Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Circuit of the Americas, 2013

Vettel wins Laureus World Sportsman of the Year

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Circuit of the Americas, 2013In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel wins the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award following his record-breaking fourth world championship victory last year having been nominated on four previous occasions without winning.


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

Laureus World Sports Awards 2014 winners revealed (Laureus)

“Sebastian Vettel’s success was particularly satisfying for the young German racer, who had been nominated five times for a Laureus Award, before finally winning. His fourth straight world championship in 2013 saw him join motor racing legends Juan Manuel Fangio, Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost, who all won at least four times, but he did it more quickly than them – at just 26 years and 116 days.”

Ecclestone reputation in dock once more as German media firm appeal court defeat (Daily Mail)

“Bernie Ecclestone’s reputation will be dragged through the High Court again on Thursday when Constantin Medien, a German media firm that owned shares in F1, make an application to appeal their defeat in a recent multi-million pound damages claim.”

Lewis: FIA ‘doing a good job’ (Sky)

Lewis Hamilton: “I’m really happy with the job the FIA have done over the past few years. I’ve not really read too much into it [the Red Bull case], but I know how technical it is this year and how difficult it is.”

Malaysian Grand Prix: F1 circus arrives in shadow of missing flight MH370 (The Guardian)

“The cars driven by [Nico] Rosberg and his team mate Lewis Hamilton will carry ‘Come Home MH370’ messages on their side panels.”

Fuel sensors could decide races – Horner (Autosport)

Christian Horner: “Depending on the calibration of your sensor, it will determine your competitiveness, which is completely wrong. Teams will end up buying hundreds of sensors, as some manufacturers already have, to try to pick the best.”

Court orders Sahara to pay 100 billion rupees to release chairman Roy on bail (Reuters)

“Sahara Chairman [and Force India co-owner] Subrata Roy was arrested on February 28 and has been held in a Delhi jail since March 4 after failing to appear at a contempt hearing in a long-running legal battle between the group and the securities regulator over the refund of billions of dollars to investors in outlawed bonds.”

I should have known… (A former F1 doc writes)

“It’s fairly evident that I really REALLY need to clarify what I meant, and what I didn’t mean, by my comments concerning ‘errors in judgement’. I see that I’m being quoted a lot, in lots of outlets. That’s not a problem of course, but it becomes problematic when what I wrote is turned into something that I most certainly did not say.”


Comment of the day

@Dennis says the new engine formula needs to be tested against rival solutions to prove it represents progress:

This ‘forefront’ of technology has no competition. Someone claimed this is what we need to have now and so that’s it.

Who says running a 3-litre V8/10/12 without the huge weight from the extra batteries wouldn’t be quicker, more reliable, more efficient?

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  • 57 comments on “Vettel wins Laureus World Sportsman of the Year”

    1. Have to agree with the cotd. FIA should have set fuel limit, flow rate, max bhp, max torque and asked the teams to please go build an engine.

      1. Have an ‘open’ engine formula & its likely we would still have ended up with V6 Turbo’s W/ all the ERS stuff as it was the engine manufacturer’s (And not the FIA) who proposed the current V6 Turbo formula because its the formula they wanted.
        Same reason Indycar went with V6 Turbo units, Its what the engine manufacturer’s told the series officials they wanted.

        Engine manufacturer’s all asked for a small capacity turbo engine with ERS systems. The original proposal was for 4-cylender units but when VW Group withdrew interest (Having been the primary supporter of that formula), It was switched to the current V6 Turbo format. Originally like Indycar they were going to go with 2.2Ltr engines but again after consultation with the manufacturer’s it was changed to the 1.6 format we have now in part because of the ERS systems.

      2. Years ago Keith Duckworth from Cosworth suggested a fuel flow formula and I tend to agree that it would be the best way forward. I wouldn’t set upper limits on BHP and torque for example, but if you set a maximum flow rate and allowed the manufacturers to go ahead and build what they want you’d get a bit of variety on the grid, which is good for competition. It would massively increase cost though…

        1. it wouldn’t massively increase costs, teams are limited by budget, not by imagination, just look at Caterham. If you want to alleviate costs, you have to make it cost prohibitive to create exclusive kit. There is this thing in the software world called open source, and it takes the kick out of the proprietary/secret/exclusive nature of some people’s business models. Dorna have tried something similar in MotoGP with their CRT/Open classifications, but I trust them about as much, or so far as I could throw a 900 pound gorilla. In my utopia, tires would see this kind of treatment, and there would be multiple tire makers, all learning from each other. What Open Source does for the software community is make it so that instead of paying for intellectual property you are paying for the quality of service, something that has been forgotten about in today’s world where IP is knocking huge profits, and small start-ups (anti-competitive).

