Wednesday deadline for US Grand Prix decision

F1 Fanatic round-up

In the round-up: The future of the United States Grand Prix will be decided on Wednesday.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Ecclestone Gives Austin Another Week To Save GP (Speed)

“The deadline hasn’t been met so we are still trying to make it happen.”

2012 FIA Formula One World Championship Entry List (FIA)

No surprises on the list so far, with no drivers confirmed at Force India, Toro Rosso and Williams.

Whitmarsh wants ‘headaches’ from Pirelli

“I think the tyres in terms of durability and degradation they got disturbingly better as the year has gone on, and I think we would like to give them the challenge of making high degradation tyres and give us a bit more headache.”

Q&A with Red Bull?s Helmut Marko (F1)

“Looking at all the other cars over the course of the season, they all gradually became lookalikes of the RB7… they?re just painted differently! (laughs) The longer the season lasted, the more RB7s there were on the grid.”

F1 diary: Brazilian grand prix (Daily Telegraph)

McLaren takes a punt on ratios in qualifying ?ǣ and these can’t subsequently be changed without penalty: it runs a longer top gear in a bid to increase straight-line speed and take maximum advantage from its drag-reduction system. Red Bull adopts a set-up that’s better suited to the race, but still manages to lock out the front row.”

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Comment of the day

A cheeky Comment of the Day from Celeste:

I was going to comment on Kimi???s comeback?? but I lost motivation in the middle of writing.
Celeste

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Five years ago today Toyota completed a two-car test at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher were the only cars at the track, and afterwards Trulli complained the track had been too cold for most of the test to do much useful running.

Given the repeated calls for the reintroduction of in-season testing, it’s worth remembering how much money teams spent in the pursuit of little gain before the current ban with tests like this.

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91 comments on Wednesday deadline for US Grand Prix decision

  1. cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 1st December 2011, 0:14

    Never really understood the opposition to unlimited testing. Yep, it’s expensive. But it’s also expensive to trek from continent to continent for the majority of the year.

    My first sight of a live F1 car came during testing when I was 11. It’s a real shame that kids today don’t get the same chance I did.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st December 2011, 0:25

      @cduk_mugello

      Yep, it’s expensive. But it’s also expensive to trek from continent to continent for the majority of the year.

      Obviously, resources are finite and without the races there is no championship.

      So if you’re saying we should have 20 races and unlimited testing, that’s unrealistic, and if you’re saying we should have fewer races and more testing I don’t agree because races are far more valuable to the sport.

      As is plainly the case at the moment the downsides of there being little testing are slim to none. It isn’t harming the racing at all. In fact by keeping the rich teams from spending their way to success it’s probably helping.

      I bet if the big three teams had been able to do all the testing they want this year the most significant difference would have been a reduction in pole position times which would have served only to squeeze Virgin and HRT off the grid through the 107% rule. And just like that we’re back down to a miserable 20 entries.

      No, the current situation is not a perfect scenario. I would certainly like to see more testing opportunities for young drivers. But saying we should just go back to unlimited testing is unrealistic and undesirable.

      My first sight of a live F1 car came during testing when I was 11.

      I see where you’re coming from with this point but at a time when most circuits aren’t selling out on race weekends I’m not convinced it’s a serious problem that’s holding the sport back in a significant way. It’s not as if there’s a shortage of opportunities for people to see F1 cars in action, especially with so many street demos going on these days.

      Allowing teams to spend themselves to destruction is clearly the greater danger.

      • Estesark (@estesark) said on 1st December 2011, 1:32

        I agree with most points here, apart from that I would actually like to see fewer F1 races. Going in to this 19-race-long season, I thought that there could never be too much F1, but actually I got quite tired of it by the end. I think that was partly because the championship was over at the three-quarter mark, and effectively over some time before that.

        I’m quietly hoping that one or two of next season’s races don’t happen, so it doesn’t get even worse. If races do drop off the calendar, the teams could be given the chance to do some testing on those weekends, if the logistics allow it.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st December 2011, 7:06

          I certainly agree with you @estesark, that the 19-20 races calendar seems to really stretch how great it is to watch every other weekend.

          One or two less would not really take much of the fun away.

          But that is not to say the teams should run more testing. If they want to do some of it during the season, they should take away a week of pre- season testing (giving a bit more time off before the season starts) and move it somewhere in between, like that Mugello test they agreed on or like the Abu Dhabi one.

          And get a good turn on making it easier (cheaper) to visit a race, so more people can go there. Just think about how even Spa and the German races drew in a crowd of only around 50-60.000 people lately, if they make it more available, there could be loads of people visiting the races!

