F1 Fanatic round-up: 16/2/2010

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

F1 testing resumes at Jerez tomorrow but the weather reports make for grim reading – the teams could face yet more wet weather setbacks. Here’s today’s round-up:


Lotus F1 to stay in Norfolk (Autocar)

“The involvement of Group Lotus is likely to see the team remain in Norfolk, according to Lotuss Gino Rosato, who moved to the road car side of Lotus from Ferraris F1 team last year.”

Michelin could make 2011 return (ITV-F1)

“However, a comeback for the French firm as the next sole tyre supplier could be on the cards after one of its managing partners Jean-Dominique Senard told Bloomberg that it was holding ‘formal discussions’ with the FIA.”

Comment of the day

Becken dug up some extra and very useful data from the Jerez test.

Site updates

I’ve created a new page for Virgin Racing.

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

Ten years ago today Jenson Button’s preparations for his first F1 season were disrupted when he hit a bird while testing at Kyalami in South Africa. Fortunately Button was unhurt. The bird didn’t fare so well…

58 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 16/2/2010”

  1. what’s ectually wrong with the forum? from a technical point of view?
    i think the teams should go test at silverstone or turkey.

    1. Really hope the forum comes back soon :)

  2. Silverstone is a construction site just now which wouldn’t exactly be good for testing plus the british winter sucks the weather is way to changeable. And is turkey not quite cold in winter also.

    1. my bad, sorry silverstoe is useless atm.

      ‘And is turkey not quite cold in winter also.’ warmth is good though! teams want a warm track. thats why they test in spain because it’s MEANT to have the best winter weather. most of the seasons races are warm so it’d make sense to go to instanbul. imo

      1. Are you sure about that? I remember back to the 2005 ITV F1 preview when Martin Brundle drove round Istanbul in the snow.

        1. yeah but maybe that was in early jan or something. the next couple of days in istanbul are sunny with highs of 15 C

    2. It’s a bit of a misconception that Istanbul gets mild winters. Obviously it’s hardly arctic, but they get regular snow, and the mean daily temperatures of about 6 degrees in January and February.

      Actually I remember (and I have a good memory, so trust me on this!) at the 2005 ITV season preview, Martin Brundle went to Istanbul to do a lap of the track before the season and it was covered in about a foot of snow! A snow plough had cleared a trail down the track, and the rest was just white. I can’t imagine the teams would be happy if a test was snowed off!

      1. I actually live in Istanbul and while it does get warm now and then the weather is quite unpredictable. More often than not it’s cold and rainy throughout the early months of the year.

    3. Well if it was not for the snowstorms, they could go to Bahrain.

      If Bernie would pay the trip there a week before the grand prix, it could be interesting even for teams like Lotus or Virgin.

      Also the track would have at least some rubber on it to improve racing.

      Maybe they should do this and sell an exclusive Test-Beach-GP package for fans!

      1. I’d do that. :)

        Oh no, hang on… Bahrain’s a dry state isn’t it. :(

        1. Should have been sand storms instead of snowstorms ;-)

      2. I hope you mean sandstorms in Bahrain and not snowstorms! o.O

  3. It’s strange to think there was an F1 test at Kyalami as recently as 10 years ago. I’m all for cost cutting, but it is a bit of a shame that we don’t see testing take place all over the world as it used to.

    And on Kyalami… apparently it wasn’t very popular when they revised it for F1 back in 1992 and 1993, but from what I can tell from playing racing games it’s not a bad track at all. I remember South Africa was looking to build a new F1 circuit a few years back, but surely if they want a GP it would be much cheaper and easier to bring safety standards and facilities at Kyalami up to scrath.

    Besides, once the 2010 World Cup is out of the way, South Africa will need a new global event to keep the country’s profile up. I wouldn’t be surprised if they get their GP back in a few years time

    1. If the World Cup is a success, South Africa has the next summer olympic bidding locked up. You can bet your house, car, and the dog on that one. Paris, Toronto, Detroit, Delhi, Dubai….none of them have a chance if South Africa makes a legit push.

