FIA appeal court decides World Touring Car title

F1 Fanatic round-up

The FIA World Touring Car Championship was decided two races before the end of the season yesterday following a decision by the International Court of Appeal.

Links

International Court of Appeal 16/11/2010 (FIA)

Imagine the outcry if this were to happen in Formula 1. BMW turned up at the Japanese round of the World Touring Car Championship using a different specification of gearbox. The stewards allowed them to compete but the FIA appeal court overturned the decision and struck BMW from the results.

The decision means the World Touring Car Championship will not be decided in the double-header race at the fabulous Macau Grand Prix circuit this weekend. Chevrolet’s Yvan Muller has been guaranteed the title.

‘Tea or coffee?’ Richard Branson to dress up as an air hostess and serve passengers on AirAsia flight after losing F1 bet (Daily Mail)

The story was on F1 Fanatic yesterday – they only get a link because they quoted me! I was asked by a friend who works for a news agency to supply a quote for the story.

Vettel spurred on by Spa spearing criticism (The Independent)

“Maybe mid-season, I don’t think I lost focus but maybe I became a bit tense as it wasn’t always easy to come back after the way some of the things had gone and the way some races had developed. After what happened in Spa I got a lot of bad press in particular. It wasn’t easy at that time, with a lot of people saying bad things and trying to knock us down.”

Hispania: What options for their 2011 Chassis? (ScarbsF1)

“This really leaves HRT with the only option of designing a new chassis or redesigning their current chassis. With Geoff Willis as Technical director, its possible the team could achieve this. Either with contracted-in staff or a design bureau such as Lotus used, the knowledge can easily be bought in. Equally with the huge network of sub contractors supplying F1, the manufacturing could be farmed out to third parties. The approach would depend on whether HRT own the design IP of the Dallara chassis. If they do own it, then modifying the chassis would be the quickest route to a race ready car. Albeit a car with compromises and resultantly suffering on pace.”

Sad news about a great snapper (Who Are You, Anyway?)

“Hugo was very easy going, perhaps because he had been inconvenienced by people far more famous than those we were asking him to photograph. After all, when you?ve had to delay a shoot for 24 hours while Kurt Cobain has his blood changed after an overdose, having Jarno Trulli flounce off mid-shoot because it?s ??a bit cold?? pales in comparison.”

Abu Dhabi GP urged to alter circuit (Autosport)

Martin Whitmarsh: “I personally would like to see it changed. If you look at GP2, it was not inspiring. I think it is a fantastic facility that we come to, but the end of the straight they need a wide challenging corner, not a chicane that has got one line through it – because it is impossible to overtake.”

Sebastian Vettel will find his life has changed beyond all recognition now he is world champion (The Daily Telegraph)

“There has been some speculation over whether Mark will stay on next season but there is no doubt in my mind. Mark has pushed Sebastian hard for two years running. He has come up short by the narrowest of margins. Who is to say he won?t come out on top next year?”

Comment of the day

JT reckons it’s more than just the cars and drivers that were being tested yesterday:

I’m pretty sure that’s a 1080p High Defenition camera.

Also Bianchi?s helmet wow that thing is a beauty!!
JT

From the forum

Complete this sentence: You know you’ve been watching Formula 1 for too long when…

Happy birthday!

A very happy birthday to Mujahid Rahman!

On this day in F1

Honda founder Sochiro Honda was born on this day in 1906.

He died in 1991, when the car manufacturer was at the peak of its success in Formula. That year McLaren made it six consecutive seasons that the constructors’ championship had been won by a Honda-powered car.

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53 comments on FIA appeal court decides World Touring Car title

  1. Dipak T said on 17th November 2010, 0:05

    Hmm, will Honda come back as an engine supplier in 2013? And if its true that onboard HD cameras are being tested, that is brilliant news.

  2. Commendatore said on 17th November 2010, 0:26

    Hmm, I thought you’d have this most interesting link in the round-up, but since I don’t see it, here it is. ;)

    http://www.auto.it/autosprint/formula_1/2010/11/16-6738/Ecco+l%E2%80%99ordine+della+disfatta+Ferrari

    Here you can read the complete team radio communication between F.Alonso and A.Stella during the Abu Bhabi GP.

    It’s in italian (so google trans. should help those don’t understand it), but all in all, “Corriere della Sera” puts the blame on the team strategist Chris Dyer. Andrea Stella just obeyed his orders…

    Cheers! :)

    • glue (@glue) said on 17th November 2010, 3:34

      well, at least the radios raised awareness of Alonso’s talent size

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 17th November 2010, 6:58

      It is the session where Ferrari is suicide.

      :-)
      I know Italian tends to be a bit more dramatic than English, but did Google translator really get this right?

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 17th November 2010, 10:57

      So basically there was no communication at all before the pitstop?

