Jean Todt, FIA, 2014

Todt and FIA delegates safe after Nepal earthquake

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Jean Todt, FIA, 2014In the round-up: the FIA have confirmed that all members participating in the organisation’s Asia-Pacific Sport Regional Congress are safe and well following the recent earthquake in Nepal.


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

FIA Statement – Nepal (FIA)

"During the running of the Congress the country of Nepal, including its capital Kathmandu, was subjected to a massive earthquake that has taken a shocking toll on the country. All members of the FIA party and Congress delegates are safe and accounted for."

Alonso bemoans lack of driver influence in F1 (

"I think the cars are different – slower, heavier. In China, the pace in the race was 1'43 and in 2004 the pace was 1'33, so it is ten seconds difference. When you drive ten seconds slower you don't have the same feelings."

VIDEO: F1 driver Jenson Button on 'emotional' run (BBC)

"Button, who was running to raise money for Cancer Research, thanked the crowd for their support and the 'amazing atmosphere', and congratulated his fellow runners on their achievement."

Volkswagen chief quits, opens door for Formula 1 project (

"The chairman of Volkswagen, Ferdinand Piech, has quit – effectively opening the door for one of the car manufacturer’s many brands to enter Formula 1."

Force India make tyre pitch to Pirelli (Fox Sports)

"Pirelli has four different compounds on offer. Why can't each team select its two options individually?"

Investing in the future of Formula 1 (JAonF1)

"This weekend one of the non-executive directors Donald Mackenzie appointed to the F1 board called on CVC to either sell the asset and exit so the sport can move on or alternatively to invest in the future if it plans to stay on."

The Real Problem with Formula 1 (Popular Mechanics)

"Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, and other teams from F1's pantheon of greats have opted into a perverted form of the sport where each constructor builds its version of the same rule-mandated car."


Comment of the day

There were some great entries in our latest caption competition, with special mentions to @samf94, @effwon and @tommyb89. But my favourite one-liner for this round was provided by @s162000

Bernie Ecclestone, Lewis Hamilton, Bahrain, 2015

‘Lewis consoles Bernie after Manor qualify within 107% again.’

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to El Gordo!

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On this day in F1

Lella Lombardi became the only woman to claim a points finish in a round of the world championship on this day 35 years ago. She finished sixth in the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix, but as the race was red-flagged after 29 laps only scored half a point.

The race was stopped early after Rolf Stommelen’s car crashed into the crowd, killing five people. Throughout the weekend drivers had warned about the dangers of the circuit configuration and the inadequacy of barriers installed around the track. Some, such as reigning world champion Emerson Fittipaldi, had refused to race.

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  • 65 comments on “Todt and FIA delegates safe after Nepal earthquake”

    1. Well, that’s a bad news to start off the week with…

      1. Nepal, of course, being the epi-center of Asian motor sport tis the obvious place to spend F1 derived income to hold a delegates meeting. Hopefully they will tele-conference next year and make a donation to the relief appeal with the money saved.

        1. Well, I, on the other hand, hope that next year they choose a venue with a more certain epilogue. After seeing recent news, I got my hopes up for nothing.

          1. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
            27th April 2015, 18:06

            Can’t believe some of the awful comments posted here about the FIA delegates. The fact some of you would seemingly wish harm on them because you disagree with their sporting decisions is saddening.

    2. I really like the idea of Force India. Maybe with one tyre spec less (considering the huge gap in performance between supersofts and hards) but it would be great to see!

      1. I don’t think we need less compounds to make that idea work, I guess the only thing it needs to have settled is agreeing on the advance notice time @matiascasali, @hohum.
        Teams could make their picks for 3 races in advance just like Pirelli does now to start with, maybe shortening it if that works.

