Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014

Renault could halt engine supply to late-payers

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014In the round-up: Renault warns customers who are behind on their payments while Claire Williams warns the need to reduce costs has grown “critical”.


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Lotus Renault car Renault warn they may withhold engines (BBC)

“Both Toro Rosso and Caterham have denied they had any payment issues with Renault, while Lotus say they do not comment on commercial issues.”

Williams: costs situation now critical (Autosport)

Claire Williams: “I think we are at a really critical junction now – where if we don’t do something about it and take responsibility, then we are going to be causing ourselves some serious damage.”

Ecclestone told banker: ‘I will take care of you’, court hears (FT, registration required)

“By March 2006, after the deal had gone through, the nature of the discussion appeared to have changed. The court heard that the two men met at an F1 race in Bahrain, where Mr Ecclestone asked the banker: ‘Did you get a bonus?’ When Mr Gribkowsky said that he had not, the F1 boss said: ‘F***ing bank. Tell me a number.'”

Bernie Ecclestone in court showdown over bribery charges (The Guardian)

“But when Gribkowsky was pressed by the judge what exactly he thought the money was for, he said: ‘I’ve never asked this question. It still annoys me’. [Judge Peter] Noll commented: ‘It’s hard to follow how you can remember the exact wording but not the context.'”

Ecclestone grins at man who could topple him (The Telegraph)

“‘It was a case of building up pressure to resolve the situation as quickly as possible’, Gribkowsky said of the tactics he employed. ‘Being unpleasant to reach your goal.’ Gribkowsky went on to suggest that the two were able to maintain a civil working relationship. ‘We put our differences to one side in a professional way,’ he said. ‘I went with him to races.'”

Gap to GP2 ’embarrassing’ – Perez (ESPN)

“I think we have at least eight times more budget than a GP2 team, so to be only a second and half to two seconds quicker is a bit embarrassing.”

Simona De Silvestro targets F1 drive with Sauber next season (Sport 360)

“The sponsors I have on the C31 (the two-year-old car) are those I’ve had since 2008. They’ve always known F1 is my ultimate goal, and they’re helping me try to get there, and there are opportunities (for new sponsors) out there, for sure.”

Ricciardo: Merc too far ahead (Sky)

“‘I think we’re making progress but unfortunately Mercedes don’t seem to be slowing down either,’ the Australian said afterwards. ‘They’re still a little bit far away. We’re trying to pull them back by our fingertips but we seem to be in a solid at least third place today.'”


Comment of the day

Some drivers reckon this weekend’s tyres are too hard but Dominic reckons that’s no bad thing:

With all the changes we have had this year, the last thing F1 needed was tissue paper tyres again.

I am glad that tyres are not the major talking point again and frankly who could blame Pirelli for being conservative after the bashing they took last year.
Dominic (@Lojen)

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Graham Hill won the Monaco Grand Prix for the second time 50 years ago today, leading home BRM team mate Richie Ginther just as he had 12 months earlier.

Peter Arundell achieved a podium finish in his first ever F1 start for Lotus.

Image © Lotus/LAT

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  • 40 comments on “Renault could halt engine supply to late-payers”

    1. Sooo different Monaco was back in the Sixties.

      And I just realized how much I missed ‘On this day in F1’ features that are not about 1994. Obviously, there were some, and there was a reason for the 1994 ones, but I’m just happy when I spot a different one.

      1. Was a really good surprise indeed. Portuguese subtitles…:D

      2. If you’re interested, here’s a piece I wrote on that GP :)

        1. Wow, looks good. Will read it, @andae23, great job. (It’s FP3 time now. :P)


    2. Watching (on TV) Graham Hill winning at Monaco a few times are my earliest F1 memories, as a child I was fascinated by “racing cars” roaring around the streets, & always wanted to go & see it for myself.
      10 years ago (at the age of 45) I finally made it, & loved it, I went again in 2008, unfortunately due to finances, I suspect I’ll never go again, but it was definately one to tick off the list. Thanks for the video, its put a smile on my face

    3. Both Toro Rosso and Caterham have denied they had any payment issues with Renault, while Lotus say they do not comment on commercial issues

      So it’s Lotus then. Such a shame for such a talented team to be in so much financial trouble. F1 really needs to get its house in order when it comes to financing it’s teams, before it’s too late.

