MPs to quiz BBC director general over Sky F1 deal

F1 Fanatic round-up

In the round-up: BBC director general faces questions over Sky F1 deal.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

BBC’s Mark Thompson to face MPs on F1 deal with BSkyB (The Guardian)

“Mark Thompson, the BBC director general, is to face questions from MPs about the corporation’s handling of its Formula 1 TV rights deal with BSkyB.”

Russia will spend $200 million on Sochi track (Reuters)

“With prime minister Vladimir Putin backing the Formula 1 project, Russian officials have been optimistic that all the infrastructure would be built on time.”

Resort’s special arrangement for F1 drivers (YouTube)

Heikki Kovalainen via Twitter

“Been getting lots of questions regarding Lotus driver selection this coming weekend’s race. The team makes the decision based on performance, and in my opinion they made the right choice. Everyone’s got an opinion and that’s mine.”

Road to nowhere (GrandPrix)

“The problem is that the [Korean] Grand Prix has become a political football, a change in the ruling party putting into power a former opposition that was never in favour of the Yeongam venture in the first place. Cue cries of ‘Not my fault’ as questions are asked about the wisdom of placing an international event 250 miles from the vibrant city of Seoul. There is supposed to be a new city rising up around Yeongam. So far, the only thing springing from the ground is a Korean variety of weed unlikely to be trampled by excessive spectator traffic.”

Vijay Mallya Q&A: The biggest race in Force India?s history (F1)

“This weekend is a very significant moment and I?m extremely proud. It?s a major step forward for Indian motorsport and for sport in general in our country. We are all looking forward to it immensely.”

Nico Rosberg via Twitter

“Yikes! In market local comes and says ‘Very dangerous!’ I say ‘What?’. And he flicks a spider away from my neck and says ‘Red body spider dangerous!'”

Martin Brundle via Twitter

“Warning. Unless you’re very strong don’t follow Michael Schumacher around the weight stacks in a gym. He’s in amazing physical shape.”

Jenson Button via Twitter

“Spent the last couple of days in New Delhi training, chilling and eating! and I must say the food is amazing!”

Front anti-roll bar solutions (ScarbsF1)

“Typically most teams follow the same set up for the front suspension in terms of the placement of the rockers, torsion bars, dampers anti roll bars and heave elements. As unlike with rear suspension, the raised front end almost dictates a pushrod set up in order to the get the correct installation angle of the pushrod. However the McLaren anti-roll bar shows there is some variation in comparison to the norm and also highlights Ferraris similar thinking in this area.”

Ferrari targets strong start in 2012 (Autosport)

Nikolas Tombazis: “It’s not just Red Bull having interesting solutions: there are also slower cars with solutions worthy of consideration. You can’t hide behind excuses. I think, however, that next year’s car will have many different solutions, all ours.”

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Comment of the day

Is DRS in danger of discouraging drivers from making passes elsewhere on the track? Chalky suspects so:

The smart driver will use the start/finish straight just to get close to the car in front, but not to overtake. Then use the second DRS point to overtake. Thus preventing the obvious counter-attack.

If we start seeing this or drivers unable to defend once they have overtaken, then we have a pointless use of DRS.

Why not give us a chance of seeing at least one non-DRS passing zone? Is this a half hearted attempt to draw in more viewers with promise of an exciting race?

Quite frankly I found the Korean Grand Prix annoying when a non-DRS pass into turn 1 put the driver at a disadvantage due to DRS on the following straight. All the skill of a non-DRS pass wiped out by an unskilled pass.

From the forums

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to CRM and Gwen!

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On this day in F1

Three years ago Ferrari and Toyota were threatening to walk over new engine rules in F1.

Of course, Toyota ended up quitting 12 months later anyway.

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36 comments on MPs to quiz BBC director general over Sky F1 deal

  1. Jake (@jleigh) said on 27th October 2011, 0:11

    anyone miss toyota? no me neither!

