Marussia’s 11th-hour bid to return in Abu Dhabi fails

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Marussia came close to making a last-minute return to F1 this weekend.


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Marussia fail in late bid to race in Abu Dhabi (Reuters)

“A source close to the team said staff had been on standby to fly to Abu Dhabi but all the efforts ultimately came to nothing.”

Ecclestone should stand down as Formula One’s ruler, says Eddie Jordan (Daily Mail)

“Bernie says one thing to your paper, another thing to a different paper, and another thing to me. It is out of control. Nobody knows whether he means what he says or even knows what he is saying.”

Ecclestone helps Caterham F1 return (BBC)

“We’ve even chartered another plane to take them. We’ve gone a little bit over the top, but anyway, we’ve done it.”

F1 teams call for proper wet tyre test (Autosport)

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery: “We have things from people saying we have to improve the slick to intermediate performance, and others saying it is the intermediate to wet. There is not a consensus.”

‘Hamilton nowhere near maximising full potential’ (The Telegraph)

Damon Hill: “He’s already established himself as being one of the best talents we’ve had out of this country, and we’ve had an awful lot. He’s nowhere near maximising his full potential.”


Comment of the day

Quite a lot of people seem to be pleased with the prospect of Romain Grosjean at the wheel of a Lotus-Mercedes next year:

Glad to see Romain has been signed up because I think he more than merits his place on the 2015 grid.

It was good to see him learn his lesson after the ‘clumsy’ 2012 season he had, not every driver does. Also proven himself to be a capable driver in a frontrunning car with some podiums in 2013.

And while he hasn’t stood out as much this season, due to having not had the tools at his disposal, he is still beating his team mate in the Championship which should be a good enough reason to see him retained.

Hopefully the Mercedes engine means next season’s Lotus can be more competitive.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Mark Young and Drew!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Two F1 drivers who were cut down in their prime should celebrate their birthdays today.

Gunnar Nilsson succumbed to cancer in 1978, the year after scoring his only F1 win, at Zolder.

And Stefan Bellof, who scored his first podium finish on the same day Ayrton Senna did in the rain at Monaco in 1984, was killed in a sports car crash at Spa the following year.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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59 comments on “Marussia’s 11th-hour bid to return in Abu Dhabi fails”

  1. Bernie helping Caterhan?? Sounds far’fetched

    1. When Bernie says “we” he is not useing the royal plural, he means FOM, which in turn means the Teams 63% and CVC investors 37%.

      1. But why just Caterham? Why didn’t they also help Marussia? That’s what’s bugging me…

        1. 1.Caterham raised most of the money themselves.
          2. Bernie only needs 20 cars.

          1. I think losing Marussia (and not having to pay them the money for 9th) might have been an additional reason to choose Caterham over them @hohum (maybe Marussia had hoped/negotiated they could put everything on the plane BE had chartered as well, provided some funds were paid?).

            But apart from that, yeah, cheaper way to secure a grid than paying the top teams 20-40 million to run a 3rd car, and less hassle (because of rewriting the rules to actually allow those cars)

          2. @bascb, But Bernie doesn’t care about the prize money, it comes out of the teams 63% not his 37%.

          3. hm, good point there. On the other hand, if Caterham fail to finish in the top 10 this year (as they will, because they will still be behind both Marussia and Sauber) then next year they will have less rights to other money, like travel cost etc too if I understand these things right @hohum.

            The biggest thing is though that as you mention, BE needs only 10 teams to run, and from 2016 we will have Haas to join too (if he gets there)

    2. Nah, it’s just Bernie doing things at random, true to form!

      1. Marussia won’t have to be paid as much, simples.

        1. I obviously meant Caterham won;t have to be paid as much as Marussia — it was way too early in the AM!

    3. What if Bernie simply did it so he can have another two cars and ruin the plans of those other three teams that may have decided not to run.

  2. RIP Bellof.

    The fastest to ever lap the nurburgring, it would’ve been fascinating to see if you could’ve challenged Senna.