        1. @bascb, whatever, I am thinking along the lines of MotoGP where they have a choice of 3 compounds front and rear they can run any combo they choose right up until the start, it’s their choice and they have to live with it, that’s my idea of tyre management.
          Of course F1 car tyres are bigger and they need 4 not 2 tyres and they insist on changing tyres at least once or twice per race, so 12 tyres for the race versus 2 for bikes, expensive to make and expensive to transport, it needs rationalising. I’d like to see the drivers able to mix and match like the Moto boys, eg. Kimi on soft fronts and hard rears or vice-versa, Seb on Medium and hard/soft etc. regardless of my well known preference for 0 pitstops.

        2. +1 Otmar Szafnauer to replace Bernie :)

      2. Me too. I’d like it if they had to choose three weeks on or so, that way we might actually see some different choices. It’s likely that the teams would eventually all come to the same optimal option, just like with the “different” cars.

      3. “Pirelli has four different compounds on offer. Why can’t each team select its two options individually?”

        Something I mentioned around 2011 I think. Not then because it was needed but seemd very cool at the time. Or perhaps as in MotoGP provide a softer tyre for Q for the lower teams to mix the grid more. Could a Force India on super softs fight a Mercedes on softs?

    3. Well done Mick ! seriously happy for him ! must be hard being there with that surname and all the recent events surrounding the family.

      1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        27th April 2015, 8:18

        Yeah a great result. I should think he will get to a top team in F1 with his talent. Hopefully Schumacher Sr will recover well enough to be able to attend f1 races to support Mick in future.

    4. Imagine Popular Mechanics being able to see what’s wrong with F1 but the powers that be still claim to know what’s best, and some are even calling for even more uniformity and low-tech “solutions”.

      1. @hohum, the ACO also seems to think that enforced standardisation and technological downgrades are the right approach too with their plans for the 2017 LMP2 regulations. At least F1 isn’t considering actively banning certain chassis suppliers from competing in the sport, unlike the ACO’s proposals for the LMP2 class…

        1. However (writing in ignorance) if LMP2 is supposed to equate to GP2 it’s still freer than that.

          1. Actually, the LMP2 class is supposed to be an open class for privateer entrants.

            As the ACO does not want privateers in the LMP1 class – they apparently “bring down the prestige” of that category – there has been pressure on the privateers to move downward into the LMP2 category instead.

            In effect, the LMP2 category is meant to allow privateers to freely compete with one another and to produce their own independent designs, but at a much lower cost in comparison to the LMP1 category.

            At the moment, therefore, the LMP2 class currently has the greatest diversity in terms of the number of independent chassis manufacturers – there are already seven different entrants (Dome, BR Engineering, ORECA, Gibson, Ligier, HPD and Lola-Multimatic), with two more entrants planning on entering the series (SMP have recently undertaken a shakedown at Paul Ricard).

            Suddenly, the ACO has announced a series of measures which aim to eradicate most of the freedoms of that class: officially the changes are on cost grounds, but given that nobody has been complaining of cost issues, most parties suspect that is not the real reason for the changes.

            The ACO wants to restrict the list of chassis manufacturers to just four; furthermore, those chassis manufacturers would be locked into the same design of chassis for the next four years, with only one upgrade package allowed for that entire four year period.

            Teams would also be banned from using independent parts suppliers: they would only be allowed to use parts from one of the approved chassis suppliers. Whilst the ACO has officially said that they haven’t made a decision, there are already reportedly lists being circulated around that show the ACO’s already appointed its favoured outfits long before the “consultation” actually takes place.

            They have also announced that only a single specification engine will be allowed from 2017, and those engines can only come from a mass manufacturer; independent engine tuners like Judd, for example, will be permanently barred from competing.

            You’re also not allowed to sell both an engine and a chassis – a rule that seems to be designed to drive HPD out of the LMP2 class completely and to damage Oreca’s business model (Oreca has a license from Nissan to supply and overhaul their engines: the new regulations would force Oreca to shut down that division entirely).

            They’ve also announced a proposal for a complete ban on tyre development work in the LMP2 class and having a standard tyre supplier across all series.

            All in all, the ACO seems to be determined to phase out the individualism of the LMP2 class and to continue driving out independent manufacturers.

