F1 Fanatic round-up: 12/5/2010

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

It’s strange to think that practice starts for the next Grand Prix tomorrow – a by-product of back-to-back races plus Monaco’s unusual practice schedule which sees the cars running on Thursday.

We’ll have lots of live commenting action as usual so be sure to join us. Here’s today’s round-up:


Barclays in F1 tie-up search (Brand Republic)

“Barclays is believed to be eyeing up opportunities for sponsorship within Formula One. Sources claim the bank, which is one of the world’s biggest investors in sports sponsorship, is in negotiations with Red Bull Racing”

Renault to ??build team around Kubica?? (James Allen)

Gerard Lopez: “We both know what we are talking about (partnering Alonso at Ferrari). He would start a 100 metre dash, 200 metres behind the line. I don?t know if he?s interested (in going to Ferrari) but he?s a young driver, so he has plenty of time. If we can provide him with a car and a platform to win then I think there is a high probability that he stays.”

Michael Schumacher plays down expectations on Monaco return (Daily Mirror)

I wonder who’s going to ask him if he can get enough steering lock on the W01 to make it around Rascasse in one go…

Comment of the day

Macahan dug up some interesting statistics on overtaking:

Just a interesting side note really not on Catalunya but I just saw that Shanghai have now dethroned Long beach as the race with most overtakes. 81 overtakes versus 79. Granted the Long Beach race was in 1983 and was a dry race so still stand as the dry race with most overtakes. No wonder it felt that Shanghai race was chaotic with an average of over one overtake per lap.

For Catalunya you have to go back to 03 to have as many overtakes as this year (11) and than go back to 98 to the second race with more or as many overtakes as this year.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Steven!

On this day in F1

The last F1 race at the Nivelles circuit was held on this day in 1974. The Belgian circuit was briefly used after the original Spa-Francorchamps circuit was dropped from the schedule due to safety concerns.

The short, 3.7km (2.3 mile) circuit was not popular and only held two rounds of the world championship before being dropped. It is one of few circuits that held F1 races which are no longer operational – it is now an industrial site. But the roads that once formed the circuit are clearly identifiable in the satellite image below:

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54 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 12/5/2010”

  1. Sweet third COTD. Kudos and thanks for the honor Keith.

    1. The thing with those overtakes is that most of them are from people overtaking the new teams.

      For instance, Buemi drops back after the start and then just breezes past some HRT’s, Virgins, Lotusses and such.

      There were only 3 overtakes between cars from the “old” teams.

  2. Keith should be “plus” in the first paragraph instead of “pus”.

    Nivelles wonder if the people that work and drive on those roads today knows it once was a honored F1 track that they now today use as access roads and what not.

    1. Fixed, thanks.

  3. I agree with the opinion that Kubica should stay at Renault. Ferrari might seem attractive, but with Alonso trying to establish a dominant position in the team, it might not be the best environment for Robert to get himself into – especially as he’d be the newbie there.

    And who knows? If Michelin come back, Renault might be right up there anyway. And if they don’t, and Webber and Vettel depart from Red Bull in the next few years, Kubica could go there instead. Like Lopez says, he has time.

  4. If Kubica ever have the opportunity to move to Ferrari then he should grap it with his both hand.

    1. Also can anyone tell me why there is no practice on Friday in Monaco?

      1. I think, due to the roads being rather important ones, It is just to allow public access on the Friday, I don’t believe there is any particular Historical reason.

      2. Magnificent Geoffrey
        12th May 2010, 3:33

        As far as I know, because Monaco is a soverign nation recognised by the United Nations but is not under the direct juridiction of other large international institutions such as the EU, it does not have to strictly follow many of the common conventions adhered to by the rest of the world, such as having 24 hours in a day, or having 7 days in a week or having to comply with Newton’s Third Law of Motion. Therefore, the Monacanese people don’t actually have such a thing as a ‘Friday’, like you or I do, but instead use that particular time period to gather the entire population in Casino Square where there is a traditional community brunch of caviar on toast with Dodo eggs boiled by an enormous fire of burning $100 notes.

