Ferrari, Sochi Autodrom, 2014

Ferrari and Renault may force change in engine rules

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Ferrari, Sochi Autodrom, 2014In the round-up: Following a meeting of the Strategy Group Ferrari and Renault may have succeeded in lobbying for the chance to introduce engine upgrades after the start of the season.

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

F1 to consider more powerful engines (BBC)

“It now seems likely that manufacturers will be able to upgrade their engines after the start of the season as well as before it.”

Prosecutor begins probe into 2012 Valencia F1 Grand Prix (Fox Sports)

“The writ asks Valencia’s courts to investigate alleged irregularities, including how Camps allowed a private company with no experience in motorsport and only 12 employees, to operate the multimillion-dollar event.”

Perez: Verstappen must trust talent (Autosport)

“If you’re good enough and Red Bull put the faith in you to go and race, why not? It’s good for the sport and for the fans.”

Some interesting new hirings (Joe Saward)

“The latest Audi hiring is also interesting as the team’s new technical director from January 1st will be Jorg Zander, who has spent the last five years running his own engineering business (called JZ-Engineering) in Switzerland. Prior to that he was the deputy technical director of Honda F1 Racing and was involved in the design work of the Brawn 2009 car.”

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Comment of the day

More great moments from from this year’s championship.

My own top things that made 2014 great:

The Red Bull Ring back on the calendar. Well I suppose I would say that’s a good one seeing as its my own write up on what its like to visit.

Jules Bianchi grabbing those points in Monaco, five months before he sadly became the seasons low point in Japan.

The end to Red Bull dominance. But they still showed that they are still a force not to be dismissed. Especially with the ever-smiling Aussie in the driving seat.

The title going down to the wire without the stupid double points.

Mexico getting back onto the calendar for next season.

Silverstones’ weather giving things a shake up.
Steven Smith

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On this day in F1

Five years ago today I announced I had left my previous job to work on F1 Fanatic full-time.

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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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  • 70 comments on “Ferrari and Renault may force change in engine rules”

    1. Just as we thought that 2014 was great….comes Parr’s post. And sudenly I’m a bit worried for next year.

      1. @davidnotcoulthard 2014 wasn’t great. There was a championship battle, and that may be enough to entertain us, but F1 didn’t layout things properly to allow everyone to contend. Le Mans is great but we know who pays the event, who buys the billboards around the track and who promotes the event on TV and also who made the rules. I think we can unanimously say that, the type of dominance we saw in 2014 is detrimental to F1 and unlike 2010-2013 it’s not purely the result of merit.

        1. Seen as we can unanimously say it, perhaps you can enlighten us as to what part of Mercedes dominance was not to do with merit?

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            21st December 2014, 9:56

            @peartree, I second @john-h – I’d like to be enlightened as well.
            And the opposite of that coin: Was 2010-2013 purely the result of merit?

            I for one believe SV/RBR deserved those titles, but the word ‘cheating’ was used a few times.
            And what about that rule that only an under-performing engine can be developed, where the rest remain frozen?

            1. @coldfly @john-h “unlike 2010-2013 it’s not PURELY the result of merit.”
              With this statement you can imply that the Merc’s success is not in its TOTALLY due to merit. Merc’s dominance is and probably will remain in 2015 undisputed, because the rules won’t allow for fair development across ALL manufactures (thus meaning that it is a rulemakers problem ) that fails to give enough opportunities to everyone to make changes from season to season, effectively perpetuating an advantage across one set of rules which should extend to 2020. This situation is wrong because not of how good Mercedes is, it’s wrong because F1 is an yearly championship which means that every season manufactures and drivers should be entitled the chance to compete.

            2. @peartree But they’re allowed plenty of development, it’s just that the engines are homologated every 12 months.

        2. If your getting at that the FIA should balance performance for performance equality as the ACO do for Le Mans then I’m completely against that idea.

          In F1 if one team or engine manufacturer builds a better package & dominate then its completely deserved & should be left upto the others to catch up. The team who did the best job should not be handicapped to take there performance down so others can keep up.

          I also disagree with your comment about Mercedes success this year not been on merit. They had the best power unit, they also designed the best car & they also had 2 very good drivers who were both able to get the most of the car each weekend.