  2. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 27th October 2011, 0:12

    Personally I liked the tactical use of DRS in Korea. It also made it possible for battles to last longer than they would do normally without it.

    • The Last Pope (@the-last-pope) said on 27th October 2011, 1:06

      But they were completely false battles. DRS is meant to help a car that is faster, doing lower lap times, to overtake a slower car doing higher lap times. It was not designed to manufacture fake battles or to dissuade drivers from overtaking elsewhere in the lap.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th October 2011, 10:44

        While I do agree with you @the-last-pope on choosing DRS zones so as not to discourage from having a go in any other place on the track then the DRS zone.

        But here it was really all about knowing where the zone is and using that knowledge, and the car setup, skillfully to defend a position for multiple laps.
        Its different from racing without the DRS, but its not nessicarily more manufactured than slipstreaming past used to be, or indeed than passing a car that is slower because of tyres.
        Had Webber been a lot faster than Hamilton, he would no doubt have made it stick and gain a distance between them.
        Just look at how Hamilton passed Vettel in china, outside the DRS, exactly because Vettel would have expected him there.

    • SoLiDG (@solidg) said on 27th October 2011, 1:13

      Indeed. The defending from Hamilton on Webber was a superb battle. Some different type of racing. I like it!

  3. The Last Pope (@the-last-pope) said on 27th October 2011, 0:46

    Completely agree with COTD. It was a joke seeing a great outbreaking overtake, only to see the slower car breeze back past on the straight. The whole point of DRS was negated. There should be a rule stopping a car that has just been overtaken from using DRS which is detected by the overtaker.

    • Rob Wilson (@rob-wilson) said on 27th October 2011, 1:04

      Nah thats getting to complicated, imagine Martin Brundle trying to explain that rule to people who maybe havn’t watched a race before, DRS is already complicated enough for the newcomer.

      • The Last Pope (@the-last-pope) said on 27th October 2011, 1:13

        Nevertheless its a flaw in the system and the DRS detection point for the Korean GP highlighted it badly.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th October 2011, 3:21

          The entire point of placing the DRS detection point between the first two corners was to prevent drivers from making foolish lunges down the inside into Turn 1 to get within a second of the car in front, then running wide and using the DRS to pass on the long straight.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 27th October 2011, 8:03


        DRS is already complicated enough for the newcomer.

        Indeed. The number of complaints I saw (elsewhere, not so much on here) from fans who thought Alonso had used his DRS illegally at Suzuka when he’d been able to activate it because he’d gone past a lapped car, shows how over-complicated the rule is and how poorly understood it is by many.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 27th October 2011, 11:35

          I think that just shows how poor the implementation is- it should be wrong to use DRS when you are behind a back-marker. After all, DRS is meant to negate the effects of running in dirty air, which is fairly minimal quite often when catching lapped cars. I think it’s more a failing of the system because in the most technologically advanced sport in the world they are unable to introduce anything with any amount of complexity- hence the double DRS zones early in the year with a single activation point.

  4. AlonsoWDC (@alonsowdc) said on 27th October 2011, 1:28

    A solid point raised with the COTD.

    Hopefully we see the stewards (who exactly is in charge of DRS zones?) modify their choices in future seasons as needed just as much as they have contemplated the boundaries in its first season.

  5. Mahir C said on 27th October 2011, 2:03

    Loved the Rosberg tweet!

    One question? Russian GP and New Jersey GP joining the calender, Which races are we going to lose? Valencia hopefully?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th October 2011, 2:35

      One question? Russian GP and New Jersey GP joining the calender, Which races are we going to lose?