          And young drivers/3rd drivers should be put into the cars more, so make it mandatory to give some 5-15 of the friday sessions for them!

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 1st December 2011, 10:31

            I don’t agree that 19-20 races is too much. By me it’s the more the merrier! But of course this shouldn’t be too much so as to make the crews very exhausted. IMO 22 races/ season is the maximum, more than that and it becomes dangerous.

            I also don’t think young drivers should be allowed to drive on fridays at all. This gives an unfair advantage to one side of the garage for the weekend. There should be 3-4 two-day test sessions for young drivers during the season in similar format to Abu Dhabi. That’ll solve all the problems at once.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 1st December 2011, 3:21

        I agree completely, with exception of,

        It’s not as if there’s a shortage of opportunities for people to see F1 cars in action

        I believe this is significantly less true outside of Europe.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 1st December 2011, 4:11

          And even in Europe all the testing seems restricted to a single track, which means it’s the grand prix or nothing (nothing official anyway, Goodwood and the occasional demonstration excluded).

          • And things like goodwood cost a small fortune. they are exploiting their popularity.

            What you do have is things like classic F1 races at brands, which i went to in the summer. They had a 70s-early 80s f1 cars race which was enjoyable and parade of f1 cars. 96 Williams, piquet lotus, schumi benneton etc. And a 60s F2 race which was the highlight of day for me. All this cost about £12 which is a good price.

            But you have to go looking for events like these. They dont get advertised very well. If sites such as this did a once a month ‘whats on’ article it would help these smaller series keep going.

        • topdowntoedown (@topdowntoedown) said on 1st December 2011, 10:50

          Does anyone know how many demo runs the teams have done this year using their test/reserve/practice/straightline/development drivers?

          Must be dozens… McLaren in Manchester, Petrov in Moscow, Red Bull in Rome, Perez in Venezuela?

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st December 2011, 11:15

            @topdowntoedown – small correction, it was Perez in Mexico and Maldonado in Venezuela.

            And McLaren did a run in India as well, they had a one day event in the Netherlands as well with Button.
            Red Bull/STR had a demo run in Australia, in in Honkong? – the one where a guy tried to jump the car and was hit), they ran in Dehli before the Indian GP as well as having a bit of fun running Leimer in the Mountains and their called off event turned filming session with Couthard in Austin and on the Austin track (remember the dirt track video?).

            - probably a lot of track days with F1 drivers, testers/ex-drivers as well from many teams

      • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 1st December 2011, 10:22

        Keith, I totally agree. There’s no need for more pre-season testing. But there should be 2-3 tests during the season that are similar to Abu Dhabi test where only young drivers can drive. This will also solve the problem of extra expense for the smaller teams as they can take a young pay driver as one of the drivers for the test.

      • cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 1st December 2011, 12:12

        @KeithCollantine

        I can understand your point of finite resources, but I never said there should be 20 races and unlimited testing.

        I personally think there are downsides to not having testing. Like I say, the main one is that fans who don’t have the money to go to races see cars live at racing speeds.

        The argument that it keeps the rich teams from spending their way to success is pretty devoid. Compare now to ten years ago, is the grid really closer thanks to no testing? Is the racing really better?

        And to argue against testing from the point of view of the 107% rule is unreasonable – the cause of such a problem would be the 107% rule itself (which I’ve always thought unnecessary).

        And despite what you say, there is a real lack of F1 car action in Britain today. When was the last time F1 cars were seen at racing speeds outside of the British Grand Prix? My guess is the June test in 2008.

        At the end of the day the argument of testing comes down to a discussion about

        Allowing teams to spend themselves to destruction

        My view is that teams should have the freedom to spend money on what they want, how they want. The governing body should not have to put nanny state restrictions on teams to ensure their finances are sound – that’s the responsibility of the teams.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st December 2011, 12:33

          @cduk_mugello you say

          Compare now to ten years ago, is the grid really closer thanks to no testing? Is the racing really better?

          Yes, in both occasions. Ten years ago we had Schumi and Ferrari really getting up to steam with their dominant streak in the championship, achieved with enormous amounts of testing and spending.

          And we had races being won mostly by a clever strategy call as the best thing we got.

          I do not want to go into arguing over DRS here. In in my opinion the racing has been a lot better than that since 2009 exactly because teams were closer together. There was a fighting at the top (even if this year Vettel won most of that a bit too easily), and an incredible close mid-field all year.

          • coefficient (@coefficient) said on 1st December 2011, 12:48

            I would like to see the return of in season testing perhaps operated on a sliding scale of sorts.

