Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Magny-Cours, 2008

France could take New Jersey’s 2013 calendar slot

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Magny-Cours, 2008In the round-up: The 2013 F1 calendar may yet have 20 races as Bernie Ecclestone suggests France could take the place of New Jersey.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

2013 French return? (Sky)

“‘As far as I’m concerned, yes,’ replied Ecclestone, when asked whether the race could replace the New Jersey Grand Prix, which has been postponed for a year because of construction delays. ‘We’re ready to sign. We’ve got a pen and we’re ready to sign.'”

CVC puts the brakes on Formula One flotation (The Telegraph)

“‘We would have loved to have got the IPO out of the way but we have been able to do a further refinancing, which is good news. It is hard to tell depending on what happens with the markets but I think 12 to 18 months is probably a realistic time-frame,’ said a source close to CVC, adding ‘you would hope by that period Germany would have resolved itself.'”

Gary Anderson column: Red Bull?s secrets revealed (BBC)

“The whole back end of the car is a very clever application of two technologies that have been banned but in a new way that is legal under the current rules. It’s less effective than a double diffuser or an exhaust-blown diffuser, but it’s a similar principle.”

Genii fully committed to Lotus F1 team (Autosport)

Eric Boullier: “Obviously a lot of discussions happen in the background, and I can just say for us the team is not for sale, the team has not been sold, the team will not be sold.”

Vettel needs three perfect weekends – Horner (Reuters)

“We can all prophesy but… our focus is now on Abu Dhabi, to extract the most out of the car, the drivers, the strategy, the reliability that we can. It’s going to be a question of having three perfect weekends.”

It’s time govt waives import duty on F1 race: FMSCI, JPSI (The Times of India)

“[Federation of Motor Sports Club of India President Vicky] Chandhok said it was baffling that the import duty was not levied on other international motor sport events in the country but things changed after the coming of F1.”

Bernie Ecclestone laughs off Formula E comparisons (IBN Live)

“I think those sort of things are lawn-mowers. I am not very supportive of this.”

Impressions of India – one year on (ESPN)

“It’s a good atmosphere and the official figures are 65,000, which means Bernie [Ecclestone] isn’t worried: ‘No, I mean first races are always high and the second year goes down. If in the third year it isn’t going up then it’s something to worry about.'”

Sebastian Vettel deserves 2012 F1 title as much as Fernando Alonso (Daily Mail)

“There will also be those who say that because Vettel has the best car, he doesn’t ‘deserve’ to win this year’s title. That Alonso, in a Ferrari claimed to be among the worst the famous marque has ever created before the season kicked off in Melbourne, is in fact the worthy recipient of motorsport’s most-wanted gong. Nonsense.”


Comment of the day

The Driver of the Weekend voting appears to be between the two title contenders at the moment but @Dodge5847 wants to give credit to the driver who started the race in last place:

I nearly voted for Charles Pic – sterling work at the back, he is now looking ready for a faster team, hopefully with their introduction to KERS next year, he will be lining up against Timo Glock again, and hounding the midfield for points.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Nelson Piquet won his third world championship in unfortunate circumstances 25 years ago today.

Team mate Nigel Mansell, the only driver who could beat Piquet to the 1987 crown, crashed during practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, injuring his back.

With Mansell ruled out of the race, Piquet automatically won the title. Piquet himself had missed a race due to injury earlier in the year, at Imola, and Mansell would also be absent from the season finale at Adelaide.

Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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  • 45 comments on “France could take New Jersey’s 2013 calendar slot”

    1. that’s quite an insulting, limited and naive view from bernie – not unexpected though.

      1. @andrewf1, but he is probably right. Change the car instead of the battery! HaHaHaHaHaHaHa……………………

        1. And thinking about it, it gets even worse, it means they are going to fly twice as many cars around the world to save the Planet. I like GREEN technology, but let’s get real.

    2. Whilst F1 can be at times highly unpredictable (Hamilton to Mercedes) there are other occasions where as sure as the sun will rise and set – they same old nonesense is trotted out. One of those issues is the F1 calendar – Bernie and the tracks in/tracks out monologue.

      The contradictions we have had in 5 days are ludicrous. First there was the TV interview recorded last Wednesday where Ecclestone asserted Europe was going to lose 3 races (link). When asked why, he stated because the teams need more funding and Europe hasn’t got any money.