  3. A lot of ducking and diving from Pirelli, true, they do kneed proper testing facilities and cars ( I doubt there would be many objectors if they used current Caterham or Marussia cars ) but the waffle about monsoons or intermediates just doesn’t wash, drivers change to intermediates from wets at the 1st. opportunity when standing water is not on the track and change again to slicks as soon as the safety car thinks it is safe to race, the full-wet is avoided like the plague unless the track is awash and it is pouring with rain, in which conditions it seems totally ineffective. I think it is pretty obvious which tyre needs a broader operating range and improved performance.

    1. Something I often find odd about Pirelli’s complaints about testing new compounds is that they still have the option to test new compounds during Friday practice yet its something they virtually never make use of.

      Surely doing some laps in a current spec car is better than turning up with a new compound & discovering that its crap which is something thats happened a few times since 2011.

      I do have some sympathy for the position Pirelli find themselfs in at times, But some of there problems are purely down to them & some of the spin they put out trying to shift the blame at times grates me.
      Take last years problems, They put the blame on the teams pushing the boundaries with pressures, cambers & the tyre swapping while ignoring that the only reason those things were an issue in 2013 was because of the way Pirelli had designed the tyres.
      Teams had been pushing the boundaries on tyre pressures, cambers etc.. since the beginning without issue & as Gary Anderson pointed out the tyres should have a safety margin built into them to take these the teams pushing of boundaries into consideration, Other tyres suppliers did this as did Pirelli in 2011/12 but the early season 2013 tyres didn’t have those safety margins.

      Its the same every year, They totally change everything about the tyres & then we end up a joke early season like 2012 where team/driver performance is completely dependent on stupidly tiny operating windows which would see teams at the front one week & towards the back the next with no idea on what they had done the 1st week that got the tyres switched on or what they hadn’t done the next which had seen them struggle.

      Pick a tyre philosophy & stick with it, Developing it over time & ensure a safe, consistent tyre every year so that we don’t get stupid early season nonsense because the tyres turn out to be a bit crap & have to be changed mid-season. Changing everything each year like they do just leads to problems.

      I’d personally just like to see a tyre war again so that tyre technology is actually pushed again rather than the current situation where there’s not really a great deal of advancements in tyre technology going on in F1 because there no longer able to push the boundaries of tyre technology.
      Perhaps if there was a tyre war & there were actually having to develop & push the tyre tech we would actually have a better selection of wet tyres. After-all the wet tyres we had during the last few tyre war’s were never a problem, In fact they were always exceptionally good & even when Good Year & later Bridgestone were left as the sole suppliers, What they had learnt during the tyre wars stuck with them & we retained a high quality wet tyre.

      1. It all seems so obvious but as you observe nothing changes except the week to week characteristics of the tyres, of course there will be nothing useful learn’t by making tyres designed to be useless after 40-100 km of use.

      2. Re- building in a safety window.
        You have kind of contradicted yourself a bit, you state the teams were pushing the cambers and pressures but if Pirelli build in a safety window, do you not think the teams would just push the cambers and pressures even further until they were on the limit again. It just how the teams work, what Pirelli should have done is issue operational upper and lower limits and prevent the swapping of sides to prevent what should be the inside shoulder of the tyre being deformed and punished in a way it was never designed to. That was the only real mistake Pirelli made in 2013 but they had to be seen to be reacting so when for a wholesale change to tyre construction. Not to mention that acted very swiftly too.
        I feel sorry for Pirelli, they do what’s been asked and then get a kicking for it. Not to mention there is no way on earth that teams are going to want to dedicate even the 1st half hour of FP1 at any track to test prototype tyres for Pirelli, the teams will see it as a reduction of date they can collect and in turn setting them at a disadvantage to their competitors. They just won’t agree to it.
        The need to thoroughly test the wet tyres is a very real and necessary one, but with this dumb strategy group in place, it’s possible it will simply on the agenda, but never delt with.

        1. It’s especially hypocritical for the teams to demand more wet weather testing given that, in both 2013 and 2014, the teams had agreed to each dedicate at least one day of testing to testing the wet weather tyres – and yet, when wet weather did occur during the course of the pre-season tests, most of the teams spent their time sitting in the garage waiting for dry weather.

        2. what Pirelli should have done is issue operational upper and lower limits and prevent the swapping of sides to prevent what should be the inside shoulder of the tyre being deformed and punished in a way it was never designed to.