          I fail to see how you can determine that there success was not done on merit?

          1. I definitely agree. I actually think there should be at least some stability in the rules, because these impulse decisions just seems to hurt the spectacle. Just because the rules don’t change, does not mean the same people will be winning all the time.

            I just want to lose the ant-eater nose, and DRS.

          2. @dpod RogerA. I think you do not see Le Mans as I do. The ACO and Le Mans DO NOT LEVEL PERFORMANCE IN ONE BIT. It’s a ploy. Le Mans is not economically viable without the sponsoring of the VW group, which in term does a great job by putting Porsche (owned by vw group) running against Audi, this is important because in the past when Peugeot tried to leave VW alone, without competition Peugeot refused to take VW offer to avoid them from leaving, now VW has a thing with Toyota and a backup with Porsche.

            Now, I think Mercedes did a great job and for that they won the 2014 championship. The problem here is that F1 is an yearly competition but the rules are currently set out to 2020, which means that no one has a chance to compete until 2020. The rules shouldn’t excessively lock-down performance evolution on a year to year basis, because F1 is disputed yearly not across 4 years or every 4 years.

            1. The engine rules for the 2014 car were set in place three years ago with the full support of all the engine manufacturers. Each supplier had the same opportunity to develop the engine, and in the case of Ferrari and Mercedes, the whole package for the start of the 2014 season. With that in mind I can’t find any unfairness.
              Red Bull and Ferrari signed on to this agreement so they should be prepared to see it through. As a fan, it won’t matter to me how it goes because a new season will start and people will race to win. Bernie will take all the money he can from anyone stupid enough to let him get close enough to get his hands on it.

            2. if RB were to dominant this year again, do you guys think, Horner/Marko will be cozy about the engine unfreeze idea??? They opposed everything in their dominant years, and tried every cheats possible… One year bad, now they call it unfair… Ironic…

            3. @tharris19

              The ACO and Le Mans DO NOT LEVEL PERFORMANCE IN ONE BIT.

              Yeah they do, Have done for years.

              They spent years hitting Audi with more & more restrictions to try & level the playing field. Especially when Pescarollo was there main competition 10 years ago.
              Even earlier this year they were playing around with the balance of performance prior to Le Mans & handed out restrictions to Audi which Audi were highly upset about.

              Its how Le Mans & how sportscar racing in general works.

        3. @peartree Fair enough. To be honest, as a Vettel fan I never enjoyed 2014 that much myself.

          But the racing is decent and a lot of people seem to like it and at the end things seem to be looking up…..when all of a sudden Parr wrote what he wrote. And that was what I was trying to say.

          1. @davidnotcoulthard I like the rules and I like the cars. I want parity between teams, I don’t enjoy seeing a huge spread between the top drivers, I must be one of the very few people that actually enjoy F1 when different people win, as in the early part of 2012 and 2013 before the big teams forced a switch on rules resulting in the so-called hated mid-season rule changes. Some people believe that 2 drivers on the same team can have a fairer fight than 2 drivers on opposing teams, I think that is impossible, every team has a #1 driver on their contract. I prefer Ferrari vs McLaren than World vs nico, Lewis deserved to win but that’s not how you win.

            1. I too have enjoyed F1 for decades regardless of who’s been winning. I didn’t mind McLarens glory days in the late eighties and nineties. I didn’t mind Williams glory days in the nineties. I didn’t mind Ferraris run 2000-2004. I didn’t mind Renaults run in 2005-2006 or Red Bulls run 2010-2013. The reason I didn’t mind was the fact that other teams had the oportunity to catch up. Even in season you could see an advantage for one team of 1,5 seconds be eroded during the season. The regulations were not as tight and the engines could be developed freely.

              That was not the case in 2014. After watching Australia I knew there was no chance whatsoever that any other team would catch Mercedes. The aero restrictions are too tight for any team to be able to compensate for lack of power in the PU. And the only big-spending team with a Mercedes PU was of course Mercedes.
              It will be the same for 2015. And that combination of a huge advantage for one manugacturer and redtrictions that prevent their competitors from catching up will damage F1. It’s a difference not being able to catch up and not being allowed to.

