Start, Korea International Circuit, 2013

Korean GP organisers unaware of FIA’s race plans

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Start, Korea International Circuit, 2013In the round-up: The organisers of the Korean Grand Prix say they had no indication the FIA planned to put their race back on the 2015 F1 calendar.

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Korea doubts return to 2015 F1 calendar (Korea Herald)

“We were given no prior notice. The FIA just announced it, although we’ve already conveyed our position about the difficulties of hosting a race next year.”

Korean GP looks more like a fantasy fix (Reuters)

“One team source, who doubted the Korean race would happen, said it was all about engines and called the calendar ‘an elegant way of avoiding bargaining’.”

Jenson Button says ‘don’t worry about me’ as McLaren meets on F1 future (The Guardian)

“I’m here with Kevin, we’ve spent the last couple of days together and we’ve had some interesting conversations – and whichever way it goes it’s better for us to know sooner rather than later.”

Vergne cannot understand Red Bull logic (Autosport)

“They [Red Bull] always say points matter; they know I was 5kg overweight compared to my team-mate, so I had at least two tenths [disadvantage] that no one knew about in qualifying – they know all the technical issues I had that didn’t allow me to score points.”

Volkswagen VW Group considering F1 entry (BBC)

“Sources say the review is being conducted by ex-Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali, who was hired by VW’s Audi brand earlier this year.”

Bernie Ecclestone, Interlagos, 2014CVC in hunt for fresh blood at top of Formula One (FT, registration required)

“[CVC chairman Donald Mackenzie’s] concerns were not just about succession. F1 had notable gaps as a business — a poor digital strategy, and inadequate PR and TV revenues, he told the guests. F1 is poorly managed, Mr Mackenzie is said to have remarked to the guests.”

Ecclestone role threatened (The Telegraph)

“There is a meeting of Formula One’s board – Delta Topco – scheduled for next week which could confirm [Paul] Walsh’s appointment.”

Sahara Force India to use Toyota Motorsport GmbH Wind Tunnel (Force India)

“Sahara Force India is pleased to announce that it will use the wind tunnel facilities of Toyota Motorsport GmbH in Cologne, Germany, as the nominated site for all aerodynamic testing in 2015 and beyond.”

The Bianchi accident investigation panel (Former F1 Doc)

“Find the nearest neurosurgeon and ask him if the brain of a patient who’s had a head injury with immediate coma is the same after 40 minutes of transport as after 20 minutes, and he’ll look at you like you were nuts. Because you are.”

Formula for Number 1: Mercedes And Petronas Rise To The Top Of F1 (Forbes)

Toto Wolff: “[Mercedes] were doing horrible. They couldn’t understand why they weren’t good, so I asked what their target was, and they told me, ‘To become world champions.’ But there was a problem: We had the same budget [at Williams], and I was aiming for fourth or fifth place. It was obvious there were serious deficits.”

Ben Ainslie and Adrian Newey set sights on America’s Cup (Herald Scotland)

“Ben Ainslie, the most-successful sailor in Olympic history is to join forces with Adrian Newey, Formula One’s most-decorated designer, in a bid to win the America’s Cup.”

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Comment of the day

Why not hold the Canadian Grand Prix closer to the United States, Mexican and Brazilian rounds later in the year? Mfreire has a view:

The Canadian Grand Prix can be held at the earliest late May, and the latest late September.

Any time else is too cold – the 1982 race was the first Canadian Grand Prix not held in September or October – the race was somewhat controversial before 1982 for often having cold weather.
Mfreire

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On this day in F1

The new technical rules were a major talking point this season but they were due to be even more radical until the FIA altered them on this day in 2012.

Plans to restrict the cars to running on electric power only in the pits were scrapped, and so were rules forcing an even greater restriction in downforce.

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  • 119 comments on “Korean GP organisers unaware of FIA’s race plans”

    1. Regarding this apparent outrage at McLaren’s decision: if you have a look at the interviews where incredibly intense and fervent (one might even say ‘nagging’) media reporter barraged Ron Dennis with unceasing questions regarding the driver lineup, he gave a simple answer: “I absolutely cannot say before December 1st.” and other times when the reporter would continue: “But surely its got to be Button, he’s done the most this season, hes beaten Kevin, etcetc!!” Ron would just smile and say “Martin, all I am sure of is that I cannot say anything before December 1st.”
      All he said is that he was certain he couldn’t make the decision before December 1st. The fact that it’s now merely 3 days later than the earliest possible time for the board to make a decision is not cause for concern or dismay. Relax. The announcement is coming. It was never promised on Dec 1, or Dec 4. It was “expected” by media outlets who assumed Ron meant a decision would come Dec 1.
      Can’t help but laugh when the media is upset that the announcement they predicted would come today Never came! It was based on their own incorrect media reports (see also “assumptions”), reports which were based upon their own incorrect interpretation of Dennis’ interview!

      1. @d3v0 Where is this “outrage”? There’s one article and a couple of tweets on it here.

        1. Sorry @keithcollantine I didn’t mean on your website. I mean practically talking media heads everywhere.

      2. I think most of the negative feeling is on behalf of the drivers who currently don’t know where they’ll be working next month.

        1. These multi-million pound salary drivers, who have to work out whether they get another multi-million pound deal next year, or whether they walk into any other racing series for a little less…

          I love seeing Jenson’s PR team come out in force. You hear hardly anything from Kev, but the outrage at the moment for Jenson. He even brought his father into it a few weeks ago with “he wouldn’t be happy”.