      The next day, Nurburgring, who well know to have huge financial difficulties (300m euro’s in debt), stating they had a new contract from Ecclestone and were going to agree it in Abu Dhabi (link).

      On Friday, Hockenheim are now the favoured location for the 2013 German GP (same link as last) according to Ecclestone and today Europe is not in fact losing a race at all, but gaining France at the expense of the USA.

      Unless of course Monaco is getting kicked out because as Mr. E says, ‘the teams need more funding’ and they pay no fee to F1 at all.
      Maybe CVC are right to appoint headhunters to search for a replacement for their CEO, because he is on consecutive days forgetting what he said the day before and contradicting himself.

      1. @thejudge13, Just because Bernie makes contradictory statements it does not mean he has forgotten what he said. A race in France will depend on Bernie being able to convince the Govt. to subsidise the fee at Magny Cour or him being able to convince CVC and the teams that Paul Ricard should not have to pay a fee.

        1. @hohum – The French government has already said they won’t give any support to a race in France, regardless of where it is.

          1. @prisoner-monkeys, I guess that leaves option 2.

    3. `The whole back end of the car is a very clever application of two technologies that have been banned but in a new way that is legal under the current rules.`

      Upon reading the article I cannot help but feel this and the bendy wings doesnt make a worthy triple champion.

      1. “Nonsense” to paraphrase the final article. F1 is as much a technology race as it is a driver’s championship and it’s frankly a little sad that what Red Bull has done with their car is not more impressive to people. With the extremely tight regulations, this is how you build a great car, and F1 winners always have great cars.

        1. What people do not feel happy about is not what Red Bull has achieved in their tech development and application, but the lack of competition in that area while the WDC is pretty much predicated by that factor alone regardless of equally or better talented other drivers who are just watching hands down. Nobody denies that winner has the winnable car or one of best packages. Problem or complaint here is that package is way beyond other’s catch recently.

          1. Red Bull for sure deserve the WCC, their car is now the best of the season. But ALO deserves to be WDC.

      2. So in your mind Nikki Lauda didn’t win the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix?

    4. You can see the development in safety since mansells crash, higher sides and a HANS device would of made it possible for mansell to walk from the car an partake in the race.

      1. Mansell walking from the car? Based upon what I’ve seen of him, I would say limping!

    5. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
      30th October 2012, 3:52

      So JB has his own team now he’s set, great for him right? Exactly.

      Which is why he’s going to move to ferrari.

    6. That tweet puts Kimi’s lack-of-money-for-development-comment in a whole other context.

    7. He’s said this before Ecclestone, but strangely Paul Ricard wasn’t an option. He has also said that they need to get funding for the event, which won’t come from government.

      It may happen, but I’m not so sure…

    8. It’s a mystery to me why a country so steeped in motorsport history as France has no truly magnificent racing circuits.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys It did, but cars can’t race on Clermont-Ferrand or Rouen any more.

        And La Sarthe is nothing less than a truly magnificent racing circuit.

        Paul Ricard would be a decent choice for F1 except they would probably insist on using the chicane before Signes, which would rob it of much of its appeal.

        I can’t say I’m even remotely interested in seeing another race at Magny-Cours.

        1. @keithcollantine

          It did, but cars can’t race on Clermont-Ferrand or Rouen any more.

          And La Sarthe is nothing less than a truly magnificent racing circuit.

          Okay, I’ll concede on all three of those.

          Paul Ricard would be a decent choice for F1 except they would probably insist on using the chicane before Signes, which would rob it of much of its appeal.

          Only if they want to use the longest version of the straight, which comes in at 1.8km. And I suspect that the straight fits the FIA’s regulations on acceptable lengths; the straights on the Mulsanne at La Sarthe do.

          I actually think it would be in the interests of the sport to run on a shorter circuit for once. I think that one of the reasons why the current generation of circuits is so poorly received is because they’re all (roughly) the same length – five and a half kilometres – which produces (again, roughly) similar lap times. Running on a shorter version of Paul Ricard might encourage some much-needed diversity onto the calendar.

          I can’t say I’m even remotely interested in seeing another race at Magny-Cours.

          Neither. I’ve never liked it. Although I do think Hermann Tilke’s changes to the Lycee-Pin made the circuit better, it’s still horrendous.

