Start, Yas Marina, 2013

Double points “not destroying Formula One” – Todt

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Start, Yas Marina, 2013In the round-up: Jean Todt continues to defend the widely condemned plan for double points in the last race of the season.


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

Todt: Revamp will save F1 (The Telegraph)

“Todt says, on the contrary, that double points is ‘100 per cent not destroying Formula One’, and instead encourages the rule’s critics to ‘make a proposal’.”

Jenson Button interview: ‘It’s when you are away from racing that it hits you like a stake through the heart’ (The Independent)

“Somebody wrote me a nice message which said, ‘Everyone else’s lives will go back to normal but it won’t for you. But never feel guilty about having a laugh or a smile because that’s what he’d want.’ That was a lovely message. But it’s when you are away from racing or from people, that’s when it hurts. It hits you like a stake through the heart.”

Porsche could have been forced into F1 (Autosport)

“Incoming Porsche chairman Matthias Muller and other senior company personnel openly talked about a F1 return in autumn 2010 at a time when it was in the process of making its decision.”

Kimi and Fernando at the 059/3 premiere (Ferrari)

Kimi Raikkonen: “As for the others? I don’t fear them and even if anyone’s quicker than us we are only at the first race.”

Fernando Alonso: “Every new season you think you can do well…” (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“It’s not like other years when you arrive here and you have a more ambitious target, I think this year everyone is more calm and everyone is a little bit more cautious about the possibility of finishing the race.”

‘People don’t know what I’m capable of’ (ESPN)

Daniel Ricciardo: “There’s a bit more, for sure, since Mark [Webber] stepped aside and I’ve moved up. I think everyone’s curious, along with me, to see how I go. A lot of people don’t really know what I’m capable of so it’s curiosity for now. Seb’s been so dominant so people are asking ‘can this kid really take it to him?’.”

Grand prix stress ‘may harm swans’ (The Age)

“[Professor] Mulder’s concern is especially for the younger birds being exposed to about 100 decibels, the noise level 100 metres from the track.”

New technological challenges (MotorSport)

John Surtees: “A top team would have something like 10 sets of earpieces for each driver every year, which would normally cost £300 per set. However, with the new regulations and specification required that figure will now be something like £1600 per set. I suppose there will also be a question mark over how reliable these sensors are and how useful the information provided will be. But I suppose that if you use the word ‘safety’ no one can argue.”

10 cars that changed Formula One (CNN)

“The 64 years of F1 history have been marked by moments of design genius which have changed the elite motorsport, at least until the next maverick idea came along.”

Australian Grand Prix Betting: Ferrari & Williams Can Challenge Mercedes (Unibet)

My Australian Grand Prix preview for Unibet.


Comment of the day

Are the new qualifying rules a change for the better?

First of all, this is a great example of the FIA overcomplicating things to make their vision work. It would be better to remove the ‘start on the set of tyres you qualified on’ altogether, but instead they insist on making things even more confusing than they already are.

Secondly, the new rules will move the problem from Q3 to Q2: the midfield teams will not want to risk running too fast in case they might have to start on a scrub set of tyres. The frontrunner teams will do their utmost best to only just make it into Q3, so they have the best tyres as possible at the start of the race. As a result, the first 13 minutes of Q2 will see no running at all, while the last 2 minutes will see all drivers running.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Armen, Pabs and Starosta!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Sebastian Vettel got his 2010 world championship campaign off to the best possible start by claiming pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix ahead of the two Ferraris.

Image © Red Bull/Getty

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  • 78 comments on “Double points “not destroying Formula One” – Todt”

    1. “Todt says, on the contrary, that double points is ’100 per cent not destroying Formula One’, and instead encourages the rule’s critics to ‘make a proposal’.”

      Alright then, Jean. Get rid of it.

      1. This, but also limit teams to have a maximum of 250 people that work on their cars. Not one more. Forbid outsourcing of everything but the engines and the spec parts, and you get your cost reduction and your level playing field all in one strike.

        Is that proposal enough for you mister Todt?

        You know nothing mister Todt, nothing!

      2. Honestly Todt and the FIA have very little control over the things like this these days because of Bernie & the FOM, whatever silly regulation they think will bring in more TV audiences will obviously win out vs the FIA.

        1. Actually, it’s FIA and only FIA who has the final say on all the sporting matters. FOM is there just for commercial aspects. Now, the fact that Bernie can lobby FIA is another thing.

        2. Actually, the strategy group means that if the FIA and the teams don’t agree with Bernie, they can close him out.

          The problem comes when Bernie greases the wheels of enough teams to give his view the majority.