          Journalist are falling over themselves to say how much Jenson ‘deserves’ the seat more than Kevin, and everyone is eating it up. I don’t think much of Kevin, but he has handled this far more maturely. The way Jenson is alienating himself and the team with these “I’m the victim” remarks screams of desperation. Frankly, it looks like the writing is on the wall. He is gone. Ron ain’t the kind of guy to care about a few fans not liking his decision.

      3. Is the “intense, fervent media reporter” you are referring to Martin Brundle? He is an ex McLaren driver which is why him and Ron have that kind of rapport

      4. I think you are way too supportive of Ron Dennis. In my opinion, how can a car be designed if they don’t know the driver, their weight, height driving style? How can the driver build a working rapport? How can they familiarise themselves with the car in a simulator? How can the company reassure sponsors? Makes me concerned about how well they are working as a whole. The lack of decision making only suggests poor management and leadership which gives me a sinking feeling for their performance next year. These are not good impressions and if I’m thinking that and the newspapers are slating them, then how are they going to attract sponsorship or financial support. Why would anyone want to associate with a team that is disrespectful to their drivers? Having said all of that, Jenson is making himself look desperate and I’m finding that quite sad. He should have some balls and say he joined them as a world champion. He joined them expecting the quality and standards of a top class team and they have let him down every year. All he has done has had respectful words for them and stood by them but they have never given him a sniff of another world champion drive. Same as Alonso, they join a team like that, they expect to be winning. They have let him down and he should walk away. This undecisiveness makes the team look unprofessional and the drivers look like muppets.

        1. The thing is Mr. Consumer. How can Ron promise / decide anything when its HIS future relation with the team that is not secured?

          Because that is what was probably the more pressing matter discussed yesterday – did Ron find the money to buy out one of the other stakeholders to get a majority. Its quite possible that if he does not find the money to buy those stakes, he is out himself. A promise from Him would then mean as much as a promise from Martin Withmarsh in March this year meant.

        2. @consumer The driver’s physical dimensions have little bearing on the car design. As I understand it, the crash cell (monacoque) is of standard dimensions so everything outside of that would be identical, apart from maybe slight weight distribution factors which would likely be done with ballast. Only the driver’s seat is custom made and pedal positions/controls can be adjusted to fit. This can seemingly be done in fairly short order as shown by last minute driver substitutions on many occasions (Rotterer and Stevens at Caterham, the Rossi/Chilton scenario at Marussia etc).

          I’m glad driving style has been mentioned because it touches on a pet hate of mine which is something I consider to be a myth of F1 (and motor racing in general probably). That is, that the drivers develop the cars and ultimately bear (some degree of) responsibility for the car produced by the teams at the start of each year. This is pretty much nonsense in my view. The engineers design the cars based on experience, calculation, computer simulations etc and aim to produce a car with the optimum characteristics. After basic requirements are met such as safety features and cooling of components, the engineers look for performance; maximised downforce, minimised drag, balanced weight distribution, low centre of gravity, suspension characteristics that give best traction and stability etc etc. The driver has no bearing on any of these things. The driver’s input may be on things such as controls layout, and there may be very minor differences on whether they prefer the car to understeer or oversteer but that is likely dealt with during setup at the racetrack rather than during the design phase.

          I’m sure some drivers are better than others at setting up the car and getting the most out of it on any racetrack, and that is where driver feedback is important – but I just don’t believe in the concept of drivers leading development of the car and having a significant influence on what comes out in pre-season testing. For example, I don’t believe Button is responsible for the sub-par cars McLaren produced in 2013 and 2014, or Alonso for Ferrari’s declining performance from 2010 to 2014. Otherwise how could we explain the relative lack of improvement from some teams who had well respected ‘development drivers’ who were always said to provide excellent feedback – Schumacher at Mercedes from 2010-2012, Prost at Ferrari perhaps? I’m sure there are many other examples of this.

          I’m sorry to go off on a bit of a rant as I realise this was only part of your point, and I tend to agree it is getting to the stage where drivers need to be preparing for next season in the simulator or otherwise, so McLaren need to make a decision soon. But I think the lateness of their decision shows that driver preferences are pretty much an afterthought of the design process and as it is a point that often gets raised on forums I felt the need to respond ;)

    2. If McLaren are having such a difficult time deciding, maybe they should keep Button for one more year and Magnussen as a test driver. If Button doesn’t perform, they can always bring back Magnussen next year. Problem solved.

      1. Actually not solved, Vandroome comes in line. There lies the confusion. They haven’t properly written off K-Mag and seems to show potential and deserves 1 more year to prove. But if he is on the sidelines for 2015 without any f1 driving experience, then 2016 onwards Vandroome also comes in picture and comparing by junior series they seem neck and neck.

        1. I believe the the decision will also be based on economics. Ron did not secure any deal in Denmark. This is going to work against k-mag. So if K-Mag is not racing this year, I feel his career in F1 is as good as finished. I am not sure he is going to get another opportunity .

          1. @aks-das “Ron did not secure any deal in Denmark” Do you have a source for this?