            E.g. the teams that finish the previous season outside the prize money paying top 10 get 6 weeks testing and so on.

            1th and 12th get 6 weeks testing

            7th to 10th get 4 weeks testing

            3rd to 6th get 3 weeks testing

            1st and 2nd get 2weeks testing.

            Maybe this isn’t perfect but the general idea would be good imho!

          • sebsronnie (@sebsronnie) said on 2nd December 2011, 6:04

            There was a fighting at the top (even if this year Vettel won most of that a bit too easily)

            Hmmm – are you talking about 2011 or 2010? I didn’t see anything like a fight at the top :-)

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st December 2011, 12:45

          I never said there should be 20 races and unlimited testing.

          I know you didn’t, that’s why spent the the first part of my comment trying to respond to the multiple interpretations of what you’d written.

          The governing body should not have to put nanny state restrictions

          is the grid really closer thanks to no testing?

          Yes. Go and watch the 2004 season if you don’t agree with me.

          Is the racing really better?

          That’s a different question…

          • cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 1st December 2011, 12:58

            I think 2004 is a poor example. Look at 2003; in season testing and it was greatly competitive.

            But as you picked 2004, I had a swift look at the qualifying times for the British GP compared with today. In both cases, the slowest car was the thick end of 6 secs of the pace.

            Anyhow, it’s clear that you’re not up for more testing, and I doubt any point would change that!

          • Just do like moto gp used to, few races a season stay on for an extra day or 2. It doesnt cost much more as you are already there. Teams usually take their 3rd driver along to races anyway(unless your sauber-canada). It pretty simple.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 1st December 2011, 16:05

            @Q85 agreed 100%

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 1st December 2011, 20:17

        Given the repeated calls for the reintroduction of in-season testing, it’s worth remembering how much money teams spent in the pursuit of little gain before the current ban with tests like this.

        Except, if they had actually tested in-season isn’t it likely that the track wouldn’t have been anywhere near as cold? I imagine that Spain would be much hotter on the worst day in, say, July than the best day in December.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 1st December 2011, 15:05

      The return of a single testing event for all teams to participate together, at a different circuit (which attracts more fans, and gives the teams less info on the track) is very positive in my opinion. It would be wrong if every team went separately at different venues spread around the world every month.

    • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 1st December 2011, 21:18

      I dont really mind the testing ban if it means more races, and less cuts in other areas.

      Albeit contrived, I think it adds an element of risk to the sport. Teams have to use every second of the practice sessions, and maybe try out an un-tested part in an actual race. This means more on-track time for spectators who come out. If one recalls the old quali format of “Ultimate Single Lap”, there were was much bordum while teams each waited for the others to rubber in the track.

  2. They cant afford to mess up another US GP. Doesnt matter who is to blame, who owes who, etc.

    All that will matter in the long run is another poor failed attempt in which F1 looks a joke to the americans. They have to sort it.

    • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 1st December 2011, 10:51

      Spot on. Bernie spends most of his time nowadays blaming the COTA owners and portraying them as idiots when in fact he’s the idiot. Another blow for F1 in the US is the worst thing that can happen to him but he doesn’t seem to understand it. He should’ve supervized the issue himself from the beginning to make sure it’s not an another F1 debacle in the US. He treats the US the same as Korea or Turkey, despite the vastly differing importance of the market for F1, and the fact that the circuit is a private enterprise, not a government project.

      And if he thinks that now there’s NJ 2013 plan he doesn’t need COTA, then he’s even more stupid. Because the detractors of the race in NJ, of which there’ll be many, will see how the Texas project fell rather easily, and they won’t have too much trouble doing the same there, it’ll be even easier than in Texas I reckon. Who’ll be the idiot then, poison dwarf?

      • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 1st December 2011, 16:18

        No Worries, US has a 10 year contract in NY Metro area, without fuss, muss, or drama. Of course, its not over till the checkers fly, but all signs are positive.

        See COTA, that’s how it’s done…
        Maybe you can try again when you actually have the money.

        All kidding aside, 2 races in US would be nice, at least beginning to approach the amount of exposure warrented to such a large group of cattle to market to… er, I mean potential fans.

        Still, I don’t blame Berni. He never claims to be anything more than a ruthless business man motivated by profit alone. To know money is to know Berni’s mind. If the COTA promotion team failed to uphold their end, and used trickery to get this far, Boo on them alone.

        The only complaint about NJ GP will come from the people it impacts personnally. But let me tell you, NYC people are used to this kind of thing. In 1 week, we had Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade, Presidential Visit, and Mid-Town Tree Lighting, These events draw hundreds of thousands of people, close streets, distrupted traffic, increased commutes. Just one such event would have lesser cities ready to collapse.

