F1 Fanatic round-up: 6/5/2010

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

I’m at the Circuit de Catalunya today and tomorrow and hope to have some stories up from the track soon. Keep an eye out here and on my Twitter account.


Jersey City mayor nixes idea for Formula One race in Liberty State Park (Jersey Journal)

Well that didn’t last long.

Forbannade 78

A new documentary in production about Ronnie Peterson and Gunnar Nilsson called “Forbannade 78” (“Damned 78”). The producers are interested to hear from anyone with first-hand pictures, films and memories of the two drivers. Please post in the comments if you have any and would like to contribute to this project so I can put them in touch with you.

New partnership with Autonomy (Mercedes)

Mercedes’ new sponsor who appeared on the car at Sepang – this is who they are.

Comment of the day

The mayor of Jersey City might not like the Grand Prix plan but at least one of his constituents did. JavlinSharp lives a few miles away from the potential site for the New York Grand Prix and sent in his thoughts about the proposal:

New York City is the pinnacle of glamour, Wealth and Commercialism in the US; three of Bernie?s favorite things. Though F1 would be impossible on Manhatten island, Jersey City?s proximity is so close as to make no difference.

Jersey City has long been a commercial area, hosting major offices, commercial space and public transit systems. In recent years there has been a huge increase of new High End apartments, shopping areas, and office buildings. A new Trump building was finished just last year. These owners will be excited to have the recognition that F1 brings.

Most of the remaining buildings are low-end private constructions. These owners will probably not mount a major effort against the project, as the citizens of they city, they stand to gain as well.

The City Council is pro business and pro commerce. The recognition alone would be a big factor. Always under the shadow of Manhattan, Jersey City would get a big boost in recognition, and a minor windfall in sales taxes. If the they can make even money in a contract with Bernie, these factor alone might be sufficient motivation.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Brakius!

On this day in F1

Five years ago today BAR withdrew their appeal against their two-race suspension for using an illegal fuel tank reservoir on their cars. The team were not allowed to compete in the Spanish or Monaco Grands Prix.

It’s strange to think they’re now on their fourth incarnation since then, having become Honda, BAR and finally Mercedes.

65 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 6/5/2010”

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  1. Bummer about Jersey City. That would have made for a very cool US Grand Prix.

    1. if they want to do it in a big American city then I’d say Miami would be perfect!
      the beach could double up as a massive gravel trap! :D

      1. Ned Flanders
        6th May 2010, 1:02

        Why not just have a giant drag race across the salt pans in Utah?

        1. Ned! You’re a genius! Hold the race on Bonneville Salt Flats, yes. Then finally FiA Safety Working Group would have enough run-off area to make them happy.

        1. I posted that solely because Miami was mentioned. I personally would prefer Laguna Seca over any other track tbh, although the regulations will prevent that from being raced on by F1 :(

          1. FelipeBabyStayCool
            6th May 2010, 2:11

            Laguna Seca is perfect for MotoGP but a bit short and probably too narrow for F1. Maybe it could we widened and the security improved. I’d really love to see the F1 cars doin’ the corkscrew!

          2. you and me both, man :/

        2. That would be pretty good for F1, but I’m sure there’d be some insurmountable sticking point…

          1. Yeah it’s a shame that regulations would prevent that. Laguna Seca would be great. Can you imagine that many cars on that short a track? It would be entertaining to see the least. There definitely do need to be both shorter and longer tracks on the calendar. Add Laguna Seca and Nordschleife please Bernie!

        3. Ned Flanders
          6th May 2010, 12:06

          Yeah I’d settle for Homestead. Obviously it would be a very short lap, but we’ve been saying for a while now we need some variety on the calender. I think perhaps it would be unrealistic to expect an F1 race on a full oval any time soon, but I’d settle for half oval/ half road course

    2. Prisoner Monkeys
      6th May 2010, 4:18

      I wouldn’t say it’s over just yet. Because Liberty State Park is a national park, the application for any event there has to be made at the State level, because it’s the state that controls national parks. Not the local council. Given that the actual application is fairly bare-bones, I’m guessing that it’s a draft copy, one that the Friends of Liberty State Park forced into being placed online so that they could kill it before it began. Seriously, if somone explained to them what Formula 1 does in Albert Park and Ile-Notre Dame and how it’s benefited both places, the Friends should be right on-board with the idea: they get a massive upgrade to their infrastructure free of charge, international recognition and so on.

