Jules Bianchi, Marussia, Suzuka, 2014

Fears for Bianchi as family say condition is ‘stagnant’

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Jules Bianchi, Marussia, Suzuka, 2014In the round-up: The family of Jules Bianchi say he is not making progress and they fear he may not recover.

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Bianchi family still hoping for a miracle (Reuters)

"The situation is stagnant... when we get up every morning, we think of Jules' life but we think also of his death."

Ecclestone Faces 1 Billion-Pound U.K. Tax Bill Over Family Trust (Bloomberg)

"Bernie Ecclestone, the head of Formula One auto racing, faces a 1 billion-pound ($1.57 billion) bill from U.K. tax authorities in a long-running dispute over a family trust."

Formula One tycoon Bernie Ecclestone faces £1 billion bill (Daily Mail)

"Asked why HMRC had torn up the 2008 deal, the businessman said: ‘Don’t know. I was hoping today we would find out, but I don’t know if we have or not.’"

Alonso: Bianchi 2014 points 'a miracle' (Autosport)

"It's some kind of miracle. That is what Jules did last year, ninth place here. He was the star of the race."

Verstappen surprised himself with P2 in FP1 (ESPN)

"I was looking after the flag, I was looking up to the screen and I couldn't find myself, the I looked a bit further up and I went 'oh... alright, that was a good lap then!'"

Raikkonen facing 'some small issues' (F1i)

"We have to get the tyres working so it would have been nice to try the supersoft to see, I think they will work much easier."

Moneyed Monaco and 2017 refuelling hype overshadow F1’s real issue (The Guardian)

"The group’s headline decision was to bring back refuelling in 2017 – and there’s fat chance of that."

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Comment of the day

Should F1 have a ‘tyre war’ as a matter of principle?

If F1 can (and should) have multiple engine suppliers then it can (and should) have multiple tyre suppliers. For all intents and purposes, the engines and tyres are both the same thing.
Robert (@Rob91)

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On this day in F1

Kimi Raikkonen won the Monaco Grand Prix ten years ago today in a race which saw McLaren’s rivals Renault struggle with tyre wear. The Williams duo of Nick Heidfeld and Mark Webber completed the podium:

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  • 61 comments on “Fears for Bianchi as family say condition is ‘stagnant’”

    1. In reply to COTD: in using that logic then teams might as well choose which track to race on. Or the tarmac suppliers compete to see who provides the grippier better material to decrease lap times. Heck!Even the wheel gun suppliers could compete and start giving teams gamma ray powered tools to make pit stops faster than light!What i’m saying is that good racing is not about providing the teams with unlimited choices and very high number of variables…There should be only a few differentiators set in stone (driver talent,engine and chassis quality),everything other add-on is a gimmick or unnecessary. Tyres are doing their job when no one talks about them. Bring a war and rubber makers would be competing with teams and drivers for a spot in the tabloids.

      1. Ideally, it should all come down to who is the best driver. But that will never happen in F1.

        1. That would be a spec series.Chassis competition is important given there is a constructors’ trophy and engine competition is uber important giving it is MOTOR-sport after all. Just no tyre was if possible

      2. @Lenny: “Tyres are doing their job when no one talks about them. Bring a war and rubber makers would be competing with teams and drivers for a spot in the tabloids.”

        You get my vote for COTD/today.

      3. How do you have a tyre war with minimal testing? Pirelli struggle enough on their own. It would only lead to echos of Indy 2005.

      4. Chassis and engine is important. Using others engine was 60 years ago what customer chassis would be today. For me real teams build chassis and engine. The British started using others engines in their cottage start up teams and got a lot of success fair enough but the greatest teams like Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Ferrari they did both it is a true test of a company. Tyres are a 3rd party as no car manufacturers make tyres. WEC have and are forcing teams out of the LMP1 category for teams that make chassis and engine. RedBull, McLaren are half teams. BRM made their own engines why don’t McLaren or Williams?

        People seem to put the chassis as the most important part of a team and engines are just a supplied item. Someone said it’s all about the engine and you get a chassis to put it in. Both are important for me in equal measure so no engines are not another supplied item equal to tyres IMO.