        Folks, dont worry about the civilian impacts of NJ GP. We may not like it, but we will be fine, just as we are when you come visit as tourists. If you dont live here, you cant understand. NY’ers take it in stride as a cost of living in the greatest city on earth ;-)

  3. Silverkeg (@silverkeg) said on 1st December 2011, 0:17

    One surprise for me on the Official entry list is the lack of Pedro de la Rosa…Is there any reason for this??

    The US Grand Prix story is quite disappointing, It is hardly a wonder why Formula 1 struggles for traction in the US market when all they keep doing is letting the US fans down with false promises and unrealistic goals. USF1, 2005 Indy, CoTA are all shambles that shouldn’t have happened.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 1st December 2011, 0:28

      Unfortunately all of these F1 debacles in the US are the fault of various Americans involved in most cases. I don’t think the blame can be laid on Bernie other than that he should probably be a bit more selective about who he attempts to do business with. Hopefully the Jersey folks have their act together. If that event goes off without a hitch it could go a long way to restoring F1′s reputation in the US.

      • celeste (@celeste) said on 1st December 2011, 1:24

        I don’t think the blame can be laid on Bernie other than that he should probably be a bit more selective about who he attempts to do business with.

        This had been my problem with all the COTA debacle, how can you award a license or contract to someone that doesn´t literally “show you the money”?…

      • Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 1st December 2011, 1:24

        USF1 went down due to mismanagement in which Peter Windsor (British) was one of the two principals. 2005 Indy was the sham that it was due to the teams being unable to come to an agreement with the FIA. How are these “the fault of various Americans”?

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st December 2011, 5:00

          @joey-poey – I disagree. USF1 went down to mismanagement, but I don’t think Peter Windsor was to blame. A lot of people targeted him because he’s Peter Windsor and he’s unpopular, but I think Ken Anderson was at fault. Windsor was tasked with finding funding for the project, but he couldn’t get funding without a car design, and that was Anderson’s responsibility. According to a few engineers in the USF1 project, they would make progress on the USF1 Type-1 design, only to come in the next day and find that Anderson had undone all their work. When details of the initial design were published, the early build looked a lot like Anderson’s “Falcon” design, a chassis that was proposed for Indycar (or possibly CART), but rejected back in 2003. The engineers knew it was seven years out of date and kept trying to update to for 2010, but Anderson apparently insisted on keeping it, and USF1 went nowhere.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st December 2011, 9:26

            Hard to tell exactly, but as far as I understood Windsor had the money secured at least at the level HRT had, probably more.
            The money flow got stopped however when the sponsors found out there was a high probability of Anderson not fielding any car anytime soon.
            Windsor might be said to have been too trusting towards his partner in the project to find out only when it was too late.

          • Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 1st December 2011, 17:50

            My point wasn’t to say Peter is solely to blame, but to point out that those things weren’t strictly the fault of Americans.

        • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 1st December 2011, 6:20

          As I said, in “most cases.” Indy would be the obvious exception. At USF1 Peter Windsor was in charge of marketing, which was clearly not the root of their problems. Ken Anderson managed the whole project, and from some accounts after the team collapsed, he micro-managed to the point that everything fell so far behind schedule it was impossible to make the grid.

          • Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 1st December 2011, 17:53

            No, but he was one of the two principals in charge. He is not solely to blame, but it’s using a broad brush to say that Americans are the ones mainly at fault for F1 failing here. It’s a more complicated situation than that.

        • Matty no.2 said on 1st December 2011, 6:47

          I enjoyed the 05 US GP. It was’nt a good race by any streach of the imagination. But it was historic and I’m glad I saw it.

        • topdowntoedown (@topdowntoedown) said on 1st December 2011, 10:53

          Indy was a mess but I believe the problem with the tyres was caused by the track owners cutting grooves into the surface? Not sure where I heard that…

          • they had resurfaced or done something to the track, and due bridgestone taking part in indy events they knew of the change and altered their tyres to match. Michelin did not.

    • vho (@) said on 1st December 2011, 0:29

      Bit harsh to blame it on F1 considering the people wanting to host the race have to bring the $$$ but haven’t got their act together. They also didn’t realise that the government coffers weren’t going to stump up the cash before a race has even started – someone stuffed that one up.

      • Doesnt matter who’s to the blame, the result is same.

        F1 looking silly in america. If F1 wants to do america they have to make sure they get it right at all costs. Or dont bother at all.

        • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 1st December 2011, 21:33

          I have to agree with @Q85. It doesnt really matter who is at fault. Many Americans will look poorly on the false starts of teams and races, post-race result changes from the FIA (French headquarters doesnt help), huge penalties for seemingly minor infractions, conspiracies, and intrigue.

          All these appear as “pretentious European shenanigans”, most will not understand, and in usual American style, tend to fear or distane such things.

          If its not straight forward, bombastic, with a thin veneer of manufactured drama, and a bit violent, Americans will tend to shy away. To support my statement please see American Football, Nascar, Professional Wrestling, and “Reality Shows”.

          I apologize in advance if I have offended anyone on either side of the Pond.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st December 2011, 4:50

      @silverkeg

      One surprise for me on the Official entry list is the lack of Pedro de la Rosa…Is there any reason for this??

      Hispania probably haven’t filed the paperwork yet. This is only a provisional entry list for 2012, so submitting entries isn’t crucial.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st December 2011, 9:16

      One surprise for me on the Official entry list is the lack of Pedro de la Rosa…Is there any reason for this??

      @silverkeg, If I remember right, HRT took there time officcially announcing their drivers and in 2009 as well, even when they had Senna up quite early.

      Probably has to do with who will be the “first” driver in the team – who gets what start number – being of some importance/interest depending on who they sign for the second seat. Bruno Senna had 23 in 2009 as it fitted with his Embratel sponsorship (their call code?).

      Who knows, he might be in the running to have that same number next year again. Or someone might fork a bit more cash to be the first of their 2 drivers on the list.

  4. Anti-RBR (@matt2208) said on 1st December 2011, 0:26

    Helmut Marko ”Looking at all the other cars over the course of the season, they all gradually became lookalikes of the RB7… they’re just painted differently! (laughs) The longer the season lasted, the more RB7s there were on the grid”. so smug i wonder if he can see past him self. Thats just RedBull For Ya Arrogance.

    • vho (@) said on 1st December 2011, 0:36

      Yeah, it does sound a bit arrogant given that it’s quite the normal practise of F1 for teams to start copying what other teams have done successfully.

      • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 1st December 2011, 1:01

        Arrogance or not, he is right. This makes it fairly embarrassing to rich teams such as Ferrari and McLaren. It seems people are now saying that it is standard practice to copy, but I think it shouldn’t be. It is ok to copy some components, but not the whole thing.

        • nefor (@nefor) said on 1st December 2011, 2:25

          This makes it fairly embarrassing to rich teams such as Ferrari and McLaren.

          I’m sure Red Bull as a parent company are as rich probably richer than any other team in Formula 1. They obviously don’t spend all of this on the F1 project but if you’re implying they’re a Brawn GP style outfit managing to put one over on the rich established teams with only limited funding I’m sure you’re mistaken.

          Red Bull are a big player with a fantastic set up built on previous teams, funded and managed by extremely competent people. I’m sure nothing about the team is anything but serious about winning in Formula 1 be it for brand exposure from the very top to the simple feeling of winning within the race team. These guys have spent along time at the mid/back of the grid and I know they’re very happy to be at the front and want to stay there!

          Regarding copying, of course it’s going to happen. They’re only changing bits and pieces at a time, will this work, will that work etc. Single elements of a race car will rarely work just by transplanting them onto your own car with out serious development, every team will go about their solution and when another proves to be faster of course they will try and understand why and then adapt their car to perform better than the competition using, if applicable, what they can learn from other teams.

          The Red Bull extremely tidy rear packaging and ‘coke bottle’ engine covers are working well with this Formula, but other teams aren’t blindly copying them, they’re just realising that tidying up the rear will be of benefit and applying that knowledge to their car (going too extreme ala Williams doesn’t seem to be a benefit), additionally the way they blow the diffuser has been extremely efficient this year and McLaren had an almost carbon copy in Melbourne after their octo-exhaust failed miserably. This massively helped them but it didn’t stick them on pole because as much as it helped they still needed to develop it more and get the rest of the car working with it, I also seem to remember them being surprised that it was even as good as it was.

          Regulations are very very tight, variations are usually small or subtle, debrand every car on the grid and few would be able to tell them apart outside of the really dedicated, save maybe the McLaren and Torro Rosso due to the sidepods and the Williams due to the non existent back end. Working within the limits they have there is always going to be a perfect solution and if a team like Red Bull have managed to get close of course teams will have to copy elements or they’ll all languish seconds behind them. When a diffuser blowing started to appear if it hadn’t been copied that team would be seconds ahead and the season would’ve been even more dominant.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st December 2011, 4:53

      Thats just RedBull For Ya Arrogance.

