Signs point to Williams-Martini deal

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: An image leak and domain acquisition point to Williams announcing a sponsorship deal with Martini.



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

On the red carpet (Motorsport Monday)

Pat Symonds: “Some of the cars I’m surprised the sidepods are smaller than expected.”

What should we be thinking now? (A former F1 doc writes)

“It’s just about two weeks since the team caring for Michael Schumacher stopped administering sedatives in order to allow him to emerge from the pharmacologic part of his depressed consciousness. Where are we now?”

On the latest Michael Schumacher stories (Joe Sawaerd)

“So let it be with Michael Schumacher, time will tell and all that press coverage of the current situation does is speculate.”

Kamui Kobayashi TV Vol. 4 (Kamui Kobayashi via YouTube)

Analysis – Red Bull RB10 nose design (F1)

“To reduce drag, the keel section at the front features two vertical vents, with the airflow passing out of the top of chassis as on last year’s RB9.”

Looking back going forward (ESPN)

Peter Sauber: “David [Robertson] was… an excellent salesman! I really don’t understand why I gave Kimi [Raikkonen] a car for three days.”

Sporting punch-ups of the 1980s (The Guardian)

[Nelson] Piquet’s race was ended abruptly when a quite brainless piece of driving by [Eliseo] Salazar slammed the door shut in his face. I’m not condoning the actions of Piquet, but who, with their hand on their heart, could honestly say they would have reacted with grace and humility in this situation.”

Comment of the day

Is mid-race driver coaching bad for racing?

The racing would be better if the engineers weren’t allowed to coach the drivers, especially this year with fuel consumption being on the menu, without the drivers knowing how much fuel they were using the teams would have to reduce drag/downforce to allow the cars to race for a full race distance without slowing down to conserve fuel.

If the only result of the new regulations is the cars going slower in order not to use to much fuel then no one will benefit and the fans will be the great losers.

Site update

Apologies for the continuing unavailability of the forums. This is due to a complex and essential piece of maintenance work. A dry run of the task had been successfully completed but unfortunately when we came to perform it on the live site several problems surfaced which we are still trying to resolve.


Brabham BT42 (1973), Goodwood, 2012

As Williams look likely to sport Martini sponsorship this year here’s a reminder of how good those colours can look on a Formula One car. This is a 1973 Brabham BT42. More pictures here:

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On this day in F1

Happy birthday to Toranosuke Takagi who turns 40 today. Takagi spent two seasons in Formula One with Tyrrell and Arrows, achieving a best finish of seventh in the 1999 Australian Grand Prix at the beginning of his second year in F1.

He went on to compete in Champ Car and Japanese GT racing.

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  • 89 comments on “Signs point to Williams-Martini deal”

    1. Livery should look awesome

      1. Some concepts of the livery at the link below. Looks the best one for a long time!

      2. I am very happy because of that, but also slightly dissapointed because I was hoping that Porsche’s LMP would get it.

        1. If Martini want to do a big sponsorship push, I don’t see anything stopping them doing both.

    2. Awesome. Two brands that just scream motor-racing.

      1. If this is true and we all hope it is, I was right in saying that its normal to miss some sponsorship in testing, I hope the other teams are still able to score some more if not we will see very few sponsors which is counter intuitive in a sport so popular, it leds one to believe there’s something wrong with F1.

    3. To ban coaching, as with team orders, you’d have to ban team radio. Otherwise, they’ll just use coded messages. You can’t really ban the phrases “take it easy” or “calm down”.

      1. Or cut all the live telemetry from the car to just the fuel consumption and a few temperature sensors .

        1. rather, transmit everything but the fuel consumption, give the driver a low fuel light at say 10kg.left.

          1. I’m sure the teams would be able to calculate fuel consumption using other metrics.

            1. A calculation that would necessarily be a little unreliable, would they tell Lewis to let Vettel past for the win on this basis or would they just cross their fingers?