        1. Was that a reply to me?Because that is exactly what i said too…Engines are not the same as tyres!I don’t completely grasp your rant about the half-teams but i said that IMO the only differentiators needed are driver’s talent,engine power and chassis quality. Every other competition or “war” is just an unnecessary add-on

          1. Lenny, I’d agree it is a pretty weird rant by mark p – by his logic, Ferrari is only a “half team” since they have subcontracted most of their engine development work out to AVL these days, such that Ferrari’s engine is only partially their own work.

      5. If tires are doing their job when nobody talks about them, then they aren’t currently doing their job. They’re all we talk about, or at least hear about during the races.

        1. I never said these tyres are good.I said a tyre war is not needed. Teams already have enough to do by producing a good chassis; engine manufacturers have enough to do by trying to make their power units competitive. Tyres should be standard for everyone and the FOM should change its requirements and ask Pirelli to finally start producing good rubber.

    2. No mention of the F1 survey at Motorsport.com? It look me nearly an hour to do and it’s massive comprehensive.

      1. @yoshif8tures There was an article about it on the site on Wednesday.

        1. Cheers! I Must have missed it then.

          1. I missed it too somehow, weird.

            1. Oh never mind, I even commented on it! The article just didn’t have a link so I never filled out the survey.

      2. @yoshif8tures almost an hour? Thanks for your warning, i’ll not bother with it then. They should have called it “F1 Survey for fans with loads of spare time”. We’re still only fans and nobody’s paying us for it

      3. I did a search for GPDA and found lots of interesting stuff, but no questionnaire. The GPDA’s own website has a very low ranking on Google’s search engine it seems.
        Eventually I found: http://gpda.motorsport.com/.

        1. Good find, @tribaltalker !

          I filled in the GPDA survey. Maybe @keithcollantine could put a link in an article?

          1. @mike-dee – Keith probably did that already – my top two search results when looking for GPDA were both on this site! The GPDA needs to get its act together and learn how to publicise the survey better.
            I’m glad you found the link useful. It took me about 30 mins to go through the survey – it was interesting, I really struggled to name any F1 sponsors for example. And a few of my answers surprised me – that sounds odd, but I’d forgotten how much of a soft spot I have for Williams. My choice of 3 all-time great drivers was very hard, took me ages.

        2. I did the survey, didn’t take overly long.

      4. Duncan Snowden
        23rd May 2015, 3:48

        Took me about 40 minutes, then my browser choked on the last page and wouldn’t continue. Grr. That’s what happens when you let racing drivers code websites, I suppose. :)

        I’ll try again with Chromium tomorrow. Maybe.

    3. I admire and respect the courage and dignity that the family of Jules Bianchi has shown facing the reality of the situation their loved one is in. His father Philippe seems to be a genuinely open and honest man who speaks so lovingly of his son. Having been in a similar situation with a loved one, but without all the media attention, I can imagine how difficult this must be. He knows people care about his son and wants to keep us informed. He’s certainly not obligated to say anything and yet is still forthcoming. He even mentions all the good thoughts from people giving Jules the strength to fight. My hope and prayers continue to go out to Jules and his family. God bless them.

      1. All true.

      2. It’s indeed very sad news, and not what we hoped to hear. I guessed after all this time a racing career again was not likely to happen; but I wondered if he regained all his faculties, if Manor might put him in a PR/front-of-house role, like media liaison? That would have been great.

      3. true… this news about Jules makes me so sad… a miracle would be nice !

    4. The FIA may be basking in the glory of promoting safety but it should be remembered that it opposed the introduction of safety measures until the drivers lead by Jackie Stewart threatened strike action, once forced into action it promoted itself as though safety had always been its premier concern.

      1. @hohum Also, while Jules Bianchi is still lying in a hospital bed, but at least Jean Todt has finally gotten his mitts on the cushy job he always wanted..

      2. That was something like 40 years ago. Nobody who worked in fia back then works in fia today. But back then even some of the drivers, teams and race circuits were opposed to those safety improvements. Are you trying to say everybody in f1 do not want safety because at some point in time 40 years ago they did not want safety?

    5. Why all the moaning about not being able to try the supersoft? If it is dry, they will start on the supersoft and soon find out how long it will last, then they will know if they can do a 1-stop race or a 2-stop race, either way they have to use the harder tyre.