      But no, because they weren’t consulted from the outset, they opposed it. They’re not a state body – the’re not even a governmental group; they’re an NGO – but they seem to think they have the powers of one. Even if there is no race in the Park, someone needs to bring them into line. You can’t have a group of civilians assuming that they know best when they act like this.

      1. Scalextric
        6th May 2010, 4:34

        Yes quite. But. Er. Not exactly, state parks are indeed run by the states, in this case the state of New Jersey. But it’s not a national park. National Parks are the likes of Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain National Park, the Statue of Liberty itself, etc. Those are run by the US National Park Service featuring Ranger Smith and all that. There, was that off topic enough? The local city/mayor will have veto power to some degree I guess as the access to the park goes through their streets. So let’s bring them to California where I live now! Hurrah! Priuses for all!

        1. Prisoner Monkeys
          6th May 2010, 7:26

          Well, if it’s Liberty State Park, then it would be run by the state, woulsn’t it? Unless the mayor of Jersey City is also the governor for the state of New Jersey – and I already know he isn’t – then itstands to reason that he has no say. He would have a say if t were just a city park, but it isn’t. The only place you might find Liberty Cty Park would be in Grand Theft Auto IV.

          Priuses for all!

          Would you settle for a Toyota TF104? They’re about as useful …

      2. «They’re not a state body – the’re not even a governmental group; they’re an NGO – but they seem to think they have the powers of one. Even if there is no race in the Park, someone needs to bring them into line. You can’t have a group of civilians assuming that they know best when they act like this.»

        Feeling slightly authoritarian this morning? So if an organization is not part of the governing structure it has no claim to represent public interest? So much for grass roots activism, I guess.

        So does the same apply to F1 fans who oppose the decisions of the sport’s governing body?

        1. polishboy808
          6th May 2010, 14:45

          Ahh Homestead would be perfecct for me as its only an hour away from where I live. However as for the racing that would happen there, its safe to say it would be a little bit less than exciteing. I’ve been there to see my father race and was even in the car with him. I love the track as a drivers track, but as a viewers track, it would be like indy. Not to mention they would have to build infield grandstands, and that could pose a problem as there are non at the moment that could sustain 100+ people. turns 3 and 4 are interesting because almost everybody gets 3 wrong and then are aligned wrong for 4 and that causes big drama (ive seen 3 crashes happen there in 3 hours) and it going downhill so the stress on the cars is immense. however 3 6 and 8 are the only good overtaking positions. And you have to remember, the track starts on a 3 degree banking, Its not a smoothe entrance onto the 18-20 degree banked turns either. But Indycars drove there and it was decent, so maybe f1 can do it to.

          1. Would they really need to build in-field grandstands? It’s an oval, which means that you can pretty much see everything (barring obstructions like the garages) from wherever you sit.

      3. Actually, yes they can. Welcome to America.

    3. I ran across a interesting thing this morning about the proposed NY track.


      Part of the proposed road to use is very narrow today and a nice cobbelstone road. This would have to been changed and basically ruined since there would be no way the F1 cars could drive there without resurfacing and that would forever destroy what is there today and liked. Also there are very few green parks in this area so absolutely can understand the locals being against this invasion and destruction to one of the few beautiful locations in NY.

      1. polishboy808
        6th May 2010, 15:12

        Im sorry but its just like any other park. There is nothing different about this one. Sure they want to preeserve history, however they need to look at what good this could bring. Revenue for the park, fame and exposure to other companies that might take interest in restoring it into a beautiful park. There really isn’t anything special about this one, and to tell you the truth, it’s quite ugly. Lots of concrete and ugly buildinng in the area add to the fact that the place could use a little bit of a makeover. It’s true, people have the righ to want to protect something thats been around a while, but it’ss still be there, only it would be better.

        1. maybe the developments discussed in the MoMA rising currents exhibition (here: http://press.moma.org/images/press/risingcurrents/3.RisingCurrentsWallText.pdf ) have something to do with their reluctance.