      2. 2015 is going to be a development year for McLaren-Honda. The PU is new and the chances of replicating Mercedes are virtually non-existing. And they need to improve on the chassis and aero as well. The chances of immidiate success are non-existing.
        By running Button for another year, 2016 is going to be a development year too, for Buttons replacement. Most successful drivers have taken 2-3 years to develop in F1, i.e. if McLaren keep Button, they will spend another couple of years developing his replacement. Even experienced drivers very rarely win the WDC in their first season in a new team.
        McLaren can either develop the car and Buttons replacement sequentially, in which case their ultimate success will be delayed. Or they can bite the bullet and develop the car and Buttons replacement at the same time.
        Button is possibly the better choice for 2015, but 2015 is not going to be a successful year anyway. 2016 might be, but only if McLaren start the preparation now. Both on car and drivers. They have taken the first step by signing Alonso. Next step is to let Button go, and keep Magnussen.
        Not good for Button, but clearly the best option for McLaren.

    3. I get the feeling that McLaren just genuinely don’t know what the best direction to go in is for the 2nd driver.

      Button brings experience, Consistency & a good level of speed which will all be a benefit for next year given it will likely be difficult as they work with Honda on the new power unit.
      Magnussen lacks experience & was a bit inconsistent through this season but he did show that the raw speed is there & with the opportunity to continue in F1 he gain that experience & his consistency will improve & his speed can only get better.

      McLaren’s choice is to stick with a known quantity in Button or go with the future potential of Magnussen.

      The only real downside I see to either is that by going with Button there possibly going to be in the same situation a year or more down the road & by leaving Magnussen on the sidelines for a year+ he’s not gaining the race experience which will help him improve so that he’s better when/if they do have him back in the car later on. There’s also Vandoorne to consider & again by leaving Magnussen on the sidelines & not gaining that experience & improving how do you know which of the 2 to go with a year or 2 from now?

      This is one of the downsides to not having a strong Mid-field/Rear of the grid. There’s nowhere for these young drivers to go to gain F1 experience anymore as the Mid-field is starting to fill with pay drivers as the teams are desperate for cash & the rear of the grid doesn’t really exist now that Caterham & Marussia/Manor are seemingly gone.

      1. If they go with Button it puts them in a better position to compare Vandoorne and Magnussen as they can both be put in GP2.

        1. @theo-hrp They were already compared in FR3.5 and MAG won the championship with five wins and one DSQ whereas VAN had four wins and three retirements and 60 points adrift.

          1. @beejis60 Don’t forget that it was Magnussens 2nd year in fR3.5 ;-)

          2. @beejis60 – But Magnussen had an extra season of FR3.5 experience and was driving for the DAMS powerhouse in 2013 so you are not comparing apples with apples. In the highly unlikely situation that Kevin pitted against Stoffel in GP2 next year we would be in the exact flip scenario, with Vandoorne’s additional experience in the series distorting the comparison. However Vandoorne’s career so far has just been generally more impressive than Magnussen’s; he has been ranked inside the two in two consecutive rookie campaigns in F1’s premier class feeder series having won his debut race in both cases. I would go so far as to say no driver since Nico Hulkenberg in 2009 has been more deserving of an F1 seat.

            1. @countrygent Agreed. This year he would have won the GP2 Series too, if only Feature races counted. Magnussen would benefit from a year in GP2, rounding off his rough edges when battling in traffic (which GP2 is excellent for), giving another comparison vs. Vandoorne’s F1 debut year.

              Would Bernie say no to an extra cash pile for his (minor) cash cow? I get that it’s a development series, but Magnussen still needs developing, as did Grosjean in 2010 (well, or some testing time to speak of).

              Failing this, McLaren-Honda should buy Manor and run Honda engines to make 4 cars and a junior team. But, I think they have their hands full trying to make 2 effective cars already.

            2. @countrygent Yes I’m aware which essentially makes VAN look better on paper, which is what I was trying to convey in as little words.

        2. @theo-hrp Magnussen wouldn’t be able to race in GP2 because he’s done a season in F1 as I’m pretty sure there are restrictions on drivers racing in GP2 if they have done more than a certain number of races in F1 within the past 12 months.

          Pretty sure thats why after Romain Grosjean did those few races for Renault in 2009 that he didn’t jump straght back to GP2 for 2010, Instead going GT racing for a year while waiting to be able to go back to GP2 in 2011.

        3. @theo-hrp as @stefmeister has indicated towards, Magnussen can’t race in GP2. Article 19.1 of the GP2 sporting regulations state “Any driver who previously won the GP2 Series Championship or any driver who completed a full season in the FIA Formula One World Championship will not be permitted to participate in the Series.”

      2. I don’t know if any of McLaren’s past drivers had to deal with their fate being in the hands of a board of directors, but that (and possibly needing Honda’s blessing as well?) appears to be the holdup this time. If it was strictly up to Dennis, I suspect the lineup would have been decided some time ago.

        1. But Ron does seem to be campaigning to reduce costs, at least where driver salaries are concerned.

          1. @hohum Alonso’s imminent arrival at the team with a record breaking pay packet (by most accounts) would seem to fly in the face of salary reduction efforts. But such things don’t appear to be entirely under Ron’s control these days. I have to wonder if he’s really all that keen to have Alonso back at McLaren at all.

            1. “Alonso’s imminent arrival at the team with a record breaking pay packet (by most accounts) would seem to fly in the face of salary reduction efforts.”

              There was some talk a month or so ago that Alonso’s contract was with Honda rather than Mclaren with Honda effectively buying him the seat at McLaren. If that is the case then most of Alonso’s pay packet woudl be coming from Honda rather than McLaren.