          You are right about Pirelli not being firmly opposed to tyre swapping at the start, but the point about limits is moot, because Pirelli DID give limits, but the FIA refused to take those as safety limits, so instead they were treated as more or less just an advice, but widely ignored by the teams @thebullwhipper.

          As for the point raised above about Pirelli not using the testing they have available – like dizzy mentions – we all know how happy the teams were to participate in that (see what Anon mentions too), it disrupts their own program, so they do only the minimum they have to.

  4. I can’t believe Ferrari’s unbelievable reveal from yesterday didn’t appear in the round-up! I mean, who would have thought they were going to… change their twitter handle? Oh, and the tension they built it up with was uncanny… Biggest story of the year for me.

    1. @hunocsi

      what was it?

    2. Oh, right yeah. Ferrari changed their twitter handle from @insideferrari to @scuderiaferrari @jaymenon10.

  5. Just read a story on The Australian that says according to former driver Phillipe Streiff, Michael Schumacher is confined to a wheelchair and is suffering from speech and memory problems. Read into that what you will.

    1. Racerdude7730
      20th November 2014, 3:55

      The comment he made was he was paralysed and unable to talk with memory issues. Not good

      1. I didn’t see that article @stigsemperfi, Racerdude7730, but personally I would think that him being in a wheelchair (ie. sitting, breathing without a machine) and being able to have problems with speech,memory (ie. he interacts with people, can talk a bit, even if with lots of issues), is actually a good step forward. He was in a coma a long time – this means he and his family have hope of more.

        1. Oh, just read article in Telegraph about it; so he can’t speak, so slightly less good than I inferred, but still, interaction, progress.

    2. I read that too.

    3. So, does he had amnesia..??

      1. It could be (and is fairly common in severe brain injuries) loss of short term memory, long term memory or both at different times… Some people will be afraid of old friends minutes after hugging them hello. The consequences of brain damage are often horrible to behold if it’s someone you know personally.

  6. ColdFly F1 (@)
    20th November 2014, 4:08

    I am full of praise for Bernie paying for Caterham’s freight and staff travel. “We’ve gone a little bit over the top, but anyway, we’ve done it.””
    The amount of selflessness by him mirrors that of Mother Teresa! ;)

    1. Awwww shuks, Bernie you’r such an old softie.

    2. He might be realize that his day is about to be end..

    3. Bernie’s all over the shop — one minute they’re amateurs that deserved to fail, the next he’s mr. gregarious! I suspect he’s taking credit for someone else’s generosity and community spirit (or it’s purely a cynical move to ensure he doesn’t lose the rights from the FIA and was the cheapest way to insure it… Also, Caterham is supposed to be bought by Forza Rossa, wouldn’t be surprised if he had a finger in that pie too).

    4. It sounds more begrudgingly to me. Look how great we are for flying out this small teams equipment. Something we are contractually obligated to do. Sucks that we have to add another plane to get everything to fit.

    5. You might be onto something you know, if Bernie was to wear a headscarf there would be an uncanny resemblence…

  7. ColdFly F1 (@)
    20th November 2014, 4:15

    Alonso tweet: “The complicity with the car was fantastic.” ????

    1. I couldn’t work out what he meant either. Very cryptic!

    2. Some primitive form of Ronspeak?

      1. @coldfly @kelsier I think that it’s because English isn’t his first language, and must’ve mistranslated from Spanish. Unfortunately, my Spanish vocabulary isn’t good enough to decipher what it must’ve been in the original Spanish.

        1. Was going to say this too. Could be also that alonso meant to say compliance and had his input device auto-corrent his writing into something else. The way I’d understand it was that despite the car was slow its handling suited alonso really well. A slow car is not necessarily hard to drive. It is just slow. Just like a fast is not necessarily easy to drive. But it is still fast. So this year’s ferrari may have suited really well for alonso and its problem was not lack of balance, feedback. It was just lacking downforce, engine power or had too much drag etc…

        2. ColdFly F1 (@)
          20th November 2014, 7:23

          @zjakobs, could Spanglish as suggested. And ‘complicidad’ in Spanish (I speak some) means both complicity (with the more negative connotation) as also ‘mutual understanding’ (with a more neutral meaning).
          This would more in line with what @socksolid meant that the car suited him.