            2. @Kimiwillbeback Did the other teams really have a chance to catch up to the Ferrari of 2000-2004? Really?

              The teams of those years probably had about the same “chance” to catch up as the current ones do. The difference being that the current teams brought this upon themselves, whereas those of the early 2000’s did not.

              Obviously I’m referring to the cheating and backdoor deals that went on at the time by Michael, Ferrari, Bernie and the FIA. Obviously I’m not saying they were the 1st to ever cheat in the sport and they weren’t the last, but they did take it to a whole new “professional” level that made a mockery of calling F1 a sport.

              Even Red Bull weren’t without a large number of accusations and controversies. Now Mercedes win 1 season with a dominance not seen before based solely on merit, while allowing their drivers to race each other mind you, and everyone is talking about the sky falling in.

              The other teams were in favour of these rules when they were implemented. They also do have a realistic chance of closing the gap. Sure it may not pan out, but that’s racing. They still have a more realistic chance to catch up in 2015 than in the early 2000s.

              I’m all for better racing, better sounds and a better spectacle but these rule changes are not designed for anything of the sort. They are purely selfish from Ferrari and Red Bull.

            3. Terry

              Yes the other teams had a chance of catching Ferrari. There were no restrictions stopping them from doing so.

              But that’s not the real issue now. In my view we’re talking about F1’s future now. F1 could deal with 5 years of Ferrari dominance for two reasons. Firstly the dominating team was Ferrari, and lets face it over 50% of F1 fans support Ferrari. Secondly the advantage wasn’t overwhelming except for 2002 and 2004.

              F1 could also cope with 4 years of Red Bull domination for two reasons. Firstly their advantage wasn’t that big, often a 2-4 tenths. Secondly they were challenged by both Ferrari and McLaren on a regular basis.

              What I saw in 2014 was the perfect storm for F1. The engine regulations were not well received (I must admit I hate the sound of the engines, they sound lazy almost like a turbo diesel. And whereas I to have a turbo diesel for daily use I prefer to use my V8’s in my spare time). Secondly Mercedes had an advantage on close to 1,5 seconds. I thank Mercedes for making it interesting, that prevented the season from becoming totally uninterrsting. But that will not be enough to keep people interested if we have another couple of years with total Mercedes dominance. F1 needs a new boost and some real competition. I’m afraid Williams and Lotus will be found wanting. The only hope I have for an interesting Championship is McLaren-Honda. If the PU is competitive they can take the fight to Mercedes. I doubt Ferrari and Red Bull can catch up in 2015.

            4. @Kimiwillbeback “Yes the other teams had a chance of catching Ferrari. There were no restrictions stopping them from doing so.”

              There were 2 big restrictions stopping them, cheating and corruption. I’d say this season has been more interesting because it was a dominant display based entirely on merit. This has been rare in the past as it has often come about through corruption.

              F1 has and always will have dominant cars. It is much more satisfying watching dominant cars that aren’t cheating though. Mercedes won’t enjoy this level of dominance for long though. They had a lot more than just a better PU. When the other teams copy some of the other aspects they will close the gap too.

              I do agree with most of what you have said though, but what has been proposed by RedBull and Ferrari is not intended to address any of those issues, and it won’t. If RB or Ferrari found themselves with Mercedes level of dominance this year, they would not have allowed their drivers to race and make it interesting.

              F1 has its problems but Mercedes dominance is not one of them. Bernie and the FIA would be top of the list. Ferrari have had every advantage possible afforded to them over the years and have failed miserably. They should be embarrassed. Their whining should be ignored. The sport would be better off without them tbh.

              If you change something to erode the advantage of one team you will inevitably create an advantage for another.

        4. @peartree Still waiting for one person to support your “unanimous” statement. I’m joining the others in the opposing camp. Mercedes won on merit, Hamilton won on merit, the racing was great, the technology was great. The worst bits were complaints from the losing teams (mainly Ferrari & Horner) and the nonsense about noise mattering.

          Parr’s statement does seem worrying, wasn’t it Parr who first raised the third car likelihood for next year, I hope that this isn’t connected.