      3. My proposal; Single points. there Magic, so easy and it’s been proven to work.

        1. Of course this doesn’t increase the FIAs take like double points would, but the FIA already increased the fees they charge the teams, now that’s a budget saving.

      4. petebaldwin (@)
        13th March 2014, 10:15

        It’s very telling that he feels the need to keep coming out and attacking critics of the double points rule. There must be some pressure on him to try and get the fans back on side. Obviously it’s not going to happen but it shows that some people within the FIA aren’t happy!

    2. JPQuesado (@joao-pedro-cq)
      13th March 2014, 0:04

      Todt wants a proposal? Drop the double-points finale rule. There you have my proposal.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        13th March 2014, 0:08

        @joao-pedro-cq +1, the sooner the better.
        FIA geniuses know that eventually, F1 can get more new fans (and their money) with this shiny new rules, even if in the process they lose “a few” real fans.
        Business thinking, they know it will be better for their vaults.

    3. Is it me, or has frequent recent use of twitter made Hartstein more…informal?

      1. It’s, by definition, an informal social network. 140 characters (even without the @reply penalty) is not enough for a long-winded explanation of medical science. He was also responding to a snap-query by something else.

        If he feels he needs to explain stuff in depth, he has his blog for that.

    4. encourages the rule’s critics to ‘make a proposal’

      Get rid of the rule! There, that wasn’t difficult. I’d even go as far as calling it painfully obvious, seeing as the rule is universally, almost unanimously hated and easily retractable. “Make a proposal”?! Honestly, how condescending can you be while acting bafflingly clueless.

      1. @matt90 It’s a trap. Todt wants us to come up with a way to keep the title going right down to the wire (and/or make Abu Dhabi extra special). If not double points, he wants something else. Heck, I would’ve taken a “drop the 3 worst results” rule over double points.

        1. Seeing as 5 of the last 8 championships have gone down to the wire (particularly remarkable considering how many rounds the season is run over) without double points, remaining without a super-bonus-funanza-finale IS a way to keep it going to the wire. That’s the second worst part of the rule (after the complete disregard for sporting integrity)- it’s a fix for a problem which doesn’t exist.

        2. Agreed. Both with the “trap” insight and the counterproposal. At least erasing the worst results has some history. With more attrition, why not return to the pre-2010 points as well?

        3. Todt wants us to come up with a way to keep the title going right down to the wire (and/or make Abu Dhabi extra special).

          How about two slightly shorter races over the final weekend of the season? Both with normal points allocation, of course. Make them both slightly shorter to avoid any potential ‘fuel-saving’ drives and allow more ‘100%’ racing.

      2. Yet again, it was Bernie and the FOM who cameup with these silly regs, Todt can’t really do much to change them, even though he is head of the FIA…

        1. That doesn’t mean he should ignore the problem and act as though the fans are stupid for not seeing the need for it.

    5. money (@carlos-danger)
      13th March 2014, 0:08

      Porsche would have been mired in mediocrity if they took the extraordinary step to formula 1. I think Porsche should be more concerned about being dominated by Audi over and over again. by the way good hang in there Jenson.

      1. Peugeot weren’t dominated by Audi, Toyota weren’t dominated by Audi, why should Porsche be?

        What I do find ironic is that Porsche supposedly chose Le Mans over F1 because of road relevance, but they’re using a V4 when all their road cars are 6 or 8 cylinder, while Audi and Toyota who use mainly 4 cylinders in their road cars are racing a V6 or V8…

        1. @george I think they meant road-relevance in a general sense. One must remember that Volkswagen group owns both Audi and Porsche so they most likely share an awful lot of resources. It’s for that same reason I doubt Porsche actually care too much about being dominated by Audi @carlos-danger. They’ve even gone as far as sharing chassis for some of their 2015 and 2016 road cars. It’s a win-win for them no matter what. Volkswagen group is a behemoth.
          Also note, V6’s are a world away from the flat 6’s porsche uses. A reason why I think there should be a restriction on engines, e.g max. 1.6L V6 or something, but the manufacturer can use anything up to that. So a V4 or flat 6. It would be great to have different types of engine back on the grid, and would have most definitely been more inticing to Porsche who have pretty much specialised in the Flat 6 for over 50 years now. 3 engine manufacturers isn’t healthy for F1

          1. 4 engines manufacturers next year.

      2. On Jenson, that’s terribly hard and keeping yourself busy helps alleviate the pain but in the end, only time will help him to adapt and move on, you never be the same because “something” will be missing. however, down the road, you will learn how to live a normal and happy life without your “missing piece”. For now, Jenson, just try to do the things that would make your dad happy and you will feel better.

