Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Singapore, 2015

Seven days for Lotus to seal Renault deal

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: The struggling Lotus team has been given a final chance to resolve its dispute with HM Revenue and Customs over outstanding tax and national insurance payments.

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Is it such a bad thing if teams are allowed to buy year-old engines?

Actually I thought the idea of having a two-tier price made a lot of sense!

It would be dangerous only allowing customers to have a one year old engine, but if they can pay a bit more for a current engine, why not? What’s the problem there – particularly if the newer engine is still much cheaper than it currently is? Seems like a reasonable idea to me, and gives a more achievable platform to the newer teams and the ability to progress up to a more current engine later.
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  • 34 comments on “Seven days for Lotus to seal Renault deal”

    1. Hasn’t Bernie pulled this mud slinging trick about Mercedes having a head start on the engine before only for it to be cleared up as borderline libel?

      Everyone knew an engine change was coming, the original proposal was an L4 configuration which was changed to V6 to appease Ferrari if I remember correctly?

      All the engine partners including some not currently competing in F1 were included in the proposals and final vote deciding which to go with.

      This to me screams Bernie trying to hurt Mercedes public image to help get through changes he wants. If you throw enough mud some will stick, an article in a major news publication making it sound like the only reason Mercedes are winning because of an unfair advantage will stick a lot in the average persons perception, especially if Mercedes rebuttal isn’t given as many column inches.

      1. @philipgb – Darn that Ross Brawn. He was the only person in the whole wide world who knew what the new engine regs were going to be even before they were decided on. You got to say it, Ross Brawn – Mastermind!

        Mercedes should choose to not even respond to such fairy tales from the emperor with no clothes. When the media asks, just say they have no idea what Bernie is going on about. To make a press release just lends dignity to a ridiculous remark.

        1. Well Bernie, if there is an ounce of truth to what you are claiming, then who is the idiot who allowed only one team principal from one team in on the FIA decision making process regarding new power units? Could it be….someone who was trying to stop the RBR domination? Someone who also skewed everything toward Brawn’s MS/Ferraris to help them end the Ferrari WDC drought and create a new chapter post-Senna? So easy to throw Brawn under the bus now that he’s not there, eh Bernie?

      2. @philip, Yes, typical Bernie, it’s always somebody else’s fault.

      3. Honestly even when the man is humble and admits his shortcomings people turn against him. Bernie has just admitted he got played with. This topic was analysed in-depth last year. Brawn lobbied for this PU, VW/Audi rumoured to want 4 in-line and RB and Ferrari blasted that idea away. Brawn which turned to Merc is rumoured to have convinced Renault to support their vote. If this is true, we’ll have to wait for the Brawn autobiography to know.
        Honestly the truly unacceptable behaviour from Mercedes is regarding the poaching of McLaren personnel. Singapore 2012, Hamilton’s gearbox implodes, fom director conveniently focus on Lauda’s reaction. That moment said it all. Lauda masterminded the signing of Lewis. Without it Daimler would’ve pulled the plug. Wolff was clever and saw the opportunity to join the Mercedes F1 effort after being associated with the DTM business. Then Mercedes poached engineers from McLaren and the rest of the field. 2013 wasn’t brilliant but Brawn knew the amount of work Mercedes had put on the 2014 project, and then he left with a couple words of warning. Another thing that is unclear is whether Brawn made a deal and left or was pushed aside.

        1. Awesome conspiracy theory, the only problem with is that the gearbox was all McLaren. Not a hint of Merc DNA anywhere in it.

          Next?

          1. Exactly – I believe that McLaren have always developed their own transmission systems, so the implication of sabotage is utter nonsense.

            It also ignores the fact that McLaren were expecting Hamilton to leave the team before the Singapore GP took place – Perez already had an agreement in principle with the team before that race, with Perez’s contract being formally signed only a few hours after Hamilton informed the team that he was going to leave.