          Some pictures are included in this article (czech): http://bydleni.idnes.cz/new-york-se-potapi-zachranit-jej-mohou-sklenena-skaliska-ci-ustricova-skolka-1wd-/architektura.asp?c=A100423_174633_architektura_rez

          1. polishboy808
            6th May 2010, 18:48

            Nahhh thats not it.

  2. “It’s strange to think they’re now on their fourth incarnation since then, having become Honda, BAR and finally Mercedes.”

    Erm sorry brother, but do you mean Brawn not BAR again?

    1. Wouldn’t it be the 5th incarnation as the team started out as Tyrell, or was the BAR entry for 1999 a new one?

  3. f1 fanatic lurker
    6th May 2010, 1:31

    I am glad that the Liberty State Park F1 project was stopped in it’s tracks. Replacing a public park with a race track is completely inappropriate. I have no support whatsoever for placing any type of race track on public land. Not only would it remove any chance of an ecological restoration near a large urban environment, it would impede on Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Both National Monuments that would be disgraced by the track’s presence. If Formula 1 wants to return to the United States a preexisting track must be selected or build a new track on private not public land.

    1. The ecological restoration of Albert Park only happened because of F1.

      1. f1 fanatic lurker
        6th May 2010, 2:41

        If Albert Park benefited from Formula 1 then I am happy for it. But when you read about what is planned for Liberty State Park, you will realize that a race track should not be there. Click on “Illustrative Plan” at , to see for yourself.

        1. f1 fanatic lurker
          6th May 2010, 2:42

          I don’t take the URL for some reason. http://www.folsp.org/interior/interior.htm

        2. The race track wouldnt have been permanent ie: Indianapolis, Silverstone. It would have been temporary meaning for the rest of the year all that would be left would be a few curbs, and possibly a Pit Building and gravel traps.

          You just have to look at Albert Park. When the Grand Prix isnt there, you wouldnt even know that its a race track.

          1. Take a look at what Albert Park looks like after the Grand Prix. Liberty Park could easily have done the same thing. http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2009/03/21/a-virtual-lap-of-albert-park-melbourne-f1-circuit-with-google-street-view/

      2. but Liberty State Park don’t need a ecological restoration it’s a beautiful area with nice narrow “historical” cobblestone roads that would be destroyed to make a tarmac road.

  4. I grew up 200m from Albert park and agree that f1 actually made the park nicer but it was a seedy dump Pre f1 so prabably a different situation to the NJ idea. Albert park is also really mostly football and soccer grounds so probably easier to fix after a gp weekend.

    1. From what i read about the NJ park it was an industrial dump only 10 or 15 years ago. They started doing some development only after that, so not too different.

      It would be a great opportunity for Bernie to show, that F1 can be combined with making a piece of urban marshlands.

  5. Magnificent Geoffrey
    6th May 2010, 6:47

    Here’s my personal take on this US Grand Prix stuff.

    First of all, why not take the race back to Indy? Yes, it’s not the most exciting race track in the world, but (excluding ’05) it worked as a venue for F1. The teams know the track, it has the facilities, grandstands and you’d simply have to sort out a deal with Tony George and you could go back there in 2011 with (this is what I’m assuming) little difficulty. I completely understand the reasons why you’d prefer a US GP to be held somewhere more exotic but isn’t it more important for us to actually have a race in the United States as soon as possible, regardless of where it is? It makes sense to me for the sport to take the easiest and quickest possible option in establishing a US GP that runs soundly and annually first and then we could worry about developing a race somewhere different after that.

    I’m actually quite torn between whether or not we should focus on running the race on any form of street circuit over a permanent one. On the one hand, I can’t think of any other US track that would really be appropriate for F1 racing in America outside of, possibly, the Daytona Road Course, and, possibly, Laguna Seca. Even then, Daytona would have the issue of banking (which may or not even be a problem, but it’s a lot steeper than Indy’s) and Laguna Seca (despite being a bloody brilliant circuit) I’d imagine would be a bit too short and twisty for F1 to produce good racing, but then again, I am only speculating.