        1. I get the feeling him finally proposing to Jessica signifies he has accepted it and he’s moving into a new chapter of his life.

          He’s always said things like ‘I’m not thinking about children’, but losing a parent can kick someone’s priorities around.

    6. That Age article is about as weird as it gets. Surely the problem was the same last year and the year before (and indeed all the years F1 has been in Albert Park), why try and argue this point now when it hasn’t been brought up in the last 18 years?

      1. Because the Age needed a new angle for its annual whining about the Australian GP.

        1. Exactly.

      2. Because swans are people too.

      3. The funny thing is, The Age must have missed the memo where this years cars are significantly quieter than before… Or do they think the deeper noise will result in vibrations on the lake that will damage the swans sensitive feet or something?

        *Disclaimer – I have no intention of reading the article*

        1. My first (well, 2nd, after ‘oh, this again?) thought too was ‘good they have gone quieter now then huh!’ @optimaximal :)

    7. Hang on a minute. Are you telling me that the VW Group is so… unkeen on F1 that they would rather have two of their companies battling at Le Mans rather than having both feet in the top two motorsports in the world? Golly gee.

      1. Costs and risks involved in F1 are much greater… Want it or not, is not good for the public perception of your car brand if they are soundly beaten by a energy drinks brand

      2. …they would rather have two of their companies battling at Le Mans rather than having both feet in the top two motorsports in the world

        Yes, because that way even if they lose, they win.

      3. Yes @journeyer, although part of it is what @geemac mentions, at LeMans they still win regardless who wins between Porsche and Audi. Another part is that it will only move into F1 when people on top change (Bernie on one side and the VW top on the other side)

    8. I subscribe @andae23 I feel exactly the same. Yesterday I likened the fia to publi offices, they just need to justify their weight in f1. With their new increased role in f1 they’ll expand and try new things and make dodgy deals, i think f1 will succeed but it will end unrecognizable.

      1. +1

        Killing the ridiculous “start on same tyres” rule would solve the problem. Easy.

        Todt FIA has let me down, once again.

      2. petebaldwin (@)
        13th March 2014, 10:26

        It’s true but as the FIA are never going to back down and admit that they are wrong to impose this rule, I’d rather they chance it so that Q2 is now a farce instead of Q3.

        Atleast it’ll force everyone to run in Q2 as opposed to last year where someone like Toro Rosso would do a great job to get into Q3 and would then not run….

    9. Todt wants a proposal? Drop Todt

    10. That The Age article… Really? Like, really?
      To any Australian readers or anyone who knows of The Age for that matter, are they always this desperate?

      1. They love to complain about ANYTHING related to the Australian GP. They mostly whine: “It costs too much!”, but now the wellbeing of these poor swans is at risk.

        1. … Well, look. I think the well being of the animals in the area is actually important. I think the damage humans do by holding that race isn’t a good thing.

          I think you have to be blind not to acknowledge it.

      1. By the wording on the announcement and on the tweet, it looks like it will be a one-off livery just for Melbourne.. I think this match Dennis statement that they will have a title-sponsor later, so for now, they use an interim livery to do something relatively meaningful instead of displaying “MP4-29” plastered all over the car

        1. Yes, just Melbourne, and I guess they might honour different sponsors at different GPs until the sponsorship deal is announced is a few events time.

    11. Is that like some trick question by Todt?
      Like trying to make us come up with something, when the correct answer is actually “nothing”?
      It looks like they simply can’t see forest from the trees. I mean, they are so deep that they forgot there was no problem to begin with. Hard to find a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist.

    12. If there’s one driver I’d want to do well this season, it’s Jenson Button. I can’t even imagine how hard it’s been for him over the winter.. I really do hope and expect that McLaren will be strong this year. And I reckon Magnussen is going to shine this season aswell. Him and Bottas have huge amounts of promise which I hope they can both show in competitive cars this year.

    13. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      13th March 2014, 1:38

      @andae23 you have more COTDs than DiCaprio has Oscars, maybe he should come by and try an award here :P

      1. you have more COTDs than DiCaprio has Oscars

        Most people do.

        1. Paul (@frankjaeger)
          13th March 2014, 1:51

          @matt90 if think that was the joke hehe

      2. @omarr-pepper Haha, true :D

        Thanks Keith :)

    14. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      13th March 2014, 1:43

      Unless there’s been some form of controversy during the season, the only drivers press conference worth seeing is the Australian GP. Gonna be interesting to here what the drivers have to say.

    15. “Revamp will save F1”? From what exactly? If anything is killing Formula 1 it’s these daft rules the clowns in charge keep coming up with.