    2. Thanks for COTD yesterday @keithcollantine

      Will somebody tell Gary Hartstein just shut up! No more tweets, blog post..just media silence please!

    3. I’m really happy with the job the FIA have done over the past few years

      You must be happy since your team escaped the “testgate” with their help !!!! No seriously Ferrari and Mercedes have expressed their support to the FIA maybe they know that under the current rule of the 100Kg/h with the FIA restrictions RBR is going to struggle

      1. One race has been run, how is this an indication that Red Bull os is struggling?

        1. People are declaring F1 has died after one race, so going down from there you end up declaring team’s season over.

          1. maarten.f1 (@)
            27th March 2014, 14:37

            @npf1 Forget this season. After last race I’ll expect years of Mercedes domination!

      2. No seriously Ferrari and Mercedes have expressed their support to the FIA maybe they know that under the current rule of the 100Kg/h with the FIA restrictions RBR is going to struggle

        I seriously doubt that is true @tifoso1989. First of all, it will only affect RBR if they do get a wonky sensor on a car and the replacement doesn’t help. Then this can happen for any car on the grid, in fact Mercedes is widely reported to have had this issue with Rosberg and I have seen several mentions that Ferrari had something alike as well in Melbourne, so its not as if this is something that affects only one team.
        What it does do, is give that one team ignoring the FIA Technical Directives a competitive advantage because they run a tad higher fuel flow than any car that does have a sensor issue and does restrict fuel flow as the FIA demands. Will be interesting to hear whether RBR will do the same in case they run into trouble with the sensor again here.

        1. I think you missed the point of the comment you answered to. They are not saying they support dodgy sensors but the 100kg/h fuel flow formula. RB and to some extent Renault, seem to want the flow restrictions lifted as it would suit their engine (2nd place in Oz as proof) and if it wasn’t lifted theyay have a power deficit to the others, hence why Merc and Ferrari want the flow limit to stay.

    4. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      27th March 2014, 0:37

      Forgive my ignorance, but I still don’t understand why there needs to be a fuel flow rate limit in the first place. The teams should just be allocated the set 100kg of fuel for the whole race, and then left up to them as to how they use it over the course of the race. If they’re too aggressive, then they either have to slow down massively, or face running out of fuel.

      It just seems like they’ve needlessly made an already complex situation even more complicated.

      1. Forgive my ignorance, but I still don’t understand why there needs to be a fuel flow rate limit in the first place.

        “With a set amount of fuel for a race, you have a pointless economy run before a wasteful dash to the flag, a set rate of flow promotes flat-out racing throughout, because hoarding fuel means extra weight sloshing in your tank.”

        1. So basically F1 went for a fuel sensor because penalties are fun rather than a fuel restrictor which would have been a better option.

          1. Yeah, I don’t understand why they can’t just put in a piece of pipe with a fixed diameter in the fuel system. There’s already a maximum fuel pressure regulation, 500bar if I remember correctly.

            At 500 bar, to achieve a fuel flow rate of 100 kg/hr (approx. 142 litres/hr or 39 ml/s) the pipe should be a little over 11mm in diameter. Surely a physical maximum like this is easier to police than a fuel flow sensor. Or am I missing something?

      2. It just seems like they’ve needlessly made an already complex situation even more complicated.

        That, or you keep failing to read articles written by experts, about why we need the fuel flow limit, that keep appearing in these roundups every other day.

      3. It’s to control the amount of power the engines have when turned all the way up. Imagine if they could turn it up to 300kg/h for Quali and have twice as much power (totally random figures but hopefully you get the point). You would also potentially see huge straight line speed differences between teams running full power and those in conservation modes in the race, which would be a safety issue.

      4. the fuel rate sensors are there to keep the guys with the best motors from pulling a Red Bull. That is the only reason. It is also poorly implemented, and as such introduces an element of fraud, of which I hope Red Bull holds to and finds standing with when they present their case. Being told to slow down because your sensors is a pos, is beyond absurd, it is also fraudulent imo, and costs teams big.

        1. “the fuel rate sensors are there to keep the guys with the best motors from pulling a Red Bull.”
          In other words, they want to punish teams for having built a good engine? I am not being sarcastic, I am actually asking if you would agree with my assessment of the sentence that you wrote.
          In my own opinion, after reading the articles about why the fuel flow limit is required, I still feel that before the engines were even built, the teams should have told that cars can only hold 100kg of fuel per race, now go build and engine that can give you the most power possible with only that amount of fuel. Is not that what we want? An engine that can provide insane amounts of power while using as little fuel as possible in order to ration the worlds fuel supply?
          Like someone else said in their comment, teams operate on budgets, so the teams that have smaller budgets just need to use their imagination.
          I truly believe that if the teams were allowed to be more imaginative, we would see much more entertaining races.