    On the other hand, there is the street circuit option, but I’ve got my concerns about that as well. If I try to think of all the street circuits that have recently been used in the US: Phoenix, Long Beach, Detroit, St. Petersburg, Denver, San Jose etc – I can’t think of one that stands out as being a obviously suitable place to host a Formula One Grand Prix. This means that you’d have to create a new track somewhere, either in a brand new location or with a different configuration in a place used to hosting street races, and my argument is that that would require a lot more time, money and effort to establish and you could potentially still end up with a track plagued with the overtaking problem that affects Monaco and Singapore (which I do enjoy) and Valencia (which I very much do not). We want a race in the US to give the long-suffering, hardcore American fans what they deserve while also showing the rest of the US what Formula One racing can be like at its best.

    Outside of a Grand Prix on a US road course or on a street circuit, I suppose there could be a third option: a race on an oval…


    Like I said, this is just my own particular take on it, I don’t know as much as I’d like about this sort of thing but I’m looking at this as both a fan of racing and as an F1 fan who wants to see our sport truly succeed in America. However, I still think that, at this stage, we should focus on getting a race state-side ASAP and that we should be looking to take the simplest possibly option to do so, if only for now.

    1. I personally didn’t mind Indy as an F1 venue. I always saw it as the perfect meeting place for the American and European motor racing fraternities. The thing that annoyed me most was that F1 just didn’t do the US GP at Indianapolis properly… they should have just raced on the full oval.

      That way we could all get what we want. Motorsport fans would finally get to make a meaningful comparison between Indycar and F1, we would get high speed close (hopefully) wheel to wheel racing, we would get to see F1 cars running their Monza type low downforce set-ups for a second time in the season and we would have a venue which would break the monotony of modern F1 venues. It’s win win win win win.

      And for the purists (of which I consider myself one) who say that F1 shouldn’t race on ovals… lets not forget that F1 cars used to race on Monza’s high banking. Not quite an oval yes, but if you concentrate really hard, you could say that F1 was technically returning to its roots.

      1. Not to forget that a lot of f1 drivers in the 60s raced in the indy 500

        1. I was going to mention that… but then I had to carry on working…

          1. Take F1 round the oval, show america what F1 can do. Circuit specific drafting cars would be roll’d out from the second time we went there and the indy lap record would be smashed. US would get to see proper racing at Montreal as well.

  6. I just read some interesting technology development enabling engines to run more efficient while being as responsive for the driver as they are now. If F1 could pick up this, i am sure it would be finetuned in only a short matter of time.


  7. James Brickles
    6th May 2010, 7:27

    F1 should go to Road America. It would be much easier to go to a current racetrack rather than building a new one from scratch.

    The circuit is brilliant and its two long straights should easily provide overtaking. It’s got some good challenging corners as well. All it needs is some brand new facilities and there we go, a US Grand Prix.

    1. Facilities, which they aren’t going to build just for F1. And also, acres of run-off area.

      They can’t afford/aren’t willing to do either, probably.

  8. Bernie should definitely try to go to Long Beach again.

  9. Point 1. @JavlinSharp, (and others). I gotta say it seems to me like people haven’t really considered that in view of what has been happening with the world economy (or more poignantly, Greece), purely financial/prestige considerations can prove to be deeply misguided. And I may be wrong, but when I read stuff like: «Most of the remaining buildings are low-end private constructions. These owners will probably not mount a major effort against the project, as the citizens of they city, they stand to gain as well» what I see underneath is “the rest have no financial clout, so they can’t do anything about it, and anyways the more important people know better”.

    Point 2. Unless we want to keep carping for yet a long time about how crappy racing has become, seems to me we should want F1 to go to racetracks – not necessarily tourist sites with a view.

  10. The Dutch Bear
    6th May 2010, 9:36

    Long Beach was the only succesfull F1 event in America. It makes sense to go back there. Road America is a great track, but I think the facilities are nowhere near Bernie’s standards. Ovals isn’t a good idea. I would love to see F1 on for example Talladega, but I don’t think it will work. Apart of speed and safety concerns (which aren’t problems for me, but for the drivers, who complain way too much these days, they are.) there is the overtaking problem. Last year the Indycars got push-to-pass because overtaking was so hard on the ovals. This problem is caused by aero dependency. F1 would have an even bigger problem with their huge aero dependency.