        As you can imagine, attempting to do this during the traditonal weekly period while several 300KPH+ rocketships blast past on the way down to Mirebeau would be horribly dangerous and so they run practice on Thursdays so to not intrude on this local custom.

        1. COTD! surely COTD! A-hahahaha

        2. ohh my. Nearly fell out of the bed laughing , . Even woke up my wife that just fallen asleep so Geoff she will be hunting YOU now. I had to give you up she threaten with that I had to sleep outside with the dog tonight. Weeelll weather is about as attractive as Malaysia GP 09 but with a bit more lightning… and… Bed sounded good being 12:30am..

        3. Sush Meerkat
          12th May 2010, 9:07

          Magnificient Geoffrey, You win the at internet.

        4. That’s just brilliant. :D

        5. Marvelous old bean – well done sir LOL

      3. Sideshow Bob
        12th May 2010, 4:19

        It’s tradition. Maybe the teams like having a Friday off to chill in snazzy Monaco.

    2. Seeing how good Robert and the Renault F1 team work together, as well as this openly made offer to build their team up arount them i think he should stay.

      They want to get on top, in the not too far past they were a winning team and up to now they have given him what he needs to be succesfull.

      So why go to Ferrari now? Just build the Renault team, reap the rewards (race wins, maybe WDC or WCC).
      In the mean time Alonso had the time to pull up Ferrari and win some more with them and in a year of 2-3 he can then come in when Fernando starts running the cycling team etc.
      He will get in as a proven team builder and multiple winner (if all goes well) and not next to Alonso who is hot to prove his point at Ferrari as much.

  5. Keith, from what I’ve learnt of journalists, no offence intended, Is that at least a few of them aren’t the most subtle of people…

    So I wouldn’t be surprised if one has asked about his steering lock!

  6. Ferrari seems attractive, But McLaren and Red Bull look to be more likely to develop winning cars in the next few years, and having a team building itself around him would be something else. I’d say stay with Renault.

  7. Prisoner Monkeys
    12th May 2010, 5:04

    The Italian media is repoting that GP2 and GP3 team ART Grand Prix have also submitted an entry for the 2011 grid. It may not be te slam dunk in favour of Epsilon Euskadi that everyone has been expecting.

    1. Given their GP2 record I’d imagine ART would have a fairly good shot, personally I’d prefer them to stick to GP2 though.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        12th May 2010, 7:19

        The FIA seem to be pushing for GP3 to be the feeder series for GP2, and for GP2 to be the feeder series to Formula 1. There’s no word on whether they’d run all three simultaneously (though as they enjoy such a high standing in GP2 and with GP3 just starting, I imgaine they’d like it), although a team with coverage in all three series would give the FIA’s plans a major dose of credibility. ART comes with Nicolas Todt involved, and would probably get serious Ferrari backing, given the way they run Jules Bicanhi.

        That said, with Durango backing out of GP2 for this season and the organisers deciding not to fill the spot, Manor have expressed interest in the remaining postition. That woul also give them a presence in all three categories.

        1. So are they giving up on F2 then?

          1. Prisoner Monkeys
            12th May 2010, 8:53

            I don’t think so, but F2 seems to be losing credibility, and fast. Andy Soucek is stuck as a trest driver, while Robert Wickens has crossed over to GP3. Kazim Vasiliauskas is about the only driver with any real pulling power, which is a shame because I think the kid is good; the rest of the grid is populaed by the likes of Plamen Kralev, who was frnkly an embarrassment in GP2 Asia this year.

            GP3 is a support event to GP2; GP2 is a support event to Formula 1. They run as support to Formula 1 races when the best F2 can manage is support for a WTCC round.

          2. So this F2 was mainly a Max Mosley effort to thrump Bernie (who is behind GP2 and GP3) that failed to impress and will ultimately give up.

          3. F2 just couldn’t find any good drivers. The good drivers went for the more traditional series like F3 Euroseries and GP2.