      1. @jackysteeg Hehe you’re right, if there’s less people watching and going to races it surely can’t be all thanks to Vettel domination, going to countries where no one knows what F1 is, confusing amount of pitstops, pay TV model, rising ticket prices, I’m sure all those things put together have contributed far more to the decrease in viewership.
        If anything F1 needs to be saved from Bernie, who is the sole responsible for all the problems I just listed.

    16. Paul (@frankjaeger)
      13th March 2014, 1:50

      Is that tweet from the same guy writes that horribly intrusive blog about Schumacher? I really don’t understand that guy and what he thinks Michael owes to him.

      1. That guy is Gary Hartstein, former F1 doctor, and medical expert. His blog isn’t horribly intrusive, it’s written from the position of a medical expert and gives a rare bit of clear information on the nature of the kind of brain injury which Schumacher has sustained.

        It’s remarkable that this is such a common situation and yet one which is so poorly reported around the world, to the point that brain injuries still seem very mysterious and misunderstood by the public. Who of course aren’t helped by the traditional media portrayal of the person awaking from a lengthy coma and then resuming their normal life. Hartstein is actually speaking candidly about the reality of serious brain injuries, in an incredibly informative manner. Far from the usual media speculation and fabrication with no real genuine information, his blog posts are full of detailed medical information which allows the reader to get a better understanding of the situation, while at the same time trying to cut through the massive volume of media speculation and misinformation floating around.

        His criticism is simply that there is no information coming through; something which seems to point increasingly to the likelihood that Schumacher isn’t really making any significant progress. After all, if he was making good progress and showing signs that a recovery was even possible, why would they deliberately withold that information from Schumacher’s millions of fans?

        1. What if they don’t give a ‘f’ about the millions of fans? It is their family and it is up to them to disclose any information that they deem fit.

          They might have a million reasons to not fully disclose the situation. All I am saying is Gary isn’t around Schumi to make a valid statement no matter what his qualifications are.

          To Gary –> Just because you are an SME on a topic doesn’t mean you need to counter everything that is said on the subject. This is a sensitive situation about an individual and not a study. Gary needs to know that.

          1. Well, firstly he IS in a position to make a valid statement, in terms of generally giving a good, concise picture of what is the very likely situation.

            Secondly, I don’t really understand why you’re upset about what he’s saying. Look at it this way – if he’s wrong and Schumacher is making good, steady progress, then why would his words cause genuine hurt to anyone? If he’s right, then the doctors will already have told Schumacher’s family exactly what he’s said.

            In fact, if Schumacher’s family found ongoing speculation (even speculation from a position of a medical expert) to be hurtful, then the best thing they could possibly do is be open about the situation and remove the need for speculation. In fact, what they’ve said is that they won’t give any updates unless there is something meaningful to update on. We had an update from the doctors about a week ago saying that his condition was unchanged. Hartstein’s position is that at this point if Schumacher hasn’t showed any significant progress, then it’s looking increasingly unlikely that Schumacher will ever regain consciousness. This is a totally logical position informed by medical expertise and decades of experience. I appreciate it’s an incredibly, almost unendurably hard thing for Schumacher’s family to have to deal with. But reality is what it is; they won’t be being protected from that reality by the doctors, and even if they were, ignorance will do nothing to change the situation.

            I have infinitely more time for Hartstein than I do for any number of tabloid hacks who are prepared to make up basically anything just for the sake of appearing to have a scoop. That is far more damaging I think than a medical professional giving his informed opinion which, in a lot of regards, directly debunks a lot of the misinformation and outright fiction being put forward by most media outlets.

    17. I’m sure the swans that live in Albert Park will be just fine. They’re not exactly an endangered species (at least not where I live), and this year’s race weekend will be a lot easier on their little ears anyway. Of more concern might be the endangered race fans who find themselves unable to afford tickets.

    18. There are many things that bother me about Jean Todt, but certainly none more so than the fact he’s married to Michelle Yeoh. Surely, no other proof is necessary of his pact with the devil.

    19. And… so long I have searched the remote corners of my memory and now I’ve finally clicked on why F1 rule amendments seem so familiar: the FIA obviously was the real brains behind 43-Man Squamish.

    20. Is it just me or does Max Chilton look really, really frail this year? I know guys are trying to lose weight but…….yikes!

    21. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      13th March 2014, 3:13

      Master Yoda doesn’t sound very wise.

      1. Insult Master Yoda , you must not !!

    22. Gary Hartstein has probably not heard of the saying ‘Don’t say anything if you don’t have anything nice to say’.

      I don’t care what information is passed to the outside world from the Schumacher family. All I want is for him to recover from his illness. If they want to keep the news in wraps till he is fully recovered, I am all for it.