    1. Not sure how you can claim that Long Beach was the only succesfull F1 race in America. What is a measure of success? The number of attendants? Overtakes? Indy might not offered very exciting racing and had it’s farcial race in 05. But the 2000 race was as far as I know the most well attended race in F1 history with over 200k spectators. 2001 which was 19 days after the 9 11 attack reportedly had almost 175k people attending during a time when few where traveling and a friend of mine had won a stay and visit to Disney world which he did less then 2 weeks after the attack told me Disney World in Florida was a ghost town yet the US GP 19 days after attracted more attendees then what almost any other F1 circuit on the calendar today even have seating capacity for.
      There where frequently over an average of 125k going to the Indy race which is more then most if not all Euro race tracks used can handle. The ONLY reason 05 was fielded by only 3 teams was because Mad Max was not willing to bend an inch, not allowing a installation of a chicane at turn 13 which was the problem for the Michelin tires. Even Michelins best tire that was flown in fast to try to solve the problem (same time that was used in Spain race which was the hardest track on tires until that Indy race) failed.
      There where many options and suggestions from the teams and tire manufacturers but all where shot down by Max who refused to budge and told them well slow down for the corner then or drive down the pit lane instead. You serious 14 cars going through the pit for 73 laps? Ludacris. Ferrari was the only team that prevented all teams to agree on a change (Thanks Todt).
      Aftermath was a joke to with WMC attacking the teams and finding the guilty of regulation violations just to overturn the decision less then a month later.
      With all that baggage it’s no wonder the fans hesitated to go to the 06 race but still that race attracted as many or more visitors then many other races manage to attract or can even seat. 06 ran smoothly and then attendance in 07 was NOT a failure either if you count reaching 100k as a success.
      How many races on the calendar today can boast having 100k attendance?
      Abu Dahbi the latest track added to the calendar can’t even seat this many.

      It was just egotistical managers (Max and George) that caused the row in 05 and the ultimate disappearance of the USGP robbing the US Fans of a home grand prix and going away from the market that for the longest time been the manufactures prime market. Consider this treatment I’m not surprised that the manufacturers and sponsors decided to leave F1 especially with the horrible economic climate added to it.
      To little to late. Either way I sure hope there will be a USGP in 2011 don’t necessary care where it’s at as long as it happens to me that is more important then where it happens as long as there is enough capacity because US fans want to see a home race again and last time there was a big gap (7 years last time) the first race had a all time record attendance that I believe still stands today of almost 225k fans attending.

      USGP 2011 count me in where ever it lands.

      1. Hear Hear

        My vote for COTD :)

  11. I’ve read anarticle today in dutch newspaper that the Red Bull team will have new suits with Fir-Tex. A fabrique that has “far away infrared” that is more comfortable, gives more sustainability and better perfromance to the wearer. A Dutch compacy is providing the suits.

    Maybe you should know before entering the prediction game ;-)

  12. You missed out Brawn :D

  13. I would who the UK drivers and personalities in the F1 paddock would be voting in today’s general election?

  14. Myles Woerner
    6th May 2010, 15:29

    Keith, I think you mean “Brawn” instead of “BAR” in the last sentence.

  15. Whitty 123
    6th May 2010, 15:36

    You didn’t vote then Keith.

  16. Autosport are reporting a radical engine cover for Mercedes to use in spain. Looks interesting.

  17. Mark Hitchcock
    6th May 2010, 16:28

    Drivers want Monaco qualifying split.

    I was quite looking forward to seeing how the fast guys would deal with the traffic to be honest so I hope it stays as normal.

    1. Yeha I hope it stays the same too. It’s just another area where drivers need to show their talent to be honest. The grid used to have more cars and it was all about timing, not always exciting but it was a good skill and another aspect to the weekend.

    2. It should remain the same. They were fine with 20 cars, there wasn’t much of a difference when there were 22 cars (which included Super Aguri and Midland, who were significantly slower than everyone else), so 24 shouldn’t make the difference the difference it’s being hyped to be.

    3. That is absolutely ridiculous. Traffic is and always has been part of the challenge of qualifying. If you can’t find enough space to set a clear lap – well, you should get better at finding space.