          Having said that. Alonso is a smart guy, and could have done it intentionally. And like @thebullwhipper said a cryptic sneer at the car & team. E.g. ‘complicit’ in making it hard for him to show his talent. Or ‘complicated’ to drive/set-up/improve.

          It remains an interesting tweet.

        3. Complicity/complicidad in this regard I would say it means, involvement, chemistry with the car. Alonso’s tweets in English are always a bit cringeworthy.

    3. In Spanish, the word complicity (“complicidad”) can have, depending on the context, either a negative or positive meaning…

      Complicity (positive meaning in Spanish) = a relationship between two entities, with a deep understanding of each other, to perform an action to achieve a common goal.

      Alonso said it right…


  8. Racerdude7730
    20th November 2014, 5:19

    This is off subject but found this interesting. It’s a 2 minute time lapse of the haas f1 factory being built here in The USA. I really can’t wait for 2016

  9. What is this? Eddie Jordan the voice of reason?!

    1. “Bernie says one thing to your paper, another thing to a different paper, and another thing to me”

      “It is out of control. Nobody knows whether he means what he says or even knows what he is saying”

      Bernie is 84 years old. It’s not like he’s a dictator with an army full of generals financially appeased to defend him. CVC is a bloody investment company and they can fire him. THEY MUST FIRE HIM!

    2. Eddie Jordan showing he has a big set of balls. He may incur wrath!

      Either that or its cash for comment….no doubt there are those that see the near end of BCE and want to hasten the new era;)

      1. Is this part of Eddie’s play to be Bernie’s successor?! Eddie never says something like that without good reason.

    3. I wish Eddie Jordan would predict Bernie retiring.

  10. For everyone who enjoyed the Nico Rosberg piece yesterday by Will Buxton, he did the equivalent for Hamilton today. Maybe not as intriguing as yesterday’s article but just as good of a read.

    1. Great profile. Lewis is really bigger than his F1 resume. Top class driver, wish him the best for Abu Dhabi.

    2. Both are really interesting reads, yes

  11. Interesting. And people keep saying a cost cap wouldn’t be police-able (The FT article is free for registered users).

    KPMG working together with McLaren to use “f1 style” predictive analyses for auditing its clients – key statement:

    Key statement about KPMG working with McLaren to use “f1-style” analytics and technology –

    Through the alliance, KPMG will be able to introduce an audit model that is forward looking and predictive, based on multiple sets of data. It will move away from the current auditing model which has drawn criticism for being largely retrospective and subjective.

    Oh, and it also means we will see KPMG as a sponsor on the McLaren, I am curious to see whether it will appear in Abu Double already @bbudna

    1. Sounds very much like a match made in Ron-heaven @bascb, and you are right, shows that cost cap could be policed at least to some degree.

    2. @bascb, So McLaren are teaching KPMG how to re-design auditing, are KPMG going to teach McLaren how to build a faster car ?

      1. Who knows, maybe a new approach will help them find back to building winning cars @hohum!

  12. “Bernie says one thing to your paper, another thing to a different paper, and another thing to me. It is out of control. Nobody knows whether he means what he says or even knows what he is saying.”
    Wow! I agree with something Eddie Jordan said! Strange new feeling….

  13. Happy Birthday to Stefan Bellof, a great talent missed. Everyone remembers Monaco ’84 as being the dawn of Senna’s legend when he out-drove Prost in the pouring rain and almost passed him, but few remember that Bellof was faster still and catching the pair of them. He’d have probably won if the race had gone full distance.


  14. Liam Radford (@)
    21st November 2014, 17:17

    Monaco was supposed to be the turning point for Marussia, it was all supposed to go up from there. How did this happen so quickly?

  15. Thank You for the Birthday wishes @keithcollantine!

    Congratulations on another great season presenting F1 on the web. The site continues to go from strength to strength. I look forward to seeing the off season articles (best of, digests, comparisons, classic races, love them all!)
    and continuing to be a supporter into 2015

    Cheers mate!

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