        2. It would be awesome to have race at La Sarthe exactly at the same layout for Le Man 24

        3. @prisoner-monkeys @keithcolllantine What about Dijon? My dad always almost cries when he talks about that epic battle between Gilles and Rene Arnoux, I have seen the lay out but no actual races so maybe you can comment :)

          1. @jp1987 – While Dijon is fondly remembered for that battle, these days it’s too short and too narrow for Formula 1.

        4. As a youngster playing Grand Prix Racing II I always enjoyed Magny-Cours, mostly for the first few turns, but I can agree with everyone about the not wanting to see another race there.

          I found this curious little design on the internets earlier today when I was desperately trying to find other firms who design race tracks. Appears Apex Circuit Designs was commissioned to design a new F1 grade track by the French government. Government funding was obviously pulled, but not before the design was finalized.

          Not sure how to judge this design, but would love to see a non-Tilke track given a try. Would either vindicate Tilke and the challenges he faces or give him some well needed competition in the F1 world.

          1. Everything I’ve seen from Apex so far has been tedious drab, these guys are not the answer. The only designer I have some confidence in is Alan Wilson, who did Barber, but he also did Miller, which is pretty bad as well.

            1. Yeah, I can certainly see how that might be the case. The track I linked to definitely has the look as if it was an infield track at an oval, except there is no oval.

              I found the grandstands most curious. There doesn’t appear to be any inside, but only grandstands lining the outer edges. I’m guessing they were aiming for the place to have a stadium-like feel to it.

    9. Once again, I still cannot understand “Vettel Bashing”. What is the guy to do? He gets berated for winning just because he manages to get the best out of the best car on the grid? Ridiculous. Vettel deserves the title as much Alonso, but deserving has got nothing to do with winning. You win because you are the best. People tend to forget that F1 is a team sport, it will be extremely improbable for a driver is a sub-par car to win the title (hopefully Alonso does :) ). The romantics would love for this to happen, but the fact hardly does. Adrian Newey and Christian Horner have put together a solid outfit, with an outstanding driver…because of this they win. Ferrari and Mclaren have not, so it is simple. It is true to state that Vettel has had the best car in recent seasons, but so what? He is the one thats made the best of it. He is a vital cog in a very complex operation.

      Its like in Football. A sub par team can get away with winning a cup competition (as Chelsea duly demonstrated earlier this year) because an element of luck can be a factor. However, the best team always wins the league. This is a fact. The best team will have the best players, best coach, best facilities and reasonably deep pockets. At this point in time, this is RBR, hence they win.

      1. @jaymenon10 – I think one of the reasons why people dislike Vettel is because he’s never really had to deal with a poor car. Yes, he was in the Toro Rosso in 2008, but once he got to Red Bull, he hasn’t had to deal with substandard machinery the way Hamilton did in 2009, or Alonso did at the start of the year. It’s almost like he’s shown up, put his hand out, and received a championship without really having to earn it.

        And then there’s the way the team is structured around him. A lot of people thought Mark Webber got a raw deal from the team in 2010, when Helmut Marko blamed him for causing the accident in Istanbul when most people felt it was Vettel’s fault; and later when Christian Horner took the new specification of front wing from Webber’s car and put it on Vettel’s at Silverstone after Vettel damaged his own. Not to mention the way that Marko and Horner are not popular characters among fans – a lot of people still lambast Marko for the dressing-down he gave Jaime Alguersuari for blocking Vettel in practice for the Korean Grand Prix last year, while Christian Horner has stubbornly refused to ratify cost-cutting regulations and used Toro Rosso to block them outright.

        As if that weren’t enough, they’ve been in front of the stewards constantly for parts of their car that have clearly been questionable at best, but the FIA has been powerless to do anything about it beyond forcing them to remove the parts and amending the regulations, because the car exists in a legal grey area. To a lot of people, that’s cheating, and then thumbing their nose at the fans and the sport when they suffer only the slightest punishments for it.

        At the end of the day, Vettel has been the direct result of the team’s success. And while he is certainly talented, it’s the way he has gotten there that rankles people. Between unlikeable personalities in the team, questionable tactics on and off track, and the way he almost lazily coasts to victory, it really alienates people. I know I don’t like Vettel because I don’t like the team. Maybe that’s undeserved, but in this case, perception is everything. He is the one who profits from the team’s approach.

