Kubica out of intensive care and starting rehabilitation

F1 Fanatic round-up

In today’s round-up: Kubica making progress and the difficulty of getting Bahrain back in 2011.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Update on Robert with Dr. Rossello (Renault)

“He no longer needs intensive care so he has begun the rehabilitation process. He is now in his own large room so that he is as comfortable as possible. He has already started some gentle hand exercises with the slight flexing of his fingers.”

Lack of time means Bahrain grand prix faces likely axe this season (The Guardian)

“Brazil, it is understood, has paid extra money to regain that honour and nor would it welcome its race being put back a week, for it would clash with the climax to the domestic football season. The only alternative would be to stage the Bahrain race during the mid-season break in August, but the heat would be almost unbearable then.”

Back to good old days for F1, says Webber (Reuters)

“It’s back to the good old days isn’t it? It always used to be the season-opener and it’s a sensational place for it.”

Trulli: Pirellis lacking development (Autosport)

“In my opinion tyre wear is secondary compared to the tyre’s balance problems, because at the moment you get on the track with a new tyre that initially is understeering, and after three laps the behaviour is the opposite, that is impossible oversteering.”

F1 test analysis: A couple of graphs to get you thinking… (James Allen)

“There?s quite a significant difference in the rate of drop off, I?m sure you?ll agree. The softs last around 12-14 laps the hards around 20-22 laps.”

A look at the books (Joe Saward)

“One can only hope that Mallya?s troubles in the aviation business will not impact on his racing team.”

Danielle Amaduzzi photographs (eBay)

Via dank_ross

Williams F1 narrows price range for Frankfurt flotation (The Daily Telegraph)

“The shares sold in Williams will create a free float of about 28pc with the majority of the offering sold by co-founder Patrick Head. He will see his stake drop from 23.5pc to 5.8pc ?ǣ netting him a cool ??54m-plus.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Simon thinks teams shouldn’t rely too heavily on CFD. Anyone else want to see him have a chat with Nick Wirth?

CFD and FEA are both tools but are fundamentally flawed as they can not compute every element of the real world, so they make some assumptions.

A lot of those assumptions themselves were derived from models made by computer to simplify the original calculations.

Whilst these tools can reduce lead times to investigate an idea, thorough testing can not be replicated in a CPU.

Also it takes an engineer to have the idea in the first place ?ǣ over reliance on technology leads to a generic design bases on probabilities, rather than a ??Newey-esque? feel for something good.

Sorry to blather on about it ?ǣ but I use these tools extensively and they are a little bit over-sold on their abilities.

I?d rather see cars whizzing around test tracks and Engineers who have a real feel for the subject, rather than a bunch of tech-heads sat in an air-conditioned building making virtual race cars.
Simon

From the forum

We’re doing some development testing on improvements to the F1 Fanatic Predictions Championship.

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

Ferrari’s latest ‘horse whisperer’ letter caused a stir on this day last year:

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63 comments on Kubica out of intensive care and starting rehabilitation

  1. Victor. (@victor) said on 23rd February 2011, 0:20

    Quite the positive round-up.

    Great news on Kubica, Bahrain might be out for good and Webber’s enthusiastic about the season starting where it should, the Pirelli’s don’t last, and Williams might get some money at least.

  2. newnhamlea1 (@newnhamlea1) said on 23rd February 2011, 0:25

    F1 appears to now be losing or potentially losing races left right and centre. We need to go through a period of getting races in a situation where they can afford to host an event for the next 10 years and then refuse any more races after russia. Stability is key and f1 lacks it in this modern era, with teams changing pretty much every year and new races appearing too often.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 23rd February 2011, 6:16

      Maybe Formula 1 could do what the WRC does and have a rotating roster of circuits. Keep several marquee events, like Silverstone, Monza, Spa, Monaco, Interlagos, Suzuka and Austin, but rotate the rest through willing countries. Kind of like what Germany does, alternating between the Nurburgring and Hockenheim. What you’d reasonably need is half the calendar being fixed – with those circuits getting a discount – and the rest being cycled through so they are run every other year. The trick is that you need thirty circuits willing to play ball: ten permanent, and then ten for every other year.

