F1 Fanatic round-up: 13/2/2010

It’s the final day of the second F1 test at Jerez. Also, now that Lotus have launched their 2010 F1 car, when are we going to see US F1 and Campos launch theirs? Will we see them at all?

Let me know what you think in the comments – here’s today’s round-up:

Links

New look Silverstone revealed… but it’s not exciting enough, blasts Damon Hill (Daily Mail)

“I am not satisfied that we will be providing the best facility we could. More money goes out of the sport than comes in. It means we have to be as tight as a duck’s backside. We need every penny to survive. You end up having to do things you don’t want to. It is very frustrating.”

Champion Button on Laureus list (BBC)

“World champions Jenson Button, Tom Daley and Mark Cavendish will battle it out in the breakthrough of the year category of the Laureus Sports Awards.”

Michelin admits talks about F1 return (James Allen)

“Bridgestone announced that the 2010 season would be its last in F1 and although Bernie Ecclestone has been talking to the company about ways in which it might be persuaded to stay, it is interesting to hear that Michelin are interested in a return. This would be greeted with enthusiasm by most of the teams as Michelin’s tyre engineering was very highly rated in the F1 paddock – notwithstanding the debacle at Indianapolis in 2005 when they brought the wrong tyres and were not able to race.”

Comment of the day

Here’s PJA’s thoughtful take on the new Lotus T127:

The car looks okay considering it is a new team, though they are supposed to have quite a few former Toyota personal so that might explain why the front nose support struts remind me of the 2009 Toyota. The top of the side pods look very flat especially considering what we have become used to recently.

Unless that isn’t their final diffuser they seem to be the only team to actually show photos of the back end like that, all the other teams have been covering their diffusers up.

I like the classic Lotus green & yellow livery especially the yellow wheels, but I feel it could be improved with a few tweaks here and there although I am not sure what changes I would make, but I would move the car number from in front of the rear wheels to the side of the rear wing unless they are planning to keep that area free for sponsors they may attract in the future
PJA

Happy birthday!

A trio of birthdays today – happy birthday to Sparky, shyguy2008 and Sebastien Carter.

On this day in F1

I’d completely forgotten about this story two years ago about Bernie Ecclestone trying to get McLaren a more favourable position in the F1 pit lane following their ‘Spygate’ punishment.

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28 comments on F1 Fanatic round-up: 13/2/2010

  1. Bartholomew said on 13th February 2010, 7:51

    If Bernie took less money, tracks like Silverstone could make a living while charging less admission

    • wasiF1 said on 13th February 2010, 8:02

      I agree,but he won’t listen.He takes less money from other event,like Canada.

    • Oliver said on 13th February 2010, 9:09

      How much does Silverstone pay compared to other circuits.

    • It’s not the money he charges in race hosting fees, it’s the fact that he takes all of the advertising revenue for the entire weekend, as well as the corporate hospitality revenues and all the TV money.

      If the tracks had to pay 10 million a year, but got to keep trackside advertising, ticket prices, corporate boxes, and a small cut of the TV revenues, then ticket prices wouldn’t be nearly so high, and the improvements Bernie demands the tracks make would be easy to make.

      Huge football stadiums get debenture funding precisely because they control the whole revenue scheme in and out of the stadium – the “prawn sandwich brigade” and all. F1 tracks have a very very narrow avenue of revenue, and they can’t do a lot to increase it (particularly in the UK where permanent covered grandstands require planning permission and attract annual taxes). This is the reason why Bernie’s demands that tracks like Silverstone improve make no logical sense – his demands for good facilites are sensible, and necessary, but he also directly prevents the tracks from getting the funding to make the changes he wants. This can’t be tied down to the CVC debt issue either because this is long standing FOM policy.

      • First class stuff Hairs !

        If ever the old saw about killing the
        goose that lays the golden eggs were seen
        in modern life, then what Ecclestone/FOM/CVC
        partners do to our sport is nothing short
        of aggravated highway robbery. Al Capone
        was a nice guy, just like Santa Claus.

        In other contexts this sort of extortion would be a treated as a serious criminal
        offence.

  2. geo132 said on 13th February 2010, 7:51

    Happy birthday to you guys, and guess what! Its my birthday as well! :)

  3. Calum said on 13th February 2010, 8:29

    I’d love to see a sketch of Damon Hill’s perfect Silverstone.

  4. I love the new Silverstone, I think the new section looks amazing and will be the most exciting circuit on the calender after Spa

    • It’s a little early to be lauding it that much, but I do think the new layout looks good. Silverstone is a good track. Wide and flowing, in better days, like Monza, a great slipstreaming track. But without the altitude changes that Spa and Interlagos have, it will never challenge them.

  5. Ned Flanders said on 13th February 2010, 11:22

    I know it’s too early to gloat, but I’m starting to feel my lack of confidence in USF1 (and too a lesser extent Campos) was justified. For all Chad Hurley’s PR mumbo jumbo, USF1 clearly isn’t anywhere near finding the funds needed to reach F1, never mind be competitive in it. Jose Maria Lopez may have brought $10 million or so but even in this new cost cutting era of F1 that isn’t going to be enough.