      3. I think it must be for financial or sponsorship or Alonsos choice, from the team perspective it just has to be Jenson, he is such a well known yardstick for the team and with a new engine, new chassis and new #1 driver they will want a yardstick to judge progress, but it’s F1 where logic is often trumped by other factors.

        1. @hohum He’ll even take a knockdown salary to continue in F1, like Massa, but it now depends on who will wrest control of the team and how the finances shake out.

    4. Bernie: My girlfriend is throwing a huge party, Jean, you gotta come.
      Jean Todt: You have a girlfriend?
      Bernie: Yeah, that Korean girl, we are totally dating!
      Jean Todt: Does she know you two are dating?
      Bernie: Well, technically, no…

    5. I think it is safe to say that a Korean GP won’t happen if the Koreans weren’t even negotiating to host a GP. Bernie just made a huge fool out of himself, it seems like he either put the Korean GP on the calendar to try to scare Bahrain, Nico Hulkenberg, or just to laugh at everyone’s responses. Although Bernie won’t see most of the responses because I he doesn’t use social media. Or maybe he has a bad memory and can’t even remember the calendar correctly.

      1. they put the Korean GP to make the 2015, 5 engine instead of 4. In the rule it says if there are more than 20 races in the “original schedule” then it is 5 engines instead of 4. Korean GP is not happening.

        1. Why is everyone saying 4 engines? 5 engines were used this year.

          1. The rules specify a drop from 5 engines this year to 4 next year. Unless there are more than 20 races on the calendar. If, subsequent to the calendar being published, enough races are cancelled to bring the number of races down to 20 or lower, the allocation remains 5.

            Hence, the Korean race. It’s a very F1 solution to the problem. Don’t fix the rule, find a loophole!

          2. Patrick, whilst the teams were allowed to use five engines this season, the intention was for that to be reduced to four engines from 2016 onwards.

            The regulations were more flexible this year because this was the transition from one engine format to another. Given that the manufacturers would be able to make fairly sizeable changes for 2016 and the fact that they would now have a full season of data to draw from, it was initially decided that they could then cut back the engine allocations from 2016 onwards – however, it now looks as if some of the manufacturers might want more leeway than they first thought they’d need for 2016.

    6. Those Audi rumours won’t go away until they have their own team will they! :D

      1. Can they generate as much publicity as Haas by doing nothing more than issuing wordy denials, or is this all part of a hidden campaign by someone to more plainly show Bernie as a liability for the future of F1?

        1. This! A lot cheaper and more effective than actually seriously joining F1 @hohum. Although I can believe VW/Audi drawing up a study to show what would be needed if they did want to, and tell CVC their conditions (i.e. settling the management question of FOM).

          1. @bascb, VW already has had an opportunity to drive the technical regulations within F1.

            The current F1 engine regulations were agreed with the VW Group, and the original proposal for a four cylinder engine was, according to Newey, only agreed upon because VW were demanding that particular engine format as a condition of entry into F1.

      2. If they enter the sport, it will be another slap in the face of naysayers of new Hybrid F1.

        I’m hopefull Bernie will be ousted and more teams will consider entereing the sport. I hope someone buys Sauber and/or Marussia.

      3. @calum Keith’s article from 2011 that it’s either a big long term plan, or thrice yearly speculation to get some free publicity…. :P @hohum While also helping Bernie out of the door..

        @bascb @jcost I really hope they enter… starting a team is tougher than buying Red Bull, so if they do, it’ll be done the hard way and with a commitment for the future.

    7. Get over it Jean. As if it was any different to those who you replaced.

      Red Bull’s driver development programme works like that. You should’ve known…

      Klien got the boot, Liuzzi got the boot, Speed got the boot, Bourdais, Buemi, Alguersuari and now you. And that list could be much longer if you include those that didn’t get to F1.

      Red Bull prepares stars for their main team. There’s just 2 seats and plenty of drivers waiting their chance. If they keep you, they are not giving the opportunity to others that have been part of the programme for quite a long time already.

      Feel lucky that they let you drive for 3 seasons…

      1. Liuzzi got screwed a bit though. He came into F1 as F3000 record breaker and then they made a total mess of his career. They parachuted him into the race seat halfway through the season, told him he has the seat for three races and then it’s Klien’s turn again. As you might expect, that didn’t really work out for Liuzzi who’s showing of course didn’t turn out too good with all that going on. He did get two more decent seasons but I suppose that first year did leave a certain dent in his confidence.

      2. @fer-no65 Can you imagine where Frijns would be if he actually accepted the RB offer some years ago? Would he be driving for the main team? TR? Out the door with JEV? Hard to speculate.

        1. @beejis60 It’s not out of the woods to say that Frijns would have just been promoted to Red Bull. He would have taken Felix da Costa’s place in the program, probably doing very well in GP2 (like Vandoorne), before moving up to F1 when Ricciardo replaced Webber (maybe a year quicker). An impressive debut year or two like Kvyat has now done could have seen him jump up to Red Bull ahead of Vergne.

    8. I wonder if the Korean GP will have bigger crowds next year or will their be crickets in the stands like the previous years???

      1. Korean GP is to make the 2015, 5 engine instead of 4. In the rule it says if there are more than 20 races in the “original schedule” then it is 5 engines instead of 4. Korean GP is not happening.