      The problem with Bernie’s current arrangement is not Bernie. It’s simple economics. A lot of people seem to think that the sanctioning fees for each race are paid directly to Bernie’s numbered Swiss bank account. In reality, that money goes back into the sport. The rider that dictates a circuit must pay more and more to FOM is designed to ensure long-term stability. It’s to stop a circuit picking up a race for one or two seasons and then slipping into obscurity.

      The economics of supply and demand dictate the calendar. There are 52 weeks in the year, so at the most, there can only ever be 52 races. Allowing for three months at the end of the year for everyone to rest up, that means there is a maximum of 40 weeks available. And factoring in the two-week gap between races, that means there can only be a maximum of 20. Maybe 25 if you’re willing to have certain races – like Barcelona and Monaco – back to back.

      So with only 20-25 places available on the calendar, there is a finite supply. And economics dictates that the lower your supply, the greater the demand. Say Bernie has 19 races locked in, and the 20th and final place is going to be a choice between Circuit A and Circuit B. Circuit A can afford to pay $30 million dollars to host the race. But Circuit B can afford to pay $40 million. Which one do you take? The answer should be obvious – Circuit B. They bring an extra $10 million to the table, money that can be recycled back into the sport. Sure, Bernie takes his cut, but it’s a misconception that he’s the only one who gets any of it.

      • Hamish said on 23rd February 2011, 6:56

        In summary – having a hedge fund as the owner is bad news. Nearly half of all revenues go merely to cover their interest bill that accrues on the massive loan CVC took out to buy F1.

        Agreed on the marquee events side of things however.

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 23rd February 2011, 7:20

        In reality, that money goes back into the sport.

        Um, no. Loads of it goes to CVC. Then some goes to Bernie, and not a small amount either.

        Simple economics (not really simple in practice but in principle it is) has got this world into a heap of trouble of late, F1 should therefore be avoiding it as a determining factor, but I forgot Bernie is a businessman (like you wouldn’t know from the way he acts!) and business will always be #1

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 23rd February 2011, 7:24

          It doesn’t matter who is at the helm of FOM – the economics of supply and demand will always dictate that whoever can pay the most for a race will get the race.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd February 2011, 7:40

            That is right, highest bidder gets it.
            But Icthyes and Hamish argue, that your stating the money goes back into the sport is pretty wide off the mark.

            Admit it, the money is not going back into the sport. Only about half ends up with the teams.

            Your idea about a pool of circuits is not bad, I think it deserves FOM and FOTA looking at doing something like that. Why not have the odd race just to show you can do a GP once to get publicity. Sounds good.

          • Daniel said on 23rd February 2011, 8:27

            Except Monaco doesn’t pay anything.

          • gDog (@gdog) said on 23rd February 2011, 8:28

            It is highest bidder wins. It shouldn’t be, and it wouldn’t be if Bernie and CVC weren’t involved.

            There are many other factors that determine if a track makes a suitable long term venue. One of the most important being ongoing investment in the facility itself (tricky if you’ve paid through the nose to host the event); as well as goverment support (Australia), local fanbase (China), access to the circuit (Turkey), ticket prices (Silverstone), support from the local motorsports association. I could go on and on.

            CVC need their not insignificant bite to pay the interest, thats why highest bidder wins overrules all these other, dare I say more important, factors than how fat is your wallet and will continue to do so.

            Having said that, I do agree with the rotating circuits idea. Providing variety for the teams and fans as well as opportunities for new circuits/countries whilst also keeping a solid core. I really quite like it actually.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 23rd February 2011, 10:46

            It shouldn’t be, and it wouldn’t be if Bernie and CVC weren’t involved.

            That’s where you’re wrong. Because Formula 1 has a fixed supply, there will always be a greater demand. The costs associated with running the sport dictate that higher prices are better because it’s easier to pay your bills. The economics of supply and demand are a lot like gravity. They don’t stop working simply because you don’t want them to.

          • Hamish said on 23rd February 2011, 11:08

            All well and good to analyse this with Year 9 economics PM, but all this goes out the window when the demand by the spectator decreases. And thats the problem – all issues we identify with the sport inevitably have that as the final outcome.

