Nurburgring yet to agree 2015 German GP deal

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In the round-up: The owners of the Nurburgring say they have not yet agreed a deal with Bernie Ecclestone to host the 2015 German Grand Prix.


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F1 has to remain affordable - Nurburgring (Crash)

"Formula One has to remain affordable. We don't comment ongoing conversations. We will communicate this, if there is a concrete result."

Formula One taps into UK engineering (FT, registration required)

"Ilmor Engineering said on Wednesday it was restricted by confidentiality agreements from commenting on the collaboration. But Red Bull, one of the teams that used the Renault engine last season, has confirmed the link-up. It will give Renault access to Mario Illien, Ilmor’s co-founder and a long-time F1 engine designer."

F1 to consider engine rule change (BBC)

"Honda top brass flew over from Japan to discuss the issue with governing body the FIA on Monday."

Bianchi crash could lead to Malaysia GP change (Reuters)

Sepang CEO Razlan Razali: "I didn't like (the new engines). It was simply too quiet. But what I noticed in the grandstands is that you get families with kids watching and enjoying Formula One better."

Coulthard warning for Toro Rosso (Sky)

"You need a great interaction between the driver and the aerodynamicist or the chief mechanical engineer and that interaction is so important."

Ferrari 'late but will get better' (Autosport)

Sergio Marchionne: "We had a disaster of a season in 2014, and I think organisations tend to get lazy. So it was time to bring about some change."

Superlicence changes boosts Evans F1 bid (SpeedCafe)

Mitch Evans: "I think the new points system is one of the best rules to come out in the last few years."


Comment of the day

Driver penalties have always been a contentious subject but @Strontium believes the stewards are doing better now:

Penalties are much better now five seconds can be given, but the five second penalty was definitely overused in 2014. Hopefully the ten-second penalty will resolve that this year.

The only issue I had was the continued inconsistency with collision penalties. Grosjean in Russia, Sutil and Perez in Singapore, and Raikkonen in Monaco and Silverstone, to name a few.

I feel that some of these were too harsh (such as the first one), while others were not punishing enough. In Singapore Sutil got away with wiping Perez’s front wing off, and I feel that in Monaco Kimi only got away with just a reprimand because he is Kimi Raikkonen (and arguably same with Silverstone, but that’s a whole different debate which I’m not going to start again. Then there was Hamilton and Rosberg, which, again, I don’t think we need to have that debate again).

With some penalties I personally feel the blame was apportioned wrongly, or not at all, which I think should be clarified or sorted out.

One final thing is that in Australia, although the accident was not Kobayashi’s fault, if drivers are given penalties for team failings such as unsafe release, gearbox, etc… (which I do believe they should be as it is a team sport), then how come Kobayashi (and Caterham) got away with a brake failure. How is that different from a gearbox failure? especially when it wipes one out with him.

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51 comments on “Nurburgring yet to agree 2015 German GP deal”

  1. I’m pretty sure this happens every other year with the Nurburgring. To be honest I wouldn’t mind seeing the race go to the Hockenheimring completely.

    I really hope they don’t start moving all races away from the rain. What happened in Japan was horrific, but it was caused by a chain of specific events, which new rules they mean cannot happen again.

    And thank you very much for my first CotD Keith :)

    1. Australia has already said no about changing the time slot for the race. Wouldn’t that alienate European viewers as Bernie would rather for these GPs to start later on the day. What’s the point of even moving Malaysia when you there will be heavy rain and thunderstorms anyway in the afternoon. Plus you don’t know what the weather is going to be at that time. Australia GP Organisers and Network Ten have a deal in place for a 5pm race start. The GP of Malaysia is good for European audiences and Australasia as here in Australia the Malaysian GP rates very good for a Prime Time GP as it gives the network a very decent share

      1. If Malaysia changes its starting time (back to where it used to be in earlier years) that would significantly lessen the chance of a thunderstorm hitting the race @william – currently the race is more or less exactly timed to HAVE rain.

    2. To be honest I really don’t like Hockenheim, it’s a dull boring track. No matter the financial problems I feel the Nurburgring is a better host for the German GP. Plus it really has a name to it

      1. Ditto. Hockenheim has to be the least spectacular European GP.

        1. sad but true. the modifications they made were simply terrible. compare that to silverstone where they improved the track, if anything.