      Of course you’d see it that way – your username is “Anti-RBR”. If Martin Whitmarsh, Stefano Domenicalli or Ross Brawn had said it, I very much doubt you would would have commented at all.

  5. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 1st December 2011, 0:49

    Mr Marko, I guess you don’t remember Red Bull copying the double diffuser and the F-duct in recent years.

    It’s the way F1 goes, don’t you think?. Stop being such a tool, mate.

  6. celeste (@celeste) said on 1st December 2011, 1:01

    COTD….. Gracias, Muchas Gracias… :D…

    “Looking at all the other cars over the course of the season, they all gradually became lookalikes of the RB7… they’re just painted differently! (laughs) The longer the season lasted, the more RB7s there were on the grid.”

    I have a love-hate relashionship with Marko, he is the devil within Red Bull Racing… and his comments always spicing things up a little… he is confrontative… every time I read one of his interviews I know he is gonna upset someone and that keeps it interesting…

    • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 1st December 2011, 1:07

      every time I read one of his interviews I know he is gonna upset someone and that keeps it interesting

      yep I agree, .. in this case I like his directness. Say it how it is.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 1st December 2011, 8:51

      I know what you mean @celeste, and my feelings are a bit similar. However, to me he is more like the Ferrari horse-whisperer: outlandishly funny is a weird way. Except the horse-whisperer is just a mouthpiece, Marko has actual power, and that’s a bit scary.

  7. Look, I’m no fan of Helmut Marko — but if you look at that comment in context, you’ll see he was merely addressing the fact that their innovations and upgrades were all good ones, as opposed to those of some of the other teams — hence the copying. Where exactly does he say he didn’t approve of it?

    Q: We have seen bold design ideas come to the fore lately that didn’t deliver, for example Renault’s forward-facing exhausts. So is it also the ability to identify what will and won’t deliver that separates the winner from the rest?
    HM: Well, probably, because the foremost quality of a car is for it to be driveable. It doesn’t help to have a car that is faster than the rest but only for certain track configurations. Looking at the upgrades that we added over the season, they all delivered. We never had to face the awkwardness of building back. Looking at all the other cars over the course of the season, they all gradually became lookalikes of the RB7… they’re just painted differently! (laughs) The longer the season lasted, the more RB7s there were on the grid.

  8. Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 1st December 2011, 1:04

    Hehe, very funny CotD…

  9. graham228221 (@graham228221) said on 1st December 2011, 5:52

    “The deadline hasn’t been met so we are still trying to make it happen.”

    Bernie’s certainly changed tack, which I’m very certain means it’s going to happen! Yay!

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st December 2011, 6:09

      It certainly discredits the argument that he feels he no longer needs Austin now that he has New Jersey. Tavo Hellmund had admitted that CotA was in breach of contract since May – when was the last time Bernie tolerated a circuit being out of contract for six months? And when was the last time he gave extended deadlines to taht circuit to get their act together?

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 1st December 2011, 7:18

        I think Bernie would be happy with 3 races in the US if they could be staged and attract enough fans. The idea that he’s happy with just one seems a bit off the mark, based on comments he’s made in the past about the US.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st December 2011, 7:34

          I don’t think teams would go for three races Stateside. They want a presence there, but they don’t want to place too much emphasis on America. I think they’d much prefer another race in South America, or maybe one in the Caribbean.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st December 2011, 9:34

        Tavo Hellmund had admitted that CotA was in breach of contract since May

        Actually @Prisoner-monkeys, Tavo admitted he (his company) had been breach of contract since May.

        And that seems to have been the whole point of it. Bernie made a contract with Tavo, knowing Tavo himself (his company Full Throttle) did not have any serious money, but he had secured backers who would pay.

        So in a sence, Bernie could have avoided that breach far earlier, if he had done a contract not just with Tavo, but with Tavo and the others. Now it was Tavo not paying up (probably because those backers were not feeling good enough with having Full Throttle in between and the piece of the pie Tavo asked) and Bernie cancelled the contract for breach of contract.

      • TheBrav3 said on 2nd December 2011, 2:57

        korea im pretty sure.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st December 2011, 8:47

      @graham228221 Call me cynical, but I don’t share your positive view. This deadline extension doesn’t cost Ecclestone anything – the final calendar was always going to be signed off at the WMSC meeting. I don’t see this as him going out of his way to be helpful.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st December 2011, 9:00

        @keithcollantine – Then why would he extend the deadline? He gave them a week to get things sorted. Then he added a week onto the deadline. Why do that if he didn’t want to give them every chance of making the calendar?

        • Doesn’t the old miser have some kind of visceral aversion towards the US and Europe (as also evidenced by his latest anti-European comment)?