          4. Prisoner Monkeys
            12th May 2010, 13:33

            So this F2 was mainly a Max Mosley effort to thrump Bernie (who is behind GP2 and GP3) that failed to impress and will ultimately give up.

            Nope. I believe it was an attempt to create an entry route into Formula 1. There’s a lot of lower-level series – Formula 3, International Formula Master, the World Series by Renault; pretty much everythng but A1GP and Stupid Football Thing – but there’s only one category that feeds directly into Formula 1, and that’s GP2. Formula 2 was an attempt to create a second series parallel to GP2 in order to broaden the talent pool and make it a little easier for drivers to shine. The problem is that it didn’t take. They just couldn’t get the drivers. The drivers who finised a tthe topof the 2009 ladder are all accounted for: Soucek is testing for Virgin, Wickens and Bortolotti and Hegewald went to GP3, and Aleshin returned to Formula Renault 3.5. The only race winners from 2009 who stayed for 2010 were Vasiliauskas and Philipp Eng. Now they’ve got Plamen Kralev (who was embarrassing in GP2 Asia), Armaan Ibrahim (a washed-up Bollywood star who hasn’t raced in years) and Natalia Kowalska (who hasn’t really done anything except karting). It doesn’t help that the grid was scaled back, and the races have no exposure to Formula 1. In terms of where Formula 2 stands right now, it’s probably behind Formula 3.

          5. I would make F2 a following series to F1 in the way that pre-qualifying used to work.

            Actually, that needs explanation.

            In the old days, as many here would know, the field was too large to be accommodated by F1 circuits. At any one time, there could be 30+ cars officially competing

            To solve this there was “pre-qualifying” on a Saturday which determined which of the bottom teams would go through to qualifying proper. which teams had to pre-qualify depended on their performance, changing halfway through the year.

            My idea would be to make F2 into F1’s second series, rather like the football league is. The newest and slowest teams would start in F2, pre-qualifying for the main F1 event. Those who didn’t make it through would contest a support race, whilst the others joined the main F1 race. When running in F2 mode, certain things would be restricted for cost reasons.

            Fanciful, but at the moment F2 is just a waste.

    2. A shame the FIA does not announce us of the bids made officially. Speculating is nice but i am not sure it is good for a governing body to have such things secred.

      I would like them to be more open on who are bidding and then who were chosen and how it was done.

      Good to have several racing companies interested, even though ART might make Todt have to be carefull not to be in a conflict of interest with his son being involved.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        12th May 2010, 9:01

        A shame the FIA does not announce us of the bids made officially. Speculating is nice but i am not sure it is good for a governing body to have such things secred.

        The FIA are under no obligation to announce bids. In fact, as the bidders themselves, the teams have the right to remain anonymous if they so choose. I suspect some of them will want to do just that after teams like Prodrive and Lola talked themselves up and then missed out last year.

        And I don’t see how it makes the sport any better if the FIA reveal who is bidding.

        I would like them to be more open on who are bidding and then who were chosen and how it was done.

        The bid process involves divulging detailed information to the FIA. The FIA have no right to reveal that information. Confidentiality is key, and Jean Todt will honour that,

        1. Not to mention what happen to USF1 and all the speculations on here and elsewhere. So and so shouldn’t be given a place because this and that or it would be a mistake to give xyz company a slot. ABC belongs more as a team then yzi because (insert unverifiable statement or info 20-30 years old).

    3. Interesting – got a link?

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        12th May 2010, 8:51


        It mentions ART as the fourth team to have applied – it seems to be contradicting the SPEED TV reports that Cypher and Anderson F1 are looking into it.

    4. And Alexander Rossi just won a GP3 race for them! I’ve been following him closely as the next great American hope. If ART gets an F1 slot, maybe Rossi will be high on the list for a future drive in the big league.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        12th May 2010, 9:05

        I don’t think winning a GP3 series will qualify one for a superlicence. Doing so would just void the need for the GP2 series.

        1. Yeah, I was thinking along the lines of a young driver development program.

          1. Prisoner Monkeys
            12th May 2010, 11:00

            The problem with an ART entry would be that it could be potentially used by Ferrari to farm talent. That’s what I don’t like about Toro Rosso – their drivers are being primed for a Red Bull seat. If used by Ferrari, ART would not be able to compete in their own right.