      1. I have a vague memory of reading some excerpts of team financials a few years ago and paying on time was the exception rather than the rule.

        1. I can’t understand people at Renault. If it was Mercedes complaining it would be much more sesnsible. They provided top product for their customers unlike Renault with their unfinished one. Renault hardly deserves payment for the miserable work so far. Lotus gets the latest development of their PU after RB and Toro Rosso and it seams fair to be latter on the payers list.
          Renault builds superb engines but every Renault i drove had electrical issues. They are not atop of electrical challanges even on basic level and I don’t expect them to be when solving much more complexed issues of hybrid power unit.
          However only thing I see in this statement is Red Bull Racing being concerned about leaps in performance achieved by Enstone hence using politics to press on Lotus team.

      2. Mmmm…. It is a difficult situation, ultimately there are a number of teams complaining about the cost of F1, however, how much of this is due to mismanagement of finances from Lotus? It seems that Lotus went all out with spending in 2012 and ran into cash flow issues in 2013, and are now suffering in 2014, they need to reinvent themselves and fit within whatever budget they have.
        All credit to them for rolling the dice in 2012 and 2013, but it didn’t work out for them, time to step back and recoup for a year or two.

      3. The heading to that article agrees with you. “Lotus Renault car Renault warn they may withhold engines” seems is not only in most pols minds but also in Keith’s :). It’s a shame, all but 4 teams have said they cannot continue at this rate, an empty it seems is all that will stop this.

    4. All this talk about many established teams being on a brink of bankruptcy got me really worried, but then I read that Mercedes will be testing the newest gimmick with their megaphone exhausts, so I can sleep safely after all, knowing the future of F1 is safe.

      1. Hahaha. +1

    5. I started a forum thread about the digital overlays in each of the last couple seasons, but in the past couple GP the situation is far worse, the rain in China glitch the Fly eremites ad and the Lotus black livery has been glitching the lolex out of that corner, definitely the crummy ads reached the climax, unlike that Lotus 49 that’s not a climax… It’s a Ford….

      1. What about the T51

    6. It appears that Simona has some pretty substantial sponsorship, and good for her. While we all agree that money shouldn’t determine a driver’s ultimate pass into F1, it’s hardly unusual. The young lady is very talented, with a lot of upper tier racing under her belt. Lot’s of others can claim the same of course, but she’s probably as deserving of a spot on the grid as a few of the current drivers. I’d really like to see her get a race seat next year.

      1. Well, she wasn’t good enough for Indycar. So why do people think F1 is a logical place for her to go? If she was Simon De Silvestro, Swiss man, no one would care.

        1. Simona’s results in Indycar racing have been reasonably respectable given the quality of the teams she has ended up at.

          She was the second highest ranked rookie in her debut season, had to spend several races in 2011 dealing with the after effects of second degree burns that she suffered due to mechanical failures in the Indy 500 and crashes later in the season, whilst in 2012 the “Lotus” engine – really a rebadged Judd engine – was embarrassingly uncompetitive (a favourable estimate suggests at least a 10% power deficit) and would have been better off being sold off for scrap.

          As for 2013, considering that her team mate was Tony Kanaan – a former championship winner and, at one point, a man under consideration by BAR-Honda for a seat – the gap between herself and Kanaan wasn’t particularly large (he finished 11th with 397 points and Simona 13th with 362 points).

          On balance, whilst Simona probably isn’t the fastest driver out there, she has still shown that she is, on balance, still a relatively talented driver. In reality, being kicked out of IndyCar racing probably owed more to others outbidding her for the seat rather than performance, since Sebastian Saavedra, her replacement, is not exactly a great driver.

          1. No. I’m still seeing “she is a woman and is special” as opposed to “she is a good driver.” If she were a man, this conversation would not exist.