    5. No, Mr. Horner, the other teams will run the sensor the FIA tell them to, which is why you lost 17 points.

      1. +1 .

        Red Bull just need to play by the rules on this one.

        They broke the rules, and they paid for it. Simple.

        Stop whining and start racing please!

      2. if the rule/direction creates a fraudulent situation/condition for the team, they have every reason to take action against it. You see following rules/directions that are inherently wrong isn’t the right thing to do. In fact everyone should be praising Red Bull for having the integrity to stand up for what is right and demand that the letter of the technical regulations be applied. Strange how people are hating on Red Bull for not doing what everyone else is doing :) You know that’s probably why Ferrari are still sucking and why Red Bull are successful, because they demand the best, and don’t settle for the silly lemming fallacies –argumentum ad populum,

        1. Fighting the rules by not following then and getting into trouble is a highly ineffective way of changing the rules, though. Especially as a solitary party doing so.

          If we’re throwing around fallacies for F1 teams, I think ‘appeal to achievement’ is a lot more F1 than ad populum. Red Bull must be right, because they have been winning – much?

        2. The thing is, Red Bull are not standing up for what is right for the sport, but solely what is in their best interests. They have made it abundantly clear that they are not interested in the rights of other teams in this case – it is about “our competitiveness” and “our results” – and if they want to twist the regulations to that extent, then it rather undermines their efforts to attempt to protest about the designs of other outfits. They attempted to protest the design of Ferrari’s ballistic shielding around the turbocharger and were none too pleased when informed that Ferrari’s design was to the letter of the technical regulations and therefore legal – funny how technical regulations only seem to be relevant when they work for you…

          As an aside, whilst some have criticised the fuel flow meters that the FIA is using, it is worth noting that Cosworth have indicated that they believe that Red Bull’s mathematical model, which relies on data from the fuel injection system, is potentially less accurate than the fuel flow meters and therefore a worse way of measuring the fuel flow limits.

    6. Mercedes should rethink displaying ‘Come Home MH370’ on their side panels. Good intentions I’m sure, but not very sensitive to the reality of the tragedy.

      1. They already changed it to something about remembering them.

        1. I hope they still have Schumacher in mind with their livery as well.

    7. Kind of funny how Hartstein is bemoaning how his words are being presented to the public, while he has no control over how it’s being presented.

      This is the man that had the gall to criticise the Schumacher family over the private way in which they’ve handled Michael’s tragic situation. Maybe now he can see how refraining to comment on such delicate issues in the press can prevent miscommunication, and is a justifiable strategy.

      1. I agree. I think whether Hartstein is right or wrong it is probably time for him to be quiet on the issue of Schumacher. Personally I think he should never have got involved in the first place as I can’t say his input has made any positive difference in how people see the whole situation.

      2. I welcomed his explanations about the medical details when the doctors held a press conference, but now he’s as guilty of hearsay and extrapolating what anonymous sources (which are always right, you know, just try submitting a thesis to a university citing anonymous sources) are saying.

        Until the day his management says there’s no hope, there’s hope. I honestly don’t even care if Michael never makes another public appearance if he wakes up. He and his family have every last right to privacy and not tell the outside world what’s going on.

        If Hartstein is really concerned about ‘famous people’ not ‘giving back to the people who made them famous’ and ‘good communication’, he should be a publicist or start a PR firm. Not attack a grieving family on the internet.

      3. I remember right at the start when I called into question Hartstein’s involvement in the matter, I had a few angry replies defending him.

        I’ve worked with enough people in the field of medicine to know when someone is giving information for informations sake and when it’s instead to bolster someone’s profile. It was always the latter with Hartstein and I can see why he was unceremoniously booted from his role as CMO of F1.

    8. If anyone is after a laugh in the lead up to Malaysia check out this mock f1 trailer “Multi 21”

    9. Is it me or did Horner just shoot himself in the foot. What he’s saying is basically teams can gain an advantage by using fuel flow sensors other than the FIA’s… Yet every team apart from his, used the FIA’s sensors. Hahah. Hilarious really.

      1. That is not what he said. He said they can buy as many sensor from Gill and test them to see which ones give them the best flow rate when measured against there own flow rate monitors.