          1. @jerseyf1 I don’t know how you can agree with me and say you oppose me. I think you didn’t actually read what I wrote. I think were we disagree is that I think Parr comment wasn’t poignant.

    2. Keith, huge thank you and congratulations for your 5 years of full commitment to F1 Fanatic success!

      Your work isn’t just a great piece of F1 knowledge, for me it’s also an awesome example of thorough and objective journalism. Many people writing in many different areas could learn a lot from you. Kudos!

      1. +2
        Top site.

        1. Keith, where is the donate button? We all want to share the Xmas spirit.

          1. @cswilly Buying your way out of ads would equal donating, I presume?

            http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/contribute-f1-fanatic/f1-fanatic-supporter/

      2. +1 from me as well.

      3. @randy @f1lauri @thebullwhipper @cswilly @coldfly @artanonim Thanks very much to all of you! And yes there is a donation option as well as the ad-free supporter option as @davidnotcoulthard and @dpod have pointed out. It’s great to see so many of you enjoy the site enough you’re willing to contribute to it, it really is a massive help.

        1. Steve W (@westcoastboogaloo)
          21st December 2014, 19:21

          Subbed for 12 months! Cheers for all the hard work Keith!

      4. +100500! Thanks Keith, your blog is one of the best things that happened to F1 in recent years =)

      5. Keep up the good work, it’s the only website I visit daily. Can’t imagine life without it ;-)

      6. Keith, the peoples F1 reporter! :)

        Thanks for all your work Keith, you’ve built a great site for a great community!

    3. CotD The title went to the wire but the power went out unfortunately, what a loss to the nonpartisan F1 fan. Silverstone weather was pretty good in 2013 as well, things ended up more favourably for the home fans this time around.

      Like Adam Parr I’m really looking forward to what Bernie is going to do now that he has the power to properly run f1 in one direction. Let’s just hope it turns out to be the right one, regardless of what people want or care, F1 has an identity, lets protect that, don’t vilify Bernie is responsible for everything good F1 as delivered in this past decades.

    4. Bernie should go. Can’t stand the guy anymore.
      Good, Renault and Ferrari will try to improve during the season, well, Mercedes will too…

      1. mercedes is likely closer to the limit that these units can produce, so they are unlikely to improve by as much. but who knows, maybe ferrari and renault will only barely improve. heres hoping for v8 return with hybrid systems for 2016, better competition and also better sound, so important for f1.

        1. I would hold my breath on that. This would be the first iteration of major engine upgrades and rumor has it that Mercedes already has another 80 bhp lined up for their new engine.
          While I like the sound of the howling v-10s and v-8s nothing turbocharged will replace them. I don’t think anyone who is a true decision maker is ready to give up on the current technology. Any thing to catch up with Mercedes, yes, return to old engines no way.

    5. Congratulations on five full-time years, Keith. Not sure when the site started but I seem to have been visiting for a long, long time and have always appreciated the work put in and the community you’ve built.

      1. I have been following F1 Fantastic for six and a half years myself.

        A truly respectful doff of the hat to you and the excellent work you do, Mr Valentine.

        1. I see what you did there! Talk about insider joke, haha

    6. @keithcollantine

      Congrats Keith! I actually remember reading that you had left your job to work on F1Fanatics, and I’m just amazed how time just breezed by. I’ve only been following F1 closely since 2007 or so (less so the couple years before that), and this website has been my go-to place for as long as I remember. I didn’t always log on, or comment, but every time I needed news you had it ready for me. I wish you many more years of success and joy running F1Fanatics! This day belongs to you!

    7. @keithcollantine
      Thanks for all your hard work, the site is an absolute credit to you.
      Although I am not in a position to currently take up an add-free subscription, I would like to say that I don’t really get upset with the adverts as the content is so good and a man needs to pay his bills, just writing and publishing F1 articles alone does not bring in an income, so I have the greatest of respect for you taking the leap of faith and putting your world on the line to make a serious go of this site. I am very grateful for your perseverance and drive to make the site the success it is. You deserve a very big pat on the back.

      We as fans really appreciate it.

    8. Thank you for the birthday wishes @keithcollantine. It wouldn’t be a happy birthday without this site of yours.

    9. @keithcollantine, heartiest congratulations to you and to all the F1 fanatics. This site is the epitome of how a Formula 1 blog should run with quality and excellence. Fortunately, the site also attracts a far more sensible (mostly) crowd than other sites/blogs.