      I’m surprised they didn’t discuss more with Alonso before calling him in.

    • Interesting find.

      Still I think it is good, the team does single out one person to put all the blame on.
      That strategy backfired, but if the car would have been faster, it would have never come to that. And if Alonso had not made the costly mistakes in the first half of the season it would have been different as well, and if ….

    • Translation:
      Lap 9 – Stella warns Alonso: “You’ve earned another 3 tenths on Webber. Even Felipe is closing up.”

      Lap 12 – Stella informs Alonso: “Webber has stopped and Vettel is losing ground from Hamilton.”
      Alonso replies: “If you see Felipe can pass him (Webber) in a lap, call him in.”
      Pits’ answer: “We’re thinking about it, concentrate on Button.”

      Lap 14 – “How has the situation gone with Felipe?”, asks Alonso, regarding the Brazilian’s stop.
      “He came back behind Webber”, the pits answer him.

      Lap 15 – From the pits the order that will cost Alonso the Championship is given: “OK, now enter.”
      The Spaniard replies: “OK.”
      The pit wall replies: “You’ll enter close to Webber. You’re in front.”

      Lap 17 – Alonso asks: “What is the situation?”
      Stella tells him: “We have to overtake the Renault in front of us, it won’t stop again. Then there’s Rosberg.”

      Lap 22 – The situation is now clear. It’s the pit wall again calling Fernando. That by radio is an imploration.
      Stella: “I know that you’re giving your best, but it’s fundamental passing Petrov.”
      But the Russian of Renault will resist in front of Alonso’s Ferrari till the chequered flag ending 6th. An uncrossable wall. Vettel is World Champion.

      • Thanks for the translation. Brilliant. This is a classic failure, borne of a classic failure to speak in non-defferential tones to authority, seen time and again from airplane cockpits to legal teams to boardrooms.

        This is 100 percent the team’s fault and it seems to me a failure of management culture not just operational failures.

        Alonso was fixated on Webber. Alonso is thinking of preventing the key loss of (what was) the key position. He is even trying to manage Massa’s stop. But the team is thinking about staying close to Button, because that is actaully more important, because of the SC-period pit stops.

        “Concentrate on Button,” they say. But they say this without color or elaboration. And this does need some explanation, because Alonso knows he needn’t be third, but only 4th, and understands this to be the situation he is in.

        Then, they give him some silly, irrlevant info about Hamilton. This I find amazing. So Alonso now is thinking, Hamilton may pass Vettel, I will stay in 4th, and I can even lose this spot to Webber now. Thus, he shows no further concern with catching up Button. It’s even less important now.

        Instead, he turns his focus fully to Webber.

        Hearing that Alonso does not grasp his situation, it was the team’s job to say, you will lose the title if you do no get closer to Button and in a position to jump the cars that will not stop,let me know if you understand.

        Instead, they sign on to Alonso’s scenario and try to cover Webber.

        It is at this point that Alonso asks, “what is the situation?” And it is at this point they first tell him the consequence of covering Webber. I’m sure he was shocked and enraged to hear this. They team never think to give him the “situation” until he asks!

        I think it’s worth a thought as to whether the position of Alonso in the team, and the status that the team gives a lead driver, precluded the team from talking sense to him on the radio. Alonso had too much on his plate, too little information, and too many yes-men on the wall, waiting only from guidance from the boss man in the car on what to do.

        Maybe things turn out the same, but it would have been a lot better to prevail upon Alonso’s truly great skills to catch up to Button, which was heck of an easier brief, rather than put him a position where he had use his skills pass Petrov and Rosberg.

        • Concentrate on Button.

          Yes, but they were concentrating on Webber, rather than Button. And they should have concentrated on Vettel, as Button was out of contention.

        • George said on 17th November 2010, 17:43

          If Webber’s strategy turned out to be a master stroke and he won the race while Alonso was stuck behind Button, Hamilton and Vettel you’d still be ripping into Ferrari though.

          • No. I give Alonso his credit when it is due, and it often is. Webber’s strategy had no chance of achieving a title-winning position, much less winning the race, whatsoever. And that is the problem with the team’s decision to adopt Alonso’s strategy.

          • At the time Webber pitted I think most people saw that as the end of Webbers title hopes. After that too early pit stop he needed a miracle to become champion. Alonso would have been Champion if he had adopted Vettels attitude: I just drive flat out – thats all I can do, then I leave the math to someone else.
            Then Alonso and Ferrari would not have focused on Webber.
            The info about Hamilton and Vettel was also about the expected degradation of the Option tires, on which the laptimes increased until the lap Alonso stopped – from this lap they improved again and thus making the error from Ferrari even worse. And how can they forget to compute where he will come out after the stop, before they call him in: They must have known that Rosberg and Petrov used the safety car period to take the pitstop they needed.
            But a stroke of genius with Red Bull to use Webbers bad situation to fool Ferrari into ******* up their strategy…

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 17th November 2010, 22:07

            But a stroke of genius with Red Bull to use Webbers bad situation to fool Ferrari

            I don’t buy that. Webber’s lap times had dropped off, he was running last out of the championship contenders and had nearly stuck is car in the wall on one lap. And he’d been off the pace on super-soft tyres throughout the weekend. Changing tyres was the logical thing to do.