            I also find it rather hypocritical to complain about Mercedes poaching staff when all of the teams behave in exactly the same manner. If you put some effort into tracking the market in engineers, you would see that Ferrari and McLaren have been poaching staff throughout 2014 in exactly the same manner as Mercedes in 2012.

            Ferrari have recently poached a lot more staff than Mercedes did in 2012, given that Ferrari went through a major reorganisation process in 2014, whilst Ron Dennis publicly stated that he had every intention of poaching the best engineers in the sport and went as far as threatening legal action against Red Bull when they offered Dan Fallows a better contract to stay at Red Bull.

        2. @Peartree Lol…RB: “I’m warning you, I’ve just arranged everything for a guaranteed run of Mercedes domination, but I can’t stomach another such run of succes, so I’m outta here suckers.”

          Seriously though…why must the only options regarding RB be ‘made a deal’ or ‘pushed out’? Is it that impossible to imagine he simply had done everything there was for him to do in F1, including a final foray at progressing the team he was on, before going fishing? Or even to imagine that if he was so in tune with what was about to happen at Mercedes, or with this new gen of cars, he actually couldn’t stomach it being so much about conservation and getting away from the essence of F1?

          1. I would agree that it is more likely that Ross Brawn got to the point where head decided that he had achieved all he wanted to achieve in the sport.

            He is, after all, in his early 60’s now and would have been the oldest Team Principle in the sport if he’d stayed on – moreover, he has mentioned in the past that he was approaching a point in life where he was beginning to increasingly miss his family during the season, which would no doubt have also played on his mind. Why not retire at that point in his life and simply enjoy life?

      4. It seems someone forgot to inform Ross Brawn that he is a brilliant engine engineer instead of an aerodynamist and team manager.

    2. On another subject “nothing new”, not the most definitive denial I have heard. The question of course is, are VW enjoying the publicity that paints them as the only company that can beat MB in engine building, or alternately are they just being non-committal until all the “i”s are dotted and the “t”s crossed.

      1. @hohum I’ve been saying this for the past 6 months, Audi were laughing off journos because it was VW all along. I think RB has been trying to lure VW to F1 for the past decade, they’ve been together in supplying F3 engines for RB sponsored drivers, for some reason though everyone thought Audi instead, something that still baffles me, why would Audi turn to f1. VW has Audi and Porsche at Lemans, they own the event, quite literally. VW started off with the Dakar, now the WRC. This year and before their own estimates they’ve become the world’s top car maker. I think they can’t be more ready, they’ve studied the tech at LeMans and they are flowing with money and have the support of the best chassis maker in F1. Anyway VW should be looking to the 2017 regulation, it hinges on what happens to the current PU.

        1. Since VW is the sole owner of several brands, they can use any of those for their F1 team. Theoretically, they could even enter in F1 as “Ducati F1 Team”, although it would make no sense at all.

          I don’t understand how some people still think Audi is a fully independent brand when Audi AG -as subsidiary of a major group- “de facto”, has little to no saying in this kind of decision.

          1. VAG = Volkswagen Audi Group. They could start as Skoda or Seat then when they are on top change to VW, Audi, Bentley, Lambo as the whim took them.

            1. I used to think that but actually, VAG = Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft
              In the UK it would be plc
              Spain: S.A.
              Italy: S.p.A
              Audi is just one of the companies in the Volkswagen group, they are also a public company and can be written as Audi AG

            2. I’d love to see Skoda fighting it out with Manor and McLaren.
              It would give me some inspiration next time I am driving our Skoda family car on highway :-).

        2. From what I have read there is no definite proposal they will run under the VW brand. In my eyes I would think they are more likely to use the Audi brand. They have WRC for VW and with Porsche now in Le Mans, it would make perfect sense to have Audi in F1. They don’t necessarily need a second team (although I think this year has proven that a Audi v Porsche battle is good for the sport) in the WEC. I can see the Red Bull Audi F1 team being a success!