    3. @strontium Re CotD: Good points, i agree with all of that. Stewards definately have a tendency to be biased against drivers with a reputation for crashing (Grosjean previously, Maldonado, Gutierrez) and bias in favour of popular and experienced drivers usually not prone to dangerous driving. The incidents are definately not penalised in isolation.

      Your last point is interesting. I’ve never thought about it that way but you’re right – a brake failure could be just as dangerous as an unsafe release (and certainly more so than a gearbox failure) so would be equally ‘worthy’ of a penalty. But i guess it would be opening a can of worms on proving whether a component has failed to cause a crash and could lead to a multitude of penalties. I think the gearbox penalty is supposed to encourage reliability and therefore cost saving (hand in hand with the engine restrictions) but personally i think there are too many of those types of penalties going round. Kvyat basically had the final quarter of last year destroyed by component failure grid penalties.

    4. Apex Assassin
      15th January 2015, 20:22

      Except no one came to Hockenheim for the GP.

  2. Just watched spanish-language documentary on Fernando’s last race weekend with Ferrari. Wow! Fascinating in so many ways. If you’re reading a F1 site at this time of year, I’m sure you’ll love it. Both parts are on Dailymotion, but the first half is also on Youtube and doesn’t have commercials.
    (Oh, sorry this has nothing to do with anything in today’s roundup.)

    1. Can you post the links please?

      1. First half on youtube: 1/2
        Second half on dailymotion (gets commercials): 2/2

  3. Fingers crossed the Nurburgring hosts it this year. Well, from now on in fact. I’d struggle to deal with another German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring, one of the circuits I dislike most. Maybe controversial, but I wouldn’t lose any sleep if F1 never returned there.

    1. @deej92 It’s a shame we lost original Hockenheimring… can you imagine a Mercedes 1-8? They would love that :D. But with Nurburgring always in the financial doldrums, and Spa close by.. I can see us having Hockenheim as the permanent venue. Although crowds weren’t great there last year.. what about alternating German/French GP? That said, I consider France served by Monaco and Spa.

      1. Yeah the crowds at the old Hockenheimring were spectacular in the stadium section. Last year was just pitiful, at a time when Germany is so well represented with Mercedes, Rosberg, Vettel, etc. I wonder why that was. I’d be guessing the World Cup and ticket prices can’t have helped.

        Hockenheim being permanent host is my fear. I remember last year talk of the opposite happening. Might it be something to do with the Nurburgring’s new owners? It would be a huge pity for F1 not to return there.

      2. Hm, but didn’t they go to alternating the race because NEITHER could afford to stage one each year (and pay FOM each year) in the first place @fastiesty, @deej92

        1. @bascb @deej92 Yep, so if France wants in on a race every other year, the opportunity is probably there. Bernie will say he wanted to buy the ring, giving F1 another asset, and he would have no hosting fee and collect the ticket money himself in every odd year. But now that can’t happen…

        2. @fastiesty @bascb That’s true. You have to think that the German Grand Prix is one of the more vulnerable European races on the calendar at the moment.

    2. Nurburgring is really lame compared to high-speed Hockenheim, and modern Hockenheim is really lame compared to pre-2002 Hockenheim.

  4. Mitch Evans: “I think the new points system is one of the best rules to come out in the last few years.”

    Yeah of course, that’s because you were lucky that you had a benefactor in Mark Webber who happened to be watching over you AND had a GP3 team as well. Lots of people are not that lucky.

    1. Indeed.

      He also proves what I’ve been saying with regards to results often been dependant on which team you drive for.
      In that his 1st year in GP2 with Arden (Which are not the team they once were in that category) saw him struggle with a lot of inconsistency. He had a bit of backing which helped him move to ART last year & it was that move to a top team that saw results starting to come.

      Not every good driver will land in a top team & those in a mid/back of the grid team are not going to be able to get the results to qualify for a super license. Additionally those with funding or even good backing (Vandoorne has had a lot of help from McLaren to get top drives in WSBR/GP2) are just as likely to land those top drives with the new system as they were the way it was before & those drivers are just as likely to garner interest from F1 teams who need funding.