            Saying Red Bull did it to fool Ferrari is just assuming the consequence of something was the reason for doing it. Post hoc ergo propter hoc, if I’m not mistaken.

          • As far as I could see, Webber pitted because he’d done his rear tyres in, which is hardly surprising considering he’d slammed the wall so hard a few laps earlier. The spark produced from that hit must surely have damaged the tyre. So it was hardly surprising he had to stop out of sync.

            What mystifies me is why nobody in red with influence over Alonso’s strategy realised this. You don’t base your strategy on someone who’s already demolished their own chances unless and until they show that the demolition was necessary to succeed. Something that in Webber’s case was unlikely to happen.

  3. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 17th November 2010, 1:10

    If they do own it, then modifying the chassis would be the quickest route to a race ready car

    that’s stupid! how bad are they gonna be next year (all with the new regulations and NEW TYRES, let’s not forget that) a car that struggled to keep up with Pastor Maldonado’s GP2 car this year on Bridgestones…?

    I support the new teams. But HRT is running out of resouces. No money, no sponsors, Dallara left, now Toyota. I can help them tho…

    My nephew draws some very cool F1 cars on crayons!!

    • Don Mateo said on 17th November 2010, 12:49

      You never know, it could turn out that their car suits the Pirellis better than the Bridgestones!

      They could always try what Paul Stoddard did a few years ago – seek dispensation to run this year’s car unmodified next season, on the basis that it’s so slow anyway that it wouldn’t have any kind of advantage.

      • I recal that one hoary old Arrows chassis did a commendable job for Super Aguri. Maybe they should investigate picking up an old car as an alternative to cobbling together some POS with their current budget situation.

        • That would be ironic, considering Hispania boss Colin Kolles obtained a $4.5m settlement for his previous team by observing that the Super Aguri arrangement (at least once it was using old Hondas) was a customer car and that the regulations forbid that…

    • It all boils down to what options and what budget do they have. Who knows what exactly happened between HRT and Toyota, maybe they stopped paying after they got some key people to join their team.

      The summary of their options is a very good one anyway and it shows, there is enough to get, for someone with the money to buy it.

      • Don Mateo said on 17th November 2010, 16:00

        Very true, that article shows that there could still be plenty of options out there for them, assuming they can get some funding together.

  4. Scalextric said on 17th November 2010, 3:46

    Petrov’s now a clear #1 in the best driver at Abu Dhabi poll. Vettel had this sewn up early, I’d thought. As compensation, he won the WDC.

    • I would bet both to be completely satisfied with that, altough Petrov would have loved to get it the other way around :-D

  5. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th November 2010, 3:57

    Imagine the outcry if this were to happen in Formula 1.

    It very nearly did back in 2007. McLaren protested the BMW Saubers and Nico Rosberg’s Williams for having illegally-cooled fuel. But the advantage gaied by those cars was so slight that it would have yielded half a horsepower at most, and it became apparent what McLaren were trying to do when it was revealed Kazuki Nakajima also had cooled fuel, but McLaren didn’t try getting him disqualified because he had finished behind Lewis Hamilton. If the FIA has disqualified Kubica, Heidfeld and Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton would have inherited enough points to claim the title. Fortunately, common sense won out and the stewards didn’t do anything.

    I was deathly afraid that Ferrari would try something similar this year. I was juiblant when Vettel won, but I couldn’t help remember the European Grand Prix. When Hamilton’s penalty was delayed and had no real effect on his track postion, nine drivers got penalised for breaking the delta time on their in-lap. It reeked of Ferrari trying to interfere with the race results because they weren’t happy a decision hadn’t gone their way. It was clearly an attempt to get Fernando Alonso more points (and if it had worked, it probably would have won him the title). So when Vitaly Petrov held Alonso up in Abu Dhabi, I couldn’t escape the idea that Ferrari might launch protests against cars that finished ahead of Alonso, looking for something wrong with them, some obscure violation of the rules that would be grounds for disqualification, obscure violation that while technically should be punished accordingly, would have gone ignored if Ferrari had won the title. They’d shown a willingness to do it in Valencia because a penalty didn’t go in their favour; I imagine that the possibility of winning a title would be more than enough incentive to try and prosecute someone.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 17th November 2010, 6:47

      I have a feeling that they’re a bit more timid after the massive ill will they’ve experienced Post-Germany. That may have burst the bubble they’ve isolated themselves in, and shown them that they don’t rule the world. Pre-Germany I wouldn’t have put it past them to try and have the results modified to suit their fancy. Maybe that has nothing to do with it though and Ferrari are really just very reasonable, misunderstood, and humble people.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 17th November 2010, 9:05

      It also nearly happened in 1997 when Villeneuve was disqualified from the Japanese Grand Prix (one of the greatest dramatic swings in the championship I’ve seen) for ignoring yellow flags in practice. Williams appealed the decision but the FIA basically told them if Williams kept up their appeal they would be thrown out of the Jerez race too.