            Primary focus should be on the spectator, not the bottom line.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 23rd February 2011, 11:19

            For some moronic reason, everyone seems to think that more spectators can somehow make a race break even. Sure they can. If you get a million of them. Television audiences will always dwarf spectators at the circuit. There’s no money in spectators, unless you want to charge them a King’s Ransom. “Focusing on the spectator” isn’t going to change anything because it’s a non-quantative measure.

          • Hamish said on 23rd February 2011, 11:47

            1) Don’t refer to people and their comments as “moronic”. You as a poster probably get the worst of it and if you were to be called a “moron” we would have the pleasure of reading a one thousand word belittling essay on how you know it all, and your word is gospel as you apparently called twice as many correct driver changes in 2010 then anyone else – your words , not mine. Long story short, regardless of whom is right or wrong no name calling or insults – read the rules.

            2) As a result of profit being the main driving factor behind the sport these days the spectator audience has declined. You’ve missed the point with the term spectator as I think for many (including myself) this includes those who sit in front of the TV, which makes up the majority of the audience. By F1 going to the highest bidder the spectator has suffered. We have compromised by the quality of tracks and those countries that have lost their home GP over the years have lost interest in the sport altogether. France is a very good example, Australia is a work in progress in that respect. You may ask, what caused this. Well, quite simply the organisers of these GPs simply cannot afford to hold a race. This is because CVC knows there are countries who are willing to pay top dollar, and as a result of CVC being a hedge fund, they follow the money. These races are going to countries with no fan bases, and are taken away from countries which when they had the GP has a solid fan base.

            Does F1 gain spectators and followers by going to Bahrain?
            Does F1 lose spectators and followers by cutting France and Australia?

      • Dougy_D said on 23rd February 2011, 8:31

        I like how you slipped in Austin there…

        • Yeah saw that… What a load of rubbish, an unraced American f1 track? Ha!

          Yeah sure, behind all the other tracks.

          To be honest I think these are not PM’s greatest ideas. I mean for starters, simple economics isn’t ever a good term to use. It’s just not simple.

          Secondly,

          And economics dictates that the lower your supply, the greater the demand.

          Supply doesn’t dictate demand. (I.e. I have the only 10 pink and teal roller coaster carts in the world, does that mean the demand is high? I think not)

          (I don’t have roller coaster carts)

      • bananarama said on 23rd February 2011, 10:19

        I think someone might like to read up on supply and demand. If there were only 1000 places in Guantanamo but 6.5billion people, do you think the demand for places in Guantanamo is high?

        My doctoral adviser made a study a long time ago how car manufacturers (in his case VW and Merc) are forcing their supply chain into bankruptcy because of their market position. In short: They have so much power over the first tiers that they can set the prices to their liking. If the company can’t meet these goals, they are out. So here is the problem for the company, either produce below cost coverage or lose the business. In both cases the long term says bankruptcy.
        I think the game Bernie and friends are playing is just like that, they demand demand demand and if they know no limits, tracks will be lost. The german tracks basically can’t pay the fees anymore, Spa never really could, Australia is obvious, Canada is always at the very limit etc.
        So now tell me, where does FOM hold their 20-25 races once they drove all tracks into bankruptcy? Of course there will always be tracks with money, but I’m not willing to watch the Formula Middle East / Asia for the sake of CVCs profits. Its not like CVC desperately needs every dollar they can squeeze out of the tracks, sustainability is the keyword (which car manufacturers understood meanwhile) and those fees only account for about 10% of their revenues anyway.

        Cheers people, didn’t mean to offend anyone even if that was a tiny bit of a rant :-)

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 23rd February 2011, 10:50

          If there were only 1000 places in Guantanamo but 6.5billion people, do you think the demand for places in Guantanamo is high?

          Only if I make a weirdly out-of-context comment to justify it.

          Yes, demand for a place at Guantanamo was high. Between the climate, the ocean views, low rent and the intense twenty-four hour security, it was arguably the world’s most prestigious gated community.

          • xtophe (@xtophe) said on 23rd February 2011, 13:33

            Is it that out of context? Guantanamo isn’t prestigious, yes. But how prestigious is F1 without its Monaco and Spa like tracks? F1 is only as great as the teams, the drivers and the tracks make it. I know I switched channels in Bahrain last year. I watched a rerun of the A-Team instead. My dad used to be an avid F1 fan (my first sega game was an Ayrton Senna race game). He doesn’t care anymore. The only races that vaguely interests him are some of the “classic” tracks.