      Additionally consider that even if only the best drivers got to F1 under this new system, If they don’t have backing there still not getting to F1 because with most of the F1 mid-field in desperate financial trouble there still going to be looking for drivers who bring money & if they can’t go that route then they won’t be able to afford to stay in F1.
      For all the criticism Maldonado gets, Where would Lotus be without his vast amount of backing? Probably out of F1.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        15th January 2015, 7:35

        @wsrgo, @gt-racer – That is probably still one of the biggest shortcomings of the new points system (besides the inconsistent points between series).
        Performance in the junior series depends a lot on the quality of the car/team and thus does not (only) prove how good an aspiring F1 driver is.

      2. I’d say its more likely that the drivers who DO have money/a backer will swarm GP2 (and GP3) now, making it even HARDER for talented drivers without that backing, as the “competition” for a seat surely will drive up “prices” to get into those seats, especially at the better teams as you mention @gt-racer, @wsrgo

        And Williams would probably be in a state as great as Sauber right now if not for Maldonado and his sponsorship helping out when needed (and even fielding part of the bills this year too in their “seperation by mutual agreement” when he went to Lotus)

  5. Neil (@neilosjames)
    15th January 2015, 1:43

    It’d be totally ridiculous but… I wish they could make the Norisring F1-safe. The ultimate “Anti-Tilkedrome” and I can’t imagine a shortage of excitement. Or blue flags…

    1. @neilosjames I think that idea is the best I’ve heard all year!

  6. The fourth link, a heading about Bianchi but the preview is about engine noise. Huh?

    I know that is part of the linked article but surely something from the first half is more relevant to the heading/link?

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      15th January 2015, 7:51

      @dominikwilde, the second part might be more interesting (I think so as well), and you cannot simply change the title reference to the linked article.

      Maybe the title could have been something like ‘Interview with Sepang circuit boss Razlan Razali’, but that’s up to @keithcollantine to decide.

      1. Change title? No. Just select a different part of the article to use as a preview. No need to change the title at all

  7. Does Alonso live in Dubai? So many of his tweets as Facebook updates are from Dubai and now he is tweeting from the Autodrome. If Nando is going to be less than 300 meters from the front door of my house every Wednesday (when the track is open to bikes and runners) I would like to know about it!

    1. I’d much rather see the GP their than Yas Marina. It has more ‘character’ to it.

  8. I see this quote, from the,Formula One taps into UK engineering FT link, backs up everything I said in the thread on Bernie’s 1000 Bhp engine idea’s.

    Tim Angus, a consultant at Motorsport Research Associates, believes that without the moves to introduce more fuel efficient cars Honda would not have decided to re-enter the sport.

    He adds Renault might well have quit too.

    If Bernie’s idea’s get passed then we are rapidly heading for a one engine (Ferrari) series, and at that point it is time to stop supporting F1.

    1. You can have engines with over 1000 bhp that are as efficient as the ones we have at the moment, big power numbers wont put Honda and Renault off.

      1. Bernie wants simpler noisy engines with over 1000hp, that is not the way Renault, or Honda want to go.
        Honda would not have come back with Bernie’s spec and Renault threatened to pull out if the present day engines, or similar, were introduced. I think that Merc have as similar policy to Renault, so that only leaves Ferrari. Ferrari and/or LdM and RBR seem to be the only ones wanting an engine spec change, because they made a 13a11sup this time.

      2. They will if they’re normally aspirated or standard ERS units.

  9. Re: COTD is the last para about failures other than PU or gearbox, and should they be penalised, worthy of a new separate discussion at a later date.

    1. Not really – the power unit and gearbox penalties are clearly about cutting costs rather than any sporting reason (penalties encourage greater reliability ~ greater reliability generally lowers costs). This is in combination with the mandated number of these components that can be used each season, of course.

      The relative cost saving of doing the same for brakes (or steering wheels, or suspension arms, or bodywork) is probably minimal. I can’t see any sporting reasons for introducing more penalties for random failures – it would be like punishing football teams if their players got injured (piling insult on top of injury, you might say).