      1. The car may have a different balance running the supersoft than the soft, so I imagine it would be useful to do some running on it so that they can find out if the driver will want a change of front wing angle in the pitstops when switching tyres, or even if they need to make compromises on set-up (as they will be qualifying on the supersoft so a good balance on it is important).

        1. sure, it will be helpfull. On the other hand, exactly that ability to predict and test everything up front takes away the potential for surprises come race day @polo.

      2. Jean Alesi, or Gilles Villeneuve, would have been out there in the rain trying out the slicks…
        and getting his team’s sponsors (assuming they had any) a whole lot of live TV time as well.
        Hats off to Pastor for unwittingly giving us a reminder of better days.

        1. I understand the frustration about the lack of testing in FP2. But you must understand that it’s no use to drive in the wet, especially on slicks (when the race ‘will’ be dry) and risking crashing or damaging the car.

    6. Just filled out the GPDA questionnaire. I wish there was a question on grid girls; but I also found it a bit distasteful to ask if F1 should be more dangerous when there is a driver down the road from Monaco in a coma… Still, I commend the GPDA for doing what Bernie never seems to consider; the fans.

      1. There was a question about the grid if celebs and grid girls are necessary, a bit indirect, but when it all comes down to it, it’s a a secondary issue compared to the racing.

        Regarding Jules, not distasteful at all just mere coincidence. Motorsport needs an element of danger and his was more freak accident.

      2. right, there was also a question asking if “f1 needs more crashes!!”, kind of ridiculous IMO

        1. Why? I like a crash from time to time, as long as the driver is unhurt.

      3. @jmc200 – The questionnaire is exactly what Bernie and the FOM should do and never will. Bernie’s spewings of what we fans want or think are nothing more than pure hip shots. He has no idea or a care for what we think or want.

        This survey certainly is worthwhile since it is one of the few calculated and measured voices that we fans have available right now. We can also participate in polls and forums on sites like this, but is Bernie listening? The only other statement that can be made is voting with our feet by not going to races. But that doesn’t really say what we do and don’t like.

        The question about grid girls being tied in with media and reporters on the grid was unfortunate. Not enough choices in that particular question. The whole survey was quite comprehensive in many areas overall.

        1. @bullmello Not going to races doesn’t harm Bernie at all.

        2. @bullmello

          I thought over 60% of the questions in the survey were redundant. Once again, it was drafted from the perspective of the sport’s stakeholders and not from the view of the fans.

          Close to 30% of the questions were regarding sponsorships?!? We do not care about brands associated with the sport. Close to 20% of the questions were regarding the all the activities that went on at a race weekend, but they fail to understand that only 1 to 2% of F1’s viewers actually do go to attend a race event. 10% of the questions were regarding post race, pre race analysis, grid walks and all sorts of junk that are just frills to the sport and nowhere close to the core.

          There were very few questions that actually addresses the nature of the sport, the kind of competition we would like to see, the races we want on the calender, the cars we find appealing etc.

          Anyways, hope they got all the data they did and hope they will make sense of it, and hopefully, act on it.

          P.S. Should Bernie be sacked was a question that really should have been there

    7. Say it ain’t so @keithcollantine

      Should F1 have a ‘tyre war’ as a matter of principal?

      Well I don’t know, but spelling ought to be a principal principle… sorry, couldn’t resist calling you out on that one, but it hurts my eyes : )

    8. Those 18 inches Michelins look FAR better than the Pirellis Lotus ran last year. Is the sidewall a bit thicker on this one? it looks proper !

      I don’t mind for 18 inches wheels, tho…

      1. There are only a handful of photos to judge from, but it looks as if there is not a major difference in the height of the sidewall.

        It may be that the sidewall looks thicker in that photograph because the rims are black, therefore blending into the sidewall, whereas Lotus’s demo run used gold rims, which accentuated the difference.

    9. those 18´ michelin tyres look awesome

    10. You know what I’d like to hear happened? That all the drivers visited Jules, since his hospital in Nice isn’t far away. And if they do go, they go dressed in regular clothing, not brand-infested wear. No need to make a photo-op out of this, just an honest and personal visit from Jules’ peers.