        1. That still means there’s a level playing field. Teams can also shop around for better brakes, better materials, better machines, etc.

          Not using a FIA sanctioned sensor however is outside of the rules.

    10. It makes no sense to use the sensors unless the intent of FIA was to achieve the most randomly screwed up results possible. If they were intent on limiting fuel flow rate then calibrated restrictors are a much more viable and remarkably foolproof option. Also, then would be more accurate and >>>>> cheaper to install and regulate than sensors.

      I think that FIA is going to have a problem with the Red Bull case because it is unlikely they can prove that the regulated flow rate was exceeded. Once the calibration data prove the point, then it’s a matter of showing the FIA work around also didn’t allow for adherence to the rules. So the FIA tantrum of because we said so is likely invalid. If it’s not then FIA has yet another credibility problem.

      1. Not an expert but I thought restrictor plates were for engines that use carburetors.

    11. Congrats to Vettel!

    12. I know Kimi being Kimi can mean a lot, by I didn’t realize Kimi being Kimi could mean so little. 2 conversations seems made up for 2 drivers that shared the same garage for 2 years.
      Anyways, I really hope Lotus can become competitive this season for Grosjean’s sake. He’s had his ups and downs, but he proved what he can do during the 2nd half of last season. I just want to see him be able to show his raw pace some time this year, because watching Grosjean on the the limit is a joy to watch.

    13. I guess I’ll be the first to say it: congratulations Seb!

    14. @Dennis Running the engines you proposed sounds interesting, and may be faster, more efficient, and more reliable. That’s all good.

      But they’d also be a hell of a lot less relevant. How many manufacturers are churning out V8s. Not many, and they aren’t in the same league volume-wise as 6, 4 and 2 cylinder engines. F1 has to be relevant to general manufacturing. It’s the forefront of racing so that it can push everyday life forward, not just the 22 drivers.

      While I disagree with the engines you listed, competition is most definitely good. I’d love a 4cyl turbo up against the current V6s. Or maybe Porsche with their flat-6 engineering wizadry! Competition is needed, however opening it up to bigger engines, without batteries, just doesn’t make sense. People say F1 is a luxury for the insanely rich, and the new regs address that by hopefully allowing for technology that will trickle down to road cars. Keep the new regs, I say, but open up competition. Have the current specs as a sort of ‘maximum’, but allow smaller capacity engines coupled with bigger turbos or something

      1. Seriously? How many manufacturers are churning out v8’s? All of them.

      2. “F1 has to be relevant to general manufacturing. It’s the forefront of racing so that it can push everyday life forward, …”

        F1 needs to stay out of politics,

        If you want real progress you give the teams more options to build better and more diverse solutions. You achieve success through diversity and creativity, not adhering to strict design/spec rules, and punish people relentlessly for trying to go faster.

      3. @timi
        If you look at engine displacement for the recent years, none of the F1 manufacturers are actually doing it. Talking sportscars… SLS? 6.2 litres. Ferrari F12? 6.3 litres. The new Renault Alpine will be getting a 2-litre turbocharged engine… The Megane RS has 2 litres as well. The Infiniti Q50 hybrid has 3.5 litres. The McLaren P1 has a 3.8.

        I have no idea why 1.6 litre is more relevant. All of these cars have different engine concepts. Which one has advatages? I don’t know! The cars are way too different to tell. Formula 1 could show us. But instead they don’t.
        I said this in another post before, nobody asked Honda why they didn’t make 3.5 litre V10 or V12 engines for their road cars in the late 80’s and early 90’s. They just showed how good they were and that was that.

        1. @dennis

          I have no idea why 1.6 litre is more relevant.

          It’s not the capacity that’s so important, it’s the no. of cyclinders and efficiency. Also, listing 5 big engined cars is hilarious, I could list anything from a Peugeot 308, to any big “soccer-mom” car, to an Ford Mondeo, to a Prius… should I continue? I’d wager over 80% of cars sold today have engines smaller than a V8 (and I’m being pretty generous here). That is why it is important. V8s are dying. Simple. Just look around when you’re outside for a second. See how many V8s there are on the road, then ask why you’d want F1 developing V8’s that have little to no bearing on real-life anymore. Of course there’s the speed and blah blah. But who cares? The cars look fast to me and they still race, so seriously what is the problem? Is it 6 vs 8 that’s the problem? Only the drivers actually know the difference. Why leave F1 behind the times? Then F1 would become a genuinely pointless sport for the insanely rich, and we’d see less than the three engine manufacturers we have today. We’d probably see less teams as well. You’d be surprised how many sponsors are in F1 just for the technology-advancements, F1 sucks for advertising unless you’re a top team – I don’t remember seeing a Caterham for more than a net minute over qualy and a race haha.