    9. Why not have Canada around 2/3 through September, Austin early October, Mexico a week later and 2 weeks later Brazil.

      1. how cold is Montreal by october? i know is hot as hell here in argentina, so i presume that canada should be the other way around…

        1. In October, Montreal will probably not see more than a few days above 20 Celsius and year over year the temperature is not predictable at that time of year. There can also be days with daytime high no better than 7 Celsius. May temperatures can also be very unpredictable as well.

    10. My 2015 F1 Calendar

      R1 Australia March 13-15
      R2 Malaysia March 27-29
      R3 China April 10-12
      R4 Korea April 17-19
      R5 Bahrain May 1-3
      R6 Spain 15-17
      R7 Monaco May 21-24
      R8 Canada June 5-7
      R9 British June 19-21
      R10 Austria July 3-5
      R11 Germany (Nurburgring) July 10-12
      R12 Hungary July July 24-26
      R13 Belgium August 21-23
      R14 Italy August 28-30
      R15 Singapore September 10-12
      R16 Japan September 18-20
      R17 Russia October 2-4
      R18 UAE (Abu Dubia) October 9-11
      R19 USA November 6-8
      R20 Mexico November 13-15
      R21 Brazil November 27-29

      1. Leaving Dec and Jan free to attend to divorces etc.

      2. @warner16 Don’t come in here with your logistics logic!!

      3. I do not understand the schedule of Canadian GP in the middle of European leg.. It happens in the last few seasons. Is it a specific reason to keep it along with the European races.? It can be moved prior or later along with the Branzilian or US GP. It can help logistically too..

    11. I think McLaren are looking towards year two and beyond. The first year will be all about learning and gathering data. Because in all honesty they will not be able to challenge Mercedes. They had the same engine last year, but their chassis wasn’t good enough. They only way to beat them is to have a better power unit, but that’s very unlikely. Why keep Button if you know you could use that money somewhere else?

      1. Why keep Button ? to better understand if you going forward or not, that’s why.

        1. Button has nothing to do with aero or mechanical development. That lies solely at the feet of the engineers at Woking. He can’t put in 10 points of downforce by himself.

          1. I agree.

          2. No, but he’s consistent and, as HoHum explained, he can serve as a benchmark to measure improvement.

      2. A developement process is a series of cycles with researching-developing-evaluating Button has no use in the research or the developement part, but when McLaren will try to evaluate the developement progress A known quantity becomes invaluable. Any equotation is easier to solve when you can have a constant instead of a variable. Magnussen is a variable, as they dont know his limits, or the speed of realizing his potenteial. Alonso on the other hand would be an unknown. I guess what Im trying to say is that if you want to measure your progress you need to have a constant yardstick you can measure width. In most developements you need to have a constant test-bed for evaluating your progress, because you wont know if the sudden change in form is because the modified test environment, or because of the developement.

        1. “Alonso on the other hand would be an unknown.”
          Alonso might be an unknown at first, but there is no better constant than him. When he becomes a known quantity, he will be invaluable to the team, because as you said, there isn’t a sudden change in form or fluctuations. He is the ultimate constant.

          1. @Biggsy
            I agree with you, that he is capable of consistently perform at the same level, but Alonso did not drive this years McLaren, so early in the season there is nothing to go with. Even when Fernando becomes a known quantity it will be a long process for the engineers to get used to his phrases, to clearly understand what he meant with his feedback and steer the development in another direction. We are not talking about weeks, but months. If you were a TP would you give your competitors any leeway?

        2. @rybo, as @bag0 says, it’s not the design it’s the evaluation, if Alonso is a second a lap faster in the new car than Button was in the old car, is the new car better than the old car, or is that just the “Alonso” effect ? Best way to find out is to see what Button can do in the new car.

          1. The assumption that they need Button to give a baseline is absurd. The hallmark of any professional racing driver is consistency above all else. The ability to produce the same lap time over and over again. How fast the new car to the old car doesn’t matter. The only thing that does is “how much father can we go.” Of course you could say we were down half a second to the Merc’s last year so we need to find a second and a half. But that number can’t and won’t be realized until Q3 in Australia.

            Additionally no driver is giving a detailed analsys of the technical packages a team is bringing. Yes, they will say the new front wing was better in the high speed or the old suspension has better traction, but at no point will they sit behind a desk and look at the cad data and make changes.

            Button would be a great asset, but Alonso is better and he’s not getting any younger either. McLaren have to look of for the present and the future.

            1. @rybo
              Your only mistake is that you say the performance compared to this years car doesn’t matter. Well it kinda does, a lot. We don’t have new regulations next year, so every team is building their car based on this years package. While McLaren will have a completely different engine supplier, that will require a new bodywork, a most of this years upgrades will go towards the next car. Up until the first few races McLaren wont see the a clear ranking between teams, and without Button (or Magnussen) they wont know if they even moved forward with their new car. It is a lot of time to give away to realize that you have gone in the wrong direction over the winter.

              But I think you asked the wrong question, because it is clear why they would benefit from having Button in. The better question would be which option worth more.
              -Keeping BUT-MAG thus saving a lot of money (no new multimillion paycheck for Alonso, and have the same results)
              -Having ALO-MAG (spending a bit more for Alonso then Button, and maybe get a bit better results)
              -Having ALO-BUT (spending a lot more money, and definitely get the best possible results).

    12. Dear Santa,

      All I want for Christmas is to see this octogenarian excuse of a FOM leader be replaced. Man has no idea how to run the sport in the current day. It’s fine to be 84 years old and disconnected from reality or the future, it’s not fine to do so while being in charge of F1.