      2. @hohum – it’s not a well-balanced article but still more right than wrong.
        The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
        The only people in a position to change the way F1 works are the engineers, particularly the ones in the smaller teams. Yet they have little or no say in how the rules evolve. This type of problem is a key weakness for any large organisation. Some modern management methods value the views of those without a traditional voice – let’s hope the F1 management approach is updated soon – “Dragged kicking and screaming into the Century of the Fruit Bat.”

        1. @tribaltalker, judging from their total inability to predict the outcome of a rule or regulated design change I’d be surprised if they consulted with anybody more qualified than their wife or mistress.

    5. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      27th April 2015, 0:41

      I think Force India’s tyre idea is fantastic, however, it could be a nightmare for fans who are new to the sport to try and keep track of what’s happening, and also for the TV companies trying to convey which team has which.

      But I love the idea. Hopefully we could see it happen.

      1. I don’t think it’d be too terrible to broadcast. Commentators just have to explain there are four available dry compounds, teams get to pick two of them to use. I’m sure they’ll figure out a way to simplify the explanation for TV, just as they have with every other new regulation change.

        Now, if we had a working F1 mobile app that could show each team’s tyre selections properly, then I’m sure much of that headache could be alleviated…

      2. As @omegadetra mentions, the TV crews could just make a nice show of the “revealing of tyre picks” and if FOM were smart, they would have Pirelli put up a stand in the fan zone where you can see what tyres every team picked @tophercheese21.

        Off course the app working would be something you should be able to expect to work for the money it costs.

      3. I think the idea would be even better if they also dropped the requirement to use two compounds. Just let them choose which tyres. period. No unnecessary constraints while still stopping a tyre war.

    6. That is a good idea from Force India. Perhaps limit the teams to around 10 sets of slick tyres per race weekend but let them decide the combination of compounds they want to use. And then do away with the use-both-compounds-each-race rule while we’re at it.

    7. I thought Alonso was making the wrong conclusion about speed in the headline quote but he completely reversed himself at articles end.

      PS. Is Crash devoted entirely to Alonso and if so is the name an ironic reference to past scandal.

      1. Same here, i thought he was gonna deliver the usual “F1 was faster back in my day” line so many ex drivers like to dish out nowadays…F1 is still comfortably the fastest series in the world. Records being broken every year isn’t the priority. Besides if you factor in the re-fuelling ban the difference in performance is only 2-3%

    8. That’s a great idea from Force India, however it will get ignored by the FIA or rejected due to “safety” reasons and they will decide to introduce fanboost instead

    9. Great quote. Disgusting tweet by Lowdon and FIA is safe, that’s today’s round-up, and the year’s round-up of Alonso bemoaning f1.

      1. @peartree
        What’s wrong with Lowdon’s tweet ?
        Isn’t he just talking about running the London Marathon ?

        1. Well I’m more mystified by the reference to sore nipples.

          1. I think runners get it from the shirt rubbing them. @hohum

            1. Need a sportsbra ?

          2. It happens in the (swimming) pool, too. When your body gets wet, it’s easier to get traction on the surface. When the shirt moves, this creates friction, etc etc.

            It really hurts. While running in the Army for morning training, I saw one guy bleeding.

        2. I didn’t like the tweet. Lowdon surely has many reasons to enjoy his life, careless existence if you ask me. I guess no one else read it the way I did. In any case Lowdon’s play on words belittles the dangers of a racing driver’s career. Am I stringent or is it reasonable to immediately link together the words “DNF” “survival” “Lowdon” and “Manor” to spell disaster. There’s nothing objectively wrong with his tweet, whichever the case bad taste in my view, I couldn’t help but think of Jules accident. I also think it’s great that he’s over the incident, you can’t live life emotionally scarred.
          @ambroserpm @hohum @peppermint-lemon @keithcollantine @tribaltalker @beneboy

      2. What’s wrong with Graeme’s tweet? He just said he started having difficulty at the 16k mark and had to work hard to finish. I applaud Lowdon for doing the Marathon and finishing in a very respectable time.