          @pcxmerc Glad you agree F1 needs diversity. Politics though? I don’t think I mentioned that. I meant that by having these stupidly rich teams develop relevant engines (i.e. used in over 80% cars @dennis), then every-day tech can be pushed forwards a la, multi-functional steering wheels, KERS, Disc Brakes.

          However, since Politics is now on the cards, I think F1 should most definitely get involved with politics almost everywhere it goes. E.g. Bahrain, or South African GP (1985). F1 can’t stand idly by in the face of human rights issues. They rake in more than enough money, and it is a household brand so why not use that for a little bit of good instead of just chasing money? I know I’d like CVC and F1 more if they no longer acted like money-grabbers, and tried to help people. *cough* Bahrain race weekend going ahead *cough* Abu Dhabi last race, and triple points *cough*

          1. This is the pinnacle of motor sports, not a time trial to the shops.

    15. Montoya at Monza, 2004… how fantastic could that era have been on slicks, eh? For right now, there sure is an overload of opinion on 2014, when we’ve only got one race under our belt with what is basically a new formula. Maybe it’s my advancing age talking, but: patience, people, patience. Take it easy and take the time to take it in, you know?

      1. Honestly, it’s the Schumacher era all over again. People kept complaining F1 was dead, that new drivers didn’t have any character, Ferrari was cheating all the time, the grooved tyres were terrible, paydrivers were clotting up F1, not leaving any room for talented drivers from F3000. Now people are complaining about F1 being dead, the drivers not having any character (and complain even louder when they do; Hamilton) Red Bull is cheating all the time, the Pirelli tyres are terrible, paydrivers are clotting up F1, not leaving any room for talented drivers from GP2 or FR3.5.

        I can’t find the comment right now, but yesterday someone on here compared the current outrage to that of 2010, right after Bahrain. Sure, it was a terribly boring race. But people were complaining about fuel, drivers not going to the limit because they had no fuel-stops and how boring the season was going to be. I’m pretty sure the same happened when we got the current wings, went from V10 to V8 and V10s became mandatory before, when the grooves appeared and the cars became narrower in 1998, when driving aids were banned, refuelling was introduced, when turbos were banned and I can’t even imagine the collective rage if F1 would move to GP2 rules like it moved to F2 rules a long, long time ago.

        Honestly, I think we’re dealing with a very loud, very small minority who just keep attacking F1 on the internet. They have the right to express themselves, but their ferocity might lead the silent majority to think this is a much larger problem than it actually is.

    16. Seriously, Kimi spoke only twice with his team mate in whole 2 year, thats sad..
      I doubt it..alteast they may say hi right?

    17. For those that like to bemoan the demise of F1 the current fuel flow reminds me of a time before blogs. I am not technical enough to remember exact details but I am sure that weekly Motoring magazines were dominated by updates on challenges to the legality of rival teams restrictor plates / air boxes (or something similar). There will always be these issues in a developing environment -which is ultimately healthy. The only difference now from earlier eras is the instantaneous nature of the debate much of which is based on supposition and second hand info.

    18. @COTD
      Who says?
      Says everyone who has an engineering degree in a related field. Some COTDs lately…

      I agree that it should be tested against other solutions, but those solutions would likely be even further away from the “real F1” as some are calling it. On the other hand, you can’t just let them build absolutely anything. Some things are faster at the moment, but are much worse for the long term future of engine development, but since this is a competition, everyone would go for the regular V10s. And you achieved nothing. Maybe if they would allow some crazy turbo+ers combos but how much would that cost? Who would compete? Ferrari against Mercedes, with Red Bull bemoaning the fact that they are a fizzy drinks manufacturer that can’t compete in an open field war of that kind against integrated teams like Ferrari and Mercedes. Renault would probably leave since there is no hope of winning if you aren’t both constructor and an engine manufacturer. That would be the end of F1.

    19. Good intentions, poorly executed by Mercedes on the MH370 issue. Come home???

    20. Christian Horner: “Depending on the calibration of your sensor, it will determine your competitiveness, which is completely wrong. Teams will end up buying hundreds of sensors, as some manufacturers already have, to try to pick the best.”

      If that’s really true, something has to be done about these sensors.

    21. @Dennis thank god someone heard you. If you compare a new hybrid car and a good diesel car, you will have to run the hybrid for 24 years until it gets to be more environmentally friendly than the diesel, but who owns the same car for 24 years…..

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