Todt urges patience over Bianchi crash investigation

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In the round-up: FIA president Jean Todt says the investigation into Jules Bianchi’s crash should be allowed to run its course before judgements are made about the accident.


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“Divided” FIA president Jean Todt talks of feelings about Bianchi and Schumacher (James Allen on F1)

“We have explained the incident in detail and I have set up a commission to investigate it further under the chairmanship of Peter Wright. Let’s wait for the conclusions before we judge.”

Tilke defends Sochi track layout (Autosport)

Hermann Tilke: “I think it is fine. It works. The first few laps were great for overtaking, but afterwards the field was sorted.”

F1 return would be a dream – Kubica (BBC)

“I need to have more surgery – and there are possibilities – but it’s a tight season, there are many rallies and they are long events.”

Sainz Jr: My dream is to become Toro Rosso F1 (Crash)

“I’ve never spoken to someone at Red Bull about the drive for Toro Rosso. I did not know beforehand that they had chosen Max [Verstappen] but I prefer it this way, I do not like to speak about it with them.”


Comment of the day

@Witsinfr provided the winning offering for this weekend’s Caption Competition:

“Seb, you don’t seem to be using your finger much recently.”

Thanks also to Erik Olson, Hunocsi, Crackers, Hanney, Lotus-gro and Cjpdk for providing some of the other best suggestions.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Danthorn, Shaggymike, F1Yankee and The Abbinator!

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On this day in F1

Johnny Herbert had his first test following his return to Benetton on this day 20 years ago as he prepared to drive for his third different team in as many races.

Herbert had made his F1 debut for Benetton in 1989, but returned to the team for the final two races of 1994 to strengthen their driver line-up.

Image © Marussia

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38 comments on “Todt urges patience over Bianchi crash investigation”

  1. Tilke is also a great musician. He can blow his own trumpet very well!

    1. he makes an interesting point though – if all the circuits are super easy to overtake on then the field is ‘sorted’ too quickly and there is little action. it’s worse when the field is spread (due to dirty air) and cars cannot get close enough to pass but i don’t think that was the case in russia.

      1. I think all the fuel saving in the Sochi race makes it difficult to make judgements on the layout of the track.

    2. I think the indian korean and Sochi designs were among his best, even though no country or venue in particular has much love for.

  2. I bet Lewis stepped out of that logo shot first.
    Wonder if VW did one for their World Rally championship?

    1. Call me Poirot but I think its a photoshop.

    2. @bullfrog you’d need someone with 3 legs… and that’s pretty awkward to think about already :P

    3. if VW does it, it will look more like an orgy :D

      1. Too bad there’s not enough women drivers……. :(

    4. ColdFly F1 (@)
      20th October 2014, 12:47

      I am more worried when Honda tries to create an H with their 2 drivers.

  3. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    20th October 2014, 0:22

    I would love to have Kubica back in F1. Unfortunately I think he’s done too much damage to his arm to compete at the level he once was. I still have no idea why Lotus allowed him to do a rally a month before the 2011 F1 season began.

    1. because he wanted to and they let him, quite simple, he wanted to live his life and enjoy his hobbies. it was a freak accident, of magnitude that might affect .001% of full time rally drivers. you cannot predict something like that, I don’t remember reading fan comments that he should not be rallying in the time coming up to the rally, most of the slandering comments came AFTER the freak incident happened – everyone on their high horse suddenly thought they were a so smart and vigilant using “hindsight”. it was bad luck, bad luck can happen anywhere, look at Bianchi. if a further surgery helps movement in his right hand – which Kubica admits is a gamble, and if things fall into place such that he has enough dexterity for driving an f1 car (at the moment he does not for turning sharp turns like Monaco hairpin), then I am sure at least one top team will give him a “test”. Kubica has had opportunites to test, but has stated he will not bother unless he is capable to go around every track, – his testing in the Mercedes simulator showed him he could not race at every circuit at the moment.

      1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
        21st October 2014, 20:11

        Name me another team that would allow their drivers to do a rally? It’s still a silly decision. Sometimes as a team you have to be selfish.

  4. Formula Won.
    What a team, what a driver line-up, what a car.

    In other news, a strong rumor has surfaced today announcing a Mercedes collaboration with Bosch. Bosch have developed the fuel injection system for the Mercedes 2015 PU107A which doubles the operation pressure to the FIA limit of 500 bar. This will increase power output but even more importantly, dramatically reduce fuel consumption. This combined with the nose changes which will disadvantage all of Merc’s competitors except Ferrari, even though winter testing is months away I’d say Mercedes are in a pretty good position for 2015.

    1. Where did you hear that? Very interesting stuff

    2. Would you mind providing a link to your source?

    3. @eoin16, Michael C is probably referring to this article in Omnicourse (italian)-

      As discussed on this forum as well – (where most people seem to think its a bit of hyping something that is not new at all)

      1. @eoin16 , @jcost sorry guys was asleep :) Thanks for posting some links @bascb

      2. @bascb Thanks. But seems to me gains should be marginal, but as we know advantage is F1 is usually the sum of marginal gains.