        1. Oh please, certanly the Toro Rosso of 2007 was way worst than the Mclarean 2009. And the Mclarean was a car that improved to the second half of the season…

          Ah driver is pay to drive the car the team has create,and is his job to do the best with it… I see no real reason to dislike Vettel… if you dislike Vettel because of Marko or Horner´s fault you are certanly directing your frustration in the wrong direction…

          People shouldn´t dislike Red Bull because they can come with solution to have a winner car, that others team can´t do the same is therir fall not RB.

          And speaking of quetionable tactics Ferrari, Lotus and Mclarean have at most and worst that Red Bull have done…

        2. in this case, perception is everything

          Not only in this case. I believe people become fans or detractors based on what they perceive to be the main storyline behind a particular character, and not based on a hair-splitting analysis of every pro and con.

          That’s why, for example, defending Vettel’s current domination by dragging up Schumacher’s a decade ago makes no sense. The story attached to them is completely different.

          MS might have had an impossibly neat and boring run of 5 WDCs in a row; but he also had the lean years before, during which he was both a crucial participant in re-building Ferrari and doing his fair share of on-track heroics against superior machinery.

          I don’t seem to remember either of these aspects really figuring in the Vettel story so far.

          He is unquestionably one of the huge talents in a field of several huge talents, but he’s also the golden boy who lucked into the team of the “moment”. For most people it will always be difficult to root for such a driver, no matter how much his fans grumble about the “anti-Vettel sentiment”.

          Quite simply, most ordinary F1 fans, including this one, are not prepared to accept Vettel as the driver of the era, regardless of all the statistics pointing in that direction. The “story” to underpin it is just not there. (While with Alonso it increasingly is…)

          1. Sorry, bolding should have gone to “the”, and not the rest of it afterwards.

          2. MJ4 – While it may be true that Vettel didn’t have to spend ages doing what MS did in the 90’s, I don’t think it’s fair to say he “lucked” into where he is now. He had to put in a bunch of giant-killing performances early in his career, often in the wet, when barely more than a teenager, in order to get to where he is today.

            1. Sorry, if I was not clear enough, but by “lucking into” I did not mean “getting the seat undeservedly”.

              I meant lucking into the right team at the right moment.

              As to giant-killing, while most Vettelistas like to paint the 2008 Toro Rosso as some kind of Minardi in which it was a miracle to win, it was more like that year’s Sauber.

              That puts him level with Perez or Maldonado, which is not to be sneezed at, but neither the performance of the century.

              There is such a deluge of talent in (or on its way to) F1 during the last couple of years that one person running away with it all just doesn’t feel right. At least I find it strange anyone can reconcile “one of the strongest fields ever” with “winning 3 WDCs in a row”, while not bothering to acknowledge the huge role luck played in it.

            2. I think @david-a is talking about the 2007 performances with Toro Rosso in China and Japan. And we must remember Brasil in 2008… Valencia 2008 in the dry was also a great drives as was Singapore 2008…

              Compare Vettel to Maldonado is an insult at any level… Resisting to pass judgement on Perez until I see what he can do in Mclarean…

            3. MJ4 – STR weren’t Minardi, but they weren’t even close to that year’s Sauber, which was 3rd in the championship in 07 and 08. Red Bull and STR were 6th and 7th in 2008. To put that 8th the driver’s championship, was an excellent effort, considering his teammate was 17th, and comparable to the job Alonso did putting the Renault (4th fastest car) 5th in the WDC.

              And as @celeste said, Maldonado? Vettel was fast and consistent, with 9 top 8s in the space of 13 races. Maldonado has rarely scored outside of Spain, with 2 8th places. They are nothing alike.

            4. To clear up another misunderstanding, I am not talking about the BMW Sauber of that year. What I meant was: Toro Rosso of 2008 = Sauber of 2012.

              As to Maldonado, of whom I am by no means a great fan, equating his 2012 performance with Vettel’s last Toro Rosso year is possibly far-fetched. Yet one should not forget that he managed four top 3 results in qualifying this year in addition to his GP win.

              What I mean is, the possibly WDC-winning talent is obviously there (alongside the boneheadedness), just like with Perez. That’s where I think the comparison does stand up regarding them and the Vettel of 2008.

            5. I see. I’m glad it wasn’t the 08 Sauber that you thought the STR was as good as (since you accidentally said “that year’s Sauber”. The 2012 Sauber comparison is a bit more valid.