    2. I’m so glad you mentioned this!

      I remember the tests that took place at Kyalami 10 years ago, it was a massive success even though only BAR (Jacques Villenueve and Ricardo Zonta) and Williams (Jenson Button and Ralf Schumacher) came down. From the reports I have read it looks like around 70000 fans went to watch the 5 days of testing.

      There is public desire to get a race in SA, and F1 does have a pretty big following, but unfortunately the funding just isn’t available. And it’s hard to get political will for this sort of thing when millions of us South Africans are living in poverty. Getting political will to host the Football, Cricket and Rugby World Cups is a different kettle of fish because these sports all have much bigger pull globally than F1, and the benefits South Africa gets from holding such an event are far higher than we would get from holding an F1 race. Thats why Im all for the suggestion that official test days be held at destinations which dont usually host F1 races (or which have lost F1 races).

      All that having been said, I have read reports that Hermann Tilke was planning a circuit in Cape Town (around the harbour, much like Valencia), so we will just have to wait and see.

  4. If Michelin come back, it can only be a good thing for Renault – a lot of their slump from 2007 on was down to how suited their cars were to the Michelins and not to the Bridgestones.

    1. Is it only michelin that are in the frame to provide tyres for 2011 or is it a possiblity to go back to two brands?

      1. I think that the last thing F1 needs is another ‘tyre championship’, although Autosport beg to differ.

    2. I’m thinking that the 2011 tyres are going to be oh so different from 2007 tyres.

    3. There was a bigger difference with Michelin however. They adapted the tyres to the needs of their customers. Not only did they provide different compounds, but even different structures in some cases. As opposed to now, where the range of tyres is exactly the same for all teams, so they have to adapt the car to make the tyres work.

      1. I can’t see them doing that again it will probably be much the same way that bridgestone do things.

    4. Remember Renault saying they were hoping to be back on top within the next few years? Well they knew Bridgestone were going which would be a help but perhaps they figured Michelins return was a safe bet.

  5. If there’s money for two completely lit tracks, then surely a completely covered track could be possible (with lightweight fabric structures similar to the Sepang grandstands).

    With such limited testing, surely we could sell such a track to the teams and get this (quite probably ridiculous) scheme underway!!

  6. Prisoner Monkeys
    16th February 2010, 1:34

    In other news, it is believed that Campos’ future may be resolved with an announcement today. Interesting timing, since February 17 was originally given as their release date. Geoff Wills has also been sighted in the Jerez paddock carring a clipboard with the name Dallara emblazoned on it.

    1. He has apparently taken a position with dallara and will be involved with whomever use there service whether it be Campos? or Stefan GP.

    2. The VW story vanished as quickly as it appeared.

  7. Keith get that forum up while im drinking whisky so Schimi can be happy for me or I’ll get Christian Klien after you!

    1. Or else Mazzacane will give you a headbutt in the face!:)

  8. Klien’s a hard man so don’t be laughin at me!

  9. “Michelin could make 2011 return”
    I think Jean Todt will try hard to bring the team back in F1.

      1. They will not manage this with liuzzi at the wheel. And sutil is not very consistent might happen if they give Di Resta a race seat he is fast.

        1. I agree,but first they need to have a good car.

        2. And how has Di Resta performed in F1?

          1. i’m not just talking about formula one dude he has raced elsewhere and beaten plenty of todays F1 drivers including hamilton and vettel. The guy has pace and that was proven at the test for force india.

        3. Liuzzi almost scored points in his first race for Force Inida, barring a mechanical failure. Sure it was Monza where they were going well, but versus Sutil (similar talent) and not having had the luxury of driving the car all year like his team-mate, he did pretty well.

  10. Hey Keith, are we going to be doing the prediction championship again this year, I hope we are.

    Anyway, if we do I was hoping we could start it from Round 1 this year instead of Round 4. I know you started at Round 4 so we could firstly find out who were the front runners, but I think starting it at Round 1 would be an interesting and challenging task.

    That’s my 2 cents anyway, what do other people think?