        2. Fuel display in the car? Thats what road cars have I don’t get a radio message on fuel when driving to work. Ban the radios it sends a bad sign for road safety as you shouldnt really have conversations on phones when driving road cars. This qould make F1 more road relevent like the FIA want.

          1. Fuel readouts don’t work on F1 cars because the fuel tank is divided up into several sections by baffles, otherwise the mass of fuel when subjected to such high later g-forces would slosh to one side and make the car inherently unstable with high fuel loads.

          2. Kimberley Barrass
            13th February 2014, 9:43

            Remind me never to take a car journey with you….!

            Speaking and to a lesser extent listening whilst driving is fine. The brain functions carrying out these activities operates at a very low level and is easily interrupted. It is having to interrupt hand eye co-ordination which causes issues when driving

      2. There are coaches shouting at competitors in every sport, I don’t see what the problem is with having them in F1!

        1. I don’t see a problem either. On the contrary, I’d like to see fewer restrictions in F1, not more. Much fewer. But if they did want to prevent driver coaching, it wouldn’t be so simple.

          1. fewer restrictions +1

        2. @graham228221 What about tennis. No coaches shouting at competitors there, they’re on their own.

          Taking away coaching would mean they’d have to take away team radios as @ironcito mentioned above. It doesn’t seem like the best idea, considering the safety aspect of it all. How would you warn drivers of impending catastrophic failures, maybe you wouldn’t want to, that would be coaching too.

          1. yes @millirem good point :) golf too, and snooker. if i had to draw comparison, i’d say that golf and tennis are in fact much simpler individual sports where there is not as much in the way of tactics that can be altered on the fly.

            I like F1 pit radio, the only improvement I’d like to see is to make it all open (a “red button” feature or internet stream).

    4. I’m sorry but this picture of the Brabham… How can anyone think about the livery seeing such a hideous car? And people say this year’s cars are the worst ever looking. Well, look at this nightmarish monstrosity

      1. The BT44 (which I believe is the car shown, rather than a BT42) is widely considered good looking. Not beautiful necessarily, but purposeful, well-proportioned and very cool. I would suspect you are in the minority.

        1. It’s neither well-proportioned nor very cool. As far as taste goes and the car as a whole, some like it some not, but looking at the car and disregarding its age and regulations, in no way this car has better balanced and pleasing proportions than today’s cars.
          Just because it has a dildo at the tip doesn’t make it ugly, if a bit too-straight-forward perhaps. :)

        2. @matt90 Purposeful doesn’t equal good looking. Well proportioned?! With that huge blob behind the driver that makes the car look taller than it is long it’s not a nice proportion. The front wing would look good only on a snow plough. The transition from the cockpit to the front looks like a variation of the hideous modern step designs.

          That’s how it looks for me. Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course

      2. Forget the face, just look at those rear tyres, you could fall in love with a set of those.

        1. @hohum Yes you’re right! Love the huge rear tires

      3. I have a soft spot for this car ever since I was a kid and made a paper model of it (from a boy’s magazine). Those sloping sidepods are unique and give it a pyramid like feel. I think if you had a chance to look at it from different angles and play with it, you’d come to appreciate it. Definitely one of my favourites.

        1. @ph I like the sidepods shape. Just not anything else. See my reply to matt90 above

      4. I have very rarely posted comments but the words used by montreal95 to describe one of the all time great F1 cars – designed by Gordon Murray………. It was a wind-up, right? I’ve fallen for it!

        1. @stewart Gordon Murray is a car designer who would design the ugliest car in the world as long as he believes it gives him performance(as would all of them and rightly so). Did he design that fan car for its looks? In fact I don’t like a lot of his designs looks, but it doesn’t matter

          And one of the all time great cars? Please. It didn’t win any championships did it? And if you see it as one of the greatest cars of all time for its looks, well then we are as far apart as the earth and the moon if not more. See my reply to matt90 to see what I think of its looks. Sorry for having a different opinion

      5. Can someone explain why they used to sit so high in the cars back in the days? Todat the drivers eyes are almost level with the front wheels.