      1. Sadly I’ve had that on my wishing list for the last 20 years, but Santa don’t give that kind of presents, I’m afraid. I fear we have to wait for another guy in a cloak of a rather different color…

        1. @palle Probably you asked your wish from someone called Bernie who was dressed as Santa.. ;)

    13. Vergne kid you didn’t evolve in all of your years in f1, Kvyatt had as many problems if not more. JEV how do you explain the SPA qualifying?

      1. @peartree I don’t understand all the upset about Vergne either. It’s not like he is a real talent being thrown away. He’ll have his days but in F1 you need to be there everyday.

        1. I don’t think you have grounds to say he is not a real talent, when there was nothing between him and his ex-teammate who over the full course of the year Trounced most successful driver of the last 4 years! Do you remember how close the decision was between Vergne and Ricciardo, it ultimately came down to 6 months more experience, and a very slight edge in qualifying. Don’t forget to differentiate between driver performance and car performance. He’s always been a midpack driver because he’s been in a midpack car, just like Ricciardo was! I am not against the decision to promote Kvyat because he is an exceptional talent with better marketability, but I am against writing off Vergne as just another TR driver who wasn’t up to snuff, when even Tost said he was the best driver from TR not to get to RB.

          1. @stabel91 I’m sorry but do you have any basis to state what it came down to in the decision between Ricciardo and Vergne? As far as I know the rationale has never been made public and it could have come down to stuff we, spectators, have no insight in. Things like perceived growth potential stemming from their internal data, or quality of technical feedback, work ethos, …

            1. Mostly from this site and formula 1 new app, I don’t know if I can find the articles, being so old.

          2. @fastiesty At SPA in intermediate conditions where JEV tends to WOW the public, Kvyat beat JEV. You can’t blame weight on wet conditions. Kvyat drove the outside line on the fast and narrow SPA track and bravely took the rewards. Daniil showed prowess, bravery and intelligence to adapt and evolve, using the “grippier” outside line. Now to answer the weight question, I don’t know if Daniil is not overweight himself for the chassis, but with similar heights between both JEV and Daniil, both should not have a significant mass difference, if so lose weight, it’s your own fault. Ricciardo often mentioned his efforts of losing weight and the gaunt Kvyat as well, which in term must have prompted his struggles with heat exhaustion during the season. Work ethic? JEV is talented, TR often mentioned his steering sensibility. I do think that initially marketing appeal was the reason to promote the FRENCHMAN to F1 but we would also admit that JEV really didn’t marketed himself afterwards, on a more crowded french field. The reason for the snub on Ricciardo vs JEV was down surely to talent and work ethic, as France wins to Australia in F1 marketing. Kvyat vs Vergne must have went down to 3 factors, Kvyat, Russia and JEV’s apathetic F1 career, I think the latter is underrated.

            1. @peartree True, JEV was fast in Q1 but disappointing in Q2, while Kvyat evolved, I remember that now.

              Daniil is so thin that I think it helps his runs into Q3, JEV claimed a two tenth advantage. Vet had 0.05 on Web purely from lower CoG, even with both getting ballast, and that decided some poles in 2010.

              I agree on RB trying to break France, perhaps Ricciardo’s smile won him over? He also dominates the Aussie market, which ties in with ‘extreme sports’ well, whereas JEV is just focussed on driving and little else.

              Kvyat will be a great spokesperson, he has a great attitude too. I picked him as a Vet replacement pre-season, but still, I didn’t expect it until 2016!

      2. @peartree Spa qualifying? I see either driver faster in Q, with Vergne carrying extra weight. @stabel91 raises good points, I think Vergne would have gotten 200 points in this year’s Red Bull, probably better than Vettel in the same machinery!

    14. The original article on the F1 website was titled ‘Force India to Switch to Cologne’. Slightly misleading title, glad they changed it.

      1. A real stinker!

    15. Glad the FIA is not listening to any ridiculous suggestions of changing the date of the Canadian GP. Move the other races if you must, but the first weekend in June is perfect for Canada.

    16. If Deiter Rencken’s article on Autosport yesterday was anything to go by, VW are not interested in F1. However, he did mention that the cost of running an F1 team would hardly dent their coffers, and their cumulative costs of running teams in WEC, WRC and DTM is far higher than what it would cost to run a single F1 team. So it isnt about money. They feel that they are getting the necessary exposure they desire from the categories they are invested in.

      One thing that Dieter doesnt metion is the potential changes in VW-Audi management. If this Martin Winkertorn believes in F1’s marketing potential, maybe there is a future then? All things being equal, even if F1’s viewership has declined, it still remains one of the most watched global events on year by year basis, so there definitely is value in this. Furthermore, the F1 circus is paving a route into the “developing world” so to speak, where the likes of VW in particular are looking to make their presence felt.

      1. Winterkorn however is not going to overrule Piech with regards to FOM management @jaymenon10.

      2. I think F1 is perfect for Audi now. Porsche is carrying the VAG flag in WEC, and Audi has put up records there to last a generation. Also, the rule-makers and Toyota have basically put an end to their hey day. So time to get out. F1 is now, again, a technology series, and that is Audi’s historical brand. Forsprung durch Technik. They have a chance to take down a major luxury competitor with big exposure in key luxury markets like China and the middle east. Generally, they have a chance to burnish the brand by being associated with the other prestige brands attached to the sport that Bernie likes to brag about. Audi still lags MB and BMW in prestige factor among non-enthusiasts, so this is a way to help that. For the operation itself, they have lots of great drivers on the payroll, not to mention engineers and team leaders with great experience in hybrid racing technology now as well as physical infrastructure. So do it, Martin. Do it now.