            If F1 loses out on money from losing spectators (be it televised or at the circuits), they ought to figure out why that’s happening. Instead, management and sponsors hop on a plane to for instance China to “open a new market for their products”. They operate in this vulgare version of Say’s law: if we bring our goods, surely someone will buy them.

            You can’t buy a reputation. The empty stands in Turkey and China are empty no matter how much money the circuits pay to host the event. History and tradition are no simple commodities that can be pricetagged at will.

      • Prisoner Monkeys to step in for Bernie.

  3. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 23rd February 2011, 0:50

    This is a man on a mission. Great to hear Robert is slowly getting back on track.

  4. sato113 (@sato113) said on 23rd February 2011, 1:05

    keith there is a load of blank white space to the right of the whole page. (scroll right to see!) lol

  5. LutzF1 said on 23rd February 2011, 3:27

    Hey Keith!

    I’m often having trouble opening the articles of F1F :(

    it seems like a loop of ads keep trying to load, but never make it…

    but after a few reloads it loads ok, quite odd.

    using Google Chrome 10.0.648.82 beta

    on OSX 10.5.8

    cheers!

  6. djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 23rd February 2011, 3:58

    Keith, I think you should try and scoop an exclusive interview with mr Kubica!

  7. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 23rd February 2011, 4:03

    I saw this very interesting article over at PlanetF1 that suggests the Bahrain Grand Prix was not so much a victim of the riots in Bahrain, but a fundamental cause of them. Based on the opinions of some of the rioters, the race is little more than a toy to satisfy the Crown Prince’s desires, and something of a symbol of the problems within the country.

    If this is true – and I admit to being sceptical because the article only quotes one protestor out of thousands, so it’s very difficult to gauge public opinion; even those who disagreed with me intensely over the past few days have to agree that a sample of one is not indicative of the opinion of thousands – then it’s unlikley Bahrain will ever return to the calendar.

    • PeriSoft said on 23rd February 2011, 4:50

      Well, I guess that if it’s true then Ecclestone has achieved his goal of F1 causing a spectacle…

    • Yeah I remember when the Hatfield Train crash happened.. the press said it was vandalism. Because I was there chatting to the press saying.. ‘I think it’s vandals’… I’m not kidding..

      I saw it the report on London Tonight : ‘Locals thing vandals may be responsible’.

      Press need to report news. Their business model is addicted to it. Anything that’s a different angle, stands out, that’s where
      the money is. So you got to expect the news organisations to pick out stand out items.

      As LAK pointed out, his country has been massively misrepresented in the media from where he’s sitting.

      I”m saying this, because I realise the press aren’t gods of information, they get snapshots of info. It’s nigh on impossible to get the full picture, and in some cases, they’re guilty of leaning heavily on one side or the other, either because it works for them, or they simply can’t cover the other side. At the end of the day, most press are companies, businesses, and they need to make money. So one unbalanced opinion that sells column inches, helps the bottom line in this age of media frenzy.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 23rd February 2011, 7:29

        At the same time, the massive divide in wealth in Bahrain and the attitude of the Crown Prince are contributing factors to the public perception of the race. After all, the general public do not attend it. The net result is not that the race has become the epicentre of the conflict, but rather that it has become synonymous with the public perception of the royal family. The question is not whether the race is an issue, but how much weight the comments actually carry. It’s actually very difficult to take a sample and get an outlier. Chances are, there are more people out there thinking what this particular protestor has said; they simply haven’t been interviewed, or they have been interviewed and are unwilling to give their names. I think that, in the end, the race has become a symbol of the issues faced rather than an actual issue.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd February 2011, 7:29

      You see PM how to the point your argument was, that F1 has nothing to do with politics?

      Not that I value this article that high. If you had read his blog/tweets and articles, you would recognize that the boy quoted was cut from Nick Kristofs article of last friday.

      A bit of hot air, although the point that GP organisers are getting cold feet is pretty spot on.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 23rd February 2011, 8:59

        You see PM how to the point your argument was, that F1 has nothing to do with politics?

        Is this meant to be sarcastic? Because I’m not sure.

