F1 Fanatic round-up: 16/2/2010

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:

Links

Lotus F1 to stay in Norfolk (Autocar)

“The involvement of Group Lotus is likely to see the team remain in Norfolk, according to Lotus‘«÷s Gino Rosato, who moved to the road car side of Lotus from Ferrari‘«÷s 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…

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

  1. sato113 said on 16th February 2010, 0:18

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

  2. Rob S said on 16th February 2010, 0:24

    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.

    • sato113 said on 16th February 2010, 0:28

      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

      • Simon Hull said on 16th February 2010, 0:40

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

        • sato113 said on 16th February 2010, 8:34

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

    • Ned Flanders said on 16th February 2010, 0:36

      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!

      • Ronan said on 16th February 2010, 9:27

        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.

    • BasCB said on 16th February 2010, 9:42

      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!

  3. Ned Flanders said on 16th February 2010, 0:29

    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

    • Gmh051 said on 16th February 2010, 3:14

      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.

    • GeeMac said on 16th February 2010, 10:04

      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. Thatís why Iím all for the suggestion that official test days be held at destinations which donít 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. Icthyes said on 16th February 2010, 0:32

    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.

    • Rob S said on 16th February 2010, 0:52

      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?

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

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

    • 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.

    • steph90 said on 16th February 2010, 10:24

      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. John H said on 16th February 2010, 0:56

    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 said on 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.

  7. Lenny said on 16th February 2010, 2:44

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

  8. Lenny said on 16th February 2010, 2:48

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

  9. wasiF1 said on 16th February 2010, 2:57

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

  10. Macca said on 16th February 2010, 4:51

    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?

  11. BasCB said on 16th February 2010, 8:06

    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.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th February 2010, 8:29

      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!

      • BasCB said on 16th February 2010, 8:52

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

        • qazuhb said on 16th February 2010, 11:21

          A (very, very rough) translation attempt:

          The Ferrariís 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 Alonsoís times havenít 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 engineís positioning.

          Nicholas Tombazis, Ferrariís chief designer, has said that to optimize their new (rumoured to be a triple-decker) diffuserís allocated space, a number of the rear place devices have undergone reallocation. The biggest change would be the V8 engineís tilting (3,5ļ) 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 carís driving abilities.

          This solution isnít 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. BasCB said on 16th February 2010, 8:30

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

    The rumour was reported as coming from “an insider” who told insider told Germanyís 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. Fergal said on 16th February 2010, 10:10

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

    http://www.pitpass.com/fes_php/pitpass_news_item.php?fes_art_id=39949

    • LewisC said on 16th February 2010, 11:06

      That link isn’t working for me – really?

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

      • fergal said on 16th February 2010, 21:21

        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.

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