    1. Yep I’m arranging prizes at the moment. Hoping to get some bigger and better ones than last year.

      1. Damnit Man! Does this mean I have to stay sober during the whole race weekend?

        Cheers, Alex

      2. Cool, I’m a newcomer to F1 fanatic and I liked the look of your predictions game, so I’ll enjoy winning it this year.

    2. I’m looking forward to that – will do more than the first couple of races. :D

  11. I read rumours on the internet, that Campos will announce a new investor/partner in his team today.(http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2010/02/15/f1-fanatic-round-up-1622010/ – it’s in Dutch).

    Did anybody hear something about this latest rumours (probably the 4th time we read he was saved)?

    The confirmation from Dallara yesterday might have been to assure this investor, he was investing into something real. Or maybe Dallara just wants to show the world, they have a car ready to go if there is anybody interested (StefanGP, Campos, USF1).

    Thans for some feedback from Keith or maybe from spanish or italian media.

    1. This is about the Ferrari engine being inclined to give more space for the diffuser? I heard the same rumours – there were people talking about it in the press room at Jerez, and not just about Ferrari doing it. Obviously the team wouldn’t confirm anything like that though!

      1. It sounds pretty complicated, solving the angle of the drive-train etc.

        1. A (very, very rough) translation attempt:

          The Ferraris secret is in its engine
          Hunaudieres (author)

          Ferrari dominated the first pre-season tests at Cheste, at least in the times table. Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonsos times havent gone unnoticed. Many people, [Williams team technical director] Sam Michael among them, say the Ferrari F10 was very light, even below the allowed minimal weight. Others say the secret of the new Ferrari is in its engines positioning.

          Nicholas Tombazis, Ferraris chief designer, has said that to optimize their new (rumoured to be a triple-decker) diffusers allocated space, a number of the rear place devices have undergone reallocation. The biggest change would be the V8 engines tilting (3,5) to allow for a much-desired space in the back of the car. Nonetheless, raising the engine implies a gravity centre rise, therefore worsening the cars driving abilities.

          This solution isnt a new one, for as far as in 1979, the Arrows A2 had its engine tilted in that posture. However, in the light of the initial outcome, the tradeoff has been a successful one. But to say the truth, they could tell us fans that the engine is inverted and even so we would not know half the truth nevertheless. There are many, many secrets hidden under these hoods, aerodynamics and diffusers being only a little amount of them.

  12. I saw, that Prisoner Monkeys read about this as well.

    The rumour was reported as coming from “an insider” who told insider told Germanys Auto Motor und Sport about it on several sites. All probalby site the same source, because they have almost exactly the same wording.

    According to “f1pits.com” the spanish Diario AS insists their report about Bernie and VW is true.

  13. Nick Fry is gone! As is the whole mercedes gp management team except Ross!


    1. That link isn’t working for me – really?

    2. Story posted yesterday & pulled today.
      Even Planet F1 isn’t reporting this rumour.
      Stop teasing us!

      1. HA! Still working for me here. Yeah, I was surprised not to see it corroborated elsewhere except a couple of german sources, but the possibility that we may be close to being rid of mr fry is exciting, one must admit. ;-)

  14. I checked the list with test times of Becken. I do not see the 1.22 of di Grassi on this list.

    What I do notice is the consistent number of laps of Barrichello in 1.22 zone.

  15. Has USF1 started testing at Barber Motorsports Park. Didn’t they say that they would be testing there in the beginning of February?

    1. USF1 have said a lot of things.

      1. What USF1 should is that “Our car is rubbish and we really are way out of our leauge”

        Then they should say “We hope to make the grid and we promise to be polite back
        markers and pull over with the greatest deference to anyone in our mirrors”

        Cheers, Alex

  16. Ten years ago today Jenson Button’s preparations for his first F1 season were disrupted when he hit a bird while testing at Kyalami in South Africa. Fortunately Button was unhurt. The bird didn’t fare so well…

    Shame it wasn’t the other way around. But i’m a sci-fi fan and now i see why jensen grows ginger feathers on his chin. Poor little bird.

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