    7. Simona will drive in f1. She’s already saying “for sure” in her interviews…
      Would I like to see her get a shot? For sure.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        10th May 2014, 4:24

        Hopefully the FIA can do something about this extreme driver weight loss in order to help performance.

        Otherwise Simona may be too heavy. I know women are naturally lighter than men because they’ve got less muscle mass, but she looks a fair bit bulkier and taller than most of the little whippet top drivers like Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso. So she may need to lose some weight as well. I suppose this is a bi-product of Indy car not being affected so greatly by razor thin margins as F1 is.

        I really hope she can get a drive in F1. A lot more women might start watching F1 if they know there’s a female on the grid.

        1. My wife has no interest in women drivers.

        2. Neil (@neilosjames)
          10th May 2014, 4:52

          She’s only 68 kilos according to Sauber. 5 more than Gutierrez (who could probably do with a few dozen family size fry-ups) but lighter than Sutil, Sirotkin and van der Garde, so shouldn’t be much of a problem.

          1. Until she gets pregnant . . .

            1. That sounds a bit crude, maybe saying “Untill she has a baby” sounds better. ,D

            2. The thing is, that goes away after about 10 months @neilsojames

        3. Its also a measure of Indycars not having power steering, making it far more of a muscle job @tophercheese21

          1. Eh, sorry that should have been @neilosjames

    8. Sauber Caterham and Marussia have already warned about costs. Toro Rosso (Red Bull in disguise), Mc laren, Williams and Lotus laughed about it and backed up Ferrari, Rd and MB. Now we see Lotus in trouble and Williams asking for a cost control…They didnt last 5 races with the same opinion. shame on them. And they also complain cashing big money from sponsors and F1. Shame on them.

    9. The poorer teams want cost cutting the richer and thus more successful teams don’t or if they do it’s at such a level that makes no difference to the poorer teams. So whilst I am all for it, I just don’t see it happening anytime soon

    10. Apples and Oranges Mr Perez.
      F1 and GP2 are 2 completely different beasts. Not the same audience, not the same pay-checks (I guess you know it Mr Perez…), not the same technology.
      Give F1 teams the same regulations than GP2 while maintaining very high budgets and you may well see gaps bigger than 2 secs…

      1. It’s also worth noting that it is hardly a unique situation either – McNish once commented that, when he was racing in the precursor to GP2, the International Formula 3000 series, his qualifying times in the Silverstone round (in 1995 I think) would have put him 15th on the grid in the British Grand Prix that year. There have been times when the gap to the junior formulas hasn’t always been as wide as in the past, and occasionally even saw some of the smaller F1 teams being beaten by the better funded junior teams.

    11. It’s great that Sky are showing qualifying on Sky1 today, great way to reach a new audience.

      1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        10th May 2014, 13:04

        But it is on BBC this week so the effect is negated unfortunately.

        1. Yeah that is true, but it’s good to see that they are seeing the benefit of it enough to at least show qualifying on sky1 (but no race on sky1 though).

      2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        10th May 2014, 13:04

        But it is on BBC this week so the effect is negated unfortunately.

    12. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
      10th May 2014, 12:42

      What are these digital adverts? Never heard of them, how do they work?

      1. If i am not mistaken, they are those adverts that are not physically present on the race course but added by ways of digital post-production on the images you get.
        If you look at the image from Twitter (, the post-production is a bit crude to say the least !

        That way, they can target different audiences depending on the country, etc…

        1. yeah, I saw a graphic overlay on the start finish straight at China, that wasn’t there in other camera views. It’s strange, and sometimes I look for ads and try to figure out if they are CG or for real; the lighting typically gives it a way.

          1. it’s just like the CG you see at NFL games in the states. It’s just a matter of some software and making sure you plug in the right geometry. The NFL has been doing it for years. I think the CG for F1 needs some work, it looks a bit too fake.

            1. as for F1, seems like they just need to find someone who knows something about ‘signals processing’ and just use some sort of moving filter to isolate the region of pixels for which should not be mapped to.

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