      It’s impossible to predict. New Jersey is eighteen months away, while Russia is more than two years in the future. Several races will be up for contract renewals by then, but no-one can predict how circuit organisers might feel in the future. For now, all we know is that three races (Austin, New Jersey and Sochi) are joining the calendar in the next three years. That doesn’t automatically mean that three races will disappear from the calendar in that time. Especially since the Concorde Agreement – which sets out the maximum number of allowable races – will be up for renewal and renegotiation in the near future.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th October 2011, 10:48

      I understood Valencia is in for quite a while, but Bernie is working with them and Barcelona on a share deal like the German races have.
      Another one I would deem not all too secure is the Bahrain race. And I think Malaysia might be up for renewal as well, not sure the government there will want to bankroll it for another decade.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th October 2011, 10:53

        @bascb – these are all the races and the dates their contracts are up for renewal:





        Abu Dhabi

        South Korea

        After 2017
        Germany (2018)
        Russia (2020)
        Monaco (2020)
        India (2020)
        Austin (2021)
        France (2021) and Belgium (2022) [alternating races]
        New Jersey (2022)
        Great Britain (2027)

        They’re all subject change, of course; like you said, Barcelona and Valencia might share.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th October 2011, 11:03

          Thanks for the timeline there @prisoner-monkeys
          Hm, Malaysi might actually make place for Sochi in 2015.
          Hungary I would say might reconsider signing on for another stint in 2016. And Korea might not be a certainty to run out its deal.

          I forgot all about Japan’s deal ending. But surely we would not be losing Suzuka, or would we …

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th October 2011, 11:29

            I suspect that if any races are to go, then Bahrain, South Korea and Valencia are staring down the barrel of being dropped.

            If the situation in Bahrain does not stabilise, Bernie might not think it’s worth going back. Especially with the growing list of countries interested in races – South Africa, Argentina, and Mexico, not to mention Russia and New Jersey, who are already in.

            South Korea is publicly unhappy with their deal. Apparently there has been a change in government of some kind since the 2010 race, and the opposition is vocally against the race being so far away from Seoul. Especially since the original proposal called for a city to be developed around the circuit, which hasn’t happened. If South Korea want to renegotiate a better deal, Bernie is going to have a lot of bargaining power with five new races lined up.

            As for Valencia, they’re making noises about the race not being the success they were expecting. The event is unpopular with fans, and even the Pirelli tyres, DRS and KERS could not spice the event up this year (though I remain convinced that a few changes to the circuit to make it faster and remove unnecessary slow corners would make it considerably better). There was quite a bit of talk a while ago that they might share the rights to the Spanish Grand Prix with Barcelona, but nothing has been heard since.

            So, that’s three races with their heads on the chopping blocks (four if you count Singapore, but there are always rumours that the event will be dropped by the Singaporeans in the month after the race, so I’m not reading too much into them), when only two vacancies are needed to accomodate Russia and New Jersey.

            And that’s without taking the new Concorde Agreement into account. If the season started a little sooner, if the mid-year break was trimmed down, and if a few more events paired up, then I think we could reaosnably have up to twenty-five races.

          • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 27th October 2011, 21:44

            @BasCB I really hope not. They make take the opportunity to bow out, given their inactivity. Doubt it though.

  6. montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 27th October 2011, 2:06

    Nico Rosberg: “Yikes…”

    That’s exactly what I would expect Britney to say in such a case! :)

  7. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 27th October 2011, 3:12

    happy birthday, crm and gwen!

    All the skill of a non-DRS pass wiped out by an unskilled pass.

    not unskilled, but aided.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th October 2011, 10:38

      Exactly – Happy Birthday to both @gwen and CRM!

      I also agree on the DRS being a help, but its use in Korea was far from without skill (altough not sure it was the best place to have it on that straight).

      Indeed one could rather say it was all about the drivers by now getting skillfull in how to use it to either attack, defend or fool someone into making a mistake.

  8. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 29th October 2011, 6:17

    The whole Korea situation really irritates me. I love the track and we’ve had two decent races there, but I cannot work out why it was built there. Sure, it’s unique and the scenery is pretty spectacular, but F1 is a sport that thrives on money, and money comes from people. People don’t live in fields in the middle of no-where.

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