        1. @datt
          In these days the drivers were sitting, and that’s what it looks like.
          Today drivers are lying, I guess because the increasing knowledge and importance of aerodynamics forced them down.

          1. That and having a lower centre of gravity is beneficial to the vehicles cornering abilities.

            1. I see. But the seemed to know the importance of centre of gravity in the sixties where they also sat very low in the car. /off-topic

            2. and power steering makes it possible to drive in that position.

      6. @montreal95 If you take a look at the rest of the ’75 grid, the BT44 WAS the looker.

        It’s one of my personal favourites from the period. There was still a lot of aero experimentation going on in those days, and I think Murray put together a lot of great lines with what he had. But you’re correct that all taste is subjective. I haven’t considered an F1 car to be ‘good looking’ since the mid-to-late nineties.

        1. @bluestar77 Well if we compare it to all the other monstrosities then yes it was the best. However for me it’s still ugly as sin.

          Recently there was a one on one debate regarding this on Autosport(can’t link as it’s a subscription article). Henry Greuter, whom I happen to agree with on a lot of issues thinks that today’s cars are the ugliest ever in F1. Edd Straw, one of my least liked motorsport journos, whom I almost never agree with, thinks they’re nowhere near as ugly as the 70’s. Which accorfing to him was F1’s ugliest decade. And in this rare instance I have to agree with Straw, really I cannot find any redeeming features for these cars(apart from maybe the shape of the sidepods of the BT44). On the other hand, the current cars look fine to me apart from the noses. Especially in profile.

          I think it all comes down to the perception of proportions. Different people have different meanings for it, on a sub-conscious level even. For me, no car that looks taller than it is wide can be beautiful, regardless of other features. Tall cars remind me of people carriers, lorries, steam wagons etc. None of these are pretty

      7. @Montreal95 Hideous? It’s beautiful! As are most F1 cars…..

    5. I disagree with the COTD – this is still a team effort, so an engineer coaching or advising a driver on how they need to drive is part of the game.

      Im sure fuel consumption will be a fundamental influencer on how fast the cars go, more so at some circuits than others. Presumably drivers will be coasting more on selected particular corners of a lap, and doing that in some stints of the race – so they wont appear to be going slow to the naked eye. I cant imagine drivers will drive 50 laps flatout and then crawl around for the last 5 laps because theyre critical on fuel. Engineers will be heavily involved in keeping the driver informed throughout the race.

      1. @tomcat173, yeah I know what you mean, it just seems such a shame that modern 2-way data transmission might totally nullify the FIAs effort to develop more fuel efficient engines if all that happens is the cars are only driven at 90% potential for 98% of the race, something they couldn’t do in the 60’s and 70’s.

        1. @hohum I get you – the interesting thing is that the amount of fuel is now another variable that drivers will have to contend with.

          Its going to be very interesting on the strategy side, and the audience are less likely to know whats happening in races due to the different strategies employed. Eg a fast car might be able to maintain a reasonable pace AND save fuel.. which will put them in a good position to go fast at the end of the race.

          1. Certainly if your name is Vettel and you are 20 seconds ahead of the rest you are going to be able to maintain a high average speed without mashing the right pedal (what is the new name?), or if your name is Jenson and you are 2 seconds behind a bunch of squabbling Red Bulls and Mercedes you might well be in good shape for the last few laps.

        2. They might not have had that sort of data transimission, but let us also not fall into the falsehood that the cars were always driven flat out in the 1960’s and 1970’s, because they were not.
          If anything, your proposal would make most teams and drivers drive more conservatively, not less, in order to ensure that they finish and get points rather than failing to finish and losing everything (particularly the midfield pack, for whom points are considerably more valuable due to the tighter nature of the battle in the midfield).

          1. I think it would encourage the teams to find ways to ensure they did not use all the fuel whilst still being able to race, the main contributors to fuel consumption are weight and drag, weight is fixed so reducing drag is the obvious route to go.