      1. This sounds like a stupid idea, interesting that it is proposed by the backmarkers (maybe they were “warned” not to get in somebodies way).

        If they would do something like this, just split the field up in say championship order, but make the times relevant, so a car getting a great lap has a possibility of getting furter, even if it was originally in the “slower” group.
        Something like they do in Indy, where the fastest 6 of each of 2 groups go for the pole position shout out.
        It would be like 2 groups of 12 cars running, with the fastest 8 of each group going on to Q2.

        But from experience with F1 i think Kubica has it right, it is difficult to agree on anything.

  18. Alright, armour cinched tight, helmet on. Here goes.

    I think F1 has gotten a bit snotty for it’s own good. Certainly for the good of the fans. Bernie’s remarks not so long ago about some venue or effort “attracting the wrong sort”. Please, who died and left you perfect Bernie? Or better than everyone else?

    All the demands for fancy VIP suites, fancy garages and paddock area. “You have $10 million garages? Oh, no, that simply won’t do. F1 requires at least $50 million garage/paddock area. And $100 million VIP suites.”

    And Bernie isn’t the only one that’s gotten just a bit too posh. FiA is rapidly approaching Bernie in the self-delusion area. FiA is a racing sanctioning body. Period. It isn’t saviour to the world on motoring in general, it isn’t the world’s auto developement laboratory(or shouldn’t be). It’s supposed to be about racing. I think FiA has forgotten that.

    It’s supposed to be about the racing, not the show or the spectacle. Make the racing good enough and the rest will take care of itself.

    So, I’ve said that to say this: Why, exactly, can’t F1 run at Road America, or at Barber Motorsports Park? IRL runs at Barber, and IRL cars are capable of 200mph + same as F1 cars. Also, I don’t recall that F1 cars are wider than IRL cars, so why would the tracks be too narrow for F1 cars? No covered garages and no big fancy VIP suites. Well, darn, of course, F1 cars won’t start without a fancy VIP suite close by, right? What? They will? Wow, I thought Max & Bernie had gotten that tech reg put in several years ago.

    Is it safety? Plenty of run-off area at both places. Plenty of run-off area at Sonoma, too. You ain’t careful, you’ll slide clear into the next county. No walls, just grass. So what is the problem with road courses here in America? Runoff area? Prolly not. New garages and improvement to the pit areas? Possibly. Bernie being too posh for any one’s good, and none of the existing road course able or willing to pay the multi-multi-million dollar fee Bernie expects? Most definitely, I’d say.

    The Teams association and FiA really need to start checking the fine print in Bernie’s 100 year media contract. (100 years? What idiot gave him that??? Eh? oh. Max did. Of course.) If there isn’t a way to oust him, perhaps there is a way to rein him in and bring some sanity back to Formula 1.
    Because for Formula 1 to be the pinnacle of motorsport, it first must be motorsport.

    Soapbox is now vacant. Thank you for listening.

    1. Actually FIA is not and was never ment to be “only” the racing sanctioning body. It is founded by all automobile clubs in the world to be the automotive forum. One of the major critisizms of Mosley was, that he only had eye for F1, not for other motorsports and even less for more serious matters.

      That is one of the reasons the American, German, Dutch and several others were among the first to voice thoughts of Mosley having to quit after the Nazi-SM scandal. They wanted FIA to more take care of general automotive concerns or split the sports part off.

      You are right on the part critisizing Bernie and Mosley (and the others involved) in sanctioning a 100 year lease on commercial rights and only trying to get money out of it.
      I think it would be very healthy indeed for FOM to actually organize some races and everything around it like the Jersey City paper proposed, just to have them get an impression of what work is needed to make it a succes.

  19. Ferrari have removed barcode. It’s on autosport now

    1. It’s an interesting development. Maybe when Ferrari fired up the legal department, they were told to remove the barcode just to be safe? It will be interesting to see whether it returns in Monaco or Canada, which are outside of European jurisdiction.

    2. I saw it on pictures. So they were not that sure about there not being a connection with a certain tabacco company, were they

  20. I like the interview with Trulli (it was on several sites, link to autosport below) about Lotus up to now.
    Especially his thoughts on not putting too much effort in improving the car this year but rather focusing on building the team capacities and next years car.


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