      And of course afterwards there were the race-fixing accusations. Then Schumacher was thrown out of the championship. If the Williams and McLaren had been convicted, Jean Alesi would have been world champion!

    • Chalky said on 17th November 2010, 14:00

      I reckon they did look but didn’t find anything. With the level of competition now in F1 I’d assume all the teams would look at those who finished ahead of them to see if they were legal.

      You wouldn’t waste your time on those who finished behind you would you?

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 18th November 2010, 8:40

        You wouldn’t waste your time on those who finished behind you would you?

        Well, no – but to claim that you’re targeting them because it’s “for the good of the sport” is a slap in the face.

        • If Rosberg had been found to have cool fuel, then Williams as a whole would have been thrown out. So Nakajima would have been disqualified anyway had McLaren succeeded in their protest. It was just that because McLaren didn’t cite Kazuki in their protest documents, the scrutineers wouldn’t have used Kazuki’s car as evidence either for or against the accusation.

    • Specifically, I was lookig for the protest about Kubica’s crossing the pit exit line.

  6. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 17th November 2010, 6:48

    Yvan Muller driver a Chevrolet :P not a Seat

  7. Bullfrog said on 17th November 2010, 10:14

    Great round-up today! Liked the Independent piece. Vettel’s transformation after Spa was the most impressive thing about his season for me. He was unbeatable (except for his engine) in the last four races. Way more convincing than Webber playing the underdog and piling pressure on himself – he’s a top bloke, but that reminded me of Nigel Mansell.

  8. I don’t want to rain on Coulthard;s parade but ,

    “independent team with a custom engine taking on the likes of Ferrari and McLaren and beating them. “

    Brawn GP did as well you know, And they had come back from two diabolically bad years. Congrats to Red Bull, but Brawn did it further from left field so to speak.

    Coulthard’s statement was true of course… But it’s not like they didn’t have a great budget, well known team members or a great previous season.

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 17th November 2010, 11:03

      How are Ferrari and McLaren less independent though? It’s just F1 factories which are sponsored by someone. Doesn’t really matter where the money comes from.

      And budget estimates say that Red Bull gets the same amount of money as McLaren F1 does. So.

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 17th November 2010, 11:22

        Indeed. In fact, hasn’t McLaren exactly become an independent team with a customer engine this year? Sure, they were already at the top unlike Red Bull who’ve only been competing for two years. But Red Bull have the sport’s best car designer and similar amounts of investment, not to mention one lightning young driver and a strong veteran.

        Without the rule changes Red Bull would probably be where Renault are now. That isn’t to play down their achievement in the slightest, but since the codifying of the rule changes they’ve been operating on a pretty level playing field.

        It’s the same as the Brawn fairytale last year, which was basically Honda on a restricted budget. It’s nice to see teams run independently do well, but a true manufacturer team hasn’t won since 2006. Manufacturer victories are in fact quite rare in the sport’s history.

        Red Bull’s success has been a nice story about a small team making its way to the top. Any further hyping just spoils it, frankly :(

      • Jarred Walmsley (@jarred-walmsley) said on 17th November 2010, 17:37

        Because both Ferrari and McLaren are automotive manufacturers in their own right, thus meaning they are no longer independent.

        Independent means they are run by a group that has no or little association to a manufacturer.

  9. racerdude7730 said on 17th November 2010, 20:16

    im not saying this to be a stupid american or anything but why wouldnt they be able to put HD cams on stuff? In america all the racing has been full HD for years now. All the on board cams everything. Nascar has been HD for at least 5 years now. Anyways i just fig i would say there is no reason they arnt already doing it and why they would need to test it when its there already. You would think the most advanced motor sport in the world would be a little more up on tech such as that. They are about 5 years behind

  10. Bendanarama said on 17th November 2010, 21:12

    Personally, I’m gutted byt he FIA court decision in the WTCC. Macau should have been an exciting event – now its dead rubber. Much as I can understand the reasons for the decision, if they were going to do this they should have excluded the BMWs from the race in the first place – lookm at the same shenanigans that nearly took Kimi’s title away from him in 2007. personally I think the whole court of appeals process needs looking at – when you’re deciding championships, it needs to be a clear and concise decision, not muddied after the event.

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