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        15th January 2015, 21:36

        @graham228221 – If you go over your allowed number of PUs or gearboxes, fair enough but I think the point was more about when teams have to change either during the race weekend and get a penalty. Why? How does that save money?

  10. ColdFly F1 (@)
    15th January 2015, 7:29

    If @keithcollantine did a new poll based on BBC article‘s statement:

    (FIA should be) allowing Honda to submit for official approval – or homologate – its engine on 28 February, as required, but then be given 32 tokens to develop it over the course of the season.

    then my vote would change to ‘strongly agree

    1. That would give them a huge advantage over the rest of the field. There’s an argument for allowing them a limited number of tokens across the year, but certainly nowhere near as many as the other manufacturers. The others are constrained by having to upgrade an engine they designed over a year ago, whereas Honda have had free and unlimited development, right up until the Feb 28 homologation deadline.

      1. It’s a total cock-up, or FIAsco, isn’t it ?!

        1. Indeed. Allowing Honda extra/the same upgrades is unfair, not allowing Honda any upgrades is unfair as well, etc.
          It beautifully shows why they should have stuck with reading that homologation rule as “you can only race 1 spec in a season and that spec has to be homologatet on febrari 28th latest” @hohum @mazdachris @petebaldwin

          Now its an almighty mess. I am still not sure if teams can start with their 2014 engine, update it in steps and THEN homologate the end result (which seems to be what teams now expect), or they have to start with the old spec, update the engine, then homologate the new spec and race that after homologation (This is how I understood the situation to be 2 weeks ago).

      2. petebaldwin (@)
        15th January 2015, 21:42

        @mazdachris – It’s difficult though because in one way, you could argue that Honda have an advantage as you say but in another way, you could argue that the others have had a year to test their engines and can improve on them whereas Honda go in relatively blind… If Honda find they are struggling compared to the rest, the others have a chance to pull even further ahead.

        My personal view is that the rules should be stuck to as first planned. As they’ve changed the rules for some, they have to do the same for the others.

  11. Totally unrelated, but there is so much more to talk about involvinging Nascar drivers, why can’t F1 be so interesting, c’mon Bernie let’s get some yeehah.

  12. AMR (@aiera-music)
    15th January 2015, 11:19

    The German GP is being reported by Reuters as going to Hockenheim for this year.

    1. But keep in mind that this is exactly the kind of story Bernie plants when he meets resistance in a negotiation.

      1. AMR (@aiera-music)
        15th January 2015, 12:37

        South Korea anyone? :D

  13. The German GP will be at Hockenhiem again this year. Announcing soon.

      “Formula 1: German Grand Prix back at Hockenheim – Ecclestone
      Hockenheim will host this year’s German Grand Prix, according to Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone. “

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        15th January 2015, 21:47

        I don’t believe a single word Bernie says. He’s just trying to get more money out of it. Hockenheim had no crowd last year so why would they want to go with 3 in a row considering they agreed to have the race every other year? Are they supposed to just stump up the money now for another race just because Bernie says so?

  14. Hockenheim generally produces a decent race and promotes overtaking, but I still prefer the Nurburging as a circuit.

    Of the two venues that are now neutered versions of their original “parent”, as it were, Nurburgring still maintains some flow, some character and some of that ill-defined thing we call “soul”. The new Hockenheim feels pretty sterile to me.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      15th January 2015, 21:43

      Personally, I actually quite like Hockenheim. As you say, it generally gives you a good races and to be honest, that’s 95% of it to me. I’d rather a great race at a boring track than a dull race at a fantastic track…

  15. Ferrari boss saying that

    “We had a disaster of a season in 2014, and I think organisations tend to get lazy”

    right. Yeah, sure. They were so happy with their results in the last 4 years that they got lazy, eh.

    In other words: I came in and just wanted to put MY stamp on things, so I just threw out everything and started with a clean sheet. Good luck then, I think in F1 (actually more often then not in business as well) continuity and learning from past mistakes (see Williams, but also Mercedes) is as important as having fresh ideas or motivation. And being thrown out like this is not going to do much for Motivation for a long time.

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