    4. The change is 60% of changes allowed between season, also Ferrari have been running 500bar all season but have not found the gains in fuel consumption or power that Merc think it will bring. Renault are sticking with the 250bar of this season (as currently run by Merc) as they don’t see much bonus in trying to go over 10500rpm. Let’s hope that the others have done great ideas to close the gap or it will be Merc lover for the top 8 cars each race!

  5. We have explained the incident in detail and I have set up a commission to investigate it further under the chairmanship of Peter Wright. Let’s wait for the conclusions before we judge.

    The FIA is investigating on itself (what a joke!!!!), i don’t know Peter Wright or any member of the commission but let’s suppose that they will come up with a report that convicts the FIA, the question is will it be published ?
    It was clear from the first statement that the FIA guys were trying to escape the responsibility, but what amazes me the most in this case is the fact that all the other drivers including the top drivers are silent and they’re just supporting Jules by some tweets and hashtags…. What is then the role of the GPDA ?
    F1 is just suicidal !!!

    1. Peter Wright is a highly respected individual who has been around F1 since the 60’s both at the FIA & within teams-

      I also don’t fully see why people are blaming the FIA, What happened was simply an unfortunate accident & guess what they happen on a racetrack.

      It was a normal wet race, It wasn’t torrential conditions It was simply a normal wet race. All but 2 drivers (That I have seen) said conditions were fine & the 2 who felt conditions were too bad was 1 guy who crashed (Sutil) & the others never been good in the wet & has always been the 1st to complain about wet weather (Massa).

      Was there a need for a Safety car, At the time I didn’t think so. 1 car had gone off & had reletively minor contact with the barrier & was right next to an opening in the wall so the accident woudl have been cleared in less than 2 laps.
      At no point in the past has a SC been called for a similar situation so there was no need this time.

      Of course we can all look back & see what ended up happening & say a SC would have been better, But with the data you have directly after Sutil’s off (1 car off, small incident, Right next to gap in wall) there was no reason to call a SC.

      Going back to track conditions, Again they were fine, They have raced in worse in recent years (China 2009, Monza 2008, Fuji 2007 to name a few) & it was not as if cars were flying off everywhere with several drivers stuck in gravel or hitting walls. Had several cars been going off then a SC would come out, but for a 1 car off there was no need.

      Looking at the tractor, Not uncommon, In fact during practice several times that weekend when cars had spun off they were recovered with tractors & the sessions continued uninterupted as has been the case hundreds/thousands of times over the years in practice/qualifying/races.

      Its easy to look back after the fact & say ‘where was the SC’, ‘Why the tractor’ etc… But look at it from the perspective BEFORE Jules had gone off & there was nothing out of the ordinary about any of the circumstances & nothing that had not been considered normal procedure for 20+ years.

      As to the GPDA not saying anything, Maybe they have similar feelings to what I posted here?
      Maybe they just see it as an unfortunate accident in a normal wet race, In conditions that were drivable with standard car recovery procedures having taken place?

      1. Correct Roger, the onous was on JulesB to slow to a safe speed and as he would not have caught up to the safety car before he arrived at the scene of the accident he would have still made that judgement, the only difference is that the required slower sector times may have made his corner speed slightly slower, but not as slow as he should have been going under double yellow flags. The FIA know exactly how fast he entered that corner, all we know is that it was too fast.

        1. @hohum no no no you and roger are believing what Charlie said the other day: “is probably better to take the decision (to slow down) out of the drivers”.

          But he conveniently forgot to mention that he had already done so back in March with that completely inadequate 0.5 secs slower on double yellow sector clarification.
          Him and the FIA are not taking responsibility for their actions months ago, which I think is more serious than putting out or not the SC.

          IMO Charlie should have step forward in that phony press conference in Russia and said: “Jules was driving completely within the regulations as he slowed down enough not to have a penalty, and we apologise with him and his family that our clarification of the rules wasn’t enough to provide a safe environment for the drivers in all conditions “.

          1. Directives by Whiting do not overrule the regulations. The regulations state that a driver in a sector that is under double waved yellows must be ready to change direction or even come to a full stop because there is great danger ahead. A driver that is not doing that is not driving “completely within the regulations”.

            Whiting should, however, provide some decent apologies as he is partly to blame. Because although his words cannot overrule the rules and regulations, he should know he is being listened to, and simply stating that it is OK to go 0.5s slower than full speed under double waved yellows, not even taking into account that there are so much variables that would play a factor in whether a speed is safe or not, is just plain stupid.

            This is the second time in as many seasons that Whiting’s actions have contributed to an event that has directly inflicted damage on the image of F1. He should be more careful.

          2. ColdFly F1 (@)
            20th October 2014, 15:10

            All the comments and discussions if yes/no and how much the FIA is to blame just proves that the investigation should be fully impartial (out of the hands of FIA).

            I do not want to join in any conclusion on who/what/why was to blame, but even if the regulation is crystal clear then there is still the issue of (non) precedent. The FIA allowed in the past that drivers slowed down only marginally in the past, which is a precedent. They cannot only now start blaming drivers who did not slow down in line with the letter of the regulation. (I know as I got out of a speed fine one day, when I admitted that I speeded but could prove that the police knew about others speeding without acting on it).