        1. If Audi came in and joined MB at the front of the grid to make it a battle-royal for the championships it would almost certainly revive F1s declining fortunes.

    17. Well, I personally think the treatment of Jenson and Kevin is despicable and shows that Ron Dennis has no man management skills whatsoever and it just illustrates to me why McLaren are no longer the team they used to be!!!
      He seems to forget that these guys have a career in Motor Racing and they need to know their futures earlier so that they can try to organise potential drives in whatever category for next year, but at this late stage most seats are already filled.

      1. Hm, do you think Jenson or Kevin would take Ron’s word for it now, when its not sure Ron himself will be the top man at McLaren so far? The real issue is Management tussles over that, with Ron wanting to take full control / more control, but still having to find the money to buy those shares @mikejtw.

      2. I think that McLaren’s inability to make a decision is a worrying sign for the team itself, too. My impression is that it is becoming more and more difficult for McLaren to find the money that they need to return to winning. As I understand, they still have no title sponsor and their annual budget is estimated to be significantly smaller than what Ferrari and Red Bull have. It has also often been mentioned that the fact that Button is “more expensive” than Magnussen could also play a role in the decision.

        I think that Dennis’ unwilligness to accept cost-cutting measures (“If you cannot afford to be in F1, don’t be in F1”) might ultimately come back and bite him and his team.

    18. agree with COTD, you will be driving in ice if you put Canada in Mexico, Brazil, and US date

    19. Here’s an idea: Why not include the Djibouti Grand Prix in the calendar? I am sure that the FIA would approve it too and F1 would increase its global exposure by having a “race” in Africa.

      1. We don’t need Djibouti! The FIA have just pencilled in Rheims in France, and Nivelles and Pescara and Kyalami . . .
        What do you mean ‘no one told them’? The FIA has spoken!

        1. @TimothyKatz Come to think of it, I might wake up one day and realise that FIA have scheduled the Latvian Grand Prix in my backyard… I am starting to like this approach!

      2. In all seriousness, there should be a GP in either South Africa or Morocco. Anywhere else in Africa, I’m afraid, just won’t cut it.

        1. I totally agree with you. I have always believed that F1 needs to race in Africa to be a truly global championship but I guess there are not many options. Let’s hope that Bernie’s successor manages to make a deal with some rich guy in of the countries that you mentioned.

            1. @hohum Why not? To be honest, I had not read about this place before and had to google it! Not sure if it is possible to build a motor racing track there but the surroundings seem to be perfect for the modern F1.

    20. Hope to see Lotus back on form again next year. I’d expect them to be in top 5 in the least.

      On a separate note, back in 2011 when the new engine rules were declared, sources said that five manufactures were developing for the new formula(http://www.formula1.com/news/interviews/2011/7/12241.html). Counting Honda, there’s four. Who’s the other one, Cosworth or VW had one too?

    21. Surely the delay in naming McLaren drivers is now going to affect the direction of next years chassis ? Can’t see either of the current drivers offering too much input based on this years experience unless they have something in their pocket – like a contract – this means that the engineering teams will have to second guess which direction to go next year. It seems to me like there might actually be something more in the background, maybe a boardroom takeover or some sort of financial / income stream deal being brokered ? unless of course the decisions are made and everyone is aware but for some reason it cannot be announced.
      Do we know for sure that Alonso has signed ? do we know for sure that JB or KM have not been retained ? do we even know for sure if Ron Dennis will still be heading up McLaren next year ? do we know if maybe Honda are buying a stake in McLaren to be a full works team rather that just being an engine supplier ? do we know if Eric buffoon Boullier will still be there ?

      Maybe Whitmarsh needed to go but it seems to me that McLaren are lacking any direction and calmness since his departure and seem to be staggering along which is a real shame since the racing heritage they have should see them competing forcefully at the top of the paddock but at this rate they are behind Williams, RB, Ferrari and of course Merc and therefore can only seriously be considered mid table along with FI & Torro Rosso

      1. “Surely the delay in naming McLaren drivers is now going to affect the direction of next years chassis ?”

        Couldn’t tag you but please see my reply in the replies to the first comment of this article for my opinions on this ;)

        1. I did see your comments, and I am not saying that drivers totally dictate which direction the engineers should consider, however there is no doubt that the input a driver can give surely has some merit in the early design stages of a car, particularly when the regulations change little season to seas and you are trying to rectify some pretty poor performance issues with the current car, I do not believe that any of the engineering teams ignore any of their drivers opinions and I am sure that it is all part of an integrated process to deliver the best possible car. If driver input is minimal or even not required then why do teams usually rush to bring their drivers in and get them integrated into the teams asap, for example then, why doesn’t Vettel just rock up after a few day in the simulator and race in the opening 2015 GP for Ferrari ? Probably because he not only needs to integrate with the team and learn the processes and systems but also be cause they will want his input and direction into how the car feels, handles and performs, this feedback is undoubtedly important to the overall package.