            1. The drag from the wings is relatively minor compared to the drag from the open wheels, so reducing the wing levels would only have a marginal impact on fuel consumption from reduced drag (assuming that the car is drag limited, not something that is always true either – Red Bull, for example, have often been gearing rather than drag limited in recent seasons).
              There is something of an example of this at Interlagos, where teams tend to split their strategies between a higher and lower downforce set up (i.e. optimising the car for either the middle or end sectors). By your theory, the lower downforce set ups should be have an advantage in terms of fuel consumption, but in reality the fuel consumption rates between the cars are not that sensitive to the downforce package and tend to be more or less the same irrespective of the wing levels.

              Generally, most drivers have indicated that it is far more effective to lift and coast, for example, through the braking zones rather than reducing the wing angle, or modifying shift and braking patterns. Driver style tends to have a more noticeable impact on fuel consumption, and so it is more likely to incentivise cautious driving.

    6. It’s just a bit disappointing that we’ll have to wait until Australia to see this Martini Racing livery!
      Williams are also expected to announce the sponsorships of Petrobras and Banco do Brasil, which of course includes Felipe Nasr as third driver.
      If all is true then the financial side is looking rather positive for Williams despite Maldonado’s move to Lotus.

      1. Didn’t they mention they would introduce it for testing in Bahrain already @deej92?

        1. @bascb I’m not sure – there were rumours of it being launched for Jerez which we know didn’t happen!
          I may have read the tweet wrongly, but when it said the focus is on technical until Australia I assumed that meant these announcements (and livery) will be put on the backburner until that weekend.

    7. it would be far better if pit to car radio was banned

      1. @theessence then we’d miss out on all of those wonderful comments from the likes of Rob Smedley willing Felipe Baby to stay cool!

        1. i agree that we would miss a few good bits of radio but the rewards outweigh this. as a motogp fan, i don’t miss any team radio there and the racing is multiple times better

    8. Holy cow!, I realise COTD is not necessarily an endorsement, but at least it must be a respectable opinion, I never expected to be considered respectable. Thank Keith.

      1. @hohum it is a well picked COTD in my view. I like cars with less downforce and less drag. The level of downforce the cars are generating and their dependencies on it are a factor in making races boring.

    9. It’s a shame Williams couldn’t use their own energy recovery systems with the Mercedes engine, it would’ve been cheaper for them to just buy the internal combustion engine from them, and it would be a huge advantage in packaging and reliability given that the biggest problem the new cars are having has to do with all the electric part of the PU. But at least they get to use their own gearbox.

    10. I’d be happy with this for a livery;

    11. Comment of the day
      Is mid-race driver coaching bad for racing?

      Yes!!! Been sayin’ so for a while. Too much micro management.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        12th February 2014, 5:09

        I don’t really see what’s so bad about it, I mean it can be a bit pedantic sometimes, like reminding them to drink, but they’re just that: reminders. The driver doesn’t necessarily have to drink that second. They know if they get thirsty they can take a sip haha.

        If I were a driver last season with those ridiculous tyres, I would also want my engineer giving me as much information as possible as to how the temps and wear rates were happening. Because they have access to a lot more info than the driver.

        Just my 2c. :/

      2. I disagree with that.

        By removing this mid-race coaching, you are forcing F1 to go back to the 70s and 80s era – where people would run out of fuel often, drivers had to manage everything on their own.

        But guess what, we are in the 21st century, technology has advanced, and if F1 wants to continue being the pioneer of technical excellence, it has to embrace this technology. It is good for fans tow watch as the leader suddenly retires due to lack of fuel but do not forget the embarrassment it will cause the manufacturer and sport. (“Hey, you pump in millions of dollars every year into an F1 team, can’t even do a full tank?”. “Pinnacle of motorsport? Can’t even measure fuel”). Do you think sponsors would like to be associated with such a “foolish” sport.

        Also, if we reduce that, the amount of team radio we hear will become far too less. Increase in team radio in recent years had increased F1’s appeal, I think.