          As long as it’s the grand prix of mighty Bahrain (or very serious issues with India or Korea), ain’t no mountain high enough, but when it comes to this tiny puny United States of whatever, or financial problems with established European tracks, he’s kicking people around with an almost palpable pleasure.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st December 2011, 9:58

            Doesn’t the old miser have some kind of visceral aversion towards the US and Europe

            If he had an aversion to them, why is he still organising races there?

            when it comes to this tiny puny United States of whatever

            The issues in Austin have been pretty serious, considering that construction of the circuit came to a complete stop. Even when there were issues in Korea, they kept working on it. And he’s been remarkably tolerant of a management company – Full Throttle Productions – that has been in breach of its contract for six months.

            financial problems with established European tracks

            Right, because Europe is currently a beacon of economic integrity right now. Do you not watch the news? Europe’s economy is in an horrendous state; one tiny little spark will send the whole place up in flames.

          • If he had an aversion to them, why is he still organising races there?

            Aversion does not necessarily manifest itself as an immediate full-scale wholesale embargo, unless you want to cast my opinion in a black-and-white light.

            It’s enough if the tzar has a bias in negotiating tolerance, priorities, strategic decision-making, amount of strong-arm tactics and manipulative PR-quotes etc.

            came to a complete stop … they kept working on it

            Work being continuously done or not is irrelevant compared to the single most important question: could it be ready in time?

            If Austin’s problems are such that it’s patently hopeless even a year before the actual race, then pull it.

            However, as long as there is a chance it will be finished in time and perhaps as well, if not better than Korea’s or India’s last-minute track, why the public threat recurring almost weekly?

            one tiny little spark will send the whole place up

            Watching the news (not only today’s but for years and decades), one will realize that practically any part of the world could blow up from one year to the other.

            A tyrant is thrown out, a banking system goes down, border incidents flare up, economic woes push people over the edge, a corruption scandal escalates, a natural disaster brings a country on its knees, shall I go on?

            But then a serious, still, in all probability ultimately solvable financial crisis supposedly relegates one of the biggest economic powers to being just a tourism-oriented backwater…

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st December 2011, 11:24

            I agree with a lot @MJ4 writes in that last post about turning favours.

            But the simple thing here is just (as Damon Hill said yesterday in his talk with Peter Windsor) that Europe is not willing/able to pay what Bernie asks.

            As for Europe turning into a tourism-oriented backwater, the first thought occurring to me when I read that was: isn’t tourism one of the stated reasons for bringing a race to countries like China, Singapore, Russia, Turkey, Korea, Hungary, Spain, … More or less all recent GPs?

            Wouldn’t it then be the best thing to do to keep these great GPs on and just change the plan from luring in almost broke Europeans to luring in the Chinese, Indians, Brazillians, Arabs, Russians and others to those traditional venues with a reel F1 feel to them!

          • Mike (@mike) said on 1st December 2011, 16:13

            he’s kicking people around with an almost palpable pleasure.

            That’s because Bahrain and co pay. They pay a lot. They pay when Mr E says they should pay.

            That is what Bernie likes.

            The US… They don’t play Bernie’s game as well as he thinks they ought to.

          • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 1st December 2011, 20:03

            @MJ4
            Berni loves just 1 thing… More Money
            Berni hates just 1 thing… Less Money.
            In my opinion he has never demonstrated any behavior (nor have you presented evidence) that would lead one to believe in any “aversion” to the US. Why would he, there is untapped money in the US.

            Seems the NJ deal was done lickety split, probably because they came with $ and didnt screw around.

            The reason for the extension is simple.
            1. It paints Berni in a good and generous light
            2. It costs him nothing.

            Lets be clear, the groundwork is not yet completed at the track, and they are still digging, Any non-trival work stoppage at the site will run a real risk of being ready on time.

            The COTA guys screwed up, they didnt operate in good faith, and thought they could pull a fast one. They got caught.

            The original terms where clear, COTA agreed to them, then failed to meet their responsibilities, hence breaking the contract. Berni is a shrewd businessman, and behaved like any other.

            Best not to get emotional when it really is “just business”.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st December 2011, 9:39

        I think both Bernie and the COTA people knew weeks ago that the real deadline was the FIA WMSC meeting.

        This just means that there was some pushing and shoving, some moves from both, but both sides feel they can get a bit more out of it, so talks go on.