      1. “brand-infested wear”

        ..unless the likes Jenson, Fernando, Marcus, Felipe N, Roberto, Will etc decide to pay Jules a visit.

      2. If there’s no photo-op, what does it matter what they wear?

    11. @keithcollantine

      Instant black flag to anyone caught referring to Sainte Devote as ‘turn one’, Casino as ‘turn four’, etc… #theyhavenames #F1 #MonacoGP

      Agreed! And when they have names, use the correct ones! #keeptheraidillonalive #noitsnotalleaurouge

      ;)

      1. While I respect that the corners all have names, and I appreciate that fact, for a novice F1 viewer, they’re going to have a hard enough time with “Turn 4” at Monaco, let alone “Casino”.

        And if there’s any event on the calendar likely to bring in new viewers, it’s Monaco.

    12. I don’t think tyre war will make racing more exiciting. Some parts should be the same and tyres is one of them.

    13. Tyre development and competition sounds good in theory, but we’ll end up with one of two options. Homologated tyres where if one brand isn’t competitive those teams season is a write off much like with the engines.

      Or open development where the works teams get preferential updates so customer teams stand no chance.

      I don’t like it, but a control tyre is the best option for competition.

    14. Great words from Jules’ father. Terrible that F1 has returned to Monaco and Jules isn’t able to enjoy it like he should have.

      I pray he returns alive and well to his family and being able to be a normal person. I don’t worry much about his racing career. The Marussia survival effort will be spoken for years to come even if Jules never races again.

      Come back Jules!

    15. I would be interested to know more about what Darren Heath meant by that tweet. It came across as very arrogant to me, but maybe there is something to it. Does anybody know?

      1. Was it something to do with the weird thing yesterday where they weren’t letting certain people into the pit lane? Not sure, but could be.

    16. Just filling out the GPDA survey and I have to say, it’s not great…. It asks questions about the sport but doesn’t really give any scope to suggest what should happen and misses out vital issues!

      There was lots about rules changes (double points, refuelling etc), lots about sponsors and what we think of them, lots about where the races were and at what time – in fact, they asked a suitable question about almost every unbroken aspect of F1. Where the sport is falling apart is where they seemed to miss out the questions.

      1 question on DRS compared to around 50 on sponsorship.

      No questions about what happens to the money F1 brings in and how much the teams are paid.

      Bring railroaded into answers that can be used to fight wars they weren’t intended for. ie Overtaking is an important part of F1 – Agree or Disagree. Everyone agrees overtaking is important but you could easily use this data to defend DRS.

      They’ll get some good info out of this but it is very clear that it has been run past Bernie first and several questions have been removed before the survey went live. Either that or like the teams, drivers, FIA and Bernie/CVC have absolutely no grasp on what is wrong with the sport.

      1. Yeah I thought it was poor. All very prescribed, and nothing about the lamentable coverage, hopeless app and F1 website, or lack or ES info that I really wanted to have a rant about. It’ll give them the results they have in mind.

    17. i feel for Jules Bianchis family, and Jules himself who is a great driver as was destined for Ferrari – he had the talent, but i get frustrated with the over the top nature of the comments about his 9th place last year, even by Alonso. just a few years ago the last point in an f1 race was 6th place, if it was still like that, Bianchi’s monaco finish last year would have been totally overlooked, even to this day after his accident. it is sad that in this most stupid formula of motorsport 9th place can be seen as a miracle, it really is sad. it really shouldnt be like this, but that is f1, possibly one of the most un-sporting sports in the world when you look at it logically and objectively.

    18. I’m still annoyed about the self-serving insider-stuffed FIA investigation into Bianchi’s accident, which made out it was all because of his speed and not because they have cranes wandering about trackside. Which they still do, so eventually it will happen again.

      1. Let’s not forget how horrible the Pirelli “wet tyres” are. They have absolltely no grip, it looks like drivers are racing on ice. That is definitely a problem with wet weather. Which I’m sure is why there are too many Safety Car race starts since 2011.

    19. I’m still annoyed about the self-serving insider-stuffed FIA investigation into Bianchi’s accident, which made out it was all because of his speed and not because they have cranes wandering about trackside. Which they still do therefore, so eventually it will happen again.

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