      Wishing you many many more years ahead and looking forward to reading excellent and detailed quality content here at F1Fanatic!

      THANK YOU!

    10. Thank you @keithcollantine I have followed this website since 2013 although I made my account this year, this website simply the best f1 website I ever seen.

    11. I was confused about Adam Parr’s tweet.
      To be honest I did not know/recall who he was, and had to google him. After scrolling through some disturbing pictures of another Adam Parr I saw the wikipedia article on this Adam Parr (who looks a lot like Andy Garcia).

      Interesting and impressive curriculum. But what stands out most is that he is now on the board of Cosworth. Does that mean that Mr E will be able to get his way again with new engine regulation which favours the likes of Cosworth?

      1. His comment was sarcastic so don’t bet on Bernie doing anything than involves Parr. Bernie was the reason Adam Parr was chased out of F1.

    12. Congratulations on the milestone Keith! I’ve been following this site since 2012 and there is no better website for F1 than this one, so thanks!

    13. I’ve watched all year, enjoyed some races and tried to forget the cars sound like leaf blowers but I can’t. The single most impressive thing about F1 live, is the noise. It just blows you away and without that extreme, along will the 10’s of others removed, F1 just isn’t exciting anymore. :(

    14. Congrats Keith. Although I’m quite new here (about second half of 2014), I regularly visit this site. It’s the best site for everyday F1 news, great articles and the people on this site are quite good too.

    15. I’ll snigger if they change the engine rules and Merc’s is massively the best all over again. Ferrari and Red Bull don’t seem to have tuned in to the idea that with stable regulations they can catch up year by year, but with a reset the best outfit is likely to leap ahead again.

      They’ve had a whole year to develop a large proportion of their power units, after all, with knowledge of Merc’s big-ticket tricks. They have to be closer in 2015.

      And how can it save money to start a fresh design? It’ll cost, and Merc will just out-spend and out-design them like last time. They have twice as many customers for just one thing.

      1. I swear if i was at Merc executive board and Red Bull and Ferrari with Bernie managed to create there own little rules i would have thrown all the money in the world just to make the team even more dominant and reveal their true colors after they start yelling for another change the minute they got what they wanted.

    16. I am so pleased to have found F1 Fanatic’s the work you do and the quality of your efforts have made my first year of following F1 an informative, frustrating, exciting and altogether pleasurable experience. The integrity of your blog is a refreshing rarity that stands out above other popular sites. My interest in F1 has been directly influenced by this site. Congratulations Kieth on your successful milestone and thank you very much!

    17. People should stop throwing around the accusation that teams will not be allowed to catch up next year because of the engine “freeze”. It’s not really a freeze – 48% of the engine can be changed for next year.

      The only true “freeze” is on engine development in-season (apart from on safety/reliability grounds), so while teams can make some progress between seasons, they can’t really catch up during the season.
      However, some news sites have reported that Renault and Ferrari are close to reaching an agreement that would allow them to introduce an upgrade to their engines mid-season in 2015. There is apparently a good reason why they want to do this: Renault and Ferrari won’t have enough time to be able to develop the split-turbo solution for the start of next year. This is because Mercedes’ split turbo solution requires the shaft connecting the compressor to the turbine to have zero flex, as it turns at over 120,000 rpm and even the slightest flex would wreck the engine. This apparently took Mercedes two years to perfect. Ferrari and Renault will most likely be able to find a solution quicker since they already know roughly what Mercedes has done, but clearly they won’t be able to finish it by the start of next year – meaning a mid-season upgrade is required for them to introduce a split-turbo solution next year.

      Renault are believed to have found 70 extra horsepower for next year’s engine. However, Mercedes are rumoured to have found another 60 bhp themselves, so the gap isn’t really expected to close by much. This means that (assuming the mid-season upgrade is allowed) the effectiveness of Ferrari and Renault’s split-turbo solution (that is expected mid-season next year) may determine whether or not Mercedes will be dominant again for the entirety of 2015. Keep in mind that Mercedes will be allowed a mid-season upgrade as well.