        1. I do not buy the “21st century” argument. F1 has banned so many technologies in the past two decades or so that allowing only basic car-to-pit transmissions would not be in any way out of the usual. Drivers used to decide for themselves when to push and when not, I consider it an integral part of being a great driver. And I want to see drivers who figure out the right way to take a turn on their own, not some computer nerd telling them to brake 0.2 sec later at turn 13 (I’m talking about race transmissions here, have no problem with drivers cooperating with analysts as a part of their training and driver development).

    12. Genuinely cannot wait to see what Williams come up with for the Martini livery, it is such an iconic livery and I really hope they get it right. There are a few great looking renders floating around the internet, it’s going to be great to see a splash of classic colour on the grid. It is so difficult to get classic liveries to work well on modern F1 cars, just look at the poor efforts Enstone have come up with recently (and Williams themselves for that matter with their “Rothmans” livery a few years back). I’ve got high hopes for the Martini livery though, it has worked well on so many different types of racing cars over the years that it just has to look good on the FW36.

      1. Well, the Rothmans livery on those late ’90 Williams looked pretty damn good to me. Anyway I can’t wait to see the final product and buy the shirt/cap…

        1. The livery Geemac meant was not the real thing, but the “lookalike” of it they did the first year they had Renault engines back 2 years ago Bio.

      2. Don’t look at the Lotus 80 in those Goodwood pictures – it could still go horribly wrong! I hope they stick to a white car with stripes (and somehow hide the end of the nose), keep it simple and it’ll look great. That’ll be another great signing for Williams, they’ve played a blinder recently.

        But if it’s Martini Managing instead of Martini Racing, then I won’t be watching for long. These drivers are meant to be the best in the world, not just the richest – and I want to see them taming all that torque and beating the other guys on the track, not operating the machinery precisely to orders from a geeky little voice in their ear. That’s one of the main reasons we’ve lost Mark Webber (read the interviews).

    13. The Brabham with the Martini livery is actually a 1975 Brabham BT44B. A BT42 looks like this:

      1. I thought the same, but it might be a BT42 chassis with BT44 aero and livery (not unlike how they bastardise every modern car for demonstrations).

      2. Wish we could still see the engines.

        1. The engines are covered probably either because of better airflow and/or maybe to protect the engine from foreign materials.

          1. But I still wish we could see them.

    14. CODT made less sense even for the past 10 seasons, with the complicated engine and performance parameters. And it makes even less sense now, where even the engineers have no idea how the cars will behave and should be driven optimally.
      Maximum power doesn’t exist anymore, the fuel flow restrictions have made sure of that.
      What was once intuitive driving doesn’t exist, the process is way to complicated, and the fact they require brake by wire for the rear wheels just confirms the driver is even out of touch.
      You can’t just control power delivery by pedal motion, you have lots of buttons for that.
      There are just so many parameters to monitor that the drivers can not cope. Take a look at the amount of personnel required to monitor just the telemetery alone, and that is even before we get to these new hybrid systems.
      Take the steering wheel as another driver control tool. He may know all the buttons and dials, but he can’t know all modes of operation, because these same buttons and dials can be used adjust both the car and the computing system controlling everything.
      Above all, racing is a team sport, you don’t spend hundreds of millions of dollars, then leave things to chance.

      1. Maybe the driver should stay in the pits and operate the car from a console, terriffic safety benefits.

    15. A dry run of the task had been successfully completed but unfortunately when we came to perform it on the live site several problems surfaced which we are still trying to resolve.

      Welcome to Ferrari world!

      1. Sounds more like a Renault forum. Worked like a dream on the dyno, but…

    16. Some potential Martini Williams Mercedes liveries.

      Fillipe Design Auto

      1. Holy crap those are some nice sketches! Great!

      2. If the car looks like that, I know who I am supporting this year!

    17. Couple the Martini-Williams partnership with the return of KK and the surprisingly excellent sound of the new V6s, and 2014 has probably already given me more satisfaction than 2013 did…

    18. hugo-the-rabbit
      12th February 2014, 8:41

      On Sky there is an article about Damon Hill on the double point’s travesty.