          2. I’m not sure that ART is quite a ferrari subsidary, it’s produced drivers for McLaren and Williams, the Nicholas Todt link is interesting an a possible conflict of interest but have they ever seemed like Ferrari’s talent farm before signing Bianchi?

          3. But Ferrari already has a young talent program. Jules Bianchi is in it, I believe. Wouldn’t an ART program be superfluous?

          4. Prisoner Monkeys
            12th May 2010, 13:22

            have they ever seemed like Ferrari’s talent farm before signing Bianchi?

            No, but Bianchi’s presence would grease a lot of wheels in that respect.

  8. While the Daily Mirror has Schumacher playing down expectations in Monaco, Planetf1 has ‘Brawn eyeing Monaco double’.


    1. Yeah, it’s funny how they keep disagreeing.

      Brawn keeps insisting that they will compete for the championship while Schumacher keeps saying that people shouldn’t expect anything.

      The article does say that Brawn is keeping some reservations though. It’s more like he says “anything could happen even a win”

      1. Really, the comments the teams put out in their statements are so vague it’s hard to read anything into them. I only usually bother with them when there’s something concrete like a new part on the car or an interesting quote.

  9. Predictions are open for the Monaco Grand Prix. As usual the deadline is the start of practice three which is 10am on Saturday here in Britain:


  10. As usual I’ve updated the circuit information page with Red Bull’s video lap of the track, narrated by Mark Webber as he drives a lap of the circuit on the simulator:

    Monte-Carlo – circuit information

    Red Bull also put out a German-language version of the video done by Sebastian Vettel – but he has a little crash at Portier!

    1. Nice to see Vettel letting the wheels slip away. He must be glad it was only on the simulator!

      His commentary at the start sounds a little bit like a cheap Science Fiction robot voice.

      Are there any of these for other tracks with Vettel as well?

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        12th May 2010, 13:39

        No, they only do one for each round.

      2. every single track so far this year. You can find Webber doing the same similator run as well those are on redbull.com


        But you can find both drivers simulator run on RedBull’s youtube channel.


        Just have to sift through all the other videos ;) But should be available every track so far this year.

  11. How do I go about getting a little pic beside my name?

  12. Might Toyota be interested in keeping a connection with F1 through tyre testing and maybe getting back in, after they made a nice profit again last year?


  13. A far more important anniversary – 8 years since the Austria 2002 team orders debacle. :P

  14. BeyondThePale
    12th May 2010, 21:59

    Only a handful of pilots have won at Monte Carlo More than once. Ayrton Senna did it 6 times, Michael Schumacher and Graham Hill 5, Alain Prost 4, Jackie Stewart and Stirling Moss 3, Maurice Trintignant, Juan Manuel Fangio, Jody Scheckter, Niki Lauda, Fernando Alonso and David Coulthard 2, if I got it right.

    Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Jarno Trulli, Juan Pablo Montoya , Mika Hakkinen, Olivier Panis, Keke Rosberg, Ricardo Patrese, Gilles Villeneuve, Carlos Reutemann, Patrick Depailler, Ronnie Peterson, Jean-Pierre Beltoise, Jochen Rindt, Denny Hulme, Bruce McLaren, and Jack Brabham won just once.

    If MSC can win next Sunday he’ll be up there with Ayrton Senna. Many think that this was the motivation of his parking move last time he was here, but I guess we’ll never know.

    1. BeyondThePale
      12th May 2010, 22:17

      And the teams, it’s trickier to count because the names keep changing. By my reckoning: McLaren 15 times, Ferrari , Lotus 7, BRM 5, Tyrrell, Cooper and Williams 3, Maserati, Renault, Benneton, and Brabham 2, Brawn, Ligier, Wolf and Alfa Romeo just once. Seems like McLaren dominance won’t be beaten anytime soon.

      1. BeyondThePale
        12th May 2010, 22:23

        it was Ferrari 8

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