        1. I think she must be confusing the reference to 16K with a Himalayan mountain peak, or I’m totally baffled as well.

      3. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        27th April 2015, 8:22

        You know that the race split times are in km right? His tweet is just a reference to F1 speak about having difficulties in a race and potentially not finishing. Nothing disgusting about the tweet whatsoever.

        1. @peppermint-lemon – I thought it was clever. But it’s easy to get the wrong end of the stick if people don’t explicitly state their area of interest. I’ve done it too many times myself…

      4. @peartree Seems an entirely innocuous tweet to me. What are you objecting to?

    10. I disagree with Force India’s suggestion of allowing the teams to select the tyre compounds (although I admit I already thought about this years ago and initially thought it would be a good idea).

      The reason is that there will almost certainly be two compounds that will be best suited for a race. If a team gets it wrong, they are essentially out of the race, given the importance of tyres. Yes, there may be a few cases where different teams would prefer different compounds, but those would be rare.

      So why are Force Indi suggesting this? They want unpredictability. They will be happy trading their typical 12th place finish against a 14th place finish in most races if in return they get one race where they get to the podium due to freak circumstances. For example, they would be betting on an unlikely temperature and choose tyres based on that. If it turns out they got their bet right they would be in a very good position. The random nature makes this less exciting though, and we would get less competitive races in most other circumstances.

      1. Why not though, if they all choose the same tyres what’s different, if 1 team get lucky with tyre choice what’s different ?

      2. This might be one of the first times I’ve ever seen a racing fan suggest that unpredictability would be a bad thing.

        1. No. The majority of people on here despised the ‘random F1’ of 2012 for obvious reasons.

          1. This isnt random, this is a strategy choice. Imagine last year at Sochi taking soft and super softs, while others chose the mediums and softs. That extra speed while still only needing one pit could have made a huge difference for the Williams team.

      3. lets assume that for a given track, like bahrein, the difference in performance between softs and mediums were like 2″ for every lap. so, if you manage to do 10 laps on a different compound you’ll have an advantage of 20″. and if you throw into that mix, the supersofts, and maybe the difference will be 3.5″ a lap. So, if you manage a 10 lap stint, you may encounter yourself with a 35″ gap! ok, you may say -and you’ll be right- that the tires doesn’t last the same. But then, you can try to design a car who can squeeze the most of the life of a tyre without cooking it so fast. So every car will be designed with that in mind, some will be kinder on the tyres some not, and that would lead to a very different cars from each other. Some may bet on longer stints, some in shorter fury filled burst… i don’t know, it will be strategic, like it is now, but with some more spice in it. and if the rain came.. well, that would be a mess for everyone, and as far as we know, a manor may end up winning a race! :D

        1. In the end, it would add another element to the strategy. I would remove the mandatory use of both compounds, too. That way we could end up with an incredible range of strategies in play. One team doing a 4 stop on super softs all the way, one trying to do no stops on the hard, or one stop with hard and super soft, and a variety in between.

          Qualifying, too, would become strategic. Right now, almost everyone uses the option tyre to get the best lap time. With more choice, you could have some running SS, some soft, some medium. From my point of view, where technical matters and strategy are as important as the racing to my enjoyment of the sport, it would be phenomenal to watch.

    11. I completely understand F1 wanting to run its equipment on the absolute limit and even (sometimes) compromising safety in the name of speed. What is plain stupid is even running the bank account on the limit. The more info i take in the more it looks to me that the actual stars of modern F1 are the accountants and fundraisers who engineer amazing ways to make the teams (barely) function for 12 months. The tech is amazing (badly promoted though) and the sporting regs ensure good enough racing (just a tweak here and there). CVC can even keep their 33% piece of the pie but for the love of God re-distribute the 67% equally or at least wisely!That is literally all is needed to guarantee multi-year planning and enough peace of mind to bring in sponsors knowing you can see at least 24 months into the future. Teams will spend themselves to death but knowing exactly how much they will get before the season starts will give them no excuse to fail planning ahead

    12. The problem with the choosing of the two tire compounds for the weekend is the unpredictability of the weather, unless teams are required to bring the intermediate tire and wet tire to each race. If they are required to bring those two compounds (int/wet) then I have no problem with the idea. It would be interesting to see the comparison vs lap times, grip levels and tire degradation with the hard compound vs the super soft compound around Monaco or Singapore (for example)

      1. I’m sure FI are only talking slicks, with the usual wet options.

        1. @hohum Yeah, you are right they are talking about the slick tires seemed to have misread the article….