      Yes it will get more intense as the season goes on, but let’s take 2011 Abu Dhabi race as an example, I know it was the penultimate race of that season but let’s see it as the final race. Imagine if Seb was 49 points clear of Lewis Hamilton going into that race. In the first corner, through no fault of his own, Seb’s tire blows up. He totally dominated the field that year but even if he had been 1 point short of being two full wins ahead with one race left, he would have lost the championship due to something way beyond his control. It is such a ridiculous idea that makes F1 look so desperate to attract new fans when all it seems to be doing is make the sport a laughing stock, which stops people from watching and also turns the real fans away because it is no longer pure racing that we want watch.
      It is just plain wrong that one race is worth double the points more than any other. Take any sport, football, cricket, tennis, golf. Every now and again you have an anti climax season or competition. In the last 11 years F1 has had more than 6 seasons (over 50%) go down to the last race. So why change it.
      Last seasons Premier League was decided with 5 games still to be played, do you see the FA make the last 10 PL games worth 6 points to try and keep other teams in the running.
      The ashes 13/14 were over after 3 tests. Did the cricket board think lets make these last 2 tests count as 2 wins each just to try and keep the series going?
      Andy Murray won Wimbledon Last year in straight sets. But there was the possibility of another two sets that could have been played, would any one be stupid enough to suggest that the 4th and 5th sets be worth double the 1st, 2nd and 3rd sets are because there is more pressure in that situation and much more to win/lose? That is how I read Damon’s thinking of a tennis tournament. Why cant people just accept that in sports, some times people raise the bar to another level. When Tiger Woods came along he would be winning or be close to winning every time he teed up. Other golf professionals had to raise there game to get to his level. Some managed to get to his level on the odd occasion and beat him. Others couldn’t get close. Now there are arguably better golfers than Tiger Woods that have raised the level again. That is how things work, every so often you get this wonder that comes along and destroys everything in its path. Sebastian is a true talent and so are his Red Bull team. But just like Michael and Ferrari in the early 2000’s, it will end and somebody else will no doubt take over. F1 races can be boring because there are so many factors that play a part in a race but we still get that edge of your seat stuff like Brazil 08, Japan 05, Brazil 12, Canada 11, dare I say it Valencia 12 (the most hated track I have heard talked about in F1 history) etc. and that is why I love F1 and will continue to watch the races because it is already unpredictable enough without throwing in a rubbish rule that has the potential to make some unlucky unpredictable event turn into something fake.

      1. I was surprised so much coverage was given to that as Hill came out in favour of double points several weeks ago.

    19. I’m sorry COTD, F1 is a team sport.

    20. Not sure but why Martini, it could just be the UK but we don’t drink that much so how have they got the money for this now? Are they trying to make it fashionable, I remember it being very 70s!

      I am sure it is now owned by another brewing company but seems odd brand to bring back.

      1. “Are they trying to make it fashionable” I think that is the whole point of advertising.

    21. I remember when those tall cooling vents disappeared due to regulation changes in 1976. It is since then that the teams cool their engines using mostly the sidepods. I wonder if that maximum height regulation had not been in place now, would engineers opt for the tall cooling vents again?

    22. Does the Red Bull nose conform to the “continuous cross-section” rule that is in place for this season? I can only assume it does, but I haven’t seen a really close shot of it yet, so it’s hard to tell.

    23. Pat Symonds is not alone here. Few of the cars do have small sidepods to help in the cooling of their engines. Did the teams miss a trick here?

    24. I loved the 70’s and 80’s when you could tell the cars apart not by their color scheme but their shape . It look like its back.

      1. only if you can see the nose.

    25. A few more Martini Williams potential liveres

      Credit: cdebdesign

    26. I want the forum back!
      Also, why don’t Williams release their race livery now?
      I mean, why bother to have a testing livery? Red Bull, Ferrari, Lotus,
      and well, everyone else used their race livery in testing! It puzzles me that
      Williams have two liveries, I mean why?

      Sorry to go on a bit! :)

    Comments are closed.