    22. So will there be 3 car teams next year? If there is how many and which ones. I ask as have I missed some thing that rules them out or could it still have an impact on who and what drives where

      1. No. There’s a list of confirmed teams and drivers here:

        2015 F1 drivers and teams

    23. Thanks for having Hartsteins blog in the roundup too Keith. I think he offers a couple of very valid questions, but the comments section below that post is where it really gets interesting reading for those of us that are not intimitaly familiar with doing the marshalling job.

    24. Wow! Just another reason for the sport to be embarrassed.

    25. ColdFly F1 (@)
      5th December 2014, 11:30

      What did we learn today:
      1 JEV = 13 Dampers

    26. This Forbes article is interesting but also has quite a few factual errors.

      I found this part funny: “[…] Niki Lauda, […] whose epic battles with Jon Hunt […]”. Jon Hunt?

      “Mercedes failed to finish on the podium for the first three years back in F1.” So we just ignore three third places for Rosberg in 2012, the win of Rosberg in China, the second place of Rosberg in Monaco and the third place of Schumacher in Valencia in 2012?

      1. @mike-dee:
        Oops, we’ve complained about the same thing at the same time.

        I’d like to add one aspect to your statement: Rosberg’s first podium with Mercedes was already in their 3rd race! So it’s not like they were desperately hoping for something good to happen.

    27. That Forbes article lost me at page 2:
      ‘“They were doing horrible,’ Wolff, an Austrian, puts it bluntly. Mercedes failed to finish on the podium for the first three years back in F1’

      So they didn’t even bother to look at the statistics. Rosberg climbed on the podium in the team’s 3rd race already. 5 more podium results were achieved within the first three years, including a race win.

      I’m not saying that the analysis (i.e. Mercedes wasn’t competitive) is wrong, but it’s irritating to be exposed to wrong information on such a basic level. Forbes: Not a place to read about F1.

      1. Yes. Forbes should be pretty good with numbers. It’s their thing. But, no.

    28. I feel bad for JEV but the 5 KG issue is not the team’s fault either. He needs to back away from the profiteroles. LOL. I know he is no fatty but weight issues are just a reality of the sport. Unless you are bringing an extra .2s to the table to cover your weight, in this instance, then it’s a performance issue.

    29. Off the round-up topics, I’m thinking the about “platypus nose” in 2012 most cars used it and then vanity panel introduced in 2013, but only RBR, Lotus and Caterham still use “platypus nose”. now This year most cars used “anteater nose” but will it be permanently banned next year or still allowed like platypus in 2013??

      1. Think more the Mercedes nose of 2014.

    30. A lot of debates and varied opinion on whether KMag or JB sould get the drive at McLaren provided, Fernando Alonso is signed and sealed. Most seem to prefer JB but let’s put ourselves in McLaren’s position and then try and take a decision with proper justification.

      Consider the following points while taking your decision.

      1. JB has got all the experience of being in the sport and will help in developing the car along with Alonso.

      2. He is in the latter half of his career and may not have many years ahead in front of him.

      3. Consistent point scorer yet misses out on that qualifying speed.

      4. Just like Alonso, he MAY continue for a few more years.

      5. KMag had only one year to prove himself in the car which is quite short a time.

      6. He comes from their own stable unlike Perez.

      7. Kmag becomes a driver which enables the team to invest in youth and focus on nurturing him.

      8. Not giving KMag a second chance would be unfair and by 2016, Stoffel Vandoorne would also be ready to compete.

      Considering the points, I admit that it’s not an easy decision to make.

      1. Regarding Qualifying, with these tyres and “parc ferme” conditions it seems qually results are almost as adjustable as they were in the refuelling days, that is ; set the car up for ultimate qually on Saturday then watch your tyres shred themselves on Sunday, or, start a place or two back and give yourself a few more laps to choose when to make your pitstops. In other words being ahead on Sat might just mean being behind on Sun, as Ham V Ros illustrates.

    31. My alternative 2015 calendar:

      1. Australia – Melbourne, March 13-15
      2. Malaysia – Sepang, March 27-29
      3. China – Shanghai, April 10-12
      4. Bahrain – Sakhir, April 17-19
      5. San Marino – Imola, May 1-3
      6. Spain – Barcelona, May 15-17
      7. Monaco – Monte-Carlo, May 21-24
      8. Austria – Spielberg, June 5-7
      9. Great Britain – Silverstone, June 19-21
      10. Germany – Nurburgring, July 3-5
      11. Hungary – Budapest, July 17-19
      12. Belgium – Spa, August 14-16
      13. Italy – Monza, August 21-23
      14. Canada – Montreal, September 4-6
      15. United States – Austin, September 11-13
      16. Mexico – Mexico City, September 25-27
      17. Russia – Sochi, October 9-11
      18. Japan – Suzuka, October 23-25
      19. Singapore – Marina Bay, October 30-November 1
      20. Abu Dhabi – Yas Marina, November 13-15
      21. Brazil – Sao Paulo, November 27-29

    32. I’ve seen the suggestion of McLaren buying Marussia/Manor, running Honda engines and placing Magnussen and Vandoorne in the team. I remember suggesting early this year that they could bring the Super Aguri name back and run at ‘B’ team, but I was thinking Caterham at the time as they were more at risk. It would be a positive move which I’m sure fans would back. Still looks unlikely at this point though.

      I think the delay could be more a case of Dennis waiting to buy a larger share in McLaren. If it was down to him, Magnussen would be Alonso’s team-mate, have no doubt. Remember, he undeservedly dropped Perez for him after just one year.

    33. Korea, meet Ron D—since neither knows what’s planned.

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