        Its not a negative, as we would then have seen press releases from COTA blaming Bernie for not really wanting the race and from Bernie for them not having money and pens again.
        But its not more than a sign that things are not settled yet and it can still fall either way

  10. KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 1st December 2011, 8:15

    As I’ve said before, I will only support the NJ race if CotA is not on the calendar. However, CotA looks like a far better track than NJ, I’m really not fussed about the coastline of an F1 race. I often find that if I’m focussing on the coastline and skyline during a race, it’s probably time to switch over and watch whatever is on the other side.. People watch RACES when they watch F1, not coastlines or skylines.

    Take Monaco for instance, if people are focussing on the skyline and not the track, then they’re missing all the close racing (a la 2011, until the red flag).

    In short, the general idea of my comment is : Austin > New York

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st December 2011, 8:21

      As I’ve said before, I will only support the NJ race if CotA is not on the calendar.

      Uh, why? What’s wrong with having two races in America?

      CotA looks like a far better track than NJ

      New Jersey has twice the elevation of Austin. And Monaco. And the streets there are so narrow that it will be a proper street circuit for once.

    • Matty no.2 said on 1st December 2011, 8:35

      I’d prefer NJ over CoTA. I actually like the racing layouts of the new track’s , Im just sick & tired of the acre’s of runoof that come’s with all of them.

  11. Rob Wilson (@rob-wilson) said on 1st December 2011, 9:35

    It’s a bit big-headed from Helmut Marko, especially considering non of the other 11 cars looked like the RB7 at any stage of the season, even the Toro Rosso had it’s own direction this year.

  12. coefficient (@coefficient) said on 1st December 2011, 12:03

    “Looking at all the other cars over the course of the season, they all gradually became lookalikes of the RB7… they’re just painted differently! (laughs) The longer the season lasted, the more RB7s there were on the grid.”

    Just shows what an undescerning eye this dinosaur has! What a naive man if he thinks his saying that is going to make us agree with him. This reeks if conceit and arrogance, very undignified for a representative of the Champ Team to make such a crass statement. I now hope Red Bull produce a lemon next year which Helmet can use the juices from to wipe the grin off his face!!

    • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 1st December 2011, 20:16

      Ungentlemanly, sure, low class, maybe, but
      Gloating is one of the benefits of winning. You might not like it, but who hear can truly claim they would not do the same.

      Perhaps Keith will install a tissue box on the site as a service to the cryers.

      • coefficient (@coefficient) said on 2nd December 2011, 8:53

        Gloating is not a benefit, it’s a side effect of a fundamentally flawed and narcissistic personality. He must be a horrendous person to be around!

        Expressing the joy of winning is one thing, (not that he had much to do with Red Bull’s dominance) using your success as an excuse to deride your competitors is moronic and shows a lack of class!!

  13. Hairs (@hairs) said on 1st December 2011, 12:52

    “I think the tyres in terms of durability and degradation they got disturbingly better as the year has gone on, and I think we would like to give them the challenge of making high degradation tyres and give us a bit more headache.”

    Cynical Translation: “We don’t think we’ll beat Red Bull on pace next year but if the tyres are marginal they’ll be in more trouble than us.”

  14. necrodethmortem (@necrodethmortem) said on 1st December 2011, 13:06

    Why is Schumacher in car #7? Rosberg finished ahead in the standings this year, so I thought that gives him #7. Does this mean Mercedes consider Schumacher top dog?

    • Schumi always has odd numbers.

    • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 1st December 2011, 21:07

      I seem to recall reading an article he asked if he could have the odd/lower number and they agreed to comply. Funny how the odd number is always the more highly regarded, lower number.

      Looks like 7 WDC titles comes with a few perks.

      • TheBrav3 said on 2nd December 2011, 3:19

        Actually the odd number is higher untill you go down the list to car number 13 which should be in the 7th team except it’s not because there is no car 13. Team 7 has 14 and 15 which means the odd number becomes lower. That’s also why the last team has car number 25 when 2 cars x 12 teams should equal car number 24 max.

        A skeptic might say that schumacher would expect his team to never go below 7th in the constructors and so he would never have the lower number. However i think it’s more realistic to say when schumacher made his come back. He probably didn’t think for a second he would be beaten by his team m8 he just likes racing with odd numbers. He was talking about wins and the championship during 2010 testing i really don’t think he was covering him self for 3 years of being beaten by his team m8. That statement probably doesn’t even compute.

  15. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 1st December 2011, 14:27

    Helmut Marko’s title should be changed from “Motorsport Consuntant” to “Wind-up Merchant Extraordinaire”. RBR may be ahead now, but he has to remember that his team is a snotty little ragamuffin compared to seasoned championship winning outfits like Ferrari and McLaren. If he expects that this level of dominance will continue ad infinitum, he’s got another thing coming.

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