      2. Please allow my imagination run wild as well. GM buys Cosworth revives true Team Lotus by taking over Lotus Cars. Builds new F1 factory at Hethel. Comeback of Team Lotus with new PU firstly at LeMans. Then, they raise quality and performance of Lotus Cars’ by program of rotating engineering staff between racing team and road cars departments. Increased revenue of road car section makes F1 team sustainable. True comeback of Team Lotus to F1 and they beat them all… If a single Vette can beat Ferraris what they are waitin’ for!?

    3. Regarding the new section of the marina bay circuit, I totally love it! I was watching FP2 there, between turns 11 and 12, and you could clearly see most of drivers sliding and struggling under acceleration after turn 11.

      Especially Hamilton who seemed to be wrestling his car along quite a lot. Hence i’m not surprised by his comment! Rossi was constantly slidding too, I was even betting he would join his team mate before the end of the session. I won’t be surprised if we get another crash there during the race!

      The only drawback of the new configuration is that they removed the awesome vantage point on the outside of turn 11, I guess for safety reasons.

    4. If the VW engine turns out to be really bad are they going to rebadge it as a Skoda engine?

    5. Last night after reading this BBC Sport article about VW coming to Formula 1. I was thinking what? Quickly visited my friend Google to find other fresh rumors about this. All I could find were news like this “VW Is Said to Cheat on Diesel Emissions; U.S. Orders Big Recall” – so VW is now cheating? Suddenly the BBC piece seemed legit. Bernie`s kind of company.
      But on a more serious side, I do not think it will happen, but then again, it would be nice if true.

      1. At least they are giving themselves until 2018 tot degelop thr engine, they are not rushing it like Honda.

    6. I don’t think VW group are in reality anywhere near entering F1. They are facing a US law suit for using ‘illegal’ software to bypass US emissions laws and face being fined over $37,000 per car, of which there is over 400,000. They could face a fine in the region of $18 billion, that is going to make a big hole in their finances if they are found guilty (which is highly probabl). I can’t see them committing somewhere in the region of €1 billion on developing and F1 power unit and the purchase of a team, until the outcome of the US court case and any subsequent fines are well under control.
      VW group have much bigger issues so F1 is just a dream and the rumour is probably just a bargaining tool for others to get their way.

      1. @thebullwhipper It would be a great distraction technique from some pretty bad press though!

    7. In regards to the development of the Merc engines with Brawn, that sounds strange to me. I clearly recall an interview to Ross, where he claims that these new engines don’t make any sense. He rightly said that 1.6 ltrs, V6 engines don’t exist in road cars production and that they wouldn’t be of any interest for such a use, hence he was against developing a project that cannot be used for road cars. He claimed himself he found the idea odd, very expensive and against the spirit of F1, high revving and screaming units. The fact the he knew before others can make sense but I doubt he was the one suggesting the idea.

      1. Can you find a link to such an article? I don’t recall Brawn making such remarks.

    8. @keithcollantine
      I see lot of material there for your ‘New Sponsors’ update

    9. F1 Fanatic should buy Red Bull…. would be so cool :D
      @keithcollantine.. you would be able to do a lot of stuff you always hope should happen in F1. Think about it.

    10. Regarding that O’Keeffe chap – can we all agree on not making not-so-intelligent people famous? Please?

    11. I can see that runoff area marker being knocked over on lap one as five cars try to fit around it, most likely colliding.

      There are some major developments here it would seem. VW suddenly back in the equation.. this is incredible, and great for Formula One in my opinion!

      1. The wind tunnel ban seems quite a bad idea given how much teams such as Force India have been investing in getting them to work. To have it all thrown away now seems highly illogical.

        1. The wind tunnel ban makes me think of the terrible Virgin VR-01 from 2010 that was developed only using CFD, it’s good and all to use CFD for development but the old saying “garbage-in, garbage-out” still applies and all CFD results aren’t to be trusted until validated in the real world.

    12. Does this mean the RB team will be known next year as Red Vag?

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