              But although Maldonado has had some good qualifying performances, the comparison is still far-fetched. Maldonado was fast. Vettel was fast and consistent. Maldonado may have some talent, but his crashes and wasted opportunities have far overshadowed the goodwill since Spain.

              As for Perez, I agree with celeste. He might be able to win WDCs, but we have to see what he can do with Mclaren. At least with Vettel we have the benefit of hindsight.

        3. @prisoner-monkeys
          In that case, you should hate Hamilton as well. He had a front running car in all his years in F1, but what has he got to show for it? 1 WDC which Ferrari narrowly threw away? And he has never come close to challenging for the title since.

          And I dont know why people would think that driving off in front is easy. Have any of you been in an F1 car driving out front? Chances are know. I would think the level of concentration and focus required when you are up front in probably harder than chasing. Vettel seems to excel in these conditions, just picking off lap times as he wishes.

          I am not a Vettel fan. I will support Alonso to the death. However, you have to give him credit where its due. I would hope that RBR’s car in 2014 will not be as competitive, this will give Vettel a chance to an Alonso.

      2. @jaymenon10 Well said. It is a team sport and people do tend to forget that. You don’t win championships by accident and Vettel has certainly shown he is a brilliant all-round driver this year.

    10. Yay, Paul Ricard ftw, although I like Magny-Cours as well. The Ricard is more unique with the Mistral Straight and in that its corners are almost exclusively decreasing radius turns. Not to mention the Blue Line Concept. It is more traditional in F1 history despite the hi-tech look it has now. I like the flow of Magny-Cours though. Sweeping bends, quick chicanes and a prime overtaking spot.

      Another one for the championship fight: I have to agree with Horner. Maybe he is in an inferior car, but with extracting absolutely 100% from every single race weekend Alonso just pushes Vettel to the limit. Imagine if Vettel would have made a mistake on one of his deciding Q3 laps or there would have been a 10-second pit stop glitch, a gearbox or blue flag penalty. Alonso would have pounced every single time bar Japan. One can say Vettel is running away with it – but I think he does so in the only possible way Alonso permits, taking into account the constraints his package has.

    11. I know it’s highly unlikely for a number of reasons, but I would love San Luis to take the spot of New Jersey. The charisma of the place would make it an adored Grand Prix no matter what, like Singapore, but instead of in a World City, in a stunning natural setting.

    12. @Keith Collantine – what do you think about this: ? not that i’m buying it, but alarmingly this spreads like wildfire over here.

    13. On a different topic, I see in the news today that the government of Bahrain has taken a turn for the worse – they have banned all protest now, and the omens are that things will only get nastier for those who do not have the right connections to the ruling families:

      Is it not long past time that F1 stopped pussy-footing around and called off this race for good? I know that the ruling families of Bahrain are part owners of several F1 sponsors (and I think teams) but how bad do things have to get before the whole sport is tainted beyond recovery?

      In fact, more than this, after the scandals in cycling, football, the Olympics and elsewhere, F1 could do itself a big favour and be much more transparent in its affairs. Given F1’s dependence on corporate support, it is also much more vulnerable to the loss of that support if anything ugly or corrupt were to surface.

    14. Alonso is a pretty calculating individual and I thought his post qualy comments about “Fighting Newey, not just Vettel” as strange and conveying some kind of message.

      Maybe we have an explanation from La Stampa that tells us Alonso was furious after Ferrari’s technical boss Pat Fry blamed the drivers for a sub-standard qualifying performance.

      Fry said in a TV interview, “the [qualifying] result reflects our current potential”, after Alonso was fifth, “but in order to be where we wanted and where we were capable of being, we needed to be perfect today and we weren’t,” he added.

      When Alonso heard this he apparently flew into a rage saying, “I want my 1.2 million followers to know that the key aerodynamic components at the rear of the Ferrari are still the same as they were in May”. It apparently took a lot of persuasion from Dominicali to persuade Alonso not to press the “send” button on the text. (LINK)

      What Fry actually said was hardly directed at Fernando, the use of the ‘royal we’ is common in F1 and can either mean me, him/her, some of us or all of us. Either the matter was discussed and Fry made clear what he meant ie it was a poor drive – or there is incredible tension between Ferrari technical and Alonso causing such an explosion over a comment the rest of the media made nothing of.

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