      2. They do bring the inters and wets to every race and would continue to do so. They are on about letting teams choice their own prime and option tires out of the four types available.

      3. Although… that could be pretty entertaining.

        1. I may be remembering wrong, but wasn’t that the case at the start of the 2003 season? Teams could only bring one type of wet-weather tyre, and then a bunch of teams turned up to the Brazilian Grand Prix with only intermediate tyres, resulting in a memorably strange race.

    13. Thank goodness all the FIA delegates are safe, otherwise how would the world of motorsport cope !

      1. yes, i felt very relieved when I read that too.

        1. @bascb I think the OP meant it in a sarcastic way. Not sure if yours is too. The OP’s comment though is deplorable.

          1. yes, I am pretty sure he did mean it that way, and honestly I did too. Not to say that I wish bad on them, but to me its much the same as reading “no dutch/czech people were injured in the earthquake” in local newspapers/news sites – while good to know it does nothing to make me feel better about what happened @evered7.
            Although I must say that I did feel a bit of pain about the senior Aids professor getting killed when Russian thugs shot down MH17 last year (on his way to an Australian conference on the topic), because it meant a real hit to the fight against Aids.

            1. @bascb Does it matter if they are important to F1 or not. Fact is they had a presence of F1 delegates there and they were thankfully unharmed. Around 4K people have been estimated to have died and some delegates working in the field we follow were lucky enough to escape the disaster.

              Their lives may not matter to you but certainly did to their dear ones. The life of the others who died in the plane crash is equally important as the other person who lost it in that crash. Him working on a breakthrough in the fight against AIDS doesn’t change it one bit.

            2. I see it differently @evered7.
              Yes, the lives of any of the more than 4000 people who have already been confirmed dead, as well as those still missing are all equally important, we certainly agree there.
              And yes, its good to know that these people at the FIA conference as well as people from our countries who were there at the time were not harmed, especially for their relatives and friends.
              But the fact that they were surely airlifted out as soon as possible makes their plight a lot less than that of the “ordinary people” of Nepal who are not only dead, or injured but also likely lost their home, or their income.

              As for the example of the Aids researcher I mentioned, you say

              Him working on a breakthrough in the fight against AIDS doesn’t change it one bit.

              but I thoroughly disagree.
              Not because of him being well known in his circle (like Todt et all are in the small world of F1), but because of the setback his demise means for further development in that field that adds an extra dimension to the human loss involved.

    14. @willwood that JAonF1 link doesn’t go to the right place :P

    15. Well, you’ve got to laugh, I suppose. Wasn’t it a couple of weeks ago that Bernie was saying he’d step down if that was what it took to get Ferdinand Piech to drop his opposition to F1? And now Piech gets shown the door. Almost makes you think Bernie had wind of what was going to happen and decided to exploit it to make a seemingly-selfless gesture … Surely not!

    16. I just cannot imagine the logistics nightmare it would be for Pirelli should they apply the Force India idea. They already supply more than 30,000 tyres per year.

      1. Not really. The idea is that instead of Pirelli making the choice for everyone and then producing these tyres, they let the teams make the choice well in advance to enable Pirelli to bring exactly these tyres to the following races.
        The point of choosing up front is off course to avoid adding any wasted tyres/complicated logistics compared to the current situation, so that Pirelli would not incur extra cost to do so @spoutnik

        1. @bascb Maybe if it’s at the same rate as Pirelli compounds announcements indeed.

          1. exactly, because surely FI would not want to introduce more cost for tyres!

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