    This quote from Will Buxton’s blog sums up the mess they are in:

    “When I was over in Charlotte, NC, a few weeks ago, all that existed in the USF1 factory was a single tub. If rumours leaking out of FIA sources are correct, the team hasnít even booked its crash tests, let alone passed them.”

    I’m not quite confident enough to say I’ll eat my hat if USF1 make the grid… but I’m not far away!

    • Ned Flanders said on 13th February 2010, 11:57

      I’ve just read this on James Allen On F1:

      “USF1 meanwhile seems to have the funding, but is running behind on the technical side”

      Perhaps I’ve jumped the gun a little bit. I still can’t see where the money is coming from other than Lopez. I’d have a lot more faith in the team if they announced some sponsors and a car launch date

      • Those are the only remarks I’ve read but I find it hard to believe that they can’t find sponsors and cash in America of all places. We are pretty anxious to conquer foreign markets and this would be a great opportunity for any company to do that. IBM? Microsoft? Apple? Warren Buffet has money printed to go to the toilet, why wouldn’t he put something up? Or how about companies like Samsung, Sony, Dell, RCA?
        If the remark about not even having booked for crash tests is true then they are dead in the water though. They would have no ability to get to Bahrain at all. Additionally, who is driver #2? That’s another huge huge concern for me.
        I guess its probably just one of those things where we are getting sick of waiting to find out. If the FIA knows they won’t be there then they should say it ASAP and be transparent. Odds are that they are going to do the usual and keep it mum until they announce Stefan GP for the Bahrain lineup. That’s just bogus.

  6. Zazeems said on 13th February 2010, 13:04

    Agree with Damon, the new track is good, but not perfect. Nore fast corners would make it even better.

  7. sato113 said on 13th February 2010, 13:23

    ‘as tight as a duckís backside.’ urgh

  8. Untitled258 said on 13th February 2010, 13:33

    Damons never bloody happy, he needs to stop whining, he’s lucky to have a race held there at all. The new section looks brilliant to me.

    • Yes, the new section is quite good compared to the old one IMO, but still this is the real Silverstone i like:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Silverstone_1952.jpg

      Fast, challenging, dangerous, & life risking for sure. Now that’s what you call a real racing track.

      • “Fast, challenging, dangerous, & life risking for sure. Now thatís what you call a real racing track.”

        The last thing F1 needs at the moment is a fatality.

        Forget any ideas of F1 becoming ‘faster’. Instead, look forward to more ‘Mickey Mouse’ tracks and regulations that slow the speed of the cars – like five seconds per lap slower than last season at the start of this seasons GPs.

  9. Whatever happened to the Forum ????

  10. I know no venue (excluding Monaco maybe) is in the msot ideal situation with Bernie and CVC etc demanding so much money but Silverstone has one of the best deals about, they actually have made profits (didn’t they build a new clubhouse a few years ago?) and generally high attendence so I really do get tired of Silverstone banging on. This new config looks like it could be really good. Not exciting enough? Well it was poor how it was, this can only be an improvement in my opinion. Not surprised it’s in the Mail; it never can crack a smile or lighten up.

    • Am sure I read that Silverstone made a profit of under a million last year. Fairly standard for them. The Grand Prix they pay to host. They get no revenue from any trackside advertising – all goes to FOM. They get no money from TV rights – all goes to FOM. They do get money from gate tickets and burger vans, but believe FOM manages contracts with prefered paddock caterers which goes to FOM.

      FOM wants the BRDC to spend tens of millions to make Silverstone look like Malaysia/China/Abu Dhabi. That is not realistic for an organisation that makes a loss on every GP. The profits Silverstone makes to balance the books are not from F1.

      F1 has been kind to Bernie. Maybe Bernie will be kind to F1 and one day bequest Silverstone and Spa a pile of money to employ Richard Rogers to design some ‘statement’ grandstands, but F1 is still about the tracks. Only just, but…

  11. theRoswellite said on 13th February 2010, 23:41

    The Bernie Bashing goes on and on….with me at the head of the line most days.

    I’d certainly like to hear comments from a few more professionals involved in the sport. Especially someone privy to the commercial history of the relationship between Mr. E, the FIA, and Mr. Mosley.

    From a US perspective, it is more than a bit sad that with all the money that has exchanged hands in F1 over the last two decades we haven’t been able to establish a viable US Grand Prix track, or even a race.

    It seems a bit unbalanced to expect the BRDC to compete with, for example, The People’s Republic of China for the rights to stage a GP. Is that an equitable playing field?

  12. DGR-F1 said on 15th February 2010, 17:28

    I wonder if Michelin would be allowed back in when Bridgestone finally vanish, notwithstanding the fact that Michelin appear to provide tyres for most of the racing in Europe (including Le Mans), has the Indy debacle ruined their chances as a ‘serious’ supplier in Bernies eyes?
    If so, would this mean a return to a choice of suppliers in F1, or will it be another quick fix with whoever Bernie and Jean are happy with at the moment?
    And are other tyre manufacturers capable of providing the level of service required by Bernie, the FIA etc for a full season of racing?
    I’d hate to think that the Indy mistake could be repeated at every race in a season, with no other manufacturer at hand, but its still a possibility…….

  13. Personally I prefer a single tyre supplier and whoever it is I hope that remains the same…

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