firms. That is very much married to me. They decided to market their works team as Nissan’s luxury brand, Infiniti, for their own reasons.

        2. Errr… actually, most married couples have one person piggy-back off their spouse.

          1. (Piggy-backing, or whatever it is when you use it as a verb)

    2. I’m yet to meet somebody who doesn’t find their link to F1 tenuous and cynical though.

      As are most of them. It’s advertising. What have most of the big-name sponsors got to do with the actual racing? Maybe the oil companies, but Lotus? Sahara? Marussia? Caterham? The sponsors are in it for the exposure and prestige by association, and it appears to be working for the title sponsor of the most successful team.

      1. As I said, I don’t approve of Lotus either. Sahara have nothing to do with cars so are irrelevant. Marussia and Caterham are interesting cases, but less tenuous in my opinion (or Caterham at least, I don’t know as much about Marussia’s structure). Infiniti are a relation of Renault (a little vaguely, as regardless of ownership they are in my eyes the offspring of Nissan, Renault’s spouse, like a step-kid), who make the engines, and invest more in Red Bull than other teams they sponsor, but are not team owners. Caterham are now part of a group which encompasses the F1 team, so seems to me like a far more direct connection, much more deserving of the name. Plus, by their nature they make sports cars (as do Marussia) and are heavily involved in grass roots motorsport. This all makes me far more sympathetic to them. Infiniti by comparison have nothing to do with sportiness or motorsport besides a couple of big engined special editions since their F1 link.

        I was also a bit cynical about Marussia originally, but as I said I don’t know much about the operation. And I’m a bit sympathetic following Spyker being involved in F1- a similar obscure sports car company, but they were involved in the team enough that the cost of running it almost bankrupted the car company.

    3. Nissan\Infiniti were in Indycar (along with Red Bull) long before the recent tie up with RBR. They also badged\supported the Indy Lights engines for a while.

  10. Ominous comment from James Allison suggests that at some tracks at least drivers will be circulating slowly to conserve fuel. Excuse me while I put on some Leonard Cohen and slit my wrists.

    1. @hohum Well we’ve watched them go round some tracks slowly for two years now due to tyres. The fact that the tyres are harder next year, but fuel is more marginal means that it might just be the same as ever. (Depending on the degree to which both come into play).

    2. Knowing how important that will be, there will probably be plenty of different engine settings, meaning the drivers may not necessarily need to employ fuel saving driving styles (coasting) too much, instead pushing as normal.

      1. @matt90, you mean pushing the accellerator as normal but not going as fast.

        1. Yes, but I assumed your worry was more to do with drivers having to tip-toe around (as they do when looking after tyres) rather than driving as normal but a bit slower.

          1. Well it’s both really, it’s supposed to be a race, I want to see the cars on the edge of control, not cruising round like they were being driven by Mark Webbers grandmother.

          2. Replying to @hohum, but there’s no reply button on his last post:

            It is a race, but it’s a marathon instead of a sprint. And until engine development is frozen, I would hope that fuel efficiency will improve and the 100kg limit will be less of a restriction.

          3. It’s not like the cars have been going all out recently anyway. They have engine settings for a bit of extra pace which they only use occasionally. So given that they rarely use the fastest settings, they’re in a near-constant state of being turned down as it is. I would imagine that at the races which might require extra fuel saving, the engines will just be turned down more than at others. You might not even be aware of it, save the difference to pole position time.

    3. @hohum – The Leonard Cohen reference made me chuckle. :)

      The fuel conserving style of “racing” I will now refer to as wheezing!

  11. By this time in the year I am normally getting very excited by the up and coming start of the new F1 season.
    This excitement should be even greater this year due to the fact we have the biggest changes in the regulations for many years.

    But the prospect of watching another season of exessive pace management casued this year due to the heavily restricted fuel allowance and the push to pass DRS on machines that have almost had all of their originality and uniquness removed as to comply with the overly restrictive technical regs has now levelled my excitement to where it was at the end of last season. None existant to say the least….

    By the end of the last season my viewing of the races and dropped from ‘I cant miss any part of any weekend’ to ‘Its on the TV while I do other things..’

    I hope I am wrong and I hope that this is the most exciting season for years but the hype (if you can call it that) leading up to the start of it hasn’t got me ‘hyped’ at all.

    1. Just to annoy you even further: next year’s drs slot has been increased from 55mm to 70mm for even easier overtaking.

    2. Totally hear you @torort in terms of why you aren’t hyped. I’m not quite there personally. I am hyped because the regs are so different that it should be a different product out there and it’s potential carries excitement, yet I too continue to despise DRS, and I too hope tire conservation delta time running will not just be replaced with fuel conservation delta time running.

      We’ll just have to see, and for now I have to admit that for all F1’s issues they still have me. For now. Thanks to the new regs. I also think I am closer than ever, as in, one more gadget or gimmick away, from walking. Much hinges on the new look F1, for many I’m sure.

  12. Hm, while i Agree with the first part of the COTD, you are wrong when you mention Vettel doing something special and “being the only one to actually speak his mind”. First of all, his teammate beat him to that on Twitter by a day (so he was neither first nor the only one) but foremost, his team Troll (Marko) openly stated that the whole team was of that opinion. So while I certainly do not doubt that Vettel (and Ricciardo) did speak their mind about this, you can hardly say its not part of Team PR, when it nicely fits into the stance of the team and nor is it then especially brave or admirable @tophercheese21.

    In a sense, its almost braver to hear Perez mention how he likes the idea, because he is hardly saying that to gain a lot of fans and he is really the only driver to be positive of it!

  13. From all the conversation on the topic of Singapore 2008, that is a COTD?

    Must be because it includes that immense moment of “defiance” in Malaysia. Damn, my sarcast-o-meter almost blew itself up while I was writing that.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      10th January 2014, 9:10

      Not my fault it was chosen. I just voiced my opinion on the matter and it happened to get the COTD.

  14. Unrelated to the things mentioned here but I’m very interested in the drivers numbers that are slowly dribbling through on Twitter (Ricciardo – 3, Button – 22 etc)
    Anyone know any others? I’m surprised the media is making more out of it, and I would’ve thought they’d be all announced at once.

  15. Personally, it would be absolutely brilliant to have Kobayashi back in F1, driving a Caterham. What a well-liked and, at times, incredibly exciting driver. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. This is the most exciting news for me since we heard of the new Ferrari line-up.

  16. Coulthard added: “In the six years Mika Hakkinen and I were team-mates at McLaren, I finished in front of him two times in the championship, but when it really mattered, he finished in front of me – and those were championship-winning years [1998 and 1999] for him.

    “It’s not like I wasn’t able to string together a better season than him, but I wasn’t able to do it when it counted – and that’s all that matters. It’s about winning races and winning championships – that’s the reason people compete. And I came up short.”

    Words of wisdom =)

  17. You can always rely on John Surtees to talk some sense.

  18. On the ‘Infinity” branding discussion I would like to say that I am just happy they are pumping money into Formula 1.Someone has to after they pushed the tobacco companies out.I don’t like Infinity or cigarettes but, they have put their money to good use for us race fans.

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