      One must question Gary if he will be happy with a spotlight focused on his bedroom maybe, to make him understand how bad it is to intrude on other’s privacy. Can’t help but feel he is seeking publicity out of this tragic event.

      1. I’m beginning to understand why Hartstein was kicked out as the F1 doctor.

        1. I think the best way to stop him will be to ignore him. I request F1 Fanatic not to use him as a source of info on the Schumacher story.

          I think the fans will be willing to stay ignorant until the family decides to release all the news, be it +ve or -ve.

          I am hoping we will get to hear from Schumi himself soon.

          1. I for one have no desire to remain ignorant to the reality of serious brain injury. Having lost a friend last year to a situation causing serious brain damage, it’s something I feel that people should have a better understanding of. Seeing my friend’s family go through the agonising process of having to learn that life is nor like the movies and TV shows where a person with a serious brain injury can miraculously wake up and be the same person they were before.

            I understand why people find this hard to accept – it isn’t a comforting thought. I feel that what a lot of people talk about as being an invasion of privacy actually upsets them because it’s a harsh reality which is difficult to accept and makes it hard for them to cling to the idea that Michael Schumacher will one day be the man he was before the accident.

            Hartstein’s conclusion is a logical one. Either Schumacher isn’t making progress, or he is making progress and the family and doctors are deliberately witholding that. Which would seem like one of the cruellest comms strategies in history.

    23. Someone should point out to Monsieur Todt, that if the president of the FIA have to publicly defend a rule change, that shows, there is something wrong with it. But history shows that the FIA realy does not care about the criticism, and if they realize the problems they don’t really solve it, just apply another change, that creates others. The main problem is, that the fundamental flaw of the rules could not be covered with anything, and a bigger one is, the FIA is not capable of realizing this.

    24. On the accelerometers in the ear pieces: Why? Why not in the helmet, where there is more space?

    25. The Age story is just a scam to drive traffic to their site. It’s just so ludicrous you have to click it. Resist the urge ladies and gentlemen.

    26. How will they define the success of the double points rule?

      Will it be a success if the double points makes no difference to the championship either because the title is wrapped up before the last race or the leader wins anyway. Or will it be a success if the title is turned on its head and someone else wins the title solely because there is double points? One scenario means the rule is irrelevant , the other means it’s a travesty.

      1. I guess they’ll consider it a success if ‘fans’ don’t spend the bum end of the season whinging ceaselessly about the championship being boring and claiming they won’t watch races after the championship has been decided.

        Those people are the ones responsible for this horrendous decision.

      2. petebaldwin (@)
        13th March 2014, 14:29

        There is only one situation I can think of where this would could be considered, by some (FIA), to be a success.

        Firstly, the winner has to be the same with double points as it would be without. If someone wins purely because of double points, it’s going to cause huge problems. I wouldn’t view someone as champion if their win is solely down to double points. If you think the F1 community is kicking up a fuss now, wait until someone lose the championship because of this rule!

        Secondly, the WDC would need to have been over before the final race if it wasn’t for double points. If that doesn’t happen, it won’t have made any difference and therefore, was irrelevant and can’t be considered a success or a faliure.

        Thirdly, the final race has to be exciting. If someone winning a mind-blowing race at Brazil would have won them the WDC but instead, it gets carried over to Abu Dhabi where the championship is won by a retirement or a dull lights to flag win, you’ve robbed F1 of an amazing moment and have replaced it will a dull, boring one.

        In effect, the only way for this to be successful is if it extends the title to the final race but doesn’t effect who wins it and if Abu Dhabi provides a better race then where the title would have been won without double points.

    27. petebaldwin (@)
      13th March 2014, 13:11

      Interesting story on another site – apparently a lot of the teams are planning on not running in FP3 because they won’t have a chance to fix any issues in the 2 hours they have before Q1.

      1. That’l drive Bernie up the wall, and unfortunately I can see why that will be very bad for F1, if that practice session has been sold to TV stations around the world and no car runs, that could be the end of televised practice in a lot of markets. I’m torn between the schadenfreude of Bernie and Jean screwing up again so visibly because they don’t take the time to think things through from the participants and fans viewpoint, and the worry that there will be less, not more F1 TV coverage in future. @petebaldwin

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          13th March 2014, 14:41

          @hohum – I know what you mean… I suppose the easy solution is to push FP3 an hour earlier and Q1 an hour later so the teams have 4 hours to work on the car between sessions.

          Personally, the best thing for the sport would be wholesale changes in the way the FIA work and for Bernie to leave for good so publicly screwing up in this way can only be a good thing (if it happens)!

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