        Anyway, there is a difference between Formula 1 making a political statement, and Formula 1 being used to make a political statement. I’m not particularly keen on either, but the point I’ve been trying to make is that Formula 1 – the people within it, and the sport itself – should not be making political statements because it is not a political body.

  8. Pink Peril said on 23rd February 2011, 5:05

    Good news about Kubica. I just hope that he doesn’t bow to pressure (from himself or anyone else) to return to F1 before he is completely ready. This really is an instance where Robert should talk to the hand!

    Also looking forward to the season opener being staged in Melbourne. Let it never be taken from us again!

  9. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 23rd February 2011, 5:22

    The whole of the Middle East is a no go in August, the heat really is unbearable, you can’t walk 100 yards without breaking a swaet so I’m not sure how many casual fans would volunteer to sit in the stands for 2 hours in August to watch the race. The calendar should just go on as planned, without the first race.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd February 2011, 7:43

      After thinking about the reaction to having a GP in texas in the summer, I have to agree. If Texas is unbearable in that time, how can Bahrain be any better? Safe for a little bit of wind from the sea maybe.

      But Bernie will be having serious talks about getting it in at the end of the season.

      • dyslexicbunny said on 23rd February 2011, 15:46

        So you’re thinking Austin paired with Brazil too? They might be able to pull it off with Canada but I doubt it.

  10. Tell you what. It’s been a pretty eventful couple of weeks.

    Glad Bobby is back on the road to recovery :)

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd February 2011, 7:45

      Agree. Hope Kubica gets a good recovery and is back ASAP.

      As for the exitement, I heard the earth was shaken not too far from your place!

      • Hare (@hare) said on 23rd February 2011, 8:26

        Yeah.. One of those events that undermines your world view and it takes you a little while to reconstruct it with more modesty and humility.

        It’s not like this country suffers much, it’s a great little country, its just an event that can happen in any number of places and it happened here.

        The great thing is, that people all over the place want to help out, and that’s awesome, in the true sense of the word, it inspires awe when you see how mankind comes to the aid of his own when times of trouble strike.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd February 2011, 15:08

          Undermine pretty much literally I suppose. I saw tweets from JB almost immediately.

          Coming from the Netherlands, I have always been intreagued by NZ being almost exactly on the opposite side of the world. And still being named after one of our provinces.

  11. BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd February 2011, 7:24

    To expand on the Bahrain issue, it seems that contrary to what the world thought, Bernie does not get the cash for it if it does not happen!
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/8341860/Formula-One-Management-will-pick-up-the-40-million-tab-for-cancelled-Bahrain-Grand-Prix.html

    That really suprised me. And it will mean, Bernie will push a lot to have it happen later in the year (and the team will have that +/- 20m sousage held out to them do go along)

    • HounslowBusGarage said on 23rd February 2011, 8:07

      Hmmm.
      There’s something in the Telegraph article that clashes with the Guardian story.
      Telegraph quotes from Bernie “There has never been an extra fee to stage the first race — or the last race for that matter. We put the calendar together to suit the sport.”
      Whereas the Guardian says “They are already smarting after losing the kudos of staging the last race of the season, which they held last year.
      Brazil, it is understood, has paid extra money to regain that honour . . .”
      Can’t both be right, can they?

  12. BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd February 2011, 7:52

    Is it just me, or does Trulli sound like a grumpy old man talking about how things were better in his days?

    Sure the tyres were not that good, then again, with the temperature in Barcelona this time of year, what did he expect? Surely getting the balance ready is part of the teams/drivers job in setting up the car, isn’t it?

    Only thing I agree with him on, is having a bit of rule stability. At least they should not change much for next season, before the big change in 2013.

  13. alexf1man said on 23rd February 2011, 8:23

    I hope Codemasters put Bahrain as a bonus track on the F1 2011 game.

  14. verstappen said on 23rd February 2011, 10:53

    I like the first of the Amaduzzi photgraphs. It all looks like it could be some old garage in a dusty little town in France or Italy. And Enzo in his impeccable suit.

    And to me it also confirms that the best ideas are often in your face: here’s a garage full with all kinds of advertising, yet the car has none. Chapman’s sponsoring idea is so simple, yet you have to come up with such an idea at the right time!

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