          3. @mantresx,@mattds,@coldfly, I was not present when Whiting made his remark about lifting under yellow flag situations, however I think we need to consider context to properly understand the point he was making, I believe Whiting was informing drivers who had SAFELY passed through a yellow flag zone what the minimum requirement was to avoid a penalty, not a guidline to SAFELY pass through a yellow flag zone, the 2 should not be confused.

          4. @hohum: well, you can read for yourself:

            As far as I can tell there is no such context here – just that there are technological advancements which allow the FIA to measure better and Whiting stating that drivers must now slow down by 0.5 seconds under double waved yellows.

  6. Fritz Oosthuizen (@)
    20th October 2014, 4:03

    With the Senna accident Hill said with the safety car period before the accident the tyres lost heat. With less downforce at low speed the cars could be more difficult to control. Totally different kind of races 20 years apart but similar kind of result.

  7. Bit of a weird comment by Sainz Jr. How can you not want to speak with your employer about promotion or future plans?

    I know these are all very young guys and they’re not fully grown-up, but still, the world of racing is a rather harsh one and discussing your future and standing up for yourself (in a respectful, constructive manner of course) is very, very important.

  8. Good to see the FIA launching a proper investigation into the Bianchi accident. Of course it was going to happen, but I hope people will stop speculating and drawing conclusion from something they only saw a fan video of.

    Regarding Tilke, you really can’t defend the Sochi track. It is the most generic, uninspired track lay-out I have ever seen. Of course you could blame the dull race somewhat on Pirelli, and it’s weird that he doesn’t point out the 100kg fuel limit as one of the main causes for that. But, I mean, the lay-out itself could have been a million times better without a whole lot of effort.

    1. it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars this investigation to show nothing more then what everyone has seen in a youtube video. it is obvious it was an accident, and obvious in hindsight the tractor should not have been there under current yellow flag rules. what more can they find?? if bianchi had a mechanical failure, Marussia would have told us.

      as for Sochi, the track layout isn’t worse then half the tracks in f1 in the past 20 years – but then all of them are desgned by one man unfortunantly.

  9. “But of course if the fastest driver is in front of the slowest driver, then not so much happens.”
    Not sure what is worse, the quote, or the fact that AutoSport published it…
    I don’t know what exactly AutoSport were after with the interview, regardless of who you are, if you’re proud of your work and people ask you what you think, of course they’re only going to say good things about it.

  10. If the fast cars were ahead of the slower cars, one only suppose those lengthy, sterile ‘battles’ with Alonso/Ricciardo and Massa/Perez were optical illusions.

  11. I think it is fine. It works.

    As if Tilke would say anything else.

    Rule #1 of doing business: Never admit your work is terrible.

  12. I do agree with Tilke that the circuit was not the primary reason the F1 race was fairly dull.

    The GP2/GP3 races as well as the early laps of the F1 race showed that the racing can be good on this circuit & that overtaking is possible, Rosberg/Massa coming through the field also showed overtaking was possible.

    I think the biggest issues in the F1 race were the fuel saving & thet while the tyres were not suffering much degredation they were all unsure of exactly what woudl happen to them so were cruising around managing the tyres just in case. This resulted in big gaps forming between the cars after the initial laps as they were all trying to stay out the dirty air to manage those factors & when there’s nobody really close to a car infront your not going to see much racing.
    Had they all been pushing harder then the race more than likely woudl have been much more interesting as the GP2/GP3 races were.

    In terms of the actual circuit I actually liked it, Its a pretty technical circuit but also fairly flowing & it proved quite challenging. Many of the drivers (Not just in F1 either) said they enjoyed it with a couple saying it was a lot more fun & challenging to drive than they expected beforehand.
    I’ve been able to drive it on this years F1 2014 game & think its fairly fun to drive on that.

    1. The issues that made the race a failure is the stupid rules and setup of modern f1, not the track – long life tyres this year (after everyone hated short life tyres last year) – fuel management issues (lets save $20 of fuel per car to show we are a green formula) – engine homologation (lets homologate engines in a new formula before the season has started and not allow competition). I also find it hard to comprehend that the FIA still employs only one circuit designer, especially after so many of his others have been dreadful on the eye, very barron visually, and very lacklustre designs for a top-tier racing series. why can they not give someone else a go?? I am sure 1000 designers would do a better job then Tilke, maybe employ someone that has watch F1 for decades.

      1. They always go with Tilke because everything is then done under 1 roof to to speak.

        Tilke designs the circuit & his company also handles every aspect of the build. This works out as been cheaper, More efficient & given how those involved now have over a decade of experience it tends to be completed without problems.

        With other designers they design the track but then you have to bring in a dozen sub-contractors to handle the build & if they don’t have much experience in terms of racetracks you can hit trouble (As we saw with Korea which is the 1 Tilke designed circuit his company didn’t actually do the build for) & it tends to end up been a lot more expensive as your having to pay multiple companies to handle each part of the build.

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