      With recent indications being that a complete change of engine specification will be too complex to introduce for 2016 and a meeting for proposals on the subject not occurring until January 6th 2015, it is likely that the results of the expected mid-season engine upgrade next season will determine whether or not Mercedes is dominant for the entirety of 2015 and 2016.

      1. TBH I don’t mind so much if they need the extra time for the split turbo.

      2. The thing is, it appears that Mercedes’s biggest advantages are coming from the efficiency of their energy recovery systems rather than from the engine itself.

        During this season, one key limitation that both Ferrari and Renault have had, with the former being particularly badly hit, is that they cannot run the electrical systems at full power for multiple laps – they need one lap at a reduced power setting to recover enough energy for the following lap.

        By contrast, Mercedes seem to be able to charge their battery systems in order to run at full power over multiple laps – the engines themselves are probably not that different in terms of peak power, but it is the electrical boost systems where Mercedes has, and probably will retain for some time, a technical advantage.

        What makes that especially ironic is the fact that the hybrid systems are the components which the FIA is trying to encourage development in, and in fact the areas which are last to be locked down in terms of technical development – those areas are completely free for development until 2019 – yet they seem to be the areas where Ferrari and Renault are putting the least effort.

        1. @anon I’m sure you’re right that all the ICE units must be pretty much the same.

          Istr reading that the Merc’s compressor is clutched to the turbine and can be spun up by the electric MGU-K, which allows it to be bigger (though I had thought the size was set in the regs, so I’m not sure).

          Also that the battery can be charged by the independent MGU-H at times when the non-Mercs can’t.

          So I think the split turbo is key, although Renault denied it. If Merc get a season and a half head start for their inventiveness I’d call that fair.

          Once the development is done I don’t see why these engines have to be especially expensive to produce. Electronics and software are costly to develop, then cheap to churn out, typically.

          1. Honda are the interesting cog in this system.

            Whether it is made official or not, Mclaren will have full details of the in and out workings of the Mercedes powerplant albeit in a different configuration to the works Mercedes team, they’ve ran and worked on them for the past 12 months after all.

            By default, that means that there is the potential for Honda to have this information too – of course there are these anti-spy rules in place but reality is if you work for Mclaren and last year you were dismantling Mercedes engines, you are going to tell Honda anything you can to help out. Honda could even have had a Mercedes power unit to strip down themselves at some point through the back door. (in years gone by in many industries competing companies will buy the other companies product purely to pull apart and see what they can learn for themselves)

            Although the early whisperings do not suggest it there is no excuses at all for Honda not to be right on par with Mercedes, they should have details of the Merc power unit that other non Merc teams won’t have and they have got 12 months of learning over the other teams before they have to freeze their original design, if they don’t get there engine as good as if not better than Mercedes then they have made some catastrophic errors in their development programme imo.

    18. Meh, this site is biased against Lewsi Hamiltone, full of mistakes and click bait headlines.

      Bah Humbug.

      1. @baron, I suggest you vote with your feet!

        (@coldfly)

        1. Ho ho ho.. Merry Christmas!

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            22nd December 2014, 9:40

            Same to you mate – Cringe probably had the best of you yesterday!

      2. Mistakes like “Lewsi Hamiltone”?

    19. Well done on doing this full time for so long Keith. F1 Fanatic is the best F1 website of its kind. Simply unrivalled.

      I mustn’t forget the other contributors and moderators too. Their efforts cannot go unnoticed! Here’s to the next five years and beyond!

    20. There will be a big competition in the develop. :)

    21. Keith,
      congratulations on your site anniversary. It really is awesome!

    22. 1987 “…We cannot build a good turbo engine no matter what we do; let’s ban it… ” 1989 – turbo baned!
      1993 ” We cannot build a good active suspension no matter what we do; let’s ban it…” 1994 – active suspension baned! Imola 1994 one of consequences – who cares…
      2014 ” We cannot build a good hybrid PU let’s ban it…”
      Don Corleone rides again!

    23. Keith, I like what you have done for us a LOT! As one who has followed and watched live Grand Prix racing for over 60 years, I applaud your endeavour. Thank you.

    Comments are closed.